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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day014.04

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day014.04
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Your diary entry ----
   A.   June 3rd.
   Q.   --- is 3rd, so it would be yesterday, would it not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Your diary entry reads -- you can see it if you like, we
        have it here -- "Later at PRO all day".  This is what
        happened on 2nd.  "Finished reading file of interrogations

.          P-28

        and MS manuscript by one SS officer, Hans Almeyer, a high
        Auschwitz official.  Once again, like Gerstein, his
        reports grow more lurid as the months progress.  I wonder
        why?  Beaten like Hoess or was he finally telling the
        truth?  A disturbing two hours anyway."  Do you remember
        that entry?
   A.   Very clearly, yes.
   Q.   Then I think there is a document you should look at.  I am
        afraid, my Lord, I have no idea which file it comes from.
        It is a letter written by Mr Irving on 4th June to
        Mr Marcellus?
   A.   "Dear Tom".
   Q.   The whole clump should go into L1 at tab 5, if it is empty
        which it should be.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  L1, this is nothing to do with Dresden, is it?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, this is to do with Auschwitz actually, but it
        has much more to do -- I mean, it is indirectly to do with
        Auschwitz because Almeyer was there for a time.  I do not
        remember how long, about nine months, I think, perhaps a
        bit longer.  No, it is the way in which Mr Irving handles
        this information that may be of importance.  So that is
        why L1 is a what file?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Dresden.
   MR RAMPTON:  It has "Hungary" in front, so it can have Almeyer
        at the back.  So long as they go where Miss Rogers says,

.          P-29

        my Lord, then the index will be of use, otherwise it will not.

        (To the witness):  Have you got that letter you
        wrote on 4th June 1992 to Mr Marcellus and Mr Weber?
   A.   Yes, I was looking at them last night.
   Q.   Oh good.  That is all right.  It is a fax, in fact.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   They both would have received the whole text, is that
        right, although the first part is addressed to
        Mr Marcellus and the second part to ----
   A.   I think they worked in same warehouse, yes.
   Q.   I am only going to read the part that is addressed to Mark
        Weber or does he calls himself "Weber"?
   A.   "Weber", I think.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Who as Marcellus?
   A.   He was the Director of the Institute.
   Q.   So he is IHR as well?
   A.   IHR, yes and Mark Weber was some functionary there.
   MR RAMPTON:  You write to Mark Weber:  "Working in the Public
        Record Office yesterday, I came across the 200 page
        handwritten memoirs, very similar in sequence to the
        Gurstein report versions of an SS officer, Almeyer, who
        was virtually Hoess's deputy.  They have just been opened
        for research.  He was held in a most brutal British prison
        camp, the London Cave (the notorious Lieutenant Colonel A
        Scotland)".  Then you write:  "These manuscripts are going

.          P-30

        to be a problem for revisionists and need analysing now in
        advance of our enemies and answering.  I attach my
        transcript of a few pages and you will see why.  It
        becomes more lurid with each subsequent version.  At first
        no gassings, then 50, then 15,000 total.  Brute force by
        interrogators perhaps".
                  Now, I have a number of questions about that
        little message, Mr Irving.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Why are the manuscript notes, or whatever they are,
        memoirs of Almeyer going to be a problem for revisionists?
   A.   I think because they refute a number of the tenets of the
        revisionist Bible, if I can put it like that.
   Q.   What is the revisionist Bible?
   A.   Well, the revisionist credo.
   Q.   Which is?
   A.   Oh, at its most extreme, it is that not a hair was harmed
        on the head of the Jews which was the most extreme and
        indefensible position.
   Q.   Does that include Mr Marcellus and Mr Weber?
   A.   Obviously not, otherwise I would not be writing this kind
        of letter to them, but the Almeyer manuscript, as I would
        call them, just like the Adolf Eichmann manuscripts that I
        had found the previous October in Argentina, raised
        serious questions.  They helped to do somewhat more than
        dot i's and cross t's.

.          P-31

   Q.   "... and need analysing now in advance of our enemies"?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Who is the "our" referred to there?
   A.   Well, the enemies of myself and Mr Weber and, presumably,
        Tom Marcellus.
   Q.   Who are those enemies?
   A.   Irresponsible historians who will leap on any document and
        use it to inflate the untenable position at the other end
        of the spectrum.
   Q.   What you were worried about, Almeyer tells a tale,
        accurate in parts, inaccurate in other parts, according to
        the traditional or the orthodox view of these matters,
        about his time at Auschwitz, does he not?
   A.   It is a very inaccurate tale which is, presumably, one
        reason why -- which is, presumably, one reason why the
        Defence has not relied on him so far.
   Q.   You will find him in extenso in Professor van Pelt's
        report.  You will also find precise observations about
        what is accurate and what is not.
   A.   Well, you remember when we asked the witness van Pelt who
        his important eyewitnesses were, there was no mention of Almeyer.
   Q.   No, there is not because Almeyer is, in certain respects,
        plainly wrong.
   A.   Yes, exactly what I said.
   Q.   Yes, it may be what you said.  What I am wondering about,

.          P-32

        Mr Irving, is why you were so frightened of Hans Almeyer's
        handwritten notes?
   A.   I do not think I am frightened about him.  I am just
        concerned for several reasons.  Let me explain.  As an
        independent historian, with no tenure Professorship to
        fall back on and, as I explained in my opening statement
        to this court, no pension to rely on, I have to rely on
        what find in the archives to sustain myself and my young
        family.  In order to do that, I rely on finding what might
        be commonly called scoops, and when you have found a
        scoop, it would be very foolish if you put it straight in
        the shop window and say, "Come on and help yourself".
        This was clearly a scoop.
   Q.   Mr Irving, that is not what you mean by the little phrase
        "our enemies", is it?  What you are frightened of is that
        somebody will find it or see it and will say:  "Well, here
        is another little piece of information.  It does not fit
        in every respect, but the bits which are consistent with
        what we have already got fit neatly into the Auschwitz
        jigsaw".  That is what you are afraid of, is it not?
   A.   They do not fit neatly into Auschwitz jigsaw.  It is quite
        plain.  If he only refers to 15,000 dead or 15,000 gassed,
        then that fitted more into our jigsaw than into the jigsaw
        of our opponents.
   MR RAMPTON:  I will not ask you to look at it now, my Lord.
        I give in the reference a very full account of Almeyer,

.          P-33

        warts and all ----
   A.   Well, let me just draw your attention to that letter.
   MR RAMPTON:  I am sorry, I am speaking to his Lordship.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let Mr Rampton finish.  Then you say what you
        want to say.  Mr Rampton, yes, where do we find it?
   MR RAMPTON:  May I finish what I am saying to his Lordship?
   A.    His Lordship has just said the same.
   MR RAMPTON:  On pages 260 to 266.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of Professor van Pelt?
   MR RAMPTON:  Not the whole of it, I am sure it is not the whole
        of it, but a good deal of what he said is set out there.
        At various points in the footnotes, my Lord, Professor van
        Pelt, and probably also in the text, though I do not have
        the whole of it here, Professor van Pelt draws attention
        to passages in Almeyer which cannot be right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But the point on Almeyer was not really so
        much the number of Jewish prisoners who were gassed, but,
        rather, the detailed nature of the description of the gas
   MR RAMPTON:  Precisely, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is that fair?
   MR RAMPTON:  Absolutely right.
   A.   Right.
   Q.   That is what you and your revisionist friends were afraid
        of, was it not, Mr Irving?
   A.   Let me explain.  I saw the Almeyer file on three

.          P-34

        occasions, as you now know, because I went to the Public
        Record Office and asked if they would give me a print out
        of all the occasions on which I saw the file.  I saw it
        once for afternoon on June 3rd 1992, and I saw it
        subsequently four years later -- I have the actual print
        out here which will tell you the precise days when I saw
        it -- on May 29th 1996, and again probably in connection
        with preparation of this action on 6th September 1997.  So
        I have seen it three times.
                  I am not a Holocaust historian.  My time in the
        archives is limited.  If I am not writing about the
        Holocaust in 1992, I am not going to spend the entire
        afternoon analysing a file of what looks like 200 pages.
        I skimmed through it, looked at the various versions,
        spotted the obvious discrepancies and immediately sent
        this, what you quite rightly described, I suppose, as an
        alarm signal to other people saying, "There is this report
        in the archives which is going to cause problems, and we
        are going to have to face up to it and it is better that
        we are the ones who publish it, rather than the people at
        the other end of the extreme, of either end of the two
        extremes, who will put spins on it which are quite
   Q.   But, you see, Mr Irving, before ever having analysed it,
        thought about it, compared it with the rest of the great
        corpus of evidence about Auschwitz, you are already

.          P-35

        suggesting in this letter that Almeyer's account was
        beaten out of him by the British under the charge of the
        notorious Lieutenant Colonel Scotland, are you not?
   A.   I take it you have never heard of Lieutenant Colonel
   Q.   Mr Irving, will you answer my question?
   A.   Well, I have.  I know who Lieutenant Colonel Scotland is
        and I know all about the Kensington Cage in which the
        prisoners were tortured.
   Q.   Mr Irving, I dare say you have.  I am not the least bit
        interested in Colonel Scotland.  Please answer my
        question.  Before you have analysed these notes or
        compared them with the corpus of evidence on Auschwitz,
        you have already begun to suggest that they were beaten
        out of it?
   A.   The papers are found in the files of Lieutenant Colonel A
        Scotland which were seized from him by the British
        Government after the war.  Almeyer was held finally in the
        London prison cage, which was Colonel Scotland's outfit,
        before he was turned over to the Nuremberg authorities.
        As his questioning proceeded, starting in Norway and then
        ending up in England because he was captured in Norway,
        his accounts became more lurid.  The final accounts in his
        file are written in British Army style with all place
        names and proper nouns written in capital letters with all
        that that implies, in handwriting, in pencil.

.          P-36

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  But Mr Rampton's question, I think, was
        suggesting this to you -- I am just going to ask it, if I
        may -- that in a way you are putting the cart before the
        horse jumping to the conclusion -- this is the question  ----
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   --- that because the Almeyer account was found in what you
        describe as the London Cage, it, therefore, followed that
        the account that he gives is worthless?
   A.   No, my Lord.  What I am saying is because it gets
        progressively more lurid, because the numbers increase
        from report to report, and because it ends up written in
        traditional British Army style on British Army notepaper,
        in pencil with all the place names and proper nouns
        written in capital letters, one is entitled to draw
        certain conclusions from the physical appearance of this
        file, particularly when one associates it with the name of
        the notorious Colonel Scotland.

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