Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 7: Electronic Edition

Pages 116 - 120 of 199

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    When you tell them next morning at breakfast time that you
 1impressed", that is a shorthand way of saying "I have read
 2some small part of the Leichter report". Is that right?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     I think so, the relevant part.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Because that is the guts of it, really, the
 5lab reports? Is what you are saying?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     They may have drawn my attention specifically to the lab
 7reports, but the answer to your question is yes.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     I am not suggesting that what you said in answer
 9to those questions on 25th April in the court in Toronto
10were false answers. What I question is this. Do you
11think it sensible -- I will use a neutral word to begin
12with Mr Irving -- for a man in your position, who has
13gone all the way to Canada to give expert evidence on a
14different aspect of the case, to arrive at so certain a
15conclusion on the basis of one part evening's reading of
16one part of a report made by a man -- we will come to his
17qualifications in a moment -- who, so far as you were
18aware at that date, was not known to history?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Was not known to ----
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Was not known to history as a scholarly discipline?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     There are several questions contained in that question.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is all one question. It is a long
23question, but I think it is an important question.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     It is, but there are several questions contained within a
25question there. Would you break it up into fragmentary
26questions, one question at a time?

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not sure I agree about that. Do you want
 2it asked in parts?
 3 MR RAMPTON:     My eyes are just not the right focal length for
 4the screen.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I will read it. Do you think it is sensible
 6I -- am going to skip the interpolations -- Mr Irving,
 7for a man in your position, who has gone all the way to
 8Canada to give expert evidence on a different aspect of
 9the case, to arrive at so certain a conclusion on the
10basis of one part evening's reading of one part of a
11report made by a man like Leuchter? I am slightly fudging
12the end of the question, but I think it is fair?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     All right. So there are several parts in that question.
14The question is, what is my value judgment on
15Mr Leichter? We can deal with that separately, my Lord.
16This part of the report was of course not produced by
17Mr Leichter. It was produced by a qualified forensic
18laboratory, and that I would emphasise at this point.
19     For whatever value it is worth, I would point
20out the fact that I spent three years at London University
21unsuccessfully trying to get a degree in physics and
22chemistry. One thing that I did excel in was quantitative
23and qualitative chemical analysis. In fact, in the
24examination which I took I got the correct amount to six
25decimal points, which was an embarrassment because it
26looked as though I had been cheating.

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 1     So I am aware of the fact that, unlike the
 2writing of history, where there is a lot of reading
 3between the lines, chemical analysis is an exact science.
 4When I looked at that document, and I probably said it on
 5subsequent occasions, I said that no matter how much
 6historians can interpret documents, as they do one way or
 7the other, perversely or honestly or genuinely, you cannot
 8interpret percentages in any different way than the
 9figures actually speak. We will come to what the figures
10actually said, I am sure, later on, but, when I looked at
11those columns of figures, I said to myself, and I accepted
12of course that I was not being taken in, I was not being
13given fraudulent figures because they would be very
14rapidly exposed by the court, I accept that I was being
15given genuine forensic analysis figures. I would go
16straight ahead and say to this day I have no reason to
17doubt that those percentages are correct, and I state that
18the figures that I saw at that time, spoken in
19unmistakable language, so unmistakable that any person
20with even a smattering of knowledge of chemical analysis,
21quantitative and qualitative, would have to accept that
22the story, as it had been preached so far, was untenable.
23 MR RAMPTON:     Mr Irving, have you read the Leuchter report with
24any care since that date?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     The report or the chemical analyses?
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The report. You have to read the report to understand

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 1what the chemical analysis is referring to, do you not?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     It is referring to a number of samples taken from the
 3fabric of Auschwitz and Birkenau, various buildings.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did you notice, Mr Irving, before you started making these
 5statements, or indeed since, that the chemical analysis
 6gave a much higher reading of hydrogen cyanide residues
 7for the parts of the camp, whether Birkenau or Auschwitz,
 8which were known to have been used as delousing facilities
 9than it did for those parts which were said to have been
10gas chambers? Did you notice that?
11 A. [Mr Irving]     It would probably be useful if you were to give us the
12actual figures, but this was my general impression from
13memory, that this was the conclusion based ----
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did you notice, Mr Irving, that Mr Leuchter conclusion was
15based upon the assumption that higher concentrations of
16hydrogen cyanide would have been needed to have been used
17in the gas chambers than in the delousing facilities?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Mr Leuchter was an expert in homicidal gas chambers.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Please. This is very important. I wish you would answer
20my question. Did you notice that Mr Leuchter's conclusion
21that there were no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz was
22based in part upon the assumption that higher
23concentrations would have been needed to kill people than
24were needed to kill lice?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     As this appears to be an important point, can we see the
26precise passage in the report where he states this and the

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 1language he uses?
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Rampton, so that there is no
 3misunderstanding because it puzzled me for a while, kill
 4lice in clothing? That is right, is it not?
 5 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. If you try and do it while the clothes are
 6still on in a concentration of 6,666 parts per million,
 7you are going to kill your people about 22 times over.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You understand why, if that is not made
 9clear, it can be a bit puzzling?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I think we ought to see what the report actually says.
11 MR RAMPTON:     Yes. Perhaps you would like to take your coloured
12copy and I will use my weary old photocopy.
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I have a colour copy here. This is an abridged version.
14It is not the one inch thick one that was shown to me.
15 MR RAMPTON:     I do not know if your Lordship has the file copy?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     This was the actual discovery copy I want them all back
17because they are very rare now.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You would like them back at the end of the case?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, please.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You will be welcome to them, as far as I am concerned.
21Page 15 of this glossy -- this is not its original form.
22This is the Irving publication form?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     This is no doubt an abridged version, certainly much
24slimmer than the one inch affidavit I was given in the
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     

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