Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.07 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. But you do accept there could have been perfectly harmless reasons why the basement entrance was transferred from one side of the building to the other? For example, in connection with intensification of the air war, the need to bring people in in a hurry from the street rather than making them go all the way around the buildings, round to . P-54 the back, to a pokey little entrance around the back to get into an air raid basement? A. I think if you want to go, I mean you raise the air raid issue right now, I mean, I do not want to -- I have studied ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: No. I think you ought to deal with that because that is really an issue on the drawings. I mean, we have a modification and the point has been put to you. Is one possible explanation for that that they wanted to make it easier to get in in a hurry when there is an air raid coming? A. It is a possible explanation, but I also want to point out that since I have to give this answer, but since I am happy to give some, a possible explanation but improbable for a drawing like that to be made in December 1942, since all the other drawings and all the documentation in Auschwitz relating to air raid shelters come from mid and late 1944. So we are two years, a year and a half, more than a year and a half out of synch. MR IRVING: Profess van Pelt, I showed you about five days ago a list, or I introduced to the court, a three-page list of documents from the Moscow collection which clearly show planning for the air raid precautions in Auschwitz beginning in August 1942? A. 1942? Mr Irving, I have to disappoint you on this point, that I actually studied that particular file and I have it . P-55 here and I can submit it to the court. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is a bit difficult to know when we are getting on to air raid shelters as opposed to the drawings, but shall we leave that until later? MR IRVING: We will deal with that at a later time. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Professor van Pelt, have you finished on the blue prints now or are there further points? A. No. This is crematorium No. (ii). I just want to -- I want to show some other things because they were raised. Some of the photos, if that is OK, made of the construction. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, I do not see why not. MR IRVING: I think this is a very interesting photograph, my Lord. It shows the reinforcing bars being put down, presumably, on the roof of the crematorium, is that right? A. No, on roof of morgue No. 2 which later becomes the undressing room. So we are here in the fall of 19942. Here we see, we see very clearly, the reinforcing bars right there. There is no drawings of those reinforcing bars. I mean, you asked me for those. There are no drawings of the particular thing like that. We see here the slab being finished. MR JUSTICE GRAY: What did they do? Pour concrete on top of the reinforcing bars? A. Yes. We see already here there seems to be, these actually are tiles, there are some tiles, at the bottom . P-56 there, and you see some of these tiles sort of hanging, kind of hollow tiles, and then you get the reinforcing and then the concrete is poured from that. MR IRVING: I cannot see any tiles there, but I can see the reinforcing bars very clearly. Professor van Pelt, would there have been the same kind of reinforcing in the roof over the mortuary No. 1 which is displayed here, the collapsed roof? A. I presume so, yes. Q. The same kind of mesh of steel bars? A. Yes. Now we are looking inside the ovens. There is still this construction mess around it. Again, the ovens and here the ash, the place -- the crucible and the ash column. Q. Will you explain the purpose of those railway lines we can see there? Are they just purely for the purposes of the builders? A. Which one, this one? Q. Yes. A. Yes. Q. They were not there at the time that the furnace stage was in operation? A. No. There is actually, these, we have here little, there is a -- originally, there was idea to put actually these rolling little trucks in crematorium No. (i), but they were actually never built. So what you have is quite a . P-57 short, like a two metre long, little kind of iron ---- Q. Trolley? A. --- almost like little tracks going into each of the ovens in the concrete, but that is it. Q. So when Aida Bimko in her testimony refers to the railway line or the rails bringing the bodies out through the doors and so on, she is lying ---- A. No, that is not necessarily so ---- Q. --- again? A. --- because we know, for example, that one of the things which was done at crematorium -- and she thinks, I think she is talking about (iv) or (v). There is a difference. One of the things which happened at the sonderkommando, when they moved corpses from the gas chambers to the incineration places, and it was clearly done at bunker No. 2, that they actually put in some very, very light track to move them, to move corpses on little trollies. Now, there is nothing in the design for that. Q. We only have the eyewitness testimony, is that correct? A. Eyewitness testimony, yes. Zeigun talks about it, for example. Here we have the photo we discussed yesterday. Q. With the three objects on the roof. A. Sorry? Q. With the three objects on the roof? A. With the objects on the roof. Q. Three objects on of roof? . P-58 A. And the thing i pointed out, there is this slight thing of soot up there. It actually becomes more in one of the next drawings. So this is taken in February 1943. One more to go round, you see here then how we have reconstructed the heating pipes, how they would be connected, the system which was installed which has broke down. Again this is the speculation on the basis of the information on the blueprint and a particular letter of 6th March 1943. The red in this case is the heating and the heating insulation. We have just gone through the attic level and then we brought down right very close to the wall. Q. Is there some reason why you are telling us about the heating system in the mortuary? A. The reason is that, of course, while it is not in the blueprint, it is in the letters, and the heating system in the mortuary is, in my opinion, again one of the indications that this building was transformed, that the morgue was being transformed for a use other than to simply store bodies. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can you remind me -- I am so sorry, Mr Irving -- of the date of the letter about warming the morgue? A. It is March 1943. MR IRVING: So you disagree with Neufert, which is the standard architect's Bible in Germany, ever since before World War II, right up to the present day, that mortuaries need both . P-59 central heating and cooling? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, we have had that debate, I think. MR IRVING: Yes, thank you very much, but I wondered why he was telling the court about the heating. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, you asked him. A. Sorry, the one thing I wanted to point out again is the little, the little ventilation chimneys, very clearly visible there. We go round once more and now we make that trip around. If there is anything -- I am just going relatively fast, if there is anything anyone wants to ---- MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, can I ask, you mentioned those little chimneys, the ventilation chimneys. A. Yes. Q. And I mentioned the stack effect. You asked two days ago where the provision was for cooling the gas chambers or the mortuary or the morgue? A. Yes. Q. The stack effect which is known to architects is why they put these chimneys there because the top part of the stack is cooler than the below ground part of the stack, and it generates a draught of its own, a cooling draft. That is one reason why they are there -- so I am informed by architectural experts. A. So you say that which of these -- this chimney, basically, is the air conditioning system? Q. They enhance the cooling effect which is already provided . P-60 by the mortuaries having being been built underground to provide cool space? A. I know that this happened in Middle Eastern countries very often, that you create these things, but I do not know to what extent the kind of controlled cooling and controlled heating which Mr Mulka describes for civilian crematoria in order that the corpses remain nice and pleasant to look at for people who go and pay their last respects would be served by the stacking effect of these chimneys. But I am not a heating or cooling expert, so I am not going to say anything more on this. Here again, crematorium (iii), I want to just show again the same. This is the other one at the other side of the road again. These ventilation systems were present in there. This is the cover page of their section on crematoria in the Bauleitung book, the picture book from which all these photos come. Q. Would you explain us to what significance you attach to the ventilation shafts or what inference you seek to draw? A. The ventilation shafts are important that the ventilation shaft in combination with the blueprint. The blueprints, when you have blueprints, you never know, of course, if these things were actually constructed. What the photos show is that what is in the blueprint was actually constructed. And so that the ventilation system was a ventilation system in the morgues, and at the outside you . P-61 can see that in, indeed, this ventilation system. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am not quite sure that you have answered Mr Irving's question which was what inference do you draw from the fact that there is this ventilation system with ---- MR IRVING: What inference does he seek to draw? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Seek to draw? A. That morgue No. 1 was ventilated. MR IRVING: Was? A. Was ventilated. MR JUSTICE GRAY: But I am not sure that is quite answering the question. So what? A. So that the descriptions that the eyewitness testimony which talks about the fact that the poison gas is being extracted from morgue -- from the gas chamber, indeed, is a very plausible description of ---- Q. So the inference is that there is a system for extracting the poisoned air? A. Thank you very much. Q. Is that right? Just so it is clear. A. Yes. OK. I have done crematorium (ii), I think. We go to crematorium (iv) now. OK. This is the very first drawing, this is that drawing of ---- Q. Sorry to interrupt. Do you want a break because this is quite strenuous for the transcriber. Would you like a break? It is probably quite strenuous for you. . P-62 A. I would love a break. MR JUSTICE GRAY: If everybody does not mind just having a five-minute break -- I do not want to break for longer -- but I think it might be a good idea to break at this point, just five minutes. (Short Adjournment) MR IRVING: My Lord, this is technically my cross- examination. I mean no disrespect that I sit during this. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Of course not. It is very sensible. A. OK. I think it was first the Tuesday or Wednesday that I discussed the sequence of events starting with Himmler's visit to Auschwitz in July 1942, and that the first drawing which has been drawn by the tabelleiten which has no precedent at all of any activity of tabelleiten before that visit of Himmler is this drawing, which is what it says (German), which means an incineration installation in the (German) which is the official destination of Birkenhau is that of a prisoner of war camp. The only thing that this drawing does is actually draw in the incineration part. It does not actually draw in the rest of the building, which is a problem but, as we know, at that time, because it is the meeting of the 19th, it is to prepare for the meeting of 19th August, where Prufer introduces the idea of using an eight muffle oven. It actually depicts here the arrangement of an eight muffle oven, the Mogilev oven which had been designed, so . P-63 I assume what happened was that Topf sent the plans of these ovens to Auschwitz for preparation into a drawing, and eight muffle ovens sitting between two chimneys, one to the left and one to the right. I will come back to these drawings later. This is the first one of August. Then we get the meeting in which this building is discussed as being a building to be erected by the anlage gesundebadlung. Then there is a second drawing which is from January 1943. These are really the only two drawings we have of this building and there are photos of this building under construction. The problem in this drawing, we will come back to this drawing again after we have had to walk through, is that the plan is reversed in relationship to the elevation. So what is here left is the incineration room, and what is right there is left here. So that is just to warn you. I am going again to have a walk through to the building. In this case there is nothing in the reconstruction which is not in the blueprint. So in the last case we had the hot air installation and we had the Zyklon introduction columns. This time there is nothing. There are some pictures of this building under construction. This is crematorium 5, and this is actually a postwar post card of a photo of this building. I actually have never seen, I must admit, the original photo of this one, where actually the building that we see . P-64 here, crematorium 4 -- I think it is No. 4, it is difficult to say out of the quality of the photo how far the trees are. In No. 5 there are also trees from this side where we see that the lower part with the fence contains either gas chambers, then here a number of rooms for a doctor or something like that, sonderkommando rooms, an undressing room but also used as a morgue and the incineration room. What we are going to do now is look at, first, a number of basically models, actually asymmetrics, from above to get the sense of the building and then we are going to make a walk through. This is the lower part where we have these two large rooms, with these tiny kinds of windows right in there, also between these two rooms and right there and there, and a big entrance vestibule right there, two kinds of rooms to the side here, a very big room in the middle and then after a kind of in between room we get incineration room, and a coke store place and an administration room.
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