Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 141 - 145 of 194

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    No, I do not -- no, the incineration capacity is 4/5ths
 1camp up again or whatever like that, I mean, we have to --
 2the Germans would have had to ship 120,000 people to
 3Auschwitz every month in order to keep ahead or even with
 4the typhus epidemic. It is absurd, it is absolutely
 5absurd, to use typhus as an excuse to explain the
 6incineration capacity of the crematoria.
 7 MR IRVING:     Professor van Pelt, you used the word "absurd".
 8What figure are we talking about in that green column?
 9How many people?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Which one?
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     The right-hand -- in the right-hand histogram?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The right-hand histogram.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     The green column? How many ----
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is 120,000. Projected incineration capacity for
15120,000 people per month.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Approximately, so we get an idea what we are talking about
17here, that is four times Wembley stadium, that is 12,000
18tonnes of people, 12,000,000 tonnes of cadavers, that you
19are going to have to cremate with these very limited
20installations? Am I getting it right?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not want to speculate on how many tonnes and how many
22at Wembley stadium.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     You do the calculation yourself. The human body is
24roughly SPG of 1, is it not? Specific gravity of 1
25because you float in water?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     Am I right?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     So where does this bring us?
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, the human body weighs what, 100 kilograms? 10
 4people per tonne?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not think after you have you been in Auschwitz very
 6long you weigh 100 kilograms.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     OK. Say 12 people per tonne if you want to cavil, you are
 8still going to end up with 10,000 tonnes of bodies to
 9dispose of. This is bringing it home to you the size of
10the figures you are talking about there. That brings home
11to you the absurdity of the document you are relying on.
1210,000 tonnes of bodies.
13     If you will take it from me that it takes 30
14kilogrammes of coke to incinerate, as you say, one body,
15can you work out how many tonnes of coke we are going to
16put into those tiny coal bunkers that you can see on the
17aerial photographs to destroy, to incinerate, to cremate,
18120,000 bodies? We are talking about train loads, if not
19ship loads of coke are going to have to go into Auschwitz,
20and there is no sign of the mountains of coke on the
21photographs, do you agree? There is no sign of the
22mountains ----
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am just trying to get all the pieces of your question
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Do you appreciate -- let me sum it up like this -- that
26there are severe logistics problems in handling the

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 1disposal of 120,000 bodies a month?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     We know there were severe logistic problems during the
 3Hungarian action, yes. The month of May and the month of
 4June in Auschwitz, June 1944, were very difficult months.
 5The logistic problems in Auschwitz were so big that they
 6had to start introducing incineration pits again. Yes, it
 7is very difficult to incinerate so many bodies in any
 8situation because it seems to be that, one way or another,
 9these crematoria did do their job as well as they could.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you are saying because the story exists, therefore,
11these figures must be right? Is this the kind of logic
12you apply? You do not say to yourself, you have 120,000
13bodies in that right-hand green column, does this not
14sound a bit odd, as 10,000 tonnes of bodies that these
15Nazis have managed to dispose of, and nothing has been
16seen of this on the air photographs, does that not strike
17you as odd? No huge columns of smoke have been seen on
18the air photographs? Does that not strike you as odd?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     There is only one photograph in May, yes?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     May '44?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     May '44. These are these big -- these big transports had
22ceased when the air photographs in, what is it, in August
23and September were taken.
24 MR IRVING:     Can you show on these large photographs that we
25have here where they would have stored the tens of
26thousands of tonnes of coke? If they were to bury the

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 1bodies, have you any idea what size the pit would have
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Mr Irving, I challenge your use of the tens of thousands
 4tonnes of coke. First of all, we do not know how much
 5coke was delivered to Auschwitz in 1944. We do know how
 6much coke was delivered into Auschwitz in 1943. We do
 7also know that there is a German document, it is a
 8document Zeitwei Zuvielarbeiter, Jahrling, from, what is
 9it, March and April -- actually two documents, two
10calculations made in Zentralebauleitung about the coke use
11of the crematorium.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     And these two documents, the amount of the coke use is
14not, as you say, 35 kilos per body.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     Which crematorium are we talking about?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     We are talking about -- he made a calculation for all the
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     And he does it -- I mean, I have it -- if may consult my
20notes on this?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, of course.
22 MR IRVING:     Can you say off the top of your head?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, I am not going to say anything off the top of my head
24right now. It is too serious -- it is absolutely too
25serious a question.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     I agree.

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is it in your report your main report?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is in my kind of informal report.
 3 MR RAMPTON:     My Lord, it is the second half.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The supplementary one, I see.
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The supplementary...
 6 MR RAMPTON:     The second half of the little blue...
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am sorry, I did not put a page number on it. This was
 8for internal private use, and so...
 9 MR RAMPTON:     I have paginated mine.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, I have it.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I have found it here.
12 MR IRVING:     Is this an actual document that you are going to
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is document -- no, the document is actually in Pressec.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     The document is in Pressec?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, and I think that my Pressec has a little tab to it.
17I can give the page.
18 MR RAMPTON:     It must be treated with great care. It is fragile
19and extremely valuable.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I will just identify the page and then maybe it should go
21to you for inspection. The documents are -- the first
22document is on page 223 and the second document is on page
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Do not bother to pass it to me. You can
25describe what you say that reveals.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     

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