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 JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. 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 Leuchter? 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 much. 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 what? 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 people? 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 gassing. 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 case. 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? Yes. 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 came? 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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