Ирвинг против Липштадт


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

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Identifying the issue

13.68 When the trial started, it appeared from Irving's written statement of case that he was adhering to the position often adopted in his speeches about Auschwitz, namely that no gas chambers were commissioned or operated at the camp and that in consequence no Jew lost his or her life in gas chambers there.
13.69 As I have already observed in paragraph 7.11 above, in the course of the trial Irving modified his position: he accepted that there was at least one gas chamber (or "cellar") at Auschwitz, albeit used solely or mainly for the fumigation of clothing. He also accepted that gassing of Jews had taken place at the camp "on some scale". He did not indicate on what scale. Irving firmly denied the claim advanced by van Pelt that 500,000 Jews were killed in morgue 1 of crematorium 2. The case for the Defendants on the other hand was, as I have said, that almost one million Jews were put to death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
13.70 In these circumstances the central question which, as it appears to me, falls to be determined is whether or not the evidence supports the Defendants' contention that the number of deaths ran into hundreds of thousands or whether Irving is right when he claims that the killing by gas was on a modest scale.
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