Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 25: Electronic Edition

Pages 136 - 140 of 212

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did he have an SS rank?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not remember at the moment.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     These gas vans -- I am now on page 49, my Lord, paragraphs
 45 to 8 -- whose existence we accept, were they only
 5killing Jews or were they originally designed for clearing
 6out the inmates of the Soviet mental hospitals?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is common ground too, is it not?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. They were primarily used for the killing of Polish
 9inmates of these institutions.
10 MR IRVING:     Was any plan made to build these gas vans before
11the beginning of Barbarossa, or was it a kind of ad hoc
12killing method that was developed during the Barbarossa
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Sorry?
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     An interim experimental method of killing people that was
16developed in the Barbarossa campaign?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     The gas vans actually exist since 1940, so they were used
18in the Warthegau and by Sonderkommando Langer to kill the
19Polish inmates of institutions for disabled persons in
201940. Then in late summer of 1941 they actually
21transferred this technology to the East.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are there any documents that actually show Sonderkommando
23Langer operating at Chelmno?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, there are.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Documents as opposed to eyewitnesses?
26 MR RAMPTON:     Again I have to say I thought this was common

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 2 MR IRVING:     I am sorry, I am not going to question that.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     I did not think there was any dispute at all about
 4the slaughter of 97,000 people between December and
 5whenever it was, May.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, and indeed that is true also, I think,
 7of Treblinka and Sobibor, is it not?
 8 MR RAMPTON:     I think so too.
 9 MR IRVING:     There is dispute about the scale.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, up to a point that is true.
11 MR IRVING:     Yes.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But there is no future in challenging
13Sonderkommando Langer's recollection, is there?
14 MR IRVING:     There is only point in disputing what
15Sonderkommando Langer was up to. Are you familiar with
16the fact that it was also apparently flown, according to
17Brightman, to take part in operations, I think Novgarod?
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. This is the link between the Warthegau killings and
19the killings in Russia because we know from actually, it
20is the intercepts I think, we know that Himmler summoned
21the Sonderkommando to Novgarod where they killed the
22inmates of a local home for disabled people. This is an
23essential part of the history of the Chelmno extermination
24camp. This is the link.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does not the document show that the Sonderkommando was
26flown to Novgarod?

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     How could they have put their van in a plane?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I did not say that they used a van. They killed the
 4people obviously with bottles.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     By some other means?
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, with bottles, gas in bottles.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     They did not only use gas vans then. Page 51 paragraphs,
 810 to 11.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Paragraph 10 are you going to now, did you
10say? 10. We can start with paragraph 10.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
12 MR IRVING:     You refer on line 4 to 600 Soviet prisoners of war
13being gassed. Is that right?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     At Auschwitz?
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I ask you just to have a look at one page from the
18book by the witness Professor van Pelt which I have
19included in the little bundle at page 12 this morning.
20The second paragraph is describing, the paragraph
21beginning with the words, "A major reason for the slow
22progress", it is describing the high mortality rate which
23has resulted from hygienic conditions in Auschwitz and
24Birkenhau. There it says in the month of October 1,255
25Soviets, meaning Soviet prisoners, had died from these
26hygienic conditions. He does not refer to gassings. What

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 1is the reason for this discrepancy, do you think?
 2 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I think if you read the book carefully, you will find a
 3reference to the killing. In the same chapter you will
 4find a reference to the killing of 600.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Indeed. I wrote to him in Mat 1996 asking for an
 6explanation for the discrepancy, that on one part he
 7describes them as being gassed and here on this page he
 8refers to them clearly as ----
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     There is no discrepancy.
10 MR RAMPTON:     This is a nonsense. I am sorry to have to keep
11standing up, but this is really such a waste of time.
12There is no inconsistency in this.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, I can see that people were being gassed
14and people were dying for other reasons.
15 MR RAMPTON:     Of course and van Pelt's evidence ----
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am just looking it up.
17 MR RAMPTON:     --- I say it in his absence and from memory was
18that either in August or September 1941 there was an
19experimental gassing with Zyklon-B of 600 Soviet prisoners
20and others at Auschwitz (i). There is no inconsistency in
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Just pause a moment.
23 MR RAMPTON:     I am afraid I have not got his report here.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I have and I am just looking.
25 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, he gives ----
26 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I am sorry, but I am going to have to

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 1stick with what I said, notwithstanding this renewed
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Well, you have just I think challenged what
 4Dr Longerich says about the first ----
 5 MR IRVING:     600 who were gassed which is the standard story.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     --- gassing, well, actually 850, but leave
 7that on one side, as having taken place in September or
 8December 1941. You put to him something that Professor
 9van Pelt wrote, I think, in order to support your
10challenge and I am just trying to find it but I cannot.
11 MR IRVING:     Page 272 of his book, my Lord.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I know, but I am looking at his report which
13is possibly more complete, but I cannot immediately. We
14will have to move on. Perhaps somebody might be able to
15find the reference.
16 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, try page 105 of van Pelt's report.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much. I would like to track
18it down whilst we are on this point. 105.
19 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, 104, 105.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is in the area where I was looking.
21Yes. "It is important to note that after the war various
22witnesses confirmed that in early September the Germans
23had used block 11, the same block, as an experimental gas
25 MR RAMPTON:     That was the execution block until the crematorium
26at Auschwitz (i) was converted into a gas chamber.

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