The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/germany/euthanasia/soldau/soldau.001

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Soldau "Evacuations" - 10 marks/body
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, CANADA
Keywords: Soldau,Lange,Koppe,Rediess,Himmler,Zichenau

Archive/File: holocaust/germany/euthanasia soldau.001
Last-Modified: 1994/11/11

   "Gruppenfu"hrer Rediess asked Himmler's permission to borry the
   highly efficient unit under Sturmbannfu"hrer Herbert Lange that had
   carried out gassings from mental asylums in the Wartheland.
   Rediess's subordinates then gathered more than 1,500 mental
   patients from East Prussian facilities and another 250 to 300 from
   Zichenau at the Soldau camp. The 'movers' from the vans, now
   decorated with the name of a coffee firm, loaded one group aboard,
   headed off, disposed of the bodies, and returned hours later for
   the next victims. Between May 21 and June 6 the euthanasia patients
   gathered at Soldau were all 'evacuated' in this way.<72>

   Lange not only carried out activities quietly; he also left no
   documentatary record for prying bureaucrats and historians until a
   dispute broke out. Wilhelm Koppe was having trouble meeting all his
   expenses in the Wartheland area, so he tried to make a profit off
   the gassing experiments. When Rediess asked him for the use of
   Lange's squad, he stipulated that Rediess pay a bonus to the squad
   - ten makrs for every person killed - and Rediess supposedly
   agreed. In fact, Rediess's subordinate Rasch paid Lange an advance
   of two thousand marks before the opeation at Soldau began.<73> 
   Then, however, the squad and Koppe waited in vain for the rest of
   the money. By October Kippe was forced to write a detailed letter
   to Rediess's successor retracing the history of the affair and
   asking for payment. Rediess, who had since become higher SS and
   police leader in Norway, responded by mail, denying that he had
   ever taken Koppe's request for money seriously.<74>

   From these letters and telegrams we learn the details of the Soldau
   'evacuations,' as they are called in the documents, and of
   Himmler's direct involvement. According to Rediess, Himmler held
   the gassing operation to be particularly important, and after the
   men completed their 'difficult task,' Himmler ordered them to take
   a vacation, which they chose to spend in Holland.<75>" (Breitman,

   <72> Rediess to Wolff, 7 Nov. 1940, Herbert Lange SS file, Berlin
	Document Center. Browning, "Faithful Months," 3, 59. Gerald
	Fleming, "Hitler and the Final Solution," (Berkeley, 1984; 
        German original, 1982). The term 'evacuation' is used to
	describe the Soldau operation in Koppe to Sporrenberg, 18 Oct.
	1940, and Rediess to Wolff, 7 Nov. 1940, Lange SS file.
   <73> Koppe to Sporrenberg, 18 Oct. 1940. Lange SS file.
   <74> Ibid. Rediess to Wolff, 7 Nov. 1940. Lange SS file.
   <75> Rediess to Wolff, 22 Oct. 1940 (Auszug); Koppe to Wolff, 22
	Feb. 1941, Lange SS file. Brandt's phone records for 20 and 22
	July 1940 show that Koppe called to discuss Sonderkommando
	Lange on 20 and 22 July - about the time when the vacation
	would have been under consideration. NA RG 242, T-581/R 39A.

                             Work Cited

   Breitman, Richard. Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final
   Solution. New York: Knopf, 1991

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