Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

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

Pages 41 - 45 of 205

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 1     The major thing is it says (German spoken) which
 2means that the entrance to the basement is going to be
 3moved to the side of the street, street side, which means
 4the side also where people enter. Whoever is going to
 5enter this thing. This is basically the railway side. So
 6we see that the stairs have been removed here and the
 7rutsche. I will come back to the rutsche because it is a
 8problem. In crematorium 3 the rutsche is still there,
 9I mean the fragment. There is no fragment of the rutsche
10right here, but in crematorium 3 you can see it under a
11collapsed piece of concrete. We see here now a new
12staircase. This is a staircase which I depicted in the
13model. We see the new staircase going down right here,
14going into the first new vestibule which has been carved
15out of what was before the bureau, the office. Gold
16arbeiten is still there right at the side. The bureau has
17been moved to the left where before it was morgue No. 3
18the tiny morgue No. 3. Again, there is a Tresor right
19there.
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     You have not explained what the Tresor is, but it is
21obvious is it not? It is a safe?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is a safe, yes. I thought I had mentioned that
23before. Then we come into the vestibule. What is very
24interesting in this drawing is that it very clearly
25indicates the way the doors are hung. They still open
26inwards into morgue No. 1, but they have been rehung in

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 1relationship to the original design to open outwards.
 2From morgue No. 2 they go inwards and from morgue No. 1
 3they open outside. The question, of course, is why would
 4these doors have been rehung? Why was the design
 5changed?
 6 MR IRVING:     May I have a closer look at that, please?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Of course.
 8 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Go as close as you like. Just walk up to it
 9if you can.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Which are the doors you are referring to?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The doors, if you just move a little, these are the doors
12I am referring to. Those doors.
13 MR IRVING:     Can I make a comment on them, please.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Ask a question.
15 MR IRVING:     Can you see any difference in the way that the door
16jamb, the concrete has been drawn there, from the way it
17was previously drawn? Previously it was flush, if I can
18put it like that, and now it has been rebated inwards to
19provide a secure flange, so to speak?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. We can look at the original, I mean, there is also a
21photograph, I am quite happy to go back to the original
22because we -- the nice thing about these things is you can
23just go -- here we have the same kinds of jambs.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     But there is no ----
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     At the inside, but not, but that this side it has been
26taken out there in the drawing.

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 1 Q. [Mr Irving]     On the inside, yes, but I am looking at the other side of
 2that.
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     This one?
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. If you look at the one you just showed us
 5previously, there is like an L shaped step in the frame as
 6though something is going to fit into it, a tight fit?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, but at that moment when we still assume the door is
 8opening inwards, that same thing, that same tight fit is
 9right there.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     But without that L shaped step?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     That ----
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     The section ----
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     --- original of this.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Well, I did look at it quite closely.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     One sees it right there. This, of course, is very small.
16We have drawn, I think, these drawings scale 1:200. So we
17are talking here about, basically what a pen does over 2
18or 3 millimetres -- less because this is very much
19enlarged.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     But there is not the same L shaped step shape flange?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     We also have a different hand drawing now.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I ask you a question now? Would this not be
23appropriate if you were going to put an air raid door in
24there which might have to withstand a blast pressure?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I do not think this is an air raid door. I do not think
26that, I mean, if you want to raise the issue if the morgue

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 1could have been an air raid shelter, I am quite happy to
 2give a presentation on that.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Shall we hive it off? I think in a way it is
 4a separate issue.
 5 MR IRVING:     It is, but I wanted to draw attention while the
 6picture was on there, my Lord.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I understand.
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     So the importance of this door, and that is the major
 9element, it is a question of why would this design have
10been hung. The answer, I think, is obvious, that this has
11to do with the transformation now of this building into a
12gas -- of morgue No. 1 into a gas chamber; and then if
13that, when the gassing takes place, you do not want to be
14able and you have, as Mr Irving has said, you have packed,
15jammed people inside the space, and at least we know from
16the descriptions with the gas vans that it was a run
17towards the door when the gas came in, and that from again
18eyewitness testimony that people tried to get out, and
19they died right in front of the door. If the door would
20have hung differently and would have opened inwards, you
21would not have been able to enter the basement any more.
22     So again we talk about convergence of evidence.
23If you just take this drawing alone and say, "Is this a
24proof that morgue No. 1 became a gas chamber?" No. But
25if you take the drawing in relationship to the original
26designs and which we can follow in the original sketch,

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 1and any original first official blueprint where the doors
 2are hung exactly the opposite way, and we then at a
 3certain moment are also going to cross-reference this to
 4eyewitness testimony, then, of course, it makes perfect
 5sense.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is there any reason of convenience why one
 7might have adapted the design as to the doors opening
 8outwards rather than inwards?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     In fact, a convenience is actually inconvenient because
10one of the problems the door has now is that if it opens
11out like that, it starts actually interfering in some way
12with the elevator.
13     Also, the second reason why, when I had assumed
14when I reconstructed the change of the door from two
15panels to one panel, that probably one would not have used
16the second panel anyway because it starts to actually be
17in the way of the route towards the elevator when one gets
18a mass transport of corpses, so that the panel which would
19have been closed in order to use that gas door of one
20metre wide by 192 centimetres high, that this one would
21have been closed and this one would have been open. So
22you have only one panel which can be really securely
23locked with a number of locks into this one right here,
24instead of having the whole situation going to depend on,
25basically, the strength of the bar going up and down into
26the floor and the ceiling.

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