Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 5: Electronic Edition
Pages 131 - 135 of 187
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1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But so that we are clear what the issue
2actually really is that we are trying to resolve, it is
3not so much the numbers -- I think you said you do not
4like playing the numbers game -- it is whether it was
5systematic in the sense of having been organized from
6Berlin and, perhaps, a higher level of Hitler?
7 A. [Mr Irving] Well, in view of the fact that the court proposes to
8attach significance to the word "systematic", I shall have
9to resist the suggestion that what happened in those camps
10was systematic, and I am sure that Mr Rampton is aware
11that on occasion even the SS headquarters sent out
12travelling judges who established that unauthorised
13killings had been going on and, in fact, on one or two
14occasions the camp commandants were hanged before their
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] You are quite right to pick up the word "systematic". We
17have been using it, I think, Mr Rampton, have we not, to
18mean policy and policy adopted, laid down at a high level?
19 MR RAMPTON: Yes, I do and I draw the -- inference is too weak
20a word -- conclusions about system from both ends of the
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But that is the issue. We need not bother
23about numbers, it seems to me, in the light of what
24Mr Irving has said.
25 MR RAMPTON: Nor, I guess, about "deliberate" either?
26 A. [Mr Irving] Deliberate?
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] "Deliberate killing"?
2 A. [Mr Irving] Have we had an argument about "deliberate" yet?
3 Q. [Mr Rampton] Murder?
4 A. [Mr Irving] You would need to then specify who is deliberating.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a ...
6 MR RAMPTON: Intentional killing.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: By whoever it was, the killing was not ----
8 A. [Mr Irving] It certainly was not accidental.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- not accidental.
10 MR RAMPTON: But the people who did it were criminals who were
11acting in a random, haphazard way; is that right?
12 A. [Mr Irving] Yes. At whatever level. I mean, you could equally well
13say that the middle level SS officers, the SS officials,
14who were acting in a random and haphazard way.
15 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, the reference to this document which, if
16Mr Irving does not trust me, he should have is file D8(i),
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what you have just read out.
19 MR RAMPTON: Yes, but I am going to read another bit, an
21 A. [Mr Irving] Which document is that, the Hofle document?
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] It is your letter to Zitelmann.
23 A. [Mr Irving] Zitelmann, I am familiar with that. I was looking at it a
24few days ago.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton] OK. Well then it is not necessary.
26 A. [Mr Irving] May I just pause at that point and say, my Lord, you
1remember that I said that I sent the Bruns' document to a
2very large number of historians. That is exactly the way
3I would work. I would send documents like that and later
4on the Aumeir document as well.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] I am going to read the paragraph above the one I just
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Whereabouts in 8(ii)?
8 MR RAMPTON: I am sorry, 8(i), my Lord, 222. Am I waiting for
9something, Mr Irving?
10 A. [Mr Irving] I am ready, yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] The third paragraph of the letter reads as follows. This
12is May 21, 1989, so it may be your views have changed
13since then, I know not. "On the... (reading to the
14words)... my own view has crystallized a lot since 1975
15when I delivered Hitler's War to the publishers. It is
16clear to me that no serious historian can now believe that
17Auschwitz", which is for some reason underlined?
18 A. [Mr Irving] It is a link, it is a hyperlink.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] I follow you, yes. "... Treblinka, Mydonek, were totas
21 A. [Mr Irving] "Factories of death".
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] Factories of death, precisely. "All the expert and
23scientific (forensic) evidence is to the contrary." We
24are going to have an argument about Auschwitz. We can
25agree that Auschwitz did not start out as a totas fabrike,
26or whatever the singular is. Mydonek, I can agree, was
1only partly used for that purpose, but you have just
2agreed with me that, so far as you know, Treblinka did not
3serve any other purpose or am I wrong?
4 A. [Mr Irving] I did not say that.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] Right. What purpose did it serve?
6 A. [Mr Irving] You asked if it was true that large numbers of people and
7you said hundreds of thousands ----
8 Q. [Mr Rampton] I said hundreds of thousands.
9 A. [Mr Irving] --- were killed at these places to which I agreed that
10they were killed at those places, which included
11Treblinka, but this does not mean to say that Treblinka
12was a factory of death existing solely for that purpose.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] I see. Something special about the word "factory of
14death", is there?
15 A. [Mr Irving] Well, it is. It is a quantum leap, if I can put it like
17 Q. [Mr Rampton] What does it mean?
18 A. [Mr Irving] A factory of death is a purpose built ad hoc establishment
19for killing the people who arrive. That is the way
20I understand -- maybe I am wrong. Maybe you interpret it
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] No, it is your word. It is not my word.
23 A. [Mr Irving] Because I just pointed out the 60,000 Warsaw Jews who
24arrived there from the Warsaw Ghetto in May 1943 were then
25sent from Treblinka to Mydonek. So, clearly, it was not a
26factory of death. It had other purposes too.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] Well, a transit camp for some small number of people?
2 A. [Mr Irving] Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Rampton] Later on, shortly after which I believe it was closed
4down, was it not?
5 A. [Mr Irving] That I do not know.
6 Q. [Mr Rampton] That is, no doubt, why they were moved on to Mydonek, is
7it not? It was the nearest place.
8 A. [Mr Irving] I do not know. I do not know if you have any evidence for
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] We have a map.
11 A. [Mr Irving] I am not talking about the proximity. I am talking about
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Do not worry about it.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We need not trouble with Mydonek, need we?
15 MR RAMPTON: Well, it was a place at which large numbers of
16Jews were killed. There was a gas chamber there -- this
17is our evidence -- which has been reconstructed since the
18war, but it was also ----
19 A. [Mr Irving] In other words, faked since the war.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] It was also in some sense a work camp?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not a pleading point, but I think it is
22not one of the camps that you actually specifically rely
24 MR RAMPTON: No, it is not. This is just for information. It
25was liberated, I think, in late '44.
26 THE WITNESS: September 1944.
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