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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.38

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.38
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   No, it is projected at some stage.  I will have the
        projection figures for you tomorrow, but if these are
        registered people that are being talked about here, then
        I quite agree, it is utterly absurd.  If, however, what is
        contemplated is that the majority of these people who are
        going to be incinerated are never registered at all but
        are merely killed on arrival off the train, why then it is
        not the least bit absurd, is it?
   A.   It is absurd when you look at the individual figures and
        you know that those figures wildly exceed anything that
        the top company who actually designed and specified the
        crematorium furnaces had provided for by many multiples.

.          P-155

   Q.   Not at all.  We will get to the figures.  You will
        probably get to the figures with Professor van Pelt, but
        that is the whole point about the design of these top
        multiple muffle ovens, is that you can incinerate up to
        four corpses at a time in any one muffle.  Do you know why
        you do that, Mr Irving?  Because they self-combust.  You
        mix fat corpses with thin corpses and then you do not need
        much coke supply; it keeps going under its own steam?
   A.   Mr Rampton, you are not mortician.  I am not a mortician,
        but one thing I do know is that bodies are largely made up
        of water, not fat.  Nine tenths of a body is water, and
        unless you find a way of burning water then they are not
        going to self-combust.
   Q.   We might have to look at the patent application.  Did you
        read that in these papers, Mr Irving?
   A.   The patent for the furnaces actually installed?
   Q.   Yes, it is in this bundle.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are you about to leave the document which
        Mr Irving challenges?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I just ask you one question, Mr Irving?
        If for the sake of argument it is an authentic document,
        it is about as incriminating as one could possibly find?
   A.   My Lord ----
   Q.   When I say "incriminating" you know what I mean?
   A.   Yes, it looks incriminating until you realize the trauma

.          P-156

        they have been through in 1942, with people who were dying
        at the rate of 400 or 500 a day and not knowing what lies
        before them in 1943 when conditions are undoubtedly going
        to get worse because the camp is expanding.
   Q.   So you think they might, in order to guard against a
        repetition of 1942, have been constructing crematoria
        capable of taking nearly 5,000 people a day?
   A.   I do not accept these figures could possibly be true for
        other considerations, from the coke consumption
        considerations alone.  It takes 30 kilograms of coke to
        burn one body, whatever Mr Rampton is about to say now.
        There is no provision for coke supplies on this scale in
        the entire encampment.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, the top [sic - Topf]  patent application runs in two
        parts it is, but it runs from pages 6 to 18 in this part
        of the file.  It is much to long for us to struggle
        through this afternoon.  It is all in German.  It is cited
        by Professor van Pelt in his report.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  539 did you say?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes.  Mr Irving, if you have not read it already
        I suggest you read it overnight in case you are going to
        fall out with Professor van Pelt about its effect.
   A.   Is it suggested these were crematoria actually installed?
   Q.   No.
   A.   Then what on earth is the relevance?
   Q.   What is suggested is that this is the model for, this is

.          P-157

        the patent application after all, the prototype or model
        for those which were actually installed, yes, and the key
        to it was that you had to keep, well, I will start at the
        beginning.  Under German law, Mr Irving, correct me if
        I am wrong, you had to burn only one corpse at a time,
        because you had to be able to identify the ashes at the
        end of the operation?
   A.   Even in 1940 Himmler ordered this was to be the situation
        in concentration camps too, yes.
   Q.   This was a direct breach of German law, no doubt
        sanctioned by the SS, because what they were proposing was
        to incinerate more than one corpse at a time?
   A.   On account of conveyor belt system by the look of it.
   Q.   Yes, absolutely right, and what they observe in their
        patent application is that if you do not keep the process
        continuous you hit problems.  If you operate it
        periodically it does not fully satisfy.  That is how,
        Mr Irving, they can reach such high numbers.  It is also
        how -- I have made a mistake.  The patent used -- I made a
        mistake.  Anyhow it is the description of the process I am
        interested in.
   A.   Well, I cannot quite see the relevance of this to what is
        before us, because you yourself say these were not ever
        installed in Auschwitz.
   Q.   I may have to come back to that.
   A.   It is grisly and gruesome stuff to read, but, believe me,

.          P-158

        my brother was Regional Commissioner in Wiltshire and he
        tells me what we were planning for the event of nuclear
        war in this country and that was equally grisly and
        gruesome as to what to do with the bodies that would come
        from a nuclear war.  They are planning for worst case
        contingencies here.
   Q.   Mr Irving, the reason why it was possible to contemplate
        such a large daily incineration was that they could burn,
        according to the design of these ovens, one more than one
        corpse at a time in each muffle?
   A.   Yes, a zigzag or something like that.
   Q.   No, they were just laid in lines.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is number one.
   A.   But it was never installed, this is the whole point.
   Q.   Yes, that is exactly.  If you read the eyewitness
        descriptions, if you go and look at the wretched things in
        Auschwitz, that is exactly what they are.  They are
        multi-muffle ovens.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But having read the extracts that Professor
        van Pelt has cited in his report, it seems to me that they
        are at best of equivocal significance on this question of
        whether human fat will cause them to incinerate more
        frequently.  It is page 540 just about the middle.
   MR RAMPTON:  What I think I misunderstood ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is the theory of the thing rather than

.          P-159

        whether it is the particular relevant patent.
   MR RAMPTON:  But the eyewitness testimony, Mr Irving, of, for
        example, Henrich Tagebuch tells us that that is exactly
        what they did.
   A.   We will see what we have to think of Henrich Teuer when
        the time comes.
   Q.   The time has now come for you to outline, if you will, but
        I just want to ask one more thing before I move to the
        eyewitness evidence.
   A.   Let me say just briefly about Henrich Teuer.  He was
        clearly briefed as to what to say.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are coming on to that.
   MR RAMPTON:  You can tell me in a moment about Mr Teuer,
        Mr Irving.  I am sure we should like to know because then
        Professor van Pelt can deal with it.  The other reason why
        it is an efficient process, if indeed it worked in the way
        in which we have been told that it did, is that of course
        you need much less fuel, do you not?
   A.   We know exactly how much fuel on average is required to
        cremate one corpse in existing crematoria.
   Q.   Please listen to my question.  If it works in this way,
        that the corpses fuel one another and so the continuous
        combustion process, then you need less coke?
   A.   This is yet another "if" on which you base your case, but
        unfortunately these were not the muffles actually
        installed in Auschwitz and we know precisely what their

.          P-160

        efficiency was.
   Q.   So you say, Mr Irving.  I am sorry, I just do not believe
        that you know what you are talking about on the question
        of what muffles, I am sorry, what quantity of corpses were
        put into each muffle.
   A.   We know because we have precise figures relating to the
        these types of crematoria in, for example, the Gusen
        concentration camp.  We know precisely how many tons of
        coke were needed to burn how many hundred bodies, and we
        have I think an average of 30.5 kilograms of coke per body
        being cremated.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is that in a single body crematoria?
   A.   They were the identical muffles that were installed in
        Auschwitz, the identical crematoria, is my understanding.
   MR RAMPTON:  But are you saying that in that crematorium at
        Gusen they burnt more than one body at a time in a muffle?
   A.   They were the identical furnaces.
   Q.   You do not answer my questions, Mr Irving, too often.  Are
        you saying that they burnt more than one body at a time in
        those muffles?
   A.   I should certainly, if you attach importance to that, go
        back and look at it, but I do not see what the difference
        is ----
   Q.   It is critically important.
   A.   --- because if it is an average figure and you need that
        much coke to burn one body, then stuffing them in four at

.          P-161

        a time is not going to make it any better.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are missing Mr Rampton's point.
   MR RAMPTON:  You are missing the point.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think the reason you are missing it is
        because you just do not know really the answer, whether
        you do burn one body ----
   A.   Yes, I would have to go and check up on the sources.
   Q.   --- more quickly if you have another body being burnt
   A.   I said repeatedly I am not a Holocaust expert.  I did not
        want to become a Holocaust expert.  I have to defend my
        position here.
   Q.   We cannot take it any further I think.
   MR RAMPTON:  I agree, we cannot take it any further.  My Lord,
        I will ask one question and Mr Irving can put in what he
        likes to say about Mr Teuer or anybody else.  I will ask
        one question about the eyewitness evidence, and then
        I believe I am in a position where I can sit down on this
        part of the case.
                  Mr Irving, what do you say about all the
        eyewitness evidence about Auschwitz for a start?
   A.   What an extraordinary question.
   Q.   Well, is it ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Well, answer it.  Do not worry about whether
        it is extraordinary or not.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is not an extraordinary question at all.

.          P-162

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Answer it.
   A.   All can I say in general is that I would attach less
        importance to the eyewitness evidence than I would to the
        British intercepts, to the aerial photographs, to the
        concrete evidence, literally the archeological evidence,
        to the documents I find in the archives, way down all the
        documents of that sort, sources of that nature, I would
        put way down believe that whatever any eyewitnesses might say.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, if it be the case that the eyewitness
        evidence is broadly consistent with the documentary -- it
        is an "if" I know, so do not say "if" -- if the eyewitness
        evidence is broadly consistent with the documentary
        evidence, then we can pay quite a lot of attention to the
        eyewitness evidence, do you not agree?
   A.   Except on one premise.
   Q.   What?
   A.   If the eyewitnesses have been briefed on the basis of the
        documents as to what to say.
   Q.   Of course.
   A.   Right.
   Q.   If they have been sitting in a room with a pistol to their
        head and they have been shown a document and said, "That
        mean it's a gas chamber, doesn't it?", and they have said
        "Yes, of course"?
   A.   If, for example, they describe as having seen a building

.          P-163

        which turns out to have existed only on paper, then we
        know they have been shown the architectural designs and
        they are describing what they have seen on the design and
        not what they have actually seen in real life or concrete.
   Q.   No, you do not know that.
   A.   Well, we do.  There is one particular case, Mr Teuer.
   Q.   There may be one particular case, but you do not know that
        a person who is shown a drawing does not recognize it as
        what he has seen in real life, do you?
   A.   Except if the drawing was never actually put into effect
        in that shape but was subsequently amended.
   Q.   One has to be very cautious about eyewitness testimony,
        particularly when it is remembered sometime after the
        events in question, does one not, Mr Irving?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And one will test it by reference to material by which it
        cannot have been contaminated, yes?
   A.   Yes.

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