Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 26 - 30 of 194

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     As far as I remember, but again I have not consulted this
 2report for a long time or the gloss on it, he did not find
 3much there.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Right. You have your report there, I think, that you made
 5for this case?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     My report, yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I am not going to read out any great amount of this.
 8Could you turn to page 545?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I have done so.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Thank you. This is the passage, is it not, in which you
11discuss, first of all, what I might call the Markievitch
12prototype or provisional report, and then the Markievitch
13main report which I think came in 1994?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That has been published, has it?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]     In how many languages?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It was published in Polish and in English.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     I think you already told us that he Markievitch, or rather
20his team, went back and redid it, because they were
21unhappy about the first rather hurried or botched
22attempt. Is that right?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     That were quite unhappy, yes, and they did the tests
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What substances or compounds did they test for? Did they
26test for Prussian blue?

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. I am not a chemist so forgive me if I am not going to
 2give great detail on this. What I do know is that they
 3found that the Prussian blue test was problematic and this
 4was ----
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can I interrupt you just to make sure I am
 6understanding? The Prussian blue is simply the physical
 7manifestation of a chemical reaction caused by the acid in
 8the cyanide, is that right?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     With iron. It is an iron compound and ultimately it is
10one of the things which can occur when you, for example,
11have hydrogen cyanide being applied to iron, but also
12other reactions can follow.
13 MR RAMPTON:     Can you just pause there? I want to take it
14slowly so that we are quite sure we understand so far as
15you are able to tell us because, as you say, you are not a
16chemist, what the reasons may be for what we are going to
17see in a moment. Can you turn to page 552? Page 553
18I hope is the opposite page. Is it?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, but I will be able to turn the page.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     We are lucky because we have them on facing pages. On the
21left-hand side of your report you have put a table with
22crematorium 2 at the top. Yes?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, I have.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Where did that come from?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I made the tables on the basis of the English language
26edition of the 1994 Markievitch report. The only change

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 1I made was that I basically formatted all the tables in
 2the same way because in the Markievitch report they were
 3formatted differently. So I wanted that the way the
 4information was going to be presented was going to be
 5identical throughout the tables.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you have the complete original of the Markievitch
 7report here if anybody should want to look at it?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I have one copy here.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Just put it down for the moment, please?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Rampton, before plunging into these
11tables, would it be helpful for me to know what exactly it
12was that the revised Markievitch report decided or
14 MR RAMPTON:     That it concluded?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
16 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, all right. Will you tell his Lordship,
17Professor van Pelt, broadly speaking, what its findings
18were by reference, first, please to the crematoria and
19then to the delousing?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     There were three parts to the Markievitch report. First
21of all, there was a test of the crematoria, was there
22really cyanide compound in the walls of the crematoria?
23Second of all, were there cyanide compounds in the
24delousing building BW 5A and the delousing building which
25was used in Auschwitz I? Then finally there was a test
26done with a control sample to see if in the building of

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 1which they knew there had been no Zyklon B, and the idea
 2was would there be a kind of random cyanide content in the
 3walls, which was one of the claims which had been made
 4about the cyanide contents in the crematoria.
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Pause there, and take that last feature first. What did
 6they find when they looked in a place where there was
 7neither gassing of humans nor of lice?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Negative.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Nothing?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Nothing.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So that eliminates that. Where they were aware that it
12has been suggested that you could find it anywhere because
13at one stage during the typhus epidemic in 1942 the whole
14camp had been fumigated?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I think so, yes. I do not remember exactly.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     What conclusion did they draw about that, do you know?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     About these buildings?
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is pretty obvious. A single fumigation
20does not leave any cyanide presence.
21 MR RAMPTON:     That is what Markievitch said in his conclusion.
22Then if you look now at, first of all, we are going back
23to 551, and notice, please, that all these concentrations
24are given in micrograms per kilogram of cyanide compound,
25is that right?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.

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 1 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is what is measured in micrograms the actual cyanide
 2content of the samples?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I think that it is actually the combination. It is not
 4the cyanide content, but I think the whole, whatever it
 5has bonded with.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If you look at the second table on page 551, it concerns
 7crematorium 1. Do you see that?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And only in one column, under sample 20 -- my Lord, the
10first block in the table is the number of the sample, and
11the second block is the readings beside B, the second row
12of blocks. Only in one, number 20, does one find
13significant quantities of cyanide.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Then look over the page, please and look, please, at 553
16first. Now, samples 53 to 55, you tell us, were taken
17from blue staining on the outside of the building?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]     And two of those, 53A and 55, have relatively high
20readings, particularly number 55?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     From 57 and 58 the readings, you tell us, are taken from
23the plaster, from dark blue stains on the inner side of
24the wall; in the building, in other words?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     

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