Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 6: Electronic Edition

Pages 16 - 20 of 195

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    Yes, I think so, my Lord. I think we can very rapidly
 1slice through this if I accept most of the contentions
 2that are made in these paragraphs.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is helpful.
 4 MR RAMPTON:     In that case I need not ask you to look at the
 5Wetzel letter to Lohse, who is the Reichs commissar for
 6the Ostland. You may, if you wish. It is in H3 (ii) at
 7footnote 83.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do we need to?
 9 MR RAMPTON:     No.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Broadly speaking, the narrative is accepted?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. I think that would probably just dot Is and cross
13 MR RAMPTON:     I will tell you this. It is actually marked
14Geheim, which is what was second security classification.
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Could you tell me again what the reference number for the
16document is.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I think you ought to look at it. I am sorry about this,
18my Lord, but I feel uncomfortable being the only one with
19the document open in front of me. It is H3 (ii), footnote
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I have it.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This is, I think, a Nuremberg document, is it not?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You can tell that from the top?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Right. With this document, of course, now I can see the
26document you are referring to, I do have a problem fitting

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 1it into the actual framework you are trying to ascribe it
 2to. It refers to unterkunfte and vergasungsapparate. It
 3is referring to Riga and by implication it also brings in
 4Dr Tesch, who was the head of the company that
 5manufactured or rather had the sole distribution rights on
 6Zyklon B east of the river Elb, and I am quite familiar
 7with the Tesch case because I did take the trouble, before
 8this action began, to read through the entire transcripts
 9of the war crimes trial against the Tesch company.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If I am supposed to follow that, I am afraid
11I am simply not following a word of it. It is no
12criticism of you, Mr Irving.
13 A. [Mr Irving]     It is just that I have extraneous knowledge, my Lord,
14about what was going on at Riga with Tesch, who had been
15sent out with his experts to set up fumigation facilities
16as a central fumigation plant for the huge masses of
17clothing, army clothing, military clothing, refugee
18clothing -- and vergasungsapparate and unterkunfte, and we
19have one intercept which goes to this and which, purely by
20coincidence, I actually handed to Mr Rampton this morning,
21the German intercept, which actually deals with the
22provision of the Zyklon to Tesch for this purpose.
23 MR RAMPTON:     This is merely a reference to using Dr Brack's
24machinery to destroy, literally speaking, vermin. Is that
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Perhaps we had better go through the document in detail.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I think you had better look at the first complete
 2paragraph on the second page, the first sentence, before
 3you commit yourself to that, Mr Irving.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     That is quite plainly a reference to liquidating the Jews,
 5the second paragraph, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Using Dr Brack's machinery means?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, either machinery or methods.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, methods, Dr Brack's gassing apparatus. It is a
 9reference to exterminating by means of gas those Jews who
10could not work, is it not?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I am not going to be specific about means. All they are
12saying here is that they are going to be using Brack's
13means or methods, which could be any means. They used
14various different means to dispose of the euthanasia
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Could you please read us in translation that first
17sentence of the first complete paragraph on page 2,
18Mr Irving?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     In German or in English?
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, in English.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     According to the state of affairs, we have no misgivings
22if those Jews who are not capable of working are disposed
23of using Brack's methods. Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So the reference to vergasungsapparate is nothing whatever
25to do with lice or rats or anything else?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     It does have a slight bearing on the fact that there were

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 1extensive war crimes trial after the war. Dr Wetzel, who
 2wrote this letter, was never prosecuted. He lived in
 3complete comfort until the end of his life in Germany, and
 4how can this be if this is the only interpretation to be
 5placed on those words?
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What does beseitegen mean?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     "Getting rid of". It is one of those vague words again,
 8disposing of.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     There is no objection, or we have no reservations,
10if those Jews who cannot or who are unable to work,
11incapable of work, are disposed of by Dr Brack's means?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Dr Brack's methods, yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Again, I am not asserting a positive case, Mr Irving,
14about history. I do not have to do that. I am asking
15you, in your role as an open minded objective and
16scholarly historian, what is the natural interpretation of
17that letter and the word vergasungsapparate?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I would say quite clearly they are going to be liquidated.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Liquidated by what means?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     Using the methods of Dr Brack.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What is a vergasungsapparatein that context?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     There are two paragraphs here of course. We know what was
23going on at Riga and this is that there was a major
24fumigation centre at Riga.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, please.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, you asked me the question; I gave you the answer.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I want to know what the German word "Vergasungsapparate"
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Literally, "gassing equipments". "Unterkunfte" means
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, or huts or whatever, a place where you put people?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     "Unterkunfte" means "rooms". So we have those two words
 7in conjunction.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We do not know whether these are nice little rooms with a
 9view of the countryside?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think so. I think that they built a 50 cubic
11metre gassing chamber there for the clothing and this
12comes out at the test trial. The documents and the test
13trial make this quite plain.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but let us get back to the Brack methods
15referred to on page 2 of that letter. You, as
16I understand it, accept that is a reference back ----
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, indeed, but I think it would be ----
18 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     --- "fergasungs"?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     --- false to link these two matters because nobody has
20ever suggested that the gas chambers, homicidal gas
21chambers, were set up at Riga and that, frankly, my Lord,
22is the bottom line.
23 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Whether or not they were set up, I just want to be clear
24what your evidence is about what was meant by the Brach
25methods of getting rid of these Jews.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     

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