Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 176 - 180 of 187

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    --- true, you may say, though, I am not going accept it,
 1fact is that information is an important piece of
 2evidence, not a huge piece of evidence, an important piece
 3of evidence, when one comes to consider what I call the
 4Final Solution and the means by which it was achieved, is
 5it not?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not quite sure what question -- are you asking
 7whether this was the origin of the British, or whether it
 8was just a ----
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, no.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     --- link in your system chain.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is just a link in my chain of documents. It is said
12that Riegner had the ear of somebody ----
13 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- high up in the Nazi ----
15 A. [Mr Irving]     And, therefore, the British did not invent the story
16because Riegner brought it to them.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, no. Therefore, it is quite important evidence that
18the use of hydrogen cyanide was intended from quite a long
19way back as a killing agent for Jews?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     If this is an authentic account by Riegner, but, of
21course, if we subsequently find out, as has been
22established by people of the calibre of Walter La Coeur,
23that Riegner's source did not exist as a source of
24integrity, shall we say, a man who was not in a position
25to know what he was talking about, then that tells us
26absolutely nothing whatsoever. It is a fluke. But if we

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 1can just have five or six lines reproduced from one
 2document here, that is not the way to go about things. We
 3need to know all the surrounding material and, in
 4particular, if you want to say this is evidence the
 5British did not invent because they built the story on
 6this, then I have to say that British files, Foreign
 7Office minutes show that it was totally dismissed. They
 8said, "We cannot believe this. We cannot believe stories
 9of this type. We have no supporting evidence at all.
10There is not a shred of evidence that this story is true".
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is on the original of this Riegner
12document?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     It is in the typical Foreign Office folder with all the
14minutes attached to it with what are called treasury ties.
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Is that the document Mr Rampton was looking for a moment
16ago?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, it is in my discovery, my Lord, and I can produce it
18in court tomorrow as one of these dreaded little bundles.
19 MR RAMPTON:     Well, it is there, my Lord. I really do not
20think at this time of the day I would ask your Lordship to
21look at it. It is difficult to read. It is bitty and the
22essence, for my purposes, is in the Evans' report anyway.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, the essence as extracted by Professor Evans, of
25course, not the essence which I would extract, but I will
26do that under cross-examination, my Lord, when the time

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 1comes, I think.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, yes, but, I mean, Mr Rampton will
 3appreciate, obviously, that your case is that the
 4annotations on the document show that it was not given any
 5credence at the time by those who subsequently used it.
 6That is your point, is it not?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Quite, and that should have been drawn out by the experts.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     Oh, yes, but an historian, Mr Irving, has the
 9wonderful benefit of hindsight, does he not?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. I think I have used that word once or twice myself.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He can fit a document like that which the poor bods in
12London and Washington could not do. He can fit a document
13like that into a vast weft or weave, call it what you
14will, tapestry, of other information, can he not?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is what, perhaps, gives it more significance now?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     There is a great temptation to do precisely that.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     One must be careful that one does not give more weight to
19it than it deserves, but any document must always be
20placed in the context of all the rest of the relevant
21information.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     This is quite right, and this is why this particular
23document I did investigate in some detail, and I made an
24exception. I read what Professor La Coeur (?) had written
25about it who carried out an examination of the origins of
26the document and the alleged source.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Can we go north, please, because I am still engaged on the
 2same exercise? My Lord, I have finished pre Auschwitz.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I interrupt you when you say you have
 4finished pre Auschwitz? I quite understand what the case
 5is and to a large extent it is accepted on the scale of
 6the operations.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     Yes.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But I am really talking about the post
 9shooting phase, one calls it the gassing phase. It is a
10bit tendentious but it may not matter in the end. What
11I have not at the movement got clear in my mind is how you
12put the case that this was known by and authorized by
13Hitler.
14 MR RAMPTON:     Authorized by I do not know, the case is not that
15there is a piece of paper from Himmler to Hitler, saying
16here, Adolf, are the statistics, at least not until we get
17to December 1942 and that may concern Einsatzgruppen
18shootings rather than gassings in these places. The case
19is simply this. The scale of the operation is vast. It
20involves what must have been very considerable disruption
21to military operations amongst other things. It involves
22a lot of economic and manpower resources. It certainly
23goes all the way up to Heydrich and Wolf who is Himmler's
24adjutant, seconded as liaison officer at some time at
25least to Hitler. In the light of what we do know that
26Hitler did know, in the light of all the other information

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 1we have about Hitler's anti-Semitism and, as in due course
 2one will see, as one of the foundations of Nazi ideology,
 3it would be amazing if Hitler did not know, in broad
 4terms, I am not saying he was interested in numbers or
 5anything like that, what was going on. It is as simple as
 6that.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is extremely helpful to have you put it
 8clearly in that way. Thank you very much.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     It is an inference which any lawyer, never mind
10historian, would be willing to draw, I would suggest, on
11the balance of probabilities.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     May I suggest that we just invite Mr Irving,
13if he wants to, to comment on that, because that is part
14of your case.
15 MR RAMPTON:     It certainly is.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He is entitled to have his say.
17 MR RAMPTON:     I would only add this negative sentence, I think.
18The fact that there is not a piece of paper, as the denier
19said, there is not just a single proof with Adolf's name
20on it, is neither here nor there?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, my Lord, let him fight his own battles. The
22proposition that learned counsel has put is entirely
23acceptable. It is monstrous to assume that Adolf Hitler
24would not have known, and I have said precisely the same,
25my Lord. In my books I have said that after October 1943,
26which is the kind of watershed time that I put, he had no

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