Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 176 - 180 of 215

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     I have not seen this door and I have not inspected this
 1in Auschwitz and I am happy to do that to the court.
 2 MR IRVING:      That is the actual copy. I have marked it with an
 3arrow, my Lord. You will see the door rests on rims on
 4the outside of the wall.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes, I see.
 6 MR IRVING:      I did alert the defence to the fact that I was
 7going to take an interest in Neufert and I enquired
 8whether Professor van Pelt had a copy of Neufert. I am
 9sorry, I did not alert them to the specific matters that
10I was going to raise. Finally, is there anything further
11you wish to say on the subject?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No. I think it is very difficult to come to any
13conclusion right now on the basis of that drawing.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]      But common sense suggests that, if you have 4,000 pound
15bombs blasting outside a building, you do not want a door
16that is going to come flying open into your face?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I do not know. It is common sense that you do not want,
18if a building collapses and collapses over the air raid
19shelter, you do not want all the brick and rubble to be
20right in front of the door so you can never open the
21door. So you are inside there without able to leave.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      Can I now in general ask you by what means the corpses
23were taken out of the gas chamber upstairs to the level
24where the furnaces were?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      In crematorium (ii)?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]      In crematorium (ii) I am only interested in crematorium

.      P-176

 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I just have to redirect my mind.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      I am only interested in crematorium (ii) because that is
 4where you said this was where the 500,000 people were
 5killed. You called this the centre of the atrocity.
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      They were brought up by elevator.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]      They were carried up by elevator. It is difficult to say
 8where it was, I suppose, is it not?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No it is actually quite easy. The elevator is right
10here. Actually the pit is still there.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]      The pit is still there? Do you know anything about the
12dimensions of the elevator shaft?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It would be a little over, I would say, 2 metres 30, one
14side, maybe 1 metre 40, 50 in the other.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]      In our language how many feet is that? Six or seven feet?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes, eight feet by five feet, something like that.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes. Well 2 metres 30 is six feet, about seven feet.
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      We can check it on the blueprints, so why do we not do
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      This is quite an important point, my Lord. This is the
21bottleneck. We are looking at the bottleneck now.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      We have actually the dimensions 2 metres 70 by 1 metre 43,
23so 2 metres 70. In the blueprints this is document 3B,
24tab 1, of the documents, it says in the enlargement to the
25right. So 143 would be 4 feet, 4 feet 10 inches and 2
26metres 70 would be ----

.      P-177

 1 Q. [Mr Irving]      Eight feet?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No, it would be 9 feet, 30 centimetres per foot.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      So, what, it is about as big as one of these table tops,
 4is it, the shaft?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No, 9 feet is longer than this table, and certainly it is
 6much wider. This is less than a metre.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]      I am just trying to get an idea. Of course, that is not
 8the area of the floor space in elevator itself, is it?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      The elevator, we can go back to the blueprint.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It says -- the dimension is taken, the width is taken on
12the basis of the actual width of the platform. In the
13length I have to admit, at least in the design, the actual
14platform would have been slightly less than 2 metres 70.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]      Because of course you have got to have room for the
16counter weight to go up and down?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No, the counter weight, there is a space for the counter
18weight right -- it is spared out to the side towards
19morgue No. 1.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]      Although it is not in any of these designs, in the Neufert
21designs the counter weight comes down inside the shaft?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Are we referring to the plans of the crematorium or to
24 Q. [Mr Irving]      You are saying there was an extra shaft to the counter
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      There is quite a substantial space, I would say probably

.      P-178

 1one foot and a half, at the side of the platforms through
 2which the counter weight could go.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      Very well. So what was put into this? It was like a
 4hospital lift, was it, in which bodies put or how would it
 5normally be designed if this operating as a mortuary, what
 6kind of insulation? Would a gurney or stretcher be
 7wheeled in there carrying the bodies if it was a normal
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I have no idea how lifts in normal mortuaries are. The
10information says "auf Zug", I presume that in this case
11this was designed for this building. This building
12obviously deals with mass mortality one way or another.
13So I think it is very unlikely that a gurney would have
14been wheeled into this thing, because I would not know why
15you would bring out a gurney into this morgue, and then
16load it on a gurney, put the gurney in the elevator and
17then immediately burn the body upstairs in a mass
18incineration facility.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]      First of all, we will start with the normal mortuary
20design because this was presumably a standard mortuary
21design which has been adapted for special conditions?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      No, Mr Irving, this is standard mortuary design. This is
23a rather unique mortuary design, probably unique in the
24world, in the history, no, it is not a standard.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      But it was designed as a mortuary?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Sorry, I stated it wrongly. You said "mortuary"

.      P-179

 1I meant ----
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]      The entire building was ----
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      --- crematorium.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]      --- was originally designed for the purpose of acting as a
 5joint mortuary crematorium?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      But this crematorium was of a size and a capacity which
 7has absolutely no precedent at all, or for that matter has
 8never been followed by a crematorium of this size ever.
 9There is no civilian crematorium at all of this size. The
10largest civilian crematorium so far as I know had three
11single muffle ovens and never had something like 15 muffle
13 Q. [Mr Irving]      Was that in wartime or in peacetime?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      In Germany people built in peacetime and destroy in
15wartime. It is very unusual to build these kind of
16buildings in wartime.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]      Yes. You appreciate, do you not, that that lift shaft was
18the bottleneck through which all the victims of the
19Holocaust had to go, if we follow the standard version?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I think most of the victims in the Holocaust died outside
21Auschwitz. So at least ----
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      These 500,000 you talk about?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      --- these people who went through that lift, that would
24have been a bottleneck between gassing and incineration.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      I appreciate your earlier point. Of course far more
26people died than those 500,000 and I have never challenged

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