Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day009.17 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Do you know anything about the history of that document, where it came from? A. No, I do not know. Moscow, it has been in Moscow. It has been made available, for example, in the Vienna trial. It was available earlier. There was another copy of this document in a Didier archive in Dumburg. This document . P-148 has been known for many years, since shortly after the war. The document seems to be perfectly in line with other documents. It is a carbon copy. It is not on letter head, like most of the copies in the Zentralebauleitung. It seems to be sitting nice in its sequence of other documents. So I have no reason to doubt the integrity of the file or the integrity of the document itself. Q. Professor van Pelt, you were sitting in court yesterday when I challenged that document piece by piece, and indicated the discrepancies on the document which gave not just one discrepancy but several discrepancies which indicated there was every reason to doubt whether this was an original document or whether it is was, indeed, a true document? A. You can do that, but I have not changed my mind on this. I do not think that you have brought any kind of convincing evidence for me to change my mind on this document. Q. May I ask you the following then, is it not surprising that nowhere in the entire Auschwitz construction files, in Moscow or in the present Auschwitz State Museum, do you find one single other document that reflects the same figures or figures of the same magnitude? A. We can talk -- the issue of incineration capacity, how do we know about incineration capacity and how do we know . P-149 about the coke use? We have this document, we have eyewitness testimony of people who worked the ovens and we have statements by the people who ran the camp. There is a convergence between those things. Q. Except for one thing ---- A. Now, if you challenge, if you challenge the coke use, I will have to bring up, and, I am sorry, I do not have the particular patent, but it is a little technical history. There is a specificity in the design of the ovens in Auschwitz which is, basically, that they worked with compressed -- that air was blown into the muffle. Normally, what happens in these ovens is that ---- Q. The flame does not touch the body? A. No, actually frebrennen did happen in the Auschwitz ovens; it was not simply incineration. Q. Well, they would self-combust? When they were raised to a certain temperature, they would self-combust? A. That is the idea of a normal incineration. In Auschwitz, actually, the ovens -- the difference between the ovens is that one element which is used in normal ovens is with a heat kind of regenerator in Auschwitz was replaced by compressed air which was blown into the oven. Now --- - Q. Would this account for the drop of normal coke usage from 35 kilograms in the crematorium Gussen concentration camp per body to 3.5 in Auschwitz, in your opinion? A. Yes, and I think the normal use for Gussen questions the . P-150 normal use of what? For one, two, three, four bodies in a day at a certain moment very high intensity use. I just would like to quote here from a piece which John Claude Pressac wrote and I also worked on. Q. Can I interrupt? I did not quite catch what you said about Gussen. What did you say was the normal rate in Gussen? A. The normal rate, the question is what is normal rate? If you just fire the ovens in Auschwitz for one corpse, you probably need 300 kilos. Q. In Gussen they were talking, if my memory of the document is correct, of the order of 100 bodies, or possibly 200. A. If you bring the documents, we can discuss the documents. Q. Well, Professor van Pelt, you were not quoting a document there. You were just stating a figure, speculating. A. I am going to state a figure and it is from a patent. I am happy to show you the passage. The big issue in crematorium design is that you need to get the thing going, the oven going, and that takes a hell of a lot energy. So, if you incinerate one body, and this is a document which is prepared for Dachau in 1939, to cremate one body in Dachau was 175 kilos of coke, far exceeding the 30 kilos. However, it says that, by the time you have started this incinerator, after you have incinerated a number of bodies, and I will quote the thing, "If the cold room required 170 kilograms of coke to start up a new . P-151 incineration, it needed only 100 kilo if it had been used the day before. The second and third incineration on the same would not require any extra fuel, thanks to the compressed air". Those that followed would call for only small amounts of extra energy. Q. Are you saying that for the cremations on the second and third day you would not have to put any coke into the machine at all? It would just kind of carry on? A. No. If you start incinerating on the second day you can still use that heat that had built up from the first day. If you then insert extra bodies in the oven that same day, after the first one, you only need very little extra fuel. Q. That is not what the document said. You said it needed none at all. A. Then it says only little, the first, second and third, and then, as you continue, then only very limited amount of fuel. Q. But of course they had more than just one furnace in Auschwitz. In each of these crematoria you are telling us they had five times three. So they did not have to fire them all up. They could just fire up one of them and keep it running? A. But it seems that there were more bodies than one could take. We also have, of course, the patent application of Topf from late 1942, which actually operates on that whole principle. . P-152 Q. It was not used, was it? A. No, but it was based on the experience gained. As it very literally says, it is based on the experience gained with the multi-muffle ovens used in the East. The document -- I am happy to try to find it. I do not know where the patent application is. Q. I do not want do keep flogging this particular horse unless his Lord wants to go down this route much further. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am inevitably being guided by you, Mr. Irving. You must put your case. MR IRVING: I would like to ask Professor Van Pelt to do one calculation for me. On the basis of 8,000 kilogram of coke, which we read in that document in the Pressac book, 7,000 or 8,000 kilogrammes of coke per 12 hour shift, if we were to assume 35 kilograms of coke per body, how many bodies were actually being cremated per day in those four crematoria? A. If you were to assume -- I have the figure here -- if it was three and a half kilos of coke ---- Q. No, 35. A. Three and a half I calculated was 241,000 bodies, so 35 would be 24,000 bodies. Q. 24,000? A. I do not have to make the calculation because it is right here. Q. I do not think that is correct. If it is 7,000 kilograms . P-153 of coke, 7,000 times 35 into 7,000 is 200, so it will be 200 per day? A. I am sorry. Q. It would be 200 bodies per day in these crematoria so that would give us the lower level. I am not saying that was the amount. I am saying that is the lower limit of these two figures we have. We have the figure of ten times as large that you offer, and we have the figure of 200 per day which would be, if the Gussen figure applied, the 35 kilograms of coke, which is what crematorium managers assure us is the normal figure nowadays for mass cremations. A. My Lord, I am very surprised that Mr Irving seems to love German documents. When he is confronted with a German document which he does not like, so easily ignores it. I think the Jahrling document is very, very straightforward. There are two version of it. If Jahrling made a mistake, he corrected himself. Obviously when you find a document like that, you take it seriously. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You are now talking about the one with J A umlaut at the top? MR IRVING: The one that we challenge, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. You call it the Jahrling document Jahrling was the secretary? A. Jahrling was the man who made the calculation. MR IRVING: Yes. There are other reasons for challenging it . P-154 but I just rested my case on the reference line across the top, which contained enough errors to make the whole thing very suspect. To try and do these calculations the other way round, which is what the witness has done, I find this perverse. Can we move on from there now, my Lord? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. MR IRVING: Let me come back to the question of the eyewitnesses who have described, either to you or to historians over the last 55 years in convincing and compelling detail, the procedure at the factory of death, at crematorium number 2, the arrival of the victims, what happened inside the crematoria, the cremation process, the robbing of the bodies and so on. How many eye witnesses are we talking about, Professor? A. It depends on which period we are looking. In my report I only looked at the very, very early testimonies. Q. Yes. A. Which means testimonies taken by Dragon, and in this case by Tauber, because they are taken in April and May 1945. Q. Are they independent of each other or have they compared notes in any way? A. I do not know if they compared notes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Did they escape? A. They escaped, yes. No, they did not escape. In the sense that they were on the march, I think, from Auschwitz to . P-155 wherever they ended up in the West, they did escape but they did not escape from the camp itself or from the crematoria. MR IRVING: Yes. So that Dragon, D R A G O N, and Heinrich Tauber? A. Schloma Dragon. Q. How many others? You are not relying just on those two eyewitnesses, surely? A. No, but these are the two which I mentioned because, if one is afraid of pollination and things like that, and these were testimonies given immediately after the war. These were testimonies which were made before things were published, before things were in the newspapers or whatever like that. Other testimonies have been given, Filip Muller of course in the 1960s. He made one in 1946. Q. You said that nothing had been in the newspapers. When was the report published of the War Refugee Board on the testimony given by Veroba and Wetzler, two Slovaks? Was that not November 1944? A. Yes, but these were very, very short. These were very short things in the newspaper. The report itself was never published at the time. So to have a short New York Times one column article or less about a fact that there is an extermination camp in Auschwitz does not give any details about the extermination procedure. Q. You say the report was not published at the time. In fact . P-156 the War Refugee Board in the United States did actually publish the report like a White Paper. Whether the newspapers actually quoted it in detail or not, are you saying the newspapers did not quote it very much? A. They did not quote very much. Q. But they did give the more lurid details about the gas chambers and so on? A. As far as I remember, the reports, reading the newspaper articles, they did not give the kind of details which would inspire a person to invent a particular gassing or incineration procedure. Q. Procedure, right. You did not rest in either your book or your expert report on just those two eyewitnesses though, did you? Not just on Tauber and ---- A. No. There are other people we quote because, of course, after afterwards other people came forward. Q. Did you rely on a woman called Bimko? A. I have already addressed this once before. I mentioned Miss Bimko because of the testimony she gave at the Lindenberg trial, which is the Belsen trial. I did not rely on her to come to a conclusion about the incineration capacity in the crematoria. Q. I am not talking about the incineration capacity, Professor. I am talking now about the actual procedure, the way people walk ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think we have moved on. We are just . P-157 talking generally about eye witness evidence, are we not? MR IRVING: We are dealing with the question of the integrity of eyewitnesses, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what I was suggesting. A. No, I did not rely on her for procedure.
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