Saturday, November 16, 2019

Holocaust Denial & Himmler's Report to Hitler on "Jews executed: 363,211" (Part II)

Holocaust Denial & Himmler's Report to Hitler on "Jews executed: 363,211" (Part I, II, III)

The previous part of this series examined Mattogno's bizarre arithmetic and his nearly illiterate understanding of secondary literature in his Einsatzgruppen book on Himmler's report to Hitler on 363,211 executed Jews.

Now, if Mattogno had taken his own credo seriously that only Nazi documents have a historical value (as opposed to non-German documents and testimonies), his confused 9-pages on Himmler's report to Hitler could have been boiled down to a concise two-pager. Several contemporary German sources answer the key points:

How many Jews had been in the Generalbezirk Wolhynien before summer 1942?

Ironically, Mattogno did quote, but not use the most relevant and clear German source on the Jewish population in the Generalbezirk Wolhynien before their systematic extermination was carried out:
"Today, the total population of the General District of Volhynia and Podolia is about 4,630,000, of which approx. 465,000 are Poles and 326,000 are Jews. In the cities, Jews and Poles make up the majority. For example, the cities of Rovno, Dubno, Vladimir-Volhynsk, Lutsk, Kovel, Kostopol, Stolbunov, Brest-Litovsk, Pinsk and Kobrin have a total of 2,438,000 inhabitants, of which 71,300 (around 35%) are Poles and 103,200 are Jews."
(Meldungen aus den besetzten Ostgebieten (MbO) no. 5 dated 29 May 1942, Angrick et al. Deutsche Berichte aus dem Osten 1942-1943, p. 351 f.)

Here you've got it black on white: by May 1942, the Nazis estimated that there had been 326,000 Jews in the Generalbezirk Wolhynien.

The figure is laconically brushed away by Mattogno as "contradicting the statements made above" (i.e. his flawed arithmetics). The Nazis' own figure of Jews should be the benchmark value for him overriding his weird mishmash of misunderstood, false, incomplete figures.

With 326,000 Jews alone in the Generalbezirk Wolhynien, there were, in principle, enough Jewish people in the area assigned to Prützmann to yield a death toll of "363,211". There had been more than 10,000 Jews in the Distrikt Winnitza, more than 80,000 Jews in the Generalbezirk Bialystok (who were in part liquidated in November 1942), and some more thousands in the 320,000 km² of the front and rear army area.

What was the policy towards the Jewish population in the Generalbezirk Wolhynien in the 2nd half of 1942?

On a meeting on 28 to 31 August 1942, the commander of the Security Police and Service (KdS) in the Generalbezirk Wolhynien Karl Pütz talked about "the general resettlement of the Jews" (Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, p. 714).

Afterwards, Pütz instructed his branch offices that "the actions in this region are to be organized in such a manner that, similarly to the areas of Brest-Litovsk, Pinsk, Starokonstantinov and Kamenets-Podolsk, would be completed, within five weeks. At the meeting of Gebietskommissaren which took place in Lutsk, on August 29-31, 1942, the chief of the Reichskommissariat government Dargel told those present that the Reichskommissar himself had expressed his personal and ardent wish that the clean-up be 100% thorough" (Spector, The Holocaust of Volhynian Jewry, p. 172).

The meeting and policy towards the Jews was also mentioned in correspondence between the civil administration and the SS and police leader Wolhynien:

On 25 August 1942, the Generalkommissar für Wolhynien wrote to the Reichskommissar Ukraine on the "Jewish action" that "it was decided, at my request, that the resettlement of the Jews in the rural areas in the rayon towns should be carried out first, and only then that of the Jewish population at the places of the Gebietskommissare". However, in practice "the resettlements were first made in cities with large Jewish ghettos" and the "result is a general unrest among the Jewish population in the rural cities" (Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933–1945 Band 8 [VEJ 8], document 170).

On 31 August 1942, the SS and police leader Wolhynien replied on this accusation that "the actions are carried out in such a way that the resettlements in the district capitals and the rayons are as simultaneous as possible" and that "with the scale of major actions some incidents will be unavoidable and that the smooth running that has been done so far seems all the more remarkable." He also pointed that "at the meetings of the Gebietskommissare in Lutsk on 29 to 31 August, the clearing up of the problem brought complete clarity also towards the Generalkommissar" (VEJ 8, document 170).

In a report of 1 November 1942, the Generalkommissar Wolhynien remarked that "there is not much to report about Jewry, as in most areas the final resettlement is carried out; only now is it more often to be noted that this rabble is defending itself" injuring some guards "assigned to the task of resettlement" (VEJ 8, document 217).

On 8 November 1942, the local area police leader of Brest-Litowsk reported that "on 15 and 16 October 1942, the Jewish action was carried out in Brest-Litovsk. This was followed by the complete resettlement of the Jews in the district of Brest-Litovsk. In total, some 20,000 Jews have been resettled so far." (VEJ 8, document 221).

On 31 December 1942, the Generalkommissar Wolhynien stated that on the "Jewry" that "the cleansing of the area is almost completed" (Pohl et al., Der deutsche Krieg im Osten 1941-1944: Facetten einer Grenzüberschreitung, p. 184).

The loss of Jews in the Reichkommissariat Ukraine was also an issue during Hitler's table talks:
He [Reichskommissar Ukraine Erich Koch] said: I am losing 500,000 Jews here. I have to take them away because the Jews are the element of uproar. But in my area the Jews have actually been the whole artisans. Now they want to build colleges and middle schools so that we can build here the national Ukrainian state, which will fight once against Russia. I am not even able to mend the boots for the worker who has to work here. I can not because no craftsman is there anymore. The Jews are all gone.
(meeting of Adolf Hitler with Wilhelm Keitel and Kurt Zeitzler of 8 July 1943, quoted from here)

How was the "resettlement of the Jews" carried out in the Generalbezirk Wolhynien?

There exist quite some telling German correspondence on what was understood with the term "resettlement of the Jews" (see also Nazi Document on Mass Extermination of Jews in Auschwitz-Birkenau: The Franke-Gricksch Report).

On 24 July 1942, a local police leader of Kamenez-Podolsk cabled that "together with SD in Stara-Uschitza and Studenica...Jewish action carried out. 700 unfit shot dead."(VEJ 8, document 134).

On 6 August 1942, the KdS branch office in Kamenez-Podolsk reported that "703 Jews were executed in Solobkiwzi and Sibkiwzi...501 [Jews executed] in Wonkiwzi and again in Sibkiwzi".  (VEJ 8, document 143).

On  9 August 1942, the KdS branch office in Pinsk noted that "the execution of Jews was carried out in the village Mikasewitschi, Pinsk area. There were 425 Jews in the village. Thereof were executed: 1. 102 men 2. 159 women 3. 159 children. 420 total number. For economic and for sanitary reasons, three engineers and two doctors were kept [alive]." (VEJ 8, document 147).

On 15 August 1942, the KdS office in Rovno noted on "the special treatment [Sonderbehandlung] of Jews" in the Kremianez area a figure of 13,802, thereof 3,421 children (VEJ 8, document 149).

On 18 August 1942, the KdS of Wolhynien wrote to the KdS branch office in Kamenez-Podolsk that he was informed by Hermann Ling that "Jews intended for the DG IV4" were almost about "to be executed, e.g. the executions in the Dunajwec area and Bar were already scheduled". Ling asked to make sure that "in the area next to the DG IV4 the Jews fit for work...shall no longer be executed". The KdS remarked that "the ordered Jewish resettlement will be continued as planned and without interruption. The timely separation of working Jews for the DG IV is a matter of Ling" (VEJ 8, document 154).

On 27 August 1942, a local police leader in Bar reported to the KdS of Wolhynien on  "Jewish actions" that in the period 19 to 21 August 1942 the SD Kamenez-Podolsk has executed 4,304 Jews" (VEJ 8, document 161).

Also on 27 August 1942, the deputy of the Gebietskommissar in Lutsk requested "a special allocation of gasoline and oil for the special treatment of Jews [Juden-Sonderbehandlung]". For "this action about 40 motor vehicles, including 3 cars...were driven without interruption" to conduct "a transport of about 4 km (one way)". In addition, "the trucks were on the way for the supply of workers for shoveling, working equipment, food for the workers, gathering of the Jews from the state goods, etc." (VEJ 8, document 161).

The already mentioned report of 1 November 1942 by the Generalkommissar Wolhynien noted the "rumours in the population, especially in connection with the Jewish resettlement and the German transports" that "it is said that all Poles and Catholics will be concentrated in certain parts of the city and treated like the Jews" and that "now the Ukrainians will be shot, pits are laid out everywhere. The Jewish settlement has used a large part of its inhabitants to enrich themselves in a shameless manner. There is a lack of respect for foreign property, on the other hand, there is no understanding of the reasons for carrying out the Jewish resettlement" (VEJ 8, document 217).

On 9 November 1942, the leader of 10th company of SS-Polizeiregiment 15, Helmut Saur, reported that the men were employed for "guarding at the assembly point, securing the individual transports to the execution site, which was about 4 km outside Pinsk". He goes on that "10,000 people were executed. On 30 October, the ghetto was searched through for second time, on 31 October for the third time and on 1 November  for the fourth time. A total of about 15,000 Jews were brought to the assembly point. Sick Jews and some children left in the houses were immediately executed in the ghetto in the courtyard. In the ghetto, about 1,200 Jews were executed." (VEJ 8, document 219).

The "resettlement of the Jews" in the Generalbezierk Wolhynien clearly meant their extermination by mass shooting at nearby execution sites.

Mattogno's assertion that "the figures reported in the report dated 28 December 1942 are, therefore, for the most part, greatly exaggerated" is unfounded in the light of the German sources. The Nazi documents indicate that an area with more than 300,000 Jews was systematically cleared in the period in question (and it is outright wrong when considering that more than 85% of the deaths can be assigned to specific killing actions, despite the scarce source coverage in some areas).

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