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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day014.05

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day014.05
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR RAMPTON:  Have you ever seen a police interview with a
        witness, Mr Irving -- a record, a handwritten record, of a
        police interview with a witness, Mr Irving?
   A.   I think there have been references to them in various
        Courts of Appeal, yes.
   Q.   No, Mr Irving.  Have you ever actually seen the record of
        a police interview?  I am talking about the days before
        they were tape recorded and later typed, transcribed.

.          P-37

        Have you ever seen a record of an interview in a Police Station?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You know perfectly well it is common form that poor old
        officer Bobby laboriously writes out what the witness is
        saying, and then when he comes to a name he always puts it
        in capital letters?
   A.   But is he writing out what the witness is saying or is he
        writing down something and saying to the witness, "No sign
        here, please.  This is what you said"?
   Q.   So it is not just the notorious Colonel Scotland, it is
        the notorious Scotland Yard, is it?
   A.   Well, you dragged them in.  I did not mention them.
   Q.   Come on, Mr Irving, the fact that it is written in pencil
        with the names in capitals tells us nothing.
   A.   On the contrary, it indicates clearly that he is doing
        precisely what he is told to at the dictate of the British
        Army officers who, undoubtedly, had ways of doing their
        job, they had ways of making people talk, and I have no
        criticism whatsoever of that.  We won the war and these
        are the methods we used to win the war.  But to use these
        same documents that we won the war with to write history
        from is, I think, indicative of the problems that we are
        having in the courtroom today.  Because you yourself have
        admitted, your expert witnesses have admitted, that
        Almeyer frequently made wrong statements in his report.

.          P-38

   Q.   Yes, he did.  In fact, he gave his first account in
        Norway, did he not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I am told, and you probably will not know because you have
        never studied it, but in fact I am told that his most
        explicit and detailed account was given in Norway.
   A.   Not with these numbers, as I said in my letters to
        Mr Weber and also Mr Philip on the same day.
   Q.   His significance is not numbers, is it?  His significance
        is procedure at Auschwitz, is it not?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is that right, Mr Irving?
   A.   I am sorry, I was not listening.  I was just checking this
        other letter I wrote on that day.  I am not sure if it is
        in the file or not.
   MR RAMPTON:  If there is one in German, I am going to ask you
        about it.  It is Karl Philip.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I will ask you about that in a moment.  The significance
        of Almeyer for the record in so far as he has significance
        is not the numbers that he gives, but the description that
        he gives of how they killed the people at Auschwitz, is it not?
   A.   Even there, if my memory is correct, he gets it wrong.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, what is the answer to the question and
        then carry on about whether he gets it right or wrong.
   A.   He describes gassing procedures, this is true, but, of

.          P-39

        course -----
   Q.   But the question, Mr Irving -- do focus on the question --
        is that the significant thing about Almeyer's account is
        not the number that he gives of the Jewish prisoners who
        were gassed, but the description he gives of the way in
        which they were gassed.  That is the question.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is the question.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you say whether you agree or disagree
        with it?
   A.   If you tell me what the description is that he gave?
   MR RAMPTON:  Let me tan an example, the middle of page 262 of
        the transcript, as it where, that appears in van Pelt.  It
        corresponds very roughly with what SS Untersturmfuhrer
        Broad tells us:
                  "In the time that followed some three to four
        gassing were undertaken in the old crematorium.  These
        always occurred in evening hours.  In the morgue were two
        or three air vents and medical orderlies wearing gas masks
        should blue cyanide gas into these" ----
   A.   Now, which crematorium are we talking about?  Crematorium number ----
   Q.   That is crematorium (i) at Auschwitz 1 at the stammlager.
   A.   About which, unfortunately, we have not asked the
        Professor very much in his evidence.
   Q.   Well, you did not.
   A.   Yes, indeed, but I tried to bring this up and his Lord

.          P-40

        said, "We are not interested in whether this building has
        been faked after the war or not".
   Q.   Mr Irving, do you never answer an overt question?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is a total misrepresentation of what
        I said, but let us move on..
   A.   Well, I tried to bring up crematorium No. (i) in order to
        get the admission from the witness that it has been built
        in 1948 by the Poles and at this point your Lordship
        intervened, you will remember, and said, "This is of" ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, I am not going to go through that again
        because the transcript is there, but let us get back to Almeyer.
   MR RAMPTON:  We will just read on, and this is where Almeyer is
        a real killer for you revisionists, is it not, Mr Irving?
   A.   I do not know.  I will have to see what it says.
   Q.  "We were not allowed to come close and only the next day
        the bunker, gas chamber, was opened.  The doctor told that
        the people died within half a minute to a minute.  In the
        meantime, in Birkenhau, close to the burial sites, two
        empty houses were equipped by the construction office with
        gas chambers.  One house had two chambers, the other
        four.  These houses were designed as bunkers 1 and 2.
        Each chamber accommodated about 50 to 150 people.
                  "At the end of January or February, the first
        gassings were undertaken.  The Commando was called "SK"
        and the camp commander had put it under the direct

.          P-41

        authority of Untersturmfuhrer Grabner and was again led
        and brought into action by Hoessler".  That is different
        from Hoess.  "The area was surrounded by notices and
        marked as a security zone and, moreover, encircled by
        eight guardposts from the Commando.
                  "From that moment onwards the camp doctor sorted
        from the arriving transports immediately the inmates and
        those who were destined to be gassed.  They had
        instructions to select for gassing those crippled by
        illness, those over 55 years of age who could not work and
        children up to 11 or 12 years".  From a revisionist point
        of view, that is a catastrophic account, is it not?
   A.   But I also draw attention to the frequent footnotes that
        Professor van Pelt has quite rightly written in saying
        this is wrong, that is wrong, the following is wrong, this
        is an incorrect account, the time was longer, the time was
        shorter.  If one knows that, what kind of credence can you
        attach to a report like that?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In relation to the passage Mr Rampton has
        just read, is that not an accurate account of, I do not
        know, is it crematoria (iv) and (v), or (iii) and (iv)?
   MR RAMPTON:  No.  In that passage it is bunkers 1 and 2.
   A.   It is talking about the bunkers 1 and 2, which we have not
        talked about and which, as far as I am concerned, actually
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  My question really is this.  Is there

.          P-42

        anything wrong with that as an account, so far as you see it?
   A.   I see nothing wrong with that as an account, my Lord, but
        then, of course, as I have to keep reminding the court,
        I am not a Holocaust historian.  I have never set myself
        up as a Holocaust historian.  I have not written about the
        Holocaust in books or otherwise.  All I know is that this
        is a flawed account, if I can use that word.  Professor
        van Pelt himself describes it as being inaccurate in very
        many respects, and this is the kind of problems which
        would no doubt have been brought out, had I ever sat down
        and read the whole file and start comparing it with all
        the others.
   MR RAMPTON:  Before suggesting that this flawed account, put
        into his mouth by the brutal British interrogators, was
        tortured out of him by Colonel Scotland?
   A.   I am talking about the figures of course, both in the
        English letter and in the German letter, June 4th.  I said
        it becomes more lurid with each subsequent version, first
        no gassings, then 50, then 15,000 in all.  I suggest brute
        force by interrogators perhaps.
   Q.   So you are quite prepared to accept that these accounts,
        he goes on on a subsequent page to give an account of
        gassings of crematorium (ii) in Berkenhau?
   A.   We have exactly same problem with Rudolf Hoess.  We know
        Rudolf Hoess was badly manhandled and no doubt he richly

.          P-43

        deserved it, but his account also became more lurid with
        each successive interrogation.
   Q.   Mr Irving, your answers are in danger of becoming
        characteristically inconsistent, if I may say so.  You
        were worried that Colonel Scotland may have tortured these
        numbers, or threatened to do so, out of Almeyer, is that right?
   A.   That is not actually what I said.  I said his account
        becomes more lurid with each successive interrogation.
        That is all one can safely say, looking at them, on the
        basis of a first blush look at the entire file.
   Q.   Let us start again, Mr Irving.  If this is a flawed
        account, and an obviously flawed account ----
   A.   In the opinion of your own expert witness.
   Q.   No.  If you only have to compare it with the rest of the
        evidence.  I know you have never done that, but it is, let
        me tell you, in certain respects unclear, confused and
        inaccurate.  The guts of it, however, I put to you a
        moment ago, are dangerous to revisionists.  If this
        account had been beaten or threatened out of this man by
        the brutal British interrogators, would you not think that
        they would have made it consistent with what else they knew?
   A.   That is perhaps what they were doing.
   Q.   Would you not think ----
   A.   Perhaps that is why it is marginally consistent with other

.          P-44

        accounts known at this time.  By this time, you have to
        remember, they already knew quite a lot from other
   Q.   Exactly.  So they would have made Almeyer get it right.
        They have not only got all the details right, they would
        have got the numbers right, would they not, Mr Irving?
   A.   What you mean?  Put in 2.8 million or some ----
   Q.   Whatever.  But 15,000?  That is pathetic, is it not?  That
        is not a very good answer to a threat of torture or
        torture itself, is it?
   A.   Maybe that was going to be in a later stage.  Maybe there
        was going to be an interrogation 5 or 6 when he came to
        Nuremberg into the shadow of the gallows.  This is a
        rather threadbare kind of argument.  We do not know what
        stage they reached in their coercion.
   Q.   Mr Irving, you have made a suggestion in this letter to
        your chums in the revisionist movement to the effect that
        this man gave a fallacious account because he was tortured
        or threatened with torture by the Brits.  You have
        absolutely no basis for that whatsoever.
   A.   Mr Rampton, when the time comes to cross-examine your
        expert witnesses, I shall be putting to them documents
        which show very clearly what methods were used to extract
        information from witnesses, including some of the most
        brutal and horrifying descriptions of what happened to the
        witnesses in the Malmedy trial.  I shall invite them to

.          P-45

        state whether they consider this kind of evidence is
   Q.   Mr Irving,, I am tempted myself to resort such methods to
        get a straight answer to my question, I have to say.  You
        have no evidential ----
   A.   It included, for example, crushing the testicles of 165
        out of 167 witnesses.  Is that what you are proposing to
        do to me?

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