Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 26 - 30 of 195

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    Well, Nissan huts constructed. I just gave that as a kind
 1of ready translation.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     They are not probably (and I am only dealing in
 3probabilities because I am interested in historical
 4integrity rather than proof of what happened) they are not
 5likely, the words "dwellings which needs to be
 6constructed", to be fumigation chambers, are they, given
 7the use of the German word "unterkunfte"?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I gave precisely the reason why they are. Given the
 9wartime circumstances, I find it highly likely they would
10have taken an existing building, like a Nissan hut,
11applied the appropriate sealants and then used that as a
12fumigation chamber.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What word would you naturally use in German for a
14delousing or fumigation chamber?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Entlausungs kammer, Entwesungs kammer, Vergasungs kammer.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But not this word?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, they have actually done the two. They have said
18Unterkunfte, Vergasungsapparate.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Let us read paragraph 5, may we? "These gas vans were
20developed by the Criminal Police in autumn 1941 - parallel
21to the transfer of the technology of 'euthanasia' to
22Eastern Europe".
23 A. [Mr Irving]     That, I venture to suggest, if I may just interrupt you,
24is why the letter had a Geheim rating rather than the Top
25Secret rating.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Rampton, I have read the next four or five
 2paragraphs. What is really being said -- I think this is
 3agreed which is why I am intervening -- is that the policy
 4of using gas vans was not only proposed but was
 5implemented?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     It was implemented, yes.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Eight or 10 of them were employed to kill
 8Jews, starting, as I read it, in Chelmo. Does one need to
 9go through it more detail? Do you accept that, Mr Irving?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Except for the numbers, I think that is right.
11 MR RAMPTON:     I do have a point to make about this. If one
12looks at paragraph 5, halfway through the paragraph:
13"After having an execution of Jews performed for his",
14that is Himmler's, "observation, he demanded of Nebe, the
15Head of EG B, that other methods of killing should be
16sought which were more 'humane' than execution", that is
17by shooting, that is my interpolation, "methods, that is
18which would put less strain on the firing squads of the SS
19and policemen". Is that correct? Is that what Himmler
20demanded of Nebe?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     What a waffly footnote, though, is it not? This is
22reconstructed from the accounts of witnesses and ----
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you agree ----
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Excuse me, and he then actually uses the "indictment" of
25somebody as a source when an "indictment" is something
26that has been untested in law. If it had been a judgment

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 1by a court, that would be different.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, you can, as I say, take up the cudgels with
 3Dr Longerich and Professor Browning and anybody else,
 4Professor Evans, about their methods, just as I am doing
 5with you about yours.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, you put the sentence to me and I immediately
 7draw attention to the waffly basis.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, I wish you would sometimes just listen to my
 9question. Do you agree, as a matter of fact, with what
10Dr Longerich has there written?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     That Himmler was squeamish?
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, that Himmler was worried about the mental and physical
13effect on the troops, the SS people, of having to shoot so
14many people?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     I have heard this said about the same kind of evidentiary
16foundation that Mr Browning has put in. Let me put it the
17other way round. There is no letter from Himmler to
18Berger or to Bouhler or to Heydrich saying, "We have to do
19this some other way; this is putting too much strain on my
20men", but there is one episode which I clearly remember --
21I have mentioned it before -- when Hitler's film cameraman
22accompanied Himmler to a mass shooting outside Minsk in
23the middle of August 1941. Half way through that, one of
24the machine gunners came running across the field to
25Himmler and to this party saying he could not do it, his
26nerves could not take it any more, could he be posted

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 1somewhere else? He was sent back into the line.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That takes me back, you see, to Wisliceny and to Bruns and
 3to the suggestion I made some days ago, if you remember,
 4that the principal reason why, well, one of the two
 5reasons why mass shootings of this kind were to stop was
 6that they were apt to draw attention to themselves; the
 7other was that it was a strain on the people who had to do
 8the shooting, and that, in consequence, they had to find
 9another means of killing Jews and so they hit upon
10gassing. Now, will you please comment on that suggestion?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not think that is an adequate suggestion. I do not
12think that the noise suggestion, if I can paraphrase it as
13that, holds water because these mass killings took place
14many miles outside the built up areas; and as for the
15strain on the nerves, of course, then how is it that the
16Russians managed to carry out their mass shootings on
17similar scales, if not even indeed even greater scales,
18without having to resort to gas chambers? I do not think
19there is a ----
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Perhaps, Mr Irving, this is not a trial about the
21Russians. Perhaps Russian public opinion was not as
22sensitive as German public opinion; who knows?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, exactly. Who knows the answers to many of these
24questions that you give?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Rampton, will you go this far -- I cannot
26give you chapter and verse for it, but my impression is

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 1that there is quite a lot of evidence -- I think that is
 2the right word -- to suggest that carrying out the
 3shootings was causing, understandably I suppose, real
 4anxiety, nervous breakdowns and the rest amongst those
 5Germans who were being ordered to carry it out?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, with respect, if they intend to make this a plank
 7of their case, then they should lead such evidence and not
 8allow ----
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am asking you if you accept it.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not accept that, my Lord, unless they wish to put it
11to us in a slightly better founded form than Professor
12Browning has done saying it is based on an unspecified
13witness statement on an indictment of someone.
14 MR RAMPTON:     That is Dr Longerich, begging your pardon, and
15I am just about to show you something which I hope you
16will agree, as it were, helps to found the stability of
17this proposition by Dr Longerich. Can you please turn to
18file H4(v) and to footnote 260?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Before you do, can I ask one further question
20to see whether you are prepared to accept this, that there
21was at least disquiet about the method of executing Jews
22by shooting by the SS?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Clearly, a lot of the men did not like doing it, but a lot
24of the men did like doing it. I think Daniel Goldhart has
25brought this out very clearly in his book "Hitler's
26Willing Executioners", that a lot of men actually

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