Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.30 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR RAMPTON: No, Mr Irving, it is not because we are not concerned in this court with proving or disproving what happened in Auschwitz. We are concerned with your state of mind and your standards of, what shall I say, truth when it comes to reporting history? A. You are quite right, but, of course, my state of mind does not rely solely on scientific reports or chemical analyses. Q. I do not dignify Fred Leuchter's report as a scientific report, I am afraid, Mr Irving? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Did you say tab 19? MR RAMPTON: 20, my Lord, page 19. Second paragraph on the page after the break. "Fred Leuchter who wrote the report here which is one of the most telling reports on the . P-79 Auschwitz case"? A. On what page are we, I am sorry? Q. Sorry, page 19, bottom of the page. "Fred Leuchter who wrote the report here which is one of the most telling reports on the Auschwitz case, if you may remember, Fred Leuchter was the American consultant on the gas chamber design. He designs and gives advice on the building of gas chambers by American ... He was nominated by every governor of every American penitentiary as a defence consultant for a law case in Canada which hinged on the Nazi gas chambers. You have seen it in the OJ Simpson case. They call in experts; experts on DNA, experts on footprints or whatever, and that expert then gives expert evidence, and the expert in this Canadian case was Fred Leuchter". Pausing there, Mr Irving, it is not true, is it? He was not allowed to give expert evidence about Auschwitz, was he? A. He was called as an expert evidence -- he was allowed to give expertise. If you read the transcript of the trial, you will see what areas he was allowed to give expert evidence on. Q. "And the Canadian lawyer sent Fred Leuchter actually to Auschwitz in Poland and said, 'You are a gas chamber expert. Tell us what you think about the buildings in Auschwitz. Would they have worked?' Well, the short . P-80 answer", note that, "is Fred Leuchter came back and proved there had never been any cyanide gas or compounds in those buildings. He brought back 40 samples and had those samples of brickwork tested in laboratories", plural, "in the United States with the result there was no trace of cyanide compound whatsoever in all the brickwork samples except one. You can see it here. There was one building in Auschwitz where clothing was fumigated with cyanide and you could see the blue stain coming through the brickwork from the cyanide gas which was used in that building 50 years ago, and the blue stain has permeated right through the brickwork to such a degree that you can actually see the stain there 50 years later. "When the Leuchter report was published, it produced a howl of rage from the traditional enemy of the truth". Who is the traditional enemy of the truth, Mr Irving? A. Oh, I see them every now and then outside my building in Duke Street. I am woken at 3.00 in the morning by the police unloading barricades. I look out of the window and they are all standing outside holding up their signs saying, "Gas Irving", screaming and shouting. That is the way I envisage the traditional enemy of the truth. Q. You go on then to talk about Gemar Rudolf, it is perfectly true. But the fact is in that little passage that I have just read in October 1995, according to you, Leuchter is . P-81 still gospel? A. He wrote the most telling report. It was the one that started the whole avalanche. Q. Not a word there of any of he flaws, and they are fundamental flaws, which you knew then, if not before, certainly by the early 1990s, late 1980s, the Leuchter contained? A. By this time, of course, we have had probably two or even three of the backup, the replica tests carried out by other groups or organizations which showed that Fred Leuchter had, broadly speaking, got it right. So why I should mention the fact that there were the cosmetic flaws like when you said you could not get 10 people standing on a square metre of floor and this kind of thing? Q. Fred Leuchter is complete bunk, his report, is it not? I am going to go through the criticisms because his Lordship has asked me to. A. Well, repeating that sentence 20 or 30 times a day --- - MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is what matters. That is why I have said it. MR RAMPTON: It is not only what matters. There are two sides to Mr Irving, my Lord. There is the public face and the private face. I think I have done that exercise so far as the public face is concerned. Your Lordship should, however, see one or two of what I call the private face . P-82 documents. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am much more interested in the validity or invalidity of the criticism. At the moment, I will be candid with you, Mr Irving, it seems to me that Mr Beer had an extremely good point on Leuchter, but he started off from a fundamental false premise. A. I agree, my Lord, yes. Q. That is the way I am seeing it at the moment. There is no point in my concealing it. A. And what else should I have done than what I immediately did? I immediately forwarded the Beer report. We did not know who Beer was. We do not know what his credentials are. He may be a toxicologist, he may be a chemist, he may be gardener for all I know. Q. I would be interested to be told. A. Yes, we were not told, but I immediately forwarded this report to the people concerned, including those who had written the report, and said, "This is a criticism we have to take on board". You do not immediately rush into print and start tearing something apart because of one criticism or because of two criticisms. Q. And something you then learned told you that Leuchter's assumption was a justified one or ---- A. Well, as I mentioned, my Lord, we then obtained the additional reports which showed that Leuchter had been not barking up the wrong tree, but barking up the right tree, . P-83 and I do draw attention again to the fact that as early as my introduction to that report, I said this is a flawed report. There are things in it that I would like to have seen done differently. The whole purpose of the report was to put the ball in the court of the other side so they come back and convince us. Q. That is as may be, but I am interested to know what it was that emerged that told you that Leuchter was right, because at the moment it seems to me there is a fundamental problem with his report. A. In that case, when my turn comes to lead evidence, I shall lead evidence introducing these other reports if Mr Rampton is reluctant to put before the court. MR RAMPTON: May I invite your Lordship -- it will save time, it will save me having to do it now -- just to read -- not now, I do not mean, when it is convenient to your Lordship -- the little bundle of correspondence that is in tab 8 of the first of the new bundles, K1? A. I already requested his Lordship to do that. Q. What? A. I already requested that his Lordship should do that. MR RAMPTON: Not now, my Lord. There are some quite significant letters in there, we would say, and then I need not ask questions about them unless your Lordship invites me to do so. Before I come to the Leuchter report itself, though, there are two things I want to get out of . P-84 the way, Mr Irving. In 1945, the forensic laboratory at Cracow made a report on two different things: (1) metal covers with holes in them taken from what they call the gas chambers at Birkenhau. They were covers on the ventilation openings, so the report said -- I am sure you know it well? A. It may be useful if we actually had the report before us. Q. Very well. My Lord, that is in tab 6. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Or possibly Professor Pelt's ---- MR RAMPTON: There is only ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, van Pelt. MR RAMPTON: There is only a summary of it in van Pelt, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that not going to be -- I do not know. Take your own course. MR RAMPTON: No, because I know what is going to happen, we are going to wind up looking at the report anyway, if we are not careful. A. Tab 6, you said? Q. Tab 6 of this new file, K. A. This is the one in German? Q. Yes, this is the report of 15th December 1945. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Tab 6. MR RAMPTON: Yes, tab 6. This, I think, Mr Irving, is perhaps -- Mr Irving, I can tell you this a copy made for the court in Vienna when the Auschwitz architects were on . P-85 trial in, I think, 1971 or 2. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is this in German? MR RAMPTON: Yes. It does not matter. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it not simple letter to look at Professor van Pelt? Can you give me the reference, at any rate, so that I can follow it there? MR RAMPTON: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It cannot be 931. No, it is in the text of his report because I think that will probably have the guts of it and if Mr Irving does not agree, he will say so. I think it is 611. Is it 611? MR RAMPTON: It is in two places, I think, actually. A. I do not think I have any problem with this document at all. I will concede that they found in the ventilator grating taken from mortuary No. 1 of crematorium (ii) remains of cyanide. MR RAMPTON: Yes. How do you account for that, Mr Irving? A. Because that particular room was used as vergasungskeller, as a gassing cellar. Q. Yes. Gassing what? A. I think the evidence is clear that it was used as a gassing cellar for fumigating objects or cadavers. Q. Fumigating cadavers? A. Yes. Q. What makes you say that? A. That is what that room was for. That is what mortuaries . P-86 are for. In mortuaries you put cadavers. Q. That is news to me, Mr Irving. What is the evidence for that? A. I beg your pardon? Q. What is the evidence that they used that for gassing corpses? A. That is what it was built for. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, this seems a crude question, but what is the point of gassing a corpse? A. Because they came in heavily infested with the typhus bearing lice that had killed them. MR RAMPTON: So why would it need a gas type door with a peep hole with double eight millimetre thick glass and a metal grill on it? A. Well, I think you will have to show us the evidence for this. Q. I will do. A. And the evidence that this door was intended for that particular room and the evidence it was possible to obtain doors without the peep holes and the evidence that the room was not intended to be used for other purposes too. Q. No, Mr Irving. You see, I do not have to prove anything. I am testing your, I have to say, slightly bizarre suggestion that you put Zyklon B into a room where the people are already dead. You tell me, "Oh, well, that is because they wanted to delouse the corpses". Then I asked . P-87 you, "Why then does it need a gas type door with a peep hole and a metal protection on it?" A. Because at this time in the war most of Germany was coming under the, it was feeling the weight of Royal Air Force bomber commands forays. We were bombing all over Eastern Europe. Our bombing raids were extending further and further into Central Europe. You will see from the Auschwitz construction department files an increasing concern about the need to build bomb tight shelters and gas tight shelters because of the danger of gas attack. Q. Now it is an air raid shelter, is it? A. I beg your pardon? Q. In early 1943, Mr Irving, the first bombing raid anywhere near Auschwitz was not until late '44? A. Mr Rampton, if the court so pleases, I will tomorrow produce to you an index of all the documents in the Auschwitz construction department files from late 1942 onwards dealing with the necessity to build air raid shelters, gas tight air raid shelters and other similar constructions on the Auschwitz compound and on the Birkenhau compound for precisely the reasons that I have mentioned. Q. It is either a cellar for gassing corpses, is it, Mr Irving, or else it is an air raid shelter? A. Did I say either or?
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