14. “Who wrote the Stroop Report?”
Following his “Ten Other Points to Consider”, denierbud turns to musing about who, other than its apparent author (who, as we have seen in Part 1, not only did not contest his authorship but also provided details about how the document came into being), may have written the Stroop Report. He “suspects” that “the author was a woman who was a feminist and a zionist, and who was connected to a propaganda group headed by Adolf Berman and Emmanuel Ringelblum”, and announces that “The one person who fits that mold is Rachel Auerbach.”
Why he suspects a “feminist and a zionist” behind the forgery of his fantasies denierbud sort of tries explaining in this section of his feature. Yet he leaves his readers in the dark about what his suspicion that the author was related to “a propaganda group headed by Adolf Berman and Emmanuel Ringelblum” is based on. As this commentary is not just about debunking denierbud’s nonsense but also meant to provide further information about issues he refers to, I shall therefore start by having a look at this “propaganda group”.
Adolf Berman was the secretary of a Polish organization called the Council of Assistance of the Jews ("Rada Pomocy Zydom"—ZEGOTA), which was founded on 4 December 1942 and provided assistance to Jews living in hiding outside the ghettos.
Emanuel Ringelblum was a Polish-Jewish historian, politician and social worker who chronicled Jewish life in Poland and particularly the Warsaw ghetto and whose work, insofar as it has been recovered, is kept in the State Archives in Poland as Ringelblum’s archives.
The “propaganda group headed by Adolf Berman and Emanuel Ringelblum” seems to have been headed by Emanuel Ringelblum alone. It was a group known as Oneg Shabbat, which was dedicated to documenting life in the Warsaw ghetto. Adolf Berman and his wife helped smuggle Ringelblum and members of his family out of the Warsaw ghetto, and during his subsequent hiding in the “Aryan” part of Warsaw, which culminated with his being discovered on 7 March 1944 and subsequently executed, Ringelblum regularly corresponded with the Bermans.
Rachel Auerbach, according to a short biography found on this site, was a writer for Oneg Shabbat. She was also “a Zionist and a literary modernist”, and furthermore “one of the very few Jewish women before World War II to cross the gender barrier to be acknowledged and respected for her artistic expression”. The latter may be the reason why denierbud calls her a “feminist”.
Now to the first of what denierbud believes to be an indication of Rachel Auerbach’s authorship:
A passage in the Stroop Report that perhaps reveals the true voice of the author is the following passage from section II of the introduction:
"During this armed resistance the women belonging to the battle groups were equipped the same as the men; some were members of the Chaluzim movement. Not infrequently, these women fired pistols with both hands. It happened time and again that these [women had pistols or hand grenades (Polish "pineapple" hand grenades) concealed in their bloomers up to the last moment to use against the men of the Waffen SS, Police, or Wehrmacht."
Some thoughts on the above passage:
First of all, General Stroop never mentions the real names of the Jewish combat organizations in his report. The forger makes the mistake of portraying him as too ignorant. As if, with all the possible interrogation opportunities from the thousands of captured Jews, Stroop would never mention the organizations behind the fighting: the ZOB and ZZW. The author poorly gauged how knowledgable she should make Stroop. But here's the kicker: we're supposed to believe he can just throw out the word "Chaluzim." A term that means "Young Pioneers"-- A Jewish group centered around learning skills to take with them in their future immigration to Israel. Does that seem like Stroop's voice or a momentary revealing of the voice of the true author?
First of all, denierbud should have read the Stroop Report with more attention before claiming that Stroop “never mentions the real names of the Jewish combat organizations in his report”. If he had, he might have noticed the following:
Daily Report 04.05.1943, 1st page:
As is learned from depositions made by the Jews, today we caught part of the governing body of the so-called "Party." One member of the committee which leads the gang will be used tomorrow for mopping up some more fortified dug-outs with armed Jews inside.
Daily Report 06.05.1943, 1st page:
It could not be reliably ascertained so far whether the so-called "Party Directorate" of the Jews ("PPR") have been caught or destroyed. We are on their traces. It is to be hoped that tomorrow we shall succeed in tracing down this so-called Party Directorate.
Daily Report 08.05.1943, 1st page
We continued today the operation against the dug-out of the so-called select "Party Directorate" which we had discovered yesterday, as reported in my teletype message yesterday. We succeeded in forcing open the dug-out of the Party Directorate and in catching about 60 heavily armed bandits. We succeeded in catching and liquidating Deputy Leader of the Jewish Military Organization "ZWZ" and his so-called Chief of Staff.
The term “ZWZ” looks like a garbled reference to one of the Jewish fighting organizations in the ghetto, the Jewish Military Association (Zydowski Zwiazek Wojskowy, initials ZZW), which is mentioned, for instance, in the translated excerpt from Benz et al’s Dimensionen des Völkermords transcribed in my RODOH post # 3877:
In the ghettos there were numerous smaller and larger resistance groups. They partially were split up in accordance with the Jewish pre-war parties, while in other cases they joined forces, e.g. to the left-wing super-party fighting organization of the Anti Fascist Block (Bojowa Organizacja Bloku Antyfaszystowkiego) in April 1942 in Warsaw or the ZOB (Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa – Jewish Fighting Organization) under Zionist leadership, but also with the participation of Bundists, which had definitely taken shape at the end of 1942. In Warsaw there was also the rather right-wing Jewish Military Association (Zydowski Zwiazek Wojskowy). Only during the ghetto revolt itself a coordination of the resistance efforts was achieved.
What Stroop refers to as the “Party Directorate” seems to have been the “Coordinating Committee (KK)” mentioned by Marek Edelman, “whose members were representatives of all existing political parties”. The initials “PPR” probably stand for “Polska Partia Robotnicza”, the Polish Workers’ Party that was one of the parties represented in the “Coordinating Committee”. The battle groups of the ZOB were made up in accordance with party membership, and Marek Edelman mentions one battle group that obviously consisted of members of the PPR:
The following battle groups took part in the fighting here: Gruzalc's (Bund); Merdek's (Hashomer); Hochberg's (Bund); Berek's (Dror); Pawel's (PPR).
Stroop did not have a fully accurate idea of how the Jewish resistance was organized. He got the initials of the Jewish Military Association ZZW wrong, and he seems to have believed, or wanted to believe (after all Jews and Communism were considered by the Nazis to be closely linked together), that the “Coordinating Committee” was a “Party Directorate” of the Communist PPR, when actually all political parties active in the Warsaw ghetto were represented therein. But he was not nearly as ignorant as sloppy reader denierbud would like the forger of his fantasies to have presented him.
As concerns the Chalutzim, i.e. members of the Jewish youth movement known as HeChaluz, denierbud should have done some reading about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising before indulging in his farcical conspiracy theories. He might have realized that the HeChaluz played a important part in the ghetto’s Jewish resistance. It is mentioned accordingly in Marek Edelman’s account, and also on page 295 of Reitlinger’s The Final Solution:
The Resistance Committee, which had come into being far too late in the day, never possessed the facilities for overall leadership. It had originated during the resettlement actions of 1942 in a union of the Zionist Hechalutz Party and the Socialist Bund, parties which barely commanded the support of the majority among the young and active, who had some chance of surviving the actions.21 The general accession of all political groups of any serious consequence was not brought about till October, 1942. The inner history is dim-lit and confused. Various reconstructions of the events have been made on the basis of the testimony of survivors, but they leave a bewildering impression of endless small groups and individual names.* A very young man, called Mordechai Anielewicz, a member of the Hechalutz, is said to have been the elected combat leader. Needless to say, survivors writing in the Moscow Jewish press name a Communist.22 The Germans, at any rate, gave all the credit to the Hechalutz. Stroop described the grenades hidden in the skirts of the women Chalutzim, and Krüger praised their endurance. Even Eichmann distinguished them as ‘important biological material .’23
As on many other occasions, ignorance and sloppiness have again been the hallmarks of denierbud’s conjectures.
Denierbud’s “thoughts on the above passage” continue as follows:
Secondly the passage promotes women as fighters which might point to a woman writing it. But it's an absurd notion that an SS general would admire the enemy for doing something as ridiculously "wild west" as firing pistols with both hands. Stroop supposedly writes, " Not infrequently, these women fired pistols with both hands." Wouldn't it be better just to have one pistol and hold it with two hands to steady the aim? Considering the Resistance hardly ever killed a German, aiming is probably more of an issue than doubling your rate of fire with two guns. Would Stroop admire their brazen courage or wonder why they are so poorly trained by the ZOB and ZZW? The forger wants to make the women in the Resistance look courageous and attempts to convey this through Stroop's admiring voice.
The first thing I wonder about is where, in the quoted excerpt from the Stroop Report, Stroop is supposed to have expressed anything like admiration for the Chalutzim women. The text reads to me like a plain description of facts, and what Stroop seems to be highlighting in regard to the Chalutzim women is their fanaticism and the “treacherous” fighting methods they employed, namely the use of hand grenades hidden in their bloomers. Such tactics seem to have given Stroop some concern, judging by this statement in his teletype message of 3 May 1943:
Since we discovered several times today, that Jewesses had pistols concealed in their bloomers, every Jew and bandit will be ordered from today on, to strip completely for the search..
While denierbud would like to see Stroop’s emphasis on women fighters as indicative of a female author, the probable explanations are this concern and the wish to hypocritically express condemnation for the Jews’ fighting methods and/or call attention to the risks that he and his men had run. It should also be taken into account, in this context, that the Nazis seem to have considered women combatants in the ranks of those they saw as “sub-humans” to be something particularly perverse and indicative of a lack of moral values. Thus female partisans and female soldiers of the Red Army were referred to as Flintenweiber, which can be translated as “rifle broads” or “gun broads”, and fighting women stood a good chance of being killed after capture even if belonging to the regular armed forces. The following is a part of the translated excerpt from Christian Gerlach’s book Kalkulierte Morde transcribed in my RODOH post # 3973:
The women of the Red Army drew especial hatred. There was even an army order to kill them all – at least one. On 29 June 1941 there was an instruction signed by General Field Marshal v. Kluge, in which it read: “Women in uniform are to be shot.” At the same time that v. Kluge intervened against mass shootings in one respect, he was ordering others. This order was passed on the same day by VII Army Corps and reinforced for instance by the 286th Security Division on 1 and 2 July. On 3 July a counter-order of the Army High Command reached the 286th Security Division, according to which uniformed women, armed or not, were to be recognized as prisoners of war. But even thereafter the hatred of German front line soldiers against the so-called gun broads didn’t remain behind the initial orders from above, and they were fought with enormous brutality or massacred after battle. New orders to kill all female Red Army soldiers were issued, so in July 1941 at Infantry Regiment 167 in the central section and in October 1941 at the 75th Infantry Division in Ukraine. As late as 6 March 1944 the Wehrmacht High Command ordered that captured female Soviet army soldiers were as a rule to be handed over to security police and SD as so-called unreliable elements. In Belorussia there were special prisoners of war camps for women, like at Bobruisk and Baranovichi.
It is possible that anti-partisan fighter Stroop - unlike Krüger and Eichmann, see the above quote from Reitlinger's book - shared this murderous aversion to female combatants and thus highlighted the female Chalutzim not only as a threat and an enemy not fighting “fair”, but as a general expression of the perceived perversion of the Jewish insurgents.
As concerns these women’s firing pistols with both hands instead of holding one pistol with two hands to steady the aim, I don’t know what deniedbud’s problem is. Pistols, as pointed out in Part 2 of this article, are weapons useful only in combat at close quarters, and in such combat aiming would not be a big deal due to the proximity of the target, while doubling one’s firepower in order to kill or wound more enemy soldiers might be considered desirable, especially for fighters trying to cover the retreat of their comrades and/or making a last stand in a hopeless situation.
In the last paragraph of his “thoughts”, denierbud harks back to his argument regarding German casualties, which was already discussed in Part 2. He especially takes issue with the following passage from page 5 of the summary account:
SS Untersturmfuehrer Dehmke fell in this skirmish with the bandits; he was holding in his hand a hand-grenade which was hit by the enemy and exploded, injuring him fatally.
Independently of the probability of this happening, what is beyond my understanding is how the description of SS Untersturmfuehrer Dehmke’s death can be taken as indicative of denierbud’s female Jewish forger. For the officer, who (as stated immediately before this passage) was part of a special raiding party that captured the Jewish and Polish standards hoisted by the insurgents, is clearly being portrayed in a heroic light, a man killed in the thick of the fight by the hand grenade with he apparently was about to throw at the enemy. Would denierbud’s female forger provide such a portrayal of an SS officer? Hardly so. On the other hand, it is not unlikely that Stroop may have wanted to embellish the circumstances in which Dehmke had been killed, if these had actually been less heroic than described.
Denierbud further believes that he detected Rachel Auerbach’s “sardonic style” in the following passages from Page 10 of the summary account:
The longer the resistance lasted, the tougher the men of the Waffen SS, Police, and Wehrmacht became; they fulfilled their duty indefatigably in faithful comradeship and stood together as models and examples of soldiers. Their duty hours often lasted from early morning until late at night. At night, search patrols with rags wound round their feet remained at the heels of the Jews and gave them no respite. Not infrequently they caught and killed Jews who used the night hours for supplementing their stores from abandoned dug-outs and for contacting neighboring groups or exchanging news with them.
Considering that the greater part of the men of the Waffen-SS had only been trained for three to four weeks before being assigned to this action, high credit should be given for the pluck, courage, and devotion to duty which they showed. It must be stated that the Wehrmacht Engineers, too, executed the blowing up of dug-outs, sewers, and concrete buildings with indefatigability and great devotion to duty. Officers and men of the Police, a large part of whom had already been at the front, again excelled by their dashing spirit.
Denierbud claims that, in the above text, the forger of his fantasies was
...juxtaposing a chummy camaraderie of cheerful troops with the deplorable killing of meek Jews who venture out at night with the humble goal of making contact with a neighbor or finding some food. It's the irony of doing a despicable deed with gusto
Try as I might, I can find nothing sardonic in the above-quoted excerpt from the Stroop Report. Especially the reference to “search patrols with rags wound round their feet” who “remained at the heels of the Jews and gave them no respite” can hardly be understood, even objectively, as referring to “the deplorable killing of meek Jews who venture out at night with the humble goal of making contact with a neighbor or finding some food”. For even if Stroop’s casualty figures are realistic and were not “cooked” by a commander embarrassed to report high casualties to his superiors (see the discussion in Part 2 of this article), going on night patrols after the ghetto’s Jews, some of whom were armed and all of whom were desperate, was a risky undertaking requiring a certain amount of courage, and it is obviously this courage that Stroop intended to bring to the fore. When I first read this passage, I was actually astonished at the ability of inexperienced troops to engage in night patrols in an urban area, which not only involved some risk but also suggests a certain combat skill, and wondered if Stroop might not be exaggerating in order to extol his troops' performance. Yet these night patrols are also mentioned by Marek Edelman, whose account describes them as a far more dangerous undertaking than Stroop’s reported casualty figures suggest:
Battles and armed encounters were now fought mostly at night, while in the daytime the ghetto was completely lifeless. The Germans and the ZOB patrols met only when the streets were completely dark, and whoever had time to fire first, won. Our patrols were spread over the entire ghetto area. A great many died on both sides every night. The Germans and Ukrainians made it a practice to patrol the streets in larger groups, and lay in ambush for the partisans only.
It is rather unlikely that a forger intent on sardonically denigrating the Germans might portray them as going on night patrols that, even in the face of an opponent inferior in numbers and especially in armament, might in the reader's eye have the flair of dangerous combat missions requiring courage and fighting skill. At least as unlikely as these other references to the troops' courage and abilities (emphases are mine):
Page 9 of the summary account:
Frequently from the street, we could hear loud voices coming through the sewer shafts. Then the men of the Waffen SS, the Police or the Wehrmacht Engineers courageously climbed down the shafts to bring out the Jews and not infrequently they then stumbled over Jews already dead, or were shot at.
Daily Report 24.04.1943, 1st page:
This success is furthermore due to the fact that the noncommissioned officers and men have meanwhile become accustomed to the cunning fighting, methods and tricks used by the Jews and bandits and that they have acquired great skill in tracking down the dug-outs which are found in such great number.
Daily Report 27.04.1943, 2nd page:
The leader of the raiding party had a difficult task because the bandits were disguised in German uniform, but despite this fact, he did his duty with great efficiency.
Daily Report 13.05.1943, 1st page:
After a portion of the bunker inhabitants had been brought out and were being searched, a woman reached as quick as lightning under her dress and pulled a hand grenade from her panties, from which she pulled the pin and threw into the men doing the search, while at the same time she jumped for cover as quick as a flash. Only the presence of mind of the men prevented casualties.
Rachel Auerbach’s sardonic style here? Bullshit.
15. “Hate for Nazis and compassion for Jews in the Stroop Report”
Denierbud claims that
The person who wrote it wanted to make General Jürgen Stroop look cruel and evil, while at the same time engendering sympathy for the Jews.
and quotes a few passages from the Stroop Report that are supposed to support this claim.
What he doesn’t quote are passages that are likely to engender some sympathy for Stroop’s troops, like those quoted in item 14 above, or present the Jews in a way that might interfere with the supposed goal of eliciting the reader's sympathy towards them.
It can hardly have been in the interest of a forger pursuing the goals that Stroop attributes to her to state that prior to Stroop’s operation the Jews had “control of everything” in the ghetto and manipulated the German managers of the ghetto’s enterprises through bribery and sex, as Stroop claimed in the following passages on pages 5 and 6 of the summary account (emphases are mine):
The conditions discovered there are indescribable. I cannot imagine a greater chaos than in the Ghetto of Warsaw. The Jews had control of everything, from the chemical substances used in manufacturing explosives to clothing and equipment for the Armed Forces. The managers knew so little of their own shops that the Jews were in a position to produce inside these shops arms of every kind, especially hand grenades, Molotov cocktails, and the like.[…] Over and over again we discovered that these labyrinths of edifices belonging to the armament concerns as residential blocks, contained rich Jews who had succeeded in finding accommodations for themselves and their families under the name of "armament workers" and were leading marvelous lives there.[…] According to the statements of arrested Jews, women also seem to have played a prominent part. The Jews are said to have endeavored to keep up good relations with officers and men of the armed forces. Carousing is said to have been frequent, during the course of which business deals are said to have been concluded between Jews and Germans.
It also wouldn’t elicit much sympathy for the Jews to mention that they still had lots of money, like in the daily report of 25.04.1943:
Further today, significant supplies of paper money, currency, gold coins and items of jewelry were secured. The Jews still control possessions of significant value.
The same goes for the upholding of class differences even in so dire a situation, with ”differently equipped dug-outs for rich and for poor Jews”.
Such statements suggest a Nazi’s stereotypic idea of Jews and/or his eagerness to point out their defects, rather than a Jewish forger’s endeavor to make Jews look good in the reader’s eyes.
This can also be said of referring to Jews as “cowards by nature”.
And would a forger bent on engendering sympathy for the Jews highlight the fact that there were Jewish traitors helping the SS to find dugouts?
Page 7 of the summary account:
To discover the individual dug-outs was difficult for the units, as they had been efficiently camouflaged. In many cases, it was possible only through betrayal on the part of the Jews.
Daily Report 30.04.1943, 1st page:
In many cases we are not able to discover those dug-outs unless some Jew, whom we have already caught, gives us a hint as to their whereabouts.
Daily Report 02.05.1943, 1st page:
To find more dug-outs, the raiding parties took along with them some Jews caught on the previous day to act as guides.
Daily Report 04.05.1943, 1st page:
Discovering the dug-outs becomes more and more difficult. Often they can only be discovered by betrayal through other Jews.
Would the forger, on top of so prominently mentioning Jewish betrayal, even stage a photograph in which a smart-looking German officer is seen interrogating two ugly-looking ”Jewish traitors”?
Denierbud must have failed to read the above-quoted passages when going through the Stroop Report. Or then he read them and, for obvious reasons, chose to keep silent about them. The former could be called bungling, the latter – lying.
16. “Read it Yourself”
At the end of his masterpiece, denierbud harks back to his rambling about the low casualty figures reported by Stroop, which has been discussed in Part 2 of this article. He recommends reading the teletype report of 27.04.1943, regarding which he points out that:
Around 600 Jews were killed that day, but notice how many Germans were killed: Zero. And only 3 wounded.
before repeating his brilliant conclusion:
Another not-believable day in the Stroop Report. The Stroop Report is a fake.
It is possible, as pointed out in Part 2, that Stroop manipulated his casualty figures downward in order to avoid embarrassment before his superiors. But what stands out in the above quotes is not so much denierbud’s idiotic notion that a low reported casualty count is indicative of forgery rather than plain and simple underreporting. It is that he apparently tries to create the impression that the “around 600 Jews” killed on 27 May 1943 were killed in battle, when actually most of them were executed after having been captured:
A total of 2,560 Jews were caught today within the former Ghetto, of whom 547 were shot.
Mendacity to the end. The Stroop Report is a fake like denierbud is an honest and reasonable researcher. Or then, the latter notion is even more nonsensical than the former.