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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

W. Stäglich - AUSCHWITZ (B)

CHAPTER TWO

CONTEMPORANEOUS DOCUMENTS


[NOTE: Many of the German language portions still contain scanning errors. 3/5/99]

AS WE MAKE a detailed examination of documents of the most diverse kinds from the period of the Third Reich we shall see that the Auschwitz mythologists are able to draw from them the conclusions they desire -- if indeed at all -- only by resorting to forced logic, conjecture, and the creation of fictive, or at least dubious, associations. That is to say, there are gaps in the chain of "proof," and the individual pieces of circumstantial evidence are far from unambiguous.1

Such argumentation is no more acceptable to the historian than it is to the jurist. With reference to the question of whether Hitler "knew" about the "gassing" of the Jews, the distinguished British historian David Irving has stated, in no uncertain terms, that none of the available documents contains any solid information, and historians cannot go by speculation alone.2

Only in a very few contemporaneous "eyewitness accounts" is it ex pressly claimed that "gas chambers" existed at Birkenau. These reports, however, are so questionable and contradictory that after the war one hardly ever dared invoke them as proof, or quoted them only in part.

In the following chapter, I shall deal with the contemporaneous documents according to subject matter as well as importance.

Basic Documents from German Official Records

The "Göring Decree"


In nearly all the historical accounts of the "extermination of the Jews," a directive Reichsmarschall Göring issued to SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Security Service and the Secret Police, on July 31, 1941, is cited as a fundamental document. It supposedly alms at consolidating and co-ordinating "extermination actions" planned earlier and already partially executed. As a rule, the great "extermination action" that allegedly culminated in the Auschwitz "death camp" is dated from the time of this "decree." The document, placed in evidence at the Nuremberg IMT trial (Nuremberg Document 710-PS), reads as follows:
DerReichsmarschall des Großdeutschen Reiches     Berlin, den 31.7.1941
Beauft ragter für den Vierjahresplan
Vorsitzender
des Ministerrats für die Reichsverteidi gung
An den
Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD
SS-GruppenführerHeydrich
Berlin

In Ergänzung der Ihnen bereits mit Erlalaß vom 24.1.39 übertragenen Aulgabe, die Judenfrage in Form der Auswanderung oder Evakuierung einer den Zeitverhältnjssen entsprechend möglichst günstigen Lösung zuzuführen, beauftrage ich Sie hiermit, alle erforderlichen Vorbereitungen in organisatorischer, sachlicher und materieller Hinsicht zu treffen für eine Gesamtlösung der Judenfrage im deutschen Einflußgebiet in Europa.

Soferne hierbei die Zuständigkeiten anderer Zentralinstancen berührt werden, sind diese zu beteiligen.

Ich beauftrage Sie weiter, mir in B&aumlde einen Gesamtentwurf über die organisatorischen, sachlichen und materiellen Vorausmaßnahmen zur Durchführung der angestrebten Endlösung der Judenfrage vorzulegen.

Göring

Supplementary to the task that was entrusted to you in the decree dated 24 January 1939, namely to solve the Jewish question by emigration and evacuation in a way which is most favorable in connection with the conditions prevailing at the time, I herewith commission you to carry out all preparations with regard to organizational, factual, and financial viewpoints for a total solution of the Jewish question in those territories in Europe under German influence.
If the competency of other central organizations is touched in this connection, these organizations are to participate.
I further commission you to submit to me as soon as possible a comprehensive proposal showing the organizational, factual, and material measures already taken for the intended final solution of the Jewish question.3


For the glib Nuremberg prosecutor Robert M.W. Kempner it was a foregone conclusion that:

"Thereby Heydrich and his henchmen were officially entrusted with the administration of murder."4


To the unbiased reader of the document this remark is simply astonishing. Nothing in the "Göring Decree" has any direct bearing on a "murder plan." From the wording it is obvious that this order concerns measures for evacuating or promoting the emigration of Jews out of the German sphere of influence in Europe, not physically exterminating them. The document takes on the latter meaning only when the expression final solution" is given the forced interpretation treatment, as almost invariably happens.5 To give but one example, Andreas Hillgruber, in his essay "Die Endlösung und das deutsche Ostimperium" ("The Final Solution and the German Eastern Imperium"), published in the Viertel jahreshefte fir Zeitgeschichte in 1972, goes so far as to designate the "Final Solution," by which he means, of course, the "extermination of Jews," as the cornerstone of the racial-ideological program of National Socialism." 6 None of those who attribute this meaning to "Final Solution" have taken the trouble to ascertain when, where, and, most important ly, by whom it was attached to the term. In the literature on our topic, Heydrich's long involvement with organizing the emigration of Jews from Reich territory (a project for which the agency headed by SS Obersturmbannffihrer Eichmann, Bureau IV B 4 of the Reich Security Main Office [RSHA], had primary responsibility), is conveniently viewed as preparation for his later assignment of "exterminating the Jews."7 Any other possible correlations between the "Göring Decree" and Heydrich's previous tasks are studiously ignored. Sometimes it is even claimed that the "Final Solution" went back to an order Hitler gave Himmler, and was already in progress. According to this theory, the "Göring Decree" was a "mere formality," simply granting Heydrich the authority to "engage other State agencies" in the "Final Solution."8
Here we have quite a good example of the reckless speculation that attends so many discussions of this subject. An "order" Hitler may never have given -- that he did so has yet to be proved -- is combined with the arbitrary definition of the term "final solution" to create the impression that Göring's rather commonplace directive is evidence of a scheme to murder the Jews. How Göring, in particular, came to transmit to Heydrich an order Hitler supposedly gave Himmler (Heydrich's immediate superior), providing to some extent the modus operandi for its execution, is a secret known only to these artificers of explication.

Evidently Robert H. Jackson, the American Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg IMT trial, was not quite satisfied with the document in its original form. At any rate, he introduced a retroversion of the English translation that had already been submitted by the prosecution in which, among other things, the term "total solution" ("Gesamtlösung"), in the first paragraph of the original text, was changed to "final solution" ("Endlösung"), presumably so that the document would fit in better with the charges in the indictment. Göring energetically and successfully con tested this attempt at falsification.9 Ever since, only the text of the "decree" he acknowleged (the version that appears above) has been cited.

The real reason for the issuing of this directive is to be found, simply and indubitably, in the first sentence, where it is stated that the Reich Government's policy of deporting or promoting the emigration of Jews, which until then directly involved only Jews in Germany, would be ex tended to include all Jews residing in the German sphere of influence. Considering that the German sphere of influence had recently been expanded, the measures previously applied to Jews in the Reich could be regarded only as a "partial solution" to the Jewish question. Thus it was quite appropriate to refer to their application to Jews in the occupied territories as a "total solution." Something that doubtless played an important role in this policy was the fact that the Jews in the lands occupied by the German armed forces in 1940-41 represented a security risk not to be taken lightly, especially in view of the countless threats, provocations, and incitements against the Reich then emanating from various leaders of international Jewry.'10 This state of affairs must have suggested the necessity of evacuating all Jews from German-occupied territory in Europe, insofar as their removal was not possible through emigration.

Heydrich's assignment was simply to extend to other parts of Europe the policy of emigration and evacuation already in effect in the Reich.11 In this respect, the "Göring Decree" brought nothing new, except that it empowered Heydrich to enlist the participation of other governmental agencies in applying these measures, if their "competency" were "touched in this connection."12

Although Heydrich was basically to continue a pre-existing policy ("namely to solve the Jewish question by emigration and evacuation"), he clearly had to take into account certain objective changes in the preconditions and possibilities for it. The outbreak of war set strict limits to the policy of emigration, which had been the solution of first choice. Even before, however, the countries to which it was thought the Jews might emigrate proved increasingly reluctant to admit them. This fact was illustrated by the "Evian Conference" of July 1938. Each of the states participating in this conference brought forth reasons why it no longer could or would take in Jews.13 Nevertheless, the emigration policy was pursued -- even during the war -- until all the possibilities were exhausted, as the Jewish author Hannah Arendt had to admit. It was only in the autunm of 1941 that Himmler prohibited all further emigration of Jews, though numerous dispensations appear to have been granted.14 According to Jürgen Rohwer, even as late as 1944 several shiploads of Jewish emigrés left Rumania via the Black Sea under the protection of the German Navy.15 All this contradicts the extermination claim. Every Jewish emigré is living proof that the physical destruction of the Jewish people was not the aim of the Reich Government.

Besides emigration, the settlement of all Jews in some out of the way place was considered a possible solution, even before the war, and not just by the German Government. The term "evacuation" was applied to this plan, too. On a practical level, the German govermnent first contemplated, in or about 1938, the island of Madagascar as a settler-colony for the Jews. Here Germany was in accord with the initial plan for the establishment of a Jewish "homeland" put forth by the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl.16 The Madagascar Plan, which the proponents of the extermination thesis seem to have great difficulty in bringing themselves to mention, and seldom take seriously, did not appear within the realm of possibility until the defeat of France in 1940, since Madagascar was a French colony.17 There were repeated discussions on this proposal between Germany and France, but the Madagascar plan ultimately fell through, owing to the resistance of the Vichy Government.18

On the other hand, the recently annexed territories in Eastern Europe afforded new opportunities for the evacuation of the Jews from the West, and this development is something Göring may also have had in mind when he issued his "decree." If so, that would explain why he directed Heydrich to submit a "draft showing the organizational, factual, and financial measures already taken for the execution of the intended final solution of the Jewish question."

One must not forget that to the National Socialists the term "Final Solution" had always meant colonization and isolation of the Jews in one particular territory. As early as 1933, the well-known political scientist Dr. Johann von Leers wrote, in his book 14 Jahre .Judenrepublik [Four teen Years of the Jewish Republic]:

For all its radicalism, our struggle against Jewry has never aimed at the destruction of the Jewish people, but rather at the protection of the German people. We have every reason to wish the Jewish people success in an honorable national development in a land of their own, so long as they lack the will or the opportunity to interfere ever again with Germany's national development. Hostility to Jews for its own sake is stupid and, in the last analysis, barbaric. Our opposition to the Jews is based upon the desire to rescue our own people from spiritual, economic, and political enslavement to Jewry. The basic idea of Zionism, to organize the Jewish people as a nation among nations in a land of their own, is -- provided no ambitions of world-domination are involved-- healthy and justified. Instead of fruitlessly shoving the Jewish problem on each other, century after century, it would behoove the European nations to rid themselves of Jewry, once and for all, by organizing the settlement of the Jews in an adequate and wholesome extra-European colonial territory.19

That is how a prominent National Socialist viewed the Jewish question. No one can claim that his statements contain the slightest hint of an embryonic plan to exterminate the Jews. The promotion of the Madagascar Plan, before and even during the first years of the war, proves that von Leer's conception of the solution to the Jewish problem simply reflected the policy of the German Government. All the many at tempts to show that the Madagascar Plan was never given serious consideration have no basis in fact.

Even Heydrich, who is constantly represented as a particularly un compromising advocate of "exterminating the Jews," was quite obviously interested in a "territorial solution." From a letter dated June 24, 1940, in which he requests Foreign Secretary Ribbentrop to take part in forth coming discussions on the final solution of the Jewish question, his views on the matter are clear:

Das Gesamtproblem -- es handelt sich bereits um rund 3-1/4 Millionen Juden in den heute deutscher Hoheitsgewalt unterstehenden Gebieten -- kann durch Auswanderung nicht mehr gelöst werden; eine territoriale Endlösung wird daher notwendig.

The very size of the problem -- and we have to consider that there are about three and a quarter million Jews in the territories now under German control -- can no longer be solved by emigration; a territorial final solution will have to be found.20

And Himmler, in a memorandum accompanying a policy report to Hitler, probably from around May 1940, stated:


Den Begriffluden hoffe ich durch die Möglichkeit einer großen Auswanderung sämtlicherJuden nach Afrika oder sonst in eine Kolonie völllig auslöschen zu sehen.

I hope through the possibility of a great migration of all the Jews to a colony in Africa or somewhere else, to see the complete obliteration of the concept "Jew."21

It is worth noting, by the way, that in the same document Himmler expressly rejects "from inner conviction" the idea of physically exterminating a people as "un-Germanic and impossible" ("aus innerer Uberzeugung als ungermanisch und unmöglich"). Hitler found this report to be "very good and correct" ("sehr gut und richtig") 22 He is also supposed to have stated at the time that he intended to "evacuate all Jews from Europe" ("silmtliche Juden aus Europa zu evakuieren") 23 According to Hitlers Tischgespräche [Hitler's Table Talk], a volume of selections from stenographic records of Hitler's private conversations, edited by one of the stenographers, Dr. Henry Picker, the accuracy and authenticity of which no one has ever disputed, Hitler declared, on July 24,1942, that the evacuation of the Jews was among his plans for the post-war era.24

If nothing else, Heydrich's statement proves that the term "Final Solution" was indeed used in connection with the plan of removing the Jews to a territory where they could live as a separate community in their own state. But all the remarks by leading National Socialists quoted above show this is how they really viewed the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question." Utterances of equal clarity in which the term "Final Solution" points, either directly or even indirectly, to the "extermination of the Jews" simply do not exist. The plan of the National Socialist authorities generally corresponded to the Zionists' demand for their own Jewish state, the main difference being that Zionist aspirations focused exclusively on Palestine.

Furthermore, the term "Final Solution" was used in this sense in an official document even after the so-called Wannsee Conference, at which -- so the story goes -- it was decided to "exterminate" the Jews and details of that project were worked out. On February 10, 1942, Franz Rademacher, head of Department "Deutschland III" of the Foreign Of fice (the bureaucratic liaison between the Foreign Office and the SS), issued a directive on the "Final Solution," of which the part that interests us here reads as follows:

Der Krieg gegen die Sowjetunion hat inzwischen die Möglichkeit gegeben, andere Territorien für die Endlösung zur Vetfügung zu stellen. Demgemäß hat der Führer entschieden. daß die Juden nicht nach Madagaskar, sondern nach dem Osten abgeschoben werden sollen. Madagaskar braucht mithin nicht mehr für die Endlösung vorgesehen zu werden.

The war with the Soviet Union has in the meantime created the possibility of making other territories available for the Final Solution. In consequence the Fiihrer had decided that the Jews should be evacuated not to Madagascar but to the East. Madagascar need no longer therefore be considered in connection with the Final Solution.25

It is evident that in this context, too, the term "Final Solution" can only mean the resettlement and segregation of the Jews in a distinct territory. Whenever you find some scribbler claiming this policy was a "cloak to hide the real plans for the Final Solution" -- to use Reitlinger's phrase -- you may be sure he is totally biased.26

In view of all these facts, not to mention the unambiguous wording of the document, the "Göring Decree" cannot be said to contain the slightest indication that Heydrich was being "officially entrusted with the administration of murder," as the Jewish-American Nuremberg prosecutor Kempner so melodramatically put it. The obvious purpose of the "decree" was to consolidate and extend throughout the whole German sphere of influence in Europe the pre-existing policy of "forcing out" Jewry by means of emigration and deportation. To that end, Heydrich was ordered to submit a plan outlining preliminary measures for accomplishing the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question," which was still conceived as resettlement of the Jews in a territory of their own -- something on the order of Theodor Herzl's Judenstaat -- not as the physical extermination of the Jewish people, that recurrent but undocumented and indemonstrable allegation.

In passing, be it noted that the claim that the "Nazis exterminated 6,000,000 Jews" is nonsensical simply because the Reich Government never had even a remote possibility of doing so. At the beginning of the war, the world Jewish population amounted to 16,000,000.27 Of that the number of Jews living in areas under German control at the time of its greatest extent was -- as Richard Harwood has shown -- no more than 3,000,000.28 Significantly, the New York Jewish paper Aujbau reported, in its issue of June 30, 1965, that the Bonn Government had already received 3,375,000 applications for "restitution."29 Any commentary would be superfluous.

The "Wannsee Protocol"

Leaving aside the "Göring Decree," the "key document" for the extermination thesis is the alleged record of discussions said to have been held on January 20, 1942 at the offices of the German section of Interpol (No. 56/58 Gross Wannsee Road, Berlin), under the chairmanship of Heydrich. Among the participants reportedly were a number of ministerial and other high-ranking officials whose administrative "competency" was "touched" by the projected "total solution of the Jewish question in Europe." The "minutes" of this conference, usually designated the "Wannsee Protocol," were presented in evidence by Chief Prosecutor Robert M.W. Kempner at the NMT "Wilhelmstrasse Trial" (Case XI; U.S. vs Weizsaecker) as document NG-2586.

Given the importance generally attributed to the "Wannsee Protocol," I thought it necessary to reproduce the entire document here, despite its length, so that each line may be studied in its proper context (see Appendix I) 30 The version of the "Wannsee Protocol" we shall be discussing is the "facsimile" that appears in Kempner's book Eichmann und Komplizen [Eichmann and Accomplices] 31

First of all, it should be noted that these "minutes" are not a protocol in the true sense of the word. According to the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, they must actually be notes made after the conference by Eichmann and his colleague Roll Günther.32 It is rather peculiar that even the more scholarly members of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte use the term "protocol."33 For this designation is usually thought to apply only to minutes recorded during a particular session of a trial, hearing, conference, etc., which the responsible participants guarantee to be a true and accurate report by their signature. Only such a protocol can be considered a more or less valid record of the proceeding. Jottings from memory -- known in German officialese as "Aktenvermerke" ("notes for the files") -- may, on the other hand, be designated "Erinnerungsniederschriften" ("aides mémoire" or "memoranda"). To these one assigns very little probative value, since there is always a possibility of lapses of memory on the part of the writer. As a rule, they have the force of proof only when combined with other circumstantial evidence.

There can be little doubt that this aide-mémoire has been described as a "protocol" in order to create the impression that the information it contains about the subject and conclusions of the Wannsee Conference is trustworthy in every respect. At any rate, its authenticity and accuracy were simply taken for granted in the "Wilhelmstrasse Trial," and the proponents of the extermination theory have adhered to that assumption ever since. Yet it is questionable that the document, in its present form, was prepared by Eichmann or any other participant in the conference, if indeed it is genuine. Even the format of the document gives rise to suspicions about its authenticity.

As Professor Rassinier has noted, the "Wannsee Protocol" bears no official imprint, no date, no signature, and was written with an ordinary typewriter on small sheets of paper. This latter fact cannot, of course, be readily gathered from the "facsimile" in Kempner's book (the original is not available for examination). What strikes one first about the document, as reproduced there, is indeed that it does not bear the name of an agency, nor the serial number under which an official record of the proceedings would have been kept by the agency that initiated them. That is totally out of keeping with official usage, and is all the more incomprehensible because it is stamped "Geheime Reichssache" ("Top Secret"). One can only say that any "official record" of governmental business without a file number or even administrative identification -- especially a document classified "Top Secret" -- must be regarded with the utmost skepticism. Kempner's "facsimile" of the "Wannsee Protocol" does bear the designation "D. III. 29. g. Rs," on the first page, which may be taken as some kind of official record number. However, the German bureaucracy did not normally classify documents in that way.

All these oddities should be enough to arouse suspicion that the "Wannsee Protocol" is a forgery -- especially since there are numerous relevant examples of such fabrications.'5 Nevertheless, it does not appear that any of the "court historians" have bothered to check the authenticity of the document, or perhaps have even seen the original. In any case, when Heinrich Hurtle raised this question at a historians conference held on the 30th anniversary of the Nuremberg IMT trial, he received no answers 36 It is worth noting that even in his Auschwitz Trial deposition Helmut Krausnick cites merely a photocopy of the"Wannsee Protocol," from the files of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte."37

The "Wannsee Protocol" does not clearly outline an "extermination plan." Of course, the absence of any reference to such a plan in this document has not stopped the proponents of the extermination thesis from citing it for support. However, so many participants in the Wannsee Conference survived the fall of the Third Reich that at first the extermination mythologists could not risk making grossly false charges about the subject and outcome of the conference. Hence they limited themselves to more or less vague statements about "preparations" for an "extermination program." Otherwise, the document could not be reconciled with the testimony of the surviving participants in the conference, who unanimously disputed the charge that it was held to plan the "extermination of European Jewry." The only discussion they could recall concerned the deportation of Jews for a labor force in the occupied Eastern territories. In his book Eichmann und Komplizen, Kempner presents selected passages from transcripts of his interrogations of surviving participants in the conference, and, of course, maintains that they "resorted to denials" for "fear of being identified with the murder plan."38 Certainly, that is nothing more than an allegation, and he can "support" it only by going back to the "Wannsee Protocol." Just as telling as this begging of the question are the low and brutal methods of intimidation that Kempner -- a former Prussian senior civil servant -- employed in his interrogations of these and other Reich officials. Even the interrogation transcripts he quotes -- which he has, no doubt, "doctored" -- testify to those methods. Yet he failed to induce any of the surviving participants in the Wannsee Conference to serve as a key witness for the prosecution.

The very fact that the "Wannsee Protocol" does not clearly outline an "extermination plan" speaks against the theory that it is entirely a forgery. Also opposing the total forgery hypothesis is the fact that the particulars of the document are essentially correct, though the population statistics on the Jews (see p. 286) are certainly overestimates. 39 Of course, even a substantially forged document does not have to be false in every detail. No doubt forgers could have obtained without difficulty the needed assurance about numerous points that actually were discussed at the conference, and incorporated them into a forgery.

While it remains to be seen whether the document is entirely a forgery, I am convinced that segments of certain paragraphs were either subsequently added, deleted, or altered to suit the purposes of the Nuremberg trials and the kind of "historiography" that followed in their footsteps 40 Obviously, it is easy to falsify an unsigned document written on an ordinary typewriter. A piece of writing not identified by one or more signatures at its conclusion could be altered in part, abridged, or created out of thin air. Entire paragraphs could be easily inserted or excised, without that being recognizable at first glance, since a machine with a typeface corresponding to that of the one on which the original was written would not be hard to obtain, and, if necessary, could be specially constructed for the desired purpose. Only by recourse to the techniques of criminological investigation can such fabrications be exposed beyond a shadow of a doubt, unless -- as in the case of the "Wannsee Protocol" -- the content alone is enough to serve as proof of forgery.

Despite its generally dubious character -- in particular, the fact that even its format is quite at variance with German official usage -- nobody seems to have undertaken to examine the content of the "Wannsee Protocol" with a view to determining whether the document is authentic. Even in their Auschwitz Trial depositions, the "historians" of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte failed to address themselves to this obvious question, though as advisors to the court it was incumbent upon them to do so. They simply took it for granted that the "document" was genuine in its entirety, and proceeded with a reckless interpretation of it. Their treatment of the "Wannsee Protocol" was at odds with the methods of scholarship, especially since they could not have been unaware that the French historian Paul Rassinier had expressed some well-founded doubts about its authenticity.41 The scholarly method demands that one come to grips with opposing views and not merely gloss over them, as those who have almost succeeded in portraying the "extermination of the Jews" as an established fact habitually do.

Assuming that an official memorandum was prepared after the conclusion of the Wannsee Conference, a critical examination of the document Kempner presents as that record shows it is not a complete and accurate report of the meeting. Several passages do not fit into the overall picture. Even if much of the document is genuine, those passages can only be subsequent interpolations.

According to Section II of the "Wannsee Protocol," Heydrich gave the conference participants a review of the measures that had been thus far employed to "force the Jews out of the living space of the German people 42 In the report of his statements, however, only the policy of encouraging their emigration is mentioned, not the Reich Government's many attempts to create a homeland for the Jews on Madagascar. That omission seems a particularly significant datum when one reflects that the plan for creating a Jewish homeland had for some years played a role in the policy deliberations of the German Government, and had even then by no means been abandoned (see p. 29 above). Heydrich would not have forgotten to mention this plan in reviewing Germany's Jewish policy to date. Of course, Eichmann -- assuming he composed the memorandum -- could have neglected to record any discussion of the Madagascar Plan, but that is most unlikely, since it was a project with which he was deeply involved.43 Thus one cannot rule out the possibility that a portion of the original typescript dealing with the Madagascar Plan was omitted in order to prevent the obvious identification of the term "Final Solution," which appears repeatedly in the "Wannsee Protocol," with the plan of founding a Jewish homeland.

Heydrich is supposed to have concluded his review with the statement that Himmler had prohibited any further emigration of Jews in view of . . . the possibilities in the East." Most likely, this vague and in sinuating reference to unspecified "possibilities" was also slipped into the document to facilitate its interpretation as an "extermination plan." For would not Heydrich have mentioned here that the Jews were -- as numerous documents attest -- desparately needed as manpower for the projected armaments industry in the East?

In the first paragraph of Section III, the evacuation of the Jews to the East is, in fact, mentioned as a "further possible solution" ("Lösungsmöglichkeit") and in the next paragraph it is stated that "here practical experience has already been gained which is of great importance for the coming Final Solution" ("doch werden hier bereits jene praktischen Erfahrungen gesammelt, die im Hinblick auf die kommende Endlösung der Judenfrage von wichtiger Bedeutung sind")* If one bears in mind that the German Government never thought of "extermination" as the "Final Solution," but, at least since the beginnings of the Madagascar Plan, understood it as settlement of the Jews in an independent state, then this passage seems hardly remarkable. The colonization of all Jews in a state of their own entailed numerous problems, and its feasibility had to be tested in the ghettos of the occupied Eastern ter ritories. Nevertheless, one should not reject out of hand the possibility that the second paragraph of Section III was subsequently inserted into the document, in order to make it seem as though the testing of various methods of killing were under consideration -- after all, the term "Final Solution" is usually equated with the "systematic extermination of the Jews." Thus Krausnick, in his Auschwitz Trial deposition, conjectures that "this euphemistic speech may have been intended to conceal the idea of using some of the Jews condemned to be deported in an experiment in extermination . . . which might prove useful for the large-scale liquidation plans."44 Krausnick's remarks are, by the way, an outstanding example of the kind of suppositions, conjectures, and facile leaping to conclusions that one so frequently encounters in the attempts to "prove" the extermination thesis. Moreover, with this paragraph omitted, the document sounds more plausible, especially if one brings in the Rademacher directive (see pp. 30-31 above).

*Typically these words are omitted from the NMT translation of this passage. --T.F.

None of these questionable points is of decisive importance, however, since the extermination thesis is principally based on two other paragraphs in the document, which are usually quoted separately and out of context. If one views the "Wannsee Protocol" as a whole, these passages, especially, stand out as foreign entities; hence at least this portion of the document may very well be a forgery.

It seems appropriate here to return to these two paragraphs. They read as follows:

Unter entsprechender Leitung sollen im Zuge der Endlösung die Juden in geeigneter Weise im Osten zum Arbeitseinsatz kommen. In großen Arbeitskolonnen, unter Trernsung der Geschlechter, werden die arbeitsfähigen Juden straßenbauend in diese Gebiete geführt, wobei zwetfellos em Großteil durch natürliche Verminderung ausfallen wird.

Der allfällig endlich verbleibende Resthestand wird, da es sich bei diesem um den widerctandsfähigsten Teil handelt, entsprechend behandelt werden müssen, da dieser, eine natürliche Auslese darstellend, bei Freilassung als Keimzelle eines neuen jüdischen Aufbaus anzusprechen ist. (Siehe die Erfahrung der Geschichte.)

Under proper direction the Jews should now in the course of the Final Solution [Endlösung] be brought to the East in a suitable way for use as labor. In big labor gangs, with separation of the sexes, the Jews capable of work are brought to these areas and employed in road-building, in which task undoubtedly a great part will fall out through natural diminution [natflrliche Verminderungl.

The remnant that finally is able to survive all this -- since this is undoubtedly the part with the strongest resistance -- must be treated accordingly [entsprechend behandelt werdeni since these people, representing a natural selection, are to be regarded upon their release as the germ cell of a new Jewish development. (See the experience of history.)


With the exception of the initial sentence of the first paragraph, these two paragraphs do not fit into the framework of the document, and that quite apart from the obscurity of the second paragraph, which for the record of such an important conference is unusual, to say the least. Rassinier has raised doubts about the authenticity of this passage.45 He maintains that the second of these two paragraphs does not follow the first in the original text, noting that when the "Wannsee Protocol" is quoted in the press, the first paragraph is separated from the second with ellipses. That would, of course, suggest that something has been omitted from the passage. However, the original of the "Wannsee Protocol" was apparently not at his disposal, or else he would have quoted the missing part to support his thesis. I myself have not been able to find any corroboration for this claim. Nevertheless, should it be true, then, in addition to the version of the "Wannsee Protocol" put in circulation by Kempner, there must be another, dissimilar version in circulation. Moreover, Rassinier holds that the two paragraphs are not written in the same style. That they do not stem from the same writer would be difficult to prove, though the second paragraph, in particular, seems even more vague and verbose than the rest of the "Wannsee Protocol." Taken as a whole, Rassinier's arguments for the manipulation of this passage are, by themselves, not sufficiently convincing.

Nevertheless, there can be no mistaking the incompatibility of these two paragraphs with the rest of the document. Hence it is not at all surprising that they should be quoted out of context. Only by means of such devices can critical readers be deceived about the actual content of the "Wannsee Protocol." The need for them bespeaks great laxity on the part of the forgers. They simply were not careful enough to bring their forgeries in line with the rest of the text.

The statement, in the first of the two paragraphs, that the Jews capable of work would be brought "to these areas" while building roads is disconcerting, for it has not been mentioned previously to which "areas" the Jews were to be sent. In fact, nothing in the preceeding text prepares us for this statement. Moreover, it does not correspond to what actually happened: There is not one known case of Jews being "evacuated to the East while building roads." Likewise, it conflicts with the first statement in the paragraph, that the Jews should be "brought to the East in a way suitable for use as labor." That this was the real plan is substantiated -- as we have already noted several times -- by numerous documents on the incorporation of the Jews into the war economy, an objective that would have ruled out the intentional decimation of able- bodied Jews through an excessively rigorous trip to the Eastern ter ritories, let alone the liquidation of the survivors. The phrase "given treatment accordingly" ("entsprechend behandelt"), from which the pro ponents of the extermination thesis invariably infer that the survivors were to be killed, obviously lends itself to other interpretations.46

Even from these few discrepancies one can tell the passage is of dubious authenticity, but when one considers the following paragraph (Appendix I, p. 287), it seems utterly spurious.

Die evakuierten Juden werden zunächst Zug urn Zug in sogennante Durchgangs ghettos verbracht, urn von dort aus weiter nach dern Osten transportiert en werden.

The evacuated Jews are brought first group by group into the so-called transit ghettos, in order from there to be transported farther to the East.

"Transporting" Jews to the East is certainly something quite different from having them build roads on their way to that destination.* In fact, one of the participants in the conference, State Secretary Bühler, brought up the "transport problem" a second time (see Appendix I, page 290). If one planned on having the Jews march to the East while building roads, transportation would not have been that much of a problem. This glaring contradiction would not appear in a completely authentic record of such an important conference. From it alone one must conclude that these two paragraphs (page 287 below) of the "Wannsee Protocol," which are constantly invoked as proof of the extermination thesis, did not exist in the original document. Moreover, no plans for this combined death march and construction project are discussed in any other part of the "Wannsee Protocol." Simply because of its muddied language, the paragraph beginning with "the remnant that is able to survive all this" ("der allfäIlig endlich verbleibende Restbestand" -- what a mouthful!) seems of dubious authenticity.

*This, by the way, is what the German phrase "straßenbauend... geführt" actually means, not "brought to these areas and employed in road-building,"as the NMT version has it. -- T.F.

Time and again, it has been asserted -- for example, by Kempner -- that all participants in the conference knew perfectly well that the subject under discussion was the "extermination of the Jews." But if that is so, then why did Heydrich talk in riddles? In this connection, Albert Wucher makes an interesting remark:

Apart from Heydrich, the Chief of the Security Service and the Reich Security Main Office, nobody who was at Gross Wannsee on the 20th of January had com pletely made up his mind about what even the most basic solution would be.47

In other words, only Heydrich knew what he wanted, but didn't come out with it. So what was the point of holding this conference?

Once again, let us put the "Wannsee Protocol" to the test, this time by omitting the dubious sentences from it. If one simply removes the passage from "in big labor gangs . . ." to "(See experience of history.)," the continuity is in no way disrupted. On the contrary, only then does the text make sense. From the last paragraph of page 7 to the third paragraph on page 8 it would now read:

Unter entsprechender Leitung sollen nun im Zuge der Endlösung die Juden in geeigneter Weise irn Osten zum Arbeitseinsatz kommen.

Irn Zuge derpraktischen Durchführung der Endlösung wird Europa vom Westen nach Osten durchkämmt. Das Reichsgebieteinschließlich Protektorat Böhrnen und Mähren wird, allein schon aus Gründen der Wohnungsfrage und sonstigen sozial politischen Notwendigkeiten, vorweggenommen werden müssen.

Die evakuierten Juden werden zunäachst Zug urn Zug in sogenannte Durchgangs ghettos verbracht, urn von dort aus weiter nach dern Osten transportiert zu werden.

Under the proper direction the Jews should now in the course of the Final Solution be brought to the East in a suitable way for use as labor.

In the program of the practical execution of the Final Solution, Europe is combed through from the West to the East. The Reich area, including the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia, will have to be taken in advance, alone for reasons of the housing problem and other social and political necessities.

The evacuated Jews are brought first group by group into the so-called transit ghettos. in order from there to be transported farther to the East.

Only this reading is consistent with the numerous documents from the period indicating that all internees -- including Jews -- were regarded as a source of urgently needed manpower for the war economy, and, after the conquest of the Eastern territories, were to be transported there in successive stages. Here it would be impossible to treat all these documents at length.48 Only one of them merits special attention, owing to its unmistakable connection with the Wannsee Conference, a wire from Himmler to the Inspector-General of Concentration Camps, 55- Gruppenfüfihrer Richard Glüiicks, dated January 26, 1942. It was presented in evidence at the NMT "I.G. Farben Trial" (Case VI; U.S. vs Krauch) as document NI-500, and is quoted by Reitlinger:

Richten Sie sich darauf em, in den nächsten 4 Wochen 100 000 männliche Juden und bis 50 000 J¸dinnen in die KL aufzunehrnen. Groþe wirtschafthiche Aulgaben werden in den nachsten Wochen an die Konzentrationslager herantreten.

During the next few weeks 100,000 Jews and 50,000 Jewesses will be sent to concentration camps, which will have to deal with major economic problems and tasks.49

Reitlinger makes a clumsy attempt to contrast Himmler and Heydrich by attributing responsibility for initiating the "extermination of the Jews" to Heydrich, while portraying Himmler as interested only in pooling Jewish labor.50 In his Auschwitz Trial deposition, Dr. Martin Broszat of the Institut f¸r Zeitgeschichte argues in more or less the same vein. Apparently, he found it hard to come to terms with this document: On the one hand, he expresses the opinion that Himmler only temporarily exempted able-bodied Jews from "extermination." On the other, he speaks of "two conflicting aims with two different authorities in charge," namely, the alleged plan to "exterminate" the Jews and the well-documented plan to use their labor.51

These are, of course, very feeble attempts to explain away a fact that does not fit in with the extermination thesis. Even Krausnick, in his Auschwitz Trial deposition, has to admit that Jews were still being employed in the munitions factories during the final year of the war. As late as 1944, he says, "tens of thousands of Jews were forcibly removed from the Polish camps to Germany."52 Leaving aside the rather melodramatic expression "forcibly removed," his statement is completely accurate, and simply confirms the fact that the realities of the time made it necessary to bring Jews back from the East to work in the armaments industry. In such exegetics as those of Reitlinger and Krausnick, one senses the utter embarrassment which the numerous documents on the conscription of Jewish labor cause all proponents of the extermination thesis. By 1944, there would have been hardly a Jew alive in the German Reich had "Final Solution" actually meant "extermination of all Jews."

The fact that the Jews deported to the East were to be employed in war industries there53 also accords with the proposal, ascribed to Heydrich in the "Wannsee Protocol," that Jews over the age of 65 not be evacuated to the East, but removed to a "ghetto for the aged" (p. 287, seventh paragraph). Had the extermination of all Jews been intended, it is inconceivable that elderly Jews would have been spared, much less accorded privileges, especially since in the mass executions allegedly planned a few thousand victims would not have mattered one way or the other. However, if the conscription of Jewish labor were planned -- and there can be no doubt of that -- it certainly would have made sense to exempt Jews over the age of 65, for one could hardly expect much of their performance. Likewise, the fact that the exemption would apply to Jews who were "serious war wounded cases and Jews with war decorations (Iron Cross, First Class)" (p. 287, paragraph eight) does not fit in with the allegation that the Wannsee Conference was held to plot the "extermination of all Jews." This part of the "Wannsee Protocol" is decidedly at odds with the extermination thesis.

Faced with these facts, the extermination mythologists argue that exemptions and other preferential treatment were merely "tactical measures." That is the position Krausnick takes. He alludes, moreover, to the "significant distinction" Heydrich supposedly makes between "evacuation" (in this context, allegedly, "killing") and removal to a "ghetto for the aged."54 This kind of intellectual legerdemain, whereby one expression is arbitarily defined as "killing," has nothing whatsoever in common with scholarship.

The rest of the "Wannsee Protocol" is obviously irrelevant to the extermination question. One may dispute the feasibility or morality of the approach to the Mischling problem set forth in Section IV, but our subject is the "extermination plan," and that passage has no direct bearing on it. This also applies to the next to last paragraph of the document (p. 290), which proponents of the extermination thesis occasionally cite for support. Here, as always, one must keep in mind that the "Wannsee Protocol" is basically questionable in its entirety.

According to this paragraph, the conference ended with a discussion of the "various kinds of solutions" ("die verschiedenen Arten der L6sungsm6glichkeiten"), in which two of the participants advocated that "certain preparatory tasks in the course of the Final Solution should be performed immediately in the territories concerned" and that in this "any disturbing of the population must be avoided." Quite naturally, the term "Final Solution" is used again in this context, and it has been taken by the proponents of the extermination thesis as a synonym for "annihilation of the Jews," which it certainly was not. The expression "L–sungsm–glichkeiten" ("possibilities for a solution") has likewise been interpreted as "possibilities for killing," although there is no point of reference for that interpretation either. To be sure, Krausnick maintains in his Auschwitz Trial deposition that Eichmann interpreted the expression "L–sungsm–glichkeiten" in this way, during the Jerusalem "trial," but he has yet to produce a shred of evidence for this implausible definition.55

Since at this stage of the conference the "solution of the Jewish problem in the Government General" was discussed, one would not be amiss in assuming that the term "L–sungsm–glichkeiten" was used with reference to the possibilities for evacuating the Jews in that area. That the populace of the territories involved could have become restless on account of the evacuations is obvious, and actually proves nothing about an "extermination plan." In the course of the evacuation, one could form an estimate of the problems the "Final Solution" would entail. The ability of the Jews to live as a community in a state of their own could be put to the test in the Eastern ghettos. As is well known, the Warsaw ghetto did for some time constitute a community of sorts.56

In conclusion, it can be said that the "Wannsee Protocol" -- if one does not choose to view it as a total forgery -- contains some passages which are at least substantially genuine, along with sentences that do not fit into context, and so must have been subsequently forged into the document. Likewise, several authentic passages may have been excised, for example, details of the Madagascar Plan. Leaving aside any possible manipulations, the document remains questionable simply because its origin is so obscure. In form it hardly corresponds to German official usage, and the original has yet to be submitted to impartial experts who could perhaps determine whether or not it is authentic.57 As such, the document is hardly adequate proof that a plan existed to exterminate all Jews residing in German-controlled territory. Even in its present form, it does not constitute sufficient proof of that allegation. For in the entire document there is not a word about "exterminating," much less "gassing," the Jews, and the portions of it cited to prove this claim are seen in a different light when one refrains from taking "Final Solution" as a synonym for "extermination."

Further Documents Regarding Deportation

Naturally, the technique of arbitrarily defining terms and concepts, which the extermination mythologists have applied to the "G–ring Decree" and the "Wannsee Protocol," has been extended to all other documents pertaining to the deportation of the Jews. Not a single document of this kind makes reference to an "extermination plan" or to "mass gassings" in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Otherwise, the extermination mythologists would not have to resort to the technique of verbal and conceptual falsification. Thus it seems hardly necessary to treat in detail all the various decrees, orders, wires, and such. From the general content of the most commonly cited ones it is easy to see that they actually have nothing to do with an extermination plan and its execution. Quite the contrary: Many of these documents make it clearer than ever that the deported Jews were to be integrated into the war economy.58

In addition to the previously mentioned terms "Final Solution," and evacuation," the expressions "Jewish resettlement," "colonization of the Jews in the East," and, of course, "deportation" itself are continually interpreted as "annihilation" and "extermination" of the Jews, or, at least, represented as denoting preparation for that. The redefinition of these words is usually justified on the grounds that they were only "euphemisms" or "code words" with which one sought to cover up what was actually happening.~~ By means of this trick -- one can hardly call it anything else -- which even certain "scholars" have been known to employ, it is easy to furnish most any document with the desired meaning, though conscientious and earnest historians could never be fooled. For not a single document has been found to date that shows when, where, or by whom these alleged "code words" for murder were devised. The "expert witnesses" in the Auschwitz Trial were at a loss to explain the origin of these terms, and they even availed themselves of this dubious mode of argumentation.60 Whether the governmental agencies and functionaries concerned with the Jewish matter actually "knew" the "real" meaning of the "code words" is a pressing question that is generally not asked and has never been answered.

The expression "special treatment" ("Sonderbehandlung"), which appears in some documents concerning the transport of Jews to concentration camps in the East, deserves particular consideration. This term is not readily understandable. Supposedly, it is also a "code word" for "killing" or "gassing" Jews within the framework of the "extermination program." But for this definition, too, no credible sources have been found. The actual meaning is not quite so evident as in the case of the terms "Final Solution," "evacuation," and "resettlement." In all probability, "special treatment" had, from time to time, various meanings, known only to the agencies involved, and today it is often no longer possible to determine exactly what it meant on a given occasion.61 Used in connec tion with deportations, it might have meant, for example, "special billeting," which could have been ordered for some compelling reason. One has only to think of the disease carriers among the deportees. In fact, it is well known that a special quarantine camp existed at Auschwitz 62

At the Nuremberg IMT trial, Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, successor to Heydrich, testified that in certain cases the term "special treatment" actually referred to billeting prominent internees in luxury hotels and otherwise granting them special privileges.63 Theresienstadt was a preferential treatment camp, intended, above all, for elderly or disabled Jewish war veterans, who were accorded good living conditions and exempted from labor service -- exactly as specified in the "Wannsee Protocol." In May 1945, a delegate of the International Red Cross who had been sent to inspect the camp stated in his report that the Germans could not be blamed for the violent death of even one Jew at Theresienstadt.64

To be sure, none of this rules out the possibility that under certain circumstances -- for example, in the operations of the Einsatzgruppen -- the term "special treatment" could also have meant "execution without trial." Since the liquidation of Soviet commissars and active partisans,* or even those suspected of collusion with them, Jews and non-Jews alike, did take place, sometimes in nearby concentration camps, the term could have meant "execution" in this exceptional case 65 Nevertheless, such executions had nothing to do with any systematic extermination of Jews on account of their race. Specifically, no documentary evidence has ever been presented to show that in Birkenau "special treatment" was equated with death in the "gas chambers" that allegedly existed at the camp.

*Soviet jargon for guerrillas on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. -- TF.

"Extermination Camp" Documents

Since there are no documents from German official files which directly substantiate the existence of "gas chambers" at Auschwitz, the extermination mythologists have attempted to deduce the presence of "gas chambers" indirectly, from other documents.

Cited in this regard are, above all, documents relating to the crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau, of which there are supposed to have been four. It is usually contended that these crematoria were built specifically for the "extermination program," and so had adjoining "gas chambers." However, the documents thus far presented contain no indication of that. For other reasons, too, they are suspect. At the Nuremberg IMT trial, Soviet prosecutor Alexander Smirnov asserted, during the early morning session of February 19, 1946, that "in the office records of Auschwitz camp there was discovered a voluminous correspondence between the administration of the camp and the firm of Topf and Sons" on the construction of "four powerful crematoria and gas chambers in Birkenau," and that these facilities had been completed by the beginning of 1943. Nevertheless, he presented the Tribunal with only a single "document" in this regard, a letter from the contractor, which lacks any mention of "gas chambers." Thereafter, nothing more was heard or seen of this "voluminous correspondence." The document upon which Smirnov based his allegations reads as follows:

I.A. Topf & Söhne, Erfurt.

12. Februar 1943

An dos Zentralbauarnt der SS und Polizei Auschwitz:

Betr.: Krernatorien 2 und 3 f¸r dos Kriegsgefangenenlager.

Wir best”tigen den Empfang Ihres Telegramms vom 10. Februar folgenden Inhalts:

Wir best”tigen nochmals, daß wir Ihren Auftrag auf 5 Stück dresfacher Muschelöf en erhalten haben, einschließlich zweier elektrischer Aufzüge für den Aufzug der Leichen und eines provisorzschen Aufzuges. Ebenso wurde eine praktische Eznnchtung zur Kohlenlieferung besteilt und ferner eine Vorrichtung zum Aschenabtransport. Sie müssen die vollständige Einrichtung für das Krernatonurn Nr. 3 liefern. Wir erwarten, daß Sie dafür Sorge tragen, daß alle Maschinen mit ihren Teilen unverzüglich zurn Versand gebracht werden. *

I.A. Topf and Sons, Erfurt; 12 February 1943.

To Central Construction Office of SS and Police, Auschwitz.

Subject: Crematoria 2 and 3 for the camp for prisoners of war.

We acknowledge receipt of your wire of 10 February, as follows:

We again acknowledge receipt of your order for five triple furnaces, including two electric lifts for raising the corpses and one emergency lift. A practical installation for stoking coal was also ordered and one for transporting the ashes. You are to deliver the complete installation for Crematorium Number 3. You are expected to take steps to ensure the immediate dispatch of all the machines complete with parts.66

Leaving aside the fact that Birkenau was not a prisoner of war camp at that time, this letter is so confusedly worded as to be unintelligible. If one takes the text read by Smirnov literally, it would seem that the firm of "I.A. Topf and Sons" had ordered cremation equipment from the Central Construction Office! Moreover, one finds it hard to imagine exactly what is meant by "triple furnaces" or a "practical installation for stoking coal."

*We should note that here, as always, Dr. St”glich is citing the German edition of the IMT volumes. It is not clear whether this German text of the communication Smirnov read during the proceedings (presumably, in his native tongue) is a direct transcription of some genuine or spurious document, or a retroversion from the Russian. Certainly, the version that appears in the "Report of the Soviet War Crimes Commission," which for some reason the Russians chose to present in a tin-eared and often ungrammatical German, is not the original text. To reproduce that version here would be to waste paper. Readers with an insatiable appetite for textual criticism may consult IMT, Vol. XXXIX, p. 243 (Nuremberg Document 008-USSR). The above English translation of the Smirnov document is taken from IMT, Vol. VII, p. 584, "Official text in the English language." -- T.F.

In the "Report of the Soviet War Crimes Commission, 6 May 1945," which we shall discuss in more detail later, another version of this letter is to be found. There the wording is "fuenf dreiteilige Verbrennungsoefen" ("five tripartite cremation ovens") and "eine brauchbare Einrichtung fuer die Beheizung mit Kohle" ("a workable contrivance for heating with coal"). And this version includes a final sentence missing from the Smirnov text: "Die Einrichtung muss am 10. April 1943 betriebsfertig sein" ("The installation must be ready for use by April 10, 1943") 67

It goes without saying that this document is very suspicious and -- despite Smirnov's assertion to the contrary -- it was obviously the only document of its kind the Soviets could produce. This "document," with its two rather disparate versions, is a good example of the type of "evidence" presented at the Nuremberg trials. That is the main reason I chose to bring it up here. Basically, its contents are insignificant. Hence we may leave aside the question of whether it is a miserable Soviet forgery or merely an inaccurate and faulty retroversion of a Russian translation.

Incidentally, it is also uncertain whether the Nuremberg Tribunal actually accepted this document in evidence. In its verdict, the Tribunal based its "finding" that mass extermination of Jews by gassing was carried out in Birkenau not on this document, but on some equally dubious witness testimony, in particular, that of the former Auschwitz comman dant Rudolf Höß, which we shall treat at length elsewhere.

More noteworthy than the document itself is the remark Smirnov made after reading it:

I omit the next document which deals with "bath houses for special purposes (gas chambers)

Later in the same session, he declared, with astonishing naïveté that the Tribunal already had sufficient knowledge of such matters, though -- as we explained in our first chapter -- this was hardly the case. Significantly, the court did not venture to disagree.68

This withholding of "facts" about a concentration camp in Soviet-occupied territory, a camp of which the Nuremberg Tribunal basically knew only what could be gleaned from previous witness testimony, is simply amazing. For if one may believe Smirnov, here at last was a document that contained direct information about the legendary "gas chambers." But it never became an issue in the proceedings, nor was it mentioned in the judgement of the Tribunal. Was this "document" so patently fraudulent that one dared not present it even to these hardly impartial judges? So far as I know, it was not submitted as evidence in any of the subsequent "war crimes trials." Yet Smirnov's claim that the Birkenau "gas chambers" were disguised as shower rooms is accepted even today, and trotted out whenever the occasion presents itself.

As proof that "gas chambers" were structually part of the crematory installations, the proponents of the extermination thesis often cite a letter from the Central Construction Office of the SS and Police in Auschwitz to SS-Brigadeführer Hans Kammler, Chief of Amtsgruppe C of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office. This report, dated January 29, 1943 and signed by SS-Sturmbannf¸hrer Karl Bischoff, head of the Central Construction Office in Auschwitz, reads as follows:

[Uncorrected scanning errors from this point on. 3/5/99]

Das Krematoriurn II wurde unter Einsatz aller vetfügbaren Krafte trotz un sagbarer Schwierigkeiten und Frostwetter bei Tag- und Nachtbetrieb bis aufbauliche Kleinmgkeiten fertiggestelit. Die Öfen wurden im Beisein des Heinz Oberingenieur Prüfer der ausführenden Firma, Topf u. Söhne, Erfurt, angefeuert und funktionieren tadellos. Die Eisenbetondecke des Leichenkellers konnte infolge Frostein wirkung noch nicht ausgeschalt werden. Die ist jedoch unbedeutend, do der Ver gasungskeller hierfür benützt werden kann.

Die Firma Topf u. Söhne konnte infolge Waggonsperre die Be- und Entlüftungs anlage nicht wie von der Zentralbauleitung gefordert rechtzeitig anliefern. Nach Eintreffen der Be- und Entlüftungsanlage wird jedoch mit dem Einbau sofort begonnen, sodaß voraussichtlich am 20.2.43 die Anlage vollständig betriebsfertig ist.

The crematorium II has been completed -- save for some minor constructional work -- by the use of all forces available, in spite of unspeakable difficulties, the severe cold, and in 24-hour shifts. The fires were started in the ovens in the presence of Oberingenieur Pruefer, representative of the contractors of the firm of Topf and Soehne, Erfurt, and they are working most satisfactorily. The planks from the concrete ceiling of the cellar used as a mortuary [Leichenkeller] could not yet be removed on account of the frost. This is, however, not very important, as the gas chamber [Vergasungskeller] can be used for that purpose.

The firm of Topf and S–hne was not able to start deliveries of the installation in time for aeration and ventilation as had been requested by the Central Building Management because of restrictions in the use of railroad cars. As soon as the in stallation for aeration and ventilation arrive, the installing will start so that the complete installation may be expected to be ready for use 20 February 1943.69

To the best of my knowledge, this document is the only one in which the term "gassing" ("Vergasung") is used in connection with the crematoria. Of course, one cannot say for certain whether the "Vergasungskeller" was actually part of the crematorium or whether it was located in another building. According to all reports, the "gassings" took place inside the crematorium buildings. Since the German text refers only to a "Vergasungskeller" ("gasification cellar" or "carburation cellar"), and not a "Gaskammer" ("gas chamber"), this could not be one of the rooms supposedly used for "extermination," which are always called "gas chambers." For this reason, it is significant that at the NMT "Concentration Camp Trial" (Case IV; U.S. vs Pohl), the word "Vergasungskeller" was rendered as "gas chamber" in the English translation of the document (NO-4473), as Dr. Butz has noted.70 Ever since, the wording has been misinterpreted, even in the German language literature on our subject.

Dr. Butz gives a convincing explanation of the function of this part of the crematoria. Except for electrically powered units, which do not figure in the Auschwitz controversy, all crematoria, including those which use coal, coke, or wood as fuel, are fired with gas. According to his research, the space in which the primary fuel is converted into combustible gas before being fed into the hearth is known in German as the "Vergasungsraum" or "Vergasungskeller." Hence these terms have nothing whatsoever to do with the "gassing" of human beings 71

Another plausible explanation is that this room was intended for the fumigation of clothing and other personal effects, a common practice in all concentration camps. The proprietary hydrocyanic fumigant Zyklon B used for this purpose is supposed to have been used for the "extermination of the Jews" as well.

Never has there been any question that these "Vergasungskeller" were used as "gas chambers" for exterminating Jews. When it is claimed that the "gas chambers" were underground installations, they are iden tified with the "Leichenkeller," i.e., "corpse cellars" or subterranean mortuaries, of the crematoria.72 The document under consideration here makes it clear, however, that the "Leichenkeller" and the "Vergasungskeller" were two different things. The equation of "corpse cellar" with "gas chamber" has resulted from the assumption that the "scale model" on display at the Polish State Auschwitz Museum is based on building plans of the crematoria. But these plans have never been made public. (They are gathering dust in the Auschwitz Museum archive under catalogue number 519). Through a fortunate set of circumstances, I came into possession of a photocopy of the plans of crematoria II and III.73 I shall return to them later.

Since Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943 is the only known document from the Auschwitz camp files in which the word "Vergasung" is used in connection with the crematoria, one should now realize that there is no documentary evidence for the allegation that chambers for killing people by means of lethal gas were part of the crematoria. Nor does the charge, made by various Auschwitz mythologists, that the construction of crematoria resulted from the necessity of disposing of the corpses of the thousands of people "gassed" daily at the camp find any support in the crematoria documents. Hence we may well ask the question: When did the Birkenau crematoria -- or the Birkenau crematorium -- first go into operation and how long did it or they remain in operation? We may also ask: What was the actual capacity for incineration of the individual crematoria? Only one, highiy questionable document touches on this last point. With nothing solid to go by, we can only make conjectures as to the incineration capacity of the crematoria from what few clues are available. Our conclusions are very different from the estimates that so often appear in the literature on this topic.

It is usually maintained that, owing to the commencement of "mass exterminations" in 1942, four crematoria were constructed at Birkenau in the winter of 1942-43, and went into operation in the spring of 1943. This is the version attributed to Rudolf Höß.74 Even Rassinier and Scheidl have given credence to it, on the basis of two NMT documents (NO-4401 and NO-4463) 75 These documents state that the ovens for all four crematoria were ordered either on August 3 or August 8, 1942 from the firm of Topf & Söhne, installed in February, 1943, and went in operation on May 1, 1943. I have not consulted the documents mentioned by Rassinier and Scheidl, but other documents, at least in part, contradict this story.

Even the Smirnov document of February 12, 1943 does not support it. In still greater contradiction to this story is a preliminary cost estimate from the firm of Topf & Söhne for the delivery of a cremation oven to Birkenau, dated April 1, 1943.76 A preliminary cost estimate is, of course, always given before an order is placed. On the other hand, the Central Construction Office letter of January 29, 1943 cited above leads one to the conclusion that the ovens for the crematorium II were already installed and in operation by January, 1943, which is also in contradiction to the two previously mentioned documents. Finally, in Reinhard Kühnl's collection of documents, there is a facsimile of a letter from Topf & Söhne to the Central Construction Office in Auschwitz dated April 10, 1943, in which the firm promises to repair cracks that had "recently" appeared in the "8-muffle oven of crematorium IV."77 From this one would assume that crematorium IV was in operation by March 1943.

Part of another letter Bischoff wrote to Kammler, reproduced in Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner's book Auschwitz: Zeugnisse und Berichte, also seems to substantiate the current version of the inaugura tion of theBirkenau crematoria. The document in question is an excerpt from a purported list of finished "construction projects" presented to the Auschwitz camp administration. In it the completion dates of the crematoria are recorded as follows:

crematorium IV on March 22, 1943.
crematorium II on March 31, 1943,
crematorium V on April 4, 1943,
crematorium III on June 25, 1943.
However, the authenticity of this document must be questioned until it can be shown where it was discovered and a full text is made available. The only indication as to its origin is a rubber-stamped imprint on the upper left-hand side: "Bauleitung der Waffen-SS u. Polizei [There follow three undecipherable letters] Auschwitz." This is obviously not in accord with the usual official designation: "Zentralbauleitung der Waffen-SS und

Polizei 78
Faced with all these discrepancies and obscurities, even Gerald Reitlinger, who certainly cannot be suspected of doubting the extermination thesis, concludes that Bischoff's letter of January 29, 1943 is not a reliable source of information:

In fact Crematorium No. 2 was not ready till March 13th. On June 13th it was still the only crematorium of the four which was actually working, and the carpentry work was incomplete. On November 6th, 1943, an order for young trees to form a green belt between the crematoria and the camp only mentions Nos. 1 and 2. The working of all four crematoria was not put to the test till May, 1944, when the massive transports arrived from Hungary.79

According to Reitlinger, then, the crematoria were not in full operation until exactly one year later than is officially claimed today.

Given all these discrepancies, one can only say that to this day there is still no reliable evidence on the completion dates of the Birkenau crematoria. With some assurance, one may even dispute whether there really were four crematoria at Birkenau. In 1972, a book was published containing sketches of everyday life at various concentration camps, drawn by an inmate named Alfred Kantor. None of the many views of Birkenau he sketched shows more than one crematorium or one crematorium chimney. A person who toured the grounds of the former Birkenau camp without a guide and who is unquestionably reliable, so far as I am concerned, told me he saw the ostensible remains of crematoria II and III, but could find no trace of crematoria IV and V.

Nor are there any reliable data on the incineration capacity of the Birkenau installations. In the literature on the camp, yet another report by SS-Sturmbannführer Bischoff, dated June 28, 1943, is frequently cited. It states that the individual crematoria were capable of incinerating the following number of corpses daily:80

I    old crematorium (parent camp)    340 corpses
II    new crematorium (Birkenau)    1,440 corpses
III    new crematorium (Birkenau)    1,440 corpses
IV    new crematorium (Birkenau)    768 corpses
V    new crematorium (Birkenau)    768 corpses
          Total 4,756 corpses
Where this report was discovered is not mentioned. On the subject of the incineration capacity of the crematoria one usually cites as the authority a "Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau" ("Chronology of the Events in the Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp"), compiled by Danuta Czech, Custodian of the Polish State Museum at Auschwitz.81 I have been unable to deter mine whether this lady was ever interned at the camp or what her source of information may be.

The estimates listed above strike one as absurd. The sheer punctiliousness of the accounting -- right down to the very last corpse -- is suspicious, for cremation is a complicated technical process, involving so many variables that the incineration capacity of a crematorium is not always the same.

Some indication of the actual capacity of the crematoria may be found in a letter from the firm of Topf & Söhne to the Mauthausen concentration camp. It states that in the "coke-fuelled Topf dual-muffle cremation ovens . . . about ten to thirty-five corpses" could be cremated "in about ten hours," and that as many could be "cremated daily without overloading the ovens," even if the "cremations took place one after the other, day and night."82

Presumably, the cremation ovens manufactured by Topf & Söhne were of uniform design, and thus the same type of oven was sent to Auschwitz as to Mauthausen and other camps. (The firm received the German patent number 861,731 for its cremation ovens). 83 The ovens might have differed slightly in the number of cremation chambers; one cannot otherwise account for any variation in their capacity.

Starting with the premise that there really were four crematoria in Birkenau, and that each crematorium contained one oven capable of cremating at most 35 corpses per diem, then the highest capacity of all four crematoria would be a total of 140 corpses daily. That does not seem excessive for a complex the size of Auschwitz, each component camp of which was planned for over 100,000 inmates -- all the more so, since contagious diseases were rampant there.84 Leaving aside the nor mal mortality rate, epidemic and other diseases undoubtedly claimed numerous victims. Dr. Scheidl has reported that, during certain periods, there were between 69 and 177 deaths each day.85

While these are no more than purely hypothetical estimates, they are probably closer to reality than the absurd figures given in the letter at tributed to SS-Sturmbannführer Bischoff -- even if one assumes that all four crematoria had 46 cremation units, as is claimed in an official bulletin of the Polish State Auschwitz Museum, dated November 29, 1977. Butz also starts from this premise, and, based on the fact that it should take at least one hour to incinerate each corpse, calculates that the total incineration capacity per diem would be 1,058 corpses. Actually, this is still too many.86 Even today, in the most modern facilities, it takes from one and a half to two hours to cremate human remains.87 One can hardly imagine that better results could have been achieved with the cremation techniques of forty years ago.

The claim that the Birkenau crematoria were built "only for use in a mass extermination program" thus proves to be totally false. In passing, I should like to remark that, according to the official publication of the Polish State Auschwitz Museum to which I have referred above, crematorium I (the old crematorium in the Auschwitz parent camp), was in operation only until July 1943, so there was no reason for Bischoff to include it in his alleged report, which is dated June 28, 1943.

It is worth noting that Bischoff, who resided in Bremen under his own name until his death in 1950, escaped the usual post-war harrassment.88 He was never prosecuted as a "war criminal," nor, so far as I know, was he ever called to testify as a witness in any "war crimes trial." That is strange indeed when one considers that the former head of the Auschwitz Central Construction Office would have been an ideal witness on the Birkenau "death factory," since he supervised the building of the camp crematoria. Was someone afraid that he could have proved, maybe with documents still at his disposal, that all the allegations about the crematoria were baseless? The prosecution at the NMT "Concentration Camp" Trial, for instance, instead of Bischoff, made do with the testimony of one Wolfgang Grosch, who obviously had never laid eyes on the buildings about which he gave "evidence."89

Likewise, it is worth noting that in the entire post-war "re-education" literature almost nothing is said about the building plans for the crematoria. Professor Rassinier alone mentions that the plans for crematoria II through V were presented in evidence at the NMT "Wilhelmstrasse" and "Concentration Camp" trials.90 These plans, show ing that the alleged "gas chambers" were really "corpse cellars" and shower rooms, have been consigned to oblivion, and so we may assume that Professor Rassinier's statement is correct.

There can be no doubt that such building plans existed. (With their famous thoroughness, the Germans certainly would not have under taken any building project without a well-laid plan!) In fact, as I have stated above, there are building plans for the crematoria in the archives of the Polish State Auschwitz Museum, but they are unavailable to the public.91 Instead, visitors are shown a "scale model" of crematorium II -- complete with "gas chambers" -- that is purportedly based on "technical plans that were saved from destruction."92

As I have mentioned, I have copies of these plans, and there can be no doubt as to their origin, since they bear the official stamp of the Polish State Auschwitz Museum. These copies show that the model differs from the building plan in several important details and no provision was made for anything like a "gas chamber." The area marked "corpse cellar," which is supposed to have measured 7 meters by 30 meters (210 square meters or about 2,260 square feet) would not have been suitable for the "gassings" to which some "eyewitnesses" have testified. In particular, it could not have held from 2,000 to 3,000 people at once, as has been claimed. According to the Auschwitz Museum, three smaller rooms in crematoria IV and V, with a total space of 236.78 square meters (2,550 square feet), were used as "gas chambers." The plans lend no support to this allegation, and, in any case, such use of the rooms would have been impossible because of their position. Significantly a model of these rooms has not been prepared for display to visitors of the Auschwitz Museum. In all the literature on this camp, then, there is no exact description of the "gas chambers" of crematoria IV and V.

I must cut short my discussion of this piece of evidence, since my purpose is to examine the evidence concerning the Auschwitz legend that has been presented, not documents that are -- for whatever reason -- being withheld, of which there are doubtless more. Our "contemporary historians" should at least take a closer look at these plans.

Even today, visitors to the Auschwitz Museum are shown a "gas chamber" in the old crematorium of the parent camp. But this is -- as the French scholar Robert Faurisson discovered -- merely a "reconstruction," something of which Auschwitz Museum tourists are, of course, not informed.93 This "reconstruction" has little in common with the structure that actually existed. For one thing, a "gas chamber" has been made out of what were originally several rooms, as can be seen from the surviving ground-plan. The larger of these rooms is designated in the ground-plan as a "morgue" ("Leichenhalle"), a necessary adjunct to a crematorium. This is exactly the same kind of hoax the Americans perpetrated at Dachau.

Since the crematorium was no longer standing when the Soviets occupied Birkenau, no one will ever know just how the previously mentioned building plans were executed -- if indeed they were. Hence all we can say with absolute certainty is that the attempt to prove the existence of "gas chambers" at Birkenau from the presence there of one or more crematoria simply has not come off.

Even more questionable is the attempt to use deliveries of Zykion B to Auschwitz as proof that the camp had "gas chambers" in which Jews were murdered with this highiy toxic gas.

At the various Nuremberg trials, the prosecution submitted invoices for these deliveries as "evidence" that "gassings" had occurred. One of these invoices, dated March 13, 1944, appears in Reimund Schnabel's book Macht ohne Moral [Power without Morals], as "Document 134." This invoice attests to the delivery of 14 crates of Zyklon B, containing a total of 420 canisters (210 kilograms altogether), to the "Department of Disinfestation and Disinfection" at Auschwitz.95 The task of this department -- as of such units everywhere -- was the disinfection of living quarters, clothing, and personal effects. According to the testimony of Arthur Breitwieser, a defendant in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, it had nothing to do with exterminating human beings. Breitwieser, who for some time served as the director of this department, and so ought to be well-informed about its activities, was acquitted by the Auschwitz Trial court.96 This is one of the many absurdities in that "trial." For the disinfectors were undoubtedly responsible for the storage and application of Zyklon B, and without their cooperation it would have been impossible to use this preparation to "gas" Jews.

Rassinier points out the well-known fact that Zyklon B had been used by the German Army since 1924. During World War II it was employed as a disinfectant in every branch of the service and in all the concentration camps. Invoices have been found for deliveries of Zyklon B to the Oranienburg and Bergen-Belsen camps, where -- as has been proved -- gas chambers for exterminating human beings did not exist.97

One cannot deny that this preparation could have been used to exterminate people. Of course, that does not mean that it was. After all, nobody could be accused of being a murderer simply because he owned an axe, an instrument extraordinarily well-suited to homicide. Such an accusation would be laughed out of any court. But to "prove" the existence of "gas chambers" at Birkenau -- something for which real evidence is utterly lacking -- no argument, however idiotic, is disdained, even by certain "scholars."

For example, Professor Krausnick, in a footnote to his Auschwitz Trial deposition, cites an NMT document (NO-4465) that is so am biguous that most of the other writers on this subject do not venture to mention it. This is an order that the Central Construction Office of Auschwitz allegedly placed with the Deutsche Ausriistungswerke GmbH, an SS industrial firm near Auschwitz, for the manufacture of "three gas-tight towers . . . of exactly the same dimensions and type as the towers previously supplied"* ("drei gasdichte Türme . . . genau nach den Ausmaßen und der Art der bisher angelieferten Türme") 98 One asks oneself in vain what these towers might have to do with "gas chambers" -- a question Krausnick, of course, does not answer. None of the "eyewitnesses" to the "gas chambers" has anything to say about such towers.

*My translation. In the NMT translation of this document, the phrase "drei gasdichte Türme" is rendered into English as "three gas-tight chambers," but the translator was honest -- or puzzled -- enough to add the word "Türme" in brackets (NMT, Vol. V, p. 622). The "photocopy in the Institut für Zeitgeschichte" quoted by Krausnick is presumably a reproduction of an alleged German original (Prosecution Exhibit 660 in the NMT "Concentration Camp Trial" [Case IV; U.S. vs Pohl]). -- T.F.

In this order, dated March 31, 1943, there is also a reference to the filling of another order, placed on March 6, 1943, for a "gas door 100 x 192 cm for corpse cellar I of crematorium III . . . of exactly the same type and size as the cellar door of the crematorium opposite it, crematorium II, with a peep-hole made of double-strength 8-mm glass, with rubber gasket and [metal?] cap" ("Gastür 100/192 für Leichenkeller I des Krematoriums II. . . genau nach Art und Maß der Kellertürdes gegenüberliegenden Krematoriums II mit Guckloch aus doppeltem 8-mm-Glas mit Gummidichtung und Beschlag").

Could this be the famous peep-hole through which the SS physicians who allegedly supervised the "gassing" of inmates are said to have observed the death-throes of the victims? Probably not. Like the other documents of its kind, this order really proves nothing. At that time, gas-tight doors were not uncommon, since every cellar had to double as an air raid shelter. The peep-holes in these doors were a source of light and a means of observing the outside. Through such a peep-hole it would have been quite impossible to view the whole interior of a "gas chamber," especially if it were as large as these rooms are usually claimed to have been (i.e., had a capacity of 3,000 or more people). Air raid shelters had to be secure not oniy against explosives, but against gas as well. Considering that Birkenau had no other fortified places, it would only have been common sense to make the cellars of the crematoria into air raid shelters. Perhaps these "gas-tight towers" were intended as some kind of aboveground shelter.

In nearly all the collections of documents on Auschwitz, papers containing only routine information about the billeting and employment of inmates, their transfer to other camps, and similar matters are adduced as evidence of the alleged gassings. The commentators explain that seemingly innocuous words and phrases in these papers really denote the "gassing" of inmates. For such conjectures there is not the slightest factual basis. Not only does the term "special treatment," which we have already discussed (see p. 42 above), play a role in this connection, but phrases like "given special accommodation" ("gesondert untergebracht"), which is used in a wire from the Commandant's Office at Auschwitz in regard to a newly arrived group of Jews, are also interpreted as "murdered in the gas chambers.99 Similarly, in their commentary on a list of prisoners being transferred from Monowitz to Birkenau, Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner state that the persons listed had been designated for "gassing," even though the document itself does not con tain the slightest indication of that.100

All these attempts to read such things into both vaguely and unequivocally worded documents shamelessly capitalize on a critical ineptitude, gullibility, and prejudice that have resulted from years of brain washing. As any person with the capacity to think must admit, these "documents" on the alleged gassings have no value whatsoever as evidence. Even the fait accompli of some of them having been accepted in evidence at the Nuremberg trials cannot alter this fact. Consider the transfer list mentioned above, which was used in the NMT "IG-Farben Trial" (Document NI-14997). No historian who holds to the traditional scholarly methods of researching and evaluating sources would accept a mode of argumentation based on the premise that documents can be made to serve a desired end by the use of unwarranted assumptions and arbitrary interpretations. It is hardly necessary to go into every little detail of such documents, without which the legend of the "extermination of the Jews" would have gotten nowhere.

What has just been said applies equally to the exhibits of clothing and human hair from concentration camps, which in the post-war "re education" literature are frequently invoked as proof of the "extermina tion of the Jews."'0' It is claimed that these articles came from prisoners who had been "gassed," even though that cannot be so much as inferred from any document. What is never mentioned is that, for hygienic reasons, the hair was cut off all incoming prisoners before they were sent to the showers. Afterwards, they were given a uniform to wear. Their street clothes had to be turned over to the authorities, as is stand ard procedure in all prisons.

Our survey of official documents from recent German history shows that there is no documentary evidence that proves the existence of "gas chambers" in Birkenau or a plan to "exterminate the Jews," or that would even cause one to suspect there might be something to such charges. It

also shows that the statement recently made by one of the vilest members of the Nuremberg lynching party, the Jewish-American pro secutor Robert M.W. Kempner, that the "historical assessments" on the "extermination of the Jews" are based "almost exclusively on official Ger man documents of the Hitler regime that have been preserved by an ex perienced bureaucracy" is totally unfounded.'02 Kempner's statement contradicts facts that must be well known to the man himself. The famous "Wannsee Protocol," which he may have had in mind when he made his remarks, has proved to be -- at least in part -- a crude forgery. We may pass over the recent conjectures that Kempner was responsi ble for that forgery -- it was he who "discovered" the "document." The validity of this charge cannot be established, though Kempner's general conduct as chief of the American prosecution team at Nuremberg might seem enough to warrant it.

The only document from the German official files in which the term "gassing" ("Vergasung") is used in connection with the Birkenau crematoria (Nuremberg Document NO-4473; see p. 46 above), owes its interpretation as "proof' that a "gas chamber" for killing Jews existed at Auschwitz to a mistranslation. As Butz has shown, the word "Vergasungskeller" ("carburation cellar") was rendered into English as "gas chamber." That even German scholars have adopted this misinter pretation testifies to how far removed our historical scholarship is from a free and objective examination of "Auschwitz" and everything that word connotes.

Since it has been established that the Auschwitz Myth does not rest on official documents, let us see in the following pages what other evidence" has been prepared for us.

Speeches and Other Public Statements by Political Leaders of the Third Reich

As soon as one turns to the topic of the "extermination of the Jews," one finds that fragments of speeches made by the leading political figures of the Third Reich, in particular, Hitler and Himmler, are fre quently cited as evidence. The rather strong language used with regard to the Jews in certain passages of these speeches is simply taken at face value, and, therefore, assumes an importance it really does not deserve. Often such passages are taken out of context, and their significance in relation to the whole text ignored. That has also been done with spoken and written statements the German leaders of the period made on subjects other than the Jewish Question.

Especially in the case of Hitler, such statements were made largely in response to the numerous threats to exterminate the German people uttered by Allied leaders and Jewish spokesmen. Perhaps the most vociferous of the latter was Theodore Nathan Kaufman. In a book entitled Germany Must Perish (1941), he expounded a plan to wipe out the Ger man people by sterilizing German men and women.103 Even better known is the "Morgenthau Plan." Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and a personal advisor to President Roosevelt, thought starvation and economic strangulation were the best means of getting rid of the German people, and Roosevelt himself endorsed this plan.104 Nor should one forget that it was Professor Friedrich Alexander Lindemann -- later Lord Cherwell -- who devised the plan on which the carpet bombing that annihilated countless German civilians was largely based."105 Finally, the Soviet "expert on international law," A.N. Trainin, set forth a plan aimed at wiping out the German "ruling class" and intelligentsia. His plan led to the London Charter, the basis for the "jurisdiction" of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, which actually did condemn German leaders to death and imprisonment.106 With the exception of Kaufmann's scheme, all these plans were at least partially executed. If they were not carried out in full, it was more for practical than humanitarian reasons.

Besides these very concrete extermination plans, which had no counterpart on the German side, numerous general statements were made along the same lines. Only a few of these will be mentioned here.

Perhaps the most famous exhortations to murder are those of Stalin's Jewish propagandist Ilya Ehrenburg, who expressed such sentiments as the following:*

No longer do we say: "Good morning" or "Good night." In the morning we say:

"Kill a German," and in the evening: "Kill a German.'

Books, love, the stars no longer matter. The only thing that matters is to kill the Germans. To kill them all. To bury them.. . For us there is nothing more beautiful than German corpses. "Kill a German!" -- this is what the old mother begs of you. "Kill a German!" -- this is what a child implores. Germans are not human beings. Germans are biped animals, disgusting creatures, beasts. Germans are amoebae, soulless microbes, but equipped with machines, guns, mortars.

If you have killed one German, kill another -- nothing gladdens us more than German corpses.107

*Unless a source is given in the notes, the English translations of the quotations in this section are my own. -- T.F.

That Ehrenburg's exhortations to murder were not without their ef fect is well known. What is not so well known is that these homicidal messages were translated into English for the benefit of the onward marching "Christian Soldiers."108

To be sure, his incitements to murder appeared at a time when the war was at its greatest intensity. But long before the outbreak of war threats to exterminate the German people were being broadcast around the world. That is something, by the way, which one ought to take into account when considering the question of "war guilt. 109

As early as January 1934, Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of Revisionist Zionism, declared in the Jewish paper Tatscha Retsch: "Our Jewish interests require the final destruction of Germany; the Germans, each and every one of them, are a danger to us." Likewise, on May 24, 1934, the publisher of The American Hebrew, a leading Zionist, reportedly told the American publicist Robert E. Edmondson that Jewry was "going to bring a war on Germany." And on April 16, 1936, the Youngstown Jewish Times (Youngstown, Ohio), commented that after the next war there would no longer be a Germany. It predicted that "on signal from Paris," France and Belgium, as well as the peoples of Czechoslovakia, would be set in motion to attack the "German colossus," and, in a "deadly pincer-movement," sever Prussia from Bavaria, thus bringing Germany to extinction. (The only difference be tween this fantasy and the reality of post-war Germany is that the new borders were set elsewhere and the German people are not yet extinct, though they certainly seem to be heading in that direction.) Not long after this article was published, The American Hebrew, in its issue of April 30, 1937, expressed the same idea in a more general way when it stated that Germany deserved to be eliminated from the family of nations. This statement was echoed by the British newspaper The People, which, on September 3, 1939, described the German people as the "mad dog of Europe," and demanded their destruction. On the very same day, Churchill declared in the House of Commons that this war was England's war and its aim the destruction of Germany, ending his outburst with the paradoxical battle-cry: "Onward Christian Soldiers!"

No German statesman ever spoke of another people in such terms as the British hate-monger Lord Vansittart used against the Germans when attempting to justify the terror bombings: "The only good Germans are dead Germans, so let the bombs fall!"

Those bombs fell, exactly as intended, on women, children, and old people alike. This is the background against which one must consider the angry statements made by German leaders. Although they have in evitably been associated with the "extermination of the Jews," these statements were mostly made in response to a torrent of hatred against the German government and threats to annihilate the German people that was unleashed even before the war. Wie man in den Wald hinein ruft, so schallt es heraus. * What is more, some of the remarks attributed to the German leaders are either spurious or have been misrepresented.

*~As ye sow, so shall ye reap" literally, "As you shout into the woods, so it echoes forth." -- TF.

There is a vast difference between words and deeds. The atrocities committed against Germans before, during, and after the war have been impeccably documented. They even received publicity at the time they occurred.110 The same cannot be said of the alleged murder of the Jews -- especially since the most prominent Jews, leaders of the Jewish intellectual elite and political leadership, who would have been the first victims of an actual extermination plan, survived internment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps."'

But enough of these preliminary remarks. We shall now examine the relatively few declarations relating to Germany's supposed ambition to "exterminate the Jews" that come directly from German leaders of the time. As we shall see, their statements were no worse than any made against the Germans by the other side.

Adolf Hitler

Hitler quotations are usually introduced with the claim that Hitler an nounced his goal of exterminating the Jews by means of lethal gas in Mein Kampf. To support this claim, one cites the following sentences from his book:

Hiitte man zu Kriegsbeginn und wdhrend des Kneges einmal zwiilf- oder fun! zehntausend dieser hebr~ischen Volksverderber so unter Gifigas gehalten, wie Hunderttausende unserer allerbesten Arbeiter aus alien Schichten und Berufen es im Felde erdulden muilten, donn wdre das Mihionenop/er der Front nicht verge bhich gewesen. Im Gegenteil: Zwtilftausend Schurken zur rechten Zeit beseitigt, htltte viehleicht einer Million ordenthicher, fur die Zukunft wertvoller Deutscher das Leben gerettet.

If at the beginning of the war and during the war twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corruptors of the people had been held under poison gas, as happened to hundreds of thousands of our very best German workers in the field, the sacrifice of millions at the front would not have been in vain. On the contrary: twelve thousand scoundrels eliminated in time might have saved the lives of a million real Germans, valuable for the future.112

These statements are found in Chapter 15 of Volume II, which is entitled "The Right of Emergency Defense." Here Hitler was attacking international Marxism, in Germany then led primarily by Jews. He was not attacking the Jews per se, still less advocating their general destruction. These lines, written in 1925, refer exclusively to a situation that existed at the end of World War I. From them one cannot infer that Hitler had some "general idea" of exterminating, let alone gassing, the Jews, as Karl Dietrich Bracher, for example, would have us believe.113 To interpret them objectively, one must bear in mind that Hitler is referring to the past, and, moreover, is discussing a specific situation. These remarks can be explained only in terms of Hitler's view of why Germany collapsed at the end of World War I, as well as his own experience of gas warfare (which the English, by the way, initiated).114 They should be taken as an emotional outburst, not as an embryonic plan. Indeed, Mein Kampf is for the most part more propagandistic than programmatic.115

This passage from Hitler's book recalls the humanitarian sentiments that Kurt Tucholsky, a Jew, expressed towards members of the Ger man middle-class who did not share his peculiar "pacifism":

Moge dos Gas in die Spielstuben eurer Kinder schleichen. Mogen sie langsam urn sinken, die Pilppchen. Ich wunsche der Frau des Kirchenrats und des Chefredok teurs und der Mutter des Buldhauers und der Schwester des Bankiers, doll sie einen bitteren qualvohlen Tod finden, ahle zusammen.

May the gas creep into the play-rooms of your children. They should drop dead slowly, the little dolls. I'd like to see the wife of the churchwarden and the editor-in-chief and the mother of the sculptor and the sister of the banker die a bitter, excruciating death, all of them, together."116

Now, we certainly are not charging that Tucholsky planned or preached the murder-by-gassing of the German people. Yet it would be interesting to see how those who accuse Hitler, on the basis of the passage quoted above, of promoting the murder-by-gassing of the Jewish people would react to Tucholsky's far more drastic outburst.

The first remarks in which Hitler specifically uses the words "annihilation" ("Vernichtung") and "eradication" ("Ausrottung") in relation to "the Jews" or "Jewry" were made in 1939. They were a reaction to world Jewry's anti-German campaign, which, by that time, had reached a pitch of frenzy, as shown at the beginning of the this section. In particular, Hitler's Reichstag speech of January 30, 1939 is often cited. There he declared, inter alia:

Wenn es dem internationalen Finanzjudentum innerhaib und aullerhaib Europas gelingen sohite, die Viliker noch vinmal in einen Weltkrieg zu st,~rzen, donn wird dos Ergebnis nicht die Bolschewisierung der Erde und domit der Sieg des Judentums sein, sondern die Vernichtung derjadischen Rasse in Europa.

If international finance-Jewry, inside and outside Europe, should once again succeed in plunging the nations into a world war, the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and with that the victory of Jewry, but rather the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.117

Obviously, this statement is nothing more than a response to the war threats that were constantly being made by influential Zionists. It was meant as an admonition to those war-mongers. Heinrich Hartle inter prets this text as a sign of Hitler's deep committment to peace. He believes Hitler did not intend to cause a war in order to annihilate the Jews, but raised the spectre of their annihilation in order to prevent a war118 In using the word "annihilation," Hitler was oniy borrowing from the vocabulary of his Zionist foes. Even if one rejects Hartle's interpretation, one must not jump to the conclusion that the opposite interpretation is correct. As noted above, angry words were part of the vocabulary of the times. The rhetoric of Churchill and Roosevelt was no less vehement.

When quoted in context -- as they seldom are -- these remarks show that Hitler was not really suggesting the physical annihilation of the Jews. This is how he continued his speech:

Denn die Zeit derpropagandistischen Wehrlosigkeit der nichtjiidischen V6lker ist zu Ende. Das nationalsozialistische Deutschland und dos faschistische Italien besitzen jene Einrichtungen, die es gestatten, wenn notwendig, die Welt fiber dos Wesen einer Frage aufzukliiren, die vielen VilIkern instinktiv bewullt, nur wissenschaftlich unklar ist.

Augenblwklich mag dosludentum in gewissen Staaten seine Hetze betreiben unter dein Schutz einer do,~ in semen Hdnden befindlichen Presse, des Films, der Rund funkpropagando, der Theater, der Literatur usw. Wenn es diesem Volk aber noch einmal gelingen sollte, die Millionenmassen der Villker in einen fur diese gdnzlich sinnlosen und nurjiidischen Interessen dienenden Kamp! zu hetzen, donn wird sich die Wirksamkeit einer Aujkltirung Jullern, der in Deutschland allein schon in wenigen Jahren dos Judentum restlos erlegen ist.

For the non-Jewish peoples are no longer without the weapon of propaganda. Both National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy have the equipment necessary to enlighten the world about the nature of a problem that many nations instinctively recognize, though they may lack a scientific view of it.

For the time being, the Jews may carry on their agitations in certain states under the cover of the press, cinema, radio, theatre, literature, etc.,which are in their hands. But if the Jewish nation should once again succeed in goading millions of people from other nations into a totally senseless war, to serve only Jewish interests, the efficacy of the kind of enlightenment that in just a few years utterly defeated the Jews in Germany will become manifest.117

Thus Hitler's threat was that if another world war broke out, Zionism would be politically eliminated -- by disclosing to the peoples of the world its role in that catastrophe. He started from the premise -- and we may leave aside the question whether rightly or wrongly -- that the preservation of world peace depended largely on the stance of international Jewry, which did indeed have an extraordinarily strong influence on nearly all governments.119

Even after the outbreak of war, Hitler continued to make such threats. These, too, are cited in the literature on our topic as "proof' of his ambition to exterminate the Jewish people, when, perhaps, they should be viewed in terms of his repeated attempts to bring the western Allies to their senses.

For example, on January 30, 1941, Hitler allegedly threatened that, if another world war broke out, all European Jewry "would be done for" ("im Falle eines neuen Weltkrieges seine Rolle ausgespielt"). Likewise, in a speech delivered on January 30, 1942, he reportedly declared that the war would result in the "extermination of Jewry in Europe" ("die Ver nichtung des Judentums in Europa"). And, on February 24, 1942, he is supposed to have "prophesied" that through this war Aryan man would not be exterminated, but the Jew extirpated ("durch diesen Krieg nicht die arische Menschheit vernichtet, sondern der Jude ausgerottet").120 In other speeches, Hitler made similar utterances, but they are really not worth quoting.

None of these remarks are particularly shocking when compared with the strongly worded statements Allied leaders and influential Zionists made along the same lines. As I have said, it was then customary to use strong language against one's opponents. In any case, Hitler's "prophesies" about the eradication of the Jews had scarcely been fulfilled at that time, or even at the end of the war.121 More importantly, in all of Hitler's speeches and statements one cannot find a single reference to the alleged homicidal role of the concentration camps, in particular, Auschwitz-Birkenau, purportedly the center of "systematic mass extermination of the Jews."

In the final analysis, all the allegations regarding Hitler's "extermination policy" are at odds with a statement he is said to have made towards the end of the war, on February 13, 1945:

Wenn ich den Krieg gewinne, so mache ich der jiidischen Herrschaft in der Welt em Ende, ich versetze ihr den Todesstoll. Und wenn ich diesen Krieg verliere, so werden sie dieses Sieges nicht froh. Denn die Juden werden dorfiber den Kop! verlieren. Sie werden ihre Uberheblichkeit bis zu einem solchen Grade steigern, doll sie selbst die Reaktion herausforden.

If I win the war, I will put an end to Jewish domination of the world. I will deal it a death-blow. And if I lose this war, they will not rejoice in their victory. It will go to their heads. They will increase their arrogance to such a degree that they themselves will provoke a reaction.122

These remarks are extremely interesting. If the "re-education" literature is to be believed, the Jews in the German sphere of influence had already been largely exterminated. According to this statement, however, Hitler planned merely to end "Jewish domination of the world" -- something quite different from physically destroying the entire race. Thus even as the war drew to an end, the "extermination of the Jews" could not have been Hitler's goal. This is also evident from the text of Hitler's Political Testament that was published by the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (Nuremberg Document 3569-PS). Among other things, this document states:

Ich habe aberauch keinen Zweifel dorilbergelassen, doll wenn die VolkerEuropas wieder nur als Aktienpakete dieser internationalen Geld- und Finanzverschworer angesehen werden, donn auch jenes Volk zur Verantwortunggezogen werden wird, dos der eigentlich Schuldige an diesem morderischen Ringen ist: das internationale Judentum! Ich habe weiter keinen dorilber im Unklaren gelassen, doll dieses Mal nicht nur Millionen Kinder von Europdern der arischen Viilker verhungern werden, nicht nur Millionen erwachsener Mdnner den Tod erleiden und nicht nur Hundert tausende an Frauen und Kindern in der Stfidten verbrannt und zu Tode bombar diert werden dfl,ften, ohne dall der eigentlich Schuldige, wenn auch durch humanere Mittel, seine Schuld zu bullen hat.

I also made it clear that, if the nations of Europe were again to be regarded merely as shares to be bought and sold by these international conspirators of money and finance, then that nation which is the real guilty party in this murderous struggle -- international Jewry -- would be called to account. Moreover, I made it clear to everybody that this time not only would millions of children in the European Aryan nations starve to death, not only would millions of grown men meet their death, and not only would millions of women and children be burnt and bombed to death in the cities, but the real culprit would have to pay for his guilt as well, even though by more humane means than war.123

Two things are worth noting here. First, even shortly before his death Hitler apparently knew nothing about a mass extermination of Jews in "death camps," for otherwise he would have worded his Political Testament differently. Second, if Hitler aimed at exterminating the Jews and this had actually been accomplished, it would have been characteristic of him to boast triumphantly of the accomplishment. But he only says that the "real guilty party in this murderous struggle," "international Jewry" -- but not "the Jews" as such -- would have to pay for its guilt, even though by more humane means than war."124 Thus Hitler was not referring to any possibility of physically eliminating the Jewish people, but anticipating that the Jewish leader-stratum would receive some kind of punishment, which, in his own words, would be more "humane" than the slaughter of European soldiers and civilians in the war. His remarks could apply to the period after the victory for which he may still have entertained some hope. If so, it should be understood as a warning to the Jewish leaders and an assignment for his successors.

Heinrich Himmier

After Hitler's speeches, it is mainly the speeches of Himmler in which one seeks to find circumstantial evidence for the alleged racially motivated murder of the Jews. Speeches and excerpts of speeches of his supposedly relating to this subject have been published with a commentary by Agnes F. Peterson and Bradley F. Smith under the rather sensational title Heinrich Himmler: Geheimreden 1933 bis 1945.* Of course, it is absurd to call a speech delivered before a relatively large audience "secret." Nor is it known whether Himmler ever designated any of his speeches so. Evidently the title was chosen in the hope of selling more copies of the book.

*"Heinrich Himmler: Secret Speeches, 1933-1945." Although this volume was compiled and edited by two Americans, there does not seem to be an English-language edition of it. -- T.F.

According to the "Remarks on the Edition" at the end of the book these speeches were discovered in the files of the "Personal Staff of the Reichsführer-SS," which the Americans seized as war booty. Today they are reportedly in the Bundesarchiv in Coblenz. Before they were returned, they were microfilmed. Whether they are entirely genuine is open to question.

Himmler was in the habit of formulating his speeches as he went along, using notes that he had written down himself, which often consisted of no more than a dozen phrases. According to Peterson and Smith, there are only four or five completely prepared texts among the documents published in their collection, but they do not specify which ones. From the end of 1942, Himmler's speeches were frequently -- though not always -- phonographically recorded with two machines. These devices are said to have worked poorly, leaving big gaps in the recordings. Beginning in 1943, SS-Untersturmführer Werner Alfred Veun was solely responsible for making and keeping the transcripts of Himmler's speeches. It is not clear just who had this duty before. Venn is supposed to have taken down and typed out the speeches -- even making "corrections" (!) in the text, but changing the meaning "barely or not at all."'125

One can well imagine the possibilities for error involved in the preparation of these "documents." What is more, the American officials who "evaluated" the staff files of the Reichsffihrer-SS had ample opportunities to manipulate the papers, and probably took advantage of them, for some of Himmler's speeches were presented in evidence at the Nuremberg IMT trial.126

Peterson and Smith claim that Venn sent his transcripts of the speeches to Himmler, who then revised them slightly.127 Nobody asks whether this would have made any sense. If these were "secret speeches," there was little possibility of their ever being published. Moreover, it is doubtful whether Himmler had the time to go over his speeches carefully. Since they had already been delivered, that must have seemed a useless undertaking. How Peterson and Smith discovered these intimate details is a mystery.

There is considerable doubt as to whether the versions of the speeches that were presented to a horrified world after the fall of the Third Reich were identical with speeches Himmler may actually have delivered. Nevertheless, we are bound to discuss here those passages which are cited in support of the extermination thesis. Although they are constantly used to "substantiate" the charge that murders-by-gassing occurred at Auschwitz, they contain no mention of Auschwitz or any other alleged "extermination camp."

Most frequently cited is an address Himmler delivered on October 4, 1943 before a gathering of SS-Gruppenführer at Posen. Though basically a survey of the situation at the beginning of the fifth year of the war, it contains a discussion -- relatively brief -- of "The Clearing out of the Jews" ("Die Judenevakuierung"). At any rate, that is the heading this passage of the transcript was given when it was presented in evidence at the Nuremberg IMT trial (Nuremberg Document 1919-PS). According to this document, Himmler declared:

Ich will hier vor Ihnen in aller Offenheit auch en ganz schweres Kapitel erwfJhnen. Unter uns soll es einmal ganz offen ausgesprochen sein, und trotzdem werden wir in der Offentlichkeit nie doruber reden... Ich meine jetzt die Judenevakuierung, die Ausrottung des jiidischen Volkes. Es gehfirt zu den Dingen, die man leicht ausspricht -- Das jildische Volk wird ausgerottet," sagt em jeder Parteigenosse, "ganz klar, steht in unserem Programm, Ausschaltung der Juden, Ausrottung, machen wir." Und donn kommen sie alle an, die braven 80 Millionen Deutschen, und jeder hat semen anstdndigen Juden. Es ist ja klar, die anderen sind Schweine, aber dieser eine ist en prima Jude. Von allen, die so reden, hat keiner

zugesehen, keiner hat es durchgestanden. Von euch werden die meisten wissen, was es heillt, wenn 100 Leichen beisammenliegen, wenn 500 doliegen oder wenn 1000 doliegen. Dies durchgehalten zu haben und dobei -- abgesehen von Ausnahmen menschlicher Schwache -- anst/indig geblieben zu sein, das hat uns hart gemacht. Dies ist en niemals geschriebenes und niemals zu schreibendes Ruhmesblatt unserer Geschichte, denn wir u'issen, wie schwer wir uns tdten, wenn wir heute noch in jeder Stadt-bei den Bombenangnffen, bei den Lasten und bei den Entbehrungen des Kneges -- noch die Juden als Geheimsaboteure, Agitatoren und Hetzer batten. Wir wfirden wahrscheinlich jetzt in dos Stadium des Jahres 1916/17 gekommen sein, wenn die Juden noch im deutschen Volkskorper s~iI.?en.

Die Reichtumer, die sie hatten, haben wir ihnen abgenommen. Ich habe einen strikten Befehlgegeben, den SS-ObergruppenfahrerPohl durchgeffihrt hat, dali diese Reichtumer selbstverstdndlich restlos an dos Reich abgefiJhrt wurden. Wir haben uns nichts dovon genoinmen. Einzelne, die sich vetfehlt haben, werden gemdll einem von mir zu Anfanggegebenen Befehl bestraft, der androhte: Wer sich auch nur eine Mark davon nimmt, der ist des Todes. Eine Anzahl SS-Mdnner -- es sind nicht viele -- haben sich dogegen verfehlt und sie werden des Todes sein, gnadenlos. Wir hatten das moralische Recht, wir batten die Pflicht gegen fiber unserem Volk, dieses Volk, das uns umbringen wollte, umzulningen. Wir haben aber nicht dos Recht, uns auch nur mit einem Pelz, mit einer Uhr, mit einer Mark oder mit einer Zigarette oder mit sonst etwas zu bereichern. Wir wollen nicht am SchIull, weil wir einen Bazillus ausrotten, an dem Bazillus krank werden und sterben. Ich werde niemals zusehen, dali hier auch nur vine kleine Fflulnisstelle entsteht odersichfestsetzt. Wo ste swh bilden sollte, werden wir sie gemeinsam ausbrennen. Insgesamt aber bannen wir sagen, doll wir diese schwerste Aufgabe in Liebe zu unserem Volk erfullt haben. Und wir haben keinen Schaden in unsere,n Innern, in unserem Charakter doran genoinmen.

I also want to talk to you, quite frankly, on a very grave matter. Among ourselves it should be mentioned quite frankly, and yet we will never speak of it publicly. . . I mean the clearing out of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race. It's one of those things it is easy to talk about -- "The Jewish race is being ex terminated," says one party member, "that's quite clear, it's in our program -- elimination of the Jews, and we're doing it, exterminating them." And then they come, 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are vermin, but this one is an A-1 Jew. Not one of all those who talk this way has witnessed it, not one of them has been through it. Most of you know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side by side, or 500 or 1000. To have stuck it out and at the same time -- apart from exceptions caused by human weakness -- to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written, for we know how difficult we should have made it for ourselves if -- with the bombing raids, the burdens and the deprivations of war -- we still had Jews today in every town as secret saboteurs, agitators and trouble-mongers. We would now probably have reached the 1916/17 stage when the Jews were still in the German national body.

We have taken their wealth from them. I have issued a strict order, which SS-Obergruppenführer Pohl has carried out, that this wealth should as a matter of course, be handed over to the Reich without reserve. We have taken none of it for ourselves. Individual men who have lapsed will be punished in accordance with an order I issued at the beginning, which gave this warning; Whoever takes so much as a mark of it, is a dead man. A number of SS men -- there are not very many of them -- have fallen short, and they will die, without mercy. We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us. But we have not the right to enrich ourselves with so much as a fur, a watch, a mark, or a cigarette or anything else. Because we have exterminated a bacterium we do not want, in the end, to be infected by the bacterium and die of it. I will not see so much as a small area of the sepsis appear here or gain a foothold. Wherever it may form, we will cauterize it. Altogether, however, we can say that we have fulfilled this most difficult duty for the love of our people. And our spirit, our soul, our character has not suffered injury from it.128

All of this may come as a shock to the unbiased but uninitiated reader, who might get the impression that Himmler was actually talking about ideologically motivated, systematic murder of Jews. But those who are acquainted with the facts of this period in history will find it difficult to believe that Himmler made all these remarks, some of which are utterly nonsensical. A fair guess is that certain passages necessary to the continuity of the document are missing, for no logical connection really exists between the things Himmler purportedly discussed in this speech. He seems to be talking about several different matters, viz., the evacuation of the Jews, the efforts of the Einsatzgruppen to combat guerrilla warfare, the suppression of Jewish mutinies in Sobibor, Treblinka (autumn 1943), and, most especially, the Warsaw Ghetto (April-May 1943). That Himmler is not referring to large-scale, systematic murder of the Jews -- even when he is apparently discussing executions -- is evident from the comparatively small number of "corpses" he mentions:

100, 500, or 1,000. Far greater numbers of people are usually said to have perished in the "gas chambers" at any one time.

Let us examine some details of Himmler's alleged statements which not only indicate that the passage quoted above is incomplete, but also add to the suspicion that it may be forged.

Above all, it is astonishing that Himmier should have had no qualms about defining "evacuation of the Jews" as "extermination of the Jewish people." Of course, one may claim that he was simply employing the "code-words" purportedly used by functionaries involved in the "extermination program," but, as we have noted, there is no proof that such a jargon existed. The audience for this speech was definitely not composed of those SS leaders who might have been involved in the "secret extermination of the Jews" -- assuming for a moment there was such a plan. If they had been, Himmler surely would have commented in greater detail on this subject, instead of limiting himself to generalities. All things considered, it is quite improbable that he would have suddeniy confronted an unprepared audience with the "real" meaning of the term "evacuation of the Jews." If the "extermination of the Jews" were, as is usually claimed, so highly secret that Hitler personally communicated to Himmler the order to carry it out, would Himmler have discussed this matter before a large assembly of men who had little or nothing to do with it? Here one recalls that it is frequently alleged, on the basis of statements made by Rudolf Höß, that Himmler personally transmitted Hitler's "secret order" for the "extermination of the Jews" to Höß, the commandant of Auschwitz, instructing him to keep absolutely silent about it. 129 If this were so, Himmler would not have enlarged the circle of initiates to any great extent, even without going into details. Hence this portion of the speech cannot be authentic.

It seems strange, too, that Himmler should allude to the "elimination" ("Ausrottung") of the Jews as being contained in the party program of the NSDAP, since it is neither mentioned nor implied there! 130 Himmler's supposed claim to the contrary, no level-headed Party Comrade would ever have seriously advocated such a thing. That Himmler uttered this nonsense in front of high-ranking SS leaders, who were perfectly familiar with the NSDAP program, is virtually impossible. Somebody who had not the faintest inkling of the actual contents of the NSDAP program must have slipped these remarks into the speech.

Just as incongruous is the statement in the second paragraph of the address: "We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us" ("Wir hatten das morahsche Recht, wir hatten die Pflicht gegenüber unserem Volk, dieses Volk, das uns umbringen wollte, umzubringen"). Himmler allegedly said this when discussing the confiscation of the evacuated Jews' wealth. In that context, it stands out as a foreign body. Since the Jews still residing in Germany and German-occupied territory were -- considering that a war was going on -- undoubtedly a security risk, as Himmler pointed out, their evacuation and internment in camps or ghettos was perhaps necessary, but not their murder, which is what the word "umbringen" ("destroy," "kill") denotes.131 It may be argued that the Jews were quarantined out of racial hatred, not for any logical reason. But that would not explain why Himmler had no reservations about discussing an "extermination plan" when the official line was that the Jews were simply being "evacuated" eastwards. To say that this was, after all, a "secret speech" is to beg the question.

Quite possibly, the words "Ausrottung" (which can mean either "extermination" or "uprooting") and "umbringen" (which can mean either "destroy" or "kill") were mistranslated -- deliberately or accidentally -- in the passage of the speech that appears in English under the heading "The Clearing Out of the Jews" (see p. 64 above) if indeed Himmnler used these words. Deliberate mistranslations are nothing new. When President Roosevelt, who saw the mutual defense pact between Germany and Japan as the "back door" through which an unwilling American people could be herded into the European conflict, was zealously attempting to provoke a war with Japan, a U.S. government agency deliberately mistranslated a Japanese official 132 Thanks to Professor Rassinier, we know that distorted translations were employed in the Nuremberg IMT trial. For example, in a retroversion of the English translation of the "Wannsee Protocol" the phrase "Zurückdrängung der Juden" ("pushing back the Jews," i.e., to the East European countries from whence they came to Germany) was rendered as "Vernichtung" ("extermination"). To give another instance, the American Chief Prosecutor cited a translation in which the expression "Ausrottung des Judentums" ("eradication of Jewry" or "Judaism") was made into "extermination of the Jews" -- which, of course, is something altogether different. For as Rassinier has pointed out, Jewry is, among other things, an idea, or, to put it in other words, an expression of a common mentality, just as is Christianity (or Christendom). When one speaks of eradicating an idea, that does not necessarily mean physically exterminating the bearers of that idea, in this case, individual Jews. At least, one should not jump to that conclusion. Rassiier maintains that in this speech of Himmler's the term "Ausrottung" is used not in the sense of "extermination," but rather "exclusion," or "elimination of the influence," of the Jews. 133

Be that as it may, Nuremberg Document 1919-PS must be considered highly suspect, especially the part of it quoted above. It contains so many muddled, incongruous, and utterly nonsensical remarks that even in the post-war "re-education" literature it is usually cited only by the sentence. In their collection of "secret speeches," Peterson and Smith make only a brief mention of this address. Instead of reproducing it, they give the full text of another of Himmler's speeches, delivered two days later, on October 6, 1943, before a meeting of Reichsleiter and Gauleiter in Posen. It also contains a discussion of the "Jewish Question," which Peterson and Smith describe as the "most open and characteristic passage on the extermination of the Jews."134 In point of fact, the train of thought is much the same as in Nuremberg Document 1919-PS, though this speech is somewhat better organized than the earlier one and lacks its crass absurdities. According to this text, Himmler made the following remarks on the "Jewish Question":

Ich dan hier in diesem Zusammenhang und in diesem allerengsten Kreise auf vine Frage hinweisen, die Sie, meine Parteigenossen, alle als selbstverstJndlich hingenommen haben, die aber/fir mich die schwerste Frage meines Lebens geworden ist, die Judenfrage. Sie alle nehmen es selbstverst/~ndlich und erfreulich hin, doll in Ihrem Gau keine Juden mehr sind. Alle deutschen Menschen -- abgesehen von einzelnen Ausnahmen -- sind sich daruber klar, doll wir den Bombenkrieg, die Belastungen des vierten und des vielleicht kommenden fiinften und sechsten Kriegs jahres nicht aushalten batten und nicht aushalten wflrden, wenn wir diese zersetzende Pest noch in unserem Volksk/irper batten. Der Satz "Die Juden miissen ausgerottet werden" mit semen wenigen Worten, meine Herren, ist leicht ausgesprochen. Fflr den, der durchfuhren mull, was er fordert, ist es dos Allerhdrteste und Schwerste, was es gibt. Sehen Sie, natfirlich sind es Juden, es ist ganz klar, es sind nur Juden, bedenken Sie aber selbst, wie viele -- auch Party genossen -- ihr beriihmtes Gesuch an mich oder irgendeine Stelle genichtet haben, in dem es hiell, doll alle juden selbstverstiindlich Schweine seien, doll bloll der Soundso em anstdndiger Jude sef, dem man nichts tun dflnfe. Ich wage zu behaupten, doll es nach der Anzahl der Gesuche und der Anzahl der Meinungen in Deutschland mehr

anstdndige Juden gegeben hat, als fiberhaupt nominell vorhanden waren. In Deutschland haben wir namlich so viele Millionen Menschen, die ihren etnen ben~hmten anstJndigen Juden haben, doll diese ZahI bereits grdller ist als die ZahI derJuden. Ich will das bIoS anffihren, weil Sie aus dent Lebensbe reich Ihres eigenen Gaues bei achtbaren und anst~ndigen nationalsozialistischen Menschen feststellen konnen, doll auch von ihnen jeder einen anstJndigen Juden kennt.

kh bitte Sie, dos, was ich lhnen in diesem Kreise sage, wirklich nurzu hJren und nie doruber zu sprechen. Es trat an uns die Frage heran: Wie ist es mit den Frauen und Kindern? -- Ich habe mich entschlossen, auch hier vine ganz klare Lasung zu finden. Ich hielt mich njmlich nicht ffir berechtigt, die Mdnner auszurotten -- sp rich also, umzubnngen oder umbringen en lassen- und die Relcher in Gestalt der Kinder ffir unsere S~hne und Enkel grolA werden zu lassen. Es muflte der schwere Ent schlull gefallt werden, dieses Volk von derErde verschwinden en lassen. Bar die Organization, die den Aufirag durchfuhren mulite, war es der schwerste, den wir bisher hatten. Er ist durchgeffihrt worden, ohne dali -- wie ich glaube sagen zu ban nen -- unsere Mfinner und unsere Ffihrer einen Schaden an Geist und Seele erlitten batten. These Gefahr lag sehr nahe. Der Weg zwischen den beiden hier bestehenden Mdglichkeiten, entweder roh en werden und menschliches Leben nicht mehr zu achten oder weich en werden und durchendrehen bis en Nervenzusammenbruch -- der Weg zwischen Scylla und Cha,ybdis ist entsetzlich schmal.

Wir haben dos ganze VennJgen, dos wir be, den Juden beschlagnahmten -es gig zn unendhche Wette-bzs enm letzten Pfennig an den Reichswirtschaftsminister abgefuhrt. Ich habe mich immer auf den Standpunkt gesteilt: Wir haben die Ver pftichtung unserem Volke, unserer Rasse gegen fiber, wenn wir den Kneg gewinnen wollen -- wir haben die Veipflichtug unserem Ffihrer gegen fiber, der nun in 2000 Jahren unserem Volk einmalgeschenkt worden ist, hier nicht klein en sein und hier konsequent zu sein. Wir haben aber nicht dos Recht, auch nur einen Pfennig von dent beschlagnahmten Judenvenndgen en nehmen. kh habe von vorn he rein festgesetzt, dos SS-Mdnner, auch wenn sie nur vine Mark dovon nehmen, des Todes sind. kh habe in den letzten Tagen deswegen einige, ich hann es ruhigsagen, essind etwa em Dutzend -- Todesurteile unterschrieben. Hier mull man hart sein, wenn nicht dos Ganze darunter leiden soIl. -- Ich habe mich fur verpflichtet gehalten zu Ihnen als den obersten Willenstrfigern, als den obersten Wfirdentrdgeru derPartei, dieses politischen Ordens, dieses politischen Instruments des Ffihrers, auch fiber eine Frage einmal ganz offen zu sprechen und zu sagen, wie es gewesen ist. -- Die Judenfrage in den von uns besetzten Ldndern wird bis Ende dieses Jahres erledigt sein. Es werden nur Restbestdnde von einzelnen Juden fib~ig bleiben, die untergeschlfipft sind. Die Frage der mit nichtjfidischen Teilen verheirateten Juden und die Frage der Halbjuden werden sinngemJll und vernfinftig untersucht, ent schteden und donn gel5st.

Dali ich grolie Schwiengkeiten mit vielen wirtschaftlichen Einnchtungen hatte, werden Sie mir glauben. kh habe in den Etappengebieten grolle Judenghettos ausgerdumt. In Warschau haben wir in einem Jude ghetto vier Wochen Stra&nkampf gehabt. Vier Wochen! Wir haben dort ugefahr 700 Bunker ausgehoben. Dieses ganze Ghetto machte also Peltzmdntel, Kleider und Jhnliches. Wenn man fri~her dort hinlangen wollte, so hiell es: Halt! Sie st~ren die Kriegs wirtschaft! Halt! Rfistungsbettieb! -- Natfirlich hat dos mit Parteigenossen Speer nichts zu tan, Sie k5nnen gar nichts dazu. Es ist der Ted von ageblichen Rustugsbetrieben, die derParteigenosse Speer und ich in den nJchsten Wochen und Monaten gemeinsam remigen wollen. Das werden wir genau so unsentimental machen, wie mm Ifinflen Knegsjahr alle Dinge unsentimental, aber mit grollem He,zen Ifir Deutschland gemacht werden mfissen.

Damit nu5chte ich die Judenfrage abschliellen. Sie wissen nun Bescheid, und Sic behalten es fur sich. Man wird vielleicht in ganz spater Zest esnmal fiberlegen Mn-neti, ob man dent deutschen Volke etwas mehr dorfibersagt. Ich glaube, es ist besser, wir -- wir insgesamt -- haben dos fur unser Volk getragen, haben die Verantwortug aufuns genommen (die Vera ntwortung fur vine Tat, nicht nurfur vine Idee) und nehmen dann das Geheimnis mit in unser Grab.

In this connection, I may comment before this very tightly knit group on a matter which you, my Party Comrades, all take for granted, and which is the most difficult task I have ever faced in my life, the Jewish problem. All of you gladly take it for granted that there are no longer any Jews in your administrative districts. All Germans -- with a few individual exceptions -- are aware that we could not have endured the bombings, the hardships of the fourth year of the war, and could not endure fifth and sixth years of war that are perhaps yet to come, if we still had this demoralizing pest in our national body. "The Jews must be eradicated." This brief sentence is easily said. But for the man who must carry out what it calls for, it is the gravest and hardest thing in existence. Now, look, after all they're Jews, only Jews. That's plain enough. But just think about how many people -- including Party comrades -- have addressed to me and other officials those famous petitions of theirs in which they say: The Jews are all bastards, of course, but so-and-so is a good Jew and should be left alone. I daresay, judging by the number of such appeals and the number of people who express such opinions, the number of "good Jews" in Germany must have exceeded the total Jewish population! In Germany we have millions and millions of people who each have their "one good Jew." I mention this only because you can see in the vital field of your own administrative districts how many respected and upright National Socialists have their "good Jew."

I ask that you assembled here pay attention to what I have to say, but not repeat it. The question came up: Well, what about the women and children? -- I came to a determinedly simple conclusion about that, too. I did not believe that I had the right to wipe out the men -- rather I should say, kill them or have them killed -- and let their children grow up to avenge themselves on our sons and grandsons. The hard decision to wipe this people off the face of the earth had to be made. For us, the organization that had to carry out this task, it was the most dif ficult one we ever had. But it was accomplished, and without -- I believe I can say -- our men and their leaders suffering any mental or spiritual damage. That was clearly a danger. To become too brutal, too heartless, and lose respect for human life, or to be too soft and bring oneself to the point of a nervous breakdown -- the path between these two ever-present possibilities is incredibly narrow, the course between Scylla and Charybdis.

We have turned over to the Reich Ministry of Economics all the wealth we confiscated from the Jews -- the sums were staggering -- right down to very last penny. I have always maintained: We have a duty to our people, to our race, we have a duty to a leader such as has been given to our people only once in 2,000 years, not to be petty here, but to go the limit, as we must do in all things if we are to win the war. Yet we do not have the right to take even one penny of the wealth confiscated from the Jews. At the outset, I laid down the line: Any SS men who take so much as a mark of it are as good as dead. In the past few days, I've had to sign a number of death sentences -- I might as well say it, there were about a dozen. One has to be strict here, or everyone will suffer. I considered it my duty to speak very openly to you -- the highest bearers of the will, the highest dignitaries, of the Party, of this political order, of this political instrument of the Führer -- about this matter and to give the facts as they are. By the end of the year, the Jewish problem in the lands we have occupied will be solved. There will be left only remnants, individual Jews who are in hiding. The problem of Jews who are partners in mixed marriages and the problem of half-Jews will, in accordance with this policy, be rationally examined, decided upon, and resolved.

Believe me, I've had lots of trouble with many units of the economic apparatus. I cleared out big Jewish ghettos in the area of the lines of communication. In Warsaw, we had four weeks of street-fighting in the ghetto. Four weeks! We had to clean out around 700 bunkers. The whole ghetto was making fur coats, dresses, and the like. Time was, if you tried to lay a hand on that place, you'd be told: Stop! You're interferring with the war effort. Stop! This is part of the armaments industry. -- Of course, Party Comrade Speer had nothing to do with that. There is nothing you people can do about it. It is a part of the so-called armaments industry that Comrade Speer and I will be cleaning up in the forthcoming weeks and months. We will do this quite unsentimentally, as all things must be done in the fifth year of the war, without sentiment but with a stout heart for Germany.

With this I'll wind up my discussion of the Jewish problem. You now have the necessary information, and you will keep it to yourselves. At some much later date, one may consider the possibility of telling the German people a little more. I believe that it is better that we all bear this together for our people, as we have done, and take the responsibility on ourselves (the responsibility for a deed, not just for an idea) and take this secret with us to our graves.135

The "re-education" scribblers are fond of quoting this speech. In contrast to them, I have reproduced this passage in its entirety, so that Himmier's remarks can be seen in context. Even if it seems more polished than the Posen address, and, above all, does not contain as many glaring absurdities, this speech cannot be judged in any different terms. It is quite improbable that Himmler would have used such remarks to inform the Reichsleiter and Gauleiter of the genocide supposedly carried out by the SS on his orders.

No doubt the first and third paragraphs of this excerpt concern the evacuation of the Jews from Germany and the occupied Western European countries. This is especially true of the last part of the third paragraph (after the dashes), which, incidentally, contains an echo of the "Wannsee Protocol" in its approach to the problem of mixed marriages and persons of mixed parentage. Since Himmler mentions "remnants" who are "in hiding," he can only be referring here to the evacuation of the Jews from Germany and the occupied European countries. He could not be referring to the subsequent fate of Jews evacuated to the eastern ghettos and concentration camps, for there they would find no place to "hide." The sentence "The Jews must be eradicated" ("Die Juden mfissen ausgerottet werden"), in the first paragraph, is an absurdity, and was probably forged into the text. Inasmuch as nobody in Germany had at that time heard anything about the "eradication of the Jews," Himmler would have had to provide these high-ranking national and regional administrators with some explanation of the term. Otherwise, these men, who were acknowledged leaders of the Party, would have been puzzled by it. In fact, if Himmler had discussed such a thing as killing off the Jews, he would most likely have chosen a word like "elimination" rather than "eradication."

When I asked two former Gauleiter, Karl Wahl and Rudolf Jordan, whether they had ever heard something from Himmler, directly or in directly, about "this type of solution to the Jewish Question" (as I put it to Wahl) or something about the "mass murder of the Jewish people" (as I put it to Jordan), neither of them could recall anything."136 And neither of them could remember specific details of the meeting at Posen on October 6, 1943. Gauleiter Wahl believes it is possible that he missed the conference because of illness. He told me: "In 17 long years" -- that is how long Wahl served as Gauleiter -- "I never heard him say anything that was not humane or moral . . . I cannot conceive of Himmler's being so stupid as to make any such remarks, or, if he did, which I do not believe, to preserve them so that these literary shysters could publish them 30 years later." This last point is remarkably well taken. It casts doubt on the authenticity of Himmler's alleged discourse on the "Jewish Question," especially the final paragraph of it. For how can any rational person believe that Himmler would have had his remarks written down for posterity if he wanted to take the "secret" of the "Final Solution" with him to the grave, and advised his listeners to do the same? The real author of these lines must have believed -- and it seems with good reason -- that the human race is awfully gullible.

Gauleiter Jordan told me that during the war he heard "some executions took place in connection with tactical problems of combating guerrilla warfare," but these had nothing to do with the so-called Final Solution; they were "necessary wartime measures." I brought up this in terpretation when discussing Himmler's address of October 4, 1943 to the SS-Gruppenführer (see p. 63 above), and I think the second paragraph of the excerpt from the speech of October 6, 1943 in disputably confirms it. As I have pointed out, the second paragraph of the excerpt has no discernible relation to the first paragraph. Some of Himmler's later speeches clarify and corroborate the fact that this reference must be to executions carried out against partisans (see p. 72 below).

Even if Wahl and Jordan did not attend the meeting at which Himmler delivered this talk, they no doubt would have heard, in some way or other, of his remarks on the "Jewish problem" had he actually made them. Their statements on this subject are therefore very pertinent. In my estimation, they are satisfactory proof that Himmler did not express the notions attributed to him in the present version of the speech of October 6, 1943. It would be a cheap shot to impugn the veracity of these two contemporary witnesses because of their former rank in the NSDAP -- particularly since Himmler, as I already pointed out, would have had no reason to discuss the "Final Solution" with outsiders like Wahl and Jordan.

Incidentally, parts of this talk are cited in Professor Krausnick's Auschwitz Trial deposition, which purports to be a scholarly production. There it is quoted as follows: *

*This is my translation, not the version that appears in the English-language edition of Anatomie des SS-Staates, where, by the way, the phrase "die Frage der mit nicht jüdischen Teilen verheirateten Juden" is incorrectly translated as "the problem of the non-Jewish partners in mixed marriages." -- T.F.

I cleared out big Jewish ghettos in the area of the lines of communication. . . By the end of the year, the Jewish problem in the lands we have occupied will be solved. There will be left only remnants, individual Jews who are in hiding. The problem of Jews who are partners in mixed marriages and the problem of half-Jews will, in accordance with this policy, be rationally examined, decided upon, and resolved.'139

In Peterson and Smith's collection, the first sentence of this excerpt appears as the second sentence of the fourth paragraph.138 Also, in their version Himmler's remark about the "Jewish problem" being solved by the end of the year does not follow this sentence, as it does in Krausnick's version, but appears at the end of the third paragraph, hence in a different context. I leave it to the reader to consider the possible conclusions one may draw from the transpositions. When each of these two sentences is placed in a different section, Himmler's comments on the "Jewish problem" take on another meaning. At the very least, the appearance of such variations in supposedly legitimate scholarly publications proves that some scholars do not hesitate to rearrange the contents of original sources -- assuming that is what this document is -- as the fancy strikes them. For the time being, we shall forgo discussion of how history-twisters untrained in the methods of scholarship -- and they are in the majority -- deal with these and similar historical sources.

Quite apart from all the misgivings one must have about these speeches because of the manner in which they were transcribed and transmitted, the manipulations disclosed above should make the unbiased observer think twice before regarding any "quotations" from them as absolutely reliable.

Proponents of the extermination thesis usually quote only the speeches mentioned above. Nevertheless, we shall discuss here a few other extracts in Peterson and Smith's collection, since they not only correspond to parts of the two Posen speeches, but also reveal even more clearly than those addresses that Himmler's remarks concerned difficulties in the ghettos and the fight against guerrillas.

In a speech he delivered before a group of naval commanders at Weimar on December 16, 1943, Himmier declared:

Wenn ich irgendwo gezwugen war, in eznem Dorfe gegen Partisanen und gegen jfidische Kommissare vorgehen zu lassen -- ich spreche dies in diesem Kreise aus, als led iglich fur diesen Kreis bestimmt -- so habe ich grundsJtzlich den Befehl gegeben, auch die Weiber und Kinder dieser Partisanen und Kommissare umbrigen zu lassen. Ich wdre em Schwachling und en Verbrecher an unseren Nachkommen, wenn ich die halleiffillten Sohne dieser von uns mm Kamp! von Mensch gegen Untermensch erledigten Untermenschen groll werden lielle. Glauben Sie mir: Dieser Befehl ist nicht so leicht gegeben und wird nicht so einfach durchgeffihrt, wie er konsequent richtiggedocht und in derAula ausgesprochen ist. Aber wir mfissen mm mer mehr erkennen, in welch einem primitiven, ursprfiglichen, natfirlichen Rassenkampf wir uns befinden.

Whenever I was forced to take steps against the partisans and Jewish com missars in some village -- I'll say it for the information of this group only -- I made it a point to give the order to kill the women and children of these partisans and com missars. I would be a weakling and I would be committing a crime against our descendants if I allowed the hate-filled sons of the sub-humans we have liquidated in this struggle of humanity against subhumanity to grow up. Believe me, easy though it may be to talk in the lecture hall about carrying the idea behind this order to its proper, logical conclusion, it was not so easy to give the order and is not so easy to execute it. But we must come more and more to the realization that , we are engaged in a primitive, elemental, organic racial struggle.139

Addressing a group of Army generals at Sonthofen on May 5, 1944, Himmler said, among other things:

Wir sind alle Soldaten, ganz gleich, wekhen Rock wir tragen. Sie mogen mir nachffihlen, wie schwer die Erifillug dieses mir gegebenen soldotischen Befehls war, den ich befo~gt und durchgeffihrt habe aus Gehorsam und aus vollster Uberzeu gug. Wenn wir sagen: "Bei den MJnnern sehen wir dos em, nicht aber bei Kin dern," donn doif ich an dos ennnern, was ich in meinen ersten Ausffihrungen sagte. In dieserAuseinandersetzug mit Asien mfissen wir uns doran gew5hnen, die Spielregeln und die uns lieb gewordenen und uns viel nO,her liegenden Sitten vergan gener europdischen Knege zur Vergessenheit zu verdammen. Wir sind m. E. auch als Deutsche bef allen tie! aus unserer aller Herzen kommenden Gem fits regungen nicht berechtigt, die halle,ffillten RJchergroll werden en lassen, domit donn unsere Kinder und unsere Enkel sick mit denen ausetnandersetzen mussen, wed wir, die VJter oder Grollvater, en schwach und zu feige waren und ihnen das fiberliellen.

We are all soldiers, no matter what uniform we wear. You can sympathise with me about how difficult it was to carry out the military order I was given. I obeyed from a sense of duty and from total conviction. If you say "We can understand about the men, but not the children," then I must remind you of my previous remarks. In this conflict with Asia, we have to get used to the idea that the rules of the game traditional in European wars, likewise the moral usages, of which we are even fonder and to which we are even more attached, must be consigned to oblivion. In my opinion, we, as Germans, do not have a right -- whatever tender sentiments well up from the depths of our hearts -- to allow hate-filled avengers to reach adulthood. Our children and grandchildren would only have to contend with them, because we, the fathers and grandfathers, were too weak and too cowardly to do it ourselves.140

On May 24, 1944, in another speech to the generals at Sonthofen, Himmler declared:

Ich glaube, meme Herren, dali Sie mich so weit kennen, dall ich ken blutrunstiger Mensch bin und ken Mann, der an irgend etwas Hartem, was er tan mull, Freude order Spall hat. Ich habe aber anderersezts so gute Nerven und en so grolles Pflichtbewulltsein -dos dart ich fur mich in Anspruch nehmen -dali ich dann, wenn ich vine Sache als notwendig erkenne, sie kompromillios durchfuhre. Ich habe mich nicht fur berechtigt gehalten -- das bet nifi njmlich die jfidischen Frauen und Kinder -- in den Kindern die Rdchergroll werden zu lassen, die dann unsere Vt,ter [sic!] und unsere Enkel umbnngen. Das hiitte ichfurfeigegehalten. Foiglich wurde die Frage kompromilllos gellist. Zur Zed allerdigs -- es ist eigenartig in diesem Krieg -- fuhren wir zundchst 100000, spater noch eznmal 100000 mdnnliche Juden aus Ugarn in Konzentrationslager em, mit denen wir unterirdische Fabeiken bauen. Von denen aber kommt nicht ezner irgendwie in dos Gesichtsfeld des deutschen Volkes. Eine Uberzeugug aber habe ich, ich wfirde fur die mm Osten des Generalgouvernements aulgebaute Front schwarz sehen, wenn wir doti die Judenfrage nicht gelast batten, wenn also das Ghetto in Lublin noch bestfinde und dos Riesenghetto mit 500000 Menschen in Warschau, dessen Bereinigug, meine Herren, uns mm vongen Jahrffinf Wochen Strallenhampfgekostet hat mit Panzer wagen und mit allen Waffen, wo wir inmitten dieses abgezeiunten Ghettos rund 700 Hauserbunker gestfirmt haben.

I believe, gentlemen, that you know me well enough to realize that I am not a bloodthirsty man nor a man who takes pleasure or finds sport in the harsher things he must do. On the other hand, I have strong nerves and a great sense of duty -- if I do say so myself -- and when I recognize the necessity of something, I will do it unflinchingly. As to the Jewish women and children, I did not believe I had a right to let these children grow up to become avengers who would kill our fathers [sic!] and grandchildren. That, I thought, would be cowardly. Thus the problem was solved without half-measures. At this time -- it is one of those things peculiar to this war -- we are taking 100,000 male Jews from Hungary to the concentration camps to build underground factories., and will later take another 100,000. Not one of them will ever come within the field of vision of the German people. I am convinced that things would look bleak for the front that has been built up to the east of the Government General if we had not resolved the Jewish problem there, if, for example, the ghetto in Lublin, or the massive ghetto in Warsaw, with its 500,000 inhabitants, were still in existence. It cost us five weeks of street-fighting, using tanks and all sorts of weapons, to clean out the Warsaw ghetto last year. In that walled-in ghetto, we had to storm about 700 bunkers.141
Finally, on June 21, 1944, again before a gathering of generals at Sonthofen, he stated:

Es ist gut, doll wir die Hflrte hatten, die Juden in unserem Bereich auszurotten. Fragen Sie nicht,, wie schwerdos war, sondem haben Sie als Soldoten -- ich mochte fast sagen -- Verstdndnis dofur, wie schwer em soleher Befehl durchzufuhren ist. Ziehen Sie aber auch bei k?itischer Prfifug, nur als Soldaten fur Deutschland denkend, den logischen SchI uS, doll es notwendig war. Denn allein der Bombenkrieg ware nicht durchzuhalten, wenn wir das jfidische Volk noch in unseren Stadten gehabt batten. Ich habe auch die Uberzeugug, dali die Front bei Lembeeg mm Generalgouvernement nichtzu halten gewesen wflre, wenn wir die grollen Ghettos in Lemberg, in Krakau, in Lublin und in Warschau noch gehabt batten. Der Zeztpunkt, zu dent wir das letzte grolle Ghetto in Warschau -- ich nenne Ihnen ruhig die ZahI -- mit fiber 500 000 Juden in fun! Wochen Stra&nkampfen ausgeraumt haben mm Sommer 1943, war gerade der letzte Zeitpunkt. Die Ghettos waren, so abgeschlossen sie auch gewesen sein mogen, die Zentralen jeder Partisanen- und jeder Bandenbewegug. Sie waren aullerdem Verg?ftugsherde fur die Moral der Etappe...Ebenso will ich auch eine Frage, die sicherlich gedacht wird, gleich beantworten. Die Frage heiSt: Ja, wissen Sic, doll Sie die erwachsenen Juden umbringen, dos verstehe ich, aber die Frauen und Kinder. . . ? -- Da mull ich Ihnen etwas sagen: Die Kinder werden eines Tages groll werden. Wollen wirso unanstdndig sein, doll wir sagen: nein, nein, dozu sind wir zu schwach, aber unsere Kinder konnen sich mit ihnen mal abgeben. Die sollen dos auch vinmal ausbamp/en. Dann wfirde dieser jiidische Hall heute kleiner und spdter groll gewordener Rdcher sich an unseren Kindern und Enkeln vergresfen, so doll sic noch einmal dos gleiche Problem zu lilsen batten.Wie gesagt, in Warschau haben wir fun! Wochen Heiuserkampf gehabt und 700 Bunker ausgerflumt, Kellerbunher, manchmal zwei flbereinander. Wenn en Hauserblock erledigt war, donn kamen sie p16tzlich hinten wieder hinaus. Der Jude hat intmer Katakomben, Gage, Kanale. Das ist en uraltes System. Er ist en uralter Nomade. -- Es war, wie gesagt, der letzte Zeztpunkt, denn ich glaube nicht, dali die Front mm Generalgouvernement so leicht zu halten gewesen ware.

It's a good thing we had the firmness to eradicate the Jews in our domain. Don't ask how difficult that was. As soldiers, you should appreciate -- if I may put it that way -- the difficulty of carrying out such an order. Also, as soldiers thinking only of what is best for Germany, you must, after critical examination, come to the logical conclusion that it was necessary. For the bombings alone would have been unbearable if we has still had the Jews in our cities. I am likewise conv~ed that the front at Lemberg, in the Government General, could not have been held if we still had the large ghettos in Lemberg, Cracow, Lublin, and Warsaw. The summer of 1943 was the last possible time for clearing out the last big ghetto, the one in War saw, which had -- I might as well give the figure -- over 500,OOOJews, and that took five weeks of house-to-house combat. The ghettos, no matter how sealed off they may have been, were the centers of every kind of partisan and bandit activity. Likewise, they were breeding-grounds for the toxins of demoralization behind the lines ...

I also want to answer a question which I am sure is on your minds. The question is: "Yes, of course, you're killing the adult Jews. I can understand that. But what about the women and children?" -- Well, I have to tell you something. One day those children will have grown up. How could we be so contemptibly dishonorable as to say: No, no! We're too weak for this. Our children can take care of them. Let them fight it out, too! When the little Jews of today are all grown up, they'll vent their Jewish hatred on our children and grandchildren, who will have the same problem to solve as we did...

As I said, we had five weeks of house to house fighting in Warsaw, and we cleaned out 700 bunkers -- cellar fortifications -- sometimes one on top of the other. When we got finished with one block, they suddenly came at us from behind. The Jew always has his catacombs, passages, tunnels. It is an ancient system. He's been a nomad from time immemorial. -- As I said, this was the last possible time for this, and I don't believe that otherwise we could so easily have held the front in the Government General.142

Even these excerpts -- Peterson and Smith do not give the whole texts of the speeches -- must be regarded with skepticism, for they were taken from documents that are manifestly unreliable. In contrast to the Posen speeches, however, they show rather clearly that Himmler refers to the execution of Jews only in connection with the fight against partisans and other bandits operating behind the German lines on the eastern front. When some general comment on the "solution of the Jewish problem" or the "eradication of the Jews" appears, one may be sure that it is either the result of manipulation of the text or an outright forgery. It is simply inconceivable that Himmler would have given these high-ranking troop leaders a lecture on "genocide."

The indiscriminate actions against women and children during anti partisan operations were undeniably inhumane and virtually indefensible in terms of international law. Because those actions could hardly be concealed, Himmler had every reason to justify them to these leaders of the Army. As every veteran of the Eastern Front knows, women and even children often took part in guerrilla warfare. If the Germans sometimes made indiscriminate reprisals, they did so to assure the safety of their fighting men and to protect their lines of communication. But these reprisals were nothing in comparison with the carpet bombing of residential areas in German cities, which Churchill ordered for the purpose of indiscriminately killing German civilians -- German women and children. For that slaughter there can be no justification whatever.143

But the essential point about these speeches of Himmler's, so far as our inquiry is concerned, is that none of them contain any reference to "mass gassings" in "extermination camps." In none of his extant speeches does Himmler mention Auschwitz in this regard. Indeed, the second Sonthofen address suggests an alternative explanation of the fate of the Hungarian Jews who, in the spring and summer of 1944, were transported to Auschwitz and -- so the story goes -- "gassed": They were brought there as a labor force for the construction of underground factories.144

From Himmler's remarks one can deduce that the Einsatzgruppen did deal harshly with the Jews in guerrilla-infested areas, proceeding mercilessly even against women and children. But it is also a fact that the Jewish population nearly always made common cause with the guerrillas. The operations of the Einsatzgruppen were a reaction to the insidious and illegal methods of warfare employed by a dastardly and vicious foe, and they can hardly be classified as "genocide." One recalls that Himmler himself, in a memorandum he sent to Hitler early in the war, called the idea of physically exterminating a people "un-Germanic and impossible" (see p. 30 above).

Hans Frank

We have fought against Jewry for years; and we have indulged in the most horri ble utterances -- my own diary bears witness against me ... A thousand years will pass and still this guilt of Germany will not have been erased.

These words, which seem to confirm the allegations about the "extermination of the Jews," were spoken by one of the best known figures of the Third Reich, Hans Frank. Legal advisor to the NSDAP since the middle 1920's, Frank held several high offices after the Party assumed power in 1933, among them, the Presidency of the Academy of German Law. In October 1939, Hitler appointed him Governor General of Poland. He made the above statement under cross-examination at the Nuremberg IMT trial. Ever since then, his testimony, quoted verbatim or paraphrased, has been used to support the charge that genocide was committed against the Jews in the Third Reich.145 At the Nuremberg IMT trial, the fact that the alleged extermination camps -- including Auschwitz, of course -- were located in Poland was used to saddle Frank with part of the responsibility for them. Actually, Frank had little opportunity to exert influence on the camps, since they were under the direct control of the SS. Studiously ignoring this fact, the proponents of the extermination thesis set great store by Frank's histrionic "confession of guilt": After all, if anybody "knew what was going on," wouldn't it be the Governor General?Nevertheless, as his interrogation before the Nuremberg Tribunal on April 18, 1946 shows, Frank knew nothing concrete about the "extermination of the Jews." Only once had he seen the inside of a concentration camp, Dachau, located in the German Reich proper. Of the "extermination camps" in the territory he administered he knew nothing beyond their names, if even that. In particular, he knew nothing about any "gassings. That alone detracts considerably from the significance usually attributed to this "confession." More important is the fact that this statement is almost always quoted only in part, and thus takes on a quite different meaning. Frank made this statement when Dr. Seidl, his defense counsel, asked him whether he had ever participated in the "annihilation of Jews." His full reply was:

Ich sage ja; und zwar sage ich deshalbja, weil ich unter dent Eindruck dieserffinf Monate der Verhandlung und vor allem unter dent Eindruck der Aussage des Zeugen Hall es mit meinem Gewissen nicht vereinbaren konnte, die Verantwortung dafur allein auf diese kleznen Menschen abzuwalzen. Ich habe niemals em Judenvernichtugslager eingerichtet oder ihr Bestehen gefordert; aber wenn Adolf Hitler persanlich diese furchtbare Verantwortung auf sen Volk gewalzt hat, dann tnffl sie auch mich; denn wir haben den Kamp! gegen das Judentum jahrelang gefuhrt, und wir haben uns in Aullerungen ergangen -- und mein Tagebuch ist mir selbst als Zeuge gegenfibergetreten -- die furchtbar sind. Und ich habe daher die Pflicht, Ihre Frage in diesem Sinne und in diesem Zusammenhang mitla zu beant worten. Tausend Jahre werden vergehen und diese Schuld von Deutschland nicht wegnehmen.

I say "yes"; and the reason why I say "yes" is because, having lived through the 5 months of this trial, and particularly after having heard the testimony of the witness Höß, my conscience does not allow me to throw the responsibility solely on the minor people. I myself have never installed an extermination camp for Jews, or demanded that such camps be instituted; but if Adolf Hitler personally had laid that dreadful responsibility on his people, then it is mine too, for we have fought against Jewry for years; and we have indulged in the most horrible "utterances" -- my own diary bears witness against me. Therefore, it is no more than my duty to answer your question in this connection with "yes." A thousand years will pass and still this guilt of Germany will not have been erased.147
At the root of Frank's "confession" is a single hypothesis: If Hitler's personal responsibility for a terrible crime somehow devolved on the German people, then Frank, too, would share the blame. Frank was, as he admitted, influenced by the five months of court sessions, above all, by the testimony of Rudolf Höß. That says it all. As numerous in vestigators have confirmed, psychological tricks, sham evidence, and perjured testimony were all used at Nuremberg to "demonstrate" the "facts of the case" to the accused. By such means, most of the defendants probably were convinced that "mass gassings" did occur, though each of them emphatically and sincerely denied knowing anything about the matter.148
Thus Frank's "confession" proves nothing whatever. In fact, when he heard about the mass expulsion of Germans by the Russians, Poles, and Czechs, he revised his statement about a "thousand years of guilt."149 It may be that he was only trying to curry favor with the judges by an ostentatious display of contrition, as the diary of the prison psychologist Gilbert suggests, and eventually saw the futility of that maneuver.

Not only Frank's bogus "confession," but also his diary -- that "witness" against him -- is frequently conjured up in the literature on our topic. As source material this "diary" is highly dubious, and it has no more to say about the "Auschwitz death factory" than do any of the other documents we have examined thus far.

If Frank's "diary" is treated here and not in the following section, it is because the thing is really not a diary in the usual sense -- that is, a daily record of one's personal doings and observations. According to a statement his defense counsel made at the Nuremberg IMT trial, on July 11, 1946, which went uncontroverted, Frank did not write down a single line of it himself.150 This thirty-eight volume document of more than 10,000 pages is simply a record Frank's secretaries and stenographers kept of his conferences, receptions, and other official functions. It is also a record -- often merely in paraphrase -- of his talks and speeches, and this, of course, is the part which the exterminationists are so fond of quoting. Whether Frank himself ever read this "diary," let alone checked the accuracy of the transcription, is doubtful. When he affirmed its "authenticity" at the Nuremberg trial, he was simply acknowledging that these thirty-eight volumes are a kind of official documentation of his years as Governor General. Only part of this material was presented in evidence at the Nuremberg trial (Nuremberg Document 2233-PS.151 After the trial, all the volumes were handed over to the Polish authorities. Today they are reportedly in the files of the Ministry of Justice in Warsaw. They were "evaluated" in Poland, and in 1963 a detailed and lengthy study by Stanislaw Piotrowski appeared. That same year, Piotrowski also brought out an abridged German translation of his volume, under the title Hans Franks Tagebuch.

Let us dispense with such details and turn directly to those passages in this document which are usually adduced as "proof of the "extermination of the Jews." Considering the size of this "diary," there are not many of them. For the most part, they are so vague and insubstantial that they carry little weight as evidence, particularly since -- as I have noted -- it is impossible to establish with any certainty the extent to which the "diary" is an accurate record of Frank's statements.

Contrary to what one might expect, the most copious selection of Frank's alleged statements on the "murder of the Jews" is not to be found in Piotrowski's volume, but in Poliakov and Wulf's collection of "documents" Das Dritte Reich und die Juden [The Third Reich and the Jews]. In many of the statements quoted there, Frank is merely advocating the relentless conscription of Jewish labor -- a demand which, given the fact that the German people had been forced into a "Total War," can hardly be called unjust or even inhumane. We need not go into these statements, since they are not particularly relevant to our topic.

Frank's remarks at a governmental conference in Cracow on December 16, 1941 are customarily regarded as important and revealing. Hence they deserve to be quoted here at some length:

Mit den Juden -- dos will ich Ihnen auch ganz offen sagen -- mull so oder so SchIull gemacht werden... Ich weill, es wird an vielen Malinahmen, die jetzt mm Reich gegenuber den Juden getroffen werd en, Kritik gefibt. Bewullt wird -- dasgeht aus den Stimmugsberichten hervor -- immer wieder versucht, von Grausamkeit, von Harte usw. zu sprechen. Ich mochte Sie bitten, einigen Sie sich mit mir zundchst, bevor ich wetterspreche, auf die Formel: Mitleid wollen wir grundsatzlich nur mit dent deutschen Volk haben, sonst mit niemandem auf der Welt. Ich mull auch als alter Nationalsozialist sagen: wenn die Judensippschaft in Europa den Krieg fiberleben wfirde, wir aber unser bestes Blut fur die Erhaitug Europas geoptert batten, donn wfirde dieser Krieg doch nur einen Teilerfolg dorstellen. Ich werde daher den Juden gegen fiber grundsatzlich nur von der Erwartug ausgehen, doll sie verschwinden. Sie mfissen weg. Ich babe Verhandlungen zu dent Zweck angeknfipft, sie nach Osten abzuschieben. It Januar findet fiber die Frage vine groRe Besprechung in Berlin statt, zu der ich Herrn Staatssekre~r Dr. Efihler entsenden werde. Diese Besprechug soIl it Reichssicherheitshauptamt by SS-ObergruppenfuhrerHeydrich gehalten werden. Jedenfalls wird vine grolle ~dische Wanderug einsetzen.

Aber was soil mit den Juden geschehen? Glauben Sie, man wird sie it Ostland in Siedlungsda,fern unterbnngen? Man hat uns in Berlin gesagt: Weshaib macht man die Scherervien. Wir konnen mm Ostland oder it Reichskommissariat auch nichts mit ihnen anfagen, liquidiert sie selber! Meine Herren, ich mull Sie bitten, sich gegen alle Mitleidserwagungen zu wappnen. Wir mfissen die Juden vernichten, wo immer wir sie treffen und wo es irgend m6glich ist, um das Gesamtgefuge des Reiches hier aufrechtzuerhalten. Jedenfalls mfissen wir aber einen Wegfinden, der zum Ziel ffihrt und ich mache mir darfiber meine Gedonken. Die Juden sind auch fur uns aullergewiihnlich schadliche Fresser. Wir haben it Generalgouvernement scbatzungsweise 2,5, vielleicht mit den jfidisch Versz~bpten und dent, was alles daran bangt, jetzt 3,5 Millionen Juden. Diese 3,5 Millionen Juden konnen wir nicht erschiellen, wir konnen sie nwht vergzften, werden aber doch Eingnffe vornehmen k/innen, die irgendwie zum Vernichtugserfolg fuhren, und zwar in Zusam menhang mit den vom Reich her zu besprechenden grollen Mallnahmen. Das Generalgouvernement mull genau so judenfrei werden, wie es das Reich ist.

As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you quite frankly, that they must be done away with in one way or another. . . I know that many of the measures carried out against the Jews in the Reich, at present, are being criticized. It is being tried intentionally, as is obvious from the reports on the morale, to talk about cruelty, harshness, etc. Before I continue, I want to beg you to agree with me on the following formula: We will principally have pity on the German people only, and nobody else in the whole world . . . As an old National Socialist, I must say: This war would be only a partial success, if the whole lot of Jewry should survive it, while we would have shed our best blood in order to save Europe. My attitude towards the Jews will, therefore, be based only on the expectation that they must disappear. They must be done away with. I have entered negotiations to have them deported to the East. A great discussion concerning that question will take place in Berlin in January, to which lam going to delegate the State-Secretary Dr. Buehler. That discussion is to take place in the Reich Security Main Office with SS-Lt. General Heydrich. A Jewish migration will begin, in any case.

But what should be done with the Jews? Do you think they will be settled down in the "Ostland," in villages[Siedlungsdörfern]?This is what we were told in Berlin: We can do nothing with them either in the "Ostland" nor in the "Reichskom missariat." So, liquidate them yourself.

Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourself of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the Jews, wherever we find them and wherever it is possible, in order to maintain the structure of the Reich as a whole . ... We must find, at any rate, a way which leads to the goal, and my thoughts are working in that direction.

Also, the Jews are extraordinary malignant gluttons. We have now approx imately 2,500,000 of them in the Government General, perhaps, with the Jewish mixtures and everything that goes with it, 3,500,000. We cannot shoot or poison those 3,500,000 Jews, but we shall nevertheless be able to take measures, which will lead somehow, to their annihilation, and this in connection with the gigantic measures to be determined in discussions from the Reich. The general goverm ment must become free of Jews, the same as the Reich.152

These remarks do not contain a shred of evidence as to how the alleged murder plan was carried out -- least of all at Auschwitz -- and make it clear that no steps had yet been taken to "exterminate the Jews." All that can really be concluded from them is that Frank thought such measures were a possibility, obviously approved of it, and, more importantly, had no idea how such a large number of Jews could be annihilated. He seems to have expected forthcoming discussions in Berlin to come up with a solution to the problem. Presumably, he is referring to the Wannsee Conference, but, as we have seen, its solution to the "Jewish Question" was limited to deporting the Jews from Europe to the eastern territories, and putting them to work there.

These are the facts of the matter. While Frank's speech does not place his character in a good light, neither does it tell us anything about the alleged murder of the Jews, unless one chooses to believe that this swaggering upstart had some homicidal plan of his own. But one must remember that Frank, though he may have imagined himself a king in occupied Poland, had no real decision-making powers, as Krausnick noted in his Auschwitz Trial deposition.153 The level-headed observer will see Frank's harangue as dramatic bluster with which he hoped to give himself the air of a staunch fighter in the struggle against world Jewry. He is the only "insider" who has indicated that a plan for the physical annihilation of the Jews existed at this time.

A detailed analysis Christoph Klessmann published in the Viertel jahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte in 1971 confirms that Frank was a braggart who loved to pose as a big shot and tough guy. As Klessmann aptly remarks: "Often he was carried away by his own ecstatic verbiage, and the content of his speeches, already weak, was drowned in a stream of pompous grandiloquence that even his contemporaries must have found ridiculous."Klessmann describes the former Governor General -- quite correctly -- as lacking a sense of reality: "His words did not always match his deeds. This is true not only of his cynical and hybrid invective, but also of his definite promises and plans."

Taking this into account, one can hardly attribute great significance to the rhetoric of Frank's "diary." Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness, we shall quote a few of the more important passages in it. They are taken from Poliakov and Wulfs collection Das Dritte Reich und die Juden.On December 20, 1941, Frank, addressing a Security Police banquet, said, among other things:

Kameraden der Polizei! Als ihr von der Heimat Abschied nahmt, do mag manche besorgte Mutter, manche besorgte Gattin zu euch gesagt haben: Was, zu den Polen gehst du, wo es lauter Lduse und so viele Juden gibt? Man kann natfirlich in vinem Jahr nicht samtliche Lause und Juden hinaustreiben, dos wird mm Laufe der Zeit geschehen mfissen.

Comrades of the police! When you took leave of your homeland, many a worried mother, many a worried spouse must have told you: "What, you're going to Poland, where they have all those lice and all those Jews?" Of course, one cannot expel all the Jews and lice in one year. That will only happen in the course of time. (Das Dritte Reich, p. 180).

That same year, he made similar remarks at the Christmas party of the 1st Cracow Guard Battalion (645th Infantry Regiment)154 On January 25, 1943, at a police conference in Warsaw, Frank referred to himself as "War Criminal Number One":

Wir wollen uns doran erinnern, doll wir alle miteinander, die hier versammelt sind, in der Kriegsverbrecherliste des Herrn Roosevelt figurieren. Ich habe die Ehre, Nummer 1 zu sent. Wir sind also sozusagen Komplizen im welthistorischen Sinne geword en.

We must remember that we, who are gathered together here, figure on Mr. Roosevelt's list of war criminals. I have the honor of being Number One. We have, so to speak, become accomplices in the world historical sense. (Das Dritte Reich, p. 185).

Reading these lines today, one is inclined to suspect their authenticity, so strangely do they resemble the stuff dished out at the Nuremberg IMT trial. It is unlikely that any German leader of the time would have thought to describe himself so. At any rate, this statement is far too vague even to masquerade as evidence for the extermination thesis.Frank's penchant for swaggering and boasting shows itself again in the following passage of an address he delivered to members of the NSDAP Speakers Bureau on August 2, 1943:

Die NSDAP wird den Juden bestimmt fiberleben. Hier haben wir mit 3-1/2 Millionen Juden begonnen, von ihnen sind nur noch wenige Arbeitskompanien vorhanden, alles ist -- sagen wir einmal -- ausgewandert.

The NSDAP will definitely survive the Jews. We started here with 3-1/2 million Jews, and only a few labor battalions are left. All the rest have, let us say, emigrated. (Das Dritte Reich, p. 185)

.
The fact is that there were hardly 3-1/2 million Jews in all the territory controlled by the Third Reich, much less in the Government General. While Frank stated in 1943 that only a few "labor battalions" of Jews existed, at a press conference held on January 25, 1944 he said: "At this time, perhaps 100,000 Jews are left in the Government General."

Now, "100,000 Jews" are certainly more than a few "labor battalions." Nothing could show more clearly than this how seriously his remarks -- assuming these are his remarks -- deserve to be taken.

Finally, let us consider a statement that Frank, according to his "diary," made at an NSDAP Speakers Bureau workshop at Cracow on March 4, 1944, which is seldom omitted in any account of the persecution of the Jews in the Third Reich:

Wenn heute do und dort em Wehleidiger mit Tranen in den Augen den Juden nachtrauert und sagt: 1st dos nicht grauenhaft, was mit den Juden gemacht worden ist, donn mull man den Betreffenden fragen, ob er heute noch derselben Meinung ist. Wenn wir heute diese 2 MillionenJuden in vollerAktivitat, und auf der anderen Seite die wenigen deutschen Manner mm Lande batten, wflrden wir nicht mehr Herr derLage sein. Die Juden sind eine Rasse, die ausgetilgt werden mull; wo immer wir nur einen erwischen, geht es mit ihm zu Ende.

Whenever you hear somebody whimpering about the fate of the Jews today -- "Isn't it terrible what was done to the Jews?" -- you ought to ask that person how he can still hold this opinion. If these two million Jews were fully active today, with just a few German men in the country, the situation would be out of control. The Jews are a race that must be wiped out. Whenever we catch one, he's finished (Das Dritte Reich, p. 185)

.
All this statement really shows -- besides the fact that he is always quoting different figures -- is Frank's habitual boasting and posturing. The millions of Jews who survived the Third Reich are a living refutation of this claim of his. In his book Im Angesicht des Galgens [Facing the Gallows], which he wrote in his Nuremberg prison cell, Frank lamented:

Man hat auch nie. . . untersucht, ob em wirklicher Kausalzusammenhang zwischen diesen gegen mich verwendeten Zitaten und dent wirklichen Geschehen bestand. Ich behaupte und erklare, doll ich nie in meinem Leben einen Mord begangen habe, doll die Totungen aller Art in unmittelbarer. . . Befehlsbezogenheit Hitlers und Himmlers zu ihren Krfigers-Globocniksgeschehen sind. Das ist einfach die Wahrheit.

Nor did one ever. . . investigate whether a causal relation actually existed be tween the quotations used against me and the real events. I declare and maintain that never in my life have I committed a murder; all killings of any kind were the direct . . . result of Hitler's and Himmler's orders to their Krügers and Globocniks. That is the simple truth.155

When one is "facing the gallows," lying does not come so easily. No doubt this statement reflects Frank's mental depression, his despair over the failure of his defense strategy, from which he expected so much in the beginning. At any rate, after his examination in the witness stand, he told the prison psychologist Gilbert:

I kept my promise, didn't I? I said that, in contrast to the other people around the Führer who seemed to know nothing, I did know what was going on. I think the judges are really impressed when one of us speaks from his heart and doesn't try to dodge the responsibility. Don't you think so? I was really gratified at the way they were impressed by my sincerity.156

Reading these lines, one would assume that Frank was thoroughly in formed about the "extermination of the Jews" at Auschwitz, or some other place. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Frank was, in his own words, "influenced by these five months of proceedings and, above all.. . by the testimony of the witness Höß." Under examination he declared that he had read "a lot of things in the enemy and neutral press." One can only shake one's head woefully -- as Göring did -- at Frank's naive credulity.

The only bit of truth in the last sentence of this quotation from Im Angesicht des Galgens, which Frank wrote after the failure of his defense strategy of feigned "sincerity," is his affirmation of complete innocence. Though Frank seems to have believed that "all kinds of killings" took place, he still did not furnish any evidence that a "plan to exterminate the Jews" existed. It is quite obvious that his notions about this were formed by the nerve-racking Nuremberg show trial.

Alfred Rosenberg

This pretty much exhausts the stock of quotations from leaders of the Third Reich that are used to support the extermination thesis. Only the "Grand Inquisitor by the Grace of the Enemy," the Frankfurt attorney and erstwhile Prussian senior civil servant, Robert Max Wassili Kempner, attaches considerable importance to Alfred Rosenberg, the former Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, as a source of information on the "murder of the Jews." Kempner cites a "previously unpublished transcript, signed by Rosenberg" of a talk the Reich Minister gave members of the press, on November 18, 1941, which "nobody was allowed to write down." According to this document, Rosenberg said of the task awaiting him in the occupied territories:

Im Osten leben etwa 6 Millionen Juden, und diese Frage hann nurgel6st werden in emner biologischen Ausmereung des gesamten Judentums in Europa. Die Juden frage ist fur Deutschland erst gelost, wenn kein Jude mehr bis zum Ural auf dent europaischen Kontinent steht... Wir haben deshalb vorzubeugen, doll nicht em romantisches Geschlecht in Europa die Juden wieder aufnimmt. Und dozu ist es nAtig, sie fiber den Ural zu drangen, oder sonst irgendwie zur Ausmerzung zu bnngen.

In the East there are about six million Jews, and this problem can be solved only by the biological elimination of all Jewry in Europe. The Jewish problem will be solved for Germany only when the last Jew has left German territory, and for Europe when no Jew remains on the European continent, up to the Urals . . . We must, therefore make certain that never again will a generation of sentimental Europeans take in the Jews. And for this it is necessary to push them beyond the Urals, or otherwise eliminate them."'

It is astonishing how ingenious people like Kempner can be when it comes to producing "evidence" for the extermination thesis. But in their zeal they more often than not come up with things that lack even a semblance of plausibility. What is the point of holding a press conference at which reporters are not permitted to write down a word? Any unbiased reader with a grain of common sense must ask himself whether this "press conference" was actually held. It goes without saying that Kempner does not reveal where he "discovered" his "source document."

In all probability, it is just another forgery. For one thing, the "magic number" of 6,000,000 Jews makes an appearance in the very first line. That figure has been at the core of the extermination legend ever since the Nuremberg trials. According to the legend, 6,000,000 Jews were murdered in German-occupied territories; ergo 6,000,000 Jews must have lived there in the first place. However, at the time of Rosenberg's alleged statement that could hardly have been the case.158 For another thing, the first sentence is so illogical that no one could reasonably attribute it to a man like Rosenberg. The matter of the Jews living in the East and the solution of the whole European "Jewish problem" are two separate things; they do not belong in the same sentence. This non sequitur is particularly evident in the next sentence, where Rosenberg abruptly launches into a discussion of the "Jewish problem" in Germany, for in Germany the "Jewish problem" had already been as good as solved through emigration.159 In short, these statements are not only illogical, but also bespeak an ignorance of the whole subject.

Let us put aside for now these pertinent considerations and assume that this "document" really is genuine. It contains a reference to "biological elimination" ("biologische Ausmerzung"), which in ordinary usage has roughly the same import as "killing." From the last sentence, however, it is evident that Rosenberg is not suggesting the physical destruction of the Jews, but their expulsion to someplace beyond the Urals, well outside the European Lebensraum. To be sure, the use of "elimination" for "expulsion" is linguistically peculiar, but Rosenberg's alleged remark cannot be interpreted any other way. I suppose one might attribute this odd choice of words to the fact that Rosenberg was a Balt, and so may not always have been sure about proper German usage! But considering that the "document" was presented by Kempner -- not exactly a trustworthy source of information -- isn't it a bit more likely that we are dealing with deliberate manipulation of the text? (See p. 66 above.) It may very well be that Rosenberg did not even use the word "Ausmerzung -- assuming, of course, that he made any of these remarks to press people. Only an examination of the original could establish the truth. Yet, like those of nearly all the other important documents on the "extermination of the Jews," it is not available for inspection.

In this section it has been established that the public statements of Third Reich leaders do not give any indication that "gas chambers" existed at Auschwitz-Birkenau. They are not satisfactory evidence that there was a plan to exterminate all Jews in German-controlled territory, nor do any measures taken against the Jews point to the existence of such a plan. Only some of Himmler's utterances, in the form they have come down to us, indicate that numerous Jews -- among them women and children -- were liquidated in the occupied Eastern territories, without benefit of trial or the equivalent. Those executions occurred, however, during a guerrilla war in which, as is well known, women and children took part, and in which several hundred thousand German soldiers were insidiously murdered.160

Finally, we must note the significant fact that none of the public utterances of Göring and Goebbels, who were perhaps the men closest to Hitler, could be used in this connection.161

Contemporaneous Manuscripts and Private Papers

Journals and Letters


Handwritten memoranda from contemporary witnesses to the war years that have any real bearing on the "slaughter of the Jews" are rarer than is commonly supposed. In the literature on our subject, journals and letters are quoted very sparingly. Their authenticity can seldom be verified. Usually, the originals are said to repose in some inaccessible archive, when their location is divulged at all. In 1964, that enterprising hack Hermann Langbein, a former Communist and Auschwitz internee, put together a collection of what he considered important passages from such contemporaneous documents. Entitled ... wir haben es getan ... [we did it], his little book is "dedicated to skeptics" (this is the heading of the first section) and designed to quell their persistent skepticism about the extermination thesis. The first 16 of a total of 136 pages are a verbose attempt to convince the reader that any suspicions he may have about these "self-incriminating documents" from "accomplices to the Nazi murder actions" are completely mistaken. Since it is unlikely that Langbein left any stone unturned in his search for such material, his compilation is a good starting-point for our investigation. Let us inspect and evaluate the "evidence" he presents.

In the previous section, we dealt exhaustively with the various passages Langbein quotes from the "diary" of Hans Frank, so they require no further comment here. Likewise, the passages he quotes from the diary of Otto Bräutigam, an expert in the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, are not especially relevant to our topic since -- apart from a brief reference to pogroms the Lithuanian Auxiliary Police allegedly conducted with the tacit approval of the German occupation authorities -- all they are really concerned with is the employment of Jewish conscript labor in the east for the German war effort. They do not offer the slightest indication that the Germans were systematically murdering Jews en masse or contain any mention whatever of Auschwitz or other "extermination camps."

Langbein devotes more space to the diary of SS-Hauptscharführer Felix Landau and to an exchange of correspondence between a police officer named Jacob and a Generalleutnant Querner. Having once been neighbors, Jacob and Querner were well-acquainted with each other, which circumstance may explain the unusual character of their correspondence. Both were stationed in guerrilla-infested areas in the East, and that, too, is something one must bear in mind when reading their letters. Although they mention the liquidation of Jews, it presumably occurred in the context of the anti-guerrilla struggle, hence had nothing to do with systematic, racially-motivated "genocide." They never talk about "extermination camps," least of all Auschwitz. In commenting on the excerpts from Landau's diary, Langbein tries to give the impression that Landau was involved in the outright murder of Jews. However, Landau's notes were written between July 3 and August 2, 1941 -- that is to say, before the Wannsee Conference, which is usually considered the starting-point for the organized "extermination of the Jews." From Jacob's letters it is obvious that the policeman was trying to impress his high-ranking acquaintance. Thus one cannot exclude the possibility that they are full. of exaggerations. Neither the Jacob-Querner correspondence nor the Landau diary gives any indication that an officially sponsored campaign of genocide against the Jews was underway in German-occupied territories (... wir haben es getan,pp. 54-73).

No more relevant to our inquiry are excerpts from letters a young physician named Fritz Mennecke wrote to his wife, Eva, between October 20, 1940 and April 7, 1943. With this correspondence, Langbein wishes to show the "genesis of the eradication of the Jews," according to his definition of the term. In his commentary, he hints that Dr. Mennecke's activities were connected with a euthanasia program, which supposedly was later extended to include Jews and other concentration camp inmates, as murder pure and simple. He even refers specifically to "selections" for death by gassing, though the letters in which Dr. Mennecke tells his wife about line-up examinations in hospital wards and concentration camps do not reveal their purpose. Likewise, the broadly worded "confession" Dr. Mennecke made while in detention pending trial contains nothing that is particularly relevant from the standpoint of penal law. Like so many other "confessions" made back then, Dr. Mennecke's was an understandable manifestation of detention psychosis.162 The excerpts from his letters also do not support anything Langbein would have us believe. "Skeptics" will remain unconvinced.

Langbein's collection is not the only book on the persecution of the Jews in which excerpts from the diary allegedly kept by Dr. Goebbels play an important role. What Langbein quotes from this "diary" is vague and contradictory. By dispersing these extracts throughout his little book, he can ignore the context in which they originally appeared. In one passage, he suggests that Dr. Goebbels was perfectly aware of the fate awaiting Jews deported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps. This is a good example of his habit of glossing over disputable points with his own commentary, a practice frequently encountered in the post-war "re-education" literature. Langbein's commentary differs from the usual "re-education" stuff in that he denies the alleged mass gassings at Auschwitz were so secret that no one but Hitler, Himmler, Eichmann, Höß, and a little group of executioners knew about them. One wonders how Dr. Goebbels, who very seldom left Berlin during the war and who hardly knew the names of the concentration camps, could have obtained reliable information about occurrences in those camps.

Langbein definitely knew what he was doing when he scattered fragments of the Goebbels diary á propos the treatment of the Jews all over his little book and regularly glossed over them with commentary. A coherent presentation would hardly have served his purpose of "convinc ing skeptics." Therefore it may not be amiss to quote here a few of the diary passages in question from a relatively objective work, Heinrich Fraenkel and Roger Manvell's biography of Dr. Goebbels, which presents them in the sequence in which they were written.* Nothing could better show how little Dr. Goebbels knew about the treatment of the Jews. Whether Dr. Goebbels actually wrote these passages is, of course, debatable.

*Dr. Stäglich cites the German edition of this work (Goebbels: Eine Biographie, Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne-Berlin, 1960), which differs in a number of respects from the English-language original. For one thing, not all of the quotations cited there appear in the English version (I have taken the English text of these quotations from Louis P. Lochner's edition of the Goebbels diaries). For another thing, the account of the discovery of the Goebbels diaries is augmented in the German version of Fraenkel and Manvell's book. I thought it better to translate that longer and more specific account than simply to quote the corresponding passage in the English text. -- T.F.

Fraenkel and Manvell introduce these quotations with the following statement:

That Goebbels was not only informed about every detail of the murder of millions of Jews, but also welcomed the establishment of extermination camps and even directly called for it, is proved by his diary.

The reader must decide for himself whether that is true. Here are the quotations:

14 Februar 1942: Der Fflhrer gibt nochmal seiner Meinung Ausdruck, doll er entschlossen ist, riicksichtlos mit den Juden in Europa aufzuraumen. Hierdor! man keinerlem sentimentale Anwandlungen haben. Die Juden haben die Katastrophe, die sie heute erleben, verdient. Sie werden mit der Vernichtung unserer Feinde auch ihre eigene Vernichtung erleben. . . Diese klare judenfeindliche Haltung mull auch mm eigenen Volke allen widerspenstigen Kreisen gegen fiber durchgesetzt werden.

February 14, 1942: The Führer once more expressed his determination to clean up the Jews in Europe pitilessly. There must be no squeamish sentimentalism about it. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them. Their destruction will go hand in hand with the destruction of our enemies .. . This uncompromising anti-Semitic attitude must prevail among our own people despite all objectors.

Obviously, here the expression "destruction" ("Vernichtung") does not mean the physical destruction of individuals. And the phrase "destruction of our enemies" refers, of course, only to the victorious outcome of the war, not to the killing of all the wartime opponents of Germany.

7 Miirz 1942: Die Judenfrage mull jetzt mm gesamteuropdischen Raum gel jist werden. Esgibt in Europa noch fiber 11 MillionenJuden. Sie mflssen spfltereinmal zuerst mm Osten konzentnert werden. Eventuell kann man ihnen nach dent Kriege elne Insel, etwa Madogaskar, zuweisen. Jedenfalls wird es keine Ruhe in Europa geben, wenn nicht die Juden restlos mm europaischen Gebiet ausgeschaltet werden

March 7, 1942: The Jewish question must be solved within a pan-European frame. There are 11,000,O00Jews still in Europe. To begin with, they will have to be concentrated in the East; possibly an island, such as Madagascar, can be assigned to them after the war. In any case there can be no peace in Europe until every Jew has been eliminated from the continent.

This entry sheds light on that of February 14. It shows that even after the Wannsee Conference the Madagascar Plan was still under discussion.

20 Mare 1942:. . . Wir sprechen zum SchIull noch fiber die Judenfrage. Hier bleibt der Fflhrer nach wie vor unerbittlich. Die Juden mussen aus Europa heraus, wenn notig, unter Anwendug der brutalsten Mittel.

March 20, 1942: . . . Finally we talked about the Jewish question. Here theFfihrer is as uncompromising as ever. The Jews must leave Europe, if necessarythrough application of the most brutal methods.

27 Meire 1942: . . . Aus dent Generalgouvemement werden jetzt, by Lublin beginnend, die Juden nach dent Osten abgeschoben. Es wird hier vim ziemlich bar ba~isches und nicht naher zu beschreibendes Verfahren agewandt, und von den Juden selbst bleibt nicht mehr viel fibtig. Im grollen und ganzen kann man wohl feststellen, doS 60 Prozent dovon liquidiert werden mfissen, wJhrend nur 40 Pro zent in die Arbed eingesetet werden kdnnen. Der ehemalige Gauleiter von Wien, der diese Aktion durchfuhrt, tat dos mit ziemlicher Umsicht und auch mit vinem Ver fahren, dos nicht allzu auffelllig wirkt. An den Juden wird em Strafgericht vollzogen, dos zwar barbarisch ist, dos sie aber vollauf verdient haben. Die Prophezejug, die der Fflhrer ihnen fur die Herbeffihrug vines neuen Weltkneges mit auf den Weg gegeben hat, begznnt sich infurchbarster Weise zu verwirklichen. Man do,f in diesen Digen kvine Sentimentalitjt obwalten lassen. Die Juden wfirden, wenn wir uns ihrer nicht erwehren wflrden, uns vernichten. Es ist vim KampfaufLeben und Tod zwischen der anschen Rasse und dent jfidischen Ba~llus... Gott sei Dank haben wir jetzt wahrend des Krieges eine ganze Rvihe Moglichkviten, die uns im Frieden verwehrt wdren. Die mfissen wir ausnfi~en...

March 27, 1942: . . . Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the Government General are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only about 40 percent can be used for forced labor. The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract too much attention. A judgement is being visited upon the Jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophecy which the Führer made about them for having brought on a new world war is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us. It's a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus . . . Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this...

The entry of March 27 is in such glaring contrast to the others that some doubt arises as to its authenticity. Even so, it also does not indicate that Dr. Goebbels was aware of any details of the alleged liquidation of 60% of the Jews in the Government General. Perhaps this figure is derived from some rumor that rigors of evacuation and the epidemics that often raged in the transit camps and the ghettos took a high toll of lives among Jews deported to the East. That would not, however, have anything to do with "genocide."

29 Aptil 1942: ... Mit den Juden macht man in alien besetzten Ostgebieten kureen Prozell. Zehntausende ntflssen doran g~uben...

April 29, 1942: . . . Short shrift is made of the Jews in all eastern occupied areas. Tens of thousands of them are liquidated

What this means is uncertain. So far as the above considerations do not apply here, this entry could have reference to the efforts to combat guerrilla warfare, since, as is well known, most of the "partisan" gangs operating on the fringes of the Eastern Front were riddled with Jews and some even consisted entirely of Jews.

2 Mdre 1943:... Wir schaffen nun die Juden endgfiltig aus Berlin hinaus. Sie sind am vergagenen Samstag schlagartig zusantmengeschaJft wonien und werden nun in kureester Frist nach dent Osten abgeschoben. Leider hat sich ouch hier wieder herausgestellt, doll die besseren Kreise, insbesondere die Intellektuellen, unsere Judenpolitik nicht verstehen...

March 2, 1943: . . . We are now definitely pushing the Jews out of Berlin. They were suddenly rounded up last Saturday, and are to be carted off to the East as quickly as possible. Unfortunately our better circles; especially the intellectuals, once again have failed to understand our policy about the Jews...

This is the last of the Goebbels quotations. Fraenkel and Manvell con clude that "these and other such statements would have been sufficient to convict Goebbels in any court." They should have printed "those other" remarks, then, for the ones they quote do not justify this conclusion.As we have pointed out, it is debatable that the pages from which these quotations were taken (dated January 21, 1942 to December 9, 1943) are authentic. On this matter, Langbein simply remarks that they were discovered in the ruins of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. He does not specify just where and by whom the diary was found. However, Fraenkel and Manvell relate the following story:

That these pages were rescued from the chaos of the fall of the Reich is due to chance. For his notes Goebbels used an unusually handsome and sturdy laid paper, such as the "average consumer" hardly ever got to see in those war years. After the capture of Berlin in 1945, some seven thousand sheets of this paper were lying around the courtyard of the Propaganda Ministry. Russian soldiers were about to burn these heaps of paper when a junk dealer, impressed by the quality of the hand-made paper, took the valuable and scarce commodity for himself, and thus saved the wartime memoirs of the Minister from the flames. Later, a great deal of effort was devoted to sorting and collating the scorched pages. In 1947-1948, Louis P. Lochner edited this material and published those portions of it that are of interest to the historian. The original manuscript reposes in the Stanford University Library in California, along with a copy of the Elberfeld Diary; a photocopy of the entire manuscript is to be found at the Institut ffir Zeitgeschichte in Munich. In those years, Goebbels no longer made his own en tries in the diary, but dictated them to a co-worker, master stenographer Otte...

Goebbels, by the way, never took the time to revise and polish his lengthy dic tation once it appeared in Otte's neat typescript. That explains why the text is repetitious and stylistically uneven...

In many respects, this is a strange tale indeed. How are we to believe that Russian soldiers were about to burn unexamined documents from a Reich Ministry, but then decided -- purely out of the goodness of their hearts, perhaps -- to make a gift of them to a poor rag and bone man? It is strange, too, that a journalist "edited this material and published those portions of it that are of interest to the historian." Fraenkel and Manvell do not reveal how Lochner gained access to these papers. No doubt he had some story prepared to explain that, but refrained from telling it, lest the whole business appear even more improbable. Naturally, the "original manuscript" -- like so many other fragments of the German official files of that era -- is in the United States, where the possibilities for manipulation were unlimited, not in an archive in Germany, where it belongs.

In an evaluation he supplied the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, Wilfred von Oven, the former adjutant of Dr. Goebbels, designated these scraps of the Reich Minister's diary as genuine. He based his opin ion on the fact that they were written with a typewriter that had unus ually large characters (nearly 1 cm high). Both Goebbels and Hitler used such a machine. Von Oven thought the content, style, and diction of the pages of which he received photocopies (the entries of June 1943) fully corresponded to that in Dr. Goebbels' other writings.163 He was not provided with copies of the entries under consideration here, the most crucial of which may be the one dated March 27, 1943. In a personal letter to me, dated December 27, 1977, von Oven wrote that he would "most likely not have given such an endorsement" had he "known of these questionable passages," and pointed out that it is possible to forge individual phrases and passages in typewritten documents.164
In any case, the Goebbels quotations cited by Fraenkel and Manvell and by Langbein obviously do not help answer the basic question of our inquiry. If these authors seek to give the opposite impression, they are simply misleading us. Neither Auschwitz nor any other "extermination camp" is mentioned in these diaries.

Only one chapter in Langbein's compendium of "evidence" from diaries and letters has any direct bearing on the subject of our investigation. Entitled "Der Herr Professor in Auschwitz," it deals with the diary of Dr. Johann Paul Kremer of Münster, an SS physician who was temporarily assigned to the parent camp at Auschwitz. In this chapter, Langbein adroitly uses the method of glossing over vague and insignificant diary entries with tendentious commentary to create a picture of horrors for the uncritical reader. Dr. Kremer is made to appear an unscrupulous type who followed orders automatically.

Despite his best efforts, Langbein does not manage to "convince the skeptic." Most of these diary entries are merely personal or professional memoranda, and contain nothing whatsoever to support Langbein's allegations about "extermination camps." Indeed, the real purpose of the Kremer quotations is apparently to flesh out an otherwise lean volume.

Only pages 81-93 concern Kremer's service as an SS physician at Auschwitz, which lasted from August 30 to the middle of November 1942, that is to say, somewhat less than a quarter of a year.

According to his notes, Kremer not only made medical examinations, but also participated in sundry executions (e.g., on November 10, 13, and 15, 1942) and in "special actions," some fourteen all told, which at one point he calls the "horror of horrors" (entry of September 5, 1942).

In his commentary, Langbein asserts that Kremer meant "selections" when he used the term "special actions." Whether or not this is true, it cannot be directly inferred from Kremer's notes. Nothing in this diary supports Langbein's claim that these "special actions" were "selections" of victims for the "gas chamber." Rassinier has written that inmates lived in constant fear of being selected for "gassing." It seems this apprehension can be traced to "latrine gossip" circulating in the camps. At any rate, Rassinier attests that the selections at Buchenwald and Dora, the two camps where he was interned, had nothing to do with the "gassing" of those unfit for work.165 Since it cannot be inferred from Kremer's notes that the selections at Auschwitz were connected with "gassings," Langbein tries to fit the "special actions" Kremer mentions into the extermination legend by reproducing parts of the memoir Commandant Höß allegedly wrote in a Cracow prison, shortly before his death. Langbein would have done better to inform his readers of what Kremer testified about these special actions when he was on trial before a German court in Münster, after his release from ten years of imprisonment in Poland. Perhaps Kremer's testimony in this trial, which Langbein no doubt attended, clashed with the picture Langbein had drawn for himself. It was not possible for me to examine the records of the trial. 166

The only time Kremer uses the word "gassing" is in an entry dated September 1, 1942: "This afternoon at gassing [i.e., fumigation] of barracks block with Zyklon B for lice" ("Nachmittags bei der Vergasung eines Blocks mit Zykion B gegen die Läuse").

Once again, we have it confirmed that Zyklon B was actually an insecticide used against the lice that plagued the camp. According to Kremer's notes, typhus epidemics raged almost constantly at Auschwitz, and even SS men took sick.

At the conclusion of the Kremer quotations, which are totally inadequate as proof of the extermination thesis, Langbein remarks with an undertone of indignation:

None of the notes this university professor wrote in the long period after his return from Auschwitz would indicate that his experiences there affected him in the least. The few entries that are remotely connected with this subject are reproduced here p. 104).

Considering that the "few entries" about Auschwitz have nothing tangible to say about "mass gassings" or any other crimes committed against inmates, it may be that he was both ignorant and innocent of such things. If this is so, it is pointless to complain, as Langbein frequently does, that Kremer's stay at Auschwitz made no impression on him in this regard. Langbein's indignation is quite incomprehensible, especially when one reads his statement that "Kremer was even glad that the prosecution had obtained his diary; he hoped that these notes would remove any suspicions against him (p. 127).

What else could better testify to his innocence than that belief? Nevertheless, in one of his later books, Langbein tries to rationalize Kremer's attitude with some twaddle about "even intellectuals" being able to "suppress the consciousness of guilt."'167 Given the situation in which Kremer found himself, we can virtually rule out this possibility. If the diary contained incriminating evidence -- as Langbein claims -- Kremer certainly would not have welcomed its discovery. Suppressed feelings of guilt, memories of unpleasant experiences, have a way of surfacing when some tangible reminder appears. That Kremer was so glad the diary had been found only shows that he was sure it contained nothing incriminating.

In conclusion, we may state confidently that the quotations collected in . . . wir haben es getan cannot in themselves convince genuine skeptics. As for Langbein's commentary, it is so full of contradictions and tricky, shoddy argumentation that it can only increase skepticism about the extermination thesis, which even this pioneer exterminationist admits is widespread. Langbein would have done well, for example, not to quote Himmler's letter to Felix Kersten of March 21,1945. For this letter, in which the Reichsführer-SS mentions the evacuation of 2,700 Jews to Switzerland, pointing out that this meant the resumption of the course of action he and his co-workers had pursued until 1940, when the "war with its worldwide irrationality made its continuation impossible," can only be taken as additional proof that the Reich leadership had no plan to annihilate the Jews, but merely intended to expel them from Germany and Europe. All Langbein can say in response to this significant datum is that Himmier was, after all, the "creator of the Auschwitz death factory-" With this supposedly ironic remark, Langbein is, of course, simply repeating the Q.E .D. of his little book. Couldn't he come up with any more convincing "evidence" for the extermination thesis than he presents in ... wir haben es getan?

The War Refugee Board Report

In November 1944, the United States War Refugee Board (WRB) issued a booklet containing several "eyewitness" accounts of the "extermination camps Auschwitz and Birkenau.168 Although this publication received worldwide attention, it also met with a certain amount of skepticism.

The first part of the WRB Report bears the title "The Extermination Camps of Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau in Upper Silesia." It begins with the "firsthand accounts" of a pair of young Slovakian Jews who claimed to have spent two years in these camps before they managed to escape from Birkenau in April 1944. In Section I of their report ("Auschwitz and Birkenau"), one of these Jews recounts how he was deported from the camp at Sered to Auschwitz, whence he was transferred directly to Birkenau. This section, the most extensive in a document of some 26 pages, is particularly important because it contains a detailed "report" on "gassing installations" and crematoria at the Birkenau "death factory," based on the claims of both Jews. According to the foreword of the WRB Report, the second Jew was deported on June 14, 1942 from someplace in Slovakia called Novaky, and reached Ausch witz, by way of the Lublin and Maidanek camps, on June 27, 1942, as related in Section II of the WRB Report. He was assigned to various jobs in both these camps. At an unspecified time, he was sent -- for disciplinary reasons, he says -- to Birkenau, where he is supposed to have stayed for more than 18 months until his escape in April 1944. This is all he has to say about his term in Birkenau. Section III of Part 1 (which is otherwise untitled) contains what is said to be the report of two more young Jews who allegedly fled Birkenau, on May 27, 1944. Their account, which according to the foreword of the WRB Report reached Switzer land on August 3, 1944, mainly describes events in Birkenau between April 7 and May 27, 1944, though it contains a few rumors about what happened earlier at the camp. Oddly enough, the two "reports" join together without a stitch; the first account leaves off at the very point in time where the second one begins.

According to the foreword of the WRB Report, the first two accounts contain only what the authors "underwent, heard, or experienced at first hand," but "no individual impressions . .." and "nothing passed on from hearsay."169 The astute reader will note that this statement, which is intended to underscore the credibility of these "reports," is astonishingly self-contradictory.

Part 2 of the WRB Report bears the title "Transport," and is 19 pages long. According to the foreword, it was written not by a Jew, but by a "Polish Major," who was the only survivor of a group of 60 prisoners sent to Auschwitz from Cracow in March 1942. Obviously, this "report" is based mostly on hearsay. For example, it contains a detailed account of Birkenau (entitled "The Jews"), but the Major says that he himself lived and worked at the Auschwitz camp. He claims to have known at the time of his arrival, in March 1942, that inability to work meant automatic "liquidation by gas." Even if this report, many parts of which are written in the style of a cheap novel, is not a fabrication, this claim shows that it is based not on the author's own experiences, but on hearsay. One recalls that even then interested parties were spreading rumors about "gas chambers" and the like in and around Auschwitz. 170

All the accounts in the WRB Report were published anonymously.171 We are told that this was done to ensure the personal safety of their authors. Strangely, the fall of the Third Reich changed nothing in this regard. Neither of the purported authors testified at the Nuremberg trials. Not until the 1960's did an analytical chemist living in Britain, Dr. Rudolf Vrba, and a Czechoslovakian Government employee, Alfred Wetzler, step forward as the authors of the first two sections of the WRB Report. Later on, both appeared as witnesses in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial. To this day, the identity of the two other Jews and the Polish Major has not been revealed.172

It is worth noting that after the war the WRB Report was consigned to oblivion. This document was not presented in evidence at the Nuremberg IMT trials, or at any of the post-war trials conducted by the Allied victors. Likewise, it was retired from public circulation, and today few people have even heard of it."173

This is all the more astonishing since the authors of the WRB Report were allegedly eyewitnesses to the horrible events they describe, and supposedly recorded those events while they were still fresh in their minds. What a neglect of valuable witnesses, especially for the Nuremberg trials! All the other accounts of this sort were made public years later, and the alleged authors are no longer among the living -- if they ever were.

Today the Vrba-Wetzler report is cited very infrequently, and then only in the form of excerpts, while the other three reports have been totally forgotten.174 Those who quote parts of this report evidently overlook the fact that it is not always in accord with the current "official" version of the Auschwitz legend. In the book Dr. Vrba wrote about his "experiences," I Cannot Forgive, published in 1964, he himself contradicts many statements in the report he wrote with Wetzler, and, indeed, the most important ones. Even Vrba admits, by the way, that the WRB Report met with disbelief at first.175

Anyone familiar with the subject matter can readily see why this report on Auschwitz-Birkenau was assigned little importance after the war. Though it does contain some pertinent information -- mostly well- known facts -- the Vrba-Wetzler report, in particular, is so full of inaccuracies that one may rightly doubt whether the authors ever were in Auschwitz or Birkenau. This suspicion is hardly diminished by the fact that Vrba and Wetzler purport to give precise figures on the deportation of specific groups to Auschwitz and detailed information about the subsequent treatment of these people. Supposedly, they were able to obtain this information because they occupied key positions in the camp hierarchy. Of course, there is no way of checking the figures they give, but their insistence on the accuracy of these statistics must itself arouse suspicion. It is difficult to imagine how even a prisoner belonging to the camp hierarchy could have conducted such an investigation. To record all those details -- especially the figures -- one would have required an almost phenomenal memory. No matter what the forword to the WRB Report says, much of Vrba and Wetzler's account is obviously based on hearsay. The critical reader will note that the authors contradict themselves on a number of important points.

All this simply leads one to the conclusion that the War Refugee Board -- an agency directly responsible to the Chief Executive of the United States -- issued this "Report" without bothering to ascertain its veracity, despite its assurances to the contrary. No doubt the officials of the War Refugee Board were delighted at finally having something concrete to present -- including a few statistical "facts" -- instead of the usual transparent atrocity tales. Their enthusiasm for these "eyewitness accounts," which they obtained through one of their representatives in Europe, probably overwhelmed their critical faculties. In a letter to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, who was officially responsible for the publication of the WRB Report, the American journalist Oswald F. Schuette declared that these accounts were so unbelievable that Stimson would not have sanctioned their publication had he actually read them, and urged that they be reappraised.176 Is it any wonder that the WRB Report was relegated to obscurity after the war?177

For lack of space, we cannot give here a detailed analysis of the various accounts in the WRB Report, with all their contradictions and absurdities. Hence we must limit ourselves to a few of the most import ant points.

Vrba and Wetzler state that SS-Obersturmbannführer Rudolf Höß was "camp commandant" at a time when he had already left Auschwitz. Höß was replaced by SS-Sturmbannführer Arthur Liebehenschel in November 1943, long before their escape in April 1944. He, in turn, was replaced by SS-Sturmbannführer Richard Baer2178 (When Baer died in detention shortly before the beginning of the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial of 1963-1965, an event that gave rise to much speculation, one of the most important witnesses to Auschwitz was forever silenced).179 Even the pair of Jews whose account supplements Vrba and Wetzler's report have nothing to say about these last two commandants of Auschwitz. Of the men in the series of "commandants" they mention, all except Höß were actually just subordinates.

It is remarkable how little information the WRB Report contains about the physical structure of the camp, and most of that is highiy contradictory, although the persons who allegedly wrote these accounts should have been very well acquainted with the layout of the camp in which they had supposedly been held for years. The sketches of the layout that are appended to their accounts correspond neither to their own descriptions of the camp nor to the ground-plans exhibited today.180 They completely ignore the rather conspicuous fact that the Auschwitz parent camp consisted in part of the brick buildings of an old army barracks. The sketches also do not note this. In the sketch of Birkenau (Part 1, p. 22), there is a bath between crematoria II and III, but according to the ground-plans presented today, this spot was occupied by a filtration plant and the clothing storage area "Canada."181' Although Vrba claims to have worked in the "clearance squad," he evidently was not familiar with the inmate slang term "Canada." He and Wetzler never use this expression in their report.

A particularly striking blunder is to be found in the Polish Major's report. In several passages of his account Birkenau is equated with Raisko, though these were two different camps, separated from each other by about 5 kilometers. When this "authority" tells us that Raisko was the "Polish name" for Birkenau, he is simply demonstrating his ignorance of the facts (see Part 2, pp. 12 and 17).

In various passages of their report, Vrba and Wetzler discuss the transfer of Jews from Lublin-Maidanek to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they were allegedly gassed and burnt in the "birch woods." Since these people are said to have been transferred to Auschwitz in May and June of 1942, one may well ask why they were not killed at the various camps in the environs of Lublin, where facilities for gassing were allegedly in operation already. According to the current official version of the Auschwitz legend, the first "gassings" of Jews at Auschwitz were experimental affairs carried out in converted farm houses.182 None of the accounts in the WRB Report mention these makeshift gas chambers. Vrba and Wetzlar only say that prisoners selected for gassing were executed in a large barrack in a birch forest near the Birkenau camp, and their corpses burnt in an adjacent incineration pit (Part 1, p. 9).

Thus there is no end to the contradictions in the WRB Report. Each part of it cancels out something that is stated in another. Despite its glaring inconsistencies, the story about mass incinerations of corpses in the birch woods has outlived most of the stuff in the WRB Report. That these holocausts in the middle of the woods never resulted in a forest fire is another one of the marvels one regularly encounters in the literature on the camps. Incidentally, according to the memoirs of Rudolf Höß, a carefully "edited" document we shall scrutinize later on, the incinerations did not take place in the birch woods.

Let us conclude with a few words about the crematoria and "gas chambers" of Birkenau. This is the camp that really figures in the literature on our topic as the "death factory." The most interesting part of the WRB Report is doubtless that which concerns these facilities. More than anything else, it shows how untrustworthy the document is. We shall deal with this part of the WRB Report when we consider the subsequent testimony on this subject. Here we must limit ourselves to a few brief remarks on the claims regarding completion of work on these facilities.

According to Vrba and Wetzler, the first "modern" crematorium with a "gassing plant" went into operation at the end of February 1943. Although they do not specify when any of the other crematoria were constructed, they remark that "at present" -- that is to say, at the time of their escape in April 1944 -- four crematoria with adjoining "gas chambers" were in use, and even describe their appearance and mode of operation in some detail. A ground-plan of such a facility is appended to their report (Part 1, pp. 14ff.).

According to the Polish Major, however, four crematoria were already operative in autumn 1942. This "witness" also claims that, begin ning in spring 1942, gassings took place in large "special barracks." Evidently he was unaware of any incineration pit in the birch woods.

Thus even on the vital point of the completion of the crematoria and "gas chambers" the WRB Report is inconsistent. That this document lacks the force of proof is shown by the fact that it was not presented in evidence at the Nuremberg trials or at any of the Auschwitz trials German courts have conducted. Of course, Vrba and Wetzler were called as witnesses in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, but the WRB Report itself was never brought up there. Nor did the court ask them for details about the crematoria and "gas chambers." After all, the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz was regarded as a "proven fact of contemporary history." This grave error of judicial procedure will be discussed further in our account of the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial. Today this trial is widely believed to have proved that gas chambers existed at Auschwitz Birkenau183 -- a charge that hardly anyone credited before then. Given the nature of the argumentation in those procedings, that belief seems more than a little off the track.

It should be clear now why the picture of Auschwitz-Birkenau drawn by Vrba and Wetzler -- not to mention the cryptic Polish Major and the other pair of Jews -- could not be incorporated in toto into the post-war version of the Auschwitz legend: Their account simply contains too much that is self-contradictory and grossly improbable. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that their collection of horror stories did provide the framework of the legend, as well as such embellishments as the four crematoria with the special gas chambers. Since their account to some extent shows the genesis of the gas chamber legend, we had to deal with it here. As for the rest of the WRB Report, it has not been "forgotten" without reason.

"Buried Manuscripts"

In their book Auschwitz: Zeugnisse und Berichte, Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner tell us that in November 1953 a "notebook was dug up which contains fragments of a chronicle in Yiddish."184 They do not reveal exactly where it was discovered or who the author was. In a note to their excerpts from this "manuscript," they merely state that it was unearthed "on the grounds of the Auschwitz camp with the aid of instructions from survivors." The original document is now at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, which published the "chronicle" in the January-June 1954 issue of its bulletin. It appears that even Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner have not seen the original manuscript, and merely copied the text from the bulletin.

Presumably this document has not been examined and authenticated by any scholars outside the Soviet bloc -- as is usually the case with "finds" of this sort -- for Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner certainly would not have failed to mention its authentication. Since the custodians of the Yiddish manuscript apparently dare not submit it to independent experts, who might readily expose it as a forgery, one must consider it a highly questionable document. That there is good reason to view documents from the Soviet bloc with extreme distrust was substantiated by the testimony of the Polish exile Jan Pawlowski in a recent trial before the Higher Regional Court at Frankfurt. Pawlowski testified that the Polish Ministry of the Interior, for instance, has a team of experts who specialize in fabricating "evidence" and "documents."185

However, from the passages quoted by Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner, it is obvious that the "chronicle" is a forgery, and a quite clumsy one at that. For it describes events that must not only be seen as completely impossible, but which in part at least could not possibly have been observed by the author of the "manuscript."

For example, according to one passage, SS-Hauptscharführer Otto Moll was in the habit of placing four people in a row and then felling them all with a single bullet, a feat right out of the tales of Baron von Munchhausen. Those who ducked were cast into a bonfire that was evidently kept burning just for that purpose. What an ingenious addition to the Auschwitz legend!

Another passage relates an incident that occurred during the gassing of a group of Poles and Dutch Jews. In the "gas chamber," a Polish girl delivered an "impassioned speech," exhorting the "assembled Jews" to avenge the Poles. Profoundly moved, the Poles knelt and sang the Polish national anthem, in their last moments full of hope for the future of their nation. With that, everyone -- including the assembled Jews? -- burst into the Internationale. and died "amidst song in the ecstasy of dreams of universal brotherhood and a better tomorrow."

This is quite a yarn. The bit about the inmates dying "amidst the strains of the Internationale " betrays the Communist origins of this schmalz -- an impromptu May Day pageant in the "gas chamber"! Since the Poles are inveterate Jew-baiters, the notion that Jews would avenge the Poles is downright grotesque. To a large extent, it was Polish Jew-baiting that the Germany of the 1920's had to thank for its inundation with Eastern Jews. No sooner had the Third Reich fallen than anti-Jewish pogroms of the most grievous kinds broke out in Poland.186 Anyway, how could the Jews avenge their Polish "brothers" if, as we are told, they were gassed along with them? And how did the phantom chronicler find out everything that was said and done in the "gas chamber"? Unless this "chronicle" is a message from the hereafter, he could not have been inside the "gas chamber" himself. The reader can only shake his head at such unabashed lying. That it was presented to the German public in a volume purporting to be a collection of source material on recent history must break some kind of record for audacity.

But there is more. This "document" reports that Jewish deportees from Slovakia were killed in the gas chamber at the end of 1944. Since the "chronicle" is dated November 26, 1944, and the author tells us that he, too, was about to be gassed, he must have learnt of the gassing of these deportees after his demise. Perhaps the "chronicle" is indeed a message from beyond the grave!

The "chronicle" is not only self-contradictory, but also at variance with other documents and testimony. Its author maintains that the walls of crematorium III were "razed" on October 14, 1944, and the "razing of the walls of crematorium I" began on November 25, 1944. After that, crematorium II was to be demolished, but first a motor which served to "pump out air" and the "pipes" would be removed and shipped to the Mauthausen or Gross-Rosen camp. To quote the "chronicle":

"Since they [the motor and pipes] could be used only for wholesale gassings, for which crematoria III and IV lacked the equipment, the suspicion arises that the same facilities for exterminating Jews had been constructed at the previously mentioned camps."

If this information is correct, there were no extermination facilities in crematoria III and IV. But numerous post-war accounts, as well as the War Refugee Board Report, state exactly the opposite. Moreover, some "witnesses" have claimed that gassing facilities existed at Mauthausen long before 1944.187 Of course, it is now an indisputable historical fact that nobody was ever gassed at any camp in the German Reich proper, including Mauthausen.

These dates for the ostensible destruction of the crernatoria do not correspond to those given in other parts of Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner's volume. According to the chronological table on page 385, Himmier supposedly ordered the destruction of gas chambers and crematoria on November 26, 1944, the very day the "chronicle" was allegedly completed. The Yiddish chronicler must have had a prophetic vision of Himmler issuing that order! In his foreword to Auschwitz: Zeugnisse und Berichte, Hermann Langbein tells us that at the end of November all gas chambers and crematoria were "blown up by the SS" -- not "razed" or "dismantled." However, Primo Levi, whose account is printed in the same volume, says it was prisoners in the Sonderkommando who "blew up one of the crematoria" in November. According to the chronological table, the Sonderkommando destroyed a crematorium -- supposedly crematorium IV -- on October 7, 1944, and it was arson, not an explosion. Combining both versions, a certain Israel Gutman insists that crematorium IV was set afire and blown up during a mutiny of the Sonderkommando, though he does not specify when that occurred. On the other hand, in Kazimierz Smolen's little book Ausch witz: 1940-1945 we read that during this mutiny -- once again, no date is given, -- crematorium III was set afire and crematorium IV only damaged.188 According to the same publication, crematorium II and III were not demolished by the SS until January 20, 1945, and crematorium V was destroyed on the nights of January 25 and 26, 1945. However, Otto Wolken, a former Birkenau inmate whose account begins on January 17, 1945, says that he knows only of the destruction of crematorium V, which he claims was blown up on the nights of January 23 and 24, 1945.189 The former SS man Pery Broad gives a totally different version. He says that all the "buildings in which the greatest mass murder in the history of mankind had been carried out" were blown up in January 1945, because of the Russian advance.190

Here we have a maze of contradictions, and all that can be said for certain is that not only is this "buried manuscript" highly dubious, but so are these other accounts. To add to the confusion, a certain Bernhard Klieger tells us that four crematoria cum "gas chambers" were torn down in the winter of 1944-1945, the site leveled and covered with a plot of grass. Only a fifth crematorium remained to serve the daily needs of the camp."' Perhaps there was only one crematorium all along. How could a plot of grass be planted in the middle of winter?

But let us return to the Yiddish "chronicle," which poses other riddles. At the conclusion of this document, the author informs us of the various places where he hid other copies of his manuscript. One was allegedly placed "in a bone pit in crematorium I." Yet earlier he told us that this crematorium was torn down on November 25, 1944, the day before he finished his "chronicle." An additional copy is said to have been hidden "in a pile of bones" on the south side of the yard of crematorium I. And he claims to have buried still other copies "under the ashes in crematorium II," which, according to his previous statements, also was to be demolished.

All this leads us back to the question: Where was the manuscript published by the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw discovered? It seems to be the only "find" of this sort thus far. The alleged hiding places are as mysterious as they are unbelievable. No bones are left after cremation, nor are ashes usually permitted to accumulate in crematoria. Since the exact location of the hiding places can no longer be determined, and the things that allegedly mark them are so subject to change, new "finds" could be made nearly anywhere on the Auschwitz grounds. Perhaps we shall soon be hearing more about the "discovery" of "missing" manuscripts. There is already some indication of this. In the Viennese magazine Profil. a certain Walfried Reismann writes:

Every now and then, mouldering manuscripts are discovered, which prisoners in the Sonderkommandos (who attended the crematoria and gas chambers) buried in bottles, preserving jars, and tins for posterity. The evaluation of these writings, which will not be completed until 1980, will provide the first well-rounded, scholarly picture of Auschwitz-Birkenau. 192

So we shall have to wait until 1980 -- even though the forgery workshops are presumably working at full speed on these "documents." After all, the forgers must take into account the increasingly weighty objections of impartial scholars to the existence of the alleged gas chambers. It is no longer as easy to forge such documents as it was, say, twenty or thirty years ago. And people will, in any case, be more skeptical of such "finds" than they were before.

Photographic "Documents"

Many of the works on the anti-Jewish measures of the Third Reich contain photographs illustrating their theme. To be sure, pictures of Auschwitz are relatively uncommon, and the ones presented in those works are without the slightest probative value, so far as the "extermination function" of the camp is concerned. Most frequently depicted are the wrought-iron main gate of the so-called parent camp, with its scrollwork motto "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work makes one free"), which points to the real function of the camp; a few barracks; and parts of the surrounding fence. None of these pictures gives any indication that Auschwitz was an "extermination camp." One searches in vain for photographic documents which might elucidate the conflicting statements about the crematoria and "gas chambers," and specifically, prove the latter did exist.

A possible explanation for the dearth of photographic evidence is, of course, that taking pictures was forbidden. But experience proves that such a ban would in fact encourage picture-taking. Members of the resistance movement in Auschwitz, which is said to have been very well organized, reportedly smuggled their secretly made photos out of the camp. It is even reported that the Central Construction Office of the SS and Police in Auschwitz made photographs of the "extermination facilities," right after their completion, and exhibited them in the anteroom of a crematorium, so proud was it of this accomplishment.193 These pictures are also lost -- that is, if they ever existed. Given the total absence of pictorial evidence for the presence of "extermination facilities" at the camp, one may rightly suspect there was nothing in Auschwitz to photograph which would corroborate this atrocity story, except for one or more crematoria of the kind used for the disposal of the dead in every large city. Had "extermination facilities" existed, the illegal prisoners organization would surely have done its utmost to obtain pictorial evidence of them, and, if successful, hidden it in a secure place.

That this last point does not rest on idle speculation is substantiated by someone who should know, Kazimierz Smolen, the Director of the Polish State Auschwitz Museum. From his booklet Auschwitz: 1940 -- 1945,an "official" source, as it were, we learn that prisoners were indeed able to make "illegal" photographs at Auschwitz. Smolen relates that the "resistance movement" sent pictures of "gassings" out of the camp in 1944, together with a "scrap of paper" containing this message:

Urgent. Send 2 metal rolls of film for 6 x 9 camera without delay. There exists a possibility of taking pictures. We are sending you pictures of Birkenau -- of a gassing. One shot is of a funeral pyre outdoors, where corpses are burnt because the crematoria cannot cope with the incineration of the dead. In front of the funeral pyre are corpses which will later be cast into it. The other shot shows one of the places in the woods where people disrobe, ostensibly to take a bath. Instead, they are gassed. Send the rolls immediately! Dispatch the enclosed photos to Tell at once. -- We are of the opinion that the enlargements should be forwarded.

It is highly probable that the photos described here are identical with the two plates in Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner's Auschwitz: Zeugnisse und Berichte (PP. 341f.); which bear the following captions:

When the ovens of the crematoria could not keep pace, prisoners in the Sonderkomniando had to burn corpses on funeral pyres.

The next victims waited in a small woods until the gas chamber was ventilated.

The picture of the burning funeral pyre with the corpses in the foreground appears in the literature on our topic more frequently than the other picture does. Walendy calls this picture a fake.194 But it is at least proof that corpses were being incinerated outdoors someplace, though where remains a mystery, since it lacks any point of reference. In our bombed-out cities, one recalls, the bodies of air-raid victims frequently had to be disposed of in this manner.'" Nothing in the second picture bears out the allegation that the people depicted were "Waiting to be gassed," as the caption has it. What is more, the note from the "resistance movement" claiming that victims had to undress in the woods conflicts with the usual story that proportionately spacious "disrobing rooms" adjoined the "gas chambers."

These are not the only photographs that are represented in the literature as photos taken illegally by prisoners. The other pictures are no more credible as proof that an extermination program existed than are the two mentioned above. Precise information about the source of such photographs is never given. If prisoners belonging to the resistance movement really had the opportunity to take pictures, it is utterly incomprehensible that there is not a single photograph of even the exterior of the Birkenau crematoria, which are supposed to have been rather close to each other and would have been visible from afar because of their tall and massive chimneys. Granted it would have been difficult to photograph the interior of the legendary subterranean "gas chambers." But why did not inmates at least photograph one of those crematoria which are said to have had adjoining "gas chambers" aboveground?196

In the Polish State Auschwitz Museum, there are supposedly photos of two different types of crematoria, one having a single chimney, the other two chimneys (I cannot locate these pictures in any of the standard works on the subject. Why are they being withheld?). In some books, merely a "crematorium under construction" is depicted, allegedly an "illegal" photo some prisoner made.197 It shows a partially completed stone building with a chimney-like smokestack of not very large proportions. To judge by the relative size of the people shown in the photo, this building was not as large as the usual descriptions of the Birkenau crematoria would cause one to expect. The photo could have been taken anywhere. Nothing in the photo identifies it with Birkenau or any other concentration camp. As with most of these photos, we are not told when and under what circumstances it was made, or given any other information necessary for its evaluation. Yet even if this were an authentic picture of a crematorium, that would not in itself prove the people whose corpses were cremated there had been gassed to death.

But this point, which cannot be overemphasized, applies more so to the numerous pictures of cremation ovens, where we also find evidence of chicanery. For example, the very same photograph of a cremation oven is sometimes described as having been taken in Dachau, at other times in Birkenau.198 A row of about five cremation ovens shown in an other picture is identified in some "documentary works" as the "crema tion ovens" of Birkenau, in others as those of Maidanek.199 One could go on with such comparison, but it is hardly worth the effort. Swindles employing genuine or spurious photographs are nothing new in the field of atrocity propaganda.200

Yet another story are the photographs of the old crematorium and "gas chamber" in the Auschwitz parent camp. As noted earlier, this building and everything inside it were put into their present state after the war, by the creators of the Polish State Auschwitz Museum (see p. 51 above). When this crematorium was shut down in July 1943, the building was converted into an air-raid shelter, with an operating room for the SS sick-bay. At that time, the chimney was razed. I have in my possession an unpublished photo which shows the back of this building in its present state. One can readily see that the "restored" chimney is purely window-dressing. It is not even attached to the structure. Likewise, the "gas chamber" is simply a prop in the show.

In some of the literature there are photographs of the remains of the foundations of crematoria II and III, or, rather, what are now exhibited as such to Auschwitz Museum tourists. The captions tell the viewer what he is supposed to see, for instance: "Birkenau, Ruins of the Gas Chambers and Crematorium II."201 If only because of its size, the rubble pictured could not be the ruins of one or more "gas chambers" that each had a capacity of 2,000 to 3,000 people.202 One cannot even tell whether this debris is actually the remnant of a crematorium.

If four gigantic crematoria really existed at Birkenau, they would have left behind a proportionately large expanse of ruins. One would expect the Soviet occupation forces to have made as many photographs as possible of this testimony in stone to an extermination program that allegedly claimed 12,000 to 20,000 victims daily. Yet no photos of such massive ruins seem to exist.

To be sure, Professor Nicolai Alexeiev, the Russian witness in the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial of 1963 -- 1965, testified that Soviet archives contain additional photo-documents on Auschwitz.203 However, these are probably the same photographs the Soviet prosecution placed in evidence at the Nuremberg IMT trial (They form an appendix to Nuremberg Document 2430-PS.204That the Soviets should have withheld. from the international public such significant documents on the largest "extermination camp" is quite unlikely. None of the photographs they presented at Nuremberg has the slightest probative value (I am assuming that all the photos they submitted were reproduced in the "Documents in Evidence" section of the published trial record). Not one of these photos shows a great expanse of ruins at Birkenau, if such a thing existed. The pictures mainly show barracks, fences, prisoners, piles of corpses, bundles of clothing, and other things that have no valid ity as proof of the alleged mass gassings.205 Nuremberg Document 2430-PS does include a photograph of cremation ovens. It was presented in evidence not by the Soviet, but by the French prosecution team.206 Its only caption is "Fours crématoires" ("Cremation ovens"). We may be sure that these are not the Auschwitz ovens. Otherwise, the Soviet prosecution would have introduced the picture. Here one should remember that the Soviet Union was the only one of the victorious Allied powers that was in the position to present any kind of evidential material on Auschwitz, since no Western investigators or journalists were permitted to explore the Auschwitz camp and its environs and conduct inquiries (see p. 7 above).

It may not be amiss to note how the German Reich handled the discovery of mass graves of Polish officers in the Katyn forest. In contrast to the Soviet policy on Auschwitz, the German Government enabled journalists and experts from all over the world to make an on-the- spot investigation of this crime and allowed them to take photographs. Why didn't the Soviets do likewise in the case of Auschwitz?

None of this augurs well for the credibility of the photographic "evidence" on the Birkenau "death factory." The standard works on the subject attempt to make up for this deficiency with photographs of such vaguely circumstantial evidence for the gassing thesis as mountains of shoes, tons of human hair compacted into bales, piles of shaving brushes, rings, spectacles, and dentures that were allegedly taken from murdered Jews.207 Udo Walendy describes these photographs, which for the most part were not made public until long after the war, as photographic "drawings," that is to say, composite photos fabricated in the darkroom.208 However, the articles depicted in them are reportedly on display for tourists at the chamber of horrors known as the Auschwitz Museum. They are seemingly immune to the ravages of time -- perhaps they are replaced when necessary. Be that as it may, exhibits or pictures of such articles prove little or nothing. That also goes for pictures of corpses. Unless some relation between these things and the alleged mass gassings can be demonstrated, they are not valid evidence. Such a relationship has never been established, and can hardly be now, after four decades. The question arises: Why didn't the Soviets, directly after they occupied the camp, make arrangements to secure unimpeachable evidence of what actually happened at the place, enlisting the cooperation of impartial scholars and journalists? Instead, they kept the grounds of the former concentration camp hermetically sealed for more than ten years. No doubt they knew what they were doing.

We are now at the end of this chapter. Our examination of the basic contemporaneous documents presented in the literature on the Auschwitz camp has shown that none of them, either alone or in conjunction with others, provides so much as an indication that systematic extermination of Jews took place at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is not surprising, then, that the extermination mythologists rely heavily on witness testimony, most of which, significantly, did not come to the surface until after the fall of the Third Reich. We shall deal with this testimony in the next two chapters.
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