Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 126 - 130 of 205

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    Yes, the funnel -- at the moment there is the underside of
 1L Keller one roof, it is pointed at, but what is Mr van
 2Elstein has done is project that whole dispersion
 3mechanism into the slab, and I cannot see why anyone would
 4have designed the thing like that.
 5 MR IRVING:     Apart from that, you would say it is a useful
 6diagram that will help both his Lordship and the court?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     To be very honest, I would not rely on it. I think this
 8is such a fundamental mistake. We have only two -- we
 9have only two concentric columns. There were three as far
10as I remember, and the whole thing goes through the slab.
11This is an amazing difference between the actual thing as
12we know it, described by Kuhler, and what is drawn here.
13I can would not trust Mr van Elstein at all on this
14point. I like the drawing.
15 MR IRVING:     It is a good drawing.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I can see why you suggest there would have
17been a funnel when you take it through the concrete roof;
18why broaden it out though lower down? Do you understand
19the question?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Why broaden --
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     If it can be that narrow when it is going through the
22concrete roof; why does it not stay that narrow all the
23way down into the chamber?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     -- no, but may I draw this?
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     What is the reason?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The reason is that this central pipe, let us call it a

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 1pipe, has holes in it, perforated holes. In that pipe you
 2throw the Zyklon-B, let us say 200 grammes or 500 grammes;
 3the idea of this pipe is, is that there is actually on the
 4bottom of this pipe is a tin, and the Zyklon-B goes into
 5the tin. You drop it into the tin. Now one of problems
 6with Zyklon-B is, and this what the column tries to
 7address. It tries to address two things. First of all, it
 8tries to address the issue of how actually is the gas
 9going to be released into the space. Now if it simply
10came out of the holes of the thing.
11 MR IRVING:     In a tightly packed gas chamber?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     In a tightly packed room it would be much more difficult
13so when it first starts filling up, these two remaining
14spaces around that central pipe, and from there it is
15going to be released. Yes? So it becomes much more
16difficult also to seal it up. Let us say, that in some
17way you create a zone in which people cannot intervene,
18which is that intermediate zone, intervene with basically
19the evaporation of the hydrogen cyanide.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     There is no trace on this picture of the basket, is there,
21which is lifted out afterwards?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, he did not -- there was a basket in there, and I do
23not know if you want to go into the reason.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     No, not really. I am just looking at dimensions now. You
25see where it says on the right-hand side "240 centimetres
26from floor to ceiling"; that was the height of this

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 1mortuary, was it not?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     What is 240 centimetres in real terms; 8 feet?
 4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     A little less than 8 feet.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     So if Tauber, your eyewitness on whom you place such
 6reliance, says that it was so low down the ceiling that
 7one had to stoop, he was mistaken, was he not?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     If you show me the passage I am happy to comment on it.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Let us have a look at the passage after the
11 MR IRVING:     I am very close to the end of this matter.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not rushing you. Are you going to
13finish this little clip of photographs?
14 MR IRVING:     I beg your pardon?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Are you going to finish the clip of
16photographs in the next two or three minutes? If you are,
17carry on.
18 MR IRVING:     I will just have a quick scan. You see
19this illustration suggests that the hole through the roof
20was 70 centimetres across which is about 2 feet, and you
21think it was smaller?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     As I said, there was no reason at all to have the whole
23hydrogen cyanide release mechanism go into a roof.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you were the architect who had designed this roof and
25indeed this entire building, this very expensive building,
26and you heard that some SS officer was hacking holes

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 1through the reinforcing of a roof near the load bearing
 2column, near the load bearing girder, the binder that goes
 3across the roof, would you not be rather angry with the SS
 4people who are tampering with your design? And indeed
 5endangering the whole roof?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     But I do not see why they would have hacked through the
 7roof. We know that the modifications, at least from the
 8plan we saw there, the modifications of the design were
 9decided -- I mean certainly for the hanging of the door in
10that new staircase was in December the building had
11been -- that the genocidal programme in Auschwitz had been
12adopted in August, the roof was probably being finished in
13December, so there was no reason to hack through the
14roof. They could immediately have made the holes in the
15roof as they were constructing it.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     They could have made provision for them as they went
17along --
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     -- they could have designed space with no reinforcing bars
20going across?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     And they could put that in there?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     But of course there are no such drawings, are there?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     But we have established before that there no drawings of
26the production of these concrete roofs at all.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     So that is where your convergence of evidence halts? It
 2converges there and it comes up against, not a brick wall,
 3but a concrete roof; the fact that there is not a single
 4design blueprint showing the modifications to include
 5those holes? They are so angry -- do you remember there
 6is one document, Professor, in January 1943, where
 7somebody is having strips torn off him because he did not
 8put the anti-frost agent in the concrete of this very
 9roof? And yet it has not occurred to anybody to complain,
10has it, that they had not made provision for the holes in
11the roof?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not really know to how answer this right now.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Let us take it in two parts; have you seen a document
14where somebody is being reprimanded for not putting
15anti-frost liquid in the concrete as it is poured?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not remember that document.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think, Mr Irving, you had better come back
19to this.
20 MR IRVING:     We are right at the end, my Lord. And I will just
21say, another 20 seconds and then we can adjourn.
22     (To the witness) You have not seen any holes in
23the roof, have you, in the -- when you went there? You
24have not found any holes?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I have not seen the holes for the columns, no.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]     Not for the introduction of the cyanide?

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