Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day009.18 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 MR IRVING: Bimko was going to be called in the Tesh case, was she not, in April 1946 against the manufacturer of Zyklon B, but in fact eventually they did not call her as a witness. They just put in her report as an affidavit, is that correct? A. I do not know. Q. Have you read the Tesh trial? A. I have read significant parts of the Tesh trial because of the evidence given by Alfred Sohn. Q. You quoted parts of the Bimko testimony in your report. A. Yes, because I wanted to show the kind of statements which were made about Auschwitz in 1945. Q. Did you, Professor van Pelt, quote all relevant parts of the Bimko testimony? A. What do you mean? Relevant to what? Q. Well, relevant to enable the reader to form a judgment as to whether Bimko was telling the truth or not. A. This was not my intention. My point in the expert report at that moment was to give a sense to the reader, or to the judge more particularly, of what was the kind of evidence available at that moment in the courts and so . P-158 on. I did not write a critique of Bimko. Q. So you were painting with a broad brush? A. I was not painting with a broad brush. I tried to give a very simple kind of picture of what people were saying. Q. If Bimko had put in her report some detail that totally discredited the quality of her report, then you would of course have quoted it? You would not have ignored it? A. No. Then it is very clear that she gives this testimony, and then the testimony is what is being said at that moment. It is part of what is being said about Auschwitz. I also quoted Polavoy. Q. Can we stay with Bimko for the moment? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Let us stick with Bimko. Mr Irving, if you are suggesting that she did discredit herself in some way, I think it is only right that you should give Professor van Pelt the opportunity of answering whatever it is you say discredited her. MR IRVING: I believe I am leading the evidence the correct way, my Lord. The next two questions will bring the matter to light. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Good. MR IRVING: Professor van Pelt, in the gas chambers at Auschwitz was the gas introduced from cylinders, as in oxygen cylinders, or carbon monoxide cylinders, through pipes into the gas chamber? A. No. It was ---- . P-159 Q. To your knowledge? A. We are talking about which gas chamber? Q. The gas chamber described by Bimko. A. Then let's look at the text of Bimko and then I will comment on it. Q. You said you have read Bimko's testimony. A. Yes, but in principle I am not going to discuss things I do not have in front of me. Q. Let me put the question more generally, Professor van Pelt. In any gas chambers in Auschwitz, in any of the gas chambers so-called at Auschwitz, was gas introduced into the chambers through pipes from cylinders? A. No. Q. And yet Bimko stated that, did she not, in her report? A. Let us look at what Bimko actually says. Then we can come to the conclusion if that is what she actually said. I am not going to comment on a text I do not have in front of me. If you want to raise this issue, which I think is a very legitimate issue, give me the text and we will look at it together. Q. Let me put it other way round then, Professor. If there was such a sentence in that report, you did not quote it, did you? You stopped. A. I do not know any more exactly what I quoted and what not. Q. You stopped just short of that particular sentence? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you got it in court? . P-160 MR IRVING: Not in front of me, my Lord. I am derelict in that respect unless Miss Rogers can find it at short notice in her usually efficient way. I shall have to bring it tomorrow. Your Lordship can take it as said. Although I am not a member of the Bar, I would certainly not lead this evidence if it was not in the files. The evidence of Bimko is notorious for the fact, and this is one reason why she was not introduced as a witness at the Tesh trial. She would have been cross-examined on that point. So this is one document, one eyewitness account, which is very suspect. But, Professor van Pelt, I put it to you that you left that sentence out of the report because it would have discredited the rest of her testimony, would it not? A. I think that, if you would look -- you are now trying to go to my motivation. In my expert report I have tried to give an account of what was said, in order to draw a picture of how the image of Auschwitz developed in 1944 and 1945. I have also included Polovoy's account done on the liberation of Auschwitz which again, as we probably both agree, contains a lot of friction. Q. Is this the Pravda account? A. Yes. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Can we not track this down because it must be in court somewhere, presumably? Bimko's statement? It is note 407 on page 268. . P-161 MR IRVING: Somebody can find the original document. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Otherwise we leave all these points hanging in mid air. MR RAMPTON: Mr Irving is quite right. Mr Irving knows where everything is. It is bundle H 2 (ii). MR JUSTICE GRAY: Could we get it out and then dispose of this point one way or another, Mr Irving? I think it is better, do you not? MR IRVING: It is going to continue to hover like a vulture or an albatross across the court. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is the problem. MR RAMPTON: What I said is accurate, except to this extent. When I say "it", all I have is a page and three- quarters of what Ada Bimko duly said. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Have you got page 68? MR RAMPTON: No. I have page 67. It is split up, that is all. I am sorry, there is lots more than I thought there was. If your Lordship goes -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: I have not got it yet. I would like it. (Same handed) thank you very much. MR RAMPTON: Yes. H 2 (iv) and turn to footnote 404, one sees the beginning of it. 408. Has your Lordship found footnote 404? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes I have deposition of Dr Bimko. MR RAMPTON: Yes. You have got on 405, which is page 66 of the document itself, 5th day, Friday 21st September 1945, Ada . P-162 Bimko sworn, examined by Colonel Backhouse. Has your Lordship got that? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. MR RAMPTON: That stops and then it begins again, further deposition of Ada Bimko on page 741 of the document, and that stops on page 742. MR JUSTICE GRAY: I am afraid the relevant bit, or the bit that Mr Irving wants, has been cut off. A. I have it here. I have it in note 408. MR JUSTICE GRAY: 467? A. Footnote 408, I presume that is the section that he refers to, because it is talking about cylinders. MR IRVING: "In a corner of the room were two large cylinders. The SS man told me the cylinders contained the gas which passed through the pipes into the gas cylinder." That is on page 742, my Lord, in paragraph 4. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, I have it. MR IRVING: There was no such equipment in Auschwitz, was there? A. No. Q. You did not quote this in your version of the report? A. This report is not a discussion on the quality of eyewitness testimony. I have told you that before. Q. Yes, but this is a discussion now, Professor van Pelt. A. OK. Q. On the quality of eyewitness testimony. It is a . P-163 temptation we all fall into probably. Sometimes we want to use the rest of the report because we like it, but there is something nasty in the report that, if we are going to manipulate, then we will leave it out. Is that not so? A. Yes. I mean, the question is there are many differences. First of all, let us go over this text. "Let us go over the text right now. We then walk back. Basically they went through the gas chamber and it was rather dark in there at the time. They could not see the far end of the passage. There were two rails leading from the door of the gas chamber down the passage. On these two rails was a flap top wagon. The SS man told me that the wagon was used to take the dead bodies from the gas chamber to the crematorium at the other end of the passage. We then walked through the gas chamber and undressing room to the door where it entered the building. Near this door were some stairs. We went up these stairs and came to a room above the gas chamber. Across this room were two pipes, each about three inches thick. I did not notice whether there were any branch pipes leading from them. The SS man told me that the pipes that were in the floor were connected to the spray fittings in the gas chamber below. In the corner of the room were two large cylinders but I did not notice whether the cylinders were connected to the pipes. The SS man told me that the cylinders . P-164 contained the gas which passed through the pipes into the gas chamber and I then left the room". We are basically talking here about crematorium number 4. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And the room is a room above the gas chamber? A. Yes. MR IRVING: Yes. But is any of this true, what the SS man allegedly told her? A. The SS man was mocking her because she was looking at a new ventilation system which had been introduced to suck out air from the two gas chambers above the gas chambers of crematorium 4. A ventilation system had been created in 1944 to improve the ventilation of crematoria 4 and 5 because they had not been equipped with the ventilation system. What happened is that she is shown the ventilation system and this SS man is mocking her by suggesting that this actually, instead of taking the air out, is taking the gas inside of the---- Q. That is not what she says, Professor van Pelt. Is what she says not, "In a corner of the room were two large cylinders"? A. But there was a ventilator up there which I presume would be in the cylinder and I do not think she is a specialist. She sees this thing above the gas chamber. Q. But you have no evidence ---- A. The only thing is that she believed what the SS man told . P-165 her, this equipment was there. Q. You have no evidence that he was mocking her, do you? You appreciate that men were hanged on the basis of this testimony? A. I do not know on the basis of what men are hanged. What I do know is that in crematoria 4 and 5 above the gas chamber in 1944 was a ventilation system. Q. Yes. A. To extract the air or the gas from those rooms. That is what she saw. Q. We do not know that. That is not what she says here. A. But how do you expect a person who has no technical education to distinguish one pipe from another pipe? Q. Is it not an equally plausible explanation that she is just inventing this story, and that she assumed this is the way that the gas chambers so-called operated, that gas came in through pipes? MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, inventing the whole story or just this bit?
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