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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit//transcripts/day010.08


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.08
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that is not actually right, is it?
        She is claiming to have looked at some records.  We do not

.          P-62


        know what the records were or what they show.  She is
not
        giving, as it were, false eyewitness evidence at that
        point in her statement, is she?
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, I beg to differ.  "I have examined the
        records of the numbers cremated."  "I have examined
the
        records and I say that the records show that about 4
        million persons were cremated at the camp".  What
other
        possible interpretation can you put on that statement?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I have just suggested one to you.
        Anyway, carry on with your questions.
   A.   My Lord, may I make a remark?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.
   A.   I think this would be an interesting exercise, and I
do
        not want to judge it any further, if I had made use of
the
        Bimko evidence in any way in relationship to did the
gas
        chamber exist or not?  I have never used -- I have
just
        mentioned Bimko in this one particular context; the
        emergence of knowledge of Auschwitz.  I have not used
her
        anywhere else ever.  I have not brought her here in as
an
        eyewitness to the gassings, to the existence of Zyklon-
B
        columns.
   MR IRVING:  You just threw her in as a bit of spice?
   A.   Sorry?
   Q.   You threw her into your report as a bit of spice, did
you?
   A.   Not as a spice.
   Q.   As one more statistic?  So, instead of having four

.          P-63



        eyewitnesses, you would have five?
   A.   Mr Irving, I tried to give an impression of what was
        happening at the Lunenberg trial, what was said at the
        Lunenberg trial.
   Q.   We know what happened at the Lunenberg trial.  A large
        number of these unfortunates who were on trial were
        convicted and hanged on the basis of her testimony,
        including the person mentioned in the last paragraph,
        paragraph 8 on the next page:  "On the day before the
        British troops arrived at Belsen", she said, "I saw
Karl
        Flrazich [Francioh], who was a cook, shoot a man
internee
        dead for stealing vegetables".  Were you aware that in
her
        oral evidence at the Belsen trial she said it was a
woman
        that the man shot?
   A.   Mr Irving, I did not know that, to be very honest, the
        witness Ada Bimko does not really interest me so much
        because I have not made use of her in reconstructing
the
        history of any of the four crematoria.
   Q.   So we are working towards the point where we do not
have
        to strike off Mrs Bimko.  There is one more thing I
want
        to draw your attention to.  At the beginning of
paragraph
        6, this woman who has medical knowledge -- she is a
doctor
         -- writes:  "Whilst at Auschwitz I saw SS male nurses
        Heine and Stibitz inject petrol into women patients".
Are
        you aware, Professor van Pelt, that phenol injections
are
        a standard treatment for typhus?

.          P-64



   A.   In Auschwitz, I understand that phenol was used as a
        regular -- sorry, I will answer the question.  I am
sorry,
        for this.  No, I did not know that.
   Q.   Very well.  So on top of the evidence we looked at
        yesterday where Bimko described cylinders of gas and
pipes
        which you admitted was wrong, but possibly a
        misinterpretation of what she was -- you thought she
might
        have seen the ventilation system -- we have no
evidence of
        that.  Bimko is, in other words, a totally unreliable
        witness and should not have been relied upon in any
way,
        notwithstanding the fact that her evidence sent
several
        men to the gallows in Lemberg?
   A.   My Lord, I do not want to judge the Lunenberg trial.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, but do you accept that she is not a
        witness on whom reliance should be placed as to what
did
        or did not take place at Auschwitz?
   A.   I think that some of her statements are historically
        defensible and some of them probably not.  This is
also,
        of course, an issue of cross-examination.  I do not
think
        there was much of a cross-examination at the time.
But
        I think this is with every, you know, with every
witness,
        there always will be some things which will be wrong
or
        will be mistaken.
   MR IRVING:  Is there a possibility that with a witness like
        Bimko and Pauber who had suffered appalling
indignities at
        the hands of the Nazis, that when the Allies came, in
the

.          P-65



        case of Bimko, it was the British Army who rescued
here,
        that she saw her moment for revenge had come and she
could
        take out a few of the hated Nazis?
   A.   Anything is possible, Mr Irving.
   Q.   I am trying to find some other reason why she should
have
        deliberately lied in her depositions, sworn on oath in
a
        capital case?  You can suggest no alternative reason
than
        that, that possibly her memory was wrong, she had a
bad
        memory or she was imaginative?
   A.   There are many possibilities.  It may be she was an
        habitual liar; maybe she was an habitual story-teller.
        Who knows?  We cannot second guess the situation.  The
        only evidence we have is right in front of us.
   Q.   So of your five eyewitnesses, we have lost the
Russians,
        we have lost the Pravda account, we have lost Bimko
now?
   A.   But I never introduced Bimko, so I do not know how I
can
        have lost Bimko.
   Q.   Well, some bulk larger than others in your report.
        Mr Tauber you rely on quite heavily, do you not?
   A.   Mr Irving, I rely on Tauber for the description of the
        operation of the crematorium and the gas chambers.  I
have
        never, never introduced Miss Bimko as a witness for
this
        material.  So I cannot see how I lost her because I
did
        not introduce her as a witness.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think the idea of "losing"
somebody
        is a very helpful one, but it would help me if you

.          P-66



        would  ----
   MR IRVING:  Perhaps I should put a row of beans on the
        counter  ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, can you just let me complete
my
        sentences sometimes?  Would you for my benefit,
Professor
        van Pelt, just tell me, really just enumerate, those
        witnesses, those eyewitnesses, who you say deserve
some
        attention for what they have said in their accounts?
   A.   OK.  Are we dealing only with crematorium (ii) or are
we
        dealing with the ----
   Q.   With gassing, the extermination by gassing?
   A.   Extermination by gas?
   Q.   Just the names so that Mr Irving knows who you do rely
on.
   A.   An important one is Slova Dragon(?) who was one of the
        sonderkommandos.  An important witness is Heinrich
Tauber
        mentioned already before.  An important witness is
Pery
        Broad.  An important witness is Hirst.  Then we can
take
        in also, both as a witness and his diary, Dr Kramer.
        These are either from the time itself or immediately
after
        the war.  Hans Almayer talks about gassings, but he is
        rather confused about many things so I would not want
to
        rely too much one way or the other.
   MR IRVING:  Explain to the court who Hans Almayer is,
please?
   A.   Hans Almayer was the Lager Fuhrer in Birkenhau in 1942
and
        early 43, but he left by the time these crematoria
started
        to be in operation.

.          P-67



   Q.   By the time he was acting in effect as the deputy
        kommandant, is that right?
   A.   Yes.  Let me just try to get back to my enumeration of
        witnesses.  Then during the Lunenburg trial Kramer
        admitted to gassings but did not describe the
procedure in
        detail.  So at the moment I would leave it to
basically
        build up a general picture, these witnesses I think
        produce a sufficient evidence to come to some kind of
        solid conclusion on that issue.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you.  That is extremely helpful.
        Mr Irving, do resume.
   MR IRVING:  That is a relatively small number of
eyewitnesses
        for a relatively large proposition, namely that the
Nazis
        killed 500,000 people in that gas chamber with the
        collapsed roof.  That is the only evidence that we
have,
        apart from the sketches of Mr Olaire, and there is not
a
        single document of any credible worth which explicitly
        bears out your case in all the hundreds of thousands
of
        pages of paper found in the Auschwitz museum and in
the
        Moscow archives.  I am trying to summarize at this
stage
        what the position is.
   A.   On which case?
   Q.   On the case that that was a homicidal gas chamber.
   A.   No.  I think these are the principal -- these are
people
        who basically give us the texture, who have describe
the
        operation in some detail.  One probably could have
found

.          P-68



        ----
   Q.   If we can fault them in any significant way, if we can
        punch a hole in their testimony, if I can put it like
        that, then of course that rather collapses the entire
        value of the rest of their testimony.
   A.   I do not think that is necessarily the case, but I am
not
        a professional judge.  I am an historian.  Some of
their
        testimony will be absolutely correct and there will be
        always some testimony where they are maybe confused.
But
        I think that Faurisson's theory that, if you punch one
        hole in the testimony, all of testimony becomes
irrelevant
        I think is an irresponsible way to work with the
        testimony.
   Q.   Let Mr Faurisson fight his own battles.
   A.   But what you said was quite literally a quotation from
Mr
        Faurisson.  It is his thesis, his original thesis.
   Q.   Yes.  It may be his thesis, I am sure. It is such an
        obvious thesis that I appreciate that the Holocaust
        historians had maximum difficulty with it.  If there
are
        no holes in that roof now and we can satisfy the court
        that there were never any holes in that roof, then
that
        demolishes the eyewitnesses and thereby demolishes the
        story of the homicidal gas chamber, because there is
no
        other evidence.  Even if I am wrong on that, as we
say, in
        the alternative, I have justifiable reason for
maintaining
        the position I did and it was not perverse to adopt
the

.          P-69



        position I did.
   A.   I am not fighting this case so I cannot comment on
that.
   Q.   Can we proceed now to Mr Tauber?  How big does Mr
Tauber
        rank in your list of witnesses?  Is he near the top in
        importance?
   A.   He is a very important witness.
   Q.   So straight away Mr Tauber of course said that he saw
the
        people pouring the cyanide in through the imaginary
holes
        in the roof.  He did not say imaginary but ----
   A.   Let us look at the text.
   Q.   We read what he said.  I think you will find it in
your
        report Part 1 (iv) page 73 of your report.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think your pagination is different from
        everyone else, Mr Irving.
   A.   I have it right here.  It is page 191.
   MR IRVING:  Thank you very much.  He says here right at the
        top:
                  " Through the window of the incineration
room, I
        observed how the Zyklon was poured into the gas
chamber.
         ...  They took the cans of Zyklon from the car and
put
        them beside the small chimneys [the things that you
        described on the roof].... Then he closed the orifice
with
        a concrete cover."
                  Was this the man who said he needed two
hands to
        lift the concrete cover, that he saw the people using
two
        hands to lift the concrete cover?  This is Tauber, is
it

.          P-70



        not?
   A.   I do not remember that he said it but, if you can
point to
        the passage ----
   Q.   We went through the Tauber evidence in some detail
        yesterday.
   A.   We did not discuss the thing on top, people
manipulating
        those covers.
   Q.   Yes.  If he talks of concrete covers with two handles,
        does this not rather contradict the story given by
other
        eyewitnesses even of there being wooden lids on these
        openings, Holzblenden in German?  They have not got
their
        story straight, these eyewitnesses.  They know a bit
about
        the holes in the roof but they do not know quite what
the
        covers were.  They must assume that there were covers
        because otherwise the rain would get in.  So one says
        concrete and another one says wood.
   A.   If you want to introduce that, I would be happy to
comment
        on that.  I do not even know which eyewitness you are
        talking about right now.
   Q.   Tauber.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, the ones who say they were wooden,
not
        concrete.  That is what you mean, is it not?
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, we will probably stumble across them in
        the course of time.

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