Institute for Historical Review
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-- - Upon resuming on Friday, October 6, 2000, at 9:35 a.m.
RESUMED: MARK WEBER
THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Mr. Christie, please.
MR. CHRISTIE: Good morning. I have some further questions regarding the relationship of revisionism with contemporary sources I would like to ask the witness.
Q.Is Finkelstein the only contemporary source which has repeated the Holocaust revisionist themes?
MR. FREIMAN: I object for the same reason as yesterday, that it calls on the expertise of a historian.
MR. CHRISTIE: Can I speak?
THE CHAIRPERSON: I am waiting for you to speak, yes.
MR. CHRISTIE: Thank you.
Yesterday the witness was allowed to go through Finkelstein's book and repeatedly affirmed that many parts of it were consistent with or identical to Holocaust revisionist themes. To look at contemporary public statements and determine if they are consistent with, supportive of, or identical to, or contrary to Holocaust revisionist themes and opinions is within the scope of the expertise of this witness because it doesn't take historical analysis to look at a text. In fact, what I intend to do is produce the text and ask the witness to comment in exactly the same way he did on the Finkelstein material.
In this way he is not conducting historical analysis; he is conducting an analysis of a text to determine whether the contents or the substance of that are identical to, different from or indeed supportive of Holocaust revisionist themes. He is regarded as an expert in Holocaust revisionism as he and others have defined it and in the context in which the Holocaust revisionist community operates.
I am not asking him to do anything different in respect of contemporary sources than he did with regard to Finkelstein's book. I am sure my learned friend would like to suggest that Finkelstein's opinions are the only ones in the world where contemporaneously we are confronted with words that express the view that the Holocaust is blackmail, is extortion, is exaggerated, is fraud. Isn't that part of the complaint? Isn't the complaint that Ernst Zündel exposes Jews to hatred or contempt or ridicule because allegedly the Zündelsite which exists in California expresses those views, that the Holocaust is blackmail, extortion, exaggeration and fraud?
If that is not the part of the case and the complaint, I don't know what is.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me be clear as to what you are going to be putting to him, the character of the documents.
MR. CHRISTIE: I gave copies to everybody. It is this one. It is called "Holocaust 'Blackmail' 'Extortion'" It is a small volume.
MR. ROSEN: May I ask what exhibit it is?
MR. CHRISTIE: Could I just deal with one objection at a time? It is not an exhibit yet.
MR. FREIMAN: Perhaps I could clarify --
MR. CHRISTIE: I am not finished. I have a question from the Chair. May I address the Chair? May I address my answer to your question?
I am about to refer to the Swiss commentaries of Swiss President Jean-Pascal Delamuraz and Banking Commissioner Jean-Francois Bergier. These are all public quotations from various sources -- Swiss People's Party, Swiss published opinion polls, Michael Kohn, publications from Iran, publications from Syria and Palestinian Authority, statements by the Jerusalem Grand Mufti prior to visiting with the Pope which was in this year, Professor Raul Hilberg's published statements in articles in newspapers and interviews.
These are public record documents available through the Internet. Why is that relevant? Why is it relevant to say anything in Iran or Syria or Jerusalem? For one thing, I will be producing the Syrian commentary that was broadcast by the BBC without comment. The BBC also has all its texts on the Internet.
I understand this Tribunal is being asked to extend its authority to the Internet, which makes the world as significant a source of context as Toronto would be if you were dealing with a telephone answering machine in Toronto, which you are not.
I suggest that the context in which we must now consider any Internet-accessible publication must be the context of those things that are available to the Internet just as readily, or perhaps even more readily since you are talking about the BBC which is usually quite commonly available and probably more well known actually than anything that would come from a web site in California.
These are texts which I will ask the witness to identify in relation to the context of Holocaust revisionism. I intend to ask this question, for instance: Does the Holocaust revisionist community take note of and analyze the writings in contemporary society to look for support? Then I intend to ask him: Is it part of the context in which the Holocaust revisionist community operates to examine the public record for comparable Holocaust comments from external sources? Is it their practice?
Presumably, if he is entitled to define what Holocaust revisionists do, which I took to be your permission, and if he is allowed to show the context in which they operate, it might be -- and I am instructed, in fact, that it is -- their practice to look for corroboration in society. If that is so, then he is entitled to do as he did with the Finkelstein book, show that in society there is widely disseminated views, opinions, expressions which are consistent with and identical to those of Holocaust revisionism of which Mr. Zündel is accused.
It will be a matter of argument at the end of the day to compare these commentaries with anything attributable to Mr. Zündel. However, without the opportunity to introduce them, to show the context in which we function in society, it would be impossible to know whether the comments attributed by the complaint to Mr. Zündel are in fact common parlance or not. If they are common parlance and if they are widely disseminated opinions, then I will respectfully submit that they are not productive of hatred or contempt or ridicule because any reasonable person has heard them all over society in an ongoing mainstream public debate about the significance of the Holocaust.
Now my friends will say, "Yes, but none of these people ever dispute the numbers, the gas chambers or the plans." It is certainly going to be their argument at the end of the day that it is not just that -- I have heard this a hundred times in every case that I have been in involving this issue. It is not just that he disputes the numbers, the gas chambers and the plan -- that would simply be academic discussion -- but he calls it fraud. He calls it blackmail. He calls it extortion. He implies an evil motive. He implies manipulation. He implies taking money from Germany by false pretenses about Jews. That is how he exposes Jews to hatred or contempt, not by mere academic discussion of an esoteric issue involving the Second World War.
I have heard this over and over again in the two Zündel trials and everywhere else that this has been discussed.
It is impossible to perceive exactly what my learned friends in their clever capacity to change positions might find at the end of the day the most suitable argument to impale their target, but I have every reason to believe that that is at least a part of it. If it is, then why would it be wrong to show that at this time in history these concepts and ideas are widely discussed, not necessarily by Holocaust revisionists, but that the same supposed sting is prevalent in society, and normal rational people can see that it is part of an ongoing debate.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Let me ask you this, Mr. Christie.
How does what you propose to do differ from our ruling on R-43?
MR. CHRISTIE: What your ruling was on R-43 is not entirely clear to me. This is not commentary on Finkelstein; this is commentary on the Holocaust. This material contains --
THE CHAIRPERSON: Finkelstein is about the Holocaust partially, so it is commentary on Finkelstein, about the Holocaust. Is what you are proposing, commentary on the Holocaust by various writers?
MR. CHRISTIE: Not really.
THE CHAIRPERSON: It is comment on what? On Finkelstein? On whom?
MR. CHRISTIE: These comments are upon the use and abuse of the Holocaust for political and economic gain. They have nothing to do with Finkelstein.
I could turn the question around and say: What is the difference between this, which is contemporary commentary on the Holocaust, and Finkelstein which was contemporary commentary on the Holocaust? What is the difference? There is no difference.
If he is entitled to look at Finkelstein and say, "There and there and there and there he makes statements that are consistent with and identical to the position taken by revisionists," why can't he do the same with contemporary society? How else can I introduce it through a witness who has some knowledge of contemporary revisionist positions? How else can I introduce it in a way that will show that it is consistent with Holocaust revisionists' positions?
THE CHAIRPERSON: Without indicating what my thinking is on this, is it not possible for you to introduce what you have in your hand in the same manner that you introduced R-43?
MR. CHRISTIE: Certainly.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't know whether there would be any objection to that.
MR. CHRISTIE: With the permission of the Tribunal, any evidence that you regard as relevant is considered admissible here.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's assume that we decide that that will be Exhibit R-44. How are you prejudiced in your presentation of the case? To put it another way, what is added to the process by letting Mr. Weber look at it and comment on it? You have already established in your question, to which I assume you would get a positive answer, that, yes, the revisionist community does read current comment in publications of various sorts. It is a pretty harmless concept that would be free from controversy, I would have thought.
MR. CHRISTIE: That is quite true, sir; I don't deny that at all. More than likely he is basically going to sound like a broken record when it comes to a lot of what is within this volume. That is not to say that there are not points upon which he has some unique knowledge.
THE CHAIRPERSON: If I may -- and I think I speak for my colleague as well. We are concerned about the receipt of evidence which, if not futile, is of such little relevance that it just occupies the time of this Hearing when we could be using the time more productively.
Yesterday and this morning you and your colleagues touched on what the issues in this case are, and we are anxious to get there some day.
MR. CHRISTIE: May I seek some advice for a moment?
We would definitely like to submit to you that these documents which are -- we could introduce them actually through the person who accumulated them. We discussed this. They come off the Internet. They are available in the same sense that the complained of documents are available. We gathered them for the purposes of making the submission that you have virtually heard.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Do counsel have copies of this document?
MR. CHRISTIE: I believe so.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Is there any objection to filing them in the manner that we filed R-43?
MR. FREIMAN: None.
MR. CHRISTIE: If we can proceed on that basis, we would be more than happy to avoid having to carry back and forth these many heavy books.
Let me say that this document that I just referred to, "Holocaust 'Blackmail' 'Extortion'" of September 2000 includes materials that originated, as I said, from various American opinions, Professor Hilberg, from Jerusalem, from Syria and Palestinian Authority, from Iran and from Switzerland. If that could be the next exhibit --
MR. ROSEN: I was not here yesterday and, of course, I was not in my office. I apologize.
I am concerned about the purpose for which this material is being tendered. I suppose that may be a matter of argument. I am not objecting to it going in because I think it would waste time to have Mr. Christie call the witness who accumulated it. The question then is: What purpose does it go in for other than to show that it has been accumulated?
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Rosen, we had considerable discussion yesterday in relation to the previous exhibit. I know you would not want me to repeat it all.
MR. ROSEN: No, I don't.
THE CHAIRPERSON: The purpose of it will be dealt with in the course of this Hearing, presumably by Mr. Christie in final argument.
MR. ROSEN: Fair enough.
MR. FREIMAN: I simply rise to specify that the Commission has no objection to filing it, but it is not to be taken as a concession of the truth of any contents nor the representativeness or the completeness or anything else. These are materials that the Commission is willing to concede were accumulated from a number of sources, as Mr. Christie says they were.
MR. CHRISTIE: Could we mark the document entitled "Holocaust 'Blackmail' 'Extortion'" as the next exhibit.
THE REGISTRAR: The document as described by Mr. Christie, which is dated September 2000, will be filed as Respondent's Exhibit R-44.
EXHIBIT NO. R-44: Book of documents entitled "Holocaust 'Blackmail' 'Extortion'" dated September 2000
MEMBER DEVINS: Mr. Christie, I note that you commented earlier that you had several volumes. I am just wondering whether there are any other volumes in the same vein and if they might all be marked now.
MR. CHRISTIE: That is what I propose to do. What I propose to do is briefly explain what they are, as far as we are concerned, and thereby identify them for the record.
I now propose to introduce, if possible, a book called "Holocaust Controversies." This is a book of contemporary publishing that involves the question of whether the Holocaust is a religion and is it misused politically. It contains articles from a number of sources, each of which is identified in the index, covering some 218 pages with each item -- for example, Yehuda Bauer, John Podhoretz and others, mostly Jewish authors writing about this subject in contemporary publishing from probably 1980 to 2000, discussing the subject of the Holocaust in that light.
Could that be the next exhibit, please.
MEMBER DEVINS: Again, marked for the same purpose?
MR. CHRISTIE: Yes, it is, for the purpose of argument to show the context of discussion about the subject and the words used to describe it.
THE REGISTRAR: The document entitled "Holocaust Controversies" dated September 2000 will be filed as Respondent's Exhibit R-45.
EXHIBIT NO. R-45: Book of documents entitled "Holocaust Controversies" dated September 2000
MEMBER DEVINS: Just to make sure there are no objections to it being filed for that purpose.
MR. FREIMAN: Subject to the same caveats.
MEMBER DEVINS: Thank you.
MR. CHRISTIE: The next document that I propose to introduce contains contemporary media references in which the term "Holocaust Industry, "Shoah business" and "Holocaust Shakedown" are used in contemporary language from 1980 to 2000. It consists of an index which covers each of the items, includes 243 pages, articles from various publications each of which is identified and excerpted, dealing with "Holocaust Industry," "Shoah business" and the words "Holocaust Shakedown."
I would like to introduce those articles referring to those to show the context of social discussion about the subject as the next exhibit, on the same basis, for the purposes of that argument.
MR. FREIMAN: Again, subject to the caveat that the Commission does not accept that this actually does prove any of the things that Mr. Christie intends to advance them for, or that it is representative or that it is comprehensive or complete.
MR. CHRISTIE: I acknowledge that every exhibit tendered by everyone, including myself, is subject to argument. By admitting it does not necessarily concede its probative value or any of the premises upon which we submit it.
THE REGISTRAR: The document entitled "Media References: 'Holocaust Industry' and 'Shoah business' and 'Holocaust Shakedown'", dated September 2000 will be filed as Respondent's Exhibit R-46.
EXHIBIT NO. R-46: Book of documents entitled "Media References: 'Holocaust Industry' and 'Shoah business' and 'Holocaust Shakedown'", dated September 2000
MR. CHRISTIE: The next exhibit I propose to introduce is a compilation of articles concerning Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. and the film "Mr. Death". These are various reviews of the movie itself and articles from The Atlantic Monthly about it, from a variety of sources, all derived from the Internet.
THE REGISTRAR: The document entitled: "Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., A Compilation of Articles Concerning Fred A. Leuchter Jr. and The film 'Mr. Death'" will be filed as Respondent's Exhibit R-47.
EXHIBIT NO. R-47: Book of documents entitled "Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., A Compilation of Articles Concerning Fred A. Leuchter Jr. and The film 'Mr Death'"
MR. CHRISTIE: In that light, I will only have the three questions which I intended to ask to conclude the witness' evidence.
Q.The first question is: Is Dr. Finkelstein the only contemporary source which has repeated the Holocaust revisionist themes?
MR. FREIMAN: I again rise, perhaps to clarify for Mr. Christie the nature of the objection.
As in the last couple of days, the Commission's position is that this witness is not competent to analyze texts, to compare them with other texts, or to comment on history. The form of the question calls upon him to analyze or to evaluate what other people have said. He is competent, as he has been asked in the past, to comment on whether he or what he believes to be the revisionist community as he defines it agree or disagree with the text. He is not competent to state that a certain text is consistent with his views or supports his views or echoes his views or is in any other way connected with his views.
If the question were put as it had been with regard to the Finkelstein writings, assuming there is some probative value to it, the question could not be objected to on the basis of the witness' credentials and expertise. In the way it is framed, the question is objectionable.
I simply add that the reason is not a trivial reason for objecting. This witness is not to be used to lead argument on behalf of the Respondent; he is to give evidence. We have heard what Mr. Christie wishes to argue. This witness has no expertise to advance that argument. He is simply there to bolster it and to have it repeated, to give it some credibility outside of what it is, which is a bald assertion by Mr. Christie.
MR. CHRISTIE: I am glad that at one point before the end of his dissertation my learned friend clarified the position. He said this witness is not entitled to compare his opinions with others; he is only entitled to express the Holocaust revisionist opinion.
The only thing that is required for me to compare my opinion with someone else's to determine whether mine conforms with theirs is the ability to understand the English language and to know my own opinion. I don't need to be an expert to analyze enough to understand the meaning of an English phrase.
MEMBER DEVINS: Isn't that the purpose for which experts are qualified, to give opinion evidence? We don't allow opinion evidence from everybody.
MR. CHRISTIE: We know we don't allow opinion evidence from everybody.
MEMBER DEVINS: Then I have misunderstood your argument.
MR. CHRISTIE: The opinion that he is being asked to give is whether it is repeating his opinion, whether these themes, these documents -- the question is: Is Finkelstein the only contemporary source which has repeated Holocaust revisionist themes? He is an expert in Holocaust revisionist themes.
Are you suggesting that, in order to know whether those Holocaust revisionist themes exist somewhere else, he has to be an expert in something else?
THE CHAIRPERSON: It is not polite to ask the Tribunal questions. We are supposed to get answers.
MR. CHRISTIE: I will tell you my answer.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I will tell you what our position has been with respect to this evidence, and you well know that because you finally followed, as I have described it, the salutary practice of reminding the witness of the basis on which he was giving his answer in a repetitive way.
There is apparently no objection to proceeding in that way with this line, and we are inclined to allow you to put the questions in the conventional form that we discussed yesterday.
MR. CHRISTIE: It is always the case that you refer to a conventional form. Let's get back to the conventional form.
The conventional form was to say: Do the writings of Finkelstein reflect the revisionist view? Is it consistent with that?
What I am asking is: Is Finkelstein the only contemporary source that is consistent with Holocaust revisionist views? That would require him to look at other contemporary sources, in the very same way that he looked at Finkelstein, to see if they are consistent with Holocaust revisionist views.
If you can tell me the difference between looking at Finkelstein and seeing if that is consistent with Holocaust revisionist views and looking around in society to determine if other contemporary sources are consistent with Holocaust revisionist views
-- I cannot understand what the difference could possibly be. It does not require expertise in history. It does not require expertise in sociology, psychology, anthropology, linguistics to read a text like Finkelstein or to look at a movie or to look at a book and say, "I can see, because I am an expert in Holocaust revisionist themes, Holocaust revisionist themes here. I can see that this repeats the Holocaust revisionist position."
Does that require an expertise in what the author has said? No. It requires an expertise in two things: reading the English language and being able to compare a text with the opinion known as Holocaust revisionism.
I am not asking him to say what those sources are. I have not gone beyond that to ask him any questions that require any expertise in history or anything else. This is a specious distinction without a difference. It is an obstruction, not an objection.
It is my respectful submission that my question, "Is Finkelstein the only contemporary source which has repeated Holocaust revisionist themes," only requires him to have expert knowledge of Holocaust revisionist themes and the simple meaning of contemporary sources.
THE CHAIRPERSON: What is the next question?
MR. CHRISTIE: The next question is: Does the Holocaust revisionist movement take note of and analyze the writings in contemporary society, looking for support?
THE CHAIRPERSON: Is that not where you have run afoul of our previous ruling? You are asking him to analyze now contemporary articles.
MR. CHRISTIE: No, I didn't ask him to analyze them. I said: Does the Holocaust revisionist movement take note of and analyze -- not what his analysis is -- the writings in contemporary society, looking for support? That is all. Do you do that in the Holocaust revisionist movement? That is all I asked.
The third question is: Is it part of the context in which the Holocaust revisionist community operates to examine the public record looking -- not necessarily stating what his findings are, but looking for comparable Holocaust comments from external sources?
Those are the three questions I propose to ask. If you rule on them, I am no longer required to ask any more.
MR. FREIMAN: The only one of those three questions, in my submission, that is objectionable is the first one. If he is asked to analyze some other work and say, "This is a Holocaust revisionist theme" or "This person agrees with Holocaust revisionist themes", he can talk about whether he agrees with particular opinions, for whatever limited probative value that might have, but to ask him to interpret other authors and to give an opinion as to whether they support Holocaust revisionist themes is to turn him into a historian or an analyst of literature, which he cannot do.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I might comment that I don't see how the first question is necessary to achieve your end. Why don't you just proceed with questions two and three?
MR. CHRISTIE: Fair enough. At this point I don't care one way or the other.
THE CHAIRPERSON: There seems to be no objection.
MR. CHRISTIE: Wonderful.
Q.Does the Holocaust revisionist movement, Mr. Weber, take note of and analyze the writings of others in contemporary society, looking for support?
A.Yes, it does.
Q.Is it part of the context in which the Holocaust revisionist community operates to examine the public record for comparable Holocaust comments from external sources?
MR. CHRISTIE: Thank you very much.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Freiman, please.
MR. FREIMAN: I wonder if we could have five minutes.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
-- - Short Recess at 10:10 a.m.
-- - Upon resuming at 10:21 a.m.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I omitted to ask Mr. Fromm if he had any questions.
MR. FROMM: No, sir.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR. FREIMAN: I was about to say that I omitted to recognize that in the past we have proceeded with this witness with Mr. Rosen taking the lead. With the Tribunal's permission, Mr. Rosen will take the lead. I may have a very brief cross-examination to follow.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Fine.
Q. On the first day of your evidence, Witness, you indicated to the Tribunal that revisionism in the context of history is a form of re-study of history with a view to correcting mistaken interpretations, if I can paraphrase you. Is that right?
A. That is part of what I said, yes.
Q. Of course, human experience has been that, when it comes to the reporting and recalling of historic events, mistakes are sometimes made, and a re-look at events may correct what actually happened in terms of our memory of it. Right?
A. That sounds reasonable.
Q. A Holocaust revisionist, according to you, is a person who looks at the events in Nazi Europe during a certain period of time as it relates to the treatment of Jews. Correct?
A. That is largely true, yes.
Q. You also said that, when it comes to dealing with events during World War II, even legal tribunals can be misled. Correct?
A. I don't know if I put it quite like that, but that is true, yes.
Q. You pointed as an example to the Nuremberg Tribunal being misled about the massacre in the Katyn Forest, where the Polish officers were executed. Originally the Germans were blamed, and it turned out to be the Russians who had executed them. Right?
A. I don't understand your question.
Q. You mentioned in your evidence an incident, as an example, where certain German officers were blamed, if you will, at Nuremberg for the execution of Polish officers in a forest in Poland. Right?
A. I mentioned it as an example of what?
Q. Of how a tribunal could be misled.
A. I don't know if I said that. I explained that evidence was presented by the Allies at the Nuremberg Tribunal to prove that the Polish officers killed at Katyn were killed by the Germans.
Q. Right. In fact, it turned out later that we discovered that it was actually the Russians who executed them.
A. I don't know about "we."
Q. "We" as a world. Historians discovered and established.
A. It depends on what historians you mean. In the United States the official view was that the massacre had been carried out by the Germans, until the early 1950s. The world includes also much of Europe which knew the truth of the matter already in 1943.
Q.Exactly. Whether or not the Tribunal was misled, it is hard to say because, in fact, they didn't pass direct judgment on it.
A.That is correct.
Q.Any tribunal may or may not be misled depending upon the veracity of the witnesses who testify. Right?
A.That is true, of course.
Q.You have been presented in a limited capacity as an expert on the revisionist community in the context of Holocaust revisionism, to paraphrase the ruling. Right?
A.That is correct, yes.
Q.In your evidence, which I missed, so I am going by a note taken by somebody, you referred to the Respondent's Exhibit R-42, "The Holocaust Industry" by Norman G. Finkelstein, which I have produced to you. Is that right?
A.I have my own copy of the original.
Q.You told this Tribunal that, because of Mr. Finkelstein's book, Norman Finkelstein is arguably a Holocaust revisionist. Right?
A.Yes, I said that.
Q.You said that he has been described as a Holocaust revisionist and arguably is a member of the Holocaust revisionist community. Right?
A.Yes, I said something like that.
Q.Meaning, of course, that he is a person who is in the process of studying the Holocaust as an event and revising historical facts which were believed to be one thing and later proved to be another.
A.No, not true. In fact, when I was asked the question about what Holocaust revisionism is, I specifically made the point that it involves not only the history of events during the Second World War, but its context in society today since then. In that sense, Norman Finkelstein arguably can be considered a Holocaust revisionist.
Mr. Pensa referred just 20 minutes ago to Mr. Finkelstein's book, as he said, "Finkelstein is about the Holocaust largely." What he means, I suppose, is that the book is not about historical events; it is about the Holocaust and its place in society.
Q.But the Holocaust and its place in society is not a form of revisionism, as you originally defined it, is it?
A.No, that is not true. I defined "Holocaust revisionism" in the way that I just described, to include more than simply the historical record of historical events as they took place in the past. I also referred to it as a revision or another look at the place that history plays in contemporary society as well.
Q.But the place of an event in contemporary society has nothing to do with revision of the events that took place, does it?
A.Nobody is revising any events. We are revising our understanding of the past and the impact of the past on the present.
Q.In fact, Norman Finkelstein, notwithstanding his diatribe as to the use that persons may have made of the memory of the Holocaust in contemporary society, accepts, does he not, the fact that there was such a thing --
MR. CHRISTIE: Could we have the page, please, so that we might follow this.
Q. -- that there was such a thing as a Nazi holocaust.
A.You will have to refer to a specific place.
Q.Just because Mr. Christie gave you the cue, my question to you, sir, because you were the one who testified in-chief, is that Mr. Finkelstein accepts that there was what he calls a Nazi holocaust. Right?
A.That is true, yes.
Q.What Mr. Finkelstein says --
A.As do I, by the way, Mr. Rosen.
Q. -- that the Nazi holocaust signals the actual historic event of the execution or, if you will, the extermination --
MR. CHRISTIE: If there is to be a quote, I think we have the right, since it is in evidence, to follow on and just be told what page to look for.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Rosen, to save interruptions, perhaps you could refer to the page so that we can follow the line of questioning.
MR. ROSEN: I will take your direction, sir, but I should say that, until I get to referring specifically to the document, it is my prerogative as a cross-examiner to put propositions to the witness and then I will get to the document. I will do it now.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
Q.Let's see what Mr. Finkelstein actually says in his book. Mr. Finkelstein says at page 1 right under the heading "Introduction":
"I will argue that 'The Holocaust' is an ideological representation of the Nazi holocaust."
A.I see that, yes.
Q.His footnote is:
"In this text, Nazi holocaust signals the actual historic event, The Holocaust is an ideological representation."
Q.That that is what is written.
A.Yes, that's right.
Q.That is the dichotomy that he proceeds with.
A.Yes, that is correct.
Q.He accepts, I suggest to you, that the Nazis -- that is, the Germans -- during the Second World War executed a plan that was designed to exterminate Jews who fell under their control, doesn't he?
A.This is a very good point you are making. First of all --
Q.No, no, answer my question, sir. This is not a debate. The question is: Does or does not Mr. Finkelstein accept as a fact that the Nazis -- that is to say, Germans -- perpetrated a plan of extermination against Jews who fell under their control? Yes or no?
A.I would appreciate, Mr. Rosen, when I am giving my answer if you don't interrupt before I complete my answer.
Q.Sir, I ask the questions, and the question calls for a "yes" or "no" answer. You are being evasive. Answer the question, sir. Don't be evasive.
A.The question you are putting is a good and important one.
MR. ROSEN: Could I ask for some direction from the Tribunal. The question calls for a "yes" or "no" answer, not for a speech from the witness. Perhaps the Tribunal might assist me in this regard.
MR. CHRISTIE: Actually, it doesn't call for a "yes" or "no" answer. It is not capable of being answered "yes" or "no."
THE CHAIRPERSON: Answer the question.
THE WITNESS: Can you repeat the question, Mr. Rosen?
MR. ROSEN: Yes.
Q.Would you agree with me that Mr. Finkelstein accepts that the Nazis perpetrated a plan of extermination against European Jews that fell under their control?
A.In the original way you put your question, Mr. Rosen, you said --
Q.Answer this question.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Rosen, let's see if he is going to answer the question.
MR. ROSEN: Let's see what he does.
THE WITNESS: First of all, the way you put the question in its original form is outrageous. You referred to a plan carried out by "the Germans." This is typical language used by people who are defaming or castigating others. To talk about "the Germans" -- "the Germans" didn't carry out any execution plan of any kind, Mr. Rosen, and it is wrong to refer to a nationality or a group of people in that way, just as it is wrong to refer to "the Jews" killing people in Palestine or "the Jews" doing this or that.
To put a question in that way is already outrageous. I will try to answer the question as best I can.
Q.Mr. Weber --
A.Please don't interrupt me.
MR. ROSEN: Sir, he has not answered my question and, in addition to that, he has misquoted me. I did not say "the Germans"; I said "Germans."
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Weber, you reacted to the question as you understood it put to you earlier. Your reaction is on the record. Now just answer the question.
THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. Pensa. I was trying to before I was interrupted again.
Yes, it is true that Mr. Finkelstein makes a distinction between the events that took place 55-60 years ago in Europe and what he calls the Holocaust as an ideological representation. That is true.
I was making the other day a point, a distinction --
MR. ROSEN: Now that he has answered the question, could we move on to the next question?
MR. CHRISTIE: That was a good question. He is just getting to the answer.
MR. ROSEN: The question was: Does he accept? The answer is: Yes, he does.
THE WITNESS: Mr. Rosen, I didn't say that. We don't know if he said what you are --
MR. ROSEN: Mr. Chairman, could I ask the Tribunal to direct the witness, please.
MR. CHRISTIE: This statement by my friend of the witness' position -- he is trying to answer the question, and my learned friend continually interrupts him. I really don't think we are going to get anywhere at this rate.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Weber, you have answered the question, as I understood it.
MR. CHRISTIE: I object. The question was whether Finkelstein accepts that "the Germans" had a plan to exterminate the Jews. Mr. Weber said that Mr. Finkelstein makes a distinction, and was coming to an answer to the question when he was cut off.
THE CHAIRPERSON: What do you have to add to your answer?
THE WITNESS: The point I was going to make is that Mr. Finkelstein does not define the actual events of World War II in the way that Mr. Rosen is construing it. That is the difference.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Fine. Next question.
MR. ROSEN: Thank you.
Q.It is interesting that you say that because, if we then go to page 5, Mr. Finkelstein says in the last paragraph:
"My original interest in the Nazi holocaust was personal. Both my father and mother were survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Nazi concentration camps. Apart from my parents, every family member on both sides was exterminated by the Nazis."
Do you see that?
A.Yes, I see that.
Q.In addition to that, he goes on to say, does he not, at page 127:
"As the Holocaust industry plays with numbers to boost its compensation claims, anti-Semites gleefully mock the 'Jewish liars' who even 'huckster' their dead. In juggling these numbers the Holocaust industry, however unintentionally, whitewashes Nazism."
He writes that, doesn't he?
A.No, he doesn't, Mr. Rosen. Once again you have misquoted. He says "Jew liars," not "Jewish liars." With reference to what you asked earlier, it may very well be true that every family member on both sides was exterminated by the Nazis. That may be quite true.
Q.In fact, he goes on to say, sir, that people like you, I suggest, anti-Semites gleefully mock "Jew liars" and "huckster" their dead, and as a result the debate over numbers unintentionally whitewashes Nazism. That is part of the premise of his book, isn't it?
A.Your question has several parts. We don't know what he means by "anti-Semites who gleefully mock the 'Jew liars'. This very point came up yesterday during questioning in-chief. I don't know anyone who uses that kind of terminology. We have to ask Mr. Finkelstein to know what he means when he refers to anti-Semites who gleefully mock "Jew liars."
If you want, I can try to speculate on what Mr. Finkelstein means by that term in more detail.
Q.Mr. Weber, you are the one who said that Norman Finkelstein can actually be considered a revisionist. I put to you that there is no revision going on here. There is an argument as to the use that is made of the memory of the Holocaust, not of events.
A.Even though you didn't --
Q.Isn't that right?
A.I would like now to answer that question without interruption.
I understand the distinction you are making. As was brought out I think yesterday in-chief, Mr. Finkelstein specifically refers to what he calls nonsense churned out daily by the Holocaust industry. He refers to inventive stories about the Holocaust.
Q.Are you reading from notes?
A.Yes, taken from the pages. If you wish, I will refer specifically to the pages if that is your concern.
At page 68 he refers explicitly to nonsense churned out daily by the Holocaust industry. The wonder is that there are so few skeptics.
On page 129 he refers to Israel inventing stories about the Holocaust.
At page 150 he finally says -- and this is the most important thing. In the final paragraph of his book he says:
"The challenge today is to restore the Nazi holocaust as a rational subject of inquiry."
That is an essential point that revisionists make and that I think every person of goodwill should. The implication is that the Nazi holocaust right now is not a rational subject of inquiry. It is treated in our society today as a kind of mystical, pseudo-religious event.
Mr. Finkelstein is not a historian of the Second World War. He is not an expert particularly in that subject. He is writing a book about the Holocaust industry. He does note that many stories that we have been told about the events of World War II are untrue, and for that reason it is amazing that there are so few skeptics. That is not the subject of his book. If he wrote a book on that subject, that would be something we could take issue with or debate or discuss.
I have referred to him as arguably a Holocaust revisionist because he disputes the place that the Holocaust has come to play in society, our interpretation of the past, the way it is exploited, and the way that lies are told about it.
Q.When it comes to the recollections of the past -- and you have referred to page 129 -- Mr. Finkelstein goes on to talk about the numbers and, in particular, the Claims Conference position paper. In that context he says at page 128 -- this is a quote from a report:
"Slave labor was one of the three main methods used by the Nazis to murder Jews -- the others being shooting and gassing. One of the purposes of slave labor was to work the individuals to death.... The term slave is an imprecise word in this context. In general slave masters have an interest to preserve the life and condition of their slaves. However, the Nazi plan for the 'slaves' was that their work potential be utilized and then the 'slaves' should be exterminated."
First of all, that is the quote from the Claims Conference that he uses. Correct?
A.That is correct.
Q.You don't accept that Jews were gassed and shot, nor do you accept that the slaves would be exterminated, do you? Do you?
A.Do I accept what?
Q.That Jews were in fact gassed as well as shot and otherwise murdered. You don't accept that.
A.I do accept that Jews were shot.
Q.How about gassed?
A.I don't know. I have never said that Jews were not gassed. I have never said that.
I can say and I have pointed out that there is no question that many claims about gassing have been proven untrue. I am also very interested in the evidence that has come out about claims of gassings at remaining places.
Q.Let me go on. He goes on to say:
" -- and then the 'slaves' should be exterminated."
That is what the Commission concluded. Right? You don't accept that the slaves were to be exterminated, do you?
Q.Probably not. Mr. Finkelstein does, doesn't he?
"Apart from Holocaust deniers, no one has yet disputed that Nazism consigned slave laborers to this horrific fate."
A.Right, and the horrific fate includes what presumably would happen in the future.
Q.If you go to his conclusion at page 150, he repeats that position when he says:
"During a series of public exchanges in the 1980s, many prominent German and non-German scholars argued against 'normalizing' the infamies of Nazism. The fear was that normalization would induce moral complacency. However valid the argument may have been then, it no longer carries conviction. The staggering dimensions of Hitler's Final Solution are by now well known."
Isn't that what he writes?
A.That seems to be correct, yes.
Q.You say, as a revisionist, that there was no Final Solution.
A.No, I don't say that.
Q.Was there a Final Solution?
A.Excuse me, Mr. Rosen. If I could not be interrupted again --
Q.The answer just called for a "yes" or a "no", sir, not a speech, but go ahead.
MR. ROSEN: Mr. Pensa, I asked a question that called for a "yes" or "no" answer.
THE WITNESS: I would just like it if he would not interrupt me.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you understand the question?
THE WITNESS: Yes, and I would like to give my answer, and I don't like to be interrupted.
THE CHAIRPERSON: You should answer the question as responsively and as succinctly as possible.
THE WITNESS: Yes, and I would like it if he would not interrupt me.
In fact, Mr. Rosen, to the contrary, there was a German policy called the Final Solution. I have written extensively about it, in the very document that is in the complained of documents. There is an essay by me which tries to explain the Final Solution policy. It refers to an official German document from the Second World War, a memorandum of the Foreign Office which goes into detail about what the Final Solution policy was.
I don't dispute that there was a Final Solution policy. I don't know any revisionist who does. I don't know any revisionist who denies or disputes that there was a horrific policy carried out under the rubric of the Final Solution.
I don't disagree with what Mr. Finkelstein says in the passage that you just quoted.
Q.So you accept that the Final Solution was Hitler's and the Nazis' plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
A.No, I don't accept that.
Q.That is what Mr. Finkelstein accepts.
A.That is not what he is writing.
A.Where does he write that?
Q.In the context of the book as a whole, sir, not a line-by-line parsing as you have so aptly demonstrated the last time you were here.
A.That may be Mr. Finkelstein's understanding. We don't know that.
MR. ROSEN: Thank you.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Freiman, please.
MR. FREIMAN: I have very few questions.
Q.On Wednesday when we first started, you were referring to the film "Mr. Death." I guess I should have caught the question and objected to it, but I didn't, so I am stuck with the answer.
In referring to "Mr. Death," you stated that it is one example of how mainstream society in general has accepted revisionist thought. Do you recall saying that?
A.I don't recall using those exact words. I referred several times to that basic theme. I don't mean by that that mainstream society has accepted what revisionists have to say about World War II.
What I said -- and I think I made this pretty clear -- is that mainstream society accepts that these arguments put forward by revisionists are part of the general discourse in society. I don't by any means want to suggest that society in general accepts the views of a Fred Leuchter or an Ernst Zündel. They are clearly regarded generally in society as quite outside the mainstream, even as kooks.
The thrust and import of the film that we saw, I thought, was to portray Mr. Leuchter as a kind of fool, as a person who has basically bumbled into something and didn't really know what he was getting into, that he made an investigation and he is wrong. That is the import that I think the average viewer would get from that film.
Q.Thank you for that clarification. That is all I wanted to clarify.
You had a bit of interchange with Mr. Rosen, and I just want to clarify to make sure that I understood. Really, it is an extension of the discussion that you had with the Chair yesterday when he asked you whether the words "Jew liar" resonate in the Holocaust revisionist community. As I recall, you said that you didn't know what that meant and it didn't resonate.
A.I didn't say that I didn't know what it meant. I said that I have never seen that term ever used by anyone I know in the revisionist community. I said that that term and terms like that are not used in our revisionist community. In fact, if people used such terms, as far as I am concerned, we wouldn't really deal with them.
Q.You wouldn't deal with them or you would disavow them?
A.Speaking for myself and the IHR, the IHR has always publicly disavowed bigotry or something as pejorative as "Jew" as an adjective.
Q.That is what I wanted to clarify. In your discussion with Mr. Rosen, it occurred to me that I have to be clear so as to avoid misunderstanding.
Do I understand that it is the use of "Jew" as an adjective? If the word was "Jewish liars," would your answer change at all? Is it just the absence of the "ish" at the end of the word?
A.No, it is not just the absence of the "ish" at the end. I was just saying that that is even more pejorative.
I suppose I could see, if there was a long, specific reference to individuals and somebody said "Jewish liars," it might be an acceptable way to express oneself.
Q.But the generalization is not acceptable in the revisionist community, in your evidence?
A.I don't know what the --
Q.You don't know about the revisionist community?
A.In the IHR, no. The revisionist community is very broad, as I think I emphasized the other day. There are some people who express themselves more stridently, more passionately, more intemperately, perhaps unwarrantedly so. Others express themselves much more carefully. Sometimes people use language which I do not approve of, and I can think of a number of examples of that. I don't like the language that is used by mainstream historians oftentimes, and I don't like the language that Mr. Rosen used in this court room.
The revisionist community is a big tent, Mr. Freiman, and generally we try to be tolerant. We don't like bigotry expressed by anyone about any other group.
Q.Am I to understand that that is also the tenor of your evidence with regard to other matters which you said, that the revisionist community is a big tent and you are talking about some revisionists but not all revisionists? I am trying to understand the tenor of your evidence.
You were asked 30 or 40 times whether the revisionist community believed this or that or whether such and such a view resonated or didn't resonate within the revisionist community. I am trying to understand the tenor of your evidence. Am I to understand it in the same way that you have just explicated now -- a big tent; some people, yes; others you can't talk about?
A.I am glad you asked the question, Mr. Freiman. Mr. Christie was constrained yesterday to put questions in that awkward way, and I am not comfortable speaking in the name of any of these people. I speak for myself. I don't like taking responsibility for the views of others who are not here to speak for themselves.
I speak in a general way for the revisionist community, but obviously I can't speak, especially in all sorts of specific ways, about what many individual revisionists might say.
Q.That's fine. I just wanted the Tribunal to understand how we should be receiving your evidence and what the context is in which the evidence is that you have given.
You talked about pejoratives, and you said you didn't like words like "Jew liars" and "Jewish liars", that they are pejoratives. We looked at another epithet also yesterday. As I recall, you told us that the term "Holocaust denier" is pejorative and an epithet.
A.Yes, I regard that as an epithet.
Q.Someone being called a Holocaust denier would not resonate, with whatever qualifications you just gave, in the revisionist community. The revisionist community would not accept being called deniers.
A.In general, that is very true. In fact, we published a little essay by Robert Faurisson in which he explicitly rejected this, and I have rejected it any number of times.
Q.To the extent that Mr. Finkelstein, for instance, associates the concept of denier and the concept of revisionist, his view doesn't resonate within the Holocaust revisionist community.
A.I don't quite understand your question.
Q.I am sure you do.
A.Insofar as he uses...?
Q.Insofar as he uses "denier" and "revisionist" interchangeably. You will recall that you had a little exchange with Mr. Christie, and he clarified for our benefit that Mr. Finkelstein actually does do that.
A.Yes, he uses them interchangeably.
Q.That identification doesn't resonate within the revisionist community.
A.That is one way of putting it, yes. I don't like it.
Q.Insofar as Mr. Finkelstein is contemptuous of the denier community, that doesn't resonate within the revisionist community.
Q.Insofar, for instance, as Mr. Finkelstein discusses the works of David Irving and dismisses them as being obtuse and quickly discredited, that doesn't resonate --
MR. CHRISTIE: What page?
MR. FREIMAN: Page 71. I don't think it is necessary, but I agree with Mr. Rosen that there is nothing to hide.
Q.At page 71, in the footnote Mr. Finkelstein says:
"Rightly dismissing Irving's claims on the Nazi holocaust as 'obtuse and quickly discredited,' -- "
MR. CHRISTIE: You are taking it out of the context. The author himself says something else that has already been quoted, and I object to misleading the witness. Show him the text.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Just a moment. This is an expert witness, and he can look after himself.
MR. FREIMAN: Mr. Christie has his re-examination if he thinks I am being unfair with the witness.
Q.I simply wanted to get your evidence as to the response of the revisionist community, insofar as you are able or partly able to talk about it, to that discussion. Mr. Christie read you the rest of it, and you were fulsome in your praise and in your acceptance of that view. I simply want to clarify the first part of it.
A.Thank you, Mr. Freiman. I don't necessarily disagree with what Finkelstein is saying. In fact, some revisionists do disagree strongly with David Irving about his claims about the Nazi holocaust. Robert Faurisson disagrees strongly with some of the claims of David Irving himself,
Within the revisionist community there is a very robust debate among revisionists. There is not a dogmatism about these things. For that matter, Irving himself, apparently based on what happened at the trial in London in April, has changed some of the view that he himself has expressed on this subject.
I don't necessarily agree. I think some of the Irving's claims on the Nazi holocaust are obtuse and quickly discredited. I would actually agree with that.
Q.Let's be clear on what we are saying. Is it that Mr. Weber agrees or that in your view the revisionist community agrees?
A.The revisionist community, as I tried to emphasize, is broad enough to include a David Irving, a Robert Faurisson and many others who disagree among themselves. To talk about claims about the Nazi holocaust is exactly what revisionists agree and disagree among themselves about.
Q.Let's go one step farther. Again, you were extremely fulsome in your praise and acceptance of certain observations made by Mr. Finkelstein with regard to numbers and inaccuracy. You recall that line of questioning?
A.I do. As a man, I think you know something about the English language. The word "fulsome" has a double meaning, of course.
Q.No, it has a single meaning, and you know the meaning. It was intended exactly as the dictionary definition. The dictionary definition is "exaggerated, overly enthusiastic."
A.That is a main one. There is another one that is less --
A.Yes. I would reject the one that implies that I was exaggerated in my praise.
You praised some of the citations put to you by Mr. Christie and talked about the acceptance within the Holocaust revisionist community of that concept.
At page 127 Mr. Finkelstein says, in the context of precisely what we are looking at:
"In juggling these numbers the Holocaust industry, however unintentionally, whitewashes Nazism."
I take it that you will agree with me that the Holocaust revisionist community does not agree that that is the import of imprecision in the numbers of victims. In fact, it believes the opposite.
A.Thank you, Mr. Freiman. You are now asking me to do exactly what you objected to Mr. Christie trying to do with me. You are asking me to comment on Finkelstein's "The Holocaust Industry" --
Q.No. Mr. Weber, I am trying to be as precise as I can. Mr. Christie can get up once or twice, as I believe he has, and make whatever objection he thinks relevant.
I am asking what the reaction of the Holocaust revisionist community, as you understand it, is to the proposition that the effect of imprecision in the number of survivors of the Nazi holocaust is to whitewash Nazism. I take it that does not resonate within the historical revisionist community.
A.Thank you for rephrasing your question in the way that the Chair has asked Mr. Christie to do.
It is a complicated and compound question that you have put to me, but I suppose the answer would be "yes."
Q.You could have done that much more quickly, couldn't you, Mr. Weber?
A.If you had put the question in the way that the Chair had directed, yes.
Q.Let's see what editorial comments we might have about some other things.
Similarly, to the extent that what Mr. Finkelstein is saying -- and accept it as a hypothetical -- it is that exaggeration of the number of Holocaust survivors is a form of Holocaust denial in that it wrongly denies the full horror of what happened to an actual number of Jews during the war. That does not resonate within the Holocaust revisionist community either.
Maybe you can get over your amusement of the question --
A.No, I am not amused. I am just confused. I am trying to remember all the portions of your question.
Q.Shall I do it again?
A.Yes, because you are asking it in this narrow way of how it resonates in the revisionist community, and I am trying to keep all the elements in my mind.
Q.There are not many elements.
To the extent -- and you take this as a hypothetical -- that Mr. Finkelstein says that exaggerating the number of survivors trivializes the number of actual -- let's make it real easy for you.
MR. CHRISTIE: Can we look at the text?
MR. FREIMAN: No. Can you sit down, Mr. Christie?
MR. CHRISTIE: I object to the question. If it is a quote of the text, I need to see the text.
THE CHAIRPERSON: As I understand it, he is putting a proposition to him, which he is entitled to do.
Q.I am trying to simplify this so that you will not be confused.
To the extent that Mr. Finkelstein were to say -- and accept it as a hypothetical -- that exaggerating the number of survivors minimizes the number of victims and thereby constitutes a denial of the horror of the Holocaust, that view does not resonate within the revisionist community.
A.I can't comment. It resonates with me. It resonates with some people, I think, in the revisionist community. Mr. Finkelstein, I think, is arguably a member of the revisionist community by raising some of the very points he makes in this book, as I have said before.
Q.Let's not have this tricky definition. If you are telling me that it resonates within the revisionist community to the extent that Mr. Finkelstein is a member of the revisionist community, all you are saying, Mr. Weber, is that Mr. Finkelstein would agree with himself.
Is that the nature of the evidence you have given over the last three days?
A.No, and that wasn't what I said either.
I made the point the other day that Finkelstein has pointed out not only in this book but in an interview which I wasn't allowed to comment on that there is a discrepancy, there is a contradiction between claims made today officially by Jewish organizations and the State of Israel about the number of survivors and what we were told the number of victims was during the war.
Mr. Finkelstein's contention is that Jewish organizations today and the State of Israel are lying, are exaggerating the number of survivors. That may very well be true, and that resonates with me. It might very well be true; I don't know.
I also think that the main import of what these figures are is that the number of victims is exaggerated. Somebody somewhere is playing with numbers, and that is something also that resonates with the revisionist community and with me.
Q.Let's get back to it because you have managed to undo the entire hypothesis and to end up agreeing with yourself. Let's be clear.
The question that I asked you was: To the extent that what Mr. Finkelstein says, accepted or not as being accurate -- to the extent that what he says is that the reason that the exaggeration of the number of survivors, as he sees it, of the Holocaust is objectionable is because an exaggeration of the survivors constitutes a minimization or a trivialization of the numbers of victims, and that that constitutes a form of denial that does not resonate within the Holocaust revisionist community.
A.I agree with you on that.
Again, I had a bit of a problem understanding your response, so you will excuse me if I repeat a question that Mr. Rosen touched on. This is at page 129. I think you actually agreed to a question from the Chair yesterday, and I just want to make sure that there isn't something that I misunderstood.
Mr. Finkelstein says:
"Apart from Holocaust deniers, no one has yet disputed that Nazism consigned slave laborers to this horrific fate."
At the time you agreed with that.
I just want to draw your attention that this horrific fate includes gassing and extermination of slaves by overwork, and intentional extermination of slaves by overwork. I just want to be sure that I understood correctly that your view is that that view also resonates within the Holocaust revisionist community, namely, that no one disputes that.
MR. CHRISTIE: I can't follow the question.
MR. FREIMAN: Fortunately, Mr. Christie, I am not asking you to answer it.
MR. CHRISTIE: Unfortunately for my learned friend, I think it is necessary for counsel to understand a question in order to know whether it is proper. I frankly find that a very confusing question, incapable of being comprehended.
MR. FREIMAN: If Mr. Christie doesn't want the witness to answer the question, I have to understand why. It is not complex; it is not difficult to understand. Mr. Weber is nodding. He can answer the question.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you nodding your head affirmatively that you --
MR. ROSEN: The witness understands the question quite clearly and was about to answer it when Mr. Christie purposely stood up and objected.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you understand the question?
THE WITNESS: I think I do.
The point you are trying to make I think is an obvious one, that Mr. Finkelstein generally accepts or believes that the Nazis killed millions of Jews in gas chambers and shootings and so forth and that many revisionists don't accept that. That is quite true.
Robert Faurisson or Arthur Butz and perhaps I would disagree with him about those points. That is quite true. There is a difference, obviously, between how Mr. Finkelstein views the treatment of Jews in Europe during World War II and how many revisionists view it.
The revisionist community includes people who would agree with Mr. Finkelstein about that. At the last IHR Conference we had speakers who accept the same view that Mr. Finkelstein and perhaps you and many other people do on this subject. The revisionist community is a very broad one.
I understand the import of the point you are trying to make, I think, and I agree with the central point you are trying to make.
Q.To the extent that Mr. Finkelstein characterizes those who do not accept those propositions, the proposition that Nazism consigned slave labourers to this horrific fate -- to the extent that Mr. Finkelstein is contemptuous of them and calls them deniers, that also does not resonate in the Holocaust revisionist community.
A.I would agree with that.
Q.Finally, Mr. Rosen has directed your attention to Mr. Finkelstein's statement at page 150:
"The staggering dimensions of Hitler's Final Solution are by now well known."
Q.To the extent that this means -- and I will ask you to accept as a hypothetical that this means that the debate about the current use of the Holocaust is a fruitful debate and a useful debate because it does not pose the risk of anyone seriously accepting that Hitler's Final Solution was anything other than a staggering extermination of Jews. That does not resonate within the revisionist community.
Let me repeat it again so that you can't tell me how difficult it is to understand.
To the extent that Mr. Finkelstein's argument is based on the following hypothetical proposition which I have asked you to accept, namely, that debate over contemporary use of the Holocaust is fruitful and can be productive, among other reasons, because there is no danger that that debate will lead to a trivialization of the Holocaust and of the fact of the historical holocaust or of a denial of the staggering dimensions of the extermination of Jews by Nazis during the Second World War, that view does not resonate within the revisionist community.
A.I can't answer that question.
MR. FREIMAN: Thank you.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Re-examination, Mr. Christie.
Q.In Mr. Freiman's quotation from this book he quoted from the footnote on page 71. He quoted part of the footnote as follows, and asked you to comment on it: He quoted:
"Rightly dismissing Irving's claims on the Nazi holocaust as 'obtuse and quickly discredited,' -- "
Then he stopped. Could you read the rest, please, and comment on that.
MR. FREIMAN: I object not to Mr. Weber reading the rest, but the question, "Can you comment on this?" It is clearly not proper.
MR. CHRISTIE: What question there was at this moment precisely escapes me. It seems to me it was asking for his comment. If you are able to help me by remembering exactly what the question is -- I would be happy to repeat it verbatim, but I can't.
MR. FREIMAN: Actually, the quote that I put to Mr. Weber, and just that quote, resonated within the Holocaust revisionist community. I believe Mr. Christie has already asked the witness whether the second half of the quote resonated.
MR. CHRISTIE: Actually, I never referred to the second half of the quote. I am going to ask him to read it and ask him if that resonates with the Holocaust community.
Q.Would you read the second half of that same sentence, starting with the word "Craig."
A."Craig nonetheless continues: 'He knows more about National Socialism than most professional scholars in his field, and students of the years 1933-1945 owe more than they are always willing to admit to his energy as a researcher and to the scope and vigor of his publications....His book Hitler's War...remains the best study we have of the German side of the Second World War and, as such, indispensable for all students of that conflict..... Such people as David Irving, then, have an indispensable part in the historical enterprise, and we dare not disregard their view.'"
Q.Does that resonate within the Holocaust revisionist community?
A.Yes, I would say so.
MR. CHRISTIE: Those are my questions.
THE CHAIRPERSON: That completes the evidence for the time being, Mr. Christie?
MR. CHRISTIE: Yes. Unfortunately, I have no other witness today.
THE CHAIRPERSON: I wonder if we could address the next witness. As you know, the Tribunal reserved its decision on Dr. Faurisson and it remains reserved at this point. I am just asking whether it is still your --
MR. FREIMAN: Perhaps I missed something. It was my impression that the Tribunal did issue a ruling on Robert Faurisson, by virtue of a number of inadequacies, not the least of which was his imperfect command of the English language and that Dr. Faurisson could not offer assistance to this Tribunal.
Perhaps I am mistaken on that.
THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's consult the record. The lapse of time may have interfered with my memory of this.
I am sorry, this was January 21, 1998. Does anyone have any knowledge of any reserves we might have?
MR. CHRISTIE: I can only say that we plan to call Dr. Tony Martin. We were thinking of writing to Minister Elinor Caplan to ask if she will let David Irving come into the country, so we might be working on that.
THE CHAIRPERSON: We have no control over that.
MR. CHRISTIE: We haven't either.
THE CHAIRPERSON: We will adjourn to November 8, at the Transport Board at 151 Bloor Street.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
-- - Whereupon the Hearing was adjourned at 11:20 a.m., to resume on Wednesday, November 8, 2000, at 9:30 a.m.