Yesterday I responded to a Tom Moran post.
“I take it you would have the group believe the “10,000”
extermination camps. Do you think Goldhagen will list all 10,000 in
the yet to be released book, complete with “documentation”. I’ll just
wait for your 1/2 %. Hear from you next week, you say?”
“Well, here is what I am going to do. I am going to go to the library
this weekend (you know, a big building, like the ones they have in
Pennsylvania) and look up the NYTimes op-ed piece you quoted from.
Since you selectively quoted from the essay, I want to read the whole
I went to the library this morning and took a look at the New York
Times Op-Ed page from March 17, 1996. What follows is the entire essay
contributed by Daniel Goldhagen. Note carefully that the sections in
lower case are the portions of the article Tom Moran posted in
alt.revisionism; the sections in upper case are the portions of the
article which Tom omitted (sometimes indicating he had clipped sections
and sometimes not indicating such.) I leave it to the reader to
determine whether Tom biased either the meaning or the substantive
proof of Goldhagen’s assertions by his chosen omissions. More comments
after the article.
The People’s Holocaust
By Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
One day in November 1942, at the height of the Germans’ systematic
slaughter of Polish Jewry, men serving in a battalion of about 500 reserve
policemen learned that they would be undertaking yet another genocidal
killing, this time of the Jews of Lukow.
That evening, according to one of the battalion members, a peculiar thing
happened: “An entertainment unit of Berlin policemen . . . were our
guests…. The members of this unit had also learned of the forthcoming
shooting of the Jews and indeed offered, even pleaded emphatically, for
permission to participate in the execution of these Jews. This strange
request was granted by the battalion.”
These entertainers, like so many other ordinary Germans, willingly killed
Jews. Contrary to what is commonly believed, the Germans who executed Jews
were not exclusively a select group of Nazi fanatics, not only members of
the SS but also tens of thousands of ordinary Germans from all walks of
A trove of files confirms this fact. DURING POSTWAR LEGAL INVESTIGATIONS,
THE WEST GERMAN AUTHORITIES INTERROGATED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FORMER
KILLERS AND PUT A FEW THOUSAND ON TRIAL. These records have been used only
selectively by scholars, in part because they are scattered throughout the
justice system and not stored in historical archives. My extensive
research into these files has produced a new portrait of the Germans who
killed Jews and a new interpretation of the Holocaust itself. The number
of Germans working in concentration camps, ghettos, police battalions and
THE NUMBER OF GERMANS WORKING IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS, GHETTOS, POLICE
BATTALIONS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS INVOLVED IN THE GENOCIDE WAS FAR GREATER
THAN PEOPLE REALIZE. Although a definitive estimate is difficult to make,
it is clear that in excess of 100,000 Germans, and probably far more,
helped exterminate European Jews.
A few figures provide a sense of the vastness of the genocidal machinery.
For instance, it has been documented that more than 10,000 camps of various
sizes and kinds existed THROUGHOUT EUROPE FOR INCARCERATING AND destroying
Jews and non-Jews. THESE CAMPS REQUIRED AN ENORMOUS STAFF.
THE GERMAN GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY IN CHARGE OF INVESTIGATING NAZI CRIMES HAS
CATALOGUED MORE THAN 333,000 PEOPLE SUSPECTED OF WORKING IN THE VARIOUS
INSTITUTIONS THAT WERE USED TO KILL JEWS AND OTHERS. FOR EXAMPLE, THERE
WERE 38 POLICE BATTALIONS, WITH A TOTAL OF AT LEAST 19,000 MEN, THAT
PARTICIPATED IN THE GENOCIDE. MOST OF THESE MEN WERE NOT PROFESSIONAL
POLICEMEN OR MEMBERS OF THE NAZI PARTY OR THE SS.
The Nazi authorities, apparently acting on the assumption that any
able-bodied German would consent to kill Jews, assigned virtually anyone
who was available to the task. Their assumption was borne out.
MANY OTHER GERMANS ALSO SUPPORTED THE PERSECUTION AND EVEN THE
EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWS. THEY DID SO BECAUSE ANTI-SEMITISM WAS A
DEEP-ROOTED PART OF GERMAN CULTURE-EVEN BEFORE HITLER CAME TO POWER. IT WAS
SO WIDESPREAD AND VIRULENT THAT MANY WHO RESISTED HITLER SHARED THE
PREVAILING DEMONIC IMAGE OF JEWS.
In December 1941, the leadership of seven regional Protestant churches IN
GERMANY ISSUED A PROCLAMATION THAT DECLARED THE JEWS, OWING TO THEIR
PUTATIVE RACIAL CONSTITUTION, TO BE INCAPABLE OF BEING SAVED BY BAPTISM AND
AND SAID THEY WERE THE “BORN ENEMIES OF THE WORLD AND GERMANY.” IT urged
that the “severest measures against the Jews be adopted.”
IT IS NOT SURPRISING THEREFORE THAT THE KILLERS COMMONLY BELIEVED THAT
JEWISH PEOPLE WERE EVIL AND DANGEROUS IN THE EXTREME AND THEREFORE HAD TO
A POLICE BATTALION MEMBER WHO SERVED IN THE CHELMNO DEATH CAMP EXPLAINED IN
POSTWAR LEGAL TESTIMONY: “IT DID NOT AT ALL OCCUR TO ME THAT THESE ORDERS
COULD BE UNJUST…. I WAS THEN OF THE CONVICTION THAT THE JEWS WERE NOT
INNOCENT BUT GUILTY. I BELIEVED THE PROPAGANDA THAT ALL JEWS WERE CRIMINALS
AND SUBHUMANS AND THAT THEY WERE THE CAUSE OF GERMANY’S DECLINE AFTER THE
FIRST WORLD WAR. THE THOUGHT THAT ONE SHOULD DISOBEY OR EVADE THE ORDER TO
PARTICIPATE IN THE EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWS DID NOT THEREFORE ENTER MY
MIND AT ALL.”
A MEMBER OF ANOTHER POLICE UNIT STATED: “THE JEW WAS NOT ACKNOWLEDGED BY US
TO BE A HUMAN BEING.” THE GERMANS WHO KILLED JEWS COULD HAVE REFUSED
WITHOUT RISKING DEATH OR PUNISHMENT. THEY CHOSE TO KILL. MANY KNEW THEY
COULD REFUSE. THEIR COMMANDERS TOLD THEM SO.
German courts have repeatedly concluded that during the Holocaust no German
was ever killed, sent to a concentration camp, jailed or punished in any
serious way for refusing to kill Jews. HEINRICH HIMMLER, WHO WAS IN CHARGE
OF THE EXTERMINATION PROGRAM, HELD THAT NO GERMAN SHOULD BE FORCED TO DO
THE KILLERS’ ANTI-SEMITISM ALSO EXPLAINS WHY, WITH EXCEPTIONS, THE GERMANS
TYPICALLY ACTED WITH ZEAL, BRUTALIZING AND TORTURING THEIR VICTIMS. AS ONE
POLICE BATTALION MEMBER TESTIFIED: “I MUST FIRST AND FOREMOST STATE
CATEGORICALLY THAT WHENEVER THE SUPERIOR REQUESTED THEM, THERE WERE ENOUGH
VOLUNTEERS FOR EXECUTIOR SQUADS.”
MANY KILLERS EXHIBITED PRIDE IR THEIR DEEDS, ROUTINELY TAKING PHOTO GRAPHS
OF WHAT THEY DID TO JEWS. A MEMBER OF A POLICE BATTALION SAID SUCH
PHOTOGRAPHS “WERE LAID OUT HANGING ON THE WALL AND ANYONE, AS HE PLEASED,
COULD ORDER COPIES OF THEM.” HE CONTINUED: “I TOO ACQUIRED THESE
PHOTOGRAPHS THROUGH SUCH AN ORDER EVEN THOUGH I HAD NOT ALWAYS PARTICIPATED
IN THE EVENTS THAT THE PHOTOGRAPHS DEPICT.”
FEW PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THE SERBS WHO BUTCHERED AND BRUTALIZED MUSLIMS IN
BOSNIA WERE FORCED TO DO SO. FEW BELIEVE THAT THE HUTUS WHO SLAUGHTERED
TUTSIS IN RWANDA, THE TURKS WHO KILLED ARMENIANS AND THE KHMER ROUGE WHO
DECIMATED THE CAMBODIAN PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT THE WERE DOING WRONG.
ONLY WHEN DISCUSSING THE HOLOCAUST DO PEOPLE ROUTINELY SAY THAT THE KILLERS
WERE UNWILLING. THIS IS ODD SINCE SO MUCH EVIDENCE DEMONSTRATES THAT THE
GERMAN KILLERS WERE LIKE THOSE WHO COMMITTED OTHER MASS SLAUGHTERS.
IT IS THE KILLERS THEMSELVES WHO TELL US OF THEIR BASIC VOLUNTARISM, OF
THEIR ROUTINE AND UNNECESSARY CRUELTY, THEIR ZEAL IN HUNTING DOWN AND
MURDERING JEWS, OF THEIR WIVES’ AND THEIR FRIENDS’ PRESENCE IN THE KILLING
FIELDS AND OF THEIR CELEBRATIONS TO MARK THE DEATH OF JEWS.
AS PRESIDENT ROMAN HERZOG OF GERMANY ACKNOWLEDGED BEFORE THE BUNDESTAG
EARLIER THIS YEAR, NAZI IDEOLOGY HAD EFFECTS THAT “WERE SO HORRIBLE,
BECAUSE IT GRADUALLY BECAME PART OF PUBLIC OPINION, BECAUSE IT WAS
GRADUALLY INJECTED INTO PEOPLE’S MINDS.”
IF AFTER 50 YEARS THE PRESIDENT OF TODAY’S DEMOCRATIC AND FULLY TRANSFORMED
GERMANY CAN FINALLY SPEAK THE PARAMOUNT TRUTH OF THE HOLOCAUST — NAMELY,
THAT THE ANTI-SEMITIC BELIEFS THAT INSPIRED HITLER ALSO INSPIRED A GOOD
PART OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE DURING THE NAZI ERA — THEN EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD
BE ABLE TO DO THE SAME.
The inescapable, fundamental truth is that for the Holocaust to have
occurred, an enormous number of ordinary Germans had to become Hitler’s
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, assistant professor of government and social
studies at Harvard, is the author of the forthcoming book “Hitler’s Willing
Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust.”
1. Tom’s assertion up top was, “I take it you would have the group
believe the ‘10,000’ extermination camps.” Tom is claiming that all
10,000 camps Goldhagen mentions were extermination camps. In fact what
Goldhagen says is, “…it has been documented that more than 10,000
camps of various sizes and kinds existed THROUGHOUT EUROPE FOR
INCARCERATING AND destroying Jews and non-Jews. [Note the capitalized
text which Tom omitted from his version of the essay.] Goldhagen says
there were 10,000 incarceration and extermination camps; Moran says
they were extermination camps. Moran carefully clipped out the middle
portion of the sentence which broadens the description. Note also that
these camps were used to incarcerate both Jews and non-Jews; note that
these camps were throughout Europe. A quite broad description.
As Goldhagen says “it has been documented,” lets wait for his book and
see what sort of documentation he provides or cites.
2. Tom has at times followed in the tradition of other deniers and
anti-semites (Wayne McGuire — whom I have emulated today by using my
scanner :> — among others) by stating that there is too much of a
focus on the Jews killed in this Holocaust. The argument goes that
there is too little focus on the non-Jews killed in this Holocaust (an
argument currently being pushed by Matt Giwer) and too little focus on
other holocausts (an argument favored by McGuire). Tom has mentioned
both arguments in the past.
First, Goldhagen — even though the focus of his work is on the
anti-semitism in Germany which led to civilians killing Jews —
directly mentions that the incarceration camps held both Jews and
Second, and more damning to Moran, is the fact that he chose to clip
from his version of the essay comparisons to Bosnia, Rwanda, Armenia,
All in all, this charge from Moran is little different from anything
else we have seen before.
3. Goldhagen states that the number of Germans involved in the killings
was in the hundreds of thousands (he states “in excess of 100,000” and
“333,000” in two different places.) Note that this is still a small
minority of Germans. Anyone who might conclude that Goldhagen is
blaming all Germans for killing Jews is overreading his essay.
daniel david mittleman
Quoth the Raven: “They call me McGuire. Wayne McGuire”
From [email protected] Mon Apr 1 11:12:47 PST 1996
Article: 29485 of alt.revisionism
From: [email protected] (Daniel Mittleman)
Subject: Re: “10,000” extermination camps – “documented”.
Date: 31 Mar 1996 15:38 MST
Organization: University of Arizona (BPA)
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
References: <[email protected]> <[email protected]> <[email protected]> <[email protected]>
News-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.50
posted/emailed to Tom Moran