Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 81 - 85 of 195

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    I do not accept it, which does not mean to say that I do
 1any evidence that it did happen yet. That is an
 2unsatisfactory answer, I am afraid.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, I would only make one small correction to
 4that. I think the evidence of Professor Browning will be
 5that once they had established those three Reinhard camps,
 6they stopped using mobile vans and started using
 7stationery tank engines and other sorts of things like
 8that, but we will come to that along the line. The
 9question that I would ask Mr Irving, in the light of that
10answer is this, you do not know of any firm evidence, you
11sigh, that it did happen, whether by stationery engines or
12by vans. Do you see a difference between saying, "I do
13not know whether or not it happened, I have not seen good
14evidence", and denying that it did happen?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     I do not know that it did happen and denying that it
16happened?
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you see a difference between saying, "I do not know
18that it happened"?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, the word "deny", of course, in law has a specific
20meaning, does it not?
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, it is an ordinary English word.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     But in law the word ----
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It means, in effect, the person is saying this?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     If somebody denies something, he is saying there is
25something within his cognisance.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is very simple. One English sentence says, "I do not

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 1know whether it happened or not", the other says, "It did
 2not happen"?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, it is the former.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If, therefore, on some former occasion you have said it
 5did not happen, that would be an excessive statement of
 6your own belief, would it not?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     What did not happen?
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Oh, gassing at Treblinka, for example?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     It depends what the question is and what my precise answer
10was to that question -- not the question you asked, but
11the question put to me by the questioner and what my
12precise answer was.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We will track that down. I just wanted to get the
14position clear. Your present position is not that you
15denied that it happened, but that you have not seen good
16evidence that it did happen?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     I have seen a balance of evidence in each direction.
18There is the lack of the photogrammetric evidence on the
19aerial photographs, the lack of any evidence that these
20structures existed, on the one hand, and the
21unsatisfactory nature of the eyewitness evidence.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Your present position is that you are in a state of
23doubt.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     A state of doubt and I see no reason to investigate it
25because I am not a holocaust historian. One has limited
26resources which one has to apply to the proper targets.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We will come back to the other part of it later because,
 2as Miss Rogers says, Mr Irving, it fits quite neatly into
 3the Auschwitz question as a sort of coder, perhaps, or
 4maybe an introduction, I do not know, prelude?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     I would prefer we just adhere to the Auschwitz examination
 6and ignore the other camps which is not really going to
 7lead us much further.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, I am not going to go into the evidence of the other
 9camps. If I go back to the other camps, it will be for
10this purpose, Mr Irving, that which I have already stated,
11to demonstrate that you have, if I am right, made
12categorical denials about the existence of extermination
13facilities at the Reinhard camps when the truth is simply
14that you do not know?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     In other words, it goes to Holocaust denial
16rather than Auschwitz?
17 MR RAMPTON:     It does, but it also goes to irresponsible, at the
18very least, historiography.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is part of Holocaust denial, is it not?
20 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, of course it is.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Let us wait until we get the exact statements I am
22supposed to have made.
23 MR RAMPTON:     Of course. I said if I am right about that, if.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That will be the only object of ----
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Let us also consider the question of proportionality.

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 1These are the minor escorts, the corvettes and
 2minesweepers, not the actual battleship which is Auschwitz
 3itself.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Anyway, Hitler and Himmler?
 5 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. Hitler and Himmler. For this purpose, my
 6Lord, it will be useful, I think, to turn to page 73 of
 7Longerich 1. While I ask, I am going to have displace my
 8chronology, my Lord, because I have not got the document
 9reference. I am sorry.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Rampton, did you not tell us yesterday that Auschwitz
11did not start gassing until the end of 1942, and yet
12paragraph 2 of this page says exactly the opposite.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, let me give you advance notice -- if you have
14not Van Pelt's report two or three times, I quite
15understand you may not have picked it -- of what the best
16view of the history of Auschwitz, so far as gassing is
17concerned, and it is our case, if we had to prove it,
18which we do not; but what that report tells us is this,
19that there were some early gassings, first of all, of
20Soviet prisoners in the autumn of 1941 in the basement of
21block 11 at Auschwitz 1. They then started using, I think
22later that same year, the crematorium, the morgue in the
23crematorium at Auschwitz 1, for the gassing of Jews again
24to some extent on an experimental scale. In 1942 they
25developed two gassing facilities.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     What do you mean by "the experimental scale" -- a few

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 1thousand or?
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Only a few hundred people at a time, that kind of thing.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     I am just interested in your use of the word "experimental
 4scale".
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Experimental", Mr Irving, because they were experimenting
 6with the efficacy of Zyklon B?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Very interesting. Exactly the same as I said about the
 8gas trucks.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, but in 1942 (and I cannot give you the exact month)
10they developed two local farmhouses into much more
11effective gas chambers. They tipped the Zyklon B through
12the windows which they then closed with gas type
13shutters. That went on for some considerable time. As
14you know, in July 1942, Himmler visited Auschwitz and
15following that, and I say as a matter of cause and effect
16so I shall not be accused of post hoc propter hoc,
17following that the existing plans for the two new big
18crematoria at Birkenhau are altered, so as to convert them
19into gas chambers with crematoria, and at the same time
20crematoria 4 and 5 are designed and built in the early
21part of 1943 up to about June. Then they start in full
22operation from then until the autumn of 1944. That is the
23Auschwitz story.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Only yesterday you said that there no mass killings by gas
25in Auschwitz until the end of 1942.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     

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