Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day032.02 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 Third, in the event, as was no doubt intended, the proceedings of the Party Court were a farce. Of 16 cases dealt with in the report of February 1939, 14 were disposed of with little more than a rap on the knuckles for the culprits, including 13 cases of murder involving the deaths of 21 Jews. The two cases which were referred to the criminal courts were sexual offences against Jewish women - not because of their gravity, however, but because the offenders had been guilty of "racial defilement" (Rassenschande)! Finally, the reason the Party Court gave for its leniency in the other 14 cases was that the criminals were in fact "only carrying out the unclearly expressed but . P-12 properly recognized will of the leadership" - that is, Hitler. Mr Irving knows all of this, but suppresses it entirely in his book. The second striking example, amongst many, of Mr Irving's shocking falsification of history relates to 1943. By the beginning of 1943, many of Europe's Jews had already been murdered. Hungarian Jews, however, of whom there were perhaps 600 to 700,000, had, so far, escaped the destruction. The reason was that the ruler of Hungary, Admiral Horthy, although Hitler's ally, had steadfastly refused to deliver up Hungary's Jews. There was much agitation about this in Berlin. Eventually, on 16th and 17th April 1943, Hitler and his Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, summoned Admiral Horthy to Klessheim, near Salzburg, in order to put pressure on him to surrender the Hungarian Jews into Nazi hands. The notes of the meetings were taken by a man called Paul Schmidt and are agreed by Mr Irving, who used them for his own accounts of these meetings, to be very reliable. According to Schmidt's notes at the first meeting on 16th April, Horthy protested at the Nazi leader's demands. "But they" (the Jews) "can hardly be murdered or otherwise eliminated", he said. Hitler's response was palliative: "There is no need for that", he . P-13 said, and added that they could be sent to remote work camps or down the mines." The next day, 17th April 1943, Hitler's and Ribbentrop's demands became a good deal cruder. Horthy again protested that he "surely couldn't beat the Jews to death". Ribbentrop replied that they "must either be annihilated or taken to concentration camps. There is no other way". Hitler then followed up with this: "Where the Jews are were left to themselves, as for example in Poland, gruesome poverty and degeneracy had ruled. There were just pure parasites. One had fundamentally cleared up this state of affairs in Poland. If the Jews there didn't want to work, they were shot. If they couldn't work, they had to perish. They had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, from which a healthy body could be infected. That was not cruel", said Hitler, "if one remembered that even innocent natural creatures like hares and deer had to be killed so that no harm was caused. Why should one spare the beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism once more? Nations who did not rid themselves of Jews perished". Mr Irving's account of this exchange in his 1977 edition of "Hitler's War" (at page 509) is extraordinary. First, as an invented pretext for Hitler's remarks, he introduces the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which did not in fact begin until two days later. Then, immediately . P-14 following Hitler's brutal assertion of the need to kill the Jewish "beasts", Mr Irving adds this: "Horthy apologetically noted that he had done all he decently could against the Jews: 'But they can hardly be murdered or otherwise eliminated', he protested. Hitler reassured him: 'There is no need for that'. But just as in Slovakia, they ought to be isolated in remote camps where they could no longer affect the healthy body of the public; or they could be put to work in the mines, for example. He himself did not mind being temporarily excoriated for his Jewish policies, if they brought him tranquillity. Horthy left unconvinced." As, my Lord, will immediately be apparent, this was a quite brazen piece of manipulation: as Mr Irving knew perfectly well, because he was familiar with Schmidt's notes, this exchange had, in fact, occurred on the previous day (16th April), not 17th. It is apparent, therefore, that Mr Irving quite deliberately transferred it to 17th April in order to mitigate the chilling impact of Hitler's stark observation about the need to kill the Jewish "beasts". The account given in the 1991 edition of "Hitler's War" (at pages 541 to 542) is no better. True, the spurious reference to the Warsaw uprising has been removed. But so, too, has Hitler's repellant analogy between the need to kill animals which cause damage and . P-15 the need to kill the Jewish "beasts". And the brazen transfer that Hitler's palliative remark on 16th April to this meeting on 17th is perpetuated. My Lord, these two examples are but the tip of a large iceberg imposed of numbers of other equally egregious falsifications by Mr Irving in his written work and in his public utterances. I conclude here, my Lord, with this, that the Defendants say, on this part of the case: "Case proved: Mr Irving is, as was proposed at the outset of this trial, a liar". My Lord, it might be thought that that would be enough to dispose of Mr Irving's claim, given the emphasis he places on the damage to his reputation as an historian which he says was caused by Professor Lipstadt's book. But the evidence in the case has covered a lot of other topics as well, and I shall, therefore, briefly mention them too. Until 1988, Mr Irving had accepted the historical reality of Holocaust, but denied that Hitler authorized it or, until late on in the War, knew anything much about it. This position, for an historian, was described by Sir John Keegan, the well-known military historian, who was called on subpoena to give evidence in this court by Mr Irving, it was described as "perverse" and as "defying reason." Dr Peter Longerich, a . P-16 distinguished historian of the period, who gave expert evidence for the Defendants, called it "absolutely absurd". And so it was, for reasons which can be stated quite shortly. The Holocaust - that is the systematic mass murder of millions of Jews, gypsies and others - took place in stages. The first stage, beginning in the autumn of 1941, after Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, consisted of mass shootings carried out specially-formed SS groups and their local allies. This continued through into 1942 and resulted in the deaths of up to 1.5 million Jews living in Russia and the Baltic states. The second stage, which began in December 1941 and continued through into 1943 or later, consisted of the gassing of the Jews of the Warthegau and Poland. This resulted in the deaths of probably as many as 2.6 million Jews (300,000 in the Warthegau and 2.3 million in Poland). The third stage, beginning with mass deportations to the East in the autumn of 1941, culminated in the deaths by gassing, mostly at Auschwitz, of Jews from Central, Western and Southern Europe. This stage lasted until late 1944. Reliable recent estimates of the numbers gassed at Auschwitz/Birkenhau give a figure of . P-17 about 1.12 million. Thus the total achievement of this horrendous exercise in systematic mass murder was probably somewhere between five and six million innocent lives. The whole of this gigantic operation was orchestrated by Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsfuhrer SS, and his able subordinates, such as Heydrich, Globocnik and Eichmann. As Dr Longerich explained in court, Hitler and Himmler were long-time intimate associates. Himmler had been with Hitler during the 1923 putsch and Hitler appointed him Reichsfuhrer SS in 1929. Throughout the War, and certainly while the Holocaust was underway, they met frequently, sometimes two or three times a week, often for hours at a time and often alone together. It is, therefore, wholly inconceivable that during the whole three and a half years for which the killing lasted, Himmler could, or indeed would, have concealed from Hitler the enormous, systematic operation that he was directing. This becomes all the less credible when it is remembered, as the documents show, that Hitler was the mainspring and driving force of Nazi anti-Jewish policy from 1923 onwards and that his anti-Semitism became noticeably more radical, if that were possible, from the date that he declared war on America (11th December 1941). Thus, leaving aside all the specific evidence to . P-18 be found in the contemporary documents, including documents written by Himmler himself, which, fairly read by an open-minded, careful historian, plainly implicate Hitler, the overall picture is compelling: the Holocaust could not possibly have happened without Hitler's knowledge and authority. It takes only a moment's light reflection to realize that the contrary idea is both absurd and perverse: suppose, say, in July 1942, when Himmler went to Lublin and Auschwitz to review and advance the mass killing in Poland, and on his return had lunch with Hitler (as he did) that Hitler, previously in a state of complete ignorance, and in any case opposed to any Final Solution that involved any more than deportation of the Jews to Siberia or Central Africa after the War, had suddenly found out what Himmler was doing. What, one wonders, would have happened to Himmler? Well, of course, it didn't, not then or at any time thereafter. In 1988 Mr Irving's position changed dramatically. Not only did Hitler not know about the Holocaust, the Holocaust did not happen (which is why, of course, Hitler did not know about it). The question is why? Why this change in Mr Irving's position? The one-word answer is: Leuchter. In April 1988, Mr Irving went to Canada, for reasons best known to himself, to give expert evidence at the trial in Toronto of a man called Ernst Zundel, a dedicated . P-19 Holocaust denier, and since 1988, one of Mr Irving's staunchest allies and promoters. While he was in Toronto, he met a man called Fred Leuchter, also proffered by Zundel, but rejected by the Canadian court, as an expert witness. Leuchter was, it seems, some kind of consultant on execution facilities in the USA. He'd been to Auschwitz and Birkenau to seek "scientific" evidence of the existence of homicidal gas chambers. He made a report on his findings. Mr Irving gave this report a cursory reading. His conversion was instantaneous. Even as he gave evidence to the Canadian court, the Holocaust had suddenly never happened. In June 1989, Mr Irving gave a press conference in London, triumphantly announcing the English publication of the Leuchter Report, with a foreword written by himself. In his foreword, Mr Irving trumpeted the virtues of the Report, with particular emphasis on the chemical analysis of the samples which Leuchter had brought back from Auschwitz/Birkenau. "Forensic chemistry" proclaimed Mr Irving, "is an exact science". And, my Lord, indeed so it is. Fred Leuchter had taken samples from the remains of the gas chambers and one sample from the delousing facility in the women's camp at Birkenau. The samples from the gas chambers showed small, but significant, traces of cyanide, the active . P-20 element in the Zyklon-B pellets used for the gassings, the sample from the delousing facility, relatively high traces. Therefore, concluded Leuchter, the "gas chambers" could never have been gas chambers, because, according to Leuchter, the concentration of hydrogen cyanide needed to kill humans was higher than that needed to kill lice. The Leuchter report (as Mr Irving has accepted during this trial) was riddled with numerous errors of various kinds, but this error was colossal. As the material contained in the Leuchter report itself showed, the concentration of hydrogen cyanide required to kill humans is, in fact, some 22 times lower than that required to kill lice. Thus, so far from disproving the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, the Leuchter Report actually succeeded in proving the opposite. Despite this, Mr Irving continued to cling, and still clings, to Leuchter's "forensic chemistry" as the flagship of his Holocaust denial. In consequence, Mr Irving has, ever since 1988, used the Leuchter Report as the foundation not only for his denial of the existence of any homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, but also, quite illogically, for the existence of any gas chambers anywhere. In the end, at the trial of this action, Mr Irving has been driven, in the face of overwhelming evidence presented by Professor Robert Jan van Pelt, . P-21 Professor Christopher Browning and Dr Longerich, to concede that there were indeed mass murders on a huge scale by means of gassing at Chelmno in the Warthegau and at the Reinhardt camps of Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor; and even that there were "some gassings" at Auschwitz. His last remaining defence against the evidence showing that the crematoria at Birkenau were used to murder vast numbers of Jews by means of Zyklon B was to make the slippery concession that the gas chambers -- known as Leichenkeller I at crematoria II and III at Birkenau -- were, indeed, gas chambers, but for gassing only (I quote Mr Irving's words) "objects and cadavers". This last proposition is ludicrous. If this were not such a serious matter, it would be hilarious. For the evidence, clearly explained by Professor van Pelt, is that the gas-tight doors in Leichenkeller I at both those crematoria were equipped with thick glass spyholes, protected by metal grilles. Why, it was asked of Mr Irving, should these be required for the observation of the gassing of lice-infested "objects" and corpses? Faced with this, Mr Irving retreated to the position that Leichenkeller I had been intended to serve an alternative purpose as an air-raid shelter. This last refuge will be dealt with shortly below. Meanwhile, Professor van Pelt also explained that when the plans of crematoria II and III were redesigned in late 1942 and early 1943, the . P-22 corpse-slides or chutes appearing on the original plans were removed, and the entrance to the basement moved to the other side of the building. Thus, if the re-design was intended to facilitate the gassing of corpses, people who are already dead, it had only succeeded in compelling those who were carrying the corpses to negotiate a series of small rooms, narrow passages, and staircases to reach the gassing-space. Moreover, the plans were re-designed at that time so as to change the way in which the doors of the gassing-space opened from inwards to outwards, thus further impeding the carrying of corpses into the space. Mr Irving's air-raid shelter proposal is equally absurd. It is obvious that the Leichenkellers could never have served as air-raid shelters for an inmate population of 100,000 or more, even if it thought likely that the SS should have wanted to protect the inmates against air-raids. Therefore, if the Leichenkellers were ever intended to be used as air-raid shelters, they must have been intended for the SS. In fact, crematoria II and III are about one and a half miles from the nearest SS barracks. The picture of SS personnel running from their barracks, round the perimeter wire, in full gear, one and a half miles to the crematoria, under a hail of bombs, is just plain daft. Mr Irving's concession that Leichenkeller I was indeed a gas chamber is, of course, entirely inconsistent . P-23 with his continued adherence to Leuchter's chemical analysis as being conclusive evidence that Leichenkeller I never was a gas chamber. It is also wholly inconsistent with his final line of defence, which is that Leichenkeller I could never have been a gas chamber because the remains of the roof that can be seen at Birkenau do not show the holes through which the gas pellets were thrown.
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