Irving’e karşı Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 13: Electronic Edition

Pages 11 - 15 of 186

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    It was taken out of service shortly before, but the
 1seen, in May and June 1943 the total incineration capacity
 2in the camp was so much larger than anything really the
 3Germans needed at that moment.
 4     It was absolutely no problem to take out, to
 5decommission the incinerators of crematorium (i) because
 6they were next to the SS, the house of the Kommandant and
 7the laseret and the Kommandantur, to move all incineration
 8capacity to Birkenhau and so that the SS quarters at the
 9Stammlager would be spared the kind of environmental
10disadvantages of having a working crematorium right next
11to it. So this crematorium remained actually on stand-by
12throughout 1943, and these incinerations were only finally
13dismantled in late '44.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So the capacity still exists?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The capacity still exists.
16 MR IRVING:     The capacity still exists. Are you aware that on
17the date of this document, June 28th 1943, crematorium No.
18(ii) was also out of service?
19 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, but it was being repaired at the time and it was
20brought back into service a month later.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     You are familiar, presumably, with the letter from the
22Topf firm dated July 23rd 1943, which states, "Since the
23crematorium has been out of service for six weeks now" in
24one sentence? In other words, this particular crematorium
25was stated on July 23rd already to have been out of
26service for six weeks, so obviously it was a major problem

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 1with crematorium (ii) and yet they list it here as being
 2capable of operating.
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Yes, but this is a general accounting. This letter goes
 4back to a request which was actually made early in January
 5when Hoess wanted to have, the first indication anyway
 6that he wants to have an accounting of total cremation
 7capacity in the camp.
 8     Indeed, crematorium (ii), after having had an
 9overload of incinerations in March and April, had shown
10problems with the flues, actually the flues started to
11collapse, and was taken out of commission in May for
12repair. It took the Topf workers some time to actually
13determine exactly what had happened. It took them even
14more time to actually decide who was to blame, because the
15chimney maker said that it was Topf who was to blame, and
16Topf blamed the chimney makers. So they were, basically,
17negotiating who was going to pay for all of this
18throughout June. Finally, in August, the crematorium was
19brought back into operation. But throughout this time,
20I mean, when you look at incineration capacity in general
21in the camp, this letter does not refer to actually that
22day, but to the general capacity available in the camp.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Professor, do you not agree that in that case, since these
24crematoria were so frequently down, out of service and
25under repair and being squabbled over, it was improper for
26a document to exist giving an overall figure which made no

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 1reference to the fact that at any one given time, 20 or 30
 2per cent of the capacity might be down?
 3 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     That was not yet known in June 1943. We know in hindsight
 4that indeed crematoria (iv) and (v) showed many problems,
 5and that ultimately even the incinerators were at a
 6certain moment left alone for later '43 and early '44, but
 7the fact that we have, in hindsight, acknowledged does not
 8mean that on 28th June '43 that knowledge existed.
 9 Q. [Mr Irving]     Very well. One final question: in view of the
10discrepancies I that have drawn to your attention and
11which I allege exist in this document, will you be
12undertaking any steps to investigate whether there are any
13similar documents with a similar letter registry number
14and which contain similar discrepancies in the rank and
15other items to which I have drawn your attention?
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is really a question for Mr Rampton, not
17for Professor van Pelt.
18 MR IRVING:     I want it to go on the record, my Lord. That is
19all. I have no further questions.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Mr Rampton, do you want to re-examine on that
22 MR RAMPTON:     I would like the Professor -- I am sorry, I have
23only got the German with me. I have not got the
24Professor's report, unfortunately, or any of the other
25documents with me because I had no notice of it. I would
26just like him -- his German is pretty good -- if he will,

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 1just to read the text. (To the witness): Leave out the
 2figures in the middle, if you will, Professor, but just
 3read the text of the letter to us in English starting with
 4"Unter den Eichen 126 - 135", will you?
 5 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     So, OK. There is the address, "Unter den Eichen 126 -
 6135", which seems to be the correct address, as far as
 7I remember. "I announce the completion of crematorium
 8(iii) on 26th June 1943. With this all of the crematoria
 9which were ordered, which were commanded, have been
10completed. The capacity of the now available crematorium
11when used at a 24-hour work cycle", and then we get the
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     Then you get the numbers and the total at the bottom. I
14have one other question only. To your knowledge, did they
15ever actually use any of these crematoria for a full
1624-hour period?
17 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     The time that they would have used it -- we have no
18account. Quite literally, we use it 24 hours or 16 or 18,
19whatever like that, but the only period in which they
20would have had to use these crematoria on a 24-hour cycle
21would have been in May and June 1944 during the Hungarian
23 Q. [Mr Irving]     Were they using all five of these crematoria in the
24Hungarian action?
25 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They certainly used No. (ii) and (iii) which were in full
26function at the time. (iv) and (v) were repaired for the

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 1Hungarian action, shortly before the Hungarian action,
 2because they had been out of commission. But during the
 3Hungarian action (v) and (iv) showed problems, and I think
 4that ultimately (v) was a crematorium where the
 5incinerator collapsed. We always have to make the
 6distinction between the incinerating and the gas
 7chambers. The gas chambers of (iv) and (v) were in full
 8operation during the Hungarian action, but ultimately they
 9created these outside incineration pits during the
10Hungarian action to compensate for the problems in
11crematoria (iv) and (v).
12 Q. [Mr Irving]     Just to complete the picture of potential capacity, if we
13go on to the Hungarian action in the early summer of
14'44, what about bunker 2?
15 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     Are we talking about gassing capacity?
16 Q. [Mr Irving]     Yes bunker 2 was brought back into operation during the
17Hungarian action because they felt that the gas chambers
18of crematoria (ii) to (v) would not be able to cope with
19the arrivals.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]     Where did they incinerate the people that were killed in
21bunker 2?
22 A. [Professor Robert Jan van Pelt]     They were incinerated in open air pits which followed the
23example developed by Stammamptfuhrer Bloebbel in Chelmno
24which Dejaco Hussler had inspected in mid September 1942.
25 MR IRVING:     My Lord, this re-examination is rather exceeding
26the bounds of the original cross-examination.

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