Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day019.20 Last-Modified: 2000/07/24 Q. Let us approach from another angle then, Professor. You are aware of the fact that there are now substantial claims being made against the Swiss and American and German companies and so on for compensation? Have you any idea how many Holocaust survivors are now claiming compensation, a figure? A. I do not know. It depends what you mean by Holocaust survivors as well. Q. Well, if I say that the number of claimants is 450,000 now at the end of the 20th century, the beginning of the 21st century? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not know where you get that figure from. I think Professor Evans is entitled to say, well, on what basis are they claiming? Are they claiming . P-180 because they were in Auschwitz, in some other camp, or perhaps in no camp at all, they were dispossessed by the Nazis? MR IRVING: If they are Jewish Holocaust survivors, my Lord, and there is that number of them extant at the end of the 20th century, then you can do actuarial calculations backwards to work out roughly how many would have survived, given certain obvious adjustments you have to make for age and so on, that the older ones would have stayed behind, the younger ones would have emigrated, and you can come up with ball park figures. But the Professor has not done this kind of calculations, so there is no point asking him. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But your suggestion, therefore, is that these are 450,000 true Holocaust survivors in the sense that they come from one death camp or another? MR IRVING: They were Jews who were subject to the Holocaust as I defined it, which is one more reason why my definition is the right one, that they were Jews who were subjected to the Nazi atrocities during the period of the Third Reich of whatever kind. MR RAMPTON: I am sorry, I simply do not understand this. If this is about claims against Swiss Banks who are holding or have held property taken from victims of the Holocaust, we might be talking about the great grandchildren of people who survived who had a claim on the property. . P-181 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what was going through my mind. MR IRVING: And also the slave labourers, the great grandchildren of the slave labourers cannot claim compensation. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us go back to where we started. You were suggesting that the bulk, or a very large proportion, of the people in Auschwitz disappeared because they went secretly to Israel and I think Professor Evans ---- MR IRVING: My Lord, I have not said either the bulk or a very large portion. I just said part. This is what I was trying to nail the witness down on when he says, "Irving claimed that the Jews who disappeared did not die", what he meant by the Jews. Obviously it does not mean all of them. He is meaning part of them. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Leave aside the exact number. He is saying that he does not accept that there was any evidence for that statement, and I have not got clear when you first saw this report you have talked about by the Haganah. When did you first see that? MR IRVING: Seven or eight years ago my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Was that the source for your claim? MR IRVING: Yes, very definitely. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And that says? What is its conclusion in terms of numbers? MR IRVING: The American Military Forces described how the Haganah, operating in conjunction with the United Nations . P-182 Rescue and Relief Agency, visited all the displaced persons camps, very well organized, with walkie-talkie radios and trucks picking up all the Jewish victims from those camps, loading them on board, and then they vanished sunset. MR JUSTICE GRAY: My question was really about numbers. How many are we talking about? MR IRVING: The report, I would have to have another look at the report to give your Lordship a number, but it was sufficiently important to have a 250-page report on it written by the American Government Military authorities. I adduce this purely as one way in which one cannot look at pure figures, because there are leaks, if I can put it like that. A. Let me just make two points, if I may. One is you are presenting evidence of this report which I have not seen, I have not had the opportunity to see, so I do not know whether your account of what is in it is accurate or not and I really cannot comment on it. The second is that you do not cite it when you gave this particular speech. As far as the numbers, again you plucked, you have presented a number of what you describe as "Holocaust survivors" who have claims of one sort or another against banks and so on elsewhere, and I quote you have alleged that large numbers of so-called Holocaust survivors, as you have described, have made it up, put tattoos on their own arms and so on. . P-183 MR IRVING: I shall have to turn the tables on you and say that, if you are going to suggest that I said large numbers have done that, then I would ask you to provide any evidence for that assertion. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You said one lady and you said she was not atypical. MR IRVING: I said she may have very well have a genuine tattoo on her name. I think those were the precise words I used about Mrs Altemann, that may very well be a genuine tattoo on your arm. If I can now pick up the other point that I did not provide a reference for this episode in my speech, one does not put footnotes in speeches. A. No, you but you say where you get the evidence from in a speech. Q. Can I now move on, in the spirit of his Lordship's desire for progress, paragraph 21, you say that my allegations of this nature derive ultimately from the Holocaust denier Paul Rassinier. A. Yes. Q. Have you any evidence at all that I have ever read the works of Paul Rassinier? A. You did write an afterword to one of his books, which I find it difficult to believe you wrote without having read it. Q. Professor, believe. That is all I can say. That fact that I am invited to write an afterword on a particular . P-184 topic for a book which I then deliver without reading the book should not surprise anyone? A. It does not say very much for your responsibility as historian, Mr Irving. Q. I have no responsibility at all whatsoever for the content of somebody's book if I am invited to write an historical afterword on it and, if you know the content of that afterword, you see that it no bore no resemblance or relationship to what was in the book at all. Do you agree with that? A. You did have some very kind words to say about Mr Rassinier in your afterword. You have a rather obscure but very positive introductory paragraph talking about his work, and I find it quite extraordinary that you would write such a thing without actually having read it. Q. Will you tell court what we know about Paul Rassinier? Was he a right-wing extremist? A. It is in my report. I have a few paragraphs about him a bit further on. Q. Was he a right-wing extremist? A. He was one of the earliest and most important Holocaust deniers. Q. Was he a right-wing extremist? A. I am not sure about his politics. Q. Or was he in fact a communist, a left winger, who was incarcerated in Auschwitz because of his political views? . P-185 A. Initially, yes. I think that is why he went into Auschwitz. I do not think that is how he came out. Q. He is a kind of eyewitness with first hand experience, is he? A. Yes, he is a curious and interesting figure. Q. A curious and interesting figure? A. --- who seems to have been, I am trying to find my references to it. It is on page 192 of my report. Rassinier was a Holocaust denier who published his book with Grabert Verlag, which is a well-known Holocaust denial publishing house in Germany. Q. Everybody in your vocabulary is a Holocaust denier, Holocaust denial, right-wing extremist? A. I did not say right-wing extremist. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let the witness finish his answer. A. This what this trial in part is about. Q. Is it more significance that in fact he was a left winger who was incarcerated in Auschwitz because of his political views? A. It seems that he was beaten up by a communist fellow prisoner for having failed to pay his respects to the former German communist leader Thalmann, who was in the camp, and that this seems to have turned him against the communist party, and that he seems to have been well treated by the an SS guard. Certainly after the war he defended the SS and started to deny the existence of gas . P-186 chambers, asserting that the Jews are mainly responsible for starting the second world war and so on. Q. Unlike yourself and myself, this was a man who had been in Auschwitz and so possibly his word deserves some kind of respect. A. I am not sure he was in Auschwitz. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Buchenwald, was he not? A. Buchenwald I think. MR IRVING: I think he was also in Auschwitz at some stage. Anyway he was in the German concentration camp system and he wrote about it. A. That is why I consider it a curious case that he had the views that he had. Q. And I therefore did the wrong thing by writing an afterword to his book? A. I certainly think you did the wrong thing in writing an afterword to his book without actually having read the thing and making statements about the book in that afterword. Q. Did I say in my afterword I have read this book and find it jolly good? A. I think one assumes it. You said things about Rassinier's views in your afterword which makes me assume that you are familiar with them. Q. I am familiar with them to the extent that I have just described them to the court. He was a left winger who was . P-187 sent to the concentration camp for his political views. A. So you were familiar with his views then on the Holocaust. Q. I have always known the fact that he has been a doubter and I see no reason at all why I should ---- A. I find it difficult to know what we are disputing here in that case. Q. What we are disputing is on what basis you say that my views derived from Paul Rassinier? A. I said ultimately. I am quite prepared to accept that there may have been intervening stages for his views. For example ---- Q. If I have never read any of his books, how can my views as far as the death roll and anything else possibly have derived from Mr Rassinier? You now accept that this is just another of your wild and unsubstantiated assertions, is it not? A. No, because his views then became taken up into the general discourse of this particular -- I do not want to keep using the words "Holocaust denial" but I suppose it is unavoidable -- that they were represented by a number of other people. Q. He just wanted to shoe horn his name in somehow, is that right? A. The idea is in his book and in his work it is put forward by you, the same view, and it seems therefore reasonable to conclude that somehow it has found its way from him to . P-188 you, since it has no evidential basis. Q. On page 120 now -- we will leave Mr Rassinier -- at paragraph 24, you say what Irving did concede in his 1992 speech was that there were some authorised mass shootings on the Eastern Front. A. Unauthorized. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What page? MR IRVING: Page 120, my Lord, of his report. You say that I conceded this in 1992. Had I ever denied that there had been shootings on the Eastern Front? Does not the word "concede" imply that I was now reversing a previously held stand or conviction? A. No. I did not mean it to. I made it quite clear that you say this repeatedly, that there were unauthorized mass shootings of Jews behind the Eastern front. Q. In other words you have used the word "conceded" as just another loaded word you can use to help put some spice in the paragraph and flavour---- A. I do not think it is that spicey, Mr Irving.
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