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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.36

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.36
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   No, no, but these orders all go to the -- they made
        furniture and a whole lot of other things.  It all goes to
        Auschwitz.  This is not some order to some centralised air
        raid making department in Berlin, is it?
   A.   This is obviously a company which manufactures air raid
        shelter doors.
   Q.   You do not find anything about air raid shelters in this
        document, do you?
   A.  "Deutsche [German]",  [German] is equipment factories.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   It is nothing to do with furniture.
   Q.   In Auschwitz?
   A.   In the town of Auschwitz.  As Mr Van Pelt will tell you,
        Auschwitz was a town.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, if all these air raid shelter
        doors come with a peep hole, why does he have to spell it
        out in the letter?  I mean, he is saying, "I want a peep
        hole in my door".  Why does he say that?

.          P-136

   A.   It is the same, you will see, my Lord, when they are
        ordering electric motors, they also specify exactly what
        the electric motor has to be.
   Q.   That may be rather different because there are various
        kinds of electric motor.
   A.   Anyway, when you see the photographs of the doors they are
        talking about and the doors that are in all the standard
        Civil Defence manuals, they are the standard air raid
        shelter door.
   MR RAMPTON:  These doors have been purpose built.  He has
        already got one, has Bischoff, for Leichenkeller 1 in
        crematorium (ii).  He says to the people, the manufacturer
        in Auschwitz, the manufacturer in Auschwitz: "I want
        another exactly the same for Leichenkeller 1 in
        crematorium (iii)", does he not?
   A.   On the face of it, this is a very incriminating and highly
        sinister and murderous document, but, of course, it is
        lacking one thing, is it not?
   Q.   What is that?
   A.   Security classification.  There is no secret stamp on it.
        If this is connected to the Final Solution and it is
        talking about this kind of sinister document, they would
        have put a "Secret", even the lowest classification on it.
        This is a document of janitorial level which you are
        trying to hype up into a smoking gun.
   Q.   Which is exactly why you might find that it does not have

.          P-137

        "Geheim" on it, janitorial level.
   A.   In other words, it is capable of ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  There are two points.  One is that it is not
        authentic because it is not stamped "Geheim" and the other
        is that it is janitorial.
   A.   I am not saying -- no, my Lord.  I am not saying it is not
        authentic, my Lord.  I am saying the fact that it is given
        no security classification, even by an SS officer,
        indicates that it is as harmless as it appears to be.
   Q.   But I would have thought that if it is on a janitorial
        level, it might be all the more valuable as a clue to what
        is really going on.
   A.   No, it is ----
   Q.   What is wrong with that proposition?
   A.   I think that this is looking for conspiracy theories the
        whole time, my Lord.  If you are confronted with an
        innocent document in which he is ordering an innocent air
        raid shelter door, it does not occur to anybody to start
        stamping it "Secret", and it does not occur to him that 50
        years down the road the Queen's Bench Division is going to
        try to make this out into a smoking gun.
   MR RAMPTON:  These are all carbons, are they not, Mr Irving?
   A.   Don't fall for that one.  Immediately after the top left
        where it says "43/KI/Schull", which is the name of the
        secretary, there would be another "/" followed by "GEH"
        or "G" or "GKDOS" or "GRS", according to what security

.          P-138

        classification it had.  It would be part of the letter
        book registration number.
   Q.   I just want to pursue the air raid shelter dream a little
        bit further, if I may, Mr Irving?
   A.   The air raid shelter?
   Q.   "Dream" because it is, I have to suggest, complete
   A.   And this list of documents about air raid shelters is also
        a fantasy from the Moscow archives?
   Q.   The "Deutsche aust" [German - document not provided]
        Gazelshaft", etc. ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- in Auschwitz?
   A.   At Auschwitz.
   Q.   --- at Auschwitz, well, in Auschwitz -- there was a sort
        of settlement there -- was SS operated and inmate staffed,
        was it not?
   A.   I will take your word for it -- probably with slave
        labour, yes.
   Q.   I just want to pursue the air raid shelter a little bit
        further.  How far away is Leichenkeller 1 or how far away
        are crematoria (ii) -- I will start again.  Who was going
        to go into these air raid shelters of yours?  Who were
        they for?
   A.   I have no idea.
   Q.   For the inmates?

.          P-139

   A.   I have no idea.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, you have been asked now?
   A.   But my answer ----
   Q.   Would they have built them for the slave labour?  That is
        really inherent in the question.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  I said "for the inmates".
   A.   If we are really interested in this subject, I can
        inundate the court with paper about the construction of
        splinter trenches, concrete roof with reinforced concrete
        beams, bunkers for the inmates and everything.  There was
        a great deal of agitation and work went on providing air
        raid shelter for the SS and for the inmates ----
   Q.   Yes.  You have advanced ----
   A.   --- during these months and years.
   Q.   --- the air raid shelter theory?
   A.   Which had, obviously, not occurred to you.
   Q.   Obviously not occurred?  We have known about it for years,
        Mr Irving.  It just seems so silly we have not bothered to
        take it terribly seriously.  Perhaps we are wrong.  If
        this is for the SS, this air raid shelter, it is a
        terribly long way from the SS barracks, is it not?  They
        would all be dead before they ever got there if there was
        a bombing raid.  Have you thought about that?  It is about
        two and a half miles?
   A.   I remember during the war when we got air raid warnings
        half an hour, an hour, before the planes arrived.

.          P-140

   Q.   And you went down to the bottom of the garden, just as I
        did, and hid in your Andersen shelter, or whatever it was called?
   A.   We had a Morrison.
   Q.   We had one of those first and then we got grand and had an
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, that is enough reminiscing.
   A.   Yes, but what I am saying is that when you were deep in
        Silesia, you had all the warning from the early warning
        system in Holland which is where it was based.  You had
        all that time to tell you that enemy bombers were coming
        overhead heading your way.
   MR RAMPTON:  But, Mr Irving, you do know, do you not, that they
        draw did actually draw up plans for converting the
        crematorium at Auschwitz (i) into an air raid shelter for
        the SS.
   A.   Ah, ah, so this kind of thing did happen?
   Q.   Oh, yes, but that is where the SS ----
   A.   But you kept it quiet until now?
   Q.   --- that, Mr Irving, is where the SS barracks was.
   A.   Yes, well, I did not say this was for the SS.
   Q.   They could pop out of their living quarters into the air
        raid shelter.  Do you really see a whole lot of heavily
        armed soldiers running two-and-a-half or three miles from
        the SS barracks to these cellars at the far end of the
        Birkenhau camp?  I mean, Mr Irving.

.          P-141

   A.   It was, I think, common sense to take the only two
        underground buildings which had reinforced concrete roofs
        and which had been very heavily constructed at very great
        expensive to the German taxpayer -- far more expensively
        built than above ground mortuaries -- and to convert them
        for use as air raid shelters when the alarm began at the
        end of 1942.  You can see this from the construction
        files, that they became increasingly concerned about the
        risk of air raids.  Even if it was not just for the
        Kommandant and his private staff and family, it does not
        detract from the value of this particular explanation.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  How many people could be accommodated?
   A.   Well, we are told 2,000 people could get in, according to ----
   MR RAMPTON:  The document of 28th June 1943 suggests something,
        a gassing, sorry, an accommodation per gassing of about
        1600 people, sometimes as many as 2,000.  Anyway, leave
        that on one side.  I still want to know how you think it
        is even realistic, never mind credible, to expect all
        those SS men to run all the way from the barracks at
        Auschwitz (i) to the far end of the camp at Birkenhau and
        climb into this air raid shelter before they got squashed
        by the allied bombs.
   A.   I did explain to you.  I do not know who this privileged
        accommodation is being provided for.
   Q.   Well, they are not going to get 120,000 prisoners into

.          P-142

        such a space, are they, Mr Irving?
   A.   No, but the records show that very large numbers of other
        air raid protection facilities were being built around the
        camp at this time from the most primitive nature, which
        was of splitter trenches with primitive shelter over the
        top, to the most complicated bunkers.
   Q.   Those are still there today.  You can see little sentry
        shelters, one per person.
   A.   So they made provision for everybody according to their
        needs, to each according to his needs and to his status,
        no doubt.
   Q.   Well, my Lord, I have only one more question about air
        raid shelters and that is to be found on pages 29 and 30
        of the same section of the file, Mr Irving.  I am not
        going to struggle with this.  I know what it says because
        I have had it translated for me, but I am afraid I do not
        have a translation yet.
   A.   Which file?
   Q.   Page 29 of this file.
   A.   11th February 1943?
   Q.   That is the one.  I ask you again.  No need to read this
        out loud.  It can be copied into the transcript in due
        course.  I just ask you to read it to yourself.  It is a
        page and a half, if that?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are probably familiar with it, are you not?

.          P-143

   A.   Since yesterday, my Lord.  Yes, it was delivered to me
        yesterday.  I have asked all my colleagues around the
        world what the explanation for all this is and nobody has
        expressed very great alarm, except that I do draw
        attention, if I may, to the reference in the third and
        fourth lines to the provision eventually of two final
        permanent electric corpse elevators, or lifts, and one
        temporary corpse elevator which is to be installed as an
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Where is that on the page?
   A.   Lines 3 and 4 of the first page of the actual letter.
   MR RAMPTON:  Now, you have read that letter?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You have seen it.  I am sorry it was late coming.  We only
        got it ourselves, I think, on Saturday?
   A.   I got this at 10 past 9 yesterday evening.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, I am sorry it is late.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  "Leichenaftuk"(?) is that the word for corpse
   A.   Yes, Leichenaftuk.  They played quite an important part in
        the whole of the argument I shall develop when I come to
        get revenge on Professor van Pelt later on.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is not the right way of expressing
   A.   Well, I have had to endure a public flogging now for three weeks.

.          P-144

   MR RAMPTON:  Well, Mr Irving, you brought this action, if I may
        call it that.
   A.   I am very much entitled to, yes.
   Q.   So you must expect to be flogged publicly.  If the blows
        have been a little bit painful, I am sorry, but I am going
        to go on landing them.  Look at the second page of this
        letter, will you?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Am I right that, in effect, the whole of this letter is a
        frightful -- I am going to use schoolboy language --
        blowing up administered by the people of Auschwitz,
        Bischoff, to the supplier because they are behind in their
   A.   That is right, yes.
   Q.   And he is saying in the last paragraph but one, is he not:
         "Unless this stuff turns up quickly", and he is reciting
        a telegram he has already sent, "we cannot get this thing
        off the ground, the whole installation"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The second paragraph from the end.  That is right, is it
        not, and he uses the word in the previous
        paragraph "Dringinschten" which means "most urgent", yes?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Why the urgency if it is a mere air raid shelter or a
        delousing chamber?
   A.   We are at the height of the typhus emergency, are we not?
.          P-145

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