Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.09 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not a very good way of cross-examining, if I may say so. Are you able to refer . P-71 to them now? MR IRVING: Not at this instant in time, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: All right. MR IRVING: If I was surrounded by research assistants, no doubt I would be bombarded with copies of that very document. Does Tauber not say --, I refer you now to Pressac page 483. Do you have a copy of Pressac? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not. MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship has the tab of Pressac at the back of H 2(vi). MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not have H 2(vi). MR RAMPTON: Then somebody will get it for your Lordship. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, I do not have the supporting documents in court. MR RAMPTON: I will find your Lordship the tab. It is tab 5. It folds out because Pressac is an oblong book. What has been copied here is just the Tauber chapter, I think. MR IRVING: Would you agree, reading this very detailed account, Professor, that it is likely that, when Tauber made this deposition to Jan Sehn, I believe it was made, they had in front of them the architectural blueprints to jog his memory? MR JUSTICE GRAY: We had this yesterday, that point. MR IRVING: Very well. I am just drawing attention to how detailed it was. Yet he says that on either side of these pillars, the central support pillars, there were four . P-72 others, two on each side. Now He is relying on his memory ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where are you now? A. We are now back in the gas chamber? Where are we at page 483? OK. We are at the top of 484, the first column to the left. MR IRVING: Thank you very much. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have not got the pagination so there is no way I am going to find this. MR IRVING: It is over the page, the page beginning with the words "middle of its length". MR JUSTICE GRAY: I just do not have page numbers, that is the problem. They have all been cut off. MR IRVING: I will read it out. It says, "On other side of these pillars there were four others, C1 to C4, two on each side". Mr Pressac, who is quite an expert on this, says that Mr Tauber is mistaken, this arrangement is found only in the gas chamber of crematorium (iii). He is confusing things, is he not? A. Mr Pressac? Q. No. Mr Tauber is confusing things. A. I know that Mr Pressac thinks that. I do not agree with Mr Pressac. There is no evidence at all that Pressac is right on this issue. Q. That Pressac is sometimes wrong, in other words? A. Oh, yes. Pressac is sometimes wrong. I have had my . P-73 quarrels with Pressac in the past. Q. He says, and I am quoting again, "The gas chamber had no water supply of its own". A. Where are we now? Q. I only have extracts, unfortunately. Further down that same column, Pressac says that three taps were in fact installed in the room, according to the drawing? A. I am just trying to find this thing. Q. According to the inventory. A. I see the gas chambers, no water supply and so on, it is around two inches from the bottom, and the first column, the same column where the pillars were described. MR IRVING: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not following why that is a criticism of Tauber at the moment. MR IRVING: Well, he has made another error. A. There is a little note. It is followed by a little note which says ---- Q. Saying they were later taken out? A. Yes, so we do not know which day or date Tauber was referring to. Q. Yes. You yourself have confirmed that at the end of 1943, I believe, the gas chamber was divided into two by a brick wall? A. Yes. Q. So the small transports could be handled. Mr Tauber . P-74 confirmed this. He is the source of that information, is he not? A. No. There is also a Greek. Actually, in my report I mention a Greek Jew who was transported from Seloniki, who actually mentions also, he was quite specific in his description of that division of the gas chamber. Q. Another eyewitness? A. Yes, another eyewitness. Q. Is there any trace of that division in the ruins? A. You cannot see that. That is the problem because the roof has collapsed on the floor of the gas chamber. Q. Yes. It would not make much sense, would it, to all the bodies that far because this small transports were gassed in the chamber furthest from the entrance, so the bodies would have been pulled the whole way down. Would that not have made gassing of large numbers like 2,000 at a time very difficult? A. If you have the small chamber at the back, you would gas fewer people and, in fact, as we have seen in the Olaire drawing, it actually provides an opportunity for the so-called dentists among the sonderkommando and the people who cut the hair to actually do their work downstairs and not in the incineration room, as was usually the custom. Q. He also describes, does he not, the crematorium chimneys smoking? A. I presume that is crematorium chimney smoke, indeed, yes. . P-75 I would like to see it but I assume on your authority that the crematorium chimneys do smoke, yes. Q. From your memory, presumably you have read Mr Tauber's testimony in detail, is it right that he describes it as being possible to cremate five or eight bodies simultaneously in one furnace? A. I think that we can probably go to the passage itself. Q. Well, he does say that, does he not? A. Let us go to the passage, because he is very particular in his description. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is this in your report at page 194? A. 194 yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot see the bit at the moment. A. 194. We go to 192 and 193. I can read the whole passage, or Mr Irving can read the passage, starting: "The procedure was to put the first corpse with the feet towards the muffle, back down and face up". Then he gives a very detailed description of that procedure. MR IRVING: So he is the source of the information that five to eight bodies were cremated simultaneously or quickly? A. No. I think that Mr Hirst also talks about that, that more bodies are inserted in the muffles at one time. Q. Does Mr Tauber also describe the bodies of those gassed as being red with green spots? A. I do remember that he gives a quite a longish description of the ---- . P-76 Q. If you remember it, there is no need to look it up. A. I do not any more remember if it is Tauber or any other sonderkommandos. Q. Do you know what a body that has been gassed with hydrogen cyanide looks like, what colour it turns? A. I understand it starts to look slightly reddish. Q. Like a radish? Red with green spots? A. No, reddish. Q. With green spots. Would you think that that is possibly the victim of some epidemic? A. I am not an epidemiologist. I do not know how people who have died from typhus or other epidemics look like. Q. Cyanide victims do not go red with green spots, not if they have just been gassed. If they have been left lying around for a few days, perhaps they might. A. I have no comment on that. I cannot possibly comment on that. Q. Does he describe a prisoner being dowsed with naphtha which is a flammable substance? MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is Tauber still? MR IRVING: This is Tauber, yes, and then being burned alive in a crematorium muffle, and then they let him out and he ran around screaming? A. He has a particular incident. Again, I do not know where it is. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it in your report? . P-77 A. It is in my report, yes. MR IRVING: Does he describe another prisoner being chased into a pool of boiling human fat, which sounds like an almost Talmudic kind of quotation. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not quite sure, Mr Irving, perhaps you can explain to me. You are putting various things which you say Mr Tauber described. MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, the inference is ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: With what object? Are you suggesting all of this is invention? MR IRVING: I am not suggesting they are all invention, but they test a reasonable historian's credulity, and one should therefore be inclined to subject this particular testimony to closer than normal scrutiny, if I can put it like that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us ask Professor van Pelt what he makes of that suggestion. MR IRVING: I have two more of these episodes to put to him. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Put two more and then answer the general question, would you? MR IRVING: The prisoner was chased into a pool of boiling human fat -- does he describe that? A. Mr Irving, if you give me the passage, I will---- Q. He is your principal eyewitness, or one of your principal eye witnesses. MR JUSTICE GRAY: He wants the reference, Mr Irving, which is . P-78 not unreasonable. I am trying to find it and I must say I cannot. MR IRVING: Certainly if I had read the Tauber report, I would be able to say yes or no to that. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am looking in Professor van Pelt's report. A. Mr Irving, we are in a court of law here and whatever I say does matter. It means that I need to respond to the exact quotation of what Tauber says, and then I am prepared to say yes or nay. MR IRVING: Very well. We will look up the exact quotation in time for lunch. Let us proceed then to the final one. Do you agree that Mr Tauber also attests to the figure of 4 million killed in Auschwitz? MR RAMPTON: We thought we had found the passage in question. It is page 190 of the report. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much. MR IRVING: Yes. This is the problem with writing with word processors. Things tend to go through the finger tips rather than through the memory and brain. In other words, he does have this rather lurid description of the man ---- A. Mr Irving, I do not deny that I put this in, and I do remember the incident, but I do not want to comment on a very general description you give of the incident when I do not have the text in front of me. Q. Can I read it to you? It is on page 190 of your own report. "When the shifts were changing over, they had . P-79 found a gold watch and wedding ring on one of the labourers, a man Wolbrom called Lejb. This Jew, aged about twenty, was dark and had a number of one hundred thousand and something. All the Sonderkommando working in the crematorium were assembled, and before their eyes he was hung, with his hands tied behind his back, from an iron bar above the firing hearths. He remained in this position for about an hour, then after untying his hands and feet, they threw him in a cold crematorium furnace. Gasoline was poured into the lower ash bin... And lit. The flames reached the muffle where this Lejb was imprisoned. A few minutes later, they opened the door and the condemned man emerged and ran off, covered in burns. ... This fat was poured over the corpses to accelerate their combustion. This poor devil was pulled out of the fat still alive and then shot." Does that sound to like a completely neutral and plausible account of an atrocity? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Leave aside "neutral". That is an unhelpful word. Do you think it is plausible? A. Yes. MR IRVING: Very well. The figure of 4 million to which Tauber attested, do you call that also plausible at the time he testified? A. The figure of 4 million? Not, because nowadays we have very detailed information on what actually the figure is . P-80 and it is more likely to have been around a million. Q. So would you agree that this is an example of what I call cross pollination? He hits on the figure of 4 million because that was the current figure at that time? A. I do think that we should look at how the figure of 4 million originally arose.
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