The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.23

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.23
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

   Q.   And what is used for disposing of this typhus bearing louse?
   A.   Well, it is a question of prevention to start with, and
        that is the nub of the question.  The concentration camp
        authorities did very little to prevent it because they did
        not provide conditions of cleanliness.  It was exactly the
        same about the way in which they treated Russian prisoners
        of war.
   Q.   Are you not familiar with the fact that in all the
        concentration camps of the Nazi system they had fumigation
        chambers for cleaning the clothing of the incoming
        prisoners?  They had the clean side, the dirty side, the
        showers, the baths, the hair cuts, the whole of this
        system that went with this combatting of the typhus
        epidemic?  Are you not familiar with that?

.          P-208

   A.   Yes, it was an extremely ----
   Q.   In your statement the Nazis did nothing is, therefore,
   A.   It is extremely ineffective and I said did nothing to
        prevent it.  I mean, it certainly did not.  The
        is there.
   Q.   So the fumigation chambers, what they there for if it
        not to prevent the typhus plague?
   A.   It was done in a rather inadequate way.  Obviously,
        was some incentive on the part of the SS to try to
        restrict the level and spread of epidemics, but the
        is that unhygienic conditions were part and parcel of
        inhumanity of the concentration camps.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, we have to keep a slight grip
        reality.  It is your case that the typhus killed a
        large proportion of the Jews who lost their lives.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is difficult in the next breath to say
        wonderful the system of fumigating clothes and the
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, that is not the way I put it, but this
        witness ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, it comes close to it.
   MR IRVING:  --- said the Nazis did nothing to prevent the
        typhus epidemics.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, you were putting to him that they

.          P-209

        done a very great deal.  Well, if they had ----
   MR IRVING:  I picked up the words that they had done
        and, in fact, we have been sitting here for five weeks
        listening to nothing but the evidence that they had
        fumigation chambers for dealing with these epidemics.
        Particularly in Auschwitz, they went very, very far
        indeed.  I do not have the photographs here any more,
        there were the water purification plants they were
        installing.  They went a very long way to try to
        this appalling problem which spread across Central
        from 1942 onwards and, of course, as the war
        its end, this problem reached its zenith with the
        collapse of hygiene, the total collapse of medical
        facilities, the collapse of transportation, the
        of tens of hundreds of thousands of people in these
        unhygienic conditions.
   A.   Well, the measures which were undertaken, fumigation
        so on, were mostly undertaken after epidemics had
        out to try to limit them, obviously, because the SS in
        camps would then feel that they are endangered
        and other measures which they did undertake when
        broke out were killing the sick by injections or
        them into gas chambers.  So they did undertake some
        measures.  But I cannot say that they were in the --
        they did very much to prevent the epidemics.
   Q.   Did the Germans not have an Institute of Racial

.          P-210

        which did nothing other than combat epidemics?  That
        what it was created for?
   A.   I do not agree that the Institute of Racial Hygiene
        about combating epidemics, no.
   Q.   Professor Pfannenstiel, was he not a member of that
   A.   The institute of Racial Hygiene was much more
        with as it suggests, not hygiene in common sense ----
   Q.   But did they not have ----
   A.   --- but it is to do with race.
   Q.   --- a special body set up doing nothing else than
        investigating the spread of epidemics because of the
        damage it was causing to German war effort?
   A.   Yes, what I said was that -- I am not quite sure what
        are arguing about here, but what I said was that the
        conditions in the camps which favoured -- there were
        conditions in the camps which were deliberately
created by
        the Nazis which were unhygienic, dirty, degrading and
        encouraged epidemics.
   Q.   Would you explain the word "deliberately"?  Are you
        implying that these epidemic bearing lice in some way
        distinguished between the prisoner, on the one hand,
        the SS guard, on the other?  They knew which uniform
to go
   A.   No.
   Q.   Why would anybody create an epidemic deliberately in a

.          P-211

   A.   I did not say they created the epidemic.  I said that
        created the conditions.  I mean, they knew full well
        would ----
   Q.   They deliberately created epidemic conditions?
   A.   They full knew what would happen in those filthy
        conditions which they ----
   Q.   They negligently created epidemic conditions?
   A.   I do not think it was a matter of oversight on their
        Mr Irving.
   Q.   Have you read Professor van Pelt's book on Auschwitz
        which he describes in great detail the negligence of
        designers in this respect?
   A.   I have to admit I have not, no.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In what respect in the design of?
   MR IRVING:  The layout of the camp.  They said it was
        epidemics, the way it was designed.  The prisoners had
        march long distances in order to get to hygiene
        facilities, and so on.
   A.   That would seem to confirm my point of view.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is rather what I thought, yes.  I
        does that not rather suggest that they were not too
        concerned about epidemics breaking out?
   MR IRVING:  Through negligence they have the camp badly
        designed is very different from saying that they
        deliberately created epidemic conditions?

.          P-212

   A.   But you just maintained, Mr Irving, that they knew all
        about epidemics and they had institutes devoted to
        and so on.  It is rather puzzling that in that case it
        should be a mere oversight when they are building
   Q.   So you agree that there were major epidemics in
        Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald at the end of the war?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Were these deliberately created, is that your
   A.   The conditions there were deliberately created by the
        Nazis, of course.  In other words, had they wanted to
        prevent them, they could have done so.
   Q.   But they just let the epidemics run, did they?
   A.   No.  As I have said, they then made attempts (which I
        just described) to try to limit the epidemics.  You
        compare this, if you like, with prisoners of war camps
        British airmen and troops in which hygienic conditions
        were a good deal better.
   Q.   Do you know how many people died in Dachau
        camp in the first two months after World War II from
   A.   A substantial number.
   Q.   Was it of the order of 20,000 prisoners?
   A.   I will take your word for it.
   Q.   Under American control, with the Americans
        spreading epidemics too?

.          P-213

   A.   No, Mr Irving.  They were dealing with the
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, this is all getting a little
        absurd.  This all started out because you wrote or
        that, "We", that is to say the Allies, "have
        created the epidemics" and maybe I have rather
        to this by asking Professor Evans whether he thought
        was a sensible view for an historian to take.  We now
        to have gone the full circle, as it were.  Anyway, I
        we have probably exhausted the topic.
   MR IRVING:  I do not think I put it exactly they way your
        Lordship says.  I say we deliberately created the
        conditions of chaos through our bombing campaign,
        Operation Point Blank and Eclipse and so on.
   A.   Well, may I quote to you, Mr Irving:  "We had
        quote created the epidemics and the outbreaks of
        and other diseases which led to those appalling scenes
        that were found at their most dramatic in the enclosed
        areas, the concentration camps" -- a lecture you gave
   MR IRVING:  Oh, a speech?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   A lecture?  I thought it was from a book.
   A.   Well, I presume you accept responsibility for saying
        Mr Irving ----
   Q.   In other words, that is ----
   A.   --- whether you said it or wrote it.

.          P-214

   Q.   --- from a transcript of a speech made by somebody, is
        that right?
   A.   It is a video -- an audio cassette of a speech.
   Q.   Have you not just read out a speech two or three
        ago which was quite clearly vulgarized, the text?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We can, if necessary, look at that speech
        you think that the context makes any difference, but
        I think probably, Mr Irving, we can break off your
        cross-examination now.
   MR IRVING:  That would be a useful point to break off at
        point, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I make an enquiry of you which is
        to ask, and I expect Professor Evans would like to
        the answer, what your estimate is as to the future of
   MR IRVING:  Two and a half more days.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How many?
   MR IRVING:  Two and a half more days.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Right.  Are you going to follow the ----
   MR IRVING:  I am going to follow the ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  --- structure of his report?
   MR IRVING:  I think it is the only way to do it, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I think I agree with that.  I think
        are right.  To the extent that there are matters
raised in
        Professor Evans' report that are not any longer, I
        relied on as part of the Defendants' case, then you

.          P-215

        probably not trouble with them or, at any rate, take
        very shortly if you want to.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  Has your Lordship in your Lordship's
        which particular matters those are that are no longer
        relied on?  Sikorsky is one, I believe?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Sikorsky is certainly one.  Hitler's
        adjutants, I think, has rather come back in again.
        I mean, I think it is probably not sensible for me to
        to identify them now because I do not really have them
        mind, but if the Defendants let you know whether there
        parts in your report that are no longer relied on,
        might simplify things all round.
   MR IRVING:  What about Moscow?  Is there anything about
        in this report?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not think there is.
   MR RAMPTON:  Not about Moscow.  I have done that anyway.
        Moscow is certainly a live issue.  There is nothing
        Moscow in this report, as far as I know.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, are you going to permit a further
        cross-examination of me?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think we have always contemplated there
        would be a further cross-examination, but it is not
        open-ended.  It is dealing with left over topics.
   MR RAMPTON:  Can I tell your Lordship what I have left?  I
        got the Fleming book which has a reference to the
        message to the Einsatzgruppen on 1st August 1941.  I

.          P-216

        got Kinner Zamos report of 16th December 1942.  I have
        Anne Frank.  I have got the criminal statistics which
        dealt with towards the end of Professor Evans' report,
        pages 692 to 8, and I have got a couple of other
        which I am just having checked at the moment.  If
        necessary, I will give notice and, of course, I have
        political associations as well.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  That is very helpful, but if you
        able to tell, or Miss Rogers or somebody is able to
        Mr Irving that there are parts of Professor Evans'
        which are no longer really relied on and, therefore,
        need not trouble with them?
   MR RAMPTON:  I think it means we can regard the Adjutants
        the Roman Jews as out of the ring.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  There may be other bits?
   MR RAMPTON:  Little bits, but those are the two main subjects,
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Does that help, Mr Irving, a bit?
   MR RAMPTON:  Though I cannot guarantee it will not ----
   MR IRVING:  If I had known we could have torn up the first 120
        pages of his report, it would have saved a lot of time.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not sure that I would put it quite like that.

          (The court adjourned until the following day)

.          P-217

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