Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 41 - 45 of 195

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    Mr Rampton, it would help me if one could see
 1experimental basis with the authority of Himmler but
 2without the knowledge of Hitler, am I right?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     That is precisely how far we have got.
 4 MR RAMPTON:     That does not take the matter very far, with
 5respect.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     And myself having said so in public on various occasions.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is what we spent this morning on so far.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     That represents, as it often has in this case and,
 9no doubt, often will, a giant step back from what I think
10was conceded yesterday which is that all those people who
11went to those three little villages in Eastern Poland
12actually were actually going to be killed, most of them.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Not by gassing.
14 MR RAMPTON:     Not by gassing. Therefore, I must press on.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but we are not on Treblinka or the
16others at the moment, are we?
17 MR RAMPTON:     Well, Operation Reinhard is Treblinka, Sobibor and
18Belzec. That is what Globocnik was in charge of. The
19point about it is this. There is again this systematic
20chain of events. Brack is, first of all, summoned, as it
21were, to Riga which is in the Ostland. I do not really
22want to have make a speech. This is not a ----
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, I am trying not to get too bogged down
24when at the end one gets the concession that, perhaps,
25would have enabled one to take the individual documents
26more rapidly.

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     I think it is very difficult. One sees what
 2happens if I take an individual document.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. Well, that is part of the problem.
 4 MR RAMPTON:     The trouble is this. If at the end of the case I
 5say to your Lordship, "Your Lordship has read all the
 6documents" or "I draw them to your Lordship's attention",
 7and then I simply say, "Well, the inference to be drawn
 8from this is perfectly obvious", Mr Irving could
 9legitimately say, "Well, I was never given a chance to
10deal with that in cross-examination".
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We may have to tackle that as a problem in
12this case, whether everything has to be put.
13 MR RAMPTON:     Your Lordship will see, when I get to the
14remaining part of Professor Evans, that there is a great
15deal that I will not even refer to and a great deal that I
16will take very shortly, but with this I cannot because
17your Lordship does have to see the scale and the system.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But can we just focus on what it is that
19there is an issue about and see whether Mr Irving agrees.
20 MR RAMPTON:     Your Lordship had better ask Mr Irving.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think I am. The issue appears to be
22whether at Belzec Sobibor and Treblinka there was any
23gassing at all by the use of gas vans or gas chambers. Is
24that something you dispute?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     My answer will be initially disappointing to say that
26frankly I am not an expert on that and I do not know. The

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 1court is probably dissatisfied with that answer. I have
 2made such cursory investigations as I could in preparation
 3for this case, which I should not really have had to do,
 4and establish that there is a great deal of uncertainty,
 5buildings which the evidence or eyewitnesses suggest
 6should have been at Treblinka and Mydonek cannot be seen
 7on the aerial photographs. We have that kind of problem.
 8That is why I am happy not to have had to engage myself in
 9any greater depth with those matters.
10 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     I think we are not concerned with Mydonek. It is Belzec,
11Sobibor and Treblinka. You do challenge the fact that
12there was gassings of Jews in gas chambers or by the use
13of gas vans.
14 A. [Mr Irving]     There are serious problems, my Lord. Mr Rampton has been
15rather vague about how the gassings were conducted in
16Treblinka, what kind of means were used, what kind of gas,
17was it diesel engines or petrol engines, and there is a
18great deal of dispute about that among other people than
19myself. Go ahead, Mr Rampton.
20 MR RAMPTON:     I should not interrupt. You are in discourse with
21the judge and I should have kept quiet.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Do you wish to ask something?
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. I will not bother with it.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     I am sorry, if I may just say so, that is why I would have
25preferred if one was to hinge this case on Auschwitz
26rather than what I might call the lesser camps, where

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 1there is a great deal of uncertainty, whereas Auschwitz is
 2really the battleship, the capital ship of this entire
 3case.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You might say that, Mr Irving, but you have entered the
 5arena. Nobody asked you to comment on the Holocaust.
 6Nobody asked you to sink the battleship Auschwitz. Nobody
 7asked you to say with that there were a very limited
 8number of experimental gassings in trucks. You said all
 9that voluntarily?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Did I say very limited?
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am about to. My job is about undermining your position
12by reference to what you should have looked at, if you
13have not already, by the time you made those statements?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     The reason I made that statement in 1992 which you just
15quoted is that only a few weeks earlier I had come into
16possession of Adolf Eichmann's private papers and I had
17discovered in those papers a description by him of how he
18had personally attended a gassing in a gas truck, and he
19had been required by Muller, the chief of Gestapo, to
20witness this to see how it was going on. This of course
21is evidence of high quality. It is evidence that in no
22way can be said to be in one own's self interest. That is
23why I told this audience in California that there was no
24question whatsoever that these gassings in trucks or buses
25had gone on. To be accused now of having denied this kind
26of thing is the ultimate absurdity, when the evidence is

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 1front of the defence and I never denied it.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am going to suggest, Mr Irving, that you have made
 3statements even about the use of gas trucks which fly in
 4the face of the available evidence, and I am going to do
 5it by reference to some Nuremburg documents which must
 6have been available since goodness knows when.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     To say that something must have been able available to me
 8of course, is ----
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am suggesting, Mr Irving, that a man in your position
10does not enter the arena waving flags and blowing trumpets
11unless he has taken the trouble to verify in advance what
12it is that he is proposing to say, particularly when what
13he is proposing to say is something of great sensitivity
14and importance to millions of people throughout the
15world.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, the sensitivity is neither here not there in a
17case like this, where historians cannot regard the
18sensitivities of people when you write history. Nor I do
19enter arenas blowing trumpets and waving flags. I am not
20a Holocaust historian, Mr Rampton. I am a Hitler
21historian. I am a biographer of the top Nazis.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why do you not keep your mouth shut about the Holocaust?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Because I am asked about it. It apparently obsesses
24people.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You gave a press conference to announce the triumphant
26arrival on these shores of the Liechter report?

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