Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Mattogno takes on the Jäger Report (well, he tries) – Part 4

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5 (1)

Part 5 (2)

The subject of this article is Mattogno’s argumentation in support of his denial of the killing, mentioned in the 2nd Jäger Report, of German and Austrian Jews deported to Kaunas.[98]

On 25.11.1941, according to the 2nd Jäger Report, at total of 2,934 Jewish deportees from Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt am Main (1,159 men, 1,600 women and 175 children) were shot at Fort IX in Kauen (Kaunas). On 29.11.1941, a total of 2,000 Jewish deportees from Vienna and Breslau (693 men, 1,155 women and 152 children) met the same fate.

Mattogno dedicates more space (roughly 10 vs. 6 pages) to these two executions than he does to the murder campaigns addressed in the previous part of this series, even though the latter claimed a much higher number of victims. This suggests that the execution of deportees from Germany and Austria bothers Mattogno more than that of Lithuanian Jews, which is not surprising. However far-fetched Mattogno’s attempts to explain the extermination of Lithuania’s Jews (insofar as he admits to it) in a "political-military" context may be, any such attempt would be just plain ridiculous regarding the mass murder of Jewish deportees from the German and Austrian heartlands. Thus Mattogno’s only way out is downright denial that these massacres took place.

Mattogno’s arguments in support of this claim are as long-winded as they are weak. Basically he expects his readers to accept the notion that, as the decision-making process leading to the execution of these German and Austrian Jews cannot be reconstructed on hand of the available evidence, these mass killings didn’t take place.

Mattogno is breaking no news as concerns the questions about the reasons why Jäger ordered these executions. These questions have long been discussed among historians (I don’t count Mattogno in that category), of whom Mattogno quotes a few.

One theory that has been advanced, e.g. by Jäger’s biographer Wolfram Wette, is that Jäger was taken by surprise by the arrival of these transports, which had originally been meant for Riga but been rerouted to Kaunas on short notice because the Riga ghetto was overfilled. Not knowing what to do with these deportees, for whose accommodation in the surviving ghetto no preparations had been made, Jäger is supposed to have decided on his own initiative to solve the problem by killing these arrivals. [99]

Other historians consider this improbable as the intention to send some of the deportation transports from the Reich to Kaunas had already been known three weeks before the first massacre and Jäger had been informed about it.[100] What is generally considered more probable is that Jäger assumed that killing the arriving German and Austrian Jews was in line with contemporary policy and the desiderata of his superiors.

There as several indications supporting this notion.

One month before, EK3 and its Lithuanian auxiliaries had completed a series of mass killings that in all probability were meant to reduce the Kaunas ghetto population to a predetermined size that was a compromise between labor needs and extermination policies.[101] Taking in new Jewish arrivals would go against this purpose, especially as the deportees were either unable to work or did not possess the artisan skills on account of which a part of the Kaunas ghetto Jews and their families had been temporarily spared.[102]

Three days before the first massacre on 25 November, Jäger had a conversation with Dr. Peter Kleist, head of the department in the Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete (Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories) that handled matters of the RKO. In this conversation Kleist expressed his satisfaction with Jäger’s extermination campaign against the Lithuanian Jews, especially the extent to which Jäger had managed to enlist Lithuanian cooperation in the killing process. [103] Whether or not this signaled the Ministry’s agreement with an intended mass killing of deported German Jews, [104] Jäger could certainly have understood Kleist’s praise in this sense.

Upon receiving confirmation from the Ministry that, notwithstanding reservations expressed by an official of the Reich Commissariat, transports with Jews from the Reich would arrive, Reich Commissioner Lohse contacted Friedrich Jeckeln, then the HSSPF for Northern Russia and the Eastern Territories and thus one of Jäger’s superiors (the other being Stahlecker). Jeckeln, who on 10 or 11 November had received Himmler’s instruction or approval to wipe out the Latvian Jews of the Riga ghetto,[105] was making preparations for this operation and, according to a later deposition by a member of his staff, had also inspected the intended execution site at Kaunas Fort IX before the first contingent of German Jews arrived at Kaunas. [106] After Jäger’s first massacre of deportees on 25 November, Lohse confirmed on 28 November that transports to Minsk, Riga and Kaunas were OK and matters had been agreed with Jeckeln.[107] It is unclear whether Lohse was informed about this first massacre at Kaunas, but it is likely considering that, according to a later deposition by his driver, Lohse was present at the Riga massacre together with Jeckeln. So it seems probable that Jeckeln and Lohse had agreed that at least some of the transports arriving at Riga and all of the transports arriving at Kaunas were to be exterminated. This because even their temporary accommodation would have implied considerable effort, as the places of accommodation in Latvia had by no means been finished and in Lithuania preparations had not even begun. Thus Lohse and Jeckeln had decided on the easier solution of mass murder, and Jeckeln as Jäger’s superior had informed or instructed Jäger accordingly.[108]

Not all German officials involved were of Lohse’s and Stahlecker’s mind regarding what should happen to German Jews. Apparently in response to requests that decorated German Jewish war veterans should be exempted from deportations to the Ostland, Heydrich had in 10 October 1941 declared that no exceptions would be made. On 20 November Eichmann issued a circular with deportation guidelines restricting the categories of Reich Jews to be reported, apparently because the Reich Main Security Office had received complaints, as is also suggested by statements of Heydrich’s towards Goebbels, mentioned in the latter’s diary entry of 18.11.1941. Heydrich thereupon decided to create the Theresienstadt ghetto for Reich Jews who were over 60 years old or might be considered exempt. Nevertheless there were protests because these guidelines were not adhered to. Thus in Berlin in early November two prominent spokesmen pleaded for setting free the Jewish attorney Dr. Karl Loewenstein, who was nevertheless deported to Minsk. Regarding the mass murders of Jews proper anonymous complaints from all parts of the Reich came in all the time, according to Gestapo chief Müller in a letter dated 6 February 1942.[109]

The most outspoken defender of Reich Jews among high-ranking German officials was probably the Generalkommissar Weißruthenien, Wilhelm Kube, whose head-office was in Minsk and who had amply shown that he had no problems at all with local Jews being bumped off. German Jews were another matter, however:
Among these Jews are front veterans with the Iron Cross first and second class, war wounded, half-Aryans, and even a three-quarter Aryan … In repeated official visits to the [Minsk] ghetto I have discovered that among these Jews, who distinguish themselves from Russian Jews in their personal cleanliness, are also skilled workers, who are perhaps five times as productive as Russian Jews. …
I am certainly tough and ready to help solve the Jewish question, but human beings who come from our cultural sphere are something other than the native bestial hordes. Should one assign the Lithuanians and Latvians, who are even rejected by the population here, with their slaughter? I could not do it. [110]

Though Kube’s letter was sent more than half a month after the last execution of Reich Jews in Kaunas and therefore cannot have influenced the decision-making process there, it probably expressed the gist of earlier protests against treating German Jews just like the "native bestial hordes". Such protests apparently led Himmler to conclude, after Jäger’s massacres on 25 and 29 November, that as concerns German Jews his overzealous subordinates were moving too fast for the sensibilities of a significant part of the German administration and people. This, in turn, is likely to have been the reason why he tried to avoid the next execution of German Jews, the one that Jeckeln’s forces carried out at Riga on 30 November. Browing writes:
It is only speculation, but the repercussions of the Kaunas killing may have given Himmler pause. At this sensitive and increasingly uncertain time in the war, he may have decided to postpone the further killing of Reich Jews until it could be done, as Kube urged, in a more discrete and "humane" way.[111]

In his Dienstkalender (service agenda), also quoted by Mattogno,[112] Himmler made notes about a phone conversation at 13:30 hours on 30 November with Heydrich in Prague,[113] including the remark "Judentransport aus Berlin" followed by "Keine Liquidierung". The "Judentransport aus Berlin" was obviously the only Jewish transport from Berlin to reach its destination on that day, namely the transport carrying 1,053 Jews that had left Berlin on 27.11 and arrived at Riga on 30.11.1941,[114] and the reasonable interpretation of the subsequent remark "Keine Liquidierung" is that it referred to this very transport and meant that the same was not to be liquidated or should not have been liquidated. If Himmler meant to avoid the liquidation of the transport as opposed to expressing his displeasure with that liquidation, his intervention came too late as the Berlin Jews had already been killed in the early morning of 30 November.[115] Either way, Himmler on the next day (1 December 1941), following another phone conversation with Heydrich about the "executions in Riga",[116] undertook to assert his direct control over the situation. He sent Jeckeln a radio message (intercepted by British decoders) with the following instructions:
Die in das Gebiet Ostland ausgesiedelten Juden sind nur nach den von mir bezw. vom Reichssicherheitshauptamt in meinem Auftrag gegebenen Richtlinien zu behandeln. Eigenmächtigkeiten und Zuwiderhandlungen würde ich bestrafen. Gez. H. Himmler.[117]

The Jews resettled to the Eastern Territories region may only be treated according to the directives issued by me or by the Reich Main Security Office on my behalf. Actions on own authority and contraventions I would punish.

Jeckeln was also called upon to meet Himmler at his office on 4 December and receive verbal instructions.[118] The fact that Jäger and/or Stahlecker were not called as well suggests Himmler’s being aware that, as hypothesized above, Jeckeln had ordered not only the liquidation of the transport from Berlin at Riga on 30 November but also the preceding massacres of deportees from the Reich at Kaunas on 25 and 29 November. In this context the particular wording of the above-quoted instruction should be noted: Himmler announced that he would punish actions on own authority or contraventions to his directives if they should occur, but didn’t state that such actions on own authority or contraventions had already occurred. This suggests that he was giving Jeckeln the benefit of doubt. His actions at Kaunas and Riga could be forgiven as due to an excessively extensive interpretation of existing guidelines, to Jeckeln’s having assumed that he was allowed to do also to German Jews what he was authorized to do (and what he and others had been doing) to the local Jews. But from now on, as concerns deportees from the Reich, he was to do only what he was expressly instructed to do, and not what he thought was in line with his superior’s policies.

Anyway, whatever the reasons behind Jäger’s ordering the killing of deportees to Kaunas from the Reich may have been, there is no room for reasonable doubt that these deportees were killed as recorded in the 2nd Jäger Report. The departure from the Reich of five trains bound for Kaunas and the number of their occupants can be ascertained on hand of the available train records.[119] The arrival of these trains at Kaunas is also proven by German documents, something that even Mattogno doesn’t call into question.[120]The names and other personal data of most of the deportees have been established.[121] None of them was ever again seen or heard of after arriving at Kaunas. There is no evidence suggesting that any of them, let alone any such large number of deportees, were ever accommodated in the Kaunas ghetto (where they would surely have been noticed by the locals). There is also no evidence to suggest any onward transportation. And there is the evidence corroborating the information in Jäger’s report, including without limitation the testimonies mentioned below, which Mattgno ignores.[122]

- Dr. Elchanan Elkes, the president of the Kaunas Ghetto's Jewish council, described how he saw columns of Jews passing by the ghetto, who were obviously shouting where they were coming from.[123] Translation:
Two hours ago there passed in front of our eyes, before the windows of our houses, many thousand Jews from southern Germany and Vienna who were taken with their luggage to Fort IX, which was some kilometers away from us. There they were killed with extreme cruelty. We later learned that they had been deceived. They had been told that they would be accommodated in the Kowno ghetto.

- An eyewitness by the name of Kulisch provided an account of the massacre on 25 November 1941. [124] Translation:
The Gestapo men and the Lithuanians ordered the people to line up in a row, in groups of 80 persons, and seemingly ordered morning calisthenics in the fort's yard. Then they made the people run in the direction of the pits. At the pits they beat the victims as soon as they tried to run away. Most victims were shot after they had fallen into the pits. The shots were fired from machine guns set up on the wooded hill by the graves. Those who did not run or ran in another direction were shot on site by those Lithuanians and Germans who had earlier grouped them together.

- Based on information received from Kaunas, Breslau Cardinal Adolf Bertram wrote a report that is partially translated below.[125]
In Kowno there are transports from Berlin. However it is doubted whether one of them is still alive. […] Not a word so far of the deportees from Kowno. Instead reports from an academic born in Kaunas (Kowno), Aryan, Lithuanian, who a few weeks ago returned to Berlin and came from K[owno]: Not only the Jews of the very large Jewish community of Kowno had been shot in their tens of thousands, but also those deported there from Germany. With certainty he confirmed the repeated question whether it was certain that the transport from Berlin to K[owno] had been shot. He received the following information about this shooting from a person who had himself participated in this shooting and approvingly described this execution as follows: The Jews coming from G[ermany] had to completely undress (the temperature was 18 degrees cold), then step into ‘pits’ [Gruben] that had previously been dug by Russian prisoners of war. Thereupon they were shot with machine guns; grenades were additionally thrown in. Without control whether all were dead, the order was given to close the pits. Both the Lithuanian and the German non-Aryans, Christians as well as Jews, died with calm and composure. They prayed together and went to their deaths singing psalms.

- Jewish forced laborers sorted some of the belongings that had been left at the station. They found deportation orders, which revealed that the Jews thought they would be taken to work in the Eastern Territories. The husband of Rosa Simon worked in this detachment and "was so shocked" that he couldn’t talk to his family for several days. They had emptied elegant suitcases "which were filled with wonderful jewelry, precious stones, furs, clothes, among them the most exquisite Viennese knitwear and handicrafts." [126]

- The perpetrators were men of the KdS (Jäger) together with Lithuanians of the 1st Schutzmannschaft Battalion under Major Šimkus and the Lithuanian prison staff of Fort IX. A former member of the KdS, Kurt M., testified on 1.3.1972 that "the whole detachment" had "in the early morning formed up for the shooting of a whole train with Jews from the Reich."[127]

- The Kaunas massacres of Reich Jews were also mentioned in the Soviet prosecution’s presentation of evidence at the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, albeit without revealing that the victims were Jews:
[…] Besides Soviet citizens the Hitlerites exterminated French, Austrian, and Czechoslovak citizens in Fort Number 9.
"A former supervisor of Fort Number 9, the witness Naudjunas, testified: "'The first group of foreigners, numbering 4,000, arrived at the fort in December 1941. I talked to one of the women, who said that they were being transported to Russia, allegedly for work. On 10 December 1941 the extermination of foreigners began. They were ordered to leave the fort in groups of 100 people, allegedly for inoculations. Those who left for inoculations did not return. All 4,000 foreigners were shot. On 15 December 1941 another group arrived, numbering approximately 3,000 persons, which was also exterminated."'[128]

To be sure, not all details in the above-mentioned evidence can be taken at face value. For instance, the witness adduced by the Soviet prosecution got the dates wrong and (slightly) exaggerated the number of victims, and Cardinal Bertram’s statement that the victims (who could have included converts to the Christian faith) went to their deaths praying and singing psalms may have just been the attempt of a religious person to find consolation over the horrible events recorded. However, one cannot reasonably argue that the aforementioned evidence fails to confirm the fact that, as recorded in the 2nd Jäger Report, Jewish deportees from the Reich were massacred at Kaunas Fort IX on 25 and 29 November 1941.

Against the corroborating evidence listed above, what has Mattogno got to offer?

Following his considerations about the decision-making process behind the Kaunas massacre of the Reich Jews, Mattogno cites a letter dated 10 February 1942 sent by the Gebietskommissar of Riga (Land) to the RKO (Lohse), about a transport of Jews from Kaunas that had arrived at Riga two days before, on 8 February.[129] The author of the document complained that instead of 500 male workers only 222 male and 137 female workers had been sent, and asked for an additional 1,000 Jewish workers from Kaunas. Apart from the fact that November 1941 and February 1942 were two different "eras" as concerns German policies regarding Kaunas Jews (the former was before, the latter after it had been decided to spare a certain number of essential Jewish workers and their families as reported by Jäger), it defies understanding what the transfer from Kaunas to Riga of Jewish labor (none of which was stated to be of Reich origin) could have to do with what happened to the Reich Jews deported to Kaunas in November 1941.[130]

As I said at the beginning of this article, Mattogno’s arguments in support of his denial of the Reich Jews’ massacres at Kaunas are as long-winded as they are feeble.

The same, as shown in the previous articles of this series, can be said about the rest of Mattogno’s attempt to discredit the 2nd Jäger Report.

The refutation of Mattogno’s arguments against the Jäger Report is thus completed. In the next two articles of this series I will show some documents from the Lithuanian Central State Archives regarding killing sites mentioned in the 2nd Jäger Report.

Below are some photos I took at the Fort IX memorial site in Kaunas on 11 August this year. They show the enormous size of the killing ground (which is also conveyed in this video) as well as objects found during excavation and displayed in the museum. The latter include objects that obviously belonged to the deportees from Germany, such as a cigarette case with the inscription "September 1921" and a cannikin of "Tangermünder Orangen-Marmelade".



[98] GE1, pp. 188-198.
[99] Wette, Jäger, p. 126.
[100] See Christian Gerlach, "Die Wannsee-Konferenz, das Schicksal der deutschen Juden und Hitlers politische Grundsatzentscheidung, alle Juden Europas zu ermorden", in: Gerlach, Krieg, Ernährung, Völkermord. Forschungen zur deutschen Vernichtungspolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg (hereinafter "KEV"), Hamburger Edition 1998, p. 97. Gerlach refers to a communication dated 8.11.1941 by Einsatzgruppe A to the RKO (Bundesarchiv, R 90/146). According to a handwritten note on this document the RKO had sent a copy to the Generalkommissar for Lithuania, who in turn would have informed Jäger.
[101] These were the massacres recorded in the 2nd Jäger Report under the dates 26.9 (1,608 Jews), 4.10 (1,845 Jews) and 29.10.1941 (9,200 Jews). See Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, pp. 949-958. Mattogno suggests (GE1, p. 92) that the removal of 9,200 "superfluous" Jews from the ghetto was meant to make room for expected arrivals from the Reich. However, unlike was the case in Minsk and (at least a posteriori) Riga (see Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution, Arrow Books 2004, pp. 393 and 395-96; Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 965), there is no evidence pointing to such "make room" background of the Kaunas massacre. There are especially no indications that any effort was made to arrange parts of the ghetto so as to accommodate the expected deportees from the Reich (Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 965).
[102] See note 30. The Jews that according to Stahlecker (pp. 31-32 of the report dated 15.10.1941) had to be spared on account of their indispensable skills were artisans such as glaziers, shoemakers, stove makers/fitters (Ofensetzer) and plumbers/tinsmiths/metal roofers (Klempner). German Jews tended to exercise more "intellectual" professions (most of the 999 deportees from Munich, for instance, were former traders, public servants and corporate employees in leadership positions with their women and children, according to Wette, Jäger, p. 127) and were thus useless in this context – especially when they were of advanced ages. In his second report, for the period from 16 October 1941 to 31 January 1942, Stahlecker stated that only a small part of the deportees from the Reich were able to work and 70-80% of them were women, children and elderly persons unable to work (p. 65 of the report).
[103] Gerlach, KEV, pp. 97-98, citing Kleist’s personal diary.
[104] Gerlach, as above, assumes that it did.
[105] Browning, Origins, pp. 395-96. The Rumbula forest massacre, whose victims included about 26,000 Riga Jews and 1,000 Jewish deportees from Germany, took place on 30 November and 8-9 December 1941. Regarding this massacre see Jonathan Harrison’s recent article Report on the Deportation of Reich Jews to Riga in December 1941.
[106] Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 966, citing the deposition of Tornbaum on 1.2.1962 in the context of an investigation by German judicial authorities against former members of EK3.
[107] Dieckmann, as above, citing a handwritten remark of Lohse’s dated 28.11.1941 on a letter by the BdS Ostland (Stahlecker) to the RKO dated 20.11.1941.
[108] Dieckmann, as above. The administratively correct sequence would have been HSSPF Jeckeln > BdS Stahlecker > KdS Jäger; however Stahlecker apparently was not informed and very angry when he learned about "eine ganz große Sauerei" ("an enormous mess") that had been initiated by HSSPF Jeckeln (Dieckmann, as above, p. 964, citing the deposition of a former member of the BdS office). Gerlach, KEV p. 98, considers Lohse’s presence at the Riga massacre to be confirmed by an entry in the already mentioned diary of Kleist, whereby he had learned about the shooting of 10,000 German and Lithuanian Jews attended by the Reichskommissar (Lohse). According to Gerlach, Kleist’s noting the killing of German Jews without any emphasis is another indication that the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories was in agreement with the killing of German Jews.
[109] Gerlach, KEV, pp. 101-102.
[110] Browning, Origins, p. 394, citing a letter dated 16.12.1941 sent by Kube to Lohse (the original text of the letter can be read in YVA 0.18 - 204, pp. 1-2).
[111] Browning, Origins, p. 397.
[112] GE1, p. 192, citing Peter Witte et al, Der Dienstkalender Heinrich Himmlers, p. 278.
[113] Besides being the head of the RSHA, Heydrich was also Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy/Acting Reich-Protector) of the Reichsprotektorat Böhmen und Mähren (Reich Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia).
[114] See the chronology of deportations from the Reich, which is part of the online presentation of the German Federal Archives’ Gedenkbuch Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933-1945, the memorial book for the German Jews persecuted and murdered by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945.
[115] These were the findings of fact of the Hamburg Court of Assizes (Landgericht) in its judgment dated 23.2.1973 at the trial of Otto Tuchel et al (Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, Vol. XXXVIII, Case No. 789), which Mattogno quotes (GE1, p. 197) after G. Fleming, Hitler und die Endlösung, Wiesbaden and Munich 1982, p. 92. Much of Mattogno’s argumentation regarding the transports to Kaunas is an attempt to dissociate "Judentransport aus Berlin" and "Keine Liquidierung", i.e. trying to make out that the latter had nothing to do with the former. This interpretation is far-fetched, to put it politely. "Keine Liquidierung" without a stated context would make no sense whatsoever, and however terse Himmler’s agenda notes may have been, they still had to contain sufficient information for their author to recall later on what topic had been discussed, which a loose "Keine Liquidierung" would not do. There was also nothing other than the liquidation of that transport on the same day, especially nothing more important or urgent, that could have merited a telephone conversation between the Reichsführer SS and the head of the RSHA, both men with very busy schedules, on the day on which it occurred. Whether "Keine Liquidierung" meant that the transport was not to be liquidated or that it should not have been liquidated (the latter would also serve a purpose as further transports to Riga and Minsk were on the way) depends on whether Himmler and Heydrich knew at the time of their conversation that the transport had already been liquidated. Mattogno argues that the information about a massacre in the early morning of the day cannot possibly have taken until the early afternoon to reach Heydrich (who would have called Himmler after receiving it), but information relayed to a lower-ranking official at the RSHA might actually take quite a while to reach the head of the organization, especially as he was in Prague in his other capacity as Acting Reich Protector. The informing official’s intention being not to save the deportees but to check if their execution was in line with Himmler’s directives or to report that something against such directives might be, was going to be or had been done, knowledge that the execution had already been carried out would not have dissuaded said official from passing on what information in this respect he had as his disposal.
[116] Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 962.
[117] Quoted in Dieckmann, as above.
[118] As above.
[119] As shown in the chronology of deportations from the Reich, the trains left on the following dates: 17.11.41 from Berlin, 1,000 occupants; 20.11.41 from Munich, 999 occupants; 22.11.41 from Frankfurt am Main, 988 or 992 occupants; 23.11.41 from Vienna, 998 occupants; 25.11.41 from Breslau, 1,005 occupants.
[120] GE1, pp. 188-191. The documents cited include a letter dated 20.11.1941 sent by Einsatzgruppe A to the RKO, mentioning that of the 25 transports originally meant for Riga the first 5 would be sent to Kaunas (YVA, 018-166.1), and Operational Situation Report USSR No. 151, whereby the first 5 transports meant for Riga were sent to Kaunas.
[121] A search for "Todesort" (place of death) and "Kowno" in the names database of the German Federal Archives’ memorial book yields 3,771 entries, and a search for "Deportationsort" (place of deportation) and "Kowno" yields 4,001 entries. A list of the "Todesort" names is transcribed in this thread of the HC reference library.
[122] Regarding Wette’s biography of Jäger, Mattogno’s comment in this context is that Wette contributed nothing new and provides no corroboration of the information contained in the 2nd Jäger Report about the murder of deportees from the Reich (GE1, p. 181). In the second volume of his Einsatzgruppen opus (GE2 pp. 242-253), Mattogno treats his readers to another of his familiar lengthy attempts to make out that the cremation of exhumed corpses as described by surviving prisoners in charge thereof was not practicable. Mattogno’s considerations in this respect may be the subject of a future article. For now I just note that at least one of these accounts, a report dated 26 December 1943 written by escaped prisoners, corroborates the 2nd Jäger Report insofar as it mentions the corpses of about 5,000 Jews from Germany and Austria, who unlike the local Jews had been shot with their clothes on (GE2 pp. 242-243). Said report, (from) which Mattogno quotes (after I. Ehrenburg, V. Grossman, The Complete Black Book of the Russian Jewry, pp. 319-320) is also referred to in Jens Hoffmann, "Das kann man nicht erzählen''. Aktion 1005 - Wie die Nazis die Spuren ihrer Massenmorde in Osteuropa beseitigten (Konkret Literatur Verlag, Hamburg 2008), pp. 347-350.
[123] Wette, Jäger, pp. 127-128, quoting after Wolfgang Scheffler, "Massenmord in Kowno", p. 84, in: Scheffler/Schulle, Buch der Erinnerung.
[124] Wette, Jäger, p. 128, quoting from Dina Porat, "The Legend of the Struggle of Jews from the Third Reich in the Ninth Fort near Kowno, 1941-1942.", p. 382. In: Tel Aviv Yearbook for German History 20 (1991).
[125] Wette, Jäger, page 129, quoting after Scheffler, "Massenmord in Kowno", p. 84; Dieckmann, Besatzungspolitik, p. 960.
[126] Dieckmann, as above p. 961, citing a letter written by Rosa Simon to the editors of ‘Yediot Chadashoth’ dated 10.12.1958; this letter was part of the evidence collected by German judicial authorities in the aforementioned investigation procedure against former members of EK3.
[127] As above, p. 960 (note 149). The Lithuanian battalion was obviously the TDA Battalion also mentioned by Bubnys. The participation of this unit in the massacre of the Reich Jews was also mentioned in the interrogation protocol of I. Vylius-Velavičius on 24 December 1945 (Bubnys, Police Battalions, p. 11 and note 32 on p. 33).
[128] Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal ("IMT"), Vol. VII, p. 570. Regarding the Soviet prosecution’s presentation on war crimes against civilians see my article Dividing the Dead – or not (Part 2). A testimony regarding mass killings in Kaunas was also provided by the British prosecution (Document GB-599 – 968-D, IMT Vol. XXXVI, pp. 97-99). In an affidavit sworn before British Army Maj. RE. A.G. Wurmser on 10 August 1946, Chaim Kagan, a former member of the Kaunas Jewish Council who had been in charge of statistics and food supply, recalled the "intelligence" action on 15 August 1941 (recorded under 18.8.41 in the 2nd Jäger Report) and the massacre of "superfluous" Jews (10,500 killed on 28.10.1941 according to Kagan, 9,200 victims recorded under 29.10.41 in the 2nd Jäger Report). Both mass killings are mentioned in Part 3 of this series.
[129] GE1, p. 199. The reference "PS-579", suggesting a Nuremberg prosecution document, is unclear as no document with this reference seems to have been published. The document exhibits in IMT Vol. XXVI move from Document 556(55)-PS to Document 580-PS. I also found no such document mentioned in the index (Vol. XXIV).
[130] Moreover the document suggests a lack of Jewish labor in Riga. That lack of labor was obviously due to the events mentioned here.

1 comment:

  1. Mattogno's claim about the transfer from Kaunas to Riga (n.129) seems not to be in the English translation


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