Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 66 - 70 of 215

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     Is there a possibility that with a witness like
 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

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 1would ----
 2 MR IRVING:      Perhaps I should put a row of beans on the
 3counter ----
 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.

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 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

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 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

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 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

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