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From!gheins  Thu Sep 26 08:18:32 1996
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Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 17:10:02 +0200
From: Gunnar Heinsohn 

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Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 16:11:32 +0200
To: Dr. Terrence Albrecht 
From: Gunnar Heinsohn 
Subject: 27th Annual Scholar's Conference on the Holocaust and the
Churches (Tampa, March 2-4, 1997)

        Dear Dr. Albrecht,

        for the a.m. conference I would like to submit my paper under the
topic  "Recent Historical Findings and Interpretations". I suggest the=


                  Summary: [German author's English]

        Since St. Augustine, Christian philosophy has divided the course
of history  into three ages: (i) The era "ante legem" (before the law) was
the time from the beginning of humankind to the law of Moses. Its barbarity
was defined by the absence of the prohibition of killing. (ii) The era "sub
lege" (under the law) lasted from Moses to Jesus. It saw the implementation
of the prohibition of killing which--in its universal character--included a
strict law against infanticide. (iii) The era "sub gratia" (under the grace)
began with the "incarnatio" (God's appearance in Jesus) and is supposed to
last to the end of days.

        To Christianity, of course, the first age had the worst
reputation. Hitler, however, wanted to recreate it: "In earlier ages there
existed the good law of the victors to exterminate entire tribes, entire
nations."  Hitler's view is supported by historians of warfare.
Redistribution of land from the weak to the strong by displacement and
annihilation, indeed, was the rationale of war through most of history.
Hitler had singled out Judaism with the sanctitiy of life at the core of its
ethical code as the main culprit for the erosion of the archaic right to
genocide. The German dictator, therefore, had redefined the second era into
a period lasting from Moses up to himself: "With our movement the
intervening age, the middle age, has come to its end. We terminate a wrong
course of mankind. The tablets of Mount Sinai have lost their validity.
Conscience is a Jewish invention."

        During the so-called euthanasia ("mercy killing") of the mentally
handicapped, Nazi perpetrators rebuked prostesting clergymen: "The fifth
commandment: 'thou shallst not kill', is not a law of God but a Jewish
invention." Already in antiquity, the Jews were described as a nation that
did not share the Greek-Roman practice of child exposure. It was not before
318 AD that the Jewish law--via its Christiaan adoption--was made the law of
the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great. To this day, the Jewish law of
the sanctitiy of life forms the deep structure of Western Civilization. It
was transgressed time and again. Yet, never but under Hitler was it=

        To conquer "Lebensraum" (colonization territory; literally: living
space) between Germany and the Ural Mountains, Hitler had declared that "one
hundred million Slaws" were disposable. He was fully aware that such a
genocidal policy went against all international laws. Ten days before World
War II, he--still doubting their resolve--briefed his military leaders that
his "SS-formations had received orders to send to death men, women and
children of Polish descent and language without pity and mercy. Only thereby
will we gain the Lebensraum that we need." Hitler wanted to provide Germany
with strategic superiority by 'liberating' her from all ethical constraints.
Never again was a German to be tied down by an "infection" with "Jewish
conscience" in his nation's conquest of world leadership.

        This paper argues that the rationale for Auschwitz was rooted in
Hitler's aim to eliminate the Jewish code of ethics by means of
exterminating all its carriers, i.e., all Jews of blood and flesh but also
every Christian or secular person defending the Jewish law [sanctity of live
and love commandments].  The German leader made use of each and every
variety of anti-Semitism to pursue his goal.  Yet, it was an exclusively
Hitlerian intention that set the Holocaust apart from all other genocides as
well as all other persecutions of Jews. Auschwitz--however twisted the road
towards its realization--was the genocide to reinstall the right to
genocide. Hitler did not break the fifth commandment, he abrogated it. In
the recent scholary controversy regarding the extermination of European
Jewry--(i) Hitler provides the clue but we do not understand him versus (ii)
Hitler was simply the tool of capitalism or extremely atrocious German
anti-Semitism or by other Nazi leaders etc.--the author tries to enlighten
the first view without denying the important aspects illuminated by the=

* Cf. Heinsohn, G., "Warum Auschwitz? Hitlers Plan und die 
  Ratlosigkeit der Nachwelt", Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1995.
 ------------, "Auschwitz ohne Hitler?", in "Lettre International", 1996, 
  No. 2 (Summer).
 ------------, "Was wollte Hitler? Auschwitz und die Lehre von den drei 
  Weltzeitaltern", Bremen: Raphael-Lemkin-Institut / Uni-Druck, 1996.

Prof. Dr. phil. Dr. rer. pol. Gunnar Heinsohn
Universitaet Bremen / FB 11
Raphael-Lemkin-Institut f=FCr
Xenophobie- und Genozidforschung
Postfach 330 440
D-28334 Bremen
FAX   : [0]412 218 2084

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