Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 10: Electronic Edition

Pages 151 - 155 of 215

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     It is quite a detailed exercise. I have been
 1it is really ridiculous, in my submission, to ask this
 2witness to try to do it ----
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      You mean there is no such -- it is either the
 4whole hog or nothing?
 5 MR RAMPTON:      Yes. You cannot do that from memory.
 6 MR IRVING:      I am all for the whole hog in this case. Let us go
 7the whole hog, but I thought that the Professor was saying
 8it would be rather difficult to do this exercise in court
 9with things as tricky as detailed drawings.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Well, he was saying that, but if we have to
11do it, we have to do.
12 MR IRVING:      Yes. But if Mr Rampton objects, then by all means
13let us look at the individual drawings.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      But let me get this clear, Mr Irving, first:
15we will go through the drawings, by all means, but ----
16 MR IRVING:      Well, my Lord, I ----
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      --- there is going to be no profit in doing
18so if, at the end of the day, you are going to put to
19Professor van Pelt, "Oh, well, that is all very well, but
20it was just a delousing chamber or disinfecting chamber".
21So I do not want to spend a lot of time and in the end for
22it to be in a sense purposeless. Do you follow me?
23 MR IRVING:      I agree, but your Lordship has heard the witness
24say that there are two or three specific things about the
25drawings which, when put together, can only lead to the
26sinister interpretation. I think I know what he is

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 1alluding to.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes, well, I am looking at one, the following
 3page 183 in your report ----
 4 MR IRVING:      I do not want to preempt him.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      --- and I suspect that may be one of the ones,
 6with the small holes along the top and bottom of the side
 8 MR IRVING:      If your Lordship feels this is inappropriate that
 9we should continue on this?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      No, well, I am in the difficulty, Mr Irving,
11as you will understand, I do not quite know that I know
12what the point that is going to be made is.
13 MR RAMPTON:      My Lord, let me say straight ----
14 MR RAMPTON:      My Lord, may I make an intervention now?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      We had better not all talk at once.
16 MR RAMPTON:      No, I know, but I have foreseen this for
17sometime. I really think Mr Irving has to state his
18position now because otherwise, as your Lordship has just
19said, we could spend two hours going through the drawings
20and end up with the same conclusion as yesterday in
21cross-examination, "Yes, it was a gas chamber, but not for
22live human beings".
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      That is why I said what I said.
24 MR RAMPTON:      If that is all that this examination is going to
25lead to, Mr Irving may as well come clean, say, "Yes,
26I accept it was a gas chamber. Now, Mr Van Pelt, how do

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 1you deal with the suggestion that was for gassing corpses
 2and clothes?"
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Well, I mean, that is the point that I
 4have just put to you, Mr Irving. Can you tell us what the
 5answer is?
 6 MR IRVING:      I appreciate that Mr Rampton would prefer to
 7conduct my cross-examination for me.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Just answer my question.
 9 MR IRVING:      I will come clean and say precisely what points
10I am going for. Professor van Pelt has suggested that,
11because in one of the drawings there is a requirement for
12the vorwarmung or prewarming of the mortuary. This has a
13sinister connotation. Am I right, Professor?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      This is not there was drawing. This is there was letter,
15so I did not in any of my discussion, when you asked me
16about drawings right now, include that particular
17document. I said I was specifically talking about
19 Q. [Mr Irving]      While we are on that document, can you tell me how
20important is that letter and how much reliance would you
21place on that as being halfway to the smoking gun?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I do not know if I should answer this right now since
23another question was posed.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Is your answer because I am going to go back,
25that it is part of the convergent evidence? Is that how
26you put it?

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It is an important part of convergent evidence, yes.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Let's go back, Mr Irving. I am going to
 3insist that we get this clear and then we know where we
 4are going.
 5 MR IRVING:      May I return to the prewarming later on, my Lord?
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Of course you can return to it later on.
 7What is your position going to be? Supposing that the
 8evidence satisfies me that there is reason to believe that
 9this was intended to be there was gas chamber and not an
10air raid shelter, is that something you accept or
12 MR IRVING:      It should be, with respect, my Lord, relatively
13easy for the witness to say there are two or three items,
14as he in fact said, which were to him, taken in
15conjunction with each other, adequate evidence that there
16was a sinister purpose.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      That is as may be, but I would like an answer
18to my question because I think you must come clean as to
19your position.
20 MR IRVING:      I do not think I am equivocating. My position on
21this particular room is that it was never used in there
22was gas chamber sense, in the sense described by the
23eyewitnesses because of course the lack of holes proves
24that the eyewitnesses have lied.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      That is getting close to an answer but it is
26not quite an answer. Are you accepting it was a gas

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 1chamber in the sense that it had the facility for gas to
 2be inserted by whatever means, but contending that humans
 3were never killed by gas in that chamber?
 4 MR IRVING:      Certainly on one occasion it was referred to as a
 5Vergasungskeller and also referred to as a sonderkeller, a
 6special cellar or special basement. That I also accept.
 7What I do not accept is that it was going to be used for
 8the mass killing of human beings by gas. This is a very
 9clear statement. What I do postulate is that it was also
10simultaneously being held in prospect and even converted
11for use as an underground air raid shelter, being one of
12the very few subterranean buildings on the site in the
13event that mass attacks in this part of Poland also began,
14given the proximity of the IG Farben works.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I am sure I missed it, but was part of that
16answer that yes, you do accept that it was there was gas
17chamber and that you accept that it was on occasion used
18for killing human beings?
19 MR IRVING:      I accepted it was referred to as there was gas
20chamber, my Lord, which is not quite the same thing and
21there are documents ----
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Are you accepting it was in fact there was
23gas chamber?
24 MR IRVING:      That I have not seen evidence for.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      So you are not accepting that?
26 MR IRVING:     

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