Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 14: Electronic Edition
Pages 136 - 140 of 175
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1 Q. [Mr Rampton] Leuchter was wrong?
2 A. [Mr Irving] I do not agree. Can we just turn to the passage where
3I refer to Leuchter?
4 Q. [Mr Rampton] I am not starting that cross-examination all over again.
5 A. [Mr Irving] If you look at the top of page 19, that is the passage you
6are referring to. I looked at that in some alarm, I must
7admit, in view of what we have been discussing here in
8these last few days. I refer specifically to the cyanide
9findings -- which is what Leuchter was good on, in my
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] You mentioned Hinsley?
12 A. [Mr Irving] Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] I cannot remember whether you mentioned the death books in
14this speech or not.
15 A. [Mr Irving] I did, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Without even pausing to consider the evidence to the
17effect that those who were immediately gassed were never
19 A. [Mr Irving] That the burden of the eyewitness testimony, yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] It is also what a number of the Germans said too, for
21example General Oswald Pohl, but never mind that.
22 A. [Mr Irving] In what way is General Oswald Pohl not eyewitness
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] It is. It is post war eyewitness testimony from the
26 A. [Mr Irving] I shall be introducing a document to Professor Browning
1which suggests precisely the opposite when the time comes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] You go on about people faking their tattoos, in effect
3Mrs Altmann's tattoo is a fake, is it not?
4 A. [Mr Irving] On the contrary, I said that she no doubt suffered.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] No. I will take you to the passage. We cannot leave that
6answer where it is, I am afraid. What page is it in the
8 A. [Mr Irving] You have to remember I have had the benefit of seeing Mrs
9Altmann in action on television and you have not.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] Page 17, last quarter of the page. Tell me one thing.
11You are reporting in what one might think rather tasteless
12terms, that is your own word, your conversation with
13Mrs Altmann. Tell me one thing, and this is why I am
14going to get tasteless with her, because you have got to
15get tasteless. "Mrs Altmann, how much money have you made
16out of that tattoo since 1945? Laughter again. Jolly
17funny. How much money have you coined for that bit of ink
18on your arm, which may indeed be real tattooed ink"?
19 A. [Mr Irving] Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] The suggestion is she has had it put on after the war.
21 A. [Mr Irving] You can take that one either way. As a general matter, in
22my view, expressing a criticism of the way that a Jew or
23the Jewish people are behaving or acting cannot be taken
24per se as anti-Semitism. They are not a people or a race
25who are immune from criticism, am I right?
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] Mr Irving, the suggestion is that Mrs Altman had that
1tattoo put on her and pretty damned quick after the war so
2as to get money out the German Government, is it not? Be
3honest for once, that is what you are trying to suggest
4and that is why you got a jolly laugh?
5 A. [Mr Irving] I said it may be genuine; it may not.
6 Q. [Mr Rampton] That is why you got a laugh for your tasteless joke?
7 A. [Mr Irving] Whether it got a laugh or not is neither here nor there.
8I am concerned only with the words I have uttered, which
9is that may be genuine or it not may not. We cannot tell.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] The fact is that those which were gassed without going
11into the camp to work were never tattooed, were they?
12 A. [Mr Irving] That is the eyewitness evidence, yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, and it would not be in the least bit surprising, as
14in fact happened, if a lot of those who were registered
15tattooed and set to work, particularly towards the end of
16the war, actually survived, would it?
17 A. [Mr Irving] I think that the burden of my criticism of the Mrs Altmans
18of this world is that the ones who have been coining the
19money are the ones who suffered least. The ones who
20suffered most are the ones died under the most hideous
21circumstances in these camps, and they did not get a bent
22nickel out of it of course. It is survivors, whatever
23degree they suffered or otherwise, who have been turning
24their suffering into profit, whereas people who suffered
25in other circumstances, like the air raid victims or the
26Australians soldiers building the Burmese railway, have
1never sought to make money of their suffering. This is a
2criticism of the Jewish survivors that it cannot be taken
3as anti-Semitism. The reason I say it is a criticism is
4because I perceive that as being a possible source later
6 Q. [Mr Rampton] Very nicely put in a nice academic way, Mr Irving.
7 A. [Mr Irving] Thank you very much.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, but I am not your audience in Tampa in October 1995,
9that is the difference.
10 A. [Mr Irving] In other words, I should tailor my utterances to the
11audience I am speaking to? This I think would be
12repugnant. I have never tailored my utterances to the
13audience. I have always given every audience exactly the
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, exactly, and in exactly the same terms with the same
16sneer in your voice.
17 A. [Mr Irving] I disagree.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] We all heard it.
19 A. [Mr Irving] I disagree. I am not accustomed to sneer. I do not stoop
20to the hypocrisy or sarcasm when I speak.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] The same sarcastic jokes which evoked laughter from you
22sympathetic audience about the suffering of the Jews at
24 A. [Mr Irving] I am prepared to take lessons in sarcasm from you,
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] Mr Irving, I have no interest in a sober academic argument
1which I believe to be hopelessly ill-conceived any, but
2that is completely beside the point, about whether or not
3the Jews are in some sense to blame for what has happened
4to them through the pages of history. I am interested in
5your motivation, your attitude and nobody else's. You
6notice I did not cross-examine your nice Mr McDonald.
7That is the reason, Mr Irving.
8 A. [Mr Irving] Well, I think we know the reasons why you did not
9cross-examine Professor McDonald.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] If you would look, please, at page 19, it is the last
11reference I want to make to this transcript. Towards the
12end of the big paragraph at the top of the page there is a
13sentence which begins: "If you", that is Jews: "If you
14[Jews] had behaved differently over the intervening 3,000
15years, the Germans would have gone about their business
16and would not have found it necessary to go around doing
17whatever they did to them, nor would the Russians, the
18Ukranians, the Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians and all
19the other countries where you have had a rough time."
20 Why do you propose that in any sense, whatever
21the Jews might have done or not done, differently or
22otherwise, made it necessary for them to be exterminated
23by these other central Europeans?
24 A. [Mr Irving] I agree "necessary" is the wrong word. The point I am
25trying to make there, it is exactly the same question as
26I put to Goldhagen in New Orleans. I said to him, not
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