Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 21 - 25 of 194

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    Professor van Pelt, there is only one thing I want to ask
 1yesterday that there was some discussion of the various
 2Polish investigations of the fabric at Auschwitz and
 4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, I remember.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     My Lord, may I lead on this? It is going to be much
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am sure we had the evidence yesterday.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, we did. The first report was done in late
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, it was.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That we looked at yesterday, you remember, and that was
12the one which said that it had found traces of hydrogen
13cyanide in the zinc ventilation covers from crematorium 2?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You will have to say yes because you are recorded, you
16see. And also in a 25 and a half kilogram bag of hair?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Where was that hair found?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The hair was found in Canada I.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Explain to his Lordship what Canada I is, will you?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Canada I was a part of the camp located halfway between
22Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II in what is now an industrial
23area, where property of people who had been admitted to
24the camp or had been gassed was kept for some time and it
25was sorted and prepared for transport to the Reichs.
26Unlike Canada II, which was located between the crematoria

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 12, 3, 4 and 5, Canada I was not destroyed at the
 2evacuation of the camp.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So, just to be blunt about it, what is your
 4inference as to how the cyanide came to be in the human
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I think the logical conclusion is that the people from
 7whom the hair came had been killed with cyanide.
 8 MR RAMPTON:     And the hair removed after death?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     And the hair removed afterwards, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now, if we can whiz forward to the early 90s, was there a
11second Polish report done which we do not have?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is a little difficult to say if it is a real report
13since it was actually never completed or endorsed, as far
14as I know. What happened was that, more or less within
15months after Leuchter did his investigation in Auschwitz,
16the conservator at Auschwitz, Mr Smerk, together with the
17director decided to do their own investigation and they
18got help from people from the forensic laboratory in
19Cracow, the Jensen Institute, and a small investigation
20more or less on the model of the Leuchter investigation
21was done, which did confirm the Leuchter report in so far
22that it found high cyanide traces in the delousing rooms
23BW 5A and I think BW 5B. And much lower quantities
24I think in crematoria 2 or 3.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Pause there, just so that it is all clear. BW 5A is in
26Birkenhau, in what became the women's camp?

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. BW 5A means Bowerk 5A; it is a delousing
 2installation in what is generally known as the women's
 3camp in Birkenhau.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Where is BW 5B?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is an opposite location slightly to the West of BW 5A.
 6They are around 50 metres apart.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is it right that those are both brick built buildings?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     These are both brick buildings.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do they have their roofs on them or not?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They have their roofs on them, yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     What puzzles me about this is that one of the
12documents Mr Irving just handed in says that this further
13Polish or Auschwitz investigation has been published in
14the summer 1991 Journal of Historical Review.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. The history of that report was kind of a rude
16wake-up call for the people at Auschwitz museum, because
17what happened was that, one way or another, the document,
18which had not been finalized as far as I know, was leaked
19to people of the Institute of Historical Review and then
20immediately published rather triumphantly as a Polish
21investigation and/or sister Leuchter investigation. It
22was this kind of experience which then made both the
23people at the museum and the people at the Jansen
24institute to decide to move with greater care in the
26 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, pause there. Are you also familiar with

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 1something called the Rudolf report?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am vaguely familiar with it. I have not read it in its
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     How long is it?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     20 pages, something like that.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Would you just have a look at this document? (Same
 7handed) like your Lordship, I have not seen this before.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am just trying to work out what
 9qualifications Dr Rudolf has.
10 MR IRVING:     My Lord, perhaps I can help you there.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He is a chemist.
12 MR IRVING:     Rudolf is a chemist at the Max Bank Institute in
13Germany, which is one most prestigious research
14foundations. While he was there, he had a university
15degree in chemistry, he was working for his doctorate, he
16was halted in full tracks when he supplied an expertise
17for a court action in Germany, which resulted in demands
18from a certain community in Germany that he should be
19instantly dismissed, which was resisted by the Max Bank
20Institute. He was then dismissed, which brought to an end
21his chances of getting a doctorate.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is very helpful, thank you.
23 MR RAMPTON:     Would you look on the inside so that we can see
24what this is? I can tell you, Professor van Pelt, that
25this is not the Rudolf report. Can you look on the inside
26page? At the bottom there is a line and immediately under

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 1the line we see this: "A German language edition of the
 2complete Rudolf report, 120 A4 pages on gloss paper etc.
 3etc., is now available for £8". If that be right,
 4Professor van Pelt, we can be confident, can we not, that
 5this is not the Rudolf report?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I presume so, if this disclaimer is placed at the
 7copyright page.
 8 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Tell me this. What do you know of Rudolf's conclusions
 9concerning the residues, if any, of hydrogen cyanide in
10whatever compounds it was he tested for in, first of all,
11BW 5A -- if he went there? Did he?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I think he went there, yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What did he found in BW 5A?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I would be hesitant to give any kind of definite opinion
15on this because it is a very long time ago that I read a
16gloss on the Rudolf report, but I think that he found that
17in substance the Leuchter results were substantiated by
18Rudolf, which means a high level of Prussian blue.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So he tested for Prussian blue?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     He found high residues in the delousing facility?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What did he find in the gas chambers at the crematoria?
24Did he go to crematoria 2 and 3?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, I think so.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What did he find there?

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