Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 156 - 160 of 194

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    They escaped, yes. No, they did not escape. In the sense
 1wherever they ended up in the West, they did escape but
 2they did not escape from the camp itself or from the
 4 MR IRVING:     Yes. So that Dragon, D R A G O N, and Heinrich
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Schloma Dragon.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     How many others? You are not relying just on those two
 8eyewitnesses, surely?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, but these are the two which I mentioned because, if
10one is afraid of pollination and things like that, and
11these were testimonies given immediately after the war.
12These were testimonies which were made before things were
13published, before things were in the newspapers or
14whatever like that. Other testimonies have been given,
15Filip Muller of course in the 1960s. He made one in 1946.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     You said that nothing had been in the newspapers. When
17was the report published of the War Refugee Board on the
18testimony given by Veroba and Wetzler, two Slovaks? Was
19that not November 1944?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, but these were very, very short. These were very
21short things in the newspaper. The report itself was
22never published at the time. So to have a short New York
23Times one column article or less about a fact that there
24is an extermination camp in Auschwitz does not give any
25details about the extermination procedure.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     You say the report was not published at the time. In fact

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 1the War Refugee Board in the United States did actually
 2publish the report like a White Paper. Whether the
 3newspapers actually quoted it in detail or not, are you
 4saying the newspapers did not quote it very much?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They did not quote very much.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     But they did give the more lurid details about the gas
 7chambers and so on?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     As far as I remember, the reports, reading the newspaper
 9articles, they did not give the kind of details which
10would inspire a person to invent a particular gassing or
11incineration procedure.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Procedure, right. You did not rest in either your book or
13your expert report on just those two eyewitnesses though,
14did you? Not just on Tauber and ----
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. There are other people we quote because, of course,
16after afterwards other people came forward.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you rely on a woman called Bimko?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I have already addressed this once before. I mentioned
19Miss Bimko because of the testimony she gave at the
20Lindenberg trial, which is the Belsen trial. I did not
21rely on her to come to a conclusion about the incineration
22capacity in the crematoria.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am not talking about the incineration capacity,
24Professor. I am talking now about the actual procedure,
25the way people walk ----
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think we have moved on. We are just

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 1talking generally about eye witness evidence, are we not?
 2 MR IRVING:     We are dealing with the question of the integrity
 3of eyewitnesses, my Lord.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is what I was suggesting.
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, I did not rely on her for procedure.
 6 MR IRVING:     Bimko was going to be called in the Tesh case, was
 7she not, in April 1946 against the manufacturer of Zyklon
 8B, but in fact eventually they did not call her as a
 9witness. They just put in her report as an affidavit, is
10that correct?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not know.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Have you read the Tesh trial?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I have read significant parts of the Tesh trial because of
14the evidence given by Alfred Sohn.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     You quoted parts of the Bimko testimony in your report.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, because I wanted to show the kind of statements which
17were made about Auschwitz in 1945.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Did you, Professor van Pelt, quote all relevant parts of
19the Bimko testimony?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     What do you mean? Relevant to what?
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, relevant to enable the reader to form a judgment as
22to whether Bimko was telling the truth or not.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     This was not my intention. My point in the expert report
24at that moment was to give a sense to the reader, or to
25the judge more particularly, of what was the kind of
26evidence available at that moment in the courts and so

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 1on. I did not write a critique of Bimko.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you were painting with a broad brush?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I was not painting with a broad brush. I tried to give a
 4very simple kind of picture of what people were saying.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     If Bimko had put in her report some detail that totally
 6discredited the quality of her report, then you would of
 7course have quoted it? You would not have ignored it?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. Then it is very clear that she gives this testimony,
 9and then the testimony is what is being said at that
10moment. It is part of what is being said about
11Auschwitz. I also quoted Polavoy.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can we stay with Bimko for the moment?
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us stick with Bimko. Mr Irving, if you
14are suggesting that she did discredit herself in some way,
15I think it is only right that you should give Professor
16van Pelt the opportunity of answering whatever it is you
17say discredited her.
18 MR IRVING:     I believe I am leading the evidence the correct
19way, my Lord. The next two questions will bring the
20matter to light.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Good.
22 MR IRVING:     Professor van Pelt, in the gas chambers at
23Auschwitz was the gas introduced from cylinders, as in
24oxygen cylinders, or carbon monoxide cylinders, through
25pipes into the gas chamber?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. It was ----

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     To your knowledge?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     We are talking about which gas chamber?
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     The gas chamber described by Bimko.
 4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Then let's look at the text of Bimko and then I will
 5comment on it.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     You said you have read Bimko's testimony.
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, but in principle I am not going to discuss things
 8I do not have in front of me.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Let me put the question more generally, Professor van
10Pelt. In any gas chambers in Auschwitz, in any of the gas
11chambers so-called at Auschwitz, was gas introduced into
12the chambers through pipes from cylinders?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     And yet Bimko stated that, did she not, in her report?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Let us look at what Bimko actually says. Then we can come
16to the conclusion if that is what she actually said. I am
17not going to comment on a text I do not have in front of
18me. If you want to raise this issue, which I think is a
19very legitimate issue, give me the text and we will look
20at it together.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Let me put it other way round then, Professor. If there
22was such a sentence in that report, you did not quote it,
23did you? You stopped.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not know any more exactly what I quoted and what not.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     You stopped just short of that particular sentence?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Have you got it in court?

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