Q. Just answer my question.
A. It is better if I show it as it was, because you don't seem to remember what I said here yesterday.
THE COURT: Just a moment. I think that perhaps you can answer the question unless you are going to say something different than what you have already pointed out as to what occurred on the ramp with respect to what you have called, in essence, the selection process.
THE WITNESS: Right. I said I can do it without the map.
THE COURT: Oh, good.
THE WITNESS: You reminded me of that. I explained, in detail, that a selection was made on the ramp, and that from the ramp those who were selected for work were marched off. They were marched off either in Auschwitz I, I said, or to Auschwitz II.
Q. Well, they could also ---
A. But some were marched off to Buna.
Q. Excuse me, some were marched off to Buna?
A. That's right.
Q. I spelled Raisko incorrectly. It should be Rajsko.
Q. Now, that was a camp, wasn't it?
A. Rajsko was a Polish name for Birkenau, and it is one of, as far as I could see from the
neo-Nazi literature which I perused, I could see that this is one of the swindles of the neo-Nazis, because Rajsko was first erased. This was a village on the map. On the map before 1942 you will find Rajsko as a village.
Q. Do you know how many satellite camps there were to Auschwitz generally?
A. I've heard about twenty-seven satellite camps for slave labour.
Q. Do you know how many people were in them?
A. I don't have the statistics at the hand.
Q. Do you know that anyone who came to Auschwitz could have gone to any one of those satellite camps, or not?
A. Those who were healthy and able and were suitable for heavy slave labour went there, and when they were finished with their ability to work hard, they came back to Birkenau and were gassed in the same crematoria which I showed you. So on the way back, sometime there were even, knowing the confusion in the German administration, created often artificially, we could even speak with them. From them we heard that they were in some coal-mines close by of Auschwitz. From them we heard that they were in some factories, close by from Auschwitz, and when they couldn't work any more further they were brought back to Auschwitz and gassed.
Q. I put it to you that there were thirty-nine auxiliary camps attached to the main camp of Auschwitz in the immediate vicinity.
A. Camps for work?
Q. Camps for work and camps for rest and other camps, sir.
A. Camps for slave labour there were around thirty. Can you name me one camp for rest?
Q. Were you in them?
A. No, I was not in them.
Q. Then how can you tell us what went on in them except hearsay?
A. Because a number of people who worked there ---
Q. Told you about it.
A. --- came for gassing to Auschwitz and from them we heard what is going there, but the neo-Nazi literature would pretend that it was, perhaps, because it was completely covered up in secrecy, the ruthless slave labour that it was a rest place for children. And where are the children, then? Can you bring me one child who was resting there?
Q. I can tell you one child who went through Auschwitz and didn't die, and that's called Anne Frank. Do you deny that?
A. I didn't meet Anne Frank.
Q. Well, you asked me if I knew of any. I put it to you Anne Frank was in Auschwitz and wasn't killed there and was moved to another camp where she later died. Do you deny that?
THE COURT: Just a moment, please. There is a good reason that Courts say that witnesses answer questions and don't ask questions of their own, Doctor. Please resist asking Counsel questions. You are here to answer them not to ask them.
THE WITNESS: Thank you for your advice.
Q. MR CHRISTIE: How many people died of typhus?
A. They died in thousands, but I don't have exact figures.
Q. Isn't it true that thousands of people who died were buried not far from the camp, and they had to be exhumed and their bodies burned because they were polluting the water supply?
A. It is true that before I came to Auschwitz, and indeed, that was the reason why I came to Auschwitz from Maidenek concentration camp, they needed four hundred men.
Q. And you volunteered.
A. Yes. First for so-called fieldwork, for work in field, and when we came to Auschwitz it turned out that before the Auschwitz started, many thousands of Russian prisoners of war who were murdered by the Nazi machinery, they buried them in the vicinity of the Auschwitz and then they came to the idea that it was not good to have a mass grave, so they used the slave labour, the prisoners who they brought from Maidenek, to bring up the bodies and burn them.
Q. Now you are telling us that thousands of people died of typhus and you don't know how many. Is that right?
A. That's right.
Q. That was an epidemic in 1942, I gather, before you were brought to Birkenau; is that right?
A. No. there might have been an epidemic before I was brought to Birkenau, but there was
one in August 1944. (1942)
Q. That was before you were brought to Birkenau.
A. That's right.
Q. Now, isn't it true that the epidemic of which you speak claimed lives at a rapid rate and that typhus was spread from lice?
A. That's quite so
Q. Do you recall being in the bathhouse known as the sauna for some reason?
Q. Were you there?
Q. The one I am speaking about is the one that was shown on the very detailed map that we took from the Phillip Mueller book.
Q. You were in the sauna or bath in that place?
A. I was in the bath which was adjacent to the Krematorium III and IV.
Q. All right. That one had roads that went to it, didin't it?
A. What do you mean, roads? Within the confines of Krematorium III and IV there were, naturally, the whole confine was not bigger than, perhaps, ten times of this room, and there were, naturally, footpaths. There were even flowers planted in front of the crematoria so that the deception could work better. There were even trees planted.
Q. There was a sport field beside
Krema III, sir, wasn't there?
A. I haven't seen it.
Q. You never went there.
Q. Nobody ever played sports there?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. You deny that other survivors say they've played sports there?
A. Not to me, but it is quite possible that some of them did play sports.
Q. Right beside the crematoria, in fact. I put it to you ---
A. I don't have that information.
Q. You don't have that information.
Q. I put it to you that the reason for those crematoria was to deal with the bodies of people who had died from typhus.
A. This is ridiculous.
A. This is a ridiculous statement.
Q. What else do you think they did with the bodies of people who died from typhus in the thousands, sir?
A. They burned them together with the people who did not die of it.
Q. How many of those who died ended up in Fred Wetzler's crematoria who you say held three or four thousand bodies a day?
A. The crematirium bodies varied roughly over months. For example, in 1943 sitting in the
crematoria with Fred Wetzler, the mortality would be three hundred to four hundred a day, sometimes five hundred, but in May of the same year, after Camp Commander Hoess was withdrawn and the second Commander was put into command, the mortality dropped that one day. In May there was not a natural death. It was quite empty.
So the mortality dropped because, (a), the frost went away, the winter passed by, and (b), the new commander said, "What's happening in the gas chamber is one thing, but I don't want that a prisoner should be beaten unnecessarily." Consequently the mortality among the prisoners dropped. Consequently there was not one day when there was not one person killed in Birkenau, so the mortality rate in Birkenau was subject to great swings.
Q. You give us to believe that there were 1,765,000 corpses of gassed Jews to which we must add whoever died of natural causes, sometimes at the rate of five hundred a day.
Q. And whoever wasn't a Jew and was gassed, we have to add that too.
Q. And that's in two years. Right?
A. I beg your pardon? I don't understand your question?
Q. You don't understand my question?
Q. You gave us the figure of 1,765,000 corpses who were gassed in your War Refugee Board Report. Correct?
A. That's right.
Q. That must be added to five hundred a day in some cases, of other caused deaths. Correct?
A. That's right.
Q. And then you also have to add all the non-Jewish corpses, those who were dead; right?
A. That's right.
Q. So now we have in your two-year period in Auschwitz and in Birkenau at least 1,765,000 corpses. Right?
A. More than that.
Q. Mm-hmmm. More than that.
A. More than that. Not during the ---
Q. Let's just deal with one thing at a time.
Q. Now, you told us in the War Refugee Board Report that there were thirty-six furnaces -- yes, thirty-six -- and it took an hour and a half to burn three corpses in each furnace. Right?
A. That's right.
Q. You later said, having seen the plans, I suppose, that there were fifteen crematorium ovens. Right?
A. No. Where did I say so?
Q. In your book. We went over that yesterday.
Q. Do you deny it today?
A. I don't deny anything.
Q. All right. Well, just deal with the truth. I am asking you whether today you are denying that
yesterday you agreed that in your book you came to the conclusion there were fifteen ovens.
A. Would you show it in my book?
Q. You don't remember?
Q. Well, then, how can you not remember from one day to the next what you say, and yet you can tell us what you counted forty-five years ago?
A. Because what I have seen with my eyes is firmly embedded in my memory. This means when I have counted 1,765,000 people, I saw them, but inside of the crematoria I didn't see.
Q. Yes. So you saw 1,765,000 people.
A. According to my count.
Q. Yes. They were Jews, though; right? Just Jews, according to the War Refugee Board Report that you tell us in your count.
A. That's right.
Q. So they weren't gentiles; these were Jews.
Q. You can tell the difference and you made the distinction between Jews and gentiles in that number?
A. I didn't make the difference in that number. I only said that 1,765,000 Jews were gassed in the gas chambers. The difference between Jews and non-Jews was made by Nazis and not by me, as you know.
Q. Well, why didn't you count all the people, then, who were gassed in gas chambers?
A. They were counted perfectly well,
because if you look, for instance, into my book, I mention that apart from the 1,765,000 Jews who were gassed there, about 350,000 prisoners died ---
A. --- in the concentration camp Auschwitz, and a good deal of them were not Jews but Poles, Frenchmen, Czechs, etcetera.
Q. Okay. We will deal with that. You asked me where in the book you said fifteen ovens. I am showing you where it says in my copy. We have to go through this procedure every time of checking with your copy, but do that if you will.
A. So it is written fifteen ovens which could burn three bodies each simultaneously in twenty minutes.
Q. That's right.
A. And how many ovens were there, in your opinion?
THE COURT: NO.
Q. MR CHRISTIE: I am asking you because you are the witness, and you said it in the War Refugee Board Report.
Q. All right. What made you change your mind from thirty-six ovens to fifteen, if you haven't been there since?
A. The fifteen are here. Where is the thirty-six?
Q. In the War Refugee Board Report it says thirty-six.
A. Would you show it to me in the War Refugee Board Report? I have a copy of it here. You show
it to me.
Q. Page 14, last paragraph.
A. Page 14?
"A huge chimney rises from the furnace room around which are grouped nine furnaces each having four openings."
So I multiplied nine by four and I get thirty-six.
A. One moment.
"A huge chimney arises from the furnace room around which are grouped nine furnaces each having four openings. Each opening can take three normal corpses, and after an hour and a half the boides (bodies) are completely burned.
Q. Right. If you never went back and you never looked at a plan, what made you change your mind about all this?
A. I still do not see any difference between one statement and the other.
Q. Oh, you don't see a difference between thirty-six and fifteen. Right?
A. Fifteen in one crematorium.
Q. We were talking about one crematorium in the case of the thirty-six ovens, sir.
A. You are completely confusing me. I can't find anything of that sort what you are saying in this report.
Q. Sir, you gave us a description in the War Refugee Board Report, page 14. You also gave us
A. Yes. The diagram is here.
Q. In the description you are talking about I will read the whole paragraph:
"At present there are four crematoria in operation at Birkenau, two large ones, I and II, and two smaller ones, III and IV. Those of type I and II consist of three parts A, the furnace room, B, the great large hall, C, the gas chamber. A huge chimney arises from the furnace room around which are grouped nine furnaces each having four openings."
Now, are you not talking about the crematoria types I and II and talking about nine furnaces with four openings for thirty-six openings?
A. As I explained to you yesterday, it was quite clear that the graph which we enclosed to the War Refugee Board was made from hearsay. We were not inside. In other words, we cannot ---
THE COURT: Just a moment. One at a time. Go ahead.
THE WITNESS: I am supposed to go ahead?
THE COURT: Let the witness finish.
THE WITNESS: I have made quite clear that as we were not allowed to inspect the crematoria with our intention to escape, we could, in our report, write only and make a sketch of crematoria as we heard second-hand from people who worked inside. What we knew for sure and for what we were guaranteeing is that Krematoria III and Krematoria IV was built for a capacity of two thousand
bodies a day, whereas Krematoriums IV and V were smaller with a capacity of one thousand bodies a day.
On the whole we were informing the public, the Allies and the Allied governments that the crematoria together, according to our information, were made to the maximum capacity of burning six thousand bodies a day. We didn't say that actually six thousand are burning a day, because there was a considerable amount of breakdown in that crematoria.
However, in your quote yesterday you tried to confuse me by saying that the crematoria I said in this report were made for six thousand people, and then you said in my book I said they finally had a machinery for twelve thousand people.
Q. Yeah. That is correct.
A. And that is perfectly true because when the Hungarian Jews arrived in May and June 1944 ---
Q. Do you remember the question ---
A. --- then the crematoria were not able to burn that amount of people who came there daily, and they had to burn the rest in the pits around the crematoria. So I concluded that up to twelve thousand people a day could be burned, gassed and burned in the complex of crematoria in Birkenau.
You, then, started to confront that in the report I said that the maximum possible number is six thousand, and in the book I said that the maximum number is twelve thousand, and I am contradicting myself. I am not contradicting myself; I am just telling you what you don't want to understand, and what you use for deliberate confusion, I think, that the Nazis were more inventive than
When the Hungarian transports came in such great masses that the crematoria couldn't take it, they re-equipped the crematoria with additional pits around the crematoria and were without great technical advances, simply dug out with slave labour additional pits, and increased the capacity of the murder complex in Birkenau from six thousand to twelve thousand, in no detail and without great technical measurement. And in this difference, who is not quite clear to those who did not study the report that went to the British and United States government and was found there by specialists as reliable, and my additional report which was written after the War with additional knowledge which I acquired when I was not in Auschwitz, you tear out from this various quotations in a confusing way, present it to a jury and me and to a court, who perhaps do not know every detail of this complex matter, and by this confusion you try to creat (create) the impression that because there was such a confusion, there was no burning at all obviously everything was invented.
Q. Did you see one body being taken out of the crematoria and hauled to the pit?
A. This happened in May and June and July 1944. And I escaped in April. In other words ---
Q. The answer is no.
A. In other words, I have not present during the mass murder of the Hungarian Jews. Indeed, my job was to escape from Auschwitz before this mass murder started and to warn them.
Q. In spite of the fact that you weren't a witness to such a thing, you have told us these
things were fact. Right?
A. These things can be considered as a fact. Also, I haven't been on the moon. I consider it as a fact that somebody landed on the moon, and that the picture was not made in the Star Trek attelier because there are certain informations that a person doesn't doubt. If I used your logic, you can come to me and say that the earth is flat. Everybody can see it, and I can't prove otherwise, and the astronauts which went to the moon, they were filled with an attelier together with Star Trek, and all of this was invented. How can I object against this argument? And you are coming with exactly the same arguments here, from the four thousand Jews who were deported in the months of May, June, July from Hungary and into extermination camps in Auschwitz, about twenty thousand came back from slave labour, only four hundred thousand or so were gassed and murdered there and there is a statement of twenty thousand people; and if you want to know every detail what those twenty thousand people have said and how it was investigated and that it was photographed from the aeroplanes by the Americans by the time it was August and September, as those reports fully confirm, and the statistics fully compiled in back of by Professor Randall Brown in New York University College, so why shouldn't I accept those facts and incorporate them into my book as to what happened in Auschwitz after I escaped? After all, I am not such an egomaniac that after I left Auschwitz there was nothing left to interest me.
Q. Are you aware of the aereal photographs of the camp prepared by the United States Government,
a copy of which I am showing you from the Central Intelligence Agency?
THE COURT: Just show him the document, Mr Christie. We have been over this before. Ask him if he recollects it.
THE WITNESS: From the photographs which I see in front of me and which I haven't seen before ....
Q. MR CHRISTIE: All right. You haven't seen them before.
A. But I can remember here something.
Q. All right.
A. I can recognize complex Auschwitz-Birkenau, aereal view. I can recognize the ramp and I can recognize the complex of Auschwitz I. I can recognize -- that's about what I can recognize here, yes.
Q. Mm-hmmm. And the date of the photograph and the picture?
A. 26 June, 1944.
Q. Do you see a road leading out of the camp just north of the area of the crematoria?
A. Well, you see, I can escape without a compass and without a light, or so probably in the girl guide in B.C. Victoria they didn't explain to you how it
is done, but it is possible and I will tell you how it is done.
Q. I put it to you that the road is no thicker and no thinner than the road leading into it at the bottom of the picture.
A. This is not at all. You can see here heavy road coming in the camp, and narrow passes coming out from the camp.
Q. Thank you.
MR CHRISTIE: Could I use that as an exhibit, please, Your Honour?
THE COURT: Yes.
MR CHRISTIE: Thank you.
THE WITNESS: Any aereal specialist will give you better advice on that.
MR CHRISTIE: Yes. Thank you very much.
THE COURT: That will be Exhibit No. 27.
MR GRIFFITHS: Is that the photograph with the CIA interpretation, or just the photograph, just so I'm clear, Your Honour?
THE COURT: Just the photograph, unless and until you look at it, and unless you ---
MR CHRISTIE: What I could do is put it in for identification, and I can call evidence on that point later, perhaps.
THE COURT: The photograph only, for the moment, until counsel have seen it; but do not take it apart. Just hold it for the moment, Madam Clerk. It is the photograph only which is to be the exhibit at this time.
--- EXHIBIT NO. 27: Excerpt from document showing photograph of Auschwitz-Birkenau complex
Q. MR CHRISTIE: Witness, you say that you saw 1,765,000 Jews go into the area of the crematorium, and you are asking us to believe that you did that by counting each and every one of them.
A. To make a statistics clandestinely of a highly secret murder, committed by a ruthless and large organization over two years, is a question which requires some circumspection and cannot be answered in one or two sentences, but if you wish to know every detail how the statistics which are recorded in this report were made by me and Wetzler, I can give you an explanation, a lecture about it.
Q. I asked you a question about it. Did you count each one of them?
THE COURT: Doctor, you can answer that question without difficulty. Please do it.
THE WITNESS: I counted reliably at least eighty per cent of it, and at least the remaining twenty per cent of it was seen by Wetzler and most of it was seen by both of us. So you can double check the figures.
Q. So you can double check the figures.
A. By many other ways, too.
Q. Did they come in trucks, or did they come on foot?
A. As I explained to you yesterday, and you seem to have forgotten, the mass of the victims came in cattle trucks, in trains. However, there were excep-
tional cases. There were exceptional cases when they came on trucks.
Q. Now, isn't it your evidence, from a previous occasion, that a hundred people were put on each truck and you counted the trucks?
A. I said on previous occasion that in each truck there were sixty -- you mean cattle truck?
Q. No. The trucks that you said came from the ramps. You referred to them as dump trucks.
A. That's right dump trucks.
Q. You said there were a hundred people in each one and you counted by that method?
A. That's right.
Q. 17,650 trucks? Are you telling us that you counted 17,650 trucks?
A. No. A considerable part of my method consisted also of other measurements. For instance, when I went out to the ramp ---
Q. I didn't ask you about other methods. I asked you about that specific method. Thank you.
A. I didn't go by just this parameter. I had other parameters in order to check and double check these figures.
Q. I will ask you if I may ---
A. You're welcome. You may learn something new.
Q. Is it your evidence that you kept a record in some written form, or is it all mental note?
A. To keep records in written form about murder in Auschwitz ---
Q. --- would be dangerous, so ---
A. --- was to ask for death.
Q. So you didn't.
A. No. I relied on my memory.
Q. Therefore it was all a matter of memory.
A. That's right.
Q. And the matter of memory was such that over the two years you could be sure of the numbers of trucks and transports.
Q. You never wrote it down anywhere?
A. It was not necessary until I wrote this down, because I have special mnemonic principles that are simple, so simple that you might understand it, perhaps.
Q. One of the things you did in the camp was to learn how to tell lies very effectively, wasn't it?
A. I beg your pardon?
Q. One of the methods to survive in the camp was to learn how to lie very effectively?
A. Are you making innuendos that I was a liar?
Q. I asked you a specific question, that's all. You had to lie very effectively so that you had to get ahead in the camp?
A. I don't understand what you are meaning. Give me an example.
Q. Well, did you have to lie to the guards and lie to the Kapos and lie to the authorities above you, and perhaps even lie to the people around you?
A. You mean that I didn't go to the
camp commander and told him that my real intention is to escape from this camp, that I do not approve of the murders which is going on there, that I pretend that I am a slave labourer who has got no other interest than to find a scrap of food and can't think, and if you say that that was a lie, well, I would say that you might have here some point.
In other words, in the face of a ruthless enemy of a ruthless murderer who doesn't believe into God and has got no inhibitions whatsoever, if he knows he can get away with it, it would be most imprudent to open my mind and warn him that my intention is to oppose him.
Q. Is that why you developed your memory techniques?
A. This was a part of it. I had to develop my memory techniques if I wanted to oppose their objective, and their objective was to keep the secret of Auschwitz.
Q. If you wanted to keep yourself safe you had to develop the memory techniques so that you could keep your lies straight?
A. I beg your pardon?
Q. You had to develop a memory technique so you could keep your lies straight and survive in the camp?
A. Keep what?
Q. In order to keep alive in the camp you had to develop a memory technique so that you could keep your lies straight?
A. My lies straight?
Q. That's right.
A. You are saying I have been lying?
Q. That's right, sir; but I am suggesting that you have developed a technique to keep your lies straight.
A. I am suggesting to you that, to consider a person who fought Nazis a liar is a misuse of a free Court in Canada.
Q. So because you fought the Nazis we shouldn't suggest that you could be lying; is that it?
A. I fought the Nazis without telling them my real intention, otherwise I couldn't have fought them. And if you now, on that ground, consider me a liar, then you will have to consider a liar every nineteen-year-old Canadian boy who died fighting the Nazis because he didn't tell them in advance when he was going to attack them.
Q. Well, how many of them died, sir?
A. Of whom?
Q. The Canadian boys you are referring to?
A. A great deal of them had to die.
Q. How many?
A. It was not my job to make a statistic on that.
Q. That's right. But I will suggest to you that it's been a well-promoted statistic that you made of 1,765,000, that that statistic is not any more known to you than it is to anyone in this room as to how many Canadians died.
A. Well, it is very sad. It should be known; but I suggest there is sufficient information about
in the library if I wanted to know how many young Canadians had put their lives down in order to end this nightmare in Europe, and there is a sufficient information about it in the library about Auschwitz, too, and everybody contributed where he was, the military organs, the military administration kept records about it, how many soldiers they lost, and I kept record about it, how many victims I have seen murdered and robbed.
Also, I might say that this is not a welcome news to you.
THE COURT: We will adjourn for twenty minutes.
--- The jury retires. 11:40 a.m.
--- Short adjournment.
--- Upon resuming.
--- The jury returns. 12:10 p.m.
THE COURT: Go ahead, Mr Christie.
Q. MR CHRISTIE: I'd like to deal with the specific figure that you gave for the nation of France on page 33 of your report, where you say, "Careful estimate of the number of Jews gassed in Birkenau between April, 1942 and April, 1944 (according to the countries of origin)."
A. Which page is it?
Q. Page 33 of your report, the War Refugee Board Report which you referred to as the Vrba-Wetzler Report. Page 33 there is a list which says, "Careful estimate of the number of Jews gassed in Birkenau between April, 1942 and April, 1944 (according to the countries
A. That's right.
Q. Then it says, "France 150,000".
A. Right. Approximately 150,000.
Q. How did you know the country of origin a nineteen-year-old blockschreibe in what block number?
A. No. 15 in Block IIA.
Q. Yes. No. 15 Block, in Block IIA. Right?
Q. So you knew the country of origin.
Q. For everybody who came from France.
A. That's right.
A. I can explain to you why.
Q. I don't need an explanation. I just want to know if it's true.
Q. You said yes.
Q. That's for two years gassed Jews from France.
A. Gassed Jews which came in trains from France.
Q. Oh, I see.
A. Because in those trains were many Polish Jews who were refugees from Poland and came to France and then they were caught up in France by the Nazi machinery.
Q. All right. So you happen to know the country of origin of the trains.
A. Absolutely so.
Q. You seem to know everything about the camp even from where the trains came. Right?
A. This was very easy for me to find out.
Q. I am sure it was.
A. I will explain to you why.
Q. If you wish, later, but I have a question for you.
A. If you wish I will.
Q. Well, I have a question dealing with 150,000 gassed Jews from France.
A. That's right.
Q. I'd like to show you a book made by Serge Klarsfeld.
THE COURT: Show him the book.
MR CHRISTIE: Yes.
Q. Do you recognize this book?
Q. You don't know anything about it?
Q. I want to put something to you from this book.
THE COURT: Don't quote anything from
the book. Just put questions emanating from the book, but not from the book directly.
MR CHRISTIE: All right.
Q. I put it to you, sir, that it is the truth and the fact that the closest estimate we can obtain from the best sources available, with all the transport numbers and names and dates in France, gives us the closest possible estimate of foreign Jews deported, Jews without national origin deported from France, and French Jews deported from France equalling a total for the entire war of 75,721. Do you disagree with that?
Q. Thank you.
A. I disagree with it because it is not in accordance with what I have established.
Q. Yes. Thank you very much.
A. And it was written by people who have not seen.
Q. You are a person who has seen people.
A. On the ramp.
Q. How do the trains differ from Lithuania, Bohemia, Slovakia, all of which countries of origin you identify in your report? How are they different?
A. All right. Before the train came, the S.S. were very informed what sort of trains will come, and they didn't say that the train from France will come. They said, "Tomorrow come sardines", because people in France during the wartime did have sardines, somehow, and in the moment when the news that they are going to an
unknown place, they tried to accumulate certain amount of food which they take with themselves.
For us who were working on the ramp, naturally, the food which they brought with them was very important. Unfortunately, they did not eat the food as they went mostly to the gas chamber, and the food was confiscated, but we paid close attention to the question of food because we were starving people, and the S.S. paid a close attention to that question.
Consequently, when the S.S. started to speak, "You are going to the ramp. Sardines are coming", I knew it was a transport from France and I knew that that night, if I am lucky, I will steal some sardine conserve.
When a transport came from Greece they were speaking of cigarettes, and France not much; consequently, the Greek transport was a supply of cigarettes not only for the S.S. but also the prisoners who whenever they can put their hands on the goods too.
When a transport came from Slovakia, one spoke about Slivovitz.
THE COURT: What is that?
THE WITNESS: This is an alcoholic drink. Because each family brought with them, they use it for medicinal purposes. When somebody is very sick in Slovakia they believe if you have a glass of it you get better. So we knew -- I didn't answer your question yet -- so we knew perfectly well from food.
Secondly, we knew perfectly well from the language which they spoke. Auschwitz was full of all nationalities, all languages are spoken, and I myself speak
seven. So it was quite clear for me and easy for me to identify the people the moment they came out from the train by the language they spoke.
Q. What about the story you told us before ---
A. And number three, they brought the luggages, and on the luggages they brought with them, they did not bring with them we from the Kanadakommand handled them; and on the luggage were carefully written their names and their addresses at home, just like everybody who travels writes his name and address on the luggage.
So there were many, many factors which clearly, and beyond any doubt, enabled me to establish, with one glance, from where a particular transport is coming.
Q. So your estimate, then, is based on those three things the conversation, the tags on the luggage, and the food they brought with them.
A. Not only that.
Q. Tell us more. Just a moment, I will ask you specifically, how can you tell there were a hundred thousand from Holland? You see, that's the first one, Holland; and Poland you say 300,000.
A. By truck. 600,000 by train.
Q. You've told us so far that nobody came by truck, but now you say 300,000 came by truck?
A. These are that came from the ghettoes of Auschwitz, Sosnovitz (phonetic) and so on. There were a number of ghettoes in close vicinity of Auschwitz with
great concentration of Jews, and these were not transported by train, but by truck.
Q. You handled their luggage off the train, too?
A. That's right. Off the trucks.
Q. Off the trucks.
Q. You unloaded the trucks, then.
A. No, I didn't unload those people from the trucks. Those trucks went straight to the crematoria, so we could see the truck only.
Q. So 300,000 went in those trucks that went straight to the crematoria.
Q. And I suppose you saw the people being dumped into the back to the crematoria?
A. The trucks went into the crematoria and I didn't see any people coming back except the empty trucks.
Q. So you didn't see anybody going into the crematoria?
A. No. Only the trucks loaded with people.
Q. Going into the area of the crematoria?
A. Going into the closed area of the crematoria.
Q. Oh, right inside the building?
A. In front of the building. And then they went ---
Q. Did you see them going into the
A. When it was day, yes. When it was night I only saw them going into the compound.
Q. There was a compound with a wall around it?
A. Not wall, barbed wire.
Q. So did you see the trucks going right into the crematoria with these people on them?
A. Perfectly so.
Q. Yes. Big, wide doors in the crematoria, eh?
A. Not in the crematoria. There were big, wide doors in the entrance to the compound of the crematoria. This means that cars, the trucks went on the main road from the main gate in Birkenau, the last four hundred of five hundred meter, to the crematoria, and in front of the crematoria the barbed wire fence had a very large opening. It's a gate through which easily a truck went by.
Q. Yeah. So you saw three thousand trucks with a hundred people on each one going through the gate?
A. Not in one night, but over two years.
Q. And you counted them and when you got to eight hundred or so, you kept on counting and never made mistakes and kept on counting till you got to three thousand trucks.
A. That's right.
Q. With a hundred people on each.
A. That's right.
Q. Now you say 600,000 came from Poland
Q. And you counted all those, too.
A. Six hundred ---
Q. That's what it says.
A. Where is it?
Q. Second from the top, just under the 300,000.
A. Yes. Because I was on the ramp. They came with train.
Q. Sure. What about this situation where you told us that the lady who had a conversation with a prisoner, then the prisoner was shot for talking to her?
Q. Without going into the conversation no doubt you can go on about that do you remember that incident?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Any communication between the baggage handlers and the people on the trains resulted in being shot.
A. Usually, when it was observed.
Q. Okay. So we have now understood from you why there was so ready an ability to identify the country of origin, eh?
A. There was more of that.
Q. Just answer one other question, if you will.
A. There was more of that. You asked me what was ready ability. You see, from each transport ---
Q. Well, so far, let me understand you, it was the food, in the case of Yugoslavia Slivovitz, in case of France sardines, then there was the luggage which you thought of next, then there was the language which you thought of after that.
Q. Anything else you want to add? You have thought of something else?
A. Yes, I have thought of something else.
Q. Go ahead.
A. For instance, from each transport not from each but from most of the transport, they chose at least a hundred men, or two hundred men from slave labour, and these men came into the camp. Once I became a camp registrar, or a Blockschreibe, to say it exactly, I was writing their cards their names, from where they are and I spoke with them and I asked them where from they are, if they came with their families, because their first question was, "Where are our families? Where is my wife? Where are my children?" So that I speak to them like a human being, so they thought I could give them information. And from the discussions with these people, from the discussions with these people I was able to confirm my observations with my eyes and come, then, to my final conclusion about the size of the transport and origin.
Q. Mm-hmmm. I just want to understand clearly that you were a Blockschreibe, you told us, right there, wasn't it?
A. No. It was here in Block 15.
THE COURT: Referring to Exhibit 1.
MR CHRISTIE: Exhibit 21, sir.
Q. Now, Block 15, you say?
Q. That's one block in one half of -- it's BIIA, right?
Q. Now, how many people were in that block?
A. In that block were sometimes no people, and sometimes a thousand.
Q. Sometimes a thousand.
Q. So there's as many as a thousand in each of those blocks at the bottom there; is that right?
A. No, that is not right, because sometimes ---
Q. What do you mean, then?
A. Sometimes half the blocks were empty, sometimes eighty per cent of the blocks were empty it was a quarantine part of the camp.
Q. Yeah, but they held as many as a thousand in each of those blocks?
A. If necessary they could put as many as a thousand people in each of those blocks. They held as many as three hundred, but they managed to press in.
Q. What we are talking about is block BIIA. Right?
Q. And there's fifteen blocks in there.
A. That's right.
Q. All right. So there could be as many as fifteen thousand people.
A. There were never there fifteen thousand people.
Q. In that part of the camp.
A. No. In quarantine camp not, but in similar camp, indeed, there were sometimes twenty thousand.
Q. Let's get the figures understood. So that in all the other blocks in other camps, the same number of people could be kept.
A. Not at all. This doesn't work that way. I am show you how it works if you allow me.
Q. All I asked you was, were the blocks capable of holding that many people?
A. They were capable, but between capability of holding people and actually holding people there is a difference. The people. Were the people there or not?
Q. I know. And you were in the quarantine camp, and unless you were reporting to the Chief Blockschreibe, or the Chief Scribe of the camp ---
A. That's right.
Q. --- you had to be in quarantine Block A.
A. According to regulations; but it doesn't mean that I kept the regulations, you see.
Q. No. You were clever enough to avoid the regulations, right?
A. I took the risk to avoid the regulations, if you don't mind, as part of my fighting duties.
Q. Fighting duries, yes. So you still maintain 150,000 people from France who were Jews ....
Q. Were gassed between April '42 and April '44.
Q. You maintain ---
A. It is written there.
Q. It is written there, I know.
A. I have counted them.
Q. And I want to know if that's true.
Q. And you say that is true.
A. Absolutely so, otherwise I wouldn't have written it.
Q. And it's a careful estimate, isn't it?
A. Well, what else can it be? Should I have asked ---
Q. Don't answer my question with a question. Please answer my question with an answer.
A. Yes. A careful estimate, because that is all I could do. A careful estimate. I could not ask the camp commander for more exact figures. He had them.
Q. Thank you for your reason for your answer. I suggest to you that this figure is twice the number of people that boarded from France who were Jews for the entire War. What do you say to that?
A. Where from do you have the figure, from the Nazi newspapers?
Q. No. I have the figure -- do you want an answer to the question? Because that is what you asked me. I put it to you, therefore, from Serge Klarsfeld, a noted Nazi-hunter from France who wrote the book, Le Memorial de la Deportation de Juivre en France -- do you deny the content of this book?
A. I have not read that book, but I can tell you that I was in Notre Dame -- excuse me, I am trying to explain to you that question.
Q. But I didn't ask you about Notre Dame. I asked you whether you disputed the truth of that book.
A. I would like to inform you about different sources.
THE COURT: Doctor, Doctor. Mr Christie, let him answer the question. You put it. Let him answer it.
THE WITNESS: I would like to tell you that in 1967 I was invited by the French Government to take part in the opening of memorial for those who were deported from France and died a martyr's death in Auschwitz and I was taken to Notre Dame in the memorial, and in gold letters there was written, "In memory of 200,000 French victims of gas chambers in Auschwitz", or deportees, or something to that effect. I cannot reproduce the words, but roughly to that effect.
Q. MR CHRISTIE: Where was this?
A. In the memorial to the martyrs of deportation, on the island in Paris. So you can see that at that time the French Government had an opinion that 200,000 were
deported. Now, the French Government ---
Q. Gassed or deported?
A. And never came back. There is an inscription of a ten-year-old boy whose parents were deported, and this inscription says, "One day they went away and never came back". So this was for the 200,000 who were deported and never came back.
Now, we know, of course, where they were deported. The Germans kept ---
MR CHRISTIE: Your Honour, I object to the witness going beyond the scope of the question. I'd like to ask some other questions.
THE COURT: Ask the next question.
MR CHRISTIE: Thank you.
Q. You gave an answer to my learned friend that the words in this book, "Did Six Million Really Die?" was a cynical lie, on more than one occasion, I recall; is that right?
A. May I elaborate this on the ground ---
Q. I just want to know if you said that.
A. Yes. I have a document on that. I have left it .
Q. I just asked you whether you said it.
A. Yes, sir. It is a cynical lie.
A. It is cynical to say ---
Q. You were read the portion I am about
to read to you:
"Although several millions were supposed to have died at Auschwitz alone, Reitlinger has to admit that only 363,000 inmates were registered at the camp for the whole of the period between January 1940 and February 1945 " (The S.S. Alibi of a Nation, p. 268 ff), "and ...."
A. What is the figure?
Q. "....363,000 inmates were registered at the camp for the whole of the period between January 1940 and February 1945 " (The S.S. Alibi of a Nation, p. 268 ff), "and ...."
A. Excuse me. You said registered. Did I hear right?
Q. That's what the words were.
A. Registered. Good. Thank you.
Q. Okay. Now, do you deny that that's what it says in the book, "The S.S. Alibi of a Nation", at page 268?
A. I didn't read the book.
Q. All right. So you don't deny that?
A. I didn't read the book. I didn't come to discuss this literature. I came here at the request of the Court to say what I saw.
Q. I asked you a question and I want an answer.
A. What answer do you want me about the book?
Q. I want to know why you said that that was a cynical lie if you had never read the book.
A. The six millions why it was a cynical lie?
Q. No. The question was why that was a cynical lie when you've never read the book.
A. What was a cynical lie?
Q. You said this part, which I've read to you, was a cynical lie. Now I'm going to analyze it piece by piece and I am going to ask you specifically if every sentence is true or false, or if you know.
A. As far as I know ---
Q. Then I am going to ask you why you said it was a cynical lie.
A. That's right.
Q. All right. Now, I will proceed to do that with the first sentence. Will you permit me?
A. I would like to make a certain signification. I said the word cynical ---
Q. Well, I want a specific answer, for a certain specific question, and I'll ask it right now.
A. When did I say it was a cynical lie? Remind me, please.
Q. I just put it to you that you did. I am not going to give you the hour, the second, the minute or even the day, but I put it to you that you did, and I am going to ask you whether it was, in fact, a lie.
A. Yes. All right. Go ahead.
Q. That sentence, then, you cannot say it was a lie?
A. Which sentence?
Q. The sentence I just read to you:
"Although several millions were supposed to have died at Auschwitz alone, Reitlinger has to admit that only 363,000 inmates were registered at the camp for the whole of the period between January 1940 and February 1945 " (The S.S. Alibi of a Nation, p. 268 ff)..."
I put it to you that that sentence is not a lie.
A. No. I said the same thing here.
Q. Thank you. The next sentence -- well, it isn't another sentence; it is carrying on from a comma:
".... and by no means all of them were Jews."
That's true, isn't it, for registered inmates?
Q. All right:
"It is frequently claimed that many prisoners were never registered...."
That's true, too, isn't it, sir?
A. If they went into the gas chamber, they were not registered.
Q. I am not interested in your opinion as to whether they were gassed or not. I am interested in whether it was true that it was frequently claimed that many inmates were never registered. It was true, wasn't it?
A. If it was claimed -- I have never heard it claimed. Show me the claim.
Q. Well, I put it to you that you say that ten per cent were registered and the rest were gassed.
A. I claimed that twenty-five per cent were registered and the rest were gassed.
Q. The unregistered, according to you, were gassed?
A. That's right.
Q. So it is true to say:
"It is frequently claimed that many prisoners were never registered"?
A. Well, if you understand it that those who were brought into the cattle trucks were already prisoners, and as prisoners and not free people, straight into the gas chamber, then it is true that the people were not registered and were killed. That is only unregistered prisoners.
Q. "It is frequently claimed that many prisoners were never registered...."
A. Many prisoners who did not come into the camp but from the cattle trucks in which they were imprisoned were taken straight to the gas chambers. Right, they were not registered.
Q. It is, therefore, frequently claimed that many prisoners were never registered; isn't that true?
A. With the specifications I just now gave you, yes.
Q. Well, that statement is true, even without the specifications you just now gave me, isn't it?
A. Without the specifications, the statement is a nonsense.
Q. Why is the statement nonsense without your specifications when it says:
"It is frequently claimed that many prisoners were never registered...."
Why does that need your specifications to make sense?
A. Because I consider a prisoner in Auschwitz, or Birkenau, in the Auschwitz complex, every prisoner was registered. On the other hand, if I define the word "prisoner" not only those who were registered but those who were brought in cattle trucks as prisoners, and without registration were gassed ....
Q. You call them prisoners ---
A. Then you can widen the word of "prisoner". You are playing on a word. What is a prisoner?
Q. You are the one who is playing with words, I suggest, because a prisoner is a prisoner is a prisoner, and if he comes on a cattle truck or a train, he is still a prisoner. Right?
A. But it doesn't mean that he is or not registered. That's the question. And if he is unregistered, he died as an unregistered prisoner and was never a prisoner in Auschwitz.
Q. Let me put it to you this way, that people who arrive in trains or cattle trucks or any other way were prisoners, and it is claimed that many of them were never registered. Isn't that true?
A. In that sense, yes.
Q. All right. This article does not define prisoners as only those who were registered, does it?
A. I beg your pardon?
Q. This article does not define prisoners as only those who were registered, does it?
A. But in my mind I only regarded those who were registered.
Q. All right. That is only in your mind.
Q. Then it says:
".... but no one has offered any proof of this."
Right? That's what the article says. I am asking you, isn't that what it says?
A. No one has offered any proof of that?
A. This is ridiculous.
Q. Well, sir, you tell us that you have proof that many were never registered. Right? They disappeared up in smoke. Right?
A. It is not only I who registered it. The proof is that they went there and never came back.
Q. You've told us all about the 1,765,000 that went to the crematoria and never came back and they all, of course, were not registered. Right?
A. Of course not, except those prisoners who registered, walked in the camp ---
Q. And died.
A. Lost their -- either died or lost their power for slave work and were subjected to so-called selections and were selected as unsuitable of work and led in front of my eyes to the crematoria. So there were
registered prisoners gassed in the crematoria, and unregistered prisoners gassed in the crematoria.
A. So we are in agreement.
Q. What I am suggesting to you is that the article says that there is a claim that many prisoners were never registered and you agreed with that, and it said that no one has offered any proof of this, and I put it to you that unless you were the person who kept the camp register ....
Q. .... you, yourself, cannot say who was registered and who was not.
A. Of course.
Q. That is true.
A. No, that is not true. That is false.
Q. Well, sir, how can you tell us how you know who was registered and who was not when you were a block scribe in block what?
A. In Block 15.
Q. Block 15 in quarantine camp A.
Q. How can you tell us how you know what records were kept by the whole camp, commandant and everybody else?
A. Because it was a rule in Auschwitz ---
Q. Whose rule?
A. The rule of the administration which run Auschwitz. The rule was the murderers who was running this complex, and the rule -- I am answering your question.
MR GRIFFITHS: Let him answer the question, please.
THE COURT: Yes, Mr Christie, let him answer the question.
MR CHRISTIE: Did you see their books?
A. I have permission to answer the question.
Q. Do you know what the question is?
Q. What is it?
A. The question is were there unregistered prisoners in the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
A. There were no unregistered prisoners in that complex for this reason. No alive ---
Q. None alive.
A. And for the following reason I can say that this is for sure so:
Any prisoner in concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau had a number not only tattooed on his body, but also sewn on his clothes.
Q. Well, I'd like to stop you there and ---
A. You are interrupting me when I am explaining you the question.
MR GRIFFITHS: He is answering the question.
THE COURT: I have it, gentlemen. You can ask him after he has finished talking, and not until.
MR CHRISTIE: Thank you.
THE WITNESS: It was a rule in Auschwitz that who didn't have his number on his clothes committed a criminal offence which was punished by capital punishment; he was killed.
Consequently, I can quite assure you that no prisoner could be in Auschwitz-Birkenau unregistered because if he would have been unregistered, then the roll calls which took place twice a day in order to check if somebody escaped or not would not have been possible.
When somebody escaped from Auschwitz it took the administration no more than two minutes or five minutes to find out who is missing from which block and what is his number, what is his birthplace and where from he comes. In other words, to move around in a prisoner garb unregistered in Auschwitz-Birkenau, this is approximately such a fantasy like that you jump on the moon. Not possible. There was no unregistered prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau in the time I have been there during the two years.
Q. So everybody was registered, is that right?
A. Absolutely so. Everybody who was alive was registered. Only those who died without registration were not registered.
Q. And of those there is no proof.
A. There is enough proof.
Q. What is the proof of those?
A. Should I bring you six million bodies here in front of you that you should accept the proof?
Q. Well, I'd be satisfied with an autopsy report of even one.
A. You would?
Q. Yeah. Have you got that?
THE COURT: One more laugh and the one who laughs leaves and doesn't come back. Not a sound.
MR CHRISTIE: I am not asking for six million bodies. I am not asking if there are six million bodies in Auschwitz. I am not asking for anything like that. If you have the evidence of one single body of a person who is gassed, who was never registered, I'd like you to produce it.
A. As a rule, you should know it, as a counsel, that ---
Q. What I should know as a counsel ---
A. I am explaining to you ---
THE COURT: Just a moment. Mr Christie, you will please desist from interrupting the answer. I will be the arbiter as to whether or not the answer is too long and is unresponsive. You will resist it with all of your ability to interrupt the answer of the witness.
MR CHRISTIE: Thank you, sir.
THE COURT: Now, witness, proceed.
THE WITNESS: As a rule you, acquainted with the criminal law, must know that it is not the habit of the murderer to provide witnesses with post-mortem reports of his victims. Consequently the fact that I have been a witness to the murder doesn't give me still the possibility to go to the murderer and ask for the post-mortem of his victims.
Your request, therefore, is nonsensical.
Q. MR CHRISTIE: Am I to take it, then, that you are the proof? Is that it?
A. No, I am not the proof. I am only one of those who recorded it for the first time when it was a big secret in 1944, and after that it was investigated when this report came to the British, American and Canadian Government and was found to be a truthful and reliable information which has been checked not only with discussion of thousands and thousands of survivors, but also from reports which reached the Allied Intelligence that many trains from Paris, from Belgium from Selonica, from Prague, from Yugoslavia, from Poland moved with Jews to an unknown destination.
The first time that the destination became known, as far as Auschwitz is concerned, was accorded in this report, but long time before this report reached the Allied Government, it was known that some of the transport went to Treblinka, Chelmno, Belzec and Sobibor. So this was known to the Allied in 1944. What was new in this report was that apart from the extermination camps and gas chambers in Chelmno, Belzec,Treblinka, Sobibor, the Nazis, in their cunning, managed to hide that the biggest centre of maximum extermination is in Auschwitz. That was only news in this report.
Q. So I take it, then, that you have just provided us with the proof that there is ---
A. I have provided the Allied, not you, but the Allied Government, with the information where it is and where it can be checked out. And as far as I know, none from the Allied Government who were responsible for this
handling of the report still accused me of having told them something which is not true. Such an accusation I have heard only from the neo-Nazi Press with the shamelessness of Butz and Faurisson, and from the piece which has been shown to me by the representative of Crown as being produced by your defendant.
Q. So as to the proof that many prisoners were never registered, you have provided that to us. That's all there is that you know of. Is that right?
A. I am confirming a generally-known fact.
Q. That's the words that began the Refugee Board Report, and I will quote it to you ---
Q. "It is a fact beyond denial". Those were the opening words, wasn't it?
A. Excuse me please?
Q. The first words of the report?
A. Page ....
Q. Well, it starts at the beginning, the first page.
Q. It says, "It is a fact beyond denial". Those are the first words, aren't they?
A. Those are the first words, but why don't you read -- sorry.
Q. I will read the whole thing. I want to ask you if those were the first words.
A. Those are the first words, and as far as I know, they were penned by the President of the United States.
Q. They weren't penned by you, then?
A. No, because this is an introduction to the report. This is an introduction to the report, and the report starts here.
Q. Thank you very much. It is an introduction. Thank you.
A. Yes. Not penned by myself; penned in Washington.
Q. Yes. I've heard that twice now, thank you. Now, is this the case that you have provided us with the proof of the existence of all these unregistered people by your evidence here?
A. I have ---
THE COURT: Excuse me.
MR GRIFFITHS: I think that ultimately that is going to be a matter both for Your Honour and for the jury, Your Honour, and not a question for this witness to ask. His credibility will be assessed by the jury and they will decide whether it is proof or not.
THE COURT: What do you say to that, Mr Christie?
MR CHRISTIE: Well, he's made a statement that no one has provided any proof of this. He says that statement is a lie and I asked him whether he claims he is the one that offered us the proof. That's all.
THE COURT: I agree with the Crown. If you want to rephrase it in such a way that it is acceptable to me, you may, but in that form it is not. You may not ask it.
Q. MR CHRISTIE: It says then:
"Even if there were as many unregistered
as there were registered, it would mean only a total of 750,000 prisoners".
Now, that statement is true, isn't it?
A. Where are you reading that?
Q. I am reading where I read before.
A. Well, I can't see where you are reading.
Q. I finished off by reading the last sentence before that which was:
"It was frequently claimed that many prisoners were never registered, but no one has offered any proof of this."
The next sentence reads:
"Even if there were as many unregistered as there were registered, it would mean only a total of 750,000 ...."
I put it to you that that statement is true.
A. I don't know what you are reading from, from what context you are tearing it out of, and I will appreciate it if you show me the document from which you are reading.
Q. I'm sorry, I thought you had read the document and given your opinion on it, but I'll get it. Exhibit 1, page 17. It's the same part, I suggest to you, that you gave a blanket answer for to my learned friend. You said it was a cynical lie.
A. Yes. Now I remember. I said it is a cynical lie what was written in this, what do you call it, printed paper.
THE COURT: You can call it Exhibit 1.
THE WITNESS: Exhibit 1.
Q. MR CHRISTIE: Now, I am referring to a specific sentence in that specific paragraph where it says:
"Even if there were as many unregistered as there were registered, it would mean only a total of 750,000 prisoners".
A. Page and line, please.
Q. 17 is the page. The line doesn't have a number, but it's the paragraph that ---
A. This is the page where Mr Goering is photographed, if I am right?
Q. Well, it says "17" on the bottom righthand. You got it?
Q. Thank you, Doctor. You read the sentence: "Even if ...." Now, do you want to start again?
A. Yes, please. Which sentence?
Q. We will deal with the paragraph which you were read by the Crown, which is the bottom paragraph on the lefthand column of the page beginning with the words:
"Although several millions were supposed to have died at Auschwitz alone ...."
A. That's right. I found it.
Q. ".... Reitlinger has to admit that only 363,000 inmates were registered at the camp for the whole of the period between January 1940 and
February 1945 (The S.S. Alibi of a Nation, p. 268 ff) ...."
Q. That statement I gather you don't dispute because you say -- or you don't know about that book. Right?
A. I don't know about that book, but I know about the fact.
Q. Well, it's true, isn't it, that's how many were registered?
Q. All right. You say that all of the 1,765,000 were unregistered. Right?
A. Excuse me, this is not what is written here.
Q. No. I am asking ---
A. Here is written the following -- you are trying to mislead me.
Q. No, I am not trying to mislead.
A. And I will try to tell you what I read here.
Q. I've read it once, sir. I am asking you another question a little off that sentence. Don't feel I am trying to mislead you. I want to understand you.
A. Well, with your permission I can explain what I understand.
A. Here is written:
"It is frequently claimed that many prisoners were never registered, but no one has offered any proof of this."
A. This word, "No one has offered any proof of this", this doesn't come from Reitlinger. This comes from the Nazi provocation.
Q. Okay. That comes from this book which you call a Nazi provocation.
A. That's right.
Q. It's a statement of opinion, right?
A. If I would consider ---
Q. You don't ---
A. --- the opinion of somebody who tells me that the moon is out of cheese not a provocation, but a fact or information, I wouldn't be with it.
Q. No. It is a very clever turn of phrase, Doctor, but I want to ask you if that isn't an opinion with which you disagree.
A. It is against common sense, this second half of the sentence.
Q. All right.
A. Because many scholars, on many universities, and many criminal organizations, I mean many organizations who persecuted criminals, knew perfectly well that many have offered the proof of this. And here is written, "No one has offered any proof of this", and you want me to subscribe to it. In other words ---
Q. No. Just please understand. I am not asking you to subscribe to it or agree with it, but I am asking you to confirm that it is a statement of opinion.
A. It is a statement against common sense. This is not a question of opinion.
Q. Yes. You agree ---
A. If I will qualify my statement, if you will tell me that this room is ten or twenty yards length, this is a question of opinion, I might say ten, you might say twenty; but if you tell me that this room is long twenty miles, this is not opinion; this is nonsense.
Q. Okay. You tell me that you saw 1,765,000 people go into a gas chamber and never come out. You don't produce a body. You don't produce any figures, statistics or registration numbers. You give me the information off trains that you see on occasion and you tell me that it is as ridiculous as anything you can imagine. Right?
A. No, not at all. I say something different.
Q. All right.
A. What I am offering is, in the report which went to the Allied Government, is a statistic, day by day, of what arrived to Auschwitz, from where, to the best of my knowledge and ability.
Q. I know. We've gone into that, sir.
A. So this is a testimonial of an eye witness, and as you could see, the testimonial was sufficiently good to such a way that yes, when you told me that on 7 March, 1943, there came no transport into Auschwitz, I could show you, in your own document, the other side which you didn't want to show us was written that the transport arrived on 8th March. And you didn't give me even the opportunity to explain to you that it was not necessary lapse of memory, but that if prisoners came on the night of 7 March to the camp, it is perfectly
logical that in the book which you showed me they will be recorded on in the morning as March 8th. Still you came here ---
Q. I suggest to you that it was the 7th of September we were talking about yesterday, not the 7th of March or the 8th.
A. 7th of September, that's right.
Q. You made a mistake, right?
A. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me.
Q. Sure. Now, what I have suggested to you is that it is true that it is frequently claimed that many prisoners were never registered. In fact, you make that claim yourself as do many others.
A. That many prisoners were never registered, provided with the proviso because they were gassed on arrival.
Q. You want to add that. All right.
A. That's right.
Q. And therefore you say that it is nonsense to say that no one has offered any proof of this. Right?
A. That no one has offered any proof of it, this is nonsense.
Q. Yeah. That's nonsense because you've offered us your knowledge of their arrival and your evidence about their being gassed.
A. And many thousand other survivors.
Q. Well, we don't know about the many thousand others.
A. I ---
THE COURT: Just a moment. What's your next question?
Q. MR CHRISTIE: I am trying to get to the sentence I tried to get to before.
"Even if there were as many unregistered as there were registered, it would mean only a total of 750,000 prisoners hardly enough for the elimination of 3 or 4 million."
Now, that sentence is true, right?
A. That sentence I don't even understand. I think this is a non sequitur. If you take the sentences, they are nonsense. It is grammatically right. It is spelled out, I would say, properly, but the sense is completely missing.
Q. Because you don't accept the proposition that there were only twice as many unregistered as registered; is that right?
A. No. Here is something completely different written. Even if there were as many unregistered as there were registered, it would mean only a total of 750,000 prisoners.
Q. Well, we already understood from you that you didn't know how many were registered, do you? Do you know how many were registered?
A. Of course I know how many were registered.
Q. How many?
A. And as you say in your statement here, that Reitlinger said that registered prisoners were 363,000.
Q. What do you say?
A. And in my book I say the following I will read you what I said. I will read you the whole paragraph so that there is no mistake about what I said.
Q. Well, I don't think you are trying to mislead us, sir, on your book. Just tell us how many were registered.
A. On page 273 I say that apart from those who were killed without registration, registered prisoners were 350,000.
A. And Reitlinger says 363,000.
Q. That's right.
A. Now, he is a particularly sorrowful historian. I always said my figures were exact to ten per cent, and that difference between the two figures I mentioned before is only about two or three per cent.
Q. So twice the unregistered inmates would be 750,000, right?
A. That is right. So what you are saying then is twice the number of registered would mean that fifty per cent of the people who came in the cattle trucks to Auschwitz would go to the camp and only fifty per cent would go, other fifty per cent ---
Q. Let the jury decide what it means. I am asking you to decide upon this statement, one at a time.
Q. So we agree that if you double the number of registered inmates, you get 750,000.
A. That's right. Nice mathematical
Q. And that would certainly not be three or four million.
Q. That's all I ask.
A. By mathematics, no. Depending by which factor you multiply now.
Q. And you multiply by your factor.
A. And you choose factor two.
Q. I did not make the choice. The author did.
A. Who is the author?
Q. It says, "Richard Harwood". Now, just answer my questions. Don't ask me who the author is.
A. Richard Harwood ---
THE COURT: Next question.
Q. MR CHRISTIE: "Moreover, large numbers of the camp population were released or transported elsewhere during the war, ...."
Now, I'd like to ask you whether anybody, to your knowledge, ever left Auschwitz-Birkenau during the War for any other camp.
A. Yes, I can answer that question. For that I don't have exact figures, but observations I do have.
After the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto, this means it must have been in May June -- no, it was only in July, August, 1943, long after the uprising, they took, marched out from Auschwitz 1,500 prisoners to eliminate the bodies lined up under the rubble in the Warsaw
Ghetto. And I was present when they took their prisoners from Auschwitz Concentration Camp to the Warsaw Ghetto. So this is an example that some prisoners actually, as you say, were taken out from Auschwitz. From those thousand five hundred, some of them are alive, two of them are in Toronto.
Q. So those are the only ones who ever left Auschwitz-Birkenau.
A. No. This is an example.
Q. And do you know how many exactly left Auschwitz-Birkenau for other camps?
A. From the registered prisoners ---
Q. Well, from any prisoners, registered or unregistered.
A. Now, we have already said that we speak about registered and unregistered prisoners. Now I would like to answer your question. From the unregistered prisoners none left Auschwitz-Birkenau because missing the registration meant that they went to the gas chamber.
As far as the registered prisoners is concerned, there was frequent movement, and this means that where the number of transports, one went to Warsaw and another transport went as far, I remember, to one of those satellite camps in the coalmines around Auschwitz, and then was a small transport of people who were specialist in printing and were taken to a printing enterprise somewhere near Berlin where they were falsifying British bank notes.
Now, these are approximately what I know about it, but because they didn't go through the ramp, and they didn't go by Section IIA, I couldn't have an exact information of the transfer of registered prisoners
from the complex of Auschwitz or Birkenau and know about it only from hearsay.
Q. So that you are saying nobody who was unregistered ever left Birkenau. Is that it?
A. Who arrived at Birkenau and didn't get a registration died.
Q. So nobody who went to Auschwitz -Birkenau would leave without a number.
A. Without being registered as a number.
A. But it didn't necessarily mean that he was tattooed. There was a certain disorder as far as tatooing is concerned. You see, the Nazis are not that efficient as you think.
Q. Well, is it your evidence that no one would leave Birkenau who was unregistered?
A. No one would leave Birkenau alive if he was brought in as a prisoner and was not registered. He would never leave Birkenau alive. He wouldn't be alive for more than twenty-four hours.
Q. Mm-hmmm. So that all these transports of unregistered people would have to be executed within twenty-four hours.
A. They usually were executed within six hours, but sometimes the gas chambers were filled and they had to wait their turn in the small forest behind the crematoria, or sometimes were milling around for twelve, fourteen, sixteen hours in between the crematoria. So you could see them and they had to wait their turn to be gassed, and in order to keep them quiet, they sent them
the gypsy music. So the music was playing while they were waiting for being gassed, so that it created the impression that things are normal because there is the music.
Q. And so that is how they could gas two thousand a day in Krema II, and two thousand a day in Krema III, and one thousand in Krema IV, and one thousand in Krema V; right?
A. Not necessarily. That was only the plan, Mr Counsel. The fact was that they didn't have such an experience in building those mass crematoria. This was something quite new in technology, and from those four crematoria a number of them suffered constantly some sort of breakdown. It was very rare that the four crematoria could work simultaneously. At least one broke down. If you could get full capacity in one year you could get more than 1,800,000, and it took two, three years. So there were breakdowns in the crematoria.
Q. All right. Remember you were telling us earlier that you came and unloaded the trains, and then you were marched away after unloading them and cleaning them?
THE COURT: We will hear about that at 2:15.
Members of the jury, you may retire.
--- The jury retires. 1:00 p.m.
--- The witness stands down.
--- Luncheon adjournment.
This is part 5 of the Testimony of Dr
Rudolf Vrba: pages 1244-1644 of the transcript of the 1985 Ernst
Zündel trial in Toronto, hereinafter reproduced verbatim
and containing numerous instances of defective grammar, syntax,
and spelling. Suggested editorial corrections , written with bold
letters, are put in brackets.
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