The Meaning of "Special Treatment," and similar terms In article <9403160332.A4611wk@banished.com>, in twelve flavours, and subsequent articles, Dan Gannon responded to a series of ten questions which had been posted to the computer network over a period spanning nearly two years. In his response to questions which asked about the description of Zyklon-B as material for the "resettlement" and "special treatment" of Jews, and about the meaning of the terms "special treatment" and "special action," Mr. Gannon invoked the tired arguments of Holocaust denial. We replied by asking Mr. Gannon if he meant to claim that the code words "special treatment," "resettlement," and so on were _never_ used to camoflage Nazi intentions of mass murder. Further, we asked that he examine the evidence which we present here, and refute it on a point-by-point basis. We think it's clear that Mr. Gannon _did_ make this claim, as evidenced by the following statement: "Special treatment" ("Sonderbehandlung") was not a "code word" and did not automatically mean "killing". It meant a whole range of things...(Gannon, 10 Questions) Mr. Gannon then cited volumes of information from various Holocaust deniers, who have catalogued obscure cases in which the code words meant something very different than what they normally did. With this tactic, we believe Mr. Gannon sought to confuse his audience, instead of addressing the issue. Special cases, however, are irrelevant, and have no impact on the chief meaning of these code words, as we document here. Mr. Gannon was asked to address cases which employed "special treatment" and other euphemisms with reference to the Nazi extermination effort. These cases were enumerated as follows: 1. "Special treatment was killing, everyone knew that," says Eichmann. 2. To save lives, Kaltenbrunner directs that "special treatment is to be limited to a minimum." 3. Special treatment is "elimination," writes Heydrich. 4. A memo at the Reich Security Main Office explains "special treatment" by the annotation "execution." 5. Special treatment should be carried out by hanging, says Himmler. 6. A report from the Russian front equates special treatment with "liquidation." 7. "No meaning other than killing," says former SS-Gruppenfu"rher Mazuw. 8. "Everyone knew what it meant," says former SS-Obersturmfu"hrer Hamann. 9. A letter from Himmler to Korherr asks that the term "special treatment" not be used, as the meaning is too well known 10. An SS-Hauptsturmfu"hrer requests more gas vans for Jews to be "treated in a special way." 11. A Gestapo memorandum requests that people "subject to special treatment" be cremated. 12. The Adjutant at Auschwitz admits that "material for resettlement of the Jews" meant Zyklon-B. Sonderbehandlung - literally "special treatment." This is probably encountered most often. Umsiedlung - literally "resettlement." Sonderaktion - literally "special action." Evakuierung - literally "evacuation." and, of course, die Endlo"sung der Judenfrage - literally "the final solution to the Jewish question." In his response, Mr. Gannon offered Kaltenbrunner's comments about French diplomats as his reponse to the "special treatment" of European Jews -- the mind boggles at this logical leap. He expected readers to swallow Faurisson's assertion that the Nazis' "special treatment" was to help keep the Jews _alive_. This is, obviously, contrary to fact: Starvation was a permanent guest at Auschwitz. The diet fed to I.G. Auschwitz inmates, which included the famous 'Buna Soup' - a nutritional aid not available to other prisoners - resulted in an average weight loss for each individual of about six and a half to nine pounds a week. At the end of a month, the change in the prisoner's appearance was marked; at the end of two months, the inmates were not recognizable except as caricatures formed of skin, bones, and practically no flesh; after three months, they were either dead or so unfit for work that they were marked for release to the gas chambers at Birkenau. Two physicians who studied the effect of the I.G. diet on the inmates noticed that 'the normally nourished prisoner at Buna could make up the deficiency by his own body for a period of three months....The prisoners were condemned to burn up their own body weight while working and, providing no infections occurred, finally died of exhaustion.'
(Borkin, 125) Was this Mr. Gannon's idea of behavior aimed at "keeping the Jews alive?" Perhaps, rather than quoting Faurisson in a vain attempt to confuse the issue, Holocaust deniers should consider Adolf Eichmann's comments... unless, of course, they are going to claim that Eichmann doesn't qualify as an "expert" in "special handling," while Dr. Faurisson does? During his interrogation by the Israelis, the following question was asked: What does "special treatment" mean, and who was subjected to it? Eichmann's response is at variance with Faurisson's, which comes as no surprise... it is interesting to note here Faurisson's employment of the "if it sheds doubt on my thesis, I will ignore it" technique of Holocaust denial is telling... Consider Eichmann's answer: Special treatment was killing. Who thought up the term - I don't know. Must have been Himmler, who else could it have been - but then, I have no proof, maybe Heydrich thought it up after Go"ring gave him his authorization. But I really don't know. I'm just trying to puzzle it out. "Special treatment was killing." (What part of that do you suppose Holocaust deniers do not understand?) ...his interrogator replied: But you knew special treatment meant killing? Eichmann's response: Everybody knew that, yes, Herr Hauptmann, everybody knew. When a shipment was marked "for special treatment," they decided at the point of arrival who was fit for labor and who wasn't. "Everyone knew that," except, apparently, Dr. Faurisson, Mr. Gannon, and the Holocaust denial social set. (Kaltenbrunner certainly knew it, too, hence his calculated and cynical attempt to equate it with resorts, untouchable French diplomats, and champagne.) There is an interesting correlation between the use of "special treatment" by the Nazis, and the similar employment of the words "special healing procedure" (Besonderes Heilverfahren) as they related to the shipment of disabled and mentally ill children to Grafeneck and similar Nazi installation. Only a Nazi could use such a term to describe the deliberate murder of thousands of children! (See Conot, pages 204 to 207, for a detailed summary of the term, and the horrible reality of its meaning.) Let's get back to Mr. Kaltenbrunner, shall we? Since Holocaust deniers are fond of quoting some of his Nuremberg testimony, it is apparent that they consider him a valid source of information on this subject. That's encouraging, in light of the following: During the first two and one-half years of the occupation, the security police in the government-general shot seventeen thousand Poles, a figure that led Frank to comment: `We must not be squeamish when we learn that a total of seventeen thousand people have been shot; these persons who were shot were nothing more than war victims.'(NCA, 2233 AA PS, Frank Journal, Jan. 25, 1943) In 1943, executions in Poland and Russia accelerated, even though Kaltenbrunner directed that, `as a rule, no more children will be shot [and] special treatment is to be limited to a minimum.' So that this order would not be misunderstood, he explained that `if we limit our harsh measures for the time being, that is only done [because] the most important thing is the recruiting of workers. (NCA, 3012 PS, To All Group Leaders of the Security Service-SD, Mar. 19, 1943, cited in Conot, 276-278) Let's take a look at the witness Kaltenbrunner, in light of Mr. Gannon's assertion that "special treatment" equated with champagne and bon bons, and Faurisson's silliness about keeping the Jews alive... Kaltenbrunner wanted to keep Poles alive so they can be employed as slave labour. In order to affect this end, he orders that "special treatment is to be limited to a minimum." Isn't it ironic that Kaltenbrunner would order "special treatment," Dr. Faurisson's "keeping the Jews alive," to be "limited to a minimum" in order to keep the Jews alive? What's wrong with this picture? On September 20th, 1939, SS-Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich sent a telegram to Gestapo regional and subregional headquarters on the "basic principles of internal security during the war." You can find this in Nuernberg document 1944-PS. Paragraph four of the telegram reads: To avoid any misunderstandings, please take note of the following: ...a distinction must be made between those who may be dealt with in the usual way and those who must be given special treatment. The latter case covers subjects who, due to their most objectionable nature, their dangerousness, or their ability to serve as tools of propaganda for the enemy, are suitable for elimination, without respect for persons, by merciless treatment (namely, by execution). (Kogon, 6) On September 26th, 1939, a memo at a staff meeting held at the Reich Security Main Office indicates which sections were to be responsible for handling the "special treatments." Next to the words "special treatment" are written, in parentheses, "execution." This is Nuernberg document 905-PS. (Ibid.) Paragraph A, section III of a memorandum from Heinrich Himmler, dated February 20th, 1942, states: "Special treatment is carried out by hanging." This is Nuernberg document 3040-PS. (Ibid.) From "USSR Operational Report No. 124," dated October 25th, 1941, page 6: "Due to the grave danger of epidemic, the complete liquidation of Jews from the ghetto in Vitebsk was begun on October 8th, 1941. The number of Jews to whom special treatment is to be applied is around 3,000." The original is in the Federal Archives, ref. R 58/218. The meaning of "special treatment" is clearly spelled out in many such reports from the eastern front. (Ibid.) In a hearing on November 9th, 1962, former SS-Gruppenfu"rher 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. (GStA Frankfurt a/Main AZ: Jz 18/61, hearing of 9 Nov. 1962.) In a hearing on May 4th, 1960, former SS-Obersturmfu"hrer 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. [StA Bochum AZ: 16Js 84/60, hearing of 4 May 1960.] (Ibid., 7) 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-Obersturmbannfu"hrer 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 Reichsfu"hrer-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. The original letter is in the Federal Archives, ref. NS 19(neu) 1570. (Ibid., 7-8) 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 _euphemism_ used to describe it. To date, Mr. Gannon has remained silent - a not uncommon tactic among those who deny the Holocaust who find themselves confronted with undeniable facts. "Taking French lessons?" "Lessons in drinking champagne?" That would mean, then, that the camps through which the Jews were "processed," under the new 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 Jewish property, forbid them associations with non-Jews, destroy their shops, force them to wear yellow stars, herd them onto trains, carry them into Poland, often in the dead of winter, and deposit them into concentration camps where even Mr. Gannon will admit that typhoid and starvation killed hundreds of thousands...just so that all the Jews would be better educated with respect to foreign cultures and alcoholic beverages. Seems a little silly, doesn't it? In a letter from SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Truehe to the Reich security office, room 2D3A, Truehe 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." (Nazi, Vol. I, 1001) Did Truehe need the additional gas vans to transport the champagne, Mr. Gannon? 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." (TWC, Vol. IV, 1166.) One might ask Mr. Gannon, why, after providing their victims of "special treatment" with gallon upon gallon of champagne, and teaching them to speak proper French, the Gestapo would insist upon their cremation? To Judge Hofmeyer, who presided the "Auschwitz trial" in Frankfurt, it was obvious what such documents meant. Here is a relevant excerpt from the court proceedings: "Judge Hofmeyer asks Mulka whether he had issued an order for a trip to Dessau (the poison gas Zyklon-B was manufactured in Dessau). Mulka: 'I know of only one instance in which I issued a travel order for picking up disinfectants from Dessau.' Judge Hofmeyer, leafing through his papers: 'But I seem to have more than one here. Is that your signature? You can look at them.' Mulka walks up to the bench. 'What does this mean on this travel order, 'material for resettlement of Jews'?' 'What did you take this to mean?' Mulka, after an embarrassed pause: 'Well, Zyklon-B.' Judge: 'You see, until now you have maintained that you had nothing to do with the gassings. But it isn't so. You signed a number of things here.'" (Naumann, 242) The argument employed by Mr. Gannon and his associates 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." _Context_, Mr. Gannon, is everything.
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