The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.22

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.22
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   We will come to that in a minute.
   A.  -- and squalor and so on were an extremely important part

.          P-198

        of this.  Therefore this is not part of a deliberate
        systematic extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.  So
        have to take that together with other things.
   Q.   Are you saying that all ----
   A.   Of course, four million is a figure that is well below
        range of figures which responsible historians of the
        Holocaust consider, even leaving apart the question of
        deliberate and systematic nature of the killing.
   Q.   If we look at the 6 million figure or the 5.1 million
        figure, are they all people who met a violent death?
   A.   Well, I guess it depends what you mean by violence.
        I think the argument is that these are people who were
        killed as a result of a systematic mass murder by the
   Q.   Privations killed them as much as violence, right?
        Starvation, epidemic, brutality, exhaustion?
   A.   Indeed, yes.
   Q.   Which is exactly what I said in the radio interview,
   A.   As I said, you have to take that in conjunction with
        and why you think that people died of typhus and
        in the camps.
   Q.   Because I do not buy the whole 6 million, I am a
        denier.  I am suddenly not a responsible historian?
   A.   I think you have to take this together with other
        of what you have said and written about the Holocaust.

.          P-199

        I say, we are focusing here on one statement you make
        where quite exceptionally you go up to 4 million, and
        many other places you did use before that much lower
   Q.   You are aware that that radio broadcast was
        broadcast around the world by the newspapers; it was
        headlined in Australia and headlined in other
        around the world, and never once did I issue a
        I was quite happy to accept that I had stated those
        figures.  Have you seen the press clippings?
   A.   I have not, no, but I am happy to accept that though.
   Q.   Can we now move on to the matter you wish to raise,
        is the death by epidemics?
   MR RAMPTON:  Before we do that, can I draw your Lordship's
        attention to the stated position on the pleadings?  I
        sufficiently still enough of an anorak occasionally to
        refer to the pleadings.  In relation to Belzec,
        and Treblinka as at 18th March 1997 when the Reply was
        served, the allegation had been that Belzec, Sobibor
        Treblinka were established as extermination camps as
        of Aktion Reinhardt, Mr Irving said this:
                  "The Plaintiff was not aware of any
        wartime archival evidence for the allegations raised
        this paragraph.  Aktion Reinhardt was named after Friz
        Reinhardt, the Civil Service, in the Reichs Finance
        Ministry in charge of exploiting the assets of

.          P-200

        and murdered Jews and other concentration camp
        It is denied that Aktion Reinhardt was itself an
        extermination operation."
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  My recollection is that in the
        stages Mr Irving was not accepting ----
   MR RAMPTON:  That is right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  --- during his evidence that there was
        gassing there, but when pressed he did.  His position
        evolved, in other words.
   MR RAMPTON:  The position has evolved to this, that he
        there were Jews killed by gas at those camps.  He is,
        I think to be fair, unsure of the scale.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, my recollection is he has actually
        figures put to him which he has accepted.
   MR RAMPTON:  Then your Lordship's memory is better than
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I think that that is
        right, for whatever it may be worth.
   MR IRVING:  Your Lordship will undoubtedly refer to the
        transcripts when the time comes, whatever I said in
        transcripts.  My recollection of the matter is that in
        order to speed the trial along we have stream lined a
        of the arguments and concentrated on certain
        and centres, and left it like that.
   MR IRVING:  It is not a formal concession.  It is not a
        but it helps to speed the process of the trial along.

.          P-201

        I were to start digging my heels on all the other
        and locations and events and episodes then we would be
        here until Christmas.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do not overestimate the importance of the
        speed of the trial.  Obviously we have a duty not to
        time, but you cannot found your concessions on a wish
        keep the trial moving along.  They are either
        and I use that word I think correctly in this context,
        they are not.
   MR IRVING:  My logic there is to say that if I am proved
        on the main camp, on Auschwitz two, then what happened
        did not happen in Sobibor, Treblinka and Belzec is
        here nor there.  If, on the other hand, I am proved
        on Auschwitz two, then equally what happened in
        and Treblinka and Belzec is neither here nor there.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We may have to examine that further, but
I am
        conscious you are trying to sustain a cross-
        and it is very difficult for you to have to argue.
        Mr Rampton was right, I think, to get up and say what
        did.  I certainly do not want to take you out of your
   MR IRVING:  He is certainly right to have pointed that out,
        although he very correctly read out exactly what the
        pleadings said, and the pleadings did not really
        the burden that he sought to place upon them.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think I know what you are getting at.

.          P-202

        do you not resume your cross-examination.  If you are
        running out of steam ----
   MR IRVING:  I am not running out of steam.  There is one
        point I believe that the witness wishes to make which
        concerns the epidemics in Buchenwald at the end of the
   A.   Let me go back and say that I quote you on page 106 in
        saying in 1998, you were asked:  If Holocaust is
        representative of the allegation of the extermination
of 6
        million Jews due to the Second World War as a direct
        result of official German policy of extermination,
        would you say?  You replied that:  "I am not familiar
        any documentary evidence of any such figure of 6
        It must have been of the order of 100,000 or more".
   MR IRVING:  I would wish to see, to quote your words, I
        wish definitely to see exactly what has been left out
        there, because that is such a remarkable statement in
        form that I cannot accept that is a complete ----
   A.   Well, you have had the opportunity to do so.  You have
        my report since July I think.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We have probably got it.  What page were
        reading from, Professor Evans?
   A.   106.
   MR IRVING:  106.
   A.   Right at the bottom.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We have the testimony.  Unfortunately we

.          P-203

        not got a page reference.  Yes, we have, page 12.
   MR IRVING:  By looking at the figures I think we are
        about how many are known to have died in Auschwitz.
   A.   That is not the question that you were asked.  It is
        extermination of 6 million Jews during the Second
   Q.   That is why I want to see exactly what the testimony
        says.  It would be clearly impossible for me to have
        that the Holocaust was 100,000.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, it is not, Mr Irving is wrong.  The
        was: "And if the Holocaust is represented as the
        allegation of the extermination of 6 million Jews
        the Second World War as a direct result of official
        policy of extermination, what would you say to that
        thesis?"  Then we get the answer.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Where are you reading from?
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry, I am reading from the transcript
        Mr Irving's evidence.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I have got that, but I have pages running
        into the hundreds.
   MR RAMPTON:  204 in the bottom right-hand corner.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do you want to see it, Mr Irving?  You
        to see it and you are perfectly entitled to.
   MR IRVING:  I would wish to see the whole of it rather than
        just two or three lines that have been read out to me
        Mr Rampton, to see what the context is.

.          P-204

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, that is fair.
   MR RAMPTON:  Then there was a further question on 205, my
        Lord:  "Do you have any opinion as a result of your
        research as to the number of Jews who died in
        concentration camps during the Second World War?  I am
        sure that an opinion wore here would be of use.  I
        opinions.  I have opinions of the kind of statistical
        orders of magnitude where you can see there is a
        number and a maximum number and I can only set these
        limits and say that to my mind it must have been of
        order of 100,000 or more".
   MR IRVING:  Yes, in other words 100,000 is the minimum ----
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   MR IRVING:  --- of those died in concentration camps.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He does go on to say that certainly less
        the figure which is quoted nowadays of 6 million.
   MR RAMPTON:  With the ellipse it is accurately set out in
        Professor Evans' report.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that is true.
   MR IRVING:  Just once again those three lines quoted in the
        report do not really give the flavour of the
        that go on.  If I am being asked as how many Jews died
        the concentration camps during the war years, and I do
        what any scientist would which is give a lower limit
        an upper limit which in this particular case are very
        indeed, not less than 100,000, not more than 6

.          P-205

        that is all one can say on the basis of the
        that we have.
                  Is there anything further you wish to say
        that, witness?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Do you now wish to say something about the epidemics
        Belsen and the responsibility of the Allies for them?
   A.   Yes.  I go on in my report to quote you, saying that
        was the Allies:  "We, the British and the Americans,
        partially responsible, at least partially responsible,
        their misfortune because we vowed deliberate bombing
        the transportation networks, bombardation, deliberate
        bombarding the German communications ...
        industry, medicine factories.  We had deliberately
        the conditions of chaos inside Germany.  We had
        deliberately created the epidemics and the outbreaks
        typhus and other diseases which led to those appalling
        scenes that were found at their most dramatic in the
        enclosed areas, the concentration camps, where, of
        epidemics can ravage and run wild".  That is you in
   Q.   You dispute that, do you?
   A.   Yes, I do.  The conditions of epidemics are created,
        essentially, by the Nazis who ran camps in such a way
        they were extremely unhygienic.
   Q.   How can you combat epidemics if you do not have the
        pharmaceutical products to combat them?

.          P-206

   A.   Well, the point is that they -- first of all, the
        epidemics were well before the end of the war.  As you
        know, there is a major epidemic in Auschwitz in 1942
to 3,
        I think, and you are talking here as if this is only
        the end of war.
   Q.   Are you also familiar were the fact that epidemic is a
        by-product of bombardment of cities, that the water
        are destroyed, the rats feed on the cadavers?
   A.   Well, we are not talking about the bombardment of
        concentration camps.  We are talking about conditions
        extremely unhygienic in which the particular disease
        concerned was typhus which is a disease of dirt and
        of hygiene, and there is plenty of evidence that these
        the conditions in the camps which the Nazis
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What would you make of an historian who
        I suppose, the political party which had rounded up a
        particular race and put them into camps where typhus
        out and killed huge numbers of them, how do you feel
        an historian who says that the person who deliberately
        created the epidemics was the person who bombed the
        pharmaceutical factories which might have been able to
        provide the distribution which might have limited the
        typhus epidemic, how would you regard?
   A.   I feel that that is a reversal of the truth.  That is
        extremely perverse.  Typhus is a disease which the

.          P-207

        knew very well how to combat.  They had had experience
        it from the First World War.  There had been a lot of
        medical intervention by the Germans since well before
        combating diseases in Eastern Europe.
   MR IRVING:  How do you combat typhus?
   A.   Essentially, by cleanliness.  It is by, for example,
        giving the inmates of a concentration camp fresh
        and bedding at regular intervals which was not done at
   Q.   What is the carrier of typhus?
   A.   It is the human body louse.

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