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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.15

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day010.15
Last-Modified: 2000/07/20

   Q.   Professor Vananstiel, that is correct?
   A.   Professor Vananstiel(?) Later Professor Vananstiel after
        the war confirmed that indeed he had been with Kurt
        Gerstein in Treblinka and confirmed more or less the
        account, except where it applies to his own role in this
        trip, a number of remarks he would have made while looking
        through the spy hole into the gas chamber, but apart from
        Kurt Gerstein has not made any calculations, as far as
        I know, I do not think he even made about Treblinka or

.          P-126

        for that matter he never mentioned Auschwitz in any
        context of extermination.
   Q.   I am only deal with the Gerstein report in the context of
        reliability of eyewitness evidence in general.  This is
        the only reason I am going to ask the next few questions.
        Did Mr Kurt Gerstein, who was an SS officer, make any
        statements about the number of people who were packed into
        the gas chamber that he witnessed allegedly?
   A.   I am not going to comment on that without the document in
        front of me.
   Q.   You have not read the Gerstein report?
   A.   Of course I have read various editions of the Gerstein
        report, both the French and the German, but I am not going
        to comment on what Kurt Gerstein may have said or may not
        have said when I do not have the document in front of me.
   Q.   Are you aware that there seven different versions of the
        Gerstein report?
   A.   I know there are various different versions.  I did not
        know it was seven.
   Q.   Are you aware that each successive version of the report
        became more lurid in French captivity and that the numbers
        grew larger like Topsy?
   A.   Mr Irving I do not remember ----
   Q.   I should have asked how many versions of the report have
        you read?
   A.   I have read three versions of the report.

.          P-127

   Q.   Did you notice any discrepancy between the figures and the
        general scale of the atrocity he was describing?
   A.   No.  The reports are longer and shorter, so I have not
        compared them on actual figures.  In some reports he
        includes more information, and in other reports he has
        less.  I have not made a comparative study of all the
        reports together because they do not apply to Auschwitz.
   Q.   Very well.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Professor van Pelt, this part of the
        cross-examination started off, I think, on the topic of
        how much Zyklon B went to Auschwitz, how much of it might
        have been used for delousing and disinfecting and all the
        rest of it, therefore how much was left, if any?
   A.   Yes.
   Q.   Can you ----
   MR IRVING:  I was about to come back on to that main line with
        certain specific questions.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  May I get the answer to my question,
        Mr Irving, first?
   A.   Can you give me in broad terms an answer, so far as your
        conclusions on that question go?
   A.   OK.  May I use the document for that?
   Q.   Of course.  I just thought it was a convenient way short
   A.   There are two years on which we know, on the basis of the
        testimony of Alfred Sahen, supported by his notebook but

.          P-128

        also other information available at the trial of
        distributors.  They were not really distributors, people
        that allocate Zyklon-B.  The amounts of deliveries of
        Zyklon-B to Auschwitz, that is 1942 and 1943.  On page 22
        of my additional report, one can read that in 1942, seven
        and a half thousand kilos were delivered to Auschwitz, and
        in 1943 12,000 kilos were delivered do Auschwitz.
   MR IRVING:  That is 12 tonnes?
   A.   12 tonnes were delivered to Auschwitz.  I have done a
        calculation.  In 1942 this seven and a half thousand kilos
        to Auschwitz comes out of 9,000 kilos to the whole
        concentration camp system.  Again, I do not draw the
        conclusion but I want to say the conclusion other people
        have drawn is that, since Auschwitz received more than
        three-quarters of all the Zyklon-B, something like 80 per
        cent of the Zyklon-B, this meant of course this could only
        have been caused by the use of Zyklon-B as a killing agent
        and I do not agree such a simple jump.
   Q.   Can we be quite plain that you do not agree with that?
   A.   Not simply on the basis that there were seven and a half
        thousand kilos going to Zyklon-B, and 1,500 to the rest of
        the concentration camp system.  I would not jump
        immediately to the conclusion.  I think one has to be more
        careful when one comes to conclusions.
   Q.   Can I ask you one question here?  How many satellite camps
        were dependant on Auschwitz as their central distribution

.          P-129

   A.   In 1943 or 1942?
   Q.   Shall we say 1944?
   A.   1944, 34, but many measures were very small.  May
        I continue to answer the question his Lordship has asked?
   Q.   This need not necessarily just have been going to
        Auschwitz itself, they would have been possibly shovelling
        it on to other places that needed it?
   A.   Yes, but only few of those camps had actually delousing
        installations.  Most of the delousing for the satellite
        camps were actually done back in Auschwitz.
   Q.   When you delouse a barracks or a barrack room like this
        room here, do you need installation or do you just close
        all the doors and windows and do what the Americans call
   A.   My Lord, I am a little confused right now.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes. Come back to that, Mr Irving.  I am
        getting an explanation of the total figures that went to
        Auschwitz.  So you do not make the jump simply from
        relative quantities?
   A.   No.  I have made the calculation and ultimately what I do
        is that I am making the two ways actually to determine
        what is a normal use for Zyklon-B?  The first is to look
        at other camps.  What would a camp of the same size use
        compared to Auschwitz?  That is the first exercise I did
        on pages 25 and 26.  For example, we have information for

.          P-130

        1943 so that is why it is important to look at 1943.
        There is Satzenhausen in 1943 at 40,000 inmates, and it
        almost used 3,000 kilos of Zyklon-B that year.  If
        Auschwitz would have been the same size as Satzenhausen
        because Auschwitz had an average of 60,000 inmates that
        year, it would have used four and a half thousand kilo if
        indeed we could take the Satzenhausen figure as a point of
        departure.  In fact, Auschwitz uses 12,000.  Then we look
        at other camps, how much do they get, and we start to
        basically priorate population figures.
   MR IRVING:  These figures are quite meaningless because of
        course we know that Auschwitz was at the centre of one of
        the worst epidemics in history.
   A.   Not any more in 1943.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That was summer 1942, was it not?
   MR IRVING:  There was another epidemic in January 1943?
   A.   There was a smaller epidemic in January 1943, which was
        dealt with rather quickly, and the outbreak of an epidemic
        in the gypsy camp in the summer of 1942 almost had no
   Q.   The whole point is that you use Zyklon B preemptively.
        You do not use it as a mopping up operation.  You use it
        to stop it happening again.
   A.   Mostly.
   Q.   You fumigate barracks again and again and again.
   A.   Survivors have testified to the fact that these barracks

.          P-131

        were not very often fumigated.  I have recently, but
        I will try to continue my arguments.  But I will just
        finish this sentence.
   MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, it would be helpful to me at any
        rate if he can complete this answer and then you can of
        course cross-examine on it.
   MR IRVING:  I am restraining myself but that was an important
        point to make I think.
   A.   OK.  So, my Lord, so at the one side we can look at, kind
        of, the figures in other camps, and we then we look at
        Auschwitz.  On page 26, I think demonstrates that the
        Auschwitz figure of 12,000 kilos is much higher than you
        would expect on the basis of deliveries to other camps if
        we take the different sizes into account.
                  Then the second kind of exercise one can do is
        to look at the way Zyklon-B could have been used in
        Auschwitz.  So how much would have used in delousing in
        this year?  This is, I start to do this on page 27 and it
        continues.  It gets a very detailed kind of calculation.
                  I start out with -- the question is, where are
        the delousing rooms and what is the capacity of these
        delousing rooms?  So in 1943, the total Zyklon B delousing
        space was 940 cubic metres.  That is from the bottom of
        page 27.
                  Now, then we are going to look of how much, what
        concentration of hydrogen cyanide would have been used in

.          P-132

        these rooms, and I refer back to a German war time
        document by the [German] which is the Health Institution
        of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in Prague,
        which instructs that one needs eight grammes of Zyklon- B
        per cubic metre for 16 hours to kill vermins, such as
        bugs, lice, flees, etc..
                  Now, I assume that these delousing spaces would
        have, indeed, used that concentration.  It is the only
        kind of basis I can work on, and that as a result of that
        is that if we have one gassing per day in each of these
        rooms -- now, this is very unlikely because there were
        large rooms actually in the Sturmlager in Auschwitz which
        eyewitness testimony says were only used irregularly, but
        now I am assuming for a moment that these eyewitness are
        wrong, and that they were used every day, I come to
        basically seven-and-a-half kilogrammes of Zyklon-B per day
        or 2,730 kilos of Zyklon-B per year if there is a
        delousing every day.  So I have now in some way accounted
        at a maximum delousing capacity in the camp for 2,730
        kilos of Zyklon-B.
                  So now we are going to look at the average size
        of each barrack which is 12,000 -- and these are the
        barracks in Birkenhau right now -- 12,000 cubic metres, in
        which the barracks in the women's camp are slightly larger
        and barracks in building sector 2 are slightly smaller.
        They are around 1200.  In the women's camp they were

.          P-133

        around 1250 and in Auschwitz they were larger.
                  So if we take again the same concentration, this
        would be quite a high concentration for the delousing of
        barracks.  One needs in Birkenhau six to 10 kilos per
        barrack, and in Auschwitz one where they are two-storey
        barracks, 12 to 20 kilos per barrack, which means that the
        complete delousing of all the 192 dwelling barracks in
        Birkenhau would take between 1200 and 1900 kilos, and all
        the 30 ----

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