The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day005.19

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day005.19
Last-Modified: 2000/08/01

.          P-169

   Q.   A conduit pipe.  So if Hitler was at all interested in
        reports of what was going on in the East, he could
        to get them for Wolff, could he not?
   A.   Yes.  This letter is, of course, actually written from
        Fuhrer's headquarters.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   That is the address at the top.
   Q.   I quite agree with you.  In case you should have
        the point, it does not say, "and I have brought your
        tidings to the Fuhrer today at lunch and we all had a
        glass of champagne"?
   A.   I think I treated the document responsibly.  I gave
        the full text of it or whatever was relevant in my
        and once again I leave the readers to draw their own
        conclusions.  I may say that your Lordship and
        have also drawn the right conclusions from this
        or the appropriate conclusions.
   Q.   Could you please turn, Mr Irving, to page 143 of
        report, paragraph 5, no, I had better start actually a
        earlier.  This is all, my Lord, embedded in a
        of the suggestion that the gas chambers were an
        of British propaganda.  Mr Irving, I am right, am I
        that, Riegner was some kind of figure in the Jewish
        community in the West?
   A.   In Switzerland.
   Q.   In Geneva.

.          P-170

   A.   Or in Bern, one or the other, yes.  He was a young man
        with contacts inside Nazi Germany.
   Q.   Can we, please, start at the top of page 142.  It is
        position, is it not, or has been at any rate, that the
        chambers were a very cleaver piece of propaganda that
        British very cunningly connived at and contrived
        World War II, is that right?
   A.   I do not think I would use child adjectives like
        and cunningly connived".
   Q.   Look at the bottom of page 141 of the Evans' report.
   A.   There is a great deal of evidence that the British
        propaganda agents is propagated in the gas chamber
        for example.
   Q.   This is taken from an interview given by you to This
        on 28th November 1991.
   A.   In the broadcast of Thomas Mann but I will come to
that in
        due course.  Thomas Mann operated for the British and
        American Intelligence Agencies.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Stripping out "clever and cunning" for
        sake of argument, do you contend, Mr Irving, that gas
        chambers at Auschwitz were an invention by British
        Intelligence during the war?
   A.   British Intelligence broadcast repeatedly through the
        and through other information channels into Nazi
        information about gas chambers in occupied Nazi, Nazi
        occupied Europe at a time when they were not in

.          P-171

        operation.  In other words, the information was
        information, shall we say.
   Q.   Well, premature begs the question rather, does it not?
   A.   Yes, in other words the information came forward.
   Q.   Are you suggesting it was an invention?
   A.   To degree the it must have been an invention because
        the time the British propaganda was talking of them
        did not exist.
   Q.   So it was an invention by British propaganda?
   A.   British propaganda invented the story of the gas
        or invented stories of gas chambers which were
        into Nazis Germany during the war years.  There is any
        amount of evidence of this in the BBC monitoring
        in the German radio monitoring reports, in the memoirs
        people like Thomas Mann, the famous German novelist,
        worked for British propaganda agencies in their
        diaries and so on.
   Q.   Yes, well, I am sure it was broadcast; it is a
question of
        whether it was an invention by the British propaganda
   A.   Well, if the Allies, as we know from the Foreign
        files, had no knowledge of any gas chambers, then,
        clearly, it was an invention.
   MR RAMPTON:  I wonder about that.  Can you just look at the
        middle of page 143?  We may have to come back in due
        course to what you said about this, but that is a

.          P-172

        different question.  Paragraph 5.  Professor Evans has
        recited your rather complicated account of this in
        forthcoming Churchill book.  Then he says:  "What is
        real documentary evidence for this account?  Gerhard
        Riegner was director of the Geneva Office of the World
        Jewish Congress from 1939 until 1945.  On 8th August
        Riegner handed an identical telegram to Howard Etling,
        American Vice-Counsel in Geneva, and to HB Livingston,
        British Consul.  Riegner asked that a telegram be
        to the World Jewish Congress leaders in London (Sydney
        Silverman, MP) and New York (Rabbi Steven Wise).  The
        telegram stated:
                  'Received alarming report stating that, in
        Fuhrer's Headquarters, a plan has been discussed, and
        under consideration, according to which all Jews in
        countries occupied or controlled by Germany numbering
        and-a-half to 4 million, should, after deportation and
        concentration in the East, be at one blow
exterminated, in
        order to resolve, once and for all the Jewish
                  Then there is a reference to a document
        I think I can show you in a moment.
                  Then Professor Evans goes on: "Although the
        message the put the as 'under consideration', there
was an
        additional detail: 'Ways of execution are still being
        discussed, including the use of prussic acid'.
        himself said, 'We transmit this information with all

.          P-173

        necessary reservation as exactitude cannot be
confirmed by
        us'.  But he added, 'Our informant is reported to have
        close connections with the highest German authorities,
        his reports are generally reliable'".
                  That should be footnote 90 in this part of
        Professor Evans' report.
   A.   The actual document is in my discovery, of course --
        Riegner telegrams.
   Q.   I am sorry, my Lord.  The way that the Evans'
        have been indexed makes them rather difficult to find.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do we need the original for this purpose?
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, if it has come from Mr Irving's
        discovery, I think we do not actually because he would
        well familiar with it.
   A.   I am very familiar indeed with the document and with
        associated minutes by the Foreign Office officials on
   Q.   That is an accurate account, is it, in Professor
        report of what the telegram says?
   A.   Those three lines are accurately transcribed from the
        telegram, to the best of my recollection.
   Q.   So there are four lines in the body of paragraph 5 and
        then there are some further references to things like
        prussic acid in paragraph 6?
   A.   Yes, but, of course, the actual telegram is longer
   Q.   Yes.

.          P-174

   A.   We know a great deal also about the origins of the
        telegram, whether this informant existed, and so on.
   Q.   I can see that it is much longer; I am certainly not
        to bend the court's ear by reading it out.
   A.   What is significant, of course, is the associated
        memoranda on the Foreign Office file, the treating of
        credibility and of what to do with it, and so on.
   Q.   Yes, sure, but if this is the source of the
information --
        call it that, no more -- it is hardly an invention of
        British propaganda, is it?
   A.   Which information?
   Q.   This information here, in the Evans' report.  If
        is the source of the information ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- then it is not an invention of British propaganda,
   A.   Not at this stage, no, but, of course, there had been
        references by British propaganda to alleged hydrogen
        and cyanide gas chambers before this August 1942
   Q.   Let me take it slowly.  If Riegner's information is
        something that he has been put up to by British
        propaganda  ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- true, you may say, though, I am not going accept
        that the British propaganda then built on that idea,
        you do say that, maybe you do not, I do not know, but

.          P-175

        fact is that information is an important piece of
        evidence, not a huge piece of evidence, an important
        of evidence, when one comes to consider what I call
        Final Solution and the means by which it was achieved,
        it not?
   A.   I am not quite sure what question -- are you asking
        whether this was the origin of the British, or whether
        was just a ----
   Q.   No, no.
   A.   --- link in your system chain.
   Q.   It is just a link in my chain of documents.  It is
        that Riegner had the ear of somebody ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- high up in the Nazi  ----
   A.   And, therefore, the British did not invent the story
        because Riegner brought it to them.
   Q.   No, no.  Therefore, it is quite important evidence
        the use of hydrogen cyanide was intended from quite a
        way back as a killing agent for Jews?
   A.   If this is an authentic account by Riegner, but, of
        course, if we subsequently find out, as has been
        established by people of the calibre of Walter La
        that Riegner's source did not exist as a source of
        integrity, shall we say, a man who was not in a
        to know what he was talking about, then that tells us
        absolutely nothing whatsoever.  It is a fluke.  But if

.          P-176

        can just have five or six lines reproduced from one
        document here, that is not the way to go about things.
        need to know all the surrounding material and, in
        particular, if you want to say this is evidence the
        British did not invent because they built the story on
        this, then I have to say that British files, Foreign
        Office minutes show that it was totally dismissed.
        said, "We cannot believe this.  We cannot believe
        of this type.  We have no supporting evidence at all.
        There is not a shred of evidence that this story is
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is on the original of this Riegner
   A.   It is in the typical Foreign Office folder with all
        minutes attached to it with what are called treasury
   Q.   Is that the document Mr Rampton was looking for a
   A.   Well, it is in my discovery, my Lord, and I can
produce it
        in court tomorrow as one of these dreaded little
   MR RAMPTON:  Well, it is there, my Lord.   I really do not
        think at this time of the day I would ask your
Lordship to
        look at it.  It is difficult to read.  It is bitty and
        essence, for my purposes, is in the Evans' report
   A.   Well, the essence as extracted by Professor Evans, of
        course, not the essence which I would extract, but I
        do that under cross-examination, my Lord, when the

.          P-177

        comes, I think.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, yes, but, I mean, Mr Rampton will
        appreciate, obviously, that your case is that the
        annotations on the document show that it was not given
        credence at the time by those who subsequently used
        That is your point, is it not?
   A.   Quite, and that should have been drawn out by the
   MR RAMPTON:  Oh, yes, but an historian, Mr Irving, has the
        wonderful benefit of hindsight, does he not?
   A.   Yes.  I think I have used that word once or twice
   Q.   He can fit a document like that which the poor bods in
        London and Washington could not do.  He can fit a
        like that into a vast weft or weave, call it what you
        will, tapestry, of other information, can he not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is what, perhaps, gives it more significance now?
   A.   There is a great temptation to do precisely that.
   Q.   One must be careful that one does not give more weight
        it than it deserves, but any document must always be
        placed in the context of all the rest of the relevant
   A.   This is quite right, and this is why this particular
        document I did investigate in some detail, and I made
        exception.  I read what Professor La Coeur (?) had
        about it who carried out an examination of the origins
        the document and the alleged source.

.          P-178

   Q.   Can we go north, please, because I am still engaged on the
        same exercise?  My Lord, I have finished pre Auschwitz.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I interrupt you when you say you have
        finished pre Auschwitz?  I quite understand what the case
        is and to a large extent it is accepted on the scale of
        the operations.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.

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