Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 11: Electronic Edition
Pages 1 - 205 of 205
1IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
1996 I. No. 113
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
2Royal Courts of Justice
4 Friday, 28th January 2000
7MR JUSTICE GRAY
9B E T W E E N: DAVID JOHN CAWDELL IRVING
11(1) PENGUIN BOOKS LIMITED
12(2) DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT
14The Claimant appeared in person
15MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
17MISS HEATHER ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons) appeared on behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited
18MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
19the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt
21(Transcribed from the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell
&Company, Clifford's Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4
23(This transcript is not to be reproduced without the written permission of Harry Counsell &Company)
25 PROCEEDINGS - DAY ELEVEN
2 <Day 11 Friday, 27th January 2000.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes?
4 MR IRVING: Good morning, my Lord. This morning I believe the
5witness is going to make a presentation to us, but before
6he does so, I believe I am right in saying, my Lord, that
7the Defence learned counsel wishes to make some kind of
8submission to your Lordship.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does he? Right.
10 MR RAMPTON: It is not really a submission; it is about
11Professor McDonald. I do not know if your Lordship has
12had a chance to read his two statements.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Glanced at it this morning, but only one
14actually I have seen.
15 MR RAMPTON: Well, there is a new version. It does not really
16matter because they are all to the same effect. I am not
17submitting that he should not be called, but I am a little
18bit concerned that Mr Irving has told my instructing
19solicitors that he thinks Professor MacDonald will be in
20the witness box for three days.
21 Professor MacDonald tells us in paragraph 4 of
22his paragraph first this: "The main point of my testimony
23is that the attacks made on David Irving by the Deborah
24Lipstadt and Jewish organizations, such as the
25Anti-defamation League, should be viewed in the long term
26context of Jewish/Gentile interactions".
1 I have a great deal of difficulty seeing how
2that main point has anything much to do with the issues in
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, this is very much a first impression
5because I have only glanced at it, but I did wonder,
6looking at it, to what extent he can really assist. But,
7having said that, for obvious reasons I am anxious to give
8Mr Irving as much latitude as possible. It may be that
9something admissible and helpful will emerge when he comes
10actually into the witness box.
11 MR RAMPTON: As I said, I am not saying he should not be
12called, but I am concerned about how it is that Mr Irving
13thinks that Professor McDonald should be in the witness
14box for three days when it is quite likely that I will
15have little or nothing to ask him in cross-examination.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We need to, perhaps, thrash it out a little
17because of the timetable.
18 MR RAMPTON: Precisely. I have at the moment got Professor
19Browning scheduled to give evidence on 7th February which
20is the beginning of the week after next.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Mr Irving, as I said, certainly we must
22have him and hear what he has to say, but there is,
23I think, some force in what Mr Rampton says about how much
24he is able to assist.
25 MR IRVING: I hear what you say. When I stated that Professor
26McDonald (who is, in fact, our guest in the court today)
1would be here for three days, this was purely to make sure
2that the Defence had adequate opportunity to cross-examine
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I see.
5 MR IRVING: Your Lordship will certainly not be surprised to
6hear that I do not intend, even with your Lordship's
7permission, if I am given that permission, to examine him
8in chief at any great length. If I do so, it will be
9purely for the purpose of putting before him, as a way of
10introducing them to the court, a number of documents which
11I have not been able yet to put before the court. This as
12one of the very points I was going to discuss with your
13Lordship this morning for a few minutes.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, can you assume (because it will be
15the case) that by Monday I will have read and, hopefully,
16digested what he says, although I have only at the moment
17only got one statement from Professor MacDonald.
18 MR IRVING: My Lord, you will have been given Professor
19MacDonald's expert report.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the one I have looked at.
21 MR IRVING: I believe that in one of the bundles I also
22included a double column preparation which he made as more
23of a way of explaining what he is doing here, as I see it
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I had better try to identify that so I know
26what I ought to read.
1 MR RAMPTON: I got it some days ago.
2 MR IRVING: About five days ago, my Lord.
3 MR RAMPTON: Yes.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I probably got it, but I did not realize what
6 MR RAMPTON: It is behind one of Mr Irving's letters, a letter
7dated 23rd January.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me see if I have it here.
9 MR IRVING: I do not really intend to labour this point very
10much when Professor MacDonald is giving evidence, but
11there are a number of documents (probably three or four in
12total) which I would wish to put to him which do highlight
13and, in fact, draw the connection directly between his
14evidence and this case, which will make it easier for your
15Lordship to reach a determination on its relevance.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. I do not think Mr Rampton is
17going to quarrel with that. But, as I say, proceed on the
18assumption that I will have read it so that you do not
19need to take him through it.
20 MR IRVING: I certainly shall not.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But with all he experts, a bit of
22supplemental questioning is inevitable.
23 MR IRVING: Perhaps I can just sketch the character of the
24document which your Lordship will be funded with when the
25time comes. They will show to my mind that there is a
26clear connection between the book that is the basis of
1this case, the publication complained of, and these
2organizations who provided the material, that they did so
3following an agenda and that this may well have tainted
4the information which the author and the publisher relied
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not immediately obvious to me how that
7really impacts on the questions I have to decide.
8 MR IRVING: Very well.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But let us wait and see how it can comes out
10when he comes to give evidence.
11 MR IRVING: That brings us rather neatly, my Lord, to the
12question which I was going to discuss, if I might, for
13three or four minutes this morning which is the burden of
14proof. I have handed your Lordship just two quotations
15from documents with which I am sure your Lordship, being
16an eminent barrister in your previous incarnation, will be
17thoroughly familiar with.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
19 MR IRVING: In Gatley we learn that the standard of proof in a
20civil procedure is not just the balance of probabilities
21really, but there is a sliding scale, depending on how
22grave the allegations were.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am very familiar with that line of
25 MR IRVING: "The gravity of the issue", if I may read these
26three lines, "becomes part of" -- this is Ungoed-Thomas in
1Re Dillows Will Trust -- "the circumstances in which the
2court has to take into consideration in deciding whether
3or not the burden of proof has been discharged. The more
4serious the allegation, the more cogent is the evidence
6 The reason I am saying this is because dealing
7with crematorium No. (ii) and the mortuary No. 1, which
8the Professor in evidence has agreed is really the pivotal
9point of the whole Holocaust allegation ----
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think he has, but, anyway, leave
11that on one side.
12 MR IRVING: That is my submission, as your Lordship is aware.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I know it is your submission.
14 MR IRVING: We are being offered evidence which, in my
15submission, falls far short so far, and it may well be
16that the witness will come up in the remainder of my
17cross-examination with evidence which satisfies these
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not want to get side tracked into an
20argument at this stage. Let me make it clear that my
21interpretation of those authorities is that the issue
22where the standard of proof may be higher than the
23ordinary civil standard of proof, is the issue whether the
24Defendants have justified their allegation against you.
25We do not start applying different standards of proof to
26the individual items of evidence as to whether or not
1there were gas chambers at Auschwitz. That has got
2nothing to do with the authority that you just referred
3to. That applies only to the standard of proof to be
4applied in relation to the plea of justification.
5 MR IRVING: But, surely, the allegations about the individual
6mosaic stones of their own Defence and plea of
7justification have to meet the same criteria as the
8overall allegations about myself?
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Again, so that you are clear the way I am
10thinking at the moment anyway, the overall question I have
11to decide is whether you have conducted yourself in the
12way that an honest, conscientious historian would conduct
13himself. The question that you have not is, I agree, a
14serious suggestion to be making, so it may require to be
15proved to a slightly higher standard than the ordinary
16civil standard. But one tests the proposition against the
17totality of the evidence, and the evidence may be good,
18bad or indifferent, if you see what I mean?
19 MR IRVING: Your Lordship will pardon me for occasionally
20waving a red flag when I am worried about ----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you have done that very effectively
22and I have your point.
23 MR RAMPTON: Can I wave my own, I do not think red, perhaps
24amber flag? I have said it before and I had the
25impression your Lordship agreed with me, but I will say it
26again because I do not know that Mr Irving has understood
1it or that, if he has, he agrees with it. It is this.
2I do not undertake in this court the burden of proving
3that the Holocaust happened.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No.
5 MR RAMPTON: Or that there were gas chambers in Auschwitz.
6I undertake the burden of proving that Mr Irving made the
7statements he did about the gas chambers in Auschwitz from
81988 onwards without any proper foundation for what he
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is really what I was seeking to put to
11Mr Irving, but I think you have put it more clearly and,
12if I may say so, correctly.
13 MR IRVING: That is very helpful, my Lord. In other words, it
14is the "ought to" allegation rather than the "had before
15him but disregarded", if your remember, the negligence
16rather than the deceit element.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have that well in mind.
18 MR IRVING: Thank you, my Lord. Having said that, I have no
19further submissions to make except I dealt with the point
20that your Lordship will allow me to put to Professor
21McDonald three or four documents when he is in the box?
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Depending on what the documents are, yes.
23 MR IRVING: Yes. Thank you very much, my Lord. Having said
24that, I believe the witness now wishes to make ----
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is notionally cross-examination, but it is
26going to be a long answer to a question you have raised.
1 MR IRVING: Would your Lordship like to phrase the question to
2the witness which he can now respond to?
3 < PROFESSOR VAN PELT, Recalled
4< Cross-examined by MR IRVING, continued.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think the question is this, I will put it
7 Is there anything to be derived or inferred from
8the blueprints relating to the construction of the gas
9chambers -- sorry, from a construction at Auschwitz which
10entitles one to infer that provision was made for gas
11chambers generally and, in particular, perhaps for the
12ducts into which these Zyklon-B pellets are alleged to
13have been poured?
14 MR IRVING: On the roof.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That, I understand, to be the broad issue
16which you are now going to address, is that correct,
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, my Lord, and I have a question, because we have been
19talking about crematorium (ii) and, by implication,
20crematorium (iii) until now, as Mr Irving has said,
21indeed, in the gas chamber of crematorium No. (ii), in my
22judgment, most of the people, I mean, at least half of the
23people killed in the gas chambers were killed in that
24particular space; but, of course, if we go back to the
25document recording the meeting of 19th August 1942, a
26point I made in my presentation on Tuesday was that it
1were actually crematoria (iv) and (v) which were designed
2in immediate response to what I see as the change of
3purpose of Auschwitz.
4 Now, if you think that this is irrelevant
5because we have only been talking really about the design
6of the adaptation of morgue No. 1, I will not talk about
7it, but in case you think it is useful, I do have prepared
8also walk through of crematorium (i) and a discussion on
9the blue prints of crematorium (iv) and (v).
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: My reaction to that, and it is subject to
11anything Mr Irving may want to say or Mr Rampton, is that
12you can take whichever crematorium you wish or, I suppose,
13really Leichenkeller you wish, because if you are able to
14establish -- I do not know whether you will or you will
15not -- that they were designed to be gas chambers or that
16there was a duct through which the pellets could be
17poured, it seems to me it is likely to be the right
18inference that a similar plan was contemplated in relation
19to the other morgues.
20 So Mr Irving, unless you wish to dissuade the
21witness, I think he is entitled to look at any of the
22so-called gas chambers.
23 MR IRVING: In theory, yes, my Lord, but does it not rather fly
24in the face of your response to my remarks about proof,
25that I am not required to establish everything about the
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are not dealing with proof at all at the
2moment. We are dealing with how this witness chooses to
3the question that I re formulated for him.
4 MR IRVING: But if by a shifting of his ground now from the one
5where he originally said 500,000 people died in this gas
6chamber, and this was the centre of the universe of
7atrocities, and he now wishes for whatever reason to
8shift his ground away from there to 4 and 5, this, I would
9submit, cannot really go to the issue of my negligence or
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think it can, it is relevant.
12 MR RAMPTON: My Lord ----
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just answer that and then, of course,
14Mr Rampton? Supposing he answers the question by
15reference to 4 and 5, you can then pick up your
16cross-examination and say, "Well, come on, that is 4 and
175. I thought we were talking about 2".
18 MR IRVING: My Lord, I certainly shall do when the time comes.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do.
20 MR IRVING: But I just wish to wave a little red flag and say
21that they are now changing the rules. They are changing
22not only the rules, but they are changing the football
23ground halfway through the game.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is a point you are entitled to make.
25 MR IRVING: This certainly lowers the standards of evidence,
26but let us take that when we come to it.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, I am sorry?
2 MR RAMPTON: No, my Lord, I was interrupting and I should not
3have done. I do believe again that Mr Irving has
4completely misunderstood the nature of the case.
5Mr Irving chose to focus on Leichenkeller 1 in crematorium
6(ii). That is fine. Professor van Pelt's
7evidence-in-chief, which is in his report and which, if he
8disputes it, Mr Irving will have to challenge, is that
9there were, in fact, at least seven homicidal gas chambers
10in use at Auschwitz and Birkenhau at various times up to
11the autumn of 1944.
12 Two of the most important of those buildings are
13crematoria (iv) and (v) which Professor van Pelt tells us
14in his report were purpose-built as gas chambers, and it
15is only for the case of coherence, if anything else, that
16he should, in my submission, explain what he says about
17those to your Lordship as relevant.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Having said what he wants to say about
19crematoria (iv) and (v), it is, of course, open to
20Mr Irving to say, "Well, that does not prove anything in
21relation to crematorium (ii)".
22 MR RAMPTON: It may not do.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not know whether it does or it does not,
24but he can cross-examine on that.
25 MR RAMPTON: It is a question of the cumulative effect of the
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Quite.
2 MR IRVING: My Lord, the allegation really is the factories of
3death allegation. If I have denied the factories of
4death, which is the nub of the allegation against me, and
5if I have successfully established to the court's
6satisfaction that this building was not what has been
7claimed over the last 55 years, and there is not the
8slightest shred of reliable and plausible evidence for
9that, then I would submit that I have discharged my
10obligations to the court in a satisfactory manner as far
11as my own reputation is concerned ----
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
13 MR IRVING: --- regarding the factories of death. If they come
14along with subsidiary allegations and say, "Yes, but a lot
15of Jews of gypsies were killed in this building too", I
16would say I have never denied that there were killings in
17Auschwitz. What I have denied is this mass production of
18factories of death allegation, this churning out 2,500
19bodies per day kind of allegation.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are beginning to give me a foretaste of
21what we call your final speech.
22 MR IRVING: My Lord, like any good advocate, I have been
23preparing my final speech from the moment this case began.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sure you have, but what I am really
25saying is that we are on the evidence at the moment and
26not on speeches. So let us get on with the evidence,
2 MR IRVING: You allowed learned counsel some leeway on this
3matter, my Lord, and I was only claiming the same amount
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton probably has not started his final
7 MR RAMPTON: Absolutely right.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Now, Professor?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are two issues. First of all, if we can have the
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] I know the problem. I think we have solved it, I hope.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And I would like, my Lord, there is going to be one
13particular detail which I do not have a sight of, but
14I refer to it when I come to it which is actually in
15Auschwitz 2, core file Auschwitz 2, the picture file,
16trial bundle, and it is actually in tab 1, No. 3B. It is
17actually to be seen in two pictures; detail B and the
18little colour version of detail B which is right below
20 Now, I will point out, since I do not want to
21come over to you and point on your document and then on
22Mr Irving's document and Mr Rampton's document, exactly
23which detail, but certainly I will put my finger on
24the thing in the slide which is not visible in the slide,
25but it visible actually in your enlargement right here.
26I want you to be prepared for that. Is it OK that I move
1to the screen?
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course, yes. Thank you very much.
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] My intention when the lights go out is very simple. It is
4very simple. It is to make the blueprints intelligible.
5There are a couple of things which are not in the
6blueprint, two things which are not in the blueprint, but
7we know from other sources, from correspondence which were
8installed, and I will tell those when we go through.
9 But there are already in the document which was
10submitted by Mr Irving, I already point them out, it is
11the drawing by Kate Mullen, my student, then submitted by
12Mr Irving in evidence to you and I will just point them
13out. These are the columns which are not in the
14blueprints. So that the first thing.
15 The second thing is the duct which was going to
16bring the hot air from the ventilator rooms to the gas
17chambers which is in the document of 6 March 1943.
18 So what I am going to do now is introduce a new
19set of images of which copies, I have given copies to
20Mr Rampton, and I will start with this one, very simple
21above ground incineration room, coke stores, space,
22administration offices, toilets, chimney, ventilator
23mounted, an original design for a fresh ventilator, not
24installed, but it was installed in crematorium (iii) and
25the dissection rooms.
26 That is difficult for me to actually focus to
1see whether it is really in focus or not. That would seem
2to be in focus. If you tell me when it is not in focus?
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is fine now.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Here are the dissection rooms. Morgue No. 1, gas chamber,
5morgue No. 2 and an outside entrance with two staircases
6that slide in between. Now I am going to the images which
7were produced quite recently and -- can somebody mark, can
8you focus for me? I cannot see. It is blurred. The
9first ring, if you can control the first ring. OK. We
10are going back to this. I am going to make -- we are
11going -- the first thing I am going to do after just
12showing the kind of diagrams you are going to get later,
13I am first going to actually walk you through the
14building, around the building, in a reconstruction made on
15the basis of the blueprints. I am just going to flag a
16few major things. It is exactly the same perspective as
17we had before was included here and which we tried to make
18very clear is really the ventilation systems as they
20 The ventilation systems which are in green which
21is right here, above the incineration room and alongside
22the ceiling of the undressing room or the morgue No. 2 is
23indicated in green, and all of the systems came into this
24chimney. Then there was a second part of the ventilation
25system. This is called the entluftung system, a second
26system, and this is basically coming into the ceiling of
1morgue No. 1 and that is blue. So blue is bringing fresh
2air in, green is taking foul air out and whatever is in
3there, and that we will come later back to that would have
4been that duct for hot air based -- reconstructed on the
5basis really of two documents but no blueprint. Then here
6the pink stuff, basically the funnels for going to the
7chimney below the ground from the incinerators.
8 If you want me to slow down at any given moment
9or point out any detail, explain, please do so because I
10am going to walk through this. This is what the building
11as it would have been seen when one is at the end of the
12railway track. This is crematorium (ii), so, more or
13less, when you enter the compound in which the crematorium
14was placed. This is the main chimney with the place, the
15extension, the projections of the building in which the
16waste incinerator was originally projected, the
17incineration room sits more or less here. This is the
18coke store space, and the dissection rooms are there.
19 I am going to make actually two entries into the
20building, one along a staircase which is still there right
21here, and the staircase which goes to the basement and we
22really concentrate our presentation on the basement.
23Later we see here the kind of slightly high elevation of
24the underground morgue No. 2. We will enter the building
25through that entrance there, an entrance which was made in
1 We come closer to the building. Here we see the
2staircase going down. This is an entry to the autopsy
3rooms right there. We will actually go down the
4staircase, and since it was very difficult to model that
5situation, how to go down, the people who did it, two
6architects, chose to show actually a kind of section of
7the building. Here is the grate level. We have here the
8underground morgue and we see actually the staircase going
9down. Basically, the soil has been cut away with the
10entrance right here going into this little vestibule.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is the undressing room on the right, is
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This will be then the undressing room and then the alleged
14gas chambers would be seen here, but you will see in more
15detail. You already can see here the two chimneys, the
16chimney of the beiluftung and the entluftung, of fresh air
17coming in, foul air coming out. We see in green where the
18systems are sitting. This is one of the pipes, that is
19one of the pipes, and this is then a probable
20reconstruction where that hot air would have come in, but
21again we do not have any blueprints for that.
22 Then one would have come into this little
23corridor and then into this large morgue No. 2. If one
24takes that entry right under the autopsy rooms, this is
25what one would have seen. But was here at the site, based
26on the drawing of Olaire, we knew there was a ventilation
1system in that thing, but we did not know how it looked
2like because it is not in the blueprints. It was brought
3in later. But Olaire depicted to, I have used Olaire as,
4basically, the depiction of the undressing as room as the
5basis for this thing.
6 I am very sorry for the way the lighting has
7been depicted. This has been, basically, standard 1999
8kind of light fixtures, and this is certainly not how it
9would have looked, the kind of way these light fixtures
10would have looked, but one gets a sense of how much light
11would have been in this room.
12 This is the later staircase. This is the
13staircase which goes to the outside which was constructed
14in late 1943.
15 What I am going to do now is actually go around
16the undressing room morgue No. 2, and take the second
17entrance which was the entrance which was used in the
18Hungarian action after it was constructed to get a more
19logical flow of people into the underground space. This
20entrance is also still there. You can see it. One would
21go down here and then enter in this underground space and,
22of course, see it then from a different perspective.
23 Now you come into this large underground space
24and now, of course, the ventilation is on the right side
25instead of on the left side.
26 MR IRVING: My Lord, can I ask occasional questions while we
1have him on a particular picture?
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Try not to interrupt the flow otherwise
3we will get lost, but, yes, I think that is not
4unreasonable. It is cross-examination.
5 MR IRVING: If we could just go back to the previous picture?
6Can you go back? What kind of door would have been on
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We do not know because there is one -- the door is not
9there and the entrance is available in two blueprints
10called "Zeichaufnahme" which means a picture, a
11description, of the actual situation, but these two
12blueprints do not show actually what kind of door.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] So it could have been an air raid shelter door?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So we are now in this underground space, what became the
17undressing room, as the Defence maintains. Now we go
18outside -- sorry, I will just go back. We go -- actually
19behind the columns there is an exit door and comes out in
20the little vestibule, and originally where I stand was the
21original entrance into this vestibule from above. That is
22the first staircase when we went down, and we see here the
23chimney going up, the entluftung chimney, taking the foul
24air out, and we see here a kind of computer model, this
25computer model, we see here basically the pipe coming off
26the undressing room going into that chimney, and we see
1the second, we see a second pipe -- actually, I do not
2know why it is red right now, but in some way the
3ventilation system of the gas chamber would also have
4connected to this. We see here an elevator. Again I have
5to tell you they took kind took 1990's language for it,
6and then here the entrance into the morgue No. 1.
7 Now, at that point again we have something of a
8difficulty, and the difficulty is that you see that there
9is one panel of the door is open, but the second one
10actually is closed. It is fixed. The blueprint shows,
11the last blueprint we have shows basically the double
12panelled door opening. But there is at a certain moment
13an order for this particular door, and from that order it
14is clear that only one of the panels moves and that the
15second thing was actually either closed by masonry or by
16the fixed panel. We can interpret that later, but in some
17way again I just want to point out at the moment what is
18in the blueprints, what is in inferred out of other
19documents and what, ultimately, is on the basis of
21 So this particular reconstruction is made on the
22basis of a combination of the blueprint and a particular
23order for this gastur, as it is called, of one metre by
24100 -- one metre by almost two metres high, 192
26 We are now in the gas chamber or in morgue
1No. 1. We have just walked in and this was the space one
2would have seen. There are, basically, the entluftung
3system, the foul air is being taken out at the bottom
4connected to that chimney, and we have here the fresh air
5being brought in from the top.
6 Now, I will show you the blueprints in a moment
7because this only is to aid interpreting the blueprints.
8And then added in this particular thing which is not in
9the blueprints are three of the four Zyklon-B insertion
11 Now, so there is none at first column, at third
12column, right there in the fifth column, they are
13alternating on the left and the right side.
14 I just want to go back for a moment. The
15sub-division of this room in two rooms which happened
16later in 1943 would have occurred on this line here, on
17the fourth column, halfway. Again, there is no blueprint
18for that. Then we go back into this elevator space and we
19see here the elevator, there were actually doors brought
20in. There were no doors and we see here this platform
22 MR IRVING: It is a bit like a builder's hoist, is that
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. That is what they actually used because they were
25not able to get the right elevator. Then this would have
26been the incineration room, of which we actually also have
1photos. These are the incinerators, these triple muffle
2incinerators. At the back is the coke supply. This is
3also the fire grate and this is where the ashes are taken
4out. So at a certain moment there is a description in
5Tauber. What happens is that he has put in here, but what
6he says is that actually they start to fire, not that they
7put a fire in the ash muffle. So he is not actually being
8burned directly, and so, if you read his description, this
9is the ash kind of muffle.
10 One drawing which is important is this. Could
11you see from the inside of the incineration room, the roof
12of the morgue No. 1? We have introduced on here, I think
13a little high, I must admit, these alleged insertion
14points, but certainly, because Tauber says that he is
15inside the incineration room, and I asked my student to
16actually step back a few steps from the window, so he does
17not stand right at the window but, if he was standing back
18at say a metre and a half into the space, look through the
19window, would he have been able to see anything? He
20actually describes the situation and this is what he could
21have seen at those points.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is another witness who describes
23looking out from the incineration room, is there not?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that only Tauber does that.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought there was another one.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is another one who sees it from the outside.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Maybe I am confused.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the question. It is, from the inside of the
3incineration room, what do you see? We go now back to the
4diagrams and I am going to turn the diagrams around in
5four basic exposures, every 90 degrees we turn around,
6first without the heating duct and then with the heating
8 So again, we have here the incineration room,
9the flues going to the chimney. We have here the
10entluftung, which is all green, going from the bottom of
11the gas chamber or morgue No. 1, and we have here the one
12system, only one pipe attached to the ceiling of morgue
13No. 2, all connected to this one chimney. It is clearly
14indicated in the blueprints except this one which was
15constructed later. We have here the chimney house, so to
16speak. We have here the Beiluftung going from the second
17little chimney going in. Then we have here the staircase
18with that slide in between, just indicated again rather
19vaguely. We tried to create a wall transparent so that
20you can get some sense of what is happening there.
21 Then I am going to show the same thing. I am
22going slowly to rotate it every ten seconds or so. One
23can look at from a different perspective. Now we are
24looking at it from the west almost, and one can see very
25clearly again the size of the undressing room.
26 If I am going too fast, please tell me because
1I will stop.
2 Here we have the staircase going into the
3basement, second staircase added later. Underground flues
4again. It is important of course in relationship also to
5crematorium 1 where there was an underground flue
6connecting the building to the chimneys. The chimney
7seems to be standing separately, does it mean it is not
9 OK, so that was the reconstruction. So, with
10that in mind, I feel that we can go to the actual
11blueprints and so this is a heading of one of the typical
12ones. Is there anything you would like to see again
13before we go in here?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No but one thing did occur to me as you were
15going through. Was there any heating in the undressing
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There was no heating in the undressing room.
18 MR RAMPTON: Could I ask one question before we leave the
19picture? It is out of order, I know.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I think that is sensible, do you
22 MR IRVING: Perfectly, my Lord.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are not exactly playing by the rules at
25 MR RAMPTON: Professor van Pelt, can I do it now before you
26come to the plans and the documents? You showed us the
1new entrance to the undressing room in 43.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you know of any document which refers to gas tight
4doors for Leichenkeller 2?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not. The only document which refers to a gas
6door quite literally is in relationship to morgue No. 1,
7not to morgue No. 2.
8 MR RAMPTON: It arose out of what your Lordship asked.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So this is a typical heading. This is one of the original
11blueprints in early 1942 because we are dealing here with
12an adaptation. What is very important -- I am going now
13to introduce, and I am very sorry, I do not think they are
14actually in my expert reports, and I do not really know
15how to do it, but this is the very, very first sketch
16which was ever made. It was made in October 1941. It is
17in my book. It shows basically the same arrangement. The
18crematorium is slightly different. They are a number of
19things, but we are here at the ground floor. You see
20incineration hole. You see here you the autopsy rooms,
21the elevator more narrow than in the final one but there
22is the elevator. There is the entrance to the side which
23is the one with the slide and the two stairs, the coke
24storage. We have the office here, we have some bathrooms
25and so on, and then here we have the sauzuanlage as it
26says, which means the ventilators, not three around the
1chimney but one system preceding the chimney, the chimney
2standing asymmetrically, and here the trash incinerator.
3So this is the very first design. As you probably realize
4now, the design was changed a little bit.
5 What is quite important in this first design is
6the particular arrangement of the underground space. The
7only access to the underground space at this moment, and
8we do not know what has happened here or there, but I do
9not think there is any access on that side, but we have
10here the stairs going down with the slide, and then of
11course the elevator coming down right there.
12 MR IRVING: Would you like to explain the significance of the
13slide please, the chute?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The chute is something one has in every underground
15morgue. For example, one can go to Satzenhausen today.
16There is a morgue and above it a dissection room and there
17is an outside entrance into that underground morgue, and
18what happens is that the slide can be interpreted both in
19a more or less kind of gross manner. One of the things is
20that the slide can be used actually to slide corpses down,
21which is probably the more unusual way to do it, but the
22other thing is that, if one carries a corpse down on the
23stretcher, then in this case one had people on the left
24and the right of the stretcher, and the stretcher can
25actually go over the middle. So this is more or less the
26width of the stretcher with two people on each side
1carrying it. But one could also slide the corpse down.
2I think that is probably the more unusual thing to do. In
3the Auschwitz museum one has actually a picture in the
4model one created of actually a truck unloading corpses in
5that way. Now I do not know what the evidence is for that
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the slide anyway.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. So what is important here is the way the doors open
9into the morgue. So there is a very large morgue here
10like morgue No. 2, and this is morgue No. 1, and the doors
11open inwards into the morgue in the original design.
12 Now we come to the first set of blueprints as it
13was actually drawn up, and now I have turned them. We
14have here the incineration room with the five triple
15muffle ovens. This is the chimney. Around the chimney
16the three sauzuanlage, the forced draught which becomes
17important with the proposal to heat morgue No. 1. Then
18these are motor rams, this is actually for the engine, to
19run these ventilators. This was then the trash
20incinerator, the coke storage offices and here we have the
21dissection rooms with in this case again the slide, and we
22have the stairs at the side. There are no stairs at this
23side right now.
24 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, would you estimate for the
25court the distance from the closest furnace to the mouth
26of the chimney in terms of feet or metres?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry, this furnace?
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, either as shown on this drawings or as finally
3built, just in rough terms. Would it be 70 feet?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] From this furnace?
5 Q. [Mr Irving] It would be fair to take the shortest. What is the
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The shortest path? This is 3 metres. Quite literally,
8this is 6 metres. It is 20 feet. Let us say this is 10
10 Q. [Mr Irving] I am talking about from the entrance to the actual
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This one here?
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is 10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Then up the chimney another 30 or 40 feet?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Higher than that, I think. I do not think have the thing
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Just in rough terms. You say the total path travelled
19would be about 80 or 90 feet?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not really know exactly the height of the chimney
21right now, because you are below ground in the chimney so
22it is also a problem. You enter through the entrance
23below ground, so if the chimney is visible above ground
24you need to add another 6 feet for that.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] So in simple terms a flame would have to travel about 90
26feet before it emerged?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Whatever. I presume so. I do not know exactly the
2behaviour of flames in chimneys. But there is a
3considerable distance, yes, which of course is important
4to create the draught. Now I want to go back to the
5original design because we are going to the basement,
6which I have now turned around to be exactly in the same
7position as we are looking at the rest of the blueprints,
8doors open very clearly inwards.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] They open inwards into the mortuary?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Into the mortuary, yes, which comes later as the defence
11alleges, the gas chambers. That is in accordance with the
12way the doors open in these other spaces.
13 Now we get the second blueprint. The problem in
14this particular point of the presentation is that this
15image, this black and white slide, was made for me at the
16museum in 1990, and it is very difficult to see exactly
17what happens here. But, when you go to the archive right
18now and look very carefully and that is what we have done,
19actually that is a detail I was shown, one can actually
20see there a door, that the door in this original copy of
21the final blue print of 1942 still opens inwards, but in
22fact at a certain moment the way the door opens inwards
23has been scratched out, but I show the remains of it.
24This is what I tried to photograph with my assistant in
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Is that on this map? The one you are showing us? On this
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It is in this particular copy not visible. But it
3is in the trial bundle.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] May I approach the screen and have a closer look, my Lord?
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, please do. You are talking about
6photograph 3 on 3B?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
8 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, for reference at page 3B of section 1 of
9the second Auschwitz file, there is a small colour
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have it open.
12 MR RAMPTON: When the light comes back on again, one can
13actually see quite clearly, as the Professor has said, at
14any rate one half of the door opening inwards. It is
15probably difficult to see in this light, but it can be
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You need proper light. I follow.
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is exactly why I wanted to show this so that we all
19know exactly what we are talking about, this thing, and
20what we will see is the remains basically of the door
22 MR IRVING: Approximately when was the alteration made in your
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We will look at that at the next slide. This is the
25blueprint for that, for the alteration of December 1942.
26 I would like to show at the moment also some of
1the other details. How do we know where the
2entluftungskanal was, how the ventilation system works?
3For example, you see here, this is at the bottom of the
4thing, this little dotted line, which is the
5entluftungskanal. It says right here, entluftungskanal.
6Its also says right there entluftungskanal. This dotted
7line goes here and goes right there into the chimney. It
8is very clear. This one ultimately is connected over the
9gas chamber to this one.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Into which chimney? Into the main chimney?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, into the chimney for the entluftung, for the vent for
12taking out the foul air.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] You have what is called a stack effect? We will come to
14that in a moment.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. Then there is a second chimney here, but it does not
16go down to basement level so it is not depicted at
17basement level. What is very important here is that we
18have the staircase, we have another staircase and we have
19these two entluftungskanal, and we have here the columns.
20Of course we do not see these Zyklon-B insertion columns
21because this drawing is from early 1942.
22 Now, one of the things which happened is that in
23these drawings they always use the same set of
24blueprints. When they create modifications at a certain
25moment, they only make a small drawing of the particular
26modification, which is put literally on top of it, because
1it is transparent originally. We see also that one more
2morgue has been included, we see here quite clearly how
3the door opens inwards. It opens inwards here. At least
4where I stand it is very clear. So this was never taken
5out with some razor blades.
6 You see, by the way, just at this level we see
7also very clearly these underground flues. As they then
8are joined these two are then connected above with one
9particular sauzuanlage going into the chimney.
10 Here we have then the elevation and we are now
11looking at the elevation of the building. Just here in
12the original 1942 drawings we see here the elevation of
13morgue No. 1. It is a little higher. We are now going to
14look in section at the same thing, so first one needs to
15flip it up.
16 Now we are looking in section. The first
17section, we see here the slide, the staircase, side
18entrance going down into the little vestibule. We see
19here the elevator shaft. Then here we see, and we will
20get much better ones in a moment, the section through
21morgue No. 1. What is important is that the section is
22exactly at the point where the connectors are between the
23ventilating systems which are on the left and the right of
24the thing, so it is not so that there is a hollow space
25all above, or all below, above the ceiling or above the
26floor. It is only at two points that that actually
1occurs, to connect those systems. We will come back to
3 MR IRVING: The next one is even better, in fact, Professor.
4While we have that picture up, could you estimate the
5thickness of that concrete roof slab?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This roof slab?
7 Q. [Mr Irving] The reinforced concrete roof slab over mortuary No. 1?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We have actually the one which is here.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] This is the actual reinforced concrete?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the reinforced concrete. It is actually
11indicated. The problem is it is written right here and it
12is almost impossible to read.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] About 12 inches, do you think?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. This says 38 centimetres right here. 038. This is
1538 centimetres. So we are talking here about probably 20
17 Q. [Mr Irving] 20 centimetres?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is 20 centimetres thick roof.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Steel reinforced concrete?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Steel reinforced concrete, yes. So this whole thing is 2
21metre 5, so this is clearly around 20 centimetres. It is
22a pity I cannot read this right here.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Is that the double door?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is 50 centimetres wide there, so probably even less
25than 20 centimetres, probably more.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Is that the double door that your hand was over?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the original double door, yes.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there any kind of indication of what kind of door it
3is, or what kind of handle?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The only indication we have is that it was a gastur, which
5means a gas door.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not from the blueprint?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not from the blue print, that is from the documents.
8 MR IRVING: In fact, of course, these are not blueprints, are
9they? They are drawings.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We call these things blueprints.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Architects do not. They call them drawings.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are copies and this happens to be a colour copy.
13None of the originals, which was drawn on basically
14vellum, actually exist any more. These are all basically
15copies made in the normal way, and then they
16were dispersed. The originals were probably in Berlin
17because as far as we know they were kept and openly sent
18to the SS headquarters, and they were boxed.
19 I just want to show here that the most important
20thing is against the ventilation system sitting in the
21wall, this is the entluftungsanlage, this is taking out of
22air. This is the beiluftungsanlage, and here we are at
23what is the normal situation where they are not
24connected. The left and the right is not connected but in
25this one we see them connected at a particular point.
26This is just to show how you only need ultimately --
1because the left is connected to the right and then the
2right is connected to the chimney. You do not have to
3have a special connection from the left side to the
4chimney, or connected to one ventilator.
5 I just want to point out, because we probably
6are going to go there, that the thickness, if indeed we
7agree the thickness of the slab, was around maximum 20,
8probably closer to 18 or 19 centimetres. If one looks
9also at the kind of support given by this column, one may
10of course at a certain moment ask to compare this, if
11indeed the challenge or the suggestion is being made that
12this is an air raid shelter, if this indeed follows the
13kind of normal structural strength of an air raid shelter.
14 Now we come to a first declat. The first declat
15is not very important from an argument, except that it is
16a piece in a sequence. What we see is that the first
17modification has already been made, and in this declat
18this was created by putting basically tracing paper on top
19of the original. One of the things which is not of any
20interest to the architect at the moment -- but he does not
21actually draw any doors in so we do not know how the doors
22are hung. What is important here is that we have this
23sort of little leichenkeller, which is now much smaller.
24We have the leichenkeller No. 1. What we do have here is
25a kind of rather gruesome modification because this is
26called office. This is called vault. This is either gold
1arbeite or gold arbeiten, or this could be gold workers or
2gold works. The question of course is what would they do
4 Q. [Mr Irving] What would you infer from that?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That dental gold was being probably ----
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Extracted?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Not extracted. It would not have been extracted here.
8The dental gold would have been basically worked at and
9would have been stored here.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, a matter of the utmost secrecy, of course?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know how secret it was. This whole building was
12in a completely isolated compound.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] We will see if that is true later on when I show you some
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. This is by the way, that connection piece right above
16there connecting the pipes of the side to the other side.
17We see here the staircases.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] What is the overall width of that staircase from wall to
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The overall width of the staircase from wall to wall? Now
21you have me.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Roughly about eight feet?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This thing here?
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I presume something like 8 feet.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] The other end of that space is the elevator, is it not?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, it is the elevator.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Or the hoist?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. The space we talked about, the counterweights ----
4 Q. [Mr Irving] It is not an extra space at all. It is just part of the
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. You see that there is some space left so that the
7weight can go there.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] We gained the impression two days ago that there was a
9separate channel for the counterweight to go down?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I did not.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I did not want to make that impression.
12 This is the coloured version. What we see here
13is ofen, furnace. But interesting of course is that there
14is no ofen in the office. We know from eyewitness
15testimony that of course the dental gold was melted in the
16crematorium, so is that the ofen put there in order to
17melt dental gold? It is a design, nothing more than a
18design, but certainly they were designing something to
20 Q. [Mr Irving] It would be a schmelzofen, would it not?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is the official German, schmelzofen, but ofen would
22be a good shorthand for that.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] I think it is a very reasonable inference actually.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But certainly this ofen -- one would expect also to have
25if everywhere there is no heating. My theory is that, if
26this would be about heating those particular offices, one
1would first have expected one there, and secondly one
2there, but this is actually the other way round. Why is
3there no ofen at that site?
4 Q. [Mr Irving] That is a very clear inference obviously, which I agree
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. I am going to show a few copies of this. This is a
7new declat. Now we see the hand is very different of the
8declat. In this case we know actually that the person who
9drew it was Dejaco himself, which means the chief of the
10drawing room who was an SS lieutenant. It is very
11unusual, strangely enough. This man almost never makes a
13 Q. [Mr Irving] How do we know that he was the person who drew this?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because it is in the box at the bottom. I am sorry it is
15not in this picture. In the box at the bottom it always
16says who draws that, who approves that and then finally
17the final signing off by Bischoff. Normally what you see
18is a prisoner number. In this case Dejaco's name is in
19the first box, and in the second box. He draws it and
20then he also ultimately red lines it, and then only
21Bischoff signs off on the third.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it dated?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It is 19th December 1942. So this is quite late.
24Now, a number of modifications are in this drawing. It
25says again it is a declat number 32 and 33, which are
26basically for the standard basement plan.
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
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
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
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.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] On the inside, yes, but I am looking at the other side of
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
1 MR IRVING: Is that the only change made on this deck plan?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are two other changes, I already indicated. A
3second important change is that stair going down. Now,
4why would the -- why was the slide in this original
5entrance removed and why was the stairs moved to the other
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you saying that the slide was permanently removed and
8there was never any slide left there?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is a problem because Tauber at certain moments
10mentions a slide in his testimony. The big problem with
11-- the question is, and this is a problematic point in
12Tauber's testimony because we know that the sonderkommando
13of No. (ii) and No. (iii) were able to basically make use
14of those buildings, that when there were no gassings
15taking place, that these two compounds were in connection
16because some of the facilities used by the sonderkommando
17No. (ii) were in No. (iii) and in No. (iii) that slide is
18still there. The slide was actually constructed.
19 To what extent actually he was in his testimony,
20I mean, the assumption in his testimony in German is that
21he talks about two, but if he introduces that, if he
22describes the subterranean level, if he actually describes
23something he saw in No. (iii) which is identical except
24for the fact that left and right are reversed, and it is
25particularly detail of the slide, it is very difficult to,
26you know, actually get a real handle on that. One of the
1buildings has a slide, the other buildings does not have a
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Just to be perfectly plain, the entrance which is moved to
4the street side of the building did not have a slide, did
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. The entrance which is -- this other entrance does not
7have a slide.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Would it not be a reasonable inference that the architects
9had decided that, being good architects, they ought to
10design a building where people had ways of getting in
11there where they might not have to mingle with corpses
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Can you repeat that?
14 Q. [Mr Irving] They decided that they need, for matters of taste and
15decency, to have a clean side of the building where people
16could go in without having to jostle with corpses that
17might be infected going down the steps and they decided,
18therefore, for pure hygiene reasons to move the staircase?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That would be perfectly -- that would be perfectly fine.
20The problem is how do you get then the corpses into the
21building, because this corpse access seemed to have been
22removed. So what we have here is that there is no way any
23more to get corpses into this building, according to this
24drawing, and that the only way to get corpses into the
25build is that a staircase which has been narrowed to such
26an extent that it is certainly very difficult to carry a
2 I also want to point out to you that in the
3original design -- sorry again -- there was enough space
4either when you slide the corpse downstairs or when two
5men are carrying the stretcher, there is not enough space
6for you to turn around. However, here, this turn around,
7I mean, first of all, it is much narrower, as you see. We
8are talking here about one metre width of, I think one
9meter 60, one metre 80, there is much less space actually
10for two people actually carrying a stretcher, there is no
11slide at all. Then we get the problem actually of turning
12here. It gets very, very tight.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So do you deduce from that that it is live
14people who are going to go down to that morgue?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 MR IRVING: But is there not also an elevator or a hoist being
17installed which, we are told, is capable of carrying large
18numbers of bodies from the basement up to the furnaces?
19Could that elevator not also have been used to carry them
20down in the first place?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Ah, yes, but the problem is how do you get them in that
22space? I mean, I am happy to go back to the original
23ground plan which we -- my Lord, do you want me to go back
24to the original ground plan?
25 Q. [Mr Irving] The elevator is just next to your shoulder on that design
26and there appears to be a lot of space in front of it.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] The elevator is just next to your shoulder, is it not?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but if you bring down the corpses by the elevator,
4and I will go down because again it is an important issue
5you raise and an important alternative explanation.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] A plausible alternative, and you have not established ----
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The problem of the plausible alternative in this case is
8that the elevator is here. Now, the only entrance we have
9now, the only way to get to the elevator, is to go through
10the entrance here, right next to the dissection room. Go
11through the foreground, go now into the washing room for
12the corpses and then turn around into the elevator.
13 This elevator was meant to give direct access to
14the washing room. When a corpse comes up, it can be
15washed and dissected. But I would say that this is an
16extremely, and especially these doors here -- I mean, how
17do you actually -- these doors are not wide enough, these
18are not double doors which you get in the original design
19right here. This is a double door. So again, stretcher,
20two people carrying it, four people carrying it, there is
21enough width here for them all to go down.
22 But this is a very, very awkward way to get
23corpses actually in and then down in the elevator. The
24alternative is that you have to go, there is no direct
25entrance into the incineration room. The alternative is
26to go through this door, through this door, walk over the
1coke supply between the incinerators and go to that
2elevator. Or the third possibility is to -- no, that is
3actually it. That is it.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Your evidence for saying that there was no corpse slide in
5the building as built is?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is not in the drawing. In this drawing and it does not
7seem to be there. So, I mean, I can see it, well, I can
8still see it in crematorium (iii).
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What would it have been made of? Metal?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The corpse slide?
11 MR IRVING: No, a concrete slide.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Concrete.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just a concrete slide?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
15 MR IRVING: So there is no evidence there was something in the
16building now and it was never there -- Mr Rampton, I am
17asking the questions here.
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We have a blueprint. We have the remains of the building.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you answer my question? There is no evidence that
20there is something in the building now and it was never
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, and I have not seen any evidence. The only evidence
23there is -- let me be more precise. There is evidence in
24Tauber. Tauber says there is a corpse slide. But I have
25addressed this problem already as a problem in the
26testimony, that I think he refers back to the corpse slide
1in crematorium No. (iii) which was installed.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] But is there not a lot of evidence that Tauber was being
3questioned on the basis of drawings put to him by Jan
4Sehn, the prosecutor? When you read his interrogation, he
5is actually being interrogated on the basis of ----
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If we would have seen the drawing which was this drawing
7and was available also to Dawidowski and so to Jan Sehn,
8then I presume that he would not have invented the corpse
9slide when it is not in the drawings. See here, the
10corpse slide is still in this one, in the design.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I suppose Jan Sehn may have used the drawings
12for crematorium No. (iii) when he was taking Tauber
13through it, if that is what happened?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, there is not a special set for crematorium No. (iii).
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] There is not?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Crematorium (iii), they use the same drawings as No. (ii),
17but they just reverse the building.
18 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Yes.
19 MR IRVING: The same as in the days of the British Empire when
20we built our buildings in India with blueprints that had
21been designed for England -- just reversed them, in fact?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I do know exactly what you did there, but they did
23make a new set of blueprints.
24 So the first problem is the way the doors are
26 The second issue, of course, is why is there a
1convenient way of accessing corpses in the morgues
2removed, and why at least they are bringing in corpses a
3very inconvenient and awkward way is replaced, but a
4staircase which seemed to be optimally useful to bring in
5human beings who are alive.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I ask you, were the corpses that resulted from the
7great epidemic of 1942, where were they cremated?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The corpses from the great ----
9 Q. [Mr Irving] The typhus epidemic, the 8 or 9,000 that we know about?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In August 1942, there were two ways to get rid of corpses
11and then the question is where these people died? In
12Auschwitz 1, the crematorium was functioning at the rate,
13an official rate, of 340 corpses per day. So, certainly,
14the people who died in Auschwitz 1 -- at that moment
15Auschwitz 1 was still somewhere in the main camp.
16Birkenhau had not grown so much here. It was still under
17construction. So the crematorium in Auschwitz 1, No. (i),
18dealt with the corpses of people who died there. In
19Birkenhau, the major way of getting rid of corpses at that
20time was to bury them.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] And the epidemic of 1943, January 1943, in Birkenhau,
22where were those corpses cremated?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They had incinerators that open, these things which had
24been adopted by the Zentrale Bauleitung in the camp after
25the trip to Chelmo in mid September 1942 when they went to
26see Goebbels' ovens.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] The fire grate?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So they then created something like that in Birkenhau, and
3that is how they got rid both of the corpses which had
4been buried earlier ----
5 Q. [Mr Irving] But are you telling the court then that no external deaths
6were brought into this crematorium?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not want to say -- I am talking about the design.
8I am talking about their intentions. This crematorium,
9obviously, undergoes a modification in which it is much
10more difficult, I do not want to say impossible because
11everything is possible, much more difficult, where a
12convenient system of bringing people who have died outside
13the building has been removed, and a new convenient system
14has been installed in order to bring people down who had
15not yet died.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] But if you answer my question? Large numbers of people
17died outside this building, we know that, in the camp in
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] When?
20 Q. [Mr Irving] In 1943, from various causes, and how would they have been
21brought into this building?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the most likely reason why the slide remains in
23crematorium No. (iii).
24 Q. [Mr Irving] So, no natural deaths were disposed off in this?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We do not know, but, I mean, when I said in the movie
26which is the clip we saw that, in my judgment, almost half
1of the people who died in Auschwitz, who were gassed in
2Auschwitz, died in crematorium No. (ii) ----
3 Q. [Mr Irving] In this very ruined gas chamber we are looking at here?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The gas chamber, it is based on a number of assumptions.
5It is not a calculation made on the back of an envelope.
6It is made on which building functioned when, during what
7operation, which building was solely dedicated to bring
8people in this way, and also at a certain moment, you
9know, which buildings broke down at what time? There is,
10of course, a clear problem with crematoria (iv) and (v)
11where the ovens broke done constantly.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] So this building is one of the main factories of death in
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but it is a building which, as we have seen now, it
15was case of adaptive reuse, and here we see exactly that
16piece of adaptive reuse. I just want to -- I have various
17kinds of details of this drawing again to show the kind of
18texture of this particular one. So, I think this is a
19very, very important drawing in the context of other
20drawings and in the context of testimony.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] But you do accept there could have been perfectly harmless
22reasons why the basement entrance was transferred from one
23side of the building to the other? For example, in
24connection with intensification of the air war, the need
25to bring people in in a hurry from the street rather than
26making them go all the way around the buildings, round to
1the back, to a pokey little entrance around the back to
2get into an air raid basement?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think if you want to go, I mean you raise the air raid
4issue right now, I mean, I do not want to -- I have
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I think you ought to deal with that
7because that is really an issue on the drawings. I mean,
8we have a modification and the point has been put to you.
9Is one possible explanation for that that they wanted to
10make it easier to get in in a hurry when there is an air
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is a possible explanation, but I also want to point out
13that since I have to give this answer, but since I am
14happy to give some, a possible explanation but improbable
15for a drawing like that to be made in December 1942, since
16all the other drawings and all the documentation in
17Auschwitz relating to air raid shelters come from mid and
18late 1944. So we are two years, a year and a half, more
19than a year and a half out of synch.
20 MR IRVING: Profess van Pelt, I showed you about five days ago
21a list, or I introduced to the court, a three-page list of
22documents from the Moscow collection which clearly show
23planning for the air raid precautions in Auschwitz
24beginning in August 1942?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 1942? Mr Irving, I have to disappoint you on this point,
26that I actually studied that particular file and I have it
1here and I can submit it to the court.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is a bit difficult to know when we are
3getting on to air raid shelters as opposed to the
4drawings, but shall we leave that until later?
5 MR IRVING: We will deal with that at a later time.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor van Pelt, have you finished on the
7blue prints now or are there further points?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. This is crematorium No. (ii). I just want to --
9I want to show some other things because they were
10raised. Some of the photos, if that is OK, made of the
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I do not see why not.
13 MR IRVING: I think this is a very interesting photograph, my
14Lord. It shows the reinforcing bars being put down,
15presumably, on the roof of the crematorium, is that right?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, on roof of morgue No. 2 which later becomes the
17undressing room. So we are here in the fall of 19942.
18Here we see, we see very clearly, the reinforcing bars
19right there. There is no drawings of those reinforcing
20bars. I mean, you asked me for those. There are no
21drawings of the particular thing like that. We see here
22the slab being finished.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What did they do? Pour concrete on top of
24the reinforcing bars?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. We see already here there seems to be, these
26actually are tiles, there are some tiles, at the bottom
1there, and you see some of these tiles sort of hanging,
2kind of hollow tiles, and then you get the reinforcing and
3then the concrete is poured from that.
4 MR IRVING: I cannot see any tiles there, but I can see the
5reinforcing bars very clearly. Professor van Pelt, would
6there have been the same kind of reinforcing in the roof
7over the mortuary No. 1 which is displayed here, the
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I presume so, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] The same kind of mesh of steel bars?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. Now we are looking inside the ovens. There is still
12this construction mess around it. Again, the ovens and
13here the ash, the place -- the crucible and the ash
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you explain the purpose of those railway lines we can
16see there? Are they just purely for the purposes of the
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which one, this one?
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] They were not there at the time that the furnace stage was
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. There is actually, these, we have here little, there
24is a -- originally, there was idea to put actually these
25rolling little trucks in crematorium No. (i), but they
26were actually never built. So what you have is quite a
1short, like a two metre long, little kind of iron ----
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Trolley?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- almost like little tracks going into each of the ovens
4in the concrete, but that is it.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] So when Aida Bimko in her testimony refers to the railway
6line or the rails bringing the bodies out through the
7doors and so on, she is lying ----
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, that is not necessarily so ----
9 Q. [Mr Irving] --- again?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- because we know, for example, that one of the things
11which was done at crematorium -- and she thinks, I think
12she is talking about (iv) or (v). There is a difference.
13One of the things which happened at the sonderkommando,
14when they moved corpses from the gas chambers to the
15incineration places, and it was clearly done at bunker
16No. 2, that they actually put in some very, very light
17track to move them, to move corpses on little trollies.
18Now, there is nothing in the design for that.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] We only have the eyewitness testimony, is that correct?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Eyewitness testimony, yes. Zeigun talks about it, for
21example. Here we have the photo we discussed yesterday.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] With the three objects on the roof.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry?
24 Q. [Mr Irving] With the three objects on the roof?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] With the objects on the roof.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Three objects on of roof?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And the thing i pointed out, there is this slight thing of
2soot up there. It actually becomes more in one of the
3next drawings. So this is taken in February 1943.
4 One more to go round, you see here then how we
5have reconstructed the heating pipes, how they would be
6connected, the system which was installed which has broke
7down. Again this is the speculation on the basis of the
8information on the blueprint and a particular letter of
96th March 1943. The red in this case is the heating and
10the heating insulation. We have just gone through the
11attic level and then we brought down right very close to
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there some reason why you are telling us about the
14heating system in the mortuary?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The reason is that, of course, while it is not in the
16blueprint, it is in the letters, and the heating system in
17the mortuary is, in my opinion, again one of the
18indications that this building was transformed, that the
19morgue was being transformed for a use other than to
20simply store bodies.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you remind me -- I am so sorry, Mr Irving
22-- of the date of the letter about warming the morgue?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is March 1943.
24 MR IRVING: So you disagree with Neufert, which is the standard
25architect's Bible in Germany, ever since before World War
26II, right up to the present day, that mortuaries need both
1central heating and cooling?
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, we have had that debate, I think.
3 MR IRVING: Yes, thank you very much, but I wondered why he was
4telling the court about the heating.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, you asked him.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry, the one thing I wanted to point out again is the
7little, the little ventilation chimneys, very clearly
8visible there. We go round once more and now we make that
9trip around. If there is anything -- I am just going
10relatively fast, if there is anything anyone wants to ----
11 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, can I ask, you mentioned those
12little chimneys, the ventilation chimneys.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] And I mentioned the stack effect. You asked two days ago
15where the provision was for cooling the gas chambers or
16the mortuary or the morgue?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] The stack effect which is known to architects is why they
19put these chimneys there because the top part of the stack
20is cooler than the below ground part of the stack, and it
21generates a draught of its own, a cooling draft. That is
22one reason why they are there -- so I am informed by
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So you say that which of these -- this chimney, basically,
25is the air conditioning system?
26 Q. [Mr Irving] 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
25 Q. [Mr Irving] So it would have been totally unsuitable as an air raid
26shelter then, this building?
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
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
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
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
1have a kind of gas tight design that there is a number of
2different, I do not want really know, my English starts to
3reach its limit.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Fasteners?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Jambs have a kind of seal in it in the way it is designed
6so it is very difficult. They are very thick. They are
7like 20 centimetres thick.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have they been tested for cyanide?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They have not been tested for cyanide.
10 MR IRVING: Would you agree that those shutters that have been
11found in the Auschwitz camp are in fact standard German
12air raid shutters supplied by manufacturers to a standard
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] First of all, I do not know but it was very clear. What
15we do know is that these are 30 by 40 centimetres and that
16the things ordered were gas tight things of 30 by 40
17centimetres. The only plan I have where they have twelve
18of these holes of 30 by 40 centimetres is actually the
19plans for these rooms at the end of crematoria (iv) and 5,
20which obviously were not air raid shelters because the
21roof construction is too flimsy.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Am I right in suggesting that the inference you are
23drawing is that through these apertures the top six
24substances were thrown?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. We go back in the vestibule. We are now moving to
26room No. 2. The door is open and we see now the stove,
1and again in the room one of these little openings. Now
2we are in the room, just entered. Here is the stove. We
3look now to the outside door, two other 30 by 40
4centimetres little windows, and we turn around now. We
5look back at the stove and the door towards the second
6vestibule, so to speak.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor, why would they not have adopted the method they
8allegedly adopted here and just drilled holes in the roof
9to drop the substances through?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The problem, first of all, is you would have to go on the
11roof and this building was all above ground.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This method was used already in bunker No. 2 and bunker
14No. 1, where they used basically holes or little windows
15in the side of the building to introduce the Zyklon-B. So
16it was a proven method.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the evidence for that?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] For what?
19 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] That they injected Zyklon-B through the windows of bunker
20No. 2 and No. 1?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Eyewitness testimony.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what I thought.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think in my report I quote Dragon on that, for example.
24 MR IRVING: You quote who?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Dragon. Now we go out. I just want to ----
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Am I right in saying that Dragon is one of the principal
1witnesses for the Soviets when they produced their
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think Dragon came in in April. Dragon was not in the
4original Soviet report, I think. The Soviets produced a
5report in February or March and Dragon only appears in
7 Q. [Mr Irving] I am referring to USSR 008, the exhibit.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I do not think Dragon was mentioned there, also that
9he testified for them when that report came out, in that
10report. I could be wrong on that but I do not remember
11Dragon in that context.
12 Now we are back in the vestibule. Go into the
13next room, again, and look at the incineration room. In
14this case we have back-to-back incinerators with the
15firing pit between them, instead of in crematorium 2 the
16firing pits are behind the incinerators.
17 Now I would like to go back to the blueprint.
18In your bundle you have a great magnifications of this one
19showing, for example, the 30 by 40 size of these openings,
20which is very important. There is a problem that 12 of
21these things were ordered, 12 of these gas tight shutters
22were ordered of 30 by 40 centimetres, in early 1943.
23Which were the 12? If you start counting, we have one,
24two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, which means by
25implication that, according to the design, there should
26have been 16 ordered. So how do we explain the difference
1between 16 and 12? It is very obvious that this room, it
2was a modification, that is what I call the vestibule,
3that this was not going to be to be used as gas chamber.
4It is also actually described that only two of these rooms
5in the eyewitness reports were actually used as gas
6chambers and is not. So then we enter with one, two,
7three, four, five, six and the same arrangement in
8crematorium 5, which then ends up as 12 gas tight 30 by 40
9centimetre shutters. That is very important.
10 The second important thing, and Mr Irving has
11already pointed at that, are the drains. This particular
12blueprint is one which exactly shows the drains. That is
13why it was created. So we see that on the existing copy
14we have here a drain, we have a drain there, and these
15drains are connected right there. There is a drain right
16there, and they are connected to a pipe.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Can you tell the court what they are connected to on the
18outside? To the main sewage?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are connected. This continues. This is not a main
20sewage system there. But this obviously connects back to
22 Q. [Mr Irving] It does not just go into a hole in the ground, though,
23does it? They do something with it at the other end?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. This probably goes on right there all the way, yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] What would environmentalists have to say about kilograms
26of cyanide being dumped in the sewage system, do you
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that virtually all the cyanide would have been
3cleared out of the building.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think we had this debate before.
5 MR IRVING: It is very useful, my Lord, actually to see the
6drainage system. We only have Professor van Pelt's word
7for it that all the cyanide would have gone out of the
8building, none of it would have been washed off down into
9the sewage system, which is clearly wrong. Neither of us
10is an architect. We agree on that point. But the
11evidence of our eyes on that plan is that they had the
12drainage going into the public sewage system, and 8
13kilograms or however many of cyanide being pumped into
14those rooms to kill people on a lethal scale, and the
15bodies being washed down, the room being washed down
16afterwards, and you are telling us that none of that
17cyanide would have gone into the environment?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I certainly think that you are a little over estimated on
19the eight kilograms, to start with. The gas thing in this
20building could have been very well done in these rooms
21with 200 gramme tins, maybe two 500 grammes, maybe a kilo
22was used, a kilo of cyanide and most of it would have
23evaporated into the air.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, Professor I am going to interrupt
25you. We must stick to the drawings. We are going down a
26side track. Of course you can come back to it, Mr Irving,
1but I think it really is going to be confusing if we go
2into that argument now.
3 MR IRVING: While we had the drainage map in front of us my
4Lord, I wanted to----
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is established. It is linked up,
6apparently or possibly, probably I think, to the main
7sewage system of the camp.
8 MR IRVING: It goes to the water purification plant.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, not that, I think.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So the major point here is that the evidence of the
11blueprint of these spaces, with these little windows right
12on top there, converges with the document which talks
13about the gas tight shutters of 30 by 40 centimetres,
14converges with eyewitness testimony which talks about SS
15men getting up a little stool or step ladder there and
16opening the gas tight shutters and throwing in the
17contents of a Zyklon-B canister, and it converges also
18with a detail right here that in fact it is difficult to
19see in this one that they are actually sealing, sitting
20right in here. The roof is not open to the rafters but
21there is no sealant in there. So why actually this very
22low bit here? It is around 2 metres high. You also start
23to put a sealing when you do not put the sealing in
24anywhere else. So this is as much as I want to say right
25now about crematorium 4.
26 MR IRVING: Did these eyewitness you talk about see what was on
1the other side of the wall through which this stuff was
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, they were on the outside.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is crematorium No. 1. I think we can leave it. This
6is at the moment the case I would like to make for
7crematoria No. 2, and crematorium No. 4, and by
8implications 3 and 5.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was going ask you that.
10 MR IRVING: While we have that map up, can I ask you which is
11the fuel supply, which is the room for storing the coke?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is it right there.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] The whole of that room. Can you estimate approximately
14how much coke that would hold, how many tonnes or
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot, I am sorry.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does that conclude our looking at the
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So we can turn the lights on?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, unless you want to see more of the same.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I think I understand what you tell us
23about them. Thank you very much.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Just for your understanding, in the last discussion quite
25important are No. 9A and No. 9B in your bundle.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: In tab 2?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In tab 1. The important point is the 30 by 40, which is
2seen there in the size of these little windows.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, Mr Irving.
4 MR RAMPTON: Before this cross-examination continues, I need to
5draw your Lordship's attention to something.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
7 MR RAMPTON: On Wednesday evening we received a document, which
8we have never seen before, which I do not believe
9Professor van Pelt has seen, which Mr Irving has because
10we sent it to him on Thursday once we had had it
11translated, and which has a bearing, or your Lordship may
12think it has a bearing, on this repeated question why are
13not these documents marked "secret". I do believe that,
14in fairness to the witness who I believe, I do not know,
15is not familiar with this document, he and your Lordship
16should be allowed to read it before the cross-examination
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is this not re-examination?
19 MR RAMPTON: No. I could bring it into re-examination but, if
20your Lordship would read it first, that perhaps is the
21best thing. It will save time in cross-examination
22because the witness will then be familiar with the
24 MR IRVING: Are you also offering a translation of this
26 MR RAMPTON: Yes. Have you not got that?
1 MR IRVING: I have not. I have only the actual document but
2not translated. (Same handed).
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the second document, Mr Rampton?
4 MR RAMPTON: There is another document. The document which is
5clipped to it is the translation.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have just been handed something headed
8 MR RAMPTON: I do not think that arises now. That will arise
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where I shall I put this?
11 MR RAMPTON: It is the document of 5th May 1943. It can go in
12at the end of section 4 of K2, just before page 49 if your
13Lordship wants to put them in date order. That means a
14different page number. I do not know whether the witness
15has it? I do not know what he is looking at.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think he is looking at the right thing.
175th May 1943?
18 MR RAMPTON: Yes, 5th May 1943.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor van Pelt, is that what you are
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I know this one, yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] You know that one?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean I have seen it. In my files there is a copy of
24that. I had forgotten about it.
25 MR RAMPTON: I did not know that.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Anyway, you have it now. Yes, Mr Irving. I
1am sorry about that interruption.
2 MR IRVING: Your Lordship will anticipate the first thing I
3will say, which is that this is not the way to do things.
4This was supplied to me yesterday afternoon at 1 p.m. It
5is a document of great importance, I appreciate that. It
6is the document which I would have wished to have seen
7many months ago. We have just heard the witness say that
8he has had it in his files for some considerable time. If
9it was of importance, no doubt he would have advanced it
10already. He may well have reached the same conclusions as
11I did that there are perfectly plausible explanations for
12this document which have a bearing only on one room in the
13crematorium concerned, or the building concerned, and have
14no relevance for the Final Solution, apart from that very
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think it is sensible to have an
17inquest as to why it has been produced late. That has
18been happening on both sides. The fact is we have it. In
19the end I am not going to ignore it.
20 MR IRVING: If your Lordship is going to allow it to be
21produced in this manner, then there must be some manner
22for me to respond to the document. I seek your Lordship's
23guidance as to the appropriate means of doing this. By
24putting questions to the witness on this matter?
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course you can. Indeed, why not do it
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
1least disregarded on a footnote, and not suppressed, shall
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
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
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
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
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
4 Q. [Mr Irving] Would they also lack any address list of people they are
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, they do not have that. They just appear like this in
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: My Lord, forgers have a desire often to be caught
1out and they do not do the homework. That is my
2experience. This is what puzzled us about that cremation
3capacity document that they picked on initials that are
4only on that document and not on any other document in the
5entire record. But to revert to this document, I draw
6your attention, Professor, to the third full paragraph,
7beginning with the word in English "furthermore"?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Let us read out possibly the first two paragraphs:
10 "You are reminded once more of internal
11instruction No. 35 of 19th June 1942 -- ", which we do not
12have, Professor, do we, before the court, so we do not
13know what that was. "As is clear from this internal
14instruction, Untersturmfuhrer Dejaco is personally
15responsible for ensuring that all incoming and outgoing
16plans are registered according to the rules in a book that
17is to be especially set aside for this purpose, and that
18loans of such plans (that is an interpolation by the
19translator) are signed for with the personal signature of
20the person who has asked for them".
21 This is indicative, is it not, Professor, of the
22pernickety bookkeeping that the Germans went in for with
23their documents, that things were logged in and logged
24out, is that not true?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] "Furthermore", it continues in the next paragraph, which
1is the important one on which no doubt learned counsel
2relies, "it must be pointed out that we are concerned here
3with works that are connected with the war economy and to
4be kept secret". The words: "Connected with the war
5economy and to be kept secret" are underlined in the
6original. "In particular, plans for the crematoria are to
7be kept under the strictest surveillance. No plans are to
8be handed out to the individual installation groups, etc.
9In connection with the works to be carried out, the
10responsible construction leader - I suppose that be a
11foreman - has to give instructions to the corresponding
12prisoner unit on the spot. I take it as read that all the
13original plans are to be kept under lock and key by the
14leader of the Planning Department". Does Mr Rampton wish
15me to read out any more, or is that sufficient?
16 MR RAMPTON: Could you just finish the paragraph?
17 MR IRVING: "Attention is particularly drawn to DV 91", that is
18"Dienstvorschrifft", is it not?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] In other words, Service Regulation No. 91, confidential
21Matters. "It is further taken as read that in cases of
22leave or inability to carry out duties, the leader of the
23Planning Department hands over the plan room in accordance
24with regulations to an SS colleague".
25 We can take it from this therefore, can we not
26Professor, that they were anxious that the drawings of the
1kind you have been showing us this morning should not be
2shown to unauthorized persons?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Irving] In fact, it should not be shown to anybody at all who had
5no need to know?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. In fact, even people who had need to know, it seemed
7to be that they were unwilling to -- that normally, of
8course, in a building site, plans and blueprints are
9readily available to the people who are actually making
10it, and in this case, they even had difficulty to do
11that. They use here that the only person who can really
12instruct these people, they cannot actually leave the plan
13there, but there must be a "Baufuhrer" and from the word
14"Baufuhrer", it is very clear that this is not an inmate,
15or must be a German, civilian or German SS men, because
16the designation Fuhrer was always reserved in this case
17for a non-inmate. They would have used for inmate always
18something like Alterstorser or some kind of designation
20 Q. [Mr Irving] We are in agreement that this is a security measure
21designed to keep these plans that you have been showing us
22today, that kind of thing, away from prying eyes?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Can you see no harmless reason for such a regulation?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] A harmless reason?
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I presume there is a general harmless -- if we are talking
2about patents, I could imagine that companies do the same
3thing with patents. But in this case I do not think we
4deal really with patent information. So I cannot see what
5the problem would be. It is remarkable that crematoria
6seem to be designated here for a particular kind of
7security, let us call it internal security classification.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] They are not being designated as the only ones needing
9security, are they? They are just to enhance security,
10shall we say?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It says: "In besonders, in der Plane," so in
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there any kind of security classification on this
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are never on any "Hauszufugen"; this is going to be
16available to everyone.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but there is no security classification on this
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] So it could have been shown to anyone, could it not, then?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. I mean anyone who got a copy of this.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you seen any other similar house order
23on any other topic in connection with Auschwitz?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I remember this one. One of the reasons is that this
25one came up. I am trying to recall the first time I saw
26it. This was in the Ertl and Dejaco trial, and it came up
1because one of the people who had been in the Bauleitung,
2who was an inmate who was drawing there, actually went
3into some detail about the procedure of actually getting a
4blueprint and saying this was a proof of the criminal
5intentions, and then this document was produced. I do not
6know what the court in the end did with this document.
7But I remember the testimony of the particular -- I think
8it was an inmate named Plas Kuhrer.
9 MR IRVING: Did anything in particular happen in Auschwitz one
10or two days before this document that you are familiar
11with, or in the neighbourhood? I will give you a clue,
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, there were no air raids in 1943.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, there were. Do you agree that there was an air raid
15on the Buhne plant on approximately 5th or 3rd May 1943?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 1944.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] 1943. Well, if there is a dispute, obviously --?
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The Buhne plant at Auschwitz?
19 MR IRVING: That is right, the synthetic plant being erected.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The first air raid, so far as I know, happened in the
21Spring of 1944.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] We will check that later on perhaps. I have only two more
23questions on this document, my Lord, and this is this. Do
24you agree that the Germans had reasons to be ashamed of
25what was going on in this building, shall we say, whatever
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. They certainly had reason to be ashamed of the
2genocidal use of the buildings, but I mean crematoria,
3there is no -- you see, the date is 5th May 1943. By that
4time, these buildings have all been committed to genocidal
5use. I presume and I am speculating now, and I do not
6know if you are interested in my speculation, my Lord.
7 MR IRVING: Try us.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK, my speculation will be the following: that
9"Vorsontercommander" for inmates before these buildings
10had been brought into operation. There would have been
11little reason for them at that moment necessarily to want
12to steal these plans. We know that the camp resistance
13actually stole a set of these plans in 1944. There was a
14Czech woman, who was able -- ultimately working in the
15Bauleitung. She stole the set of plans in order to warn
16the outside world.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Which crematorium are we talking about?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Crematorium 2 and I think crematorium 4.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Of the factory --
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] A set of plans, which are smuggled outside of the camp.
21There is eyewitness testimony about that, about
22everything. So my speculation would be -- and it is not
23more than speculation -- that once these buildings had
24been committed to genocidal use somebody must have said
25"we must prevent any information of these buildings
26getting to the outside world. We want these plans to be
1under lock and key".
2 Q. [Mr Irving] -- can I interrupt you at this point and say, was the
3genocide of the Jews or of the other minorities being
4liquidated by the Nazis in some way a contribution to
5German's war economy? I am putting it in your language,
6it was just part of the Nazi programme, or was it a
7fundamental contribution to the German war economy? My
8Lord, you will appreciate why I am asking the question. It
9is from the document.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think so. I am just wondering in what
11sense the contribution, you mean mouths to feed, something
13 MR IRVING: I am reading the words from the document, my Lord,
14that is before us.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Certainly, many trains with valuables of the deportees
16which had been -- we gathered in Canada one -- and then
17later in Canada two also were sent back to the Reich.
18I do not think -- and, of course, we know from Operation
19Reinhardt that an incredible amount of loot was
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Precisely.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- sent back --
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I draw your attention to the first sentence of the
24third paragraph: "furthermore, it must be pointed out we
25are concerned here with works that are connected with the
26war economy and to be kept secret"; the genocide was not
1connected with the war economy, but the looting of the
2corpses was, was it not?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- it was not the looting of the corpses, because the
4looting of the corpses themselves was almost
5insignificant; what was important, ultimately, was when
6people were taken off the trains their luggage remained in
7the trains. Now ultimately that luggage, that stuff, was
8the important stuff which was being transferred to Canada
9No. 1. It was the vast bulk of the stuff. Not the stuff
10which was actually found on the corpses.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you not rely on the witness, Dr Bendel, as an
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, no, this is --
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you answer my question, please.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- no, I am not.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] You have not relied --
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] For this particular statement?
18 Q. [Mr Irving] -- no. You will understand the reason why I ask this
19question: have you relied on the witness, Dr Bendel?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In my book Bendel is only mentioned one, with a
21description of bunker No. 2.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you aware that Dr Bendel has testified under oath that
23the Nazis extracted 17 tonnes of gold in teeth from their
24victims? Whatever you make of that figure, would that not
25be a contribution to the war economy?
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What happened to it?
1 MR IRVING: My Lord, I respectfully submit that is not material
2to this issue, the whole point is we are trying to work
3out what the Germans were ashamed of and what they did not
4want the outside world to know.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well --
6 MR IRVING: And if it is something that is a contribution --
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not sure I agree with that; was it
8still there when the Russians arrived?
9 MR IRVING: No, of course, not, my Lord. Whatever the quantity
10was, it went initially to the SS, as part of operation
11Reinhardt, and we will be introducing the documents to
12substantiate that along with all the other pathetic,
13personal effects of the victims; the watches, the fountain
14pens the spectacles. Everything else was recycled and
15turned into a mass cash spinning operation by Heinreich
16Himmler. The gold was a major part of it. Hence that room
17set aside which you, yourself, showed us drawn on the maps
18that they want to keep secret, showing a gold working room
19with the smelting furnace in the corner.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If this is a question, my Lord, I am happy to answer.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, it is a question.
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that given the amount of investment being done in
23building the crematoria and the labour being expended and
24money being expended and especially the material in the
25war, in a war economy and a possible yield of that in
26terms of dental gold, I think that the Germans were, to
1say the least, not very smart in economic sense.
2 MR IRVING: I have only one final question on this document
3then; in that case, Professor, will you please tell the
4court what were the jobs connected with the war economy
5which had to be kept secret which were connected with the
6crematorium then? If it was not the genocide and it was
7not the gold?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean the question of course we have to face here is, if
9he means -- if they mean literally war economy. If they
10mean literally war economy, in 1943 the SS wanted -- they
11were building a plant right next to Auschwitz No. 1.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] That was not in the crematorium, was it?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That was not in the crematorium.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] This paragraph is purely concerned with the plans of the
15crematorium, which they are trying to keep away from
16prying eyes for some reason which they indicate, in my
17submission, by the use of words "vital to the war economy"
18or "important to the war economy". My Lord, I have no
19further questions on this document.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The only question I was going to ask you,
21I think you may in a way have answered; it is the dating
22of it is slightly odd, is it not, in a way if this sort of
23instruction is going to go out, you rather expect it to go
24out when they are deciding they are going to convert
25crematorium No. 2 to genocidal use?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I would say that -- you see I do not think they think
1of everything in advance. What happens is that in March
2you get the first, the first trial gassing in crematorium
3No. 2; by May 1943 all of the buildings except crematorium
43 are in operation. I think it is quite likely that
5somebody -- that at that moment somebody said "we have a
6problem". I think that the whole history of (German
7spoken) and the history of architecture in Auschwitz,
8construction of Auschwitz, the Germans do not think of
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, Mr Irving.
11 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, could I -- it might save my having to
12come back to it in re-examination -- just draw your
13Lordship's attention to the first paragraph of that
14letter, which I think has escaped your Lordship and the
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, even that date is a bit odd too if you
17think about it, because Himmler was not there until July.
18 MR RAMPTON: That is why I thought your Lordship might want to
19pursue the enquiry by reference to 19th June 1942.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, but that is a little earlier than you
22 MR RAMPTON: Exactly.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So it is double edged, really.
24 MR IRVING: Well, I am indebted to Mr Rampton for pointing that
26 (To the witness) Just one more question in that
1relationship, and that is; have you seen documents under
2which any SS member involved in operation Reinhardt, or in
3whatever was happening at Auschwitz, was obliged to keep
4secret, under pain of death, a number of matters,
5including -- have you seen such a document?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have not seen a document. I know it from testimony,
7from... who was it? Was it Hans Stark? I think Hans
8Stark gave testimony that he had to sign such a document
9when he came to Auschwitz and that the first thing he did
10was he was brought to the Political Department and asked
11to sign such a document, the general rule to remain
12completely secret. It also came up in the Jacob Ertl
13trial, when Ertl started talking in mid-1942, he got in
14trouble over that. He mentioned it.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you take it from me, Professor, that there is such a
16document in Berlin documents relating to a man called
17Weiss (?). I believe he is a low ranking SS NCO. I have
18seen this document, and that he was required to sign such
19a security undertaking.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I trust you on that matter.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] In that case I cannot ask you details as to what they were
22obliged to keep secret because if you have not seen the
23document you cannot tell the court. But I will ask the
24other witnesses when they come.
25 Having, I think, disposed of this document, my
26Lord, we can now resume questioning based on the pictures
1that we have seen.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, dealt with it, anyway.
3 MR IRVING: Well, not -- I would have said "disposed" actually.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You can say that at the end of the case.
5 MR IRVING: Yes. In my famous closing speech.
6 (To the witness) How often did Himmler visit
7Auschwitz? Did he visit Auschwitz again after July 19th
8or whenever it was, 1942?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Now, there is an account by Vrba that he did.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] By Vrba, who is one of the eyewitnesses on whom you rely?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] On Rudolf Vrba. I have used Rudolf Vrba in the book
12twice, yes. He is, of course, very important in the
13history of Auschwitz, because he was one of two escapees,
14three escapees, however, you want to count it, who brought
15news of the killing of the Hungarian Jews to the outside
16world in the spring of 1944.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] When did Vrba suggest that Himmler visited Auschwitz on a
18second or further occasion?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The third one.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] The third occasion; was this 1943 or 1942?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, he talked about it in his account I Cannot Forgive.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] This would be 1943?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is --
24 Q. [Mr Irving] The visit?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- yes, there is a visit. He says 1943. He actually
26says -- he remembers it as January 1943 and then says that
1he -- Himmler came to the opening of the crematorium and
2he said would have been January 1943. In any case, we
3know he was confused on the date because it would have
4been March 1943.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] Vrba, in fact, am I right in saying this; concertinaed a
6number of different events and different buildings into
7one event and one building, did he not, when he wrote his
8report up from memory?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We are talking about the Vrba-Wetzlar Report right now?
10 Q. [Mr Irving] No, the original one that he wrote when he came out and he
11dealt I think with a Slovakian Jewish organization who
12then reedited the report for consumption and a lot of
13details got concertinaed, did they not?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Now, the question is I want to know exactly what your
15question with the verb "concertinaed" because it is a word
16I normally do not use, so I want to know exactly what you
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Sometimes when a person visits a place two or three times
19in later memory it becomes just either one or two visits
20and the events of three visits are then concertinaed into
21one or two. But Vrba was not very precise about dates and
22times and places, was he?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean Vrba wrote, certainly his first report, under
24incredible stress. The Hungarian action was going on. Tens
25of thousands of Jews per week were shipped to Auschwitz,
26and he wanted to warn the Hungarian Jewish community that
1what was happening in Auschwitz, what was awaiting them,
2he had escaped from having been an inmate in Auschwitz for
3two years, a little over two years, and was recalling from
4memory his -- you know, tried to make a case that this was
5a very serious thing and tried to describe the camp as
6good as he could. Also even tried to describe the
8 Q. [Mr Irving] But his report is flawed, is it not? A lot of it is bunk?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I would like -- I mean, if you make a challenge like
10that I will be willing to go with you over the report in
11detail. Certainly, the report is not more flawed, and in
12general terms I would want to say that if I had been Vrba
13coming out of the situation I am, going to then at a
14certain moment be, as you said, he was interviewed. He
15was interviewed by people in Bratislava.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] A Jewish community, was it not?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] These were people of the Jewish community --
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, who advised him to rewrite what he had written.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- Mr Vrba had no document when he came out of Auschwitz.
20He did not carry with him a document. There was no
22 Q. [Mr Irving] He prepared a report for them and then they rewrote it
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not exactly know how he was interviewed there, and on
25the basis of these interviews they made a report. I do
26not know exactly who wrote and who rewrote. I know that
1the papal nuncio in Bratislava was very closely involved.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you read the records of the War Refugee Record in the
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which ones? I have read the records as they were printed
6 Q. [Mr Irving] You have not read the original telegrams that came from
7McClelland in Bern?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] From McClelland, I think a number of them I have quoted in
9my expert report, yes. So I mean they were reprinted in
10facsimile by David Wyman (?) in his book, Serious About
11American Reaction to the Holocaust, his documentary
12collection. So I have looked at those, yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] -- and you did not notice that the telegrams from
14McClelland make quite plain that the Vrba Report had been
15heavily edited or altered by this external committee of
16Slovakian Jews, for whatever reason? You did not notice
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I remember -- I mean I do not dispute the fact that this
19report, that this report, the origin of this report, is in
20Bratislava in 1944 and that members of the Jewish
21community were involved in that. I do not exactly know
22what Mr McClelland said again. We can look at the
24 Q. [Mr Irving] We are in a slightly difficult position with Vrba, are we
25not, because you rely on him to a certain extent; is that
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In extent to what?
2 Q. [Mr Irving] As an eyewitness, one of the most important, he was one of
3the first one?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Vrba is very important. Vrba is very important because he
5is the first one who brings a substantial account of the
6use of Auschwitz as a place where Jews are being killed
8 Q. [Mr Irving] He is now Professor at a university in Vancouver, is he
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think he is retired now.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Would it be fair to say that great harm was done to his
12testimony under cross-examination during the Zundel trial?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not think that great harm was done. I think that
14Christie got under his skin all right. But I think the
15attorney for Mr Zundel got under the skin of many people.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] I hope I am not getting under your skin if I continue this
17line of investigation and say would it be fair to say that
18Vrba finally admitted that he had never been inside one of
19these gas chamber buildings?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I think that he had never been inside. He relied on
21reports of others.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] So in this respect of course his eyewitness testimony is
23worthless, then, is it not?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is you know at a certain moment to me, you work as the
25best you can, and, of course, I know that there was a --
26that one of the major challenges during the Zundel trial
1was actually on the diagrams being produced of the -- he
2produces a diagram of a crematorium, with the gas chamber,
3and unlike the diagrams of the camp site itself, which are
4quite correct, in the archeological sense, there are some
5problems with the diagram he has of the crematorium and he
6assumes that crematoria 2, 3, 4 and 5 in some way, he
7collapses then into one proposition.
8 However, if you want to understand -- I can draw
9the diagram by heart if your Lordship wants that, but if
10you understand actually how information which had been
11transmitted to him from people again who are not
12experienced in describing buildings and I today needed,
13you know, all the blueprints and all these reconstructions
14in order to make some points. So now we have some
15"sondercommando" who in one way or another get
16information to him, and he sees these building at a
17distance and he knows something is going on there and he
18knows about an underground space and tries to put this
19together at a certain moment in Bratislava. I think that
20ultimately while it is not ideologically correct, as
21Mr Song also noticed, it is understandable how the
22mistakes were generated.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the actual plan. So I must say that Vrba, while
25I would not say that he is like Olare in this case, a
26perfect kind of -- visually perfect kind of eyewitness,
1I think that he, given the situation he had been in, did a
2job which was as good as one can expect at the moment.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] You mentioned Olare. My Lord, Olare was the artist, you
5 (To the witness) You will remember, Professor,
6will you not, that I asked you the length that the flame
7has to travel from the furnace to the mouth of the
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] We reached a figure of 90 feet or so, did we not?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you ever seen flames that are 90 feet long?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
14 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you take it from me that any furnace engineer would
15say that you never get flames from a chimney that is as
16long as that, or route that is as long as that?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am happy to accept what your engineer says. I am happy
18also to accept what another engineer has said. I have not
19consulted engineers on this.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Regardless of what is being burned, even if it was trash
21from the incinerator or whatever they would not have
22flames emerging from the mouth of the chimney.
23 Will you also accept that the Germans, being
24very good design engineers, have also made adequate
25provision to ensure that no smoke would have come from the
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No smoke?
2 Q. [Mr Irving] No smoke would come from the chimney. That is the purpose
3of the design of chimney roof.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Okay, it may be so or it may be not so, I cannot
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Regardless, if you concentrate just on the flames will you
7agree that Olare in one of his drawings which you
8described as being very good of the outside of the
9crematorium shows flames and smoke luridly belching from
10the -- not just trickling out --
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, do not bother, it does.
12 MR IRVING: I am sure you know which picture I am referring
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- yes, it is tab No. 3.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And it either is or is not intended to be an
16accurate reproduction of what actually was visible.
17 MR IRVING: If you have read Pressac, Professor, do you
18remember the passage where Olare states that the SS turned
19bodies into sausages?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not remember that, I am sorry.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] I think it is on page 255, I will look for it in the lunch
22break. My Lord, I will only have about one hour to do
23with this witness after lunch if it is a useful guide.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is very helpful to know, but do not feel
25under any pressure, obviously.
26 MR IRVING: We saw in the slides that you showed to us the
1concrete being poured, if I can put it that way, on the
2roof of -- not this building, not the alleged mass gas
3chamber, but the crematorium No. 2, the mortuary No. 2; is
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, it is this building, but it is mortuary No. 2.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] It is the different one?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] I must say that took me back 30 years when I saw concrete
9being poured, because I know what it means. I know that
10the reinforcing wires and the bars and everything, how
11they are all put in. There were no drawings made, were
12there, of those bars? You yourself said that you could
13not produce the drawings of the actual --
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have not seen the drawings. I do not know if drawings
15were made. Generally I do not think that actually that
16much of this, as far as I know, runs on more or less kind
17of, you know, accepted kind of procedures.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] -- rule of thumb, yes.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. So that it is unlikely to find -- I have not seen
20any drawings in the Auschwitz archive of any reinforcing
21or any particular concrete construction.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] When I worked with John Laing the position of every bar
23was drawn on a drawing, but you say there are no such
24drawings and under wartime conditions presumably there
26 We are now switching from the one we saw in the
1picture, to the alleged factory of death, this gas chamber
2here where you say 500,000 people were killed; we are back
3on the question of roof again. We do not have pictures of
4that roof being poured, but it would be fair to assume
5that there would be the same kind of reinforcing that went
6that room, steel bars?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I mean there are fragments when the whole -- the
8pillar No. 2, there are reinforcing bars right there.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which are bent, which have been bent.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Was the thickness the shame on Leichenkeller
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The strange thing is we do not have any section of morgue
14No. 2, but we have the section of morgue No. 1 because it
15was such a particular, complex section. So I assume from
16the ruins it looks that whatever is there that the
17thickness was the same and I also would have assumed that.
18 MR IRVING: My Lord, can I refer to you the little bundle of
19pictures that I provided to you this morning, which is
20numbered Claimant's bundle D, photographs.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you very much, which I have not
22looked at all.
23 MR IRVING: I am sure you have not, my Lord. This was finally
24finalized at 4 o'clock this morning. But it is going to
25be useful nonetheless I think, on the sense one picture is
26often worth a thousand words. This answers many of our
2 MR RAMPTON: Well, my Lord, I have some reservation about
3this. I am not being technical about this. This little
4bundle seems to be a mixture of drawings, reconstructions
5by an unknown hand, and commentary by an unknown author.
6It is quite different if the Professor in the witness box
7gives a demonstration and offers his opinion. I am not
8very impressed, I have to say.
9 MR IRVING: I am sorry, you have commentary.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where is the commentary, I was wondering
12 MR IRVING: On page 18 are you referring?
13 MR RAMPTON: Well, I do not know, I thought I saw some red
14commentary, I have only glanced at it.
15 MR IRVING: I think the red commentary, it is actually linked
16to other pages.
17 MR RAMPTON: Yes, but there is red commentary on page something
19 MR IRVING: We can rip that page out.
20 MR RAMPTON: No, it is this; there is a lot of red commentary,
21actually. Then there are some very pretty drawings like a
22child's picture book in different colours.
23 MR IRVING: We have had some pretty drawings thrown on the
24screen this morning.
25 MR RAMPTON: I know not by whom they were done, Mr Irving might
26perhaps be better off listening to what I have to say than
1interrupting. The reason I am troubled by this is so far
2as I know the person who made these drawings and that
3commentary is not going to be a witness.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I hear what you say, Mr Rampton, and
5I understand the force of it, but what I think going to
6let Mr Irving do is make what use he wishes of these
7photographs and if we come to a particularly problematic
8one then maybe it is going to be right to stop it.
9 MR RAMPTON: I follow that. I want to be sure that I am right
10though, this is not expert evidence from anybody so far as
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not an illegitimate cross-examination
13technique in the end do not I think, so take your course.
14 MR IRVING: My Lord, thank you. The drawings, of course, that
15we were shown on the screen were made not by the expert
16witness, but by one of his students.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: A slightly different situation.
18 MR IRVING: My Lord, you get a rough idea of the thickness of
19the concrete from pictures No. 22 and 23 and you can see
20the reinforcing bars that go through the roof.
21 (To the witness) Would you agree that these are
22the holes that exist at present in mortuary No. 2, these
23holes were cut through the roof after the war to obtain
24access to the underside of the flap?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot judge the picture of No. 22. I do think that
26No. 23 looks like what I have seen at that particular one.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well, we will disregard 22, but if you stay on page
223, picture 23, you can see that there is a hole cut
3through the concrete into darkness underneath and you can
4see reinforcing bars there, and the concrete there -- well
5you said 20 centimetres thick, did you not?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I thought afterwards I thought 18 centimetres.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] In real terms 18 centimetres is?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Six inches.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Six inches?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] Can we go back to the picture that you showed the court on
12Thursday of the locomotive and which we saw briefly on the
13screen again today, which I have reproduced for the sake
14of convenience, on page 16, my Lord, purely just as a
15visual remainder of what we are now arguing about, or
16talking about. This is the locomotive going past the
17roof which is clearly under construction still. It has
18not been banked up around. It has not had earth heaped
19over it and it has some protuberances on top. My Lord,
20I did refer, you will remember. I asked the witness if he
21had said a photograph with that same roof with snow
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I remember that.
24 MR IRVING: Witness, will you please turn to page 17; is this a
25photograph that you recognize?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, and I actually kind of slightly stupidly commented on
1it without having it in front of me, because yesterday
2coming back from Stockholm I thought there was a detail in
3the roof, two details, and that, you know, which I
4remembered, which was the detail of the roof was still
5being constructed on the left, and that that makes it one
6earlier than the one with the little locomotive in it.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] This is quite obvious, is it not; the whole building is
8still under construction at an earlier stage than the
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is December 1942 or thereabouts?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Whatever, yes, I mean it is obviously maybe after the time
13that these people have been closing the roof, which we saw
14in the picture on top of morgue No. 1. But, yes, it
15looks -- I would date it probably somewhere December.
16There is still a lot of work to be done on the dormers.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Again, we can see quite clearly in somewhat more detail
18now the flat roof of mortuary No. 1, this is the flat
19white line which goes across from the centre of the page
20to the right; do you see that, my Lord?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see, yes.
23 MR IRVING: That is the flat roof with the snow on the top.
24 (To the witness) Can you see any kind of
25disturbance of that snow line whatsoever that would
26indicate that there was either a hole or a plank or a
1cover or a chimney, let alone three? Can you see any kind
2of disturbances at that time?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, you cannot see anything, but the question if there
4would be a plank on this and there is a snow cover on it
5then of course the snow would have covered the planks.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] It would be satisfactory just to put a plank across there
7and no kind of water would get in through the hole
8underneath the plank if there was a hole underneath that
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In a building under construction one has very temporary
11measures to close thing up.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] But you cannot point to any kind of disturbance of that
13snow corresponding with the position of the three
14protuberances on the previous photograph on page 16, can
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am looking at a 2 millimetre, 3 millimetre wide white
17line which is delicately reproduced, and it is very
18difficult to say anything about what actually happens in
19that snow right there. There may be planks covered
20by snow. There may be not, it may be disturbed one way or
21another, but it is very difficult to draw any
23 Q. [Mr Irving] It is very weak evidence, is it not --
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry?
25 Q. [Mr Irving] This photograph, No. 17, is it not?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- weak evidence of what?
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of what?
2 MR IRVING: Of any inference I might seek to draw from it. You
3say this is just one rather smudgy white line and what can
4one say? You cannot draw conclusions; is that what you are
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is a straw in the wind, in the sense that
7there would inevitably be a stage when there would the
8roof in place but nothing sticking through it because they
9had not got round to sticking anything through it.
10 MR IRVING: We are coming to all this in two or three minutes,
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Very sorry.
13 MR IRVING: (To the witness) But I just want to establish you
14say we cannot draw conclusions just on the basis of this
15rather smudgy photograph?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] It is ten inches across, but you cannot draw conclusions?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] But can you draw conclusions from the previous photograph,
20which is even smudgier; is this what you are saying?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, because there is something to see there. I mean this
22one is pretty smudgy, but in the original you actually see
23those box like structures above morgue No. 1.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well, but there is no indication whatsoever on
25picture No. 17 of any provision made for them, no
26coverings; we cannot see any planks or scaffolding boards
1or anything covering the whole there? It is just one
2smooth snow line across the top?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Covering whatever is below it, either the roof of morgue
4No. 1, or the openings which have been temporarily closed
5with pieces of wood, or pieces of board.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Now in your evidence you drew attention, did you not, to
7the photographs which I reproduced again on page 6.
8Mr Rampton may prefer that we look at the original bundle
9rather than -- this is the same photograph, is it not?
10The one with the smudges on the roof, the four smudges?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Page No. 6.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Of my bundle, yes. There are two photographs there. I
13would only draw attention to the bottom photograph, which
14is the one which has not been touched. This is the one
15you showed, is it not, showing four smudges?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, may -- what do you mean was touched?
17 Q. [Mr Irving] We just marked on the upper photograph with red dots the
18position of the holes as they are on the roof now.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] This roof you appreciate is still there, and the two holes
21marked in red are visible on that roof now?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Just for the sake so there is no confusion at all, we have
24marked in the position on that roof of where those two
25present day holes are, which is what one can clamber
26through, the one shown in the photograph --
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not think you are right on that, and I am not
2going to -- I think we should have maybe a survey, but the
3thing is that the hole, which is very close to the second
4column, of the -- you see, one of the big problems is that
5the white smudge, which in some way you interpret as the
6top of -- as the roof, actually, it is not only the roof
7of the gas chamber, but it is also the slope. The earth
8is sloped up to it. So, in fact, that smudge is larger
9than the actual roof. We can go back to my
11 Q. [Mr Irving] -- I am afraid I do not get what you are saying there at
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK, maybe I can point it out on this. If, indeed, this --
14if this is the exact size of the original morgue No. 1, in
15fact, the earth was sloped up to the roof and then covered
16the roof and sloped down. So the actual line, what you
17see here, there is the big white smudge actually takes a
18larger area than the actual roof area. If you then start
19looking at the dots, then the dots clearly start to be
20much more -- because otherwise the dots are not actually
21in a pattern. We have seven columns at regular intervals
22between the end wall and then we get seven columns and
23then we get basically the wall of the crematorium.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] So you are still submitting to the court that these
25smudges represent the position of holes through the roof
26through which the SS officers poured the cyanide pellets?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That the smudges were caused by the holes. It is very
2difficult at this...
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Magnification.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At this magnification to determine exactly what is
5happening there. I do not know exactly -- we know from
6the Bryant investigation that at a certain moment objects
7the size of a head would -- was the size of a grain in the
8negative and that all kind of moray (?) effects started to
9happen, so we are talking here about what is happening on
10size of a grain in the negative.
11 Q. [Mr Irving] When was this photograph taken, Professor? The one we are
12looking at, August 1944?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know if this is August 1st or May 1st or it was
14even possibly a September one.
15 Q. [Mr Irving] Were all the photographs with which we are familiar taken
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am sorry, I think I am a bit
19confused; is this Leichenkeller No. One.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You said a moment ago that the holes were
22still there, or two of them are.
23 MR IRVING: Two holes have been made after the war, my Lord.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Oh, I see, made after the war.
25 MR IRVING: In positions indicated by the little red dots by
26whom knows whom out of curiosity to find --
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Experimentally.
2 MR IRVING: To find out what is underneath.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought you meant that we could see the
4holes that were originally there.
5 MR IRVING: We have seen the photograph of one of the holes, my
6Lord, with the metal reinforcing bars twisted up to obtain
8 THE WITNESS: But, my Lord, I do challenge the position of the
9red dots on that mark No. 3. I challenge that these
10actually, the location of the holes right now in the roof.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not quite see why it matters.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK. But in any case because I think maybe there was
13confusion about that.
14 MR IRVING: Well, are you suggesting to the court that the
15holes we have seen photographs of, the one with the
16reinforcing bars twisted up is one of the holes on which
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] In other words, whether you challenge it or not is neither
20here nor there?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK, neither here nor there.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You say if we are wrong, but it does not
23appear to me to be significant.
24 MR IRVING: No.
25 Witness, I have here a number of original
26photographs from the National Archives Cardographic
1Branch. These are original prints taken from the original
2negatives that were over Auschwitz in 1944, as you say.
3I have five of them, which show these buildings. I am not
4going to ask you now, witness, to examine them in detail,
5because clearly that would disrupt the proceedings of the
6court. But I have produced for the court's interest in
7large sections of those photographs, and they begin, my
8Lord, on page 7; 7, 8, 8 and 10, which is where my
9computer crashed, so I will not rely on the fifth
10photograph. But I would ask the witness to comment on
11these enlarged sections of the original photographs which
12he can scrutinize, I would suggest, during the lunch
13adjournment and say if he can see the slightest sign of
14dots on the roof of this building; the mortuary No. 1 in
15crematorium No. 2, "The Factory of Death", on which his
16entire case, that this was a factory of death relies.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I imagine he would probably say
19 THE WITNESS: I can say that. Picture No. 7 seems to depict
20the building after the destruction had started. I do not
21know how far it is. I think maybe it is not even an
22American but a German photo.
23 MR IRVING: No, the German photograph is picture No. 9 that
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. 9 --
26 Q. [Mr Irving] That was taken on February 19th 1945 --
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So there the buildings are completely destroyed. So the
2issue of dots is irrelevant there, yes?
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At picture No. 7, whatever the date -- there already seems
5to be in the picture No. 7, is that there is -- certainly
6there is -- I can see, but it is kind of useless for me to
7argue. I could say I see two dots on morgue No. 1 --
8 Q. [Mr Irving] But you cannot see the same four smudges in any of the
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- but I said I certainly see four smudges in photograph
11No. 8 behind crematorium No. 3.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you point them out to me?
13 MR IRVING: That is correct?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. 8 I see four smudges right there.
15 MR IRVING: Four smudges on 3, but not on 2?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But on No. 2 I do not know what -- if they had made...
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Did they --
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The smudges are on others, I do not know exactly what were
19the conditions -- it seems to be that there is a line of
21 MR RAMPTON: Yes --
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- a line of smudges.
23 MR IRVING: Mr Rampton has objections to make.
24 MR RAMPTON: I do not have an objection, I have an observation
25to make. It is perhaps not valuable to ask the witness
26what he can see. We can all look at them. I could give
1evidence what I can see in these photographs.
2 MR IRVING: But the court needs to hear it.
3 MR RAMPTON: I happen to agree with the Professor that one can
4see the smudges very clearly, but it is a matter for your
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, that may be but since we have had a lot
7of evidence about smudges I do not see there is any harm
8in Professor van Pelt being asked what he thinks one can
10 MR RAMPTON: All I am suggesting is it makes not in the end
11any difference what this witness can see in these
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: He might suddenly say; "gosh, I cannot see
14any smudges at all, I must be wrong".
15 MR RAMPTON: It would not matter if he did say that, if I can
16see them and your Lordship can see them.
17 MR IRVING: I appreciate the tactical reason for such
18interruptions but I would be grateful if you left them
19until the end of the --
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, it has not succeeded.
21 MR IRVING: Professor, you suggested that the building on the
22left in picture No. 8 might have already been partially
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- no, No. 7 I said, this was about in No. 7 but --
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- it is difficult exactly to see again, we are looking
1here at dots, you know, this is reproduced.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] We have gone on to No. 8 now. You can see the dots on the
3right one, which suggests that the definition of the
4picture would be adequate to see dots on crematorium No. 2
5and yet there are no such dots visible?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is a whole line visible.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Not on crematorium No. 2?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am sorry?
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Not on crematorium No. 2.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] On crematorium No. 2 there seem to be -- I do not exactly
11know if that is the line which is the edge of the gas
12chamber or a line on top, you know, if that is -- if the
13two parallel lines are the edges of the kind of earth bank
14on top of the gas chamber -- I do not know there are some
15white smudges in the middle there. I mean, his Lordship
16can see that as well, I presume.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I suggest you now move on to No. 10. No. 9, my Lord,
18is a photograph taken by the German Air Force after the
19Russians occupied Auschwitz.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. 9 or 10?
21 MR IRVING: No. 9 is a photograph. I have included it purely
22for historical interest. It shows the buildings
23demolished or partly blown up by somebody before February
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And the same is true of ten.
26 THE WITNESS: No, 10, the buildings are still standing.
1 MR IRVING: The photographs are not in sequence, my Lord.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot make anything of 10 at all.
3 MR IRVING: If you look, my Lord, the original is very faded,
4but you can clearly make out the outlines of crematorium
5No. 2. You can clearly make out the outlines going off
6horizontally to the left of the Leichenkeller No. 1 and
7once again there is no kind of markings whatsoever on the
8roof, that is my submission.
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to comment on that, that first of all the
10image is so bad that the whole chimney and the whole
11projection of crematorium 2 in image No. 10 has become one
12big blurry -- the building would have half been destroyed
13in this one, and that if one wants there is very little to
14see one way or another, but I actually think there are --
15at least I think that I see three dots on top of that, on
16top of that morgue, but that can also be simply some kind
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Can I ask you to take five-minutes during the lunch
19adjournment to have look at the original photographs,
20which are substantially better quality, and tell me
21honestly under oath whether you still say the same,
22because my submission is that there are no dots visible on
23any of the photographs apart from that August 1944 one.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- I hope you have magnifying glasses because I have now
25reached the age I need reading glasses and I do not have
26them with me. I did not expect this kind of challenge.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, a magnifying glass would be quite a
2good idea, would it not.
3 MR IRVING: I will try and obtain one, my Lord, in the
4interval. (To the witness) While, we have the bundle in
5front of us, will you please pass to page 14, which I hope
6will be in your bundle, Professor.
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Page 14?
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, it shows two photographs side by side. I would ask
9you only to look at the photographs; disregard the text.
10The left hand photograph, would you agree, have you seen
11it before --
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] -- it show Hungarian prisoners arriving in May 1944 at
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] Is there any smoke visible on that photograph?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] The right hand photograph is the identical photograph
19apart for one thing.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is some grey blood.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, does it appear to be smoke in the sky above some
22chimney in the background?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know if it is a chimney. It is a pole. It is a
24kind of electricity pole.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, but it is not on the photograph on the left which is
26the original one as published by the Behalteklasse
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I agree.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] So, do you agree that one has to have heightened alertness
4when one is looking at photographs that have been
5published by whoever? One has to be aware constantly that
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but I may point out that at least with the photos of
8the Hungarian action in the Auschwitz album I have seen
9the originals and inspected the originals and worked with
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The originals show what? Smoke or no smoke?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I mean whatever the claim is being made here, I certainly,
13you know, it seems to be that the Weisenthal Centre on
14their website has prettied up this picture one way or
15another. But certainly that is not my source of
16information for whatever material.
17 MR IRVING: Are you surprised to hear, Professor, that last
18night when I tried to go to their website this picture
19showing the smoke has been removed?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I presume they are following this trial on your website.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor, will you now turn to the last page of the
22bundle of photographs?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The last page?
24 Q. [Mr Irving] The very last page.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 24?
26 Q. [Mr Irving] That is right, should be a coloured diagram showing a wire
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you agree that this is a reasonable interpretation
4by an artist operating for the Holocaust history project
5of what the wire mesh introduction devices looked like, on
6the basis of eyewitness evidence?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I think it is wrong.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Who is Mark van Elstein?
9 MR IRVING: He is some artist employed by the Holocaust History
10Project, which is a non-revisionist, if I can put it that
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think he is wrong.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] In what degree do you think this differs from the real,
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think that, first of all, I think there were three
16concentric tubes, and there are only two shown here.
17I think the second one, which is really problematic is
18that he shows that the whole width of the column goes into
19the slab. There was no reason for that, actually it would
20be counterproductive because the column, the idea of the
21column was to allow for the even dispersion of hydrogen
22cyanide in the room, not into the slab. So to weaken the
23slab in that way, allowing for that disbursing mechanism
24to go into the slab is absolutely nonsense.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is the funnel point?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, the funnel -- at the moment there is the underside of
1L Keller one roof, it is pointed at, but what is Mr van
2Elstein has done is project that whole dispersion
3mechanism into the slab, and I cannot see why anyone would
4have designed the thing like that.
5 MR IRVING: Apart from that, you would say it is a useful
6diagram that will help both his Lordship and the court?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] To be very honest, I would not rely on it. I think this
8is such a fundamental mistake. We have only two -- we
9have only two concentric columns. There were three as far
10as I remember, and the whole thing goes through the slab.
11This is an amazing difference between the actual thing as
12we know it, described by Kuhler, and what is drawn here.
13I can would not trust Mr van Elstein at all on this
14point. I like the drawing.
15 MR IRVING: It is a good drawing.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I can see why you suggest there would have
17been a funnel when you take it through the concrete roof;
18why broaden it out though lower down? Do you understand
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Why broaden --
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] If it can be that narrow when it is going through the
22concrete roof; why does it not stay that narrow all the
23way down into the chamber?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] -- no, but may I draw this?
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] What is the reason?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The reason is that this central pipe, let us call it a
1pipe, has holes in it, perforated holes. In that pipe you
2throw the Zyklon-B, let us say 200 grammes or 500 grammes;
3the idea of this pipe is, is that there is actually on the
4bottom of this pipe is a tin, and the Zyklon-B goes into
5the tin. You drop it into the tin. Now one of problems
6with Zyklon-B is, and this what the column tries to
7address. It tries to address two things. First of all, it
8tries to address the issue of how actually is the gas
9going to be released into the space. Now if it simply
10came out of the holes of the thing.
11 MR IRVING: In a tightly packed gas chamber?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In a tightly packed room it would be much more difficult
13so when it first starts filling up, these two remaining
14spaces around that central pipe, and from there it is
15going to be released. Yes? So it becomes much more
16difficult also to seal it up. Let us say, that in some
17way you create a zone in which people cannot intervene,
18which is that intermediate zone, intervene with basically
19the evaporation of the hydrogen cyanide.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] There is no trace on this picture of the basket, is there,
21which is lifted out afterwards?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, he did not -- there was a basket in there, and I do
23not know if you want to go into the reason.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] No, not really. I am just looking at dimensions now. You
25see where it says on the right-hand side "240 centimetres
26from floor to ceiling"; that was the height of this
1mortuary, was it not?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving] What is 240 centimetres in real terms; 8 feet?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] A little less than 8 feet.
5 Q. [Mr Irving] So if Tauber, your eyewitness on whom you place such
6reliance, says that it was so low down the ceiling that
7one had to stoop, he was mistaken, was he not?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you show me the passage I am happy to comment on it.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us have a look at the passage after the
11 MR IRVING: I am very close to the end of this matter.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not rushing you. Are you going to
13finish this little clip of photographs?
14 MR IRVING: I beg your pardon?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you going to finish the clip of
16photographs in the next two or three minutes? If you are,
18 MR IRVING: I will just have a quick scan. You see
19this illustration suggests that the hole through the roof
20was 70 centimetres across which is about 2 feet, and you
21think it was smaller?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] As I said, there was no reason at all to have the whole
23hydrogen cyanide release mechanism go into a roof.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] If you were the architect who had designed this roof and
25indeed this entire building, this very expensive building,
26and you heard that some SS officer was hacking holes
1through the reinforcing of a roof near the load bearing
2column, near the load bearing girder, the binder that goes
3across the roof, would you not be rather angry with the SS
4people who are tampering with your design? And indeed
5endangering the whole roof?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But I do not see why they would have hacked through the
7roof. We know that the modifications, at least from the
8plan we saw there, the modifications of the design were
9decided -- I mean certainly for the hanging of the door in
10that new staircase was in December the building had
11been -- that the genocidal programme in Auschwitz had been
12adopted in August, the roof was probably being finished in
13December, so there was no reason to hack through the
14roof. They could immediately have made the holes in the
15roof as they were constructing it.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] They could have made provision for them as they went
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] -- they could have designed space with no reinforcing bars
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] And they could put that in there?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] But of course there are no such drawings, are there?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But we have established before that there no drawings of
26the production of these concrete roofs at all.
1 Q. [Mr Irving] So that is where your convergence of evidence halts? It
2converges there and it comes up against, not a brick wall,
3but a concrete roof; the fact that there is not a single
4design blueprint showing the modifications to include
5those holes? They are so angry -- do you remember there
6is one document, Professor, in January 1943, where
7somebody is having strips torn off him because he did not
8put the anti-frost agent in the concrete of this very
9roof? And yet it has not occurred to anybody to complain,
10has it, that they had not made provision for the holes in
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not really know to how answer this right now.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Let us take it in two parts; have you seen a document
14where somebody is being reprimanded for not putting
15anti-frost liquid in the concrete as it is poured?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not remember that document.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] Very well.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, Mr Irving, you had better come back
20 MR IRVING: We are right at the end, my Lord. And I will just
21say, another 20 seconds and then we can adjourn.
22 (To the witness) You have not seen any holes in
23the roof, have you, in the -- when you went there? You
24have not found any holes?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have not seen the holes for the columns, no.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Not for the introduction of the cyanide?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] May I say that if the Auschwitz authorities were now to
3agree to clean off that rubble off the top of that
4concrete slab and find the holes I would tomorrow halt
5this case and abandon my action.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right, on that note we will adjourn until 2
8 (Luncheon Adjournment)
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, just so we know what we are doing
11with this bundle which I think you have finished with now,
12have you not?
13 MR IRVING: I have, my Lord, yes. I may, of course, wish to
14come back to it later on.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course, but then we will know where it is.
16 MR IRVING: In J, I believe.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: J13?
18 MR RAMPTON: 13, my Lord.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
20 MR IRVING (To the witness): Before we adjourned for lunch
21I asked you about whether you were able to see certain
22smudges on certain photographs, and I also invited you to
23spend a few minutes in the adjournment looking at the
24original photographs. Did you have a chance to do that?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I just went very quickly over them, yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving] Did you see anything on those photographs that would
1indicate there were still smudges on these 1944
2photographs of this roof?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am very sorry. I cannot see it, but the problem is that
4it is so small. You know, yours are really enlarged in
5the ones you showed, so I find it really difficult to see
6anything on these photographs right now.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] But you were capable, you told the court, of seeing the
8smudges on the four blown up photographs that I showed to
9the court; you thought you saw smudges on them?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I did not put those right next to these ones since I do
11not know which one belonged to these I just looked in
12general at them, and it seemed that these came from those,
13that is what I could say, but these ones are three times
14larger, four times larger, than those. So, without a
15magnifying glass, I cannot come to any conclusion.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] But you accept that all these photographs were taken in
171944? None of them were taken before the construction of
18that particular roof or before the holes were put in the
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, they are '44 except that the German one is '45.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] The German one was taken in February 1945 after the
22building was demolished, yes. So, really, the holes you
23are talking about should have been visible in the roof if
24they were of any substantial size?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know. I mean, first of all, one of the things
26I looked at was that, in fact, there are many smudges on
1these negatives anyway, one way or another. It seems that
2there is a lot of, I mean, these are not clean negatives.
3There are black things on it also which can come from
4another source, not from the crematoria, but from other
6 Q. [Mr Irving] But you accept that these are the original prints, maximum
7magnification, produced from the original film in the
8national archives in America?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] When you say that, I accept that.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] It has the national archive stamp on the back?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but, I mean, I cannot really see one way or another
12what is on that roof.
13 Q. [Mr Irving] Professor van Pelt, you have been to Auschwitz in
14connection with your researches how many times? Once or
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I have been there yearly since 1990. I have
17sometimes twice or three times yearly.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you frequently visited this roof of the alleged
19factory of death, the mortuary No. ----
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I have been there, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving] --- 1?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Certainly every trip I go there.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Have you never felt the urge to go and start scraping just
24where you know those holes would have been because you
25know approximately where, like a two or three foot patch
26of gravel to scrap away?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have authored the report already in 1933 for the Poles
2in which I actually argued that they needed very, very
3strict preservation standards; and the last thing I would
4ever have ever done is start scraping away at the roof
5without any general plan of archeological investigations.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] But now that these serious doubts have been raised as to
7the integrity of the gas chamber notion, and now that
8neo-Nazis around the world are benefiting from these
9doubts, would it not be in everybody's interests if this
10last element of uncertainty should be so easily removed,
11that the gravel there should be scraped off the
12virgin concrete slab beneath to see if those holes were
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] With all respect, I do not think you are going to get a
15virgin concrete slab there. This concrete slab has been
16-- water has been seeping through it. I mean, a concrete
17road -- I mean, I have been travelling a lot through
18Germany where they still have the concrete roads created
19in the 1930s, the concrete autobahn.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Are those concretes roads made of reinforced steel
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving] Are there reinforcing bars in those roads?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know if they are reinforced, but, I mean, but
25things are growing through the concrete, so...
26 Q. [Mr Irving] But my experience of roads is that they have no
1reinforcing bars in them, do they?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But the thing is that I do not think, and maybe I can be
3completely wrong, that if you go under all the top layer,
4if you remove the top layer of that concrete, you would
5have to remove a top layer, that you are going to get a
6piece that is in tact because the roof itself already is
8 Q. [Mr Irving] Would I be right in suspecting that the Defence in this
9case has spent a substantial sum of money in trying to
10establish the rights and wrongs of this particular
11allegation about the factory of death?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] You will have to ask someone else. I do not know what the
13Defence has spent on money.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What do you mean by "this particular
15allegation"? The roof?
16 MR IRVING: Well, if they could have proved that I was wrong on
17this particular matter, this would really knock out the
18pillars from beneath my case.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mr Irving, you did the four holes ----
20 MR RAMPTON: No, I can speak about that. I happen to know the
21truth of it. Goodness knows how much money has been spent
22on the case as a whole, but the roof has cost practically
23nothing, except a little bit of my thinking time recently,
24because it has only just cropped up.
25 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, approximately how much is an
1 MR RAMPTON: The roof came up about two days ago for the first
3 MR IRVING: Approximately how much does an air ticket to Warsaw
4cost or Cracau? £100, £200?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] What, from Canada?
6 Q. [Mr Irving] Well, from London or from Canada?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have no idea.
8 Q. [Mr Irving] It is an infinitesimal amount compared with the expenses
9so far expended on this case?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, if Mr Rampton is right in what he just
11said, then really these questions get nowhere, do they,
12because if it was not raised as an issue until two days
13ago, how much money has been spent on it is really an
15 MR IRVING: If this matter had not occurred to the Defence, my
16Lord, then might I suggest with the utmost respect it
17ought to have occurred to the Defence. They have been
18negligent to that degree, that they could have gone and
19knocked the pillar out from underneath me by going and
20persuading the local Auschwitz authorities who, by all
21accounts, have been very compliant with them -- the very
22opposite of their attitude to me -- to have a look at just
23one of the sites where the holes should have been. We
24know what the underside of that slab looks like, my Lord.
25Your Lordship has seen the photograph.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am looking at the photograph now. The
1difficulty I have with that -- I do not know whether you
2can help, Professor -- is that I cannot -- it is this
3one. I have no idea where you have it because I have it
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is probably floating around. I have it right here.
6 Q. [Mr Irving] What I simply cannot work out at all is how much of the
7roof one is actually seeing. I just have not a clue,
8whether it is a quarter of it ----
9 MR IRVING: Indeed, my Lord ----
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- half of it.
11 MR IRVING: --- but an examination of the top surface of the
12roof would, undoubtedly, have provided the answers because
13I think it is common sense, and certainly any engineer
14would back this up, would they not, Professor van Pelt,
15that if the roof is going to fragment and splinter in any
16way as a result of a demolition, the fractures would have
17started at the holes where the roof had been weakened by
18the holes being placed ----
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I should have thought that was very
21 MR IRVING: I beg your pardon?
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the answer? Would he have a clue
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Where the fracture would have started?
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] The suggestion is that if there were holes, the fracture
26would have started around the holes ----
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have no idea.
2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] --- because it would be a weak point.
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is beyond my competence.
4 MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, it is like a pane of glass; if you
5put a hole in a plane of glass, a bullet hole or
6something, that is going to be the place where the cracks
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, whether that is true of reinforced
9concrete, I think neither of you can really say at the
11 MR IRVING: I will not press the matter further, my Lord. On
12that issue I will abandon (and I am sure the Defence will
13be grateful) the question of the holes in the roof which
14are central to my case.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: How do you mean, you are going to abandon
17 MR IRVING: I will abandon the discussion on the holes in the
18roof point, my Lord.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I see. Bring it to an end.
20 MR RAMPTON: Can I understand what Mr Irving means when he says
21the holes in the roof were central to his case? I ask the
22question rhetorically, what case? This is a case about
23Mr Irving's state of mind at the time when he made certain
24utterances s. If the roofs are a new feature of the case
25in the last five or 10 days, they have really got very
26little to do with the case which your Lordship is trying
1which is not the question, were these gas chambers?
2 MR IRVING: So suddenly once again the Defence is shifting its
3ground and suddenly what actually happened is of less
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I think you are not doing justice to the
6point Mr Rampton is making. He is really making what is,
7I suppose, in a way an historical point. The case against
8you is that, historically, you have not approached the
9issue of the gas chambers in an honest, conscientious way
10as an historian. That is either right or wrong, looking
11at the history, but this holes in the roof point seems to
12have cropped up terribly recently and, although I might be
13entitled to draw inferences perhaps ----
14 MR IRVING: My Lord, it has not cropped up recently.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- about your approach from the way you are
16dealing with it, Mr Rampton is right, is he not?
17 MR IRVING: My Lord, the Defence has been aware of this
18particular difficulty, shall I put it, with this story for
19many, many years ----
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But if you were not ----
21 MR IRVING: --- that there were no holes in that roof.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If you were not, it cannot have coloured your
24 MR IRVING: I have long been familiar with this particular
25argument, my Lord.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Oh, have you?
1 MR IRVING: The fact that I only raised it five or six days
2into the case during the cross-examination of this witness
3does not mean to say that I did not have a reason for
4delaying it. It is plain that I have been aware of this
5holes in the roof problem for a very long time.
6 If I can just summarize in two lines what my
7position was and always has been? I have never argued
8that there were probably gassings at Auschwitz -- I have
9never disputed that, rather, that there were probably
10gassings on some scale or other, probably a limited scale
11at Auschwitz. What ----
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: A limited experimental basis, I think.
13 MR IRVING: Well, I hesitate to use those words. I was going
14to concede to the second part of the sentence which is to
15say that what I have disputed is that there were factories
16of death, that it was a factory of death and that we heard
17at the beginning of this witness's evidence that, in his
18view, most of the killing -- today he said half the
19killing which was a reduction -- 500,000 people in this
20one room; and my contention would be that if I can knock
21holes in that, then I do not really have to look at the
22rest of the allegations because I have never disputed the
23rest, my Lord, although we will very briefly look at
24Auschwitz 1 this afternoon before I cease this
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just so that again I am clear because my
1recollection is that you said something a little bit
2different maybe earlier on, you accept that there were
3gassings of humans ----
4 MR IRVING: Yes.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- at Auschwitz ----
6 MR IRVING: Yes.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- on a limited basis and not involving gas
8vans or anything of that kind?
9 MR IRVING: Not involving gas vans, no, my Lord.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. That is clear. Thank you very much.
11 MR IRVING: I do not think that it can be said that I have
12disputed that within any material time that is material to
13this action, but what I have most strenuously disputed is
14the notion that Auschwitz was a factory of death which we
15have narrowed down, as far as I am concerned, to this one
16building because this witness, as the outstanding expert
17on Auschwitz and the Holocaust, has said that most of it
18happened in this one building, 500,000 people. This is
19the Holiest of Holy sites. This is the geocentre of the
20atlas of the atrocities.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is all a bit of an incursion into the
22cross-examination. It has not done any harm, I think,
24 MR IRVING: Well, we have Mr Rampton to thank for that disloquy
25on my part.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, no, I am not blaming anybody. I think it
1is quite helpful to have had it, but I think, perhaps, we
2ought to resume with Professor van Pelt.
3 MR IRVING: Now we continue very briefly with a few remaining
4matters. To what degree have you relied on the Soviet
5Commission Report, the USSR 008?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] For my book or for my expert report?
7 Q. [Mr Irving] For your expert report.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In my expert report, I have just given the Soviet Report
9as an instance again of the emergence of knowledge about
10Auschwitz. So it is ----
11 MR IRVING: My Lord, it is on page 162 of the expert report of
12this witness onwards, beginning at page 162.
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So it is for me not so important as a basis for my own
14investigations to come to a conclusion about the use and
15design and transformation of crematorium (ii) to (v).
16 Q. [Mr Irving] My Lord, you will have observed I am not attacking the
17integrity of all his eyewitnesses and all his sources
18because that would take us from here until next
19Christmas. I am just picking on certain elements. This
20is one of the reports. Is it not true ----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, if I may say so, that is an entirely
22reasonable attitude to adopt. I think it would just
23prolong this case absurdly if we are going through every
25 MR IRVING: That is also why I am not going to look at every
26single building, unless your Lordship would wish it
1otherwise, on the basis of what I said previously about
2what my contention was. (To the witness): Is it not so
3that the Soviet Report is the source of the original 4
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think it is the first time, yes, that it is in an
6official report, yes.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Four million people gassed or killed at Auschwitz?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Which figure, of course, is inaccurate now, is no longer
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That you are right, yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] I have only one other question on this particular report.
13Do you know the names of any of the signatures on the
14Soviet Report, any of the experts who signed it?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I know that, I think that Dawidowski that was actually
16involved in, he was actually included at some time at the
17one, at the thing. I think the major signatory is that of
18the chief prosecutor of the, whatever, 2nd Ukrainian or
19Yellow Russian Army who actually commissioned report.
20 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you familiar with the name Bordenko?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I am not.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Nikolai?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I am not.
24 Q. [Mr Irving] As two of the signatures of that Report?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is in my file. The whole report is in my file, so I am
26happy to look at it, but...
1 Q. [Mr Irving] Will you accept it from me that these two people were also
2signatories of the Soviet investigation of Kateen, the
3Kateen forest massacre, which resulted in the execution of
4a number of German officers for their role in that
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If you say so, I am perfectly happy to accept it.
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Are you familiar with the name "Lysenko"?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I am not.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] As one of the signatures of the Soviet report,
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am not, no.
12 Q. [Mr Irving] You are not, no. If I described him as being a biological
13charlatan or "quack" who has long since been disowned by
14his peers, would that surprise you?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Since I only heard this name right now, it does not
16surprise me one way or another way.
17 Q. [Mr Irving] When you read a report or a source of this importance, do
18you bother to consider who has written it or what their
19political motivations might be?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think we come back to the other Bimko argument. I have
21never used this report in order to write my history of
22Auschwitz. This report I have just mentioned as a bit of
23the history of our knowledge of Auschwitz was brought into
24the world. That is the purpose of ----
25 Q. [Mr Irving] About four pages of your report are based on the Soviet
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And because the Soviet Report made an impression at the
2time, but I also argue very clearly in the report that the
3important investigations which were done in 1945 were not
4done by the Soviets, but by the Poles. It was only after
5the publication of the Soviet Report that Jan Sehn really
6got working on this, interviewed the sonderkommandos and
7so on. So that if we want to look at -- and I spent an
8incredible amount of space, time and energy to actually
9reconstruct what the Poles did. I have given significant
10parts of that Dawidowski's argument in the Polish report.
11So, I mean, I am happy to answer further questions about a
12Soviet report, but, in general, I do not think that the
13Soviet Report is historiographically so important, except
14the fact that it was issued with the endorsement of the
15Soviet Embassy in Washington and London, and so on.
16 Q. [Mr Irving] But do you not recognize a pattern developing here,
17Professor, that every time I bring up a source or an
18eyewitness and we, I will not say demolish that man's
19integrity or reliability, but we chip away at it, you say,
20"Well, he was not important either" and "he was not
21important either", and here is the entire Soviet Union
22Report and you saying, "That is not important either".
23There is a pattern developing here of a reckless attitude
24towards the use of sources.
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But I think that I have given this morning, I think, a
26quite clear presentation of the kind of sources I use and
1the kind of approach I use to those sources.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, that is the drawings we are talking at present about
3the eyewitnesses or about source material based on
4eyewitnesses which, effectively, the Soviet Report was.
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But the Soviet Report does not give any eyewitness
6testimony. It gives a certain amount of the declaration
7by a number of inmates in Auschwitz who make a declaration
8that this should never happen again, but there is no way
9any more to establish how the Soviet Report was done. As
10far as I know, no draft exists of it. We do not have the
11interrogations the Soviets did in February 1945 of the
12inmates they found when they liberated the camp. So that
13is one of the reasons that the Soviet Report for historian
14is only interested in so far as it allows us to
15reconstruct the historiography of our knowledge about
16Auschwitz after the war.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But the Soviets placed themselves, did they
18not, on, for example, Dragon and Tauber?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think Dragon at the last thing he came in, I think, he
20probably was one of the sources of the 4 million.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Yes, and Tauber also?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But in the systematic investigation -- I think maybe
23Tauber, yes or no, I am not sure -- but the systematic
24investigation or the systematic examination of these
25people only took place later. In the Soviet Report
26itself, there is, I think, except maybe for the figure of
14 million which was maintained by the sonderkommando,
2there is no discussion of either Dragon or Tauber or their
4 MR IRVING: But the Soviet Report talks about things like
5electrocutions, is that right?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is, I think -- I probably would have it...
7 Q. [Mr Irving] Let us move on from there rather than waste the court's
8time. I just say, in general, how many survivors were
9there from Auschwitz or from Birkenhau -- from the entire
10complex at the end of war?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May I consult my book?
12 Q. [Mr Irving] Just in round figures. Are you talking about hundreds or
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No less than 10,000. So there were some ----
15 Q. [Mr Irving] 10,000 people had been within the barbed wired encampment
16of this site, yet it is always the same names who crop up
17as the sources, is it not? It is always Pery Broad,
18Philip Millar, Vurvah, Vetzler, Ada Bimko; it is always
19the same old gang who come forward and give the evidence.
20Nobody goes to the other, 10,000 do, they really? Why is
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I adjust the figure -- may I just correct my last
23statement? We are talking about 6,000, 1200 people in
24Auschwitz and 5,80 in Birkenhau.
25 Q. [Mr Irving] You appreciate the point I am trying to make, do you not?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, but I think ----
1 Q. [Mr Irving] It is an enormous reservoir of eyewitnesses. Why is it
2always the same names?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Eyewitnesses of what? We have the importance of the
4sonderkommandos in this case, Dragon and Tauber, is that
5they actually were in the crematoria and they worked in
7 Q. [Mr Irving] But the evidence of Tauber, am I not right in saying, is
8highly suspect because he describes, for example, the gas
9chamber as being so low that you had to stoop, and yet it
10turns out to have been nearly eight feet from floor to
11ceiling? I mean, just to give one instance.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where is that passage? Can we find it?
13 MR IRVING: I beg your pardon?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You have put that passage before and I think
15we were going to have a look at it from Mr Tauber. I do
16not know whether it is quoted in ----
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It should be around 183, if it is anywhere, because he
18describes at 183 and 182, and there are all these pictures
19in between, there is the description of the gas chamber.
20So page 182.
21 MR IRVING: This is the witness, is it not, who said he was
22able to burn up to eight corpses at once in one furnace;
23that he could light the corpses with a small fire in the
24ash container, that they would burn by themselves, that
25thick dark smoke rose out of the crematorium chimneys, and
26that fat was collected during open air cremations from the
1burning bodies? He also describes ----
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where is the bit about bending over in the
4 MR IRVING: It is a very long ----
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You put it, you see, and I think Professor
6van Pelt said, "Well, show it to me", and that is fair and
7I cannot find it.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 182, he describes the gas chamber.
9 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes, I know, but I cannot find the bit about bending
10down. Do you remember where you saw it, Mr Irving?
11 MR IRVING: My mind is a blur over the last few days, my Lord.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I quite understand that.
13 MR IRVING: Let me just rely on the other passages that I put
14to you just now, the bit about collecting the fact and so
15on. Pauber is an emotional and unreliable witness, is he
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I disagree with that. I think he is a very unemotionally,
18I mean, remarkably unemotional and very reliable witness.
19 Q. [Mr Irving] Do you rely to any degree on Dr Bendal?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have told you once, I have given, I have used Bendal
21once which is in a description of bunker No. 2.
22 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes. So the eyewitness basis anyway is scattered, skimpy
23and, in my view, questionable. The drawings which you
24have shown us only make sense taken in conjunction with
25the eyewitnesses. As soon as one starts looking for holes
26in the roof -- I am not going to labour that point -- one
1runs into difficulties, namely, the fact that there are no
2holes in the roof to be seen now. Taking an overall view
3of eyewitnesses, what is your opinion about the
4reliability of eyewitnesses in cases like this? Suppose
5your name was Jean De Manjiok and not Professor Robert van
6Pelt, what would you think about eyewitnesses?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot comment on that. I mean, I can only comment on
9 Q. [Mr Irving] You know that all these eyewitnesses fingered him and he
10was on his way to the gallows until the brave Israeli
11judges decided that he had been railroaded and ordered his
12release, that the eyewitnesses had lied in that case to
13one man, a dozen of them had lied?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] One of the reasons that I limited in my expert report only
15reports about eyewitnesses who gave testimony immediately
16after the war is that I exactly wanted to prevent the
17charge being raised that late -- people who later come
18forward would have been confused because of the time that
19had lapsed. That is why I, for example, did not use
20Philip Muller because Philip Muller only published really
21a full account of what happened in, of his account in the
22gas chambers in the 1960s. So that was too late for me
23and then I can even ----
24 Q. [Mr Irving] Would you agree that there was a reason to suspect he may
25have been motivated by commercial considerations?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know what or not, what commercial or not
1consideration or not may have brought Mr Muller to write
2at that moment. He gave testimony in 1946 which was
3included in the Kraus and Kulgar book, but it cannot be
4identified in that book as being Philip Muller's. So it
5is very difficult to exactly say what is Philip Muller's
6in that book, but he already did it, and, you know, in the
71960s, I do not know. Maybe there were commercial
8reasons, maybe not; maybe he wanted really to testify and
9bear witness to what happened in the crematoria.
10 Q. [Mr Irving] And you do accept, do you not, that if you were to go to
11Auschwitz the day after tomorrow with a trowel and clean
12away the gravel and find a reinforced concrete hole where
13we anticipate it would be from your drawings, this would
14make an open and shut case and I would happily abandon my
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I think I cannot comment on this. I am an expert on
17Auschwitz and not on the way you want to run your case.
18 Q. [Mr Irving] There is my offer. I would say that that would drive such
19a hole through my case that I would have no possible
20chance of defending it any further.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not really a question, is it?
22 MR IRVING: Well, I am asking, the point I am making, my Lord,
23is that he has been to Auschwitz once a year for a number
24of years. The temptation must have occurred to him to go
25there with a trowel and scrape away the gravel and look
26for the hole, not just one but three of them, and he
1assures us that they were built in holes, not just casual
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think if he had been digging around with a
4trowel he would have got into trouble with the
5authorities, would he not?
6 MR IRVING: It has been done by others, my Lord, I understand.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, with their permission. I do not think
8that is really a question in a way. You have made the
9point and I understand it, that nobody has actually done
10the excavation work or whatever you like to call it.
11 MR IRVING: This is, obviously, not the time to make
12submissions, so I will not, my Lord, and with that I will
13end my cross-examination of this witness with my many
14thanks. I wish you a pleasant flight home.
15 < Re-examined by MR RAMPTON, QC.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] My Lord and Professor van Pelt, page 182 of your report
17contains, as you have noticed, a lengthy extract from
18Tauber's evidence as reported in Pressac, is that not
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] It goes over on to 183. You notice -- this is on the
22question of whether you had to crouch to get into or
23whether Tauber ever said that you had to crouch to get
24into the gas chamber -- almost at the beginning of the
25last quarter of the page is a sentence which in your
26report starts at the end of the line "At about", do you
1see that? There is a line which says: "The door and the
2rabbets of the frame were also fitted with ceiling strips
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I see it.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] Then there is this sentence: "At about head height for an
6average man this door had a round glass peephole". How
7far from the roof or ceiling of the chamber do you
8estimate that the peephole will have been?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] How far from the ceiling?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] You have a man of average height -- that is me -- looking
11through a peephole?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That would be 5 foot 6.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] How much above me is the ceiling?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We know that the height of the building was, the height of
15the room was 8 feet. So there would be another two and a
17 Q. [Mr Rampton] Thank you very much. Now, I am afraid I have some
18questions, Professor. They are naturally somewhat
19disorderly in the sense they follow the track of the
20cross-examination. That is no criticism of Mr Irving;
21that is just the way things turn out. Have you got the
22file K2, the second Auschwitz file, there?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which -- is that the pictures?
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, the pictures and the correspondence?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] Can you turn to divider 4?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I am there.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] To save moving around, I am going to ask you questions
3about a couple of documents in here -- three of them, in
4fact. At page 49 ----
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. 9?
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: 49.
7 MR RAMPTON: 49 in tab 4?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 49, yes.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton] You see the letter of 28th June 1943?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] With Jahrling's name at the bottom in handwriting, do you
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] The bottom left-hand corner? Mr Irving does not like this
15document. Professor, do you see any reason to doubt the
16authenticity of this document?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not see any reason to doubt the authenticity of the
18letter of 28th June 1943.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] Remind me because I have forgotten, where does it come
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This one, this particular comes from Moscow.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] Moscow. Thank you. Can you turn then right to the front
23of this section of the file?
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And dates back to 1950, I think, does it not?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am sorry?
26 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] It dates back to 1950 in the sense that is when it first
1surfaced? That is what Mr Irving said.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The copy which surfaced came from Dumburg, as far as I
3know, from Dumberg, an archive in the DDR. But it was a
4different sheet, it was not this actual, this actual
6 MR RAMPTON: Right at the front of the file, I have put them in
7the front, my Lord. I do not know where your Lordship has
8put them? Those recent documents have been produced by
9Mr Irving and then some by us by Entwesungsanlage.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not have that in this file.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] I have a spare here.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is the problem, is it not?
13 MR RAMPTON: I know.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We have to keep track of these.
15 MR RAMPTON: I know, it is awful. They should have gone into
16this part of the file.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have the Vedag here.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] But you need the document of 13th April 1943. You only
19need two documents.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have the 13th April, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] Does your Lordship have it? Let me pass those up. My
22Lord, I have not put mine yet in chronological order. We
23will do that in due course. Can I take, first of all, in
24reverse chronological order, the document of 20th August
251943, which is the long invoice?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] Addressed by Topf to the central building people at
2Auschwitz. On the second page of that, the penultimate
3entry 43/204/1, it reads: "Entwesungsanlage", does it not?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] Whatever it is that it was going to cost has been
6scratched out by somebody. That matters not. Can you
7then turn back to the first document which is dated 13th
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] Look at the penultimate item in that. What is
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Aufstellung?
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes. This document is called an "aufstellung".
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Aufstellung means to actually erect, so this particular
15use, I think it means quite literally it is a list.
16I would interpret it like that, but it also could be the
17aufstellung means things that have been erected or that
18are to be erected.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] Then the penultimate item reads: "To Topf
20Entwesungsofen". What are "Entwesungsofen"?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] "Entwesungsofen" are disinfestation ovens or vessels.
22They are like autoclaves really.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton] Using what substance or material to achieve the Entwesung?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Hot air or hot steam.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is there a copy of the Leuchter report anywhere up there?
26Has anybody got one? I am doing this from memory because
1I gave mine up to somebody. Do you see the front cover
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Rampton] Can you hold it up so that I can see? I cannot see from
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Bottom right.
7 MR RAMPTON: No, it is not. That I think is an oven for
9 MR IRVING: The contents are the same.
10 MR RAMPTON: It does not matter. Forget it. The cover is
11different from mine. Forget it, Professor van Pelt. It
12was only going to be an illustration. Do you say that an
13Entwesungsofen would not be a Zyklon-B piece of equipment?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. The Zyklon-B, they did not have an ofen for that,
15first of all. They were called Kammer and they are
16larger, and they would be called gas Kammer. So there is
17a very specific product. A Topf Entwesungsofen is a very
18specific product they sell. They manufacture it in Erfurt
19and they sell as a single piece. So, yes, this would not
20have been a Zyklon installation.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is it in any sense permissible, sensible or clever to try
22to translate "Entwesungsofen" into "Vergasungskeller"?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. They have nothing to do with each other.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] So do you have an estimate of what these two hot air or
25steam autoclaves were for at crematorium 2?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The interesting thing, of course -- I can speculate one
1way and I can base myself ----
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] Offer your best guess.
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I give two best guesses. One is that since the
4sonderkommando were going to live there and they lived in
5an enclosed compound there, they would need to have some
6kind of disinfestation installation. It is a first guess,
7but the problem is that we do not have really any other
8documentation except these two things. The more likely
9guess, however, is that these were actually going to be
10the Entwesungsofen which were going to be installed in the
11Zentralzaume (?). What was happening is that since
12December 1942, right between crematorium 3 and crematorium
134, the SS was first planning, and then from mid 1943
14onwards they were constructing, a large new delousing
15installation which did not use Zyklon, but only used the
16Topfentwesungsofen and autoclaves. So, when one actually
17starts to look at these documents and also at the Wedach
18document which was introduced by Mr Irving, we are
19actually dealing, I mean the Wedach document, we are
20clearly with activity that is going on for the
21Zentralzaune. So the problem, of course, in the document
22on 13th April is that it mentions crematorium No. 2 right
23in that sentence, and I have no explanation, I have no
24other documentation to either confirm that they were at
25that time creating these two entwesungs ofen or had
26ordered it for the crematorium. At the same time I know
1that a lot of that ordering is being done for the
2Zentralzaune which is being constructed right next door,
3and that is where I would like to leave it.
4 MR IRVING: If you look at the last page, my Lord, on that you
5will see there is a further reference to disinfestation
6equipment for crematorium No. 2 in August.
7 MR RAMPTON: Yes, that is right. Absolutely right. That is
8where I started as a matter of fact.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, that is what I thought. Why do you get
10August, because that is the date of the document?
11 MR RAMPTON: That is the date. It is 20th August, the
12document. The top right-hand corner, my Lord.
13 Do you see any reason, Professor van Pelt, to
14disassociate the August invoice relating to
15Entwesungslager for crematorium, it does not say there,
16crematoria 2 and 3, from the piece of paper relating to
17the two Topf Entwesungsofen for crematorium 2?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, they seem to belong together, but, you know ----
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] In this same part of the folder, I warned you this would
20be disorderly, we find at page 6, this is written on the
21bottom right-hand corner I hope in red ink, we find what
22I think is the Topf patent application for its
23multi-muffle furnace, do we not?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton] I would not dream of asking you to read it out or anything
26like that. I am told that I got this in a muddle when
1I was cross-examining Mr Irving. Would you just explain
2what this is and how it relates to what you have told us?
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you give my the reference again,
5 MR RAMPTON: Yes, it is in tab 4 of K 2 and it is page 6. It
6is a long document, ending up with a drawing on page 18.
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Shall I explain, shall I go paragraph by paragraph and
8give a summary of the paragraph?
9 Q. [Mr Rampton] No, nothing like that. I would just like you to summarize
10what the effect of the patent application is on your
11judgment about how the incineration was in fact carried
12out, according to the accounts of the eyewitnesses, in the
13big crematorium at Auschwitz.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This patent application is based on, the proposal for this
15patent application is to create a furnace in which one
16continuously feeds corpses at the top, and which by their
17own weight, so to speak, these corpses fall through a
18number of shelves, so to speak, and in that process are
19being reduced to ashes. It refers back to the experience
20with mutli-muffle ovens which is at the end of page 1 and
21No. 2, that that one wants to make something which is even
22working even faster. I just want to go very, very quickly
23through this, because the important thing here, of course,
24would be also ----
25 Q. [Mr Rampton] It may be quicker, Professor van Pelt, rather than your
26scanning that long and no doubt extremely boring document,
1if we turn to one which is not nearly so boring, although
2it is much longer, which is your report at page 538.
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] OK.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am afraid I have completely forgotten what
5is supposed to be the significance of the patent
6application one way or the other.
7 MR RAMPTON: I could tell your Lordship but then I would be
8giving evidence and I cannot do that.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am simply asking what case is sought to be
10made, but perhaps it is better elicited from Professor van
12 MR RAMPTON: The case sought to be made is that it explains how
13it was that they were able to incinerate as many corpses
14as they could, and also how they managed to use as little
15fuel a these were able to do.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I was looking for that particular sentence, because
17I did not want to quote the sentence from memory.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] I think you will find it in translation on pages 538, 539.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is what it says here at page 540, it says:
20"Pre-heating of such an oven should take at least two
21days. After this pre-heating the oven will not need any
22more fuel due to the heat produced by the corpses."
23 Q. [Mr Rampton] Read on, will you.
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] "It will be able to maintain its necessary high
25temperature through self-heating".
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] Carry on.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] "But to allow it to main a constant temperature it would
2have become necessary to introduce at the same time
3so-called well fat and so-called emaciated corpses,
4because one can only guarantee continuous high
5temperatures through the emission of human fat. When only
6emaciated corpses are incinerated, it will be necessary to
7add heat continuously. The result of this will be that
8insulation could be damaged because of the dust created
9temperatures and one would expect shorter or longer break
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] That document, Professor, is this right, is in its origin
12quite unrelated to what went on at Birkenhau?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is quite unrelated you say?
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] Unrelated.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, its origin is of the fall of 1942 and the ovens in
16crematoria 2 and 3 only came into operation in April
171943. However, the multi-muffle ovens were already used
18in crematorium No. 1 since August 1940. So the principle
19is the same in the ovens in crematorium 1. So clearly
20they are using the principle which has been the experience
21that has been gained in crematorium 1 in creating this
23 Q. [Mr Rampton] I am grateful. There is no doubt about the authenticity
24of this, is there, as an original German document written
25by Topf for their patent agents?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, it is registered in whatever the patent ----
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] How well does that document what we see here on page 540,
2I do not need you to look at them, how well from memory
3does that chime with the descriptions given by the
4eyewitnesses, including Hirst, of how this procedure was
5carried out in practice?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] What is very important in the descriptions of the
7sonderkommandos is that they talk about, with a certain
8kind of care, they would bring corpses of people of
9different sizes into the muffles, exactly to -- no,
10I cannot say that because they do not actually give that
11explanation. But here actually is given an explanation, a
12thermodynamical explanation why that would have been done.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] I think Tauber was quite specific about it, was he not,
14about using fat corpses?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Indeed on the trial run I think they were given fat
17corpses, says Tauber, in March 1943, were they not?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I would like to see that thing.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] We can look at it later.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What you quote in your report does not read
21like a patent application. Is it a quote from the patent
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We go to 808 ----
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] I think you are quoting another author, are you not?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, this is the comment. Sorry.
26 MR RAMPTON: This is the interpretation.
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the comment written by a number of engineers.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It probably does not affect the point.
3 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, one can see how they have dealt with it,
4how Topf dealt with in the last paragraph of the quote on
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, one of the important lines in that thing, of course,
7is they are actually not incinerating any more, but they
8are literally burning corpses.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
10 MR RAMPTON: The passage from Tauber's evidence or testimony,
11call it what you like, is on page 535. At the top: "The
12corpses of wasted people with no fat burned rapidly in the
13side muffles and slowly in the centre one. Conversely,
14the corpses of people gassed directly on arrival not being
15wasted burnt better in the centre muffle. During the
16incineration of such corpses we used the coke only to
17light the fire of the furnace initially, for fatty corpses
18burn of their own accord thanks to the combustion of body
19fat". It is the same opposite on the previous page in
20relation to crematorium 1.
21 He actually says in relation to crematorium 2
22and 3: "I know from the experienced gained by observing
23cremation in crematoria 2 and 3 that the bodies of fat
24people burned very much faster. The process of
25incineration is accelerated by the combustion of human fat
26which thus produces additional heat."
1 While we are on Tauber, as a matter of fact,
2Professor van Pelt, I think Mr Irving said he was
3emotional or something of that kind. Do you remember that
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Emotional?
6 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, emotional or unreliable because he was
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, vaguely.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton] I do not know what it was. You have never interviewed
10Mr Tauber, yourself I take it?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] He is not still alive I suppose?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] Do you know Jean-Claude Pressac ever met him?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Are you familiar with the introduction to the Tauber
17chapter in Pressac's book?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I remember vaguely.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] Would you like to have a look at it? It should be in H2
20(vi) I think, at tab 5. I am using my own copy of
21Pressac. You use yours as well, if you like.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do I need to look at this?
23 MR RAMPTON: Yes, I think so. I am not going to read it out.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Every time Pressac is mentioned I mean to ask
25who he is?
26 MR RAMPTON: He is a Frenchman.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Could you be a little bit more helpful than
3 MR RAMPTON: I think I better defer to the witness.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor van Pelt, I should know and I just
5do not. Who is Pressac?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He is a pharmacist in the town of Ville de Bois or the
7village of Ville de Bois south of Paris, 20 miles south of
9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] He his an historian?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He is a self-taught historian. He seems to have come from
11the circles of Faurisson originally. It is not exactly
12clear what his relationship was to Faurisson. Then he
13went to Auschwitz in the early 80s and saw the building
14material, the building archive material, and was convinced
15that Faurisson was wrong and started publishing about it
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Now you say that I remember. Yes. Thank you very much.
18 MR RAMPTON: I think that Pressac's book must originally have
19been in French, was it?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. This is the only edition.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] Did he write it in English or did someone translate it for
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It translated by Behalteklasse Foundation.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] Have you got the introduction to chapter 3?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Part 3, chapter 3, yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] Can you read that to yourself. We will all read it at the
1same time to ourselves. Then I will ask you ----
2 MR IRVING: Could you give me a page number, please?
3 MR RAMPTON: I am sorry, it is 481 of Pressac.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Introduction?
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] Introduction. Just read the introduction to yourself.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] "The testimony by Henrich Tauber ..."
7 Q. [Mr Rampton] Not out loud. Just read it to yourself.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It does not really matter.
9 MR RAMPTON: Tell us when you have finished.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have read it.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] You have read it?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] That, if I may summarize it, is Mr Pressac's on view of
14Tauber as it comes off the written page, is it not?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is it an assessment with which you agree or disagree?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I agree with that.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] If I may summarize, the effect is that Tauber is a modest,
19sober and careful witness, is that right?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] You have to say yes because otherwise the tape cannot read
22your mind. At the bottom he says: "Henrich Tauber's
23deposition enabled me at the last moment to authenticate
24the testimony of Dr Paul Bendal that I was on the point of
25invalidating." Do you see right at the bottom of the
26introduction? Do you have that?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] Do you know what it was in the testimony of Dr Paul Bendal
3that Pressac was on the point of invalidating and that
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not remember any more. It is sometime since I read
7 Q. [Mr Rampton] Right. Another piece of disorder I am afraid, Professor.
8Can you turn to pages 110, 111?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Of what?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] Of your report.
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I am there.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] Towards the top of page 110 you are writing about a number
13of people who are known to have died at certain times from
14disease at Auschwitz?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Then you say this: "It must be remembered, however, that
17the mortality figures which the concentration camps sent
18to Berlin only apply to the deaths of registered
19prisoners", and you have already told us that. Then you
20make reference to the evidence of SS, he was a General was
21he not, Oswald Pohl?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, he was I think Obergruppenfuhrer by that time.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton] Whatever, he was in charge of the concentration camp
24system as a whole, is that right?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, he was the kind of -- officially he was called the
26Economic Director, so some way off the SS, and that really
1ran the concentration camps. He was not the inspector of
2the concentration camps. As a business adventure, yes.
3By a business venture he was.
4 MR IRVING: My Lord, this of course is not matter that was
5raised in the cross-examination. So I am puzzled.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It may turn out to be. That is the problem.
7You never know where ----
8 MR IRVING: As long as your Lordship is alert to that.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- it is going.
10 MR RAMPTON: I had understood that Mr Irving relied on the
11death books and the decrypts as showing that the number of
12people who died at Auschwitz was very small.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I think that is right, although there
14was not any cross-examination on that.
15 MR RAMPTON: I know, but it may be convenient.
16 MR IRVING: The only mention of the death books is when I was
17querying the character of the deaths, the age spectrum,
18rather than statistics.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is part of your case, is it not, that the
20death books give a very different picture from the sort of
21figures that Professor van Pelt speaks of?
22 MR IRVING: It is a subtly different picture on the question of
23the killing of the old and sick.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If it is part of your case, and I do not
25criticise you for not cross-examining to it, I think it is
26for Mr Rampton to be able to put these questions.
1 MR IRVING: This specific document of course is not one that
3 MR RAMPTON: Anyhow, it does arise indirectly and quite
4immediately out of the questions which were put about
5selection to which I am immediately coming after this.
6 Did in fact the head of this system General Pohl
7say at his trial in Nuremberg that the people who were
8directly exterminated were never registered?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He says that no information about it has been transmitted
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] His subordinate was Dr Lolling?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Who was in charge of the inspectorate presumably. He
14said, the last answer at the top of page 111, in answer to
15his own counsel, his own attorney: "The figures about
16exterminations were not reported to the inspectorate at
17all, and constantly Dr Rolling could not evaluate them for
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is true.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] Thank you. Now I want to ----
21 MR IRVING: My Lord, that was very definitely not a matter
22which I raised in cross-examination of this witness.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I tried to explain why I think it is
24legitimate. In a way we are having to take short cuts in
25this case. You have lots of points which, in a perfect
26world, I would have said to you, Mr Irving, you must put
1that point to Professor van Pelt, but we be would here to
2Christmas and beyond if we did that. So we are not
3requiring you to put all those points. But it does not
4mean Mr Rampton cannot get evidence from this witness,
5especially if it is in his report, which bears on the
6point that you are going to take, although you have not
7cross-examined to it.
8 MR IRVING: My understanding was re-examination is only
9permitted on matters that I cross-examined on.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: In a normal case that is true. I am not
11bending the rules in Mr Rampton's favour. I am in fact
12bending them in your favour, because I have not required
13you to cross-examine on this point, do you follow me?
14 MR IRVING: Very well.
15 MR RAMPTON: Normally in the old days, and I thank goodness we
16are not in the old days any more, if the point had not
17been taken in cross-examination, I would have to say to
18the Judge: Well, I am afraid it cannot be taken in
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what I mean by taking short cuts in
22 MR RAMPTON: I do not say that.
23 Does that evidence of General Pohl reflect upon
24the death books figures so-called that have emerged from
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. It suggests, I mean Pohl only talks about of course
1information being transmitted to Berlin, but certainly the
2question is how would information be gathered in
3Auschwitz, and then of course we get other corroborating
4information like, for example, that of Pery Broad who
5worked in the political department who said that there was
6no registration of people who were not admitted to the
7camp. That is information that once the transport had
8arrived, and once basically the people had been sent to
9the gas chamber, all records, all traces of these people
10also in the records were removed, or at least, you know,
11there was maybe some record about a number of people that
12had arrived but they were not registered.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Does it also reflect, tell me if it does not, on the
14so-called Hinsley decrypt question?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the way it has been posed by Mr Irving, yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes. To put it another way, would you expect to find
17references to the extermination of unregistered prisoners
18in decrypts going from Auschwitz to Berlin?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is the same point, is it not? The Hinsley
21decrypt point is the same point about non-registration of
22those who were going allegedly to be exterminated.
23 MR RAMPTON: You told us some time ago, Professor, last week,
24that upon arrival to begin with the transports were
25divided up for selection at the old Judenamter which was
26between the two camps?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] But that by the time of the Hungarian action in 1944, the
3Summer of 1944, they had built one spare right up through
4Birkenhau towards the two crematoria 2 and 3?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. The spare had been in construction for a longer
6time, but it was completed in I think March, March 1944.
7 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes.
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Late March, maybe early April.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton] Could you take that file H2 (vi) again, please?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] H2(vi), where is that?
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] In tab 4 we find something called the "Auschwitz Album".
12That is not its official title in any sense. Can you say
13briefly what this Auschwitz album actually is? I will ask
14you about the photographs in a moment, but if you could
15tell us what the book is?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is a book which was found on the evacuation of the
17camp by a person called Lily Meyer as the camp was being
18evacuated. It is a picture book made either for an
19individual SS man or maybe for the Auschwitz SS, recording
20a couple of arrivals and subsequent kind of delousing
21registration into the camp, and also the fate of other
22people, at least until any come to the crematorium, of
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] Right. So the photographs which we find inside are,
25therefore, of what date?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are of the Summer 1944.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] By whom were they taken?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They were taken by an SS man.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: How do you know they are the Summer of 1944?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because that is when the Hungarian action occurred.
5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] That is circular, is it not?
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] But the book itself identifies this. It identifies the
7action as a Hungarian action.
8 MR IRVING: That was surely May 1944.
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] May 1944, whatever, yes.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, it may not matter.
11 MR RAMPTON: It does not sound as though it is controversial.
12It is in fact quite a well-known book. These photographs
13have been known about for a very long time?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, apart from -- there are three basically sources of
15photographs, at least from Birkenhau, which is the
16Bauleitung photographs we saw today a few of, showing the
17construction, showing the construction of the buildings in
18Birkenhau. Then we have a number of photos, a small
19number of photos which would have been made illegally by
20prisoners, probably a sonderkommando who found a camera in
21what was left over in the undressing room. These are very
22shaky photographs where you see people running and you see
23some burning of bodies in a kind open pit. Then this one
24which is a large collection made by the SS, one does not
25really know for what reason, except ----
26 MR IRVING: Where is the second collection from, is it Moscow?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The second collection.
2 Q. [Mr Irving] Yes.
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are three or four photographs. I think they are the
4original negatives. No, there are no negatives. Original
5prints on Auschwitz.
6 MR RAMPTON: The particular pages that I want to refer to are a
7little bit difficult to find, because the bundle has not
8been paginated, but at the bottom of each photograph there
9is usually a printed number.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] If you turn the file sideways, I hope you can find a
12photograph which has a printed number 15 at the bottom?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 15?
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] 15.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, 15.
17 MR IRVING: My Lord, I am again nervous about this introduction
18of fresh evidence of the re-examination phase.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, this does arise of out
21 MR RAMPTON: This arises directly out of questions about
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you remember questions about where the
24selection process took place and how it changed from being
25on the railway platform, I think it was originally, and
26then they built the spare and it was sometimes done
1there. Is that a fair summary of the evidence?
2 MR RAMPTON: There is a very direct and relevant point to be
3made at the end of this little exercise, if Mr Irving will
4be patient. Do you see that photograph, Professor?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I see.
6 Q. [Mr Rampton] Just tell me, I will make a suggestion and answer then
7I will ask for information. Am I looking northwards?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. You are looking towards the West.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton] That is my mistake. I see two chimneys. One is on the
10right of the picture. There are two large chimneys, one
11on the right and one on the left.
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The chimneys of crematorium (ii) to the left and (iii) to
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] There is on the left of the picture, therefore, to the
15south, a hut or building. Do you see that?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton] And there is a line of what looks like concrete posts
18probably with wire on them. Is that right?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] What is behind that wire?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Behind that wire is the women's camp, what is the called
22women's camp in 1944.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton] We see the people; they look as though they perhaps have
24just got out of the train. That is for reference because
25I now want you to look at, please, just for in passing, at
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Should I keep this one out?
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, I think probably it is a good idea to keep it out.
3That is what I shall do; it makes it easier to know what
4one is looking at.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: 22.
6 MR RAMPTON: 22, my Lord, yes. This is just in passing. There
7we are looking -- have you got 22?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton] There we are looking in the opposite direction towards the
10entrance to the camp, are we not?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We look eastwards, yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] So from what you have just said, the women's camp is on
13the right of this picture?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is what we see there what you have described as selection
16into male and female?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is the moment just before the selection. It seems
18that the people who are still ----
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] Division, I mean.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, the division between on the one side, men and older
21boys, and on the other side, women and children, has
23 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes. Then, if you please, the last photograph I need you
24to look at, I am afraid you look in a different place now,
25you look in the bottom left-hand corner for a very small
26printed italic 32?
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Further on.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I see.
3 MR RAMPTON: It is further on, my Lord. Yes, it is about -- 15
4pages maybe. That is the one. Now, Professor -- has your
5Lordship got it?
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
7 MR RAMPTON: Do you see the building, long low building behind
8the people in the half background?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I see.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is that the same houses we were looking at earlier?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is the block for the women's camp.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] And you see to the left there is a lorry?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] A truck. Behind the truck is what appears to be a gate?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] And is the gate shut?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The gate is shut, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] The people in the line appear to be women and children, do
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are women and children, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] On the right of the picture, apart one or two SS men in
22uniform, there is what looks like a uniform figure on the
23far right of the picture, but ignoring him, the women and
24children on the right of the picture are moving in what
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They walk along the railway track to the West.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] What lies at the end of the railway track to the West?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Crematorium (ii) and crematorium (iii).
3 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is there any access to the women and children's camp from
4this point onwards between ----
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
6 Q. [Mr Rampton] --- here and crematorium (ii)?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There is no access.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is there any access from that point to the sauna building
9north, or whatever it is, west of Canada?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] At the moment there is, but not at that time.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] That is what I mean. I meant here in May 1944?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes -- no there was a gate, but the usual way to go to the
13central sauna was actually to take the lagerstrasse which
14is through the middle of the camp and then go up past
15crematorium (iv) and (v).
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Which means going in the opposite direction?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Going in the opposite direction.
18 MR IRVING: At the risk of testing your Lordship's patience
19once again, this material was not in the expert report.
20It was not dealt with in cross-examination, and I really
21have to be lectured on how it can be introduced at this
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I am with you to the extent that it
24does not really seem to go quite to the selection process;
25more to what was going to happen after the selection
26process had taken place.
1 MR IRVING: Precisely. One is being invited to draw a lot of
2inferences from pictures which one would like to have had
3spelt out explicitly either in the report or in
5 MR RAMPTON: Why do we not get Professor van Pelt to spell out
6the inference which do I do not really think needs doing.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what Mr Irving is objecting to.
8 MR RAMPTON: I am quite willing, while he is still here, if
9Mr Irving then wants to ask a question about it for him to
11 MR IRVING: This is not the way this thing should be done
13 MR RAMPTON: I do not agree with that, as a matter of fact.
14Professor van Pelt was cross-examined about selection. He
15explained what it was for and he explained what had
16happened to the people that were not selected to go into
17the camp to work. That being so, this is directly
18relevant. It has been in this file, in these bundles,
19ever since they were first composed.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I mean, having said that, I mean, the
21evidence is in now, I am sitting alone, so in a sense
22there is not so much harm, but I think one has to be a bit
23cautious when one has so much expert evidence about
24introducing what one might, I think, fairly describe as
25fresh points. This is evidence buttressing an existing
26point but it is ----
1 MR RAMPTON: Yes, that is right.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am only just really putting down a marker
3at the moment, but the inference does not need to be spelt
4out because I think it is obvious.
5 MR RAMPTON: No, I do not think the inference does need to be
6spelled out. I would much rather not spell it out.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you have heard what I have said.
8That is how I am dealing with this.
9 MR IRVING: As long as your Lordship does not feel I am being
10tedious with these interruptions.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I do not want to stop you. If you feel
12something is going on that you do not like, say so and if
13I do not agree, I will say so.
14 MR RAMPTON: All right. (To the witness): Gas pillars, gas
15introduction, pellet introduction pillars, Professor? Can
16you take up that file K2 again? This time I want to look
17at some documents we have looked at before but in a
18slightly different way.
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which is K2?
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] K2 is the second Auschwitz bundle.
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] You should have it.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I have.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] I would like you to turn, first of all, please, to tab 3,
25which are David Olaire's drawings, and to the first page
26in that tab. I think you told us that Mr Olaire probably
1did this drawing in 1945 or 46. I cannot remember which?
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is dated 1945.
3 Q. [Mr Rampton] Where do I find that? It is. It is in the bottom
4right-hand corner in manuscript, is it not?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
6 Q. [Mr Rampton] D. Olaire, 45. Yes, I have it. Where did he make this
7drawing, do you know?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Back in Paris.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton] In Paris. Do you know the circumstances in which he made
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I do not know.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] Then can we, please, turn back a tab, to tab 2, and page 5
13in that tab -- no, first of all, take out, will you, the
14aerial photographs? That is the best way of doing it.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] All of them?
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] No, just the one at page 5. Page 5 in handwriting.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] It is the clearest possibly although, funnily enough, it
19is not the largest. Can you go back to the Olaire drawing
20on page 1 of tab 3, please?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] I want you to look at in a moment at the aerial
23photograph. Which crematorium is this that Olaire has
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Crematorium No. (iii).
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] How do we know that?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] He was working in No. (iii).
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] Right.
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] And that also the plan itself is of No. (iii) because it
4is now reversed from crematorium No. (ii).
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] We see that at No. 10 in his key are the Zyklon-B
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton] If you look at the drawing, you see them, the dotted lines
9run from the figure 10 to squares on the ground plan?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] Do you notice the alignment of those squares?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I do.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Will you please look at the aerial photograph?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] K3 is on the right-hand side of the photograph, is it not?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. There is a lettering right next to it almost, 160.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, that is right. How does the alignment of that
18photograph, those black dots, match what Olaire has drawn?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It seems identical.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] Do you know of any reason to think that David Olaire was
21shown this photograph before he made that drawing?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This was not available until 1979.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where was it until 1979 -- in Moscow?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, no. This is the American, this is the American.
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] It is American bombing ----
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is American bombing photo.
1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] --- photos. I had not written that down.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] So, yes, all declassified.
3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] The summer of '44?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the summer of '44, yes.
5 MR RAMPTON: Now I want to ask you one or two questions,
6Professor, which I fear you may find rather foolish, but
7I am going to ask them just the same, if you do not mind?
8You will remember a time at which Mr Irving has proposed
9-- I cannot remember quite when it was, perhaps several
10times -- that the absence of holes in the present ruins of
11Leichenkeller 1 at crematorium (ii) means that it can
12never have been meant for gassing live human beings.
13 He suggests as an alternative that it had a dual
14purpose as a room for delousing corpses or, alternatively,
15other sorts of objects. First of all, can you give us
16your opinion, if there were no holes in the roof, how do
17you think that the SS -- sorry, the sonderkommando would
18have been able to put the pellets into the room?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there not a question before then, if you
20do not mind my saying so?
21 MR RAMPTON: You ask it, my Lord, please.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do you think there was any other way in which
23the Zyklon-B might have been inserted into the gas chamber
24into the morgue?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] One could have used the same way. There are two ways
26apart from these columns. I mean, there are obviously no
1windows, so the way it was done in crematoria (iv) and (v)
2it would not have worked.
3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] What I was really asking is do you think it, in fact,
4happened in any other way? That was the question that I
5thought, perhaps, needed to be asked first.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry, my Lord. A way, when you delouse a building or
7even in a delousing room, sometimes you could just put the
8palettes right on the floor. So that is a possibility.
9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] Sorry, Mr Rampton I thought I might have got a different
10answer to that question.
11 MR RAMPTON: No. Are there any contemporaneous documents (and
12it is a harmless procedure to disinfest corpses or
13clothes, there is nothing sinister about it) referring to
14such a procedure as this, the gassing of corpses?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have never seen or heard of a document like that.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] Are there any eyewitness accounts from either side or any
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. There are no eyewitness accounts.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] Can you think of a reason why you would need to have,
20leaving aside the air raid question, we will come back to
21that, a double 8 millimetre thick glass spy hole to
22observe the gassing of corpses or clothes?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I cannot think of any reason.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] Can you think of any reason why that door with the
25luckloch should have a metal grille on the inside of it?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No. I cannot think of any reason.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] If it were an air raid shelter, can you think of any
2reason why the metal grilles should be on the inside?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, I cannot think of any reason.
4 Q. [Mr Rampton] We will just have a look at the pictures in Pressac in a
5moment. You answered me this morning, I know, but I will
6repeat the question because it is connected. Are there
7any contemporaneous documents referring to the provision
8of gas stores or any similar equipment for Leichenkeller
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No, there are no documents.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton] What is the size of Leichenkeller 2, the auskleiderkeller,
12as I call it, as compared with Leichenkeller 1?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The one-third larger or maybe one-half larger than
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Suppose Mr Irving's thesis is right, the corpses must have
16been undressed in the auskleiderkeller and then dragged
17through to Leichenkeller 1 to be disinfested, yes?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] If he accepts it was an auskleiderkeller, yes.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton] We can see it was from the documents. We do not have to
20argue about that. How would the clothes which had been
21removed from the corpses have been deloused in
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The only thing, I think, is to bring them also in
24Leichenkeller 1, to undress the corpses or maybe have the
25corpses dressed, deloused and then everything is deloused
26together, I do not know. The procedure seems to me so
1absurd to start with that ----
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] I know. We just have to dot i's and cross t's sometimes.
3That is all. I said you would find these questions a bit
4silly, I am sure. The preheating letter of 6th March
51943: You told us, I think this morning -- I think you
6said this -- there is no provision for that in any of the
7plans, so you have drawn it in?
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes -- no, in the blueprints there is no trace of such a
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] No. Was there a provision for ventilation from the
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Ventilation ----
13 Q. [Mr Rampton] Ventilation.
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- in morgue No. 1, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Was there any preheating provision for Leichenkeller 2?
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton] Then the lift capacity. Tell me if I have the figures
18right. I think you said it could take 1500 kilograms?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They were expanding -- the original one was 750 kilograms
20and they were ordering reinforcement of the cables so that
21it could take 1500 kilos.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] I am talking about their intentions.
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] This is all what I call intentional material. If the
25average corpse, balancing between young children and fat
26men, if you like, is, say, 60 kilograms, yes?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton] Is that fair? I do not think in kilogrammes, you see, so
3I have to have your help.
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] 60 kilograms, then the capacity for each hoist, each
6journey, would be about 25 corpses, would it not?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton] The incineration capacity given in the letter of 28th June
9for all five crematoria, but for this one in particular,
10is 1440 corpses per 24 hours, is it not?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] That is, roughly speaking, if you take a 16 hour rather
13than a 24-hour period, about 90 corpses an hour, is it
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] If it is 90 corpses an hour, then the lift can do more
17than that 90 in 15 minutes? If it can do 25 corpses a
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton] Then in an hour----
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: More than four loads an hour?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Certainly, sir, yes.
23 MR RAMPTON: That is 50, roughly speaking, and you get to 90
24before you got to the end of the hour?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton] Does that seem to you feasible?
1 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. It seems feasible to -- certainly I think the
2elevator could keep up with the ovens.
3 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes. That is much more neatly put than I could have put
4it. Thank you. There is a document up there which I am
5going to ask you about at the end of this re-examination,
6Professor van Pelt. I warned Mr Irving that I might.
7First of all, I want to ask one or two tiny little
8questions about this air raid shelter thesis. This is,
9according to Mr Irving, the alternative use for
10Leichenkeller 1, hence the spy hole and the gas tight door
11and all that kind of thing. How far are K2 and K3 from
12the SS barracks?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] We can see it in the air photo, No. 5 in tab 2 which we
14just took out ----
15 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes.
16 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- the SS barracks, basically, is in the compound marked
17with "north". So I would say that since you cannot run
18diagonally or walk diagonally through the camps of BA2
19which is building section 2, you have to go one way or the
20other around it, so it would be around a mile and a half.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] A mile and a half?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Mile and a half.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton] Sorry, help me again about that. Where are the SS
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are at the bottom in the square thing. They are at
26the bottom right-hand corner and they show a kind of
1garden design. There is a kind of a little fountain in
2the middle with a cross, behind what became the Birkenhau
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But we are on air raid shelters, are we now?
5 MR RAMPTON: Yes. I am just wondering how practical the
6Professor thought it was as a site for an air raid
7shelter, considering it is not big enough to hold the
8whole of the camp population, how practical it was as a
9proposition for the people in the SS barracks?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is not practical at all -- neither in distance nor also
11for other reasons.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] I think you told us also that there was provision for an
13air raid shelter in due course at Auschwitz 1?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] There are many -- I mean, at a certain moment one gets
15small air raid shelters and one gets in the crematorium in
16Auschwitz 1, you get a specific air raid shelter to serve
17the SS hospital which is right next door.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] When was that air raid shelter first planned?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] In the fall of 1944.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So afterwards?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Sorry? Afterwards. Long afterwards.
22 MR RAMPTON: Yes. Can we now just have a look, really so as to
23finish with air raid shelters, at the photographs in
24Pressac because I have been going on about a door with a
25glass spy hole and a metal grille. It is as well to look
26at them. My Lord, they are at the back of H2(vi). If you
1want to use your own Pressac, Professor, please do.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which page?
3 Q. [Mr Rampton] That is the trouble. I am sorry, my Lord. They are in
4K. They are very bad copies. So if your Lordship would
5like, I will lend you my much better copy. Have you got
6your own Pressac?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I have Pressac if you give me the page number.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton] Look at your own Pressac. It is page 486. Tab 6, my
9Lord. Page 8 stamped.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: K2?
11 MR RAMPTON: K2, tab 6. I think it is K1.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I do not think it is K2.
13 MR RAMPTON: No, it is not. It is K2. It is a fold out sheet,
14my Lord. 8 stamped in the right-hand corner.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have it. Thank you.
16 MR RAMPTON: Some questions, just a very few, about these
17photographs, Professor. Do you know when and by whom they
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They were taken by, I think, the Dawidowski Commission,
20the Jan Sehn and Dawidowski.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] As you told the court, the 30 by 40 centimetre gas type
22shutters, some of them have been preserved, have they not?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] These not, however, is that right?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] They are not. I have looked for them. I have never seen
26them. Nobody ever could tell me where they were.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] In the photograph on the right, headed "Document 13", we
2see the metal grille over the spy hole, do we not?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This came from where, do we know?
5 MR RAMPTON: Well, I think it says Dawidowski and in this sense
6this says Warsaw Central Commission archives.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, what I really meant was is the contention
8this is Leichenkeller 1 in crematorium (ii)?
9 MR RAMPTON: Yes, these are thought to be the gas type doors
10referred to in the correspondence -- what is it gasturm 8
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, gastur.
13 MR IRVING: With respect, I think his Lordship is asking do
14they come from Auschwitz or Birkenhau.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was asking, yes, I suppose, in effect, it
16come to that. I mean, this is Leichenkeller 1 in
17crematoria (ii), you say?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The thing is these doors -- it is the problem is we do not
19have measurements of the doors in the photos. What we
20know is that when the Leichenkeller 1 gas chamber was
21taken apart in late 1945, materials were stored at the
22Bauhoff. The Bauhoff was, basically, a large yard where
23they kept building materials and also things of buildings
24they had used and thought of reusing in the future again,
25or where they thought of shipping somewhere else. So
26these doors were found at the Bauhoff. There was no label
1attached to the doors and there was also no measurement in
2here. So the original door is 100 centimetres wide and
3192 centimetres high. So, unlike the gas type shutters
4which are still available for inspection, and which,
5indeed, are 30 by 40 centimetres, you know, it is
6possible, it is likely, probable, but cannot be absolutely
7certain about it, no.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where has the physical door gone?
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The physical door?
10 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] The door of which one is looking at the photograph?
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I do not know. I have asked people.
12 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] It has disappeared?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] I see. Anyway, you say it is probably ----
15 MR RAMPTON: I was going just ----
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: --- Leichenkeller 1.
17 MR RAMPTON: --- to build that up a little bit further because
18there is a letter -- can you remind of the date when
19Bischoff is writing to the internal manufacturer, or the
20Auschwitz manufacturer, that he wants a gas type door
21exactly the same as the one -- do you know the one I mean?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I know the letter. I just -----
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have it, it is page 44.
24 MR RAMPTON: I am most grateful.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Tab 4.
26 MR RAMPTON: It is tab?
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Tab 4.
2 MR RAMPTON: Tab 4, Professor.
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I am here.
4 Q. [Mr Rampton] On 31st March 1943, Bischoff writes to the manufacturer
5and he says in the second paragraph that he wants a gas
6door 100 by 192 centimetres for Leichenkeller 1 at
7crematorium (iii) BW30A, the same design, and what is
8"mass", size ----
9 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] "Size", yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] --- as the keller door of the opposite crematorium (ii)
11with a spy hole from double 8 millimetre glass with a
12sealing, a gasket -- "gummidichtunng" be rubber sealing?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] A rubber sealing. What is a beschlag?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That would be some kind of metal edge or ring. It is
16mostly metal work which you apply to something else. In
17this case to wood.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] So it follows, does it not, as night follows from day,
19that both Leichenkellers in crematoria (ii) and (iii) had
20a gas type door of this description?
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton] The description in the letter?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton] We know also, do we not, that Tauber described just such a
25door in his testimony?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] Does this picture correspond with the description in this
2letter and the description given by Tauber?
3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It does correspond with it. I would like to make one
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is of course always possible that these were doors for
7crematoria 4 and 5, because we do not have the final
8measurements, but I presume that they would have been
9designed in the same way.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton] If you look at the picture on the left, document 11, yes,
11that is necessarily -- sorry, I will not say. That has
12not got the metal grill on the spy hole, has it?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It does not because we are looking at the outside.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] Please let me take it in stages.
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton] It does not have the metal grill?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It does not have the metal grill.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] It does have, I do not know what you call the thing, it is
19a sort of a bolt?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] And probably the bolt, although it is impossible to tell
22from the picture precisely, goes in that direction, so
23that one can imagine that it is going to do that?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton] Fit into a slot or arm?
26 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton] Look at the hinges.
2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] I see the hinges.
3 Q. [Mr Rampton] You see the hinges. Does the shape of the hinges tell you
4anything about the direction in which the door will open?
5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The door opens outwards.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why do you say that from the hinges?
7 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Because the hinges seem to come forward, the hinges on the
8right side seem to come forward which means that ----
9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] I must say I cannot really see that.
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Can I draw it?
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray] I know what you are saying, but I just do not see it on
13 MR IRVING: It depends which side the hinges are, surely..
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is very clearly on the top, on the top hinge. There
15are two hinges, and the top hinge.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot see the top hinge.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] It is right where the roof line is. The roof line. We
18are looking at document 11? You can see it. It is
19confirmed, it is confirmed by the next photo.
20 MR RAMPTON: I think, my Lord, your problem is you have not got
21a good photograph.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have I not the same as everybody else?
23 MR RAMPTON: No, I have a much better one and so has the
24witness. Let the Judge see the original.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I borrow?
26 MR IRVING: My Lord, that door could be mounted either way. It
1entirely depends whether it is mounted inside or outside.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much.
3 MR RAMPTON: Professor, taking that, if you like, with
4Mr Tauber's description, but, if you like, leave Mr Tauber
5out, to what side of the door does it seem to you that we
6are looking in this photograph on the left-hand side of
8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The photograph on the left hand is the outside of the
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So if one were looking through the peephole,
11as it were from where the photographer is, you would see
12inside the gas chamber?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] That is the -- the peephole is there where people on the
14outside of the door would have stood.
15 MR RAMPTON: And your view would be somewhat, but not much, of
16that focal length obstructed by this grille?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Which is shown in the next picture, where the grille is.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes. It is in the next picture, not very clear, but it
19is. That is quite right. If Leichenkeller 1 in
20crematoria (ii) and (iii) had been intended for use as
21disinfestation rooms, do you see any reason why Dejaco
22should have changed the way in which the doors opened from
23inwards to outwards?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] No.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton] You spoke of the gas type shutters at bunkers 1 and 2, and
26this is in connection with what you were saying about K4
1and K5, and you mentioned Dragon's testimony. If you have
2that little bigger file, not very big file, K2, could you
3turn to tab 3 and look at one of David Olaire's drawings?
4 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] From No. 3?
5 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, probably. You know them better than I.
6 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
7 Q. [Mr Rampton] Drawing No. 3, which is said to be a drawing from memory
8done in 1945 of bunker 2 which has the macabre sign over
9the door "Disinfektion", and do you see a window he has
11 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton] What do you take that block on the window to be?
13 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] This is one of these gas type shutters.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] Does it correspond in size and appearance to what we can
15see if we go to Auschwitz now, those wooden gas type
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] The wooden gas type shutters which are in the ----
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] There are photographs in Pressac we need not look at?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] --- in crematorium (i).
20 MR IRVING: My Lord, once again we are now introducing fresh
21pictures, fresh evidence. Had this been introduced
22originally, I would have brought photographs showing
23exactly the same gas type shutters with an entirely
25 MR RAMPTON: This drawing has been in Professor van Pelt's
26report since the very beginning of this case, ever since
1he did it.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but not perhaps specifically pointing
3out that window as being ----
4 MR RAMPTON: Oh, yes.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Oh, it is, is it? Good.
6 MR RAMPTON: There is a whole section on Olaire's drawings and
7this window, this particular drawing of this window. In
8fact, there is another one on the next page, outside K5,
9right at the end of the building behind the shoulder of
10the SS person in the end of the building. (To the
11witness): Is that right, Professor?
12 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes. That one -- that is the reason I included that
13drawing inside the expert report.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton] I understand that. You remember I asked you to look, this
15morning, at the document which spoke of keeping a plan
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton] There should have been attached to that another three
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt] Yes, I have this.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton] Yes, dated 16th December 1942; it is a report from
22somebody called Heinrich Kinner who is an SS
23Untersturmfuhrer. My Lord, before I turn to this
24document, I will explain the reason I introduce you to the
25re-examination. The whole of Mr Irving's thesis may or
26may not be a relevant thesis, but the whole thesis is that
1there were no systematic homicidal gassings or killings,
2for that matter, at Auschwitz. If this be a genuine
3document, it is of direct relevance to everything he has
4put to the Professor in cross-examination.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right.
6 MR RAMPTON: You will see a translation.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have not read it, Mr Rampton, so I cannot
8tell you about that, but that is the way it is put.
9 MR RAMPTON: You will see a translation on the next two pages,
10Professor. Can we use the translation?
11 MR IRVING: Before using translations, can I just once again
12object to the introduction of material like this which was
13supplied to me at 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon? It is now
14used in re-examination. This is not the way to deduce
15documents like this.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where did it come from?
17 MR RAMPTON: I cannot tell, your Lordship, the source; the
18source wishes to remain anonymous for personal reasons.
19However, it is not a document that I have ever seen
20before nor anyone on my side. It even surprised my
21scholars. I do not know whether Professor van Pelt
22has seen it, because I have not been talking to him.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I think you will have to lay the
24foundation, given that you tell me the provenance of it.
25 MR RAMPTON: Well, as an anonymous provenance.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It may be that he has seen it before, in
1which case, no problem, but otherwise, I think there has
2to be a limit on what one can introduce. I have not
3actually got the German, so maybe I am doing it less than
5 MR RAMPTON: I think we have the original German.
6 MR IRVING: If the court is to establish a direct between
7Himmler and the killings of Jews somewhere.
8 MR RAMPTON: No, that is not why I want to use the document at
9all. I want to use the document because it demonstrates
10what was happening to Jews at Auschwitz. That is of
11direct relevance to the cross-examination.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Given what you tell me about where it comes
13from, I think one needs to establish that it is on the
14face of it to be taken to be an authentic document.
15 MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving has had it since yesterday. If he tells
16me he disputes its authenticity, then I ----
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you saying that, Mr Irving?
18 MR IRVING: My Lord, I do not know how long it takes the
19Defence experts to look at a document and establish its
20context and find out where it came from, and its pedigree
21and hybrid. In this particular case, given the importance
22of the document, I would have no objection at all to it
23being introduced in three or four weeks time after I have
24had time to chew it over. To have it sprung on me and to
25be sand bagged like this with a document of this
26importance -- unless they are going to rest their entire
1case on this kind of tactic, I think it is very dubious
2and I think this is a very proper case for your Lordship
3to say, well, disregarding merits or otherwise of this
4document, this is not the way to do this; Mr Irving is
5appearing here in person. He does not have the
6resources. He does not have anonymous people ----
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think it has anything to do with
8resources. I have some sympathy with the fact you really
9have not had very much time to consider this.
10 MR IRVING: That is the main point.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What I am wondering, Mr Rampton, because
12obviously we are near the end of Professor van Pelt, do
13you actually have to put this document in through him?
14 MR RAMPTON: No, I do not. I will use it cross-examination
15when I get back to Mr Irving. I have already told him
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then I think I would prefer you did that.
18I think there is some force in what Mr Irving says.
19 MR RAMPTON: Our side takes absolutely no blame for this. We
20have been, as your Lordship may imagine with a case of
21this high profile, showered with material from all
22quarters of the world. This came yesterday, no, I am
23wrong, Wednesday evening out of the blue.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. In a case of this kind, as you say,
25that is bound to happen, but I do not think it means that
26anything can come in, you know, without any real
1examination or opportunity for Mr Irving to examine.
2 MR RAMPTON: No. If Mr Irving wants more time to think about
3it, that is fine. Meanwhile I am not going to say
4anything about the person we got this from, but what its
5original source is, which archive it was in.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It has obviously comes from something, as you
7can see from document 6.
8 MR RAMPTON: Yes, I am told that is a collection of documents
9I think in Walsall.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There we are, Mr Irving. So far, as it were,
11I am with you. I am certainly going to give you time to
12think about it.
13 MR IRVING: Thank you, my Lord.
14 MR RAMPTON: I have finished my re-examination, my Lord. It is
1525 to 4.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have no questions myself, Professor van
17Pelt. You thank you very much indeed.
18 MR RAMPTON: If it is necessary to release him, my Lord, could
19he be released?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Are you released. I am sure it will
21not happen, but if it were to happen we will let you know
22if we would like you to come back. I have no reason to
23suppose that is going to happen.
24 I was going to possible ask Professor van Pelt
25about this, but I think it may be better done another
26way. Would it be possible for either of you, but I think
1the Defendants really are in a better position to, to just
2give me on perhaps a single piece of paper a description
3of how Auschwitz divides up between Auschwitz 1 and
4Auschwitz 2, Birkenhau? I do not really have the basic
5geography in my mind. I have looked at Professor van
6Pelt's helpful report. It does not really tackle that,
7because perhaps because it is so elementary. So would you
8mind producing a document?
9 MR RAMPTON: He is the expert. I could do a diagram now but it
10would be wrong. Before he goes, I do not know if he is
11going until the weekend or beyond.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is why I think it is better not to do it
14 MR RAMPTON: No. Let him produce a plan and we can agree it
15and use it.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let Mr Irving see it obviously.
17 MR RAMPTON: Of course. I will give him a copy.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is all basic stuff.
19 MR IRVING: It should very much be an agreed plan.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, ideally.
21 MR RAMPTON: There is one in Leuchter but it is so hopeless
22that I think we ought not to use it.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. Well, I do not think there is any
24sense at all in recommencing your cross-examination. So
25we will adjourn now. Is there anything else that needs to
26be dealt with at this stage?
1 MR RAMPTON: I do not think there is.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Monday we are having Professor McDonald.
3 MR IRVING: Professor McDonald, my Lord.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Straight off at 10.30?
5 MR IRVING: Straight off at 10.30.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is agreed between you both?
7 MR RAMPTON: Yes, that fine.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: After that cross-examination resumes.
9 MR RAMPTON: If cross-examination is to continue, I will say it
10now so that Mr Irving can think about, I am going to go to
11the meeting between Hitler and Admiral Hurty at Klessheim
12in April 1943. I am then probably going to go Dresden.
13Then I am going to go back to Reichskrissallnacht. That
14is as far as I have got in my planning at the moment.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Good. 10.30 on Monday then.
16 < (The witness withdrew)
17(The Court adjourned until Monday, 31st January 2000).