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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.31

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.31
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Both.  If it is an air raid shelter, Mr Irving, why would

.          P-88

        the doors open outwards?  It only has a single door.
   A.   If an air raid shelter, why would the doors open outward?
   Q.   Yes.  You have the SS sheltering from the allied bombs.
        No bombs had been near Auschwitz yet in the war, not for
        another year ----
   A.   I will produce this clip of documents tomorrow,
        Mr Rampton, to satisfy even the most incorrigible counsel
        that, yes, our air raids were beginning to be felt in that
        part of Europe.
   Q.   We shall be pleased to see them is all I will say at the
        moment, Mr Irving.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I just see where we have got to?  I still
        have not been provided with the reference in Professor van Pelt.
   A.   We have plunged deep into basement No. 1.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It just helps me to follow what is not always
        immediately clear.
   A.   My Lord, can I show you?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is 1945 Polish investigation?
   A.   Can I show you a picture of the building we are talking
        about?  This is the crematorium No. (ii), the whole building.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   And this is the Leichenkeller No. 1, which is the mortuary
        No. 1.  You can see the roof is pancaked downwards, but it
        is still possible to crawl underneath it just so you get a

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        kind of visual impression of what the building looks like
        now.  You can see the tourists down there looking at it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, thank you.  I thought I had found the
        reference at page 611, but I do not think that is it.
   MR RAMPTON:  Miss Rogers tells me, my Lord, that there are
        references to the 1945 Polish report, but, as I
        had originally thought, there are only sort of what one
        might call passing references?
   A.   Shall I just very briefly translate the first page?
   Q.   No, not yet.  I am in the middle of trying to tell his
        Lordship why it is not profitable to look in the report
        itself because the substance of the report as a whole is
        not reproduced or summarised.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am trying for the purposes of eventually my
        note to ----
   MR RAMPTON:  Would your Lordship like to look at page 198?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of Professor van Pelt?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, since that was your Lordship's question.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  I wanted to know whether that is what
        you were referring to.  I have 198.
   MR RAMPTON:  Cracow, my Lord, appears on page 198 and just a
        line at the top of 199.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is Dawidowski, is it?
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  This is a set of tests done by the forensic
        laboratory at Cracow, and their report was dated 15th
        December 1945.  It may have been have part of

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        Zane/Dawidowski exercise, but it is, in fact, a separate
        document, and it is the document which is at tab 6 of the
        new file.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, the reference to that report is note
        310, is it not?
   MR RAMPTON:  That is right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I cannot for the life of me see where the
        evidence that you say one derives from your tab 6 is to be
        found in Professor van Pelt's report.
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, because, my Lord, the first page under
        [German- document not provided] reports that they took --
        were sent to them four complete and two damaged covers,
        clasps or grilles from the ventilation openings which
        during inspection of crematorium No. (ii) in Birkenhau
        were found and which from the ventilation openings of the
        gas kammer, Leichenkeller No. 1, of this crematorium came from.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry, I am probably being very thick,
        but what is the significance of that?
   MR RAMPTON:  In 1945, in May 1945, the Cracow laboratory was
        sent some zinc covers from the ventilation openings
        described by Michael Kula in his testimony: "Ventilation
        openings from the gas chamber of crematorium (ii) at
        Birkenhau".  They tested them and they found that there
        were traces of hydrogen cyanide.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Where do I get that from tab 6?

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   MR RAMPTON:  You get that at the end.  It is page ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think Professor van Pelt makes that
        observation at all.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, he does.  Page 3, that is right.  He
        reports, does Professor van Pelt, that the zinc covers
        (which I just told your Lordship about) were "dislocated
        when the demolition squads dynamited the gas chambers, but
        six of them were retrieved in the rubble of crematorium
        (ii) and sent for analysis in the forensic laboratory in
        Cracow.  The laboratory report noted that these were
        covered with a thin white colour of the strongest smelling
        deposit.  The laboratory retrieved 7.2 grammes of the
        deposit ... (reading to the words)... Sulphuric acid was
        added to this solution and the resulting gas was absorbed
        in an absorbent material.  This was divided into two and
        subjected to two different tests" which your Lordship can
        see described on pages 2 and 3 of this document, "each of
        which revealed the presence of hydrogen cyanide".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you very much.  That is what I needed
        and I have now got it, thank you.  That you accept,
        Mr Irving, do you not?
   A.   Yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  They also retrieved a paper sack, and this is the
        second paragraph on the first page of the report, which
        had marked on it a weight of 25.5 kilograms of hair, which
        they say was taken from the corpses of females after

.          P-92

        gassing and before burning in the crematorium ovens in
        Birkenhau.  "Shorn" is the word, or "shaved off".  They
        tested that too and in that also they found traces of
        hydrogen cyanide.  That is not in van Pelt, but it is in
        the report.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, do you want to say anything about that?
   A.   Well, I do not think that the human hair takes us any
        further, my Lord, because the Germans did subject
        everything that went through the camp to fumigation.
        So ----
   Q.   Well, why would human hair have been fumigated?
   A.   Because they processed it.
   Q.   What, after the death of the person concerned?
   A.   Well, we do not know when this human hair was actually cut
        off, my Lord, whether it was cut of -- the evidence that
        I have is when the prisoners arrived as part of the
        hygiene methods -- Mr Rampton is shaking his head.
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  Do you know where it was found, Mr Irving?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In the gas chamber, the alleged gas chamber.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, that is where it was "gischoren", that is
        where the killing was killed?
   A.   Yes, that is what it says in the report, but, of course, I
        have not accepted that paragraph.
   Q.   Do you know, Mr Irving, where this 25.5 kilo bag of hair
        was found?

.          P-93

   A.   It does not actually say in the report.
   Q.   It will not help you to look in the report; you will not
        find it there?
   A.   Then I do not know where it was found, no.
   Q.   You do not know?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Would it surprise you that it was found in the part of the
        camp called "Canada"?
   A.   That is where all the stolen property was kept.
   Q.   That is correct.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Then what is this worth as evidence?
   A.   Everything from Canada was fumigated.
   MR RAMPTON:  What is it worth as evidence?  Well, what it shows
        is, my Lord, this is hair, as the report says, taken from
        people after they had been gassed.
   A.   As the report alleges.  This is a prosecution report being
        prepared for the prosecution of criminals.
   Q.   25.5 kilograms of hair in total is the hair of about,
        what, 500 women?
   A.   I do not know.  I have not done any calculations.  It
        seems to me, I think that he is being very cautious about
        that weight.  As he himself says, that is the weight
        marked on the bag, but I think that you would have had to
        have a bag the size of an elephant to make it weigh 50lbs
        of human hair.
   Q.   But, you see, Mr Irving, you have accepted that that is

.          P-94

        what it says.  You may not like it, but that is what it
        says.   Can I ask you to turn -- I am sorry about this, my
        Lord, but it is necessary because Mr Irving commented on
        this report to his friend, Mr Zundel, in September 1989.
        My Lord, that is in tab 8 ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of which of these files?
   A.   The same file.
   MR RAMPTON:  The same one as the report, K1.  Have you got a
        page there?  I have not got a page on mine.  It is your
        letter of 19th September.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You write to Mr Zundel:  "The two enclosures appear to
        be" -- has your Lordship got that?  It has a 1241 in the
        top right-hand corner.  7, my Lord, I think.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you.
   MR RAMPTON:  "The two enclosures appear to be an initial
        counter attack on the Leuchter report.  It may be that we
        have to take them seriously, particularly if the Polish
        one when translated contains firm evidence of cyanide in
        the hair of the young Jewish women or in the zinc
        basket".  That is plainly, is it not, Mr Irving, a
        reference to this 1945 Cracow ----
   A.   Unquestionably, yes, which at that time we only had in the
        Polish, I think.
   Q.   Why do you use the words, "It may be we have to take this
        one seriously"?  What is that meant to mean?

.          P-95

   A.   I think that is underlined in suggestion B, we have to
        take it into account the possibility that this is a
        product of communist cold war propaganda.
   Q.   Have you any evidence that it was?
   A.   No, but we would derelict in our duty if we did not take
        into account the possibility that it was the product of
        cold war propaganda.  Jan Sehn was a notoriously political
        lawyer.  He was the Polish Vyshinksky, so this possibility
        cannot be entirely discounted coming from that neck of the
        woods, shall we say.
   Q.   But would you accept, being as open-minded as you can,
        that much the likelier of the two possibilities set out in
        this letter is A?
   A.   I have not put it that way.  I said there are two
   Q.   I am asking you whether you would not accept, as an
        open-minded historian, that A is much the likelier of the
        two possibilities?
   A.   At this time I had not read the report.  I just had a
        Polish document in front of me from which I could pick out
        a few words indicating what it was about.  Again, totally
        wrong of me to start drawing up conclusions about which
        version is correct.
   Q.   If it is right that it contains firm evidence of cyanide
        in the hair of the young Jewish women or in the zinc
        basket, what is it that that evidence implies with all

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        that that implies as you write, what does it imply?
   A.   Your first instinct is, undoubtedly, the impression that
        you gained when you read this report; you think to
        yourself, well, there you have it, there you have chapter
        and verse ----
   Q.   No.
   A.   --- but then you realize that it came from, the hair, in
        fact, came from the, as you yourself now say, from Canada,
        which was the collecting centre for all their loot, and so
        there are all alternative explanations.  I mean, this is
         -- one's first instinct, which is absolutely right, but
        then you settle back and you say to yourself, "This is a
        new document.  Whenever you see a new document, you must
        not rush at it and let it bedazzle you.  You have to take
        it into account and analyse all possibilities carefully".
   Q.   But, you see, you have known about this document now,
        Mr Irving, since September 19th 1989 or before.
   A.   Indeed, and this is one reason why, of course, the
        Leuchter report by itself by now does not stand by itself.
   Q.   Why, Mr Irving, do you not accept the report for what it
        is, that is to say, that zinc covers taken from the
        crematorium, the alleged gas chamber at crematorium (ii),
        had traces of hydrogen cyanide on them.  Six of them,
        I think there were, four complete and two damaged?
   A.   Why do I or why didn't I?
   MR RAMPTON:  Do you.

.          P-97

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You do accept it, you have said that?
   A.   I do.  I said that to help shorten the whole argument, yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  Then the implication is obvious, is it not, that
        gas was used in that room?
   A.   We are going to establish that later on, yes.
   Q.   And the only question then remaining, Mr Irving ----
   A.   This is why it is called a "sonderkeller" also in other

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