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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day006.09


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.09
Last-Modified: 2000/08/02

   Q.   But you did not think before wading in and saying that

.          P-74

        there were only a very limited number of experimental
        truck gassings or bus gassings at a serious conference of
        historians, you did not pause to consider what it might be
        that the Turner letter told you which you had at that
        time, indeed, you had when you wrote Hitler's War '91?
   A.   Well, I could have expatiated at length at that conference
        on the Turner letter, and I could have pointed to the
        things that point to its authenticity, but also at great
        length to the things that give rise to be dubious about
        it; for example, the very weird SS runes that had been
        hand typed in and things like that.
   Q.   Mr Irving, as you see and as you know perfectly well,
and
        as I will, no doubt, have to put to you again along
down
        the road, you are all too eager to jump on anything,
        dignify it with your authority, that suggests that the
        scale of Nazi criminality during the war, whether it
be
        the killing of Jews or the responsibility of Adolf
Hitler,
        anything that seems to diminish or reduce that
        proposition, size of the crime, or the level to which
the
        criminality went up?
   A.   Mr Rampton, we are talking about 97,000 on one case.
You
        are saying that I have suppressed that fact and yet I
have
        quoted in full the Greiser letter which talks of
100,000,
        it is precisely the same one.  I believe the belief is
        that it is exactly the same victims we are talking
about,
        so you cannot accuse me of having suppressed that

.          P-75



        particular atrocity.  I quoted the Greiser letter and
        I quoted the figure.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  When you say the "same Jews", do you mean
the
        97,000 equals the 100,000?
   A.   A part of the 100,000.  I believe that is the
submission
        that Mr Rampton is trying to make.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I would like, if I may, just one
minute
        when I get the reference to look and see what it is
that
        Mr Irving said about the Greiser letter.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It says 1991 Hitler's War.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, my Lord.  Page 426.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 426.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, 426.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  About two-thirds of the way down.
   A.   It is on page 330 of the first edition too.
   Q.   It is probably the same words.
   A.   It almost certainly is.  I think I make it quite plain
        there that 100,000 had been, quotation marks,
"specially
        treated" and the innuendo is quite plain for reader to
        draw.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  My only comment about that in that
version,
        Mr Irving, is that you for some reason -- I do not
know
        what the reason is -- you add the sentence "Hitler was
not
        mentioned"?
   A.   It is in the first edition too, yes.
   Q.   Why?

.          P-76



   A.   Am I wrong?
   Q.   No, what is the significance?
   A.   I am writing about Adolf Hitler, Mr Rampton.  If
Hitler is
        not mentioned in a document concerning the killing of
        100,000 Jews, it is significant for the reader -- you
will
        probably agree.
   Q.   You are afraid that the reader seeing this huge number
        which it is -- there is no question about that --
being
        killed in the Warthegau might infer that Hitler knew
        something about it, is that right?
   A.   Shall we go back to May 1st document again, Mr
Rampton?
        Greiser is saying to Himmler:  "The operation carried
out
        in your authority and the authority of Heydrich and
        killing 100,000" or "I have killed 100,000 or I am
about
        to kill 100,000 or submit them to special treatment",
if I
        am writing about Hitler, I am absolutely justified to
say,
         "Oh, by the way, Hitler is not mentioned in this
        document".  That is a very important clue.
   Q.   Mr Irving, if Himmler had a general authority to do
such
        things, where would it come from?
   A.   It would come from Adolf Hitler.  He would say in the
        correspondence:  "On the Fuhrer's instructions, I am
        ordering the following".  That covers him.
   Q.   It does not, Mr Irving.  If Himmler had a general
        authority (and you should sometimes listen more
carefully
        to my questions) to do these kinds of things, it would

.          P-77



        come from Hitler?
   A.   Oh, dear!  If, general, these kinds of things, is this
a
        smoking gun, the best we can do after 55 years?
   Q.   What is the answer to my question?
   A.   That is the answer.  55 years we have had to paddle
around
        in the archives now of Warsaw, Moscow as well as the
        Western world, and there is still not the slightest
shred
        of written evidence that Hitler ----
   Q.   The answer to my question, I think, must be yes; if he
had
        such authority, it would have come from Hitler?
   A.   But he would have mentioned ----
   Q.   Your second answer to a question I have not asked, but
        never mind, is we do not know of any evidence that
Hitler
        did confer any such general authority on Himmler, is
that
        right?
   A.   Yes, and the rider, the corollary of that is that we
would
        have expected to find such evidence just as there is
in
        the euthanasia programme where the actual signed order
        from Hitler is in the archives.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But Hitler did authorize the euthanasia
        programme?
   A.   He actually signed the order, my Lord, backdated it to
        September 1st, 1939.  That is in the archives.
   Q.   The euthanasia programme really came to an end when
the
        gas vans were transferred to killing on the Eastern
        front?

.          P-78



   A.   Hitler ordered it to stop in August 1941.  He ordered
the
        euthanasia programme stopped in 1941 because of public
        unrest and disquiet, but it is characteristic and not
        without significance for these hearings that, in fact,
the
        euthanasia programme continued in the background,
rather
        like the Bruns business, where the SS man was ordered
to
        stop but still said, "Well, we are going to carry it
on
        with unobtrusive means".
   Q.   But I think really the drift of my question was, well,
if
        he was brought in to authorize the euthanasia
programme,
        does that suggest at all that it might be probable
that he
        was consulted about using the gas vans for some other
        purpose?
   A.   I do not want to be flippant, my Lord, but the answer
is
        the archives do not tell us.
   Q.   No, but as a matter of guessing what the reality was?
   A.   They should, my Lord, because knowing the mentality of
the
        German people, they would have covered themselves with
        paper.  They would have written letters to each other
        saying, "We are doing this on the Fuhrer's orders.
The
        Fuhrer has instructed".  Even if that was not in the
        archives, we would expect to find it in the Bletchley
Park
        files.  That is what I shall be questioning one of
your
        experts about.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I can do one of two things now.  I am
        entirely in your Lordship's hands really.  I can
develop

.          P-79



        this question of Himmler's authority which I do not
think
        Mr Irving disputes, not only that, well, that he did
do
        it, apparently, on Mr Irving's account, without any
kind
        of authority from Hitler to murder millions of Jews.
        I can pursue the question of Himmler's authority, or I
can
        move to completely different topic which is the
        Schlegelberger memorandum.  Both are somewhat
intricate in
        a sort of a sense.  The first exercise will involve
going
        to 1943 and 1944 for some references to what both
Himmler
        and Hitler said.  The second involves merely a
discussion,
        if I can put it like that, of what the so-called
        Schlegelberger memorandum might be and what it might
        represent.  I really do not mind which I do.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, it is very difficult for me to
suggest
        one way or the other.  In a sense, we are on Hitler
and
        Himmler and their respective knowledge and authority
for
        what was going on, so maybe that is better taken next.
        But can I before you do that just ask a question which
        I think I may have raised before, but I do not
understand
        Mr Irving to have answered it yet.
                  Do you accept or do you not that there was
        gassing of Jews using trucks or vans at Treblinka,
Sobibor
        in the same way as you have accepted there was at
Belzec?
   A.   I do not accept it, which does not mean to say that I
do
        not believe that it happened, but, quite simply, I
have
        not investigated it and I do not think we have been
shown

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        any evidence that it did happen yet.  That is an
        unsatisfactory answer, I am afraid.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I would only make one small
correction to
        that.  I think the evidence of Professor Browning will
be
        that once they had established those three Reinhard
camps,
        they stopped using mobile vans and started using
        stationery tank engines and other sorts of things like
        that, but we will come to that along the line.  The
        question that I would ask Mr Irving, in the light of
that
        answer is this, you do not know of any firm evidence,
you
        sigh, that it did happen, whether by stationery
engines or
        by vans.  Do you see a difference between saying, "I
do
        not know whether or not it happened, I have not seen
good
        evidence", and denying that it did happen?
   A.   I do not know that it did happen and denying that it
        happened?
   Q.   Do you see a difference between saying, "I do not know
        that it happened"?
   A.   Well, the word "deny", of course, in law has a
specific
        meaning, does it not?
   Q.   No, it is an ordinary English word.
   A.   But in law the word ----
   Q.   It means, in effect, the person is saying this?
   A.   If somebody denies something, he is saying there is
        something within his cognisance.
   Q.   It is very simple.  One English sentence says, "I do
not

.          P-81



        know whether it happened or not", the other says, "It
did
        not happen"?
   A.   Well, it is the former.
   Q.   If, therefore, on some former occasion you have said
it
        did not happen, that would be an excessive statement
of
        your own belief, would it not?
   A.   What did not happen?
   Q.   Oh, gassing at Treblinka, for example?
   A.   It depends what the question is and what my precise
answer
        was to that question -- not the question you asked,
but
        the question put to me by the questioner and what my
        precise answer was.
   Q.   We will track that down.  I just wanted to get the
        position clear.  Your present position is not that you
        denied that it happened, but that you have not seen
good
        evidence that it did happen?
   A.   I have seen a balance of evidence in each direction.
        There is the lack of the photogrammetric evidence on
the
        aerial photographs, the lack of any evidence that
these
        structures existed, on the one hand, and the
        unsatisfactory nature of the eyewitness evidence.
   Q.   Your present position is that you are in a state of
        doubt.
   A.   A state of doubt and I see no reason to investigate it
        because I am not a holocaust historian.  One has
limited
        resources which one has to apply to the proper
targets.

.          P-82



   Q.   We will come back to the other part of it later
because,
        as Miss Rogers says, Mr Irving, it fits quite neatly
into
        the Auschwitz question as a sort of coder, perhaps, or
        maybe an introduction, I do not know, prelude?
   A.   I would prefer we just adhere to the Auschwitz
examination
        and ignore the other camps which is not really going
to
        lead us much further.
   Q.   No, I am not going to go into the evidence of the
other
        camps.  If I go back to the other camps, it will be
for
        this purpose, Mr Irving, that which I have already
stated,
        to demonstrate that you have, if I am right, made
        categorical denials about the existence of
extermination
        facilities at the Reinhard camps when the truth is
simply
        that you do not know?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In other words, it goes to Holocaust
denial
        rather than Auschwitz?
   MR RAMPTON:  It does, but it also goes to irresponsible, at
the
        very least, historiography.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is part of Holocaust denial, is it
not?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, of course it is.
   A.   Let us wait until we get the exact statements I am
        supposed to have made.
   MR RAMPTON:  Of course.  I said if I am right about that,
if.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That will be the only object of ----
   A.   Let us also consider the question of proportionality.

.          P-83



        These are the minor escorts, the corvettes and
        minesweepers, not the actual battleship which is
Auschwitz
        itself.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Anyway, Hitler and Himmler?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  Hitler and Himmler.  For this purpose,
my
        Lord, it will be useful, I think, to turn to page 73
of
        Longerich 1.  While I ask, I am going to have displace
my
        chronology, my Lord, because I have not got the
document
        reference.  I am sorry.
   A.   Mr Rampton, did you not tell us yesterday that Auschwitz
        did not start gassing until the end of 1942, and yet
        paragraph 2 of this page says exactly the opposite.

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