The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day005.11

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day005.11
Last-Modified: 2000/08/01

   Q.   Then if you go to Lublin and you go east/south/east
        towards the Russian border you come to a place Kelm or
   A.   First of all Treblinka and then Kelm, yes.

.          P-92

   Q.   And you go sharp left northwards to Sobibor?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Which is just again next to the border.  If on the
        hand you turn right before you get to Kelm or Khelm
and go
        to Savadar, again, travelling right down to the border
        a single line you get to Belsec?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Those, Mr Irving, were little villages in the middle
        nowhere, and from the 22nd July 1942, if these figures
        have given in your book are right, which they are not
        quite, but the volume, if you multiply, must be
        of thousands of Jews transported from Lublin and
        and as I shall show you after the adjournment also
        the East; what were those Jews going to do in these
        villages on the Russian border?
   A.   The documents before me did not tell me.
   Q.   No, but try and construct in your own mind, as an
        historian, a convincing explanation.
   A.   There would be any number of convincing explanations,
        the most sinister to the most innocent.    What is the
        object of that exercise?  It is irrelevant to the
        pleaded here, I shall strongly argue that, it would
        been --
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If you want to take that point, can you -
   A.   -- it would have been irresponsible of me to have
        speculated in this book, which is already overweight,

.          P-93

        start adding in my own totally amateurish speculation.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, you mistake me, Mr Irving, it is probably
        your fault I, as his Lordship spotted what I have
        I have taken what you have wrote in the book as a
        stone to my next exercise, which is to show the scale
        the operation, and in due course, and I give you fair
        warning, to demonstrate that anybody who supposes that
        those hundreds of thousands of Jews were sent to these
        tiny little villages, what shall we say, in order to
        restore their health, is either mad or a liar.
   A.   -- Mr Rampton, can I just draw one parallel and say
        World War II large numbers of people were sent to
        Aldershot, which is also a tiny village, but I do not
        think anybody is alleging there were gas chambers at
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think actually the problem Mr Irving
has is
        we moved on a different phase of the case. We are no
        longer dealing with allegations of manipulating the
        historical records which we were when we were going
        through "Hitler's War" and so on. I think really Mr
        Rampton is now on the issue of Holocaust denial, where
        defence case is that what you have said flies in the
        of evidence, but it is not an allegation of
        the record.  Do you follow what we are on now?
   A.   The evidence he has adduced so far apart from that is
        my own books.

.          P-94

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You objected to the question, I am trying
        explain what I perceive at the moment to be its
   MR RAMPTON:  Your Lordship is absolutely right.
   A.   Mr Rampton knows which way he is going, but of course
        I have to prepare little minefields all the way round
        in case.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is important you know where he is
        and that is why I was trying to help you.  Anyway I
        the question perhaps needs to be put again, does it,
        because I am not sure there has been an answer yet.
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  I suggest, Mr Irving, that anybody -- any
        sane, sensible person would deduce from all the
        all the available evidence, including, if you like,
        shootings in the East which you have accepted, would
        conclude that these hundreds of thousands of Jews were
        being shipped to these tiny little places on the
        border in Eastern Poland for a benign purpose?
   A.   Mr Rampton, what possible other conclusion could
        have drawn from reading that page in my book?  You are
        implying that the reader is being invited to draw a
        different conclusion.
   Q.   No, I am wondering what your position is, you see,
        Mr Irving, because if it is simply this; I accept that
        Germans systematically murdered Jews in vast numbers
        throughout 1941, accelerating through 1942 1943 and
        reaching a crescendo in 1944, but I simply do not

.          P-95

        there were any gas chambers, then I am not bothered
        because it does not matter how it is done, the fact is
        is a systematic genocide.  I want to know whether you
        accept that; if you do accept it, then we can forget
        Professor van Pelt and all his works and everything
        beside in relation to Holocaust denial.
   A.   It is my belief that Professor van Pelt's purpose in
        coming here is prove to us that the gas chambers at
        Auschwitz existed.
   Q.   He is not.  He is coming here to demolish the basis of
        your Holocaust denial, which is the Leuchter Report,
        amongst other things?
   A.   But the Leuchter Report relies solely on the gas
        in Auschwitz.  So there seems to be a contradiction in
        what you said.
   Q.   So if, for example, Franjiseck Piper, the custodian of
        museum as he was, at Auschwitz, now proposes a figure
        1.whatever it is, 2 million Jews murdered, I do not
        worked to death or killed by types, murdered in
        you are going to accept that, are you?
   A.   No.  I have a good reason not to and --
   Q.   I think in that case we are back to where we are,
        I thought I saw a chink of daylight, but it is not
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Right, well, I am not clear in my mind
        it is that it is suggested Mr Irving may need to look
        over the luncheon adjournment.  I have no idea whether

.          P-96

        is practical to ask him to do that or whether it is
   MR RAMPTON:  It is probably not, because they are spread
        over the bundles and that would be quite unreasonable
        because he would have to stay here and I would have
        at any rate 40 minutes giving him a list of documents
        that would not be sensible either.  I will go as
        cautiously as I can in the afternoon and I will try
        make sure if I do not remember, perhaps your Lordship
        will, to find out as I ask the questions whether the
        documents in question is one that he has seen before
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  Mr Irving, do you have any problems
        with that?  You are going to be asked about documents
        which I suspect you know about now, but you may well
        in relation to it some of them, well, I see that now
        I saw that last summer, but I did not know about it
        I was writing "Hitler's War"?
   A.   I am in your Lordship's hand on that matter but where
        possible I shall state which ones I have seen for the
        first time.
   Q.   That will not cause you a problem, will it?
   A.   No.  Your Lordship will decide later on whether it is
        relevant or not.
   MR RAMPTON:  I will give your Lordship a copy too.  I am
        saying it is exhaustive, complete, or comprehensive --
        what Miss Rogers and I have done is to produce a

.          P-97

        chronological list of the relevant events.  I am not
        to start at the beginning of this in my cross-
        but it does give Mr Irving an idea of what I will be
        asking about this afternoon.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  The topic is what?
   MR RAMPTON:  The topic is the scale of what happened during
        summer and early autumn of 1942, from which one can
        quite obvious deductions, both about system and
        and also about the intent.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Your case is these are deaths in the gas
   MR RAMPTON:  Oh, there is no question.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  They started operating in November 1941.
   MR RAMPTON:  The first gassings start systematically in
        December 1941 at Chelmo, I am not going to deal with
        Chelmo this afternoon, except at the tail end if I get
        there.  There is the three Reinhardt camps; Belsec,
        Sobibor and Treblinka.  They used a different system
        gassing.  They used a vehicle exhaust --
   A.   Carbon?
   Q.   -- carbon monoxide.  You can also suffocate someone
        carbon dioxide, can you not?
   A.   You can suffocate someone by locking them into a
   Q.   And by hydrogen cyanide at Auschwitz.  I do not say
        were not some random murders as well by kicking,

.          P-98

        but the system was gas?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, so Mr Irving is going to get a copy
        this, so at any rate he will have some; is that right?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, that will at any rate give you
        some foretaste of what is to come this afternoon.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am not saying he must read it.  But it might
        helpful if he did.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:   We will adjourn now and resume at 2.00
                       (Luncheon Adjournment)
                     MR DAVID IRVING, continued.
                  Cross-Examined by MR RAMPTON QC, continued.
   THE WITNESS:  My Lord, before he begins his cross-
        on this, can I make a few general observations on
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What difficulties you are going to have
        dealing with them, or what?
   A.   I would draw attention to three general observations
        I may not have a chance to make when we go through
        document by document.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that is fair, Mr Rampton.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is what?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Fair that he should do so now before
        through these various documents.
   MR RAMPTON:  I did not hear, I was looking for documents.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He going to make three points and I am

.          P-99

        to allow that to happen?
   A.   General observations, and please interrupt me if you
        they are wrong.  Obviously, some of them I am familiar
        with because they come from my own records, some of
        I am not.  I am unhappy about the elipses, the
        that have been left out. I do hope we will have a
        to see the whole document rather than just these
        abbreviated versions.
   MR RAMPTON:  Oh, yes, carry on.
   A.   In general, of course, there are much larger elipses
        are the material surrounding the documents, if I could
        it like that, which are not represented here.
   A.   The second observation I would make, my Lord, is this.
        Bear in mind all along that we are now 55 years down
        road since the end of World War Two and we are
entitled to
        expect a better quality of evidence and documentation
        the archives than would have been accepted, say, in
        or 1946.  This is the standard I have always held in
        of myself.  I say to myself if, even now, there are no
        better documents than this, therefore we have to be
        more careful about how we assess these documents that
        put to us.  We are no longer entitled to jump across
        mountain peak to mountain peak.  We have to say that,
        there are no other documents, then there is probably a
        reason why there are no other documents.  That is the

.          P-100

        total of the observation I wish to make.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Thank you very much.
   MR RAMPTON:  As to that last point, Mr Irving, jumping from
        mountain peak to mountain peak may sometimes be
        necessary.  Sometimes one can do it because one knows
        is lying on the ground in between, and there is
        the matter with that, is there?
   A.   Yes, from one's general expertise.
   Q.   No, no, the general array of evidence.  Mr Irving,
        mind that for the moment.  It is the fact, is it not,
        perhaps I am wrong but I do not think so, I think you
        it several times in this court, what I might call the
        residue of German wartime documents that we have got,
        whether from the bottom fighting units, police units
        whatever, right up to the top, is fragmentary?
   A.   I would say on the contrary, it is there in
   Q.   We have everything, have we?
   A.   There is such a volume of documentation that in the
        States they still have not finished cataloguing it.
        are still working on it and usually the Germans create
        multiple copies of the documents that they are dealing
        with.  So, if they had destroyed in one place, they
        exist in another.
   Q.   So, unless a document has been deliberately destroyed,
        which it might well have been, one could expect to find it

.          P-101

        somewhere at some stage in the future near or far?  Is
        that right?
   A.   I would have expected to have found it in the past,
        frankly, at least one copy of it.

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