The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.07


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day026.07
Last-Modified: 2000/07/25

   MR RAMPTON:  No, I agree.  There is one of them which may have
        some significance in a different context which is the
        longest of the three.
   MR IRVING:  It is construction of Auschwitz, I think, is it
        not, or expansion of Auschwitz?
   MR RAMPTON:  It is not the construction of Auschwitz.  It is
        the expansion of Auschwitz which is rather significant
        because this document is dated 16th September 1942.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, would you like to suggest where it
        goes?  Probably in Auschwitz, will it not?
   MR RAMPTON:  It will best go in the Auschwitz file.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, is that all right?
   MR RAMPTON:  In tab 4 of ----
   MR IRVING:  Indeed, my Lord.
   MR RAMPTON:  Tab 4 of K2, I think it is.
   MR IRVING:  It would be nicer to have a legible copy of it and
        I am sure his Lordship will agree.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I agree with that entirely.  I do not know
        whether that is possible.
   MR IRVING:  If a legible copy is provided, I can have it

.          P-56

        translated.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Tab 4, did you say, Mr Rampton?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, that is the one with the written documents in
        it, I think, tab 4, K2.  3A following.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Where are you suggesting?
   MR RAMPTON:  Tab 4, 3A, B, C, D.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.
   MR IRVING:  Page 77, paragraph 9, Dr Longerich, you say in
        Auschwitz between February 1942 and January 1945 between
        900,000 and 1 million Jews were murdered.  I have to ask
        you what documentary evidence do you have for the
        statement that 900,000 or a million Jews were murdered as
        opposed to merely being sent there?
   A.   Sorry?
   Q.   As opposed to merely being sent there?
   A.   Well, I followed here because I am not an expert on
        Auschwitz, and we have an expert here.  I followed,
        basically, the research which was done during the last
        years, mainly by van Pelt, and also by Piper.  So, of
        course, you have to make a distinction here between the
        people who died, sent to gas chambers and the people who
        actually died in the camp.
   Q.   From other causes?
   A.   From other causes, but I think the whole working
        conditions in the camp were such that you can, in general,
        say that somebody who was transported to Auschwitz and

.          P-57

        died there because of exhaustion, hunger and of other
        causes was murdered.  This was a part of a murderous
        programme in this general sense, I use the term here.
   Q.   That is important.  I think this needs to be fixed,
        therefore.  You are saying, therefore, that the 1 million
        people who died in Auschwitz were murdered, not
        necessarily homicidally killed by violence, but you
        include in that figure the numbers who died from typhus
        and the other epidemics?
   A.   Well, if you look at the figures, the vast majority of
        Jews who were sent to Auschwitz were directly sent into
        gas chambers, and it is -- I am referring to, I would
        definitely say that this was a murderous operation and
        I would also include the other people who died there.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I am not sure you quite really grappled
        with Mr Irving's question which was are you actually
        including in your 1 million figure those who died as a
        result of forced labour?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  And the starvation, pestilence, plague, epidemics,
        all the other ancillary causes?
   A.   Yes, as far as I am familiar with the history of
        Auschwitz, this is a situation which was deliberately
        prepared by the camp authorities.  So it is not simply a
        camp, you know, where things went wrong, but this is a
        camp designed to systematically kill people, also the

.          P-58

        labour camp.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are you basing yourself on basically
        Professor van Pelt?
   A.   Van Pelt also.
   Q.   Because I am not sure that his evidence was quite to that
        effect, but at all events that is what you say?
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  Are you aware of the book by Professor Arnott
        Myard, "Why did the heavens not darken" ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- in which he said, in his opinion, two things, first of
        all -- I will ask you first of all -- he said that in his
        opinion by far the greatest number of deaths at Auschwitz
        were from what I would call non-homicidal causes?
   A.   That is definitely not true.
   Q.   That is definitely, in your opinion, not true.  In his
        opinion he said, "The only evidence to the contrary is
        unreliable, being based on eyewitnesses"?
   A.   I am afraid to say, Professor Myerd, his book is
        particularly weak, as far as Auschwitz is concerned.  This
        number here is based on the calculation that about 865,000
        Jews actually were not registered in the camps.  It was
        865,000 were directly sent to the gas chambers and
        100,000,, about 200,000 Jews were registered in the camp
        and of these 200,000, 100,000 died because of the
        conditions in the camp.

.          P-59

   Q.   What documentary evidence do you have -- just a brief
        question -- for this non-registering of the ones who were
        sent directly to the gas chambers?
   A.   Well, these are calculations and estimations based on the
        reconstruction of the deportations from the different
        places to the camp.  They were done by different scholars
        at different times in different countries, and this is,
        I think, the number 900,000 to 1 million, is the best we
        know at the moment.
   Q.   So this comes back to the first question I asked in this
        series which is what evidence do you have for the fact
        that the 1 million who were sent to Auschwitz stayed
        there, effectively, and were not transported somewhere
        else?  None of them, it was not just used as a transit
        camp to any effect?
   A.   We know that some of the people sent to Auschwitz were
        actually sent to other camps, but it does not, I think the
        statement here that between 900,000 and 1 million Jews
        were murdered represents the knowledge we have at the
        moment about the events in this camp.
   Q.   Dr Longerich, those are the only questions I have to ask
        on your expert report, but I am afraid I am going to ask
        you (as a facility of which his Lordship is aware) just to
        comment on two documents.  One is the Horthy conference
        with Hitler.  Do you have it, April 16th 1943?  It is two
        pages, my Lord.

.          P-60

   A.   Just a moment.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I have it.  Thank you very much.
   MR IRVING:  Your Lordship will remember that we were looking at
        the reasons why they wanted the Hungarians to take steps
        against the Jews.  I was invited to produce evidence that
        there were reasons.  Also, I have translated rather more,
        in other words, than was put into the expert reports.
        Does your copy have the German original?
   A.   I am sorry, I do not find the copy at the moment.  I am
        sure you gave it to me.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It looks like this.  It is headed "Horthy
        conference with Hitler".  Is there a spare?  Yes, there is
        a spare coming up.
   A.   Yes.
   MR IRVING:  Does it have the German original attached to it at
        the end?
   A.   Yes, it is not the original, it is ----
   Q.   The Hilgruber text?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I am only going to rely on a few words there.  Eight lines
        down, we have ----
   A.   In your translation or in the original?
   Q.   In the translation.  "Germany was standing today with her
        morale firm because she had removed the Jews of which even
        those remaining would also soon have vanished to the
        East."  That is Hitler talking.  Is that an accurate

.          P-61

        translation of the words used in the original?
   A.   Well, let us look at the original.
   Q.   It is the last line.
   A.   Which page?
   Q.   Six lines down on page 240.  "Vanished to the East [German
         - document not provided]".
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   OK.  Of course, you would probably say "to the East" is
        just camouflage, would you?
   A.   Well, what is happening here is that Hitler tries to
        persuade Horthy to hand over his Jews and he would not
        actually say in this conversation, "Actually we are going
        to kill them" because it is an official visit, they are
        minutes, and Hitler would have avoided that.  In these
        minutes you find the term, you know, "We are going to kill
        them in the East".  He would use this phrase "They
        vanished to the east".
   Q.   Is pressure not actually being put on Horthy not to hand
        them over but to lock them up, to lock them away?
   A.   No.  I think if you look at the history of deportations
        from other European countries, it is quite clear what the
        Germans did at this time.  They were sending deportation
        trains to extermination camps.
   Q.   Four lines from the bottom of the translation, please, the
        first page:  "For the present war and the shape which it
        had taken, they", the Jews, "were responsible particularly

.          P-62

        for the bombing of the civilian population and the
        countless victims among women and children".  My Lord, you
        will remember that Professor Evans disputed that bombing
        was talked about in this conference.  You will find the
        original German on the same page, 240, towards the end of
        the paragraph.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Yes?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, he did not say that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think what he said was -- I am trying to
        remember -- the Hungarians were co-operative or felt
        resentful against the Jews because of the allied bombing
        in, I think, Hamburg and places like that.  It is a
        slightly different point, is it not?
   MR IRVING:  I am sure your Lordship will look up the
        appropriate reference when the time comes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Am I right about that, Mr Rampton?
   MR RAMPTON:  I do not remember that.  What I do remember
        Professor Evans reporting is that Hitler had mentioned the
        bombing, but had said that it was a bit irritating but trivial.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I remember that too.  Was that in reference
        to the Hungarians?
   MR RAMPTON:  I think it is in reference to them, but I could be
        wrong.  I think that was the Professor's evidence.
   MR IRVING:  Well, I remember lecturing Professor Evans on the

.          P-63

        air raids that had taken place on Essen and Nuremberg in
        the previous days.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, I dare say he did not take it too well.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think what Evans said was that it was
        ridiculous to suppose that the Hungarians could care less
        about what had happened in Essen.
   MR IRVING:  Well, some days ago.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Some days ago.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, over the page we now go to the translation
        at page 245.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, my Lord.  It is day 23, 21st February, page
        159, yes.  This is Professor Evans, line 15:  "Hitler says
        the attacks themselves have been irritating but wholly
        trivial", so the bombing was talked about.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you very much.
   MR IRVING:  We are now looking at the second page,
        Dr Longerich, of the translation.  At the end of the first
        paragraph, this is the famous piece, of course, "He had
        done, he said, everything one decently could" -- this is
        Horthy -- "he had done, he said, everything one decently
        could against the Jews, but one could not very well murder
        them or bump them off somehow.  The Fuhrer replied that
        there was no need for that either.  Hungary could
        accommodate the Jews in concentration camps just like
        Slovakia".  Now, is that an accurate translation of those
        two sentences?  It is on page 245.  "One could not very

.          P-64

        well murder them or bump them off somehow to which Hitler
        replied that there was no need for that either".  Of
        course, I rely on this following sentence:  "Hungary could
        accommodate the Jews in concentration camps just like Slovakia".
   A.   Yes.  At this time -- I am sorry to interrupt -- at this
        time the majority of the Slovakian Jews were already
        killed in concentration camps, extermination camps.
   Q.   So can I remind you of the little exchange we had a few
        minutes where I said that the Germans were not pressing
        the Hungarians to hand over the Jews; they were merely
        asking them to lock them up?
   A.   Yes.  They invent this story that all the Slovakian Jews
        are at the moment still kept, locked in concentration
        camps.  This is the way he tries to persuade Horthy, you
        know, to hand over his Jews.  If he had agreed, he would
        have done the same, the same with them as he did in 1944
        when he systematically killed the Hungarian Jews.  I do
        not -- I cannot see the point actually of this.
   Q.   Is there another explanation for why Hitler would say
        that?
   A.   Well, he was more explicit than on the meeting on 17th or
        the 18th.
   Q.   On the following day.
   A.   So when actually he used the quite different and quite
        clearer language a couple of days after that.

.          P-65


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