II. Documents and Numbers
IV. Techno-babble and Conclusions
Before I move to the next part of my comments about Mr. "Dalton"'s response to Andrew Mathis and me following our radio conversation with Kevin Barrett on American Freedom Radio, I shall publish what my fellow interviewee Andrew Mathis has to say about item (4) of said response, which was discussed in my previous blog.
In an e-mail sent to Kevin Barrett with copy to me, Andrew Mathis wrote:
Well, you have a Ph.D., so I assume you've done a literature search. I did one just now. Took all of five minutes.
So "Dalton" asked me to check the New York Times and find references to six million Jews vs. references to other sums of millions. He suggested a date range from 1900 to 1945. I thought it more wise to end my search on August 31, 1939 -- one day before World War II began.
These are standard Boolean searches and can be replicated on the ProQuest NYT Historic databse. Here are the results:
5 documents found for: ("6 million Jews") OR ("six million Jews") AND PDN(>1/1/1900) AND PDN(<8/31/1939) 220 documents found for: ("million Jews") OR ("millions of Jews") AND PDN(>1/1/1900) AND PDN(<8/31/1939) AND NOT ("six million Jews") AND NOT ("6 million Jews") Not to put too fine a point on it, this is five references in the Times to six million Jews before the war began vs. 220 references to other sums in the millions. I.e., there are over forty times as many references to other figures. I think I made my point. Please publish this to the Web site. Roberto, you may do the same. -Andrew
After Andrew has thus struck another nail into the coffin of Mr. "Dalton"'s credibility, I move on to what this author wrote in items (7) and (8) of his response.
(7) On the lack of a Hitler order, it is rather amazing to believe that Hitler’s policy was, as Ricardo says, that underlings should simply "feel free" to kill Jews at will. Can anyone really believe that 6 million persons could be killed, and their remains made to vanish, by such an informal policy? Isn’t it far more likely that no such policy was ever intended, or implemented? And that perhaps the total number killed was far less than 6 million?
The first sentence is what I would call a straw-man misrepresentation of my arguments. Hitler didn’t tell his "underlings" that they should simply "feel free" to kill Jews at will, but gave decision-makers of his immediate circle such as Himmler and Heydrich, men with an entire administrative network at their disposal, autonomy to proceed with the program of ridding Europe of the Jews in the manner and at the pace they considered appropriate. Hitler’s approach in this respect was less unusual than Mr. "Dalton" would like to believe. Heads of state often limit themselves to setting down a general policy and leaving the execution thereof to their most trusted high-ranking "underlings" and the administrative network that said "underlings" command. It should be pointed out in this respect that the "underlings" in question were not blind followers of orders but men who made and shaped policies and whose views and objectives matched those of the Führer.
The next sentence is a hollow rhetorical appeal to incredulity based on the apparent misconception that state-organized mass murder only works if the head of state is in control of all procedures. This appeal moreover fails to take into consideration the progressive radicalization of Nazi policies, which had accounted for a significant part of the Jewish death toll long before the level of systematic genocide was reached.
The answer to the equally hollow rhetorical questions in the third and fourth sentences is a simple "no, what is likeliest is what becomes apparent from the evidence".
What becomes apparent from the evidence is the following, according to German historian Christian Gerlach (Krieg, Ernährung, Völkermord, pages 160 ff., my translation and emphases):
The principle decision of December 1941 is a central missing link in the decision process for the murder of the European Jews. It put the planning for this crime against humanity on a new basis. It does not relieve anybody, however, for it only had the consequence that the many already existing ideas, suggestions and initiatives for extermination actions on a regional level were supported, legitimized, systematized and got a new impulse.
Characteristically the first extermination camp, Chelmno, had initiated its murder activity four days prior to the Führer’s decision and independently of it. Greiser had for this purpose literally obtained a special authorization from Himmler and Heydrich for the killing of 100 000 Jews. It does not seem very probable that Hitler was involved, given that Greiser, had be had the authorization of Hitler, would not have had to thank Himmler for it. This he did, however.
To make it clear: my exposition does not mean that I want to dismiss the results of the past more than twenty years of research on the bases, especially by the so-called Functionalist school. The extermination of the Jews was by no means based simply on this one decision of Hitler's or only on his decisions, directives and initiatives as a whole, but we are talking about just one, though an important point within the scope of the process that led to the murder of the European Jews. The analysis of this impulse can contribute to also visualize more accurately the role of Hitler. It is surely difficult to understand that Hitler took a principle decision on the murder of all European Jews after the mass murder in a number of countries had already victimized almost a million Jewish people. It is difficult to comprehend that this decision was not taken all at once, but step by step, region by region. Yet especially the case of Chelmno indicates that this is how it was. The prevailing assumption that the basic decision already occurred between the spring and the autumn of 1941 is based on the belief that before crossing the border to mass murder of the Jews there need to have been something like an authorization by the state leadership. Yet for the National Socialists these extermination decisions were political, not moral decisions. They thus could be limited to certain territories or even groups of people (e.g. those "unfit to work").
How are the contents and consequences of Hitler’s principle decision to be assessed? First of all, his utterances on 12 December were but a relatively short passage of a long speech, and at this time there were political questions that required the German leadership’s attention far more and seemed more urgent to it than the persecution of the Jews. This passage of the speech was already unequivocal, but by itself not yet concrete. The contents of Hitler's separate meetings with Himmler, Bouhler, Frank, Rosenberg and others we must assume to have been much more concrete. The issue regarding the occurrences in December 1941 is not whether the actors used a more or less radical language (they also did that at other times), but the verifiable results. The three essential results of the speech on 12 December and the ensuing meetings can be summarized as follows:
1.) new principle guidelines for the murder of the Jews by the government of the General Government and the Eastern Ministry – the administrative entities with power over the greatest number of Jews within the German area of influence,
2.) the intensification of the planning and preparations for the murder of Jews in various areas by poison gas,
3.) by announcing the murder of all European Jews, Hitler had also decided on the fate of the German Jews. This is shown e.g. by Hans Frank’s utterance in Cracow on 16 December 1941 that in regard to the murder of the Jews in the General Government "what is happening in the Reich will at the very least have to happen here as well". This decision contrasts clearly with Himmler’s telegram to Jeckeln fifteen days before. About the systematic murder of Jews in the German Reich only Hitler could decide, for it was he alone who according to the Nuremberg Laws had the right to exempt Jews and so-called half-breeds from the restrictions of these laws and had in 1941 vehemently pointed out that he was the only one to decide on an eventual worsening of the situation of the half-breeds.
Hitler’s decision was necessary for the authorities involved both in regard to the murder of the German Jews an in order to obtain the basis for a central planning of the genocide. Despite all use of camouflage language the indications in Frank's speech on 16 December in Cracow and in Heydrich's address after the writing of the protocol of the Wannsee Conference must be taken serious in this respect, for we can see in them the first drafts of an overall planning of the crime. Such an overall planning for short-term murder had obviously not existed before. For the murderous proceeding against the Jews in the occupied Soviet territories the guideline of December 1941 represented only a small step further. The step was somewhat greater in the General Government, where the pressure by the police and parts of the civilian administration was in the direction of a large-scale extermination was already so great that it would have inevitably led to terrible consequences sooner or later.
This shows that with his possibly strongest intervention in the extermination process Hitler by no means decided or had to decide all, and that his intervention had clear-cut but in a certain sense limited consequences. The findings of research on the crucial responsibility of other instances, especially the authorities in the very areas of occupation, is hereby confirmed.
For the understanding of the decision process towards murder an approach via the term of the utopian seems useful. Of course ideas about the annihilation of the Jews and the respective preparedness had been there for many years prior to 1941, especially on the part of Hitler. Yet there was a difference between ideas, firm intentions to commit genocide and the implementation thereof. The first plans for a "final solution" contained strongly destructive aspects of slow decimation through horrible living conditions and impediment of reproduction, but also utopian aspects characterized by the impossibility of carrying out these seriously pursued solutions in practice. This applies to the plans of 1939/40 for the "pushing away" of the Jews to the Lublin district as well as to Madagascar. The destructive elements became stronger in the plan to deport Jews to the Soviet Union after a military victory over that country. The procedure of annihilation only became imaginable gradually – despite the widespread preparedness for it. The steps from utopian resettlement and extermination programs to actually executable murder programs were decisive for the execution of the mass murder. Thus the plan decided upon at the beginning of 1941 to force about 30 million people in the Soviet Union to starve to death in order to guarantee the feeding of German-dominated Europe turned out to be unfeasible. It was thereupon replaced in the autumn of 1941 by programs for the murder of certain segments of the populations, such as millions of Soviet prisoners of war "unfit to work". For the intentions directed against the Jews the point-settings in December 1941 constituted a crucial step towards the realization, i.e. the implementation of the plans for genocide.
As little as this monstrous process was normal politics, as much as Hitler produced it – in this respect the decision about the lives of the European Jews were taken almost as in a "normal" political deliberation: the "Führer" did not take the decision all alone, but after a given time, in a given situation and on a given occasion he approved the initiatives from the state and party apparatus. Many insisted on the murder of all European Jews, but before they could begin with it systematically, there was the need in the National Socialist system for a decision taken by Hitler.
Christian Gerlach's thesis that Hitler's central decision was taken on 12 December 1941 is explained in his article on the Wannsee Conference. It is also mentioned in the THHP article December 12, 1941.
In point (8) Mr. "Dalton" starts out as follows:
(8) On the Goebbels diary, both guests make much of the March 27, 1942 entry in which 60% of the General Government Jews were to be “liquidated.”
Then he changes the subject:
Let me say, first off, that it does their case no good to bring up Goebbels! I have analyzed the diaries in detail—all 29 volumes, available only in German—and found virtually no evidence of mass murder. I would refer the reader to my article “Goebbels and the Jews” (www.inconvenienthistory.com – Part 1 posted now, Part 2 to follow in May).
Said Part 1 was commented in my blog Goebbels on liquidation, as follows:
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 physical killing. 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.
Of 123 relevant entries on the Jews, I found only repeated reference to evacuation and deportation—no mass killing, no gas chambers, no genocide.
Mr. "Dalton" must have counted the diary entry of 27 March 1942 as a reference to "evacuation and deportation", which does not bode well for his criterion. And his interpretation of the two 1941 entries mentioned above also leaves much to be desired.
The usual reply by traditionalists is that Goebbels used euphemisms and a ‘code language’, but this makes absolutely no sense in a personal and private diary! -- and for more than a decade, during which time Nazi policy was allegedly “evolving” toward mass murder.
Regarding the "private diary" thing, someone should tell Mr. "Dalton" that Goebbels wrote his diary also for the sake of posterity, so it's no surprise that he should have often hesitated to break the news in all their crudity to those who would judge him in the future. Recommended reading: Elke Fröhlich, "Joseph Goebbels und sein Tagebuch. Zu den handschriftlichen Aufzeichnungen von 1924 bis 1941", in: Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 35. Jahrgang 1987, 4. Heft, S. 489 ff..
As to the development of Nazi policy, the fact that it reached the most radical stage only in late 1941 makes it seem rather unrealistic to expect references to mass murder before that time, veiled or not.
Specifically regarding “liquidation”, Goebbels used that word 8 times with respect to Jews, and at least 2 of these, without question, do not mean ‘killing’ (“liquidating the Jewish danger”, and “liquidating Jewish marriages”).
So he used it up to 6 times in a context that meant killing? Please quote them all, Mr. "Dalton".
The literal meaning of liquidation is, of course, ‘to make fluid.’ And this was exactly Nazi policy: to “make fluid” the entrenched Jewish population, and to cause them to flow out of the Reich.
Mr. "Dalton"’s linguistic skills leave much to be desired, as I pointed out in my aforementioned blog. Making something liquid would be "liquefying" in English and "verflüssigen" in German, if you ask me. I definitely prefer the assessment of a linguist by the name of Eugene Holman, courtesy of HC blog commentator Philip Matthews, emphasis added:
"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]."
This is not nit-picking! I cite a newspaper of that time, which describes liquidation as either killing (based on then-current rumors) or “transportation eastward in cattle trucks to an unknown destination.”
I guess Mr. "Dalton" means this passage of his article:
An article in the London Times had this to say: “The rest of the Jews in the General Government…would be liquidated, which means either transported eastward in cattle trucks to an unknown destination, or killed where they stood” (4 December 1942; p. 3).
If the alternative to "transported eastward in cattle trucks to an unknown destination" were simply "killed", Mr. "Dalton" would have a point as concerns the use of the expression "liquidated" in this newspaper article. But the alternative is described not just as "killed" but as "killed where they stood". The highlighted expression "where they stood" shows that the author considered transportation eastward to have the same ultimate effect as killing "where they stood", i.e. death. Nice try, Mr. "Dalton".
And Auschwitz survivor Thomas Buergenthal describes his ghetto as being “liquidated”—meaning dissolved and evacuated.
I didn't know that ghetto is a living person or a group of living persons. I thought the term referred to a secluded area where Jews were living. My point and that of Mr. Holman, which Mr. "Dalton" is trying to obfuscate here, is that the verb "liquidate" or the noun "liquidation" mean nothing other than killing when used to describe something that is, has been or will be done to a person or a group of persons.
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.
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.
(Quotes from my aforementioned blog).
Goebbels is saying that the Jews must be liquidated, Mr. "Dalton". Not their ghettos, not their marriages, not their culture, not their religion, not their economic power, not their influence, but the human beings referred to as Jews.
Perhaps most striking is that Goebbels uses, only once, an explicit term for killing Jews—and not German Jews, but Allied Jews! This was in a late entry (March 14, 1945), and only after 5 major Allied fire-bombings killed more than 125,000 German civilians. He had no compunction about calling for Jewish deaths, when it was warranted. I can only suggest that the reader check out my article, read the entries in full, in context, and then decide for himself.
Goebbels' having had not compunction about calling for deaths "when it was warranted" (we’ll get to that part later) actually reinforces my point. This everything-other-than-squeamish man, who could write unabashedly about killing and death in his diary, didn’t want to go into further detail, in his diary entry of 27 March 1942, as concerns the "barbaric procedure" whereby the majority of the General Government's Jews were being or would be "liquidated". What was happening to these Jews was something so horrendous (Goebbels accordingly speaks of a judgment that is being visited upon the Jews, and about the Führer's "prophecy" becoming true "in the most terrible manner") that Goebbels considered it something "not to be described in any more detail". It turned even his stomach around.
Now to the "when it was warranted" part: Mr. "Dalton" apparently considers it OK if the Nazis had killed Allied Jews in retaliation for the bombing of German cities. In his aforementioned article he expresses this thought even more clearly (emphases added):
Perhaps it was only at the end, when the Jewish-backed Allies were slaughtering innocent Germans by the tens of thousands, that the Nazis began calling for their deaths. And perhaps by then it was justified.
Thank you very much, Mr. "Dalton", for expressing so clearly where you come from and what it is that makes you tick. It might be an understatement to call this self-revelation another nail in the coffin of your credibility.
By the way (as you claimed that there is "not nearly enough forensic evidence" to support the numbers of Jewish victims of Nazi mobile killing operations): is there "nearly enough forensic evidence" to support your "more than 125,000 German civilians" killed by Jewish-supported Allied bombs?
Not that I would consider it indispensable, but what is sauce for the goose …
Coming up next:
IV. Techno-babble and Conclusions