Toronto, January 25, 1985
victim accused of lying by Zündel lawyer
By KIRK MAKIN
A concentration-camp survivor at the
Ernst Zündel trial approached true rage for
the first time in his testimony yesterday as Mr.
Zündel's lawyer accused him of lying about his
experiences to bolster the "hoax" of the
am saying to you that to consider a person who fought the
Nazis is a liar is a misuse of the free courts of
Canada," Professor Rudolf Vrba furiously told
lawyer Douglas Christie (left), who had just
suggested that the witness must employ complex memory
techniques to keep his lies straight.
"Should I bring you six million bodies here that are
the proof?" Prof. Vrba asked.
"I'd be content with just one autopsy report," Mr.
Christie replied, setting off a ripple of scornful
laughter from observers which drew a stern warning from
County Court Judge Hugh Locke.
"You, as counsel, must know that it is not the habit
of murderers to make reports of the murder", Prof. Vrba
said. "Your request, therefore, is nonsensical."
if he had ever actually seen people being gassed, Prof.
Vrba said he saw them being taken to the buildings, at
which point SS officers tossed gas canisters in and no
one ever emerged.
"Therefore, I concluded it was not a kitchen or a
bakery, but it was a gas chamber. ... It is possible they
are still there or that there is a tunnel and they are
now in China. Otherwise, they were gassed."
To suggest that six million Jews were not annihilated
makes as much sense as arguing the earth is flat or that
photographs of astronauts walking on the moon were from a
Star Trek movie, said Prof. Vrba, who spent two years at
Prof. Vrba was equally contemptuous of the lawyer's
suggestion that every prisoner who arrived at Auschwitz
was given a camp number. Most didn't, he said, meaning
they were marked for the gas chambers within a few
there was a big line-up in the forested area by the
crematorium, soothing Gypsy music would be played while
the victims-to-be milled around, unaware that their hours
were numbered, he said.
The exchanges brought an end to several hours of
acerbic sparring over technicalities and focussed Dr.
Vrba's testimony on the broad aspect of the Zündel
trial: Did six million Jews die during the Second World
According to a pamphlet published by the 46-year-old
defendant, the Holocaust was greatly inflated. A second
pamphlet says there is an international conspiracy of
Zionists, bankers, secret societies and Communists. Mr.
Zündel has pleaded not guilty to knowingly
publishing false news which caused or was likely to cause
harm to racial or social tolerance.
Locke had his hands full during the cross-examination
separating the verbal combatants. At one point yesterday,
the lawyer from Victoria was scathing about Prof. Vrba's
account of escaping Auschwitz by night without
instruments or food.
"Perhaps in Girl Guides or Boy Scouts in Victoria they
didn't teach you how this can be done, but it can," Prof.
Prof. Vrba has testified he kept a remarkably accurate
account of the rail cars and the truckloads of Jews he
saw transported to the gas chambers during his time at
Auschwitz. He has even broken them down into
Mr. Christie appeared to draw some blood yesterday
when he quoted a figure from a book indicating that
75,721 Jews were deported from France during the war.
Prof. Vrba had just testified that almost double that
number -- about 150,000 French Jews -- were gassed at
Auschwitz while he was there.
"Where do you have that figure -- from a Nazi
newspaper?" Prof. Vrba asked.
No, Mr. Christie replied: It was from a French
Prof. Vrba explained that he was able to calculate the
nationalities of victims accurately by various means,
such as the language they spoke when they were uploaded
at the train station, or the kind of possessions they