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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.32

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.32
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Indeed, it is.  The only question then remaining is who or
        what or what was gassed in that room, is it not?
   A.   Well, it is for you to establish that point.
   Q.   No.  No, Mr Irving ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Anyway, do not let us debate about who has to
        establish what.  I think we know what the position is and
        Mr Irving says that it was to gas corpses.
   A.   Well, or objects, yes, clothing or something like that.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that is probably a convenient moment.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, my Lord, I am afraid that means that if
        Mr Irving is to contend that there is evidence for that
        suggestion (which is the first I have ever heard of it, if
        I may say so) we will have to go into some of the detail,
        I am afraid.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, detail of the reasons for doubting

.          P-98

   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, that I can do very quickly.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Good.  That seems to me to ----
   MR RAMPTON:  But Mr Irving has made a statement in the witness
        box.  I can simply say, "Well, I am sorry, I do not accept
        that" and leave it at that and then say at the end of the
        case to your Lordship, "Well, look, this is actually what
        all the evidence is", and leave it at that, or (which
        I much prefer not to do) I can take him through all the
        contemporaneous documentation which is noticed, both plans
        and typewritten documents, to show why he must be wrong
        and why any open-minded person would accept that they are
        wrong, but since this is, so far as he is concerned,
        apparently, a new position, I think it may not matter very
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, he accepts that it is evidence of
        gassing having taken place.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, I know, but it is a question of what, gassing
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but what evidence are you going to be
        able to adduce on that?
   MR RAMPTON:  I mean, there is eyewitness testimony.
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  There are all the documents.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I put it the other way round.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do too.

.          P-99

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Maybe this is the first question at
        2 o'clock, what evidence can you point to to support the
        notion that it was corpses being gassed rather than live
   MR RAMPTON:  I hoped your Lordship would say that because my
        position is that the evidence is overwhelming.  If he
        wants to say that it is wrong, let him show me how.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is, in a way, dealt with in that ruling
        I gave last week.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, I agree.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Good, 2 o'clock.
                        (Luncheon adjournment)
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, I do not know whether it is better to do
        it from here or from the witness stand.  Just before the
        adjournment we were talking about the danger of air
        raids.  I told your Lordship that I would bring evidence
        tomorrow.  In fact, by chance----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  May I interrupt you?  Why do you not go back
        and then you can give the evidence that I think you were
        wanting to give before the adjournment about air raids in 1943.
   A.   By chance I have two copies of a three page extract I did
        from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's catalogue of the
        Moscow records of the Auschwitz construction office, and
        I did this three page extract purely relating to records
        on the air raid precautions in Auschwitz camp.  I have

.          P-100

        given a copy to Mr Rampton, which I also have by chance.
        It contains files, for example, 1943 to 1944, on means of
        defence against bombs.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are these Russian bombers?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Western?
   A.   It is a good question, my Lord.
   Q.   I think it might have been.
   A.   It could have been either.  They did have Soviet air raids
        on Berlin, certainly.
   Q.   Anyway, it says, does it, that there were air raids going
        on in 1943?
   A.   It actually goes back to August 1942 my Lord, the various
        files, detailed instructions on how to build air raid
        shelters and protect buildings against incendiary bombs,
        equipping of bunker, down at the bottom of the page more
        exchanges of notes and memos about various camp
        construction projects, many having to do with providing
        air raid shelters.
   Q.   Yes.  I think that is probably enough.
   A.   There are quite a lot of files relating to plans for air
        raid shelter, estimates and accounts for construction of
        bomb shelters and so on.  It was very much in the air, if
        I could put it like that, from August 1942 onwards.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I will not come back to that at the
        moment.  I have not read it.  I need to take instructions

.          P-101

        on it.  It is, I think, a redacted version of the
        documents in question in any event.
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, can I, before you continue, make
        a request which is that, when one gets to a new Auschwitz
        topic, if you or your team could provide me with the
        Professor van Pelt reference for it, even if you are not
        going to necessarily use it for cross-examining, it helps
        me for my purposes.
   MR RAMPTON:  They will.  Actually all those references are in
        the statement of case, in fact.  But that is not much use
        to you.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Not on a running basis, if you see what
        I mean.  Miss Rogers can do the looking up.
   MR RAMPTON:  I think they are also in the request for
        information that we served.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Anyway, if you could bear that in mind please.
   MR RAMPTON:  I think I am probably not going to need that, but
        I say that.  No doubt my hopes will be dashed.  My Lord.
        Before I go to the Leuchter report itself, there are three
        questions I would like to ask Mr Irving about something he
        said this morning, which is the first I have heard of it.
        Mr Irving, you said, I think this morning, words to this
        effect, I do not have the exact words, that it is your
        thesis that the Corpse Cellar 1 in crematoria 2 and 3 had

.          P-102

        a dual purpose function, used for gassing corpses and for
        gassing clothes.  Did you say something like that this morning?
   A.   Gassing corpses or objects, yes.
   Q.   First question:  If that were so, why did Mr Leuchter not
        find similar concentrations of hydrogen cyanide residue in
        those rooms as he did in the delousing facility?
   A.   Frankly, I do not know the answer to that.
   Q.   If they were used for gassing corpses, I wonder if you can
        help me to understand the point, because shortly after
        they were in the mortuary they went to be incinerated?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What would be the point of gassing a corpse that was
        shortly going to be incinerated?
   A.   The corpses arrived in a state of fully clothed.  Before
        they were cremated they were undressed, and various other
        bestialities were performed on them.  I believe the gold
        teeth were taken out and other functions were performed.
        As the corpses cooled, the lice that may have been on the
        body crawled off the body because lice were seeking heat.
        As the body cooled, they crawled off so you had an
        infestation problem.
   Q.   Where?
   A.   I am not sure saying this off the top of my head,
        Mr Rampton.  I have taken advice on this.
   Q.   Where would the infestation problem arise, Mr Irving?

.          P-103

   A.   Anywhere between the place of death and the Leichenkeller.
   Q.   No.  You were talking about gassing corpses in
        Leichenkeller 1, beside which is a lift straight up to the
        incineration chamber?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Think about it.  Why would you gas a corpse that was going
        straight up to be cremated?
   A.   I thought I gave the explanation.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not understand the explanation because,
        as I understood it, the undressing took place before the
   MR RAMPTON:  The undressing took place before the gassing?
   A.   That is not the evidence that I gave, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I thought it was.  Tell me if I am wrong.
   A.   We have not had any evidence as to that, my Lord.
   Q.   No, but I have read the report.  Am I wrong about that?
   A.   I shall certainly be questioning ----
   MR RAMPTON:  You are absolutely right, my Lord.  On the
        evidence, if one can look at the evidence rather than at
        some bizarre version of it, the bigger room is the
        undressing room.  They are then shepherded through into
        the smaller room where they are gassed.  When they are
        dead, they are taken out through double doors that open
        outwards on to the lift and up into the crematorium, to
        put it crudely.
   A.   I am having difficulty, my Lord.  I have not been given a

.          P-104

        chance to comment on this rather global presentation of
        what Mr Rampton alleges to have happened.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Comment now.  Now is your chance.
   MR RAMPTON:  Now is your chance.
   A.   My Lord, we need to know what basis the evidence is put
        on.  I apprehend that this is based on eyewitness evidence
        and I shall have something to say about each of the
        eyewitness reports on which Mr van Pelt bases his
        statement.  I think the proper place to do that is in the
        cross-examination of Professor van Pelt.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, I agree with you, Mr Irving.  Having taken
        his Lordship's indication before the adjournment, my
        position is this.  Professor van Pelt provides an account
        of the evidence which no open minded person would deny led
        to the probable conclusion that this was a mass
        extermination by gassing that was going on.
   A.   That is conclusion of the closed mind.  The conclusion of
        the open mind is to look for alternative explanations
        which are supported by the documents, and you have not
        even asked me what the documents to support my case are.
   Q.   I do not know what the documents are that support your
   A.   If you ask, you shall learn.
   Q.   You can put them to Professor van Pelt in his evidence,
        Mr Irving?
   A.   I think your Lordship might like to hear about just one

.          P-105

        document which supports my "bizarre hypothesis", as you
        call it.
   Q.   I am not going to spend my time on cross-examination on
        that topic.  Mr Irving, there is one other question.
   A.   May I not state what this one document is, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are you talking about the fumigation aspect?
   Q.   Please do.
   A.   There is an invoice which is in our possession provided by
        the firm which was responsible for the construction and
        erection and installation of these crematoria, namely the
        top firm, for the provision of manpower, and equipment for
        the tarring of the entwesungsanlage in precisely this
        building.  The entwesungsanlage was the disinfestation
        plant in this building.  It has no alternative meaning.
   Q.   I do not know ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am afraid the significance of what you have
        just said escapes me.
   A.   That is precisely what my contention is, what this room
        was being used as.  They had installed this room
        Liechenkeller 1, as a disinfestation, room, as a
        sonderkeller for treating the infested bodies which were
        delivered to the crematorium during the appalling plague
        which hit Auschwitz in 1942 and 1943.
   Q.   So you are saying that this invoice, or whatever it is,
        can be tied in to the chamber from which the zinc covers

.          P-106

   A.   I do not want to try and establish a complete link in that
        linkage in that manner, my Lord.  I was only asked to
        support my "bizarre hypothesis", as Mr Rampton calls it,
        that an alternative use of this room was not just a
        mortuary but also as a disinfestation  chamber.
   MR RAMPTON:  Where is this document?
   A.   I will produce it to you tomorrow morning.  Had I known
        you were going to lead this evidence ----
   Q.   You cannot do that, Mr Irving. You must produce it now.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If he cannot, he cannot.
   MR RAMPTON:  You have never disclosed this document, have you?
   A.   The document only came into our possession in the last
        three weeks once we had read all the latest reports.
   Q.   The last three weeks?
   A.   Well, you have been bombarding us with documents over the
        last few months.

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