Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 51 - 55 of 191

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    Yes, fundamentally flawed. I will read the last
 1chambers at Birkenhau, provided the assumption is made
 2that the gas chambers operated at a relatively low toxic
 4     That is the key to it, is it not, Mr Irving?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If there is a low concentration used in the gas chambers,
 7a number of consequences flow, do they not? First, the
 8need for a ventilation system, if any, is much reduced?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, the ventilation system in mortuaries as prescribed
11by the architectural handbook.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is not an answer to the question.
13 MR RAMPTON:     It is not a mortuary. If it is a gas chamber,
14Mr Irving, and the concentration used is contrary to what
15Mr Fred Leuchter unjustifiably assumed, contrary to its
16being 3,200 parts per million, it is something around 300
17parts per million or, as Mr Beer suggests, 100 parts per
18million, then any need to pay serious attention to
19ventilation is much reduced, is it not?
20 A. [Mr Irving]     That would be a logical conclusion, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It will be a logical conclusion, would it not, that the
22risk of contamination of water in the sewers is much
23reduced, perhaps to complete insignificance?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     That would be another logical conclusion.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It would be a logical conclusion that the need for the
26people administering the poison gas to take what I might

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 1call strong security precautions, safety precautions, is
 2much reduced, is it not?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     That would be a logical conclusion to your hypothesis,
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It means, does it not, Mr Irving, that the time which has
 6to be waited before the sonder commander can go in and get
 7the bodies out, whether or not they are wearing gas masks,
 8is much reduced, is it not?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     This would be the logical conclusion of your hypothesis,
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Above all, it means this, does it not, that the discovery
12by Mr Leuchter of the small traces of cyanide compounds in
13material taken from the walls of the alleged gas chambers
14at crematorium (iii) in Birkenhau is entirely consistent
15with a low concentration having been used in the first
17 A. [Mr Irving]     No.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     You have to take various other factors into
20consideration. It is a totally false logic. We know from
21the other documentation that your witness is going to
22present that these buildings had been freshly constructed,
23they were made of concrete. You are shaking your head.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Because only one building has been reconstructed.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Freshly constructed at the time they were put in ----
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     "Freshly" not "re".

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     I see.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     They were made -- they were raw, they were green
 3concrete. The concrete was still sweating. You are
 4shaking your head.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am shaking my head, Mr Irving, simply because you are
 6plain wrong. If you had taken the trouble to go to
 7Birkenhau, you would have seen on the walls of the
 8Leichenkellers in (ii) and (iii) remains, quite
 9substantial remains, of a coating on the walls, plaster or
11 A. [Mr Irving]     We shall be producing photographs of the interior of
12Liechenkeller (1) and the other buildings which show quite
13clearly there is no coating on the walls.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, look at it this way. Suppose that -- some of
15the coating has fallen off, I quite agree.
16 A. [Mr Irving]     No. This is the original interior.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, I have seen it. Do not argue with me. Argue
18with Professor van Pelt. If you are going to produce ----
19 A. [Mr Irving]     I am providing an answer to your points. You may not like
20the answers, but these are the answers you get from me.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, if you are going to produce evidence that there
22is no coating to be found on any of the remains of
23LiechenKellar (1) in crematoria (ii) and (iii) at
24Birkenhau, I am happy to see it. I shall admit fault if
25you are right. Mr Irving -----
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I continue with the point I was making?

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     This is fresh concrete. Fresh concrete sweats, I know.
 3I have worked in a concrete gang myself for three years
 4with John Lang. Concrete is very alkaline. You have to
 5wear gloves when you are working with it unless you want
 6your fingers to end up rotting away. Hydrogen cyanide is
 7an acid. They react fiercely, even in small quantities.
 8You would expect to see precisely the kind of chemical
 9compounds and changes which would have produced permanent
10lasting results ----
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving ----
12 A. [Mr Irving]     --- even in small quantity, even in small dosages.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     (A) not if the walls are coated, and (B) not probably if
14the concentration is as low as 300 parts per million.
15 A. [Mr Irving]     There are we are in terra incognita ----
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, you are.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     --- Mr Rampton, because we do not know what the scientific
18qualifications of this particular author are. We know all
19about the scientific qualifications of Professor van
20Pelt. We know about the scientific qualifications of
21other experts in this case. It would be very dangerous
22indeed to attach as much weight as you are seeking to do
23to this critique of forensic examinations by an anonymous
24correspondent who does not give us any details of his
25chemical or scientific qualifications purely because he,
26hostile to the Leuchter report, puts in the paragraph at

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 1the end saying deeply flawed. You cannot do that kind of
 2weighing up. You have to -- yes, my Lord.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     In a way, you are slightly perverting the
 4argument. I do not mean that in a critical sense. The
 5point that is really being made by the South African
 6engineer, Crabtree, is really that the fundamental premise
 7of Leuchter's argument can be, as it were, turned on its
 8head so that really Leuchter's conclusions are
 9diametrically wrong. Is that not what Crabtree is saying?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     This is what he says, my Lord. And let me just, if I can
11just turn the wheel back very slightly and remind you of
12the last words of my introduction to the Leuchter report?
13The ball is now in their court. This report is very much
14intended to provoke precisely the kind of discussion which
15is now arising.
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     No, but my trouble with your evidence -- let me make it
17clear -- is that you are, as it were, criticising
18Crabtree's conclusion that the level would have been 100
19ppm or 300 ppm?
20 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, this is Beer, not Crabtree, this one.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sorry.
22 MR RAMPTON:     Crabtree is an earlier one. I may go back to him.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but are you criticising Beer's
24conclusion that it would have been 100 to 300 ppm, when
25really what we should be addressing is whether Leuchter's
26assumption of 3,200 ppm was a legitimate and sensible

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