Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day032.03 Last-Modified: 2000/07/25 This last line of defence, which emerged at a very late stage in Mr Irving's Holocaust denial, is, in any case, easily demolished. In the first place, Professor van Pelt, who has subjected the remains of the roof of Leichenkeller I at crematorium II to careful examination (which Mr Irving has never done), told the court that the remains are so fragmentary that they do not allow any firm conclusions to be drawn as to the existence or non-existence of the holes. Second, if, as Mr Irving accepts, Leichenkeller I was a gas chamber (for whatever purpose) it would always have needed apertures for inserting the Zyklon-B, since it never had any windows and only one gas-tight door. Third, even if Mr Irving were right that it was used for gassing objects and corpses, the concentration of hydrogen cyanide required for this would have been comparatively high, with the consequence that the need for tight fitting apertures which could be opened and closed quickly and easily, would, for the . P-24 protection of those throwing in the pellets, have been all the greater. Finally, leaving aside all the mass of eyewitness testimony, there is a coincidence between two pieces of independent evidence which demonstrates conclusively the existence of these holes or apertures. In 1945, a former inmate of Auschwitz, David Olere, an artist, drew the ground plan of Leichenkeller I in crematorium III. This drawing shows a zigzag alignment of the gassing columns in Leichenkeller I. These are the columns which would have ended in the apertures through which the gas pellets were inserted. It happens that that zigzag alignment is precisely matched by an aerial photograph taken by the Allies in 1944, which was not released to the world until 1979. There can, therefore, be no possibility of any cross-contamination between Olere's drawing and the aerial photograph. No doubt recognizing this, Mr Irving sought to suggest at this trial that the aerial photograph had been faked by the CIA. Professor van Pelt, however, explained to the court that he had had the photograph tested by Dr Nevin Bryant at NASA and that the result of those tests showed conclusively that the photograph was authentic. In the light of Mr Irving's concession that Leichenkeller I was indeed a gas chamber and of the fact that it is clear that it was never intended for the gassing of corpses or other inanimate objects, or for use . P-25 as an air-raid shelter, the stark conclusion can only be this: It must have been used for gassing people, live people. One residual shred of this aspect of Mr Irving's Holocaust denial remains. He disputes the numbers of people murdered at Auschwitz/Birkenau. This last barricade of Mr Irving's is based on three distinctly unstable legs. The first leg is the so-called "death books" released in recent years from the archive in Moscow. These are incomplete. They show a total of some 74,000 recorded deaths from various causes. They relate, however, and could only ever relate, to the deaths of prisoners registered upon arrival at Auschwitz, that is to say, those destined to be accommodated in the camps at Auschwitz and, more particularly, Birkenau, as workers (for a time at least). There was, however, a preliminary process at Auschwitz, which involved separating those deemed to be fit for work from the rest. This was called "selection". The vast majority, including the old, young children, and mothers with small children, were "the rest". They were gassed immediately without ever being registered; their deaths were never recorded. There is a great deal of eyewitness evidence about this from both sides, perpetrators and surviving . P-26 victims. This evidence is confirmed by photographs taken by the SS during the so-called "Hungarian action" in the course of which, over a matter of months, some 400,000 Hungarian Jews were gassed, in the summer of 1944. Thus, once again, eyewitness evidence is corroborated by contemporary documentary evidence. In the result, the fact that the "death books" fail to record the deaths of perhaps 1 million people killed on arrival is unsurprising and inconsequential. The second leg of Mr Irving's last barricade consists of German police radio messages decoded by the British during the war. Some of these came from Auschwitz, and of course none mentioned gassings. For exactly the same reasons as the death books make no reference to those murdered on arrival, it is not reasonable to expect that the radio messages from Auschwitz would: people who were not registered on arrival at Auschwitz because they were not destined for work in the camp but, instead, for immediate death in the gas chambers, would obviously not be mentioned in messages about recorded deaths. The last leg in the barricade is Mr Irving's contention that Auschwitz did not have sufficient incineration capacity for all the corpses of those whom it is generally held by historians were killed there. As Professor van Pelt convincingly demonstrated, by reference . P-27 to a letter of 28th June 1943, from Karl Bischoff, the head of the building programme at Auschwitz, to Berlin, the potential incineration capacity at Auschwitz/Birkenau at that time far exceeded any possible mortality rate amongst the registered inmates from "natural" causes, including the possibility of a repeat of the typhus epidemic which had struck the camp in 1942. This means that the incineration capacity must have been calculated and built, as it was in due course, to accommodate the mortal remains of the hundreds of thousands of people who were gassed on arrival. Faced with this, Mr Irving's only possible response was (as ever) to challenge the authenticity of the Bischoff letter. This challenge, in the end, turned out to be based on nothing more than the fact that the administrative reference on the letter did not contain the year date. In fact, copies of this document have been retained in the archive at Moscow since 1945, when the Soviets liberated Auschwitz and acquired the documents which the SS had forgotten to destroy. Moreover, the document was used at the trial of the Auschwitz commandant, Rudolf Hoess, in 1948, and again at the trial of the Auschwitz architects, Dejaco and Ertl, in 1971. Not unnaturally, Professor van Pelt saw no reason whatsoever to doubt the authenticity of the document. Amongst other reasons for rejecting Mr Irving's proposal . P-28 that the document might be a postwar communist forgery, is the fact that the incineration capacity shown in the document -- that is 4,756 corpses per 24 hours -- is very significantly lower than that estimated by the Soviets and the Poles (both communist regimes) shortly after the War. It follows that if the document were a communist forgery, it would be a very strange one. Mr Irving's last challenge to the incineration capacity was that the amount of coke delivered to Auschwitz at the relevant time would not, in the ordinary way, have been sufficient to meet the required rate of incineration. As Professor van Pelt demonstrated, this challenge is demolished by two considerations which Mr Irving had evidently ignored: first, the procedure for incineration at Auschwitz involved the simultaneous incineration of up to four or five corpses even in every muffle of the ovens; and, second, in consequence, the corpses themselves served as fuel for the ovens, the more particularly so if, as they generally did, they included the comparatively well fed corpses of people recently arrived on the trains and gassed on arrival. Mr Irving's Holocaust denial is thus exposed as a fraud. It originated with a piece so-called scientific research which, on analysis, turns out, if it has any value at all, to support the overwhelming historical evidence that Auschwitz was indeed a gigantic death . P-29 factory. Mr Irving's later adornments to his gas chamber denial also turn out to be fragile conjectures based on no significant research at all: it should be noted that Mr Irving has never himself been to Auschwitz to examine the archeological remains or the documentary evidence contained in the archive. It follows that some other reason must be sought to explain his devotion, over many years, and even in this court, though his case has changed and changed back again throughout the trial, to the bizarre idea that no significant numbers of people were murdered in the homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz/Birkenau. The reasons are not far to seek. As the evidence in this court has shown, Mr Irving is a right-wing extremist, a racist and, in particular, a rabid anti-Semite. Two examples, again, amongst many, will suffice to illustrate this proposition. In a speech which he made at Tampa, Florida, on 6th October 1995 to the National Alliance, a white supremacist and profoundly anti-Semitic group, Mr Irving said this about the Jews: "You have been disliked for 3,000 years. You have been disliked so much that you have hounded from country to country, from pogrom to purge, from purge back to pogrom. And yet you never ask yourselves why you are disliked, that's the difference between you and me. It . P-30 would never occur to you to look in the mirror and say "Why am I disliked, what is it the rest of humanity doesn't like about the Jewish people, to such an extent that they repeatedly put us through the grinder?" And he (a heckler whom Mr Irving said he had perceived to be Jewish) went beserk, said Mr Irving. He said (the heckler), "Are you trying to say that we are responsible for Auschwitz ourselves"? And I, that is Mr Irving, said, "Well, the short answer is yes". The short answer I have to say is yes ... If you (the Jews) had behaved differently over the intervening 3,000 years, the Germans would have gone about their business and would not have found it necessary to go around doing whatever they did to you. Nor would the Russians, nor the Ukranians, nor the Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians, and all the other countries where you've had a rough time. So why have you never asked yourselves that question?" So much for the Jews. As to the blacks (and homosexuals), Mr Irving, in an entry in his private diary on 10th November 1987, on the occasion of a visit to South Africa, recorded his own thoughts: "God works in mysterious ways, but here (that is South Africa) we agree he appears to be working remorselessly towards a Final Solution which may cruelly wipe out not only blacks and homosexuals, but a large part . P-31 of the drug addicts and sexually promiscuous and indiscriminate heterosexual population as well." These examples, again the tip of, I am afraid, a very large iceberg, demonstrate, beyond doubt, that Mr Irving is a profound racist and a radical anti-Semite. But this is not the end of the story. For many years, Mr Irving has travelled about the world giving vent to his views at gatherings composed of, and organized by, others of similar opinion. Until he was banned in 1993. Mr Irving's energies were particularly devoted to the propagation of his ideology in Germany, where pro-Nazi sentiment has not only persisted but alas, since reunification, undergone a significant revival, particularly in the East. This is chilling exposed by a demonstration of neo-Nazi boot boys, waving Nazi flags and chanting racist slogans, which was addressed by Mr Irving at Halle in East Germany in November 1991. In his diary Mr Irving described his speech at this rally as "rabble rousing", no doubt for good reason. The speech was greeted with enthusiasm, not least, perhaps, because he predicted the recreation of a greater Germany, by the reconquest, through economic power, of the former Third Reich territories in the East. This speech was greeted with enthusiasm and, unsurprisingly, shouts of "Sieg Heil!". Holocaust denial is forbidden in Germany . P-32 (notwithstanding which Mr Irving has, from time to time, managed to slip in direct statements that there were never any gas chambers). Elsewhere, however, it has been a constant theme of Mr Irving's public utterances. He has expressed it, on numerous occasions, in terms which variously attribute the blame for the Holocaust on the Jews themselves, accuse Holocaust survivors of lying in order to extort money from the German Government, and pour scorn on the suffering of Holocaust victims, both alive and dead. These utterances are often greeted with warm applause and loud laughter by his audiences. Given that Mr Irving has repeatedly falsified history in pursuit of his obsessive desire to exonerate Hitler of responsibility for the Nazi persecution of the Jews and, in particular, of responsibility for the Holocaust, and given that he has repeatedly denied the Holocaust, without any historical foundation, and in the face of overwhelming evidence that the Holocaust took place on the scale and in the manner generally described by reputable historians, the question now arises why Mr Irving should have engaged so actively in the promotion of these historical falsehoods. The answers suggested by the evidence are: Mr Irving is an anti-Semite; Holocaust denial, in the form in which it is purveyed by Mr Irving, is an obvious expression of anti-Semitism, and is music to the ears of . P-33 the neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists to whom he purveys it; Mr Irving is a Hitler partisan, who has falsified history on a staggering scale in order to "prove" Hitler's innocence; this, like Holocaust denial, is obviously very appealing to his fellow travellers -- after all, if the Holocaust were a "myth", then, obviously, Hitler could have no responsibility for it. How far, if at all, Mr Irving's anti-Semitism is a cause of his Hitler apology, or vice versa, is quite unimportant. Whether they are taken together, or individually, it is clear that they have led him to prostitute his reputation as a serious historian (spurious though it can now be seen to have been) for the sake of a bogus rehabilitation of Hitler and the dissemination of virulent anti-Semitic propaganda. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, can I raise with you now the points I think I need to clarify? MR RAMPTON: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think it will take very long. There is just one point that occurred to me as you were reading out the statement, and it relates to paragraph 41, where you are dealing with incineration capacity. MR RAMPTON: Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The point you are making is that it is strange to suggest that the Bischoff document is a communist forgery, since it shows a rate of incineration . P-34 lower than was estimated by the Soviets and the Poles. Am I right in thinking that the estimate you are there talking about by the Soviets and the Poles is the estimate of the total numbers killed, rather than of incineration capacity or rate of incineration? MR RAMPTON: No, my Lord. Well, I think that is partly right, if I may say so. But also on page 207 of Professor van Pelt's report, there is rather a dense paragraph. I cannot remember now off the top of my head how the answers come out. There is rather dense paragraph from which one can certainly work out, and I know Professor van Pelt told me what the totals were by but I have forgotten them. One can certainly work out that the 4,756 corpses per 24 hours was significantly lower than the Russian and Polish estimates for incineration. I think the Russian figure was 50 per cent higher and the Polish figure about 30 per cent higher. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much. I did not know that. You have given me the reference so that has dealt with that. The other questions are really all rather broader ones. Can I take them in what I hope is the sensible order? The first one relates to deportation, and I will ask Mr Irving the same question in due course. It is not really clear to me what, if any, is the issue between the parties as to that particular phase. MR RAMPTON: No. I have never understood that there was. . P-35 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. MR RAMPTON: Dr Longerich told your Lordship, and we accept, we have to, he knows a lot more about it than we do, that in the beginning the transportation of the German and other central European, French and Greek, Italian Jews was just to the East, where they were put into ghettoes which had been vacated by the murder of the Polish Jews. MR JUSTICE GRAY: A sort of two phase deportation exercise? MR RAMPTON: Yes. Then eventually, probably sometime in 1942, they started killing the arrivals. There is a notable document your Lordship will remember from the Gestapo at Lodz, explaining how they cleared one lot and made room for the other lot.
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