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Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 9: Electronic Edition

Pages 186 - 190 of 194

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    Professor van Pelt, we are wasting our time really,
 1There are no holes in that roof today. There were never
 2four holes through that roof. They cannot have poured
 3cyanide capsules through that roof. The concrete evidence
 4is still there. You yourself have stood on that roof and
 5looked for those holes and not found them. Our experts
 6have stood on that roof and not found them. The holes
 7were never there. What do you have say to that?
 8 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I would just say why do we not put up the picture of the
 9roof and look at the roof in the present condition? The
10roof is a mess. The roof is absolutely a mess. A large
11part of the roof is in fragments. The concrete has many
12different colours. You pretend that you are talking about
13a piece which is intact. It is not.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I remind what you have written in your book?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     It is impossible to determine nowadays what was the
16situation of that roof in 1945.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]     Can I remind what you have written in your expert report
18for this case?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Page?
20 MR IRVING:     I have page 295, my Lord, but that is my copy which
21I printed out again.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I imagine it is the same page for us too, is
23it not.
24 MR IRVING:     I would not bank on it.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     It obviously is not.
26 MR IRVING:     Would the witness kindly read out the paragraph

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 1I have outlined beginning with "Today the four holes
 2cannot be found".
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Can I -- I just want to let -- I will try to find the page
 4number. It is in the Leuchter interrogation.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Irving, I am in your hands about time.
 6You remember I said I would rise whenever was convenient
 7to you after a quarter to 4.
 8 MR IRVING:     My Lord, you may apprehend that the trap is now
 9sprung and it would be a pity to put the mouse back in its
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     The trap is what you have just asked?
12 MR IRVING:     Precisely it, my Lord. There are no holes in that
13roof. There were never any holes in that roof. All the
14eyewitnesses on whom he relies are therefore exposed as
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I am just identifying the trap.
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     OK. Now if I am sitting in the trap I will take a little
18longer to look for the information because ----
19 MR IRVING:     Take as long as you like.
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     --- because I prefer to remain in the trap and eat the
21cheese while it lasts! OK, we are here at page 518, my
23 MR IRVING:     518?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes. The bottom two lines: "Today, these four small holes
25that connected the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys
26cannot be observed in the ruined remains of the concrete

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 1slab. Yet does this mean they were never there? We know
 2that after the cessation of the gassings in the fall of
 31944 all the gassing equipment was removed, which implies
 4both the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys. What would
 5have remained would have been the four narrow holes and
 6the slab. While there is no certainty in this particular
 7matter, it would have been logical to attach at the
 8location where the columns had been some formwork at the
 9bottom of the gas chamber ceiling, and pour some concrete
10in the hole and thus restore the slab."
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Hold it there. So what you are saying is with the Red
12Army just over the River Vistula ever since November 1944
13and about to invade and, as we found out earlier this
14morning, the personnel of Auschwitz concentration camp in
15a blue funk and destroying their records and doing what
16they can, some SS Rottenfuhrer has been given the rotten
17job of getting up there with a bucket and spade and
18cementing in those four holes, in case after we have blown
19up the building they show?
20 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I would like to point out that the gas chamber was removed
21in November 1944.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     The gas chamber was removed?
23 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The gas chamber, the installations were removed. The
24installations in the gas chambers were removed. Also
25during the month of November and December 1944, because
26the Germans were still confident that they could hold back

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 1the Bolshevik hoard from the East, they were creating gas
 2type air raid shelters in Auschwitz at that moment. They
 3had started constructing these things just before. So
 4there was still some local, small-term, small site
 5construction activity going on. This was very primitive,
 6but certainly the SS would have been able in November
 71944, even December 1944, to repair the roof and to remove
 8the evidence of the holes. The invasion, the offensive,
 9only started on January 12th, as we have established
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor van Pelt, do you know what the phrase in
12architecture, "fair face finish" or "fair face concrete"
13refers to?
14 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     I can guess, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]     It means concrete which is left bare to the public. Are
16you aware that this is one of the most expensive finishes
17that an architect can specify?
18 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Because -- can you speculate as to the reason why it is so
21 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Because it is very difficult to get a very even texture.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     I know this. I worked for three years in a concrete gang
23with John Lang working my way through university, so I
24know how difficult it was to get the concrete right. If
25it was not properly vibrated and you had a cavity, you had
26to take down the whole beam because you cannot plaster

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 1over it in a way that it does not show. Is this not so?
 2 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes.
 3 Q. [Mr Irving]     So you would expect that it would be unlikely that these
 4panic stricken Germans could have managed to trowel the
 5finish on both the gravel covered side of the roof and the
 6underside of the roof in such a way that nothing would
 7show, you would not see what is called a drying line
 8around the circle where the hatch had once been. Is that
 9correct, you would expect to find a drying line?
10 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     If you would have had this kind of concrete, but, sadly
11enough, one does not have that kind of concrete in the
12ceiling of morgue No. 1 of crematorium (ii). There is
13actually one little place you can go under it, and this is
14where Mr Leuchter derived some of his samples, and I have
15been also in that place and, in fact, the formwork is a
16complete mess. It is a very irregular formwork. You
17cannot draw any conclusion from that formwork one way or
18the other of what kind of hole was located where.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is it not so that when you have formwork made of wooden
20planks, the concrete retains the grain of the wood; you
21can see the grain of the wood and that too would show that
22you could not plaster over the holes in such a way that
23Holocaust deniers years later would not find them?
24 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, but there is one problem, and that is the column
25which remains. There is one column remains and it is the
26second column. The second column of the crematorium

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