Sunday, February 19, 2017

Update: Mattogno's Ineptitude on the Fate of Jewish Workers in the General Government

Author: Jonathan Harrison
Carlo Mattogno denies the established fact that Jewish workers were massacred in the General Government in early November 1943 and claims instead that there was "a mass transfer of Jewish inmates to the west [Majdanek, p.230]." As we noted in the Critique (pp.233-238), Mattogno's knowledge of this event is woefully inadequate, and he has clearly failed to read the literature on the shootings or the real labour transfers that took place in 1943. His only source for "a mass transfer of Jewish inmates" is "the November 20, 1943, issue of the Polish newspaper-in-exile Dziennik Polski, printed in England."  He quotes numbers from Hilberg showing that "22,444 Jews worked in the armaments industries of the General Government in October 1943" but "it had increased to 26,296" by January 1944, but fails to address the true sources of that increase, which we showed on page 237 of the Critique (note 430). Below I examine a further source of documents ignored by Mattogno: Nuremberg exhibits whose authors documented the fate of the plants that were closed down in the "special action" on November 3, 1943, and bemoaned the fact that the "withdrawal" of Jewish workers caused irreparable losses to the economy.

A typical example of Mattogno's dishonesty is the way he overlooks evidence in his own sources that disproves his denial claims. His citation of the increase in armament workers from 22,444 to 26,296 omits the fact that, as Hilberg noted, "4,000 Jews from the Kraków-Plaszów camp (not part of the Lublin complex)" were transferred to the armaments industry (Hilberg, 2003, p.565, n.209). This accounts for the increase that Mattogno identifies, but the workers came west to east, not east to west. Mattogno also ignores the Polish literature on these transfers.

With regard to the loss of Jewish workers, Hilberg cites one of the key Nuremberg documents that audited the Osti camps that were liquidated in the murder action, namely the report by Dr. Horn, March 13, 1944, NO-2187, which bemoaned the fact that "16,000 Jews" had been withdrawn on November 3, 1943. However, Hilberg omits the equally revealing report of the same month signed by Opperbeck and Niemann, NO-555, which Sergey Romanov has brought to my attention. This states:
The large increase in the turn-over, compared to the previous years, is due above all to the introduction of shift work wherever working conditions would allow it. The turn-over figure of 23,204,032.87 RM does not comprise the value of the half-manufactured and manufactured articles, which amount as at 31 De­cember 1943, to RM 2,393,560,49~ The figure of the turn-over, besides, is greatly influenced by the special action carried through in the Lublin and Lvov Plants at the beginning of November 1943, which brought these plants to a complete standstill. A turn-over of about 2,000,000.00 RM was lost through the closing-down of these works and the ensuing loss of about 8,000 workers for the months of November and December [p.38 of document].
Mattogno has the gall to write incredulously that the Germans would not conduct "economically irrational" acts [Majdanek, pp.226-229] yet Horn here outlines economic irrationality to a massive degree: "turn-over of about 2,000,000.00 RM" was squandered and many items were left half-completed, with orders still on the books awaiting fulfillment. An enterprise that had been amassing huge profits was liquidated without warning through an action prepared in high secrecy.

Moreover document NO-1271, written by auditor Fischer, lists capital transfers to Cracow and Lodz but no transfer of workers. The iron foundry in Lublin was to use machinery from the Warsaw ghetto but on 3/11/43 manufacture was stopped, and machines sold. It had employed 1500 Jewish workers. The capital was transferred to the Lodz administration but the workers were not. The Trawniki fur manufacturing works employed 6000 Jews (NO-1271, pp.10-11). They do not show up as being alive in any subsequent accounting.

A further refutation of Mattogno's argument is that, when DAW opened a new plant in Lublin in early 1944, it partially used labour from the Reich, therefore the Jewish labour power available in Lublin must have been minimal to non-existent at that time (NO-555, p.23).

Lublin SSPF Globocnik commented negatively on the killing action of November 3 (NO-57, 18.1.44, p.4) and noted that the killing broke a promise from Krueger to Schindler about the transfer of 10,000 Jews to the armaments industry. However, Globocnik held a double standard on the issue of killing workers because on June 21, 1943, he had suggested to Brandt that Jews in Lodz (Litzmannstadt) should be liquidated given that most of them did not do armaments work, which could be transferred to Poniatowa in Lublin. He alluded to this same proposal in his report of January 18, 1944, noting that he had wanted to include Lodz in the Aktion Reinhard deportations. Moreover, on September 16, 1942, Globocnik had dropped a big hint about the murderous nature of Aktion Reinhard by placing "Umsiedlung" in inverted commas (YVA O.53/68, p.364); this was simply one of many euphemisms for mass murder used in this period, as discussed in the Critique here (see text covered by footnotes 294 to 314).

These murderous desires were most clearly expressed by Himmler, whose statements leave no doubt that he ordered the killing for motives of extermination. When Himmler announced the collection of armament workers into concentration camps, on October 9, 1942, he stated that ""Nevertheless, the Jews are supposed to disappear from there as well, according to the wishes of the Führer [source]." On October 6, 1943, four weeks before the Lublin killing operation, Himmler had stated in Posen:
The difficult decision had to be taken to have this people disappear from the earth [source and source].
These motives were shared by Hans Frank, who stated, "My attitude towards the Jews will, therefore, be based only on the expectation that they must disappear. They must be done away with [source]." Yet Mattogno claims absurdly that Krueger could not have implemented Himmler's order to kill the work Jews without Frank's express permission, despite the clear policy having been in place for two years that these Jews must eventually "disappear." Moreover, Frank had signaled his compliance with further killing by noting in his diary on October 19, 1943 that the Jews were an "acute danger", probably in response to the escape from Sobibor (see Hilberg, p.560 and the Critique, p.233). This imperative was repeatedly hammered home by Hitler. For example, Longerich notes that:
On the occasion of an address by Hitler on 19 June 1943, Himmler learned of his decision "that the evacuation of the Jews, despite the disturbances this will cause in the next 3 to 4 months, is to be radically expedited and must be endured" ['daß die Evakuierung der Juden trotz der dadurch in den nächsten 3 bis 4 Monaten noch entstehenden Unruhen radikal durchzuführen sei und durchsgestanden werden müßte". BAB, NS 19/1432].
The distribution of orders and instructions for the action in Lublin is quoted in detail by Robin O'Neil here, taken from the British interrogation of Sporrenberg, which was also cited in the Critique [PRO, File No. WO 208/4673: Statement of Jakub Sporrenberg, 25 February 1946]. Sporrenberg received the Himmler order from Wirth. We gave detailed sources in the Critique concerning the sites where the massacres took place. O'Neil also notes that the massacre was reported by the Underground press [PRO/FO371/42790: Report from the Jewish National Committee Warsaw, dated 15 November 1943]. The shootings also appear in the testimonies of ex-Sobibor guard Robert Juhrs (interrogation of 23.5.62, Frankfurt-am-Main, p.5 in NIOD 804/49, p.60) and survivor Ludwika Fiszer.

On July 21, 1944, the KdS for Distrikt Radom passed on an order from the BdS for the General Government which stated that:
In case of the approach of enemy troops, precaution has to be taken for a complete evacuation of the prisons. If, however, an evacuation is not possible, all prisoners are to be killed and their remains disposed afterwards. The same applies for Jewish forced laborers. In any case, care must be taken that no prisoner or Jew is to fall into the hands of the enemy alive (the western Allied Forces or the Red Army, alike) [YVA O.53/129 (listed as O.53/120), p.61); translation taken from the Yad Vashem site].
Conclusion: The extermination of forced labourers in the General Government had been held in reserve as a latent option throughout the two-year period before November 1943, always capable of being deployed in cases of security alert, partisan incursion, escapes from death camps, the need to retreat in the face of the Red Army, reprisal shootings, and jumps from trains during deportations. Moreover, as was documented above, the impetus to kill Jewish forced labourers came from the top and was expressed as an ultimate goal by Hitler (19/6/43), Himmler (e.g. 9/10/42 and 6/10/43), Frank (16/12/41) and Globocnik (in the case of Lodz, 21/6/43). The fact that economic irrationality predominated during the November 1943 murders was noted in the summary reports of Horn, Opperbeck and Niemann (NO-2187 and NO-555 discussed above). The process by which the November 1943 murders were activated is clearly laid out in Sporrenberg's testimony, whilst the results were reported at the time in German and Polish sources. The labour transfers that occurred around this period are well documented and totally refute any possibility that tens of thousands of Jews were simply shuffled around around rather than killed. The idea that the Nazis, growing increasingly fearful of partisans and escapees, would transfer 25,000 Jews farther west at this moment in the war is risible in its face, let alone the economic absurdity of leaving orders uncompleted and the costs having to move labour, plant and capital. Clearly the economic effects of the liquidations were forced on the firms and planners, not planned as a strategic economic measure, and this is proven by the deception and lack of warning documented by, for example, Globocnik and Horn. The fact that labour was still needed in Lublin but its supply was scarce is shown by the reference to labour from "the Reich" being used in early 1944 (NO-555, p.23).

Typically, none of this appeared in Mattogno's drivel. Mattogno had neither the aptitude nor desire to do the necessary homework.

1 comment:

Sergey Romanov said...

Another document that mentions the special action that brought the plants to a standstill on 03.11.1943 is NO-2186.

Horn also whines about ruination of the business on 03.11.1943 in NO-1264.