Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles GrayTable of Contents
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The redesign of crematorium 2
7.121 The Defendants dismiss as nonsensical the claim that the reason for the redesign of crematorium was to facilitate the fumigation of "objects and corpses". Contemporaneous documents identified by the Defendants show that the new design incorporated a undressing room (Auskleiderkeller). Irving was unable to explain in cross-examination what need there would have been for an undressing room if the facility was to be used only for the fumigating of dead bodies and inanimate objects. Irving's theory is in any case untenable, argued van Pelt, because the redesign was clearly intended to enable live people to walk downstairs (see paragraph 7.61 above). Moreover, there would have been no need for a metal-protected, reinforced spy-hole if only corpses and metal objects were to be gassed (see paragraph 7.68 above).
7.122 Van Pelt rejected Irving's argument that the reconstruction work at crematorium 2 was carried out in order to convert it to use as an air raid shelter. In the first place he pointed out that Crematorium 2 is some 1.5 miles away from the SS barracks, that is, too far away for members of the SS to reach in the event of a raid. The shelter would in any event have been too small to accommodate more than a fraction of the SS personnel and obviously wholly inadequate for the camp inmates (even if the Nazis had wanted to protect them). Van Pelt did not accept that, if the chamber was to become a shelter, it would have needed to have a gas-tight door with a peep-hole protected on the inside by a metal grill. He also disputed that, at the time of construction, there was any reason to fear air raids. However, Irving was able to produce a document dated 6 August 1942 setting out detailed guidelines as to the precautions against air raids to be taken in the military area of the General Government.