Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 211 - 215 of 215

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     My Lord, may I just give Mr Irving one piece of
 1which describes in detail the transformation of this
 2morgue into a gas chamber and the operation as a gas
 3chamber.
 4 MR IRVING:      The transformation of the morgue into a gas
 5chamber?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes. Page 293, in the late summer/early fall of 1941.
 7Because I will come back to those pages when you are
 8talking about my epilogue where the discussion is about
 9the present condition of the building. I will refer back
10to this page, so we save each other and the judge a lot of
11time.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]      You are also discussing the integrity of the site, are you
13not?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I am quite happy to discuss the integrity of the site.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]      In your book you did?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes, I did.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]      And you complained that the integrity of the site has been
18tampered with and that it is no longer the same buildings
19and they are not being put to the same uses?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      If you confront the same, the exact words, then I comment
21on it. My major discussion is on the prisoner reception
22building, and I deplore the fact that this building is not
23shown in its original state, but has been used for tourist
24purposes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]      Why would the present Director of the Auschwitz State
26Museum in 1995 say to the French newspaper, L'Expresse,

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 1"Toute y est faux", "Everything there is fake"?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      This is -- I think I deal with it in my report and I am
 3happy to go to my report, to the particular thing which
 4was said. We are dealing here, certainly the one thing is
 5that the person did not speak French and, if you want,
 6I can go to my report and deal with this.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I have made my position clear. I do not
 8understand where this gets anybody, this point.
 9 MR RAMPTON:      And I do not either and I, perhaps, in some
10sense have as much interest in this aimless ramble as your
11Lordship because the longer me and my team are in court,
12the more money it costs my clients. I am OK, but it is
13quarter past 4 and we are not sitting tomorrow, but if
14this start up again on Friday, I am going to have
15something to say about it.
16 MR IRVING:      Well, my Lord, we spent some time looking at the
17integrity of crematorium No. (ii) which has been held to
18be highly pertinent to this case. The other extermination
19centre is supposed to be Auschwitz 1 or the Sturmlager,
20and I hold that I am entitled to look at the integrity of
21that site too.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Well, yes, as it originally was, of course,
23but whether it is a tourist reconstruction, which is,
24I think, how you like ----
25 MR IRVING:      Or what I call a "fake".
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      --- or a tourist fake, whatever label you like

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 1to put on it, seems to me not really to be the point. If
 2you want to investigate what it was used for at the
 3relevant period, 1942/43, that is one thing, but you are
 4now investigating whether it has been described by the
 5Superintendent at Auschwitz as being a fake. Well, so
 6what?
 7 MR IRVING:      This is of relevance only when we come to the
 8political part of this case, my Lord, where I am accused
 9of having said despicable and perverse things which could
10not possibly be true. For this reason, I was proposing to
11ask this expert on the Holocaust and on Auschwitz to what
12degree what I said was true. Your Lordship may consider
13this is totally irrelevant in which case, of course,
14I shall bow to your Lordship's ruling.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Well, if that is what it is said to be
16relevant to ----
17 MR IRVING:      I apologise for not having made that plain.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      --- I would like to see quite what it was
19that you did say about Auschwitz being a tourist
20attraction or part of Auschwitz being a tourist
21attraction.
22 MR IRVING:      The actual sentence was: "The building which is
23shown to the tourist today is a fake built by the Poles
24after the war as a gas chamber".
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Do you want to take that any further? I
26mean, you have the answer.

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 1 MR IRVING:      Not at this moment, my Lord.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      "No, it is not a fake because it was used as
 3a gas chamber". That is what Professor van Pelt says.
 4You do not have to accept it, obviously.
 5 MR IRVING:      Except that I may wish very briefly confront him
 6with what he himself wrote, if I may, but not at this
 7moment, my Lord.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      You will look at page 293 as well?
 9 MR IRVING:      It may not be the page I am relying upon, my Lord.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      I suspect it will not be.
11     Now, I think we have probably reached the end of
12the day. 10 o'clock on Friday. (To the witness): You
13are going to be able to be back?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      Yes, I will come back tomorrow night.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Mr Irving, I think it might help everybody to
16know how much more cross-examination -- it is very
17difficult to estimate, I realize.
18 MR IRVING:      I have already informed leading counsel for the
19Defendants that I do not want anticipate having much more
20than about another half day of questions because I would
21like to think that Professor van Pelt can return over the
22weekend, given adequate time for re-examination where
23necessary.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes. Well, that is very kind of you to have
25given that indication. Mr Rampton, do you think that you
26will reach somebody else on Friday?

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 1 MR RAMPTON:      I have not got any witnesses.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      You have not?
 3 MR RAMPTON:      No, not to bring on Friday, no, but I am not
 4really doing my case. I am cross-examining Mr Irving.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Yes. Will you resume cross-examining him?
 6 MR RAMPTON:      I can easily do that.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Good.
 8 THE WITNESS:      My Lord, may I just -- since I think that I still
 9have to give the presentation on the blueprints, so
10I think that -- I do not know exactly how long it will
11take me, but I think it will take me an hour, an hour and
12a half to do that, to go through the material.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Will it really take as long as that? That is
14slightly gloomier, but that is no disrespect to you, but
15if you can present it more ----
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      If you want it shorter, give me time and I will try to do
17it much shorter.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:      Well, you are going to have a bit of time to
19think about it. 10 o'clock on Friday.
20 < (The witness stood down)
21(The court adjourned until Friday, 28th January 2000)
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