Guardian / Observer http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/irving/article/0,2763,129277,00.html Gas chambers 'that never were' Special report: the David Irving libel trial Thursday January 27, 2000 Witness evidence of gas chambers at Auschwitz was "totally demolished" because there were no holes in the roof through which to insert poison, the historian David Irving told the high court yesterday. Mr Irving, the 62-year-old author of Hitler's War, who is seeking libel damages for being called a "Holocaust denier" and a "falsifier of history", said that his theory "blows holes in the whole gas chambers story". "Revisionist" researchers had entered the ruins of crematorium two at Auschwitz, in which Holocaust historians say 500,000 died, and photographed the collapsed underside of the roof - but found no holes. "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." Mr Irving, who is representing himself, was cross-examining Robert van Pelt, who has said that there was a "massive amount of evidence" of the camp's use for mass extermination. Prof van Pelt has said that the gas chambers were dismantled and then dynamited when the gassing stopped in November 1944 as the Russians advanced. Giving evidence for the American academic Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books, who are fighting Mr Irving's action, he says the evidence for gassing included witness accounts, photographs and drawings from memory of a sonderkommando - a Jewish inmate selected to work in the crematoria. He referred Mr Justice Gray to a photograph taken by an SS man in February 1943 which showed openings above ground on the newly completed roof of crematorium two with a cover on top of them. The defence case is that these projections were from four introduction columns through which Zyklon B pellets were passed. Mr Irving, who says that the gas chambers were only used to de-louse corpses, claimed the picture was taken in December 1942 during building works and that the objects were drums of sealant. Prof van Pelt also relied on an aerial photograph taken by the Americans in the summer of 1944 which showed "four dots" on the roof of crematorium two. He said that this showed clearly that there were "introduction devices" on top of the building. Mr Irving questioned the authenticity of the photograph and said the dots were too big for the purpose put forward by the defence. The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow. Auschwitz had no gas chambers, says historian http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Electric Telegraph Dateline London Jan 27 EYEWITNESS evidence of the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz was "totally demolished" because there were no holes in the roof through which to insert poison, the historian David Irving told the High Court yesterday. Mr Irving, the 62-year-old author of Hitler's War, who is seeking libel damages for being called a "Holocaust denier", said his theory "blows holes in the whole gas chambers story". He said a number of "revisionist" researchers had entered the ruins of Crematorium Two at Auschwitz, in which Holocaust historians say 500,000 died. They photographed the collapsed underside of the roof but found no holes. He said: "I do not accept that the Nazis, in the last frantic days of the camp, would have gone around filling the holes that they were going to dynamite." Mr Irving, who is representing himself, made the comments while cross-examining Prof Robert van Pelt, who has said that there was a "massive amount of evidence" of the camp's use for mass extermination. Prof van Pelt has said that the gas chambers were first dismantled and then dynamited when the gassings stopped in November 1944 as the Russians advanced. He was giving evidence for the American academic Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin books, who are fighting Mr Irving's action. He said the evidence for gassing included eyewitness accounts, photographs and drawings from memory of a sonderkommando - a Jewish inmate selected to work in the crematoria. He referred Mr Justice Gray to an SS photograph taken in February 1943 which showed openings on the roof of Crematorium Two with a cover on top of them. The defence case is that these projections were from four introduction columns through which Zyklon B pellets travelled. Mr Irving, who says that the gas chambers were used only to de-louse corpses and objects, claimed that the picture was taken in December 1942 during building works and that the objects on the roof were drums of sealant. Prof van Pelt also relied on an aerial photograph taken by the Americans in the summer of 1944 showing "four dots" on the roof of Crematorium Two. He said that this showed that there were "introduction devices" on top of the building. Mr Irving questioned the authenticity of the photograph 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 a sonderkommando David Olere, which showed openings for the introduction of the pellets into the gas chamber at Crematorium Three. Mr Irving argued that the inclusion in the sketches of nubile naked women meant that they were intended to be marketable and were therefore unreliable. Mr Irving is suing over Prof Lipstadt's 1994 book, Denying The Holocaust: The Growing Assault On Truth And Memory. Accused by the defendants of being "a liar and a falsifier of history", he depends on a 1988 report by a man called 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. Mr Irving said the defence's "so-called" eyewitnesses were a relatively small number for the large proposition at stake. Apart from that, he said, there was not "a single document of any credible worth" which explicitly set out the defence case in all the "hundreds of thousands" of papers in the Auschwitz museum and the Moscow archives. He submitted that his position on the Holocaust was justifiable and not perverse. ASSOCIATED PRESS Wednesday January 26 6:10 PM ET http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000126/wl/britain_holocaust_suit_2.html Also in Thursday's New York Times 01.26.00. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/i/AP-Britain-Holocaust-Suit.html Writer: Auschwitz Lacked Gas Vents 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. Meeting: Improve Holocaust Education By The Associated Press http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/i/AP-Sweden-Holocaust-Conference.html STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- In the first such international gathering of its kind, world leaders and activists came together Wednesday to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive in the face of rising neo-Nazism. Prompted by a lack of awareness among youth, the Swedish government organized the forum as part of a Holocaust education campaign in its own country. Six million Jews and 5 million others -- including Gypsies and homosexuals -- were killed during World War II at the hands of Nazi Germany and its supporters. ``In another few years, the generation of the Holocaust, the living witnesses, will be gone,'' Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak told some 600 delegates. ``Even now, Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis ... are operating in the open.'' As he spoke, three neo-Nazis were on trial in the southern Swedish city of Helsingborg, charged with distributing racist videos and compact discs. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said that education was imperative ``so that ordinary people shall never again ... turn ordinary places into execution chambers.'' Schroeder, speaking in German, warned against the spread of Neo-Nazism in Europe and said increased international cooperation and the use of police and the judiciary were needed to fight racism. The three-day conference opened with Holocaust survivor Tana Ross, who read a poem about the need to speak out. The meeting was the first of its kind to bring together world leaders and activists to discuss the Holocaust, and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel suggested Sweden make it an annual event. ``Why not declare that this is only the first,'' he said. ``From now on have an annual Stockholm conference on humanity and conscience.'' Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson, who was applauded by the forum for inroads he has made in World War II education, agreed to work to create an annual forum. ``The danger lies in our failure to learn from history; our failure to see the connection,'' Persson said. The conference comes at a time when Sweden is reevaluating its wartime role and confronting increasingly visible neo-Nazi activity. A 1997 survey showed that nearly one-third of youths between the ages of 12 and 18 did not believe the Holocaust happened. However, questions have been raised recently about the survey's numbers and the way it was conducted. The forum coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Day -- marked on Thursday in several countries -- and ceremonies were to be held at Stockholm's largest synagogue and in parliament. The World Jewish Congress ended two days of meetings in Stockholm on Wednesday that focused on the distribution of funds from legal settlements over slave labor for Holocaust survivors and their relatives. The congress honored Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved up to 20,000 Jews in Budapest, Hungary, from deportation to Nazi death camps. Wallenberg's sister, Nina Lagergren, accepted a human rights award on his behalf. Wallenberg was arrested in 1945 by the Soviet Red Army on suspicion of being a spy. He allegedly died of a heart attack in prison, but the cause of death has been disputed and World Jewish Congress President Edgar Bronfman called on Russia to open its archives on the matter. *** Jewish Telegraphic Agency Holocaust revisionist dismisses evidence of Auschwitz gas chambers By Douglas Davis http://jta.virtualjerusalem.com/index.exe?0001281 LONDON, Jan. 27 (JTA) =97 A Holocaust revisionist who is suing a U.S. historian for libel has dismissed eyewitness accounts, drawings and photographs of Auschwitz gas chambers that showed vents in the roof through which lethal gases were introduced. David Irving, who is suing Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Jewish studies at Emory University in Atlanta, and her British publisher, Penguin Books, for libel, insisted at his trial this week that there were no such vents and that their absence "totally demolished" evidence that the gas chambers were used to kill inmates at Auschwitz. He asserted that the Nazis used the Auschwitz gas chambers solely for the purpose of delousing corpses and their clothing. The comments by Irving, who is representing himself, came in the course of cross-examining Auschwitz expert Robert Van Pelt. Irving, who is seeking damages, claims to have been professionally ruined after being described as a Holocaust denier and a distorter of historical data to conform with his own ideological disposition in Lipstadt's 1994 book "Denying The Holocaust: The Growing Assault On Truth And Memory." Van Pelt, a Dutch historian who works at the University of Waterloo in Canada, served as adviser to the Auschwitz authorities on the reconstruction of the site, which was demolished by the Germans in late 1944 and early= 1945. Van Pelt referred to an SS photograph taken in February 1943 that showed openings on the roof of Crematorium II at Auschwitz through which lethal Zyklon-B pellets were introduced into the gas chambers. But Irving, who is defending himself, claimed that the picture was taken during building works in December 1942 and that the objects on the roof were drums of sealant. Van Pelt also produced an aerial photograph taken by the Americans in the summer of 1944 that showed "four dots" =97 which he described as= "introduction devices" =97 on the roof of Crematorium II. But Irving questioned the authenticity of the photograph and said that the dots were too big for such a purpose. Irving also said the testimony of Henryk Tauber, a Jewish inmate forced to work in Crematorium II, stretched "a reasonable historian's credibility." He dismissed as "lurid" Tauber's eyewitness accounts of how he saw the SS set one Jew on fire and throw another into a pit of boiling human fat =97= and he rejected Tauber's description of how he had helped to incinerate the corpses of up to 2,500 Greek, French and Dutch Jews a day in Crematorium II. He also rejected Tauber's contention that he had seen cyanide pellets poured into the gas chambers through small "chimneys." He was unmoved, too, by an account of a "field of ashes" from human remains, some of which was spread on icy roads to assist the passage of vehicles. According to Irving, a number of revisionist researchers had entered the ruins of Crematorium II, where Holocaust historians have determined that 500,000 people were slaughtered. The revisionists, said Irving, photographed the collapsed underside of the roof but found no vents, which, he contended, "blows holes in the whole gas chambers story." "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 High Court in London. Irving has denied that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were used for human extermination, and he has insisted that fewer than 100,000 Jews died =97 mostly of natural causes =97 at Auschwitz, which he has sought to portray as= a particularly brutal labor camp. But Van Pelt told the court there was "a massive amount of evidence" that 1 million Jews were systematicallly exterminated in the death camp by the= Nazis. He said the accumulated evidence and corroborating testimony that had emerged since World War II 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," he said. "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." Confessions given by leading German personnel at the camp included that of SS officer Pery Broad, who testified to gassings and burning of corpses, and former camp commandant Rudolf Hoess. The court also learned that there was also evidence from the 1961 Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, documentary evidence of the construction of the camp, including workers' time sheets, plans, photographs and scientific studies of cyanide compounds in the walls of the gas chambers. "In short," Van Pelt said, "it has become possible to assert as moral certainty the statement that Auschwitz was an extermination camp where the Germans killed around 1 million people with the help of gas chambers." Questioned by Irving, Van Pelt said he had been "more than deeply moved" by his experience of visiting Auschwitz. "I was frightened," he said. "I don't believe in ghosts. I have never seen any at Auschwitz. But it is an awesome place and an awesome responsibility as an historian." Asked by Irving about the dangers of conducting historical work at Auschwitz, Van Pelt responded, "One's duty is to be unemotional and objective but to remain human in the exercise." === Irving says chambers `had no holes for gas' Severin Carrell 01/27/2000 The Independent - London http://www.independent.co.uk/ (Copyright 2000 Newspaper Publishing PLC) CLAIMS THAT 500,000 Jews were gassed at Auschwitz were "totally demolished" by the fact that no one had shown how the gas was injected into the chambers, the historian David Irving said yesterday. Mr Irving told the High Court that several "revisionist" historians who questioned the scale of the Holocaust had photographed the ruins of the Auschwitz gas chambers without finding any evidence of holes in the roof used to insert poison gas. That evidence, based on visits to Crematorium Two, "blew holes in the whole gas chambers story", he claimed. Mr Irving, 62, was speaking as he continued his libel action against an American academic, Deborah Lipstadt , and Penguin Books, over her accusations in a book published in 1994 that he is a "Holocaust denier". Mr Irving said: "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. Mr Irving, who is representing himself, cross-examined Professor Robert van Pelt, appearing for Ms Lipstadt and Penguin, over his insistance that there was a "massive amount of evidence" of the camp's use for mass extermination. During detailed debate yesterday over atrocities committed at Auschwitz, Professor van Pelt argued that the gas chambers were first dismantled and then dynamited when the gassings stopped in November 1944 as the Russians advanced. The evidence included eye-witness accounts, aerial photographs taken by US surveillance flights in 1944 and drawings from memory of a sonderkommando - a Jewish inmate selected to work in the crematoriums. One photograph by an SS man in February 1943 also showed openings above ground on the newly completed roof of Crematorium Two with a form of cover on top. The defence claims these projections were from four introduction columns through which Zyklon B pellets travelled. Mr Irving, who says that the gas chambers were used only to de- louse corpses and objects, claims the picture was taken in December 1942 during building works and that the objects on the roof were drums of sealant. But Professor van Pelt said drawings from 1945-46 by the sonderkommando, a very experienced draughtsman called David Olere, showed openings for injecting the pellets into the gas chamber at Crematorium Three. The case continues.
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