Read on and comment. Apologies, a bit long, but a must read.
http://www.abbc.com/aaargh/engl/ancesto ... onto2.html
How Raul Hilberg shot himself in both feet
at the 1985 Zundel Toronto Trial
"Yes, indeed it is," said Hilberg.
Hilberg agreed that in his previous testimony from the morning before he said there were about 40,000 affidavits and documents in the Nuremberg trials. Hilberg agreed that he had testified at Zündel's preliminary hearing and that Professor John H. E. Fried from New York City had been called at the same hearing as an expert witness on the Nuremberg proceedings. (4-876)
Christie read out a portion of Fried's testimony given at the preliminary hearing on June 20, 1984 and asked Hilberg to comment on its truth or falsity:
MR. GRIFFITHS: What comment, if any, do you have on that proposition, Mr. Fried, about fraudulent affidavits. Can you tell us how the affidavits were obtained?
Q. Yes, sir.
A. I think there were well more than a hundred thousand by the defence alone.
Q. By the defence?
A. By the defence. There was very, very much smaller number, incomparably smaller number by the prosecution and these affidavits, insofar as they turned out to be important for the deliberation of the Court, were never used without the affiant testifying in open Court.
"I think," said Hilberg, "that seems to be what a man recollects as having happened, and I see nothing especially wrong with that." Hilberg agreed that Fried was at Nuremberg while he wasn't.
You say forty thousand, said Christie. He says one hundred thousand.
Griffiths objected, saying that Fried said one hundred thousand defence documents, while Hilberg said 4,500 prosecution documents.
"Yes," said Hilberg, "And many more defence. That is what I said... the numbers are accession numbers so one could easily add them up, and I did that years ago." (4 877)
Christie turned to the subject of Paul Rassinier. Hilberg agreed that in the French edition of Rassinier's book, Rassinier had referred to Hilberg's statistics as a "fog" and had attributed the figure of 896,892 Jewish dead to Hilberg. This was the figure which Harwood,  citing Rassinier's book, had erroneously attributed directly to Hilberg. (4-879)
Christie suggested that Harwood had accurately reported what Rassinier said in his book, although Rassinier was wrong.
Hilberg agreed: "Well, I will say this much. You have found the French edition, and in my German edition it is different. And it is not attributed to me in the German edition... It seems to be in this one... We can leave it at that, sure." (4-880, 881)
But apparently Rassinier altered the edition later to reflect that he was just analyzing your statistics, correct?, asked Christie.
"That seems to be the case."
Christie suggested that what Rassinier had done was subtract the number of survivors in 1945 from the number of Jews who existed (according to Hilberg) in 1931 and subtracted further from the resulting figure a number that Rassinier called "recovered immigrants." Hilberg agreed this was what Rassinier had done. In his opinion, "error" was "a mild word" to describe Rassinier's calculations. Hilberg believed it was deliberate and had been done for the purpose of distortion. "Error sometimes refers to some misinterpretation of some document," he said, "and this is a lot more than a misrepresentation. This is sort of an invention of figures." (4-882, 883)
Christie suggested that during the war and shortly thereafter there were masses of Jewish immigrants from Europe who entered the United States and were not counted as being of Jewish origin. Did Hilberg agree that there was no census of the religion of immigrants to the United States in those years?
"The commission did count the Jews," said Hilberg, "particularly among the displaced persons, and very, very few people entered [the United States] prior to then because of the quota in the United States then in effect." (4-883)
Christie turned to page 670 of The Destruction of the European Jews where in Table 89: The Jewish Population Loss 1939-45, Hilberg showed Poland having a Jewish population of 3,350,000 in 1939 and a Jewish population of 50,000 in 1945. In Table 96: Postwar Jewish Population Changes in Eastern Europe, on page 737, Hilberg showed Poland having 225,000 "survivors and returnees" in the years 1945-46.
Where did these extra 175,000 Polish Jewish survivors come from?, asked Christie.
"From the Soviet Union. These are repatriates. These are part of the 200,000 people or so that fled or otherwise located in the Soviet Union. That is the reason that we got returnees as well as survivors. These are not all survivors, and the year here is 1945 46, rather than 1945. So these are two different counts, two different groups of people... In other words, if you subtract that 50,000 from the 225,000 you get the approximate number of people who returned from the Soviet Union who are technically not survivors, but have fled." (4-885)
Are you relying on Soviet statistics to say what people stayed in the Soviet Union?, asked Christie.
"We have to rely on something in life," said Hilberg, "and in this particular I have relied not only on the statistics of the Soviet Union, but post-war Poland, and Poles did record the number of survivors or returnees. We have this data. Virtually the entire post-war population of Poland has since emigrated, so we have a further check in knowing where the Jewish population of Poland went, roughly, at least, since the vast majority went to Israel; thus we have a ballpark figure, or a good idea of the correctness of this data... That is about 175,000 returnees. There may be a few more, because the boundary changes took place, and there were, in Eastern Poland, a few thousand more in the territory of Poland that is now part of the Soviet Union." (4-886)
This figure then, suggested Christie, is based upon an estimate from Polish authorities as to the number who returned in 1946.
"No. This is not simply an estimate, because the repatriation took place after an agreement had been made between Poland and the Soviet Union, and these people returned in trains that had definite numbers of passengers, special trains; and so that is actually a count; this is not a simple matter of individuals crossing frontiers and so forth."
How do you know that all the Polish Jews returned to Poland?, asked Christie.
"We do know something about the Jewish population in the Soviet Union from subsequent census data of the Soviet Union."
Do all Soviet Jews announce themselves to be Jews?, asked Christie.
"Well, that's an interesting question and much debated," said Hilberg. "There is some speculation in this matter, if you want to call it that, in the initial post-war census that it may have understated the number of Jews in the Soviet Union in the sense that, perhaps, not all of them identified themselves as Jewish; but the subsequent two census are rather different in the sense that now people do identify themselves as Jewish, given the possibility, at least, of emigration, and in matters pertaining to half-Jews, that makes some difference inasmuch as I understand the Soviet procedure, a 16-year-old can choose whether he wishes to be Jewish for nationality purposes in the census, or Russian-Ukrainian, as the case may be." (4 887)
Hilberg agreed that the matter was "not simple," that the boundary of Poland was "certainly moved westward" after the war and that in these circumstances it was difficult to give accurate figures: "I have spent many hours' research in the matter, so it is certainly not easy." In making the estimates, he had relied upon the census figure for Poland for 1931 and the extrapolation to 1939, and the census figure for the Soviet Union for January, 1939. (4-888)
Christie turned to Appendix III/Statistics on Jewish Dead in Hilberg's book at page 767, where Hilberg gave the figure for Jewish losses in France and Italy as 70,000. Yet in Table 89 on page 670, Hilberg had given a figure for losses for France and Italy of 87,000.
 "In the first place," said Hilberg, "my figure as represented in the second table for France and Italy combined, I now recognize to be too low. I was a bit too conservative. The number of losses from France alone is in the vicinity of 75,000, and to that one must add the Italian losses of roughly 7,000." (4-889)
Hilberg was familiar with the book by Serge Klarsfeld regarding the deportations from France in which Klarsfeld listed all the deportees by name and date. (Footnote 2 Serge Klarsfeld, Le Mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France (Paris: Klarsfeld, 1978). End Footnote]
Are you aware, asked Christie, that the figure you give for the total losses is very close to the figure he gives for the total deportees?
Hilberg agreed: "That's true. There were very few returnees from Auschwitz or wherever."
Christie returned to Appendix III/Statistics on Jewish Dead on page 767 where Hilberg gave the figure of 5,100,000 as the total Jewish losses. In Table 89 on page 670, however, the total loss, if added up, was 5,407,500.
Hilberg protested that he had "deliberately" not totalled the losses listed in Table 89. "Mr. Rassinier totalled the losses, but not I. Now, please excuse me a minute. These figures are not comparable. One cannot subtract one from the other, because, as I clearly stated, the boundaries are different." (4-890)
Christie noted that in Appendix III, the loss listed for Romania was 270,000 while in Table 89 it was 370,000. This was a difference of 100,000.
"Yes," said Hilberg, "It is a substantial difference within the boundaries of Romania... There are post-war data that are used. In other words, post-war boundaries are used from 1945, as are clearly indicated in the table on page 670... However, pre-war boundaries are used in the other tables, so these, again, are not comparable figures."
Are we to take it, asked Christie, that Romania grew in size during the war?
"No... If you were to adjust the boundaries to reflect the territories lost to the Soviet Union, then the number 430,000 would be increased so as to account for people alive in the areas ceded to the Soviet Union, and then you would see that the two figures would be comparable, or roughly comparable since 800,000 is very rounded." (4 891)
Hilberg testified that it was indicated very clearly in the book that, "'...The statistics for 1939 refer to pre-war borders and post-war frontiers have been used for 1945... That is a signal and announces to anyone with an ounce of competence not to subtract figures from the left, because they are not comparable figures. And this is just what Rassinier did."
Christie moved to the figures of Jewish losses for Yugoslavia. In Table 89 the figure was 63,000; in Appendix III, the figure was 60,000. Hilberg did not rely on boundary changes to justify the difference. "I must make some allowance for the fact that Yugoslavia was a theatre of war; some Jews were in the Yugoslavian army, some were killed in action. In wartime birthrates dropped. Adjustments have to be made, and we are talking about 3,000... On page 767 we have the Holocaust dead. I didn't use the term 'Holocaust', but that is precisely what it is. What we have on the other chart, it is totally unadjusted, before and after figures, not even aligned for boundaries. So this table should not be used, the one on page 670 - which for some unaccountable reason Rassinier used; he should have used the other one - should not be used except to find out what is going on and what is to be done with this data." (4-893)
Did you say you were a statistician?, asked Christie.
"Absolutely not," said Hilberg. "... Because a statistician is a person with, at the very least, an undergraduate, and hopefully a graduate degree in mathematical statistics. I am not that person. I add and I subtract." (4-894)
The difference between the two tables in the figures for Greece of 2,000 people was due to "the fact that there were Jewish soldiers who were killed, the fact that there were Jewish war casualties; and in the statistics of Jewish dead I am referring to Holocaust dead." The major difference in the totals of Polish losses between the two tables of 300,000 was due both to a major shift in the boundaries of Poland and the returnees.
In Hilberg's opinion, "comparatively few" Jews were killed in the course of the war. He considered any Jew who starved to death in the camps and any Jew who died from typhus in the camps to be a "Holocaust victim." (4-895)
"... A Jewish person in a camp was there because he was a Jew. So he is a Holocaust victim."
So that it doesn't mean, said Christie, you are saying these people were gassed.
"No. If I say they were dying in certain camps, that means they died in those camps, be it as a result of gassing, or because of privation. Now, when I speak of certain camps, virtually 100 percent of the victims were gassed, but in other camps, that's a difference."
Christie moved to the subject of the gas chambers. Hilberg testified that, in his opinion, there were no homicidal gas chambers in Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald and Theresienstadt.
Natzweiler and Mauthausen "had very small gas chambers in which people were gassed... There's been very - most recent scholarship in Germany has gone in very great detail about the gassings in Mauthausen of Soviet prisoners." (4-896, 900)
Dachau: "That is a maybe, but I would not make the statement - you see, here it's a factual question of whether certain people were gassed or were not gassed, and this is a difficult problem to determine whether they were or weren't. Small numbers." (4-897)
Flossenbürg: "Probably not, except for a very small handful... Handfuls. Individual people - too weak to work, things like that." (4-897) So, said Christie, you think there was a gas chamber but it wasn't used much? "Not necessarily," said Hilberg. "I am not familiar with  all of the camps and their layout because my specialization is the gassing of Jews." (4-897)
Neuengamme: "I don't believe there was a gas chamber there, but again, you refer to a particular kind, one which was used in order to kill people... it is a maybe..." (4 897, 898)
Oranienburg: "Same thing... I am not aware of any gassings of people there at all. I have not even heard anything...It is an open question. If somebody comes along and says, yes, there was, I will listen; otherwise I can't make the statement that there was. In other words, I do not know whether there was or whether there wasn't a gassing of individuals in particular camps." (4-898)
Sachsenhausen: "Same thing [a maybe]." (4-898)
Ravensbrück: "Same thing [a maybe]." (4-898)
Stutthof: "As for Stutthof, there is some testimony to that effect, but I would not give it the weight that would make it, in my opinion, a certainty... In Stutthof there were shootings." Hilberg agreed it was a maybe as to gassings. (4-899)
Struthof: : "That is a maybe." (4-899)
Hartheim: "...this is a different matter. There were, altogether, six facilities designed exclusively for gassing people - of which Hartheim is one. It is not a camp." (4-900)
Majdanek: "Yes... In Majdanek, which the Germans called Lublin, there were three gas chambers, and one or two - I am not sure, offhand, which - were equipped interchangeably for the use of the carbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide. Both were used." (4-900)
Belzec: "Initially, in all probability, three. Upon the expansion of the gas chambers in the summer of 1942, six... the initial three were also in 1942, but after some months, because of the heavy volume of traffic into the camp, the rebuilding took place and six gas chambers were erected in lieu of the earlier three." In Hilberg's opinion, carbon monoxide alone was used at Belzec. "I might add, however, that the German court leaves open the possibility, based only on testimony, that initially hydrogen cyanide may have been tried experimentally." (4-900, 901)
Chelmno: "Chelmno was equipped with gas vans. Carbon monoxide." (4-901)
Sobibor: "Those had gas chamber," said Hilberg, using carbon monoxide. (4-901)
Treblinka: "Carbon monoxide gas chambers, yes." (4-901)
Hilberg agreed that in his book he had indicated that the carbon monoxide gas chambers used old Russian diesel tank engines.
I put it to you, sir, said Christie, that diesel engines don't produce sufficient quantities of carbon monoxide, but they actually produce mostly carbon dioxide. What do you say to that? (4- 901)
"I can't really comment about it, " said Hilberg, "because afterwards, when I had more interest in the technical details, my understanding was - and it was left at that in the German trial - that what came out was a mixture of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide... And the outflow was a mixture, but the proportions were not indicated, and when you mentioned Hartheim before, which was a totally different facility for mentally impaired people that were gassed there, that was chemically pure carbon monoxide, to distinguish it from the kind of mixtures that emanated there. I did call it carbon monoxide. I still call it that for short, but it's a mixture... Hartheim is pure bottled, chemically pure carbon monoxide gas."
At Auschwitz, Hilberg testified that first two huts were used for gassing, then four gas chambers were built. He agreed that on the plan of the camp, they were identified as crematoria.
Christie suggested to Hilberg that the source of his belief in this respect was a man named Kurt Gerstein.
"Well, that's one source, yes," said Hilberg. (4-902)
Christie pointed out that Gerstein was an important source to Hilberg because he referred to him ten times in his book.
"Right. I wouldn't doubt it," said Hilberg.
Hilberg thought Gerstein's statement, 1553-PS, was used at the Nuremberg Military Tribunal but he could not swear to it. Hilberg had used parts of this statement in his book.
Isn't it true, asked Christie, that Kurt Gerstein had, by that time, hanged himself in a French jail?
"Well, whatever the circumstances of his death were, he was dead." (4-903, 904)
Isn't it true, asked Christie, that Kurt Gerstein made a long, detailed statement in French on 26 April 1945 which I suggest to you was some of the most incredible nonsense that you or I have ever looked at?
"... I would be very, very careful in the use of certain statements, that I would put Gerstein's statement as one that one must be most careful about. Parts are corroborated; others are pure nonsense," said Hilberg. He agreed that he took parts which in his view were credible and left out parts that in his view were incredible: "That's a fair assessment, yeah." (4-904)
When someone swears a statement, said Christie, don't you think it reflects on the author that some of the statement is totally ridiculous?
"It certainly reflects on him," agreed Hilberg, "and the only answer I can give you here is that I am not a court of law... And I am at liberty to take - "
Christie interrupted and put to Hilberg that, as a common sense principle, if someone told him that between 28 and 32 people could be packed into one square metre, 1.8 metres high, that that person was either a fool or a liar?
"Well, on this particular datum I would be very careful," said Hilberg, "because Gerstein, apparently, was a very excitable person. He was capable of all kinds of statements which he, indeed, made not only in the affidavit but its context."
He wasn't totally sane, suggested Christie.
"I am not a judge of sanity, but I would be careful about what he said," said Hilberg. (4- 906)
Christie produced the Gerstein statement and proceeded to ask Hilberg whether certain statements appeared in the statement. Hilberg agreed that in his  statement, Gerstein alleged that 700-800 persons were crushed together in 25 square metres in 45 cubic metres; he also agreed that he had ignored this part of Gerstein's statement in his book.
So did you think that was just a mistake, that he had said that in error?, asked Christie.
"It's very hard to characterize the man, because he was capable, in his excitement, of adding imagination to fact. There is no question of that." (4-906)
And he refers to Hitler and Himmler witnessing gassings, right?, asked Christie.
Hilberg agreed that Gerstein had made this statement and that it was "absolutely" and "totally false... He attributed to someone else the statement that Hitler was there. And Hitler wasn't, because Germans researched that subject." (4-907)
And he said twice, suggested Christie, that 700-800 people were crushed together in 25 square metres in 45 cubic metres?
"He may have said it three times as far as I know, but I didn't use that statement."
Would you agree, asked Christie, that 700-800 persons in 25 square metres means between 28 and 32 people in one square metre? Would you like to just calculate that?
"Well, look, I won't go through the arithmetic," said Hilberg, "I trust yours." (4-907)
Christie stated that he understood from reading Hilberg's testimony at the preliminary hearing that he had actually made a calculation that supported that proposition. Christie produced Hilberg's testimony from Zündel's preliminary hearing given in Toronto on June 21, 1984:
Q. ...Now I submit to you that just logically or mathematically it would be physically impossible to put 800 people into 25 square metres at any one time. Would it seem to you that that might be an exaggeration?
A. Well, I have made calculations and it is quite amazing how many people can be squeezed in...
Hilberg agreed he was asked that question and gave that answer at the preliminary hearing. (4-908)
Christie suggested that when a witness gave this type of information, he was not someone to be relied upon as an authority ten times in his book.
"Well, let me say that the camps Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were with the undocumented camps in which I was interested. Gerstein was an SS officer in charge of delivering poison gasses, hydrogen cyanide, and in that capacity he made his trip, which is verified, he did make the trip in the company of other people to Belzec, and also to another camp; and also verified is the fact that he made statements on the way back on the Warsaw-Berlin express train to a Swedish diplomat at the time, in fact confirmed by the Swedish Foreign Ministry. To me, the important thing was that an SS officer had seen the procedures... this is a corroborated story."
How is this story corroborated, asked Christie, in view of the fact that no action was taken by any Swedish diplomat whatsoever? They totally thought the man was nuts.
"I have no doubt," said Hilberg, "that this could very well have been the impression, and here you have to keep in mind, it is 1942, someone who is very excitable tells an absolutely incredible story, something that had never been heard before, something utterly unimaginable and unprecedented - well, here is a careful diplomat; he is not going to immediately credit everything he hears." (4-909) Hilberg testified that he would not dispute that he referred to Kurt Gerstein twenty-three times in his book as an authority. (4-910, 911)
Christie asked what calculations Hilberg had done to see if 28 to 32 people would fit in the given square metreage.
"Oh, it's a very simple matter," said Hilberg, "because we worked with feet. When one lays out the number of feet, roughly - ...And that gives one an approximate notion of the size of such a chamber, and one tries to figure out how many people may be squeezed into it, and it is a surprisingly large number."
[Note: At this point in the cross-examination, Christie attempted to place a one square metre on the floor and ask some people to come and stand in it. Judge Hugh Locke immediately stopped Christie and asked the jury to leave. After extensive submissions, in which Christie argued the demonstration would show to the jury that the figures in the Gerstein statement were preposterous, Locke ruled, inter alia, that the proposed demonstration was "a type of sideshow" which he would not allow in his courtroom. During the submissions in the absence of the jury, Hilberg testified as follows with respect to the Gerstein statement: "Square metres will do, because they are not crouching down... What may be surprising is that the order of magnitude, the number of people one can push in such places, is in the hundreds. It may not be 800; it may be 300. Moreover, this particular witness may not have estimated the area quite correctly. We don't know what size of gas chambers he is referring to, so I would not characterize the statement as totally preposterous, but neither did I accept it and I wouldn't use it." (4-911 to 918)]
After the return of the jury, Christie put it to Hilberg that the only person he referred to in his book more than Gerstein was a man named Rudolf Hoess.
"No. I totally disagree," said Hilberg. "The index is ample evidence of who is quoted how many times."
Christie suggested again that Gerstein was an important witness for his belief as expressed in his book.
"He is an important witness for the fact of the existence of these camps, particularly Belzec, in 1942, the gassings that took place there with carbon monoxide. The fact that he, as a disinfection officer, as a dispenser of poison gasses, was present is significant. Beyond that I realized, of course, clearly, what sort of person this was from the context of the language he used, and did not rely upon any statements that appeared to me either imaginative or exaggerated. I did not use them," said Hilberg.
 In fact, said Christie, in your book you eliminated all such ridiculous parts in your use of his statement.
"Well, I eliminated anything that seemed not to be plausible or credible, certainly."
You consider that it was credible, asked Christie, that 800 people could be crushed together in 25 square metres?
"Well, as I indicated, the actual number who can be crushed in such a place may be in the hundreds. I wouldn't say that many." Hilberg agreed that Gerstein had made this statement twice: "But the question of whether two or 300 people may be squeezed in such a place, or 700, becomes of interest when one looks at the gas chamber, the number of people gassed, and the calculations that may be made therefrom. It suffices for this particular SS officer that there were gas chambers." (4 921)
Hilberg testified that Leon Poliakov, whom he regarded "as a capable researcher" had used the Gerstein statement "more than I do."
Christie pointed to page 294 of Poliakov's book [Harvest of Hate] where Poliakov, in referring to the Gerstein statement, changed the number of square metres. Hilberg refused to comment: "I don't know whether he changed the figure, or as I said, if there is another version of the affidavit that he may have made use. I really can't answer that." (4-922)
Christie asked Hilberg whether he considered Gerstein's statement - that at Belzec and Treblinka nobody bothered to make a count and that in fact about 25 million people, not only Jews, were actually killed - was credible?
"Well, parts of it are true, and other parts of it are sheer exaggeration, manifest and obvious exaggeration. To me, the important point made in this statement is that there were no counting at the point at which people entered the gas chamber," said Hilberg.
So you take the obviously exaggerated part out and use the part that you thought was credible, that there was no counting. Right?, asked Christie.
I see. That's the process of your research.
"Well, in certain situations, when affidavits are at stake, when long statements are involved and they do touch upon important matters, one must be judgmental," said Hilberg. "Now, there are some things I would not use at all; there are some things I would use in part."
Hilberg testified he "absolutely" and "obviously" would not use the part about 25 million persons being killed as it was "rhetoric." (4-923)
Do you deny that is exactly what he said in his statement?, asked Christie.
"Well, you know something, it is immaterial to me," said Hilberg. "... I would not deny anything. I don't even recall this, to tell you the truth."
It wasn't something so unusual that it would stick out in your mind?, asked Christie.
"No, because of the fact that one tends to exaggerate numbers sometimes, and one does so, obviously, without basis in fact. Any competent researcher can see that and pay no further attention."
Do you think that someone who swears that 'I am ready to swear the absolute truth of all my statements' and then says that, is a credible person?, asked Christie.
"Well, counsel," said Hilberg, "at the risk of offending every lawyer in this room, I don't go by whether a statement is sworn to or not. Certain people may make truthful statements not sworn to; others may make statements that are not based upon fact, even though sworn to; some people are not aware of the fact that they make misstatements. There are all kinds of possibilities here... I think that Gerstein was somewhat given to great excitability... I would not characterize it a lie, because a lie is a deliberate falsehood. I don't know whether, in his mind, this was a deliberate falsehood. The fact that you characterized him, yourself, as not quite with it, what can you say about his motivations?" (4-924)
Would you say that somebody who would say 25 million people were killed at Treblinka and Belzec was a rational person?, asked Christie.
"I would not characterize him as totally rational, no, but that is of no value, because I am not the expert on rationality," said Hilberg.
Hilberg agreed that in his statement Gerstein said there were eight gas chambers and whole mountains of clothes and underwear, 35 or 40 metres high. Was that a rational, credible statement?, asked Christie.
"Well, the 30 or 40 metres is a very interesting number, because how does one estimate the height of anything unless you are trained to do that? And on the other hand, if he says eight gas chambers, is that a more important dictum? Although I, myself, believe it was six, I could see how somebody thought it was eight, given the number of doors and things of this sort." (4-925)
How do you know the number of doors, having never been there?, asked Christie.
"Well, the question as to how many gas chambers there were at Belzec at any given time is a matter entirely of the persons who were there... But there were a number of people who did not merely visit there, but who were stationed there, and who testified, repeatedly, as to the number of gas chambers."
You don't refer to them ten times, sir, said Christie.
"No," said Hilberg, "because this book was a 1961 book, and the testimony to which I refer occurred after the publication for this book. That is the reason for second editions."
I suggest to you, said Christie, that Gerstein said 275 milligrams of Zyklon B was enough to kill 8 million people. Did he say that?
"I don't recall that. I honestly don't," said Hilberg.
Christie put to Hilberg that Gerstein also alleged that millions disappeared at Auschwitz and Mauthausen in gas chamber-like cars, the method of killing the children being to hold a tampon and press the gas under their noses. Was that true or false news?, asked Christie. (4-926)
"Well, there were massive gassings at Auschwitz. I would not characterize it as millions, but certainly a million... I don't know about the tampons. I have heard  repeatedly from witnesses about such killings. I have not cited them in the book because when it comes to certain matters of this kind, I am super careful."
Not so super careful about your sources, though, said Christie, because this source says that was done and swears it to be as credible as the rest of his statement.
"Yes," said Hilberg, "but I quoted only those portions of his statement that seem to be credible, and I made no use of those that were not."
Isn't that taking out of context?, asked Christie.
"No, I do not think that that is taking out of context. Where a number of statements are made on separate points and separate matters, and so long as the intent and the meaning of what a person said is not tampered with, then I don't regard it as taking out of context. If a statement contains ten points, be they numbered or not, and I decide that two or three of them are credible, are correct, are plausible, I will make use of them. If I decide others are not so, I will not make use of them." (4-927) Hilberg agreed that he had left out those portions of Gerstein's statement that showed a very strange mind prone to exaggeration because they were not plausible.
So the impression you leave when you quote Gerstein as your authority, suggested Christie, is that he is a plausible man.
"No," said Hilberg. "It merely means that he has made certain plausible statements, and that is another matter for being a plausible man. You could go into an institution for mentally ill people and get some rather plausible statements, and then total nonsense as well... You don't have to reject everything as a human being. You don't have to reject everything that he says." (4- 928)
I agree, said Christie, but if I get a book describing a situation, and in it the author quotes a madman but he quotes the rational parts of the madman's statement and he ignores the fact that he is a madman and the fact that things he said are impossible, do you think I have an accurate picture, the truth, from that book? Hilberg replied that he could not answer this question "because I deem it a rhetorical question."
Gerstein was obviously incredible, suggested Christie.
"He was incredible for many people, and nevertheless, one may take people of that nature and discover that they have made certain statements that have certain value."
Hilberg agreed that before his death Gerstein made another statement on 6 May 1945 [PS- 2170] which Hilberg had never used.
Because it casts grave doubts, said Christie, greater doubts on the credibility of Gerstein.
"Look, it is entirely possible," said Hilberg, "that a man's condition can deteriorate. You, yourself, suggested that he committed suicide." (4-929)
So you are suggesting that the second statement was the result of a deteriorated condition but not the first?, asked Christie.
"I have never met the man, and I am not competent to make a diagnosis," said Hilberg. "...Again, I am not a physician. I can only look at the statement that he made. I find nothing in it that I need, nothing that is persuasive or indispensable, so I don't use it."
Indispensable to your theory, suggested Christie.
"No. To the elucidation of what happened," said Hilberg.
Christie produced PS-2170, introduced before the Nuremberg Military Tribunal on 26 October 1945, a statement by Gerstein taken on 6 May 1945, about ten days after the first statement which Hilberg referred to in his book. Hilberg recognized the document. (4-930)
Hilberg agreed that Gerstein was responsible for the concentration camp administration delivery and shipping of Zyklon B. He distributed Zyklon B to Auschwitz, Birkenau and Lublin. Sobibor and Treblinka, however, were not part of the concentration camp system, said Hilberg. (4-931)
Christie put to Hilberg that PS-1553 was a document filed at Nuremberg that showed distribution of Zyklon B to both Auschwitz-Birkenau and Oranienburg was made on exactly the same dates in exactly the same amounts. Hilberg testified that he knew of this document.
May I point out to you, suggested Christie, that if Zyklon B was used for killing people in Birkenau, then there was no reason for it to go to Oranienburg.
"You see," said Hilberg, "Oranienburg was the headquarters of the Economic Administrative Main Office from where it is entirely possible gas was distributed. I have no way of knowing that. I have no way of knowing what happened. The gas may not have been used at Oranienburg at all. It may simply have been stored there for shipments to another concentration camp. Oranienburg was the head of all concentration camp facilities." (4-932)
May I suggest, said Christie, that the real reason is that Zyklon B was used for delousing in both places in the same way?
"Well, you are entitled to your suggestion, but please don't impose it upon me."
Judge Hugh Locke instructed Hilberg to answer the question.
"Well, I cannot agree," said Hilberg, "It is not a plausible explanation at all."
Hilberg agreed that his testimony with respect to Oranienburg "was that I had absolutely no information about people being killed in gas chambers and Oranienburg." (4-933)
Christie returned to the second Gerstein statement, 2170-PS, where Gerstein had sworn:
Likewise tests were carried out with compressed air. People were put in boilers into which compressed air was forced, using the conventional blacktop road compressors.
It is a pretty ridiculous statement, isn't it?, asked Christie.
"I cannot explain that one at all," said Hilberg. "...It is a far-out statement, and even taking into consideration that there were some far-out people in  some of these camps, I would not credit it, and I have not used it."
Christie referred to the another portion of the Gerstein statement where he had sworn:
An approved method of killing human beings in Poland is that these people were made to climb the circular staircase of blast furnaces, they were then finished off with a pistol shot and disappeared in the blast furnaces. Many people are said to have suffocated in brick kilns due to flue gases, and then subsequently incinerated in the same work pass. However, in this respect my source of information is not 100 percent reliable.
Christie suggested this was another rather incredible statement from Mr. Gerstein.
"Well, he himself says it is not entirely reliable," said Hilberg. "... I have testified before and will again that in the use of such affidavits, one must be extraordinarily careful." (4-934)
January 17, 1985
Hilberg confirmed to the court that he was not a statistician: "I am not a statistician as that term is understood and defined today, and I confine my operations to numbers with additions and multiplications and very simple things." (5-938)
And statistics, suggested Christie, as far as enumeration and census figures are concerned, is a technical field of endeavour, isn't it?
"Well, it depends upon what one wishes to do with this data. I am qualified, I believe, to look at census data insofar as the question arises as to what they refer to. On the other hand, if one wishes to engage in very complicated projections, then I'd stay away from such mathematical operations."
Christie suggested that with respect to statistics, Hilberg was no more qualified than Paul Rassinier.
"Oh, no, not at all," said Hilberg. "My ability to see statistics in a context and understand what numbers refer to is, I believe, superior to that of the gentleman you've just mentioned."
In terms of any academic qualifications, however, you are not any better qualified than Rassinier was, Christie reiterated.
"Oh, yes, I am more academically qualified for the simple reason that statistics, numbers that are embedded in documents referring to specific events and occurrences, involve complicated issues, such as boundaries and the like, and in this regard I am more qualified."
What academic qualifications do you have, asked Christie, in the area of statistics that is greater than that of Mr. Rassinier?
"I was not calling myself a statistician," said Hilberg. "I am called a statistician in the booklet. I have tried to correct the impression that it's possible, from the statement 'statistician' in that booklet, by limiting my competence in this matter so as to involve only the numbers insofar as are referred to and are embedded in historical data, sometimes very complicated situations, and on that regard my training as a political scientist does entitle me to look at statistics with more understanding; and my preoccupation with this subject over the years has given me some ability to see what the statistics mean and what they don't mean."
So the answer, suggested Christie, is that you have no academic qualification in respect to statistics except you are qualified in political science.
"That does give me some competence in looking at numbers and understanding them, yes."
Isn't it true that Rassinier was an inmate of a German concentration camp during the war?, asked Christie.
"That seems to be his statement," said Hilberg. (5-940)
Do you deny that?, asked Christie.
"I deny nothing... It is simply a matter of what he states. I have not checked upon where he was. I was not interested."
He claims to have had firsthand experience of concentration camps, suggested Christie.
"He is entitled to that claim. He has made that claim. He has checked upon it. I have no comment to make."
In his publications, and you have read them, suggested Christie, he was by no means a Nazi sympathizer but a Communist elected member of the legislative -
"Whatever his past and whatever his reason for his incarceration," said Hilberg, "I can only look at the book he wrote afterwards, and that's the limit of my knowledge about him... Whatever he was in the past, that is indicated. I have no comment to make upon it."
Tell me whether it says that in the book or not, said Christie.
"I recall that it says that in his book," said Hilberg. (4-941)
You are aware he was an elected member of the Parliament in France?, asked Christie.
"All I can say is what I said before. I can only agree about what he said about himself. I have not checked on anything... I don't recall all the details of what he said. I am quite willing to accept what you are saying. It is close enough as far as you are concerned."
Do you recall how long he claimed to have been in the concentration camp in Germany?, asked Christie.
"I don't recall the number of years. I simply can't remember that."
But he, to you, was not credible, said Christie.
"Not credible," said Hilberg. (4-942)
Christie returned to Gerstein, to whom, Christie pointed out, Hilberg attached some credibility, and quoted further from his statement:
Missions of so-called doctors, actually nothing but young SS men in white coats, rode around in limousines throughout the towns and villages of Poland and Czechoslovakia selecting the old and tuberculose people, shortly afterwards sent to the gas chambers.
Did Hilberg attribute credibility to that statement?, asked Christie.
 "Well, I have not used it," said Hilberg, "of course, and it is a complicated statement involving a great many separate events some of which, indeed, did occur... There was a certain attempt to gas Polish people who were tubercular, on a large scale... The matter was put by a Gauleiter Greiser. He wanted to gas some 30,000 Poles who had tuberculosis, and his reason was that they might infect Germans. In fact, that particular project was vetoed, but it was proposed... I tell you that there are elements of what appears in this global statement that are true, but I would not -- " (4-943)
This is a global statement?, asked Christie.
"Well, because it does involve several regions, multiple events, and long periods of time."
I suggest to you, said Christie, that the statement is utterly fantastic, that young men in white coats did not ride around in limousines in Poland, Czechoslovakia or anywhere in the Third Reich picking up people for gassing. Do you maintain that to be true?
"I have never said that this is true," said Hilberg. "I would not say that people in white coats pretending to be doctors rode around in vehicles or limousines. No, I don't think that this particular detail is sufficiently credible to be used by a scholar, nor have I used it."
That's one of the parts of the Gerstein statement that you chose to ignore?, asked Christie.
"Yes, I did ignore it," said Hilberg. (5-944)
Christie alleged again that what Hilberg had done was attribute credibility to Gerstein by taking things out of context.
"No," said Hilberg, "I disagreed with you when you made that statement yesterday, and I have to disagree with it today. Nothing has changed... I explained to you what I mean by 'out of context'. 'Out of context' means the use of words by an author in such a way as to render the meaning he intended differently from the way that he intended it to be. That, to me, means 'out of context'. It means to leave out qualifications. It means to leave out ifs, buts, howevers; but if a person makes a statement which can easily be segmented into ten different assertions or twelve different assertions or twenty different assertions and I find that ten are credible and ten are not credible, or that five are credible and fifteen are not credible, if I happen to choose those, which I find to be confirmed by others, which I find to be plausible in the light of events as I know them, then I'm not taking these statements out of context, of what he is saying... I am taking them in order to create a larger canvas of the facts; if that happens to support my thesis, fine; if the thesis is not supported, the thesis will be modified." (5-945) Hilberg agreed that he decided "absolutely" to leave out the dubious portions of the Gerstein statement.
Christie asked whether Hilberg would give someone looking at the Gerstein statement the right to call the whole statement dubious.
"I would give any right to anybody who was honest, who was cautious, who wishes to look at things cautiously. I am myself that way. I permitted myself the use of portions of this manuscript because I was familiar with other material that enabled me to use that particular statement. I also told you that I have seen documents signed by Gerstein at the time, so that it is not the only statement, not the only Gerstein documentation... there are letters, correspondence by Gerstein, too. When I keep using Gerstein, I have used correspondence by Gerstein, 1944 correspondence by Gerstein... There are letters written by Gerstein which I used. These are documents. These happen to be correspondence. These were written at the time of the events. Now, if you wish to confuse the issue, please go ahead and confuse it; but I wish to remain clear about things."
Christie put to Hilberg that he was confusing things in people's minds by referring to a statement that had totally incredible parts to it.
"I don't see why anybody should be confused unless they wish to be," said Hilberg. (5- 947) He continued: "...the reason that there are people like me who write books is that we develop a certain amount of expertise in the use of these materials... There is no need for anybody to trust my research. You can check any document you wish. You can come to any conclusion that you wish."
My question, said Christie, was whether you would accept that honest people, looking at PS-1553 - the Gerstein statement - could honestly take the position that it is totally incredible?
"They could certainly take that position," said Hilberg, "if they know nothing except that particular document."
They could also, Christie suggested, take that position if they didn't believe you, right?
"Well, if they did not believe me after reading 800 pages, I don't know what to say, because that signifies the failure of a lifetime... That would be my failure." (5-948)
Christie put to Hilberg again that he must concede that some people might decide things differently from him and they should be free to do so; if they looked at the Gerstein statement and decided it was incredible, they must be free to do so. Was that Hilberg's view of the matter?
"I must qualify what I am about to say; I'm sorry, but I must qualify... I do believe in academic freedom... If deliberate misconstruction and malice are not involved, I certainly believe that they should have that freedom." Hilberg agreed "absolutely" that people should be free to publish their opinion about the Gerstein statement: "Such a statement, such an article did appear in a rather prestigious German publication."
Is it true, asked Christie, that the Gerstein statement is an important part of your book because you rely on it to prove the number of deaths at Treblinka and Belzec?
"No," said Hilberg. "... In my book, the first edition, I do not give precise figures for Treblinka or Belzec because, at the time, I did not feel that I could give a figure for each of these counts. What I had in my possession was a figure that applied totally, combined, to Treblinka, to Belzec and to Sobibor. That came from a German document. Back in the 1950s I was not able to break down that figure for those three camps. I am  better able to do this now, but I did not do it then and I did not rely on Gerstein or anyone else." (5-949)
Christie referred to a portion of the Gerstein statement and asked Hilberg whether or not he had relied on it:
Belzec, on the Lublin-Lemberg road, in the sector of the Russian demarcation line. Maximum 15,000 persons a day (Seen!).
Sobibor, I do not know exactly where it is located. Not seen. 20,000 persons per day.
Treblinka, 120 km NNE of Warsaw. 25,000 persons per day. Seen!
"What I relied upon in the statement," said Hilberg, "was the fact that he had been there, that he had seen the two facts to which he referred. I did not take from that statement his estimate of maximum capacity in the camps."
So that part, too, was incredible, was it?, asked Christie.
"I did not say that. Just a moment, please. You keep on putting words to my mouth," said Hilberg. "... The point is that I had no basis, in those days, for making an estimate of the capacity, the daily capacity, or the total toll in each of these camps. I only knew the global figure to December 31, 1942." (5-950)
Isn't it true, asked Christie, that the judgment of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal in the Pohl case, specifically that of Judge Michael Musmanno, quoted extensively from the Gerstein statement, PS-1553, ignoring parts of it as you did?
"Well, I would say that Judge Musmanno had good cause to do what he did, that he was a capable judge."
Another case of selected editing for the reasons of the judgment, right?, asked Christie.
"Now you are accusing a judge of the same thing you are accusing me of... Fine... I don't quarrel with it."
Hilberg agreed that his estimate of gassed victims at Auschwitz in his book was roughly 1 million: "That was my estimate then. That is the recalculated estimate, roughly the same now." (5-951)
Hilberg agreed that in the concurring judgment of Judge Michael A. Musmanno in the Pohl case before the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT "Green Series," vol. V, p. 1131), Musmanno quoted from the affidavit of Rudolf Hoess, former commandant at Auschwitz:
Rudolf Hoess declared under oath that he personally supervised the executions at Auschwitz until 1 December 1943, and he estimated that up to that time, 2,500,000 prisoners were, "executed and exterminated there in the gas chambers and crematories."
Christie pointed out to Hilberg that the figure of 2.5 million victims at Auschwitz was twice what Hilberg claimed. (5-951 to 954)
"It's twice the figure that I give in my book in 1961," said Hilberg. He believed his own figure to be the truth.
Would you say then, asked Christie, that the Nuremberg judgment was false on that point?
"It's an error in my opinion," said Hilberg. "... The court quoted Hoess to that effect."
It would appear, suggested Christie, that Hoess is another important part of the belief in the 6 million.
"No," said Hilberg. "He was the commander of Auschwitz from the time it was founded until November 1943. He then was present in Auschwitz again during the summer of 1944. He was absent for some times from the camp on other duties. He does, however, have important information about Auschwitz."
He was captured by whom, sir?, asked Christie.
"He was -- I am trying to recall whether it was the British army of occupation. I think it was in the north of Germany where the British were."
He wrote a book in which he said he was beaten and tortured by the British, right?, asked Christie.
"I am not aware of his having said that in his book," said Hilberg. "I would be pleased to look at it." (5-955)
Christie produced the book Commandant of Auschwitz: The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoess and quoted from page 174:
At my first interrogation, evidence was obtained by beating me. I do not know what is in the record, although I signed it. [Footnote: A typewritten document of eight pages, which Hoess signed at 2:30 am on 14 March, 1946. It does not differ substantially from what he later said or wrote in Nuremberg or Cracow.]
"I am not familiar with this edition," said Hilberg. "I have the German edition... It may well be that I kept no immediate recollection of this particular passage in the German edition. I don't dispute what is stated here. It is his allegation. He said he was being beaten and that he signed a record." (5-956)
Christie referred back to the book:
Alcohol and the whip were too much for me. The whip was my own, which by chance had got into my wife's luggage. It had hardly ever touched my horse, far less the prisoners. Nevertheless, one of my interrogators was convinced that I had perpetually used it for flogging the prisoners.
After some days I was taken to Minden-on-the-Weser, the main interrogation centre in the British Zone. There I received further rough treatment at the hands of the English public prosecutor, a major.
"It appears from what you read that he did consider himself to have been beaten with his own whip," said Hilberg.
Right, said Christie. And he didn't understand what he was signing but he signed it anyway.
"That appears what appears to be said there, yes," said Hilberg.
Christie moved to the subject of Franz Ziereis. Hilberg agreed he had quoted Ziereis earlier. Was he kept in custody too?, asked Christie.
"Well, I don't know the precise circumstances inasmuch as they are somewhat complicated," said Hilberg. (5-957)
 Christie put to Hilberg that Ziereis was the commandant of Mauthausen in Austria, that he was tortured in that he was seriously wounded by three bullet-wounds in the course of his interrogation or immediately prior, that he knew he would die shortly, that he was interrogated for a period of six to eight hours during the night of May 22 and 23, and that he died that morning.
Hilberg agreed that Ziereis was the commandant of Mauthausen, but to nothing else. "No, I can't say that. I've had and read about two or three versions of his wounds and his subsequent death... He certainly died shortly after the end of the war as a result of wounds he received. According to one version he had tried to escape; according to another version, angry inmates inflicted the injuries upon him. You have just read yet another version. Unfortunately, I cannot choose between these versions. I can only confirm that he had wounds, that he did make the statement, and he subsequently died." (5-958)
Christie produced the affidavit of Hans Marsalek, which was the translation into English of Nuremberg document 3870-PS [Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, vol. VI, p. 790). Marsalek swore:
Franz Ziereis was interrogated by me in the presence of the Commander of the 11th Armored Division (American Armored Division) Seibel; the former prisoner and physician, Dr. Koszeinski;, and in the presence of another Polish citizen, name unknown, for a period of six to eight hours. The interrogation was effected in the night from 22 May to 23 May 1945. Franz Ziereis was seriously wounded -- his body had been penetrated by three bullets -- and knew that he would die shortly and told me the following: ...
Hilberg agreed that this document was Marsalek's recollection of what Ziereis said before he died and that it was used as a prosecution document at Nuremberg. Hilberg indicated that the Marsalek affidavit claimed that Ziereis was shot by American soldiers after trying to escape and was interrogated in the presence of a representative of the 11th Armoured Division. Hilberg testified that he would not quarrel that the document was before the court. (5-961, 962)
"I might add," said Hilberg, "that the fact of a number such as 3870-PS does not mean that the document was introduced in evidence... This is not ipso facto evidence of the document having been used in evidence. It merely means that it was collected by the prosecution, given a document number. It might then have been used; but not all of the prosecution documents have been used as evidence... " (5-962)
Christie asked whether, as an ordinary human being, Hilberg saw anything wrong with introducing into evidence, not the statement of Ziereis with his signature on it, but an affidavit by a different man who simply quoted what Ziereis allegedly said before he died.
"I would say the following," said Hilberg, "When a man has been the commander of a concentration camp and is wounded, the question of whether he may or may not be interrogated is essentially a medical question. Whether the physicians were consulted or not, I have no way of knowing. When I look at the document - and I did look at it - I could use it or not use it, depending, once again, as to whether or not the information contained in it seems to be credible, plausible, corroborated, confirmed or not." (5-963)
Christie put to Hilberg that Marsalek claimed in the affidavit that Ziereis said that 1 million or 1.5 million people were killed at Castle Hartheim. Was that true?
"There were people gassed at Hartheim," said Hilberg, "certainly not the number that you have just quoted, no... all I can say is, I did not use that particular datum. Indeed, in the first edition, I don't even believe that I have mentioned Hartheim, which was a facility for gassing incurable persons... the fact of Hartheim existing as a euthanasia station for gassing incurably ill persons with mental or neurological disorders, and also for gassing concentration camp inmates that were either obstreperous or at the end of their physical strength has been confirmed over and over and over." Hilberg indicated, however, that this was not his area of research. Hilberg agreed that the numbers included in the Marsalek affidavit regarding Hartheim were "manifestly out of the question" and were "absolutely" false. (5-964, 965)
Christie suggested to Hilberg that these types of documents were not rare and that torture was common; that people such as Franz Ziereis, Rudolf Hoess, Hoettl, Konrad Morgen, Josef Kramer and Erich von Manstein were tortured.
"All the names you have mentioned are familiar to me. The allegation of torture, in most of the cases that you have just indicated, are not familiar to me," said Hilberg.
You haven't looked into just what degree of voluntariness was involved in these statements, correct?, asked Christie.
"No, no. I am, of course, interested in how much a particular affidavit can be trusted. At the very outset I pointed out that my principal reliance was on documents, that my secondary reliance, where the documents do not speak for themselves or sufficiently so, is upon statements. I handle all such statements, whether [delivered] under the freest circumstances or under constraint, with the utmost of care." (5-966)
Hilberg agreed that he had referred to himself as an empiricist. Would you agree, asked Christie, that empiricism is the process of looking at experience and conducting experiments with real things?
"Well, I am not going to extend the definition of 'empiricism' to include experiments as a matter of necessary consequence. There are all kinds of manipulations, some of which is simulation, some of which are experiments, and some of which are not either... my description of what I am doing, is the procedure of looking at facts as they are contained in documents, and then coming to a larger picture, going from the small to the big, and that I call the empirical approach to the subject. There are, and could be, other approaches, but that happens to be mine. 'Experiment',  to me, suggests a repetitive element that can be manipulated in a laboratory. This I don't do." (5-967)
May I suggest, said Christie, that experiments can mean going to the scene of an event and conducting scientific tests?
"One may conduct scientific tests. I don't exclude that."
Have you done it?, asked Christie.
"I do not. I have repeatedly said that I am not a chemist. I am not a geologist. I am not a photo interpreter. I do not do these things."
I am asking you, said Christie, if you have done any physical experiments in respect to the research we are dealing with here.
Do you know of one scientific report that substantiates that any single place was used as a gas chamber? If so, please name it, said Christie.
"What do you mean by a scientific report?," asked Hilberg.
I don't usually have to define simple words, said Christie, but by "scientific report" I mean a report conducted by anyone who purported to be a scientist and who examined physical evidence. Name one report of such a kind that showed the existence of gas chambers anywhere in Nazi-occupied territory. (5-968)
"I still don't quite understand the import of your question," said Hilberg. "Are you referring to a German, or a post-war -"
I don't care who - German, post-war, Allied, Soviet - any source at all. Name one, said Christie.
"To prove what?," asked Hilberg.
To conclude that they have physically seen a gas chamber. One scientific report, repeated Christie.
"I am really at a loss. I am very seldom at such a loss, but... Again, I can only state that there have been aerial photographs that were analysed. Perhaps that is not in your definition of science. There have been contemporaneous documents about the lethality of the gas that was employed. Perhaps this is not important to you. There are documents - " (5-969)
Excuse me, said Christie, I want to understand clearly. You say the second thing is evidence about what?
"The lethality, the toxicity of the gas, the nature of the poison and what it does... Signed by scientific personnel within the German chemical industry."
Hilberg agreed that the cans of Zyklon B were labelled as poison: "That's correct. None of these examples will satisfy you because you want the proverbial connection to be made so close... The additional, how shall I say, scientific evidence is contained in such subject matter as filters for gas masks and the like, again indicating the caution with which one must approach this gas. Now, these are all connected with gas chambers."
Is that the end of your answer?, asked Christie.
"Well, for the moment, it's a couple of examples that at the spur of the moment I can bring up. If you want me to reflect on the matter, I can certainly conjure up from my recollection other examples, but I am still at a loss to really understand your question." (5-970)
In your book, The Destruction of the European Jews, if you had a scientific report proving the existence of only one gas chamber, wouldn't you have used it?, asked Christie.
"Oh, well, there is no single report, as you say, proving scientifically the existence of a gas chamber, unless you mean by this the chamber. Now, if you mean a scientific report as to what happened to people inside a gas chamber after they have inhaled gas, that's a separate matter..."
I didn't ask you that, said Christie.
"Well, that's the reason I am saying I am not quite sure as to the nature of your question. What scientist would make a report about a couple of hundred people squeezed into a gas chamber, and what exactly happens physiologically to them all, when you've got, from German sources, the exact description of what this gas will do once it is inhaled by human beings?" (5-979)