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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.30

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.30
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR RAMPTON:  No, Mr Irving, it is not because we are not
        concerned in this court with proving or disproving what
        happened in Auschwitz.  We are concerned with your state
        of mind and your standards of, what shall I say, truth
        when it comes to reporting history?
   A.   You are quite right, but, of course, my state of mind does
        not rely solely on scientific reports or chemical analyses.
   Q.   I do not dignify Fred Leuchter's report as a scientific
        report, I am afraid, Mr Irving?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Did you say tab 19?
   MR RAMPTON:  20, my Lord, page 19.  Second paragraph on the
        page after the break.  "Fred Leuchter who wrote the report
        here which is one of the most telling reports on the

.          P-79

        Auschwitz case"?
   A.   On what page are we, I am sorry?
   Q.   Sorry, page 19, bottom of the page.  "Fred Leuchter who
        wrote the report here which is one of the most telling
        reports on the Auschwitz case, if you may remember, Fred
        Leuchter was the American consultant on the gas chamber
        design.  He designs and gives advice on the building of
        gas chambers by American ...  He was nominated by every
        governor of every American penitentiary as a defence
        consultant for a law case in Canada which hinged on the
        Nazi gas chambers.  You have seen it in the OJ Simpson
        case.  They call in experts; experts on DNA, experts on
        footprints or whatever, and that expert then gives expert
        evidence, and the expert in this Canadian case was Fred
                  Pausing there, Mr Irving, it is not true, is
        it?  He was not allowed to give expert evidence about
        Auschwitz, was he?
   A.   He was called as an expert evidence -- he was allowed to
        give expertise.  If you read the transcript of the trial,
        you will see what areas he was allowed to give expert
        evidence on.
   Q.    "And the Canadian lawyer sent Fred Leuchter actually to
        Auschwitz in Poland and said, 'You are a gas chamber
        expert.  Tell us what you think about the buildings in
        Auschwitz.  Would they have worked?'  Well, the short

.          P-80

        answer", note that, "is Fred Leuchter came back and proved
        there had never been any cyanide gas or compounds in those
        buildings.  He brought back 40 samples and had those
        samples of brickwork tested in laboratories", plural, "in
        the United States with the result there was no trace of
        cyanide compound whatsoever in all the brickwork samples
        except one.  You can see it here.  There was one building
        in Auschwitz where clothing was fumigated with cyanide and
        you could see the blue stain coming through the brickwork
        from the cyanide gas which was used in that building 50
        years ago, and the blue stain has permeated right through
        the brickwork to such a degree that you can actually see
        the stain there 50 years later.
                   "When the Leuchter report was published, it
        produced a howl of rage from the traditional enemy of the
        truth".  Who is the traditional enemy of the truth, Mr Irving?
   A.   Oh, I see them every now and then outside my building in
        Duke Street.  I am woken at 3.00 in the morning by the
        police unloading barricades.  I look out of the window and
        they are all standing outside holding up their signs
        saying, "Gas Irving", screaming and shouting.  That is the
        way I envisage the traditional enemy of the truth.
   Q.   You go on then to talk about Gemar Rudolf, it is perfectly
        true.  But the fact is in that little passage that I have
        just read in October 1995, according to you, Leuchter is

.          P-81

        still gospel?
   A.   He wrote the most telling report.  It was the one that
        started the whole avalanche.
   Q.   Not a word there of any of he flaws, and they are
        fundamental flaws, which you knew then, if not before,
        certainly by the early 1990s, late 1980s, the Leuchter
   A.   By this time, of course, we have had probably two or even
        three of the backup, the replica tests carried out by
        other groups or organizations which showed that Fred
        Leuchter had, broadly speaking, got it right.  So why
        I should mention the fact that there were the cosmetic
        flaws like when you said you could not get 10 people
        standing on a square metre of floor and this kind of
   Q.   Fred Leuchter is complete bunk, his report, is it not?
        I am going to go through the criticisms because his
        Lordship has asked me to.
   A.   Well, repeating that sentence 20 or 30 times a day ---
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think that is what matters.  That is why I
        have said it.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is not only what matters.  There are two sides
        to Mr Irving, my Lord.  There is the public face and the
        private face.  I think I have done that exercise so far as
        the public face is concerned.  Your Lordship should,
        however, see one or two of what I call the private face

.          P-82

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am much more interested in the validity or
        invalidity of the criticism.  At the moment, I will be
        candid with you, Mr Irving, it seems to me that Mr Beer
        had an extremely good point on Leuchter, but he started
        off from a fundamental false premise.
   A.   I agree, my Lord, yes.
   Q.   That is the way I am seeing it at the moment.  There is no
        point in my concealing it.
   A.   And what else should I have done than what I immediately
        did?  I immediately forwarded the Beer report.  We did not
        know who Beer was.  We do not know what his credentials
        are.  He may be a toxicologist, he may be a chemist, he
        may be gardener for all I know.
   Q.   I would be interested to be told.
   A.   Yes, we were not told, but I immediately forwarded this
        report to the people concerned, including those who had
        written the report, and said, "This is a criticism we have
        to take on board".  You do not immediately rush into print
        and start tearing something apart because of one criticism
        or because of two criticisms.
   Q.   And something you then learned told you that Leuchter's
        assumption was a justified one or ----
   A.   Well, as I mentioned, my Lord, we then obtained the
        additional reports which showed that Leuchter had been not
        barking up the wrong tree, but barking up the right tree,

.          P-83

        and I do draw attention again to the fact that as early as
        my introduction to that report, I said this is a flawed
        report.  There are things in it that I would like to have
        seen done differently.  The whole purpose of the report
        was to put the ball in the court of the other side so they
        come back and convince us.
   Q.   That is as may be, but I am interested to know what it was
        that emerged that told you that Leuchter was right,
        because at the moment it seems to me there is a
        fundamental problem with his report.
   A.   In that case, when my turn comes to lead evidence, I shall
        lead evidence introducing these other reports if
        Mr Rampton is reluctant to put before the court.
   MR RAMPTON:  May I invite your Lordship -- it will save time,
        it will save me having to do it now -- just to read -- not
        now, I do not mean, when it is convenient to your Lordship
         -- the little bundle of correspondence that is in tab 8
        of the first of the new bundles, K1?
   A.   I already requested his Lordship to do that.
   Q.   What?
   A.   I already requested that his Lordship should do that.
   MR RAMPTON:  Not now, my Lord.  There are some quite
        significant letters in there, we would say, and then I
        need not ask questions about them unless your Lordship
        invites me to do so.  Before I come to the Leuchter report
        itself, though, there are two things I want to get out of

.          P-84

        the way, Mr Irving.  In 1945, the forensic laboratory at
        Cracow made a report on two different things:  (1) metal
        covers with holes in them taken from what they call the
        gas chambers at Birkenhau.  They were covers on the
        ventilation openings, so the report said -- I am sure you
        know it well?
   A.   It may be useful if we actually had the report before us.
   Q.   Very well.  My Lord, that is in tab 6.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Or possibly Professor Pelt's ----
   MR RAMPTON:  There is only ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Sorry, van Pelt.
   MR RAMPTON:  There is only a summary of it in van Pelt, my
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is that not going to be -- I do not know.
        Take your own course.
   MR RAMPTON:  No, because I know what is going to happen, we are
        going to wind up looking at the report anyway, if we are
        not careful.
   A.   Tab 6, you said?
   Q.   Tab 6 of this new file, K.
   A.   This is the one in German?
   Q.   Yes, this is the report of 15th December 1945.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, tab 6.  This, I think, Mr Irving, is perhaps
         -- Mr Irving, I can tell you this a copy made for the
        court in Vienna when the Auschwitz architects were on

.          P-85

        trial in, I think, 1971 or 2.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is this in German?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  It does not matter.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is it not simple letter to look at Professor
        van Pelt?  Can you give me the reference, at any rate, so
        that I can follow it there?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It cannot be 931.  No, it is in the text of
        his report because I think that will probably have the
        guts of it and if Mr Irving does not agree, he will say
        so.  I think it is 611.  Is it 611?
   MR RAMPTON:  It is in two places, I think, actually.
   A.   I do not think I have any problem with this document at
        all.  I will concede that they found in the ventilator
        grating taken from mortuary No. 1 of crematorium (ii)
        remains of cyanide.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  How do you account for that, Mr Irving?
   A.   Because that particular room was used as vergasungskeller,
        as a gassing cellar.
   Q.   Yes.  Gassing what?
   A.   I think the evidence is clear that it was used as a
        gassing cellar for fumigating objects or cadavers.
   Q.   Fumigating cadavers?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   What makes you say that?
   A.   That is what that room was for.  That is what mortuaries

.          P-86

        are for.  In mortuaries you put cadavers.
   Q.   That is news to me, Mr Irving.  What is the evidence for
   A.   I beg your pardon?
   Q.   What is the evidence that they used that for gassing corpses?
   A.   That is what it was built for.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry, this seems a crude question, but
        what is the point of gassing a corpse?
   A.   Because they came in heavily infested with the typhus
        bearing lice that had killed them.
   MR RAMPTON:  So why would it need a gas type door with a peep
        hole with double eight millimetre thick glass and a metal
        grill on it?
   A.   Well, I think you will have to show us the evidence for
   Q.   I will do.
   A.   And the evidence that this door was intended for that
        particular room and the evidence it was possible to obtain
        doors without the peep holes and the evidence that the
        room was not intended to be used for other purposes too.
   Q.   No, Mr Irving.  You see, I do not have to prove anything.
        I am testing your, I have to say, slightly bizarre
        suggestion that you put Zyklon B into a room where the
        people are already dead.  You tell me, "Oh, well, that is
        because they wanted to delouse the corpses".  Then I asked

.          P-87

        you, "Why then does it need a gas type door with a peep
        hole and a metal protection on it?"
   A.   Because at this time in the war most of Germany was coming
        under the, it was feeling the weight of Royal Air Force
        bomber commands forays.  We were bombing all over Eastern
        Europe.  Our bombing raids were extending further and
        further into Central Europe.  You will see from the
        Auschwitz construction department files an increasing
        concern about the need to build bomb tight shelters and
        gas tight shelters because of the danger of gas attack.
   Q.   Now it is an air raid shelter, is it?
   A.   I beg your pardon?
   Q.   In early 1943, Mr Irving, the first bombing raid anywhere
        near Auschwitz was not until late '44?
   A.   Mr Rampton, if the court so pleases, I will tomorrow
        produce to you an index of all the documents in the
        Auschwitz construction department files from late 1942
        onwards dealing with the necessity to build air raid
        shelters, gas tight air raid shelters and other similar
        constructions on the Auschwitz compound and on the
        Birkenhau compound for precisely the reasons that I have
   Q.   It is either a cellar for gassing corpses, is it,
        Mr Irving, or else it is an air raid shelter?
   A.   Did I say either or?

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