Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 29: Electronic Edition

Pages 121 - 125 of 186

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    Then, says Allen R to Cavendish-Bentinck on page
 1statement to be issued on the authority of HMG that
 2Poles 'are now being systematically put to death in gas
 3chambers'". Does that look to you, Mr. Irving, like an
 4intention to exploit this story for its propaganda value?
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     There are two different levels of authentication here.
 6What has been put to the Foreign Office is a draft
 7telegram to be signed by the two heads of State and
 8approved by Marshal Stalin, declaration on the war crimes
 9committed by the Nazis and the punishment of the
10perpetrators. At the other level you have black
11propaganda where any kind of lie counts, the kind of stuff
12that was put about by Richard Crossman and Sefton Delmer.
13There are two totally different levels of truthfulness
14involved. The Foreign Office obviously balked at the idea
15of persuading the British and American heads of State to
16sign a document containing a detail of which, as they
17later stated in this same bundle of documents, there was
18no proof, of which they had no evidence.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Quite. "The only two references", goes on Mr Allen,
20"which I have been able to find in the appendix to this
21Polish aide memoire which deal with this form of execution
22are as follows: (1) Telegram of 17th July 1943 from
23Poland, Commander in Chief, Armed Forces, Lublin District,
24informed me that he had evidence that some of these people
25are being murdered in gas cells there, Maidonek camp. (2)
26Telegram of 17th July 1943 from Poland: 'It has been

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 1ascertained that on July 2nd and 5th two transports'",
 2probably about 10,000 people, do you agree?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Made of women children and old men" ----
 5 A. [Mr Irving]     No. 2,000 people, it would have been.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What?
 7 A. [Mr Irving]     It would have been 2,000 people.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "Women, children and old men, consisting of 30 wagons
 9each, have been liquidated in gas cells". Did the British
10invent the idea of gas chambers and the Nazis' use of
11them?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     No, but, if you are familiar with the British Foreign
13Office files, then you will be aware that little credence
14was attached to reports from Polish sources.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Mr Irving, I ask my question again, which you resolutely
16refuse to answer. Did the British invent the story of the
17gas chambers?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     You will not get a direct answer. I am going to draw your
19attention ----
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am going to direct that you do give a
21direct answer. What is the answer?
22 A. [Mr Irving]     The answer is yes, still, if the word "invent" means
23anything at all.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That is fine. That is your position. So these stories
25which are coming back from Poland in 42 via Riegner in
26Geneva, and directly from the Polish people in 1943, they

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 1are simply recycled British propaganda? It has to be so
 2if you are right does it not Mr Irving?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     If you are putting something out on the air waves through
 4the BBC and black propaganda channels, for which you know
 5you have no evidence, and you state in writing in terms
 6that you have no evidence, then that is an invention, and
 7that is stated quite clearly on page 14 by Victor
 8Cavendish-Bentinck himself, the head of the British
 9Intelligence Service.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The Foreign Office, Mr Irving, took the view, as it had in
111942, that the material that they had received, either via
12Geneva or direct from Poland, was not sufficiently
13convincing to allow of propaganda about this matter. That
14is right, is it not?
15 A. [Mr Irving]     They put it much more strongly in August 1943.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     But you are not following me, Mr Irving.
17 A. [Mr Irving]     Victor Cavendish-Bentinck wrote: "As regards putting
18Poles to death in gas chambers, I do not believe that
19there is any evidence that this has been done". He is
20head of the British Intelligence Service, the chairman of
21the Joint Intelligence Committee and you cannot climb over
22the document, Mr Rampton.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am not trying to climb over it, Mr Irving. I am trying
24to make you face up to its significance. The decision is,
25despite this information received in 42 and 43, that the
26evidence does not stand the case up, so they do not use

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 1it.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     They do not have sufficient evidence to persuade the Prime
 3Minister and the President to put their names on a
 4document, but they have enough evidence to put the story
 5out on the air waves. They are quite happy to put it out,
 6although they are quite satisfied that they have no
 7evidence that it will stand up. It is good enough for the
 8liars, but it is not good enough for the presidents, the
 9heads of state.
10 MR RAMPTON:     When did they put it out, Mr Irving, on the air
11waves?
12 A. [Mr Irving]     They started putting the story out in late 1941, certainly
13in January 1942, they repeat it in June 1942, in November
14and December 1942, there was quite a blitz on the air
15waves with stories about the liquidation of the Jews in
16gas chambers in Poland. It is referred to in a lot of the
17private diaries, and also in the files of the German
18Propaganda Ministry who monitored the British Broadcasting
19Agency.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     By whom were these broadcasts made?
21 A. [Mr Irving]     They were put about by the BBC. Broadcasts were carried
22by the BBC, which has a monopoly in broadcasting at that
23time, and by the American corresponding channels.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do the documents that you have provided to us contain
25transcripts of these broadcasts?
26 A. [Mr Irving]     No. They contain entries either, as I was saying earlier,

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 1in private diaries of the people who listen to broadcasts,
 2either in occupied countries or in Germany or they contain
 3the monitoring reports that were maintained by the
 4propaganda agencies in Germany, who monitored foreign
 5broadcasts.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I would like to see, please, what this
 7material is, which I think has probably been produced.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     So would I. No, I do not think so. I would know
 9it if I had seen it.
10 A. [Mr Irving]     I think this is one of the cases where your Lordship
11intervened and said, we are not making enough progress.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Never mind.
13 MS ROGERS:     The position seems to be this. We have checked
14through the documents which have produced by Mr Irving
15which have been filed gradually in the J files. We cannot
16find any trace of it. In transcript day 20, starting at
17page 40, going over 41 and 42, Mr Irving, I think, in
18cross-examination of Professor Evans raised Thomas Mann's
19diary.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Page?
21 MS ROGERS:     It starts at 40, going over to 41.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     If you look for Mauthausen, you will probably find it or
23Dutch Jews, 400 young Dutch Jews deported.
24 MS ROGERS:     That reference appears on page 42, my Lord, the 400
25young Dutch Jews.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     

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