The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.05

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.05
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   No, quite. "'... should be carried out with all deliberate
        speed, in order to avoid getting stuck [in the middle]'"--
        That is in square brackets;  I know not why -- "'one of
        these days when some sort of difficulty may force us to
        stop.  You, yourself, Reichsfuhrer'", that is Himmler,
         "'once voiced to me your opinion that the requirements of
        secrecy also oblige us to act as quickly as possible.
        Both conceptions are thus directed in principle towards
        the same result, and according to my experience, they are
        more than justified'".
                  Again looking at that, as a matter of
        probability, is Brack not saying two things?  Brack,
        remember, Mr Irving, is master of the gassing apparatus.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   "You do not need secrecy to exterminate lice; you do need
        secrecy to cloak the killing of people"?
   A.   I quite agree.  That is undoubtedly, on the balance of
        probabilities, the overall burden of this document.
   Q.   Thank you very much.

.          P-38

   A.   However, if I may now make my own comments on it?
   Q.   Please do.
   A.   At no point is it being said (as it could so easily have
        been said)  "This operation which the Fuhrer has commanded
        should be done" or anything like that.  It is purely about
         "Your opinion, Mr Himmler.  You suggested this.  We are
        doing that".  This is still failing to establish the
        bridge between the upper link of the system, which so far
        is Mr Himmler, and Adolf Hitler himself, which is what
        I have always maintained.
   Q.   No, Mr Irving, you see, that is only part of what you have
        maintained.  What you have consistently maintained, so far
        as I am aware, until perhaps we got some concession in
        this court yesterday, what you have also maintained is
        Jews were not killed by the use of homicidal gas?
   A.   Oh, I disagree.  I have repeatedly allowed that they were
        killed in gas vans.
   Q.   On a limited scale.  Yes, sorry.  I will read you
        something.  You will probably recognize it.  I have not
        got a date for it, I am afraid.  1992, what does it come
        from?  What is the IHR called in 1992?  The institute of
        Historical Review?  It is something you wrote about the
        Goebbels' diary.
   A.   Probably about the Eichmann papers.
   Q.   It is about the Eichmann papers, that is right.  You are
        talking about Eichmann.

.          P-39

   A.   Because Eichmann in his papers describes himself having
        sat inside the front of a bus or a truck which is being
        driven around with people being gassed in the back.
   Q.   My Lord, for reference -- not to get it out -- the
        reference is file D3(i), tab 30.  You say of Eichmann:
         "I do not know why he recounted that kind of detail in
        his memoirs.  It is an ugly piece of circumstantial
        evidence".  I do not know what it was.  It was something
        about shooting children or something at Minsk.  "It is an
        ugly piece of circumstantial evidence, but it lends
        credibility and authenticity to the descriptions, what
        writer calls verisimilitude.  It did no surprise me.
        also describes, and I have to say this being an honest
        historian, going to another location a few weeks later
        being driven around in a bus, then being told by the
        driver to look through a peep hole into the back of
        bus where he saw a number of prisoners being gassed by
        exhaust fumes".  Then, Mr Irving, this:  "So I accept
        this kind of experiment was made on a very limited
   A.   Yes.  We are talking about, even in your own paper,
        or nine trucks, I believe, which is a very limited
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, it would help me if one could
        quite where we have got now.  You have, I will not use
        word "concession" because I can understand why Mr
        does not like it put that way, but in relation to gas
        vans, one has that being carried out on a limited

.          P-40

        experimental basis with the authority of Himmler but
        without the knowledge of Hitler, am I right?
   A.   That is precisely how far we have got.
   MR RAMPTON:  That does not take the matter very far, with
   A.   And myself having said so in public on various
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is what we spent this morning on so
   MR RAMPTON:  That represents, as it often has in this case
        no doubt, often will, a giant step back from what I
        was conceded yesterday which is that all those people
        went to those three little villages in Eastern Poland
        actually were actually going to be killed, most of
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Not by gassing.
   MR RAMPTON:  Not by gassing.  Therefore, I must press on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, but we are not on Treblinka or the
        others at the moment, are we?
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, Operation Reinhard is Treblinka, Sobibor
        Belzec.  That is what Globocnik was in charge of.  The
        point about it is this.  There is again this
        chain of events.  Brack is, first of all, summoned, as
        were, to Riga which is in the Ostland.  I do not
        want to have make a speech.  This is not a ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I am trying not to get too bogged
        when at the end one gets the concession that, perhaps,
        would have enabled one to take the individual
        more rapidly.

.          P-41

   MR RAMPTON:  I think it is very difficult.  One sees what
        happens if I take an individual document.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  Well, that is part of the problem.
   MR RAMPTON:  The trouble is this.  If at the end of the
case I
        say to your Lordship, "Your Lordship has read all the
        documents" or "I draw them to your Lordship's
        and then I simply say, "Well, the inference to be
        from this is perfectly obvious", Mr Irving could
        legitimately say, "Well, I was never given a chance to
        deal with that in cross-examination".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We may have to tackle that as a problem
        this case, whether everything has to be put.
   MR RAMPTON:  Your Lordship will see, when I get to the
        remaining part of Professor Evans, that there is a
        deal that I will not even refer to and a great deal
that I
        will take very shortly, but with this I cannot because
        your Lordship does have to see the scale and the
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But can we just focus on what it is that
        there is an issue about and see whether Mr Irving
   MR RAMPTON:  Your Lordship had better ask Mr Irving.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think I am.  The issue appears to be
        whether at Belzec Sobibor and Treblinka there was any
        gassing at all by the use of gas vans or gas chambers.
        that something you dispute?
   A.   My answer will be initially disappointing to say that
        frankly I am not an expert on that and I do not know.

.          P-42

        court is probably dissatisfied with that answer.  I
        made such cursory investigations as I could in
        for this case, which I should not really have had to
        and establish that there is a great deal of
        buildings which the evidence or eyewitnesses suggest
        should have been at Treblinka and Mydonek cannot be
        on the aerial photographs.  We have that kind of
        That is why I am happy not to have had to engage
myself in
        any greater depth with those matters.
   Q.   I think we are not concerned with Mydonek.  It is
        Sobibor and Treblinka.  You do challenge the fact that
        there was gassings of Jews in gas chambers or by the
        of gas vans.
   A.   There are serious problems, my Lord.  Mr Rampton has
        rather vague about how the gassings were conducted in
        Treblinka, what kind of means were used, what kind of
        was it diesel engines or petrol engines, and there is
        great deal of dispute about that among other people
        myself.  Go ahead, Mr Rampton.
   MR RAMPTON:  I should not interrupt.  You are in discourse
        the judge and I should have kept quiet.
   A.   Do you wish to ask something?
   Q.   No.  I will not bother with it.
   A.   I am sorry, if I may just say so, that is why I would
        preferred if one was to hinge this case on Auschwitz
        rather than what I might call the lesser camps, where

.          P-43

        there is a great deal of uncertainty, whereas
Auschwitz is
        really the battleship, the capital ship of this entire
   Q.   You might say that, Mr Irving, but you have entered
        arena.  Nobody asked you to comment on the Holocaust.
        Nobody asked you to sink the battleship Auschwitz.
        asked you to say with that there were a very limited
        number of experimental gassings in trucks.  You said
        that voluntarily?
   A.   Did I say very limited?
   Q.   I am about to.  My job is about undermining your
        by reference to what you should have looked at, if you
        have not already, by the time you made those
   A.   The reason I made that statement in 1992 which you
        quoted is that only a few weeks earlier I had come
        possession of Adolf Eichmann's private papers and I
        discovered in those papers a description by him of how
        had personally attended a gassing in a gas truck, and
        had been required by Muller, the chief of Gestapo, to
        witness this to see how it was going on.  This of
        is evidence of high quality.  It is evidence that in
        way can be said to be in one own's self interest.
That is
        why I told this audience in California that there was
        question whatsoever that these gassings in trucks or
        had gone on.  To be accused now of having denied this
        of thing is the ultimate absurdity, when the evidence

.          P-44

        front of the defence and I never denied it.
   Q.   I am going to suggest, Mr Irving, that you have made
        statements even about the use of gas trucks which fly
        the face of the available evidence, and I am going to
        it by reference to some Nuremburg documents which must
        have been available since goodness knows when.
   A.   To say that something must have been able available to
        of course, is ----
   Q.   I am suggesting, Mr Irving, that a man in your
        does not enter the arena waving flags and blowing
        unless he has taken the trouble to verify in advance
        it is that he is proposing to say, particularly when
        he is proposing to say is something of great
        and importance to millions of people throughout the
   A.   Mr Rampton, the sensitivity is neither here not there
in a
        case like this, where historians cannot regard the
        sensitivities of people when you write history.  Nor I
        enter arenas blowing trumpets and waving flags.  I am
        a Holocaust historian, Mr Rampton.  I am a Hitler
        historian.  I am a biographer of the top Nazis.
   Q.   Why do you not keep your mouth shut about the
   A.   Because I am asked about it.  It apparently obsesses
   Q.   You gave a press conference to announce the triumphant
        arrival on these shores of the Liechter report?

.          P-45

   A.   Yes.
   Q.   This is your glossy version of the Liechter report, is
   A.   I am a publishing company and we published that under
        imprint, yes.
   Q.   Why?
   A.   Because it is an important contribution to the debate.
   Q.   This?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Well, we will come to that next week.
   A.   Oh dear.
   Q.   Is this the only stimulus you have had for charging
        the arena of Holocaust denial?
   A.   Well, I find those words, of course, repugnant.
   Q.   They are meant to be tendentious.  I put it that way
        that you can deal with it, because that is what I
        say at the end of the case.
   A.   As is well known to the court, when I read the results
        the chemical test on the buildings which will play
quite a
        substantial part in this debate, I changed my mind.
   Q.   Here is something, Mr Irving, you said at the Liechter
        press conference on 23rd June 1989.  My Lord, the
        reference is D2 (i), Tab 5, pages 30 and 32.
   A.   Is it the conference where we presented this report to
   Q.   Yes.

.          P-46

   A.   So far as we were able to after the press had been
        barricaded out by organizations outside my front door.

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