Saturday, February 24, 2018

Correction Corner #7: false Stuckart quote about the "extermination of Jews".

Author: Sergey Romanov
Sometimes the following alleged quote is ascribed to Wilhelm Stuckart (a Wannsee conference participant):
Die Judenvernichtung findet ihre Rechtfertigung daher nicht nur in der Andersartigkeit, sondern auch in der Anderswertigkeit des Judentums. 
The extermination of the Jews is therefore justified not only by the otherness, but also by the different value of the Jewry.
This allegedly comes from Stuckart's and Schiedermair's book Rassen- und Erbpflege in der Gesetzgebung des Reiches, 3rd edition, 1942.

The citation or a mention of it appears e.g. in Christian Gerlach's The Extermination of the European Jews, 2016, p. 146 (with a reference to U. Herbert, Best: Biographische Studien über Radikalismus, Weltanschauung und Vernunft 1903-1989, 1996, p. 286); in Hans-Christian Jasch's Staatssekretär Wilhelm Stuckart und die Judenpolitik, 2012, p. 364 and in the article "Civil service lawyers and the Holocaust" in A. Steinweis, R. Rachlin (eds.), The Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunism, and the Perversion of Justice, 2013, p. 52 (both times with a reference to D. Majer, Grundlagen des nationalsozialistischen Rechtssystems, 1987, pp. 142ff.; in the first source Jasch points out that this sentence is not found in the 2nd and the 4th editions); in Mark Roseman, "Beyond Conviction? ...", in F. Biess, M. Roseman, H. Schissler (eds.), Conflict, Catastrophe and Continuity: Essays on Modern German History, 2007, p. 95 (with a reference to Herbert, 1996);  et cetera.

However Horst Dreier points out (among other places, in Die deutsche Staatsrechtslehre in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, 2001, p. 40n150 and in Staatsrecht in Demokratie und Diktatur, 2016, p. 217n150) that the word "Judenvernichtung" (extermination of Jews) does not appear in the 3rd edition (or in the whole 3rd Reich literature on the constitutional law that he had read). Rather, the following does appear there:
Die Judenvorschriften finden ihre Rechtfertigung daher nicht nur in der Andersartigkeit, sondern auch in der Anderswertigkeit des Judentums. 
The Jewish regulations are therefore justified not only by the otherness, but also by the different value of the Jewry.
The third edition of Stuckart's and Schiedermair's book is available online, so we can see that Dreier is correct:

It would seem that the incorrect quote was first used by Diemut Majer. Thus, we see it in "Fremdvölkische" im Dritten Reich: ein Beitrag zur nationalsozialistichen Rechtssetzung und Rechtspraxis in Verwaltung und Justiz unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der eingegliederten Ostgebiete und des Generalgouvernements, 1981, p. 121 and Majer's subsequent 1987 book and Herbert's 1996 book (that must have relied on Majer) are the main sources for the spread of the false version.

The latest publication of the English translation of Majer's book - “Non-Germans” Under The Third Reich: The Nazi Judicial and Administrative System in Germany and Occupied Eastern Europe, with Special Regard to Occupied Poland, 1939–1945, 2013, still contains the quote.

Herbert corrected the quote in the 2016 edition of his book (p. 306).


Dionysus said...

Thanks for exposing this. Lies like these are just gold.

Sergey Romanov said...

I don't think there have been lies involved at any step here. Lies are deliberate falsehoods. That's just lazy research for all those who quoted this from a secondary source. I also wrote to Majer and didn't get the impression that she was deliberate in printing this incorrect citation. One way it could happen is through sloppy research notes.

Dionysus said...

"Sloppy research notes" - haha. Well, I don't think you're going to convince many people with that explanation. The example you have shown here is such a typical case of how the Holohoax-lies have two legs. Thanks again.

Nicholas Terry said...

No, it's not at all typical.

There are several hundred statements from leading Nazis about annihilating Jews/Jewry. Many of them appeared in open sources like newspapers and magazines, for example the numerous repetitions of Hitler's "prophecy" speech and echoes of it by Goebbels and others. The others tend to be found in unpublished sources i.e. archival files and thus are the bread and butter of historians.

Better than 99% of these sources quoting leading Nazis talking about annihilating Jews/Jewry have been checked, rechecked, and checked again by generations of historians, and there is zero doubt they were made.

So to find that *one* example doesn't trace back properly to its source is not at all typical, it is exceptional, simply as a matter of statistical frequency.

The fact that this was first quoted in 1981, before the advent of computers as a routine writing/research tool, probably does explain why the error appeared. Majer's book is massive, with many thousands of references, and concerns not only Jews but non-Jewish foreigners in Nazi law and administration.

There would be little incentive for the author to fabricate a quote wholesale when it would be one of thousands of sources cited in such a work and is not presented as a central plank of the book's thesis. Therefore the most probable explanation is indeed sloppy research notes. Whether the quote appeared in a pre-publication draft, another edition (less likely it would seem) or another source entirely, or was confusedly attributed due to note-taking remains to be seen.

Because the source was a fairly obscure publication in Nazi administrative law, this wasn't going to be checked and rechecked in the same way that quotes from the Goebbels diaries or Hans Frank official diaries are going to be checked and rechecked.
Since it is *not* expected that every single source is checked against the original in *any* field of academic historical research, because doing this is essentially impossible, and because relying on other scholars' work is the norm if one cannot check things out oneself, then a citation circle emerged, which has now been spotted and identified courtesy of Sergey, but which was already being corrected - see Ulrich Herbert's revision to two editions of his biography of Werner Best.

The works that quoted this by mistake (relying on Majer or Herbert's first edition in the 1990s) all have several thousand references - footnotes/endnotes. That is the yardstick against which one measures outright errors.

So it's neither typical for the source to be wrong or for a citation in an academic work to be wrong; it is rare, but it does happen, and when it happens, it is corrected, which over time eliminates the erroneous citation.

Note that I am not discussing misinterpretation or misevaluation here; I am talking simply about correct citations. The historians who discussed the Stuckart quote mostly noted that the quote did not appear in other editions and is a rather rare example of talk of annihilation of Jews creeping into official publications (as opposed to newspapers reporting speeches by leading Nazis).

Stuckart's role in the Final Solution is not reducible to this quote, and is generally considered to be indirect, since the civil service side of the Reich Ministry of Interior was not involved in organising deportations or extermination. Stuckart's knowledge of mass murders of German Jews is proven by other archival sources (relating to the Rumbula massacre and deportation of German Jews to Riga) which have been checked by several scholars, as well as other sources kept by Bernhard Loesener, one of the referents concerned with Jewish questions under Stuckart's supervision.

Dionysus said...

99% of such quotes have been checked? You take that straight out of thin air. Historians rely on such fake quotes to produce the narrative they want, and that is also the reason they don't check the sources (or pretend they haven't checked the sources).

That there are genuine quotes of Hitler et al. using the word "Vernichtung" does not contradict the fact that this is a typical example of quote faking in order to support the ludicrous "extermination" narrative.

Nicholas Terry said...

"99% of such quotes have been checked? You take that straight out of thin air."

No, I'm not taking that out of thin air.

Hundreds of historians have researched topics that lead them to encounter statements by leading Nazis about annihilating the Jews; and there are constant debates between mainstream historians as to how these remarks should be interpreted. Therefore historians check the sources to see whether something else in the original helps support a different interpretation; they re-read the sources.

The remarks can be found not only in Nazi-era newspapers but in source editions, which makes them easy to check, as well as in archival files that are often copied in multiple locations. In the past 10 years, many of these things are being digitised so can be checked even more easily.

I repeat that I'm not talking about misinterpretation but about the accuracy of citations. I'm also not talking about how one translates Vernichtung or Ausrottung - while many such instances are translated as 'extermination' into English, this doesn't apply to German-language historiography for starters, and in the English-language scholarship one often finds the historian indicating whether Vernichtung or Ausrottung was used.

So neither mistranslation or misinterpretation are what we're talking about here - we're talking about incorrect citations where we cannot find the actual words quoted in the original source.

If you can name any other example of a specific citation or source from a leading Nazi about the annihilation/extirpation (Vernichtung or Ausrottung) of the Jews tracing back to a dead-end and not appearing in the original source, then please name all of these examples. That means, a historian cites a source to a specific publication or archival file and the remark is not in the location cited.

One thing to remember here: historians are also very often university teachers, and they will use these sources in university courses, which doesn't just mean in the classroom, it means students often choosing to revisit the sources for coursework or research dissertations.

Multiple students that I have taught or supervised have chosen to analyse the Hans Frank speech of 16 December 1941, for example - typically, they use the translated and transcribed version in the Nuremberg trial publications. I photocopied this in German from the published source edition, the 'Diensttagebuch' many, many years ago, but since then have also had the chance to check the original German typescript. All versions contain the relevant words and are accurate.

Precisely because sources are being progressively digitised, and can therefore be used more freely than ever before for teaching and research, then one can check them very easily without really trying that hard.

So far, the example Sergey flagged up for correction is the *only* incorrect citation of a 'Vernichtung' remark by a leading Nazi that I have come across.

Reactionary said...

Nicholas, "Hitler's "prophecy" speech" you mentioned about extermination of the jews, was on the time when Hitler and the German national socialists had not gone through the radicalization phase yet, and had not yet come to the idea of extermination of the Jews, right? Thus, that can not be used has evidence or evidence that Hitler wanted to exterminate Jews at that time, it should be seen as a kind of warning and a threat, right?

Nicholas Terry said...

If you're referring to the original Hitler speech of 30 January 1939, then yes, this was a threat or a warning, but the repetitions of the 'prophecy' that started on 30 January 1941 with Hitler remembering his speech of two years before were in a new context. The repetitions were so numerous by the end of 1941 that the Nazis were practically talking themselves into genocide.

They were also understood by contemporaries to mean extermination, see Walter Mattner's letter from Mogilev in October 1941, from a policeman who had taken part in a mass shooting and understood the 'prophecy' to be what he was doing on the ground in eastern Belorussia.

At the latest by mid-1942, outside observers also started linking the repetitions of Hitler's 'prophecy' of annihilation/extirpation to other news reports of deportation and mass murder to conclude that Nazi policy was 'extermination', but did not necessarily link this to gassing or the death camps. The Manchester Guardian wrote an editorial in October 1942 after Hitler's Sportpalast speech of 30 September 1942 in which the editorial writers concluded that deportation meant death, Armenian genocide-style, this was before news of Treblinka reached the outside world in late November 1942.

The Nazis did not equate 'Vernichtung' with immediate extermination by gas, either during the 1941/2 transition or subsequently. They could envisage the destruction of a people through expulsion/deportation to uninhabitable places or under harsh conditions, coupled with decimation by shooting or other killing methods to speed things up, which is why the Wannsee Protocol's crucial lines reflect more of an Armenian genocide-style vision.

Reactionary said...

And this Hitler repetitions of extermination was it all in open by the end of 1941 and 1942 ect?

And you wrote:

"There are several hundred statements from leading Nazis about annihilating Jews/Jewry. Many of them appeared in open sources like newspapers and magazines, for example the numerous repetitions of Hitler's "prophecy" speech and echoes of it by Goebbels and others. "

If there where several hundred statements from leading Nazis including Hitler (after the radicalization of national socialists, and when they had actually decided to kill the Jews) who openly to the public talked about extermination of the Jews?

Why then the need of secret meetings like the Wannsee meeting for a "secret" plan to exterminate the jews, if the plan was talked openly for all the world to hear?

Why did they try to keep the genocide as secret as possible while at the same time they were open to the world constantly talking about how they where wiping out the Jews?

Nicholas Terry said...

In simple terms, because the NSDAP leadership + propagandists were making the public statements, whereas the SS/Police carried out the Final Solution.

The propagandists and the politicians never discussed the details of how the Final Solution was being carried out; they didn't just keep quiet about death camps, they also did not publicise deportations as a rule. So the public discussion of the 'Jewish question' in Europe was kept extremely vague; the most that was allowed was to discuss how Axis states persecuted Jews, or for example to note that Slovakia had deported Jews while giving as few details as possible.

On some occasions in 1943-44, the Nazis attempted private/diplomatic or public/propagandistic denials of specific reports of mass murder, but they did not try to rebut every single story. The response to the UN Declaration of 17.12.42 was meant to be to start a campaign about Allied atrocities, revisit the Boer War concentration camps etc, but this didn't develop properly. Thus, there was essentially no overt Nazi response to the accusation, nor were other accusations responded to - the big exception is a press conference in 1944 by Suendermann after reports of Auschwitz had been publicised globally - the figleaf of Theresienstadt did not exactly convince anybody, the denial was implausible.

What they did not do is clarify what Hitler, Goebbels, Ley, Rosenberg and others meant when they talked about Vernichtung or Ausrottung of the Jews, even when outside observers started to use such statements as evidence that the Nazis were in fact exterminating the Jews.

Despite the fact that there are quite a large number of examples of such public statements, they are more concentrated in 1941 and 1943 with fewer examples in 1942 or 1944; even when propaganda campaigns got rolling in a bit way (eg over Kaufman in 1941 or the post-Katyn campaign in 1943), then the statements would be spread across many different newspapers or radio broadcasts, and not be quite so obvious to the average person. This meant that 'those in the know' could interpret them correctly while others would simply not take the remarks seriously and assume they were just rhetorical outbursts.

Obviously, the privately recorded remarks along the same lines show that the public remarks were not just rhetoric; Goebbels clearly knew about extermination as a policy, and so his public remarks sometimes have a sharper edge to them (e.g. saying Jews were 'signing their own death warrants', in 1943). But even then, there were no details.

Also important: while the Propaganda Ministry had an influence in the occupied territories, each independent satrapy had its own press office and press policy. Thus, in the Generalgouvernement, the Nazi press followed the same line as in Germany of not publicising deportations except retrospectively, so after some months they might admit that a town was judenfrei. Hans Frank et al made virtually no *public* statements on Jewish policy in 1942-3, but there are quite a few *private* statements about annihilation of the Jews in the government's records (Diensttagebuch).

Reactionary said...

"In simple terms, because the NSDAP leadership + propagandists were making the public statements,"

Why the need of that?

"whereas the SS/Police carried out the Final Solution."

Did these guys need to hear extermination statement in open media? Was not there an order for them to understand?

" This meant that 'those in the know' could interpret them correctly while others would simply not take the remarks seriously and assume they were just rhetorical outbursts."

The same here. Why did the "those in the know", need to hear public statements in the media that the Jews should be exerminated? If they already knew? Why was not discrete orders and directive for what would happen to the Jews enough fot "those in the know"?

Nicholas Terry said...

The open statements provided the rationale for the secret actions. They also signalled more subtly to organisers of persecution which way things were going.

Thus, for example, the repetition of Hitler's prophecy speech in September-October 1941 meant that when the policeman Walter Mattner was given an order to participate in the mass execution of Jews in Mogilev, he connected this order, given secretly, to the public propaganda, remembered Hitler's 'prophecy', and this helped him make sense of his task.

A useful discussion of how 'signalling' worked on other audiences is in: David Bankier, ‘Signaling the Final Solution to the German People’ in: David Bankier and Israel Gutman (eds), Nazi Europe and the final solution. Jerusalem : Yad Vashem, 2003, pp. 15–39

The 1943 wave of pronouncements coincided with the 'strength through fear' (Kraft durch Furcht) propaganda campaign, and were part of intimating to the German people that they had burned their bridges, if they lost the war, 'Jewish-Bolshevik' revenge was highly likely. This sort of backfired, so the campaign was slowed down in June/July 1943 in public. However, Himmler's speeches in 1943-44 to various audiences were meant to convey the same message: we did this, we therefore cannot lose the war.

Reactionary said...

Some follow up questions. I have a little hard to understand how all this is connected.

I dont understand, why did they not only gahter all the guys lile Walter Mattner in a secret meeting, and Hitler could have gave his Hitler's prophecy speech only to the peoples who are going to be involded in the genocide instead of letting all the world know that they where going to commit a genocide, if they wanted to keep it a secret? Wouldn't that had made more sense?

But you mean that the reason why they wanted to tell the whole German people that they where murdering all Jews, was that they could not lose the war because they would be revenge for this? But this was first 1943?

I searched for 'strength through fear' (Kraft durch Furcht). I read something that it was a British propaganda campaign aimed at German civilians who told them about the massacre of Jews that the airplanes released as flyers. But you say it was a german propaganda campaign?

Then why public speech about mass murdering of jews in 1941 and 1942 in the news papers?

"This meant that 'those in the know' could interpret them correctly while others would simply not take the remarks seriously and assume they were just rhetorical outbursts. "

So this message why just for 'those in the know' to understand, and not peoples in general? Or not? But then again why did they have speech like that open to the public if it where only for the 'those in the know'?

And why so be careful to hide the crimes like aktion 1005, if they told the word that they where murderingen all jews? It seems like nazi schizophrenia?

Maybe you should write an detailed article about how all this is logically connected step by step, and how the Nazis reasoned when they acted like this? Sounds very illogical to me.

I do not claim you're wrong, but I'm having hard to understand how the Nazis resonated, their decision seems to be so contradictory.

Nicholas Terry said...

Hi Reactionary,

Yes, I agree that Nazi behaviour was quite schizophrenic. But this is thoroughly documented: on the one hand, open sources record statements about the annihilation/extirpation of European Jews, on the other hand, the deportations and extermination process were kept secret, with internal correspondence using codes, etc, as we know.

In 1941, the public statements paralleled the much-discussed decision-making process; in the winter of 1940/41, the senior leadership knew that there would be eventually some kind of territorial final solution, since Himmler had told them as much in December 1940 at a meeting of Reichsleiter and Gauleiter. Hitler then repeated his prophecy in January 1941. A territorial final solution would always be genocidal and involve some level of annihilation, even if this was by privation and starvation and not immediate killing. There are some repetitions of the prophecy in the first half of 1941, but also some statements like Rosenberg's speech at the opening of the Institute for the Research of the Jewish Question where he talked about expelling Jews outside of Europe (i.e. a "Madagascar"-style solution).

The start of Barbarossa made it obvious that a territorial final solution would be in the east - 'Siberia', beyond the Urals, the Arctic Circle. Simultaneously, there was a wave of antisemitic propaganda around first 'Jewish Bolshevism', then around the Kaufman pamphlet, with the latter aimed at America. From October 1941, there were deportations of Jews from the Reich.

The rhetoric of the second half of 1941 could be interpreted as threatening something bad in the future, so could be understood as an intensification of the original 1939 threatening rhetoric. But as soon as deportations from the Reich began, the rhetoric of annihilation from especially Goebbels became more sinister. Goebbels had been pushing for the expulsion of the Jews of Berlin several times previously. So how should one interpret his repetition of Hitler's 'prophecy' in his famous article 'The Jews are Guilty!' in November 1941?

The elaboration from Goebbels indicates that he equates the deportations then underway with a "gradual destruction":

"We are seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy. The Jews are receiving a penalty that is certainly hard, but more than deserved. World Jewry erred in adding up the forces available to it for this war, and now is gradually experiencing the destructon that it planned for us, and would have carried out without a second thought if it had possessed the ability. It is perishing according its own law: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

The article has many other purposes, especially to guide the population on the home front in their responses to the introduction of the yellow star and the deportations from the Reich, to encourage Germans not to show any sympathy towards Jews in such circumstances.

Among Germans, such articles and speeches could be interpreted in many ways. Those who had other worries could ignore the propaganda, others tuned it out and probably thought it was rhetoric. Anti-Nazis might think it was also just rhetoric unless they had other knowledge, e.g. of shootings in the Soviet Union. Committed Nazis and antisemites would cheer, while officials would know that the work of persecuting Jews (expropriating their property, closing up their flats, deporting them) contributed to the eventual solution of the Jewish question, but would not necessarily *know* what would happen to the deportees at the other end. And the perpetrators on the ground would know that the rhetoric was real, because they received direct orders to shoot.

Reactionary said...

Hi Nicholas,

Thanks for your answers.

So do I understand it right, the decision to physically exterminate the Jews was taken sometime in the winter 1940/41?

Do historians know that it was directly Hitler's idea, a direct order from him? Do they now what time exactly they decided? Not only when they did plan for it, how it should be carried out and all details, but that it should be implemented fromt the first place?

I remember that some people say that Hitler ordered Himmler that the jews would be away from Germany and the countries Germany controlled, but that he did not bother how or even wanted to know, and were not involved how that would happen as long as they disappeared. He put all responsibility on Himmler.

Were there different views on how to solve the Jewish issue within NSDAP? Was there, for example, some who argued for a harder line while others for a more softer and humane line? For example, there might have been those who think that everyone should be killed right away and dumped in mass graves. Others might argue for hard deportations and through death through more or less forced starvation as you wrote, while others might protest and instead argue for humane solutions like humane expulsion to other countries? The creation of a native Jewish homeland in Palestine or Madagascar, etc.?

Maybe Rosenberg? He seem to have been a more "soft" nazi than the more "hardcore" more heated ones like Himmler, Goebbels, Streicher etc? He did talk about sending them to Madagascar instead of mass murder them in eastern Europe? I have also read that he protested against the nazi treatment of the Slavic people in the east, etc. So i seem less radical than other, or I misunderstood it?

But anyway, as I understand it on the 1930s when nazis where in power, was there no plan to murder the Jews? They did not want this? They talked and cooperated in part with Zionist Jewish groups who had genuinely interested in getting the Jews aout from Germany to a new Jewish nation state?

Did not NSDAP have formulations like "final solution to the Jewish question in order to acquire the Jews their own state."? Was this their agenda from the beginning? To have an internationell final solution to the jewish questions with the help of other countries to help the jews to get their own state, their own country, like Israel? Well that is not genocide. It seems they have cited the jewish zionist Theodor Herzl from the book "The Jewish State" (Der Judenstaat):

“final solution of the Jewish question.” “Anti-Semites will become our surest friends, anti-Semitic countries our allies.” etc.

But how do they know that the Nazis did not want to exterminate Jews in the 1930s if have had the chance ? Or do you mean that they did not hate the Jews as much then and therefore could think of a more peaceful solution? It seem so, with the nazi-zio pacts at that time?

But that the war radicalized NSDAP and resulted them to hate the Jews even more and therefore would exterminate them and see the chance of it in the east, especially when there was no Jewish homeland to send them to? Or how was this radicalization phase? When did it start? From what motives did the Nazis become more hateful to the Jews? What made them change from wanting to help the Jews to their own country, to abandon that idea and instead wanted to kill them all the way? Was it only because of the war, and things like the Kaufman pamphlet, that they believed that the Jews had started the war or were there other factors that played in in making the nazis more extreme, radical and hatefull against the jews?

Jimmac said...

Maybe the prophecy speeches were intended at least partially for an international audience. It is likely that Hitler did beleave that the Jews in America had the influence to swing American and British policies. Perhaps the thinking was these threats would swing American Jews into opposing the total war approach for fear of the consequences. Germany's none responce to accusations of genocide in 42/43 is very strange unless they wanted the west to be uncertain about it.

Sergey Romanov said...

> Well, I don't think you're going to convince many people with that explanation.

Pretty sure sane people will be convinced.

Sergey Romanov said...

> Historians rely on such fake quotes to produce the narrative they want,

That's a fake claim tho, IOW a lie. How funny that a guy who complained about lies (without any sufficient reason) turned out to be a liar himself.

Jimmac said...

Who are you talking about?

Nicholas Terry said...

@Reactionary: a formal Hitler decision to trigger the final solution *across the whole of Europe* was announced to the senior Party leadership in December 1941 after the entry of the US into the war; it may have been made privately shortly before this date. The escalation of rhetoric accompanied a radicalisation of policy in 1941. But from the start of the year the Nazi leadership equated a territorial final solution, to be implemented at some point in the future, with destruction, and all subsequent measures (mass shootings in the USSR, the first big wave of deportations from the Reich in autumn 1941) were also equated with destruction. This is why Goebbels said in November 1941 that the 'prophecy' was being fulfilled and that the Jews were experiencing a 'gradual destruction'.

A decision to *exterminate* Jews from the Reich, as opposed to bringing about their *destruction* through privation, harsh conditions and progressive decimation, was taken in spring 1942, which is why we see things like deportations of Reich Jews from the Lodz ghetto to Chelmno in May 1942, in parallel to direct transports from the Reich to Sobibor, and transports from the Reich to Maly Trostenets.

The Europe-wide decision followed various regional extermination decisions, e.g. in the Warthegau Polish Jews who were unfit for work began to be exterminated in the autumn of 1941, in parallel to the systematic extermination of Soviet Jews in military-occupied territories by the HSSPFs and Einsatzgruppen in autumn 1941. Mass murder did not depend on a centrally dictated Hitler order, a centralised decision was influenced by the local radicalisations and then generalised to other territories.

Reactionary said...

Thanks for your answer Nicholas.

- Why did they and Hitler take a decision to trigger the final solution in december 1941? Was it because of anger of US entry into the war, and that they thought the Jews were behind the US joining the war? And this was the revenge that Hitler talked about in his speech? Like Jimmac is pointing out, is that the correct motive?

- What was Hitlers and the Nazis solution to the Jewish question from the beginning of the 1920s until they had power in 1933 through December 1941? Was it different from the decisions taken in the 1940s century, and so why? Or did they wish to exterminate the Jews from the beginning, but had no real opportunity until the war? Or did they simple not want to exterminate the jews back then for moral reasons? But later they got more extreme and hated the jews even more, that they wanted to kill all of them?

- So there where no Hitler order, oral or written for the extermination of the Jews? Hitler triggered it by his speech? But the decisions were taken locally? I have always heard that Hitler was the highest leader and all important and big decisions must come from him or have his approval from him before decision could be made. But here it was decided without Hitler knowing or his approval?

Nicholas Terry said...

1. There were multiple motives for the Final Solution, but the timing of Hitler's announcement to the Reichsleiter and Gauleiter was obviously determined by the declaration of war on the US. Since Hitler reckoned on a conflict with the US throughout the summer and autumn of 1941, he could have taken a private/inner-circle decision earlier. The threatening rhetoric obviously relates to this sense of impending conflict, but it wasn't exactly spelled out clearly enough to be clear to Roosevelt - compare this with Trump threatening Kim Jong Un in the past year or so.

2. Historians would agree that Nazi Judenpolitik passed through stages.
1933-38: discrimination and encouraging voluntary emigration from Germany;
1938-39: forced emigration from Germany, Austria and the Protectorate;
1939-41: territorial solutions, in sequence: the Lublin reservation idea/pilot scheme, the Madagascar Plan, certainty by the winter of 1940/41 to implement a territorial solution after the war; then expulsion to the east or a 'Siberia Plan'.
Dec 1941 to spring 1942, i.e. before and after Wannsee: a hybrid of expulsion to the east and liquidation, as they worked out methods and infrastructure
spring 1942: liquidation of Jews unfit for work in camps after deportation, confirmed by July 1942 with selections on arrival at Auschwitz.

3. the Nazi regime was not a classic control-freak dictatorship; Hitler delegated authority to the level of Gauleiter, Reichsleiter/Reichsminister and disliked being committed to written orders. So if Himmler was authorised, as was the case, to oversee policing in occupied territories and was additionally authorised to oversee Germanisation, this was sufficient authority for Himmler to issue orders to his subordinates to execute any number of people, i.e. Hitler's prior approval was not necessary for regional killing campaigns. Hitler's announcement reinforced existing authority for Himmler and Heydrich to extend deportations to other regions across Europe, the deportations then went as is known to a few regions for extermination.

The closest indication of a written order is mentioned in Wisliceny's postwar interrogations; he was shown a Himmler order regarding extermination from April 1942, which fits with the timeline of announcing a political decision in December 1941, then working out the implementation from January-April 1942. So the December 1941 decision date isn't the same as an 'order'. Informal orders often delivered verbally were more the norm; Himmler would turn up somewhere and confer with a HSSPF or another officer, then might not need to issue written confirmation (or written confirmation doesn't survive). This is the pattern with the escalation of killings by the Einsatzgruppen and HSSPFs in 1941, no written order decreeing the killing of women and children survives, but the documentary evidence indicates they did exactly that.

Reactionary said...

But expulsion to the east to Siberia, was failed to implement because of the war right? And then they chose to kill more Jews as a result of that, those who could not work?

But what about the jews who could work, and you wrote about a territorial solution after the war, would they be sending the working jews to the east after a victory, or where they planning to kill them also, and a total genocide and massmurder of every single jew?

A genocide of every jew in the world by the way, was that a goal, or as an end of purpose? Or was the purpose of making Europe free from Jews only? For example, would they have stopped the development of Israel or any other Jewish homeland outside Europe as a goal?

Nicholas Terry said...

The Nazis did not wish Palestine to become a Jewish national homeland or Jewish state. If the Nazi empire had expanded beyond Europe, then no doubt they would have cleansed their territory of Jews in due course.

Re: working Jews and a territorial final solution; this vision was spelled out in the Wannsee protocol. Able-bodied Jews were to be sent 'roadbuilding to the east', unfit Jews were to die or be killed. The survivors among the able-bodied Jews were to be finished off; the working Jews would be separated by gender to prevent reproduction in the meantime.

The retention of Jews working in critical industries was already being discussed in 1941; already by spring 1941 the Warthegau authorities envisioned holding back able-bodied Jews for work locally while unfit Jews were planned for expulsion to the Government-General; by the autumn of 1941 murder was the plan for unfit Jews in the Warthegau. Jews in the Reich who were employed in war industries were exempted from deportation in autumn 1941 until the 'Factory Action' of early 1943, they were held back until they could be replaced by non-Jewish foreign workers.

"Siberia" is a shorthand since there was never a clear statement about destinations. Nazis variously spoke of repopulating Soviet GULag camps with Jews, sending them to the Arctic circle/northern Russia, sending them 'beyond the Urals' but also sending Jews to more westerly regions like the Pripyat marshes (which could not have sustained many newcomers, so this was a cipher for being worked to death or driven into wasteland regions and left to die).

"Madagascar" was similarly a fantasy destination but they worked out the logistics a little more thoroughly; the transition over 1940-42 from fantasising about sending Jews to a reservation to killing them is the important issue here.

Reactionary said...

Was not Madagascar also the plan for French and Polish goverments before the war, to send their jews there? And the Madagascar plan originally came from the Jewish and Zionist leader Theodor Herzl as he called "the final solution to the jewish question", right? And as I understand, these plans were changed when Britain promised Palestine to the jews. So that plan was not something that the Nazis were first to propose, right?

I read in a "revisionist" book:

"Another of the collaborations between the national socialists and the Zionists was expressed that Jews were trained in farming, so that they would be prepared to manage on their own in their intended nation. This training took place in a kibbutz in Neuendorf and at about 40 other similar agricultural centers throughout Germany."

I can not find it now but I know that read that the Nazis should have trained Jews in agriculture as late as 1945 to prepare them to be send to their new homeland, and it was argued why the Nazis would have helped Jews to educate in agriculture if they wanted to exterminate them, was the argument.

Nicholas Terry said...

Reactionary, you're not relaying anything not in the Wikipedia article on the Madagascar Plan:

Regarding Nazism and Zionism, the Nazis had turned away from the idea of tolerating a Jewish state by the end of the prewar period. After September 1939, there could be no emigration from Germany to Palestine due to the outbreak of the war.

Your denier source is utterly misleading on Neuendorf and other *former* schemes to foster emigration and skills retraining in the early 1930s. Neuendorf was a forced labour camp during the war years until its inmates were deported to Auschwitz in 1943.

Statistical Mechanic said...

>> "why the Nazis would have helped Jews to educate in agriculture if they wanted to exterminate them, was the argument"

It's an silly argument as the chronology shows, and Nick Terry has pointed out: efforts like Madagascar or emigration schemes pre-date what Nick Terry above called a"Hitler decision to trigger the final solution 'across the whole of Europe'" in December 1941; before this the various schemes were indeed for forced emigration. But by January 1942 at Wannsee, according to the protocol, the RSHA was explaining that the a new solution "has now taken the place of emigration, i.e. the evacuation of the Jews to the East, provided that the Fuehrer gives the appropriate approval in advance." The protocol also explained that "In the meantime the Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police had prohibited emigration of Jews due to the dangers of an emigration in wartime and due to the possibilities of the East," which referenced the well-discussed emigration stop order of which Müller's 23 October 1941 circular was an example.