Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day005.19 Last-Modified: 2000/08/01 . P-169 Q. A conduit pipe. So if Hitler was at all interested in reports of what was going on in the East, he could expect to get them for Wolff, could he not? A. Yes. This letter is, of course, actually written from the Fuhrer's headquarters. Q. Yes. A. That is the address at the top. Q. I quite agree with you. In case you should have missed the point, it does not say, "and I have brought your glad tidings to the Fuhrer today at lunch and we all had a glass of champagne"? A. I think I treated the document responsibly. I gave you the full text of it or whatever was relevant in my books, and once again I leave the readers to draw their own conclusions. I may say that your Lordship and yourself have also drawn the right conclusions from this document or the appropriate conclusions. Q. Could you please turn, Mr Irving, to page 143 of Evans' report, paragraph 5, no, I had better start actually a bit earlier. This is all, my Lord, embedded in a discussion of the suggestion that the gas chambers were an invention of British propaganda. Mr Irving, I am right, am I not that, Riegner was some kind of figure in the Jewish community in the West? A. In Switzerland. Q. In Geneva. . P-170 A. Or in Bern, one or the other, yes. He was a young man with contacts inside Nazi Germany. Q. Can we, please, start at the top of page 142. It is your position, is it not, or has been at any rate, that the gas chambers were a very cleaver piece of propaganda that we British very cunningly connived at and contrived during World War II, is that right? A. I do not think I would use child adjectives like "clever and cunningly connived". Q. Look at the bottom of page 141 of the Evans' report. A. There is a great deal of evidence that the British propaganda agents is propagated in the gas chamber motive, for example. Q. This is taken from an interview given by you to This Week on 28th November 1991. A. In the broadcast of Thomas Mann but I will come to that in due course. Thomas Mann operated for the British and American Intelligence Agencies. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Stripping out "clever and cunning" for the sake of argument, do you contend, Mr Irving, that gas chambers at Auschwitz were an invention by British Intelligence during the war? A. British Intelligence broadcast repeatedly through the BBC and through other information channels into Nazi Germany information about gas chambers in occupied Nazi, Nazi occupied Europe at a time when they were not in . P-171 operation. In other words, the information was premature information, shall we say. Q. Well, premature begs the question rather, does it not? A. Yes, in other words the information came forward. Q. Are you suggesting it was an invention? A. To degree the it must have been an invention because at the time the British propaganda was talking of them they did not exist. Q. So it was an invention by British propaganda? A. British propaganda invented the story of the gas chambers or invented stories of gas chambers which were broadcast into Nazis Germany during the war years. There is any amount of evidence of this in the BBC monitoring reports, in the German radio monitoring reports, in the memoirs of people like Thomas Mann, the famous German novelist, who worked for British propaganda agencies in their private diaries and so on. Q. Yes, well, I am sure it was broadcast; it is a question of whether it was an invention by the British propaganda machine? A. Well, if the Allies, as we know from the Foreign Office files, had no knowledge of any gas chambers, then, clearly, it was an invention. MR RAMPTON: I wonder about that. Can you just look at the middle of page 143? We may have to come back in due course to what you said about this, but that is a . P-172 different question. Paragraph 5. Professor Evans has recited your rather complicated account of this in your forthcoming Churchill book. Then he says: "What is the real documentary evidence for this account? Gerhard Riegner was director of the Geneva Office of the World Jewish Congress from 1939 until 1945. On 8th August 1942 Riegner handed an identical telegram to Howard Etling, American Vice-Counsel in Geneva, and to HB Livingston, the British Consul. Riegner asked that a telegram be conveyed to the World Jewish Congress leaders in London (Sydney Silverman, MP) and New York (Rabbi Steven Wise). The telegram stated: 'Received alarming report stating that, in the Fuhrer's Headquarters, a plan has been discussed, and is under consideration, according to which all Jews in countries occupied or controlled by Germany numbering 3 and-a-half to 4 million, should, after deportation and concentration in the East, be at one blow exterminated, in order to resolve, once and for all the Jewish question'." Then there is a reference to a document which I think I can show you in a moment. Then Professor Evans goes on: "Although the message the put the as 'under consideration', there was an additional detail: 'Ways of execution are still being discussed, including the use of prussic acid'. Riegner himself said, 'We transmit this information with all the . P-173 necessary reservation as exactitude cannot be confirmed by us'. But he added, 'Our informant is reported to have close connections with the highest German authorities, and his reports are generally reliable'". That should be footnote 90 in this part of Professor Evans' report. A. The actual document is in my discovery, of course -- the Riegner telegrams. Q. I am sorry, my Lord. The way that the Evans' documents have been indexed makes them rather difficult to find. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do we need the original for this purpose? MR RAMPTON: Well, if it has come from Mr Irving's discovery, I think we do not actually because he would be well familiar with it. A. I am very familiar indeed with the document and with the associated minutes by the Foreign Office officials on it. Q. That is an accurate account, is it, in Professor Evans' report of what the telegram says? A. Those three lines are accurately transcribed from the telegram, to the best of my recollection. Q. So there are four lines in the body of paragraph 5 and then there are some further references to things like prussic acid in paragraph 6? A. Yes, but, of course, the actual telegram is longer than that. Q. Yes. . P-174 A. We know a great deal also about the origins of the telegram, whether this informant existed, and so on. Q. I can see that it is much longer; I am certainly not going to bend the court's ear by reading it out. A. What is significant, of course, is the associated memoranda on the Foreign Office file, the treating of its credibility and of what to do with it, and so on. Q. Yes, sure, but if this is the source of the information -- call it that, no more -- it is hardly an invention of British propaganda, is it? A. Which information? Q. This information here, in the Evans' report. If Riegner is the source of the information ---- A. Yes. Q. --- then it is not an invention of British propaganda, is it? A. Not at this stage, no, but, of course, there had been references by British propaganda to alleged hydrogen and cyanide gas chambers before this August 1942 telegram. Q. Let me take it slowly. If Riegner's information is not something that he has been put up to by British propaganda ---- A. Yes. Q. --- true, you may say, though, I am not going accept it, that the British propaganda then built on that idea, maybe you do say that, maybe you do not, I do not know, but the . P-175 fact is that information is an important piece of evidence, not a huge piece of evidence, an important piece of evidence, when one comes to consider what I call the Final Solution and the means by which it was achieved, is it not? A. I am not quite sure what question -- are you asking whether this was the origin of the British, or whether it was just a ---- Q. No, no. A. --- link in your system chain. Q. It is just a link in my chain of documents. It is said that Riegner had the ear of somebody ---- A. Yes. Q. --- high up in the Nazi ---- A. And, therefore, the British did not invent the story because Riegner brought it to them. Q. No, no. Therefore, it is quite important evidence that the use of hydrogen cyanide was intended from quite a long way back as a killing agent for Jews? A. If this is an authentic account by Riegner, but, of course, if we subsequently find out, as has been established by people of the calibre of Walter La Coeur, that Riegner's source did not exist as a source of integrity, shall we say, a man who was not in a position to know what he was talking about, then that tells us absolutely nothing whatsoever. It is a fluke. But if we . P-176 can just have five or six lines reproduced from one document here, that is not the way to go about things. We need to know all the surrounding material and, in particular, if you want to say this is evidence the British did not invent because they built the story on this, then I have to say that British files, Foreign Office minutes show that it was totally dismissed. They said, "We cannot believe this. We cannot believe stories of this type. We have no supporting evidence at all. There is not a shred of evidence that this story is true". MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is on the original of this Riegner document? A. It is in the typical Foreign Office folder with all the minutes attached to it with what are called treasury ties. Q. Is that the document Mr Rampton was looking for a moment ago? A. Well, it is in my discovery, my Lord, and I can produce it in court tomorrow as one of these dreaded little bundles. MR RAMPTON: Well, it is there, my Lord. I really do not think at this time of the day I would ask your Lordship to look at it. It is difficult to read. It is bitty and the essence, for my purposes, is in the Evans' report anyway. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes? A. Well, the essence as extracted by Professor Evans, of course, not the essence which I would extract, but I will do that under cross-examination, my Lord, when the time . P-177 comes, I think. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, yes, but, I mean, Mr Rampton will appreciate, obviously, that your case is that the annotations on the document show that it was not given any credence at the time by those who subsequently used it. That is your point, is it not? A. Quite, and that should have been drawn out by the experts. MR RAMPTON: Oh, yes, but an historian, Mr Irving, has the wonderful benefit of hindsight, does he not? A. Yes. I think I have used that word once or twice myself. Q. He can fit a document like that which the poor bods in London and Washington could not do. He can fit a document like that into a vast weft or weave, call it what you will, tapestry, of other information, can he not? A. Yes. Q. That is what, perhaps, gives it more significance now? A. There is a great temptation to do precisely that. Q. One must be careful that one does not give more weight to it than it deserves, but any document must always be placed in the context of all the rest of the relevant information. A. This is quite right, and this is why this particular document I did investigate in some detail, and I made an exception. I read what Professor La Coeur (?) had written about it who carried out an examination of the origins of the document and the alleged source. . P-178 Q. Can we go north, please, because I am still engaged on the same exercise? My Lord, I have finished pre Auschwitz. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I interrupt you when you say you have finished pre Auschwitz? I quite understand what the case is and to a large extent it is accepted on the scale of the operations. MR RAMPTON: Yes.
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