Newsgroups: alt.revisionism Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Eduard Schulte Archive/File: holocaust/germany/warnings schulte.001 Last-Modified: 1994/07/01 "A third informant was Eduard Schulte, who was an industrialist in Breslau, where he headed a large mining concern, Bergwerksgesellschaft Georg von Giesche's Erben. His connections in Germany included a German colonel and a Giesche manager who was close to Gauleiter Karl Hanke of Lower Silesia. Like Sommer, Schulte had previously been in Switzerland on business and had given information to various people about German policies and plans. This time, his visit was prompted by something he had heard about the Jews: they were going to be annihilated. On July 30, 1942, he talked to a business associate, Isidor Koppelmann, who contacted the press officer of the Swiss Jewish community, Benjamin Sagalowitz. Schulte wanted his message to be transmitted to America and Britain, and Sagalowitz turned to Riegner in Geneva. Riegner consulted Professor Guggenheim. The choices are few. One could not simply fly to London or New York and deliver the message personally. Communication through the mail or telegrams risked Swiss censorship. An approach to Allied representatives in Switzerland, however, offered the possibility of speed and security, as well as help in gathering additional information. On the morning of August 8, Riegner set out to meet with the British and American consuls in Geneva.<34> Riegner, who had not met Schulte and had not been given his name, drafted a notice containing the substance of Schulte's statement. It was addressed to Sydney Silverman, a member of the World Jewish Congree in London and Member of Parliament, and to Wise in New York. Its text is as follows: RECEIVED ALARMING REPORT STATING THAT IN FUEHRERS HEADQUARTERS A PLAN HAS BEEN DISCUSSED AND BEING UNDER CONSIDERATION ACCORDING TO WHICH TOTAL OF JEWS IN COUNTRIES OCCUPIED CONTROLLED BY GERMANY NUMBERING THREEANDHALF TO FOUR MILLIONS SHOULD AFTER DEPORTATION AND CONCENTRATION IN EAST BE AT ONE BLOW EXTERMINATED IN ORDER TO RESOLVE ONCE AND FOR ALL JEWISH QUESTION IN EUROPE STOP ACTION IS REPORTED TO BE PLANNED FOR AUTUMN WAYS OF EXECUTION STILL DISCUSSED STOP IT HAS BEEN SPOKEN OF PRUSSIC ACID STOP IN TRANSMITTING INFORMATION WITH ALL NECESSARY RESERVATION AS EXACTITUDE CANNOT BE CONTROLLED BY US BEG TO STATE THAT INFORMER IS REPORTED HAVE CLOSE CONNECTIONS WITH HIGHEST BGERMAN AUTHORITIES AND HIS REPORTS TO BE GENERALLY RELIABLE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS GERHARD RIEGNER<35> The words 'all necessary reservation' were suggested by Guggenheim.<36> By the end of July, gassings were already under way in Kulmhof, Auschwitz, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Maydanek (Lublin). Only Treblinka had just begun its operations. The subject was no longer under discussion and the Jews were not going to be killed 'at one blow.' The message, however, contained not only the overwhelming truth of annihilation, but some telling details. Thus there _was_ a stockpiling of deportees from Germany and Slovakia in a number of eastern ghettos, pending organized shootings or gassings, and prussic acid, the active ingredient in Zyklon, _was_ the gas already introduced in Auschwitz, the death camp in Upper Silesia, next door to Lower Silesia. When Vice Consul Howard Elting met with Riegner in the American consulate, he found the World Jewish Congress representative in great agitation. Riegner brought up the prussic acid and Elting interjected that the report seemed fantastic to him. Riegner replied that it had struck him the same way, but that he had to consider the recent mass deportations from Paris, Holland, Berlin, Vienna, and Prague. The report was so serious and alarming that he felt it his duty to request that the Allied governments and Rabbi Wise be informed and the governments 'try by every means to obtain confirmaiton or denial.'<37> For Riegner the pieces were already falling into place. They were not so convincing to the Allied governments. The Department of State decided that, pending corroboration of the information, the message should not be delivered to Rabbi Wise.<38> In the British Foreign office, the telegram was considered for seven days before it was passed on to Sydney Silverman.<39> Wise received the message from Silverman on August 24.<40>" (Hilberg, 239-240) <34> A portion of this story was first uncovered by Arthur Morse, 'While Six Million Died' (New York, 1967), pp. 3-7. Schulte's identity was discovered years after his death by Monty Penkower and, independently, by Richard Breitman and Alan Kraut. See Penkower, 'The Jews Were Expendable,' pp. 62, 317-18; Breitman and Kraut, 'Who Was the _Mysterious Messenger_?', 'Commentary,' October 1983, pp. 44-47; Laqueur and Breitman, 'Breaking the Silence' (New York, 1988); and Breitman in Breitman and Kraut, 'American Refugee Policy and European Jewry 1933-1945 (Bloomington, Ind., 1987), pp. 148-57, 279-81. See also the correspondence by Penkower, Breitman, and others in 'Commentary,' January 1984, pp. 4-10. The books co-authored by Breitman are more detailed about Schulte's background and the transmission of the message. There are some small discrepancies among the various accounts. <35> Memorandum by U.S. Vice-Consul Howard Elting in Geneva, August 8, 1942, with attacvhed draft of a telegram prepared by Riegner 'giving in his own words a telegraphic summary of his statement to me'; National Archives of the United States, Record Group 84, American Legation Bern, Confidential File 1942, Box 7, 840.1J. Riegner's first name was misspelled. <36> Laqueur and Breitman, 'Breaking the Silence,' pp. 146-47. Penkower, 'The Jews Were Expendable,' pp. 63-64. Laqueur and Breitman state that Guggenheim also advised the deletion of a reference to a crematorium: 'Breaking the Silence,' p. 146 <37> Memoradum by Elting, August 8, 1942, National Archives Record Group 84, American Legation Bern, Confidential File 1942, Box 7, 810.1J. <38> J. Klehr Huddle (Counselor of the U.S. Legation in Bern) to Elting, August 21, 1942, ibid. <39> Bernard Wasserstein, 'Britain and the Jews of Europe,' (London and Oxford, 1979), p. 168. Gilbert, 'Auschwitz and the Allies,' pp. 59-60. <40> Telegram from Silverman to Wise, August 24, 1942. American Jewish Archives, World Jewish Congress Collection/Alphabetical Files - Switzerland, 184 A, Box 1. Work Cited Hilberg, Raul. Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe, 1933-1945. New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 1992.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor