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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.02

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.02
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

 (PROFESSOR VAN PELT, Recalled; Cross-examined by MR IRVING, continued.)

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think the question is this, I will put it
        very shortly.
                  Is there anything to be derived or inferred from
        the blueprints relating to the construction of the gas
        chambers -- sorry, from a construction at Auschwitz which
        entitles one to infer that provision was made for gas
        chambers generally and, in particular, perhaps for the
        ducts into which these Zyklon-B pellets are alleged to
        have been poured?
   MR IRVING:  On the roof.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That, I understand, to be the broad issue
        which you are now going to address, is that correct,
   A.   Yes, my Lord, and I have a question, because we have been
        talking about crematorium (ii) and, by implication,
        crematorium (iii) until now, as Mr Irving has said,
        indeed, in the gas chamber of crematorium No. (ii), in my
        judgment, most of the people, I mean, at least half of the
        people killed in the gas chambers were killed in that
        particular space; but, of course, if we go back to the
        document recording the meeting of 19th August 1942, a
        point I made in my presentation on Tuesday was that it

.          P-10

        were actually crematoria (iv) and (v) which were designed
        in immediate response to what I see as the change of
        purpose of Auschwitz.
                  Now, if you think that this is irrelevant
        because we have only been talking really about the design
        of the adaptation of morgue No. 1, I will not talk about
        it, but in case you think it is useful, I do have prepared
        also walk through of crematorium (i) and a discussion on
        the blue prints of crematorium (iv) and (v).
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  My reaction to that, and it is subject to
        anything Mr Irving may want to say or Mr Rampton, is that
        you can take whichever crematorium you wish or, I suppose,
        really Leichenkeller you wish, because if you are able to
        establish -- I do not know whether you will or you will
        not -- that they were designed to be gas chambers or that
        there was a duct through which the pellets could be
        poured, it seems to me it is likely to be the right
        inference that a similar plan was contemplated in relation
        to the other morgues.
                  So Mr Irving, unless you wish to dissuade the
        witness, I think he is entitled to look at any of the
        so-called gas chambers.
   MR IRVING:  In theory, yes, my Lord, but does it not rather fly
        in the face of your response to my remarks about proof,
        that I am not required to establish everything about the

.          P-11

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are not dealing with proof at all at the
        moment.  We are dealing with how this witness chooses to
        the question that I re formulated for him.
   MR IRVING:  But if by a shifting of his ground now from the one
        where he originally said 500,000 people died in this gas
        chamber, and this was the centre of the universe of
        atrocities, and he now wishes for whatever reason to
        shift his ground away from there to 4 and 5, this, I would
        submit, cannot really go to the issue of my negligence or deceit.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I think it can, it is relevant.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can I just answer that and then, of course,
        Mr Rampton?  Supposing he answers the question by
        reference to 4 and 5, you can then pick up your
        cross-examination and say, "Well, come on, that is 4 and
        5.  I thought we were talking about 2".
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, I certainly shall do when the time comes.
   MR IRVING:  But I just wish to wave a little red flag and say
        that they are now changing the rules.  They are changing
        not only the rules, but they are changing the football
        ground halfway through the game.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is a point you are entitled to make.
   MR IRVING:  This certainly lowers the standards of evidence,
        but let us take that when we come to it.

.          P-12

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton, I am sorry?
   MR RAMPTON:  No, my Lord, I was interrupting and I should not
        have done.  I do believe again that Mr Irving has
        completely misunderstood the nature of the case.
        Mr Irving chose to focus on Leichenkeller 1 in crematorium
        (ii).  That is fine.  Professor van Pelt's
        evidence-in-chief, which is in his report and which, if he
        disputes it, Mr Irving will have to challenge, is that
        there were, in fact, at least seven homicidal gas chambers
        in use at Auschwitz and Birkenhau at various times up to
        the autumn of 1944.
                  Two of the most important of those buildings are
        crematoria (iv) and (v) which Professor van Pelt tells us
        in his report were purpose-built as gas chambers, and it
        is only for the case of coherence, if anything else, that
        he should, in my submission, explain what he says about
        those to your Lordship as relevant.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes.  Having said what he wants to say about
        crematoria (iv) and (v), it is, of course, open to
        Mr Irving to say, "Well, that does not prove anything in
        relation to crematorium (ii)".
   MR RAMPTON:  It may not do.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not know whether it does or it does not,
        but he can cross-examine on that.
   MR RAMPTON:  It is a question of the cumulative effect of the evidence.

.          P-13

   MR IRVING:  My Lord, the allegation really is the factories of
        death allegation.  If I have denied the factories of
        death, which is the nub of the allegation against me, and
        if I have successfully established to the court's
        satisfaction that this building was not what has been
        claimed over the last 55 years, and there is not the
        slightest shred of reliable and plausible evidence for
        that, then I would submit that I have discharged my
        obligations to the court in a satisfactory manner as far
        as my own reputation is concerned ----
   MR IRVING:  --- regarding the factories of death.  If they come
        along with subsidiary allegations and say, "Yes, but a lot
        of Jews of gypsies were killed in this building too", I
        would say I have never denied that there were killings in
        Auschwitz.  What I have denied is this mass production of
        factories of death allegation, this churning out 2,500
        bodies per day kind of allegation.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You are beginning to give me a foretaste of
        what we call your final speech.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, like any good advocate, I have been
        preparing my final speech from the moment this case began.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sure you have, but what I am really
        saying is that we are on the evidence at the moment and
        not on speeches.  So let us get on with the evidence,

.          P-14

        shall we?
   MR IRVING:  You allowed learned counsel some leeway on this
        matter, my Lord, and I was only claiming the same amount of leeway.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Rampton probably has not started his final
        speech yet.
   MR RAMPTON:  Absolutely right.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Now, Professor?
   A.   There are two issues.  First of all, if we can have the
        override ----
   Q.   I know the problem.  I think we have solved it, I hope.
   A.   And I would like, my Lord, there is going to be one
        particular detail which I do not have a sight of, but
        I refer to it when I come to it which is actually in
        Auschwitz 2, core file Auschwitz 2, the picture file,
        trial bundle, and it is actually in tab 1, No. 3B.  It is
        actually to be seen in two pictures; detail B and the
        little colour version of detail B which is right below
                  Now, I will point out, since I do not want to
        come over to you and point on your document and then on
        Mr Irving's document and Mr Rampton's document, exactly
        which detail, but certainly I will put my finger on
        the thing in the slide which is not visible in the slide,
        but it visible actually in your enlargement right here.
        I want you to be prepared for that.  Is it OK that I move

.          P-15

        to the screen?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of course, yes.  Thank you very much.
   A.   My intention when the lights go out is very simple.  It is
        very simple.  It is to make the blueprints intelligible.
        There are a couple of things which are not in the
        blueprint, two things which are not in the blueprint, but
        we know from other sources, from correspondence which were
        installed, and I will tell those when we go through.
                  But there are already in the document which was
        submitted by Mr Irving, I already point them out, it is
        the drawing by Kate Mullen, my student, then submitted by
        Mr Irving in evidence to you and I will just point them
        out.  These are the columns which are not in the
        blueprints.  So that the first thing.
                  The second thing is the duct which was going to
        bring the hot air from the ventilator rooms to the gas
        chambers which is in the document of 6 March 1943.
                  So what I am going to do now is introduce a new
        set of images of which copies, I have given copies to
        Mr Rampton, and I will start with this one, very simple
        above ground incineration room, coke stores, space,
        administration offices, toilets, chimney, ventilator
        mounted, an original design for a fresh ventilator, not
        installed, but it was installed in crematorium (iii) and
        the dissection rooms.
                  That is difficult for me to actually focus to

.          P-16

        see whether it is really in focus or not.  That would seem
        to be in focus.  If you tell me when it is not in focus?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That is fine now.
   A.   Here are the dissection rooms.  Morgue No. 1, gas chamber,
        morgue No. 2 and an outside entrance with two staircases
        that slide in between.  Now I am going to the images which
        were produced quite recently and -- can somebody mark, can
        you focus for me?  I cannot see.  It is blurred.  The
        first ring, if you can control the first ring.  OK.  We
        are going back to this.  I am going to make -- we are
        going -- the first thing I am going to do after just
        showing the kind of diagrams you are going to get later,
        I am first going to actually walk you through the
        building, around the building, in a reconstruction made on
        the basis of the blueprints.  I am just going to flag a
        few major things.  It is exactly the same perspective as
        we had before was included here and which we tried to make
        very clear is really the ventilation systems as they were.
                  The ventilation systems which are in green which
        is right here, above the incineration room and alongside
        the ceiling of the undressing room or the morgue No. 2 is
        indicated in green, and all of the systems came into this
        chimney.  Then there was a second part of the ventilation
        system.  This is called the entluftung system, a second
        system, and this is basically coming into the ceiling of

.          P-17

        morgue No. 1 and that is blue.  So blue is bringing fresh
        air in, green is taking foul air out and whatever is in
        there, and that we will come later back to that would have
        been that duct for hot air based -- reconstructed on the
        basis really of two documents but no blueprint.  Then here
        the pink stuff, basically the funnels for going to the
        chimney below the ground from the incinerators.
                  If you want me to slow down at any given moment
        or point out any detail, explain, please do so because I
        am going to walk through this.  This is what the building
        as it would have been seen when one is at the end of the
        railway track.  This is crematorium (ii), so, more or
        less, when you enter the compound in which the crematorium
        was placed.  This is the main chimney with the place, the
        extension, the projections of the building in which the
        waste incinerator was originally projected, the
        incineration room sits more or less here.  This is the
        coke store space, and the dissection rooms are there.
                  I am going to make actually two entries into the
        building, one along a staircase which is still there right
        here, and the staircase which goes to the basement and we
        really concentrate our presentation on the basement.
        Later we see here the kind of slightly high elevation of
        the underground morgue No. 2.  We will enter the building
        through that entrance there, an entrance which was made in 1943.

.          P-18

                  We come closer to the building.  Here we see the
        staircase going down.  This is an entry to the autopsy
        rooms right there.  We will actually go down the
        staircase, and since it was very difficult to model that
        situation, how to go down, the people who did it, two
        architects, chose to show actually a kind of section of
        the building.  Here is the grate level.  We have here the
        underground morgue and we see actually the staircase going
        down.  Basically, the soil has been cut away with the
        entrance right here going into this little vestibule.

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