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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.18

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.18
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   MR RAMPTON:   It does not matter.  Forget it.  The cover is
        different from mine.  Forget it, Professor van Pelt.  It
        was only going to be an illustration.  Do you say that an
        Entwesungsofen would not be a Zyklon-B piece of equipment?
   A.   No.  The Zyklon-B, they did not have an ofen for that,
        first of all.  They were called Kammer and they are
        larger, and they would be called gas Kammer.  So there is
        a very specific product.  A Topf Entwesungsofen is a very
        specific product they sell.  They manufacture it in Erfurt
        and they sell as a single piece.  So, yes, this would not
        have been a Zyklon installation.
   Q.   Is it in any sense permissible, sensible or clever to try
        to translate "Entwesungsofen" into "Vergasungskeller"?
   A.   No.  They have nothing to do with each other.
   Q.   So do you have an estimate of what these two hot air or
        steam autoclaves were for at crematorium 2?
   A.   The interesting thing, of course -- I can speculate one

.          P-157

        way and I can base myself ----
   Q.   Offer your best guess.
   A.   I give two best guesses.  One is that since the
        sonderkommando were going to live there and they lived in
        an enclosed compound there, they would need to have some
        kind of disinfestation installation.  It is a first guess,
        but the problem is that we do not have really any other
        documentation except these two things.  The more likely
        guess, however, is that these were actually going to be
        the Entwesungsofen which were going to be installed in the
        Zentralzaume (?).  What was happening is that since
        December 1942, right between crematorium 3 and crematorium
        4, the SS was first planning, and then from mid 1943
        onwards they were constructing, a large new delousing
        installation which did not use Zyklon, but only used the
        Topfentwesungsofen and autoclaves.  So, when one actually
        starts to look at these documents and also at the Wedach
        document which was introduced by Mr Irving, we are
        actually dealing, I mean the Wedach document, we are
        clearly with activity that is going on for the
        Zentralzaune.  So the problem, of course, in the document
        on 13th April is that it mentions crematorium No. 2 right
        in that sentence, and I have no explanation, I have no
        other documentation to either confirm that they were at
        that time creating these two entwesungs ofen or had
        ordered it for the crematorium.  At the same time I know

.          P-158

        that a lot of that ordering is being done for the
        Zentralzaune which is being constructed right next door,
        and that is where I would like to leave it.
   MR IRVING:  If you look at the last page, my Lord, on that you
        will see there is a further reference to disinfestation
        equipment for crematorium No. 2 in August.
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, that is right.  Absolutely right.  That is
        where I started as a matter of fact.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, that is what I thought.  Why do you get
        August, because that is the date of the document?
   MR RAMPTON:  That is the date.  It is 20th August, the
        document.  The top right-hand corner, my Lord.
                  Do you see any reason, Professor van Pelt, to
        disassociate the August invoice relating to
        Entwesungslager for crematorium, it does not say there,
        crematoria 2 and 3, from the piece of paper relating to
        the two Topf Entwesungsofen for crematorium 2?
   A.   No, they seem to belong together, but, you know ----
   Q.   In this same part of the folder, I warned you this would
        be disorderly, we find at page 6, this is written on the
        bottom right-hand corner I hope in red ink, we find what
        I think is the Topf patent application for its
        multi-muffle furnace, do we not?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   I would not dream of asking you to read it out or anything
        like that.  I am told that I got this in a muddle when

.          P-159

        I was cross-examining Mr Irving.  Would you just explain
        what this is and how it relates to what you have told us?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you give my the reference again,
        Mr Rampton?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, it is in tab 4 of K 2 and it is page 6.  It
        is a long document, ending up with a drawing on page 18.
   A.   Shall I explain, shall I go paragraph by paragraph and
        give a summary of the paragraph?
   Q.   No, nothing like that.  I would just like you to summarize
        what the effect of the patent application is on your
        judgment about how the incineration was in fact carried
        out, according to the accounts of the eyewitnesses, in the
        big crematorium at Auschwitz.
   A.   This patent application is based on, the proposal for this
        patent application is to create a furnace in which one
        continuously feeds corpses at the top, and which by their
        own weight, so to speak, these corpses fall through a
        number of shelves, so to speak, and in that process are
        being reduced to ashes.  It refers back to the experience
        with mutli-muffle ovens which is at the end of page 1 and
        No. 2, that that one wants to make something which is even
        working even faster.  I just want to go very, very quickly
        through this, because the important thing here, of course,
        would be also ----
   Q.   It may be quicker, Professor van Pelt, rather than your
        scanning that long and no doubt extremely boring document,

.          P-160

        if we turn to one which is not nearly so boring, although
        it is much longer, which is your report at page 538.
   A.   OK.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am afraid I have completely forgotten what
        is supposed to be the significance of the patent
        application one way or the other.
   MR RAMPTON:  I could tell your Lordship but then I would be
        giving evidence and I cannot do that.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am simply asking what case is sought to be
        made, but perhaps it is better elicited from Professor van Pelt.
   MR RAMPTON:  The case sought to be made is that it explains how
        it was that they were able to incinerate as many corpses
        as they could, and also how they managed to use as little
        fuel a these were able to do.
   A.   Yes, I was looking for that particular sentence, because
        I did not want to quote the sentence from memory.
   Q.   I think you will find it in translation on pages 538, 539.
   A.   This is what it says here at page 540, it says:
        "Pre-heating of such an oven should take at least two
        days.  After this pre-heating the oven will not need any
        more fuel due to the heat produced by the corpses."
   Q.   Read on, will you.
   A.   "It will be able to maintain its necessary high
        temperature through self-heating".
   Q.   Carry on.

.          P-161

   A.   "But to allow it to main a constant temperature it would
        have become necessary to introduce at the same time
        so-called well fat and so-called emaciated corpses,
        because one can only guarantee continuous high
        temperatures through the emission of human fat.  When only
        emaciated corpses are incinerated, it will be necessary to
        add heat continuously. The result of this will be that
        insulation could be damaged because of the dust created
        temperatures and one would expect shorter or longer break downs".
   Q.   That document, Professor, is this right, is in its origin
        quite unrelated to what went on at Birkenhau?
   A.   It is quite unrelated you say?
   Q.   Unrelated.
   A.   No, its origin is of the fall of 1942 and the ovens in
        crematoria 2 and 3 only came into operation in April
        1943.  However, the multi-muffle ovens were already used
        in crematorium No. 1 since August 1940.  So the principle
        is the same in the ovens in crematorium 1.  So clearly
        they are using the principle which has been the experience
        that has been gained in crematorium 1 in creating this
        patent application.
   Q.   I am grateful.  There is no doubt about the authenticity
        of this, is there, as an original German document written
        by Topf for their patent agents?
   A.   No, it is registered in whatever the patent ----

.          P-162

   Q.   How well does that document what we see here on page 540,
        I do not need you to look at them, how well from memory
        does that chime with the descriptions given by the
        eyewitnesses, including Hirst, of how this procedure was
        carried out in practice?
   A.   What is very important in the descriptions of the
        sonderkommandos is that they talk about, with a certain
        kind of care, they would bring corpses of people of
        different sizes into the muffles, exactly to -- no,
        I cannot say that because they do not actually give that
        explanation.  But here actually is given an explanation, a
        thermodynamical explanation why that would have been done.
   Q.   I think Tauber was quite specific about it, was he not,
        about using fat corpses?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Indeed on the trial run I think they were given fat
        corpses, says Tauber, in March 1943, were they not?
   A.   I would like to see that thing.
   Q.   We can look at it later.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  What you quote in your report does not read
        like a patent application.  Is it a quote from the patent
   A.   We go to 808 ----
   Q.   I think you are quoting another author, are you not?
   A.   No, this is the comment.  Sorry.
   MR RAMPTON:  This is the interpretation.

.          P-163

   A.   This is the comment written by a number of engineers.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It probably does not affect the point.
   MR RAMPTON:  My Lord, one can see how they have dealt with it,
        how Topf dealt with in the last paragraph of the quote on
        page 539.
   A.   Yes, one of the important lines in that thing, of course,
        is they are actually not incinerating any more, but they
        are literally burning corpses.
   MR RAMPTON:  The passage from Tauber's evidence or testimony,
        call it what you like, is on page 535.  At the top: "The
        corpses of wasted people with no fat burned rapidly in the
        side muffles and slowly in the centre one.  Conversely,
        the corpses of people gassed directly on arrival not being
        wasted burnt better in the centre muffle.  During the
        incineration of such corpses we used the coke only to
        light the fire of the furnace initially, for fatty corpses
        burn of their own accord thanks to the combustion of body
        fat".  It is the same opposite on the previous page in
        relation to crematorium 1.
                  He actually says in relation to crematorium 2
        and 3: "I know from the experienced gained by observing
        cremation in crematoria 2 and 3 that the bodies of fat
        people burned very much faster.  The process of
        incineration is accelerated by the combustion of human fat
        which thus produces additional heat."

.          P-164

                  While we are on Tauber, as a matter of fact,
        Professor van Pelt, I think Mr Irving said he was
        emotional or something of that kind.  Do you remember that
   A.   Emotional?
   Q.   Yes, emotional or unreliable because he was
   A.   Yes, vaguely.
   Q.   I do not know what it was.  You have never interviewed
        Mr Tauber, yourself I take it?
   A.   No.
   Q.   He is not still alive I suppose?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Do you know Jean-Claude Pressac ever met him?
   A.   No.
   Q.   Are you familiar with the introduction to the Tauber
        chapter in Pressac's book?
   A.   I remember vaguely.
   Q.   Would you like to have a look at it?  It should be in H2
        (vi) I think, at tab 5.  I am using my own copy of
        Pressac.  You use yours as well, if you like.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Do I need to look at this?
   MR RAMPTON:  Yes, I think so.  I am not going to read it out.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Every time Pressac is mentioned I mean to ask
        who he is?
   MR RAMPTON:  He is a Frenchman.

.          P-165

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Could you be a little bit more helpful than
   MR RAMPTON:  I think I better defer to the witness.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor van Pelt, I should know and I just
        do not.  Who is Pressac?
   A.   He is a pharmacist in the town of Ville de Bois or the
        village of Ville de Bois south of Paris, 20 miles south of
   Q.   He his an historian?
   A.   He is a self-taught historian.  He seems to have come from
        the circles of Faurisson originally.  It is not exactly
        clear what his relationship was to Faurisson.  Then he
        went to Auschwitz in the early 80s and saw the building
        material, the building archive material, and was convinced
        that Faurisson was wrong and started publishing about it
        in 1983.
   Q.   Now you say that I remember.  Yes.  Thank you very much.

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