Saturday, March 18, 2017

Heydrich's Plans in early October, 1941

Author: Jonathan Harrison
We cannot say for certain whether Hitler had decided by early October 1941 to exterminate Europe's Jews in death camps. We can be sure, however, that Heydrich wished to exterminate them on German-controlled soil. Here's how. On October 2, 1941, Heydrich ruled out the resettlement to the East of Czechs who were hostile to Germany because "they would form a leadership class in the East, which would be directed against us [denn aussiedeln kann ich sie nicht, weil sie drüben im Osten eine Führerschicht bilden würden, die sich gegen uns richtet]." He stated that these people should be "put up against the wall [sie endgültig an die Wand zu stellen]." However, two days later, Heydrich met Meyer, Leibbrandt, Schlotterer and Ehlich and moaned that demands for Jewish labour would prevent a "total resettlement of the Jews out of the territories occupied by us [NO-1020, in VEJ 7, p.153: "Dies würde aber den Plan einer totalen Aussiedlung der Juden aus den von uns besetzten Gebieten zunichte machen]."

These statements can only be reconciled if Heydrich's "totalen Aussiedlung der Juden aus den von uns besetzten Gebieten zunichte machen" is a euphemism for killing the Jews within the territories occupied by the Germans, because the statement of two days earlier had ruled out the resettlement of hostile populations in colonies in the East, and Jews were intrinsically a hostile population in the Nazi worldview, as shown by Heydrich's statement at Wannsee that any remnant of Jewry had to be "treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of history)." This is also confirmed by the fact that Heydrich blocked the emigration of Spanish Jews residing in France to Spanish Morocco because, in Heydrich's words, "these Jews would also be too much out of the direct reach of the measures for a basic solution to the Jewish question to be enacted after the war [see Browning's footnote 17 here]." Heydrich's plan was therefore clear; the only question is whether or not Hitler shared it by that date; and if not, how long did it take for Hitler to give the green light?


Strafford said...

I's off topic (or maybe not too much), but i was reading recently the White Paper (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka) and the MKG refutation at the same time and from cover to cover, and I think that the "Holocaust Controversies" bloggers have been so much careless with the sources, often blaming the denialist trio of not knowing them and so on. Very arrogant.

From my point of view, the deniers position are weak and often they employ the old trick "but this does not prove de Holocaust" (when obviously not a single isolated document can prove that), and I can smell quite a lot of wicked rationalitation when analazing the very key documents (Goebbels "liquidation" entry in his diary, the Posen and Sondhofen speeches, etc) but they have their points also. In fact, in many cases its a matter of interpretation of documents and MKG could not be in error in some cases.

I'm eager to see the second edition of the White Paper! When is going to be ready?

Nicholas Terry said...


I think you may have slightly misunderstood the nature of our criticisms of MGK in the white paper. Most of the time, we criticised them for *ignoring* sources that are felt not only by us but many historians to be relevant to the extermination of the Jews, most of all at the Aktion Reinhard camps.

Whether they were ignored with or without knowledge is less important to some extent than the fact that they were left out. It becomes very tedious to have to point out that necessary component parts have not been included in the jigsaw, so I'm sure we didn't handle this always as well as we could, but we were right to note that the jigsaw puzzle was incomplete - pointing that out is not 'arrogant', it's often a simple matter of fact.

In some cases we were quite sure that MGK knew these sources, but had *omitted* them from the three books on Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, e.g. the Goebbels diary entry of 27.3.42 which you alluded to. Since historians routinely cite such sources when writing about these camps then this is a clear problem. In other cases they appeared to be *ignorant* of the sources as they had not at the time (2011) cited literature mentioning them, or had not demonstrably looked through relevant archival files. In many other cases, we felt they had *misinterpreted* the sources they did cite.

Since MGK's response, Thomas Kues has quit the revisionist scene while Juergen Graf has become less active since he needs to make a living as a translator, and he has not published much that is 'new'. Therefore we cannot produce a 2nd edition in the way we had hoped, since two out of three of the authors we criticised are not really in the picture any more. We have produced a number of blog series on aspects, including on Nazi policy, see especially
and on the mass graves/cremation issue, see

We've also widened our focus to consider closely related issues such as gas vans (which we discussed briefly in the white paper anyway), see Hans's series

Currently much fresh archival research is being done by a number of members of the group, which will lead to one or more revised white papers, but these will not be restricted to MGK and will cover more ground than just the Aktion Reinhard camps.

J Kelly said...

That's excellent news, that more white papers are in the works.