Did the Generals know?

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Penn44
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Post by Penn44 » 22 Jul 2007 00:53

ChristopherPerrien wrote:Obviously I can't be that informed on his work since his book has not been released. Obviously this book is being pushed ,already, by some "media interests?" as a confirmation for the old line of "collective responsibility", which IIRC is not something this forum is too keen on by rules.

We will see , I'll look for the book when it comes out, if it proves that this is not the main thrust of his book and just some chapter of it that book reviewers are harping on just because of their own biasness, I"ll retract my "gut reaction" comments about the gist of this topic and this "soon to be released book". Perhaps it is just the biasness of the reviews that has irked me. Pr. Neitzel may well be neutral on the subject.

Chris
Why judge a book before you read it? How many times have book reviews conducted by the popular press been wide of the mark?

The moderators can best give what constitutes the “collective responsibility” charge. However, from what I know, the “collective responsibility” charge is typically issued against nations or peoples, such as the old charge the German nation as a whole was so how responsible for Hitler and the Holocaust. For the most part, that charge petered out during the early portion of the occupation years. From what I have read of the articles on this book, this book reports does not make that charge.

From media reports, what this book purports to do is provide more evidence that German generals knew more about the Holocaust as a group than they later claimed. If this is so, then this book will be a welcomed addition. To say that the German generals as a group knew of the Holocaust is not a “collective responsibility” charge, at least not in the traditional sense of the term. In this case, it is a charge levied against a specific, relatively small, but influential occupational group, and not a nation. From what we already know the charge against the German generals as a group is a valid charge.

The charge that the Wehrmacht knew of and participated in the Holocaust in the East is a familiar historical charge and well-documented. As far as an occupation group does, how could the German generals in the East not have known? Even before the start of the Barbarossa campaign the senior German generals were briefed on the Einsatzgruppen mission, where the groups would operate, and what support the Wehrmacht was expected to provide them. Directives outlying this flowed downward to subordinate commanders. As is known, the Wehrmacht was called upon to support Einsatzgruppen activities in the East with logistical support, and sometimes with personnel support. Wehrmacht personnel witnessed shootings. Even if we did not have their statements common sense dictates the Germans generals had to have known (generals are paid to be “situationally aware“ of what is happening in their sectors), and this book claims to provide even more evidence to support that claim. Through knowledge and with actual aiding and abetting of the Holocaust, the German generals in the East as a group were well implicated. To claim the German generals did not know is wasted effort. As a group, we know they knew. This book provides more information to this effect, and again, we should welcome it.

Milton Himmelfarb once remarked, “No Hitler, No Holocaust.” Let me add to that - No German general support, No Hitler and No Holocaust. Of any group within Germany, the German generals could have stopped Hitler, and prevented the catastrophe.

Penn44

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Post by Penn44 » 22 Jul 2007 01:21

What I do find a crime is the book’s price of £30. Now, with postage to the US, that an additional killer. 8O

Penn44

BTW, the book's price on Amazon is still $33.00 plus postage. Stll fairly steep.


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Post by Penn44 » 22 Jul 2007 01:33

I am somewhat surprised the German generals were not more guarded in what they said for fear of bing overheard.

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Post by tonyh » 22 Jul 2007 01:59

Penn44 wrote:I am somewhat surprised the German generals were not more guarded in what they said for fear of bing overheard.

Penn44
I'd wait til the book is out before judging how "guarded" or "loose lipped" they were. These wonderful smoking gun conversations might not be what they seem.


Tony

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Post by Penn44 » 22 Jul 2007 03:30

tonyh wrote:
Penn44 wrote:I am somewhat surprised the German generals were not more guarded in what they said for fear of bing overheard.

Penn44
I'd wait til the book is out before judging how "guarded" or "loose lipped" they were. These wonderful smoking gun conversations might not be what they seem.

Tony
Yes, lets see.

I must say I am somewhat amazed at how swiftly and how negatively some of our AHF members responded against this book, especially one that they have not even read.

The "smoking gun" has smoked long, long ago. I am also amazed that anyone would be taken back by the claim the German generals knew about the Holocaust unless of course that person is rather ignorant of the war or is a Denier. If anything, this book is only a confirmation from a new source (secret tapping of captured German generals) of what we already knew about the German generals. If the German generals in the East did not know about the Holocaust then it goes a long way in explaining why the Germans lost the war. They lost simply because their generals did not have a clue what was going on within their midsts.

Penn44

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 22 Jul 2007 06:17

I am also amazed that anyone would be taken back by the claim the German generals knew about the Holocaust unless of course that person is rather ignorant of the war or is a Denier.
Neat jib Penn, However I am not amazed at all, at how many people don't realize the extreme ignorance of the scientific method they commit by forming/accepting conclusions(I.E. PROOF of a theory) noting only a few conversations(occurences of an event) out of a sample of 167 out of a total set of 16427. Be they journalists, historians,liberal arts majors, AHF members or etc, It is a "common" sin if you are not a statistician.

Ever give thought to how many of those conversations out of 16427+, was some German General saying he didn't know? Was too busy fighting the war to notice? Probably not, because those (negative) occurences/events don't support your view.
If anything, this book is only a confirmation from a new source (secret tapping of captured German generals) of what we already knew about the German generals.
Confirmation 8-)

My argument is not with the idea/fact that some German generals knew something of the Holocaust/Final Solution. Such occurences are well known. I do have a problem with "collective" conclusions/claims using the very limited occurences of a certain event in this set of conversations, because such claims will not hold up if you attempt to scientifically PROVE them.

Regards,
Chris

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Post by Penn44 » 22 Jul 2007 07:06

ChristopherPerrien wrote:My argument is not with the idea/fact that some German generals knew something of the Holocaust/Final Solution. Such occurences are well known. I do have a problem with "collective" conclusions/claims using the very limited occurences of a certain event in this set of conversations, because such claims will not hold up if you attempt to scientifically PROVE them.

The tapped conversations do not exist alone. There are just one source among many regarding German genocide on the Eastern Front. The sources taken together, yes, one can reasonably claim that the Germans generals on the Eastern Front as a group knew of the German genocide of the Jews there.

If a German general claimed he did not know about the German genocide of the Jews on the Eastern Front, I suggest he is either lying or is stupid, and I doubt that a stupid man rises to a rank of general (exception, some SS generals). It is quite reasonable to assert that the German generals as a group knew what was occuring on the Eastern Front.

We are not making claims about the knowledge of every Heer private on the Eastern Front. What we are talking about is what Division-level and higher commanders knew. Again, these men are required to know what is going on in their sectors, and they had the means to find out. Do not tell me that the majority of the German generals did not know.

Penn44

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Post by Andreas » 22 Jul 2007 09:38

As Penn44 points out, these conversations are really just confirmation of what any reasonable observer had to acknowledge a long time ago, the fact that the "we did not have a clue guv" defense of the German Generals was untenable.
Erschießungen von Juden durch die Einsatzgruppe D, zu denen das AOK 11 logistische Hilfe z.B. durch das Bereitstellen von Transportfahrzeugen, durch Absperrkommandos, aber auch durch Exekutionskommandos (32) leistete, sind Manstein entgegen späterer Beteuerungen denn auch zumindest in einem Falle bekannt geworden: Am 12. Februar 1942 schrieb Ohlendorf einen Brief an das AOK 11, wonach die bei einer im übrigen von der Oberquartiermeisterabteilung des AOK 11 befohlenen (33) „Judenaktion“ in Simferopol „beschlagnahmten Uhren ... ordnungsgemäß vereinnahmt“ worden seien; er habe durch einen Anruf aus der Ortskommandantur Simferopol erfahren, „dass der Herr Oberbefehlshaber die aus der Judenaktion noch vorhandenen Uhren für dienstliche Zwecke der Armee anfordert“ (34), was Mansteins Kenntnis der Ermordung von ca. 10.000 Menschen in Simferopol unter Beteiligung des Sonderkommandos 11, der dem AOK unterstehenden Feldgendarmerie-Abteilung 683 und der Gruppe 647 der Geheimen Feldpolizei voraussetzt; in der Stadt war im übrigen seit November 1941 die Oberquartiermeister-Abteilung des AOK 11 stationiert, während der Stab des AOK „nach Sarabus, einem großen Dorfe nördlich Simferopol“ ging (35).
Sources: 32 So am 26.11.1941, als das dem Kommandeur des Rückwärtigen Armeegebietes der 11. Armee (Korück 553) unterstehende Landesschützenbataillon 836 in Armjansk 14 Juden erschoss, siehe Streit, Keine Kameraden a.a.O. S. 118.
33 Siehe dazu die Vernehmung von Heinz Schubert, Adjutant Ohlendorfs, vom 12.6.1969 in: Klaus-Michael Mallmann / Volker Rieß / Wolfram Pyta (Hrsg.): Deutscher Osten 1939 – 1945. Der Weltanschauungskrieg in Photos und Texten. Darmstadt 2003, S. 155f.: „Ohlendorf hat daraufhin Dr. Braune zu dem Oberquartiermeister Hauck der 11. Armee gesandt, um mitzuteilen, dass die Exekution nicht durchgeführt werden könne. Die Armee bestand jedoch auf der Durchführung des Befehls, und Hauck erklärte sich bereit, Lastwagen und Feldgendarmerie bereitzustellen“.
34 Schreiben des Beauftragten des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD beim Befehlshaber des rückwärtigen Heeresgebietes Süd – Einsatzgruppe D – an das AOK 11 vom 12.2.1941, zitiert nach: Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung (Hrsg.): Verbrechen der Wehrmacht. Dimensionen des Vernichtungskrieges 1941 – 1944. – Ausstellungskatalog. Hamburg 2002, S. 178

Link: http://www.historisches-centrum.de/foru ... s04-2.html

Some more context on Prof. Neitzel: the university where he teaches is a good quality university with a long tradition. His PhD thesis was on the Luftwaffe operations over the North Sea and the Atlantic, 1939 to 1945. He has published an article looking at the effect of the hold-fast orders in the Channel ports in 1944, and those are the two works of his which I have read. They are very well researched, and of high quality. More recently has done work on war crimes in the modern context.

Here is a conservative German paper's view on the book:
FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, 14.10.05, Bernhard Kroener
»Sönke Neitzel hat eine vorbildliche Edition vorgelegt, die die Einzelaussagen der kriegsgefangenen Offiziere mit den Quellen und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieges konfrontiert ... Für eine individuell oder gruppenbiographisch angelegte Motivanalyse liefern die Dokumente vielfältige Ansatzpunkte zu einer differenzierten Betrachtung der Vorstellungswelt deutscher Generäle und Stabsoffiziere, wie sie in dieser Unmittelbarkeit der Forschung bisher nicht möglich war.«
And the German Public Radio:
Volker Ullrich, DEUTSCHLANDFUNK, 19.12.05
»Die Abhörprotokolle, die in den National Archives in London verwahrt werden, sind bereits 1996 freigegeben worden. Doch wurden sie bislang von der historischen Forschung kaum genutzt. Nun hat der Mainzer Historiker Sönke Neitzel das viele tausend Blätter umfassende Material in Auszügen veröffentlicht. Hervorzuheben ist die editorische Sorgfalt, mit der er dabei zu Werke gegangen ist. Er konfrontiert die Aussagen der Gefangenen mit den Ergebnissen der Forschung und korrigiert sie, wenn notwendig. Neben einer ausführlichen Einleitung und einem umfangreichen Anmerkungsteil enthält der Band Kurzbiografien aller ranghohen Offiziere, die in den Protokollen zu Wort kommen.«
http://www.amazon.de/Abgeh%C3%B6rt-Deut ... 3549072619

It is important to note that the book is not merely a transcript, but that Neitzel is putting the quotes into context and confronts them, and corrects them were necessary, with the most recent research knowledge.

Prof. Neitzel has a website with a publication list: http://www.soenke-neitzel.de/

All the best

Andreas

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Post by Andreas » 22 Jul 2007 10:03

tonyh wrote:
Penn44 wrote:I am somewhat surprised the German generals were not more guarded in what they said for fear of bing overheard.

Penn44
I'd wait til the book is out before judging how "guarded" or "loose lipped" they were. These wonderful smoking gun conversations might not be what they seem.


Tony
The book has been out in German for a while, and it appears from the reviews I have read that those conversations are exactly what they seem.

All the best

Andreas

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Post by nickterry » 22 Jul 2007 11:40

Some examples of these transcripts.
GRGG 314, Report on information obtained from Senior Officer PW on 7-13 Jun 1945, 10.7.45

The senior officer PW have been given a showing of the concentration camp film; attendance was compulsory for all inmates of the camp. Their reactions to it were as follows:

Schlieben: That’s the only thing about the ‘thousand year Reich’ which will last for a thousand years
Felbert: Yes, we are disgraced for all time
Oriola: Hitler ordered all those killings
Siewert: Still, it’s no wonder those people starved; we hadn’t anything left outselves
Heim: This air raid on Dresden was a different matter after all
Dittmar: Certainly that was quite different from this direct torture of individuals
Heim: This slow, intentional, systematic murder
Dittmar: That’s why it can’t be compared
Heim: The other (Dresden) could at least be called warfare in the last analysis
Dittmar: You could see that that was not the only purpose –
Heim: But this is an absolute disgrace
Dittmar: This is an absolute disgrace
Fink: (enters) One needs to have seen a film like that
Heim: Röhricht said that compared with the 200,000 at Dresden-
Fink: (excitedly) It can’t be compared with Dresden!
Dittmar: That’s too weak an argument
Fink: The Russian method of shooting in the back of the neck is a kindness –
Dittmar: In comparison with this vileness
Heim: Of course if you dig up a body like that and say that that was a woman – that never looks pleasant –
Fink: (excitedly) But not hundreds of them!

SRGG 1135 (C 0, 9.3.45. General der Kavallerie von Rothkirch und Trach, and Col Hoeffner of PGR 89, Rothkirch captured 6.3.45 as cdr LIII Corps, PRO WO 208/4169
Rothkirch: At one time I had six Divisionen under my command in Rusia and four Bulgarian ones as well, to deal with partisan warfare. But to disavow the question on that administration – no, it’s damned dangerous! If they put one on the list of administrative generals!
Hoeffner: why is it dangerous?
Rothkirch: Well, because all the atrocities took place in those districts, all the shootings and all that sort of thing. I feel very uncomfortable about it all. But I was actually commander in Galicia and I was in the north. I had huge areas under my command. At Minsk I was only concerned with partisan affairs but in Galicia, of course, I was the military administrator. All the mass shootings, gassings etc happened there. And now they say: “What steps did you take against these things?”
Hoeffner: Yes, that’s true.
Rothkirch: They are all such stupid things. One example, for instance: I was cut off for four weeks at Demidow, which is a small town near Vitebsk. And there were Jews there, too. And cut off with me there were the Gestapo. I tell you quite frankly that I don’t know whether Jews were shot during that time or not. But – consider it, provisions were running out.
I have decided to twist all statements I make in such a manner that the Officer Corps appears entirely blameless. Ruthlessly! For those others are perfectly ruthless with us.
(re Partisan warfare school in Russia) One day there was an exercice near Minsk, and the head of the school said to me then: ‘Herr General, that is an unsuitable place for a battle-ground, as bodies are just being burnt there’. ‘What do you mean?’ I said. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘the mass graves are there and the bodies are being exhumed now, and petrol is being poured over them, then they will be burnt and then re-buried.’ Because they didn’t want them to be found.


GRGG 195 16-17 Sep 44
General von Thoma made a come-back with the following description to General Eberbach of an atrocitiy perpetrated by some German troops in Russia:

The men were sitting together one evening in December in a peasant’s cottage at Alexandrowka - that was about 20km from my HQ – there were the Hauptmann, the tank Oberleutnant and the Unteroffiziere, all together in the only warm room. They were drinking their miserable wine ration together. That was all established in the court proceedings. Each man probably had about half a field cup of Schnaps. You can’t get drunk on that, and the Commandant himself strongly denied that they were in the least bit drunk. He said that they were completely sober, which is the extraordinary part of it. Anyway, the following occurred: The Hauptmann said to the oberleutnant:’I can’t stand the sight of these peasants’ faces!… pulled out his revolver and shot down the peasant over the table to which he himself had invited him.
Eberbach: But the Hauptmann received a heavy sentence.
Thoma: Yes, but just wait till you hear the rest; he then told one of the orderlies to take his body away. His wife screamed and howled and ran with their children – a little girl, a little boy and a two months’ old baby – into the farthest corner and sat down on the top of the stove, where she cried, which, after all, is only very natural. He then said to the Oberleutnant: ‘I want my peace; clear them out from up there!’ And he drew his revolver and shot down the woman. Se was likewise dragged outside. That left the little girl, a ten year old boy and a two month’s old baby. In the meantime, they gt in a fellow who was a musiciain by trade and he played the accordion and they went on drinking. Suddenly he sad:’she must go, too!’ So the …said: ‘shoot the other one!’ Whereupon he shot the girl. Then there was the ten year old boy. The Hauptmann said:’Take him out and shoot him outside.’ He was taken outside and he, too, was shot in the neck. The two months’ old brat was lying up there yelling and he said: ‘Away with the little beast’. They knocked it off the stove, picked it up by its foot and threw it out into the snow. Of course, the people reported it the following day. I immediately sent a Judge Advocate there. ‘I must take a psychiatrist along with me,’ he said. They completely denied that they were in the least bit drunk and said they were absolutely sober. During the proceedings they were asked why they had done it. He said: ‘They weren’t human beings that we shot. The Führer said that the Russians are not human beings, they only count as animals; nothing at all can happen to us.’ ‘They are certainly human beings who go about their business like anybody else!’ ‘Sir, the Führer says they are not human beings, we do not admit the fact that we can be charged with murder, for they are not humans.’ That was their defence. Then came the findings of the court martial and one was sentenced to be degraded and to penal servitude and the other, the Hauptmann – because he took part in the shooting as well – got more because he was responsible, and was sentenced to several years’ penal servitude.
I didn’t sign the findings. All the troops were up in arms over that terrible affair. I tell you, the Germans have kind hearts. I demanded the death penalty for both and, what’s more, that they be shot publicly by the troops. But, because they were officers, the Judge Advocate said I was not permitted to shoot them before the Führer had given his consent. Then a week later notification arrived that: ‘The Führer confirms that it is absolutely in order for the men to be punished. But he refused to authorise the death sentence, because according to his standards, the Russians are not human beings.’ They were not punished. They were sent to a sort of penal Kompanie.
These are really incredibly vivid sources, and give some real insights into the Wehrmacht as a whole. I have quoted from them in my research, e.g. Schlieben describing how many vehicle types were used by the 18th Panzer Division, Halder and Mueller-Hillebrand discussing Luftwaffe Field Divisions, and so on.

The interned generals even gave each other presentations on recent campaigns - there are veritable lectures on e.g. the withdrawal from the Kuban.

There are two thick files of these transcripts - considerably more than the 167 which will be published. But space is at a premium in books, twas ever thus.

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Post by steve248 » 22 Jul 2007 13:57

Nick, glad to see you found time to have a look at these secretly monitored conversations. Some of which are incredibly dreary and just as mind-numbing to read as the German Police Decodes.

First of all, it should be said that these "eavesdroppings" have been available at the UK National Archives for at least 20 years. The documents date from 1940 to June 1945. You can therefore see the reason for the huge number of reports, all typed out in German and English translation. Some indeed were encouraged by 'British Army Officers' as an exposition of their military battles given in seminar-form.
Some of these are 20 pages long and good for "military buffs".

Secondly, the prisoners come from rank and file captives, not just Generals, and from every branch of the German armed forces.
The Daily Mail article did not pick up - though Neitzel mentions - that informers among the prisoners were used to encourage conversations. These are not personally identified and Neitzel indicates how their coded identities were hidden among the reports.

Thirdly, a lot of the information is boasting. One example is von Choltitz mentioned in the article as making remarks about the mass executions in the Crimea. I have yet to see any evidence that von Choltitz ever visited the Crimea when his station was 1000 kms north in a different Army Group.

Obviously Neitzel had to pick and choose what reports to use from the numbers available. That said, I don't think he would have found many to dispute his findings. Looking at Neitzel's book (the German edition) he uses 82 reports on the question on "perception of politics and strategy";
61 reports on "We have killed whole populations"; 22 reports on their [the prisoners] reaction to the 20 July 1944 bomb plot against Hitler; and 21 reports on "collaboration with the [British] enemy" and information from the Seydlitz Committee.

If anyone wants to add to Neitzel's research, the gates are open...

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Post by nickterry » 22 Jul 2007 14:22

steve248 wrote:Nick, glad to see you found time to have a look at these secretly monitored conversations. Some of which are incredibly dreary and just as mind-numbing to read as the German Police Decodes.
All files are potentially mind-numbing...

I skimmed these in 2002.
First of all, it should be said that these "eavesdroppings" have been available at the UK National Archives for at least 20 years. The documents date from 1940 to June 1945. You can therefore see the reason for the huge number of reports, all typed out in German and English translation. Some indeed were encouraged by 'British Army Officers' as an exposition of their military battles given in seminar-form.
Some of these are 20 pages long and good for "military buffs".
The wider interrogations combined with the lower ranks do give a very good additional source for Wehrmacht buffs.
Secondly, the prisoners come from rank and file captives, not just Generals, and from every branch of the German armed forces.
The Daily Mail article did not pick up - though Neitzel mentions - that informers among the prisoners were used to encourage conversations. These are not personally identified and Neitzel indicates how their coded identities were hidden among the reports.

Thirdly, a lot of the information is boasting. One example is von Choltitz mentioned in the article as making remarks about the mass executions in the Crimea. I have yet to see any evidence that von Choltitz ever visited the Crimea when his station was 1000 kms north in a different Army Group.
Choltitz served with 22nd Infantry Division at some point in the 1941-2 campaign. He's so mentioned in Carell and a few other places. Since the Crimea is a bit far south for me I haven't double-checked the details. The references are vague; Choltitz also rants about having to do the same in Antwerp.
Obviously Neitzel had to pick and choose what reports to use from the numbers available. That said, I don't think he would have found many to dispute his findings. Looking at Neitzel's book (the German edition) he uses 82 reports on the question on "perception of politics and strategy";
61 reports on "We have killed whole populations"; 22 reports on their [the prisoners] reaction to the 20 July 1944 bomb plot against Hitler; and 21 reports on "collaboration with the [British] enemy" and information from the Seydlitz Committee.

If anyone wants to add to Neitzel's research, the gates are open...
The late war materials I think are the best, especially when they are all agog at the fact that "the Fuehrer" had a girlfriend... that divided the insiders from the outsiders as to who claimed to have heard about the existence of Eva Braun before.

I also like the impression that comes forth about their bitching about each other. Before von Rothkirch arrives at the camp, it's let slip that he's coming, and they elicit all manner of nasty remarks about him, then when he turns up, everyone is sweetness and light.

I maintain you could make a very good theatre or radio play out of some of these transcripts.

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Post by Jacky Kingsley » 22 Jul 2007 15:25

Any idea why the information is being released now? If it had been used at the time of all the trials the outcome may have been very different. Was there a valid reason (apart from the British officials usual cussedness) not to release the information at the time. I am still waiting for a certain topic to be released but the MOD have told me I have to wait another 20+ years.

Jacky

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Post by nickterry » 22 Jul 2007 15:29

Jacky Kingsley wrote:Any idea why the information is being released now? If it had been used at the time of all the trials the outcome may have been very different. Was there a valid reason (apart from the British officials usual cussedness) not to release the information at the time. I am still waiting for a certain topic to be released but the MOD have told me I have to wait another 20+ years.

Jacky
These transcripts weren't used in any postwar trials, but were simply released more or less according to the Thirty Year Rule with no especial super-secrecy attached. As Steve said, they've been available for at least 20 years.

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Post by tonyh » 22 Jul 2007 19:41

Penn44 wrote:
tonyh wrote:
Penn44 wrote:I am somewhat surprised the German generals were not more guarded in what they said for fear of bing overheard.

Penn44
I'd wait til the book is out before judging how "guarded" or "loose lipped" they were. These wonderful smoking gun conversations might not be what they seem.

Tony
Yes, lets see.

I must say I am somewhat amazed at how swiftly and how negatively some of our AHF members responded against this book, especially one that they have not even read.

The "smoking gun" has smoked long, long ago. I am also amazed that anyone would be taken back by the claim the German generals knew about the Holocaust unless of course that person is rather ignorant of the war or is a Denier. If anything, this book is only a confirmation from a new source (secret tapping of captured German generals) of what we already knew about the German generals. If the German generals in the East did not know about the Holocaust then it goes a long way in explaining why the Germans lost the war. They lost simply because their generals did not have a clue what was going on within their midsts.

Penn44

.
Well, frankly, I am sick to the back teeth of these "look...everyone knew everything!" type of showcases.

It is quite possible, nay probable, that the vast majority of German Generals (and personnel) didn't know about the "holocaust" whatever that means, or what part of the "holocaust" we are talking about.

That some were aware of some atrocites, especially in the East (or at least heard some rumors in some part of the East) is obvious, as is the fact the some ordered and condoned atrocities too. But that doesn't mean that they were aware of top level political decisions, gas chambers, mass shootings etc, or that they were willing to carry them out f so ordered.

Although it's not part of the holocaust, I've read that the infamous "kommisarbefehl" was abandoned because there was refusals to carry it out.

But. any way it's cut, it's ridiculous to present the "everyone knew / everyone agreed" stance as it just doesn't stand up.

Tony

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