Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 151 - 155 of 194

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    Yes, and I think the normal use for Gussen questions the
 1normal use of what? For one, two, three, four bodies in a
 2day at a certain moment very high intensity use. I just
 3would like to quote here from a piece which John Claude
 4Pressac wrote and I also worked on.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I interrupt? I did not quite catch what you said
 6about Gussen. What did you say was the normal rate in
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The normal rate, the question is what is normal rate? If
 9you just fire the ovens in Auschwitz for one corpse, you
10probably need 300 kilos.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     In Gussen they were talking, if my memory of the document
12is correct, of the order of 100 bodies, or possibly 200.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     If you bring the documents, we can discuss the documents.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, Professor van Pelt, you were not quoting a document
15there. You were just stating a figure, speculating.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am going to state a figure and it is from a patent.
17I am happy to show you the passage. The big issue in
18crematorium design is that you need to get the thing
19going, the oven going, and that takes a hell of a lot
20energy. So, if you incinerate one body, and this is a
21document which is prepared for Dachau in 1939, to cremate
22one body in Dachau was 175 kilos of coke, far exceeding
23the 30 kilos. However, it says that, by the time you have
24started this incinerator, after you have incinerated a
25number of bodies, and I will quote the thing, "If the cold
26room required 170 kilograms of coke to start up a new

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 1incineration, it needed only 100 kilo if it had been used
 2the day before. The second and third incineration on the
 3same would not require any extra fuel, thanks to the
 4compressed air". Those that followed would call for only
 5small amounts of extra energy.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are you saying that for the cremations on the second and
 7third day you would not have to put any coke into the
 8machine at all? It would just kind of carry on?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. If you start incinerating on the second day you can
10still use that heat that had built up from the first day.
11If you then insert extra bodies in the oven that same day,
12after the first one, you only need very little extra fuel.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     That is not what the document said. You said it needed
14none at all.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Then it says only little, the first, second and third, and
16then, as you continue, then only very limited amount of
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     But of course they had more than just one furnace in
19Auschwitz. In each of these crematoria you are telling us
20they had five times three. So they did not have to fire
21them all up. They could just fire up one of them and keep
22it running?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     But it seems that there were more bodies than one could
24take. We also have, of course, the patent application of
25Topf from late 1942, which actually operates on that whole

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     It was not used, was it?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, but it was based on the experience gained. As it very
 3literally says, it is based on the experience gained with
 4the multi-muffle ovens used in the East. The document --
 5I am happy to try to find it. I do not know where the
 6patent application is.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not want do keep flogging this particular horse
 8unless his Lord wants to go down this route much further.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am inevitably being guided by you,
10Mr. Irving. You must put your case.
11 MR IRVING:     I would like to ask Professor Van Pelt to do one
12calculation f0or me. On the basis of 8,000 kilogram of
13coke, which we read in that document in the Pressac book,
147,000 or 8,000 kilogrammes of coke per 12 hour shift, if
15we were to assume 35 kilograms of coke per body, how many
16bodies were actually being cremated per day in those four
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     If you were to assume -- I have the figure here -- if it
19was three and a half kilos of coke ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     No, 35.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Three and a half I calculated was 241,000 bodies, so 35
22would be 24,000 bodies.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     24,000?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not have to make the calculation because it is right
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     I do not think that is correct. If it is 7,000 kilograms

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 1of coke, 7,000 times 35 into 7,000 is 200, so it will be
 2200 per day?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am sorry.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     It would be 200 bodies per day in these crematoria so that
 5would give us the lower level. I am not saying that was
 6the amount. I am saying that is the lower limit of these
 7two figures we have. We have the figure of ten times as
 8large that you offer, and we have the figure of 200 per
 9day which would be, if the Gussen figure applied, the 35
10kilograms of coke, which is what crematorium managers
11assure us is the normal figure nowadays for mass
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     My Lord, I am very surprised that Mr Irving seems to love
14German documents. When he is confronted with a German
15document which he does not like, so easily ignores it.
16I think the Jahrling document is very, very
17straightforward. There are two version of it. If
18Jahrling made a mistake, he corrected himself. Obviously
19when you find a document like that, you take it seriously.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You are now talking about the one with J A
21umlaut at the top?
22 MR IRVING:     The one that we challenge, my Lord.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. You call it the Jahrling document
24Jahrling was the secretary?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Jahrling was the man who made the calculation.
26 MR IRVING:     Yes. There are other reasons for challenging it

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 1but I just rested my case on the reference line across the
 2top, which contained enough errors to make the whole thing
 3very suspect. To try and do these calculations the other
 4way round, which is what the witness has done, I find this
 6     Can we move on from there now, my Lord?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course.
 8 MR IRVING:     Let me come back to the question of the
 9eyewitnesses who have described, either to you or to
10historians over the last 55 years in convincing and
11compelling detail, the procedure at the factory of death,
12at crematorium number 2, the arrival of the victims, what
13happened inside the crematoria, the cremation process, the
14robbing of the bodies and so on. How many eye witnesses
15are we talking about, Professor?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It depends on which period we are looking. In my report
17I only looked at the very, very early testimonies.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Which means testimonies taken by Dragon, and in this case
20by Tauber, because they are taken in April and May 1945.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Are they independent of each other or have they compared
22notes in any way?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not know if they compared notes.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Did they escape?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They escaped, yes. No, they did not escape. In the sense
26that they were on the march, I think, from Auschwitz to

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