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Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives, and invite open debate.

Paul Grubach of Ohio believes that Christopher Browning disproves the basis of one smear by "Skunky" Evans, December 24, 2008

Professor Richard J ("Skunky") Evans, Regius Professor of History at Cambridge University.

Vindicating David Irving -- and Refuting Richard Evans!

IN HIS 2001 book, Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the The David Irving Trial, Richard Evans (right) castigated you in two places (pp. 115, 210-211) for claiming that Einsatzgruppen commanders deliberately inflated the number of Jews executed by mass shooting. Now Evans's colleague, Christopher Browning, puts forth a case that actually vindicates what you have claimed. Browning admits that, in at least one important case, the number of Jews executed by mass shooting on the Eastern Front was over-estimated by German officials.

We quote Evans verbatim: "In his evidence to the Zündel trial in 1988, Irving cast doubt, for example, on the reports filed by task force leaders giving numbers of Jews shot by their forces. 'I [David Irving] don't trust the statistics they contain,' he said. 'Soldiers who are out in the field doing a job or murderers who are out in the field doing a job, they don't have time to count.' Each leader, he [David Irving] suggested, submitted reports whose aim was to 'show he's doing a jolly good job,' and by inference, therefore, seriously exaggerated or even invented the numbers killed. 'Statistics like this are meaningless,' Irving said. 'I'm suggesting,' he continued, 'it is possible that at the time some overzealous SS officer decided to put in a fictitious figure in order to do Heinrich Himmler a favour [p.115].'"

Evans then castigates you by writing:

"This of course was pure speculation, unsupported by any documentary evidence. This was characteristic of Irving's methods of disposing of inconvenient documents. If a document did appear that Irving was unable to suggest was not genuine, or in some way unreliable, such as a memorandum from Himmler to Hitler in which three hundred thousand Jews were referred to in 1942 as having been exterminated. Irving said he was 'unhappy about it because it is such an unusual, isolated document.' But of course, it was only 'isolated' because Irving had dismissed or ignored other documentary evidence that pointed in the same direction: there was no genuine documentary warrant at all for this remark [p.115]."

Evans is wrong. In his 2004 book, The Origins of the Final Solution, Holocaust historian Christopher Browning puts forth an example where a German official did over-estimate the number of Jews shot on the Eastern Front by German forces. The over-estimation is contained in the "Hahn summary report" of December 10, 1941. Five Einsatzgruppen reports were summarized by Franz Rademacher's assistant, Fritz Gebhard von Hahn. At this point we quote Browning verbatim:

He [Hahn] extrapolated, however, from the examples of EK 2 and 3 in the Baltic, and wrongly, concluded that each individual Sonderkommado had on average liquidated 70,000 -80,000 Jews. The result was an over- rather than underestimate of the number of Jews murdered, but clearly Hahn had not failed to grasp the significance of the reports concerning the intended fate of Soviet Jewry [p.402].

So there you have it, David. Here is an example that supports your theory that at least some of those Einsatzgruppen reports contained exaggerated statistics in regard to the number of Jews shot.

What is interesting to note is that Browning admits that, in at least one very important case, the number of Jews executed by mass shooting on the Eastern Front was over-estimated by German officials (p. 402).

Paul Grubach

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