The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day001.12


Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day001.12
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20


                  What are the reasons for this astounding
        volte-face?  The principal reason can be expressed in
one
        word Leuchter.  In 1988 a man of German origin, Ernst
        Zundel, was put on trial in Canada for publishing
material
        which, amongst other things, denied the existence of
        homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.  In defence of
this
        charge Mr Zundel's lawyers recruited a man called Fred
        Leuchter who seems to have made his living as some
kind of
        consultant in the design of execution facilities in
the
        USA.  Mr Leuchter was duly despatched to Auschwitz to
seek
        evidence of the use, or otherwise, of homicidal gas
        chambers.  He took some samples from various parts of
the
        remains of Auschwitz which he later had analysed in
        America and then wrote a report describing his
findings
        and summarizing his conclusions.  These were that
there

.          P-95



        were never any homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.
                  Unfortunately for Mr Zundel, Mr Leuchter's
        report was declared inadmissible by the Canadian judge
on
        the grounds that Mr Leuchter had no relevant
expertise.
                  Now it happens that Mr Irving also gave
evidence
        for Mr Zundel at that trial.  In the course of that
visit
        he had read the Leuchter report.  Shortly thereafter
he
        declared himself convinced that Leuchter was right and
        that there never any homicidal gas chambers at
Auschwitz.
        So enthused was he by the Leuchter report that he
        published it himself in this country, with an
appreciative
        forward written by him and introduced it to the public
at
        a press conference in London, at which he declared
that
        the validity of Leuchter's laboratory reports was
        unchallengable.
                  So it was that the Leuchter report became
the
        main weapon in Mr Irving's campaign to "sink the
        battleship Auschwitz", as he calls it.  The essence of
        this campaign is that the Holocaust symbolized by
        Auschwitz is a myth legend or lie, deployed by Jews to
        blackmail the German people into paying vast sums in
        reparations to supposed victims of the Holocaust.
                  According to Mr Irving, the Leuchter report
        is "the biggest calibre shell that has yet hit the
        battleship Auschwitz" and has "totally exploded the
        legend".  Unfortunately for Mr Irving, the Leuchter
report

.          P-96



        is bunk and he knows it.  It was comprehensively
debunked
        in court in Canada.  It has been comprehensively
        demolished since by people who have written to Mr
Irving,
        and perhaps not least by Professor van Pelt in his
report
        made for the purposes of this case.  This is not the
        moment to describe all the many means by which the
        Leuchter report is demolished, but one simple example
can
        be given because it is derived from the internal
evidence
        of the Leuchter report itself, and must have been
apparent
        to anyone with an open and thoughtful mind.
                  One of the main reasons that Mr Leuchter
        advanced in his report for his conclusion that there
were
        no homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, was that it
was to
        be expected that any residual traces of hydrogen
cyanide,
        the killing agent in the Zyklon B pellets used by the
SS,
        should be very much higher in those parts of the
remains
        of Auschwitz which were identified as gas chambers for
        killing people than in those parts which are known to
have
        been used for killing lice.
                  Leucther's report recorded very small traces
of
        hydrogen cyanide in the gas chamber remains and
relatively
        large traces in the delicing remains.  Therefore, said
        Mr Leuchter, the alleged gas chamber remains could
        obviously never have been gas chambers at all.  But
the
        report itself contained the seeds of its own
destruction,
        for it revealed that concentration of hydrogen cyanide

.          P-97



        required to kill humans was approximately 22 times
lower
        than that required to kill lice, 300 parts per million
as
        against 6,666 parts per million for lice.  This was
        internal evidence obvious to any interested reader,
which
        Mr Irving certainly was, that the Leuchter report was
        rubbish.
                  So why did Mr Irving ignore this and all
other
        stupidities in the Leuchter report?  Why did he
embrace it
        with such wholehearted enthusiasm?  The answer must be
        that he wanted it to be true.  After all, if the
Holocaust
        never happened, then Hitler cannot have ordered it or
        known about it.  Thus, as Mr Irving himself said of
the
        second edition of Hitler's War, "You won't find the
        Holocaust mentioned in one line, not even in a
footnote.
        Why should you?  If something didn't happen, then you
        don't even dignify it with a footnote."
                  So, finally, my Lord, why has Mr Irving
resorted
        to these lies, distortions and misrepresentations and
        deceptions in pursuit of his exoneration of Adolf
Hitler
        and his denial of the Holocaust?  One can often derive
a
        fair picture of a man's true attitudes and motives
from
        what he says and from the kind of people he associates
        with and speaks to.  Mr Irving has done a lot of
public
        speaking over the years.  The evidence for the
Defendants
        in this case will show that his audiences will often
        consist of radical right-wing neo-facist, neo-Nazi
groups

.          P-98



        of people, groups like the National Alliance, a neo-
Nazi,
        white supremacist organisation in the USA, the DVU,
        perhaps the most radical right-wing party in Germany,
        gatherings of so-called revisionists, in truth largely
        Holocaust deniers, the extreme right-wing British
National
        Party and so on.
                  What sorts of things has Mr Irving said on
these
        occasions which might be thought to betray his
underlying
        motives and attitudes?  It is not possible in a
relatively
        short statement of this kind to catalogue all the most
        telling instances of this kind, but it is perhaps
possible
        to give the flavour of some of Mr Irving's thinking by
        reference to two short examples from the same speech.
                  In September 1991 Mr Irving spoke to an
audience
        in Calgary, Alberto.  He complained about pressure
from
        Jewish people and Jewish bodies designed to prevent
him
        from speaking.  He said:
                  "And it's happening now.  They're zeroing in
on
        the university, 'Nazism not welcome here, self-
professed
        moderate facist'".  Mr Irving went on: "I strongly
object
        to that word "moderate".  That remarked provoked some
        laughter and it may be that it was not meant to be
        entirely serious.
                  On the same occasion, however, he said
something
        which, though somewhat facetiously worded, conveys a
        message about his true views and attitudes which can
only

.          P-99



        be taken seriously.  It was this:
                  "I don't see any reason to be tasteful about
        Auschwitz.  It's baloney.  It's a legend.  Once we
admit
        the fact that it was a brutal slave labour camp and
large
        numbers of people did die, as large numbers of
innocent
        people died elsewhere in the war, why believe the rest
of
        the baloney?  I say quite tastelessly in fact that
more
        women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car at
        Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber in
        Auschwitz.  Oh, you think that's tasteless.  How about
        this.  There are so many Auschwitz survivors going
around,
        in fact the number increases as the years go past
which is
        biologically very odd to say the least, because I am
going
        to form an Association of Auschwitz survivors,
survivors
        of the Holocaust and other liars for the A-S-S-H-O-L-
S",
        pronounced no doubt "asshols".
                  This last inspiration was also greeted by
        laughter, but it was laughter of an altogether
different
        kind.  It was the laughter of mockery, mockery of the
        suffering of others, people whom on this and other
        occasions Mr Irving has accused of lying about their
        Holocaust experiences, of forging Auschwitz tattoos on
        their arms, of deserving both contempt and the
attention
        of psychiatrists.
                  My Lord, this is obviously an important
case,
        but that is not however because it is primarily
concerned

.          P-100



        with whether or not the Holocaust took place or the
degree
        of Hitler's responsibility for it.  On the contrary,
the
        essence of the case is Mr Irving's honesty and
integrity
        of as a chronicler -- I shy away from the word
        "historian" -- of these matters, for if it be right
that
        Mr Irving, driven by his extremist views and
sympathies,
        has devoted his energies to the deliberate
falsification
        of this tragic episode in history, then by exposing
that
        dangerous fraud in this court the Defendants may
properly
        be applauded for having performed a significant public
        service not just in this country, but in all those
places
        in the world where anti-Semitism is waiting to be fed.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I would have suggested -- that
is
        the opening statements out of the way, as it were --
        I would have suggested we might viewed those two
videos
        but we do not have the equipment.
   MR IRVING:  We do not have the equipment unfortunately.
        I think we will have the equipment first thing
tomorrow.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Whenever.  The fact is we cannot do it
now.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, we cannot, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am just wondering where we go
immediately.
   MR RAMPTON:  Perhaps the answer might be home.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If needs be, yes.  It seems to me rather
        difficult to start on the evidence without knowing
whether
        we are taking Auschwitz separately and first, or
whether
        it is going to be the other way round.  You have not

.          P-101



        obviously resolved that.
   MR RAMPTON:  Can we usefully, and I mean usefully, use a
little
        bit of time now, perhaps your Lordship would adjourn
until
        tomorrow.  We can then try to work out something a
little
        less jelly like than we offered your Lordship this
morning
        so far as scheduling is concerned.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Certainly.
   MR RAMPTON:  And give a report tomorrow morning?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  I have a fairly short statement
from
        you, Mr Irving.
   MR IRVING:  As required under the new rules.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  We will have to discuss how far one
        needs to deal with all the issues in oral evidence.
        I hope not by any means all of them.  I think I am
right
        in saying that really I perhaps know rather less of
your
        specific answers to some of the specific criticisms
than
        I would like and at some stage I would like to be
provided
        with the answers.
   MR IRVING:  I appreciate that, my Lord, and I know
        that -- I intend not to offer very much answer to the
name
        calling.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, I agree with you about that.  What is
at
        the heart of the case is the manipulation allegation
and
        that involves looking, to a degree anyway, at what the
        historical documents actually say and mean.
   MR IRVING:  I am grateful, my Lord. Our documentation on
both

.          P-102



        sides is very extensive.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  If there is nothing else we need to
do
        now, then perhaps it would be sensible to adjourn.  If
you
        could let me know through the usual channels what you
have
        decided, that would help me, if you reach agreement.
   MR RAMPTON:  I know it would.  At the moment I do not see a
        problem with the existing plan which is to bring
Professor
        van Pelt over for the beginning of the last week in
        January.
   MR IRVING:  There is a problem, my Lord, and that is we
have
        also arranged for our gentleman to come from
California.
        We will have to iron that one out.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This cannot be done in open court.  So I
will
        leave it to you and we will resume at 10.30.
   MR IRVING:  Thank you very much, my Lord.
                  (The court adjourned until the following
day)











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