Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 96 - 100 of 187

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    No, I am wondering what your position is, you see,
 1there were any gas chambers, then I am not bothered
 2because it does not matter how it is done, the fact is it
 3is a systematic genocide. I want to know whether you
 4accept that; if you do accept it, then we can forget the
 5Professor van Pelt and all his works and everything else
 6beside in relation to Holocaust denial.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     It is my belief that Professor van Pelt's purpose in
 8coming here is prove to us that the gas chambers at
 9Auschwitz existed.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He is not. He is coming here to demolish the basis of
11your Holocaust denial, which is the Leuchter Report,
12amongst other things?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     But the Leuchter Report relies solely on the gas chambers
14in Auschwitz. So there seems to be a contradiction in
15what you said.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So if, for example, Franjiseck Piper, the custodian of the
17museum as he was, at Auschwitz, now proposes a figure of
181.whatever it is, 2 million Jews murdered, I do not mean
19worked to death or killed by types, murdered in Auschwitz,
20you are going to accept that, are you?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     No. I have a good reason not to and --
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I think in that case we are back to where we are, alas.
23I thought I saw a chink of daylight, but it is not there.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Right, well, I am not clear in my mind what
25it is that it is suggested Mr Irving may need to look at
26over the luncheon adjournment. I have no idea whether it

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 1is practical to ask him to do that or whether it is not.
 2 MR RAMPTON:     It is probably not, because they are spread all
 3over the bundles and that would be quite unreasonable
 4because he would have to stay here and I would have spend
 5at any rate 40 minutes giving him a list of documents and
 6that would not be sensible either. I will go as
 7cautiously as I can in the afternoon and I will try and
 8make sure if I do not remember, perhaps your Lordship
 9will, to find out as I ask the questions whether the
10documents in question is one that he has seen before or
11not.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. Mr Irving, do you have any problems
13with that? You are going to be asked about documents
14which I suspect you know about now, but you may well say
15in relation to it some of them, well, I see that now and
16I saw that last summer, but I did not know about it when
17I was writing "Hitler's War"?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I am in your Lordship's hand on that matter but where
19possible I shall state which ones I have seen for the
20first time.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That will not cause you a problem, will it?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     No. Your Lordship will decide later on whether it is
23relevant or not.
24 MR RAMPTON:     I will give your Lordship a copy too. I am not
25saying it is exhaustive, complete, or comprehensive --
26what Miss Rogers and I have done is to produce a

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 1chronological list of the relevant events. I am not going
 2to start at the beginning of this in my cross-examination,
 3but it does give Mr Irving an idea of what I will be
 4asking about this afternoon.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The topic is what?
 6 MR RAMPTON:     The topic is the scale of what happened during the
 7summer and early autumn of 1942, from which one can make
 8quite obvious deductions, both about system and knowledge,
 9and also about the intent.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Your case is these are deaths in the gas
11chambers?
12 MR RAMPTON:     Oh, there is no question.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     They started operating in November 1941.
14 MR RAMPTON:     The first gassings start systematically in
15December 1941 at Chelmo, I am not going to deal with
16Chelmo this afternoon, except at the tail end if I get
17there. There is the three Reinhardt camps; Belsec,
18Sobibor and Treblinka. They used a different system of
19gassing. They used a vehicle exhaust --
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Carbon?
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     -- carbon monoxide. You can also suffocate someone with
22carbon dioxide, can you not?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     You can suffocate someone by locking them into a closed
24room.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And by hydrogen cyanide at Auschwitz. I do not say there
26were not some random murders as well by kicking, shooting,

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 1but the system was gas?
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, so Mr Irving is going to get a copy of
 3this, so at any rate he will have some; is that right?
 4 MR RAMPTON:     Yes.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, that will at any rate give you
 6some foretaste of what is to come this afternoon.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     I am not saying he must read it. But it might be
 8helpful if he did.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We will adjourn now and resume at 2.00 pm.
10 (Luncheon Adjournment)
11MR DAVID IRVING, continued.
12Cross-Examined by MR RAMPTON QC, continued.
13 THE WITNESS:     My Lord, before he begins his cross-examination
14on this, can I make a few general observations on these
15documents?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What difficulties you are going to have
17dealing with them, or what?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I would draw attention to three general observations which
19I may not have a chance to make when we go through them
20document by document.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think that is fair, Mr Rampton.
22 MR RAMPTON:     It is what?
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Fair that he should do so now before going
24through these various documents.
25 MR RAMPTON:     I did not hear, I was looking for documents.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He going to make three points and I am going

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 1to allow that to happen?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     General observations, and please interrupt me if you think
 3they are wrong. Obviously, some of them I am familiar
 4with because they come from my own records, some of them
 5I am not. I am unhappy about the elipses, the passages
 6that have been left out. I do hope we will have a chance
 7to see the whole document rather than just these
 8abbreviated versions.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     Oh, yes, carry on.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     In general, of course, there are much larger elipses which
11are the material surrounding the documents, if I could put
12it like that, which are not represented here.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
14 A. [Mr Irving]     The second observation I would make, my Lord, is this.
15Bear in mind all along that we are now 55 years down the
16road since the end of World War Two and we are entitled to
17expect a better quality of evidence and documentation from
18the archives than would have been accepted, say, in 1945
19or 1946. This is the standard I have always held in front
20of myself. I say to myself if, even now, there are no
21better documents than this, therefore we have to be much
22more careful about how we assess these documents that are
23put to us. We are no longer entitled to jump across from
24mountain peak to mountain peak. We have to say that, if
25there are no other documents, then there is probably a
26reason why there are no other documents. That is the sum

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