The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.17

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.17
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   --- during the whole time she was there?  But against
        that, we set the evidence of Bruno Tesch in his trial, and

.          P-143

        he is the acknowledged leading German expert on
        disinfestation who says, having been given the figures, he
        is astonished that they managed to carry out the
        fumigation of all these sets of clothing, given the number
        of prisoners, because he knew how many kilograms of
        Zyklon-B were needed for each 100 sets of clothing.  That
        is the calculation he did.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is that Tesch you are talking about now?
   MR IRVING:  I am talking about Bruno Tesch, T-E-S-C-H.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  May I ask Professor van Pelt a question
        that?  The prosecution against Tesch, presumably,
        the prosecution establishing that he knew what the
        Zyklon-B was being supplied to Auschwitz for?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   So he was likely to say that the quantity was the
        amount to do the delousing?
   A.   The case, the evidence on which Tesch was ultimately
        convicted was not the quantity delivered to Auschwitz.
        was actually a statement made by one of his employees
        had said that Tesch knew about that what the Zyklon
        being used for.
   MR IRVING:  He said that he came back and he dictated a
        report on a trip which had indicated that he knew what
        going on?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   This was hotly disputed by other members of Tesch's

.          P-144

        who knew the travel reports concerned, but he was
        on the basis of that one witness?
   A.   You know, I do not want to redo the Tesh trial.  I
        it may have been true that Tesch knew about it or it
        not have been true.  But the issue was, the issue at
        in the trial was not the quantity of the deliveries.
                  Interestingly enough, if you go back to the
        trial documents, what really made people very, very
        about it is the profit they got out of the deliveries.
        There was constant talk about how many Reichs Marks
        actually were made out of his deliveries to Auschwitz.
   Q.   I appreciate your Lordship's point and, of course, it
        absolutely right, he would have had a motive for
trying to
        minimize it, but against that is to be set the fact
        whereas you and I are, no doubt, astonished to see
        tonnes of cyanide being delivered to any camp or any
        place, and you think, "Well, this can only mean one
        thing", the drift of my argument has been it could
        many things and it was by no means out of the ball
        when you are looking at the other uses to which this
        domestic fumigant was very properly put.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I understand.
   MR IRVING:  Can I now proceed to a different topic, my
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, of course.
   MR IRVING:  We have dealt with the eyewitness in some
        Professor van Pelt.  I must say I am left unhappy at

.          P-145

        notion that so far the mass extermination of 500,000
        victims in this building here, krammer No. 2, rests,
        apparently, on a number of very shaky eyewitnesses --
        I think I have shaken two or three them -- and on
        other documents that we have not really properly
                  Can you talk to the court, please, if I say
        you what architectural drawings are there relating to
        crematorium No. (ii) and, in particular, to the
        gas chamber in mortuary No. 1, can you tell the court
        about which one document in particular would be the
        you would say was something close to a smoking gun --
        there is such a document, such a blueprint?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do you mean Kuhler?  Is he included in
   MR IRVING:  Kuhler we can come to later, my Lord.  I am
        interested in Kuhler, obviously, because that will
        us back to the holes, and I am going to keep on
        holes in this case until your Lordship appreciates the
        significance of the holes, or their absence.  So I
want to
        do that kind of scattered throughout these two days.
   THE WITNESS:  So we are talking about blueprints?
   MR IRVING:  We are talking about drawings, architectural
        drawings.  If there is anything in any of those
        which you considered to be very suspicious?

.          P-146

   A.   I have said in my report that the way the materials
        be interpreted is as a convergence of evidence and not
        terms of a single smoking gun.  There are in the
        in Auschwitz, of course, documents which are more
        difficult to bring into harmony with the thesis that
        would have been no gas chamber, no homicidal gas
        in crematorium (ii).  For example, there is a letter,
        notorious vergasungs letter, the keller letter of 29th
        January 1943; but since I am being asked about
        and I will limit my answer to blueprints, there is not
        blueprint which by and in itself is a smoking gun.
   Q.   But you have repeatedly talked in radio programmes on
        BBC, for example, the Horizon programme, you said, "We
        have the blue prints", have you not?  "We have the
        drawings"?  I appreciate ----
   A.   But we have to -- we have the blueprints as historical
        evidence and one can draw conclusions out of the
        historical evidence.
   Q.   That is not the way you put it, of course.  You were
        rather more specific.  You said:  "We have the
drawings of
        the gas chambers".
   A.   But it allows us, these drawings allow us to
        the history of these things, the way these things were
        constructed, and the history includes a certain amount
        history of the use and the modification of these
        as a killing machine.

.          P-147

                  Now, there are certain drawings which
        pop out of the bundle of drawings which is preserved.
        example, a very, very important drawing, but again
        seen in context, would have been the modification of
        basement done by Walter Dejaco in December 1942.  But
        again that drawing by itself does not say anything.
        drawing has to be compared to the drawings that
        that drawing.
                  So, you know, I am happy to go -- the
problem is
        I do not know if everyone has the drawings -- I am
        to go through a very detailed explication of those
        drawings, but given the fact we already have
        with Olaire before, I do not really know to do that
        because I will have to point at these things which are
        labelled and these are, you know, those blueprints
        are  ----
   MR IRVING:  We can get the drift of what your arguments are
        going to be.  I just wanted to establish, though, that
        when you said these things on this BBC Horizon
        (of which we have the transcript here) of course, you
        not reading from a script, you are just talking from
        memory, so to speak?  If you were writing it, you
        not have said that?
   A.   No, there was no script of that.  There was no script.
        I do not exactly know what I said, so maybe you can
        it to the court and I can have a look at it and, you

.          P-148

        I can comment on it.
   Q.   Yes.  But the point I am making is that you are much
        careful when you write than when you speak?
   A.   There is nothing really in the Horizon programme which
        the moment I feel I would have to take back.  I am
        comfortable with what I said in that programme.
   Q.   Well, except that you also referred to a document, but
        I am not on documents at present in terms which were
        inappropriate because it turns out that what you said
        not borne out by the document.  Do you remember that
        document, the one relating to the electric supply not
        being adequate, and you reversed the order of killing
   A.   Mr Irving, in that document at a certain moment
        I transposed the word, I think, sonderbehantlung(?)
        incineration from one to the other.
   Q.   Yes, these things happen, do they not?
   A.   But the meaning, the meaning of what I said is exactly
        same as the meaning of the document.
   Q.   Yes.  These things happen.  It was not any perverse
        manipulation of the evidence in any way; it was just -
   A.   Unlike what some people on the web suggest?  No, it
was no
        perverse manipulation.
   Q.   I have not suggested that, have I ----
   A.   I do not know if you have suggested it.
   Q.   --- on my web site, no?  That is not the point I am

.          P-149

        to make.
   MR JUSTICE  GRAY:  If that is not suggested, we can move
        can we not?
   MR IRVING:  I am your Lordship appreciates the reason why I
        the question.  So what you are saying is there is no
        drawing -- we have established that the eye witness
        evidence is two legged rather than five legged.  We
        now heard that there is no one drawing which supports
        identity of that underground mortuary as being a gas
        chamber either?
   A.   No, but we can look now at two or three drawings
        and then we start to look, we start to observe some
        weird things and some modifications made between one
        drawing and the other drawing which certainly starts
        point out at a use of ----
   Q.   An unusual use?
   A.   --- morgue No. 1 which is used which is certainly not
        suggestive of either an air raid shelter or that of
        other kind of non-genocidal use.
   Q.   Can you tell us roughly what those discrepancies are
on --
        shall I feed clues?
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I hardly think this is satisfactory.
        have the plans in the folder.
   MR IRVING:  Indeed, yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is quite a detailed exercise.  I have been
        through it many times.  It may or may not make sense,

.          P-150

        it is really ridiculous, in my submission, to ask this
        witness to try to do it ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You mean there is no such -- it is either
        whole hog or nothing?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  You cannot do that from memory.
   MR IRVING: I am all for the whole hog in this case.  Let us
        the whole hog, but I thought that the Professor was
        it would be rather difficult to do this exercise in
        with things as tricky as detailed drawings.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, he was saying that, but if we have
        do it, we have to do.
   MR IRVING:  Yes.  But if Mr Rampton objects, then by all
        let us look at the individual drawings.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But let me get this clear, Mr Irving,
        we will go through the drawings, by all means, but ---
   MR IRVING:  Well, my Lord, I ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  --- there is going to be no profit in
        so if, at the end of the day, you are going to put to
        Professor van Pelt, "Oh, well, that is all very well,
        it was just a delousing chamber or disinfecting
        So I do not want to spend a lot of time and in the end
        it to be in a sense purposeless.  Do you follow me?
   MR IRVING:  I agree, but your Lordship has heard the
        say that there are two or three specific things about
        drawings which, when put together, can only lead to
        sinister interpretation.  I think I know what he is

.          P-151

        alluding to.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, well, I am looking at one, the
        page 183 in your report ----
   MR IRVING:  I do not want to preempt him.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- and I suspect that may be one of the
        with the small holes along the top and bottom of the
   MR IRVING:  If your Lordship feels this is inappropriate
        we should continue on this?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No, well, I am in the difficulty, Mr
        as you will understand, I do not quite know that I
        what the point that is going to be made is.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, let me say straight ----
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, may I make an intervention now?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We had better not all talk at once.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, I know, but I have foreseen this for
        sometime.  I really think Mr Irving has to state his
        position now because otherwise, as your Lordship has just
        said, we could spend two hours going through the drawings
        and end up with the same conclusion as yesterday in
        cross-examination, "Yes, it was a gas chamber, but not for
        live human beings".
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is why I said what I said.
   MR RAMPTON:  If that is all that this examination is going to
        lead to, Mr Irving may as well come clean, say, "Yes,
        I accept it was a gas chamber.  Now, Mr Van Pelt, how do

.          P-152

        you deal with the suggestion that was for gassing corpses
        and clothes?"

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