The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

"May it please the Court..."
David Irving's Closing Remarks

(Part 4 of 7)


The eyewitnesses, in my submission, have turned out ----

MR RAMPTON: No, I am sorry, that is one error that cannot be allowed to pass. There is a fourth leg, forensic chemical analysis both in 1945, 1988 and 1994.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just to elaborate that, of Leichenkeller I and crematorium II?

MR RAMPTON: Yes, Leichenkeller I at crematorium II by the Krakov forensic laboratory in December 1945, which found traces of cyanide on the ventilation covers by MR Leuchter's analysts.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Ventilation covers from where?

MR RAMPTON: From Leichenkeller I in crematorium II. If one looks at the report, it is as clear as anything.Leuchter himself, of course, in 1988, and Professor Markowitz at Krakov in 1994.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you.

MR RAMPTON: They are all in the evidence.

MR IRVING: My Lord, I will ask your Lordship when the time comes to look at that forensic evidence and to ask yourself the obvious question, what is the proof that these items came from that building?

MR RAMPTON: Leuchter is certainly proof, because MR Irving relies on him.

MR IRVING: Then we have to look at the actual figures and the concentrations. If I can now continue with my three legs, my three-legged argument?

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, do. Eyewitnesses?

MR IRVING: The eyewitnesses have turned out to be liars, particularly those who testified to the SS guards opening manhole covers on top of the flat roof of Leichenkeller No. I (mortuary No. 1), and tipping tins of Zyklon B pellets in through the holes. One witness was David Olere, an artist who drew sketches years later in Paris, to which MR Rampton has also referred, obviously intending to sell them. His sketches show flames and smoke belching from the crematorium chimney of crematorium No. II, which goes purely to the credibility of the witness, which was quite impossible. He portrays the victims. Your Lordship will remember that I asked Professor van Pelt to calculate the length, the path, from the furnace doors to the top of the chimney, and how long that flame would have had to be. He portrays the victims of the Nazi killers mostly as nubile young females, all naked and sketched in a pornographic way, often clutching naked teenaged children to their breasts. It was Olere I invite the court to remember, who told Jean-Claude Pressac that the SS made sausage in the crematoria out of human flesh (a passage which MR Van Pelt did not inform us of in his expert report). Another witness is Ada Bimko, who proved at the Belsen trial that she too had lied. Entering another gas chamber building at Auschwitz she said she had "noticed two pipes which I was told contained the gas. There were two huge metal containers containing gas". She evidently did not know that the "gas" supposed to have been used, Zyklon-B, was actually in pellet form, not cylinders. Distorting her account too, van Pelt omitted also this part of her testimony. Dr Bendel, another of van Pelt's eyewitnesses, stated that at crematorium IV the people crowded into the gas chamber found the ceilings so low that the impression was given that the roof was falling on their heads. This too was untrue, as the court has seen how high these ceilings were in the computer-generated "walk through". The court will find that in my cross-examination of van Pelt I destroyed the worth of each supposed eyewitness after eyewitness in the same way, if I can summarize it like that.

Let us first look for those holes that they talked about. My Lord, your Lordship will remember that I had the big photograph of that roof photographed from a helicopter quite recently, standing here for some days or weeks. The roof pillars beneath the roof were blown up in 1945, and the reinforced concrete slab pancaked downwards into the morgue basement, starred but otherwise intact. By the word "starred" I mean what happens to a pane of reinforced glass that has been hit by a stone.

Van Pelt suggested that the Zyklon-B introduction holes in the roof of Leichenkeller I were not much larger in diameter than tennis balls, but the evidence of his eyewitnesses, Henry Tauber and Michal Kula, was that they were closer to the size of manholes -- "70 centimetres square". Kula testified that the wire mesh columns that he had made were of that cross section and three metres (ten feet) tall. One witness said that the concrete covers on top of the roof above these holes had to be lifted off "with both hands," with two hands. As the ceiling height in Leichenkeller I was 2.40 metres, 60 centimetres of each column, which is 3 metres tall, would have had to extend through the holes in the concrete ceiling with about six inches poking up outside. As Professor van Pelt admits in his report, the part I was about to read out when your Lordship stopped me, there is no trace of those holes in the roof today. I am sorry, I was wrong. He did say that. He says it later on.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: What did I stop you reading?

MR IRVING: You did not. I made a mistake, my Lord. As he admits in his report, there is no trace of those holes in the roof today. The underside of that roof, which can be inspected and photographed from beneath even today, is intact. Even if one could lose sight of the much smaller three inch diameter holes in the pancaked concrete roof of which van Pelt spoke, and I do not accept that they were that small, one could not possibly have lost sight of four holes as large as manholes. Those holes would be perfectly obvious today on the ground that Auschwitz to any observer using the naked eye, without the slightest possible doubt as to their location, because, of course, Professor van Pelt told us where each hole was supposed to be. It was right next to the supporting columns.

Professor van Pelt accepts that those holes are not in that roof slab now.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure that is right, is it? I think what he says was that the state of the collapsed roof is so poor now that you simply cannot see where those holes would have been if they were there, which is a slightly different thing.

MR RAMPTON: Not only that, my Lord. I sit here, I listen to, quite frankly, a continuous misrepresentation of the evidence of my witness.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us concentrate on this one.

MR RAMPTON: I will, but this is serious. Van Pelt said a number of things. He said, first of all, the fragmentary condition of the roof prevents any kind of assessment one way or the other. Then he says, anyway, even if it did not, it is the wrong part of the roof. The third, of course, is that there is no evidence on MR Irving's side of the court one way or the other. MR Irving has not been there.

MR IRVING: May I now continue with preferably fewer interruptions?

MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I think that is not fair. MR Rampton I think has been restrained.

MR IRVING: My Lord, restraint is what I showed.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: There are the odd things which I have noticed which I do not think are quite borne out. I think the best thing is not to interrupt you, but that is quite an important misstatement of van Pelt's evidence.

MR IRVING: I will come to the alleged misstatement in a moment. Of course, I sat with the utmost restraint this morning ----

MR JUSTICE GRAY: You did.

MR IRVING: -- while numerous things were said. My Lord, I put to your Lordship at the time photographs of the underside of that roof. To say that the underside of that roof is fragmented is a gross distortion of what one could see with one's own eyes. The underside of that roof was as pristine as the concrete which is in this room today, rvery inch of the underside of that roof which can be accessed.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I remember the photograph quite well and quite how much of the roof it shows and which bit of the roof, it is impossible, I think, on the evidence to say.

MR IRVING: I did, as your Lordship will know, make one very grand offer and very generous offer to the Defendants in this case saying, "Come back with photographs of those holes and I will stop the case within 24 hours because my position will be indefensible". I made that offer, not once, but twice. It is in the transcript. They did not take it up, and that would have saved ----

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Press on.

MR IRVING: It reminds me of the early days in this action when every time I was making a killer point, MR Rampton was up and it is happening again. Professor van Pelt: In his expert report, and for this honesty I give him full credit, he writes: "Today, these four small holes" -- this is his expert report which he provided in this case -- he did not have to write this, my Lord, but he put it in and it is a great testimony to his honesty, I think - "that connected the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys cannot be observed in the ruined remains of the concrete slab. Yet does this mean they were never there? We know that after the cessation of the gassings in the fall of 1944 all the gassing equipment was removed, which implies both the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys. What would have remained would have been the four narrow holes and the slab. What would have remained would have been the four narrow holes and the slab. While there is no certainty in this matter, it would have been logical to attach at the location where the columns had been some formwork at the bottom of the gas chamber ceiling, and pour some concrete in the hole and thus restore the slab".

That is why I listened with relative patience, my Lord, to MR Rampton's interruption because it very largely bears out what I said. The point at which he rose to his feet was when I said van Pelt accepted those holes are not in that roof slab now. I think that his interruption was ill-called for.

Professor van Pelt thus asserts, without any evidence at all, that late in 1944, with the Russian Army winding up to launch their colossal final invasion only a few miles away on the River Vistula, the Nazi-mass murderers would remove the "Zyklon introduction columns" and then fill in the holes in the ceiling, as he says, to "restore the slab"(before dynamiting the pillars supporting it anyway). He again asserted when I cross-examined him on January 25th as follows: "It would have been logical to attach", he then reads out what he said, "pour some concrete in the hole and thus restore the slab".

How would this have been more logical than completely removing the roof of Leichenkeller 1 just as the Nazis had removed the roof of Leichenkeller 2, identified by Professor van Pelt as the "undressing rooms", as shown in the aerial photographs taken on December 21st 1944 that one can see on page 15 of this book "The Holocaust Revisited", the book published by the CIA. The originals of this photograph were shown to Professor van Pelt in court. I showed them to him. To believe his version, we would have to believe that the Nazis deliberately created relics, architectural relics, of Leichenkeller No. 1 to confound later generations of tourists and Holocaust researchers.

The fact is that the holes are not there - at least they are not visible from a distance of 0 to 4 feet or when photographed from the underside of that slab. Unable to point them out to us in close up at ground level, the Defendants invited us to consider instead either their vertical aerial photographs taken from 35,000 feet up, or a horizontal photograph taken from several hundred yards away, past a locomotive, where three (not four) unidentified objects are placed irregularly on the rooftop (the fourth "object" turns out to be a window on the wall behind). The Court will recall what my response was to the not unexpected discovery that during building works such subjects as barrels of tar were placed on a large flat slab, and I will not repeat it here. The notion that the high flying plane could have photographed an object of 27 centimetres, let alone of tennis ball size, protruding from six inches above the ground from that roof is quite absurd. The four smudges seen on one photograph are evidently many feet long, nothing to do with these so-called holes.

Your Lordship will remember that on day 11 I brought into the Court half a dozen very large vertical aerial photographs, black and white photographs, taken by the Americans or the South African Air Force during 1944, and invited Professor van Pelt to find those same smudges on that roof, the same dots.

Where until this moment he had seen dots on another photograph with no difficulty, the witness van Pelt now pleaded poor eyesight: ("I have now reached the age I need reading glasses", he said, "and I do not have them with me. I did not expect this kind of challenge". Precisely). Had he used even a microscope, he would not have found the dots in the 1944 pictures I showed him. Because the holes were not there and are not there, and he and the Defendants know it.

Even if the Nazi architects who designed the building had willingly agreed to the weakening of the roof by having makeshift holes cut that size right through the slab next to the supporting pillars - I say "makeshift" because there is no provision for them in any of the architectural drawings that were shown to us - we should certainly expect to see those holes now. My Lord, the court will recall two things:

Firstly, I asked the witness van Pelt if he was familiar (in view of the fact that he is not qualified architecturally, as it turned out) with the expression "fair faced concrete finish". He confirmed that it is concrete that has been left untreated. In other words, it is not covered with cement or pebble dash or tiling. He confirmed also that it is the most expensive such finish that an architect can specify because the concrete has to be poured right first time because blemishes like holes and cavities can never be retouched afterwards. Filling in the holes with cement, as van Pelt suggested in an extraordinary piece of naivete, would have been evident in the concrete face for ever after by differences in general appearance, colouring, wear and fracturing; there would have been a visible "drying line" as a ring around the patch, and the wood grain pattern left by the wooden formwork would have been interrupted. Common sense tells us all of this as well.

The second point is, of course, we photographed the underside of that slab and there is no trace of any such blemish on the concrete roof's underside, and there are supposed to have been four of those filling holes. Those holes are a major problem for this entire case.

On two occasions I stated a challenge in Court, including to the witness van Pelt, as I said earlier. I challenged the Defendants to send somebody to Auschwitz even now, to scrape the thin layer of gravel and dirt off the topside of the roof slab where they "know" the holes must be because they know where the pillars - because the eyewitnesses agreed they were next to the main columns - and bring back a photograph of one of the holes or evidence that it had been filled in.

If they did, I said, I would abandon my action forthwith because my position would have become quite indefensible. To my knowledge, the Defendants have not attempted this exercise. They know and they knew from the outset that I was right about that roof. Their entire case on crematorium No. II - the untruth that it was used as a factory of death, with SS guards tipping canisters of cyanide-soaked pellets into the building through those four (non-existent) manholes - has caved in, as surely as that flat roof.

Accordingly, the eyewitnesses who spoke of those holes also lied, or bluffed, and I have called their bluff. In the absence of the holes themselves, and minus his "eyewitnesses", Professor van Pelt's only remaining proofs that Leichenkeller 1 of Crematorium No. II was an instrument of mass murder - a factory of death, as he said, in which 500,000 Jews were gassed and cremated - are these: Architectural drawings (rather oddly for a "professor of architecture" he calls them blueprints) and wartime documents. He confirmed this to your Lordship when your Lordship asked.

As for the wartime documents, to take them first, he referred, for instance, to the - to him, sinister requirement that the morgue should be vorgewarmt, prewarmed, by a central heating plant. In cross-examination I drew his attention to the relevant section of the wartime Neufert, which is the architect's handbook or building code which was standard for the SS architects, which specifies that morgues, mortuaries, must have both cooling and central heating facilities to avoid damage to the corpses in the kinds of extremes of temperature which exist in Central Europe. Document after document fell by the wayside in this manner. MR Rampton introduced the timesheet of one humble workman in March 1943, showing him actually concreting "the floor in the Gaskammer", the gas chamber. But Birkenau camp was full of gas chambers. In his fine facsimile building of the camp documents, Jean-Claude Pressac has printed drawing No. 801 of November 8th, 1941, for an Entlausungsanlage (delousing installation) for the prison camp, right in the middle of which is a Gaskammer. He also reproduces drawing No. 1293, dated May 9th 1942, of the drainage and water supply of the delousing barracks, building BW5b. Here too there is a Gaskammer smack in the middle of the drawing. So there goes that one too.

The real handling capacity -- my Lord, of course, we did look at other documents and I am sure your Lordship will attend to that particular part of the transcript in detail, but I just wanted to give the flavour of the problem. The real handling capacity of the crematoria is also surprisingly difficult to establish, notwithstanding what MR Rampton said this morning. Professor van Pelt produced a histogram on an easel for us which showed truly staggering protections of cadavers to be cremated in coming years; but on cross-examination the witness admitted that the projection was based solely on one document, the questionable "crematorium capacities" document of June 28th, 1943, and that all else was extrapolated backwards from that sheet of paper. MR Rampton said that, as ever, I challenge that document, as though I had challenged many other documents. My Lord, to my knowledge, I have challenged ----

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. If I may just intervene and say that I would find it easier if there were not such an overt reaction to what you are saying on the other side of the court.

MR RAMPTON: I am sorry.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, sorry, you got to the Bischoff document?

MR IRVING: The Bischoff document. Professor van Pelt relies heavily on this document. My Lord, you will notice that I have given all the appropriate footnote references to assist you in navigating through the transcripts, and so on.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you.

MR IRVING: Even if genuine, even if the actual paper itself is genuine, the handling figures which this document gives for the furnace installation in Crematorium No. II do not tally with any of the figures in the specifications provided by the manufacturers, the Topf Company, for this type of equipment. Furthermore, the document refers to some crematoria which were at that time shut down, and to others that were due to be taken out of commission, which is again a mystifying business.

I had shown the Court on the previous day that this one page of paper contained not just one or two, but four or five, four or even five, bureaucratic discrepancies which indicated to me that the document is not authentic. It was not just that the year date was wrong. Any one of those flaws would normally be enough to call its integrity into question: but five such flaws in one document, including the wrong rank for the highest man in the SS site-construction system, SS Gruppenfuhrer Hans Kammler? Professor van Pelt was unable to explain these flaws; he had not noticed them. The document was first published in East Berlin in the 1950s, and it is now to be found in the Auschwitz archives, because it was sent there from East Berlin in 1981. That alone is why it now bears an Auschwitz archival stamp. It did not originate there, but elsewhere. Even if the flaws can be explained, and the figures were genuine, there is no indication of how such huge numbers of bodies were to be handled within 24 hours; nor of where the coke was to come from. There is no -- logistic problems defeat the document.(There is no acceptable evidence that the Auschwitz staff found any way of improving on the average coke consumption of 30 kg per cadaver achieved by other camps).

The bottleneck in the entire crematorium II "factory of death" story is however that little freight elevator that was installed between that morgue, the underground mortuary, Leichenkeller No. 1, as in any such state-of-the-art crematorium, to haul the bodies up from the basement-level morgue up to the crematorium furnaces on the ground floor. We are told by the Defendants that this elevator was never anything more sophisticated than something like a builder's hoist. The real elevator was never delivered. It had no door, no cage, no walls - it was just a platform jolting up and down that elevator shaft. We do know that as finally installed it had a specified load bearing capacity of 1,500 kilograms.

Professor van Pelt suggested that the hoist could, therefore, have hauled 25 cadavers at a time. In practice, as there was just a flat platform with no walls or door, jolting up and down that narrow concrete elevator shaft, I submit that it would have been impossible to stack on to one small platform 25 naked cadavers in the conditions of filth and slime, the horror, that had been described by the eyewitnesses.

It does not bear thinking about, I agree, and that is why I am not going to dwell on it. We cannot produce hard figures for this part of the exercise, but one thing is plain: That one elevator in crematorium II was the inescapable bottleneck, and it makes plain that, whatever was happening downstairs in the mortuary, Leichenkeller No. 1, it was not on the huge scale, on the huge scale that history now suggests.

In response to your Lordship's helpful questioning, Professor van Pelt stated that the wartime documents to interpreted if they were to be relied on for this proof. These interpretations are quite tenuous. He produced to us a document referring to the special secrecy to be attached to the crematorium drawings. I am sure your Lordship remembers that document. It was at first blush quite an interesting document. He suggested that this was because of the mass gassings being carried on in the buildings, in the crematorium. It stressed that this was because -- the document stressed that this was because of the wehrwirtschaftlich importance [the importance to the military economy] of the work being conducted in that building or those buildings. But van Pelt confirmed under my cross-examination that the homicidal Final Solution, the genocide, was never regarded as being wehrwirtschaftlich important, important to the economy. I submitted that the reference was clearly to keeping secret the ugly business of the looting by the SS of the gold and valuables from the corpses being processed by the building, a system which was undoubtedly of economic importance to the SS.

Similarly, the architectural drawings seemed to provide the required "proof" only when one was compared with another. That was one of the other problems. As Professor van Pelt said: "... we can look now at two or three drawings together and ... We start to observe some very weird things and some modifications made between one drawing and the other drawing..." Those were his words, to which my comment is, is that the best level of proof that is available now, even after 55 years?

During his slide-show, Professor van Pelt told us that one cardinal piece of evidence in this drawings was the relocation of an internal double-door which sealed off Leichenkeller No. 1 from the interior of the building, from the inside of the Leichenkeller doorframe to the outside. The door was moved in the drawings from the inside of the wall to the outside. I pointed out that in the new layout, the doors were shown as being actually rebated into the doorframe and I suggested to the witness that this was indicative of a gas-tight door being fitted as in any standard air raid shelter design. Air raid shelter doors are routinely fitted outside the shelter, to open outwards, so as to withstand blast. Neufert, which is the wartime architects' handbook, bears this out.

The witness seems not to have considered this possibility. As MR Rampton again mentioned, the doors allegedly found around the Birkenhau and Auschwitz sites subsequently are fitted with peep holes. But I say that that is the standard air raid shelter design complete with the obligatory peep hole that is fitted to air raid shelter doors. The amendment of the drawings to provide for an external door, leading from the far end of the subterrranean morgue to the open air, Leichenkeller No. 1, was also consonant with its dual use as an air raid shelter, and I put this to the witness on Day 11, as was the relocation of the main entrance staircase from the back of the building to the street-side. Among the architectural drawings provided to us from the Auschwitz archives is one entitled "Modification of the old Crematorium", namely crematorium No. 1 in Auschwitz, subtitled: "Air Raid Bunker for SS Station HQ with an Operating Theatre". So such modifications of the morgues to provide air raid shelter capacity were clearly nothing extraordinary. MR Rampton made a lot of the order for the doors with peep holes both during the hearings and this morning, but peep holes were standard fittings, not only on the gas-tight air raid shelter doors, but also on the delousing facilities.Jean-Claude Pressac prints photographs of two such doors on the "Canada" delousing chamber at Birkenhau.

Looking specifically at the possible use of crematorium No. II and the underground basement area as being adapted for future air raid shelter use: Crematorium No. II, like its mirror image Crematorium No. III on the other side of the road, was originally designed as a state-of-the-art crematorium, possibly not just for the camp but for the whole catchment area of Auschwitz which had for centuries been an area of pestilence and plague. No expense was spared in its design. This was German tax-payer money and they did not care. The best equipment and architects were used on what was clearly a permanent facility. Building the morgue, the mortuary, underground, instead of above ground, increased construction costs by several times, but provided for keeping the morgue cool during the baking hot Central European summers. Had the building been designed from the start as a human slaughterhouse, it would certainly not have been designed on several levels with resultant handling problems. Slaughterhouses are normally built on one level.

We saw in Professor van Pelt's slide- show the pouring of the concrete roof, the roof slab, of the subterranean Leichenkeller No. II; the roof was undoubtedly much the same as Leichenkeller No. 1 with a six inch reinforced steel mesh. This undoubtedly made the new building one of the most robust on the site: certainly more robust and fireproof in an air raid than the flimsy wooden horse-barracks in which the prisoners and slave labour were housed.

We were told by MR Rampton this morning this seemed improbable to establish an air raid shelter facility for the SS who were 1.5 miles away. Well, the early warning posts were in Holland, and they were probably 1,500 miles away. So they would provide more than adequate time for the SS to gallop that 1.5 miles to this building with the concrete roof.

The captured Bauleitung records of Auschwitz housed in Moscow confirm that from mid 1942 onwards they began to consider the construction at the camp of shelters, splinter trenches, and other ARP, Air Raid Precaution, measures. To be fair to the witness, when these Moscow catalogue entries were put to Professor van Pelt he seemed unfamiliar with them. After the air raids, our British air raids, on Cologne, Rostock and Lubeck - that was in March/April 1942 - the German High Command recognized the likelihood that air raids would spread across Poland and Central Europe, and they ordered the construction of extended ARP facilities throughout the occupied Eastern territories insofar as they can within bomber range. Existing basements, this document said, were to be converted into shelters, and anti-gas equipment provided, and personnel trained in anti-gas warfare, as gas attack was widely expected. I have given your Lordship the reference. I put the document to Professor Longerich and on Day 10 I said to him: "[...] the Defence rely on a number of photographs of doors found scattered around the compound of Auschwitz and Birkenhau, and we will show that these are standard German air raid shelter doors complete with peep holes". And, my Lord, I have provided photographs of such air raid shelter doors in various bundles.

These precautions were not in vain. In May 1943, there was an air raid on the nearby Auschwitz Buna plant. This is reflected in the Auschwitz documents. At least one of the American aerial photographs that I produced to the Court, the black and white photographs, the big ones, and to the witness, Professor van Pelt, shows a stick of heavy bombs just released by the plane that took the photograph descending over the camp. By the end of the war, there was also an anti-aircraft unit assigned to defending the region, as shown by the reference in Judge Staglich's membership of the Flak unit that manned it.

Your Lordship will also remember that during his slide-show, van Pelt showed the court a series of most interesting computer-generated "walk-through" reconstructions of the interiors of Crematorium IV and V. Your Lordship had actually memorized the dimensions of the shutter, the wooden shutter, of 30 centimetres by 40 centimetres. There were also said to be steps leading up to the openings. The wartime civil defence journal Luftschutz shows precisely this arrangement of gas type shutters and steps as a standard air raid shelter feature designed for the event of gas warfare.

I put this fact to the witness van Pelt: "Would you agree that those shutters that have been found in the Auschwitz camp are, in fact, standard German air-raid shutters supplied by manufacturers to a standard design? "

The eyewitnesses stated that thousands of victims were gassed in these rooms, however, and their bodies burned in large pits to the building's rear. But the contemporary air photographs taken by the Americans show no such pits, nor are they evident today. Confronted with what your Lordship has yourself referred to as the lack of documentary evidence for the gassings, Professor van Pelt could only offer the suggestion that the use of gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenhau was a "moral certainty". Three times in his report, three times in his report, he fell back upon that semi-religious phrase. The available proofs certainly do not support the belief that gassings there occurred on a mass scale.

If I can just fill in what I have not said there? Of course, I do accept that there were gassings on a small scale at Auschwitz in the buildings identified as bunkers I and II which were houses which have since been torn down.

I will not dwell long on the uniformly poor evidentiary basis on the other extermination camps, known to the Court as the Operation Reinhard camps - Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Here we do not have even the "moral certainty" which comforted Professor van Pelt. I can only challenge here the scale and the systematic nature of the alleged gassing of more than one million people in these centres. The Defendants' own witness, Professor Browning, admits that the documentation for these camps is "scant", that is his word, and I place great weight on that admission. Here, the expert cannot find even one contemporaneous document. He relies upon the eyewitnesses - men of the ilk of Kurt Gerstein, Jan Karski, Adolf Eichmann and Rudolf Hoss. The fictional elements in their statements - your Lordship will remember the "130 foot high mountain of clothes" which Professor Browning in his first draft skipped over, the "electrocution chambers" and the "steam chambers", the deliberately inflated death rolls which would otherwise shriek their warnings to critical researchers - are either ignored or suppressed in order to maintain appearances.

"May it please the Court...

The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

"May it please the Court..."
David Irving's Closing Remarks

Part 2 of 2


The Second Defendant's discovery -- lower down that page -- which included such correspondence with, and items from, the Anti-Defamation League as she has seen fit to provide, throws some interesting lights on the ADL. When a local newspaper, The Daily Pilot, published in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, a report on a function of the Institute of Historical Review, about which we have heard much from the Defence in the last few weeks. The anti-Defamation League was horrified as the regional office reported, to find that the reporter in the newspaper, and I quote "seems to find an air of legitimacy surrounding the group". That word "legitimacy" again; remember they were going to destroy my legitimacy? The reporter, MR Bob Van Eyken, who had evidently not got the message, even described the IHR members as "neatly dressed ... evoking a sense of reasoned dignity". This clearly clashed with the skinheaded, jackbooted extremist stereotype that the ADL, like the expert witnesses in this case, wished to promote for the IHR and other "right-wing" groups. This material, though clearly discoverable in this action, was withheld from discovery by the Second Defendant until a summons was issued to produce all her correspondence with the ADL.

We know that the Second Defendant has had extensive dealings with the Anti-Defamation League, the ADL, this American body. Even from her own limited discovery, about the deficiencies in which I still have more to say, we know that Professor Lipstadt was provided with smear dossiers by them. She thanks them in her Introduction. She made not attempt to verify the contents of this material with me as the victim (or, so far as this court knows, with any others), but she recklessly published it raw and unchecked. A 25-cent phone call to me would have saved her endless trouble. Instead she preferred to rely on these sheets like the "confidential" and defamatory four-page item dated October 23rd 1986, headed: "Profile on Dave Irving", evidently coming from another Canadian body. Characteristically, the "profile" was disclosed to me by her solicitors without any covering letter from its author or custodian and shorn of any identifying material; I wrote more than once in vain asking for the missing pages to be provided.

It is quite evident that the Anti-Defamation League, who were in cahoots with the Second Defendant, set itself the task of destroying my career, in consort with other similar organisations around the world, many of whom, if not all, collaborated with the Second Defendant in writing her book. The pinnacle of their achievement came in 1996, when the Second Defendant, as she herself boasted to The Washington Post, was among those who put pressure on St Martin's Press Incorporated, who had been one of my United States publishers for some 15 years, to violate their publishing agreement with me and abandon publication of Goebbels, my Goebbels biography, "Goebbels, Mastermind of the Third Reich".

For a few days, these enemies of free speech stepped up the pressure. They publicised the private home addresses of St Martin's Press executives on the Internet. They staged street addresses in Manhattan. They organised a walkout by the publisher's staff. When SMP refused to be intimidated, Professor Lipstadt wheeled out the rhetoric: To Frank Rich, a syndicated columnist of The New York Times, she accused me of being a repeat killer, if I can put it like that: "What David Irving is doing ... is not the destruction of live people, but the destruction of people who already died. It's killing them a second time. It's killing history". This was not far distance from the outrageous claim on page 213 of her book, to which no justification has been pleaded to my knowledge, that I justified the incarceration of Jews in Nazi concentration camps. Quoted by The Washington Post on April 3rd 1996, Professor Lipstadt stated:

"They ... don't publish reputations, they publish books", referring to St Martin's Press."But would they publish a book by Jeffrey Dahmer on man-boy relations? Of course the reputation of the author counts. And no legitimate historian takes David Irving's work seriously."

We have heard quoted in this Court two tasteless remarks I am recorded as having made, about Chappaquiddick and about the Association of Spurious Survivors, and I do not deny that those words were tasteless. But bad taste is not what is in the pleadings, while express malice is: and the odiousness of Professor Lipstadt's comparison, in a mass circulation newspaper of record, of a British author with Jeffrey Dahmer, a madman who had recently murdered and cannibalised a dozen homosexuals in the mid-West of the USA, in surely compounded by the fact that Lipstadt had at that time not read a single book that I had written, let alone the manuscript of Dr Goebbels that she had joined in trying to suppress. It is clear that neither she nor the ADL was concerned with the merits, or otherwise, of the Goebbels biography. They wanted it put down, suppressed, ausgerottet: And me with it.

Having, like St Martin's Press, thoroughly read it, the major US publisher Doubleday Inc. had selected this book as their May 1996 choice for History Book of the Month. But that deal depended on the SMP contract, and thus it too collapsed. The financial losses inflicted on me by this one episode in April 1996 were of the order of half a million dollars, which might seen proper reward for the eight years' hard work that I had invested in writing this box, and hauling it through its five draft versions. The book never appeared in the United States.

From the publication of Hitler's War onwards, the attitude of the print media to me changed. A strategically placed review written in one afternoon, by one man furnished with the appropriate dossier on me, could go a long way to destroy the product of six or eight years' research, as we have just seen. That was why these dossiers had been created.

To the right journalists or writers, such as the Second Defendant, these dossiers were on tap. A fax from Professor Lipstadt to the Institute of Jewish Affairs in London, or to the ADL in New York, or to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, and we have got these faxes from her discovery, released to her a cornucopia of filth, which she had no need to check or verify, because in the United States such writings are protected by the authority of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the laudable name of the freedom of speech, or by the authority of New York Times v. Sullivan, which effectively declares to libellers that it is open season on any public figure.

I turn the page, my Lord.

This Court will surely not take amiss of me that I refused to be intimidated by these truly "Nazi" methods, and that I have on a few occasions used perhaps tasteless language around the world about perpetrators. The violence against me spread around the world, and always it was orchestrated by the same organizations.

Turn the page.

In England, a parallel campaign was launched by the Board of Deputies, and by other organizations which we know to have collaborated with the Defendants in producing this libellous book. This kicked into high gear after my own imprint published an abridged edition of the Leuchter report in 1989. Pressure was put on the World Trade Centre in the City of London to repudiate our contract for the press conference. A picket, a muscle man picket, was staged outside our own front door to prevent journalists from attending when the conference was switched to my own harm. The Board arranged an early day motion in the House of Commons, as a privileged way of smearing my name -- publishing a smear on my name. On June 30th of that year the Jewish Chronicle, which is one of the newspapers that has reported this entire proceedings most fairly, in my view (and I wish to put that on record) revealed that representations had been made to my principal British and Commonwealth publisher, Macmillan Limited, to drop me as an author.

Macmillan had already published several of my books and they were under contract to publish several more. I had no fears that they would succumb to this intimidation. They had informed me that Hitler's War was running so successfully that they intended to keep it permanently in print. I am entitled to mention this background, as I have mentioned the Board's other clandestine activities against me, because it was said by MR Rampton that I later made one tasteless remark in public about the Board of Deputies. If somebody attacks, using secret and furtive means, the very basis of the existence of my family then it may be at least understandable that I speak ill of them.

Lower down the next paragraph: Secretly, on July 17th 1991, the Board of Deputies wrote to the President of the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution (which is their MI5), a body of which we heard greatly admiring words from Professor Funke in the witness box; this English board urged that they take steps to stop me, a British citizen like no doubt the members of the Board, from entering Germany.

Germany is a country on whose publishers and archives I have been heavily dependent, as this Court is aware. We have only the BfV's reply, dated August 9th 1991, to the Board of deputies. I retrieved a copy of this letter. If your Lordship is wondering how I come into possession of documents like that, I retrieved a copy of this letter from the files of the Prime Minister of Australia; so the same Board in London had evidently also sent its dossiers to its collaborators in Canberra and, no doubt, other countries, in its efforts to gag me worldwide. That is an indication of the worldwide networking that went on, this secret common enterprise, of which the Second Defendant is a party, to destroy my legitimacy as an historian and to deprive me of free speech, of which the Defendants have made themselves the willing executioners.

As is evident from a letter from the Austrian Ambassador dated June 22nd 1992, the Board also applied pressure on that country to ensure that I did not enter, or that if I did I would be arrested. The same kind of thing happened in Argentina.

Lower down the page towards the end: On December 6th 1991, an Internal Office Memo from Macmillan's files -- my own publisher in London -- records that "quite a number of people" had commented unfavourably to Macmillan's about them publishing my books, and one person, who was an unnamed Professor of Politics at Oxford, who had evidently learned nothing from the book burning episodes of Nazi Germany, stated "that they would be more inclined to publish with us [Macmillan] if we were not publishing Irving".(The Oxford professor of politics was probably, in my view, Professor Peter Pulzer, identified by Professor Lipstadt in her books as such and quoted by The Independent at the time).

This campaign had been coordinated. In some of its members, it seems that the illiberal spirit of Dr Goebbels lived on behind the Board of Deputies' facade. Meeting behind locked doors at their headquarters in December 1991, December 12, a body identified as the "Education and Academic Committee of the Holocaust Educational Trust, registered as a charitable body, held a conference, including point 6:

"David Irving: Concern was voiced over the publication of the second edition of Hitler's War". This is 1991, 14 years after the first edition."There was debate over how to approach Macmillan publishers over Goebbels Diary". That was the other book they were going to publish of mine. "It was agreed to await new[s] from Jeremy Coleman before deciding what action to take."

We know more of this meeting from the statement to this Court by my witness Dr John Fox, who was present at this cabal in his capacity as editor of The British Journal of Holocaust Education. He testifies as follows:

"As an independently-minded historian, I was affronted by the suggestion concerning MR David Irving [...] At a certain point in the meeting, attention turned" -- do you wish to suggest I move on?

MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I am reading around what you are reading out to me.

MR IRVING: Yes."At certain point in the meeting, attention turned to the subject of MR Irving and reports that the publishing company of Macmillan would be publishing his biography of Goebbels. MR Ben Helfgott ... turned to me, the only non-Jew present at the meeting, and suggested that 'John'", John Fox, "'could approach Macmillan to get them to stop publication'. I refused point-blank to accede to that suggestion, arguing that in a democracy such as ours one simply could not do such a thing. That amounted to censorship ...

Nevertheless, as the Committee minutes make plain, it was planned by some to consider further action about how best to scupper MR Irving's publishing plans with Macmillan".

The clandestine pressure on Macmillan's began at once. My editor at Macmillan's, Roland Philipps, noted in an internal memorandum of January 2nd 1992 that they should reassure prospective authors that they had turned down many other book proposals from me, and had no plans to continue publishing me after Goebbels. It was not the bravest of postures to adopt, you might think. The memorandum continues: "If this helps you to reassure any prospective authors we are happy for you to say it (although not too publicly if possible)". The desire of Macmillan's to stab in the back, for this stab in the back to be secret from their own highly successful author, myself, is understandable. In fact, their ultimate stab in the back was to come in the summer of 1992.

In May 1992, meanwhile, we find Deborah Lipstadt providing a list of her personal targets, victims, including now myself to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington; she advised the Museum to contact Gail Gans at the Research Department of the ADL (about whom we have heard) in New York City for additional names, and to "tell her I told you to call her". This establishes that the Defendants consider that that museum, which is a US taxpayer-funded body, was actively participating in their network, and the museum duly provided press clippings from London newspapers relating to me, which have now turned up in the Defendants' files.

The attempts to suffocate my publishing career continued. I mention a second arm of this attack. Since my own imprint, my own publishing imprint, which I had set up myself some years earlier, would not be intimidated as easily as Macmillan's, or indeed at all, the hostile groups applied pressure to major bookselling chains throughout Britain to burn or destroy my books and in particular the new edition of Hitler's War. Some of the press clippings reporting this nasty campaign are in my discovery. They include reports of a sustained campaign of window smashing of the branches of Waterstone's bookstores in the biggest Midlands cities, after complaints were made by local groups.

Waterstones informed one Newcastle newspaper that they were taking books off public shelves "following a number of vandal attacks on book stores across the country". The Nottingham Waterstones took the book off display after a brick was thrown through its window. The campaign clearly coordinated from London. None of this was reported in the national press, but one would have thought that these groups would have recognized the bad karma in any campaign of smashing windows or burning books.

I wrote privately to Tim Waterstone, the head at that time of Waterstones, guaranteeing to indemnify his chain for their costs of any uninsured claims. But he refused to be intimidated by the campaign and, my Lord, that is one reason why I took the names of four Waterstones branches off the list of Defendants in this action at a very early stage.

I am turning the page now, my Lord: Demonstrations organized outside by property, violent demonstrations, police were frequently called. The same newspaper reported -- this is halfway down that following page -- that the Anti-Nazi League and its parent body, the Board of Deputies, were applying pressure to The Sunday Times to violate its contract with me which was the contract to obtain the Goebbels diaries from the Moscow archives. Again, the reason why I mention all of this may be apparent, it is when I make remarks about by my critics, occasionally using vivid language, I sometimes had reason. As an indication of the pressure ----

MR JUSTICE GRAY: MR Irving, I am just wondering, and I am sorry to interrupt you and I am not going to stop you at all, but reading on to about page 54, you describe, do you not, the continuation of what you see as being this really worldwide attempt to close you down as an historian and attacks on your house and pressure of various kinds being brought to bear all over the world. I just wonder whether there is any particular benefit -- tell me if you there is -- in reading out the next seven or so pages? If there is any particular point you want to make, do, but I feel myself we could probably move on to the middle of page

MR IRVING: I will move on to 51, my Lord. When I found out - too late - that this fake evidence had been planted on Canadian files, which resulted in my being deported from Canada in handcuffs on November 13th 1992, I was angered and astounded that a British organisation could be secretly doing this to British citizens. It turned out from these files that academics with whom I had freely corresponded and exchanged information, including Gerald Fleming, had been acting as agents and informants for this body. I submit (which is why I am reading this out) that these are the bodies that collaborated directly or indirectly with the Defendants in the preparation of the book and that the Defendants, knowing of the obvious fantasy in some of what they said, should have shown greater caution in accepting their materials as true.

There was an immediate consequence of this fake data planted on Canadian files. One data report recorded the "fact" that I had written 78 books denying the Holocaust which, of course, is totally untrue. In August 1992 a docket was placed on Canadian immigration files about me saying, among other things, this is a secret file, "Subject David Irving is Holocaust denier, may be inadmissible" to Canada with the result, of course, that precisely that happened. I was arrested on October 28th at Vancouver, making a speech on freedom of speech, deported permanently from Canada on November 13th causing me great financial damage and loss. Access to the Public Archives of Canada was as essential for my future research as access to the PRO in Kew or to those archives in Italy. My Lord, this goes, of course, to the damage that has been caused to me by this general libel at being called a Holocaust denier. That is one proof of the direct and immediate cost of the pernicious label "Holocaust denier". And the same thing, they made the same attempt to get me banned from the United States but failed.

Page 54, my Lord. I now come to Macmillan's final stab in the back. The hand on the blade was Macmillan's but the blade hade been forged and fashioned by all the Defendants in this courtroom, and by their hidden collaborators overseas.

On July 4th 1992, as this Court knows, I had returned Moscow with the missing entries of the Goebbels Diaries exclusively in my possession, having gone there on behalf of The Sunday Times. This hard-earned triumph caught my opponents unawares. Newspapers revealed that the Anti-Defamation League and its Canadian collaborator, the League of Human Rights, sent immediate secret letters to Andrew Neil at The Sunday Times demanding that he repudiate their contract. On Sunday, 5th, the London Sunday newspapers were full of the scoop - and also with hostile comment. On Monday, July 6th, The Independent newspaper reported under the headlines "Jews attack publisher of Irving book", that a UK body which it identified as "the Yad Vashim Trust" with which we, of course, were we familiar, was piling pressure on to Macmillan's to abandon its contract with me to publish Goebbels, failing which they would urge booksellers not to stock or promote it.

Macmillans finally took fright that same day, as I only now know. After their directors inquired, July 6th 1992, in an internal memo, how many of my books were still in their stocks, and having been given totals of several thousand copies of all three volumes of my Hitler biography, representing a value of several hundred thousand pounds, my own editor, Roland Philipps, on July 6th issued the secret order reading: "Please arrange for

the remaining stock of [David Irving's Hitler biographies] to be destroyed. Many thanks". Book burning. They prepared a "draft announcement", but it was not released. Although still a Macmillan author, I was not told. The royalties due to me on the sale of those books were books were lost and destroyed with them. The Defendants' campaign to destroy my legitimacy as an historian, of which the book published by the Defendants became an integral part, had thus reached its climax.

My Lord, I now pass over the next pages to page 57.

The same thing happened in Australia. I spoke in the Munich. Final paragraph: Opponents released -- I am sorry, yes. Opponents released to Australia television the heavily edited version of Michael Schmidt's 1991 video tape of me addressing the crowd at Halle about which we have heard from MR Rampton this morning, the Sieg Heils and the rest of it. As edited, it omitted my visible and audible rebuke to a section of the crowd for chanting Hitler slogans. Grotesque libels about me swamped the Australian press, printed by various organisations including the New South Wales Board of Deputies and various newspapers. One example was an article by a lecturer in politics. He wrote: "Irving has a history of exciting neo-Nazi and skinhead groups in Germany which had burned migrant hostels and killed people ... Irving has frequently spoken in Germany at rallies... under the swastika flag ... himself screaming the Nazi salute..."This is how these stories begin. Unsurprisingly, Australia then banned me too. I was to be refused a visa, they announced, on February 8th 1993 as I was a "Holocaust denier". They had thus adopted the phrase that the Second Defendant, Professor Lipstadt, prides herself in having invented.

This new and very damaging ban on visiting Australia made it impossible for me to work again in the National Library of Australia in Canberra. At great personal expense I appealed to the Australian Federal Court. The Court declared the Minister's refusal of a visa illegal. The government in Canberra therefore changed the law in February 1994 to keep me out. We note from Professor Lipstadt's own discovery that the immigration minister faxed the decision to keep me out direct to one of her source agencies that same afternoon. The same kind of thing happened.

In July 1994, as the resulting fresh legal actions which I started against the Australian government still raged, the Second Defendant was invited by Australian organisations, all expenses paid to visit their country; she was hired to tour Australia, and to slander my name and my reputation and add her voice to the campaign to have me refused entry. The court, my Lord, you will probably remember the Australian TV video which I showed entitled "The Big Lie" in the early days.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.

MR IRVING: Broadcast in July 1994, it showed both the expert witness, Professor van Pelt, and MR Fred Leuchter. It showed Fred Leuchter standing on the roof of crematorium No. II, about which we are going to hear more, crematorium No. II at Auschwitz which van Pelt declared to be the centre of the Nazi genocide, and the Second Defendant being interviewed while still in Australia (and refusing once again to debate with the revisionists, just as she has obstinately refused to go into the witness stand here and be questioned). Thus I found myself excluded from Australia. We have had now Germany, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand as well, I lost the ability to visit my hundreds of friends down under and my own daughter too, who is an Australian citizen; and I lost all the bookshop sales that this ban implied in Australia - where my Churchill biography had hit the No. 1 spot in the best seller lists earlier.

Over the page: My lecturing engagements in the British Isles came under similar attack. I had often spoken to universities and debating societies, including the Oxford and Cambridge Unions, in the past, but now in one month, in October 1993, when I was invited to speak to prestigious bodes at three major Irish universities, I found all three invitations cancelled under pressure and threat of local Jewish and anti-fascist organisations. The irony will not elude the court that these Defendants, on the one hand, have claimed by way of defence that I speak only to the far right and neo-Nazi element, as they describe it, and yet it turns out that their own associates are the people who have done their damnedest to make it impossible for many others to invite me.

The Second Defendant, Deborah Lipstadt, had meanwhile made progress with her book. She told her publisher that she had written a certain statement with the marketing people in mind. In other words, sometimes money mattered more than content, in my submission.

She had revealed in September 1991 in a letter: "I have also spoken to people in England who have a large cache of material on David Irving's conversion to denial". We do not know who the people are, but we can, of course, readily suspect who in this case those people were. She is once again not presenting herself for cross-examination, so there are many things we cannot ask her about, including and I would have asked her, in fact, most tactfully the reasons why she was refused tenure at the University of California and moved downstream to the lesser university, in my submission, in Atlanta where she now teaches religion.


[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.