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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.13

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.13
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Yes, who advised him to rewrite what he had written.
   A.   -- Mr Vrba had no document when he came out of Auschwitz.
        He did not carry with him a document.  There was no one.

.          P-109

   Q.   Very well, we will disregard 22, but if you stay on page
        23, picture 23, you can see that there is a hole cut
        through the concrete into darkness underneath and you can
        see reinforcing bars there, and the concrete there -- well
        you said 20 centimetres thick, did you not?
   A.   Yes, I thought afterwards I thought 18 centimetres.
   Q.   In real terms 18 centimetres is?
   A.   Six inches.
   Q.   Six inches?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can we go back to the picture that you showed the court on
        Thursday of the locomotive and which we saw briefly on the
        screen again today, which I have reproduced for the sake
        of convenience, on page 16, my Lord, purely just as a
        visual remainder of what we are now arguing about, or
        talking about.   This is the locomotive going past the
        roof which is clearly under construction still.  It has
        not been banked up around. It has not had earth heaped
        over it and it has some protuberances on top.  My Lord,
        I did refer, you will remember.  I asked the witness if he
        had said a photograph with that same roof with snow covering?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, I remember that.
   MR IRVING:  Witness, will you please turn to page 17; is this a
        photograph that you recognize?
   A.   Yes, and I actually kind of slightly stupidly commented on

.          P-110

        it without having it in front of me, because yesterday
        coming back from Stockholm I thought there was a detail in
        the roof, two details, and that, you know, which I
        remembered, which was the detail of the roof was still
        being constructed on the left, and that that makes it one
        earlier than the one with the little locomotive in it.
   Q.   This is quite obvious, is it not; the whole building is
        still under construction at an earlier stage than the
        locomotive picture?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  This is December 1942 or thereabouts?
   A.   Whatever, yes, I mean it is obviously maybe after the time
        that these people have been closing the roof, which we saw
        in the picture on top of morgue No. 1.  But, yes, it
        looks -- I would date it probably somewhere December.
        There is still a lot of work to be done on the dormers.
   Q.   Again, we can see quite clearly in somewhat more detail
        now the flat roof of mortuary No. 1, this is the flat
        white line which goes across from the centre of the page
        to the right; do you see that, my Lord?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I see, yes.
   MR IRVING:  That is the flat roof with the snow on the top.
                  (To the witness) Can you see any kind of
        disturbance of that snow line whatsoever that would
        indicate that there was either a hole or a plank or a

.          P-111

        cover or a chimney, let alone three?  Can you see any kind
        of disturbances at that time?
   A.   No, you cannot see anything, but the question if there
        would be a plank on this and there is a snow cover on it
        then of course the snow would have covered the planks.
   Q.   It would be satisfactory just to put a plank across there
        and no kind of water would get in through the hole
        underneath the plank if there was a hole underneath that
   A.   In a building under construction one has very temporary
        measures to close thing up.
   Q.   But you cannot point to any kind of disturbance of that
        snow corresponding with the position of the three
        protuberances on the previous photograph on page 16, can you?
   A.   I am looking at a 2 millimetre, 3 millimetre wide white
        line which is delicately reproduced, and it is very
        difficult to say anything about what actually happens in
        that snow right there.  There may be planks covered
        by snow. There may be not, it may be disturbed one way or
        another, but it is very difficult to draw any
        conclusions --
   Q.   It is very weak evidence, is it not --
   A.   Sorry?
   Q.   This photograph, No. 17, is it not?
   A.   -- weak evidence of what?

.          P-112

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Of what?
   MR IRVING:  Of any inference I might seek to draw from it.  You
        say this is just one rather smudgy white line and what can
        one say? You cannot draw conclusions; is that what you are
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  It is a straw in the wind, in the sense that
        there would inevitably be a stage when there would the
        roof in place but nothing sticking through it because they
        had not got round to sticking anything through it.
   MR IRVING:  We are coming to all this in two or three minutes, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Very sorry.
   MR IRVING:   (To the witness) But I just want to establish you
        say we cannot draw conclusions just on the basis of this
        rather smudgy photograph?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   It is ten inches across, but you cannot draw conclusions?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   But can you draw conclusions from the previous photograph,
        which is even smudgier; is this what you are saying?
   A.   Yes, because there is something to see there.  I mean this
        one is pretty smudgy, but in the original you actually see
        those box like structures above morgue No. 1.
   Q.   Very well, but there is no indication whatsoever on
        picture No. 17 of any provision made for them, no
        coverings; we cannot see any planks or scaffolding boards

.          P-113

        or anything covering the whole there?  It is just one
        smooth snow line across the top?
   A.   Covering whatever is below it, either the roof of morgue
        No. 1, or the openings which have been temporarily closed
        with pieces of wood, or pieces of board.
   Q.   Now in your evidence you drew attention, did you not, to
        the photographs which I reproduced again on page 6.
        Mr Rampton may prefer that we look at the original bundle
        rather than -- this is the same photograph, is it not?
        The one with the smudges on the roof, the four smudges?
   A.   Page No. 6.
   Q.   Of my bundle, yes. There are two photographs there.  I
        would only draw attention to the bottom photograph, which
        is the one which has not been touched.  This is the one
        you showed, is it not, showing four smudges?
   A.   Yes, may -- what do you mean was touched?
   Q.   We just marked on the upper photograph with red dots the
        position of the holes as they are on the roof now.
   A.   OK.
   Q.   This roof you appreciate is still there, and the two holes
        marked in red are visible on that roof now?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Just for the sake so there is no confusion at all, we have
        marked in the position on that roof of where those two
        present day holes are, which is what one can clamber
        through, the one shown in the photograph --

.          P-114

   A.   No, I do not think you are right on that, and I am not
        going to -- I think we should have maybe a survey, but the
        thing is that the hole, which is very close to the second
        column, of the -- you see, one of the big problems is that
        the white smudge, which in some way you interpret as the
        top of -- as the roof, actually, it is not only the roof
        of the gas chamber, but it is also the slope.  The earth
        is sloped up to it.  So, in fact, that smudge is larger
        than the actual roof.  We can go back to my
        reconstruction, yes.
   Q.   -- I am afraid I do not get what you are saying there at all.
   A.   OK, maybe I can point it out on this.  If, indeed, this --
        if this is the exact size of the original morgue No.  1, in
        fact, the earth was sloped up to the roof and then covered
        the roof and sloped down.  So the actual line, what you
        see here, there is the big white smudge actually takes a
        larger area than the actual roof area.  If you then start
        looking at the dots, then the dots clearly start to be
        much more -- because otherwise the dots are not actually
        in a pattern.  We have seven columns at regular intervals
        between the end wall and then we get seven columns and
        then we get basically the wall of the crematorium.
   Q.   So you are still submitting to the court that these
        smudges represent the position of holes through the roof
        through which the SS officers poured the cyanide pellets?

.          P-115

   A.   That the smudges were caused by the holes.  It is very
        difficult at this...
   Q.   Magnification.
   A.   At this magnification to determine exactly what is
        happening there.  I do not know exactly -- we know from
        the Bryant investigation that at a certain moment objects
        the size of a head would -- was the size of a grain in the
        negative and that all kind of moray (?) effects started to
        happen, so we are talking here about what is happening on
        size of a grain in the negative.
   Q.   When was this photograph taken, Professor?  The one we are
        looking at, August 1944?
   A.   I do not know if this is August 1st or May 1st or it was
        even possibly a September one.
   Q.   Were all the photographs with which we are familiar taken
        in 1944?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, I am sorry, I think I am a bit
        confused; is this Leichenkeller No. One.
   THE WITNESS:   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You said a moment ago that the holes were
        still there, or two of them are.
   MR IRVING:  Two holes have been made after the war, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Oh, I see, made after the war.
   MR IRVING:   In positions indicated by the little red dots by
        whom knows whom out of curiosity to find --

.          P-116

   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Experimentally.
   MR IRVING:  To find out what is underneath.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I thought you meant that we could see the
        holes that were originally there.
   MR IRVING:  We have seen the photograph of one of the holes, my
        Lord, with the metal reinforcing bars twisted up to obtain access.
   THE WITNESS:   But, my Lord, I do challenge the position of the
        red dots on that mark No. 3.  I challenge that these
        actually, the location of the holes right now in the roof.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I do not quite see why it matters.
   A.   OK.  But in any case because I think maybe there was
        confusion about that.
   MR IRVING:  Well, are you suggesting to the court that the
        holes we have seen photographs of, the one with the
        reinforcing bars twisted up is one of the holes on which
        you relying?
   A.   No.
   Q.   In other words, whether you challenge it or not is neither
        here nor there?
   A.   OK, neither here nor there.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  You say if we are wrong, but it does not
        appear to me to be significant.
   MR IRVING:  No.
                  Witness, I have here a number of original
        photographs from the National Archives Cardographic

.          P-117

        Branch.  These are original prints taken from the original
        negatives that were over Auschwitz in 1944, as you say.
        I have five of them, which show these buildings.  I am not
        going to ask you now, witness, to examine them in detail,
        because clearly that would disrupt the proceedings of the
        court.  But I have produced for the court's interest in
        large sections of those photographs, and they begin, my
        Lord, on page 7; 7, 8, 8 and 10, which is where my
        computer crashed, so I will not rely on the fifth
        photograph.  But I would ask the witness to comment on
        these enlarged sections of the original photographs which
        he can scrutinize, I would suggest, during the lunch
        adjournment and say if he can see the slightest sign of
        dots on the roof of this building; the mortuary No. 1 in
        crematorium No. 2, "The Factory of Death", on which his
        entire case, that this was a factory of death relies.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I imagine he would probably say
   THE WITNESS:   I can say that.  Picture No. 7 seems to depict
        the building after the destruction had started.  I do not
        know how far it is.  I think maybe it is not even an
        American but a German photo.
   MR IRVING:  No, the German photograph is picture No. 9 that
        was --
   A.   No. 9 --
   Q.   That was taken on February 19th 1945 --

.          P-118

   A.   So there the buildings are completely destroyed.  So the
        issue of dots is irrelevant there, yes?
   Q.   Yes.
   A.   At picture No. 7, whatever the date -- there already seems
        to be in the picture No. 7, is that there is -- certainly
        there is -- I can see, but it is kind of useless for me to
        argue.  I could say I see two dots on morgue No. 1 --
   Q.   But you cannot see the same four smudges in any of the
   A.   -- but I said I certainly see four smudges in photograph
        No. 8 behind crematorium No. 3.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you point them out to me?

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