Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 201 - 205 of 215

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     This is basically about all the things I did not do, but
 1it says: "Had you after visiting Washington flown on to
 2London, England you could have used the many versions of
 3the handwritten written memoirs of Hirst's erstwhile stand
 4in Deputy Court Altemeyer written under similar conditions
 5of duress. He too was no doubt deservedly hanged by the
 6Poles. These pencil papers are held at the Public Record
 7office, but Altemeyer does not even figure in your
 8history. Is not such an original document
 9written ... (reading to the words) ... rights for payment
10for profit-driven publishers."
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Thank you. I want to track this down.
12I just want to see what the allegation is. It is in the
13Defendant's Summary of Case presumably?
14 MR IRVING:      My Lord, I believe it is in this witness's
15evidence, am I right, that you made the allegation that
16I did not reveal the existence of the Altemeyer document
17until I realized that Mishcon de Reya were on the trail?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      From the discovery, and I think we can ----
19 Q. [Mr Irving]      That being so, my Lord, it was entirely proper for me to
20mention this document.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Entirely proper. I am just tracking down
22what the allegation was so I can see whether you are right
23in saying that it is completely unfounded. Altemeyer is
24dealt with at 657 of your report.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      657?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]      That is one of the places.

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      This is 1992. What I say here: "The discovery of the
 2Altemeyer material brought Irving in a very difficult
 3position. While publication of it would once more
 4demonstrate his ability to find interesting new archival,
 5publication would discredit him as an analytical
 6historian. Faced with this dilemma, Irving decided to do
 7nothing. Suppressing his discovery, he buried a reference
 8to it in a footnote of his book on Nuremberg", which is in
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Where are you reading from, what page?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Page 657.
12 MR IRVING:      There is another reference.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I have it.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      So in my report I say that the first time he actually
15brings this one out is in 1996.
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]      Which is four years on?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Four years on.
18 MR IRVING:      Then is must be in Professor Evans' report, my
19Lord, that the allegation is made.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      So far as we have got, let us be clear about
21it, your letter in May 1997 to Professor van Pelt does not
22in any way detract from the point he makes, I am not
23saying it is a good point, that you sat on this Altemeyer
24evidence between 1992 and 1996.
25 MR IRVING:      That is not true, my Lord. In fact I drew it to
26the attention of other people like Professor Gerald

.      P-202

 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      That is a different point.
 3 MR IRVING:      Yes, but this is not the allegation I am trying to
 4shoot down here. The allegation I am trying to shoot down
 5here is the allegation that I did not move until
 6Mishcon de Reya got on the trail and of course they did
 7that thanks to my discover.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Let us track that one down.
 9 MR IRVING:      My Lord, that would be an appropriate point to
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      No, I think we have got to track this one
12down. If somebody can give me Altemeyer in Evans.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Maybe I should go to ----
14 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]      You cannot do this, Professor van Pelt, because it is not
15your report.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No, I am thinking maybe I am looking in my own report
17right now. If I come back to this.
18 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]      It is a point that is made in Evans, but I do not think it
19makes it in quite the way that Mr Irving suggests.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It could actually have been me, but at a different thing.
21 MR IRVING:      It would not be very difficult for me to track this
22down at home, my Lord, because I can do it on my computer.
23 MR RAMPTON:      My Lord, I have read paragraph ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      We are trying to help you.
25 MR RAMPTON:      My Lord, I have read paragraphs 37 to 40 on pages
26160 to 163 of Evans, and it is not what Mr Irving is on

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 1about, that is for sure.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      It is not what Mr Irving says, no.
 3 MR RAMPTON:      No.
 4 MR IRVING:      It will be when I bring the chapter and verse, my
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      We have tracked it down as far as we are
 7able. I think we had better move on to the next general
 8question, Mr Irving.
 9 MR IRVING:      I think I have come to the end of my general
10questions. I will have a quick look at my cheat sheet.
11Are you familiar with the evidence of Kasmir Smolen?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Which evidence?
13 Q. [Mr Irving]      The various statements he has made to the effect that when
14working in the administration of the Auschwitz camp
15deliberate falsification of the records went on?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I find it very difficult to -- deliberate falsification.
17I remember something but I do not really know exactly.
18I would not want to comment right now, because I do not
19know what records we are talking about and what utterance
20by Kasmir Smolen, but again I am happy to comment when I
21have it in front of me.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      To your knowledge did prisoners not only arrive at
23Auschwitz but did they also leave Auschwitz?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      There is one particular group of prisoners who left
25Auschwitz, yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]      But on a regular basis they went on to other camps?

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Certainly that, yes. This is why there are survivors.
 2Most of the Jews who survived Auschwitz who were not in
 3the final evacuation actually were sent on from Auschwitz
 4in 1944, when the decision was withdrawn that no Jews
 5could be in the Reich so that they could work in
 6concentration camps attached to factories in the Reich.
 7This is one of the reasons, and I have explained that in
 8our book in some detail, why Hungarian Jews were parked in
 9Auschwitz. They arrived in Auschwitz. They survived the
10selection but were not numbered, were not actually
11admitted officially to the camp, and they were there for
12sometime before they were sent on to concentration camps
13in the Reich.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]      But would I be right in saying that to a certain degree
15Auschwitz was in fact a transit camp?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      During the Hungarian action it took one of its many
17functions. It took on the function of a transit camp, but
18it only applied to a relatively small number of the total
19people who ever arrived there.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      The Hungarian action involved how many people originally?
21How many people were deported from Hungary to Auschwitz?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      About 450,000.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]      450,000?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes. That is a German figure.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      What actually happened to those 450,000? Were they all
26gassed in some way or did some get sent somewhere else?

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