Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 19: Electronic Edition

Pages 166 - 170 of 217

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    Moving on to the next paragraph, we are now dealing
 1with the number of people who I suggested unequivocally
 2can be shown as having died in Auschwitz, in the last line
 3I say: "Around 100,000 dead in that brutal slave labour
 4camp", and, Professor, you take exception to that
 5sentence, do you not?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     You think the figure should be much closer to 1 million
 8or?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     About that, yes. Slightly more.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     No doubt 20 years ago you would have said the figure would
11be closer to 4 million?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not 20 years ago, no.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     No?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think so.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you would have discounted what the memorial said?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     We have already been through this, but that was the
17product of immediate postwar circumstances when not a
18great deal was known.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     You do not just go with what the prevailing wind suggests
20is the latest figure; you do your own independent thinking
21about it?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I am not a specialist on Auschwitz, Mr Irving. So
23I accept what is the general consensus of scholarship on
24this issue.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yet if anybody does try to analyse the figures on the
26basis of other sources than what the memorial says or what

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 1the Auschwitz State Museum says or what Sir Martin Gilbert
 2says, he is a denier?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, it is not a question of just what they say. There
 4is a very large, substantial amount of work. This court
 5has been spent several days going through a whole mass of
 6evidence about Auschwitz.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but it is the word "analyse" I am looking at. If you
 8look at page 113, paragraphs 13 and 14, I say: "Anybody
 9who wants to analyse any part of the Holocaust story is
10dismissed and smeared as an anti-semite or at the other
11end of the scale a pro-Hitler apologist and a Nazi
12apologist." You then comment in paragraph 14: "Analyse
13here is a synonym for refute or deny"?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, that seems to me it is. It is a euphemism. You are
15very careful to avoid the word "denial" as much as you
16can, or you have been in what you have written and said
17about the Holocaust, but clearly as it stands this
18statement is absurd. Historians are analysing the
19Holocaust story all the time.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     But are they?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It goes on massively.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are they analysing figures all the time?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. There is an enormous amount of work that is in
24progress. There are hundreds of historians working on
25this. There are large institutions which are devoted to
26analysing all different parts of the Holocaust story, and

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 1nobody is dismissing them as anti-semites or Nazi
 2apologists. What you have here is "analysed" as a
 3euphemism for "deny".
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     So analysing is all right until we look at the figures and
 5then it becomes denial?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. Historians are looking at the figures all time.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     What kind of historian do you have to be then to avoid
 8that word "denial"? Do you have to avoid my name or do
 9you have to be left-wing or what?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is semantic. We know what the
11definition of Holocaust denier is as contended for by the
12Defendants. The issue we are trying to explore is whether
13you, Mr Irving, fit that definition. I really think
14semantic discussions of this kind are unhelpful.
15 MR IRVING:     I was scene setting with a broad brush, and now we
16are going to start getting out the small sable and start
17painting in some of the detail.
18     Professor, if there are either logical
19calculations that you make or there are bodies of
20documents that you can make which would enable one to
21reassess the figures, I am avoiding the word "analyse"
22now, but to reassess the figures, would that be a
23justifiable exercise for any historian of whatever colour?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, certainly. For example, new material is becoming
25available or has become available since the collapse of
26the Soviet Union in East European archives which has

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 1helped in reassessments.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. In about 19899 Soviet Union released the death
 3books, did they not, of Auschwitz relating not to all the
 4years but some of the years?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That is right, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you expect these death books, the registers of
 7deaths of people in Auschwitz, to have provided some kind
 8of impetus to this calculation?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     They are certainly a significant document, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am avoiding the use of the word "analyse". It would be
11justifiable to look at those records for any person and
12try to do some kind of meaningful calculation and try to
13work out whether these were comprehensive,
14all-encompassing death books, or whether they were only
15part of the body of Auschwitz or what?
16 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes. You have to remember, of course, that those
17large numbers of people who were taken straight to the gas
18chambers on their arrival at Auschwitz were not entered in
19the camp registers, and so do not appear in the death
20books.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is an important part of the Holocaust history, is it
22not, the notion that a large number of people arrived at
23the camp, were unloaded and were sent straight to their
24deaths in the gas chambers, is that correct?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think, yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     What kind of people were they?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is described as more than a notion.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     What kind of people were then selected for death?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I am not an expert on Auschwitz, but my
 4understanding is that the process of selection generally
 5tended to take into the camp or register in the camp those
 6who were considered to be capable of working and those who
 7were not, particularly women and children, were sent to
 8the gas chambers.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Women and children were sent to the gas chambers.
10Professor, will you have a look at page 35 I think it is
11in my bundle, the little bundle you were handed this
12morning? It is another of these pictures speaking louder
13than words things again. Is that a photograph showing
14people standing behind barbed wire?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     What kind of age are those people?
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is very difficult to say. They look like -- it is
18difficult to say. One or two children, some adolescence.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does the caption provided by Associated Press say: This
20is somebody standing among a group of children?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Indeed, yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     When the camp was liberated by the Red Army?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Why would they have had children in the camp?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     There could have been any one of a number of reasons.
26I mean some children were retained for medical

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