Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 51 - 55 of 194

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    I think that one's duty is to be unemotional, to be
 1told you before, my Lord, that I prepared for Auschwitz
 2because ultimately I went there as a human being and I was
 3frightened to go there and I was frightened for the
 5     To actually face great historical questions when
 6they concern, as one would say, maybe the alleged murder
 7of many people, then I think that, of course, if one is
 8completely without emotion as one looks at these
 9documents, then one would be a machine and probably not a
10human being and hence not a historian.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well. We can establish very clearly that you are an
12historian with feelings (and I think we would all like to
13be that), but do you not agree it is important as an
14historian to be able to put his feelings in one
15compartment and his objectivity in another and not allow
16his objectivity to become coloured by his feelings?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I agree that when one analyses a document that one should,
18indeed, be objective, that one should forget one's
19feelings, but when one goes home in the evening and goes
20back to a little room in the town to Vochest(?) where
21I had rented a room, then, of course, the feelings will
22come back.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     I agree. Now if I can turn just to the last page but one
24of the transcript. I am afraid they are not numbered, but
25it is the paragraph beginning with the 01, "Van Pelt then

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Sorry, the last 0, yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]     I quote: "Crematorium (ii)", and at this moment when you
 3are saying this, you are actually standing on the
 4collapsed roof of crematorium (ii)?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am standing there?
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     On the roof, yes. You are crouching on it by a hole. It
 7is visible in the video.
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not think I am standing on the roof at this -- it was
 9Leuchter who was crouching at the hole, not me.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well. You say: "In any case, crematorium (ii) is
11the most [something] of Auschwitz. In the 2500 square
12feet of this one room", and you are pointing downwards,
13"more people lost their lives than in any other place on
14this planet. 500,000 people were killed. If you would
15draw a map of human suffering, if you create a geography
16of atrocities, this would be the absolute centre."
17     That is a reference to crematorium (ii) and you
18are standing on the roof of Leichenkeller No. 1?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is a reference to crematorium (ii), but I am actually
20not in the picture. It is Fred Leuchter standing on the
21roof of Leichenkeller 1.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you are speaking yourself?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     But I am speaking. This was taped in the studio and there
24is no image of me actually in the whole movie near
25crematorium (ii). The only -- there are only two parts in
26the movie where I am actually seen in Birkenhau, apart

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 1from, I think -- no, BW 51 was cut, that is, I look over
 2the undressing room of crematorium (iii) at one moment and
 3I am seen in the ruins of crematorium (v), and that is it.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor, just so that we can be completely clear about
 5this and the record can be clear, you are describing
 6crematorium (ii) as being the place where 500,000 people
 7were killed or ----
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     --- give or take a few numbers.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     And that this was the centre of the atrocity?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     So if I am to concentrate a large part of my investigation
14in this cross-examination on that one building and, in
15fact, on Leichenkeller 1, the one arm of the crematorium,
16this is not entirely unjustified if I am trying to
17establish that the factories of death did not exist as
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. I think that that the obvious building to challenge
20would be crematorium (ii).
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     My Lord, may I show the witness one or two of these
22photographs so we can identify what we are talking about?
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course.
24 MR IRVING:     It will probably help your Lordship also. This,
25first of all, is quite a large photograph showing the
26whole Auschwitz region. If I hold it up, could you point,

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 1please, to Birkenhau?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Birkenhau is right here.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Birkenhau, so his Lordship can also see it, is the
 4oblong. The witness recognizes the oblong in the centre
 5of the map.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, will you pause a second because
 7this is quite helpful to me because there is a map
 8somewhere in Professor van Pelt's?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is in my report, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     I would quite like to mark it up because the geography is
11not all that clear in my mind.
12 MR RAMPTON:     It may be your Lordship will do even better with
13the aerial photographs taken by the Allies in 1944 which
14are at tab 2 of K2.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Right.
16 MR RAMPTON:     They go everywhere from a bird's eye view, as it
17were, of the whole complex right through to the detail of
18the roof of Leichenkellers 2 and 3.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Thank you very much, Mr Rampton. That is
20very helpful.
21 MR IRVING:     Would you now point to Auschwitz 1, what is also
22called the "stammlager"?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Auschwitz 1 is a kind of more, the stammlager, the
24compound which is surrounded by barbed wired is right
25here, but here we see an extension of the stammlager
26called the "schutzhaftlager erweiterung". It is under

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 1construction. Here are various factories, including
 2Canada 1, which belong to the stammlager but which are
 3outside the barbed wire compound.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Am I holding the map the right way up, Professor? Which
 5way is north, can you remember?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     North is right here, so it should go like that.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     Right. Finally, the big IG Monovitz plant?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is more or less where your hand -- yes, more or less
 9where your hand is.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is that not the IG Monovitz plant here?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, no, this is the schutzhaftlager -- where your hand is,
12more or less where your hand is, that is where the
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     So Monovitz is down here somewhere?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, down there. Sorry, that will be kind of confusing
16for the record, but there is another photo in the binder
17which actually also shows the plant.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     In fact, if one looks closely at this photograph, one can
19see a cluster of bombs descending from the American
20aircraft that took the photograph. We now get much
21closer, if I may?
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Rampton, can you give me the reference in
23the Leuchter (sic) report for the aerial photographs?
24 MR RAMPTON:     In the Leuchter report?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Sorry, in the van Pelt report.
26 MR RAMPTON:     To what, my Lord?

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