Tuesday, February 01, 2011

More «Evidence for the Presence of "Gassed" Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories» (2)

Part 1


TK postulates that any French Jews in Lithuania prior to the transport from Drancy to Kovno and Talinn on 15 May 1944 must have reached that destination via Auschwitz-Birkenau or Sobibór, the documented destinations of most deportees from France. As pointed out in part 1, deportations of Auschwitz concentration camp inmates as laborers would be a plausible explanation if one is to assume that witnesses were not simply misled by rumors or otherwise mistaken or saying something that Soviet interrogators (according to historian Andrew Ezergailis, quoted by TK, the Soviets falsely claimed that 240,000 Jews had been sent to Latvia and murdered there) wanted to hear.

TK adds some further names to his list of witnesses who reported having seen or heard about "anomalous" Jews, together with contemporary press reports and assertions of "Jewish historian Reuben Ainsztein" (who "does not provide a source") and in a 1946 publication (The Black Book. The Nazi Crime Against the Jewish People, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York) supposedly confirming these witnesses’ recollections: Yudi Farber (heard that at the Ponary killing site near Vilnius "not only the Jews of Vilnius had been shot but also Jews from Czechoslovakia and France"), Kazimierz Sakowicz ("Reportedly Jews from France, Belgium and so on are already being shot in the Fourth Fort in Kaunas"), Aba Gefen (cited a farmer who "said that recently in Vilna 40,000 Jews—not from Lithuania, but from other countries—have been killed"), Moses L. Rage (stated in a written testimony to a Soviet commission that in the spring of 1942 or later "there began to arrive in Riga a series of trains with Jews from Poland, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Holland and other countries" - as no Danish Jews were deported to extermination camps, TK reasons that the witness "could have mistaken Norwegian Jews for Danish Jews"), M. Morein (while looking for the corpses of his parents in 1946 near the village of Kukas near Krustpils in Latvia, he "discovered in a mass grave corpses whose clothes bore French labels"[56]), Szema G. (recalled that "Jews from the most different places" were brought to the Lenta camp near Riga), Kalmen Linkimer (mentioned "Jews sent from countries all over Europe to Latvia, Riga", which in TK’s erudite opinion "certainly implies transports to Latvia of Jews from countries other than just Germany, Austria and the Protectorate"), Avraham Tory (diary passages quoted by TK "indicate that several hundreds of Jews from Łódź were confined in a labor camp somewhere between Kovno and Vilna, not far from a river, and that this group was transferred to Riga sometime in late July 1942").

TK argues that the labor camp mentioned by Tory is one at Vievis, one of the camps related to the construction of the Kovno-Vilna highway, which TK wishes to have been "a major destination and/or transit point for Jews deported to the East" where Jews from the Warthegau were sent "via Chełmno" in 1942, followed by Dutch Jews who in early 1943 "reached the camp via Auschwitz and Sobibór". The evidence for the former is Tory’s mention of Łódź Jews suggesting up to 500 of them ("The Łódź Jews who had been employed at the construction of the Kovno-Vilna highway and were transferred to Riga will be replaced by 500 workers from the Ghetto."). Forced laborers from Łódź deported to Lithuania are supposed to have necessarily gone via Chełmno, despite Chełmno being west of Łódź and somewhat removed from main railway connections for an expedient transit station, as pointed out in part 1. The mention in one of Tory’s diary entries of a young female forced laborer with a rare surname borne by several persons "supposedly" gassed at Chełmno is supposed to give support to this counterintuitive notion, notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence to Chełmno having been a killing center. The Dutch Jews come from TK’s key witness Hermann Kruk[57], whose rumor-based mention of Dutch Jews in Vievis is the reason for TK’s eagerness to place the Łódź Jews mentioned by Tory in the same camp.

In the first part of his "study" TK quoted a long slab of text from the partial transcription of a graduation thesis by historian Neringa Latvyte-Gustaitiene about the fate of the Jewish people in the Trakai district, which is based on original research in various Lithuanian archives, KGB and police records, as well as personal interviews[58]. TK hypocritically complained that Latvyte-Gustaitiene’ detailed reconstruction of events at this camp is "based almost exclusively on post-war testimonies" (a source of evidence he has no problems with when it suits him), perhaps to obfuscate the silliness of his conjectures in the face of this study, which shows that the Vievis camp was quite a murderous but also a rather small place, whose roster of permanent inmates (regularly bumped off or transferred to the Vilnius or Kaunas ghettos, and replaced by others) never seems to have exceeded the 700 Jews present in May 1942 (Tory’s diary entries invoked by TK point in the same direction, if referring to Vievis as TK assumes). Latvyte-Gustaitiene mentions only one "big group" of Jews that arrived at Vievis in September 1943, overwhelmingly consisting of non-workers killed at Panierai.[59] These killings, described by Vievis survivor G.Katz[60], were disputed by TK with the feeble argument that the treatment of ill inmates from the Vievis camp in the Vilna or Kovno ghettos "does not square well with the assertion that Jews from the same camp were shot in large numbers at Ponary"[61].

TK tries to impress his readers with an alphabetically ordered "partial" list of camps with Jewish "detainees" in Lithuania. The largest such places he mentions are the ghetto of Panevezys (Ponevezh), a city in northern Lithuania, where "according to the witness Reska Weiss there lived as many as 30,000 Jews in the camp in the summer of 1944" (if not misrepresented by TK, this witness must have been lousy at figures, for Panevezys had a total population of 26,000 in 1939 [62] – maybe she meant the city’s entire and mostly non-Jewish population swelled by war refugees), and the ghetto of Šiauliai, which according to the same Reska Weiss held as many as 30,000 Jews in the summer of 1944 – also an exaggeration by several orders of magnitude considering contemporary German documentary evidence that will be addressed below. Then there is the Provienishok (Pravieniskis) labor camp, which according to a study edited by Martin Weinmann (or according to TK’s rendering thereof) «housed 5,000 – 6,000 inmates "working in the woods"»; considering Avraham Tory’s mention of "thousands of Jews" in several camps working on the construction of the Kovno-Vilna highway, it seems probable that the mentioned publication is referring to a complex of various camps rather than a single camp. In another camp, Petrasunai (Petrasun), "accommodations for 5,000 Jews were reportedly under construction" – whether this project was ever finished seems to be unknown. The other camps listed by TK, insofar as there is information about the number of their inmates, are rather small (Babtai – some 1,500 Jews; Batcum, a camp belonging to the Šiauliai Ghettoo – 500 - 1,000; Ezereliai (Ezerilis) - "accommodations for 1,200"; Kazlu-Ruda (Raudondvaris) - 300, Kiena – 300 in all, burned alive in July 1943; Koschedaren (Kaisiadorys) – 350; Marijampolé – 400; Podbrodzie - 400 in early May 1942; Sorok Tatary – 400 Jews; Zezmer (Ziezmariai) – 1,200 in early May 1943).

TK’s sources are the accounts of Avraham Tory and Hermann Kruk, the volume Das nationalsozialistische Lagersystem (The National Socialist Camp System) edited by Martin Weinmann, an article by historian Christoph Dieckmann, ("Das Ghetto und das Konzentrationslager in Kaunas 1941-1944", in: Ulrich Herbert, Karin Orth, Christoph Dieckmann (eds.), Die nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager: Entwicklung und Struktur), a book by Alex Yakovlev (The Tragedy of Lithuania 1941-1944, Yaroslav 2008), another by Harry Gordon (The Shadow of Death. The Holocaust in Lithuania, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington 1992) and (for the aforementioned overestimates on the populations of the Panevezys and Šiauliai ghettos) the memoirs of Reska Weiss (Journey through Hell, London 1961). Yet despite largely relying on what he calls "orthodox literature on the Holocaust in Lithuania" for his list of labor camps, TK has no problem with claiming that reading such literature "one generally gains the impression that there existed only a handful camps in this country during the German occupation", to then spin another of his conspiracy theories whereby "a possible explanation" for "the seeming ignorance of the mainstream historians on this issue" could be that "the large number of camps does not square very well with the firmly established belief that some 75% of the Lithuanian Jews had been killed already by early 1942, and that the vast majority of the survivors were housed in the three major ghettos". After thus projecting deceitful "Revisionist" practices (including his own) onto "mainstream historians", TK expresses the hope that "future archival research may perhaps bring more clarity on this issue" and with the help of air photography allow for identifying so far unknown camps and their holding capacities. Then he takes a bold leap to the conclusion that

It is certainly not out of the question that a large number of Polish and Western Jews said to have been "gassed"— perhaps even some hundreds of thousands—were interned in Lithuanian camps and ghettos during the years 1942-1944.

All these brave words, however, are not just empty blather but also reveal a high degree of dishonesty, for "inconvenient historian" TK conveniently ignores German documentary evidence referred to in well-known "mainstream" sources that allows for reconstructing the genocide of the Lithuanian Jews and establishing the surviving Jewish population in camps and ghettos at certain relevant times.

On 1 January 1941 there were about 208,000 Jews in Lithuania, of which 8,500 went to Russia after the German invasion of the USSR[63]. The genocide perpetrated against this population by the Nazis can be subdivided into three periods: June – November 1941, December 1941 - March 1943, April 1943 – July 1944.[64] The first period saw the killing of most of Lithuania’s Jewish population by mobile killing squads – about 80 % were dead by the end of it, including almost the entire Jewish population of the Lithuanian province[65]. Most of this killing is recorded in detail in the report written on 1 December 1941 by SS-Standartenfuehrer Karl Jäger (known as the Jäger Report, hereinafter "JR")[66]. Jäger tabulated the killing of 137,436 people between early July and the end of November 1941, mostly Jews and including 2,934 "evacuees" from Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt am Main and 2,000 "evacuees" from Vienna in Kovno on 25 and 29 November 1941[67]. TK honors "Revisionism" by generously conceding that of the Lithuanian Jews "allegedly murdered by the Einsatzgruppen" some "probably were indeed shot—as communists, resistance members, hostages, carriers of epidemic diseases, or for other reaons—". Maybe TK can point out the communists, resistance members, hostages and carriers of epidemic diseases from among, say, the 5,090 Jews shot near Marijampole on 1 September 1941, which are broken down as follows in the JR[68]:

1,763 Jews, 1,812 Jewesses
1,404 Jewish children,
109 mentally ill,
1 fem. German national
who was married to a Jew,
1 fem. Russian

Jäger lamented not having been able to completely free Lithuania of Jews because the civilian administration and the army got in his way regarding Jews whose labor was required[69]:

I can state today that the goal of solving the Jewish problem for Lithuania has been achieved by Einsatzkommando 3. In Lithuania, there are no more Jews, other than the Work Jews, including their families. They are:

In Schaulen around 4,500
In Kauen “ 15,000
In Wilna “ 15,000

I also wanted to kill these Work Jews, including their families, which however brought upon me acrimonious challenges from the civil administration (the Reichskommisar) and the army and caused the prohibition: the Work Jews and their families are not to be shot!

Later German documentation shows that Jäger’s above-quoted figures were too low, presumably because they included only the laborers themselves and not also their families where existing.

For the Jewish inhabitants of ghettos and inmates of labor camps in Lithuania, a period of relative calm followed the 1941 murder campaign, which lasted as long as exploiting Jewish labor took precedence over extermination on Lithuanian territory.

It is known that the Nazis kept meticulous records about the surviving Jewish population, e.g. at the level of the Gebietskommissariate (Regional Districts):[70]

On May 16, 1942 the Vilnius Gebietskommissar (Area Governor) issued regulations concerning Jewish ghettos and labour camps. It was required to list all the ghettos and camps existing in the Vilnius Region, with their location, number of inmates (separately for men, women, and children under ten), the ghetto conditions, the inmates' professions, and their places of work. All important events which had taken place in the ghettos, such as births, admission of new inmates, deaths, escapes, etc., had to be mentioned. [This might have been done in the course of preparations for the May 27, 1942, General Population Census of Lithuania - S.] The same message affirmed that "all Jews must work, are required to work daily and should be fully occupied while there."228 Two months later, on July 10, 1942, more severe instructions were issued, requiring all Jews to be listed according to their ghettos and employers, also registering disabled inmates, children, and those doing work which was not important for the military effort.229

Thanks to such recording the Head of the German Security Police and Security Service in Lithuania could inform the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA - Reich Main Security Office) in April 1943 that 44,584 Jews were left in the Lithuanian General District of the Reichskommissariat Ostland (RKO), thereof 23,950 in the Vilnius ghetto, 15,875 in the Kaunas/Kovno ghetto and 4,759 in the Šiauliai ghetto, with about 30,000 Jews doing jobs needed by the German army.[71]

Starting in early 1943 Jews from smaller ghettos and labor camps (which seem to have sometimes been part of ghettos) were concentrated in the larger ghettos prior to the liquidation thereof, if they were not killed right away.[72] Following Himmler’s order of 21 June 1943 mentioned in part 1, the major ghettos were further decimated and later dissolved, their inhabitants – insofar as they were able to work – being transported to concentration camps, which few survived. In "actions" on 4 and 24 August, and 1 and 4 September 1943, over 7,000 able-bodied Jews from the Vilnius ghetto were sent to labor camps at Vayvari and other places in Estonia[73]. One of these places was the Klooga camp, where about 2,000 forced laborers were shot in September 1944. This massacre deserves special mention because of its publicized visual record resulting from the camp staff’s inability to complete a belated and clumsy attempt to burn the corpses before the Soviet army’s arrival[74].

The entire Jewish population of the RKO was mentioned at the Eastern Ministry’s meeting about "Problems concerning the employment of labor in the Reich under special consideration of the conditions in the Occupied Eastern Territories" in Berlin on 13 July 1943, as follows[75]:

Commissioner General Kube then deals in detail with the Jewish problem in White Ruthenia, where 16,000 Jews are still at work for the Wehrmacht in the enterprises for the construction of farmers’ carts, mainly at Minsk and Lida. The planned evacuation of the Jews is advocated by the Commissioner General, but their replacement by other labor is requested at the same time so that the production program will be maintained.
Gauleiter Dr. Meyer mentioned the resettlement of 22,000 Jews and the concentration of 50,000 Jews in concentration camps in the Eastern Territories and emphasized that the same must be replaced by the Plenipotentiary General for Labor Allocation.

The "evacuation" of the remaining 16,000 Jews in White Ruthenia mentioned by Kube obviously meant their killing, as there was no place they could possibly have been evacuated to at this time and their labor force needed to be replaced. The same goes for the 22,000 Jews to be "resettled" in the entire Eastern Territories (i.e. White Ruthenia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) according to Meyer, whose exposition suggests that the total number of Jews under German control in the RK Ostland prior to this "resettlement" action was 72,000, and that the 22,000 Jews subject to "resettlement" were to be killed in order to reach a target figure of 50,000 Jews in concentration camps set by Himmler[76].

Earlier reports had given the number of Jews in ghettos in the RK Ostland as follows:

Latvia 4,000
Lithuania 34,000
White Ruthenia 30,000
Total 68,000 [77]

These figures did not include several thousand camp Jews; after these were transferred to ghettos in 1943 the ghetto population was reported to have grown to 5,000 in Latvia[78] and 40,000 in Lithuania[79]. The number of Jews still alive under German control in the RKO in mid-1943 was thus about 75,000[80], and the number thereof in camps (or in camps not attached to ghettos) prior to said transfer, according to the official German reports referred to by Hilberg, was about 1,000 in Latvia and 6,000 in Lithuania.

However, the numbers for Latvia mentioned by Hilberg (4,000 before transfer of camp inmates, 5,000 thereafter) seem too low and are presumably based on incomplete reports that did not include the Riga Ghetto. According to other reports issued in early 1943, the number of Jews in the General Commissariat Latvia at that time was the following: 12,000 – 13,200 in Riga, 841 in Regional District Libau, 289 in Regional District Mitau, 454 in Regional District Dünnaburg – a total of 13,584 to 14,784 surviving Jews under German control in the whole of Latvia.[81] Assuming that at the same time the number of Jews in Lithuania was about 45,000 as per the April 1943 report mentioned by Bubnys[82] and 30,000 Jews were left in White Ruthenia as per Kube’s report to Lohse of 23.11.1942[83], the total of Jews in ghettos or camps in the Reichskommissariat Ostland around the turn of the year 1942/43 was the following:

Latvia 15,000
Lithuania 45,000
White Ruthenia 30,000
Total 90,000

By mid-1943 this population had been further reduced to the 72,000 mentioned at the meeting in Berlin on 13 July.

Given these numbers that become apparent from contemporary German documents conveniently ignored by "inconvenient historian" TK, only can only laugh at his above-quoted speculation that a large number "or even hundreds of thousands" of Jews from Poland and Western Europe, held to have perished at Nazi extermination camps, were actually "interned in Lithuanian camps and ghettos during the years 1942-1944".


The same goes for TK’s categorical and equally nonsensical assertion whereby "it is definitely not out of the question that a total of some hundreds of thousands of foreign Jews were indeed transported to Latvia in the period of 1941-1944". With at most 15,000 Jews under German control in Latvia at the end of 1942 according to German contemporary sources, one can only entertain such possibility by fishing for the feeblest of supposed indications while blocking out solid and overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

In doing just that, TK focuses on the Salaspils camp southeast of Riga. This camp, which had the official status of a Police Prison and Work Education Camp (Polizeigegfängnis und Arbeitserziehungslager), was built starting October 1941 by Soviet POWs from Stalag 350/Z as well as Czech and German Jews from the Riga ghetto, who died like flies. Plans in 1942 to expand the camp so as to accommodate 15,000 Jews deported from Germany came to nothing, and by the end of that year Salaspils housed about 1,800 prisoners, mostly non-Jewish political detainees, Latvian returnees from Russia and other persons deemed undesirable or suspect. The largest influx of prisoners occurred between January and March 1943, when Salaspils received 2,228 people rounded up in the course of anti-partisan operations on the Latvian-Russian border, including about 1,100 so called "gang children", of which hundreds perished from typhus and bad living conditions. About 12,000 prisoners went through the camp during its existence. In addition to the Jews from the Riga ghetto who perished during the construction phase, about 2,000 to 3000 people died here, of whom a particularly high number were children and young people from the "gang areas".[84]

Soviet reports whereby 12,000 children including at least 7,000 Jews were held in the camp and used as involuntary blood donors are not confirmed by evidence independent of the Soviets[85]. Neither are Soviet claims that Salaspils was a death camp with tens of thousands of victims, which seem to be based on Friedrich Jeckeln’s statement, during his interrogation by the Soviets on 14 December 1945, that between 55,000 and 87,000 Jews "from Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Czechoslovakia, and from other occupied countries" had been brought to Salaspils and "exterminated" there in the period from December 1941 to June 1942. TK refers to this statement and argues that, as the death toll of Salaspils established by recent research is "only some 2,000", Jeckeln’s claim "does not exclude the deportation of tens of thousands of Western Jews to the camp, providing that a) the Jews were not murdered there, and b) that most of the arriving Jews were transferred on to other camps or ghettos".

Given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary (including but not limited to the aforementioned evidence about the total number of indigenous and foreign Jews under German control in Latvia in 1942/43), this is a conjecture based on wishful thinking rather than reason. As pointed out before[86], Jeckeln may have been telling a story that had been fed to him by his Soviet interrogators, his lower figure of 55,000 presumably resulting from the addition of an assumed 10-12,000 victims of the Salaspils Arbeitserziehungslager to the 43,000 victims of the POW camp Stalag-350-s estimated by Soviet authorities.

On the other hand, the protocol of Jeckeln’s interrogation on 14 December 1945[87] also leaves room for the possibility that none of Jeckeln’s answers was imposed but Jeckeln merely misunderstood the questions he was being asked, was misunderstood by his interrogators or was somewhat-less-than-truthful in his answers in order to protect himself:

Q: Who did the shooting?
A: Ten or twelve German SD soldiers.
Q: What was the procedure?
A: All of the Jews went by foot from the ghetto in Riga to the liquidation site. Near the pits, they had to deposit their overclothes, which were washed, sorted, and shipped back to Germany. Jews - men, women, and children - passed through police cordons on their way to the pits, where they were shot by German soldiers.
Q: Did you report the execution of the order to Himmler?
A: Yes, indeed. I notified Himmler by phone that the ghetto in Riga had been liquidated. And then when I was in Lötzen, East Prussia, in December 1941, I reported in person, too. (3) Himmler was satisfied with the results. He said that more Jewish convoys were due to arrive in Latvia, and these were to be liquidated by me also.
Q: Go into more detail.
A: At the end of January 1942, (4) I was at Himmler's headquarters in Lötzen, East Prussia, to discuss organizational matters regarding the Latvian SS legions. There Himmler informed me that additional Jewish convoys were due to arrive from the Reich and from other countries. The destination point would be the Salaspils concentration camp, which lay one and a quarter miles from Riga in the direction of Dünaburg. Himmler said that he had not yet determined how he would have them exterminated: whether to have them shot on board their convoys or in Salaspils, or whether to chase them into the swamp somewhere.

Q: How was the matter resolved?
A: It was my opinion that shooting would be the simpler and quicker death. Himmler said he would think it over and then give orders later through Heydrich.
Q: What countries were the Jews in Salaspils brought from?
A: Jews were brought from Germany, France, Belgium, Holland,Czechoslovakia, and from other occupied countries to the Salaspils camp. To give a precise count of the Jews in the Salaspils camp would be difficult. In any case, all the Jews from the camp were exterminated. But I would like to make an additional statement while we are on this topic.
Q: What statement would you like to make?
A: I would like to say for the record that Göring shares in the guilt for the liquidations of Jewish convoys that arrived from other countries. In the first half of February 1942 I received a letter from Heydrich. In this letter he wrote that Reich Marshall Göring had gotten himself involved in the Jewish question, and that Jews were now being shipped to the East for annihilation only with Göring's approval.
Q: This does not diminish your guilt. Describe your role in the Jewish liquidations in Salaspils.
A: I have already said that I discussed the extermination of Jews in Salaspils with Himmler in Lötzen. That alone makes me an accessory to this crime. Beyond that, Jews were shot in Salaspils camp by forces recruited from my SD and Security Police units.
The commander of the SD and Gestapo in Latvia, Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Lange, was directly in charge of the shootings. Other officers who reported to me on the shooting of Jews in the camp were the commander of the SD and Gestapo in the Baltic States, Major General Jost; Colonel of Police Pifrader; and Colonel of Police Fuchs.
Q: Specifically, what did they report to you?
A: They reported that two to three convoys of Jews were to arrive per week, all subject to liquidation.
Q: Then the number of Jews shot in Salaspils ought to be known too, isn't that correct?
A: Yes, of course. I can give you the approximate figures. The first Jewish convoys arrived in Salaspils in November 1941. Then, in the first half of 1942, convoys arrived at regular intervals. I believe that in November 1941, no more than three convoys arrived in all, but during the next seven months, from December 1941 to June 1942, eight to twelve convoys arrived each month. Overall, in eight months, no less than fifty-five and no more than eighty-seven Jewish convoys arrived in camp. Given that each convoy carried a thousand men, that makes a total of 55,000 to 87,000 Jews exterminated in the Salaspils camp.

Emphases in the above quote are mine. The first bolded passage shows that Jeckeln was talking about the liquidation of the Riga Ghetto’s Jews, which he had organized [88]. The second bolded passage is Jeckeln’s reference to Himmler’s plan to deport Jews from the Reich and other countries to the Salaspils camp, which as we know now was never implemented. Yet about 25,000 Jews from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia were deported to Riga during the 1941/42 time frame given by Jeckeln (see Table 1), and only a small proportion of these Jews survived[89]. The third bolded passage shows Jeckeln trying to share the blame for the killings with Göring, besides Himmler and Heydrich. Given this context it is not improbable that Jeckeln’s placing at Salaspils (the place where Himmler had intended to deport foreign Jews) the killings that actually took place elsewhere in the Riga area was an attempt of his to shift onto his superiors a greater part of the blame than would correspond to the actual killings at places not singled out for this purpose by Himmler himself but chosen by Jeckeln and other officials on site on their own initiative, like the Rumbula forest. That forest not being far away from the Salaspils camp[90], it is also possible that Jeckeln considered "Salaspils" a sufficiently accurate reference to the killing site. The fourth bolded passage shows that Jeckeln arrived at his figures by multiplying assumed numbers of transports with 1,000 deportees per transport. It is interesting in this context that Jeckeln’s lower number (55,000) coincides almost exactly with the total number of foreign Jews transported to the RKO (i.e. to Lithuania, Latvia and White Ruthenia) in 1941/42 (see Table 1). This suggests the possibility that Jeckeln either mixed up the number of transports going to Riga with the total number of transports the RK Ostland that he must have been aware of in his capacity as Higher SS and Police Leader Ostland[91], or deliberately shifted all killings in the RKO that he had organized or participated in to a single place supposedly pointed out for the killing by Himmler himself. The Soviets, having done investigations and unearthed mass graves (mainly of Soviet POWs) in the Salaspils area[92], may have been too happy with this version to question it, moreover as Jeckeln’s focus on foreign Jews deported to Latvia allowed them to simultaneously portray the Red Army as a savior of non-Soviet peoples or avenger of non-Soviet victims[93] and draw attention away from the mass killing of indigenous Jews, which the Soviet government was uncomfortable about insofar as it challenged the desired portrayal of all Soviet nations as having more of less equally suffered from Nazi occupation with Russian nationals as the predominant victims.[94] In the context of such desiderata, Jeckeln’s reference to Jews "brought from Germany, France, Belgium, Holland,Czechoslovakia, and from other occupied countries" (which is vague enough to make one wonder if Jeckeln really knew or cared what he was talking about) would have been a godsend for his Soviet interrogators.

Historian Andrew Ezergailis pointed out that historians of the Holocaust in Latvia "face two formidable barriers", given that they "need to break through the fog that the propaganda agencies of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union created" because both, for their own reasons, "were intent on misleading the world about the killing of the Jews in Latvia"[95]. Obviously indifferent to these barriers, TK is happy to drop not only what passes for skepticism among "Revisionists", but also reasonable skepticism, in trying to use to his advantage Soviet sources not corroborated by evidence independent of the Soviets. He sees "a glimpse of a possible confirmation" of Jeckeln’s mention of French and Dutch Jews taken to Salapils in an article by Soviet journalist B. Brodovsky mentioning conversations he had with children survivors of the Salaspils camp (who had ostensibly been held there as involuntary blood donors), mostly from Russian or Belarusian lands but including at least one from "Amsterdam" and "two little girls from Paris". With no evidence of any sort to support the notion that children from these places ended up Salaspils, these claims must be regarded on a par with the claim of Parisian Jews by Radio Moscow/Notre Voix[96]. Borovsky’s article having presumably been checked by a censor before publication, it is quite possible that he was instructed to add some foreign Jews to the list of his interviewees (without particulars, of course). Censor-imposed falsifications of press articles or books were not unusual in Stalin’s USSR. Writer Alexander Fadeyev, for instance, was compelled after the war to rewrite his book The Young Guard (about an underground organization in the town of Krasnodon in the Donbas, eventually wiped out by the occupiers) because he had written the story as it had actually happened, with the members of this organization fighting entirely on their own. In the rewrite he had to claim that the Young Guard had carried out their operations at the instructions of the higher Communist Party leadership.[97]

TK quotes a passage from an article by Ezergailis about Nazi/Soviet Disinformation About the Holocaust in Nazi-Occupied Latvia, in which the historian rebuked "a Soviet invention that 240,000 Jews were sent to Latvia and murdered there", pointing out that major camps and ghettos in Latvia could hold but a fraction of this number:

The two larger concentration camps, Salaspils and Mezaparks (Kaiserwald), even after being completed, could accommodate only about 6,000 each. And the Riga Ghetto, after the killing of Latvia's Jews, was never again filled up to its original population of 29,000. A makeshift camp was created in Jumpravmuiza [Jungfernhof], but that housed at its peak no more than 4,000.

Rather than praise Ezergailis’ reasonable and substantiated skepticism about Soviet claims, pseudo-skeptic TK castigates the historian for having failed to "consider" (never mind that Ezergailis, accurate rendering by TK provided, is likely to have mentioned only the major theoretical places of accommodation to make his point) that "there existed a number of other, smaller camps in Latvia (for example Strasdenhof, Dundaga I and II, Lenta, Spilve, Eleja-Meitene), as well as minor ghettos such as those in Liepaja and Krustpils", which apparently are supposed to have contained the balance of the 240,000 deportees claimed by the Soviets or of TK’s "hundreds of thousands of foreign Jews" possibly "transported to Latvia in the period of 1941-1944". Further support of this nonsense is supposed to come from two of TK’s favorite contemporary press reports, one of which (February 1945) claimed that «there existed in the summer of 1944 no less than 21 camps in the Riga district alone, housing at least 15,000 Jews "from Western Europe" as well as 3,000 Hungarian Jewesses» while the other (February 1943) held that "The first step in the policy of extermination was taken Nov. 28, 1941, according to the Manchester Guardian (Oct. 30), when the Nazis established an 'inner ghetto' in Riga, and began to use the main ghetto as a transit camp for Jews from Central Europe." Enthusiasm over the magic word "transit camp" apparently kept TK from noticing that his source mentions "transit camp" in the context of a policy of extermination, i.e. presumably as a station on the way to killing sites. Based on his misreading of an inconclusive source, TK throws at Ezergailis the indignant accusation that the historian "completely ignores the possibility that such deportees may have been accommodated only for a while in Latvia and later sent elsewhere, for example to workplaces near the Leningrad front" - without trying to explain why there is not a shred of evidence to there having been Jews "at workplaces near the Leningrad front" or "elsewhere", what is supposed to have become of such Jews (who would have had interesting stories to tell and compensation payments to claim, had they existed) and why on earth a conscious researcher is supposed to bother with "possibilities", unsupported by and at odds with the evidentiary record, that exist only in the deluded minds of ideologically motivated fanatics. The rhetorical "completely" before "ignores" is the icing on the cake of Kuesian silliness.

TK’s further search for "anomalous" Jews in Latvia turns up the following:

• A mention of Jews from Romania and Yugoslavia "also reportedly exterminated in Latvia", according to a book by Bernhard Press. "Corroboration" comes from an article on 1 January 1943 in a German exile newspaper. TK sharply reasons that since "the surviving Serbian Jews were most likely deported to Transnistria or the Ukraine (cf. 2.4.5.)"[98], these Jews must have been from Croatia. If they were from Croatia, they were "part of the 4,972 Croatian Jews deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1942 (cf. 2.4.4.)" in TK’s book.
• Polish Jews in the Kaiserwald concentration camp near Riga, including one Abraham Grafman from Warsaw, mentioned by Latvian historian Margers Vestermanis, who (reasons TK) may have been deported to Latvia via Treblinka.
• Further Polish Jews in Latvia mentioned by Vestermanis, who is castigated for leaving unexplained how these Polish Jews had reached Latvia. (I’ll do that for him, then. If not refugees from German-occupied Poland who had crossed the Bug after the 1939 invasion, they may have been taken there as forced laborers like the Polish Jews deported to Belarus that Gerlach mentions, it being also possible that some of these deportees to Belarus eventually ended up in Latvia).
• Riga Ghetto survivor and historian Gertrude Schneider’s writings about Salaspils being "a transit center for subsequent Jewish transports on their journey to death in the forest" (a further possible explanation for Jeckeln’s mention of Salaspils discussed above, plus another mention of a transit center on the road to death as opposed to where "Revisionists" would like transit centers to have led to), about lethal experiments made in that camp on Jewish and Slavic children, and about Theresienstadt transports with Jews mostly from the Reich but sometimes from "as far away as France".
• The 22nd Osttransport, "stated to have departed from Berlin on 26 October 1942", with no destination for this transport listed in "preserved German documents" (this must have been the transport 1942-34 mentioned in Table 1, which arrived at Riga on 29 October 1942).
• Further transports in November and December 1942 mentioned by Hilberg (one "of 29 November" that is "listed as destined either for Auschwitz or Riga", one on 14 December "allocated to Riga"; in the absence of known survivors and of evidence to arrival at Riga, Hilberg considered it likely that they were directed to Auschwitz). The first of these transports could be identical with the transport departing for Auschwitz on 24 November 1942 according a compilation from transport lists kept at NARA that TK refers to[99]. In the GFA Memorial Book’s chronology of deportations from the German Reich[100] a transport with a fairly matching number of occupants (998, vs. 1,021 in the NARA list) is mentioned as having left Berlin on 29 November and reached Auschwitz on an unknown date. A transport from Berlin to Auschwitz departing on 14 December is also mentioned in the MB’s chronology, the departure date coinciding with that mentioned in the NARA list. A transport mentioned in that list as departing for Auschwitz on 15 December with 1,061 deportees, on the other hand, does not show up in the MB’s chronology, suggesting a possible mistake in either source (the MB’s chronology, however, mentions a transport leaving Berlin for Auschwitz on 9 December with 994 deportees and arriving there on 10 December). Both sources mention a transport with 100 occupants (Alterstransport, old age transport) leaving Berlin for Theresienstadt on 15 December. TK points out that "Danuta Czech in her Kalendarium lists no transports from Berlin as having arrived in Auschwitz during December or the last days of November". Danuta Czech lists the following transports arriving in that period[101]:

Table 3 – Transports arriving at Auschwitz-Birkenau in late November and December 1942, according to Danuta Czech’s Kalendarium [click on table to enlarge]

The absence of Berlin transports between 25 November and 17 December (except for the Reich transport that arrived on 10 December, which must have been the transport mentioned in the MB’s chronology that had left Berlin on 9 December) indeed suggests that either the Kalendarium is incomplete for this period (or not necessarily accurate regarding the origins of transports, as the mention of a transport from a supposed transit camp at Malkinia – the station passed by Warsaw Jews going to Treblinka extermination camp[102] – suggests), and/or that these transports were directed somewhere else than assumed by Hilberg and mentioned in Lande’s compilation of the NARA lists and/or in the GFA Memorial Book. However, a couple of additional transports possibly directed to Riga don’t help TK much, especially as there are no known survivors from wherever these transports were directed to. It might help him more if he could trace to the occupied Soviet territories any of the 3,732 gassed deportees from the Netherlands (presumably all known by name) that are mentioned in Table 3.
• The testimony of a Salaspils concentration camp inmate sent there by a sympathetic SS-man felt that "we had a chance to survive at Salaspils, although it was a notorious death camp". This is supposed to show that the Salaspils concentration camp, where 2-3,000 out 12,000 prisoners perished, was «definitely not a "death camp"» (not in the strict sense of the term – thanks, we knew that already) and "not a very dangerous place" (let’s hope for TK that he never winds up in a place where 1 in 6 or 1 in 4 people die).
• Two witness statements in a 1963 book about Salaspils that (as our readers may already have guessed) "confirm the presence of Western and Polish Jews in Salaspils" (one witness vaguely mentioned Jewish convoys "from Germany, Poland, Austria, France, Belgium, Romania, Holland and other countries", the other said something about Jews from "Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria and other occupied countries").

I’m looking forward to TK trying to demonstrate how any of these indications (insofar as they can be considered accurate and should not be attributed to unreliable press reports, perception or recollection errors by witnesses not necessarily knowing or caring what they were talking about as concerns the origin of deportees, or simply the good old rumor mill) is supposed to help him over the demonstrable fact, borne out by German documentary evidence, that there were at most about 15,000 surviving indigenous and foreign Jews under German control in Latvia in late 1942/early 1943.

With this I conclude the discussion of TK’s attempts to fill the Reichskommissariat Ostland with "anomalous" Jews, and move on to the rest of TK’s show.

Entries of Interest from the Yad Vashem Central Database of Shoah Victims

Apparently concerned that he might have written too little, TK fills the last 6 pages of his article with further fanciful speculations, derived from entries in the Yad Vashem Central Database of Shoah Victims according to which a number of Jews from several countries died at places "that are clearly anomalous from an exterminationist point of view, but which fit well with the revisionist transit-camp hypothesis". After cautioning that "these entries do not have the evidential value of documents and, generally speaking, not even that of ordinary testimonial evidence", TK presents, and indulges in (further) "could it be that (so-and-so from here or there passed through this or that extermination, pardon, transit camp)" – conjectures about, the names of (are you seated, folks?):

• 62 Polish Jews reported to have died at places in Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia;
• 8 French Jews reported to have died at places in Romania (1 name), Transnistria (Soviet territory occupied by Romania – 3 names), Riga (3 names) or Belarus (1 name);
• 5 Dutch Jews reported to have died, two at Riga and 3 at places in Lithuania;
• 18 Reich Jews reported to have died at places in Ukraine;
• 3 Jews from Luxembourg reported to have died in, respectively, Russia, Ukraine and Minsk.

Now, it happens that the Yad Vashem database contains 1,260,256 million names occurrences of people from Poland; 225,284 from Germany; 198,189 from the former USSR (1938 borders); 163,628 from Romania; 124,591 from Czechoslovakia and 100,000 from the Netherlands.[103] What this means has been pointed out as follows:[104]

To recap vis-a-vis the accepted figures for numbers of Jewish victims from each country:
Holland 100,000 names 100,000 victims
Czechoslovakia 124,591 names 143,000 victims
Germany 225,284 names 160,000 victims
Poland 1,260,256 names 2.7 million victims
USSR(1938 borders) 198,189 names 1.1 million victims

So what do we have here? We have a 100% match for Holland, a better than 80% match for Czechoslovakia, and so many German names that one suspects they mean either Germany and Austria put together (Dimensionen des Völkermords: 160,000 + 65,000 = 225,000), or they are including those who died from suicide and natural causes 'during the Holocaust', but not in a camp.

A 100 % match for the Netherlands, yet out of 100,000 names of Dutch Jews murdered by the Nazis TK can produce a full 5 reported (moreover by sources he acknowledges to have a low evidential value) to have died in places "anomalous from an exterminationist point of view" but which "fit well with the revisionist transit-camp hypothesis". A "hit ratio" of 0.005%, and that’s assuming the entries are accurate and actually mean that any of these 5 Dutch Jews is likely to have passed an extermination camp before getting to the place where he died (as mentioned before, the most that TK could reasonably argue would be small numbers of registered inmates taken from Auschwitz-Birkenau to the occupied Soviet territories in so far unidentified transports). I’d call that a clear admission of defeat from a "Revisionist" point of view, and TK’s presenting it as a however feeble indication in favor of "Revisionism" makes me wonder about the man’s sanity. With the Polish Jews the "hit ratio" is about the same: 62 "anomalous" names out of 1,260,256 names records (0.005%) and out of a historically accepted total of 2.7 million victims (0.002%). And even these 62 "anomalous" cases can be explained as forced labor deportees such as those mentioned by Gerlach, as refugees who had fled from Nazi-occupied Poland to the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1941 or by other circumstances that do not imply their having set foot in any of the known extermination camps[105]. Did TK seriously expect to be doing "Revisionism" a favor with this exercise?

The 18 names from the Reich (a very small an inconspicuous transport at most, which might easily have gone unnoticed) are of special interest for TK because "mainstream historians" do not "acknowledge any transports of such Jews to Reichskommissariat Ukrain". For German Jews the Yad Vashem entries can be checked against the GFA Memorial Book’s name register[106], which turns up no entries for Kiew (Kiev), Woroschilowgrad (Voroshilovgrad), Kupel, Krasnoameysk or Ukraine in general, either under "Deportationsort" (place of deportation) or "Todesort" (place of death). The German Jews included in TK’s list are Walter Haas (domiciled in Frankfurt am Main) Beti Levy, (born 1881, domiciled in Altona) Julius Lewkowicz (born 1876, domiciled in Berlin), Irene and "Kathe" (presumably Käthe or Katja) Tobias (domiciled in Hamburg), Augusta Federlein (born 1883, domiciled in Frankfurt am Main), Chaim Perle (born 1907, domiciled in Breslau), Hedwig Stern (born 1897, domiciled in Frankfurt am Main) and Sally Stern (born 1889, domiciled in Frankfurt am Main). The GFA database provides the following information:
Walter Haas: There are three persons by the name of Walter Haas, of whom one lived in Frankfurt am Main and was deported from there to the Minsk Ghetto on 11/12 December 1941[107].
Beti Levy: There is no Levy or Levi among the 181 names of Altona residents[108], and no Beti (or Betty/Bettina) among the persons born in 1881 with the surnames Levy (42), Levi (17), Lewy (4) or Levie (3). There is, however, a person named Betty Levy, born in 1891 in Hamburg and deported from there to the Riga Ghetto on 6 December 1941[109]. It is possible that the date of birth is mistakenly given as 1881 in the Yad Vashem database, all the more so as the lady’s maiden name was Koppel, which sounds similar to the name of the place "Kupel"[110] where Beti Levy died according to the Yad Vashem database. This stated place of death may thus have been a misspelling of the person’s maiden name.
Julius Lewkowicz: A person by this name is not in the database. However, there is a Julius Lewkowitz, born in 1876, who lived in Berlin and was deported from there on 12 March 1943 to Auschwitz[111].
Irene Tobias: Among 87 persons surnamed Tobias[112] there is no Irene or Irina, perhaps because the lady was entered under her maiden name in the Yad Vashem database (there are 213 Irenes in the Federal Archives’ database).
Käthe or Katja Tobias: There are two persons named Käthe Tobias, one living in Berlin and deported from Darmstadt on 30 September 1942, presumably to Treblinka, the other living in Recklinghausen and deported on 31 March 1942 from Gelsenkirchen to the Warsaw Ghetto. There is also a Katja Tobias, domiciled in Hamburg and deported from there in November 1941 to the Minsk Ghetto [113].
Augusta Federlein: Auguste Federlein lived in Frankfurt am Main and was deported in 1942 to the Lublin Ghetto, where she died[114].
Chaim Perle: No person with this name is in the database (and neither is a Perle or Perla Chaim). The closest match is Heinz Perle, born 1907, domiciled in Breslau and deported on 25 November 1941 to the Kowno Ghetto, where he died the same month[115].
Hedwig Stern: There are 22 persons with this name in the database, of whom two were born in 1897. One of them lived in Frankfurt am Main, was deported in 1942 to the Minsk Ghetto, and was legally declared dead.[116]
Sally Stern: Out of 13 persons named Sally, Salomon or Samuel Stern, one was born in 1889. This lady lived in Frankfurt am Main and was deported to the Minsk Ghetto in 1942[117].

So one can see that, insofar as the names in TK’s list of Reich Jews can be checked on hand of the German Federal Archives’ database, they correspond to persons deported to extermination camps or ghettos compatible with "an exterminationist point of view" (read: the historical record based on scientific historical research, as opposed to what "Revisionist" ideologists would like history to have been), and that the information contained in the Yad Vashem database (if accurately rendered by TK, which I didn’t check) is not necessarily accurate as concerns a person’s stated place of death. While it is not out of the question that a few among the Jews deported to the Minsk or Riga Ghettos eventually ended up at places in Ukraine, where they might have been taken on account of some valuable specialist qualification, this would not mean any deportation from Reich territories to the Reichskommissariat Ukraine so far unknown to historiography or (TK mode on) not acknowledged by "mainstream historians" (TK mode off). No banana for TK here.

On the other hand, the German Federal Archives’ database contains the names of many German citizens of Jewish faith known or presumed to have ended up at extermination camps. There are 2,922 names for Chełmno/Kulmhof, 291 for Bełżec, 5,882 for Sobibór, 7,823 for Treblinka, 1,382 for Majdanek and 46,261 for Auschwitz[118]. It might be interesting to see how many of these individuals (if any) TK can show to have ended up in the Reichskommissariat Ostland, the Reichskommissariat Ukraine or the areas under military administration in the Nazi-occupied Soviet territories.

Please continue, Mr. Kues.


[56]More important than that, he reported the mass grave of a massacre in this area that is also known from other sources, see Jonathan Harrison, Thomas Kues: Mass Grave in Latvia.
[57] Discussed in the critique of Kues Evidence 1, (3,2)
[58] Neringa Latvyte-Gustaitiene, The Genocide of the Jews in the Trakai Region of Lithuania (hereinafter "Latvyte-Gustaitiene, Genocide")
[59] The "alleged mass shooting site Ponary", in "Revisionist" parlance. Photos of some of the tens of thousands "allegedly" killed at Paneirai/Ponary are included in my collection Photographic documentation of Nazi crimes and in the Vilna Ghetto’s online chronicles, Ponary gallery. A trial before the Würzburg County Court in 1950 led to life sentences against two participants in the killings, August Hering and Martin Weiss (judgment published in Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, Vol. VI, Case Nr. 192).
[60] Latvyte-Gustaitiene, Genocide, fn. 245 (wrongly numbered 243).
[61] Refuted in part (3,2) of the respective critique.
[62] Wikipedia page Panevėžys.
[63] Arũnas Bubnys, "The Holocaust in Lithuania: An Outline of the Major Stages and their Results", in: Alvydas Nikžentaitis, Stefan Schreiner & Darius Staliũnas (ed.), The Vanished World of Lithuanian Jews, 2004 Editions Rodopi B.V., Amsterdam – New York (hereinafter "Bubnys, Holocaust") pp. 205-221 (p. 218).
[64] Bubnys, Holocaust, ibid pp. 205-06.
[65] Ibid, pp. 206, 213; see also Bubnys, Holocaust in the Lithuanian Province in 1941
[66] See facsimile (1st page) and translation (1st page) from the report on the THHP site; quotes in my text are from this translation.
[67] Pages 5 and 6 of the report; the killing of the Jews from Germany is addressed in the critique of Kues Evidence 1, part (3,2).
[68] Page 3 of the JR; see also Sergey Romanov, That's why it is denial, not revisionism. Part II: Deniers and the graves of Marijampole.
[69] Page 7 of the JR.
[70] Latvyte-Gustaitiene, Genocide.
[71] Bubnys, Holocaust, as above p. 216.
[72] Bubnys, as previous note, writes that in March 1943 four smaller ghettos were liquidated and around 3,000 people were moved from these ghettos to the Vilnius ghetto. On 5 April 1943 about 5,000 Jews from small towns in eastern Lithuania were killed at Paneriai. At the beginning of July 1943 the Jewish labor camps in Kena and Bezdonys that were part of the Vilnius ghetto were liquidated, about 500-600 of their inhabitants being shot, while 600-700 Jews from the Baltoji Vokė and Riešĕ labor camps were transferred to the Vilnius ghetto or managed to escape.
[73] Bubnys, Holocaust, ibid pp. 216-218. See also the webpage Vilnius Ghetto
[74] See Jonathan Harrison, Bodies Seen By American Journalists at Klooga and Babi Yar and the USHMM photo query Klooga. This photo series includes graphic images that sensitive persons are advised not to watch.
[75] NMT Vol. XIII, p. 1021
[76] Andrej Angrick and Peter Klein refer to the following approximate breakdown of the 72,000 figure in Yitzhak Arad, Ghetto in Flames, p. 402: Vilnius: 20,000; Kaunas: 17,000; Šiauliai: 5,000; Riga/Latvia: 15,000; Minsk: 8,500; Lida: 7,500. See Angrick and Klein, The "Final Solution" in Riga, 2009 Berghahn Books New York/Oxford (hereinafter "Angrick & Klein, Riga"), note 40 on p. 378) p. Gerlach (KM, p. 740, fn. 1275) estimates that of the surviving 16,000 Jews in White Ruthenia 2-3,000 were in Glebokie, 4,000 in Lida and 9-10,000 in Minsk. According to a presentation by the Minsk city labor office (IfZ Fb 85/I, fl. 118) there were 8,500 labor Jews left in Minsk on 9 April 1943.
[77] Raul Hilberg, Die Vernichtung der europäischen Juden, 2007 Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH, Frankfurt a.M. (hereinafter "Hilberg, Vernichtung"), Bd. 2, p. 401. Hilberg referred to the following reports (fn. 428): RSHA Sammelbericht Nr. 7, 12 June 1942, Nuremberg Document NO-5158; RSHA Sammelbericht Nr. 8, 19 June 1942, NO-5157; Kube’s letter to the Eastern Ministry dd. 23 Nov. 1942, Occ (Ghetto collection, YIVO-Institute, New York) E 3-45. Estonia was "free of Jews" according to RSHA IV-A-1, Operational Situation Report USSR Nr. 155 dd. 14 January 1942, NO-3279. The pertinent passage of Kube’s letter to Lohse of 23 November 1942 is quoted as follows in Angrick & Klein, Riga, note 15 on page 376: "In the course of the first year of civil administration, Jewry in the general district [White Ruthenia] has been reduced to about 30,000 in the entire general district." Angrick & Klein also refer to a report by Commander of Security Police Strauch to the Head of Security Police in Riga on 6 November 1942, whereby "There are 27,660 Jews in the overall, White Ruthenian deployment of labor."
[78] Hilberg, Vernichtung, p. 401, fn. 428, referring to a communication to Lohse by Security Police Commander Latvia dd. 1 August 1943, Occ E 3ba-29.
[79] Ibid, referring to report by Security Police Commander Lithuania for April 1943, Occ E 3ba-95, and report from the General Commissioner for Lithuania for April/May 1943, Occ E 3ba-7. Hilberg further mentioned that at the end of 1943 hundreds of Jews were imported to Estonia as laborers by the Kontinentale Öl AG, according to this company’s reports and correspondence.
[80] Additionally there were several thousand so-called forest Jews (Waldjuden), consisting of individuals in hiding and escapees who had joined the Soviet partisans or formed Jewish partisan units (Hilberg, Vernichtung, pp. 400-01).
[81] Angrick & Klein, Riga, p. 369, where the Regional Districts (which the authors or their translator call County Commissariats) are referred to as, respectively, Courland, Jelgava and Daugavpils; the designations in my main text correspond to the map of RK Ostland in Image 3. The sources referred to by Angrick & Klein (ibid, notes 16 and 17 on p. 376) are reports of the competent County Commissars issued in January 1943 about Jewish labor use in their respective county (BA Berlin, R 91/164, R 92/1157) and a note by the political section of the RK Ostland administration (YIVO, Occ. E 3-45). The remaining Jewish population in Latvia at this time largely consisted of survivors from among the about 25,000 foreign Jews deported to Riga in 1941/42 (see Table 1), the local Jews having been mostly wiped out. In the Rumbula forest massacres on 30 November and 8 December 1941 alone, between 25,000 and 27,800 Jews from the Riga ghetto had been shot. Except for 1,000 deportees from Berlin, they were all Latvians (Webpage Remembering Rumbula November 30, 1941- December 8, 1941, referring for the higher figure to Gutmanis and Vestermanis, Latvia's Jewish Community: History, Tragedy, Revival by Dribins (2001), and for the lower to Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia 1941-1944 (1996); detailed description of the massacres in Angrick & Klein, Riga, pp. 130-174.
[82] See note 71.
[83] See note 77.
[84] Information about the Salaspils camp is from the Wikipedia page Salaspils concentration camp, which is mainly based on Angrick & Klein, Riga and on Vestermanis, Marģers Die nationalsozialistischen Haftstätten und Todeslager im okkupierten Lettland 1941-1945 (The National Socialist Detention Places and Death Camps in Occupied Latvia 1941-1945), published in Herbert, Ulrich and others (ed.): Die nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslager, Band 1 (The National Socialist concentration camps, volume 1), Frankfurt/M 2002.
[85] Researchers are well advised to be skeptical about contemporary Soviet reports where such are not corroborated by evidence on which the Soviets could have had no influence. Examples of independently corroborated and thus essentially reliable Soviet reports are discussed in Dr. Nick Terry’s blog Mass Graves in the Polesie and in my blogs Neither the Soviets nor the Poles have found any mass graves with even only a few thousand bodies … and Drobitski Yar.
[86] See the critique of Kues Evidence 1, part (3,3).
[87] Translated excerpt on the Nizkor page The Interrogation of Friedrich Jeckeln.
[88] Angrick & Klein, Riga, p. 130 ff., especially p. 133: "While on an inspection tour to Salaspils, Jeckeln discovered – just off the Riga-Daugavpils road, some 10 km (6 miles) from Riga – a patch of forest that met his requirements. Not far from the Rumbula railroad station stretched a 150-meter wide field, beyond which the forest began. The ground was sandy and slightly hilly, which would make digging easier and at the same time offer a certain amount of protection from view. The trees stood far enough apart from one another that digging pits would present no great difficulties. The place was the Letbartskii Woods, a part of the Rumbula Forest. After determining the site of the mass murder operation, Jeckeln began to work out a plan of action. Given the winter temperatures and the ground frost, it was advisable to dig the execution pits in advance so as not to leave thousands of corpses lying simply in the wood. SS Second Lieutenant Ernst Hernicker, the HSSPF Ostland’s construction specialist, was entrusted with this task. As a first step, he calculated how much space 25,000-28,000 corpses would occupy in the ground and then determined the depth and number of pits according to the estimated volume needed. In a second step, a group of HSSPF Ostland staff members led by SS Major Heinrich Neurath – including Hernicker, Degenhardt, SS Lieutenant Colonel Robert Esser, and ten other persons – inspected the site around 20 November. The digging of the pits began this day as well."
[89] According to German historian Wolfgang Scheffler, out of a total of 31,000 Jews deported to the Baltic States only about 1,100 survivors were counted in 1945 (Ingrid Schupetta, Riga – Massenmord und Arbeitseinsatz, NS-Dokumentationsstelle (Villa Merländer), 2004 (pp. 9 ff. of a collection of articles, especially p. 11). Foreign Jews were largely shot in pits in the Bikerniki Forest; some photos from these killings are shown in my blog Photos from the German East. Of about 25,000 deportees to the Baltic Countries from the territories of the then German Reich only 3-4 % survived (Wolfgang Scheffler, Zur Geschichte der Deportation jüdischer Bürger nach Riga 1941/1942, Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. – 23.05.2000, pp. 1-4 of the aforementioned collection.
[90] See note 88.
[91] Angrick & Klein, Riga, p. 130.
[92]Webpage Salaspils.
[93] Soviet attempts to promote this image of themselves also become apparent from a Radio Moscow propaganda broadcast, published by the Jewish underground paper Notre Voix in France, whereby the "heroic Red Army" had rescued "8,000 Parisian Jews" in Ukraine. Mattogno’s feeble attempt to use this broadcast as evidence in support of the "Revisionist" transit camp theory is discussed in the blog Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology: My Response to Carlo Mattogno (5,2). Soviet endeavors to "internationalize" the Nazis’ victims (or point out their internationality) are also suggested by the Soviet-inspired reference to the victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek camps in the Indictment against Hermann Goering et. al. at the Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal: "About 1,500,000 persons were exterminated in Maidanek and about 4,000,000 persons were exterminated in Auschwitz, among whom were citizens of Poland, the U.S.S.R., the United States of America, Great Britain, Czechoslovakia, France, and other countries."
[94] Soviet resistance to the notion of an extermination program directed specifically against Jews are discussed in Timothy Snyder’s book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, e.g. on p. 342: "The number of Jews killed by the Germans in the Soviet Union was a state secret. The Germans killed about a million native Soviet Jews, plus about 1.6 million more Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian Jews brought into the USSR by the Soviet annexations of 1939 and 1940. The Romanians also killed Jews chiefly on territories that after the war were within the boundaries of the Soviet Union. These numbers were of an obvious sensitivity, since they revealed that, even by comparison with the dreadful suffering of other Soviet peoples, the Jews had suffered a very special fate. Jews were less than two percent of the population and Russians more than half; the Germans had murdered more Jewish civilians than Russian civilians in the occupied Soviet Union. Jews were in a category of their own, even by comparison with the Slavic peoples who had suffered more than the Russians, such as Ukrainians and Belarusians and Poles. The Soviet leadership knew this, and so did Soviet citizens who lived in the lands that the Germans had occupied. But the Holocaust could never become part of the Soviet history of the war."
[95] Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, Preface.
[96] See note 93.
[97] Harrison E. Salisbury, The Unknown War, 1978 Bantam Books Toronto – New York – London, p. 165.
[98] Such deportations never took place outside TK’s conjectures and falsehoods, see the discussion of TK’s section 2.4.5 in the critique of Kues Evidence 1, part (2).
[99] TK’s source is a 2001 article by Peter W. Lande about The "Captured German Records" Collection.
[100] Chronologie der Deportationen aus dem Deutschen Reich.
[101] Danuta Czech, Kalendarium. Gli avvenimenti nel campo di concentramento di Auschwitz-Birkenau 1939 – 1945. Traduzione di Gianluca Piccinini, Luglio - Dicembre 1942
[102] See Ganzenmüller’s letter to Wolff of 28 July 1942, 1947 translation: "Since 22 July one train per day with 5,000 Jews goes from Warsaw via Malkinia to Treblinka, as well as two trains per week with 5,000 Jews each, from Przemysl to Belzek."
[103] The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names FACTS and FIGURES
[104] Dr. Nick Terry Arolsen: AAARGH, all those names.....
[105] Contrary to what TK tries to make believe, it is not "simply unthinkable" from what TK’s puerile "Revisionist" rhetoric calls "an exterminationist viewpoint" that 72-year-old Berl Zoler from Kolomea (assuming he was deported from there and had not escaped to the Soviet Union at some earlier time) would for some reason have been "spared from certain death and transported to Latvia". A 72-year-old man could still be fit enough to justify an exception to the rule. What is simply unthinkable from a point of view of elementary common sense, on the other hand, is that anyone should have been deported from Kolomea in Galicia to the occupied Soviet territories via Bełżec extermination camp (see Image 2).
[106] Namenverzeichnis
[107]Haas, Walter.
[108] Namensverzeichnis » Wohnort » Altona
[109] Levy, Betty
[110] Kupiel (Kupel) is a (village) in the Volochyskyi Raion of the Khmelnytskyi Oblast, in Ukraine.
[111] Lewkowitz, Julius
[112] Namenverzeichnis » Familienname » Tobias
[113] Tobias, Katja Rayla Minka
[114]Federlein, Auguste
[115]Perle Heinz. He was obviously one of the "evacuees" massacred by Jäger’s men as recorded in the Jäger Report (see note 67).
[116] Stern, Hedwig.
[117] Stern, Sally.
[118] Namensverzeichnis » Deportationsort » name of camp (without special characters)


  1. Roberto, porque é que você não cria sozinho um blogue em português?

  2. Mas tem razão numa coisa, eu por acaso estou em falta com o blog Holocausto :-)

  3. Roberto, acho que o comentário do Diogo é reflexo da sua ausência no blog sim embora ele afirme que não o deixaram discutir(eu cortei os comentários propaganda já que ele não respondia a nada que eu o indagava) quando ele e o Joãozinho é que de fato correram da discussão de uma lista que ele abriu uma vez.

    Os dois estão numa onda de tédio profundo, meio injuriados, porque estão se sentindo "ignorados", rs.

    [maldade mode on]

    Mas não se espante, pois está lamúria do Diogo está mais a lembrar um fado, hehehehe. =D

    [maldade mode off]

  4. Espero que o pessoal não se irrite pelos comentários estarem em português, mas só pra aproveitar a carona nos comentários, eu salvei vários links de textos de vocês no HC sobre a Barbarossa, o Suvorov(agora virou "febre" este cara) e o Holodomor, pra traduzir, só que ainda nem olhei os textos novamente pois fiquei de concluir aquela tradução sobre a Ustasha(vou ver se acabo agora) e outra daquele texto do Zimmerman sobre "o fim da negação" que achei que estava concluída(o Leo havia começado)e está faltando só uma parte que espero pôr no ar em breve.

    Assim que eu postar pelo menos uma dessas duas eu vou dar uma olhada novamente nos textos do HC que eu havia deixado marcados em rascunhos pra traduzir depois. Posso não postar nos comentários deste blog com frequência mas sempre vejo e leio o blog.

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