[The Van Pelt Report]: Electronic Edition, by Robert Jan van Pelt

Table of Contents

X Auschwitz and David Irving (1977 - 1988 -1992)

He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat. Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing.

Irving came to Holocaust denial late, and through the backdoor. In his Hitler's War (1977), he developed the startling theory that while the Holocaust had happened, it had been enacted by Himmler behind Hitler's back and not only without his permission, but even in violation of his express wish that the Jews would be spared. In the original edition of the book, Irving made a number of references to the role of Auschwitz as an extermination camp. Writing about the spring of 1942, Irving stated that the Germans began to round up Jews in France, Holland, Belgium and Slovakia.
From Hans Frank's Generalgouvernement of Poland too--beginning with the ghettos of Lublin--the Jews set out eastward under the direction of one of the cruellest SS leaders, Brigadier Odilo Globocnik, the Trieste-born former Gauleiter of Vienna. Upon arrival in Auschwitz and Treblinka, four in every ten were pronounced fit for work; the rest were exterminated with a maximum of concealment.826
A few paragraphs later Irving noted in the summer of 1942 Himmler threw the "murder machinery into top gear."
On July 19, three days after seeing Hitler, Himmler ordered the "resettlement" of the entire Jewish population of the Generalgouvernement to be completed by the last day of 1942. Each day after July 22 a trainload of five thousand Jews left Warsaw for the extermination center at Treblinka; each week two trains left Przemysl for the center at Belzec.827
  Writing about the Hungarian Action in 1944, when more than 400,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz, Irving noted that "[i]n Auschwitz, the defunct paraphernalia of death--idle since late 1943--began to clank again as the first trainloads from Hungary arrived."828 Yet this time the policy of concealment was to fail. "Himmler's ghastly secret was coming out, for two Slovak Jews had escaped from Auschwitz extermination camp, and their horrifying revelations were published in two reputable Swiss newspapers in early July."829
Hitler's War attracted the attention of Holocaust deniers. In July 1978, John Tiffany, editorial assistant of the Noontide Press (the book-publishing arm of the Institute for Historical Review), wrote Irving that he considered Irving's "tremendous" book a "tour de force," and that therefore the press had ordered a quantity for resale. Tiffany recommended the press's other offerings to Irving's attention, offering him a free copies of The Myth of the Six Million, Butz's Hoax of the 20th Century, and Rassinier's Debunking the Genocide Myth.830 In early 1980 Irving received an invitation from the director of the Institute for Historical Review, Lewis Brandon, to speak at the 1980 Revisionist Conference, which was to be dedicated to the memory of Paul Rassinier.831 Enclosed with the invitation was the programme of the 1979 conference, which included lectures by Arthur Butz, Udo Walendy, and Robert Faurisson.832 Irving hesitated. In his reply, he stated that "I would have to condition my acceptance of your very kind invitation on   knowing who else would participate."
Of course, I have no desire to limit your own scope, but for reasons you will probably perceive I cannot speak on the same platform as for example Walendy or Butz. This is pure Realpolitik on my part: I am already dangerously exposed, and I cannot take the change of being caught in Flak meant for others!833
Brandon replied enthusiastically: neither Butz nor Walendy were going to be invited, but Faurisson was mentioned as a back-up speaker. Irving had doubts. He scribbled behind Faurisson's name "on Auschwitz track à le Butz."834 In the end, Irving did not attend the conference.
One of those who did was a certain Mark Weber, who held a master's degree in central European history from Indiana University, and who worked as a freelance translator in the Washington DC area. In the years that followed, he was become one of the central figures on the revisionist scene. Weber was at the time working on a book entitled The Final Solution: Legend and Reality. In a working outline, dated May 1981, Weber proposed a book that was to have as its central thesis: "There was no official German policy to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Six million Jews not killed."835 If completed, the ten chapter book was to provide the most coherent attempt to write a negationist counter-account of the Holocaust. Most importantly, the outline mentioned under the heading Forward {sic!]: "David Irving has conditionally consented to write this."836
While Irving was not (yet) prepared to be too publicallly associated with well-   know Holocaust deniers, he did establish an ungoing commercial relationship with the Institute for Historical Review. The institute became the American distributor of some of Irving's books, and from one thing came another: finally, in 1983, Irving caved in and agreed to attend the by now International Revisionist Conference--sharing the platform with, among others, Robert Faurisson and Wilhlem Stägich.. In his lecture entitled "On Contemporary History and Historiography," Irving presented the thesis he had developed in his Hitler's War. Hitler was "so busy being a soldier that he didn't really pay too much attention to what crimes may or may not have been going in in various far-flung parts of the Reich." And he added the following remark:
I'm not going to go into the controversy here about the actual goings-on inside Auschwitz, or the other extermination camps or concentration camps. We do know in the meantime that Dachau is a legend, that everything that people found in Dachau was in fact installed there by the Americans after the war--rather like Disneyland--for their local people to go and be impressed by German Schrecklichkeit.837
At this time Irving was not yet prepared to state that the gaschambers of Auschwitz were built by the Poles, after the war.
At the 1983 conference, Irving met Faurisson for the first time, before his lecture. After Irving's lecture, Faurisson challenged Irving to prove the fact that a Holocaust had happened, but behind Hitler's back. A journalist who was present wrote this about it.
Opponents of this heresy [of revisionism] will be heartened to learn how riven with schisms the young upstart already is. For instance, Robert Faurisson opened his talk with a critical response to David Irving. "Dahveed Earveeng sze, Eatlair deent know wot appen at Auschwitz. I esk Dahveed Earveeng, whot appent at Auschwitz???," he chided in a real "Com with' me to zee Casbah" French accent.   Irving had already departed....838
Therefore Faurisson was forced to communicate to Irving through the Journal for Historical Review. In an article entitled "A Challenge to David Irving," Faurisson observed that Irving had been willing to share his opinions on historical matters he admitted not to have studied.
Irving has the honesty to advise us that, in fact, he has not studied the particular aspect of the history of the Second World war that some call the "Holocaust." With some insistence he repeated that about the "Holocaust " specifically he only has some "feelings." He said that in his mind there has been formed a certain impression of what "probably" took place. He does not for a moment attack the revisionist authors. He does not act like those persons who issue denunciations of the revisionists that are more and more categorical in proportion to the extent that they have not studied the question. However, even a David Irving sometimes gives in to the temptation to maintain opinions that, from his own point of view, he ought not to maintain since he has not studied the question.839
For once, it is not difficult to agree with Faurisson. The latter proceeded with attacking the various statements Irving had made in which he had admitted to various liquidations done at various locations by various criminal elements of various ethnic backgrounds without direct orders from above. As to Irving's account of the extermination procedures, Faurisson observed that it contained "too much metaphysics, not enough materialism."840 And thus Faurisson counselled that it was time for Irving to begin at the beginning. The latter has remarked that he suspected "there was some kind of major crime going on at the   initiative of the local criminals on the sport." This is what Faurisson had to say about it.
Here is my response to David Irving: "You are right to be suspicious. In historical investigation suspicion is the beginning of wisdom. But what you consider to be in some sense a finishing line, a line which must be maintained in order to continue the inquiry, I consider to be the starting line. Start with that suspicion if you wish, but do not stop there. Let that suspicion be a stimulus for an investigator like you. Do not hesitate to question it when you need to. You yourself frankly say that you 'haven't investigated that particular aspect of history.' You even say you 'haven't got into that.' Let someone like me, who has gotten into that subject for many long years and who has conducted some investigations which few others have conducted, investigations as materialist in character as possible, let me tell you that the moment has come for a historian of your importance to get into the subject and to study it for yourself in your own fashion."841
Faurisson's intellectual argument proved not sufficient by itself. As with so many others, the Zündel case, which was to unite Faurisson's agenda with Zündel's showmanship, was to provide the catalyst in Irving's conversion to Holocaust denial. Irving came in contact with Zündel in 1984 when the latter began to prepare for his first trial. Zündel sent Irving material, and asked if he were prepared to testify. Irving responded that he was following the development of the case with interest, and that he could be persuaded to go.
In reply to your handwritten inquiry: I would be willing to attend the trial in Toronto as an expert witness, if so invited; you may be aware that my affidavit in the case against Dr Kausch in Hanover W. Germany resulted in his reinstatement in his school director's job. I am also to be called as a witness in the Heidemann "Hitler Diaries" trial. My fee for attendance at Toronto, assuming a presence there not exceeding three days, would be $1,000(US), plus return airfare via New York (cheaper than direct) and hotel accommodation. I am sure you are aware that in some respects my evidence may be disadvantageous, but on balance   it would help.842
In the end Zündel did not take up Irving on his offer.
In a pioneering study on Holocaust Denial written at this time, Irving was already included, as a "soft" variant of the phenomenon. Gill Seidel devoted a whole section to him in her 1986 study The Holocaust Denial: Antisemitism, Racism & the New Right, judging that "David Irving makes a very decisive contribution to the 'soft revisionist' literature on the second world war."
His sober writing contains nothing of the vulgar racism which permeates the pamphlets of McLaughlin and Harwood. He does not deny the Holocaust. He does not suggest that the Jews were responsible for the war. Rather, from documentary scraps and by editing documents, Irving claims that Hitler knew nothing of the "Final Solution", and that his aides carried out the killings behind his back.843
Yet as Seidel's book appeared, Irving began to move closer to the position occupied by hard-core Holocaust deniers. In a lecture entitled "Censorship of History," given in Runneymead, Australia, Irving went out of his way to challenge the evidential importance of the appalling situation in the concentration camps revealed in the Spring of 1945. According to Irving, "the starvation, the epidemics, the typhoid had only broken out in the last two or three weeks of the war." And it was not the Germans, but the allies who were to be partly blamed.
We have to admit probably that we the British and the Americans were partially responsible, at least partially responsible for their misfortune. Because we vowed deliberate bombing of the transportation networks, deliberate bombardation, bombarding the German communications, by deliberate destruction of the   German pharmaceutical industry, medicine factories. We had deliberately created the conditions of chaos inside Germany. We had deliberately created the epidemics, and the outbreaks of typhus and other diseases, which led to those appalling scenes that were found at their most dramatic in the enclosed areas, the concentration camps, where of course epidemics can ravage and run wild. And so it is symbolic of the hypocrisy that existed at the end of the Second World War that we picked on those awful photographs, which were of course good television one would say nowadays, they were good newsprint, they were good photos, they were very photogenic those scenes, those piles of corpses. We picked on them as being evidence that the war was a just war and that our journey had not been in vain.844
However Irving was not prepared, yet, to deny the Holocaust as such, or in any case not the fact that many Jews had died. He did, however, reject the notion that the genocide of the Jews was a centrally managed, state-approved enterprise, and even began to become silent about the role of the men like Himmler who, in his earlier writings, he had still blamed for the Holocaust. Obviously Himmler was too close to Hitler, and it was not very probable that Himmler would have exterminated a good part of European Jewry without Hitler's knowledge. Irving began to shift the responsibility to the actions of "nameless criminals" of various nationalities. In a radio interview, given during the same Australian trip, he stated that between hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Jews, had been liquidated, "by the Germans, or the Latvians, or the Ukrainians, or all the rest who carried out liquidations."
They were the victims of a large number of nameless criminals into whose hands they fell on the eastern front. Mostly around Eastern Europe the liquidations occurred. And these men acted on their own impulse, their own initiative, within the general atmosphere of brutality created by the Second World War, in which   of course the Allied bombings played a part.845
When his interviewer Terry Lane asked him if his remark about the "hundreds of thousands or millions" of Jews implied that he rejected the figure of six million Jewish victims, Irving replied tergiversantly that "when you are a statistician as I am, and you've studied statistics, you know that figures don't compact, they don't come rounded up to six figures like that, with zeroes at the end. There is one school of thought that says 4 million. Another school of thought may say 6,500,000. Another school of thought, right out at the fringe, says it was only 100,000."846 Irving was not yet willing to come down on one or the other side.
In 1986 Irving visited Toronto on a world-encompassing lecture tour. He had arranged for a driver to pick him up at the airport, but instead Zündel showed up to greet him. According to Zündel, "David Irving was visibly shocked."
He wanted nothing to do with me, even then, because of the bad reputation that I had in conservative circles in England and Europe. He thought I was some "Revisionist-Neo-Nazi-Rambo-Kook!"847
In order not to give the wrong impression to his audience, Irving asked Zündel not to show up at his lecture. Zündel complied, and so did his supporters. As a result, attendance of Irving's lecture was very poor. Worst of all, no journalists had shown up.
After Irving left, Zündel sent him a long letter in which he reviewed the disappointing results of the trip, and sought to draw some lessons from it.
You were frank with me in your fears about being linked with me and I made   every effort, as you will recall, not to embarrass you with my presence. Unfortunately, this lack on my part did lead to the dismal showing of "no press" at your meeting, because few people seem able to handle the press well. I have usually had success in my arrangements for press attendance and coverage, before, during, and after my trial. Please make sure that you have someone competent handle your next appearance. You deserve the best!
I have been thinking long and hard how I could be of help to you, despite my "gag order" which does not permit me to say much on topics such as you tackle in your books. It struck me, after having enjoyed your televised presentation, that you would be able to reach more of the public, which is increasingly illiterate, and at a profit, by making some videotaped presentations which you could market through whomsoever you wished, perhaps even setting up your own distributing network. I have no idea if you have a list of bookbuyers--that is, of individuals, rather than publishers. If you do, you would have the "grassroots" support which could allow you to establish an independent business --one which you yourself would control and of course, make most of the editorial decisions and, in the end, retain most of the profit yourself.848
The German-Canadian Mephistopheles had found his English Faust. And in the remainder of the letter Zündel persuasively laid out more schemes that would enrich Irving, whom he characterized as a "promoter's dream."
You are handsome and witty, but not superficial, and thus have a wonderful combination of presentability and credibility. You speak beautifully, with a well-modulated voice. You can be combative and abrasive when necessary and also humble and charming.849
All of these talents were, of course, wasted if no-one was to market them properly. Zündel, who identified himself as "an advertising man," made it clear that he saw all the   possibilities. But, after having made the suggestion he wanted, he did not push it any further, for the moment.
In the year that followed, Zündel and Irving began an informal cooperation. Zündel was interested in pursuing legal action against an American soldier said to have killed German guards of Dachau after their surrender to the American army. This soldier had never been brought to trial for war crimes--a fact that clearly illustrated according to Zündel that the post-war allied war crime trials of German military personnel had been merely instances of victor's justice. He asked Irving if he could help him obtaining relevant documentation.850 Irving obliged.851
In late 1987, after having established a practice of collaboration, Zündel raised once more the issue of a possible appearance by Irving as a witness in his second trial.
Dear Mr.Irving:
You have an outstanding memory of persons, places and events, so you will likely remember our conversation on the way to the Toronto International Airport in 1986 in regard to your appearance as a witness in The Second Great Holocaust Trial. You will no doubt recall that I won my appeals on the provincial and Supreme Court levels in regard to my conviction for "the dissemination of false news" following the First Great Holocaust Trial and that both appellate courts directed that there be a retrial under the same thoughtcrime charge, in view of the many irregularities committed by the Crown and the judge at the first trial....[....]
....I am therefore alerting you now in order to advise you that I would very much appreciate your appearance as an expert witness in regard to your findings on Churchill and the warmongers who brought about World War II. Undoubtedly, the prosecution will ask you about "mass-gassings" and "Hitler's orders for the extermination of Jews", and I assume that you will give him the same statements you have made in this regard during your various lectures and talks. I think the Defence can live with that! Certainly, no one need gloss over the   occurrence of pogroms, just as I do not gloss over the existence of concentration camps and deportations.852
Zündel proved a master of persuasion. He suggested that Irving could use his stay in Toronto to give lectures and promote his books, offering to provide "frontmen" to organize the book-promotion campaign.
Should you wish to extend your visit in order to go to other parts of Canada, I would recommend that you do so, in order to take advantage of the publicity derived from your courtroom appearances. During the first trial, we received coast-to-coast coverage virtually every day.
The time to plan is now! I need to know from you the best time or time which is most convenient for you to come to Toronto during the trial. That way, we can prepare advance notice to the media and the public so as to avoid any repetition of the mean and outrageous treatment you received during your last Toronto appearance. I think it was shocking that you were received with such little appreciation and that so few knew that you were coming in the first place! The Zionists knew you were coming, so the general public should have known about it, too, and not just a few members of the geriatric kosher-conservative, "anti-communist" clique. In regard to advance publicity, I would recommend that you supply your Toronto "agents " with ample promotional material for them to mail to the media, not once, but at least twice, so as to remind them to come out in force.853
Zündel repeated his presentation of the trial as a catalyst for a successful book-tour in another letter sent in early January, 1988. After having expressed his dismay for the fact that Irving had to personally deliver his books to London booksellers, and once more offering to organize help with such pedestrian chores so that Irving could concentrate on the important task of revising history, Zündel came to the point.  
After several false starts, my thoughtcrime trial is to commence on 18 January 1988. Thus your testimony would occur somewhat later than we had foreseen, which means late March or early April.
I reiterate my offer to be of assistance, directly or indirectly, in the promotion of your books, including the organisation of a lecture tour, coupled with your trial appearance, which could get such a promotional tour off with a proverbial "bang". Your timely appearance at the "Hitler Diary " debate was excellent in this regard, and the forthcoming trial here in Toronto promises to be a well-covered media event.854
Irving remained cautious. In his reply to Zündel Irving established clear conditions to make the whole thing worth it to him: the whole operation was to be essentially risk-free as far as the authorities were concerned.
In the interests of serving historical truth I would be prepared to testify on the basis of my own research subject to assurances from the Canadian and American authorities that this would not jeopardise my hitherto unimpeded access to their respective countries. I have contacted their London representatives about this. Your defense attorney should also bear in mind that I wrote on the last occasion, that cross-examination will bring out that there are differences of opinion between your hypotheses and my own. In short, I accept that a great tragedy did happen but do not accept the present versions as to how. I should also require adequate compensation for my time and travel.855
In early March Zündel became suddenly nervous about Irving's appearance when two of the expert witness he had called--Dr. Russell Barton and Dr. Kuang Fann--agreed during cross-examination with the Crown's argument that the Nazis had murdered six million Jews, and that Did Six Million Really Die? was a repugnant book. He contacted   Irving again, writing that he could not afford anymore to have one of his witnesses "in the final analysis agreeing with the Crown prosecutor that 'It really did happen.'"
I do not know what your state of knowledge concerning the Holocaust is or what your tactical stance on the issue is at this time. But I need your assurance that if you do testify you will state either that you have done no primary research into this area and cannot give an expert opinion or that what research you have done indicated major problems with the Holocaust story. If you feel you cannot in all honesty give either of these answers, then I believe that your testimony would be too damaging for me. I have heard you say that something did happen in the East, but nobody really knows what. I could live with that! But to affirm that mass gassings took place, or that there was an official policy of "Judenausrottung" coming from your lips would be a disaster for me. Please let me know exactly how you feel.856
Then Zündel received Leuchter's report, and with that he acquired the opportunity to force the issue with Irving. The question became now very easy: would Irving be prepared to endorse, in court, Leuchter's findings. In an interview given in 1998, Zündel told the American film-maker Errol Morris what happened next.
So I called Florida and I said, "Mr Irving." "Oh, Ernst, what's up?" I said, "Well, you know about the trial?" "Yes." "Are you free?" "Well, sort of. When would you need me?" I said, "Well, hear me out. I have sent an American gas chamber expert to Auschwitz. He's come back with samples." There was a long silence at the end of the line and he said, "And?" I said, "The results are in our favor." He said, "Ernst, I'm coming to Toronto. I am coming to Toronto." I said, "Not so fast. First, I'm going to send you down the booklet, Did Six Million Really Die? Then I'm going to give you a rough outline of what he found." Because I know that David Irving, although he is willing to help me for a price, that he, next to Fred, would be a pretty expensive witness, you know. So, I mean, I'm a fairly frugal man, so I had to weigh how long and when do I want to have this august   Englishman gracing the courtroom in Toronto together with an already very expensive Fred Leuchter and Professor Roth. But anyway, he said he was going to come, he said this was sensational. And then he said, "Why did I not think of that myself?" Why didn't he think of doing that himself? Well, actually that's a very logical question. Right? But he hadn't thought of it himself. So we decided that he was going to come up, he was going to look at the report, he was going to meet Fred Leuchter, who was still in Toronto, and, based on that, he was then going to decide whether or not he was going to be a witness.[....] And so David Irving was in Toronto. He saw the Leuchter report. He met Fred Leuchter, he looked at all the stuff that he had brought, the video footage, and the drawings that Fred had brought with him. And he said, "this is a shattering document. The Leuchter report is a shattering document. It is a stroke of genius by the defense. As a historian," he said, "anybody that will write history, the history of the Second World War that does not take into consideration what Fred Leuchter has found and unearthed, will henceforth do so at their peril because they will write propaganda. Not history."857
For Zündel the chase had ended. Irving was to testify on his behalf, unequivocally endorsing Leuchter's findings.
Irving testified on Friday 22 April, and Monday and Tuesday, 25 and 26 April, 1988. As an expert witness for the defence, Irving endorsed in general terms the main object of legal contention, Harwood's Did Six Million Really Die?
[Christie]: "If your were to classify the book Did Six Million Really Die? as to say its factual content, looking at its alleged facts, what percentage would you [state] to be true, in your opinion?"
[Irving]: "I would estimate over ninety percent of the brochure Did Six Million Really Die? to be factually accurate on the basis of the facts which I arrived at by   an entirely different approach, namely the documentary basis."858
Given Irving's general endorsement of Did Six Millions Really Die?, it is good to repeat once more the book's central claim that the whole Holocaust was a piece of atrocity propaganda not different from the stories that circulated in the First World War, and that credited the Germans with transfixing Belgian babies on bayonets and operating "corpse factories" where they extracted from the corpses of their own dead glycerine and other useful commodities. Yet the big difference between the First and Second World War was that, after the former, the truth had been re-established, while no such action had happened after the latter. To the contrary, according to Harwood the atrocity propaganda had become more intense. "Gruesome paperback books with lurid covers continue to roll from the presses, adding continuously to a growing mythology of the concentration camps and especially to the story that no less than Six Million Jews were exterminated in them."859
During his testimony, David Irving did not merely give credence to the theory that the stories about gassings were allied atrocity propaganda through his general endorsement of Did Six Million Really Die?. He also addressed the issue directly when crown-attorney Pearson confronted him with a passage from his Hitler's War In this book, Irving described the impact at Hitler's headquarters of the publication of a Soviet report on the camp, which had been liberated in the Summer of 1944.
On October 27th, 1944, news reports reached Hitler that the Russians claimed to have found a former concentration camp, Majdanek, near Lublin, at which 1,500,000 people had been liquidated; according to Heinz Lorenz, his press officer, Hitler angrily dismissed the reports as propaganda--just as German troops had been accused of "hacking off children's hands in Belgium" in 1914. When Ribbentrop pressed him for an answer, the Führer replied more   revealingly, "That is Himmler's affair, and his alone." He betrayed no flicker of emotion.860
Cross-examined by Pearson, Irving now stated that the "gas chamber story" was allied propaganda.
[Pearson]: "You're satisfied that this October 27th, 1944 exchange between Ribbentrop and Hitler took place?"
[Irving ]: "I would have to check to see what my source was but certainly if I wrote that, I had a very good source for it."
Q.: "And you say 'Hitler betrayed no flicker of emotion.' How do you know that?"
A.: "Probably from the testimony given by Ribbentrop in the source that I used."
Q.: "So, you're saying there that Hitler was not surprised that 1,500,000 people had been liquidated.861 Isn't that what you're saying?"
A.: 'If you read the paragraph closely you'll see this is the Allied propaganda saying that 1,500,000 people have been liquidated. This was among a number of very large similar claims put out by the British psychological warfare executive on the instructions of the British Secret Service, the gas chamber story originated in   the British Secret Service. The psychological warfare executive and the files on that are now available in the British public records office."862
Both his statement in the Toronto court, and Irving's more recent attempts to discredit the evidence about the extermination camps by placing them in the context of "more far-fetched atrocity legends" which accused the Germans of using bodies as the raw material for the production of soap,863 confronts us once more with the question if, indeed, there exists a historical link between the allied atrocity propaganda of the First World War (which wrongly did accuse the Germans of producing soap from corpses) and the revelations about the German extermination camps in the Second World War. As we have seen at the beginning of Chapter Three, there is a link---but not on in which the accounts of the mass-murder of people in gas chambers are simply recycled atrocity stories from the First World war. The historical link is that during the Second World War the general public showed a great reluctance to believe accounts of atrocities because they remembered how they had been fooled by wild stories and outright lies of a quarter-century earlier. Unlike the men and women who opposed the Kaiser, those who fought Hitler were sceptics. Irving's claim that the accounts of the German death camps, and Auschwitz in particular, were the result of allied atrocity propaganda has little claim to truth. The only historical link between the notorious Kadaververwerkungsanstalt and the killing machinery in Auschwitz is that, during the Second World War, many refused to believe accounts of the latter because of memories of the former. In 1988, when he endorsed Did Six Million Really Die? Irving had ceased to care about history. On the witness stand, testifying for a well-known Holocaust denier, Irving turned into a denier of history.
[Christie]: "Does--does the conclusion of the booklet Did Six Million Really Die? Offend your sensitivities as a historian or not?"
[Irving ]: "Will you remind me of what the conclusion is before I testify to that?"
Q.: "Just dealing with the question most pertinent to the extermination legend is, of course, how many of the three million European Jews under German control survived after 1945?"
A.: "Right. Let me say at this point I think this conclusion here they are aiming at here is justified. I am delighted that so many Jews survived what they now describe as the Holocaust and I am puzzled at the apparent lack of logic. That the Nazis are supposed to have had a government policy for the deliberate, ruthless, systematic extermination of the Jews in Auschwitz and in other places of murder and yet tens if not hundreds of thousands of Jews passed through these camps and are I am glad to say alive and well amongst us now to testify to their survival, so either the Nazis or they were an exceedingly sloppy race, which isn't image that we have of them today. It's another of the logical questions which is being asked in this history which the historians hitherto have not asked.864
As I have demonstrated in Chapter One, the fact that Jews survived for example Auschwitz does not mean that either Auschwitz was not an extermination camp, or the Germans were sloppy. Many Jews who could work were imprisoned in Auschwitz as slave labour, and in the Summer of 1944 tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews were temporarily admitted in Auschwitz as so-called Durchgangsjuden, to be transported on as slave labour to other camps.The survivors of Auschwitz belonged almost exclusively to these two categories of prisoners.
When Irving testified that the existence of survivors meant that Auschwitz could not have been an extermination camp (as the Germans were no sloppy executioners), he stated what had become by 1988 a well-known negationist argument. At other moments during his testimony he quoted and affirmed fuerther well-established negationist doctrine. For example, when Pearson confronted him with Karl Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943, Irving repeated Butz's interpretation of the word Vergasungskeller
[Pearson]: "Now Mr. Irving, before the break you had told us that you had not   read Commandant Hoess' account of what was happening at Auschwitz. Is that right?"
[Irving]: "That is correct."
Q.: "And I show you a document from the National Archives of the United States and ask you if before coming to Toronto, you had seen that document."
A.: "Yes, sir, this is the document you just asked me a few minutes ago to read through and I am familiar with the document and I was familiar with the document before I came to Toronto."
Q.: "All right. Now, do you have any reason to question the authenticity of that document?"
A.: "I have no reason to question the authenticity of this document although the providence with the document isn't clear from the staff evidence analysis sheet attached to it."
Q.: "We have not referred in proceedings to the staff evidence analysis sheet."
A.: "The staff evidence analysis sheet was a sheet attached to any exhibit at Nuremberg which would inform as to where the document had been found and it is rather imprecise but I have no reason to question its authenticity."
Q.: "All right. Now, there is attached to this a translation that was prepared presumably at the time of the Nuremberg trials. Have you had an opportunity, and I know it was a very brief opportunity, but you did have a brief opportunity to compare the translation with the German document and is it a satisfactory translation in your view?"
A.: "It is a satisfactory translation apart from one sentence where--which is quite clearly the operative sentence, which says--I would translate it as 'This is, however unimportant, as the Vergasungskeller'"
Q.: "Let's put it up on the overhead to see what we 're talking about. First of all, is this the original German?"
A.: "It is the same document."
Q.: "Document January 29th, 1943?"
A.: "It is the same document and I am referring to this sentence here, 'Die ist jedoch unbedeutend, da der Vergasungskeller hierfur benutzt werden kann.' I translate as 'This is, however, unimportant as the Vergasungskeller can be used for this,' and the German word Vergasungskeller is a known [?] coming from the German verb Vergas[en], and the German verb Vergas[en], like many German   words, has different translations, some of them completely different in meaning from each other."
Q.: "All right."
A.: "It can mean gassing, it can mean "carboureshing" (ph),865 as in the sense of a carburator on a car and this is the meaning which I don't find, the alternative meaning in the translation of the document, the possibility that it refers not to gassing but to the "carboureshen" process in some kind of oil fire heater, so when we are looking at a Vergasungskeller I think it is tendentious to translate it as gas chamber. I mentioned on Friday that a German--
Q.: "What do you mean by tendentious?"
A.: "Tendentious? I think it is trying to arrive at an impression. It is giving possibly a deliberately wrong translation of the word. It is a possible translation but it is an unlikely translation because if a German was going to write the word 'gas chamber,' he would not write 'Vergasungskeller' He would write 'Gasungskeller'."866
Or would he? German documents show that the adjective Vergasungs- was commonly used to qualify means or procedures used in the gassing of people. For example, in the notorious letter of October 25, 1941 which Dr. Erhard Wetzel, Advisor for Jewish Affairs in the Ostministerium, drafted for Alfred Rosenberg, Wetzel mentions that "Oberdienstleiter Brack of the Führer's Chancellery has agreed to assist in the construction of the necessary buildings and gassing apparatus (Vergasungsapparate)....In the present situation, there are no objections to getting rid of Jews who are unable to work with the Brack remedy."867 The "gassing apparatus" was a gas van. In his memoirs,   written after the war, Adolf Eichmann was to call these gas chambers on wheels "gassing cars" (Vergasungswagen).868 And when, also after the war, Erich Bauer testified about the extermination of Jews in Sobibor, he also used the word Vergasung as an adjective: "The doors were sealed airtight and immediately the gassing procedure (Vergasungsvorgang) commenced. After some 20 - 30 minutes there was complete silence in the gas chambers; the people were gassed (vergast) and dead."869 And both Walther Dejaco and Fritz Ertl, testifying during their trial in 1972, used the term gassing spaces--"Vergasungsräume"--to denote gas chambers. For example, in his testimony given on January 19, 1972, Dejaco denied that he had transformed the morgue of crematorium 1 into a "gassing space."
I have certainly not inserted a wall in crematorium 1. With this work I had, as I have already made clear, nothing to do. I did not know anything about the gassing space. I have not inserted any wall..[....] I did not know what went on behind my back. At this time one was of course very much concerned, that no one would know what was happening in Auschwitz. Therefore the Kommandantur will have done such work as the insertion of a wall in the crematorium or the purchase of the incineration ovens and the installation of gassing spaces on its own initiative. After all, no one should know what happened there.870
  Ertl commented on January 21, 1972 that when he wrote in his report of August 19, 1942 about the so-called "bathhouses for special actions"--"Badeanstalten für Sonderaktionen"--, "I knew at the time, that this concerned gassing spaces."871
Furthermore, I have never found an example of Germans using the adjective Gasung in the context of a discussion on the killing of people in gas chambers. Hence Irving's argument is non-sensical. While indeed the word Gaskammer is more common when referring to a (homicidal) gas chamber, the common use of the adjective Vergasungs- in conjunction with a noun in the context of discussion on the gassing of people fully explains why Kirschneck, who had drafted the letter for Bischoff, would have formed the composite neologism Vergasungskeller when referring to a basement that was to function as a gas chamber.
Pearson did not press Irving on the issue of the (Ver)Gasungskeller He did, however, try to pin Irving down on the precise meaning of words the latter had written more than ten years earlier, in the Introduction to the 1977 edition of his own Hitler's War.
[Pearson ]: "Don't you go on to say what the Final Solution was, sir? Right in your introduction?"
[Irving]: "If you can point out the passage concerned."
Q.: "All right. First of all, let's go to the last sentence. 'For thirty years, our knowledge of Hitler's part in the atrocity has rested on inter-historian incest.' What atrocity are you talking about?"
A.: "There is no other way to describe what happened. Thousands of civilians being lined up on the side of pits and being machine-gunned to the pits after being robbed of their personal possessions. This kind of thing can only be described as an atrocity whether it happens in German, Yugoslavia or Vietnam."
Q.: "'Many people, particularly in Germany and Austria, had an interest in propagating the said version that the order of one madman originated the entire massacre. Precisely when the order was given and in what form has, admittedly, never   been established' For the--for what, sir?"
A.: "The order for the atrocities. We are talking about the order that these people imagine exist so there was one central order."
Q.: " 'In 1939?--but the secret extermination camps did not begin operating until December 1941.' Sir, aren't you suggesting there, stating to the reader that the secret extermination camps did not begin operating until December 1941?"
A.: "I think I have to say here that this sentence falls into the category of sentences that I would not repeat in 1988. At the time I wrote that in the 1960's, 1974 thereabouts when I wrote--wrote that introduction, I believed. I believed everything I had heard about the extermination camps. I wasn't investigating the extermination camps. I was investigating Hitler."
Q.: "But you told us that you did ten years of extensive research on the National Socialist regime?"
A.: "Yes."
Q.: "And you had no problem making that statement, did you?"
A.: "Because I believed."
Q.: "Right."
A.: "I believed what I had read up at that point. I hadn't gone to the sites of Auschwitz and Treblinka and Maidanek and brought back samples and carried out analysis. I hadn't done any research into what is called the Holocaust. I researched Hitler and his staff."
Q.: "You haven't done that, have you, since?"
A.: "I haven't."
Q.: "You haven't done those things?"
A.: "I have carried out no investigation in-depth in equivalent depth of the Holocaust."
Q.: "But your mind changed?"
A.: "My mind has now changed."
Q.: "You no longer believe it?"
A.: "I have now begun to challenge that. I understand it is now a subject open to debate."
Q.: "But your belief changed even though you didn't do any research; is that what you're saying?"
A.: "My belief has now changed because I understand that the whole of the   Holocaust mythology is, after all, open to doubt and certainly in the course of what I have read in the last few days, in fact, in this trial, I am now becoming more and more hardened in this view."
Q.: "As a result of what you've read here in the last few days?"
A.: "Indeed."872
As he explained, the reading matter that had changed his mind was Leuchter's conclusion that "none of the facilities examined were ever utilized for the execution of human beings and that the crematories could never have supported the alleged work load attributed to them."873 In court, Irving publically embraced Leuchter's conclusions. "I'm very impressed, in fact, by the presentation, by the scientific manner of presentation, by the expertise that's been shown by it and by the very novel conclusion that he's arrived at," and Irving admitted that "as a historian I 'm rather ashamed it never occurred to me to make this kind of investigation on the particular controversy." In conclusion, Irving endorsed the report wholeheartedly. "I think it is shattering in the significance of its discovery."874
It is good to remember that, when Irving offered his wholehearted endorsement of the Leuchter Report, its author had already admitted in court that he had gone to Poland minimally prepared, having read three works by Holocaust deniers, two documents on the use of hydrocyanide, and some pages from Hilberg's Destruction of the European Jews. 875   Then, too, Leuchter had admitted that he never tried to cross-reference his own observations by looking at the German blueprints, or by studying the testimonies of eye-witnesses.876 This attitude should have troubled a historian who took pride in his own research skills and his undisputed tenacity in uncovering new material. Indeed: Irving completely ignored Leuchter's sorry performance on the witness stand which he admitted he had witnessed. Let us, for the record, recall some of the main issues that had come up. Leuchter had stated that ninety percent of his conclusions were based on his engineering opinion, and only ten percent on the analysis of the samples that he had taken.877 Yet during cross- examination, he had to admit that this engineering opinion was very flawed. For example, Leuchter assumed that hydrogen cyanide was very combustible, and that because the gas chambers were located not too far from the incineration ovens, there ought to have been a danger for explosion. Yet during cross-examination he admitted that while hydrogen cyanide became combustible at 60,000 parts per million, it was lethal at 300 parts per million, that is at 0.5 percent of the combustion point.878 Irving was in the audience and watched it all. It obviously did not leave an impression. Furthermore Leuchter flatly stated that the build up of hydrogen cyanide in the brick and mortar would make the gas chambers very dangerous to use for the SS, yet under cross-examination he had to admit that hydrogen cyanide had only a very short life, and that it quickly combined with iron present in brick or mortar to make the harmless pigment ferro-ferri cyanide, also known as Prussian blue.879 Then Leuchter stated that the alleged gas chambers could not have worked because there was no ventilation system to extract the gas from the gas chambers. Without a proper ventilation system, the basement of   crematorium II could not have been used as a homicidal gas chamber.880 During cross-examination, Pearson produced a copy of a German document that stated that the gas chamber was to be equipped with an installation for aeration [Belüftung] and ventilation [Entlüftung], effectively demolishing Leuchter's argument.881 Then Leuchter had to admit that his calculations as to the very low capacity of the gas chambers were based on the assumption that the Germans would have followed American practices, which aim to kill the victim very fast in order to spare the victim "unusual and cruel punishment." As the Germans were not very interested in ensuring a quick and painless death of those to be murdered, Leuchter had to admit that his calculations were irrelevant. 882 He also had to admit that his assumption that the only way to understand the gas chambers in Auschwitz was through comparison with American gas chambers, and that if the former did not conform to the principles of the latter, the German gas chambers could not have worked, was fallacious.883 Particularly embarrassing for Leuchter had been the interchange with Pearson about Leuchter's claim that those who inserted the hydrogen cyanide through the roof vents into the gas chambers of crematoria 2 and 3 would die themselves from exposure to the poison.884 After some simple questions, Leuchter had to admit that, once again, he had been wrong.885 He also had to admit during cross-examination that he had no expert knowledge of crematoria.886
When Irving publically announced in the Toronto courtroom that he changed his mind about the historicity of the Auschwitz gas chambers, he turned against a consensus held for more than four decades by scholars, judges, and the general public that Auschwitz had been the site where Germans operated gas chambers for the execution of human beings, and that in these gas chambers very large numbers of people had been killed. At the time of Irving's "conversion," the informed estimate of the number of victims ranged between a little under a million people (Reitlinger) to 2.5 million, with a clear tendency in more recent scholarship to put the number of victims between one and 1.5 million people. Rejecting the various results of careful analyses done by many historians, Irving hastily embraced, on the basis of a document that purported to be a forensic analysis of the remains of the Auschwitz gas chambers, a piece of scientific garbage.
Irving's public conversion had made him the new hero of Holocaust Deniers everywhere. One negationist magazine, Instauration celebrated his testimony as "traumatic for world Jewry."887 Mark Weber wrote Irving that "[w]ith your support of holocaust revisionism, the outcome is no longer in doubt."
It's not everyone who has a chance to be instrumental in a historic turnaround. The practical consequences of destroying the holocaust myth are almost indescribably potent.888
It is clear that Irving did not need Weber's flattery to fully appreciate the impact of his testimony. In August 1988 he returned to Canada for a talk. In it, he stated that since he had been a small boy he had enjoyed to see important people, or people with reputation and prestige, with "egg on their face." With Holocaust denial, he had found a way to act out his boyhood dream.
[J]ust imagine the omelet on their faces if we manage to expose that other six   million lie [as opposed the six million marks Der Stern paid for the Hitler diaries]. This is the prospect that is now opening up in front of me.889
Reviewing his own journey towards his endorsement of the Leuchter Report earlier that year, Irving described his thesis that Hitler knew nothing of the Holocaust as "aa kind of half-way house in m conversion." But his full conversion only came when he saw the scientific evidence. In fact, during the lecture he mentioned that the old-style Holocaust deniers had done the revisionist cause harm, "because they have not used the necessary scientific methods in making their claim on Auschwitz."
But Mr. Zündel has used the scientific method. And taking this as a starting point, I have now begun, over the last few months, going round the archives with a completely open mind, looking for the evidence myself. Because if Auschwitz, just to take that one cardinal tent pole of the case, if Auschwitz itself was not an extermination factory, then what is the evidence that it was? This is one thing we have to look at. How did all the evidence come into existence?890
Irving argued that all the evidence had a very narrow basis--"one, or two, or three documents and eyewitness accounts." Speculating on the origin of the Vrba--Wetzlar report, issued by the War Refugee Board, Irving stated in 1944 some thought it to be Nazi propaganda, because it revealed that "the Jews themselves were the people responsible for the 'atrocities' at Auschwitz, that "the people whose job it was to select, and deport, and ship into the gas chambers, and carry out the bodies and so on, were all Jews themselves....The real atrocities were committed by the Jews themselves in the camp at Auschwitz." A more likely scenario, however, was that the British government "masterminded the gas chamber lie" in order to motivate Allied soldiers "so that they would fight even harder." Interpreting the Cavendish-Bentinck minute of 27 August 1943, Irving argued that the authors of the lie thought that by 1943 it had served its purpose.   And he added, "here we are 44 years later and that hare is still running, bigger and stronger than ever, because nobody dares now stand up and kill it."
It is got out of control. The Auschwitz propaganda lie that was starting to run in 1944 is now out of control. And it is going to take He-men of the kind of stature of Ernst Zündel to kill that particular hare [applause]. So gradually the whole edifice of contrary evidence is coming together. We are demolishing [the argument] that says that it was, and we are finding the evidence that says that it was not. It is a very, very happy task for myself and it is exactly the kind of thing I like doing.891
Irving predicted that soon the whole exterminationist edifice was going to come down, and people would realize that while Jews may have suffered, "along with a lot of other minorities and ethnic groupings," the Jews did not suffer proportionally more than other groups. "I don't think that their suffering can be said to be worse than the sufferings suffered by the Germans after the war, in the great mass expulsions, the great population movements." All of this was to become the subject of a new book--to be published in five years.
It has to be my final book probably, on Auschwitz. This is why I hope that people will recognize that I managed to pull off a coup even more spectacular than exposing the Hitler diaries as a fake. From one six million lie to another. That I will see then that some of the world's most famous historians and politicians have the biggest omelet of all times all over their face.892
Irving did not (yet) keep his promise to enlighten the world with a study of Auschwitz. Instead he bought from Zündel the right to publish through his own publishing venture "Focal Point" the British edition of the Leuchter Report. In the spring   of 1989 everything was ready for the book-launch. The spirit of the day suggested that revisionism was on the rise. In April a storm broke loose in the United States about the a book published half a year earlier by the respected Princeton historian Arno Mayer. Entitled Why did the heavens not darken? The Final Solution in history. Mayer argued that the Holocaust, which he termed "Judeocide," was not the result of antisemitism, but of antibolshevism. It did not arise from the National Socialist phantasy concerning the so-called "Jewish Question," but resulted from German frustration when the Wehrmacht failed to defeat the Soviet Union in the Summer and Fall of 1941.
The Jewish catastrophe was forged in the crucible of this irreversible but failing Glaubenskrieg. This secular crusade provided the mastery of space, the corridor of time, and the climate of violence the Nazis needed to perpetrate the Judeocide.893
While this thesis could perhaps be accepted for the operations of the Einsatzgruppen Mayer went farther: Operation Barbarossa also provided the cause and context for the death camps, including Auschwitz.
The very origins of the centers of mass killing reflect the existence of an iron nexus between absolute war and large-scale political murder in eastern Europe. Of the six such centers--Auschwitz, Majdanek, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibór, and Treblinka--Auschwitz and Majdanek were started as stalags for prisoners of war and concentration camps for political prisoners. At the outset Auschwitz and Majdanek were also meant to serve as outposts for the implantation of the Thousand-Year Reich in occupied Poland and Russia.
The nexus of absolute war and deliberate mass murder remained all-pervasive. At Auschwitz and Majdenek, which were at one and the same time concentration camps and annihilation centers, the hyper-exploitation of inmates for war production was anything but spurious. Of course, at both camps, in the face of irreversible military setbacks and shortages, the line between egregious   exploitation and outright exterminism kept wearing thin. Indeed, ultimately the execrable living, sanitary, and working conditions in the concentration camps and ghettos took a greater toll of life than the willful executions and gassings in the extermination centers.894
Mayer included in his boo a specific chapter devoted to Auschwitz. While Mayer did not deny the presence and importance of the gas chambers, he gave a particular importance to typhus as a cause of death. To be sure, Mayer's discussion on the selections started conventionally enough.
It is unclear what percentage of the incoming Jews was selected on arrival as "unfit for hard labor "; estimates range between 60 and 80 percent. It is also uncertain how many of these "unfit"--the sick and infirm as well as healthy women, infants, children, and old people--were sent to the gas chambers immediately upon arrival or shortly thereafter, how many were sent sometime later, and how many ultimately dies a natural death.895
So far so good. Yet quickly his account moved beyond legitimate caution about the exact statistics into an irresponsible description of the purpose of and conditions in Birkenau that had no relationship whatsoever to the historical record.
Unlike the main camp, which was and remained an all-male camp for about 15,000 slave workers, Birkenau was to become the major compound not only for forced laborers of both sexes but also for the nonworking inmates of the entire complex. Accordingly, upon their arrival after a gruelling and dehumanizing journey in freight cars, all temporarily and permanently "unemployable" Jews were summarily assigned to Birkenau, where housing and sanitation were disastrous, as they were throughout the Auschwitz complex. Half-starved and practically without medical care, the frail and the sick were particularly imperiled,   the more so since at the journey's end the whole of Auschwitz was intermittently in the grip of a devastating typhus epidemic. The result was an unspeakable death rate, partly because the ailing and the dying were brought to Birkenau from both the main camp and from Monowitz. In addition to being the wretched and miasmic habitat for the least fit, Birkenau was the site of Auschwitz's main medical facility and quarantine center, as well as of most of its crematoriums and gas chambers.896
And, without discussing the purpose of those gas chambers, Mayer immediately proceeded to a well-meant but ill-considered reflection on the causes of death in Auschwitz--a reflection that ended with a sentence that, introduced with the oddly chosen adverb "besides," ceased to make any sense whatsoever.
There is a distinction between dying from "natural" or "normal" causes and being killed by shooting, hanging, phenol injection, or gassing. But quite apart from the vital importance of not allowing this distinction to be used to extenuate and normalize the mass murder at Auschwitz, it should not be pressed too far. The Nazis leaders decided to transport frail and sick Jews, and Gypsies, to Auschwitz in full awareness of the perils they would face, and they continued to do so once there was no ignoring and denying the deadly conditions there, including the endemic danger of epidemics. Besides, from 1942 to 1945, certainly at Auschwitz, but probably overall, more Jews were killed by so-called "natural " causes than by "unnatural" ones.897
Mayer's book did not include any annotation that provided an insight into his sources. Neither did he refer to the work of other scholars in his text. The book did contain a bibliography. It included both Butz and Rassinier.
Of all books published on the Holocaust, essential passages of Why did the heavens not darken? approached some of the core arguments of the negationists. For example   Mayer's thesis that typhus had been one of the main causes of death in Birkenau could only bring happiness to negationists like Faurisson, who had always maintained that all the Zyklon-B shipped to Auschwitz could be easily explained because of the in his opinion endemic prevalence of typhusbearing lice in the camp. Indeed: many passages could provide Holocaust deniers with useful quotations. Yet none of those connected with the Institute of Historical Review noticed Mayer's book. This changed when in April 1989 The New Republic published an angry and devastating six-page review entitled "False Witness," written by Daniel Goldhagen. He summarized Mayer's book as "an artful construction of half-truths" that was "riddled with extraordinary factual errors, which amount to a pattern of falsification and distortion."898 Goldhagen observed that Mayer's "outrageous" account of Auschwitz showed "the spirit of revisionist apologia."
Mayer is saying, astoundingly, that the Nazi leaders sent Jews to Auschwitz despite their knowledge that life in the camp was perilous as if epidemics were the main danger for the Jews; not with the intention of killing them.899
Goldhagen had no difficulty in demolishing Mayer's account of Auschwitz.
Goldhagen's review had unintended consequences: it alerted the negationists to the fact that a major historian had produced a work that, with admittedly considerable distortion, could be presented as an endorsement of the revisionist position. Consequently the May issue of the newsletter published by the Institute of Historical Review carried a review entitled "The Holocaust: A Sinking Ship?" It described Mayer as "one of the leading lights of his profession," and his book as a justification of "the approach and methodology of Revisionist scholars of the Holocaust like Paul Rassinier, Arthur Butz, Robert Faurisson, Wilhelm Stäglich, Walter Sanning, David Irving, Mark Weber, Fritz Berg, Carlo Mattagno, Henri Roques and a growing cohort of other researchers."900 It   defined Mayer's text as a "minefield of hoax-boasting concessions "--a place "where Exterminationist angels fear to tread "but an "intrepid Harvard graduate student" had rushed in. And it ended with the question "What to make of it all?"
Is the crew of the good ship Holocaust preparing a rush for the lifeboats (and women and children be damned!), or are damage control teams working feverishly below decks in an effort to keep the stricken hull afloat? Will the (largely Gentile) suckers for what passed not so long ago, even among academics, as "the best documented event in history" stick to their berths in steerage, as the hoax capsizes and begins its last lonely hurdle to the watery graveyard of historical frauds?
A prediction from this side: by the turn of the millennium Goldhagen and his friends will need bathyscaphes to travel to their beloved showers.901
In his review of Why did the heavens not darken?, published later that year in The Journal of Historical Review, Robert Faurisson did not hide his pleasure either. One sentence had given him particular joy: "Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable."902 Faurisson observed how far revisionism had come. He reminded his readers that in 1979 leading French scholars had publically stated that there could be no debate about the gas chambers.
We had to wait until 1988 for an established historian like Arno Mayer to say, in his chapter on Auschwitz, that sources for the study of the gas chambers, far from being abundant and reliable as people asserted, are only rare and unreliable. This is just a single example of the significant progress that Historical Revisionism has made in the scholarly community.903
  Of course, using his "Ajax Method," Faurisson did not feel any need to inform his readers about the rest of the paragraph and the one that followed it--paragraphs in which Mayer clearly stated that, despite the lack of information, he did not doubt that there had been gas chambers.904
With the apparently partial "conversion" of a prominent historian to a revisionist position vis-avis the Auschwitz gas chambers, the prospects of the Leuchter Report to attract establishment support looked good indeed. In a letter to the negationist Robert   Countess, Irving judged Mayer's book as "remarkable, though not quite as 'revisionist' as the reviews of it (Newsweek etc) suggest. Still, it is a breakthrough." And he added "[i]f Mayer would address the IHR that would be a sensation!"905 At the same time, the prominent German historion Ernst Nolte had expressed to Irving his willingness to attend, under certain conditions, the next revisionist conference.906 With the "breakthrough" of Why did the heavens not darken?, Irving acquired the confidence to put his whole reputation on the line: the provocative press statement issued by Focal Point--that is Irving--was not only grandiose in its claims for the historic significance of the Leuchter Report, but also unequivocal as to where Irving stood. Ten years after Faurisson had brought his glad tidings to the world, Irving was to make the "epochal announcement" that the gas chambers of Auschwitz had not been.
Nearly forty years after Soviet troops overran the Nazi slave labour camp at Auschwitz in January 1945, the truth is coming out about it.
Scientists, using the same ultra-modern equipment and methods that detected the centuries-old fraud of the Turin Shroud, have established that there is no significant trace of any poison residues in the "gas chambers" of Auschwitz and the other main "death camps" purported by the world's historians.
British historian DAVID IRVING will present the findings at a press conference in London's World Trade Centre on 23d June 1989...
Irving, controversial--but always right--is the author of nearly thirty major books on the Hitler era and the Third Reich. His books are always based on the documents and the archives. He does not just quote other historians. His latest biography of Hitler's "Reichsmarschall" Hermann Göring is to be published by Macmillan Ltd in August, and has been hailed by Time Out as "Book of the Year."
By writing the introduction to the U.K. Edition of The Leuchter Report, he has placed himself at the head of a growing band of historians, worldwide, who are now sceptical of the claim that at Auschwitz and the other camps there were   "factories of death " in which millions of innocent people were systematically gassed to death.
Irving has a record of exposing fakes and swindles: he once used City of London fraud laboratories to discredit cleverly-faked "diaries" of Hitler's Intelligence chief Wilhelm Canaris that had been offered to William Collins Ltd., and in April 1983 he was the first to unmask the Adolf Hitler "diaries" as fraudulent, creating a sensation at Der Stern's Hamburg press conference until the magazine had him evicted.
Now he is saying the same thing about the infamous "gas chambers" of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Majdanek. They did not exist--ever--except, perhaps, as the brainchild of Britain's brilliant wartime Psychological Warfare Executive (PWE). The tragic "eye-witnesses" must have been, to use no harsher word, mistaken. The survivors of Auschwitz are themselves testimony to the absence of an extermination programme.
So what did happen? Come to our press conference on 23d June. Hear Irving deliver his epochal announcement; obtain your copy of the Focal Point publication The Leuchter Report--and ask for yourself: is this indeed the end of the line for Auschwitz? 907
The press-release followed more or less Irving's introduction to the Leuchter Report. In it, Irving clearly established his contempt for the historical establishment, and his aim to use the Leuchter Report as a weapon in his battle with main-line historians.
Unlike the writing of history, chemistry is an exact science. Old fashioned historians have always conducted endless learned debates about meanings and interpretations, and the more indolent among them have developed a subsidiary Black Art of "reading between the lines", as a substitute for wading into the archives of World War II documents which are now available in embarrassing   abundance.908
Saying that "more daring" historians had begun to use modern technologies to dispel "some of the more tenaciously held myths of the twentieth century," Irving presented his own record as a debunker of the faked Canaris and Hitler diaries through laboratory analysis of the ink used. Moving effortlessly from two diaries that suddenly appeared on the market without any provenance whatsoever to very complex and long-lasting historical events witnessed by thousands of different people, Irving could not hide his own surprise at having failed to subject "Auschwitz" to laboratory analysis.
And yet I have to admit that it would never have occurred to me to subject the actual fabric of the Auschwitz concentration camp and its "gas chambers"--the holiest shrines of this new Twentieth Century religion--to chemical tests to see if there was any trace of cyanide compounds in the walls.
The truly astounding results are set out in this report: while significant quantities of cyanide compounds were found in the small de-lousing facilities of the camp where the proprietary (and lethal) Zyklon B compound was used, as all are agreed, to disinfect the plague-ridden clothing of all persons entering these brutal slave-labour camps, no significant trace whatsoever was found in the buildings which international opinion--for it is not more than that--has always labelled as the camp's infamous gas chambers. Nor, as the report's gruesomely expert author makes plain, could the design and construction of those buildings have made their use as mass gas-chambers feasible under any circumstances.
For myself, shown this evidence for the first time when called as an expert witness at the Zündel trial in Toronto in April 1988, the laboratory reports were shattering. There could be no doubt as to their integrity. I myself would, admittedly, have preferred to see more rigorous methods used in identifying and certifying the samples taken for analysis, but I accept without reservation the difficulties that the examining team faced on location in what is now Poland;   chiselling our the samples from the hallowed site under the very noses of the new camp guards. The video tapes made simultaneously by the team--which I have studied--provide compelling visual evidence of the scrupulous methods that they have used.
Until the end of this tragic century there will always be incorrigible historians, statesmen and publicists who are content to believe, or have no economically viable alternative but to believe, that the Nazis used "gas chambers" at Auschwitz to kill human beings. But it is now up to them to explain to me as an intelligent and critical student of modern history why there is no significant trace of any cyanide compound in the building which they have always identified as the former gas chambers.
Forensic chemistry is, I repeat, an exact science.
The ball is in their court.909
Confident of his contribution to world-history, and seeking maximum publicity, Irving sent copies of the preface to Members of Parliament. It was met with an immediate response. On June 20--three days before the official launch of the Leuchter Report--Hugh Dykes M.P. introduced an "early day motion" with the title "David Irving and Holocaust Denial."
Description: That this House, on the occasion of the reunion of 1,000 refugees from the Holocaust, most of whose families were killed in gas chambers or otherwise by Nazi murderers is appalled by the allegation by the Nazi apologist David Irving that the infamous gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Majdanek did not exist ever, except perhaps, as the brainchild of Britain's brilliant wartime Psychological Warfare Executive: draws attention to a new fascist publication, the Leuchter Report, in which this evil calumny appears: and condemns without qualification such pernicious work of Hitler's heirs.910
  Eighty-eight of the members present signed the motion. In a letter, copies of which were sent to the media, Irving reacted angrily.
Dear Dykes,
Come clean. Who put you up to it! (I am referring to your privileged act of defamation against me in the House). Is this the best that the gallant but dwindling band of gullible believers in the "gas chambers" can do? Unwilling to debate them seriously in public, they resort to the sledgehammer (literally), fire bomb, and "nazi" smear to protect their moral investment.
If you persist in believing in "gas chambers " at Auschwitz you are on a loser. I challenge you to replicate the forensic tests that have been carried out on the internal fabric of the "gas chambers" there and come up with results that will prove that it is I, and not your friends, who lie. Further, I offer myself for this test: I will stand in the Auschwitz "gas chamber" and you or your friends can dump in the Zyklon B in the prescribed manner. I guarantee you will get little satisfaction from the outcome!911
Luckily for Irving, Dykes did not take him up on his challenge.
On June 23, the day of the book launch, the Jewish Chronicle reported that Irving had told them, in an interview given two days earlier, that "[t]he Jewish community have to examine their consciences. They have been propagating something that isn't true."912
The press conference itself did not take place exactly as planned. The World Trade Centre cancelled Irving's booking, and he was forced to move the event to his own house, at 81 Duke Street, Mayfair. Irving took care to have the whole press conference recorded on video-tape. Irving was very straightforward about his assertion that the Leuchter Report proved that the Auschwitz gas chambers were the product of allied propaganda which, after the war, no-one had ever wanted to correct.  
I don't think there's any specific reason why a lie has been adopted. I think that, as I have said often before, that in wartime governments produce propaganda. The propaganda flywheel starts to spin, [and] nobody at the end of the war has a motive to stop the propaganda flywheel spinning. It should be the job of the historians, but the historians have become themselves part of the propaganda process. Now we find in the British archives a lot of evidence that we willingly propagated the gas chamber story because it was a useful propaganda line for us to take. However it was based on such tenuous evidence, as you can see from the document in the press pack, that the people who themselves spread the lie then urged that Her Majesty's Government should not even attach their name because for fear that eventually it should be shown up.913
Challenged to explain where the Jews who had been transported to Auschwitz had gone, Irving asserted that Jewish underground organizations had shipped most of them, "across Europe in trucks," to Palestine, where "they were given new names and a new existence and a new life.... The Jews that were in Israel didn't come from nowhere." For the disappearance of those who could not be accounted for Irving blamed the allies: the men who flew the bombers that destroyed Dresden, and not the SS, were responsible for the fact that so many who were shipped to Auschwitz never returned home.
Another part of them, when Auschwitz was liberated were set out on the roads to be shipped westward where they ended up in cities like Dresden. I don't have to tell you what happened in Dresden three weeks after Auschwitz was evacuated by the Germans. There were one million refugees in the streets of Dresden at the time that we burned Dresden to the ground, killing anything between 100,000 and 250,000 of them.914
Irving conducted the press conference in a fighting spirit. When asked if he was a fascist,   he responded with saying that he was "on an intifada against the, against the established version of writing the Holocaust: a one-man intifada."
The Jewish Chronicle carried a week later a report of the press conference.
Mr. Irving asserted last week that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and said he was waging "a one man intifada" against Holocaust history.
He was speaking at a press conference at his Mayfair flat to launch "The Leuchter Report," a Holocaust denial pamphlet published by Mr Irving's far Right Focal Point Publications.
A PLO representative Ms Karma Nabulski angrily rejected Mr Irving's "attempt to hijack the intifada. His theories are obscene," she said.
Mr. Irving expanded on his theories at a bizarre press conference last week, standing in front of an aerial photo of Auschwitz and a larger colour picture of himself.
Part of his "evidence" played on a video at the far end of the room. Three fuzzy, anoraked figures, including Mr Fred A. Leuchter, an engineer, who designs gas chambers for American prisons, wandered through Birkenau hacking lumps of masonry from the rubble of the crematoria.
Were they trying to complete the work of the SS by destroying the evidence? No. They were "scientists" working "under the noses of the Communist guards" gathering "astounding" forensic evidence Mr Irving said.
Tests on Mr. Leuchter's samples showed no traces of cyanide said Mr Irving. Therefore Zyklon B had not been used in the gas chambers, which were not gas chambers after all.
He admitted that there was no independent evidence that Mr Leuchter's samples were from the gas chambers. And he discounted all documentary evidence on the subject and the eyewitness testimony of thousands of Jewish and Nazi witnesses.915
In his provoking if not incitive 1989 preface to the Leuchter Report Irving felt no hesitation in raking some academic muck, suggesting that those historians who maintain that Auschwitz had been an extermination camp did so because they were either intellectually rigid or economically dependent on the high priests of the new "twentieth century religion" of the Holocaust. Yet, at least formally, he still claimed a willingness to entertain the possibility that Leuchter could be proven wrong. In fact, shortly after the publication of the report he received information from what he considered to be a reliable source that the Leuchter Report was very problematic. A certain David A. Crabtree, an engineer resident in Swaziland, had obtained a copy of the Leuchter Report through his daughter, who had attended a lecture Irving had given in Johannesburg. He wrote Irving that he found it interesting reading, "and its major conclusion to be well founded." Yet he was troubled by the "elementary errors of fact and reasoning in the text."
Obviously the report was researched and prepared in some haste, and the errors are peripheral to the main argument. Even so, it is clear that they will be used by the well organised opposition to "prove that the author is incompetent and uninformed" to such an extent that his whole work should be dismissed, and buried, if not actually publicly burned.916
Crabtree had considered writing an article about the problems in the Leuchter Report, but in the end offered his notes to Irving, to be used in a revised edition of the work. He closed his cover letter with a general observation.
At Cambridge, forty years ago, I learned the philosophy that history is what historians write, rather than what actually happened. I thoroughly approve of your success in stripping the wallpaper off the cracks of the edifice of conventional wisdom.917
Attached was Crabtree's five-page effort entitled "The Leuchter Report--proposals for amendments to be incorporated in the second edition, Together with reasoned substantiation thereof." For all his sympathy for Leuchter's point of departure, Crabtree was blunt about the man's scientific expertise. Leuchter's observations on carbonmonoxide Crabtree described as "total rubbish, good evidence to brand the author as a scientific ignoramus."918 Page after page he corrected Leuchter's figures, and challenged his reasonings. Crabtree had special trouble with Leuchter's assumption that the gas chambers could only be packed at a density of one "executee" per nine square feet.
Mention is made of chambers too small to contain the occupants claimed, or attributed. This statement appears to be based on the assumption that executees were evenly spaced at 3 foot intervals, as per the reference to 9 square feet in col I, this page. An assumption is an assumption, and is not necessarily wrong. However, this one is comparable with a popular cocktail party. Surely the popular conception of the holocaust is more like the Tokyo underground at rush hour, or even the Guinness Book of Record figures for how many people get to fill a telephone kiosk or a Volkswagen beetle. 1,5 square feet per person seems more likely, given the alleged conditions. The number of executees per day should be therefore 6 times those used by the author. He can do this without interfering with his argument. He just makes it more acceptable. Even if the executees were allowed 9 square feet each to be executed in, they would not use the space, as they would crowd themselves as densely as possible away from any perceived poison source, and towards any possible escape route.
Proposal--that the calculated output of corpses be increased accordingly. It is still not enough to support the holocaust figures. And the chemical evidence is in any case overwhelming, that it never happened.919
Crabtree was neither convinced by Leuchter's argument that the cyanide could have   reached the ovens and exploded, destroying the crematorium: "the fatal percentage of gas is so far below the flammability or explosive limit that it could not have ignited or exploded."920 At the end of his report, Crabtree suggested that if the report was limited to "confirmed evidence"--with which he clearly indicated the chemical analysis of the samples--he would be "more easily defended on the battlefield."921
Crabtree's observations troubled Irving, as can be surmised from Irving's fax to Ernst Zündel of July 31, 1989.
I think that the enclosed letter from a reliable South African engineer, Crabtree, needs all our urgent attention. In short, he has detected a number of elementary calculating errors in Fred's report, and he has a number of general comments to make which I confess echo precisely the feelings I had upon reading the report: that having scored conclusively on the issue of the chemical tests, Fred thoroughly confuses the issue by examining what are the theoretical maximum numbers that these buildings could have exterminated. I appreciate the difficulties that an engineer has in writing plain English; they are the same as the difficulties that trades unionists have in speaking it! But the Report is now accepted worldwide as the breakthrough, and in its mass production version we must not let it shoot itself in the foot. I am therefore recommending to Tony that the text of future editions is modified to take these objections into account. Of course, it will then have to be made plain that this is no longer the affidavit as submitted in evidence.922
Zündel responded immediately. He noted that he agreed that the report can be vastly improved, yet that a court order forbade him to do so. Violation would result in him loosing his right to appeal, the forfeiture of the bond that kept him out of prison pending his appeal, his immediate arrest and, on completion of his sentence, automatic   deportation. As an alternative of tinkering with the Leuchter Report, Zündel suggested that a new expedition could be mounted to Auschwitz.
Philipp seems to have an eager young German publisher with some money and experttelevision crews and equipment interested in going back there to Auschwitz, Majdanek etc. You seem to get along well with him. Could you not expend that lead into a full fledged one with you being the narrator on scene both in German and English, on location.923
Zündel suggested that they would use a professional television crew, and take along a "mobile notary" to notarize the samples. Zündel suggested that this adventure would bring great benefits to Irving:
This would give you "instant expert" status let you talk more forcefully and convincingly with "eyewitness status", I was there etc. It would make the whole thing a serious archaeological history endeavour.924
Zündel also suggested that if the Poles were to make it impossible to take samples, they would amalgamate the new discoveries with the Leuchter samples. And even if the whole thing were to end in scientific failure, Zündel saw the commercial benefits: Irving would end up with "a very marketable product in the Irving image of media Razzle Dazzle."925
Zündel also sent a letter to Crabtree, in which he explained, more guardedly, that the Leuchter Report was a court document, and any change would be exploited by the other side as a proof that he had submitted invalid evidence --a serious issue especially as Zündel was appealing the verdict.  
My case will be before the courts till about 1990 and I have no intention of giving my enemies an easier time since you yourself state that the "errors are peripheral to the main arguments." I could already point out some of the reasons why Fred Leuchter's calculations were based on industry standard air flow figures re maximum gas release, etc., but will ask you to be patient.
We will come up with an "Addendum of Explanation", which will not compromise me in the courts by raising nitpicking questions while my case winds itself through the court system. I am of the opinion that this report is to be seen, as has been stated by me and Leuchter in the past, as a seminal piece of work.926
Crabtree's critique, written from a perspective sympathetic to Leuchter's effort, was not the only indication that there were profound problems with the Leuchter Report. In early August Irving received from Mark Weber an anonymous 23-page German critique, entitled "A critical comment on the so-called Leuchter document" ("Kritische Stellungnahme zum sogen. Leuchter-Dokument"), accompanied by the following explanation of its provenance.
I received this on the 26th of July from a correspondent in West Germany who is sympathetic to Holocaust revisionism. In an accompanying letter he wrote: "Dieser Text erscheint im Herbst in einem Sammelwerk deutscher Historiker. Ich konnte ihn fuer Sie beschaffen, kann Ihnen aber den Verfasser nicht nennen. Was halten Sie davon?" ["This text will appear this Fall in a multi-author volume of German historians. I could get a copy of it for you, but am unable to name the author. What do you think about it?"]
This essay is almost certainly the most detailed "exterminationist" response to date of the Leuchter report. It is gratifying to see that the report has provoked such a response, although I am concerned about the impact it might have when it is published later this year.
I've sent this essay to Ernst Zuendel, and I plan to send it soon to Robert Faurisson. I have also told Leuchter about it, although I don't have time to   translate it into English.927
Weber's correspondent was partly right: the manuscript was the rough draft of an essay written by the octogenarian German retired civil servant and amateur historian Werner Wegner, who had dedicated his retirement to the study of the Holocaust in general, and Auschwitz in particular. It was to be published in 1990 as a chapter in the monumental Die Schatten der Vergangenheit: Impulse zur Historisierung des Nationalsozialismus [The Shadows of the Past: Impulses Towards a Historicization of National Socialism], published by Propyläen Verlag.928 Wegner amply demonstrated revealed that Leuchter's science did not pass critical muster. Most of the arguments contained in Wegner's draft parallel those which I introduced in my discussion of the Leuchter Report in Chapter Nine. Point by point Wegner demolished Leuchter's arguments. For example, reviewing Leuchter's argument that in the gas chambers each of the "executees" would have occupied nine square feet (or 0.84 m²), henoted that the German legislation determining the number of people that may occupy the aisle in street cars assumes that one person of 65 kilos occupies 0.125 m², or eight people per square meter. Thus following German standards, Wegner concluded that the gas chamber of crematorium 1 could have given space to 618 people at a time.929 (He did not calculate the capacity of the gas chambers of crematoria 2 and 3, which were about 200 m² each, but using the same German data, one would arrive at a capacity of 8 x 200 =1,600 people per gas chamber--that is a total number of people that exceeds by ten percent the official incineration rate of these crematoria of 1,440 people per day. The three gas chambers of   crematoria 4 and 5 were also more than adequate for the job: the two larger ones were about 95 m² each--allowing for 760 victims each [which comes close to the official incineration capacity of 756 corpses per day--and the smaller of about 40 m² could still accommodate 320 people.) Wegner claimed that his own calculations confirmed the official German figures which assigned crematorium 1 a capacity of 340 corpses per day, crematoria 2 and 3 a capacity of 1,440 corpses per day, and crematoria 4 and 5 a capacity of 756 corpses per day, but sadly enough he did not provide them as evidence.930 In conclusion, Wegner stated that the Leuchter Report was a worthless investigation.
Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review tried to answer the criticism in his "A Preliminary Response to the 23-page Manuscript Essay 'Kritische Stellungnahme zum sogen. Leuchter-Dokument.'" Weber began his attack with the observation that the criticism was based on a pirated German-language version of the Leuchter Report, and that "[t]he failure of the essay author to refer to the original English-language edition of the Report...Shows a lack of seriousness and scholarly care." Then he addressed the criticism point by point, invoking however exclusively negationist literature to defuse the critique, quoting for example Arthur Butz's contention that Auschwitz was established as a camp "for Jews who were not able to work, including the sick and elderly."931 Weber ended his comment with the observation that it was in itself proof of the "growing influence of the revisionist view of the Holocaust story, and in particular of the important independent research of a courageous American engineer."932
Irving received a copy of the Wegner's draft, and Mark Weber's "Preliminary Response." He replied as follows:
The critiques of the Leuchter Report are very cogent. They raise several points on the statistical side that had worried me. Leuchter, alas, is an engineer and he   writes English with the flair of a trade-unionist. I too feel that having chemically established the truth, he only helps the opposition by looking at the theoretical capacities. And in doing so he needlessly broadens the target area that he presents the enemy. As you know, we had a similar critique from an engineer in Pretoria, Mr Crabtree. I do not know what the answer is, but your response was pretty good.933
Weber responded a month later, informing Irving that Leuchter and Faurisson had assured him that the criticisms were "basically without merit," even if Weber still considered that they deserved "serious consideration."934 One of the reasons was that, in response to the Leuchter Report, tthe Pole had released the original documents that described the toxicological analysis of the hair and the ventilation covers of the gas chamber of Crematorium 2. As we have seen in Chapter Four, the forensic laboratory in Cracow had determined that the thin white-coloured and strongly smelling deposit that covered the lids contained hydrocyanide.935 In a letter to Weber dated October 15, Irving turned and twisted to cast suspicion on those pieces of forensic investigation, done 43 years before Leuchter arrived at Auschwitz.
You will have seen the Polish "December 1945" investigation of hair and zinc remnants from the Auschwitz Leichenkeller 1. My immediate negative feelings were: (a)unlike the Leuchter report, whose lab results are based on purely quantitative analysis, the Polish report is purely qualitative analysis, i.e. Confirming the presence of cyanide compounds, but not putting a figure on   them. There is nothing to show that the zinc grids were not taken from the disinfestation chamber site; and nothing to show that the hair was not impregnated en route from the site to the laboratory. Quite apart from anything, the notion that 25.5 kilos (half a hundredweight!) of hair--a huge volume by any estimates--could be contained in a "paper bag " is very suspect. A general criticism is: How very convenient that this December 1945 document should come to light now (I assume it did not come to light substantially earlier?), and seek to disprove precisely the points made by the April 1988 Leuchter Report! It is as though London Transport had had the foresight, in 1945, to make scrapings of their buses, in case some historian in 1989 should challenge whether their colour really was red!936
Having raised the last suggestion, Irving should have realized the insanity of assaulting the well-established record of history. He should also have understood that he had, in the end, made extra-ordinary claims about the uniqueness of Leuchter's forensic investigation and the importance of Leuchter's claims without having done his home-work. Yet he chose to ignore the evidence that contradicted the validity of his stance, and instead tried to find support for his views in whatever was on offer. In the same letter he discussed a video of Auschwitz made by Sepp Geiger.
I had not realized before that there is such evidence of downright faking as the "gaschamber" sites--the hole cut through the concrete ceiling, preparatory to including wooden framework and a lid as on the other chambers, but abandoned by the Poles when they ran into steel reinforcing bars.937
Weber responded in a long letter in which he stated that he did not know about the Polish forensic investigations. He showed once more concern about the Leuchter Report, and Leuchter and Faurisson's refusal to take the emerging criticism seriously.  
I have been pleading with Faurisson, Zuendel and Leuchter to respond to the most plausible and oft-repeated criticisms in a kind of appendix to a new edition, but neither Zuendel nor Leuchter seems to regard this as a priority task.938
The situation was to become worse. In the late fall or early winter Irving received through the good offices of a certain Colin M. Beer another utterly devastating critique of the Leuchter Report.939 The author noted that the basis of Leuchter's assumption, the idea that it would be possible to judge the Germans' use of hydrocyanic gas as a killing agent in Auschwitz with contemporary American practices, was invalid. In American gas chambers, inmates were killed with 3,200 ppm, the effect of which the critique describes as "one-gulp-and-you're-dead."940 A concentration of 300 ppm was to bring about "rapid and immediate death." Given the fact that there were accounts that it took people up to 30 minutes to expire, concentrations could have been as low as 100 ppm.
A supplementary factor is that in a US judicial execution chamber the victim is strapped, fully dressed, into a chair. Gas ingestion is thus by inhalation. According to literature the victims of the alleged gas chambers were herded bare-arse naked   into the facility having been made to run from the undressing rooms to the chambers. The victims were thus gasping for breath while immersed in a toxic atmosphere. Since HCN can access the body by skin absorption as well as by inhalation, this greatly increased the effectiveness of the low concentrations of gas and makes the use of 100 ppm fully credible. The result makes a dramatic difference to the whole report.941
Operating with a low (but lethal) hydrocyanide concentration of 100 ppm, there was no danger for explosion. More importantly, at such a low concentration the for Leuchter (and Faurisson) major issue of ventilation ceased to be a point. The author of the critique did not know that the underground gas chambers of crematoria 2 and 3 were equipped with a ventilation system which, as we have already seen, made Leuchter's opinion as to the impossibility to use these rooms as gas chambers mute. But the smaller above ground gas chambers of crematoria 4 and 5 did not have a separate ventilation system: only doors that opened directly to the outside. It is therefore interesting to note his comments on the issue of ventilation.
Leuchter claims that at least a week would be needed to ventilate the chambers prior to removing the bodies and cleansing. This is based on US industrial safety standards, a complete lack of ventilation and the 3200 ppm concentration. The use of 100 ppm dramatically reduces the time needed to reduce concentration. It is obvious that the German guards would not have applied 1989 US industrial safety standards to the slave labour reputedly used to clear the chambers. The volume of one chamber is quoted as 7657 ft³. A swept volume of 120 ft³/min would be needed to completely change this in one hour equating to a flow rate of 0.5 ft³/sec. A current of this speed is hardly distinguishable from still air. Assuming 1 hour is left for ventilation the result would be a residual gas concentration of 15-25 ppm within the chamber. The symptoms in crews used to clear/clean the chamber would, after prolonged exposure, be headaches, nausea, reddening of eyes, giddiness and weakness. These are exactly the symptoms experienced by survivors of the work teams reputedly used for this purpose and   previously assumed to be a psychosomatic result of the horror of the experience. This is a further case of Leuchter's own work actually verifying Holocaust accounts.942
As a result, it would have been possible to use the gas chambers twice a day, instead of once a week. This immediately increased the possible death rate of the gas chambers from a little over 100,000 to close to 1.5 million people. Added to that was the fact that Leuchter's assumption that the gas chambers were loaded with victims at a density of one per nine square feet was obviously wrong. The author of the critique assumed at least a density of one person per six square feet, which would have brought the possible death-toll to 2.2 million people.943
Then the critique addressed the assumption that had informed Leuchter's sampling technique.
The 100 ppm operating concentration discredits his sample technique. Obviously if the gas concentration was 100 ppm, the residue concentration in the walls cannot be greater. The samples were exposed to a damp, cold environment for 40 years. Leaching and chemical breakdown would be such that even the stablest complexes would be degraded. To find 6 ppm under such circumstances is remarkable. The control sample was from a delouser used several times per day at 3200 ppm and A SMALL, SELF-CONTAINED UNIT COMPLETELY ENCLOSED AND SHELTERED. To consider this a control is exceptionally bad technique and discredits the entire sample programme. I repeat at 100 ppm initial I would expect NO DETECTABLE CONCENTRATION in an exposed sample.944
Irving scribbled in the margin of this section the word "important."
After dealing with some more issues Leuchter had thrown up, the author of the critique came to eight conclusions--the last of which turned the Leuchter Report into a boomerang returning into the face of the deniers:
  • 1) The design of the alleged gas chambers is consistent with the use of HCN at a concentration of 100 ppm.
  • 2) That the literature evidence on the Holocaust is consistent with the likely outcome of mass gassing attempts at 100 ppm.
  • 3) That the capacity of the Birkenau facilities is consistent with the alleged execution totals as internationally accepted.
  • 4) The sampling of the walls and the subsequent analysis for cyanide residues is scientifically invalid due to inadequate controls and the effects of the long period of time between use and study.
  • 5) The facilities are not "highly efficient and well designed" as frequently stated but a hastily-conceived compromise between existing design and the requirements. This is consistent with much of the available records on construction and concept.
  • 6) There does seem to be a problem in relating crematorium capacity to death toll.
  • 7)
    The Leuchter Report on its own does not conclusively prove that the buildings in question were used as gas chambers. Equally its conclusions that they could not have been do not stand up to rigorous analysis. Contrary to Irving's assertions forensic science is not exact except in detective fiction. At best it is a mater of balancing probabilities. In all such cases it must be considered in the light of all available evidence. In this context the omission of all other evidence from the Leuchter Report is damning.
    Leuchter is not, in spite of his undoubted (if gruesome) expertise, a forensic scientist. He is also not a historian. Had he been either his first reaction should have been that his investigation contradicted the mass of available evidence. Where this occurs there are the following probabilities.
    • a) The mass of evidence is wrong
    • b) His conclusions are wrong
    • c) The contradiction is due to a significant factor being wrong or omitted.
      Leuchter, having correctly analysed the problem in the light of his own experience then simply assumed that this conclusion invalidated all the other evidence available and reported accordingly. A forensic scientist or skilled historian then would have asked what factor would have eliminated the contradiction. The reports of a 30-45 minute death time would have pointed him at 100 ppm gas concentration and lead to a fundamental reassessment of his report. Once the 100 ppm assumption is made, all the Holocaust evidence falls into place and the accurate and detailed evidence of the Leuchter Report confirms them. Which leads to our final conclusion.
  • 8) The evidence of the Leuchter Report, when taken in the context of the times and in full consideration of all other evidence is consistent with that other evidence and together strongly supports both the fact and the scale of the massacres in the gas chambers of Birkenau provided that assumption is made that the gas chambers operated at relatively low toxic concentrations. [Italics mine ]945
The report was devastating. Irving had to admit so much when he responded to it in a letter to Mr. Beer. As to the general thrust of its argument, he wrote that "I agree, in fact, with many of your friends's criticisms," but then preferred to blame Leuchter's command of English as one of the sources of confusion. Irving then proceeded to address some of the points raised in greater detail. Remarkably, he seemed to endorse what was one of the most damning paragraphs--the one that begins with the sentence "The 100 ppm operating concentration discredits his sample technique," and which ends with the conclusion that "at 100 ppm initial I would expect NO DETECTABLE CONCENTRATION in an exposed sample." Irving commented that "I accept p.4., para 2: ("The 100 ppm...") if only because that is a fair argument. Yet then he immediately tried to neutralize this admission of the weakness of Leuchter's argument by calling a remark made in 1943 by Victor Cavendish-Bentinck to his aid.
Against that has to be set the obvious argument raised by the British PWE in 1943? Why on earth go to all the trouble of using gas, when the old fashioned bullet was perfectly good enough elsewhere, as used by the Russians at Katyn (so   PWE argued 1943!).946
I still fail to see how this is of relevance to the question if one would expect to find residual cyanide in the ruins of places used 40 years earlier as gas chambers using a concentration of 100 ppm of cyanide. But as Irving has raised the issue of bullets versus gas, it is useful to remember that, when the Germans adopted a policy or exterminating Jews somewhere in 1941, they initially used rifles and machineguns as their tools of destruction. Soon, however, it became clear that these public executions could not be kept secret. Even more problematic for the commanders of the troops entrusted with this task, the so-called Einsatzgruppen, was the pressure on their men. After the war, the judgement of the Stuttgart court that tried the "inventor" of the gas van, Dr. Albert Widmann, summarized the problems as follows:
After only a brief period, the commandos of the Einsatzgruppen got into considerable difficulties. The members of the Einsatz- and special commandos, some of whom were themselves fathers, were in the long run not up to the mental strain caused by the mass shootings, particularly when women and children were involved. There were disputes, refusals to obey orders, drunken orgies, but also serious psychological illnesses. Himmler, who was not unaware of the situation, was looking for a way of reducing the nervous psychological strain on the men involved in the shooting. Thus, in discussion with Heydrich and other leading figures the plan emerged of utilising gas vans for this purpose, which were to be used for the liquidation of women and children in particular.947
The gas cans led to the gas chambers which, as Pierre Vidal-Naquet observed, did indeed screen the killing process from the perpetrators.  
All the operations from the directing of victims as they left the trains to the undressing and cleaning of bodies to their placement in the crematoria were basically under SS control, of course. But all this was done through the intermediary of members of the Sonderkommandos who, in the end, were the only ones placed in direct contact with death.948
As a result the Auschwitz SS did not suffer the psychological strain experienced by their colleagues in the Einsatzgruppen, and at no point in the camp's history became did the gassings cause disciplinary problems within the SS.
Irving endorsed conclusion number 4--"The sampling of the walls and the subsequent analysis for cyanide residues is scientifically invalid due to inadequate controls and the effects of the long period of time between use and study"--yet, ignoring the second reason why the sampling was invalid, drew from this the conclusion that "the tests should be repeated under controlled, scientifically acceptable conditions." In response to conclusion number 7, in which the author of the critique had demolished whatever remained of the Leuchter Report by means of the argument that it had not been a forensic investigation, Irving tepidly responded that "forensic evidence is certainly more exact than eye-witness testimony!"--leaving of course open the question what constituted in this case "forensic evidence" and what it was exact about.
In conclusion: within six months after the publication of the Focal Point edition of the Leuchter Report, it had become clear to Irving that not only the engineering part of the report, which to its author represented the main basis for his conclusion that no gassings had taken place in Auschwitz, was scientific garbage, but that even the fundamental assumptions that formed the basis of Leuchter's analysis of the samples--the idea that the gas chambers had operated with a high concentration of hydrocyanide--did not hold. Yet Irving did not care to share his knowledge with the rest of the world, and cntinued to praise the analysis of the samples as a major historical breakthrough that had demolished the myth of the Holocaust.
In the summer of 1989, Zündel's ambitions transcended defending Leuchter's science.   Irving had sent him a copy of a German-language booklet he had written on the Nuremberg Trials, and Zündel immediately realized that it could be of great importance in the debate about Auschwitz.
Our revisionist demolitions of the myths and hoaxes of Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka et al. appear to have little effect upon the prosecutors and judges who always fall back upon the "authority" and the "precedent" of the Nuremberg proceedings. This means that as long as the Nuremberg Travesty stands, the Holocaust Hoax is supported by the full weight of Allied complicity. Revisionist scholars should therefore go after the truth about the Nuremberg Trials with as much tenacity and determination as they have gone after the Holocaust Legend.949
Zündel therefore proposed a full-scale cooperation to create, on the basis of Irving's Der Nürnburger Prozess: Die Letzte Schlacht, the very kind of text which would make it clear that the Nuremberg trials had been, in fact, nothing but "a Purimfest with some shabbes-goyim presiding as figureheads" designed to serve the basis of a "Zionist extortion racket."950 Zündel obviously expected that, after publication of such a book on Nuremberg, it would become impossible for judges to take judicial notice of the Holocaust.
Yet, despite the new cooperation, Zündel found it difficult to cope with Irving on a daily basis. The latter proved not as easy to control as Zündel had hoped. In December 1989 Zündel complained in a long letter about the Nuremberg project that Irving tried to maintain the appearance of having an independent position from the hard-core Holocaust deniers by taking swipes at some members of the Nazi leadership, and even suggested that there could have been indeed some isolated instances of German massacres of Jews. Such statements, Zündel wrote, did not help Irving in establishing his authority in Germany.  
The days of the "Knie-beugen Paragraph"951 are fast disappearing and Germans of the postwar generations are becoming quite disgusted by those who continue to shovel dung, in greater or lesser quantities, into the German nest. I am not demanding that you "change your tune" or "toe the party-line" with me or with anyone, but because I admire you and hope you will continue to succeed as a great revisionist activist, I offer you this friendly warning not to burn your bridges in advance.952
Zündel was particularly offended by the fact that Irving tried, in public, to create the appearance of distance between himself and Zündel by characterizing the latter as a "loud-mouth" and a man who desires "to dance at every wedding."
Once again, you are welcome to think whatever you wish about me, my work and my goals and you are welcome to say exactly what you think, but how can I, in good conscience, play the "fall guy" and provide a resurgent Germany with the creative leadership contribution my people require? After all, to be any kind of leader, one must be respected. It is music to my ears when our enemies berate us and call us names, but I find it painful when our supposed allies in this struggle for survival and freedom demean us in this fashion. Surely, any mention of my name is unnecessary, if you feel this way about me. Let us be kind to one another, for there are damned few of us on our side in this struggle!953
It seems that Zündel got through to Irving: the latter ceased to talk about his Canadian ally.
Irving continued to peddle his version of history to whoever was ready to listen. In a lecture given in Germany in March 1990, Irving declared all gas chambers in Auschwitz to be phony.  
I say the following thing: there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz. There have been only mock-ups built by the Poles in the years after the war, similar to the mock-ups built by the Americans in Dachau and which they had to demolish....But the mock-ups still exist in Auschwitz.954
Irving speculated that, perhaps 30,000 people had been killed in Auschwitz. "Bad enough. No-one of us would like to approve of that. Thirty thousand people in Auschwitz from beginning to end--that is as many as we English killed in Hamburg in one night."955 Every single survivor was a testimony to the fact that there had been no program to   exterminate the Jews. And then, once more, he explained how the gas chambers had been invented by the Psychological Warfare Executive. He went on at great length about the problems Victor Cavendish-Bentinck had with the proposal to include a reference to the gassings in the declaration made by the allied leaders in Quebec. Irving creatively invented some new historic material when he claimed that the Cavendish-Bentinck minute of August 23 said that "the whole assertion of German extermination measures against Jews with gas chambers and so on have no foundation in fact and are merely a lie that we have spread against the Germans."956 Cavendish-Bentinck never wrote such a sentence: Irving made it up.
In the spring of 1990 Irving once more mailed the foreword of the Leuchter Report to members of Parliament--this time to the Lords. The occasion was the War Crimes Bill designed to give British courts greater jurisdiction over certain war crimes committed in Germany and German held territory during the Second World War. During the debate Irving's introduction had been mentioned, and he in turn mailed a copy of it, accompanied with a letter in which he stated that he did not enclose the whole report, which he described as "costly and scientific, but persuasive."
It certainly convinced me (and your Lordship may recall that The Economist, reviewing one of my works, was kind enough to call me "the forensic pathologist of modern military history.")
Five years from now even the dourest academic will accept that the "gas chambers " displayed at Auschwitz are as false as the one removed at Bonn's insistence from the site at Dachau--a propaganda legend just like the "soap made from victims of the Nazis," which Israeli historians last month finally admitted was also a grotesque wartime untruth.957
Most members of the House of Lords thanked politely, some not so. Lord Bonham-Carter responded that he had participated in the last days of the war in the liberation of a concentration camp. "The evidence of my own eyes is better than the delusions you peddle."958 Irving responded that, while he did not know which camp Bonham-Carter had seen, he did know for certain that "the appalling epidemics and starvation found at Bergen-Belsen, Neuengamme, and Buchenwald were as much a direct consequence of S.H.A.E.F.'s transport interdiction campaign and saturation bombing policies (the entire pharmaceutical industry had been destroyed by March 1945) as of mindless Nazi brutality." In the next paragraph, Irving moved from condescension to rudeness.
Several of their Lordships have, in reply to my letter, suggested that there is need for further inquiry into the "gas chamber" legend, for which we all fell over the last forty years (I may take it that you are not claiming to have seen one in the camp you liberated?) Others have asked for a copy of the full Leuchter Report. As your own inspirational needs appear more elementary, I am sending you a copy of my first book, The Destruction of Dresden; the photographs of thousands of victims of the British air raid being piled up for mass cremation in February 1945 may remind you -and I am aware of your reputation for fair mindedness--that there are two sides to every "war crimes story. Alas, there are no equivalent pictures from Auschwitz.959
Bonham-Carter's reply was swift, short, and to the point:
I find your argument a most curious exercise in logic. You appear to be saying that because the bombing of Dresden could be argued to be a war crime,   therefore the evidence of the Holocaust is false. I don't see the connection.960
In October 1990, Irving brought his gospel to the institutional center of Holocaust denial: the Institute of Holocaust Review. In his inflammatory, even rabble-rousing speech at the Tenth International Revisionist Conference held in Washington DC, Irving once again unequivocally endorsed the negationist cause. Introducing Irving, Mark Weber reminded the audience how Irving' testimony had been "the startling climax" in "the second Holocaust trial in 1988 of Ernst Zündel." Irving had "stunned the completely packed courtroom by announcingg that he had changed his min about the Holocaust story." Weber continued his introduction with the conclusion of Irving's Dresden speech earlier that year in commemoration of the city's destruction 45 years earlier. "Ladies and gentleman, survivors and descendants of the holocaust of Dresden, the holocaust of Germans in Dresden really happened. That of the Jews in the gas chambers of Auschwitz is an invention. I am ashamed to be an Englishman."961
Initially Irving's talk seemed ordinary. He recounted the various occasions when he had been right and others wrong. After having recalled how he debunked the fake Hitler diaries and the legend of Rommel's involvement with the resistance, Irving turned to the Holocaust.
This is how it was when I was in Toronto a couple of years ago. I was called as an expert witness as a historian to give evidence at the Ernst Zündel case, where Zündel's researchers showed me the Leuchter Report the laboratory tests on the crematoria and the gas chambers. As a person who, at the University of London, studied chemistry and physics and the exact sciences, I knew that this was an exact result. There was no way around it. And suddenly all that I'd read in the archives clicked into place. You have to accept that, if there is no evidence anywhere in the archives that there were any gassings going on; that if there's not a   single German document that refers to the gassings of human beings--not one wartime German document; and if there is no reference anywhere in the German archives to anybody giving orders for the gassings of people, and if, on the other hand, the forensic tests of the laboratories, of the crematoria, and the gas chambers and Auschwitz and so on, show that there is no trace, no significant residue whatsoever of a cyanide compound, then this can all only mean one thing.962
Having declared the Holocaust a hoax, Irving asked why he and everyone else had been fooled for so long in thinking that the Holocaust had happened. His answer was simple: "we have been subjected to the biggest propaganda offensive that the human race has ever known."
It's been conducted with such finesse, with such refinement, with such financial clout, that we have not been able to recognize it as a propaganda offensive--from start to finish. And yet there are these weapons cruising past us on the horizon--in all their ugliness--and the biggest weapon, of course, of all in this propaganda campaign against the truth since 1945 has been the great battleship Auschwitz! And we have now, at last, the historical profession-- above all, the Revisionist historical profession--have found as our own task, the major task: "Sink the Auschwitz!"963
  Yet, for those who feared a fierce battle, Irving had some encouraging information: in fact, the crew of the battleship was already scuttling the vessel. Informed by recent newspaper articles that, based on detailed studies, the Auschwitz Museum was about to revise the official death toll of the camp to a little over a million,964 Irving enthusiastically announced that "the Auschwitz has been steering amongst the Icebergs, and finally it has begun to scuttle itself. They've begun to haul down the flag of the battleship Auschwitz. They've taken down the placard, they've taken down the memorial to the four million, and they've have replaced it with a rather smaller memorial to one million."965 And Irving confidently predicted that this downward revision would continue, and continue.
Irving did not limit himself to simply gloat over the newly revised victim count that had been released by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. In fact, he could not resist to make then and there his own contribution to the problem.
The Russians have helped us: the Russians released in September last year, September 21, the Auschwitz death books. That was an ugly blow for the battleship Auschwitz and its crew. Because the Russians, by releasing the forty-six death books of Auschwitz, which cover the years 1942 completely, 1943 almost completely, and 1944 incompletely--the Russians have revealed that the set of Auschwitz death books, which they have released, now shows, a total of 74,000 deaths,74,000 deaths by all causes.966
Irving was partly right: the Russians had made known earlier that they had in their possession copies of a Auschwitz death books. Contrary to Irving's assertion, these death books do not cover 1942 completely: the book for the period 12 November to 4 December, and the book for the period 15 December to 28 December are missing, and of the book covering the period 14 to 26 June only one sheet is available. As Irving correctly stated, in 1943 there are also lacunae: some time in early February, the first half of April, mid June, the whole of September and the first half of October. But, contrary to Irving's claim, there is not one book for 1944. These books record a total of 68,864 deaths.967
These discrepancies between claim and fact are however of little importance compared to the issue that Irving did not care to mention in his speech: the 46 volumes only record the deaths of registered inmates. Most of the people who died in Auschwitz were murdered on arrival, without having been admitted to the camp. Irving could not claim ignorance on this point, as he wrote in the original edition of his Hitler's War that "[a]rriving at Auschwitz and Treblinka, four in every ten were pronounced fit for work; the rest were exterminated with a maximum of concealment."968 Yet thirteen years later he chose in his discussion of the Sterbebücher to pass over the fate of the (in his estimate) 60 per cent of arriving Jews not deemed fit for work. At least, one should think, he should have alluded to a potential problem--especially when later in that same lecture he mentioned the immediate killing of arriving transports once more.
But on the other hand, the great big battleship Auschwitz, this lie that's been cruising around for the last 45 years, has told us that that's what Auschwitz was about! That Auschwitz was purely as a kind of Endstation or terminus. That the trains arrived in Auschwitz, and disgorged their masses of helpless, pitiful humanity, all of whom were Jews, of course, in the present perception. And they were then kind of channelled through the extermination procedure, where they   were gassed.969
Having mentioned "the lie," he ought have dealt with it when he discussed the Death Books, because "the lie" challenged directly his conclusion. He did not.
In fact, as the lecture continued, misconstruction turned into pure chicanery.
Now the Jewish professor, Arno Mayer, whom I greatly respect,...tells us in his book Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? that of those who died in Auschwitz and other concentration camps, probably far more than half died of natural causes--whatever you can call natural causes in wartime. Of course the very phrase is suspect. But that means--whatever it does mean--that less than half was killed. Which means less than half of 74,000 people were killed in Auschwitz. Let's be generous and say 40,000 may have been killed in Auschwitz over three years--that's a bad figure! That's a grave crime, it's almost as many people as we British killed in one night.970
Earlier in that same lecture he had bragged about his exemplary research skills in always relying exclusively on study of the original records. "If you keep your nose glued to the archives--if you keep your nose glued to the documents--then you are going to be that much closer to getting things right."971 Yet in order to establish the all important number of murders in Auschwitz--which should be an absolutely central concern for anyone trying to "Sink the Auschwitz "--Irving relied first of all on a book that was notorious amongst scholarly studies of the Holocaust because it has no references to any sources, no footnotes or endnotes whatsoever. Furthermore Irving read Mayer very selectively. Discussing the evidence of the number of deportees to Auschwitz, Mayer had rightly observed that "[t]he camp officials did not keep very accurate records of the inbound   deportees."
Untold thousands were "processed" without being signed in. Because of this, and because so many records were destroyed, there are no close approximations of the numbers and identities of the Jews checked into Auschwitz except for those sent there from western Europe. Their fate can be reconstructed not from the incomplete registers of inmates checked into the camps, but with the help of the shipping manifests of departing transports, which are reliable and have survived.972
Mayer had called attention to those documents, but Irving, the self-proclaimed master-interpreter of the original records, did not choose to consult them. Apart from that, if Mayer's book was indeed to be invoked as the new Gospel of Holocaust Research, then Irving should have at least considered the fact that one could not make solemn pronouncements on the number of deaths in Auschwitz based on the number of registered inmates only.
Irving did not care about the facts. When he made his statements, it was clear that much was happening in the historiographical field concerning Auschwitz: scholars everywhere eagerly anticipated the full publication of Dr. Franciszek Piper's conclusions. Irving had already referred to the fact that the museum authorities in Auschwitz had "taken down the memorial to the four million," to replace it "with a rather smaller memorial to one million." Yet instead of exercising the scholarly patience appropriate to the historian's vocation, he rushed in to offer his own quick calculation to arrive at a "generous" estimate of 40,000 people murdered in Auschwitz. In his lecture he characterized this activity as a "cutting down to size."
When the Germans use that dreaded word, relativieren meaning you are trying to compare things, you are trying to belittle things, the answer is: "Yes, I'm trying   to cut legends down to size because that is the job of the historian."973
This may be true, but it is also the job of the historian to beware of the universal pyrrhonism that doubts everything and all. In the eighteenth century, the great British historian Lord Bolingbrooke observed that "[c]ommon sense requires that every thing proposed to the understanding,should be accompanied with such proofs as the nature of it can furnish. He who requires more, is guilty of absurdity."974 In the early 1940s, Marc Bloch said in his magnificent analysis of the historian's craft that, contrary to popular opinion, people have generally distrusted historical evidence, and hunted down false relics. Throughout history, people have been less credulous than we think. And he added that "skepticism on principle is neither a more estimable nor a more productive intellectual attitude than the credulity with which it is frequently blended in the simpler minds."975 The historian, in order to be a good historian, must negotiate his way between the extremes of being too ready to doubt and being too ready to believe. Francois Bédarida observed more recently in an essay on the responsibility of the historian that the pure skepticism which became popular in post-modern historiography, ultimately leads to a negation of knowledge.
It is from this point that we come back to the need for truthfulness that the historian, instead of minimizing, must proclaim very clearly to be his lode-star. It is a star that is distant, transient, occasionally veiled by clouds, but without it, what could the notion of responsibility be based on? It is true that at this level one enters the realm of values and that a connection between history and ethics is   established.976
Of course, the skepticism Irving shows is only directed to a particular range of source material, and does not apply to the utterings of perpetrators. As such, Irving is, as a historian, a worthy successor of the many men and women who mined the past in order to find the raw material that can be turned into propaganda and mythology. The task of every historian, as Eric Hobsbawn once observed, is to be aware that "bad history is not harmless history. It is dangerous. The sentences typed on apparently innocuous keyboards may be sentences of death."977 Which brings us back to Edith Wyschogrod's understanding that the responsibility of the historian is not to the living, but to the dead. The historian must be the spokesman for those who have been silenced.978 I believe that no historian can responsibly touch the world of Auschwitz without some way or another becoming what Wyschogrod called a "heterological historian." Given the way Irving has exercised his talents as a historian, and given the subject matter which has become the object of his attention in 1988, we may conclude that he has steadfastly refused to accept the ethical responsibility that comes with all history, but especially with the history of Auschwitz. When Irving had the audacity to reduce without having done any relevant research the number of murdered victims of Auschwitz to 40,000 people, he betrayed more than a million dead people. At that moment he did not merely cease to be a responsible or heterological historian--he ceased to be a historian at all.
Yet this did not matter to Zündel, and his Canadian supporters. True to his promise that he would help Irving in organizing lectures, Zündel had arranged for the weeks after the   Tenth International Revisionist Conference a Canadian lecture tour for Irving. In Victoria, British Columbia, Irving gave a presentation entitled "The Controversy on Auschwitz and the Dangers of Censorship." It contained many of the elements of the speech given at the conference. Yet now the battleship HM Auschwitz was escorting the cruiseship MS Holocaust.
There's no shortage of crewmembers or applicants for this particular ship. The only requirement to become a crewmember of the cruise ship "Holocaust" is that you should be an Auschwitz survivor. And of course there's an inexhaustible supply of Auschwitz survivors. There are millions of Auschwitz survivors now floating around the world, or people who purport to be Auschwitz survivors. Although I must admit that their number has become somewhat muted in recent years, over the last 18 months, since the government in Moscow on September 21, 1989, in a statement from TASS, announced that all this time they have had a card index of anybody who was ever in Auschwitz. And ever since then the number of new applicants who claim to have been in Auschwitz has somewhat dwindled. Eliah Wiesel no longer claims to have been in Auschwitz for example, the Nobel Prize winner. He now claims to have been in a completely different camp, in the hope that they won 't find the card indexes on that one.979
Like so many of Irving's pronouncements, his allegation about Eli Wiesel's change of story had no relation whatsoever to the facts of the case. Wiesel was deported with his family during the Hungarian Action to Auschwitz, subjected to selection in Birkenau, and brought afterwards with his father to Auschwitz 3 in Monowitz. From there he was evacuated in a so-called death march to Buchenwald, where he was liberated in April 1945. Wiesel claims that he can be seen in a picture taken within one of the Buchenwald barracks at the liberation of that camp (and, judging by appearances, the claim seems to be justified). Ignoring completely the manner in which the passage of time changes not only   men, but also the place of men in space, Irving inferred from Wiesel's claim that, as he was liberated from Buchenwald, he was not liberated from Auschwitz, and that hence he could not have been in Auschwitz.980 Putting a particularly creative spin on his own inattention as an observer and ignorance as a historian, Irving had no difficulty in explaining the apparent contradiction as produced by Wiesel's apparent desire to create a smokescreen to cover his retreat.981
Irving claimed that the death books were authoritative, and that there would have been no killings that were not recorded in them. "It is rather like expecting the Colombian drug barons, who have tens of millions of dollars going through their hands every day from illicit operations, to start nickeling and diming on their housekeeping petty expenses at the same time. "Therefore "if the Totenbücher from Auschwitz show that in those three years 76,000 people died, from whatever cause, that is it. That is the bottom line."982 Irving is able to produce two false analogies in one argument. First of all there is no reason to assume that a Colombian drug baron would use the same administrative procedures when dealing with his income from "illicit operations" and his household expenses. If in the case of his income, the criminal would like to use numbers to conceal facts, while in the case of the way his staff would spend his income,he would like to see financial transparency. Furthermore Irving sets up a false analogy when he suggests a comparison between the private administration (if any) of a Columbian drug baron and the institutional administration of a German institution. In order to allow for a general accountability towards the public, all documents produced within an institutional context must observe a strict system of rules. In the case of a closed institution such as a hospital, a prison, or even a concentration camp, the books must be balanced in terms of the admission of inmates, the presence of inmates, and the discharge of inmates, either   through release or death. The Auschwitz death books only concerned registered and therefore numbered inmates. As no records were kept of people who were selected on their arrival to be killed, there was neither need nor information to create records of their deaths.
In the same lecture Irving also addressed the documentary evidence, and he obviously enjoyed one particular document.
One of these documents was thrown on the wall in the courtroom at Toronto where I was giving evidence. And I have to admit I had not seen the document before, and I was a bit flabbergasted, but I looked at the document and the prosecuting counsel said, "Mr. Irving, how do you explain this?" It is a letter written by the architect's office in Auschwitz to a firm of construction engineers saying they are having difficulty completing the concrete ceiling, which is going to be put in, the slab over the mortuary, before winter sets in and therefore they could perhaps use another room which they identified as the Vergasungskeller a gassing cellar, if you want to translate it that way. And the prosecuting counsel said to me, "Mr. Irving, how do you explain that?" And I said straight away, "Well let me point out to you as a German linguist, and I have known German fluently for the last thirty or forty years, the word 'vergasen' has various meanings like a lot of words in German have various meanings. 'Vergasen' can mean to gas somebody. It can also mean to gasify, as in a carburetor." A carburetor in a motor car in Germany is Vergaser And a crematorium would have a kind of carburating system. Quite definitely, because you need very high temperatures to cremate. And this is quite definitely a document connected with the cremation process. And when the prosecuting counsel appeared a bit fazed by this particular suggestion, I said to him suddenly, I said, "Excuse me, can we have that document back on the screen again? Because I want to look at something, and point it out to the jury." And he put it back onto the screen. And I said, "There you are. I will tell you what is most significant in that document is not what it says, but what it does not say. We are being told by you, by the prosecution, this is a document concerning the gassing of millions of Jews, which was the most secret operation in the Third Reich apparently. So secret that almost nothing exists about it. Certainly nothing in the archives. Top secret. And yet here is a   document that bears no kind of security classification at all." In short that was the proof that the document was totally innocuous. In fact it was of janitorial level I would say. Of janitorial level. Broom cupboard level.983
Irving's last remark shows that he is not only ignorant of the manner in which detectives mostly solve crimes by paying attention to what the janitors have say and what the broom cupboards preserve, but also to his own well-documented predilection to use, if convenient, the memories of janitors to refute publically documented facts.984
Like so many other statements he has made, Irving's account of his testimony about Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943 is a mixture of fact and fiction. Desiring to show off his assumedly unrivalled hermeneutical skills, Irving stated in the lecture that he had never seen the document before. "One of these documents was thrown on the wall in the courtroom at Toronto where I was giving evidence. And I have to admit I had not seen the document before, and I was a bit flabbergasted, but I looked at the document and the prosecuting council said, 'Mr. Irving, how do you explain this?' "Yet the transcript of the court proceedings reveals that Irving admitted to the court that he knew of the document well in advance:
[Pearson ]: "And I show you a document from the National Archives of the United States and ask you if before coming to Toronto, you had seen that document."
[Irving ]: "Yes, sir, this is the document you just asked me a few minutes ago to read through and I am familiar with the document and I was familiar with   the document before I came to Toronto."985
His subsequent interpretation of the word "Vergasungskeller" which came straight from Butz's The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, also corroborates that Irving had seen the document before. Irving's account of his discussion of the meaning of the term "Vergasungskeller" is tendentious insofar that he suggests that Pearson tried to make a point by invoking the presence of the word in the letter, and challenging Irving to explain it--suggesting of course he would not be able to do so. In fact, the transcript of the proceedings make clear that Person did not raise the issue of the Vergasungskeller, but that it was Irving himself.
[Pearson ]: "All right. Now, there is attached to this a translation that was prepared presumably at the time of the Nuremberg trials. Have you had an opportunity, and I know it was a very brief opportunity, but you did have a brief opportunity to compare the translation with the German document and is it a satisfactory translation in your view?"
[Irving ]: "It is a satisfactory translation apart from one sentence where--which is quite clearly the operative sentence, which says--I would translate it as 'This is, however unimportant, as the Vergasungskeller.'"
Q.: "Let's put it up on the overhead to see what we're talking about. First of all, is this the original German?"
A.: "It is the same document."
Q.: "Document January 29th, 1943?"
A.: "It is the same document and I am referring to this sentence here, 'Die ist jedoch unbedeutend, da der Vergasungskeller hierfur benutzt werden kann.' I translate as 'This is, however, unimportant as the Vergasunsgskeller can be used for this,' and the German word Vergasungskeller is a known coming from the German verb Vergas[en], and the German verb Vergas[en],like many German words, has different translations, some of the completely different in meaning from each other."
Q.: "All right."
A.: "It can mean gassing, it can mean "[carburation]", as in the sense of a carburator on a car and this is the meaning which I don't find, the alternative meaning in the translation of the document, the possibility that it refers not to gassing but to the "carboureshen" process in some kind of oil fire heater, so when we are looking at a Vergasungskeller, I think it is tendentious to translate it as gas chamber. I mentioned on Friday that a German--
Q.: "What do you mean by tendentious?"
A.: "Tendentious? I think it is trying to arrive at an impression. It is giving possibly a deliberately wrong translation of the word. It is a possible translation but it is an unlikely translation because if a German was going to write the word 'gas chamber,' he would not write ' Vergasungskeller.' He would write 'Gasungskeller'"986
This misrepresentation of the exchange between himself and Pearson can be attributed to Irving's desire to dramatize the event in order to depict himself as the champion who defeated another attack by the enemy. The rest of his account is pure fabrication. While Irving indeed asked Pearson to put back the document on the projection screen, he did not perform another hermeneutical feat by pointing out that it did not contain the designation "(top)secret."
[Pearson ]: "Right, all right. So you agree that that translation, subject to the proviso that you've entered, is an accurate translation."
[Irving ]: "Yes. I would draw attention to the translation of the first line. I'm sorry, you've removed the document. Could you possibly return it?"
Q.: "In English?"
A.: "The German document. I would draw attention to this line here, "Betr.: Krematorium II. Bauzustand." That means this document is "Re: Krematorium No.II, construction status."
Q.: "Right."
A.: "In other words this entire document refers to Krematorium No.2, not to any other building or any other installation. Purely to the crematorium. I think that needs possibly to be underlined. I think this justifies me in suggesting that if we're looking for which of the alternative translations to look for this key word underlined here, Vergasungskeller, it is some piece of equipment to do with a crematorium process and not to do with any other process."
Q.: "What's the Leichenkeller?"
A.: "I beg your pardon?"
Q.: "What's--"
A.: "A Leichenkeller, a morgue."
Q.: "And that's in the crematorium complex, isn't it?"
A.: "It would indeed be."
Q.: "Right. And are you familiar with the plan of Crematorium 2 and 3 at Birkenau?"
A.: "If I could project one on the screen and we could look at it, that would answer your questions no doubt."
Q.: "Are you familiar?"
A.: "I'm sure you would have projected one on the screen if it would help us."
Q.: "You can't tell us what Crematorium 2 is, can you?"
A.: "I know what a crematorium is. And this document concerns a crematorium."
Q.: "And the only reason you say that is because it refers to Crematorium 2."
A.: "It says at the top quiet specifically 're: Krematorium No.II, construction stage.'"
Q.: "And if Crematorium 2 referred to a complex which had within it undressing rooms, a Leichenkeller or gas chamber and a crematorium and all those three were referred to as Crematorium 2, it wouldn't be referring to just the crematorium part, would it?"
A.: "I'm sure if you had a plan suggesting that you would show it to the jury and that would save us a lot of time examining alternative translations of words."987
It is clear that Irving totally misrepresented the exchange in his lecture. Instead of   addressing the issue that the document was not marked "(top) secret," he raised an altogether different issue: the fact that it referred to the construction of a crematorium, and that hence nothing in this letter could apply to a gas chamber. Pearson, however, was not so easily caught. Cross-examining Irving, he was not only able to make clear that Irving had no idea about the actual lay-out of the crematorium, but was also able to make the simple point that in official correspondence a crematorium equipped with gas chambers would still be referred to as "crematorium." Thus, while Irving pretended to have brought new light to the issue, he in fact was shown to be totally ignorant of its meaning and context.988
Less than two weeks after he had begun his Canadian trip on the west coast, Irving arrived in Toronto. There he added some new statements to his arsenal.: "[Y]ou can sum up my case on the Holocaust in the following nut shell: more people died on the back seat of Senator Edward Kennedy's motor car in Chappaquiddick than died in the gas chamber in Auschwitz." Then he turned once more to his favourite maritime metaphors, describing the cruise ship Holocaust as a massive vessel "with luxury wall-to-wall fitted carpets and a crew of thousands" and "marine terminals established in now virtually every capital in the world, disguised as Holocaust memorial museums." The ship was in for rough seas.
The cruise ship Holocaust, where will this story...what, where will its crew be ... where will the Auschwitz survivors be, now the fact has come out that the index cards which list all the people who passed through the gates of Auschwitz, "Arbeit macht Frei." Who they were? Suddenly a lot of people are not claiming to   be Auschwitz survivors any more.
Eliah Wiesel, for one, for example. He was always a bit unsure whether it was Auschwitz he had been in or Dachau or Buchenwald. When I say that, because there is a photograph, a photograph on which he identifies himself as being in a photograph of various prisoners in a bunk house, in a barracks in the concentration camp in Buchenwald. And he says, "Yes that is me." But it turns out that photograph is in Auschwitz and he says "Oh yes I meant Auschwitz." Eliah Wiesel. I mean what can we do about these people? Poor mister Wiesel. I mean it is terribly bad luck that he is called Wiesel,but that is no excuse.989 I mean these people do have a bad time, they have a very very hard time. And I do want to speak a few words of sympathy for them like, I mean on Halloween night for example, or Saint Wiesenthal's night as we call it.990 So they have had a very very bad time and it is going to get tougher for them now that people are going to challenge them as to whether they really were in Auschwitz or not because we now know exactly who was and who was not. And they have gone to immense troubles, ladies and gentlemen: even the ones who have got tattoo marks on their arms. Because the experts can look at a tattoo and say, "Oh yes, 181,219 that means you entered Auschwitz in March 1943." So if you want to go and have a tattoo put on your arm, as a lot of them do, I am afraid to say, and claim subsequently that you were in Auschwitz, you have got to make sure a)that it fits in with the month you said you went to Auschwitz, and b)that it is not a number   which anyone has used before. So there are actual kind of train-spotter guides of numbers that have been used already. And the whole of that hoax is now going to collapse because the Russians have released the index cards.991
And so Irving continued with his coarse and insulting talk, descending to levels of baseness which even Zündel had managed to avoid. There is, of course, no factual basis for any of his allegations: the revelations from the Soviet archives did not cause to a single person to change his or her claim of having been an Auschwitz survivor; there is no scarp of evidence that suggests that anyone ever went to a tattoo parlor to acquire an Auschwitz number for the purpose of proving to have been an Auschwitz survivor. And in my more than ten-year study of Auschwitz, I have never come across or even heard about "trains-spotter guides of numbers."
At the end of the lecture Irving returned to his usual topic, giving special prominence to the Hinsley's book on the British codebreakers.
He states "that upon analysis of the daily returns of the Auschwitz concentration camp it becomes completely plain that nearly all of the deaths, nearly all of the deaths, were due to disease. The others were by execution, by hanging, and by firing squad. There is no reference," and I am quoting this page, "there is no reference whatever to any gassings."992 So why has not this extraordinary   revelation been headlined in the newspapers around the world? It is not just some cranky, self-appointed British neo-fascist, neo-Nazi, pseudo historian. And you journalists who are present can take those words down. It is not just some pseudo historian from Britain saying this. This is the British official historian, Professor Hinsley, who had unlimited access to the archives of the SIS, the Secret Intelligence Service, and to the archives of the British code-breaking agency, who says that in Auschwitz nearly all the deaths were due to disease. There is no reference whatsoever to gassings.993
Irving claimed that he was prevented from speaking because together with the death books his findings "are the two torpedoes which would sink the battleship Auschwitz, if it was not already foundering of its own accord."994
In March 1991 Irving found himself in Munich in the company of Fred Leuchter, Robert Faurisson, Wilhelm Stäglich, Mark Weber--Zündel who should also have been there was arrested on his arrival in Munich, and was in jail. The occasion was the so-called "Leuchter Congress," organized by Zündel and Ewald Althans. Originally meant to take place in the conference hall of the Deutsches Museum, the conference changed into a protest rally held in the open after it had been banned by the authorities. The newsletter published by the Institute of Historical Review, recorded that "[s]peaking excellent German, best-selling British historian David Irving addressed the crowd in his typical witty and engaging style." That same newsletter described a news conference held after the protest rally.
Ewald [Althans] distributed copies of the astonishing document prepared by the Krakow Forensic Institute that essentially confirms Leuchter's findings about the alleged extermination gas chambers of Auschwitz.(See the April 1991 IHR Newsletter. Irving called this "Polish Leuchter Report" a "disaster" for the defenders of the orthodox extermination story. However, none of the journalists   present seemed interested in the Krakow report, or, for that matter, in Leuchter's 1988 investigation.995
The Leuchter Congress had been a failure, but it had attracted a lot of media attention, and it had given Irving the idea to invite Leuchter to speak later that year in England, on the occasion of the publication of a new, revised edition of his Hitler's War Preparations began in the early summer, and Irving began to inform the press. Some proved less than excited about the prospect of a Leuchter speech in Britain. On July 12 the Jewish Chronicle ran the headline "Keep Holocaust 'apologists' out of Britain, Home Secretary is told. "The article quoted David Winnick, M.O., that "[r]evisionists and apologists for Nazism are highly offensive to the memory of all those who were murdered. It contaminates British soil to have them here." Irving was said to be unmoved by the protests. "I won't be intimidated, I won't knuckle down."996 In the end, anti-Irving activists were able to convince the Government that Leuchter's presence would not serve public interest, and while still in the United States, Leuchter had been informed by the Immigration and Nationality Department that the Home Secretary had given directions "that you should not be given entry to the United Kingdom on the grounds that your presence here would not be conducive to the public good."997 Both Irving and Leuchter decided to ignore this letter, the former because he needed Leuchter to attract the attention of the media, the latter because he had been convinced by Zündel that a lecture tour to Europe could be profitable: the latter had lined up some "catacomb meetings" in Germany where Leuchter would speak before his appearance with Faurisson in London. The date for Leuchter's appearance was set for November 15, and to mark the importance   of the occasion, Faurisson was to give an introductory lecture, while Irving was to function as the host.
Amidst the preparations for the Leuchter/Faurisson/Irving extravaganza to be held in Chelsea Old Town Hall, Irving left for his by now annual Fall lecture tour through Canada. On October 5, 1991 he spoke in Milton, Ontario. Irving complained that it had become increasingly difficult to speak in Germany, and that he risked arrest doing so. His situation was, in his own words, not unlike that Goebbels faced in Weimar Berlin, when the police chief "Isidore" [Bernhard] Weiss tried to stop the Nazi party rallies. And Irving lamented that the Germans should know better than to stop him, "the Englishman who first revealed to the outside world what we British and Americans did to Dresden, where we killed over 100,000 people, burned them alive in three hours in one night in February 1945." Yet, he predicted that things would change for the better in the near future.
And gradually the word is getting around Germany. Two years from now too the German historians will accept that we are right. They will accept that for fifty years they have believed a lie. And then there will come about a result, not only in Germany, but around the world, which I deeply regret and abhor. There will be an immense tidal wave of antisemitism. It is an inevitable result. And when people point an accusing finger at me and say, "David Irving you are creating antisemitism," I have to say, "It is not the man who speaks the truth who creates the antisemitism, it is the man who invented the lie of the legend in the first place."998
After announcing how he would publish in the next month the new edition of Hitler's War, providing ample evidence of the "Allied Holocaust" of the Germans through the publication of a "double-page photograph, in full colour, showing the thousands of air-raid victims after the Dresden air raid being [piled] up on funeral pyres in the center of the town square ready for cremation, on these open fires," Irving turned once more to that other Holocaust.  
[T]he only way to overcome this appalling pseudo-religious atmosphere that surrounds the whole of this immense tragedy called World War II is to treat these little legends with the ridicule and bad taste that they deserve. Ridicule alone is not enough, you have got to be tasteless about it. You have got to say things like, "more women died on the back seat of Senator Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than died in the gas chamber at Auschwitz. "You think that is tasteless, what about this? I am forming an association especially dedicated to all these liars, the ones who try to kid people that they were in these concentration camps. It is called "The Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust, and Other Liars"--ASSHOLES. Can't get more tasteless than that. But you've got to be tasteless because these people deserve all our contempt, and in fact they deserve the contempt of the real Jewish community and the people, whatever their class and colour, who did suffer.999
It seems that the public liked it.
After his Canadian tour, Irving travelled to Germany where he spoke among other places in Pforzheim. There he met with both Zündel and Leuchter.1000 The former was in Germany to face trial in Munich.1001 Irving flew back to London on November 10. Fred and Mrs. Leuchter followed a day later. They had rented an Opel Kadett in Frankfurt, driven to Calais, and on November 11 taken the ferry to Dover where they had been able to enter the country despite the exclusion order. Given the fact that Leuchter was illegally in Britain, it would have made sense not to attract public attention to his speech. But   desiring publicity, Irving had continued to advertize the evening, with Leuchter as the great attraction. The flyer Irving had printed to advertize the occasion announced in large type "Leuchter is Coming!" After introducing his credentials, it announced its major claim:
After examining the construction of the facilities said to be gas chambers and after having had samples taken from their walls forensically examined, Leuchter was able to testify under oath:
1. That the facilities were incapable of functioning as gas chambers;
2. That these rooms had never been used for any such purpose.1002
All of this triggered off a dramatic chain of events which undoubtedly served Irving's desire for publicity, but brought Leuchter and his wife some very uncomfortable hours in a London police station and the indignity of immediate deportation.
In his welcoming word, Irving described the "revisionist" project he, Faurisson and Leuchter had undertaken as ";the greatest intellectual adventure of the twentieth century."1003 In his introduction to Faurisson, Irving praised him as a scholar experienced in "microscopic textual analysis, the analysis of words in enormous detail."
In 1960 he began to research the word "gas chamber", at first in a vacuum. It was fourteen years before he saw the light--before he suddenly asked himself, "what is a gas chamber?" That was in 1974. Five years later, in Los Angeles, he heard Ernst Zündel speak for the first time. Six years later still he saw Zündel at the first trial in Canada. That was a real turning point in this entire controversy, he says. At the beginning of 1988, Zündel said to Faurisson, "Dr. Faurisson, you have letters written to you from penitentiaries about gas chambers. Can I see them?" Zündel's lawyer Barbara Kulaszka wrote to those penitentiaries. One governor replied, Bill Armontrout, and he said: "One man is a real specialist in gas chambers. We can   recommend him. He is Fred Leuchter."1004
Shifting to a short statement about Faurisson's troubles, Irving concluded his introduction with the statement that "Faurisson is one of the bravest historians I know."
The French academic talked for some time about the impossibility of the gas chambers, and then vacated the platform for the main speaker of the evening: Leuchter. According to an article in the Sunday Telegraph entitled "Death's salesman cut off before his time," Irving introduced Leuchter with "boy have we got a treat for you," and proceeded to tell the audience how he had smuggled Leuchter into the country. According to the article, Leuchter started in form. "It was like listening to a lesson in how to gas people"--a lesson meant to show that the Germans had not done so. The police were present in case of trouble, but as Irving had publically told the audience that Leuchter ought not be there, had checked if indeed there was an exclusion order. Confirmation came after five minutes.
Mid-speech, a police officer whispered from the wings the appropriate: "Can I have a word with you, sir?" Mr Irving rose to explain: "We'll have a five-minute pause while Mr. Leuchter speaks to certain gentlemen."
The audience filtered into the foyer ready for action. They chanted: "Freedom of Speech, freedom of speech." But action never came. The police spirited Mr Leuchter out of a side entrance. The meeting ended.
Chief Insp. Philip Selwood explained: "Fred Leuchter has been made subject of an exclusion order to this country and in order to resolve the matter, a gentleman who goes by that name has agreed to come to the police station in order to resolve the matter1005
The article also recorded Irving's answer when asked if he was mad:  
When you're working on the edge of intellectual hyper-strain, sometimes you must say: "Have I flipped?" Unfortunately, there's no intellectual thermometer you can slip in your mouth to find out.1006
The same day that the Sunday Telegraph ran the sorry story for all the world to read, Leuchter issued his own press release, stating that the United Kingdom had "joined the ranks of terrorist nations of the world." The Home Secretary had violated international law when he incarcerated Leuchter in a frigid cell "with known felons (a dangerous and potentially lethal place for a maker of execution equipment)." It was defiantly signed by "Fred A. Leuchter Jr., Citizen of the United States of America."1007
Later that month The Independent ran a long article about the event and its context in an article entitled "David Irving resells Hitler's War." It carried a photo of Irving and Leuchter just before the intervention by the police. Interestingly enough, it also provided a telling quotation the Sunday Telegraph had not chosen to print:
Mr.Irving told his Chelsea audience that in the new edition of Hitler's War they would "not find one line on the 'Holocaust'" "Why dignify something with even a footnote that has not happened?"1008
Clearly, the new edition of Hitler's War looked not to the past, but to the future. As the article recorded, Irving had turned prophet not only in Milton, but also in Hamburg.
Two weeks ago Mr Irving told a Hamburg audience that in two years "this myth of mass murders of Jews in the death factories of Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka etc. etc. Which in fact never took place... This horrific ghost of guilt   from which the German people have suffered for the last 45 years, will be laid."1009
History proved Irving wrong.


826. David Irving, Hitler's War (New York: Viking, 1977), 391.
827. Ibid., 392f.
828. Ibid., 632.
829. Ibid., 660.
830. Letter John Tiffany to David Irving, July 28, 1978, Irving's Further Discovery.
830. Letter Lewis Brandon to David Irving, February 27, 1980, Irving's Further Discovery.
832. This conference was the occasion where the Institute for Historical Review announced a $50,000 reward for an actual proof of the Holocaust. Auschwitz survivor Melvin Mermelstein accepted the challenge, and after a long story of suits and countersuits, was awarded $90,000 in 1985.
833. Letter David Irving to Lewis Brandon, March 4, 1980, Irving's Further Discovery.
834. Letter Lewis Brandon to David Irving, March 12, 1980, Irving's Further Discovery.
835. Mark Weber, "The Final Solution: Legend and Reality," a working outline, ms., May 1981, 2, Irving's Further Discovery.
836. Ibid., 1.
837. David Irving, "On Contemporary History and Historiography," Journal of Historical Review, vol.5 (Winter 1984), 282.
838. Elisabeth Kuesters, "Encountering the Revsionists: An outside-inside report on the 1983 International Revisionist Conference," The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 5 (Winter 1984), 319.
839. Robert Faurisson, "A Challenge to David Irving," The Journal of Historical Review vol. 5 (Winter 1984), 292.
840. Ibid., 294.
841. Ibid., 302f.
842. Letter David Irving to Ernst Zündel, August 16, 1984, Irving's Further Discovery.
843. Seidel, The Holocaust Denial, 121f.
844. Tape 86: David Irving, "Censorship of History," Lecture given in Runneymead, Australia, March 18, 1986. Irving's Further Discovery.
845. Tape 89: David Irving interviewed by Terry Lane, of ABC 3LO Radio, March 18, 1986, Irving's Further Discovery.
846. Ibid.
847. Ernst Zündel, "The David Irving/ Eichmann Memoirs Controversy!", Power (January 30, 1992), 1.
848. Letter Ernst Zündel to David Irving, May 21, 1986, Irving's Further Discovery.
849. Ibid.
850. Letter Ernst Zündel to David Irving, June 2 and July 8, 1986, Irving's Further Discovery.
851. Letter David Irving to Ernst Zündel, August 28, 1986, Irving's Further Discovery.
852. Letter Ernst Zündel to David Irving, November 9, 1987, Irving's Further Discovery.
853. Ibid.
854. Letter Ernst Zündel to David Irving, January 4, 1988, Irving's Further Discovery.
855. Letter David Irving to Ernst Zündel, January 17, 1988, Irving's Further Disclosure.
856. Letter Ernst Zündel to David Irving, March 12, 1988, Irving's Further Discovery.
857. Ernst Zündel in interview with Errol Morris, September 9, 1998, transcript. Black Bulldog Productions.
858. Irving testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9388.
859. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, 5.
860. David Irving, Hitler's War (New York: Viking, 1977), 719.
861. Pearson clearly tried to make Irving admit that, given the fact Hitler had not been not surprised, he must have known about the use of Maidanek as an extermination camp. Consequently, in the revised edition of Hitler's War, Irving re-wrote the paragraph, dropping the reference to Hitler's lack of emotion, and substituting the adverb "revealingly" with the adverb "dismissively"--a change that suppressed the suggestion of some conspirational relationship between Hitler and Himmler on the issue of the Jews. Here it is for the record. "A hush fell on the war conference. Hitler angrily laid the newspaper aside: 'That's that "hacked-off hands" again--pure enemy propaganda!' ....But the consternation among his circle persisted. A perplexed Ribbentrop showed the newspaper to his son Rudolf, visiting him on injury leave from his Waffen SS unit. Rudolf too exclaimed, 'Father, can't you recognize atrocity-propaganda when you see it--it's the "hacked-off hands" again!' Ribbentrop uneasily pressed Hitler in private. 'It's Himmler's affair,' replied the Führer dismissively, 'and his alone.' Foolishly under the circumstances, the RSHA and foreign ministry decided not to issue a formal rebuttal." David Irving, Hitler's War (New York: Avon Books, 1990), 706.
862. Irving testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9709.
863. David Irving, Nuremberg: The Last Battle (London: Focal Point, 1996), 131.
864. Irving Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9403f.
865. The word "carboureshen" appears in the official court transcript. It is clear that the Canadian court recorder must have had some difficulty with Irving's English accent, and that he referred to "carburation."
866. 8Irving Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9738ff.
867. Nuremberg Document No-365.
868. Rudolf Aschenauer (ed.), Ich, Adolf Eichmann: Ein historischer Zeugenbericht (Leoni am Starberger See: Druffel, 1980), 150.
869. Zentrale Stelle Ludwigsburg, 208 Ar-Z 251/59, vol.5, 990.
870. "Ich habe im Krematorium I sicherlich keine Wand eingezogen. Mit diesen Arbeiten hatte ich--wie ich schon angegeben habe--überhaupt nichts zu tun. Ich wusste nichts von dem Vergasungsraum, Ich habe keine Wand eingezogen.[....] Ich wusste ja nicht, was hinter mir vorging. Zu dieser Zeit war man sicherlich interessiert, daß niemand erfährt, was in Auschwitz vorgeht. Die Kommandantur wird deshalb aud diesem Grund solche Arbeiten wie das Einziehen der Wand in das Krematorium bzw. die Beschaffung von Verbrennungsöfen bzw. Herstellung von Vergasungsräumen, selbst verrichtet haben. Es sollte doch niemand wissen, was dort vorgeht." Testimony Walther Dejaco, January 19, 1972, Republic of Austria, Ministry of Justice, Case 20 Vr 3806/64 (Ertl/Dejaco), Landesgericht für Strafsachen, Vienna, file ON 484, 27.
871. "...gebe ich an, daß mir damals bekannt war, daß es sich hierbei um Vergasungsräume handelt." testimony Fritz Ertl, January 21, 1972, Republic of Austria, Ministry of Justice, Case 20 Vr 3806/64 (Ertl/Dejaco), Landesgericht für Strafsachen, Vienna, file ON 484,120.
872. Irving Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9471ff.
873. [Fred Leuchter], The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth. An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland, foreword by Dr. Robert Faurisson (Decatur Alabama: David Clark, n.d.), 7.
874. Irving Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs.Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9414, 9423.
875. Leuchter Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 8955ff.
876. Ibid., 8981.
877. Ibid., 9015ff.
878. Ibid., 9249f.
879. Ibid., 8988f.
880. Ibid., 9083.
881. Ibid., 9241f.
882. Ibid., 9205f.
883. Ibid., 8973f.
884. Ibid., 9077.
885. Ibid., 9253f.
886. Ibid., 8975ff.
887. "The Second Trial of the Indefatigable Ernst Zündel," Instauration (July 1988), 6.
888. Letter Mark Weber to David Irving, April 2, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
889. Tape 99, Lecture given by David Irving in Toronto, August 1988, Irving's Further Discovery.
890. Ibid.
891. Ibid..
892. Ibid
893. Arno J. Mayer, Why Did The Heavens Not Darken? The "Final Solution" in History (New York: Pantheon, 1988), 35.
894. Ibid., 349.
895. Ibid., 364.
896. Ibid., 365.
897. Ibid., 365.
898. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, "False Witness," The New Republic, vol. 200 (April 17, 1989), 39.
899. Ibid., 44.
900. "The Holocaust: A Sinking Ship," IHR Newsletter, no. 66 (May 1989), 2.
901. Ibid.
902. Ibid., 362.
903. Robert Faurisson, review of Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? in The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 9 (Fall 1989), 379.
904. Here, for the record, the context of the sentence that brought delight to Faurisson. "Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable. Even though Hitler and the Nazis made no secret of their war on the Jews, the SS operatives dutifully eliminated all traces of their murderous activities and instruments. No written orders for gassing have turned up thus far. The SS not only destroyed most camp records, which were in any case incomplete, but also razed nearly all killing and cremating installations well before the arrival of Soviet troops. Likewise, care was taken to dispose of the bones and ashes of the victims. Most of what is known is based on the depositions of Nazi officials and the executioners at postwar trials and on the memory of survivors and bystanders. This testimony must be screened carefully, since it can be influenced by subjective factors of great complexity. Diaries are rare, and so are authentic documents about the making, transmission, and implementation of the extermination policy. But additional evidence may still come to light. Private journals and official papers are likely to surface. Since Auschwitz and Majdanek, as well as the four out-and-out killing centers, were liberated by the Red Army, the Soviet archives may well yield significant clues and evidence when they are opened. In addition, excavations at the killing sites and in their immediate environs may also bring forth, new information. / In the meantime, there is no denying the many contradictions, ambiguities, and errors in the existing sources. These cannot be ignored, although it must be emphasized strongly that such defects are altogether insufficient to put into question the use of gas chambers in the mass murder of Jews at Auschwitz. Much the same is true for the conflicting estimates and extrapolations of the number of victims, since there are no reliable statistics to work with. Just as the fact of the Jewish ordeal at Auschwitz is not contingent on the use of gas chambers, so the crime of gassings does not turn upon the exact number of Jews gassed. The want of precise and verifiable information about the method and extent of the mass murder of the Jews by the crusaders in the Rhine Valley in 1096 does not in any way put into question the reality and general magnitude of this prototypical Judeocide of the Middle Ages. Both radical skepticism and rigid dogmatism about the exact processes of extermination and the exact number of victims are the bane of sound historical interpretation. Neither new documents nor flawless statistics are essential to the urgent task of thinking, critically, about the unthinkable." Mayer, Why Did The Heavens Not Darken?, 362f.
905. Letter David Irving to Robert Countess, July 2, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
906. Letter Ernst Nolte to David Irving, July 19, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
907. Focal Point Publications, "Press Statement: The Leuchter Report, The First Forensic Examination of Auschwitz," June 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
908. David Irving, "Foreword," in Fred A. Leuchter, Auschwitz: The End of the Line--The Leuchter Report: The First Forensic Examination of Auschwitz, foreword by David Irving (London: Focal Point, 1989), 6
909. Ibid..
910. House of Commons--Early Day Motion, Tuesday 20th June 1989; Member--Hugh Dykes; Title--David Irving and Holocaust Denial, Irving's Further Discovery.
911. Letter David Irving to Hugh Dykes, June 30, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
912. Bernard Josephs, "Storm over 'evil' book," Jewish Chronicle(June 23, 1989).
913. "Leuchter Report Press Conference," London, 23 June 1989. Focal Point Video, Tape 184.
914. Ibid.
915. David Winner, "Irving publishers won't drop him," Jewish Chronicle (June 30, 1989), 8.
916. Letter David A. Crabtree to David Irving, July 14, 1989. Irving's Further Discovery.
917. Ibid.
918. David A. Crabtree, "The Leuchter Report--proposals for amendments to be incorporated in the second edition, Together with reasoned substantiation thereof.," p.2, Irving's Further Discovery.
919. Ibid.., 3.
920. Ibid., 4.
921. Ibid., 4.
922. Letter David Irving to Ernst Zündel, July 31, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
923. Letter Ernst Zündel to David Irving, August 1, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
924. Ibid.
925. Ibid.
926. Letter Ernst Zündel to D.A. Crabtree, August 23, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
927. Letter Mark Weber to David Irving, July 31, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
928. Werner Wegner, "Keine Massenvergasungen in Auschwitz? Zur Kritik des Leuchter-Gutachtens," in Uwe backes, Eckhard Jesse, and Rainer Zitelmann, eds., Die Schatten der Vergangenheit: Impulse zur Historisierung des nationalsozialismus (Frankfurt am Main: Propyläen, 1990), 450ff. because the printed version of Wegner's article is not identical with the ms. Weber sent to Irving, I will refer to the ms. version of Wegner's article.
929. "Kritische Stellungnahme zum sogen. Leuchter-Dokument," 12f., Irving's Further Discovery.
930. Ibid., 17.
931. Mark Weber, "A Preliminary Response to the 23-page Manuscript Essay 'Kritische Stellungnahme zum sogen. Leuchter-Dokument,'" 10, Irving's Further Discovery.
932. Ibid., 12.
933. Letter David Irving to Mark Weber, September 4, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
934. Letter Mark Weber to Irving, October 3, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
935. Report 15 December 1945 of the Forensic Laboratory at Cracow, signed by its Director Dr. Jan Z. Robel, added as Appendix 12 to: Cracow District Commission for the Investigation of German War Crimes, "Protocol on the Machinery of Mass Extermination of Humans in Birkenau," 26 November 1946, transl. Roman Sas-Zalaziocky, in Republic of Austria, Ministry of Justice, Case 20 Vr 3806/64 (Ertl/Dejaco), Landesgericht für Strafsachen, Vienna, file ON 264, 393g (r) to 393h (r).
936. Letter David Irving to Mark Weber, October 15, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
937. Ibid.
938. Letter Mark Weber to David Irving, October 30, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
939. It is unclear if Colin Beer was the author of the critique, or only the conduit of the report from the unknown author to Irving. Irving's letter to Colin Beer of January 12, 1990 suggests the latter possibility, as Irving wrote "Dear Mr. Beer: Thank you so much for sending me that anonymous treatise on the Leuchter Report." However, in a letter Irving wrote that same day to Zündel, there is a suggestion that (he thought that) Beer was actually the author: "Dear Ernst: The Leuchter Report continues to attract much attention, and several learned responses. I thought you might like to see the latest, from Colin Beer, in England, and my humble response." While it is an interesting historical question to pursue the authorship of the critique, it is irrelevant for the purposes of this expert opinion. Letter David Irving to Colin M. Beer, January 12, 1990 and letter David Irving to Ernst Zündel, January 12, 1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
940. Anonymous, "Critique of Forensic Examinations of Auschwitz by Leuchter," unpublished manuscript, 2, Irving's Further Discovery.
941. Ibid.
942. Ibid., 3
943. Ibid., 4
944. Ibid., 4.
945. Ibid., 5f.
946. Letter David Irving to Colin M. Beer, January 12, 1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
947. Document 852 in J. Noakes and G. Pridham, eds., Nazism 1919-1945, 3: Foreign Policy, War and Racial Extermination (Exeter: Exeter University Publications, 1988), 1138.
948. Vidal-Naquet, The Jews 148f.
949. Letter Ernst Zündel to David Irving, August 28, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
950. Ibid.
951. Literally: the "knee-bending clause."
952. Letter Ernst Zündel to David Irving, December 29, 1989, Irving's Further Discovery.
953. Ibid.
954. "Ich sage folgendes. In Auschwitz hat es keine Gaskammern gegeben, es hat nor Attrapen gegeben, die von den Polen erbauten wurden in den Nachkriegsjahren, genau so wie die Attrapen die die Amerikaner in Dachau gebaut haben und die von den Amerikaner dann wieder weggeraumt mußten [....] Aber die Attrapen bestehen heute immer noch in Auschwitz." Tape 186, Lecture David Irving in Moers, Germany, March 5, 1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
955. "Schlimm genug, das ist klar. Keine. Das wollen keine, keine von uns irgendwie gut heisen. 30,000 Menschen in Auschwitz von Anfang bis Ende, das ist etwa so viel wie wir Engländer in Hamburg in ein einzigen Nacht getötet haben." Ibid. As to Irving's comparison between the dead of Auschwitz and the dead of Hamburg, here is an interchange between Judge Benjamin Halevi and Adolf Eichmann on the moral equivalence between gas chambers and bombing raids. [Judge Halevi]: "Now something else. You often draw a comparison between the extermination of the Jews and the bombing of German cities, and between the killing of Jewish women and children by bombing, particularly in the years--in the final years of the War. But you probably realize that there is a basic difference, depending on whether the target is a military target, an enemy who is resisting, forcing an armed enemy by bombing into capitulation, as the Germans also tried to force England by bombing into capitulation, and after capitulation, of course, the bombing would stop--between that on the one hand, and removing one by one, say from every house, the Jewish men, women and children, or having them summoned by the police and taken away from a Gestapo district office and sending them to Auschwitz and exterminating them there. The difference, after all, is a considerable one, is it not?"/[Eichmann]: "Of course, there is an enormous difference, that is correct." State of Israel, Ministry of Justice, The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, vol.4, 1815.
956. "Ich mache eiligst darauf aufmerksam, daß diese ganze Behauptung, das diese ganze Behauptung die deutschen Vernichtungsmaßnahmen gegen Juden mit Gaskammern und so weiter, jeder Grundlage entbehren nur eine Lüge ist die wir selbst verbreitet haben gegen die Deutschen." Tape 186, Lecture David Irving in Moers, Germany, March 5, 1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
957. Letter David Irving to the Earl of Kitchener, June 14, 1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
958. Letter Lord Bonham-Clark to David Irving, June 22,1990. Irving's Further Discovery.
959. Letter David Irving to Lord Bonham-Carter, June 28,1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
960. Letter Lord Bonham-Carter to David Irving, July 5,1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
961. Mark Weber, introductory remarks, in David Irving, "Battleship Auschwitz," The Journal of Historical Review, vol.10 (1990), 492ff.
962. David Irving, "Battleship Auschwitz," The Journal of Historical Review, vol.10 (1990), 498f.
963. Ibid., 499. It seems that Irving, immediately after the speech, suggested to Tom Marcellus of the Institute of Historical Review that his remarks about the Battleship Auschwitz would be removed from the record. In June 1990 Marcellus had this to say about it to Irving. "I hope you recall that immediately following your conference lecture I approached you at your booth and asked you specifically if you really expected us to excise from the tapes that whole electrifying 'off the record' segment on Battleship Auschwitz. You indicated to me that you did not expect that. Had you insisted that the segment be removed I would have insisted that this was not fair and urged you to reconsider since it was undoubtedly the most thrilling aspect of your appearance as evidenced by the positive audience response to your remarks." Marcellus did remind Irving that he did, however excise one particular "A....Joke " from the printed version of the lecture. Letter Tom Marcellus to David Irving, June 20, 1991, Irving's Further Discovery.
964. See, for example, "Poland Fixes Death-Camp Victim Count," New York Post, 18 July 1990; "Die Toten von Auschwitz," Auschwitz Information: Bulletin der österreichischen Lagergemeinschaft Auschwitz, June 1990; Götz Aly, "Auschwitz und die Zahlen: Was Historiker längst wußten, ist jetzt öffentlich," in Die Tageszeitung, 18 July 1990; Götz Aly, "Auschwitz und die Leichenarrithmetik," Die Tageszeitung 13 August 1990; and so on.
965. Irving, "Battleship Auschwitz," 500.
966. Ibid., 500.
967. State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Death Books from Auschwitz: Remnants 3 vols.(K.G. Saur: Munich, New Providence, London and Paris, 1995), vol 1, 212ff.
968. David Irving, Hitler's War (New York: Viking, 1977), 391.
969. Irving, "Battleship Auschwitz," 503.
970. Ibid., 500.
971. Ibid., 497f.
972. Ibid., 167.
973. Irving, "Battleship Auschwitz," 500.
974. Henry Saint John, 1st Viscount of Bolingbroke, "The substance of some letter s written originally in French, about the year 1720, to M. De Pouilly," The Works of Lord Bolingrboke 4 vols.(London: Henry G. Bohn, 1844), vol.2, 503.
975. Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft (New York: Vintage, 1953), 79f.
976. Francois Bédarida, "Historical Practice and Responsibility," in Francois Bédarida, ed., The Social Responsibility of the Historian (Providence and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1994), 5f.
977. Eric Hobsbawn, "Identity History is Not Enough," in On History (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997), 276f.
978. Edith Wyschogrod, An Ethics of Remembering (Chicago and London: The Chicago University Press, 1998), 3.
979. Tape 108, David Irving, "The Controversy on Auschwitz and the Dangers of Censorship," Speech given to the Free Speech League at Victoria B.C., October 27, 1990, Irving's Further Discovery. Irving's remarks were clearly inspired by Mark Weber's "Where was Elie Wiesel when he was liberated?" IHR Newsletter no.53 (October / November 1987), 5.
980. See also Irving's speech of November 8, 1990 in Toronto. Tape 190, Lecture David Irving in Toronto, November 8, 1990. Irving's Further Discovery.
981. As we will see below, the smokescreen was to become Irving's preferred technique of evasion in the mid 1990s.
982. Ibid.
983. Ibid.
984. I refer here, of course, to Irving's tendency to give great authority to the statements of Hitler's surviving adjutants, secretaries, and staff stenographers that Hitler was ignorant of the systematic killing of Jews. See for a detailed discussion of this issue to Chapter IV, part c of the expert witness report submitted by Professor Richard Evans.
985. Irving Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9738f.
986. Irving Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9739ff.
987. Irving Testimony, 2nd Zündel Trial, Transcript of Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zündel, District Court of Ontario, 1988, 9743ff.
988. As to the validity of his argument, I point the reader to my discussion of the AEG document in Chapter Six. Holocaust deniers tried to argue that it hs no bearing on the Final Solution because it was not marked secret. Their argument is that because the so-called Final Solution of the Jewish Problem occurred "in secret," all documents that relate to it should be marked as "Secret." I observed that this argument suffered from the fallacy of division, which arises when one argues from the properties of a whole (the general secrecy of the "Final Solution") to the properties of the constituent parts of that whole (a discussion about the electricity supply to a crematorium equipped with gas chambers). There is of course no reason to assume that what is true of the whole is true of all the parts, and that evidence for the existence of a largely secret operation may be derived from parts of that operation that were not secret.
989. The German noun "Wiesel" translates in English as "weasel."
990. Irving refers here to one of his stock jokes, which he had aired for the first time during a dinner speech given in Victoria, Australia, on October 2, 1987. Here it is, for the record. "[O]n the evening as I drove into Toronto, having spoken in Barrie, I arrived back in Toronto at two o'clock in the morning and as I stopped at the traffic lights I had this very unpleasant experience. Standing in my car in the traffic lights, right next to me, in the car right next to me at the traffic lights was Simon Wiesenthal. This hate-filled face, these contorted features, these viciously contorted features peering through the window at me. And I thought if Simon Wiesenthal has been trailing me all the way. I was mistaken of course. It was two o'clock in the morning. I was very tired. This was a man in the car next to me wearing a Halloween mask. He just looked like Simon Wiesenthal." Tape 97, "41st Annual New Times Dinner, "Victoria, Australia, October 2,1987, Irving's Further Discovery.
991. Tape 190, Lecture David Irving in Toronto, November 8,1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
992. The actual text reads quite differently from the version Irving claims to quote. Here it is, for the record. "The returns from Auschwitz, the largest of the camps with 20,000 prisoners, mentioned illness as the main cause of death but included references to shootings and hangings. There were no references in the decrypts to gassings." F.H. Hinsley, with E.E. Thomas, C.F.G Ransom and R.C. Knight, British Intelligence in the Second World War, 5 vols.(London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1981), vol. 2, 673. Irving misrepresents Hinsley when he suggests that the latter had come to the conclusion, "upon analysis of the daily returns of the Auschwitz concentration camp," that nearly all deaths "were due to disease." Hinsley did not make any judgement concerning the causes of death in Auschwitz. He merely observed that there were no references to gassings in the decrypts, leaving the question open about the relationship between the information contained in the numbers wired by the Auschwitz Kommandantur to Berlin and the actual situation in the camp..
993. Tape 190, Lecture David Irving in Toronto, November 8, 1990, Irving's Further Discovery.
994. Ibid.
995. Mark Weber, "Revisionists meet in Munich despite conference ban," IHR Newsletter, no. 80 (May 1991), 4.
996. Julian Kossoff, "Keep Holocaust 'apologists' out of Britain, Home Secretary is told," Jewish Chronicle (July 12, 1991), 1.
997. Letter Immigration and Nationality Department to Fred Leuchter, October 1, 1991, Irving's Further Discovery.
998. Tape 190, David Irving's lecture in Milton, Ontario, October 5, 1991.
999. Ibid.
1000. Letter David Irving to Sushma Puri, October 29, 1991, Irving's Further Discovery.
1001. In January 1991 a court in Munich had issued an arrest warrant against Zündel for inciting hatred. Arrested when he arrived in Munich to attend the Leuchter Congress, Zündel was convicted and fined. On his return to Canada, he filed an appeal, which was heard in November. He tried to have Leuchter and Faurisson admitted as expert witnesses. The court refused. In the end it upheld the original conviction, but reduced the fine from DM 30,600 to DM 14,600, minus DM 1,995 for time spent in jail.
1002. "Leuchter is Coming," Flyer published by Focal Point Publications, 1991.
1003. Tape 226, The Chelsea Old Town Hall Meeting, "This Week" program, November 28, 1991, Irving's Further Discovery
1004. David Irving, "Robert Faurisson," introductory remarks to a lecture by Faurisson given in London, Friday November 15, 1991, Irving's Further Discovery.
1005. Nicholas Farrell, "Death's salesman cut off before his time," Sunday Telegraph (November 17, 1991).
1006. Ibid.
1007. Press Statement made by Fred Leuchter, November 17, 1991, Irving's Further Discovery.
1008. Gitta Sereny, "David Irving resells Hitler's war," The Independent (November 27, 1991).
1009. Ibid.
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