Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 13: Electronic Edition

Pages 141 - 145 of 186

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Names.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, names, etc.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     Names, and the effect of his evidence is twofold.
 4First, that the amount of dead persons that they had
 5managed to count by I think the middle of March was
 630,000.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     I would say may well be the result of cross pollination
 8from the fact that this was the figure which was always
 9stated in the western media and in the East German media.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He writes in the middle of March 1945, "Our task was
11almost completed. The town was free of corpses. My
12records at the clearing staff showed 30,000. If you
13assume that the amount of dead, completely burnt, etc.
14would reach 20 per cent, the total figure of victims will
15not exceed 36,000". Then he goes on to explain in quite a
16lot of detail in the second letter how it was impossible
17that 68,000 corpses could have been burnt in the Altmarkt,
18does he not?
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Are you referring to the second letter of February 25th?
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, February 25th, PS, which is set out on page 539 to 40
21of Evans' report.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     There is nothing on this letter of February 25th by nature
23of a PS, and there is no reference to those figures.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Well, then poor Professor Evans must have made it up.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well come on, no. In a post script typed a
26day later.

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     Yes.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     It is not on these pages I have here.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No. I suspect that is the explanation.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Again, I can only talk in generic terms and say that
 5I collected several thousand letters of this nature when
 6I wrote the book, far more material than I could possibly
 7use, and I would be looking for specific pointers in an
 8instinctive way as to which letters were written. I think
 9it is acceptable, it is common knowledge that some people
10have better memories than others. Some people have better
11short term or long term memories than others. They can be
12the same age, but their memory differs from person to
13person. I would have been looking for people who had
14specific information about specific events rather than
15more general information.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sorry, Mr Irving, for interrupting, but
17I cannot understand how you could get more specific
18information then the information from Mr Miller, whose job
19it was to compile records, that his records at the
20clearing staff showed 30,000 corpses.
21 A. [Mr Irving]     That is the only specific information contained in it.
22 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     What more can you want than that?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     If I was to sit down and type an index card on that
24letter, that is all it would contain. I would say, it
25says he was a member Aufrollungskommando based on such and
26such a place, recalls figure 30,000. Against that I would

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 1set the fact, well, this is the figure which all the West
 2German Press says, this is the figure that the East German
 3Press says, it does not really advance the cause of our
 4knowledge. I would clearly recognize that as being an
 5echo of what this man is reading in the press, my Lord, at
 6that time.
 7 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     So he is a liar, then?
 8 A. [Mr Irving]     No, a liar is somebody who wilfully ----
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     But he says, "My records at the clearing staff showed
1030,000 corpses". That is a lie if what he really means
11is, "I read in the press the other day that it is
1230,000".
13 A. [Mr Irving]     I agree. I think he is fantasizing slightly.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He is fantasizing?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes. We remember that Ada Bimko also remembered seeing 4
16million in the Auschwitz record that she read.
17 MR RAMPTON:     Mr Irving, we know, with the wonderful benefit of
1820.20 hindsight, that, so far from Mr Miller being a
19fantasist, he actually got the figure more or less spot
20on, did he not?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     His figure compares very closely with the figure contained
22in the police chief's report.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And in the genuine TV 47, and in Reichert's book, and
24everywhere else you want to look, the true figure is
25somewhere between 25 and 35,000 at the maximum, is it not?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     Except for the fact that, if you look at that little

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 1passage sideways on the letter, page 2, he says, "by the
 2way, the figures of dead were reported every day to a
 3central air defence staff in Berlin". Now, I am quite
 4familiar with those records and there is no such figures
 5reported from Dresden over that period. It is that kind
 6of thing that would have lit a little alarm light in my
 7brain. That is exactly the kind of place that I was
 8looking for data like this, and had there been daily
 9reports coming from this Aufrollungskommando in Dresden,
10I would have seen them.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now I wonder ----
12 A. [Mr Irving]     I admit 20.20 hindsight is very nice, but we are not
13blessed with it.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]     No. I only said that in the poor man's defence. For all
15I know, he is sitting in Ingoldstadt on the Donnau,
16reading books of this case. You accuse him of being a
17fantasist. As it turns out, his information was almost
18precisely accurate.
19 A. [Mr Irving]     Well I said this in response to his Lordship's suggestion
20that I was imputing that the man was a liar, and I thought
21that that was going too far, the fact that he said that
22they kept records, and the fact that he said, "we had
2330,000", I would not----
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He was right.
25 A. [Mr Irving]     I would not have said that this was evidence of lying.
26I would suggest that this was evidence of the fact that

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 1yes, he was telling the truth about keeping records and
 2that he then tacked the figure of 30,000 on because he
 3knew that was the newspaper figure.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am sure he will be delighted to read that in the
 5newspaper. Mr Irving, I am going to leap ahead, if
 6I may.
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     Perhaps one day I shall bring my entire Dresden records to
 8court and then his Lordship can see how many thousands of
 9pages these are selected from. This is a very easy
10exercise to perform, if you want just want to suggest that
11someone is suppressing documents.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     My Lord, I am now turning to page 9. I am going to the
13early summer May 1966. Have you got that, Mr Irving? It
14helps to follow the chronology?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     We are back on your tabulation.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes. I do not know whether Boberacht's discovery of
17situation report 1404 was communicated to you. Was it?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     As I mentioned earlier today, I received both those
19documents in the same post on my return from abroad.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In May 1966?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, both the East German one and the West German one.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Right. Which is which of those? Boberacht is East
23Germany, is he?
24 A. [Mr Irving]     Boberacht was the head of the West German archives.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     His figures were 18,375 current death roll up to 22,345,
26expected death roll 25, and 35,000 missing, yes?

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