Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.23 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR RAMPTON: Certainly, of course we will. The first fat one is K1, the second one which has not got as much material in it is K2, and the Claimant's statements are K3. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON (To the witness): Mr Irving, could you turn open the first tab in the first of those files? That should be the Leuchter? A. It is, yes. Q. I would rather you use the one in the file because it has the appendices. Before I do that, I want to do something else. May I? I am sorry about that, my Lord, I had forgotten what I intended to do. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is all right. MR RAMPTON: It is Monday morning. Could you, Mr Irving, turn up in the third file, K3, tab 4? This is a transcript of the press conference that you gave, introducing the Leuchter in your published edition on 23rd June 1989. Could you turn to page 21, please? I will start, if I may, at the bottom of page 20. You are being asked questions, Mr Irving, and somebody says at the bottom of page 20: "So they fabricated this evidence?" You say: "Oh, we fabricated a lot of evidence at Nuremberg. I am very familiar with the private diaries", etc., "of Robert H Jackson and the American Judge Biddle." Page 21 at the top: "They fabricated the . P-13 evidence?" asked the questioner? A. "This evidence". Q. I am sorry, "this evidence". You are quite right, Mr Irving: "No, but I am familiar with how things like the figure of 6 million were arrived at because that is dealt with at great length in their private diaries." Then you say this: "Judge Biddle, however, sitting in judgment at Nuremberg, he looked at one Auschwitz survivor all day, a Frenchman -- I am sure you know her name, she gave a heartbreaking testimony about what she had survived -- and in his diary at the end of that day Judge Biddle privately wrote: 'I don't believe a word of what she is saying. I think she is a bloody liar'." Mr Irving, he did not say that in his diary? A. You are right. He did not write those words. Q. No. Those are your words, are they not? A. This is my gloss on it, yes. Q. And he did not say it, did he, about the whole of her testimony? A. I think he did. He sat there listening to the testimony and after a time when he could stand it no longer, he wrote in brackets in the middle of her testimony words which gave precisely this meaning to me as the reader. You must remember I have read the entire notes of Biddle in the archives in the United States. Q. I am going to show you the notes of Judge Biddle and what . P-14 you wrote about them on your little index cards in a moment. Can I just draw attention -- you do not need to get it out -- the woman in question was a lady called Marie-Claude Valliant-Courturier, was she not? A. A French Communist yes. Q. A French Communist. As she said, a member of the Resistance? A. Well, exactly, a member of the Resistance and a French Communist. Q. Do you remember in your Nuremberg book -- if you would like to get it out, you shall -- you published a lot of pictures, quite a good selection of pictures really, after page 182? A. Yes. Q. A caption to a picture of that lady, Madame Valliant-Couturier, reads as follows: "Credibility problems. As Madame Marie-Claude Valliant-Couturier below left testifies about her ordeal as a Communist interned at Auschwitz, Judge Francis Biddle notes that he does not believe her"? A. Perhaps it would assist the court if you were to read out some of this lady's testimony to the Nuremberg court? Q. No, it would not in the very slightest, Mr Irving. A. Well, it certainly would because you can see yourself how totally incredible her testimony was. Q. No, Mr Irving, I am sorry. You can do that later in . P-15 re-examination of yourself if you wish? A. I certainly shall because all those things taken together indicated why the Judge wrote down those words in his notes. Q. Could his Lordship and Mr Irving please be given the original transcript, or whatever it is, of Judge Biddle's notes and also Mr Irving's noted form of that document on his index cards? A. These were provided by me to your solicitors. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where are they going to go? There is another loose document coming, floating in. Where shall I put it? MR RAMPTON: The back of core file Auschwitz K2. It will be tab ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is really a core bundle document, is it? MR RAMPTON: It is an Auschwitz document in a sense, but actually on this little exercise for mismisrepresentation. MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is Biddle's notes of Madame Couturier. MR RAMPTON: That is right. 28th January 1946. This is his notes of her evidence. A. "Sang the Marseillaise when the gas trucks started to move". Q. On page 3, Mr Irving, if you turn to page 3 -- I marked it tab 7 in K2, my Lord, if that is convenient? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you. . P-16 MR RAMPTON: At the top of page 3 of his actual notes there are two sentences: "SS distributed punishment in form of 50 blows of stick on back by a sort of machine. Endless roll calls and gymnastics". Then a new paragraph, Mr Irving. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, which page. MR RAMPTON: Page 3, my Lord. 3 at the top or 34 at the bottom. Then there is a new paragraph: "House of prostitution for SS selected young women as they were washing for maids or camps used the same system. (This I doubt)." Then he starts a new paragraph. A. Yes. Q. The only thing. Mr Irving, that he is doubting is her statement about the prostitution. A. I do not think you have any justification for saying that. Q. It is perfectly obvious. A. In the previous paragraph we have heard about the SS having a machine for beating people with, which on the face of it is totally implausible, and we now know it to be totally untrue. By this time, this Judge Biddle, who is a very, very level headed American, as I know from his private papers, is so fed up with this woman's testimony that he finally can stand it no longer and he dictates in parenthesis into his report -- this, you remember, is not in typing or handwriting, this is him dictating to a secretary so we do not know where the paragraphs begin or end in his dictation. He says, "This I doubt". . P-17 Q. Mr Irving, will you look at your own note of this document? You came upon these in Syracuse in New York State, I think? A. The Americans call it Syracuse. Q. I beg their pardon. But that is right, is it not?. A. This is correct, at the university of Syracuse. Q. There is a little clip, two pages, of your own index card notes -- have I got it right? A. That is correct. Q. On the second page, in the top right hand corner, you report this part of Judge Biddle's note and, wherever you are, as it were, missing something out, you put quite properly an ellipse with three dots. A. Yes. Q. At the bottom of that box on the right-hand side, which I assume is a card, you write: "... House of prostitution for SS selected young women as they were washing for maids. All camps used the same system (this I doubt). ..." A. The reason why I write down about the house of prostitution is because this was referred to as a sonderhouse and sondergeboide and so, for people who are interested in the Holocaust, you noticed the word sonder as being attached to something which was not connected with gassing, and that is why I quoted that particular paragraph but, once again, I submit that this dictated . P-18 parenthesis by Biddle refers to everything he has heard up to this point. It is getting more and more implausible and, when he hears about the machine for beating people, his patience snaps. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, that must be complete nonsense, must it not?. Look at the little paragraph in Judge Biddle. A. He did not say, "new paragraph Miss Smith", he just dictated. Q. What warrant did you have for inflating that side note about one little paragraph about prostitution into a general doubt by Judge Biddle about the credibility of the whole of this lady's testimony. What warrant was there for that? A. I sat for either one or two days in the university library of Syracuse University. Reading all Judge Biddle's notes on the testimony given by the witnesses that I was interested in, and also his notes on the deliberations on the judgment, whether to hang or sentence to life imprisonment and so on. So you get a very good feeling for the sense of the way a judge is thinking and, if he did not make this kind of comment about the other witnesses and suddenly at this point he does, then this is what said to me that this was a witness who tested his own credulity. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just ask because I am not quite sure that I am following this? You interpret those three words . P-19 in parenthesis, appearing where they do in the summary of this lady's evidence, as the judge casting doubt over the totality of it? A. Up to that point, yes. There is no reason for him to doubt really the house of prostitution but there certainly is reason to doubt what comes in the paragraph before about the special machine for caning people. We did not even have that at public school. Everything up to this point he has been listening, as judges do, I am sure your Lordship also does sometimes, with mounting impatience, and he made a little mental note that he dictated that evening to a secretary, "(this I doubt)". MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, you know perfectly well, do you not, that you have done what you have so often done? You have taken one little phrase which is applied to one proposition made by the witness about prostitution when the judge has put a parenthetical note that he doubts this proposition, and the word "this" is very specific in English. It means that which we are now talking about, does it not? A. What they were now talking about was the SS distributed punishment in the form of 50 blows by a stick on the back by a machine, and all the other stories about the orchestra playing music as people went into the gas chambers, all these other stories that this witness generated in her testimony. There is a great deal of it . P-20 in these five pages and you have been very careful not to read out the five page so that people can hear exactly how ludicrous this witness's statement was, as we now know with hindsight. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Give us one other example. The machine for beating you have described. Just so that I have the flavour of it. A. Dogs tore at their legs and killed, set on by SS guards, corpses in the courtyard, a hand or head would now and then stir in the corpses seeking to free itself, the heap moaned from morn till night in all languages "Water water", huge rats everywhere, and so on. I think there is a reason why the judge is dictating this kind of material: In order to get the flavour of what this witness is saying. He finally then writes down "(this I doubt)". MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, I simply cannot accept that. A. This is frankly why I think eyewitness evidence is so dangerous. Q. Yes, maybe you do, Mr Irving. I am not on about eyewitness. I am on about a deliberate distortion of what the text of Judge Biddle's note actually says. A. I agree and I concede, for what it is worth, that what I said in the press conference, no doubt four or five years after reading Judge Biddle's notes, or possibly even ten years after I read Judge Biddle's notes, I cannot . P-21 remember precisely when I saw the papers. Q. What about what you said here in the picture caption? A. About the credibility of the witness? Q. Yes. A. I think that is absolutely justified. If he says that he doubts her, then ipso facto her credibility has been maligned. Q. Would you turn back to tab 2 in the third of those files, the same files as you have the Leuchter press conference? A. Yes. Q. It is page 18. My Lord, this is a speech at Toronto in August 1988. Turn to page 18, please. A. I cannot see any pagination. Q. Bottom of the page? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Tab 2. Are you in the right tab? A. I am in the right tab but there is no pagination in mine. However -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you in the right volume? A. It is the district court of Ontario. MR RAMPTON: I am sorry about this. Tab 2, page 18. It is Toronto August 1988. A. What is the page number? MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is the wrong file.
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