Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

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The Defendants' response ... >>

The Defendants' case as to the absence of signs of chimneys in the roof of Leichenkeller 1

7.118 The Defendants accept that the physical evidence remaining at the site of Auschwitz provides little evidence to support the claim that gas chambers were operated there for genocidal purposes. The explanation, according to the Defendants, is that, after the revelations in the Allied media concerning the gas chambers at the camp at Majdanek in late 1944, Himmler ordered the dismantling of the extermination installations in the crematoria at Auschwitz. In late 1944 the Nazis duly dynamited the crematoria and destroyed the camp archives (or so they intended: as has been observed above, documents from the Central Construction Office accidentally survived).
7.119 Van Pelt addressed in his evidence the argument that chimneys for inserting Zyklon-B pellets into Leichenkeller I cannot have existed because there is no trace of any holes in the roof of the chamber. He agreed that the blueprints for the design of the gas chamber in crematoria 2 did not provide for metal chimneys or ducts. They are not included in the drawings because, according to van Pelt, the drawings were prepared before the decision was taken to use Leichenkeller 1 as a gas chamber.
7.120 As to Irving's claim that the pancaked roof shows no sign of the chimneys, the Defendants point out that this is a new argument which Irving appears first to have lighted on in November 1998. Its relevance to the   criticisms of Irving as an historian is therefore open to doubt. In response to Irving's claim van Pelt maintained, firstly, that the roof is in such a mess and most of it is so inaccessible that it is impossible to verify whether or not the holes existed. In any case he claimed that it is likely that, when the gas chambers were dismantled in 1944, the chimneys would have been removed and the holes cemented over so as to remove incriminating evidence. (Irving regards this as highly implausible since the Russians were by then poised on the eastern side of the Vistula). Moreover, van Pelt repeated that there exists powerful evidence for the existence of chimneys, namely the photographic and eye-witness evidence (including Olere's drawings which I have summarised above).
The Defendants' response ... >>

accessed 11 March 2013