Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day017.18 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Yes, would the existence of a Fuhrer order in his mind have let him off the hook? "I was only acting on orders", would that have let Eichmann off the hook in his own mind if there was a Fuhrer order? A. It would have been a defence after being arrested, but if he says it before that, I think it is a reflection of his feeling that he had been carrying out a very major Hitler order. Q. Is it evident from these papers that he wrote or dictated to the journalist, Sassen, while in the underground in Argentina while hiding that he was aware that there was a worldwide hue and cry searching for him? A. I do not know how much he was aware of. It is very strange that the man who, obviously, had fled to Argentina because he knew he was hunted would talk to a journalist. What sort of self-destruction wish he had, I do not know, but it was very strange behaviour for someone, but certainly not an indication that he would then take the opportunity to lie. Q. Would you not agree that it is possible that he was either consciously or unconsciously creating an alibi for himself, rehearsing the alibi he would used when he was caught or if he was caught? A. No, I do not think he would be increasing his chances of . P-159 getting caught by trying to establish an alibi when if you kept your mouth shut he would not be caught in the first place. Q. Is it not evident that Sassen had a commercial interest in marketing these papers and that he sold them to a major New York magazine? A. He did sell them to Life magazine. What his motive was earlier, I do not know. Q. So, in fact, we do not know whether Eichmann actually made that confession or whether it was incorporated by the journalist? A. Well, we do have -- the Israelis have the transcripts of the tapes in which he made handwritten notations, and I would have to look at those to find if there was a huge discrepancy. I think the one discrepancy in the Life magazine report, as opposed to what he consistently says in his other testimony, is that they portray his visit to Belzec where he talks about there is a camp in a sense under construction, I think the Life magazine account talks of this being already in operation. My guess is that that is a Sassen invention to make it more spiffy. Q. Who was Kurt Gerstein? A. Kurt Gerstein was a covert anti-Nazi in the SS who was in the hygienic department. Q. What makes you suggest that he was a covert anti-Nazi? A. He had joined and then been expelled from the Nazi Party . P-160 and then, at least in his own account, got back into the SS because he had heard of the euthanasia programme and he wanted to find out more. Q. You say "in his own account", when was his account written to which you are referring? A. The accounts that he gave that he writes are dated in late April and early May 1945. He also had conversations with others that have been related to us later, would be his statements at a time earlier than 1945. Q. Would it be to his advantage after World War II to establish or to maintain the position that he had been a covert anti-Nazi? A. Certainly, lots of people claimed that they were anti-Nazis who were not, and the question then is you have to look, is this a bona fide claim or not? Certainly, lots of people were claiming that, and that would be one question you would have to put to the evidence. If you have other people such as Bishop Dalias(?) who said Gerstein came to him in 1942 or '43 and corroborates his anti-Nazi stance, then you would lend more credibility to the 1945 statement as opposed to someone who had been killing Jews over the years and then suddenly poses as an anti-Nazi in 1945. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Was he tried? A. Gerstein? He was arrested and sent to a French prison where he died, and the French prison ruled it as suicide. . P-161 Some have voiced suspicion that he was killed by fellow prisoners as a traitor. MR IRVING: Kurt Gerstein is used or relied upon as an important eyewitness, or was relied upon as an important eyewitness, for various camps or killing operations. Is that right? A. He is relied upon, as far as I know, for Belzec and Treblinka. Q. For Belzec and Treblinka, because he visited these camps? A. This is the visits to the camps, yes, that he says he visited these camps and I am sure we will get into why I credit that. Q. What was his actual position in the SS? A. One of the things he was doing was delivering Zyklon-B to places for fumigation. Q. He was head of the SS pest control office, can we say, their fumigation or hygiene department? A. Their fumigation department, I think we can say that, yes. Q. I mean in the non-homicidal sense ---- A. Yes. Q. --- a straightforward meaning of the word. So he visited these camps. Was he delivering anything to these camps? A. According to his account, he brought out Zyklon-B to Lublin to fumigate the clothing that was there and then went on to Belzec and Treblinka, and that in his account at Belzec, I think it is, he buries the rest of the . P-162 Zyklon-B and does not deliver that to the camp. Q. You talk about "in his account". How many accounts were written by Mr Gerstein, to your knowledge? A. I think there are a number of drafts and notes, but, in general, in terms of the finished product, we have the French version and the German version and maybe even two French versions, but how many -- I have not seen the actual notes. I do not know how many drafts that we might count as a version, but ---- Q. There is no question as to the authenticity. He was the author of these ---- A. I do not believe that has been challenged. Q. Are you familiar with the work of a French academic called Henry Rocques? R-O-C-Q-U-E-S, I think it is. A. I have not read his work. I have heard the name. Q. You have heard the name. Did he write a dissertation on the various reports by Kurt Gerstein in order to obtain a PhD? A. I believe so -- I have heard that. Q. Was he awarded a doctorate on the basis of these, initially? A. I believe initially. Q. On the basis of his PhD thesis. Did he keep his doctorate? A. I believe not. Q. What was the problem? . P-163 A. I think somebody said the document did not deserve a PhD and it was looked into and they withdrew it. Q. So the university decided to knuckle under pressure, am I right? A. I believe you could say that the university discovered somebody had let through a very sloppy dissertation and decided that they had better get their house in order. Q. Do these things happen often? Are people often stripped of their doctorates? A. Not very often. Q. Does it happen very often in France? A. I do not know. Q. Does it happen largely to revisionist historians? A. I know of this case. I do not know of any other. Q. Professor Faurisson, are you familiar with the case? A. I do not believe he has had his dissertation withdrawn. Q. Did he have his Professorship removed from him? A. I believe he is suspended from teaching but I do not know that he had the position terminated. I do not know. Q. To get back to Gerstein, is it right that Henry Rock, in writing his dissertation discovered no fewer than seven different versions of the Gerstein report? A. I cannot answer that. Q. And that he obtained also access in the French police files to all the private letters that Gerstein had written? . P-164 A. That I do not know. Q. Not that either. Is it not surprising that your Holocaust historian, you have not read his PhD dissertation which relies on these papers? A. Well, I have not seen the PhD dissertation, and it is not in circulation that I know of. Q. Like most PhD dissertations, it can be obtained from the university, can it not? A. If it has been withdrawn, I do not know. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am not going to stop you, but this is all slightly Alice in Wonderland, is it not? For the reason we went through before, you accept there were gas chambers so criticising Gerstein for saying there were is slightly limited value, I think. Do not take it too slowly. MR IRVING: A well deserved reprimand, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not a reprimand. MR IRVING: Can I take you to page 50 of your report, please? A. Yes. Q. I want you to look at the second version of page 50, which contains the bold type on it. Your Lordship said in November you would interleave the pages? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have done that and I have crossed out the superseded one. A. My account does not have bold type. MR IRVING: It does not have bold type? . P-165 A. No. Q. In the new version you interpolated certain sentences. A. I can get my own version and I believe I may be able to use that. MR IRVING: My Lord, I shall be another half hour at most. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not hurry. I really mean that. I am not seeking to hurry you, just to guide you to the areas which I think are of greater significance. MR IRVING: Is it fair to say that, after you wrote your report initially, you realized that you had omitted, either accidentally or wilfully, certain passages which, if included, would have cast grave doubt on the reliability of this man as a witness? A. What happened is that I in fact sent a draft, mistakenly you were sent what was not my final report, and, when I got back, it was clear that things that I had put in were not included. One of the things was that I was able to look at both the French and the German reports and the French has some exaggerations not included in the German, and I then amended mine and I emphasised further the elements ---- Q. I do urge you, before you continue, to consider your replies carefully, because the tenor of each of these interpolations is very much material that has been previously left out or not included which, if left in, would have totally destroyed the veracity of this report . P-166 or certainly tended to undermine it. In other words, it all tends the same way. It is not random omissions. It is all that kind of document, right? That kind of omission? A. The ones that were added were the cases that highlighted exaggerations in Gerstein, that on reflection I felt should go in. Q. According to Gerstein, I am reading from the middle of paragraph 184.108.40.206, new version, this is the sentence which you omitted but have now put in: "According to Gerstein Globocnik also claimed with great exaggeration Belzec Treblinka and Sobibore respectively 15,000, 25,000 and 20,000 Jews were killed daily with diesel exhaust gas". A. Yes. Q. Do you consider those figures to be reliable? A. No. I think they are not reliable at all. Q. Rather lower down that same paragraph, we have a 45 wagon transport arriving from Woolf with 6,700 Jews, of whom 1,450 were already dead. That is about the same kind of proportion, is it not, 20 per cent? A. That is similar to the Versterman report and, given the conditions under which the Galetian transports were coming, I do not consider that to be an exaggeration or, on the face of it, outrageous. Q. This was in your original report. What would have happened to those 1,450 corpses? Would they have been . P-167 dragged into the camp and disposed of? A. I can only speculate, but my guess would be that after the entire operation was over they would then bring the dead bodies from the transports. That would have been the last clean up item when they had finished liquidating the transport. Q. Now we have, "The Jews were forced to undress who arrived on this transport", and then comes a parenthesis that you originally left out, "the piles of shoes were allegedly 25 metres high". Is that from the Gerstein report? A. That is from Gerstein report. Q. 25 metres is, what, 80 feet? A. Yes, it would be. Q. About as tall as that building out there, probably? A. I do not know, but it clearly is an exaggeration.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor