Irving v. Lipstadt


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

Pages 81 - 85 of 205

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 1 MR RAMPTON:     That is why I produced it.
 2 MR IRVING:     Yes, indeed.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes.
 4 MR RAMPTON:     Professor van Pelt, how long has this document
 5been in your possession, in rough terms?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I saw this document in 1990 for the first time. I made a
 7copy of it, and I have forgotten since then. My Auschwitz
 8archive is something like that wall there, and I have
 9forgotten about it since.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you attached little importance to it at the time you
11first saw it?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, but it was in accordance with other things I had heard
13in the Ertl Dejaco trial about the way the design office
14operated and already in the Dejaco Ertl trial they had
15made a lot about indeed the fact that there was a great
16limitation to the number of people who could actually be
17entrusted with these drawings. In some way I did not
18write in the end a book on the procedures of the
19Zentralbaleitung. I know that Mr Montonia has done so.
20So in the end I forgot about it and it has been sitting in
21my files unseen and unthought of now for the past nine
22years, I assume.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would you accept from me that, had I seen a document like
24this I would certainly have turned it over in my hands for
25many weeks, pondering the significance of it and wondering
26whether it was to be mentioned in my major work or at

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 1least disregarded on a footnote, and not suppressed, shall
 2we say?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Mr Irving, I forgot. In the end, I did not write a book
 4on the work of the Zentralbauleitung. I forgot about this
 5document because I addressed other issues.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well.
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     So I am sorry that I forgot about it. Maybe it would have
 8helped the case of the defence earlier.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     It may not.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Or it may not.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor van Pelt, would you tell the court where you
12first saw this document?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     This document is in the Auschwitz archive.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     And it appears to be bound into a volume?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They are normally in -- actually I do not know the
16Hauszufugun it is one of first files. They are all in
17boxes. What happens is that the first part of the
18archive, which is where I started working, which was
19actually boxes 1, 2 and 3, only deals with these kind of
20procedural matters. They do not deal with design at all.
21I think generally they are in folders.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     But you agree that this particular one appears to have
23been part of a bound volume. Was it shown to you in this
24form or was it shown to you as a loose document?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I went through these files. I do not remember at all.
26I know there are at a certain moment some loose pages in

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 1these things but in general they are bound. It does not
 2seem to be a Moscow document, if I have to look at it, but
 3I am not sure even. It could be a copy of it in the
 4Moscow document because obviously this was a document
 5which was produced in many copies.
 6 Q. [Mr Irving]     It has been produced in many copies?
 7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Because it was a general rule, so quite often you find
 8many copies of the same document.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you are not certain in your own mind whether this
10document actually comes from Moscow or from the Auschwitz
11state archives.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     This is the first thing I have heard about this document
13now it comes up, is right now I have seen it ten years
14ago. I made a copy. It is somewhere in my big files, on
15procedures in the architectural office.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Please accept my assurance. I am not trying to catch you
17out on this document. I am trying to do the enquiry now
18that I would have done over the last few months if I had
19had this document earlier.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     As to its authenticity?
21 MR IRVING:     As to its authenticity, my Lord, yes. This is the
22only means I have to test its integrity.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think that is fair enough.
24 MR IRVING:     Professor, you will see that the document to me is
25odd in one respect, that it appears to have no printed
26heading. All the other documents we have seen, I think I

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 1am right in saying, have a printed heading saying
 2Auschwitz Zentralbauleitung and so on, Auschwitz
 3konzentrationsanlage, whatever. This appears to be just a
 4blank sheet of paper.
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     But all hauszufugungen, all the internal communication in
 6the camp, and that is also stuff that is coming down for
 7the kommandantur. So, when Rudolf Hirst, for example,
 8creates a canteen for the camp, all of that stuff also
 9comes down to the office. None of these have a heading.
10They all have exactly the same heading as you see, that it
11says hauszufugungen number, which rule, a house rule or a
12house order, whatever like that, with a number but never
13on letter head.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     If you had seen the whole file of course, you could have
15satisfied yourself that there was a No. 107 before this
16and another 109 after it and so on. You could have tested
17it, whether it was orphaned or whether it was part of a
18series, could you not?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I could have, yes. I saw the whole file but I did not do
20that test at the time.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     We are not informed as to that. Is the signature at the
22bottom of the SS Sturmbanfuhrer? Does that look like the
23signatures you are familiar with?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     This is Bischoff's signature, yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     There are no other authenticity marks on it in any way,
26are there? There are no rubber stamps or initials or any

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 1other kind of things that we have seen?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No. You would never have a rubber stamp on any of these
 3internal hauszufugungen.
 4 Q. [Mr Irving]     Would they also lack any address list of people they are
 5going to?
 6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     No, they do not have that. They just appear like this in
 7the file.
 8 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes. My Lord, I could comment on the registration number
 9at the top, but I am not going to because I can really say
10nothing about the integrity of this document apart from
11what I have done.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I can see you are confronted with a bit of a
13difficulty because of its late production.
14 MR IRVING:     I am prepared to address the document as though it
15was genuine and just look at the content.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     My Lord, this one maybe I can add to the heading on top
17because the secretary.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Authenticating it?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. The secretary in the Zentralbauleitung in 1943 was a
20certain Eugenie Schulhof, so it seems to be that indeed
21the S C H U L would be -- that indeed she was a secretary
22at the office at the time.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. Mr Irving will probably say well, if
24anyone was creating this document years afterwards,
25they might have worked that one out.
26 MR IRVING:     

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