Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 131 - 135 of 194

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, you may not be keen on this, but
 2it is something Professor van Pelt is entitled to do.
 3 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I am in your hands. This is your
 4Lordship's court and I am capable, I am sure, of ----
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am afraid I am deciding that it is a proper
 6thing for him to do if he wants to illustrate his
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     OK. The first basis for this is to establish red in this
 9drawing, red will be population. Now, in 1942, we are now
10talking about early summer of 1942, there is an
11actual population in Auschwitz, and I am going to do this
12by 50,000 increments, actual population in Auschwitz ----
13 MR IRVING:     Are you referring to Auschwitz or Auschwitz and
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Auschwitz and Birkenhau. I am talking about the whole
16camp. The whole camp for which, basically, incinerators
17are being drawn. At that moment there is an actual
18population of 25,000 people in the camp, over 25,000
19people. But at that moment also there is a projected
20inmate population, they are working towards, they have
21designed and under construction, the camp to hold in total
22150,000, which is 120,000 in Birkenhau and 30,000 in
23Stammlager. So they are designing with that in mind.
24That is what they are investing for. This is the actual
26     Now, at that moment there is a typhus epidemic

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 1going on and the typhus epidemic reaches in August of 19,
 2in August of 1942, a mortality in one month of little over
 3a third of the camp population. Now, people are being
 4shipped in which makes it kind of difficult at that time
 5to know exactly. It is an enormous mortality. In three
 6months the typhus epidemic would have continued in the
 7camp and nobody would have been brought in. Everyone
 8would have died.
 9 MR IRVING:     Is it right that the camp was under quarantine at
10this time?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The camp was under quarantine, but people were still being
12brought in. So if we look by implication at, let us say,
13the next year, if the camp were to have an inmate
14population of 150,000, and if hygienic conditions would
15not have improved, if the German medical department in
16Auschwitz would have been as incompetent and so little
17resources, the same small resources would be brought in,
18it would make sense to start planning for a mortality of
1950,000 people of the summer of 1943. It is a very rough
20calculation, but in some way this would have been -- you
21would have start to look at that possibility.
22     Now, at that moment in Auschwitz one has
23actually an incineration capacity, and I am only talking
24about crematoria ----
25 MR IRVING:     My Lord, I am unhappy about this kind of evidence
26because I do not think Professor van Pelt is an

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 1epidemiologist and we had ----
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I do not think we are getting into the realms
 3of epidemiology on what he is doing so far.
 4 MR IRVING:     Well, we do not know at what rate epidemics grow,
 5whether they grow exponentially or by mathematical
 6progression or how. It is not a simple, straightforward
 7linear progression, my Lord, and I am sure an
 8epidemiologist could inform us on that.
 9     Although I have no objection to Professor van
10Pelt continuing this line of evidence, I would wish to
11make it plain that ----
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     No, but he is making the very simple point,
13if I may say so ----
14 MR IRVING:     It is very, very dangerous ----
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     --- that it was not an unreasonable
16assumption for the planners to make that they were going
17to continue to have one-third mortality from typhus. Is
18that really what it comes to?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     This is the point I make. What would be the situation if
20they said, "We face this disaster right now. We do not
21think we can deal with it next year. We have to plan for
22a similar disaster next year"
23 MR IRVING:     I shall ask questions about this when the time
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course you can, but just let him develop
26the point.

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     So we are now going to get what is the actual cremation in
 2an incinerator in crematorium (i)? It is the only
 3crematorium operation at that time. It is 10,000 corpses,
 4according to German sources, 10,000 corpses per month, 340
 5per day, which means that the incineration capacity in
 6crematorium (i), and we are not even talking about
 7arriving Jews, but simply for the mortality in the camp
 8itself during the typhus epidemic, more people are dying
 9from typhus, incidentally, then the crematorium working
10full-time can deal with.
11     There is also at that moment a crematorium which
12is under design, which is crematorium No. (ii). Now,
13crematorium (ii) was going to replace crematorium No.
14(i). We have plans for that. It was going to be built on
15top of crematorium No. (i). It is a plan of early January
161942. This means that crematorium (ii) would not be
17backed up by crematorium (i). So if in the next year
18crematorium (ii) would be available, crematorium (ii) has
19an incineration rate of 1440 corpses per day, which the
20Moscow document says which was yesterday challenged ----
21 MR IRVING:     This is the document that was challenged?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, which means that when crematorium (ii) would have
23been built, the next year available that still the
24cremation, the incineration capacity of crematorium (ii),
25once crematorium (ii) would be built, would have been less
26than the worst case scenario if a typhus epidemic in 1943

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 1would have broken out.
 2     So it means that the SS, in terms of the typhus
 3epidemic of 1942, was not adequately prepared to deal with
 4some of the typhus epidemic of the same scale a year
 5later. This is the situation before Himmler's visit.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not true that cremation is not the only way of
 7disposing of bodies? They can be interred. They can be
 8sent to other places to be cremated?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     There is, but I think that you would like to point that,
10in fact, the incineration capacity is not going to be
11sufficient and, of course, people can be interred.
12     Let us look now at the next year, where we are
13in 1943, and then I will go and look at what happened in
14between. In 1943, the early summer, we are sitting with
15exactly the same maximum planned inmate population of
16150,000. It has changed somewhat in the make-up because
17Birkenhau will have less people, because what is called
18building BA3, building section No. 3, will not become any
19more a full camp, it will get a kind of Lazarett
20installation, but instead of that people will be
21accommodated in various satellite camps close, so still we
22deal with ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you say it was going to have a hospital built in
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Oh, yes. As I said in my book, and I think you
26complimented me on this section.

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