Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 166 - 170 of 194

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    The only thing is that she believed what the SS man told
 1here, this equipment was there.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have no evidence that he was mocking her, do you? You
 3appreciate that men were hanged on the basis of this
 4testimony?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not know on the basis of what men are hanged. What
 6I do know is that in crematoria 4 and 5 above the gas
 7chamber in 1944 was a ventilation system.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes.
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     To extract the air or the gas from those rooms. That is
10what she saw.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     We do not know that. That is not what she says here.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     But how do you expect a person who has no technical
13education to distinguish one pipe from another pipe?
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not an equally plausible explanation that she is
15just inventing this story, and that she assumed this is
16the way that the gas chambers so-called operated, that gas
17came in through pipes?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, inventing the whole story or just
19this bit?
20 MR IRVING:     This particular element of it. She is embellishing,
21she may well have had an experience of being taken into
22the mortuary and seen the dead bodies lying around, which
23is, God knows, unpleasant enough, and she has now
24embellished on it, because she is now in British captivity
25or in British hands, being well looked after, and they
26have asked her to write a statement a deposition, because

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 1they needed to hang these criminals.
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The issue, I think, is that the first question we have to
 3ask is if that system actually existed. Now Pressac and
 4I have published a diagram of that situation in the
 5crematorium, in this case crematorium 5, crematorium 4 is
 6a slightly different one, where we actually talk about a
 7pipe, and we see actually the ventilator sitting in a
 8housing. Now it is obvious that she saw something and
 9that what she probably saw is that ventilation system, and
10that ventilation system which is connected to the ceiling
11of the gas chambers, it is very difficult at that moment
12to determine if it is something where the gas goes from an
13outside source, where the ventilator is from there inside
14of the gas chamber or the other way round. I do not want
15to speculate on what the SS man told her or not. But
16certainly I could imagine that he would have wanted to
17scare her by saying this is the way the gas chamber
18operates, this is how the gas goes into the gas chamber.
19 MR IRVING:     Your imagination is not evidence in this court room
20and I would ask you to adhere to what you know.
21 MR RAMPTON:     That is not right. His motivation for the way he
22wrote the report is under attack. What he thinks she may
23have meant by what she said is directly relevant.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think, if you are attacking the motivation
25of Professor van Pelt, I am afraid Mr Rampton is right.
26 MR IRVING:     Very well. Did it not strike you as being

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 1inaccurate that she described this scene in this
 2particular way when quite clearly you knew from your own
 3expert knowledge that this apparatus did not exist and
 4that this therefore devalued the quality of the rest of
 5her testimony?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not know if it really devalues it because, if she
 7goes into the crematorium and she sees a detail which is
 8hidden to everyone else because it sits above the ceiling
 9and you have to go up to the attic, if she sees that, and
10we know from the blue print that the thing was there, or
11at least that it was installed, then it means that first
12of all it is absolutely clear that she was in that
13building and that she at least on that detail is a very
14reliable witness, even if she did not know what it was
15used for and took the evidence or the remark of an SS man
16on face value. I must say, if there were more witness
17like that, I think then probably one would not need many
18courts to determine all kinds of disputes between people.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     I can read out just one sentence from paragraph 740. "I
20set out here afterward I myself observed with regard to
21mass exterminations I will name the persons, each of whom
22is individually selected." She is putting the finger on
23people here, is she not? Page 740, paragraph 1.
24Mrs Bimko is putting the finger on people she knew at the
25camp.
26     I draw your attention to paragraph 7 on the

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 1opposite page, 741 while we are here: "In August 1943
 2I saw SS man Tauber knock down a girl who arrived late at
 3roll call, beat her and kick her and stand on her stomach
 4for ten minutes until she died". Assuming for a moment
 5that this story is true, is that the same SS man, Tauber,
 6on whom you rely as an eye witness?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. I am relying on the Sonderkommando Tauber.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This Tauber is a rapport Fuhrer?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It seems to be so, yes, number 12.
10 MR IRVING:     What is a rapport Fuhrer?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is a man who is in charge of roll call.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     In charge of roll call, very well. Can we now proceed
13please to the further eyewitnesses on whom you rely for
14your description of the liquidation procedure in
15crematorium 2?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Perry Broad?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not think that Perry Broad described crematorium 2.
19We would have to look at Perry Broad.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. He described two or three liquidations, one from a
21range of I think 40 yards.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     He described the Red Cross van coming, yes. Then Tauber
23is very important.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     On crematorium 2?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Crematorium 2, the early one.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     What does Tauber tell us about the liquidation procedure

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 1of crematorium 2 from the arrival of the victims?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Do you want me to read the whole thing?
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     No, just your recapitulation unless you wish to read it?
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I would quite like to have a quick look.
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Let us take Tauber at hand.
 6 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     177 to 196?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     177, thank you, my Lord.
 8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     The incineration procedure is at 186.
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     So Tauber was interrogated at the end of May 1945.
10Heinrich Tauber was a sonderkommando in crematorium
11number 2. We are going to discuss crematorium 2. It
12starts on page 182 of my report.
13 MR IRVING:     Of your report?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Of my report, yes. What he describes there is an
15underground arrangement of crematorium 2 which he
16describes as an undressing room and bunker or, in other
17words, a gas chamber:
18     "To go from one cellar to the other there,
19there was a corridor in which there came from the exterior
20a (double) stairway and a slide for throwing the bodies
21that were brought to the camp to be incinerated in the
22crematorium. People went through the door of the
23undressing room into the corridor, then from there through
24a door on the right into the gas chamber. A second
25stairway running from the grounds of the crematorium gave
26access to the corridor. To the left of the stairway in

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