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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.29

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.29
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   If you look at the Leuchter report, Mr Leuchter knows
        this, does he not?  If you look at page 12, right hand
        column, the toxic effects of H C N gas under the bold
        heading, "medical tests show that a concentration of
        hydrogen cyanide gas in an amount of 300 parts per million
        in air is rapidly fading.  Generally for execution
        purposes concentration of 3,200 parts per million is used
        to ensure rapid death."  Mr Irving, that has nothing to do
        with this case, has it?
   A.   I am lost.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am completely lost.
   MR RAMPTON:  Page 12 of the Leuchter report.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not know what it is that, after a great
        many questions, Mr Irving said he accepted.
   MR RAMPTON:  That you need higher concentration to kill lice.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I thought we established that about three
        quarters of an hour ago.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  I am interested in the figures though.  That
        is why I wanted to do the arithmetic.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am lost on the figures.
   A.   I am lost on figures and I am not sure they are all that

.          P-70

   MR RAMPTON:  You need a concentration in air of over 6,000
        parts per million to kill lice.  Now look at what
        Mr Leuchter says at the bottom right hand column of page
        12: "Medical tests show that a concentration of hydrogen
        cyanide gas in an amount of 300 parts per million is
        rapidly fading."  So you need to kill human beings
        approximately 22 times lower concentration than you do to
        kill lice?  That is right, is it not?
   A.   Yes.  You are overlooking certain theoretical
        considerations, though.
   Q.   Such as?
   A.   If I put a tin of Zyklon B over there by the door or by
        one of these pillars, it can be there all day and there
        would be very little trace of cyanamide over on this side
        of the room.  So the concentration on that side has to be
        much higher for it to have a lethal effect on this side of
        the so-called gas chamber.  You appreciate that?  There
        will be a gradient of concentration across the room.  They
        would not have circulating fans in the room to make sure
        it ----
   Q.   If it so happened that this room had four columns running
        the length of room and you dropped the pellets down each
        of those four columns, why then you would get an even
        distribution, would you not, Mr Irving?
   A.   Not to the outer edges of the room.  If you wanted the

.          P-71

        lethal concentration at the further reaches of the room,
        then you are going to have to have a higher than minimum
        amount.  Let me put it like that.  Does your Lordship
        understand the point I am trying to make?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I understand the point you are trying to
        make. I am just wondering where you got the point from?
   A.   From my own common sense, my Lord.
   Q.   That is rather what I thought.
   A.   It stands to reason.
   MR RAMPTON:  The fact is, Mr Irving, as you may or may not
        know, I do not know, according to eyewitness accounts, by
        that I mean the people who did the killing, and some of
        the sonderkommando, for precisely that reason amongst
        others, the SS used somewhat greater quantities of the
        product than were needed to produce a strict concentration
        of only 300 parts per million.
   A.   Ah, so this is a concession on your part?
   Q.   It is not a concession at all.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is departing from Dr Beer, if he is a doctor.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is what?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is departing from Dr Beer.
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  The point is, my Lord, whether it is Dr Beer
        who it or whether one works it out, as I did, from the
        contents of Leuchter report itself, whichever way one
        goes, the fact is that the concentration required to kill

.          P-72

        human beings is very significantly less, even if you
        to make allowance for the circumstances, than is ever
        needed to kill lice.  Lice are very difficult to kill.
   A.   Can I comment?  The pillars, we have just referred to
        four pillars, next to which this or down through which
        Zyklon B was poured, are still standing, and from
        very pillars the -- you are shaking your head.
   Q.   Mr Irving, have you read Professor van Pelt's report?
   A.   In great detail, we have photographs of those pillars
        and samples were taken from that concrete and also
   Q.   I do not think you can have read it with much care, Mr
        Irving, because, if you had, you would know that the
        eyewitness account, particularly of the prisoner
        Kulan, also of Heinrich Taiber who worked there ----
   A.   He had totally worthless witnesses, as we shall
   Q.   You say so, Mr Irving, but their testimony is not that
        Zyklon B was poured down the centre of a concrete
        it was poured into wire mesh attachments to the
        pillars.  You knew that, did you not?
   A.   I do indeed.  I know exactly what they said.
   Q.   Why are you going on about solid concrete pillars?
        have nothing to do with the case at all.
   A.   You yourself mentioned the four pillars down the
centre of
        the room.
   Q.   Because we were talking about an even distribution.

.          P-73

        Mr Irving, you are not trying very hard to deal with
        questions, I do not believe.
   A.   The transcript will show exactly what you said,
        Mr Rampton.  Those were the pillars that we tested.
   Q.   You know perfectly well, Mr Irving, that the fact that
        pillars or the remains of pillars, I know you have
        been there, that you can now see in the gas chambers
        Birkenhau, the fact they are solid concrete has
        whatever do with the case.
   A.   We will have something to say about the wire mesh
        of which there is talk and we will have a great deal
        say about those witnesses you mentioned.
   Q.   Now we will go back, if we may.  I wish you would tell
        what it was, Mr Irving.  Time is getting short.
   A.   When I try ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is all terribly discursive.  I am
        wondering where we are really getting with this. I
        read Professor van Pelt with interest obviously.
        I understood the points that he was making.  What I am
        feeling I am getting much benefit from is the
        cross-examination at the moment.  I am not of course
        stopping it for a single moment, but I just wonder
        it is the way to deal with this part of the case.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, the only point of this part of the
        is that, as ever, Mr Irving dives off the top board
        without giving any acknowledgment publicly of what he

.          P-74

        knows to be the fallacy of what he is saying.  That is
        that it is about.  The concentration point goes no
        than that.  He must have known, and he certainly knew
        when he heard what Mr Beer had to say, that Fred
        completely reversed the significance of the
        concentration.  So the principal brick falls straight
        of Fred Leuchter's report.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That seems to me to be the thing to
        concentrate on because, if you are right about that
or, to
        put it more accurately, Mr Irving, as a conscientious
        historian should have appreciated that that was,
        at the very least, a huge fallacy in the Leuchter
        well, I understand how you put your case.  But does it
        wider than that?
   MR RAMPTON:  It depends how much further I have to go.  On
        concentration I do not have to go any further than
        The only consequence of the low concentration that
        Mr Irving has not accepted is that you would expect to
        find lower residual concentrations 40 years later but
        is so obvious that I am not going to pursue it.
   A.   I think you to ought ask these questions to give me a
        chance to answer them.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am anxious you should have an
        to answer what needs to be answered.  As I understand
        you have understood the point that is made on Leuchter
        it has been made by reference to Mr Beer.  I have not

.          P-75

        told who Mr Beer is but anyway----
   A.   His credentials, precisely.
   Q.   But you have also, I think you have to have the
        opportunity to develop this if you want to, said, well
        although I understand the criticism that is made of
        Leuchter and his assumption, his key assumption,
        nevertheless matters have moved on and Leuchter's
        has been, as you put it, replicated.
   A.   It has been overtaken by other better reports.
   Q.   If that be right and if that is your case, then I
        you ought to have the opportunity to develop that at
        stage.  I do not want to take Mr Rampton out of order.
   A.   Perhaps Mr Rampton wanted to avoid asking precisely
        questions that your Lordship has now asked.
   MR RAMPTON:  Oh, Mr Irving, I do not need to avoid asking
        anything at all.  This is not the time for you to give
        if you chose not to give me the documents and give
        evidence-in-chief about it, you will have to do it
   A.   Mr Rampton, all these documents have been in
        and I can summarize very briefly.  I accepted the
        was flawed on its figures and on its methodology.  It
        a pioneering report.  It was the first kind of
        that had ever been conducted to our knowledge of the
        Auschwitz site.  It was replicated afterwards.  It has
        been superseded.  Everybody on the incorrigible
        revisionist wing says Leuchter is a good old chap, but

.          P-76

        got bits wrong and, in the meantime, there are other
        more solid reports that have replaced it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Just pause there for a moment.  Just so
        I have it clear because I have in the end to make
sense of
        all this, what do you say is the report or reports
        replicate Leuchter's conclusion?
   A.   There have been a series of reports and I can
        them in this way.  In 1945, it subsequently turned
        the Poles had themselves conducted a test or tests on
        artifacts found at Auschwitz, including a metal
grating, a
        metal grating and human hair.  After the Leuchter came
        into public -- came to public attention, the Auschwitz
        authorities themselves carried out a secret replica of
        tests, came up with unsatisfactory results and kept
        report secret.
                  Subsequently Gemar Rudolf went to Auschwitz
        wrote a report which is known as the Rudolf Report.
        Rudolf is a qualified chemist and he conducted the
        on a much more scientific basis.  He came up with
        which broadly confirmed the conclusions that Leuchter
        originally reached.
                  After criticisms were expressed of the
        report, which are under one of these tabs which your
        Lordship has read some of, we took the appropriate
        action.  We discussed among ourselves how far these
        criticisms had to be taken seriously and what should

.          P-77

        done about them.  We did not do that in public.  I do
        think anybody -- a scientific institute would have
done it
        in public.  We certainly did not ignore the criticism.
        did not just go charging ahead like a blind bull.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  So it is Polish tests in 1945,
        Auschwitz authorities sometime in the late 80s/early
   A.   1989 or '90, yes.
   Q.   And Mr Rudolf?
   A.   And then Mr Rudolf since then, yes.  I think there
        been other tests conducted also since then.  The bone
        been repeatedly chewed over, and if the Leuchter
        anything at all, it was an open discussion of this
        awkward matter.
   MR RAMPTON:  Then, I am afraid, this is inevitable, Mr
        in the light of those answers or that evidence you
        now given.  Turn to what you said in Tampa, Florida.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, I am so sorry to be
        interrupting.  I have to understand the validity or
        invalidity of the criticisms of Leuchter.  What he
        about it seems to me -- we have seen plenty of quotes
        where he says, "Leuchter has convinced me that they
        existed, these camps".
   MR RAMPTON:  No, but, my Lord, I think what he has just
        your Lordship is this, is it not:  "I accept",
although he
        has never said it publicly, "that Leuchter was flawed,
        methodology was poor, his logic was wrong", or
whatever it

.          P-78

        is, "but, of course, he has since been validated by other
        work", including two documents which I am shortly going to
        show him.  It is surprising, in the light of that answer,
        that in 1985 he still adheres to Leuchter as though it
        were gospel.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We can certainly look and see what he says in
        Tampa.  MR RAMPTON:  That is tab 20 of the new file 3, page 19.
   A.   Of course, if I may leap ahead and say that if, at the end
        of the day, it turns out that you were right all along
        about these buildings, then all of this discussion is

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