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Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 20: Electronic Edition

Pages 11 - 15 of 215

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    We are, my Lord, and we are dealing just briefly
 1was concerned that I described this as an experiment in
 2view of the large numbers. So Professor Evans has quoted
 3me as saying, "So I accept that this kind of experiment
 4was made on a very limited scale". Do you agree that
 5there was, in fact, an experiment, Professor Evans, the
 6use of the gas vans for a limited period of months on the
 7Eastern Front and elsewhere?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     You go on to say: "But, I don't accept that the gas
 9chambers existed, and this is well known. I've seen no
10evidence at all that gas chambers existed". So what I am
11saying there in that quotation is that you say that
12gassing took place on a very limited scale, experimental
13scale, but, as you say, it was rapidly abandoned as being
14a totally inefficient way of killing people.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I understand that during the trial you have now admitted
17that that was wrong, that it was, that gassing was not
18merely used on a limited experimental scale.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are overlooking the use of loaded words like
20"conceded" and "admitted". Do you accept that,
21therefore, the gas vans were used as an experimental basis
22for killing, and that they were abandoned then for
23whatever reason afterwards?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I do not. They were used for killing on a large
25scale, as I think----
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did they continue using them throughout the war or did

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 1they stop?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There was a transition to mainly using gas chambers, but
 3they were used on far more than a limited scale, as
 4I believe you yourself have said in the course of this
 5trial.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Looking purely at the word "experimental" at this point,
 7you have agreed that Professor Burrin, the Swiss Professor
 8is something of an expert. He is not an extremist or what
 9you call a Holocaust denier.
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is so, yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     I just put to you one sentence from his standard work on
12this. This is on page 112 of Philip Burrin: "The gas
13truck had been an improvised response to a situation no
14one had foreseen or imagined". Would you agree with that?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I would have to see the whole passage. I find it
16difficult to comment simply on a single sentence taken out
17of that. In any case, the context of this section of my
18report is concerned with your denial that gas chambers
19existed, that gas chambers were used. That is the
20context.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Before we move on, just a simple answer. You do accept
22therefore that the gas vans were used and then abandoned
23at some stage as a means of killing?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, yes. In the end of course the gas chambers were
25abandoned as a means of killing when they had fulfilled
26their purpose. I do not accept----

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I just want to see where we are
 2going occasionally.
 3 MR IRVING:     That was the end of that.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     At an earlier stage in this case -- correct
 5me if I am recollecting wrongly -- you were presented
 6with a document which indicated that at Chelmno 97,000
 7Jews were killed in five weeks.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     Five months, my Lord.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I agree you did not accept that figure was
10correct, but I believe you did accept in terms that the
11gas vans were not used on a solely experimental basis but
12were used for the systematic killing of substantial
13numbers of Jews.
14 MR IRVING:     They were. I do not agree that they were used only
15at Chelmno. They were certainly used once at Chelmno
16because there was an explosion there, but there is no
17evidence they were used only there.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I did not say "only there". I am using that
19as an illustration of what I had understood you to have
20accepted earlier in this case.
21 MR IRVING:     I am trying to justify the use of the word
22"experimental" by the virtue of the fact that other
23historians of reputation have also described this as being
24an interim phase and it was abandoned, as it proved not to
25be a very feasible or practical way of doing things.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That may be rather a different thing from

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 1saying it is experimental, but there we are.
 2 MR IRVING:     I think that you had fastened on the word
 3"experimental" as being something repugnant in this
 4particular connection and I can appreciate that, but I was
 5just trying to establish what was meant by the word
 6"experimental".
 7     Can we now proceed to paragraph 6 on the same
 8page 128, where we are talking about the subsequent Polish
 9tests which attempted to replicate the Leuchter tests.
10You say that I allege that there was a refusal of the
11authorities to call for site examinations and that
12forensic tests were carried out by the Poles, but the
13results were suppressed". Is that correct in the last
14four lines on page 128?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you suggesting that I have got it wrong somehow?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     In this paragraph I am trying to sum up your views as
18succinctly as I can.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you accept that the Poles did carry out tests and
20suppress them?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, I do not. I have to say I am not an expert on
22Auschwitz and there has been a separate, as I call
23attention to at the top of the next page 130, expert
24witness report by Professor van Pelt, who is an expert on
25Auschwitz, who goes into this in very great detail.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. So we will not dwell very long on this, but would

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 1you go to page 56 of the little bundle, which is the first
 2page of the Polish report I am referring to. We are going
 3to look at two dates on it.
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is a Polish document. I am told that the date at the
 6top in Polish means 24th September 1990, and that is the
 7date that the report was submitted by this Polish
 8Institute to the museum at Auschwitz, as you can see in
 9the address line on the top right quarter. If you look in
10the rubber stamp box, can you see a date on the final
11line?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, 11.10.1990.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did the Polish State authority, the Auschwitz authorities,
14at any time thereafter publish that report, or did it sit
15in their safe for some months and years?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not an expert on this subject. I cannot really
17comment. I think probably, if one consulted Professor van
18Pelt's report, one would be able to clear that up.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     You spent a whole page -- again on the foot of page 129
20you say that Irving went on to claim that Dr Piper, in
21other words the Auschwitz State Museum, had suppressed the
22fact and filed the report away.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I say that.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     You disqualify the Leuchter report in your view. I have
25to ask you these questions because it is said that I have
26relied on the Leuchter report and that this was an

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