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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day005.19


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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