Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 31 - 35 of 212

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    I have to say I am not really an expert for
 1Auschwitz. We had an expert here and I think I cannot do
 2it ----
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think his answer was more or less the same
 4as yours.
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, I cannot actually -- I do not have more expertise,
 6definitely not more expertise than he.
 7 MR IRVING:     I am not going to ask you questions about
 8Auschwitz. This is about the entire concentration camp
 9system or the extermination system, as you would describe
10it. Obviously, I do not want to flood the court with
11documents of this nature, but had you seen documents ----
12 MR RAMPTON:     No, I am sorry. I do not believe that is what the
13witness has said. What the witness has said is that this
14concerns, to use Mr Irving's phrase, slave labour in the
15concentration camps which includes a whole lot of camps in
16Germany which have nothing to do with extermination. The
17witness has specifically said that these documents have
18nothing whatever to do with the extermination programme
19which took place at Birkenhau which is not mentioned in
20any of these documents or in the Reinhardt ----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is, undoubtedly, what the witness has
22been saying, none of this touches on the ones who were not
23selected for ----
24 MR IRVING:     My Lord, it is remarkable the way the Defence
25sometimes says that Auschwitz covers both camps and
26sometimes they say it does not. That is all I would say

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 1there. Can we now look at the third document, please,
 2which is the only other one I am going to trouble the
 3court with on this particular matter, document No. 16,
 4which is a four page document with tables dated September
 530th 1943 from the same kind of man, is it not? It is
 6signed actually by Pohl himself, chief of the camp system,
 7and here he actually attaches statistics, does he not, for
 8deaths just in one month, August, 1943? The third page is
 9a table of death in August 1943.
10 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Do I have chance to read the document? Give me, please,
11five minutes.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Take your time.
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
14 MR IRVING:     First of all, the covering letter is a bit
15triumphant, is it not? It says: "In consequence of the
16hygienic measures we have introduced, and the better
17feeding, the better clothing, the death rate has gone down
18in the camps".
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us just see, would you mind, would the
20translator very kindly translate the first paragraph just
21so we get the order of the mortality?
22 THE INTERPRETER:     The first paragraph?
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you mind?
24 THE INTERPRETER:     "Since during the month of December 1942
25mortality was still at -- whereas, in the month of
26December 1942 the mortality was still at around 10 per

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 1cent, it already was reduced in the month of January 1943
 2to 8 per cent, and proceeded to go down further. This is
 3mainly -- this reduction of the mortality is mainly
 4attributed to the fact that the hygienic measures which
 5had been asked for for sometime have now at least been
 6implemented to a large extent. Moreover, in regarding the
 7feeding, the nourishment, it was ordered that a third of
 8the food should be added to, should be added just before
 9the distribution of the meal in its raw state, to
10supplement the cooked food. It was avoided to kill the
11food by cooking it. In addition, sauerkrauts and similar
12food was distributed.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I think that will do. So they were 10
14per cent mortality.
15 MR IRVING:     Horrendous mortality rates when you look at the
16figures, my Lord. That is 10 per cent per month.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     They are now very pleased with themselves
18because they have got the death rate in Auschwitz down to
1948,000 men in one month?
20 MR IRVING:     No, it is not. That is the actual number. The
21first column is the number on hand, my Lord. The second
22column is the deaths that month, 1442.
23 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     I mean, you said this has a kind of triumphant, this
24letter has a kind of triumphant attitude, and the triumph
25here is that the death rate, the monthly date rate, is
26reduced from 10 per cent in December to 8 per cent in

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 1January. So this is the success of these measures. So 8
 2per cent, eight people of 100 would die each month in the
 3slave labour camps, nothing to do, of course, with the
 4extermination, extermination.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is what you say, is it not, but we are just looking
 6at figures in Auschwitz ----
 7 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     It is absolutely ----
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- of men and women?
 9 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     --- Auschwitz had two functions. It was a slave labour
10camp and it was an extermination camp, and this clearly
11relates to the -- clearly relates to the slave labour
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     What are they dying of?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, as I am trying to say, in the slave labour camp they
15had a programme of extermination through work, and the
16life expectancy of a prisoner in the death, in the slave
17labour camp was a couple of weeks or probably a couple of
18months, and they died -- you can see actually see it from
19the document itself because the documents state, you know,
20what has to be improved. The food has to be improved
21because the conditions, the food conditions, are
22completely unsufficient. It says in the document, for
23instance, that prisoners are allowed to wear a coat
24outside during the winter. So this gives, I think, a very
25clear answer that prisoners in the camp would die because
26they do not have the efficient, they do not have

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 1sufficient clothing, and there are, of course, epidemics
 2in the camp and, of course, there is a regular process of
 3selection. The people unfit for work, the sick and the
 4weak prisoners would be selected and sent to the gas
 6     I think, if you read the document with a
 7reference to actually the conditions in the camp, the
 8conditions in, let us say, August 1943, you have a very
 9good idea of what the conditions were. August '43, 1442
10people died, for instance, in the camp.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can you explain what "durch mittel
12Belegstaff" is?
13 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     This is the average number of prisoners.
14 MR IRVING:     Average camp strength.
15 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Average prison population?
17 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
18 MR IRVING:     So the five columns, my Lord, average prison
19population of each of those camps. The next column is the
20numbers of deaths which, in the case of Auschwitz and one
21or two of the other camps is being divided up as to men
22and women, separate figures. The next column is the
23percentage ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think the rest is clear.
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. It is quite clear because the numbers here were
26separated because Auschwitz, the slave labour camps, was

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