Saturday, July 04, 2015

6 million

This is about the number of Jews who lost their lives to Nazi persecution and mass murder during World War II, according to the highest estimates. Lower estimates, including those mentioned here, point to a number somewhere between 5 and 6 million, the estimates of Gerald Reitlinger even to a range of numbers somewhat below 5 million.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961 movie)

The 1961 movie Judgment at Nuremberg, starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark and Maximilian Schell, is a fictionalized dramatization of the Nuremberg "Justice Case", officially called "United States of America vs. Josef Altstoetter, et al".

Before I state my opinion about this film, some cautionary remarks about what I consider its weakest part, the presentation of documentary footage about Nazi crimes commented by prosecuting attorney Colonel Tad Lawson (Richard Widmark) after having been sworn in as a witness (1:30:22 to 1:36.07).  

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Gas Vans in the USSR: Extracts from Perpetrator Testimonies

1) On October 8, 1943, captured member of EG-D, Robert Barth, gave a testimony to the British in Sandbostel. It is Nuremberg document NO-3663 and is translated in Mendelsohn, pp.196-200. Barth described how he heard from drivers that EK 12 shot 8000 Jews in Nikolayev and 5000 in Cherson. In the latter shooting, women and children were shot into a ditch, 6 km from Cherson, and "Several members of the killer gangs had to be relieved, as their nerves had broken down completely (p.198)." Barth then reported that 12,000 Jews had been shot in Simferopol, 8000 in Feodosia, and 2000 in Kersch.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

More Than One Hundred Nazi Extermination Remarks, 1939-1944 (Full Chronological List)

1) Wetzel and Hecht, 25.11.39: "We are indifferent to the hygienic fate of the Jews. Also for the Jews the basic principle is valid, that their propagation must be curtailed in every possible way." [Die Frage der Behandlung der Bevoelkerung der ehemaligen polnischen Gebiete nach rassenpolitischen Gesichtspunkten, 25.11.39, NO-3732].

2) Koppe, 18.10.40: "[The] so-called Sonderkommando Lange, assigned to me for special tasks, was detached to Soldau in East Prussia from 21 May to 8 June, 1940, as per agreement with the Reich Main Security Office [RSHA]. During this period, it successfully evacuated 1,558 mental patients from the Soldau transit camp" [source].

3) Goebbels 31.1.41: "Mit Bouhler Frage der stillschweigenden Liquidierung von Geisteskranken besprochen. 40000 sind weg, 60000 müssen noch weg. Das ist eine harte, aber auch notwendige Arbeit. Und sie muß jetzt getan werden. Bouhler ist der rechte Mann dazu" [source].

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Auschwitz SS Men Confessing on Tape: Josef Erber

Victor Capesius | Oswald Kaduk | Josef Klehr | Josef Erber

Josef Erber (aka Houstek - his name up to 1943, see Fleming, Hitler und die Endlösung, p. 189) was sentenced to life prison at the so called 2nd Frankfurt Auschwitz trial in 1966. He was found guilty of having selected prisoners for execution and killing at least one Sonderkommando prisoner in the aftermath of the Sonderkommando revolt. Erber was interviewed on Auschwitz by John Steiner and Günther Bierbrauer in 1977 and by Ebbo Demant in 1978. The latter interview was also recorded on video. His statements on the following subjects will be reproduced from the interviews:
  • ramp duty
  • Auschwitz death toll
  • crematoria
  • Block 11 gassing and executions
  • body disposal
  • Holocaust denial 

Monday, June 29, 2015

One Hundred Nazi Extermination Remarks, 1939-1944 (Chronological List: 1-65)

1) Wetzel and Hecht, 25.11.39: "We are indifferent to the hygienic fate of the Jews. Also for the Jews the basic principle is valid, that their propagation must be curtailed in every possible way." [Die Frage der Behandlung der Bevoelkerung der ehemaligen polnischen Gebiete nach rassenpolitischen Gesichtspunkten, 25.11.39, NO-3732].

2) Goebbels 31.1.41: "Mit Bouhler Frage der stillschweigenden Liquidierung von Geisteskranken besprochen. 40000 sind weg, 60000 müssen noch weg. Das ist eine harte, aber auch notwendige Arbeit. Und sie muß jetzt getan werden. Bouhler ist der rechte Mann dazu" [source].

One Hundred Nazi Extermination Remarks, 1939-1944 (Part Four: 52-65)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

52) Wetzel and Hecht, 25.11.39: "We are indifferent to the hygienic fate of the Jews. Also for the Jews the basic principle is valid, that their propagation must be curtailed in every possible way." [Die Frage der Behandlung der Bevoelkerung der ehemaligen polnischen Gebiete nach rassenpolitischen Gesichtspunkten, 25.11.39, NO-3732].

53) Hitler, 16.7.41: "Nobody shall be able to recognize that it initiates a final settlement. This need not prevent our taking all necessary measures - shooting, resettling, etc. - and we shall take them.

But we do not want to make any people into enemies prematurely and unnecessarily. Therefore we shall act as though we wanted to exercise a mandate only. At the same time we must know clearly that we shall never leave those countries" [Vermerk über die Besprechung am 16.7.1941, L-221, IMT XXXVIII, pp.86-94, here p.87; English translation NCA VII, pp.1086-1093, here pp.1086-1087].

One Hundred Nazi Extermination Remarks, 1939-1944 (Part Three: 31-51)

Part 1

Part 2

31) Staatssekretäre meeting, 2.5.41: "There is no doubt that as a result many millions of people will be starved to death if we take out of the country the things necessary for us” [Aktennotiz über Ergebnis der heutigen. Besprechung mit den Staatssekretären über Barbarossa, 2.5.41, 2718-PS, IMT XXXI, pp.84-85, English translation in NCA V, p.378; cf. Alex J. Kay, ‘Germany's Staatssekretäre, Mass Starvation and the Meeting of 2 May 1941’, Journal of Contemporary History, 41/4, October 2006, pp.685-700].

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sketches of an Ukrainian Nationalist Imprisoned in Auschwitz Concentration Camp

In 1946, Paladij Osynka published 15 sketches on his time in Auschwitz. According to another former Ukrainian Auschwitz prisoner Stefan Petelycky, Osynka was known as Petro Balij in Auschwitz with the prisoner's number 57321 (Petelycky, Into Auschwitz, for Ukraine; this memoir also reproduces Osynka's sketches).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (6)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (1)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (2)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (3)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (4)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (5.1)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (5.2)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (7)

In another of his misfires, with the title Memo for the controversial bloggers, part Vc: Herbert Floss, Treblinka, and pyre systems based on pits, Jansson starts out on the wrong foot by misrepresenting an assumption of mine regarding the Treblinka cremation structures.

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (5.2)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (1)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (2)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (3)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (4)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (5.1)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (6)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (7)

In this blog I discuss what Jansson calls the "vital question" in his blog Memo for the controversial bloggers, part Vb: Lothes and Profé’s carbonization experiments with anthrax carcasses, i.e. the question "whether Muehlenkamp is correct in asserting that Lothes and Profé achieved complete cremation, or whether Carlo Mattogno was correct in assuming[109] that their experiments aimed only at more or less complete carbonization".

The present blog includes graphic images, which may be disturbing to some readers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ausrottung, Kaufman and Volga Germans: Postscript

This Nazi news item from 10.9.41 leaves no doubts. It puts"resettlement" to Siberia into context.

Meanwhile this piece of Goebbels-ordered propaganda (see print here) literally did claim that "To justify the murdering of 80 million people, Nathan Kaufman is forced to ascribe irremediable criminal tendencies to the German people"; hence Rosenberg was lying at Nuremberg when he said "On the other side this word [ausrottung] has been used with respect to the German people and we have also not believed that in consequence thereof 60 millions of Germans would be shot."

One Hundred Nazi Extermination Remarks, 1939-1944 (Part One: 1-16)

This is the first of several articles that I will post over the next few months to complete the hundred quotes. To assist readers, the sources given below prioritize those with Internet links:

1) Goebbels citing Hitler 20.8.41: "But I will not rest or be idle until we too have gone all the way with the Jews" (Goebbels' diary in Browning, p.320).

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jansson vents his frustration …

… in another dreary piece of hollering against Jonathan Harrison and me, regarding the familiar subject of what Ausrottung means or can mean in certain contexts.

Hitler Speech 30.1.42 Reprise

In response to Jansson's latest babbling, and again ignoring his ad hominem attacks, I will simply point out another sentence in the speech, which Roberto quoted here: "For once all the others will not bleed to death alone; for once the ancient Jewish law will come into play: an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth." This connects to another Hitler statement of the following year: "The Bolshevist monster, to which they want to deliver the European nations, will someday tear them and their people to pieces." According to Jansson, such statements do not refer to large-scale killing of the European population, even though Rosenberg had already, on Sept. 12 1941, referred to the "ausrottung" of a million Volga Germans as "mass murder." Of course, to rebut another lingering straw man in Jansson's position, one does not have to show an intent to kill every living being directly (by shooting or gassing) to achieve extermination, merely an intent to kill enough to remove the viability of the population's survival. Thus Hitler could have meant extermination in the sense of "kill most Europeans, leave the rest to die off." As to what Hitler meant by "Europeans", clearly he meant that the USSR would eventually massacre its allies after it had finished exterminating the Germans.

So we have to wonder again what Jansson's purpose here. As I will show in a future post, there are dozens of ausrottung-related statements (or statements deploying similar phrases) by Nazis that clearly relate to killing. Even if Jansson managed to find one Nazi who used ausrottung in an anomalous manner (which he has not managed to do), such an anomaly would be swamped by the overwhelming majority of killing uses, which can be connected to a timeline and a context (such as the Volga German deportation and Kaufman's "Germany Must Perish") which leave no doubt as to what "eye for an eye" meant.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (4)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (1)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (2)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (3)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (5.1)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (5.2)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (6)

On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (7)

This previous blog of this series was originally meant to be the last. However, Jansson’s latest foot-stomping, with the overlong tabloid title Memo for the controversial bloggers, part Va: The sum of all errors: Roberto Muehlenkamp – burial space and decomposition, fits the theme of this series so well that I decided to add another installment, and further installments will probably follow as Jansson goes on hollering against the "controversial blogger" he hates most in "part Vb", "part Vc" (or "part VIa"), etc.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hitler Speech 30.1.42

German propaganda truly did claim that the allies were embarked on the physical extermination of the German people. Hitler's speech repeated that claim, and thus did use "ausrottung" in the sense of physical extermination. I discussed the sources that fed this propaganda here, and Hitler's subsequent use of the theme can be seen here.

Context of Rosenberg diary entry 9 Oct 1942

On September 14, 1942, Thierack wrote:
With regard to the destruction of asocial life, Dr Goebbels is of the opinion that the following groups should be exterminated: Jews and gypsies unconditionally, Poles who have to serve 3-4 -years of penal servitude, and Czechs and Germans who are sentenced to death or penal servitude for life or to security custody [Sicherungsvorwahrung] for life. The idea of exterminating them by labor is the best. For the rest however, except in the aforementioned cases, every case has to be dealt with individually. In this case, of course, Czechs and Germans have to be differently judged. There may be cases where a German sentenced to 15 years of penal servitude is not to be considered asocial, but in contrast to this a person sentenced to penal servitude up to 8 years may be.

The blog "Jansson and the Luther Bible"

… has been updated.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Auschwitz Sonderkommando Revolt in Contemporary Documents

In his recent book Bunt Sonderkommando, the Polish historian Igor Bartosik has published a new German document on the 7th October 1944 Jewish Sonderkommando revolt in Auschwitz-Birkenau (document Nr. 2 in the list below). This event is well known from testimonies from after the liberation of the camp, but there is also a substantial number of contemporary sources available:
  1. Report from the local police station Auschwitz on the escape of Sonderkommando prisoners on 7th September [recte: October] 1944.
  2. Telex from Auschwitz to police stations on the escape and shooting of crematoria prisoners on 7th October 1944.
  3. Labour force reports of 9th and 10th October 1944 on the decimation of the crematoria prisoners by 451 people and inactivity of crematorium 4.
  4. Secret camp resistance message on the 7th October 1944 Sonderkommando revolt.
  5. Garrison order on the killing of three SS men on 7th October 1944
  6. Sonderkommando list on the shooting of 460 Sonderkommando prisoners on 7th October 1944
  7. Sonderkommando manuscript on the 7th October 1944 Sonderkommando revolt.
These documents are too troublesome for Holocaust Revisionism as they a) heavily corroborate  the testimonial evidence and b) raise the question why the most secured detail in Auschwitz-Birkenau (see also Auschwitz Labour Force Reports as Evidence of Sinister Activity at the Crematoria) attempted a mass escape during daylight invitable resulting into deaths among the prisoners if there was no immediate threat to them. Just don't hold your breath for Revisionists to explain this. They haven't even offered yet any sound explanation why there were up to 903 prisoners employed at the crematoria - mostly idle according to their own hypothesis - in summer 1944 to begin with.

A Short Update on Steam

Jansson reiterates his position thus:
Thus the early vague and unreliable rumors were replaced by the detailed steam chamber report, whose description of the killing buildings is the foundation of all later accounts.
However, the Critique already addressed this point, noting that "steam is, after all, a gas, and it is not difficult to see how the anonymous source describing steam to Wasser could have deduced that the victims were being killed with steam when witnessing the opening of a gas chamber and mistaken the emanation of exhaust fumes from the chamber for a lethal sauna." It also notes that gas was specified by Milgroim [Milgrom] in a testimony given in Bratislava on 30.8.43. I am therefore entitled to conclude that Jansson is engaging in a "falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" fallacy that tries to reduce the whole of Treblinka witness accounts in 1942-43 to "steam", and attempts to claim that "steam" invalidates all the other details the witnesses supplied.

Jansson also gaffes in his assumption that we can only be sure that nobody left Treblinka eastwards if there was "a 24/7 watch on Treblinka to make sure that Jews never left the camp." Jansson seems unaware that Polish railway workers were reporting to the underground, despite this fact being noted in the Critique. 

Jansson Misreads Rosenberg's Diary

Jansson asks:
Rosenberg mentions a proposal that would have put Ukrainians on the same level as Jews and Gypsies.[74] According to the interpretations of holocaust controversies, this means that there was a German proposal to exterminate the Ukrainians. Does Harrison believe that such a proposal existed, and if not how does he explain this diary entry?  [9.10.42].
The proposal was that made by Himmler to Thierack that Ukrainians facing trial should have the same status as Gypsies and Jews. It was not concerned with exterminating racial or national groups, although it could be used as cover by the SS for mass killing. Rosenberg was firmly opposed to the policy [Vorschlag Himmler wird von mir abgelehnt], as he reiterated to Thierack on 27.10.42 [Über die Frage d. Rechtsstellung d. Ukrainer i. D. gebe ich ihm meine Meinung bekannt: dass man sie nicht m. Zigeunern auf eine Stufe stellen könne], presumably because he knew that giving the SS such powers would lead to some mass killing of Ukrainians (as later did occur), albeit not the total extermination that was inflicted on Ukrainian Jews (note that Jews in Ukraine at this point were largely dead so their inclusion on 9.10.42 is moot). 

Due to shortage of time and difficulty of accessing the blog at this time, I have asked Roberto to deal with my other notes, but I will finish for now by noting the diary entries "Stalin hätte doch die
führende Schicht ausgerottet" [29.9.39] and "Von den 2 ½ Millionen Volksdeutschen sind 1 Million sicher ausgerottet, von den 1 ½ Millionen Wolgadeutschen waren 400000 nach geblieben." [12.9.41]

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ausrottung Revisited

With apologies to Jansson, I am traveling for the next few weeks so cannot guarantee that I can reply speedily to everything he posts. For now I will defer to Longerich who says that 
6.2 Used with respect to a people, the term ausrotten does not necessarily have to mean that all members of this people are killed. The term could also be understood in the sense that the foundations for the existence of the people are destroyed, so that the nation ceases to exist as a nation. However, the term can also be understood as meaning that all members of a nation or the great majority of a nation are killed. The term is used in this second sense by Hitler and leading National Socialists during the Second World War and also in the years preceding the war. I have not yet found a single example of Hitler or Himmler using the term "ausrotten" during the Second World War with respect to human beings or a group of human beings other than in the sense of "to kill in large numbers or to kill all as far as possible".

With regard to ausmerzung, Rosenberg's use seems most likely to be indebted to its application in eugenics, to mean the biological elimination of the unfit, as in this title. We also have Staeglich's confirmation, as I showed in my last posting. Jansson and others would have to show that the overall pattern of usage by the Nazis of ausrottung and ausmerzung was compatible with a policy of keeping the Jews alive rather than imposing conditions that would eradicate them physically from the earth.

Jansson and the Luther Bible

Update, 16.06.2015

In his latest "Memo" blog, Jansson claims that
In the Luther Bible translation of Genesis 17.14, it is commanded that the uncircumcised be ausgerottet, with the meaning that they be removed from the people, or exiled.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Biological eradication (biologische Ausmerzung)

On page 118 of the Critique, I cited Rosenberg's briefing of November 18, 1941, taken from Christopher Browning's submission to the Irving-Lipstadt trial. Rosenberg spoke of the necessity of "a biological eradication of the entire Jewry of Europe" (eine biologischen Ausmerzung des gesamten Judentums in Europe) by measures that would "expel them over the Urals or eradicate them in some other way." Mattogno replied to this by stating that the "purely figurative meaning of “Ausmerzung des Judentums” (extirpation of Jewry)...designated the eradication of Jewry from the soil of the Reich and from the European soil." However, this can be refuted by two points.

Between Scylla and Charybdis

Being between Scylla and Charybdis is an idiom deriving from Greek mythology, which means "having to choose between two evils". Several other idioms, such as "on the horns of a dilemma", "between the devil and the deep blue sea", and "between a rock and a hard place", express the same meaning.

In his Posen speech on 6 October 1943, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler used this idiom in referring to the extreme effects that mass killing of Jewish populations including women and children could and often did have on the psyche of the executors:
I ask you that what I tell you in this circle you will really only hear and never talk about it. The question came up to us: What do to with the women and children? I decided to find a very clear solution also in this respect. This because I didn’t consider myself entitled to exterminate the men, that is, to kill them or to have them killed, and to let the children grow up as avengers against our sons and grandsons. The difficult decision had to be taken to make this people disappear from the earth. For the organization that had to carry out the task if was the most difficult we had so far. It has been carried out without, as I consider myself entitled to say, our men and our leaders having taken harm to their spirit and soul. The path between the possibilities existing here, to either become crude and heartless and no longer to respect human life or to become weak and collapse to the point of nervous breakdowns, the path between this Scylla and Charybdis is horrendously narrow.
(Emphasis added)

This blog will present cases from the massacre of the Jews of Nikolayev organized by Einsatzgruppe D, which is mentioned in Operational Situation Report USSR No. 101 and in Peter Bamm’s book Die unsichtbare Flagge, that illustrate the psychological stress addressed in Himmler’s speech.