The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.40

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.40
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   In fact as you see, if you look at the end of the
        memorandum, what in fact in the end they decided on was

.          P-173

        I think two four muffle ovens?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What were sonderhaktiernun, do you think, Mr
   MR RAMPTON:  Notice that the word [German spoken - document not
        provided] are in quotes in the original, are they not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I am going to ask you a question about that in a moment,
        go back to the text of van Pelt the top of 341, if you
        will. "Item 2 mentions the construction of two triple oven
        incinerators near the bath houses for special actions.
        These are the gas chambers also known as bunkers one and
        two".  Van Pelt says that. "On January 21st 1972 Eiffel
        testified in court that, when he wrote down the word bath
        houses for special actions, he knew exactly what this
        euphemism meant 'I knew at the time that this concerned
        gassing spaces'".
                  Now, that is right is it not?  I mean, he said
        that, do you know?  You say you know the trial well.  Yes?
   A.   I know the reason why he was acquitted, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Concentrate on the point that Mr Rampton is
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  Concentrate on the point.  It is at the bottom of
        page, the German, so we can be sure that you are not going
        to accuse van Pelt of mistranslation.

.          P-174

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If it did not mean that, I think this is
        really the point, what did sonderaktionen mean?
   A.   It does not really advance us very far.  It just says he
        knows they were talking about the gassing spaces.
   Q.   That was for clothes?
   A.   Vergassungsraume is always for fumigation of clothes,
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  Unless Van Pelt has got it wrong, I do not
        know, the German seem to say, I knew at that time that
        this, that is [German spoken- document not provided]
        concerned gassing spaces.
   A.   I think we can assume that, had Eiffel then been examined
        further, as no doubt a good counsel would have done, and
        said what do you mean by [German spoken - document not
        provided] presumably mean homicidal gas chambers, and he
        would then have given either yes or no answer, but we are
        not told because Mr van Pelt has only give us half a
        sentence here.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is a fair point.
   MR RAMPTON:  You can take that up with him.  It is maybe a fair
   MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, at some stage can we elicit
        something we had planned to elicit, namely to what extent
        was Mr Irving aware, when he made his statements about the
        gas chambers not having existed, of this and indeed the
        other evidence which you are taking him through?  At some

.          P-175

        stage we have to know the answer to that, do we not?
   MR RAMPTON:  Actually no, because I have always said, as I have
        said earlier, I think last week, that he leapt on to
        Leuchter when it must have been perfectly obvious, if he
        had been interested in finding out, by thinking about it
        and asking if the Leuchter was rubbish, he stuck with
        Leuchter, despite the fact that it is rubbish.  He has
        never taken the trouble to go to Auschwitz and look and
        I suggest two things flow from that.  One is that he is
        not just a rotten historian but a bent historian because
        he lends his weight to Holocaust denial without having the
        materials to do so, and second, that he has an ulterior
        motive for that disreputable stance.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I follow that, but does the question not need
        to at least to be asked at some stage?
   MR RAMPTON: By all means.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:   Well all this evidence is out there.  Did
        you consult it and, if you did, why did you reject it?
        I think we went through this.
   MR RAMPTON:  I thought that I had done that.  He had never been
        to Auschwitz.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, certainly never been to Auschwitz.
   MR RAMPTON:  Did you ever go to Vienna and look at the record
        of the trial of these people?
   A.   No.  I can simplify the matter by saying that, whenever
        there is an Auschwitz stamp on a document like this one,

.          P-176

        I have not seen it before the trial.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You follow the point I am trying to get at.
        There is a lot of evidence which the Defendants point to
        as demonstrating beyond the shadow of doubt that there
        were gas chambers at Auschwitz and they were used to kill Jews.
   A.   My Lord, I strongly disagree with that statement.
   Q.   When you read Leuchter, I appreciate that you then formed
        a view, but to what extent did you take into account the
        other evidence outside Leuchter and his examination of
        those samples?
   A.   Let me take it seriatim.  First of all, I disagree with
        the fact that we have seen a volume of evidence that there
        were indeed gas chambers.  I do not think that we have
        seen any evidence yet. We have seen evidence which can be
        read that way if you are so inclined. Secondly, I am told
        that I never tried to go to Auschwitz.  In 1992
        I contacted the director of state archives at Auschwitz,
        Mr Piper and he refused to assist me.  So it was quite
        evident that I would get no assistance whatsoever from the
        Auschwitz state archives.
   MR RAMPTON:  We have been through this last week.
   A.   No, we have not.
   Q.   Yes, we have.
   A.   No, we have not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is new to me.

.          P-177

   A.   In 1998 when I attempted to go to Auschwitz with the BBC
        team, Auschwitz ruled that I would not be allowed to set
        foot on the compound, on their campus or to visit their
        state archives.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not want to go over old ground, but I am
        going to in a minute, Mr Irving.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can he finish the answer?  I personally think
        this is quite important.  That was a closed book to you
        but there are other sources of information.
   A.   I have therefore never seen any documents that have come
        from the Auschwitz state archives.  In 1992 I went to the
        Moscow state archives where the other major collection is,
        which I used only in order to obtain the Goebbels
        diaries.  As a result of the machinations of my opponents,
        the Moscow state archives were thereupon closed to me and
        I was informed that I would not be allowed to return
        there, so I am told. So that also closed that avenue of
        access to any documents which come from the Moscow state
        archives which were also not known to me until shortly
        before this trial.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am going to pursue that, Mr Irving.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am so sorry, Mr Rampton.  I just want to
        get the complete answer and then by all means pursue any
        of it.  So that, you say, closed off the Moscow archives
        as well.  But you would accept, would you not, that there
        is whole lot of material and data to be found in all sorts

.          P-178

        of places, some of which is before the court and a lot of
        it in Professor van Pelt's report, to which you could have
        had access, had you been so minded?  Is that not right?
   A.   My Lord, the litany of woe continues.  I am banned from
        the Institute of History in Munich, thanks to exactly the
        same campaign.  I am banned from the German federal
        archives with effect from July 1st 1993, thanks to exactly
        the same campaign.  I have faced mounting difficulties in
        continuing to do research.  When I tried recently to get
        documents from the Wiener Library in London, which
        is exactly the same kind of historical archives, the
        director of the Wiener Library archives said that it would
        refuse to assist me.
   Q.   So what it really comes to -- forgive me, Mr Rampton,
        I will stop after this question -- is that really almost
        every avenue, you say, has been closed to you for one
        reason or another and at one stage or another?
   A.   At one stage or another.  I am not saying that it has been
        closed over the entire period.  It is fair to say that.
   Q.   Might it be said against you that in that case it might
        have been more sensible, when were you giving talks about
        whether the Holocaust had happened or not, to make it
        clear that you really, beyond Leuchter, had almost no
        historical material available to you?
   A.   My Lord, there had been endless publications about
        precisely these matters, for example the suspect document,

.          P-179

        which I have paid due attention to.  I have not had access
        to the archives myself, but I have had the opportunity of
        benefiting from the expertise of others.
   Q.   But my question was, should you not have made that clear
        to your audiences when you were saying, well, it is plain
        that battleship Auschwitz had sunk?
   A.   I think I made it quite plain to the audiences that the
        initial impetus for making that statement was the Leuchter
        report with the chemical results contained in that report,
        which I still considered to be a very valuable starting
        point for the whole controversy.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I see.  Thank you.  That now clarifies my mind.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry, Mr Irving, I simply cannot accept
        anything really of what you have said, apart from the fact
        that you have been banned from various places, but the
        thrust of it I reject in its entirety.  Do you have the
        first of the Auschwitz files, please, the big one?  Can
        you turn to the correspondence tab (which I think is tab
        8) and to a letter of 30th October 1989?  I do not have
        the page number, I am afraid.
   A.   I am hoping his Lordship will read all the letters under
        tab 8.
   Q.   Yes.  I am hoping he will too but that is not the point.
        It is marked with a 10.  Is that a letter from Mr Weber to

.          P-180

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Will you turn please to the last page of that letter?
        Remember that the date is 30th October 1989.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Look at the first paragraph on that last page: "Some time
        ago you mentioned that we might be willing to contribute a
        Foreword to my book conditional upon reading the
        manuscript and, even though you are now working on a book
        of your own about Auschwitz and our work may therefore
        overlap somewhat, I hope that you are still willing to
        consider contributing a Foreword.  I like to think that
        all the thoughtful and well documented revisionist work is
        mutually beneficial and a boost to the overall cause".
        Now, Mr Irving, were you working on a book about Auschwitz
        in October 1989?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Why did Mr Weber think that you were?
   A.   I do not know.  In October 1989 I was working -- let me
        think -- I had just delivered the new edition of Hitler's
        War, I was almost certainly working on the Herman Goring biography.
   Q.   May I suggest that Mr Weber said what he did because
        either you or somebody else on your behalf had told him
        that you were working on a book on Auschwitz?
   A.   Mr Rampton, your instructing solicitors have had complete
        access to all my files, including my entire private

.          P-181

        diaries.  If you had found any evidence that I was working
        on a book about Auschwitz, I am sure you would have had it
        before the court.
   Q.   I did not say that you were, Mr Irving.  You notice
        I tried to choose my words carefully.
   A.   You were strongly suggesting.
   Q.   -- that somebody had told him, perhaps you, that you were?
   A.   Perhaps.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   That is not evidence.  As I say, you have had complete
        access to all my private records.
   Q.   It would be evidence, Mr Irving, if you had told Mr Weber
        that, would it not? Not that you were doing it, but that
        you said that you were doing it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I cannot quite see why he should, myself?
   A.   He does not say even though you said you are now working
        on a book.  But I can only repeat, had you found any
        evidence of this in my private diaries or telephone logs
        or papers, I am sure you would have had it before the court.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, the Leuchter report came to your
        knowledge in August 1988, did it not?
   A.   April 1988.

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