Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 2: Electronic Edition

Pages 136 - 140 of 189

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you accept that the Nazis killed, by one means or
 2another, and I am not talking about hard labour or
 3exposing people to typhus, shot, murdered, gassed, kicked
 4to death millions of Jews during World War II or not
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You do
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, whether it was of the order of millions or not,
 8I would hesitate to specify, but I would say it was
 9certainly more than one million, certainly less than four
10million. But that is not a very useful answer to you, the
11limitation I put on that. I do not want you to say, "You
12said millions, therefore, it is more than two million",
13for example. I do not want you to ..
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So tell me what it was then that was the Holocaust that
15you removed from the 1991 edition and announced to the
16world that you had done so
17 A. [Mr Irving]     The word "Holocaust" has gone
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, but why
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Because I find the word "Holocaust" misleading, offensive
20and unhelpful
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why
22 A. [Mr Irving]     For precisely the reasons that I said 10 minutes ago, that
23it is too vague, it is imprecise, it is unscientific and
24it should be avoided like the plague, because the word
25"Holocaust" could be understood to mean one thing when
26somebody is referring to it meaning something else. I try

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 1to avoid words like that.
 2     I shall be calling -- I shall be asking one of
 3my experts on precisely this matter who is an expert on
 4the use of the word "Holocaust". He also takes the
 5strongest exception to it
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So you removed it because you found it imprecise for one
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, as a part of the general tidying up process -- when
 9you take a book after 10 years and you revise it and you
10work over it with a red pencil, you do a lot of tidying up
11and tightening up, and we did that with the new edition.
12We cut a lot of material out anyway because the book was
13the one-third too long and we wanted to bring a new
14material that we had obtained, the diaries of Hitler's
15doctor and Goring, and so on. So there was a lot of
16editorial work that went on
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I want to take it slowly because it may be important in
18the end. You removed it because it was imprecise, but you
19accept, you now tell me, that the Germans deliberately
20murdered perhaps something between one and two million
21Jews during the course of the War
22 A. [Mr Irving]     A criminally large number of Jews, yes
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Where, in your opinion, did this happen, broadly speaking
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, we could take it sector by sector, but I am not sure
25if it is a meaningful exercise. If I am a Jew and I take
26it from Amsterdam and I am living a peaceful life and I

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 1find myself thrown into a stinking concentration camp
 2where I die of disease, I considered myself to have been
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I excluded them, as you know perfectly well. I talked
 5about shooting, gassing, hanging, kicking, what you like,
 6but I excluded the people who died of disease or overwork
 7or starvation
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Very well. On the Eastern front, particularly in the
 9Baltic States, particularly in the Ukraine, I would
10estimate that up to one million Jews were murdered, using
11that word in a way that is completely incontrovertible.
12They were stood on the edge of pits and shot into the
13pits, clubbed to death
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Just so that we get it straight: in the second edition of
15"Hitler's War" -- start at the beginning. In the first
16edition you accepted that Auschwitz was an extermination
17centre, did you not
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, a lazy acceptance which I now regret
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is as may be. By the time of the second edition you
20had recanted that acceptance, had you not
21 A. [Mr Irving]     That Auschwitz was an extermination centre, a dedicated
22extermination centre
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You said, for example, I am paraphrasing, perhaps you will
26accept it, that the Hungarian Jews were sent to Auschwitz

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 1for slave labour
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Instead of purposefully to be killed
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Definitely
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What do you say went on -- perhaps I will ask you this
 6first. Do you accept that there were camps, and we will
 7take them one by one, Chelmo
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Belzec
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Belzec I am not certain of
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Treblinka
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Treblinka I am becoming uncertain about
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Sobibor
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Sobibor I know nothing of
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Chelmo you accept
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The other two, second two you are uncertain about
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What happened at Chelmo
20 A. [Mr Irving]     In 1940 they established a killing centre. It was in a
21handy part of Europe. Hitler had ordered liquidation in
22the Polish campaign and afterwards the liquidation of all
23the Polish intellectuals and clergy and intelligentsia and
24the Jews who were liable to occupy leading positions, and
25a lot of them found themselves shipped off to Chelmo where
26they were dispatched

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      But not by gas
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Not to the best of my knowledge, my Lord, no, but I say
 3this, and I hesitate to say this, as a non-expert on the
 4Holocaust, this book was not written as a history of the
 5Holocaust. This was book was written as a biography of
 6Hitler and it would have been neither here nor there how
 7his victims were disposed of
 8 MR RAMPTON:      Let us take the other three camps together. You
 9would not accept that they were purpose built
10extermination centres either
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Not on the basis of the evidence I have seen so far
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It follows, does it not, that you do not accept that
13people who were killed there were killed by the use of
14purpose designed gas chambers
15 A. [Mr Irving]     At which camps are you talking about, Treblinka
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     To the three East Polish ones
17 A. [Mr Irving]     There is a lot of debate each way which, in my mind, is
18unresolved and I have no particular interest in resolving
19it because, I repeat for the nth time, I am not a
20Holocaust scholar, and taking the Treblinka Miediner camp
21you have the problem there that they cannot make up their
22mind what kind of gas was used to kill the victims, was it
23Zyklone, was it diesel engine exhaust fumes, was it petrol
24engine exhaust fumes, when that kind of uncertainty occurs
25in the testimony, frankly I tend to turn my back on the
26entire story and write something that is safe rather than

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