Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 9: Electronic Edition

Pages 101 - 105 of 194

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Or to anybody between Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     There was no reference to Adolf Hitler on any of the
 5document you saw in Auschwitz, in other words?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am indebted to your Lordship for having prompted that
 8line of enquiry.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is a much better way of dealing with the
10point, if I may say so.
11 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I am totally unversed in the art of
12cross-examination and I am learning as I go along.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think you are doing, as I said before, very
15 MR IRVING:     Thank you very much. (To the witness): Coming
16back to the eyewitnesses, you have a number of
17eyewitnesses you referred to. You mentioned German
18eyewitnesses of the activities of sonderkommandos. Can
19you remember the names of any of these eyewitnesses?
20Would it be Perry Broad or someone like that?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     So these eyewitnesses are people on whom, as the Germans
23say, you would take poison on them, you would go into the
24jungle with them; these are witnesses who you implicitly
25trust? They have not lied to us?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     To be very honest, I would not want to go into the jungle

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 1with either Mr Pery Broad or Mr Hirst.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     Or Mr Hirst or Mr Bendel or any of those people; they are
 3all rather ----
 4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I would not want to trust them with my life, no. But
 5I must say that given ----
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you like just to expand on that? What was wrong
 7about these people then?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They were thoroughly unpleasant people and they were in
 9charge of a very evil operation.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you say that someone like Perry Broad or Mr Bendel,
11I think his name was, another of the eyewitnesses ----
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Mr Bendel is not an SS man.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, but would you say they were lucky to survive very
14long after the war was over? If you were an insurance
15company, you would not have been inclined to offer life
16policy on them?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I did not say that at all. I think, as we know, many
18ex-Nazis made good careers in the various German states
19after the war.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     If they survived ----
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     One of them actually became a State Secretary to
22Mr Ardenal, so...
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes, if they survived the allied war crimes courts and did
24not end up in Hammelin in prison as a guest of Mr Albert
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     If they survived the allied war crime trials, but ----

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you know how many German war criminals the British
 2hanged in Hammelin?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, I do not know.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Of the order of 1,000 in the postwar years.
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Thank you for that information.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     So people who were in middle ranking positions in the
 7German Nazi criminal hierarchy had to be on the look out,
 8is that correct?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I presume that one had to be careful, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     And there were various ways of surviving. One was to put
11on a black eye patch and pretend you were not Heinrich
12Himmler until you were caught, and another way would be to
13offer to help the allies, would this be correct?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I think you are now making a blanket statement and I would
15not want to endorse it. I think that there are the
16situation, like any historical situation, has been rapidly
17changing before and after the defeat of the Germans, that
18there were various ways people assessed that situation,
19various ways that people dealt with it, and that, of
20course, probably since the SS was not very popular after
21the war and at a certain moment it was declared a criminal
22organization, that if I had been an SS man, I would have
23been very careful. I understand most SS men were and
24tried to pass themselves off as something else, including
25Heinreich Himmler who pretended to be an ordinary soldier.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you tell the court what the position of this

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 1eyewitness Mr Pery Broad -- that is P-E-R-Y Broad -- in
 2the Auschwitz camp was?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Pery Broad was a kind of an administrative official in the
 4camp Gestapo which is called the political department.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     So that was, as you correctly say, the Gestapo at
 6Auschwitz camp?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     So his life prospects were not particularly rosy when the
 9war was over if he fell into Polish hands or into the
10hands of anybody who knew what he had done, if he fell
11into the wrong hands?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     He was a low ranking official. I mean, he was something
13of a junior sergeant, I understand.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     I think of lower ranking than that.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Sorry?
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Probably even lower ranking than that, I believe?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not know exactly the British -- I think he was
18Rottenfuhrer or something.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Rottenfuhrer?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Rottenfuhrer, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     As in "rotten" and "Fuhrer"?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. It is a peculiar, one of these peculiar SS ranks.
23He was one of the very, very small cogs in the machine.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     But hews in a position to see everything?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I put to you what I understand to be the
26suggestion? If I am wrong in my understanding, Mr Irving

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 1will tell me so, I am sure. I think what is being
 2suggested is that these camp officials made false
 3submissions about what they had been doing at Auschwitz in
 4order to ingratiate themselves with the British or whoever
 5had captured them. If that is the suggestion, what do you
 6say about it or do you not feel you can comment?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, I mean, I think again the situations under which
 8various testimonies were given again are very particular
 9situations. Mr Pery Broad had, I think, very little to
10fear from anyone since he had been in the political
11department which was outside Stammlager, it was not inside
12Stammlager. He had very little direct contact with any
13prisoners. He was pushing paper in the camp Gestapo. He
14would not have been a person which would have attracted
15the attention of any surviving inmates, unlike his boss,
16Maximillian Bragne(?), who ultimately ended up in court in
17Cracow and was ultimately hanged. So I think that
18Mr Broad had very little to fear when he was captured and
19that for whatever reason he gave his testimony immediately
20after his capture by the British was -- I mean, I cannot
21speculate about his reasons.
22 MR IRVING:     Was he ever on the British payroll, the British
23Army payroll?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I think that he was used -- while he was, after he was
25captured and he was in British captivity, I would not call
26it "payroll", but he was, as far as I know, had some kind

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