Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 61 - 65 of 205

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    They enhance the cooling effect which is already provided
 1by the mortuaries having being been built underground to
 2provide cool space?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I know that this happened in Middle Eastern countries very
 4often, that you create these things, but I do not know to
 5what extent the kind of controlled cooling and controlled
 6heating which Mr Mulka describes for civilian crematoria
 7in order that the corpses remain nice and pleasant to look
 8at for people who go and pay their last respects would be
 9served by the stacking effect of these chimneys. But I am
10not a heating or cooling expert, so I am not going to say
11anything more on this.
12     Here again, crematorium (iii), I want to just
13show again the same. This is the other one at the other
14side of the road again. These ventilation systems were
15present in there. This is the cover page of their section
16on crematoria in the Bauleitung book, the picture book
17from which all these photos come.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you explain us to what significance you attach to
19the ventilation shafts or what inference you seek to draw?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The ventilation shafts are important that the ventilation
21shaft in combination with the blueprint. The blueprints,
22when you have blueprints, you never know, of course, if
23these things were actually constructed. What the photos
24show is that what is in the blueprint was actually
25constructed. And so that the ventilation system was a
26ventilation system in the morgues, and at the outside you

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 1can see that in, indeed, this ventilation system.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am not quite sure that you have answered
 3Mr Irving's question which was what inference do you draw
 4from the fact that there is this ventilation system
 5with ----
 6 MR IRVING:     What inference does he seek to draw?
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Seek to draw?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     That morgue No. 1 was ventilated.
 9 MR IRVING:     Was?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Was ventilated.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     But I am not sure that is quite answering the
12question. So what?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     So that the descriptions that the eyewitness testimony
14which talks about the fact that the poison gas is being
15extracted from morgue -- from the gas chamber, indeed, is
16a very plausible description of ----
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     So the inference is that there is a system for extracting
18the poisoned air?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Thank you very much.
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Is that right? Just so it is clear.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. OK. I have done crematorium (ii), I think. We go
22to crematorium (iv) now. OK. This is the very first
23drawing, this is that drawing of ----
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Sorry to interrupt. Do you want a break because this is
25quite strenuous for the transcriber. Would you like a
26break? It is probably quite strenuous for you.

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I would love a break.
 2 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     If everybody does not mind just having a
 3five-minute break -- I do not want to break for longer --
 4but I think it might be a good idea to break at this
 5point, just five minutes.
 6 (Short Adjournment)
 7 MR IRVING:     My Lord, this is technically my cross-examination.
 8I mean no disrespect that I sit during this.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Of course not. It is very sensible.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     OK. I think it was first the Tuesday or Wednesday that
11I discussed the sequence of events starting with Himmler's
12visit to Auschwitz in July 1942, and that the first
13drawing which has been drawn by the tabelleiten which has
14no precedent at all of any activity of tabelleiten before
15that visit of Himmler is this drawing, which is what it
16says (German), which means an incineration installation in
17the (German) which is the official destination of
18Birkenhau is that of a prisoner of war camp. The only
19thing that this drawing does is actually draw in the
20incineration part. It does not actually draw in the rest
21of the building, which is a problem but, as we know, at
22that time, because it is the meeting of the 19th, it is to
23prepare for the meeting of 19th August, where Prufer
24introduces the idea of using an eight muffle oven. It
25actually depicts here the arrangement of an eight muffle
26oven, the Mogilev oven which had been designed, so

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 1I assume what happened was that Topf sent the plans of
 2these ovens to Auschwitz for preparation into a drawing,
 3and eight muffle ovens sitting between two chimneys, one
 4to the left and one to the right.
 5     I will come back to these drawings later. This
 6is the first one of August. Then we get the meeting in
 7which this building is discussed as being a building to be
 8erected by the anlage gesundebadlung. Then there is a
 9second drawing which is from January 1943. These are
10really the only two drawings we have of this building and
11there are photos of this building under construction. The
12problem in this drawing, we will come back to this drawing
13again after we have had to walk through, is that the plan
14is reversed in relationship to the elevation. So what is
15here left is the incineration room, and what is right
16there is left here. So that is just to warn you.
17     I am going again to have a walk through to the
18building. In this case there is nothing in the
19reconstruction which is not in the blueprint. So in the
20last case we had the hot air installation and we had the
21Zyklon introduction columns. This time there is nothing.
22     There are some pictures of this building under
23construction. This is crematorium 5, and this is actually
24a postwar post card of a photo of this building.
25I actually have never seen, I must admit, the original
26photo of this one, where actually the building that we see

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 1here, crematorium 4 -- I think it is No. 4, it is
 2difficult to say out of the quality of the photo how far
 3the trees are. In No. 5 there are also trees from this
 4side where we see that the lower part with the fence
 5contains either gas chambers, then here a number of rooms
 6for a doctor or something like that, sonderkommando rooms,
 7an undressing room but also used as a morgue and the
 8incineration room.
 9     What we are going to do now is look at, first, a
10number of basically models, actually asymmetrics, from
11above to get the sense of the building and then we are
12going to make a walk through. This is the lower part
13where we have these two large rooms, with these tiny kinds
14of windows right in there, also between these two rooms
15and right there and there, and a big entrance vestibule
16right there, two kinds of rooms to the side here, a very
17big room in the middle and then after a kind of in between
18room we get incineration room, and a coke store place and
19an administration room.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Is this 4 or 5 or were they indentical?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     This is No. 4. Left equals right.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Otherwise the same?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     We are going to turn to the model now. What is the
24important thing is that these are stoves indicated in
25these rooms. The plan only shows basically a block with a
26cross through connected to a chimney. I was not present

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