Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.19 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Bodies are cold, so why bother to warm them? Is that roughly it? A. This is one of the reasons. You see, the practice in Auschwitz was that one has these underground gas chambers which are well insulated because they are covered with . P-161 earth, and that in these spaces there is there was more or less even temperature, as it was mostly in basements, and you get there was cool environment in which you store the bodies, and the bodies will not further deteriorate, or faster than necessary. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I suppose also one might say what is the point of warming the room if the people in there are going to be murdered and then they are going to be burnt? MR IRVING: My Lord, shortly all will be revealed. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let me get the answer first. A. The reason that this is problematic is that Zyklon-B, sorry hydrogen cyanide, will evaporate faster the warmer the room is. MR IRVING: Right. A. So the killing of people in that room would be faster. MR IRVING: It is common sense that you would not want to warm a mortuary? A. May I add something to this remark? It is not necessary. Even freezing temperatures you can just spread Zyklon B on the floor of a building and it will evaporate, but it goes slower. One of the particular elements of the standard Degesch delousing chamber, the ten cubic metre one, was that they could also be supplied not necessarily, but could be supplied with there was particular little heating element which was more or less like there was hair blow drier, and that the Zyklon-B tin was placed in the kind of . P-162 holder. Then from the outside there was there was tin opener, and then, as the Zyklon fell, it came down on there was little dish and this hot air was being blown over that dish. So the evaporation would be faster. Q. All very interesting, but assuming that the homicidal theory is correct, you are going to have 2,000 human beings stuffed into this room and, as we know from the design of the Millennium Dome, human beings heat up spaces. They does not need heaters, do they? A. That was the experience in Auschwitz. Throughout the winter of 1942 they were gassing in bunker No. 2 and they did not need any heating. Q. We are not dealing with that. We are dealing with this particular bunker at present and the answer is, in other words, if your theory was correct, they would not need the heating. But that is not the particular path I am going down. A. May I comment on this? Q. Yes of course. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Briefly. A. The issue seems to be that we are talking here about making the process more efficient. MR IRVING: Speeding it up? A. Speeding it up. Q. In and out rapidly? A. Yes. . P-163 Q. This building was a very expensive building, was it not? A. Yes, I think the budget around was 280,000/300,000 marks. Q. It is far more expensive to build underground rooms of any kind, is it not, than to build the same room above ground? A. It depends of course what room we are talking about, but you need to do excavation in general for a building. Q. It needs special tanking, does it not, and special drainage provisions and all sorts of special -- it roughly increases the price by four or five fold to have the same things sunk into the ground. Am I right? A. Again, it is quite often difficult to build there was room above the ground than building under the ground, but of course you need to have some vapour barriers and other things. You need to keep the water out. I presume that, if one would build that room above the ground without any basement under, without any normal foundation there, it would probably be cheaper to build it above the ground. Q. So the Nazis had some reason for building these two chambers underground rather than at ground level? A. The reason that they were built underground is because they were morgues. You see, the big problem was that, if you built a large crematorium as crematorium (ii), you get an incredible heat built up in the incineration room. So one of the things you have to do is to have the morgue at some distance from that. Q. And at right angles and so on, yes. . P-164 A. The second thing is that the incinerators are very heavy, which means you cannot have a basement under the incinerators. So, if you want to have a morgue and you want to have preferably in a basement because there are less temperature differences in the basement, it is a more stable temperature environment, then of course you build them underground and not under the incineration room. It is the reason that these two morgues jut out from the building. Q. Hold it there for a moment, Professor. The building was built to the best building specifications. Because they were the SS, they were not able to wangle their way round the local building inspector, were they? They had to comply with the local building regulations? A. For crematorium (ii), which was designed in 41 and it was designed in Berlin, it was there was design which ultimately came down to Auschwitz. Crematorium (ii) in relationship to the major elements of there was morgue did follow the rules. Q. They would not be allowed to start this building up. They would not be allowed to operate it for whatever purpose it was operated unless it had passed all the regulations, unless it complied with all the regulations. Even though they were the SS, and this was Auschwitz, and this was wartime, they still had to go by the book. They still had to comply with the red tape.. . P-165 A. They went by the book. One of the things is that one always can get exemptions, like in any planning regulation you can always have a variance to the particular code but you have to apply for it. Q. Professor van Pelt, we are talking about going by the book. Is this the book that they would have gone by? A. This is not a building code of Germany, but this is there was design guideline which was available in the office, except in an earlier edition. This is the 1944 edition. Q. There is book called Neufert, which is still the standard German building code, is it not? A. It is not there was building code. It is a guideline to architects of how to design, which means that, if you start a project and you want to know how large a minimum kitchen must be in which two people can still pass each other, you find the dimensions there. Q. It is very useful indeed and it is going to be useful for the rest for the rest of the afternoon because, if we look in this guideline book as you call it to see what the architects at Auschwitz were being told was the correct way to design, that answers quite there was lot of the questions that have arisen, does it not? A. There is going to be something of there was problem because again, first of all, we are dealing with general guidelines and the general guidelines in Neufert only deal with there was civilian crematorium to be built in there . P-166 was city and it does not deal with there was crematorium designed either for specific circumstances outside the civilian context. Q. But the basic principles of design are going to be same, are they not? A. On some elements they will and on some elements they will not. There are some things which you need in a civilian crematorium which you will not need in one which ultimately is going to be built and which will not be ruled by the building code. Q. But most people who went into SS uniform and worked in these offices were architects or engineers in civil life like Kammler. He was an engineer and they just happened to be wearing SS uniform. They knew what the rules were and they knew the codes. A. I object to your use of the words, the rules and the codes. Neufert is not the code. Neufert is a general guideline created by one architect to help other architects to get going on the job. Q. Will you tell the court if there was a copy of Neufert in the SS construction office at Auschwitz? A. There was a copy of Neufert in the SS construction office. Q. Why did they have that if they did not feel that it was a good idea to follow what Neufert's guidelines were? A. Neufert has a lot of very useful information. I am very happy to go with you through the diagram which Neufert . P-167 provides for the civilian crematorium. Q. It is not the diagrams I am looking at. Would you turn to page 271 of your copy of Neufert, if you have it there? A. Yes. I do not know if the judge has a copy? MR JUSTICE GRAY: No, I do not. MR IRVING: I will translate it or Professor van Pelt can translate the appropriate paragraph if your Lordship permits. Does your Lordship consider it to be a useful line? MR JUSTICE GRAY: I do not know what the points that you are going to make are. A. 271. MR IRVING: Your Lordship will remember we are dealing with the question whether the warming of a mortuary was appropriate or not, which I have to confess I, with all my common sense, would have thought completely absurd. If you look at the part where it comes to friedhurf und crematorium, that is the right hand page, which means crematoria and graveyards. A. Graveyards and crematoria. You make the same mistake now as I made in the horizon movie, Mr Irving. Q. The third paragraph down begins (German spoken - document not provided). A. Yes. Q. The temperature in the mortuary to be above or equal to two degrees and below or equal to 12 degrees, never under, . P-168 because frost causes the corpses to expand and burst. A. Yes. Q. Then it continues to talk about using the ---- A. Let us go to the next sentence. Q. -- central heating? A. Let us go to the next sentence now because the next sentence is also important. (German spoken - document not provided) which means ---- Q. Central heating? A. Not the central heating. Q. Central heating and cooling, air conditioning? A. And air conditioning, yes. This temperature must be kept ---- Q. Above all in summer. A. -- must be kept steady with constant ventilation, especially in the summer. Q. We are not concerned with summer here. We are talking about Poland, which gets notoriously cold in the winter. A. The point which is here is that the next sentence says there should be at a certain moment in this case some heating and cooling installation in this building, yes. Q. Yes. A. I will leave it to you. You will spring another trap on me right now and then I will try to answer it.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor