Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 1: Electronic Edition

Pages 96 - 100 of 103

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    What are the reasons for this astounding
 1were never any homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.
 2     Unfortunately for Mr Zundel, Mr Leuchter's
 3report was declared inadmissible by the Canadian judge on
 4the grounds that Mr Leuchter had no relevant expertise.
 5     Now it happens that Mr Irving also gave evidence
 6for Mr Zundel at that trial. In the course of that visit
 7he had read the Leuchter report. Shortly thereafter he
 8declared himself convinced that Leuchter was right and
 9that there never any homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.
10So enthused was he by the Leuchter report that he
11published it himself in this country, with an appreciative
12forward written by him and introduced it to the public at
13a press conference in London, at which he declared that
14the validity of Leuchter's laboratory reports was
16     So it was that the Leuchter report became the
17main weapon in Mr Irving's campaign to "sink the
18battleship Auschwitz", as he calls it. The essence of
19this campaign is that the Holocaust symbolized by
20Auschwitz is a myth legend or lie, deployed by Jews to
21blackmail the German people into paying vast sums in
22reparations to supposed victims of the Holocaust.
23      According to Mr Irving, the Leuchter report
24is "the biggest calibre shell that has yet hit the
25battleship Auschwitz" and has "totally exploded the
26legend". Unfortunately for Mr Irving, the Leuchter report

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 1is bunk and he knows it. It was comprehensively debunked
 2in court in Canada. It has been comprehensively
 3demolished since by people who have written to Mr Irving,
 4and perhaps not least by Professor van Pelt in his report
 5made for the purposes of this case. This is not the
 6moment to describe all the many means by which the
 7Leuchter report is demolished, but one simple example can
 8be given because it is derived from the internal evidence
 9of the Leuchter report itself, and must have been apparent
10to anyone with an open and thoughtful mind.
11     One of the main reasons that Mr Leuchter
12advanced in his report for his conclusion that there were
13no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, was that it was to
14be expected that any residual traces of hydrogen cyanide,
15the killing agent in the Zyklon B pellets used by the SS,
16should be very much higher in those parts of the remains
17of Auschwitz which were identified as gas chambers for
18killing people than in those parts which are known to have
19been used for killing lice.
20     Leucther's report recorded very small traces of
21hydrogen cyanide in the gas chamber remains and relatively
22large traces in the delicing remains. Therefore, said
23Mr Leuchter, the alleged gas chamber remains could
24obviously never have been gas chambers at all. But the
25report itself contained the seeds of its own destruction,
26for it revealed that concentration of hydrogen cyanide

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 1required to kill humans was approximately 22 times lower
 2than that required to kill lice, 300 parts per million as
 3against 6,666 parts per million for lice. This was
 4internal evidence obvious to any interested reader, which
 5Mr Irving certainly was, that the Leuchter report was
 7     So why did Mr Irving ignore this and all other
 8stupidities in the Leuchter report? Why did he embrace it
 9with such wholehearted enthusiasm? The answer must be
10that he wanted it to be true. After all, if the Holocaust
11never happened, then Hitler cannot have ordered it or
12known about it. Thus, as Mr Irving himself said of the
13second edition of Hitler's War, "You won't find the
14Holocaust mentioned in one line, not even in a footnote.
15Why should you? If something didn't happen, then you
16don't even dignify it with a footnote."
17     So, finally, my Lord, why has Mr Irving resorted
18to these lies, distortions and misrepresentations and
19deceptions in pursuit of his exoneration of Adolf Hitler
20and his denial of the Holocaust? One can often derive a
21fair picture of a man's true attitudes and motives from
22what he says and from the kind of people he associates
23with and speaks to. Mr Irving has done a lot of public
24speaking over the years. The evidence for the Defendants
25in this case will show that his audiences will often
26consist of radical right-wing neo-facist, neo-Nazi groups

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 1of people, groups like the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi,
 2white supremacist organisation in the USA, the DVU,
 3perhaps the most radical right-wing party in Germany,
 4gatherings of so-called revisionists, in truth largely
 5Holocaust deniers, the extreme right-wing British National
 6Party and so on.
 7     What sorts of things has Mr Irving said on these
 8occasions which might be thought to betray his underlying
 9motives and attitudes? It is not possible in a relatively
10short statement of this kind to catalogue all the most
11telling instances of this kind, but it is perhaps possible
12to give the flavour of some of Mr Irving's thinking by
13reference to two short examples from the same speech.
14     In September 1991 Mr Irving spoke to an audience
15in Calgary, Alberto. He complained about pressure from
16Jewish people and Jewish bodies designed to prevent him
17from speaking. He said:
18     "And it's happening now. They're zeroing in on
19the university, 'Nazism not welcome here, self-professed
20moderate facist'". Mr Irving went on: "I strongly object
21to that word "moderate". That remarked provoked some
22laughter and it may be that it was not meant to be
23entirely serious.
24     On the same occasion, however, he said something
25which, though somewhat facetiously worded, conveys a
26message about his true views and attitudes which can only

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 1be taken seriously. It was this:
 2     "I don't see any reason to be tasteful about
 3Auschwitz. It's baloney. It's a legend. Once we admit
 4the fact that it was a brutal slave labour camp and large
 5numbers of people did die, as large numbers of innocent
 6people died elsewhere in the war, why believe the rest of
 7the baloney? I say quite tastelessly in fact that more
 8women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car at
 9Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in
10Auschwitz. Oh, you think that's tasteless. How about
11this. There are so many Auschwitz survivors going around,
12in fact the number increases as the years go past which is
13biologically very odd to say the least, because I am going
14to form an Association of Auschwitz survivors, survivors
15of the Holocaust and other liars for the A-S-S-H-O-L-S",
16pronounced no doubt "asshols".
17     This last inspiration was also greeted by
18laughter, but it was laughter of an altogether different
19kind. It was the laughter of mockery, mockery of the
20suffering of others, people whom on this and other
21occasions Mr Irving has accused of lying about their
22Holocaust experiences, of forging Auschwitz tattoos on
23their arms, of deserving both contempt and the attention
24of psychiatrists.
25     My Lord, this is obviously an important case,
26but that is not however because it is primarily concerned

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