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 . P-80 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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