Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 96 - 100 of 191

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I think that is underlined in suggestion B, we have to
 2take it into account the possibility that this is a
 3product of communist cold war propaganda.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Have you any evidence that it was?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     No, but we would derelict in our duty if we did not take
 6into account the possibility that it was the product of
 7cold war propaganda. Jan Sehn was a notoriously political
 8lawyer. He was the Polish Vyshinksky, so this possibility
 9cannot be entirely discounted coming from that neck of the
10woods, shall we say.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But would you accept, being as open-minded as you can,
12that much the likelier of the two possibilities set out in
13this letter is A?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     I have not put it that way. I said there are two
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am asking you whether you would not accept, as an
17open-minded historian, that A is much the likelier of the
18two possibilities?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     At this time I had not read the report. I just had a
20Polish document in front of me from which I could pick out
21a few words indicating what it was about. Again, totally
22wrong of me to start drawing up conclusions about which
23version is correct.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If it is right that it contains firm evidence of cyanide
25in the hair of the young Jewish women or in the zinc
26basket, what is it that that evidence implies with all

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 1that that implies as you write, what does it imply?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Your first instinct is, undoubtedly, the impression that
 3you gained when you read this report; you think to
 4yourself, well, there you have it, there you have chapter
 5and verse ----
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     --- but then you realize that it came from, the hair, in
 8fact, came from the, as you yourself now say, from Canada,
 9which was the collecting centre for all their loot, and so
10there are all alternative explanations. I mean, this is
11 -- one's first instinct, which is absolutely right, but
12then you settle back and you say to yourself, "This is a
13new document. Whenever you see a new document, you must
14not rush at it and let it bedazzle you. You have to take
15it into account and analyse all possibilities carefully".
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But, you see, you have known about this document now,
17Mr Irving, since September 19th 1989 or before.
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Indeed, and this is one reason why, of course, the
19Leuchter report by itself by now does not stand by itself.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why, Mr Irving, do you not accept the report for what it
21is, that is to say, that zinc covers taken from the
22crematorium, the alleged gas chamber at crematorium (ii),
23had traces of hydrogen cyanide on them. Six of them,
24I think there were, four complete and two damaged?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     Why do I or why didn't I?
26 MR RAMPTON:     Do you.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You do accept it, you have said that?
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     I do. I said that to help shorten the whole argument,
 4 MR RAMPTON:     Then the implication is obvious, is it not, that
 5gas was used in that room?
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     We are going to establish that later on, yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And the only question then remaining, Mr Irving ----
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     This is why it is called a "sonderkeller" also in other
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Indeed, it is. The only question then remaining is who or
11what or what was gassed in that room, is it not?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, it is for you to establish that point.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. No, Mr Irving ----
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Anyway, do not let us debate about who has to
15establish what. I think we know what the position is and
16Mr Irving says that it was to gas corpses.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, or objects, yes, clothing or something like that.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
19 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord ----
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think that is probably a convenient moment.
21 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, my Lord, I am afraid that means that if
22Mr Irving is to contend that there is evidence for that
23suggestion (which is the first I have ever heard of it, if
24I may say so) we will have to go into some of the detail,
25I am afraid.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, detail of the reasons for doubting

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 2 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, that I can do very quickly.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Good. That seems to me to ----
 4 MR RAMPTON:     But Mr Irving has made a statement in the witness
 5box. I can simply say, "Well, I am sorry, I do not accept
 6that" and leave it at that and then say at the end of the
 7case to your Lordship, "Well, look, this is actually what
 8all the evidence is", and leave it at that, or (which
 9I much prefer not to do) I can take him through all the
10contemporaneous documentation which is noticed, both plans
11and typewritten documents, to show why he must be wrong
12and why any open-minded person would accept that they are
13wrong, but since this is, so far as he is concerned,
14apparently, a new position, I think it may not matter very
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, he accepts that it is evidence of
17gassing having taken place.
18 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, I know, but it is a question of what, gassing
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but what evidence are you going to be
21able to adduce on that?
22 MR RAMPTON:     I mean, there is eyewitness testimony.
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
24 MR RAMPTON:     There are all the documents.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, I put it the other way round.
26 MR RAMPTON:     I do too.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Maybe this is the first question at
 22 o'clock, what evidence can you point to to support the
 3notion that it was corpses being gassed rather than live
 5 MR RAMPTON:     I hoped your Lordship would say that because my
 6position is that the evidence is overwhelming. If he
 7wants to say that it is wrong, let him show me how.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is, in a way, dealt with in that ruling
 9I gave last week.
10 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, I agree.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Good, 2 o'clock.
12 (Luncheon adjournment)
13 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I do not know whether it is better to do
14it from here or from the witness stand. Just before the
15adjournment we were talking about the danger of air
16raids. I told your Lordship that I would bring evidence
17tomorrow. In fact, by chance----
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     May I interrupt you? Why do you not go back
19and then you can give the evidence that I think you were
20wanting to give before the adjournment about air raids in
22 A. [Mr Irving]     By chance I have two copies of a three page extract I did
23from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's catalogue of the
24Moscow records of the Auschwitz construction office, and
25I did this three page extract purely relating to records
26on the air raid precautions in Auschwitz camp. I have

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