Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 211 - 215 of 217

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    Did the Germans not have an Institute of Racial Hygiene
 1which did nothing other than combat epidemics? That is
 2what it was created for?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not agree that the Institute of Racial Hygiene was
 4about combating epidemics, no.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor Pfannenstiel, was he not a member of that
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The institute of Racial Hygiene was much more concerned
 8with as it suggests, not hygiene in common sense ----
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     But did they not have ----
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- but it is to do with race.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- a special body set up doing nothing else than
12investigating the spread of epidemics because of the
13damage it was causing to German war effort?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, what I said was that -- I am not quite sure what we
15are arguing about here, but what I said was that the
16conditions in the camps which favoured -- there were
17conditions in the camps which were deliberately created by
18the Nazis which were unhygienic, dirty, degrading and
19encouraged epidemics.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you explain the word "deliberately"? Are you
21implying that these epidemic bearing lice in some way
22distinguished between the prisoner, on the one hand, and
23the SS guard, on the other? They knew which uniform to go
25 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Why would anybody create an epidemic deliberately in a

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 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I did not say they created the epidemic. I said that they
 3created the conditions. I mean, they knew full well what
 4would ----
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     They deliberately created epidemic conditions?
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     They full knew what would happen in those filthy
 7conditions which they ----
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     They negligently created epidemic conditions?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I do not think it was a matter of oversight on their part,
10Mr Irving.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you read Professor van Pelt's book on Auschwitz in
12which he describes in great detail the negligence of the
13designers in this respect?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I have to admit I have not, no.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     In what respect in the design of?
16 MR IRVING:     The layout of the camp. They said it was inviting
17epidemics, the way it was designed. The prisoners had to
18march long distances in order to get to hygiene
19facilities, and so on.
20 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That would seem to confirm my point of view.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is rather what I thought, yes. I mean,
22does that not rather suggest that they were not too
23concerned about epidemics breaking out?
24 MR IRVING:     Through negligence they have the camp badly
25designed is very different from saying that they
26deliberately created epidemic conditions?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     But you just maintained, Mr Irving, that they knew all
 2about epidemics and they had institutes devoted to them
 3and so on. It is rather puzzling that in that case it
 4should be a mere oversight when they are building these
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you agree that there were major epidemics in
 7Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald at the end of the war?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Were these deliberately created, is that your contention?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     The conditions there were deliberately created by the
11Nazis, of course. In other words, had they wanted to
12prevent them, they could have done so.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     But they just let the epidemics run, did they?
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No. As I have said, they then made attempts (which I have
15just described) to try to limit the epidemics. You can
16compare this, if you like, with prisoners of war camps for
17British airmen and troops in which hygienic conditions
18were a good deal better.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you know how many people died in Dachau concentration
20camp in the first two months after World War II from
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     A substantial number.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was it of the order of 20,000 prisoners?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I will take your word for it.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Under American control, with the Americans deliberately
26spreading epidemics too?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     No, Mr Irving. They were dealing with the consequences.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, this is all getting a little
 3absurd. This all started out because you wrote or said
 4that, "We", that is to say the Allies, "have deliberately
 5created the epidemics" and maybe I have rather contributed
 6to this by asking Professor Evans whether he thought that
 7was a sensible view for an historian to take. We now seem
 8to have gone the full circle, as it were. Anyway, I think
 9we have probably exhausted the topic.
10 MR IRVING:     I do not think I put it exactly they way your
11Lordship says. I say we deliberately created the
12conditions of chaos through our bombing campaign,
13Operation Point Blank and Eclipse and so on.
14 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, may I quote to you, Mr Irving: "We had deliberately
15quote created the epidemics and the outbreaks of typhus
16and other diseases which led to those appalling scenes
17that were found at their most dramatic in the enclosed
18areas, the concentration camps" -- a lecture you gave in
20 MR IRVING:     Oh, a speech?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     A lecture? I thought it was from a book.
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, I presume you accept responsibility for saying that,
24Mr Irving ----
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     In other words, that is ----
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     --- whether you said it or wrote it.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- from a transcript of a speech made by somebody, is
 2that right?
 3 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is a video -- an audio cassette of a speech.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you not just read out a speech two or three minutes
 5ago which was quite clearly vulgarized, the text?
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We can, if necessary, look at that speech if
 7you think that the context makes any difference, but
 8I think probably, Mr Irving, we can break off your
 9cross-examination now.
10 MR IRVING:     That would be a useful point to break off at this
11point, my Lord.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I make an enquiry of you which is really
13to ask, and I expect Professor Evans would like to know
14the answer, what your estimate is as to the future of your
16 MR IRVING:     Two and a half more days.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     How many?
18 MR IRVING:     Two and a half more days.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Right. Are you going to follow the ----
20 MR IRVING:     I am going to follow the ----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     --- structure of his report?
22 MR IRVING:     I think it is the only way to do it, my Lord.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I think I agree with that. I think you
24are right. To the extent that there are matters raised in
25Professor Evans' report that are not any longer, I think,
26relied on as part of the Defendants' case, then you can

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