The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.08

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.08
Last-Modified: 2000/08/02

   MR RAMPTON:  So shall I.  Go down to the end of that paragraph
        in the middle of the page on page 173.  You say: "So
        I accept this kind of experiment, we are talking about a
        gassing experiment in a bus witnessed by Eichmann, what
        you call a gassing experiment, so I accept that this kind

.          P-65

        of experiment was made on a very limited scale but that it
        was rapidly abandoned as being a totally inefficient way
        of killing people.  But I do not accept that the gas
        chambers existed and this is well known.  I have seen no
        evidence at all that gas chambers existed".  Unless you
        are going to quibble about the word "chambers", Mr Irving,
        the fact is that what you said about the gassing on that
        bus and the limited kind of scale for that kind of
        experimental gassing, was just rubbish, was it not?
   A.   Mr Rampton, when you talk about gas chambers and the
        public perception, people are imagining what they see at
        Auschwitz, the big concrete fixtures, the chimneys, the
        steel doors, the whole of the paraphernalia.  I am sure
        that I am right on that.
   Q.   Leave out the last----
   A.   Would you not interrupt me, please? They are not talking
        about the mobile gas truck experiment and to try and
        suggest that when I say that the gas chambers did not
        exist, this is a reference to the gas trucks which I have
        here said quite clearly do exist, I think is perverse.
   Q.   Mr Irving, I am going to read it again.  Just one little
        bit.  You have described how Irving looked through a peep
        hole into the back of a bus and he saw a number of
   A.   Eichmann looked through the peep hole.
   Q.    Eichmann saw a number of people being gassed by the

.          P-66

        exhaust fumes.  This is Mr Irving speaking, formally
        speaking, in a corrected or approved version in
        print.  "So I accept that this kind of experiment, that is
        to say, the sort that Eichmann witnessed, and I stress the
        word experiment, was made on a very limited scale, but
        that it was rapidly abandoned as being a totally
        inefficient way of dealing people".
                  Now that, as a statement of history, was just
        rubbish, was it not?
   A.   The very element now turns out to be wrong, yes.
   Q.   So does the experiment.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That has been conceded now, has it not?
   A.   Except that it was abandoned and replaced by other means
        of killing people.
   MR RAMPTON:  The point of my going back to that was this.  You
        said not long ago that you cannot be blamed for making an
        off the cuff answer in answer to a statement in answer to
        a question?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That was a wrong answer too, was it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   This is not an off the cuff response to a question?
   A.   This is part of the main talk, yes.
   Q.   I repeat my earlier question, do you not think -- is
        IHR a reputable and authoritative body?
   A.   Do we wish to discuss that at this time?

.          P-67

   Q.   I just want to know.  Are these conferences attended
        top notch historians and that kind of thing?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   They are.  But this is an occasion ----
   A.   I will be producing evidence later on the nature of
        audience at these bodies and the directors of the
        Institute all have academic qualifications and
   Q.   I just want to get the flavour of the occasion on
        you uttered these words.
   A.   Well, I was going to mention that fact.  This is a
body of
        incorrigible, shall we say, people whom I am sure the
        Defence would describe as Holocaust deniers, and I am
        rubbing their noses in what did happen, and I think I
        deserve commendation for that.  I am saying, "Here is
        Eichmann describing in his memoirs how he attended a
        shooting from such close range that he was personally
        affected in a rather disagreeable way by the shooting
        went on.
   Q.   Mr Irving, I am sorry, you must try -- I am perhaps
        making myself clear -- you say this paper was
presented at
        a conference of reputable academics and others who may
        take one or other view about the past, but this is a
        serious occasion?
   A.   This is a talk by me to an audience in California,
   Q.   But it is a serious occasion?
   A.   To an audience who do not want to hear me say this.

.          P-68

        want to hear me say something totally different.
   Q.   Mr Irving, please, is this a serious occasion or not?
   A.   In what sense?  Is it a collar and tie occasion?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You expect it to be taken serious.
   MR RAMPTON: Do you expect to be taken seriously?
   A.   Yes.  People have gone there to come away improved
with a
        knowledge improved, enhanced.
   MR RAMPTON:  So it is quite different from a question and
        answer session at a knock about press conference, is
   A.   Knock about press conference?
   Q.   K-N-O-C-K about.  You expected what you said to be
        seriously by your audience?
   A.   Yes, and it was taken very seriously.
   Q.   What you said was historical nonsense?
   A.   The word "very limited" is wrong.
   Q.   So is the word "experiment".
   A.   I disagree.   They abandoned the gas trucks after a
        which showed that the experiment did not work.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, 97,000 people, is that not rather a
        long experiment?
   A.   On the scale of 6 million, my Lord, which is the
        claimed by the Defence.
   Q.   Not by you?
   A.   My Lord, 97,000 is a large figure which we now know
        from the document which has now been shown to us, the

.          P-69

        documents that have now been shown to us, which, of
        course, I had not seen at that time.  If they
        the gas trucks method of killing people, as they
        did, and we know from the documents now that it was
        precisely because it turned out to be a totally
        impracticable way of killing people.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving ----
   A.   I think the word "experimental" is entirely
   Q.   Leaving aside for the moment ----
   A.   The idea of experimenting in killing people is
   Q.   Particularly if it is to the tune of 100,000 people?
   A.   I agree.  It is actually obscene.
   Q.   Why did you not say that?  Why did you not say, Mr
         "I have looked at this question.  They have managed
        get up to 100,000 at least", we know that from the
        documents, "but then they decided that was not a very
        way of doing it, so they stopped doing it that way.
        Nonetheless, the fact is that they succeeded in
killing in
        the East and in the Reinhard camps well over a million
   A.   I always suspected, Mr Rampton, you are not listening
        my answers, and that is just proof of it.  I told you
        figure of 100,000 only comes to my knowledge within
        last few weeks or months.
   Q.   But it was there to be found, was it not?

.          P-70

   A.   Lots of things are there to be found.  I do not have
        of 30 or 40 researchers working at the expense of God
        knows who is paying for the defence in this case,
        through all the archives, trying to find documents to
        prove me wrong.
   Q.   You know about the letter, you have always known about
        letter, of 1st May 1942 from Greiser to Himmler, yes?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is in your books, is it not?
   A.   I have quoted it in my books, yes.
   Q.   And that speaks of "Sonderbehandlung of some 100,000
        in my territory in an action approved by you in
        with Heydrich will be completed in the next two or
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Experimental?  Sonderbehandlung?
   A.   But, Mr Rampton, this document is quoted in full in my
        books.  That passage is quoted in full in my books.
   Q.   But not in connection with gassing by trucks?
   A.   Well, we do not know from Greiser what method has been
        used to specially treat, if I can use the word, those
        100,000 people.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I thought you accepted earlier on this
        morning -- we can find the reference -- that that was
        actually a reference to gassing?
   A.   From the later documents which are now available, my

.          P-71

        this is plain, but at the time I wrote the book I had
        the 1st May document.  Our knowledge advances by
        particularly now these other archives have been opened
        us.  It cannot be held against me that I did not know
        something in 1970 when I wrote the book which is now
        available at the end of the 20th century.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, I am not talking about the book, Mr
        You knew about the Greiser letter for a long time.  It
        mentions the killing, or proposed killing, of 100,000
        in the Warthegau from 1st May in a couple of months,
        or three months?
   A.   Yes, but we do not know what methods have been used to
        dispose of them.
   Q.   Please, Mr Irving, I have not finished my sentence.
        is all that is in the book because you did not know
        the Turner letter of 5th June 1942, you tell us.  I am
        in a position to contradict you?
   A.   Well, of course, can I tell you when I first got the
        Turner letter?  That was in 1977.
   Q.   The Turner letter in 977?
   A.   I have to state that, yes.  I was sent page 1 of the
        Turner letter, I believe, by Mr Sereny round about
   Q.   By the time of the second edition of Hitler's War you
        know about it?
   A.   Yes.  But whether I would have read it in detail or

.          P-72

   Q.   Do I find it in that?  I am asking that as a
        open question to which I do not know the answer.
   A.   I think you will probably ...
   Q.   I think I had better check it.
   A.   I must make this quite plain.  I have had the Turner
        letter in my possession probably for 23 years.
   Q.   Yes.  So?
   A.   But the Turner letter by itself is a very suspect
        until you see the subsidiary documents that have
        available since then.
   Q.   Will your Lordship forgive me?  I am just trying to
        in the index to see whether there is any reference to
        this.  If there were a reference, Mr Irving, it would
        in the later part of the book, would it not?  I mean
        the 1991 edition?
   A.   Are you enquiring whether I used Turner letter in
        edition of the Hitler book?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   I do not believe I did.
   Q.   Obviously not the first one because you told us ----
   A.   I do not believe I did.
   Q.   You do not think you did?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Can I put it to you that you suppressed it?
   A.   You can put it to me like that, but, obviously,
        I suppressed many hundreds of thousands of documents

.          P-73

        I wrote a book of that magnitude.
   Q.   What was that?  I am sorry I missed it.
   A.   The Turner letter has been subjected to the most
        scrutiny by people both yeh and nay, if I can put it
        that, and when there is a document like that, one's
        instinct is to steer clear of it.
   Q.   Well, now there is another letter which we saw
referred to
        in paragraph 5.2.2 of Professor Browning.  That is the
        letter about the functioning of the trucks of 5th June
        1942.  That is not the Turner letter.  This a
   A.   On what page is that?
   Q.   It is page 38, and the body of the report is
translated at
        the bottom of the page.  As I say, I have absolutely
        intention of reading that out whatsoever.
   A.   Yes, but you are not implying that I have had that
        document in my possession until a few weeks or months
   Q.   You have only recently had that document?
   A.   Yes.  That is what I say.  When you see a document like
        that, then you are more inclined to accept the Turner
        letter as being genuine.
   Q.   What about the Greiser letter?
   A.   The Greiser letter, there has never been any doubt as to
        that, the authenticity, because it was an American custody
        and it is microfilmed with the Heinrich Himmler papers.

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