Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Friedrich Jansson proudly presents …

... a report by US government official whereby "Ausrottung" does not imply killing. Or so Jansson interprets the official’s statements.



Update, 26.04.2015

Update, 03.05.2015

Update, 14.05.2015

Update, 21.05.2015

The document was issued in Bern, Switzerland, on 4 July 1944. The official in question, by the name of Landreth M. Harrison, informs one Mr. Huddle that
A Zurich refugee aid organization furnished the American and British press men here last week with a "reliable report" on the German extermination of European Jews at certain camps in Silesia. This report estimated 1,700,000 Jews from all European countries including the most recent contingent of some 400,000 Hungarian Jews have been put to death in Silesia. The report goes into the matter in much detail with a description of the cyanide process allegedly used by the German executioners.

The official muses that the report in question «may in part be based on a mistranslation of the words "Ausrottung" and "Entjudung"» He mentions that the day before he had spoken with one of the men who "planted" the report with the newspaper agencies, who «insisted that the Hungarian policy of "Entjudung" of the Hungarian cities means that the Jewish elements therein are put to death».

Jansson speculates that Landrath’s interlocutor was "presumably Jewish", and assumes that the report mentioned by Landrath was the Vrba-Wetzler report. The former conjecture tells us something about Jansson's world-view. The latter assumption is improbable for several reasons:

1. Vrba and Wetzler escaped from Auschwitz-Birkenau on 7 April 1944, i.e. before the commencement of the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Accordingly their report doesn’t mention the arrival of Hungarian Jews at AB, whereas the report mentioned by L.M. Harrison does.

2. The Vrba-Wetzler report was first written in the Slovakian and German languages, later translated into English. The German version, unless I missed something contains neither the word "Ausrottung" nor the word "Entjudung", nor any declination thereof. It contains the term "Vernichtung" (i.e. destruction, annihilation) on one occasion, on page 11 of this German transcription. It contains the terms "Vergasung" (gassing) and "vergast" (gassed) on a number of occasions, as a description of the killing method.

3. Vrba estimated the number of Jews killed between April 1942 and April 1944 at 1,765,000 (a much too high figure), without including Jews from Hungary (the countries/regions/places of origin mentioned are Poland, Netherlands, Greece, France, Belgium, Germany, Yugoslavia, Italy, Norway, Lithuania, Bohemia, Moravia, Austria and Slovakia, plus "various camps of foreign Jews in Poland" ("div. Lager fremdländischer Juden in Polen"). The report referred to by L.M. Harrison, on the other hand, speaks of "1,700,000 Jews from all European countries including the most recent contingent of some 400,000 Hungarian Jews" (for the avoidance of doubt, the number 1.7 million including Hungarian Jews is also far too high).

Jansson is enthusiastic about L.M. Harrison’s apparent opinion that "Ausrottung", in the context of something done to a group or multitude of people, does not or not necessarily mean killing. He triumphantly proclaims the following:
L.M. Harrison’s statement concerning ‘Ausrottung’, however, hits closer to home for holocaust historians, many of whom have committed themselves to the argument that ‘Ausrottung’ has to mean killing. Harrison, however, knew better – as should we all.
So American citizen Landreth M. Harrison, who apparently felt compelled to inquire with someone "presumably Jewish" (Jansson) about the meaning of the word "Entjudung", and who presumably was not a native speaker of the German language, "knew better" about the meaning of "Ausrottung", according to Jansson.

Better than who, besides "holocaust historians"?

Better than Otto von Bismarck? Bismarck wrote the following, in an 1861 letter to his sister Malwine (emphasis added):
"Haut doch die Polen, daß sie am Leben verzagen; ich habe alles Mitgefühl für ihre Lage, aber wir können, wenn wir bestehn wollen, nichts andres tun, als sie ausrotten; der Wolf kann auch nichts dafür, dass er von Gott geschaffen ist, wie er ist, und man schießt ihn doch dafür tot, wenn man kann."

My translation:
"Let's beat the Poles until they despair of life. I have all pity for their situation, but we can do nothing else, if we want to subsist, than to exterminate them; the wolf also cannot help having been made by God as he is, and yet one shoots him dead for it when one can."

Better than Bernhard Fürst von Bülow, who was Chancellor of the German Reich at the time of the Herero and Namaqua Genocide? On 24 November 1904 von Bülow wrote a letter to Kaiser Wilhelm II, partially cited on this Wikipedia page, in which he stated his opinion that the "complete and planned extermination of the Herero" ("vollständige und planmäßige Ausrottung der Herero", emphasis added) would "exceed all demands of justice and restitution of German authority" ("alles durch die Forderungen der Gerechtigkeit und der Wiederherstellung der deutschen Autorität gebotene Maß überschreiten").

Better than Marine-Oberkriegsgerichtsrat (Navy Higher War Tribunal Counsel) Dr. Schattenberg, who conducted intensive investigations in connection with the massacre of ethnic Germans in Bydgoszcz (German: Bromberg), a Polish city with a sizable German minority, between 3 and 4 September 1939? An excerpt from Dr. Schattenberg’s report is rendered in the contemporary booklet Polnische Blutschuld ("Polish Blood Debt"). The excerpt, which contains graphic descriptions of the atrocities investigated by Dr. Schattenberg, starts with the following statement (emphasis added):
… Insgesamt sind von mir über 40 Volksdeutsche eidlich als Zeugen vernommen worden über die Ermordung ihrer Angehörigen. Jeder Zeuge bekundete die Ermordung von wenigstens zwei oder drei seiner Angehörigen. z.T. wurden ganze Familien ausgerottet.

My translation (emphasis added):
… In total more than 40 ethnic Germans were interrogated by me under oath as witnesses about the murder of their relatives. Each witness reported the murder of at least two or three of his relatives, sometimes whole families were exterminated.

A booklet with the title Dokumente polnischer Grausamkeit ("Documents of Polish Cruelty"), put together at the order of the German Foreign Office by the Deutsche Informationsstelle and published in 1940 (in which the number of German victims, incidentally, was widely exaggerated, claiming 58,000 deaths instead of 5,437 mentioned in another Foreign Office publication; later estimates by German historians range from about 4,000 to 13,000 deaths), includes the following evidence (footnote 1 on page 124 emphasis added):
General Bortnowskis Äußerung "alle Deutschen müssen ausgerottet werden", bekundete der Zeuge Lehrer Otto Leischner aus Slonsk (WR II). Unter Eid bekundete der Zeuge Bürgermeister Heinz Friedrich aus Wonorze (Ostburg), daß der Hauptmann Czaynert vom poln. Res.-Inf.-Regt. 59 in Hohensalza am 28. August 1939 auf dem Kasernenhof u. a. prophezeite, daß die Polen in drei Tagen in Berlin sein wurden, und fortfuhr: „Jungens, wenn wir in Berlin einmarschieren, werden wir alle deutschen Schweine erschlagen und nur so viel leben lassen, wie unter einem Birnbaum Platz haben, mit diesen werden wir dann ein gemeinschaftliches Frühstück essen." Abschließend erklarte er: „AIso, Jungens, wenn ihr Deutsche unterwegs seht, dann wißt ihr, was ihr zu tun habt." (WRII).

My translation (emphasis added):
General Bortnowski‘s utterance, "all Germans must be exterminated", was reported by the witness teacher Otto Leischner from Slonsk (WR II). Under oath the witness Mayor Heinz Friedrich from Wonorze (Ostburg) testified that Captain Czaynert of Polish Reserve Infantry Regiment 59 in Hohensalza had on 28. August 1939 prophesized on the barracks square, among other things, that the Poles would be in Berlin within three days, and continued: "Boys, when we march into Berlin, we will beat all German pigs to death and leave only so many as fit under a pear tree, with these we will then eat a joint breakfast." He concluded as follows: "Well, boys, if you see Germans on the way, you know what you have to do." (WRII).

The document collection mentions a policy of Ausrottung allegedly pursued by the Poles against the ethnic German minority on various other occasions, including a forensic expertise about the weapons used in the killings, from which the following excerpt on p. 297 is taken (emphasis added):
Als weitaus wichtigstes Gesamtergebnis der gerichtsärztlichen Untersuchungen erscheinen letzten Endes im übrigen nicht einmal so sehr die unmenschlichen Roheiten physischer und psychischer Art, wie sie aus den Leichenbefunden eindeutig hervorgehen. Vielmehr muß die größte Bedeutung der Tatsache zugesprochen werden, daß für die weitaus größte Zahl der zur Sektion gelangten Fälle Militärwaffen als Mordmittel einwandfrei nachgewiesen worden sind. Dabei handelte es sich in der Mehrzahl der Fälle um Militärgewehre, gelegentlich um Pistolen, selten um Handgranaten. Diese Feststellungen sind unter anderem durch zahlreiche Steckgeschosse und Geschoßsplitter eindeutig belegt, wie sie in etwa 50 Fällen geborgen werden konnten. Was speziell die Gewehrschüsse angeht, so ergibt sich der Beweis für Militärgewehr im übrigen auch ohne Steckgeschoß aus dem hohen Wirkungsgrade der Geschosse auf das Knochensystem und im besonderen Maße aus dem hydrodynamischen Effekt der Schädelsprengung bei Gehirndurchschüssen.

Die souveräne Mordwaffe bei dem Versuch zur Ausrottung des deutschen Volkstums in Polen und ganz besonders am Bromherger Blutsonntag ist hiernach das p o l n i s c h e M i I i t ä r g e w e h r gewesen. Der Gerichtsarzt muß diese an den Leichen zu treffende Feststellung mit Nachdruck hervorheben, da sie den zur Prüfung der Zusammenhänge berufenen Stellen bei der Feststellung und dem Beweise der Organisation des Massenmordens nützlich sein dürfte. Morde mit Behelfswaffen, Knüppeln und Messern, stellen die Ausnahme dar. Hier ist nicht init Zufallswaffen gemordet worden, wie sie jeder Gartenzaun einem affektgeladenen Täter liefern konnte, sondern mit hochwirksamen Schußwaffen.

My translation (emphasis added):
By far the most important overall result of the forensic medical examinations, in the end, was not even so much the inhuman brutalities of a physical and psychological nature, which clearly become apparent from the examination of the corpses. Rather more importance must be given to the fact that for the by far largest number of cases autopsied it could be proven beyond doubt that military weapons had been the means of murder. In most cases these were military rifles, occasionally pistols, seldom hand grenades. These findings are proven beyond doubt by, among other things, the numerous bullets lodged in the body and shell splinters, which could be recovered in about 50 cases. In what concerns especially the rifle shots, the proof of a military rifle’s use additionally follows, even without bullets lodged in the body, from the high impact of the projectiles on the bone system and especially from the hydrodynamic effect of skull explosion in shots through the brain.

The supreme murder weapon in the attempt to exterminate the German ethnicity in Poland, and especially in the Bromberg Bloody Sunday, was accordingly the Polish military rifle. The specialist in forensic medicine must place special emphasis on this finding made on the corpses, as it should be useful to the entities called upon to examine the context in determining and proving the organization of the mass murder. Here they didn’t murder with weapons of occasion, such as any garden fence can provide to an emotionally charged perpetrator, but with highly effective firearms.

L.M. Harrison must also have understood German better than SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein, who gave the following order to his troops on 28.09.1941 (emphasis added):
"Falls eine Einheit längere Zeit in einem Orte liegt, sind unmittelbar Judenviertel bzw. Ghettos anzulegen, falls sie nicht sofort ausgerottet werden können. gez. Fegelein" (Brigadebefehl Nr. 8)

My translation:
"In case a unit is stationed at a location for a longer time, Jewish quarters or ghettos must instantly be created, if they cannot be immediately exterminated. Signed Fegelein" (Brigade Order Nr. 8)

What is more, L.M. Harrison’s German must have been better than that of Hans Frank, Governor-General of occupied Poland's "General Government" territory. Frank, who had a German degree in law, said the following in a speech held on 9 June 1944 (emphasis added):
Für die Bekämpfung der Juden war es unerläßlich, daß wir Polen bekamen; denn hier in Polen lebte ja die natürliche Fruchtbarkeit des jüdischen Volkes, sie bestand ja sonst nirgendwo mehr. Seit der Ausrottung der Juden in Polen ist es, rein blutsmäßig gesehen, mit der jüdischen Zukunft vollkommen vorbei; denn nur hier gab es Juden, die Kinder hatten.

My translation (emphasis added):
For fighting the Jews it was indispensable that we got Poland, for here in Poland lived the natural fertility of the Jewish people, it no longer existed anywhere else. Since the extermination of the Jews in Poland the Jewish future, seen purely under blood aspects, is completely over and out; for only here there were Jews who had children.

L.M. Harrison, the man who "knew better", could also have given German lessons to Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, who in his speech in Posen on 6 October 1943 told his audience the following (emphases added):
Ich bitte Sie, das, was ich Ihnen in diesem Kreise sage, wirklich nur zu hören und nie darüber zu sprechen. Es trat an uns die Frage heran: Wie ist es mit den Frauen und Kindern? Ich habe mich entschlossen, auch hier eine ganz klare Lösung zu finden. Ich hielt mich nämlich nicht für berechtigt, die Männer auszurotten sprich also, umzubringen oder umbringen zu lassen und die Rächer in Gestalt der Kinder für unsere Söhne und Enkel groß werden zu lassen. Es mußte der schwere Entschluß gefaßt werden, dieses Volk von der Erde verschwinden zu lassen. Für die Organisation, die den Auftrag durchführen mute, war es der schwerste, den wir bisher hatten. Er ist durchgeführt worden, ohne daß wie ich glaube sagen zu können unsere Männer und unsere Führer einen Schaden an Geist und Seele erlitten hätten. Der Weg zwischen den hier bestehenden Möglichkeiten, entweder roh zu werden, herzlos zu werden und menschliches Leben nicht mehr zu achten oder weich zu werden und durchzudrehen bis zu Nervenzusammenbrüchen, der Weg zwischen dieser Scylla und Charybdis ist entsetzlich schmal.

My translation (emphases added):
I ask you that what I tell you in this circle you will really only hear and never talk about it. The question came up to us: What do to with the women and children? I decided to find a very clear solution also in this respect. This because I didn’t consider myself entitled to exterminate the men, that is, to kill them or to have them killed, and to let the children grow up as avengers against our sons and grandsons. The difficult decision had to be taken to make this people disappear from the earth. For the organization that had to carry out the task if was the most difficult we had so far. It has been carried out without, as I consider myself entitled to say, our men and our leaders having taken harm to their spirit and soul. The path between the possibilities existing here, to either become crude and heartless and no longer to respect human life or to become weak and collapse to the point of nervous breakdowns, the path between this Scylla and Charybdis is horrendously narrow.

I could provide further examples, but I think the point has been made. No further comments are necessary. The above-quoted statements speak for themselves.

________________________________________________________________________

Update, 26.04.2015

In his latest production, after some blusterous and (except for the correctness of the "very short time frame" observation as concerns another blog) drearily nonsensical pep-talk, apparently meant to cover his retreat, Jansson responded to the present blog.

Regarding my examples of the term "Ausrottung" being used in the sense of physically exterminating a group of people or a population, Jansson came up with the following:
1. Meaning of Ausrottung

Muehlenkamp adduces a list of uses of “Ausrottung” where he believes the word implies killing. This enumeration completely fails on the level of elementary logic. The issue in question is whether the word “Ausrottung” implies killing. Even if we supposed (wrongly) that killing is meant in all of Muehlenkamp’s examples, this would not demonstrate that “Ausrottung” implies killing.

Perhaps an analogy will help. Suppose we were dealing with the verb “to finish off”, someone had claimed that the verb “to finish off” does not imply killing, and I wished to refute this position. I could not do so by enumerating cases in which “to finish off” did mean “to kill”, because the issue in question was not whether “to finish off” can be used to mean “to kill” (which of course it can) but whether the use of “to finish off” implies killing, which it certainly does not. In terms of logical quantifiers, it is the difference between “there exists” and “for all”. Likewise with “Ausrottung”: the issue is not whether Ausrottung can be used in a homicidal context – of course it can. The issue is whether “Ausrottung” implies a homicidal context – which of course it does not.

This is what I call playing slime-ball, or shifting the goal-posts. As Jansson well knows, the issue is not at all whether the terms "Ausrottung", "ausrotten" or "ausgerottet" imply physical killing in any given context. They don't, and neither I nor anyone I'm aware of has claimed that they do. One can, for instance, "ausrotten" a disease. Smallpox, one of mankind's oldest and most tormenting scourges (which even in the 20th Century killed far more people than all the century's wars and mass crimes put together, by the way) was "ausgerottet", as mentioned on the German Wikipedia page about the disease ("Am 8. Mai 1980 wurde von der WHO festgestellt, dass die Pocken ausgerottet sind." - "On 8 May 1980 the WHO declared that smallpox was exterminated.").

No, the issue is whether the terms "Ausrottung", "ausrotten" or "ausgerottet", when used to describe something that has been, is being or will be done to a human or animal population, or to a group of human beings or animals, mean anything other than exterminating that population or group, and whether they do or do not imply killing such human beings or animals in this context. That was also the point Jansson was trying to make in his "US official" blog, unless one is to believe that he wrote that blog just to indulge in a linguistic exercise with no relevance to his articles of faith. After all, we are talking about whether or not the terms "Ausrottung", "ausrotten" or "ausgerottet", when used by contemporary Germans to describe what had been, was being or was meant to be done to the Jewish population of the countries and regions dominated by Nazi Germany, imply mass killing and an endeavor to wipe that population from the face of the earth. Or are we talking about anything else here, Mr. Jansson?

In the context described in the previous paragraph, and in all the examples I provided in this article, the term "Ausrottung" and its verbal equivalents necessarily imply killing and refer to the extermination or endeavor to exterminate the group or population of living beings that is being referred to.

Jansson lamely contends that the supposition that killing is meant in all of my examples is wrong. He has to, for acknowledging otherwise regarding the last two of these examples would mean that he can either squeal "forgery" or pack up, close down his blog page and dedicate himself to gardening or some other hobby more fruitful than disputing facts contrary to his ideological beliefs. I would ask Jansson to be more specific here. Which of the examples I provided does he think do not mean or imply killing people, and how does he justify his understanding in regard to each of these examples? Let's hear, Mr. Jansson.

In the last paragraph of this section, Jansson brings up an old "Revisionist" herring:
As a very simple example, let’s consider the 1936 book “Der Gelbe Fleck: Die Ausrottung von 500,000 deutschen Juden”. Does Muehlenkamp believe that the word “Ausrottung” in the title refers to killing? Reading the book will readily confirm that it does not – and failing that, a glance at the publication date would suffice.

I haven't read Feuchtwanger's Der Gelbe Fleck, but someone who has informs his readers that Feuchtwanger, or the authors whose writings he edited, meant the term quite literally in the sense of physical extermination of Germany's Jews, which Nazi Germany ostensibly intended to bring about by depriving Jews of their means of living and thereby causing their gradual extinction. From Jürgen Langowski's article Der gelbe Fleck, my translation (in which I use the expressions "claimed", "stated" or similar, as Langowski renders the claims made in the book in indirect speech form):

The Jews are deprived of "the right to live, honor, existence", is stated on page 10 of Der gelbe Fleck. On page 16 statistics are quoted, which are claimed to show that the Jewish population has diminished, and this not due to emigration but due to a strong recess in births. Many young men and women are claimed to be single, for given an uncertain future and growing misery they don’t dare to marry.

L. Feuchtwanger (editor), Der gelbe Fleck, p. 17

The mortality rate is claimed to have increased as well, also due to the suicides, which is supposed to underline the desperate situation of Jews in Germany, while the number of births is claimed to have diminished more and more. These, according to the unnamed author in Der gelbe Fleck, are "phenomena of extinction". After his description of the adverse life circumstances for Jews in Germany he summarizes:
No, these are not excesses!
No, these are not 'riots'!
This is the coldly premeditated, cynically conceived assassination (Meuchelmord) of a defenseless minority, which is inseparably linked to the National Socialist system.

L. Feuchtwanger, Der gelbe Fleck, p. 17

One might argue that at the time of this writing Feuchtwanger, or the unnamed author whose writings he edited, was exaggerating, that the use of terms like Ausrottung (extermination) and Meuchelmord (assassination) was still hyperbolic because in 1936 Nazi Germany did not yet pursue a policy aimed at the physical extinction of Germany’s Jews. But that is not the point. The point is that who wrote the lines quoted by Langowski believed, or at least pretended to believe, that Nazi Germany was acting according to a "coldly premeditated, cynically conceived" plan to "assassinate" Germany’s Jewish minority. Thus the term "Ausrottung", in Langowski’s understanding, was used with the same meaning of physical extermination as it was by Himmler in his Posen speech on 4 October 1943, which preceded the speech from which I quoted in this blog. Except that physical extermination was, in the proclaimed view of the quoted author in Feuchtwanger’s book, meant to be brought about by creating unbearable living conditions for Germany’s Jews, driving them to despair and thus causing them to commit suicide and/or no longer have children, and thereby to gradually become extinct.

Now, assuming that Langowski’s reading is mistaken and Feuchtwanger’s book did not mean to convey the impression that the Jews of Germany were being exterminated or "assassinated", would this mean that Fegelein, Frank and Himmler, in the examples cited in this blog, had anything other than physical killing in mind when they spoke of "Ausrottung"? Please do tell us, Mr. Jansson.

Following his goal-post shifting exercise regarding "Ausrottung", Jansson dedicates most of his remaining comments regarding this blog to what Langowski would call slaying a paper dragon, or refuting an argument that one’s opponent didn’t actually make. He argues that, contrary to my supposed assertions, the document referred to by L.M. Harrison "reflected the Vrba-Wetzler report". To this effect he goes as far as providing a scan of a certain newspaper article referred to by Harrison – which I’m supposed to have been too "lazy" to obtain – and compares the numbers in that article with the numbers in the Vrba-Wetzler report, in order to demonstrate that the former derived from the latter.

I dare say that this is the most flagrant demonstration so far of Jansson’s intellectual dishonesty. For my argument was not at all that the report mentioned by Harrison did not "reflect" the Vrba-Wetzler report, as Jansson well knows. My argument was that, contrary to what is suggested by Jansson’s writing (which he lamely concedes "could have been worded slightly more loosely") that "Harrison’s revelation that the (presumably Jewish) individual who planted the Vrba-Wetzler report with the newspaper agencies thought that ‘Entjudung’ implies killing is quite interesting", the report mentioned in Harrison's letter was not the Vrba-Wetzler report. As simple as that. Nothing less and nothing more.

I gave several reasons why, contrary to Jansson’s assumption (as I had to understand it from his above-quoted words) the report mentioned by Harrison could not be the Vrba-Wetzler report. One of these reasons was linked to Harrison’s understanding (which, as one of my fellow bloggers later explained to me, was mistaken) that the figure given in the report included Hungarian Jews, which Vrba’s figure did not. Another was that the terms "Ausrottung" and "Entjudung", which Harrison referred to in connection with the report he was writing about, appear nowhere in the German text of the Vrba-Wetzler report, which was later translated into English.

If Jansson were a minimally honest fellow, he would simply have admitted that he didn’t know what he was talking about when he referred to the document in question as being the Vrba-Wetzler report, or at least that his reference was misleading and likely to be misunderstood. Instead the fellow shamelessly misrepresented my argument, in order to then heavy-handedly attack an argument I had not made. Whether and to what extent the report mentioned by Harrison relied on or was derived from the Vrba-Wetzler report was completely immaterial to my argument, which was only that the report in question could not have been the Vrba-Wetzler report itself.

In order to cover up the blunder of his at least misleading reference, Jansson took to slaying a paper dragon, as I said. And thereby putting an end to whatever doubts I might still have had that as to his intellectual dishonesty. Bravo, Mr. Jansson!

Following this instructive exercise, Jansson amusingly reached for a straw in support of his faith, as he remarked that
Interestingly enough, the July 3rd NYT story gives a description of the Hungarian Jews’ fate in which they are not exterminated on arrival, but only weeks later. This time frame suggests that the “gassing” in this particular report actually reflected the transiting of the Jews through the camp and on to another destination.
What’s interesting about this remark is that it further reveals the lengths to which Jansson will go to hold on to his cherished beliefs. A mistaken information in a newspaper story (newspaper stories are full of such mistakes, big deal) is enough to feed his belief, contrary to all evidence that subsequent criminal investigation and historical research have revealed, that the Hungarian Jews brought to AB were transited through the camp on to another destination. Some actually were, and the number of Jews not killed upon arrival but selected as laborers, and mostly later taken to other destinations, can be established quite precisely on hand of the document known as Glaser’s list, which is discussed in Sergey Romanov’s article The number of Hungarian Jews gassed upon arrival at Auschwitz. The number is about 104,000, out of (437,402 – 15,000 =) 422,402 who arrived at AB between 16 May and 11 July, 1944. What (if not being murdered, as follows from the evidence) is supposed to have happened to the other 318,402 Hungarian Jews, Mr. Jansson?

But Jansson’s accomplishments don’t end here, as his next load of bluster shows:
3. Muehlenkamp demonstrates his illiteracy

In his attempt to discredit Harrison, Muehlenkamp writes that Harrison “apparently felt compelled to inquire with someone […] about the meaning of the word ‘Entjudung'”. This is not what the text says at all. There is no indication that Harrison inquired about the meaning of Entjudung. Rather, he reports on a conversation in which the man he was talking to insisted that Entjudung implies killing, which Harrison knew to be false. Reading comprehension is no more Muehlenkamp’s strong suit than is logic.

First of all, why "attempt to discredit Harrison"? In what respect am I supposed to be trying to discredit the poor man? In that I’m suggesting that he may have given some credence to the report in question, whereas Jansson would like to see him as a skeptic who didn’t believe the "lies" of those filthy Jews? I’m sure that would discredit him in the eyes of Jansson, but I was only calling into question the man’s mastery of the German language, as clearly follows from the related statement:

So American citizen Landreth M. Harrison, who apparently felt compelled to inquire with someone "presumably Jewish" (Jansson) about the meaning of the word "Entjudung", and who presumably was not a native speaker of the German language, "knew better" about the meaning of "Ausrottung", according to Jansson.

And as to reading comprehension, of course it doesn’t follow from the text of the letter that Harrison felt compelled to inquire with someone about the meaning of "Entjudung". Hence the term "apparently", which suggests a conjecture about the background of the conversation referred to by Harrison. And not an unreasonable one, for why would Harrison’s interlocutor have told him what he thought the term "Entjudung" meant, if Harrison had not asked him? Think before writing, Mr. Jansson.

Still on the subject of reading comprehension, from which part of the letter exactly is it supposed to follow that Jansson knew his interlocutor’s understanding of "Entjudung" to be false?

Moving on to Jansson’s next pearl:
Muehlenkamp appears to think that the reference to Entjudung and Ausrottung in Harrison’s letter comes from the text of the report of which Harrison spoke. In fact, Harrison did not say that the report contained either of these words. Rather, he knew that a man involved in spreading the report thought (erroneously) that Entjudung implied killing, and speculated that the the report had been fabricated as a result of such misinterpretations. In other words, Harrison’s letter indicates that he thought the Vrba-Wetzler report was atrocity propaganda, and reflected the (false) Jewish belief in extermination, which in turn resulted, at least in part, from the Jews misinterpreting documents they had obtained which did include the words Entjudung and Ausrottung.

So I "appear to think" something, in Jansson’s opinion. Jansson is presumably referring to my argument (which he otherwise conveniently drops under the table) that the report referred to by Harrison could not be the Vrba-Wetzler report because, among other reasons, the Vrba-Wetzler report didn’t contain the words "Entjudung" and "Ausrottung". As to Harrison’s musing that the report in question «may in part be based on a mistranslation of the words "Ausrottung" and "Entjudung"», I couldn’t figure out how Harrison could possibly have connected these terms to said report if these terms were not somehow used or referred to in said report. Perhaps Jansson can give us an idea in this respect.

And I’m also waiting curiously for Jansson’s showing me the parts of the letter from which it is supposed to follow that Harrison thought the Vrba-Wetzler report (again, Mr. Jansson?) to be "atrocity propaganda".

To Jansson’s credit, his rambling ends with an almost reasonable paragraph (the part whereby "it certainly is true Jews sought and obtained non-Jewish participation in promoting stories so as to give their reports more perceived credibility, and that there was such involvement with this report" is the main reason why I say "almost"), at the end of which he states that he’s happy to withdraw his speculation about the man who «"planted" the report with the newspaper agencies» (Harrison) having been Jewish.

However, this flicker of almost-reasonableness is far from sufficient to make Jansson look any better, after the flagrant examples of intellectual dishonesty, addressed above, that he provided in his comments to the present blog.

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Update, 03.05.2015

In the final part of his hollering with the self-characterizing title Pearls before swine: explaining the obvious to an idiot, Jansson addresses some and dodges most of what I wrote in my previous update of this blog.

He starts out by claiming that his "clarification" quoted at the beginning of the previous update was not a case of shifting the goalposts, as it was "obvious from the context that one was considering references to people" (indeed it was obvious from the context but not from the "clarification" itself that the conversation was about Ausrottung in the sense of something done to people, hence my remark). Then he emphatically proclaims the following:
To make it absolutely clear: the Ausrottung of a group of people does not imply killing them.

So, Mr. Jansson, how does one ausrotten a group of people without killing them all or at least a substantial part of them? One might think of sterilizing a population to keep it from procreating, and thus causing it to gradually disappear. This gets us back to my examples.

Is this non-homicidal variety of ausrotten supposed to have been what SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein had in mind when, in his order of 28.09.1941, he instructed his troops to create Jewish quarters or ghettos where the local Jewish population could not be immediately ausgerottet?

Or what General Governor Hans Frank had in mind when, on 9 June 1944, he stated that the "natural fertility" required to assure Jewry’s continuity had been destroyed by the Ausrottung of the Jews in Poland, as these were the only ones who "had children"?

Or what Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler had in mind when he told his Posen audience, on 6 October 1943, that he had not considered himself entitled to ausrotten the Jewish males, "that is, to kill them or to have them killed", and let the children grow up "as avengers against our sons and grandsons", for which reason the difficult decision had been taken "to make this people disappear from the earth"?

Let’s hear, Mr. Jansson.

Jansson continues:
In fact, we can go further. Even the word “extermination”, a word much more strongly connected to killing than is Ausrottung, can be used of a group of people without meaning killing, particularly in heated rhetoric. Consider this example from a 1942 House of Commons debate:

Surely, the right hon. Gentleman must be aware that comprehensive reviews have been made by various chambers of trade throughout the country, and further, that these disclose that little men and little women engaged in trade with a small turnover before the war are being exterminated and eliminated daily; and will he really give the matter further consideration?

Evidently the extermination of these “little men and little women” does not mean killing.

And neither would the term "killed" or "murdered" have meant killing in the literal sense of physically putting an end to a human life, if the orator had chosen to use either of these terms instead of "exterminated", for he was using that term in a figurative and not in a literal sense, in referring to the destruction of trading enterprises that "little men and little women" endeavored to create. Of course the term "exterminate" can be used in a figurative sense, just like the term "killing" can be used in a figurative, even in a humorous sense ("you’re killing me"). I won’t even call this argument of Jansson’s a nice try, for it’s nothing more than pointless clowning. We are not talking here about what a term may mean when used in a figurative sense, as a rhetorical figure of speech. We are talking about what it means when used in a literal sense.

Jansson goes on:
Indeed, as Thomas Dalton has pointed out, the derivation of “exterminate” is decidedly non-homicidal, and such use of the word can still be made. For example, one can say that in the course of human settlement, wolves were exterminated in a given territory without implying that they were all killed. It could be that they were driven off, deprived of habitat, migrated, etc. Thus, even the word “exterminate” does not imply killing – and Ausrottung is still farther from doing so.

Ah, my old friend "Thomas Dalton, PhD". The same gentleman who tried to argue that the term "liquidiert" in Goebbels’ diary entry of 27 March 1942 did not mean killing. I had some fun a couple of years ago deconstructing that nonsense, see the blogs Goebbels on liquidation, Thomas Dalton responds to Roberto Muehlenkamp and Andrew Mathis (3) and Goebbels on 27 March 1942 – "Dalton" keeps on trying. When I have time I may address the fellow’s mental gymnastics around the word "exterminate".

So when one writes this regarding the species wolf:
Sie wurde jedoch im 19. Jahrhundert in nahezu allen Regionen vor allem durch menschliche Bejagung stark dezimiert, in West- und Mitteleuropa fast und in Japan vollständig ausgerottet. ("However, in the 19th century it was strongly decimated, mainly by human hunting, in nearly all regions, almost exterminated in western and central Europe and completely exterminated in Japan.")

… one may just mean to say that the species migrated from western and central Europe (where there are enough forests and prey for its subsistence) to eastern Europe and from Japan to Korea? Funny idea. I hope that neither "Thomas Dalton, PhD" nor Friedrich Jansson are language teachers, for I would feel sorry for their pupils.

Jansson’s next pearl:
The differences are vitally important. During the Indian wars, US leaders did not hesitate to use terms like “exterminate” or to order “a campaign of annihilation, obliteration and complete destruction”. Their policy, however, was based on goals like security for settlers, access to resources and living space, elimination of military threats, etc. – and not on a goal of “let’s kill all the Indians.” Certainly they did not hesitate to use tough tactics, to uproot populations in the winter, to make strategic use of food shortages, etc. Yet is would be fundamentally incorrect to claim that US policy was based on a plan of “kill all the Indians”. Certainly US policy was not overly friendly towards the Indians, and German policy was not overly friendly towards the Jews, but neither policy was based on a goal of killing all the members of the group in question (although both were willing to accept considerable numbers of deaths in order to attain other policy aims).

Here Jansson is obviously conflating US policy against the Indian population in general, which was brutal but not meant to wipe out that population, with the attitudes and declarations of certain particularly bellicose leaders, who obviously did mean wholesale annihilation of what Indians they could lay their hands on, or of their main source of subsistence. Let’s take General Philip Sheridan, to whom are attributed the statements "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" and "Let them kill, skin and sell until the buffalo is exterminated". Or General William T. Sherman, who is reported to have stated: "The more Indians we can kill this year the fewer we will need to kill the next, because the more I see of the Indians the more convinced I become that they must either all be killed or be maintained as a species of pauper. Their attempts at civilization is ridiculous...". Or John Chivington:
Some regular army officers protested that to attack the peaceable village would betray the army's pledge of safety. Chivington ignored them. "Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians," he said. "Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice." He ordered the attack.
.
Whereupon Chivington’s troops at Sand Creek did precisely what their commander demanded, didn’t they?

On we move to Jansson’s rambling about Der gelbe Fleck and Jürgen Langowski’s related article:
Muehlenkamp also links to a disgraceful article which defends the thesis that in the book Der Gelbe Fleck: Die Ausrottung von 500,000 deutschen Juden, the word Ausrottung means killing. The article’s author defends this thesis by citing a few passages from the book’s early pages in which violence is mentioned. In other words, there were individual cases in which Jews were killed, therefore the reference to the Ausrottung of 500,000 German Jews means killing. What nonsense. Contrary to the argument made in the article, an association between Ausrottung and acts of violence does not imply that Ausrottung is being used in a sense that implies killing. For example, a group of people that is forcibly expelled from a territory has been ausgerottet, even if the people are not killed. The fact that forcible expulsion is likely to include violence, including killing, does not mean that such an Ausrottung through expulsion is the same thing as killing that group of people.

No, Mr. Jansson, a group of people that is forcibly expelled from a territory has been vertrieben, not ausgerottet. Your German needs some improvement, to put it politely. As to Langowski’s article, I wasn’t referring to "a few passages from the book’s early pages in which violence is mentioned. In other words, there were individual cases in which Jews were killed", as dodging and subject-changing Jansson well knows. I was referring to a description of the precarious living conditions forced upon the Jewish population, the reduced birth rate and increase of suicides due to these conditions, which is followed by this indictment (my translation):
No, these are not excesses!
No, these are not 'riots'!
This is the coldly premeditated, cynically conceived assassination (Meuchelmord) of a defenseless minority, which is inseparably linked to the National Socialist system.

So, Mr. Jansson, what did the author of these lines mean to express, if not that, in his opinion, the Jewish minority in Germany was being assassinated by creating unbearable living conditions for Germany’s Jews, driving them to despair and thus causing them to commit suicide and/or no longer have children, and thereby to gradually become extinct?

Jansson finishes with the following pretext for leaving the discussion:
As Muehlenkamp admits that he has not read the book, I see no reason to go into any more detail on this point. In any event, it is not difficult to find additional examples of uses of Ausrottung that do not mean killing.

Then please fire away instead of trying to run away, Mr. Jansson. After answering my above questions, that is. Especially those regarding the quoted statements of Fegelein, Frank and Himmler.

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Update, 14.05.2015

Jansson has returned to the "Ausrottung" issue in his blog with the title More garbage disposal, the rest of which is addressed in yesterday’s update of the blog Jansson on 1942 births in Leningrad.

Unsurprisingly Jansson continued dodging the questions I asked them in this blog, instead producing the feeble blather that will be addressed below.

Jansson:
Muehlenkamp claims that the term Ausrottung applied to a group of people can only mean killing them; I claim that this is not true. In an update on this topic, aside from further caterwauling about a book which he has not read and which does not (on actually reading it) support his thesis, Muehlenkamp’s main offering concerns my statement that the forcible expulsion of a group of people can be described as an Ausrottung. Muehlenkamp objects, saying that “No, Mr. Jansson, a group of people that is forcibly expelled from a territory has been vertrieben, not ausgerottet. Your German needs some improvement, to put it politely.”
Actually my main "offering" consists of arguments and questions that Jansson prefers to run away from, including without limitation this question, which Jansson should answer instead of whining about my not having read Feuchtwanger’s Der gelbe Fleck (if he cares the least about his credibility outside "Revisionist" intellectual circles, that is):
As to Langowski’s article, I wasn’t referring to "a few passages from the book’s early pages in which violence is mentioned. In other words, there were individual cases in which Jews were killed", as dodging and subject-changing Jansson well knows. I was referring to a description of the precarious living conditions forced upon the Jewish population, the reduced birth rate and increase of suicides due to these conditions, which is followed by this indictment (my translation):
No, these are not excesses!
No, these are not 'riots'!
This is the coldly premeditated, cynically conceived assassination (Meuchelmord) of a defenseless minority, which is inseparably linked to the National Socialist system.

So, Mr. Jansson, what did the author of these lines mean to express, if not that, in his opinion, the Jewish minority in Germany was being assassinated by creating unbearable living conditions for Germany’s Jews, driving them to despair and thus causing them to commit suicide and/or no longer have children, and thereby to gradually become extinct?

Deafening silence from old FJ, like in regard to the other questions I asked him.

Jansson:
Naturally vertrieben could be used to describe an expulsion as well, but this in no way contradicts my statement. More than one word can be used in a given context. This should be obvious. To say that they had been “ausgerottet” would be to emphasize the termination of the group’s presence in the given territory, rather than the specifics of their deportation. This does not change the fact that Ausrottung can be used in this way.
Says Jansson, whose say-so is, needless to say, rather worthless if he cannot provide a single example of Ausrottung (extermination) being used as a synonym for Vertreibung (expulsion)

Jansson:
To give an English-language analogue, the title of the chapter on the Indian wars in the well-known book “The American Way of War” is “Annihilation of a People”. Should I perhaps inform the author that he has misused the word “annihilation” because what happened was an “expulsion”, and that his “English needs some improvement, to put it politely”? Of course not. The word “annihilation” can be used here without problem.
I would consider the term "annihilation" in this context to be hyperbolic if referring only to the impact of wars waged against North American Indians on the North American Indian population as a whole. As concerns the reduction of the North American Indian population due to all reasons related to the way west it would be more appropriate, for that population declined from 600,000 in 1800 to 250,000 in the 1890s, a loss that, in percentage terms (about 58 %) compares with the loss inflicted by Nazi Germany on Europe’s Jews during World War II. Much of the reduction of the American Indian population was due to diseases accidentally "imported" by settlers, such as the 1837 Great Plains smallpox epidemic, but much resulted from the Indians being driven off their lands and deprived of their sustenance (which as concerns the natives of the plains was the buffalo, a species almost totally exterminated), and from hard violence like the already mentioned Sand Creek massacre.

Jansson:
So too can “Ausrottung” with reference to forcible expulsion. The choice of words depends on what you want to emphasize.

I still have to see a use of "Ausrottung" as referring to forcible expulsion, except of course in cases where forcible expulsion or deportation was a means of killing as many as possible of a targeted population, like the Armenian genocide.

Unlike "Ausrottung" or "extermination", the term "annihilation" can be used in a sense that does not imply killing everybody in or at least the majority of the targeted population, namely the battle of annihilation (Vernichtungsschlacht in German), in which an enemy military force is annihilated by killing or capturing all or the majority of its soldiers. I haven’t yet seen such a battle called a battle of extermination (Ausrottungsschlacht), however.

Jansson:
Really, it’s absurd that this matter is even being discussed. The non-homicidal use of “ausrotten” even occurs in the Luther Bible. This usage is too well documented to be ignored. Muehlenkamp’s claim that Ausrottung (applied to a group of people) can only mean killing is simply unjustifiable.
Blah, blah, blah, and still no examples of "Ausrottung" being used in a non-homicidal sense when describing something done to a group and population of people.

Maybe the Luther Bible will help (even though it precedes the events we are talking about by about four centuries), so how about quoting the non-homicidal uses of "ausrotten" there in this context?

And after that, how about answering the questions in this blog asked before the update?

Update, 21.05.2015

See link 4.

3 comments:

Jonathan Harrison said...

Harrison says: "may in part be based on a mistranslation of the words "Ausrottung" and "Entjudung""

Jansson converts this to: "Thus Landreth M. Harrison confirmed that ‘Ausrottung’ and ‘Entjudung’ do not imply killing, and that to suggest they do would be a mistranslation."

This tells you everything you need to know about Jansson's honesty.

Jonathan Harrison said...

Harrison's source was probably the "Very Rev. Paul Voght, head of the Refugee Relief Committee in Zurich", who was not Jewish, or one of his protestant colleagues on the committee:

http://www.jta.org/1944/07/07/archive/swiss-report-gives-details-of-nazi-system-of-gassing-jews

Voght was part of a group of protestant church leaders who had received copies of the "Auschwitz Protocols" alongside reports of the Hungarian action

"In addition to issuing citizenship papers, Mandel-Mantello went to great lengths to publicize reports about the mass murder of European Jewry after receiving a copy of the "Auschwitz Protocols" from the head of the Palestine Office in Budapest in early June 1944 -- these were detailed reports about mass killings at Auschwitz that were based on information provided by escapees from the camp in the spring of 1944, and reports about the deportation of Hungarian Jewry. Though copies of the Protocols had been previously leaked to individuals in the West to little effect, Mandel-Mantello immediately hired students to translate and recopy the reports and then distributed copies to church leaders, diplomats, journalists and government officials. With the backing of prominent Protestant theologians like Karl Barth, Emil Brunner and Paul Vogt, he launched a press campaign which for the first time broke through Swiss censorship regulations that prohibited the dissemination of reports of Nazi atrocities unless they were first published in another neutral country. During the early summer of 1944, more than 400 articles appeared in the Swiss press condemning German atrocities and Hungarian complicity. The press campaign generated protests by the Pope, President Roosevelt, British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden, the King of Sweden and the International Red Cross, all of whom demanded that the Hungarian regent, Admiral Horthy, stop the deportations of Hungarian Jews."

http://digitalassets.ushmm.org/photoarchives/detail.aspx?id=1169094

It's unclear how all these persons could have been wrong about the meaning of "Ausrottung", or indeed where "Ausrottung" appears in any of the sources they used.


Jonathan Harrison said...

Jansson seems to be relying on his own antisemtism to explain why non-Jewish agencies believed the reports of extermination to be true. Instead of the obvious explanation - that these agencies were comparing this latest information with everything else they had learned about Nazi atrocities since 1942 - Jansson has to indulge in the fantasy of devious Jews deceiving gullible gentiles, who mistakenly decided to trust the wily Jews.