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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.14

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.14
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Normal means standard, does it not, in that context?
   A.   Yes.  The SS produced standard designs for concentration
        camps which were handed out to people who were building in
        the field.  What happens is that these sheets were
        produced in 1941 to give a local concentration camp
        kommandant some guidelines of where to start when he was
        ordered to create a concentration camp.  These designs
        include two designs for delousing facilities and in those
        designs these spaces are called Gaskammer, for example.
   Q.   Would there be very much talk of these gas chambers
        amongst the prisoners, do you think?  Would there be a lot
        of gossip about them?
   A.   May I complete the answer because we were talking about
        the name of the thing?  They use Gaskammer.  Then in 1944
        at a certain moment in Auschwitz they started to use the
        cells specially in relationship to the building where
        these four cells are being adjusted to the Siemens
        procedure. They start to call them normal Gaskammer, which
        means standard or normal gas chambers.  So then the
        question is in relationship to what?  Is it in
        relationship to an abnormal one, which is a homicidal one,
        which some people have concluded, or is it in relationship
        to some other gas chamber?
   Q.   Professor van Pelt, you are familiar with the fact that
        the German world "normal" is not translated as "normal",

.          P-117

        it is translated as "standard"?
   A.   Standard.
   Q.   "Normalfilm" is 35 millimetre film, for example.
   A.   I think the first translation I give was "standard".
   Q.   In other words, you cannot draw adventurous conclusions
        from the fact that they called something a standard gas
   A.   I said some people have done that.  I did not say I did
   Q.   Would it not be just a standard piece of equipment
        delivered by Degesch or by Tesh who actually manufactured
        gas chambers for precisely this purpose and they had
        standard sizes?
   A.   You interrupted me.  My own conclusion was indeed that
        "normal Gaskammer" probably referred to the ten cubic
        metre standard Degesch gas chambers.
   Q.   That has nothing to do with the fact that, because we are
        calling this one the normal one, therefore there were
        abnormal ones somewhere else in the camp.  This was
        misleading for you to state that, was it not?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  No.  He said to the contrary.  He does not
        himself subscribe to the theory that normal Gaskammer
        implies an abnormal Gaskammer where homicidal events took
   A.   If I can just finish this in one sentence, then another
        word is being used in Auschwitz at the time.  We find it

.          P-118

        on many bills and also documents by Degesh at the time in
        1944 which actually is about the Zyklon-B gas chambers in
        Auschwitz I, and they used the word Begasungskammer.  This
        is very unusual, but there are a number of documents which
        use the word Begasungskammer.
   MR IRVING:  The sense of that would be the gassing chamber,
        would it not?
   A.   Yes.  It is almost like adding gas, like applying gas to,
        the gas supplying chamber, maybe that would be a
   Q.   I agree with that, yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am sorry, I am interrupting as well.
   A.   I have finished.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Is there any significance in the V E R at the
        beginning of Vergasungskammer as a German speaker?
   A.   I am not a German.  I am not a native German speaker.
        Dutch is still ----
   Q.   You seem fairly familiar with it.
   A.   I would say no.  Vergasung seems to be a transitive verb.
        I do not attach any particular significance to the fact
        that it is used like that.
   MR IRVING:  My Lord, I will be putting to your Lordship a
        number of documents with the word Vergasung in, which
        obviously are completely innocent, in an attempt to
        persuade your Lordship in that direction.

.          P-119

   MR IRVING:  Professor van Pelt, have you seen invoices or
        delivery notes from the Degesch company relating to
        supplies of Zyklon-B shipments to the concentration camps
        at Auschwitz and at Oranienburg?
   A.   Yes. I think 12 of these invoices were submitted in the
        Nuremberg trials.
   Q.   The original documents are there, are they not?
   A.   Yes.  I have seen a number.  All the invoices are for the
        same one amount, except one,, which is a slightly higher
        amount, so I have seen a copy of the standard amount and
        one for the higher amount.  I have not seen all the
        invoices in the original.
   Q.   Had you seen these at the time you wrote your book, or
        just between writing your book and writing your expert
   A.   No.  I have seen these earlier.
   Q.   Before you wrote your book?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Yes.  Did you do any kind of analysis of those invoices to
        see the rate at which these supplies were being delivered
        to Auschwitz as compared with Oranienburg?
   A.   No.  The invoices themselves, and I have made a particular
        comment on it once you raised the issue in your letter of
        December, I do not think are particularly important as
        evidence one way or another about the use of Zyklon-B in
        Auschwitz, because there are actually much better sources

.          P-120

        available to us if one wants to raise that issue, which is
        the Tesh and Stabanov accounts of total deliveries of
        Zyklon B to Auschwitz in 1942 and 1943.
   Q.   Am I right in saying that the chief accountant of the Tesh
        company had a pocket notebook in which he entered all the
        amounts that he supplied to Auschwitz and to various other
        armed force branches and so on on a monthly basis?  He
        kept this notebook and it was introduced in evidence in
        that trial?
   A.   It was introduced as evidence.  I think there were also
        supporting documents for that.
   Q.   But am I right in suggesting that these invoices to which
        I refer, the delivery notes which were introduced in
        Nuremberg, the 12 delivery notes, relating to the supply
        of Zyklon-B quantities to Auschwitz concentration camp and
        to Oranienburg concentration camp, they are relatively
        random?  In other words, first of all, they are
        sequentially numbered, and the deliveries are sequentially
   A.   Yes, but ----
   Q.   They are in sequence so there is nothing missing?
   A.   Yes, but these particular invoices come with a very
        particular history.
   Q.   Are you implying that there is anything suspect about the
        integrity of these documents?
   A.   No, I do not imply that at all, but I think the way they

.          P-121

        were generated -- these were an appendix.  They were
        handed over together with an account of how they came in
        the possession of the man who had it.
   Q.   We will come to the man to whom they are addressed in a
   A.   This man gives a record of the background of these
        particular invoices which had to do with a particular
        request which came to him from a certain Sturmanfuhrer
        Gunter in Berlin.
   Q.   Who was Eichmann's assistant, am I correct?
   A.   Yes.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, can I ask you for my benefit
        because remember this is a completely new point to me.
        Can you put what you suggest one gets from the Oranienburg
        invoices in relation to the quantity of use of Zyklon-B
   MR IRVING:  It is my very next question, my Lord.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Good.  Thank you.
   MR IRVING:  Am I right in suggesting that identical quantities,
        broadly speaking, of Zyklon-B were delivered to Auschwitz
        and Oranienburg over the time covered by those 12
   A.   The invoices talk about identical quantities to
        Oranienburg and Auschwitz.  But the important question is,
        is this all the deliveries of Zyklon-B to Auschwitz?  Then
        we have to go back to actually the origin of these

.          P-122

   Q.   We are looking just at these 12 documents to start with?
   A.   If we only look at these 12 documents.
   Q.   Can you remember my question, please, Professor van Pelt,
        where I said is it correct to say that the deliveries are
        numbered in sequence and that there are no missing
   A.   I do not remember, but I will take your word for it.
   Q.   Thank you very much.  Am I right in saying that it has
        never been suggested that there were mass homicidal
        killings by gas chambers in Oranienburg?
   A.   No, there were some experimental probably, accounts of
        experimental gassings of some Russians in Satzenhausen
        which was in fact a concentration camp in Oranienburg, but
        apart from that ----
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  In 1944?
   A.   1942.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  We are talking about 1944?
   A.   I just want to be precise.  The general question was posed
        and I do not want to say that there was never any Zyklon-B
        gassing.  There are reports of that in that city.
   MR IRVING:  Am I correct in saying that these invoices to which
        you are referring are from the early months of 1944?  My
        memory says that.
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can you tell the court to whom these invoices were

.          P-123

        personally addressed?
   A.   They were addressed to a man named Kurt Gerstein.
   Q.   G E R S T E I N.  What is on the next line of the address,
        can you remember, at Auschwitz concentration camp?
   A.   I have a copy somewhere.
   Q.   It seems important.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Berlin?
   A.   I have it in my report after page 11.
   MR IRVING:  Your Lordship will remember that Professor Evans
        said that I had not the slightest reason for saying that
        these were going for fumigation purposes in the camp.
        What does the next line read?
   A.   After his name?
   Q.   Yes.  Does it not say that it is going to the
        Entwesungsabteilung or words to that effect?
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Not in my copy.
   A.   No, it is not in the next line.  It is actually in the
        invoice bit itself.
   MR IRVING:  Yes?
   A.   It says we did send at the 8th March from Dessau with a
        Wehrmacht Vorbrief, which means an army kind of
        transportation voucher, of the jedestatt Verwaltung
   Q.   Administration?
   A.   At Dessau to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, the
        department of disinfestation and anzeufer is a plague.

.          P-124

   Q.   It is tortology, really.  They are both the same thing are
        they not?
   A.   No they are not exactly.
   Q.   Disinfecting and disinfestation?
   A.   Seuche is an epidemic so anti-epidemic department.
   Q.   Epidemic control?
   A.   Epidemic control department, yes.
   Q.   This was in fact Kurt Gerstein's position, was it not?
   A.   Not in Auschwitz.  He was employed at the Hygienic
        Institute in Oranienburg.
   Q.   Is it not significant that these huge quantities of Zyklon
        pellets are being sent to the office in charge of epidemic
        control at Auschwitz?  What use is made of them
        subsequently of course is another matter.  But this deals
        with the system again?
   A.   What is significant is who will receive Zyklon when it
        arrives in Auschwitz.  Again, from my witness testimony,
        we know that it was exactly that department which
        controlled all Zyklon in Auschwitz, and ultimately that
        was one of the reasons also that doctors always had to be
        present when Zyklon was applied one way or the other.
   Q.   Now that we are with the person of Kurt Gerstein, will you
        tell the court if he is one of your eyewitnesses in any
        respect when you write your report?
   A.   No.  Kurt Gerstein has made no statement whatsoever about
        Auschwitz or the gas chambers of crematoria 1, 2, 3, 4 and

.          P-125

   Q.   Have you placed any reliance on Kurt Gerstein in your
   A.   I did not need to place any reliance in my work on
        Auschwitz since he has never made any testimony about
   Q.   Although he made some very detailed allegations about how
        many people were killed in the gas chambers elsewhere, and
        he gave figures for the quantities killed in the other gas
        chambers in the other camps, you are not prepared to draw
        conclusions about the general reliability of this kind of
   A.   No.  I do not think that at the moment the statement you
        made can be supported.  I think that Kurt Gerstein has
        made a detailed account of a visit to Treblinka where he
        came in the summer of 1942.  He made a detailed
        description of that.

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