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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.33

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.33
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   According to you, Mr Irving, this is a key document, which
        proves your case that these were never homicidal gas
        chambers, merely licicidal.
   A.   You have asked for one document which supports this
        "bizarre hypothesis".  I have given you one document.
   Q.   Mr Irving, I do not ask for the document.  You offer the
        document in proof of your "bizarre hypothesis."  Why have
        I not seen it before?
   A.   His Lordship said before lunch, Mr Rampton, that he would

.          P-107

        ask me to support or justify, rather than  asking you to
        justify the homicidal version, his Lordship asked me to
        justify the fumigation version and the air raid shelter version.
   Q.   May we have a copy? I am not going to make any comment
        about it until I have seen it and until Professor van Pelt
        has seen it.
   A.   I will fax to you this afternoon and I will bring it
        tomorrow morning.
   Q.   Can you just tell me its date?
   A.   It was early 1943.
   Q.   Early 1943, thank you very much.  I have one final
        question, to which I am sure I know the answer.  In
        January 1942 an SS doctor at Auschwitz wrote an internal
        memo to the Kommandatur at Auschwitz, on the one hand
        making requests for the detailed provision for the
        dissection room in the new crematoria, and on the other
        hand requesting that there should be in the keller rooms,
        cellar rooms, of that edifice an undressing room.  Why
        would the SS doctor want an undressing room next to the
        dissection room?
   A.   I have to admit that I am not very well versed in practice
        of morticians and pathologists, but I can well imagine
        that corpses which are infected would be undressed in one
        room, which would be regarded as a dirty room, and then
        cleaned, and then taken into the dissection room for

.          P-108

        dissection.  This again is purely commonsense operating
        and not specific knowledge.
   Q.   It is in this bundle but I am not asking you to look at it
        now unless you actually want to.  Your thesis is that the
        reference to an auskleideraum in this document is to the
        undressing of people who are already dead.  Is that right?
   A.   I am not sure if you have read Neufurt, which is the
        standard architects handbook in Germany over the last
        seven or eight decades?  Both Professor Jan van Pelt and
        I have obtained a wartime copy of Neufurt, one each, and
        the layout of mortuaries and crematoria is described in
        some detail in this architects handbook, and it does
        include an undressing room.  So, in other words, this is
        nothing unusual in a properly designed mortuary.
   Q.   We will, if we may, Mr Irving, go back to the Leuchter.
        I hope we can take it quickly.  I would like you to turn
        to page 13, my Lord, to tab 1 of the first and largest of
        the new files.  In the right hand column on page 13, do
        you have it under "Design and procedures at the alleged
        execution gas chambers" and does your Lordship have it?
   MR RAMPTON:  I will jumped to the bold paragraph: "The on site
        inspection of these structures indicated extremely poor
        and dangerous design of these facilities if they were to
        have served as execution gas chambers."
                  The first point:  There is no provision for gas

.          P-109

        fitted doors windows or vents.  That as a matter of
        history is just wrong, is it not, Mr Irving?
   A.   I do not know.  I have never been to Auschwitz.
   Q.   As I said, as a matter of history, not archaeology.
   A.   You have read the documents, I expect, have you?
   A.   Which document are you referring to?
   Q.   No, the documents, there are repeated references, for
        example as we discussed this morning, to the need for
        gas tight door with a peep hole?
   A.   Yes.  In the Auschwitz documents there are repeated
        references to this, yes.
   Q.   I am sorry, I meant Auschwitz documents?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So that is a piece of Leuchter which has no foundation
   A.   I think what he is saying is that nothing was to be
        when they inspected on site.
   Q.   That may be.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is a gas fitted door.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is a door which has seals so that air
        come in and gas cannot come out, if you see what I
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Round the jamb?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, round the jamb.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Gas proof really?
   MR RAMPTON:  Gas proof.  It might be rubber, it might be
        felt. "The structures are not coated with tar or other

.          P-110

        sealant to prevent leakage or absorption of the gas."
        you accept or not, Mr Irving, that he missed, if it is
        there, the traces, not traces, actually they are quite
        large patches of cement or plaster that is to be found
        the walls?
   A.   Of the Leichenkeller.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   Yes.  There is plaster on ordinary mortar plaster on
        walls, but there is no treatment on top of the
        It is just bare plaster and this is in fact what is
        recommended for mortuaries, to be just bare plaster
        some kind of whitewash.
   Q.   "The adjacent crematoria are a potential danger of
        explosion".  That is complete nonsense, is it not?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is nonsense on a certain assumption
        the level of concentration.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is that not a more accurate way of
   MR RAMPTON:  It is a nonsense unless the concentration used
        something in the order of 60,000 parts per million, is
   A.   I believe I am right in saying, and I am sure
        Jan van Pelt will correct me if I am wrong, that on
        of the architectural drawings of crematoria 4 and 5,
        are provisions for explosionsgelichte, in other words

.          P-111

        explosion proof light switches to be installed in some
        these chambers, or am I referring to the fumigation
   Q.   I do not know, Mr Irving.  You will have to explain
        to Professor van Pelt.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   But, from the level of concentration used, even for
        gassing lice, at a concentration of 6,666 parts per
        million, there was no danger of explosion?
   A.   They certainly installed explosion proof switches in
        fumigation buildings because they are specified on the
        architects drawings.
   Q.   And then, writes the good Mr Leuchter, "The exposed
        brick and mortar would accumulate the H C N and make
        facilities dangerous to humans for several years".
        is nonsense too, is it not?  If it is Prussian blue,
        tell me it is stable?
   A.   It becomes stable, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well it was not porous, in any event, if
        was plastered.  Is that right?
   A.   A lot of it is brickwork, too, my Lord, you can see
        of it.
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  That is postwar deterioration, Mr Irving.
        Assume that the inside of the gas chamber is covered
        whatever it was, at least covered with plaster or
        then the brickwork is not exposed at all, is it?

.          P-112

   A.   It is not cement, it is a lime plaster.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Lime plaster would not be porous, would
        It would not be porous brick and mortar anyway.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Leuchter writes: "The exposed porous brick
        mortar" -- he is talking, rather as Mr Roth did in his
        rather graphic way, about analysing the surface of the
        wall by looking at the timber behind it?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It is logical and it is not even scientific.  It is
        logical rubbish, is it not?
   A.   It does strike me as being unscientific, that
        sentence, yes.
   Q.   Krammer 1 is adjacent to the SS hospital in Auschwitz
        has floor drains connected to the main sewer of the
        which would allow gas into every building in the
        facility.  That is nonsense, too, is it not?
   A.   I think the use of word "gas" is wrong.  I would say
        would allow hydrogen cyanide into the sewer.
   Q.   Do you know whether Mr Leuchter actually verified the
        existence of a mains sewer at Auschwitz?
   A.   One thing I have asked Professor van Pelt to produce
        the Auschwitz records is the sewage plans.
   Q.   And, Mr Irving, the answer is, perhaps, I do not know
   A.   I do not know.  I do not know what Mr Leuchter had,
   Q.   No.  He has just made it up.  He has made yet another
        his wonderful assumptions, has he not?

.          P-113

   A.   It maybe that it was a logical assumption, I do not
   Q.   The answer is, I think, that Professor van Pelt, who
        perhaps the most knowledgable person in the whole
        upon this topic, will say that it is not known whether
        there was a main sewer.
   A.   There should be, because the construction office will
        certainly have had sewer plans, and our suspicion
would be
        that the water outflow from these buildings would have
        gone eventually to the water treatment plant, which is
        visible on all the air photographs.
   Q.  "And safely dissolved in low concentrations into a
        solution."  Yes?
   A.   Well, I am not going to talk about the percentages
        I do not know what percentages we are talking about.
   Q.   OK. "There were no exhaust systems to prevent the gas
        after usage".  Complete nonsense, is it not?
   A.   Which building are we talking about, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5?
   Q.   He has listed them all, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
   A.   There was certainly a ventilation system in the
        I am interested in, which is crematorium 2, yes.
   Q.   And numbers 4 and 5 each had seven little windows 30
        centimetres by 40 in the outside, and each of the two
        outer rooms had big doors opening into the open air,
        they not?
   A.   Numbers 3 and 4?
   Q.   No, 4 and 5.  No, 2 and 3 were sealed.  They had but

.          P-114

        door and therefore needed a ventilation system.  So
        is another piece of assertion by Mr Leuchter which is
        plain wrong, is it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.  I will skip the next one because it is controversial.
        facilities are always damp and not heated".  You have
        the letter, have you not, concerning the provision of
        preheating mechanisms for Leichenkeller 1?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Wrong again?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.  "The chambers are too small to physically contain
        the occupants claimed".  Wrong again?
   A.   I disagree on that.
   Q.   He assumed 9 foot per person, did he not?
   A.   Yes, but even on lower figures you still cannot put
        into those.
   Q.   As a matter of fact you can, but we will not argue
        that.  He assumed 9 square feet per person, did he
   A.   He did, yes.  If you say so, that is.  I mean, without
        being told where he says it, I do not know.
   Q.   Well, it is somewhere in here?
   A.   I think the nine -- yes.
   Q.   That is the figure which is used for judicial
        execution -- I do not like that -- legal execution in
        the United States. "The doors all opened inwards" --

.          P-115

        is wrong too, is it not?
   A.   On all five of them?  I do not know.
   Q.   All doors opened outwards, which is why they are not
        raid shelters.
   A.   Air raid shelters doors always open outwards.
   Q.   Why?  What if the rest of the building tumbles down
        outside and you cannot get out?
   A.   The reason is because the blast from a bomber
        outwards will blow the door in if it opens inwards.
        raid doors always open outwards.
   Q.   They do not all open inwards, they all open outwards.
   A.   Air raid shelter doors, yes.
   Q.   No, the doors of these rooms.
   A.   I take your word for it.
   Q.   We can look at the plans Mr Irving, but do take my
        for it.  It is what Professor van Pelt has already
told us
        and will say again if you challenge him.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, can you go back to the bottom
        page 13, "With the chambers fully packed with
        there would be no circulation of HCN within the room."
   MR RAMPTON:  I have not got to that yet, but by all means,
        Lordship, ask Mr Irving about that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I would like to understand the point that
        Leuchter thinks he is making there at the bottom of page 13.
   A.   There is actually a more valid point than that.  That is,

.          P-116

        if you pack 2,000 people into a chamber the size of this
        room as Bruno Tesh, who was later hanged, the man who
        produced the Zyklon B, said you would not need cyanide to
        kill them, they would suffocate in a very short space of
        time anyway.

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