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It could be that different branches of the German bureaucracy used it in different ways, as I have previously suggested.
Perhaps Maurer and other officials used it to denote the program of recording and processing the property seized from deported Jews, whereas Globocnik used the term, in the variant "Einsatz Reinhard", to cover the secret deportation and extermination mission being carried out by his own staff and the 100 or so T-4 staff seconded to him.
What the precise official definition of the term was, whether it was officially some sort of accounting code, remains unknown and perhaps is not all that important.
I will continue to call Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka the Globocnik camps, since that is a precise indication of who had the command over them.
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Granted, that is a possible explanation. But only if we indeed forget everything else that we know about Aktion Reinhardt and treat the document in a vacuum. Just how far do you want us to take your plea for unbiased interpretation? Should we forget everything else discussed in this thread and elsewhere?michael mills wrote: It remains to explain the reference to "Aktion Reinhardt".
If we assume that that heading is a code-word for the process of collecting and processing the property seized from the Jews who had arrived at KL Auschwitz (regardless of whether they had been killed on arrival or had been held in the camp), then everything falls into place.
You have left a lot of unanswered questions in this thread. Until you can answer them satisfactorily, I feel that the interpretation where loot from AR (both death camps and originating ghettos) was brought to different warehouses and workshops before delivered to the Reich is the one we have to go with.
Not really for reasons I put forward above.If we insist that "Aktion Reinhardt" referred exclusively to an operation carried out only at the extermination centres under the control of Globocnik, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, we are forced to torture the evidence, to claim that the watches and fountain-pens had been taken to KL Auschwitz from those camps, which is not at all indicated by the text of the message itself.
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But surely you don't expect us, like Mr. Mills, to forget everything we know about AR just for the sake of "unbiased" examination of this document?walterkaschner wrote: For what little, if any, it may be worth, it seems to me that Michael Mills logic in his last post is, up to a point, impeccable, and that the Bletchley intercept graciously supplied by Earldor does not nail down the conclusion the latter draws from it. I agree that a close parsing of the intercept tends to point the other way
This document is a piece of a whole or puzzle (if you really think that AR and its meaning indeed is a mystery) which needs to be examined in its full context.
I disagree but have to concede that I don't, at the moment, have evidence of the kind of evidence that Mr. Mills (and you?) seems to expect, i.e. the kind that would show the exact limits of the Aktion. But then again, in my view this whole speculation is a futile attempt to brand AR as solely an economic enterprise and whitewash a few more of Mr. Mills' heros.But on the other hand, neither do I think that it necessarily supports Mr. Mills view that "Aktion Reinhardt" was strictly limited to the collecting and prosessing of the valuables taken from the Jews in the Concentration/ Extermination Camps both within the GG and elsewhere. It seems to me that there is a misplaced assumption on both sides of the argument that everyone who employed the term was thoroughly knowlegeable and assigned it the same precise meaning, which is by no means necessarily, or even likely, the case.
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He should try to emulate Mr Kaschner, who is able to disagree with a point of view without attributing questionable motives to the person who advanced that view.
The issue here is to endeavour to determine the official definition of the term "Aktion Reinhardt", what the term denoted, how, when and why that name was chosen, and which part of the German bureaucracy had the ultimate carriage of the program of actions denoted by the term, to the extent that such determinations are possible given the limited amount of surviving documentation.
Regardless of the outcome of that endeavour, the historical verdict on such individuals as Globocnik and Franz will remain unchanged; they were men who perpetrated massacres on a vast scale.
Earldor's constant sniping shows that he is suffering from a misapprehension that a scret neo-Nazi, "denialist" conspiracy is about to seize the public mind. Rest assured, Earldor, you have nothing to fear.
What is happening is that the historiography of the period is undergoing a measure of fine-tuning, in the interest of achieving the highest possible level of historical accuracy.
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Or perhaps better in present context:What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
It may be, as Michael Mills suggests, that......that which we call Aktion/ Einsatz Reinhard/t
By any other name would smell as foul.
but that it may not be all that important does not, to my mind, mean that it is not worth exploring at all. Even if one concludes, as I do, that the term had no universally accepted "precise official definition" within the Nazi bureaucracy, I believe that in itself is worth knowing.What the precise official definition of the term was, whether it was officially some sort of accounting code, remains unknown and perhaps is not all that important.
Nor can I agree with Earldor that:
Mr. Mills can speak for himself, but I personally can testify under oath that I hold noone whatsoever in the Nazi panoply as a hero. Far, far to the contrary. Nor do I see how suggesting that Aktion Reinhart (or any of its variations in name) may have designated the economic aspects of an almost unbelievably inhuman, barbaric, despicable and utterly evil (as I truly consider it) criminal enterprise is in someway "whitewashing" its perpetrators.But then again, in my view this whole speculation is a futile attempt to brand AR as solely an economic enterprise and whitewash a few more of Mr. Mills' heros.
It seems to me that Earldor must be of the view that if one accepts the fact that the extermination of the European Jews became the policy of the Nazi government as the Endlösung of the Jewish Question, which it actually put into vicious and widespread implementation, then no further inquiry into the details of the decision or its process is appropriate, in that it detracts from the horror of the basic fact. I simply can not accept that view, as I still believe that there is something useful to be learned from an understanding of the details of how and when decisions were reached, how the bureaucracy was organized and actually worked, and the manner in which the policy was implemented. I am convinced that the "devil lies in details" and that there is some value in the pick and shovel work required to dig them out, even though at the end of the working day nothing has been produced to justify a definitive conclusion.
But in the belief that all the juice has now been squeezed from this interesting and thought provoking topic, I shall bid it "Adieu",
With regards, Kaschner
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I have not suggested that the issue should not be discussed or that it should be sensored, I am simply saying that I haven't seen anything resembling evidence to place doubt on the explanation that currently stands, i.e. that the AR denoted the genocide of GG Jews which, of course, had economic component as well. Even the Auschwitz connection, that Mr. Mills originally put forward as the source of his speculations is now explained, if we interpret the document I presented in context.walterkaschner wrote: but that it may not be all that important does not, to my mind, mean that it is not worth exploring at all.
Could you then explain why you as an accomplished lawyer forgot to include the full context of the document in your speculation and went with Mr. Mills' demand that the document should be explained without "any preconceived notions or knowledge" about the issue? I'm not claiming that you are trying to whitewash the tainted name "Aktion Reinhardt", I'm simply astounded how easily people are able to forget the issues discussed and put forward in the thread.Nor can I agree with Earldor that:
But then again, in my view this whole speculation is a futile attempt to brand AR as solely an economic enterprise and whitewash a few more of Mr. Mills' heros.
It is the same kind of proposition that was put forward by Mr. Mills as his spin on the Wannsee conference and the "White Sea" hypothesis.Nor do I see how suggesting that Aktion Reinhart (or any of its variations in name) may have designated the economic aspects of an almost unbelievably inhuman, barbaric, despicable and utterly evil (as I truly consider it) criminal enterprise is in someway "whitewashing" its perpetrators.
No, I have no problems with further inquiry or study. I do have a problem with accepting different hypotheses without sufficient evidence and attempts at twisting the evidence.It seems to me that Earldor must be of the view that if one accepts the fact that the extermination of the European Jews became the policy of the Nazi government as the Endlösung of the Jewish Question, which it actually put into vicious and widespread implementation, then no further inquiry into the details of the decision or its process is appropriate, in that it detracts from the horror of the basic fact.
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Of course, no one would expect Earldor to have ”no problems” with such an acceptance of ”different hypotheses”, if they are ”without sufficient evidence”!No, I have no problems with further inquiry or study. I do have a problem with accepting different hypotheses without sufficient evidence and attempts at twisting the evidence.
Evidence suffering from ”attempts at twisting” can be expected to have ”no problems” of being restored to proper shape ”with further inquiry or study”, if Earldor was to decide.
No problems to Earldor in such cases.
The problem seems to be what constitutes ”sufficient evidence”, and how to distinguish the ”attempts at twisting the evidence” that is considered sufficient already.
how do we know what is sufficient evidence and how do we know when it is twisted?
The answer seems to be : we know when we know enough!
Then why keep asking? We already know enough, don’t we? Beyond "sufficient" there can only be "twisting"!
Yes, ”we” do – but then there is ”somebody else” who don’t – or didn’t.
Damas and Earldor on the ”Did anybody else know?” – thread [Damas asked for ”first hand experience” and ”actual knowledge(more than rumours)” from ”anybody else”, ie., the allies of Hitler]:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 597#658597If they knew, shouldn't they be held accountable too?
In most cases they were held accountable. Maybe not specifically for the Holocaust, but what kind of retribution did you have in mind? There is plenty of blame to go around but you can hang a person only once.
Genocide in World War Two: Who Were the Guilty?
By Omer Bartov
Page 6 of 7:
The conclusion is that those who organise genocide all too often get away with it, while those subjected to it can rarely expect to see justice done. This is a lesson that we need to take to heart as we contemplate contemporary cases of genocide, 'ethnic cleansing', and other crimes against humanity.
Genocide is a collective undertaking - those who order and organise it do not carry it out, those who do the killing claim ignorance of its scope, and emphasise their inability to disobey orders. In other words, unlike homicide, genocide is deeply rooted in the expectation of impunity. Everyone knows it is happening, but no one seems to be responsible, and no one is willing to intervene. This, to cite the most current example out of scores of others that have occurred since 1945, is what we can now see going on in Darfur.
Thus, when we ask, 'Who is guilty?' there is only one answer we can come up with, in view of our own willingness to allow such mass murder to go on. The answer is: 'We are.'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/genoci ... y_06.shtml
If ”…those who organise genocide all too often get away with it, while those subjected to it can rarely expect to see justice done”, then ”…when we ask, 'Who is guilty?' there is only one answer we can come up with, in view of our own willingness to allow such mass murder to go on. The answer is: 'We are' ”.
Since we are all guilty, knowing what we know that we know, and ”in view of our own willingness to allow such mass murder to go on”…. we can be hanged all, it seems; and not ”once”, but in eternity.There is plenty of blame to go around but you can hang a person only once.
The model case here seems to be the ”original sin”, emanating from the eating of the fruit of knowledge from its Tree. Adam and Eve made us all guilty.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/genoci ... e_03.shtmlIs Forgiveness Possible? A Jewish Perspective
By Rabbi Albert Friedlander
Page 3 of 5
Once, in Berlin, I lectured to the children of the 20th of July group who had tried to kill Hitler. I sat next to Helmut Kohl who believed in the grace of having been born after the events. I informed him that he could not simply remove the years from 1933 - 1945. 'You take pride in the great German traditions of Schiller and Goethe, of Bach and Beethoven', I said to him. 'But, in history or in logic, the middle cannot be excluded from the structure. You have also inherited the Holocaust.' All of us, observing our National Holocaust Day, carry part of that legacy within our society.
Are we allowed to have a problem with accepting the evidence as sufficient?[…]I do have a problem with accepting different hypotheses without sufficient evidence and attempts at twisting the evidence.
Allowed to find the ”part of that legacy” that is carried ”within our society” (Rabbi Friedländer) to be ”twisting the evidence”?
Or will the new ”inherited” sin of the Holocaust emulate the old ”original” Fall of Man – different hypotheses will be unacceptable, and deviations from Orthodoxy found to be ”twisting the evidence”?
The straits will be as dire for the ”new” doubters as once they were for the old?
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http://www.death-camps.org/reinhard/arloot.htmThe entire Action Reinhardt is divided into four spheres: A. The expulsion itself. B. The employment of labour. C. The exploitation of property. D. Seizure of hidden goods and landed property. [=]
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AR was a three pronged operation headed up by Globocnik that featured the extermination of most Jews, the utilization of able bodied Jews as slaves, and the plundering of the property of the extermination victims. The treatment of the property was handled by the WVHA jointly with Globocnik's men in Lublin, and by the WVHA alone in Chelmno and Auschwitz. As the local authorities in those regions carried out the exterminations themselves, there was no need for Globocnik to get involved, and only the economic aspect of AR existed there. In Lublin however, the personnel under Globocnik (einsatz rienhard) carried out the extermination portion of the operation.
That's just my two cents.
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Globocnik would never had any role in Chelmno or Auschwitz no matter what.Jeff_36 wrote:As the local authorities in those regions carried out the exterminations themselves, there was no need for Globocnik to get involved
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I have read various historians discuss this question, but I have never seen these historians weigh these testimonies in their analysis of the "Reinhardt vs Heydrich" issue. They appear to have been overlooked. If these passages have been discussed before in context of this question, I would appreciate it if somebody could point me to those discussions.
Report on unfinished tasks and programs of office group W (economic enterprises) of the W.V.H.A.
Reading through the Nuremberg/IMT Pohl Case (1950) transcript, I noticed that the term "Reinhardt Fund" is used to describe the Reichsbank accounts that managed the assets acquired from the sequestered property of Aktion Reinhardt. This was named after Fritz Reinhardt, whose ministry established these accounts with the Reichsbank:
Source: Stanisław Dobosiewicz (1977). Mauthausen/Gusen; obóz zagłady (Mauthausen/Gusen; the Camp of Doom) (in Polish). Warsaw: Ministry of National Defence Press. p. 449. ISBN 83-11-06368-0.Reinhardt's fund (named after its creator, Fritz Reinhardt) was a group of Nazi German bank accounts where money and valuables stolen from concentration and death camp victims were kept. The money was used to finance a number of Nazi construction projects, including the construction of new concentration camps.
One of the defendants of the trial, August Frank, who was Pohl's deputy chief of WVHA, describes the origin and name of these accounts:
http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/transc ... x+HeiligerQ. Do you know whether the valuables which were turned over to the Reichsbank became a deposit of the SS, or were these valuables finally turned over in this way to the Reich?
A. The following must be said in this respect in order to make it understandable. The Reichsbank took over these goods. This was not a deposit of the SS but these objects became the property of the Reichsbank without any further difficulty... The countervalue for this foreign exchange was placed in a special account by the Reichsbank, with the Reich Main Treasury. As Pohl had already testified, this account was called Max Heiliger. That was a fictional name, and this account was an account of the Reich Ministry of Finance. The WVHA was not able to dispose over this account. I was only able to figure it out from the documents because in my affidavit I stated that this had been an account of the WVHA.
This account was created by the Reich Ministry of Finance, over which Fritz Reinhardt was State Secretary, and was given the pseudonym "Max Heiliger."
Frank describes a separate account, "Account 1288" that was also established with coordination between Himmler and the Reich Ministry of Finance. This account is also understood to be part of the "Reinhardt Fund":
http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/transc ... hardt+FundQ. How was it then that this credit received the name "Reinhardt Fund"?
A. Because as I already stated, the first two installment payments were withdrawn from account 1288.
So there were multiple accounts with different names: "Reinhardt Fund", "Reinhardt Account", "Max Heiliger", and "Account 1288." Melmer's role was to physically transport the goods from the WVHA office directly to the Reichsbank.
Hans Baier, an SS official in Pohl's office in the WVHA, directly affirms his understanding that the "Reinhardt Fund" pertained to Fritz Reinhardt specifically:
http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/transc ... hardt+FundQ. Were the funds coming from the Reinhardt Fund?
A. I don't know. I did not know it at the time, and that is why I asked.
Q. What did you mean when you said you wrote out the contract for the Reinhardt loan?
A. In the notice which was left behind, it said there was a contract between DWB and the Reich to be fixed, and the heading said "Reinhardt Fund". I thereupon reflected what this could be about, and I came across the name of State Secretary Reinhardt, whom I knew very well. He was my superior in the Reich Ministry of Finance.
Karl Sommer was another deputy chief of the WVHA. He was asked in his examination:
http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/transc ... +ReinhardtQ. [sic] Therefore, I assume from your answer that from the type of watches which were being repaired here one could not draw the conclusion that these watches had been taken away from inmates who had been killed?
A. No, that assumption could not be drawn. I myself tried on one occasion to see an order according to which these watches had been confiscated. As far as I can recall, I talked to Melmer about that on one or two occasions. As far as I remember, it was Melmer told me at that time that these watches had been confiscated by virtue of a decree which the State Secretary Reinhardt in the Reich Ministry of Finance had issued, and that was the reason why this action had been given the name of Action Reinhardt.
The Reinhardt Fund not called the "Melmer account" as frequently claimed, and Melmer himself directly attributed the legal basis for Aktion Reinhardt to decrees issued by Fritz Reinhardt, and directly attributed the code-name of the operation to Fritz Reinhardt.[/size]
Notice, also, that Melmer and Karl Sommer understood that the confiscation of the property was established by a decree issued by Fritz Reinhardt, which corroborates Michael Mill's conclusions regarding Reinhardt's early role in "Aktion Reinhardt", vis-a-vis decrees he had issued, such as the Eleventh Ordinance.
Leo Volk, who was personal adviser to Pohl and head of Legal in Pohl's division in WVHA, described to the judge in detail why Aktion Reinhardt was named after Fritz Reinhardt:
http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/transc ... inistry%22Q. What did you think the Reinhardt Fund was?
A. The Reinhardt Fund I understood or thought to understand that the state secretary Reinhardt from the Reich Finance Ministry, who was an exponent of the Part and who was a friend of Schwerin von Krusiqk, who was Reich Finance Minister, had placed those funds at the disposal of the DWB. Reinhardt was also known to me from his work and his activity during peacetime for the very simple reason that he introduced in Germany communal administration in the big Reinhardt Reform which was the real taxation reform. He also established the Reinhardt Interest Bonuses. He compiled and wrote several books about taxation laws. Apart from that, all new taxes and finance reforms were actually taken care of by Reinhardt according to both the press and the propaganda. Furthermore, Reinhardt was written with "dt" at the end in this letter and as far as I know today Reinhard is spelled with a "d" at the end rather than a "dt". Apart from that, Herr Pohl once called me to his office, in Frank's presence, and told me that the Reich Finance Ministry wanted to give a credit to the DWB, if this would be possible.
All I could understand from this was that this was actually a fund which was placed at the disposal of the DWB by the second highest official in the Reich Finance Ministry.
BY JUDGE MUSMANNO:
Q. May I ask a question, please?
Is it customary for the name of the Minister to be attached to a purely governmental function?
A. I'm afraid the translation didn't quite get through, Your Honor.
Q. I'll put the question very specifically. The Reinhardt of whom you speak was Assistant Minister of the Treasury? Is that what I understand? Ministry of Finance, yes?
A. Yes, that's right. Graf Schwerin von Krossigk was the Minister. The State Secretary was Reinhardt. Schwerin von Krossigk was the professional man and was Reich Minister even prior to 1933, and state secretary Reinhardt was SA Obergruppenfuehrer.
Q. Anything coming out of the Ministry of Finance wouldn't bear the name of the Minister as such, would it, being a purely governmental operation?
A. Yes, but as I have stated before, the real taxation reform was also called the Reinhardt real tax reform. I have to understand from that if this fund is called "the Reinhardt Fund" that the Reich Finance Ministry placed certain monies at the disposal of the DWB.
Q. I can understand how, in the newspapers, the name could be attached to the operation, but, within the government itself, if it is a governmental action, I cannot understand why the name Reinhardt would be used.
A. Yes, Mr. Federal Judge, such names in particular were chosen. You see, series of actions received the names of leading personalities. The reason why this was done was that the Fuehrer principle was to be shown more clearly by doing that.
In Germany, even in governmental circles, one never spoke of a cabinet or a government, one always spoke of the man.
BY DR. GAWLIK:
Q. Witness, perhaps you can answer the following question.
Would you please explain to the Tribunal, witness, the personality of the Finance Minister Schwerin Krossigk and the personality of Reinhardt. Tell us which of the two was the most important person and why it was not at all difficult to understand that fund wasn't called according to the name Schwerin von Krossigk but rather according to the State Secretary? what part did von Krossigk play in social life and what was the role of Mr. Reinhardt in public life?
A. Mr. Defense Counsel, if I, as a rather young person, have to give you a judgment or my opinion on these two personalities I have to say that von Krossigk was the most important one of the two because he was a sensible, professionally very skilled man who, step by step, actually worked his way up to the position of Minister. Even in the democratic regime, Herr Reinhardt, up to 1933, was nothing but a simple teacher in a business school. It was only through the help of the Party that he became a SA-Gruppenfuehrer and SA Obergruppenfuehrer. It was he then who was placed a bit higher as an exponent of the Party, and all these things which von Krossigk had done to the German Reich while working hard, the financing, etc, all this, during the war, was said to have been done by Reinhardt. You could read in the paper: "Herr Reinhardt, and Reinhardt again." Reinhardt held speeches at every conference. The people in the Finance Ministry knew that the real man behind it all was von Krossigk. Others knew that, but we all knew that Reinhardt would be the one credited with everything. That was the reason that I didn't have a single doubt that Reinhardt was the man who had given the fund.
In this passage, Dr. Volk explains to the judge the logical reason for Fritz Reinhardt's name to be used in this operation, and explicitly doubts that the origin of the name was Heydrich.
Hohberg is an additional witness who clarified that "Reinhardt" was spelled with "dt", and he testified to his belief, and the belief of those around him, that "Reinhardt" referred to State Secretary Reinhardt:
http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/transc ... t+HeydrichThe second reason was that the SS enterprises had borrowed eight million Reichsmarks from the Red Cross, since several years, and we-when I say "we" I mean Dr. Volk, Dr. Wenner and myself -- thought it rather important that those loans of the Red Cross should be paid back as quickly as possible. That was the second reason why we were so highly interested in this Reinhardt loan. As far as the source of the Reinhardt Fund was concerned, nothing was spoken about it, but on the other hand, certain inquiries were made in that respect. As far as I can recall Herr Frank Frank answered that those were amounts which came from the east and that he, together with the Reich Finance Ministry was the one who had the right to take it over.
May it please your Honors, while looking through those documents you will see that the word "Reinhardt" is mostly written with "dt" at the end. Staatssekretaer Reinhardt was practically speaking the deputy of the Reichs Finance Ministry. We thought that that was the reason for the name of that fund.
Q. Where was it the name actually came from?
A. Well, here in Nurnberg I must assume that it means Reinhardt Heydrich, and Reinhardt stands for the first name of Heydrich.
This passage is especially interesting because Hohberg is recognizing that the "Reinhardt Heydrich" conclusion is merely a theory being pushed at Nuremberg and does not reflect what he, or those around him, thought at the time of the operation. They thought it referred to Fritz Reinhardt.
Another interesting point of Hohberg's testimony is that he identifies a certain "Heydrich Action" as referring to arrests and reprisals in Prague, not as exterminations or the "Aktion Reinhardt" initiative:
http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/transc ... ich+ActionJUDGE MUSMANNO: Counsel, may I interrupt just for one second, please.
Witness, in your previous answer you referred to the Heydrich Action. Did you mean by that the extermination program?
WITNESS: No, I meant the arrests in Bohemia, in Czechoslovakia, after the assassination of Heydrich. Several thousand Czechs were arrested and some of them were executed.
This demonstrates that Hohberg was aware of the fallout from Heydrich's assassination, understood a "Heydrich Action" that referred to the arrests in Czechoslovakia, but understood that business to be distinct from the "Aktion Reinhardt" that he and those around him, at the time of their involvement, attributed to Fritz Reinhardt.
What's interesting is that the Prosecution provides no documentary support or witness testimony corroborating their "Heydrich" theory for AR's code-name, but they still include it in their findings of fact with the qualifier approximately enough. Clearly this conclusion is not approximate enough, as the name of AR clearly refers to State Secretary Reinhardt of the Reich Ministry of Finance.
I would also paste the passages from the witnesses who claim that they believed "Reinhardt" referred to Heydrich at the time of their involvement in the operation, but there are none.
Again, if there has been previous discussion on the relation of this evidence to the "Reinhardt versus Heydrich" question I would be interested in hearing it. I briefly discussed the implications of these passages with Sergey, who insisted that these witnesses are "speculating", which frankly doesn't hold any water.