Minutes of Wannsee Conference

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Re: Minutes of Wannsee Conference

Post by uberjude » 15 Oct 2010 13:20

Michael, again, the point of this is the question of to what extent the Wannsee Minutes reflect accurately the conference itself. You continuously avoid answering a simple question. According to you:
This is the operative sentence, which summarises the deportation plan that the RSHA had been developing in the course of 1941:

Under proper direction the Jews should now in the course of the Final Solution [Endloesung] be brought to the East in a suitable way for use as labor.

In other words, all the Jews of Europe are to be evacuated to the East, ie into former Soviet territory
That is not the "operative sentence"
1. Because the wording seems to be of your own choosing and suggests a slightly different meaning--I will use the official translation used at Nuremberg
2. Because when you read the whole paragraph, not just that single sentence, it's clear that this labor plan doesn't include all Jews, but only those fit for labor. In fact, I've been quoting this same passage ad nauseum.
Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes.
The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of history.)
I have never questioned that all the Jews are to be included in the Final Solution--I've said repeatedly that there is no discussion of what's to be done with the majority of Jews, the ones not "able-bodied." So great, all the Jews are shipped East, and the able-bodied are worked to death and murdered. I've agreed with that again and again. The question is what happens to those Jews who aren't able bodied. There's no discussion of them in this document, none at all. They "go East," and aren't heard from again, which is curious, since, of course, that includes children.

You try to explain this as follows:
Thus there were two categories of Jews envisaged:

1. Those who were to be deported and used for labour (road construction was the only example of labour utilisation given in the Wannsee Minutes, although other German documents mention forestry, agricultural work and swamp drainage). A sub-group of this category consisted of workers in defence industries, who were not be deported for as long as they were still needed.

2. Those who were to be exempt from deportation and kept in a special ghetto.
The minutes say nothing of the kind--According to the full statement on labor, all Jews with the exception of those exempt from deportation are to be "shipped East," but only the "able-bodied" are to be used for labor, segregated by sex, etc.

So once again, your selective quoting is just a distraction. There is no discussion of the majority of Jews. This interpretation is strengthened by Buhler's comment that the process should begin with the Jews in the GG, since, among other things:
Moreover, of the approximately 2 1/2 million Jews concerned, the majority is unfit for work.
According to you, the "Final Solution" being proposed is simply a labor plan. But if that's the case, why begin with a population largely "unfit for work?"

Your interpretation of the statement regarding military developments is also fairly dubious, and reflects a bit of selective quoting. The phrase appears as part of a larger discussion, not of relations with the enemy, but with allies and puppet regimes. Let's look at it in it's entirety:
The beginning of the individual larger evacuation actions will largely depend on military developments. Regarding the handling of the final solution in those European countries occupied and influenced by us, it was proposed that the appropriate expert of the Foreign Office discuss the matter with the responsible official of the Security Police and SD.

In Slovakia and Croatia the matter is no longer so difficult, since the most substantial problems in this respect have already been brought near a solution. In Rumania the government has in the meantime also appointed a commissioner for Jewish affairs. In order to settle the question in Hungary, it will soon be necessary to force an adviser for Jewish questions onto the Hungarian government.

With regard to taking up preparations for dealing with the problem in Italy, SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich considers it opportune to contact the chief of police with a view to these problems.

In occupied and unoccupied France, the registration of Jews for evacuation will in all probability proceed without great difficulty.
so what's the implication? Not that we need to wait to see how the summer offensive takes shape so we can see if we we have the area for the camps, but more like "We need to wait to see how the summer offensive takes shape, so we can see if we can afford to offend our allies by demanding their Jews." the references to Hungary and Rumania are important, because earlier in the document, we see this
The handling of the problem in the individual countries will meet with difficulties due to the attitude and outlook of the people there, especially in Hungary and Rumania.
It thus seems that the issue regarding the military is that they need to see how the situation improves, because right now, they can't afford to offend Hungarian, Romanian and Italian sensibilities, since those countries don't want to hand over their Jews (and it is recognized that they are so intransigent, that they will soon need to "force" Hungary to accept an advisor on Jewish affairs.

As for the notion that Buhler's testimony is credible, I find it amusing that we are supposed to give credence to a man testifying that he knew nothing about an extermination plan, but that when Eichmann testifies that he was part of the whole process of laying that plan out, we are to reject that on the face of it as (according to Michael in the post mentioned by David) "self-serving."
Which is more self-serving, lying to implicate yourself in the Final Solution, or lying to exonerate yourself?"

At any rate, none of the quotes cited by Michael actually relate to the problem of the non-laboring Jews, the quote on the military situation is part of a completely different context, and his statement regarding Buhler is not only ridiculous on the face of it (i.e., that we should accept as true the testimony of a Wansee Participant that he knew nothing, nothing about extermination), but is even rejected by the historian that Michael has been quoting throughout, Peter Longerich, who explicitly makes reference to Buhler as being a participant who was calling for extermination

http://books.google.com/books?id=BY7Kel ... &q&f=false

here, Longerich--who does believe that Heydrich was still proposing labor in the East as part of the final Solution, states that Buhler was calling for the explict extermination of the GG's Jews.

So again, Michael, how is it that in this document discussing the "Final solution" no reference is made to the majority of Jews not "fit for labor?" The only answer is that some material didn't make it into the minutes, and, considering that what did make it into the minutes involved the death of all the Jews fit for labor, we can presume that the discussion of those Jews not fit for labor was precisely what the most important witness said it was, extermination.

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