Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Context of Rosenberg diary entry 9 Oct 1942

On September 14, 1942, Thierack wrote:
With regard to the destruction of asocial life, Dr Goebbels is of the opinion that the following groups should be exterminated: Jews and gypsies unconditionally, Poles who have to serve 3-4 -years of penal servitude, and Czechs and Germans who are sentenced to death or penal servitude for life or to security custody [Sicherungsvorwahrung] for life. The idea of exterminating them by labor is the best. For the rest however, except in the aforementioned cases, every case has to be dealt with individually. In this case, of course, Czechs and Germans have to be differently judged. There may be cases where a German sentenced to 15 years of penal servitude is not to be considered asocial, but in contrast to this a person sentenced to penal servitude up to 8 years may be.
On September 18, 1942, Thierack wrote:
Delivery of asocial elements [asozialer Elemente] while serving penal sentences to the Reich Leader SS to be worked to death [zur Vernichtung durch Arbeit]. Persons under security detention, Jews, gypsies, Russians, and Ukrainians; Poles with more than 3-year sentences; and Czechs and Germans with more than 8-year sentences, will be turned over without exception, according to the decision of the Reich Minister of Justice [scan of German text].
On October 13, 1942, Thierack wrote:
With a view to freeing the German people of Poles, Russians, Jews, and gypsies and with a view to making the Eastern territories which have been incorporated into the Reich available for settlements for German nationals, I intend to turn over criminal proceedings against Poles, Russians, Jews, and gypsies to the Reichsfuehrer SS. In so doing I base myself on the principle that the administration of justice can only make a small contribution to the extermination of members of these peoples. The Justice Administration undoubtedly pronounces very severe sentences on such persons, but that is not enough to constitute any material contribution towards the realization of the above-mentioned aim [scan of German text].

1) The policy was intended to contribute to extermination, but only in a small measure. Himmler's immediate aims in this agreement were more concerned with increasing his legal powers and having access to labour for his own camps.

2) Ukrainians detained in the Reich were included in the 18.9.42 document but not 13.10.42, which was four days after Rosenberg's intervention.

3) The policy only concerns groups in the Reich, as does Rosenberg's diary entry. It's impact outside the Reich on the killing of particular groups is minimal. Most killing of non-Jews would take place in the context (or under the cover) of anti-partisan warfare, not the legal system.

4) Contrary to my initial assumption, Rosenberg mentions Jews because the proposal relates to Jews in the Reich (mainly in mixed marriages) who had not yet been deported.

5) It is erroneous to infer from the Rosenberg diary entry any equivalence between Ukrainian civilians on Ukrainian soil and Ukrainian Jews. The former were gradually being allocated to labour in the Reich whilst the latter were being physically exterminated by extra-judicial measures. Oranges and apples.

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