Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 46 - 50 of 215

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     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

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 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?

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 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

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 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
12Mr Hirst.
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
23it not?
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,

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 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

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