Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Meet Otto Bene

Otto Bene occupied the post of "Vertreter des Auswärtige Amt beim Reichkommissar für besetzten niederländischen Gebiete (Representative of the Auswärtige Amt for Occupied Dutch Territory)." He was the Foreign Office's man on the spot, reporting on deportations of Jews from the Netherlands to the death camps. His antisemitic missives back to Berlin reveal much about the Final Solution.

On July 31st, 1942, Bene wrote that, thus far, the Jews seemed to have been successfully deceived into believing that they would be genuinely 'resettled' in the 'East'. He wrote:
The next shipment will already include some families thus leaving for the East.In Jewish circles the opinion is widespread, that the Jews who are fit for labor service are being deported to prepare the necessary quarters for the Jews in the East [German scan, English translation].
However, Bene also enclosed an underground report that included, via the BBC, the revelation that 700,000 Jews had been killed in Poland (see Anlage 2 of the above scan).

On August 13th, Bene indicated that the Jews had recognized the reality of their peril:
Since my above mentioned report the situation has considerably changed. After the Jews had found us out and got to know, what is behind the deportation and labor service in the East, they no more report for the weekly shipments. Of 2000 Jews called up for this week only about 400 showed up. In their homes the called up Jews cannot any longer be found [German text, English translation].
Bene thus seems to acknowledge that the information in the underground report was true, and that Jews had responded to this information by going into hiding.

The euphemisms used by Bene sometimes slipped, or became totally implausible. On June 25th, 1943, he wrote that all the 72,000 Jews deported so far had been "deported for Labor Service in the East", even though many were clearly unfit. However, in November, 1942, he had simply referred to "the Deportation of the Jews to Camp Auschwitz," thereby revealing that the "East" was a fiction.

On February 9th, 1944, Bene admitted that, in public opinion "the deportation of the Jews is nevertheless regarded as brutal." He also revealed that Jews "try by all means to be earmarked for Bergen-Belsen" and that 2252 Jews in mixed marriages:
have been exempted from the obligation to wear the star of David because they could prove their sterility, namely 922 male Jews (the large majority of them after sterilization operations) and 1330 Jewesses (mostly because of sterility due to old age). [German scans here and here; English translation here].
Thus, to the end, Bene was only able to very thinly camouflage the genocidal nature of Nazi Jewish policy in the Netherlands. 

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Slam fuckin' dunk!

I literally fist pumped when reading this.

Try as they may, denier-lairs cannot argue a non-lethal purpose for the Lublin camps.

This is a classic example of "forgery or we're fucked" for the deniers.