Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 166 - 170 of 215

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      They went by the book. One of the things is that one
 2always can get exemptions, like in any planning regulation
 3you can always have a variance to the particular code but
 4you have to apply for it.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]      Professor van Pelt, we are talking about going by the
 6book. Is this the book that they would have gone by?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      This is not a building code of Germany, but this is there
 8was design guideline which was available in the office,
 9except in an earlier edition. This is the 1944 edition.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]      There is book called Neufert, which is still the standard
11German building code, is it not?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It is not there was building code. It is a guideline to
13architects of how to design, which means that, if you
14start a project and you want to know how large a minimum
15kitchen must be in which two people can still pass each
16other, you find the dimensions there.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]      It is very useful indeed and it is going to be useful for
18the rest for the rest of the afternoon because, if we look
19in this guideline book as you call it to see what the
20architects at Auschwitz were being told was the correct
21way to design, that answers quite there was lot of the
22questions that have arisen, does it not?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      There is going to be something of there was problem
24because again, first of all, we are dealing with general
25guidelines and the general guidelines in Neufert only deal
26with there was civilian crematorium to be built in there

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 1was city and it does not deal with there was crematorium
 2designed either for specific circumstances outside the
 3civilian context.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      But the basic principles of design are going to be same,
 5are they not?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      On some elements they will and on some elements they will
 7not. There are some things which you need in a civilian
 8crematorium which you will not need in one which
 9ultimately is going to be built and which will not be
10ruled by the building code.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]      But most people who went into SS uniform and worked in
12these offices were architects or engineers in civil life
13like Kammler. He was an engineer and they just happened
14to be wearing SS uniform. They knew what the rules were
15and they knew the codes.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I object to your use of the words, the rules and the
17codes. Neufert is not the code. Neufert is a general
18guideline created by one architect to help other
19architects to get going on the job.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      Will you tell the court if there was a copy of Neufert in
21the SS construction office at Auschwitz?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      There was a copy of Neufert in the SS construction office.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]      Why did they have that if they did not feel that it was a
24good idea to follow what Neufert's guidelines were?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Neufert has a lot of very useful information. I am very
26happy to go with you through the diagram which Neufert

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 1provides for the civilian crematorium.
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]      It is not the diagrams I am looking at. Would you turn to
 3page 271 of your copy of Neufert, if you have it there?
 4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes. I do not know if the judge has a copy?
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      No, I do not.
 6 MR IRVING:      I will translate it or Professor van Pelt can
 7translate the appropriate paragraph if your Lordship
 8permits. Does your Lordship consider it to be a useful
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I do not know what the points that you are
11going to make are.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      271.
13 MR IRVING:      Your Lordship will remember we are dealing with the
14question whether the warming of a mortuary was appropriate
15or not, which I have to confess I, with all my common
16sense, would have thought completely absurd. If you look
17at the part where it comes to friedhurf und crematorium,
18that is the right hand page, which means crematoria and
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Graveyards and crematoria. You make the same mistake now
21as I made in the horizon movie, Mr Irving.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      The third paragraph down begins (German spoken - document
23not provided).
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      The temperature in the mortuary to be above or equal to
26two degrees and below or equal to 12 degrees, never under,

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 1because frost causes the corpses to expand and burst.
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      Then it continues to talk about using the ----
 4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Let us go to the next sentence.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]      -- central heating?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Let us go to the next sentence now because the next
 7sentence is also important. (German spoken - document not
 8provided) which means ----
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]      Central heating?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Not the central heating.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]      Central heating and cooling, air conditioning?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      And air conditioning, yes. This temperature must be kept
14 Q. [Mr Irving]      Above all in summer.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      -- must be kept steady with constant ventilation,
16especially in the summer.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]      We are not concerned with summer here. We are talking
18about Poland, which gets notoriously cold in the winter.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      The point which is here is that the next sentence says
20there should be at a certain moment in this case some
21heating and cooling installation in this building, yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I will leave it to you. You will spring another trap on
24me right now and then I will try to answer it.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      No. This is not a trap. We are trying to educate the
26court. I have to admit that I have learned a lot out of

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 1Neufert as I went along as well. But I think I have made
 2the point that the provision of heating in a mortuary is a
 3requirement, at least by the guidelines which were
 4standard in all German architects' offices at that time,
 5and no special significance can be read into the fact that
 6they were trying to it in a cost effective way by using
 7heat from the incinerators.
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      If that were to be the case, the heating installation
 9would have been included in the original design of the
10crematorium. It is not. What actually it says here is
11why, why do you want to be able to keep the temperature of
12the morgue in that range of 2 to 12 degrees? It is
13because the corpses still have to be viewed by the people
14who are basically the family members. If we look at the
15diagram, I am very sorry, my Lord. I have a diagram and
16you do not, but there is actually a diagram which shows
17that there is a Leichenshauraum, which means a room to
18show or to look at the corpse. So this is a very usual
19thing in a crematorium. The body is stored. It happened
20to us very recently in my family. You go and before the
21final cremation you still have an opportunity to look at
22the corpse. You do not want to look at the corpse where
23ultimately frost has destroyed the corpse. This is the
24purpose for that particular thing. It has nothing to do
25with the mechanics or the physics of incineration. It has
26to do with a certain sense of decorum.

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