Nazi leaders' knowledge of the holocaust

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Jul 2004 16:35

Dan -- You said:
I mean I can't believe e.g. Streicher would have opposed mass killings, and I can't believe Goering, Von Ribbentrop, Keitel etc.. wouldn't have known about it.
I think your reservations about those people's knowledge are well-taken. "I didn't know" and "I couldn't do anything" were the only defenses left to them, and they probably tried the excuses out on each other at mealtime. The defense was certainly more valid for some, like Hans Fritzsche, than it was for others.
Last edited by David Thompson on 21 Jul 2004 16:39, edited 1 time in total.

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 21 Jul 2004 16:36

It depends on how essential they were to the mass killing process. Göring had nothing to do with the liquidations in Russia for instance. Although he was most diffinitely aware of the awful conditions that the Soviet POW's were being held in, but to what actual extent I don't know. But I doubt he would have been informed officially about the exact numbers of Commisars that were whacked in the first few Months of Barbarossa, for example


The goings on in most of the camps would have been privy to a select few. Information like that would be far too risky to just be let out into every member of the upper eschelons of the party. Such actions and sentiments would have been better served if the information was kept within a certain circle.

Tony

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Jul 2004 16:39

tonyh -- I agree. I don't think very many people had a detailed overview of what was happening.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 21 Jul 2004 16:58

I dunno whether they conspired, but some of them certainly lied. Ribbentrop knew perfectly that the Jews were murdered. This is from Evans' report:
1. The meeting between Hitler and Horthy on 16 and 17 April 1943 has generally been
regarded by historians as one of the few occasions on which Hitler openly admitted the
extermination of the Jews in Poland. The minutes of the meeting were taken by Dr.
Paul Otto Schmidt, who confirmed them and added his own recollections at the Nuremberg
trials.165 There is no doubt about their authenticity. The minutes for the
meeting on 17 April 1943 record a statement by Ribbentrop, in Hitler’s presence, to a
point made by Horthy:
On Horthy’s retort, what should he do with the Jews then, after he had pretty
well taken all means of living from them - he surely couldn’t beat them to
death - The Reich Foreign Minister replied that the Jews must either be annihilated
or taken to concentration camps. There was no other way.166
2. This blunt statement by Ribbentrop contributed to the conclusion of the judges at the
Nuremberg trials in October 1946, that Ribbentrop had played an important part in
the ‘final solution’ and was guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.167
3. On 17 April 1943, Hitler almost immediately confirmed Ribbentrop’s explicitly murderous
statement at some length:
Where the Jews were left to themselves, as for example in Poland, gruesome
poverty and degeneracy had ruled. They were just pure parasites. One had
fundamentally cleared up this state of affairs in Poland. If the Jews there didn’t
want to work, they were shot. If they couldn’t work, they had to perish. They
had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, from which a healthy body could be
infected. That was not cruel, if one remembered that even innocent natural
creatures like hares and deer had to be killed so that no harm was caused.
Why should one spare the beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism more?
Nations who did not rid themselves of Jews perished.168
Or take Rosenberg.
On October 4, Lohse sent Rosenberg a report on "The Solution of the Jewish Problem". In the report he described the mass murders, apparently adding that death by firing squads had created problems and that it was necessary to find an alternative method of extermination. On October 25, 1941 a reply was sent to Lohse in Rosenberg's name, signed by Dr. Ersnt Wetzel ... [etc., the text about "Brack's devices" is well-known].
[...]
In his speech, which no one was allowed to record, he mentioned the total liquidation of the Jew in Europe for the first time:
The East is designated to solve the Jewish question, which confronts all the peoples of Europe. ... There are still approximately six million Jews living in the East. This question can be solved only by the complete biological annihilation of all Jews, from the entire area of Europe...
The question of whether the liquidation of the Jews should be mentioned arose in a meeting betwen Rosenberg and Hitler on December 14, when the two men dicussed a speech Rosenberg was to give at the Sports Palace in Berlin. In a memorandum Rosenberg wrote in connection with this meeting he stated:
...I took the position that the annihilation (Ausrottung) of the Jews should not be mentioned in the speech. The Fuehrer endorsed this view, adding that they had brought the war and the destruction upon us and that consequently it was hardly surprising that they should be the first to bear the consequences
(Y. Arad, "Alfred Rosenberg and the "Final Solution" in the Occupied Soviet Territories", YVS, vol. 13, pp. 277-281.

Arad cites other documents but this should be enough. Now compare it to what Rosenberg says in the above-cited last speech.

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Jul 2004 18:04

For interested readers – There is an excellent discussion of the Hitler-Horthy Conference at Klessheim at:

David Irving and the Klessheim Conference
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=17408

Von Ribbentrop’s claims of ignorance, and the withering cross-examination which followed, can be seen at:

IMT testimony of Joachim von Ribbentrop
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=25259

and the IMT’s conclusions are set forth at:

IMT judgment against Joachim von Ribbentrop
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=25156

Some of the damning correspondence which crossed Rosenberg’s desk can be seen at:

Official resistance to war crimes
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=14313

and the IMT judgment against Rosenberg is at:

IMT Judgment against Alfred Rosenberg
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=29522

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Post by xcalibur » 21 Jul 2004 21:39

...This is not to say that Goring showed the Jews much pity. Speer,who was no angel in this regard either, would recall one remark by Goring in the prison yard, when someone told the Reichsmarschall about Jews living in Hungary: "Oh, there are some left then? I thought we'd bumped them all off. Looks like someone slipped up again."
Irving, Nuremberg, p. 258

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 21 Jul 2004 21:47

Let's also not forget that Göring was the author of the July 41 memo to Heydrich directing him to implement "The Final Solution to the Jewish question." This memo led to the Wansee Conference which formalized authority and procedures for "The Final Solution."

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witness
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ultimate evidence

Post by witness » 22 Jul 2004 12:42

Let's imagine for a moment what happened in a 'revisionist world' where at some stage, some extraordinary-unquestionable evidence would come out and demolish the Holocaust and everything known about it. What would a revisionist say? What would be their attitude?
This is an interesting issue.From my experience there is no such evidence which would satisfy a deternmined "Revisionist"
For exampe ,discussing the Einsatzgruppen reports the "Revisionists" tend to point out that the actions of the EG were directed against partisans.
When the reports are shown to them where it is absolutely obvious that the majority of the Einsatzgruppen victims were non-combatants they simply ignore the point and switch to the physical remains of the victims
claiming that there is no enough evidence of the mass murder .When shown the Soviet investigation commissions reports on the exhumations ,the "Revisionists" respond that since the reports were Soviet they are not trustworthy etc. Then they add that there is no evidence that the remains are of the victims of Einsatzgruppenor the remains of the non-combatant Jews .When pointed out that the local Jews disappeared after having been taken by the EG the Revisionists usually say that they were just deported "somewhere " ( never indicating where )
The same is with the eyewitness testimonies.
The eyewitnesses either lied voluntarily or were coerced to lie or had some distorted perceptions of what really happened.
And thus it goes on ad nauseum.
This is no win situation.
I personally don't know what such ultimate evidence might be so as to convince an ideologically motivated opponent .

alf
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Post by alf » 22 Jul 2004 13:00

I personally don't know what such ultimate evidence might be so as to convince an ideologically motivated opponent
Time travel and sew a white star on their jackets and let them see for themselves. :D

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WalterS
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Post by WalterS » 22 Jul 2004 20:36

Tonyh wrote:
It depends on how essential they were to the mass killing process. Göring had nothing to do with the liquidations in Russia for instance. Although he was most diffinitely aware of the awful conditions that the Soviet POW's were being held in, but to what actual extent I don't know. But I doubt he would have been informed officially about the exact numbers of Commisars that were whacked in the first few Months of Barbarossa, for example
Göring was very involved in "The Final Solution" and in the persecution of the Jews and the slave labor program.

From the IMT Judgment of Herman Göring:

Goering persecuted the Jews, particularly after the November, 1938 riots, and not only in Germany where he raised the billion mark fine as; stated elsewhere, but in the conquered territories as well. His own utterances then and his testimony now show this interest was primarily economic--- how to get their property and how to force them out of the economic life of Europe. As these countries fell before the German army he extended the Reich's anti-Jewish laws to them; the Reichsgesetzblatt for 1939, 1940, and 1941 contains several anti-Jewish decrees signed by Goering. Although their extermination was in Himmler's hands, Goering was far from disinterested or inactive, despite his protestations in the witness box. By decree of 31st July, 1941, he directed Himmler and Heydrich to bring "about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe."

There is nothing to be said in mitigation. For Goering was often, indeed almost always, the moving force, second only to his leader. He was the leading war aggressor, both as political and as military leader; he was the director of the slave labour programme and the creator of the oppressive programme against the Jews and other races, at home and abroad. All of these crimes he has frankly admitted. On some specific cases there may be conflict of testimony, but in terms of the broad outline his own admissions are more than sufficiently wide to be conclusive of his guilt. His guilt is unique in its enormity. The record discloses no excuses for this man.


http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/judgoeri.htm

So, let's not be so quick to give Göring a "pass."

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Post by David Thompson » 22 Jul 2004 21:19

An off-topic post by Lucius Felix Sulla, containing an off-topic personal insult directed at another poster, was deleted by the moderator -- DT.

The subject is the Nazi leaders' knowledge of the holocaust. Please stay on it.

Persons wanting to post on the topic of "revisionism" should pick one of the 24 previous threads on that subject and post there. Those threads are listed at:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 00&start=0

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 24 Jul 2004 05:16

Sergey Romanov wrote:
On October 4, Lohse sent Rosenberg a report on "The Solution of the Jewish Problem". In the report he described the mass murders, apparently adding that death by firing squads had created problems and that it was necessary to find an alternative method of extermination. On October 25, 1941 a reply was sent to Lohse in Rosenberg's name, signed by Dr. Ersnt Wetzel.
Could Sergey Romanov please post the text of the report by Lohse dated 4 October 1941, for the information of us all.

If he does not have the text, can he please advise us where to find it. For example, tell us what reference Arad gave for the source upon which he based his description of the report's contents.

I doubt that Sergey Romanov will be able to do any of the above, since the fact is that nobody has been able find Lohse's report of 4 October 1941; from the title of the report, mentioned in Wetzel's draft dated 25 October, we know that it contained Lohse's suggestions for the solution of the Jewish problem in Reichskommissariat Ostland, but we do not know what they were.

We do however know a lot about what Lohse was doing in October 1941 with regard to Jews. His main concern at that time was the organisation of the ghettoisation of the Jews of Riga and other surviving Latvian Jews, with a view to using them for labour. Between the date of his report (4 October) and the date of the draft response by Wetzel (25 October), he was advised about the impending arrival in Minsk and Riga of Jews deported from Germany; his immediate reaction was to oppose the deportation of German Jews into his Reichskommissariat, and to fly off to Berlin to complain. Nothing in his known activity at the time suggests that he was making proposals for extermination; if he had been, he would not have been upset by having many thousands of Jews dumped on him.

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Post by xcalibur » 24 Jul 2004 05:30

Good God, Mills, you're back.... And to think, I was just about to have a tree planted in your memory in the old country.....

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