The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: holocaust/germany/warnings/sommer.001


Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Artur Sommer

Archive/File: holocaust/germany/warnings sommer.001
Last-Modified: 1994/05/11

   "On or about July 27, 1942, a German lieutenant colonel, Artur
   Sommer, who was an economist and Deputy Director of the 'Allied and
   Neutral States' Group in the Economy Office of the Armed Forces
   High Command, traveled to Switzerland on official business.  Sommer
   had been in Switzerland before and had visited another economist,
   Professor Edgar Salin, at the University of Basil. On those
   occasions Sommer had freely talked about German behavior in the
   USSR, once leaving packets of photographs showing emaciated and
   dead Soviet prisoners of war. This time Salin found a note without
   an evelope in his box. It stated:

      In the East camps are being prepared in which all the Jews of
      Europe and a large part of the Soviet prisoners of war are to be
      gassed. Please send messages immediately to Roosevelt and
      Churchill. If the BBC will warn daily against the gas ovens,
      their use may be prevented, since the criminals will do
      everything to make sure that the German people will not find out
      what they are planning and what they can surely carry out as
      well. (Salin, 81-90)

   The information in Sommer's note was already old.  Gas had been
   considered for the European Jews during the early fall of 1941.
   The program was to be implemented in the Baltic area and
   Byelorussia, partly in camps prepared for roundups of Communists,
   but it was subsequently shifted to Poland, where it was in full
   swing by summer 1942.  Evidently Sommer had learned of the early
   plans several months late.  His suggestion that the British
   Broadcasting Corporation paralyze the perpetrators psychologically
   was not altogether new either.  The BBC had already made some
   broadcasts, albeit not the plenary, forceful daily announcements
   that he had in mind.  
   Sommer's message has considerable significance, first because it
   was sent by someone in Berlin who was likely to be close to the
   truth, and second because it was an unambiguous statement to the
   effect that European Jewry was to be gassed to death." (Hilberg,
   236-7)

                          Work Cited

   Hilberg, Raul. Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish
   Catastrophe, 1933-1945. New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 1992.

   Salin, Edgar. "Uber Artur Sommer, den Menschen und List-Forscher,"
   Mitteilungen del List Gesellschaft, vol. 6 (1967), as cited in
   Hilberg.

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