Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 10: Electronic Edition
Pages 11 - 15 of 215
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1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is an inference on my side because you do not want
2these holes in the roof of a space to remain. When you
3have taken out the columns, it is an obvious conclusion
4that you would close these holes.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] I can see his Lordship frowning and I think the whole
6court is inwardly frowning about this rather improbable
7story, implausible idea.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, just for the record and for the
9transcript, I did not frown.
10 MR IRVING: I am sorry, my Lord.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us get on with the question.
12 MR IRVING: Yes. The implausibility of the story, that before
13putting in packs of dynamite beneath the building to blow
14everything up so that the Red Army does not find any
15criminal traces, they send in workmen with buckets of
16cement and trowels and tell them to make good the holes in
17the roof. This sounds, I must say, totally implausible to
18me, and we know now that it never happened because the
19roof is there and there is not the slightest trace of such
20patchwork having been done on the concrete?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, it is at the moment impossible to see because of
22the state of the roof if there was patchwork or not. The
23roof is fragmented. The roof has weathered very, very
24badly over 50 years, and the colour of concrete in the
25roof is of a motley quality, to say, and there is a lot of
26growth has been on the roof. It is impossible to tell one
1way or another.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] We are talking about the underside of the roof, of course,
3and we have any number of photographs of the underside of
4that roof where you can actually see the original wood
5grain in the formwork on the concrete that survives, and
6that shows not the slightest displacement or interference
7or tampering with. This is the implausible part of your
8story. I appreciate that you are anxious to move on to
9other topics because, frankly, this blows holes in the
10whole of the gas chamber story. If there are no holes in
11that roof, no holes in that roof, there are no holes now
12and there were no holes then, and that totally demolishes
13the evidence of your so-called eyewitnesses?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I have already yesterday pointed out that the
15column which remains and over which the room has been
16folded is the second column which was not the column where
17the column, the Zyklon-B introduction column was attached
18to, there were four of them, attached to column 1, 3, 5
19and 7. May I address ----
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I wanted to ask you -- may I do it now --
21about the columns because I understood your evidence
22yesterday to be that jutting out, as it were, from the
23roof of the alleged gas chamber there were the columns as
24well as the metal apertures through which the Zyklon-B,
25you say, was poured?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The columns -- it is unlikely, my Lord, that the ----
1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Did I misunderstand that?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- columns would be going through the roof completely
3because the columns themselves were wider. They had these
4three concentric layers, but what would have happened is
5that there were a hole through the roof, and then on the
6top of it you get a kind if chimney like structure, and as
7long as the hole is connected to the innermost, to the
8innermost kind of column inside and of the same width so
9that this little thing can be brought up and down which
10ultimately allowed people to retrieve the earth in which
11the Zyklon was absurd during transport. As long as that
12hole was the same as the diameter of the inner column,
13then whatever you do above the roof is irrelevant.
14I mean, you can have a box or you can have just a lid
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow. But the question I am really
17trying to get at is this. If your evidence is that the
18pillars were protruding above the level of the roof ----
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] You said the Zyklon-B introduction pillars?
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Well, that is what I am asking you. I thought you said
21that the pillars, the structural pillars, were
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, the structural pillars did not and do not.
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Well, that was my misunderstanding of your evidence.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We have a blue print which shows those pillars and we can
26look at if you want.
1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Whilst I am asking you questions, I am not sure you have
2really responded to the suggestion that was implicitly
3being put to you by Mr Irving which is that these objects
4that one can see on the roof of the gas chamber, alleged
5gas chamber, are, in fact, drums containing some sort of
6sealant. You have not actually dealt with that
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, and I would like to deal with that, if it is
10 MR IRVING: Are you saying that all four of those objects were
11the pipes, as you call them?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, these would be, this would be the chimney. There
13would be some structure around the pipe, because if you
14just have a pipe coming up, you want to have probably some
15kind of insertion mechanism. If you take a tin of
16Zyklon-B, that probably there is a little funnel attached
17to, and also you want probably not the pipe to run
18straight through the earth, you probably want to have some
19kind of protection around that pipe.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] My Lord, can I draw your attention to picture 10A in K2?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I still do not think, Professor van
22Pelt, you have really dealt with the suggestion that these
23are drums containing sealant. Could that be so?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to deal with it.
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Deal with it now.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] First of all, we are coming, of course, in a -- the
1problem is the exact dating of this image. If this image
2had been taken, let us say, in November, December, let us
3say December 1942, I think it could have been a plausible
4suggestion. I mean, we would have to look then in what
5shape of tins sealant is coming, but let us assume that
6this is, this is December, at that moment we know that
7there was construction activity on the roof. We also know
8that by the end of January, I mean, in fact, by the middle
9of January already, from correspondence, that the roof of
10morgue No. 1 had been completed, and one of the reasons
11for that we know that is the notorious Fergantung's letter
12of January 29, 1943. So, what is the reason that we know
13that this is not December 1942, but that this is or that
14we are already talking about probably February 1943.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought you said '42, I am bound to say.
16 MR IRVING: November '42?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My argument is that Mr Irving's argument could be taken
18seriously at least for a moment until we have established
19what shape these containers come if this photo had been
20taken in December 1942. My argument is that the roof was
21already completed by January 1943.
22 My second argument is that one can, if one looks
23carefully at this photo, see that there is some kind of
24black line on the top of the chimney. There seems to be
25some soot on the top of the chimney which means that the
26chimney, as it is depicted in this photo, has had some
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