Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day011.12 Last-Modified: 2000/07/20 Q. Yes, who advised him to rewrite what he had written. A. -- Mr Vrba had no document when he came out of Auschwitz. He did not carry with him a document. There was no document. Q. He prepared a report for them and then they rewrote it with him? A. I do not exactly know how he was interviewed there, and on the basis of these interviews they made a report. I do not know exactly who wrote and who rewrote. I know that . P-100 the papal nuncio in Bratislava was very closely involved. Q. Have you read the records of the War Refugee Record in the Roosevelt archives? A. Which ones? I have read the records as they were printed in -- Q. You have not read the original telegrams that came from McClelland in Bern? A. From McClelland, I think a number of them I have quoted in my expert report, yes. So I mean they were reprinted in facsimile by David Wyman (?) in his book, Serious About American Reaction to the Holocaust, his documentary collection. So I have looked at those, yes. Q. -- and you did not notice that the telegrams from McClelland make quite plain that the Vrba Report had been heavily edited or altered by this external committee of Slovakian Jews, for whatever reason? You did not notice that? A. I remember -- I mean I do not dispute the fact that this report, that this report, the origin of this report, is in Bratislava in 1944 and that members of the Jewish community were involved in that. I do not exactly know what Mr McClelland said again. We can look at the document. Q. We are in a slightly difficult position with Vrba, are we not, because you rely on him to a certain extent; is that right? . P-101 A. In extent to what? Q. As an eyewitness, one of the most important, he was one of the first one? A. Vrba is very important. Vrba is very important because he is the first one who brings a substantial account of the use of Auschwitz as a place where Jews are being killed en masse. Q. He is now Professor at a university in Vancouver, is he not? A. I think he is retired now. Q. Would it be fair to say that great harm was done to his testimony under cross-examination during the Zundel trial? A. I do not think that great harm was done. I think that Christie got under his skin all right. But I think the attorney for Mr Zundel got under the skin of many people. Q. I hope I am not getting under your skin if I continue this line of investigation and say would it be fair to say that Vrba finally admitted that he had never been inside one of these gas chamber buildings? A. Yes, I think that he had never been inside. He relied on reports of others. Q. So in this respect of course his eyewitness testimony is worthless, then, is it not? A. It is you know at a certain moment to me, you work as the best you can, and, of course, I know that there was a -- that one of the major challenges during the Zundel trial . P-102 was actually on the diagrams being produced of the -- he produces a diagram of a crematorium, with the gas chamber, and unlike the diagrams of the camp site itself, which are quite correct, in the archeological sense, there are some problems with the diagram he has of the crematorium and he assumes that crematoria 2, 3, 4 and 5 in some way, he collapses then into one proposition. However, if you want to understand -- I can draw the diagram by heart if your Lordship wants that, but if you understand actually how information which had been transmitted to him from people again who are not experienced in describing buildings and I today needed, you know, all the blueprints and all these reconstructions in order to make some points. So now we have some "sondercommando" who in one way or another get information to him, and he sees these building at a distance and he knows something is going on there and he knows about an underground space and tries to put this together at a certain moment in Bratislava. I think that ultimately while it is not ideologically correct, as Mr Song also noticed, it is understandable how the mistakes were generated. Q. Yes. A. In the actual plan. So I must say that Vrba, while I would not say that he is like Olare in this case, a perfect kind of -- visually perfect kind of eyewitness, . P-103 I think that he, given the situation he had been in, did a job which was as good as one can expect at the moment. Q. You mentioned Olare. My Lord, Olare was the artist, you will remember. (To the witness) You will remember, Professor, will you not, that I asked you the length that the flame has to travel from the furnace to the mouth of the chimney? A. Yes. Q. We reached a figure of 90 feet or so, did we not? A. Yes. Q. Have you ever seen flames that are 90 feet long? A. No. Q. Will you take it from me that any furnace engineer would say that you never get flames from a chimney that is as long as that, or route that is as long as that? A. I am happy to accept what your engineer says. I am happy also to accept what another engineer has said. I have not consulted engineers on this. Q. Regardless of what is being burned, even if it was trash from the incinerator or whatever they would not have flames emerging from the mouth of the chimney. Will you also accept that the Germans, being very good design engineers, have also made adequate provision to ensure that no smoke would have come from the chimney either? . P-104 A. No smoke? Q. No smoke would come from the chimney. That is the purpose of the design of chimney roof. A. Okay, it may be so or it may be not so, I cannot comment -- Q. Regardless, if you concentrate just on the flames will you agree that Olare in one of his drawings which you described as being very good of the outside of the crematorium shows flames and smoke luridly belching from the -- not just trickling out -- MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, do not bother, it does. MR IRVING: I am sure you know which picture I am referring to. A. -- yes, it is tab No. 3. MR JUSTICE GRAY: And it either is or is not intended to be an accurate reproduction of what actually was visible. MR IRVING: If you have read Pressac, Professor, do you remember the passage where Olare states that the SS turned bodies into sausages? A. I do not remember that, I am sorry. Q. I think it is on page 255, I will look for it in the lunch break. My Lord, I will only have about one hour to do with this witness after lunch if it is a useful guide. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is very helpful to know, but do not feel under any pressure, obviously. MR IRVING: We saw in the slides that you showed to us the . P-105 concrete being poured, if I can put it that way, on the roof of -- not this building, not the alleged mass gas chamber, but the crematorium No. 2, the mortuary No. 2; is that right? A. Yes, it is this building, but it is mortuary No. 2. Q. It is the different one? A. Yes. Q. I must say that took me back 30 years when I saw concrete being poured, because I know what it means. I know that the reinforcing wires and the bars and everything, how they are all put in. There were no drawings made, were there, of those bars? You yourself said that you could not produce the drawings of the actual -- A. I have not seen the drawings. I do not know if drawings were made. Generally I do not think that actually that much of this, as far as I know, runs on more or less kind of, you know, accepted kind of procedures. Q. -- rule of thumb, yes. A. Yes. So that it is unlikely to find -- I have not seen any drawings in the Auschwitz archive of any reinforcing or any particular concrete construction. Q. When I worked with John Laing the position of every bar was drawn on a drawing, but you say there are no such drawings and under wartime conditions presumably there were not. We are now switching from the one we saw in the . P-106 picture, to the alleged factory of death, this gas chamber here where you say 500,000 people were killed; we are back on the question of roof again. We do not have pictures of that roof being poured, but it would be fair to assume that there would be the same kind of reinforcing that went that room, steel bars? A. Yes, I mean there are fragments when the whole -- the pillar No. 2, there are reinforcing bars right there. Q. Yes. A. Which are bent, which have been bent. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Was the thickness the shame on Leichenkeller No. 1? A. The strange thing is we do not have any section of morgue No. 2, but we have the section of morgue No. 1 because it was such a particular, complex section. So I assume from the ruins it looks that whatever is there that the thickness was the same and I also would have assumed that. MR IRVING: My Lord, can I refer to you the little bundle of pictures that I provided to you this morning, which is numbered Claimant's bundle D, photographs. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Yes, thank you very much, which I have not looked at all. MR IRVING: I am sure you have not, my Lord. This was finally finalized at 4 o'clock this morning. But it is going to be useful nonetheless I think, on the sense one picture is often worth a thousand words. This answers many of our . P-107 questions. MR RAMPTON: Well, my Lord, I have some reservation about this. I am not being technical about this. This little bundle seems to be a mixture of drawings, reconstructions by an unknown hand, and commentary by an unknown author. It is quite different if the Professor in the witness box gives a demonstration and offers his opinion. I am not very impressed, I have to say. MR IRVING: I am sorry, you have commentary. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Where is the commentary, I was wondering about that. MR IRVING: On page 18 are you referring? MR RAMPTON: Well, I do not know, I thought I saw some red commentary, I have only glanced at it. MR IRVING: I think the red commentary, it is actually linked to other pages. MR RAMPTON: Yes, but there is red commentary on page something or other. MR IRVING: We can rip that page out. MR RAMPTON: No, it is this; there is a lot of red commentary, actually. Then there are some very pretty drawings like a child's picture book in different colours. MR IRVING: We have had some pretty drawings thrown on the screen this morning. MR RAMPTON: I know not by whom they were done, Mr Irving might perhaps be better off listening to what I have to say than . P-108 interrupting. The reason I am troubled by this is so far as I know the person who made these drawings and that commentary is not going to be a witness. MR JUSTICE GRAY: Well, I hear what you say, Mr Rampton, and I understand the force of it, but what I think going to let Mr Irving do is make what use he wishes of these photographs and if we come to a particularly problematic one then maybe it is going to be right to stop it. MR RAMPTON: I follow that. I want to be sure that I am right though, this is not expert evidence from anybody so far as I know. MR JUSTICE GRAY: It is not an illegitimate cross-examination technique in the end do not I think, so take your course. MR IRVING: My Lord, thank you. The drawings, of course, that we were shown on the screen were made not by the expert witness, but by one of his students. MR JUSTICE GRAY: A slightly different situation.
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