Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day014.04 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Your diary entry ---- A. June 3rd. Q. --- is 3rd, so it would be yesterday, would it not? A. Yes. Q. Your diary entry reads -- you can see it if you like, we have it here -- "Later at PRO all day". This is what happened on 2nd. "Finished reading file of interrogations . P-28 and MS manuscript by one SS officer, Hans Almeyer, a high Auschwitz official. Once again, like Gerstein, his reports grow more lurid as the months progress. I wonder why? Beaten like Hoess or was he finally telling the truth? A disturbing two hours anyway." Do you remember that entry? A. Very clearly, yes. Q. Then I think there is a document you should look at. I am afraid, my Lord, I have no idea which file it comes from. It is a letter written by Mr Irving on 4th June to Mr Marcellus? A. "Dear Tom". Q. The whole clump should go into L1 at tab 5, if it is empty which it should be. MR JUSTICE GRAY: L1, this is nothing to do with Dresden, is it? MR RAMPTON: No, this is to do with Auschwitz actually, but it has much more to do -- I mean, it is indirectly to do with Auschwitz because Almeyer was there for a time. I do not remember how long, about nine months, I think, perhaps a bit longer. No, it is the way in which Mr Irving handles this information that may be of importance. So that is why L1 is a what file? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Dresden. MR RAMPTON: It has "Hungary" in front, so it can have Almeyer at the back. So long as they go where Miss Rogers says, . P-29 my Lord, then the index will be of use, otherwise it will not. (To the witness): Have you got that letter you wrote on 4th June 1992 to Mr Marcellus and Mr Weber? A. Yes, I was looking at them last night. Q. Oh good. That is all right. It is a fax, in fact. A. Yes. Q. They both would have received the whole text, is that right, although the first part is addressed to Mr Marcellus and the second part to ---- A. I think they worked in same warehouse, yes. Q. I am only going to read the part that is addressed to Mark Weber or does he calls himself "Weber"? A. "Weber", I think. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Who as Marcellus? A. He was the Director of the Institute. Q. So he is IHR as well? A. IHR, yes and Mark Weber was some functionary there. MR RAMPTON: You write to Mark Weber: "Working in the Public Record Office yesterday, I came across the 200 page handwritten memoirs, very similar in sequence to the Gurstein report versions of an SS officer, Almeyer, who was virtually Hoess's deputy. They have just been opened for research. He was held in a most brutal British prison camp, the London Cave (the notorious Lieutenant Colonel A Scotland)". Then you write: "These manuscripts are going . P-30 to be a problem for revisionists and need analysing now in advance of our enemies and answering. I attach my transcript of a few pages and you will see why. It becomes more lurid with each subsequent version. At first no gassings, then 50, then 15,000 total. Brute force by interrogators perhaps". Now, I have a number of questions about that little message, Mr Irving. A. Yes. Q. Why are the manuscript notes, or whatever they are, memoirs of Almeyer going to be a problem for revisionists? A. I think because they refute a number of the tenets of the revisionist Bible, if I can put it like that. Q. What is the revisionist Bible? A. Well, the revisionist credo. Q. Which is? A. Oh, at its most extreme, it is that not a hair was harmed on the head of the Jews which was the most extreme and indefensible position. Q. Does that include Mr Marcellus and Mr Weber? A. Obviously not, otherwise I would not be writing this kind of letter to them, but the Almeyer manuscript, as I would call them, just like the Adolf Eichmann manuscripts that I had found the previous October in Argentina, raised serious questions. They helped to do somewhat more than dot i's and cross t's. . P-31 Q. "... and need analysing now in advance of our enemies"? A. Yes. Q. Who is the "our" referred to there? A. Well, the enemies of myself and Mr Weber and, presumably, Tom Marcellus. Q. Who are those enemies? A. Irresponsible historians who will leap on any document and use it to inflate the untenable position at the other end of the spectrum. Q. What you were worried about, Almeyer tells a tale, accurate in parts, inaccurate in other parts, according to the traditional or the orthodox view of these matters, about his time at Auschwitz, does he not? A. It is a very inaccurate tale which is, presumably, one reason why -- which is, presumably, one reason why the Defence has not relied on him so far. Q. You will find him in extenso in Professor van Pelt's report. You will also find precise observations about what is accurate and what is not. A. Well, you remember when we asked the witness van Pelt who his important eyewitnesses were, there was no mention of Almeyer. Q. No, there is not because Almeyer is, in certain respects, plainly wrong. A. Yes, exactly what I said. Q. Yes, it may be what you said. What I am wondering about, . P-32 Mr Irving, is why you were so frightened of Hans Almeyer's handwritten notes? A. I do not think I am frightened about him. I am just concerned for several reasons. Let me explain. As an independent historian, with no tenure Professorship to fall back on and, as I explained in my opening statement to this court, no pension to rely on, I have to rely on what find in the archives to sustain myself and my young family. In order to do that, I rely on finding what might be commonly called scoops, and when you have found a scoop, it would be very foolish if you put it straight in the shop window and say, "Come on and help yourself". This was clearly a scoop. Q. Mr Irving, that is not what you mean by the little phrase "our enemies", is it? What you are frightened of is that somebody will find it or see it and will say: "Well, here is another little piece of information. It does not fit in every respect, but the bits which are consistent with what we have already got fit neatly into the Auschwitz jigsaw". That is what you are afraid of, is it not? A. They do not fit neatly into Auschwitz jigsaw. It is quite plain. If he only refers to 15,000 dead or 15,000 gassed, then that fitted more into our jigsaw than into the jigsaw of our opponents. MR RAMPTON: I will not ask you to look at it now, my Lord. I give in the reference a very full account of Almeyer, . P-33 warts and all ---- A. Well, let me just draw your attention to that letter. MR RAMPTON: I am sorry, I am speaking to his Lordship. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let Mr Rampton finish. Then you say what you want to say. Mr Rampton, yes, where do we find it? MR RAMPTON: May I finish what I am saying to his Lordship? A. His Lordship has just said the same. MR RAMPTON: On pages 260 to 266. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of Professor van Pelt? MR RAMPTON: Not the whole of it, I am sure it is not the whole of it, but a good deal of what he said is set out there. At various points in the footnotes, my Lord, Professor van Pelt, and probably also in the text, though I do not have the whole of it here, Professor van Pelt draws attention to passages in Almeyer which cannot be right. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But the point on Almeyer was not really so much the number of Jewish prisoners who were gassed, but, rather, the detailed nature of the description of the gas chambers. MR RAMPTON: Precisely, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that fair? MR RAMPTON: Absolutely right. A. Right. Q. That is what you and your revisionist friends were afraid of, was it not, Mr Irving? A. Let me explain. I saw the Almeyer file on three . P-34 occasions, as you now know, because I went to the Public Record Office and asked if they would give me a print out of all the occasions on which I saw the file. I saw it once for afternoon on June 3rd 1992, and I saw it subsequently four years later -- I have the actual print out here which will tell you the precise days when I saw it -- on May 29th 1996, and again probably in connection with preparation of this action on 6th September 1997. So I have seen it three times. I am not a Holocaust historian. My time in the archives is limited. If I am not writing about the Holocaust in 1992, I am not going to spend the entire afternoon analysing a file of what looks like 200 pages. I skimmed through it, looked at the various versions, spotted the obvious discrepancies and immediately sent this, what you quite rightly described, I suppose, as an alarm signal to other people saying, "There is this report in the archives which is going to cause problems, and we are going to have to face up to it and it is better that we are the ones who publish it, rather than the people at the other end of the extreme, of either end of the two extremes, who will put spins on it which are quite unacceptable. Q. But, you see, Mr Irving, before ever having analysed it, thought about it, compared it with the rest of the great corpus of evidence about Auschwitz, you are already . P-35 suggesting in this letter that Almeyer's account was beaten out of him by the British under the charge of the notorious Lieutenant Colonel Scotland, are you not? A. I take it you have never heard of Lieutenant Colonel Scotland. Q. Mr Irving, will you answer my question? A. Well, I have. I know who Lieutenant Colonel Scotland is and I know all about the Kensington Cage in which the prisoners were tortured. Q. Mr Irving, I dare say you have. I am not the least bit interested in Colonel Scotland. Please answer my question. Before you have analysed these notes or compared them with the corpus of evidence on Auschwitz, you have already begun to suggest that they were beaten out of it? A. The papers are found in the files of Lieutenant Colonel A Scotland which were seized from him by the British Government after the war. Almeyer was held finally in the London prison cage, which was Colonel Scotland's outfit, before he was turned over to the Nuremberg authorities. As his questioning proceeded, starting in Norway and then ending up in England because he was captured in Norway, his accounts became more lurid. The final accounts in his file are written in British Army style with all place names and proper nouns written in capital letters with all that that implies, in handwriting, in pencil. . P-36 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But Mr Rampton's question, I think, was suggesting this to you -- I am just going to ask it, if I may -- that in a way you are putting the cart before the horse jumping to the conclusion -- this is the question ---- A. Yes. Q. --- that because the Almeyer account was found in what you describe as the London Cage, it, therefore, followed that the account that he gives is worthless? A. No, my Lord. What I am saying is because it gets progressively more lurid, because the numbers increase from report to report, and because it ends up written in traditional British Army style on British Army notepaper, in pencil with all the place names and proper nouns written in capital letters, one is entitled to draw certain conclusions from the physical appearance of this file, particularly when one associates it with the name of the notorious Colonel Scotland.
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