Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 141 - 145 of 187

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    I very foolishly used the word suggested by his Lordship,
 1realising that the word was going to be seized upon by
 2counsel.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is what I am paid for, Mr Irving. I am sorry if you
 4say things ----
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- you readily accept a suggestion from the Judge and
 7make it part of your evidence and it seems to me to be
 8idiotic, then I am going to seize on it, am I not?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think his Lordship suggested an idiotic word but
10in this particular case ----
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, the process would be idiotic, though, would it not, to
12extrapolate a denial about Treblinka from the evidence
13about Auschwitz, would it not?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     No, the extrapolation there would be to say that if
15Auschwitz was not a killing station, a dedicated factory
16of death, then, on the balance of probabilities, it is
17likely that these two were not dedicated factories of
18death either.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why? Auschwitz started out as a huge grandiose scheme by
20Himmler, did it not, to provide a sort of fife for the SS
21in central or south Poland at which there would be vast
22factories and brilliant agricultural lands and experiments
23of that kind, without any thought of killing anybody at
24all except through hard work?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     You are giving evidence on my part.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is right, is it no?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     That is absolutely right and I wish you were my counsel at
 2this moment.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is how Auschwitz started out. Its origins were quite
 4different from those of the three so-called Reinhardt
 5camps?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     It now squares up to the chronology, Mr Rampton. We are
 7told by your experts that Auschwitz had become a dedicated
 8killing station by the end of 1941 or early 1942 at the
 9latest, and yet apparently the also had found it necessary
10to establish other places to do killings too.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, I am sorry ----
12 A. [Mr Irving]     So that is what I mean by extrapolating. If you have a
13super mass production factory here, then why do you build
14these villages elsewhere?
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If you read Professor van Pelt's report with any care you
16would know that that was complete nonsense, that the
17evolution of Auschwitz into a dedicated killing facility,
18in fact not Auschwitz, Birkenhau, really began at the end
19of 1942. There were some gassings by the use of a cellar
20at Auschwitz, one, and by, two, converted farm houses
21during 1942?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     But of there was a course huge rate of mortality at
23Auschwitz in the middle of 1942.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We will get on to Auschwitz next week, but do not
25misrepresent what Professor van Pelt has said, unless you
26are sure of your ground, because it is not what he said.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     You have brought up Auschwitz now and you are talking
 2about dates and months, and when I try to pin you down on
 3the huge mortality rate in the middle of 1942 you are
 4saying let us talk about that next week.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     There was a typhus epidemic at Auschwitz in 1942.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     So we are saying now that all the deaths in 1942 were from
 7typhus?
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, surely you can do better than that?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     You just said it, Mr Rampton.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I said there was a huge typhus epidemic in 1942?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     The killings did not start until the end of 1942.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I did not say that. At the same time people were being
13gassed in what are known as bunkers one and two, and that
14the conversion of the two planned crematoria at Birkenhau
15into gas chambers took place in the late part of 1942 at
16the planning stage, and that they came into operation in
17early 1943?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     With the cyanide being dropped in through the roof,
19right?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We have to compartmentalize to an extent. We
21are not on that topic yet.
22 MR RAMPTON:     No, we are not.
23 A. [Mr Irving]     I think Mr Rampton made some useful concessions.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think it is actually party my fault. I
25think I rater reintroduced Auschwitz. We are back on the
26systematic nature of the killings by whatever means, is

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 1that really the broad heading for the topic we are on?
 2 MR RAMPTON:     This is right. I am not sure where we have got in
 3relation to Treblinka, my Lord, and the other two
 4Reinhardt camps, except this. There has been an
 5acceptance by Mr Irving that hundreds of thousands of Jews
 6were intentionally killed in those three places, but not
 7as the consequence of any policy or system, I think, and
 8that he is not satisfied that that was their dedicated
 9purpose.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Speaking for myself, one does not really need
11to spend terribly much time now on what exactly was going
12on in any of those places. The point seems now to be how
13did it come about, was it local murderers?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     I think the way Mr Rampton summed it up is a very fair
15summary of my position.
16 MR RAMPTON:     There is also, of course, an issue about the
17method of killing, but that may in due course turn out to
18be less significant.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     In relation to those camps I think it might.
20 MR RAMPTON:     Indeed. As to system ----
21 A. [Mr Irving]     It is only of relevance when it goes to the expertise of
22the people who considered this whole matter, if they
23willing accept that kind of story, if I can put it like
24that.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I agree with that. So, my Lord, what I propose is to look
26at just some very few documents for two purposes. What

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 1I am going to do is to look at just some very documents
 2for two purposes: one to show the scale of the thing and
 3the other to show the sort of level at which it was being
 4discussed. So I am not going to look at a lot of what
 5Mr Irving calls "janitorial" documents, and I hope that
 6most of what I am going to look at is going to be common
 7ground.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So far as the scale of the operation is
 9concerned, it may be that that can be, as it were,
10disposed of as an issue by some very general questions.
11I do not know.
12 MR RAMPTON:     Well, I expect so, but if one looks at, for
13example -- I would rather do it chronologically, if I am
14allowed, I think.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It was just that if the door is an open one,
16then there is no point in pushing against it too hard.
17 MR RAMPTON:     I agree. Do you agree, Mr Irving, you have
18written something of it in your own book, that daily
19trains full of Jews, thousands of Jews, from about 22nd
20July were going eastwards from Walsall, Radom, and
21eventually Lublin. There is another place too, I cannot
22remember, to these three places from about 22nd July?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     This is the correspondence between Wolff and Ganzenmuller.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is Wolff and Ganzenmuller?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, the Minister of Transport.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You do accept that?

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