There is another difficulty with your dismissal of the possibility of Heydrich speaking about the Final Solution in Paris in early May 1942. This difficulty relates to your depiction of Heydrich as a) out of the loop and b) focused on a never-never land for Jewish settlement in Russia.
You wrote that
According to Eichmann's post-war evidence, Heydrich did not have direct knowledge of those activities, and sent him (Eichmann) to Lublin to find out what was going on.
Eichmann said many things in various forums after the war; as with your claim about Dannecker's March order, I’ve been unable to find this particular thing.
We do know, however, whatever you have in mind with this sentence, that Eichmann also said these things about Heydrich:
At trial in Jerusalem, on the Wannsee conference and the GG:
http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eic ... 99-04.html
Attorney General: One of the aims of the Wannsee Conference was to place the Final Solution of the Jewish Question here in the Generalgouvernement in the hands of Heydrich. Is that correct?
Accused: Yes, that is correct.
Q. And the representative of the Generalgouvernement stated at Wannsee that he agreed that Heydrich and his Bureau should implement the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in the area of the Generalgouvernement as well. Is that correct?
A. I believe it reads that the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service in the Generalgouvernement was to implement the Final Solution of the Jewish Question in the Generalgouvernement. I do not remember the exact form of words.
Q. In any case, Goering's general order, which Heydrich announced at the Wannsee Conference, that he had put Heydrich in charge of implementation of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, applied to the Generalgouvernement as well. Is that correct?
A. I definitely believe that to be the case, although the Wannsee Conference, I believe, primarily means freeing Europe of the Jews, I believe. I do not remember this now. But Buehler, State Secretary Buehler, used a form of wording which says the same thing, that the start was to be made in - or with - the Generalgouvernement. I do not remember. And Luther had dealt with the European countries.
To Less, during his interrogation by the police investigator, again on the Wannsee Conference: According to Eichmann, “At this conference Heydrich made known his authorization. I’m wondering: If the killing had already started - and it had started - this probably meant a tighter organization of the program.” (p 89, Eichmann Interrogated) And then this: “I still remember that, after the Wannsee Conference, Heydrich authorized Brigadeführer Globocnik, who had that killing installation in Lublin, to kill Jews, and even made the authorization retroactive
. . . . At that time Heydrich ordered me to draft the following letter: ‘I authorize you to subject another 150,000 Jews to the final solution.’ Those Jews were already dead. Actually, I think there were 250,000.” (The impossible timing implied here was unsuccessfully "cleaned up" at trial, FWIW.)
On the same issues, to Sassen, as reported in the Life magazine exposé:
Not long afterward Heydrich had me carry an order to Major General Odilo Globocnik, SS commander of the Lublin district. I cannot remember whether Heydrich gave me the actual message or whether I had to draw it up. It ordered Globocnik to start liquidating a quarter million Polish Jews.
Eichmann also told Sassen, in his confused and confusing manner, about his trips east: Responding to Less’s questions about the evolution of the Final Solution, Eichmann replied that some months after the invasion of the Soviet Union, “Heydrich sent for me. I reported. He said to me: ‘The Führer, well, emigration is . . .’ He began with a little speech. And then: ‘The Führer has ordered physical extermination.’ These were his words. . . . And then he said to me: ‘Eichmann, go and see Globocnik in Lublin.’” Eichmann added that what Heydrich wanted was for him to “Take a look and see how he’s getting on with his program
. I believe he’s using Russian anti-tank trenches for exterminating Jews.’ As ordered, I went to Lublin. . . .” and met with Globocnik. (p 75, whatever one makes of this, it is not that Heydrich asked Eichmann to head off “to Lublin to find out what was going on” so that Heydrich would know)
After touring with Höfle - to what I take to be Bełzec under construction - Eichmann reported back to Berlin, in particular to Müller, his immediate superior. (p 76) Eichmann then visited Chelmno, on Müller’s instructions. Again, Eichmann told Less that he’d reported back to Müller, verbally only. Eichmann related that he’d been sent also to Auschwitz, then to Treblinka, and then Minsk and Lwow. (On the stand in Jerusalem, and in the Stassen materials, Eichmann would also recall visiting Majdanek.) (p 79)
Eichmann also described his role in all this and in the Final Solution as “under orders . . . from Heydrich”
from the outset. (p 121)
In fact, what Eichmann told Sassen and the Israelis after the war was that he himself was one of Heydrich's connections to Lublin and the GG - the very opposite of your assertion.
Now, taking Eichmann at face value is a bit of a fool’s errand. But you told us that Eichmann said post-war that Heydrich sent him to Lublin "to find out what was going on" there, yet here we have Eichmann going to Lublin for very different reasons – supposedly, in his post-war words, to see how Globocnik was “getting on with his program.”
Leaving Eichmann’s tendentious “readings” aside, for a moment, there are other reasons not to credit your description of Heydrich’s role in the Final Solution during these months:
Siblerklang, whose study is the implementation of the Final Solution in Lublin district, makes the general comment that "Despite the absence of full authority over his subordinates in the GG, Heydrich was well informed of their activities" (Gates of Tears, p 50).
Already we’ve seen that, contrary to your claim, Heydrich was almost certainly briefed on “Jews into the KL” – with Auschwitz at the center – at the moment the plan was conceived.
Also, according to Heydrich’s biographer, Gerwarth (whose inclusion of Bargatsky's recollections led off this thread), on 30 January 1942, just 5 days after Himmler had telephoned Heydrich on the topic of “Jews into the KL,” and Himmler had ordered 150,000 Reich Jews into the KLs for labor, Heydrich met with Himmler. The following day Eichmann was to notify all Gestapo stations by express letter that “’the recent evacuations of Jews from individual areas to the East’ marked ‘the beginning of the final solution to the Jewish question’ in the Reich and the Protectorate.”
Heydrich conferred with Himmler 11-13 March on progress in the final solution; the Lublin Jewish action commenced three days later, with mass shootings in the ghetto and the remaining Jews (30,000) gassed at Bełzec. The Reich Jews were sent into ghettos near Lublin – Izbica, Pisaka, Zamosc and Trawniki – where mortality was extremely high immediately and from where, as I explained to you in an earlier post, the Reich Jews were later cycled to Einsatz Reinhard death camps; in May surviving Reich Jews in Lodz were shipped to Chelmno and gassed (4-15 May).
Heydrich and Himmler are documented to have met seven times between 23 April and 3 May. (Gerwarth bio of Heydrich, pp 260-262)
In addition, in the context of the Wannsee meeting, Gerwarth has Heydrich endorsing Bühler’s proposal at the conference to begin the FS with the solution to Jewish question in GG (p 214), as Eichmann himself said (above).
None of this is in keeping with your argument about Himmler's January labor plan - and much of it suggests Heydrich’s familiarity with goings on in Lublin and the GG.
Nor was Heydrich during that fateful spring mostly dreaming of the far-off vistas of the wild east, the White Sea, and new frontiers; in fact, relevant to the point of the thread, Heydrich was in on the March planning for deportations from France to the Auschwitz camp - the kind of role you explain as follows:
Heydrich seems to have had no connection with the sending of Jews to Auschwitz.
Gerwarth (pp 262, 274) describes how Dannecker at this time recorded Heydrich’s determination to have ‘further Jews deported in the course of 1942,” referencing the additional 5,000 Jews (who would be deported in June, well, 4,000 of them anyway). Gerwarth continues: During March, at Birkenau the little red house was converted to a gas chamber where unfit Jews were gassed; by May, Sobibór was operational, Bełzec was being expanded, construction on Treblinka began, and the second wave of Einsatzgruppen mass killings began. (p 262) In March Dannecker was to write Knochen that the French deportations would be, in Gerwarth’s words, “far more extensive . . . the following year.” (citing Klarsfeld, Endlösung, doc 28 – Dannecker’s note on this summarized an RSHA meeting of 3 March: “Subject: 5000 deportation of Jews from France” – noting the need for the French to do better with Jewish program; looking to deportation of 5,000 Jews to the East (able bodied); arguing that French Jews must lose French nationality before or after deportation; and looking forward to the liquidation of Jewish assets to be part of the program similar to what is to be done in Slovakia including Jewish assets paying for transport; “details shall be determined in the coming months.”
Just because Heydrich didn't have direct authority within the GG over death camps (on account of the HSSPF structure, Himmler's direct line to Globus, etc) and just because his organization was to focus on deportations and transport, it doesn’t follow that Heydrich was out of the loop and kept in the dark. Heydrich didn't have to run affairs in the GG to be connected - through both his senior role and his specific role in deportations (for which Eichmann had operational responsibility within the RSHA) - to what was going on in the GG.
Further, with direct relevance to Heydrich’s May presence in Paris, Heydrich met with Oberg and Bousquet on 6 May on the Germans’ desire for further deportations of Jews and the parameters for them, deferring a decision on inclusion of foreign Jews then held in internment camps in the unoccupied zone, as requested by the French.
A final point on this is that, according to Widmann, post-war, Nebe and Heess discussed gas vans as a killing method with Heydrich already 1941. Further, in the search of better killing methods – the sort of thing Heydrich was said to have touted at the Hotel Majestic – following the Minsk-Mogilev gassing experiments, according to Browning (Origins, p 355) “Heydrich immediately turned to the head of his office for technical affairs within the RSHA (Amt II D), Walter Rauff,” in charge of motor vehicles for the Security Police. In September 1941, Rauff enlisted the chief of the motor pool, Friedrich Pradel, to explore whether, as Rauff put it, exhaust gas in a closed truck might prove a “more humane method of killing” (quoted in Browning, p 355). And Bargatzky noted, of course that Heydrich had referred at the Hotel Majestic to both technical improvements in killing and to gas vans.
What Heydrich came to Paris involved with and in planning discussions for was, in fact, the very sort of matters which Bargatzky and Boetticher later reported his remarking on in early May 1942.