Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 46 - 50 of 195

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This is your glossy version of the Liechter report, is it
 3not?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     I am a publishing company and we published that under our
 5imprint, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Because it is an important contribution to the debate.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     This?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, we will come to that next week.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     Oh dear.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is this the only stimulus you have had for charging into
13the arena of Holocaust denial?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I find those words, of course, repugnant.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     They are meant to be tendentious. I put it that way so
16that you can deal with it, because that is what I shall
17say at the end of the case.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     As is well known to the court, when I read the results of
19the chemical test on the buildings which will play quite a
20substantial part in this debate, I changed my mind.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Here is something, Mr Irving, you said at the Liechter
22press conference on 23rd June 1989. My Lord, the
23reference is D2 (i), Tab 5, pages 30 and 32.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Is it the conference where we presented this report to the
25press?
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     So far as we were able to after the press had been
 2barricaded out by organizations outside my front door.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Can I read what you are reported as having said? You had
 4two things to do, the first to confirm that you did say it
 5because I do not want to put words into your mouth, and
 6then second answer a question from me in consequence if
 7you say yes.
 8     "Mr Irving is asked whether he denies that Nazis
 9killed a large number of Jews by unnatural methods
10including gassing. Answer: That is a very good question,
11because obviously we have at the back of our minds
12certainly episodes involving gas trucks in Chelmno and
13things like that. I have not investigated." Then you say
14this : "I am prepared to accept that local Nazis tried
15bizarre methods of liquidating Jews. I am quite prepared
16to accept that, and that they may have experimented using
17gas trucks, because I have seen one or two documents in
18the archives implying that there was a roll over from the
19use of those methods of killing, the same people who
20created the euthanasia programme and they may have tried
21to (something unintelligible) of killing Jews but it is a
22very inefficient way of killing people. The Germans
23themselves had discovered this and there are much easier
24ways of killing people".
25     Now, Mr Irving, that has all your great
26authority as an historian on an important occasion for you

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 1behind it, does it not?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     It does indeed, and I think that is a very fair summary of
 3the state of my knowledge at that time. Killing people in
 4gas wagons is an extremely inefficient way of doing it.
 5You will have seen from the documents they had with the
 6trucks, they broke their axles, the gas pipe broke.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Sure, but I want you just to look quickly, please ----
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     Also, they had the nasty mess to clear up afterwards.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is all in Professor Browning's report in fact at page
1038.
11 A. [Mr Irving]     What I said in that part of what you read out is
12unexceptionable.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is not, because you did not give the impression, you
14made it clear that these were local bizarre experiments
15and, by implication, on a very small scale.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I think the small scale is something that had to be
17proven. I have been proven wrong on that.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What about the one I read you just now? You said a very
19limited number.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, I think you are at cross purposes.
21I think what Mr Irving is saying is that, if you are
22suggesting it was on more than a limited basis at Sobibor
23and the others, then you must prove it, or at any rate
24present the evidence for it. Is that what you meant, Mr
25Irving?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, yes. If are talking about six or eight trucks

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 1then that, to my mind, is a limited scale.
 2 MR RAMPTON:     May I just deal with that because that was my next
 3question. Will you please turn to page 38 of Professor
 4Browning's report? Since you do not trust his
 5translation, you better also have ----
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Shall we try on Professor Browning without?
 7We may save the labour of going through ----
 8 MR RAMPTON:     I quite agree. This is under the heading Chelmno,
 9my Lord. I am going to read both these paragraphs.
10     "Beginning in December 1941, Jews from the Lodz
11ghetto and other towns in the Warthegau were deported to
12the small village of Chelmno. On May 1 1942" -- my Lord,
13we have seen this letter already --"Arthur Greiser wrote
14to Himmler: 'The special treatment [sonderbehandlung] of
15some 100,000 Jews in my territory in an action approved by
16you in agreement with the Chief of the Reich Security Main
17Office SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich will be completed in
18the next two to three months."
19     Next paragraph, this is Professor Browning:"The
20completion of this task was not without incident, however,
21as can be seen in a report in the motor pool section of
22the RSHA of June 5, 1942, concerning technical alterations
23in the production of the'special trucks.'".
24     I, not for reasons of taste but because it is
25not presently relevant, am not going to read what the
26troubles were with the gas trucks, but I am going to read

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 1the next indented paragraph.
 2     "Since December 1941, for example, 97,000 were
 3processed by three trucks in action, without any defects
 4in the vehicles being encountered".
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Shall we go straight to the bottom line and say yes,
 6I fully accept the innuendo you are placing on that
 7document.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Innuendo?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     It is not stated clearly, but quite clearly 97,000 people
10have been liquidated in these trucks.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In three trucks?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Over the months concerned.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, it is actually just about a month and a week. 97,000
14people in three trucks in the course of five weeks?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     It is a very substantial achievement when you work it out
16with a pocket calculator ----
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Clever SS!
18 A. [Mr Irving]     -- at 20 people per time, and they drove 20 kilometres
19into the countryside. I have read all the reports on
20this.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Not if they are doing them in situ.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     No. They drove them out into the country and did it and
23that is where the axle broke.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is it very limited and experimental?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, I did not have this document at the time I said
26that. I had this document five or six months ago.

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