Michael Mills wrote on 3/7/03:
Evans claims that Hitler did reveal such an exterminatory intention. He also claims that Irving dishonestly concealed that revealtion by distorting the record of the meeting. He implies that Irving did so in order to preserve his thesis that Hitler did not order a general extermination of Jews, and that there is no written evidence that he did so.
My analysis of the record of the meeting on 17 April made by Schmidt, shows that Hitler did not reveal the extermination of the Jews of Poland. He revealed that the Jews who could not work had been left to "waste away"; he was not specific about the Jews who could work, except to say that those who refused to work were shot, obviously as an example to the rest. But he said nothing about active mass-killing.
Furthermore, neither Hitler nor Ribbentrop revealed an intention to exterminate the Jews of Hungary. What they were urging Horthy to do was to confine the Hungarian Jews to concentration camps; they said nothing about deporting them. When Ribbentrop referred to "annihilating" the Jews, it is clear that he meant that there was no alternative to confining them in concentration camps.
Several points here:
1. It is not, in my opinion, Evans attempting to disprove Irving's thesis that "Hitler did not order a general extermination of the Jews"; it is Evans attempting to disprove Irving's thesis, per his (Irving's) defense in his libel case that his "chain of documents" shows that Hitler was the "best friend" the Jews had in the Third Reich. Evans does not argue that there is a written order, by Hitler, authorizing the extermination of the Jews; he does, however, state that this meeting is considered by historians an event where Hitler expresses his murderous intentions per the Jews.
Irving was charged as being a Hitler apologist and of attempting to historically redefine the image of Hitler as one who, according to Irving, was not involved with the extermination of the Jews. In fact, his Goebbels book is an attempt to make Goebbels the author of Jewish extermination.
It is the issue of Hitler's cupability that is the issue per Evans, not the validity of historical proof of a Hitler order to kill the Jews.
2. If we are going to use the standard of interpreting literally what Hitler says, per those who could not work were shot, then the Jews of Hungary could be shot. Horthy has already stated that like Nazi Germany, he has taken the ability to make a living from the Jews. If the Jews cannot work as slave laborers in armaments (as security risks), denied employment, removed from their shops and farms, removed from small industries (as they were in Poland, for example), then all Jews are going to be unable to work, and therefore qualify to be shot.
The Jewish councils in the ghettos tried to get some type of production and work for the Jews in order to keep them alive, under the belief that if Jews produced some type of goods required for either the war effort or for the general populace's needs, they would have access to money, food, clothing, and the basics needed for survival.
3. This final paragraph was why I posted a reply earlier on perhaps misunderstanding this post originally. Here Ribbentrop, in the presence of Hitler, says that either Hungary's Jews are annihilated (which Horthy was unwilling to do, himself) or be placed in concentration camps. Camps that they would be exterminated in.
Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister, has openly stated to exterminate the Jews and one assumes that Hitler heard him. It now becomes the defensive position that the Foreign Minister knows something his Fuhrer doesn't...that it is acceptable to pressure Horthy for the extermination of Jews. If Hitler is the "best friend" of the Jews in the Reich, or that he has no knowledge of what was happening to the Jews, his Foreign Minister has just stated a scenario that I assume the supreme leader and commander of the German nation would wish to find out more about if he was really interested in saving the Jews. Ribbentrop, as Foreign Minister, also has to be the public voice of Germany to the world, disputing Allied propaganda or disputing news reports in the foreign press. Here, he openly advocates killing Hungary's Jews or shipping them to "concentration camps" which are, in reality, the death camps in the east.
The argument that the camps were to be in Hungary comes from where? If one is to argue that there is no direct inference that the "concentration camps" were outside of Hungary, let alone the extermination camps in the east, how does one argue that Ribbentrop is arguing that Horthy set up his own camps in Hungary when the intention of the Nazis was to remove all the Jews of Europe?
I assume that Ribbentrop refers to the camps in the General Government because that is where the Hungarian Jews ended up in.
Mills wrote, 3/7/03:
The upshot of the above is that there is nothing in the record of the Klessheim meeting of 16-17 April that makes it explicit that Hitler had issued an extermination order. Therefore, there is nothing in the record that disproves Irving's thesis that Hitler did not issue such an order.
Again, that is not the argument, per Evans and the Evans Report. And, again, there is Hitler sitting next to Ribbentrop who is issuing two alternatives per Hungary's Jews, the first being extermination, the second deportation to the camps.
Maybe I am missing something, but it appears to me that for all the analysis of these documents, it is clear that Germany's Foreign Minister with the Fuhrer by his side, states to Horthy that his if he (Horthy) will not annihilate the Hungarian Jews, they will have to be sent to concentration camps. I doubt that either Ribbentrop or Hitler would openly state that these camps were the death camps in the east, and if neither man knows about those camps, then the Foreign Minister is suggesting a new policy of extermination...a construct I find impossible to believe.