Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 206 - 210 of 217

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    Just once again those three lines quoted in the
 1that is all one can say on the basis of the certainties
 2that we have.
 3     Is there anything further you wish to say about
 4that, witness?
 5 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you now wish to say something about the epidemics in
 7Belsen and the responsibility of the Allies for them?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. I go on in my report to quote you, saying that it
 9was the Allies: "We, the British and the Americans, were
10partially responsible, at least partially responsible, for
11their misfortune because we vowed deliberate bombing of
12the transportation networks, bombardation, deliberate ...
13bombarding the German communications ... pharmaceutical
14industry, medicine factories. We had deliberately created
15the conditions of chaos inside Germany. We had
16deliberately created the epidemics and the outbreaks of
17typhus and other diseases which led to those appalling
18scenes that were found at their most dramatic in the
19enclosed areas, the concentration camps, where, of course,
20epidemics can ravage and run wild". That is you in 1986.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     You dispute that, do you?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, I do. The conditions of epidemics are created,
23essentially, by the Nazis who ran camps in such a way that
24they were extremely unhygienic.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     How can you combat epidemics if you do not have the
26pharmaceutical products to combat them?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, the point is that they -- first of all, the major
 2epidemics were well before the end of the war. As you
 3know, there is a major epidemic in Auschwitz in 1942 to 3,
 4I think, and you are talking here as if this is only at
 5the end of war.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you also familiar were the fact that epidemic is a
 7by-product of bombardment of cities, that the water mains
 8are destroyed, the rats feed on the cadavers?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, we are not talking about the bombardment of
10concentration camps. We are talking about conditions
11extremely unhygienic in which the particular disease
12concerned was typhus which is a disease of dirt and lack
13of hygiene, and there is plenty of evidence that these are
14the conditions in the camps which the Nazis deliberately
15created.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What would you make of an historian who says,
17I suppose, the political party which had rounded up a
18particular race and put them into camps where typhus broke
19out and killed huge numbers of them, how do you feel about
20an historian who says that the person who deliberately
21created the epidemics was the person who bombed the
22pharmaceutical factories which might have been able to
23provide the distribution which might have limited the
24typhus epidemic, how would you regard?
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I feel that that is a reversal of the truth. That is
26extremely perverse. Typhus is a disease which the Germans

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 1knew very well how to combat. They had had experience of
 2it from the First World War. There had been a lot of
 3medical intervention by the Germans since well before that
 4combating diseases in Eastern Europe.
 5 MR IRVING:     How do you combat typhus?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Essentially, by cleanliness. It is by, for example,
 7giving the inmates of a concentration camp fresh clothing
 8and bedding at regular intervals which was not done at
 9all.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     What is the carrier of typhus?
11 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is the human body louse.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     And what is used for disposing of this typhus bearing
13louse?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, it is a question of prevention to start with, and
15that is the nub of the question. The concentration camp
16authorities did very little to prevent it because they did
17not provide conditions of cleanliness. It was exactly the
18same about the way in which they treated Russian prisoners
19of war.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you not familiar with the fact that in all the
21concentration camps of the Nazi system they had fumigation
22chambers for cleaning the clothing of the incoming
23prisoners? They had the clean side, the dirty side, the
24showers, the baths, the hair cuts, the whole of this
25system that went with this combatting of the typhus
26epidemic? Are you not familiar with that?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, it was an extremely ----
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     In your statement the Nazis did nothing is, therefore,
 3wrong?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is extremely ineffective and I said did nothing to
 5prevent it. I mean, it certainly did not. The evidence
 6is there.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     So the fumigation chambers, what they there for if it was
 8not to prevent the typhus plague?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It was done in a rather inadequate way. Obviously, there
10was some incentive on the part of the SS to try to
11restrict the level and spread of epidemics, but the fact
12is that unhygienic conditions were part and parcel of the
13inhumanity of the concentration camps.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, we have to keep a slight grip on
15reality. It is your case that the typhus killed a very
16large proportion of the Jews who lost their lives.
17 MR IRVING:     Yes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is difficult in the next breath to say how
19wonderful the system of fumigating clothes and the like
20was.
21 MR IRVING:     My Lord, that is not the way I put it, but this
22witness ----
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, it comes close to it.
24 MR IRVING:     --- said the Nazis did nothing to prevent the
25typhus epidemics.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, you were putting to him that they had

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 1done a very great deal. Well, if they had ----
 2 MR IRVING:     I picked up the words that they had done nothing
 3and, in fact, we have been sitting here for five weeks
 4listening to nothing but the evidence that they had
 5fumigation chambers for dealing with these epidemics.
 6Particularly in Auschwitz, they went very, very far
 7indeed. I do not have the photographs here any more, but
 8there were the water purification plants they were
 9installing. They went a very long way to try to combat
10this appalling problem which spread across Central Europe
11from 1942 onwards and, of course, as the war approached
12its end, this problem reached its zenith with the total
13collapse of hygiene, the total collapse of medical
14facilities, the collapse of transportation, the shifting
15of tens of hundreds of thousands of people in these
16unhygienic conditions.
17 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, the measures which were undertaken, fumigation and
18so on, were mostly undertaken after epidemics had broken
19out to try to limit them, obviously, because the SS in the
20camps would then feel that they are endangered themselves,
21and other measures which they did undertake when epidemics
22broke out were killing the sick by injections or putting
23them into gas chambers. So they did undertake some
24measures. But I cannot say that they were in the -- that
25they did very much to prevent the epidemics.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     

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