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Monday, August 31, 1998
Posted Monday, August 31, 1998From David Irving's archive:
A genuine eye-witness account of shootings of Jews on the Eastern Front

GERMAN ARMY engineer-colonel Walter Bruns was stationed near Riga in November 1941, when he witnessed a mass shooting of Jews, including a thousand just arrived from Berlin.

In British captivity in April 1945, Bruns, by then a Major-General, was overheard by hidden microphones [the verbatim transcripts are accessible from our Index at right]arrowrt whispering to fellow prisoners what he had seen.

There is no question whatever about the authenticity of these files, which ("Holocaust denier") David Irving was the first to find and use them in his works on Hitler (1977, 1991), Goering (1987), Goebbels (1996), and the Nuremberg Trial (1997). He has also read them out to scores of audiences around the world and drawn the attention of Holocaust historians like Gerald Fleming to them.

From the general's description of the dimension of the pits, they could have held perhaps one to two thousand victims each. This gives a dimension to this particular atrocity.

What is interesting is Hitler's distant role in this. Bruns talks vaguely of a "Führer order," but does not describe it. In fact when his superiors complained about the atrocity to Hitler's headquarters (see final paragraphs) the order came from there to halt such mass executions immediately.

The documents can be found in the Public Record Office, London, as file number WO.208/4169.

What General Walter Bruns said in 1945 (when he thought we weren't listening):

Top secret document
Top secret document

Our opinion

Revisionists must not make the mistake of claiming, crudely speaking, that no bodily harm whatever came to the Jews during the Third Reich. But nor should their opponents allege that Germans alone were the perpetrators. Or (as the Israelis claimed in June 1987) that the Bruns document "proves" Hitler's direct involvement.

We shall reproduce here over the next weeks several documents indicative of atrocities which did occur (and we draw attention to the British intercepts, already posted, of SS unit code messages from the Eastern Front). ARSmallLogoWhat seems important is an assessment of the scale of the atrocities, and the degree to which they were ad hoc (like My Lai) or institutionalised massacres (like Hiroshima, Dresden, Lidice).

 © Focal Point Publications 1998. All British official documents reproduced in this section are Crown Copyright, and are published with permission of H M Stationery Office.
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