Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Yes. Tell ---- A. The "Dei Feldofen" in this case are "field ovens", and we know there is quite a documentation, not only eyewitness testimony, but quite an extensive documentation on this particular trip which was made by Kommandant Hirst and which also Mr Dejaco and Mr Hoessler, all were included and they were inspecting actually, they were going to Lischmannstadt to see the extermination site there, to actually look at the incineration grid, the incineration installation created by Studattenfuhrer Bloebel as part of Action 1005, to create a way to get rid of corpses which had been buried as a result of the killings in Chelmo. So this has nothing to do with kitchens, these Feldofen, but with incineration ovens to burn, to incinerate, corpse. Q. "Field kitchens" would be "Feldkuchens", would it not? . P-99 A. That is more likely, yes. Q. So your submission is that this is a reference to going there to visit some kind of improvised grating, fire grating, of some kind ---- A. Yes. Q. --- on a large scale? A. They are actually -- we have Mr Dejaco, the chief of design in the Zentrale Bau, he actually made a sketch also of this incineration installation. It had been developed by Bloebel who was an architect in order to empty the mass graves which had been created in Chelmo as a result of the gassings there. Q. Bloebel had the very distasteful task of emptying out the mass graves and cremating the ---- A. Yes, he had the -- it was called Action 1005. He was going around sites where mass graves had been reacted in order to take out the corpses and to incinerate them so they were going to be no traces. Q. Why would it include the words an "experimental station" for the ---- A. Because they were just developing the technology to do this. Q. Does it take much technology to make a fire in the open on a grating? A. The Germans had not done this before yet. Bloebel was the person who developed the technology. Until then, the . P-100 Germans had not yet emptied mass graves and incinerated corpses of people who had been buried for some time. We know that afterwards this, indeed, is going to happen in Auschwitz within weeks, the same procedure start to be applied in Auschwitz to all the people who are buried in the field of ashes next to bunkers 1 and -- bunker 2 in this case. Q. When I see the word "Versthutzstation", in my knowledge of German documents, I usually think of a place like Panamunda or Passodena. I do not think of somebody mucking around with fire grates in a field? A. I do not follow you, Mr Irving. Q. The word "Versthutzstation" does not tend to convey what you suggest in your evidence. That is all that we can usefully derive from that. A. I think that maybe even if I have these documents on the trip to Chelmo. It is very well documented. Apart from that, Dejaco was questioned on that in detail during his trial, and he confirmed what you probably would call the very sinister interpretation of all these documents, that, indeed, yes, he was there present with Bloebel at the incineration site. Q. And yet he was, of course, acquitted, as we have heard yesterday. A. He was acquitted of the murder of one inmate who he was alleged to have drowned at a building site near . P-101 crematorium (ii). Q. And not charged with any further crimes after that, not recharged on any other crime? A. No, he was not, but then we have discussed already the nature of ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Mr Irving, may I just ask you, whilst it occurs to me, who translated "ofen" as "kitchens"? MR IRVING: I did, my Lord. Normally, "field kitchens" is the only interpretation of [German - document not provided]. I am willing to be lectured by Mr Van Pelt on this alternative meaning. He claims he has these documents which bear out his meaning, translation, of the word, and, of course, I put the original German to him so that he can correct it if we are wrong. If I can just finally carry on on that point, if Dejaco was present on this trip and no consequences flowed from it in the law courts afterwards, can we draw any conclusions as to the nature of these pits that were being excavated or not, these mass graves, what the victims had died of or had been killed by? I am in your hands here because I know nothing. You have seen the documents and I do not. A. OK. I have one of the documents right here in my hand, so, I mean, I could give it to you, I could quote it, I could read, because we have the report of the trip of 17th September. . P-102 Q. Very well. A. I do not want to spring this document on you, but since you raised the issue of the significance of it, it gives actually a description of the thing. Q. While you are looking, I can tell my Lord the translation was actually done at 2 o'clock this morning, so there is an element of stress. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes. Thank you. A. I think I have not answered the question yet, so maybe could the question be repeated because I ---- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Shall I repeat it? Can we draw any conclusion as to the nature of these pits that were being excavated or not, these mass graves, what the victims had died of or been killed by? In other words, could you tell whether they had been gassed or whether they had been shot or whatever? A. These people had gassed in gas vans. Q. Why do you say that? A. We know that on the basis of the report created by the Polish Commission of investigation in 1945, which itself did a forensic excavation at the site and also took many testimonies on this. These people who were brought to Chelmo were Jews from the Lischmannstadt ghetto. They started in very late 1941 when Germany was being emptied of Jews. I just want to remind the court, for example, Berlin was officially Judenreiden in early 1943. When the . P-103 German Jews were transported to the East, one of the places where they were concentrated was in the Rusch or Lischmannstadt ghetto. In order to make place for these people who came in, because it was already terribly overcrowded, Polish Jews from the Lischmannstadt ghetto were in early '42 brought to a little castle near Chelmo. This castle in Chelmo was a place where they were brought to this castle and then there were gas vans in that compound and they were actually walked into gas vans. There was a description of the actual camouflage way in which they were brought in there, and then these gas vans drove from that castle to a forest which was a couple of miles away. By the time the gas vans arrived at the forest, all of the people in the back of these gas vans had died and then they were buried in that forest. So when the mass graves really had become very large there, because ultimately the Polish Commission established that around, I think, 180,000 people were killed in that way at Chelmno, Bloebel was given the task to start removing the corpses. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That does not appear to me to have much to do with the message, the radio message, of 15th September 1942. MR IRVING: We are rather branching out into other fields there? A. It has a lot to do with that. . P-104 MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is Auschwitz, not Chelmno? A. No, but the people in Auschwitz at that time, what has happened is that at bunker 2 at that moment, which had been in operation since early July, they have been burying the people next to bunker No. 2. In the meantime, there is the Himmler visit to Auschwitz and, while there is no record of it, it is quite likely probably that he said this burying of people very close to the camp, because that is actually quite close to Birkenhau, is going to be an unhealthy business. So what happens then that immediately -- we are talking again at about the month of August and September when all these big changes are taking place in Auschwitz. So, in order to take counsel from the only man who is actually doing the incineration of buried corpses which is happening in Chelmno with this Studattenfuhrer Bloebel, the Auschwitz Kommandant, and this is a very high powered trip, the Kommandant, his adjutant Hoessler, and the chief designer, who ultimately must make sense of it on a practical, technological scale, all go for a whole day to Lischmannstadt, and it is not a small trip. They need to get special permission for that (because one always needs special permissions for these trips) to basically to see what Bloebel is doing there. Then we have also another German, we have the original request from Auschwitz to Glucks, we have the permit now being produced and we have the final result, a . P-105 report of what happened during that trip. MR JUSTICE GRAY: So Lischmannstadt is close to Chelmno? A. Yes, Chelmo -- I mean, Lischmannstadt is a very big city. Chelmno is just a hamlet. MR JUSTICE GRAY: That is what I was missing. MR IRVING: Is it your submission, therefore, that this five tonne truck load of Zyklon-B which was fetched, I think we agree, the materials, from Dessau to Auschwitz, what was the five tonne truck of Zyklon-B, what were the materials to be used for? Just for gassing people? A. OK, so we finished with this document now on the ---- Q. Well, would you answer my question? A. I just want to know if I still have to take that into consideration in the answer or not. Q. No, you do not, no. A. OK. Q. We are back on the trucks going back and forth between Auschwitz and Dessau. A. The trucks went back and forth to Dessau. They collected Zyklon-B and Zyklon-B was used in many different ways in the camp. Q. But five tonnes seems an awful lot. That is the point I am making. Over five tonnes? A. But let us remember, just if we talk -- we do not talk about five tonnes Zyklon-B because when we ultimately talk about the way Zyklon-B is shipped, it is shipped in . P-106 containers and then the containers themselves contain earth in which the Zyklon-B is ---- Q. The largest tin was one kilogram, was it not? A. The largest tin was one kilogram, one kilogram of Zyklon-B, but the original invoices from the shipping of the Daigash of Zyklon-B always gives the brutto weight -- I mean the gross weight of what a tin is and then ultimately also the net wet of Zyklon included in that. Q. But the Zyklon is the pellets; it is not just the cyanide? A. The pellets too, so in order to -- basically, if you get five tonnes weight of tins with contents, the total weight actually inside of Zyklon, of hydrogen cyanide, will be less than a tonne and I can give you the exact figure. Q. You are saying that is the weight of the tin to be taken into account? A. The tin and, of the course, pellets in which the Zyklon has been taken in, and all that information is available and I can give it to you if you just give me time to look. Q. Are you suggesting that Zyklon is another word for hydrogen cyanide? A. Zyklon is a commercial name for a product ---- Q. For the pellet containing the hydrogen cyanide? A. Containing the hydrogen cyanide. Q. You are not trying to make out that Zyklon is the hydrogen cyanide element in the pellets? . P-107 A. No, it is a commercial name.
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