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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.05

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.05
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   What would you infer from that?
   A.   That dental gold was being probably ----
   Q.   Extracted?
   A.   Not extracted.  It would not have been extracted here.
        The dental gold would have been basically worked at and
        would have been stored here.
   Q.   Yes, a matter of the utmost secrecy, of course?
   A.   I do not know how secret it was.  This whole building was
        in a completely isolated compound.
   Q.   We will see if that is true later on when I show you some
   A.   OK.  This is by the way, that connection piece right above
        there connecting the pipes of the side to the other side.
        We see here the staircases.
   Q.   What is the overall width of that staircase from wall to wall?
   A.   The overall width of the staircase from wall to wall?  Now
        you have me.
   Q.   Roughly about eight feet?
   A.   This thing here?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   Yes, I presume something like 8 feet.
   Q.   The other end of that space is the elevator, is it not?

.          P-38

   A.   Yes, it is the elevator.
   Q.   Or the hoist?
   A.   Yes.  The space we talked about, the counterweights -- --
   Q.   It is not an extra space at all.  It is just part of the
        actual shaft?
   A.   Yes.  You see that there is some space left so that the
        weight can go there.
   Q.   We gained the impression two days ago that there was a
        separate channel for the counterweight to go down?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I did not.
   A.   I did not want to make that impression.
                  This is the coloured version.  What we see here
        is ofen, furnace.  But interesting of course is that there
        is no ofen in the office.  We know from eyewitness
        testimony that of course the dental gold was melted in the
        crematorium, so is that the ofen put there in order to
        melt dental gold?  It is a design, nothing more than a
        design, but certainly they were designing something to
        that effect.
   Q.   It would be a schmelzofen, would it not?
   A.   That is the official German, schmelzofen, but ofen would
        be a good shorthand for that.
   Q.   I think it is a very reasonable inference actually.
   A.   But certainly this ofen -- one would expect also to have
        if everywhere there is no heating.  My theory is that, if
        this would be about heating those particular offices, one

.          P-39

        would first have expected one there, and secondly one
        there, but this is actually the other way round.  Why is
        there no ofen at that site?
   Q.   That is a very clear inference obviously, which I agree
   A.   OK.  I am going to show a few copies of this.  This is a
        new declat.  Now we see the hand is very different of the
        declat.  In this case we know actually that the person who
        drew it was Dejaco himself, which means the chief of the
        drawing room who was an SS lieutenant.  It is very
        unusual, strangely enough.  This man almost never makes a
        drawing himself.
   Q.   How do we know that he was the person who drew this?
   A.   Because it is in the box at the bottom.  I am sorry it is
        not in this picture.  In the box at the bottom it always
        says who draws that, who approves that and then finally
        the final signing off by Bischoff.  Normally what you see
        is a prisoner number.  In this case Dejaco's name is in
        the first box, and in the second box.  He draws it and
        then he also ultimately red lines it, and then only
        Bischoff signs off on the third.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is it dated?
   A.   Yes.  It is 19th December 1942.  So this is quite late.
        Now, a number of modifications are in this drawing.  It
        says again it is a declat number 32 and 33, which are
        basically for the standard basement plan.

.          P-40

                  The major thing is it says (German spoken) which
        means that the entrance to the basement is going to be
        moved to the side of the street, street side, which means
        the side also where people enter.  Whoever is going to
        enter this thing.  This is basically the railway side.  So
        we see that the stairs have been removed here and the
        rutsche.  I will come back to the rutsche because it is a
        problem.  In crematorium 3 the rutsche is still there,
        I mean the fragment.  There is no fragment of the rutsche
        right here, but in crematorium 3 you can see it under a
        collapsed piece of concrete.  We see here now a new
        staircase.  This is a staircase which I depicted in the
        model.  We see the new staircase going down right here,
        going into the first new vestibule which has been carved
        out of what was before the bureau, the office.  Gold
        arbeiten is still there right at the side.  The bureau has
        been moved to the left where before it was morgue No.  3
        the tiny morgue No. 3.  Again, there is a Tresor right there.
   Q.   You have not explained what the Tresor is, but it is
        obvious is it not?  It is a safe?
   A.   It is a safe, yes.  I thought I had mentioned that
        before.  Then we come into the vestibule.  What is very
        interesting in this drawing is that it very clearly
        indicates the way the doors are hung.  They still open
        inwards into morgue No. 1, but they have been rehung in

.          P-41

        relationship to the original design to open outwards.
        From morgue No. 2 they go inwards and from morgue No.  1
        they open outside.  The question, of course, is why would
        these doors have been rehung?  Why was the design changed?
   MR IRVING:  May I have a closer look at that, please?
   A.   Of course.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Go as close as you like.  Just walk up to it
        if you can.
   Q.   Which are the doors you are referring to?
   A.   The doors, if you just move a little, these are the doors
        I am referring to.  Those doors.
   MR IRVING:  Can I make a comment on them, please.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Ask a question.
   MR IRVING:  Can you see any difference in the way that the door
        jamb, the concrete has been drawn there, from the way it
        was previously drawn?  Previously it was flush, if I can
        put it like that, and now it has been rebated inwards to
        provide a secure flange, so to speak?
   A.   Yes.  We can look at the original, I mean, there is also a
        photograph, I am quite happy to go back to the original
        because we -- the nice thing about these things is you can
        just go -- here we have the same kinds of jambs.
   Q.   But there is no ----
   A.   At the inside, but not, but that this side it has been
        taken out there in the drawing.

.          P-42

   Q.   On the inside, yes, but I am looking at the other side of that.
   A.   This one?
   Q.   Yes.  If you look at the one you just showed us
        previously, there is like an L shaped step in the frame as
        though something is going to fit into it, a tight fit?
   A.   Yes, but at that moment when we still assume the door is
        opening inwards, that same thing, that same tight fit is
        right there.
   Q.   But without that L shaped step?
   A.   That ----
   Q.   The section ----
   A.   --- original of this.
   Q.   Well, I did look at it quite closely.
   A.   One sees it right there.  This, of course, is very small.
        We have drawn, I think, these drawings scale 1:200.  So we
        are talking here about, basically what a pen does over 2
        or 3 millimetres -- less because this is very much enlarged.
   Q.   But there is not the same L shaped step shape flange?
   A.   We also have a different hand drawing now.
   Q.   Can I ask you a question now?  Would this not be
        appropriate if you were going to put an air raid door in
        there which might have to withstand a blast pressure?
   A.   I do not think this is an air raid door.  I do not think
        that, I mean, if you want to raise the issue if the morgue

.          P-43

        could have been an air raid shelter, I am quite happy to
        give a presentation on that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Shall we hive it off?  I think in a way it is
        a separate issue.
   MR IRVING:  It is, but I wanted to draw attention while the
        picture was on there, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I understand.
   A.   So the importance of this door, and that is the major
        element, it is a question of why would this design have
        been hung.  The answer, I think, is obvious, that this has
        to do with the transformation now of this building into a
        gas -- of morgue No. 1 into a gas chamber; and then if
        that, when the gassing takes place, you do not want to be
        able and you have, as Mr Irving has said, you have packed,
        jammed people inside the space, and at least we know from
        the descriptions with the gas vans that it was a run
        towards the door when the gas came in, and that from again
        eyewitness testimony that people tried to get out, and
        they died right in front of the door.  If the door would
        have hung differently and would have opened inwards, you
        would not have been able to enter the basement any more.
                  So again we talk about convergence of evidence.
        If you just take this drawing alone and say, "Is this a
        proof that morgue No. 1 became a gas chamber?"  No.  But
        if you take the drawing in relationship to the original
        designs and which we can follow in the original sketch,

.          P-44

        and any original first official blueprint where the doors
        are hung exactly the opposite way, and we then at a
        certain moment are also going to cross-reference this to
        eyewitness testimony, then, of course, it makes perfect sense.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is there any reason of convenience why one
        might have adapted the design as to the doors opening
        outwards rather than inwards?
   A.   In fact, a convenience is actually inconvenient because
        one of the problems the door has now is that if it opens
        out like that, it starts actually interfering in some way
        with the elevator.
                  Also, the second reason why, when I had assumed
        when I reconstructed the change of the door from two
        panels to one panel, that probably one would not have used
        the second panel anyway because it starts to actually be
        in the way of the route towards the elevator when one gets
        a mass transport of corpses, so that the panel which would
        have been closed in order to use that gas door of one
        metre wide by 192 centimetres high, that this one would
        have been closed and this one would have been open.  So
        you have only one panel which can be really securely
        locked with a number of locks into this one right here,
        instead of having the whole situation going to depend on,
        basically, the strength of the bar going up and down into
        the floor and the ceiling.

.          P-45

   MR IRVING:  Is that the only change made on this deck plan?
   A.   There are two other changes, I already indicated.  A
        second important change is that stair going down.  Now,
        why would the -- why was the slide in this original
        entrance removed and why was the stairs moved to the other side?

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