Irving v. Lipstadt
Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 14: Electronic Edition
Pages 16 - 20 of 175
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1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The 31550 and no year.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] That is correct, which has no year. Have you seen any
3document at all which omits the year?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not remember.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well. Have you seen any document at all which has a
6secretary with the initials Ne?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] As I said, I do not remember. I could reconstruct who the
8secretary was, but that is at the moment not available to
9me. The point I thought I made was that many different
10people are typing these letters. We have seen, I think,
11not one time the same person typing any of these letters
12in this very small collection.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Is it correct that there are about 50,000 such letters now
14extant, now in the archives, in Moscow and in Auschwitz?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Something like that, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. Would it surprise you that other researchers
17investigating specifically this document have looked for
18any other letter at all in all the thousands of letters
19available signed by a secretary Ne, or with the
20secretary's initials Ne on them, and there is no such
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is a big problem, of course, how to make a proof, how
23to make a negative proof. I can imagine that people have
24been looking for this. What I can say is that I have not
25investigated the secretary who wrote this letter. The
26only thing I can say is that there seems to have been no
1consistent policy. I must also remark that, if I were to
2be a forger ----
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is not really a policy point, is it?
4 MR IRVING: It is the only way I can phrase the question.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not a policy point. It is was there a
7secretary whose name started ne? It is nothing to do with
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] When I am back in Canada I can look that up, but I think
10the important point is, if I were to be forger, I would of
11course not invent a new name.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a different point.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would take one of the existing initials.
14 MR IRVING: This is clear. So you would not be surprised if we
15found another letter with the secretary's initials Ne on
16it? I am afraid I cannot give evidence in my
17questioning. I can only say would you be surprised to
18hear that there is not one?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If this were to be a forgery, the forger would have been a
20very, very dumb person.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] In all the letters that you have seen, Professor van Pelt,
22including these ten you provided this morning, have
23you seen any in which the rank of the Brigadier General
24Kammler is wrong? They have left out the words
25"Generalmayor der Waffen SS". My Lord, I will draw your
26attention to the way it should have been.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have noticed Kammler is the recipient of
2one of the other documents.
3 MR IRVING: It is, on page 13, my Lord. That is the correct
4way it should have been written.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have the answer, that this is the only
6occasion on which the Professor has seen that happen.
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] There is one final point, my Lord, which is a fourth
9question, which is possibly new and I would certainly be
10willing to let Mr Rampton come back on this one. The
11serial number of the document 31550, is that in sequence
12with the other documents of those days?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the file, you mean?
14 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Yes.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not remember. I looked at the document in the file
16originally in relationship to the contents and not in
17relationship to the serial number. I am happy to go back,
18when I am back in North America, and have the whole file
19printed out, and then this thing could be reconsidered.
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Again, I have to ask the question this way. Would it
21surprise you to hear that the number is way out of
22sequence by several weeks?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In general, if you look at the files -- I am not
24completely surprised but the thing is, the way the files
25were created, the files quite often have things not in
26sequence, even in the Auschwitz archive. So it is very
1difficult sometimes to see. Normally what happens is a
2file is built up, that the earliest documents are at the
3back and then, of course, as new documents come in, the
4documents ultimately get their final order.
5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] But you agree that all the other documents, in these ten
6you have provided, the numbers are in serial sequence?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In serial sequence?
8 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] I have just checked them and they are, in so far as they
9are part of the same series?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: They are put together for the purposes of
12 MR IRVING: I appreciate that, my Lord.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I just picked up some things from a pack I had last
14night. I just was going through what I had in my hand.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] The very last question is this. Was Jahrling an SS
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think Jahrling was actually a Zivilarbeiter.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Why is he on the second page of this document signing as
19an SS Sturmbannfuhrer, the one that has been provided?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It seems that the original document was obviously meant to
21be signed by Jahrling, but this is an abschrift and he
22initialled this thing. Whatever the abschrift was made
23of, whatever copy the abschrift was made of, had his
24initials on it and this happens quite often. Since the
25original signed copy went to Kammler, which was signed by
26Bischoff, then quite often there would be a little -- one
1of the other people would just ----
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, I think you have misunderstood my
3question. Would you look at page 2, please?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I see Jahrling, yes.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] It appears to have been signed three lines from the bottom
6Gezeichnet Jahrling SS Sturmbannfuhrer.
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It says "Zentralbauleitung der Waffen SS und Polizei" on
8the top, which means this is signed by the leader, the
9chief architect which was SS Sturmbannfuhrer Bischoff at
10the time, but the copy which was available to the person
11who wrote the Asbchrift must have had Jahrling's signature
12on it, which is something which happens quite often, that
13you see another signature than Bischoff's in actually the
14copies which are in the archive.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does "gezeichnet" actually mean "signed".
16 MR IRVING: Yes.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If means "signed" here, but I presume that this person who
18was writing this Asbchrift had in some way ----
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow what you are saying.
20 MR IRVING: Is it not correct civil service procedure to put
21the letters "iA" if you are signing on behalf of someone?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, bit I do not think we are here in a kind of typical
23Civil Service condition. We have seen that people are all
24over the place in the way they are actually formatting
26 MR IRVING: My Lord, I have no further questions.
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