Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 61 - 65 of 215

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     So systematically we will now continue with the next
 1eyewitness.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Are we on Dr Bimko?
 3 MR IRVING:      We are now on Dr Ada Bimko, as she was at that
 4time. Her real name now, at any rate, Adassa
 5Rosensacht(?)
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      She is still alive, is he.
 7 MR IRVING:      I believe she is still alive. She is a leading
 8figure, or was a leading figure, in the United States
 9Holocaust Memorial Museum. She was an adviser and on
10their Library Council. (To the witness): Can we look at
11paragraph 1?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Which footnote?
13 Q. [Mr Irving]      On page 740. Paragraph 1. This is, of course an
14eyewitness who is claiming to testify in a capital trial
15against captured Nazis who were on trial for their lives.
16She has made this deposition. At the end of paragraph 1,
17did you read the words when you were doing your research:
18"I have examined the records of the numbers cremated and
19I say that the records show that about 4 million persons
20were cremated at the camp"?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      Have you any comment to make on the voracity of that
23statement?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It is unlikely that it happened, but I do not exactly know
25what record she was looking at.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]      Could she have looked at any records in Auschwitz and

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 1found that 4 million people had been cremated?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I do not know. I do not know exactly what records there
 3were. The 3 or 4 million is very unlikely.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes. The figure of 4 million was, of course, the original
 5propaganda figure put out by the Polish Government for
 6whatever reason, is that correct?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes -- it was a figure which was established actually, I
 8do not say for propaganda reasons, it was a figure which
 9was established by the Russians after they liberated the
10camp, the first ----
11 Q. [Mr Irving]      But, of course, she is not testifying here that she has
12seen a figure put about by Russia propaganda; she says "I
13have seen the records and they show that 4 million people
14had been cremated"?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      So, I mean, if you want to make a point, Mr Irving, that
16she is wrong there or that she maybe says something which
17she did not do, that is fine.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]      The point, obviously, which his Lordship will appreciate,
19as I am working towards this, you have had this document
20in front of you when you wrote this report. In the very
21first paragraph, when she is making this statement on
22oath, she has said a statement which, to your knowledge
23and to mine and to the court's knowledge now, is quite
24obviously untrue?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I think that is not actually right, is it?
26She is claiming to have looked at some records. We do not

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 1know what the records were or what they show. She is not
 2giving, as it were, false eyewitness evidence at that
 3point in her statement, is she?
 4 MR IRVING:      My Lord, I beg to differ. "I have examined the
 5records of the numbers cremated." "I have examined the
 6records and I say that the records show that about 4
 7million persons were cremated at the camp". What other
 8possible interpretation can you put on that statement?
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Well, I have just suggested one to you.
10Anyway, carry on with your questions.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      My Lord, may I make a remark?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I think this would be an interesting exercise, and I do
14not want to judge it any further, if I had made use of the
15Bimko evidence in any way in relationship to did the gas
16chamber exist or not? I have never used -- I have just
17mentioned Bimko in this one particular context; the
18emergence of knowledge of Auschwitz. I have not used her
19anywhere else ever. I have not brought her here in as an
20eyewitness to the gassings, to the existence of Zyklon-B
21columns.
22 MR IRVING:      You just threw her in as a bit of spice?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Sorry?
24 Q. [Mr Irving]      You threw her into your report as a bit of spice, did you?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Not as a spice.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]      As one more statistic? So, instead of having four

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 1eyewitnesses, you would have five?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Mr Irving, I tried to give an impression of what was
 3happening at the Lunenberg trial, what was said at the
 4Lunenberg trial.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]      We know what happened at the Lunenberg trial. A large
 6number of these unfortunates who were on trial were
 7convicted and hanged on the basis of her testimony,
 8including the person mentioned in the last paragraph,
 9paragraph 8 on the next page: "On the day before the
10British troops arrived at Belsen", she said, "I saw Karl
11Flrazich [Francioh], who was a cook, shoot a man internee
12dead for stealing vegetables". Were you aware that in her
13oral evidence at the Belsen trial she said it was a woman
14that the man shot?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Mr Irving, I did not know that, to be very honest, the
16witness Ada Bimko does not really interest me so much
17because I have not made use of her in reconstructing the
18history of any of the four crematoria.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]      So we are working towards the point where we do not have
20to strike off Mrs Bimko. There is one more thing I want
21to draw your attention to. At the beginning of paragraph
226, this woman who has medical knowledge -- she is a doctor
23-- writes: "Whilst at Auschwitz I saw SS male nurses
24Heine and Stibitz inject petrol into women patients". Are
25you aware, Professor van Pelt, that phenol injections are
26a standard treatment for typhus?

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      In Auschwitz, I understand that phenol was used as a
 2regular -- sorry, I will answer the question. I am sorry,
 3for this. No, I did not know that.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      Very well. So on top of the evidence we looked at
 5yesterday where Bimko described cylinders of gas and pipes
 6which you admitted was wrong, but possibly a
 7misinterpretation of what she was -- you thought she might
 8have seen the ventilation system -- we have no evidence of
 9that. Bimko is, in other words, a totally unreliable
10witness and should not have been relied upon in any way,
11notwithstanding the fact that her evidence sent several
12men to the gallows in Lemberg?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      My Lord, I do not want to judge the Lunenberg trial.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      No, but do you accept that she is not a
15witness on whom reliance should be placed as to what did
16or did not take place at Auschwitz?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I think that some of her statements are historically
18defensible and some of them probably not. This is also,
19of course, an issue of cross-examination. I do not think
20there was much of a cross-examination at the time. But
21I think this is with every, you know, with every witness,
22there always will be some things which will be wrong or
23will be mistaken.
24 MR IRVING:      Is there a possibility that with a witness like
25Bimko and Pauber who had suffered appalling indignities at
26the hands of the Nazis, that when the Allies came, in the

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