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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.18

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day013.18
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   I repeat my question.  I am not going to get an answer,
        I know, where did the 35,000 missing go?  They are not
        found under the ruins, they cannot be burnt in the

.          P-158

        Altmarkt.  Where they have gone?
   A.   I gave one answer and that is to say a large number were
        cremated live in their homes.  I do not think you have any
        perception of what a fire storm does to a city.  There is
        not very much left in the centre after it has passed.
   Q.   Have you been in one, Mr Irving?
   A.   I spent 3 years of my life investigating this one.  I am
        deeply ashamed of what we did.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, it is my fault.  I am not quite
        understanding your question about where did the missing
        35,000 go.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, one of the documents said, I think it was
        the final report, no, it was the other document, situation
        report No. 1404, page 547 of Professor Evans' report, my
        Lord, paragraph 3, I will read it:
                  "Simultaneously on 13th May 1966 the West
        German archivist, Dr Boberacht, drew Irving's attention to
        the discovery of a document in the Federal Archive in West
        Germany that confirmed the authenticity of the final
        report (that is to say the real one).  Amongst the
        situation reports on air raids on Reichs territory dated
        between 23rd February and 10th April 1945 situation report
        No. 1404 of the Berlin chief of police", that is the
        Berlin chief of police Mr Irving, "dated 22nd March 1945
        had appeared, a document dated the very same day as TB47.
        In it the same data were recorded as in the final report

.          P-159

        including the then current death roll of18,375".
   A.   Can you tell me what page you are on, please.
   MR RAMPTON:  "A predicted death roll of 25,000, that is total,
        and a figure of 35,000 missing".  Now, Mr Irving, if,
        which is insane, but if you propose that all those 35,000
        were incinerated in the fire storm as opposed to some
        proportion at least having fled the city and not come
        back, particularly if they happen to be refugees, if you
        add those together, what is the total that you get?
   A.   I do not know.  Tell me.
   Q.   60,000, is it not?
   A.   If you look at page 9 of the first major report dated
        March 15th, where it says, "personal damage, damage to
        persons", it says: "By 10th March in the morning we
        determined 18,375 killed, 2,212", these are actual bodies
        they have counted.
   Q.   No 2,212 is badly wounded, not bodies.
   A.   I am saying badly injured, yes.
   Q.   So some of those might die.
   A.   350,000 homeless.
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   350,000 homeless.
   Q.   Yes, Mr Irving.
   A.   Right.
   Q.   Not incinerated in a fire storm.

.          P-160

   A.   If they count 18,375 killed, that means they have had the
        actual bodies stretched out in front of them and they have
        done a head count.  If you see the damage to the city of
        Dresden, the way it was, you will know there were not
        bodies in the centre of the city.  There were just heaps of ash.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  My impression was -- I probably got this
        wrong -- that they actually were rather thorough in the
        Altmarkt and that they did try and identify all the bodies
        that were there.  Is that wrong?
   A.   My Lord, if you look at the second page, you will see them
        doing some of the identification.  The bodies have been
        laid out, there are the horses, they have been taken off
        the horse drawn carts, but these are not bodies that have
        been cremated in cellars.  These are bodies that have been
        taken into the Altmarkt to be cremated.
   Q.   No, but I think you just said, did you not ----
   A.   They have done what they could.  They have taken the
        rings, they have looked at the inside of the rings to see
        the initials that are engraved inside the wedding rings.
   Q.   When you refer to heaps of ash, I thought you were seeking
        to suggest that you did not know who had been incinerated
        in the Altmarkt.
   A.   Certainly, these ones, the big funeral pyres, they would
        have done what they could to identify them and that is
        what Funfach is doing in the photograph in the centre of

.          P-161

        the book I showed you, but in the Hamburg air raid it is
        very clearly described, in fact in horrible detail about
        what people found when they went into the basements and
        what they found when they went into the bunkers.  In
        Hamburg alone 48,000 people were killed.  That was in a
        city that had been completely prepared for air raids with
        air raid shelters and bunkers and anti-aircraft guns, and
        the city was aware what air raids were, they had air raid
        sirens.  This was a city with a million refugees, many of
        them camping out in the open streets with no shelters.
   MR RAMPTON:  Now, Mr Irving, a little bit of arithmetic, if you
        do not mind. I added together the prediction, 25,000, in
        the situation report 1404, to the 35,000 missing.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Making 60,000.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   That is already an exaggeration because, if you base your
        prediction on a figure of 18,375, some part of those
        predicted 25,000 are going to come from the 35,000
        missing, are they not?
   A.   I think these are very round figures indeed.  Nobody knew
        how many people were in the city that night because of the
        refugees that had poured in from Bresslau and all the
        eastern provinces fleeing the Russian advance.
   Q.   If you push it as far as you possibly can and assume that
        all the missings are going to have to be added to the

.          P-162

        18,375 as dead people, quite ignoring the probability that
        the whole lot of them actually just left and were never
        found again, at any rate by 22nd March, you only get a
        figure of 53,000, and that is a pie in the sky, over
        optimistic in your terms, exaggerated estimate even then,
        is it not?
   A.   I did all these calculations at the time back in the
        1960s, backwards and forwards from every possible
        available source.
   Q.   Well then, why did you write in Hitler's War in 1991, page
        739, the night's death toll in Dresden was estimated at a
        quarter of a million?
   A.   Because it was.  The estimates that came to Hitler on that
        day were quarter of a million.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you just go a little slowly at the moment?
   A.   I am sure that Mr Rampton has anticipated that answer
        because I can see a little triumphant smile coming.
   MR RAMPTON:  Mr Irving, I mean really ----
   A.   It is so obvious that ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If I may, I would just like to have a look at that.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What we have not done so far is seen what
        Mr Irving was writing in his books as opposed to writing
        to the Provost----

.          P-163

   MR RAMPTON:  That is what I am coming to now. I have leapt into
        the future because it is very interesting to see what
        Mr Irving made of this information.  I will take it a
        little more slowly perhaps.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In the end this is what matters, is it not?
   MR RAMPTON:  Of course.  Oh, of course.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are there any earlier references than Hitler's War?
   MR RAMPTON:  These came to light in 1977, so I will start after
        that, if I may.  Your Lordship in tab 3 will see a page,
        I think page 18, of the book Goring by Mr Irving, which
        was published in 1989.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am going to have to have an index to these
        files, am I not?
   MR RAMPTON:  I hope so.  I hope I get one, too.  You must have
        an index and it would be very nice to have an index for
        each file.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is what I am talking about.
   MR RAMPTON:  You should, if I may say it, and I am not
        criticising anybody, so that everybody can hear ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  So that it gets done.
   MR RAMPTON:  You should have, I think, an index for the whole
        set of files, and in each file there should be a separate
        index so far as possible.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  The unfortunate thing is that I really
        need one when these files are produced, not later.

.          P-164

   MR RAMPTON:  I know.  Your Lordship will find in the table, if
        your Lordship turns to page 11, that the mistress of the
        documents has written in the reference.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  I was forgetting that.
   MR RAMPTON:  Page 18.  This is in 1989, and this by Mr Irving's
        standards, I have to say, is a relatively conservative estimate.
   A.   What page are you on?  Page 18 you say?
   Q.   Page 18 of the file, Mr Irving, yes, page 554 of the
        book.  At the bottom of the big paragraph in the middle of
        the page you are writing about Dresden and you write in
        the last sentence: "The death toll of that night's
        massacre would rise to over 100,000".
   A.   I cannot find it.
   Q.   It is the last sentence of the big paragraph in the middle
        of the page.
   A.   Which book are we at?
   Q.   Goring, page 454 at the top, 18 in a round circle in blue
        biro at the bottom right hand corner.
   A.   I have no round figures on mine.  Is this in tab 3?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  If you do not have pagination on the bottom
        you are going to have----
   MR RAMPTON:  You will find a Goring between two black lines.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Somebody really ought to have paginated that
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, I quite agree.

.          P-165

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do think, bearing in mind how much time,
        energy and money has been spent on preparation for this
        case, that that sort of thing really ought to have been
        done.  It is not fair. He has enough to contend with.
   MR RAMPTON:  I agree.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is about ten or eleven pages in to that tab 3.
   A.   I have it, yes.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry about this.  The last sentence of the
        long paragraph in the middle of the page, Mr Irving.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   You are talking about Dresden:  "The death toll of that
        night's massacre would rise to over 100,000".
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Where did that figure come from, Mr Irving?
   A.   That is my figure.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is not really an answer, is it?
   MR RAMPTON:  Certainly it came out of your head, but what is it
        based on?
   A.   All my books come out of my head.
   Q.   Yes, sure.  What is it based on?  You accuse poor
        Mr Miller of being a fantasist.
   A.   I am not purporting to write something from my own
        experience, which Miller was.  If this is my best estimate
        on the evidence that I have up to that point when I wrote
        this manuscript, which was 1980 something, my best

.          P-166

        estimate of what I knew.  This would be about 1984 that
        I wrote that.
   Q.   1991?
   A.   Previously, of course, I had said 135,000, so I am
        bringing the figure down by now.
   Q.   If we turn over two pages in this file -- one page will do
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I do not know.  This is from Hitler's War 1991.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   And you are writing about, I think, the reaction to
        Dresden.  I have not read this page 738 but am I right
        about that?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   The reaction in Berlin?
   A.   Yes. You remember this book is viewing everything from
        inside Hitler's bunker.
   Q.   Of course, I understand that.  When you write at the top
        of the page, therefore, tell me if this is right, the
        night's death toll in Dresden was estimated at a quarter
        of a million, that was the estimate that Hitler was being
        given, probably by Goebbels.  Is that right?
   A.   Not by Goebbels necessarily, but it is quite clear by this
        time, when you have been reading 739 pages of this book ----
   Q.   I do not want to take any false point.  That is not an

.          P-167

        estimate you are giving to the reader of your own?
   A.   No.

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