Monday, December 26, 2011

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard. Chapter 4: So Where Did They Go? “Resettlement” to the East (5). Ukraine.


MGK also see the Ukraine as a destination for ‘resettled’ European Jews during the war. As discussed earlier, local Jews in this area were subject to heavy exterminations during 1942, the same year when Jews would have supposedly been deported into this area.[151] The Wehrmacht’s arms inspector Ukraine estimated at the end of 1941 that 150,000-200,000 Ukrainian Jews under the German civil administration had already been killed.[152] Massacres of such scale continued into the next year. For instance, although MGK cite a September 1942 wartime news report (the general unreliability of such a source has been discussed) in Judisk Krönika regarding German Jews being shipped to Ukraine to work on the fall harvest, they ignore the recorded execution of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Ukraine during the same period.[153] Indeed, Mattogno’s claims to the contrary aside, in the wake of the Nazi withdrawal from their occupied territories Soviet officials found mass graves containing thousands of corpses in Ukraine.[154]  
In late 1941/early 1942, the Ukraine was indeed planned to be a destination for the deportation of German Jews. A circular was sent out by HSSPF Ukraine in early January 1942 to regions in the territory, asking the localities to prepare for the establishment of ghettos and barracks to accommodate Jews from the Altreich and report back on their circumstances.[155] The circular occurred prior to the crystallization of policy after the Wannsee conference, upon which such wide-ranging deportation schemes fell through.[156] As Kues recognizes, despite dozens of recorded transports of Altreich Jews to the Ostland, “none of the documented transports were sent to the Ukraine.”[157] Indeed, the only documentation connected to Jewish resettlement and the Ukraine is the delivery of stolen Jewish clothes to ethnic Germans in the territory, clothes which were stolen at Auschwitz and the Reinhard camps.[158]
Despite a lack of documented transports, MGK try to create deportations to this region based on other (weaker) forms of evidence. For instance, they use a May 1942 letter to the governor of the Lublin district from the county chief at Pulawy, in which he states that 16,822 Jews from his county had been “expelled across the Bug river,” as proof of their resettlement into Ukraine.[159] Although they never specify, we presume that MGK mean GK Wolhynien-Podolien, which included the cities of Pinsk and Kovel (which they use for other supposed resettlement destinations as well).[160] This GK was the site of heavy slaughters in late summer, with nearly three hundred thousand being slaughtered from August-November 1942.[161] Extermination in Ukraine was thus largely complete by early 1943, when the Ukrainian Main Committee complained to Frank that "The view is current that now the shootings of the Jews come to an end those of the Ukrainians begin."[162]
One specific region to which Kues claims European Jews were deported was GK Nikolayev. Kues cites a hearsay report published in the June 1943 issue of the Contemporary Jewish Record suggesting 14,000 Jews from Belgium and Holland had been deported to Kherson in April of that year.[163] This is an odd location for Jews to be sent, as a year before the county commissar had happily reported that “there are no longer any Jews or half-Jews in GK Nikolayev.”[164] To achieve such a cleansing of the region, the Jews were murdered. For instance, in early February 1942 some two hundred Jews of the Zlatopol ghetto were killed “by gassing with Lorpicrin” on the orders of the county commissar.[165] MGK also fail to corroborate the hearsay report with either eyewitnesses or documents.
One could also rule out other possible ‘resettlement’ territories inside Ukraine, further decreasing the available territory in which to resettle hundreds of thousands of Jews. The General Commissariat of Zhitomir, located to the west of Kiev, was the target of several liquidations during 1942. As construction was underway for Hitler’s field headquarters (often called the Wolf’s Lair), nearby Jews not actively working on the project were regarded as security threats and killed. A member of the Reich Security Service, Hitler’s personal security staff, reported that “the Jews living in Vinnitsa were knocked off on April 16, up to 4,800 (in all).”[166] The murders in the commissariat continued throughout the spring, with several actions launched simultaneously in the Gaissin district and other operations occurring in Monastyrska.[167]
Perhaps as their strongest evidence (and most popular by their numerous repetitions and quotations), MGK utilize an April 1944 report from the French communist newspaper Notre Voix.[168] The report states, citing Radio Moscow’s declarations, that 8,000 Parisian Jews had been liberated in the Ukraine by the “heroic Red Army.”[169] No testimonies or documents regarding these alleged thousands of French Jews have appeared since their “liberation.” MGK do not see the report’s propaganda aim, clearly portraying the Red Army as saviours of the Jewish people, thus welcomed news by Jewish and communist sympathizers in France. Particularly, they ignore the perpetual Soviet efforts to internationalize the Nazi victims. As Pierre Vidal-Naquet appropriately remarked regarding one denier’s use of a similar source, “those who speak at every turn of war propaganda should have been able to perceive that we have in this case a rather typical example.”[170] MGK also ignore the paper’s emphasis on the Jews’ escape from “the SS bandits (whom) wanted to shoot them.”
The Ukraine was hardly a realistic prospective site for the resettlement of hundreds of thousands western European Jews. Already in January 1942, RK Ukraine reported the food situation as so poor as to have “led to a decrease in dog ownership” among the people.[171] Such a situation would persist, despite complaints from the civilian administration.[172] The same area was later charged to meet extraordinary food production demands for the Reich at the expense of the local population. Reich Commissioner for Ukraine Erich Koch told his staff in late August 1942 that “the feeding of the civilian population in this situation (securing food quantities from the Ukraine) is therefore completely immaterial.”[173] In July 1943, when MGK would have hundreds of thousands of Jews ‘resettled’ into the East, State Secretary Herbert Backe reported “the amount of (food) supply to be furnished by the Occupied Eastern Territories will still have to be considerably increased.”[174] The population who the Nazis cared least about (i.e. Jews) would obviously have fared the worst amongst all Ukrainian civilians.  
Nor is there evidence to suggest that Jews served as a substantial part of the industrial labor force in throughout 1942 and 1943, despite the important projects that were going on in the Ukraine.[175] For instance, no Jews are mentioned as taking a role in the ‘Iwan-Programm’ for building ammunition factories in the Donets Basin.[176]
Indeed, as mentioned earlier, this was the period when hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews were being slaughtered. Counties were pushing to eradicate the Jews in their localities. As one General Commissariat reported at the end of 1942, “Jewry. The cleansing of the territory is in its final stages.”[177] By April 1943 Jews had disappeared entirely from the monthly reports of both GK Wolhynien and RK Ukraine.[178] On June 8, 1943, Hitler was able to remark to Keitel and Zeitzler, quoting Erich Koch, that in Ukraine “the Jews are all gone.”[179] Such evidence rules out the resettlement of Jews into Ukraine.

[151] See the sections The Europe-Wide Final Solution as well as Killing of Soviet Jews, Chapter 2.
[152] Bericht Prof. Seraphim mit Anschreiben der Rüstungsinspektion Ukraine, 29.11.41 and 2.12.41, 2178-PS; cf. Pohl, ‘The Murder of Ukraine’s Jews,’ p.44.
[153] Report of HSSPF, 26.12.1942; Der Reichsführer-SS, Meldungen an den Führer über Bandenbekämpfung, Meldung Nr. 51 Russland-Süd, Ukraine, Bialystok. Bandenbekämpfungserfolge vom 1.9 bis 1.12.42, 23.12.1942, NO-511, also translated in NMT, Vol. XIII, p. 269-272, also T/338.
[154] M&G, Treblinka, p.223; Roberto Muehlenkamp, ‘The Atrocities committed by German-Fascists in the USSR (1),’ Holocaust Controversies blog, 30.4.11,; Roberto Muehlenkamp, ‘The Atrocities committed by German-Fascists in the USSR (2)’, Holocaust Controversies, 3.5.11,; Roberto Muehlenkamp, ‘Drobitski Yar,’ Holocaust Controversies, 28.6.10,; Roberto Muehlenkamp, “June 22, 1941” Holocaust Controversies blog, 22.6.2011,
[155] RKU, Der HSSPF, Einrichtung von Ghettos, 12.1.43, DAZhO P1151-1-137.
[156] See The Europe-Wide Final Solution, Chapter 2.
[157] Kues, ‘Evidence,’ 2.1.
[158] Report by Pohl to RFSS, 6.2.43, NO-1257. NMT Vol. 5, pp. 699-704.
[159] MGK, Sobibór, p.302.
[160] Cf. MGK, Sobibór, p.362.
[161] Report of HSSPF, 26.12.1942; Der Reichsführer-SS, Meldungen an den Führer über Bandenbekämpfung, Meldung Nr. 51 Russland-Süd, Ukraine, Bialystok. Bandenbekämpfungserfolge vom 1.9 bis 1.12.42, 23.12.1942, NO-511, also translated in NMT, Vol. XIII, p. 269-272, also T/338. Many more documents related to the exterminations in GK Wolhynien-Podolien can be found in Jonathan Harrison, Volhynia-Podolia series .  
[162] Kubijowytsch an Frank, 25.2.43, 1526-PS, NCA IV, pp.79-95.
[163] Kues, ‘Evidence, Part II,’ 3.7.5.
[164] GK Nikolajew, Lagebericht für April 1942, CDJC CXLIV-474.
[165] Fragment of a situation report from BdO Ukraine (gez. Müller-Brunkhorst), ca. March 1942 (title page missing); TsADAVOV, R-3676-4-317, p.71; cf. Pohl, ‘The Murder of Ukraine’s Jews,’ p.48.
[166] Reichssicherheitsdienst, Sicherungsgruppe Eichenhain an Rattenhuber, 12.1. 1942; 16.5.1942 (citation), TsDAVOV 3637-4-116, pp.28ff.
[167] Longerich, Holocaust, p. 349, Spector, Holocaust of the Volhynien Jewry, p.184.
[168] M&G, Treblinka, pp.257-258; MGK, Sobibór, p.365; Kues, ‘Evidence,’ 3.1.5.
[169] The newspaper article was first brought to light by Annette Wieviorka, Deportation et genocide. Entre la memoire et l’oubli. Paris, 1992, p.55, and was seemingly first treated as a Crucial Source by Jean-Marie Boisdefeu.
[170] Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Assassins of Memory, New York: Columbia University Press, p.36.
[171] RK Ukraine IIc, Lagebericht, 14.1.42, TsDAVOV 3206-2-27.
[172] RK Ukraine III b, Die Lage der Landwirtschaft in der Ukraine unter Berücksichtigung der soeben neu aufgetretenen Schwierigkeiten, 10.4.42, NA T77/1171/1048.
[173] IMT Vol. XXV, p.318.
[174] Sitzungsvermerk v. 20 August 1943 des ORR Hermann über eine Tagung am 13.7.43 im RmbO zum Thema: Arbeitseinsatzfragen des Reiches unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Verhältnisse in den besetzten Ostgebieten, NO-1831, IMT XIII, p.1018-19.
[175] Cf. Tanja Penter, ‘Arbeiten für den Feind in der Heimat – der Arbeitseinsatz in der besetzten Ukraine 1941-1944’, Jahbruch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte 2004/1, pp.65-94.
[176] Reichsminister für Bewaffnung und Munition, Der Beauftragte für die Munitionsfertigung in der Ukraine Edmund Geilenberg, Vorhaben Iwan, Niederschrift über die Iwan-Besprechung am Freitag, d 18. Dezember 1942, 21.12.42, BA R3901/20271, pp.65-7.
[177] Pohl, ‘The Murder of Ukraine’s Jews,’ p.51, citing CDJC CXLVIIa-29, Lagebericht GK Wolhynien-Podolien, 31.12.42.
[178] GK Wolhynien-Podolien, Lagebericht für Monat April 1943, 30.4.1943; RK, Lageberichte für die Monate Maerz und April 1943, 14.5.1943, NARA T454/26/1-36, 37-59.
[179] Helmut Heiber (ed.), Lagebesprechungen im Führerhauptquartier, 1942-1945, Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1963, pp.115-118; also 1384-PS.

No comments: