The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.09

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day006.09
Last-Modified: 2000/08/02

   Q.   But you did not think before wading in and saying that

.          P-74

        there were only a very limited number of experimental
        truck gassings or bus gassings at a serious conference of
        historians, you did not pause to consider what it might be
        that the Turner letter told you which you had at that
        time, indeed, you had when you wrote Hitler's War '91?
   A.   Well, I could have expatiated at length at that conference
        on the Turner letter, and I could have pointed to the
        things that point to its authenticity, but also at great
        length to the things that give rise to be dubious about
        it; for example, the very weird SS runes that had been
        hand typed in and things like that.
   Q.   Mr Irving, as you see and as you know perfectly well,
        as I will, no doubt, have to put to you again along
        the road, you are all too eager to jump on anything,
        dignify it with your authority, that suggests that the
        scale of Nazi criminality during the war, whether it
        the killing of Jews or the responsibility of Adolf
        anything that seems to diminish or reduce that
        proposition, size of the crime, or the level to which
        criminality went up?
   A.   Mr Rampton, we are talking about 97,000 on one case.
        are saying that I have suppressed that fact and yet I
        quoted in full the Greiser letter which talks of
        it is precisely the same one.  I believe the belief is
        that it is exactly the same victims we are talking
        so you cannot accuse me of having suppressed that

.          P-75

        particular atrocity.  I quoted the Greiser letter and
        I quoted the figure.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  When you say the "same Jews", do you mean
        97,000 equals the 100,000?
   A.   A part of the 100,000.  I believe that is the
        that Mr Rampton is trying to make.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I would like, if I may, just one
        when I get the reference to look and see what it is
        Mr Irving said about the Greiser letter.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It says 1991 Hitler's War.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, my Lord.  Page 426.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Page 426.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, 426.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  About two-thirds of the way down.
   A.   It is on page 330 of the first edition too.
   Q.   It is probably the same words.
   A.   It almost certainly is.  I think I make it quite plain
        there that 100,000 had been, quotation marks,
        treated" and the innuendo is quite plain for reader to
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  My only comment about that in that
        Mr Irving, is that you for some reason -- I do not
        what the reason is -- you add the sentence "Hitler was
   A.   It is in the first edition too, yes.
   Q.   Why?

.          P-76

   A.   Am I wrong?
   Q.   No, what is the significance?
   A.   I am writing about Adolf Hitler, Mr Rampton.  If
Hitler is
        not mentioned in a document concerning the killing of
        100,000 Jews, it is significant for the reader -- you
        probably agree.
   Q.   You are afraid that the reader seeing this huge number
        which it is -- there is no question about that --
        killed in the Warthegau might infer that Hitler knew
        something about it, is that right?
   A.   Shall we go back to May 1st document again, Mr
        Greiser is saying to Himmler:  "The operation carried
        in your authority and the authority of Heydrich and
        killing 100,000" or "I have killed 100,000 or I am
        to kill 100,000 or submit them to special treatment",
if I
        am writing about Hitler, I am absolutely justified to
         "Oh, by the way, Hitler is not mentioned in this
        document".  That is a very important clue.
   Q.   Mr Irving, if Himmler had a general authority to do
        things, where would it come from?
   A.   It would come from Adolf Hitler.  He would say in the
        correspondence:  "On the Fuhrer's instructions, I am
        ordering the following".  That covers him.
   Q.   It does not, Mr Irving.  If Himmler had a general
        authority (and you should sometimes listen more
        to my questions) to do these kinds of things, it would

.          P-77

        come from Hitler?
   A.   Oh, dear!  If, general, these kinds of things, is this
        smoking gun, the best we can do after 55 years?
   Q.   What is the answer to my question?
   A.   That is the answer.  55 years we have had to paddle
        in the archives now of Warsaw, Moscow as well as the
        Western world, and there is still not the slightest
        of written evidence that Hitler ----
   Q.   The answer to my question, I think, must be yes; if he
        such authority, it would have come from Hitler?
   A.   But he would have mentioned ----
   Q.   Your second answer to a question I have not asked, but
        never mind, is we do not know of any evidence that
        did confer any such general authority on Himmler, is
   A.   Yes, and the rider, the corollary of that is that we
        have expected to find such evidence just as there is
        the euthanasia programme where the actual signed order
        from Hitler is in the archives.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But Hitler did authorize the euthanasia
   A.   He actually signed the order, my Lord, backdated it to
        September 1st, 1939.  That is in the archives.
   Q.   The euthanasia programme really came to an end when
        gas vans were transferred to killing on the Eastern

.          P-78

   A.   Hitler ordered it to stop in August 1941.  He ordered
        euthanasia programme stopped in 1941 because of public
        unrest and disquiet, but it is characteristic and not
        without significance for these hearings that, in fact,
        euthanasia programme continued in the background,
        like the Bruns business, where the SS man was ordered
        stop but still said, "Well, we are going to carry it
        with unobtrusive means".
   Q.   But I think really the drift of my question was, well,
        he was brought in to authorize the euthanasia
        does that suggest at all that it might be probable
that he
        was consulted about using the gas vans for some other
   A.   I do not want to be flippant, my Lord, but the answer
        the archives do not tell us.
   Q.   No, but as a matter of guessing what the reality was?
   A.   They should, my Lord, because knowing the mentality of
        German people, they would have covered themselves with
        paper.  They would have written letters to each other
        saying, "We are doing this on the Fuhrer's orders.
        Fuhrer has instructed".  Even if that was not in the
        archives, we would expect to find it in the Bletchley
        files.  That is what I shall be questioning one of
        experts about.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I can do one of two things now.  I am
        entirely in your Lordship's hands really.  I can

.          P-79

        this question of Himmler's authority which I do not
        Mr Irving disputes, not only that, well, that he did
        it, apparently, on Mr Irving's account, without any
        of authority from Hitler to murder millions of Jews.
        I can pursue the question of Himmler's authority, or I
        move to completely different topic which is the
        Schlegelberger memorandum.  Both are somewhat
intricate in
        a sort of a sense.  The first exercise will involve
        to 1943 and 1944 for some references to what both
        and Hitler said.  The second involves merely a
        if I can put it like that, of what the so-called
        Schlegelberger memorandum might be and what it might
        represent.  I really do not mind which I do.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, it is very difficult for me to
        one way or the other.  In a sense, we are on Hitler
        Himmler and their respective knowledge and authority
        what was going on, so maybe that is better taken next.
        But can I before you do that just ask a question which
        I think I may have raised before, but I do not
        Mr Irving to have answered it yet.
                  Do you accept or do you not that there was
        gassing of Jews using trucks or vans at Treblinka,
        in the same way as you have accepted there was at
   A.   I do not accept it, which does not mean to say that I
        not believe that it happened, but, quite simply, I
        not investigated it and I do not think we have been

.          P-80

        any evidence that it did happen yet.  That is an
        unsatisfactory answer, I am afraid.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I would only make one small
correction to
        that.  I think the evidence of Professor Browning will
        that once they had established those three Reinhard
        they stopped using mobile vans and started using
        stationery tank engines and other sorts of things like
        that, but we will come to that along the line.  The
        question that I would ask Mr Irving, in the light of
        answer is this, you do not know of any firm evidence,
        sigh, that it did happen, whether by stationery
engines or
        by vans.  Do you see a difference between saying, "I
        not know whether or not it happened, I have not seen
        evidence", and denying that it did happen?
   A.   I do not know that it did happen and denying that it
   Q.   Do you see a difference between saying, "I do not know
        that it happened"?
   A.   Well, the word "deny", of course, in law has a
        meaning, does it not?
   Q.   No, it is an ordinary English word.
   A.   But in law the word ----
   Q.   It means, in effect, the person is saying this?
   A.   If somebody denies something, he is saying there is
        something within his cognisance.
   Q.   It is very simple.  One English sentence says, "I do

.          P-81

        know whether it happened or not", the other says, "It
        not happen"?
   A.   Well, it is the former.
   Q.   If, therefore, on some former occasion you have said
        did not happen, that would be an excessive statement
        your own belief, would it not?
   A.   What did not happen?
   Q.   Oh, gassing at Treblinka, for example?
   A.   It depends what the question is and what my precise
        was to that question -- not the question you asked,
        the question put to me by the questioner and what my
        precise answer was.
   Q.   We will track that down.  I just wanted to get the
        position clear.  Your present position is not that you
        denied that it happened, but that you have not seen
        evidence that it did happen?
   A.   I have seen a balance of evidence in each direction.
        There is the lack of the photogrammetric evidence on
        aerial photographs, the lack of any evidence that
        structures existed, on the one hand, and the
        unsatisfactory nature of the eyewitness evidence.
   Q.   Your present position is that you are in a state of
   A.   A state of doubt and I see no reason to investigate it
        because I am not a holocaust historian.  One has
        resources which one has to apply to the proper

.          P-82

   Q.   We will come back to the other part of it later
        as Miss Rogers says, Mr Irving, it fits quite neatly
        the Auschwitz question as a sort of coder, perhaps, or
        maybe an introduction, I do not know, prelude?
   A.   I would prefer we just adhere to the Auschwitz
        and ignore the other camps which is not really going
        lead us much further.
   Q.   No, I am not going to go into the evidence of the
        camps.  If I go back to the other camps, it will be
        this purpose, Mr Irving, that which I have already
        to demonstrate that you have, if I am right, made
        categorical denials about the existence of
        facilities at the Reinhard camps when the truth is
        that you do not know?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In other words, it goes to Holocaust
        rather than Auschwitz?
   MR RAMPTON:  It does, but it also goes to irresponsible, at
        very least, historiography.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is part of Holocaust denial, is it
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, of course it is.
   A.   Let us wait until we get the exact statements I am
        supposed to have made.
   MR RAMPTON:  Of course.  I said if I am right about that,
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That will be the only object of ----
   A.   Let us also consider the question of proportionality.

.          P-83

        These are the minor escorts, the corvettes and
        minesweepers, not the actual battleship which is
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Anyway, Hitler and Himmler?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  Hitler and Himmler.  For this purpose,
        Lord, it will be useful, I think, to turn to page 73
        Longerich 1.  While I ask, I am going to have displace
        chronology, my Lord, because I have not got the
        reference.  I am sorry.
   A.   Mr Rampton, did you not tell us yesterday that Auschwitz
        did not start gassing until the end of 1942, and yet
        paragraph 2 of this page says exactly the opposite.

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.