Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 51 - 55 of 212

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    You have referred to this on several occasions. Have you
 1produced any documents at all in your report where that
 2phrase actually occurs or is it just a deduction you make?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     No.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     An inference?
 5 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     My report is not about particularly this issue. I think
 6I mentioned it somewhere in my report, I am not sure here,
 7but we have documentary evidence from Himmler in his
 8writings to Pohl and to -- that this system was introduced
 9at the beginning of 1942.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you do not actually reference it in your report.
11 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     At the moment, I would have to look at my report, whether
12this is here.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     I did actually look for it.
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     You see, this is a different system separate from the
15killings, separate from the extermination by gas. This is
16actually what happens to the prisoners which were sent
17into the camps actually fit for work, and then they used
18him for a couple of months, a couple of weeks and a couple
19of months and then they sent them to the gas chambers.
20This is a similar, if you want to say, a subsystem of the
21whole system. But in my report I am dealing primarily
22with mass executions, with deportations and extermination
23camps, and so on.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Dr Longerich, it does not make much sense, does it, to
25have a slave labourer who is working for you and work him
26to death so you then have to replace him with somebody

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 1else because, presumably, his output drops off as he is
 2dying? Does it make sense?
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, in which way do you think it makes sense? I do not
 4understand the question.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, your proposition that they deliberately took a slave
 6labourer for two months and said, "Work him until he drops
 7and then replace him".
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     That is what is -- actually there is a reference in the
 9document you presented here when you, about the duties of
10the doctors. They said they have to make sure the
11exchange of prisoners, this is exactly the process. They
12fought a war of racist extermination, so they ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, so we hear, yes.
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     --- one of their main aims in this war was to exterminate
15the Jews in Europe, and they used this as one of the
16methods, and they worked on the assumption that they had
17enough slave labourers at their disposal, and if they had
18exhausted this source, they would use, from their
19perspective, they would use other sources of slave labour,
20like, for instance, the Russians or Poles and so on. They
21work on the assumption that they had, there was an
22abundance, you know, there was an endless number of slave
23labourers who they could force to work for them. But this
24is an irrational and completely wrong assumption, but it
25is still they are working on this assumption.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     My problem is, Dr Longerich, and this was the reason for

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 1the question I asked you, that you make this very bold and
 2adventurous statement about a deliberate plan to
 3exterminate by hard labour, and yet you have not actually
 4produced any reference documents or sources to enable us
 5to establish whether ----
 6 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, you have forced me in a way to make ----
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- that is your conclusion?
 8 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, sorry, but you forced me in a way to make those
 9adventures and bold statements because you put in front of
10me some documents and asked me for general statements, and
11my statements may not -- may be adventurous, they may be
12very general, but this is the result of this kind of
13interrogation.
14     In my report, as far as I see, I dealt with the
15programme of exterminations and mass executions and
16deportations into extermination camps, not with this
17particular aspect.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Dr Longerich, in your report, you do on at least two
19occasions use the phrase "extermination by labour" -
20Vernichtung durch Arbeit - and you do not give any
21references for this ----
22 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Then let us go to the ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     So we do not know if it is your phrase or a wartime
24phrase?
25 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     "Vernichtung durch Arbeit" is a wartime phrase --
26extermination through labour.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you do not give any references for it in your report;
 2that is the problem we have.
 3 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     We have to look at the pages are you referring to.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we now go to your report and we will perhaps
 5stumble ----
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us find the reference to "extermination
 7by labour".
 8 MR IRVING:     I am sure Mr Rampton's staff would have found it a
 9long ago, if it was referenced.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I expect that Dr Longerich probably remembers
11where it is: Do you Dr Longerich?
12 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Not at the moment.
13 MR IRVING:     I have to take care that these slogans do not embed
14themselves in the court's subconsciousness without any
15archival basis.
16 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Well, in the conclusion, I refer in my report in ----
17 MR RAMPTON:     Can I interrupt, please?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
19 MR RAMPTON:     It is page 77 of the second part of the report.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much.
21 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes. This is the conclusion of my report. So in my
22report I am trying to explain the systematic character of
23the killings, and I am trying to explain the emergence of
24the programme. So I think that in the last section of
25this, I am referring to, well actually the machinery of
26mass murder and full operation from 1942 onwards. I base

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 1my comments here, on my writing here on generally
 2well-accepted work, because I thought it was not something
 3which is really disputed among historians.
 4     We also had an expert witness on Auschwitz here
 5who actually was able to fully explain the system. So
 6I think that this idea, that prisoners in the camps were
 7systematically worked to death, is something which is not
 8disputed by historians in this field.
 9 MR IRVING:     There is a general ----
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving has put before you this morning
11documents showing an overall mortality rate of 10 per cent
12in all the concentration camps. Does that say anything to
13you, Dr Longerich, about what was intended to go on there?
14 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes, this is exactly what I mean. It is an extremely high
15rate of death and, as we learn from the other document, it
16was a task of the doctors to make sure there was a proper
17exchange of prisoners. So this is a machinery to put
18prisoners to death by work.
19 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I am indebted to you for reminding me of
20the documents because, of course, is this right,
21Dr Longerich, the documents do refer purely to
22nourishment, proper nourishment, proper medication, proper
23clothing ----
24 A. [Dr Heinz Peter Longerich]     Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- and not being made to stand in these ridiculous three-
26or four hour-long parades and so on?

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