Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 71 - 75 of 191

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    I am lost on figures and I am not sure they are all that
 2 MR RAMPTON:     You need a concentration in air of over 6,000
 3parts per million to kill lice. Now look at what
 4Mr Leuchter says at the bottom right hand column of page
 512: "Medical tests show that a concentration of hydrogen
 6cyanide gas in an amount of 300 parts per million is
 7rapidly fading." So you need to kill human beings
 8approximately 22 times lower concentration than you do to
 9kill lice? That is right, is it not?
10 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. You are overlooking certain theoretical
11considerations, though.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Such as?
13 A. [Mr Irving]     If I put a tin of Zyklon B over there by the door or by
14one of these pillars, it can be there all day and there
15would be very little trace of cyanamide over on this side
16of the room. So the concentration on that side has to be
17much higher for it to have a lethal effect on this side of
18the so-called gas chamber. You appreciate that? There
19will be a gradient of concentration across the room. They
20would not have circulating fans in the room to make sure
21it ----
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If it so happened that this room had four columns running
23the length of room and you dropped the pellets down each
24of those four columns, why then you would get an even
25distribution, would you not, Mr Irving?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Not to the outer edges of the room. If you wanted the

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 1lethal concentration at the further reaches of the room,
 2then you are going to have to have a higher than minimum
 3amount. Let me put it like that. Does your Lordship
 4understand the point I am trying to make?
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I understand the point you are trying to
 6make. I am just wondering where you got the point from?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     From my own common sense, my Lord.
 8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     That is rather what I thought.
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     It stands to reason.
10 MR RAMPTON:     The fact is, Mr Irving, as you may or may not
11know, I do not know, according to eyewitness accounts, by
12that I mean the people who did the killing, and some of
13the sonderkommando, for precisely that reason amongst
14others, the SS used somewhat greater quantities of the
15product than were needed to produce a strict concentration
16of only 300 parts per million.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Ah, so this is a concession on your part?
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is not a concession at all.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is departing from Dr Beer, if he is a
21 MR RAMPTON:     It is what?
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is departing from Dr Beer.
23 MR RAMPTON:     No. The point is, my Lord, whether it is Dr Beer
24who it or whether one works it out, as I did, from the
25contents of Leuchter report itself, whichever way one
26goes, the fact is that the concentration required to kill

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 1human beings is very significantly less, even if you have
 2to make allowance for the circumstances, than is ever
 3needed to kill lice. Lice are very difficult to kill.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Can I comment? The pillars, we have just referred to the
 5four pillars, next to which this or down through which the
 6Zyklon B was poured, are still standing, and from those
 7very pillars the -- you are shaking your head.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, have you read Professor van Pelt's report?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     In great detail, we have photographs of those pillars now,
10and samples were taken from that concrete and also tested.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I do not think you can have read it with much care, Mr
12Irving, because, if you had, you would know that the
13eyewitness account, particularly of the prisoner Michael
14Kulan, also of Heinrich Taiber who worked there ----
15 A. [Mr Irving]     He had totally worthless witnesses, as we shall shortly
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You say so, Mr Irving, but their testimony is not that the
18Zyklon B was poured down the centre of a concrete pillar,
19it was poured into wire mesh attachments to the concrete
20pillars. You knew that, did you not?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I do indeed. I know exactly what they said.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why are you going on about solid concrete pillars? They
23have nothing to do with the case at all.
24 A. [Mr Irving]     You yourself mentioned the four pillars down the centre of
25the room.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Because we were talking about an even distribution.

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 1Mr Irving, you are not trying very hard to deal with my
 2questions, I do not believe.
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     The transcript will show exactly what you said,
 4Mr Rampton. Those were the pillars that we tested.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You know perfectly well, Mr Irving, that the fact that the
 6pillars or the remains of pillars, I know you have never
 7been there, that you can now see in the gas chambers at
 8Birkenhau, the fact they are solid concrete has nothing
 9whatever do with the case.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     We will have something to say about the wire mesh columns
11of which there is talk and we will have a great deal to
12say about those witnesses you mentioned.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now we will go back, if we may. I wish you would tell us
14what it was, Mr Irving. Time is getting short.
15 A. [Mr Irving]     When I try ----
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is all terribly discursive. I am just
17wondering where we are really getting with this. I have
18read Professor van Pelt with interest obviously.
19I understood the points that he was making. What I am not
20feeling I am getting much benefit from is the
21cross-examination at the moment. I am not of course
22stopping it for a single moment, but I just wonder whether
23it is the way to deal with this part of the case.
24 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, the only point of this part of the case
25is that, as ever, Mr Irving dives off the top board
26without giving any acknowledgment publicly of what he

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 1knows to be the fallacy of what he is saying. That is all
 2that it is about. The concentration point goes no further
 3than that. He must have known, and he certainly knew it
 4when he heard what Mr Beer had to say, that Fred Leuchter
 5completely reversed the significance of the
 6concentration. So the principal brick falls straight out
 7of Fred Leuchter's report.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That seems to me to be the thing to
 9concentrate on because, if you are right about that or, to
10put it more accurately, Mr Irving, as a conscientious
11historian should have appreciated that that was, arguably
12at the very least, a huge fallacy in the Leuchter report,
13well, I understand how you put your case. But does it go
14wider than that?
15 MR RAMPTON:     It depends how much further I have to go. On
16concentration I do not have to go any further than that.
17The only consequence of the low concentration that
18Mr Irving has not accepted is that you would expect to
19find lower residual concentrations 40 years later but that
20is so obvious that I am not going to pursue it.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     I think you to ought ask these questions to give me a
22chance to answer them.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am anxious you should have an opportunity
24to answer what needs to be answered. As I understand it,
25you have understood the point that is made on Leuchter and
26it has been made by reference to Mr Beer. I have not been

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