Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day009.07 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. While we are just looking at this map, you mentioned the word "tourist". Is Auschwitz a major tourist attraction, therefore? A. At the moment, the tourism has been reduced in past years because it used to be that the Polish Government insisted that all Polish school children would go there. That has changed. So I think that around 500,000 people per year come there. Q. Whilst we are holding this particular map, can you identify what these two circular objects are? A. These are part of a sewage treatment plant. Q. A water purification plant? A. Yes -- no, a sewage treatment plant. Q. Well, it is the same thing. It converts sewage into drinkable water? A. No. This was not meant to convert sewage into drinkable water. This was created, and we see another one right here, and there was another one started right there, because there were complaints in 1942 when the Birkenhau population started to increase by the authorities in the . P-57 province of Upper Silesia that the camp was throwing its untreated sewage in the Zola River. So what happened was that the building inspectors of the county said, "If you want to continue to run this concentration camp, you have to take care that you throw cleaned water or the clean sewage into the river". Q. While we are dealing with the water, this is crematorium (ii), this is the Leichenkeller No. 1 -- we will come back to that in a minute on a larger photograph -- am I correct? A. Yes. Q. This is the water treatment plant? A. It is a water treatment plant. Q. If eight kilogrammes of cyanide were put into the water system there, of that particular building, it would not do the water treatment plant any good? A. Sorry, this is a sewage treatment plant. Q. Yes, but if it was to be established that there was a link between that building and the sewage treatment plant, the drainage of the one building went into the sewage treatment plant, then this would create a serious problem for the environment, eight kilogrammes on a regular basis of hydrogen cyanide being fed ---- A. I cannot comment on how much cyanide -- how quickly cyanide would be diluted. Certainly, a sewage treatment plant is taking many kinds of refuse in its . P-58 operation. One would have to talk to a chemist what ultimately the kind of danger of the dilution of hydrogen cyanide would be, but we must not forget that most of the hydrogen cyanide in the Leichenkeller 1 was used as a gas and was evacuated through a chimney and not through the floor. Q. Very well. But we have heard that it is a heavier than air gas? A. No. It is slightly lighter. It is not much lighter. It rises slowly, but there was a large ventilation system in the crematorium and there was an exhaust pipe on top of the crematorium through which the air in the Leichenkeller 1 or gas chamber could be evacuated. Q. While we are looking at this particular map, will you show us, please, the railroad spur which ends between the two crematorium? A. We see the end of the railroad spur right there. Q. Which is the platform, therefore, where the notorious selections are said to have taken place? A. This is the end of the platform where the selections took place. Q. So they would be marched off then -- what happened to the people who arrived by train on that railroad platform? A. Yes. Q. What happened to them? MR JUSTICE GRAY: That was a question. . P-59 A. A selection took place at a particular point halfway, that platform, and this is, we are now talking about a situation in 1944, since the spur was only completed in 1944 for the Hungarian action, and the most usual operation was that the selection took place halfway, that platform, in which men and women were lined up in four rows. One row of women to the east and a line of women to the west of that point, and two lines of men, again one to the east and one to the west, and right in the centre selection took place and then people were either sent into the camp or sent to the crematorium. MR JUSTICE GRAY: My impression is that a similar, the spur may not have been there, selection process operated during 1943 as well, did it not? A. The section process in 1943 was different since it happened at the so-called Judens rampe. A Juden rampe was, basically, an unloading point along the main railway corridor. I can point it out on this aerial photo. This is the main railway corridor connecting, basically, Vienna and there is one going to Berlin here and Cracow and Warsaw; and exactly at this point, at this point, there are still the remains also of a rampe, a platform, where the trains with Jews would be unloaded and then a selection took place here. Then people who were admitted to the camp walked to the camp and the people who were selected to die, if they still could walk, would walk, but . P-60 otherwise were taken on trucks to the gas chambers of the crematoria or the gas chambers of bunker 1 and 2. MR IRVING: May I ask you some questions about that selection process now, please? On what basis was the selection for life or death conducted? A. It would depend really on the situation. The policies of the Germans seem to have been different at different times. To give one example, as a general rule, let us first say for a general rule, one could say that, as far as gentiles was concerned, and gentiles were sent to Auschwitz, there was no selection on arrival. For example, Poles, a large group of Polish children came to Auschwitz from the Zamoska area and were admitted to the camp, and you can go to the present women's camp and there are barracks specially for children with paintings and the bits of school, and so on. Q. At what age does one cease to be a child? A. In Auschwitz, I would say around 12 or 13 years. Q. What age was Anne Frank when she arrived in Auschwitz? A. Oh, she would have been 15. Q. About 15? A. Yes. Q. Yes. Did she fall ill in Auschwitz? A. I do not think so. I think she fell ill when she came to Bergen-Belsen. Q. Did any members of her family fall in Auschwitz and where . P-61 they housed in a hospital in Auschwitz, her father or her sister, Margot? A. Her mother fell ill and ultimately died, and her father fell ill and was admitted to the Lazarett. Q. So these were six Jews, unemployable six Jews, who were housed in the hospital in Auschwitz? A. Yes, but again one -- as I started to give my original presentation, my Lord, and maybe I can finish it? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, we will come back to Anne Frank if you want to. You have dealt with ---- A. I would like ---- Q. He was dealing with the various ways in which the selection process occurred. If it was non-Jews, then there was no selection process. That is as far as you have got. A. There was no selection process. If it were Jews, then it depends on which town we are speaking of and what is the kind of transport that arrived. For example, in early 1942 transports arrived of Jews who were sent to Auschwitz under the umbrella of what is called the Operation Schmelt which was a local work programme for Jews in Upper Silesia. There the selection took place at the factories and people who could not work any more in the Operation Schmelt were sent to Jews and were killed there without selection. So there was no selection there in Auschwitz. . P-62 Selection had happened somewhere else. In general, what happened was that transports arrived and sometimes transport arrived in Auschwitz where again the selection had taken place somewhere else. For example, the Slovac transport which arrived in 1942, most of the early Slovac transports were Jews who had already been selected back in Slovakia in transits camps as being fit for work in Auschwitz. No selection was applied to these transports. Then at a certain moment transports start to arrive where no selection takes place at the point of departure, and then the selection will take place in Auschwitz, where again the situation can be different. Sometimes all children and all old people are selected to die and younger people are selected to live, but again there are exceptions. MR IRVING: May I interrupt you at this point and ask you what is the documentary basis for these remarks you have been making over the last two or three minutes? Is it all eyewitness evidence or are there any documents at all in the captured archives to support this, any document whatsoever? A. The main source of this is eyewitness evidence. There are documents which talk about that, that transport arrives and only so many arbeitsfahige Juden have been admitted to the camp, which means Jews were fit to work. It does not . P-63 specify the fate of the others. Q. So far as the documents go, we are left in suspense as to what happens to them and we rely entirely on the eyewitness evidence of those left behind, so to speak, as to what happened to their loved, nearest and dearest? A. It is obvious that, when a transport of, let us say, 2,000 Jews arrived and only 900 or 600 people are committed to camp, of course the question is raised what happens to the other people. Then at that moment I think eyewitness testimony, both from Jews and Germans, becomes quite valid as a historical source. MR JUSTICE GRAY: You get the disparity between those two figures from the numbers given on the documents relating to the trains that were arriving at Auschwitz? A. Yes. MR IRVING: So, in other words, we are reliant entirely on the eyewitness testimony? A. We do not rely entirely. We know at a certain movement that so many people arrived, so many people were considered fit for work and then, of course, there are the registration numbers. There is a great disparity between what we know about the number of transports arrived there and the number of Jews who worked at Auschwitz, and the number of people who were registered there, because, with two exceptions again, registration happened consecutively, which means a number that had been given out once was not . P-64 given out a second time. Q. What is the total number of registration numbers that we know about in Auschwitz, in round figures? A. Around 400,000. Q. So around 400,000 of these hapless people arrived in Auschwitz, were given registration numbers and officially existed, and the rest had no registration numbers and they just were disposed of in some way. Is that what you are saying? A. Yes. Q. Yes, but as to how they were disposed of, alas, the archives tell us nothing, neither the Moscow archives nor the Polish archives. We are reliant on eyewitness testimony and on our own common sense? A. And at a certain moment a careful investigation of the machinery of murder, in this case the crematoria. Q. Which comes back to crematorium number 2 effectively? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I think the Professor wants to add something. A. I would like maybe to complete my account of selection. There are one or two other categories, I think, that I need to mention before we close on this. MR IRVING: We have not closed on it. We are going to come back to it. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let him finish with the various categorisations. . P-65 A. I must mention that, for example, in 1943 and 1944 a number of Jews transports arrived from Theresienstadt where none of these people were selected, with children and old people were housed in what is called a Theresienstadt lager in Auschwitz, so Jews' children at that time were admitted to Auschwitz, and also old people. That was part of a camouflage action by the SS because they feared, or they expected, a Red Cross inspection of Theresienstadt and wanted to be able to account for the people who had been sent to Auschwitz. MR IRVING: What is your documentary basis for making that statement? A. The documentary basis?
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