Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 20: Electronic Edition

Pages 26 - 30 of 215

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    I am placed at a disadvantage and I appreciate his
 1Lordship's impatience with this procedure, but you have
 2rambled on for pages in your report about Auschwitz and
 3included numerous false statements and I am trying to
 4proceed at speed, but every time I ask you you say you are
 5not an expert on this.
 6 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     What I am trying to do here is to include and present
 7numerous statements of yours to the effect that gas
 8chambers were not used, did not exist, and so on, at
 9Auschwitz and elsewhere. I presented a substantial number
10of these statements here. I do not really propose to read
11them out.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, I am afraid you will have to do what I ask under
13cross-examination. One of them is look at line 1 at page
14134, please.
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     "On 8th November 1990 he", that is Irving, "repeated the
17same claim to an audience in Toronto: 'The gas chambers
18that are shown to the tourists in Auschwitz are fakes'."
19 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you now agree that this is true?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is true that you said that.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do we have to go through this again? You say
23fake, Mr Rampton says reconstruction. I have the point.
24 MR IRVING:     This is my way of now introducing a cardinal
25document which is on pages 59 and 60, my Lord, on which
26I shall very definitely rely. It is a visit by a very

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 1well-known French news magazine called L'Expresse on the
 2anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. On page 60
 3there is the admission that everything in it is fake, and
 4they do not know how to tell the tourists this.
 5 MR RAMPTON:     I really do not know where this is going. This
 6was not put to Professor van Pelt who made it perfectly
 7clear that the single gas chamber at Auschwitz (i),
 8Sturmlager, is a post-war reconstruction and he
 9explained ----
10 MR IRVING:     It is a postwar reconstruction.
11 MR RAMPTON:     He explained how it had been done and that the
12beginning and the end of that story. How Professor Evans
13is expected to deal with this, I do not know.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The difficulty, as you know, is that one does
15have the section on Auschwitz. That is the problem.
16 MR RAMPTON:     I know, but, as your Lordship knows, as I have
17shown your Lordship already and Mr Irving has been in
18court, again and again Mr Irving has referred to gas
19chambers in the plural, not just at Auschwitz but
20elsewhere.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I just have never from the word go
22understood the point that you make about these so-called
23fake gas chambers.
24 MR RAMPTON:     There are two points, my Lord. First of all,
25Mr Rampton calls it a "reconstruction", I call it a
26"fake". The second point is if I am accused of having a

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 1criminal conviction in Germany, which is used against me
 2by the Defence, I am entitled to point out the criminal
 3conviction is for saying precisely this sentence and it
 4turns out to be true.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not remotely interested in your criminal
 6conviction in Germany. I simply am not.
 7 MR IRVING:     I am indebted to your Lordship for saying that
 8because the Defence has repeatedly referred to it ----
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am now going to rule that you get on.
10Please, Mr Irving, this is enough about Auschwitz. I just
11do not think that there is anything to be gained by any
12further cross-examination on Auschwitz. You have spent a
13long time on it.
14 MR IRVING:     Just about Auschwitz or about the Final Solution,
15my Lord?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not stopping you on the Final Solution.
17 MR IRVING:     Page 134. "Systematic nature of the
18extermination". You take exception to my suggestion that
19Jews were the victims of a large number of rather
20run-of-the-mill criminal elements, and I mention there the
21Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And Austrians.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     And Germans.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the report by Jan Karski who was one
26of the first people to report on the Final Solution?

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 1 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Not -- I am not, no.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     In that case I cannot ask you about it. On page 135,
 3paragraph 3: "Irving's view that these local initiatives
 4were excusable", is the word "excusable" excusable in this
 5context? Have I ever tried to excuse what the Germans are
 6doing to the Jews?
 7 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, let me read what you told the press conference in
 8Australia in 1986 which is the quote beginning halfway
 9down the quote on the previous page where you say, you are
10questioning whether the killing of Jews "was a tragedy
11ordered and organized on the very highest German state
12level, namely by Hitler himself. Because if my hypothesis
13is correct, it means that all these Jews - and it may be
14any figure, I don't look at the figure concerned - if my
15hypothesis is correct, it indicates that the Jews were the
16victims of a large number of rather run-of-the-mill
17criminal elements which exist in Central Europe. Not just
18Germans, but Austrians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians,
19feeding on the endemic antisemitism of the era and
20encouraged by the brutalization which war brought about
21anyway. These people had seen the bombing raids begin.
22They'd probably lost women, wives and children in the
23bombing raids. And they wanted to take revenge on
24someone. So when Hitler ordered the expulsion, as he did
25- there's no doubt that Hitler ordered the expulsion
26measures - these people took it out on the person that

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 1they could".
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     And you say this is somebody excusing the Nazis for taking
 3these ghastly actions against the Jews?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It seems to me that that is the implication in that
 5statement, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not, in fact, a very sloppy use of the English
 7language? What you meant was not "excusable" but
 8"explicable" and there is a very great difference between
 9these two words?
10 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     I think, given your attitude -- well, first of all, I find
11it very difficult to see how Latvians, Lithuanians and
12Estonians could get so worked up by bombing raids on
13Germany that they started killing Jews.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is that what I say?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     It is the clear implication, "these people", and in the
16previous sentence you say, "Not just Germans, but
17Austrians, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians". "These
18people had seen the bombing raids begin".
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you familiar with the fact that Jan Karski, the man
20whom I previously referred to, warned the Polish
21government of the likelihood of pogroms in the Baltic
22states, and he had explained the reasons why in a 1940
23report?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Mr Irving, there is plenty of documentation to show that
25there were, that Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians and
26so on were involved in the mass killing of Jews with the

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