Monday, December 26, 2011

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard. Chapter 3: Aktion Reinhard and the Holocaust in Poland (2). The Origins of Aktion Reinhard.

The Origins of Aktion Reinhard

It is typical of Mattogno – and negationism as a whole - that until Sobibór (2010), he made absolutely no effort to address the origins of Aktion Reinhard. Not a word is expended in Treblinka (2002) or Bełżec (2004) about the direct decision-making processes leading up to the establishment of the Aktion Reinhard camps. Instead, Mattogno simply assumes that his version of Aktion Reinhard must have been ordered from the centre by Hitler, neatly absolving himself of the necessity of dealing with a variety of inconvenient evidence. A reader asking ‘why did the Nazis build Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka?’ comes away empty-handed after reading Treblinka or Bełżec. Despite the addition of 25,000 words ostensibly on the ‘Führerbefehl and the Origins of the “Extermination Camps in the East”, Sobibór doesn’t actually answer the question, either. Instead, Chapter 8 turns out to be a mishmash of previous Mattogno texts together with newer scrapings, with very little of direct relevance to the evolution of Nazi Jewish policy in the Generalgouvernement or the origins of Aktion Reinhard. Section 8.1 is a ham-fisted gloss on the debate on the origins of the Final Solution as a whole, which has already been dealt with in Chapter 2 of this critique. Several later sections deal with the minutiae of the construction of gas chambers, and as such will be examined in Chapter 5 of this critique. Meanwhile, Section 8.5 is ostensibly dedicated to ‘Euthanasia and Aktion Reinhardt’, belatedly trying to paper over one of the greatest dishonesties of the preceding volumes of the ‘trilogy’ – the utter silence on the connection between the T4 euthanasia program and its six gas chambers, and the three death camps of Aktion Reinhard.
Slaloming between high policy and the pointless nitpicking of SS witness testimonies about the size and shape of gas chambers, Mattogno further confuses matters by staging his very own Rocky Horror Picture Show and does the timewarp again. One suspects that even diehard negationists would find the chapter hard to read because of the chronological and thematic confusions littering the text. The attentive reader who is familiar with the actual literature and sources, however, will notice that once the game of musical chairs has stopped, once again a whole wealth of evidence is left out, and that once again, Mattogno’s grasp of existing historiography and interpretations is shaky at best. His inability to stick to the topic at hand, as well as his limited engagement with the relevant historiography, is nowhere better illustrated than in Section 8.2, ‘Origins and Significance of “Aktion Reinhardt”,’ which despite the promising sounding title mostly turns out to be a reprint of a previous spiel on the origins of Birkenau.[45] As with so many of Mattogno’s recent texts, the spiel seems to have been inspired by his frustration at reading a single article by a mainstream historian, in this case an important essay by Jan Erik Schulte.[46] Schulte’s article does indeed discuss in passing an important way-station on the road to Aktion Reinhard, the SS and Police Strongpoints project assigned to Odilo Globocnik in July 1941, but this is really not an excuse for Mattogno to rehearse less than relevant details about the construction of Birkenau, especially if he is unwilling to also read Schulte’s book, which goes into considerably more detail regarding the Strongpoints project[47], or the work of other authors such as Michael Thad Allen who have examined the same project and its context.[48] As we will see below, it is either Mattogno’s inattentiveness and inability to read Schulte’s article properly, or an act of flagrant and deliberate dishonesty, which leads him to make one of several howlers regarding Globocnik and the origins of Aktion Reinhard.
Other howlers stem from the near-systematic omission or ignorance of relevant literature. Among the many texts one might recommend to students in the English-speaking world and in Germany who were seeking to explore the origins of Aktion Reinhard are, of course, the works of Christopher Browning[49], essays by Christian Gerlach[50], the research of Bogdan Musial, above all an important article actually entitled ‘The Origins of Operation Reinhard’[51], as well as biographies of Odilo Globocnik and Hans Frank.[52] Indeed, the theme has been examined in further dedicated essays by Dieter Pohl[53], Peter Klein[54] and Jacek Mlynarczyk.[55] Literally none of these texts are cited by Mattogno.[56] Indeed, a not insignificant interpretative controversy has erupted around the origins of Aktion Reinhard and the significance of the construction of Belzec in the autumn of 1941, partially centred around the evaluation of Eichmann’s testimonies, with Musial and Browning ranged on one side against Gerlach, Pohl and Mlynarczyk on the other.[57] Evidently this dispute entirely passed Mattogno by. Instead, we are treated to the spectacle of citations from the proceedings of a conference[58] that took place twenty-seven years ago being passed off as the latest word on the subject,
Nor does Mattogno have much to say about the backdrop against which all decisions regarding Aktion Reinhard were taken, the radicalisation of policy and practice towards Jews in both eastern and western Poland as a consequence of Operation ‘Barbarossa’. The ‘Barbarossa’ build-up led to the suspension of Nazi resettlement projects, in particular the ‘third short range plan’, on the one hand, but also to a further round of ghettoisation on the other.
After all, ‘Barbarossa’ did not simply prompt further iterations of Nazi resettlement plans, but led directly to an escalation in the mass murder of Jews in Poland. Of the 1.3 million Jews of Soviet-annexed eastern Poland[59], more than 200,000 were murdered in the first six months of the occupation.[60] This wave of mass murder, already touched on in Chapter 2, had a number of implications for the radicalisation of Nazi Judenpolitik in Poland as a whole. Firstly, many of the units participating in the killings had in fact served as occupation forces in the western Generalgouvernement prior to ‘Barbarossa’. For example, Police Battalion 309, responsible for the chaotic and violent massacre in Białystok at the start of July 1941, had been based in the Radom district during the winter of 1940-41.[61] More striking still was the commitment of forces of the Security Police under the command of BdS Ost Eberhard Schöngarth, deployed to eastern Poland as the so-called Einsatzgruppe zbV. Acting under orders from Heydrich[62] which likewise mobilised the Gestapo of East Prussia as Einsatzkommando Tilsit and an Einsatzkommando from Stapostelle Zichenau, Einsatzgruppe zbV was formed by mobilising 230 Sipo officers and men from the Security Police of the western Generalgouvernement. The largest force, 150 men from KdS Krakau, formed Einsatzkommando zbV Lemberg, divided into four troops, which took over eastern Galicia from Einsatzgruppe C and became the new KdS Lemberg in September 1941.[63] The Warsaw Security Police provided at least 118 men as Einsatzkommando zbV Białystok, with 4 troops slated for Białystok, Grodno, Minsk and Nowogrodek. In mid-July it was operating in all these locations with the exception of Minsk: the troop was instead to be found in Baranovichi. Meanwhile, the Lublin Security Police (KdS Lublin) detached an initial 30 men as Einsatzkommando zbV Brest, divided into troops for Brest-Litovsk and Pinsk, with a further troop at first slated for Gomel. By mid-July, Einsatzkommando zbV Brest was operating with troops in Brest, Pinsk, Luck, Rowno, Kowel and Rawa Ruska.[64] With some few exceptions, most notably Trupp Bonifer assigned to Minsk, which eventually found its way into KdS Weissruthenien, the troops of Einsatzkommandos zbV Białystok and Brest were withdrawn back to their home bases in Warsaw and Lublin by September 1941. Among the Sipo men who spent their summer holidays engaged in ‘execution tourism’ in eastern Poland was Josef Blösche, better known to survivors of the Warsaw ghetto as ‘Frankenstein’ and the SS man photographed in the Stroop report taking a small boy prisoner.[65]
The activities of Einsatzgruppe zbV are reported coldly and clinically in the Einsatzgruppen reports, detailing execution and arrest figures usually by Kommando and time frame, but with noticeable gaps. From July 21 to September 9, 1941, a total of 19,338 executions were recorded, overwhelmingly of Jews; but this does not fully account for the carnage wrought by Schöngarth’s men.[66] Executions by Einsatzkommando zbV Białystok can be identified in SS reports[67] as well in military records[68] from the first three weeks of July. Moreover, Trupp Pinsk of Einsatzkommando zbV Brest under SS-Hauptsturmführer Hess assisted the SS-Cavalry Brigade in the notorious action of early August 1941 in Pinsk, claiming the execution of 4,500 Jews to its own account.[69] With this action, SS men stationed in the western Generalgouvernement crossed the threshold of a four figure mass murder.
Secondly, consciousness of the escalation to mass murder and genocide further east spread rapidly through the SS hierarchy in the Generalgouvernement. Not only did many of the men of Einsatzgruppe zbV return home to their postings in the Warsaw and Lublin districts, but the BdS Schöngarth as well as the HSSPF, Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger, were on the distribution list to receive the RSHA-compiled Einsatzgruppen reports.[70] Thus all SS decision-making in the Generalgouvernement was made against the backdrop of a growing awareness of the larger and larger numbers of Jews reported as executed in the occupied Soviet Union.
This awareness can likewise be demonstrated for the prime mover within the decision-making process leading up to Aktion Reinhard, the SSPF Lublin, Odilo Globocnik. On July 17, 1941, Himmler visited Lublin to confer with Globocnik and issued a series of orders. Firstly, he nominated Globocnik as “Plenipotentiary for the Establishment of SS and Police Strongpoints in the New Eastern Space”.[71] Secondly, he ordered that “the ancient German city centre [of Lublin] should be included as part of the overall construction plan for the SS and police quarter” and that “the operation ‘In Search of German Blood’ will be expanded to include the entire Generalgouvernement; a major settlement area will be created in the German colonies near Zamosc.” In the same missive, Himmler ordered the establishment of a new concentration camp in Lublin, the future Majdanek camp, for 25-50,000 prisoners. The purpose of the camp was to supply labour for SS enterprises supporting the establishment of the Strongpoints and to support the Germanisation of the Lublin district.[72] Thus, Himmler placed multiple tasks on Globocnik’s shoulders – the Germanisation of the Lublin district, the construction of Strongpoints in the occupied Soviet Union, and the supervision of the construction of the Majdanek concentration camp, which would serve both of the first two aims.
From the outset, Globocnik was ordered to cooperate with SS-Gruppenfüher Oswald Pohl in his capacity as ultimate head of Hauptamt Haushalt und Bauten, and thus with the newly reorganised Amt II Bauten under Hans Kammler, only recently transferred to the SS from the Luftwaffe construction branch.[73] In similar fashion, although the future KL Lublin was to be formally subordinated to the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, with the veteran SS-Standartenführer Karl Koch of Buchenwald assigned as commandant, Globocnik was to exert considerable influence over Majdanek in its initial development. The head of the same construction inspectorate (Bauinspektion), SS-Sturmbannführer Lenzer, was tasked with the construction of Majdanek while also overseeing the construction of Globocnik’s strongpoints. In August 1941, Kammler ordered Lenzer to secure Globocnik’s approval for the layout of an interim camp accommodating 6,000 prisoners.[74] This duality of command was to lead to serious conflicts between Globocnik’s staff and Kammler-Pohl’s organisation.
The purpose of both the Strongpoints and Majdanek was to lay the groundwork for an SS infrastructure in support of Himmler’s settlement plans for Eastern Europe. The Lublin district was slated for rapid Germanisation, while the newly occupied Soviet territories were to be Germanised in a long-term project, the Generalplan Ost. Two days after the start of ‘Barbarossa’, Himmler had met with his chief settlement expert, the agriculture professor and SS-Oberführer Konrad Meyer-Hetling of the RFKDV and tasked him with drawing up a preliminary draft of the GPO.[75] This was then delivered on July 15, shortly before Himmler’s visit to Lublin.[76] Quite separately from Himmler’s plans, Hitler decided the following day, at a meeting with Rosenberg, Bormann, Göring and Keitel but not attended by Himmler, that the Baltic states and Crimea would be annexed into the Reich.[77] This forced Meyer to adjust his planning, beginning a cycle of drafting and redrafting of the GPO that was to last until the end of 1942. It did not, however, affect the immediate preparations for the Strongpoints.
Globocnik’s task of establishing police bases was intended to identify and carve out suitable locations for garrisons of the Ordnungspolizei which could then be used as settlement bridgeheads. The project thus harmonised security and settlement aims, and involved multiple SS main offices. The first orders for the Strongpoints project went out on July 30[78] and 31, with Globocnik outlining the organisation that would be tasked with the construction of the strongpoints.[79] To this end, he also established an ‘Office of the Plenipotentiary of SS and Police Strongpoints in the New Eastern Space’ on August 8, 1941. SS-Obersturmführer Hanelt was thereby tasked with the “theoretical” elaboration of the “total planning of the SS Strongpoints” as well as the “Jew-cleansing” (Judenbereinigung). [80]
Far from confining himself to planning ‘positive’ Germanisation, Globocnik thus intended to harness the settlement plans to the solution of the “Jewish Question”. Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz, wrote in his Krakow jail cell that Globocnik had concocted:
fantastic plans of bases stretching all the way to the Urals... He didn't see any difficulties here and rejected all criticism with a superior sweep of the hand. Insofar as he did not need them for labour at "his" bases, he wanted to liquidate the Jews in these areas on the spot.[81]
Höss’ account of Globocnik’s intentions towards Soviet Jews, their property and labour potential receives indirect confirmation from an order of mid-September 1941: Globocnik forbade the payment of wages to Jews working for the SS and Police, as “Jews undertake forced labour”.[82]
The siting, moreover, of the initial Strongpoints placed Globocnik’s project in direct contact with several sites of mass extermination. Four main strongpoints were established under the auspices of Globocnik’s organisation. Three were located in the territory of the planned Reichskommissariat Ostland, in Riga, Minsk and in Mogilev; the course of the battle of Moscow meant that the latter site remained under military administration. The fourth site shifted first from Starakonstantinov to Zwiahel (Novograd Volynsky)[83] and finally Kiev in Ukraine. Subsidiary sites were set up on the orders of the Hauptamt Ordnungspolizei and by the regional HSSPFs. For the territory of Weissruthenien, von dem Bach ordered the occupation of Strongpoints in Białystok, Baranovichi, Bobruisk and Vitebsk in addition to the major centres at Minsk and Mogilev.[84] The four main sites, however, received the most attention and resources. Globocnik’s staff cooperated with the construction inspectorates set up by Oswald Pohl in the establishment of the bases. Private contract firms were sent to the occupied Soviet Union to begin construction.[85] One such contractor, Firma Macher of Munich, staged out to Ukraine from Auschwitz.[86] The SS officers tasked to lead the individual Strongpoints in the Soviet Union were all Globocnik men who later became heavily involved in Aktion Reinhardt. In Riga, the representative from Lublin was SS-Obersturmführer Georg Michalsen, later Globocnik’s deportation expert.[87] In Minsk, SS-Obersturmführer Kurt Claasen, also a future Aktion Reinhard deportation organiser, was assigned, while in Mogilev, Sturmbannführer Dolp, former commandant of the Belzec labour camp in 1940, and Globocnik’s future chief of staff Hauptsturmführer Hermann Höfle, were involved.[88] Finally, the commander of the SS-und Polizeistützpunkt in Kiev was SS-Obersturmführer Richard Thomalla, future architect of Sobibor.
Neither Globocnik nor his plenipotentiaries could have been unaware of the mass executions of Jews in Riga, Minsk, Mogilev and Kiev during the summer and autumn of 1941. Nor is it likely that Globocnik and his men were unaware of the killing experiments, including the use of carbon monoxide gas, that were carried out against psychiatric patients in Minsk and Mogilev in the same time-frame.[89] Indeed, Georg Wippern, later Globocnik’s chief of administration, testified after the war to overhearing Höfle and Michalsen joking about the gassing experiments they had conducted in the Soviet Union.[90] There is no evidence that Höfle, who later hid behind his posting to Mogilev to cover up his involvement in Aktion Reinhard[91], had in fact initiated or participated in the experimental gassing at Mogilev, and thus was surely boasting, but his exposure and close proximity to an experimental mass killing using carbon monoxide generated by engine exhaust is more than striking.
A fifth major site, Lwow, evolved from a Strongpoint into the major regional labour and transit camp for the Galicia district. The future Janowska camp evolved from enterprises identified by Fritz Gebauer, director of the Deutsche Ausrüstungswerke (DAW) in Lwow, as potentially useful for the “Strongpoint Lemberg”.[92] The first guards were taken from the SS-Sonderkommando Dirlewanger, then stationed in Lublin under Globocnik’s command.[93] Thomas Sandkühler has identified circumstantial evidence that Janowska was considered as a deportation destination for Jews from the Reich in late 1941. He has also emphasised a separate development, namely contacts between the director of the health department of the Governor of the Galicia District, Dr Dopheide, and the T4 euthanasia organisation in Berlin during November 1941.[94] The combination does not indicate, as Sandkühler has speculated, that a potential extermination camp was planned for Lwow, but it does underscore the widespread knowledge inside the German occupation authorities across Eastern Europe of the availability of specialist techniques for killing: Dopheide’s request was in order to eliminate the patients of the Lwow psychiatric hospital. As Linden could not supply T4 personnel, Dopheide’s staff opted to starve the psychiatric patients to death: a total of 1,179 patients died by June 1, 1942.[95]
This was not the first time that the T4 euthanasia program was connected to the Generalgouvernement. In 1940, Jewish psychiatric patients were collected in a waystation asylum at Wunstorf in Hannover before being transported onwards to T4 killing centres. Rather than send out death certificates from Wunstorf or a T4 centre, in order to maintain deception, the euthanasia organisation opted to notify relatives that the Jewish patients had been transferred to the ‘Cholm-II’ or ‘Chelm-II’[96] hospital in Chelm county of the Lublin district. In actual fact the notifications were drafted in Berlin. A courier travelled to Lublin in order to mail out any correspondence, in all probability this was Erich Fettke, later the courier between T4 and Aktion Reinhard.[97] In reality, there was no psychiatric hospital at Chelm at all; its 441 inmates had been murdered on 12 January 1940 and the facility was closed for the duration of the war.[98]
Whether the SS in Lublin knew of the T4 deception over Chelm or not, in September 1941, Victor Brack and Philipp Bouhler, the directors of T4, visited Globocnik in Lublin.[99] Brack, whose testimony it is from which we know of this visit, denied that the meeting had anything to do with extermination camps. A more plausible interpretation of the contact is that Brack and Bouhler wanted to discuss the possibility of setting up a new, more secret euthanasia centre in the Lublin district after the suspension of T4 for German civilian psychiatric patients on August 24, 1941.[100] At this time, four centres were still operational – Hadamar, Bernburg, Sonnenstein and Hartheim – while Brandenburg and Grafeneck had closed in 1940. Three of the four centres were involved in the so-called Aktion 14 f 13, the killing of concentration camp inmates in the euthanasia centres, and would continue to be so involved for some considerable time to come.[101] Hadamar, with over 90 staff, was however not involved due to its geographical location and was thus at a total standstill.[102] The T4 organisation was thus in something of a holding pattern, with one out of four facilities totally idle and the remaining three restricted to exterminating only concentration camp inmates. At the end of November 1941, a meeting of leading T4 personnel at Sonnenstein was assured that the August ‘stop’ did not mean the end of T4, which would continue.[103]
Thus, the interpretation offered by a number of historians, that the end of T4 enabled a virtually immediate transfer of the personnel to Lublin, must be rejected. In actual fact, at most two T4 personnel were sent to Lublin before December 1941, Josef Oberhauser and Christian Wirth, who made at least one return trip to Germany as well. But the contacts forged in September 1941 as well as the transfer of Oberhauser created a third source of inspiration for Globocnik alongside his knowledge of the mass extermination of Jews in the Soviet Union in general and the evident knowledge of the killing experiment using gas at Mogilev. Moreover, there is some evidence that Globocnik and his staff had themselves already experimented with gas many months beforehand. According to the postwar testimony of Ferdinand Hahnzog, the Commander of the Gendarmerie of the Lublin district from January 1940 to April 1942, he knew of a “primitive facility near Bełżec hidden deep in the forest bordering on Galicia... consisting of a sealed shed into which Security Police and the SD from Zamosc pumped exhaust fumes from the vehicles used to bring the ‘morituri’ there.” Hahnzog dated these experiments to the “spring of 1941, if not earlier, in the autumn of 1940”.[104]
Let us recap: in July 1941, Himmler ordered Globocnik to establish SS and Police Strongpoints in the occupied Soviet Union while he also issued instructions to force through the Germanisation of the Lublin district. According to Höss, Globocnik wanted to kill all the Jews other than workers for ‘his’ bases. A subordinate, Hanelt, was tasked with the planning of the Strongpoints and the ‘Jew-cleansing’. Through the Strongpoints in the Soviet Union, Globocnik and his staff were aware of the escalating mass extermination of Jews and also of killing experiments, a connection confirmed by Georg Wippern. Men from Globocnik’s Security Police command had even participated in a high four figure massacre of Jews at Pinsk. Independently of these developments, the T4 organisation contacted Globocnik apparently with a view to restarting euthanasia in the Lublin district, and dispatched at least two T4 personnel for shorter or longer periods of time in the autumn of 1941. According to his Gendarmerie chief, Hahnzog, Globocnik’s staff had also possibly already conducted killing experiments themselves involving gas from engine exhaust.
On October 1, 1941, Globocnik sent the following letter to Himmler:
Reichsführer! In line with the implementation of your aims regarding the district, I passed on the detailed proposal to Obergruppenführer Krüger yesterday. SS-Obergruppenführer Krüger wished to present them immediately to you. He regarded this as urgent in the light of the emergency in which ethnic Germans now find themselves.This has taken such serious proportions that one can easily claim their situation in Polish times was better... Since the preparations for concentrating them are now complete, implementation could commence immediately.... In this connection, I would also like to point out that by bringing them together in concentrated settlements and by a radical and  thorough forced removal of alien ethnic elements here in the Lublin district, we can achieve a substantial political pacification. Because both the political activism among the Poles and Ukrainians and the influence of the Jews, augmented by the influx of thousands of escaped POWs, have taken on a form here that here, too, simply in regard to implications for security policy, necessitates a rapid response... SS-Obergruppenführer Krüger has ordered me to request you, Reichsführer, for the possibility of an audience with you in the near future.[105]
This audience was granted on October 13, when Globocnik and Krüger met with Himmler for two hours.[106] Neither a protocol of the meeting nor the ‘detailed proposal’ sent on September 30 survived, but something of their content can be inferred from a letter from the Race and Resettlement Main Office representative in the Lublin district, SS-Hauptsturmführer Müller, two days after the Himmler-Krüger-Globocnik meeting, in which Müller wrote that Globocnik saw “the gradual cleansing of the entire Generalgouvernement of Jews and Poles as necessary in order to secure the eastern territories... He is full of excellent and far-reaching plans on this. The only thing that prevents him from realising them is the limited power of his present position”.[107]
On October 17, 1941, Hans Frank visited Lublin together with Ernst Böpple, undersecretary of state in the GG administration, and held a meeting with Globocnik, the district governor, Ernst Zörner, and his administrative chief Wilhelm Engler. The third item on the agenda was the “Jewish Question”. The meeting decided that “all Jews, with the exception of indispensable craftsmen and the like, are to be evacuated from Lublin. Initially, 1,000 Jews will be transferred across the Bug River. Responsibility for this is placed in the hands of the SSPF. The Stadthauptmann will select the Jews to be evacuated.”[108] Two weeks later, construction work began on Belzec.[109]
The chain of documents cited above, covering the period from 1 to 17 October 1941, has been both overinterpreted (by conventional historians) and underinterpreted (by Mattogno). Let us deal first with the overinterpretations. A number of historians, foremost among them Bogdan Musial, followed closely by Christopher Browning, as well as writers such as Jules Schelvis, have taken the sequence of documents and meetings to mean that a decision had been taken to exterminate all Jews of the Generalgouvernement in October 1941. Musial in particular has argued that this decision was taken separately to a more general decision to enact a Europe-wide Final Solution[110], while others, such as Browning, see the decision-making in Poland as part of the crystallisation of a “Hitler intent” emerging in October 1941, which may or may not be distinct from a Hitler order.[111] As we have seen in Chapter 2, the overall decision making process was substantially more complex and evolutionary than is often assumed by those who think in terms of a simple Hitler order.
The Musial-Browning interpretation, however, is contested by among other historians, Christian Gerlach, Jacek Mlynarczyk, Dieter Pohl and Peter Longerich.[112] In our view, it is untenable for the following reasons. Firstly, Globocnik’s proposal of October 1 as well as the Lublin meeting of October 17 refer explicitly only to the Lublin district. Thus it is more plausible to see the construction of Belzec in relation to a limited project to reduce the Jewish population of the Lublin district in conjunction with the Germanisation of the district. Indeed, the October 17 meeting refers only to the evacuation of the Jews of Lublin city, a town which Himmler had ordered to be rapidly Germanised in July 1941. Secondly, the plans discussed on October 17 were broached within a very tight circle consisting primarily of officials from the Lublin district. As we will see shortly, other officials in the GG administration were not initiated until December 1941. Thirdly, contrary to Musial’s speculation[113], the construction of Belzec was incompatible with a plan to exterminate all Jews in the Generalgouvernement even over a two or three year period. As we will see later on, Belzec was closed at the end of 1942 when the available mass grave space overflowed after 434,000 victims. Thirdly, there was an obvious shortage of manpower in the autumn of 1941, as the T4 personnel had not yet arrived and many of Globocnik’s men were currently posted in the Soviet Union and caught up in the Strongpoints project.[114] This explains why Globocnik wanted to start small by reducing the Jewish population of Lublin city, in contrast to the plans enacted in the Warthegau at the same time to reduce the entire Jewish population of the Warthegau by 100,000.[115] Koppe, unlike Globocnik, disposed of a ready-made killing squad, the Sonderkommando Lange.[116] In both cases, however, permission from Hitler was not needed as both were local solutions to specific problems arising from Germanisation and resettlement projects. All that needed to be done was to coordinate between the local SS and civil administration.
Mattogno, on the other hand, underinterprets this decision-making sequence. Indeed, he is apparently totally unaware of two of the four crucial sources involved, Globocnik’s letter of October 1 and the Lublin meeting of October 17. It is in fact, difficult to see how he could be aware of these sources as he doesn’t cite from any literature that discusses them. He does, however, pick up on the October 13 meeting between Himmler, Krüger and Globocnik and turns it into a strawman. Ignoring all other interpretations, he cites only Jules Schelvis claiming that “it is certain that on 13 October, Hitler ordered the Belzec extermination camp built, and probably the one at Sobibór as well.”[117] Having cast ‘official historiography’ in bas-relief by quoting only Schelvis, he then proceeds to try and set up as many “contradictions” as he can hallucinate. This leads him to contrast the date of 13 October 1941 with the Wetzel letter of 25 October 1941 and produce a particularly obnoxious strawman already dealt with in Chapter 2[118], and to contrast the 13 October meeting with Globocnik’s task of establishing the Strongpoints. He asks plaintively, “how can we explain that Himmler made Globocnik commissioner for the installation of SS and police agencies in the new eastern territories on 17 July 1941 and then, on 13 October of the same year, asked him to build an extermination camp while still retaining his previous function?”[119] Well, that might be because Himmler also ordered Globocnik to accelerate Germanisation at the same time as he ordered the Strongpoints project, and because the decision-making in October 1941 leading up to the construction of Belzec involved a limited project relating to Germanisation, not a general extermination order across the whole of Poland. There is nothing contradictory or incompatible about the same individual being given multiple tasks.
The very fact that Globocnik continued to be closely involved in the Strongpoints project in the autumn of 1941 is a further argument against the Musial-Browning general-extermination-order interpretation. Shortly after the Lublin meeting of October 17, Globocnik in fact travelled to Berlin to meet with the chief of RuSHA, SS-Gruppenführer Hofmann. [120] He convened a meeting of Strongpoint directors on November 4[121], and on November 20, visited Riga.[122] But it was at precisely this time that Globocnik’s grandiose ambitions in the occupied Soviet Union came unstuck. His organisation had failed to stake out more than a handful of Strongpoints, and was coming into increasing conflict with Pohl and Kammler’s construction organisation.[123] The result was that at the start of March 1942, Globocnik was relieved of all remaining responsibilities related to the Strongpoints, which henceforth would be the task of Pohl’s newly established WVHA.[124]
It apparently escapes Mattogno’s notice that Globocnik stopped being the Plenipotentiary for Strongpoints. Indeed, Mattogno gleefully seizes on an apparent typo in the German Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust and block-quotes this source saying that Himmler only appointed Globocnik in July 1942.[125] While this is merely childish obfuscation, it pales into insignificance in comparison with Mattogno invoking Globocnik’s responsibility for the Strongpoints while trying to interpret a document from after March 1, 1942.[126] As Globocnik had been relieved of this tasking by the time in question, Mattogno’s interpretation is a total anachronism, and thus fundamentally bogus. This howler is only compounded by the fact that Mattogno could easily have read about the handover of responsibility for the Strongpoints in one of his more frequently cited secondary sources.[127] This means that, yet again, one is forced to ask oneself whether Mattogno is just that bad at reading or if he really is that dishonest. 
The legacy of the Strongpoints project can be seen very clearly in the formation of Globocnik’s auxiliary force, the so-called Trawnikis, recruited in 1941 largely from Soviet prisoners of war of ethnic German and Ukrainian origin. The camp at Trawniki began life as an internment camp for a variety of refugees displaced in the first weeks of ‘Barbarossa’ – the camp doctor was a Pole liberated from an NKVD jail in Lwow – as well as suspects under arrest, and held 676 internees in mid-July, of whom 141 were Ukrainians.[128] By September 1941, the camp had been cleared of suspects and evolved into a training centre for auxiliary guards. The identity cards of the Trawnikis recruited in the winter of 1941/2 stated that they were “Guards of the Plenipotentiary of the Reichsführer-SS and Chief of German Police – Chief of Order Police – for the Establishment of the SS and Police Strongpoints in the New Eastern Space”.[129] On October 27, 1941, SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Streibel was named the commandant of Trawniki.[130] Streibel had served in a similar role in 1940, commanding the training battalion of the Lublin Selbstschutz (Self-Defense) militia recruited from ethnic Germans in the Generalgouvernement and thereafter the training battalion of the Sonderdienst, a police force nominally subordinated to the civil authorities.[131]
Although their recruitment was initiated in the context of the Strongpoints project, no Trawnikis were in fact ever sent to the Strongpoints in the Ostland or Ukraine. Instead, by October 1941, Globocnik had actually secured a promise from Friedrich Jeckeln, HSSPF Ostland, to supply the Lublin district with a battalion of the Latvian Schutzmannschaft for guard duties, although the unit was seemingly never dispatched.[132] Later in 1942, Schuma battalions would indeed be stationed in the Generalgouvernement, participating in the Warsaw ghetto action as well as guarding Majdanek. In all probability, the Latvian Schuma battalion was intended to beef up the Majdanek guard force, and a Lithuanian battalion was substituted in 1942.[133] Trawnikis were also assigned to Majdanek from the late autumn of 1941, in part so that come could recover from the privations of German captivity in the camps for Soviet POWs.[134]
Several deployments of especial significance are registered in the personnel files as taking place in the autumn and early winter of 1941. The first was the assignment of a number of Trawnikis on November 5, 1941 to “SSPF Warschau”, who were rapidly sent onwards to the nascent forced labour camp at Treblinka I.[135] It is striking that this date coincided with correspondence between SSPF Warschau and Kammler’s organisation regarding the construction of the camp.[136] The establishment of the camp was announced in the district gazette on November 15, and it began to receive Jewish prisoners from Warsaw in January 1942.[137] The suggestive element to the assignment of the Trawnikis to Treblinka I is that they were being deployed outside of Globocnik’s direct sphere of responsibility, and assigned to a variety of guard duties in the GG from a very early stage.[138] More significant for the evolution of the death camps, however, was the deployment of Trawnikis to Belzec on November 18 and 25, 1941. Some of the men returned to Trawniki at the start of December.[139]
An especially intriguing early assignment is noted in the personnel file of Nikolaus Pawlij, who was detached to the “Wasserbauwirtschaftsamt Chelm” from November 20 to December 9, 1941.[140] This land reclamation office was later responsible for the administration of numerous forced labour camps girdling Sobibor in Chelm county. But there are no indications from the Trawniki personnel files that Trawnikis were ever assigned as guards to these camps, and there is no reason why an SS-trained auxiliary would be given away to a civilian agency. Pawlij’s assignment in fact converges with the eyewitness statement of Jan Piwonski that the SS scouted and surveyed the site of the future camp at Sobibor in late 1941. Pawlij could well have been assigned as an escort to the SS officers surveying the district for a suitable site for a camp.[141] The commander of the Gendarmerie of the Lublin district, Major Ferdinand Hahnzog, similarly testified after the war that in November 1941 he met with Globocnik and an unnamed Obersturmführer who was tasked with the construction of a camp at Sobibor, and would require assistance from the Gendarmerie at Wlodawa.[142]
Such sources are indicative of preparations towards the future, but did not yet suggest that a green light to begin Aktion Reinhard had been given. On the other hand, it cannot be ruled out, and is in fact probable, that Globocnik presented Himmler with plans for a wide-ranging extermination program in October 1941, but was told only to begin preparations, and to await further orders. In October and November 1941, Himmler was busy securing his political flanks, asserting his authority over the ‘Jewish Question’ to rivals in the Berlin bureaucracy such as the State Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Dr. Stuckart[143], while the civil administration in the Generalgouvernement also needed to be initiated. The meeting of October 17, 1941 in Lublin, at which the notion of deporting an initial 1000 Jews from Lublin “over the Bug” is especially instructive in this regard. Frank and his officials most probably understood this phrasing to mean that the deported Jews would be killed, but it is also probable that Globocnik had not informed his civilian counterparts of his precise plans; Frank’s remarks on December 16, 1941, which we discuss below[144], make it unlikely that he had been told by anyone up to that date about gas chambers as the intended means, only that the Jews would be destroyed.
Hitler’s announcement of December 12, 1941 to the Reichs- and Gauleiter in Berlin was followed by a flurry of meetings between Himmler, Hitler and other leading Nazis which confirm that it was not until this moment that the light finally turned green. On December 14, 1941, Himmler met with Victor Brack, director of T4, and discussed what his appointments diary records as “euthanasia”.[145] It is striking that only after this meeting did T4 personnel begin to arrive in Lublin in larger numbers, in all probability after December 22 when the construction of the basic facilities was complete. SS-Scharführer Erich Fuchs arrived at Belzec together with eight to ten other men at this time, and found a few SS already present.[146] There were now several officers and senior NCOs present on-site, including Christian Wirth and Gottfried Schwarz, and a command structure began to take shape. In this phase, from late December 1941 to mid-March 1942, it seems that while the T4 men were waiting for the deportations to begin, they experimented with a variety of killing methods.[147]
Brack himself led a contingent of T4 men on a separate assignment beginning in January 1942, the mysterious ‘Osteinsatz’ deployment of euthanasia doctors, nurses and assistants to Minsk and Smolensk.[148] Discussed in extremely vague terms by eyewitnesses interrogated either in the context of euthanasia or Aktion Reinhard investigations after the war, there is a strong suspicion that the T4 personnel may have been used for the “mercy killing” of wounded German soldiers. The overwhelming majority of the Osteinsatz cadres came from the idle T4 institute at Hadamar, which gave up 40 out of 90 personnel, with far fewer assigned from the other institutes still engaged in carrying out Aktion 14 f 13.[149] After the return of the Osteinsatz from Minsk in April 1942, a number of men were reassigned to Aktion Reinhard, but only a fraction of the 92 T4 men involved in Aktion Reinhard had been sent to the Soviet Union in January 1942.[150] The more striking point is the initially relatively small size of the T4 contingent assigned to Belzec and its progressive reinforcement in the spring of 1942 after the operation was expanded. As Victor Brack later wrote to Himmler on June 23, 1942, “in accordance with my orders from Reichsleiter Bouhler, I have long ago put at Brigadeführer Globocnik’s disposal part of my manpower to aid him in carrying out his special mission (Sonderauftrag). Upon his renewed request, I have now transferred to him additional personnel.”[151]
The evidence examined so far points to the interpretation that Belzec, soon to be joined by Sobibor, were intended to carry out what was still a relatively limited killing program. Indeed, Adolf Eichmann later testified that Globocnik had at first been authorised to kill around 100,000 people, and then secured a further authorisation to murder another 150 to 250,000 from Heydrich.[152] Josef Oberhauser similarly testified that at first:[153]
only Jews unfit for work from various ghettos were to be liquidated. There was not yet any talk of a grand-scale extermination action. I learned of the plan to systematically exterminate the Jews when Brack went to Globocnik in Lublin in April or May 1942 and told him that the former members of Aktion T4 would be placed at his disposal for the carrying out of the extermination of the Jews
Belzec and Sobibor were constructed to test the feasibility of mass extermination; indeed Robin O’Neil has rightly called Belzec a “stepping stone” or “prototype” for the Final Solution.[154] Until June 1942, only Jews from the Galicia and Lublin districts were deported to Belzec and Sobibor, while the Warsaw, Radom and Cracow districts remained initially unaffected, severely limiting the geographical scope of the operation within the Generalgouvernement. Moreover, by the start of 1942, the Lublin district was the intended destination for non-Polish Jews. Although conceived as a local solution to the ‘Jewish Question’ in the Generalgouvernement, Aktion Reinhard was rapidly integrated into the pan-European Final Solution. The Jews of Vienna, Prague and Bratislava suffered the agonies of a gassing death ahead of the Jews of Warsaw and Cracow.
To understand the context in which the decision to deport Jews from Germany, Austria, the Protectorate and Slovakia to the Lublin district was taken, we must rewind our steps back to the late summer of 1941. The RSHA had begun drafting plans for a ‘complete solution’ to the ‘Jewish Question’ in Europe after Heydrich secured Göring’s signature on the infamous authorisation letter of July 31, 1941.[155] Within Eichmann’s office, Friedrich Suhr became the “referent for the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, in particular abroad” in July 1941, according to a notation on his personnel file.[156] In early August, statistics were compiled of the numbers of Jews inhabiting each country worldwide.[157] In the meantime, pressure grew within Germany from individual Gauleiter, not least Josef Goebbels in Berlin, to deport German Jews.[158] To their consternation, the Gauleiter found that Hitler was as yet unwilling to give the green light. Nonetheless, Himmler began to sound out his eastern HSSPF to investigate the possibility of accommodating Jews from the Reich in occupied Poland. On September 2, 1941, he met with Krüger, the HSSPF of the Generalgouvernement, to discuss the “Jewish Question - resettlement out of the Reich.” Two days later, he likewise met with Wilhelm Koppe, the HSSPF of the Warthegau, and probably discussed the feasibility of deporting Reich Jews to the Lodz ghetto.[159] But whereas the deportations to Lodz were ordered a few weeks later and carried out in the autumn of 1941, no deportations to the GG from the Reich took place. One source indicates that Himmler approached Hans Frank and used the excuse of RAF bombing to appeal to him to take in German Jews. A plan to deport two transports of Jews from Hamburg in early October was rejected by Frank.[160]
The idea of Lublin as a destination for non-Polish Jews resurfaced the same month, when on October 20, Himmler met with the Slovak leadership – Tiso, Tuka and Mach – and broached the subject of Slovakia’s Jews. The Slovak leaders became the first government to agree with Nazi Germany to hand over the Jews of their country.[161] According to the later account of Slovak Interior Minister Mach, Himmler had said “that they will use our Jews.” It is entirely unclear from the available sources where Himmler at this time thought Slovak Jews could be accommodated or what their fate would be.[162] As no discussions ensued at this time with any regional authorities, either SS or civilian, regarding the reception of deportees from Slovakia, the agreement was likely simply a napkin-deal to be tucked away him Himmler’s back pocket as the Final Solution took shape.
In the autumn of 1941, as deportation trains actually left the Reich for Riga, Kaunas, Minsk and Lodz, Himmler sought out other possible destinations, including Mogilev and Borisov in Belorussia. A visit to Mogilev on October 23 took place against the backdrop of the drive on Moscow and the expectation that Mogilev would soon be handed over from military to civil administration.[163] The stalling of Operation ‘Taifun’ and the defeat before Moscow dashed these plans entirely.
Another possible solution suggested itself in the shape of the Highway IV (Durchgangsstrasse IV, DG IV) construction project. DG IV was one of several major road arteries slated for construction by the Organisation Todt and ran all the way from Galicia through the Ukraine. In Galicia, the SS swiftly reconnoitred possible camp sites for road construction purposes[164], and began to establish a network of forced labour camps for Galician Jews by the autumn of 1941.[165] Himmler also interested himself in assisting the construction of an ‘SS road’ along the Black Sea in the first weeks of 1942, discussing the matter with the commander in chief of 6th Army, Field Marshal von Reichenau, and involving the HSSPF Ukraine, Prützmann, in the plan.[166] Although the SS established a network of forced labour camps for Jews along the stretch of DG IV in Ukraine, the only transfers of Jewish slave labourers came from Transnistria.[167]
The notion of sending the Jews “road building to the east” was thus in the air when Heydrich chaired the Wannsee conference and spelled out the fate of the able bodied Jews.[168] But in reality, Heydrich and the RSHA planners in Eichmann’s IV B 4 office were entirely uncertain as to where any Jews could be deported at the time of Wannsee (January 20, 1942) or in the weeks immediately following the conference. On January 31, 1942, Eichmann informed the Gestapo stations in the Reich that the deportations of the previous autumn represented the start of the Final Solution and that “new reception possibilities” were being worked out for the next phase.[169] Not until March 6, 1942, was Eichmann able to convene a meeting of the Judenreferenten to discuss implementation of the next wave of deportations from the Reich.[170] Although the Foreign Office had signalled to the Slovak government on February 16, 1942 that Nazi Germany was ready to accept 20,000 Slovak Jews as workers, the paper trail is likewise unclear until March as to where they would in fact be sent.[171]
At Wannsee, Frank’s state secretary Josef Bühler had urged that the Final Solution be started in the Generalgouvernement.[172] By the start of March, the action had not yet begun, and it was also clear that the GG would have to accommodate Jews from the Reich and Slovakia. Bühler informed the governor of the Lublin district, Zörner, at the start of March 1942 that “in the context of the total solution of the Jewish problem in the European space the establishment of a transit camp for Jews evacuated out of certain parts of the Reich had become necessary.” and that Zörner should expect that “in the course of the next month a total of 14,000 Jews” would be “temporarily” accommodated in the Lublin district. Although sent on March 3, the letter was not registered by Zörner’s office until March 6, and was not passed on to the BuF desk in charge of supervising resettlements until March 9.[173]
Far from belonging to a well-thought out plan, the initial phase of deportations thus bore all the hallmarks of a last-minute improvisation. Eichmann had been in Minsk on March 2 and 3 to organise the resumption of the deportations that had been broken off by the transport crisis of the winter of 1941/2[174], and then promptly convened a meeting with the Judenberater of Western Europe to begin planning their deportations.[175] From the perspective of the RSHA, the priority was to get the Jews out of the Reich, and worry later about their fate. The quotas established in March - 55,000 for Germany, 18,000 for Vienna and 20,000 for Prague – would not in fact eliminate all Jews from the Reich, but represented the next stage in what would be a lengthy process. Securing trains was a major concern: at the meeting of March 6 concerning deportations from the Reich, the Judenreferenten were told that “transports could not be scheduled precisely” and that “only empty Russian trains”, meaning trains carrying Ostarbeiter to Germany, were available, that were to be “run back into the Generalgouvernement.”[176]
By the start of March 1942, Eichmann and his men were clear that at least some of the Jews of Slovakia would be deported to Auschwitz and Majdanek, but it is striking that in the months that followed, the majority were not, while no transports of Jews from the Reich proper were sent to Auschwitz in the first half of 1942, and virtually none sent directly to Majdanek.[177] The RSHA’s plans did not overlap with those of the nascent WVHA[178] perfectly. From the perspective of the RSHA, the priority was to expel the Jews; this goal possessed an urgency which far outstripped the requirements of the WVHA for labour anywhere in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Although the heads of SS main offices had met in conference together with Himmler on January 14 to 15, 1942[179], the evidence suggests that the two most important main offices, were pursuing different agendas which could only be brought very crudely into line. Himmler was undoubtedly a gifted manager and successfully juggled many different projects – Germanisation, SS economic plans, the Final Solution – but the Reichsführer-SS was also prone to utopian flights of fantasy and issuing impracticable orders whose realisation fell far short of the intended outcomes.
In September 1941, Himmler had ordered the construction of prisoner of war camps (Kriegsgefangenenlager, KGL) at Auschwitz and Majdanek, seeking to exploit the labour of Soviet POWs in the context of his Germanisation and resettlement plans under the auspices of the Generalplan Ost.[180] This was a trade-off negotiated between Himmler, Göring and the Wehrmacht in exchange for the SS agreeing to the deployment of Soviet POWs in the Nazi war economy in the Reich.[181] Himmler secured the agreement of the Wehrmacht to hand over 300,000 Soviet POWs.[182] On September 22, 1941, Hans Kammler issued orders that Majdanek was to be constructed as a concentration camps with a capacity of 50,000 prisoners; five days later, he clarified that this would be a KGL for 50,000 POWs and would be matched by another KGL at Auschwitz, tasking SS-Obersturmführer Grosch with the supervision of both projects.[183] In the first weeks of October, a new chief of the ZBL at Auschwitz, Karl Bischoff, was assigned to oversee the project at Birkenau[184], and a formal construction order specifying that both camps were to accommodate 125,000 prisoners was issued on November 1.[185] After a inspection tour of Stutthof by Himmler on November 23, this camp, too, was added to the planning and was intended to accommodate a further 20,000 POWs.[186] The target capacity for Majdanek was soon raised to 150,000 POWs, so that it is clear that Himmler, Pohl and Kammler thought in terms of assigning all 300,000 POWs granted to the SS under the terms of the agreement with the Wehrmacht.[187] By December 1941, Kammler’s construction plans envisaged camps for 150,000 POWs in the Reich – thus, presumably, 125,000 at Birkenau and up to 25,000 at Stutthof – along with 150,000 in Lublin and 5,000 at Deblin.[188]
Despite the seeming clarity of these orders, the SS in fact dispersed their allotted Soviet POWs across many concentration camps in the Reich, including Flossenbürg, Mauthausen and Buchenwald, and thereby fatally conflated the transfer of labouring POWs with the handovers of commissars and other ‘undesirable’ POWs under the terms of Heydrich’s Einsatzbefehl Nr 8, issued on July 17, 1941.[189] The result was that the Lager-SS of Auschwitz, who had murdered hundreds of Soviet POWs in two gassings under the auspices of Einsatzbefehl Nr 8 in September 1941[190], methodically decimated the allotted contingent of 8,000 Soviet POW labourers over the course of the winter of 1941/2.[191] By the end of January 1942, Höss could only promise the construction inspectorate a daily workforce of 2,000 prisoners to help build the camp.[192]
The mass starvation of Soviet POWs in the winter of 1941, the crisis in the German war effort and war economy that became apparent after the German defeat before Moscow, and the systematic maltreatment of Soviet POWs by the Lager-SS due to their indoctrination with ‘anti-Bolshevism’, meant that Soviet POWs were henceforth no longer an option for Himmler if he were to realise his increasingly grandiose construction plans. Accordingly, he ordered in a telex to Richard Glücks, the head of the IKL, on January 26, 1942 that 150,000 Jews “who are being emigrated from Germany” were to be transferred to the concentration camps to take the place of the POWs.[193] This contradicted Heydrich’s vision of able-bodied Jews deported in the course of the Final Solution being sent ‘road building to the east’ outlined six days earlier at the Wannsee conference. The quota also comfortably exceeded the total potential labour force that could even theoretically have been scratched together from Reich Jews, many of whom were in any case barred from deportation due to an earlier agreement between the SS and OKW to exempt Jewish armaments workers for the time being.[194] Indeed, Kammler’s immediate requirements for labour in the concentration camps fell somewhat short of Himmler’s figure of 150,000. According to his revised plan of February 1942, a total of 67,500 “prisoners, POWs, Jews, etc” were needed for construction in the Reich – and thus including but not limited to Auschwitz – while projects in the Generalgouvernement – and thus including but not limited to Majdanek - would require 47,500 workers. A further 60,000 prisoners, POWs or Jews were required for construction in the ‘Ostraum’, mainly in connection with the Strongpoints.[195]
Himmler’s figure of 150,000 was therefore simply plucked out of thin air. It did, however, help shape the course of the initial phase of deportations of Slovak and West European Jews to Auschwitz[196] and influence the division of deportees to the Lublin district between Majdanek and so-called ‘transit ghettos’. Moreover, the substitution of Jews for Soviet POWs in what Himmler regarded as high-priority SS projects demonstrated that the SS wanted to harmonise its task of carrying out the Final Solution with its own economic and construction ambitions. Henceforth, labour and extermination would run in parallel as two sides of the same destructive coin.

[45] Carlo Mattogno, ‘Genesi e funzioni del campo nel Birkenau’, AAARGH, June 2008, in English as ‘Origins and Function of the Birkenau Camp’, Inconvenient History 2/2, 2010; references repeated in verbatim sequence in Carlo Mattogno, ‘Azione Reinhard’ e ‘Azione 1005’, Genova: Effepi, 2008.
[46] Jan Erik Schulte, ‘Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager. Die Entstehungsgeschichte von Auschwitz-Birkenau 1941/42’, VfZ 50, 2002, pp.41-69. It is telling that Mattogno only ‘responded’ to Schulte after the Viertelsjahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte were made available as free downloads from the IfZ website.
[47] Jan Erik Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung: das Wirtschaftsimperium der SS; Oswald Pohl und das SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt 1933-45. Paderborn, 2001. The Strongpoints project is examined exhaustively on pp.264-313, as indeed Schulte unsurprisingly reminds the reader of his article on p.46.
[48] Michael Thad Allen, The Business of Genocide. The SS, Slave Labor and the Concentration Camps. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002, especially Chapter 4.
[49] See Browning, Nazi Policy; Browning, Collective Memories; Browning, Origins.
[50] Gerlach, ‘Wannsee Conference’.
[51] Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung; as well as the essays ‘The Origins of  ‘Operation Reinhard’: The Decision-Making Process for the Mass Murder of the Jews in the Generalgouvernement’, Yad Vashem Studies XXVIII, 2000, pp.113-153, and ‘Ursprünge der „Aktion Reinhardt“. Planung des Massenmordes an den Juden im Generalgouvernement’ in: Bogdan Musial (ed), “Aktion Reinhardt”. Der Völkermord an den Juden im Generalgouvernement 1941-1944. Osnabrück: fibre Verlag, 2004, pp.49-85
[52] Siegfried Pucher, ‘ der Bewegung  führend tätig.’ Odilo Globocnik – Kämpfer für den “Anchluss”, Vollstrecker der Holocaust, Klagenfurt, 1997; Popreczny, Globocnik; Rieger, Globocnik;; Dieter Schenk, Hans Frank. Hitlers Kronjurist und Generalgouverneur. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 2006
[53] Dieter Pohl, ‘Die “Aktion Reinhard” im Lichte der Historiographie’ and ‘Die Stellung des Distrikts Lublin in der “Endlösung der Judenfrage”,’  in: Musial (ed), “Aktion Reinhard”, pp.15-47 and 87-107
[54] Peter Klein, ‘Die Rolle der Vernichtungslager Kulmhof (Chelmno), Belzec und Auschwitz-Birkenau in den frühen Deportationsvorbereitungen’ in Dittmar Dahlmann and Gerhard Hirschfeld (eds), Lager, Zwangsarbeit und Deportation. Dimensionen der Massenverbrechen in der Sowjetunion und in Deutschland 1933-1945. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 1999, pp.459-81
[55] Jacek Andrzej Młynarczyk, ‘Mordinitiativen von unten. Die Rolle Arthur Greisers und Odilo Globocnik im Entscheidungsprozess zum Judenmord’ in: Jacek Andrzej Młynarczyk and Jochen Böhler (eds), Der Judenmord in den eingegliederten polnischen Gebieten 1939-1945. Osnabrück: fibre Verlag, 2010, pp.27-56
[56] In fairness, Kues does cite from Musial’s dissertation in MGK, Sobibór, p.169 n.488, in a different context. But this only begs a question: why did Kues not alert Mattogno to the existence of this book?
[57] For a summary of this controversy to the turn of the millennium, see Christian Gerlach, ‘The Eichmann Interrogations in Holocaust Historiography’, HGS 15/3, 2001, pp.428-452. On Eichmann’s testimonies and memoirs in general, see Irmtrud Wojak, Eichmanns Memoiren. Ein kritischer Essay. Frankfurt am Main, 2001
[58] Eberhard Jäckel and Jürgen Rohwer (eds), Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Entschlussbildung und Verwirklichung. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, 1985, which, as Mattogno helpfully reminds us (MGK, Sobibór, p.227) is the proceedings of a conference held from May 3-5, 1984. This collection is cited five times in Chapter 8 of Sobibór.
[59] The most detailed estimate of the Jewish population of the kresy can be found in Mordecai Altshuler, Soviet Jewry on the Eve of the Holocaust. A Social and Demographic Profile. Jerusalem, 1998. Compared to the prewar population in 1939, the kresy saw a slight increase in Jewish population, caused by the arrival of over 300,000 refugees from western Poland. By early 1940, there were more than 72,000 refugees in Belorussia (see Emanuil Ioffe and Viacheslav Selemenev (intr.), ‘Jewish Refugees from Poland in Belorussia, 1939-1940’, Jews in Eastern Europe, Spring 1997, pp.45-50) and large numbers in Lithuania, whose presence was likewise tracked in the 1940 Soviet census of Wilno (cf. Victor H. Winston,‘Observations on the Population of Vilnius: The Grim Years and the 1942 Census’,  Journal of Eurasian Geography and Economics, 47/2, March-April 2006). Pohl, Ostgalizien, estimates 200,000 refugees in eastern Galicia. In June 1940, the NKVD organised deportations of many but not all of the refugees. The end of the Cold War and opening of the Soviet archives, as well as the strong interest of Polish society in the fate of Poles inhabiting the kresy, has led to the publication of more precise and also significantly lower figures than circulated in the Cold War era. Accordingly the fantasies of Sanning, Dissolution of European Jewry, as well as any negationist arguments relying on similar claims of mass deportations of Jews from eastern Poland, can be dismissed out of hand.  For the older picture see Jan Tomasz Gross, Revolution from Abroad. The Soviet Conquest of Poland’s Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia. Oxford: OUP, 2002 (1st edition 1988) and his article ‘The Sovietization of Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia’ in Norman Davies and Antony Polonsky, Antony (eds), Jews in Eastern Poland and the USSR, 1939-1946. New York, 1991, pp.60-76. For the correct picture, see above all A.E. Gurianov (ed), Repressii protiv poliakov i pol’skikh grazhdan. Moscow: Zven’ia, 1997, as well as the comprehensive demographic survey by Andrzej Gawryszewski, Ludność polski w XX wieku. Warsaw, 2005. Courtesy of Professor Gawryszewski, the authors of this critique have previously published detailed transport lists of the NKVD deportations from the kresy:
[60] For regional studies, see for the Wilno region Dieckmann, Deutsche Besatzungspolitik; for Bezirk Białystok Szymon Datner, ‘Eksterminacja ludności żydowskiej w Okręgu Białostockim. Strukturą administracyjną okręgu Białostockiego’, BZIH 60, 1966, pp.3-48; for GK Weissruthenien and the Belorussian part of GK Wolhynien Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde; for Volhynia Spector, Holocaust of Volhynian Jewry; for  eastern Galicia Pohl, Ostgalizien; Sandkühler, Endlösung in Ostgalizien; covering both Galicia and Volhynia see also Alexander Kruglov, The Losses Suffered By Ukrainian Jews in 1941-1944, Kharkov: Tarbut Laam, 2005; Kruglov, ‘Jewish Losses in Ukraine, 1941-1944’, p.278, calculates that 87,500 Jews died in regions of the Ukraine which were formerly part of eastern Poland. 
[61] Stefan Klemp, ‘Kölner Polizebataillone in Osteuropa: Die Polizeibataillone 69, 309, 319 und die Polizeireservekompanie Köln’ in Harald Buhlan and Werner Jung (eds), Wessen Freund und Wessen Helfer? Die Kölner Polizei im Nationalsozialismus, Cologne: Emons Verlag, 2000, pp.277-98; Curilla, Judenmord in Polen, pp.244-255.
[62] FS Chef der Sipo u.d.SD an alle Einsatzgruppenchefs, Befehl Nr. 6, 4.7.41, gez. Heydrich, RGVA 500-1-25, pp.398-9
[63] EM 11, 3.7.41, p.7; Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.73. Among the officers transferred from Cracow to Galicia was Hans Krüger, who swiftly acquired a reputation for viciousness once in the Stanislawow region. See Dieter Pohl, ‘Hans Krüger and the Murder of Jews in the Region of Stanislawow (Galicia)’, YVS 26, 1998, pp.239-264 as well as ‘Hans Krüger – der ‘König von Stanislau’ ’ in Mallmann/Paul (eds), Karrieren der Gewalt, pp.134-144
[64] EM 11, 3.7.41, p.7; EM 25, 17.7.41, p.2; Tätigkeitsbericht Einsatzgruppe B, published in Klein (ed), Einsatzgruppen, p.379. Paymaster correspondence from Einsatzkommando zbV Białystok survives in RGVA 1323-2-59, giving comprehensive name lists of the assigned officers and enlisted men.
[65] Vernehmngsporotokolle Josef Blösche, 11.1-10.3.1967, BStU ZUV 15/1, p.121ff
[66] EM 43, 5.8.41, NARA T175/233/2721775; EM 47, 9.8.41, T175/233/2721840; EM Nr. 56, 18.8.41, T175/233/2721972; EM 58, 20.8.41, T175/233/2721965; EM 66, 28.8.41, p.2-3; EM 67, 29.8.41, T175/233/272167; EM 78, 9.8.41, T175/233/2722248 EM 91, 22.9.41, T175/233/2722501
[67] See Polizeilicher Lagebericht Einsatzgruppe B, 9-16.7.41, published in Johannes Hürter, ‘Auf dem Weg zur Militäropposition. Tresckow, von Gersdorff, der Vernichtungskrieg und der Judenmord. Neue Dokumente über das Verhältnis der Heeresgruppe Mitte zur Einsatzgruppe B im Jahr 1941’, VfZ 3/2004, pp.527-562
[68] An unnamed Einsatzgruppen unit executed 30 male Jews in Bielsk on July 5, 1941. From known deployment locations, this was the work of Trupp Bielsk of Einsatzkommando Białystok. Der Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (Einsatzgruppe), Bekanntmachung, n.d, NARA T501/2/142
[69] EM 58, 20.8.41, NARA T175/233/2721965. As shown in Cüppers, Wegbereiter des Shoahs, p.158, the SS-Cavalry Brigade demonstrably lost track of its bodycounts in this operation, misfiling morning and evening signals. Eyewitness accounts estimate up to 9,000 Jews were killed at Pinsk in the course of the Aktion, a figure which is rendered entirely plausible by the presence of two bodycount-claiming units, of which one had as mentioned, lost track of its killings. For the context see also Rozenblat/Elenskaia, Pinskie evrei.
[70] Cf. Klaus-Michel Mallmann, Andrej Angrick, Jürgen Matthäus, Martin Cüppers (eds), Die ‘Ereignismeldungen UdSSR’ 1941. Dokumente der Einsatzgruppen in der Sowjetunion. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2011
[71] Himmler an Globocnik, 17.7.1941, NARA-BDC SS-OA Odilo Globocnik. On the Strongpoints project in general, see Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, pp.264-313
[72] Himmler, Vermerk, 21.7.1941, NARA-BDC SS-OA Odilo Globocnik, also published in Czeslaw Madajczyk (ed), Zamojszcyzna – Sonderlaboratorium SS: zbior dokumentow polskich i niemieckich z okresu okupacji hitlerowskiej. Warsaw, 1979, t.1, p.26ff; cf. Tomasz Kranz, ‘Das KL Lublin - zwischen Planung und Realisierung’, in: Ulrich Herbert, Karin Orth, Christoph Dieckmann (eds), Die nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager - Entwicklung und Struktur, Bd. I, Göttingen 1998, pp. 363-389
[73] On Kammler see Allen, Business of Genocide, pp.140-8; Rainer Fröbe, ‘Hans Kammler – Technokrat der Vernichtung’ in Ronald Smelser and Enrico Syring (eds), Die SS: Elite unter dem Totenkopf. 30 Lebensläufe. Paderborn, 2000, pp.305-319.
[74] Der Chef des Amtes II-Bauten an den Leiter der Bauinspektion beim Sonderbeauftragten des RF-SS für die Errichtung von SS- u. Polizeistützpunkte im neuen Osttraum SS-Stubaf Lenzer, Betr.: Zwischenlager Lublin, 6.8.1941, gez. Kammler, BA DH KL/Hafta, Verschiedene Nr. 7 (Getto).
[75] Dienstkalender, p.179 (24.6.41)
[76] Meyer an Himmler, 15.7.1941 in: Czeslaw Madajczyk (ed), Vom Generalplan Ost zum Generalsiedlungsplan, Munich, 1994, p.14. The plan itself is lost, only the cover letter survives, but other sources enable its reconstruction. See Karl Heinz Roth, ‘ “Generalplan Ost” – “Gesamtplan Ost”. Forschungsstand, Quellenprobleme, neue Ergebnisse’ in Mechtild Rössler and Sabine Schleiermacher (eds), Der “Generalplan Ost”. Hauptlinien der nationalsozialistischen Planungs- und Vernichtungspolitik, Berlin, 1993, pp.25-117
[77] Vermerk über die Besprechung am 16.7.1941, L-221, IMT XXXVIII, pp.86-94
[78] There are extant orders signed by Himmler, Daluege and Heydrich. Der RFSS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei im RMI O.-Kdo I g Nr. 23/41 (g), 25.7.1941, gez. Himmler;  Der RFSS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei im RMI O-Kdo. I g Nr 22/41 (g), Planung und Bau der SS- und Polizeistützpunkte, 31.7.1941, gez. Daluege, RGVA 1323-1-50, pp.9-R, 12-13; CSSD IV A 1 d B.Nr. 573 B/41 g., Beabsichtigte Organisation der Polizei in den besetzten Ostgebieten, 30.7.41, gez. Heydrich, TsDAVOV 3576-4-116, pp.60-2.
[79] Der Beauftragte für die Errichtung der SS- und Polizeistützpunkte im neuen Ostraum, Organisations-Befehl Nr. 1, 31.7.41, gez. Globocnik, TsDAVOV 3576-4-116, pp.63-65 (USHMM RG31.002M/11)
[80] SS-Obersturmführer Hanelt, Notiz für den 9.8.1941, AIPN CA 891/6, p.11, published in full in Michael G. Esch, ‘Die “Forschungsstelle für Ostunterkünfte” in Lublin (Dokument)’, 1999, 11/2, 1996, pp.62-96, here pp.68ff
[81] Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz, London: Pan Books Edition, 1959, S.258 (Appendix 7)
[82] SSPF Lublin an der Leiter der Aussenstellen des Beauftragten des RFSS für die Errichtung der SS und Pol.Stützpunkte im neuen Ostraum, 15.9.41, GPD 359, PRO HW16/32. Cf. also the British intelligence analysis in Summary of German Police Decodes 1-30.9.41, ZIP/MSG29, p.6, PRO HW 16/6 pt1: “The problem of labour for the construction of these bases has a simple solution: the Jews. A Jewish work-command (Arbeitskdo) is to be inaugurated for the construction of a troop supply depot on confiscated ground in Minsk (10.9.41/20). It is a particularly acceptable solution since by an order from SSPF Lublin it is forbidden to pay Jews any wages (15.9.41/9).”
[83] Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, pp.270-2
[84] Aussenstelle Russland Mitte an SS-Brigaf. Globocnik, 11.10.41, GPD 398 (21.10.41), item 20, PRO HW16/32
[85] SS-Ostuf Conrad an Bauinspektion der Waffen SS Nord, Hstuf List, z.Hd Baugesellschaft Eigen, Ostuf Uhrmann, Riga, 20.10.41, GDP 428 (5.11.41), item 32, PRO HW 16/32.
[86] Zentrale Bauinspektion Lublin an Bauinspektion Süd, SS-Ustuf Zingraf, Kiew, 10.11.41, GPD 482 (10.12.41 No 1), item 33, PRO HW 16/32
[87] Cf. Andrej Angrick, ‘Georg Michaelsen – Handlungsreisender der ‘Endlösung’ ‘ in Klaus-Michel Mallmann und Gerhard Paul (hg.), Karrieren der Gewalt. Nationalsozialistische Täterbiographien, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2004,  pp.156-165
[88] SSPF Lublin an Aussenstelle Mitte, SS Ustuf Claasen, Minsk, 14.10.41, GPD 401 (23.10.41), item 40, PRO HW16/32.
[89] On these experiments, see Chapter 4 below, as well as Angelika Ebbinghaus and Gerd Preissler, ‘Die Ermordung psychisch kranker Menschen in der Sowjetunion’ in Götz Aly et al (eds), Aussonderung und Tod. Die klinische Hinrichtung der Unbrauchbaren. Berlin, 1985, pp.75-107
[90] Vernehmungsprotokoll Georg Wippern, Saarbrücken, 6.12.1962, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 251/59, Bd.9, pp.1715-1723
[91] See Chapter 1 and Höfle’s interrogations compiled in Ajenstat/Buk/Harlan, (eds), Hermann Höfle.
[92] Fritz Gebauer an SSPF Galizien, 21.8.1941, AIPN CA 891/3, p.1. Gebauer’s note was cc’ed to the Lublin Dienststelle for Strongpoints and the SS-Mannschaftshaus in Lublin.
[93] Thomas Sandkühler, ‘Das Zwangsarbeitslager Lemberg-Janowska 1941-1944’ in Ulrich Herbert, Karin Orth, Christoph Dieckmann (eds), Die nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager - Entwicklung und Struktur, Bd. II, Göttingen, 1998, pp.606-635. Globocnik men similarly provided the supervisory cadres for the nascent network of labour camps in the Galicia district. Most came from the staff of a forced labour camp in Biala Podlaska closed in the summer of 1941. Sandkühler, Endlösung in Ostgalizien, p.495 note 98
[94] Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.115 and Sandkühler, Endlösung in Ostgalizien, p. 159, both citing Dopheide an Linden, 24.11.41; Linden an Dopheide, 10.12.41, DALO R-35-13-158, pp.1-3.
[95] Dressen/Riess, p.170; Pacjenci i pracownicy szpitali psychiatrycznych w Polsce zamordowani przez okupanta hitlerowskiego i los tych szpitali w latach 1939-1945, Warsaw, 1989, vol. 1, pp.90-3; Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.115, citing Krankenstandsmeldungen Kulparkow an Abt Gesundheit/GG, DALO R-35-9-433
[96] Chelm and Cholm can be found interchangeably in many German sources.
[97] Friedlander, Origins of Nazi Genocide, pp.274-283.
[98] Tadeusz Nasierowski, Zaglada osob z zaburzeniami psychicznymi w okupowanej Polsce. Poczatek ludobojstwa. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Neriton, 2008, pp.149-153
[99] NMT, Case 1, Transcript, p.7514 (testimony of Victor Brack)
[100] On the ‘stop’ see Ernst Klee, “Euthanasie” im NS-Staat: Die “Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens”. Frankfurt: Fischer Verlag, 1983, p.339; Hans-Walter Schmuhl, Rassenhygiene, Nationalsozialismus, Euthanasie. Von der Verhütung zur Vernichtung „lebensunwerten Lebens“, 1890–1945, Göttingen 1987, p. 210;
[101] On Aktion 14 f 13 see in general Walter Grode, Die „Sonderbehandlung 14f13“ in den Konzentrationslagern des Dritten Reiches. Ein Beitrag zur Dynamik faschistischer Vernichtungspolitik, Frankfurt an Main, 1987; Klee, Euthanasie, pp.345-355. T4 doctors’ commissions continued to visit concentration camps after the ‘stop’ on civilian T4, for example Dachau was visited in September 1941, cf. Mennecke’s letter to his wife of 3.9.41, published in Chroust (ed), Mennecke, pp.198-200
[102] Patricia Heberer, ‘Eine Kontinuität der Tötungsoperationen. T4-Täter und die “Aktion Reinhard”,’ in: Musial (ed), Aktion Reinhardt, p.291
[103] Affidavit of Hans Bodo Gorgass, 23.2.1947, NO-3010
[104] Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, pp.205-6
[105] Globocnik an Himmler, 1.10.1941, NARA-BDC SS-OA Odilo Globocnik
[106] Dienstkalender, p.233 (13.10.1941)
[107] SS-Hstuf Helmut Müller, Bericht über die Verhältnisse in Lublin, 15.10.1941, NARA-BDC SS-OA Odilo Globocnik, also NO-5875
[108] Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, p.196, quoting from an unpublished portion of the Diensttagebuch
[109] Vernehmung Stanislaw Kozak, 14.10.1945, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 6, pp.1129-30
[110] Musial, ‘The Origins of ‘Operation Reinhard’,’ and‘Ursprünge der „Aktion Reinhardt“.’
[111] Browning, Origins, pp.258-265, is the definitive statement of an argument centred around the interpretation of Eichmann’s postwar testimonies of a visit to Lublin in which Eichmann claimed to have encountered a police captain, obviously Christian Wirth, experimenting with engine exhaust gas chambers. The dating of this visit was usually given by Eichmann as the autumn of 1941, but on at least one occasion he dated the visit and the ‘sequence’ of visits to key sites to the  winter. As with Höss, the fact that Eichmann often portrayed himself as a receiver rather than an initiator of murderous orders means that his datings cannot be trusted, as an earlier Hitler order (received from Heydrich) and earlier visit would relieve him of moral and historical responsibility for initiatives in the autumn of 1941.
[112] Gerlach, Krieg Ernährung Völkermord, esp.pp.269-272; Pohl, ‘Die “Aktion Reinhard” im Lichte der Historiographie’ and ‘Die Stellung des Distrikts Lublin in der “Endlösung der Judenfrage”; Młynarczyk, ‘Mordinitiativen von unten’; Longerich, Holocaust, pp.524 note 31 and 537-8 note 100
[113] Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, p. 207-8.
[114] For example, the officer tasked with constructing Sobobor in early 1942, SS-Obersturmführer Richard Thomalla, was still assigned to the Strongpoint at Kiev in late December 1941. See Beförderungsvorschlag SS-Ostuf (S) Richard Thomalla, 20.12.41, gez. Globocnik, NARA-BDC SS-OA Richard Thomalla.
[115] Peter Klein has argued that Greiser began to think in terms of extermination in theWarthegau already in July 1941. Although his argument is convincing on the gestation of genocidal intent, the preponderance of evidence dates the establishment of the killing site to October 1941. See Klein, ‘Die Rolle der Vernichtungslager Kulmhof (Chelmno), Belzec und Auschwitz-Birkenau’; also Klein, Gettoverwaltung Litzmannstadt, for an elaboration of his thesis.
[116] For developments in the Warthegau, see Chapter 2.
[117] MGK, Sobibór, p.243, citing from Schelvis, Vernichtungslager Sobibór (1998), p.33ff
[118] Ibid., p.275
[119] Ibid., p.243
[120] SSPF Lublin an Chef des Rasse- und Siedlungs-Hauptamt, SS Gruf. Hoffmann, Berlin SW 68, Ledemanstr. 23/24, 17.10.41, GPD 413 (31.10.41), item 36, PRO HW16/32
[121] SS-Brigaf. Globocnik an Aussenstellen Nord, Riga, Ostuf Michalsen, Mitte, Minsk, Stubaf Dolp, Süd, Kiew, Ostuf Thomalla, 29.10.41, GPD 435 (10.11.41), item 13, PRO HW 16/32
[122] SSPF Lublin an HSSPF Nord, z.Hd SS Ogruf Jeckeln und SS Ostuf, Riga, 19.11.41 (GPD 529, 29.12.41,. no 1, item 11), PRO HW 16/32
[123] Aktenvermerk Pohl, 4.11.41, BA NS3/1367, pp.60-2; Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, pp.272-8.
[124] Schulte, ‘Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager’, p.46
[125] MGK, Sobibór, p.243
[126] MGK, Sobibór, p.297. On the Reuter file memo, see section ‘Mattogno’s ‘Resettlement’ Shell Game’ below.
[127] Schulte, ‘Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager’, p.46
[128] Bericht über die Besichtigung des Auffanglagers in Trawniki, 14.7.1941, published in Blumental (ed), Obozy, pp.258-9.
[129] “Wachmannschaften des Beauftragten des Reichsführers-SS und Chefs der Deutschen Polizei – Chef der Ordnungspolizei – für die Errichtung der SS- und Polizeistützpunkte im neuen Ostraum”. Cf. Personalbogen Nr 319 (Alexander Suban), GARF 7021-148-421, pp.29-31.
[130] SSPF Lublin, Empfehlung für die Beförderung von Karl Streibel, 6.3.1942, BDC SS-OA Karl Streibel.
[131] Cf. Peter R. Black, 'Rehearsal for Reinhardt? Odilo Globocnik and the Lublin Selbstschutz’, Central European History, vol. 25, No. 2, 1992, 204-226, as well as Peter Black, ‘Indigenous Collaboration in the Government General: The Case of the Sonderdienst’ in Pieter Judson and Marsha Rozenblit (eds), Constructing Nationalities in East Central Europe, New York: Berghahn, 2005, pp.243–66.
[132] SSPF Lublin an HSSPF Ostland, Riga, 13.10.1941, GPD 399, item 24, PRO HW 16/32.
[133] The 2nd Lithuanian Schuma Battalion was assigned to the camp as of July 1, 1942: Stärkenachweisung der Schutzmannschaft Stand vom 1. Juli 1942., BA R 19/266. It was replaced in March 1943 by the 252nd Lithuanian  Schuma Battalion; cf. Aleksander Lasik, ‘Struktura organizacyjna oraz obsada osobowa stanowisk kierowniczych w obozie koncentracyjnym na Majdanku  w latach 1941-1944’,  Zeszyty Majdanka,  2003, t. XXII, p.148; Hilberg, Vernichtung, Bd 2, p.965 n.136.
[134] Personalbogen Nr 941 (Samuel Prishtsch), AIPN CA 903/1, p.4; Black, ‘Footsoldiers’, p.22.
[135] Personalbogen Nr 137 (Adolf Statkewitsch), GARF 7021-148-421, pp.49-50.
[136] Anruf SS-Standartenführer Schnabel, SSPF Warschau, 31.10.1041; H.H.u.B., D.Ch.d.A.II.B, Betr.: Arbeitserziehungslager in Treblinka, 5.11.1941, BA DH ZB6768. A.1, pp.380-1
[137] Black, ‘Footsoldiers of the Final Solution’, p.54 n.45; Czerniaków, Warsaw Diary, p.316 (17.1.1942).
[138] Rich,’Footsoldiers of Reinhard’, p.693, overinterprets this assignment somewhat.
[139] Black, ‘Footsoldiers of the Final Solution’, p.54 n.45.
[140] Personalbogen Nr 727 (Nikolaus Pawlij), ASBU Stalino 6442-38260, pp.132-R.
[141] Vernehmungsprotokoll Jan Piwonski, 29.4.1975, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 673/41, Bd 2, p.441.
[142] Vernehmungsprotokoll Ferdinand Hahnzog, 31.1.1963, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 914/63, Bd.1, pp.1427-8. Construction at Sobibor began in early 1942, with the first work supervised by a civilian official, Baurat Moser, according to at least two witnesses. Cf. Vernehmung Hans-Heinz Schütt, 22.11.1962, BAL B162/208 AR-Z  251/59, Bd. 8, pp. 1648-9; Musial, Zivilverwaltung, p.217, citing Vern. B. Falkenberg, 16.7.1965, OKL Ds 12/67, Bl.19-21 and Urteil gegen A. Müller u.a., 29.10.1964, StA Hannover 2 Ks 4/63, Bl.20 , also Justiz und NS-Verbrechen Bd 20, Lfd Nr 582. From March to April 1942, work was taken over by SS-Obersturmführer Richard Thomalla, who had spent the last months of 1941 building up a Strongpoint in Kiev. The first SS personnel from T4 arrived at the start of April, including the designated commandant, Hauptmann der Schutzpolizei Franz Stangl. Cf. Vernehmung Franz Stangl, 29.4.1969, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 230/59, Bd. 12, p.4464. According to Jakov Engelhardt, in early 1942, twelve Trawnikis arrived at Sobibor to find the camp already wired off and work underway on the “bathhouse”. A corridor of brush was erected, the infamous ‘tube’ or Schlauch, and behind the “bathhouse”, a mass grave was dug. A test gassing was carried out in the “bath house” using an engine. Five Germans were present, including a man he identified in 1975 as a captain who “always wore civilian clothes” and an Oberscharführer, along with two men in work clothes who were constructing the gas chamber. Engelhardt returned to Trawniki, after his squad of 12 men was relieved by a much larger detachment of 40 auxiliaries under the command of an ethnic German. Cf. Protokol doprosa, Yakov Genrikovich Engel’gard, 21.3.1961, ASBU Kiev 66437-14-31, pp.27-28a; Protokoll einer Zeugenvernehmung Jakow Genrikowitsch Engelhardt, 21.8.1975, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 673/41, Bd.3, pp.466-512.
[143] Cf. Dienstkalender, pp.273-4 (24.11.1941): “Jewish Question belongs to me.”
[144] See section ‘Extermination and Labour’ below.
[145] Dienstkalender, p.290 (14.12.41).
[146] Vernehmungsprotokoll Erich Fuchs, 2.4.1963, BAL 162/208 AR-Z 251/59, Bd. 9, pp.1782-1783.
[147] See Chapters 4 and 5.
[148] On the Osteinsatz, see Heberer, ‘Kontinuität der Tötungsoperationen’, p.291ff.
[149] This observation refutes the silly argument in MGK, Sobibor, pp.272-3 about a supposed ‘contradiction’ between the Osteinsatz and the impending transfer of an initially small number of personnel to Lublin.
[150] Osteinsatz veterans later sent to the Aktion Reinhard camps include Otto Stadie, Werner Dubois, Heinrich Gley, Arthur Matthes, Franz Hödl, Karl Schluch, Heinrich Unverhau, Ernst Zierke and Willy Grossman.
[151] Brack an Himmler, 23.6.1942, BA NS19/1583, p.16, also NO-205; our emphases.
[152] Longerich, Holocaust, p.331.
[153] Pohl, Judenpolitik, pp.125-6, citing Vernehmung. Oberhauser, 10.11.1964, Oberhauser Bd. XV, Bl. 2918-20 (StA München 1 110 Ks 3/64); a similar description of Brack’s visit is in Vernehmung Josef Oberhauser, 14.12.1962, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. 9, p.1681ff, also excerpted in Klee, The Good Old Days, p.229.
[154] Robin O’Neil, Belzec: Stepping Stone to Genocide: Hitler’s Answer to the Jewish Question (2004):
[155] Göring an Heydrich, 31.7.1941, 710-PS, IMT XXVI, pp.266-7.
[156] NARA-BDC SS-OA Friedrich Suhr; cf. Aly, Endlösung, pp.306-7.
[157] Anzahl der Juden absolut und im Verhältnis zur Gesamtbevölkerung in den einzelnen Ländern und nach Erdteilen, 7.8.1941, AIPN CA 362/218, pp.5-10.
[158] For a recent examination of the background to this phase, see Wolf Gruner, ‘Von der Kollektivausweisung zur Deportation der Juden aus Deutschland (1938-1943). Neue Perspektiven und Dokumente’, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus 20, 2004, pp.21-62, This phase is also well covered in Browning, Origins, p.314ff as well as Witte, ‘Two Decisions’.
[159] Dienstkalender, pp.200-203 (2.9.1941), p.205 (4.9.1941).
[160] Browning, Origins, p.326.
[161] Dienstkalender, p.241 (20.10.1941). In July 1941, Slovak officials had inspected the Organisation Schmelt forced labour camp complex in Upper East Silesia, and used their impressions to establish a few forced labour camps in Slovakia, which survived the 1942 deportations. See Deutsche Gesandschaft Pressburg an Auswärtigen Amt Berlin, Abteilung Protokoll, 2.7.1941, T/1075; Bericht über die Besichtigung der oberschlesischen Judenlager, 12.7.1941, NARA T175/584/80-2.
[162] Schwindt, Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Majdanek, p.79, argues that the Lublin district was already foreseen in October 1941, but this is not substantiated. On Nazi-Slovak relations in general see Tatjana Tönsmeyer: Das Dritte Reich und die Slowakei 1939 - 1945. Politischer Alltag zwischen Kooperation und Eigensinn. Paderborn: Schöningh, 2003.
[163] 339. Inf.Div. Ia, Divisionsbefehl Nr, 85, 16.10.41, NARA T315/2116/140; for the context see Christian Gerlach, ‘Failure of Plans for an SS Extermination Camp im Mogilew’, HGS 11, 1997, pp.60-78.
[164] Pol.Rgt. Galizien Ia, Jüdische Zwangsarbeitslager, 14.8.1941, RGVA 1323-2-292b, p.158.
[165] On the DG IV camps in Galicia, see Hermann Kaienburg, ‘Jüdische Arbeitslager an der ‘Strasse der SS’,’ 1999, 1/1996, pp.13-39; Sandkühler, Endlösung in Galizien, pp.191-193; Pohl, Ostgalizien, p.348ff. Globocnik men from SSPF Lublin provided the supervisory cadres, most being reassigned from the staff of a camp in Biala Podlaska closed in the summer of 1941. Sandkühler, Endlösung in Ostgalizien, p.495 n. 98.
[166] Dienstkalender, p.314 (11.1.42); for telexes to Prützmann see Summary of Police Decodes for 16.12.1941-15.1.1942, p.11, PRO HW16/6; cf. Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, p.360.
[167] On the DG IV camps in Ukraine see Andrej Angrick, ‘Annihilation and Labor: Jews and Thoroughfare IV in Central Ukraine’ in Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower (eds), The Shoah in Ukraine. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006; Lower, Nazi Empire-Building, pp.143-50.
[168] Wannsee-Protokoll, 20.1.1942, NG-2586-G.
[169] RSHA IV B 4, Evakuierung von Juden, 31.1.1942, 1063-PS.
[170] Bericht über die am 6. März 1942 im RSHA – Amt IV B 4 – stattgefundene Besprechung, 9.3.1942, T/119, also in Hans G. Adler, Die Verheimlichte Wahrheit. Theresienstädter Dokumente, Tübingen, 1958, pp.9-10.
[171] Luther an Deutsche Gesandtschaft Pressburg, 16.2.1942, T/1078, simply refers to “bringing them to the east”.
[172] Wannsee-Protokoll, 20.1.1942, NG-2586-G.
[173] Cited in Pohl, Judenpolitik, p.107 and Musial, Deutsche Zivilverwaltung, p.223.
[174] On this visit see Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp.693-4.
[175] Vermerk Dannecker, 10.3.42, RF-1224, also published in Klarsfeld (ed), Vichy-Auschwitz, p.374.
[176] Bericht über die am 6.3.42 im RSHA – Amt IV B 4 – stattgefundene Besprechung, 9.3.1942, T/119, also in Adler, Verheimlichte Wahrheit, pp.9-10.
[177] Gottwaldt/Schulle, Judendeportationen; Franciszek Piper, Die Zahl der Opfer von Auschwitz. Oswiecim, 1993, esp. table after p.144; Danuta Czech, Kalendarium der Ereignisse im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939-1945, Reinbek, 1989. A partial exception was the deportation – unregistered in the so-called ‘Smolen list’ (NOKW-2824) – of Jews from Gleiwitz in Silesia, cf. Gottwaldt, Judendeportationen, pp.393-4; the oft-cited deportation from Beuthen on 15 February 1942 is based on inaccurate information from the Interational Tracing Service cited by Martin Broszat in his commentary on Rudolf Höss, Kommandant im Auschwitz, Stuttgart, 1958, esp pp.155, 174-5.
[178] The Economics and Administration Main Office (Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt, WVHA), was ordered formed on January 19, 1942 and had an official ‘birthday’ of February 1. Cf. Pohl, Befehl, 19.1.1942, BS NS19/3904, p.4ff, also NO-495. On the formation of the WVHA from Pohl’s Hauptamt Haushalt und Bauten and the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps, see Walter Naasner, Neue Machtzentren in der deutschen Kriegswirtschaft 1942-1945. Die Wirtschaftsorganisation der SS, das Amt des Generalbevollmächtigten für den Arbeitseinsatz und das Reichsministerium für Bewaffnung und Munition/Reichsministerium für Rüstung und Kriegsproduktion im nationalsozialistischen Herrschaftssystem, Boppard am Rhein, 1994; as well as Karin Orth, Das System der nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager. Eine politische Organisationsgeschichte, Hamburg, 1999; Schulte, Zwangsarbeit und Vernichtung, p.197ff; Allen, The Business of Genocide, p.165ff.
[179] Dienstkalender, pp.316-317 (14-15.1.1941).
[180] For the context of these decisions, see also Schulte, ‘Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager’.
[181] A key meeting between Himmler, Göring and the state secretary of the Labour Ministry, Freidrich Syrup, took place in August; cf. Dienstkalendar Himmler, p.198 (20.8.41). An order loosening a ban on the utilisation of Soviet POW labour in the Reich imposed after the start of ‘Barbarossa’ was issued a few days later: RAM Nr VA 5135/1277, Einsatz von sowjet. Kriegsgefangenen, 26.8.41, BA R3901/20168, pp.53-4; cf. WiRüAmt/Rü IV, Vortragsnotiz für Chef OKW, 26.8.41, NA T77/1066/375.
[182] The order is indicated in FS OKW/Abt. Kriegsgef an MiG, 25.9.41, NA T501/220/192-3; for internal SS discussions see Dienstkalender, pp.208-10, 215 (15-16.9.41, 22.9.41, 25.9.41).
[183] Chef des Amtes II-Bauten an Zentralbauleitung Lublin, 22.9.1941; Der Chef des Amtes-II Bauten, Errichtung von Kriegsgefangenenlager, 27.9.41, both BA-DH KL Hafta Nr 7.
[184] Bischoff’s arrival is sometimes dated to 1.10.1941 on the basis of his personnel file (NARA-BDC SS-OA Karl Bischoff), but his predecessor Schlachter as well as the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, were only informed of the change on October 11. Cf. Kammler an Schlachter, 11.10.1941; Kammler an Höss, 11.10.1941, RGVA 1372-6-22, pp.240-3. For the earlier date, see the references in Schulte, ‘Vom Arbeits- zum Vernichtungslager’, p.52 n.59.
[185] Der Chef des Amtes II Bauten, Kriegsgefangenenlager Auschwitz, 1.11.41, RGVA 502-1-215, p.10; for KGL Lublin see Der Chef des Amtes II Bauten, Kriegsgefangenenlager Lublin, 1.11.41, BA DH KL Hafta Nr 7, p.4. This order confirmed the figure give in the first explanatory report for Birkenau, dated the previous day; cf. Erläuterungsbricht zum Vorentwurf für den Neubau des Kriegsgefangenenlagers der Waffen-SS, Auschwitz O/S, 31.10.41, RGVA 502-1-233, pp.13-21.
[186] Dienstkalender, p.271 (23.11.1941).
[187] Der Chef des Amtes II-Bauten, KGL Lublin. 8.12.41, BA DH KL Hafta Nr 7.
[188] II/3-Allg.-55/Se./Lo., Vorläufiges Friedensbauprogramm des Hauptamtes Haushalt und Bauten, Amt II-Bauten, Berlin, 4.12.41, BA NS19/2065, p.4.
[189] Reinhard Otto, Wehrmacht, Gestapo und sowjetische Kriegsgefangene im deutschen Reichsgebiet 1941/42, Munich, 1998.
[190] Stanislaw Klodzinski, ‘Die erste Vergasung von Häftlingen und Kriegsgefangenen im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz’ in Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung (ed), Die Auschwitz-Hefte: Texte der polnischen Zeitschrift ‘Przeglad Lekarski’ über historischen, psychologischen und medizinischen Aspekte des Lebens und Sterbens in Auschwitz. Hamburg, 1987; cf. Joachim Neander and Sergey Romanov, ‘Dr. Neander responds to Carlo Mattogno,’ Holocaust Controversies, 13.2.10,
[191] Jerzy Brandhuber, ‘Die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz’, Hefte von Auschwitz, 4, 1961, pp.5-62.
[192] Aktenvermerk betr. Vordringliche Bauaufgaben im Jahre 1942, 2.2.42, RGVA 502-1-19, p.11.
[193] Himmler an Glücks, 26.1.42, BA NS19/1920, p.1, also NO-500.
[194] The most comprehensive survey is Wolf Gruner, Der Geschlossene Arbeitseinsatz deutscher Juden. Zur Zwangsarbeit als Element der Verfolgung 1938-1943, Berlin, 1997; for an English summary see Wolf Gruner, Jewish Forced Labor Under the Nazis. Economic Needs and Racial Aims, 1938-1944, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp.3-173.
[195] SS-WVHA, Vorschlag für die Aufstellung von SS-Baubrigaden für die Ausführung von Bauaufgaben des Reichsführers-SS im Kriege und Frieden, 10.2.42, BA NS19/2065, p.29 (sent to Himmler on 5.3.42).
[196] In accordance with Himmler’s demand for the transfer of female Jews to the camps, a women’s camp was set up at Auschwitz as a satellite of KL Ravensbrück. Himmler himself coordinated this venture during a visit to Ravensbrück on March 3, 1942 – again highlighting the manner in which decisions came together in the first week of that month – while orders went out regarding the training of personnel and the physical construction of the women’s section in the subsequent weeks. Cf. Dienstkalender, p.368  n.4 (3.3.42); FS Liebehenschel to KL Auschwitz, 10.3.42, ZIP/GPDD 46 (9.5.42) No 3, PRO HW16/17; SS-WVHA C V, Frauenzweiglager Auschwitz, 18.3.42, RGVA 502-1-6, p.2ff, referring to a telex of the IKL of 5.3.1942.  See also Bernhard Strebel, Das KZ Ravensbrück. Geschichte eines Lagerkomplexes. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2003, pp.340-355, on the functioning of the Ravensbrück/Auschwitz relationship at this time.

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