Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 4: Electronic Edition

Pages 46 - 50 of 207

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     All right. Signed Gestapo Headquarters, Berlin, and then
 2this is Mr Irving speaking: "It is quite an interesting
 3document, my Lord. It is the first kind of thing we come
 4across in my view to show that these trains were actually
 5well provisioned. It is a bit of a dent, a tiny dent, in
 6the image we have, the perception as Mr Rampton calls it,
 7of the Holocaust today." Why do you say that?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     The image that we have from the literature is of coal
 9trucks and cattle trucks being filled. I am not saying
10that this did not happen, but I am saying that the image
11we have is that all that happened was that these wretched
12victims were stuffed into trains, with no food and water
13for three or four days, and shipped across Europe to their
14deaths, when this and the subsequent telegram which we
15British intercepted, which I quote, indicates that very
16substantial quantities of food were put on board these
17trains for the short journey, and that, in the next
18telegram, you will remember, it also added the fact that
19they were carrying their appliances with them, food and
20appliances. So obviously people were sending them, at
21least the system that was sending them apprehended that
22they were going to be doing something at the other end
23when they got there.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What was German word for the appliances?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Gerat.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And plural gerater?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     No. You would use it in the singular form.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That can just as easily mean kitchen utensils, can it
 3not?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Could be kitchen sink. If a photographer comes in mit
 5gerat, then he would be carrying his camera and not his
 6kitchen sink. It is the appropriate appliances.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We used to have tinkers in the old days in Scotland, Mr
 8Irving. They would carry utensils with them. Pots and
 9pans.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     The Germans would have a different word for that. It
11would be klamotten. It would be their things.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Anyway, your immediate interpretation of this document, it
13is clear now, is that this food was to keep the Jews well
14fed during the journey?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, it certainly was not for just 15 policemen.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, how far is it from Berlin to Cogno, do you
17know?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Off the top of my head, I would say of the order of a
19thousand miles.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is about 600, in fact.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Correct. In other words, a two or three day train
22shipment in wartime conditions.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Those trains went very slowly because they had to keep
24stopping to give priority to other trains.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. The journeys took three days. We know the train load
26of Jews on November 27th. It left Berlin on November 30th,

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 1it arrived at Riga and they were shot. It is a three day
 2journey.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is Riga. That is about 200 miles further East from
 4Cogno?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     I am trying to give a sense of space and time.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am going to ask you some questions. Again, you have
 7leapt to a conclusion. Have you actually stopped to think
 8what the evidence is that this food was to feed these Jews
 9during that journey?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     None whatsoever.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No.
12 A. [Mr Irving]     But it would be perverse to assume that it was not.
13Excuse me. If a train is provided with provisions, then
14the provisions are quite clearly for the people on the
15train. It cannot clearly be for just 15 escort personnel.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, would you not be so hasty. Wait for my next
17question, please. Do you know how many loaves of bread
18you can make with 3,000 kilograms and 2,700 kilograms of
19flour? 500 gram loaves of bread, an average size loaf?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     I did exactly the same calculation as you were reading out
21to me just now, and I thought, if there are a thousand
22people on a train, they are getting 3,000 kilograms of
23bread, then this seems to be very substantial provision.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In fact, it is about 6,000 loaves from the loaf figure
25alone, and about another just less than, it is about 5,400
26loaves from the flour.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Actually, he is talking about 3,000 kilograms of bread, so
 2that is 3 kilograms of bread per person.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What about the flour? Are they going to make loaves on
 4the train?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Why do we not just stick with the bread for the time
 6being?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, there was flour there too. That is the
 8point.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     2,700 kilograms of flour.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I have no idea what they were going to do with the flour.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The point is this, Mr Irving. There is no evidence that
12this food was going to be eaten by those Jews. I can tell
13you, if you do the calculation, at half a loaf a person
14per day, they have enough bread and flour to last them for
1524 days, 944 people.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but the reason for that is that the people at the
17receiving end are protesting bitterly. They say, we have
18food shortages here already and you are dumping these
19people on us, so the Reich was sending the people not only
20with the food for the journey, but presumably enough food
21to get them started when they arrived at the camps they
22were going to.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is right.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     I am speculating here, I do emphasise. I am just trying
25to give an explanation that may have escaped your
26attention.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, it had not, you see. I am concerned not with what
 2actually happened, Mr Irving, but your readiness to leap
 3to conclusions in favour of the SS and the Nazis on every
 4single occasion.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     I strongly object to that kind of aspersion.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This is exactly what you have done here.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     I strongly object to that. Here is a British telegram, a
 8British intercept of an SS telegram, which has not been
 9quoted by any of your experts, because of course it does
10not fit into the perception they are trying to create,
11which presents a subtly different image of how this
12deportation programme, brutal and cruel though it was,
13initially was started by the system. The train loads of
14Jews were sent off with food for two or three days and, as
15you quite rightly pointed out, enough food to carry on
16once they arrived at the other end, enough flour to make
17their own bread.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     They had enough cornflakes for about eleven days, as it
19happens, at 30 grammes per serving according to Messrs
20Kelloggs.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     They were going to arrive in the camp, where presumably
22the provisions would be inadequate.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is right. They must have eaten their cornflakes dry
24because there is no milk?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     No doubt there were cows in Riga when they got there, or
26Cogno.

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