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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day029.14


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day029.14
Last-Modified: 2000/07/25

   Q.   Quite.  "The only two references", goes on Mr Allen,
        "which I have been able to find in the appendix to this
        Polish aide memoire which deal with this form of execution
        are as follows:  (1) Telegram of 17th July 1943 from
        Poland, Commander in Chief, Armed Forces, Lublin District,
        informed me that he had evidence that some of these people
        are being murdered in gas cells there, Maidonek camp.  (2)
        Telegram of 17th July 1943 from Poland: 'It has been

.          P-121


        ascertained that on July 2nd and 5th two transports'",
        probably about 10,000 people, do you agree?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "Made of women children and old men" ----
   A.   No.  2,000 people, it would have been.
   Q.   What?
   A.   It would have been 2,000 people.
   Q.   "Women, children and old men, consisting of 30 wagons
        each, have been liquidated in gas cells".  Did the British
        invent the idea of gas chambers and the Nazis' use of them?
   A.   No, but, if you are familiar with the British Foreign
        Office files, then you will be aware that little credence
        was attached to reports from Polish sources.
   Q.   Mr Irving, I ask my question again, which you resolutely
        refuse to answer.  Did the British invent the story of the
        gas chambers?
   A.   You will not get a direct answer.  I am going to draw your
        attention ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am going to direct that you do give a
        direct answer.  What is the answer?
   A.   The answer is yes, still, if the word "invent" means
        anything at all.
   Q.   That is fine.  That is your position.  So these stories
        which are coming back from Poland in 42 via Riegner in
        Geneva, and directly from the Polish people in 1943, they

.          P-122



        are simply recycled British propaganda?  It has to be so
        if you are right does it not Mr Irving?
   A.   If you are putting something out on the air waves through
        the BBC and black propaganda channels, for which you know
        you have no evidence, and you state in writing in terms
        that you have no evidence, then that is an invention, and
        that is stated quite clearly on page 14 by Victor
        Cavendish-Bentinck himself, the head of the British
        Intelligence Service.
   Q.   The Foreign Office, Mr Irving, took the view, as it had in
        1942, that the material that they had received, either via
        Geneva or direct from Poland, was not sufficiently
        convincing to allow of propaganda about this matter.  That
        is right, is it not?
   A.   They put it much more strongly in August 1943.
   Q.   But you are not following me, Mr Irving.
   A.   Victor Cavendish-Bentinck wrote:  "As regards putting
        Poles to death in gas chambers, I do not believe that
        there is any evidence that this has been done".  He is
        head of the British Intelligence Service, the chairman of
        the Joint Intelligence Committee and you cannot climb over
        the document, Mr Rampton.
   Q.   I am not trying to climb over it, Mr Irving.  I am trying
        to make you face up to its significance.  The decision is,
        despite this information received in 42 and 43, that the
        evidence does not stand the case up, so they do not use

.          P-123

        it.
   A.   They do not have sufficient evidence to persuade the Prime
        Minister and the President to put their names on a
        document, but they have enough evidence to put the story
        out on the air waves.  They are quite happy to put it out,
        although they are quite satisfied that they have no
        evidence that it will stand up.  It is good enough for the
        liars, but it is not good enough for the presidents, the
        heads of state.
   MR RAMPTON:  When did they put it out, Mr Irving, on the air waves?
   A.   They started putting the story out in late 1941, certainly
        in January 1942, they repeat it in June 1942, in November
        and December 1942, there was quite a blitz on the air
        waves with stories about the liquidation of the Jews in
        gas chambers in Poland.  It is referred to in a lot of the
        private diaries, and also in the files of the German
        Propaganda Ministry who monitored the British Broadcasting Agency.
   Q.   By whom were these broadcasts made?
   A.   They were put about by the BBC.  Broadcasts were carried
        by the BBC, which has a monopoly in broadcasting at that
        time, and by the American corresponding channels.
   Q.   Do the documents that you have provided to us contain
        transcripts of these broadcasts?
   A.   No.  They contain entries either, as I was saying earlier,

.          P-124



        in private diaries of the people who listen to broadcasts,
        either in occupied countries or in Germany or they contain
        the monitoring reports that were maintained by the
        propaganda agencies in Germany, who monitored foreign broadcasts.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I would like to see, please, what this
        material is, which I think has probably been produced.
   MR RAMPTON:  So would I.  No, I do not think so.  I would know
        it if I had seen it.
   A.   I think this is one of the cases where your Lordship
        intervened and said, we are not making enough progress.
   Q.   Never mind.
   MS ROGERS:  The position seems to be this.  We have checked
        through the documents which have produced by Mr Irving
        which have been filed gradually in the J files.  We cannot
        find any trace of it.  In transcript day 20, starting at
        page 40, going over 41 and 42, Mr Irving, I think, in
        cross-examination of Professor Evans raised Thomas Mann's diary.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page?
   MS ROGERS:  It starts at 40, going over to 41.
   A.   If you look for Mauthausen, you will probably find it or
        Dutch Jews, 400 young Dutch Jews deported.
   MS ROGERS:  That reference appears on page 42, my Lord, the 400
        young Dutch Jews.
   A.   And that was in January 1942.  And then there is another

.          P-125



        reference in June 1942 in the ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can we just take this in stages?  Thank you
        very much, Miss Rogers.  Thomas Mann, he is the novelist?
   A.   He was working for the American propaganda agencies.
   Q.   How is that evidence that the British Intelligence Service
        were making use of this information about what was going
        on?  He does not have a connection with the British
        Intelligence Service, does he?
   A.   Only in as far as the Allied Intelligence Operations of
        the Office of War Information in Britain and the British
        Ministry of Information were co-ordinated, but it is as
        tenuous as that.  In other words, I cannot produce the
        actual missing links there.
   Q.   In relation to him or generally?
   A.   In relation to linking Thomas Mann's broadcast with what
        happened in No. 10 Downing Street.
   Q.   What do we next have?
   A.   June 1942, would that be the Ringelbulm diary?  I
        am saying all this from memory, of course.
   Q.   I appreciate that.
   A.   I do not have the documents in front of me.
   Q.   Yes, you do mention that.  Ringelbulm, I have no
        recollection of him at all.
   MR RAMPTON:  Who is Ringelbulm?
   A.   I think he is living in one of the ghettos, either in
        Warsaw or somewhere listening, obviously very hopefully,

.          P-126



        to BBC broadcasts.
   Q.   No, it does not say "BBC".  It says "broadcasts" about the
        extermination of Jews with poison gas.
   A.   I do not know who else would be broadcasting about the
        extermination of Jews, apart from the Allies.
   Q.   You see, Mr Irving, I am puzzled by this.  What evidence
        do you have that these stories, I would say factual
        accounts, of what was happening, maybe not in '41, but
        certainly in '42 to '43, emanated from the propaganda arm
        of the British Government?  How do you know that these
        people did not pick it up from the Poles or from Mr Riegner?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Or from the Americans.
   MR RAMPTON:  Or from the Americans?
   A.   Well, the sources that I quoted refer specifically to broadcasts.
   Q.   To what?
   A.   They refer specifically to broadcasts and listening in to
        enemy broadcasts.
   Q.   Sure, of course, but a journalist, even in those days, a
        self-respecting journalist, would use material supplied to
        him if it seemed to him to be reliable, would he not?
        What on earth connection do you see in all of this with
        the PWE?
   A.   Because the PWE was controlling the black propaganda from
        Britain at this time.  This was Robert Bruce Lockhart and

.          P-127



        Richard Crossman.
   Q.   Well, Mr Irving ----
   A.   But I mean ----
   Q.   --- what you are telling us is not ----
   A.   --- I am at a disadvantage here because I do not have the
        diaries in front me and I am not able to look for the
        collateral material which I would clearly do if I knew
        I was going to be cross-examined on this.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I would like to see it.
   MR RAMPTON:  So would I.
   A.   I have made a note of it and I am going to produce another clip.
   MR RAMPTON:  We do not need it now.  This can lie in wait for
        next week or the week after.  But would you agree with me
        on the basis of the original documentation which we have
        seen, there is (a) evidence that the story was a real
        story, whether a true story or not, but a real story and
        that it did not originate with the British?
   A.   Yes, but it is of a low grade evidence.
   Q.   That is as may be.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Is there also evidence before us that on account of what
        the British then saw as its low grade quality, they
        decided not to use it?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Thank you.

.          P-128



   A.   But they did not find it, of course, in the high grade
        sources where they would have expected to find it like the intercepts.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, before you leave this, in view of
        what Mr Irving said about broadcasts, could you invite
        Mr Irving to look at page 15 in this same tab, tab 6?
   A.   Is this the actual declaration as released, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, it is not for me to say.
   A.   Am I looking at the right document?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is not for me to say.
   A.   Yes, is it the declaration headed "Confidential Future
        Release" or?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not know what it is, but it seemed to me
        it might be relevant.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not have the same pagination as your Lordship.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In my version of this it is the last page.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, is this, Mr Irving, 19 it is in my version,
        15 in yours.  Is this a United States document?
   A.   Yes, Department of State.
   Q.   It is dated August 28th 1943?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It says, well, I will read it:  "Confidential release for
        publication in the morning newspapers of Monday, August

.          P-129



        30th 1943, which do not appear on the streets before 9.30
        p.m. Eastern [something]", no, it is not Standard Time, I
        thought it would be, but it is not, BMT.  "Sunday, August
        29th 1943, not to be previously published, quoted from or
        used in any way not to be sent abroad before 7.30 p.m.
        Sunday, August 29th 1943".  So it is an embargo?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What it says is "Declaration on German crimes in Poland.
        Trustworthy information has reached the United States
        Government regarding the crimes committed by the German
        invaders against the population of Poland.  Since the
        autumn of 1942 a belt of territory extending from the
        province of Bialystok southwards along the  ...  (reading
        to the words) ... has been systematically emptied of its
        inhabitants.  In June 1943 these measures were extended to
        practically the whole of the province of Lublin where
        hundreds of thousands of persons have been deported from
        their homes or exterminated.  These measures are being
        carried out with the utmost brutality.  Many of the
        victims are killed on the spot.  The rest are segregated.
        Men from 14 to 50 are taken away to work for Germany.
        Some children are killed on the spot.  Others are
        separated from their parents and either sent to Germany to
        be brought up as Germans or sold to German settlers or
        dispatched to the women and old folk concentration camps.
        The United States Government reaffirms its resolve to

.          P-130



        punish the instigators and actual perpetrators of these
        crimes.  It further declares that so long as such
        atrocities continue to be committed by the representatives
        and in the name of Germany, they must be taken into
        account against the time of the final settlement with
        Germany.  Meanwhile, the war against Germany will be
        prosecuted with the utmost vigour until the barbarous
        Hitler itinerary has been finally overthrown".  That is an
        official United States press release, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Do you notice something about that press release,
        Mr Irving?
   A.   That is a strange question.
   Q.   There is no reference to gassing or gas chambers.
   A.   Yes.

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