Richard J. Green
In February of 2001, I received a phone call from Robert Jan van Pelt. He is one of the authors of Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present and is one of the world's foremost experts on Auschwitz. His call concerned David Irving's lawsuit against Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books.
David Irving had sued Deborah Lipstadt in the UK for libel because of the fact that she identified him as a Holocaust denier, Hitler apologist, distorter of history, antisemite and racist in her book Denying the Holocaust. It should be noted that Lipstadt did not choose the legal system as the place to fight this battle. By suing her for libel, Irving threatened her right of free speech as well as the accuracy of the historical record. As a US citizen, Lipstadt could have conveniently ignored the suit and relied on the protections of the US First Amendment. Instead, she courageously rose to the challenge, deciding that UK legal precedent is of historical importance. She defended herself using the defense of justification. Her book was not libel because it was true. She won the suit, Mr. Justice Gray found that the defense of justification was in fact a valid one. In fact, Irving is a Holocaust denier, distorter of history, Hitler apologist, antisemite and racist. Irving, however, applied for leave to appeal the decision.
It is because of the appeal process that I received the call from Robert Jan van Pelt who had been an expert witness in the original trial. As part of his case Irving had submitted a 384 page affidavit from Germar Rudolf, a disgraced German chemist claiming that it was new evidence. Rudolf's affidavit argued that mass murder by poison gas did not, in fact, occur at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was not really new evidence, rather it was old distortions of the truth reformatted as an affidavit to support Irving's case. In previous works on the internet, I had addressed Rudolf's chemical arguments (see in particular the article I wrote with Jamie McCarthy entitled Chemistry is not the Science. Professor van Pelt wanted my help in exposing the deceptions in Rudolf's chemical arguments. After some discussion I agreed to help.
Shortly thereafter I received a copy of Rudolf's affidavit and instructions from Lipstadt's solicitors, Mishcon de Reya, to respond to it. I was to respond to the chemical arguments; Robert Jan van Pelt would handle the rest.
So I started working on the expert report included here. Eventually, I traveled to London where I had the pleasure of meeting van Pelt, Richard Rampton QC, James Libson, Juliet Darrel-Brown, Heather Rodgers, and Mark Bateman. It was a true pleasure to spend a week in such company.
Upon my return I finished my report and van Pelt finished his. Included in van Pelt's report as an appendix was an article by my colleagues Daniel Keren, Jamie McCarthy and Harry Mazal that thoroughly demolishes one of the staples of Holocaust denial, the claim that there were no holes in the roof of the gas chamber of Krema II. I will not say much about this work as it will be published elsewhere, however, I am proud to be friends with the authors.
So it was that our expert reports were served to David Irving in response to Rudolf's affidavit.
During the hearing Irving's lawyer made an unexpected announcement. He was withdrawing the Rudolf affidavit as evidence. I would like to think that we had something to do with that. Perhaps, Irving's lawyer realized that Rudolf's affidavit would never withstand the evidence in the Expert Reports that had been amassed against its veracity. Certainly, it would be a blow to the denial movement to have the Rudolf affidavit thrown out as worthless on account of its contents. Perhaps, Irving and Rudolf hoped it would be thrown out on a technicality. To have it thrown out because a court found it to be untrue would be a terrible risk, one they could not afford. The Court's judgement described the bizarre turn of events in this manner:
25. We also mention at this point that there were before the Court two applications to call fresh evidence in support of the application. The first, made well before the hearing, was to call evidence from Mr Germar Scheerer (born Rudolf), who holds a diploma in chemistry, and Mrs Zoe Polanska-Palmer, who was detained in Birkenau Camp. The respondents had prepared voluminous evidence in reply. In the event, that application to call fresh evidence was not pursued. We express our dismay at this combination of events; the preparation of very detailed evidence (exposing the respondents to great expense in preparing a reply and the members of the Court to considerable pre-hearing reading) and the withdrawal of the application.
Irving's legal maneuver meant that the justices could not consider the extensive evidence in our reports, evidence of which Irving was afraid.
Irving's response was bizarre. On his web page he wrote:
Pelt's [sic] two experts turn out of course to be the notorious Dr Keren and Dr Green (both with computer mathematics degrees, hardly the kind of experts this case needs).
I suppose it is an honor to be called notorious by David Irving.
Irving, however, is either ignorant of the facts of his own case or being deliberately dishonest. First, he downplays the importance of Robert Jan van Pelt's extensive response to the Rudolf affidavit. This report was so damning that even without the other evidence, it would be difficult to take Rudolf seriously. Second, the report on the Zyklon introduction holes was written by Keren, McCarthy, and Mazal, not just Dr. Keren. Third, computer modeling and mathematics proved to be an important aspect of their report. Fourth, van Pelt submitted their report to be reviewed by professional engineers, who found it convincing (as discussed in van Pelt's affidavit), Fifth, my PhD is in physical chemistry. My current job supports the mission of US armed forces to defend their personnel against attack by chemical weapons. The agent of destruction at Auschwitz, hydrogen cyanide gas is known in military terms as a blood agent with the symbol AC. I believe I can claim to have some expertise on the subject.
Without further ado, I present the report that I submitted to the court. The only changes are the removal of a few pieces of personal information. Rudolf's affidavit is his "intellectual" property and I cannot reproduce it here, but I challenge him to present it in a similarly unaltered form on his own website. Regardless, I believe my affidavit gives enough context that the reader can follow the issue. Report of Richard J. Green, PhD
Many people aided me in helping to find references, proof-reading, and offering criticism. I sincerely thank them all. I dedicate this page to the memory of Mark Van Alstine.