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 important. 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 have 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 the four pillars, next to which this or down through which the Zyklon B was poured, are still standing, and from those 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 now, and samples were taken from that concrete and also tested. 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 Michael Kulan, also of Heinrich Taiber who worked there ---- A. He had totally worthless witnesses, as we shall shortly show. Q. You say so, Mr Irving, but their testimony is not that the Zyklon B was poured down the centre of a concrete pillar, it was poured into wire mesh attachments to the concrete 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? They 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 my 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 the pillars or the remains of pillars, I know you have never been there, that you can now see in the gas chambers at Birkenhau, the fact they are solid concrete has nothing whatever do with the case. A. We will have something to say about the wire mesh columns of which there is talk and we will have a great deal to say about those witnesses you mentioned. Q. Now we will go back, if we may. I wish you would tell us what it was, Mr Irving. Time is getting short. A. When I try ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is all terribly discursive. I am just wondering where we are really getting with this. I have read Professor van Pelt with interest obviously. I understood the points that he was making. What I am not 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 whether it is the way to deal with this part of the case. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, the only point of this part of the case 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 all that it is about. The concentration point goes no further than that. He must have known, and he certainly knew it when he heard what Mr Beer had to say, that Fred Leuchter completely reversed the significance of the concentration. So the principal brick falls straight out 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, arguably at the very least, a huge fallacy in the Leuchter report, well, I understand how you put your case. But does it go 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 that. 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 that 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 opportunity to answer what needs to be answered. As I understand it, you have understood the point that is made on Leuchter and it has been made by reference to Mr Beer. I have not been . 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 report 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 think you ought to have the opportunity to develop that at some stage. I do not want to take Mr Rampton out of order. A. Perhaps Mr Rampton wanted to avoid asking precisely those questions that your Lordship has now asked. MR RAMPTON: Oh, Mr Irving, I do not need to avoid asking you 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 later. A. Mr Rampton, all these documents have been in discovery, and I can summarize very briefly. I accepted the Leuchter was flawed on its figures and on its methodology. It was a pioneering report. It was the first kind of examination 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 he . P-76 got bits wrong and, in the meantime, there are other much more solid reports that have replaced it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just pause there for a moment. Just so that 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 which replicate Leuchter's conclusion? A. There have been a series of reports and I can summarize them in this way. In 1945, it subsequently turned out, 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 the tests, came up with unsatisfactory results and kept their report secret. Subsequently Gemar Rudolf went to Auschwitz and wrote a report which is known as the Rudolf Report. Now, Rudolf is a qualified chemist and he conducted the tests on a much more scientific basis. He came up with figures which broadly confirmed the conclusions that Leuchter had originally reached. After criticisms were expressed of the Leuchter 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 be . P-77 done about them. We did not do that in public. I do not think anybody -- a scientific institute would have done it in public. We certainly did not ignore the criticism. We 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 90s. A. 1989 or '90, yes. Q. And Mr Rudolf? A. And then Mr Rudolf since then, yes. I think there have been other tests conducted also since then. The bone has been repeatedly chewed over, and if the Leuchter achieved anything at all, it was an open discussion of this very awkward matter. MR RAMPTON: Then, I am afraid, this is inevitable, Mr Irving, in the light of those answers or that evidence you have 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 the invalidity of the criticisms of Leuchter. What he said about it seems to me -- we have seen plenty of quotes where he says, "Leuchter has convinced me that they never existed, these camps". MR RAMPTON: No, but, my Lord, I think what he has just told your Lordship is this, is it not: "I accept", although he has never said it publicly, "that Leuchter was flawed, his 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 superfluous.
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