Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.06 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Can I read what you are reported as having said? You had two things to do, the first to confirm that you did say it because I do not want to put words into your mouth, and then second answer a question from me in consequence if you say yes. "Mr Irving is asked whether he denies that Nazis killed a large number of Jews by unnatural methods including gassing. Answer: That is a very good question, because obviously we have at the back of our minds certainly episodes involving gas trucks in Chelmno and things like that. I have not investigated." Then you say this : "I am prepared to accept that local Nazis tried bizarre methods of liquidating Jews. I am quite prepared to accept that, and that they may have experimented using gas trucks, because I have seen one or two documents in the archives implying that there was a roll over from the use of those methods of killing, the same people who created the euthanasia programme and they may have tried to (something unintelligible) of killing Jews but it is a very inefficient way of killing people. The Germans themselves had discovered this and there are much easier ways of killing people". Now, Mr Irving, that has all your great authority as an historian on an important occasion for you . P-47 behind it, does it not? A. It does indeed, and I think that is a very fair summary of the state of my knowledge at that time. Killing people in gas wagons is an extremely inefficient way of doing it. You will have seen from the documents they had with the trucks, they broke their axles, the gas pipe broke. Q. Sure, but I want you just to look quickly, please ---- A. Also, they had the nasty mess to clear up afterwards. Q. That is all in Professor Browning's report in fact at page 38. A. What I said in that part of what you read out is unexceptionable. Q. It is not, because you did not give the impression, you made it clear that these were local bizarre experiments and, by implication, on a very small scale. A. Well, I think the small scale is something that had to be proven. I have been proven wrong on that. Q. What about the one I read you just now? You said a very limited number. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I think you are at cross purposes. I think what Mr Irving is saying is that, if you are suggesting it was on more than a limited basis at Sobibor and the others, then you must prove it, or at any rate present the evidence for it. Is that what you meant, Mr Irving? A. My Lord, yes. If are talking about six or eight trucks . P-48 then that, to my mind, is a limited scale. MR RAMPTON: May I just deal with that because that was my next question. Will you please turn to page 38 of Professor Browning's report? Since you do not trust his translation, you better also have ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we try on Professor Browning without? We may save the labour of going through ---- MR RAMPTON: I quite agree. This is under the heading Chelmno, my Lord. I am going to read both these paragraphs. "Beginning in December 1941, Jews from the Lodz ghetto and other towns in the Warthegau were deported to the small village of Chelmno. On May 1 1942" -- my Lord, we have seen this letter already --"Arthur Greiser wrote to Himmler: 'The special treatment [sonderbehandlung] of some 100,000 Jews in my territory in an action approved by you in agreement with the Chief of the Reich Security Main Office SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich will be completed in the next two to three months." Next paragraph, this is Professor Browning:"The completion of this task was not without incident, however, as can be seen in a report in the motor pool section of the RSHA of June 5, 1942, concerning technical alterations in the production of the'special trucks.'". I, not for reasons of taste but because it is not presently relevant, am not going to read what the troubles were with the gas trucks, but I am going to read . P-49 the next indented paragraph. "Since December 1941, for example, 97,000 were processed by three trucks in action, without any defects in the vehicles being encountered". A. Shall we go straight to the bottom line and say yes, I fully accept the innuendo you are placing on that document. Q. Innuendo? A. It is not stated clearly, but quite clearly 97,000 people have been liquidated in these trucks. Q. In three trucks? A. Over the months concerned. Q. No, it is actually just about a month and a week. 97,000 people in three trucks in the course of five weeks? A. It is a very substantial achievement when you work it out with a pocket calculator ---- Q. Clever SS! A. -- at 20 people per time, and they drove 20 kilometres into the countryside. I have read all the reports on this. Q. Not if they are doing them in situ. A. No. They drove them out into the country and did it and that is where the axle broke. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it very limited and experimental? A. My Lord, I did not have this document at the time I said that. I had this document five or six months ago. . P-50 Q. Answer the question even so. Would you describe it as very limited and experimental? A. Not on this scale. This is systematic. MR RAMPTON: It is systematic, huge scale, using gas trucks to murder Jews? A. Yes. No question at all. Can I refer you back to the letter where it says Greiser writing to Himmler of the special treatment "approved by you in agreement with Heydrich"? Again, there is no reference to Hitler, I am afraid. Q. Yes. We are not going to have that argument at the moment. A. It is not unimportant, Mr Rampton. Surely, if Hitler had given the order, they would all willingly have said, "On the instructions of the Fuhrer, we are carrying out our beloved Fuhrer instructions", but that is not in the document. Q. Mr Irving, if you bother to read yesterday's transcript, you will know precisely what I say about this. I spelt it out at his Lordship's request, and there it is for you and anybody else who wants to see it in black and white. A. My comment was about three lines and your response is about ten. I think my comment is more valuable. Q. No doubt you do, Mr Irving, or we should not be here. A. You have failed to establish the link upwards to Hitler. Q. So you keep asserting. I beg to differ, but I am not . P-51 going develop that until the end of this case. Now, Mr Irving, page 36 please. Again, my Lord, I do this for completeness because on page 36 of Professor Browning we move southwards to Yugoslavia, and again I have the document if anybody wants to see it. In this instance I will ask Mr Irving to glance at it in a minute for one particular reason. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it worth a general question first of all as to whether what is now accepted as having happened at Chelmno, broadly speaking, was happening at Treblinka and Sobibor? MR RAMPTON: Yes. There are two particular reasons to refer to the document. Have you read these two paragraphs? A. The Yugoslavia one? Q. Yes. A. Yes, I read it and there is no question at all that the ---- Q. Do you accept therefore that they shot all the Jewish men first and then, sometime after in spring of 1942, they gassed all the women and children, using a gas truck? A. That is the interpretation to derive from these records, yes. Q. Now could I please ask you to look -- in fact this is the name of this document, though it is referred to by Professor Browning. It is H1 (xv). You will not have it there. . P-52 A. What is the document? Q. It is a letter from Harold Turner to Wolf. A. I know this document. Q. I have given him a German pronounciation. Perhaps he was an Englishman? A. Again, I do not think we are going to have any dispute with this letter. Q. You may not do, but there are two questions which, at any rate, if you already know the answers, I want his Lordship to hear. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there a copy for me because it is one of the files I do not have here. MR RAMPTON: It is page 849. I do not know if I mentioned this, my Lord? What Miss Rogers and I are going to do is try and put together a bundle of core documents. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I wondered about that. MR RAMPTON: By reference to the transcripts. Whether we can do it at the end of this week, I do not know, but we will try. By reference to the transcript we can see which ones are likely to be important. Your Lordship mentioned three this morning already. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Thank you. MR RAMPTON: This is a three-page document from somebody called Stadtrat Dr Turner. What does Stadtrat mean? A. It is the equivalent of a Privy Counsellor. Q. OK. He is in Belgrade, is that right? . P-53 A. In Serbia, yes. Q. In Serbia, and he is writing to Karl Wolf, who is Himmler's Adjutant and liaison officer with Hitler. Is that right? A. He is writing to Karl Wolf, who is Himmler's Adjutant. Q. I thought you agreed with me yesterday that there was a time when I do not know how long a time or what the dates were, when Wolf was a liaison officer. A. Wolf was liaison officer to Hitler from August 26th 1939. Whether he was still at this time or not, I do not know. There was a matrimonial problem. Q. It is obviously going to be important that we find that out. I am sorry, I have been given some history. A. He was out of favour with Hitler. Q. We will deal with this later? A. I thought you probably would. Q. It is too complicated to for me to pick up at this stage. Can you just look at the first page of this letter? I am sorry, somebody has written something on the top. I do not think that is probably the original. Do you? A. No. Q. I think that is a later edition. But I am interested in what looks like pencil, rather bad pencil, capital letters A R, with two underlines. Do you see that? A. Yes. It is interesting, is it not? Q. Do you think it possible that somebody in Berlin put those . P-54 on, possible only, and put it into the Aktion Reinhardt file? A. Can I reserve judgment on that until tomorrow? I will look at my copy. I have a copy of the original. We will see then if it was he person who did the handwriting at the top or on the original but let us assume for the moment that it is on the original for your purposes. Q. Yes. Assume it is an original. A. Yes. Q. Do you think that is possible? A. Yes. Q. You will correct me because you probably have a much better copy than I have, but am I wrong in thinking that there is no security classification on this document? A. Except on the rubber stamp. You can also make out the AR to which I drew attention yesterday on the July 1942 letter. Q. That just means action Reinhardt. A. Yes. I think that is a reasonable interpretation. I do not think anyone else has spotted that, apart from you and me, Mr Rampton. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What, the absence of a security? A. No. It is he initials A R. They appear to have established a separate file for A R, Aktion Reinhardt. MR RAMPTON: Stadtrat Dr Turner is writing to Wolf? A. Yes. . P-55 Q. It is probably not Dr Turner's reference, is it? A. Excuse me. There is a security classification on it. Q. Where? A. Next to the handwritten 2, where it says 1, 2, 3. Q. No, that says Chief Hatkentness (?) A. I am sorry, I thought it might be chef -- right, carry on. Q. I thought it was too, until I took advice. So this is a letter without a security classification put on it by the sender and certainly no clear security classification put on it by Berlin at the other end? A. Unless A R was a special, ultra secret classification. Q. Plausible, but speculative. A. Yes, except that the A R on the rubber stamp is in the place where the security classification goes. A. Often you get the rubber stamp Geheimer Reisache, do you not? A. Yes. As I say, it is in the place on the rubber stamp where the security classification goes. I think we have made a discovery of that. Q. Conceivably. Over the page, only this, there is a big paragraph. It fills most of the page and about halfway down the paragraph there are some German starting Schon von... Would you read it to yourself as far down as you like? A. Already months ago I have had every Jew I could get my hands on shot in this country, and I have had all the . P-56 Jewish women and children concentrated in a camp and at the same time, with the help of the Security Service I, have managed to procure a "delousing truck" which in 14 days to four weeks will have managed to clean out the camp. Q. Well now, that is obviously code? A. Yes.
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