Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.35 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR RAMPTON: I suppose so, though, frankly, given his public stance in relation to Leuchter, I am not sure it any longer has much point. I am not here to debate whether the gas chambers existed. To my mind, I may be wrong -- your Lordship may disagree and we have still to hear the cross-examination -- van Pelt demonstrates that with admirable clarify. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I agree, but I do think one or two questions, and I hope it does not come to much more than that, along the lines of, well, the evidence does not consist only in, as it were, rubbishing Leuchter's report; . P-126 there is a whole body of positive evidence which you have put forward as establishing beyond the possibility of doubt that the gas chambers did exist, so that Mr Irving can then make either a general or a more detailed response to that. MR RAMPTON: I will start in the most general way. (To the witness): Ignoring the eyewitness accounts, Mr Irving, do you agree that the most suggestive effect of the contemporaneous documentary evidence, by which I mean the plans, the memoranda and the correspondence, retrieved from Auschwitz, the most suggestive effect of that is that these were, indeed, homicidal gas chambers? A. No. Q. Why not? A. From the Auschwitz archives and from the Moscow archives, historians have now retrieved many hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, and we are entitled to at least one explicit, non-ambiguous, non-reading between the lines, non-euphemism type of document which would gives us the clear smoking gun. That document does not exist. Q. No, it is bit like the order by Adolf Hitler for the beginning of the Final Solution: Since it does not exist, it did not happen; is that right? A. I did not say that. Q. I thought that was nature, the effect of your evidence ---- . P-127 A. No. Q. --- about Hitler and the Final Solution? A. I am saying that because two bodies of documents -- you may not appreciate this point -- of such integrity have been captured, presumably intact, on the one hand, there in the Auschwitz state archives, on the other hand, they are captured by the Red Army, the entire records of the SS construction unit, and now they linger in the Moscow archives ever since, and, presumably, no incriminating documents have been removed by anyone, one would have been entitled to expect that by now when historians have had some 10 years to go through every single page many times, they would have found a document slightly more incriminating than those you have so far been able to surface. Q. Leaving aside the absence of an actual document saying, "Now we must build some homicidal gas chambers at the order of SS Reichfuhrer Himmler ---- A. I try to avoid sarcasm like that. I try to look at it at a more serious and objective level. Q. No, but, I am sorry, it does seem to me perhaps appropriate to use sarcasm in this area? A. Sarcasm is the last resort of the scoundrel. Q. Leaving that on one side, do you agree that otherwise the tendency of the surviving contemporaneous evidence -- by this I include the remains of the buildings such as they . P-128 are -- is to suggest that, yes, indeed, these were homicidal gas chambers? A. The tendency of? Q. Surviving documentary evidence and the ruins is to suggest that these were, indeed, homicidal gas chambers? A. No, I do not agree that. Q. Why not? A. Because there are alternative explanations which are equally plausible. Q. No, I am talking about tendency. A. It depends how tendentious you are. Q. We have dealt with the word "vergasungskeller"? A. Yes. Q. Which you say means, oh, well, that was only for gassing clothes or corpses? A. Perhaps I can put it the other way round. A German would never translate "gas chamber" "vergasungskeller", never ever. Not any German in this room would translate the German word "gas chamber" by "vergasungskeller". Q. What do you take to be the meaning of the phrase found in Wetzel's letter to Lohse of 25th October 1941, "vergasungsapparate"? A. Gassing equipment -- whatever it was. Q. You saw on the second page of that letter, did you not, the statement to this effect, "We have no objection if you use that equipment to dispose of Jews who are unable to . P-129 work"? A. Now, you have drawn a link between the "vergasungsapparate" and the second page which does not exist. I am familiar, you remember, with the Tesh trial. Bruno Tesh himself went to Riga, as the head of the Zyklon B manufacturing company, to train the staff in the operation of the fumigation chambers which were installed in Riga. So we know precisely what the vergasungsapparate were. Q. What would a German mean -- I am not in any sense deferring to you on this, Mr Irving, I am afraid; I just want to know what your answer is -- what would an ordinary German, who actually did not even get his grammar right, by saying that he had concreted the floor in gaskammer? A. Can we see that document, please? Q. Yes, if you like. It is ---- A. Because, of course ---- Q. It is the time sheet of a humble workman at crematorium (iv) in March 1943, 2nd March 1943. A. Well, every German in this room will be able to tell you what is wrong with that phrase, of course. Q. We know that he has the gender wrong. A. It is not the kind of thing one gets wrong. Q. It is, perhaps, if you are a humble workman in southern Poland. It perhaps is the sort of mistake which our humble workmen, if I may call them that without offence, . P-130 sometimes make: "I ain't been there today"? A. Can we see the actual document, please? MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is "im", is it? MR RAMPTON: "Im", he has just got the wrong gender. MR JUSTICE GRAY: "Kammer" is "das kammer". MR RAMPTON: "Kammer" is feminine. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is feminine? "die kammer", is it? A. No, die kammer, "in der gaskammer" it should be MR RAMPTON: Yes, exactly. He has made a grammatical mistake. A. Can we have a look at the document and see how much else is ungrammatical about it? Q. It is in the second volume new 3 and it is in tab 4 at page 38. Unfortunately, the photograph we have has been cut off. I assure you that the word is "gaskammer" because I have the reproduction. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You said tab 4? MR RAMPTON: Tab 4, my Lord, page 38. It is a coloured photograph of a handwritten entry in a time sheet. Page 38. One of the numbers on it is 35, unfortunately, but the one to look out for is a new handwritten No. 38. In the third line from the end he has written something about "fussboden", something or other, in gaskammer? A. Yes, with the two Ss in the "gass" as well. Q. Sorry? A. Two Ss in the "gass", G-A-S-S, kammer. Q. Quite right. . P-131 A. What does the other "S" stand for, do you think? Gasschuts? Gas protection? Q. You tell me. A. I do not know. I am just drawing attention to further errors in this document. Q. Right. A. But, in view of the fact that I have stated that the odds are that the vergasen to which reference is made is Leichenkeller 1. Q. This is to do with crematorium (iv)? A. And this is, therefore, in all likelihood, the entwesungsanlager to which the document refers which I shall be showing you tomorrow. Q. Leave aside the grammatical mistakes and the misspelling, Mr Irving, what does a German mean by the word "gaskammer"? A. "Gas chamber". But this is almost certainly a reference to the building they are making at this time, namely entwesungsanlager to which reference is made in the document I referred to earlier, the fumigation equipment. Q. I do not have that document. A. Well, it will below all these things right out of the water tomorrow. Q. We look forward to it. I am still a little puzzled why the gas chamber or, sorry, the vergasungskeller at crematoria (ii) and (iii) need -- now could you please . P-132 turn to page 44? A. Well, it needs a steel door with a peep hole, right? Q. No. I want to look at the first paragraph first. A. Right. Q. That relates to the crematoria (iv) and (v), does it not? A. Yes. Q. BW 30B and 30C, and there is an order for three gas type doors? A. Yes. Q. Ignore the "M". That is a misprint. It should be "turn" and "gas type towers" is what the person has written? A. Yes. Q. It is another error? A. Yes, "gas type doors". Q. The second paragraph says that they have -- you read it to me and tell me what it says? A. "On this occasion we remind you of a further order dated March 6th 1943 for the supply of one gas door, 100/192, for the mortuary No. 1 of crematorium No. (iii), the construction project 30A, which has to be manufactured precisely according to the type and scale of the cellar door, basement door, of the crematorium No. (ii) which is directly opposite with a peep hole with a double eight millimetre glass with a rubber gasket and mounting". Q. Steel, a metal mounting, is it not? A. That is right, yes. . P-133 Q. Now, why would you need that for a room which was to be used either for gassing corpses or clothes? A. You remember the third alternative use which I suggested this morning. Q. Oh, you mean it might be an air raid shelter? A. Yes. Q. With no emergency exit? A. This was one of the few underground buildings in Auschwitz. It was built almost entirely subterraneously with a concrete roof, a cast concrete roof, reinforced concrete roof, ideally suited as an air raid shelter. The door described here, and the door which is, indeed, found in Auschwitz, is a typical air raid steel door, a gas tight door, of the kind which was standard throughout Germany at that time. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why do you need a gas type door for an air raid shelter in 1943? A. Because they did not know that we were not going to use poison gas, and all air raid shelters in Germany from this time onwards were being built with gas tight doors. MR RAMPTON: If it be the case, Mr Irving, that the metal grille ---- A. Excuse me a minute. My Lord, tomorrow I will produce the appropriate German air raid manuals producing pictures of precisely these doors with the peep holes. MR RAMPTON: Two things puzzle me about this, well, there are . P-134 three. The first is the absence of any kind of emergency exit which I had been led to believe de rigour in German air raid shelter design. Second, if it be the case that the metal protection for the peep hole was on the inside of the door, that does not speak of air raid shelter, does it? A. I do not know what the standard at that time -- you see, the problem is they do not make these doors ad hoc. There is ---- Q. They do. A. If -- the air raid shelter doors are all supplied with peep holes, all the gas tight doors had peep holes. It is rather like the ATM machines which have a little braille pad on them, whether or not it is even a drive by ATM machine, it still has the braille pad on it, although, obviously, drivers are not blind, because that is the cheapest way to make ATM machines. They do not make - --- Q. Mr Irving, I rather think you are making things up as you go along. This is an order from Bischoff? A. Yes. Q. Who is the head of the architectural department, building department? A. Indeed, yes. Q. To the work shop in Auschwitz? A. Yes. Q. They made these things to order? . P-135 A. Excuse me, no. It is being sent to the Deutsche [German]. Q. Yes. That is in Auschwitz. Look. A. All it just says is the factory, Auschwitz, Obeschlazien. Q. Look, and [German - document not provided] "OS"? A. "Obeschalzien". It just says, "The factory at Auschwitz" which is the town of Auschwitz. Q. Exactly. A. It does not say, "Concentration camp, Auschwitz".
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