Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 11: Electronic Edition

Pages 111 - 115 of 205

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    Yes, and I actually kind of slightly stupidly commented on
 1it without having it in front of me, because yesterday
 2coming back from Stockholm I thought there was a detail in
 3the roof, two details, and that, you know, which I
 4remembered, which was the detail of the roof was still
 5being constructed on the left, and that that makes it one
 6earlier than the one with the little locomotive in it.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     This is quite obvious, is it not; the whole building is
 8still under construction at an earlier stage than the
 9locomotive picture?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     This is December 1942 or thereabouts?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Whatever, yes, I mean it is obviously maybe after the time
13that these people have been closing the roof, which we saw
14in the picture on top of morgue No. 1. But, yes, it
15looks -- I would date it probably somewhere December.
16There is still a lot of work to be done on the dormers.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Again, we can see quite clearly in somewhat more detail
18now the flat roof of mortuary No. 1, this is the flat
19white line which goes across from the centre of the page
20to the right; do you see that, my Lord?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I see, yes.
23 MR IRVING:     That is the flat roof with the snow on the top.
24     (To the witness) Can you see any kind of
25disturbance of that snow line whatsoever that would
26indicate that there was either a hole or a plank or a

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 1cover or a chimney, let alone three? Can you see any kind
 2of disturbances at that time?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, you cannot see anything, but the question if there
 4would be a plank on this and there is a snow cover on it
 5then of course the snow would have covered the planks.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     It would be satisfactory just to put a plank across there
 7and no kind of water would get in through the hole
 8underneath the plank if there was a hole underneath that
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     In a building under construction one has very temporary
11measures to close thing up.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you cannot point to any kind of disturbance of that
13snow corresponding with the position of the three
14protuberances on the previous photograph on page 16, can
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am looking at a 2 millimetre, 3 millimetre wide white
17line which is delicately reproduced, and it is very
18difficult to say anything about what actually happens in
19that snow right there. There may be planks covered
20by snow. There may be not, it may be disturbed one way or
21another, but it is very difficult to draw any
22conclusions --
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is very weak evidence, is it not --
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Sorry?
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     This photograph, No. 17, is it not?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     -- weak evidence of what?

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of what?
 2 MR IRVING:     Of any inference I might seek to draw from it. You
 3say this is just one rather smudgy white line and what can
 4one say? You cannot draw conclusions; is that what you are
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is a straw in the wind, in the sense that
 7there would inevitably be a stage when there would the
 8roof in place but nothing sticking through it because they
 9had not got round to sticking anything through it.
10 MR IRVING:     We are coming to all this in two or three minutes,
11my Lord.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Very sorry.
13 MR IRVING:     (To the witness) But I just want to establish you
14say we cannot draw conclusions just on the basis of this
15rather smudgy photograph?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     It is ten inches across, but you cannot draw conclusions?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     But can you draw conclusions from the previous photograph,
20which is even smudgier; is this what you are saying?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, because there is something to see there. I mean this
22one is pretty smudgy, but in the original you actually see
23those box like structures above morgue No. 1.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well, but there is no indication whatsoever on
25picture No. 17 of any provision made for them, no
26coverings; we cannot see any planks or scaffolding boards

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 1or anything covering the whole there? It is just one
 2smooth snow line across the top?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Covering whatever is below it, either the roof of morgue
 4No. 1, or the openings which have been temporarily closed
 5with pieces of wood, or pieces of board.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Now in your evidence you drew attention, did you not, to
 7the photographs which I reproduced again on page 6.
 8Mr Rampton may prefer that we look at the original bundle
 9rather than -- this is the same photograph, is it not?
10The one with the smudges on the roof, the four smudges?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Page No. 6.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Of my bundle, yes. There are two photographs there. I
13would only draw attention to the bottom photograph, which
14is the one which has not been touched. This is the one
15you showed, is it not, showing four smudges?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, may -- what do you mean was touched?
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     We just marked on the upper photograph with red dots the
18position of the holes as they are on the roof now.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     OK.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     This roof you appreciate is still there, and the two holes
21marked in red are visible on that roof now?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Just for the sake so there is no confusion at all, we have
24marked in the position on that roof of where those two
25present day holes are, which is what one can clamber
26through, the one shown in the photograph --

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, I do not think you are right on that, and I am not
 2going to -- I think we should have maybe a survey, but the
 3thing is that the hole, which is very close to the second
 4column, of the -- you see, one of the big problems is that
 5the white smudge, which in some way you interpret as the
 6top of -- as the roof, actually, it is not only the roof
 7of the gas chamber, but it is also the slope. The earth
 8is sloped up to it. So, in fact, that smudge is larger
 9than the actual roof. We can go back to my
10reconstruction, yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     -- I am afraid I do not get what you are saying there at
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     OK, maybe I can point it out on this. If, indeed, this --
14if this is the exact size of the original morgue No. 1, in
15fact, the earth was sloped up to the roof and then covered
16the roof and sloped down. So the actual line, what you
17see here, there is the big white smudge actually takes a
18larger area than the actual roof area. If you then start
19looking at the dots, then the dots clearly start to be
20much more -- because otherwise the dots are not actually
21in a pattern. We have seven columns at regular intervals
22between the end wall and then we get seven columns and
23then we get basically the wall of the crematorium.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you are still submitting to the court that these
25smudges represent the position of holes through the roof
26through which the SS officers poured the cyanide pellets?

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