The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/germany/deportations/deport.001

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Deportation of Greater Germany's Jews
Summary: Accounts of the deportation of the Jews in Germany,
         Austria, Bohemia & Moravia, and their destruction at
         Auschwitz and Minsk. Letters from Kube to Lohse.
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project
Keywords: Lodz,Lohse,Kube,Auschwitz,Minsk

Archive/File: places/germany/deportations/deport.001
Last-Modified: 1994/07/20

   "Deportations From Greater Germany

   "In Greater Germany (Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and Moravia, which
   for our purposes consititute a single area, the deportations were
   carried out by the regular German police, under the supervision of

   "Mass deportations from Germany began on October 15, 1941.  They
   started before procedures for the "final solution" had been settled
   by the RSHA, even before the technical plans for extermination had
   been completed.  But Heydrich and Eichmann, as we have seen, had
   been eagerly looking forward to the moment when they could make the
   Jews disappear from the Third Reich.  After July 31, they were
   given 'carte blanche' to realize their wishes.

   "Between October 15 and October 31 close to 20,000 Jews, for the
   most part old people, were deported to the Lodz ghetto, despite the
   protests of the German authorities in that ghetto, including its
   commissioner, Hans Bielow.  Later, during November 1941, 50,000
   German and Czech Jews were deported to occupied Russia, principally
   Riga and Minsk.  The first group was exterminated some weeks later,
   the second survived for several months.  The Jews picked for
   deportation were notified individually, sometimes one or two weeks
   in advance.  The possibilities of taking flight or going into
   hiding were nonexistent; almost nobody escaped.  On the other hand,
   suicides were frequent.  Carefully organized, the convoy departures
   aroused little emotion in the German population.  The reports sent
   to the RSHA by convoy escorts mention hardly any incidents.
   Indifference mixed with hostility, generally accompanied them on
   their interminable trips.  `The Union of Jews of the Reich' took an
   active part in organizing the transports, and its branches were
   sometimes also charged with selecting the deportees.

   "We thus see emerging here the customary Nazi procedure of making
   their victims assist in the different stages leading up to their
   own extermination.  Doubtless arising out of a desire to simplify
   things, since self-governing Jewish organizations were already
   available, this procedure everywhere furnished ample occasion to
   the Nazis for giving vent to their hatred.  The Jewish leaders, who
   paid with their lives or those of their families in case of
   defection or escape, were asked to become accomplices in the
   search; one can easily feel the anguish of their dilemma.  In the
   end the entire personnel of the Union was obliged to lend a hand in
   the deportations.  The naive account of a young Jewess, a social
   worker in Berlin, is an example.

      "At eight o'clock in the evening we were summoned to the
      headquarters of the community.  The Gestapo told us that a
      convoy of orphans was to leave, and that since the necessary
      quota would not be supplied by children's homes, we had to find
      orphans living with private families and bring them to the
      transit camp.  We young Jewish girls were to go out and look for
      Jewish children.  Even today I do not understand how I found the
      courage and strength to do it.  I was twenty at the time.  We
      received a pass for the night, a list of four or five addresses.
      They gave us until four in the morning.

      "We set out in pairs, looking for the houses in the dark.  Since
      doors were locked at nine o'clock in Berlin, we had to wake up
      the porter and show our pass.  The Jewish apartments opened only
      after we rang the bell a great many times, for this was the
      frightening hour of the night when the arrests were made, when a
      family turned pale at every ring of the doorbell and the wife
      went to look for the bags while the husband opened the door. 

      "Seeing us with our [yellow] stars, the people began to breathe
      again, but what terrible scenes were witnessed after they
      learned the reason for our coming.<14>

   "The rate of deportation fell off considerably at the beginning of
   1942, picking up again in the fall with added vigor.  The
   statistical report already cited estimates at 217,748 the total
   number of Jews deported up to December 31, 1942 (in Germany proper:
   100,516; Austria, 47,555; Bohemia-Moravia, 66,677).  The few tens
   of thousands of skilled workers that remained were deported during
   the first months of 1943 (in Berlin the "clean sweep of the
   factories" of February 27 and March 3, 1943, affected 12,000 Jews).
   All these convoys went directly to Auschwitz, with the exception of
   a few `privileged' transports sent to Theresientstadt.

   "A few words need to be added about the fate of those deported in
   the fall of 1941.  As we have said, they were granted a respite of
   several months.  Those sent to Minsk profited in addition from the
   unexpected intercession of the Commissioner General of White
   Russia, Gauleiter Wilhelm Kube, a veteran of the Hitler movement.
   `I beg you to send me instructions,' he wrote to his chief, Reich
   Commissioner Heinrich Lohse.  `These Jews include war veterans,
   holders of the Iron Cross, those wounded in war, half-Aryans, and
   even three-quarter Aryans ...  I do not lack hardness and I am
   ready to contribute to the solution of the Jeiwsh problem, but
   people who come from the same cultural circles as ourselves are
   different from the bestial, aboriginal hordes.'<15> A long report
   by the SD of White Russia enumerated the many failings of the old
   Gauleiter: he had shaken hands with a Jew who ha rescued his car
   from a birning garage; he had confessed to appreciating the music
   of Mendelssohn and Offenbach, adding that "beyond a doubt there
   were artists among the Jews."; he had promised safety to 5,000
   German Jews were deported to Minsk.<16> But on July 31, 1942, a
   report from the same Kube reported to Lohse: "At Minsk
   approximately 10,000 Jews were liquidated on July 28 and 29...
   Most of them had been deported to Minsk last November from Vienna,
   Brunn, Bremen, and Berlin by order of the Fu"hrer."<17> (Poliakov,

   <14> Anonymous testimony collected by Hans Klee in Switzerland
        at the end of 1943. (LXX, 70)
   <15> Confidential letter from Kube to Lohse, dated December 16,
        1941. (PS 3665)
   <16> Report from SS Sturmbannfu"hrer Brand to SS Obergruppenfu"hrer
        von dem Bach, dated July 25, 1943. (NO 2262)
   <17> Report from Kube to Lohse, Minsk, July 31, 1942. (PS 3428)

                           Work Cited

   Poliakov, Leon.  Harvest of Hate: The Nazi Program for the
      Destruction of the Jews of Europe.  Syracuse University Press.,

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.