Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 16 - 20 of 212

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    If one, you know, if I have to -- if I were in
 1the position to give you a kind of expert's opinion on the
 2condition in the concentration camps at the end of 1943,
 3I would not completely rely on this document. It would be
 4completely unprofessional to rely on this one document.
 5One has to look, of course, at all kind of circumstances.
 6One has to look at the death rates. They had statistics
 7on the death rates and I had to look at those, and so on.
 8You know, the problem with this kind of document is that
 9if you have not seen the file, in the file in the next bit
10you could find a document which says, "Well, I recall my
11order from last week". If you do not have the context, it
12is difficult to make, you know, a general statement as an
13historian about the condition in this camp, and whether
14they really, you know, in the way gave up this idea of
15extermination through work in the end of 1943 and how far
16they still carried on with this policy.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I just ask you one question? You refer
18to the death rates and they were being reported, for
19example, from Auschwitz on a regular basis?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Death rates of those in the camps?
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     The inmates in the camps?
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, exactly.
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Do you recall, in general, whether the death rate reduced
26around October 1943?

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 1 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I cannot -- I think I should not speculate.
 2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     No.
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not have the statistics here and I cannot answer.
 4 MR IRVING:     You do actually because they are just in one of the
 5other documents in the bundle, my Lord. We are coming to
 6the death rates in a minute.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Are we? Good.
 8 MR IRVING:     Yes. Can I ask, if you have finished with your
 9replies, Dr Longerich, now to look at the loose page
10No. 15? This is from the same kind of source, is it not,
11the administration of the concentration camp system, dated
12December 28th 1942, and this is a letter addressed to the
13camp doctors of the concentration camps. Let me tell you
14where this comes from. It comes from a book called "Macht
15Ohne Moral". It is, obviously, not a wartime transcript.
16It has been transcribed, presumably, from a microfilm or
18 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, it is, I think somebody ----
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Typed a copy?
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     --- typed a copy, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     But it is a letter written to the camp doctors of the
22concentration camps, including Auschwitz. That is the
23fifth one. Ravensbruck, Flosenburg and Nattsweileicken
24and I can see there Mauthausen at the end. It is saying
25to them in the second sentence, is it not, well, it begins
26by saying, "I am attaching", which is not attached here,

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 1"a list of the current editions and departures in all the
 2concentration camps for your attention. From the latter,,
 3you can see that of 156,000 arrivals, around 70,000 have
 4died". He goes on to say: "This is completely
 5unacceptable and the camp doctors have to stop their rough
 6and ready measures and they have to start making sure the
 7prisoners survive". What would you make of that kind of
 8document? Are there any other passages you want to read
 9from that document or translate?
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, it says here that one can read from the statistics
11that from 156 prisoners who came into the camp, 70,000
12died, and with this kind of high death rates, one is not
13able to keep the number of prisoners on the same level.
14I think this is the main concern, to keep, because the
15people died in the concentration camps, it is not possible
16to keep, you know, to keep this number of prisoners in the
17camp. This is nothing to do, of course, with
18extermination and gas chambers in Auschwitz. It is what
19happens in the camp.
20 MR RAMPTON:     Can I, perhaps, interrupt and ask Dr Longerich,
21not Mr Irving, Dr Longerich, to translate the rest of that
22paragraph when he has read it?
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. "The concentration, the camp doctors have to make
24sure with all means at their disposal that the death rate
25in the single camps has to decline, not the one is the
26better doctor in the concentration camp who believes that

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 1through unresponsible, that he has to", well ----
 2 MR IRVING:     "Inappropriate callousness"?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     "Inappropriate".
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     "Harshness" or "hardness"?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     "Harshness to, he has to..."
 6 MR RAMPTON:     Maybe the lady translator can do it.
 7 THE INTERPRETER:     Yes. "Not he is the better physician or
 8doctor in a concentration camp who believes that through
 9inappropriate, that he has to stand out through
10inappropriate hardness, but he who achieves, he who
11maintains the ability to work in the various workplaces
12through supervision and exchange on a level as high as
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, and I think "exchange" is here the key word, so what
15they are trying to achieve is they are trying to keep a
16certain number of prisoners to use them as slave labours
17to work them to death, but, of course, unfortunately, they
18have too many people died in a too short time, so they
19have to make sure they got supply from outside. This is,
20I think it is quite, the reference is here, "exchange of
21prisoners", yes? It is not the duty of the doctors to,
22you know, keep the people, to keep the prisoners on life
23-- alive, sorry, alive, so I think this is ----
24 MR IRVING:     Is this document declaring war on the callousness
25of the camp doctors?
26 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I do not think they would be -- just reminded them, the

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 1document reminded them to perform their duties as
 2concentration camp doctors, and it is quite clearly what
 3their duties are.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What, to keep them alive?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, to maintain that always, you know, there is the same
 6number of prisoners in the camp, yes? So to make sure
 7that the effectiveness of a worker is, the effectiveness
 8of the workforce is as high as possible by supervision and
 9exchange of individual workers. So his responsibility is
10to care for the entire camp population, but not for the
11single worker. He has to make sure that the individual
12workers are exchanges so that the number of workers in the
13camp is a kind of ----
14 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Well, that has nothing do with the doctors, has it,
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, of course, the doctor has to -- this is the prime
17responsibility of the doctor.
18 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     No, I mean the exchange is not really the doctor's
20 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No, but he is part of this process.
21 MR IRVING:     Can I now, if Mr Rampton does not mind, translate
22the next sentence which is: "Camp doctors have more than
23hitherto to supervise the nourishment of the prisoners and
24to make suggestions for improvement in accordance, in
25conformity, with the administration of the camp
26commandants". Then further down that paragraph, does it

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