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How accurate was Robert Van Pelt with his assessments?

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The Lipstadt Trial
Testimony of Prof Robert Jan Van Pelt, High Court, London,
Day 11 of trial, January 28, 2000.



because one of the people who had been in the Bauleitung, who was an inmate who was drawing there, actually went into some detail about the procedure of actually getting a blueprint and saying this was a proof of the criminal intentions, and then this document was produced. I do not know what the court in the end did with this document.

But I remember the testimony of the particular -- I think it was an inmate named Plas Kuhrer.

MR IRVING: Did anything in particular happen in Auschwitz one or two days before this document that you are familiar with, or in the neighbourhood? I will give you a clue, air raids?

PROF ROBERT JAN VAN PELT: No, there were no air raids in 1943.

Q. Yes, there were. Do you agree that there was an air raid on the Buna plant on approximately 5th or 3rd May 1943?

A. 1944.

Q. 1943. Well, if there is a dispute, obviously --?

MR JUSTICE GRAY: The Buna plant at Auschwitz?

MR IRVING: That is right, the synthetic plant being erected.

A. The first air raid, so far as I know, happened in the Spring of 1944.

Q. We will check that later on perhaps. I have only two more questions on this document, my Lord, and this is this. Do you agree that the Germans had reasons to be ashamed of what was going on in this building, shall we say, whatever it was?


A. No. They certainly had reason to be ashamed of the genocidal use of the buildings, but I mean crematoria, there is no -- you see, the date is 5th May 1943. By that time, these buildings have all been committed to genocidal use. I presume and I am speculating now, and I do not know if you are interested in my speculation, my Lord.

MR IRVING: Try us.

Image (not available at the time of the Trial): Kriegstagebuch Nr 1, Rüstungsinspektion VIIIb Kattowitz des Reichsministers für Bewaffnung und Munition; war diary of local armaments office, entry for May 1, 1943 (US National Archives, microfilm T77, roll 622, frame 1,811,623). An American night air raid on Auschwitz, May 4/5 1943.


Related file on this website:

David Irving, a Radical's Diary, April 3, 2005

© Focal Point 1999 e-mail:  write to David Irving