Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/ausrotten/skeptic Last-Modified: 1994/07/14 Source: The following is taken from orgs/american/skeptic.magazine/skeptic.09, Dr. Michael Shermer's _Skeptic_ article on Holocaust Revisionism. For citations, see the original archive file. knm. The "Ausrotten" Debate--the Meaning of "Extermination." Irving also plays a fascinating game of semantics with the word, meaning "to extirpate or exterminate" (Langenscheidt's 1952 German-English dictionary). The word is often used in reference to the Jews by Hitler and many of the top Nazis in their speeches and written documents. Irving claims that it really means "stamping out" or "rooting out." For example, Irving (1977) translates a conversation between Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories. In the Rosenberg's discussion of handling the Jews, Irving infers "stamping out" for the word ausrotten, and then concludes that Rosenberg meant transporting Jews out of the Reich (p. 356n). I explained to the British-born Irving, that my Occidental College colleague Juergen Pelzer, a German-born professor who teaches German, said ausrotten means "exterminate." Irving responded (1994): "The word ausrotten means one thing now in 1994, but it meant something very different in the time Adolf Hitler uses it." Pelzer checked his historical dictionaries. Ausrotten has always meant "exterminate." Irving's rejoinder was another example of post hoc rationalization: Different words mean different things when uttered by different people. What matters is what that word meant when uttered by Hitler. I would first draw attention to the famous memorandum on the four-years plan of August, 1936. In that Adolf Hitler says, "we are going to have to get our armed forces in a fighting state within four years so that we can go to war with the Soviet Union. If the Soviet Union should ever succeed in overrunning Germany it will lead to the ausrotten of the German people." There's that word. There is no way that Hitler can mean the physical liquidation of 80 million Germans. What he means is that it will lead to the emasculation of the German people as a power factor. How do we know he did not mean actual liquidation? "Because no one is going to say that if Russians take over Germany they are going to liquidate 80 million people." Irving is a formidable scholar and clever logician, but it was amusing to observe him trying to extricate himself from his own inconsistencies. Such reasoning becomes ludicrous after a while. The continual denial of such testimonial evidence demonstrates that Holocaust revisionists are really not historians obeying the normal rules of historiographical reasoning. For example, in a December, 1944, conference regarding the Ardennes attack against the Americans, Hitler ordered his generals "to ausrotten them division by division" (Irving, 1977, p. 741). Was Hitler giving the order to transport the Americans out of the Ardennes division by division?! "No," Irving admitted (1994): But compare that with a speech he made in August, 1939, in which he says, with regard to Poland, "we are going to destroy the living forces of the Polish Army." This is the job of any commander--you have to destroy the forces facing you. How you destroy them, how you "take them out" is probably a better phrase, is immaterial. If you take those pawns off the chess board they are gone. If you put the American forces in captivity they are equally neutralized whether they are in captivity or dead. And that's what the word ausrotten means there. In a memo (reproduced below) SS Sturmbannfuehrer Rudolf Brandt tells SS Reichsdoctor Dr. Grawitz in Berlin, about "the eradication of TB [Ausrottung der Tuberkulose] as a disease affecting the nation." What possible meaning can ausrotten have other than "to kill?" And in connection with this, Irving (1977) translates a report written in March, 1943 by this same Rudolf Brandt, to Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Heydrich's successor as Chief of the RSHA, as "I am transmitting herewith to you a press dispatch on the accelerated extermination [ausrotten] of the Jews in Occupied Europe" (p. 867). The same man is using the same word to discuss the same process of extermination for both TB and Jews. How many more examples do we need to demonstrate that Hitler and the Nazis not only hated Jews, they wanted them dead? Here are just a few out of thousands: --Hans Frank, Governor General of occupied Poland, October 7, 1940, in a speech to a Nazi assembly summing up his first year of effort (Nuremberg Doc. 3363-PS, p. 891): My dear Comrades! . . . I could not eliminate [ausrotten] all lice and Jews in only one year. But in the course of time, and if you help me, this end will be attained. Does Frank mean to transport the lice out of Poland on miniature trains? --On December 13, 1941, Hans Frank told a cabinet session at Cracow, his HQ (N.D. 3363-PS, p. 892): As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you quite frankly that they must be done away with in one way or another . . . Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourself of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews. Why must the Nazis rid themselves of pity if all they are doing is transporting Jews to a new homeland? --December 16, 1941, Hans Frank addressed a government session in the office of the Governor of Cracow, in conjunction with the upcoming Wannsee Conference (see previous page for original document): Currently there are in the Government Generalship approximately 2 1/2 million, and together with those who are kith and kin and connected in all kinds of ways, we now have 3 1/2 million Jews. We cannot shoot these 3 1/2 million Jews, nor can we poison them, yet we will have to take measures which will somehow lead to the goal of annihilation, and that will be done in connection with the great measures which are to be discussed together with the Reich. The territory of the General Government must be made free of Jews, as is the case in the Reich. Where and how this will happen is a matter of the means which must be used and created, and about whose effectiveness I will inform you in due time. If the Final Solution meant deportation out of the Reich, why is Frank making references to the extermination of Jews through means other than shooting or poisoning them? --Goebbels' diary entries are so revealing that they need no further commentary (Broszat, p. 143): August 8, 1941, concerning the spread of spotted typhus in the Warsaw ghetto: The Jews have always been the carriers of infectious diseases. They should either be concentrated in a ghetto and left to themselves or be liquidated, for otherwise they will infect the populations of the civilized nations. August 19, 1941, after a visit to Hitler's headquarters: The Fuehrer is convinced his prophecy in the Reichstag is becoming a fact: that should Jewry succeed in again provoking a new war, this would end with their annihilation. It is coming true in these weeks and months with a certainty that appears almost sinister. In the East the Jews are paying the price, in Germany they have already paid in part and they will have to pay more in the future. February 24, 1942, after a visit with Hitler in Berlin: The Fuehrer again voices his determination to remorselessly cleanse Europe of its Jews. There can be no sentimental feelings here. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that they are now experiencing. They shall experience their own annihilation together with the destruction of our enemies. We must accelerate this process with cold brutality; by doing so we are doing an inestimable service to humanity . . . . In a speech of September 23, 1942, to 60 German newspaper editors in the Throne Room of the Propaganda Ministry in Berlin, Goebbels made it clear that the press must keep silent about what they all knew was the outcome for the remaining Berlin Jews: There are still 48,000 in Berlin. They know with deadly certainty that as the war progresses they will be packed off to the East and delivered up to a murderous fate. They already feel the inevitable harshness of physical extermination and therefore they harm the Reich whenever possible whilst they yet live. This speech was transcribed and passed by the Polish resistance to the British Foreign Office in May 1943. The speech was just recently discovered in the British Public Record Office in London by Solomon Littmann, a Simon Wiesenthal Center researcher. The speech was read by the entire British Foreign Office hierarchy, including Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, but it was not made public nor was it shared with Jewish leaders in Britain or the U.S. Irving's post hoc rationalization on this quote was as follows (1994): It is a very dubious document which needed a lot more digesting before it was put out to the startling and marveling world the way that it was put out a few weeks ago. The speech was actually on English paper typed on an English typewriter in the English archives. A lot of work had to be done on it--I found the actual Polish origins of it, and the people who have provided it, the Polish Intelligence Service. I think it is a second-hand report, not a direct verbatim transcript in any sense. That is indeed correct and thanks to my colleague, Alex Grobman, I have a copy of the document myself. The author makes it clear that he is "reproducing his [Goebbels] remarks impartially, just as I heard them, from my shorthand notes, which make no claim to textual exactitude." He adds: "I ask you to read Dr. Goebbels' speech very carefully, for in the opinion of all of us this was the most important internal speech that we had heard since the beginning of the war." The speech is four pages long (single-spaced typed) and Jews are only mentioned in the three sentences above. Goebbels is most concerned about the ability of the German people to endure a protracted war and the role of the press in helping to sustain optimism in the face of military uncertainties. If the transcriber was going to fabricate damning quotes, why only three sentences worth? Is it possible the document was forged, or the transcriber badly misjudged what Goebbels said or meant? It is possible, but not likely. This is the problem with the snapshot fallacy. We must always examine the context in which something is said, such as Goebbels other speeches and diary entries, and the fact that the speech came just eight months after the Wannsee Conference and the stepping up of the Final Solution. But then, remarkably, Irving made this confession: "We have much better sources than that on Goebbels and his role in this particular crime. Goebbels' true diaries leave no doubt at all that he knew perfectly well what was going on" (1994). What crime? What was going on? The answer? The Holocaust! Himmler's speeches are no less potent as evidence to prove the Holocaust. He too talks about the ausrotten of the Jews, and revisionists once again return to their semantic game of arguing that he meant deportation. But two quotes negate that argument (Padfield, 1990, pp. 188, 334): (1) In a lecture on the history of Christianity, in January, 1937, Himmler told his Gruppenfuehrers: I have the conviction that the Roman emperors, who exterminated [ausrotteten] the first Christians, did precisely what we are doing with the communists. These Christians were at that time the vilest scum, which the city accommodated, the vilest Jewish people, the vilest Bolsheviks there were. (2) In June, 1941, Himmler told Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz (not to be confused with Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy) that Hitler had ordered the Endloesung, or Final Solution of the Jewish question, and that Hoess would play a major role at Auschwitz: It is a hard, tough task which demands the commitment of the whole person without regard to any difficulties that may arise. You will be given details by Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann of the RSHA who will come to see you in the near future. The department taking part will be informed at the appropriate time. You have to maintain the strictest silence about this order, even to your superiors. The Jews are the eternal enemies of the German people and must be exterminated. All Jews we can reach now, during the war, are to be exterminated without exception. If we do not succeed in destroying the biological basis of Jewry, some day the Jews will annihilate the German Volk. Similar speeches from Himmler are no less damning. One of the most notorious is the October 4, 1943, speech to the SS-Gruppenfuehrer in Poznan, which was recorded on a red oxide tape. Himmler was lecturing from notes, and early in the talk he stopped the tape recorder to make sure it was working. He then continued, knowing he was being recorded, speaking for three hours, 10 minutes on a range of subjects, including the military and political situation, the Slavic peoples and racial blends, German racial superiority that would help them win the war, and the like. Two hours into the speech Himmler began to talk about "the extermination of the Jewish people." He compared this action with the June 30, 1934 blood purges against perceived traitors within the Nazi party, then talked about how difficult it is to endure seeing 100, 500, or 1,000 bodies lying dead, and insisted that this will be an unwritten part of history. The original German document and the National Archives translation, reproduced on the previous page, speaks for itself (PS Series 1919, pp. 64-67). Irving's response to this quote was surprising because he seemed to gainsay all of his previous rationalizations with this one exchange, though leaving himself one final out: Irving: I have a later speech he made on January 26, 1944, in which he is speaking to the same audience rather more bluntly about the ausrotten of Germany's Jews, when he announced that they had totally solved the Jewish problem. Most of the listeners sprang to their feet and applauded. "We were all there in Poznan," recalled a Rear Admiral, when that man [Himmler] told us how he'd killed off the Jews. I can still recall precisely how he told us. "If people ask me," said Himmler, "why did you have to kill the children too, then I can only say I am not such a coward that I leave for my children something I can do myself." Quite interesting--this is an Admiral afterwards recording this in British captivity without realizing he was being tape recorded, which is a very good summary of what Himmler actually said. Shermer: That sounds to me like he means to kill Jews, not just transport them out of the Reich. Irving: I agree, Himmler said that. He actually said "We're wiping out the Jews. We're murdering them. We're killing them." Shermer: What does that mean other than what it sounds like? Irving: I agree, Himmler is admitting what I said happened to the 600,000. But, and this is the important point, nowhere does Himmler say "we are killing millions." Nowhere does he even say we are killing hundreds of thousands. He is talking about solving the Jewish problem, about having to kill off women and children too. This is general fallacy #2 from above, where one focuses on what is not known and ignores what is known--Himmler never exactly said millions, therefore he really meant thousands. But, please note, Himmler never said thousands either. Irving is inferring what he wants to infer. The actual numbers come from other sources which, in conjunction with Himmler's speeches (and many other pieces of evidence), converge on the conclusion that he meant millions. And, finally, there are the words of the Fuehrer himself. In Hitler's speech of January 30, 1939, he said: Today I want to be a prophet once more: If international finance Jewry inside and outside of Europe should succeed once more in plunging nations into another world war, the consequence will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe. In September, 1942, Hitler recalled: In my Reichstag speech of September 1, 1939 [above, wrong date here], I have spoken of two things: first, that now that the war has been forced upon us, no array of weapons and no passage of time will bring us to defeat, and second, that if Jewry should plot another world war in order to exterminate the Aryan peoples in Europe, it would not be the Aryan peoples which would be exterminated but Jewry. . . . At a public speech in Munich, November 8, 1942, Hitler told his audience (see Jaeckel, 1989 for this and above Hitler quotes): You will recall the session of the Reichstag during which I declared: If Jewry should imagine that it could bring about an international world war to exterminate the European races, the result will not be the extermination of the European races, but the extermination of Jewry in Europe. People always laughed about me as a prophet. Of those who laughed then, countless numbers no longer laugh today, and those who still laugh now will perhaps no longer laugh a short time from now. This realization will spread beyond Europe throughout the entire world. International Jewry will be recognized in its full demonic peril; we National Socialists will see to that. From his earliest political ramblings to the final Goetterdammerung, Hitler had it in for the Jews. On April 12, 1922, in a Munich speech later published in the Voelkischer Beobachter, he told his audience (Snyder, 1981, p. 29): The Jew is the ferment of the decomposition of people. This means that it is in the nature of the Jew to destroy, and he must destroy, because he lacks altogether any idea of working for the common good. He possesses certain characteristics given to him by nature and he never can rid himself of those characteristics. The Jew is harmful to us. Thirty-three years later, on April 29, 1945, at 4:00 A.M., just one day before his suicide, Hitler commanded his successors in his political testament to carry on the fight: "Above all I charge the leaders of the nation and those under them to scrupulous observance of the laws of race and to merciless opposition to the universal poisoner of all peoples, International Jewry" (Snyder, p. 521). How many more quotes do we need to prove the Holocaust--100, 1,000, 10,000? The convergence of evidence is overwhelming.
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