The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/germany/euthanasia/program.04

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Schools for Murder
From: Ken McVay 
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Canada
Keywords: Babi Yar,Kiev,Hartheim,Mauthausen,Sonnenstein,Grafenegg

Archive/File: places/germany/euthansia/program.04
Last-Modified: 2001/05/18

"The mass killings by shooting proved cumbersome and expensive. Too many
people were needed to shoot 33,711 Jews on September 29 and 30, 1941, at
Babi Yar near Kiev. Eventually, close to 100,000 corpses filled that
ravine, mostly of Jews, but also of partisans and saboteurs. ...

Mass graves were a risky business; there was always the possibility of
incriminating evidence. Solutions were sought in other quarters.

Euthanasia was the other avenue to mass killing. Much of these `mercy
killings' took place at Castle Hartheim, ... conveniently close to
Mauthausen. There were other euthanasia centers in Germany at Hadamar near
Limburg, Sonnenstein in Saxony and Castle Grafenegg in Brandenburg.
Wiesenthal calls these places `schools for murder.' <39>

Thus were killed the German mentally retarded, insane, uncurably sick,
crippled, deformed, invalids, the senile, all `useless eaters' with `lives
not worthy of living' (lebensunwerte Leben). It was also a much simplified
welfare system.

These preparatory schools for murder offered the training course for the
roughnecks who learned by killing thousands of Christian German and
Austrian individual victims and, thus insensitized, graduated to the main
task, which was to be the genocide of millions of Jews, and eventually of
Gypsies, Poles, Russians, Czechs and other less worthy Slavs. The program
was administered under Rudolf Hess and, after his departure, under Martin
Borman. Medical supervision was under Werner Heyde, M.D., professor at the
University of Wurzburg; 100,000 people were dispatched this way. They
experimented with various gasses and injections; they photographed the
effect, clocked the speed of death by a stopwatch, filmed it in slow motion
and then dissected the brain -- all as an undergraduate course preparatory
for genocide.

[Ed. note: So much for the Holocaust-deniers' contention that not one
person was ever gassed in Germany. knm]

Thus were trained Captain Christian Wirth, chief of Hartheim, later in
charge of the extermination camps at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, and
Gustav Wagner who also commanded Sobibor; they in turn taught other cadres
of executioners. <40> In 1941, as a test run, 285 Jews from Dachau were
killed under this program at the mental institution of Bernburg. <41> This
and the mobile gas units were the last preludes to the Final Solution. Then
Adolf Eichmann took over and put the extermination process on the assembly

The answer came with the invention of gas chambers. The first gassings took
place in moving vans, as for instance in Chelmno (1941) and in the occupied
parts of the USSR and Poland. By the spring of 1942, gas chambers were
installed at several concentration camps in Poland: Belzec (March 1942),
Sobibor (May 1942) and Treblinka (July 1942); Majdanek, a former
prisoner-of-war camp near Lublin, was extended for Jews in 1941. <43>

In occupied Poland and the Ukraine, traditional hotbeds of anti-Semitism,
the Nazi henchmen found willing helpers among the local population. But
even in Vichy France the militia picked up where xenophobia left off and
pursued with uncalled-for energy anti-Jewish legislation. In Italy,
Rumania, Bulgaria and even in Hungary until the German occupation in 1944,
the authorities tried to contain German pressure to deport the Jews. Only in
Denmark did the majority of the population, including the king, support the
Jews, and the resistance managed to spirit most of them out to Sweden and
safety. <43>

By far the largest camp, eventually with five gas chambers and crematoria,
was Auschwitz near Cracow. It first started in May 1940 as a concentration
camp for Polish political prisoners. By October of the following year,
Auschwitz II-Birkenau (Oswiecim-Brzezinka in Polish) was established for
the purpose of the Final Solution. Each day thousands of men, women and
children were gassed there upon arrival. Commandant Rudolf Hoess made
competitive sport out of it, boasting that his new gas chambers could
accommodate 2,000 people at one time, while Treblinka's could do away with
only 200. (Still, Treblinka would not be outdone and turned `Jews into
ashes at the rate of over 25,000 per day.') <44> The highest Auschwitz
record allegedly was 34,000 Jews and others gassed within twenty-four hours
during the `height of the season' in the summer of 1944, when 400,000
Hungarian Jews were annihilated. <45>"

<39> Wiesenthal, Simon. The Murderers Among Us. pp. 310-12
<40> Ibid., p.318
<41> Infield, Glenn B. Skorzeny, Hitler's Commando. p. 229
<42> Gilbert, Martin. The Holocaust, Maps & Photographs. p.16 
<43> Marrus, Michael R. and Paxton, Robert. O. Vichy France and the Jews.
<44> Ferencz, Benjamin. Less Than Slaves: Jewish Forced Labor and the
     Quest for Compensation. pp. 19-20
<45> Hoess, Rudolf. Commandant of Auschwitz. 

Extracted from------------------------------------------------------------
Edited (and with introduction) by Vera Laska. Greenwood Press, Westport &
London, 1983. LOC 82-12018, ISBN 0-313-23457-4 pp. 13-15

"In his cell that evening [Ed. note: after the screening of a concentration
camp film at the Nuremberg trials. knm] [Hans] Fritzsche exclaimed: `No
power in heaven or earth will erase this shame from my country -- not in
generations -- not in centuries!' [Hans] Frank, similarly emotional, burst
out: `To think we lived like kings and believed in that beast! Don't let
anybody tell you they had no idea! Everybody sensed that there was something
horribly wrong with this system, even if we didn't know all the details.
They didn't want to know! It was too comfortable to live on the system, to
support our families in royal style, and to belive that it was all right.
May God have mercy on our souls!'" [Conot: Judgement at Nuremberg]

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