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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day010.07


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.07
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

.          P-53

   Q.   Not likely.  Thank you very much.  No further questions on
        this particular matter.  I want to go back to the
        testimony of the witness Bimko, unless Professor van
        Pelt  ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can we just ask, is there any further
        material that you rely on, apart from the
eyewitnesses,
        for saying that crematorium (ii) was used as a gas
        chamber?
   A.   We can go through the documents.  If you want the
        construction documents of the crematoria, this will be
        quite a long exercise.
   MR IRVING:  Are they explicit as to the use of the
building?
   A.   We have documents which -- we have a document, for
        example, about the Vergasungskeller which you know
well.
        We have a document about the ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We need not bother with that.  We know
about
        that.
   A.   --- the construction, the construction where at a
certain
        moment we get an Auskleiderkellers in the basement.
We
        talk about the introduction of hot hair into morgue
No. 1,
        the proposition being made which breaks down very
quickly
        after it has been introduced.  I am happy to go in
detail
        through those letters if you want me to.
   MR IRVING:  We will deal, if you wish, with the
introduction of
        hot air.  We have dealt with the undressing room,
        I believe, earlier in this case?

.          P-54



   A.   Maybe you have dealt, Mr Irving, I have not dealt with
it
        and his Lordship asked me if I wanted to introduce
other
        elements.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I just want to get the full picture.  I
do
        not want you to spend very long on this, but you deal
with
        this in your report, do you not, at some length?
   A.   In detail, yes.
   Q.   So we could call this corpus of evidence the ----
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I do think that at some stage Mr
Irving
        has to put it directly to Professor van Pelt what he
says
        about the -- Mr Irving's thesis in cross-examination
by me
        was that it was, indeed, a vergasungskeller, but that
it
        was used for gassing lice or people that were already
        dead.
   MR IRVING:  The way I put it was that it had alternative
other
        uses.
   MR RAMPTON:  I do think at some stage Mr Irving has to
allow
        Professor van Pelt to deal with that thesis which
includes
        the references to "Auskliederkeller".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So no human killing but delousing?
   MR RAMPTON:  That was Mr Irving's response to my
        cross-examination and the evidence about the cyanide
in
        the zinc covers and the word "Vergasungskeller", yes,
        indeed.  They used it for gassing, clothes, people.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  And objects.
   MR RAMPTON:  And objects.

.          P-55



   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that is right.  I do not when
        Mr Irving is going to come to that, but I think Mr
Rampton
        is right in saying that that has to be put so that
        Professor van Pelt has the opportunity of dealing with
it.
   MR IRVING:  I certainly had not overlooked the need to do
that,
        my Lord, but I was going to do it in a logical,
systematic
         ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, you do it when you want to.
   MR IRVING:  Yes, introducing two or three more documents
before
        we got to that in which we have the word "vergasung",
and
        so on, of a relatively harmless nature.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But what Professor van Pelt has said is
that,
        in addition to the photographs and the drawings and so
on
        which we have been looking at this morning so far, he
        relies also on what one might call the construction
        documents.
   MR IRVING:  Yes, which he has just vaguely summarized as
        inferences to be drawn from them.  But if we can just
now
        go back to your reliance on the witness Bimko?  Can
we,
        please, have once again the reference in the bundle of
        documents, Auschwitz 1 or 2, to the Bimko testimony in
the
        Belsen trial?  While we are looking for it, can I
confirm
        that that testimony is actually drawn in your version
from
        the book by Raymond Phillips, the trial of Joseph
Kramer
        and 44 others?
   A.   Yes.

.          P-56



   Q.   So at the time you wrote your report, you had exactly
the
        same pages in front of you that I have here which are
        pages 740 to 742 of the Phillips book?
   A.   Yes, I presume so.  I mean ----
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   --- I presume it is only one edition.
   Q.   Your contention is that you left nothing out of the
Bimko
        testimony which was relevant to his Lordship and
myself in
        evaluating the integrity of this witness?
   A.   I have -- Mr Irving, I have said a couple of times
        yesterday that my intention in giving, in writing down
        that section was not to bring in Dr Ada Bimko as a
major
        witness on whom I rely.  The intention of that
section,
        which contains also other evidence or other
descriptions
        of the gas chambers and crematoria -- for example, the
        Polivoy account which was proven to be wrong -- was
simply
        to show the development of knowledge about Auschwitz
since
        1942.  It is in three sections.  I start in 1942.  I
try
        to trace exactly how the knowledge became available
and in
        what way.  In that sense, of course, the Lunenberg
trial
        had some importance, but much more importance because
of
        the admissions of the people of Kramer and the others
who
        were actually tried in that case.
   Q.   Can I interrupt you at this point and say so, in other
        words, you concede that the Pravda account by Polivoy
is
        totally or largely unreliable?

.          P-57



   A.   I have written in my report that is -- I do not think
it
        everything, but it is a largely unreliable account as
far
        as the description of the exterminations is
concerned.
   Q.   In other words, it is fanciful; it include things
which
        never existed in Auschwitz.
   A.   Oh, yes, I have no problem ----
   Q.   It is pure propaganda for the Allies or for the
Russians?
   A.   I do not think necessarily, Mr Irving, that this is
        propaganda for the Allies.  We are dealing here with a
        writer, a correspondent, a war correspondent, attached
to
        the Red Army who arrives in the middle of an offensive
in
        a camp which shows, even of what remains there, it
shows
        clear traces of a very big crime.
                  I think that we should remember that in 1945
        people had not yet experienced these kinds of
        installations; that these installations were in ruins
and
        I think Mr Polivoy, partly probably on what he heard
        people say who had remained there which was largely
sick
        people, and partly on the basis of his own imaginings,
        tried to imagine what such a place would have been.
   Q.   Among the things the Russians found, was there a
hospital
        full of sick people, including large numbers of sick
Jews?
   A.   There were a number of lazarettes in the camp, yes.
   Q.   Hospitals, yes.
   A.   I do not think that a lazarette and a hospital are
        necessarily the same thing.

.          P-58



   Q.   A lazarette is a military hospital?
   A.   The lazarettes were barracks in which people were put.
        There was no medical equipment.  There was nothing
really
        to treat them.  There were many descriptions of the
way
        these lazarettes were operated.  There are also
documents
        relating to them.  So I think I would not want to ----
   Q.   We do not need to go into the problems caused in the
        medical conditions in Germany.  I am just asking, the
        Russians did find hospitals or barracks of a hospital
        nature in which large numbers of sick and unemployable
        people, including large numbers of sick and
unemployable
        Jews, were housed, for example, the father of Anne
Frank
        was there, is that not right?
   A.   Mr Irving, when the camp was evacuated in the middle
of
        January 1945, indeed, prisoners who were sick were men
who
        could not make the march to the west remained behind.
   Q.   But you appreciate the point I am making that, surely,
the
        legend has it that the Nazis liquidated everybody who
fell
        sick or who was unemployable?
   A.   Mr Irving, in my report I think I have pointed out in
        response to things you have said about what happened
to
        the Frank family, that by the end of 1944 the
situation in
        Auschwitz had changed, that while until the end --
while
        throughout the history of the camp there were regular
        selections of sick, in the lazarettes of sick inmates
who
        when they were considered to be incurable or too
weakened

.          P-59



        that they were taken to the gas chamber, that this
policy
        had stopped -- first of all, it had been diminished in
        late 1944 and at a certain moment stopped.  No gas
        selections were undertaken any more in the lazarettes
in
        the end of 1944.  This is one of the reasons that
there
        were a relatively large amount of sick prisoners by
the
        time the camp was evacuated.
   Q.   So the Nazis are feeding large numbers of useless
mouths
        who were Jewish and sick and they were in the jaws of
        death, they were in the heart of the extermination
        camp  ----
   A.   Mr Irving ----
   Q.   --- and they were in hospital?
   A.   --- I would not want to infer any kind of thing about
the
        regular procedures in the camp on the basis of what
was
        happening there in December or January 1944 --
December
        1944 or January 1945.
   Q.   Do you now have in front of you the Bimko testimony?
   A.   I do not have it right in front of me now.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, it is H2(ii).  It starts at footnote
404
        behind the tab 401 to 420.
   MR IRVING:  You have conceded, in other words, that the
Pravda
        account as an eyewitness account is largely
unreliable?
   A.   Yes, I have done that in my report so I have no
problem
        with that statement.
   Q.   So systematically we will now continue with the next

.          P-60



        eyewitness.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are we on Dr Bimko?
   MR IRVING:  We are now on Dr Ada Bimko, as she was at that
        time.  Her real name now, at any rate, Adassa
        Rosensacht(?)
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  She is still alive, is he.
   MR IRVING:  I believe she is still alive.  She is a leading
        figure, or was a leading figure, in the United States
        Holocaust Memorial Museum.  She was an adviser and on
        their Library Council.  (To the witness):  Can we look
at
        paragraph 1?
   A.   Which footnote?
   Q.   On page 740.  Paragraph 1.  This is, of course an
        eyewitness who is claiming to testify in a capital
trial
        against captured Nazis who were on trial for their
lives.
        She has made this deposition.  At the end of paragraph
1,
        did you read the words when you were doing your
research:
         "I have examined the records of the numbers cremated
and
        I say that the records show that about 4 million
persons
        were cremated at the camp"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Have you any comment to make on the voracity of that
        statement?
   A.   It is unlikely that it happened, but I do not exactly
know
        what record she was looking at.
   Q.   Could she have looked at any records in Auschwitz and

.          P-61



        found that 4 million people had been cremated?
   A.   I do not know.  I do not know exactly what records
there
        were.  The 3 or 4 million is very unlikely.
   Q.   Yes.  The figure of 4 million was, of course, the
original
        propaganda figure put out by the Polish Government for
        whatever reason, is that correct?
   A.   Yes -- it was a figure which was established actually,
I
        do not say for propaganda reasons, it was a figure
which
        was established by the Russians after they liberated
the
        camp, the first ----
   Q.   But, of course, she is not testifying here that she
has
        seen a figure put about by Russia propaganda; she says
"I
        have seen the records and they show that 4 million
people
        had been cremated"?
   A.   So, I mean, if you want to make a point, Mr Irving,
that
        she is wrong there or that she maybe says something
which
        she did not do, that is fine.
   Q.   The point, obviously, which his Lordship will
appreciate,
        as I am working towards this, you have had this
document
        in front of you when you wrote this report.  In the
very
        first paragraph, when she is making this statement on
        oath, she has said a statement which, to your
knowledge
        and to mine and to the court's knowledge now, is quite
        obviously untrue?

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