Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 10: Electronic Edition

Pages 136 - 140 of 215

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 1     This means then when we go to page 29 that I say
 2that 9,000 given these two, these very infrequent
 3delousings of the whole camp, that those 9,000 kilos of
 4Zyklon-B which I originally established on the basis of
 5comparison with other camps seems to be on the high side
 6but within the ball park of what Auschwitz would have
 7needed for its normal concentration camp purposes.
 8     So then the question is, what are these other
 93,000 kilos of Zyklon-B going to be used for? What other
10kind of needs did Auschwitz have for Zyklon-B which were
11not to be found in other concentration camps?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      That, I think, probably completes your
13answer. It is a long answer, but it was very helpful and
14very clear to me. So back to Mr Irving.
15 MR IRVING:      My first question is you have, of course, read,
16have you not, the testimony and supporting evidence in the
17trial of Bruno Tesch whose company was the main
18distributor East of the Elf for Zyklon-B?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I told you before that I have read parts of the trial and
20part of testimony. In detail, they are the testimony of
21Alfred Zamm.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      This question is not meant to be the least bit offensive,
23but you are not an expert in disinfestation, are you?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No, I am not.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      The company of Tesch and Stavanacht were, in fact, the
26leading disinfestation experts in the whole of Europe

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 1which is why their Managing Director found himself on the
 2end of a British rope in 1946?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I do not think that is why he found himself on the rope,
 4but they were the leading firm, yes. They developed the
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]      The record of the trial shows that both he and his fellow
 7convict, Weinbarer, repeatedly visited these camps and
 8checked what was going on and trained the local staff in
 9the proper application and use of these pesticides and
10fumigating agents, these materials, is that not right?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I remember that in the transcript of what I read that,
12indeed, there is a mention of these visits, but I would
13not comment in detail since I do not have them in front of
15 Q. [Mr Irving]      Is it not right that during the trial, which is recorded
16verbatim -- it is in the Public Record Office, in fact --
17the accountant of the company was required to produce the
18records on which you have partially based your
19calculations showing precisely what the deliveries of
20Zyklon-B to Auschwitz were during the years concerned for
21precisely the same exercise that we have been doing in
22court today?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      That exercise has not been done.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]      In the Tesch trial?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      At the trial, at the trial they did not do this exercise.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]      Have you read the letters of clemency that were submitted

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 1to the court after the death sentences were passed?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I have not.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes. Well, then we are in a difficulty. Will you take it
 4Bruno Tesch, the Managing Director, when confronted with
 5the figures of Zyklon-B delivered to the Auschwitz camp,
 6and doing the calculation of how many sets of clothing had
 7had to be fumigated on a regular interval, on a regular
 8basis, and how many barrack buildings had had to be
 9fumigated and disinfested, expressed astonishment that
10they managed to do the task with as little as 12 tonnes in
11that one year concerned? He said that on these figures
12they would have had nothing left whatsoever for any kind
13of sinister purposes, and that this is very clearly stated
14in the trial and in appeals for clemency?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I cannot comment on what Mr Tesch said. What I can
16comment on is the fact that the amount of Zyklon being
17delivered to other camps was so much smaller than
18Auschwitz that I think this is a more interesting road to
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      That was, of course, the point of my interruption which
21his Lordship quite properly reproved me for, when
22I pointed out that Auschwitz was receiving very large
23quantities of pesticide for a certain reason which you set
24out so admirably in your first book, namely, that
25Auschwitz had been built in the middle of an area which
26had traditionally over the centuries attracted typhus

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 1plagues, and it was the heart of a terrible typhus plague
 2in 1942?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I do remember what is in my book without actually having
 4to consult it. I never say anywhere in the book that
 5Auschwitz was a place which was suffering typhus plagues.
 6I only mentioned the issue of climate actually in the
 7discussion of an introduction of Jan Sehn to his report on
 8Auschwitz where Jan Sehn makes a very big point of it, and
 9where I say actually I disagree because Jan Sehn in some
10way tries to create a context of unhealthiness for the
11place as if the Germans had chosen Auschwitz with this in
12mind. I say this, obviously, is not supported by
13historical evidence.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]      Had Auschwitz ever been used as a disinfestation centre
15for transients in previous generations or before the Nazis
16came? Had they used it -- it was right on the border of
17the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was it not?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes. This is part of my research in the past has been
19actually on the origin of the camp, and the Sturmlager was
20originally created as a labour exchange.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes. It had all the appropriate installations there for
22fumigating the transients, did it not?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      They had no installations whatsoever for the fumigation of
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      Not for preparing them in this manner?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I mean, one of the big problems was, of course, that

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 1Zyklon did not exist at the time, at the time that when
 2the camp functioned there were also no steam installations
 3or hot air installations.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      Have I read your book entirely wrongly then when you
 5suggest that the transients were held in Auschwitz for a
 6while and subjected to appropriate measures to make sure
 7they were fit for travelling into a cleaner part of
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I have -- I think you are confusing two things. I can see
10where the confusion comes from. There is one quote I make
11a general, in the book, a general kind of description of
12the movement of Eastern European Jews who go to America
13and who cross the border and at a certain moment are going
14to be -- their clothing is going to be deloused one way or
15another. It does not say what way it is. It is an
16account of a girl called Mary Anton who panics ----
17 Q. [Mr Irving]      I remember this, yes?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      --- at this thing, so that is the one account which is
19there. The second account is about the use of ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      Because they are taken off the train and sent in to be
21washed, am I right?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes, and she gets very nervous about that.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]      She says, "Oh, my God, they are going to gas us"?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No, "to kill us", not "gas us"; and those facilities
25existed, some of them at the border and also they existed
26in the harbours of Bremen and Hamburg.

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