Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 9: Electronic Edition
Pages 1 - 194 of 194
1IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
1996 I. No. 113
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
2Royal Courts of Justice
4 Tuesday, 25th January 2000
7MR JUSTICE GRAY
9B E T W E E N: DAVID JOHN CAWDELL IRVING
11(1) PENGUIN BOOKS LIMITED
12(2) DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT
14The Claimant appeared in person
15MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
17MISS HEATHER ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons) appeared on behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited
18MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
19the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt
21(Transcribed from the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell
& Company,Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4
23(This transcript is not to be reproduced without the written permission of Harry Counsell & Company)
25 PROCEEDINGS - DAY NINE
1 <Day 9 Tuesday, 25th January 2000.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I have your clip which I obviously
3have not had time to read. Before we get into that, shall
4we, as proposed, just look ahead and consider what is
5going to be happening? We are going to have Professor van
6Pelt today, is that right?
7 MR RAMPTON: Yes, my Lord, that right.
8 MR IRVING: Yes.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So that the transcript is clear, that is him
10being interposed in order to be called by the Defendants
11and cross-examined because he has commitments elsewhere.
12Is it expected he will be finished in a day?
13 MR IRVING: I doubt it, my Lord. I think two days.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. So when will he resume? He cannot be
15here tomorrow, Mr Rampton, can he?
16 MR RAMPTON: He can tomorrow but not Thursday.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So we should get rid of him.
18 MR RAMPTON: If he can be done in two days, so much the better;
19if he cannot, he can come back on Friday.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have to keep within reasonable bounds so
21I hope he will be finished within two days.
22 MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving's original estimate for him was three
23days. We asked what the estimate was. But, if it is two
24days, so much the better. If we have Friday a blank, as
25it were, then I shall continue cross-examining Mr Irving
26on Friday, I suppose.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
2 MR RAMPTON: Then on Monday, Professor McDonald, and I do not
3know about Dr Fox, it may be him too. I do not know.
4That is in Mr Irving's hands.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot remember who Professor McDonald is.
6 MR IRVING: My expert witness.
7 MR RAMPTON: He is a social scientist, I think.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: How long is he going to be, just so that you
9are communicating about timing?
10 MR IRVING: I shall be submitting various documents to him with
11your Lordship's permission, my Lord, and it depends on
12whether Mr Rampton wishes to cross-examine him or not.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: He may not know the answer to that until he
14knows in more detail what he is going to say.
15 MR RAMPTON: I have a pretty good idea what he is going to
16say. The answer is if I cross-examine him at all, it will
17be quite shortly, I expect.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And then Fox?
19 MR RAMPTON: I do not know about Mr Fox. That is Mr Irving's
21 MR IRVING: I expect Dr Fox will be half a day, my Lord, if
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right.
24 MR RAMPTON: Then, my Lord, I hope I will be able to complete
25any outstanding issues arising out of Evans and the
26political scientists in the remainder of the four days of
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
3 MR RAMPTON: I would be disappointed if I do not. I would hope
4I would be quicker than that.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I would too. I think you have been
6through the most -- if I can use the word "laborious"
7without giving offence -- laborious bit.
8 MR RAMPTON: No, not laborious, perhaps the most important
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Distorting history on Hitler.
11 MR RAMPTON: Distorting Hitler and Holocaust denial by means of
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So at the end of those four days, will that
14complete your cross-examination?
15 MR RAMPTON: Yes, it should do. As your Lordship knows,
16Reichskristallnacht is a bit fiddly.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is quite convoluted.
18 MR RAMPTON: It is convoluted, exactly, so it may take a bit of
19time. Then, my Lord, we are now being speculative, in a
20sense, provisional, we would hope to start our evidence,
21excluding Professor van Pelt, on Monday, whatever it is of
22February, with possibly Professor Browning, possibly
23Dr Longerich, possibly Professor Evans, I do not know.
24Then I think perhaps the only political scientists we will
25call as a witness is Fulkhan, the German. But that is a
26little bit in the future.
1 I have put question marks against Levin and
2Eatwell and also against the Russian witness Tarasov
3because, quite frankly, having regard to the witness
4statement of Mr Irving's witness, the journalist, Peter
5Miller, I do not think Mr Tarasov has anything to add at
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I will say again that I think in relation to
8the Moscow diaries some sort of accommodation might be
10 MR IRVING: My Lord, I do wish to make certain fundamental
11observations about the way the case is being conducted so
12far. I do not know if this is the appropriate moment.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think now is probably the moment for you to
14do that, unless you would rather reserve it for later?
15 MR IRVING: It is brief but to the point, my Lord. I am the
16Claimant in this action. This is my action, and I spent
17yesterday evening indulging in a little bit of light
18reading in the Civil Procedure Rules and my eye alighted
19on Lord Woolf's wise words towards the beginning of the
20introduction to the Rules which states that all steps have
21to be taken to ensure complete equity between the parties.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. That is my major function.
23 MR IRVING: It is a major departure from the old system. He
24said, he identified a range of defects in the existing
25civil justice system, the third of which was that it was
26too unequal in that there was a lack of equality between
1the powerful, wealthy litigant and the under-resourced
3 My Lord, I am up against a powerful, wealthy
4litigant here, as evidenced by the fact that I stand here
5alone and on the other side of your Lordship's court are
6sometimes between 20 and 40 experts, researchers,
7solicitors, learned counsel, arrayed against me ----
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That had not escaped my notice.
9 MR IRVING: --- funded by the most enormous resources.
10Somehow, the sequence of events has got reversed. Your
11Lordship will remember that when we embarked on this two
12and a half weeks ago, we were looking at the prospect of
13holding off Auschwitz until towards the end of the
14discussions, but now Auschwitz has somehow come right up
16 Their witnesses have been interspersed in the
17middle of my presentation of the case. It now turns out
18that Professor Robert Jan van Pelt is here at this time
19purely because it is convenient to him because he is going
20on a Holocaust junket to Stockholm on Thursday together
21with the Second Defendant. I do not see why I should be
22inconvenienced in this way, my Lord. I do not, frankly,
23understand why your Lordship is tolerating it.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Partly, Mr Irving, because you have not until
25now raised any objection. We have been discussing for
26some days now when Dr Van Pelt might give his evidence.
1I had understood (and I will be corrected by reference to
2the transcript if I am wrong about this) that you had not
3raised any objection and, indeed, I had understood you to
4concur with his being interposed at this stage.
5 MR IRVING: But the inevitable result is, my Lord, that this
6means that Auschwitz has been brought right to the front
7of this case purely for the convenience of one of the
8witnesses who intends to fly to Stockholm on this lavish
9junket Thursday for which the whole court is having to
10hold its breath for a day.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am a bit puzzled, Mr Irving, about this
12protest because you were cross-examined for the whole of
13yesterday about Auschwitz, so there is no question of
14Auschwitz having suddenly being brought to the forefront
15of the case. It was brought to the forefront of the case
16when cross-examination was embarked on yesterday morning.
17 MR IRVING: The inevitable result, of course, has been that it
18has driven a cart and horses right through my preparations
19for the major part of the case. Also, it has had the
20unfortunate effect of putting in front of your Lordship
21and, of course, the public the entire opposition case, so
22to speak, without my being able to lead all the evidence
23which I intended to lead in advance which is the normal
24way that it should have been conducted.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course that is right. In a case like this
26where it is judge alone, in a way one is able to be more
1accommodating with witnesses' personal difficulties.
2 MR IRVING: Yes.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The problem I have now is that you are
4telling me really I think for the first time that you are
5unhappy about Professor van Pelt being interposed, but he
6is here. We have been proceeding on the basis that he
7would be interposed without any dissent from you. I am
8rather reluctant, unless you want to press it, to change
10 MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, it is obviously too late to change
11the schedule now, but I wish to draw your attention purely
12to the disadvantageous effect it has on me. Your Lordship
13has now been presented with all the hostile evidence in
14advance of the evidence which I would normally put first
15as the Claimant.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a bit unreal. I have read all the
17expert reports before the case started, as you know and as
18Mr Rampton knows. So I knew very well what the case on
19Auschwitz against you is going to be.
20 MR IRVING: With the utmost respect, my Lord, of course, a lot
21of our case depends upon the spin that various parties put
22on words ----
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course that is true.
24 MR IRVING: --- and on documents which your Lordship has not
25even seen yet. The only way that I can introduce those
26documents, I believe, is by putting them to the expert
1witnesses. These are documents which your Lordship has
2not even seen yet because, as far as I can see, the
3bundles do not include them. This is the unfortunate
4result. But I shall try to prepare it as well as can I
5over the next few days, my Lord, but I cannot understand
6why we are being held hostage to this convention in
7Stockholm. It has nothing to do with this court. It
8appears to be the only reason why Professor van Pelt was
9come over at the beginning of the case rather than in the
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I must say I would have listened with great
12sympathy to the point you are now making if you had made
13it a bit earlier. Your problem is you have left it really
14until the very last minute to raise this objection.
15 MR IRVING: If learned counsel had informed us that the only
16reason why Professor van Pelt was over at this end of the
17month rather than in the proper period was for his own
18personal convenience in order that he can combine it with
19this junket in Stockholm, then ----
20 MR RAMPTON: That is just not right.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me hear Mr Rampton on this, Mr Irving.
22What is the reason?
23 MR RAMPTON: It has always been my intention to start my
24cross-examination with Auschwitz. Because Mr Irving fell
25short in chief -- I know not why -- I started
26cross-examining earlier than I had expected. His original
1estimate for his own case was two to three weeks.
2 I, therefore, got Professor van Pelt over here
3for Monday, 24th January, when I was expecting to start my
4whole cross-examination with Auschwitz. Stockholm, as it
5happened, came later, his appointment at Stockholm.
6Incidentally, I add that the First Defendant, Professor
7Lipstadt, is not going to Stockholm, despite what
8Mr Irving says. That is why Professor van Pelt is here.
9 I then read, if I may, what Mr Irving said
10on Tuesday, 11th January, at the beginning of this case.
11This is page 5:
12 "I am perfectly prepared to have Professor van
13Pelt come over in the middle of whatever else is going on
14and we can take him as a separate entirety. He is
15certainly an extremely interesting witness to be heard".
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I had got the impression that this was
17all happening by agreement really on both sides.
18 MR RAMPTON: Yes. There cannot be any question about it.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, we are going to have Professor van
20Pelt now for you to cross-examine. But one thing I have
21said before now and I say it again, I am very conscious of
22the burden that is being placed upon you. It must be
23gigantic. I think it is going to get more difficult when
24you are cross-examining. If you want more time when the
25court is not sitting so that you have got the ability to
26prepare and so on, all you have to do is ask and within
1reason I will try to accommodate you.
2 MR IRVING: That would have been the request that I would
3have ultimately submitted, my Lord.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, when you have one expert after
5another, as Mr Rampton was forecasting will happen in
6about 10 days' time, that is when I think your
7difficulties will be at their worst. If then you want
8time between the witnesses to prepare yourself, then again
9within reason I will try to accommodate you.
10 MR IRVING: My Lord, as to my remarks about the Second
11Defendant also going to Stockholm, that was based on the
12Swedish government's announcement that she was attending.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, you have been told by Mr Rampton that
14she is not.
15 MR IRVING: She is listed in all the agenda at the conference
16as a speakered.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, I think it is unlikely she will be
18going in view of what Mr Rampton has said.
19 MR IRVING: Very well, my Lord. They are the only submissions
20I had to make on that. I wished really to draw to your
21Lordship's attention, that is all, that things have been
22taken out of my hands in an unsatisfactory way.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, my function is to make sure that
24you are not disadvantaged because you have no lawyers.
25I cannot provide you with a back up team, obviously, but
26I am trying to look after your interests, as judges always
1do with litigants in person. But so far, I do not believe
2you have suffered any disadvantage.
3 MR IRVING: Well, only inasmuch as I have not had the
4opportunity to put before your Lordship the documents on
5which I rely as yet which would be the normal sequence of
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You could have done that before the trial
9 MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, the bundles had been prepared
10entirely by the Defence. They are not agreed bundles.
11They have large lacunae in them, as your Lordship will see
12when the time comes.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but you knew that you had the
14opportunity to put before the court any bundles of
15documents that you wanted to rely on.
16 MR IRVING: This is precisely what we were working on when the
17Defendants came charging in with a reversal of the
18timetable, my Lord. This is basically the problem, yes.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Right now you want to take me through
20some documents, do you, before Professor van Pelt goes
21into the witness box?
22 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, can I, first of all, add one thing before
23that discussion is closed? It is this. I think I need to
24say it because inevitably sometimes Mr Irving has
25attempted to use the court as a public platform. True it
26is there is an inequality of resources; true also it is,
1however, that my clients are defending a suit brought by
2Mr Irving. It reminds one of the old French proverb:
3"These animals are very naughty. They defend themselves
4when they are attacked".
5 MR IRVING: That proverb cuts both ways, Mr Rampton.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, that is enough of that. Now, do
7you want to do this now? Is that what you are proposing?
8 MR IRVING: Do I wish to?
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Address me on these documents you handed in
11 MR IRVING: One or two of them, my Lord. The others are there
12purely for the purposes of being in your Lordship's hands
13when we start with Professor van Pelt.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just so we get things done in the right way,
15I think you ought to go back into the witness box just to
16deal with whatever evidence you want to give arising out
17of yesterday. It is just so we know which hat you are
18wearing, advocate or witness. It is difficult, but I
19think it is quite important to keep an eye on the
21 <MR IRVING, recalled.
22< Examined by the Court
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right?
24 THE WITNESS: The first document, my Lord, is the one headed
25"Institute for Historical Review". This is a letter
26written by the Institute for Historical Review to
1Professor Gerald Fleming who is an acknowledged expert on
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
4 A. [Mr Irving] And I draw your Lordship's attention purely to the
5paragraph on the second page which I printed in bold face,
6the last paragraph. Your Lordship was enquiring about
7what other reports after the Leuchter report continued to
8support that contention, and here is a very useful summary
9of them: "Rudolf reached essentially the same conclusion
10as had American gas chamber specialist, Fred Leuchter, in
11his 1988 forensic investigation of the allied gas chambers
12at Auschwitz and Birkenhau. You may also be aware that as
13a result of Leuchter's findings, the Institute of Forensic
14Research in Cracow conducted a partial investigation and
15that its forensic analysis, given in a
16confidential September 1990 report, corroborated
17Leuchter's findings". Your Lordship may remember that
18I referred to the fact ---
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, you did.
20 MR IRVING: --- that the Auschwitz authority had locked it
21away. "This report was published in the summer 1991
22Journal of Historical Review. Moreover, Austrian
23engineer, Walter Luftel, who was, in fact, the President
24of the Austrian Federation of Engineers,
25explicitly endorsed Leuchter's findings in the detailed
26March 1992 report published in the winter 1992 to 1993
1Journal, and the German engineer, Wolfgang Schuster, and
2the American research chemist, William Linsky, reached
3conclusions similar to those of Leuchter and Rudolf".
4More of that is relevant, but that is the only paragraph
5that I would just draw to your Lordship's attention to
6bear out the fact that Leuchter was not one lone voice
7crying in the wilderness.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are taking a relaxed view of the rules
9about evidence, but this is Mr Weber of the Institute for
10Historical Review telling Professor Fleming what he says
11these various individuals concluded.
12 A. [Mr Irving] Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Are you going to show me the Rudolf report in due course?
14 A. [Mr Irving] The Rudolf report ----
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Not now.
16 A. [Mr Irving] I should have handed it to your Lordship.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Do not worry now, but this is rather third hand, is it
18not? That is what I am saying.
19 A. [Mr Irving] It is, my Lord, but the Rudolf report is the glossy blue
20publication which I brought in about a dozen copies this
21morning, and through an oversight it obviously was not
22listed in discovery for which I do apologise. That was an
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Yes, that is that?
25 A. [Mr Irving] My Lord, the only other document I draw to your Lordship's
26attention is the one headed top left, it is an invoice
2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Yes, I noticed that.
3 A. [Mr Irving] And it is the United Cardboard Factory of Silesia. It is
4an invoice to Auschwitz crematorium -- I am sorry, it is
5an invoice to the central construction office in
6Auschwitz, 28th July, an invoice concerning the Auschwitz
7crematorium for ----
8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] "Entwesungsanlage"?
9 A. [Mr Irving] Just the first two or three lines inside the box on the
10invoice shows that it is for sealing work, S-E-A-L-I-N-G
11work, carried out for the Entwesungsanlage -- E-N-T ----
12 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] And that is the delousing chamber?
13 A. [Mr Irving] Disinfestation chamber, or disinfestation installation,
14strictly speaking. I mean, we may have an interesting
15discussion with Professor van Pelt about precisely what
16that was, but certainly it tends to bear out my contention
17of one of the uses to which that building was being put.
18My Lord, that is all I wish to say from the witness box.
19 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Just let me get that. Thank you very much. I think you
20can go back and resume your role as ----
21 MR RAMPTON: Could I just ask one question before he does, my
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Arising out of that?
24 MR RAMPTON: Yes, it is only an administrative question.
25 < Cross-examined by MR RAMPTON
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] I want to know, Mr Irving, whether you received yesterday
1an invoice, I think it is, or something of that nature --
2I cannot find it at the moment -- dated 13th April 1943
3from Topf to the Zentralebauleitung at Auschwitz
4concerning [German - document not provided].
5 A. [Mr Irving] I received just a loose document faxed through to me
6sometime in the evening, yes.
7 Q. [Mr Rampton] You did receive it? That is all I wanted to know.
8 A. [Mr Irving] Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton] Good. Thank you very much.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That does not tell me very much.
11 MR RAMPTON: Has your Lordship not got it?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, well, if I have, I am not aware of having
14 A. [Mr Irving] Can I be shown a copy now in case there is any comment
15I wish to make on it?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There are an awful lot of spare bits of paper
17flowing around. It seems extraordinary when ----
18 MR RAMPTON: This arose simply because yesterday for the first
19time Mr Irving brought to our attention a document dated
2020th August 1943 which on its second page, as we now see,
21is a bill from Topf, or an invoice, it mentions
22"Entwesungsanlage", as does the piece of paper that he
23has just given to us and to your Lordship. There is, in
24fact, another piece of paper which is very likely related
25to it which as its last item but one mentions two Topf
1 A. [Mr Irving] Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] --- for crematorium (ii). Those are delousing ovens?
3 A. [Mr Irving] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Rampton] I make no comment beyond that. I will hand that up to
5your Lordship because I am sure your Lordship will need it
6in due course. It goes with the other two documents from
7Mr Irving's side.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall I put it in J as well because I am
9really anxious we keep an eye -- I seem to have the Rudolf
10report at the same time.
11 A. [Mr Irving] That is the Rudolf report, my Lord.
12 MR RAMPTON: It might be convenient to have them in
13chronological order. That document I have just handed up
14will be the first. The second would be the one that
15Mr Irving has just handed in dated 28th July. The last
16would be the document we got last night, if we did, which
17is the invoice from Topf.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. That is the only questions, so would
19you mind going back.
20 <(The witness stood down)
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, you are going to call your
23 MR RAMPTON: Yes, my Lord, I am. I preface calling him with
24this request, perhaps is the right word. I have the
25impression, and so do others, that the question of the
26various Polish reports may be a little bit confused.
1 The Rudolf report only came up yesterday.
2Professor van Pelt has not read the Rudolf report. He
3does not have a copy with him, but he does know something
4about it. What I propose to do is to ask just a very few
5questions in chief just to get that question straight, if
6your Lordship permits it?
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. Anything, as it were, that has
8surfaced since he did his written report, I think that is
10 MR RAMPTON: This arises out of two things, one the Rudolf
11report mentioned for the first time yesterday, and second
12what I perceive to have been a bit of a confusion about
13the sequence of the Polish reports because there were, in
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. The one we have had is ----
16 MR RAMPTON: That is 1945.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- the 1945 zinc cover.
18 MR RAMPTON: That is right, and the bag of hair.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But there is Dawidowski as well?
20 MR RAMPTON: No . My belief is -- no, I am cautious about this
21-- that the 1945 report was done at the request of
22Dawidowski. Then in 1990 there is a preliminary
23Markievitch report which we do not have and then in 1994
24there is what one might call the final Markievitch report,
25a part of which is in that first volume of the bundle
26I handed in yesterday.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. Mr Irving, I think that is right,
2that Mr Rampton should be able just to ask these
3supplementary questions about a new aspect of the case.
4 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I also make this request. Professor van
5Pelt has a family Bible which has been in his family since
6before the war. May he swear on that?
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course.
8 < PROFESSOR VAN PELT, sworn.
9<Examined by MR RAMPTON, QC.
10 MR RAMPTON: Professor van Pelt, are your full names Robert Jan
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Have you made a report for the purposes of this case?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I have.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Are you content that that report, save for some few
16questions which I shall ask you in a moment, shall stand
17as your evidence-in-chief in this case?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I am content.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] Do you confirm its accuracy so far as it contains
20statements of fact?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I do.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] And, so far as it contains expressions of opinion, do you
23confirm that those expressions of opinion are fair?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I do.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton] Professor van Pelt, there is only one thing I want to ask
26you about. You heard what it was. Do you remember
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
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?
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
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
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
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?
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
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?
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
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
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
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.
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] 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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
25 My Lord, before cross-examination starts,
26I should have done this earlier, your Lordship has I hope
1a supplemental or supplementary report from Professor van
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I remember that there was one.
4 MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving certainly has it.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am just wondering where I put it.
6 MR RAMPTON: It has to do with a very limited topic. It has to
7do with B Zyklon deliveries to Auschwitz. What I will do,
8if your Lordship does not mind, is hand up a file with it
9in, which I have marked "van Pelt supplementary".
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I have it, although I am a bit
11puzzled I have not put it in the existing file.
12 MR RAMPTON: That there is not much room is perhaps one reason.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That could be true. It suggests to me that I
14perhaps have not had it.
15 MR RAMPTON: I am not going to refer to it now.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you have seen this supplemental
18 MR IRVING: I have indeed, my Lord.
19 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, also in the file, which Mr Irving does
20not know about but I have a copy for him now, is a
21document produced in consequence of a critique that
22Mr Irving published on his web site of Professor van
23Pelt's book about Auschwitz. I suggested that it would be
24helpful for me if Professor van Pelt did answer to that
25critique which he has recently done and I have got, in
26case he was cross-examined on the basis of the critique.
1It emerged from the questions that I asked Mr Irving
2yesterday that that indeed is going to be so. It seems to
3me, since this is quite detailed, that everybody therefore
4should have a copy.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well maybe. I just am a little concerned
6that every day we are generating more files. We have
7enough files to keep most people happy for a long time.
8 MR RAMPTON: It is not something I am suggesting anybody should
9read from beginning to end, but Professor van Pelt may
10want, as experts do, make reference to it for the detail.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we slot it into the same file.
12 MR RAMPTON: I have done it.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you.
14 MR RAMPTON: I have called it "van Pelt supplementary 2 and 3".
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am going to put the Rudolf report into J as
17 MR RAMPTON: Yes, my Lord, that must be right. Miss Rogers
18thinks it is about ten.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have to keep a track on it, actually.
20 <Cross-examined by MR IRVING
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, Mr Irving?
22 MR IRVING: My Lord, may I propose to proceed as follows with
23the cross-examination? That I briefly cross-examine the
24witness as to credit; I would then like to test your
25Lordship's patience by showing the court for about ten
26minutes a video film of Professor van Pelt visiting the
1Auschwitz site, which will serve a double purpose. There
2are things which he says during that video and it will
3also give us a sense of what the site looks like now.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Certainly. I am afraid I have not noticed
5the video, but certainly do.
6 MR IRVING: I will then proceed after that to the court
7examination. Professor van Pelt, you are a Dutch citizen
8or Canadian citizen now?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am a Dutch citizen.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] May I, first of all, pardon my rudeness, welcome you to
11our country and say what a great pleasure I had in reading
12your book on Auschwitz -- for what it is worth, it is one
13of the few books that I have read from cover to cover and
14it was a book that I found very difficult to put down.
15I do not know how much of the book was written by you and
16I do not know how much of the book was written by your
17partner, Deborah Dwork. However, a number of questions
18arise from the book and, after we have seen the video,
19I would ask you just in one paragraph to give the court a
20brief history of Auschwitz in the way you have done in the
21book so admirably on the basis of documentation. You
22studied at the University of Leiden, am I correct?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I did.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] And you are now Professor of the History of Architecture
25at the University of Waterloo in Toronto?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. The issue of my appointment is kind of confusing.
1I am in the Department of Architecture and hence I am
2officially a Professor of Architecture. Your title as
3Professor depends on the department you are in. However,
4I teach in what we call the Cultural History stream, so
5normally, in order to prevent confusion in ordinary usage,
6I would call myself Professor of Cultural History because,
7both in my background, my PhD and my teaching duties,
8I teach cultural history in the architectural school.
9However, when I was advised about the way I had to create
10my curriculum vitae for this proceeding, I was told that
11I had been to be extremely precise in the legal sense of
12what I was, so again I put in Professor of Architecture.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So you are really a cultural historian?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am really a cultural historian.
15 MR IRVING: This is a point of some substance, my Lord. We
16need to know precisely what your qualifications are to
17offer your expertise to the court. I do not mean this in
18the least sense in a derogatory manner because, as I say,
19I have read both your book and your report with the utmost
20interest. However, we need to know what your areas of
21expertise actually are. In Britain, of course, we have
22the Royal Institute of British Architects. Are you
23familiar with the fact that it is illegal in England to
24call yourself an architect unless you are registered with
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is in most countries like that, yes, I know.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] In Holland, the equivalent is the Bond van Nederlandse
2Architecten, am I correct? I am sorry about my
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, Bond van Nederlandse Architecten.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Which is the rough equivalent of the RIBA?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Am I right in saying that you are not registered with the
8Bond van Nederlandse Architecten?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have never had any reason to do so since I never studied
10in an architectural school.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] So you cannot legally pretend to be an architect, if I can
12put it like that?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I could be prosecuted.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] You could be prosecuted?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Rather like Mr Leuchter was prosecuted in Massachusetts
17for pretending to be an engineer?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] You can probably see the thrust of this particular
20question. In other words, your expertise, as an
21architect, is the same as Mr Leuchter's expertise was an
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not really know. I have been teaching in
24architecture school now since 1984. I have taught design
25courses, specially in small architecture schools one needs
26to chip in wherever one does. I have been on
1architectural juries and quick sessions, mostly on a
2weekly, bi-weekly, kind of frequency. I did ----
3 Q. [Mr Irving] You have never learned architecture? You have never
4studied architecture at university? You have never taken
5a degree in architecture?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not have a degree in it, but I have been confronted
7with the architectural practice and, apart from that,
8I have worked for various architects, one of them, Sir
9Dennis Leston, here in England, when he was designing the
10Synagogue in Jerusalem. I have worked with Jack Diamond
11in Toronto. So I have been in architectural offices very
12often and other practices.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] And, of course, you are now advising the present Auschwitz
14authorities on the reconstruction, if I can put it like
15that, of the Auschwitz site?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I was advising them, yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] You are no longer doing so. Very well. So if I am called
18a pseudo historian, then you are a pseudo architect, if I
19can put it like that?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, except I have never claimed to be either an architect
21or a pseudo architect.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Except that you are a Professor of architecture, you
23announce you are a Professor architecture, you leave
24people with the impression that you are an expert on
25architecture, and yet you have never studied it and you
26have never qualified and you are not registered as such?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I must say that I probably would prefer to be called a
2Professor of cultural history, but the fact of the matter
3is that the university has given me an appointment as
4Professor of architecture. So ----
5 Q. [Mr Irving] But you are not giving evidence here on the culture of
6Auschwitz; you are giving evidence on the architecture of
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am going to evidence, I hope, on the history of
9Auschwitz, and the architectural documents are a very
10important historical source. I think we both agree on
11that. I think, as an historian, you can talk about
12various forms of evidence and the architectural documents
13is one of these forms of evidence.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] I do not mean these questions in the least sense as a put
15down, but I think it is important to draw his Lordship's
16attention to the fact that your qualifications as an
17architect are, in fact, no greater or lesser than mine?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I agree that my formal qualifications are exactly the same
20 Q. [Mr Irving] So when you look at light switches or architectural
21drawings or blue prints, as you call them, you are no
22better qualified than I am?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, but I would say, your Lordship, that I have been doing
24this for the past maybe 15 years, and so there is a
25certain practical experience, I would say, which may be is
26going to be relevant.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. There is only one other very general question on the
2question of credit which I would ask you before we settle
3back and watch the 10 minute video. Your report is
4unusual in one respect, and your Lordship may have noticed
5it, it has a copyright line on page 2. In other words,
6you claim copyright in this document. Now, remembering
7you are on oath, would you tell the court if you have
8any intention eventually of publishing this?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At the moment I do not have. I think it is an
11 Q. [Mr Irving] I disagree. It is set out in chapter form. It has
12literary quotations at the beginning of every chapter,
13quotations from Mediaeval poets and other authors in a way
14you do not normally find in an expert report, I would have
15thought. I would have thought it was designed explicitly
16for publication at some future date?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. When the occasion would arise, I would be very
18pleased if some of the things could be used, but I have
19learned to respect a big difference, for example, between
20a Ph.D. dissertation and a book and there is a big
21difference between an expert report, and I understand this
22report as a means for an intelligent judge to make up his
23mind about Auschwitz who has never been there, which is
24quite a difference for when one writes a book for the
26 Q. [Mr Irving] So why the copyright line?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Oh, it is a habit of mine which I do whenever I submit any
2manuscript to anyone, and maybe this is inappropriate in
3this case. None of the lawyers has told me that it was
4inappropriate, so the copyright line remained there.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You can have an argument about the copyright
6after this case is over.
7 MR IRVING: My Lord, the reason I ask this, of course, if the
8witness was intending to publish this work, and he has now
9said on oath he has no intention of publishing it, then
10I would ask him the following question. (To the witness):
11If you were to write a report which came out with the
12conclusion that crematorium No. (ii) had never been used
13as a homicidal gas chamber, that Auschwitz was not a
14factory of death, that Leuchter was right, David Irving
15was right, whatever, what would the commercial prospects
16of that be as compared with the commercial prospects of
17the report that you have actually written? Would they be
18greater or less?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is difficult to say. It seems to be that the book
20buying habits of the people who are believing that the gas
21chambers were not used for homicidal purposes seems to
22have been much more active than for the people who
23believed that they were used for homicidal purposes.
24After all, I think that you sell more books than I sell of
25my Auschwitz books.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Not currently I do not.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean, it is very difficult to say this. Certainly,
2controversy seems to have served you well in the past in a
3number of books. I have been, I believe, in some way less
4controversial and controversy certainly helps sales
5figures in general, so I probably put some more books.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. I will take your statement that you have no
7intention of publishing this ever, as you have now told
8the court. My Lord ----
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I just come back to this? I said "in this form".
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Quite briefly, if you would.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry?
12 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Quite briefly, if you would.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I said "in this form". I did not -- I did not write
14this with publication in mind as such.
15 MR IRVING: Yes. Very well. My Lord if your Lordship will
16turn to the transcript ----
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Play the video?
18 MR IRVING: --- which I provide your Lordship of the video,
19just so you can confirm what is actually said.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me find it. Is that one of the documents
21you have handed in.
22 MR IRVING: It is called Mr Truth -- Mr Death. There are two
23excerpts that I wish to play.
24 (The video was played)
25 MR IRVING: My Lord, this is Fred Leuchter. My Lord, I think
26this is not the part I wanted in fact. I would speed the
1court along, I think, if I ask the witness if he remembers
2what was said.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not your fault. Shall we turn it off?
4 MR IRVING: Yes. If I could borrow a transcript from someone?
5Professor van Pelt, you remember appearing in a video
6which is part of a film now called "Mr Death". Do you
7remember the filming of that project?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] When exactly was that filmed? A year ago? Half a year
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We went to Auschwitz in April 1998 -- was it 1998? 1999,
12I think. 1999.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] '98?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 1999. No, 1998. I am sorry.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you remember saying: "Auschwitz is like the Holy of
16Holies. I have prepared for years to go there, and have a
17fool come in, coming completely unprepared, it is
18sacrilege, somebody who walks into the Holy of Holies and
19doesn't give a damn"?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I remember saying that.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] This was a reference to Mr Leuchter, was it not?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, it was a reference to Mr Leuchter.
23 MR RAMPTON: Should not the witness have a transcript like
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you feel the need for a transcript?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I remember the -- it is useful, but I remember this.
1 MR RAMPTON: Except that some pages down the road we come to
2some German, so it might be helpful.
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Thank you.
4 MR IRVING: You were deeply moved to visit the actual location
5where these atrocities had occurred?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] More than moved. I was frightened. I ----
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Ghosts of the dead were still all around?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not believe in ghosts and I have never seen in
9ghosts in Auschwitz, but it is an awesome place in many
10ways, and it is also an awesome responsibility one takes
11upon oneself when one starts to engage this place as an
12historian. For many years I felt I was not up to that
13task. It was only after very careful preparation that
14I finally decided to go there and to start work in
15Auschwitz. As many things in life, it became easier to
16work on it as I was there as you actually start
17confronting what the place is.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I ask you about a part on the next page of the
19transcript, the page beginning with the words, "Very
20little left", "to suddenly have in that room that
21concentration of evidence, you are sitting in the
22archives, to actually hold the stamps in your hand which
23you see on the drawings". Am I right in understanding
24that the Auschwitz archives have the original wartime
25rubber stamps still?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, there is a box with all the rubber stamps.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] You yourself took one of the stamps and you put it on an
2ink pad and tried it out on one of your note pads?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] You had exactly the same stamp that had been used by
5architects like Dejaco and Ertl and the rest?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I made a copy of that stamp.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] You could have had a lot of fun with one of those stamps,
8could you not, if you had so chosen?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If one wants to falsify evidence, one could have fun, yes,
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think that suggestion is being made,
13 MR IRVING: Well, my Lord ----
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was lighthearted or was it not?
15 MR IRVING: --- I wanted to leave that lingering suspicion in
16your Lordship's mind.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, it is better to come out with it if you
18are going to make that allegation.
19 MR IRVING: We referred to one document yesterday, my Lord, the
20one on cremation rate capacities, and I strongly implied
21that this document is suspect.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But not originating from Professor van Pelt?
23 MR IRVING: Good Lord, no. For heaven's sake, no. I deeply
24regret that that impression should have been given.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I just wanted to clarify that.
26 MR IRVING: Of course not. It is just that if those rubber
1stamps had been in a Polish archive which was Communist
2until quite recently, in the Auschwitz State Museum,
3rattling around in a cardboard box ----
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Somebody could do it.
5 MR IRVING: --- somebody could have done it. Rubber stamps
6played a great part in the falsification of the
7Demanuke(?), identity card, and the final revealing of the
8falsification. (To the witness): You continue to say at
9the bottom of that paragraph: "This is like holding the
10weapon of destruction in my hand, the gun that killed the
11victim, except these blue prints did not kill one person.
12They ultimately allowed for the killing of millions." Are
13you saying that several million people were killed in
14Auschwitz or was this just a loose turn of phrase?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This would be a loose turn of phrase. I believe that
16Dr Pieper's assessment that round a million people were
17killed in Auschwitz is probably the most probable number.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] So when you talk about millions, it is not a deliberate
19manipulation or a perverse distortion of figures. It is
20just a loose approximation because you are speaking
21without a script?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. First of all, I am speaking without a script.
23I mean, you know exactly how Errol Morris interviews
24people because you were interviewed in the same way and
25also appear in the same movie. I was talking without of
26any of blue prints there. I was talking in studio for
1three or four days.
2 There is, however, one point which I would like
3to make, and that when I came to the archive and saw for
4the first time these blueprints, I had very clearly in my
5mind a scene from Shawa(?) where the great historian Wal
6Hoeberg holds in his hand at that moment a railway table
7of transports to Treblinka, and he says something to the
8effect that it was looking at these documents that, in
9fact, you were holding the murder weapon in your hand; and
10I certainly, when I was talking to Errol and when I was
11looking at these blue prints, it was really amazing how
12Errol brought back to me that that moment, that first
13moment, of seeing the blue prints, that I was thinking
14this is part of that whole administrative system. It is
15not only blue prints for Auschwitz, but it is basically
16part of a State sponsored project to kill Jews. So when
17I used to use the word "millions" here, I would be quite
18happy to ultimately defend it in that larger context of a
19bureaucracy at work to ultimately dispose of people.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, would you agree that it is the duty of
21historians to remain completely unemotional when he is
22looking at any object or artifact or a document, and to
23interpret it as unemotionally and neutrally as he can?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that one's duty is to be unemotional, to be
25objective, but one's duty is also, I think, to remain
26human in the exercise. I think, and this is what I just
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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?
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The aerial photographs because I have marked
2up one of them and I cannot actually find the -- rather
3than start again with another one.
4 MR RAMPTON: It is towards the end, I think.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I thought it was. I am so sorry. Will
6you forgive me, Mr Irving, just tracking this down?
7 MR RAMPTON: If your Lordship were to start at 370?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Page 49 does show the plant just referred to.
9 MR IRVING: Very well. These two buildings down here, the T
10shaped buildings, they are the two crematoria (ii) and
11(iii), is that correct?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is correct. May I make one kind of caveat as far as
13the numbering is concerned? There are documents where
14these crematoria called (i) and (ii), so sometimes they
15are called (ii) and (iii), sometimes (i) and (ii). It
16depends if one crematorium (i) in the stammlager is
17included in the numeral.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] We have here, my Lord, a photograph taken relatively
19recently, within the last few months, from a helicopter
20showing the site as it now is of these two crematoria, the
21ruins of the two crematoria. You can see the outline of
22the two T shaped buildings like they are mirror images of
23each other. Crematorium (ii), is that correct?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Crematorium (iii), and they are largely in ruins. What is
26this path that has been laid here? Was that a wartime
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, that is a recent path that has just been created
3because many of the tourists go first to the former
4women's camp and then they go through a new bridge and a
5new opening through the barbed wire fence which surrounds
6crematorium (ii) to crematorium (ii).
7 Q. [Mr Irving] While we are just looking at this map, you mentioned the
8word "tourist". Is Auschwitz a major tourist attraction,
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At the moment, the tourism has been reduced in past years
11because it used to be that the Polish Government insisted
12that all Polish school children would go there. That has
13changed. So I think that around 500,000 people per year
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Whilst we are holding this particular map, can you
16identify what these two circular objects are?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These are part of a sewage treatment plant.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] A water purification plant?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes -- no, a sewage treatment plant.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, it is the same thing. It converts sewage into
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. This was not meant to convert sewage into drinkable
23water. This was created, and we see another one right
24here, and there was another one started right there,
25because there were complaints in 1942 when the Birkenhau
26population started to increase by the authorities in the
1province of Upper Silesia that the camp was throwing its
2untreated sewage in the Zola River. So what happened was
3that the building inspectors of the county said, "If you
4want to continue to run this concentration camp, you have
5to take care that you throw cleaned water or the clean
6sewage into the river".
7 Q. [Mr Irving] While we are dealing with the water, this is crematorium
8(ii), this is the Leichenkeller No. 1 -- we will come back
9to that in a minute on a larger photograph -- am
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] This is the water treatment plant?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is a water treatment plant.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] If eight kilogrammes of cyanide were put into the water
15system there, of that particular building, it would not do
16the water treatment plant any good?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry, this is a sewage treatment plant.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but if it was to be established that there was a link
19between that building and the sewage treatment plant, the
20drainage of the one building went into the sewage
21treatment plant, then this would create a serious problem
22for the environment, eight kilogrammes on a regular basis
23of hydrogen cyanide being fed ----
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot comment on how much cyanide -- how
25quickly cyanide would be diluted. Certainly, a sewage
26treatment plant is taking many kinds of refuse in its
1operation. One would have to talk to a chemist what
2ultimately the kind of danger of the dilution of hydrogen
3cyanide would be, but we must not forget that most of the
4hydrogen cyanide in the Leichenkeller 1 was used as a gas
5and was evacuated through a chimney and not through the
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. But we have heard that it is a heavier than
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. It is slightly lighter. It is not much lighter. It
10rises slowly, but there was a large ventilation system in
11the crematorium and there was an exhaust pipe on top of
12the crematorium through which the air in the Leichenkeller
131 or gas chamber could be evacuated.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] While we are looking at this particular map, will you show
15us, please, the railroad spur which ends between the two
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We see the end of the railroad spur right there.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Which is the platform, therefore, where the notorious
19selections are said to have taken place?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the end of the platform where the selections took
22 Q. [Mr Irving] So they would be marched off then -- what happened to the
23people who arrived by train on that railroad platform?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] What happened to them?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was a question.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] A selection took place at a particular point halfway, that
2platform, and this is, we are now talking about a
3situation in 1944, since the spur was only completed in
41944 for the Hungarian action, and the most usual
5operation was that the selection took place halfway, that
6platform, in which men and women were lined up in four
7rows. One row of women to the east and a line of women to
8the west of that point, and two lines of men, again one to
9the east and one to the west, and right in the centre
10selection took place and then people were either sent into
11the camp or sent to the crematorium.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: My impression is that a similar, the spur may
13not have been there, selection process operated during
141943 as well, did it not?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The section process in 1943 was different since it
16happened at the so-called Judens rampe. A Juden rampe
17was, basically, an unloading point along the main railway
18corridor. I can point it out on this aerial photo. This
19is the main railway corridor connecting, basically, Vienna
20and there is one going to Berlin here and Cracow and
21Warsaw; and exactly at this point, at this point, there
22are still the remains also of a rampe, a platform, where
23the trains with Jews would be unloaded and then a
24selection took place here. Then people who were admitted
25to the camp walked to the camp and the people who were
26selected to die, if they still could walk, would walk, but
1otherwise were taken on trucks to the gas chambers of the
2crematoria or the gas chambers of bunker 1 and 2.
3 MR IRVING: May I ask you some questions about that selection
4process now, please? On what basis was the selection for
5life or death conducted?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It would depend really on the situation. The policies of
7the Germans seem to have been different at different
8times. To give one example, as a general rule, let us
9first say for a general rule, one could say that, as far
10as gentiles was concerned, and gentiles were sent to
11Auschwitz, there was no selection on arrival. For
12example, Poles, a large group of Polish children came to
13Auschwitz from the Zamoska area and were admitted to the
14camp, and you can go to the present women's camp and there
15are barracks specially for children with paintings and the
16bits of school, and so on.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] At what age does one cease to be a child?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In Auschwitz, I would say around 12 or 13 years.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] What age was Anne Frank when she arrived in Auschwitz?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Oh, she would have been 15.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] About 15?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Did she fall ill in Auschwitz?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think so. I think she fell ill when she came to
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Did any members of her family fall in Auschwitz and where
1they housed in a hospital in Auschwitz, her father or her
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Her mother fell ill and ultimately died, and her father
4fell ill and was admitted to the Lazarett.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] So these were six Jews, unemployable six Jews, who were
6housed in the hospital in Auschwitz?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but again one -- as I started to give my original
8presentation, my Lord, and maybe I can finish it?
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, we will come back to Anne Frank if you
10want to. You have dealt with ----
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving] He was dealing with the various ways in which the
13selection process occurred. If it was non-Jews, then
14there was no selection process. That is as far as you
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There was no selection process. If it were Jews, then it
17depends on which town we are speaking of and what is the
18kind of transport that arrived. For example, in early
191942 transports arrived of Jews who were sent to Auschwitz
20under the umbrella of what is called the Operation Schmelt
21which was a local work programme for Jews in Upper
23 There the selection took place at the factories
24and people who could not work any more in the Operation
25Schmelt were sent to Jews and were killed there without
26selection. So there was no selection there in Auschwitz.
1Selection had happened somewhere else.
2 In general, what happened was that transports
3arrived and sometimes transport arrived in Auschwitz where
4again the selection had taken place somewhere else. For
5example, the Slovac transport which arrived in 1942, most
6of the early Slovac transports were Jews who had already
7been selected back in Slovakia in transits camps as being
8fit for work in Auschwitz. No selection was applied to
10 Then at a certain moment transports start to
11arrive where no selection takes place at the point of
12departure, and then the selection will take place in
13Auschwitz, where again the situation can be different.
14Sometimes all children and all old people are selected to
15die and younger people are selected to live, but again
16there are exceptions.
17 MR IRVING: May I interrupt you at this point and ask you what
18is the documentary basis for these remarks you have been
19making over the last two or three minutes? Is it all
20eyewitness evidence or are there any documents at all in
21the captured archives to support this, any document
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The main source of this is eyewitness evidence. There are
24documents which talk about that, that transport arrives
25and only so many arbeitsfahige Juden have been admitted to
26the camp, which means Jews were fit to work. It does not
1specify the fate of the others.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] So far as the documents go, we are left in suspense as to
3what happens to them and we rely entirely on the
4eyewitness evidence of those left behind, so to speak, as
5to what happened to their loved, nearest and dearest?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is obvious that, when a transport of, let us say, 2,000
7Jews arrived and only 900 or 600 people are committed to
8camp, of course the question is raised what happens to the
9other people. Then at that moment I think eyewitness
10testimony, both from Jews and Germans, becomes quite valid
11as a historical source.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You get the disparity between those two
13figures from the numbers given on the documents relating
14to the trains that were arriving at Auschwitz?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 MR IRVING: So, in other words, we are reliant entirely on the
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We do not rely entirely. We know at a certain movement
19that so many people arrived, so many people were
20considered fit for work and then, of course, there are the
21registration numbers. There is a great disparity between
22what we know about the number of transports arrived there
23and the number of Jews who worked at Auschwitz, and the
24number of people who were registered there, because, with
25two exceptions again, registration happened consecutively,
26which means a number that had been given out once was not
1given out a second time.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] What is the total number of registration numbers that we
3know about in Auschwitz, in round figures?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Around 400,000.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] So around 400,000 of these hapless people arrived in
6Auschwitz, were given registration numbers and officially
7existed, and the rest had no registration numbers and they
8just were disposed of in some way. Is that what you are
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but as to how they were disposed of, alas, the
12archives tell us nothing, neither the Moscow archives nor
13the Polish archives. We are reliant on eyewitness
14testimony and on our own common sense?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And at a certain moment a careful investigation of the
16machinery of murder, in this case the crematoria.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Which comes back to crematorium number 2 effectively?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think the Professor wants to add
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like maybe to complete my account of selection.
21There are one or two other categories, I think, that
22I need to mention before we close on this.
23 MR IRVING: We have not closed on it. We are going to come
24back to it.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let him finish with the various
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I must mention that, for example, in 1943 and 1944 a
2number of Jews transports arrived from Theresienstadt
3where none of these people were selected, with children
4and old people were housed in what is called a
5Theresienstadt lager in Auschwitz, so Jews' children at
6that time were admitted to Auschwitz, and also old
7people. That was part of a camouflage action by the SS
8because they feared, or they expected, a Red Cross
9inspection of Theresienstadt and wanted to be able to
10account for the people who had been sent to Auschwitz.
11 MR IRVING: What is your documentary basis for making that
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The documentary basis?
14 Q. [Mr Irving] For making the statement that this transport arrived from
15Theresienstadt, that it was properly housed in Auschwitz
16and the Theresienstadt camp, and that the reason for that
17was to prepare camouflage against the Red Cross
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have to rely here on the historians of Auschwitz. I
20have not studied the history of the Theresienstadt Jews
21myself. I rely here on people like Atler, who has written
22the definitive history of the Theresienstadt ghetto.
23I have not done any specific research into the history of
25 Q. [Mr Irving] While we are talking about the histories of Auschwitz, do
26you agree that there is a high degree of politicization of
1the writing of history about camps like Auschwitz. If
2I can put it like that?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] To be very honest, I have always been surprised how little
4politicization there has been. In general, I must say
5that, with the exception of the number of victims, I find
6Jan Sehn's history still remarkably useful. You know Jan
7Sehn wrote his history in 1945/46. I have been very
8impressed in general by the professionalism of the
9historians at Auschwitz, and in general I must say that
10for the people who have looked seriously at this camp I do
11not have too many complaints. Now, it is of course true
12that new source material has become available and new
13historical questions have been asked. I think one of the
14reasons that you were so interested in my book was because
15I introduced a lot of new kind of evidence about the
16history of the camp. But in general I must say that
17I think that most people have acted very responsibly, and
18with very few kinds of political prejudices in relation to
19the history of Auschwitz.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] The site of Auschwitz has not really changed very much
21since the end of World War II, apart from the barracks
22being torn down and recycled. Can you explain to the
23court, please, why it is that in the very earliest
24references to Auschwitz, published by the Russians after
25the capture of the camp in January 1945, there is no
26reference whatsoever to the discovery of gas chambers, but
1any number of references to other atrocities being
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to comment on the document, but I would like
4it see it in front of me.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that, if we are going to interpret in this case an
7historical source, we should go carefully and slowly.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is fair.
9 MR IRVING: That is quite fair, my Lord, and tomorrow, with
10your Lordship's permission, I will bring the translation
11of the appropriate account. Can you explain also why the
12New York Times, in its account published in April 1945,
13referred to 5 million people having been exterminated in
14the camp? This is at the other end of the extreme.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to see it before I comment.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I can do that now if you give it to me or I can do it
19 Q. [Mr Irving] I have another New York Times item here. New York Times,
20November 25th 1947, I will be happy to show it to you.
21I will read it out. It is a very brief paragraph: "44
22Nazi officials of the notorious Auschwitz extermination
23camp accused of responsibility for the killing of 300,000
24prisoners from a dozen European countries went on trial
25today before the Supreme National Tribunal."
26 Can you explain the figure of 300,000 in 1947,
1with the Auschwitz officials being put on trial in Krakow
2in Poland by the Polish authorities?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, this is a number which also has come up in a
4newsreel of the trial which was shown in German cinemas.
5The 300,000 quite literally is, as it is mentioned here,
6prisoners from a dozen European countries. It was a
7number which, until the late 1980s, was also in the
8Auschwitz museum. It only referred to the actual people
9who had been imprisoned in the camp.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And registered?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And registered. It did not refer to the people who had
12not been registered.
13 MR IRVING: Well,, Professor, would you not agree that the
14court is entitled to find that a rather extraordinary
15explanation? On the one hand, we are told that 4 million
16people had been killed in Auschwitz, and yet these people
17were being put on trial for the murder of 300,000. There
18is no mention of the other 4 million in round figures.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The facts are the facts, Mr Irving. I have studied this
20issue of the 300,000 where this number came from. It was
21a number that refers to registered prisoners. I do not
22know why the Polish court decided at the certain moment to
23make that issue the issue on which they were going to
24prosecute the people who were accused in Auschwitz.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Without any reference to the larger figure which was being
26set aside. I can appreciate that, in the case of a
1murderer who has been accused of murdering 20 people, a
2court may decide to prosecute just on one murder, but at
3least they would mention the fact that 19 other cases were
4taken into consideration.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but, my Lord, I have made a very careful study of the
6trial of the architects of Auschwitz. Maybe I can answer
7by just telling you in short that, during the trial of the
8architect Dejaco in Vienna in 1972, the prosecution
9ultimately tried to have him condemned for murder of one
10inmate on a building site. Now maybe you can explain to
11us or to someone else why this would be a proper way to
12proceed, but they ultimately did not want to take him, to
13actually challenge his statement that he had nothing do
14with the blue prints, that they had been made in Vienna.
15They just executed him, but an incredible amount of
16testimony was heard on this particular incident in which
17he would have drowned in a large bucket of water, this
18particular inmate who was not pulling his weight on the
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I interrupt you at this point and say that it is true
21that both Defendants were acquitted, were they not?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Ertl was not officially acquitted, but his status remained
23kind of unclear.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] I am not an expert on Austrian law, but certainly under
25English they law they could have then reprosecuted him on
26any one of the other murders. They could have had him
1back up before the beak but yet they did not. He was set
2free. Both Defendants were set free and never prosecuted
3again although they were the architects whose names appear
4on those blue prints which were in your hands in
5Auschwitz. Is this not a remarkable comment on the state
6of the evidence?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think it is a remarkable comment on the way the Austrian
8court operated. I have all the files in my possession.
9Certainly after I came out of months of studying the files
10in the courtroom there, I must say that I lost much of my
11respect at least for Austrian justice. They had all the
12documentation from Auschwitz. They had all the blue
13prints. They had all the documents which had been
14under discussion, for example, in my expert report with
15two or three exceptions only. They got material from
16Moscow for this trial. They had the blue prints there and
17they were never consulted.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] And yet they were acquitted. So it was a perverse result,
19in other words?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It was a very perverse result and I think that, if indeed
21an expert witness had been brought in to look at those
22documents carefully, they would not have been acquitted.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. You had these documents before you at the time
24you wrote your book "1270 to the present"?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which documents?
26 Q. [Mr Irving] The Ertl trial document. I had the Ertl trial documents.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Were you aware of the 1947 figure of 300,000?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I was aware of that figure.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] And that the German newsreel in January 1948 again said
4that in the judgment passed on these 40 men, many of whom
5were hanged, they were hanged for the murder of 300,000
6people in Auschwitz?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I did not know the newsreel.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The 300,000 were not grassed, presumably, if
9they were registered prisoners?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Some of them would have been gassed. Others would have
11been beaten to death. Some of them would have been killed
12with phenyl injections. People would have been shot and
13people maybe would have died from beatings or other
15 MR IRVING: Did you make any reference to these lower figures
16at all in your book on Auschwitz?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I did not, because I think these figures were
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Were irrelevant?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Were irrelevant. The book ultimately presents a cumulative
21figure of all the deaths in Auschwitz, both of people who
22have died as a result of murder immediately after their
23arrival and of people who have died after having been
24registered in the camp.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] You are familiar, no doubt, with the book written by
26Professor Arno Mayer, "Why did the heavens not darken", in
1which this Professor of Princetown University, who was
2himself Jewish and who cannot be called a Holocaust denier
3presumably, said that most of the deaths at Auschwitz in
4his opinion were from what he called natural causes, and
5that a very small percentage had been criminally killed in
6the accepted sense. What is your response to that?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That I am very happy to discuss the exact statement of
8Professor Mayer if I have the text in front of me. I have
9referred to him in my expert report. If you are happy to
10deal with my excerpt in the expert report, I am happy to
11look for it, but I am not going to comment in general on
12what Professor Mayer said without having the text.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] So are you saying in other words that you think Mayer is
14wrong? He got it wrong?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I think he is saying, I cannot comment
16on a document which is not in front of me. Unfortunately,
17it is not a document, it is a book.
18 MR IRVING: Do you not agree that I accurately precis-ed what
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think you do that. I do not think this is
21accurate, what you said.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] That Arno Mayer said that, in his opinion, most of the
23deaths in Auschwitz were through natural causes rather
24than from criminal intent?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Again, I am not going to comment on this text. The
26question was, did you appropriately precis Mayer's
1argument? I do not think so. It is a rather long
2argument. I know it has been taken out of context many
3times, and Mayer's text has been taken as "in admission"
4that indeed Auschwitz was not an extermination camp.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] It is difficult to see how you can take that remark out of
6context. It seemed to be a very pithy summing up by him,
7which has been very widely quoted and caused much
8indignation, I agree, in the Jewish community. He may of
9course be totally wrong.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor van Pelt's position is again,
11I think, a fair one. If you want him to comment on what
12Mayer concluded, then he must have the right to look at
14 MR IRVING: Very well, my Lord. I will not delay the court by
15looking for that document now, but certainly we will refer
16to it ----
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am trying to find the reference to it in
18Professor van Pelt.
19 MR RAMPTON: Page 590, my Lord.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not where I would have expected.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is at page 629, 620.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I assumed it was at the beginning.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It a little earlier also. It is actually in 89 that Mayer
24published his book. And so here, 594 and 592, all Mayer,
25590. It starts at 590.
26 MR IRVING: My Lord, I think possibly I shall leave this until
1after the luncheon adjournment and come back with chapter
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Whichever you wish.
4 MR IRVING: Because we are rather drifting away from the actual
5camp site, which is the way I was hoping to take this
6cross-examination. If I may produce the photographs
7again, we had concentrated on crematorium number 2, where
8you said that 500,000 people (in round figures) had been
9killed by the Nazis in that one buildings, this you called
10the geographical centre of any map of atrocities, a very
11telling phrase. Would you tell the court what this little
12building is down there?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It seems to be a pump building.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] No. Would you accept from me that this is a coal bunker?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] A coal bunker?
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Or coke bunker.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I thought you meant another one. This particular thing
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] That is a coke bunker. I have not got equipment here for
22measuring the size of that bunker, but it appears to be
23about 10 feet square, in other words a very small space.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It seems to be a larger to me from what I remember but,
25again, 10 feet, 13 feet square, whatever. It is not a
26very large bunker.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Not very large bunker for holding the fuel supplies for
2fuelling a mass incineration programme, I believe
3Mr Rampton would have called it, for incinerating hundreds
4of thousands of bodies?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I remind you, Mr Irving, that also in the crematorium
6itself was a very large coke storage space right next to
7the incineration building.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, I am familiar with the position of that in the
9drawings of the building. Not very much larger than that
10little hut outside?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think it will be probably possible to establish the size
12of that when we consult a plan, and I am happy to consult
13the plans in my trial bundle.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Was there a coke bunker in each crematorium
15or just one?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Each crematorium has its own coke bunker, yes.
17 MR IRVING: It is also right to say that these crematoria were
18adapted to burn trash as well, the regular camp trash that
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The trash furnace in crematorium 2 was never installed.
21There was a trash furnace in crematorium 3, largely used
22to burn identity papers of people, and there were no trash
23incinerators in 4 and 5.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. The last picture that I wish to show the court
25and the witness and ask a question on is this large
26picture. This is crematorium number 2. You can see the
1scale of it from the people standing down there, the
2tourists who arrived up that path, and this is
3Leichenkeller number 1, morgue number 1, on which we have
4now zeroed in, in other words.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Mortuary number 1?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Morgue number 1.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you describe the condition of that building, that
9particular mortuary, which is the one that you pointed at
10and said 5 "00,000 people died here", or you also said
11"this is the instrument with which millions were
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We just saw the state of that room in more detail when we
14looked at the film clip. When we see Fred Leuchter
15measuring, together with his assistant, the size of the
16ruins, and there is my voice-over saying that Fred
17Leuchter is no Sherlock Holmes, we are actually looking at
18the site of the morgue 1 of crematorium 2.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Was this building destroyed by the Nazis or by the
20Russians, I think there is some dispute on this, at the
21end of World War II?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The evidence points to the fact that the Nazis destroyed
23this building in two phases, and specially morgue 1.
24First of all, that when the gassing ceased in late 1944 we
25have the testimony of sonderkommandos and others that the
26gas chambers were dismantled, which means that the actual
1installation within the morgue number 1 and of crematorium
22 and number 3, which had been created to adapt this room
3into a gas chamber, was removed, and that later the shell
4of the room, so to speak, was destroyed by dynamiting. It
5was a very detailed account of one sonderkommando, how
6they actually made holes in the columns. Dynamite is put
7in it and ultimately, in the case of crematorium 2, all
8the columns collapsed, with the exception of one. In
9crematorium 3 they were more successful and virtually
10everything collapsed there. So what you have now in
11crematorium 2 is that we have the remains of a concrete
12roof, which is basically collapsed on the floor.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] It is pancaked downwards?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is pancaked downwards. One column is still there and
15in some way it has folded over, that one column.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] So there are reinforced steel bars inside the roof?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Reinforced steel bars in the roof yes, and there is a hole
18right next to the column, and that is the hole through
19which Fred Leuchter climbed into that space at a certain
20moment. It is a very tiny space under that roof.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] When do you say this happened? In 1945?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The demolition of the gassing equipment happened in late
231944, November 44, and the ultimate demolition, the final
24demolition, of the crematoria happened in January 45.
25 MR IRVING: Just so that we can get this quite straight, the
26evidence for this is verbal evidence from a member of the
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. There are no construction documents about the
3demolition. Also, the construction office had been closed
4for some time.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Are there any written orders from the camp commandant or
6from Liebehenschel or from some other official saying,
7I order that this building must be destroyed for whatever
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are no records but I have to point out that the
10archive of the commandant, which was virtually
11systematically destroyed, began in that same period of the
12evacuation and that only by accident the bauleitung papers
13survived because they were forgotten.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] I was about to come on to that, Professor. Is it not
15extraordinary that the Nazis in their ruthless efficiency
16would go round destroying buildings and removing
17incriminating equipment which might have helped us very
18much today in this courtroom otherwise, but at the same
19time they allowed the Red Army to capture the entire
20construction files without the slightest murmur?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are reasons for that which have to do with first the
22fact that the construction office was closed at the end of
231944 but none of the architects any more dared to oversee
24the destruction of the archive. They have been drafted
25back into the SS to fight on the Eastern Front, which by
26then had more or less come to Auschwitz. Second of all,
1that the architecture office was at some distance from the
2camp itself and that there were two archives in the camp,
3one archive which was kept in the kommandantur, where
4people were until the very end, people who could attend to
5the destruction of incriminating evidence, and then there
6was in the Bauleitungbaracke, which was at some distance
7and I can point it out on the air photo if you want, this
8second archive which had been bundled up and simply was
10 Q. [Mr Irving] So the Nazis remembered to destroy the buildings and
11remembered to take out every nut and bolt which might have
12helped us today, but they allowed the Russians to capture
13all the incriminating paperwork, except that it is not
14very incriminating either?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that simply they allowed. I do not think
16that by early 1945, as the Russian Army was pushing
17through and Silesia was on the point of collapse, that the
18German Army was still very efficient or the SS in
19Auschwitz. I mean they were on the run and they were in a
21 Q. [Mr Irving] A bit of panic and these things just got left behind?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I have a feel there is a
24suggestion lurking there and I want to try and put my
25finger on it. Are you suggesting that what the Russians
26captured were not authentic documents, or what the
1Russians had produced were not authentic documents?
2 MR IRVING: No, my Lord, totally the opposite. I am sorry I am
3being so frightfully obtuse in my cross-examination.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, you are not. You are doing very well but
5I want to understand the suggestion.
6 MR IRVING: I am indebted to my Lord. The reason I am asking
7this is for two reasons. I am laying a bit of a trap, if
8I may put it like that, which will be sprung either before
9or after lunch.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see. Then I will not enquire any further.
11 MR IRVING: I wanted to bring to your Lordship's attention the
12detail that the incriminating equipment that had
13apparently been carefully dismantled, every nut and bolt,
14and yet they had allowed all these records to fall into
15Russian hands, which does seem odd.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know, but I was wondering what the
17underlying suggestion is. You develop it after lunch.
18 MR IRVING: We have discovered in fact that the Nazis were in a
19blue funk and in a terrible panic and just anxious to get
20away. How far away? Was the Russian line stationary for
21sometime on the River Vistula?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The Russian offensive of either the second Ukrainian Front
23and the Russian Front started moving on 12th January.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] 12th January 1945, yes, in the early hours?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Until then it had been stationary. That is also one of
26the reasons that the Auschwitz camp remained from, let us
1say, November 1944 until that offensive began on 12th
2January in a kind of limbo state. Then, after that
3offensive started on 12th January, in fact the decision
4was taken, no document again but a decision was taken, to
5actually evacuate the camp population and to destroy the
6most incriminating parts of the crematorium.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] So how far away was the Russian front during that limbo
8period, in rough terms, 20 miles, 50 miles?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I think they were -- they were substantially east of
10Cracow still at the time.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] On the River Vistula that basically was not there -----
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes -- no, no, but the River Vistual more to the east. At
13that time they would have been as south as Auschwitz.
14They would probably have been, I would say, 100/150
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. So we have narrowed it down to this building
17which has collapsed. The roof, as we see it in the air
18photographs, is in a mess. Beneath that roof we would
19have found all the equipment, bits and pieces, that would
20have been incriminating, but the Russians -- somebody blew
21up the building and it pancaked downwards, this roof, and
22for some reason the archeologists have never gone in there
23to find out what is still there, have they?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. People, I mean, Fred Leuchter went down there. I
25mean, it is on this tape.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Hats off to Fred Leuchter, in other words ----
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But, I mean, which archeologist, I mean, what kind of
2expedition are you looking at? I mean, I do not think
3that many archeologists would have been particularly
4interested, given all the choices available in doing
5archaeology, in actually going down into that very small
6space under the roof to do their investigations there.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Not only in this particular building, of course, there are
8many archaeological sites around the Auschwitz camp,
9I would have thought, which would have helped to solve a
10lot of questions. For example, mass graves, burning pits,
11which could have been investigated with modern
12archeological means like proton magnetometers, something
13which would detect the pattern of burning, things like
14this. Has any investigation like that been conducted by
15the Polish or any other authorities?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] As far as I know not.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. But investigations like that have been conducted at
18one or two other sites, though, have they not? I think
19recently at Treblinka or Maidanek?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At the moment very big investigations have been done in
21Belzec, and part of this is as a result of the
22transformation of Belzec, to create actually a monument in
23Belzec, and like many of these, you know, when, in fact,
24you are going to make a change to the site, you want to
25know, first of all, what the site is, and let us say in
26Rome, when you put up a new apartment building, you first
1send in the archeologist to see what is below there. So
2Belzec is -- actually still very serious work is being
3done right now.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Am I right in saying the investigations being done at
5Belzec are roughly into discovering the size of any mass
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are finding large mass graves and I have not seen
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Have they been able to quantify the size of the mass
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have only this by hearsay, what the size of mass graves
12are. I mean, that these are large mass graves, I cannot
13further comment on it.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But would investigating to find if there are
15any mass graves at Auschwitz cast light on the problem we
16have here, which is whether there were gas chambers
17because, as I understand it, if you have gas chambers and
18you have crematoria, you are not going to need mass
19graves. Indeed, that was one of the reasons why they were
20built in the first place.
21 MR IRVING: My Lord, if I may interrupt your Lordship, the
22victims of these mass liquidations, like the liquidation
23of the Hungarians in the spring of 1944, as I understand
24it, alleged to have been partly cremated in the equipment
25we see here and partly cremated in open burning pits or,
26alternatively, buried for a time and then dug up again and
1cremated subsequently. These alleged sites, would it be
2correct to say, Professor van Pelt, cannot be identified
3on any aerial photographs or have not been identified on
4any aerial photographers, large pits or mass graves?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that the right analysis has been done on
6air photographs. Certainly when you go to the site, when
7you go to what is called the field of ashes, you walk
8through it, you see it, you see the remains of large
9burning pits. So, I mean, and I can testify with some
10knowledge, I have been at that site and I have seen the
11remains of these enormous burning pits, and I have picked
12up remains at the site.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] What kind of remains?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Of burnt bodies.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Of bodies?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I mean, I have picked up burned bones which,
17obviously, have in some way been reduced to ashes. This
18was in 1990. I went there with Mr Pressec. Mr Pressec
19showed me the site. We spent a lot of time at the site.
20I have been there many times since.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Of course, when you operate a crematorium, they do not
22reduce the cadavers to pure ash, do they? They do
23generate bone as well as ash? Not many people know this,
24but they generate large lumps of bone which have to be
25pulverized or milled down?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Was there a bone mill attached to these crematoria?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. The sonderkommando, they give in detail accounts of
3how they had to take out the parts of the body that were
4not reduced to ashes, and with either wooden or metal
5implements crushing them into pulp.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] These might very well be the remains that you found in the
7field of ashes?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The field of ashes is quite far away from the
9crematorium. I think it would have been very unlikely
10that people would have carried those things from the
11crematorium to the field of ashes. One of the problems is
12that there is a barbed wired fence in between the two
13places. There is also a very deep ditch between the
14places, and that would have been very unusual. Also, the
15pits themselves are visible. You see in the landscape
16actually that there is a cavity there.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] So what did they actually do with these remains, the bone
18fragments that came out of the crematoria that had been
19pulverized by the sonderkommandos? There must have been
20very substantial quantities, tonnes and tonnes of them?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] All the ashes -- again there was an exception to this
22general account I am going to give me now, but in general
23the ashes and the crushed bones were combined, and at
24regular intervals with a truck were brought to the Vistula
25River which is very close by. Actually, it is visible on
26the photos and it was dumped in the river.
1 The exception is that at certain times the truck
2broke down, especially in the Hungarian action, that this
3was impossible to do; and then there have been occasions
4in which the ashes were actually dumped in one particular
5pond near crematorium (iv).
6 The other exception, and this is on the basis of
7eyewitness testimony -- again no documents -- is that in
8the winter sometimes the ashes were used to actually throw
9on the iced roads in the camp in order to make them more
10convenient for everyone.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] What is the evidence for that rather lurid story?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the evidence, eyewitness testimony, for example,
13of Mr Bacon who testified in the Eichmann trial in
15 Q. [Mr Irving] He is, presumably, Jewish, therefore?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] I am not suggesting that it makes him in any way
18unreliable, of course, but I am suggesting that possibly
19he may have derived advantage from giving that kind of
20testimony in Jerusalem in the Eichmann trial.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I ask a related question which I should
22have gathered the answer to but I do not know?
23Sonderkommando, were they all in inmates who were, as it
24were, put to work?
25 MR IRVING: I was going to come to that, my Lord. I was going
26to ask for identity of ----
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Were you? Can I not ask the question now
2just so I know the answer?
3 MR IRVING: Yes.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The sonderkommando were prisoners, people selected either
5on arrival or maybe sometimes a little later from the
6general prisoner population, who were going to work in the
7crematoria. They were housed either in the crematoria,
8especially from '44 onwards, but originally also in the
9men's camp in a special kind of barrack which was isolated
10from the other barracks with their own courtyard, and
11these inmates, 1944, when four crematoria were in
12operation and a group of 800 inmates, so roughly 200 per
13crematorium, working in two shifts of 12 hours each, so it
14would be 100 people at any crematorium at any time,
15operated the crematoria and were, again on the basis of
16eyewitness testimony, at regular intervals these groups
17were renewed after sometime.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] That is a very complete answer. Would there be anyone who
19could be described as a sonderkommando who was, in fact, a
20Nazi camp official?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you.
23 MR IRVING: These sonderkommandos were all people who had been
24previously very endangered, of course, they were potential
25victims, and the story is that, as you hinted at the end,
26they were recycled, they were fed into the furnaces with
1their -- have I understood correctly what your innuendo
2was -- at the end of their period of usefulness they were
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I would just like to ask you, you used the word
5"previously", what you exactly ----
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Were they previously endangered? In other words, were
7they people who might otherwise have been exterminated,
8but they were given the option, "Do this job and you, like
9Scheherizada, you will continue to survive for a while"?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. Actually, you know, I thank God every day I was never
11in Auschwitz, but, given the choice, if I was in the man's
12camp and given the opportunity to get the job of
13sonderkommando, I would have tried to get out of it with
14any, whatever possibility because it was a very dangerous
16 Q. [Mr Irving] It was a kind of trustee, what we would call a trustee in
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, it is not at all, Mr Irving. A sonderkommando was a
19-- I mean, people knew what was happening in the
20crematoria. At a certain moment -- I mean, a recent book
21has been published by a research of the Avwaschen(?). "We
22cried without tears" is the title, which is a quote from
23one of the sonderkommando. This man has systematically
24started to interview surviving sonderkommandos. In all
25these accounts you see that people were appointed
26sonderkommandos without asked if they wanted to do this,
1and that many of them realized it was a sentence of death.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Because?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And tried to get out of it.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Because?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because they knew that the reason they were appointed as
6sonderkommandos, or they were selected as sonderkommandos,
7was because the group which had been sonderkommandos
8before had been eliminated.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but why did they eliminate them?
10Because they were able to bear witness?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because they were able to bear witness and, yes, you do
12not want -- and also, I do not know, I do not know what
13happens, you know, we talk about Stockholm syndromes, and
14so on. I do not know at a certain moment what happens
15exactly between the SS and the sonderkommandos in the
16crematoria but probably.
17 MR IRVING: A kind of symbiosis?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] What kind of symbiosis did emerge within at a moment these
19communities which formed themselves in the crematoria.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] So we can be specific about what we are talking about
21here, call a spade a spade, would it be right to say that
22a large number of these sonderkommando members were Jewish
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] By definition, they were Jewish.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] By definition, they were all Jewish?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] I did not appreciate that. So, in other words, all these
2eyewitnesses who were sonderkommandos were Jewish, the
3ones who are telling these appalling accounts of what they
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. If they are Jews and they have survived to bear
6witness, then these are Jews who bear witness, yes.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] They have done these horrible things. They have taken
8part in this appalling crime committed by the Nazis. They
9have been a participant in it, and this must have been a
10traumatic experience for them?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Primo Laffi(?) has written a masterful essay on the
12traumas of the sonderkommandos in the book which he just
13published before he died. Yes, this was a very traumatic
15 Q. [Mr Irving] And how can they live with their sense of guilt or shame,
16do you think? How would they try to resolve that in the
17years of their retirement, if they survived, as a large
18number, apparently, did?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would refer you to Primo Laffi's ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. You appreciate the point I am trying to make, that
21there may be a tendency to romanticize, a tendency to pass
22the burden of guilt, a tendency to -- would you agree that
23that is so?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not a psychologist and I am not a chemist, so I can
25only at a certain moment state that, as an historian, as
26an historian, I am amazed by the way surviving
1sonderkommando in different ways have been able to live up
2to their historical responsibility to bear detailed
3witness to what happened.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we just be quite plain what we agree their tasks were,
5and then we can find out where we diverge? Their task
6was, basically, to handle the cadavers, the corpses,
7inside the crematorium, to rob them of the gold teeth and
8other precious artifacts, to cut off the hair and to feed
9the bodies into the furnaces?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I would like to be more precise than that. The
11sonderkommandos had very, very particular, very
12circumscribed tasks. There were, for example,
13sonderkommandos who only were running, basically, the
14household of the place where they were living. They did
15the "Stubendienst", it was called. There were in every
16barrack or, in this case, in the attic of the crematoria
17(ii), (iii) and (iv) they were four stuben [German
18spoken] and so on. These people were the
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Actually in the building?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the building. They lived in the building.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] With their own shower rooms and bathrooms and sleeping
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, they had beds. They were quite comfortable because
25they could make use of stuff which was left behind in the
26undressing room. So there were people in the
1sonderkommandos who, in that sense, I mean -- I do not
2want to imagine what it is to live above the crematorium
3-- who actually were not involved in the operation of
4either of the gas chambers or the crematorium.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] They must have witnessed appalling scenes day after day?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They witnessed it and they heard about it from the other
7sonderkommandos when they came home, so to speak,
9 Q. [Mr Irving] And their less fortunate friends could say, "You are
10helping the Nazis with their Devil's deed"?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have no idea what they could or could not say. I am not
12going to speculate on what they said. Let me -- may
13I finish the tasks of sonderkommandos?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. That is one category, the ones who were
15doing the housework?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, so, basically, the sonderkommandos who are in the
17Stubendienst. Then there are sonderkommandos who had to
18supervise the undressing of the victims. This was again a
19very particular task.
20 MR IRVING: Of the living victims?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Of the people who came to the undressing room. These were
22the people who had to maintain some kind of order in the
23undressing room, who had to help people with the
24undressing and they also had to gather the clothing, take
25care, of course, that pairs of shoes remain together and
26things like that, because if you have a mountain of shoes
1and they are all, you know, they are not tied together, it
2is going to be not very useful for the people back home in
4 Q. [Mr Irving] This is from their eyewitness evidence, right?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is from eyewitness evidence, yes. We do not have any
6German document outlining the specific responsibilities of
8 Q. [Mr Irving] I have to keep on making that point quite plain. We are
9relying entirely on their word of what happened?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The word of sonderkommandos and also of German officials.
11So we have sonderkommandos who work in the undressing room
12and that is their task. Then there are sonderkommandos
13who work in the gas chamber which means actually bringing
14people, helping people, to go into the gas chamber and
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, actually ramming them in, basically?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Whatever, in the beginning, that does not, when the doors
18initially open, one does not have to do that -- and who
19removed the corpses from the gas chamber and who clean the
20gas chamber afterwards. That is a particular group of
22Then there are sonderkommandos who operated the
23elevator which was the next -- in the case of crematorium
24(ii), we are now only talking about crematorium (ii)
25because in crematorium (iv) and (v) the sequence is
1 Q. [Mr Irving] While we are dealing with the elevator, did one man have
2to go into the elevator itself or was it operated from
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It was operated from the outside. We have the bills for
5the elevators. We know what the elevators were able to
7 Q. [Mr Irving] We will come back to the elevators?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. So they operated the elevators which bring the
9corpses up to the incineration room. Then there was group
10of sonderkommandos which are called the "dentists".
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Was the only access, while we are on the elevators,
12between the so-called gas chamber, which is this big
13building we see here, and the furnace room, this
14elevator? Would they otherwise have to go outside around
15the outside of the building carrying corpses?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There were stairs going up, but there was no internal
17connection between the basement level and the incineration
18room or the main floor of the crematorium.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Rather an inconvenient layout?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, it was inconvenient.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Totally lacked ----
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But it seemed to have worked very well for the Germans.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] A totally lacking system?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The system worked well, and I think I have pointed out in
25my book (and Mr Pressec has done it in his book) that
26crematorium (ii) was originally not designed as an
1extermination plant, and so the Germans worked with what
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but the Germans were constantly building new
4buildings, were they not, and you and I, we have probably
5never visited a slaughterhouse, I am glad to say -- am
6I right in suggesting you have not visited a
7slaughterhouse in your life? I certainly have not.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I have only read about it.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you take it from me that a slaughterhouse is built
10all on one level, all on ground level, so that there are
11no ups and downs for obvious reasons?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot comment on it. It would make a logical
13proposition, but I remember reading about the
14slaughterhouses in Chicago where actually things, the cows
15are moved through the air, but that is just a memory from
16a thing ----
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Anyway, you say crematorium (ii) was not
18originally designed as a ----
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, and crematorium (iv) and (v) were and there
20everything is at the same level.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] --- killing chamber?
22 MR IRVING: The point I am making, my Lord, is if one is
23building a factory of death for a systematic killing of
24people and you are constantly erecting new buildings, it
25would not have been built in this extremely awkward way.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but this was conversion from another
1use. That is what Professor van Pelt is saying.
2 MR IRVING: I think your Lordship appreciates the point I am
3trying to make
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I do.
5 THE WITNESS: May I add to this that the Germans were not
6constantly building other buildings. There was a general
7build stop in Germany from 1942 onwards. In fact, very
8little construction was being done in Birkenhau. The two
9crematoria (ii) and (iii), they are identical exactly for
10the reason that they could not get crematorium (iii) built
11any otherwise since the building (ii) had been approved
12for another site for ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Who applied the building stop? Was this the four year
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The general, as relative to what has happening in the war,
16the only buildings which could be constructed in Germany
17from 1942 onwards were really buildings for the
18Wehrmachts, I mean for the Army or the armed forces, and
19the SS did not count on that at that moment under that
21 Q. [Mr Irving] So the factory was destroyed; it was not rebuilt?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And then there were buildings which had been destroyed by
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, so ----
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That was the other thing, and the Behaltsheimer which
26means provisional housing for people, but, in general,
1there was a building stop. One of the reasons there are
2so many documents in the Auschwitz archives was because
3every building was by its very nature an exception which
4had to be approved at many different levels. So the SS
5had great difficulty to get anything built in Birkenhau or
6Auschwitz during the war.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] And they could not say, "Hey, we are carrying out the
8Fuhrer's orders here. This is the annihilation of
9millions of Jews that the Fuhrer has personally ordered.
10We demand top priority. This is the main plank of the
11national and socialist programme", is what you are saying?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] What I would like to say is that probably bureaucracy
13works in the same way in Germany in 1943 as it works
14anywhere else. If there is a general building stop --
15I would like to imagine the situation where an SS man
16comes with your story to an official of the building
17department and what this German official will say to this
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, normally, when people mention the Fuhrer's name,
20there will be a clicking of heels and "Ja Woll" and they
21would get that priority?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, if you had read my book carefully, you would
23have read in the book that at a certain moment there was a
24number of low ranking civilians in the Upper Silesian
25planning office who threatened to close the camp in late
261942 because of building code violations. This is one of
1the reasons that the sewage treatment plant was built. So
2I think that the relation between bureaucrats at whatever
3level and at a certain moment the SS is a little bit more
4complex than you suggested.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] I think you are stretching the court's credulity if you
6suggest that a planning official in Upper Silesia could
7overrule the Fuhrer of the Greater German Reich and
8Heinreich Himmler in their dedicated desire, which we are
9constantly being told by the Defence, Hitler had ordered
10the systematic liquidation of the Jews, top priority, main
11purpose of the Nazi party, kill all the Jews, and you are
12telling us they could not get building priority?
13 MR RAMPTON: That is, my Lord, to misrepresent any question
14I have ever asked Mr Irving.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was going to ----
16 MR RAMPTON: I never said anything about priority at all.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. Professor van Pelt, did you investigate,
18have you regarded it as part of your brief, as it were, to
19investigate the extent to which Hitler knew and authorized
20what was going on, you say, at Auschwitz?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. This has not been part of my brief.
22 MR IRVING: I appreciate what you are trying to say, my Lord,
23that I am wrong yet again. I am familiar with ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I was not saying you were wrong;
25I was simply saying that this is something that Professor
26van Pelt says is outside his remit.
1 MR IRVING: I do apologise for the inference, my Lord, but, in
2fact, if you are an objective historian and you are
3looking at the files, as I have, for example, in a
4parallel programme, the German V weapons programme, the V1
5and the V2 rockets with which your Lordship is probably
6also brutally familiar during the war years. I wrote a
7history of that project. They ran into similar kinds of
8priority problems for scarce materials, and the Fuhrer's
9order that this programme would get a "DE" which was the
10highest stufe or priority, was marked on all the
11appropriate contracts. "This is the Fuhrer programme, the
12Fuhrer's programme for construction of locomotives", and
13so on. So you did not have to be a genius or specializing
14in Adolf Hitler personally to find traces of the priority
15attached to a programme very low down in the
16documentation. The magic words would be uttered on the
17contracts and that would cut through the all red tape.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was simply making the observation that you
19cannot really put to this witness the extent of Hitler's
20involvement in the Auschwitz programme, if there was one,
21because it is just not within his knowledge.
22 MR IRVING: With your Lordship's permission, I will now do
23precisely that. (To the witness): Professor van Pelt, on
24any of the documents you saw in the Auschwitz construction
25office, did you see any reference at all to a special
26priority being attached to this by Adolf Hitler?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Or to anybody between Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] There was no reference to Adolf Hitler on any of the
5document you saw in Auschwitz, in other words?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] I am indebted to your Lordship for having prompted that
8line of enquiry.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a much better way of dealing with the
10point, if I may say so.
11 MR IRVING: My Lord, I am totally unversed in the art of
12cross-examination and I am learning as I go along.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you are doing, as I said before, very
15 MR IRVING: Thank you very much. (To the witness): Coming
16back to the eyewitnesses, you have a number of
17eyewitnesses you referred to. You mentioned German
18eyewitnesses of the activities of sonderkommandos. Can
19you remember the names of any of these eyewitnesses?
20Would it be Perry Broad or someone like that?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] So these eyewitnesses are people on whom, as the Germans
23say, you would take poison on them, you would go into the
24jungle with them; these are witnesses who you implicitly
25trust? They have not lied to us?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] To be very honest, I would not want to go into the jungle
1with either Mr Pery Broad or Mr Hirst.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Or Mr Hirst or Mr Bendel or any of those people; they are
3all rather ----
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would not want to trust them with my life, no. But
5I must say that given ----
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you like just to expand on that? What was wrong
7about these people then?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They were thoroughly unpleasant people and they were in
9charge of a very evil operation.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you say that someone like Perry Broad or Mr Bendel,
11I think his name was, another of the eyewitnesses ----
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Bendel is not an SS man.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but would you say they were lucky to survive very
14long after the war was over? If you were an insurance
15company, you would not have been inclined to offer life
16policy on them?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I did not say that at all. I think, as we know, many
18ex-Nazis made good careers in the various German states
19after the war.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] If they survived ----
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] One of them actually became a State Secretary to
22Mr Ardenal, so...
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, if they survived the allied war crimes courts and did
24not end up in Hammelin in prison as a guest of Mr Albert
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If they survived the allied war crime trials, but ----
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you know how many German war criminals the British
2hanged in Hammelin?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not know.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Of the order of 1,000 in the postwar years.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Thank you for that information.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] So people who were in middle ranking positions in the
7German Nazi criminal hierarchy had to be on the look out,
8is that correct?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I presume that one had to be careful, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] And there were various ways of surviving. One was to put
11on a black eye patch and pretend you were not Heinrich
12Himmler until you were caught, and another way would be to
13offer to help the allies, would this be correct?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think you are now making a blanket statement and I would
15not want to endorse it. I think that there are the
16situation, like any historical situation, has been rapidly
17changing before and after the defeat of the Germans, that
18there were various ways people assessed that situation,
19various ways that people dealt with it, and that, of
20course, probably since the SS was not very popular after
21the war and at a certain moment it was declared a criminal
22organization, that if I had been an SS man, I would have
23been very careful. I understand most SS men were and
24tried to pass themselves off as something else, including
25Heinreich Himmler who pretended to be an ordinary soldier.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you tell the court what the position of this
1eyewitness Mr Pery Broad -- that is P-E-R-Y Broad -- in
2the Auschwitz camp was?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Pery Broad was a kind of an administrative official in the
4camp Gestapo which is called the political department.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] So that was, as you correctly say, the Gestapo at
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] So his life prospects were not particularly rosy when the
9war was over if he fell into Polish hands or into the
10hands of anybody who knew what he had done, if he fell
11into the wrong hands?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He was a low ranking official. I mean, he was something
13of a junior sergeant, I understand.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] I think of lower ranking than that.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry?
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Probably even lower ranking than that, I believe?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know exactly the British -- I think he was
18Rottenfuhrer or something.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Rottenfuhrer?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Rottenfuhrer, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] As in "rotten" and "Fuhrer"?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It is a peculiar, one of these peculiar SS ranks.
23He was one of the very, very small cogs in the machine.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] But hews in a position to see everything?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I put to you what I understand to be the
26suggestion? If I am wrong in my understanding, Mr Irving
1will tell me so, I am sure. I think what is being
2suggested is that these camp officials made false
3submissions about what they had been doing at Auschwitz in
4order to ingratiate themselves with the British or whoever
5had captured them. If that is the suggestion, what do you
6say about it or do you not feel you can comment?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I mean, I think again the situations under which
8various testimonies were given again are very particular
9situations. Mr Pery Broad had, I think, very little to
10fear from anyone since he had been in the political
11department which was outside Stammlager, it was not inside
12Stammlager. He had very little direct contact with any
13prisoners. He was pushing paper in the camp Gestapo. He
14would not have been a person which would have attracted
15the attention of any surviving inmates, unlike his boss,
16Maximillian Bragne(?), who ultimately ended up in court in
17Cracow and was ultimately hanged. So I think that
18Mr Broad had very little to fear when he was captured and
19that for whatever reason he gave his testimony immediately
20after his capture by the British was -- I mean, I cannot
21speculate about his reasons.
22 MR IRVING: Was he ever on the British payroll, the British
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that he was used -- while he was, after he was
25captured and he was in British captivity, I would not call
26it "payroll", but he was, as far as I know, had some kind
1of function in the camp as a translator.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but he was on the British Army payroll?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But he was an inmate in that establishment. I do not
4think that one is on the inmate -- as an inmate of a camp
5on the payroll of the captors.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. One more question on this line, Aide Bimko,
7you have used the eyewitness of a lady called Aide Bimko,
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Real name Rosenberg, I believe, is that correct? She gave
11evidence, she provided eyewitness testimony?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At the Ludenberg trial.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] What other eyewitnesses have you relied on, Mr Heinrich
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I ask you, are you talking about my book or are you
16talking about the expert report?
17 Q. [Mr Irving] I am sorry. I will assume you used them in both. Do you
18wish to distinguish between your report and the book?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that I used Bimko in the book. I did use
20Bendel in the book for one particular thing. So, yes, but
21I have mentioned them in the expert report not, by the
22way, as a way to ascertain what happened. I think that
23should be very clear about the use of the eyewitnesses in
24my report. It is a section, a rather large section, of
25my report to reconstruct how knowledge became available
26about Auschwitz after the war. So the question is, when
1did people actually start to testify, at what moment and
2where were they?
3 Q. [Mr Irving] And what might they have learned from other witnesses?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And what kind of cross-referencing would there have been,
6 Q. [Mr Irving] What I call cross-pollination, yes.
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Pollination, as you called it yesterday.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Or "convergence", I think that is the other
10 MR IRVING: My Lord, I am steering clear of the word
11"convergence" because of its legal meaning. I think
12cross-pollination is nice because it implies that they
13picked up a tit-bit from a newspaper.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow. I think, Mr Irving, you tell me
15when you have reached a convenient breaking point.
16 MR IRVING: One more question. (To the witness): Are you
17going to tell us about any more eyewitnesses on whom you
18rely, because you do say that in certain key points of
19this issue you are relying more on eyewitnesses than on
20documents because the documents do not help us.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I find this very difficult to answer right now because I
22do not really know where you are going to go and what
23issues you are going to raise, and when at a certain
24moment those issues are raised, I will introduce
25eyewitnesses I see fit.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] All will become plain to you immediately after lunch,
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Then the trap will be set or it is sprung?
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, we will look forward to that at
5 (Luncheon adjournment)
6Professor van Pelt, recalled.
7Cross-Examined by Mr Irving, continued.
8 MR IRVING: My Lord, with regard to the remark I made earlier
9this morning, might I ask or suggest that we might
10possibly consider ending slightly earlier this afternoon,
11to give me time to prepare in more detail for tomorrow.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I think, if you need that, that is a
13perfectly reasonable request. How much earlier were you
15 MR IRVING: Half an hour or one hour earlier.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we compromise? Shall we make it half
18 MR IRVING: Yes.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So quarter to four. When you reach a
20convenient moment around quarter to four or a little
21earlier, we will break off then.
22 MR IRVING: Yes. Professor van Pelt, you are probably the
23world's leading authority on Auschwitz. There is no need
24to be humble or modest about this. Is this correct?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is difficult to say that. I think that the history of
26Auschwitz is a very big history, a very complex history.
1There are many parts of the history of Auschwitz about
2which we know very little, the history of medical services
3in Auschwitz, the history of children in Auschwitz. There
4are many historians who have worked on different parts,
5but I would say that, on the more limited issue of the
6history of construction in Auschwitz, or the history
7construction around Auschwitz, because, as you probably
8realize, the book deals also with what happened outside of
9the camp in great detail.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would say that probably one of the two people, yes, who
12was most comfortable with all the material.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] You are certainly the best that money can buy and, as we
14shall see from, I think I am confident in saying, the
15other witnesses who are being called by the Defence, they
16are of an unusually high calibre, so anything that you do
17not know about Auschwitz is not worth knowing. Am
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that is true. I think that the mass of
20material which is available in Moscow I have consulted.
21I have glossed these archives on microfilm, all of them,
22like the certain moment when I started my work in
23Auschwitz in 1990, I worked through the whole archive to
24build an archive there, but I have not studied every issue
26 Q. [Mr Irving] But you get a feel for it though, do you not, by looking
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think you get a feel for it, yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] It is possible to scan very large bodies of documents at
4high speed, at unusually high speed, and still get a feel
5for what is in them?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] One gets a feel, but there were questions which I did not
7ask when I went through these archives, both in Auschwitz
8and in the Moscow archives, historical questions I did not
9ask, at a time which of course made me pass over certain
10files which may be now I wish I had looked at in more
11detail, because of some of the issues you seem to raise or
12which I expect you to raise.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it true that most of these Auschwitz files have now
14been microfilmed and provided to the US Holocaust Memorial
15Museum in Washington DC?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The Auschwitz files from Moscow have all been unblocked
17microfilmed, and the museum is now working on a microfilm
18collection of the files in Auschwitz itself.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] So there are probably not many pages of those archives
20that have not recently been turned by one researcher or
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know what other researchers are doing. I have
23read in some of, I think in material which comes from your
24web site, I think, Mr Montonia has done a lot of work in
25Moscow. I think that, a number of people in the Holocaust
26museum seem to have been intimidated by this book and
1thinks there is no more work to do, but I tell them that
2there is enough work to do still.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] It is a very well written book, if I may say so. Certainly
4for the last eight years they have been researching that
5because, when I was in the archives working on the
6Goebbels diary, at the table behind me were two
7researchers from the Washington museum, working on
8precisely the Auschwitz archives. They have had eight
9years working specifically through those archives, turning
10all the pages, looking for things, so not much would have
11escaped their attention of any significance.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that of course the question is again, what
13question are you asking of the material? I mean what are
14people, when they look at these materials, looking for?
15 Q. [Mr Irving] If they had found a smoking gun, if they had found
16evidence of a system establishing the link between Himmler
17and Hitler, anything like that, they would have caught the
18next plane back to Washington and held a press
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Actually, I disagree with you on this, because now you
21assume that the issue which is so important to you, or the
22issue which is so important to maybe Mr Montonia, is also
23central to other people. I admit that, when Mr Pressac
24started his work on Auschwitz, he was very much inspired,
25so to speak, by the research agenda set by Robert
26Faurisson. For example, my own research agenda has been
1completely independent of the issues raised by Holocaust
2deniers, revisionists or whatever name we want to give to
3these people who look with a very particular perspective
4into the files to find, as you call it, a smoking gun.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you not agree that it is quite an important element of
6the Holocaust story whether this was a series of arbitrary
7actions committed by individual gangsters and Nazi
8criminals, or whether there was an overall scheme or
9system directed by Adolf Hitler himself?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that it is an important question in so far as you
11think this is an open question. I think that, if as an
12historian you have come to the conclusion, on the
13convergence of evidence and the work of many eminent
14historians, that it is not any more a great historical
15question, or a historical question at all, then I do not
16think that you are going to waste your energy researching
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Is "convergence of evidence" another way of saying
19"reading between the lines"?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. "Convergence of evidence" is exactly what it says.
21That is, at a certain moment, for example, I will give
22just the example of the morgue number 1 in crematorium 2,
23that is a convergence between what sonderkommandos say
24about it, what Germans say about it and what the blue
25prints tell us, and what the ruins tell us.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] This is the building where you say 500,000 people were
1killed in round figures?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] In the mortuary number 1 of crematorium number 2 in
4Auschwitz, Birkenhau. Can I ask you, please, in your
5report to turn to page 352? My Lord it is 352 of the van
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much.
8 MR IRVING: Just going briefly back to the question of
9priority, which is not entirely unrelated to this,
10Professor van Pelt, do you recognize this as what you
11might call the verboder document?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] January 29th 1943?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I do.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] We have not read this document in court, my Lord.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know I have read this but I am afraid it
17has gone out of my mind what exactly it is.
18 MR IRVING: It is a conference held on January 29 1943 between
19the central construction office at Auschwitz and the local
20AEG branch at Kattowitz, the nearest town. "AEG informs
21this is the record made and signed by the two participants
22in the conference that it has not received valid iron and
23metal certificates in response to its iron and metal
24request, which were partly already filed in November
251942". Has your Lordship found it?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. There are an awful lot of pictures
1around this section.
2 MR IRVING: Page 352.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is more difficult than it would appear.
4I have it now.
5 MR IRVING: Page 352. It is a conference held on January 29th
61943, concerning electricity supply and installation of
7the concentrationslager, the concentration camp and the
8prison camp, at Birkenhau. The conference was held
9between the Auschwitz construction office and the local
10AEG office, the electric company, and I start at five
12 "AEG informs that it has not yet received valid
13iron and metal certificates in response to its iron and
14metal request which were partly already filed in November
151942. Therefore it was not possible for this firm to
16begin construction of the ordered parts of the
17installation. There is a great likelihood that, due to
18the continued delay in the allotment of these requests,
19delivery will take much longer. As a result of this it is
20not possible to complete the installation and electricity
21supply of crematorium 2 (that is the building we are
22talking about) in Birkenhau by January 31st 1943. " I jump
23the next sentence: "This operation can only involve a
24limited use of the available machines whereby it is made
25possible burning with simultaneous special treatment".
26 Overlooking this, the overview of this document
1is that the defence relies on this document, I think I am
2right in saying, as another pointer to the existence of
3something called "special treatment" in crematorium 2,
4sonderbehandlung. I am relying on the document for a
5totally different reason, saying that even Auschwitz,
6Birkenhau, had difficulty getting priorities. The purpose
7of this document -- am I right, Professor van Pelt -- is
8saying that they have difficulty running the electric
9equipment with the existing power supply? They cannot do
10this and that simultaneously because they do not have
11adequate power supply. It will blow the fuses or
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Is this not an extraordinary document, Professor van
15Pelt? Does that not indicate that they had difficulty
16obtaining priorities even for an extra 100 or 200 yards of
17copper cable or whatever it took?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think it is not an extraordinary document at all,
19because the history of Auschwitz, or one of the histories
20of Auschwitz, is the history of the building department
21being unable to get anything done.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Because of lack of priorities?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I think we have to go back to one of the fundamental
24problems that the SS faced in the German wartime economy.
25That is that the SS at this moment does not have yet
26Wehrhoheit. This means that it is not yet recognized as a
1part of the armed forces. The armed forces can get
2supplies relatively easily in the wartime economy because
3they are given this priority status and the SS is not.
4 On top of that, the crematorium we are talking
5about, the building which we are talking about, is a
6building which was commissioned, the original design had
7been created and all the paperwork had been done in early
81942, for this building, that is before there were plans
9to bring the Final Solution to Auschwitz.
10 So one of the reasons that happened exactly at
11crematorium number 2 and not any of the other crematoria
12is because crematorium 2 is quite literally, both in its
13design and in its whole administrative history, a holdover
14of an earlier history of the camp, that is an history
15which is not connected to Final Solution because the Final
16Solution only comes in Auschwitz in 1919, the paperwork is
17not the right paperwork. So you do not find a document
18like that for crematorium 3 or crematorium 4 or
20 Q. [Mr Irving] It says here: "Because of this, it is absolutely
21impossible to supply crematorium 3 with electricity".
22They are referring again to the shortage of metal to build
23the extra copper cable to keep these things going.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but crematorium 3 is an appendix to crematorium
25number 2. I was maybe a little too hasty on that thing.
26The problem is that, throughout the form, we are faced
1with a situation in Auschwitz in which, in some way, this
2building in August 1942, there is a switch in the kind of
3design office after the Himmler visit of July 1942 which
4suddenly they will have to start to accommodate the Final
5Solution one way or another. There was a meeting on 19th
6August where these problems are discussed.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] 1942?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 1942, and crematoria 4 and 5 are then in some way brought
9up as a solution to that particular problem. Then, for a
10number of months, crematoria 2 and 3 remain in limbo in
11some way. It is not exactly clear, for a number of
12months, if these buildings will be fully committed to the
13Final Solution or not. Then what you see is that it is
14only by December that the final papers are drawn up for
15the transformation of the basement.
16 Again, I think that we are dealing in this
17document with requests which have been made in November.
18It is the end document of a long history of problems.
19There continued to be problems in 1943 and 1944 with
20getting anything to Auschwitz. I am not surprised by it.
21This is basically the nature of getting things done in
22Auschwitz at the time.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] But all this implies, certainly to any objective observer,
24does it not, that here you have a document dealing with
25sonderbehandlung, which either means liquidating people or
26it does not. If it does mean liquidating, then it is part
1of the Final Solution which this court is told was ordered
2by Adolf Hitler, or by the system, or by Himmler at the
3very least, yet they cannot get the priority for 200 yards
4of copper cable.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It seems also that what we hear from the historical record
6is that trains with Jews were parked on sites for days and
7days while other trains went by because the trains did not
8get priority to send the Jews to the extermination camps.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Would I be right in inferring from that remark and from
10this document that whatever sonderbehandlung was, or
11whatever these trains were going towards, was not being
12done in the highest priority ordered by Adolf Hitler or by
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think you can draw that conclusion. I think the
15only conclusion you probably can do is that
16administratively, and I am only talking administratively
17and maybe even technically, the Final Solution was
18piggybacked on some other larger infrastructure, technical
19infrastructure, something like that, which was already in
20place, and which of course makes sense because the Final
21Solution, by its very nature, is a short-term process.
22I mean already by the end of 1943 the Germans had been
23able to kill more or less all the Jews they had been able
24to lay their hands on. Only Hungarian Jewry were still
25there intact because they had been able to go to Hungary
26yet. So in that sense there is no need to make this ----
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor, that is rather an exaggerated statement to say
2the Germans had been able to kill all the Jews they had
3been able to lay their hands on. Do you wish to
4reconsider that statement?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not. I think that this is a very fair
6description of the historical situation.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] There were very large numbers of Jews in Germany still
8alive at that time and performing useful tasks in the
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you provide the evidence for all this very large number
11of Jews, I am happy to consider it, but at the moment ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Very large numbers of German Jews actually survived in
13Germany for one reason or another.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you give me the evidence, if you mention ----
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it not so that in some cities like Berlin or Stuttgart
16the round up was pursued with great energy and verve and
17in other cities it was not pursued with much energy or
18verve at all?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I am not a specialist on round-ups in Berlin and
20I prefer not to ----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: May I ask you a question and it is this. Do
22you accept that when, or shortly after, Himmler visited
23Auschwitz in July 1942, a decision was taken to accelerate
24the extermination programme, what you call bringing the
25Final Solution to Auschwitz?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not agree with the way you formulate it right
2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] You do not?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I think a distinction we made in the book, and which
4maybe I should make right now, is that there was a
5practice of killing Jews in Auschwitz before 4th July
61942, that from 4th July to 19th July, 18th July 1942, a
7kind of inbetween situation emerged, it is only a 14 day
8period, and that after 18th July, the Himmler visit,
9Auschwitz was really directed to become a place where a
10policy of extermination exists, so we move from practice
11to policy, and where the practice of killing Jews in
12Auschwitz before 4th July 1942, and maybe in a more larger
13sense before 19th or 18th July 1942, is the result of a
14number of contingent situations that the SS in general and
15particularly the SS in Auschwitz sees itself confronted
16with when certain groups of Jews arrived.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] So it becomes policy but it does not become urgent
18policy? Is that what you are saying?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is certainly very urgent for the people on the ground
20in Auschwitz. They tried to get things done.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] I meant for those directing the policy.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I wonder what your Lordship means by "urgent for the
23people who are directing the policy"?
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Well, they regarded it as a priority -- this is my
25question -- that the extermination programme should
26proceed faster and on a broader basis than it had
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would say that the extermination programme, yes, should
3become all inclusive at the moment. There are great
4discussions about when the decision for the Final Solution
5was taken. Professor Browning will be able to talk on
6that. But certainly what we see is that, in the summer of
7-- and we are only talking about Auschwitz right now.
8I would like to be very careful because I do not want that
9the discussion about what happens in Auschwitz in some way
10is going to be the discussion about the Final Solution as
11a whole. We are talking here about one camp. Other
12things are happening elsewhere. The Operation Reinhardt
13camps are being built, Treblinka common operation days
14later, Belzac has already been in operation before.
15 So in the case of Auschwitz, and that is
16something which Deborah Dwork and I tried to demonstrate
17in our book, Auschwitz was not meant to be an
18extermination camp. It is in some way almost hijacked by
19that programme when other things which are happening in
20Auschwitz are not going to be realisable during the war.
21So certainly, yes, Auschwitz now, which is a place where
22these other projects are collapsing, these projects which
23Himmler had envisioned of settlement and so on, Auschwitz
24is now made available and it is going to be made available
25administratively, in the sense that within the next months
26you see that decisions are taken, of which there are
1significant traces in the records of the architectural
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much.
4 MR IRVING: Can I ask you what kind of significant traces we
5are talking about there? I was hoping to obtain from you
6during that statement some kind of indication of what
7documentary basis you were making those remarks on,
8because of course you have now stepped beyond the barbed
9wire of Auschwitz, so to speak, and are talking about
10grand policy and grand decisions. Is this what you have
11acquired from reading other people's books, or from what
12you have read from the archives in Auschwitz or Moscow?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Let us forget, if you like, other people's books. It is
14going to be a kind of longish discussion.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] I hope we can keep it short.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] You made certain remarks in response to his Lordship's
18question about July 1942, and you said that, no, you did
19not think that a decision; was taken at that time, or
20words that effect, and I just wanted to know what your
21basis for saying that was?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I said a decision was taken.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] What was your basis for that statement?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are a number of things. We know from Commandant
25Hirst's account that Himmler came, and we know he visited
26the site. Hirst says that he watched a gassing.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] There is an inference then from cause and effect?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. Himmler does not like to go to Auschwitz at that
3time. I mean, it seems to be that Himmler is not going to
4go out of his way from the Wolffschanze, wherever the
5headquarters are in Russia, to Auschwitz on the way to
6Globocnik in Lublin.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] He wrote to his mistress on the day before and said:
8"I have a very unpleasant journey to undertake. I am
9going to visit Auschwitz and there are certain things one
10has to do for Germany", a rather odd sentence.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Whatever he writes to his mistress, I agree this probably
12was a trip he did not look forward to. Then, among the
13various meetings he has, he has a meeting with Kummler,
14which also he is going to.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Can you explain to the court who Kummler is, please?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Kummler is the head of SS Construction, who is there and
17also they have a long meeting in the construction office,
18in the Auschwitz construction office with Bischoff, where
19they are discussing obviously construction matters. Now
20we see that within a month the first design for what will
21become crematorium 4 materialises, which is a document
22signed 14th August, which only shows the incineration part
23and part of whatever is connected to the incineration
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I interrupt there and ask you to inform the court what
26happened to Bischoff after the war? Was he put on trial?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, he was not put on trial. He died in Bremen in 1950.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] He died in his bed in 1950?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know where he died, but he was never prosecuted.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Finish your answer, Professor van Pelt. You
5said they meet together and, as a result of that meeting,
6crematorium 4 was built?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] As a result of that meeting we first see a first drawing,
8blue print copy, whatever it is, for an incineration
9installation which had not been on the table before that.
10That is the very first thing. It is one for an
11incineration installation with eight ovens or two muffle
12ovens, a complete new concept.
13 MR IRVING: Which one was that?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This was crematoria 4 and 5. Then there is a letter.
15I think it is in the bundle but I do not know where it is
16in the bundle. I would like to maybe take the letter
17out. It is about a meeting which is five days later after
18this drawing appears, which actually discusses these
19buildings. It is famous and notorious letter which talks
20about the Bader anstalten versonderbehandlung.
21 MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship will find that, as amongst other
22places, as the document in K 2 at tab 4, page 2. It is
23also reprinted in the report, but I cannot find where it
24is in the report at the moment.
25 MR IRVING: This is August 1942?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is 19th August 1942.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you tell the court, while they are looking for the
2documents, what was happening at this time in Auschwitz?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Our transports were arriving.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Would it not be right to say that Auschwitz was in the
5grips of the most appalling epidemic, one of the biggest
6epidemics in a concentration camp in history?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, an epidemic was happening, but I am happy to come
8back to the epidemic or any other matter because actually
9we have to ----
10 Q. [Mr Irving] I think possibly it would be more frank with the court if
11you had mentioned this as you went along rather than try
12to draw inferences which the court might otherwise be
13misled into taking.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Give him a moment. He is at the moment
15describing the meeting that took place with Kummler and
16Bischoff and Himmler.
17 MR IRVING: My Lord, I am very forgetful and, by the time he
18gets to the end of his remarks, I might forget to make
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I understand that. Go on. How does this
21document fit in with that?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This document is a remarkable document because, first of
23all, it introduces in the history of the camp suddenly two
24buildings of which there is no other kind of earlier
25records. It is in clause number 2 that it talks about the
26creation of two, three-muffle ovens, near or next to the
1"Badeanstalten fur Sonderaktionen", the bath
2installations for special actions. I would like to point
3out once more that it is between quotation marks, this
4sentence. They have been talking about these two triple
5muffle ovens, which is the kind of standard in the camp at
6that moment. These are the ovens which were originally
7designed for crematorium number 2. This is what they have
8been working with. They have been designing this.
9Prufer, the engineer of Topf, proposes instead to install
10in Auschwitz already completed bereits fertigestellten,
11ovens, or bereits fertigestellten Lieferung, which means
12it is a shipment which is already completed, which was
13going to another site, an SS site, at Mogilev, and that
14these ovens will be installed next to the badeanstalten
15fur sonderaktionen. We know that the ovens for Mogilev
16were designed in late 1941, taken into construction there
17and these were these eight muffle ovens.
18 So one of the things, combined with that drawing
19and combined with the four-week period which separates
20this document from the meeting Himmler has in the
21architectural office in Auschwitz, we know that suddenly
22this is quite a big change of course in Auschwitz. They
23are going to build, these two crematoria come up, these
24two incineration installations, which are not yet named.
25If we go to clause number 7 on the next page, we actually
26see that Prufer comes back to it on the next day. That is
1a meeting. It actually talks about a meeting of 20th
3 So Prufer stayed the night over in Auschwitz and
4Prufer asked then for an official confirmation, an
5official order, to basically get either the three muffle
6ovens, or he wants to know if he should get the eight
7muffle ovens, and in a little handwritten note to the side
8it actually says on the 24th August 1942, something like:
9Prufer seems to have whatever -- I cannot really read
10that -- (German spoken - handwriting on document
11illegible) -- which means that on 24th of August 1942
12Prufer tells actually that the eight muffle ovens which he
13had suggested on the 19th to be taken from the Mogilev
14shipment actually is going to Auschwitz.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: They are being diverted?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are being diverted.
17 MR IRVING: Can I ask a question here, my Lord, and interrupt
18at this point?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but the answer was an answer to a
20question which was properly asked.
21 MR IRVING: I appreciate that, my Lord, but it was beginning to
22run away with my cross-examination.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It does happen sometimes.
24 MR IRVING: It is quite useful, but this document shows
25preparations being made in long term for the disposal of
26large numbers of cadavers. That is all it shows.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But there is an issue. I had asked for a easel. I wonder
2if I would be able to draw a graph which would make
3things, I think, more ----
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I can see it. Yes, you do not have any
5objection, do you, Mr Irving?
6 MR IRVING: Can I just invite, while these are being set up,
7the witness to have a look at the letter which I wrote to
8him on May 29th 1997. My Lord, it is in the little bundle
9you have with about 10 pages in it headed: "Documents on
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
12 MR IRVING: It is within that. The second item is the letter
13I wrote to him. I am afraid it is not numbered, but about
14page 6 there is a page ----
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you got this, Professor van Pelt?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The letter -- it is in one of my documents here. I do not
18 MR IRVING: It is the page headed: "Documentation is
19available", the first words on that page
20are "Documentation is available". It is about page 6, my
21Lord, of the letter.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I must be looking at the wrong thing.
23 MR IRVING: It is the little bundle headed on the top
24left: "Quick navigation".
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have that, but I have not the page
1 MR IRVING: Page approximately 6 in that letter. It is the
2page beginning with the words "Documentation is
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, page 3 I have it as.
5 MR IRVING: Yes. My Lord, the final paragraph of that is a
6paragraph from the second unpublished volume of my
7Churchill biography which gives an intercept, the text of
8an intercept, of an Auschwitz message in that very month,
9August 1942. I think it is of relevance, my Lord.
10"Further information did reach Churchill from his most
11secret sources lifting the veil on what was actually
12happening. ... (reading to the words) ... commandant
13transmitted in code to Berlin yielded figures for death
14rates in several concentration camps during the previous
15month. These included 21 deaths at ... (reading to the
16words) ... and in what was evidently a fast growing camp
17at Auschwitz and Upper Silesia there had been the notable
18totals of 6,829 male and 1,525 female fatalities during
19August 1942". This is precisely the month of this
20conference, my Lord. Not without significance, I think.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, it is a question, is it not,
23 MR IRVING: Yes.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What has happening at Auschwitz. The
25question is this.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I trust the mortality figure has been also arrived at by
1other means. I mean, this is in the death books also you
2find the mortality of 9,000 people in Auschwitz in that
3month of August.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But the question is, let us just put the
5question, that what was going on at Auschwitz in
6August/September had nothing whatever to do with Himmler's
7visit in July. It was because there was a raging typhus
8epidemic. That is the question, is it not?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If that is the question, I disagree with it, and I would
10like to review that question by actually looking at the
11relationship between incineration rates in the camp as
12plant in 1942 about peak mortality on the typhus about --
13and at a certain amount we can even talk about more
14capacity but we probably need to do that; but I have
15prepared some diagrams which I would just like to have as
16a reminder so I can draw it up on the board.
17 MR RAMPTON: Can I ask where they are?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] On the board.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think they are going to be drawn now, as I
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am happy to draw them now.
22 MR RAMPTON: He has done some prep, I think, and he would like
23to do the drawings, big drawings, by reference to the
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are there.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you may not be keen on this, but
2it is something Professor van Pelt is entitled to do.
3 MR IRVING: My Lord, I am in your hands. This is your
4Lordship's court and I am capable, I am sure, of ----
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am afraid I am deciding that it is a proper
6thing for him to do if he wants to illustrate his
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. The first basis for this is to establish red in this
9drawing, red will be population. Now, in 1942, we are now
10talking about early summer of 1942, there is an
11actual population in Auschwitz, and I am going to do this
12by 50,000 increments, actual population in Auschwitz ----
13 MR IRVING: Are you referring to Auschwitz or Auschwitz and
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Auschwitz and Birkenhau. I am talking about the whole
16camp. The whole camp for which, basically, incinerators
17are being drawn. At that moment there is an actual
18population of 25,000 people in the camp, over 25,000
19people. But at that moment also there is a projected
20inmate population, they are working towards, they have
21designed and under construction, the camp to hold in total
22150,000, which is 120,000 in Birkenhau and 30,000 in
23Stammlager. So they are designing with that in mind.
24That is what they are investing for. This is the actual
26 Now, at that moment there is a typhus epidemic
1going on and the typhus epidemic reaches in August of 19,
2in August of 1942, a mortality in one month of little over
3a third of the camp population. Now, people are being
4shipped in which makes it kind of difficult at that time
5to know exactly. It is an enormous mortality. In three
6months the typhus epidemic would have continued in the
7camp and nobody would have been brought in. Everyone
8would have died.
9 MR IRVING: Is it right that the camp was under quarantine at
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The camp was under quarantine, but people were still being
12brought in. So if we look by implication at, let us say,
13the next year, if the camp were to have an inmate
14population of 150,000, and if hygienic conditions would
15not have improved, if the German medical department in
16Auschwitz would have been as incompetent and so little
17resources, the same small resources would be brought in,
18it would make sense to start planning for a mortality of
1950,000 people of the summer of 1943. It is a very rough
20calculation, but in some way this would have been -- you
21would have start to look at that possibility.
22 Now, at that moment in Auschwitz one has
23actually an incineration capacity, and I am only talking
24about crematoria ----
25 MR IRVING: My Lord, I am unhappy about this kind of evidence
26because I do not think Professor van Pelt is an
1epidemiologist and we had ----
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think we are getting into the realms
3of epidemiology on what he is doing so far.
4 MR IRVING: Well, we do not know at what rate epidemics grow,
5whether they grow exponentially or by mathematical
6progression or how. It is not a simple, straightforward
7linear progression, my Lord, and I am sure an
8epidemiologist could inform us on that.
9 Although I have no objection to Professor van
10Pelt continuing this line of evidence, I would wish to
11make it plain that ----
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, but he is making the very simple point,
13if I may say so ----
14 MR IRVING: It is very, very dangerous ----
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- that it was not an unreasonable
16assumption for the planners to make that they were going
17to continue to have one-third mortality from typhus. Is
18that really what it comes to?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the point I make. What would be the situation if
20they said, "We face this disaster right now. We do not
21think we can deal with it next year. We have to plan for
22a similar disaster next year"
23 MR IRVING: I shall ask questions about this when the time
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course you can, but just let him develop
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So we are now going to get what is the actual cremation in
2an incinerator in crematorium (i)? It is the only
3crematorium operation at that time. It is 10,000 corpses,
4according to German sources, 10,000 corpses per month, 340
5per day, which means that the incineration capacity in
6crematorium (i), and we are not even talking about
7arriving Jews, but simply for the mortality in the camp
8itself during the typhus epidemic, more people are dying
9from typhus, incidentally, then the crematorium working
10full-time can deal with.
11 There is also at that moment a crematorium which
12is under design, which is crematorium No. (ii). Now,
13crematorium (ii) was going to replace crematorium No.
14(i). We have plans for that. It was going to be built on
15top of crematorium No. (i). It is a plan of early January
161942. This means that crematorium (ii) would not be
17backed up by crematorium (i). So if in the next year
18crematorium (ii) would be available, crematorium (ii) has
19an incineration rate of 1440 corpses per day, which the
20Moscow document says which was yesterday challenged ----
21 MR IRVING: This is the document that was challenged?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, which means that when crematorium (ii) would have
23been built, the next year available that still the
24cremation, the incineration capacity of crematorium (ii),
25once crematorium (ii) would be built, would have been less
26than the worst case scenario if a typhus epidemic in 1943
1would have broken out.
2 So it means that the SS, in terms of the typhus
3epidemic of 1942, was not adequately prepared to deal with
4some of the typhus epidemic of the same scale a year
5later. This is the situation before Himmler's visit.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it not true that cremation is not the only way of
7disposing of bodies? They can be interred. They can be
8sent to other places to be cremated?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is, but I think that you would like to point that,
10in fact, the incineration capacity is not going to be
11sufficient and, of course, people can be interred.
12 Let us look now at the next year, where we are
13in 1943, and then I will go and look at what happened in
14between. In 1943, the early summer, we are sitting with
15exactly the same maximum planned inmate population of
16150,000. It has changed somewhat in the make-up because
17Birkenhau will have less people, because what is called
18building BA3, building section No. 3, will not become any
19more a full camp, it will get a kind of Lazarett
20installation, but instead of that people will be
21accommodated in various satellite camps close, so still we
22deal with ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Did you say it was going to have a hospital built in
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Oh, yes. As I said in my book, and I think you
26complimented me on this section.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] I thought they exterminated all the sick prisoners?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We can deal with that later, if you want to put that to
3me, Mr Irving. By that time, the inmate population in
4Auschwitz itself has risen to 75,000.
5 Now, if we now look at what if a typhus epidemic
6of the same scale would have occurred (and this is a big
7"if") one would have been wise to have available
8one-third of that, which is 25,000, and, theoretically, to
9have available -- sorry, 50,000. So this is 25,000
10available if such a typhus epidemic occurs again, and if
11the camp is going to be completely free, one would expect
12at least to have an incineration capacity of 50,000
14 Instead, the available incineration capacity in
15the camp at that moment -- and this is available, this is
16not any more planned -- is 120,000 corpses per month.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] What is that based on?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is based on the calculation that the Taiber itself
19gives of the incineration capacity of the four crematoria
20-- may I finish?
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Based on the document that we are challenging?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is based on the documents you are challenging, but
23the document which seems to be supported also by
25 The only point I want to make right now at this
26moment is that the incineration capacity in the camp on
1the monthly basis in Auschwitz in 1943 far and far exceeds
2the absolutely worst case scenario of typhus developing,
3typhus developing in this camp; and I have to stress here
4the worst case scenario because, in fact, the SS doctors
5have worked very hard to limit the possibility for typhus
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. Thank you very much then. That was
8all an answer, Mr Irving, to your question -- actually
9I put it for you -- whether the increase in capacity might
10have been nothing to do with Himmler's visit, but solely a
11response to the typhus epidemic. It was a long answer but
12that is what it was answering.
13 MR IRVING: We share the guilt for inviting that answer, my
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, if "guilt" is the right word.
16 MR IRVING: I would only draw attention to two or three aspects
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, of course. Ask questions.
19 MR IRVING: Firstly, if we are to believe these figures, then
20the SS, or whoever, were planning to wipe out over
21three-quarters of the entire camp population and
22incinerate them which seems a rather pointless exercise as
23this is a slave labour camp?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry, is this a question?
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The issue, of course, is that they are not intending to
1wipe out the camp population; they are intending to wipe
2out people who do not belong to the camp population,
3because people are arriving in Auschwitz and who are not
4going to be registered in the camp.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] So the left-hand column in that case, is it not, is
6irrelevant to the calculations because that left-hand
7column refers to a totally different body of people, to
8people who are living there and not the arrivals, shall we
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, but the left-hand graph refers to the situation before
11the visit of Himmler on 19th July. The right-hand graph
12represents a situation after Himmler's visit, and the big
13change in incineration capacity is, in fact, the decision
14taken at that meeting which is confirmed by the document
15to actually not only have crematorium (ii) but also
16crematorium (iii) and crematorium (iv) and crematorium
18 Q. [Mr Irving] But the figures that you are relying on here with these
19two histograms, if I am right in saying, they rely
20entirely on that document which, you may remember, I was
21challenging the integrity of yesterday?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean, if you want me to rely on, for example, Hirst's
23testimony, I would say that the green bar would even
24higher, or if I have to rely on Mr Taiber, we actually get
25very close to that. It is not only the document; it is a
26convergence of the document with eyewitness testimony,
1both of sonderkommandos and of German officials.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, we will be hearing a little bit more
3about the quality of the testimony given by Taiber and
4Hirst later on. But the fact remains that in all the
5construction department records that you have read,
6including that August 1942 memorandum you are relying on,
7there are no figures that anywhere come near these. It is
8speculation by yourself and back of envelope calculations,
9projections of what might have been and a kind of rough
10and ready kind of scaling up and extrapolation for which
11we have no basis in epidemiology (because neither of us is
12an expert in that field); we do not know the way that
13epidemics grow or whether they grow exponentially or in
14any other manner, is that not so?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving ----
16 Q. [Mr Irving] There is no basis in the archival record that you have
17seen for the figures you gave, apart from that one
18document that we challenge?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, the point is, I think, very simple. You claim
20that the epidemic in August 1942 -- you raised the issue
21of the epidemic in 1942, then you say that we can -- you
22suggest that we can, and others have said, that you can
23explain the enormous incineration capacity in Auschwitz by
24looking at the typhus as being the reason to plan this
26 Now, we are talking here about a typhus
1epidemic, an enormous typhus epidemic, I agree, it was a
2disaster. In August 1942, the camp was in a very bad
3shape. But if you start to plan on the basis of that
4worst possible scenario, or would you want to suggest then
5a typhus epidemic which wipes out in one month almost a
6whole camp population of 120,000 out of 150,000 projected;
7so if you want to use the typhus argument (and you
8introduced it and I did not) I can refute that by looking
9at the incineration capacities.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, the facts are staring you in the face. This
11conference is taken in the middle of a camp which is in
12quarantine, subjected to, as you yourself admit, the most
13appalling typhus epidemic, and you are determined not to
14see any connection between the two facts?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I think the point here -- we do not
16want to spend too long on this -- he is really making is
17that the incineration capacity was three times the
18projected population of Auschwitz in 1943?
19 MR IRVING: My Lord, can I ask one question on that?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that right, Professor van Pelt?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not -- no, the incineration capacity is 4/5ths
22per month. It is 4/5ths of the total projected population
23of the camp. So in order to justify this by typhus, we
24would have to start to assume typhus epidemics which start
25to wipe out in one month 4/5ths of the total camp
26population, which means that, in terms of filling this
1camp up again or whatever like that, I mean, we have to --
2the Germans would have had to ship 120,000 people to
3Auschwitz every month in order to keep ahead or even with
4the typhus epidemic. It is absurd, it is absolutely
5absurd, to use typhus as an excuse to explain the
6incineration capacity of the crematoria.
7 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, you used the word "absurd".
8What figure are we talking about in that green column?
9How many people?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which one?
11 Q. [Mr Irving] The right-hand -- in the right-hand histogram?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The right-hand histogram.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] The green column? How many ----
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is 120,000. Projected incineration capacity for
15120,000 people per month.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Approximately, so we get an idea what we are talking about
17here, that is four times Wembley stadium, that is 12,000
18tonnes of people, 12,000,000 tonnes of cadavers, that you
19are going to have to cremate with these very limited
20installations? Am I getting it right?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not want to speculate on how many tonnes and how many
22at Wembley stadium.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] You do the calculation yourself. The human body is
24roughly SPG of 1, is it not? Specific gravity of 1
25because you float in water?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Am I right?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So where does this bring us?
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, the human body weighs what, 100 kilograms? 10
4people per tonne?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think after you have you been in Auschwitz very
6long you weigh 100 kilograms.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] OK. Say 12 people per tonne if you want to cavil, you are
8still going to end up with 10,000 tonnes of bodies to
9dispose of. This is bringing it home to you the size of
10the figures you are talking about there. That brings home
11to you the absurdity of the document you are relying on.
1210,000 tonnes of bodies.
13 If you will take it from me that it takes 30
14kilogrammes of coke to incinerate, as you say, one body,
15can you work out how many tonnes of coke we are going to
16put into those tiny coal bunkers that you can see on the
17aerial photographs to destroy, to incinerate, to cremate,
18120,000 bodies? We are talking about train loads, if not
19ship loads of coke are going to have to go into Auschwitz,
20and there is no sign of the mountains of coke on the
21photographs, do you agree? There is no sign of the
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am just trying to get all the pieces of your question
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you appreciate -- let me sum it up like this -- that
26there are severe logistics problems in handling the
1disposal of 120,000 bodies a month?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We know there were severe logistic problems during the
3Hungarian action, yes. The month of May and the month of
4June in Auschwitz, June 1944, were very difficult months.
5The logistic problems in Auschwitz were so big that they
6had to start introducing incineration pits again. Yes, it
7is very difficult to incinerate so many bodies in any
8situation because it seems to be that, one way or another,
9these crematoria did do their job as well as they could.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] So you are saying because the story exists, therefore,
11these figures must be right? Is this the kind of logic
12you apply? You do not say to yourself, you have 120,000
13bodies in that right-hand green column, does this not
14sound a bit odd, as 10,000 tonnes of bodies that these
15Nazis have managed to dispose of, and nothing has been
16seen of this on the air photographs, does that not strike
17you as odd? No huge columns of smoke have been seen on
18the air photographs? Does that not strike you as odd?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is only one photograph in May, yes?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: May '44?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May '44. These are these big -- these big transports had
22ceased when the air photographs in, what is it, in August
23and September were taken.
24 MR IRVING: Can you show on these large photographs that we
25have here where they would have stored the tens of
26thousands of tonnes of coke? If they were to bury the
1bodies, have you any idea what size the pit would have
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, I challenge your use of the tens of thousands
4tonnes of coke. First of all, we do not know how much
5coke was delivered to Auschwitz in 1944. We do know how
6much coke was delivered into Auschwitz in 1943. We do
7also know that there is a German document, it is a
8document Zeitwei Zuvielarbeiter, Jahrling, from, what is
9it, March and April -- actually two documents, two
10calculations made in Zentralebauleitung about the coke use
11of the crematorium.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And these two documents, the amount of the coke use is
14not, as you say, 35 kilos per body.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Which crematorium are we talking about?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We are talking about -- he made a calculation for all the
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And he does it -- I mean, I have it -- if may consult my
20notes on this?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, of course.
22 MR IRVING: Can you say off the top of your head?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I am not going to say anything off the top of my head
24right now. It is too serious -- it is absolutely too
25serious a question.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] I agree.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it in your report your main report?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is in my kind of informal report.
3 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, it is the second half.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The supplementary one, I see.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The supplementary...
6 MR RAMPTON: The second half of the little blue...
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am sorry, I did not put a page number on it. This was
8for internal private use, and so...
9 MR RAMPTON: I have paginated mine.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have it.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have found it here.
12 MR IRVING: Is this an actual document that you are going to
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is document -- no, the document is actually in Pressec.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] The document is in Pressec?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, and I think that my Pressec has a little tab to it.
17I can give the page.
18 MR RAMPTON: It must be treated with great care. It is fragile
19and extremely valuable.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I will just identify the page and then maybe it should go
21to you for inspection. The documents are -- the first
22document is on page 223 and the second document is on page
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not bother to pass it to me. You can
25describe what you say that reveals.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. There are -- basically, there is a calculation made
1by Jahrling who was a Zuvielarbeiter which means he is not
2in the SS hierarchy in the camp, and he talks about the
3use of coke in the crematoria. The heading is only about
4No. (ii), but ultimately he makes a calculation for all
5the crematoria, and he comes to a use per 12 hours. He
6does that for 2,800 kilos in 12 hours for crematorium
7(ii); 2,800 kilos in crematorium (iii); 932 kilos in
8crematorium (iv) and 932 kilos in crematorium (v), which
9is a total of 8,264 kilos in 12 hours.
10 Then he has made some calculation mistakes
11because a couple of days later, which is the 17th -- the
12first document is on 12th March -- he comes back to his
13calculation and what seems to have happened is that he
14made a calculation, he comes to 2,800 kilos for
15crematorium (ii), again 2,800 for crematorium (iii), 1,120
16for (iv) and 1,120 for No. (v), a total of 7,840 kilos in
1712 hours with the seven tonnes or seven-and-a-half tonnes.
18 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, would you read the final
19paragraph of that document beginning with the word "dieses
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Then he says, ""dieses sind spitzenleistung".
22 Q. [Mr Irving] "These are maximum amounts, maximum figures"?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. "It is difficult to" -- [German - document not
24provided] -- "indicate how much it will be per year
25because it would not be known for how many days or how
26many hours or how many days we can, we must heat the
1thing" which means he is prepared to give it on a daily
2basis but not more on a yearly basis because if the
3crematorium is going to be used every day or not, he does
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you like to do the ----
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I just finish the document, discussing the document,
7and I am happy to consider your question. In the
8paragraph above it, he says something else. [German -
9document not provided] It goes on the basis of an earlier
10thing which means that when you work constantly
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Around the block?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- around the clock, then the amount of coke needed is
14much less. So here we have, on the basis of this
15document, you can make a relatively simple calculation
16because we know the German document which has been
17challenged here in court -----
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Precisely. This is what throws up the German document as
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, it is not. We have two documents, one which talks
21about incineration capacity, and one which talks about the
22coke use. It is about the same buildings. On the basis
23of that, we know that, we can calculate the amount of coke
24which is going to be used per corpse which is not a happy
25calculation, I must say, but the bottom line is you come
26to three-and-a-half kilo of coke per corpse.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you really, sincerely believe that you can burn one
2corpse with enough coke that you could fit in one of these
3water bottles, is that what you are saying?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to point out there are two documents which
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you just pause for a second?
7Three-and-a-half kilos of coke per corpse, one has to put
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is when the ----
10 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] That is assuming a rate of incineration equivalent to that
11in the document of 28th June 1943 which Mr Irving
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
14 MR IRVING: Can I ask, Professor van Pelt, has it ever crossed
15your mind that this document of 28th June 1943 might not
16be authentic or a document of integrity? Did you ever
17investigate that possibility? Did you check any details
18about it? Did you just accept it at face value?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that the document is in perfect accordance with
20all the other documents.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you know anything about the history of that document,
22where it came from?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not know. Moscow, it has been in Moscow. It has
24been made available, for example, in the Vienna trial. It
25was available earlier. There was another copy of this
26document in a Didier archive in Dumburg. This document
1has been known for many years, since shortly after the
2war. The document seems to be perfectly in line with
3other documents. It is a carbon copy. It is not on
4letter head, like most of the copies in the
5Zentralebauleitung. It seems to be sitting nice in its
6sequence of other documents. So I have no reason to doubt
7the integrity of the file or the integrity of the document
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, you were sitting in court yesterday
10when I challenged that document piece by piece, and
11indicated the discrepancies on the document which gave not
12just one discrepancy but several discrepancies which
13indicated there was every reason to doubt whether this was
14an original document or whether it is was, indeed, a true
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] You can do that, but I have not changed my mind on this.
17I do not think that you have brought any kind of
18convincing evidence for me to change my mind on this
20 Q. [Mr Irving] May I ask you the following then, is it not surprising
21that nowhere in the entire Auschwitz construction files,
22in Moscow or in the present Auschwitz State Museum, do you
23find one single other document that reflects the same
24figures or figures of the same magnitude?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We can talk -- the issue of incineration capacity, how do
26we know about incineration capacity and how do we know
1about the coke use? We have this document, we have
2eyewitness testimony of people who worked the ovens and we
3have statements by the people who ran the camp. There is
4a convergence between those things.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Except for one thing ----
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Now, if you challenge, if you challenge the coke use,
7I will have to bring up, and, I am sorry, I do not have
8the particular patent, but it is a little technical
9history. There is a specificity in the design of the
10ovens in Auschwitz which is, basically, that they worked
11with compressed -- that air was blown into the muffle.
12Normally, what happens in these ovens is that ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving] The flame does not touch the body?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, actually frebrennen did happen in the Auschwitz ovens;
15it was not simply incineration.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, they would self-combust? When they were raised to a
17certain temperature, they would self-combust?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is the idea of a normal incineration. In Auschwitz,
19actually, the ovens -- the difference between the ovens is
20that one element which is used in normal ovens is with a
21heat kind of regenerator in Auschwitz was replaced by
22compressed air which was blown into the oven. Now ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Would this account for the drop of normal coke usage from
2435 kilograms in the crematorium Gussen concentration camp
25per body to 3.5 in Auschwitz, in your opinion?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, and I think the normal use for Gussen questions the
1normal use of what? For one, two, three, four bodies in a
2day at a certain moment very high intensity use. I just
3would like to quote here from a piece which John Claude
4Pressac wrote and I also worked on.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I interrupt? I did not quite catch what you said
6about Gussen. What did you say was the normal rate in
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The normal rate, the question is what is normal rate? If
9you just fire the ovens in Auschwitz for one corpse, you
10probably need 300 kilos.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] In Gussen they were talking, if my memory of the document
12is correct, of the order of 100 bodies, or possibly 200.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you bring the documents, we can discuss the documents.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, Professor van Pelt, you were not quoting a document
15there. You were just stating a figure, speculating.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am going to state a figure and it is from a patent.
17I am happy to show you the passage. The big issue in
18crematorium design is that you need to get the thing
19going, the oven going, and that takes a hell of a lot
20energy. So, if you incinerate one body, and this is a
21document which is prepared for Dachau in 1939, to cremate
22one body in Dachau was 175 kilos of coke, far exceeding
23the 30 kilos. However, it says that, by the time you have
24started this incinerator, after you have incinerated a
25number of bodies, and I will quote the thing, "If the cold
26room required 170 kilograms of coke to start up a new
1incineration, it needed only 100 kilo if it had been used
2the day before. The second and third incineration on the
3same would not require any extra fuel, thanks to the
4compressed air". Those that followed would call for only
5small amounts of extra energy.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you saying that for the cremations on the second and
7third day you would not have to put any coke into the
8machine at all? It would just kind of carry on?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. If you start incinerating on the second day you can
10still use that heat that had built up from the first day.
11If you then insert extra bodies in the oven that same day,
12after the first one, you only need very little extra fuel.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] That is not what the document said. You said it needed
14none at all.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Then it says only little, the first, second and third, and
16then, as you continue, then only very limited amount of
18 Q. [Mr Irving] But of course they had more than just one furnace in
19Auschwitz. In each of these crematoria you are telling us
20they had five times three. So they did not have to fire
21them all up. They could just fire up one of them and keep
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But it seems that there were more bodies than one could
24take. We also have, of course, the patent application of
25Topf from late 1942, which actually operates on that whole
1 Q. [Mr Irving] It was not used, was it?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, but it was based on the experience gained. As it very
3literally says, it is based on the experience gained with
4the multi-muffle ovens used in the East. The document --
5I am happy to try to find it. I do not know where the
6patent application is.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] I do not want do keep flogging this particular horse
8unless his Lord wants to go down this route much further.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am inevitably being guided by you,
10Mr. Irving. You must put your case.
11 MR IRVING: I would like to ask Professor Van Pelt to do one
12calculation f0or me. On the basis of 8,000 kilogram of
13coke, which we read in that document in the Pressac book,
147,000 or 8,000 kilogrammes of coke per 12 hour shift, if
15we were to assume 35 kilograms of coke per body, how many
16bodies were actually being cremated per day in those four
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you were to assume -- I have the figure here -- if it
19was three and a half kilos of coke ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving] No, 35.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Three and a half I calculated was 241,000 bodies, so 35
22would be 24,000 bodies.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] 24,000?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not have to make the calculation because it is right
26 Q. [Mr Irving] I do not think that is correct. If it is 7,000 kilograms
1of coke, 7,000 times 35 into 7,000 is 200, so it will be
2200 per day?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am sorry.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] It would be 200 bodies per day in these crematoria so that
5would give us the lower level. I am not saying that was
6the amount. I am saying that is the lower limit of these
7two figures we have. We have the figure of ten times as
8large that you offer, and we have the figure of 200 per
9day which would be, if the Gussen figure applied, the 35
10kilograms of coke, which is what crematorium managers
11assure us is the normal figure nowadays for mass
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I am very surprised that Mr Irving seems to love
14German documents. When he is confronted with a German
15document which he does not like, so easily ignores it.
16I think the Jahrling document is very, very
17straightforward. There are two version of it. If
18Jahrling made a mistake, he corrected himself. Obviously
19when you find a document like that, you take it seriously.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are now talking about the one with J A
21umlaut at the top?
22 MR IRVING: The one that we challenge, my Lord.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. You call it the Jahrling document
24Jahrling was the secretary?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Jahrling was the man who made the calculation.
26 MR IRVING: Yes. There are other reasons for challenging it
1but I just rested my case on the reference line across the
2top, which contained enough errors to make the whole thing
3very suspect. To try and do these calculations the other
4way round, which is what the witness has done, I find this
6 Can we move on from there now, my Lord?
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course.
8 MR IRVING: Let me come back to the question of the
9eyewitnesses who have described, either to you or to
10historians over the last 55 years in convincing and
11compelling detail, the procedure at the factory of death,
12at crematorium number 2, the arrival of the victims, what
13happened inside the crematoria, the cremation process, the
14robbing of the bodies and so on. How many eye witnesses
15are we talking about, Professor?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It depends on which period we are looking. In my report
17I only looked at the very, very early testimonies.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which means testimonies taken by Dragon, and in this case
20by Tauber, because they are taken in April and May 1945.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Are they independent of each other or have they compared
22notes in any way?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know if they compared notes.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Did they escape?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They escaped, yes. No, they did not escape. In the sense
26that they were on the march, I think, from Auschwitz to
1wherever they ended up in the West, they did escape but
2they did not escape from the camp itself or from the
4 MR IRVING: Yes. So that Dragon, D R A G O N, and Heinrich
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Schloma Dragon.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] How many others? You are not relying just on those two
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, but these are the two which I mentioned because, if
10one is afraid of pollination and things like that, and
11these were testimonies given immediately after the war.
12These were testimonies which were made before things were
13published, before things were in the newspapers or
14whatever like that. Other testimonies have been given,
15Filip Muller of course in the 1960s. He made one in 1946.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] You said that nothing had been in the newspapers. When
17was the report published of the War Refugee Board on the
18testimony given by Veroba and Wetzler, two Slovaks? Was
19that not November 1944?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but these were very, very short. These were very
21short things in the newspaper. The report itself was
22never published at the time. So to have a short New York
23Times one column article or less about a fact that there
24is an extermination camp in Auschwitz does not give any
25details about the extermination procedure.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] You say the report was not published at the time. In fact
1the War Refugee Board in the United States did actually
2publish the report like a White Paper. Whether the
3newspapers actually quoted it in detail or not, are you
4saying the newspapers did not quote it very much?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They did not quote very much.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] But they did give the more lurid details about the gas
7chambers and so on?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] As far as I remember, the reports, reading the newspaper
9articles, they did not give the kind of details which
10would inspire a person to invent a particular gassing or
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Procedure, right. You did not rest in either your book or
13your expert report on just those two eyewitnesses though,
14did you? Not just on Tauber and ----
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. There are other people we quote because, of course,
16after afterwards other people came forward.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Did you rely on a woman called Bimko?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have already addressed this once before. I mentioned
19Miss Bimko because of the testimony she gave at the
20Lindenberg trial, which is the Belsen trial. I did not
21rely on her to come to a conclusion about the incineration
22capacity in the crematoria.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] I am not talking about the incineration capacity,
24Professor. I am talking now about the actual procedure,
25the way people walk ----
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think we have moved on. We are just
1talking generally about eye witness evidence, are we not?
2 MR IRVING: We are dealing with the question of the integrity
3of eyewitnesses, my Lord.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what I was suggesting.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I did not rely on her for procedure.
6 MR IRVING: Bimko was going to be called in the Tesh case, was
7she not, in April 1946 against the manufacturer of Zyklon
8B, but in fact eventually they did not call her as a
9witness. They just put in her report as an affidavit, is
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you read the Tesh trial?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have read significant parts of the Tesh trial because of
14the evidence given by Alfred Sohn.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] You quoted parts of the Bimko testimony in your report.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, because I wanted to show the kind of statements which
17were made about Auschwitz in 1945.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Did you, Professor van Pelt, quote all relevant parts of
19the Bimko testimony?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] What do you mean? Relevant to what?
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, relevant to enable the reader to form a judgment as
22to whether Bimko was telling the truth or not.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This was not my intention. My point in the expert report
24at that moment was to give a sense to the reader, or to
25the judge more particularly, of what was the kind of
26evidence available at that moment in the courts and so
1on. I did not write a critique of Bimko.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] So you were painting with a broad brush?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I was not painting with a broad brush. I tried to give a
4very simple kind of picture of what people were saying.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] If Bimko had put in her report some detail that totally
6discredited the quality of her report, then you would of
7course have quoted it? You would not have ignored it?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. Then it is very clear that she gives this testimony,
9and then the testimony is what is being said at that
10moment. It is part of what is being said about
11Auschwitz. I also quoted Polavoy.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we stay with Bimko for the moment?
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us stick with Bimko. Mr Irving, if you
14are suggesting that she did discredit herself in some way,
15I think it is only right that you should give Professor
16van Pelt the opportunity of answering whatever it is you
17say discredited her.
18 MR IRVING: I believe I am leading the evidence the correct
19way, my Lord. The next two questions will bring the
20matter to light.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Good.
22 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, in the gas chambers at
23Auschwitz was the gas introduced from cylinders, as in
24oxygen cylinders, or carbon monoxide cylinders, through
25pipes into the gas chamber?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. It was ----
1 Q. [Mr Irving] To your knowledge?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We are talking about which gas chamber?
3 Q. [Mr Irving] The gas chamber described by Bimko.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Then let's look at the text of Bimko and then I will
5comment on it.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] You said you have read Bimko's testimony.
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but in principle I am not going to discuss things
8I do not have in front of me.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Let me put the question more generally, Professor van
10Pelt. In any gas chambers in Auschwitz, in any of the gas
11chambers so-called at Auschwitz, was gas introduced into
12the chambers through pipes from cylinders?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] And yet Bimko stated that, did she not, in her report?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Let us look at what Bimko actually says. Then we can come
16to the conclusion if that is what she actually said. I am
17not going to comment on a text I do not have in front of
18me. If you want to raise this issue, which I think is a
19very legitimate issue, give me the text and we will look
20at it together.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Let me put it other way round then, Professor. If there
22was such a sentence in that report, you did not quote it,
23did you? You stopped.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know any more exactly what I quoted and what not.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] You stopped just short of that particular sentence?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you got it in court?
1 MR IRVING: Not in front of me, my Lord. I am derelict in that
2respect unless Miss Rogers can find it at short notice in
3her usually efficient way. I shall have to bring it
4tomorrow. Your Lordship can take it as said. Although I
5am not a member of the Bar, I would certainly not lead
6this evidence if it was not in the files. The evidence of
7Bimko is notorious for the fact, and this is one reason
8why she was not introduced as a witness at the Tesh
9trial. She would have been cross-examined on that point.
10 So this is one document, one eyewitness account,
11which is very suspect. But, Professor van Pelt, I put it
12to you that you left that sentence out of the report
13because it would have discredited the rest of her
14testimony, would it not?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that, if you would look -- you are now trying to
16go to my motivation. In my expert report I have tried to
17give an account of what was said, in order to draw a
18picture of how the image of Auschwitz developed in 1944
19and 1945. I have also included Polovoy's account done on
20the liberation of Auschwitz which again, as we probably
21both agree, contains a lot of friction.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Is this the Pravda account?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can we not track this down because it must be
25in court somewhere, presumably? Bimko's statement? It is
26note 407 on page 268.
1 MR IRVING: Somebody can find the original document.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Otherwise we leave all these points hanging
3in mid air.
4 MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving is quite right. Mr Irving knows where
5everything is. It is bundle H 2 (ii).
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Could we get it out and then dispose of this
7point one way or another, Mr Irving? I think it is
8better, do you not?
9 MR IRVING: It is going to continue to hover like a vulture or
10an albatross across the court.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the problem.
12 MR RAMPTON: What I said is accurate, except to this extent.
13When I say "it", all I have is a page and three-quarters
14of what Ada Bimko duly said.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you got page 68?
16 MR RAMPTON: No. I have page 67. It is split up, that is
17all. I am sorry, there is lots more than I thought there
18was. If your Lordship goes --
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have not got it yet. I would like it.
20(Same handed) thank you very much.
21 MR RAMPTON: Yes. H 2 (iv) and turn to footnote 404, one sees
22the beginning of it. 408. Has your Lordship found
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes I have deposition of Dr Bimko.
25 MR RAMPTON: Yes. You have got on 405, which is page 66 of the
26document itself, 5th day, Friday 21st September 1945, Ada
1Bimko sworn, examined by Colonel Backhouse. Has your
2Lordship got that?
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
4 MR RAMPTON: That stops and then it begins again, further
5deposition of Ada Bimko on page 741 of the document, and
6that stops on page 742.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am afraid the relevant bit, or the bit that
8Mr Irving wants, has been cut off.
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have it here. I have it in note 408.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: 467?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Footnote 408, I presume that is the section that he refers
12to, because it is talking about cylinders.
13 MR IRVING: "In a corner of the room were two large cylinders.
14The SS man told me the cylinders contained the gas which
15passed through the pipes into the gas cylinder." That is
16on page 742, my Lord, in paragraph 4.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have it.
18 MR IRVING: There was no such equipment in Auschwitz, was
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] You did not quote this in your version of the report?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This report is not a discussion on the quality of
23eyewitness testimony. I have told you that before.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but this is a discussion now, Professor van Pelt.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] On the quality of eyewitness testimony. It is a
1temptation we all fall into probably. Sometimes we want
2to use the rest of the report because we like it, but
3there is something nasty in the report that, if we are
4going to manipulate, then we will leave it out. Is that
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I mean, the question is there are many differences.
7First of all, let us go over this text. "Let us go over
8the text right now. We then walk back. Basically they
9went through the gas chamber and it was rather dark in
10there at the time. They could not see the far end of the
11passage. There were two rails leading from the door of
12the gas chamber down the passage. On these two rails was
13a flap top wagon. The SS man told me that the wagon was
14used to take the dead bodies from the gas chamber to the
15crematorium at the other end of the passage. We then
16walked through the gas chamber and undressing room to the
17door where it entered the building. Near this door were
18some stairs. We went up these stairs and came to a room
19above the gas chamber. Across this room were two pipes,
20each about three inches thick. I did not notice whether
21there were any branch pipes leading from them. The SS man
22told me that the pipes that were in the floor were
23connected to the spray fittings in the gas chamber below.
24In the corner of the room were two large cylinders but
25I did not notice whether the cylinders were connected to
26the pipes. The SS man told me that the cylinders
1contained the gas which passed through the pipes into the
2gas chamber and I then left the room".
3 We are basically talking here about crematorium
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And the room is a room above the gas chamber?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
7 MR IRVING: Yes. But is any of this true, what the SS man
8allegedly told her?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The SS man was mocking her because she was looking at a
10new ventilation system which had been introduced to suck
11out air from the two gas chambers above the gas chambers
12of crematorium 4. A ventilation system had been created
13in 1944 to improve the ventilation of crematoria 4 and 5
14because they had not been equipped with the ventilation
15system. What happened is that she is shown the
16ventilation system and this SS man is mocking her by
17suggesting that this actually, instead of taking the air
18out, is taking the gas inside of the----
19 Q. [Mr Irving] That is not what she says, Professor van Pelt. Is what
20she says not, "In a corner of the room were two large
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But there was a ventilator up there which I presume would
23be in the cylinder and I do not think she is a
24specialist. She sees this thing above the gas chamber.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] But you have no evidence ----
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 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
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
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
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
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
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
26 I draw your attention to paragraph 7 on the
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
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
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
1the corner, there was a little room with hair spectacles
2and other effects were stored. On the right there was
3another small room used as a store for Zyklon-B. In the
4right-hand corner of the corridor, on the wall facing the
5door from the undressing room, there was a lift to
6transport corpses. People went from the crematorium yard
7the undressing room via a stairway, surrounded by iron
8rails. Over the door there was a sign which the
9inscription 'Zum Baden und Desinfektion' (to bath and
10disinfection), written in several languages. In the
11undressing room, there were wooden benches and numbered
12clothes hooks along the walls. There were no windows and
13the lights were on all the time. The undressing room also
14had water taps drains for the waste water. From the
15undressing room people went into the corridor through a
16door above which was hung a sign marked 'Zum Bade',
17repeated in several languages. I remember the [Russian]
18word 'banya' was there too. From the corridor they went
19through the door on the right into the gas chamber. It
20was a wooden door, made of two layers of short pieces of
21wood arranged like parquet. Between these layers there
22was a single sheet of material sealing the edges of the
23door and the rabbets of the frame were also fitted with
24sealing strips of felt.
25 "At about head height for an average man this
26door had a round glass peephole. On the other side of the
1door, that is on the gas chamber side, this opening was
2protected by a hemispherical grid. The grid was fitted
3because the people in the gas chamber, feeling they were
4going to die, used to break the glass of the peephole.
5But the grid still did not provide sufficient protection
6and similar incidents recurred. The opening was blocked
7with a piece of metal or wood. The people going to be
8gassed and those in the gas chamber damaged the electrical
9installations, tearing the cables out and damaging the
11 "The door was closed hermetically from the
12corridor side by means of iron bars which were screwed
13tight. The roof of the gas chamber was supported by
14concrete pillars running down the middle of its length."
15 MR IRVING: This is roof we can see on the big photograph here,
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] It is that self-same roof?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That same roof, yes, but we look now at the top. "On
20either side of these pillars there were four others, two
21on each side. The sides of these pillars which went up
22through the roof were of heavy wire mesh."
23 Q. [Mr Irving] What does it mean when it says "the pillars went up
24through the roof"? Went up to the roof, presumably?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but they popped out above the roof.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] The pillars popped out?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, so the pillars went through a hole in the roof and
2then they went in through, basically the earth which was
3assembled on top of the roof, and then there was a little
4kind of chimney on top of that.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] On top of a pillar?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] On top of a pillar.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] What was the purpose of that, architecturally speaking?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because these were hollow pillars and these were the
9pillars where Zyklon-B was inserted into the gas chamber.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Just so the court can hear what Professor van Pelt is
11saying, these were hollow pillars?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These were hollow pillars.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Made of what, concrete?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These were made of metal.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] These are the wire mesh pillars you are now talking about?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Not the concrete pillars supporting the roof?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, these are the wire mesh pillars which are connected on
19either side of these pillars. These pillars, that is in
20the sentence before, we have concrete pillars which go
21down the middle of the length and one of these pillars is
22still there holding up a bit of the roof, and then
23connected to these concrete pillars, there are seven of
24them, connected to four of them were wire mesh metal
25pillars, two on one side and two on the other side.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] My Lord, I gave you a large yellow map which shows the
1layout. You can see the pillars there with the wire mesh
2columns next to them. It is one of the large yellow maps.
3There are two yellow maps. That is the one, my Lord. If
4I can just interrupt you, there is a room there numbered
5No. 9 and No. 10. What do you call that, an axonometric
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] An axonometric view, yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] In other words, a kind of exploded view of the
9Leichenkeller No. 1, am I correct? This is, just to
10remind the court, the one we have seen in the photographs
11with the collapsed roof?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, No. 9 and 10.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. It has a number of concrete columns, and you have
14drawn in those wire mesh columns, have you not?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean the whole thing is a drawing by one of my students
16of the whole building.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but the wire mesh is an addition; it is not based on
18any drawings or blue prints, is it?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is drawn on, it is based on the drawing made by the man
20who actually made these pillars and who gave testimony in
21Poland shortly before Mr Taiber.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Are they round pillars or square pillars?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Square pillars.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you any idea, can you tell the dimension of the
25pillar was, the wire mesh?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I will have to consult Mr Kuhler's testimony which is ----
1 Q. [Mr Irving] It is quite important.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Then I will consult his testimony on that.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] While you are consulting, can you tell us was it just one
4layer of wire mesh or several concentric layers of wire
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There was concentric layers of wire mesh.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Two, three, four, five, six?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think there were -- basically there were two layers
9creating, basically, a narrow space inside, a wire mesh
10cage around it and another air space with a wire mesh cage
11around it, and then there was a kind of thing which moves
12up and down inside that inner hollow space.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] So let me get this straight, how many actual concentric
14tubes are we concerned with or wire tubes, two or three
15inside each other?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is an outer one. There is an inner one and I think
17then there was one inside that, and there was this movable
18thing which could go up and down.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] What is the purpose of having so many layers?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] According to the testimony, it was to allow for a more
21even spread of the Zyklon-B in the gas chamber.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] What was the thickness of the wire?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The thickness of the wire changed as you went from the
24inside to the outside.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it not right that the thickness of the wire was 3
26millimetres the whole way through?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not recall that right now.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] So if you have a wire mesh made of 3 millimetres, you have
3in fact a 6 millimetre thickness of that particular layer,
4because the wire mesh overlaps?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I presume so, but again I would like to see -- there is
6basically one very particular piece of eyewitness
7evidence, so we can look at eyewitness evidence and then
8we can reconstruct exactly how thick those wire mesh
10 Q. [Mr Irving] This is why I was asking what the overall dimensions of
11these alleged wire mesh columns were, so we could form an
12impression of their practicability.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Let us look at Kuhler's testimony. If we can stop reading
14the Taiber testimony.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I want you at some stage to complete reading
17 MR IRVING: Can we continue reading Taiber then, my Lord? That
18is probably a good idea.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then you come back to the wire mesh columns.
20 MR IRVING: We have to come back to the wire mesh columns
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Page 183, just complete it to the end of
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] "The sides of these pillars which went up through the roof
25were of heavy wire mesh. Inside this grid, there was
26another other fine mesh and inside of that further very
1fine mesh. Inside this last mesh cage there was a
2removable can that was pulled out with a wire to recover
3the pellets from which the gas had evaporated. Besides
4that in the gas chamber there were electric wires running
5along the two sides of the main beam supported by the
6central concrete pillars. The ventilation was installed
7in the walls of the gas chamber. Communication between
8the room and the ventilation installation proper were
9through small holes along the top and bottom of the side
10walls. These lower openings were protected by a kind of
11muzzle, the upper ones by whitewash perforated metal
12plates", and these are plates, some of six were found and
13analysed by the Krakau Forensic Institute.
14 MR IRVING: That is your presumption?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is my presumption.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] You have no reason for saying that, saying that these are
17identical, other than your presumption?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It seems that the description of these plates is exactly
19the same, of the ones which were analysed in Krakau.
20 "The ventilation system of the gas chamber was
21coupled to ventilation ducts installed in the undressing
22room. This ventilation system, which also served as a
23dissection room, was driven by electric motors in the roof
24space of the crematorium.
25 "The water tap was in the corridor and a rubber
26hose was run from it to wash floor of the gas chamber. At
1the end of 1943 the gas chamber was divided in two by a
2brick wall to make it possible to gas smaller transports.
3In the dividing wall there was a door identical to that
4between the corridor and original gas chamber. Small
5transports were gassed in the chamber furthest from the
6entrance from the corridor.
7 MR IRVING: I would like to stop you there, if I may, and now
8ask you what Taiber has actually told us about the gassing
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have not quite finished yet. Can we just
11go to the middle of 184, and then that is a convenient
12point I think to ask that question.
13 MR IRVING: Very well, my Lord, yes.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] "The undressing room and the gas chamber were covered
15first with a concrete slab and then with a layer of soil
16sown with grass. There were four small chimneys, the
17openings through which the gas was thrown in that rose
18above gas chamber."
19 Q. [Mr Irving] So this is the roof we are looking at on these large
20colour photographs, is that correct?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, or the remains of the roof to be very precise.
22"These openings were closed by concrete covers with two
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Not wooden, concrete covers?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is what it says, yes. "Over the undressing room the
26ground was higher than the level of the yard and perfectly
1flat. The ventilation ducts led to pipes and the chimneys
2located in the part of the building above the corridor and
3undressing room. I would point out that at first the
4undressing room had neither benches nor clothes hooks and
5there were no showers in the gas chamber. These fittings
6were not installed until Autumn 1943 in order to
7camouflage the undressing room and the gas chamber as a
8bathing and disinfestation facility. The showers were
9fitted to small blocks of wood sealed into the concrete of
10the gas chamber. There were no pipes connected to the
11showers from which no water ever flowed.
12 "As I have already said, there was a lift in
13the corridor or rather a goods hoist. A temporary hoist
14installed pending delivery of the electric lift to carry
15the corpses to the ground floor." End of quotation.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] That final paragraph is quite interesting, is it not,
17because we now have the documents giving the actual dates
18for the arrival of the provisional lift. I believe it was
19finally ready in September 1943, is that correct?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, it was ready in March. The history of the lift is a
21very confused history, because they did not get the lift
22they wanted. They had the lift installed originally for
23750 kilograms carrying capacity, and then they tried to
24improve on that one, since it did not seem to be enough,
25by doubling the cables on which this lift, it was
26basically a kind of building site hoist, so that it could
1carry 1500 kilograms. This was all in something like
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. So we have heard the description from Henrich
4Taiber of the liquidation procedure. On what other
5eyewitnesses did you base the ----
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry I will have to interrupt you,
7Mr Irving. I think if you have a case to put in relation
8to Taiber, that he is unreliable or that for some reason
9his account is not to be credited, I think it is right
10that you should put it.
11 MR IRVING: Very well.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It may be your case is simply that all the
13eyewitnesses are to be treated with caution and you go no
15 MR IRVING: I was go to treat them all summarily, in the same
16manner, and just ask the simple question, did they all
17give the same description in broad terms of people going
18up on the roof opening these manhole covers, pouring the
19cyanide capsules in. If I may ask the question like that,
20the eyewitnesses that you have, Taiber, which other ones
21would you rely on?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In this case, as you mentioned Broad describes seeing it
23from some distance. Then later there are eyewitnesses who
24have been, other sonderkommando who would have made
25statements later, in 1960s, and of course Muller with his
26original statement for 1946 which is in the book by Kuhler
1and then ----
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Of course if they make their statements in the 1960s there
3is the danger of cross-pollination, is there not?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is why I limited myself at the moment for this
5particular case to look at the very early ones. I must
6say that as an historian I am quite delighted to find
7people who seem to be as observant as Mr Taiber actually
8as a witness giving with very fresh this thing in his
9memory his statement in May 1945 to Judge Sehn.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] It is almost as though Jan Sehn held the blueprints in
11front of him and said: "So they went from here, to there,
12through this door and then this and this and this
13happened", is that right?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know. I mean I do not know what happened. I do
15not know what happened in that room. Certainly the Taiber
16testimony is largely convergent with the blueprints.
17However, when Taiber starts talking about, for example,
18either the gassing procedure or the incineration procedure
19of course, then that is not in the blueprints and very
20important the wire mesh columns are not in the blueprints
21either. We have that from a different source.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] So these wire mesh columns, so it is plain what we are
23saying, what size were they? We have not nailed it down.
24In rough terms 10 inches across from side to side?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They were probably, I mean again I want to try to find
26Kuhler, but they were probably the same thickness as the
1structural columns supporting the roof.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Which is quite a substantial size. These wire mesh
3columns that are going to go up to the roof where the hole
4is through which the cyanide capsules are being poured?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. Yes.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Before we have leave Taiber, I am sorry to
7interrupt you again, Mr Irving, he gives a detailed
8account of the incineration procedure which you have set
9out at page 186 of your report, is that right?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Let me just get to 186.
11 MR RAMPTON: Is the witness looking for Kuhler, in which case
12I can tell him where it is?
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am asking him to look for something else.
14 MR RAMPTON: I am sorry. It is 196 to 198 and 516 to 517.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We will have to deal with Kuhler tomorrow.
16 MR IRVING: I only wanted to know roughly what size of wire
17mesh we are talking about, what the width of this column
18going up to the ceiling was. We have probably got a
19pretty clear picture of kind of thing it was; larger than
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. Kuhler says these columns were around 3 metres high
22and they 70 metres square.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] 70 metres?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 70 centimetres.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] The wire mesh columns?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] 70 centimetres is of the order of 2 feet 6 inches?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, a little less, 2 feet three inches.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] So this hole in the roof or these holes in the roof, how
4many wire mesh columns were there, four?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Four.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] So the holes in the roof would have been up to 2 foot 6
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Absolutely not, because the whole column may be 2 feet 4
9inches, but Zyklon-B is only introduced right in the
10centre piece. The centre piece, we have concentric
11columns, so ultimately the centre piece can be a rather
12narrow thing, so the hole through the roof could have been
13a relatively narrow pipe.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] But we are told here he had a concrete cover with two
15handles covering this whole, which rather suggests
16something larger than a tennis ball?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But the concrete cover, we have a picture of these actual
18chimneys in the documents. Of course you do not when you
19create this pipe which comes up out the centre of the wire
20mesh columns, of course you take a larger kind of little
21chimney around it.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: As a funnel?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] As a funnel, yes. Like a chimney itself always is wider
24than the actual smoke channel going through it.
25 MR IRVING: Yes. So you are saying there was a relatively
26small hole or four small holes smaller than 2 foot six
1inches across then, and after they had spent all this
2money building this underground crematorium with all the
3problems of damp that is implicit in that, somebody was
4allowed to come along after the event, because it was not
5included in the drawings, and knock holes in right next to
6the supporting pillars?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I did not say that. The crematorium roof, as we know from
8other documents, there were problems with finishing the
9crematorium, roofs of the Leichenkeller, in December of
101942 and January 1943. We actually have photos of the
11completion of the roof.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] But this is not the question.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I finish? No, but the thing is you assert that
14they knocked holes inside the roof of the gas chamber.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Through the roof.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That did not happen.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Through the roof?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Through the roof. Well, the modification and design had
19been made before that roof was completed.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] What modification?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The roof of the gas chamber, or morgue No. 1, and the roof
22of morgue No. 2, later the undressing room, were only
23completed in December and January, in December 1942 and
24January 1943, by which time the modification of the
25building into a genocidal extermination machine had
26already been decided on. But they did not have to make
1holes in the roof because the roof was not yet complete at
3 Q. [Mr Irving] But if you were an architect, and neither of us is an
4architect, and some SS Rottenfuhrer comes along and says,
5"I am going to knock four holes in the roof right next to
6the supporting pillars", what would you have told that
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I just point out that if we look here at, for example,
9that column and that column, there is a beam supporting,
10connecting the two columns. Of course it is going to be a
11real problem when you go right through the beam you weaken
12the beam. That is one of the reasons that these columns
13are placed next to the column, so that they do not
14challenge the structural integrity of the main beam. If
15they had been -- may I point it out?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I think I understand what you are
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am just going to make a drawing here. This is the gas
19chamber. The columns are right here. The structural beam
20sits right on top of that. So your point is absolutely
21valid if you put the columns right there, but if you put
22the grid columns right here, then there is absolutely no
23structural, the structural integrity of the roof is in no
25 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, we are wasting our time really,
26are we not? There were never any holes in that roof.
1There are no holes in that roof today. There were never
2four holes through that roof. They cannot have poured
3cyanide capsules through that roof. The concrete evidence
4is still there. You yourself have stood on that roof and
5looked for those holes and not found them. Our experts
6have stood on that roof and not found them. The holes
7were never there. What do you have say to that?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would just say why do we not put up the picture of the
9roof and look at the roof in the present condition? The
10roof is a mess. The roof is absolutely a mess. A large
11part of the roof is in fragments. The concrete has many
12different colours. You pretend that you are talking about
13a piece which is intact. It is not.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I remind what you have written in your book?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is impossible to determine nowadays what was the
16situation of that roof in 1945.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I remind what you have written in your expert report
18for this case?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Page?
20 MR IRVING: I have page 295, my Lord, but that is my copy which
21I printed out again.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I imagine it is the same page for us too, is
24 MR IRVING: I would not bank on it.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It obviously is not.
26 MR IRVING: Would the witness kindly read out the paragraph
1I have outlined beginning with "Today the four holes
2cannot be found".
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Can I -- I just want to let -- I will try to find the page
4number. It is in the Leuchter interrogation.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am in your hands about time.
6You remember I said I would rise whenever was convenient
7to you after a quarter to 4.
8 MR IRVING: My Lord, you may apprehend that the trap is now
9sprung and it would be a pity to put the mouse back in its
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The trap is what you have just asked?
12 MR IRVING: Precisely it, my Lord. There are no holes in that
13roof. There were never any holes in that roof. All the
14eyewitnesses on whom he relies are therefore exposed as
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am just identifying the trap.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. Now if I am sitting in the trap I will take a little
18longer to look for the information because ----
19 MR IRVING: Take as long as you like.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- because I prefer to remain in the trap and eat the
21cheese while it lasts! OK, we are here at page 518, my
23 MR IRVING: 518?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. The bottom two lines: "Today, these four small holes
25that connected the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys
26cannot be observed in the ruined remains of the concrete
1slab. Yet does this mean they were never there? We know
2that after the cessation of the gassings in the fall of
31944 all the gassing equipment was removed, which implies
4both the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys. What would
5have remained would have been the four narrow holes and
6the slab. While there is no certainty in this particular
7matter, it would have been logical to attach at the
8location where the columns had been some formwork at the
9bottom of the gas chamber ceiling, and pour some concrete
10in the hole and thus restore the slab."
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Hold it there. So what you are saying is with the Red
12Army just over the River Vistula ever since November 1944
13and about to invade and, as we found out earlier this
14morning, the personnel of Auschwitz concentration camp in
15a blue funk and destroying their records and doing what
16they can, some SS Rottenfuhrer has been given the rotten
17job of getting up there with a bucket and spade and
18cementing in those four holes, in case after we have blown
19up the building they show?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to point out that the gas chamber was removed
21in November 1944.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] The gas chamber was removed?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The gas chamber, the installations were removed. The
24installations in the gas chambers were removed. Also
25during the month of November and December 1944, because
26the Germans were still confident that they could hold back
1the Bolshevik hoard from the East, they were creating gas
2type air raid shelters in Auschwitz at that moment. They
3had started constructing these things just before. So
4there was still some local, small-term, small site
5construction activity going on. This was very primitive,
6but certainly the SS would have been able in November
71944, even December 1944, to repair the roof and to remove
8the evidence of the holes. The invasion, the offensive,
9only started on January 12th, as we have established
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, do you know what the phrase in
12architecture, "fair face finish" or "fair face concrete"
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I can guess, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] It means concrete which is left bare to the public. Are
16you aware that this is one of the most expensive finishes
17that an architect can specify?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Because -- can you speculate as to the reason why it is so
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because it is very difficult to get a very even texture.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] I know this. I worked for three years in a concrete gang
23with John Lang working my way through university, so I
24know how difficult it was to get the concrete right. If
25it was not properly vibrated and you had a cavity, you had
26to take down the whole beam because you cannot plaster
1over it in a way that it does not show. Is this not so?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] So you would expect that it would be unlikely that these
4panic stricken Germans could have managed to trowel the
5finish on both the gravel covered side of the roof and the
6underside of the roof in such a way that nothing would
7show, you would not see what is called a drying line
8around the circle where the hatch had once been. Is that
9correct, you would expect to find a drying line?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you would have had this kind of concrete, but, sadly
11enough, one does not have that kind of concrete in the
12ceiling of morgue No. 1 of crematorium (ii). There is
13actually one little place you can go under it, and this is
14where Mr Leuchter derived some of his samples, and I have
15been also in that place and, in fact, the formwork is a
16complete mess. It is a very irregular formwork. You
17cannot draw any conclusion from that formwork one way or
18the other of what kind of hole was located where.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it not so that when you have formwork made of wooden
20planks, the concrete retains the grain of the wood; you
21can see the grain of the wood and that too would show that
22you could not plaster over the holes in such a way that
23Holocaust deniers years later would not find them?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but there is one problem, and that is the column
25which remains. There is one column remains and it is the
26second column. The second column of the crematorium
1remains. So it is not a column to which one of these mesh
2columns was attached. The mesh columns were attached to
3the first, the third, the fifth and the seventh.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Fortuitously, the one that remains was the one that did
5not have the wire mesh?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, or sadly so for your case maybe. So, in any case, we
7cannot draw any conclusions from the nature of the
8formwork around that column because that is not a column
9where the wire-mesh column was. So, I mean ----
10 Q. [Mr Irving] I am talking about the ceiling.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is a one little bit of ceiling only visible. The
12amount of ceiling is only a few square metre there. You
13can crawl under the roof of Leichenkeller No. 1. I have
14done it and I have looked at that roof.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, would it surprise you to hear that the
16Poles have made 400 photographs of the underside of that
17roof in an attempt to map every square inch of it looking
18for those holes and they failed?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But the problem is that holes are not under that part.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] The holes are not under that part?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean, the roof falls back into the ground.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Here is a map of the roof as it now is. This is the large
23yellow page that I gave his Lordship, right? There are no
24holes in that. It has been mapped from top and bottom.
25The only holes that exist are where it has been punched
26through in recent years by people curious about what is
1going on underneath, and you can see that is the case
2because the steel reinforcing bars have been bent back,
3and the one place where the pillar has also broken
4through. The holes that your eyewitnesses refer to, as
5you correctly say, cannot be found for the simple reason
6they were never there and there is not the slightest trace
7of them being there, and I also draw your attention, my
8Lord, if you go back to page 184 ----
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
10 MR IRVING: --- about 10 lines down: "The showers were fitted
11to small blocks of wood sealed into the concrete roof of
12the gas chamber". We have probably all seen these little
13blocks of wood that get embedded in the concrete when it
14is poured, so that things can be screwed to those little
15blocks of wood. Those little blocks of wood also are not
16in the ceiling, as you can see, my Lord, as I gave you two
17photographs in a heap this morning. I gave your Lordship
18two photographs, colour photographs, in a heap this
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I am just underlining that.
21 MR IRVING: I cannot find mine.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have got ----
23 MR IRVING: Yes.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- the ones you gave me.
25 MR IRVING: One is of the underside of the concrete roof and
26you can see -- exactly, my Lord -- you can see the
1condition of the concrete roof underneath this messy slab
2is in. You can see the wooden markings on the concrete
3where formwork was all these years ago when they built
4crematorium No. 2 in Auschwitz. You can appreciate that
5if there had been those holes in the roof, which are the
6cardinal linchpin of the Defence in this action, they
7would have been found by now. They have not found them,
8and so their eyewitness evidence collapses because these
9people are exposed for the liars they were.
10 My Lord, it is four minutes to 4. Unless
11Mr Rampton wishes to say something to repair the damage at
12this point ----
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, may I respond to this?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but not until 10 be 30 tomorrow
15morning. What I would be like to know from you then is
16what evidence there is from the likes of Taiber about the
17way in which the pellets were inserted into the gas
18chamber. In other words, are there other witnesses who
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are other witnesses.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We will have to deal with Kuhler as well,
22will we not, Mr Irving?
23 MR IRVING: I think so, my Lord, to have a look at the
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I hope you will have enough time. If you get
26into difficulties I will be sympathetic. 10.30 tomorrow.
1 < (The witness stood down)
2(The Court adjourned until the following day)