Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 56 - 60 of 215

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 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.

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 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?

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 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.

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 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

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 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
11camp ----
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]     

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