Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

Table of Contents
The Defendants' arguments... >>

The case for the Defendants in summary

7.6 Auschwitz was not, on the Defendants' case, either the first or by any means the only extermination camp where gas chambers were employed to kill Jews. However, according to the Defendants, the evidence establishes that more more deaths occurred at Auschwitz than in all the other extermination camps put together. The case advanced by the Defendants can by simply summarised: they contend that there is a substantial body of evidence, from a variety of different sources, which should demonstrate to any fair-minded objective commentator that gas chambers were constructed at Auschwitz and that they were used to extermination Jews on a massive scale. This case rests upon what the Defendants contend is abundant evidence, both contemporaneous and more recent, which amounts to convincing proof that Auschwitz played a pivotal role in the Nazi scheme to exterminate European Jewry. It is the Defendants' case that in the period from late 1941 to 1944, when the gas chambers were dismantled, approximately one million Jews were murdered by the use of gas at the camp.
7.7 The Defendants allege that, if Irving had approached the evidence in a detached and objective manner, he could not have failed to appreciate that the evidence is overwhelming that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were systematically used to kill Jews. In arriving at an answer to this question, the Defendants submit that it is relevant to bear in mind the concessions that Irving has already made as to the fact, scale and systematic nature of, firstly, the killing of the Jews in the East by shooting and, secondly, the gassing of Jews from Poland and from Europe in the Reinhard death camps. The Defendants maintain that Irving's denial of the genocidal use of the gas chambers, often expressed in the most intemperate language, flies in the face of the evidence and is explicable only on the basis that Irving is driven by his own extremist ideological views. Moreover the Defendants point out that Irving's denial appears to have been prompted, almost overnight, by his reading the Leuchter report, which, say the Defendants, is deeply flawed from both a scientific and an historical point of view.