Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 31 - 35 of 194

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    And both of those have relatively high readings, do they
 1not, particularly sample 57?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Rampton]     840, 792, 840. Then, please, look at the table on page
 4552 and look at sample 25 which comes from crematorium 2.
 5In the text on page 550 you tell us that samples 13 to 52
 6were taken from places which served as homicidal gas
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So that includes the reading in the first table of
10crematorium 1, and it includes the readings under
11crematorium 2, does it not?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     The first sample 25 under crematorium 2, has relatively
14high readings, does it not?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, it does.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Not quite as high as sample 57 from the delousing
17building, but higher, I think, than any others in these
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     30 and 31 also have what is medium high readings?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Crematorium 3, nothing of any significance, yes?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, I agree.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Crematorium 4, samples 41 and 46, particularly 41 again
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is crematorium 5.

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     Yes, that is 4 and 5. In 4 again relatively high
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 4 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you have an explanation? I know you are not a chemist,
 5but do you have an explanation, perhaps supplied to you by
 6others, why it is that in these gas chamber remains
 7Professor Markievitch's team found readings of cyanide
 8which are almost as great as the Prussian blue readings in
 9the delousing building?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     He could read out page 555 of his report,
11could he not, on that?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     May I correct you there? Actually he did not test on
13Prussian blue. You just said the readings of Prussian
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is the analysis of the material as
16opposed to the colour?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. But he did not test Prussian blue because there are
18problems with Prussian blue analysis in this.
19 MR RAMPTON:     You say he did not test Prussian blue?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Markievitch did not test Prussian blue.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did not test Prussian blue? Do you know why not?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     One of the things which is very problematic, and again
23I am not speaking as a chemist, but I am speaking more or
24less on the basis of knowledge I have glossed from
25others. It seems that there is a problem in the formation
26of Prussian blue which relates to one of the main things,

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 1the acidity of the environment.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Wait a minute, take it in stages. None of us is a
 3chemist. At least I am certainly not, I do not know about
 4his Lordship, and I do not think Mr Irving is. Prussian
 5blue is a compound?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     A combination produced by a reaction between hydrogen
 8cyanide and iron?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is that right?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     That is right.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Now, what is the difference between Prussian blue then and
13other substances which react with hydrogen cyanide?
14Sorry, it is a bad question. You were starting to talk
15about the acidity being a problem. What do you mean by
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The PH level of the environment.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Yes?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Prussian blue seems only to be formed in very, very
20specific conditions, in which a number of environmental
21factors need to be present. It seems to be that, in order
22for Prussian blue to be formed, one needs to have a PH
23level which is higher than 7.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Can we cut this short? The PH level varied
25according to which chamber you were looking at, is that

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     No, my Lord.
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Very particularly in the case of the gas chambers the PH
 3level would have been much lower than 7, because of the
 4carbon dioxide being brought into the environment by
 5people who are brought into the gas chambers.
 6 Q. [Mr Rampton]     So an acidity or a PH lower than about 6, high acidity,
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is this that you are telling us interferes in such a way
10with the chemistry that the hydrogen cyanide does not
11react with iron?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Going back to what you were being asked
14about, namely the conclusions to be drawn from the
15readings which Mr Rampton has just taken you through, am
16I right, just to short circuit it again, that at page 555
17of your report you in a few sentences summarise what the
18conclusion of Markievitch report was?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, I do, and the conclusion was that it was a positive
20proof that the spaces in the crematoria they had tested
21had been used with Zyklon B, hydrogen cyanide had been
22brought in those rooms, and I would like to make maybe one
23kind of caveat to this whole report, and this is if you
24allow me?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is a problem which relates to crematoria 4 and 5, and

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 1this is a problem which goes back to the Leuchter report.
 2It goes back to any tests which have been done. That is
 3the fact that the crematoria 4 and 5 which are above
 4ground buildings, brick buildings on a concrete slab were
 5completely demolished at the end of the war, and that all
 6the bricks were brought to a big heap behind crematorium
 75, and that whatever we see there now has been
 8reconstructed with those bricks, but that these bricks in
 9some way come from a random pile. So it is very difficult
10to know which brick was originally where.
11 MR RAMPTON:     So the reading on page 552 on crematoria 4 and 5,
12the relatively high readings, numbers 41 and 46, there is
13no way of being able to say that those pieces of fabric
14that are now in what is supposed to be the gas chambers
15were there originally?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, there is no way one can say that. So I would say that
17any investigation of crematoria 4 or 5 on residual
18hydrogen content would be, as far as I am concerned, a
19useless exercise.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So we concentrate on the other crematoria?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
22 MR RAMPTON:     But the same problem does not beset the samples
23taken from crematorium 2. Thank you very much, Professor
24van Pelt.
25     My Lord, before cross-examination starts,
26I should have done this earlier, your Lordship has I hope

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