"Aktion Reinhardt" -- What did it denote?

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michael mills
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"Aktion Reinhardt" -- What did it denote?

Post by michael mills » 14 Nov 2004 23:08

[Moderator's note -- This thread was split from "The SS-WVHA: violent police entrepreneurs"
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=63443 ]

Once again we have evidence that the code-name "Reinhardt" denoted the organisation which processed and recorded the property confiscated from persons defined under German law as enemies of the German Realm and people, in particular persons defined as Jews according to law.

The confiscated property was sequestrated according to law from enemies of the German Realm who had been deported or interned in concentration camps.

It is noteworthy that the most recent biography of Globocnik accepts that the code-name "Reinhardt" was derived from the surname of Fritz Reinhardt, the State Secretary of the Department of Finance who had ultimate responsibility for the confiscated property.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 14 Nov 2004 23:44

Once again we have evidence that the code-name "Reinhardt" denoted the organisation which processed and recorded the property confiscated from persons defined under German law as enemies of the German Realm and people, in particular persons defined as Jews according to law.
As if anybody doubted that. This Mills guy is a joke. It is a well-known and undisputed fact that AR had to do not only with the murder of the Jews, but with the looting of their property too.
It is noteworthy that the most recent biography of Globocnik accepts that the code-name "Reinhardt" was derived from the surname of Fritz Reinhardt, the State Secretary of the Department of Finance who had ultimate responsibility for the confiscated property.
Which is incorrect. Aktion Reinhard got its name from einhard Heydrich.
http://deathcamps.org/reinhard/action%20reinhard.html

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Post by David Thompson » 15 Nov 2004 02:07

Please avoid insulting personal remarks in posts.

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Post by David Thompson » 15 Nov 2004 20:47

Michael -- You said:
Once again we have evidence that the code-name "Reinhardt" denoted the organisation which processed and recorded the property confiscated from persons defined under German law as enemies of the German Realm and people, in particular persons defined as Jews according to law.

The confiscated property was sequestrated according to law from enemies of the German Realm who had been deported or interned in concentration camps.
You raised the same argument at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 550#568550
and your characterization was shown to be misleading or deceptive (because you omitted material facts at variance with your claim) at:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 596#568596

You did not choose to answer that refutation then, so why repeat the claim now, without addressing its misleading or deceptive elements which have already been pointed out?

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Post by michael mills » 15 Nov 2004 23:45

What was deceptive or misleading in my claim?

I quoted a passage from a finding of fact by a United states court.

I noted that the United States court found that Aktion Reinhardt denoted
The purpose of the action was to gather into the Reich all the Jewish manpower and wealth which could be reached.
The passage which I quoted in full gave a number of sources for the Jewish property confiscated and processed under Aktion Reinhardt:

- Jews who had been exterminated
- Jews who had been deported
- Jews who had been sent to concentration camps as slave labour.

It is clear that the United States court did not find that Aktion Reinhardt denoted a program of extermination.

It found that Aktion Reinhardt denoted a program of confiscating and processing Jewish property.

It stated that some of the confiscated property came from Jews who had been exterminated.

But it did not state that all of the Jews from whom the property confiscated under Aktion Reinhardt came were exterminated. It stated that some of that property came from Jews sent to concentration camps as slave labour:
The Jews themselves were herded into concentration camps as slaves and their entire worldly possessions confiscated.
Note that the United States court itself uses the word "confiscated".

The court referred to Jews dying in concentration camps, but did not find that they were necessarily killed, or that the Jews were sent to the concentration camps for the purpose of being killed:
When Jews died in concentration camps, additional loot became available. The clothing was stripped from their bodies and, after being carefully searched for hidden valuables and the distinguishing Jewish Star removed, was distributed to still living inmates or to German civilians.
The court found that Aktion Reinhardt was instituted after Jews had been deported and/or exterminated:
The extermination and deportation of the Jews in the East produced a vast amount of valuable property, both real and personal, which the Reich was quick to recognize and seize. To marshal these resources, the Action Reinhardt was instituted,.......
In other words, the Court implied that Aktion Reinhardt did not denote either the deportation or extermination of Jews, but rather the processing of the property confiscated from Jews who had been exterminated and/or deported. Note that the words of the court imply that "deportation" and "extermination" were not necessarily the same thing. Furthermore, the court found that the property confiscated under Aktion Reinhardt did not only come from Jews who had been deported and/or exterminated, but also from Jews who had been sent to concentration camps for exploitation of their labour.

Note that all the passages quoted above were included in the passage that I quoted in my original post. I omitted nothing from that passage; anybody reading my post could see excatly what the court said.

The point I made was that the United States court found that the term "Aktion Reinhardt" denoted a program of processing property confiscated from Jews who had been deported, exterminated or imprisoned, and did not denote the processes of deportation, extermination or imprisonment. That is an honest interpretation of the words of the United States court, which, as can be seen from the passage quoted by me, pulled no punches in describing the fate of the Jews.

I categorically refute the false accusation that I set out to mislead or deceive, and that my post misrepresented the finding of the United States court in any way.

Nothing in the other parts of the finding of the United States court posted by the moderator contradicts the finding that Aktion Reinhardt denoted the handling of the confiscated property of Jews rather than the treatment of the Jews themselves, whether that treatment was deportation, extermination, or imprisonment in concentration camps.

Those other parts of the finding simply document the confession by Pohl that it was known that many of the Jews from whom property was confiscated had been killed. But that does not contradict the court's main finding on the nature and purpose of Aktion Reinhardt, which stated that the confiscated property became available in part from the extermination of Jews (but not only from that source).

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Post by David Thompson » 16 Nov 2004 01:10

Michael -- Thank you for addressing those omissions. I'm looking forward to starting a thread for documents on "Aktion Reinhardt" in the near future. The suggestion from your post is that you believe the term "Aktion Reinhardt" is restricted to the SS robbery or plunder operation, and not to the related murders and enslavement which accompanied it. Is that an accurate statement of your position?

Assuming that it is, I think part of the problem is that "Aktion Reinhardt" has been used loosely by some historians to describe both aspects -- the robberies and the murders -- and some of our readers are thinking that by restricting the term "Aktion Reinhardt" to the robberies, you are by implication denying the murders (I see from your statement above that you are not, but appear to be insisting on more precise usage of "Aktion Reinhardt" as a term).

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 16 Nov 2004 07:17

Globocnik wrote about the economic part of AR in his final report. This implies that there was non-economic part.
Blobel was experimenting with "field ovens AR".
Hoefle in his Einsatz Reinhard telegram listed the numbers of the people deported to AR camps, which is a hardly relevant data for an economic operation.
AR camps were built specifically for killing people.
Personnel of AR disproportinally consisted of "euthanasia" people, who also ran AR camps.
Goebbels in his diary said that Globocnik headed the program to liquidate the Jews, unfit for work.
AR pledge of secrecy talked about "evacuation" of the Jews.

Yet Mills insists that AR was a purely economic operation. :roll:

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Post by michael mills » 18 Nov 2004 00:12

The suggestion from your post is that you believe the term "Aktion Reinhardt" is restricted to the SS robbery or plunder operation, and not to the related murders and enslavement which accompanied it. Is that an accurate statement of your position?
Yes, that is precisely my meaning.

The indications are that "Aktion Reinhardt" was in operation at many of the concentration camps under the authority of the WVHA, and that it consisted of the processing and disposal of the property confiscated from the prisoners.

Whether the term covered only the property confiscated from Jewish prisoners, or whether it applied to all confiscated property, including that from non-Jewish prisoners, is a point that needs to be resolved. I have not seen any work which specifically adresses that point; the findings of the US court that tried Pohl and other WVHA officials seem to waver between a wider and a narrower interpetation.

The Jewish property seized in the Polish ghettos during the deportations of their inhabitants in 1942, and subsequently from the Jews arriving at the killing centres, was also processed through the organisation set up to administer "Aktion Reinhardt". For that purpose, Globocnik set up within his SSPF headquarters at Lublin an office "Einsatz Reinhardt", headed by Hermann Höfle.

I think it was the existence of the office "Einsatz Reinhardt" at Globocnik's headquarters that has led to the impression that "Aktion Reinhardt" was under Globocnik's command.

Careful reading of the evidence shows that "Aktion Reinhardt" was separate from Globocnik's assignment to deport the Jews of Distrikt Lublin and then of the whole of the Generalgouvernement, and to exterminate those of them assessed as unusable for forced labour (some 60% according to the Goebbels diary entry of 27 March 1942).

There was a link between "Aktion Reinhardt" and Globocnik's deportation and extermination operation in that the Jewish property rendered ownerless by the latter was processed through "Aktion Reinhardt". For that reason, Globocnik was responsible for the operation of "Aktion Reinhardt" in the Generalgouvernment, and for rendering an account of all the Jewish property seized in that area and passing through the hands of the Lublin "Einsatz Reinhardt". However, it seems that Pohl was in overall command of the whole "Aktion Reinhardt".

I prefer to call the killing centres set up at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka the "Globocnik camps", since that is an accurate designation.

An even more accurate designation would be the "Wirth camps", since Christian Wirth was the overall commander of all three killing centres. Wirth appears not to have been organisationally part of the Lublin "Einsatz Reinhardt", which was a sub-office of the Lublin Security Police office, and he and the other T-4 men appear to have been only seconded to Globocnik for the purpose of running the killing centres.

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Post by David Thompson » 18 Nov 2004 02:39

Thanks, Michael. That eliminates most of the chances for unnecessary misunderstandings.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 18 Nov 2004 03:58

The indications are that "Aktion Reinhardt" was in operation at many of the concentration camps under the authority of the WVHA, and that it consisted of the processing and disposal of the property confiscated from the prisoners.
This is a correctly described economic part of AR, as per Globocnik's final report:

http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0057-E01.htm

And also this letter:

http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0064-E01.htm
Careful reading of the evidence shows that "Aktion Reinhardt" was separate from Globocnik's assignment to deport the Jews of Distrikt Lublin and then of the whole of the Generalgouvernement, and to exterminate those of them assessed as unusable for forced labour (some 60% according to the Goebbels diary entry of 27 March 1942).
Show us such a "separation" and explain all the pieces of evidence presented.
And Globocnik states that deportation was part of AR, so obviously you haven't even read this crucial document:

http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0057-E01.htm

This is the "evacuation to the East", about which Goebbels was writing in his diary. And he equated it with liquidation of the Jews (he talks about 60% - either it was initial plan that was later changed (cf. Tuerk's memorandum of 17.03.42; Arad, "Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka", p. 45), or Goebbels was wrong about this detail).
I prefer to call the killing centres set up at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka the "Globocnik camps", since that is an accurate designation.
Debunked by the Hoefle telegram and Globocnik's own report.

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Post by michael mills » 18 Nov 2004 08:30

I have read the documents linked by Sergey Romanov.

It is clear that Globocnik is conflating a number of different things.

For example, he includes in the perview of his report references to the activities of the Siedlerwirtschaftsgemeinschaft, which was a co-operative association of German settlers in the Lublin area, and was unrelated either to the deportation of Jews or to the seizure and processing of Jewish property.

Furthermore, the labour camps in the Lublin district which Globcnik handed over to the WVHA in 1943 had been set up by him in 1940, and had no real collection to the deportation of Jews in 1942 or to the seizure and processing of Jewish property, except that some of the processing was carried out in some of those labour camps.

So it is hard to see what real connection there was between the handover of Globocnik's labour camps to Pohl and "Aktion Reinhardt".

Globocnik had come under attack for his corrupt management of "Aktion Reinhardt" in Distrikt Lublin, and that was the reason for his transfer. It may be that Globocnik felt the need to account for every activity for which he had been responsible (the deportation of the Jews, the processing of Jewish property ["Aktion Reinhardt" proper], the labour camps and the associated industrial enterprises).

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 18 Nov 2004 08:54

Last edited by Sergey Romanov on 18 Nov 2004 09:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 18 Nov 2004 08:58

> It is clear that Globocnik is conflating a number of different things.

I think Globocnik knew better what the operation which he headed was for. So did Himmler. Since it's the only counter-argument from Michael Mills we have seen, and all other evidence has not been addressed, it is only possible to conclude that AR was both a looting and killing operation, and those who state otherwise are distorting history.

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Post by michael mills » 18 Nov 2004 10:32

One thing we can be fairly certain of is that the Osti factories managed by Globicnik, which did use Jewish labour, were not part of "Aktion Reinhardt".

Yet Globocnik reported on them in his accounting that was prima facie about "Aktion Reinhardt".

The real question is whether "Aktion Reinhardt" was a program controlled by Globocnik from Lublin, or by the WVHA from Berlin (or Oranienburg).

The United States court that tried Pohl and other WVHA commanders thought it was the latter.

Since there is no documentation showing when the name "Aktion Reinhardt" was coined, or when the "Einsatz Reinhardt" in Globocnik's office was established, and why that particular name was given, no absolutely definite answer can be given.

Was Globocnik misusing the designation "Reinhardt"? Is that why he consistently used the spelling "Reinhard" in the earlier documents? We do not know.

We do not even know who chose the name "Reinhardt", and who "owned" the designation.

The problem is that there is conflicting evidence. On the one hand there are a few documents originated by Globocnik, in which he uses the term "Aktion Reinhard" in relation to the killing centres under his command. On the other hand there is a lot of WVHA documentation referring to an "Aktion Reinhardt" operating at various camps administered by the WVHA, and indicating that that operation was the processing of property seized from persons who arrived at the concentration camps. There is also Hoess' post-war testimony to the effect that "Aktion Reinhardt" was in operation at Auschwitz, and referred to the processing of the property from the transports of Jews that had been destroyed, ie not the destruction process itself.

Were "Aktion Reinhard" and "Aktion Reinhardt" two separate activities? Unlikely, as that would be too confusing.

The upshot is that the documents referring to "Aktion Reinhardt" (in that spelling), except for Globocnik's grovelling report to Himmler after his transfer to Trieste, all seem to describe it as an operation for processing confiscated property.

Documents referring to "Aktion Reinhard" and "Einsatz Reinhard" (in that spelling) and originating with Globocnik use that term to describe the extermination process at his camps. But was that an officially sanctioned usage?

There is one WVHA document referring to an "Aktion Reinhard" testing-station for "Feldöfen" (which may indicate some sort of mobile corpse incinerator for use in the field) situated near Lodz. But Lodz was not in Globocnik's jurisdiction; he was SSPF for Lublin District, whereas Lodz was situated in the Wartheland, within the jurisdiction of SSPF Koppe.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 18 Nov 2004 15:25

One thing we can be fairly certain of is that the Osti factories managed by Globicnik, which did use Jewish labour, were not part of "Aktion Reinhardt".
I searched for "Osti" and did not find any instances in which Osti is described as a part of AR.

And, BTW, Globocnik's report (which, taken alone, proves my point) is only one piece of evidence of many I cited before even mentioning the report.
Since there is no documentation showing when the name "Aktion Reinhardt" was coined, or when the "Einsatz Reinhardt" in Globocnik's office was established, and why that particular name was given, no absolutely definite answer can be given.
Even if you're correct about the origin of the name, the evidence cited above converges to the conclusion that it was not a purely economic operation.
Was Globocnik misusing the designation "Reinhardt"? Is that why he consistently used the spelling "Reinhard" in the earlier documents? We do not know.
IMHO you say so only because it does not fit your thesis.
The problem is that there is conflicting evidence. On the one hand there are a few documents originated by Globocnik, in which he uses the term "Aktion Reinhard" in relation to the killing centres under his command. On the other hand there is a lot of WVHA documentation referring to an "Aktion Reinhardt" operating at various camps administered by the WVHA, and indicating that that operation was the processing of property seized from persons who arrived at the concentration camps. There is also Hoess' post-war testimony to the effect that "Aktion Reinhardt" was in operation at Auschwitz, and referred to the processing of the property from the transports of Jews that had been destroyed, ie not the destruction process itself.
The "conflict" is imaginary. AR pursued complementary aims.

BTW, the fact that AR was in operation in Auschwitz is also proved by Pohl's itinerary for 23.09.42 (IIRC; maybe 27 or another date), when, during the visit to Auschwitz he visited "Station 2 of AR" and "Entwesungs u. Effektenbaracke AR". Yes, only economic part of AR was in force in Auschwitz. So what? EG killings weren't done under AR auspices either.
The upshot is that the documents referring to "Aktion Reinhardt" (in that spelling), except for Globocnik's grovelling report to Himmler after his transfer to Trieste, all seem to describe it as an operation for processing confiscated property.
One does not exclude another.
Were "Aktion Reinhard" and "Aktion Reinhardt" two separate activities? Unlikely, as that would be too confusing.
And then there was Einsatz Reinhart too... ;]
Documents referring to "Aktion Reinhard" and "Einsatz Reinhard" (in that spelling) and originating with Globocnik use that term to describe the extermination process at his camps. But was that an officially sanctioned usage?
Yes, since he reported about this to Himmler himself. It wasn't just some local oddity.
There is one WVHA document referring to an "Aktion Reinhard" testing-station for "Feldöfen" (which may indicate some sort of mobile corpse incinerator for use in the field) situated near Lodz. But Lodz was not in Globocnik's jurisdiction; he was SSPF for Lublin District, whereas Lodz was situated in the Wartheland, within the jurisdiction of SSPF Koppe.
Or, most probably, they were just meant primarily for AR camps. Chelmno was just a place for experiments (Arad, p. 171). As Arad says, the results of experiments were sent to Globocnik for use in his camps.
Whatever the reason, AR here is tied to corpses.

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