Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 186 - 190 of 215

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     Is it not odd that once again the question arises here,
 1the Third Reich and they just cannot get the stuff, they
 2are not getting the priorities?
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Shall we stick to one point at a time? You
 4are on whether this was a bottleneck.
 5 MR IRVING:      Can we now look at how long it took to make one
 6round trip and load up? Have you any estimate of how many
 7minutes or seconds it would take?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      To load up how many corpses?
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]      Well, this is the question. You have told us that it
10would take a large number of corpses, but I find this hard
11to believe if they had no doors and walls on this lift; it
12was just a platform going up and down?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I think there are too many variables right now to stand
14here in court. I am happy to sit down and, like the
15Zyklon-B, spend a couple of days considering this
17 Q. [Mr Irving]      I am not asking you to do that. I am just asking you to
18do a back-of-an-envelope calculation which will help us to
19form some idea of how long it would take to raise 2,000
20bodies from this underground morgue to the furnace level,
21bring them in, stack them on, raise them up, unload them
22at the top level, bring the thing down empty again and
23repeat the cycle?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I do not do a back-of-the-envelope and I would just want
25to do it as I am thinking out loud and nothing more. Let
26us say that it would take three to four minutes to load

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 1this platform, that it takes another minute ----
 2 Q. [Mr Irving]      With how many? With how many bodies?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Let us 10 bodies, 15 bodies, three to four minutes. Let
 4me just make a note of it as I am going on. Then let us
 5say it takes one minute and that is a long time for this
 6platform to go up one storey.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]      No, because if it is a freight elevator in fact it takes
 8twice as long. We know that from Neufert, do we not?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      But we are talking one storey and we talk about a minute
10and a minute is a very long time.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]      A freight elevator does go slower than a passenger
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes, but we still talk about ----
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Come on much, not much turns on that, does
15it? We must keep an eye on realities.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      We talk about 2 metres 50. We talk about 8 feet going
17up. Let us say it is another three, and I am very, very
18generous, you know, three, whatever, two, I mean less, one
19minute to unload the thing.
20 MR IRVING:      One minute to unload ten bodies?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes. A minute is a long time.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]      That is being very generous. I would suggest that the
23round trip, loading and unloading, would take about ten
24minutes each time?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Ten minutes. So?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]      Then we have 2,000 bodies to process in this manner.

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      So in your calculation we have, and I am slightly
 2disgusted right now by the thing I have to do, but ----
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]      These are very rough calculations, but I am suggesting
 4that we have a serious bottleneck which indicates that the
 5figures that talk about have been inflated. I am only
 6looking here at the figures. I am not looking at whether
 7this happened or not.
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It is going a little fast for me, my Lord, right now.
 9I am happy to come back to this on Friday.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      If you prefer to, as it is a new point to
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I am just trying to calculate in my head on the 10-minute
13basis, and, let us say we, what did we say, 10, 15 corpses
14on the thing, it would mean that in 10 minutes you
15get ----
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]      10 to 15.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      It is one ----
18 MR IRVING:      My Lord, I think it would be useful if he was to
19return to this after he has had time to do a calculation.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      If you prefer.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes, I would prefer to do that, because I think it seems
22to be a very important point.
23 MR IRVING:      It is a useful exercise. It is bottleneck in the
24operation which does give us a chance of arriving at some
25kind of concrete results.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I would of course be quite pleased if somebody who knows,

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 1if we got some more specific data about, you know, how
 2long it would take for this elevator to come up, because
 3obviously if we are 50 per cent wrong, then we suddenly
 4have the bottleneck and there cease to be a bottleneck or
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]      Just as in the calculation you made earlier on the Zyklon
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I took a very generous, very generous I think amounts for
10 Q. [Mr Irving]      We have those figures and I will supply them to you within
11the next 24 hours, the actual carrying capacity of the
12lifts, the various models, the size and so on and the
13actual speed in minutes and seconds that it would take to
14lift that distance.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      We are comimg back to that on Friday. So let
16us leave that and get on.
17 MR IRVING:      My Lord, I just want to conclude by putting a
18number of general questions to the witness, if I may,
19which is, you will be glad to hear, off these very, very
20minute questions in the broadest possible terms now.
21     You had a colleague working with on your book,
22did you not, Deborah Dwork?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]      She is now a very famous Professor, is she not, at the
25Clark University? She has a Chair of Holocaust studies?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Holocaust history.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]      Holocaust history. Without wanting to sound tasteless
 2about it, it has become quite an industry, a very well
 3funded industry, has it not, this Holocaust education
 4business? She writes in her own papers that she has
 5received $5 million a year for funding her Chair and very
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      She has been able to set up this Institute by this money
 8donated by various donors, yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]      I am only asking these questions because you re one of the
10world's leading Holocaust scholars and you are probably in
11the best position to educate the court about these
12matters. It has become big business and it is not just
13I who say this; a number of other far more learned people
14than I myself have said this. The Chief Rabbi of England
15said it once.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Mr Irving, I think that I am here as an expert on
17Auschwitz. If you want to have testimony as a member of
18the general public, and I am not one of the chief
19Holocaust historians, I am actually a cultural historian
20who was worked on Auschwitz, as a member of the general
21public I can answer. I do not know if the Judge will be
22very interested in my opinion.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I am interpreting this question as suggesting
24that your co-author was, effectively, delivering the goods
25on the Holocaust, that is to say exaggerating it, because
26she was being paid so well to do so.

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