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"Aktion Reinhardt" -- What did it denote?

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed.
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 19 Dec 2004 06:37

Actually, the documentary evidence states that Globocnik carried out Aktion Reinhardt within the Generalgouvernement.

It does not show that Globocnik was the head of the whole of Aktion Reinhardt, which also operated outside the Generalgouvernement.


Evidence?

Oh well, let Globocnik be the head of AR in GG. Doesn't change a thing.
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 19 Dec 2004 06:53

Himmler's letter to Globus, thanking him for carrying out Aktion Reinhardt (sic: not only in GG) for the benefit of the entire German nation:

http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0058-E01.htm

Globus' report on the economic settlement of the operation Reinhardt. The whole operation, since it is not specified that the data pertain only to GG:

http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0064-E01.htm

And, of course, it is only the economic side, which implies non-economic one.

PS: By the way, if AR was done according to sequestration law, why did the documents have to be destroyed?
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Postby michael mills on 19 Dec 2004 12:42

Much is made of the fact that Globocnik, in his final report to Himmler, referred to the "economic part" of Aktion Reinhardt.

Here is how the Staff Evidence Analysis Page interpreted what that meant:


To Himmler Globocnik presents two parts (of Action Reinhardt)

1) Economic portion of Action Reinhardt
a)account of valuable goods obtained and transmitted.
b)account of achievement by the labourers

2)The Economic group's settlement (SWG) whose economic management had been directed by Globocnik, but which is henceforth to be transferred into civilian management.


So the Staff Evidence Analysis Page interprets Aktion Reinhardt as being an economic operation.

The entire Staff Analysis Page can be found here:

http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0064-000.htm

I note that Sergey Romanov posted other pages of this document, but not the Staff Analysis Page. It is obvious why he did not; it refutes his conclusions from the phrase "the economic part of Aktion Reinhardt".
Last edited by michael mills on 19 Dec 2004 12:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby michael mills on 19 Dec 2004 12:55

Sergey Romanov wrote:

While recently I agreed with MM that AR was being conducted at Auschwitz, and I even thought that Pohl's itinerary supported this view, I now think that what happened at Auschwitz, (somewhere at "Station 2 Aktion Reinhard" as per Pohl's itinerary) was simple sorting/repair of Jews belongings from elsewhere. E.g. watches acquired during the AR were being repaired.
This in itseld hardly means that AR was going on inside Auschwitz.


At that time, Jews were arriving at KL Auschwitz, and the property they brought with them was being confiscated and processed.

If Sergey Romanov's interpretation is correct, then two separate processes of sorting confiscated Jewish property were taking place at KL Auschwitz:

1. Sorting the property confiscated from Jews deported from the Generalgouvernement by Globocnik to his extermination and labour camps, the property having been brought to KL Auschwitz from those camps; this process is part of "Aktion Reinhardt".

2. Sorting the property of Jews deported from a number of places of origin to KL Auschwitz by Eichmann; this process is not part of "Aktion Reinhardt".

However, we know that the property seized from the Jews deported by Globocnik, both the property seized in the ghettos and from the Jews arriving at the camps, was sorted and stored at warehouses in Lublin, including at KL Lublin (Majdanek).

Accordingly, the material being sorted and stored at KL Auschwitz most probably was seized from the Jews arriving at that place. That process was included under the code-name "Aktion Reinhardt", even though the Jews who arrived at KL Auschwitz did not come from the Generalgouvernement and were not deported by Globocnik.

Therefore, the term "Aktion Reinhardt" must not have been limited to operations carried out by Globocnik in the Generalgouvernement, but had a wider application. It seems to have referred to the seizure of property from all deported Jews, not only those who passed through Globocnik's extermination and labour camps, but also those who arrived at camps administered by the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps and the WVHA.
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Postby Earldor on 19 Dec 2004 20:52

michael mills wrote:So Reinhardt's ministry was involved in the process of seizing Jewish property from the outset, well before the code-name "Aktion Reinhardt" first appears in documents.


The Germans were robbing the Jews of their possessions even earlier than this. Assertion doesn't make it so. You have, once again, failed to show the connection to Aktion Reinhardt, except in the loosest of terms.

Perhaps Tyas and Witte were unaware of the the Eleventh Supplementary Ordinance, and that is why they got it wrong on this point.


Perhaps you are wrong. That is possible, is it not?

Except for one occurrence, the spellings "Reinhard" and "Reinhart" are used only in documents prepared in Globocnik's SSPF office in Lublin, and in replies from Himmler's office to Globocnik.


I haven't seen Himmler, the Ministry of Interior, the SD, the RSHA or even WVHA protest the usage. In fact, I've seen the documents back up the contention, that AR was an undertaking headed by Globocnik. Why not admit that Aktion Reinhardt referred firstly to the extermination of the Jews in the GG and secondly to the pilfering of their possessions, including their hair and gold teeth among others?

So the question is why Globocnik's office regularly used the aberrant spellings, particularly in 1942.


That is a relatively minor point. My guess would be that the terminology wasn't as precise as we might like it to be. The fact remains, that AR is equated in the documentary evidence with killing and robbing of the Jews in the GG, an operation led by SSPF Lublin, Odilo Globocnik.

You haven't presented any reasons as to why the Germans would use similar code names for the operation. You have based your argument on a single court case. All of your claims so far are assertions, we have seen little or no proof of them.

The source of your sudden interest in the matter seems to be Poprzezcny's book, which you have already previously misrepresented in this forum. From the looks of your contentions it seems that you continue in the same vein.

Just to prove that Poprzezcny agrees with us about the nature of Aktion Reinhardt.

    "Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec formed the triple-legged centerpiece of Globocnik's relatively short-lived but highly effective killing empire. They made the foundations of Aktion Reinhardt."
    Poprzezcny "Hitler's Man in the East; Odilo Globocnik", p. 215

    "Loot taken from the victims, including lifetime savings, was eventually shipped to Lublin for processing by Georg Wippern's specialist sorting team. As will be described below, the acquisition of this loot was an integral part of Aktion Reinhardt."
    pp. 216-217

    This is Oswald Pohl speaking:
    "He [Globocnik, Earldor] was charged by Himmler with the job of carrying out the program against the Jews, known as Action Reinhardt. As far as I can remember Aktion Reinhardt was initiated in 1941 or 1942."
    p. 170

    "At its simplest, the top-secret extermination program that came to be called Aktion Reinhardt was therefore the merging, under Globocnik's control in Lublin, of what was initially intended to be undertaken at Mogilev, perhaps, by the men who had worked in the German and Austrian sanitariums and hospitals gassing to death abnormal or otherwise incurable people. [...] Aktion Reinhardt was headquartered in Lublin, in the Julius Schreck Barracks on 1 August 1942, when the extermination of European as well as the Lublin District's Jews was markedly accelerated."
    pp.163-164

There are numerous other references to Aktion Reinhardt in the book and they leave no ambiguities on the matter. Aktion Reinhardt was the operation to kill of the Jews in the GG.
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Postby Earldor on 19 Dec 2004 21:43

michael mills wrote:Here is how the Staff Evidence Analysis Page interpreted what that meant:

To Himmler Globocnik presents two parts (of Action Reinhardt)

1) Economic portion of Action Reinhardt
a)account of valuable goods obtained and transmitted.
b)account of achievement by the labourers

2)The Economic group's settlement (SWG) whose economic management had been directed by Globocnik, but which is henceforth to be transferred into civilian management.


So the Staff Evidence Analysis Page interprets Aktion Reinhardt as being an economic operation.


Could you point out where exactly the report says that Aktion Reinhardt was solely an economic operation?
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 19 Dec 2004 22:13

Michael Mills deceptively quotes some secondary misinterpretation of Globocnik's report instead of the report itself.
Globus wrote:
The whole settlement contains two parts:
1) Economic part of Operation Reinhardt [...]
2) The economic group's settlement [...]


Nothing is said here about 2 being _part_ of AR.

Predictably, Michael Mills also fails to deal with all the other problems raised.

1. Sorting the property confiscated from Jews deported from the Generalgouvernement by Globocnik to his extermination and labour camps, the property having been brought to KL Auschwitz from those camps; this process is part of "Aktion Reinhardt".


No. I thought so too, but now I'm doubting exactly this. These belongings were acquired during AR, but was their "sorting" and repair part of AR?

Accordingly, the material being sorted and stored at KL Auschwitz most probably was seized from the Jews arriving at that place. That process was included under the code-name "Aktion Reinhardt", even though the Jews who arrived at KL Auschwitz did not come from the Generalgouvernement and were not deported by Globocnik.


That is exactly what you are supposed to prove.
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Postby trbooks on 19 Dec 2004 23:14

Aktion Reinhardt or Aktion Reinhard refers to Heydrich, revionists try to make out that Aktion Reinhradt was named after Fritz Reinhardt in a vain attempt to try and covince the rest of us that it had nothing to do with Heydrich and mass murder. If you look at an early SS list you will ntoice that Heydrichs first name was spelt "REINHARDT" and it took him years to have it corrected. Even in some Nazi publications I have read his neame as "Reinhardt".
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Postby michael mills on 20 Dec 2004 01:05

revionists try to make out that Aktion Reinhradt was named after Fritz Reinhardt ....


This is a singularly uninformed slander.

Reference to the excerpts from the article by Tyas and Witte linked by Earldor show that a range of historians have concluded that "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Fritz Reinhardt, State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance.

Poprzeczny himself also reaches the same conclusion, despite his erroneous belief that the code-name referred to the entire program of exterminating the Jews of Europe (throughout his book he links "Aktion Reinhardt", in his view a program to exterminate the Jews of Europe, with the "Generalplan-Ost", which he alleges was a plan to extewrminate 100 milion Slavs).

Since Earldor obviously has access to Poprzeczny's book he can (if he cares to give up his obsessive hostility for a moment) vouch for the fact that that author accepts that "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Fritz Reinhardt.

The claim that "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Reinhard Heydrich, but that his given name was misspelled, is unsupportable.

In the first place, "Reinhardt" can only be a surname in German.

"Reinhard" can be a surname as well as a given name. But of the two, only "Reinhard" can be a given name.

Reinhard Heydrich was named after the hero of his father's opera "Amen", and the spelling was definitely "Reinhard".

It may be that some poorly educated officials misspelled Heydrich's given name as "Reinhardt", confusing it with the surname. But if so, it was definitely a misspelling, not one that Heydrich used himself.

If "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Reinhard Heydrich, then we are forced to accept that in some documents originating from Globocnik's office in 1942 the correct spelling of Heydrich's given name was used, but later for some strange reason the WVHA forced through an incorrect spelling of his givne name.

Why would a correct spelling be replaced by an incorrect spelling? That is an irrational explanation.

It is more rational to conclude that some early documents, originating in Globocnik's office, used an incorrect spelling "Reinhard", which was later replaced by the correct spelling "Reinhardt".

As I have suggested, the misspelling "Reinhard" may have been deliberate, an attempt by Globocnik (with the tacit approval of Himmler?) to distance himself from State Secretary Reinhardt, who had lent his name to the operation of sequestrating the property of deported Jews, and to mount a psychological opposition to the unpalatable fact that he was administering a program over which Reinhardt had ultimate authority, by linking his work to Reinhard Heydrich.
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Postby walterkaschner on 20 Dec 2004 04:28

The issue posed by this thread becomes more challenging and interesting day by day.

First, I would like to take the liberty of clearing up a misconception, which seems to have lingered on despite my last post.

Earldor wrote (with regard to my post):

You are saying that the Aktion Reinhardt was "primarily an economic" endeavour, and say that the US court case is correct in stating so. I disagree with the primacy of the economic side of things.


No, that is not what I was saying. What I said was that I thought Mr. Mills had correctly construed the court's holding - in other words, I think the court held what Mr. Mills said it held. I nowhere said I necessarily agreed with that holding - indeed I stated in my original post that:

That conclusion on my part does not, however, mean that I necessarily accept the findings of the Tribunal as unassailable gospel. I've been a lawyer far too long for that, particularly where a court's finding is mere obiter dicta and is not crucial to its basic holding.


and went on to remark:

So where does that leave me? Unfortunately as much up in the air as ever as to this precise issue
.

I tried to be more precise in my last post:

I readily confess that I claim no scholarship in this area and do not profess sufficient knowledge to provide a definitive answer to this question, but based on what I do know of the relevant original materials and sources, my tentative [my new emphasis] answer would have to be - both:

I presently think that Operation or Action Reinhard/t - however one wishes to name it or spell it - was an economic adjunct to the ideological decision to eliminate all Jewry from the face of Europe, which latter was reflected in the proceedings of the Wannsee Conference in January 1942. IMHO the methodology reflected by that decision was, in effect, a compromise between the ideological desire to get rid of the Jews, one way or another, as rapidly as possible, (which was to be the mission of the RSHA) and the economic demands to employ their wealth, of which their potential labor represented a significant portion, to the benefit of the Reich (which was to be the mission of the WVHA).


Second, why I don't believe the four pieces of "new" evidence proferred by Earldor are conclusive.

A.) The first two are lists of individuals recommended, and granted promotions, who were stationed and active in one or more of the three extermination camps in the Lubin District, and who were designated on the lists as members of or having participated in Aktion/ Einsatz Reinhard. Well, it is indisputable that there was in fact such an Aktion/Einsatz - whatever its principal purpose - and that Goblocnik headed it up. But assuming for the moment that its principle purpose was economic, and that to fulfill it at the KZ/Extermination Camp level individuals had to be assigned the responsibility of collecting, safeguarding, storing, itemizing and shipping the loot pillaged from the victims, I see nothing inconsistent with listing those individuals as members of or participants in the Aktion/Einsatz, even if such was only a part of their normal duties - nor, indeed, if it was a duty superimposed upon their regular duties, why it should not be grounds for a recommendation for promotion.

B.) So the list of Globocniks' Headquarters Staff names 5 individuals with specific responsibilities for Sonderaktion Reinhard - so what? That is telling evidence that such an Aktion existed - which we knew anyway - but nothing about the purpose of the Aktion itself.

C.) The same applies to the Oaths of Secrecy, although I will admit that without knowing whether such an oath was commonly employed in other special SS endeavors, it could raise one's suspicions that something particularly bad was going on.

D.) The British decode of the intercept. I find this weightier than the other evidence proffered, but here again I don't think it is conclusive proof that the death toll attributed to Einsatz Reinhart was not an incidental, albeit inevitable, result of another purpose.

Third, So what do I at least think is pretty much certain?

Globocnik had been busily killing Jews in the Lublin District of the General Gouvernement, athough on a scale considerably smaller than what came later. Sometime in October, 1941, Chelmno (aka "Kulmhof" in the Warthegau) and Belzec (in the Lublin District) were selected as sites for extermination camps. Although the notion as to Belzec may have originated with Globotnik, it must have received approval somehow in Berlin, as demonstrated by the early transfer of T-4 personnel to Lublin.

Whatever the date of of Hitler's final decision to eliminate the Jews of Europe, it is pretty clear - both from Goebbels' diary and from Hans Franks' announcement to his GG subordinates, that Hitler announced the basic decision to top party leaders on December 12, 1941 in a meeting in his apartment.

And whatever the reason for the postponement of the Wannsee Conference until January 20, 1942 and whatever its original purpose might have been, we have the resulting Protocol and Eichman's testimony about it, a fair reading of which I believe compels the conclusion that the Final Solution there invisioned was the complete (with arguably minor exceptions) elimination of the Jews of Europe, basically by working those capable of it until they dropped, and by murdering ("Sonderbehandlung")those incapable of work.

We also have the urging of State Secretary Dr. Bueler, as reported in the Wannsee Protocol, that the final solution should start in the General Gouvernement.

Of the three so-called Reinhardt Camps, all in Globocnik's Lublin District:

-Belzec (already under construction) commenced extermination operations in March, 1942;

-Sobibor began operations in April, 1942; and

-Treblinka (which had begun as a forced labor camp in 1941) began extermination operations in July, 1942.

But Chelmno and Auschwitz in the Warthegau had also started extermination operations by the Spring of 1942 with, as far as I know, no special code name being assigned to them. Which raises the question: Why was a code name such as "Einsatz Reinhardt" thought necessary to refer to the extermination activities going on in the Lublin District, and not elsewhere? --- and the suspicion that perhaps the code name was intended to refer to something else.

There are apparently respectable historians who believe that that "something else" was a special mission which Himmler had conferred upon Globocnik to gather up, sort, safeguard, and manage or distribute the property of the Jews who had been rounded up for extermination in the East. E.g:

Richard Breitman, the author of "The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution," New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991 writes: "Belzec was the first pure extermination camp to begin operations in the region. There were only a few hundred worker Jews there (at a time), most used in the killing facilities or in the recovery of clothing and items of value from the dead. The first SS men showed up at Belzec in October 1941 to recruit construction workers to build the facilities. Himmler's office had reported the progress of the SS- und Polizeiführer für den Distrikt Lublin - SS- and Police Chief for the district of Lublin, Globocnik to SS Obergruppenführer - SS Lt. General Oswald Pohl, head of what soon became the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office (WVHA), preparing Pohl for cooperation with Globocnik. Pohl's office had reported to Himmler that it could no longer obtain sufficient clothing or textiles for the Waffen-SS and for the concentration camps. Himmler replied that he was able to make available a large mass of raw materials for clothing, and he gave Globocnik the responsibility for delivering them."


Source: http://www.cympm.com/belzec.html

The well-known hypothesis of Robert L. Koehl, Uwe Dietrich Adam, Wolfgang Benz, the Institut für Zeitgeschichte München, et al. that Einsatz or Aktion Reinhardt was named after State Secretary of Finance Fritz Reinhardt is highly questionable.


Source: Ealdor's post of 10:30 A.M. December 18 above.

"
Topography of Terror: Gestapo, SS and Reichssicherheitshauptamt on the >> Prinz-Albrecht-Terrain<<; a Documentation", published by the Topography of Terror Foundation International Documentation and Study Centre, edited by Reinhard Rürup.

The book is patently not revisionist.

Page 136:

Quote:
Text 49

Closing Account for "Operation Reinhard" of December 15, 1943 pertaining to the "Financing and Material Property Assets" from April 1, 1942 until December 15, 1943

[O.R. was the code name for a major (authorised) looting operation of Jewish property in the eastern territory]


Source: Michael Mill's post of 9:02 AM December 9 above.

As Sergey Romanov has indicated above, Aktion Reinhardt extended beyond the extermination camps in the Lublin District, and indeed, beyond the General Gouvernement itself.

From a 1943 report of Fritz Katzmann (Head of the SS-Police for the District of Galicia, which became a part and separate District of the GG in mid-1941):

Gleichsietig mit den Aussiedlungsaktionen wurden die Erfassung der jüd. Vermögenswerte durchgeführt. Ausserordentliche Werte konnten sichergestellt und dem Sonderstab "Reinhard" zur Verfügung gestellt werden. Ausser der erfassten Mobeln [sic] und grossen Menge an Textilien usw. wurden in einzelned erfasst und Sonderstab "" Reinhard"" abgeführt:
[here follows a long list of jewlery, valuables and currency]


My rough translation:

Contemporaneously with the resettlement operations the confiscation of the valuable assets of the Jews was carried out. It was possible to make secure exceptional valuables and place them at the disposition of the "Reinhard" Special Staff. Apart from furniture and a huge quantity of textiles etc, the following items were confiscated and turned over to the "Reinhard" Special Staff:

[here follows a long list of jewlery, valuables, and currency]


Rudolph Höß (Commandant at Auschwitz) himself stated in Cracow, 1946, that :

Aktion Reinhard war ein Geheimname und bedeutete: Sortierung der den liquidierten Juden abgenommenen Sachen.
***************
Bei Beendigung der Sortierung nach jeder grosseren Aktion werden die Wertsachen, wie Geld, in Koffer verladen und auf Lastautos ins SS Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt nach Berlin geführt, dessen Leiter SS Obergrruppenführer Pohl war.Von dort wurden sie der deutschen Reichs- bank übergeben. Diese hatte eine spezielle Abteilung, die sie sich mit den den Juden weggenommenen Wertsachen befasste.


My rough translation:

Action Reinhard was a secret name and meant: the sorting of the things taken from the liquidated Jews.
***************
At the end of each major Operation, the valuables, such as money, were packed into a trunk and tacken by trucks to the SS Economic Administration Headquarters in Berlin, whose Chief was Obergruppenführer Pohl. It had a special Section which occupied itself with the valuables taken from the Jews.


Source: http://motlc.wiesenthal.org/specialcol/ ... r98z3.html
http://motlc.wiesenthal.org/specialcol/ ... r99z3.html

We also know from various sources, that Globocnik was given overall responsibility for the management of various business enterprises previously owned by the Jews, some of which were consolidated into Ostindustrie GmbH ("Osti"), which was under the management of Globocnik until its dissolution.

Fourth, what do I conclude from the above and the views and materials that others have posted?

I just don't think the evidence is sufficient to draw a definitive final conclusion as to the principal purpose of Aktion/Einsatz Reinhard/t, as such. Certainly it was associated with extermination but also smacks- and very strongly - of economic exploitation.

I can not believe, however, that the differences in spelling or terminology demonstrates the existence of two (or three?) separate organizations. Haste, sloppy spelling, poor proofreading of dictated memos, the shroud of secrecy spread over the operation can readily account for such differences - and the existence of two or three separate operations with such similar names would simply have been too potentially confusing to be tolerated.

I do, however, at present and only tentatively think it possible and even perhaps more likely than not, that Globocnik was assigned a special duty, in addition to that of building the three extermination camps and exterminating the Jews from the GG who were sent there - which may have been to arrange for the logistics of their "resettlement", which I believe meant their transfer to a work camp or to a death camp, which ever seemed individually appropriate, to exploite Jewish labor to the maximum degree, and to take hold of the properties of the Jews so resettled - which latter extended beyond the confines of the Lublin District and even beyond the GG, and was specifically under the control and supervision of the SS-WVHA - the bulk of which duty was economic.

But I also think there is a lot more to know than I presently do and would welcome any further leads to original materials which may bear on the issue.

Again, too long a post, but with regards, Kaschner
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Postby David Thompson on 20 Dec 2004 08:14

Thanks, Walter, for another thoughtful and gentlemanly post.
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 20 Dec 2004 08:33

I think the debate about the primary purpose of AR is superfluous. Whether murder was its primary or secondary purpose, it was its part.
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 20 Dec 2004 08:35

In the first place, "Reinhardt" can only be a surname in German.


As was pointed out, this is how his name was spelled in many documents. No cigar.

Reinhard Heydrich was named after the hero of his father's opera "Amen", and the spelling was definitely "Reinhard".


As was pointed out, this is how his name was spelled in many official documents. No cigar.

It may be that some poorly educated officials misspelled Heydrich's given name as "Reinhardt", confusing it with the surname. But if so, it was definitely a misspelling, not one that Heydrich used himself.


This claim is deceptive:

Heinrich Himmler himself told his audience how he first met Reinhardt Heydrich in 1930, and specifically mentioned the unusual spelling: "Heydrich had his first name written with a dt."


http://deathcamps.org/reinhard/action%20reinhard.html

If "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Reinhard Heydrich, then we are forced to accept that in some documents originating from Globocnik's office in 1942 the correct spelling of Heydrich's given name was used, but later for some strange reason the WVHA forced through an incorrect spelling of his givne name.


Which is nothing special.

"Reinhard" or "Reinhardt"?
Witte and Tyas:
What is not widely known is that Heydrich apparently used a different spelling of his name for some time in the 1930s. In a speech on the occasion of the introduction of Kaltenbrunner as Heydrich's successor on 30 January 1943, Heinrich Himmler himself told his audience how he first met Reinhardt Heydrich in 1930, and specifically mentioned the unusual spelling: "Heydrich had his first name written with a dt." When a rumor arose among party members that the young chief of the Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst) might be of Jewish descent, an expert was commissioned to do research for Himmler on Heydrich's family and to come up with an authentic and verifiable family tree. Thus a scholarly "Report and List of Ancestors" on "the racial origin of Naval First Lieutenant Reinhardt Heydrich" was added to Heydrich's personnel files... Every official Dienstaltersliste der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP published by the SS Personnel Main Office between 1934 and 1942 also has Reinhardt as his first name. Heydrich himself tried to have these SS officers' lists changed to Reinhard, but in vain...

Official Stamp
As far as is known, the codename Reinhardt for the mass murder first appeared immediately after Heydrich's death in June 1942... Concerning the spelling, ... one of Globocnik's official stamps displayed the Reich Eagle in the center and the inscription Der SS- und Polizeiführer im Distrikt Lublin - Einsatz Reinhardt. The most extensive and important file on Aktion Reinhardt, the final reports of Globocnik (including two notes by Himmler), have the dt-spelling, in all fifteen times. Much more evidence is available.


http://deathcamps.org/reinhard/action%20reinhard.html

As I have suggested, the misspelling "Reinhard" may have been deliberate, an attempt by Globocnik (with the tacit approval of Himmler?) to distance himself from State Secretary Reinhardt,


Mills suggestion is not based on anything but his wishful thinking.

Why would a correct spelling be replaced by an incorrect spelling? That is an irrational explanation.


For the same reason this name was "misspelled" in many other documents.

The claim that "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Reinhard Heydrich, but that his given name was misspelled, is unsupportable.


The claim that AR was named after Fritz Reinhardt is unsupportable.
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Postby Sergey Romanov on 20 Dec 2004 08:46

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Postby Earldor on 20 Dec 2004 16:27

walterkaschner wrote:Second, why I don't believe the four pieces of "new" evidence proferred by Earldor are conclusive.


I guess the whole thing comes down to would one name a project after its primary or secondary purpose. If you consider the AR death camps to be an integral part of AR, you have no choice but to concede that the name refers principally to the extermination of the Jews.

This article contains some important pointers to publications on the matter: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/belzec1/bel000.html

A.) The first two are lists of individuals recommended, and granted promotions, who were stationed and active in one or more of the three extermination camps in the Lubin District, and who were designated on the lists as members of or having participated in Aktion/ Einsatz Reinhard. Well, it is indisputable that there was in fact such an Aktion/Einsatz - whatever its principal purpose - and that Goblocnik headed it up. But assuming for the moment that its principle purpose was economic,


I don't think that you can assume that the principal purpose of these camps was anything else but extermination. It is evident for anyone who knows anything about the camps.

There was no need to bring these people to these locations to rob them of the remainder of their possessions. They were brought to these places to be killed off, the pilfering was simply a secondary function. I don't think that I need to prove this to you, do I?

So, in case this isn't a legal exercise, I would suggest that the promotion of these people is a secondary issue and the real issue is the heading of the documents, i.e. these people were members of the Aktion Reinhardt and they were intimately involved in the killing of the Jews.

and that to fulfill it at the KZ/Extermination Camp


I'd lose the KZ definition altogether.

I see nothing inconsistent with listing those individuals as members of or participants in the Aktion/Einsatz, even if such was only a part of their normal duties - nor, indeed, if it was a duty superimposed upon their regular duties, why it should not be grounds for a recommendation for promotion.


I find it most unlikely that the members of the AR death camps would be promoted for simply one aspect of their duties, they were definitely no war heroes, so heroics or a single action wasn’t the reason they were promoted. They were given an SS rank at one stage of the operation (at the latest December 1942) and some were promoted on the spot by Himmler on his inspection tour of the AR camps in February or early March 1943.

These were men, whose job was to keep the death camp running, i.e. keep on gassing Jews. Their duties included overseeing, sorting and dispatching of the loot to other camps, but the killing was the primary task. Hence, the primary goal of Aktion Reinhardt was to kill the Jews and the secondary goal was to pilfer the last of the Jewish property; the remainder of it, which hadn’t been robbed by the Germans earlier.

B.) So the list of Globocniks' Headquarters Staff names 5 individuals with specific responsibilities for Sonderaktion Reinhard - so what? That is telling evidence that such an Aktion existed - which we knew anyway - but nothing about the purpose of the Aktion itself.


Again, you need to be aware of what these men did. They formed the team that travelled around the GG to prepare the beginning of transports to the death camps. Their title connects them to the Sonderaktion Reinhardt. Their duties most certainly did not include economics.

This is a quote from an old post on the H-Holocaust group:

"In the "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust," vol. 1, p. 15, in the entry
AKTION REINHARD, he is called SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer (captain) Hans
Hoefle, and in vol. 4, p. 1617 we read again that

Several days prior to the beginning of planned Aktion,
an SS officer, Hans Hoefle, an aide of Odilo GLOBOCNIK
and commander of the AKTION REINHARD unit, arrived in
Warsaw. Together with the Gestapo section for Jewish
affairs, Hoefle drew up the plan for the deportation
from the Warsaw ghetto. Several members of the
Judenrat were arrested and held as hostages, and on
the eve of the deportation, notices were posted
listing the categories of the Jews who were to be
"evacuated.""

You can find several references to Höfle and Worthoff in Czerniakow's diaries.

C.) The same applies to the Oaths of Secrecy, although I will admit that without knowing whether such an oath was commonly employed in other special SS endeavors, it could raise one's suspicions that something particularly bad was going on.


If you truly wish to resolve this issue, you cannot treat these documents as separate from our knowledge of these camps. We know that the men who signed this document were deployed in the AR death camps. The document refers them as members of AR. Ergo...

D.) The British decode of the intercept. I find this weightier than the other evidence proffered, but here again I don't think it is conclusive proof that the death toll attributed to Einsatz Reinhart was not an incidental, albeit inevitable, result of another purpose.


It confers the title Einsatz Reinhart with the killings in the AR death camps. I cannot prove it, but I'm sure you would agree that killing people is considered more grave than robbing them. I'm sure the German perpetrators would agree as well. I find your reasoning in rejecting the evidence flawed.

Some more evidence as to the meaning of AR:

    Christian Wirth's title from August 1942 onwards was "Inspekteur Der SS-Sonderkommandos Aktion Reinhardt." Although his authority spanned also to the Lublin sorting camps, his primary duty was overseeing the AR death camps.

    The Aktion Reinhardt death camp personnel were sent to Trieste with Globocnik and renamed Einsatz R, so the name followed this group of men.

    We do not have the bulk of the documents relating to this operation as Globus himself attests to in his message to Himmler (paraphrased in the US translation on Mazal's site):

    "Globocnik adds that the appended reports should be destroyed soon as have been all other matters pertaining to Action Reinhardt."

    The Aktion Reinhardt/T4 personnel records were also to be destroyed, but luckily for us, there was not enough time for them to burn all the way. Thats why we have the few documents we have, e.g. Wirth's personal files.
-Treblinka (which had begun as a forced labor camp in 1941) began extermination operations in July, 1942.


Treblinka I (the labor camp) and Treblinka II (the extermination camp) are two separate camps that were about two kilometers apart.

http://www.deathcamps.org/treblinka/labourcamp.html
http://www.deathcamps.org/treblinka/treblinka.html

But Chelmno and Auschwitz in the Warthegau had also started extermination operations by the Spring of 1942 with, as far as I know, no special code name being assigned to them.


There has been speculation that Wirth may have been responsible of Chelmno as well in his role as the Inspector of the AR death camps.

Which raises the question: Why was a code name such as "Einsatz Reinhardt" thought necessary to refer to the extermination activities going on in the Lublin District, and not elsewhere?


Maybe simply because the bulk of the Jewish population resided in the GG. I can't remember whether there was a code name for the Semlin operation. There may have been. Maybe there was a code name for the killings in Chelmno, who knows. Was there a need for a code name?

What I think is beyond doubt is that AR referred to the killing of the Jews in the GG, what it meant for the WVHA is another thing that you or Mills may wish to pursue and I would most certainly be interested in the results of your enquiry.

There are apparently respectable historians who believe that that "something else" was a special mission which Himmler had conferred upon Globocnik to gather up, sort, safeguard, and manage or distribute the property of the Jews who had been rounded up for extermination in the East. E.g:


I think you are misreading Breitman. There is nothing in the text that would show that the killing of the Jews wasn't the primary task of AR. The primary task of the AR death camp Belzec was still the killing of the Jews, the sorting and recovery of the rags and other loot was the secondary function.

As Sergey Romanov has indicated above, Aktion Reinhardt extended beyond the extermination camps in the Lublin District, and indeed, beyond the General Gouvernement itself.


Yes, from the point of view of the WVHA. If you were a civil servant, do you not think that it might make more sense in listing the siphoning of the Jewish property under one title, as you yourself have implied a bit further down?

Still, Globus, not Pohl, remains the head of the AR. And the death camps are a pesky little thing to explain away by those who think that AR entailed only the looting of the Jews.

The same applies to Katzmann report and Höss' comments. Nothing in the texts excludes my (and others) interpretation of the meaning of the AR.
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