Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.23 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 . P-197 A. Yes. Q. So where is this getting us? He was careless in the old days. That is the worst that can be said. MR IRVING: Careless in the old days? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Before his report. His report takes account of the integration of Rudolf Hirst. MR IRVING: But it also addresses the point of what attempts did I make to get further information. Here I have written a letter to one of the world's leading historians on Auschwitz and the Holocaust, inviting comments, asking his assistance, drawing his attention to documents, in the way that colleages do, and Professor van Pelt says he never received the letter. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I can see that your sending the letter may have some limited relevance, but his response to it seems to be me absolutely irrelevant. MR IRVING: I must admit, my Lord, that in asking these questions I was totally unprepared for the response that he had not received the letter. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Even if he said he had I do not think that it really matters what he did or did not do. Your point is, as I understand it, you wrote the letter, that shows that you were taking trouble to get your facts right. MR IRVING: There is one residual point, my Lord, and this that your Lordship will remember from the expert evidence I think of Professor Evans, or possibly even from the . P-198 expert evidence of this witness, that I am accused of having concealed the Altemeyer report until the solicitors for the Defendants went and investigated, and once I knew that they were on the trail I therefore blurted out the fact that I had it, which is of course an imputation that I find repugnant and I wish to try to investigate that allegation in view of the fact that I drew his attention to the Altemeyer report in this letter back in May 1997. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then you ought to produce a copy of it. MR IRVING: Of the letter? My Lord, it was in the little bundle I gave your Lordship yesterday or the day before. MR RAMPTON: I think it is in J11 of your Lordship's bundle. MR JUSTICE GRAY: J11. MR RAMPTON: Yes. I do not have a J so I cannot help. MR IRVING: I think your Lordship is going to have the advantage on me. I can only rely on the letter as a fact because I do not have a copy here with me. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, it is in J11. I am just going to find the reference to Altemeyer. I have flipped through it and I have missed it. A. I think Mr Irving is right. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sure he is right. A. I think he is right. Actually again I will only say after I actually see it, but I think that indeed I remember him, when I finally read the letter, since I wrote something of a response to it, I think he actually mentioned Altemeyer, . P-199 but I do not see it either in this copy. MR IRVING: Will you now withdrawn the suggestion that I only made it known to people once it became known that the solicitors to the Defendants were on the trail. MR GRAY: That contains within it a number of assumptions, one of which is the assumption they were not on the trail as of May 1997. You are probably right. MR IRVING: My Lord, the imputation is that I was going to sit on that document and look at the wall and whistle until I realized that Mishcon de Reya had got on the trail of that document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I understand what the allegation is, but when did they get on the trail of Altemeyer? MR IRVING: As a result of the evidence they found out about Altemeyer. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So long after May 1997? MR IRVING: Presumably, my Lord, yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot find Altemeyer. A. I found it. It is not numbered, but it is page 1. I do not know if we have the same format, 8: "Had you after visiting Washington", the eighth page, second paragraph. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I must have a different version. MR IRVING: It is the same version. A. I can read it to you. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Could you. A. This is basically about all the things I did not do, but . P-200 it says: "Had you after visiting Washington flown on to London, England you could have used the many versions of the handwritten written memoirs of Hirst's erstwhile stand in Deputy Court Altemeyer written under similar conditions of duress. He too was no doubt deservedly hanged by the Poles. These pencil papers are held at the Public Record office, but Altemeyer does not even figure in your history. Is not such an original document written ... (reading to the words) ... rights for payment for profit-driven publishers." MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. I want to track this down. I just want to see what the allegation is. It is in the Defendant's Summary of Case presumably? MR IRVING: My Lord, I believe it is in this witness's evidence, am I right, that you made the allegation that I did not reveal the existence of the Altemeyer document until I realized that Mishcon de Reya were on the trail? A. From the discovery, and I think we can ---- Q. That being so, my Lord, it was entirely proper for me to mention this document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Entirely proper. I am just tracking down what the allegation was so I can see whether you are right in saying that it is completely unfounded. Altemeyer is dealt with at 657 of your report. A. 657? Q. That is one of the places. . P-201 A. This is 1992. What I say here: "The discovery of the Altemeyer material brought Irving in a very difficult position. While publication of it would once more demonstrate his ability to find interesting new archival, publication would discredit him as an analytical historian. Faced with this dilemma, Irving decided to do nothing. Suppressing his discovery, he buried a reference to it in a footnote of his book on Nuremberg", which is in 1996. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where are you reading from, what page? A. Page 657. MR IRVING: There is another reference. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have it. A. So in my report I say that the first time he actually brings this one out is in 1996. Q. Which is four years on? A. Four years on. MR IRVING: Then is must be in Professor Evans' report, my Lord, that the allegation is made. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So far as we have got, let us be clear about it, your letter in May 1997 to Professor van Pelt does not in any way detract from the point he makes, I am not saying it is a good point, that you sat on this Altemeyer evidence between 1992 and 1996. MR IRVING: That is not true, my Lord. In fact I drew it to the attention of other people like Professor Gerald . P-202 Fleming. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a different point. MR IRVING: Yes, but this is not the allegation I am trying to shoot down here. The allegation I am trying to shoot down here is the allegation that I did not move until Mishcon de Reya got on the trail and of course they did that thanks to my discover. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us track that one down. MR IRVING: My Lord, that would be an appropriate point to stop? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I think we have got to track this one down. If somebody can give me Altemeyer in Evans. A. Maybe I should go to ---- Q. You cannot do this, Professor van Pelt, because it is not your report. A. No, I am thinking maybe I am looking in my own report right now. If I come back to this. Q. It is a point that is made in Evans, but I do not think it makes it in quite the way that Mr Irving suggests. A. It could actually have been me, but at a different thing. MR IRVING: It would not be very difficult for me to track this down at home, my Lord, because I can do it on my computer. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I have read paragraph ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are trying to help you. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I have read paragraphs 37 to 40 on pages 160 to 163 of Evans, and it is not what Mr Irving is on . P-203 about, that is for sure. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not what Mr Irving says, no. MR RAMPTON: No. MR IRVING: It will be when I bring the chapter and verse, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have tracked it down as far as we are able. I think we had better move on to the next general question, Mr Irving. MR IRVING: I think I have come to the end of my general questions. I will have a quick look at my cheat sheet. Are you familiar with the evidence of Kasmir Smolen? A. Which evidence? Q. The various statements he has made to the effect that when working in the administration of the Auschwitz camp deliberate falsification of the records went on? A. I find it very difficult to -- deliberate falsification. I remember something but I do not really know exactly. I would not want to comment right now, because I do not know what records we are talking about and what utterance by Kasmir Smolen, but again I am happy to comment when I have it in front of me. Q. To your knowledge did prisoners not only arrive at Auschwitz but did they also leave Auschwitz? A. There is one particular group of prisoners who left Auschwitz, yes. Q. But on a regular basis they went on to other camps? . P-204 A. Certainly that, yes. This is why there are survivors. Most of the Jews who survived Auschwitz who were not in the final evacuation actually were sent on from Auschwitz in 1944, when the decision was withdrawn that no Jews could be in the Reich so that they could work in concentration camps attached to factories in the Reich. This is one of the reasons, and I have explained that in our book in some detail, why Hungarian Jews were parked in Auschwitz. They arrived in Auschwitz. They survived the selection but were not numbered, were not actually admitted officially to the camp, and they were there for sometime before they were sent on to concentration camps in the Reich. Q. But would I be right in saying that to a certain degree Auschwitz was in fact a transit camp? A. During the Hungarian action it took one of its many functions. It took on the function of a transit camp, but it only applied to a relatively small number of the total people who ever arrived there. Q. The Hungarian action involved how many people originally? How many people were deported from Hungary to Auschwitz? A. About 450,000. Q. 450,000? A. Yes. That is a German figure. Q. What actually happened to those 450,000? Were they all gassed in some way or did some get sent somewhere else? . P-205 A. No. All these people, not even all the Hungarian Jews arrived in Auschwitz, the large majority, the great majority of them came to Auschwitz, I think the number of Hungarian Jews deported is even larger, but at Auschwitz we are talking about that number. These people were submitted to selection on arrival in Auschwitz. Then there were really three possibilities at that moment that could happen. Either one could be selected to die in the gas chambers or one could be selected to be admitted to the camp and given a number. There was a new numbering system created at the time to accommodate this and became a regular inmate of the camp or one of the satellite camps in Auschwitz. Or one could become durkhanstudent where one was housed temporarily in the camp without actually being officially admitted to the camp before being sent on to other concentration camps.
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