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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.10

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.10
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So do I. Where do we find that, Mr Irving?
        If we do not find it in the report perhaps you could
        quote in its context where one gets that estimate.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, with respect, if the witness agrees
        Tauber attested to 4 million, we are only concerned
        the figure.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  He has made the point, which I think is a
        fair one, that he wants to see in what context and on
        basis that 4 million figure was arrived at by Tauber.
        That is a reasonable thing for him to want to do, and
I am
        simply asking you to identify where one finds it.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, I will have to adjourn that piece of
        information, the page number, until after lunch.  If
it is
        substantial, we can come back to it and retake it.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can anyone on the Defendants side find
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry?
   A.   I can point to the page.  It is page 178.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of your report?
   A.   178 of my report, which goes back to Pressac 501.
What he

.          P-81

        says is that he came to this figure on the basis of
        conversations he had with various prisoners.  Yes?  If
        allow me, I can probably quote the whole thing.  I
        the full quotation now from Pressac on page 501:
                   "I imagine that during the period in which
        I worked in the crematorium as a member of the
        sondercommando a total of about 2 million people were
        gassed.  During my time in Auschwitz I was able to
talk to
        various prisoners who had worked in the crematorium
        the bunkers before my arrival.  They told me that I
        not among the first to do this work and that before I
        another 2 million had already been gassed in bunkers 1
        2 and crematorium (i).  Adding up the total number of
        people gassed in Auschwitz amounted to about 4
        That is what he says.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Half of it comes from other people?
   A.   Half of it comes from other people.
   MR IRVING:  This information is being taken by Judge Jan
        in whom you repose great trust?
   A.   Yes.  I think that Sehn did a marvellous
   Q.   Can you tell us something about these depositions were
        taken in communist countries? Would the man sit down
        a pencil and paper and retire to a room and write it
        out himself, or would it be summarized by the lawyers
        he would be asked to sign it.
   A.   I do not know what happened.  I already told you

.          P-82

        yesterday.  I do not know what happened in that room
        Jan Sehn was interviewing Mr Tauber.  I know there
        witnesses there because the original report mentions
        people being present.  That is all I know.
   Q.   If I can just leap sideways to the name of Rudolf
        the kommandant of Auschwitz, is it right that he was
        interrogated several times at Nuremberg?
   A.   Yes, that is right.
   Q.   And that, as a result of these interrogations, a
        deposition was taken or put before him for signature?
   A.   Yes, that is right.
   Q.   And you have now read these interrogations, I believe?
   A.   I have read a copy of the interrogations, yes.
   Q.   The verbatim interrogation transcripts?
   A.   Yes.  I do not think I have read every one of them
but, I
        have read them in general.
   Q.   Have you managed to form an impression there of how
        Americans obtained depositions from their witnesses?
   A.   Maybe you can lead me on that, because I do not
        know where ----
   Q.   Would I be right in saying that, on the basis of the
        interrogations, the Americans would draw up a
        confront the witness with it, and say, "Sign here"?
   A.   I cannot conclude that on the basis of the
        I read.
   Q.   Very well.

.          P-83

   A.   Certainly not.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, have you left Tauber now.
   MR IRVING:  I believe we have just one more point on Tauber
        that is to look at page 481 of Pressac, where we do
        four photographs of Pressac posing in various
        post war photographs taken by the Polish authorities
        obviously regarded him as a star witness.
   A.   This is Heinrich Tauber?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You said Pressac.
   MR IRVING:  My mistake.  There are four photographs of him
        posing in the camp costume.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What is the significance of that?
   MR IRVING:  That he was a star witness, my Lord, of the
        prosecution authorities, he was being subjected to
what we
        call now photo ops, and they were relying on him very
        heavily, and that no doubt there was a certain amount
        privilege being granted to him by the Polish
        in the way that he was cooperating with them.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So he was making it up to express his
        gratitude to the Polish authorities?
   MR IRVING:  It is not an unknown phenomenon for witnesses
        make things up.  Your Lordship will probably recall
        at the end of World War II, the whole of Europe was in
        very, very sorry state.  You did not have food
        there were no consumer goods and this was something
        which the people who were in authority, whether they

.          P-84

        Poles or Russians or Americans or British, were able
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  May I put the general question to
        van Pelt which I invited you to ask a little while
        That is this.  Are there aspects of Tauber's testimony
        account which cause you to doubt his plausibility?
   A.   I think that Tauber is an absolutely amazingly good
        witness.  I find his powers of observations very
        in general.  I do not have any general reason to doubt
        credibility as a witness.
   MR IRVING:  May I ask a question on that, my Lord?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of course, yes.  I was only asking the
        question that seemed to me to be need to be asked.
   MR IRVING:  Would your impression be, or would it not,
that, at
        the time he was being questioned by the Polish
        for the purpose of providing this deposition, he was
        confronted or furnished with drawings, documents and
so on
        to help jog his memory.  His apparent precision may
        come from this kind of prompting by the Polish
   A.   This is possible indeed but let us now just go back
for a
        moment.  Let us assume this happened, Tauber would
        been confronted with blueprints which, sadly to say,
        40 years after the these blueprints came in the public
        realm, most people were unable to interpret.  These
        very technical documents.  These documents are not
easy to

.          P-85

        interpret.  It is not so that, if the blueprints had
        there, and a man who is not an architect or even, for
        matter an historian who teaches in an architecture
        when they are confronted with that, it is not that
        immediately are able to make up a story which matches
        point for point information in the blueprint of a very
        technical and specialist nature.
   Q.   But they would know, for example, the difference of
        from right, would they not?  If for example they
        a staircase being on one side of the building, or the
        rutsche, the slide, being on one side of the building
        the drawing showed it on the other or vice verse, if
        showed it on the side that the drawing showed it when
        fact it was not built that way?
   A.   One of the things we have to remember is that Tauber
        a description of crematorium (ii).  It is a general
        description.  However, sonderkommandos of crematorium
        and (iii) had access to both buildings.
        have testified to the fact that they lived in these
        buildings but they shared facilities.  So they would
        allowed to actually cross that little path and go over
        the other crematorium and back.  So we have two
        which are mirror images of each other, which left and
        right are completely turned upside-down, which both
        used by the same people, but otherwise are identical.
        if at a certain movement he gets left or right wrong.

.          P-86

        I would not at that moment give such incredible
        evidentiary value to that, that he is making it up, or
        that he is totally confused.  It is simply that these
        buildings were identical except for the left and the
        of everything.
   Q.   In your original book you made one claim about the
        position of the rutsche in a building which you then
        reversed in your report.  Is that correct?
   A.   No, I do not think so.
   Q.   You stated that it was on one side of the building on
        drawings, and that in fact it was somewhere else.
   A.   I am happy to consider this and to discuss it with
        but again show me the passage in the book and show me
        passage in the report.  I will deal with it then.
   Q.   This has all taken rather longer than I had hoped.  I
        sure his Lordship is getting impatient and we should
        on.  Can we move on now to the witness Pery Broad?
        Summing up on Tauber, one point, can I get you to make
        following statement?  Tauber described the cyanide
        poured into the gas chamber of crematorium No. (ii)
        through holes in the roof.  That is correct?
   A.   Yes, that is correct.
   Q.   If (and this is a hypothetical; it is one of Mr
        if's) it should turn out there were never any such
        in the roof, then Tauber has lied, has he not?
   A.   Then he would have lied, yes.

.          P-87

   Q.   Thank you.  We now move on to Mr Pery Broad.  P-E-R-Y
        Broad.  This is, of course, a more general eyewitness
        because he is also of relevance to Auschwitz rather
        Birkenhau, am I right?
   A.   Most of his testimony on at least gassings relates to
        Sturmlager.  And he only observed from a distance what
        happening in Birkenhau.
   Q.   Very briefly we are going to deal with Mr Broad.  Pery
        Broad was employed by the British as an interrogator
in a
        British camp; is that correct?
   A.   I would wonder if you can be more precise about what
        "employs" means in this case before I can say yes or
   Q.   Would it be reasonable -- your Lordship wished to say
        something, no -- to say that, in view of his special
        position within this prison camp, he was given special
        favours by the British, whether they be in the form of
        payment or accommodation or clothing or food or money?
   A.   He was an inmate who was used in the inmate
        of the camp.
   Q.   Can you tell me what happened at the end to Pery Broad
        back in the 1960s?
   A.   Pery Broad was tried in Frankfurt and he ----
   Q.   As a war criminal?
   A.   As a war criminal.
   Q.   Eventually, he was put on trial by the Germans, is

.          P-88

   A.   He was put on trial by the Germans.  I think he was
        convicted to two years or two-and-a-half years in
   Q.   Am I right in saying that he was convicted for the war
        crime of having participated in shootings at block 11
   A.   I do not know exactly what the judgment, what were the
        reasons for his conviction, what crime he was
        for and what crime he was not.
   Q.   In other words, your eyewitness was a murderer who was
        going at some time to be prosecuted for war crimes by
        Allies, quite rightly, and he had bought a certain
        of breathing space -- is this not a reasonable
         -- by testifying in various cases that the British
        bringing in Northern Germany?
   A.   Let us go back to the situation in a British
internment or
        in a prison of war camp in, I think it was,
        Northern Germany, very far away from Auschwitz in May
        1945.  If Mr Broad had not come forward to say he had
        in Auschwitz, I think nobody would ever have found out
        because many SS men at that time were, basically,
        in allied prison of war camps and were sitting there
        they were released.  So, certainly, Mr Broad, if he
        not volunteered the information about Auschwitz, I
        would have had anything to fear at that time because
        were in that camp no surviving inmates from Auschwitz
        could have identified him.

.          P-89

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