Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 16 - 20 of 186

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    Well, you will have time to say that when you make your
 1closing speech. If the eyewitnesses turn out to be partly
 2baloney, and they are a body of evidence that, in my
 3opinion, should, therefore, be discounted, I am entitled
 4to make this point as forcefully as I can by drawing
 5attention to the ludicrous elements contained by some of
 6the eyewitness accounts.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did you tell this audience about the evidence, the
 8eyewitness testimony, of Henrich Tauber, for example?
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Probably at that time it was not known to me, but I would
10certainly have done so and I would have drawn attention to
11the discrepancies in his account as well.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Why do you think your audience in Milton, Ontario, find
13these little anecdotes, fables, if you like, so funny?
14 A. [Mr Irving]     There are two ways of addressing an audience. One is in
15an academic climate where you are enveloped in professors'
16robes and speaking to students who have no obligation but
17to sit there with their notepads on their lap, and then
18you can dictate to them all the documents and all the
19material you want until the bell rings and it is time for
20them to go out.
21     The other way is to make or deliver a talk or a
22lecture in such a manner that you capture and hold your
23audience's attention, and you do that repeatedly by
24interlacing the serious documents that you want them to
25listen to with material to keep them awake, if I can put
26it like that.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     How long, is it, Mr Irving, since any, if ever, reputable
 2historian has paid any attention whatsoever to this kind
 3of material?
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     I would say within living memory shall we say within four
 5weeks in this very courtroom we have listened to account
 6after account from Professor van Pelt who relies on Ade
 7Bimco, who relies on Henrich Tauber, who has relied on
 8five or six eyewitness, all of whom have elements of total
 9distortion. Ludicrous elements. For example, the
10Gerstein report. Ludicrous elements contained in their --
11Christopher Brown, he had to put back into the Gerstein
12report the stuff that he had omitted, the mountains of
13shoes and shirts, and these ludicrous elements which
14disqualify the eyewitness from any source value
15whatsoever, just as they disqualified finally
16the allegation that there were gas chambers in Dachau.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Like your old chum Karl Wolff, for example?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     I have never met Karl Wolff in my life except once when he
19was pushed under my nose by a Sunday Times cameraman at a
20function in Schattenburg.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     An eyewitness in some sense to the events in this part of
22German history, would you agree?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     Well, I do not understand. What is the question?
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You rely on him to exculpate Hitler, so far as the
25conversation, reported conversation, between him and
26Himmler in August 1942 is concerned, do you not?

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 1 A. [Mr Irving]     I relied on Karl Wolff who was the adjutant of Heinrich
 2Himmler for a period of about 10 or 15 years, if my memory
 3serves me right, who wrote in this confidential manuscript
 4an account of his own personal impressions of the
 5character and nature of this rather weird man, Heinrich
 6Himmler, who came from humble origins and turned into one
 7of history's biggest mass killers. He was an interesting,
 8obviously a man very well placed, Karl Wolff, to describe
 9Heinrich Himmler in his underpants, so to speak.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You put that passage from Karl Wolff's interrogation in
111952 -----
12 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     --- by Dr von Siegler, I think his name was, before this
14court because you wanted to rely on a single passage where
15Karl Wolff, effectively, in your eyes, exculpates Adolf
16Hitler in relation to the Holocaust, is that not what you
17did?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     No. I put it before the court because I am accused of
19having invented or manipulated or distorted without any
20fundamental or documentary basis whatsoever, and I cannot
21help it if your historians and experts either did not know
22of these sources or knew of them but decided not to use
23them.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In your eyes, is Karl Wolff a reliable witness?
25 A. [Mr Irving]     In some respects he is and in some respects he is not.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So when he talks in unvarnished terms about the Juden

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 1ausrottung, the extermination of the Jews -- your
 2translation -- is he reliable or not?
 3 A. [Mr Irving]     It depends precisely what he is saying. As I said, he is
 4in some respects reliable and in some respects he is not.
 5If you let me see the passage you wish to ask me about,
 6then, of course, I will comment on it.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     It is a very short line. You translated it yourself only
 8a very few days ago. We are not going back to ----
 9 A. [Mr Irving]     Please, if you wish me to comment on a passage, my Lord, I
10think ----
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     There are two points. You can have it if you
12like, but I think the two points are (1) is the reference
13to millions of Jews having been killed and the other is a
14reference to gassing. We can look at the document if you
15like?
16 A. [Mr Irving]     I probably have it in front of me here somewhere.
17I promise I am not going to use the tactics that have been
18used by the Defence witnesses throughout this case of
19constantly relying, asking to see the documents.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, well, if you want to see it, we can see
21it.
22 A. [Mr Irving]     In this particular case, I am asked for an impression and
23I ought to have a look at the original document.
24 MR RAMPTON:     If you would like to look at page 5 of your own
25translation, it is just above and below your page
26reference 00032. I am quite happy with your translation,

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 1so we need not bother with the German.
 2 A. [Mr Irving]     Page 5, right?
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Fifth page. I do not know where it is.
 4 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes, I have it. It is page 00031 or 32.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
 6 A. [Mr Irving]     "From what we survey today", is this right?
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, I will read it, if I may: "From what we survey
 8today, there were perhaps 70 men, all told, from Himmler
 9to Hoess who were involved in the extermination of the
10Jews", and you give the German, Juden ausrottung.
11"General Wolff also saw Bormann who was definitely
12actively involved in these things together with Hoess, the
13former Famer murderer. Bormann and Himmler", handwritten
14insert "Wolff probably", "represented the view that the
15Jewish problem had to be dealt with without Hitler getting
16his fingers dirty in the process. The gassing idea", and
17that means gassing of human beings, does it not?
18 A. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     "... probably emerged when a genuine epidemic broke out in
20the Auschwitz camp and mass dying resulted". Can we rely
21on General Wolff as telling the truth in that passage so
22far as the extermination of Jews by gassing is concerned?
23 A. [Mr Irving]     It is the curate's egg, if you know the expression,
24Mr Rampton.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes, Mr Irving, I am nearly as old as you are.
26 A. [Mr Irving]     

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