Sunday, July 09, 2006

Documents about the murderous purpose of SK Lange

In addition to Roberto's posting about Arthur Greiser's letter [NO-246; German typescript [1, 2]; photostat [1, 2]; official Nuremberg translation [1, 2]], I should note that there is a whole series of documents dealing with "special treatment" of tubercular Poles.

One of the more interesting documents is Wilhelm Koppe's letter to Karl Brandt of 02.05.42 [NO-247; German typescript [1]; photostat [1, 2]; official Nuremberg translation [1, 2]]. As the only possible solution to the problem of Poles incurably ill with tuberculosis, it recommends that they be:
... admitted to the detachment (Kommando) Lange for special treatment (Sonderbehandlung).
(You may remember the expression "zur Sonderbehandlung zugefuehrt" from this posting.)

From further correspondence we learn that Himmler granted permission to subject tubercular Poles to Sonderbehandlung (see his letter of 27.06.42 [NO-244; German typescript [1]; official Nuremberg translation [1]]) and that Chief of Security Police and SD had no scruples about Sonderbehandlung of incurable Poles [NO-245; German typescript [1]; photostat [1]; official Nuremberg translation [1]]. In a reply to Himmler's permission to specially treat the incurable Poles, Greiser says that it is not necessary to inform Hitler, since the latter had given him permission to do as he sees fit [NO-249; German typescript [1, 2]; photostat [1, 2]; official Nuremberg translation [1, 2]]. Attached to this reply is a letter from Dr. Kurt Blome with objections to Sonderbehandlung of the incurably ill Poles [NO-250; German typescript [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]; photostat [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]; official Nuremberg translation [1, 2, 3, 4]]. Blome lists two other alternatives - isolation of seriously ill persons, and creation of reservation for all TB patients. It was Blome who wanted Hitler to give explicit permission for this "radical procedure" of Sonderbehandlung, if it was necessary after all:
I could imagine that the Fuehrer, having some time ago stopped the program in the insane asylums, might at this moment consider a "special treatment" of the incurably sick as unsuitable and irresponsible from a political point of view. As regards the Euthanasia Program it was a question of people of German nationality afflicted with hereditary diseases. Now it is a question of infected sick people of a subjugated nation.
Blome then warned that this action couldn't be made secret, as they knew from experience with the "euthanasia" action. He was worried that the news of this action would be used in enemy propaganda.

Himmler was impressed by Dr. Blome's arguments. In a subsequent letter he withdrew his permission and asked to search for another way to proceed [NO-251; German typescript [1]; photostat [1]; official Nuremberg translation [1, 2]].

It seems, however, that at least 2,000 tubercular Poles were "sonderbehandelt", as follows from Greiser's 27.06.42 letter to Brandt[NO-252; German typescript [1]; photostat [1]; official Nuremberg translation [1]].

From this set of documents it inevitably follows that in this case "Sonderbehandlung" was murder, that Sonderkommando Lange was used to perform this "Sonderbehandlung", that at one time there were plans to use Sonderkommando Lange to murder tens of thousands of incurably ill Poles, and that Sonderkommando Lange had already been used for "Sonderbehandlung" of at least 100,000 Jews in Warthegau.

And indeed, we know from many other sources that Herbert Lange's Sonderkommando was engaged in murder of Jews and incurably sick persons in Chelmno and other places [cf. also NO-2908; official Nuremberg translation [1, 2]; NO-2909; official Nuremberg translation [1, 2]].

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