Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day009.06 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 . P-47 Q. You yourself took one of the stamps and you put it on an ink pad and tried it out on one of your note pads? A. Yes. Q. You had exactly the same stamp that had been used by architects like Dejaco and Ertl and the rest? A. Yes, I made a copy of that stamp. Q. You could have had a lot of fun with one of those stamps, could you not, if you had so chosen? A. If one wants to falsify evidence, one could have fun, yes, but... MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not think that suggestion is being made, is it? MR IRVING: Well, my Lord ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was lighthearted or was it not? MR IRVING: --- I wanted to leave that lingering suspicion in your Lordship's mind. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, it is better to come out with it if you are going to make that allegation. MR IRVING: We referred to one document yesterday, my Lord, the one on cremation rate capacities, and I strongly implied that this document is suspect. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But not originating from Professor van Pelt? MR IRVING: Good Lord, no. For heaven's sake, no. I deeply regret that that impression should have been given. MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I just wanted to clarify that. MR IRVING: Of course not. It is just that if those rubber . P-48 stamps had been in a Polish archive which was Communist until quite recently, in the Auschwitz State Museum, rattling around in a cardboard box ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Somebody could do it. MR IRVING: --- somebody could have done it. Rubber stamps played a great part in the falsification of the Demanuke(?), identity card, and the final revealing of the falsification. (To the witness): You continue to say at the bottom of that paragraph: "This is like holding the weapon of destruction in my hand, the gun that killed the victim, except these blue prints did not kill one person. They ultimately allowed for the killing of millions." Are you saying that several million people were killed in Auschwitz or was this just a loose turn of phrase? A. This would be a loose turn of phrase. I believe that Dr Pieper's assessment that round a million people were killed in Auschwitz is probably the most probable number. Q. So when you talk about millions, it is not a deliberate manipulation or a perverse distortion of figures. It is just a loose approximation because you are speaking without a script? A. No. First of all, I am speaking without a script. I mean, you know exactly how Errol Morris interviews people because you were interviewed in the same way and also appear in the same movie. I was talking without of any of blue prints there. I was talking in studio for . P-49 three or four days. There is, however, one point which I would like to make, and that when I came to the archive and saw for the first time these blueprints, I had very clearly in my mind a scene from Shawa(?) [sic - "Shoah"] where the great historian Wal Hoeberg holds in his hand at that moment a railway table of transports to Treblinka, and he says something to the effect that it was looking at these documents that, in fact, you were holding the murder weapon in your hand; and I certainly, when I was talking to Errol and when I was looking at these blue prints, it was really amazing how Errol brought back to me that that moment, that first moment, of seeing the blue prints, that I was thinking this is part of that whole administrative system. It is not only blue prints for Auschwitz, but it is basically part of a State sponsored project to kill Jews. So when I used to use the word "millions" here, I would be quite happy to ultimately defend it in that larger context of a bureaucracy at work to ultimately dispose of people. Q. Professor van Pelt, would you agree that it is the duty of historians to remain completely unemotional when he is looking at any object or artifact or a document, and to interpret it as unemotionally and neutrally as he can? A. I think that one's duty is to be unemotional, to be objective, but one's duty is also, I think, to remain human in the exercise. I think, and this is what I just . P-50 told you before, my Lord, that I prepared for Auschwitz because ultimately I went there as a human being and I was frightened to go there and I was frightened for the responsibility. To actually face great historical questions when they concern, as one would say, maybe the alleged murder of many people, then I think that, of course, if one is completely without emotion as one looks at these documents, then one would be a machine and probably not a human being and hence not a historian. Q. Very well. We can establish very clearly that you are an historian with feelings (and I think we would all like to be that), but do you not agree it is important as an historian to be able to put his feelings in one compartment and his objectivity in another and not allow his objectivity to become coloured by his feelings? A. I agree that when one analyses a document that one should, indeed, be objective, that one should forget one's feelings, but when one goes home in the evening and goes back to a little room in the town to Vochest(?) where I had rented a room, then, of course, the feelings will come back. Q. I agree. Now if I can turn just to the last page but one of the transcript. I am afraid they are not numbered, but it is the paragraph beginning with the 01, "Van Pelt then says"? . P-51 A. Sorry, the last 0, yes. Q. I quote: "Crematorium (ii)", and at this moment when you are saying this, you are actually standing on the collapsed roof of crematorium (ii)? A. I am standing there? Q. On the roof, yes. You are crouching on it by a hole. It is visible in the video. A. I do not think I am standing on the roof at this -- it was Leuchter who was crouching at the hole, not me. Q. Very well. You say: "In any case, crematorium (ii) is the most [something] of Auschwitz. In the 2500 square feet of this one room", and you are pointing downwards, "more people lost their lives than in any other place on this planet. 500,000 people were killed. If you would draw a map of human suffering, if you create a geography of atrocities, this would be the absolute centre." That is a reference to crematorium (ii) and you are standing on the roof of Leichenkeller No. 1? A. It is a reference to crematorium (ii), but I am actually not in the picture. It is Fred Leuchter standing on the roof of Leichenkeller 1. Q. But you are speaking yourself? A. But I am speaking. This was taped in the studio and there is no image of me actually in the whole movie near crematorium (ii). The only -- there are only two parts in the movie where I am actually seen in Birkenhau, apart . P-52 from, I think -- no, BW 51 was cut, that is, I look over the undressing room of crematorium (iii) at one moment and I am seen in the ruins of crematorium (v), and that is it. Q. Professor, just so that we can be completely clear about this and the record can be clear, you are describing crematorium (ii) as being the place where 500,000 people were killed or ---- A. Yes. Q. --- give or take a few numbers. A. Yes. Q. And that this was the centre of the atrocity? A. Yes. Q. So if I am to concentrate a large part of my investigation in this cross-examination on that one building and, in fact, on Leichenkeller 1, the one arm of the crematorium, this is not entirely unjustified if I am trying to establish that the factories of death did not exist as such? A. No. I think that that the obvious building to challenge would be crematorium (ii). Q. My Lord, may I show the witness one or two of these photographs so we can identify what we are talking about? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course. MR IRVING: It will probably help your Lordship also. This, first of all, is quite a large photograph showing the whole Auschwitz region. If I hold it up, could you point, . P-53 please, to Birkenhau? A. Birkenhau is right here. Q. Birkenhau, so his Lordship can also see it, is the oblong. The witness recognizes the oblong in the centre of the map. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, will you pause a second because this is quite helpful to me because there is a map somewhere in Professor van Pelt's? A. It is in my report, yes. Q. I would quite like to mark it up because the geography is not all that clear in my mind. MR RAMPTON: It may be your Lordship will do even better with the aerial photographs taken by the Allies in 1944 which are at tab 2 of K2. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Right. MR RAMPTON: They go everywhere from a bird's eye view, as it were, of the whole complex right through to the detail of the roof of Leichenkellers 2 and 3. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Thank you very much, Mr Rampton. That is very helpful. MR IRVING: Would you now point to Auschwitz 1, what is also called the "stammlager"? A. Auschwitz 1 is a kind of more, the stammlager, the compound which is surrounded by barbed wired is right here, but here we see an extension of the stammlager called the "schutzhaftlager erweiterung". It is under . P-54 construction. Here are various factories, including Canada 1, which belong to the stammlager but which are outside the barbed wire compound. Q. Am I holding the map the right way up, Professor? Which way is north, can you remember? A. North is right here, so it should go like that. Q. Right. Finally, the big IG Monovitz plant? A. It is more or less where your hand -- yes, more or less where your hand is. Q. Is that not the IG Monovitz plant here? A. No, no, this is the schutzhaftlager -- where your hand is, more or less where your hand is, that is where the Monovitz... Q. So Monovitz is down here somewhere? A. Yes, down there. Sorry, that will be kind of confusing for the record, but there is another photo in the binder which actually also shows the plant. Q. In fact, if one looks closely at this photograph, one can see a cluster of bombs descending from the American aircraft that took the photograph. We now get much closer, if I may? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Rampton, can you give me the reference in the Leuchter (sic) report for the aerial photographs? MR RAMPTON: In the Leuchter report? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Sorry, in the van Pelt report. MR RAMPTON: To what, my Lord? . P-55 MR JUSTICE GRAY: The aerial photographs because I have marked up one of them and I cannot actually find the -- rather than start again with another one. MR RAMPTON: It is towards the end, I think. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I thought it was. I am so sorry. Will you forgive me, Mr Irving, just tracking this down? MR RAMPTON: If your Lordship were to start at 370? A. Page 49 does show the plant just referred to. MR IRVING: Very well. These two buildings down here, the T shaped buildings, they are the two crematoria (ii) and (iii), is that correct? A. That is correct. May I make one kind of caveat as far as the numbering is concerned? There are documents where these crematoria called (i) and (ii), so sometimes they are called (ii) and (iii), sometimes (i) and (ii). It depends if one crematorium (i) in the stammlager is included in the numeral. Q. We have here, my Lord, a photograph taken relatively recently, within the last few months, from a helicopter showing the site as it now is of these two crematoria, the ruins of the two crematoria. You can see the outline of the two T shaped buildings like they are mirror images of each other. Crematorium (ii), is that correct? A. Yes, that is correct. Q. Crematorium (iii), and they are largely in ruins. What is this path that has been laid here? Was that a wartime . P-56 path, Professor? A. No, that is a recent path that has just been created because many of the tourists go first to the former women's camp and then they go through a new bridge and a new opening through the barbed wire fence which surrounds crematorium (ii) to crematorium (ii).
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