Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history Subject: Holocaust Almanac - "We didn't know..." Summary: Press reports cited (1944) which demonstrate German public's knowledge of the extermination program; Nuremberg testimony from SS General of interest. Reply-To: email@example.com Followup-To: alt.revisionism Organization: The Old Frog's Almanac, Vancouver Island, CANADA Keywords: Lines: 78 My thanks to Friedrich Berg for his citation of Poliakov's "Harvest of Hate," which offers the following material relating to the issue of whether or not the German public knew of the extermination of the Jews. Perhaps Mr. Berg will now explain the newspaper articles cited by Poliakov? (For which, unlike his comments related to diesel engines and the Reinhard camps, he provides original source citations...) Archive/File: holocaust/germany/press press.002 Last-Modified: 1994/07/21 If a few dozen Germans, some hundreds at the most, actually observed the last agony of the Jews in the gas chambers, those who witnessed their long Calvary were numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The SS formations stationed in the camps; the German workers, Army units, and officials at the numberous yards and factories where the Jewish slaves were used, whom they passed by daily; the railway men handling the innumberable transports of deportees all over Germany, which they saw coming back empty, if they were not loaded with the used clothing which was distributed to the needy by all the welfare offices in the country. This is a very incomplete list of those who can properly be called eyewitnesses. As for the rest of the Germans, the press and radio of the Reich undertook to inform them more and more openly of what was going on. The time for vague and prophetic impreciations by Hitler had passed. The language now sharpens and it is the past tense that is employed. "The Jewish population of Poland has been neutralized, and the same may be said right now for Hungary. By this action five million Jews have been eliminated in these two countries," a Danzig newspaper wrote in May 1944.<76> And the next day Goebbels' _Der Angriff_ published under the byline of Ley: "Judea must perish that mankind may be saved."<77> The fate of the Jews was an example and a warning: "Whosoever imitates the Jew desrves the same end: extermination, death," threatened _Der Stu"rmer_. The extermination policy thus became a matter of common knowledge and enough information filtered through a thousand channels for the location of the murder camps and the methods of execution to become notorious. A witness states that in the trains passing near Auschwitz (where, we will recall) four rail lines crossed) "the passengers stood up and leaned out the window to see as much as they could."<78> Another witness, none other than Rudolf Diels, the first director of the Prussian Gestapo in 1933-34, later police prefect of Cologne and administrator of the Hermann Goering Works during the war, stated that as far as he knew, the expression, "You will go up the chimney," had become proverbial in Germany toward the end of the war.<79> Only those who did not wish to know might continue to pretend ignorance. During a dramatic session at one of the Nuremberg trials, a highly qualified witness, SS General Bach-Zelewsky, who was "head of the anti-partisan campaign" of the German armies during the war, insisted on clarifying the matter. For me it is a question of principle. Though imprisoned for years, I see that people are still saying: Who knew? Nobody wants to be in the position of having known anything. I want to establish the truth here, regardless of whether it hurts or helps me.... Of all the German generals, I am perhaps the one who traveled most all over Europe during the war, since it was my job to manage the entire fight against the guerrillas. I talked to hundreds of generals and thousands of officers of all categories, and it is a fact that exterminations began on the first day of the war. This is the truth; anything else is a lie and a euphemism.... And anyone who travelled knew from the beginning that the Jews were being exterminated in a way that at first was not systematic. Later, when the Russian campaign began, the extermination of Judaism was an explicit part of the aim.<80> (Poliakov, 211-12) <76> The _Danziger Vorposten_ of May 13, 1944, article signed "Lobsack." <77> Der Angriff, May 14, 1944 <78> Affidavit by SS Rottenfu"hrer Perry Broad. Nuremberg, October 20, 1947. (NI 11984) <79> Affidavit by R. Diels, Nuremberg, October 20, 1947. (NI 11957) <80> Deposition of SS Gruppenfu"hrer Bach-Zelewsky, trial of the RuSHA (Rasse und Siedlungshauptamt), session of October 24, 1947. Work Cited Poliakov, Leon. Harvest of Hate: The Nazi Program for the Destruction of the Jews of Europe. Syracuse University Press., 1956.
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