Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 8: Electronic Edition
Pages 156 - 160 of 191
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1 Q. [Mr Rampton] Not at all. We will get to the figures. You will
2probably get to the figures with Professor van Pelt, but
3that is the whole point about the design of these top
4multiple muffle ovens, is that you can incinerate up to
5four corpses at a time in any one muffle. Do you know why
6you do that, Mr Irving? Because they self-combust. You
7mix fat corpses with thin corpses and then you do not need
8much coke supply; it keeps going under its own steam?
9 A. [Mr Irving] Mr Rampton, you are not mortician. I am not a mortician,
10but one thing I do know is that bodies are largely made up
11of water, not fat. Nine tenths of a body is water, and
12unless you find a way of burning water then they are not
13going to self-combust.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] We might have to look at the patent application. Did you
15read that in these papers, Mr Irving?
16 A. [Mr Irving] The patent for the furnaces actually installed?
17 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, it is in this bundle.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you about to leave the document which
19Mr Irving challenges?
20 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just ask you one question, Mr Irving?
22If for the sake of argument it is an authentic document,
23it is about as incriminating as one could possibly find?
24 A. [Mr Irving] My Lord ----
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] When I say "incriminating" you know what I mean?
26 A. [Mr Irving] Yes, it looks incriminating until you realize the trauma
1they have been through in 1942, with people who were dying
2at the rate of 400 or 500 a day and not knowing what lies
3before them in 1943 when conditions are undoubtedly going
4to get worse because the camp is expanding.
5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] So you think they might, in order to guard against a
6repetition of 1942, have been constructing crematoria
7capable of taking nearly 5,000 people a day?
8 A. [Mr Irving] I do not accept these figures could possibly be true for
9other considerations, from the coke consumption
10considerations alone. It takes 30 kilograms of coke to
11burn one body, whatever Mr Rampton is about to say now.
12There is no provision for coke supplies on this scale in
13the entire encampment.
14 MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving, the top patent application runs in two
15parts it is, but it runs from pages 6 to 18 in this part
16of the file. It is much to long for us to struggle
17through this afternoon. It is all in German. It is cited
18by Professor van Pelt in his report.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: 539 did you say?
20 MR RAMPTON: Yes. Mr Irving, if you have not read it already
21I suggest you read it overnight in case you are going to
22fall out with Professor van Pelt about its effect.
23 A. [Mr Irving] Is it suggested these were crematoria actually installed?
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] No.
25 A. [Mr Irving] Then what on earth is the relevance?
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] What is suggested is that this is the model for, this is
1the patent application after all, the prototype or model
2for those which were actually installed, yes, and the key
3to it was that you had to keep, well, I will start at the
4beginning. Under German law, Mr Irving, correct me if
5I am wrong, you had to burn only one corpse at a time,
6because you had to be able to identify the ashes at the
7end of the operation?
8 A. [Mr Irving] Even in 1940 Himmler ordered this was to be the situation
9in concentration camps too, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] This was a direct breach of German law, no doubt
11sanctioned by the SS, because what they were proposing was
12to incinerate more than one corpse at a time?
13 A. [Mr Irving] On account of conveyor belt system by the look of it.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, absolutely right, and what they observe in their
15patent application is that if you do not keep the process
16continuous you hit problems. If you operate it
17periodically it does not fully satisfy. That is how,
18Mr Irving, they can reach such high numbers. It is also
19how -- I have made a mistake. The patent used -- I made a
20mistake. Anyhow it is the description of the process I am
22 A. [Mr Irving] Well, I cannot quite see the relevance of this to what is
23before us, because you yourself say these were not ever
24installed in Auschwitz.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton] I may have to come back to that.
26 A. [Mr Irving] It is grisly and gruesome stuff to read, but, believe me,
1my brother was Regional Commissioner in Wiltshire and he
2tells me what we were planning for the event of nuclear
3war in this country and that was equally grisly and
4gruesome as to what to do with the bodies that would come
5from a nuclear war. They are planning for worst case
7 Q. [Mr Rampton] Mr Irving, the reason why it was possible to contemplate
8such a large daily incineration was that they could burn,
9according to the design of these ovens, one more than one
10corpse at a time in each muffle?
11 A. [Mr Irving] Yes, a zigzag or something like that.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] No, they were just laid in lines.
13 A. [Mr Irving] Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] That is number one.
15 A. [Mr Irving] But it was never installed, this is the whole point.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, that is exactly. If you read the eyewitness
17descriptions, if you go and look at the wretched things in
18Auschwitz, that is exactly what they are. They are
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But having read the extracts that Professor
21van Pelt has cited in his report, it seems to me that they
22are at best of equivocal significance on this question of
23whether human fat will cause them to incinerate more
24frequently. It is page 540 just about the middle.
25 MR RAMPTON: What I think I misunderstood ----
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is the theory of the thing rather than
1whether it is the particular relevant patent.
2 MR RAMPTON: But the eyewitness testimony, Mr Irving, of, for
3example, Henrich Tagebuch tells us that that is exactly
4what they did.
5 A. [Mr Irving] We will see what we have to think of Henrich Teuer when
6the time comes.
7 Q. [Mr Rampton] The time has now come for you to outline, if you will, but
8I just want to ask one more thing before I move to the
10 A. [Mr Irving] Let me say just briefly about Henrich Teuer. He was
11clearly briefed as to what to say.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are coming on to that.
13 MR RAMPTON: You can tell me in a moment about Mr Teuer,
14Mr Irving. I am sure we should like to know because then
15Professor van Pelt can deal with it. The other reason why
16it is an efficient process, if indeed it worked in the way
17in which we have been told that it did, is that of course
18you need much less fuel, do you not?
19 A. [Mr Irving] We know exactly how much fuel on average is required to
20cremate one corpse in existing crematoria.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] Please listen to my question. If it works in this way,
22that the corpses fuel one another and so the continuous
23combustion process, then you need less coke?
24 A. [Mr Irving] This is yet another "if" on which you base your case, but
25unfortunately these were not the muffles actually
26installed in Auschwitz and we know precisely what their
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