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
        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
        quantitative and qualitative, would have to accept
        the story, as it had been preached so far, was
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, have you read the Leuchter report
        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
   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
        statements, or indeed since, that the chemical
        gave a much higher reading of hydrogen cyanide
        for the parts of the camp, whether Birkenau or
        which were known to have been used as delousing
        than it did for those parts which were said to have
        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
        memory, that this was the conclusion based ----
   Q.   Did you notice, Mr Irving, that Mr Leuchter conclusion
        based upon the assumption that higher concentrations
        hydrogen cyanide would have been needed to have been
        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
        my question.  Did you notice that Mr Leuchter's
        that there were no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz
        based in part upon the assumption that higher
        concentrations would have been needed to kill people
        were needed to kill lice?
   A.   As this appears to be an important point, can we see
        precise passage in the report where he states this and

.          P-119

        language he uses?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, so that there is no
        misunderstanding because it puzzled me for a while,
        lice in clothing?  That is right, is it not?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  If you try and do it while the clothes
        still on in a concentration of 6,666 parts per
        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
        copy and I will use my weary old photocopy.
   A.   I have a colour copy here.  This is an abridged
        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
   A.   This was the actual discovery copy I want them all
        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
        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
   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
        was available to your instructing solicitors.  They
        have drawn this kind of comparison.
   Q.   Mr Irving, please listen.  In this document, as we see
        we look at page 15, leaving the capitals on one side,
        see four different kinds of type that are used.  There
        first of all what you might call ordinary Roman, then
        there is bold Roman, then there are ordinary italics
        we see at the little words "table 3", and then there
        bold italics, which is the paragraph fortunately that
        want to read.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Who made the decision to use those different kinds of
   A.   Not I.
   Q.   Not you?
   A.   No.
   Q.   So in the affidavit they have used these sorts of
        have they?
   A.   I do not know.  You have in the discovery the original
   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
        see that?
   Q.   Do you agree that whoever put that in bold italics
        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
        samples taken from the alleged gas chambers, because
        the greater amount of gas allegedly utilized there
        that found in the control sample.  Since the contrary
        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
   Q.   Does it not occur to you, Mr Irving, that, if in fact,
        it is the case, Mr Leuchter has got history completely
        wrong way round, then you can reverse the figures in
   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
        freshly built, they were freshly poured concrete, they
        sweat, there is a pronounced interaction between
        and hydrogen cyanide gas which would have led one to
        conclude there should have been more in the so-called
        chambers, but this was a degree of research that
        Mr Leuchter did not go into.  It has been done since
        Leuchter report.  This is where I am in difficulty, my
        Lord, because of course there had been ongoing
        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
        But from the historical and archeological point of
        this is one of the basic school boy errors in the
        report.  Fair enough, you are not Mr Leuchter and you
        not write the report, but you made the decision to
        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
        right.  I made the decision to change my mind on the

.          P-123

        percentages of hydrogen cyanide residues, the
        which were missing from the chambers where they should
        quite clearly have been present.
   Q.   No, they were not; they were present in smaller
        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
        that they are statistically meaningless.  They may be
        there from any external sources.  They may be there
        the cleaning lady.  They may be there from there
        been a regular fumigation.  The quantities are so low
        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
   Q.   Yes, Mr Irving, precisely, which is exactly what, if
        know the very slightest thing about this topic, you
        expect to find.
   A.   I now know quite a lot about this topic, Mr Rampton,
        I was not aware of at the time, and I am not prepared
        change my position.
   Q.   Then, Mr Irving, it behoved you, as an historian,
        over as an expert witness, to keep your trap shut
        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
        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 --
        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
        into a sea on which he had no knowledge, is that
   A.   Diving into a sea is rather literally.  Can you state
        specifically what you are trying to say?

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