Evidence for the Presence of "Gassed" Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories, Part 1
By a "Revisionist" who calls himself Thomas Kues (hereinafter "TK")
2. The Deportation of Jews from Western-, Central-, Northern and Southern Europe According to Mainstream Historiography
In order to fully understand the significance of the evidence surveyed in the present article, it is necessary to acquaint oneself with the documented historical background, namely the deportations of Jews from the German-controlled European territories. How many Jews were deported from the different countries, and when? The sections below will clarify this context.
2.1. The Deportation of Jews from Altreich, Ostmark and the Protectorate
It is a fact fully recognized by mainstream historians that, between early November 1941 and late November 1942, more than 80 transports brought a relatively large number from Altreich (“The Old Empire”, a term referring to Germany within its 1938 borders), Ostmark (Austria) and the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia directly into the occupied eastern territories. The destinations were, in order of frequency, Riga, Minsk, Maly Trostinec (Belarus), Kaunas (in German Kovno), Baranoviči (Belarus) and Raasiku (Estonia). None of the documented transports were sent to the Ukraine or to the occupied parts of Russia proper. Preserved railway documents in combination with a German report from July 1942, enables us to draw the conclusion that, all in all, 66,210 Jewish deportees were sent directly into the occupied eastern territories.
I hope for TK that he is aware of the implications that the mentioned evidence about transports to the occupied eastern territories has for his claim that Jews considered to have perished at extermination camps were actually deported to the occupied Soviet territories.
First, it means that the presence of Jews from the Altreich, Ostmark and the Protectorate in the occupied Soviet territories does not support his claim unless a) the numbers he can demonstrate to have been present in the occupied Soviet territories exceed the number of documented deportees and b) the "excess" deportees either didn't go to Riga, Minsk, Kaunas/Kovno, Baranoviči or Raasiku, or were demonstrably deported there by another route than the recorded deportees, who to my knowledge didn't pass through either of the camps Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibór, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek.
Second, if a relatively low number of deportees to the occupied Soviet territories can be traced quite precisely on hand of the available documentation, what does that say about the claim that about 2 million Jews were transported to the occupied Soviet territories and resettled there without there being any documentary or other records of such a massive population movement?
A somewhat greater number were sent to the ghettos in the General Government and from there later on to the “extermination camps”. A total of 65,892 Jews were deported to Auschwitz from Germany, Austria and Theresienstadt during 1942-1943; 35,561 of these were “gassed without registration”, i.e. transited east. A total of 10,933 Jews who had been sent from the Altreich, Ostmark and the Protectorate to the Łodz Ghetto were deported to Chełmno in the first half of 1942 (cf. Section 3.3.1.) and “gassed” there, i.e. transferred east. According to Jules Schelvis, 23,500 German and Austrian Jews were sent to the “pure extermination camp” Sobibór. In Treblinka, 18,004 Jews from Theresienstadt were “gassed”. Yitzhak Arad further speaks of “tens of thousands” of German and Austrian Jews being sent to Treblinka as well as Bełżec. This means that some 100,000 Jews from the abovementioned territories were deported to the east via transit camps.
Only if and insofar as
a) TK’s rendering of sources is accurate (I’ll assume for now that it is),
b) The sources mentioning deportation to Auschwitz, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka are duly backed up by evidence (I’ll assume that they are), and
c) There is evidence that arrivals at these camps were later moved on further east (of which I haven’t yet seen any).
This applies accordingly to all later claims of TK’s that Jews taken to these five camps or to Majdanek did not perish there except for a small number of survivors (as the evidence tells us) but were deported to the occupied Soviet territories (as TK would like to believe or have his readers believe).
2.2. The Jews of Central Europe
2.2.1. The Jews of Poland
The vast majority of the Jews allegedly gassed in the “extermination camps” were Polish Jews. Thus one would expect a search for the “gassed” Jews to focus mainly on this group. There are, however, good reasons for not doing so. First there is the great similarity between Polish, Baltic, Byelorussian, Russian and Ukrainian Jewry. All of these groups had until the early 20th century been subjects of the Russian Czar, and besides speaking closely related Slavic tongues (except for most of the Baltic Jews), nearly all of them spoke Yiddish. A Polish Jew would therefore have been able to go more or less unnoticed among for example Russian Jews. More importantly, it is a commonly recognized fact that a large number of Polish Jews either managed to escape or were evacuated east, first at the outbreak of the war in 1939, and later also in connection with the launch of Operation Barbarossa in the summer of 1941. Not all of those Jews found their way to the interior of Russia or Central Asia in; a relatively large number also remained in Belarus while smaller numbers lingered also in the Ukraine and the Baltic States. Hersh Smolar, the Jewish partisan leader operating near Minsk whose memoirs are discussed below (Section 3.3.3.), was one of the Polish Jews who had fled to Belarus in 1939 and remained there at the time of the German invasion. It is thus very difficult to use references to the presence of Polish Jews in the occupied eastern territories as a mean to verify the revisionist hypothesis. For their presence to be of significance, the mentioned Jews would have to be reported as deported from Poland to the east from December 1941 onward, following the opening of the first “extermination camp” Chełmno (Kulmhof) in the Warthegau District.
References to one or the other Polish Jew or group of Polish Jews in the occupied Soviet territories not only fail to vindicate the "revisionist hypothesis", actually. The fact that the relatively few Polish Jews deported to Belorussia could be traced by historians (see for instance the chapter Die Verschleppung von Juden aus anderen Ländern nach Weißrußland of Christian Gerlach’s book Kalkulierte Morde, transcription and translation in my RODOH post of 21-Aug-2005 08:47) wreaks havoc with the notion that many hundreds of thousands of Polish Jews could have been deported to the occupied Soviet territories without being recorded or even noticed. Gerlach managed to trace three transports of Polish Jews to Belorussia: one with 960 Jewish men who were taken to Bobruisk on 30 May 1942, one of 1,500 Jews from Warsaw that arrived at Bobruisk on 28 July 1942 (only 91 of the deportees were still alive in September 1943, when they were returned to Lublin) and one with 1,000 Warsaw Jews that arrived on 31.07.1942 at Minsk (where, as pointed out in the blog Mattogno and Graf Screwed By Their Own Source, Gauleiter Kube, after reporting the killing of tens of thousands of Jews in Minsk county, Glebokie and the city of Minsk, emphatically expressed opposition to Polish Jews arriving in his territory and announced: "I am in full agreement with the Commander of the SD in Byelorussia that we should liquidate every transport of Jews not arranged, or announced to us, by our superior officers, to prevent further disturbances in Byelorussia.").
According to the Korherr Report, over 1.4 million Jews (1,274,166 "through the camps in the Generalgouvernement" and 145,301 "through the camps in the Warthegau") were transported "to the Russian East" in 1942 alone (as I demonstrated in the blog Richard "I didn’t know" Korherr, the author of this report knew perfectly well that he was tabulating mass murder). Are we asked to believe that it is not possible to trace the deportation of over 1.4 million people (1,419,467, to be precise) from Poland to the occupied Soviet territories, most of them within less than a year, when a German historian has managed to trace the deportation of a mere ca. 3,500 Jewish forced laborers from Poland to Bobruisk and Minsk, and also what happened to these deportees at their destination?
2.2.2. The Jews of Slovakia
The total number of Jews in Slovakia as per the census of 15 December 1940 amounted to 88,951. A deportation agreement reached between Germany and Slovakia in 1941 stipulated that the Slovakian government would pay Germany 500 Reichsmark per deportee for “shelter, food, clothing, and retraining” (Unterbringung, Verpflegung, Bekleidung und Umschulung), a cost which Raul Hilberg naturally dismisses as “fictional expenses”. Deportations from Slovakia began on 26 March 1942. Up until October the same year a total of 57,752 Jews were deported; 18,746 were sent to Auschwitz while 39,006 were taken to a ghetto in Nałęczów near Lublin. From this ghetto some 9,000 of them proceeded to Majdanek, while 24,378 were sent to be gassed at Sobibór. Jules Schelvis on the other hand concludes that, all in all, “around 26,000” Slovakian Jews were “gassed” at Sobibór. During 1942 some 7,000 Slovak Jews managed to escape to Hungary. Of the Jews that remained in Slovakia some 13,000 – 14,000 were eventually arrested. In October 1944, 7,936 of them were deported to Auschwitz, while 4,370 were sent to Sachsenhausen and Theresienstadt.
I see. And how many of those sent to Auschwitz, Majdanek or Sobibor can TK show to have been sent to other places from there?
2.2.3. The Jews of Hungary
The deportation of Jews from Hungary did not begin until May 1944. Since the German-controlled areas in the east were shrinking at a rapid rate during that year, it is extremely unlikely that any of the Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau ever reached the occupied eastern territories, with two exceptions: 1) a transport of some thousand Hungarian women which was sent to Latvia, and of which approximately 700 were later transferred by ship from Kaunas to Stutthof on 4 August 1944; 2) a transport of 500 Hungarian women, possibly from the Transylvanian town of Bistritz (Bistriţa) that arrived in the Estonian camp Vaivara in June 1944. It is not impossible that the latter group consisted of a subset of the first group, as one source states the Jewesses from Bistritz arrived via Riga. Two further special cases of Hungarian or nominally Hungarian Jews reaching the east already in 1941 will be discussed below in Section 3.3.3.
So where was the overwhelming majority of Hungarian Jews transported? German historians Christian Gerlach and Götz Aly have established this for their book Das letzte Kapitel, where one reads the following (page 378, my translation in RODOH post 11605:
Altogether about 200,000 Jews were transported in 1944 from Hungary to Germany or the German-occupied territories and not immediately murdered but used as forced laborers. About 110,000 of them were brought between May and July 1944 to Auschwitz, where most were distributed to other camps. About 90,000 were deported directly to Austria: 15,000 in June 1944 to the Vienna area, several thousand already in the spring of 1944 to Mauthausen concentration camp and other camps, and about 76,000 between October and December 1944, mostly in murderous foot marches (see chapters 5a, 5b, 3d and 6b). Another 320,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered by gas immediately after their arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
2.3. The Jews of the Netherlands, Belgium and France
2.3.1. The Jews of the Netherlands
According to a registration carried out by the German occupational authorities on 10 January 1941, there lived 140,000 full Jews liable to deportation on the territory of the Netherlands, whereof 80,000 in the city of Amsterdam. From July 1941 the Dutch Jews had to have their identification papers stamped with the letter “J” for “Jood” (Jew), and from 29 April 1942 they were forced to wear a yellow Star of David with the inscription “Jood” on their outer clothing. On July 17, 1942 transports of Dutch Jews bound for Auschwitz began departing from the collection camp of Westerbork. Raul Hilberg states that 105,000 Jews were deported from the Netherlands and presents the following breakdown according to the points of arrival:
Mauthausen (1941 and 1942) 1,750
Various Concentration Camps 350
Auschwitz Complex 60,000
More precisely this gives a total of 105,050 deportees. The figure of 350 deportees to “Various Concentration Camps” appears to be in error, since Hilberg elsewhere states that a total of 680 Dutch Jews were deported to Buchenwald in the period of February-June 1941. The number of Dutch deportees to Auschwitz and Sobibór are given more exactly by Jules Schelvis as 60,185 and 34,313 respectively. The number of Jews deported from the Netherlands therefore would appear to be closer to 106,000, but Schelvis, whose figures are generally more exact than those of Hilberg’s, writes that a total of 102,993 Jews were deported from the Netherlands in 102 transports, “excluding the 2,000 or so who were arrested in Belgium and France”. Hilberg gives the number of surviving deportees as 1 for Mauthausen, 19 for Sobibór, “over 1,000” for Auschwitz, and “over 4,000” for Theresienstadt and Bergen-Belsen combined; whereas the always more exact Schelvis gives the number of Auschwitz survivors as 1,052, the number of Sobibór survivors as 18 and the number of Theresienstadt and Bergen-Belsen survivors as 4,030. Thus of the 105,000 deportees, counting the Dutch Jews arrested outside of their country) all but 5,100 are alleged to have perished during the war. Hilberg adds that “about 2,000” Dutch Jews “were killed, committed suicide or died of privation inside the country, particularly in the transit camps Vught and Westerbork.” Moreover, “up to 5,000 may have fled or emigrated, and the excess of deaths over births during the occupation was also a few thousand”, whereas the number of Jews remaining in the Netherlands at the end of the deportations is given as in total 20,000 – 22,000. A Dutch Government Report issued on 16 October 1945 states the number of remaining Dutch Jews to be 23,000. Adding the above figures together we get the following summary:
Allegedly perished deportees approx. 99,900
Returning deportees 5,100
Deaths in the Netherlands approx. 2,000
Mortality surplus approx. 2,000
Migration and escapes up to 5,000
Remaining Jews in Sept. '44 20,000-22,000
Total: 134,000 - 136,000
Acknowledging the possibility that some of the categories might have been slightly underestimated, we thus have statistical accounts covering the fates of the 140,000 Dutch Jews. We are moreover aided by the fact that the Germans kept precise records of the transports. The mainstream historians of course assert that much of said record keeping served as a “camouflage”, and that the vast majority of the Dutch deportees to Auschwitz and Sobibór were gassed there on arrival without being entered into camp registries: about 33,313 of the 34,313 Sobibór deportees and 38,231 of the 60,085 Auschwitz deportees are claimed to have met with this fate, which according to the revisionist hypothesis means that approximately 71,554 Dutch Jews were deported to the occupied eastern territories.
Again, I’m curious about what evidence TK will offer for the "approximately 71,554 Dutch Jews" he claims were "deported to the occupied eastern territories" from Auschwitz and Sobibór. How come that deportees can be traced so precisely all the way to these places but vanish thereafter?
2.3.2. The Jews of Belgium
Hilberg writes that the Jewish population of Belgium on the eve of the German invasion “most probably” amounted to more than 65,000 people, the majority of whom did not possess Belgian citizenship but were immigrants from Eastern Europe as well as refugees from the Third Reich. At the time of the German invasion “thousands” of the Jews fled south, whereas another 8,000 were shoved by the German occupants into France. A subsequent registration of the Jews encompassed 55,670 Jews on Belgian territory and another 516 Jews in two French départements attached to the Brussels military administration. Starting in August 1942, a total of 25,000 Jews were deported from Belgium to Auschwitz, and of those fewer than 1,500 returned after the war. According to Hilberg, “several hundred” Belgian Jews died in their country during arrest or committed suicide. Approximately 25,000 Belgian Jews were sent to Auschwitz, and of these some 15,700 are alleged to have been gassed; a smaller number was also sent to Majdanek.
2.3.3. The Jews of France
At the end of 1939, some 280,000 Jews lived in France; in Paris alone there were more than 200,000. The first French transport bound for Auschwitz left on 27 March 1942. By March 1943, the number of Jews deported from France had reached 49,906. A total of 75,000 Jews were deported from France; whereof at least two-thirds were foreign-born people who did not possess French citizenship. Hilberg lists the destinations of the deportees as follows:
Jules Schelvis on the other hand states that four French transports carrying a total of 3,500 Jews were sent to Sobibór. The deportation of French Jews to Lithuanian Kaunas (Kovno) – bearing the transport code “73m” – left Drancy May 15, 1944; some of the Jews in this transport continued on to the Estonian capital of Tallinn (Reval). Except for this single transport, no French Jews are reported by mainstream historians as having reached the occupied eastern territories.
2.3.4. The Importance of the Transports from the Abovementioned Countries
The Jews deported from the Netherlands, Belgium and France are of key importance to the issue at hand. Not only are good statistics on the Jewish populations available; the transports from these three countries were carefully recorded, and there further exist detailed transport lists with personal data on the deportees. The documented facts leave very little or no room for “unknown” direct transports of Jews from those countries to the east similar to the 1941-42 Altreich transports to the Baltic States and Belarus. The only such recorded deportation, the 15 May 1944 convoy from Drancy to Kaunas and Tallinn, is easily distinguishable due to the late date (the German withdrawal from the Baltic States began only some months later). In other words: any reliable report of Dutch, Belgian or French being present in the occupied eastern territories from the spring and summer of 1942 onward (and up until May 1944 in the case of the French Jews) is to be regarded as strong evidence for the revisionist transit camp hypothesis.
So that’s the straw our friend is reaching for. Notwithstanding the fact that there’s no reason for an absence of transportation and resettlement records after Auschwitz, Sobibor or Majdanek at least as complete and precise as the records available up to these places, "any reliable report of Dutch, Belgian or French being present in the occupied eastern territories from the spring and summer of 1942 onward (and up until May 1944 in the case of the French Jews)" is, in our friend’s opinion, "to be regarded as strong evidence" for the deportation to the occupied Soviet territories not only of 71,554 Dutch Jews, 15,700 Belgian Jews and those among the 73,000 Jews from France taken to Auschwitz, Majdanek or Sobibor that did not show up in the former two camps’ inmate records, but also of many hundreds of thousands of Jews from Poland and other countries.
I don’t know what’s more pathetic here, the absence of logic in TK’s proposition or the eagerness with which TK calls what would at best be faint and disputable indications "strong evidence" that the evidence to the killing of about 2 million people is false and they were instead transported to the occupied Soviet territories.
But then, it is well known that "Revisionist" standards of evidence vary considerably depending on whether evidence speaks for or against their claims (in the former case no evidence is strong enough, in the latter they are exceedingly generous). I expect to find further examples of this double-standard when I get to what TK calls "reliable reports" about the presence of Dutch, Belgian or French Jews in the occupied Soviet territories.
2.4. Jews of Other Nationalities
In Italy, the deportation of Jews did not begin until after the overthrow of Mussolini by Badoglio and the German take-over of the northern half of the country. The first transport of 1,007 Italian Jews departed for Auschwitz on 18 October 1943. In November and early December of the same year two transports carrying a total of some 1,000 Jews departed from northern Italy. The deportations continued in small numbers until early August 1944. In total, more than 7,500 Jews were deported from Italy. For the reason discussed in Section 2.2.3., it is highly unlikely that any of the Italian Jews except for the approximately 2,000 deported between October and December 1943 ever reached the occupied eastern territories.
In 1941 Greece was divided into three parts: one (the north, including most of Thrace) which was incorporated into Bulgaria, one (the largest, including Athens) under Italian jurisdiction and finally one (including Salonika and the East-Aegian area) under German jurisdiction. While the latter two parts were jointly administered by a puppet government in Athens, the Italians and the Germans were split in their treatment of the Jews. In the German jurisdiction the Jews were collected in the Salonika Ghetto during 1942. In February 1943, the first transports left the ghetto for Auschwitz. A total of 45,989 Jews are reported to have been deported from Salonika up until the cease of transports in August 1943. According to Hilberg, 45,000 of them were sent to Auschwitz, whereas the rest – “privileged and foreign Jews” – were shipped to Bergen-Belsen. Yitzhak Arad, resting his argument on a railroad document as well as two eye-witnesses, suggests that at least one of the transports from Salonika in March 1943, carrying 2,800 Jews, was sent to Treblinka.
In early 1943 there lived 13,000 Jews in the Italian jurisdiction. Following the downfall of Mussolini on 8 September 1943, this part of Greece was taken by German forces together with the former Italian-occupied territories of Albania, Montenegro and the Dodecanese islands. All in all approximately 16,000 Jews lived in these areas. Up until July 1944 more than 14,000 of these Jews had been deported, primarily to Auschwitz. In all of the mentioned areas some 12,000 remained at the end of the occupation.
Approximately 50,000 Jews lived in Bulgaria proper before the war (a census in 1934 gave their number as 48,565). Since Bulgaria was a weak ally of Germany rather than a mere puppet state, it was able to procrastinate on a promised deportation of its Jews, and in the end, the Jews in Bulgaria proper were never deported. However, in the northern parts of Greece (Thrace) annexed by Bulgaria in 1941 together with Macedonia, there lived some 14,000 Jews, according to an agreement signed by the SS and representatives of the Bulgarian government on 2 February 1943. Of these some 5,500 Jews lived in the former Greek areas, and in March that same year 4,215 of them were sent by ship from Vienna and from there by train to Treblinka. A further transport with 2,382 Jews was sent from Skopje (Macedonia) to Sobibór in March 1943. All in all 11,343 of the Jews in the annexed territories (7,122 from Macedonia and 4,221 from Thrace) had been deported by 5 April 1943 according to a German document.
Similar to Greece, the administrative territory of Croatia was split into a German and an Italian zone, with ensuing negotiation troubles concerning the deportation of the Jews. During the war Slovenia was slit up between Italy, Germany, Hungary and Croatia, while Bosnia and Herzegovina in its entirety was ceded to Croatia. In the whole of the new Croatia there lived some 35,000 Jews. 19,800 are reported to have died in Croatian camps, primarily Jasenovac, during the following years. During the summer of 1942, 4,972 Jews were sent to Auschwitz via Maribor. A further 2,000 Croatian Jews were deported to Auschwitz in May 1943. Yet other Croatian Jews escaped to neighboring countries and were eventually deported from there, which makes the orthodox victim estimate somewhat floating. It is generally estimated that some 8,000 Croatian Jews were “gassed” at Auschwitz.
Again, I’m curious about what evidence TK can show us that the Jews in question ever made it beyond the mentioned places of deportation.
According to Raul Hilberg, barely 16,000 Jews lived in Serbia at the outbreak of the war. Due to the significant involvement of Jews in the very active Serbian partisan movement, a large number of Serbian Jews were killed as hostages.
Significant involvement of Jews in the Serbian partisan movement? I’m afraid that TK made that up out of whole-cloth. In his essay Germans and Serbs: The Emergence of Nazi Antipartisan Policies in 1941, Christopher Browning wrote the following (emphases added):
The 100:1 reprisal ratio was then established as standard operating procedure for all subsequent casualties. When the 717th Division of Major General Hoffmann, operating south of Belgrade, suffered losses in mid-October, it had no access to a convenient reprisal pool of interned Jews. Instead the Germans conducted roundups in Kraljevo and Kragujevac, shooting 1,755 people in the first city and 2,300 in the second. In Kragujevac the victims included the students of the local high school and the workers of an airplane factory producing for the German war effort, though the Germans had never suffered a single casualty within the city. This random roundup and massacre of over 4,000 Serbs in Kraljevo and Kragujevac between October 17 and 21 was criticized by various German occupation authorities, by Nedic, and even by the OKW, causing Böhme to reconsider his reprisal policy. Arbitrary arrests and shootings of Serbs are driving to the insurgents circles of the population which up to now did not participate in the insurrection, Böhme’s new order explained. It must be avoided, that precisely those elements of the population are seized and shot as hostages who, being non-participants in the insurrection, did not flee before the German punitive expedition. Thus the Germans reverted to what might be called the proximity principle, and henceforth reprisal victims were to be taken from those found in the vicinity of partisan attacks or from villages considered focal points of the insurgency. If Serbs in the countryside were still at high risk, those living in urban areas that remained peaceful were relatively more secure.
While the Serbs received a partial reprieve from German terror, this was no help to the Jews and Gypsies. If the Germans could conceive that not all Serbs were Communists and that the random shooting of innocent Serbs would damage German interests, they had no doubt at all that Jews were anti-German and that the Gypsies were no different from the Jews. And if more care had to be exercised in selecting Serbian hostages, the pressure to find hostages elsewhere to meet the 100:1 quota was that much greater. The new German policy stated succintly: As a matter of principle it must be said that Jews and Gypsies in general represent an element of insecurity and thus a danger to public order and safety. That is why it is a matter of principle in each case to put all Jewish men and all male Gypsies at the disposal of the troops as hostages. The fate of the male Jews and Gypsies in Serbia was sealed, and their execution by army firing squad was completed by early November.
We see that Jews and Gypsies were preferential reprisal victims in Serbia not because they were significantly involved in the Serbian partisan movement, but because the occupiers wanted to avoid antagonizing the general population and thus preferred to pick their reprisal victims from among minorities assumed a priori (and without reason) to be "an element of insecurity and thus a danger to public order and safety". Accordingly one finds nothing about Jewish involvement in the insurgency in Dr. Harold Turner's letter to Karl Wolff dated April 11, 1942, in which Turner wrote the following (emphases added):
Already some months ago, I shot dead all the Jews I could get my hands on in this area, concentrated all the Jewish women and children in a camp and with the help of the SD got my hands on a "delousing van," that in about 14 days to 4 weeks will have brought about the definitive clearing out of the camp, which in any event since the arrival of Meyssner and the turning over of this camp to him, was continued by him.
On 8 September 1941 the German plenipotentiary in Belgrade, Felix Benzler, sent a telegram to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which he requested the deportation of the male Serbian Jews (in all some 8,000) to an island in the Danube Delta (in Romania). On 11 September Martin Luther replied that the Jews in question should instead be interned in labor camps. Already on the following day Benzler sent a new request for the deportation of the male Serbian Jews, arguing that for security reasons such internment was unfeasible, and that if the Jews could not be sent to Romania as per his request, they would be expelled to the General Government or to Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs now turned to Adolf Eichmann, who declared a deportation of the male Jews to the General Government or Russia “impossible” and advised that the Jews in question be shot. Nevertheless Ribbentrop on 2 October contacted Himmler to ascertain if the male Jews could be deported somewhere. In the end, however, the decision was made to shoot the male Jews of Serbia. Thus it is a fact that a large number of Serbian Jews were shot, not primarily because of their ethnicity, but because of reasons of military security, and this as a last resort.
Actually not a "large number" but just about all male Serbian Jews were shot in accordance with Eichmann’s advice (see above and also Browning’s expert report Evidence for the Implementation of the Final Solution). It speaks volumes about TK that he apparently considers a decision to "shoot the male Jews of Serbia" justified as a "last resort" measure because of the "reasons of military security" he alleges. We have seen that the "security" argument is hogwash, but even if Jews had been significantly involved in the Serbian partisan movement: would this justify bumping off every single male Jew in Serbia, and moreover make this into something other than a racist extermination measure? TK arguably stumbled over his hatred of Jews here – and over a lack of basic humanity.
As for the remaining Serbian Jews – the women, children, and elderly – it is alleged by mainstream historians, chiefly on basis of the so-called Turner document, that these were murdered in “gas vans” near Belgrade (in fact near the Sava River) in March-May 1942. However, in his summary of the negotiations on the Serbian Jews from 25 October 1941, Franz Rademacher, chief of the “Judenreferat” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that these Jews “would be evacuated by ship to the collection camps in the east” (auf dem Wasserwege in die Auffanglager im Osten abgeschoben). This would suggest that the remaining Serbian Jews were in fact deported east, possibly via the Sava River and the Danube to Romania.
Actually Turner’s letter to Wolff, which postdates Rademacher’s "summary" by almost half a year, suggests that the solution eventually adopted for the Jewish women and children was the "delousing van" mentioned in Turner’s letter. Further evidence to this proceeding, which TK conveniently ignores, is mentioned in Browning’s aforementioned expert report:
The 10-day reports of the military commander in Serbia document a steady decrease in the number of Jewish inmates in the Semlin camp between early March and late May. They register a population of 5,780 Jews--"mostly women and children"--in the "Jewish camp Semlin" on March 3, 1942, and this number declined to 491 Jews as of May 22. The reports cease to mention the presence of any Jews or even the existence of a "Jewish camp" in Semlin as of June.96 On May 29, 1942, Franz Rademacher at the Jewish desk in the Foreign Office wrote: "The Jewish question in Serbia is no longer acute."97 Ten days later the head of the Security Police in Belgrade, Emanuel Sch"fer, informed the commanding general in Serbia, Paul Bader, and the Military Commander Southeast, Walter Kuntze, that there was no longer a Jewish question in Serbia.98 And Schäfer reported to Berlin, concerning the "special Saurer truck" (Spezialwagen-Saurer)--Saurer was the larger of the two truck models used for conversion into gas vans--that the two drivers, Goetz and Meyer, "had carried out their special task", and therefore they and the truck were being sent back.99
1,800 Jews lived in Norway as of 1939. 767 of them were deported starting on 19 November 1942. Of these deportees, 532 were sent to Auschwitz, were 346 were “gassed without registration”.
When the German occupation of Denmark began in April 1940, there lived approximately 6,500 in the country. In early autumn 1943, 447 Danish Jews were deported to Theresienstadt, but none of them were ever sent on to Auschwitz. In a massive underground operation in October 1943, 5,919 Danish Jews were taken in boats to neutral Sweden. Thus not a single Danish Jew reached the “extermination camps”.
During the war years Romania under the Antonescu regime pursued a more or less independent Jewish policy of its own, which mainly consisted in deporting Romanian Jews to Transnistria, an annexed region east of the Dniestr River. Since the Romanian deportations are only indirectly related to National Socialist Jewish Policy, and since much is unclear about the deportations to – and from – Transnistria, Romanian Jewry will fall outside the scope of the present article. For an excursus related to Transnistria, see below Section 3.1.2.
In 1935 there lived 3,144 Jews in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. During the first years of the war most of them fled the country, and by July 1941 there were only some 800 left. On 16 October 1941 a train with 334 Luxembourg Jews departed for the Łódź Ghetto. A few dozen of these Jews were later sent on to Auschwitz or the Lublin District. During 1942 the remaining Jews in Luxembourg were deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto.
Again, I’m curious about what evidence TK can show us that those of the above-mentioned Jews who were deported to Auschwitz made it any further from there.
2.5. The Number of Jews Deported to the Occupied Eastern Territories
According to the revisionist hypothesis, the Jews sent to the occupied eastern territories can be divided into two main groups: 1) the Jews from the transports sent directly to the Baltic States and Belarus from Altreich, Ostmark and the Protectorate in 1941-42 (recognized by mainstream historiography); 2) the Jews who were allegedly “gassed without prior registration” in the six “extermination camps” between December 1941 and late 1943. For the first group we have rather reliable numbers (see above, Section 2.1.). For the second group we have reliable figures of arrivals to the Reinhardt camps (Bełżec, Sobibór, Treblinka, here also including Majdanek/Lublin) for 1942, and the Korherr Report further provides a figure for Chełmno (where no “gassings” took place in 1943). For the year of 1943 we must to a certain extent rely on estimates presented by mainstream historians. In the case of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we have to rely on a number of sources, which are more or less exact. In order to not make this article longer than necessary, I will here refer the reader to a revisionist study wherein these calculations are presented in detail. In the table below the number of Jews deported to the east is broken down according to routes and nationality (Polish and non-Polish Jews). One should recall here that not all of the non-Polish Jews are Western Jews (even if they form the majority).
Deported via the Aktion Reinhardt camps: ~1,429,000
Deported via Chelmno: ~145,300
Deported via Auschwitz: ~354,000
Deported directly w/o any stop-over in a camp ~ 66,200
- of which Polish Jews: ~1,571,500
- of which non-Polish Jews: ~423,000
The total of 1,994,500 deportees must in turn be reduced for several reasons. To begin with, a certain smaller percentage of the deportees must have perished en route during the long travel, which often took place under less than humane conditions. Further a total of some thousands of deportees were picked out from the transports to work inside the transit camps, and a number of those inevitably perished there due to various causes. Secondly, it is likely that the Germans in the transit camps subjected Jewish deportees who were dying, carriers of epidemic diseases or mentally ill to “euthanasia” (possibly by lethal injections, possibly by shooting) rather than sent them along to camps and ghettos in the east, where such individuals would pose a liability to the German administration, not to say a health risk. The third reason is that the certainty of the figures presented by the mainstream historians for the year 1943 is questionable, the figures being likely to be slight overestimates. The fourth reason is that some thousands of deportees to Sobibór were transferred to various labor camps in the Lublin district; it is also likely that a smaller number of Jews sent to Treblinka were transferred to the nearby labor camp of the same name (Treblinka I) or to other labor camps in the area. The fifth and final reason is that some transports sent to the transit camps in late 1943 did not continue on from there to the eastern territories. The last six or eight transports to Sobibór in September 1943 arrived there from Minsk in Belarus, reportedly carrying a total of 13,700 people (documentation is lacking). These Jews were likely sent west to be employed as workers either in Sobibór itself, where a plant for the dismantling of captured Soviet ammunition had recently been installed (in the so-called “Lager Nord” part of the camp), or in Trawniki and other labor camps. Taken together, this means that the number of Jews who reached the occupied eastern territories almost certainly amounted to somewhere between 1,800,000 and 1,900,000.
Addendum: A List of the Operational Periods of the Transit Camps
- Chełmno (Kulmhof): 8 December 1941 – latter half of 1942; summer of 1944;
- Auschwitz-Birkenau: January or February 1942 – 1 November 1944;
- Bełżec: 17 March 1942 – early December 1942;
- Sobibór: 3 May 1942 – 14 October 1943;
- Treblinka: 23 July 1942 – 19 August 1943;
- Majdanek (Lublin): September-October 1942 – 1943(?).
A nice rendering of the "revisionist hypothesis". Not wishing to discuss here each of the mostly baseless claims that it consists of (I have done that before, e.g. in my blog Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology: My Response to Carlo Mattogno (5,2), and will do so again, time permitting, as concerns the "revisionist study" mentioned in TK’s footnote 66, which I expect to appear in English translation in the near future), I’ll just say that so far the evidence to any Jews – not to mention 1.9 million Jews - having been deported to the occupied Soviet territories via the Aktion Reinhard(t) camps, Auschwitz and Chelmno, is exactly zero (even though there should be a huge paper trail and thousands upon thousands of eyewitnesses confirming this enormous population movement), whereas the converging eyewitness, documentary, demographic and physical evidence collected and assessed by historians over the last decades clearly shows that these people were murdered.
Let’s see if there’s any change to this status in the following, as TK presents the first set of "reliable reports" he considers to be "strong evidence for the revisionist transit camp hypothesis".