The Evidence Room is on display at the Hirshhorn National Museum of Modern Art in Washington, D.C. until September 8, 2019.
The Evidence Room is constructed of steel, wood, and plaster arranged to form a figurative room and create an immersive experience.
The sculptures, monuments, replicas, and plaster casts that define and fill the room represent evidence to be observed, examined, and judged.
A Holocaust denier claimed there were no gas chambers and no deliberate plan to annihilate Jews in Nazi concentration camps.
This was a lie.
He insisted that, because personal memory can be degraded by time and emotional trauma, all eyewitness testimony about the gas chambers can be dismissed as unreliable, flawed recollections.
This was another lie.
Deborah Lipstadt, an American historian called out his lies.
The Holocaust denier sued her in 2000 for libel.
Architectural historian Robert Jan van Pelt, an expert witness at the trial, adduced a vast trove of documents, including blueprints and construction orders drafted during World War II, that were unaffected by the passage of time or trauma.
This architectural forensic evidence demonstrated in unambiguous detail the design, construction, and operation of the gas chambers and crematoria as killing machines in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most lethal of the German death camps of the Second World War.
The British High Court of Justice ruled this evidence irrefutable proof that the Nazis built and used gas chambers to perpetrate genocide, the deliberate, systematic mass murder of Jewish men, women, and children, and other innocent people who were non-combatants.
The architectural historian and expert witness Robert Jan van Pelt told the story of the evidence in his 2002 book “The Case for Auschwitz.”
The American historian Deborah Lipstadt recounted the trial in her 2006 book “History on Trial.”
It was depicted in a 2016 feature film, “Denial,” starring Rachel Weisz.
And, in 2016, Robert Jan van Pelt and architects Anne Bordeleau and Donald McKay, inspired by the evidence that prevailed in the Lipstadt trial, together conceived and created The Evidence Room for the Venice Architecture Biennale.