The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Deceit & Misrepresentation
The Techniques of Holocaust Denial

The Meaning of "Special Treatment"
Part 3 of 3

In a hearing on November 9th, 1962, former SS-Gruppenführer Emil Mazuw stated:

During the war, the SS gave no meaning to Sonderbehandlung other than killing. I am certain that high-ranking officers knew it. I don't know whether the ordinary SS man did or not. According to the terminology used at the time, I understand "special treatment" to mean only killing and nothing else. [13]

In a hearing on May 4th, 1960, former SS-Obersturmführer Heinrich Hamann stated:

Perhaps an explanation by the commander of the Security Police in Cracow was required as to the meaning of "special treatment." That's possible. But so far as I was concerned, I needed no explanation. I knew this expression well from the time when I was assigned to the Reich Security Main Office in Berlin.

In prominent cases, Himmler would write "special treatment" in green in the margins of the daily reports. That meant "to be liquidated." I didn't have to explain the meaning of this term to my subordinates at Neu-Sandez either. Everyone knew what it meant. [14]

In fact, during the war the term "special treatment" was so commonly known as a euphemism for killing that Himmler decided to replace it with "processed" (durchgeschleust). To that end, a member of Himmler's staff, one SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Brandt, wrote to Richard Korherr, the inspector of statistics on "the final solution of the European Jewish question," on April 10th, 1943, saying:

The Reichsführer-SS [Himmler] has received your statistical report.... He wishes that absolutely no mention should be made anywhere of "special treatment for Jews."

Page 9 should therefore read as follows: "Transportation of Jews from the eastern provinces to the Russian East: "Processed [durchgeschleust] through camps in the General Government... through camps in the Warthegau..." No other formulation is to be used. [15]

We asked Mr. Gannon to enlighten us as to what sort of special treatment the Jews were getting that was so dangerous that Himmler wanted to even change the code word used to describe it. To date, Gannon has remained silent - a not uncommon tactic among those who deny the Holocaust who find themselves confronted with undeniable facts.

In a letter from SS-Hauptsturmführer Trühe to the Reich security office, room 2D3A, Trühe requests additional gas vans:

A transport of Jews, which has to be treated in a special way, arrives weekly at the office of the commandant of the Security Police and the Security Service of white Ruthenia. The three S-vans which are there are not sufficient for that purpose. I request assignment of another S-van (five tons). At the same time I request the shipment of twenty gas hoses for the three S-vans on hand since the ones on hand are leaky already. [16]

Did Truehe need the additional gas vans to transport the champagne? Or perhaps to take the Jews to summer camp?

In a Memorandum of Gestapo Headquarters, 15 June 1944, the following text appears:

In amending my directive of June 20 1944, I request that those people subject to special treatment be sent to a crematorium to be cremated if possible. [17]

One might ask why, after providing their guests with the champagne-and-French-lessons "special treatment," the Gestapo would insist upon their cremation?

It seems a little strange that the camps through which the Jews were "processed," to use Himmler's suggested euphemism, were not extermination camps at all, but really schools of language and oenology.

It seems a little strange for the Nazis to:

  • take away Jews' property,
  • forbid them associations with non-Jews,
  • destroy their shops and other property,
  • fine them a billion Marks,
  • force them to wear yellow stars,
  • force them to add "Israel" and "Sarah" to their names for easier identification,
  • publish mountains of state-sponsored antisemitic propaganda of the vilest kind,
  • herd them onto trains,
  • carry them into Poland, often in the dead of winter, and
  • deposit them into concentration camps where even Holocaust-deniers will admit that disease and starvation killed hundreds of thousands...

...just so that they could all be better educated with respect to foreign cultures and alcoholic beverages.

The argument employed by Holocaust-deniers is equivalent to claiming that an SS officer who told his soldiers to "take the Jews out and kill them" is innocent of murderous intent, because, a month before, he told those same soldiers, who were preparing for a soccer game, to "go out there and kill them." They ignore all the counterexamples that, to say the least, cast doubt upon their claims. In short, they are dishonest.

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