The International Campaign for Real History

Posted Friday, April 2, 2004

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Key West, Florida, Friday, April 2, 2004

Dear Laurence,

BBCtv reconstruction of Auschwitz.

MailI was most interest to read in The Guardian of the BBC project to make a film about Auschwitz. Are you willing to hear also critical voices on this historical sensitive issue? I am prepared to bet a large sum that one of your sources will be Prof Robert Jan van Pelt who wrote the first excellent book on the subject. You may not know that in his severe Judgment* at the end of my unsuccessful libel action against Lipstadt & Penguin Books, at which Pelt was a star witness, even Mr Justice Gray remarked that he found the evidence on Auschwitz to be of astonishingly thin quality: here are his words (which you may not have seen reported in the press at the time):

I have to confess that, in common I suspect with most other people, I had supposed that the evidence of mass extermination of Jews in the gas chambers at Auschwitz was compelling. I have, however, set aside this preconception when assessing the evidence adduced by the parties in these proceedings.

And: Vulnerable though the individual categories of evidence may be to criticisms of the kind mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, it appears to me that the cumulative effect of the documentary evidence for the genocidal operation of gas chambers at Auschwitz is considerable.

And: [Irving] is right to point out that the contemporaneous documents, such as drawings, plans, correspondence with contractors and the like, yield little clear evidence of the existence of gas chambers designed to kill humans. Such isolated references to the use of gas as are to be found amongst these documents can be explained by the need to fumigate clothes so as to reduce the incidence of diseases such as typhus. The quantities of Zyklon-B delivered to the camp may arguably be explained by the need to fumigate clothes and other objects.

-- I.e., hardly the kind of evidence that would hang a man even in the good old days. The best evidence in my view is, in this order,

  1. The Bletchley Park intercepts;
  2. The (unamended) aerial photos; and
  3. The evidence of Kurt Aumeier, who was commandant of Auschwitz for a while. I discovered this evidence in the Public Record Office in June 1992, you might like to note, and have posted it in its entirety on my website, both the handwritten originals and transcriptions which I commissioned.

In my view there were limited-scale gassings in the two "Bunkers" (converted farmhouses) outside the perimeter fence, but not at the huge underground crematory facilities of which Pelt waffles. (Look at his difficulties over whether there were holes in the roof -- to insert the cyanide -- or not).

I am, as you may know, a great fan of your projects so far [...]. Your experts might like to keep my huge dossier on the Auschwitz facilities under review. Do not fall for the over-simplified computer reconstruction of "Krema II" which Pelt introduced in court in the Lipstadt libel action. It is full of errors. The building, like most other such structures in Germany and Poland, was being readied for use as an emergency air raid shelter (with the usual gastight doors used in such shelters). It is important that the BBC produces a film on which Mr Justice Gray would not be able to pass such equivocating comments as those cited above!

Yours sincerely,

David Irving

* You can find our printed and illustrated version of Gray J's Judgment (with facsimiles and photos in pdf form, far better than the printed Penguin version. You may also wish to use the corrected version of the transcripts [on our website].

© Focal Point 2004 F Irving write to David Irving