Day 11 Transcript: Holocaust Denial on Trial
Part I: Initial Proceedings (1.1 to 10.2)
1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
1996 I. No. 113
QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION
2 Royal Courts of Justice
3 Strand, London
4 Friday, 28th January 2000
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY
9 B E T W E E N: DAVID JOHN CAWDELL IRVING
10 Claimant -and-
11 (1) PENGUIN BOOKS LIMITED
12 (2) DEBORAH E. LIPSTADT
14 The Claimant appeared in person
15 MR RICHARD RAMPTON Q.C. (instructed by Messrs Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of the First and
16 Second Defendants
17 MISS HEATHER ROGERS (instructed by Davenport Lyons) appeared on behalf of the First Defendant Penguin Books Limited
18 MR ANTHONY JULIUS (of Mishcon de Reya) appeared on behalf of
19 the Second Defendant Deborah Lipstadt
21 (Transcribed from the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell
&Company, Clifford’s Inn, Fetter Lane, London EC4
22 Telephone: 020-7242-9346)
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
5 witness is going to make a presentation to us, but before
6 he does so, I believe I am right in saying, my Lord, that
7 the Defence learned counsel wishes to make some kind of
8 submission to your Lordship.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does he? Right.
10 MR RAMPTON: It is not really a submission; it is about
11 Professor McDonald. I do not know if your Lordship has
12 had a chance to read his two statements.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Glanced at it this morning, but only one
14 actually I have seen.
15 MR RAMPTON: Well, there is a new version. It does not really
16 matter because they are all to the same effect. I am not
17 submitting that he should not be called, but I am a little
18 bit concerned that Mr Irving has told my instructing
19 solicitors that he thinks Professor MacDonald will be in
20 the witness box for three days.
21 Professor MacDonald tells us in paragraph 4 of
22 his paragraph first this: “The main point of my testimony
23 is that the attacks made on David Irving by the Deborah
24 Lipstadt and Jewish organizations, such as the
25 Anti-defamation League, should be viewed in the long term
26 context of Jewish/Gentile interactions”.
1 I have a great deal of difficulty seeing how
2 that main point has anything much to do with the issues in
3 this case.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, this is very much a first impression
5 because I have only glanced at it, but I did wonder,
6 looking at it, to what extent he can really assist. But,
7 having said that, for obvious reasons I am anxious to give
8 Mr Irving as much latitude as possible. It may be that
9 something admissible and helpful will emerge when he comes
10 actually into the witness box.
11 MR RAMPTON: As I said, I am not saying he should not be
12 called, but I am concerned about how it is that Mr Irving
13 thinks that Professor McDonald should be in the witness
14 box for three days when it is quite likely that I will
15 have little or nothing to ask him in cross-examination.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We need to, perhaps, thrash it out a little
17 because of the timetable.
18 MR RAMPTON: Precisely. I have at the moment got Professor
19 Browning scheduled to give evidence on 7th February which
20 is the beginning of the week after next.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Mr Irving, as I said, certainly we must
22 have him and hear what he has to say, but there is,
23 I think, some force in what Mr Rampton says about how much
24 he is able to assist.
25 MR IRVING: I hear what you say. When I stated that Professor
26 McDonald (who is, in fact, our guest in the court today)
1 would be here for three days, this was purely to make sure
2 that 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
6 hear that I do not intend, even with your Lordship’s
7 permission, if I am given that permission, to examine him
8 in chief at any great length. If I do so, it will be
9 purely for the purpose of putting before him, as a way of
10 introducing them to the court, a number of documents which
11 I have not been able yet to put before the court. This as
12 one of the very points I was going to discuss with your
13 Lordship this morning for a few minutes.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, well, can you assume (because it will be
15 the case) that by Monday I will have read and, hopefully,
16 digested what he says, although I have only at the moment
17 only got one statement from Professor MacDonald.
18 MR IRVING: My Lord, you will have been given Professor
19 MacDonald’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
22 included a double column preparation which he made as more
23 of a way of explaining what he is doing here, as I see it
24 like that.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I had better try to identify that so I know
26 what 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
5 it was.
6 MR RAMPTON: It is behind one of Mr Irving’s letters, a letter
7 dated 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
10 much when Professor MacDonald is giving evidence, but
11 there are a number of documents (probably three or four in
12 total) which I would wish to put to him which do highlight
13 and, in fact, draw the connection directly between his
14 evidence and this case, which will make it easier for your
15 Lordship to reach a determination on its relevance.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. I do not think Mr Rampton is
17 going to quarrel with that. But, as I say, proceed on the
18 assumption that I will have read it so that you do not
19 need to take him through it.
20 MR IRVING: I certainly shall not.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But with all he experts, a bit of
22 supplemental questioning is inevitable.
23 MR IRVING: Perhaps I can just sketch the character of the
24 document which your Lordship will be funded with when the
25 time comes. They will show to my mind that there is a
26 clear connection between the book that is the basis of
1 this case, the publication complained of, and these
2 organizations who provided the material, that they did so
3 following an agenda and that this may well have tainted
4 the information which the author and the publisher relied
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not immediately obvious to me how that
7 really 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
10 when he comes to give evidence.
11 MR IRVING: That brings us rather neatly, my Lord, to the
12 question which I was going to discuss, if I might, for
13 three or four minutes this morning which is the burden of
14 proof. I have handed your Lordship just two quotations
15 from documents with which I am sure your Lordship, being
16 an eminent barrister in your previous incarnation, will be
17 thoroughly familiar with.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
19 MR IRVING: In Gatley we learn that the standard of proof in a
20 civil procedure is not just the balance of probabilities
21 really, but there is a sliding scale, depending on how
22 grave 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
26 three lines, “becomes part of” — this is Ungoed-Thomas in
1 Re Dillows Will Trust — “the circumstances in which the
2 court has to take into consideration in deciding whether
3 or not the burden of proof has been discharged. The more
4 serious the allegation, the more cogent is the evidence
6 The reason I am saying this is because dealing
7 with crematorium No. (ii) and the mortuary No. 1, which
8 the Professor in evidence has agreed is really the pivotal
9 point of the whole Holocaust allegation —-
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think he has, but, anyway, leave
11 that 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
15 submission, falls far short so far, and it may well be
16 that the witness will come up in the remainder of my
17 cross-examination with evidence which satisfies these
18 criteria —-
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not want to get side tracked into an
20 argument at this stage. Let me make it clear that my
21 interpretation of those authorities is that the issue
22 where the standard of proof may be higher than the
23 ordinary civil standard of proof, is the issue whether the
24 Defendants have justified their allegation against you.
25 We do not start applying different standards of proof to
26 the individual items of evidence as to whether or not
1 there were gas chambers at Auschwitz. That has got
2 nothing to do with the authority that you just referred
3 to. That applies only to the standard of proof to be
4 applied in relation to the plea of justification.
5 MR IRVING: But, surely, the allegations about the individual
6 mosaic stones of their own Defence and plea of
7 justification have to meet the same criteria as the
8 overall allegations about myself?
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Again, so that you are clear the way I am
10 thinking at the moment anyway, the overall question I have
11 to decide is whether you have conducted yourself in the
12 way that an honest, conscientious historian would conduct
13 himself. The question that you have not is, I agree, a
14 serious suggestion to be making, so it may require to be
15 proved to a slightly higher standard than the ordinary
16 civil standard. But one tests the proposition against the
17 totality of the evidence, and the evidence may be good,
18 bad or indifferent, if you see what I mean?
19 MR IRVING: Your Lordship will pardon me for occasionally
20 waving a red flag when I am worried about —-
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think you have done that very effectively
22 and I have your point.
23 MR RAMPTON: Can I wave my own, I do not think red, perhaps
24 amber flag? I have said it before and I had the
25 impression your Lordship agreed with me, but I will say it
26 again because I do not know that Mr Irving has understood
1 it or that, if he has, he agrees with it. It is this.
2 I do not undertake in this court the burden of proving
3 that the Holocaust happened.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No.
5 MR RAMPTON: Or that there were gas chambers in Auschwitz.
6 I undertake the burden of proving that Mr Irving made the
7 statements he did about the gas chambers in Auschwitz from
8 1988 onwards without any proper foundation for what he
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is really what I was seeking to put to
11 Mr Irving, but I think you have put it more clearly and,
12 if I may say so, correctly.
13 MR IRVING: That is very helpful, my Lord. In other words, it
14 is the “ought to” allegation rather than the “had before
15 him but disregarded”, if your remember, the negligence
16 rather 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
19 further submissions to make except I dealt with the point
20 that your Lordship will allow me to put to Professor
21 McDonald 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
24 that, I believe the witness now wishes to make —-
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is notionally cross-examination, but it is
26 going to be a long answer to a question you have raised.
1 MR IRVING: Would your Lordship like to phrase the question to
2 the witness which he can now respond to?
Part II: Cross-Examination of Professor Van Pelt by David Irving continued, Morning Session (10.3 to 152.14)
Section 10.3 to 29.23
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
6 very shortly.
7 Is there anything to be derived or inferred from
8 the blueprints relating to the construction of the gas
9 chambers — sorry, from a construction at Auschwitz which
10 entitles one to infer that provision was made for gas
11 chambers generally and, in particular, perhaps for the
12 ducts into which these Zyklon-B pellets are alleged to
13 have been poured?
14 MR IRVING: On the roof.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That, I understand, to be the broad issue
16 which you are now going to address, is that correct,
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, my Lord, and I have a question, because we have been
19 talking about crematorium (ii) and, by implication,
20 crematorium (iii) until now, as Mr Irving has said,
21 indeed, in the gas chamber of crematorium No. (ii), in my
22 judgment, most of the people, I mean, at least half of the
23 people killed in the gas chambers were killed in that
24 particular space; but, of course, if we go back to the
25 document recording the meeting of 19th August 1942, a
26 point I made in my presentation on Tuesday was that it
1 were actually crematoria (iv) and (v) which were designed
2 in immediate response to what I see as the change of
3 purpose of Auschwitz.
4 Now, if you think that this is irrelevant
5 because we have only been talking really about the design
6 of the adaptation of morgue No. 1, I will not talk about
7 it, but in case you think it is useful, I do have prepared
8 also walk through of crematorium (i) and a discussion on
9 the blue prints of crematorium (iv) and (v).
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: My reaction to that, and it is subject to
11 anything Mr Irving may want to say or Mr Rampton, is that
12 you can take whichever crematorium you wish or, I suppose,
13 really Leichenkeller you wish, because if you are able to
14 establish — I do not know whether you will or you will
15 not — that they were designed to be gas chambers or that
16 there was a duct through which the pellets could be
17 poured, it seems to me it is likely to be the right
18 inference that a similar plan was contemplated in relation
19 to the other morgues.
20 So Mr Irving, unless you wish to dissuade the
21 witness, I think he is entitled to look at any of the
22 so-called gas chambers.
23 MR IRVING: In theory, yes, my Lord, but does it not rather fly
24 in the face of your response to my remarks about proof,
25 that I am not required to establish everything about the
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: We are not dealing with proof at all at the
2 moment. We are dealing with how this witness chooses to
3 the question that I re formulated for him.
4 MR IRVING: But if by a shifting of his ground now from the one
5 where he originally said 500,000 people died in this gas
6 chamber, and this was the centre of the universe of
7 atrocities, and he now wishes for whatever reason to
8 shift his ground away from there to 4 and 5, this, I would
9 submit, 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,
14 Mr Rampton? Supposing he answers the question by
15 reference to 4 and 5, you can then pick up your
16 cross-examination and say, “Well, come on, that is 4 and
17 5. 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
21 that they are now changing the rules. They are changing
22 not only the rules, but they are changing the football
23 ground 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,
26 but 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
3 have done. I do believe again that Mr Irving has
4 completely misunderstood the nature of the case.
5 Mr Irving chose to focus on Leichenkeller 1 in crematorium
6 (ii). That is fine. Professor van Pelt’s
7 evidence-in-chief, which is in his report and which, if he
8 disputes it, Mr Irving will have to challenge, is that
9 there were, in fact, at least seven homicidal gas chambers
10 in use at Auschwitz and Birkenhau at various times up to
11 the autumn of 1944.
12 Two of the most important of those buildings are
13 crematoria (iv) and (v) which Professor van Pelt tells us
14 in his report were purpose-built as gas chambers, and it
15 is only for the case of coherence, if anything else, that
16 he should, in my submission, explain what he says about
17 those to your Lordship as relevant.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Having said what he wants to say about
19 crematoria (iv) and (v), it is, of course, open to
20 Mr Irving to say, “Well, that does not prove anything in
21 relation 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,
24 but 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
3 death allegation. If I have denied the factories of
4 death, which is the nub of the allegation against me, and
5 if I have successfully established to the court’s
6 satisfaction that this building was not what has been
7 claimed over the last 55 years, and there is not the
8 slightest shred of reliable and plausible evidence for
9 that, then I would submit that I have discharged my
10 obligations to the court in a satisfactory manner as far
11 as my own reputation is concerned —-
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
13 MR IRVING: — regarding the factories of death. If they come
14 along with subsidiary allegations and say, “Yes, but a lot
15 of Jews of gypsies were killed in this building too”, I
16 would say I have never denied that there were killings in
17 Auschwitz. What I have denied is this mass production of
18 factories of death allegation, this churning out 2,500
19 bodies per day kind of allegation.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are beginning to give me a foretaste of
21 what we call your final speech.
22 MR IRVING: My Lord, like any good advocate, I have been
23 preparing my final speech from the moment this case began.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sure you have, but what I am really
25 saying is that we are on the evidence at the moment and
26 not on speeches. So let us get on with the evidence,
1 shall we?
2 MR IRVING: You allowed learned counsel some leeway on this
3 matter, my Lord, and I was only claiming the same amount
4 of leeway.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton probably has not started his final
6 speech yet.
7 MR RAMPTON: Absolutely right.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Now, Professor?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There are two issues. First of all, if we can have the
10 override —-
11 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: I know the problem. I think we have solved it, I hope.
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: And I would like, my Lord, there is going to be one
13 particular detail which I do not have a sight of, but
14 I refer to it when I come to it which is actually in
15 Auschwitz 2, core file Auschwitz 2, the picture file,
16 trial bundle, and it is actually in tab 1, No. 3B. It is
17 actually to be seen in two pictures; detail B and the
18 little colour version of detail B which is right below
20 Now, I will point out, since I do not want to
21 come over to you and point on your document and then on
22 Mr Irving’s document and Mr Rampton’s document, exactly
23 which detail, but certainly I will put my finger on
24 the thing in the slide which is not visible in the slide,
25 but it visible actually in your enlargement right here.
26 I want you to be prepared for that. Is it OK that I move
1 to the screen?
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course, yes. Thank you very much.
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: My intention when the lights go out is very simple. It is
4 very simple. It is to make the blueprints intelligible.
5 There are a couple of things which are not in the
6 blueprint, two things which are not in the blueprint, but
7 we know from other sources, from correspondence which were
8 installed, and I will tell those when we go through.
9 But there are already in the document which was
10 submitted by Mr Irving, I already point them out, it is
11 the drawing by Kate Mullen, my student, then submitted by
12 Mr Irving in evidence to you and I will just point them
13 out. These are the columns which are not in the
14 blueprints. So that the first thing.
15 The second thing is the duct which was going to
16 bring the hot air from the ventilator rooms to the gas
17 chambers which is in the document of 6 March 1943.
18 So what I am going to do now is introduce a new
19 set of images of which copies, I have given copies to
20 Mr Rampton, and I will start with this one, very simple
21 above ground incineration room, coke stores, space,
22 administration offices, toilets, chimney, ventilator
23 mounted, an original design for a fresh ventilator, not
24 installed, but it was installed in crematorium (iii) and
25 the dissection rooms.
26 That is difficult for me to actually focus to
1 see whether it is really in focus or not. That would seem
2 to be in focus. If you tell me when it is not in focus?
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is fine now.
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Here are the dissection rooms. Morgue No. 1, gas chamber,
5 morgue No. 2 and an outside entrance with two staircases
6 that slide in between. Now I am going to the images which
7 were produced quite recently and — can somebody mark, can
8 you focus for me? I cannot see. It is blurred. The
9 first ring, if you can control the first ring. OK. We
10 are going back to this. I am going to make — we are
11 going — the first thing I am going to do after just
12 showing the kind of diagrams you are going to get later,
13 I am first going to actually walk you through the
14 building, around the building, in a reconstruction made on
15 the basis of the blueprints. I am just going to flag a
16 few major things. It is exactly the same perspective as
17 we had before was included here and which we tried to make
18 very clear is really the ventilation systems as they
20 The ventilation systems which are in green which
21 is right here, above the incineration room and alongside
22 the ceiling of the undressing room or the morgue No. 2 is
23 indicated in green, and all of the systems came into this
24 chimney. Then there was a second part of the ventilation
25 system. This is called the entluftung system, a second
26 system, and this is basically coming into the ceiling of
1 morgue No. 1 and that is blue. So blue is bringing fresh
2 air in, green is taking foul air out and whatever is in
3 there, and that we will come later back to that would have
4 been that duct for hot air based — reconstructed on the
5 basis really of two documents but no blueprint. Then here
6 the pink stuff, basically the funnels for going to the
7 chimney below the ground from the incinerators.
8 If you want me to slow down at any given moment
9 or point out any detail, explain, please do so because I
10 am going to walk through this. This is what the building
11 as it would have been seen when one is at the end of the
12 railway track. This is crematorium (ii), so, more or
13 less, when you enter the compound in which the crematorium
14 was placed. This is the main chimney with the place, the
15 extension, the projections of the building in which the
16 waste incinerator was originally projected, the
17 incineration room sits more or less here. This is the
18 coke store space, and the dissection rooms are there.
19 I am going to make actually two entries into the
20 building, one along a staircase which is still there right
21 here, and the staircase which goes to the basement and we
22 really concentrate our presentation on the basement.
23 Later we see here the kind of slightly high elevation of
24 the underground morgue No. 2. We will enter the building
25 through that entrance there, an entrance which was made in
1 We come closer to the building. Here we see the
2 staircase going down. This is an entry to the autopsy
3 rooms right there. We will actually go down the
4 staircase, and since it was very difficult to model that
5 situation, how to go down, the people who did it, two
6 architects, chose to show actually a kind of section of
7 the building. Here is the grate level. We have here the
8 underground morgue and we see actually the staircase going
9 down. Basically, the soil has been cut away with the
10 entrance right here going into this little vestibule.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is the undressing room on the right, is
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This will be then the undressing room and then the alleged
14 gas chambers would be seen here, but you will see in more
15 detail. You already can see here the two chimneys, the
16 chimney of the beiluftung and the entluftung, of fresh air
17 coming in, foul air coming out. We see in green where the
18 systems are sitting. This is one of the pipes, that is
19 one of the pipes, and this is then a probable
20 reconstruction where that hot air would have come in, but
21 again we do not have any blueprints for that.
22 Then one would have come into this little
23 corridor and then into this large morgue No. 2. If one
24 takes that entry right under the autopsy rooms, this is
25 what one would have seen. But was here at the site, based
26 on the drawing of Olaire, we knew there was a ventilation
1 system in that thing, but we did not know how it looked
2 like because it is not in the blueprints. It was brought
3 in later. But Olaire depicted to, I have used Olaire as,
4 basically, the depiction of the undressing as room as the
5 basis for this thing.
6 I am very sorry for the way the lighting has
7 been depicted. This has been, basically, standard 1999
8 kind of light fixtures, and this is certainly not how it
9 would have looked, the kind of way these light fixtures
10 would have looked, but one gets a sense of how much light
11 would have been in this room.
12 This is the later staircase. This is the
13 staircase which goes to the outside which was constructed
14 in late 1943.
15 What I am going to do now is actually go around
16 the undressing room morgue No. 2, and take the second
17 entrance which was the entrance which was used in the
18 Hungarian action after it was constructed to get a more
19 logical flow of people into the underground space. This
20 entrance is also still there. You can see it. One would
21 go down here and then enter in this underground space and,
22 of course, see it then from a different perspective.
23 Now you come into this large underground space
24 and now, of course, the ventilation is on the right side
25 instead of on the left side.
26 MR IRVING: My Lord, can I ask occasional questions while we
1 have him on a particular picture?
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Try not to interrupt the flow otherwise
3 we will get lost, but, yes, I think that is not
4 unreasonable. It is cross-examination.
5 MR IRVING: If we could just go back to the previous picture?
6 Can you go back? What kind of door would have been on
7 that entrance?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We do not know because there is one — the door is not
9 there and the entrance is available in two blueprints
10 called “Zeichaufnahme” which means a picture, a
11 description, of the actual situation, but these two
12 blueprints 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 Van Pelt]: I do not know.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]: Very well.
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So we are now in this underground space, what became the
17 undressing room, as the Defence maintains. Now we go
18 outside — sorry, I will just go back. We go — actually
19 behind the columns there is an exit door and comes out in
20 the little vestibule, and originally where I stand was the
21 original entrance into this vestibule from above. That is
22 the first staircase when we went down, and we see here the
23 chimney going up, the entluftung chimney, taking the foul
24 air out, and we see here a kind of computer model, this
25 computer model, we see here basically the pipe coming off
26 the undressing room going into that chimney, and we see
1 the second, we see a second pipe — actually, I do not
2 know why it is red right now, but in some way the
3 ventilation system of the gas chamber would also have
4 connected to this. We see here an elevator. Again I have
5 to tell you they took kind took 1990’s language for it,
6 and then here the entrance into the morgue No. 1.
7 Now, at that point again we have something of a
8 difficulty, and the difficulty is that you see that there
9 is one panel of the door is open, but the second one
10 actually is closed. It is fixed. The blueprint shows,
11 the last blueprint we have shows basically the double
12 panelled door opening. But there is at a certain moment
13 an order for this particular door, and from that order it
14 is clear that only one of the panels moves and that the
15 second thing was actually either closed by masonry or by
16 the fixed panel. We can interpret that later, but in some
17 way again I just want to point out at the moment what is
18 in the blueprints, what is in inferred out of other
19 documents and what, ultimately, is on the basis of
20 eyewitness testimony.
21 So this particular reconstruction is made on the
22 basis of a combination of the blueprint and a particular
23 order for this gastur, as it is called, of one metre by
24 100 — one metre by almost two metres high, 192
25 centimetres high.
26 We are now in the gas chamber or in morgue
1 No. 1. We have just walked in and this was the space one
2 would have seen. There are, basically, the entluftung
3 system, the foul air is being taken out at the bottom
4 connected to that chimney, and we have here the fresh air
5 being brought in from the top.
6 Now, I will show you the blueprints in a moment
7 because this only is to aid interpreting the blueprints.
8 And then added in this particular thing which is not in
9 the blueprints are three of the four Zyklon-B insertion
11 Now, so there is none at first column, at third
12 column, right there in the fifth column, they are
13 alternating on the left and the right side.
14 I just want to go back for a moment. The
15 sub-division of this room in two rooms which happened
16 later in 1943 would have occurred on this line here, on
17 the fourth column, halfway. Again, there is no blueprint
18 for that. Then we go back into this elevator space and we
19 see here the elevator, there were actually doors brought
20 in. There were no doors and we see here this platform
21 going up.
22 MR IRVING: It is a bit like a builder’s hoist, is that
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. That is what they actually used because they were
25 not able to get the right elevator. Then this would have
26 been the incineration room, of which we actually also have
1 photos. These are the incinerators, these triple muffle
2 incinerators. At the back is the coke supply. This is
3 also the fire grate and this is where the ashes are taken
4 out. So at a certain moment there is a description in
5 Tauber. What happens is that he has put in here, but what
6 he says is that actually they start to fire, not that they
7 put a fire in the ash muffle. So he is not actually being
8 burned directly, and so, if you read his description, this
9 is the ash kind of muffle.
10 One drawing which is important is this. Could
11 you see from the inside of the incineration room, the roof
12 of the morgue No. 1? We have introduced on here, I think
13 a little high, I must admit, these alleged insertion
14 points, but certainly, because Tauber says that he is
15 inside the incineration room, and I asked my student to
16 actually step back a few steps from the window, so he does
17 not stand right at the window but, if he was standing back
18 at say a metre and a half into the space, look through the
19 window, would he have been able to see anything? He
20 actually describes the situation and this is what he could
21 have seen at those points.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There is another witness who describes
23 looking out from the incineration room, is there not?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think that only Tauber does that.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought there was another one.
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There is another one who sees it from the outside.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Maybe I am confused.
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is the question. It is, from the inside of the
3 incineration room, what do you see? We go now back to the
4 diagrams and I am going to turn the diagrams around in
5 four basic exposures, every 90 degrees we turn around,
6 first without the heating duct and then with the heating
8 So again, we have here the incineration room,
9 the flues going to the chimney. We have here the
10 entluftung, which is all green, going from the bottom of
11 the gas chamber or morgue No. 1, and we have here the one
12 system, only one pipe attached to the ceiling of morgue
13 No. 2, all connected to this one chimney. It is clearly
14 indicated in the blueprints except this one which was
15 constructed later. We have here the chimney house, so to
16 speak. We have here the Beiluftung going from the second
17 little chimney going in. Then we have here the staircase
18 with that slide in between, just indicated again rather
19 vaguely. We tried to create a wall transparent so that
20 you can get some sense of what is happening there.
21 Then I am going to show the same thing. I am
22 going slowly to rotate it every ten seconds or so. One
23 can look at from a different perspective. Now we are
24 looking at it from the west almost, and one can see very
25 clearly again the size of the undressing room.
26 If I am going too fast, please tell me because
1 I will stop.
2 Here we have the staircase going into the
3 basement, second staircase added later. Underground flues
4 again. It is important of course in relationship also to
5 crematorium 1 where there was an underground flue
6 connecting the building to the chimneys. The chimney
7 seems to be standing separately, does it mean it is not
9 OK, so that was the reconstruction. So, with
10 that in mind, I feel that we can go to the actual
11 blueprints and so this is a heading of one of the typical
12 ones. Is there anything you would like to see again
13 before we go in here?
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No but one thing did occur to me as you were
15 going through. Was there any heating in the undressing
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There was no heating in the undressing room.
18 MR RAMPTON: Could I ask one question before we leave the
19 picture? 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
24 the moment.
25 MR RAMPTON: Professor van Pelt, can I do it now before you
26 come to the plans and the documents? You showed us the
1 new entrance to the undressing room in 43.
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving]: Do you know of any document which refers to gas tight
4 doors for Leichenkeller 2?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, I do not. The only document which refers to a gas
6 door quite literally is in relationship to morgue No. 1,
7 not 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 Van Pelt]: So this is a typical heading. This is one of the original
11 blueprints in early 1942 because we are dealing here with
12 an adaptation. What is very important — I am going now
13 to introduce, and I am very sorry, I do not think they are
14 actually in my expert reports, and I do not really know
15 how to do it, but this is the very, very first sketch
16 which was ever made. It was made in October 1941. It is
17 in my book. It shows basically the same arrangement. The
18 crematorium is slightly different. They are a number of
19 things, but we are here at the ground floor. You see
20 incineration hole. You see here you the autopsy rooms,
21 the elevator more narrow than in the final one but there
22 is the elevator. There is the entrance to the side which
23 is the one with the slide and the two stairs, the coke
24 storage. We have the office here, we have some bathrooms
25 and so on, and then here we have the sauzuanlage as it
26 says, which means the ventilators, not three around the
1 chimney but one system preceding the chimney, the chimney
2 standing asymmetrically, and here the trash incinerator.
3 So this is the very first design. As you probably realize
4 now, the design was changed a little bit.
5 What is quite important in this first design is
6 the particular arrangement of the underground space. The
7 only access to the underground space at this moment, and
8 we do not know what has happened here or there, but I do
9 not think there is any access on that side, but we have
10 here the stairs going down with the slide, and then of
11 course the elevator coming down right there.
12 MR IRVING: Would you like to explain the significance of the
13 slide please, the chute?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The chute is something one has in every underground
15 morgue. For example, one can go to Satzenhausen today.
16 There is a morgue and above it a dissection room and there
17 is an outside entrance into that underground morgue, and
18 what happens is that the slide can be interpreted both in
19 a more or less kind of gross manner. One of the things is
20 that the slide can be used actually to slide corpses down,
21 which is probably the more unusual way to do it, but the
22 other thing is that, if one carries a corpse down on the
23 stretcher, then in this case one had people on the left
24 and the right of the stretcher, and the stretcher can
25 actually go over the middle. So this is more or less the
26 width of the stretcher with two people on each side
1 carrying it. But one could also slide the corpse down.
2 I think that is probably the more unusual thing to do. In
3 the Auschwitz museum one has actually a picture in the
4 model one created of actually a truck unloading corpses in
5 that way. Now I do not know what the evidence is for that
6 but —-
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the slide anyway.
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. So what is important here is the way the doors open
9 into the morgue. So there is a very large morgue here
10 like morgue No. 2, and this is morgue No. 1, and the doors
11 open inwards into the morgue in the original design.
12 Now we come to the first set of blueprints as it
13 was actually drawn up, and now I have turned them. We
14 have here the incineration room with the five triple
15 muffle ovens. This is the chimney. Around the chimney
16 the three sauzuanlage, the forced draught which becomes
17 important with the proposal to heat morgue No. 1. Then
18 these are motor rams, this is actually for the engine, to
19 run these ventilators. This was then the trash
20 incinerator, the coke storage offices and here we have the
21 dissection rooms with in this case again the slide, and we
22 have the stairs at the side. There are no stairs at this
23 side right now.
Section 29.24 to 43.21
24 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, would you estimate for the
25 court the distance from the closest furnace to the mouth
26 of the chimney in terms of feet or metres?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Sorry, this furnace?
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: Well, either as shown on this drawings or as finally
3 built, just in rough terms. Would it be 70 feet?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: From this furnace?
5 Q. [Mr Irving]: It would be fair to take the shortest. What is the
6 shortest path?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The shortest path? This is 3 metres. Quite literally,
8 this 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 Van Pelt]: This one here?
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
14 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Higher than that, I think. I do not think have the thing
17 right now.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: Just in rough terms. You say the total path travelled
19 would be about 80 or 90 feet?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not really know exactly the height of the chimney
21 right now, because you are below ground in the chimney so
22 it is also a problem. You enter through the entrance
23 below ground, so if the chimney is visible above ground
24 you need to add another 6 feet for that.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: So in simple terms a flame would have to travel about 90
26 feet before it emerged?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Whatever. I presume so. I do not know exactly the
2 behaviour of flames in chimneys. But there is a
3 considerable distance, yes, which of course is important
4 to create the draught. Now I want to go back to the
5 original design because we are going to the basement,
6 which I have now turned around to be exactly in the same
7 position as we are looking at the rest of the blueprints,
8 doors open very clearly inwards.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: They open inwards into the mortuary?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Into the mortuary, yes, which comes later as the defence
11 alleges, the gas chambers. That is in accordance with the
12 way the doors open in these other spaces.
13 Now we get the second blueprint. The problem in
14 this particular point of the presentation is that this
15 image, this black and white slide, was made for me at the
16 museum in 1990, and it is very difficult to see exactly
17 what happens here. But, when you go to the archive right
18 now and look very carefully and that is what we have done,
19 actually that is a detail I was shown, one can actually
20 see there a door, that the door in this original copy of
21 the final blue print of 1942 still opens inwards, but in
22 fact at a certain moment the way the door opens inwards
23 has been scratched out, but I show the remains of it.
24 This is what I tried to photograph with my assistant in
25 these details.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: Is that on this map? The one you are showing us? On this
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. It is in this particular copy not visible. But it
3 is 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
6 photograph 3 on 3B?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
8 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, for reference at page 3B of section 1 of
9 the 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
13 actually see quite clearly, as the Professor has said, at
14 any rate one half of the door opening inwards. It is
15 probably difficult to see in this light, but it can be
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You need proper light. I follow.
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That is exactly why I wanted to show this so that we all
19 know exactly what we are talking about, this thing, and
20 what we will see is the remains basically of the door
21 opening inside.
22 MR IRVING: Approximately when was the alteration made in your
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We will look at that at the next slide. This is the
25 blueprint for that, for the alteration of December 1942.
26 I would like to show at the moment also some of
1 the other details. How do we know where the
2 entluftungskanal was, how the ventilation system works?
3 For example, you see here, this is at the bottom of the
4 thing, this little dotted line, which is the
5 entluftungskanal. It says right here, entluftungskanal.
6 Its also says right there entluftungskanal. This dotted
7 line goes here and goes right there into the chimney. It
8 is very clear. This one ultimately is connected over the
9 gas chamber to this one.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]: Into which chimney? Into the main chimney?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, into the chimney for the entluftung, for the vent for
12 taking out the foul air.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: You have what is called a stack effect? We will come to
14 that in a moment.
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: OK. Then there is a second chimney here, but it does not
16 go down to basement level so it is not depicted at
17 basement level. What is very important here is that we
18 have the staircase, we have another staircase and we have
19 these two entluftungskanal, and we have here the columns.
20 Of course we do not see these Zyklon-B insertion columns
21 because this drawing is from early 1942.
22 Now, one of the things which happened is that in
23 these drawings they always use the same set of
24 blueprints. When they create modifications at a certain
25 moment, they only make a small drawing of the particular
26 modification, which is put literally on top of it, because
1 it is transparent originally. We see also that one more
2 morgue has been included, we see here quite clearly how
3 the door opens inwards. It opens inwards here. At least
4 where I stand it is very clear. So this was never taken
5 out with some razor blades.
6 You see, by the way, just at this level we see
7 also very clearly these underground flues. As they then
8 are joined these two are then connected above with one
9 particular sauzuanlage going into the chimney.
10 Here we have then the elevation and we are now
11 looking at the elevation of the building. Just here in
12 the original 1942 drawings we see here the elevation of
13 morgue No. 1. It is a little higher. We are now going to
14 look in section at the same thing, so first one needs to
15 flip it up.
16 Now we are looking in section. The first
17 section, we see here the slide, the staircase, side
18 entrance going down into the little vestibule. We see
19 here the elevator shaft. Then here we see, and we will
20 get much better ones in a moment, the section through
21 morgue No. 1. What is important is that the section is
22 exactly at the point where the connectors are between the
23 ventilating systems which are on the left and the right of
24 the thing, so it is not so that there is a hollow space
25 all above, or all below, above the ceiling or above the
26 floor. It is only at two points that that actually
1 occurs, to connect those systems. We will come back to
2 that later.
3 MR IRVING: The next one is even better, in fact, Professor.
4 While we have that picture up, could you estimate the
5 thickness of that concrete roof slab?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This roof slab?
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: The reinforced concrete roof slab over mortuary No. 1?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We have actually the one which is here.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: This is the actual reinforced concrete?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is the reinforced concrete. It is actually
11 indicated. The problem is it is written right here and it
12 is almost impossible to read.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: About 12 inches, do you think?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. This says 38 centimetres right here. 038. This is
15 38 centimetres. So we are talking here about probably 20
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: 20 centimetres?
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is 20 centimetres thick roof.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]: Steel reinforced concrete?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Steel reinforced concrete, yes. So this whole thing is 2
21 metre 5, so this is clearly around 20 centimetres. It is
22 a pity I cannot read this right here.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: Is that the double door?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is 50 centimetres wide there, so probably even less
25 than 20 centimetres, probably more.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: Is that the double door that your hand was over?
1 A. [Professor 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
3 is, or what kind of handle?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The only indication we have is that it was a gastur, which
5 means a gas door.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is not from the blueprint?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Not from the blue print, that is from the documents.
8 MR IRVING: In fact, of course, these are not blueprints, are
9 they? They are drawings.
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We call these things blueprints.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]: Architects do not. They call them drawings.
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They are copies and this happens to be a colour copy.
13 None of the originals, which was drawn on basically
14 vellum, actually exist any more. These are all basically
15 copies made in the normal way, and then they
16 were dispersed. The originals were probably in Berlin
17 because as far as we know they were kept and openly sent
18 to the SS headquarters, and they were boxed.
19 I just want to show here that the most important
20 thing is against the ventilation system sitting in the
21 wall, this is the entluftungsanlage, this is taking out of
22 air. This is the beiluftungsanlage, and here we are at
23 what is the normal situation where they are not
24 connected. The left and the right is not connected but in
25 this one we see them connected at a particular point.
26 This is just to show how you only need ultimately —
1 because the left is connected to the right and then the
2 right is connected to the chimney. You do not have to
3 have a special connection from the left side to the
4 chimney, or connected to one ventilator.
5 I just want to point out, because we probably
6 are going to go there, that the thickness, if indeed we
7 agree the thickness of the slab, was around maximum 20,
8 probably closer to 18 or 19 centimetres. If one looks
9 also at the kind of support given by this column, one may
10 of course at a certain moment ask to compare this, if
11 indeed the challenge or the suggestion is being made that
12 this is an air raid shelter, if this indeed follows the
13 kind of normal structural strength of an air raid shelter.
14 Now we come to a first declat. The first declat
15 is not very important from an argument, except that it is
16 a piece in a sequence. What we see is that the first
17 modification has already been made, and in this declat
18 this was created by putting basically tracing paper on top
19 of the original. One of the things which is not of any
20 interest to the architect at the moment — but he does not
21 actually draw any doors in so we do not know how the doors
22 are hung. What is important here is that we have this
23 sort of little leichenkeller, which is now much smaller.
24 We have the leichenkeller No. 1. What we do have here is
25 a kind of rather gruesome modification because this is
26 called office. This is called vault. This is either gold
1 arbeite or gold arbeiten, or this could be gold workers or
2 gold works. The question of course is what would they do
3 right here?
4 Q. [Mr Irving]: What would you infer from that?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That dental gold was being probably —-
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: Extracted?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Not extracted. It would not have been extracted here.
8 The dental gold would have been basically worked at and
9 would have been stored here.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes, a matter of the utmost secrecy, of course?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not know how secret it was. This whole building was
12 in 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 Van Pelt]: OK. This is by the way, that connection piece right above
16 there connecting the pipes of the side to the other side.
17 We see here the staircases.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: What is the overall width of that staircase from wall to
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The overall width of the staircase from wall to wall? Now
21 you have me.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: Roughly about eight feet?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This thing here?
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
25 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Yes, it is the elevator.
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: Or the hoist?
3 A. [Professor 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
5 actual shaft?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. You see that there is some space left so that the
7 weight can go there.
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: We gained the impression two days ago that there was a
9 separate channel for the counterweight to go down?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I did not.
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I did not want to make that impression.
12 This is the coloured version. What we see here
13 is ofen, furnace. But interesting of course is that there
14 is no ofen in the office. We know from eyewitness
15 testimony that of course the dental gold was melted in the
16 crematorium, so is that the ofen put there in order to
17 melt dental gold? It is a design, nothing more than a
18 design, but certainly they were designing something to
19 that effect.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: It would be a schmelzofen, would it not?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That is the official German, schmelzofen, but ofen would
22 be a good shorthand for that.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: I think it is a very reasonable inference actually.
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But certainly this ofen — one would expect also to have
25 if everywhere there is no heating. My theory is that, if
26 this would be about heating those particular offices, one
1 would first have expected one there, and secondly one
2 there, but this is actually the other way round. Why is
3 there no ofen at that site?
4 Q. [Mr Irving]: That is a very clear inference obviously, which I agree
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: OK. I am going to show a few copies of this. This is a
7 new declat. Now we see the hand is very different of the
8 declat. In this case we know actually that the person who
9 drew it was Dejaco himself, which means the chief of the
10 drawing room who was an SS lieutenant. It is very
11 unusual, strangely enough. This man almost never makes a
12 drawing himself.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: How do we know that he was the person who drew this?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Because it is in the box at the bottom. I am sorry it is
15 not in this picture. In the box at the bottom it always
16 says who draws that, who approves that and then finally
17 the final signing off by Bischoff. Normally what you see
18 is a prisoner number. In this case Dejaco’s name is in
19 the first box, and in the second box. He draws it and
20 then he also ultimately red lines it, and then only
21 Bischoff signs off on the third.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it dated?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. It is 19th December 1942. So this is quite late.
24 Now, a number of modifications are in this drawing. It
25 says again it is a declat number 32 and 33, which are
26 basically for the standard basement plan.
1 The major thing is it says (German spoken) which
2 means that the entrance to the basement is going to be
3 moved to the side of the street, street side, which means
4 the side also where people enter. Whoever is going to
5 enter this thing. This is basically the railway side. So
6 we see that the stairs have been removed here and the
7 rutsche. I will come back to the rutsche because it is a
8 problem. In crematorium 3 the rutsche is still there,
9 I mean the fragment. There is no fragment of the rutsche
10 right here, but in crematorium 3 you can see it under a
11 collapsed piece of concrete. We see here now a new
12 staircase. This is a staircase which I depicted in the
13 model. We see the new staircase going down right here,
14 going into the first new vestibule which has been carved
15 out of what was before the bureau, the office. Gold
16 arbeiten is still there right at the side. The bureau has
17 been moved to the left where before it was morgue No. 3
18 the 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
21 obvious is it not? It is a safe?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is a safe, yes. I thought I had mentioned that
23 before. Then we come into the vestibule. What is very
24 interesting in this drawing is that it very clearly
25 indicates the way the doors are hung. They still open
26 inwards into morgue No. 1, but they have been rehung in
1 relationship to the original design to open outwards.
2 From morgue No. 2 they go inwards and from morgue No. 1
3 they open outside. The question, of course, is why would
4 these doors have been rehung? Why was the design
6 MR IRVING: May I have a closer look at that, please?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Of course.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Go as close as you like. Just walk up to it
9 if you can.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]: Which are the doors you are referring to?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The doors, if you just move a little, these are the doors
12 I 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
16 jamb, the concrete has been drawn there, from the way it
17 was previously drawn? Previously it was flush, if I can
18 put it like that, and now it has been rebated inwards to
19 provide a secure flange, so to speak?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. We can look at the original, I mean, there is also a
21 photograph, I am quite happy to go back to the original
22 because we — the nice thing about these things is you can
23 just go — here we have the same kinds of jambs.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: But there is no —-
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: At the inside, but not, but that this side it has been
26 taken 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 Van Pelt]: This one?
4 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes. If you look at the one you just showed us
5 previously, there is like an L shaped step in the frame as
6 though something is going to fit into it, a tight fit?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, but at that moment when we still assume the door is
8 opening inwards, that same thing, that same tight fit is
9 right there.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]: But without that L shaped step?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That —-
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: The section —-
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — original of this.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]: Well, I did look at it quite closely.
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: One sees it right there. This, of course, is very small.
16 We have drawn, I think, these drawings scale 1:200. So we
17 are talking here about, basically what a pen does over 2
18 or 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 Van Pelt]: We also have a different hand drawing now.
Section 43.22 to 58.4
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can I ask you a question now? Would this not be
23 appropriate if you were going to put an air raid door in
24 there which might have to withstand a blast pressure?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not think this is an air raid door. I do not think
26 that, I mean, if you want to raise the issue if the morgue
1 could have been an air raid shelter, I am quite happy to
2 give a presentation on that.
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall we hive it off? I think in a way it is
4 a separate issue.
5 MR IRVING: It is, but I wanted to draw attention while the
6 picture was on there, my Lord.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I understand.
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So the importance of this door, and that is the major
9 element, it is a question of why would this design have
10 been hung. The answer, I think, is obvious, that this has
11 to do with the transformation now of this building into a
12 gas — of morgue No. 1 into a gas chamber; and then if
13 that, when the gassing takes place, you do not want to be
14 able and you have, as Mr Irving has said, you have packed,
15 jammed people inside the space, and at least we know from
16 the descriptions with the gas vans that it was a run
17 towards the door when the gas came in, and that from again
18 eyewitness testimony that people tried to get out, and
19 they died right in front of the door. If the door would
20 have hung differently and would have opened inwards, you
21 would not have been able to enter the basement any more.
22 So again we talk about convergence of evidence.
23 If you just take this drawing alone and say, “Is this a
24 proof that morgue No. 1 became a gas chamber?” No. But
25 if you take the drawing in relationship to the original
26 designs and which we can follow in the original sketch,
1 and any original first official blueprint where the doors
2 are hung exactly the opposite way, and we then at a
3 certain moment are also going to cross-reference this to
4 eyewitness testimony, then, of course, it makes perfect
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there any reason of convenience why one
7 might have adapted the design as to the doors opening
8 outwards rather than inwards?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In fact, a convenience is actually inconvenient because
10 one of the problems the door has now is that if it opens
11 out like that, it starts actually interfering in some way
12 with the elevator.
13 Also, the second reason why, when I had assumed
14 when I reconstructed the change of the door from two
15 panels to one panel, that probably one would not have used
16 the second panel anyway because it starts to actually be
17 in the way of the route towards the elevator when one gets
18 a mass transport of corpses, so that the panel which would
19 have been closed in order to use that gas door of one
20 metre wide by 192 centimetres high, that this one would
21 have been closed and this one would have been open. So
22 you have only one panel which can be really securely
23 locked with a number of locks into this one right here,
24 instead of having the whole situation going to depend on,
25 basically, the strength of the bar going up and down into
26 the floor and the ceiling.
1 MR IRVING: Is that the only change made on this deck plan?
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There are two other changes, I already indicated. A
3 second important change is that stair going down. Now,
4 why would the — why was the slide in this original
5 entrance removed and why was the stairs moved to the other
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: Are you saying that the slide was permanently removed and
8 there was never any slide left there?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There is a problem because Tauber at certain moments
10 mentions a slide in his testimony. The big problem with
11 — the question is, and this is a problematic point in
12 Tauber’s testimony because we know that the sonderkommando
13 of No. (ii) and No. (iii) were able to basically make use
14 of those buildings, that when there were no gassings
15 taking place, that these two compounds were in connection
16 because some of the facilities used by the sonderkommando
17 No. (ii) were in No. (iii) and in No. (iii) that slide is
18 still there. The slide was actually constructed.
19 To what extent actually he was in his testimony,
20 I mean, the assumption in his testimony in German is that
21 he talks about two, but if he introduces that, if he
22 describes the subterranean level, if he actually describes
23 something he saw in No. (iii) which is identical except
24 for the fact that left and right are reversed, and it is
25 particularly detail of the slide, it is very difficult to,
26 you know, actually get a real handle on that. One of the
1 buildings 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
4 the street side of the building did not have a slide, did
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. The entrance which is — this other entrance does not
7 have a slide.
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: Would it not be a reasonable inference that the architects
9 had decided that, being good architects, they ought to
10 design a building where people had ways of getting in
11 there where they might not have to mingle with corpses
12 going in?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Can you repeat that?
14 Q. [Mr Irving]: They decided that they need, for matters of taste and
15 decency, to have a clean side of the building where people
16 could go in without having to jostle with corpses that
17 might be infected going down the steps and they decided,
18 therefore, for pure hygiene reasons to move the staircase?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That would be perfectly — that would be perfectly fine.
20 The problem is how do you get then the corpses into the
21 building, because this corpse access seemed to have been
22 removed. So what we have here is that there is no way any
23 more to get corpses into this building, according to this
24 drawing, and that the only way to get corpses into the
25 build is that a staircase which has been narrowed to such
26 an extent that it is certainly very difficult to carry a
1 stretcher inside.
2 I also want to point out to you that in the
3 original design — sorry again — there was enough space
4 either when you slide the corpse downstairs or when two
5 men are carrying the stretcher, there is not enough space
6 for you to turn around. However, here, this turn around,
7 I mean, first of all, it is much narrower, as you see. We
8 are talking here about one metre width of, I think one
9 meter 60, one metre 80, there is much less space actually
10 for two people actually carrying a stretcher, there is no
11 slide at all. Then we get the problem actually of turning
12 here. It gets very, very tight.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So do you deduce from that that it is live
14 people who are going to go down to that morgue?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
16 MR IRVING: But is there not also an elevator or a hoist being
17 installed which, we are told, is capable of carrying large
18 numbers of bodies from the basement up to the furnaces?
19 Could that elevator not also have been used to carry them
20 down in the first place?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Ah, yes, but the problem is how do you get them in that
22 space? I mean, I am happy to go back to the original
23 ground plan which we — my Lord, do you want me to go back
24 to the original ground plan?
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: The elevator is just next to your shoulder on that design
26 and there appears to be a lot of space in front of it.
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Sorry.
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: The elevator is just next to your shoulder, is it not?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, but if you bring down the corpses by the elevator,
4 and I will go down because again it is an important issue
5 you raise and an important alternative explanation.
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: A plausible alternative, and you have not established —-
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The problem of the plausible alternative in this case is
8 that the elevator is here. Now, the only entrance we have
9 now, the only way to get to the elevator, is to go through
10 the entrance here, right next to the dissection room. Go
11 through the foreground, go now into the washing room for
12 the corpses and then turn around into the elevator.
13 This elevator was meant to give direct access to
14 the washing room. When a corpse comes up, it can be
15 washed and dissected. But I would say that this is an
16 extremely, and especially these doors here — I mean, how
17 do you actually — these doors are not wide enough, these
18 are not double doors which you get in the original design
19 right here. This is a double door. So again, stretcher,
20 two people carrying it, four people carrying it, there is
21 enough width here for them all to go down.
22 But this is a very, very awkward way to get
23 corpses actually in and then down in the elevator. The
24 alternative is that you have to go, there is no direct
25 entrance into the incineration room. The alternative is
26 to go through this door, through this door, walk over the
1 coke supply between the incinerators and go to that
2 elevator. Or the third possibility is to — no, that is
3 actually it. That is it.
4 Q. [Mr Irving]: Your evidence for saying that there was no corpse slide in
5 the building as built is?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is not in the drawing. In this drawing and it does not
7 seem to be there. So, I mean, I can see it, well, I can
8 still see it in crematorium (iii).
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What would it have been made of? Metal?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The corpse slide?
11 MR IRVING: No, a concrete slide.
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Concrete.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just a concrete slide?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
15 MR IRVING: So there is no evidence there was something in the
16 building now and it was never there — Mr Rampton, I am
17 asking the questions here.
18 A. [Professor 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
20 there is something in the building now and it was never
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, and I have not seen any evidence. The only evidence
23 there is — let me be more precise. There is evidence in
24 Tauber. Tauber says there is a corpse slide. But I have
25 addressed this problem already as a problem in the
26 testimony, that I think he refers back to the corpse slide
1 in crematorium No. (iii) which was installed.
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: But is there not a lot of evidence that Tauber was being
3 questioned on the basis of drawings put to him by Jan
4 Sehn, the prosecutor? When you read his interrogation, he
5 is actually being interrogated on the basis of —-
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: If we would have seen the drawing which was this drawing
7 and was available also to Dawidowski and so to Jan Sehn,
8 then I presume that he would not have invented the corpse
9 slide when it is not in the drawings. See here, the
10 corpse slide is still in this one, in the design.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I suppose Jan Sehn may have used the drawings
12 for crematorium No. (iii) when he was taking Tauber
13 through it, if that is what happened?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, there is not a special set for crematorium No. (iii).
15 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: There is not?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Crematorium (iii), they use the same drawings as No. (ii),
17 but 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
20 we built our buildings in India with blueprints that had
21 been designed for England — just reversed them, in fact?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. I do know exactly what you did there, but they did
23 make 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
1 convenient way of accessing corpses in the morgues
2 removed, and why at least they are bringing in corpses a
3 very inconvenient and awkward way is replaced, but a
4 staircase which seemed to be optimally useful to bring in
5 human beings who are alive.
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can I ask you, were the corpses that resulted from the
7 great epidemic of 1942, where were they cremated?
8 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: In August 1942, there were two ways to get rid of corpses
11 and then the question is where these people died? In
12 Auschwitz 1, the crematorium was functioning at the rate,
13 an official rate, of 340 corpses per day. So, certainly,
14 the people who died in Auschwitz 1 — at that moment
15 Auschwitz 1 was still somewhere in the main camp.
16 Birkenhau had not grown so much here. It was still under
17 construction. So the crematorium in Auschwitz 1, No. (i),
18 dealt with the corpses of people who died there. In
19 Birkenhau, the major way of getting rid of corpses at that
20 time was to bury them.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]: And the epidemic of 1943, January 1943, in Birkenhau,
22 where were those corpses cremated?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They had incinerators that open, these things which had
24 been adopted by the Zentrale Bauleitung in the camp after
25 the trip to Chelmo in mid September 1942 when they went to
26 see Goebbels’ ovens.
1 Q. [Mr Irving]: The fire grate?
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So they then created something like that in Birkenhau, and
3 that is how they got rid both of the corpses which had
4 been buried earlier —-
5 Q. [Mr Irving]: But are you telling the court then that no external deaths
6 were brought into this crematorium?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, I do not want to say — I am talking about the design.
8 I am talking about their intentions. This crematorium,
9 obviously, undergoes a modification in which it is much
10 more difficult, I do not want to say impossible because
11 everything is possible, much more difficult, where a
12 convenient system of bringing people who have died outside
13 the building has been removed, and a new convenient system
14 has been installed in order to bring people down who had
15 not yet died.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: But if you answer my question? Large numbers of people
17 died outside this building, we know that, in the camp in
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: When?
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: In 1943, from various causes, and how would they have been
21 brought into this building?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is the most likely reason why the slide remains in
23 crematorium No. (iii).
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: So, no natural deaths were disposed off in this?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We do not know, but, I mean, when I said in the movie
26 which is the clip we saw that, in my judgment, almost half
1 of the people who died in Auschwitz, who were gassed in
2 Auschwitz, died in crematorium No. (ii) —-
3 Q. [Mr Irving]: In this very ruined gas chamber we are looking at here?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The gas chamber, it is based on a number of assumptions.
5 It is not a calculation made on the back of an envelope.
6 It is made on which building functioned when, during what
7 operation, which building was solely dedicated to bring
8 people in this way, and also at a certain moment, you
9 know, which buildings broke down at what time? There is,
10 of course, a clear problem with crematoria (iv) and (v)
11 where the ovens broke done constantly.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: So this building is one of the main factories of death in
13 the camp?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, but it is a building which, as we have seen now, it
15 was case of adaptive reuse, and here we see exactly that
16 piece of adaptive reuse. I just want to — I have various
17 kinds of details of this drawing again to show the kind of
18 texture of this particular one. So, I think this is a
19 very, very important drawing in the context of other
20 drawings and in the context of testimony.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]: But you do accept there could have been perfectly harmless
22 reasons why the basement entrance was transferred from one
23 side of the building to the other? For example, in
24 connection with intensification of the air war, the need
25 to bring people in in a hurry from the street rather than
26 making them go all the way around the buildings, round to
1 the back, to a pokey little entrance around the back to
2 get into an air raid basement?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think if you want to go, I mean you raise the air raid
4 issue right now, I mean, I do not want to — I have
5 studied —-
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I think you ought to deal with that
7 because that is really an issue on the drawings. I mean,
8 we have a modification and the point has been put to you.
9 Is one possible explanation for that that they wanted to
10 make it easier to get in in a hurry when there is an air
11 raid coming?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is a possible explanation, but I also want to point out
13 that since I have to give this answer, but since I am
14 happy to give some, a possible explanation but improbable
15 for a drawing like that to be made in December 1942, since
16 all the other drawings and all the documentation in
17 Auschwitz relating to air raid shelters come from mid and
18 late 1944. So we are two years, a year and a half, more
19 than a year and a half out of synch.
20 MR IRVING: Profess van Pelt, I showed you about five days ago
21 a list, or I introduced to the court, a three-page list of
22 documents from the Moscow collection which clearly show
23 planning for the air raid precautions in Auschwitz
24 beginning in August 1942?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: 1942? Mr Irving, I have to disappoint you on this point,
26 that I actually studied that particular file and I have it
1 here and I can submit it to the court.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is a bit difficult to know when we are
3 getting on to air raid shelters as opposed to the
4 drawings, 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
7 blue prints now or are there further points?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. This is crematorium No. (ii). I just want to —
9 I want to show some other things because they were
10 raised. 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
14 Lord. It shows the reinforcing bars being put down,
15 presumably, on the roof of the crematorium, is that right?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, on roof of morgue No. 2 which later becomes the
17 undressing room. So we are here in the fall of 19942.
18 Here we see, we see very clearly, the reinforcing bars
19 right there. There is no drawings of those reinforcing
20 bars. I mean, you asked me for those. There are no
21 drawings of the particular thing like that. We see here
22 the slab being finished.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What did they do? Pour concrete on top of
24 the reinforcing bars?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. We see already here there seems to be, these
26 actually are tiles, there are some tiles, at the bottom
1 there, and you see some of these tiles sort of hanging,
2 kind of hollow tiles, and then you get the reinforcing and
3 then the concrete is poured from that.
4 MR IRVING: I cannot see any tiles there, but I can see the
5 reinforcing bars very clearly. Professor van Pelt, would
6 there have been the same kind of reinforcing in the roof
7 over the mortuary No. 1 which is displayed here, the
8 collapsed roof?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I presume so, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]: The same kind of mesh of steel bars?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. Now we are looking inside the ovens. There is still
12 this construction mess around it. Again, the ovens and
13 here the ash, the place — the crucible and the ash
15 Q. [Mr Irving]: Will you explain the purpose of those railway lines we can
16 see there? Are they just purely for the purposes of the
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Which one, this one?
19 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]: They were not there at the time that the furnace stage was
22 in operation?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. There is actually, these, we have here little, there
24 is a — originally, there was idea to put actually these
25 rolling little trucks in crematorium No. (i), but they
26 were actually never built. So what you have is quite a
1 short, like a two metre long, little kind of iron —-
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: Trolley?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — almost like little tracks going into each of the ovens
4 in the concrete, but that is it.
Section 58.5 to 72.26
5 Q. [Mr Irving]: So when Aida Bimko in her testimony refers to the railway
6 line or the rails bringing the bodies out through the
7 doors and so on, she is lying —-
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, that is not necessarily so —-
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: — again?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — because we know, for example, that one of the things
11 which was done at crematorium — and she thinks, I think
12 she is talking about (iv) or (v). There is a difference.
13 One of the things which happened at the sonderkommando,
14 when they moved corpses from the gas chambers to the
15 incineration places, and it was clearly done at bunker
16 No. 2, that they actually put in some very, very light
17 track to move them, to move corpses on little trollies.
18 Now, there is nothing in the design for that.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]: We only have the eyewitness testimony, is that correct?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Eyewitness testimony, yes. Zeigun talks about it, for
21 example. Here we have the photo we discussed yesterday.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: With the three objects on the roof.
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Sorry?
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: With the three objects on the roof?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: With the objects on the roof.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: Three objects on of roof?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: And the thing i pointed out, there is this slight thing of
2 soot up there. It actually becomes more in one of the
3 next drawings. So this is taken in February 1943.
4 One more to go round, you see here then how we
5 have reconstructed the heating pipes, how they would be
6 connected, the system which was installed which has broke
7 down. Again this is the speculation on the basis of the
8 information on the blueprint and a particular letter of
9 6th March 1943. The red in this case is the heating and
10 the heating insulation. We have just gone through the
11 attic level and then we brought down right very close to
12 the wall.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: Is there some reason why you are telling us about the
14 heating system in the mortuary?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The reason is that, of course, while it is not in the
16 blueprint, it is in the letters, and the heating system in
17 the mortuary is, in my opinion, again one of the
18 indications that this building was transformed, that the
19 morgue was being transformed for a use other than to
20 simply 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 Van Pelt]: It is March 1943.
24 MR IRVING: So you disagree with Neufert, which is the standard
25 architect’s Bible in Germany, ever since before World War
26 II, right up to the present day, that mortuaries need both
1 central 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
4 telling the court about the heating.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, you asked him.
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Sorry, the one thing I wanted to point out again is the
7 little, the little ventilation chimneys, very clearly
8 visible there. We go round once more and now we make that
9 trip around. If there is anything — I am just going
10 relatively fast, if there is anything anyone wants to —-
11 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, can I ask, you mentioned those
12 little chimneys, the ventilation chimneys.
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]: And I mentioned the stack effect. You asked two days ago
15 where the provision was for cooling the gas chambers or
16 the mortuary or the morgue?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: The stack effect which is known to architects is why they
19 put these chimneys there because the top part of the stack
20 is cooler than the below ground part of the stack, and it
21 generates a draught of its own, a cooling draft. That is
22 one reason why they are there — so I am informed by
23 architectural experts.
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So you say that which of these — this chimney, basically,
25 is the air conditioning system?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: They enhance the cooling effect which is already provided
1 by the mortuaries having being been built underground to
2 provide cool space?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I know that this happened in Middle Eastern countries very
4 often, that you create these things, but I do not know to
5 what extent the kind of controlled cooling and controlled
6 heating which Mr Mulka describes for civilian crematoria
7 in order that the corpses remain nice and pleasant to look
8 at for people who go and pay their last respects would be
9 served by the stacking effect of these chimneys. But I am
10 not a heating or cooling expert, so I am not going to say
11 anything more on this.
12 Here again, crematorium (iii), I want to just
13 show again the same. This is the other one at the other
14 side of the road again. These ventilation systems were
15 present in there. This is the cover page of their section
16 on crematoria in the Bauleitung book, the picture book
17 from which all these photos come.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: Would you explain us to what significance you attach to
19 the ventilation shafts or what inference you seek to draw?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The ventilation shafts are important that the ventilation
21 shaft in combination with the blueprint. The blueprints,
22 when you have blueprints, you never know, of course, if
23 these things were actually constructed. What the photos
24 show is that what is in the blueprint was actually
25 constructed. And so that the ventilation system was a
26 ventilation system in the morgues, and at the outside you
1 can see that in, indeed, this ventilation system.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not quite sure that you have answered
3 Mr Irving’s question which was what inference do you draw
4 from the fact that there is this ventilation system
5 with —-
6 MR IRVING: What inference does he seek to draw?
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Seek to draw?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That morgue No. 1 was ventilated.
9 MR IRVING: Was?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Was ventilated.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But I am not sure that is quite answering the
12 question. So what?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So that the descriptions that the eyewitness testimony
14 which talks about the fact that the poison gas is being
15 extracted from morgue — from the gas chamber, indeed, is
16 a very plausible description of —-
17 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: So the inference is that there is a system for extracting
18 the poisoned air?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Thank you very much.
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: Is that right? Just so it is clear.
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. OK. I have done crematorium (ii), I think. We go
22 to crematorium (iv) now. OK. This is the very first
23 drawing, this is that drawing of —-
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: Sorry to interrupt. Do you want a break because this is
25 quite strenuous for the transcriber. Would you like a
26 break? It is probably quite strenuous for you.
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I would love a break.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If everybody does not mind just having a
3 five-minute break — I do not want to break for longer —
4 but I think it might be a good idea to break at this
5 point, just five minutes.
6 (Short Adjournment)
7 MR IRVING: My Lord, this is technically my cross-examination.
8 I mean no disrespect that I sit during this.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course not. It is very sensible.
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: OK. I think it was first the Tuesday or Wednesday that
11 I discussed the sequence of events starting with Himmler’s
12 visit to Auschwitz in July 1942, and that the first
13 drawing which has been drawn by the tabelleiten which has
14 no precedent at all of any activity of tabelleiten before
15 that visit of Himmler is this drawing, which is what it
16 says (German), which means an incineration installation in
17 the (German) which is the official destination of
18 Birkenhau is that of a prisoner of war camp. The only
19 thing that this drawing does is actually draw in the
20 incineration part. It does not actually draw in the rest
21 of the building, which is a problem but, as we know, at
22 that time, because it is the meeting of the 19th, it is to
23 prepare for the meeting of 19th August, where Prufer
24 introduces the idea of using an eight muffle oven. It
25 actually depicts here the arrangement of an eight muffle
26 oven, the Mogilev oven which had been designed, so
1 I assume what happened was that Topf sent the plans of
2 these ovens to Auschwitz for preparation into a drawing,
3 and eight muffle ovens sitting between two chimneys, one
4 to the left and one to the right.
5 I will come back to these drawings later. This
6 is the first one of August. Then we get the meeting in
7 which this building is discussed as being a building to be
8 erected by the anlage gesundebadlung. Then there is a
9 second drawing which is from January 1943. These are
10 really the only two drawings we have of this building and
11 there are photos of this building under construction. The
12 problem in this drawing, we will come back to this drawing
13 again after we have had to walk through, is that the plan
14 is reversed in relationship to the elevation. So what is
15 here left is the incineration room, and what is right
16 there is left here. So that is just to warn you.
17 I am going again to have a walk through to the
18 building. In this case there is nothing in the
19 reconstruction which is not in the blueprint. So in the
20 last case we had the hot air installation and we had the
21 Zyklon introduction columns. This time there is nothing.
22 There are some pictures of this building under
23 construction. This is crematorium 5, and this is actually
24 a postwar post card of a photo of this building.
25 I actually have never seen, I must admit, the original
26 photo of this one, where actually the building that we see
1 here, crematorium 4 — I think it is No. 4, it is
2 difficult to say out of the quality of the photo how far
3 the trees are. In No. 5 there are also trees from this
4 side where we see that the lower part with the fence
5 contains either gas chambers, then here a number of rooms
6 for a doctor or something like that, sonderkommando rooms,
7 an undressing room but also used as a morgue and the
8 incineration room.
9 What we are going to do now is look at, first, a
10 number of basically models, actually asymmetrics, from
11 above to get the sense of the building and then we are
12 going to make a walk through. This is the lower part
13 where we have these two large rooms, with these tiny kinds
14 of windows right in there, also between these two rooms
15 and right there and there, and a big entrance vestibule
16 right there, two kinds of rooms to the side here, a very
17 big room in the middle and then after a kind of in between
18 room we get incineration room, and a coke store place and
19 an administration room.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is this 4 or 5 or were they indentical?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is No. 4. Left equals right.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Otherwise the same?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We are going to turn to the model now. What is the
24 important thing is that these are stoves indicated in
25 these rooms. The plan only shows basically a block with a
26 cross through connected to a chimney. I was not present
1 when this final thing was drawn, and my ex students have
2 drawn in what are Canadian stoves basically, big iron
3 ones. It would be more likely, given what the design
4 culture was and the means of production in Poland that it
5 would have been a so-called cuttle hole in the design at
6 least. But what we also know is that this cuttle oven
7 that were installed, but at a certain moment also are
8 stories about portable stoves. I do not know really know
9 what to make of that, but they were heated with portable
10 stoves, these spaces, which means the cuttle oven broke
11 down, yes or no.
12 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: What were these spaces again?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: These are the alleged gas chambers right here, and then we
14 have here the entrance vestibule, undressing room, in the
15 winter used as undressing room, but also a morgue
16 installation room. In the summer there are accounts that
17 people undress outside of the building.
18 MR IRVING: The average gas chambers, how were they designated
19 on the blue prints?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They are not designated at all. There is no designation
21 at all. Actually, this room is also not designated. So
22 now we actually are looking at the side we are going to
23 enter very soon. Again, I do not think we need to explain
24 too much, except these chimneys, which are sitting right
25 there, to which these stoves are connected, and also again
26 the small little windows, 30 by 40 centimetres, as the
1 plan says, which give access to these throw light or not
2 into those lower spaces.
3 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can I ask you what was the building made of? Just bricks
4 was it?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Bricks, yes.
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: Quite a flimsy construction, in other words?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. I mean flimsy. If you throw a bomb on it, yes.
8 Certainly these spaces would not have been very useful as
9 an air raid shelter. Now our eye level has gone down and
10 we are now going towards this entrance right here, this
11 vestibule. We have now come into the vestibule. We turn
12 left first inside this very big room which gives access to
13 the schloit and then the incineration room. This is that
14 very large hole in the middle, which eyewitnesses say were
15 used especially in the winter as an undressing room but
16 also was used as a morgue.
17 Now we turn around 180 degrees. I want to show
18 you. It is an open roof truss situation there, the
19 vollmar as it is called, V O L L M A R, that is, it is the
20 most economical way to construct a roof in a wartime
21 situation. Now we turn around.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: What are those roof trusses made of? Steel or wood?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Wood. This was really as cheap as possible and as light
24 as possible.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: So it would have been totally unsuitable as an air raid
26 shelter then, this building?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. So we now go back towards the incineration, towards
2 the vestibule. I just want to say that this actually is a
3 detail which is in the photos of the building and not in
4 blue prints, but at a certain moment in the construction
5 they decided to put windows in that room, which are not in
6 the blue print, but they are in the photos.
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: About how high up are those windows off the ground? Could
8 you see in them?
9 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Yes, possibly, or another use. So now we have turned
12 around 180 degrees and we are looking back at that door,
13 just before, and I am going back into that space to the
14 right. What I am going to do is take you through these
15 spaces. It is a kind of surreal experience, I must say,
16 but I do not have a picture right now of this space, but
17 immediately go into this space. So I have a view going in
18 here. Then first we have two views inside this space,
19 which is one from the door looking in, and then from that
20 point looking back. Let us call this for a moment No. 1,
21 and this No. 2. Then we look inside this space and from
22 the door looking back. That is room No. 2, so at any
23 given moment we know where we are.
24 We are now in that second vestibule, and we look
25 here in that space No. 1 to the side, and we have here
26 actually at the end of it an opening which actually gives
1 access to the ovens. These ovens were always fired from
2 the back, these cuttle ovens, or they could be. Two or
3 three rooms shared them. So this was to the point where
4 they could be heated and the same is actually right here.
5 That is what the blueprints indicate but it is not in the
7 I just want to point out this porthole sitting
8 right there, 30 by 40 centimetres, in the plan. I do not
9 know exactly which blue print we are talking about in the
10 court bundle, but now we are looking in room No. 1.
11 Again, two of those openings right there, plus an outside
12 door, which by the way opens to the outside.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: Before you move on from that picture, Professor can I ask
14 you, is there any provision in this room that the
15 blueprints or drawings inform us for drainage?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There is drainage, yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: Where are the drains in this room?
18 A. [Professor 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
20 need drainage?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, but the blueprint, I did not oversee the final making
22 of these models. They are in some way crude but in the
23 blueprints 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
25 you do so because, when people die en mass, it produces
26 unpleasant after effects which need to be cleaned up. If
1 there is no provision for drainage, it is a problem we
2 have of course with Leichenkeller No. 1, with the draining
3 provisions there too, which are of course far worse, being
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We can just look at the blueprints in both cases to look
6 at the drainage, I think.
7 Now I just walk outside of that door. I just
8 want to show you that we were in this room right there. I
9 just popped outside. We will go back in that room right
10 now. Now we look back to the door we came in and there
11 one sees the stove in the corner, and this port hole right
12 there, 30 by 40 centimetres connecting to the next room.
13 There we have little detail.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]: Would you like to tell the court what inference you are
15 inclined to draw from the porthole’s presence?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The portholes together are obviously the kind of gas tight
17 shutters which I mentioned in one the bills, 30 by 40
18 centimetres. They are they are being ordered, 12 of them,
19 six for this building, six for the other one, and they are
20 ordered at the size of 30 by 40 centimetres. The plan
21 shows quite literally they are 30 by 40 centimetres. It
22 is in the bundle in detail. We have enlarged it a few
23 times. Then of course a number of these portholes have
24 survived and are installed in crematorium 1 right now in
25 the back, and can be inspected, and again are 30 by 40
26 centimetres and obviously they are very thick and they
1 have a kind of gas tight design that there is a number of
2 different, I do not want really know, my English starts to
3 reach its limit.
4 Q. [Mr Irving]: Fasteners?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Jambs have a kind of seal in it in the way it is designed
6 so it is very difficult. They are very thick. They are
7 like 20 centimetres thick.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have they been tested for cyanide?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They have not been tested for cyanide.
10 MR IRVING: Would you agree that those shutters that have been
11 found in the Auschwitz camp are in fact standard German
12 air raid shutters supplied by manufacturers to a standard
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: First of all, I do not know but it was very clear. What
15 we do know is that these are 30 by 40 centimetres and that
16 the things ordered were gas tight things of 30 by 40
17 centimetres. The only plan I have where they have twelve
18 of these holes of 30 by 40 centimetres is actually the
19 plans for these rooms at the end of crematoria (iv) and 5,
20 which obviously were not air raid shelters because the
21 roof construction is too flimsy.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: Am I right in suggesting that the inference you are
23 drawing is that through these apertures the top six
24 substances were thrown?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. We go back in the vestibule. We are now moving to
26 room No. 2. The door is open and we see now the stove,
1 and again in the room one of these little openings. Now
2 we are in the room, just entered. Here is the stove. We
3 look now to the outside door, two other 30 by 40
4 centimetres little windows, and we turn around now. We
5 look back at the stove and the door towards the second
6 vestibule, so to speak.
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: Professor, why would they not have adopted the method they
8 allegedly adopted here and just drilled holes in the roof
9 to drop the substances through?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The problem, first of all, is you would have to go on the
11 roof and this building was all above ground.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This method was used already in bunker No. 2 and bunker
14 No. 1, where they used basically holes or little windows
15 in the side of the building to introduce the Zyklon-B. So
16 it was a proven method.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What is the evidence for that?
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: For what?
19 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: That they injected Zyklon-B through the windows of bunker
20 No. 2 and No. 1?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Eyewitness testimony.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what I thought.
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think in my report I quote Dragon on that, for example.
24 MR IRVING: You quote who?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Dragon. Now we go out. I just want to —-
Section 73.1 to 90.21
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: Am I right in saying that Dragon is one of the principal
1 witnesses for the Soviets when they produced their
2 commission report?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think Dragon came in in April. Dragon was not in the
4 original Soviet report, I think. The Soviets produced a
5 report in February or March and Dragon only appears in
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: I am referring to USSR 008, the exhibit.
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. I do not think Dragon was mentioned there, also that
9 he testified for them when that report came out, in that
10 report. I could be wrong on that but I do not remember
11 Dragon in that context.
12 Now we are back in the vestibule. Go into the
13 next room, again, and look at the incineration room. In
14 this case we have back-to-back incinerators with the
15 firing pit between them, instead of in crematorium 2 the
16 firing pits are behind the incinerators.
17 Now I would like to go back to the blueprint.
18 In your bundle you have a great magnifications of this one
19 showing, for example, the 30 by 40 size of these openings,
20 which is very important. There is a problem that 12 of
21 these things were ordered, 12 of these gas tight shutters
22 were ordered of 30 by 40 centimetres, in early 1943.
23 Which were the 12? If you start counting, we have one,
24 two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, which means by
25 implication that, according to the design, there should
26 have been 16 ordered. So how do we explain the difference
1 between 16 and 12? It is very obvious that this room, it
2 was a modification, that is what I call the vestibule,
3 that this was not going to be to be used as gas chamber.
4 It is also actually described that only two of these rooms
5 in the eyewitness reports were actually used as gas
6 chambers and is not. So then we enter with one, two,
7 three, four, five, six and the same arrangement in
8 crematorium 5, which then ends up as 12 gas tight 30 by 40
9 centimetre shutters. That is very important.
10 The second important thing, and Mr Irving has
11 already pointed at that, are the drains. This particular
12 blueprint is one which exactly shows the drains. That is
13 why it was created. So we see that on the existing copy
14 we have here a drain, we have a drain there, and these
15 drains are connected right there. There is a drain right
16 there, and they are connected to a pipe.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can you tell the court what they are connected to on the
18 outside? To the main sewage?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They are connected. This continues. This is not a main
20 sewage system there. But this obviously connects back to
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: It does not just go into a hole in the ground, though,
23 does it? They do something with it at the other end?
24 A. [Professor 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
26 of cyanide being dumped in the sewage system, do you
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think that virtually all the cyanide would have been
3 cleared 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
6 drainage system. We only have Professor van Pelt’s word
7 for it that all the cyanide would have gone out of the
8 building, none of it would have been washed off down into
9 the sewage system, which is clearly wrong. Neither of us
10 is an architect. We agree on that point. But the
11 evidence of our eyes on that plan is that they had the
12 drainage going into the public sewage system, and 8
13 kilograms or however many of cyanide being pumped into
14 those rooms to kill people on a lethal scale, and the
15 bodies being washed down, the room being washed down
16 afterwards, and you are telling us that none of that
17 cyanide would have gone into the environment?
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I certainly think that you are a little over estimated on
19 the eight kilograms, to start with. The gas thing in this
20 building could have been very well done in these rooms
21 with 200 gramme tins, maybe two 500 grammes, maybe a kilo
22 was used, a kilo of cyanide and most of it would have
23 evaporated into the air.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am sorry, Professor I am going to interrupt
25 you. We must stick to the drawings. We are going down a
26 side track. Of course you can come back to it, Mr Irving,
1 but I think it really is going to be confusing if we go
2 into that argument now.
3 MR IRVING: While we had the drainage map in front of us my
4 Lord, I wanted to—-
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is established. It is linked up,
6 apparently or possibly, probably I think, to the main
7 sewage 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 Van Pelt]: So the major point here is that the evidence of the
11 blueprint of these spaces, with these little windows right
12 on top there, converges with the document which talks
13 about the gas tight shutters of 30 by 40 centimetres,
14 converges with eyewitness testimony which talks about SS
15 men getting up a little stool or step ladder there and
16 opening the gas tight shutters and throwing in the
17 contents of a Zyklon-B canister, and it converges also
18 with a detail right here that in fact it is difficult to
19 see in this one that they are actually sealing, sitting
20 right in here. The roof is not open to the rafters but
21 there is no sealant in there. So why actually this very
22 low bit here? It is around 2 metres high. You also start
23 to put a sealing when you do not put the sealing in
24 anywhere else. So this is as much as I want to say right
25 now about crematorium 4.
26 MR IRVING: Did these eyewitness you talk about see what was on
1 the other side of the wall through which this stuff was
2 being tossed?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, they were on the outside.
4 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is crematorium No. 1. I think we can leave it. This
6 is at the moment the case I would like to make for
7 crematoria No. 2, and crematorium No. 4, and by
8 implications 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
11 the fuel supply, which is the room for storing the coke?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is it right there.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: The whole of that room. Can you estimate approximately
14 how much coke that would hold, how many tonnes or
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I cannot, I am sorry.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Does that conclude our looking at the
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So we can turn the lights on?
21 A. [Professor 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
23 about them. Thank you very much.
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Just for your understanding, in the last discussion quite
25 important are No. 9A and No. 9B in your bundle.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: In tab 2?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In tab 1. The important point is the 30 by 40, which is
2 seen 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
5 draw your Lordship’s attention to something.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
7 MR RAMPTON: On Wednesday evening we received a document, which
8 we have never seen before, which I do not believe
9 Professor van Pelt has seen, which Mr Irving has because
10 we sent it to him on Thursday once we had had it
11 translated, and which has a bearing, or your Lordship may
12 think it has a bearing, on this repeated question why are
13 not these documents marked “secret”. I do believe that,
14 in fairness to the witness who I believe, I do not know,
15 is not familiar with this document, he and your Lordship
16 should 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
20 your Lordship would read it first, that perhaps is the
21 best thing. It will save time in cross-examination
22 because 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
2 not 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
5 clipped to it is the translation.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have just been handed something headed
7 “Heinrich Himmler”.
8 MR RAMPTON: I do not think that arises now. That will arise
9 in re-examination.
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
12 at the end of section 4 of K2, just before page 49 if your
13 Lordship wants to put them in date order. That means a
14 different page number. I do not know whether the witness
15 has it? I do not know what he is looking at.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think he is looking at the right thing.
17 5th May 1943?
18 MR RAMPTON: Yes, 5th May 1943.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor van Pelt, is that what you are
20 looking at?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I know this one, yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: You know that one?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I mean I have seen it. In my files there is a copy of
24 that. 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
1 am sorry about that interruption.
2 MR IRVING: Your Lordship will anticipate the first thing I
3 will say, which is that this is not the way to do things.
4 This was supplied to me yesterday afternoon at 1 p.m. It
5 is a document of great importance, I appreciate that. It
6 is the document which I would have wished to have seen
7 many months ago. We have just heard the witness say that
8 he has had it in his files for some considerable time. If
9 it was of importance, no doubt he would have advanced it
10 already. He may well have reached the same conclusions as
11 I did that there are perfectly plausible explanations for
12 this document which have a bearing only on one room in the
13 crematorium concerned, or the building concerned, and have
14 no relevance for the Final Solution, apart from that very
15 limited aspect.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think it is sensible to have an
17 inquest as to why it has been produced late. That has
18 been happening on both sides. The fact is we have it. In
19 the end I am not going to ignore it.
20 MR IRVING: If your Lordship is going to allow it to be
21 produced in this manner, then there must be some manner
22 for me to respond to the document. I seek your Lordship’s
23 guidance as to the appropriate means of doing this. By
24 putting 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
5 been in your possession, in rough terms?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I saw this document in 1990 for the first time. I made a
7 copy of it, and I have forgotten since then. My Auschwitz
8 archive is something like that wall there, and I have
9 forgotten about it since.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]: So you attached little importance to it at the time you
11 first saw it?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, but it was in accordance with other things I had heard
13 in the Ertl Dejaco trial about the way the design office
14 operated and already in the Dejaco Ertl trial they had
15 made a lot about indeed the fact that there was a great
16 limitation to the number of people who could actually be
17 entrusted with these drawings. In some way I did not
18 write in the end a book on the procedures of the
19 Zentralbaleitung. I know that Mr Montonia has done so.
20 So in the end I forgot about it and it has been sitting in
21 my files unseen and unthought of now for the past nine
22 years, I assume.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: Would you accept from me that, had I seen a document like
24 this I would certainly have turned it over in my hands for
25 many weeks, pondering the significance of it and wondering
26 whether it was to be mentioned in my major work or at
1 least disregarded on a footnote, and not suppressed, shall
2 we say?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Mr Irving, I forgot. In the end, I did not write a book
4 on the work of the Zentralbauleitung. I forgot about this
5 document because I addressed other issues.
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: Very well.
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So I am sorry that I forgot about it. Maybe it would have
8 helped the case of the defence earlier.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: It may not.
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Or it may not.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]: Professor van Pelt, would you tell the court where you
12 first saw this document?
13 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: They are normally in — actually I do not know the
16 Hauszufugun it is one of first files. They are all in
17 boxes. What happens is that the first part of the
18 archive, which is where I started working, which was
19 actually boxes 1, 2 and 3, only deals with these kind of
20 procedural matters. They do not deal with design at all.
21 I think generally they are in folders.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: But you agree that this particular one appears to have
23 been part of a bound volume. Was it shown to you in this
24 form or was it shown to you as a loose document?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I went through these files. I do not remember at all.
26 I know there are at a certain moment some loose pages in
1 these things but in general they are bound. It does not
2 seem to be a Moscow document, if I have to look at it, but
3 I am not sure even. It could be a copy of it in the
4 Moscow document because obviously this was a document
5 which was produced in many copies.
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: It has been produced in many copies?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Because it was a general rule, so quite often you find
8 many copies of the same document.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: So you are not certain in your own mind whether this
10 document actually comes from Moscow or from the Auschwitz
11 state archives.
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is the first thing I have heard about this document
13 now it comes up, is right now I have seen it ten years
14 ago. I made a copy. It is somewhere in my big files, on
15 procedures in the architectural office.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: Please accept my assurance. I am not trying to catch you
17 out on this document. I am trying to do the enquiry now
18 that I would have done over the last few months if I had
19 had this document earlier.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: As to its authenticity?
21 MR IRVING: As to its authenticity, my Lord, yes. This is the
22 only 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
25 odd in one respect, that it appears to have no printed
26 heading. All the other documents we have seen, I think I
1 am right in saying, have a printed heading saying
2 Auschwitz Zentralbauleitung and so on, Auschwitz
3 konzentrationsanlage, whatever. This appears to be just a
4 blank sheet of paper.
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But all hauszufugungen, all the internal communication in
6 the camp, and that is also stuff that is coming down for
7 the kommandantur. So, when Rudolf Hirst, for example,
8 creates a canteen for the camp, all of that stuff also
9 comes down to the office. None of these have a heading.
10 They all have exactly the same heading as you see, that it
11 says hauszufugungen number, which rule, a house rule or a
12 house order, whatever like that, with a number but never
13 on letter head.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]: If you had seen the whole file of course, you could have
15 satisfied yourself that there was a No. 107 before this
16 and another 109 after it and so on. You could have tested
17 it, whether it was orphaned or whether it was part of a
18 series, could you not?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I could have, yes. I saw the whole file but I did not do
20 that test at the time.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]: We are not informed as to that. Is the signature at the
22 bottom of the SS Sturmbanfuhrer? Does that look like the
23 signatures you are familiar with?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is Bischoff’s signature, yes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: There are no other authenticity marks on it in any way,
26 are there? There are no rubber stamps or initials or any
1 other kind of things that we have seen?
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. You would never have a rubber stamp on any of these
3 internal hauszufugungen.
4 Q. [Mr Irving]: Would they also lack any address list of people they are
5 going to?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, they do not have that. They just appear like this in
7 the file.
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes. My Lord, I could comment on the registration number
9 at the top, but I am not going to because I can really say
10 nothing about the integrity of this document apart from
11 what I have done.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I can see you are confronted with a bit of a
13 difficulty because of its late production.
14 MR IRVING: I am prepared to address the document as though it
15 was genuine and just look at the content.
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: My Lord, this one maybe I can add to the heading on top
17 because the secretary.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Authenticating it?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. The secretary in the Zentralbauleitung in 1943 was a
20 certain Eugenie Schulhof, so it seems to be that indeed
21 the S C H U L would be — that indeed she was a secretary
22 at the office at the time.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Mr Irving will probably say well, if
24 anyone was creating this document years afterwards,
25 they might have worked that one out.
26 MR IRVING: My Lord, forgers have a desire often to be caught
1 out and they do not do the homework. That is my
2 experience. This is what puzzled us about that cremation
3 capacity document that they picked on initials that are
4 only on that document and not on any other document in the
5 entire record. But to revert to this document, I draw
6 your attention, Professor, to the third full paragraph,
7 beginning with the word in English “furthermore”?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: Let us read out possibly the first two paragraphs:
10 “You are reminded once more of internal
11 instruction No. 35 of 19th June 1942 — “, which we do not
12 have, Professor, do we, before the court, so we do not
13 know what that was. “As is clear from this internal
14 instruction, Untersturmfuhrer Dejaco is personally
15 responsible for ensuring that all incoming and outgoing
16 plans are registered according to the rules in a book that
17 is to be especially set aside for this purpose, and that
18 loans of such plans (that is an interpolation by the
19 translator) are signed for with the personal signature of
20 the person who has asked for them”.
21 This is indicative, is it not, Professor, of the
22 pernickety bookkeeping that the Germans went in for with
23 their documents, that things were logged in and logged
24 out, is that not true?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: “Furthermore”, it continues in the next paragraph, which
1 is the important one on which no doubt learned counsel
2 relies, “it must be pointed out that we are concerned here
3 with works that are connected with the war economy and to
4 be kept secret”. The words: “Connected with the war
5 economy and to be kept secret” are underlined in the
6 original. “In particular, plans for the crematoria are to
7 be kept under the strictest surveillance. No plans are to
8 be handed out to the individual installation groups, etc.
9 In connection with the works to be carried out, the
10 responsible construction leader – I suppose that be a
11 foreman – has to give instructions to the corresponding
12 prisoner unit on the spot. I take it as read that all the
13 original plans are to be kept under lock and key by the
14 leader of the Planning Department”. Does Mr Rampton wish
15 me 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 Van Pelt]: Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: In other words, Service Regulation No. 91, confidential
21 Matters. “It is further taken as read that in cases of
22 leave or inability to carry out duties, the leader of the
23 Planning Department hands over the plan room in accordance
24 with regulations to an SS colleague”.
25 We can take it from this therefore, can we not
26 Professor, that they were anxious that the drawings of the
1 kind you have been showing us this morning should not be
2 shown to unauthorized persons?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
4 Q. [Mr Irving]: In fact, it should not be shown to anybody at all who had
5 no need to know?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. In fact, even people who had need to know, it seemed
7 to be that they were unwilling to — that normally, of
8 course, in a building site, plans and blueprints are
9 readily available to the people who are actually making
10 it, and in this case, they even had difficulty to do
11 that. They use here that the only person who can really
12 instruct these people, they cannot actually leave the plan
13 there, but there must be a “Baufuhrer” and from the word
14 “Baufuhrer”, it is very clear that this is not an inmate,
15 or must be a German, civilian or German SS men, because
16 the designation Fuhrer was always reserved in this case
17 for a non-inmate. They would have used for inmate always
18 something like Alterstorser or some kind of designation
19 like that.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: We are in agreement that this is a security measure
21 designed to keep these plans that you have been showing us
22 today, that kind of thing, away from prying eyes?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can you see no harmless reason for such a regulation?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: A harmless reason?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I presume there is a general harmless — if we are talking
2 about patents, I could imagine that companies do the same
3 thing with patents. But in this case I do not think we
4 deal really with patent information. So I cannot see what
5 the problem would be. It is remarkable that crematoria
6 seem to be designated here for a particular kind of
7 security, let us call it internal security classification.
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: They are not being designated as the only ones needing
9 security, are they? They are just to enhance security,
10 shall we say?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. It says: “In besonders, in der Plane,” so in
12 particular, yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: Is there any kind of security classification on this
14 document itself?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There are never on any “Hauszufugen”; this is going to be
16 available to everyone.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes, but there is no security classification on this
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: So it could have been shown to anyone, could it not, then?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. I mean anyone who got a copy of this.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you seen any other similar house order
23 on any other topic in connection with Auschwitz?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. I remember this one. One of the reasons is that this
25 one came up. I am trying to recall the first time I saw
26 it. This was in the Ertl and Dejaco trial, and it came up
1 because one of the people who had been in the Bauleitung,
2 who was an inmate who was drawing there, actually went
3 into some detail about the procedure of actually getting a
4 blueprint and saying this was a proof of the criminal
5 intentions, and then this document was produced. I do not
6 know what the court in the end did with this document.
7 But I remember the testimony of the particular — I think
8 it was an inmate named Plas Kuhrer.
9 MR IRVING: Did anything in particular happen in Auschwitz one
10 or two days before this document that you are familiar
11 with, or in the neighbourhood? I will give you a clue,
12 air raids?
13 A. [Professor 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
15 on the Buhne plant on approximately 5th or 3rd May 1943?
16 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: The first air raid, so far as I know, happened in the
21 Spring of 1944.
Section 90.22 to 109.3
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: We will check that later on perhaps. I have only two more
23 questions on this document, my Lord, and this is this. Do
24 you agree that the Germans had reasons to be ashamed of
25 what was going on in this building, shall we say, whatever
26 it was?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. They certainly had reason to be ashamed of the
2 genocidal use of the buildings, but I mean crematoria,
3 there is no — you see, the date is 5th May 1943. By that
4 time, these buildings have all been committed to genocidal
5 use. I presume and I am speculating now, and I do not
6 know if you are interested in my speculation, my Lord.
7 MR IRVING: Try us.
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: OK, my speculation will be the following: that
9 “Vorsontercommander” for inmates before these buildings
10 had been brought into operation. There would have been
11 little reason for them at that moment necessarily to want
12 to steal these plans. We know that the camp resistance
13 actually stole a set of these plans in 1944. There was a
14 Czech woman, who was able — ultimately working in the
15 Bauleitung. She stole the set of plans in order to warn
16 the outside world.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: Which crematorium are we talking about?
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Crematorium 2 and I think crematorium 4.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]: Of the factory —
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: A set of plans, which are smuggled outside of the camp.
21 There is eyewitness testimony about that, about
22 everything. So my speculation would be — and it is not
23 more than speculation — that once these buildings had
24 been committed to genocidal use somebody must have said
25 “we must prevent any information of these buildings
26 getting to the outside world. We want these plans to be
1 under lock and key”.
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: — can I interrupt you at this point and say, was the
3 genocide of the Jews or of the other minorities being
4 liquidated by the Nazis in some way a contribution to
5 German’s war economy? I am putting it in your language,
6 it was just part of the Nazi programme, or was it a
7 fundamental contribution to the German war economy? My
8 Lord, you will appreciate why I am asking the question. It
9 is from the document.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think so. I am just wondering in what
11 sense the contribution, you mean mouths to feed, something
12 like that?
13 MR IRVING: I am reading the words from the document, my Lord,
14 that is before us.
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Certainly, many trains with valuables of the deportees
16 which had been — we gathered in Canada one — and then
17 later in Canada two also were sent back to the Reich.
18 I do not think — and, of course, we know from Operation
19 Reinhardt that an incredible amount of loot was
20 ultimately —
21 Q. [Mr Irving]: Precisely.
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — sent back —
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can I draw your attention to the first sentence of the
24 third paragraph: “furthermore, it must be pointed out we
25 are concerned here with works that are connected with the
26 war economy and to be kept secret”; the genocide was not
1 connected with the war economy, but the looting of the
2 corpses was, was it not?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — it was not the looting of the corpses, because the
4 looting of the corpses themselves was almost
5 insignificant; what was important, ultimately, was when
6 people were taken off the trains their luggage remained in
7 the trains. Now ultimately that luggage, that stuff, was
8 the important stuff which was being transferred to Canada
9 No. 1. It was the vast bulk of the stuff. Not the stuff
10 which was actually found on the corpses.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]: Do you not rely on the witness, Dr Bendel, as an
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, no, this is —
14 Q. [Mr Irving]: Will you answer my question, please.
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — no, I am not.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: You have not relied —
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: For this particular statement?
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: — no. You will understand the reason why I ask this
19 question: have you relied on the witness, Dr Bendel?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In my book Bendel is only mentioned one, with a
21 description of bunker No. 2.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: Are you aware that Dr Bendel has testified under oath that
23 the Nazis extracted 17 tonnes of gold in teeth from their
24 victims? Whatever you make of that figure, would that not
25 be 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
2 to this issue, the whole point is we are trying to work
3 out what the Germans were ashamed of and what they did not
4 want 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
8 still there when the Russians arrived?
9 MR IRVING: No, of course, not, my Lord. Whatever the quantity
10 was, it went initially to the SS, as part of operation
11 Reinhardt, and we will be introducing the documents to
12 substantiate that along with all the other pathetic,
13 personal effects of the victims; the watches, the fountain
14 pens the spectacles. Everything else was recycled and
15 turned into a mass cash spinning operation by Heinreich
16 Himmler. The gold was a major part of it. Hence that room
17 set aside which you, yourself, showed us drawn on the maps
18 that they want to keep secret, showing a gold working room
19 with the smelting furnace in the corner.
20 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: I think that given the amount of investment being done in
23 building the crematoria and the labour being expended and
24 money being expended and especially the material in the
25 war, in a war economy and a possible yield of that in
26 terms of dental gold, I think that the Germans were, to
1 say the least, not very smart in economic sense.
2 MR IRVING: I have only one final question on this document
3 then; in that case, Professor, will you please tell the
4 court what were the jobs connected with the war economy
5 which had to be kept secret which were connected with the
6 crematorium then? If it was not the genocide and it was
7 not the gold?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I mean the question of course we have to face here is, if
9 he means — if they mean literally war economy. If they
10 mean literally war economy, in 1943 the SS wanted — they
11 were building a plant right next to Auschwitz No. 1.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: That was not in the crematorium, was it?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That was not in the crematorium.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]: This paragraph is purely concerned with the plans of the
15 crematorium, which they are trying to keep away from
16 prying eyes for some reason which they indicate, in my
17 submission, by the use of words “vital to the war economy”
18 or “important to the war economy”. My Lord, I have no
19 further questions on this document.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The only question I was going to ask you,
21 I think you may in a way have answered; it is the dating
22 of it is slightly odd, is it not, in a way if this sort of
23 instruction is going to go out, you rather expect it to go
24 out when they are deciding they are going to convert
25 crematorium No. 2 to genocidal use?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, I would say that — you see I do not think they think
1 of everything in advance. What happens is that in March
2 you get the first, the first trial gassing in crematorium
3 No. 2; by May 1943 all of the buildings except crematorium
4 3 are in operation. I think it is quite likely that
5 somebody — that at that moment somebody said “we have a
6 problem”. I think that the whole history of (German
7 spoken) and the history of architecture in Auschwitz,
8 construction of Auschwitz, the Germans do not think of
9 everything ahead.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, Mr Irving.
11 MR RAMPTON: My Lord, could I — it might save my having to
12 come back to it in re-examination — just draw your
13 Lordship’s attention to the first paragraph of that
14 letter, which I think has escaped your Lordship and the
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, even that date is a bit odd too if you
17 think about it, because Himmler was not there until July.
18 MR RAMPTON: That is why I thought your Lordship might want to
19 pursue the enquiry by reference to 19th June 1942.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, but that is a little earlier than you
21 would expect.
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
25 out then.
26 (To the witness) Just one more question in that
1 relationship, and that is; have you seen documents under
2 which any SS member involved in operation Reinhardt, or in
3 whatever was happening at Auschwitz, was obliged to keep
4 secret, under pain of death, a number of matters,
5 including — have you seen such a document?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I have not seen a document. I know it from testimony,
7 from… who was it? Was it Hans Stark? I think Hans
8 Stark gave testimony that he had to sign such a document
9 when he came to Auschwitz and that the first thing he did
10 was he was brought to the Political Department and asked
11 to sign such a document, the general rule to remain
12 completely secret. It also came up in the Jacob Ertl
13 trial, when Ertl started talking in mid-1942, he got in
14 trouble over that. He mentioned it.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]: Will you take it from me, Professor, that there is such a
16 document in Berlin documents relating to a man called
17 Weiss (?). I believe he is a low ranking SS NCO. I have
18 seen this document, and that he was required to sign such
19 a security undertaking.
20 A. [Professor 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
22 obliged to keep secret because if you have not seen the
23 document you cannot tell the court. But I will ask the
24 other witnesses when they come.
25 Having, I think, disposed of this document, my
26 Lord, we can now resume questioning based on the pictures
1 that 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
7 Auschwitz? Did he visit Auschwitz again after July 19th
8 or whenever it was, 1942?
9 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: On Rudolf Vrba. I have used Rudolf Vrba in the book
12 twice, yes. He is, of course, very important in the
13 history of Auschwitz, because he was one of two escapees,
14 three escapees, however, you want to count it, who brought
15 news of the killing of the Hungarian Jews to the outside
16 world in the spring of 1944.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: When did Vrba suggest that Himmler visited Auschwitz on a
18 second or further occasion?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The third one.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: The third occasion; was this 1943 or 1942?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, he talked about it in his account I Cannot Forgive.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: This would be 1943?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That is —
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: The visit?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — yes, there is a visit. He says 1943. He actually
26 says — he remembers it as January 1943 and then says that
1 he — Himmler came to the opening of the crematorium and
2 he said would have been January 1943. In any case, we
3 know he was confused on the date because it would have
4 been March 1943.
5 Q. [Mr Irving]: Vrba, in fact, am I right in saying this; concertinaed a
6 number of different events and different buildings into
7 one event and one building, did he not, when he wrote his
8 report up from memory?
9 A. [Professor 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
11 dealt I think with a Slovakian Jewish organization who
12 then reedited the report for consumption and a lot of
13 details got concertinaed, did they not?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Now, the question is I want to know exactly what your
15 question with the verb “concertinaed” because it is a word
16 I 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
19 in later memory it becomes just either one or two visits
20 and the events of three visits are then concertinaed into
21 one or two. But Vrba was not very precise about dates and
22 times and places, was he?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I mean Vrba wrote, certainly his first report, under
24 incredible stress. The Hungarian action was going on. Tens
25 of thousands of Jews per week were shipped to Auschwitz,
26 and he wanted to warn the Hungarian Jewish community that
1 what was happening in Auschwitz, what was awaiting them,
2 he had escaped from having been an inmate in Auschwitz for
3 two years, a little over two years, and was recalling from
4 memory his — you know, tried to make a case that this was
5 a very serious thing and tried to describe the camp as
6 good 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 Van Pelt]: No, I would like — I mean, if you make a challenge like
10 that I will be willing to go with you over the report in
11 detail. Certainly, the report is not more flawed, and in
12 general terms I would want to say that if I had been Vrba
13 coming out of the situation I am, going to then at a
14 certain moment be, as you said, he was interviewed. He
15 was interviewed by people in Bratislava.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: A Jewish community, was it not?
17 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: — Mr Vrba had no document when he came out of Auschwitz.
20 He 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
23 with him?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not exactly know how he was interviewed there, and on
25 the basis of these interviews they made a report. I do
26 not know exactly who wrote and who rewrote. I know that
1 the papal nuncio in Bratislava was very closely involved.
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: Have you read the records of the War Refugee Record in the
3 Roosevelt archives?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Which ones? I have read the records as they were printed
5 in —
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: You have not read the original telegrams that came from
7 McClelland in Bern?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: From McClelland, I think a number of them I have quoted in
9 my expert report, yes. So I mean they were reprinted in
10 facsimile by David Wyman (?) in his book, Serious About
11 American Reaction to the Holocaust, his documentary
12 collection. So I have looked at those, yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: — and you did not notice that the telegrams from
14 McClelland make quite plain that the Vrba Report had been
15 heavily edited or altered by this external committee of
16 Slovakian Jews, for whatever reason? You did not notice
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I remember — I mean I do not dispute the fact that this
19 report, that this report, the origin of this report, is in
20 Bratislava in 1944 and that members of the Jewish
21 community were involved in that. I do not exactly know
22 what Mr McClelland said again. We can look at the
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: We are in a slightly difficult position with Vrba, are we
25 not, because you rely on him to a certain extent; is that
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In extent to what?
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: As an eyewitness, one of the most important, he was one of
3 the first one?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Vrba is very important. Vrba is very important because he
5 is the first one who brings a substantial account of the
6 use of Auschwitz as a place where Jews are being killed
7 en masse.
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: He is now Professor at a university in Vancouver, is he
10 A. [Professor 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
12 testimony under cross-examination during the Zundel trial?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not think that great harm was done. I think that
14 Christie got under his skin all right. But I think the
15 attorney 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
17 line of investigation and say would it be fair to say that
18 Vrba finally admitted that he had never been inside one of
19 these gas chamber buildings?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I think that he had never been inside. He relied on
21 reports of others.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: So in this respect of course his eyewitness testimony is
23 worthless, then, is it not?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is you know at a certain moment to me, you work as the
25 best you can, and, of course, I know that there was a —
26 that one of the major challenges during the Zundel trial
1 was actually on the diagrams being produced of the — he
2 produces a diagram of a crematorium, with the gas chamber,
3 and unlike the diagrams of the camp site itself, which are
4 quite correct, in the archeological sense, there are some
5 problems with the diagram he has of the crematorium and he
6 assumes that crematoria 2, 3, 4 and 5 in some way, he
7 collapses then into one proposition.
8 However, if you want to understand — I can draw
9 the diagram by heart if your Lordship wants that, but if
10 you understand actually how information which had been
11 transmitted to him from people again who are not
12 experienced in describing buildings and I today needed,
13 you know, all the blueprints and all these reconstructions
14 in order to make some points. So now we have some
15 “sondercommando” who in one way or another get
16 information to him, and he sees these building at a
17 distance and he knows something is going on there and he
18 knows about an underground space and tries to put this
19 together at a certain moment in Bratislava. I think that
20 ultimately while it is not ideologically correct, as
21 Mr Song also noticed, it is understandable how the
22 mistakes were generated.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In the actual plan. So I must say that Vrba, while
25 I would not say that he is like Olare in this case, a
26 perfect kind of — visually perfect kind of eyewitness,
1 I think that he, given the situation he had been in, did a
2 job 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
4 will remember.
5 (To the witness) You will remember, Professor,
6 will you not, that I asked you the length that the flame
7 has to travel from the furnace to the mouth of the
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Irving]: We reached a figure of 90 feet or so, did we not?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: Have you ever seen flames that are 90 feet long?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
14 Q. [Mr Irving]: Will you take it from me that any furnace engineer would
15 say that you never get flames from a chimney that is as
16 long as that, or route that is as long as that?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I am happy to accept what your engineer says. I am happy
18 also to accept what another engineer has said. I have not
19 consulted engineers on this.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: Regardless of what is being burned, even if it was trash
21 from the incinerator or whatever they would not have
22 flames emerging from the mouth of the chimney.
23 Will you also accept that the Germans, being
24 very good design engineers, have also made adequate
25 provision to ensure that no smoke would have come from the
26 chimney either?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No smoke?
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: No smoke would come from the chimney. That is the purpose
3 of the design of chimney roof.
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Okay, it may be so or it may be not so, I cannot
5 comment —
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: Regardless, if you concentrate just on the flames will you
7 agree that Olare in one of his drawings which you
8 described as being very good of the outside of the
9 crematorium shows flames and smoke luridly belching from
10 the — 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 Van Pelt]: — yes, it is tab No. 3.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And it either is or is not intended to be an
16 accurate reproduction of what actually was visible.
17 MR IRVING: If you have read Pressac, Professor, do you
18 remember the passage where Olare states that the SS turned
19 bodies into sausages?
20 A. [Professor 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
22 break. My Lord, I will only have about one hour to do
23 with this witness after lunch if it is a useful guide.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is very helpful to know, but do not feel
25 under any pressure, obviously.
26 MR IRVING: We saw in the slides that you showed to us the
1 concrete being poured, if I can put it that way, on the
2 roof of — not this building, not the alleged mass gas
3 chamber, but the crematorium No. 2, the mortuary No. 2; is
4 that right?
5 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: I must say that took me back 30 years when I saw concrete
9 being poured, because I know what it means. I know that
10 the reinforcing wires and the bars and everything, how
11 they are all put in. There were no drawings made, were
12 there, of those bars? You yourself said that you could
13 not produce the drawings of the actual —
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I have not seen the drawings. I do not know if drawings
15 were made. Generally I do not think that actually that
16 much of this, as far as I know, runs on more or less kind
17 of, you know, accepted kind of procedures.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: — rule of thumb, yes.
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. So that it is unlikely to find — I have not seen
20 any drawings in the Auschwitz archive of any reinforcing
21 or any particular concrete construction.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: When I worked with John Laing the position of every bar
23 was drawn on a drawing, but you say there are no such
24 drawings and under wartime conditions presumably there
25 were not.
26 We are now switching from the one we saw in the
1 picture, to the alleged factory of death, this gas chamber
2 here where you say 500,000 people were killed; we are back
3 on the question of roof again. We do not have pictures of
4 that roof being poured, but it would be fair to assume
5 that there would be the same kind of reinforcing that went
6 that room, steel bars?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I mean there are fragments when the whole — the
8 pillar No. 2, there are reinforcing bars right there.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Which are bent, which have been bent.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Was the thickness the shame on Leichenkeller
12 No. 1?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The strange thing is we do not have any section of morgue
14 No. 2, but we have the section of morgue No. 1 because it
15 was such a particular, complex section. So I assume from
16 the ruins it looks that whatever is there that the
17 thickness was the same and I also would have assumed that.
18 MR IRVING: My Lord, can I refer to you the little bundle of
19 pictures that I provided to you this morning, which is
20 numbered Claimant’s bundle D, photographs.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you very much, which I have not
22 looked at all.
23 MR IRVING: I am sure you have not, my Lord. This was finally
24 finalized at 4 o’clock this morning. But it is going to
25 be useful nonetheless I think, on the sense one picture is
26 often worth a thousand words. This answers many of our
2 MR RAMPTON: Well, my Lord, I have some reservation about
3 this. I am not being technical about this. This little
4 bundle seems to be a mixture of drawings, reconstructions
5 by an unknown hand, and commentary by an unknown author.
6 It is quite different if the Professor in the witness box
7 gives a demonstration and offers his opinion. I am not
8 very 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
11 about that.
12 MR IRVING: On page 18 are you referring?
13 MR RAMPTON: Well, I do not know, I thought I saw some red
14 commentary, I have only glanced at it.
15 MR IRVING: I think the red commentary, it is actually linked
16 to other pages.
17 MR RAMPTON: Yes, but there is red commentary on page something
18 or other.
19 MR IRVING: We can rip that page out.
20 MR RAMPTON: No, it is this; there is a lot of red commentary,
21 actually. Then there are some very pretty drawings like a
22 child’s picture book in different colours.
23 MR IRVING: We have had some pretty drawings thrown on the
24 screen this morning.
25 MR RAMPTON: I know not by whom they were done, Mr Irving might
26 perhaps be better off listening to what I have to say than
1 interrupting. The reason I am troubled by this is so far
2 as I know the person who made these drawings and that
3 commentary is not going to be a witness.
Section 109.4 to 125.24
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I hear what you say, Mr Rampton, and
5 I understand the force of it, but what I think going to
6 let Mr Irving do is make what use he wishes of these
7 photographs and if we come to a particularly problematic
8 one 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
10 though, this is not expert evidence from anybody so far as
11 I know.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not an illegitimate cross-examination
13 technique in the end do not I think, so take your course.
14 MR IRVING: My Lord, thank you. The drawings, of course, that
15 we were shown on the screen were made not by the expert
16 witness, 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
19 the concrete from pictures No. 22 and 23 and you can see
20 the reinforcing bars that go through the roof.
21 (To the witness) Would you agree that these are
22 the holes that exist at present in mortuary No. 2, these
23 holes were cut through the roof after the war to obtain
24 access to the underside of the flap?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I cannot judge the picture of No. 22. I do think that
26 No. 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
2 23, picture 23, you can see that there is a hole cut
3 through the concrete into darkness underneath and you can
4 see reinforcing bars there, and the concrete there — well
5 you said 20 centimetres thick, did you not?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I thought afterwards I thought 18 centimetres.
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: In real terms 18 centimetres is?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Six inches.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: Six inches?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can we go back to the picture that you showed the court on
12 Thursday of the locomotive and which we saw briefly on the
13 screen again today, which I have reproduced for the sake
14 of convenience, on page 16, my Lord, purely just as a
15 visual remainder of what we are now arguing about, or
16 talking about. This is the locomotive going past the
17 roof which is clearly under construction still. It has
18 not been banked up around. It has not had earth heaped
19 over it and it has some protuberances on top. My Lord,
20 I did refer, you will remember. I asked the witness if he
21 had 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
25 photograph that you recognize?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, and I actually kind of slightly stupidly commented on
1 it without having it in front of me, because yesterday
2 coming back from Stockholm I thought there was a detail in
3 the roof, two details, and that, you know, which I
4 remembered, which was the detail of the roof was still
5 being constructed on the left, and that that makes it one
6 earlier than the one with the little locomotive in it.
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: This is quite obvious, is it not; the whole building is
8 still under construction at an earlier stage than the
9 locomotive picture?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is December 1942 or thereabouts?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Whatever, yes, I mean it is obviously maybe after the time
13 that these people have been closing the roof, which we saw
14 in the picture on top of morgue No. 1. But, yes, it
15 looks — I would date it probably somewhere December.
16 There 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
18 now the flat roof of mortuary No. 1, this is the flat
19 white line which goes across from the centre of the page
20 to the right; do you see that, my Lord?
21 A. [Professor 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
25 disturbance of that snow line whatsoever that would
26 indicate that there was either a hole or a plank or a
1 cover or a chimney, let alone three? Can you see any kind
2 of disturbances at that time?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, you cannot see anything, but the question if there
4 would be a plank on this and there is a snow cover on it
5 then of course the snow would have covered the planks.
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: It would be satisfactory just to put a plank across there
7 and no kind of water would get in through the hole
8 underneath the plank if there was a hole underneath that
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In a building under construction one has very temporary
11 measures to close thing up.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: But you cannot point to any kind of disturbance of that
13 snow corresponding with the position of the three
14 protuberances on the previous photograph on page 16, can
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I am looking at a 2 millimetre, 3 millimetre wide white
17 line which is delicately reproduced, and it is very
18 difficult to say anything about what actually happens in
19 that snow right there. There may be planks covered
20 by snow. There may be not, it may be disturbed one way or
21 another, but it is very difficult to draw any
22 conclusions —
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: It is very weak evidence, is it not —
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Sorry?
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: This photograph, No. 17, is it not?
26 A. [Professor 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
3 say this is just one rather smudgy white line and what can
4 one 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
7 there would inevitably be a stage when there would the
8 roof in place but nothing sticking through it because they
9 had not got round to sticking anything through it.
10 MR IRVING: We are coming to all this in two or three minutes,
11 my Lord.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Very sorry.
13 MR IRVING: (To the witness) But I just want to establish you
14 say we cannot draw conclusions just on the basis of this
15 rather smudgy photograph?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: It is ten inches across, but you cannot draw conclusions?
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]: But can you draw conclusions from the previous photograph,
20 which is even smudgier; is this what you are saying?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, because there is something to see there. I mean this
22 one is pretty smudgy, but in the original you actually see
23 those box like structures above morgue No. 1.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: Very well, but there is no indication whatsoever on
25 picture No. 17 of any provision made for them, no
26 coverings; we cannot see any planks or scaffolding boards
1 or anything covering the whole there? It is just one
2 smooth snow line across the top?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Covering whatever is below it, either the roof of morgue
4 No. 1, or the openings which have been temporarily closed
5 with pieces of wood, or pieces of board.
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: Now in your evidence you drew attention, did you not, to
7 the photographs which I reproduced again on page 6.
8 Mr Rampton may prefer that we look at the original bundle
9 rather than — this is the same photograph, is it not?
10 The one with the smudges on the roof, the four smudges?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Page No. 6.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: Of my bundle, yes. There are two photographs there. I
13 would only draw attention to the bottom photograph, which
14 is the one which has not been touched. This is the one
15 you showed, is it not, showing four smudges?
16 A. [Professor 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
18 position of the holes as they are on the roof now.
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: OK.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: This roof you appreciate is still there, and the two holes
21 marked in red are visible on that roof now?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: Just for the sake so there is no confusion at all, we have
24 marked in the position on that roof of where those two
25 present day holes are, which is what one can clamber
26 through, the one shown in the photograph —
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, I do not think you are right on that, and I am not
2 going to — I think we should have maybe a survey, but the
3 thing is that the hole, which is very close to the second
4 column, of the — you see, one of the big problems is that
5 the white smudge, which in some way you interpret as the
6 top of — as the roof, actually, it is not only the roof
7 of the gas chamber, but it is also the slope. The earth
8 is sloped up to it. So, in fact, that smudge is larger
9 than the actual roof. We can go back to my
10 reconstruction, yes.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]: — I am afraid I do not get what you are saying there at
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: OK, maybe I can point it out on this. If, indeed, this —
14 if this is the exact size of the original morgue No. 1, in
15 fact, the earth was sloped up to the roof and then covered
16 the roof and sloped down. So the actual line, what you
17 see here, there is the big white smudge actually takes a
18 larger area than the actual roof area. If you then start
19 looking at the dots, then the dots clearly start to be
20 much more — because otherwise the dots are not actually
21 in a pattern. We have seven columns at regular intervals
22 between the end wall and then we get seven columns and
23 then we get basically the wall of the crematorium.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: So you are still submitting to the court that these
25 smudges represent the position of holes through the roof
26 through which the SS officers poured the cyanide pellets?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That the smudges were caused by the holes. It is very
2 difficult at this…
3 Q. [Mr Irving]: Magnification.
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: At this magnification to determine exactly what is
5 happening there. I do not know exactly — we know from
6 the Bryant investigation that at a certain moment objects
7 the size of a head would — was the size of a grain in the
8 negative and that all kind of moray (?) effects started to
9 happen, so we are talking here about what is happening on
10 size of a grain in the negative.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]: When was this photograph taken, Professor? The one we are
12 looking at, August 1944?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not know if this is August 1st or May 1st or it was
14 even possibly a September one.
15 Q. [Mr Irving]: Were all the photographs with which we are familiar taken
16 in 1944?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I am sorry, I think I am a bit
19 confused; is this Leichenkeller No. One.
20 THE WITNESS:[Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You said a moment ago that the holes were
22 still 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
26 whom 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
4 holes that were originally there.
5 MR IRVING: We have seen the photograph of one of the holes, my
6 Lord, with the metal reinforcing bars twisted up to obtain
8 THE WITNESS:[Professor Van Pelt]: But, my Lord, I do challenge the position of the
9 red dots on that mark No. 3. I challenge that these
10 actually, 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 Van Pelt]: OK. But in any case because I think maybe there was
13 confusion about that.
14 MR IRVING: Well, are you suggesting to the court that the
15 holes we have seen photographs of, the one with the
16 reinforcing bars twisted up is one of the holes on which
17 you relying?
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]: In other words, whether you challenge it or not is neither
20 here nor there?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: OK, neither here nor there.
22 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You say if we are wrong, but it does not
23 appear to me to be significant.
24 MR IRVING: No.
25 Witness, I have here a number of original
26 photographs from the National Archives Cardographic
1 Branch. These are original prints taken from the original
2 negatives that were over Auschwitz in 1944, as you say.
3 I have five of them, which show these buildings. I am not
4 going to ask you now, witness, to examine them in detail,
5 because clearly that would disrupt the proceedings of the
6 court. But I have produced for the court’s interest in
7 large sections of those photographs, and they begin, my
8 Lord, on page 7; 7, 8, 8 and 10, which is where my
9 computer crashed, so I will not rely on the fifth
10 photograph. But I would ask the witness to comment on
11 these enlarged sections of the original photographs which
12 he can scrutinize, I would suggest, during the lunch
13 adjournment and say if he can see the slightest sign of
14 dots on the roof of this building; the mortuary No. 1 in
15 crematorium No. 2, “The Factory of Death”, on which his
16 entire case, that this was a factory of death relies.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I imagine he would probably say
19 THE WITNESS:[Professor Van Pelt]: I can say that. Picture No. 7 seems to depict
20 the building after the destruction had started. I do not
21 know how far it is. I think maybe it is not even an
22 American but a German photo.
23 MR IRVING: No, the German photograph is picture No. 9 that
24 was —
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. 9 —
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: That was taken on February 19th 1945 —
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So there the buildings are completely destroyed. So the
2 issue of dots is irrelevant there, yes?
3 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: At picture No. 7, whatever the date — there already seems
5 to be in the picture No. 7, is that there is — certainly
6 there is — I can see, but it is kind of useless for me to
7 argue. 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 Van Pelt]: — but I said I certainly see four smudges in photograph
11 No. 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 Van Pelt]: No. 8 I see four smudges right there.
15 MR IRVING: Four smudges on 3, but not on 2?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But on No. 2 I do not know what — if they had made…
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: Did they —
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The smudges are on others, I do not know exactly what were
19 the conditions — it seems to be that there is a line of
21 MR RAMPTON: Yes —
22 A. [Professor 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
25 to make. It is perhaps not valuable to ask the witness
26 what he can see. We can all look at them. I could give
1 evidence 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
4 see 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
7 of evidence about smudges I do not see there is any harm
8 in Professor van Pelt being asked what he thinks one can
10 MR RAMPTON: All I am suggesting is it makes not in the end
11 any difference what this witness can see in these
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: He might suddenly say; “gosh, I cannot see
14 any smudges at all, I must be wrong”.
15 MR RAMPTON: It would not matter if he did say that, if I can
16 see them and your Lordship can see them.
17 MR IRVING: I appreciate the tactical reason for such
18 interruptions but I would be grateful if you left them
19 until the end of the —
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, it has not succeeded.
21 MR IRVING: Professor, you suggested that the building on the
22 left in picture No. 8 might have already been partially
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — no, No. 7 I said, this was about in No. 7 but —
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: Very well.
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — it is difficult exactly to see again, we are looking
1 here 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
3 right one, which suggests that the definition of the
4 picture would be adequate to see dots on crematorium No. 2
5 and yet there are no such dots visible?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There is a whole line visible.
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: Not on crematorium No. 2?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I am sorry?
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: Not on crematorium No. 2.
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: On crematorium No. 2 there seem to be — I do not exactly
11 know if that is the line which is the edge of the gas
12 chamber or a line on top, you know, if that is — if the
13 two parallel lines are the edges of the kind of earth bank
14 on top of the gas chamber — I do not know there are some
15 white smudges in the middle there. I mean, his Lordship
16 can see that as well, I presume.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can I suggest you now move on to No. 10. No. 9, my Lord,
18 is a photograph taken by the German Air Force after the
19 Russians occupied Auschwitz.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. 9 or 10?
21 MR IRVING: No. 9 is a photograph. I have included it purely
22 for historical interest. It shows the buildings
23 demolished or partly blown up by somebody before February
24 19th 1945.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And the same is true of ten.
26 THE WITNESS:[Professor Van Pelt]: 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,
4 but you can clearly make out the outlines of crematorium
5 No. 2. You can clearly make out the outlines going off
6 horizontally to the left of the Leichenkeller No. 1 and
7 once again there is no kind of markings whatsoever on the
8 roof, that is my submission.
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I would like to comment on that, that first of all the
10 image is so bad that the whole chimney and the whole
11 projection of crematorium 2 in image No. 10 has become one
12 big blurry — the building would have half been destroyed
13 in this one, and that if one wants there is very little to
14 see one way or another, but I actually think there are —
15 at least I think that I see three dots on top of that, on
16 top of that morgue, but that can also be simply some kind
17 of —
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: Can I ask you to take five-minutes during the lunch
19 adjournment to have look at the original photographs,
20 which are substantially better quality, and tell me
21 honestly under oath whether you still say the same,
22 because my submission is that there are no dots visible on
23 any of the photographs apart from that August 1944 one.
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — I hope you have magnifying glasses because I have now
25 reached the age I need reading glasses and I do not have
26 them with me. I did not expect this kind of challenge.
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, a magnifying glass would be quite a
2 good idea, would it not.
3 MR IRVING: I will try and obtain one, my Lord, in the
4 interval. (To the witness) While, we have the bundle in
5 front of us, will you please pass to page 14, which I hope
6 will be in your bundle, Professor.
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Page 14?
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes, it shows two photographs side by side. I would ask
9 you only to look at the photographs; disregard the text.
10 The left hand photograph, would you agree, have you seen
11 it before —
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: — it show Hungarian prisoners arriving in May 1944 at
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: Is there any smoke visible on that photograph?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: The right hand photograph is the identical photograph
19 apart for one thing.
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There is some grey blood.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes, does it appear to be smoke in the sky above some
22 chimney in the background?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not know if it is a chimney. It is a pole. It is a
24 kind of electricity pole.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes, but it is not on the photograph on the left which is
26 the original one as published by the Behalteklasse
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I agree.
3 Q. [Mr Irving]: So, do you agree that one has to have heightened alertness
4 when one is looking at photographs that have been
5 published by whoever? One has to be aware constantly that
6 people sometimes…
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, but I may point out that at least with the photos of
8 the Hungarian action in the Auschwitz album I have seen
9 the originals and inspected the originals and worked with
10 the originals.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The originals show what? Smoke or no smoke?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I mean whatever the claim is being made here, I certainly,
13 you know, it seems to be that the Weisenthal Centre on
14 their website has prettied up this picture one way or
15 another. But certainly that is not my source of
16 information for whatever material.
17 MR IRVING: Are you surprised to hear, Professor, that last
18 night when I tried to go to their website this picture
19 showing the smoke has been removed?
20 A. [Professor 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
22 bundle of photographs?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The last page?
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: The very last page.
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: 24?
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: That is right, should be a coloured diagram showing a wire
1 mesh column.
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving]: Would you agree that this is a reasonable interpretation
4 by an artist operating for the Holocaust history project
5 of what the wire mesh introduction devices looked like, on
6 the basis of eyewitness evidence?
7 A. [Professor 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
10 Project, which is a non-revisionist, if I can put it that
11 way, website.
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think he is wrong.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: In what degree do you think this differs from the real,
14 from reality?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think that, first of all, I think there were three
16 concentric tubes, and there are only two shown here.
17 I think the second one, which is really problematic is
18 that he shows that the whole width of the column goes into
19 the slab. There was no reason for that, actually it would
20 be counterproductive because the column, the idea of the
21 column was to allow for the even dispersion of hydrogen
22 cyanide in the room, not into the slab. So to weaken the
23 slab in that way, allowing for that disbursing mechanism
24 to go into the slab is absolutely nonsense.
Section 125.25 to 152.14
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is the funnel point?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, the funnel — at the moment there is the underside of
1 L Keller one roof, it is pointed at, but what is Mr van
2 Elstein has done is project that whole dispersion
3 mechanism into the slab, and I cannot see why anyone would
4 have designed the thing like that.
5 MR IRVING: Apart from that, you would say it is a useful
6 diagram that will help both his Lordship and the court?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: To be very honest, I would not rely on it. I think this
8 is such a fundamental mistake. We have only two — we
9 have only two concentric columns. There were three as far
10 as I remember, and the whole thing goes through the slab.
11 This is an amazing difference between the actual thing as
12 we know it, described by Kuhler, and what is drawn here.
13 I can would not trust Mr van Elstein at all on this
14 point. 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
17 been a funnel when you take it through the concrete roof;
18 why broaden it out though lower down? Do you understand
19 the question?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Why broaden —
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: If it can be that narrow when it is going through the
22 concrete roof; why does it not stay that narrow all the
23 way down into the chamber?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — no, but may I draw this?
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: What is the reason?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The reason is that this central pipe, let us call it a
1 pipe, has holes in it, perforated holes. In that pipe you
2 throw the Zyklon-B, let us say 200 grammes or 500 grammes;
3 the idea of this pipe is, is that there is actually on the
4 bottom of this pipe is a tin, and the Zyklon-B goes into
5 the tin. You drop it into the tin. Now one of problems
6 with Zyklon-B is, and this what the column tries to
7 address. It tries to address two things. First of all, it
8 tries to address the issue of how actually is the gas
9 going to be released into the space. Now if it simply
10 came out of the holes of the thing.
11 MR IRVING: In a tightly packed gas chamber?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In a tightly packed room it would be much more difficult
13 so when it first starts filling up, these two remaining
14 spaces around that central pipe, and from there it is
15 going to be released. Yes? So it becomes much more
16 difficult also to seal it up. Let us say, that in some
17 way you create a zone in which people cannot intervene,
18 which is that intermediate zone, intervene with basically
19 the evaporation of the hydrogen cyanide.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: There is no trace on this picture of the basket, is there,
21 which is lifted out afterwards?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, he did not — there was a basket in there, and I do
23 not know if you want to go into the reason.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: No, not really. I am just looking at dimensions now. You
25 see where it says on the right-hand side “240 centimetres
26 from floor to ceiling”; that was the height of this
1 mortuary, was it not?
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
3 Q. [Mr Irving]: What is 240 centimetres in real terms; 8 feet?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: A little less than 8 feet.
5 Q. [Mr Irving]: So if Tauber, your eyewitness on whom you place such
6 reliance, says that it was so low down the ceiling that
7 one had to stoop, he was mistaken, was he not?
8 A. [Professor 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
13 finish this little clip of photographs?
14 MR IRVING: I beg your pardon?
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Are you going to finish the clip of
16 photographs in the next two or three minutes? If you are,
17 carry on.
18 MR IRVING: I will just have a quick scan. You see
19 this illustration suggests that the hole through the roof
20 was 70 centimetres across which is about 2 feet, and you
21 think it was smaller?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: As I said, there was no reason at all to have the whole
23 hydrogen cyanide release mechanism go into a roof.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: If you were the architect who had designed this roof and
25 indeed this entire building, this very expensive building,
26 and you heard that some SS officer was hacking holes
1 through the reinforcing of a roof near the load bearing
2 column, near the load bearing girder, the binder that goes
3 across the roof, would you not be rather angry with the SS
4 people who are tampering with your design? And indeed
5 endangering the whole roof?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But I do not see why they would have hacked through the
7 roof. We know that the modifications, at least from the
8 plan we saw there, the modifications of the design were
9 decided — I mean certainly for the hanging of the door in
10 that new staircase was in December the building had
11 been — that the genocidal programme in Auschwitz had been
12 adopted in August, the roof was probably being finished in
13 December, so there was no reason to hack through the
14 roof. They could immediately have made the holes in the
15 roof as they were constructing it.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: They could have made provision for them as they went
17 along —
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]: — they could have designed space with no reinforcing bars
20 going across?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: And they could put that in there?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: But of course there are no such drawings, are there?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But we have established before that there no drawings of
26 the production of these concrete roofs at all.
1 Q. [Mr Irving]: So that is where your convergence of evidence halts? It
2 converges there and it comes up against, not a brick wall,
3 but a concrete roof; the fact that there is not a single
4 design blueprint showing the modifications to include
5 those holes? They are so angry — do you remember there
6 is one document, Professor, in January 1943, where
7 somebody is having strips torn off him because he did not
8 put the anti-frost agent in the concrete of this very
9 roof? And yet it has not occurred to anybody to complain,
10 has it, that they had not made provision for the holes in
11 the roof?
12 A. [Professor 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
14 where somebody is being reprimanded for not putting
15 anti-frost liquid in the concrete as it is poured?
16 A. [Professor 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
19 to this.
20 MR IRVING: We are right at the end, my Lord. And I will just
21 say, another 20 seconds and then we can adjourn.
22 (To the witness) You have not seen any holes in
23 the roof, have you, in the — when you went there? You
24 have not found any holes?
25 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: No.
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: May I say that if the Auschwitz authorities were now to
3 agree to clean off that rubble off the top of that
4 concrete slab and find the holes I would tomorrow halt
5 this case and abandon my action.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right, on that note we will adjourn until 2
8 (Luncheon Adjournment)
9 (2.00 p.m.)
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, just so we know what we are doing
11 with this bundle which I think you have finished with now,
12 have you not?
13 MR IRVING: I have, my Lord, yes. I may, of course, wish to
14 come 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
21 I asked you about whether you were able to see certain
22 smudges on certain photographs, and I also invited you to
23 spend a few minutes in the adjournment looking at the
24 original photographs. Did you have a chance to do that?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I just went very quickly over them, yes.
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: Did you see anything on those photographs that would
1 indicate there were still smudges on these 1944
2 photographs of this roof?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I am very sorry. I cannot see it, but the problem is that
4 it is so small. You know, yours are really enlarged in
5 the ones you showed, so I find it really difficult to see
6 anything on these photographs right now.
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: But you were capable, you told the court, of seeing the
8 smudges on the four blown up photographs that I showed to
9 the court; you thought you saw smudges on them?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I did not put those right next to these ones since I do
11 not know which one belonged to these I just looked in
12 general at them, and it seemed that these came from those,
13 that is what I could say, but these ones are three times
14 larger, four times larger, than those. So, without a
15 magnifying glass, I cannot come to any conclusion.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: But you accept that all these photographs were taken in
17 1944? None of them were taken before the construction of
18 that particular roof or before the holes were put in the
20 A. [Professor 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
22 building was demolished, yes. So, really, the holes you
23 are talking about should have been visible in the roof if
24 they were of any substantial size?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not know. I mean, first of all, one of the things
26 I looked at was that, in fact, there are many smudges on
1 these negatives anyway, one way or another. It seems that
2 there is a lot of, I mean, these are not clean negatives.
3 There are black things on it also which can come from
4 another source, not from the crematoria, but from other
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: But you accept that these are the original prints, maximum
7 magnification, produced from the original film in the
8 national archives in America?
9 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Yes, but, I mean, I cannot really see one way or another
12 what is on that roof.
13 Q. [Mr Irving]: Professor van Pelt, you have been to Auschwitz in
14 connection with your researches how many times? Once or
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. I have been there yearly since 1990. I have
17 sometimes twice or three times yearly.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]: Have you frequently visited this roof of the alleged
19 factory of death, the mortuary No. —-
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I have been there, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]: — 1?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Certainly every trip I go there.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: Have you never felt the urge to go and start scraping just
24 where you know those holes would have been because you
25 know approximately where, like a two or three foot patch
26 of gravel to scrap away?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I have authored the report already in 1933 for the Poles
2 in which I actually argued that they needed very, very
3 strict preservation standards; and the last thing I would
4 ever have ever done is start scraping away at the roof
5 without any general plan of archeological investigations.
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: But now that these serious doubts have been raised as to
7 the integrity of the gas chamber notion, and now that
8 neo-Nazis around the world are benefiting from these
9 doubts, would it not be in everybody’s interests if this
10 last element of uncertainty should be so easily removed,
11 that the gravel there should be scraped off the
12 virgin concrete slab beneath to see if those holes were
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: With all respect, I do not think you are going to get a
15 virgin concrete slab there. This concrete slab has been
16 — water has been seeping through it. I mean, a concrete
17 road — I mean, I have been travelling a lot through
18 Germany where they still have the concrete roads created
19 in the 1930s, the concrete autobahn.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: Are those concretes roads made of reinforced steel
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
23 Q. [Mr Irving]: Are there reinforcing bars in those roads?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not know if they are reinforced, but, I mean, but
25 things are growing through the concrete, so…
26 Q. [Mr Irving]: But my experience of roads is that they have no
1 reinforcing bars in them, do they?
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But the thing is that I do not think, and maybe I can be
3 completely wrong, that if you go under all the top layer,
4 if you remove the top layer of that concrete, you would
5 have to remove a top layer, that you are going to get a
6 piece that is in tact because the roof itself already is
7 terribly fragmented.
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: Would I be right in suspecting that the Defence in this
9 case has spent a substantial sum of money in trying to
10 establish the rights and wrongs of this particular
11 allegation about the factory of death?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: You will have to ask someone else. I do not know what the
13 Defence has spent on money.
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY: What do you mean by “this particular
15 allegation”? The roof?
16 MR IRVING: Well, if they could have proved that I was wrong on
17 this particular matter, this would really knock out the
18 pillars from beneath my case.
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Mr Irving, you did the four holes —-
20 MR RAMPTON: No, I can speak about that. I happen to know the
21 truth of it. Goodness knows how much money has been spent
22 on the case as a whole, but the roof has cost practically
23 nothing, except a little bit of my thinking time recently,
24 because it has only just cropped up.
25 MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, approximately how much is an
26 air —-
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
4 cost or Cracau? £100, £200?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: What, from Canada?
6 Q. [Mr Irving]: Well, from London or from Canada?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I have no idea.
8 Q. [Mr Irving]: It is an infinitesimal amount compared with the expenses
9 so far expended on this case?
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, if Mr Rampton is right in what he just
11 said, then really these questions get nowhere, do they,
12 because if it was not raised as an issue until two days
13 ago, how much money has been spent on it is really an
14 irrelevant consideration.
15 MR IRVING: If this matter had not occurred to the Defence, my
16 Lord, then might I suggest with the utmost respect it
17 ought to have occurred to the Defence. They have been
18 negligent to that degree, that they could have gone and
19 knocked the pillar out from underneath me by going and
20 persuading the local Auschwitz authorities who, by all
21 accounts, have been very compliant with them — the very
22 opposite of their attitude to me — to have a look at just
23 one of the sites where the holes should have been. We
24 know what the underside of that slab looks like, my Lord.
25 Your Lordship has seen the photograph.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am looking at the photograph now. The
1 difficulty I have with that — I do not know whether you
2 can help, Professor — is that I cannot — it is this
3 one. I have no idea where you have it because I have it
4 floating free.
5 A. [Professor 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
7 roof one is actually seeing. I just have not a clue,
8 whether 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
12 roof would, undoubtedly, have provided the answers because
13 I think it is common sense, and certainly any engineer
14 would back this up, would they not, Professor van Pelt,
15 that if the roof is going to fragment and splinter in any
16 way as a result of a demolition, the fractures would have
17 started at the holes where the roof had been weakened by
18 the 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
23 about that?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Where the fracture would have started?
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: The suggestion is that if there were holes, the fracture
26 would have started around the holes —-
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I have no idea.
2 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: — because it would be a weak point.
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is beyond my competence.
4 MR IRVING: Well, my Lord, it is like a pane of glass; if you
5 put a hole in a plane of glass, a bullet hole or
6 something, that is going to be the place where the cracks
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, whether that is true of reinforced
9 concrete, I think neither of you can really say at the
11 MR IRVING: I will not press the matter further, my Lord. On
12 that issue I will abandon (and I am sure the Defence will
13 be grateful) the question of the holes in the roof which
14 are 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
18 roof 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
21 the holes in the roof were central to his case? I ask the
22 question rhetorically, what case? This is a case about
23 Mr Irving’s state of mind at the time when he made certain
24 utterances s. If the roofs are a new feature of the case
25 in the last five or 10 days, they have really got very
26 little to do with the case which your Lordship is trying
1 which is not the question, were these gas chambers?
2 MR IRVING: So suddenly once again the Defence is shifting its
3 ground and suddenly what actually happened is of less
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I think you are not doing justice to the
6 point Mr Rampton is making. He is really making what is,
7 I suppose, in a way an historical point. The case against
8 you is that, historically, you have not approached the
9 issue of the gas chambers in an honest, conscientious way
10 as an historian. That is either right or wrong, looking
11 at the history, but this holes in the roof point seems to
12 have cropped up terribly recently and, although I might be
13 entitled 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
16 dealing with it, Mr Rampton is right, is he not?
17 MR IRVING: My Lord, the Defence has been aware of this
18 particular difficulty, shall I put it, with this story for
19 many, 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
25 argument, my Lord.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Oh, have you?
1 MR IRVING: The fact that I only raised it five or six days
2 into the case during the cross-examination of this witness
3 does not mean to say that I did not have a reason for
4 delaying it. It is plain that I have been aware of this
5 holes in the roof problem for a very long time.
6 If I can just summarize in two lines what my
7 position was and always has been? I have never argued
8 that there were probably gassings at Auschwitz — I have
9 never disputed that, rather, that there were probably
10 gassings on some scale or other, probably a limited scale
11 at 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
14 to concede to the second part of the sentence which is to
15 say that what I have disputed is that there were factories
16 of death, that it was a factory of death and that we heard
17 at the beginning of this witness’s evidence that, in his
18 view, most of the killing — today he said half the
19 killing which was a reduction — 500,000 people in this
20 one room; and my contention would be that if I can knock
21 holes in that, then I do not really have to look at the
22 rest of the allegations because I have never disputed the
23 rest, my Lord, although we will very briefly look at
24 Auschwitz 1 this afternoon before I cease this
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Just so that again I am clear because my
1 recollection is that you said something a little bit
2 different maybe earlier on, you accept that there were
3 gassings 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
8 vans 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
12 disputed that within any material time that is material to
13 this action, but what I have most strenuously disputed is
14 the notion that Auschwitz was a factory of death which we
15 have narrowed down, as far as I am concerned, to this one
16 building because this witness, as the outstanding expert
17 on Auschwitz and the Holocaust, has said that most of it
18 happened in this one building, 500,000 people. This is
19 the Holiest of Holy sites. This is the geocentre of the
20 atlas of the atrocities.
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is all a bit of an incursion into the
22 cross-examination. It has not done any harm, I think,
23 but —-
24 MR IRVING: Well, we have Mr Rampton to thank for that disloquy
25 on my part.
26 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, no, I am not blaming anybody. I think it
1 is quite helpful to have had it, but I think, perhaps, we
2 ought to resume with Professor van Pelt.
3 MR IRVING: Now we continue very briefly with a few remaining
4 matters. To what degree have you relied on the Soviet
5 Commission Report, the USSR 008?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: For my book or for my expert report?
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: For your expert report.
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In my expert report, I have just given the Soviet Report
9 as an instance again of the emergence of knowledge about
10 Auschwitz. So it is —-
11 MR IRVING: My Lord, it is on page 162 of the expert report of
12 this witness onwards, beginning at page 162.
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So it is for me not so important as a basis for my own
14 investigations to come to a conclusion about the use and
15 design and transformation of crematorium (ii) to (v).
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: My Lord, you will have observed I am not attacking the
17 integrity of all his eyewitnesses and all his sources
18 because that would take us from here until next
19 Christmas. I am just picking on certain elements. This
20 is one of the reports. Is it not true —-
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think, if I may say so, that is an entirely
22 reasonable attitude to adopt. I think it would just
23 prolong this case absurdly if we are going through every
24 individual account.
25 MR IRVING: That is also why I am not going to look at every
26 single building, unless your Lordship would wish it
1 otherwise, on the basis of what I said previously about
2 what my contention was. (To the witness): Is it not so
3 that the Soviet Report is the source of the original 4
4 million figure?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think it is the first time, yes, that it is in an
6 official report, yes.
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: Four million people gassed or killed at Auschwitz?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: Which figure, of course, is inaccurate now, is no longer
10 believed in?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That you are right, yes.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: I have only one other question on this particular report.
13 Do you know the names of any of the signatures on the
14 Soviet Report, any of the experts who signed it?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I know that, I think that Dawidowski that was actually
16 involved in, he was actually included at some time at the
17 one, at the thing. I think the major signatory is that of
18 the chief prosecutor of the, whatever, 2nd Ukrainian or
19 Yellow Russian Army who actually commissioned report.
20 Q. [Mr Irving]: Are you familiar with the name Bordenko?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, I am not.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: Nikolai?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, I am not.
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: As two of the signatures of that Report?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is in my file. The whole report is in my file, so I am
26 happy to look at it, but…
1 Q. [Mr Irving]: Will you accept it from me that these two people were also
2 signatories of the Soviet investigation of Kateen, the
3 Kateen forest massacre, which resulted in the execution of
4 a number of German officers for their role in that
6 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: No, I am not.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: As one of the signatures of the Soviet report,
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I am not, no.
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: You are not, no. If I described him as being a biological
13 charlatan or “quack” who has long since been disowned by
14 his peers, would that surprise you?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Since I only heard this name right now, it does not
16 surprise me one way or another way.
17 Q. [Mr Irving]: When you read a report or a source of this importance, do
18 you bother to consider who has written it or what their
19 political motivations might be?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think we come back to the other Bimko argument. I have
21 never used this report in order to write my history of
22 Auschwitz. This report I have just mentioned as a bit of
23 the history of our knowledge of Auschwitz was brought into
24 the world. That is the purpose of —-
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: About four pages of your report are based on the Soviet
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: And because the Soviet Report made an impression at the
2 time, but I also argue very clearly in the report that the
3 important investigations which were done in 1945 were not
4 done by the Soviets, but by the Poles. It was only after
5 the publication of the Soviet Report that Jan Sehn really
6 got working on this, interviewed the sonderkommandos and
7 so on. So that if we want to look at — and I spent an
8 incredible amount of space, time and energy to actually
9 reconstruct what the Poles did. I have given significant
10 parts of that Dawidowski’s argument in the Polish report.
11 So, I mean, I am happy to answer further questions about a
12 Soviet report, but, in general, I do not think that the
13 Soviet Report is historiographically so important, except
14 the fact that it was issued with the endorsement of the
15 Soviet Embassy in Washington and London, and so on.
16 Q. [Mr Irving]: But do you not recognize a pattern developing here,
17 Professor, that every time I bring up a source or an
18 eyewitness and we, I will not say demolish that man’s
19 integrity or reliability, but we chip away at it, you say,
20 “Well, he was not important either” and “he was not
21 important either”, and here is the entire Soviet Union
22 Report and you saying, “That is not important either”.
23 There is a pattern developing here of a reckless attitude
24 towards the use of sources.
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But I think that I have given this morning, I think, a
26 quite clear presentation of the kind of sources I use and
1 the kind of approach I use to those sources.
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes, that is the drawings we are talking at present about
3 the eyewitnesses or about source material based on
4 eyewitnesses which, effectively, the Soviet Report was.
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But the Soviet Report does not give any eyewitness
6 testimony. It gives a certain amount of the declaration
7 by a number of inmates in Auschwitz who make a declaration
8 that this should never happen again, but there is no way
9 any more to establish how the Soviet Report was done. As
10 far as I know, no draft exists of it. We do not have the
11 interrogations the Soviets did in February 1945 of the
12 inmates they found when they liberated the camp. So that
13 is one of the reasons that the Soviet Report for historian
14 is only interested in so far as it allows us to
15 reconstruct the historiography of our knowledge about
16 Auschwitz after the war.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: But the Soviets placed themselves, did they
18 not, on, for example, Dragon and Tauber?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think Dragon at the last thing he came in, I think, he
20 probably was one of the sources of the 4 million.
21 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: Yes, and Tauber also?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But in the systematic investigation — I think maybe
23 Tauber, yes or no, I am not sure — but the systematic
24 investigation or the systematic examination of these
25 people only took place later. In the Soviet Report
26 itself, there is, I think, except maybe for the figure of
1 4 million which was maintained by the sonderkommando,
2 there is no discussion of either Dragon or Tauber or their
4 MR IRVING: But the Soviet Report talks about things like
5 electrocutions, is that right?
6 A. [Professor 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
8 time. I just say, in general, how many survivors were
9 there from Auschwitz or from Birkenhau — from the entire
10 complex at the end of war?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: May I consult my book?
12 Q. [Mr Irving]: Just in round figures. Are you talking about hundreds or
14 A. [Professor 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
16 of this site, yet it is always the same names who crop up
17 as the sources, is it not? It is always Pery Broad,
18 Philip Millar, Vurvah, Vetzler, Ada Bimko; it is always
19 the same old gang who come forward and give the evidence.
20 Nobody goes to the other, 10,000 do, they really? Why is
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I adjust the figure — may I just correct my last
23 statement? We are talking about 6,000, 1200 people in
24 Auschwitz and 5,80 in Birkenhau.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]: You appreciate the point I am trying to make, do you not?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, but I think —-
1 Q. [Mr Irving]: It is an enormous reservoir of eyewitnesses. Why is it
2 always the same names?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Eyewitnesses of what? We have the importance of the
4 sonderkommandos in this case, Dragon and Tauber, is that
5 they actually were in the crematoria and they worked in
6 the crematoria.
7 Q. [Mr Irving]: But the evidence of Tauber, am I not right in saying, is
8 highly suspect because he describes, for example, the gas
9 chamber as being so low that you had to stoop, and yet it
10 turns out to have been nearly eight feet from floor to
11 ceiling? 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
15 we were going to have a look at it from Mr Tauber. I do
16 not know whether it is quoted in —-
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It should be around 183, if it is anywhere, because he
18 describes at 183 and 182, and there are all these pictures
19 in between, there is the description of the gas chamber.
20 So page 182.
21 MR IRVING: This is the witness, is it not, who said he was
22 able to burn up to eight corpses at once in one furnace;
23 that he could light the corpses with a small fire in the
24 ash container, that they would burn by themselves, that
25 thick dark smoke rose out of the crematorium chimneys, and
26 that fat was collected during open air cremations from the
1 burning bodies? He also describes —-
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where is the bit about bending over in the
3 gas chamber?
4 MR IRVING: It is a very long —-
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: You put it, you see, and I think Professor
6 van Pelt said, “Well, show it to me”, and that is fair and
7 I cannot find it.
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: 182, he describes the gas chamber.
9 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes, I know, but I cannot find the bit about bending
10 down. 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
14 to you just now, the bit about collecting the fact and so
15 on. Pauber is an emotional and unreliable witness, is he
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I disagree with that. I think he is a very unemotionally,
18 I mean, remarkably unemotional and very reliable witness.
19 Q. [Mr Irving]: Do you rely to any degree on Dr Bendal?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I have told you once, I have given, I have used Bendal
21 once which is in a description of bunker No. 2.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes. So the eyewitness basis anyway is scattered, skimpy
23 and, in my view, questionable. The drawings which you
24 have shown us only make sense taken in conjunction with
25 the eyewitnesses. As soon as one starts looking for holes
26 in the roof — I am not going to labour that point — one
1 runs into difficulties, namely, the fact that there are no
2 holes in the roof to be seen now. Taking an overall view
3 of eyewitnesses, what is your opinion about the
4 reliability of eyewitnesses in cases like this? Suppose
5 your name was Jean De Manjiok and not Professor Robert van
6 Pelt, what would you think about eyewitnesses?
7 A. [Professor 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
10 was on his way to the gallows until the brave Israeli
11 judges decided that he had been railroaded and ordered his
12 release, that the eyewitnesses had lied in that case to
13 one man, a dozen of them had lied?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: One of the reasons that I limited in my expert report only
15 reports about eyewitnesses who gave testimony immediately
16 after the war is that I exactly wanted to prevent the
17 charge being raised that late — people who later come
18 forward would have been confused because of the time that
19 had lapsed. That is why I, for example, did not use
20 Philip Muller because Philip Muller only published really
21 a full account of what happened in, of his account in the
22 gas chambers in the 1960s. So that was too late for me
23 and then I can even —-
24 Q. [Mr Irving]: Would you agree that there was a reason to suspect he may
25 have been motivated by commercial considerations?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not know what or not, what commercial or not
1 consideration or not may have brought Mr Muller to write
2 at that moment. He gave testimony in 1946 which was
3 included in the Kraus and Kulgar book, but it cannot be
4 identified in that book as being Philip Muller’s. So it
5 is very difficult to exactly say what is Philip Muller’s
6 in that book, but he already did it, and, you know, in the
7 1960s, I do not know. Maybe there were commercial
8 reasons, maybe not; maybe he wanted really to testify and
9 bear 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
11 Auschwitz the day after tomorrow with a trowel and clean
12 away the gravel and find a reinforced concrete hole where
13 we anticipate it would be from your drawings, this would
14 make an open and shut case and I would happily abandon my
15 action immediately?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I think I cannot comment on this. I am an expert on
17 Auschwitz 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
19 a hole through my case that I would have no possible
20 chance 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,
23 is that he has been to Auschwitz once a year for a number
24 of years. The temptation must have occurred to him to go
25 there with a trowel and scrape away the gravel and look
26 for the hole, not just one but three of them, and he
1 assures us that they were built in holes, not just casual
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think if he had been digging around with a
4 trowel he would have got into trouble with the
5 authorities, 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
8 that is really a question in a way. You have made the
9 point and I understand it, that nobody has actually done
10 the excavation work or whatever you like to call it.
11 MR IRVING: This is, obviously, not the time to make
12 submissions, so I will not, my Lord, and with that I will
13 end my cross-examination of this witness with my many
14 thanks. I wish you a pleasant flight home.
Part III: Re-Examination of Professor Van Pelt by Richard Rampton (152.15-205.26)
Section 152.15 to 179.26
15 < Re-examined by MR RAMPTON, QC.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: My Lord and Professor van Pelt, page 182 of your report
17 contains, as you have noticed, a lengthy extract from
18 Tauber’s evidence as reported in Pressac, is that not
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]: It goes over on to 183. You notice — this is on the
22 question of whether you had to crouch to get into or
23 whether Tauber ever said that you had to crouch to get
24 into the gas chamber — almost at the beginning of the
25 last quarter of the page is a sentence which in your
26 report starts at the end of the line “At about”, do you
1 see that? There is a line which says: “The door and the
2 rabbets of the frame were also fitted with ceiling strips
3 of felt”?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I see it.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Then there is this sentence: “At about head height for an
6 average man this door had a round glass peephole”. How
7 far from the roof or ceiling of the chamber do you
8 estimate that the peephole will have been?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: How far from the ceiling?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]: You have a man of average height — that is me — looking
11 through a peephole?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That would be 5 foot 6.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]: How much above me is the ceiling?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We know that the height of the building was, the height of
15 the room was 8 feet. So there would be another two and a
16 half feet.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Thank you very much. Now, I am afraid I have some
18 questions, Professor. They are naturally somewhat
19 disorderly in the sense they follow the track of the
20 cross-examination. That is no criticism of Mr Irving;
21 that is just the way things turn out. Have you got the
22 file K2, the second Auschwitz file, there?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Which — is that the pictures?
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes, the pictures and the correspondence?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Can you turn to divider 4?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I am there.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton]: To save moving around, I am going to ask you questions
3 about a couple of documents in here — three of them, in
4 fact. At page 49 —-
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. 9?
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: 49.
7 MR RAMPTON: 49 in tab 4?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: 49, yes.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton]: You see the letter of 28th June 1943?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]: With Jahrling’s name at the bottom in handwriting, do you
12 see that?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]: The bottom left-hand corner? Mr Irving does not like this
15 document. Professor, do you see any reason to doubt the
16 authenticity of this document?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not see any reason to doubt the authenticity of the
18 letter of 28th June 1943.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Remind me because I have forgotten, where does it come
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This one, this particular comes from Moscow.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Moscow. Thank you. Can you turn then right to the front
23 of this section of the file?
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: And dates back to 1950, I think, does it not?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I am sorry?
26 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: It dates back to 1950 in the sense that is when it first
1 surfaced? That is what Mr Irving said.
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The copy which surfaced came from Dumburg, as far as I
3 know, from Dumberg, an archive in the DDR. But it was a
4 different sheet, it was not this actual, this actual
6 MR RAMPTON: Right at the front of the file, I have put them in
7 the front, my Lord. I do not know where your Lordship has
8 put them? Those recent documents have been produced by
9 Mr Irving and then some by us by Entwesungsanlage.
10 A. [Professor 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
16 this part of the file.
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I have the Vedag here.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]: But you need the document of 13th April 1943. You only
19 need two documents.
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I have the 13th April, yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Does your Lordship have it? Let me pass those up. My
22 Lord, I have not put mine yet in chronological order. We
23 will do that in due course. Can I take, first of all, in
24 reverse chronological order, the document of 20th August
25 1943, which is the long invoice?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Addressed by Topf to the central building people at
2 Auschwitz. On the second page of that, the penultimate
3 entry 43/204/1, it reads: “Entwesungsanlage”, does it not?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Whatever it is that it was going to cost has been
6 scratched out by somebody. That matters not. Can you
7 then turn back to the first document which is dated 13th
8 April 1943?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Look at the penultimate item in that. What is
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Aufstellung?
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes. This document is called an “aufstellung”.
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Aufstellung means to actually erect, so this particular
15 use, I think it means quite literally it is a list.
16 I would interpret it like that, but it also could be the
17 aufstellung means things that have been erected or that
18 are to be erected.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Then the penultimate item reads: “To Topf
20 Entwesungsofen”. What are “Entwesungsofen”?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: “Entwesungsofen” are disinfestation ovens or vessels.
22 They are like autoclaves really.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Using what substance or material to achieve the Entwesung?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Hot air or hot steam.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Is there a copy of the Leuchter report anywhere up there?
26 Has anybody got one? I am doing this from memory because
1 I gave mine up to somebody. Do you see the front cover
3 A. [Professor 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
8 burning corpses.
9 MR IRVING: The contents are the same.
10 MR RAMPTON: It does not matter. Forget it. The cover is
11 different from mine. Forget it, Professor van Pelt. It
12 was only going to be an illustration. Do you say that an
13 Entwesungsofen would not be a Zyklon-B piece of equipment?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. The Zyklon-B, they did not have an ofen for that,
15 first of all. They were called Kammer and they are
16 larger, and they would be called gas Kammer. So there is
17 a very specific product. A Topf Entwesungsofen is a very
18 specific product they sell. They manufacture it in Erfurt
19 and they sell as a single piece. So, yes, this would not
20 have been a Zyklon installation.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Is it in any sense permissible, sensible or clever to try
22 to translate “Entwesungsofen” into “Vergasungskeller”?
23 A. [Professor 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
25 steam autoclaves were for at crematorium 2?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The interesting thing, of course — I can speculate one
1 way and I can base myself —-
2 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Offer your best guess.
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I give two best guesses. One is that since the
4 sonderkommando were going to live there and they lived in
5 an enclosed compound there, they would need to have some
6 kind of disinfestation installation. It is a first guess,
7 but the problem is that we do not have really any other
8 documentation except these two things. The more likely
9 guess, however, is that these were actually going to be
10 the Entwesungsofen which were going to be installed in the
11 Zentralzaume (?). What was happening is that since
12 December 1942, right between crematorium 3 and crematorium
13 4, the SS was first planning, and then from mid 1943
14 onwards they were constructing, a large new delousing
15 installation which did not use Zyklon, but only used the
16 Topfentwesungsofen and autoclaves. So, when one actually
17 starts to look at these documents and also at the Wedach
18 document which was introduced by Mr Irving, we are
19 actually dealing, I mean the Wedach document, we are
20 clearly with activity that is going on for the
21 Zentralzaune. So the problem, of course, in the document
22 on 13th April is that it mentions crematorium No. 2 right
23 in that sentence, and I have no explanation, I have no
24 other documentation to either confirm that they were at
25 that time creating these two entwesungs ofen or had
26 ordered it for the crematorium. At the same time I know
1 that a lot of that ordering is being done for the
2 Zentralzaune which is being constructed right next door,
3 and that is where I would like to leave it.
4 MR IRVING: If you look at the last page, my Lord, on that you
5 will see there is a further reference to disinfestation
6 equipment for crematorium No. 2 in August.
7 MR RAMPTON: Yes, that is right. Absolutely right. That is
8 where I started as a matter of fact.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, that is what I thought. Why do you get
10 August, because that is the date of the document?
11 MR RAMPTON: That is the date. It is 20th August, the
12 document. The top right-hand corner, my Lord.
13 Do you see any reason, Professor van Pelt, to
14 disassociate the August invoice relating to
15 Entwesungslager for crematorium, it does not say there,
16 crematoria 2 and 3, from the piece of paper relating to
17 the two Topf Entwesungsofen for crematorium 2?
18 A. [Professor 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
20 be disorderly, we find at page 6, this is written on the
21 bottom right-hand corner I hope in red ink, we find what
22 I think is the Topf patent application for its
23 multi-muffle furnace, do we not?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I would not dream of asking you to read it out or anything
26 like that. I am told that I got this in a muddle when
1 I was cross-examining Mr Irving. Would you just explain
2 what this is and how it relates to what you have told us?
3 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you give my the reference again,
4 Mr Rampton?
5 MR RAMPTON: Yes, it is in tab 4 of K 2 and it is page 6. It
6 is a long document, ending up with a drawing on page 18.
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Shall I explain, shall I go paragraph by paragraph and
8 give a summary of the paragraph?
9 Q. [Mr Rampton]: No, nothing like that. I would just like you to summarize
10 what the effect of the patent application is on your
11 judgment about how the incineration was in fact carried
12 out, according to the accounts of the eyewitnesses, in the
13 big crematorium at Auschwitz.
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This patent application is based on, the proposal for this
15 patent application is to create a furnace in which one
16 continuously feeds corpses at the top, and which by their
17 own weight, so to speak, these corpses fall through a
18 number of shelves, so to speak, and in that process are
19 being reduced to ashes. It refers back to the experience
20 with mutli-muffle ovens which is at the end of page 1 and
21 No. 2, that that one wants to make something which is even
22 working even faster. I just want to go very, very quickly
23 through this, because the important thing here, of course,
24 would be also —-
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]: It may be quicker, Professor van Pelt, rather than your
26 scanning that long and no doubt extremely boring document,
1 if we turn to one which is not nearly so boring, although
2 it is much longer, which is your report at page 538.
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: OK.
4 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am afraid I have completely forgotten what
5 is supposed to be the significance of the patent
6 application one way or the other.
7 MR RAMPTON: I could tell your Lordship but then I would be
8 giving evidence and I cannot do that.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am simply asking what case is sought to be
10 made, but perhaps it is better elicited from Professor van
12 MR RAMPTON: The case sought to be made is that it explains how
13 it was that they were able to incinerate as many corpses
14 as they could, and also how they managed to use as little
15 fuel a these were able to do.
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I was looking for that particular sentence, because
17 I 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 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
21 days. After this pre-heating the oven will not need any
22 more fuel due to the heat produced by the corpses.”
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Read on, will you.
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: “It will be able to maintain its necessary high
25 temperature through self-heating”.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Carry on.
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: “But to allow it to main a constant temperature it would
2 have become necessary to introduce at the same time
3 so-called well fat and so-called emaciated corpses,
4 because one can only guarantee continuous high
5 temperatures through the emission of human fat. When only
6 emaciated corpses are incinerated, it will be necessary to
7 add heat continuously. The result of this will be that
8 insulation could be damaged because of the dust created
9 temperatures and one would expect shorter or longer break
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]: That document, Professor, is this right, is in its origin
12 quite unrelated to what went on at Birkenhau?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is quite unrelated you say?
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Unrelated.
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, its origin is of the fall of 1942 and the ovens in
16 crematoria 2 and 3 only came into operation in April
17 1943. However, the multi-muffle ovens were already used
18 in crematorium No. 1 since August 1940. So the principle
19 is the same in the ovens in crematorium 1. So clearly
20 they are using the principle which has been the experience
21 that has been gained in crematorium 1 in creating this
22 patent application.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I am grateful. There is no doubt about the authenticity
24 of this, is there, as an original German document written
25 by Topf for their patent agents?
26 A. [Professor 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,
2 I do not need you to look at them, how well from memory
3 does that chime with the descriptions given by the
4 eyewitnesses, including Hirst, of how this procedure was
5 carried out in practice?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: What is very important in the descriptions of the
7 sonderkommandos is that they talk about, with a certain
8 kind of care, they would bring corpses of people of
9 different sizes into the muffles, exactly to — no,
10 I cannot say that because they do not actually give that
11 explanation. But here actually is given an explanation, a
12 thermodynamical explanation why that would have been done.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I think Tauber was quite specific about it, was he not,
14 about using fat corpses?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Indeed on the trial run I think they were given fat
17 corpses, says Tauber, in March 1943, were they not?
18 A. [Professor 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
21 like a patent application. Is it a quote from the patent
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We go to 808 —-
24 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: I think you are quoting another author, are you not?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, this is the comment. Sorry.
26 MR RAMPTON: This is the interpretation.
1 A. [Professor 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,
4 how Topf dealt with in the last paragraph of the quote on
5 page 539.
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, one of the important lines in that thing, of course,
7 is they are actually not incinerating any more, but they
8 are literally burning corpses.
9 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
10 MR RAMPTON: The passage from Tauber’s evidence or testimony,
11 call it what you like, is on page 535. At the top: “The
12 corpses of wasted people with no fat burned rapidly in the
13 side muffles and slowly in the centre one. Conversely,
14 the corpses of people gassed directly on arrival not being
15 wasted burnt better in the centre muffle. During the
16 incineration of such corpses we used the coke only to
17 light the fire of the furnace initially, for fatty corpses
18 burn of their own accord thanks to the combustion of body
19 fat”. It is the same opposite on the previous page in
20 relation to crematorium 1.
21 He actually says in relation to crematorium 2
22 and 3: “I know from the experienced gained by observing
23 cremation in crematoria 2 and 3 that the bodies of fat
24 people burned very much faster. The process of
25 incineration is accelerated by the combustion of human fat
26 which thus produces additional heat.”
1 While we are on Tauber, as a matter of fact,
2 Professor van Pelt, I think Mr Irving said he was
3 emotional or something of that kind. Do you remember that
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Emotional?
6 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes, emotional or unreliable because he was
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, vaguely.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I do not know what it was. You have never interviewed
10 Mr Tauber, yourself I take it?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]: He is not still alive I suppose?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Do you know Jean-Claude Pressac ever met him?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Are you familiar with the introduction to the Tauber
17 chapter in Pressac’s book?
18 A. [Professor 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
21 Pressac. 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
25 who 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
5 do not. Who is Pressac?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: He is a pharmacist in the town of Ville de Bois or the
7 village of Ville de Bois south of Paris, 20 miles south of
9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: He his an historian?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: He is a self-taught historian. He seems to have come from
11 the circles of Faurisson originally. It is not exactly
12 clear what his relationship was to Faurisson. Then he
13 went to Auschwitz in the early 80s and saw the building
14 material, the building archive material, and was convinced
15 that Faurisson was wrong and started publishing about it
16 in 1983.
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
19 been in French, was it?
20 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: It translated by Behalteklasse Foundation.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Have you got the introduction to chapter 3?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Part 3, chapter 3, yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Can you read that to yourself. We will all read it at the
1 same 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 Van Pelt]: Introduction?
5 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Introduction. Just read the introduction to yourself.
6 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: I have read it.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]: You have read it?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]: That, if I may summarize it, is Mr Pressac’s on view of
14 Tauber as it comes off the written page, is it not?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Is it an assessment with which you agree or disagree?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I agree with that.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]: If I may summarize, the effect is that Tauber is a modest,
19 sober and careful witness, is that right?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]: You have to say yes because otherwise the tape cannot read
22 your mind. At the bottom he says: “Henrich Tauber’s
23 deposition enabled me at the last moment to authenticate
24 the testimony of Dr Paul Bendal that I was on the point of
25 invalidating.” Do you see right at the bottom of the
26 introduction? Do you have that?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Do you know what it was in the testimony of Dr Paul Bendal
3 that Pressac was on the point of invalidating and that
4 Tauber validates?
5 A. [Professor 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.
8 Can you turn to pages 110, 111?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Of what?
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Of your report.
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I am there.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Towards the top of page 110 you are writing about a number
13 of people who are known to have died at certain times from
14 disease at Auschwitz?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Then you say this: “It must be remembered, however, that
17 the mortality figures which the concentration camps sent
18 to Berlin only apply to the deaths of registered
19 prisoners”, and you have already told us that. Then you
20 make reference to the evidence of SS, he was a General was
21 he not, Oswald Pohl?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, he was I think Obergruppenfuhrer by that time.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Whatever, he was in charge of the concentration camp
24 system as a whole, is that right?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, he was the kind of — officially he was called the
26 Economic Director, so some way off the SS, and that really
1 ran the concentration camps. He was not the inspector of
2 the concentration camps. As a business adventure, yes.
3 By a business venture he was.
4 MR IRVING: My Lord, this of course is not matter that was
5 raised in the cross-examination. So I am puzzled.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It may turn out to be. That is the problem.
7 You 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
11 death books and the decrypts as showing that the number of
12 people who died at Auschwitz was very small.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I think that is right, although there
14 was 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
17 querying the character of the deaths, the age spectrum,
18 rather than statistics.
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is part of your case, is it not, that the
20 death books give a very different picture from the sort of
21 figures that Professor van Pelt speaks of?
22 MR IRVING: It is a subtly different picture on the question of
23 the killing of the old and sick.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: If it is part of your case, and I do not
25 criticise you for not cross-examining to it, I think it is
26 for Mr Rampton to be able to put these questions.
1 MR IRVING: This specific document of course is not one that
2 I —-
3 MR RAMPTON: Anyhow, it does arise indirectly and quite
4 immediately out of the questions which were put about
5 selection to which I am immediately coming after this.
6 Did in fact the head of this system General Pohl
7 say at his trial in Nuremberg that the people who were
8 directly exterminated were never registered?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: He says that no information about it has been transmitted
10 to Berlin.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]: His subordinate was Dr Lolling?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Who was in charge of the inspectorate presumably. He
14 said, the last answer at the top of page 111, in answer to
15 his own counsel, his own attorney: “The figures about
16 exterminations were not reported to the inspectorate at
17 all, and constantly Dr Rolling could not evaluate them for
18 his statistics.”
19 A. [Professor 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
22 which I raised in cross-examination of this witness.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I tried to explain why I think it is
24 legitimate. In a way we are having to take short cuts in
25 this case. You have lots of points which, in a perfect
26 world, I would have said to you, Mr Irving, you must put
1 that point to Professor van Pelt, but we be would here to
2 Christmas and beyond if we did that. So we are not
3 requiring you to put all those points. But it does not
4 mean Mr Rampton cannot get evidence from this witness,
5 especially if it is in his report, which bears on the
6 point that you are going to take, although you have not
7 cross-examined to it.
8 MR IRVING: My understanding was re-examination is only
9 permitted on matters that I cross-examined on.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: In a normal case that is true. I am not
11 bending the rules in Mr Rampton’s favour. I am in fact
12 bending them in your favour, because I have not required
13 you 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
16 are not in the old days any more, if the point had not
17 been taken in cross-examination, I would have to say to
18 the Judge: Well, I am afraid it cannot be taken in
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what I mean by taking short cuts in
21 this case.
22 MR RAMPTON: I do not say that.
23 Does that evidence of General Pohl reflect upon
24 the death books figures so-called that have emerged from
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No. It suggests, I mean Pohl only talks about of course
1 information being transmitted to Berlin, but certainly the
2 question is how would information be gathered in
3 Auschwitz, and then of course we get other corroborating
4 information like, for example, that of Pery Broad who
5 worked in the political department who said that there was
6 no registration of people who were not admitted to the
7 camp. That is information that once the transport had
8 arrived, and once basically the people had been sent to
9 the gas chamber, all records, all traces of these people
10 also in the records were removed, or at least, you know,
11 there was maybe some record about a number of people that
12 had arrived but they were not registered.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Does it also reflect, tell me if it does not, on the
14 so-called Hinsley decrypt question?
15 A. [Professor 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
17 references to the extermination of unregistered prisoners
18 in decrypts going from Auschwitz to Berlin?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is the same point, is it not? The Hinsley
21 decrypt point is the same point about non-registration of
22 those who were going allegedly to be exterminated.
23 MR RAMPTON: You told us some time ago, Professor, last week,
24 that upon arrival to begin with the transports were
25 divided up for selection at the old Judenamter which was
26 between the two camps?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton]: But that by the time of the Hungarian action in 1944, the
3 Summer of 1944, they had built one spare right up through
4 Birkenhau towards the two crematoria 2 and 3?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. The spare had been in construction for a longer
6 time, but it was completed in I think March, March 1944.
7 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes.
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Late March, maybe early April.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Could you take that file H2 (vi) again, please?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: H2(vi), where is that?
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]: In tab 4 we find something called the “Auschwitz Album”.
12 That is not its official title in any sense. Can you say
13 briefly what this Auschwitz album actually is? I will ask
14 you about the photographs in a moment, but if you could
15 tell us what the book is?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is a book which was found on the evacuation of the
17 camp by a person called Lily Meyer as the camp was being
18 evacuated. It is a picture book made either for an
19 individual SS man or maybe for the Auschwitz SS, recording
20 a couple of arrivals and subsequent kind of delousing
21 registration into the camp, and also the fate of other
22 people, at least until any come to the crematorium, of
23 Hungarian Jews.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Right. So the photographs which we find inside are,
25 therefore, of what date?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They are of the Summer 1944.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton]: By whom were they taken?
2 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Because that is when the Hungarian action occurred.
5 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: That is circular, is it not?
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: But the book itself identifies this. It identifies the
7 action as a Hungarian action.
8 MR IRVING: That was surely May 1944.
9 A. [Professor 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.
12 It is in fact quite a well-known book. These photographs
13 have been known about for a very long time?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, apart from — there are three basically sources of
15 photographs, at least from Birkenhau, which is the
16 Bauleitung photographs we saw today a few of, showing the
17 construction, showing the construction of the buildings in
18 Birkenhau. Then we have a number of photos, a small
19 number of photos which would have been made illegally by
20 prisoners, probably a sonderkommando who found a camera in
21 what was left over in the undressing room. These are very
22 shaky photographs where you see people running and you see
23 some burning of bodies in a kind open pit. Then this one
24 which is a large collection made by the SS, one does not
25 really know for what reason, except —-
26 MR IRVING: Where is the second collection from, is it Moscow?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The second collection.
2 Q. [Mr Irving]: Yes.
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There are three or four photographs. I think they are the
4 original negatives. No, there are no negatives. Original
5 prints on Auschwitz.
6 MR RAMPTON: The particular pages that I want to refer to are a
7 little bit difficult to find, because the bundle has not
8 been paginated, but at the bottom of each photograph there
9 is usually a printed number.
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]: If you turn the file sideways, I hope you can find a
12 photograph which has a printed number 15 at the bottom?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: 15?
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes.
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: 15.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes, 15.
17 MR IRVING: My Lord, I am again nervous about this introduction
18 of 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
24 selection process took place and how it changed from being
25 on the railway platform, I think it was originally, and
26 then they built the spare and it was sometimes done
1 there. Is that a fair summary of the evidence?
2 MR RAMPTON: There is a very direct and relevant point to be
3 made at the end of this little exercise, if Mr Irving will
4 be patient. Do you see that photograph, Professor?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I see.
6 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Just tell me, I will make a suggestion and answer then
7 I will ask for information. Am I looking northwards?
8 A. [Professor 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
10 right of the picture. There are two large chimneys, one
11 on the right and one on the left.
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The chimneys of crematorium (ii) to the left and (iii) to
13 the left.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]: There is on the left of the picture, therefore, to the
15 south, a hut or building. Do you see that?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]: And there is a line of what looks like concrete posts
18 probably with wire on them. Is that right?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]: What is behind that wire?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Behind that wire is the women’s camp, what is the called
22 women’s camp in 1944.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]: We see the people; they look as though they perhaps have
24 just got out of the train. That is for reference because
25 I now want you to look at, please, just for in passing, at
26 page 22.
1 A. [Professor 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.
3 That is what I shall do; it makes it easier to know what
4 one is looking at.
5 MR JUSTICE GRAY: 22.
6 MR RAMPTON: 22, my Lord, yes. This is just in passing. There
7 we are looking — have you got 22?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton]: There we are looking in the opposite direction towards the
10 entrance to the camp, are we not?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We look eastwards, yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]: So from what you have just said, the women’s camp is on
13 the right of this picture?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Is what we see there what you have described as selection
16 into male and female?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This is the moment just before the selection. It seems
18 that the people who are still —-
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Division, I mean.
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, the division between on the one side, men and older
21 boys, and on the other side, women and children, has
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes. Then, if you please, the last photograph I need you
24 to look at, I am afraid you look in a different place now,
25 you look in the bottom left-hand corner for a very small
26 printed italic 32?
1 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Further on.
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I see.
3 MR RAMPTON: It is further on, my Lord. Yes, it is about — 15
4 pages maybe. That is the one. Now, Professor — has your
5 Lordship got it?
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes.
7 MR RAMPTON: Do you see the building, long low building behind
8 the people in the half background?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I see.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Is that the same houses we were looking at earlier?
11 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]: A truck. Behind the truck is what appears to be a gate?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: And is the gate shut?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The gate is shut, yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]: The people in the line appear to be women and children, do
19 they not?
20 A. [Professor 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
22 uniform, there is what looks like a uniform figure on the
23 far right of the picture, but ignoring him, the women and
24 children on the right of the picture are moving in what
26 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Crematorium (ii) and crematorium (iii).
3 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Is there any access to the women and children’s camp from
4 this point onwards between —-
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
6 Q. [Mr Rampton]: — here and crematorium (ii)?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There is no access.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Is there any access from that point to the sauna building
9 north, or whatever it is, west of Canada?
10 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Yes — no there was a gate, but the usual way to go to the
13 central sauna was actually to take the lagerstrasse which
14 is through the middle of the camp and then go up past
15 crematorium (iv) and (v).
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Which means going in the opposite direction?
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Going in the opposite direction.
18 MR IRVING: At the risk of testing your Lordship’s patience
19 once again, this material was not in the expert report.
20 It was not dealt with in cross-examination, and I really
21 have to be lectured on how it can be introduced at this
22 late stage.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I am with you to the extent that it
24 does not really seem to go quite to the selection process;
25 more to what was going to happen after the selection
26 process had taken place.
Section 180.1 to 205.26
1 MR IRVING: Precisely. One is being invited to draw a lot of
2 inferences from pictures which one would like to have had
3 spelt out explicitly either in the report or in
5 MR RAMPTON: Why do we not get Professor van Pelt to spell out
6 the 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
9 Mr Irving then wants to ask a question about it for him to
10 do so.
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.
14 Professor van Pelt was cross-examined about selection. He
15 explained what it was for and he explained what had
16 happened to the people that were not selected to go into
17 the camp to work. That being so, this is directly
18 relevant. It has been in this file, in these bundles,
19 ever since they were first composed.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I mean, having said that, I mean, the
21 evidence is in now, I am sitting alone, so in a sense
22 there is not so much harm, but I think one has to be a bit
23 cautious when one has so much expert evidence about
24 introducing what one might, I think, fairly describe as
25 fresh points. This is evidence buttressing an existing
26 point but it is —-
1 MR RAMPTON: Yes, that is right.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am only just really putting down a marker
3 at the moment, but the inference does not need to be spelt
4 out because I think it is obvious.
5 MR RAMPTON: No, I do not think the inference does need to be
6 spelled out. I would much rather not spell it out.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, you have heard what I have said.
8 That is how I am dealing with this.
9 MR IRVING: As long as your Lordship does not feel I am being
10 tedious with these interruptions.
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I do not want to stop you. If you feel
12 something is going on that you do not like, say so and if
13 I do not agree, I will say so.
14 MR RAMPTON: All right. (To the witness): Gas pillars, gas
15 introduction, pellet introduction pillars, Professor? Can
16 you take up that file K2 again? This time I want to look
17 at some documents we have looked at before but in a
18 slightly different way.
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Which is K2?
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]: K2 is the second Auschwitz bundle.
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]: You should have it.
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I have.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I would like you to turn, first of all, please, to tab 3,
25 which are David Olaire’s drawings, and to the first page
26 in that tab. I think you told us that Mr Olaire probably
1 did this drawing in 1945 or 46. I cannot remember which?
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is dated 1945.
3 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Where do I find that? It is. It is in the bottom
4 right-hand corner in manuscript, is it not?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
6 Q. [Mr Rampton]: D. Olaire, 45. Yes, I have it. Where did he make this
7 drawing, do you know?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Back in Paris.
9 Q. [Mr Rampton]: In Paris. Do you know the circumstances in which he made
10 these drawings?
11 A. [Professor 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
13 in that tab — no, first of all, take out, will you, the
14 aerial photographs? That is the best way of doing it.
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: All of them?
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: No, just the one at page 5. Page 5 in handwriting.
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]: It is the clearest possibly although, funnily enough, it
19 is not the largest. Can you go back to the Olaire drawing
20 on page 1 of tab 3, please?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I want you to look at in a moment at the aerial
23 photograph. Which crematorium is this that Olaire has
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Crematorium No. (iii).
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]: How do we know that?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: He was working in No. (iii).
2 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Right.
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: And that also the plan itself is of No. (iii) because it
4 is now reversed from crematorium No. (ii).
5 Q. [Mr Rampton]: We see that at No. 10 in his key are the Zyklon-B
6 introduction vents?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton]: If you look at the drawing, you see them, the dotted lines
9 run from the figure 10 to squares on the ground plan?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Do you notice the alignment of those squares?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I do.
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Will you please look at the aerial photograph?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]: K3 is on the right-hand side of the photograph, is it not?
16 A. [Professor 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
18 photograph, those black dots, match what Olaire has drawn?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It seems identical.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Do you know of any reason to think that David Olaire was
21 shown this photograph before he made that drawing?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: This was not available until 1979.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where was it until 1979 — in Moscow?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, no. This is the American, this is the American.
25 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: It is American bombing —-
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is American bombing photo.
1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: — photos. I had not written that down.
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: So, yes, all declassified.
3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: The summer of ’44?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In the summer of ’44, yes.
5 MR RAMPTON: Now I want to ask you one or two questions,
6 Professor, which I fear you may find rather foolish, but
7 I am going to ask them just the same, if you do not mind?
8 You will remember a time at which Mr Irving has proposed
9 — I cannot remember quite when it was, perhaps several
10 times — that the absence of holes in the present ruins of
11 Leichenkeller 1 at crematorium (ii) means that it can
12 never have been meant for gassing live human beings.
13 He suggests as an alternative that it had a dual
14 purpose as a room for delousing corpses or, alternatively,
15 other sorts of objects. First of all, can you give us
16 your opinion, if there were no holes in the roof, how do
17 you think that the SS — sorry, the sonderkommando would
18 have been able to put the pellets into the room?
19 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is there not a question before then, if you
20 do 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
23 the Zyklon-B might have been inserted into the gas chamber
24 into the morgue?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: One could have used the same way. There are two ways
26 apart from these columns. I mean, there are obviously no
1 windows, so the way it was done in crematoria (iv) and (v)
2 it would not have worked.
3 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: What I was really asking is do you think it, in fact,
4 happened in any other way? That was the question that I
5 thought, perhaps, needed to be asked first.
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Sorry, my Lord. A way, when you delouse a building or
7 even in a delousing room, sometimes you could just put the
8 palettes 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
10 answer to that question.
11 MR RAMPTON: No. Are there any contemporaneous documents (and
12 it is a harmless procedure to disinfest corpses or
13 clothes, there is nothing sinister about it) referring to
14 such a procedure as this, the gassing of corpses?
15 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: No. There are no eyewitness accounts.
19 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Can you think of a reason why you would need to have,
20 leaving aside the air raid question, we will come back to
21 that, a double 8 millimetre thick glass spy hole to
22 observe the gassing of corpses or clothes?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I cannot think of any reason.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Can you think of any reason why that door with the
25 luckloch should have a metal grille on the inside of it?
26 A. [Professor 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
2 reason why the metal grilles should be on the inside?
3 A. [Professor 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
5 moment. You answered me this morning, I know, but I will
6 repeat the question because it is connected. Are there
7 any contemporaneous documents referring to the provision
8 of gas stores or any similar equipment for Leichenkeller
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No, there are no documents.
11 Q. [Mr Rampton]: What is the size of Leichenkeller 2, the auskleiderkeller,
12 as I call it, as compared with Leichenkeller 1?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The one-third larger or maybe one-half larger than
14 Leichenkeller 1.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Suppose Mr Irving’s thesis is right, the corpses must have
16 been undressed in the auskleiderkeller and then dragged
17 through to Leichenkeller 1 to be disinfested, yes?
18 A. [Professor 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
20 argue about that. How would the clothes which had been
21 removed from the corpses have been deloused in
22 Leichenkeller 2?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The only thing, I think, is to bring them also in
24 Leichenkeller 1, to undress the corpses or maybe have the
25 corpses dressed, deloused and then everything is deloused
26 together, I do not know. The procedure seems to me so
1 absurd to start with that —-
2 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I know. We just have to dot i’s and cross t’s sometimes.
3 That is all. I said you would find these questions a bit
4 silly, I am sure. The preheating letter of 6th March
5 1943: You told us, I think this morning — I think you
6 said this — there is no provision for that in any of the
7 plans, so you have drawn it in?
8 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes — no, in the blueprints there is no trace of such a
9 preheating installation.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]: No. Was there a provision for ventilation from the
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Ventilation —-
13 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Ventilation.
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — in morgue No. 1, yes.
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Was there any preheating provision for Leichenkeller 2?
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
17 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Then the lift capacity. Tell me if I have the figures
18 right. I think you said it could take 1500 kilograms?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They were expanding — the original one was 750 kilograms
20 and they were ordering reinforcement of the cables so that
21 it could take 1500 kilos.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I am talking about their intentions.
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]: This is all what I call intentional material. If the
25 average corpse, balancing between young children and fat
26 men, if you like, is, say, 60 kilograms, yes?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
2 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Is that fair? I do not think in kilogrammes, you see, so
3 I have to have your help.
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
5 Q. [Mr Rampton]: 60 kilograms, then the capacity for each hoist, each
6 journey, would be about 25 corpses, would it not?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
8 Q. [Mr Rampton]: The incineration capacity given in the letter of 28th June
9 for all five crematoria, but for this one in particular,
10 is 1440 corpses per 24 hours, is it not?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]: That is, roughly speaking, if you take a 16 hour rather
13 than a 24-hour period, about 90 corpses an hour, is it
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: If it is 90 corpses an hour, then the lift can do more
17 than that 90 in 15 minutes? If it can do 25 corpses a
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
20 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Then in an hour—-
21 MR JUSTICE GRAY: More than four loads an hour?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Certainly, sir, yes.
23 MR RAMPTON: That is 50, roughly speaking, and you get to 90
24 before you got to the end of the hour?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
26 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Does that seem to you feasible?
1 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. It seems feasible to — certainly I think the
2 elevator could keep up with the ovens.
3 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes. That is much more neatly put than I could have put
4 it. Thank you. There is a document up there which I am
5 going to ask you about at the end of this re-examination,
6 Professor van Pelt. I warned Mr Irving that I might.
7 First of all, I want to ask one or two tiny little
8 questions about this air raid shelter thesis. This is,
9 according to Mr Irving, the alternative use for
10 Leichenkeller 1, hence the spy hole and the gas tight door
11 and all that kind of thing. How far are K2 and K3 from
12 the SS barracks?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: We can see it in the air photo, No. 5 in tab 2 which we
14 just took out —-
15 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes.
16 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: — the SS barracks, basically, is in the compound marked
17 with “north”. So I would say that since you cannot run
18 diagonally or walk diagonally through the camps of BA2
19 which is building section 2, you have to go one way or the
20 other around it, so it would be around a mile and a half.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]: A mile and a half?
22 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Mile and a half.
23 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Sorry, help me again about that. Where are the SS
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They are at the bottom in the square thing. They are at
26 the bottom right-hand corner and they show a kind of
1 garden design. There is a kind of a little fountain in
2 the 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
6 Professor thought it was as a site for an air raid
7 shelter, considering it is not big enough to hold the
8 whole of the camp population, how practical it was as a
9 proposition for the people in the SS barracks?
10 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is not practical at all — neither in distance nor also
11 for other reasons.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I think you told us also that there was provision for an
13 air raid shelter in due course at Auschwitz 1?
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: There are many — I mean, at a certain moment one gets
15 small air raid shelters and one gets in the crematorium in
16 Auschwitz 1, you get a specific air raid shelter to serve
17 the SS hospital which is right next door.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]: When was that air raid shelter first planned?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: In the fall of 1944.
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: So afterwards?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Sorry? Afterwards. Long afterwards.
22 MR RAMPTON: Yes. Can we now just have a look, really so as to
23 finish with air raid shelters, at the photographs in
24 Pressac because I have been going on about a door with a
25 glass spy hole and a metal grille. It is as well to look
26 at them. My Lord, they are at the back of H2(vi). If you
1 want to use your own Pressac, Professor, please do.
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Which page?
3 Q. [Mr Rampton]: That is the trouble. I am sorry, my Lord. They are in
4 K. They are very bad copies. So if your Lordship would
5 like, I will lend you my much better copy. Have you got
6 your own Pressac?
7 A. [Professor 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
9 Lord. 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,
14 my 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
17 photographs, Professor. Do you know when and by whom they
18 were taken?
19 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They were taken by, I think, the Dawidowski Commission,
20 the Jan Sehn and Dawidowski.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]: As you told the court, the 30 by 40 centimetre gas type
22 shutters, some of them have been preserved, have they not?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]: These not, however, is that right?
25 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: They are not. I have looked for them. I have never seen
26 them. Nobody ever could tell me where they were.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton]: In the photograph on the right, headed “Document 13”, we
2 see the metal grille over the spy hole, do we not?
3 A. [Professor 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
6 this says Warsaw Central Commission archives.
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, what I really meant was is the contention
8 this is Leichenkeller 1 in crematorium (ii)?
9 MR RAMPTON: Yes, these are thought to be the gas type doors
10 referred to in the correspondence — what is it gasturm 8
11 millimetre —-
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, gastur.
13 MR IRVING: With respect, I think his Lordship is asking do
14 they come from Auschwitz or Birkenhau.
15 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I was asking, yes, I suppose, in effect, it
16 come to that. I mean, this is Leichenkeller 1 in
17 crematoria (ii), you say?
18 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The thing is these doors — it is the problem is we do not
19 have measurements of the doors in the photos. What we
20 know is that when the Leichenkeller 1 gas chamber was
21 taken apart in late 1945, materials were stored at the
22 Bauhoff. The Bauhoff was, basically, a large yard where
23 they kept building materials and also things of buildings
24 they had used and thought of reusing in the future again,
25 or where they thought of shipping somewhere else. So
26 these doors were found at the Bauhoff. There was no label
1 attached to the doors and there was also no measurement in
2 here. So the original door is 100 centimetres wide and
3 192 centimetres high. So, unlike the gas type shutters
4 which are still available for inspection, and which,
5 indeed, are 30 by 40 centimetres, you know, it is
6 possible, it is likely, probable, but cannot be absolutely
7 certain about it, no.
8 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where has the physical door gone?
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The physical door?
10 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: The door of which one is looking at the photograph?
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I do not know. I have asked people.
12 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: It has disappeared?
13 A. [Professor 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
18 there is a letter — can you remind of the date when
19 Bischoff is writing to the internal manufacturer, or the
20 Auschwitz manufacturer, that he wants a gas type door
21 exactly the same as the one — do you know the one I mean?
22 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Yes, I am here.
4 Q. [Mr Rampton]: On 31st March 1943, Bischoff writes to the manufacturer
5 and he says in the second paragraph that he wants a gas
6 door 100 by 192 centimetres for Leichenkeller 1 at
7 crematorium (iii) BW30A, the same design, and what is
8 “mass”, size —-
9 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: “Size”, yes.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]: — as the keller door of the opposite crematorium (ii)
11 with a spy hole from double 8 millimetre glass with a
12 sealing, a gasket — “gummidichtunng” be rubber sealing?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]: A rubber sealing. What is a beschlag?
15 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That would be some kind of metal edge or ring. It is
16 mostly metal work which you apply to something else. In
17 this case to wood.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]: So it follows, does it not, as night follows from day,
19 that both Leichenkellers in crematoria (ii) and (iii) had
20 a gas type door of this description?
21 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Rampton]: The description in the letter?
23 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
24 Q. [Mr Rampton]: We know also, do we not, that Tauber described just such a
25 door in his testimony?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Does this picture correspond with the description in this
2 letter and the description given by Tauber?
3 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It does correspond with it. I would like to make one
5 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes.
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is of course always possible that these were doors for
7 crematoria 4 and 5, because we do not have the final
8 measurements, but I presume that they would have been
9 designed in the same way.
10 Q. [Mr Rampton]: If you look at the picture on the left, document 11, yes,
11 that is necessarily — sorry, I will not say. That has
12 not got the metal grill on the spy hole, has it?
13 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: Yes.
16 Q. [Mr Rampton]: It does not have the metal grill?
17 A. [Professor 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
19 a sort of a bolt?
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]: And probably the bolt, although it is impossible to tell
22 from the picture precisely, goes in that direction, so
23 that one can imagine that it is going to do that?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Fit into a slot or arm?
26 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
1 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Look at the hinges.
2 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: I see the hinges.
3 Q. [Mr Rampton]: You see the hinges. Does the shape of the hinges tell you
4 anything about the direction in which the door will open?
5 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: The door opens outwards.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Why do you say that from the hinges?
7 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Because the hinges seem to come forward, the hinges on the
8 right side seem to come forward which means that —-
9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]: I must say I cannot really see that.
10 A. [Professor 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
12 the photograph.
13 MR IRVING: It depends which side the hinges are, surely..
14 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is very clearly on the top, on the top hinge. There
15 are two hinges, and the top hinge.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I cannot see the top hinge.
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: It is right where the roof line is. The roof line. We
18 are looking at document 11? You can see it. It is
19 confirmed, it is confirmed by the next photo.
20 MR RAMPTON: I think, my Lord, your problem is you have not got
21 a 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
24 witness. 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
1 entirely 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
4 Mr Tauber’s description, but, if you like, leave Mr Tauber
5 out, to what side of the door does it seem to you that we
6 are looking in this photograph on the left-hand side of
7 the page?
8 A. [Professor 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,
11 as it were from where the photographer is, you would see
12 inside the gas chamber?
13 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: That is the — the peephole is there where people on the
14 outside of the door would have stood.
15 MR RAMPTON: And your view would be somewhat, but not much, of
16 that focal length obstructed by this grille?
17 A. [Professor 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
19 is. That is quite right. If Leichenkeller 1 in
20 crematoria (ii) and (iii) had been intended for use as
21 disinfestation rooms, do you see any reason why Dejaco
22 should have changed the way in which the doors opened from
23 inwards to outwards?
24 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: No.
25 Q. [Mr Rampton]: You spoke of the gas type shutters at bunkers 1 and 2, and
26 this is in connection with what you were saying about K4
1 and K5, and you mentioned Dragon’s testimony. If you have
2 that little bigger file, not very big file, K2, could you
3 turn to tab 3 and look at one of David Olaire’s drawings?
4 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: From No. 3?
5 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes, probably. You know them better than I.
6 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
7 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Drawing No. 3, which is said to be a drawing from memory
8 done in 1945 of bunker 2 which has the macabre sign over
9 the door “Disinfektion”, and do you see a window he has
11 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
12 Q. [Mr Rampton]: What do you take that block on the window to be?
13 A. [Professor 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
15 see if we go to Auschwitz now, those wooden gas type
17 A. [Professor 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 Van Pelt]: — in crematorium (i).
20 MR IRVING: My Lord, once again we are now introducing fresh
21 pictures, fresh evidence. Had this been introduced
22 originally, I would have brought photographs showing
23 exactly the same gas type shutters with an entirely
24 harmless use.
25 MR RAMPTON: This drawing has been in Professor van Pelt’s
26 report since the very beginning of this case, ever since
1 he did it.
2 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, but not perhaps specifically pointing
3 out 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
7 this window, this particular drawing of this window. In
8 fact, there is another one on the next page, outside K5,
9 right at the end of the building behind the shoulder of
10 the SS person in the end of the building. (To the
11 witness): Is that right, Professor?
12 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes. That one — that is the reason I included that
13 drawing inside the expert report.
14 Q. [Mr Rampton]: I understand that. You remember I asked you to look, this
15 morning, at the document which spoke of keeping a plan
17 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes.
18 Q. [Mr Rampton]: There should have been attached to that another three
20 A. [Professor Van Pelt]: Yes, I have this.
21 Q. [Mr Rampton]: Yes, dated 16th December 1942; it is a report from
22 somebody called Heinrich Kinner who is an SS
23 Untersturmfuhrer. My Lord, before I turn to this
24 document, I will explain the reason I introduce you to the
25 re-examination. The whole of Mr Irving’s thesis may or
26 may not be a relevant thesis, but the whole thesis is that
1 there were no systematic homicidal gassings or killings,
2 for that matter, at Auschwitz. If this be a genuine
3 document, it is of direct relevance to everything he has
4 put 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
8 tell you about that, but that is the way it is put.
9 MR RAMPTON: You will see a translation on the next two pages,
10 Professor. Can we use the translation?
11 MR IRVING: Before using translations, can I just once again
12 object to the introduction of material like this which was
13 supplied to me at 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon? It is now
14 used in re-examination. This is not the way to deduce
15 documents like this.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where did it come from?
17 MR RAMPTON: I cannot tell, your Lordship, the source; the
18 source wishes to remain anonymous for personal reasons.
19 However, it is not a document that I have ever seen
20 before nor anyone on my side. It even surprised my
21 scholars. I do not know whether Professor van Pelt
22 has seen it, because I have not been talking to him.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I think you will have to lay the
24 foundation, 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
1 which case, no problem, but otherwise, I think there has
2 to be a limit on what one can introduce. I have not
3 actually 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
7 Himmler and the killings of Jews somewhere.
8 MR RAMPTON: No, that is not why I want to use the document at
9 all. I want to use the document because it demonstrates
10 what was happening to Jews at Auschwitz. That is of
11 direct relevance to the cross-examination.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Given what you tell me about where it comes
13 from, I think one needs to establish that it is on the
14 face of it to be taken to be an authentic document.
15 MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving has had it since yesterday. If he tells
16 me 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
19 Defence experts to look at a document and establish its
20 context and find out where it came from, and its pedigree
21 and hybrid. In this particular case, given the importance
22 of the document, I would have no objection at all to it
23 being introduced in three or four weeks time after I have
24 had time to chew it over. To have it sprung on me and to
25 be sand bagged like this with a document of this
26 importance — unless they are going to rest their entire
1 case on this kind of tactic, I think it is very dubious
2 and I think this is a very proper case for your Lordship
3 to say, well, disregarding merits or otherwise of this
4 document, this is not the way to do this; Mr Irving is
5 appearing here in person. He does not have the
6 resources. He does not have anonymous people —-
7 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think it has anything to do with
8 resources. I have some sympathy with the fact you really
9 have 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
12 obviously we are near the end of Professor van Pelt, do
13 you actually have to put this document in through him?
14 MR RAMPTON: No, I do not. I will use it cross-examination
15 when I get back to Mr Irving. I have already told him
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Then I think I would prefer you did that.
18 I think there is some force in what Mr Irving says.
19 MR RAMPTON: Our side takes absolutely no blame for this. We
20 have been, as your Lordship may imagine with a case of
21 this high profile, showered with material from all
22 quarters of the world. This came yesterday, no, I am
23 wrong, Wednesday evening out of the blue.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. In a case of this kind, as you say,
25 that is bound to happen, but I do not think it means that
26 anything can come in, you know, without any real
1 examination or opportunity for Mr Irving to examine.
2 MR RAMPTON: No. If Mr Irving wants more time to think about
3 it, that is fine. Meanwhile I am not going to say
4 anything about the person we got this from, but what its
5 original source is, which archive it was in.
6 MR JUSTICE GRAY: It has obviously comes from something, as you
7 can see from document 6.
8 MR RAMPTON: Yes, I am told that is a collection of documents
9 I think in Walsall.
10 MR JUSTICE GRAY: There we are, Mr Irving. So far, as it were,
11 I am with you. I am certainly going to give you time to
12 think about it.
13 MR IRVING: Thank you, my Lord.
14 MR RAMPTON: I have finished my re-examination, my Lord. It is
15 25 to 4.
16 MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have no questions myself, Professor van
17 Pelt. You thank you very much indeed.
18 MR RAMPTON: If it is necessary to release him, my Lord, could
19 he be released?
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Are you released. I am sure it will
21 not happen, but if it were to happen we will let you know
22 if we would like you to come back. I have no reason to
23 suppose that is going to happen.
24 I was going to possible ask Professor van Pelt
25 about this, but I think it may be better done another
26 way. Would it be possible for either of you, but I think
1 the Defendants really are in a better position to, to just
2 give me on perhaps a single piece of paper a description
3 of how Auschwitz divides up between Auschwitz 1 and
4 Auschwitz 2, Birkenhau? I do not really have the basic
5 geography in my mind. I have looked at Professor van
6 Pelt’s helpful report. It does not really tackle that,
7 because perhaps because it is so elementary. So would you
8 mind producing a document?
9 MR RAMPTON: He is the expert. I could do a diagram now but it
10 would be wrong. Before he goes, I do not know if he is
11 going until the weekend or beyond.
12 MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is why I think it is better not to do it
13 in evidence.
14 MR RAMPTON: No. Let him produce a plan and we can agree it
15 and 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
22 that I think we ought not to use it.
23 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. Well, I do not think there is any
24 sense at all in recommencing your cross-examination. So
25 we will adjourn now. Is there anything else that needs to
26 be 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
10 now so that Mr Irving can think about, I am going to go to
11 the meeting between Hitler and Admiral Hurty at Klessheim
12 in April 1943. I am then probably going to go Dresden.
13 Then I am going to go back to Reichskrissallnacht. That
14 is 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).