Friday, May 06, 2011

Himmler in Distrikt Lublin, February 1943

On February 16th, 1943, Himmler ordered the razing of the Warsaw ghetto on the grounds that "we must achieve the disappearance from sight of the living-space for 500,000 sub-humans (Untermenschen) that has existed up to now". This order was probably issued whilst Himmler was in Lublin, according to documents cited by Gerlach in Kalkulierte Morde, p.572 note 430, reproduced in part by Dr Nick Terry here:
Fernschreiben Grothmann an Globocnik, 11.2.43, Bundesarchiv Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten ZM 1457 A.2, Bl. 178
telex includes Reiseprogramm for 12.2.43:
Vom Flugplatz aus sofort Fahrt zu dem bewussten Ort

[...]

further: Hauptabteilungsleiter in Generalgouvernement, Naumann, wrote in a Vermerk of 23.2.43 that Himmler was vor ca. 14 Tagen im Distrikt Lublin anwesend (BA R26 IV/33)
These sources are strong evidence that Himmler visited Aktion Reinhard camps in February 1943, among other tasks that he did whilst in the Lublin area. Deniers are either unaware of these documents or pretend to be unaware of them. For example, see Mattogno and Graf, Treblinka, p.142, who state:
On the other hand, the story of the Himmler visit to Treblinka is devoid of any sort of historical basis and is not even supported by a vague documentary reference. It is a simple invention of the witnesses in order to make their tales of enormous cremations in Treblinka appear credible, which for their part are supposed to lend credibility to their description of a gigantic mass extermination in the camp. But historically viewed it is all sheer nonsense.
This is repeatedly blindly by nathan here:
I shall assume that Himmler’s February visit to Treblinka is a figment of propaganda, quite probably derived from Wiernik’s seminal memoir A Year in Treblinka.
Strangely, in Sobibor, p.58, MGK concede a Himmler visit to the Sobibor camp in March, but the documentary evidence for this (Globocnik-Herff, 13/4/43) is not as precise in its dating as the February documentation, as Globus simply says "in March", and Globus was writing retrospectively. This source therefore does not preclude Himmler having visited the region in both February and March, nor does it preclude the possibility that Globus was mistaken about the month. Furthermore, MGK contradict this concession on page 282, footnote 855, of Sobibor by denying any Himmler visit to Treblinka in Feb or March 1943, even though the earlier chapter (page 58) of their same book had conceded a March visit to "the installations of Aktion Reinhard" based on Globus-Herff.

Moreover, MGK fail to explain why Himmler would visit a mere transit camp, especially as they offer no evidence that there was a problem at the camp that required Himmler's attention. Cremation of bodies is therefore the only explanation for Himmler's visit(s) that is on the table, in the absence of any coherent narrative (once again) from deniers.

3 comments:

Jonathan Harrison said...

I should add that none of the above means that there were no cremations at Treblinka before February. Himmler was most likely escalating an existing policy.

Jonathan Harrison said...

There is substantial testimony of more limited cremations in August-December 1942, summarized by Sergey here:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2010/01/clueless-duo-and-early-corpse.html

shipoffools said...

"These sources are strong evidence that Himmler visited Aktion Reinhard camps in February 1943, among other tasks that he did whilst in the Lublin area. Deniers are either unaware of these documents or pretend to be unaware of them. "

What Mr Harrison seems blissfully unaware is that Treblinka is not in Distrikt Lublin, but in Distrikt Warsaw. Hence when deniers say they believe a visit to Sobibor took place they are not "conceding" anything but simply stating what the documentation indicates. When they state they think a visit to Treblinka is simply propaganda, this again is reflecting the fact there seems to be no documentation to support it.