To use this source for their own ends, MGK are forced to quote-mine their selected passages and ignore numerous other statements. Even in those selected passages, however, they have to distort a true reading of the text.
The trio quotes foremost from the 1943 edition of the Yearbook, which largely focused on events in 1942. In Sobibor, Graf quotes the work as follows:
“Throughout the year under review , as in previous years, scores of thousands of Jews were forcibly deported from their homes in cities and towns. […] Among the more important of these transfers of population was the expulsion of all but 11,000 of the Jews of Cracow, who were deemed ‘economically useful’ and put into a ghetto; those expelled, over 50,000 in number, were sent to Warsaw, Lublin and other cities. The stay of those sent to Lublin was short, for most of them were sent farther east, those remaining being penned in a ghetto in one of the suburbs of the city. Also sent east were most of the Jews who still remained in the western Polish provinces incorporated into the Reich. […] There was also an influx of German, Czech, Dutch and French Jews, forcibly sent into Poland, either to the ghettos or the labor camps.”
(MGK, Sobibor, 360)
It should be noted that the Yearbook does not describe any actual resettlement destinations for those Jews deported beyond Lublin (besides the cities already listed in Poland), thus the actual fate and location of any deportees remains uncertain, substantially diminishing this report’s evidentiary value in support of resettlement.
Indeed, in another quote from the 1944 edition of the Yearbook, Kues and Graf both quote the following:
“There are reports of Jewish deportees from Holland and other Western countries having been sent to the occupied Soviet territories for military work, but their numbers and their fate are still shrouded in darkness.
(MGK, Sobibor, 360)
Not only is the “occupied Soviet territories” left extremely vague, but the Yearbook recognizes that the numbers and fate of the deportees are “still shrouded in darkness,” showing how bereft of support they can offer MGK’s resettlement thesis.
Despite the reports weakness as evidence of resettlement, Graf attempts to pit the Yearbook against “mainstream historiography” through some“insurmountable problems,” seemingly a convoluted attempt to show the credibility of the former against the latter. Graf writes:
1) Orthodox “Holocaust” teaching asserts that the alleged gassing of Jews at Auschwitz began in February of 1942. Why were the Jews deported from Cracow in 1942 not sent to this camp which, after all, was only an hour’s drive away, but were shipped to Warsaw and Lublin instead?
Graf fails to cite examples of this “Orthod “Holocaust” teaching” that supposedly claims that gassings began at Auschwitz in February 1942. Indeed, Graf forgets that there were no morgues in Birkenau to use as gas chambers for another year, which meant that the first gassings at the camp were more limited in nature. Danuta Czech doesn’t record the first gassings in Bunker I until late March 1942, while the Belzec camp (where the Cracow Jews were sent, besides some to Auschwitz) was already fully complete and gassing whole transports.
Graf’s second (non) point is simply to highlight that the report describes Lublin Jews to be “moved further east.” As we know, Lublin Jews were actually deported to Belzec and Sobibor during 1942 (as Slovak Jews were deported into the district).
Third, Graf, as well as Kues, tries to read Chelmno’s supposed role as a transit camp into the document by pointing out that Jews deported from the Polish territories annexed by the Reich were said to be “sent east,” based upon their assumption that the East meant the occupied Soviet territories. As Graf writes:
3) “The Jews who still remained in the western Polish provinces incorporated into the Reich” – except for those assigned to the Lodz ghetto – were allegedly murdered in gas trucks at Chelmno, if we are to believe today’s official version of history. The American Jewish Yearbook does not say anything about this, yet asserts instead that the better part of these Jews was “moved to the East.” If they had been deported to Chelmno before being moved on, Chelmno must have been a transit camp – to which the revisionists would agree.
Such an interpretation does not appear to be an accurate reading of the text, which has a more general understanding of “east” in its descriptions (as in the general direction east, not the occupied Soviet territories). As Chelmno was located towards the east of the annexed territories (see the map below, hence the “sent east” description), this simply appears to be a hopeful misreading by MGK to see it as a “transit camp.”
Graf further misreads the passage regarding the destination of European Jews in Poland, concluding:
4) Whereas the deportation of a certain number of German and Czech Jews to Polish ghettos has been recognized by mainstream historians, this does not apply to Dutch and French Jews: these Jews are said to have been sent to Auschwitz and Sobibór as well as – to a lesser extent – to Majdanek, but not to any ghettos.
The Yearbook states that the various nationalities of Jews (previously listed) were “forcibly sent into Poland, either to the ghettos or the labor camps.” The sentence does not mean that Dutch and French Jews were only sent to ghettos, as seen with the “or” that lists labor camps as another destination. The labor camp can easily be understood as a reference to Auschwitz, where the Dutch and French Jews were indeed sent during this time period.
In addition to their distortions, both Graf and Kues are also guilty of quote-mining the relevant volumes of the Yearbook. While taking the parts to fit their resettlement thesis, they conveniently ignore numerous references to the killing and extermination of European Jews. This can easily be ascertained by looking at the rest of the documents, about Graf and Kues would no doubt deny or find some feeble excuse to ignore. Here are a few from the 1943 edition:
Jews remaining in the conquered parts of the Soviet Union suffered untold misery at the hands of the Nazi invaders. Almost daily reports reached the outside world of Nazi anti-Jewish atrocities, killings, and expulsions (…) According to reliable and confirmed information, in Odessa alone, 25,000 were executed by the Rumanian allies of the Nazis, after 220 Rumanian soldiers were killed by a Soviet time bomb. According to the official statement of Viacheslav Molotov, Soiet Foreign Secretary, horrible slaughters and pogroms were organized by the Nazis throughout occupied Soviet Russia. Krakiwski Wisti, the pro-Nazi Ukrainian newspaper of Cracow, reported that in Zhitomir, of the former Jewish population of 50,000, only 6,000 remained. The same newspaper stated that there were no longer any Jews in Kiev, which prior to the Nazi occupation had a Jewish population of 150,000, the last Jew having been expelled on September 29, 1941.
The latest reports that have reached this country during the months of May and June 1942 indicate that mass slaughters on a much larger scale than ever before have been perpetrated in the Baltic countries. Eyewitnesses who have succeeded in escaping from Vilna and other Baltic cities report that scores of thousands of Jews have been put to death by the Gestapo in order to make good the promise of Hitler that whatever the outcome of the war the Jews would be eliminated from Europe.
In March 1942, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the German Gestapo, made a visit to Poland, which was followed by a considerable intensification of Nazi terrorism throughout the country. Tens of thousands of Poles and Jews were slaughtered and entire districts were wiped out. According to a statement of the Polish Government-in-Exule, which has since been confirmed by several reliable sources, 200,000 Jews have been killed by the Nazis since their occupation of Poland, most of them since March 1942. According to these reports, 30,000 Jews were killed in Lwow, 15,000 in Stanislawow, 5,000 in Tarnopol and 2,500 in Lublin. It was also confirmed from underground sources that thousands of Jews were being gassed by the Gestapo.
And from the 1944 edition:
Developments within the last year confirmed anew the conviction that the Nazis are endeavoring to exterminate the Jews of Europe by all possible methods in the shortest possible time.
The fourth year of the German occupation of Poland was marked by the most horrible campaign of mass extermination known to modern history. The number of ictims and survivors cannot at present be determined. But the fact of the campaign of extermination is beyond any doubt. Thousands of Jews in Poland died before firing squards, in overcrowded boxcars or gas chambers. Thousands of others died from overwork, starvation and in other ways which constitute direct or indirect murder.
According to early reports (Polish Fortnightly Review, July 1, 1942), a number of Jews from the Lublin ghetto were shut up in boxcars, which were taken outside the town and left on a siding for two weeks, until all inside had perished of starvation. The majority of the Jews of Lublin were carried off to the locality of Sobibor, near Wlodawa, where they were murdered by gas, machine guns and bayonets.
These quotes, chosen from a wide selection of relevant passages in the 1943 and 1944 editions, prove the Yearbook’s knowledge of the Nazi killing campaign. Of course, as a wartime source and with the limited amount of accurate information available (a point recognized by the Yearbook as well) some of the points were offbase. For example, their reports that Jews in Kiev were expelled by late September do not reflect what we know today regarding the fate of these Jews, as Sergey Romanov described in several blogposts here, here, here, and here. The wording of the Yearbook is also much more certain regarding the exterminations as opposed to the quotes that Kues and Graf use, as seen by their vagueness and self-contained limitations (“still shrouded in darkness”). Should we expect MGK to accept the extermination references as well? The last quote from the 1944 edition also refutes Graf’s second “insurmountable” point on the fate of Jews in Lublin.
MGK's "affirmationist" arguments are filled with such quote-mines and distortions, so desperate they are for sources to support their notions of resettlement.