The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts//day028.07

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day028.07
Last-Modified: 2000/07/25

   Q.   A summary?
   A.   And it shows by the way, if I may say, how link you with

.          P-59

        Karl Philipp and to the radical revisionist cause.
   Q.   Yes.  Do you agree that my position at this trial has
        always been that at Auschwitz there was no mass murder,
        and I emphasise the word "mass" with poison gas?
   A.   I know that you endorse the Fred Leuchter report and this
        is at the basic of the difficulty for the German, for the
        German authorities, because it hurts the people who
        survived the Holocaust at the very place.
   Q.   Yes, 5.1.10 -- I am sorry.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry.  One skips as usual, one has leapt
        over the difficult bit without booking beneath one's feet
        as one has gone.  At the top of page 55 there is some
        dialogue between Mr Irving and a journalist which has been
        translated into English, fortunately.  I draw attention to
        Mr Irving's last answer and the last sentence of that last
        answer and to the plural which he uses.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do you want to ask a question about that, Mr Irving?
   MR IRVING:  I have already asked the question which is does the
        witness accept this was not a verbatim transcript, my
        Lord, and that being so ----
   A.   This is verbatim now.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Please, Professor Funke, that really is not
        an answer, is it?  Either you are correctly quoted or you
        are incorrectly quoted.  What you are quoted as having
        said is that "It is the defamation of the German people if

.          P-60

        one talks of extermination camps or death camps".  Now,
        you either said that or you did not.  If your case is that
        you did not say it, I think you ought to put it.
   MR IRVING:  I will put it another way round.  Professor Funke,
        was this press conference held in English or in German, in
        your opinion?
   A.   Normally, these press conferences to get a better audience
        are held in German.
   Q.   So this is a translation by somebody into English, and we
        have no way really of knowing exactly what words I used.
   A.   But I can ----
   MR RAMPTON:  The German is quoted in footnote 175.
   A.   Right.  It is stated there.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is in the plural -- even I know that -- in
   A.   I just want to quote it now.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  There is no need because I have read it out
        in English and Mr Irving is suggesting it is a
        mistranslation, he can say so.  Mr Irving, are you
        suggesting there is a mistranslation there?
   MR IRVING:  There clearly is.  "Todesfabriken" is not "death
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, it is "death factories".
   MR IRVING:  "Factories of death" which is precisely the
        position I have adopted.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is the difference?

.          P-61

   MR RAMPTON:  Plural or singular?
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, this is crematorium No. (ii) and we have
        gone over that in some detail already.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Now, come on, let us get to grips with this.
        Are you saying that you have either been misquoted or that
        what you said has been mistranslated in a significant way
        beyond what you have just pointed out, Mr Irving?  I think
        you must come clean and put your case on this.
   MR IRVING:  I think it is a misquotation.  I am not prepared to
        accept this is a genuine quotation of what I said.  It
        partially represents my position.  The "Todesfabriken" is
        correct.  "Vernichtungslagern" is not correct.  If the
        Defence wishes to produce a verbatim transcript of that
        press conference, then it is up to them to do so.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, that is an invitation that might be
        taken up because it, presumably, does exist, there must be
        a transcript.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you help about that, Professor Funke?  Do
        you know what you are quoting from derives?
   A.   Yes.  Just a second.  The middle of page 52, just a second
        it is from Code.  This is a right-wing extremist magazine
        that quotes this interaction.  It is either Franker
        Griesch or Karl Philipp, maybe, so one of, just to have a
        look at it a minute, if you allow, your Lordship?  Yes, it
        is a publishing of the press conference content by Code,

.          P-62

        C-O-D-E, and this again is done by Karl Philipp.  So he
        may be responsible for this kind of translation, what
        shows that he goes very -- he is a close co-operative
        person to Irving, knows or was also there at the press
        conference in London and he was there in the press
        conference in Berlin.  So, the sense, the gist of it,
        I think he knows very well and, if I may say again, the
        translation of this German sentence is ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not worry about the translation.  It was
        really a simple question by me where it came from.
   MR RAMPTON:  I have the source here.  We will provide, I think
        it only right, if your Lordship agrees, the article from
        which it is taken.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  By Karl Philipp?
   A.   Bundle No.?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  It is bundle No. 5.1(i), H5.(i)?
   A.   And then (i).
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, (i).
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  May I suggest we leave this to re-examination
        when copies are available for everybody because they will
        not be at the moment, unless you think that is an
        undesirable course?
   MR RAMPTON:  They are.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, if they are, have you got H5.(i)?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, it is page 324 stamped at the bottom.  In my
        file it is after a blue tab.

.          P-63

   A.   Right, I see.
   MR IRVING:  I will ask the witness further questions on this
        passage, obviously.
   A.   Just a second.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  All right.
   MR RAMPTON:  I can tell your Lordship that the words in
        question, well, one of the words in question, one of the
        groups, [German - document not provided] is in the second
        column at the top, at the end of the first block of
        Irving, and the exchange between Irving and the journalist
        where Irving says that there were no Vernichtungslagern or
        Todesfabriken is in the second column.  It is the second
        Irving quote, the first half of that second Irving quote,
        the question having been, whatever it was [German -
        document not provided].
   A.   So it is clearly related to Todesfabriken, and that means
        death fabrics or death camps, death factories, and this is
        cannot be only the Auschwitz camp or the crematorium (ii)
        or whatever you are referring just a minute ago, it is a
        very general statement that you deny the essence of Holocaust.
   MR IRVING:  Let me ask you two or three questions about that
        passage at the top of page 55.  As Mr Rampton is
        obviously  ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- hanging his coat on it.

.          P-64

   MR RAMPTON:  One of my many coats.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Ask the question, leave aside Mr Rampton.
   MR IRVING:  Is the entire exchange, the five-line exchange:
        "Journalist Irving, journalist Irving" concerning
        Auschwitz, are his two questions about Auschwitz and am I
        replying to two questions about Auschwitz?
   A.   The sentences before, yes.  But the last sentence is a
        general observation.  The last sentence, I quote it
        again:  "Es ist eine Verleumdung des deutschen Volkes,
        wenn man von Vernichtungslagern und Todesfabriken
        spricht".  This is clearly a general statement on the
        essence of the Holocaust you are denying towards the
        German public.
   Q.   "In bezug auf Auschwitz" - with regard to Auschwitz.  That
        is what was his question was about, is that correct?
   A.   The question was, so I quote it again, first in German,
        "(Journalist) Warum heisst Auschwitz denn
        Vernichtungslager? (Irving) Nicht bei mir.  Nur bei Ihnen
        und bei den deutschen Historikern. Und dann" ---- then
        there is the sentence I quoted before, it is -- it is
        there stated so I want to take this.  It is a defamation
        of the German people, if one talks of extermination camps
        or death camps.  So it is clearly a general statement.
        You know, you began by answering a question to Auschwitz,
        and then you extended it to the whole Holocaust, or
        however you say, this bit about the murdering of nearly 6

.          P-65

        million people Jews.
   Q.   Is the sense of my final answer there that it is a
        defamation of the German people if one talks of
        extermination camps or death camps not, in fact, the
        following: "Is it the defamation of German people when you
        ask why Auschwitz is called an extermination camp, if you
        talk about extermination camps or death camps"?  Do you
        understand what I am saying?
   A.   Say it again?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not want you to, because you have
        interpolated some words that are not there.
   MR IRVING:  I am interpolating his question to which I am
        responding, my Lord, to make it quite plain that this is ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  For my part, I think this debate has gone on
        long enough.  I have the words that you have recorded as
        having said and I hear what you put and I hear what the
        witness answers.
   MR IRVING:  The words that I am quoted as having said rather
        than recorded as having said is the first point I make.
        The second point is I would say, what the correction
        translation for "Todesfabriken"?
   A.   I think that "death camps" is the more used translation,
        but the sense of it is the general observation that you
        denied the Holocaust, that is to say, the killing of 5 to
        6 million Jewish people.

.          P-66

   Q.   You are aware, of course, that I have always said that
        there is no evidence that Auschwitz was purpose designed
        as a Vernichtungslager or a factory of death.  Are you
        aware of that point?
   A.   I think you waived on that before 1989 and since 1989, you
        were very firm on that line.
   Q.   This is since 1989; this is late 1989, is that correct?
   A.   Right.
   Q.   So, if this has always been my position, then this is
        clearly all that I am saying in that paragraph.  Do not
        come to me with talk about extermination camps and death
        camps, Auschwitz and so on.
   A.   But you have criticise then Karl Philipp.
   Q.   I beg your pardon?
   A.   Then you have to criticise Karl Philipp and you did not do
   Q.   No, I am criticising the person first of all who
        translated "Todesfabriken" as death camps.
   A.   And you did not do so.
   Q.   I am just criticising him now.  I am also criticising the
        person who is not capable of seeing that this a response
        directly to the previous question.
   A.   So ----
   Q.   I am not going to take it any further.
   A.   So, again I have to state ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, we were passing on now, Professor Funke.

.          P-67

   A.   OK.
   MR IRVING:  You refer in your footnote 172, to the point that
        has already been raised, but here you make it more
        clearly, you say here that "Wahrheit macht Frei" is a
        tasteless pun, a "Wortspiel", on the inscription set over
        the gates at Auschwitz "Arbeit macht Frei".  Is it not the
        other way round?
   A.   Excuse me, where is it?
   Q.   Footnote 172.
   A.   Yes, excuse me.
   Q.   Is it not the other way round that the quotation from the
        scriptures, no doubt, comes 2,000 years before the SS so
        that the SS with the inscription over the gates with the
        tasteless pun ----?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, we had this precise point
        yesterday, and you say that there is no connection between
        "Arbeit macht Frei" and what one sees at this meeting.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, here he is making the point in his
        footnote which he did not make yesterday.  Your
        Lordship made the connection, but he did not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I did not make the connection; I observed
        that you deny that there is one.
   A.   If I recall, the last speech of Raymund Bachman, in the
        second Leuchter Congress in 30, 23rd March 1991, before
        the Museum, he raised his voice and even shouted that we
        should not be suppressed by the police agencies and so

.          P-68

        forth, and that freedom of expression should not be
        suppressed.  What he meant was the ideas of these
        Holocaust deniers to be spread out and to say these denial
        things.  Then he shouted to the public, and I would invite
        to see this, the Bachman, the Austrian speaker:
        "Auschwitz, Auschwitz, Auschwitz", and the whole people
        reacted to that.  So, the more I realise what these
        congresses are about, the more there is an allusion of
        "Arbeit macht Frei", in the sense that this was a cynical
        description of destruction by work and this "Wahrheit
        macht Frei", the more I think about it, the more it is
        related to each other.
   MR IRVING: My Lord, I have to say that I have no recollection
        of having seen that man shout "Auschwitz" three times on
        the video and I do not know if your Lordship saw it?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I think the point is whether "Arbeit
        macht Frei" is or is not connected with "Wahrheit macht
        Frei".  I really do not think we can debate this any

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