Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.08 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is not actually right, is it? She is claiming to have looked at some records. We do not . P-62 know what the records were or what they show. She is not giving, as it were, false eyewitness evidence at that point in her statement, is she? MR IRVING: My Lord, I beg to differ. "I have examined the records of the numbers cremated." "I have examined the records and I say that the records show that about 4 million persons were cremated at the camp". What other possible interpretation can you put on that statement? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I have just suggested one to you. Anyway, carry on with your questions. A. My Lord, may I make a remark? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. A. I think this would be an interesting exercise, and I do not want to judge it any further, if I had made use of the Bimko evidence in any way in relationship to did the gas chamber exist or not? I have never used -- I have just mentioned Bimko in this one particular context; the emergence of knowledge of Auschwitz. I have not used her anywhere else ever. I have not brought her here in as an eyewitness to the gassings, to the existence of Zyklon- B columns. MR IRVING: You just threw her in as a bit of spice? A. Sorry? Q. You threw her into your report as a bit of spice, did you? A. Not as a spice. Q. As one more statistic? So, instead of having four . P-63 eyewitnesses, you would have five? A. Mr Irving, I tried to give an impression of what was happening at the Lunenberg trial, what was said at the Lunenberg trial. Q. We know what happened at the Lunenberg trial. A large number of these unfortunates who were on trial were convicted and hanged on the basis of her testimony, including the person mentioned in the last paragraph, paragraph 8 on the next page: "On the day before the British troops arrived at Belsen", she said, "I saw Karl Flrazich [Francioh], who was a cook, shoot a man internee dead for stealing vegetables". Were you aware that in her oral evidence at the Belsen trial she said it was a woman that the man shot? A. Mr Irving, I did not know that, to be very honest, the witness Ada Bimko does not really interest me so much because I have not made use of her in reconstructing the history of any of the four crematoria. Q. So we are working towards the point where we do not have to strike off Mrs Bimko. There is one more thing I want to draw your attention to. At the beginning of paragraph 6, this woman who has medical knowledge -- she is a doctor -- writes: "Whilst at Auschwitz I saw SS male nurses Heine and Stibitz inject petrol into women patients". Are you aware, Professor van Pelt, that phenol injections are a standard treatment for typhus? . P-64 A. In Auschwitz, I understand that phenol was used as a regular -- sorry, I will answer the question. I am sorry, for this. No, I did not know that. Q. Very well. So on top of the evidence we looked at yesterday where Bimko described cylinders of gas and pipes which you admitted was wrong, but possibly a misinterpretation of what she was -- you thought she might have seen the ventilation system -- we have no evidence of that. Bimko is, in other words, a totally unreliable witness and should not have been relied upon in any way, notwithstanding the fact that her evidence sent several men to the gallows in Lemberg? A. My Lord, I do not want to judge the Lunenberg trial. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, but do you accept that she is not a witness on whom reliance should be placed as to what did or did not take place at Auschwitz? A. I think that some of her statements are historically defensible and some of them probably not. This is also, of course, an issue of cross-examination. I do not think there was much of a cross-examination at the time. But I think this is with every, you know, with every witness, there always will be some things which will be wrong or will be mistaken. MR IRVING: Is there a possibility that with a witness like Bimko and Pauber who had suffered appalling indignities at the hands of the Nazis, that when the Allies came, in the . P-65 case of Bimko, it was the British Army who rescued here, that she saw her moment for revenge had come and she could take out a few of the hated Nazis? A. Anything is possible, Mr Irving. Q. I am trying to find some other reason why she should have deliberately lied in her depositions, sworn on oath in a capital case? You can suggest no alternative reason than that, that possibly her memory was wrong, she had a bad memory or she was imaginative? A. There are many possibilities. It may be she was an habitual liar; maybe she was an habitual story-teller. Who knows? We cannot second guess the situation. The only evidence we have is right in front of us. Q. So of your five eyewitnesses, we have lost the Russians, we have lost the Pravda account, we have lost Bimko now? A. But I never introduced Bimko, so I do not know how I can have lost Bimko. Q. Well, some bulk larger than others in your report. Mr Tauber you rely on quite heavily, do you not? A. Mr Irving, I rely on Tauber for the description of the operation of the crematorium and the gas chambers. I have never, never introduced Miss Bimko as a witness for this material. So I cannot see how I lost her because I did not introduce her as a witness. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think the idea of "losing" somebody is a very helpful one, but it would help me if you . P-66 would ---- MR IRVING: Perhaps I should put a row of beans on the counter ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, can you just let me complete my sentences sometimes? Would you for my benefit, Professor van Pelt, just tell me, really just enumerate, those witnesses, those eyewitnesses, who you say deserve some attention for what they have said in their accounts? A. OK. Are we dealing only with crematorium (ii) or are we dealing with the ---- Q. With gassing, the extermination by gassing? A. Extermination by gas? Q. Just the names so that Mr Irving knows who you do rely on. A. An important one is Slova Dragon(?) who was one of the sonderkommandos. An important witness is Heinrich Tauber mentioned already before. An important witness is Pery Broad. An important witness is Hirst. Then we can take in also, both as a witness and his diary, Dr Kramer. These are either from the time itself or immediately after the war. Hans Almayer talks about gassings, but he is rather confused about many things so I would not want to rely too much one way or the other. MR IRVING: Explain to the court who Hans Almayer is, please? A. Hans Almayer was the Lager Fuhrer in Birkenhau in 1942 and early 43, but he left by the time these crematoria started to be in operation. . P-67 Q. By the time he was acting in effect as the deputy kommandant, is that right? A. Yes. Let me just try to get back to my enumeration of witnesses. Then during the Lunenburg trial Kramer admitted to gassings but did not describe the procedure in detail. So at the moment I would leave it to basically build up a general picture, these witnesses I think produce a sufficient evidence to come to some kind of solid conclusion on that issue. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. That is extremely helpful. Mr Irving, do resume. MR IRVING: That is a relatively small number of eyewitnesses for a relatively large proposition, namely that the Nazis killed 500,000 people in that gas chamber with the collapsed roof. That is the only evidence that we have, apart from the sketches of Mr Olaire, and there is not a single document of any credible worth which explicitly bears out your case in all the hundreds of thousands of pages of paper found in the Auschwitz museum and in the Moscow archives. I am trying to summarize at this stage what the position is. A. On which case? Q. On the case that that was a homicidal gas chamber. A. No. I think these are the principal -- these are people who basically give us the texture, who have describe the operation in some detail. One probably could have found . P-68 ---- Q. If we can fault them in any significant way, if we can punch a hole in their testimony, if I can put it like that, then of course that rather collapses the entire value of the rest of their testimony. A. I do not think that is necessarily the case, but I am not a professional judge. I am an historian. Some of their testimony will be absolutely correct and there will be always some testimony where they are maybe confused. But I think that Faurisson's theory that, if you punch one hole in the testimony, all of testimony becomes irrelevant I think is an irresponsible way to work with the testimony. Q. Let Mr Faurisson fight his own battles. A. But what you said was quite literally a quotation from Mr Faurisson. It is his thesis, his original thesis. Q. Yes. It may be his thesis, I am sure. It is such an obvious thesis that I appreciate that the Holocaust historians had maximum difficulty with it. If there are no holes in that roof now and we can satisfy the court that there were never any holes in that roof, then that demolishes the eyewitnesses and thereby demolishes the story of the homicidal gas chamber, because there is no other evidence. Even if I am wrong on that, as we say, in the alternative, I have justifiable reason for maintaining the position I did and it was not perverse to adopt the . P-69 position I did. A. I am not fighting this case so I cannot comment on that. Q. Can we proceed now to Mr Tauber? How big does Mr Tauber rank in your list of witnesses? Is he near the top in importance? A. He is a very important witness. Q. So straight away Mr Tauber of course said that he saw the people pouring the cyanide in through the imaginary holes in the roof. He did not say imaginary but ---- A. Let us look at the text. Q. We read what he said. I think you will find it in your report Part 1 (iv) page 73 of your report. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think your pagination is different from everyone else, Mr Irving. A. I have it right here. It is page 191. MR IRVING: Thank you very much. He says here right at the top: " Through the window of the incineration room, I observed how the Zyklon was poured into the gas chamber. ... They took the cans of Zyklon from the car and put them beside the small chimneys [the things that you described on the roof].... Then he closed the orifice with a concrete cover." Was this the man who said he needed two hands to lift the concrete cover, that he saw the people using two hands to lift the concrete cover? This is Tauber, is it . P-70 not? A. I do not remember that he said it but, if you can point to the passage ---- Q. We went through the Tauber evidence in some detail yesterday. A. We did not discuss the thing on top, people manipulating those covers. Q. Yes. If he talks of concrete covers with two handles, does this not rather contradict the story given by other eyewitnesses even of there being wooden lids on these openings, Holzblenden in German? They have not got their story straight, these eyewitnesses. They know a bit about the holes in the roof but they do not know quite what the covers were. They must assume that there were covers because otherwise the rain would get in. So one says concrete and another one says wood. A. If you want to introduce that, I would be happy to comment on that. I do not even know which eyewitness you are talking about right now. Q. Tauber. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, the ones who say they were wooden, not concrete. That is what you mean, is it not? MR IRVING: My Lord, we will probably stumble across them in the course of time.
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