Monday, April 12, 2010

Goebbels on liquidation

On 27 March 1942, Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wrote into his diary one of the most explicit recorded references to the Nazi genocide of the Jews.

The text of this diary is rendered as follows in Richard J. Evans' expert opinion David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial:

'Aus dem Generalgovernement werden jetzt, bei Lublin beginnend, die Juden nach dem Osten abgeschoben. Es wird hier ein ziemlich barbarisches und nicht näher zu beschreibendes Verfahren angewandt, und von den Juden selbst bleibt nicht mehr viel übrig. Im großen kann man wohl feststellen, daß 60 % davon liquidiert werden müssen, während nur noch 40 % in die Arbeit eingesetzt werden können. Der ehemalige Gauleiter von Wien, der diese Aktion durchführt, tut das mit ziemlicher Umsicht und auch mit einem Verfahren, das nicht allzu auffällig wirkt. An den Juden wird ein Strafgericht vollzogen, das zwar barbarisch ist, das sie aber vollauf verdient haben. Die Prophezeiung, die der Führer ihnen für die Herbeiführung eines neuen Weltkriegs mit auf den Weg gegeben hat, beginnt sich in der furchtbarsten Weise zu verwirklichen. Man darf in diesen Dingen keine Sentimentalitäten obwalten lassen. Die Juden würden, wenn wir uns ihrer nicht erwehren würden, uns vernichten. Es ist ein Kampf auf Leben und Tod zwischen arischer Rasse und dem jüdischen Bazillus. Keine andere Regierung und kein anderes Regime könnte die Kraft aufbringen, diese Frage generell zu lösen. Auch hier ist der Führer der unentwegte Vorkämpfer und Wortführer einer radikalen Lösung, die nach Lage der Dinge geboten ist und deshalb unausweichlich erscheint. Gott sei Dank haben wir jetzt während des Krieges eine ganze Reihe von Möglichkeiten, die uns im Frieden verwehrt wären. Die müssen wir ausnutzen. Die in den Städten des Generalgovernements freiwerdenden Ghettos werden jetzt mit den aus dem Reich abgeschobenen Juden gefüllt, und hier soll sich dann nach einer gewissen Zeit der Prozeß erneuern. Das Judentum hat nichts zu lachen...'; in E. Fröhlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, Teil II, Vol. 3 (Munich, New Providence, London, Paris, 1994), p. 561.

The same expert opinion contains the following translation of this diary entry:

The Jews are now being pushed out of the General Government, beginning near Lublin, to the East. A pretty barbaric procedure is being applied here, and it is not to be described in any more detail, and not much is left of the Jews themselves. In general one may conclude that 60% of them must be liquidated, while only 40% can be put to work. The former Gauleiter of Vienna [Globocnik], who is carrying out this action, is doing it pretty prudently and with a procedure that doesn't work too conspicuously. The Jews are being punished barbarically, to be sure, but they have fully deserved it. The prophesy that the Führer issued to them on the way, for the eventuality that they started a new world war, is beginning to realise itself in the most terrible manner. One must not allow any sentimentalities to rule in these matters. If we did not defend ourselves against them, the Jews would annihilate us. It is a struggle for life and death between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime could muster the strength for a general solution of the question. Here too, the Führer is the persistent pioneer and spokesman of a radical solution, which is demanded by the way things are and thus appears to be unavoidable. Thank God, during the war we now have a whole series of possibilities which were barred to us in peacetime. We must exploit them. The ghettos which are becoming available in the General Government are now being filled with the Jews who are being pushed out of the Reich, and after a certain time the process is then to renew itself here. Jewry has nothing to laugh about...

As I pointed out in the blog Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology: My Response to Carlo Mattogno (5,2), both the contents of this document (especially its referring "a pretty barbaric procedure" that even the merciless Goebbels considered something "not to be described" in more detail in his own diary, the reference to a process of "liquidation", obviously nothing other than physical killing, whereby an expected 60 % of the General Government’s Jews would be wiped out, and the mention of "the former Gauleiter of Vienna" - Odilo Globocnik - as the man in charge of this "barbaric procedure") and its historical context (deportations from Lublin to Belzec extermination camp had started ten days before) leave no room for doubt that Goebbels' diary entry of 27.03.1942 was about the beginning of the extermination program known as Aktion Reinhard(t).

"Revisionist" attempts to deal with this damning piece of evidence include pathetic claims of forgery (such as discussed in my RODOH posts nos. 11981, 11987 and 11992) and equally pathetic attempts to make believe that the document doesn't say what its contents and context show it to say.

One prominent proponent of the latter line of argumentation was erstwhile "Revisionist" favorite David Irving, who in his article Revelations from Goebbels' Diary:Bringing to Light Secrets of Hitler's Propaganda Minister proposed the following interpretation (emphasis added):

More chilling is another diary entry a few weeks later. On March 27, 1942, Goebbels dictates a lengthy passage about another SS document that had been submitted to him, and which appears to have been much uglier in its content. "Beginning with Lublin," he states, "the Jews are now being deported eastward from the General Government [occupied Poland]. The procedure is pretty barbaric and one that beggars description, and there's not much left of the Jews. Broadly speaking one can probably say that 60 percent of them will have to be liquidated, while only 40 percent can be put to work."

It's a very ugly passage, and it's easy to link this diary passage with everything we've seen in the movies and on television since then. He's describing "Schindler's List" here -- or is he? I don't know. All he's actually saying here is that the Jews are having a pretty rigorous time. They're being deported, it's happening in a systematic way, and not many of them are going to survive it.

So Goebbels was so squeamish, in Irving's reading, that he considered mere deportation a procedure so "barbaric" that he refrained from describing it in further detail in his own diary, and when he spoke of an active process whereby a large group of human beings (60 % of the General Government’s Jews) would be "liquidated", he meant nothing worse than many of the deportees not surviving the rigors of deportation. I wonder if Irving really believed what he was claiming.

Current "Revisionist" scion "Thomas Dalton", while not (yet) discussing this specific diary entry, tries to make believe that the term "liquidation", when used by Goebbels in other diary entries, does not refer to the killing of human beings. Dalton writes:

The word ‘liquidation’ means, primarily, ‘to make fluid.’ And this in fact is a fairly apt description of the deportation process: a large, entrenched Jewish community who had to be uprooted, made liquid, and then to flow out across the borders. Nothing in this entails killing.

Yet some of Goebbels’ diary entries quoted by "Dalton" contain the term in a so obviously homicidal sense (for what, other than killing, can "liquidation" or "liquidating" possibly mean when referring to something that has been, shall be or must be done to a person or a group of persons?) that one wonders how many loose screws poor "Dalton" has inside his head, besides possessing rather meager linguistic skills (making something fluid would be "liquefying" in English and "verflüssigen" in German, rather than "liqudating" or "liquidieren") and being a dishonest quote-miner (as pointed out at the end of my RODOH post 11943):

Mar 19, 1941 (I.9.195)
Early flight to Posen. … Here, all sorts have been liquidated (liquidiert), above all the Jewish trash. This has to be. I explain the situation to Greiser.

Aug 7, 1941 (II.1.189)
In the Warsaw ghetto there was some increase in typhus; although provisions have been made to ensure that it will not leave the ghetto. The Jews have always been carriers of infectious diseases. They must either be cooped up in a ghetto and left to themselves, or liquidated (liquidieren); otherwise they will always infect the healthy population of the civilized nations.

"Dalton" hypocritically acknowledges that "‘liquidate’ can mean killing, as can a huge variety of words under contrived circumstances". One of these "contrived circumstances" was the murder of Polish prisoners of war by the Soviets in the Katyn forest near Smolensk in the spring of 1940, which was the subject of a major propaganda campaign orchestrated by Goebbels in 1943, including the documentary film Im Wald von Katyn.

Starting at 7:03 minutes of a clip from this documentary (also available here), the commentator states the following while the film shows members of the former Polish army watching the corpses of their comrades murdered in the Katyn forest:

Angehörige der ehemaligen polnischen Armee, die nach Katyn kamen, sehen mit schreckerfülltem Blick in die Gräber und auf die Reihen der Toten. Sie sehen mit Entsetzen wie ihre Kameraden, die sich 1939 aus freien Stücken in die Hand der bolschewistischen Machthaber gaben, danach von Stalins Henkern liquidiert worden sind.

My translation (emphasis added):

Members of the former Polish army, who came to Katyn, look with a terrified glance into the graves and onto the rows of the dead. They see with horror how their comrades, who in 1939 gave themselves up voluntarily into the hands of the Bolshevik rulers, were thereafter liquidated by Stalin's henchmen.

Compare with the first paragraph of Goebbels’ diary entry, as translated by Evans (emphasis added):

The Jews are now being pushed out of the General Government, beginning near Lublin, to the East. A pretty barbaric procedure is being applied here, and it is not to be described in any more detail, and not much is left of the Jews themselves. In general one may conclude that 60% of them must be liquidated, while only 40% can be put to work.

In both texts the term "liquidated" refers to something that has been or must be done to a group of human beings – the Polish officers murdered by the Soviets at Katyn in the former case, the "useless" majority of the General Government’s Jewish inhabitants in the latter.

This being the context in which it was applied, the term "liquidated" could mean nothing other than killing the group referred to in the former case.

Perhaps Mr. "Dalton" can explain why on earth it should have meant anything other than killing the group referred to in the latter.


Philip Mathews said...

Eugene Holman, a linguist, has noted about this term:

"The German verb 'liquidieren' was originally a financial term, used
to describe the process of paying off liabilities. It acquired the
additional meaning '(bes. aus politischen o. ä. Gründen töten,
hinrichten, umbringen [lassen]): Gefangene liquidieren' following the development of the same meaning for the Russian verb 'likvidirovat' in
Bolshevik usage, and this is its only meaning when applied to direct
objects with the semantic specification [+human], [+alive]."

Roberto Lucena said...

Current "Revisionist" scion "Thomas Dalton"

Talking about Mr. Dalton...

the "Moonbat of the Year" goes to...

Mr. Freak Dalton, congratulations for the award.

This is the new Dalton's freak issue, about N. Finkelstein:
Is Norman Finkelstein a Zionist Stooge?

In Dalton's opinion, Norman Finkelstein is a "jewish supremacist", a fake anti-zionist and pro-palestinian, lol.

These Holocaust deniers are going progressively more lunatic and insane.

Jonathan Harrison said...

I find it quite amusing that such a brainless idiot is the current face of Revisionism. It is further proof that the Revisionism is a dead as a dodo.

Robert86 said...

"This is the new Dalton's freak issue, about N. Finkelstein:
Is Norman Finkelstein a Zionist Stooge?

In Dalton's opinion, Norman Finkelstein is a "jewish supremacist", a fake anti-zionist and pro-palestinian, lol."

If the likes of Norman Finkelstein is a hardline Zionist, then Israel does not need enemies. :P

I read the article and all Mr. Dalton is going on is the idea that the mighty Jewish lobbies that supposedly have power beyond anyone else would have censored him. To him any opposittion to Israel should be in the same boat as Holocaust "revisionists" such as himself or Muslim extremist groups like Hamas or Al-Qaeda. Yet in the USA at least, none of those voices are censored completely.

Not to mention the fact that Mr. Finkelstein makes his controversial statements without resorting to threats of violence which extremist groups are willing to do thus crossing legal and moral boundries.

Yet in Thomas Dalton's mind, Norman Finkelstein cannot be an independent voice against Israel because he is Jewish. I love how he says that 100% of Israeli Jews support their government when a few of them are actually critical of their state. Though I admit not enough but not "all" like Dalton's pronouncement would suggest.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Meanwhile, on the "CODOH Revisionist Forum" ...

See my RODOH posts 12132 and 12133.

inhistorics said...

So liquidation can mean deportation?
So much for the "No liquidation" telegram that Irving acolytes are so keen to bring up.