Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.31 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Both. If it is an air raid shelter, Mr Irving, why would . P-88 the doors open outwards? It only has a single door. A. If an air raid shelter, why would the doors open outward? Q. Yes. You have the SS sheltering from the allied bombs. No bombs had been near Auschwitz yet in the war, not for another year ---- A. I will produce this clip of documents tomorrow, Mr Rampton, to satisfy even the most incorrigible counsel that, yes, our air raids were beginning to be felt in that part of Europe. Q. We shall be pleased to see them is all I will say at the moment, Mr Irving. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just see where we have got to? I still have not been provided with the reference in Professor van Pelt. A. We have plunged deep into basement No. 1. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It just helps me to follow what is not always immediately clear. A. My Lord, can I show you? MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is 1945 Polish investigation? A. Can I show you a picture of the building we are talking about? This is the crematorium No. (ii), the whole building. Q. Yes. A. And this is the Leichenkeller No. 1, which is the mortuary No. 1. You can see the roof is pancaked downwards, but it is still possible to crawl underneath it just so you get a . P-89 kind of visual impression of what the building looks like now. You can see the tourists down there looking at it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you. I thought I had found the reference at page 611, but I do not think that is it. MR RAMPTON: Miss Rogers tells me, my Lord, that there are references to the 1945 Polish report, but, as I had originally thought, there are only sort of what one might call passing references? A. Shall I just very briefly translate the first page? Q. No, not yet. I am in the middle of trying to tell his Lordship why it is not profitable to look in the report itself because the substance of the report as a whole is not reproduced or summarised. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am trying for the purposes of eventually my note to ---- MR RAMPTON: Would your Lordship like to look at page 198? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of Professor van Pelt? MR RAMPTON: Yes, since that was your Lordship's question. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I wanted to know whether that is what you were referring to. I have 198. MR RAMPTON: Cracow, my Lord, appears on page 198 and just a line at the top of 199. MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is Dawidowski, is it? MR RAMPTON: No. This is a set of tests done by the forensic laboratory at Cracow, and their report was dated 15th December 1945. It may have been have part of . P-90 Zane/Dawidowski exercise, but it is, in fact, a separate document, and it is the document which is at tab 6 of the new file. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, the reference to that report is note 310, is it not? MR RAMPTON: That is right. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot for the life of me see where the evidence that you say one derives from your tab 6 is to be found in Professor van Pelt's report. MR RAMPTON: Well, because, my Lord, the first page under [German- document not provided] reports that they took -- were sent to them four complete and two damaged covers, clasps or grilles from the ventilation openings which during inspection of crematorium No. (ii) in Birkenhau were found and which from the ventilation openings of the gas kammer, Leichenkeller No. 1, of this crematorium came from. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, I am probably being very thick, but what is the significance of that? MR RAMPTON: In 1945, in May 1945, the Cracow laboratory was sent some zinc covers from the ventilation openings described by Michael Kula in his testimony: "Ventilation openings from the gas chamber of crematorium (ii) at Birkenhau". They tested them and they found that there were traces of hydrogen cyanide. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where do I get that from tab 6? . P-91 MR RAMPTON: You get that at the end. It is page ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think Professor van Pelt makes that observation at all. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, he does. Page 3, that is right. He reports, does Professor van Pelt, that the zinc covers (which I just told your Lordship about) were "dislocated when the demolition squads dynamited the gas chambers, but six of them were retrieved in the rubble of crematorium (ii) and sent for analysis in the forensic laboratory in Cracow. The laboratory report noted that these were covered with a thin white colour of the strongest smelling deposit. The laboratory retrieved 7.2 grammes of the deposit ... (reading to the words)... Sulphuric acid was added to this solution and the resulting gas was absorbed in an absorbent material. This was divided into two and subjected to two different tests" which your Lordship can see described on pages 2 and 3 of this document, "each of which revealed the presence of hydrogen cyanide". MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much. That is what I needed and I have now got it, thank you. That you accept, Mr Irving, do you not? A. Yes. MR RAMPTON: They also retrieved a paper sack, and this is the second paragraph on the first page of the report, which had marked on it a weight of 25.5 kilograms of hair, which they say was taken from the corpses of females after . P-92 gassing and before burning in the crematorium ovens in Birkenhau. "Shorn" is the word, or "shaved off". They tested that too and in that also they found traces of hydrogen cyanide. That is not in van Pelt, but it is in the report. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, do you want to say anything about that? A. Well, I do not think that the human hair takes us any further, my Lord, because the Germans did subject everything that went through the camp to fumigation. So ---- Q. Well, why would human hair have been fumigated? A. Because they processed it. Q. What, after the death of the person concerned? A. Well, we do not know when this human hair was actually cut off, my Lord, whether it was cut of -- the evidence that I have is when the prisoners arrived as part of the hygiene methods -- Mr Rampton is shaking his head. MR RAMPTON: No. Do you know where it was found, Mr Irving? MR JUSTICE GRAY: In the gas chamber, the alleged gas chamber. MR RAMPTON: No, that is where it was "gischoren", that is where the killing was killed? A. Yes, that is what it says in the report, but, of course, I have not accepted that paragraph. Q. Do you know, Mr Irving, where this 25.5 kilo bag of hair was found? . P-93 A. It does not actually say in the report. Q. It will not help you to look in the report; you will not find it there? A. Then I do not know where it was found, no. Q. You do not know? A. No. Q. Would it surprise you that it was found in the part of the camp called "Canada"? A. That is where all the stolen property was kept. Q. That is correct. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then what is this worth as evidence? A. Everything from Canada was fumigated. MR RAMPTON: What is it worth as evidence? Well, what it shows is, my Lord, this is hair, as the report says, taken from people after they had been gassed. A. As the report alleges. This is a prosecution report being prepared for the prosecution of criminals. Q. 25.5 kilograms of hair in total is the hair of about, what, 500 women? A. I do not know. I have not done any calculations. It seems to me, I think that he is being very cautious about that weight. As he himself says, that is the weight marked on the bag, but I think that you would have had to have a bag the size of an elephant to make it weigh 50lbs of human hair. Q. But, you see, Mr Irving, you have accepted that that is . P-94 what it says. You may not like it, but that is what it says. Can I ask you to turn -- I am sorry about this, my Lord, but it is necessary because Mr Irving commented on this report to his friend, Mr Zundel, in September 1989. My Lord, that is in tab 8 ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of which of these files? A. The same file. MR RAMPTON: The same one as the report, K1. Have you got a page there? I have not got a page on mine. It is your letter of 19th September. A. Yes. Q. You write to Mr Zundel: "The two enclosures appear to be" -- has your Lordship got that? It has a 1241 in the top right-hand corner. 7, my Lord, I think. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. MR RAMPTON: "The two enclosures appear to be an initial counter attack on the Leuchter report. It may be that we have to take them seriously, particularly if the Polish one when translated contains firm evidence of cyanide in the hair of the young Jewish women or in the zinc basket". That is plainly, is it not, Mr Irving, a reference to this 1945 Cracow ---- A. Unquestionably, yes, which at that time we only had in the Polish, I think. Q. Why do you use the words, "It may be we have to take this one seriously"? What is that meant to mean? . P-95 A. I think that is underlined in suggestion B, we have to take it into account the possibility that this is a product of communist cold war propaganda. Q. Have you any evidence that it was? A. No, but we would derelict in our duty if we did not take into account the possibility that it was the product of cold war propaganda. Jan Sehn was a notoriously political lawyer. He was the Polish Vyshinksky, so this possibility cannot be entirely discounted coming from that neck of the woods, shall we say. Q. But would you accept, being as open-minded as you can, that much the likelier of the two possibilities set out in this letter is A? A. I have not put it that way. I said there are two possibilities. Q. I am asking you whether you would not accept, as an open-minded historian, that A is much the likelier of the two possibilities? A. At this time I had not read the report. I just had a Polish document in front of me from which I could pick out a few words indicating what it was about. Again, totally wrong of me to start drawing up conclusions about which version is correct. Q. If it is right that it contains firm evidence of cyanide in the hair of the young Jewish women or in the zinc basket, what is it that that evidence implies with all . P-96 that that implies as you write, what does it imply? A. Your first instinct is, undoubtedly, the impression that you gained when you read this report; you think to yourself, well, there you have it, there you have chapter and verse ---- Q. No. A. --- but then you realize that it came from, the hair, in fact, came from the, as you yourself now say, from Canada, which was the collecting centre for all their loot, and so there are all alternative explanations. I mean, this is -- one's first instinct, which is absolutely right, but then you settle back and you say to yourself, "This is a new document. Whenever you see a new document, you must not rush at it and let it bedazzle you. You have to take it into account and analyse all possibilities carefully". Q. But, you see, you have known about this document now, Mr Irving, since September 19th 1989 or before. A. Indeed, and this is one reason why, of course, the Leuchter report by itself by now does not stand by itself. Q. Why, Mr Irving, do you not accept the report for what it is, that is to say, that zinc covers taken from the crematorium, the alleged gas chamber at crematorium (ii), had traces of hydrogen cyanide on them. Six of them, I think there were, four complete and two damaged? A. Why do I or why didn't I? MR RAMPTON: Do you. . P-97 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You do accept it, you have said that? A. I do. I said that to help shorten the whole argument, yes. MR RAMPTON: Then the implication is obvious, is it not, that gas was used in that room? A. We are going to establish that later on, yes. Q. And the only question then remaining, Mr Irving ---- A. This is why it is called a "sonderkeller" also in other documents.
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