Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 10: Electronic Edition
Pages 1 - 215 of 215
1IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
1996 I. No. 113
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
2Royal Courts of Justice
4 Wednesday, 26th January 2000
7MR JUSTICE GRAY
9B E T W E E N: DAVID JOHN CAWDELL IRVING
11(1) PENGUIN BOOKS LIMITED
12(2) DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT
14The Claimant appeared in person
15MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
17MISS HEATHER ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons) appeared on behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited
18MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
19the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt
21(Transcribed from the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell
& Company, Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4
23(This transcript is not to be reproduced without the written permission of Harry Counsell & Company)
25 PROCEEDINGS - DAY TEN
1 <Day 10. Wednesday, 26th January 2000.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving?
3 MR IRVING: My Lord, may it please the court. Two minor
4housekeeping matters: first of all, I have postponed my
5two witnesses until later because, obviously, we are in
6the middle of Professor van Pelt's cross-examination, and
7that is the witnesses Fox and Peter Millar.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I hope that does not cause problems.
9 MR IRVING: Not at all, no. I dealt with them last night about
10this. So one of the things I gave to you in the bundle
11yesterday morning referred to the Millar. It is a section
12of the 1992 diary. It will presumably be in your ----
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have it loose and I will keep it loose.
14 MR IRVING: Keep it loose or put it in J.
15 My Lord, the other minor matter concerns once
16again the press.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
18 MR IRVING: From today's press coverage -- particularly I am
19referring to the Times -- one gets the impression they are
20relying more on hand outs than on their personal
21experiences in the courtroom.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I saw the report. I did not read it. What
23about it are you concerned?
24 MR IRVING: Purely, that there were things in the article which
25were not in the testimony yesterday, and I am not in any
26way pointing a finger at the Defendants on this. It may
1well be there are third parties who are doing this and
2providing copies of the Professor's report or something
3like that to the press. This clearly disadvantages me.
4 I am aware of the fact that your Lordship is
5sitting without a jury, so this is of less moment, but if
6it in any way gradually affects or put wrong guidelines on
7public opinion and skews public opinion in some way, then
8this may indirectly be seen to be affecting the outcome of
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I am afraid that really is a sort of
11fact of life that you just have to put up with. Really,
12what matters here for my purposes is whether I am going to
13be influenced by it and, as I have not read it, I will not
15 MR IRVING: Very well, my Lord. Clearly, it would be improper
16for any of the parties in this case to start putting hand
17outs to the press in the way I appreciate the law is on
18contempt which would disadvantage the other party.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If anything that really does disturb you
20comes up, mention it, but at the moment I do not think
21there is anything that can usefully be done about what
22appeared or, indeed, should be done. So I think we might
23as well get on.
24 MR IRVING: Very well, my Lord. It will probably assist your
25Lordship if I now just in one topic paragraph, so to say,
26outline what I intend doing ----
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I would find that very helpful.
2 MR IRVING: --- for the next hour, shall we say? Firstly,
3there will be no more traps being sprung. I am sure that
4the Professor will appreciate advance notification. There
5are no more hidden booby-traps or mines, but I am going to
6be dwelling briefly on crematorium No. (ii) still for a
7while because I believe the Professor wishes to make
8certain comments on what I said yesterday.
9 I then want to have a look at the quality of the
10eyewitness evidence that the Professor was relying upon,
11in particular the witnesses Tauber and Bimko and Broad.
12Then we will move to Auschwitz, the main camp, and have a
13look at the alleged gassing facilities there.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Thank you for that.
15 MR IRVING: If I can just recapitulate where we were when we
16ended yesterday and invite the Professor to state what
17comments he had on that. This was the fact that we had
18established, I believe (and I am sure the Professor will
19correct me when the time comes if I am wrong) that the
20evidence on which he based his contention that crematorium
21No. (ii), the mortuary No. 1 in that crematorium, the
22underground mortuary, was, in fact, a gas chamber, was
23entirely eyewitness evidence, what we would call anecdotal
24evidence from certain named eyewitnesses.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think he would, accept but that may
26be what you are putting to him.
1 MR IRVING: He may wish to tell the court what other evidence
2he is relying upon. I shall certainly invite him to do
3so. If I may continue? The evidence then is that the
4roof has pancaked downwards, has remained relatively
5intact, sufficiently in tact that one can draw certain
6conclusions from its present condition, and that in its
7present condition it certainly shows no signs of the holes
8through which allegedly the murderers poured the cyanide
9capsules into the chamber below. They should certainly
10have been visible, in my submission.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, that is the point we were on yesterday
13 MR IRVING: This is where we left it yesterday evening, my
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, absolutely.
16 < PROFESSOR VAN PELT, Recalled
17< Cross-examined by MR IRVING, continued.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, do you disagree with any part of that
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I do.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Right. With which part do you disagree? Shall we take it
22stage by stage? My contention that your belief that this
23building was a homicidal gas chamber rests solely on the
24eyewitness evidence of those named eyewitnesses?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I disagree with that statement, and I can bring in some
26other evidence, if you would like to consider it?
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Was this other evidence contained in any of your reports
2or in your published book?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is contained in a report. It is also contained -- it
4is basically a number of images I would like to introduce
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just be clear? Are we talking about
7crematorium (ii) or generally?
8 MR IRVING: We are still talking about crematorium No. (ii), my
9Lord, the one of which we had these large photographs.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I just wanted to be clear.
11 MR IRVING: We are talking specifically about the Leichenkeller
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Or, even more specifically, we are talking about the way
14Zyklon-B was introduced in that Leichenkeller by means of
15wire mesh columns which above ground were capped with a
16kind of introduction device, a chimney like introduction
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Rather like a funnel of some kind?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Some kind of little chimney.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Was this introduction device made of wire mesh or was it
21made of concrete or do you have any evidence?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Tauber describes it as a chimney with a concrete lid, but
23I would like at the moment, with your permission, just to
24introduce the evidence and maybe we can consider the
26 Q. [Mr Irving] This is the eyewitness Tauber you are referring to?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. My Lord, I would like to go to core file Auschwitz
22, the trial bundle,.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: K2 we are talking about?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. 2, K2, and I would like to go to tab 1 where it is
5called "Plans and blueprints", and I would like to go to
6page No. 10 and No. 10A.
7 MR IRVING: Handwritten 10?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I think it must be a handwritten 10.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It is 22 printed and 45 printed, but it is 10 and
1110A. That is how the numbers of the sequence in which
12these images are in the file.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: These are photographs?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These are photographs, and what we see here is we have an
15image of the back of crematorium (ii) in February 1942.
16You see it is winter. The photo is very clear. There is
17snow on the ground. We are looking at the foreground is
18actually the construction site of the Klaranlage, the
19sewage waste, the sewage treatment plant. We look at the
20back of the crematorium, and we see there the main
21building with the roof and the chimney and then, jutting
22out from that building and it is clearer on the next page,
23we see the gas chamber, or the morgue No. 1 as a kind of
24box, a low box like structure, and on top of that we see
25four boxes. It is certainly three of them are very clear
26and maybe the fourth one to the left right under the
1window. This would be the third double window from the
2left of the building. We see these box like, chimney
3like, structures which jut up from this low, this low box
4like structure, which is morgue No. 1.
5 This is a picture of the building as it was on
6the construction. Shortly after this photo was taken the
7gas chamber itself, or the morgue No. 1 itself, was
8covered with dirt, and so that the projection of the
9little chimneys above the level of the roof of the morgue
10in the final result would probably have been less, but we
11do not, of course, know if we look at the finished
12chimneys right now or if these were in some way still
13capped with another kind of structure.
14 So this is, I think, a very important piece of
15evidence because this is a photo taken by a member of the
16SS Bauleitung, Schaffuhrer Kaman. He was the only one
17allowed with a camera in the camp and this photo very
18clearly shows the structures.
19 MR IRVING: Can I interrupt you at this point?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, of course.
21 MR IRVING: Right. I am anxious to let the witness have his
22say, but you refer to them as "chimneys"; of course, they
23are not. They are objects on this photograph. We do not
24know what the objects are. Professor, have you,
25presumably, in your life visited a building site?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] And have you seen flat roofs on building sites under
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you seen these roofs when they are being treated with
5some kind of substance to water proof them?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] What does the substance come in? Would I be right in
8saying it comes in 40 gallons drums or something like
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would not be able to comment on that. I mean, if you
11want to assert it comes in 40 gallon drums, I will accept
13 Q. [Mr Irving] But it comes in drums, does it not? These drums stand
14around the roof while the men brush it up and down on the
15roof. This kind of thing happens?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is quite possible.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] And this photograph was taken in the winter of 1942?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] At this time this particular building was under
20construction, was it not? They were stilling
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It was under construction.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] It was under construction. Of course, if we cut straight
24to the bottom line in this, if we are to accept your
25hypothesis or theory that these were rather irregularly
26spaced openings in the roof, and these were some kind of
1pipe on top of that, as I understand you are putting to
2the court, with some kind of cover on top, then we would
3expect to find the openings in the roof, would we not, or
4some trace of those openings in the roof even today? Here
5is the roof now, that is the very roof we are talking
6about, is it not? That has pancaked downwards. The
7underside of the roof is largely intact. You can see just
8where those columns would have been then, these openings
9would have been, and there is not the slightest trace of
10them, is there?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have said, it is in my report that one cannot observe
12these things, but I have also said before that when the
13gas chamber was dismantled before the destruction of this
14building, two months before the destruction of this
15building, it would have been a very likely, I mean, the
16obvious solution would have been to actually close these
17holes. Now, I have also mentioned yesterday ----
18 Q. [Mr Irving] I am going to question you on that in a minute.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I wonder if I should go back to the discussion of
20yesterday or address straight the issue of the boxes with
21material, the alleged boxes with the material on the roof.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, we will come back to the alleged boxes with material
23on the roof, but I must hold up your statement to the
24court where you said that just before demolition of the
25building, workers were sent in with the instructions to
26fill the holes with cement or concrete or something?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is an inference on my side because you do not want
2these holes in the roof of a space to remain. When you
3have taken out the columns, it is an obvious conclusion
4that you would close these holes.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] I can see his Lordship frowning and I think the whole
6court is inwardly frowning about this rather improbable
7story, implausible idea.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, just for the record and for the
9transcript, I did not frown.
10 MR IRVING: I am sorry, my Lord.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us get on with the question.
12 MR IRVING: Yes. The implausibility of the story, that before
13putting in packs of dynamite beneath the building to blow
14everything up so that the Red Army does not find any
15criminal traces, they send in workmen with buckets of
16cement and trowels and tell them to make good the holes in
17the roof. This sounds, I must say, totally implausible to
18me, and we know now that it never happened because the
19roof is there and there is not the slightest trace of such
20patchwork having been done on the concrete?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, it is at the moment impossible to see because of
22the state of the roof if there was patchwork or not. The
23roof is fragmented. The roof has weathered very, very
24badly over 50 years, and the colour of concrete in the
25roof is of a motley quality, to say, and there is a lot of
26growth has been on the roof. It is impossible to tell one
1way or another.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] We are talking about the underside of the roof, of course,
3and we have any number of photographs of the underside of
4that roof where you can actually see the original wood
5grain in the formwork on the concrete that survives, and
6that shows not the slightest displacement or interference
7or tampering with. This is the implausible part of your
8story. I appreciate that you are anxious to move on to
9other topics because, frankly, this blows holes in the
10whole of the gas chamber story. If there are no holes in
11that roof, no holes in that roof, there are no holes now
12and there were no holes then, and that totally demolishes
13the evidence of your so-called eyewitnesses?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I have already yesterday pointed out that the
15column which remains and over which the room has been
16folded is the second column which was not the column where
17the column, the Zyklon-B introduction column was attached
18to, there were four of them, attached to column 1, 3, 5
19and 7. May I address ----
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I wanted to ask you -- may I do it now --
21about the columns because I understood your evidence
22yesterday to be that jutting out, as it were, from the
23roof of the alleged gas chamber there were the columns as
24well as the metal apertures through which the Zyklon-B,
25you say, was poured?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The columns -- it is unlikely, my Lord, that the ----
1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Did I misunderstand that?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- columns would be going through the roof completely
3because the columns themselves were wider. They had these
4three concentric layers, but what would have happened is
5that there were a hole through the roof, and then on the
6top of it you get a kind if chimney like structure, and as
7long as the hole is connected to the innermost, to the
8innermost kind of column inside and of the same width so
9that this little thing can be brought up and down which
10ultimately allowed people to retrieve the earth in which
11the Zyklon was absurd during transport. As long as that
12hole was the same as the diameter of the inner column,
13then whatever you do above the roof is irrelevant.
14I mean, you can have a box or you can have just a lid
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow. But the question I am really
17trying to get at is this. If your evidence is that the
18pillars were protruding above the level of the roof ----
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] You said the Zyklon-B introduction pillars?
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Well, that is what I am asking you. I thought you said
21that the pillars, the structural pillars, were
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, the structural pillars did not and do not.
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Well, that was my misunderstanding of your evidence.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We have a blue print which shows those pillars and we can
26look at if you want.
1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Whilst I am asking you questions, I am not sure you have
2really responded to the suggestion that was implicitly
3being put to you by Mr Irving which is that these objects
4that one can see on the roof of the gas chamber, alleged
5gas chamber, are, in fact, drums containing some sort of
6sealant. You have not actually dealt with that
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, and I would like to deal with that, if it is
10 MR IRVING: Are you saying that all four of those objects were
11the pipes, as you call them?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, these would be, this would be the chimney. There
13would be some structure around the pipe, because if you
14just have a pipe coming up, you want to have probably some
15kind of insertion mechanism. If you take a tin of
16Zyklon-B, that probably there is a little funnel attached
17to, and also you want probably not the pipe to run
18straight through the earth, you probably want to have some
19kind of protection around that pipe.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] My Lord, can I draw your attention to picture 10A in K2?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I still do not think, Professor van
22Pelt, you have really dealt with the suggestion that these
23are drums containing sealant. Could that be so?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to deal with it.
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Deal with it now.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] First of all, we are coming, of course, in a -- the
1problem is the exact dating of this image. If this image
2had been taken, let us say, in November, December, let us
3say December 1942, I think it could have been a plausible
4suggestion. I mean, we would have to look then in what
5shape of tins sealant is coming, but let us assume that
6this is, this is December, at that moment we know that
7there was construction activity on the roof. We also know
8that by the end of January, I mean, in fact, by the middle
9of January already, from correspondence, that the roof of
10morgue No. 1 had been completed, and one of the reasons
11for that we know that is the notorious Fergantung's letter
12of January 29, 1943. So, what is the reason that we know
13that this is not December 1942, but that this is or that
14we are already talking about probably February 1943.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought you said '42, I am bound to say.
16 MR IRVING: November '42?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My argument is that Mr Irving's argument could be taken
18seriously at least for a moment until we have established
19what shape these containers come if this photo had been
20taken in December 1942. My argument is that the roof was
21already completed by January 1943.
22 My second argument is that one can, if one looks
23carefully at this photo, see that there is some kind of
24black line on the top of the chimney. There seems to be
25some soot on the top of the chimney which means that the
26chimney, as it is depicted in this photo, has had some
1kind of activity already.
2 We know that there were trials, the first trial
3firing of the incinerators was, in fact, in late January
41943. That was the first trial firing of the
5incinerators. On the basis of that, it is very clear that
6this photo must be taken after the first trial firing of
7the incinerators. That is again the letter of 19, 29
8talks about the trial firing of the incinerators,
9otherwise there would be no soot on the top of the
11 On the basis of that, it is possible to date
12this photo at least after the end of January 1943 when the
13roof was completed and, therefore, would be no reason at
14that moment for any other kind of boxes with sealant to be
15on the roof.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just ask one question and then I will
17stop? How do you date this photograph as February '43?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because we know that by early March '43, the whole
19building was completed and, by implication, the gas
20chamber would have been covered with dirt. We know also
21-- so that is the last date that is possible. I mean,
22these photos are not dated.
23 We also know that the first experimental firing
24of the incinerators happened in end of January 1943. So
25it must have been, this photo must have been taken after
26the end of January 1943 and before the official completion
1of the building in early March 1943. This is why I say
3 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, have you seen a photograph of
4that roof with just snow on it and no kind of
5protruberances at all, that flat roof?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I think there is a photograph of that, yes.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] What conclusions do you draw from examining that
8photograph? Those protruberances were moveable?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you present me to the photograph, I will draw
10conclusions from it.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] You say you have seen the photograph. If there is a
12photograph of that roof with flat snow on it, a pure sheet
13of white snow, and no protruberances on it, and that
14implies that the protruberances were mobile and could be
15carried around like drums of tar, for example?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, I am not going to speculate upon a photograph I
17do not have in front of me. If you present the photo, I
18am very happy to explain that photo and I have an
19explanation for that photo.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor, actually I think you are wrong on
21this point because you have accepted there is such a
22photograph. You have seen it. Can you not help Mr Irving
23-- he obviously has not got the photograph -- by giving
24the explanation that you obviously have?
25 MR IRVING: I have the photograph but not immediately
26available, my Lord.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. Then the explanation is simple. What happens is that
2after the dirt was brought on top of the roof of the gas
3chamber or morgue No. 1, the protection of these chimneys
4would have been less. If we then had snow on top of that,
5it is very unlikely we would have seen much of these
7 MR IRVING: I only have one more question going to these
8protruberances on the roof. You say the Germans are
9basically a very methodical and orderly kind of people
10when they design their buildings; they are not arty
11crafty. They do not put a pillar here and a pillar there
12and "Let us have two over there". They will put them in a
13straight line down the middle, as, indeed, we know they
14did in that very building, in the gas chamber, as you call
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are construction pillars we are talking about?
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, the construction pillars that go down the centre of
18the room, do they not, with one single reinforced concrete
19beam down the centre of the room?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] So these pillars go down the centre of the room.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not only Germans. I presume even English architecture and
23Canadian architecture do the same.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] I am sure they do. Therefore, the wire mesh columns that
25you talked about which went up the side of the pillars
26would also be running down the centre of the roof, would
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, not necessarily. I mean, you can put them either on
3the left or on the right side of the columns.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we have another look at that photograph, in particular
5the one on page 10A? Is it your impression that those
6four objects are evenly spaced?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It seems that the second object is slightly more, the
8second object from the right, seems to be slightly more to
9the left -- it seems to be at a different line than the
10first and the third.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. Do they appear to you to be running down the
12centre line of that roof?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Or anywhere near the centre line of that roof?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know, near. It is very difficult to say in this
16photograph exactly where they are, but it seems to be in
17this perspective that the interpretation is that No. 1 and
18No. 3 maybe would be in line, but certainly No. 2 would
19not be on the same line as No. 1 and 3, going from the
20right, and No. 4 it is very difficult to determine exactly
21what that thing is.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, have you received just now a copy of
23this photograph of the underside of the roof?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I have it right in front of me.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] You accept that the underside of that slab we are looking
26at there in the colour photograph, which is Leichenkeller
1No. 1 of crematorium No. 2, is the room you identified as
2the room where 500,000 people were gassed to death?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you accept that we can indeed see a very large amount
5of the space of that underside of that roof?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is very difficult from this photograph to say how much
7space it is. I have been under the roof and it is a very
8tight space when you go there, when you actually film it
9or photograph it, the scale becomes very difficult to
10determine. What we certainly see here is that, if indeed
11what we see in the front of this photograph is the bricks,
12and pieces of bricks, then actually we are looking in a
13very, very narrow space, because these bricks are this
14size more or less, so we are talking about a space here, a
15crawl space right now.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Like speediology, is it not, like cave hunting? It would
17be like going down into a very narrow cave, but all the
18same the people manage to get down there and take the
19photograph of that large area of roof space and you can
20see the lines of the formwork, the wooden lines where the
21concrete has been moulded into the wet concrete as running
22between the boards of the formwork?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] You would expect therefore to find that interrupted in
25some way if there were these holes in the roof?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to point out to you that in fact, if we see
1the kind of converging parallel lines of the formwork
2going from the top of the photo, then passing over at
3least two big kind of stains, which shows it is not very
4smooth, and then suddenly that formwork stops because
5there is actually a diagonal line going more or less from
6the top left of the picture to the middle of the right
7hand side, so the form work certainly not very regular,
8which it is very easy to see on this photo.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] You do accept, do you not, that the whole of the story of
10the 500,000 people killed in that chamber rises or falls,
11rests or falls on the existence of those holes in that
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] We only have the eyewitness evidence.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I disagree with that. The whole story rises and falls on
16the evidence that this room was a gas chamber, which is a
17slightly different issue.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, setting that aside for a moment and we will come
19back to that other evidence in a moment, we still have not
20heard any other evidence than the eyewitness evidence we
21have heard about.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, before you leave the photograph,
23took this photograph?
24 MR IRVING: A number of, shall we say, revisionist researchers
25have gone down there and taken these photographs.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The professionals say it is revisionist
2 MR IRVING: It is revisionist research, my Lord, but the point
3I was about to make was, as your Lordship may apprehend it
4was, as it is now accepted and has been accepted for some
5years that the whole story rises and falls on the
6existence of holes, one would have expected the
7researchers at the other end of the spectrum to have been
8down frantically looking for those holes to prove us wrong
9and they have not. They have not bothered to scrape off
10the rubble on the top to look for the evidence on top of
11the holes. They have not bothered to make any kind of
12survey clearing aside this brick mess underneath, digging
13deeper in, looking for evidence that those holes exist and
14frankly, my Lord, I cannot accept the notion that the
15Nazis, in the last frantic days when we heard yesterday
16they were in a blue funk, blowing up buildings, taking out
17the equipment, dismantling everything nut and bolt, that
18they would have gone round with a bucket of cement filling
19in the holes of the buildings they were about to dynamite.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is in the nature of a small speech and
21obviously you will be making that point later on, but for
22the time being press on with your questions.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, may I respond to this? Can I take the speech as
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us deal with it slightly more
26evidentially. You are being asked for the evidence you
1rely on apart from the eyewitnesses.
2 MR IRVING: My Lord ----
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just pause. You have your shout and I am
4going to have mine. You have identified the photographs
5which we have just been looking at, and I think we are
6going to want to know what other evidence you rely on.
7Mr Irving, that is not an inconvenient moment to ask that
8question, is it?
9 MR IRVING: I was just going to ask one supplementary question,
10which is to your knowledge, Professor, have any
11investigations of the underside of that roof been made by
12the Auschwitz museum authorities or the Polish
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know, my Lord.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you believe that, if there was any doubt as to the
16existence of those holes, or if there was any belief that
17those holes really existed, is it not likely that they
18would have made the most strenuous attempts to establish
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot second guess the way the Auschwitz museum or the
21Polish authorities operate. What I do know is that they
22do not generally allow their research agenda to be set by
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, may I introduce a second piece of evidence?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I would find it helpful, Mr Irving, to
1know what other evidence. You started by asking what
2other evidence is there.
3 MR IRVING: This is the question I asked earlier on and I did
4say that we would come back to that.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have the answer now.
6 MR IRVING: We have the eyewitnesses to whose integrity I shall
7be coming back later on this morning, but let us hear what
8else you have?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The second piece of evidence I would like to introduce is
10in tab No. 2, and it is circled photo No. 6, which is an
11air photo taken by Americans in the summer of 1944, which
12shows, if we look at that --, I do not know exactly how to
13turn it. If one looks at the photo from the side, we see
14crematorium (ii) to the right and crematorium 3 to the
15left. Now, one sees in this photo very clearly jutting
16out the undressing room. It is actually the entry at the
17end. It is like a little tab attached to it, and the
18morgue No. 1, and on morgue No. 1 there are four dots. In
19the same morgue No. 1 at crematorium 3 one sees those
21 MR IRVING: You describe them as dots, Professor. Would you
22like to estimate how long those dots actually are?
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The dots are going, as it were, in a line up
24to the top of the page. Are these the dots there?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see.
1 MR IRVING: If I may point them out on this large colour map,
2my Lord, they go along this roof here, do they not, which
3is the alleged gas chamber? Right?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] OK.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So that is a second piece of evidence, and I will leave it
7to this for the movement. I presume Mr Irving will
8challenge this and I will respond to his challenge.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] I did ask you a question if you remember. This was, would
10you estimate on the evidence in front of you approximately
11how big those dots are?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I find it very difficult. I do not know exactly how the
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Is that a shadow or an object?
15 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, can I intervene to be helpful? There is
16an even clearer photograph, a medium enlargement, on the
17previous page in the bundle on the right-hand side.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, that is a better photograph. I think
19that is helpful.
20 MR RAMPTON: It is even clearer.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it the same photograph?
22 MR RAMPTON: I do not know. The witness will know that.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: More overexposed, as it were, than the other
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It is not exactly. It was not taken from the same
26thing because you can see near crematorium 3, on the one
1photograph you can see these lines going in, which
2actually were used for labels, attach labels to it, and
3when they were published in 1979 or so, and you do not see
4those lines pointing to crematorium 3, the morgue No. 1
5and the fence in the image on page No. 5, printed No. 4.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: On page 5 crematorium (ii) is on the left.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. Crematorium (ii) is on the left.
9 MR IRVING: Are these the same photographs, Professor?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, they do not seem to be. I think they are the same
11photograph but they come from a different source.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] I do not think they can be the same photographs Professor,
13because of course the shadow of the chimney is going in
14the different direction, unless I am wrong..
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The shadow of the chimney goes in the same direction. We
16see the shadow of the chimney going north west in both
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think one may be the mirror image of the
19other but I am not sure it matters very much whether they
20are the same photographs?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So the question posed to me was the size of the objects.
22It is very difficult to determine the size of the objects,
23because of the way the shadow works. If one looks at the
24shadow of the chimney, one sees that the chimney really
25projects considerably out of the building, the shadow of
26the chimney. So it seems to be the sun is coming in this
1case from the southeast. I do not know exactly what time,
2maybe it comes from the east more.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I would not build too much on that, because
4I think it could be the same photograph which has been put
5in the wrong way round, as it were.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, they are exactly the same.
7 MR IRVING: I accept they are the same photographs. Would you
8agree that both the chimney of the crematorium and
9whatever these pipe like objects you say are would all be
10vertical? They would not be leaning in any one direction?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The object, you mean?
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The chimney itself and the ----
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Both the crematorium chimney and the protruberances on the
15roof which you think these dots are, would they all be
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] So they would all cast shadows in the same direction, at
19the same angle, would they not, if that were so?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, that is quite likely.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] On this photograph they clearly do not cast shadows in the
22same direction. The smudges or dots appear to be first
23one way and then another?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, that is the indeed true.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Are these dots visible on any of the other air photographs
26taken of that building?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes they are.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Either before or after?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you going to show these photographs to us?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I just selected one.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, might I suggest that it would have been helpful to
7the court if you had produced the other photographs that
8you allege exist containing these dots?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I thought that this was sufficient, but I presume the
10court can obtain them if they want it. But I think that
11these dots show very clearly that there are four
12introduction devices in morgue No. 1, or four something on
13top of that roof.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor, I strongly suggest that is a major quantum leap
15to suggest that a dot which on the face of it is about 15
16feet long on the roof of this crematorium building can
17have anything at all to do with the protruberances that
18you were talking about earlier, which at its largest
19extent in the eyewitness evidence that I have seen is of
20the order of 36 inches.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, the whole of the width of what you call the
22alleged gas chamber I think is something like, what is it,
23a little less than 20 feet. So, if you look at the width
24of this room and you look then at the dots, we are
25certainly not talking about dots which are 15 feet wide.
26We are more looking at dots which are probably 3 feet
2 Q. [Mr Irving] I strongly disagree. They are over one quarter of the
3width of that roof in all their versions and
4manifestations on these various photographs.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not going to argue at moment about the width.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Moreover, they cast no shadow.
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is impossible to say what kind of shadow they cast.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] They cast no shadow.
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, we are looking at an immensely enlarged image
10from a small negative. These negatives, by the way, my
11Lord, have been preserved. They are sitting all on a roll
12and they have been preserved. These photos have been
13analysed by two different parties.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you name those two different parties please?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr John Ball in Canada and in British Columbia was the
16first one who analysed these photos in the early 1990s.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it not correct they were first analysed by a man
18called Mr Brigioni?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, the CIA. I am sorry, indeed the CIA published these
20photos in 1979.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] About 1974, I believe?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Whatever, 1974, 1979.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you aware of the fact that Mr Brigioni, the author of
24that publication of photographs, the CIA operative who,
25with a fellow author, first published these photographs,
26has recently published a book called Photo Fakery?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] In which he sets out chapter by chapter how easy it is to
3forge photographs, as we all know. Using modern computers
4and this kind of thing you can take people out of
5photographs and move people around. This same Mr Brigioni
6is an expert on photo forgery. Are you aware of that
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I was not. I presume that, with today's computer
9technology, he indeed would be able to do this.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you suggesting, Mr Irving, that these
11photographs are forgeries?
12 MR IRVING: I am not suggesting that per se, my Lord, but what
13I am suggesting is that one has to be alert to the
14possibility that somebody, for whatever reason, has put a
15smudge on these photographs. The National Archives of the
16United States, where the original photographs were housed
17in the cartographic division, at the time they were issued
18by the CIA, the National Archives issued a disclaimer
19saying these photographs, as they are housed in the
20National Archives Cartographic Branch, do not contain the
21labelling which the CIA has attached. They made no
22references to these actual dots or anything. They just
23dissociated themselves from the kind of treatment.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, may I continue? Because I was asked ----
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. What question do you think you are
1 MR IRVING: Do you have any opinion as to the integrity of
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have an opinion on the integrity of the photographs
4which is based on an analysis by Dr. Neville Bryant at the
5NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasodena done in 1996,
6and I actually was present in the room with him when he
7got his job. I was not present when he actually handed in
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, is this report of the Pasodena Jet
10Propulsion Laboratory in evidence before us?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is not, but I have testimony of Mr Michael Schurmer,
12who commissioned the report, of the results and I just
13want do explain the position of Dr Bryant. He is the
14supervisor of cartographic applications and image
15processing applications at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
16and he seems to be the most experienced analyst of air
17photos in the United States.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Is Mr Schurmer a friend of yours?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, he is not. We have met a couple of times.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there any reason why he would not have provided any
21written version of that testimony to you for the purposes
22you needed it for?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that at the moment it is necessary to have
24a testimony by Dr Bryant in court. You will have to prove
25this is a fakery, Mr Irving. These photos are at the
26moment evidence as photos. If you want to say that this
1is a fake, I would say prove it and then we can get the
2report of Dr Bryant.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, I think that his Lordship will educate
4you as to the burden of proof in an English defamation
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure that is really quite right. If
7you are not saying that these are fakes, and I think you
8just told me that you were not putting forward that
9positive case, then it does not seem to me that it is
10necessary for this witness to refer to the expert analysis
11at all. But, if you are saying it is a forgery or has
12been tampered with in some way, then it may be that we do
13need to see what the expert said.
14 MR IRVING: In that case, my Lord, I think we ought to ask the
15witness as to the nature of the expertise given by the Jet
16Propulsion Laboratory, which did not go to the forgery
17aspect, as I understand it, but to the aspect of what
18those objects were and how large they were. Am I right,
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that right?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. The question which was asked to Dr Bryant was very
22simple. The first question was: Had these negatives been
23tampered with? It was partly based on a suggestion by
24Mr Ball who had analysed them in 1990, using
25analogue machines, which means he did not use computer
26enhancement but he used analogue machine, in which Mr Ball
1had said that in the CIA report things had been added to
2the photo, and this went very specifically to groups of
3prisoners being marched around the camp where at a certain
4moment one could see something like a little ----
5 MR IRVING: Brush marks?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Brush marks which had been drawn in.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not these photographs, anyway, is it?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is actually in these photographs, but it is too small.
9But that was one of the"proofs". It was that group of
10prisoners which is not seen in this enlargement. They are
11walking around in the camp.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we remain with these photographs, please?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are in these photographs but not visual. I am just
14trying to explain the brief which Mr Bryant got.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Was he given the original negatives to look at or copies
16of the negatives?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The negatives are in Jerusalem.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] The original negatives are in Jerusalem?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, there is a roll of negatives in Jerusalem.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] How did the American government negatives come into the
21possession of the Jerusalem authorities?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have no idea. They are in the Abfashen(?)
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you sure this is not just a duplicate made by the
24National Archives of the United States?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not sure. I know there is a roll of negatives in the
26Abfashen and I have been always under the impression that
1it is the original roll of negatives given to Israel
2because of the importance of this material.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What I think we are really looking for is
4what was the was conclusion at which Mr Bryant arrived?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] What Dr Bryant did was analyse these images by using
6computer technology, and he said that the problem which
7occurred in marching these prisoners which were marching
8around is that the size of a head of a person is the same
9as the size of a grain in the negative, and that the
10result of that was that a morey effect which occurs when
11also in the newspaper when you photograph a picture which
12has been screened twice. This is one of the problems.
13When you go to the very small scale, it becomes very
14difficult to exactly understand the behaviour of these
15individual grains at that level.
16 MR IRVING: Can we remain with the dots on the roof, please? Is
17there any morey effect visible on them?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We are basically talking about very small objects, and
19I do not know if there is morey effect on them. But the
20issue which Bryant had to address was that the so-called
21proof Ball had for the tampering with these photos were
22these lines of prisoners. Once Bryant showed that these
23had not been tampered with, that there had been absolutely
24no tampering with this image, then the issue of if they
25had been tampered with, the dots on top of the
26Leichenkeller No. 1, became in some way irrelevant,
1because the issue which Ball had brought to him was based
2on those groups of prisoners.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. So Bryant did not actually address the
4question whether these dots that we see on the
5enlargements were added, forged additions?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. He looked if there was any proof of addition to it
7and he had said no.
8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Generally speaking?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, generally speaking. There is a second one and this
10is quite an interesting one. Again, the big problem with
11all of this of course is that nothing of this has been
12published. It would have been published by Schurmer if it
13was not for this libel case. People are waiting to see
14what the outcome of this libel case is. That is that
15these photos were taken in sequence, which means that it
16is a mechanical camera which starts running, and photos
17were taken for bombing raids on the Bunaplatz in
18Monowitz. So what happened is that, as the bomber starts
19to approach, this was probably taken by a Mosquito, the
20camera starts to run 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time, and
21starts taking photographs as it is approaching the bombing
23 MR IRVING: It takes stereoscopic pairs, does it not? In other
24words, each photograph was a certain distance away from
25the next one in terms of seconds, so, when viewed through
26a stereoscopic viewer, you would get a stereoscopic effect
1so that you could see if these objects were in fact just
2smudges on the roof of some kind, or plant growths, or if
3they were what you would call chimneys?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that they were taken with the intention to
5be looked through a stereoscopic viewer. It was simply
6that the camera was running with a certain speed and, as a
7result of that, you can look at them with a stereoscopic
8viewer, which is a slightly different issue.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] This was the system. They did not take two photographs
10simultaneously. They would take them at five second
11intervals to produce a stereoscopic effect?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I think we are straying a rather
13long way down a possibly unprofitable side alley.
14 MR IRVING: In view of the fact that apparently, unless I am
15wrong, this is his only other evidence apart from the
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have not asked him that yet. I have the
18point. You are alert to the possibility that these may be
19forgeries. Dr Bryant apparently concluded they were not.
20 MR IRVING: I have one more question to ask about the smudges
21on the roof as visible in the air photographs. What have
22you to say about the spacing of those smudges when you
23compare them with what I call the tar barrels on the roof
24in the other photograph? They are differently spaced, are
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot judge that. In the one photo we looking from
1more or less ground level at these boxes, and now we look
2more or less straight from above and it is impossible to
3come to any conclusion one way or another.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] I disagree with you. Would it not be correct to say that
5in fact there is a very uneven spacing in the four tar
6barrels visible from the ground, whereas the smudges on
7the roof appear to be admittedly irregularly spaced but in
8a totally different way. Therefore, they have no
9connection whatsoever with the protruberances that are
10visible from ground level.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have no comment on that.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we hear what other evidence you have that this
13building here, the Leichenkeller No. 1, of crematorium
14No. (ii) was a homicidal gas chamber, apart from the
15eyewitnesses and apart from the smudges on the roof?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These are the two images which confirm the eyewitness
17report, and then there are a number of drawings made by a
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Mr Olaire?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Olaire, which are in tab No. 3. There are three
21drawings I would like to refer to. The first drawing is
22No. 1 printed 3.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you just remind me? Olaire was an
24inmate. Was he a sonderkommando?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He was a sonderkommando.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Drawing No. 3?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is circled in my horrible handwriting No. 1.
2 MR IRVING: What tab are we under, please?
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Tab 3?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is a plan of crematorium No. (iii) which is the mirror
5image of crematorium No. (ii), so we have in some way to
6start to switch the left and right halves of our brain to
7understand this. What he has drawn in the room No. 3,
8which is, according to him, the gas chamber, are in fact
9four little blocks, four little squares, which are spaced
10from left to right, from left to right. They are labelled
11here, and of course they were not labelled at the time, as
12the Zyklon-B introduction openings.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Who did the labelling?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the final publication of Olaire's drawings I think they
15were done by Klarsfelt or somebody who was working with
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Did Olaire survive?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Olaire survived, yes. He survived and he was very far
19from Poland when Tauber gave his testimony. He was
20liberated in Germany and then he went back to Paris
21immediately. So the chance of cross pollination, as
22Mr Irving calls it, is very little. There is a second
23drawing which is in 46, so we are now one year later. It
24could be a little bit more problematic except the fact
25that at that moment images of the crematoria were not yet
26published. I just would like to draw your attention to
1drawing No. 5 which is an image of crematorium No. (iii)
2as people are coming in, and this was drawn in 1945 and at
3that moment ----
4 MR IRVING: Is that 1945 or 1946?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 1945.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] I do not have a date on mine.
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK, it says 1945.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, it would not be 1946, would it?
9 MR IRVING: These have been drawn from memory, am I correct?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These are drawn from memory.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see. I thought he was drawing them whilst
12-- no, I see.
13 MR IRVING: My Lord, this is very important you should
14appreciate these are drawn after the war.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am afraid I had not, yes.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These are drawn from memory. What I would like to say
17that he seems to have a very good memory because the first
18time actually that either the plans or images of
19crematorium (ii) or (iii) was published was in 1946 in the
20book by Kraus und Kulgar. That is a very crude image
21which Kraus und Kulgar, they made a little model. The
22plans were not published by the Polish Commission in
231946. So we have here in 1945 someone who has been in
24that building, who lived in that building, who was a
25sonderkommando, who is a very, very experienced draftsman
26and painter, had a career before the war as a painter and,
1obviously, has a good visual memory and who draws this
2building; and when one compares this building with the
3images of crematorium No. (iii), then in general one must
4say that, indeed, he remembered quite well. So I would
5say that this building suggests at least that he is at
6least knows what he sees and he is a credible witness as
7even when he works from memory.
8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] What is it that you derive from photograph No. 5?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Nothing, except that I want to show that it is remarkable
10that he is able to remember this building as well as he
11does without any visual aids.
12 Then we come to No. 6 which is a drawing he made
13in 1946 of the same building which is crematorium
15 MR IRVING: Which is a mirror image of No. (ii), is that
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. What he does there, there is one problem with this
18drawing because he has to try to represent something which
19is hidden, but we where see in the middle level, to say,
20that is the incineration hole with the ovens, the ovens
21which are labelled as No. H in this case, and we see
22No. I, we see the coke to the right, we see the little
23officers, the SS man sitting there with the window through
24which he looks at the incineration room, you see upstairs.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Which is the gas chamber in this building?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Bottom level, is it?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At the bottom level, No. D. Of course, the gas chamber,
2taken from this perspective, would have been hidden by,
3when we see the soldier standing at No. C in the corridor,
4the gas chamber would have basically been running to the
5back out of the plain of the ----
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Towards the ----
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not towards, that would have been crematorium (ii). It
8runs away from us, if we go back to the original plan
9I showed you which was No. (i). So the problem he had of
10how to represent that gas chamber. So he drew it as if it
11is under the incineration room because there was no other
12way to really represent it, because he also wants to
13represent the undressing room which is No. A. You see
14there are basically two stairs, one stair to the left for
15people that are going down and we see the second stair is
16at No. B.
17 MR IRVING: In other words, his memory was wrong; he drew it in
18a way it actually was not?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, his memory is absolutely right.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] But you said that he drew it in a way that it is not
21because he wanted to represent it -- he could not do it
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I mean, he had to represent the location of the gas
24chamber which is because the gas chamber jots out from the
25plain of the drawing. He now draws it under the
26incineration room, but, in fact, it goes, you know, it
1goes to the back. I can do it, I mean, if this is the
2plain of the drawing, then the gas chamber would have gone
3like this, to the back. So he has to represent it one way
4or another and he does it a little bit in the way as
5probably somebody in ancient Egypt would have done it.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Was Mr Olaire ever interrogated or questioned? Did he
7provide eyewitness statements?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I am happy to answer that he was not, but I would like
9to finish the drawing.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, make your point on this because I have
11not understood it yet.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The major point is seen at No. E, one sees here in the
13drawing, and the photocopy is not very good, but E points
14at some shadow -- it is almost seems like a shadow going
15down from the roof of the gas chamber to the bottom, and
16then you see three others, and the most right one is the
17clearest one in this photocopy and these are the four wire
18mesh introduction columns.
19 MR IRVING: This is in 1946?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is in 1946.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] You are saying that he has not heard any stories at all of
22what allegedly went on?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know exactly about the state of communication in
241945 and '46, but the eyewitness testimony about these
25introduction columns was given in May 1945 to Jan Sehn,
26but it was only published somewhere in 1946 and it was
1actually the actual Kuhler document, and the actual, I
2mean, I mean the results were only published but the
3statements themselves were never published.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Am I not right in saying that Mr Tauber, when he gave his
5statements to Jan Sehn, there were many photo
6opportunities and his photographs were splashed all over
7the press with stories, the other eyewitness, and that
8would have been early 1946 or 1945?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know of any photo opportunities for Mr Tauber
10having been published in the press. If you can bring
11this, you know, I would be very happy to consider it.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor van Pelt, can I just make sure
13I have understood it, that when you say that these show
14the projections, whatever they may have been, you are
15talking about -- can you see -- that smudge there, that
16smudge there, that smudge there?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, that is actually, that is the installation which
18brings forced air into the ovens which actually, so that
19other little -- no, the smudges are going down. I tried
20to interpret what your finger is doing.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] There?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, that is the door. That is the door. You are pointing
23now to the door.
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Hold up your plan and tell me where I am supposed to see
25evidence of these projections?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Do you see the arrow with No. E?
1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Yes.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There you see where it just goes down, the arrow just
3points at a first line going down, but the most clearest
4one is the one ----
5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Oh, I see.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- the clearest one is the one which is half a centimetre
7away from D Olaire, for his name. There are four of these
8columns quite literally drawn into this gas chamber going
10 MR IRVING: But, in fact, he has it on the wrong side of the
11building. You accept that?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, he has turned it 90 degrees on its
13axis, that is your evidence?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. Then we have a third piece by Olaire which again is
15a drawing from 1946 which is No. 7. There we see two
16sonderkommandos who are collecting, as it says, gold teeth
17and hair in the gas chamber. Then we see in the
18background, we see one of those columns.
19 MR IRVING: The cross-hatching, you mean?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The cross-hatching, yes. It is drawn in the same way ----
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you saying they actually did this job of removing the
22gold teeth and the hair actually inside the gas chamber?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. In general, they did it outside the gas chamber, but
24you must remember ----
25 Q. [Mr Irving] The picture says it is happening in the gas chamber,
26according to you?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But you must remember that by the end of 1943 the gas
2chamber of crematorium (ii) was divided into two. There
3was a back gas chamber and there was a gas chamber in
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Here is the wire mesh in the back of this picture?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, but there were two wire mesh columns in the back gas
7chamber and there were two wire mesh columns in the front
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Coming out of these non-existent holes in the roof, is
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Whatever. What happened was that when the transports were
12smaller, one of the big problems in the gassing the
13Germans had was that normally they had to fill up the
14whole gas chamber for the gassing really to go efficient.
15So by actually dividing the gas chamber up into two, they
16could gas a group in the small gas chamber at the back,
17and then they could use the front room after the gassing
18for work which otherwise would be done in the much more
19tight confinement of actually the little porch or up at
20the exit of the elevator in the incineration room.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I ask what your source is for that statement?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The source for the statement that there were two gas
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That they divided the gas chamber into two
25and used one half only for gassing?
26 MR IRVING: Is this eyewitnesses again or do you have documents
1that support that?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, there are eyewitnesses for that.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. In other words, you do not have a document apart
4from these sketches from memory ----
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean, at a certain moment if eyewitnesses say that the
6gas chamber was divided in two at the end of 1943, and
7Mr Bacon, for example, testifies to it that there has been
8a gassing in the Eichmann trial, that he came into the gas
9chamber to warm up, and that there has been a gassing in
10the second gas chamber right at the back, Mr Bacon did not
11need to prove one way or another about what was happening
12where. I mean, he was a kid who came into that gas, into
13that gas chamber.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we linger on No. 7 because I am very puzzled on this
15business of people extracting the teeth and cutting the
16hair inside the gas chamber with the bodies still piled
17where they lay?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, the bodies -- we do not know exactly ----
19 Q. [Mr Irving] He is telling us here in this picture, is he not? You
20yourself drew attention to what otherwise we might not
21have noticed -- thanks very much -- the wire mesh in the
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I think the evidence is, and you
24may not accept it, that these bodies had been moved from
25the half of the gas chamber where they had been gassed
26into the other half where the removal of the hair and the
1teeth took place.
2 MR IRVING: And they just left this wire mesh column for no
3reason -- it was kind of left over from ----
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It was historical. I think that is the
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The second gas chamber -- there were two gas chambers,
7they were right one behind the other -- the second one was
8used also when there were transports. We have a small one
9at the back. I mean, basically, half of the original gas
10chamber is used for small transports and the two are used
11for big transports. Of course, all the Zyklon-B
12introduction devices remain in that first room because the
13room is on occasions also used.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] And you notice that none of these people are wearing gas
15masks of any kind, although they are handling bodies that
16have clearly been contaminated with hydrogen cyanide?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not want at the moment to go into exactly ----
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, I do because this is an important point.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The testimony is that people were wearing gas masks when
20they went into the gas chamber itself to take the bodies
21out; that when these bodies were out, the dentists, the
22so-called dentists, did not need any gas masks any more to
23handle the bodies.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] They had been subjected to doses of hydrogen cyanide,
25hundreds of bodies, and yet these people are just handling
26them like this?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And the hydrogen cyanide by that time had been taken out
2of the gas chamber by ventilators.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] How long did that procedure last then? I mean, we are
4trying to get some idea of the time scale of the operation
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Around half an hour.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] For all the hydrogen cyanide to evaporate off these bodies
8so these people could work on them quite harmlessly?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The ventilators, again eyewitness testimony says that the
10ventilators after the gassing that took around 20, 30
11minutes to take the gas out of the gas chamber.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, are you aware of a news item in the
13newspapers about two years ago, an American student had
14committed suicide with cyanide and when the rescue workers
15went in, the paramedics went in, nine of them were
16overcome by the fumes and were hospitalized afterwards?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I did not read the Canadian papers, I am sorry to say.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] This was an American newspaper and reported in the
19European press as well. I have the press clipping if you
20are interested. Nine of them were overcome by fumes from
21one body of a man who had committed suicide with cyanide,
22and they had to be hospitalized. So, on the face of it,
23this is quite an improbable picture we are looking at, if
24that is true?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think eyewitnesses will say that this is, indeed, what
26happened. People with gas masks go in the gas chamber to
1remove the bodies and people without gas masks work on the
2bodies after they have been removed from the gas chamber.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you also read the testimony of some of the
4eyewitnesses, that they went in there smoking cigarettes
5and they went in there eating sandwiches, despite the gas
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, you will find my discussion on that whole issue
8in my expert report. Mr Irving at the moment is referring
9to an argument which has been made by Professor
10Faurisson. It is based on a complete falsification,
11misreading, misrepresentation, of the testimony of
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Of Mr Hirst?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We can come to that in due course, no doubt
16 MR IRVING: In other words, some eye witnesses we have to
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- but at the moment, Mr Irving -- just
19listen to me; I would like to get some structure into it
20if we can -- we are taking Professor van Pelt through the
21reasons other than eyewitnesses for saying that ----
22 MR IRVING: This, of course, is clearly an eyewitness again, is
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, will you just listen? We are
25taking Professor van Pelt through his evidence for saying
26that crematorium No. 9ii) was used as a gas chamber,
1evidence apart from the eyewitnesses. We have seen the
2photographs. We have now seen the Olaire drawings. Can
3we move on and see whether there is any other evidence he
4relies on; if not, you can move on.
5 MR IRVING: My Lord, I would like just to linger two or three
6more minutes with the Olaire drawings because I have not
7really had my say on them.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: All right.
9 MR IRVING: First of all, it is not correct that this is just
10another form of eyewitness evidence, if I can put it like
11that, Professor van Pelt? This is an eyewitness who has
12the capability of drawing as well as speaking about what
13he claims to have seen, is that correct?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] He is an eyewitness. Would you say that he is an
16eyewitness who is normally balanced and in command of his
17faculties or is there anything odd about him?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not a psychologist. I think that these drawings,
19these drawings certainly seem to suggest, especially when
20we look at the architectural plans, when we look at the
21section of the building, that his powers of observation
22were perfectly in tact.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] I must say there is a difference between the architectural
24plan which he provided in 1946 and the rather more lurid
25pictures and, of course, you know what I am talking about,
26earlier. Would you look at the picture No. 5 which is the
1exterior of the crematorium with flames and smoke belching
2from the chimney. Now, would you agree that these
3crematoria, in which the Germans had invested a great deal
4of money in building, would have been built to the latest
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Design standards of what, Mr Irving?
7 Q. [Mr Irving] For crematoria, following all the appropriate technical
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, we know very well that the Auschwitz crematoria
10did not follow the usual civilian crematoria design
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there one single photograph, apart from the forged one
13put by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in their brochure
14(which they have admitted is a forgery) showing the
15chimneys of the Auschwitz crematoria smoking?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is one ----
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Even smoking, let alone flaming like this one?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is one photo, as far as I remember, in the images of
19the Hungarian action of 1944 which actually shows some
20smoke coming from a crematorium chimney.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] This is the photograph I am referring to which the Simon
22Wiesenthal Centre have admitted now because they have been
23shown the comparison with the original, unretouched
24photograph. Can I describe this photograph to you?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you know about this?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not know about the challenge to this photograph.
1 MR IRVING: Well, it is a photograph showing prisoners arriving
2from the Hungarian action in the foreground, and in the
3background can be seen a chimney of a crematorium. On the
4original photograph the chimney is not smoking, but in the
5version posted by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in its
6publicity smoke has mysteriously appeared?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I refer to the published version of the photo and the copy
8of the photo, which actually is a copy of the photo, a
9print of the photo, which I have seen in Auschwitz.
10I have never seen the Simon Wiesenthal publication.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, the position is you will have to
12prove that in due course.
13 MR IRVING: I will bring those photographs to court, my Lord.
14(To the witness): One more question about the Olaire
15pictures. Of course, have you seen all the Olaire
16pictures or just the ones you have produced at the court?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have seen all the Olaire pictures.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, would it be right to say that he has a prurient
19interest in the female form?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know how this is relevant. I mean...
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Concerning his mental balance.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Or the purpose for which these illustrations were made --
24let us put it like that.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that if one would judge the ability of someone to
26bear witness on the basis of their interest in the female
1form, I think that not many people would be able to give
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you agree that in almost every single one of these
4pictures he has drawn, for whatever purpose -- there is
5another photograph that I have given there which is not in
6your collection -- there are naked women full frontal on
7to the artist's brush, so to speak, and that there is no
8reason whatsoever that he should have made these pictures
9in that way unless he intended to sell them. Is that a
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, I do not want to comment on what I understand
12your suggestion is that we are dealing here with a
13pornographer. I think it is absolutely not worth me to go
15 Q. [Mr Irving] I did not use the word "pornography". I said that his
16purpose in drawing these pictures was to produce a
17marketable item which he could sell in the media at some
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, you will have prove to me, if you want to me to
20comment on it, that he ever tried to sell these things in
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Let me put the question this way. Is it likely that
23nearly all the females who became victims of the
24bestialities of the Nazis in Auschwitz were nubile, young
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, it is not very likely.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Not likely. Thank you very much. No further questions on
2this particular matter. I want to go back to the
3testimony of the witness Bimko, unless Professor van
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can we just ask, is there any further
6material that you rely on, apart from the eyewitnesses,
7for saying that crematorium (ii) was used as a gas
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We can go through the documents. If you want the
10construction documents of the crematoria, this will be
11quite a long exercise.
12 MR IRVING: Are they explicit as to the use of the building?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We have documents which -- we have a document, for
14example, about the Vergasungskeller which you know well.
15We have a document about the ----
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We need not bother with that. We know about
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- the construction, the construction where at a certain
19moment we get an Auskleiderkellers in the basement. We
20talk about the introduction of hot hair into morgue No. 1,
21the proposition being made which breaks down very quickly
22after it has been introduced. I am happy to go in detail
23through those letters if you want me to.
24 MR IRVING: We will deal, if you wish, with the introduction of
25hot air. We have dealt with the undressing room,
26I believe, earlier in this case?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Maybe you have dealt, Mr Irving, I have not dealt with it
2and his Lordship asked me if I wanted to introduce other
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I just want to get the full picture. I do
5not want you to spend very long on this, but you deal with
6this in your report, do you not, at some length?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In detail, yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] So we could call this corpus of evidence the ----
9 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I do think that at some stage Mr Irving
10has to put it directly to Professor van Pelt what he says
11about the -- Mr Irving's thesis in cross-examination by me
12was that it was, indeed, a vergasungskeller, but that it
13was used for gassing lice or people that were already
15 MR IRVING: The way I put it was that it had alternative other
17 MR RAMPTON: I do think at some stage Mr Irving has to allow
18Professor van Pelt to deal with that thesis which includes
19the references to "Auskliederkeller".
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So no human killing but delousing?
21 MR RAMPTON: That was Mr Irving's response to my
22cross-examination and the evidence about the cyanide in
23the zinc covers and the word "Vergasungskeller", yes,
24indeed. They used it for gassing, clothes, people.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And objects.
26 MR RAMPTON: And objects.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is right. I do not when
2Mr Irving is going to come to that, but I think Mr Rampton
3is right in saying that that has to be put so that
4Professor van Pelt has the opportunity of dealing with it.
5 MR IRVING: I certainly had not overlooked the need to do that,
6my Lord, but I was going to do it in a logical, systematic
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, you do it when you want to.
9 MR IRVING: Yes, introducing two or three more documents before
10we got to that in which we have the word "vergasung", and
11so on, of a relatively harmless nature.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But what Professor van Pelt has said is that,
13in addition to the photographs and the drawings and so on
14which we have been looking at this morning so far, he
15relies also on what one might call the construction
17 MR IRVING: Yes, which he has just vaguely summarized as
18inferences to be drawn from them. But if we can just now
19go back to your reliance on the witness Bimko? Can we,
20please, have once again the reference in the bundle of
21documents, Auschwitz 1 or 2, to the Bimko testimony in the
22Belsen trial? While we are looking for it, can I confirm
23that that testimony is actually drawn in your version from
24the book by Raymond Phillips, the trial of Joseph Kramer
25and 44 others?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] So at the time you wrote your report, you had exactly the
2same pages in front of you that I have here which are
3pages 740 to 742 of the Phillips book?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I presume so. I mean ----
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- I presume it is only one edition.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Your contention is that you left nothing out of the Bimko
8testimony which was relevant to his Lordship and myself in
9evaluating the integrity of this witness?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have -- Mr Irving, I have said a couple of times
11yesterday that my intention in giving, in writing down
12that section was not to bring in Dr Ada Bimko as a major
13witness on whom I rely. The intention of that section,
14which contains also other evidence or other descriptions
15of the gas chambers and crematoria -- for example, the
16Polivoy account which was proven to be wrong -- was simply
17to show the development of knowledge about Auschwitz since
181942. It is in three sections. I start in 1942. I try
19to trace exactly how the knowledge became available and in
20what way. In that sense, of course, the Lunenberg trial
21had some importance, but much more importance because of
22the admissions of the people of Kramer and the others who
23were actually tried in that case.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I interrupt you at this point and say so, in other
25words, you concede that the Pravda account by Polivoy is
26totally or largely unreliable?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have written in my report that is -- I do not think it
2everything, but it is a largely unreliable account as far
3as the description of the exterminations is concerned.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] In other words, it is fanciful; it include things which
5never existed in Auschwitz.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Oh, yes, I have no problem ----
7 Q. [Mr Irving] It is pure propaganda for the Allies or for the Russians?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think necessarily, Mr Irving, that this is
9propaganda for the Allies. We are dealing here with a
10writer, a correspondent, a war correspondent, attached to
11the Red Army who arrives in the middle of an offensive in
12a camp which shows, even of what remains there, it shows
13clear traces of a very big crime.
14 I think that we should remember that in 1945
15people had not yet experienced these kinds of
16installations; that these installations were in ruins and
17I think Mr Polivoy, partly probably on what he heard
18people say who had remained there which was largely sick
19people, and partly on the basis of his own imaginings,
20tried to imagine what such a place would have been.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Among the things the Russians found, was there a hospital
22full of sick people, including large numbers of sick Jews?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There were a number of lazarettes in the camp, yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Hospitals, yes.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that a lazarette and a hospital are
26necessarily the same thing.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] A lazarette is a military hospital?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The lazarettes were barracks in which people were put.
3There was no medical equipment. There was nothing really
4to treat them. There were many descriptions of the way
5these lazarettes were operated. There are also documents
6relating to them. So I think I would not want to ----
7 Q. [Mr Irving] We do not need to go into the problems caused in the
8medical conditions in Germany. I am just asking, the
9Russians did find hospitals or barracks of a hospital
10nature in which large numbers of sick and unemployable
11people, including large numbers of sick and unemployable
12Jews, were housed, for example, the father of Anne Frank
13was there, is that not right?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, when the camp was evacuated in the middle of
15January 1945, indeed, prisoners who were sick were men who
16could not make the march to the west remained behind.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] But you appreciate the point I am making that, surely, the
18legend has it that the Nazis liquidated everybody who fell
19sick or who was unemployable?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, in my report I think I have pointed out in
21response to things you have said about what happened to
22the Frank family, that by the end of 1944 the situation in
23Auschwitz had changed, that while until the end -- while
24throughout the history of the camp there were regular
25selections of sick, in the lazarettes of sick inmates who
26when they were considered to be incurable or too weakened
1that they were taken to the gas chamber, that this policy
2had stopped -- first of all, it had been diminished in
3late 1944 and at a certain moment stopped. No gas
4selections were undertaken any more in the lazarettes in
5the end of 1944. This is one of the reasons that there
6were a relatively large amount of sick prisoners by the
7time the camp was evacuated.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] So the Nazis are feeding large numbers of useless mouths
9who were Jewish and sick and they were in the jaws of
10death, they were in the heart of the extermination
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving] --- and they were in hospital?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- I would not want to infer any kind of thing about the
15regular procedures in the camp on the basis of what was
16happening there in December or January 1944 -- December
171944 or January 1945.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you now have in front of you the Bimko testimony?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not have it right in front of me now.
20 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, it is H2(ii). It starts at footnote 404
21behind the tab 401 to 420.
22 MR IRVING: You have conceded, in other words, that the Pravda
23account as an eyewitness account is largely unreliable?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I have done that in my report so I have no problem
25with that statement.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] So systematically we will now continue with the next
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are we on Dr Bimko?
3 MR IRVING: We are now on Dr Ada Bimko, as she was at that
4time. Her real name now, at any rate, Adassa
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: She is still alive, is he.
7 MR IRVING: I believe she is still alive. She is a leading
8figure, or was a leading figure, in the United States
9Holocaust Memorial Museum. She was an adviser and on
10their Library Council. (To the witness): Can we look at
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which footnote?
13 Q. [Mr Irving] On page 740. Paragraph 1. This is, of course an
14eyewitness who is claiming to testify in a capital trial
15against captured Nazis who were on trial for their lives.
16She has made this deposition. At the end of paragraph 1,
17did you read the words when you were doing your research:
18"I have examined the records of the numbers cremated and
19I say that the records show that about 4 million persons
20were cremated at the camp"?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you any comment to make on the voracity of that
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is unlikely that it happened, but I do not exactly know
25what record she was looking at.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Could she have looked at any records in Auschwitz and
1found that 4 million people had been cremated?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know. I do not know exactly what records there
3were. The 3 or 4 million is very unlikely.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. The figure of 4 million was, of course, the original
5propaganda figure put out by the Polish Government for
6whatever reason, is that correct?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes -- it was a figure which was established actually, I
8do not say for propaganda reasons, it was a figure which
9was established by the Russians after they liberated the
10camp, the first ----
11 Q. [Mr Irving] But, of course, she is not testifying here that she has
12seen a figure put about by Russia propaganda; she says "I
13have seen the records and they show that 4 million people
14had been cremated"?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So, I mean, if you want to make a point, Mr Irving, that
16she is wrong there or that she maybe says something which
17she did not do, that is fine.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] The point, obviously, which his Lordship will appreciate,
19as I am working towards this, you have had this document
20in front of you when you wrote this report. In the very
21first paragraph, when she is making this statement on
22oath, she has said a statement which, to your knowledge
23and to mine and to the court's knowledge now, is quite
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think that is not actually right, is it?
26She is claiming to have looked at some records. We do not
1know what the records were or what they show. She is not
2giving, as it were, false eyewitness evidence at that
3point in her statement, is she?
4 MR IRVING: My Lord, I beg to differ. "I have examined the
5records of the numbers cremated." "I have examined the
6records and I say that the records show that about 4
7million persons were cremated at the camp". What other
8possible interpretation can you put on that statement?
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I have just suggested one to you.
10Anyway, carry on with your questions.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, may I make a remark?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think this would be an interesting exercise, and I do
14not want to judge it any further, if I had made use of the
15Bimko evidence in any way in relationship to did the gas
16chamber exist or not? I have never used -- I have just
17mentioned Bimko in this one particular context; the
18emergence of knowledge of Auschwitz. I have not used her
19anywhere else ever. I have not brought her here in as an
20eyewitness to the gassings, to the existence of Zyklon-B
22 MR IRVING: You just threw her in as a bit of spice?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry?
24 Q. [Mr Irving] You threw her into your report as a bit of spice, did you?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not as a spice.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] As one more statistic? So, instead of having four
1eyewitnesses, you would have five?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, I tried to give an impression of what was
3happening at the Lunenberg trial, what was said at the
5 Q. [Mr Irving] We know what happened at the Lunenberg trial. A large
6number of these unfortunates who were on trial were
7convicted and hanged on the basis of her testimony,
8including the person mentioned in the last paragraph,
9paragraph 8 on the next page: "On the day before the
10British troops arrived at Belsen", she said, "I saw Karl
11Flrazich [Francioh], who was a cook, shoot a man internee
12dead for stealing vegetables". Were you aware that in her
13oral evidence at the Belsen trial she said it was a woman
14that the man shot?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, I did not know that, to be very honest, the
16witness Ada Bimko does not really interest me so much
17because I have not made use of her in reconstructing the
18history of any of the four crematoria.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] So we are working towards the point where we do not have
20to strike off Mrs Bimko. There is one more thing I want
21to draw your attention to. At the beginning of paragraph
226, this woman who has medical knowledge -- she is a doctor
23-- writes: "Whilst at Auschwitz I saw SS male nurses
24Heine and Stibitz inject petrol into women patients". Are
25you aware, Professor van Pelt, that phenol injections are
26a standard treatment for typhus?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In Auschwitz, I understand that phenol was used as a
2regular -- sorry, I will answer the question. I am sorry,
3for this. No, I did not know that.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. So on top of the evidence we looked at
5yesterday where Bimko described cylinders of gas and pipes
6which you admitted was wrong, but possibly a
7misinterpretation of what she was -- you thought she might
8have seen the ventilation system -- we have no evidence of
9that. Bimko is, in other words, a totally unreliable
10witness and should not have been relied upon in any way,
11notwithstanding the fact that her evidence sent several
12men to the gallows in Lemberg?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I do not want to judge the Lunenberg trial.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, but do you accept that she is not a
15witness on whom reliance should be placed as to what did
16or did not take place at Auschwitz?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that some of her statements are historically
18defensible and some of them probably not. This is also,
19of course, an issue of cross-examination. I do not think
20there was much of a cross-examination at the time. But
21I think this is with every, you know, with every witness,
22there always will be some things which will be wrong or
23will be mistaken.
24 MR IRVING: Is there a possibility that with a witness like
25Bimko and Pauber who had suffered appalling indignities at
26the hands of the Nazis, that when the Allies came, in the
1case of Bimko, it was the British Army who rescued here,
2that she saw her moment for revenge had come and she could
3take out a few of the hated Nazis?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Anything is possible, Mr Irving.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] I am trying to find some other reason why she should have
6deliberately lied in her depositions, sworn on oath in a
7capital case? You can suggest no alternative reason than
8that, that possibly her memory was wrong, she had a bad
9memory or she was imaginative?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are many possibilities. It may be she was an
11habitual liar; maybe she was an habitual story-teller.
12Who knows? We cannot second guess the situation. The
13only evidence we have is right in front of us.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] So of your five eyewitnesses, we have lost the Russians,
15we have lost the Pravda account, we have lost Bimko now?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But I never introduced Bimko, so I do not know how I can
17have lost Bimko.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, some bulk larger than others in your report.
19Mr Tauber you rely on quite heavily, do you not?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, I rely on Tauber for the description of the
21operation of the crematorium and the gas chambers. I have
22never, never introduced Miss Bimko as a witness for this
23material. So I cannot see how I lost her because I did
24not introduce her as a witness.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think the idea of "losing" somebody
26is a very helpful one, but it would help me if you
2 MR IRVING: Perhaps I should put a row of beans on the
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, can you just let me complete my
5sentences sometimes? Would you for my benefit, Professor
6van Pelt, just tell me, really just enumerate, those
7witnesses, those eyewitnesses, who you say deserve some
8attention for what they have said in their accounts?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. Are we dealing only with crematorium (ii) or are we
10dealing with the ----
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] With gassing, the extermination by gassing?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Extermination by gas?
13 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Just the names so that Mr Irving knows who you do rely on.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] An important one is Slova Dragon(?) who was one of the
15sonderkommandos. An important witness is Heinrich Tauber
16mentioned already before. An important witness is Pery
17Broad. An important witness is Hirst. Then we can take
18in also, both as a witness and his diary, Dr Kramer.
19These are either from the time itself or immediately after
20the war. Hans Almayer talks about gassings, but he is
21rather confused about many things so I would not want to
22rely too much one way or the other.
23 MR IRVING: Explain to the court who Hans Almayer is, please?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Hans Almayer was the Lager Fuhrer in Birkenhau in 1942 and
25early 43, but he left by the time these crematoria started
26to be in operation.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] By the time he was acting in effect as the deputy
2kommandant, is that right?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. Let me just try to get back to my enumeration of
4witnesses. Then during the Lunenburg trial Kramer
5admitted to gassings but did not describe the procedure in
6detail. So at the moment I would leave it to basically
7build up a general picture, these witnesses I think
8produce a sufficient evidence to come to some kind of
9solid conclusion on that issue.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. That is extremely helpful.
11Mr Irving, do resume.
12 MR IRVING: That is a relatively small number of eyewitnesses
13for a relatively large proposition, namely that the Nazis
14killed 500,000 people in that gas chamber with the
15collapsed roof. That is the only evidence that we have,
16apart from the sketches of Mr Olaire, and there is not a
17single document of any credible worth which explicitly
18bears out your case in all the hundreds of thousands of
19pages of paper found in the Auschwitz museum and in the
20Moscow archives. I am trying to summarize at this stage
21what the position is.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] On which case?
23 Q. [Mr Irving] On the case that that was a homicidal gas chamber.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I think these are the principal -- these are people
25who basically give us the texture, who have describe the
26operation in some detail. One probably could have found
2 Q. [Mr Irving] If we can fault them in any significant way, if we can
3punch a hole in their testimony, if I can put it like
4that, then of course that rather collapses the entire
5value of the rest of their testimony.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that is necessarily the case, but I am not
7a professional judge. I am an historian. Some of their
8testimony will be absolutely correct and there will be
9always some testimony where they are maybe confused. But
10I think that Faurisson's theory that, if you punch one
11hole in the testimony, all of testimony becomes irrelevant
12I think is an irresponsible way to work with the
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Let Mr Faurisson fight his own battles.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But what you said was quite literally a quotation from Mr
16Faurisson. It is his thesis, his original thesis.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. It may be his thesis, I am sure. It is such an
18obvious thesis that I appreciate that the Holocaust
19historians had maximum difficulty with it. If there are
20no holes in that roof now and we can satisfy the court
21that there were never any holes in that roof, then that
22demolishes the eyewitnesses and thereby demolishes the
23story of the homicidal gas chamber, because there is no
24other evidence. Even if I am wrong on that, as we say, in
25the alternative, I have justifiable reason for maintaining
26the position I did and it was not perverse to adopt the
1position I did.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not fighting this case so I cannot comment on that.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we proceed now to Mr Tauber? How big does Mr Tauber
4rank in your list of witnesses? Is he near the top in
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He is a very important witness.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] So straight away Mr Tauber of course said that he saw the
8people pouring the cyanide in through the imaginary holes
9in the roof. He did not say imaginary but ----
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Let us look at the text.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] We read what he said. I think you will find it in your
12report Part 1 (iv) page 73 of your report.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think your pagination is different from
14everyone else, Mr Irving.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have it right here. It is page 191.
16 MR IRVING: Thank you very much. He says here right at the
18 " Through the window of the incineration room, I
19observed how the Zyklon was poured into the gas chamber.
20... They took the cans of Zyklon from the car and put
21them beside the small chimneys [the things that you
22described on the roof].... Then he closed the orifice with
23a concrete cover."
24 Was this the man who said he needed two hands to
25lift the concrete cover, that he saw the people using two
26hands to lift the concrete cover? This is Tauber, is it
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not remember that he said it but, if you can point to
3the passage ----
4 Q. [Mr Irving] We went through the Tauber evidence in some detail
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We did not discuss the thing on top, people manipulating
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. If he talks of concrete covers with two handles,
9does this not rather contradict the story given by other
10eyewitnesses even of there being wooden lids on these
11openings, Holzblenden in German? They have not got their
12story straight, these eyewitnesses. They know a bit about
13the holes in the roof but they do not know quite what the
14covers were. They must assume that there were covers
15because otherwise the rain would get in. So one says
16concrete and another one says wood.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you want to introduce that, I would be happy to comment
18on that. I do not even know which eyewitness you are
19talking about right now.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Tauber.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, the ones who say they were wooden, not
22concrete. That is what you mean, is it not?
23 MR IRVING: My Lord, we will probably stumble across them in
24the course of time.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not a very good way of
26cross-examining, if I may say so. Are you able to refer
1to them now?
2 MR IRVING: Not at this instant in time, my Lord.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: All right.
4 MR IRVING: If I was surrounded by research assistants, no
5doubt I would be bombarded with copies of that very
6document. Does Tauber not say --, I refer you now to
7Pressac page 483. Do you have a copy of Pressac?
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not.
9 MR RAMPTON: Your Lordship has the tab of Pressac at the back
10of H 2(vi).
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not have H 2(vi).
12 MR RAMPTON: Then somebody will get it for your Lordship.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, I do not have the supporting
14documents in court.
15 MR RAMPTON: I will find your Lordship the tab. It is tab 5.
16It folds out because Pressac is an oblong book. What has
17been copied here is just the Tauber chapter, I think.
18 MR IRVING: Would you agree, reading this very detailed
19account, Professor, that it is likely that, when Tauber
20made this deposition to Jan Sehn, I believe it was made,
21they had in front of them the architectural blueprints to
22jog his memory?
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We had this yesterday, that point.
24 MR IRVING: Very well. I am just drawing attention to how
25detailed it was. Yet he says that on either side of these
26pillars, the central support pillars, there were four
1others, two on each side. Now He is relying on his memory
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where are you now?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We are now back in the gas chamber? Where are we at page
5483? OK. We are at the top of 484, the first column to
7 MR IRVING: Thank you very much.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have not got the pagination so there is no
9way I am going to find this.
10 MR IRVING: It is over the page, the page beginning with the
11words "middle of its length".
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I just do not have page numbers, that is the
13problem. They have all been cut off.
14 MR IRVING: I will read it out. It says, "On other side of
15these pillars there were four others, C1 to C4, two on
16each side". Mr Pressac, who is quite an expert on this,
17says that Mr Tauber is mistaken, this arrangement is found
18only in the gas chamber of crematorium (iii). He is
19confusing things, is he not?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Pressac?
21 Q. [Mr Irving] No. Mr Tauber is confusing things.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I know that Mr Pressac thinks that. I do not agree with
23Mr Pressac. There is no evidence at all that Pressac is
24right on this issue.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] That Pressac is sometimes wrong, in other words?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Oh, yes. Pressac is sometimes wrong. I have had my
1quarrels with Pressac in the past.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] He says, and I am quoting again, "The gas chamber had no
3water supply of its own".
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Where are we now?
5 Q. [Mr Irving] I only have extracts, unfortunately. Further down that
6same column, Pressac says that three taps were in fact
7installed in the room, according to the drawing?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am just trying to find this thing.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] According to the inventory.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I see the gas chambers, no water supply and so on, it is
11around two inches from the bottom, and the first column,
12the same column where the pillars were described.
13 MR IRVING: Yes.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not following why that is a criticism of
15Tauber at the moment.
16 MR IRVING: Well, he has made another error.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is a little note. It is followed by a little note
18which says ----
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Saying they were later taken out?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, so we do not know which day or date Tauber was
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. You yourself have confirmed that at the end of 1943,
23I believe, the gas chamber was divided into two by a brick
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] So the small transports could be handled. Mr Tauber
1confirmed this. He is the source of that information, is
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. There is also a Greek. Actually, in my report I
4mention a Greek Jew who was transported from Seloniki, who
5actually mentions also, he was quite specific in his
6description of that division of the gas chamber.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Another eyewitness?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, another eyewitness.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there any trace of that division in the ruins?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] You cannot see that. That is the problem because the roof
11has collapsed on the floor of the gas chamber.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. It would not make much sense, would it, to all the
13bodies that far because this small transports were gassed
14in the chamber furthest from the entrance, so the bodies
15would have been pulled the whole way down. Would that not
16have made gassing of large numbers like 2,000 at a time
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you have the small chamber at the back, you would gas
19fewer people and, in fact, as we have seen in the Olaire
20drawing, it actually provides an opportunity for the
21so-called dentists among the sonderkommando and the people
22who cut the hair to actually do their work downstairs and
23not in the incineration room, as was usually the custom.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] He also describes, does he not, the crematorium chimneys
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I presume that is crematorium chimney smoke, indeed, yes.
1I would like to see it but I assume on your authority that
2the crematorium chimneys do smoke, yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] From your memory, presumably you have read Mr Tauber's
4testimony in detail, is it right that he describes it as
5being possible to cremate five or eight bodies
6simultaneously in one furnace?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that we can probably go to the passage itself.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, he does say that, does he not?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Let us go to the passage, because he is very particular in
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is this in your report at page 194?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 194 yes.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot see the bit at the moment.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 194. We go to 192 and 193. I can read the whole passage,
15or Mr Irving can read the passage, starting: "The
16procedure was to put the first corpse with the feet
17towards the muffle, back down and face up". Then he gives
18a very detailed description of that procedure.
19 MR IRVING: So he is the source of the information that five to
20eight bodies were cremated simultaneously or quickly?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I think that Mr Hirst also talks about that, that
22more bodies are inserted in the muffles at one time.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Does Mr Tauber also describe the bodies of those gassed as
24being red with green spots?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do remember that he gives a quite a longish description
26of the ----
1 Q. [Mr Irving] If you remember it, there is no need to look it up.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not any more remember if it is Tauber or any other
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you know what a body that has been gassed with hydrogen
5cyanide looks like, what colour it turns?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I understand it starts to look slightly reddish.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Like a radish? Red with green spots?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, reddish.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] With green spots. Would you think that that is possibly
10the victim of some epidemic?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not an epidemiologist. I do not know how people who
12have died from typhus or other epidemics look like.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Cyanide victims do not go red with green spots, not if
14they have just been gassed. If they have been left lying
15around for a few days, perhaps they might.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have no comment on that. I cannot possibly comment on
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Does he describe a prisoner being dowsed with naphtha
19which is a flammable substance?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is Tauber still?
21 MR IRVING: This is Tauber, yes, and then being burned alive in
22a crematorium muffle, and then they let him out and he ran
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He has a particular incident. Again, I do not know where
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it in your report?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is in my report, yes.
2 MR IRVING: Does he describe another prisoner being chased into
3a pool of boiling human fat, which sounds like an almost
4Talmudic kind of quotation.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not quite sure, Mr Irving, perhaps you
6can explain to me. You are putting various things which
7you say Mr Tauber described.
8 MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, the inference is ----
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: With what object? Are you suggesting all of
10this is invention?
11 MR IRVING: I am not suggesting they are all invention, but
12they test a reasonable historian's credulity, and one
13should therefore be inclined to subject this particular
14testimony to closer than normal scrutiny, if I can put it
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us ask Professor van Pelt what he makes
17of that suggestion.
18 MR IRVING: I have two more of these episodes to put to him.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Put two more and then answer the general
20question, would you?
21 MR IRVING: The prisoner was chased into a pool of boiling
22human fat -- does he describe that?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, if you give me the passage, I will----
24 Q. [Mr Irving] He is your principal eyewitness, or one of your principal
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: He wants the reference, Mr Irving, which is
1not unreasonable. I am trying to find it and I must say I
3 MR IRVING: Certainly if I had read the Tauber report, I would
4be able to say yes or no to that.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am looking in Professor van Pelt's report.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, we are in a court of law here and whatever
7I say does matter. It means that I need to respond to the
8exact quotation of what Tauber says, and then I am
9prepared to say yes or nay.
10 MR IRVING: Very well. We will look up the exact quotation in
11time for lunch. Let us proceed then to the final one. Do
12you agree that Mr Tauber also attests to the figure of 4
13million killed in Auschwitz?
14 MR RAMPTON: We thought we had found the passage in question.
15It is page 190 of the report.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much.
17 MR IRVING: Yes. This is the problem with writing with word
18processors. Things tend to go through the finger tips
19rather than through the memory and brain. In other words,
20he does have this rather lurid description of the man ----
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, I do not deny that I put this in, and I do
22remember the incident, but I do not want to comment on a
23very general description you give of the incident when
24I do not have the text in front of me.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I read it to you? It is on page 190 of your own
26report. "When the shifts were changing over, they had
1found a gold watch and wedding ring on one of the
2labourers, a man Wolbrom called Lejb. This Jew, aged
3about twenty, was dark and had a number of one hundred
4thousand and something. All the Sonderkommando working in
5the crematorium were assembled, and before their eyes he
6was hung, with his hands tied behind his back, from an
7iron bar above the firing hearths. He remained in this
8position for about an hour, then after untying his hands
9and feet, they threw him in a cold crematorium furnace.
10Gasoline was poured into the lower ash bin... And lit.
11The flames reached the muffle where this Lejb was
12imprisoned. A few minutes later, they opened the door and
13the condemned man emerged and ran off, covered in burns.
14... This fat was poured over the corpses to accelerate
15their combustion. This poor devil was pulled out of the
16fat still alive and then shot."
17 Does that sound to like a completely neutral and
18plausible account of an atrocity?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Leave aside "neutral". That is an unhelpful
20word. Do you think it is plausible?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
22 MR IRVING: Very well. The figure of 4 million to which Tauber
23attested, do you call that also plausible at the time he
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The figure of 4 million? Not, because nowadays we have
26very detailed information on what actually the figure is
1and it is more likely to have been around a million.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] So would you agree that this is an example of what I call
3cross pollination? He hits on the figure of 4 million
4because that was the current figure at that time?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do think that we should look at how the figure of 4
6million originally arose.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So do I. Where do we find that, Mr Irving?
8If we do not find it in the report perhaps you could just
9quote in its context where one gets that estimate.
10 MR IRVING: My Lord, with respect, if the witness agrees that
11Tauber attested to 4 million, we are only concerned with
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: He has made the point, which I think is a
14fair one, that he wants to see in what context and on what
15basis that 4 million figure was arrived at by Tauber.
16That is a reasonable thing for him to want to do, and I am
17simply asking you to identify where one finds it.
18 MR IRVING: My Lord, I will have to adjourn that piece of
19information, the page number, until after lunch. If it is
20substantial, we can come back to it and retake it.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can anyone on the Defendants side find that
23 MR RAMPTON: I am sorry?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I can point to the page. It is page 178.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of your report?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 178 of my report, which goes back to Pressac 501. What he
1says is that he came to this figure on the basis of
2conversations he had with various prisoners. Yes? If you
3allow me, I can probably quote the whole thing. I give
4the full quotation now from Pressac on page 501:
5 "I imagine that during the period in which
6I worked in the crematorium as a member of the
7sondercommando a total of about 2 million people were
8gassed. During my time in Auschwitz I was able to talk to
9various prisoners who had worked in the crematorium and
10the bunkers before my arrival. They told me that I was
11not among the first to do this work and that before I came
12another 2 million had already been gassed in bunkers 1 and
132 and crematorium (i). Adding up the total number of
14people gassed in Auschwitz amounted to about 4 million".
15That is what he says.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Half of it comes from other people?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Half of it comes from other people.
18 MR IRVING: This information is being taken by Judge Jan Sehn
19in whom you repose great trust?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I think that Sehn did a marvellous investigation.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Can you tell us something about these depositions were
22taken in communist countries? Would the man sit down with
23a pencil and paper and retire to a room and write it all
24out himself, or would it be summarized by the lawyers and
25he would be asked to sign it.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know what happened. I already told you
1yesterday. I do not know what happened in that room where
2Jan Sehn was interviewing Mr Tauber. I know there were
3witnesses there because the original report mentions other
4people being present. That is all I know.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] If I can just leap sideways to the name of Rudolf Hirst,
6the kommandant of Auschwitz, is it right that he was
7interrogated several times at Nuremberg?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, that is right.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] And that, as a result of these interrogations, a
10deposition was taken or put before him for signature?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, that is right.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] And you have now read these interrogations, I believe?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have read a copy of the interrogations, yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] The verbatim interrogation transcripts?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I do not think I have read every one of them but, I
16have read them in general.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you managed to form an impression there of how the
18Americans obtained depositions from their witnesses?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Maybe you can lead me on that, because I do not exactly
20know where ----
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Would I be right in saying that, on the basis of the
22interrogations, the Americans would draw up a deposition,
23confront the witness with it, and say, "Sign here"?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot conclude that on the basis of the interrogations
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Certainly not.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, have you left Tauber now.
3 MR IRVING: I believe we have just one more point on Tauber and
4that is to look at page 481 of Pressac, where we do have
5four photographs of Pressac posing in various costumes,
6post war photographs taken by the Polish authorities who
7obviously regarded him as a star witness.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is Heinrich Tauber?
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You said Pressac.
10 MR IRVING: My mistake. There are four photographs of him
11posing in the camp costume.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the significance of that?
13 MR IRVING: That he was a star witness, my Lord, of the Polish
14prosecution authorities, he was being subjected to what we
15call now photo ops, and they were relying on him very
16heavily, and that no doubt there was a certain amount of
17privilege being granted to him by the Polish authorities
18in the way that he was cooperating with them.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So he was making it up to express his
20gratitude to the Polish authorities?
21 MR IRVING: It is not an unknown phenomenon for witnesses to
22make things up. Your Lordship will probably recall that,
23at the end of World War II, the whole of Europe was in a
24very, very sorry state. You did not have food supplies,
25there were no consumer goods and this was something with
26which the people who were in authority, whether they be
1Poles or Russians or Americans or British, were able to
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: May I put the general question to Professor
4van Pelt which I invited you to ask a little while ago?
5That is this. Are there aspects of Tauber's testimony or
6account which cause you to doubt his plausibility?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that Tauber is an absolutely amazingly good
8witness. I find his powers of observations very precise
9in general. I do not have any general reason to doubt his
10credibility as a witness.
11 MR IRVING: May I ask a question on that, my Lord?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course, yes. I was only asking the
13question that seemed to me to be need to be asked.
14 MR IRVING: Would your impression be, or would it not, that, at
15the time he was being questioned by the Polish authorities
16for the purpose of providing this deposition, he was being
17confronted or furnished with drawings, documents and so on
18to help jog his memory. His apparent precision may have
19come from this kind of prompting by the Polish
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is possible indeed but let us now just go back for a
22moment. Let us assume this happened, Tauber would have
23been confronted with blueprints which, sadly to say, for
2440 years after the these blueprints came in the public
25realm, most people were unable to interpret. These are
26very technical documents. These documents are not easy to
1interpret. It is not so that, if the blueprints had been
2there, and a man who is not an architect or even, for that
3matter an historian who teaches in an architecture school,
4when they are confronted with that, it is not that they
5immediately are able to make up a story which matches
6point for point information in the blueprint of a very
7technical and specialist nature.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] But they would know, for example, the difference of left
9from right, would they not? If for example they described
10a staircase being on one side of the building, or the
11rutsche, the slide, being on one side of the building when
12the drawing showed it on the other or vice verse, if they
13showed it on the side that the drawing showed it when in
14fact it was not built that way?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] One of the things we have to remember is that Tauber gives
16a description of crematorium (ii). It is a general
17description. However, sonderkommandos of crematorium (ii)
18and (iii) had access to both buildings. Sonderkommandos
19have testified to the fact that they lived in these
20buildings but they shared facilities. So they would be
21allowed to actually cross that little path and go over to
22the other crematorium and back. So we have two buildings
23which are mirror images of each other, which left and
24right are completely turned upside-down, which both are
25used by the same people, but otherwise are identical. So
26if at a certain movement he gets left or right wrong.
1I would not at that moment give such incredible
2evidentiary value to that, that he is making it up, or
3that he is totally confused. It is simply that these
4buildings were identical except for the left and the right
6 Q. [Mr Irving] In your original book you made one claim about the
7position of the rutsche in a building which you then
8reversed in your report. Is that correct?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not think so.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] You stated that it was on one side of the building on the
11drawings, and that in fact it was somewhere else.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am happy to consider this and to discuss it with you,
13but again show me the passage in the book and show me the
14passage in the report. I will deal with it then.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] This has all taken rather longer than I had hoped. I am
16sure his Lordship is getting impatient and we should move
17on. Can we move on now to the witness Pery Broad?
18Summing up on Tauber, one point, can I get you to make the
19following statement? Tauber described the cyanide being
20poured into the gas chamber of crematorium No. (ii)
21through holes in the roof. That is correct?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] If (and this is a hypothetical; it is one of Mr Rampton's
24if's) it should turn out there were never any such holes
25in the roof, then Tauber has lied, has he not?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Then he would have lied, yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Thank you. We now move on to Mr Pery Broad. P-E-R-Y
2Broad. This is, of course, a more general eyewitness
3because he is also of relevance to Auschwitz rather than
4Birkenhau, am I right?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Most of his testimony on at least gassings relates to
6Sturmlager. And he only observed from a distance what was
7happening in Birkenhau.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Very briefly we are going to deal with Mr Broad. Pery
9Broad was employed by the British as an interrogator in a
10British camp; is that correct?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would wonder if you can be more precise about what
12"employs" means in this case before I can say yes or no.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Would it be reasonable -- your Lordship wished to say
14something, no -- to say that, in view of his special
15position within this prison camp, he was given special
16favours by the British, whether they be in the form of
17payment or accommodation or clothing or food or money?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He was an inmate who was used in the inmate administration
19of the camp.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Can you tell me what happened at the end to Pery Broad
21back in the 1960s?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Pery Broad was tried in Frankfurt and he ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving] As a war criminal?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] As a war criminal.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Eventually, he was put on trial by the Germans, is that
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He was put on trial by the Germans. I think he was
2convicted to two years or two-and-a-half years in prison.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Am I right in saying that he was convicted for the war
4crime of having participated in shootings at block 11 in
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know exactly what the judgment, what were the
7reasons for his conviction, what crime he was convicted
8for and what crime he was not.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] In other words, your eyewitness was a murderer who was
10going at some time to be prosecuted for war crimes by the
11Allies, quite rightly, and he had bought a certain amount
12of breathing space -- is this not a reasonable presumption
13-- by testifying in various cases that the British were
14bringing in Northern Germany?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Let us go back to the situation in a British internment or
16in a prison of war camp in, I think it was, Meklenberg,
17Northern Germany, very far away from Auschwitz in May
181945. If Mr Broad had not come forward to say he had been
19in Auschwitz, I think nobody would ever have found out
20because many SS men at that time were, basically, sitting
21in allied prison of war camps and were sitting there until
22they were released. So, certainly, Mr Broad, if he had
23not volunteered the information about Auschwitz, I think
24would have had anything to fear at that time because there
25were in that camp no surviving inmates from Auschwitz who
26could have identified him.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, the British had ways of identifying people. We had
2lists of names, we had the code breaking intercepts and so
3on. We knew who was who.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Broad was, as far as we know, a Rottenfuhrer. I do not
5think his name was very high on the list of people the
6British were looking for.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] The fact remains that he had a guilty conscious because he
8had participated in shootings in Auschwitz concentration
9camp, and eventually he was put on trial, not by the
10British, but by the Germans. The British treated him in
11some special way, is this correct?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He was, he became an interpreter in the camp and then at a
13certain moment when he gave his evidence it was recognized
14that he was a very important witness.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. He is one of your eyewitnesses for the existence of
16the pipes on the roofs, admittedly at a distance, but he
17described, if I remember his testimony in the Tesh case
18correctly, these pipes on the roof being opened and people
19pouring stuff in. He described six of them rather than
20four, is that correct?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Again I think we should look at the material that is in my
22report, but I think at least I can say right now that what
23I remember that in the Tesh case he refers to a gassing
24happened in crematorium (i), that the particular incident
25you refer to. But again I think we should, before we have
26a final conclusion on that, look at the actual evidence
1given in the Tesh case because I thought it was
2crematorium No. (i) he was talking about.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it known to you that Pery Broad was a Brazilian
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I know that.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] In other words, he was not a German national, he was a
7Brazilian national. Was Brazil fighting on the side of
8the Allies in World War II?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that ultimately Brazil joined, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] And yet he was wearing the uniform of the SS, of an enemy
11power and he was committing these crimes in the uniform of
12an enemy power?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to remind the judge that many people in the
14SS were actually Vorstattue who had passports from
15different countries, from countries other than Germany.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The significance of the fact he was Brazilian
17is escaping me at the moment, but...
18 MR IRVING: I was about to say, would not the fact that he was
19a member of an allied nation fighting in German uniform
20have put him in precisely the same category as William
21Joyce or John Amery, and have exposed him to being put on
22trial in Brazil for treason? Was this not another threat
23that was hanging over his head at the time he was in
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot possibly comment on that.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] But you do agree that he was technically committing
1treason by fighting in the uniform of an enemy power?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that Mr Broad in May 1945 probably had other
3things on his mind than that particular issue of if Brazil
4was going to ask for his extradition.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you use the statement of a witness called Hans Stark as
6proof of the gassings?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have the statement in my report, yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. In section 9, the Leuchter report of your report --
9I am afraid again I do not know the page number -- you
10quoted from it and I will quote the passage that you have
11used, in your language: "As early as autumn 1941,
12gassings were carried out in a room in the small
13crematorium which had been prepared for this purpose. The
14room held 200 to 250 people"?
15 MR RAMPTON: 514, my Lord.
16 MR IRVING: Thank you very much. I am indebted. I will begin
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We are talking about Stark now, the Stark testimony?
19 Q. [Mr Irving] The testimony of the eyewitness Hans Stark: "As early as
20autumn 1941" -- this goes more to the question of your
21treatment of sources rather than crematorium No. (ii).
22"As early as autumn 1941 gassings were carried out in a
23room in the small crematorium which had been prepared for
24this purpose. The room held 200 to 250 people, had a
25higher than average ceiling, no windows only a specially
26insulated door with bolts like those of an airtight
1door." Is that your translation of that document?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, this is my translation -- no, this is actually an
3existing translation. If we go to the quote, we see it
4was done by Deborah Burnstone.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Deborah?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Burnstone.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Does it also give the original German of the text?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, it is not.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Did you take any trouble to ascertain the original German
10of that text?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I did not.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] If I tell that you the word "airtight", the word
13translated as "airtight door", in the original German is
14Luftschutzer, is that how you would have translated it?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] An airtight door as a Luftschutzer door?
16 Q. [Mr Irving] In the original German of Hans Stark it is "Luftschutzer"
17which has been translated ----
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you show me the passage, Mr Irving, I am happy to
19confirm or not that, indeed, that is the way ----
20 Q. [Mr Irving] I am putting one word to you. The original German says
21not "airtight door" in English, but "Luftschutzer" in
22German. Would you tell the court what "Luftschutzer"
23translates into in English?
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: "Airtight door", I would have thought?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] "Luftschutz" in general, "luft" means "air raid".
26 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Air protection.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Luftschutz ----
2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] "Luftschutz", yes, I see.
3 MR IRVING: Is an air raid and air raid [German], my Lord?
4Now, either inadvertently or deliberately, somebody and
5you say it is Burnstone has mistranslated that word from a
6totally harmless and, in fact, significant "air raid door"
7into the rather more sinister "airtight door"?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the context of quite a sinister description, I would
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, look at the context.
11 MR IRVING: I beg your pardon?
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Look at the context. As I understand it, she
13actually said "like those of an airtight door", but this
14is in the context of gassings in 1941 and Zyklon-B being
15poured through holes in the roof.
16 MR IRVING: My Lord, there are any number of eyewitness
17statements like that which are in the report. I am just
18looking here at the quality of the translation which is
19frequently tilted against or tilted in favour of the
20Holocaust definition. Your Lordship will remember that
21I have been trying to establish the case that these
22sinister door scattered around the camps at Auschwitz and
23Birkenhau were, in fact, provisions for the coming air
24raids and the Germans anticipated there were going to be
25gas attacks as well, as, indeed, did we, British, with our
26air raid shelters.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I understand the suggestion, but what you
2cannot possibly say, Mr Irving, is that Hans Stark is
3describing an air raid shelter on the basis of this
4passage, can you?
5 MR IRVING: I am concentrating here only on the door, my Lord.
6I have no other means of attacking the integrity of Hans
7Stark as a witness. I am looking here at the rather
8slipshod use of the word "airtight door" when the original
9is quite clearly referred to as looking just like an air
10raid shelter door of which we will be producing
11photographs to the court later on.
12 This is of significance because the Defence rely
13on a number of photographs of doors found scattered around
14the compound of Auschwitz and Birkenhau, and we will show
15that these are standard German air raid shelter doors
16complete with peep holes.
17 I think this is the time I would ask your
18Lordship to look at the little bundle of five pages of
19documents I produced this morning.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, certainly.
21 MR IRVING: I have not yet handed it to your Lordship. It is
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where are we going to put this? Shall we put
24it in ----
25 MR IRVING: J, I think, my Lord.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- J?
1 MR IRVING: I have started a new numbering system which will go
2all the way through with consistent consecutive numbers
3from now on.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I gathered that was being done. That is very
5helpful. We got as far, I think, as about 14 maybe.
6 MR IRVING: We started with 00, unfortunately.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am only up to 11, so something has gone
9 MR IRVING: The 0 now comes after the 11. The one I have given
10you should come after 11, my Lord.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am going to put it for the time being --
12actually it is 12. Yes?
13 MR IRVING (To the witness): These are three or four Germans
14documents. They are significant because they refer to
15trips made from Auschwitz to Dessau to pick up Zyklon-B,
16truck loads of Zyklon-B. Are you familiar with this kind
17of signal or radio message?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Well, I am not familiar with this particular one.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Not with this particular one?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have seen -- I absolutely do not doubt, I do not doubt
21the -- you know, the integrity of the thing.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] If you will look at page 1 rather than the first one, page
230, if you look at page 1 as numbered at the bottom, you
24will see the signal at the bottom looks rather sinister,
25does it not? I have translated it on page 2. It is a
26message from Berlin to the Kommandant of Auschwitz,
1effectively, giving driving permission. Every time they
2made a journey by truck because of the shortage of fuel,
3they had to have permission from Berlin. "Permission
4herewith given for one five tonne truck with trailer to
5Dessau and back for the purpose of fetching materials for
6the Jew resettlement. This permit is to be handed to the
7driver to take with him". It is signed Levehenshal who is
8at Berlin still at that time. What interpretation would
9you put on that message, October 2nd, 1942?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That a truck, a five tonne truck, is sent to Dessau to
11collect material for the Jews' settlement. Dessau, as we
12know from other telegrams and as we know also from the
13rest of the record, was the location where the Zyklon-B
14was being produced in one of the factories. So, the
15context of what we know also of the other messages shows
16that this is most likely a permission to collect in a five
17tonne truck Zyklon-B from the original manufacturer.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] In fact, more than five tonnes because they are taking a
19trailer as well, are they not?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] With a trailer, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] So they are collecting over five tonnes -- it would be a
22reasonable assumption, based on this document, that they
23are collecting over five tonnes of some material which is
24probably Zyklon-B cyanide pellets?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I mean, I do not know exactly the weight, but
26I think that in the document I have written (of which you
1have a copy) on your suggestion more or less that I have
2dealt with this matter about how much the truck would
3have, most likely would have carried.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] It is specified clearly in this report, in this telegram,
5that it is for the Jew resettlement, for the
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] For the Judenumsiedlung, yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] That makes it even more sinister, does it not?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Given the fact what the word "Judenumsiedlung" had come to
10mean in 1942, yes, this would be quite a sinister
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you now turn over the page to page 3 which you can
13take it is a translation of the upper telegram on page 1?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am sorry?
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Page 3 at the foot of -- you have no page 3?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have page 3, but I look at No. 1.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At No. 1, the upper telegram.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] It is a translation of the upper telegram No. 1?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, OK.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] This is from Gluks(?). Who is Gluks?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Gluks is the Chief of the Inspectorate for concentration
24 Q. [Mr Irving] He has the rank of something like a Brigadier General,
25does he not?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] This again is a driving permit sent to Auschwitz
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Answering a request: "Permission herewith given for one
5automobile", a car, "to go from Auschwitz to
6Lischmannstadt and back on September 16th 1942 for the
7purpose of inspecting the experimental station for field
8kitchens for Operation Reinhard. This permit is to be
9handed to the driver to take with him"?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think your translation is wrong there, Mr Irving.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Tell ----
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The "Dei Feldofen" in this case are "field ovens", and we
13know there is quite a documentation, not only eyewitness
14testimony, but quite an extensive documentation on this
15particular trip which was made by Kommandant Hirst and
16which also Mr Dejaco and Mr Hoessler, all were included
17and they were inspecting actually, they were going to
18Lischmannstadt to see the extermination site there, to
19actually look at the incineration grid, the incineration
20installation created by Studattenfuhrer Bloebel as part of
21Action 1005, to create a way to get rid of corpses which
22had been buried as a result of the killings in Chelmo. So
23this has nothing to do with kitchens, these Feldofen,
24but with incineration ovens to burn, to incinerate,
26 Q. [Mr Irving] "Field kitchens" would be "Feldkuchens", would it not?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is more likely, yes.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] So your submission is that this is a reference to going
3there to visit some kind of improvised grating, fire
4grating, of some kind ----
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] --- on a large scale?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are actually -- we have Mr Dejaco, the chief of
8design in the Zentrale Bau, he actually made a sketch also
9of this incineration installation. It had been developed
10by Bloebel who was an architect in order to empty the mass
11graves which had been created in Chelmo as a result of the
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Bloebel had the very distasteful task of emptying out the
14mass graves and cremating the ----
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, he had the -- it was called Action 1005. He was
16going around sites where mass graves had been reacted in
17order to take out the corpses and to incinerate them so
18they were going to be no traces.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Why would it include the words an "experimental station"
20for the ----
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because they were just developing the technology to do
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Does it take much technology to make a fire in the open on
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The Germans had not done this before yet. Bloebel was the
26person who developed the technology. Until then, the
1Germans had not yet emptied mass graves and incinerated
2corpses of people who had been buried for some time. We
3know that afterwards this, indeed, is going to happen in
4Auschwitz within weeks, the same procedure start to be
5applied in Auschwitz to all the people who are buried in
6the field of ashes next to bunkers 1 and -- bunker 2 in
8 Q. [Mr Irving] When I see the word "Versthutzstation", in my knowledge of
9German documents, I usually think of a place like
10Panamunda or Passodena. I do not think of somebody
11mucking around with fire grates in a field?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not follow you, Mr Irving.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] The word "Versthutzstation" does not tend to convey what
14you suggest in your evidence. That is all that we can
15usefully derive from that.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that maybe even if I have these documents on the
17trip to Chelmo. It is very well documented. Apart from
18that, Dejaco was questioned on that in detail during his
19trial, and he confirmed what you probably would call the
20very sinister interpretation of all these documents, that,
21indeed, yes, he was there present with Bloebel at the
23 Q. [Mr Irving] And yet he was, of course, acquitted, as we have heard
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He was acquitted of the murder of one inmate who he was
26alleged to have drowned at a building site near
2 Q. [Mr Irving] And not charged with any further crimes after that, not
3recharged on any other crime?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, he was not, but then we have discussed already the
5nature of ----
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, may I just ask you, whilst it
7occurs to me, who translated "ofen" as "kitchens"?
8 MR IRVING: I did, my Lord. Normally, "field kitchens" is the
9only interpretation of [German - document not provided].
10I am willing to be lectured by Mr Van Pelt on this
11alternative meaning. He claims he has these documents
12which bear out his meaning, translation, of the word, and,
13of course, I put the original German to him so that he can
14correct it if we are wrong.
15 If I can just finally carry on on that point, if
16Dejaco was present on this trip and no consequences flowed
17from it in the law courts afterwards, can we draw any
18conclusions as to the nature of these pits that were being
19excavated or not, these mass graves, what the victims had
20died of or had been killed by? I am in your hands here
21because I know nothing. You have seen the documents and I
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. I have one of the documents right here in my hand,
24so, I mean, I could give it to you, I could quote it,
25I could read, because we have the report of the trip of
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not want to spring this document on you, but since
3you raised the issue of the significance of it, it gives
4actually a description of the thing.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] While you are looking, I can tell my Lord the translation
6was actually done at 2 o'clock this morning, so there is
7an element of stress.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Thank you.
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think I have not answered the question yet, so maybe
10could the question be repeated because I ----
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall I repeat it? Can we draw any
12conclusion as to the nature of these pits that were being
13excavated or not, these mass graves, what the victims had
14died of or been killed by? In other words, could you tell
15whether they had been gassed or whether they had been shot
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These people had gassed in gas vans.
18 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Why do you say that?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We know that on the basis of the report created by the
20Polish Commission of investigation in 1945, which itself
21did a forensic excavation at the site and also took many
22testimonies on this. These people who were brought to
23Chelmo were Jews from the Lischmannstadt ghetto. They
24started in very late 1941 when Germany was being emptied
25of Jews. I just want to remind the court, for example,
26Berlin was officially Judenreiden in early 1943. When the
1German Jews were transported to the East, one of the
2places where they were concentrated was in the Rusch or
3Lischmannstadt ghetto. In order to make place for these
4people who came in, because it was already terribly
5overcrowded, Polish Jews from the Lischmannstadt ghetto
6were in early '42 brought to a little castle near Chelmo.
7This castle in Chelmo was a place where they were brought
8to this castle and then there were gas vans in that
9compound and they were actually walked into gas vans.
10There was a description of the actual camouflage way in
11which they were brought in there, and then these gas vans
12drove from that castle to a forest which was a couple of
13miles away. By the time the gas vans arrived at the
14forest, all of the people in the back of these gas vans
15had died and then they were buried in that forest. So
16when the mass graves really had become very large there,
17because ultimately the Polish Commission established that
18around, I think, 180,000 people were killed in that way at
19Chelmno, Bloebel was given the task to start removing the
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That does not appear to me to have much to do
22with the message, the radio message, of 15th September
24 MR IRVING: We are rather branching out into other fields
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It has a lot to do with that.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is Auschwitz, not Chelmno?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, but the people in Auschwitz at that time, what has
3happened is that at bunker 2 at that moment, which had
4been in operation since early July, they have been burying
5the people next to bunker No. 2. In the meantime, there
6is the Himmler visit to Auschwitz and, while there is no
7record of it, it is quite likely probably that he said
8this burying of people very close to the camp, because
9that is actually quite close to Birkenhau, is going to be
10an unhealthy business. So what happens then that
11immediately -- we are talking again at about the month of
12August and September when all these big changes are taking
13place in Auschwitz. So, in order to take counsel from the
14only man who is actually doing the incineration of buried
15corpses which is happening in Chelmno with this
16Studattenfuhrer Bloebel, the Auschwitz Kommandant, and
17this is a very high powered trip, the Kommandant, his
18adjutant Hoessler, and the chief designer, who ultimately
19must make sense of it on a practical, technological scale,
20all go for a whole day to Lischmannstadt, and it is not a
21small trip. They need to get special permission for that
22(because one always needs special permissions for these
23trips) to basically to see what Bloebel is doing there.
24 Then we have also another German, we have the
25original request from Auschwitz to Glucks, we have the
26permit now being produced and we have the final result, a
1report of what happened during that trip.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So Lischmannstadt is close to Chelmno?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, Chelmo -- I mean, Lischmannstadt is a very big city.
4Chelmno is just a hamlet.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what I was missing.
6 MR IRVING: Is it your submission, therefore, that this five
7tonne truck load of Zyklon-B which was fetched, I think we
8agree, the materials, from Dessau to Auschwitz, what was
9the five tonne truck of Zyklon-B, what were the materials
10to be used for? Just for gassing people?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK, so we finished with this document now on the ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, would you answer my question?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I just want to know if I still have to take that into
14consideration in the answer or not.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] No, you do not, no.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] We are back on the trucks going back and forth between
18Auschwitz and Dessau.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The trucks went back and forth to Dessau. They collected
20Zyklon-B and Zyklon-B was used in many different ways in
22 Q. [Mr Irving] But five tonnes seems an awful lot. That is the point
23I am making. Over five tonnes?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But let us remember, just if we talk -- we do not talk
25about five tonnes Zyklon-B because when we ultimately talk
26about the way Zyklon-B is shipped, it is shipped in
1containers and then the containers themselves contain
2earth in which the Zyklon-B is ----
3 Q. [Mr Irving] The largest tin was one kilogram, was it not?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The largest tin was one kilogram, one kilogram of
5Zyklon-B, but the original invoices from the shipping of
6the Daigash of Zyklon-B always gives the brutto weight --
7I mean the gross weight of what a tin is and then
8ultimately also the net wet of Zyklon included in that.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] But the Zyklon is the pellets; it is not just the
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The pellets too, so in order to -- basically, if you get
12five tonnes weight of tins with contents, the total weight
13actually inside of Zyklon, of hydrogen cyanide, will be
14less than a tonne and I can give you the exact figure.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] You are saying that is the weight of the tin to be taken
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The tin and, of the course, pellets in which the Zyklon
18has been taken in, and all that information is available
19and I can give it to you if you just give me time to look.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you suggesting that Zyklon is another word
21for hydrogen cyanide?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Zyklon is a commercial name for a product ----
23 Q. [Mr Irving] For the pellet containing the hydrogen cyanide?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Containing the hydrogen cyanide.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] You are not trying to make out that Zyklon is the hydrogen
26cyanide element in the pellets?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, it is a commercial name.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] So if five tonnes of pellets were picked up, then it is
3five tonnes of tins containing Zyklon-B pellets?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. The truck is not going to carry more than five
5tonnes, whatever it is. So, ultimately, the amount of
6hydrogen cyanide which actually is carried by this truck
7will be closer to because it is more or less, I think
81/5th of the gross weight of a tin is actually hydrogen
9cyanide will be closer to a tonne than five tonnes.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, are you putting forward a positive
11case as to what the materials for the Jew resettlement
12were if they were not Zyklon-B?
13 MR IRVING: We are just going to move to document 0, my Lord,
14the first document in that next clip.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So that is going to answer the question, is
17 MR IRVING: Which I hope will go a long way towards answering
18the question. This comes from exactly the same kind of
19source. It is the one which the Holocaust historians
20never quote. They frequently quote the other two or three
21which are in this clip. This is received in Auschwitz on
22July 22nd 1942, again from Berlin: "I herewith give
23permission for one five tonne truck to drive from
24Auschwitz to Dessau and back to fetch gas for the gassing
25of the camp to combat the epidemic that has broken out".
26 Now you can read that document whichever way you
1wish, my Lord. It is quite possible, of course, that the
2Defence will submit that this is just camouflage.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us ask Professor van Pelt.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Absolutely I do not think it is camouflage. I think that
5in my book at a certain moment (and Mr Irving picked it
6up) I said that in the summer 1942 a lot of Zyklon was
7being used in the camp, to indeed, basically, how you call
8it, fumigate clothing and barracks because there was an
10 Q. [Mr Irving] We will just remain with this for two or three more
11minutes, my Lord.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But it does not mean it was the exclusive use of Zyklon-B.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Just before the adjournment -- this largely ends that
14matter -- in your section 5 called "Confession"s, you have
15reproduced the testimony of a man called Muka, who was the
16adjutant of the Kommandant of Auschwitz at this time.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do. Shall we turn to the particular page?
18 Q. [Mr Irving] These permission slips to dispatch the trucks were
19frequently signed by Muka, were they not?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Let us go to the page. I am happy, I know what you refer
21to, statements made in the Frankfurt trial, but I do not
22exactly know where it is right now. Do you have a page
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Only that it is in (v) "Confessions". My pagination,
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, as we have not got the reference to
1hand, shall we deal with that at 2 o'clock?
2 MR IRVING: Until 2 o'clock? Very well, my Lord.
3 (Luncheon adjournment)
4 MR IRVING: My Lord, might I ask that you remind those present
5that we are not sitting tomorrow in case some people make
6the mistake and come tomorrow and do not realize that we
7are not sitting?
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are quite right that we are not sitting
9tomorrow, but also on Friday, what I would like to do is
10perhaps start an half an hour earlier than normal and
11probably finish earlier than normal as well, so sit at 10
12on Friday. Yes.
13 MR IRVING: From Dessau to Auschwitz, my Lord, but before I go
14on, can I remark on something in my translation about
15field kitchens? Firstly, as your Lordship is aware,
16I have never denied the killings in Chelmno and, if those
17documents are connected in any way, then I fully accept
18that and that is a logical interpretation. Secondly, my
19wartime German medical dictionary says "ofen" is a stove.
20That is a translation for it. So it is not actually in
21the form of a grating which would be gussen in German,
22I believe. So I think, although I am quite prepared to
23accept Professor van Pelt's interpretation of that
24document, not being aware of the surrounding foliage of
25the documents which Professor van Pelt has, this, your
26Lordship will appreciate, is rather the position I have
1been in. Some of the documents, I have been aware of the
2surrounding document foliage which gives colour to
3particular translations. I am perfectly prepared to
4accept the interpretation of that word in any case.
5 We were looking at section 5 called
6"confessions" of your report. You quote the testimony
7given in a later trial of the man called Mulka, who was on
8Hess's staff, who assigned some of these driving permits.
9I do not know the page number.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Perhaps the defendants can help?
11 MR RAMPTON: We are going to try.
12 MR IRVING: These permits were provided to the prosecution in
13the so-called Auschwitz Frankfurt trial.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have found the thing, by the way. It is page 320 in my
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: 514 I was going to offer, but we will try to
17look at 320 first.
18 MR IRVING: These were submitted as evidence in the Frankfurt
19Auschwitz trial and Mulka was cross-examined. The
20presiding judge on this occasion asked him about these
22 "Accused Mulka, have you signed permissions for
23trips to Dessau? (Mulka) I only remember one occasion. A
24permission was signed by Glucks and at the left bottom
25countersigned by me. It concerned a disinfection means.
26(Question) Here it reads 'For the resettlement of the
1Jews' -- one of documents which I produced, my Lord --
2and 'In confirmation of the copy Mulka'. You knew what
3the resettlement of the Jews meant? (Mulka) Yes, that was
4known to me. (Q) And what were those materials for the
5resettlement of the Jews? (Mulka) (silently) -- I am not
6sure how one can do that -- Yes, raw materials. (Q) All
7right then. That was thus Zyklon-B? (Mulka) (even more
8silently) Yes, Zyklon-B".
9 Of course, that is a rather odd kind of
10examination by the presiding judge, is it not, Professor
11van Pelt? You would have expected, certainly if
12Mr Justice Gray had been presiding there, he would have
13asked the obvious follow up question, what was it going to
14be used for? Either it was not asked, or it was not
15recorded, or you did not tell us?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Now. There are no dots in paragraph. The original page
17is in the binder so you can check the original page, if I
18have quoted the thing as a whole or if I have left
19something out, but I can assure you, my Lord, that
20I quoted the whole passage. So the third kind of option
21I would reject out of hand. I think that probably the
22problem in this court was that people knew too well what
23these words meant and what was implied by the question,
24and that they did not find it necessary to be very
25specific about it. If I had been the judge, I probably
26would have asked one more extra question, but the judge
1did not do it.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: In other words, there is some force in Mr
3Irving's point? I think you are conceding that?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
5 MR IRVING: I am not for one moment implying, and I want to
6make it quite plain, that Professor van Pelt has omitted
7any response or any subsequent question which was material
8to this issue, but it is a rather odd kind of examination,
9that the presiding judge did not say, "And what were these
10materials to be used for to your certain knowledge",
11whereupon Mulka could either say, "Oh, they were going to
12be used for fumigation or they were going to be used for
13killing human beings". It is a negative piece of evidence
14and I will now ask Professor van Pelt, of these five
15tonnes of Zyklon-B pellets, or over five tonnes, that were
16picked up on a trip like this, in your estimation how much
17would be used for fumigation purposes? In other words,
18for innocent life saving purposes as opposed to homicidal
19purposes? What kind of percentage?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is very difficult to say. I have submitted to the
21court a document in which I calculate, on the basis of the
22figures for 1943, the likely use of Zyklon-B in
23Auschwitz. This is the supplement to the expert's
24opinion. I am happy to go through those figures.
25 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, part I of the blue file.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am happy to go through those figures because, if you
1want me to be very specific, I can be very specific, and
2I made quite detailed calculations. Of course the
3question depends on how large is the camp at the time, how
4many prisoners are there at the time, how many delousing
5installations are available in the camp at the time, what
6kind of transports are coming in, and so on.
7 MR IRVING: Let us see if you can talk in round figures. If it
8was being used for fumigation purposes, it would be used
9for two fumigation purposes, would it not, for fumigating
10barracks and for fumigating clothing and objects, shall we
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, you are right.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] For that purpose they had a purpose built fumigation
14chamber in Auschwitz, the one that we have seen with the
15blue stains on the outside walls?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are a number of them, in fact. There was one
18 Q. [Mr Irving] B W 5?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Also in Auschwitz I there was a building with two
20fumigation rooms but they were probably used consecutively
21in Auschwitz. Then there was a fumigation or delousing
22facility in Canada I which we discussed yesterday, where
23the hair was found and we have a fumigation capability in
24Zyklon, I am now talking only about Zyklon, in Birkenhau,
25in the women's camp.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] What other kind of fumigation equipment did they have
1apart from Zyklon? Did they have any other equipment at
2any time in Auschwitz and Birkenhau?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Do you mean toxic equipment?
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Any kind of methods of killing pests.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The preferred method, if they could do that, they would
6really prefer, was either by hot air or hot steam.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Would not hot steam have a bad effect on textiles?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That was one of many of the prisoners, inmates. They
9complained that always, when their prisoner clothing had
10been disinfected, had come back from the so-called
11Entwesungsanlage as they were called, indeed they had
12shrunk considerably. This is a continuous problem in the
13history of the camp.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] So the entwesungsanlage is a familiar concept to you,
15then, that German word? It is disinfestation equipment?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it also familiar to you that, at a relatively late
18stage in the war years, the Siemens Company were
19installing an electrical system of pest killing based on
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, kurzwelle Entlausungsanlage.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] The short wave disinfestation equipment?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] This was rather like a microwave cooker for cooking the
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not exactly know the technology but I trust your
2 Q. [Mr Irving] This was basically a high voltage system using a lot of
3electric power that was going to be installed in
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It was going to be installed but, as far as I know, it
6actually never was installed.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] It arrived. It was delivered.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It was actually meant for Auschwitz I. What happened was
9that in Auschwitz I a very large Zyklon-B delousing
10installation was created at the aufnahmegebaude which is
11the reception building for prisoners. There were 19
12standard delousing cells, each of 10 cubic metres which
13uses two hundred grammes of Zyklon-B, the smallest tin,
14and as this building was being completed, the SS decided
15to change the method of disinfection in those cells, at
16least in four of those cells. There were 19 so 15 would
17remain Zyklon-B, and four of them would be the Siemens.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] What word would they use to describe that kind of room or
19building? Would it be a Vergasungsraum or a
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In general these rooms are called Gaskammer.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] They are also called Gaskammer?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. In 1944, however, I have to go because in 1944
24actually the language changes. They called them normal
25Gaskammer, which means on the type sheets which were
26produced by the SS and, if you allow me, my Lord, I will
1just make ----
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Normal means standard, does it not, in that context?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. The SS produced standard designs for concentration
4camps which were handed out to people who were building in
5the field. What happens is that these sheets were
6produced in 1941 to give a local concentration camp
7kommandant some guidelines of where to start when he was
8ordered to create a concentration camp. These designs
9include two designs for delousing facilities and in those
10designs these spaces are called Gaskammer, for example.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Would there be very much talk of these gas chambers
12amongst the prisoners, do you think? Would there be a lot
13of gossip about them?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I complete the answer because we were talking about
15the name of the thing? They use Gaskammer. Then in 1944
16at a certain moment in Auschwitz they started to use the
17cells specially in relationship to the building where
18these four cells are being adjusted to the Siemens
19procedure. They start to call them normal Gaskammer, which
20means standard or normal gas chambers. So then the
21question is in relationship to what? Is it in
22relationship to an abnormal one, which is a homicidal one,
23which some people have concluded, or is it in relationship
24to some other gas chamber?
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, you are familiar with the fact that
26the German world "normal" is not translated as "normal",
1it is translated as "standard"?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Standard.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] "Normalfilm" is 35 millimetre film, for example.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think the first translation I give was "standard".
5 Q. [Mr Irving] In other words, you cannot draw adventurous conclusions
6from the fact that they called something a standard gas
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I said some people have done that. I did not say I did
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Would it not be just a standard piece of equipment
11delivered by Degesch or by Tesh who actually manufactured
12gas chambers for precisely this purpose and they had
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] You interrupted me. My own conclusion was indeed that
15"normal Gaskammer" probably referred to the ten cubic
16metre standard Degesch gas chambers.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] That has nothing to do with the fact that, because we are
18calling this one the normal one, therefore there were
19abnormal ones somewhere else in the camp. This was
20misleading for you to state that, was it not?
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. He said to the contrary. He does not
22himself subscribe to the theory that normal Gaskammer
23implies an abnormal Gaskammer where homicidal events took
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If I can just finish this in one sentence, then another
26word is being used in Auschwitz at the time. We find it
1on many bills and also documents by Degesh at the time in
21944 which actually is about the Zyklon-B gas chambers in
3Auschwitz I, and they used the word Begasungskammer. This
4is very unusual, but there are a number of documents which
5use the word Begasungskammer.
6 MR IRVING: The sense of that would be the gassing chamber,
7would it not?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It is almost like adding gas, like applying gas to,
9the gas supplying chamber, maybe that would be a
11 Q. [Mr Irving] I agree with that, yes.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, I am interrupting as well.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have finished.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there any significance in the V E R at the
15beginning of Vergasungskammer as a German speaker?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not a German. I am not a native German speaker.
17Dutch is still ----
18 Q. [Mr Irving] You seem fairly familiar with it.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would say no. Vergasung seems to be a transitive verb.
20I do not attach any particular significance to the fact
21that it is used like that.
22 MR IRVING: My Lord, I will be putting to your Lordship a
23number of documents with the word Vergasung in, which
24obviously are completely innocent, in an attempt to
25persuade your Lordship in that direction.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Good.
1 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, have you seen invoices or
2delivery notes from the Degesch company relating to
3supplies of Zyklon-B shipments to the concentration camps
4at Auschwitz and at Oranienburg?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I think 12 of these invoices were submitted in the
7 Q. [Mr Irving] The original documents are there, are they not?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I have seen a number. All the invoices are for the
9same one amount, except one,, which is a slightly higher
10amount, so I have seen a copy of the standard amount and
11one for the higher amount. I have not seen all the
12invoices in the original.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Had you seen these at the time you wrote your book, or
14just between writing your book and writing your expert
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I have seen these earlier.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Before you wrote your book?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Did you do any kind of analysis of those invoices to
20see the rate at which these supplies were being delivered
21to Auschwitz as compared with Oranienburg?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. The invoices themselves, and I have made a particular
23comment on it once you raised the issue in your letter of
24December, I do not think are particularly important as
25evidence one way or another about the use of Zyklon-B in
26Auschwitz, because there are actually much better sources
1available to us if one wants to raise that issue, which is
2the Tesh and Stabanov accounts of total deliveries of
3Zyklon B to Auschwitz in 1942 and 1943.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Am I right in saying that the chief accountant of the Tesh
5company had a pocket notebook in which he entered all the
6amounts that he supplied to Auschwitz and to various other
7armed force branches and so on on a monthly basis? He
8kept this notebook and it was introduced in evidence in
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It was introduced as evidence. I think there were also
11supporting documents for that.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] But am I right in suggesting that these invoices to which
13I refer, the delivery notes which were introduced in
14Nuremberg, the 12 delivery notes, relating to the supply
15of Zyklon-B quantities to Auschwitz concentration camp and
16to Oranienburg concentration camp, they are relatively
17random? In other words, first of all, they are
18sequentially numbered, and the deliveries are sequentially
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but ----
21 Q. [Mr Irving] They are in sequence so there is nothing missing?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but these particular invoices come with a very
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you implying that there is anything suspect about the
25integrity of these documents?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not imply that at all, but I think the way they
1were generated -- these were an appendix. They were
2handed over together with an account of how they came in
3the possession of the man who had it.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] We will come to the man to whom they are addressed in a
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This man gives a record of the background of these
7particular invoices which had to do with a particular
8request which came to him from a certain Sturmanfuhrer
9Gunter in Berlin.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Who was Eichmann's assistant, am I correct?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, can I ask you for my benefit
13because remember this is a completely new point to me.
14Can you put what you suggest one gets from the Oranienburg
15invoices in relation to the quantity of use of Zyklon-B
17 MR IRVING: It is my very next question, my Lord.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Good. Thank you.
19 MR IRVING: Am I right in suggesting that identical quantities,
20broadly speaking, of Zyklon-B were delivered to Auschwitz
21and Oranienburg over the time covered by those 12
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The invoices talk about identical quantities to
24Oranienburg and Auschwitz. But the important question is,
25is this all the deliveries of Zyklon-B to Auschwitz? Then
26we have to go back to actually the origin of these
2 Q. [Mr Irving] We are looking just at these 12 documents to start with?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If we only look at these 12 documents.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Can you remember my question, please, Professor van Pelt,
5where I said is it correct to say that the deliveries are
6numbered in sequence and that there are no missing
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not remember, but I will take your word for it.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Thank you very much. Am I right in saying that it has
10never been suggested that there were mass homicidal
11killings by gas chambers in Oranienburg?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, there were some experimental probably, accounts of
13experimental gassings of some Russians in Satzenhausen
14which was in fact a concentration camp in Oranienburg, but
15apart from that ----
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: In 1944?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 1942.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are talking about 1944?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I just want to be precise. The general question was posed
20and I do not want to say that there was never any Zyklon-B
21gassing. There are reports of that in that city.
22 MR IRVING: Am I correct in saying that these invoices to which
23you are referring are from the early months of 1944? My
24memory says that.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Can you tell the court to whom these invoices were
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They were addressed to a man named Kurt Gerstein.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] G E R S T E I N. What is on the next line of the address,
4can you remember, at Auschwitz concentration camp?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have a copy somewhere.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] It seems important.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Berlin?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have it in my report after page 11.
9 MR IRVING: Your Lordship will remember that Professor Evans
10said that I had not the slightest reason for saying that
11these were going for fumigation purposes in the camp.
12What does the next line read?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] After his name?
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Does it not say that it is going to the
15Entwesungsabteilung or words to that effect?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Not in my copy.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, it is not in the next line. It is actually in the
18invoice bit itself.
19 MR IRVING: Yes?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It says we did send at the 8th March from Dessau with a
21Wehrmacht Vorbrief, which means an army kind of
22transportation voucher, of the jedestatt Verwaltung
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Administration?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At Dessau to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, the
26department of disinfestation and anzeufer is a plague.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] It is tortology, really. They are both the same thing are
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No they are not exactly.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Disinfecting and disinfestation?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Seuche is an epidemic so anti-epidemic department.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Epidemic control?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Epidemic control department, yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] This was in fact Kurt Gerstein's position, was it not?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not in Auschwitz. He was employed at the Hygienic
10Institute in Oranienburg.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it not significant that these huge quantities of Zyklon
12pellets are being sent to the office in charge of epidemic
13control at Auschwitz? What use is made of them
14subsequently of course is another matter. But this deals
15with the system again?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] What is significant is who will receive Zyklon when it
17arrives in Auschwitz. Again, from my witness testimony,
18we know that it was exactly that department which
19controlled all Zyklon in Auschwitz, and ultimately that
20was one of the reasons also that doctors always had to be
21present when Zyklon was applied one way or the other.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Now that we are with the person of Kurt Gerstein, will you
23tell the court if he is one of your eyewitnesses in any
24respect when you write your report?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. Kurt Gerstein has made no statement whatsoever about
26Auschwitz or the gas chambers of crematoria 1, 2, 3, 4 and
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you placed any reliance on Kurt Gerstein in your
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I did not need to place any reliance in my work on
5Auschwitz since he has never made any testimony about
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Although he made some very detailed allegations about how
8many people were killed in the gas chambers elsewhere, and
9he gave figures for the quantities killed in the other gas
10chambers in the other camps, you are not prepared to draw
11conclusions about the general reliability of this kind of
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I do not think that at the moment the statement you
14made can be supported. I think that Kurt Gerstein has
15made a detailed account of a visit to Treblinka where he
16came in the summer of 1942. He made a detailed
17description of that.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor Vananstiel, that is correct?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Professor Vananstiel(?) Later Professor Vananstiel after
20the war confirmed that indeed he had been with Kurt
21Gerstein in Treblinka and confirmed more or less the
22account, except where it applies to his own role in this
23trip, a number of remarks he would have made while looking
24through the spy hole into the gas chamber, but apart from
25Kurt Gerstein has not made any calculations, as far as
26I know, I do not think he even made about Treblinka or
1for that matter he never mentioned Auschwitz in any
2context of extermination.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] I am only deal with the Gerstein report in the context of
4reliability of eyewitness evidence in general. This is
5the only reason I am going to ask the next few questions.
6Did Mr Kurt Gerstein, who was an SS officer, make any
7statements about the number of people who were packed into
8the gas chamber that he witnessed allegedly?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not going to comment on that without the document in
10front of me.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] You have not read the Gerstein report?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Of course I have read various editions of the Gerstein
13report, both the French and the German, but I am not going
14to comment on what Kurt Gerstein may have said or may not
15have said when I do not have the document in front of me.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you aware that there seven different versions of the
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I know there are various different versions. I did not
19know it was seven.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you aware that each successive version of the report
21became more lurid in French captivity and that the numbers
22grew larger like Topsy?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving I do not remember ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving] I should have asked how many versions of the report have
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have read three versions of the report.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Did you notice any discrepancy between the figures and the
2general scale of the atrocity he was describing?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. The reports are longer and shorter, so I have not
4compared them on actual figures. In some reports he
5includes more information, and in other reports he has
6less. I have not made a comparative study of all the
7reports together because they do not apply to Auschwitz.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor van Pelt, this part of the
10cross-examination started off, I think, on the topic of
11how much Zyklon B went to Auschwitz, how much of it might
12have been used for delousing and disinfecting and all the
13rest of it, therefore how much was left, if any?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Can you ----
16 MR IRVING: I was about to come back on to that main line with
17certain specific questions.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: May I get the answer to my question,
19Mr Irving, first?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Can you give me in broad terms an answer, so far as your
21conclusions on that question go?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. May I use the document for that?
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Of course. I just thought it was a convenient way short
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are two years on which we know, on the basis of the
26testimony of Alfred Sahen, supported by his notebook but
1also other information available at the trial of
2distributors. They were not really distributors, people
3that allocate Zyklon-B. The amounts of deliveries of
4Zyklon-B to Auschwitz, that is 1942 and 1943. On page 22
5of my additional report, one can read that in 1942, seven
6and a half thousand kilos were delivered to Auschwitz, and
7in 1943 12,000 kilos were delivered do Auschwitz.
8 MR IRVING: That is 12 tonnes?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 12 tonnes were delivered to Auschwitz. I have done a
10calculation. In 1942 this seven and a half thousand kilos
11to Auschwitz comes out of 9,000 kilos to the whole
12concentration camp system. Again, I do not draw the
13conclusion but I want to say the conclusion other people
14have drawn is that, since Auschwitz received more than
15three-quarters of all the Zyklon-B, something like 80 per
16cent of the Zyklon-B, this meant of course this could only
17have been caused by the use of Zyklon-B as a killing agent
18and I do not agree such a simple jump.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we be quite plain that you do not agree with that?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not simply on the basis that there were seven and a half
21thousand kilos going to Zyklon-B, and 1,500 to the rest of
22the concentration camp system. I would not jump
23immediately to the conclusion. I think one has to be more
24careful when one comes to conclusions.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I ask you one question here? How many satellite camps
26were dependant on Auschwitz as their central distribution
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In 1943 or 1942?
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Shall we say 1944?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 1944, 34, but many measures were very small. May
5I continue to answer the question his Lordship has asked?
6 Q. [Mr Irving] This need not necessarily just have been going to
7Auschwitz itself, they would have been possibly shovelling
8it on to other places that needed it?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but only few of those camps had actually delousing
10installations. Most of the delousing for the satellite
11camps were actually done back in Auschwitz.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] When you delouse a barracks or a barrack room like this
13room here, do you need installation or do you just close
14all the doors and windows and do what the Americans call
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I am a little confused right now.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Come back to that, Mr Irving. I am
18getting an explanation of the total figures that went to
19Auschwitz. So you do not make the jump simply from
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I have made the calculation and ultimately what I do
22is that I am making the two ways actually to determine
23what is a normal use for Zyklon-B? The first is to look
24at other camps. What would a camp of the same size use
25compared to Auschwitz? That is the first exercise I did
26on pages 25 and 26. For example, we have information for
11943 so that is why it is important to look at 1943.
2There is Satzenhausen in 1943 at 40,000 inmates, and it
3almost used 3,000 kilos of Zyklon-B that year. If
4Auschwitz would have been the same size as Satzenhausen
5because Auschwitz had an average of 60,000 inmates that
6year, it would have used four and a half thousand kilo if
7indeed we could take the Satzenhausen figure as a point of
8departure. In fact, Auschwitz uses 12,000. Then we look
9at other camps, how much do they get, and we start to
10basically priorate population figures.
11 MR IRVING: These figures are quite meaningless because of
12course we know that Auschwitz was at the centre of one of
13the worst epidemics in history.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not any more in 1943.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was summer 1942, was it not?
16 MR IRVING: There was another epidemic in January 1943?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There was a smaller epidemic in January 1943, which was
18dealt with rather quickly, and the outbreak of an epidemic
19in the gypsy camp in the summer of 1942 almost had no
21 Q. [Mr Irving] The whole point is that you use Zyklon B preemptively.
22You do not use it as a mopping up operation. You use it
23to stop it happening again.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mostly.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] You fumigate barracks again and again and again.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Survivors have testified to the fact that these barracks
1were not very often fumigated. I have recently, but
2I will try to continue my arguments. But I will just
3finish this sentence.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, it would be helpful to me at any
5rate if he can complete this answer and then you can of
6course cross-examine on it.
7 MR IRVING: I am restraining myself but that was an important
8point to make I think.
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. So, my Lord, so at the one side we can look at, kind
10of, the figures in other camps, and we then we look at
11Auschwitz. On page 26, I think demonstrates that the
12Auschwitz figure of 12,000 kilos is much higher than you
13would expect on the basis of deliveries to other camps if
14we take the different sizes into account.
15 Then the second kind of exercise one can do is
16to look at the way Zyklon-B could have been used in
17Auschwitz. So how much would have used in delousing in
18this year? This is, I start to do this on page 27 and it
19continues. It gets a very detailed kind of calculation.
20 I start out with -- the question is, where are
21the delousing rooms and what is the capacity of these
22delousing rooms? So in 1943, the total Zyklon B delousing
23space was 940 cubic metres. That is from the bottom of
25 Now, then we are going to look of how much, what
26concentration of hydrogen cyanide would have been used in
1these rooms, and I refer back to a German war time
2document by the [German] which is the Health Institution
3of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in Prague,
4which instructs that one needs eight grammes of Zyklon-B
5per cubic metre for 16 hours to kill vermins, such as
6bugs, lice, flees, etc..
7 Now, I assume that these delousing spaces would
8have, indeed, used that concentration. It is the only
9kind of basis I can work on, and that as a result of that
10is that if we have one gassing per day in each of these
11rooms -- now, this is very unlikely because there were
12large rooms actually in the Sturmlager in Auschwitz which
13eyewitness testimony says were only used irregularly, but
14now I am assuming for a moment that these eyewitness are
15wrong, and that they were used every day, I come to
16basically seven-and-a-half kilogrammes of Zyklon-B per day
17or 2,730 kilos of Zyklon-B per year if there is a
18delousing every day. So I have now in some way accounted
19at a maximum delousing capacity in the camp for 2,730
20kilos of Zyklon-B.
21 So now we are going to look at the average size
22of each barrack which is 12,000 -- and these are the
23barracks in Birkenhau right now -- 12,000 cubic metres, in
24which the barracks in the women's camp are slightly larger
25and barracks in building sector 2 are slightly smaller.
26They are around 1200. In the women's camp they were
1around 1250 and in Auschwitz they were larger.
2 So if we take again the same concentration, this
3would be quite a high concentration for the delousing of
4barracks. One needs in Birkenhau six to 10 kilos per
5barrack, and in Auschwitz one where they are two-storey
6barracks, 12 to 20 kilos per barrack, which means that the
7complete delousing of all the 192 dwelling barracks in
8Birkenhau would take between 1200 and 1900 kilos, and all
9the 30 ----
10 MR IRVING: Each time, right?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Each time, and all the 30 dwelling barracks in Auschwitz
12would take 360 and 600 kilos of Zyklon-B. Then there were
13also workshop storage barracks, and they would have taken
14240 to 400 kilos, which means that the complete delousing
15of the camp (and we are now talking about Auschwitz 1 and
16Auschwitz 2) would have taken between 1750 and 2,900
18 Now, on the basis of this comparison with these
19other camps, I had established that an amount of 9,000
20kilos for Zyklon-B for Auschwitz in 1943 would have been
21within the kind of range of the possible. It would be the
22high end, but I would not have been surprised to see so
24 This means that if we take that 9,000 as a kind
25of bench mark of what a normal -- Auschwitz under normal
26conditions would have used, then we can have at least two
1complete delousing of all the barracks in the camp in
3 Now, I take two eyewitness testimonies which is
4one from Helen Zipitehau who was in the women's camp from
5-- a Slovac Jew -- 1942 until the liberation in 1945.
6She remembered three our four of these large delousings of
7the whole women's camp in her two-and-a-half year stay.
8Then Dr Ziegsmund Bendel in the Tesch trial declared that
9he has only one delousing of the barracks during his 13
10month stay in Auschwitz. This is the kind of practical
11information we have about how many times. I mean, I do
12not have any more information on that.
13 It seems then that the 1750 to 2,000 -- that
14this let us say two or three, maybe two delousings in 1943
15of the whole camp would still bring us below the 9,000
16kilos of Zyklon used after all the gas chambers have been
17working every day, the delousing gas chambers, and
18basically we have had the delousing of the blocks.
19 I must make one kind of -- a particular
20thing must be noted, that if in the German document
21sometimes there is talking about the "Entlausung des
22Blocks", it means that the people in the block are going
23to be taken to be deloused. There is particular things.
24It says that block 11 was "entlaust" which means everyone
25was taken to be BW5A, the delousing building in the
26women's camp, or so on.
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
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
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
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
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
1plagues, and it was the heart of a terrible typhus plague
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
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
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.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] When was that? Roughly what year was that?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This was 1880s, 1890s.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] So it has been a problem over the decades, there has been
4a problem in that region?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean, the German ----
6 Q. [Mr Irving] It is a very swampy region, is it?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I mean, but this was happening all over the East, that
8people who were, that Jews, migrants who were leaving the
9Russian Empire were subjected to German hygienic measures
10as they crossed the border or came into the harbours of
11Bremen and Hamburg where they were placed in quarantine.
12There were special areas of the harbour where these Jews
13were quarantined. There were these kinds of
14installations. However, Auschwitz was slightly different
15because while Auschwitz, at the one side, had these
16transmigrants who went over the border there, because it
17was a border town, the camp was not created with that in
18mind. The camp was created, the Sturmlager was created to
19very specifically house transmigrant workers who all
20converged on Auschwitz in March and April of every year
21looking for seasonal work in Germany. There were only
22three little hotels in the town, and the hotels said these
23people were living on the street, and there were 10 or
2415,000 people living on the street.
25 So, the Austrian Government decided to create a
26centre at the border where these people could be housed
1and where then also German agents for the various
2employment opportunities, like the Jungkris(?) in the
3estates, could come, send people on and then the most
4important function there was to actually check if all the
5young men had done their military service and were allowed
6to leave the country.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] And that was Auschwitz, right?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That was in Auschwitz.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Just to round off this topic of the Zyklon
10consumption figures, you have done very interesting
11calculations, and I have to admit they are admirably done,
12the calculations. You arrive overall at the end of these
13very lengthy and complicated calculations at a probable
14consumption of nine tonnes?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Nine tonnes in the camp in 1943, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] As opposed to the 12 tonnes that we know to have been
17delivered. Is this a meaningful difference, in your view,
18in view of the fact that you are totally inexperienced in
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I invite other people to redo the calculations again.
21I thought that, as far as an historian, I must say that
22using the maximum delousing capacity of the camp and the
23maximum -- and how much it will take on the basis of
24German documents to delouse the whole camp ----
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Does it make any allowance for inefficiencies of any
26measures anywhere? Does it make your usual engineer's
1allowance for inefficiencies somewhere or mistakes?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that I have made a very generous assumption in the
3amount of Zyklon-B which was being used.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Or for quantities being sent on to the satellite camps?
5These are things which you did not -- in my submission,
6there is no significant difference statistically over that
7range of calculations and figures and, given the
8uncertainty of the starting points between nine tonnes and
912 tonnes, on the one hand, is that correct?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Nine tonnes can be justified, but it is a very high number
11because I am assuming two complete delousings of the camp,
12of all the buildings in the camp, per year.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] If you had assumed three, of course, you would have come
14over 12 tonnes, would you not?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I would come over nine tonnes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. You said you were just assuming two?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not over 12 tonnes. But at a certain moment the question
18is how many delousings of the whole camp were operated.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] We just have two eyewitnesses, is this correct, who
20suggests that -- one of them was one of the eyewitnesses
21to whom, I have to say, I attach little credence and the
22other one I may or may not be correct in saying she only
23records three or four, is that correct, in the time ----
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] During her whole time in the camp.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] --- during the whole time she was there? But against
26that, we set the evidence of Bruno Tesch in his trial, and
1he is the acknowledged leading German expert on
2disinfestation who says, having been given the figures, he
3is astonished that they managed to carry out the
4fumigation of all these sets of clothing, given the number
5of prisoners, because he knew how many kilograms of
6Zyklon-B were needed for each 100 sets of clothing. That
7is the calculation he did.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that Tesch you are talking about now?
9 MR IRVING: I am talking about Bruno Tesch, T-E-S-C-H.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: May I ask Professor van Pelt a question about
11that? The prosecution against Tesch, presumably, involved
12the prosecution establishing that he knew what the
13Zyklon-B was being supplied to Auschwitz for?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] So he was likely to say that the quantity was the right
16amount to do the delousing?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The case, the evidence on which Tesch was ultimately
18convicted was not the quantity delivered to Auschwitz. It
19was actually a statement made by one of his employees who
20had said that Tesch knew about that what the Zyklon was
21being used for.
22 MR IRVING: He said that he came back and he dictated a travel
23report on a trip which had indicated that he knew what was
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] This was hotly disputed by other members of Tesch's staff
1who knew the travel reports concerned, but he was hanged
2on the basis of that one witness?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] You know, I do not want to redo the Tesh trial. I mean,
4it may have been true that Tesch knew about it or it may
5not have been true. But the issue was, the issue at stake
6in the trial was not the quantity of the deliveries.
7 Interestingly enough, if you go back to the
8trial documents, what really made people very, very upset
9about it is the profit they got out of the deliveries.
10There was constant talk about how many Reichs Marks
11actually were made out of his deliveries to Auschwitz.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] I appreciate your Lordship's point and, of course, it is
13absolutely right, he would have had a motive for trying to
14minimize it, but against that is to be set the fact that
15whereas you and I are, no doubt, astonished to see nine
16tonnes of cyanide being delivered to any camp or any
17place, and you think, "Well, this can only mean one
18thing", the drift of my argument has been it could mean
19many things and it was by no means out of the ball park
20when you are looking at the other uses to which this
21domestic fumigant was very properly put.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I understand.
23 MR IRVING: Can I now proceed to a different topic, my Lord?
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, of course.
25 MR IRVING: We have dealt with the eyewitness in some detail,
26Professor van Pelt. I must say I am left unhappy at the
1notion that so far the mass extermination of 500,000
2victims in this building here, krammer No. 2, rests,
3apparently, on a number of very shaky eyewitnesses --
4I think I have shaken two or three them -- and on certain
5other documents that we have not really properly
7 Can you talk to the court, please, if I say to
8you what architectural drawings are there relating to
9crematorium No. (ii) and, in particular, to the alleged
10gas chamber in mortuary No. 1, can you tell the court
11about which one document in particular would be the one
12you would say was something close to a smoking gun -- if
13there is such a document, such a blueprint?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you mean Kuhler? Is he included in the
16 MR IRVING: Kuhler we can come to later, my Lord. I am
17interested in Kuhler, obviously, because that will bring
18us back to the holes, and I am going to keep on driving
19holes in this case until your Lordship appreciates the
20significance of the holes, or their absence. So I want to
21do that kind of scattered throughout these two days.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: So we are talking about blueprints?
24 MR IRVING: We are talking about drawings, architectural
25drawings. If there is anything in any of those drawings
26which you considered to be very suspicious?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have said in my report that the way the materials should
2be interpreted is as a convergence of evidence and not in
3terms of a single smoking gun. There are in the documents
4in Auschwitz, of course, documents which are more
5difficult to bring into harmony with the thesis that there
6would have been no gas chamber, no homicidal gas chamber,
7in crematorium (ii). For example, there is a letter, the
8notorious vergasungs letter, the keller letter of 29th
9January 1943; but since I am being asked about blueprints
10and I will limit my answer to blueprints, there is not one
11blueprint which by and in itself is a smoking gun.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] But you have repeatedly talked in radio programmes on the
13BBC, for example, the Horizon programme, you said, "We
14have the blue prints", have you not? "We have the
15drawings"? I appreciate ----
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But we have to -- we have the blueprints as historical
17evidence and one can draw conclusions out of the
19 Q. [Mr Irving] That is not the way you put it, of course. You were
20rather more specific. You said: "We have the drawings of
21the gas chambers".
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But it allows us, these drawings allow us to reconstruct
23the history of these things, the way these things were
24constructed, and the history includes a certain amount the
25history of the use and the modification of these buildings
26as a killing machine.
1 Now, there are certain drawings which certainly
2pop out of the bundle of drawings which is preserved. For
3example, a very, very important drawing, but again only
4seen in context, would have been the modification of the
5basement done by Walter Dejaco in December 1942. But
6again that drawing by itself does not say anything. That
7drawing has to be compared to the drawings that preceded
9 So, you know, I am happy to go -- the problem is
10I do not know if everyone has the drawings -- I am happy
11to go through a very detailed explication of those
12drawings, but given the fact we already have difficulty
13with Olaire before, I do not really know to do that
14because I will have to point at these things which are not
15labelled and these are, you know, those blueprints
17 MR IRVING: We can get the drift of what your arguments are
18going to be. I just wanted to establish, though, that
19when you said these things on this BBC Horizon programme
20(of which we have the transcript here) of course, you are
21not reading from a script, you are just talking from
22memory, so to speak? If you were writing it, you would
23not have said that?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, there was no script of that. There was no script.
25I do not exactly know what I said, so maybe you can read
26it to the court and I can have a look at it and, you know,
1I can comment on it.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. But the point I am making is that you are much more
3careful when you write than when you speak?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is nothing really in the Horizon programme which at
5the moment I feel I would have to take back. I am quite
6comfortable with what I said in that programme.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, except that you also referred to a document, but
8I am not on documents at present in terms which were
9inappropriate because it turns out that what you said was
10not borne out by the document. Do you remember that
11document, the one relating to the electric supply not
12being adequate, and you reversed the order of killing and
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, in that document at a certain moment
15I transposed the word, I think, sonderbehantlung(?) and
16incineration from one to the other.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, these things happen, do they not?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But the meaning, the meaning of what I said is exactly the
19same as the meaning of the document.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. These things happen. It was not any perverse
21manipulation of the evidence in any way; it was just ----
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Unlike what some people on the web suggest? No, it was no
24 Q. [Mr Irving] I have not suggested that, have I ----
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know if you have suggested it.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] --- on my web site, no? That is not the point I am trying
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If that is not suggested, we can move on,
3can we not?
4 MR IRVING: I am your Lordship appreciates the reason why I put
5the question. So what you are saying is there is no one
6drawing -- we have established that the eye witness
7evidence is two legged rather than five legged. We have
8now heard that there is no one drawing which supports the
9identity of that underground mortuary as being a gas
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, but we can look now at two or three drawings together
12and then we start to look, we start to observe some very
13weird things and some modifications made between one
14drawing and the other drawing which certainly starts to
15point out at a use of ----
16 Q. [Mr Irving] An unusual use?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- morgue No. 1 which is used which is certainly not
18suggestive of either an air raid shelter or that of any
19other kind of non-genocidal use.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Can you tell us roughly what those discrepancies are on --
21shall I feed clues?
22 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I hardly think this is satisfactory. We
23have the plans in the folder.
24 MR IRVING: Indeed, yes.
25 MR RAMPTON: It is quite a detailed exercise. I have been
26through it many times. It may or may not make sense, but
1it is really ridiculous, in my submission, to ask this
2witness to try to do it ----
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You mean there is no such -- it is either the
4whole hog or nothing?
5 MR RAMPTON: Yes. You cannot do that from memory.
6 MR IRVING: I am all for the whole hog in this case. Let us go
7the whole hog, but I thought that the Professor was saying
8it would be rather difficult to do this exercise in court
9with things as tricky as detailed drawings.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, he was saying that, but if we have to
11do it, we have to do.
12 MR IRVING: Yes. But if Mr Rampton objects, then by all means
13let us look at the individual drawings.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But let me get this clear, Mr Irving, first:
15we will go through the drawings, by all means, but ----
16 MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, I ----
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- there is going to be no profit in doing
18so if, at the end of the day, you are going to put to
19Professor van Pelt, "Oh, well, that is all very well, but
20it was just a delousing chamber or disinfecting chamber".
21So I do not want to spend a lot of time and in the end for
22it to be in a sense purposeless. Do you follow me?
23 MR IRVING: I agree, but your Lordship has heard the witness
24say that there are two or three specific things about the
25drawings which, when put together, can only lead to the
26sinister interpretation. I think I know what he is
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, I am looking at one, the following
3page 183 in your report ----
4 MR IRVING: I do not want to preempt him.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- and I suspect that may be one of the ones,
6with the small holes along the top and bottom of the side
8 MR IRVING: If your Lordship feels this is inappropriate that
9we should continue on this?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, well, I am in the difficulty, Mr Irving,
11as you will understand, I do not quite know that I know
12what the point that is going to be made is.
13 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, let me say straight ----
14 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, may I make an intervention now?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We had better not all talk at once.
16 MR RAMPTON: No, I know, but I have foreseen this for
17sometime. I really think Mr Irving has to state his
18position now because otherwise, as your Lordship has just
19said, we could spend two hours going through the drawings
20and end up with the same conclusion as yesterday in
21cross-examination, "Yes, it was a gas chamber, but not for
22live human beings".
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is why I said what I said.
24 MR RAMPTON: If that is all that this examination is going to
25lead to, Mr Irving may as well come clean, say, "Yes,
26I accept it was a gas chamber. Now, Mr Van Pelt, how do
1you deal with the suggestion that was for gassing corpses
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I mean, that is the point that I
4have just put to you, Mr Irving. Can you tell us what the
6 MR IRVING: I appreciate that Mr Rampton would prefer to
7conduct my cross-examination for me.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just answer my question.
9 MR IRVING: I will come clean and say precisely what points
10I am going for. Professor van Pelt has suggested that,
11because in one of the drawings there is a requirement for
12the vorwarmung or prewarming of the mortuary. This has a
13sinister connotation. Am I right, Professor?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is not there was drawing. This is there was letter,
15so I did not in any of my discussion, when you asked me
16about drawings right now, include that particular
17document. I said I was specifically talking about
19 Q. [Mr Irving] While we are on that document, can you tell me how
20important is that letter and how much reliance would you
21place on that as being halfway to the smoking gun?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know if I should answer this right now since
23another question was posed.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is your answer because I am going to go back,
25that it is part of the convergent evidence? Is that how
26you put it?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is an important part of convergent evidence, yes.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let's go back, Mr Irving. I am going to
3insist that we get this clear and then we know where we
5 MR IRVING: May I return to the prewarming later on, my Lord?
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course you can return to it later on.
7What is your position going to be? Supposing that the
8evidence satisfies me that there is reason to believe that
9this was intended to be there was gas chamber and not an
10air raid shelter, is that something you accept or
12 MR IRVING: It should be, with respect, my Lord, relatively
13easy for the witness to say there are two or three items,
14as he in fact said, which were to him, taken in
15conjunction with each other, adequate evidence that there
16was a sinister purpose.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is as may be, but I would like an answer
18to my question because I think you must come clean as to
20 MR IRVING: I do not think I am equivocating. My position on
21this particular room is that it was never used in there
22was gas chamber sense, in the sense described by the
23eyewitnesses because of course the lack of holes proves
24that the eyewitnesses have lied.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is getting close to an answer but it is
26not quite an answer. Are you accepting it was a gas
1chamber in the sense that it had the facility for gas to
2be inserted by whatever means, but contending that humans
3were never killed by gas in that chamber?
4 MR IRVING: Certainly on one occasion it was referred to as a
5Vergasungskeller and also referred to as a sonderkeller, a
6special cellar or special basement. That I also accept.
7What I do not accept is that it was going to be used for
8the mass killing of human beings by gas. This is a very
9clear statement. What I do postulate is that it was also
10simultaneously being held in prospect and even converted
11for use as an underground air raid shelter, being one of
12the very few subterranean buildings on the site in the
13event that mass attacks in this part of Poland also began,
14given the proximity of the IG Farben works.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sure I missed it, but was part of that
16answer that yes, you do accept that it was there was gas
17chamber and that you accept that it was on occasion used
18for killing human beings?
19 MR IRVING: I accepted it was referred to as there was gas
20chamber, my Lord, which is not quite the same thing and
21there are documents ----
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you accepting it was in fact there was
24 MR IRVING: That I have not seen evidence for.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So you are not accepting that?
26 MR IRVING: I am not accepting that part of the statement
1because I have not seen any evidence that bears that part
2of the statement out. I have seen evidence that it was
3referred to by the German authorities as there was
4Vergasungskeller, there was room for gassing in.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But you still do not accept that it was in
6fact there was gas chamber? Is that the position?
7 MR IRVING: That is precisely my position, my Lord.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then we go through the drawings.
9 MR IRVING: The drawings, but only in respect to elucidating
10this point. You said that you had two or three matters in
11the drawings which you thought would bear out this
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am just trying to make up my mind how to do this. We
14are going to go through there was complex exercise in
15which I have now to make up my mind how to work most
16effectively through this.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just think. Do you want to adjourn for five
19 MR IRVING: Alternatively, we could come back to this question
20on Friday, my Lord, which would give one whole day to look
21at the drawings and I could move on to the prewarming
22question, which is the next one logically. I would prefer
23to do that, frankly.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, since we have reached the point of
25the drawings and we have just had that exchange, I would
26slightly prefer to do it now.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I ask something? There are some ways this could be
2helpful because I am not completely unprepared for this
3thing. I have two ex students of mine make on the basis
4of all the blueprints there was computer model of
5crematorium No. (ii). This is only on the basis of the
6blueprints and whatever is added is very clear. For
7example, the only thing which is added are the Zyklon-B
8introduction columns which are clearly not in the
9blueprints, and there was speculative depiction in one of
10them of how the hot air system would have worked. This is
11all prepared. I have slides of this whole reconstruction
12by which we can actually translate the blueprints into
13something which laymen in architecture can read. I have
14them also as pictures that were printed out.
15 On Friday, with always the blueprint right next
16to it, I could give there was complete presentation of
17this building to show the important things which would
18maybe help your Lordship to get quicker into the gist of
19things. It is something I am prepared to do. I can do it
20without it, but it will be more of there was struggle to
21do without it.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, do you have any objection to that
23being done as an exercise?
24 MR RAMPTON: That is what I would have proposed, my Lord.
25Given what I would submit is the relative collapse of the
26eyewitness evidence in relation to this building ----
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just answer the question. Do not worry about
2the eyewitness evidence.
3 MR IRVING: Then the answer is yes I think it would be very
4fair to Professor van Pelt.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We will do that on Friday.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In forms of slides or with the pictures?
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Whichever is easier. Mr Irving is happy you
8should do it, so you do it in whichever way is the more
9informative for the court.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to do it then in slide form since it is a
11more public thing and I can point at things on the screen
12and it is always clear to what I am pointing.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If you are happy with that, Mr Irving?
14 MR IRVING: Provided it goes strictly to the issues that we
15have delineated. The Professor said that there were there
16was number of points which, taken in conjunction,
17substantiate his beliefs and we do not just have a general
18cook's tour of the building.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. This is designed to show that the
20blueprints have pointers within them which suggest the use
21of that chamber was as there was gas chamber.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
23 MR IRVING: That can only be there was useful exercise. So we
24will leave the drawings for the moment, Professor, and we
25will continue just briefly with the documentary evidence.
26 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, again, I am puzzled. Mr Irving seems to
1be under the impression that there were only two relevant
2eyewitness accounts so far as this witness is concerned.
3I am there was bit bothered by that. I could come back to
4it in re-examination but I think there may be a
5misunderstanding -- Mr Irving said it several times --
6between Mr Professor van Pelt and Mr Irving.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think Professor van Pelt has identified
8five camp officials. I think we all know that there are
10 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
11 MR IRVING: These are the five principal ones on which he rests
12his case as far as the eyewitness are concerned and I do
13apologise if I gave the impression that I had only
14demolished two of them.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us leave the debating points on one side
16and press on with the cross-examination croaks.
17 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, prewarming of the mortuary.
18You have rightly raised your eyebrows on that and said
19this surely has there was sinister purpose. Have
20I summarized your position correctly?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Shall we get the document maybe? It is in the bundle.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: K 2.
24 MR RAMPTON: Yes, tab 4 of K 2.
25 MR RAMPTON: It is page 39, my Lord, in the handwriting.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you.
1 MR IRVING: This is there was letter from Auschwitz to the Topf
2company, is it not?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It is there was letter sent on 6th March 1943, which
4is a little over there was week before the building is
5really taken into use.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you like to translate the first paragraph, or shall
7I? On the basis of your proposal this agency or this
8office is in agreement that the basement No. 1, this is
9the mortuary No. 1 with the collapsed roof, is that
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Should be prewarmed with the exhaust air from the spaces
13of the three extractor fans. Would that be correct?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. Probably it is there was forced draft, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] They are going to have some kind of heat exchanger so that
16they can take heat from the furnaces in some way?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I can explain very simply what happens is that the
18ovens are connected to the chimney -- this was Topf's
19idea -- in order to get there was better draft from the
20ovens to the chimney, they thought to actually -- there
21are five ovens and then there is the waste incineration
22oven which was never built, to have one ventilator at
23every two ovens which was going to basically suck the
24smoke out of the oven into the chimney to put there was
25ventilator there. These ventilators were placed in small
26rooms. The idea is that of course there is going to be an
1incredible heat built up in these ventilators because the
2smoke is very hot, that you could regenerate, and there
3were other plans also, that heat. This particular
4proposal is to use the heat built up in these little rooms
5in which the ventilators are, to bring that back into
6morgue number 1.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] There was lot of the documents in fact do indicate there
8was desire to conserve energy, do they not? To extract
9the energy from the incineration plant and this kind of
10thing, use it for boiling water for the showers and so
11on? Am I right?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. There are there some proposals.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] What concerns you about the prewarming? Why should this
14room not be prewarmed, the mortuary?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] What concerns me of course is that one would want to keep
16the morgue cool, and that to actually blow hot air into
17there was morgue does not make much sense if the space is
18going to be used as a morgue.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Is this your considered opinion as an architect, or as an
20historian, or as an archeologist?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] As there was person who has common sense.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Bodies are cold, so why bother to warm them? Is that
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is one of the reasons. You see, the practice in
25Auschwitz was that one has these underground gas chambers
26which are well insulated because they are covered with
1earth, and that in these spaces there is there was more or
2less even temperature, as it was mostly in basements, and
3you get there was cool environment in which you store the
4bodies, and the bodies will not further deteriorate, or
5faster than necessary.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I suppose also one might say what is the
7point of warming the room if the people in there are going
8to be murdered and then they are going to be burnt?
9 MR IRVING: My Lord, shortly all will be revealed.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me get the answer first.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The reason that this is problematic is that Zyklon-B,
12sorry hydrogen cyanide, will evaporate faster the warmer
13the room is.
14 MR IRVING: Right.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So the killing of people in that room would be faster.
16 MR IRVING: It is common sense that you would not want to warm
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I add something to this remark? It is not necessary.
19Even freezing temperatures you can just spread Zyklon B on
20the floor of a building and it will evaporate, but it goes
21slower. One of the particular elements of the standard
22Degesch delousing chamber, the ten cubic metre one, was
23that they could also be supplied not necessarily, but
24could be supplied with there was particular little heating
25element which was more or less like there was hair blow
26drier, and that the Zyklon-B tin was placed in the kind of
1holder. Then from the outside there was there was tin
2opener, and then, as the Zyklon fell, it came down on
3there was little dish and this hot air was being blown
4over that dish. So the evaporation would be faster.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] All very interesting, but assuming that the homicidal
6theory is correct, you are going to have 2,000 human
7beings stuffed into this room and, as we know from the
8design of the Millennium Dome, human beings heat up
9spaces. They does not need heaters, do they?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That was the experience in Auschwitz. Throughout the
11winter of 1942 they were gassing in bunker No. 2 and they
12did not need any heating.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] We are not dealing with that. We are dealing with this
14particular bunker at present and the answer is, in other
15words, if your theory was correct, they would not need the
16heating. But that is not the particular path I am going
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I comment on this?
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes of course.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Briefly.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The issue seems to be that we are talking here about
22making the process more efficient.
23 MR IRVING: Speeding it up?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Speeding it up.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] In and out rapidly?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] This building was a very expensive building, was it not?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I think the budget around was 280,000/300,000 marks.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] It is far more expensive to build underground rooms of any
4kind, is it not, than to build the same room above ground?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It depends of course what room we are talking about, but
6you need to do excavation in general for a building.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] It needs special tanking, does it not, and special
8drainage provisions and all sorts of special -- it roughly
9increases the price by four or five fold to have the same
10things sunk into the ground. Am I right?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Again, it is quite often difficult to build there was room
12above the ground than building under the ground, but of
13course you need to have some vapour barriers and other
14things. You need to keep the water out. I presume that,
15if one would build that room above the ground without any
16basement under, without any normal foundation there, it
17would probably be cheaper to build it above the ground.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] So the Nazis had some reason for building these two
19chambers underground rather than at ground level?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The reason that they were built underground is because
21they were morgues. You see, the big problem was that, if
22you built a large crematorium as crematorium (ii), you get
23an incredible heat built up in the incineration room. So
24one of the things you have to do is to have the morgue at
25some distance from that.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] And at right angles and so on, yes.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The second thing is that the incinerators are very heavy,
2which means you cannot have a basement under the
3incinerators. So, if you want to have a morgue and you
4want to have preferably in a basement because there are
5less temperature differences in the basement, it is a more
6stable temperature environment, then of course you build
7them underground and not under the incineration room. It
8is the reason that these two morgues jut out from the
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Hold it there for a moment, Professor. The building was
11built to the best building specifications. Because they
12were the SS, they were not able to wangle their way round
13the local building inspector, were they? They had to
14comply with the local building regulations?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] For crematorium (ii), which was designed in 41 and it was
16designed in Berlin, it was there was design which
17ultimately came down to Auschwitz. Crematorium (ii) in
18relationship to the major elements of there was morgue did
19follow the rules.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] They would not be allowed to start this building up. They
21would not be allowed to operate it for whatever purpose it
22was operated unless it had passed all the regulations,
23unless it complied with all the regulations. Even though
24they were the SS, and this was Auschwitz, and this was
25wartime, they still had to go by the book. They still had
26to comply with the red tape..
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
1was city and it does not deal with there was crematorium
2designed either for specific circumstances outside the
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
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
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,
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
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.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] The fact remains, does it not, that the guidelines say
2mortuaries have to be warmed and they are going to have
3the local building inspector from Kattowitz or Cracow
4coming round and he is going to say, ' Oy, you have not
5got heating in here, cannot switch on until you have the
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The fact of the matter, my Lord, is that these are merely
8guidelines. If the guidelines in Neufert had been
9followed by the Auschwitz central building office, they
10would have included the heating for the heating system and
11also probably the cooling system for the morgue from the
12beginning in the design. This has not been done. For a
13year and a half this design has been developed without any
14ability whatsoever to bring any heat in that morgue so it
15is absolutely, I think, nonsense to suggest that, with
16this Neufert in mind, the Auschwitz architects were
17designing their morgues.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: By March 1943 how far advanced was the
19construction of crematoria (ii) and (iii)?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The building was finished and the design started in
22 MR IRVING: They could not switch it on because they had not
23made provision for the heating at this point.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They had forgotten it, but the inspector in Kattowitz
25obviously had also overlooked this one issue.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] But the burden of the letter of course says this is a very
1cost effective way of doing the heating. It is not saying
2you have forgotten the heating, it is saying let's do it
3by this way because that is going to save the Reich money
4or fuel or whatever.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Please, Mr Irving, show me any other letter. I have never
6seen one. I am under oath, I understand, here. I have
7never seen any other letter talking about bringing any
8heating, any hot air, or any other means of heating into
10 Q. [Mr Irving] But fact remains that mortuaries have to be warmed, so our
11common sense for once is wrong. The audience is wrong in
12this particular question. The book gets it right. The
13book says it has to be kept in a range of temperatures
14between 2 degrees and 12 degrees, either by heating or by
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What about crematoria 4 and 5? Was there any
17heating provided for that?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There were stoves in crematoria 4 and 5.
19 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] That was how they heated them?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, no cooling installation.
21 MR IRVING: Would you now turn to page 255, please? We have
22now left the heating element.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry, my Lord, I would like to come back to this answer
24because I have made a mistake. The "them" you refer to
25were probably morgues. I refer to the gas chambers of
26crematoria 4 and 5.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was referring to the morgues or the
2mortuaries, yes. Did they have any heating?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There was a mortuary in crematoria 4 and 5 and they did
4not have any heating.
5 MR IRVING: Will you now turn to page 255 of the architects
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] This shows halfway down on the right things that are
9needed for air raid shelters. Does this show a door
10opening outwards? Can you see the metal gas tight door
11with the typical heavy handles?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Can you refer me to the particular passage?
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Page 255, on the page called Luftshutz air raid protection
14ARP, and it has various sketched layouts of air raid
15shelters and various air raid protection installations.
16I am sorry, my Lord, I should have provided you with a
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am following.
19 MR IRVING: Do you agree that that shows a steel door or a door
20of some heavy substance designed to open outwards with
21handles on the outside?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not see any steel door. That is the problem. Oh
23there is a door.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Two of them?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. That is one.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] (German spoken - document not provided) 4104. They
1actually had a German standard, the equivalent of British
2standard, what a standard gas tight door looked like. I
3will make an enlargement of this and provide it to your
4Lordship because it is exactly like the doors that
5I believe the other side will produce pictures of.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. It is unclear to see what is in and out in this
7drawing. To be very honest, if this door is hung on the
8inside -- again it is a very technical matter and I am
9uncomfortable discussing this without you actually seeing
11 MR RAMPTON: I am also a bit uncomfortable trying to follow a
12cross-examination when I do not have the document.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know, but let us try and do the best we
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Shall I draw what actually the picture shows and then I
16think we have a very quick answer.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are saying that the drawing is equivocal
18about whether it opens inwards or outwards?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. It shows that this door actually turns towards the
20inside and there is a very easy way to substantiate that.
21 MR IRVING: Do you wish to explain why.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. If you want to, yes, do.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The door is on the inside of the wall, so there is a wall
24and the question is where would the door be hung. I am
25trying to think this through.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot see that that would affect which way
1it opened, but maybe I am missing something.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I draw it?
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, of course.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have in my bag a lot of air raid shelter designs in
5Auschwitz. So there is a wall right here. There is a
6wall right there, and then the door is hung sitting right
7here, and the door is like that. The implication of
8course is that the door opens like that.
9 MR IRVING: It is not going to open any other way.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] It is going to come up against----
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I just want to say that I am talking here, just trying to
13think out loud. I do not have anything more right now
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I know what you are going to say
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have not seen this door and I have not inspected this
18particular shelter, but if indeed the door is fastened
19right here and right there, it would make sense to me to
20think that, if the hinges are right there, the hinges
21would be on the inside, not on the outside because, if
22they are on the outside, it would be easy to blast them
23off. That is all I can say right now if you want to
24determine what is inside and outside. I do not want to
25make any more specific statements on this. But we can
26look at documentation on doors and air raid shelter design
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
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 ----
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
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
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"
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
1that point, let there be no doubt about that. We are
2looking at this building where, as you yourself said, more
3people died in this gas chamber than in any in other place
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But bottleneck, of course, the bottleneck of course -- if
6there is going to be a bottleneck, let us say this door is
7going to be a bottleneck, a real serious bottleneck, if
8somebody screams "fire" in this room and we all try to get
9out as quickly as possible and some do not notice there is
10another room, another exit which says "fire exit" there,
11but if people file out, as they do at the end of these
12sessions, in a relatively orderly fashion, this is not a
14 Q. [Mr Irving] If everyone here is dead, then they have a problem, then
15things slow down?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But the question is, the issue is, is it a bottleneck,
17also has to be considered in relationship to how long it
18will take to incinerate those bodies. So if at a certain
19moment it would take, let us say, 20 hours to incinerate
20the bodies of the people who have been gassed in the
21morgue, you have 20 hours to move the bodies upstairs. So
22then question is over that time would there be a
23bottleneck, yes or no, because the incineration room
24upstairs cannot also take all the 1500 bodies, whatever
25number of people were gassed downstairs. So only if you
26want to get all the bodies up simultaneously is this going
1to be a serious bottleneck.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] So they used the mortuary, however the people died, for
3the time being as a mortuary then?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean corpses were removed in small batches from the
5mortuary to the incineration room to feed the
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Can we get some idea of the speed of the operation,
8because your eyewitnesses differ, do they not, as to how
9frequently this procedure was repeated?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which procedure?
11 Q. [Mr Irving] The liquidation procedure, people being rammed into the
12gas chamber 2,000 at a time. We are looking at figures
13basically here. We not concerned with the "if". We are
14looking at how many.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Again I am happy to discuss these testimonies when I have
16them in front of me. I thought we were talking about the
17elevator right now.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] We are talking about the elevator. If the people are
19being rammed in at one time into the gas chamber and they
20are being liquidated and then they are being taken out
21through that one exit, up that relatively small lift
22shaft, this is the bottleneck which is going to be like
23the bottleneck in an hour glass. You cannot speed up the
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But the bottleneck in an hour glass is only a bottleneck
26if you want all the sand to go down simultaneously. If
1you want the sand to go down in an hour it is not a
3 Q. [Mr Irving] But it is a controlling factor on the speed of the whole
4liquidation programme, is it not?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But there are much more important factors like the speed
6of incineration in the ovens.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] You say it is more important, but let us look at the
8elevator. To make it absolutely plain, there was no other
9way of bringing the bodies from downstairs up to the
10furnace stage level?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is another way. You could take the stairs, but that
12would have been very, very ----
13 Q. [Mr Irving] But that was not used?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- it would be very inefficient and awkward.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I presume that a question is coming.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am presuming. I am waiting for it.
18 MR IRVING: Yes. What do we know about the carrying capacity
19of that elevator?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is a document for that. The elevator, this document
21in March for that, I think it is March 1943, they carried
22the original one which was installed for 750 kilos.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] 750 kilos.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They immediately asked to increase the carrying capacity
25of that elevator by providing extra cables to 1500 kilos.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] What do we know about the provision of the motors for
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Again I do not want to talk about that right now. I do
3not have the document. But I do know, because I actually
4looked it up this morning, that they were adapting that
5particular -- it was a temporary elevator -- to a weight,
6to a carrying load of 1500 kilos. So I presume if they do
7that, that indeed there is a motor which will be able to
8hoist 1500 kilos.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] This was made by Daemarg, I believe, the company?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] The provisional one. Why was there a provisional one
12installed, because the final ones were not ready?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because the SS, despite whatever they were doing in
14Auschwitz, were unable to get an elevator in early 1943.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] They could not get the priority.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Anyway, carrying a load of 1500 kilos, that
17would be how many corpses?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] An average one 60 kilos. It seems a little high, by that
19would be -- the theoretical carrying capacity would be,
20let us say, 20 corpses, so that would be 20, 25 corpses.
21 MR IRVING: The same question of course is how many people you
22can pack into a telephone box, but packing them in takes
23time. It would be difficult to envisage having a working
24lift system with people piled four or five or six or seven
25high, because quite simply the doors would not close?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There were no doors.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] There were no doors?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. It was simply a platform which went up and down.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] That would be even worse then. The bodies would
4presumably get jammed against the side of the lift shaft
5if they piled them too high. I am just looking at
6practicalities here, that although technically the final
7version of the lift, and I emphasise that, was going to
8have the 1500 kilogram capacity, in theory, when was that
9lift actually installed?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The 750 kilograms was installed by the time the building
11was finished and immediately they asked to double the
12capacity the oven.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] And the 1500 one was not of course installed at this
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It was not immediately, but they asked immediately for the
16increase in the carrying capacity. So obviously they
17wanted, whatever they were bringing up from the morgue,
18they probably wanted, they felt they needed more capacity
19for this lift.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. It was not in fact installed until the end of 1943,
21the bigger the one?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The final one, no. This is only a modification to add
23extra cables. This is not the final elevator which is put
24in when finally the factory gets around to deliver them.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it not odd that once again the question arises here,
26that here is one of the most important killing centres in
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
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
1 MR IRVING: This is a very tactful way of putting it, my Lord.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It was not intended to be particularly
4 MR IRVING: This was the inference I am trying to draw. I am
5trying to find the justification for the word that is
6frequently used about my own endeavours as being
7"dangerous". To what or whom am I being a danger? The
8only interpretation I can put on it is the fact that I am
9endangering people like Deborah Dwork who have made it
10quite a lucrative business, if one can regard being in
11education as being a business. Certainly she makes $5
12million a year for her Holocaust centre out of the
13Holocaust and the history of the Holocaust and teaching
14the Holocaust. There are all sorts of profitable side
15lines in publication of books and so on. This is what
16makes me into a danger, apparently, that if it turns out
17that this building here has no holes in the roof, then a
18large number of eyewitnesses have lied, and the whole mass
19extermination chamber part of the story collapses as
20securely as that roof has done.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does Professor Dwork manipulate the evidence
22because she is making so much money out of her Chair?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I will take your guidance on what I should answer and what
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Answer it shortly.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I point out, first of all, that this is money she
1raises for the Institute.
2 MR IRVING: It is not for herself personally of course. I made
3that quite plain.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. This is money which is raised to create Chairs. To
5provide students with scholarships, to build up a
6library. So in that sense I do not think that Professor
7Dwork at all profits from this. I also would like to
8point out that when Professor Dwork wrote this book with
9me, Professor Dwork was not a Professor of Holocaust
10history at Clark University. That in fact the sum total
11of support we got for this project to write the book on
12Auschwitz was 40,000 Canadian dollars which translates at
13the moment to £15,000 which I got from the Canadian
14Government, and that is all the support that went into
15writing that book.
16 MR IRVING: The obvious question then is would she have been
17given a Chair in anything if she had not written the book,
18let us put it that way round?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My Lord, I do not see it is relevant. If you think it is
20relevant I will answer the question.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It has a sort of a relevance but not in terms
22of your evidence.
23 MR IRVING: Yes. I will abandon that line of argument, my
24Lord. I just wanted to establish the fact somehow that
25I am considered to be danger to something, and the word
26danger is what puzzles me. I am not a member of the IRA.
1I do not go round blowing up cars. So what am I danger
2to? I tried to put some flesh on to that particular
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. Next general question.
5 MR IRVING: Next general question, have you had the opportunity
6to work in the Moscow archives? I do not know the answer
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have worked on the basis of the microfilms which were
9made at the same time that I had to work on this.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Have you worked in the national archives in
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have been once there, but not really. I have not really
13worked in the national archives.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] That really surprises me. You aware, of course, that the
15national archives in Washington have I suppose the largest
16collection of captured German records including in
17relation to the SS and Auschwitz?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I am aware of that, and also I am aware that many of
19them have been made available. I am aware of the fact
20that one uses the archives which are useful for one's
21work. It happens to be that the archives, you know, when
22one works as an historian there are various particular
23things one researches for which one needs to go to the
24archives, because the documents are not available and one
25wants to see those particular archives. You want to see
26the documents in situ. In this case these are the
1Auschwitz construction documents. Very important in my
2book, or in our book since the name of Deborah Dwork has
3been mentioned now, was the archive in Koblenz and to a
4lesser extent -- this is the German Federal archive in
5Koblenz and to a lesser extent, for example, the Berlin
6Document Centre and the archives of the court in Vienna.
7These were the archives where the unpublished documents
8were all stored. For other things, more general
9information, I rely sometimes on documents as they are
10produced in facsimile and sometimes even on documents as
11they are ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I halt this avalanche just there? We are still at the
13national archives in Washington. In May 1997 I believe I
14wrote you quite a lengthy letter?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] You wrote it. I never received it. Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] You never received this letter I wrote to you?
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What did it say?
18 MR IRVING: It is a six-page peon of praise of his book, my
19Lord, drawing his attention to certain documents and
20archives and inviting his comment on matters of history,
21in the way that an historian should. I wrote to him --
22your address is and always has been at all relevant times
23presumably the Head of the Department of History?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I am not.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] But you have been at the University Waterloo, have you
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but I am in the architectural school. I am not in
2the Department of History.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] If a letter is addressed to you at the University of
4Waterloo and properly stamped and posted, then there is
5every likelihood that it will reach you, is there not?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I can only tell, and I am still under oath, that I never
7received this letter.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is one question I am not going to
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I only learned of it a year ago when people pointed it out
11to me on the web.
12 MR IRVING: Are you aware that that letter has been posted on
13my web site for the last two years?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It happens that I am not very experienced with the web.
15Only somebody told me last year when I was already started
16to get involved in this case that it was posted on the
17web, and of course since I was already engaged on actually
18starting to work on this there was no way I could respond
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you going to make complaints at the University of
21Waterloo that letters properly addressed to you, properly
22addressed to your department, are not ----
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think we have all got other things to worry
24about than this wretched letter, if I may say so.
25 MR IRVING: Very well. Is it not a pity that the letter did
26not reach you in view of the fact that it contained
1pointers to historical records that would have been of the
2utmost most information and assistance to you?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The book was published in 1996. So your letter is a year
4late after that. I do not know which particular documents
5you point to. If you want to provide me with a copy of
6the letter I will comment on these points.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] There is a copy of the letter in the bundle which I gave
8his Lordship yesterday. If I can summarize without
9looking for it, it drew your attention, for example, to
10the interrogations of Rudolf Hirst which up to that point
11you had made no attempt to read in the national archives
12in Washington. You had written the book about Auschwitz
13but you made no attempt to read the verbatim
14interrogations of the commandant of Auschwitz?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I point to your Lordship that these transcripts of the
16interrogations Rudolf Hirst were actually published in
17facsimile I think in 1970 and I did read those facsimile
19 Q. [Mr Irving] And yet there is not a trace of them in your published
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But it seems to be that as one would want to use Rudolf
22Hirst as a source, and I did not use every single word
23Rudolf Hirst said. There are much better sources than the
24interrogations. For example, his later memoirs and his
25essay on the Final Solution which he wrote in Poland are,
26in fact, places where he himself tries to put he whole
1thing together. Certainly the Auschwitz book was not a
2history of what happened to the formation of knowledge
3about Auschwitz after the war. I do not deal with hat in
4the book. I did deal with it in this book, as you know.
5So I do not think that you can draw any conclusion of what
6is included in the book of what I consulted or not
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, you gave very detailed footnotes indeed, did you
9not? You are writing a book about Auschwitz and yet you
10make no reference at all to having had in front of you, as
11you say, the entire transcripts of the integration of the
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, I just want to ask you, if at a certain
14moment -- I have looked in making this book at 10,000
15documents and ultimately I used 1,000 of them in the
16book. You are not going to write 9,000 footnotes of
17actually mentioning the documents which you have not used.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] I can sympathise with you because I am frequently in the
19same position, but sometimes there are collections of
20documents that are so important that I have to say you
21ought to have used them?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Then I am very happy I am not your graduate student.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me try to break into this. My
24recollection is, I am probably wrong about, is that when
25you deal with Rudolf Hirst in your report you deal with
26the interrogations as well as what he says?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] So where is this getting us? He was careless in the old
3days. That is the worst that can be said.
4 MR IRVING: Careless in the old days?
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Before his report. His report takes account
6of the integration of Rudolf Hirst.
7 MR IRVING: But it also addresses the point of what attempts
8did I make to get further information. Here I have
9written a letter to one of the world's leading historians
10on Auschwitz and the Holocaust, inviting comments, asking
11his assistance, drawing his attention to documents, in the
12way that colleages do, and Professor van Pelt says he
13never received the letter.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I can see that your sending the letter may
15have some limited relevance, but his response to it seems
16to be me absolutely irrelevant.
17 MR IRVING: I must admit, my Lord, that in asking these
18questions I was totally unprepared for the response that
19he had not received the letter.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Even if he said he had I do not think that it
21really matters what he did or did not do. Your point is,
22as I understand it, you wrote the letter, that shows that
23you were taking trouble to get your facts right.
24 MR IRVING: There is one residual point, my Lord, and this that
25your Lordship will remember from the expert evidence
26I think of Professor Evans, or possibly even from the
1expert evidence of this witness, that I am accused of
2having concealed the Altemeyer report until the solicitors
3for the Defendants went and investigated, and once I knew
4that they were on the trail I therefore blurted out the
5fact that I had it, which is of course an imputation that
6I find repugnant and I wish to try to investigate that
7allegation in view of the fact that I drew his attention
8to the Altemeyer report in this letter back in May 1997.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then you ought to produce a copy of it.
10 MR IRVING: Of the letter? My Lord, it was in the little
11bundle I gave your Lordship yesterday or the day before.
12 MR RAMPTON: I think it is in J11 of your Lordship's bundle.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: J11.
14 MR RAMPTON: Yes. I do not have a J so I cannot help.
15 MR IRVING: I think your Lordship is going to have the
16advantage on me. I can only rely on the letter as a fact
17because I do not have a copy here with me.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, it is in J11. I am just going to find
19the reference to Altemeyer. I have flipped through it and
20I have missed it.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think Mr Irving is right.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sure he is right.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think he is right. Actually again I will only say after
24I actually see it, but I think that indeed I remember him,
25when I finally read the letter, since I wrote something of
26a response to it, I think he actually mentioned Altemeyer,
1but I do not see it either in this copy.
2 MR IRVING: Will you now withdrawn the suggestion that I only
3made it known to people once it became known that the
4solicitors to the Defendants were on the trail.
5 MR GRAY: That contains within it a number of assumptions, one
6of which is the assumption they were not on the trail as
7of May 1997. You are probably right.
8 MR IRVING: My Lord, the imputation is that I was going to sit
9on that document and look at the wall and whistle until
10I realized that Mishcon de Reya had got on the trail of
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I understand what the allegation is, but
13when did they get on the trail of Altemeyer?
14 MR IRVING: As a result of the evidence they found out about
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So long after May 1997?
17 MR IRVING: Presumably, my Lord, yes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot find Altemeyer.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I found it. It is not numbered, but it is page 1. I do
20not know if we have the same format, 8: "Had you after
21visiting Washington", the eighth page, second paragraph.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think I must have a different version.
23 MR IRVING: It is the same version.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I can read it to you.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Could you.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is basically about all the things I did not do, but
1it says: "Had you after visiting Washington flown on to
2London, England you could have used the many versions of
3the handwritten written memoirs of Hirst's erstwhile stand
4in Deputy Court Altemeyer written under similar conditions
5of duress. He too was no doubt deservedly hanged by the
6Poles. These pencil papers are held at the Public Record
7office, but Altemeyer does not even figure in your
8history. Is not such an original document
9written ... (reading to the words) ... rights for payment
10for profit-driven publishers."
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you. I want to track this down.
12I just want to see what the allegation is. It is in the
13Defendant's Summary of Case presumably?
14 MR IRVING: My Lord, I believe it is in this witness's
15evidence, am I right, that you made the allegation that
16I did not reveal the existence of the Altemeyer document
17until I realized that Mishcon de Reya were on the trail?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] From the discovery, and I think we can ----
19 Q. [Mr Irving] That being so, my Lord, it was entirely proper for me to
20mention this document.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Entirely proper. I am just tracking down
22what the allegation was so I can see whether you are right
23in saying that it is completely unfounded. Altemeyer is
24dealt with at 657 of your report.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 657?
26 Q. [Mr Irving] That is one of the places.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is 1992. What I say here: "The discovery of the
2Altemeyer material brought Irving in a very difficult
3position. While publication of it would once more
4demonstrate his ability to find interesting new archival,
5publication would discredit him as an analytical
6historian. Faced with this dilemma, Irving decided to do
7nothing. Suppressing his discovery, he buried a reference
8to it in a footnote of his book on Nuremberg", which is in
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where are you reading from, what page?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Page 657.
12 MR IRVING: There is another reference.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have it.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So in my report I say that the first time he actually
15brings this one out is in 1996.
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Which is four years on?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Four years on.
18 MR IRVING: Then is must be in Professor Evans' report, my
19Lord, that the allegation is made.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So far as we have got, let us be clear about
21it, your letter in May 1997 to Professor van Pelt does not
22in any way detract from the point he makes, I am not
23saying it is a good point, that you sat on this Altemeyer
24evidence between 1992 and 1996.
25 MR IRVING: That is not true, my Lord. In fact I drew it to
26the attention of other people like Professor Gerald
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a different point.
3 MR IRVING: Yes, but this is not the allegation I am trying to
4shoot down here. The allegation I am trying to shoot down
5here is the allegation that I did not move until
6Mishcon de Reya got on the trail and of course they did
7that thanks to my discover.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us track that one down.
9 MR IRVING: My Lord, that would be an appropriate point to
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I think we have got to track this one
12down. If somebody can give me Altemeyer in Evans.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Maybe I should go to ----
14 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] You cannot do this, Professor van Pelt, because it is not
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I am thinking maybe I am looking in my own report
17right now. If I come back to this.
18 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] It is a point that is made in Evans, but I do not think it
19makes it in quite the way that Mr Irving suggests.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It could actually have been me, but at a different thing.
21 MR IRVING: It would not be very difficult for me to track this
22down at home, my Lord, because I can do it on my computer.
23 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I have read paragraph ----
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are trying to help you.
25 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, I have read paragraphs 37 to 40 on pages
26160 to 163 of Evans, and it is not what Mr Irving is on
1about, that is for sure.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not what Mr Irving says, no.
3 MR RAMPTON: No.
4 MR IRVING: It will be when I bring the chapter and verse, my
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have tracked it down as far as we are
7able. I think we had better move on to the next general
8question, Mr Irving.
9 MR IRVING: I think I have come to the end of my general
10questions. I will have a quick look at my cheat sheet.
11Are you familiar with the evidence of Kasmir Smolen?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which evidence?
13 Q. [Mr Irving] The various statements he has made to the effect that when
14working in the administration of the Auschwitz camp
15deliberate falsification of the records went on?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I find it very difficult to -- deliberate falsification.
17I remember something but I do not really know exactly.
18I would not want to comment right now, because I do not
19know what records we are talking about and what utterance
20by Kasmir Smolen, but again I am happy to comment when I
21have it in front of me.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] To your knowledge did prisoners not only arrive at
23Auschwitz but did they also leave Auschwitz?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is one particular group of prisoners who left
26 Q. [Mr Irving] But on a regular basis they went on to other camps?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Certainly that, yes. This is why there are survivors.
2Most of the Jews who survived Auschwitz who were not in
3the final evacuation actually were sent on from Auschwitz
4in 1944, when the decision was withdrawn that no Jews
5could be in the Reich so that they could work in
6concentration camps attached to factories in the Reich.
7This is one of the reasons, and I have explained that in
8our book in some detail, why Hungarian Jews were parked in
9Auschwitz. They arrived in Auschwitz. They survived the
10selection but were not numbered, were not actually
11admitted officially to the camp, and they were there for
12sometime before they were sent on to concentration camps
13in the Reich.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] But would I be right in saying that to a certain degree
15Auschwitz was in fact a transit camp?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] During the Hungarian action it took one of its many
17functions. It took on the function of a transit camp, but
18it only applied to a relatively small number of the total
19people who ever arrived there.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] The Hungarian action involved how many people originally?
21How many people were deported from Hungary to Auschwitz?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] About 450,000.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] 450,000?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. That is a German figure.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] What actually happened to those 450,000? Were they all
26gassed in some way or did some get sent somewhere else?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. All these people, not even all the Hungarian Jews
2arrived in Auschwitz, the large majority, the great
3majority of them came to Auschwitz, I think the number of
4Hungarian Jews deported is even larger, but at Auschwitz
5we are talking about that number. These people were
6submitted to selection on arrival in Auschwitz. Then
7there were really three possibilities at that moment that
8could happen. Either one could be selected to die in the
9gas chambers or one could be selected to be admitted to
10the camp and given a number. There was a new numbering
11system created at the time to accommodate this and became
12a regular inmate of the camp or one of the satellite camps
13in Auschwitz. Or one could become durkhanstudent where
14one was housed temporarily in the camp without actually
15being officially admitted to the camp before being sent on
16to other concentration camps.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Where large numbers of these Hungarian Jews put to work in
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The question is difficult to determine that, because there
20are different numbers of how many durkhanstudent there
21were, and this is in some way a point which certainly
22I would like to have seen, you know, more clearly
23established. One of the debates about the mortality
24during the Hungarian action of course ultimately has to
25relate, because when we know more or less how many
26Hungarian Jews were admitted to the camp and there are
1only two ways to explain what happened, only two ways one
2can explain what happened to the people who were not
3admitted to the camp, either they were killed or they were
4sent to the West. So the issue of the mortality of the
5Hungarian Jews in Auschwitz ultimately is tied up to the
6number of durkhanstudent there were, and the Auschwitz
7camp, the numbers I remember of around 25,000 as to the
8number of durkhanstudent who went from Auschwitz to the
10 Q. [Mr Irving] How many remained in the camp and were liquidated, in your
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not really want to give an opinion right now. I mean
13I am happy again to look at the figures. It seems to be
14that in May and June very high percentages of these
15transports were selected for death, but we are talking
16about hundreds of thousands of people who were killed in
17Auschwitz in the month of May and June.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Let us just for two minutes talk about Sturmlager,
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Which is now the big tourist centre, is it not?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is where the reception building is where the film was
23shown and where there are exhibitions, yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. They have a building there which they describe as
25the gas chambers and they show it to tourists as a gas
26chamber, is that right?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is a crematorium there and in the crematorium is a
2room which is described as a gas chamber.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] There is a big chimney behind the building?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Which is not connected in any way whatsoever to the
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The chimney there which is right next to it is a
8reconstruction of the original chimney which was in
9exactly the same position which was connected like the
10chimney in crematoria two and three by underground flue to
11the crematorium building. This is a way to increase the
12draft of the chimney by leading the gas at basement level.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not quite sure what the point of these
15 MR IRVING: It is very brief, my Lord. The prisoner reception
16centre at Auschwitz one is where now the tourists arrive,
17am I right?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is where the cafeteria is.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] I have never been there, so I take your word for it. They
20are then taken into a building and at the end of the tour,
21"This is the gas chamber". They are invited to believe
22that this is the gas chamber, is that right?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] One is not taken into building. One can either visit the
24building yes or no.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] But they invited to believe hat this was the gas chamber?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is a sign which says "crematorium and gas chamber".
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Was that building that is described as tourists as a gas
2chamber ever used as a gas chamber?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, it was used as a gas chamber.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] This is not what you wrote in your book?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is exactly what I wrote. I have a very long
6description in my book about the use of that space, and
7the space is not exactly the same as in the war. I have a
8very long quotation. A number of different places.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] The space is what?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At the moment the space is one bay bigger than it was
11during of war. I have extensive descriptions in my book
12of the transformation of that space into a gas chamber and
13of the use of that space into a gas chamber.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] If you go there as a tourist now and you ask the guides,
15they will admit to you that this was never used as a gas
16chamber, is that, is that right?
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is really worthless, is it not.
18 MR IRVING: I beg your pardon?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is worthless as a point.
20 MR IRVING: The guides would know, my Lord.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: They might or they might not. I should think
22probably they were born 30 years after these events.
23 MR IRVING: My Lord, I will on Friday confront this witness, if
24I may, with what he wrote in his original book on
25precisely the building we are talking about, where he said
26in terms that this building is a fake.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Even if it is, I just do not want you to
2build up a point that is not really at the moment
3impressing me enormously. Tell me if I am wrong. This is
4trying to convey to people, you call them tourists, all
5right, call them tourists if you want to, what things were
6like according to a lot of people's opinion.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there anything wrong with that?
8 MR IRVING: Yes, it is called "passing off". The tourists are
9not told that is a fake. They are not told that this
10building was erected in 1948.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, make of this point whatever you wish,
13 MR IRVING: My Lord, the point is quite clearly, of course,
14that later on you will be hearing how I have been fined a
15substantial amount for saying precisely this fact which
16turns out to be true.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not concerned with what other courts
18have done, fined you or whatever.
19 MR IRVING: It will be held against me by the witnesses, my
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, not by me which is perhaps more
23 THE WITNESS: My Lord, may I just give Mr Irving one piece of
24advice as he prepares for this, that I know which sentence
25in the book you are going to refer to, but I also would
26invite you to read pages 293 and following of my book
1which describes in detail the transformation of this
2morgue into a gas chamber and the operation as a gas
4 MR IRVING: The transformation of the morgue into a gas
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
12 Q. [Mr Irving] You are also discussing the integrity of the site, are you
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
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Why would the present Director of the Auschwitz State
26Museum in 1995 say to the French newspaper, L'Expresse,
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
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
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
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.
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
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?
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)