Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 66 - 70 of 205

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    We are going to turn to the model now. What is the
 1when this final thing was drawn, and my ex students have
 2drawn in what are Canadian stoves basically, big iron
 3ones. It would be more likely, given what the design
 4culture was and the means of production in Poland that it
 5would have been a so-called cuttle hole in the design at
 6least. But what we also know is that this cuttle oven
 7that were installed, but at a certain moment also are
 8stories about portable stoves. I do not know really know
 9what to make of that, but they were heated with portable
10stoves, these spaces, which means the cuttle oven broke
11down, yes or no.
12 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     What were these spaces again?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     These are the alleged gas chambers right here, and then we
14have here the entrance vestibule, undressing room, in the
15winter used as undressing room, but also a morgue
16installation room. In the summer there are accounts that
17people undress outside of the building.
18 MR IRVING:     The average gas chambers, how were they designated
19on the blue prints?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They are not designated at all. There is no designation
21at all. Actually, this room is also not designated. So
22now we actually are looking at the side we are going to
23enter very soon. Again, I do not think we need to explain
24too much, except these chimneys, which are sitting right
25there, to which these stoves are connected, and also again
26the small little windows, 30 by 40 centimetres, as the

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 1plan says, which give access to these throw light or not
 2into those lower spaces.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I ask you what was the building made of? Just bricks
 4was it?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Bricks, yes.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Quite a flimsy construction, in other words?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. I mean flimsy. If you throw a bomb on it, yes.
 8Certainly these spaces would not have been very useful as
 9an air raid shelter. Now our eye level has gone down and
10we are now going towards this entrance right here, this
11vestibule. We have now come into the vestibule. We turn
12left first inside this very big room which gives access to
13the schloit and then the incineration room. This is that
14very large hole in the middle, which eyewitnesses say were
15used especially in the winter as an undressing room but
16also was used as a morgue.
17     Now we turn around 180 degrees. I want to show
18you. It is an open roof truss situation there, the
19vollmar as it is called, V O L L M A R, that is, it is the
20most economical way to construct a roof in a wartime
21situation. Now we turn around.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     What are those roof trusses made of? Steel or wood?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Wood. This was really as cheap as possible and as light
24as possible.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     So it would have been totally unsuitable as an air raid
26shelter then, this building?

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 1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. So we now go back towards the incineration, towards
 2the vestibule. I just want to say that this actually is a
 3detail which is in the photos of the building and not in
 4blue prints, but at a certain moment in the construction
 5they decided to put windows in that room, which are not in
 6the blue print, but they are in the photos.
 7 Q. [Mr Irving]     About how high up are those windows off the ground? Could
 8you see in them?
 9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. They were quite high. You would not see in them.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     Which is what you would expect in a mortuary then?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, possibly, or another use. So now we have turned
12around 180 degrees and we are looking back at that door,
13just before, and I am going back into that space to the
14right. What I am going to do is take you through these
15spaces. It is a kind of surreal experience, I must say,
16but I do not have a picture right now of this space, but
17immediately go into this space. So I have a view going in
18here. Then first we have two views inside this space,
19which is one from the door looking in, and then from that
20point looking back. Let us call this for a moment No. 1,
21and this No. 2. Then we look inside this space and from
22the door looking back. That is room No. 2, so at any
23given moment we know where we are.
24     We are now in that second vestibule, and we look
25here in that space No. 1 to the side, and we have here
26actually at the end of it an opening which actually gives

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 1access to the ovens. These ovens were always fired from
 2the back, these cuttle ovens, or they could be. Two or
 3three rooms shared them. So this was to the point where
 4they could be heated and the same is actually right here.
 5That is what the blueprints indicate but it is not in the
 7     I just want to point out this porthole sitting
 8right there, 30 by 40 centimetres, in the plan. I do not
 9know exactly which blue print we are talking about in the
10court bundle, but now we are looking in room No. 1.
11Again, two of those openings right there, plus an outside
12door, which by the way opens to the outside.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Before you move on from that picture, Professor can I ask
14you, is there any provision in this room that the
15blueprints or drawings inform us for drainage?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     There is drainage, yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Where are the drains in this room?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They are not depicted, but the blueprints show them.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     You appreciate that, if this is a gas chamber, it would
20need drainage?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, but the blueprint, I did not oversee the final making
22of these models. They are in some way crude but in the
23blueprints I am happy to point out the drainage to you.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]     I would be happy, when you return to the witness box, that
25you do so because, when people die en mass, it produces
26unpleasant after effects which need to be cleaned up. If

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 1there is no provision for drainage, it is a problem we
 2have of course with Leichenkeller No. 1, with the draining
 3provisions there too, which are of course far worse, being
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     We can just look at the blueprints in both cases to look
 6at the drainage, I think.
 7     Now I just walk outside of that door. I just
 8want to show you that we were in this room right there. I
 9just popped outside. We will go back in that room right
10now. Now we look back to the door we came in and there
11one sees the stove in the corner, and this port hole right
12there, 30 by 40 centimetres connecting to the next room.
13There we have little detail.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you like to tell the court what inference you are
15inclined to draw from the porthole's presence?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The portholes together are obviously the kind of gas tight
17shutters which I mentioned in one the bills, 30 by 40
18centimetres. They are they are being ordered, 12 of them,
19six for this building, six for the other one, and they are
20ordered at the size of 30 by 40 centimetres. The plan
21shows quite literally they are 30 by 40 centimetres. It
22is in the bundle in detail. We have enlarged it a few
23times. Then of course a number of these portholes have
24survived and are installed in crematorium 1 right now in
25the back, and can be inspected, and again are 30 by 40
26centimetres and obviously they are very thick and they

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