Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
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The Defendants' case
5.245The Defendants contend that, despite the existence of a number of inaccuracies in his account, Aumeier is an important and credible witness whose detailed description of Bunkers I and II and the way the gas chambers in crematoria 2 and 4 were operated powerfully supports their case for saying that gas chambers were used on a massive scale at Auschwitz. Through van Pelt and Evans the Defendants allege that Irving recognised the problem Aumeier's memoirs posed for revisionists in relation to the existence gas chambers at Auschwitz. He wrote to Marcellus of the Institute for Historical Research ("the IHR") on 4 June 1942 that "these MSS are going to be a problem for revisionists, and need analysing now in advance of our enemies and answering".
5.246In order to meet the "problem" posed by Aumeier's account, Irving first surmised, without any evidential basis for doing so, that his account had been extracted by brute force on the part of his interrogators. Thereafter, Defendants allege that Irving suppressed the Aumeier material because it powerfully undermined his thesis that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. He continued to make speeches denying the Holocaust without mentioning Aumeier's account. Although Irving had read the memoirs in 1992, it was not until May 1996 that Irving informed van Pelt by writing to tell of their existence. Van Pelt observed that the private disclosure of the memoirs to him is a far cry from placing them in the public domain, which is what a reputable and objective historian should and would have done.