Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 126 - 130 of 194

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    This document is a remarkable document because, first of
 1"Badeanstalten fur Sonderaktionen", the bath
 2installations for special actions. I would like to point
 3out once more that it is between quotation marks, this
 4sentence. They have been talking about these two triple
 5muffle ovens, which is the kind of standard in the camp at
 6that moment. These are the ovens which were originally
 7designed for crematorium number 2. This is what they have
 8been working with. They have been designing this.
 9Prufer, the engineer of Topf, proposes instead to install
10in Auschwitz already completed bereits fertigestellten,
11ovens, or bereits fertigestellten Lieferung, which means
12it is a shipment which is already completed, which was
13going to another site, an SS site, at Mogilev, and that
14these ovens will be installed next to the badeanstalten
15fur sonderaktionen. We know that the ovens for Mogilev
16were designed in late 1941, taken into construction there
17and these were these eight muffle ovens.
18     So one of the things, combined with that drawing
19and combined with the four-week period which separates
20this document from the meeting Himmler has in the
21architectural office in Auschwitz, we know that suddenly
22this is quite a big change of course in Auschwitz. They
23are going to build, these two crematoria come up, these
24two incineration installations, which are not yet named.
25If we go to clause number 7 on the next page, we actually
26see that Prufer comes back to it on the next day. That is

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 1a meeting. It actually talks about a meeting of 20th
 2August 1942.
 3     So Prufer stayed the night over in Auschwitz and
 4Prufer asked then for an official confirmation, an
 5official order, to basically get either the three muffle
 6ovens, or he wants to know if he should get the eight
 7muffle ovens, and in a little handwritten note to the side
 8it actually says on the 24th August 1942, something like:
 9Prufer seems to have whatever -- I cannot really read
10that -- (German spoken - handwriting on document
11illegible) -- which means that on 24th of August 1942
12Prufer tells actually that the eight muffle ovens which he
13had suggested on the 19th to be taken from the Mogilev
14shipment actually is going to Auschwitz.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     They are being diverted?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They are being diverted.
17 MR IRVING:     Can I ask a question here, my Lord, and interrupt
18at this point?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, but the answer was an answer to a
20question which was properly asked.
21 MR IRVING:     I appreciate that, my Lord, but it was beginning to
22run away with my cross-examination.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It does happen sometimes.
24 MR IRVING:     It is quite useful, but this document shows
25preparations being made in long term for the disposal of
26large numbers of cadavers. That is all it shows.

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     But there is an issue. I had asked for a easel. I wonder
 2if I would be able to draw a graph which would make
 3things, I think, more ----
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I can see it. Yes, you do not have any
 5objection, do you, Mr Irving?
 6 MR IRVING:     Can I just invite, while these are being set up,
 7the witness to have a look at the letter which I wrote to
 8him on May 29th 1997. My Lord, it is in the little bundle
 9you have with about 10 pages in it headed: "Documents on
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
12 MR IRVING:     It is within that. The second item is the letter
13I wrote to him. I am afraid it is not numbered, but about
14page 6 there is a page ----
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Have you got this, Professor van Pelt?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The letter -- it is in one of my documents here. I do not
17which number.
18 MR IRVING:     It is the page headed: "Documentation is
19available", the first words on that page
20are "Documentation is available". It is about page 6, my
21Lord, of the letter.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think I must be looking at the wrong thing.
23 MR IRVING:     It is the little bundle headed on the top
24left: "Quick navigation".
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I have that, but I have not the page
26beginning ----

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 1 MR IRVING:     Page approximately 6 in that letter. It is the
 2page beginning with the words "Documentation is
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, page 3 I have it as.
 5 MR IRVING:     Yes. My Lord, the final paragraph of that is a
 6paragraph from the second unpublished volume of my
 7Churchill biography which gives an intercept, the text of
 8an intercept, of an Auschwitz message in that very month,
 9August 1942. I think it is of relevance, my Lord.
10"Further information did reach Churchill from his most
11secret sources lifting the veil on what was actually
12happening. ... (reading to the words) ... commandant
13transmitted in code to Berlin yielded figures for death
14rates in several concentration camps during the previous
15month. These included 21 deaths at ... (reading to the
16words) ... and in what was evidently a fast growing camp
17at Auschwitz and Upper Silesia there had been the notable
18totals of 6,829 male and 1,525 female fatalities during
19August 1942". This is precisely the month of this
20conference, my Lord. Not without significance, I think.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, well, it is a question, is it not,
23 MR IRVING:     Yes.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What has happening at Auschwitz. The
25question is this.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I trust the mortality figure has been also arrived at by

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 1other means. I mean, this is in the death books also you
 2find the mortality of 9,000 people in Auschwitz in that
 3month of August.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But the question is, let us just put the
 5question, that what was going on at Auschwitz in
 6August/September had nothing whatever to do with Himmler's
 7visit in July. It was because there was a raging typhus
 8epidemic. That is the question, is it not?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     If that is the question, I disagree with it, and I would
10like to review that question by actually looking at the
11relationship between incineration rates in the camp as
12plant in 1942 about peak mortality on the typhus about --
13and at a certain amount we can even talk about more
14capacity but we probably need to do that; but I have
15prepared some diagrams which I would just like to have as
16a reminder so I can draw it up on the board.
17 MR RAMPTON:     Can I ask where they are?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     On the board.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think they are going to be drawn now, as I
20understand it?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am happy to draw them now.
22 MR RAMPTON:     He has done some prep, I think, and he would like
23to do the drawings, big drawings, by reference to the
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I follow.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They are there.

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