Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 8: Electronic Edition

Pages 161 - 165 of 191

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    This is yet another "if" on which you base your case, but
 1efficiency was.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So you say, Mr Irving. I am sorry, I just do not believe
 3that you know what you are talking about on the question
 4of what muffles, I am sorry, what quantity of corpses were
 5put into each muffle.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     We know because we have precise figures relating to the
 7these types of crematoria in, for example, the Gusen
 8concentration camp. We know precisely how many tons of
 9coke were needed to burn how many hundred bodies, and we
10have I think an average of 30.5 kilograms of coke per body
11being cremated.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is that in a single body crematoria?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     They were the identical muffles that were installed in
14Auschwitz, the identical crematoria, is my understanding.
15 MR RAMPTON:     But are you saying that in that crematorium at
16Gusen they burnt more than one body at a time in a muffle?
17 A. [Mr Irving]     They were the identical furnaces.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You do not answer my questions, Mr Irving, too often. Are
19you saying that they burnt more than one body at a time in
20those muffles?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I should certainly, if you attach importance to that, go
22back and look at it, but I do not see what the difference
23is ----
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is critically important.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     --- because if it is an average figure and you need that
26much coke to burn one body, then stuffing them in four at

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 1a time is not going to make it any better.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You are missing Mr Rampton's point.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     You are missing the point.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think the reason you are missing it is
 5because you just do not know really the answer, whether
 6you do burn one body ----
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, I would have to go and check up on the sources.
 8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     --- more quickly if you have another body being burnt
 9simultaneously.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I said repeatedly I am not a Holocaust expert. I did not
11want to become a Holocaust expert. I have to defend my
12position here.
13 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     We cannot take it any further I think.
14 MR RAMPTON:     I agree, we cannot take it any further. My Lord,
15I will ask one question and Mr Irving can put in what he
16likes to say about Mr Teuer or anybody else. I will ask
17one question about the eyewitness evidence, and then
18I believe I am in a position where I can sit down on this
19part of the case.
20     Mr Irving, what do you say about all the
21eyewitness evidence about Auschwitz for a start?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     What an extraordinary question.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, is it ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, answer it. Do not worry about whether
25it is extraordinary or not.
26 MR RAMPTON:     It is not an extraordinary question at all.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Answer it.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     All can I say in general is that I would attach less
 3importance to the eyewitness evidence than I would to the
 4British intercepts, to the aerial photographs, to the
 5concrete evidence, literally the archeological evidence,
 6to the documents I find in the archives, way down all the
 7documents of that sort, sources of that nature, I would
 8put way down believe that whatever any eyewitnesses might
 9say.
10 MR RAMPTON:     Mr Irving, if it be the case that the eyewitness
11evidence is broadly consistent with the documentary -- it
12is an "if" I know, so do not say "if" -- if the eyewitness
13evidence is broadly consistent with the documentary
14evidence, then we can pay quite a lot of attention to the
15eyewitness evidence, do you not agree?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     Except on one premise.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     If the eyewitnesses have been briefed on the basis of the
19documents as to what to say.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Of course.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Right.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If they have been sitting in a room with a pistol to their
23head and they have been shown a document and said, "That
24mean it's a gas chamber, doesn't it?", and they have said
25"Yes, of course"?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     If, for example, they describe as having seen a building

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 1which turns out to have existed only on paper, then we
 2know they have been shown the architectural designs and
 3they are describing what they have seen on the design and
 4not what they have actually seen in real life or concrete.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No, you do not know that.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, we do. There is one particular case, Mr Teuer.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     There may be one particular case, but you do not know that
 8a person who is shown a drawing does not recognize it as
 9what he has seen in real life, do you?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Except if the drawing was never actually put into effect
11in that shape but was subsequently amended.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     One has to be very cautious about eyewitness testimony,
13particularly when it is remembered sometime after the
14events in question, does one not, Mr Irving?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And one will test it by reference to material by which it
17cannot have been contaminated, yes?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That includes eyewitness testimony from other people with
20whom the particular witness has not had any contact, does
21it not?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, except indirectly of course through the interrogator.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. If the Brits and the Poles put their heads together
24and produce what we might call a joint questionnaire which
25is uniformly put to all eyewitnesses, I quite agree with
26you. Have you any evidence of that?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I did not say that.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is the answer no?
 3 MR RAMPTON:     The answer is no, is it not?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     No, but if the same British interrogator questions two
 5people in a row, then there will be a certain amount of
 6cross-pollination between the two reports.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But if somebody is being questioned in London and somebody
 8else is being questioned in Norway and somebody else is
 9being questioned in Poland, then unless the interrogators
10have put their heads together, there is no chance that the
11witnesses's testimony may be mistaken?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But there is no chance that it is going to be deliberately
14fabricated in that way, is there?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     No, not in that way.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can you tell, me and it may be that this is
17too general a question to be capable of being answered,
18what you say the motivation of the eyewitnesses who
19painted a false picture of what had been going on in
20Auschwitz was?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I would say it varies, my Lord. It would be partly fear,
22partly the promise of alleviated punishment, partly
23torture, partly pecuniary. It depends on when we are
24talking about, whether it was done recently in connection
25a Hollywood film or back in 1945 to assist the Polish
26authorities.

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