The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day007.14


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day007.14
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not sure I agree about that. Do you want
        it asked in parts?
   MR RAMPTON:  My eyes are just not the right focal length for
        the screen.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I will read it.  Do you think it is sensible
        I -- am going to skip the interpolations -- Mr Irving,
        for a man in your position, who has gone all the way to
        Canada to give expert evidence on a different aspect of
        the case, to arrive at so certain a conclusion on the
        basis of one part evening's reading of one part of a
        report made by a man like Leuchter?  I am slightly fudging
        the end of the question, but I think it is fair?
   A.   All right.  So there are several parts in that question.
        The question is, what is my value judgment on
        Mr Leichter?  We can deal with that separately, my Lord.
        This part of the report was of course not produced by
        Mr Leichter.  It was produced by a qualified forensic
        laboratory, and that I would emphasise at this point.
                  For whatever value it is worth, I would point
        out the fact that I spent three years at London University
        unsuccessfully trying to get a degree in physics and
        chemistry.  One thing that I did excel in was quantitative
        and qualitative chemical analysis.  In fact, in the
        examination which I took I got the correct amount to six
        decimal points, which was an embarrassment because it
        looked as though I had been cheating.

.          P-117

                  So I am aware of the fact that, unlike the
        writing of history, where there is a lot of reading
        between the lines, chemical analysis is an exact science.
        When I looked at that document, and I probably said it on
        subsequent occasions, I said that no matter how much
        historians can interpret documents, as they do one way or
        the other, perversely or honestly or genuinely, you cannot
        interpret percentages in any different way than the
        figures actually speak.  We will come to what the figures
        actually said, I am sure, later on, but, when I looked at
        those columns of figures, I said to myself, and I accepted
        of course that I was not being taken in, I was not being
        given fraudulent figures because they would be very
        rapidly exposed by the court, I accept that I was being
        given genuine forensic analysis figures.  I would go
        straight ahead and say to this day I have no reason to
        doubt that those percentages are correct, and I state
that
        the figures that I saw at that time, spoken in
        unmistakable language, so unmistakable that any person
        with even a smattering of knowledge of chemical
analysis,
        quantitative and qualitative, would have to accept
that
        the story, as it had been preached so far, was
untenable.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, have you read the Leuchter report
with
        any care since that date?
   A.   The report or the chemical analyses?
   Q.   The report.  You have to read the report to understand

.          P-118



        what the chemical analysis is referring to, do you
not?
   A.   It is referring to a number of samples taken from the
        fabric of Auschwitz and Birkenau, various buildings.
   Q.   Did you notice, Mr Irving, before you started making
these
        statements, or indeed since, that the chemical
analysis
        gave a much higher reading of hydrogen cyanide
residues
        for the parts of the camp, whether Birkenau or
Auschwitz,
        which were known to have been used as delousing
facilities
        than it did for those parts which were said to have
been
        gas chambers?  Did you notice that?
   A.   It would probably be useful if you were to give us the
        actual figures, but this was my general impression
from
        memory, that this was the conclusion based ----
   Q.   Did you notice, Mr Irving, that Mr Leuchter conclusion
was
        based upon the assumption that higher concentrations
of
        hydrogen cyanide would have been needed to have been
used
        in the gas chambers than in the delousing facilities?
   A.   Mr Leuchter was an expert in homicidal gas chambers.
   Q.   Please.  This is very important.  I wish you would
answer
        my question.  Did you notice that Mr Leuchter's
conclusion
        that there were no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz
was
        based in part upon the assumption that higher
        concentrations would have been needed to kill people
than
        were needed to kill lice?
   A.   As this appears to be an important point, can we see
the
        precise passage in the report where he states this and
the

.          P-119



        language he uses?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, so that there is no
        misunderstanding because it puzzled me for a while,
kill
        lice in clothing?  That is right, is it not?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  If you try and do it while the clothes
are
        still on in a concentration of 6,666 parts per
million,
        you are going to kill your people about 22 times over.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You understand why, if that is not made
        clear, it can be a bit puzzling?
   A.   I think we ought to see what the report actually says.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  Perhaps you would like to take your
coloured
        copy and I will use my weary old photocopy.
   A.   I have a colour copy here.  This is an abridged
version.
        It is not the one inch thick one that was shown to me.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not know if your Lordship has the file
copy?
   A.   This was the actual discovery copy I want them all
back
        because they are very rare now.
   Q.   You would like them back at the end of the case?
   A.   Yes, please.
   Q.   You will be welcome to them, as far as I am concerned.
        Page 15 of this glossy -- this is not its original
form.
        This is the Irving publication form?
   A.   This is no doubt an abridged version, certainly much
        slimmer than the one inch affidavit I was given in the
        courtroom.
   Q.   But what about the use of ordinary type, bold type and

.          P-120



        bold italic type.
   A.   Mr Rampton, the original version was in my discovery
and
        was available to your instructing solicitors.  They
could
        have drawn this kind of comparison.
   Q.   Mr Irving, please listen.  In this document, as we see
if
        we look at page 15, leaving the capitals on one side,
we
        see four different kinds of type that are used.  There
is
        first of all what you might call ordinary Roman, then
        there is bold Roman, then there are ordinary italics
which
        we see at the little words "table 3", and then there
is
        bold italics, which is the paragraph fortunately that
I
        want to read.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Who made the decision to use those different kinds of
        type?
   A.   Not I.
   Q.   Not you?
   A.   No.
   Q.   So in the affidavit they have used these sorts of
type,
        have they?
   A.   I do not know.  You have in the discovery the original
        affidavit.
   Q.   Anyway, it was not you?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Do you see the paragraph in bold italics?
   A.   In the second column, the controlled sample.

.          P-121



   Q.   That is right.  "One would have expected higher" -- do
you
        see that?
   Q.   Do you agree that whoever put that in bold italics
thought
        that it was an important paragraph?
   A.   I cannot see "one would have expected higher".
   Q.   Paragraph, not half sentence.  I will read it.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.  "One would have expected higher cyanide detection in
the
        samples taken from the alleged gas chambers, because
of
        the greater amount of gas allegedly utilized there
than
        that found in the control sample.  Since the contrary
is
        true, one must conclude that these facilities were not
        execution gas chambers when coupled with all the other
        evidence gained on inspection.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You must have read that?
   A.   No.
   Q.   You did not read that?
   A.   Not to my knowledge I looked just at the laboratory
        tables.
   Q.   Does it not occur to you, Mr Irving, that, if in fact,
as
        it is the case, Mr Leuchter has got history completely
the
        wrong way round, then you can reverse the figures in
the
        table?
   A.   If you exclude extraneous factors, which you can talk
        about later on, the factors which you are not talking

.          P-122



        about, about the fact that the "gas chambers" have
been
        freshly built, they were freshly poured concrete, they
        sweat, there is a pronounced interaction between
humanity
        and hydrogen cyanide gas which would have led one to
        conclude there should have been more in the so-called
gas
        chambers, but this was a degree of research that
        Mr Leuchter did not go into.  It has been done since
the
        Leuchter report.  This is where I am in difficulty, my
        Lord, because of course there had been ongoing
research
        into this kind of controversy since then.
   Q.   This is my point, Mr Irving.
   A.   Not by myself, I hasten to add.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I follow that.
   MR RAMPTON:  This is one of a one of a large number of
        absolutely basic school boy errors from an historical
        point of view, as well as some scientific ones as
well.
        But from the historical and archeological point of
view,
        this is one of the basic school boy errors in the
Leuchter
        report.  Fair enough, you are not Mr Leuchter and you
did
        not write the report, but you made the decision to
change
        your mind about the Holocaust, or whatever you like to
        call it about gas chambers at Auschwitz.
   A.   On the basis of the forensic percentages.
   Q.   On the basis of absolutely no research whatsoever.
   A.   On the basis of no research whatsoever; you are
absolutely
        right.  I made the decision to change my mind on the

.          P-123



        percentages of hydrogen cyanide residues, the
compounds
        which were missing from the chambers where they should
        quite clearly have been present.
   Q.   No, they were not; they were present in smaller
quantities
        which is exactly what you would expect.
   A.   They were present in quantities that are familiar to
        people doing the laboratory analyses.  You guess
        statistically meaningless numbers.  The figures are so
low
        that they are statistically meaningless.  They may be
        there from any external sources.  They may be there
from
        the cleaning lady.  They may be there from there
having
        been a regular fumigation.  The quantities are so low
that
        they are statistically meaningless; whereas in the
        fumigation chamber, you get a figure that is 1,050
        milograms per kilogram of cement, starting with the
high
        figure.
   Q.   Yes, Mr Irving, precisely, which is exactly what, if
you
        know the very slightest thing about this topic, you
would
        expect to find.
   A.   I now know quite a lot about this topic, Mr Rampton,
which
        I was not aware of at the time, and I am not prepared
to
        change my position.
   Q.   Then, Mr Irving, it behoved you, as an historian,
brought
        over as an expert witness, to keep your trap shut
until
        you had done some proper research, I suggest.
   A.   This is the negligence argument again, is it not?

.          P-124



   Q.   No, it is not.
   A.   It very clearly is; you are saying I ought to have
done it
        and I did not.
   Q.   No responsible person in your position would give that
        kind of evidence to a court on the kind of research
you
        had, I should say, not conducted.
   A.   Mr Rampton, I did not give this evidence to court.
   Q.   Let me finish question.
   A.   You just said I gave this evidence to the court --
this
        court or the court in Toronto?
   Q.   The court in Toronto.
   A.   I not give this evidence to the court in Toronto.
   Q.   That is the starting point, Mr Irving.
   A.   This was the evidence that Mr Leuchter gave.
   Q.   Let me finish my question, Mr Irving, please -- unless
        that so-called historian had an ulterior motive for
diving
        into a sea on which he had no knowledge, is that
right?
   A.   Diving into a sea is rather literally.  Can you state
        specifically what you are trying to say?

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