Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day008.08 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Leave out the last---- A. Would you not interrupt me, please? They are not talking about the mobile gas truck experiment and to try and suggest that when I say that the gas chambers did not exist, this is a reference to the gas trucks which I have here said quite clearly do exist, I think is perverse. Q. Mr Irving, I am going to read it again. Just one little bit. You have described how Irving looked through a peep hole into the back of a bus and he saw a number of people. A. Eichmann looked through the peep hole. Q. Eichmann saw a number of people being gassed by the . P-66 exhaust fumes. This is Mr Irving speaking, formally speaking, in a corrected or approved version in print. "So I accept that this kind of experiment, that is to say, the sort that Eichmann witnessed, and I stress the word experiment, was made on a very limited scale, but that it was rapidly abandoned as being a totally inefficient way of dealing people". Now that, as a statement of history, was just rubbish, was it not? A. The very element now turns out to be wrong, yes. Q. So does the experiment. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That has been conceded now, has it not? A. Except that it was abandoned and replaced by other means of killing people. MR RAMPTON: The point of my going back to that was this. You said not long ago that you cannot be blamed for making an off the cuff answer in answer to a statement in answer to a question? A. Yes. Q. That was a wrong answer too, was it not? A. Yes. Q. This is not an off the cuff response to a question? A. This is part of the main talk, yes. Q. I repeat my earlier question, do you not think -- is this IHR a reputable and authoritative body? A. Do we wish to discuss that at this time? . P-67 Q. I just want to know. Are these conferences attended by top notch historians and that kind of thing? A. Yes. Q. They are. But this is an occasion ---- A. I will be producing evidence later on the nature of the audience at these bodies and the directors of the Institute all have academic qualifications and degrees. Q. I just want to get the flavour of the occasion on which you uttered these words. A. Well, I was going to mention that fact. This is a body of incorrigible, shall we say, people whom I am sure the Defence would describe as Holocaust deniers, and I am rubbing their noses in what did happen, and I think I deserve commendation for that. I am saying, "Here is Eichmann describing in his memoirs how he attended a mass shooting from such close range that he was personally affected in a rather disagreeable way by the shooting that went on. Q. Mr Irving, I am sorry, you must try -- I am perhaps not making myself clear -- you say this paper was presented at a conference of reputable academics and others who may take one or other view about the past, but this is a serious occasion? A. This is a talk by me to an audience in California, yes. Q. But it is a serious occasion? A. To an audience who do not want to hear me say this. They . P-68 want to hear me say something totally different. Q. Mr Irving, please, is this a serious occasion or not? A. In what sense? Is it a collar and tie occasion? MR JUSTICE GRAY: You expect it to be taken serious. MR RAMPTON: Do you expect to be taken seriously? A. Yes. People have gone there to come away improved with a knowledge improved, enhanced. MR RAMPTON: So it is quite different from a question and answer session at a knock about press conference, is it not? A. Knock about press conference? Q. K-N-O-C-K about. You expected what you said to be taken seriously by your audience? A. Yes, and it was taken very seriously. Q. What you said was historical nonsense? A. The word "very limited" is wrong. Q. So is the word "experiment". A. I disagree. They abandoned the gas trucks after a time which showed that the experiment did not work. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, 97,000 people, is that not rather a long experiment? A. On the scale of 6 million, my Lord, which is the figure claimed by the Defence. Q. Not by you? A. My Lord, 97,000 is a large figure which we now know about from the document which has now been shown to us, the . P-69 documents that have now been shown to us, which, of course, I had not seen at that time. If they abandoned the gas trucks method of killing people, as they clearly did, and we know from the documents now that it was precisely because it turned out to be a totally impracticable way of killing people. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving ---- A. I think the word "experimental" is entirely unjustified. Q. Leaving aside for the moment ---- A. The idea of experimenting in killing people is grotesque anyway. Q. Particularly if it is to the tune of 100,000 people? A. I agree. It is actually obscene. Q. Why did you not say that? Why did you not say, Mr Irving, "I have looked at this question. They have managed to get up to 100,000 at least", we know that from the documents, "but then they decided that was not a very good way of doing it, so they stopped doing it that way. Nonetheless, the fact is that they succeeded in killing in the East and in the Reinhard camps well over a million people? A. I always suspected, Mr Rampton, you are not listening to my answers, and that is just proof of it. I told you this figure of 100,000 only comes to my knowledge within the last few weeks or months. Q. But it was there to be found, was it not? . P-70 A. Lots of things are there to be found. I do not have teams of 30 or 40 researchers working at the expense of God knows who is paying for the defence in this case, looking through all the archives, trying to find documents to prove me wrong. Q. You know about the letter, you have always known about the letter, of 1st May 1942 from Greiser to Himmler, yes? A. Yes. Q. That is in your books, is it not? A. I have quoted it in my books, yes. Q. And that speaks of "Sonderbehandlung of some 100,000 Jews in my territory in an action approved by you in agreement with Heydrich will be completed in the next two or three months"? A. Yes. Q. Experimental? Sonderbehandlung? A. But, Mr Rampton, this document is quoted in full in my books. That passage is quoted in full in my books. Q. But not in connection with gassing by trucks? A. Well, we do not know from Greiser what method has been used to specially treat, if I can use the word, those 100,000 people. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought you accepted earlier on this morning -- we can find the reference -- that that was actually a reference to gassing? A. From the later documents which are now available, my Lord, . P-71 this is plain, but at the time I wrote the book I had only the 1st May document. Our knowledge advances by stages, particularly now these other archives have been opened to us. It cannot be held against me that I did not know something in 1970 when I wrote the book which is now only available at the end of the 20th century. MR RAMPTON: No, I am not talking about the book, Mr Irving. You knew about the Greiser letter for a long time. It mentions the killing, or proposed killing, of 100,000 Jews in the Warthegau from 1st May in a couple of months, two or three months? A. Yes, but we do not know what methods have been used to dispose of them. Q. Please, Mr Irving, I have not finished my sentence. That is all that is in the book because you did not know about the Turner letter of 5th June 1942, you tell us. I am not in a position to contradict you? A. Well, of course, can I tell you when I first got the Turner letter? That was in 1977. Q. The Turner letter in 977? A. I have to state that, yes. I was sent page 1 of the Turner letter, I believe, by Mr Sereny round about July 1977. Q. By the time of the second edition of Hitler's War you did know about it? A. Yes. But whether I would have read it in detail or not. . P-72 Q. Do I find it in that? I am asking that as a completely open question to which I do not know the answer. A. I think you will probably ... Q. I think I had better check it. A. I must make this quite plain. I have had the Turner letter in my possession probably for 23 years. Q. Yes. So? A. But the Turner letter by itself is a very suspect document until you see the subsidiary documents that have become available since then. Q. Will your Lordship forgive me? I am just trying to look in the index to see whether there is any reference to this. If there were a reference, Mr Irving, it would be in the later part of the book, would it not? I mean in the 1991 edition? A. Are you enquiring whether I used Turner letter in either edition of the Hitler book? Q. Yes. A. I do not believe I did. Q. Obviously not the first one because you told us ---- A. I do not believe I did. Q. You do not think you did? A. No. Q. Can I put it to you that you suppressed it? A. You can put it to me like that, but, obviously, I suppressed many hundreds of thousands of documents when . P-73 I wrote a book of that magnitude. Q. What was that? I am sorry I missed it. A. The Turner letter has been subjected to the most intensive scrutiny by people both yeh and nay, if I can put it like that, and when there is a document like that, one's instinct is to steer clear of it. Q. Well, now there is another letter which we saw referred to in paragraph 5.2.2 of Professor Browning. That is the letter about the functioning of the trucks of 5th June 1942. That is not the Turner letter. This a Warthegau letter? A. On what page is that? Q. It is page 38, and the body of the report is translated at the bottom of the page. As I say, I have absolutely no intention of reading that out whatsoever. A. Yes, but you are not implying that I have had that document in my possession until a few weeks or months ago? Q. You have only recently had that document? A. Yes. That is what I say. When you see a document like that, then you are more inclined to accept the Turner letter as being genuine. Q. What about the Greiser letter? A. The Greiser letter, there has never been any doubt as to that, the authenticity, because it was an American custody and it is microfilmed with the Heinrich Himmler papers. Q. But you did not think before wading in and saying that . P-74 there were only a very limited number of experimental truck gassings or bus gassings at a serious conference of historians, you did not pause to consider what it might be that the Turner letter told you which you had at that time, indeed, you had when you wrote Hitler's War '91? A. Well, I could have expatiated at length at that conference on the Turner letter, and I could have pointed to the things that point to its authenticity, but also at great length to the things that give rise to be dubious about it; for example, the very weird SS runes that had been hand typed in and things like that. Q. Mr Irving, as you see and as you know perfectly well, and as I will, no doubt, have to put to you again along down the road, you are all too eager to jump on anything, dignify it with your authority, that suggests that the scale of Nazi criminality during the war, whether it be the killing of Jews or the responsibility of Adolf Hitler, anything that seems to diminish or reduce that proposition, size of the crime, or the level to which the criminality went up? A. Mr Rampton, we are talking about 97,000 on one case. You are saying that I have suppressed that fact and yet I have quoted in full the Greiser letter which talks of 100,000, it is precisely the same one. I believe the belief is that it is exactly the same victims we are talking about, so you cannot accuse me of having suppressed that . P-75 particular atrocity. I quoted the Greiser letter and I quoted the figure. MR JUSTICE GRAY: When you say the "same Jews", do you mean the 97,000 equals the 100,000? A. A part of the 100,000. I believe that is the submission that Mr Rampton is trying to make. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I would like, if I may, just one minute when I get the reference to look and see what it is that Mr Irving said about the Greiser letter. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It says 1991 Hitler's War. MR RAMPTON: Yes, my Lord. Page 426. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Page 426. MR RAMPTON: Yes, 426.
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