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Copyright 2000 Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse
January 26, 2000, Wednesday  1:18 PM, Eastern Time

British historian repeats that Auschwitz had no gas chambers

DATELINE: LONDON, Jan 26

    Controversial British historian David Irving repeated during a libel case
here Wednesday his contention that the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, Poland,
never had gas chambers.

    Irving, the 62-year-old author of Hitler's War, told the High Court in
London that eyewitness evidence of gas chambers at Auschwitz was "totally
demolished" because there were no holes in the roof through which to insert
poison gas.

    Irving has brought a libel suit against US historian Deborah Lipstadt and
her editor Penguin Books alleging they damaged his career by describing him
as a "Holocaust denier."

      He says Lipstadt's 1994 book, 'Denying the Holocaust: The Growing
Assault on Truth and Memory,' alleges he denied the Holocaust and distorted
statistics and documents to serve his ideological aims and to reach
historically untenable conclusions.

    But the British historian himself told the court on January 12: "I deny
the gas chambers. I deny that the Germans killed millions in gas chambers."

    He also said he had removed the word "Holocaust" from the second edition
of his biography of Hitler because it was "misleading, offensive, and
untruthful."

    Irving maintained Wednesday that his theory "blows holes in the whole gas
chambers story," saying that the Nazis would not have filled in holes in an
attempt to erase evidence of their crimes, especially since they planned to
blow up the buildings.

    "I do not accept that the Nazis in the last frantic days of the camp,
when they were in a blue funk, would have gone around with buckets of cement
filling the holes that they were going to dynamite," he said.

    Irving was asked to explain February 1943 photos taken by a member of the
Waffen SS corps that show openings in the roof of Crematorium II, where
specialists say around 500,000 Jews perished.

    He replied that the picture was taken in December 1942 during work on the
building, and that the objects on the roof were drums containing sealant.

    Irving, who also wrote a biography of the Nazi propaganda chief Joseph
Goebbels, has been criticized for 20 years by anti-revisionist groups in
Europe who organize protests each time he arranges a book-promotion event.


Copyright 2000 Associated Press
AP Worldstream
January 26, 2000; Wednesday  11:31 AM Eastern Time

Auschwitz lacked facilities to use poison gas, says British writer

DATELINE: LONDON

Crematoria roofs at Auschwitz had no openings for the introduction of poison
gas, disproving witnesses' accounts that thousands of people were gassed to
death at the Nazi camp, a British writer told a libel hearing Wednesday.

    David Irving is suing American academic Deborah Lipstadt in the High
Court over her 1994 book, ''Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on
Truth and Memory,'' which he says maintains he denies the Holocaust and
distorted statistics.

    Irving says he doesn't deny the Holocaust, but says it has been
exaggerated and he challenges the number and manner of Jewish deaths in
concentration camps.

      Lipstadt, holder of the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and Holocaust
Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, and the publishers Penguin deny
libel.

    Irving said researchers who photographed the collapsed roof of
Auschwitz's Crematorium Two destroyed by the Nazis as Russian troops
approached found no holes for inserting gas.

    ''I do not accept that the Nazis, in the last frantic days of the camp,
when they were in a blue funk, would have gone around with buckets of cement
filling the holes that they were going to dynamite,'' said Irving.

    The writer, who is representing himself, clashed with Professor Robert
van Pelt, a historian who gave evidence for Lipstadt and Penguin.

    Van Pelt told the court there was ''massive amount of evidence'' that the
camp was used for mass murder, including witness accounts, photos and the
drawings of a sonderkommando, a Jewish inmate selected to work in the
crematoria.

    He referred judge Charles Gray to a photo taken by an SS man in February
1943 which showed openings on the newl roof of Crematorium Two. The defense
argues that these were linked to four columns which fed deadly Zyklon B
pellets into the crematorium.

    Irving, who says that the gas chambers were only used for delousing,
maintains the picture was taken in December 1942 during building works and
that the objects on the roof were drums containing sealant.

    Prof van Pelt also showed an aerial photo taken by the Americans in 1944
which clearly showed ''four dots'' on the roof of Crematorium Two, saying
these showed openings for gas. Irving questioned the authenticity of this
photo.

    Van Pelt cited drawings made in 1945-46 by surviving sonderkommando David
Olere, which showed openings for the introduction of the pellets into the
gas chamber at Crematorium Three in Auschwitz.

    Olere, he said, was a ''very experienced draughtsman and painter'' who
had a good visual memory.

    Irving argues that Olere's judgment was compromised by his ''prurient
interest'' in female bodies. The inclusion in the sketches of young naked
women meant Olere had planned to market the drawings, so they were
unreliable, Irving said.


Copyright 2000 Midland Independent Newspapers plc
Birmingham Post
January 26, 2000, Wednesday

'MASSIVE EVIDENCE OF ATROCITIES AT NAZI CAMP'

     An Auschwitz expert told the High Court yesterday that there was a
"massive amount of evidence" of mass extermination at the camp.

     Robert van Pelt, Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo
in Canada and author of Auschwitz, 1270 To The Present, said that evidence
had become slowly available during the Second World War through reports from
escaped inmates.

     It had become more substantial through eyewitness accounts immediately
after the camp's liberation and was confirmed by Polish forensic
investigations in 1945-46 and the confessions of leading German camp
personnel.

       He said it was "highly implausible" that the existence of the gas
chambers was a piece of "atrocity propaganda" fabricated by the British.

     The evidence that Auschwitz was equipped with homicidal gas chambers
which were systematically used between the summer of 1942 and autumn of 1944
had "emerged cumulatively from a convergence of independent accounts".

     It had become possible to assert as "moral certainty" the statement that
Auschwitz was an extermination camp where the Germans killed around one
million people with the help of gas chambers.

     Prof van Pelt was giving evidence for US academic Prof Deborah Lipstadt
and Penguin books in their defence of a libel action brought by historian
David Irving.

     The 62-year-old author of Hitler's War is seeking damages over a claim
that he is a "Holocaust denier" in Prof Lipstadt's 1994 book, Denying The
Holocaust: The Growing Assault On Truth And Memory.

     Mr Irving, who is representing himself before Mr Justice Gray, who is
hearing the lengthy case without a jury, denies the systematic extermination
of Jews in concentration camp gas chambers.

     Accused by the defendants of being "a liar and a falsifier of history",
he depends on a 1988 report by Fred Leuchter, who had taken samples from
ruins at Auschwitz and concluded that there were never homicidal gas
chambers there.

     Mr Irving says Prof Lipstadt's book has generated "waves of hatred"
against him.

     The hearing continues.


Copyright 2000 The Irish Times
The Irish Times
January 26, 2000

'Massive evidence' to contradict Irving

DATELINE: LONDON

     An Auschwitz expert told the High Court yesterday that there was a
"massive amount of evidence" of the use of the camp as a site for mass
extermination. Prof Robert van Pelt of the University of Waterloo in Canada
said evidence had become slowly available during the second World War
through reports from escaped inmates.

      He said it was "highly implausible" that the existence of the gas
chambers was a piece of "atrocity propaganda" fabricated by the British. The
evidence that Auschwitz was equipped with homicidal gas chambers had
"emerged cumulatively from a convergence of independent accounts". It had
become possible to assert as "moral certainty" the statement that Auschwitz
was an extermination camp.

    Prof van Pelt was giving evidence for American academic Prof Deborah
Lipstadt and Penguin Books in their defence of a libel action brought by the
historian Mr David Irving (62). Mr Irving is seeking damages over a claim
that he is a "Holocaust denier".


Copyright 2000 The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post
January 25, 2000, Tuesday

On eve of Stockholm conference. Holocaust deniers haven't made major impact
- AJC Survey.

Reuters  STOCKHOLM - Right-wing extremists' claims that the Holocaust did
not happen have reached a widespread audience around the world but failed to
convince people, surveys of Holocaust awareness in 11 countries showed
yesterday.

     The American Jewish Committee (AJC), releasing the survey results ahead
of a historic Holocaust conference beginning tomorrow, said the
interpretation of World War II events vary from country to country, but few
people deny the Holocaust.

     Prime Minister Ehud Barak leaves late tonight for Stockholm, where he
will join up to 700 delegates from 46 countries who are expected to attend
the January 26-28 conference, including German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder,
French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, and British Foreign Minister Robin Cook.

       The most recent survey, conducted in Sweden in December by pollster
Sifo for the AJC, found 86 percent of 1,000 people had heard these claims,
but only 1% believed it possible the mass slaughter of Jews during WWII
never happened.

     "But the fact people rewriting history get through to the population
like this is scary," Lena Posner-Korosi, president of the Stockholm Jewish
Community, told a news conference.

     The AJC's surveys, conducted from 1992 onwards, found 70% of
Australians, 67% of the French, about 60% of Germans and Austrians, and
about 50% of Britons and Americans had heard about Holocaust denial.

     In Britain this month, right-wing historian David Irving started a libel
action against American Prof. Deborah Lipstadt for asserting in her book,
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, that he is a
"Holocaust denier" who twisted history.

     The highest proportion of people who said it seemed possible the Nazi
extermination of six million Jews never happened was in East Germany, with
one out of every 10 believing this.

     Seven percent of Britons and Austrians, 5% of French, 4% of Australians,
2% of Russians, and 1% of Americans and Poles said it is possible the
Holocaust did not happen.

     "Germans cannot escape the reality of the Holocaust, but it was clear in
Austrian society there is a move to quietly try to put the issue aside,"
said AJC spokesman David Singer.

     "In Poland they know factually about the Holocaust, but see Jews as
secondary victims... of what is seen as a Polish tragedy.

     "The US is an embarrassment. Americans are people of goodwill... but
when it comes to factual knowledge, the knowledge levels are pathetically
low."

     The AJC is now conducting a survey in Switzerland and planning one in
Argentina and an update in the US Results from Czech Republic and Slovakia
surveys were not released.

     Singer said Swedes rated highly for Holocaust knowledge, which could be
due to a 1997 government education campaign, called Living History, set up
after a survey found 10% of schoolchildren did not know what the Holocaust
was.

     This successful campaign attracted international interest, prompting a
nine-nation task force on Holocaust education and this week's Stockholm
International Forum on the Holocaust.

     It will be the third international meeting on Holocaust issues since a
London conference on Nazi gold in 1997 and a Washington conference about
looted art in 1998.

     "The time is ripe. The survivors, the witnesses, are dying and there is
just a very short time left to learn for the future," said Posner-Korosi.

     Only countries from the two previous conferences were invited to
Stockholm, with Mexico added at its own request, but Swedish government
spokeswoman Kajsa Tiren said delegates would discuss holding another
conference with wider participation from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

###


BBC 01.26.00.

David Irving: Insists he is not a "Holocaust denier"
Gas chambers did not exist - historian

http://news2.thls.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid%5F619000/619619.stm

The existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz was completely
fictitious, historian David Irving has told London's High Court.

Mr Irving, 62, who is seeking libel damages for being branded a "Holocaust
denier", said eyewitness evidence of the chambers was "totally demolished"
because there were no holes in the roof to insert poison.

The historian said his theory - based on research by revisionist historians
- "blows holes in the whole gas chamber story".

Mr Irving is suing over Prof Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books over the
1994 book, Denying The Holocaust: The Growing Assault On Truth And Memory,
which he says has generated "waves of hatred" against him.

His claims about the non-existence of Auschwitz gas chambers were made as he
cross-examined Professor Robert van Pelt, who said there was a "massive
amount of evidence" of the camp's use for mass extermination.

Giving evidence for the author and publishers Prof van Pelt said that the
gas chambers were first dismantled and then dynamited when the gassings
stopped in November 1944 as the Russians advanced.

But Mr Irving said a number of "revisionist" researchers had entered the
ruins of Crematorium Two at Auschwitz, where Holocaust historians say
500,000 died, and photographed the collapsed underside of the roof - but
found no holes.

He says the gas chambers were used only to de-louse corpses and objects.

"I do not accept that the Nazis in the last frantic days of the camp, when
they were in a blue funk, would have gone around with buckets of cement
filling the holes that they were going to dynamite," he told the court.

Photographic evidence

Professor van Pelt says the evidence for gassing included eye-witness
accounts, photos and drawings from memory of a sonderkommando - a Jewish
inmate selected to work in the crematoria.

But Mr Irving said an SS photograph, which the professor says shows four
introduction columns for Zyklon B gas pellets, pictured drums containing
sealant for building work.

Prof van Pelt also relied on an aerial photo taken by the Americans in the
summer of 1944 which showed "four dots" on the roof of Crematorium Two which
again were introduction devices.

Mr Irving questioned the authenticity of the photo and said that whatever
the dots were, they were too big for the purpose put forward by the defence.

Prof van Pelt also cited the drawings, undertaken in 1945-46, of surviving
sonderkommando David Olere, which showed openings for the introduction of
the pellets into the gas chamber at Crematorium Three in Auschwitz.

But Mr Irving said Mr Olere's "prurient interest" in sketching naked women
meant the drawings were intended to be marketable and were therefore
unreliable.


TIMES London
http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/Times/frontpage.html

Irving disputes 'lurid' atrocity stories
BY MICHAEL HORSNELL

DAVID IRVING, the Hitler historian, challenged in the High Court yesterday
the credibility of evidence of Auschwitz survivors.

The veracity of Henryk Tauber, a Jew forced to work in the crematoriums,
stretched "a reasonable historian's credibility", he claimed. Mr Irving, 62,
who is suing Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic, and her publisher,
Penguin Books, for libel over her claim that he is a Holocaust-denier,
pointed to Tauber's eye-witness accounts of one Jew set alight with petrol
by the SS and another thrown into a pit of boiling human fat.

This was the sort of "lurid" evidence that should be open to more than
normal scrutiny, Mr Irving said during his cross-examination of Robert Van
Pelt, a Dutch Auschwitz expert. Mr Irving suggested that Tauber's
"precision" was prompted by the Polish authorities. But Professor Van Pelt
described the evidence as plausible.

According to further evidence he gave after his liberation, Tauber helped to
incinerate the corpses of up to 2,500 Greek, French and Dutch Jews a day in
Crematorium 2 at Auschwitz. Tauber said he saw cyanide pellets poured into
the gas chambers down small "chimneys".

But Mr Irving told Mr Justice Gray, sitting without a jury, that no
homicidal gas chambers existed at Auschwitz. Eyewitness evidence had been
"totally demolished" because there were no holes discernible in the roof of
the gas chambers.

Professor Van Pelt referred the judge to a photograph of February 1943
which, he said, showed openings above ground on the newly completed roof.

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.

===


Story Filed: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 6:05 PM EST
Accessed Via Northern Lights http://www.northernlight.com/

LONDON (AP) -- A British writer disputed historically-accepted witness
accounts that thousands were poisoned to death at Auschwitz, saying
Wednesday that the crematoriums at the notorious Nazi concentration camp 
had no openings to introduce gas.

David Irving, 62, is suing American academic Deborah Lipstadt in the High
Court over her 1994 book, ``Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on
Truth and Memory,'' which he says maintains he denies the Holocaust and
distorted statistics.

Irving has outraged Jews and other Holocaust survivors by saying the
Holocaust has been exaggerated and by challenging the number and manner of
Jewish concentration camp deaths under Adolf Hitler's regime. He is the
author of several books on the academic fringe, including ``Hitler's War.''

Lipstadt, holder of the Dorot Chair in Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies
at Emory University in Atlanta, and the publishers Penguin deny libel.

Under British law, a libel claimant only needs to prove that his reputation
has been damaged. Truth is not necessarily a defense.

Irving said researchers who photographed the collapsed roof of Auschwitz's
Crematorium Two -- destroyed by the Nazis as Russian troops approached --
found no holes for inserting gas.

But Prof. Robert van Pelt, a historian who gave evidence for Lipstadt and
Penguin, cited ``massive amounts'' of witness accounts, photos and the
drawings of a sonderkommando, a Jewish inmate selected to work at the
crematoria that proved the camp was used for mass murder.

He referred to several photos, including one taken by an SS man in February,
1943 which showed openings on the new roof of Crematorium Two that he said
fed deadly Zyklon B pellets into the crematorium.

Irving has addressed neo-Nazi groups in Austria and Germany. In 1992, German
authorities fined him for claiming the historically-accepted accounts of
German gas chambers was British ``propaganda.'' He is banned from Germany,
Canada and Australia.

The case, which began on Jan. 11, is expected to last 12 weeks.

###


Copyright 2000 The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post

January 27, 2000, Thursday
http://www.jpost.com/
Dutch expert backs Lipstadt in libel trial
BYLINE: Douglas Davis

LONDON - The history of Auschwitz continued to be examined yesterday as
revisionist David Irving pursued his libel action against Prof. Deborah
Lipstadt, of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Irving claims that Lipstadt libelled him in her book, Denying the Holocaust:
The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, published in Britain by Penguin Books.

He alleges that his career has been wrecked by Lipstadt's assertions that he
is a Holocaust denier and that he distorts historical data to conform with
his ideological predisposition.

Irving has denied in High Court that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were used
in a program of human extermination. He has also asserted that fewer than
100,000 Jews died at Auschwitz, mostly of natural causes.

But Auschwitz expert Prof. Robert Van Pelt told the court that there is
overwhelming evidence that a million Jews were exterminated in the death
camp by the Nazis.

Van Pelt, a Dutch historian attached to the University of Waterloo in
Canada, served as adviser to the Auschwitz authorities on the reconstruction
of the site.

He said the accumulated evidence and corroborating testimony that had
emerged since the war made it a "moral certainty" that the gas chambers were
the main instruments of murder at Auschwitz between the summer of 1942 and
the fall of 1944.

"It will be clear that, by early 1947, there was a massive amount of
evidence of the use of the camp as a site for mass extermination," said Van
Pelt. "This evidence had become slowly available during the war as the
result of reports by escaped inmates.

"It had become more substantial through the eyewitness accounts by former
Auschwitz inmates immediately after their liberation, and was confirmed in
the Polish forensic investigations undertaken in 1945 and 1946.

"Finally," he said, "this evidence was corroborated by confessions of
leading German personnel employed at Auschwitz during its years of
operation... In short, it has become possible to assert as moral certainty
the statement that Auschwitz was an extermination camp where the Germans
killed around one million people with the help of gas chambers."

Asked by Irving on cross-examination about the dangers of subjective
analysis of Auschwitz history, he said: "One's duty is to be unemotional and
objective but to remain human in the exercise."


Copyright 2000 The Jerusalem Post
The Jerusalem Post
January 26, 2000, Wednesday
http://www.jpost.com/
OPINION Fighting the deniers

The major international forum on the Holocaust opening today in Stockholm
should rank as one of the most important developments in Holocaust
remembrance and education of recent times.

Disturbing gains have been achieved in recent years in North America and
Europe by Holocaust-deniers and right- wing groups. The election victories
of Joerg Haider's party in Austria, the libel trial being waged in England
by Holocaust denier David Irving, and the American Republican Party's
silence in the face of Patrick Buchanan's statements that the US should have
avoided fighting World War II are only a few examples.

It is therefore all the more significant that the Stockholm International
Forum on the Holocaust is, for the first time, bringing together heads of
state and government representatives from throughout the world to discuss
the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust. It is gratifying that
recognition of the importance of remembering the Holocaust, delayed for far
too long, is finally taking place at such an international level.

The forum will focus on studying what can be learned from the Holocaust and
ways in which the study of these events can alert contemporary society to
the dangers of antisemitism and racism. Politicians from 45 nations will
seek ways of supporting education, remembrance, and research about the
Holocaust.

Given the fact that the generation that can give direct testimony on the
horrors of the Holocaust is dying off, it is most important for the
delegates to the forum to think of new ways to ensure that the Holocaust not
be forgotten. The Israeli delegation is preparing to suggest that Holocaust
education not concentrate solely on the Nazis' annihilation process, but
also the fact that each victim had an identity. A personalization of what
the victims had to struggle with, the personal responsibilities of
perpetrators, and the ethical questions raised will make it easier, it is
hoped, for future generations to begin comprehending the enormity of what
occurred in the heart of what was supposed to be an advanced European
civilization.

Most importantly, the participation of representatives from the political
level of various nations will be a rebuke to Holocaust deniers, who have
benefited for far too long from the willingness of leaders to look the other
way.

Austria, for example, forgot the large numbers of its young men who had
volunteered to join the Nazi Party and cultivated an image of itself as a
victim of Nazi takeover. The Swiss myths of noble neutrality were so firmly
entrenched that, when they were finally shattered over the last three years
by revelations of Jewish refugees facing death routinely denied asylum,
Swiss profiteering from the Nazi war machine, and the deliberate ignorance
of Swiss banks about funds deposited by Holocaust victims, the country went
into political convulsions. France is similarly still grappling with
uncovered evidence of the eager complicity with which officials of the Vichy
government agreed to Nazi demands that French Jews be deported to
concentration camps. And a dispute continues in Berlin over plans for the
erection of a Holocaust memorial in the old/new German capital.

This makes all the more remarkable the actions which Swedish Prime Minister
Goran Persson has chosen to take. Persson has not only insisted that Sweden
volunteer to host the forum - following the creation of a task force on
international cooperation on Holocaust education in May 1998 by Persson,
British Premier Tony Blair, and US President Bill Clinton - he is now
initiating a commission to study Swedish actions during the Holocaust,
indicating a willingness to uncover historical truths, even if they should
prove unpleasant.

Persson's initiatives are thus setting a personal example against those who
would deny the Holocaust. The only way to fight against Holocaust denial is
to squarely and honestly bring to light the historical facts. Cover-ups or a
willingness to overlook various historical truths on the part of national
leaders can only further fuel Holocaust-deniers. This is especially relevant
given the current libel suit in England which author David Irving has
brought against against Prof. Deborah Lipstadt of Atlanta's Emory
University, a skillful debunker of Holocaust denial claims. Because libel
laws in Britain place the burden of proof on the defendant, there is concern
in some circles that Irving - who has claimed that the crematoria at the
death camps were built as tourist attractions and stated that "only 100,000
Jews died at Auschwitz and of natural causes" - will win his case on a
technicality but claim vindication of his distorted historical views.

It is imperative that control of the past not be granted to those who would
turn away from the truth. The Swedish forum is one of the best ways of
combating Holocaust denial, and its timing could not be better. It will
hopefully succeed in all its aims and set a precedent for further such
forums on a regular basis.

###


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