Monday, December 26, 2011

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard. Chapter 4: So Where Did They Go? “Resettlement” to the East (6). The Alleged Fate of the ‘Resettled’ Jews.

The Alleged Fate of the ‘Resettled’ Jews

If the Nazis really had resettled some two million Jews into the occupied Soviet territories, the question then remains over the ultimate fate of the deportees. Instead of evacuating the surviving Jews back into German occupied Europe, as the Germans did in many other cases (including more than 20,000 from Kaunas and Riga[180], two sites claimed to be primary resettlement destinations by Revisionists), according to MGK the Nazis left the Jews to be liberated by the advancing Red Army. Such a liberation would necessarily leave traces in the form of numerous mentions in the Soviet news stories, internal Soviet documents (such as Red Army reports and NKGB reports), and memoirs and interviews by the former Soviet servicemen and locals. Given the numbers of people involved and the scale of the events, even if one wanted to suppress such information for some incomprehensible reason, it wouldn't have been possible even during Stalin's reign (rumor always finds a way to spread), much less in subsequent years, and especially not after the fall of the USSR and opening of the archives in Russia and other former Soviet republics (most of which use these archives effectively to expose Soviet crimes, including deportations). The Soviet censorship system was powerful, but to hide the liberation of hundreds of thousand of Jews it would have to have been omnipotent. Lacking any corroboration for their story of Soviet liberation of the resettled Jews, one could easily reject MGK’s thesis as without foundation on that basis alone. As will be seen, however, their hypothesis fails on every evidentiary aspect.
To explain the disappearance and silence of the two million ‘resettled’ Jews, MGK speciously claim that the majority of Polish and Western European Jews had been captured and transported to the eastern areas of the country, secluded from the outside world, where MGK “assume that they disappeared in camps they would never leave.”[181] While the postwar deportations in the Soviet Union had for decades been marred in obscurity (an obscurity MGK manipulate to their advantage), the fall of the Soviet state has opened the relevant files to researchers over the last two decades which help present a picture of what truly happened during the time period. These newly available documents certainly refute MGK’s conjecture to explain the disappearance of Jews, for instead of an anti-Jewish deportation scheme the efforts were largely related to a renewed dekulakization program and other Sovietization efforts. While a few researchers believed in a planned anti-Jewish deportation program in the postwar years, a detailed analysis of the evidence finds that such a plan was more mythical than actual, with no reliable or conclusive evidence to support the existence of such plans.[182] Such a theory also contradicts other statements in Sobibór where Polish Jews who were ‘resettled’ by the Nazis were able to return to Poland from the Soviet Union.[183]
To support their belief in massive Soviet deportations of Jews to Siberia in the late 1940s Graf quotes the 1950 American Jewish Yearbook, seemingly as an ultimate proof of their occurrence, as he does not source any other evidence.[184] The Yearbook merely relayed information on the deportations as reported by some Jewish organizations in Eastern Europe. The American Jewish League against Communism (AJLAC) for instance, as quoted by Graf in the Yearbook, estimated the number of Jewish deportees at 400,000. However, Graf leaves out crucial but (for him) inconvenient pieces of information in his quote of the Yearbook. First, the Yearbook reported that the American Committee of Jewish Writers, Artists, and Scientists described the AJLAC’s estimate on the deportations as “fantastic” and “without foundation.” Also, Graf doesn’t disclose the fact that the Yearbook itself declared that, “At the time of writing it was impossible to ascertain with any degree of certitude to what extent the reports (of Soviet deportations of Jews) were true.”[185] Such a statement, of course, severely undermines MGK’s reliance upon the publication as proof of such deportations.
One of the foremost researchers of Stalin’s era antisemitism Gennady Kostyrchenko writes about these deportation rumours:
The scale of rumours about impending mass deportation of Jews by the authorities increased significantly during the anti-cosmopolitan campaign to such an extent that that foreign press began mentioning this. On the pages of Jewish publications (especially in Israel, USA and UK) during the 1949-1952 period there were numerous reports about either an alleged decision taken by the Soviet authorities to deport the entire Jewish population of the country to Siberia, or about the completed resettlement of 400 thousand Jews from Russia to Siberia, or of the prepared deportation in the same direction of another 1 million Jews from the Ukraine and Belorussia. The appearance of such information in the Western press was largely due to the latent propaganda pressure, which since the end of 1949 the Israeli leaders began exerting towards the USSR, seeking thereby to induce Stalin to meet their requirements to allow the mass emigration of Jews from the USSR. Particularly insistent in this case was the Israeli Foreign Minister M. Sharett. On October 5 he was informed by the ambassador to the USSR Namir that Soviet Jews "live in fear and lack confidence in tomorrow" and "many" of them "fear deportation from Moscow is about to begin". Ten days later Sharett replied with a coded telegram sent to Moscow, which contained the following statement:
"We should start a campaign in the international Jewish press, especially in the U.S., as well as in non-Jewish press on the issue of the Soviet Jewry, allowing the leaks to the press of all the correct information at our disposal, as well as rumours."
 And although later the same Namir, as well as a director of East European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel A. Levavi repeatedly informed Sharett of the unfounded nature of the rumours about the preparation of the deportation of Soviet Jews, publications about it in the Western press did not stop.[186]
While deportations did occur in the Soviet Union during the late 1940s, they are nothing like MGK make them out to be. Instead of an effort to hide Polish and western European Jews that were ‘resettled’ into the occupied Soviet territories[187], the deportations were organized against perceived opponents of the state, with the deportees being sent to special settlements in the eastern Soviet Union. One of the regions most targeted during these deportations was the Baltic, perhaps the most popular destination for the Nazi ‘resettlement’ of Jews (as described by MGK). According to Soviet documents however, some 139,604 persons were relocated from the Baltic countries throughout the late 1940s.[188] This figure is obviously dwarfed by the alleged hundreds of thousands of Jewish resettlers sent to this region according to Kues.[189] Nor do Soviet documents relate any focus or emphasis regarding Jewish persons to be removed during the deportations, as they instead targeted nationalist and anti-communist elements. One must conclude, therefore, that no Jews ‘resettled’ by the Nazis in the Baltic countries were deported by the Soviet Union.
A similar conclusion can also be drawn regarding Belorussia and the Ukraine, two other suggested destination of Nazi resettlement. Most of the Soviet deportations from western Ukraine occurred prior to 1948, with those operations launched between 1944 and 1946 largely focused against anti-communist guerrillas (nearly 37,000 such persons). In 1947, while targeting “nationalist and bandit families” in Ukraine, the Soviets deported nearly 78,000 people.[190]  Up until 1955, a decade after the end of the Second World War, a total of 203,662 persons (kulaks and “bandit accomplices”) had been deported from the Ukraine[191], a fact which clearly does not square with MGK’s thesis that hundreds of thousands of resettled Jews were deported to Siberia from Ukraine. While Belorussia produced the largest number of “voluntary” resettlers in 1946 to occupy newly acquired Kaliningrad, there does not appear to have been any substantial amount of deportation of peoples from the country in the immediate postwar years.[192] 
The largest hole in MGK’s thesis is the absolute lack of evidence to support the existence of such concentration camps for the ‘resettled’ Jews. They are unable to cite a single witness or document to support their speculation. While MGK might object that none of the two million ‘resettled’ Jews were able to present such an account, this does not save MGK's fantastic scenario. The continued presence of Jews in camps would generate even more information than their supposed initial liberation. It is sometimes said that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But this rule is only applicable when we can't expect presence of evidence. This is clearly not the case here. We would expect literal tons of documents about these Jews in numerous archives spread throughout the Soviet republics – the documents which were impossible to eliminate or hide completely, as numerous other cases (like Katyn) demonstrate. The number of various agencies and people that would be involved at one time or another is mind-boggling. Aside from official documents, we would expect at least some mentions of the issue in memoirs and interviews of former Soviet officials – Politburo members, security officers, railway workers, guards – all the thousands of people that would have been involved in such an utterly impossible cover-up as well as their relatives and friends.  
We would also expect an enormous rumor trail. We know from the camp memoirs such as Solzhenitsyn's The GULAG Archipelago that information (even information that ordinary citizens and prisoners were not supposed to know) spread far and wide. Like a stone thrown into water causes circles to spread, so such a massive event as a deportation and continuous confinement of foreign Jews would cause ripples of rumours that would sooner or later reach dissidents and Samizdat.
Finally, the supposed imprisonment of Jews doesn't even begin to solve MGK's problem. Stalin died in 1953, leading to the Thaw and to the partial exposure of Stalin's crimes, as well as to liberation of numerous GULAG inmates and deported groups. At this point in time it is utterly ridiculous to suggest that Khrushchev wouldn't let the Jews out of this imaginary imprisonment and wouldn't use this information to further condemn Stalin. Yet we see not even a trace of discussion of this issue in numerous volumes of declassified documents on the rehabilitation era.
This line of argument can be continued (consider, for example, that it would be impossible to hide this mass of people from foreign intelligence services), but by now we hope that the reader sees that MGK are completely divorced from reality in suggesting such a scenario. We will only reiterate that whatever documents there are directly refute MGK, as has been already shown above. Case in point is the statistics of the special settlements.
The "special settlers" - spetspereselentsy or spetsposelentsy, was a special category of repressed groups of people. These special settlers were exiled from their homes and lands into faraway regions of USSR as punishment for alleged misdeeds. The decision was taken not by courts, but by Stalin. The mass deportations began with the so-called "kulaks", then, since mid-1930s, people began to be deported according to ethnic category as well. All the deported peoples, such as Chechens and Ingushs, Koreans, Germans and many others were classified as "special settlers". Deportation of ethnic groups became an established procedure and therefore we know that if Jews were to be ever deported en masse, they would have figured in the secret "special settlements" statistics.
The issue of "special settlements" has been studied at length by historians on the basis of archival documents. Works by Zemskov, Bugai, Polian and others reconstructed the full picture of the deportations and presented statistical information about the deportees.[193] The totality of documentary evidence completely refutes the notion of Soviet mass deportation of surviving foreign Jews to unknown destinations in USSR and thus, automatically, destroys the "transit camp" thesis.
It should be noted that Stalin was not averse to deporting peaceful foreign citizens as a matter of principle. In 1940-41, he deported approximately 315,000 people from eastern Poland in four sets of deportations.[194] Around 80,000 former Polish citizens who escaped from the Nazis (more than 60,000 of them - Jewish) were sent to work mostly in People's Commissariat of Forestry special settlements. They were amnestied in August 1941. The Soviets documented both the deportation and subsequent results.[195]
After the amnesty of former Polish citizens, the number of Jews among the special settlers was always insubstantial. There was no separate category for Jewish special settlers (like there were categories for Germans, Greeks, Chechens, etc.). The Jewish spetsposelentsy always fell under other categories, such as people resettled from the Western parts of Ukraine and Belorussia, people resettled from Moldavia, etc. However the Soviet authorities also kept count of ethnicities, so we can also ascertain that there weren't hundreds of thousands Jews hidden under other labels.
According to MVD SSSR memo issued in January 1953, on January 1, 1953, there were 2,753,356 special settlers, among them 1,810,140 adults (17 years old and older). Among these adults there were 5168 Jews.[196] In January 1955 among 1,690,049 special settlers there were 4547 Jews.[197] In 1958 among 145,968 special settlers there were 1054 Jews.[198]
The presence of hundreds of thousands of foreign Jews among the special settlers can also be excluded because we have the data on how many foreigners were resettled. In October of 1951 there were 17,285 citizens of other states or people without citizenship among the special settlers (most of them - Greek citizens), while in January 1953 there were 28,388 foreigners (most of them Greeks).[199]
Moreover, the number of special settlers began to decrease in mid-1950s as the Thaw began - on January 1, 1956 there were 904,439 special settlers, on July 1, 1956 - 611,912, on January 1, 1957 - 211,408, on July 1, 1957 - 178,363 (mostly "anti-Soviet" contingent like OUN members).[200]
To give the illustration of what real deported groups were among the special settlers it is sufficient to present a couple of tables excerpted from the original summary documents (of which the many are available for different years). The first one gives the statistics of the special settlers from January 1 to April 1, 1945[201]:
Category
On 01.01.1945
On 01.04.1945
Chechens and Ingushs
440,544
433,394
Karachays
63,477
62,529
Balkars
35,839
35,106
Kalmyks
83,981
82,397
From Crimea
208,828
204,502
Ssylnoposelentsy (exiles)
44,222
43,787
Germans
496,811
503,411
Mobilized Germans
105,268
114,998
Former kulaks
631,173
622,062
From Georgia
91,986
90,538
OUN members
12,490
16,200
Volksdeutsche
913
1,071
German collaborators
782
766
"True Orthodox Christians" sect
1405
1365
Total:
2,217,719
2,212,126

The second one gives similar statistics for January 1, 1953[202]:

Category
No. of people
1. GERMANS
1,224,931
evicted
855,674
repatriated
208,388
local
111,324
mobilized
48,582
others
963
2. FROM NORTH CAUCASUS
498,452
Chechens
316,717
Ingushs
83,518
Karachays
63,327
Balkars
33,214
others
1,676
3. FROM CRIMEA
204,698
Tatars
165,259
Greeks
14,760
Bulgarians
12,465
Armenians
8,570
others
3,644
4. OUN MEMBERS
175,063
5. FROM BALTICS IN 1945-1949
139,957
Lithuanians
81,158
Latvians
39,279
Estonians
19,520
6. FROM GEORGIA
86,663
Turks
46,790
Kurds
8,843
Hemshins
1,397
others
29,633
7. KALMYKS
81,475
8. FROM BLACK SEA COAST IN 1949
57,142
Greeks
37,352
"Dashnaks"
15,486
Turks
1,794
others
2,510
9. VLASOVITES
56,746
10. POLES EVICTED IN 1936
36,045
11. FROM MOLDAVIA IN 1949
35,838
12. ACCORDING TO ORDER FROM 02.06.1948
27,275
13. FORMER KULAKS
24,686
14. KULAKS FROM LITHUANIA IN 1951
18,104
15. FROM BALTICS IN 1940-1941
14,301
16. FROM GEORGIA IN 1951-1952
11,685
17. FROM MOLDAVIA IN 1940-1941
9,793
18. JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
9,363
19. FROM KRASNODAR KRAI AND ROSTOV OBLAST IN 1942
6,057
20. FROM WESTERN REGIONS OF USSR AND BSSR IN 1940-1941
5,592
21. VOLKSDEUTSCHE AND GERMAN COLLABORATORS
4,834
22. IRANIANS
4,707
23. ANDERS ARMY MEMBERS
4,520
24. KULAKS FROM WEST BELORUSSIA IN 1952
4,431
25. BASMACHI
2,747
26. KABARDAY
1,717
27. KULAKS FROM WEST UKRAINE IN 1951
1,445
28. FROM PSKOV OBLAST IN 1950
1,356
29. KULAKS FROM IZMAIL OBLAST IN 1948
1,157
30. "TRUE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS" (IPKh)
995
31. FROM IRANIAN AND AFGHAN BORDERS IN 1937
916
32. ACCORDING TO ORDER FROM 23.07.1951
591
33. INTERNED FROM THE TERRITORY OF POLAND
74
TOTAL:
2,753,356

These and many other documents demonstrate how exhaustive is the Soviet documentation for various deported groups and people. Not a single sign of the allegedly resettled Jews can be found among this mass of documents.
Of course, when cornered, the deniers may claim that for some reason the resettled Jews weren't designated as "special settlers" and were sent not to special settlements but to GULAG camps. This "hypothesis" doesn't pass the smell test, since the Soviet modus operandi in regard to deported peoples is quite clear from the historical record and there is no reason to suppose that the Jews would constitute a separate case. However let us close this final loophole. First of all, here's the summary statistics for GULAG camps, colonies and prisons of USSR for January 1 of each year from 1943 to 1960[203]:
Year
Inmates in camps
Inmates in colonies
Inmates in prisons
Total number of inmates:
1943
983,974
500,208
237,534
1,721,716
1944
663,594
516,225
151,296
1,331,115
1945
715,506
745,171
275,510
1,736,187
1946
600,897
509,696
245,146
1,355,739
1947
808,839
894,667
293,135
1,996,641
1948
1,108,057
1,061,195
280,374
2,449,626
1949
1,216,361
1,140,324
231,047
2,587,732
1950
1,416,300
1,145,051
198,744
2,760,095
1951
1,543,382
997,378
164,679
2,705,439
1952
1,713,614
796,174
152,614
2,662,402
1953
1,731,693
740,554
152,290
2,624,537
1954
884,040
440,963
149,082
1,474,085
1955
748,489
326,791
98,574
1,173,854
1956
557,877
223,753
143,509
925,139
1957
492,092
315,885
139,456
947,433
1958
409,567
312,332
118,704
840,603
1959
388,114
474,593
160,893
1,023,600
1960
276,279
306,438
71,084
653,801

These numbers clearly cannot support continued presence of many hundreds of thousands of foreign Jews in Soviet detention locations. Moreover, the data about the ethnicity of GULAG inmates is also available. Here's the statistics for January 1, 1951[204]:
Ethnicity
Inmates in camps
Inmates in colonies
Total
Russians
805,995
599,516
1,405,511
Ukrainians
362,643
143,578
506,221
Belorussians
63,863
32,608
96,471
Azerbaijani
6,703
17,001
23,704
Georgians
6,968
16,615
23,583
Armenians
12,029
14,735
26,764
Turkmens
2,257
3,086
5,343
Uzbeks
14,137
15,892
30,029
Tajiks
2,884
2,842
5,726
Kazakhs
12,554
13,352
25,906
Kyrgyzs
3,628
2,796
6,424
Finns and Karelians
2,369
1,925
4,294
Moldavians
16,008
6,717
22,725
Lithuanians
35,773
7,243
43,016
Latvians
21,689
6,831
28,520
Estonians
18,185
6,433
24,618
Tatars
28,532
28,396
56,928
Bashkirs
3,619
4,228
7,847
Udmurts
2,993
2,472
5,465
Jews
14,374
11,051
25,425
Germans
21,096
11,173
32,269
Poles
19,184
4,343
23,527
Romanians
1,318
321
1,639
Iranians
262
344
606
Afghans
100
31
131
Mongols
70
13
83
Chinese
1,781
258
2,039
Japanese
852
250
1,102
Koreans
1,692
820
2,512
Greeks
1,558
768
2,326
Turks
300
62
362
Others, of them:
48,351
38,679
87,030
native to USSR
41,688
37,144
78,832
non-native
6,663
1,535
8,198
Total:
1,533,767
994,379
2,528,146

And for completeness sake, in January 1942 there were 23164 Jews in GULAG, in January 1943 - 20230, in January 1944 - 15317, in January 1945 - 14433, in January 1946 - 10839, in January 1947 - 9530 (with the data for 1946 and 1947 being incomplete).[205]
MGK’s theory is thus categorically refuted through each step of its expected evidentiary chain: instead of discovering two million ‘resettled’ Jews, the Red Army reported only of its discoveries of the death camps[206]; instead of those ‘resettled’ Jews being deported by the Soviet Union, a much smaller amount of deportations took place in the years after the war and were not anti-Jewish in their aim. Such a specious explanation, proposed without evidence and obviously conjured up on a whim by MGK to explain the disappearance and silence of supposed ‘resettled’ Jews, is a classic illustration of why Holocaust Revisionism is actually a form of pseudohistory. It also forces MGK to delineate the workings of a “hoax,” for although the term is avoided by MGK in their works, they do argue for a conspiracy between the Soviet Union and (unnamed) Zionist leaders to cover up the fate of the ‘resettled’ Jews.[207] Such a fantastic theory is not sourced to any piece of evidence, and can thus be safely discarded until such is provided.


[180] See Graf, ‘Insights on the 1944 Deportations of Hungarian Jews’; cf. Aly/Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung, p.285.
[181] MGK, Sobibór, p.373.
[182] G. V. Kostyrchenko, Tajnaya politika Stalina, 2003, pp. 671-685; “Deportatsiya – mistifikatsiya” in Lekhaim, 2002, no. 9 (125), http://www.lechaim.ru/ARHIV/125/kost.htm; also see his review of Brent and Naumov’s book about the Doctors’ plot – “Mezhdu mifom in naukoj”, Lekhaim, 2004, no. 10 (50), http://www.lechaim.ru/ARHIV/150/n2.htm.
[183] MGK, Sobibór, p.355: “Thus it is most likely that the returnees were part of the Jews who had been moved to the eastern areas by the Germans three or four years earlier.” More accurate information on the repatriations can be found in Jonathan Harrison, ‘The Crazy World of Walter Sanning (Part 6),’ Holocaust Controversies, 7.10.07, http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2007/10/crazy-world-of-walter-sanning-part-6.html.
[184] MGK, Sobibór, p.356.
[185] American Jewish Yearbook, 51, 1950, p.340.
[186] G. V. Kostyrchenko, Tajnaya politika Stalina, 2003, pp. 673-674.
[187] MGK, Sobibór, pp.356-357, p.373.
[188] Nikolaĭ Fedorovich Bugai, The Deportation of Peoples in the Soviet Union. New York: Nova Science, 1996, p.166.
[189] Kues, ‘Evidence’, Part II, see sections ‘Partial List of Camps with Jewish detainees in Lithuania’ and 3.4.
[190] Alexander Statiev, The Soviet Counterinsurgency in the Western Borderlands, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010, p.178.
[191] Ibid., p.190.
[192] Pavel Polian, Against Their Will: The History and Geography of Forced Migrations in the USSR. New York: Centraul European University Press, 2004, p.163.
[193] V. N. Zemskov, Spetsposelentsy v SSSR, 1930-1960, Moscow, Nauka, 2003; works by N. F. Bugai are too numerous to list, but of special interest to us is his article about the deportations of Jews in USSR: N. F. Bugai, "Pereseleniya i deportatsii evreyskogo naseleniya v SSSR", Otechestvennaya istoriya, 1993, no. 4, p. 184; P. M. Polian, Ne po svoey vole..., Moscow, O.G.I.-Memorial, 2001, available at http://demoscope.ru/weekly/knigi/polian/polian.html; T. V. Tsarevskaya-Dyakina (ed.), Spetspereselentsy v SSSR, vol. 5 of Istoriya Stalinskogo GULAGa series, Moscow, ROSSPEN, 2004.
[194] Aleksander Gurjanov, ‘Cztery deportacje 1940–1941 (Four deportations 1940-1941)’, KARTA, 12, 1994, pp. 114–136
[195] Zemskov, op. cit., pp. 84-90, 97; Mordechai Altshuler, Soviet Jewry on the Eve of the Holocaust, New York, 1998, pp.325-326; N.S.Lebedeva, Katyn. Mart 1940 - sentyabr' 2000; Moscow, "Ves' mir", Rasstrel. Sud'by zhivykh. Ekho Katyn, 2001, document 184; GARF 9401-2-64, pp. 381-384.
[196] Zemskov, op. cit. pp. 205, 213.
[197] Ibid., p. 239.
[198] Bugai, op. cit., p. 184.
[199] Zemskov, op. cit., p. 184.
[200] Ibid., pp. 256-260.
[201] Ibid., p. 119. We give only an excerpt of a more complete table which includes deaths, escapes, arrivals, releases, etc.
[202] Ibid., pp. 210-212.
[203] V. N. Zemskov, "Demografiya zaklyuchyonnykh, spetsposelentsev i ssylnykh (30-50-ye gody)", Mir Rossii, 1999, vol. VIII, no. 4, p. 115. Cf. J. A. Getty, G. T. Rittersporn, V. N. Zemskov, "Victims of the Soviet penal system in the pre-war years: a first approach on the basis of archival evidence", The American Historical Review, 1993, vol. 98, no. 4, pp. 1048-1049.
[204] V. N. Zemskov, "GULAG (istoriko-sotsiologicheskiy aspekt)", Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, 1991, no. 7, p. 9.
[205] V. N. Zemskov, "GULAG (istoriko-sotsiologicheskiy aspekt)", Sotsiologicheskiye issledovaniya, 1991, no. 6, p. 26. The author notes that for 01.01.1946 the data about ethnicities of 145,974 inmates is lacking, and for 01.01.1947 the data for 22,398 inmates is lacking. It is clear, however, that this incompleteness doesn't help the deniers.
[206] Cf. Sergey Romanov’s multi-part series, ‘What the Soviets knew about Auschwitz-and when,’ Holocaust Controversies, http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2006/04/quick-links.html#sovau
[207] MGK, Sobibór, p.373. 

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