The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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From: Eugene Holman 
Newsgroups: uk.politics.misc,alt.politics.british,alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Irving
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Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 17:57:05 +0300
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In article <993666325.8075.0.nnrp-10.9e986cfe@news.demon.co.uk>, Paris
 wrote:

> Eugene Holman  wrote in message
> news:270620011901502859%holman@elo.helsinki.fi...
> 
> > > Hitler did not know about a plan of extermination of the
> > > Jews because his plan was expulsion, not mass murder.
> 
> You seem to be an honest and studious person.
> 
[snip]

> >
> > Historical records indicate that some time during the summer of 1941
> > Hitler issued vague orders to his underlings,
> 
> Please could you state where you get this?

1. Hoess's autobiography:

"In the summer of 1941, I cannot remember the exact date, I was
suddenly summoned to the Reichsführer SS, directly by his adjutant's
office. Contrary to his usual custom, Himmler received me without his
adjutant being present and said in effect:

"The Führer has ordered that the Jewish question be solved once and
for all and that we, the SS, are to implement that order....The Jews
are the sworn enemies of the German people and must be eradicated.
Every Jew that we can lay our hands on is to be destroyed now during
the war, without exception. If we cannot now obliterate the biological
basis of Jewry, the Jews will one day destroy us."

R. Hoess. _Commandant of Auschwitz_. London: Phoenix Press. 2000
[1959]. Pg. 183.


2. Evidence presented at various war-crime trials

SS-Obersturtmbannführer Dr. Martin Sandberger, commander of EK 1a:

"I myself was present during the discussions in the palais Prinz
Albrecht in Berlin and during the speech by Streckenbach when the
well-known Führer  order was announced."

"Streckenbach personally informed me about the Führer order, which said
that, in order to secure the Eastern territory permanently, all Jews,
Gypsies, and communist functionaries were to be eliminated, together
with all other elements who might endanger society."

According to Sandberger, the work of an EK commander consisted of four
elements:

[Establishing] a good relationship with the army as far as possible;
second a strict and energetic leadership of the commandos under his
command; third, as quick and thorough an execution of an order as
possible, in particular concerning the Jews; and fourth, as part of this
Führer order, a bitter fight against communism.

Q. What orders did [Brigadeführer Walter] Stahlecker give you before you
left Riga?

A. He gave me two orders particularly, the first order was to have as
good a relationship as possible with the army and, second, as i have
said, according to the Führerbefehl to have Estonian Jews eliminated.

(From the testimany delivered for the Einsatztruppen Case, 1947-1948,
vol. 6, pp. 2143-2176, quoted in Ezergailis op. cit., pps. 204 - 205.)


3. Captured German documents

SS-Brigadeführer Walter Stahlecker's Memorandum of August 6, 1941. This
memorandum was written in response to Hinrich Lohse's "Guidelines on
the treatment of Jews in Ostland" (July 27, 1941). Up until the
beginning of the war against the Soviet Union, policy towards Jews in
Nazi-occupied territory had primarily been to ghettoize them and
exploit them for labor. Hinrich Lohse, the civilian governor of the
Ostland, had recommended that the same policy be continued. In response
to this SS-Brigadeführer Walter Stahlecker, head of Einsatzgruppe A,
wrote:

"The projected measures concerning the settling of the Jewish problem
are not in harmony with those orders concerning Jews in the Ostland
given by Einsatzgruppe A of the Security Police and the SD. Nor does
the project take into consideration the new possibilities of cleaning
up the Jewish question in the Eastern regions.

"In the Generalgouvernement there was no serious danger to in leaving
the Jews in their living quarters and work places. But in the Ostland,
the resident Jews or those brought in by the Red powers became the
leading supporters of the Bolshevik idea. Numerous Jews are openly
communist activists. The experience so far allows us to expect that,
even a long time after the military occupation of the Ost territory,
disorders will arise. Sabotage and acts of terror can be expected not
only from communists not caught in previous actions, but precisely from
Jews who will use every possibility to create disorder. The pressing
need to pacify the Ost area quickly makes it necessary to eliminate all
likely sources of disorder.
 
"The project apparently does not foresee the resettlement of the Jews as
an immediate measure provided under paragraph V, but rather sees that
as a lower, later development.

"In closing, let me sum up by saying that the Jewish question shall be
solved by 1) a complete and 100 percent clearing of the Jews from the
Ost territory; 2) preventing the Jews from increasing their numbers; 3)
using the Jews to the fullest as a work force; 4) a considerable
facilitation for the later collective transport to a reservatrion
outside Europe.

"This definite measure can be carried out only by the forces of the
Security and the Order Police.

A post script to the letter reads:

"Consider it desirable, before issuing any basic statement, once more to
discuss these questions by word of mouth, especially since it is safer
that way, and since it concerns fundamental orders from higher authority
to the Security Police, ones that should not be discussed in writing."

(The full text of the memorandum is given in A. Ezergailis, _The
Holocaust in Latvia: 1941 - 1944_. Riga: The Historical Institute of
Latvia. 1996. Pgs. 378 - 380.)

According to Ezergailis, Stahlecker made three further rerefences to the
fundamental orders - on October 15, 1941, and on January 31, 1942.

Stahlecker's Consolidated Report, October 15, 1941:

"From the very beginning it was to be expected that pogroms alone would
not solve the Jewish problem in the Ostland. The goal of the cleansing
operation of the Sicherheitspolizei, in accordance with the fundamental
orders, was the most comprehensive elimination of the Jews possible."

The same report continues:

"It is appropriate to mention in this connection the considerable
resistance by officers of the Civil Administration against the
implementation of large-scale executions. This resistance was countered
in all cases by pointing out that the implementation of executions was
the result of a fundamental order."

Stahlecker's Consolidated Report, January 31, 1942:

"According to the orders of establishing basic principles to be
followed, the systematic purge operations in the Ostland, including the
elimination, as completely as possible of Jewry."

(Ezergailis, op. cit., pg. 232.)


If you are able to read German have a look at the recent article on
what is known concerning Hitler's announcement of his decision to kill
the Jews of Europe and the references he made to the process in his
wartime speeches by Professor of Modern History Ulrich Herbert at
Freiburg University
(http://www.uni-freiburg.de/histsem/herbert/abe-herbert-Fuehrerentscheid
ung.html).

******************************************************************
> > Heydrich and Himmler, to
> > solve the Jewish Problem 'once and for all', by effecting the 'physical
> > destruction of Jewry'. Nevertheless, as was so typical of Hitler's
> > style of government, he left the responsibility for coming up with an
> > interpretation of his words and a practical solution to them.
> 
> I'm sorry but I cannot accept specious mistranslation as evidence of a plot
> for the physical extermination of 6-15 million jews. Do you no whince when
> you use this argument?

What do you regard as "specious mistranslation"? I am myself a
qualified translator from German into English and know that the
translation of phrases such as "die physische Vernichtung des
Judentums" is precisely and nothing other than "the physical
destruction (or annihilation) of Jewry".

> > Hitler was not particularly interested in the practical day-to-day
> > responsibilities of leadership. He was more fascinated by the symbolism
> > and power aspects: making speeches, being the center of attention at
> > ceremonies, and micromanaging battlefield strategy. Once he had
> > delegated the job of finding a Solution to the Jewish Problem to his
> > underlings, he was no longer particularly concerned about it.
> 
> In fact once Hitler had succeded in attaining power he had lost interest in
> it, except for the occasional order to STOP brutal (most would say visible)
> 'anti-semitic' action!

Hitler didn't like to get caught with egg on his necktie, as was the
case when his authorization of the euthansia program became public
knowledge.

> 
> > The fact that he was briefed about what was going on is evident in his
> > occasional references in speeches to the uprooting, annihilation, and
> > destruction of the Jews in Europe.
> 
> Annihilation is an English word.

This English word and the German word "Vernichtung" share a common
history. English has borrowed the word directly from Medieval Latin
adnihilatio/annihilatio, a verbal substantive from the verb
adnihilare/annihilare, literally "to-nothing-make". The German word, a
verbal substantive from vernichten "to destroy, to annihilate" in turn,
is a calque [= an element-by-element translation or rendition of a
foreign word]: ver- "completely" - nicht "nothing" - -en "infinitive
marker with a causal implication".

 
> > In assessing changes in Nazi policy towards Jews it is important to
> > remember that the scope of the problem expanded rapidly during the
> > short interval between early 1939, when the object of policy was to be
> > the 200,000 Jews living in the Reich, and January 1942, when the Nazis
> > understood that they might have to potential to have access to all of
> > the 12,000,000 Jews living in Europe.
> >
> > Heydrich and his crew had originally made plans to concentrate Jews and
> > prepare them for evacuation to the East.
> 
> In accordance with the original expatriation idea which nobody is ever going
> to deny.

There is no need to deny it. Expatriating the 200,000 Jews that the
Nazis had under their control at the beginning of 1939 when the world
was at peace was a realistic option. Expatriating the 12,000,000 Jews
they had under their potential control in early 1942 when the world was
at war was not.

> > However, the unexpected expansion in the number of Jews to be dealt with
> generated practical
> > problems:
> >
> > a. The East, as defined after June 22, 1941, was already full of Jews
> > b. The Germans wanted the East for their own colonists
> >
> > The only solution was to divide the notion of evacuation to the East
> > into two subcomponents:
> >
> > a. Evacuate Jews to points in the East
> > b. Kill them when they arrive, either immediately or through a strict
> > regime of slave labor
> 
> Then why did they refuse to send sick people to 'death' camps even after
> 1943?

Don't ask me. Not everything they did was internally consistent or
rational.

> > Redefining the Final Solution in these terms was quite clearly the
> > purpose of the Wannsee Conference
> 
> A highly contentious document.

Why?


[snip]
> > Neither was the issue of state-implemented systematic mass-murder a
> > problem: by January 1942 the Nazis had already killed more than 100,000
> > of their own citizens within the framework of the T4 euthansia program.
> > They had no moral compunctions about systematic mass murder, and they
> > had developed methodologies and trained the personnel necessary to
> > commit it. As history shows us, the euthanasia program and the final
> > solution of the Jewish program eventually merged administratively, with
> > personal and experience developed within the former being transferred
> > to the latter.
> 
> Undoubtedly Hitler himself signed death warrents for thousands of people,
> but the euthanasia program was not as extensive as you say, and the
> administrative merging... Where do you get this from?

It's a well known fact. Administrative personnel such as Christian
Wirth and Franz Stangl who had been central figures in the euthanasia
program wound up designing gas chambers and adminstering death camps
within Aktion Reinhard.

Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm, "The Euthanasia Program," The Encyclopedia of the
Holocaust, Vol II, pp.452-454:

"The first large-scale euthanasia action seems to have taken place in
Pomerania and estern Prussia shortly after the Polish campaign. During
1940, four euthanasia institutions went into operation: Grafeneck, in
January, Brandenburg, in February, Hartheim, in May and Sonnenstein, in
June. In the first half of the year, 8,765 persons were gassed in these
four institutions, three-quarters of them in May and June, a time when
world attention was focused on the Battle of France. By the end of
1940, a total of 26,459 patients had been put to death, and in the
first eight months of 1941, an additional 35,049 were "disinfected."
These were the figures given by the accounting section of T4's head
office.

[DELETIONS]

The euthanasia program proved to be a valuable precursor to the
atrocities which were to come in connection with the "Final Solution."
SS Major Christian Wirth was transferred from his duties at a
euthanasia center to take over the supervision of Chelmo, the first of
six extermination camps in Poland to become operational. His expertise
in mass extermination seems to have been a major consideration. Wirth
later served at Belzek, Treblinka and Sobibor. In 1942, Franz Stangl
was transferred from one of the euthanasia centers to Sobibor
extermination camp where he served as camp commander. He performed so
well there that he was transferred in the summer of 1942 to Treblinka
[Many years later, in 1970, Stangl was extradited from Brazil to West
Germany to stand trial. He was found guilty of joint responsibility for
the murder of 900,000 Jews]. After the Wannsee Conference in 1942, the
staff of the Euthanasia Program was transferred to Operation Reinhard."

> 
> > After Heydrich's assassination in 1942, responsibility for
> > impelementing the final solution of the Jewish problem shifted to
> > Himmler, Göring, and Eichmann. As the excerpts from the interrogation of
> > SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln indicate
> 
> Remind us where and when this interrogation took place please?

In Riga, Latvian SSR in December, 1945. SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich
Jeckeln's reputation as one of the key figures in massacres of Jews
carried out in Ukraine, Belarussia, and the Baltics was well known in
the world by this time.

> > , they, not Hitler, were
> > micromanaging 'Extermination to the East' and its aftermath. There is
> > no questioning the fact that the term 'liquidation' is being used by
> > Jeckeln as a synonym for 'shooting to death':
> 
> But his words were tortured from him. They're hardly reliable are they?

Why do you assume this? Jeckeln left a massive paper trail behind him
as an extremely high-ranking officer, a major general and, after his
appointment by Heinrich Himmler on October 11,1941, the highest ranking
police officer in the Ostland administration. What he stated when
interrogated corrobrated with markings in Himmler's personal
diaries and with evidence from numerous other historical sources. Some
of the atrocities he coordinated are even documented in photographs and
films taken by the Nazis and others. The Riga, massacre, for example,
took three weeks to plan, had its own office and staff, and required
the participation of more than 1,700 people on two separate days. A
train carrying 1,000 Berlin Jews that had left the German capital on
the night of November 28, 1941, arrived in Riga early in the morning on
November 30 and was parked on a siding. Its inhabitants were awakened
and marched to the Rumbula killing site, where the shooting started
promptly at 6 AM. They had all been shot by the time the first of
12,000 Jews from the Riga ghetto, who had been marching along the 10 km
road from central Riga to Rumbala along Maskavas Iela Street since 6
AM, arrived, shortly before 9 AM. These historical facts linked in one
way or another to Jeckeln are known from a number of sources. 

If there had been anything suspect in the interrogation of
SS-Obergruppenführer Jeckeln, one would expect the post-Soviet Latvian
government to have called attention to it by now. In actual fact, more
attention is focused on the Holocaust of Latvian Jews and on the
atrocities committed by the Nazis nowadays in Latvia, with the opening
of previously closed archives, than was the case during the Soviet
period, when the Nazi atrocities committed in Latvia and the other
Baltic countries were regarded as military activities consequent to
German efforts to capture and ethnically cleanse Soviet territory,
rather than as part of a systematically coordinated continent-wide
effort to kill Jews, Gypsies, and others.

Friedrich Jeckeln was a big fish, and we can learn a lot about both the
day-to-day implementation of the Holocaust and the flow of information
concerning the details of various individual Holocaust atrocities from
the field back to Berlin by studying the paper trail he and his staff
left. See the massive collection of scanned documents on Jeckeln at 
(http://motlc.wiesenthal.org/specialcol/instdoc/d09c12/jec1z3.html).

> They are as reliable as the Leuchter report, and so is all of the other
> testimony taken in allied custody.

That is a totally unjustified and asburd assumption. Jeckeln was a
top-ranking officer. As such. he knew what the stakes were and
certainly did not have to be tortured to give information about events
known about from other sources.
 
> 
> 
> > Although no serious historian
> 
> This is a peach

Name one historian, serious or non-serious, who would argue that Hitler
was totally ignorant of the Holocaust. If he had been totally ignorant,
how do you account for the references in his war-time speeches to the
ongoing Vernichtung and Ausrottung [destruction/annihilation and
extermination] of Judentum/die Juden/die jüdische Rasse [Jewry/the
Jews/the Jewish race] in Europe.
 
> > would buy Irving's argument that Hitler
> > was totally ignorant of the Holocaust, or yours that it never took
> > place, I do accept that Hitler had delegated it to his underlings and,
> > having done that, showed little interest in following up its day-to-day
> > implementation. Nevertheless, rounding up, transporting, accommodating,
> > and killing millions of people ate up a substantial part of the annual
> > state budget, for which reason I cannot accept that Hitler was so
> > irresponsible or incompetent a leader that he would not have at least
> > insisted that he be regularly briefed on how effectively the billions
> > of Reichsmarks and other resources, including two government
> > departments, allocated to implementing the Final Solution were being
> > used. He referred to the ongoing process of the destruction of European
> > Jewry frequently enough in his speeches and spent enough time
> > discussing the conduct of the war with his closest underlings, both
> > formally and informally, that he had to have a general idea of what was
> > going on. For reasons of political face-saving Hitler did not want to
> > be regarded as being too closely associated with the practical
> > implementation of the Final Solution. He had already suffered a severe
> > political embarrassment for having been found to be more closely
> > associated than was politically wise with the euthansia program.
> 
> He wasn't a nice man to say the least, but then I'm at a loss to think of
> more than ten statesmen who were. And when it comes to genocide the allies
> varifiably murdered more in the war than the Nazis did if one includes
> dresden, hiroshima etc. 

Nonsense. The accepted figure for Dresden is between 30,000 and 60,000;
for Hiroshima and Nagaski perhaps 240,000 all told. At a single, Nazi
death camp, Belzec, twice as many people ((240,000 + 60,000) * 2), at
least 600,000, were killed.

> And that's before we include the ideological crusade
> against socialism which has been persued since, and of which all of this is
> a part.
> In fact it is often remarked that Germany waged a much cleaner war than the
> allies.

Don't tell that to the more than 20,000,000 Soviet citizens killed by
Hitler's armies.

Regards,
Eugene Holman


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