Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 21 - 25 of 195

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    Well, I think we established several paragraphs earlier
 1that they used various methods to kill the euthanasia
 3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     But including gas chambers?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     They used carbon monoxide, gas chambers using carbon
 5monoxide. I do not think they ever used any kind of
 6chemicals apart from carbon monoxide from cylinders. They
 7used phenol injections. They used other lethal
 9 MR RAMPTON:     Could you then please turn, first of all ----
10 A. [Mr Irving]     But I do emphasise once again that even the most
11determined Holocaust historian has never suggested that
12there was a homicidal gas chamber set up at Riga, which is
13what this letter is about.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think Mr Rampton puts it forward as
15evidence of the genesis of a policy ----
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Right.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     --- of extermination by methods including gas, is that
19 MR RAMPTON:     It is, my Lord. My plain submission about this is
20that it is very strong evidence of intention at a high
21level to kill Jews by using gas. In the event, it is
22perfectly right they that did not build a gas chamber.
23They used trucks at this point. If we want to know what
24actually happened, may we please go to Professor
25Longerich's report, the second part, page 49?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     I can only emphasise the fact that in the test trial, all

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 1this was exhaustively analysed, and the court accepted
 2that there was never any suggestion that gassing equipment
 3was used in Riga.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think that is accepted.
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     By Mr Rampton, I mean.
 7 MR RAMPTON:     In the sense that, yes, "unterkumfte" means
 8accommodations really, does it not?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is always almost used in relation to people in German,
11is it not?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Have you got that Longerich report?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     At page 49 of the second part at the top of the page,
16Dr Longerich sets out a translation of the significant
17parts of the letter from Wetzel to Lohse which, as you
18have noticed, is marked "Geheim". That is not the highest
19security classification, is it, Geheim?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I will not read the first paragraph, but I will read the
22second since we have not done that:
23     "The appropriate apparatus are not available in
24the required quantity at present, and must first be
25produced. As Brack is of the opinion that the production
26of the apparatus would provide greater difficulties in the

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 1Reich than on-site, he considers it purposeful to send his
 2people to Riga. His chemist, Dr Kallmeyer, in particular,
 3will make all the necessary arrangements."
 4     Then it is clearly indicated by Dr Longerich
 5that there is an ellipse. I can tell you that in the
 6original the next sentence begins at the bottom of the
 7first page of the letter.
 8     "According to Sturmbannfuhrer Eichmann, camps
 9for Jews will be established in Riga and Minsk, into which
10Jews from the area of the Altreich will also possibly be
11brought. At the moment Jews are being evacuated from the
12Altreich who will be brought to", there probably should be
13an "o" on that "to" so that "brought too", in other words,
14"as well as", "in so far as they are fit for work.
15According to this state of affairs, there are no
16reservations if those Jews who are incapable of work, are
17eliminated by the Brackian means ... Those fit for work,
18on the other hand, will be transported for labour in the
20     The sense of that is, surely, this, is it not,
21Mr Irving -- you can surely accept this -- that the
22intention was -- what happened in the event is another
23matter -- as expressed by Wetzel in Berlin in the Ostland
24Ministry in Berlin, to bring train loads of Jews from the
25Altreich to Riga and to send some of them that were fit
26for work to the East and to gas the rest?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     That is a quantum leap which disregards the other
 2evidence. You are talking about the intention.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     In fact, it is not the intention. It is the proposal.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     And I think that there is more than just a nuance between
 7those two words; just the same as somebody in Posnan,
 8I think it was Mr Hukner, in July 1941 wrote a letter to
 9Eichmann saying, would it not be far more humane if you
10would dispose of these people before the winter comes by
11some rapidly working means? Well, nobody did that at that
12time. So these proposals were ventilated by these
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Rather than letting them starve to death, I think it was,
15was it not?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I beg your pardon?
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I said it was rather than letting them starve to death was
18the proposal.
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, and that is exactly the same kind of thing. These
20proposals were ventilated and aired. As we find out,
21nothing was ever done in that direction.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You may or may not agree with Professor Longerich. If you
23disagree, there is nothing I can do about it. You will
24have to wait until he gets here. He says: "Gas chambers
25(here described as 'dwellings' (Unterkunfte) were not in
26fact erected in Riga. Rather, so-called gas vans were to

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 1be employed"?
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Where do you get that from?
 3 MR RAMPTON:     I do not know; maybe it is in the next sentence.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, oddly enough, I would agree with that.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You would?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, there we are?
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Then we need not bother.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     I will just read on, if I may?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     But I think it is irresponsible to talk about gas
11chambers being described as "dwellings" in this. I mean,
12as we know ----
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You must take that up with him, I am afraid.
14 A. [Mr Irving]     As we know, they did erect this very large fumigation
15chamber in Riga which is why Dr Hesch went there in
16October 1941.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You would not describe a fumigation chamber as an
18"unterkunfte", would you?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, we do not know exactly what shape this fumigation
20chamber took. They may have taken over a Nissan hut and
21turned it into a gassing chamber with the appropriate
22sealants, and so on.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, no, the letter talks about the construction of the
24required dwellings. That cannot be right, Mr Irving. I
25am sorry.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     

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