Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 166 - 170 of 205

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 1 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Could you be a little bit more helpful than
 3 MR RAMPTON:     I think I better defer to the witness.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Professor van Pelt, I should know and I just
 5do not. Who is Pressac?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     He is a pharmacist in the town of Ville de Bois or the
 7village of Ville de Bois south of Paris, 20 miles south of
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     He his an historian?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     He is a self-taught historian. He seems to have come from
11the circles of Faurisson originally. It is not exactly
12clear what his relationship was to Faurisson. Then he
13went to Auschwitz in the early 80s and saw the building
14material, the building archive material, and was convinced
15that Faurisson was wrong and started publishing about it
16in 1983.
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Now you say that I remember. Yes. Thank you very much.
18 MR RAMPTON:     I think that Pressac's book must originally have
19been in French, was it?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. This is the only edition.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Did he write it in English or did someone translate it for
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It translated by Behalteklasse Foundation.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Have you got the introduction to chapter 3?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Part 3, chapter 3, yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Can you read that to yourself. We will all read it at the

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 1same time to ourselves. Then I will ask you ----
 2 MR IRVING:     Could you give me a page number, please?
 3 MR RAMPTON:     I am sorry, it is 481 of Pressac.
 4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Introduction?
 5 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Introduction. Just read the introduction to yourself.
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     "The testimony by Henrich Tauber ..."
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Not out loud. Just read it to yourself.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It does not really matter.
 9 MR RAMPTON:     Tell us when you have finished.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I have read it.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You have read it?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     That, if I may summarize it, is Mr Pressac's on view of
14Tauber as it comes off the written page, is it not?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Is it an assessment with which you agree or disagree?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I agree with that.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]     If I may summarize, the effect is that Tauber is a modest,
19sober and careful witness, is that right?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]     You have to say yes because otherwise the tape cannot read
22your mind. At the bottom he says: "Henrich Tauber's
23deposition enabled me at the last moment to authenticate
24the testimony of Dr Paul Bendal that I was on the point of
25invalidating." Do you see right at the bottom of the
26introduction? Do you have that?

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 2 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Do you know what it was in the testimony of Dr Paul Bendal
 3that Pressac was on the point of invalidating and that
 4Tauber validates?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not remember any more. It is sometime since I read
 7 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Right. Another piece of disorder I am afraid, Professor.
 8Can you turn to pages 110, 111?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Of what?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Of your report.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I am there.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Towards the top of page 110 you are writing about a number
13of people who are known to have died at certain times from
14disease at Auschwitz?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Then you say this: "It must be remembered, however, that
17the mortality figures which the concentration camps sent
18to Berlin only apply to the deaths of registered
19prisoners", and you have already told us that. Then you
20make reference to the evidence of SS, he was a General was
21he not, Oswald Pohl?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, he was I think Obergruppenfuhrer by that time.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Whatever, he was in charge of the concentration camp
24system as a whole, is that right?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, he was the kind of -- officially he was called the
26Economic Director, so some way off the SS, and that really

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 1ran the concentration camps. He was not the inspector of
 2the concentration camps. As a business adventure, yes.
 3By a business venture he was.
 4 MR IRVING:     My Lord, this of course is not matter that was
 5raised in the cross-examination. So I am puzzled.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It may turn out to be. That is the problem.
 7You never know where ----
 8 MR IRVING:     As long as your Lordship is alert to that.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     --- it is going.
10 MR RAMPTON:     I had understood that Mr Irving relied on the
11death books and the decrypts as showing that the number of
12people who died at Auschwitz was very small.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. I think that is right, although there
14was not any cross-examination on that.
15 MR RAMPTON:     I know, but it may be convenient.
16 MR IRVING:     The only mention of the death books is when I was
17querying the character of the deaths, the age spectrum,
18rather than statistics.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It is part of your case, is it not, that the
20death books give a very different picture from the sort of
21figures that Professor van Pelt speaks of?
22 MR IRVING:     It is a subtly different picture on the question of
23the killing of the old and sick.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If it is part of your case, and I do not
25criticise you for not cross-examining to it, I think it is
26for Mr Rampton to be able to put these questions.

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 1 MR IRVING:     This specific document of course is not one that
 2I ----
 3 MR RAMPTON:     Anyhow, it does arise indirectly and quite
 4immediately out of the questions which were put about
 5selection to which I am immediately coming after this.
 6     Did in fact the head of this system General Pohl
 7say at his trial in Nuremberg that the people who were
 8directly exterminated were never registered?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     He says that no information about it has been transmitted
10to Berlin.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]     His subordinate was Dr Lolling?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Who was in charge of the inspectorate presumably. He
14said, the last answer at the top of page 111, in answer to
15his own counsel, his own attorney: "The figures about
16exterminations were not reported to the inspectorate at
17all, and constantly Dr Rolling could not evaluate them for
18his statistics."
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     That is true.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]     Thank you. Now I want to ----
21 MR IRVING:     My Lord, that was very definitely not a matter
22which I raised in cross-examination of this witness.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I tried to explain why I think it is
24legitimate. In a way we are having to take short cuts in
25this case. You have lots of points which, in a perfect
26world, I would have said to you, Mr Irving, you must put

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