Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 5: Electronic Edition

Pages 136 - 140 of 187

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It was the first to be liberated, was it not?
 2 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, it was, by the Russians. This is, as I say,
 3what the experts will tell your Lordship, I think. It was
 4such a shock in Berlin that everything was stopped.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     The Russians, of course, captured the entire camp records.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. Well, then, Mr Irving, you have accepted
 8that an awful lot of people were killed in these little
 9places on the borders. You do not know one way or the
10other whether there were any remains there, do you?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Were there any?
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Remains there of buildings?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I have not been to see it.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You have not?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     I think that there is relatively little. You can go to
16these places and search in vain for any kind of
17foundations or anything. I am sure there were buildings
18of some kind there, but I think the Polish people
19descended on them like locusts after the war looking for
20anything they could reuse.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You have not been there. Have you read about whether
22there are remains of factories or large barbed wire
23encampments with huts for workers and that kind of thing?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     What, still there or whether they were there?
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, still there. Have you been to Auschwitz?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     No.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Have you seen photographs of Auschwitz?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now, that has a lot of remains, has it not, comparatively
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Quite a high percentage of remains still left there.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Even in that part which is alleged to have been the ----
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Are we talking about Auschwitz or Birkenhau?
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, I call the whole thing in the usual way Auschwitz,
 9but let us talk about ----
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Let us be more precise.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- have you been to Birkenhau?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     I have not been to either camp.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Have you seen photographs of Birkenhau?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     There are in Birkenhau quite lot of ruins and huts and
16bits and pieces, are there not?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And the remains of the IG Faven(?) factory are still
19there, are they not, outside the camp?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     At Monovitz, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, Monovitz. Is there anything like that, so far as you
22know, at Treblinka, Sobibor or Belzec?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not informed one way or the other on that.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The short point is this, Mr Irving, you have no evidence
25to contradict the probability that these camps, these
26three, I call them Reinhard camps (and I do not want to

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 1have an argument about that) were purpose-built
 2extermination facilities?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     I have no evidence to contradict the probability. It is a
 4very fair statement.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is that right?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     It is a very fair statement, yes.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Does that mean that you do now resile from
 8the view you expressed in your letter?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     No, my Lord. I am just confirming the way he put the
10statement. I have no evidence to contradict his statement
11because I have no evidence, period.
12 MR RAMPTON:     Then will you accept it is a probability then?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     No. That is a different thing entirely. I do not want to
14sound as though I am a bit of an eel on this but...
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     My word entirely, Mr Irving!
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not want to sound slippery; I just do not want to be
17nailed down in one corner where later on you will hold it
18up dripping and slithering next day and say, "Look what
19you said yesterday".
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But, you see, you said to Dr Zitelmann that
21it was clear to you that no serious historian can now
22believe that Treblinka and some other camps were "totas
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Quite. They were purpose-built factories of death; in
25other words, had no other purpose than that.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Oh, I see.

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     But you told me -- I am sorry about this; this is
 2getting a bit like a fourth form debating society, I fear
 3-- a moment ago you said to me that you had no evidence
 4to contradict the probability that these were
 5purpose-built extermination facilities.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, because I have no evidence, period.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, but you write in this letter: "All the experts in
 8scientific forensic evidence is to the contrary"?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So what is that scientific and forensic evidence and
11expert evidence to the contrary?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Do you wish now already to get into the cyanide tests and
13that kind of thing?
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, I am talking about Treblinka.
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What is the expert and scientific (forensic) evidence that
17contradicts the probability that Treblinka was a
18purpose-built extermination facility?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I am now looking at a letter which I wrote 11 years
20ago. I would have to try to put myself back into the
21mindset at that time when I wrote that letter, and try to
22recall the actual documents I had been pouring over and
23the air photographs and the interrogation reports and
24things like that, if I was to explain why I wrote that
25particular sentence.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Were you extrapolating from Auschwitz?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I was extrapolating backwards from Auschwitz, if I can put
 2it like that, but certainly tests were also carried out
 3equally on at least one of those other two locations, the
 4same kind of forensic tests. We also had material of the
 5kind I mentioned, like air photos and prisoner of war
 6reports and things like that, but it is not the kind of
 7evidence that puts me in a position to say, "I can,
 8therefore, challenge the probability or whatever it was
 9that Mr Rampton was saying".
10 MR RAMPTON:     But how could you extrapolate from Auschwitz,
11Mr Irving? It has never been proposed by anybody, so far
12as I know, that the Nazis used hydrogen cyanide anywhere
13outside Auschwitz to kill people with, has it?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, exactly. This is what I find so puzzling. We were
15told that this is part of system by learned counsel and
16yet, apparently, they used cyanide here, petrol gas there,
17diesel fumes there, bullets in yet another place,
18bulldozers, hangings, shootings -- it appears to have been
19a totally ramshackle and haphazard operation. A total
20lack of system.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Would you please answer my question, Mr Irving? You said
22you extrapolated the conclusion that there was expert and
23scientific evidence that Treblinka was not a totas
24fabrike. You extrapolated that from Auschwitz?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     I very foolishly used the word suggested by his Lordship,
26"extrapolated". Perhaps I should have -- without

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