Friday, March 03, 2017

Knowledge of the Final Solution in Nazi Satellite States: 2) Italy and Croatia

Further to the Critique, on Italian knowledge of the Final Solution (see here), the following quotations are taken from Galeazzo Ciano's diaries and papers. The first two relate to a meeting Ciano held with Goering on November 24-27, 1941. In the first, Ciano noted this statement by Goering:
'On the other hand', he added, 'we cannot worry unduly about the hunger of the Greeks. It is a misfortune which will strike many other people besides them. In the camps for Russian prisoners of war, after having eaten everything possible, including the soles of their boots, they have begun to eat each other, and what is more serious, they have also eaten a German sentry. This year between 20 and 30 million persons will die in Russia of hunger. Perhaps it is well that it should be so, for certain nations must be decimated. But even if it were not, nothing can be done about it. It is obvious that if humanity is condemned to die of hunger, the last to die will be our two peoples.[1]
In the second, he noted, "He was impressive when he spoke of the Russians, who are eating each other and who have also eaten a German sentry in a prison camp. He recounted the incident with the most absolute indifference. And yet he is kind-hearted, and when he spoke of Udet and Moelders, who have lately lost their lives, tears came to  his eyes."[2]

On December 16, 1941, he observed a familiar euphemism:
The most urgent problems are being dealt with: chief amongst these that of the Jews. The latter, who when the Ustachis' took power numbered 35,000, are now reduced to not more than 12,000. (Young Kvaternik [nephew of the Croatian War Minister] explains this decrease with the word 'emigration', accompanied by a smile which does not leave any room for doubt).[3]
Finally, on May 27, 1942, he learned of horrors in the east: 
Sorrentino [a journalist], on his return from Russia, gives his impressions and makes forecasts for the future. The first are not pleasant and the second not comforting. The brutality of the Germans, which has now reached the proportions of a continuous crime, stands out from his words so vividly and so movingly as to leave one in no doubt of its truthfulness. Massacres of entire populations, raping, killing of children - all these are matters of daily occurrence.[4]

[1] Ciano, Conversation between Count Ciano and the Fuehrer, Field-Marshal Goering, and the Reich Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop, Berlin, 24-27.11.41. Ciano's Diplomatic Papers: being a record of nearly 200 conversations held during the years 1936-42 with Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Goering, Ribbentrop, Chamberlain, Eden, Sumner Welles, Schuschnigg, Lord Perth, François-Poncet, and many other world diplomatic and political figures, together with important memoranda, letters, telegrams, etc.  Edited by Malcolm Muggeridge. Tr. by Stuart Hood. London, 1948, pp.464-465
[2] Ciano's Diary, 1939-1943, edited by Malcolm Muggeridge. London, 1947, pp.402-403
[3] Ciano, Conversation between Count Ciano and the Poglavnik of Croatia, Pavelic, Venice, 16.12.41. Ciano's Diplomatic Papers, p.471.
[4] Ciano's Diary, p.473.

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