Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day009.16 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. There is no basis in the archival record that you have seen for the figures you gave, apart from that one document that we challenge? A. Mr Irving, the point is, I think, very simple. You claim that the epidemic in August 1942 -- you raised the issue of the epidemic in 1942, then you say that we can -- you suggest that we can, and others have said, that you can explain the enormous incineration capacity in Auschwitz by looking at the typhus as being the reason to plan this crematoria. Now, we are talking here about a typhus . P-139 epidemic, an enormous typhus epidemic, I agree, it was a disaster. In August 1942, the camp was in a very bad shape. But if you start to plan on the basis of that worst possible scenario, or would you want to suggest then a typhus epidemic which wipes out in one month almost a whole camp population of 120,000 out of 150,000 projected; so if you want to use the typhus argument (and you introduced it and I did not) I can refute that by looking at the incineration capacities. Q. Well, the facts are staring you in the face. This conference is taken in the middle of a camp which is in quarantine, subjected to, as you yourself admit, the most appalling typhus epidemic, and you are determined not to see any connection between the two facts? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I think the point here -- we do not want to spend too long on this -- he is really making is that the incineration capacity was three times the projected population of Auschwitz in 1943? MR IRVING: My Lord, can I ask one question on that? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is that right, Professor van Pelt? A. No, I do not -- no, the incineration capacity is 4/5ths per month. It is 4/5ths of the total projected population of the camp. So in order to justify this by typhus, we would have to start to assume typhus epidemics which start to wipe out in one month 4/5ths of the total camp population, which means that, in terms of filling this . P-140 camp up again or whatever like that, I mean, we have to -- the Germans would have had to ship 120,000 people to Auschwitz every month in order to keep ahead or even with the typhus epidemic. It is absurd, it is absolutely absurd, to use typhus as an excuse to explain the incineration capacity of the crematoria. MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, you used the word "absurd". What figure are we talking about in that green column? How many people? A. Which one? Q. The right-hand -- in the right-hand histogram? A. The right-hand histogram. Q. The green column? How many ---- A. It is 120,000. Projected incineration capacity for 120,000 people per month. Q. Approximately, so we get an idea what we are talking about here, that is four times Wembley stadium, that is 12,000 tonnes of people, 12,000,000 tonnes of cadavers, that you are going to have to cremate with these very limited installations? Am I getting it right? A. I do not want to speculate on how many tonnes and how many at Wembley stadium. Q. You do the calculation yourself. The human body is roughly SPG of 1, is it not? Specific gravity of 1 because you float in water? A. Yes. . P-141 Q. Am I right? A. So where does this bring us? Q. Well, the human body weighs what, 100 kilograms? 10 people per tonne? A. I do not think after you have you been in Auschwitz very long you weigh 100 kilograms. Q. OK. Say 12 people per tonne if you want to cavil, you are still going to end up with 10,000 tonnes of bodies to dispose of. This is bringing it home to you the size of the figures you are talking about there. That brings home to you the absurdity of the document you are relying on. 10,000 tonnes of bodies. If you will take it from me that it takes 30 kilogrammes of coke to incinerate, as you say, one body, can you work out how many tonnes of coke we are going to put into those tiny coal bunkers that you can see on the aerial photographs to destroy, to incinerate, to cremate, 120,000 bodies? We are talking about train loads, if not ship loads of coke are going to have to go into Auschwitz, and there is no sign of the mountains of coke on the photographs, do you agree? There is no sign of the mountains ---- A. I am just trying to get all the pieces of your question here. Q. Do you appreciate -- let me sum it up like this -- that there are severe logistics problems in handling the . P-142 disposal of 120,000 bodies a month? A. We know there were severe logistic problems during the Hungarian action, yes. The month of May and the month of June in Auschwitz, June 1944, were very difficult months. The logistic problems in Auschwitz were so big that they had to start introducing incineration pits again. Yes, it is very difficult to incinerate so many bodies in any situation because it seems to be that, one way or another, these crematoria did do their job as well as they could. Q. So you are saying because the story exists, therefore, these figures must be right? Is this the kind of logic you apply? You do not say to yourself, you have 120,000 bodies in that right-hand green column, does this not sound a bit odd, as 10,000 tonnes of bodies that these Nazis have managed to dispose of, and nothing has been seen of this on the air photographs, does that not strike you as odd? No huge columns of smoke have been seen on the air photographs? Does that not strike you as odd? A. There is only one photograph in May, yes? MR JUSTICE GRAY: May '44? A. May '44. These are these big -- these big transports had ceased when the air photographs in, what is it, in August and September were taken. MR IRVING: Can you show on these large photographs that we have here where they would have stored the tens of thousands of tonnes of coke? If they were to bury the . P-143 bodies, have you any idea what size the pit would have been? A. Mr Irving, I challenge your use of the tens of thousands tonnes of coke. First of all, we do not know how much coke was delivered to Auschwitz in 1944. We do know how much coke was delivered into Auschwitz in 1943. We do also know that there is a German document, it is a document Zeitwei Zuvielarbeiter, Jahrling, from, what is it, March and April -- actually two documents, two calculations made in Zentralebauleitung about the coke use of the crematorium. Q. Yes? A. And these two documents, the amount of the coke use is not, as you say, 35 kilos per body. Q. Which crematorium are we talking about? A. We are talking about -- he made a calculation for all the crematoria. Q. Yes. A. And he does it -- I mean, I have it -- if may consult my notes on this? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, of course. MR IRVING: Can you say off the top of your head? A. No, I am not going to say anything off the top of my head right now. It is too serious -- it is absolutely too serious a question. Q. I agree. . P-144 MR JUSTICE GRAY: Is it in your report your main report? A. It is in my kind of informal report. MR RAMPTON: My Lord, it is the second half. MR JUSTICE GRAY: The supplementary one, I see. A. The supplementary... MR RAMPTON: The second half of the little blue... A. I am sorry, I did not put a page number on it. This was for internal private use, and so... MR RAMPTON: I have paginated mine. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have it. A. I have found it here. MR IRVING: Is this an actual document that you are going to produce? A. It is document -- no, the document is actually in Pressec. Q. The document is in Pressec? A. Yes, and I think that my Pressec has a little tab to it. I can give the page. MR RAMPTON: It must be treated with great care. It is fragile and extremely valuable. A. I will just identify the page and then maybe it should go to you for inspection. The documents are -- the first document is on page 223 and the second document is on page 224. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Do not bother to pass it to me. You can describe what you say that reveals. A. OK. There are -- basically, there is a calculation made . P-145 by Jahrling who was a Zuvielarbeiter which means he is not in the SS hierarchy in the camp, and he talks about the use of coke in the crematoria. The heading is only about No. (ii), but ultimately he makes a calculation for all the crematoria, and he comes to a use per 12 hours. He does that for 2,800 kilos in 12 hours for crematorium (ii); 2,800 kilos in crematorium (iii); 932 kilos in crematorium (iv) and 932 kilos in crematorium (v), which is a total of 8,264 kilos in 12 hours. Then he has made some calculation mistakes because a couple of days later, which is the 17th -- the first document is on 12th March -- he comes back to his calculation and what seems to have happened is that he made a calculation, he comes to 2,800 kilos for crematorium (ii), again 2,800 for crematorium (iii), 1,120 for (iv) and 1,120 for No. (v), a total of 7,840 kilos in 12 hours with the seven tonnes or seven-and-a-half tonnes. MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, would you read the final paragraph of that document beginning with the word "dieses sind"? A. Then he says, ""dieses sind spitzenleistung". Q. "These are maximum amounts, maximum figures"? A. Yes. "It is difficult to" -- [German - document not provided] -- "indicate how much it will be per year because it would not be known for how many days or how many hours or how many days we can, we must heat the . P-146 thing" which means he is prepared to give it on a daily basis but not more on a yearly basis because if the crematorium is going to be used every day or not, he does not know. Q. Would you like to do the ---- A. May I just finish the document, discussing the document, and I am happy to consider your question. In the paragraph above it, he says something else. [German - document not provided] It goes on the basis of an earlier thing which means that when you work constantly ---- Q. Around the block? A. --- around the clock, then the amount of coke needed is much less. So here we have, on the basis of this document, you can make a relatively simple calculation because we know the German document which has been challenged here in court ----- Q. Precisely. This is what throws up the German document as being unreliable? A. No, it is not. We have two documents, one which talks about incineration capacity, and one which talks about the coke use. It is about the same buildings. On the basis of that, we know that, we can calculate the amount of coke which is going to be used per corpse which is not a happy calculation, I must say, but the bottom line is you come to three-and-a-half kilo of coke per corpse. . P-147 Q. Do you really, sincerely believe that you can burn one corpse with enough coke that you could fit in one of these water bottles, is that what you are saying? A. I would like to point out there are two documents which support this. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you just pause for a second? Three-and-a-half kilos of coke per corpse, one has to put it? A. That is when the ---- Q. That is assuming a rate of incineration equivalent to that in the document of 28th June 1943 which Mr Irving challenges? A. Yes. MR IRVING: Can I ask, Professor van Pelt, has it ever crossed your mind that this document of 28th June 1943 might not be authentic or a document of integrity? Did you ever investigate that possibility? Did you check any details about it? Did you just accept it at face value? A. I think that the document is in perfect accordance with all the other documents.
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