Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.02 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. It was under construction. Of course, if we cut straight to the bottom line in this, if we are to accept your hypothesis or theory that these were rather irregularly spaced openings in the roof, and these were some kind of . P-9 pipe on top of that, as I understand you are putting to the court, with some kind of cover on top, then we would expect to find the openings in the roof, would we not, or some trace of those openings in the roof even today? Here is the roof now, that is the very roof we are talking about, is it not? That has pancaked downwards. The underside of the roof is largely intact. You can see just where those columns would have been then, these openings would have been, and there is not the slightest trace of them, is there? A. I have said, it is in my report that one cannot observe these things, but I have also said before that when the gas chamber was dismantled before the destruction of this building, two months before the destruction of this building, it would have been a very likely, I mean, the obvious solution would have been to actually close these holes. Now, I have also mentioned yesterday ---- Q. I am going to question you on that in a minute. A. I wonder if I should go back to the discussion of yesterday or address straight the issue of the boxes with material, the alleged boxes with the material on the roof. Q. Well, we will come back to the alleged boxes with material on the roof, but I must hold up your statement to the court where you said that just before demolition of the building, workers were sent in with the instructions to fill the holes with cement or concrete or something? . P-10 A. This is an inference on my side because you do not want these holes in the roof of a space to remain. When you have taken out the columns, it is an obvious conclusion that you would close these holes. Q. I can see his Lordship frowning and I think the whole court is inwardly frowning about this rather improbable story, implausible idea. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, just for the record and for the transcript, I did not frown. MR IRVING: I am sorry, my Lord. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us get on with the question. MR IRVING: Yes. The implausibility of the story, that before putting in packs of dynamite beneath the building to blow everything up so that the Red Army does not find any criminal traces, they send in workmen with buckets of cement and trowels and tell them to make good the holes in the roof. This sounds, I must say, totally implausible to me, and we know now that it never happened because the roof is there and there is not the slightest trace of such patchwork having been done on the concrete? A. My Lord, it is at the moment impossible to see because of the state of the roof if there was patchwork or not. The roof is fragmented. The roof has weathered very, very badly over 50 years, and the colour of concrete in the roof is of a motley quality, to say, and there is a lot of growth has been on the roof. It is impossible to tell one . P-11 way or another. Q. We are talking about the underside of the roof, of course, and we have any number of photographs of the underside of that roof where you can actually see the original wood grain in the formwork on the concrete that survives, and that shows not the slightest displacement or interference or tampering with. This is the implausible part of your story. I appreciate that you are anxious to move on to other topics because, frankly, this blows holes in the whole of the gas chamber story. If there are no holes in that roof, no holes in that roof, there are no holes now and there were no holes then, and that totally demolishes the evidence of your so-called eyewitnesses? A. My Lord, I have already yesterday pointed out that the column which remains and over which the room has been folded is the second column which was not the column where the column, the Zyklon-B introduction column was attached to, there were four of them, attached to column 1, 3, 5 and 7. May I address ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I wanted to ask you -- may I do it now -- about the columns because I understood your evidence yesterday to be that jutting out, as it were, from the roof of the alleged gas chamber there were the columns as well as the metal apertures through which the Zyklon-B, you say, was poured? A. The columns -- it is unlikely, my Lord, that the ---- . P-12 Q. Did I misunderstand that? A. --- columns would be going through the roof completely because the columns themselves were wider. They had these three concentric layers, but what would have happened is that there were a hole through the roof, and then on the top of it you get a kind if chimney like structure, and as long as the hole is connected to the innermost, to the innermost kind of column inside and of the same width so that this little thing can be brought up and down which ultimately allowed people to retrieve the earth in which the Zyklon was absurd during transport. As long as that hole was the same as the diameter of the inner column, then whatever you do above the roof is irrelevant. I mean, you can have a box or you can have just a lid there. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I follow. But the question I am really trying to get at is this. If your evidence is that the pillars were protruding above the level of the roof -- -- A. You said the Zyklon-B introduction pillars? Q. Well, that is what I am asking you. I thought you said that the pillars, the structural pillars, were protruding ---- A. No, the structural pillars did not and do not. Q. Well, that was my misunderstanding of your evidence. A. We have a blue print which shows those pillars and we can look at if you want. . P-13 Q. Whilst I am asking you questions, I am not sure you have really responded to the suggestion that was implicitly being put to you by Mr Irving which is that these objects that one can see on the roof of the gas chamber, alleged gas chamber, are, in fact, drums containing some sort of sealant. You have not actually dealt with that suggestion. A. No, and I would like to deal with that, if it is possible? MR IRVING: Are you saying that all four of those objects were the pipes, as you call them? A. No, these would be, this would be the chimney. There would be some structure around the pipe, because if you just have a pipe coming up, you want to have probably some kind of insertion mechanism. If you take a tin of Zyklon-B, that probably there is a little funnel attached to, and also you want probably not the pipe to run straight through the earth, you probably want to have some kind of protection around that pipe. Q. My Lord, can I draw your attention to picture 10A in K2? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. I still do not think, Professor van Pelt, you have really dealt with the suggestion that these are drums containing sealant. Could that be so? A. I would like to deal with it. Q. Deal with it now. A. First of all, we are coming, of course, in a -- the . P-14 problem is the exact dating of this image. If this image had been taken, let us say, in November, December, let us say December 1942, I think it could have been a plausible suggestion. I mean, we would have to look then in what shape of tins sealant is coming, but let us assume that this is, this is December, at that moment we know that there was construction activity on the roof. We also know that by the end of January, I mean, in fact, by the middle of January already, from correspondence, that the roof of morgue No. 1 had been completed, and one of the reasons for that we know that is the notorious Fergantung's letter of January 29, 1943. So, what is the reason that we know that this is not December 1942, but that this is or that we are already talking about probably February 1943. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I thought you said '42, I am bound to say. MR IRVING: November '42? A. My argument is that Mr Irving's argument could be taken seriously at least for a moment until we have established what shape these containers come if this photo had been taken in December 1942. My argument is that the roof was already completed by January 1943. My second argument is that one can, if one looks carefully at this photo, see that there is some kind of black line on the top of the chimney. There seems to be some soot on the top of the chimney which means that the chimney, as it is depicted in this photo, has had some . P-15 kind of activity already. We know that there were trials, the first trial firing of the incinerators was, in fact, in late January 1943. That was the first trial firing of the incinerators. On the basis of that, it is very clear that this photo must be taken after the first trial firing of the incinerators. That is again the letter of 19, 29 talks about the trial firing of the incinerators, otherwise there would be no soot on the top of the chimney. On the basis of that, it is possible to date this photo at least after the end of January 1943 when the roof was completed and, therefore, would be no reason at that moment for any other kind of boxes with sealant to be on the roof. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can I just ask one question and then I will stop? How do you date this photograph as February '43? A. Because we know that by early March '43, the whole building was completed and, by implication, the gas chamber would have been covered with dirt. We know also -- so that is the last date that is possible. I mean, these photos are not dated. We also know that the first experimental firing of the incinerators happened in end of January 1943. So it must have been, this photo must have been taken after the end of January 1943 and before the official completion . P-16 of the building in early March 1943. This is why I say February. MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, have you seen a photograph of that roof with just snow on it and no kind of protruberances at all, that flat roof? A. Yes, I think there is a photograph of that, yes. Q. What conclusions do you draw from examining that photograph? Those protruberances were moveable? A. If you present me to the photograph, I will draw conclusions from it. Q. You say you have seen the photograph. If there is a photograph of that roof with flat snow on it, a pure sheet of white snow, and no protruberances on it, and that implies that the protruberances were mobile and could be carried around like drums of tar, for example? A. Mr Irving, I am not going to speculate upon a photograph I do not have in front of me. If you present the photo, I am very happy to explain that photo and I have an explanation for that photo. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor, actually I think you are wrong on this point because you have accepted there is such a photograph. You have seen it. Can you not help Mr Irving -- he obviously has not got the photograph -- by giving the explanation that you obviously have? MR IRVING: I have the photograph but not immediately available, my Lord. . P-17 A. OK. Then the explanation is simple. What happens is that after the dirt was brought on top of the roof of the gas chamber or morgue No. 1, the protection of these chimneys would have been less. If we then had snow on top of that, it is very unlikely we would have seen much of these little chimneys.
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