Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 11: Electronic Edition
Pages 186 - 190 of 205
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1 Q. [Mr Rampton] If it were an air raid shelter, can you think of any
2reason why the metal grilles should be on the inside?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I cannot think of any reason.
4 Q. [Mr Rampton] We will just have a look at the pictures in Pressac in a
5moment. You answered me this morning, I know, but I will
6repeat the question because it is connected. Are there
7any contemporaneous documents referring to the provision
8of gas stores or any similar equipment for Leichenkeller
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, there are no documents.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] What is the size of Leichenkeller 2, the auskleiderkeller,
12as I call it, as compared with Leichenkeller 1?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The one-third larger or maybe one-half larger than
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Suppose Mr Irving's thesis is right, the corpses must have
16been undressed in the auskleiderkeller and then dragged
17through to Leichenkeller 1 to be disinfested, yes?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If he accepts it was an auskleiderkeller, yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] We can see it was from the documents. We do not have to
20argue about that. How would the clothes which had been
21removed from the corpses have been deloused in
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The only thing, I think, is to bring them also in
24Leichenkeller 1, to undress the corpses or maybe have the
25corpses dressed, deloused and then everything is deloused
26together, I do not know. The procedure seems to me so
1absurd to start with that ----
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] I know. We just have to dot i's and cross t's sometimes.
3That is all. I said you would find these questions a bit
4silly, I am sure. The preheating letter of 6th March
51943: You told us, I think this morning -- I think you
6said this -- there is no provision for that in any of the
7plans, so you have drawn it in?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes -- no, in the blueprints there is no trace of such a
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] No. Was there a provision for ventilation from the
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Ventilation ----
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Ventilation.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- in morgue No. 1, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Was there any preheating provision for Leichenkeller 2?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton] Then the lift capacity. Tell me if I have the figures
18right. I think you said it could take 1500 kilograms?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They were expanding -- the original one was 750 kilograms
20and they were ordering reinforcement of the cables so that
21it could take 1500 kilos.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] I am talking about their intentions.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] This is all what I call intentional material. If the
25average corpse, balancing between young children and fat
26men, if you like, is, say, 60 kilograms, yes?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is that fair? I do not think in kilogrammes, you see, so
3I have to have your help.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] 60 kilograms, then the capacity for each hoist, each
6journey, would be about 25 corpses, would it not?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton] The incineration capacity given in the letter of 28th June
9for all five crematoria, but for this one in particular,
10is 1440 corpses per 24 hours, is it not?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] That is, roughly speaking, if you take a 16 hour rather
13than a 24-hour period, about 90 corpses an hour, is it
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] If it is 90 corpses an hour, then the lift can do more
17than that 90 in 15 minutes? If it can do 25 corpses a
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] Then in an hour----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: More than four loads an hour?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Certainly, sir, yes.
23 MR RAMPTON: That is 50, roughly speaking, and you get to 90
24before you got to the end of the hour?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] Does that seem to you feasible?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It seems feasible to -- certainly I think the
2elevator could keep up with the ovens.
3 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes. That is much more neatly put than I could have put
4it. Thank you. There is a document up there which I am
5going to ask you about at the end of this re-examination,
6Professor van Pelt. I warned Mr Irving that I might.
7First of all, I want to ask one or two tiny little
8questions about this air raid shelter thesis. This is,
9according to Mr Irving, the alternative use for
10Leichenkeller 1, hence the spy hole and the gas tight door
11and all that kind of thing. How far are K2 and K3 from
12the SS barracks?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We can see it in the air photo, No. 5 in tab 2 which we
14just took out ----
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- the SS barracks, basically, is in the compound marked
17with "north". So I would say that since you cannot run
18diagonally or walk diagonally through the camps of BA2
19which is building section 2, you have to go one way or the
20other around it, so it would be around a mile and a half.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] A mile and a half?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mile and a half.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton] Sorry, help me again about that. Where are the SS
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are at the bottom in the square thing. They are at
26the bottom right-hand corner and they show a kind of
1garden design. There is a kind of a little fountain in
2the middle with a cross, behind what became the Birkenhau
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But we are on air raid shelters, are we now?
5 MR RAMPTON: Yes. I am just wondering how practical the
6Professor thought it was as a site for an air raid
7shelter, considering it is not big enough to hold the
8whole of the camp population, how practical it was as a
9proposition for the people in the SS barracks?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is not practical at all -- neither in distance nor also
11for other reasons.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] I think you told us also that there was provision for an
13air raid shelter in due course at Auschwitz 1?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are many -- I mean, at a certain moment one gets
15small air raid shelters and one gets in the crematorium in
16Auschwitz 1, you get a specific air raid shelter to serve
17the SS hospital which is right next door.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] When was that air raid shelter first planned?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the fall of 1944.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So afterwards?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry? Afterwards. Long afterwards.
22 MR RAMPTON: Yes. Can we now just have a look, really so as to
23finish with air raid shelters, at the photographs in
24Pressac because I have been going on about a door with a
25glass spy hole and a metal grille. It is as well to look
26at them. My Lord, they are at the back of H2(vi). If you
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