Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 36 - 40 of 215

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     It takes stereoscopic pairs, does it not? In other
 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
25they not?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]      I cannot judge that. In the one photo we looking from

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 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?

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 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

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 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,

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 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
14No. (iii).
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?

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