"Aktion Reinhardt" -- What did it denote?

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Post by ehlerner » 15 Dec 2004 15:54

[quote="walterkaschner"]Certainly Michael Mills needs - and would probably disdain - any defense by me.

His original point was that a U.S. court had found as a fact that "Action Reinhardt" was limited to an action "to gather into the Reich all the the Jewish manpower and wealth which could be reached". (Post of 11/03/04) or, in other words, an "operation involved the sequestration, processing and disposal of the property of Jews deported or imprisoned in the concentration camps administered by the WVHA.'' (Post of 12/13/04) .

With apologies for length, regards, Kaschner[/quote]

Fascinating concept: MM has a lawer defending him!

Here is an official English-language translation of some direct quotes taken from a statement of Oswald Pohl signed at Nuremberg on 2 April 1947.

Affidavit of Oswald Pohl
Translation of Doc. No. FO-2714 (PE579)
Office of Chief Counsel for Crimes

On one occasion Globocnik spoke to me of the clearing of the Lublin area for settlement, and he mentioned the settlers’ community he intended to found. He was charged by Himmler with the job of carrying out the program against the Jews, known as Action Reinhardt.

As far as I can remember Action Reinhardt was initiated in 1941 or 1942.

Arrangements through which deliveries of concentration camp loot were to be delivered by the SS to the Reichsbank were directed by Himmler.

. . . . .(T)here was no question as to the source of the material turned over to the Reichsbank. . . .the loot realized from Action Reinhardt . . . consisted of a great variety of personal items . . .It was never doubted that this loot was taken from Jews exterminated in the concentration camps.

.....I knew about these things in my capacity as Chief of the WVHA. . .

(In 1944) . . . . . the enterprises set up or acquaired by GLobocnik . . .were co-ordinated into a new company, the OSTINDUSTRIE (Osti) GmbH and placed under the command of Stab W of the WVHA.

I had no previous knowledge of this action Reinhardt. But when I received all the vouchers setting out the economic assets, received, I realized the extent of the operation. I realized that . . .goods listed in this report had been taken from people who had been violentlyh put to death and that the purpose of the operation concerned had been the extermination of the Jews.

Upon the completion of Action Reinhardt all the concerns and the complete economic part of this action . . .were officially taken over by the WVHA.

I received a letter from Himmler expressing his thanks for my carrying out the economic side of the Action Reinhardt.

OSWALD POHL

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Post by Earldor » 15 Dec 2004 15:58

walterkaschner wrote: Although this gave rise to a virtual tidal wave of opposition and dispute, it does seem to me that his point, although tending to bowdlerize the pernicious means and effects from the operation, was not totally devoid of merit, and that the court did in fact believe and find that the purpose of Action Reinhardt, however brutal and inhuman in its execution, was primarily economic.
Was the killing of nearly two million Jews, who had been living in poverty in the Ghettos, and whose property had been sequestered or rather robbed, from them with earlier statutes an economic operation or an ideological operation? If your answer is the latter, you must review your opinion regarding the definition of Operation Reinhard again.
The U.S. court in question was the United States Military Tribunal II, as reported in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 5: United States v. Oswald Pohl, et. al. (Case 4: 'Pohl Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950.
May I remind you of two fairly important factors: One, court cases are important but they are not historiography; two, this court case is from 1950, when our knowledge of the Operation Reinhard was deplorable. The few perpetrators that ended up in courts were tried mostly in the mid-to late-60's, the first trial (if I recall correctly was of Hirtreitrer in 1951).

Also, the case was about Pohl and WVHA, so it is natural that the perception of Operation Reinhard is a bit skewered and biased towards the economic side of things. Do you think that Pohl would have volunteered or emphasised that the operation in fact was to exterminate the two million Jews in the GG? I would have sticked to the looting as well.

Extermination centers similar to Auschwitz existed at Treblinka, Majdanek, Belsec, and Sobibor in the vicinity of Lublin.
And these camps were not under WVHA's jurisdiction until 1943, when Treblinka and Sobibor were dissolved after the uprisings. Belzec had been dissolved already earlier that year, when the last 1005 operations finished. Majdanek was the only camp to really transfer entirely under WVHA and even there the Jewish population was decimated with the Erntefest in the fall of 1943. I'd like to recommend Michael Thad Allen's "Hitler's Slave Lords", which tells the story of the WVHA, although I have to admit that I haven't had time to read yet, but it is on my "to-do" -list.
In this compounded crime of genocide, the WVHA played a very essential part. This extermination of peoples, this mass deportation of slave labor in concentration camps, gave rise to the confiscation, or to put it more precisely, the theft of property on a gigantic scale. To the defendant Pohl and his collaborators in the WVHA fell the task of collecting that property and mustering those slaves for use by the Third Reich.
As this passage attests, the court case was about WVHA and Pohl, and their association with the Operation Reinhard was mostly economic. We have argued, that there was an economic component to the Operation Reinhard, especially from the point of view of WVHA involvement, but that the operation wasn't solely economic. Pohl's and Globocnik's relationship was that of rival Nazi leaders so typical of Nazi organizations.
The extermination camps in the vicinity of Lublin, such as Treblinka and Majdanek, gave rise to special problems because of the magnitude of their operations. These camps were, until the latter part of 1943, under the jurisdiction of one Odilo Globocnik, the Higher SS and Police Leader, Lublin. In order to coordinate the undertaking, a special staff "G" was created within the framework of the WVHA. The head of this staff was Globocnik while the administrative and accounting personnel was supplied by the WVHA. It was the task of special staff "G" to seize and account for all property in the Government General of occupied Poland derived from the extermination and enslavement of Jews. This ghoulish program was called "Action Reinhardt" presumably in honor of Reinhard Heydrich who was assassinated in the summer of 1942.
Again, the court is concentrating solely on the role of the WVHA. Whether the term Operation Reinhard originated in the WVHA is unclear, but it is entirely wrong to restrict it's use to simply the economic side of things.

You and Mills have to come up with something more concrete than inconsistencies in spelling to prove that Aktion Reinhard/t and Einsatz Reinhard/t are separate entities. Now, why would someone name a large operation like this with so similar names? Why does Himmler thank Globocnik for the completion of Aktion Reinhard? Why are the death camp personnel called the Einsatz Reinhard or taskforce Reinhard?
This then, was Action Reinhardt a coldly premeditated program of mass murder and gigantic theft visited upon a people whose only crime was that of failure to be born an Aryan. In scope and brutality the crime is without parallel
And as you can see, the court wasn't entirely consitent, if we are to believe Mr. Mills' interpretation of the events. All the historians, except the revisionist ones, accept that the Operation Reinhard was a two-fold operation, entailing the institutionalized murder of innocent human beings and their robbery.
Action Reinhardt

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


Yes, in the case of the WVHA. Not in the case of the Führer's Chancellory and SSPF/Lublin.

named approximately enough, for Reinhard Heydrich, formerly chief of the Security Police and SD, who met his death -- and this, too, appropriately enough -- in Czechoslovakia in 1942.
Again a clear indication that Mr. Mills cherry-picks the evidence.
The purpose of the action was to gather into the Reich all the Jewish manpower and wealth which could be reached.
This and the following passage shows the level of knowledge the court had regarding the Operation Reinhard. Totally and utterly wrong.
It was a program of deliberate wholesale brigandage which was, at the same time, an added aspect of the extermination program. [Note that in the Court's view, Action Reinhardt was not the extermination program itself, but an aspect added to it.]
In the execution of this program, Pohl's WVHA played a major role. His organization was the clearing house for all the booty. All of the stolen property was routed through WVHA, where it was inventoried, appraised, and distributed. [My emphasis added through out.]
And again, this is the view presented from the viewpoint of the WVHA. It brings nothing new to the discussion.
So from the above, I believe it is only fair to conclude, as did Michael Mills, that in the view of the U.S. Military Tribunal the purpose of Action Reinhardt was economic exploitation of Jewish wealth and labor, rather than extermination.
And in the light of what we now know of the genesis of the Operation Reinhard it is foolish to say that it was only an economic enterprise. I would suggest that walterkaschner read more about the subject. I can give book recommendations, if you wish.
Indeed, it seems to me at least arguable that the success of the RSHA, which was occupied with the latter, was probably the principal cause of putting Action Reinhardt, as such, out of business toward the end of 1943.
The operation came to an end in the fall of 1943 because the bulk of the Jews in the GG had been killed in these camps. Remember that Himmler had accelerated the killing and told his men to take care of the Jews by the end of 1942. Belzec had concluded operations in December 1942, Sobibor and Treblinka went on to continue operations until the uprisings in August and October 1943 respectively.
That conclusion on my part does not, however, mean that I necessarily accept the findings of the Tribunal as unassailable gospel. I've been a lawyer far too long for that, particularly where a court's finding is mere obiter dicta and is not crucial to its basic holding.
You should however take also into account all the work historians have done after this courtcase. Indeed, it is silly to trust a US courtcase from 1950 to decide the matter.
I appreciate the original source evidence proffered by Earldor, but believe it inconclusive, in that I think it perfectly conceivable that SS personnel involved in general KZ administration under the WVHA could be assigned specific Action Reinhardt duties and be rewarded for their performance therein.
The men listed were never under the WVHA or the KZ administration. Some had been, previously, but not in this context. Really, you should read at least the ARC -website fully.
The British decode of the January 11, 1943 message is indeed tantalizing, but IMHO simply not persuasive that Action Reinhardt was organized and instituted for the purpose of extermination.
Could you elaborate a bit more on your reasoning here? What do you think that the message refers to?

IMHO you are too fast to reject the evidence.
In my view what is needed, assuming the findings of the Military Tribunal are insufficient or in doubt, is a firm focus on the issue: i.e., why was Action Reinhardt formed, what was its specific purpose, and what was the source of its name - together with a greater and more focused assembly and critical analysis of whatever evidence may be out there; and much less emotional reaction and ready acceptance of preconceived notions, which may or may not have firm evidential support.
Would you believe that there are a lot of books and papers on the subject? The opinions that I, Sergey, ehlerner, David and others have presented are based on generally the same lines as those studies by professional historians. You are basing your indecision on a single, fairly dated court case that was studying one aspect of the operation.

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Post by ehlerner » 15 Dec 2004 16:30

[quote="michael mills"]For Ehlerner:

There is a chapter in Poprzeczny's book dealing with Globocnik's associates in Lublin.

One section in that chapter deals with Hermann Hoefle. n that section it states that Hoefle was known for his bad spelling.

When I read that, I felt that it probably explained the strange spelling "Einsatz Reinhart" in the radio message sent by Hoefle that was intercepted by British intelligence.

If Ehlerner wants to get his knickers in a not over whether Hoefle was or was not a bad speller, that is his preprogative as a playwright. In itself the matter is a mere bagatelle
SNIP [/quote]


My point here was to underline the triviality of Mr. Mills' comment re Hoefle's supposed problem with spelling.


[quote]If Ehlerner wants to check on whether Poprzeczny believes that "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Fritz Reinhardt, the State Secretary of the Reich Ministry of Finance, he could follow this procedure:

First, look in the index for "Reinhardt, Fritz". As far as I remember, there are two references to him.

Look up the first reference. The paragraph in which Fritz Reinhardt appears contains a footnote.

Look up that footnote. It is quite lengthy, and in it Poprzeczny explains why he thinks "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Fritz Reinhardt.[/quote]

Yes, yes, I know very well how to read an index. My reading comprehension also works quite well. I previously posted Poprzeczny's opinion that "Irrespective of these additional variants, it is the same robbing and killing that Globocnik headed which is being referred to."

[quote]Ehlerner might also care to confirm to readers that Poprzeczny draws quite extensively on David Irving as a source.[/quote]


Poprzeczny does make several negative, critical references to Irving. To state categorically that Poprzeczny "draws quite extensively on David Irving" is a gross exaggeration cum misrepresentation.

For example (zum Beispiel):

P.4
Not even David Irving, who has persistently contended that Adolf Hitler was unaware of the Jewish Holocaust (Aktion Reinhardt), has sought to minimize Globocnik’s murderous record and culpability in this regard.

P.76
According to the English writer David Irving, Hess replied . . .

P. 217
David Irving says that these killing centers were erected after long consideration on how Europe’s Jews should be eliminated.

P. 218
Despite David Irving’s proclivity for attempting tocordon off or sanatize Adolf Hitler . . .

P. 331
Wirth was only in charge of the latter stage of this system, that is, the killing centers, what David Irving so aptly called ‘terminal stations.’

P.404
Irving’s view of the Anglo-German conflict that became World War II in some ways resembles that of William ‘Lord Haw Haw’ Joyce’s fears and warnings before his departure from England for Germany in 1939, where he worked as a Berlin Radio broadcaster. . . .For an expansion of these points see: ‘The Man who Admires Hitler’, by Joseph Poprzeczny, THE SUNDAY TIMES (Perth), 28 March 1993. Irving was chaperoned, during his 1986 Western Australian visit, byh menbers of Australia’s right-wing lobby group, the League of Rights, many of whose members are Holocaust deniers.

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Post by ehlerner » 15 Dec 2004 17:12

[quote="Earldor"][quote]The WVHA had a hand in the looting process of AR. As Michael Thad Allen says in his book "Hitler's Slave Lords":
[list]"Globocnik had taken charge of what was code-named the Operation Reinhard. The operation was twofold. First, Globocnik intended to rid the East once and for all of Jews. Second, he designed the operation to extract all possible remaining wealth from the murdered Jews for transfer to Reich accounts. At first there seemed no contradiction between industry and genocide, and the WVHA participated in these plans from the beginning by fencing the stolen property."[/quote]

If you've not as yet read the following article, you might find it of interest:

THE BANALITY OF EVIL RECONSIDERED: SS MID-LEVEL MANAGERS OF EXTERMINATION THROUGH WORK

Michael Thad Allen

Central European History, vol. 30, no.2, 253-294

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Post by Earldor » 15 Dec 2004 19:17

michael mills wrote: On the one hand, there is a set of documents emanating from the WVHA referring to an operation with the code-name "Aktion Reinhardt".
You have not managed to distance the WVHA Aktion Reinhardt from the Aktion Reinhard perpetrated by Globocnik. They are two aspects of the same operation. The origin of the name and the spelling are inconsequential.

In Auschwitz, a WVHA camp, it seems as though the Operation Reinhard referred to the looting, as is to be expected from WVHA's point of view. Globocnik was in overall command of the Aktion Reinhard as is clear from e.g. the fact that it was Globus who sent the report about the economic plunder to Himmler and Himmler then thanked Globocnik for the successful completion of the said operation. You'll notice that Pohl is mentioned only as an aside here. And as to the clandestine, independent operation by Globocnik, those documents trash your claims entirely.

http://www.deathcamps.org/reinhard/arloot.htm
http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0056-G01.htm

(in this document Globocnik claims to have led the Aktion Reinhardt in the GG, how much more evidence do you require? Thanks to Sergey for these.)

http://www.mazal.org/NO-series/NO-0058-G01.htm

I think Walter Kaschner should also acquaint himself with these documents.

It is a fairly safe bet that the bulk of the documents relating to this operation were destroyed by the Germans, as they tried to do with the Aktion Reinhard death camps and that the only documents left are the "secondary ones", i.e. the ones referring to the looting, which were naturally in the possession of WVHA.
On the other hand, there is a series of documents originating from the office of the SSPF-Lublin, Odilo Globocnik, containing references to an "Einsatz Reinhard". Such references also occur in correspondence between Himmler and Globocnik.

The context of those references suggests that "Einsatz Reinhard" was part of Globocnik's office in Lublin. The background of the name is not clear, but it may well have been coined by Globocnik himself; its official status is also unclear.
I don't see why the Germans would have bothered to have two secret operations by the SS with almost the same name. That would cause all kinds of trouble.

The differences in the usage of Aktion/Einsatz are easy to explain depending on the context. So are the differences in the spelling of Reinhard/Reinhardt.
When Globocnik was sent off to Trieste in disgrace, under suspicion of mass corruption
It may suit your agenda to say that Globocnik was sent to Trieste in disgrace, but I don't see anything to support that. He was promoted to SS-Obergruppenführer by Himmler and rose to a higher status (HSSPF as opposed to SSPF, http://www.deathcamps.org/reinhard/pic/ ... ppoint.jpg). He had been promoted earlier to SS-Gruppenführer and he was thanked by Himmler for the successful completion of his duties. I simply see no evidence of disgrace.

Also, all the investigations by Dr. Morgen were called off by Himmler, although there must have been enormous amounts of corruption in the Operation Reinhard camps and organization. It was a huge free for all.
Thus, there is no organisational connection between the staff of "Einsatz Reinhard" and the WVHA, or the latter's administration of "Aktion Reinhardt". The relationship between "Einsatz Reinhard" and "Aktion Reinhardt" is therefore unclear.
Maybe you should go through the Poprzezcny's book again and check what is told about Wippern. This might be of use as well http://www.deathcamps.org/reinhard/wippern.html in exposing your lies.

The WVHA was trying to encroach the labor camp empire of Globocnik earlier, but he was able to hold on to them until the completion of Operation Reinhard. When that operation was completed WVHA took full control over Majdanek and the labor camps in Lublin area.

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Post by David Thompson » 15 Dec 2004 19:25

Please avoid insulting personal remarks in posts.

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Post by ehlerner » 15 Dec 2004 20:39

[quote="David Thompson"]Please avoid insulting personal remarks in posts.[/quote]

To Whom It May Concern:

Please accept my personal apology if my posiings contain an arrogant under- or overtone. My (poor) excuse is that for 8 or 10 hours everyday, my work compells me to assimilate the nature of charachters in a story of evil. In future, I shall take greater care not to be possessed by Globus and company.
Thank you.

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Post by walterkaschner » 16 Dec 2004 06:31

Ah, dear..........I should have taken better heed of Hosea viii, 7!

Nonetheless, at the risk of reaping another whirlwind, I feel compelled to make a response of sorts to the reaction my post generated.

The simplicity of my point was obviously obscured by the prolixity of my post. That point pure and simple was that I felt Michael Mills was correct in his assertion that a U.S. court had found as a fact that the basic purpose of Action Reinhardt was primarily economic.

I did not intend to, nor did I, endorse Mr. Mills' other views, or even underwrite the historic validity of the Tribunal's finding; indeed, I quite agree with Earldor that:
......court cases are important but they are not historiography.....
Perhaps Earldor became too impatient with the undue length of my post to completely digest my comment (although he quotes it) that:
That conclusion on my part does not, however, mean that I necessarily accept the findings of the Tribunal as unassailable gospel. I've been a lawyer far too long for that, particularly where a court's finding is mere obiter dicta and is not crucial to its basic holding. And obviously, Mr. Mills himself has no faith in the Tribunal's finding that the Action was "named appropriately enough, for Reinhard Heydrich", as he seems to persist in pleading the case for Fritz Reinhardt, the Secretary of State for Finance, as its namesake.
I also agree with Earldor's point that:
Also, the case was about Pohl and WVHA, so it is natural that the perception of Operation Reinhard is a bit skewered and biased towards the economic side of things. Do you think that Pohl would have volunteered or emphasised that the operation in fact was to exterminate the two million Jews in the GG? I would have sticked to the looting as well
which, in addition to fairly pointing out the focus of the case, poses a fair question as to the credibility of Pohl's self-exculpatory affidavit, exerpts of which have been quoted by ehlehner, and which I agree should be taken with a very large grain of salt in light of the circumatances in which it was given.

I'm unable, however, to wholeheartedly accept Earldor's comment that:
......this court case is from 1950, when our knowledge of the Operation Reinhard was deplorable.
The great bulk of the original materials and sources relating to Action Reinhardt which have been cited or, thanks to our Moderator, quoted in haec verba seem to have been before the Tribunal in United States v. Oswald Pohl, including the three which Earldor suggested I should familiarize myself with in his 12:17 post (and which, BTW, I had already read in English translation, which seems to be reasonably true to the German.) The few other cited original sources which apparently turned up later and were presumably not before the tribunal do not appear to me to be persuasive, for reasons that, for the sake of brevity, I intend to return to at a later time. If there are other original sources which are not available on Avalon or have not been displayed by our Moderator or others on this Forum and which might be persuasive I would be happy to be advised of them - as I still have an open mind on the issue.

But indeed, in the attachment to Globocnik's 1/5/44 report to Himmler, which Earldor regards as crucial reading, Globocnik himself stated that:
The 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. [My emphasis]
which would seem to me to indicate that the Tribunal's finding that the principal purpose of Action Reinhardt was economic was well supported by the evidence before it.

Earldor also asked:
Was the killing of nearly two million Jews, who had been living in poverty in the Ghettos, and whose property had been sequestered or rather robbed, from them with earlier statutes an economic operation or an ideological operation? If your answer is the latter, you must review your opinion regarding the definition of Operation Reinhard again.
I readily confess that I claim no scholarship in this area and do not profess sufficient knowledge to provide a definitive answer to this question, but based on what I do know of the relevant original materials and sources, my tentative answer would have to be - both:

I presently think that Operation or Action Reinhard/t - however one wishes to name it or spell it - was an economic adjunct to the ideological decision to eliminate all Jewry from the face of Europe, which latter was reflected in the proceedings of the Wannsee Conference in January 1942. IMHO the methodology reflected by that decision was, in effect, a compromise between the ideological desire to get rid of the Jews, one way or another, as rapidly as possible, (which was to be the mission of the RSHA) and the economic demands to employ their wealth, of which their potential labor represented a significant portion, to the benefit of the Reich (which was to be the mission of the WVHA).

It seems to me tolerably clear that the compromise was: exterminate the Jews by working them to death or by murder (that's the overall responsibility of the RSHA) but in so doing extract the maximum economic benefit to the Reich (and that's the subordinate job of the WVHA).

IMHO Operation/Aktion Reinhard/t was instituted to squeeze out of that portion of European Jewry within, or to be brought within, the General Gouvernement, the last drop of economic benefit to the Reich before its complete elimination was to be achieved. But the potential tensions between the two conflicting interests, one ideological - one practical, are obvious, and in the end the ideological won out.

As I wrote in my post:
Indeed, it seems to me at least arguable that the success of the RSHA, which was occupied with the latter [elimination rather than exploitation], was probably the principal cause of putting Action Reinhardt, as such, out of business toward the end of 1943.


And Earldor apparently agrees:
The operation came to an end in the fall of 1943 because the bulk of the Jews in the GG had been killed in these camps. Remember that Himmler had accelerated the killing and told his men to take care of the Jews by the end of 1942. Belzec had concluded operations in December 1942, Sobibor and Treblinka went on to continue operations until the uprisings in August and October 1943 respectively.

One last quarrel with Earldor, coupled with a request that before he beats me up again he reads my posts more carefully. Earldor wrote:
You and Mills have to come up with something more concrete than inconsistencies in spelling to prove that Aktion Reinhard/t and Einsatz Reinhard/t are separate entities.
I've never made any such assertion, and indeed think it highly unlikely that the two were separate entities.

What I do think is that the Nazi governmental and bureaucratic structure was even more susceptible than most (and I know a little something of bureaucratic structures) to confusion, inertia, duplication of effort, turf warfare, clash of personalities, jealousies, duplicity and all the other administrative problems which any large and complex bureaurocratic organization of humans is heir to, magnified to several degrees by the secrecy and competition for favor which was rampant in the higher echelons of the Nazi "government". So it would not surprise me if there was some considerable confusion in the ranks about the precise role of Action Reinhardt and even about its name.

Earldor asked a couple of more direct questions which are deserving of response, but this post is already much too long and runs the same risks that my previous post was obviously heir to, so I will defer answers to those 'till a later time.

Regards, Kaschner

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Post by Earldor » 16 Dec 2004 14:13

walterkaschner wrote: Ah, dear..........I should have taken better heed of Hosea viii, 7!
Indeed :wink: I do apologize, if my words seemed too harsh.
The simplicity of my point was obviously obscured by the prolixity of my post. That point pure and simple was that I felt Michael Mills was correct in his assertion that a U.S. court had found as a fact that the basic purpose of Action Reinhardt was primarily economic.
No, I think I got the gist of your idea. I may have been a bit too hostile in my answer, and maybe didn't make the distinction between what I think Mills is trying to do and what you are saying as clear as I should have.

Let me recap. In my understanding Mills is claiming that the Aktion Reinhardt is purely an economic endeavour, and that the US court case attests to that. I disagree strongly.

You are saying that the Aktion Reinhardt was "primarily an economic" endeavour, and say that the US court case is correct in stating so. I disagree with the primacy of the economic side of things.

I find it extremely strange that you would say that the Aktion Reinhardt was primarily an economic endeavour for the reasons I have stated in my previous messages, and it seems that you even agree with me a bit further down, when you say: ""I presently think that Operation or Action Reinhard/t [...] was an economic adjunct to the ideological decision to eliminate all Jewry from the face of Europe, [...]."

According to the Black's Law Dictionary "Adjunct: 'Something added to another, but in a subordinate, auxiliary, or dependant position."

But I realize that you are referring to the entire Holocaust, not just the GG Jews.

The problem we are facing here may be that you, for some reason, are under the impression that the Aktion Reinhardt was a coherent operation by the WVHA to collect all the assets from the slave labor, the liquidation of the Jews, etc. in all of the Reich. This is not supported by the documents or the perpetrator testimony, which I consider important in understanding the whole of the issue.

Also, I believe that the documents we have attest to the fact, that this is not true. They tell us clearly that the operation was run by SSPF/Lublin, i.e. Globocnik, not Oswald Pohl. And even though the documents only allude to the extermination of the GG Jews, that was the main objective of the operation. In other words, the primary objective of the Aktion Reinhardt was to eliminate the GG Jews, and later others as well, and the secondary objective was to profit economically from the primary objective. "Waste not", was the German thinking here.
Perhaps Earldor became too impatient with the undue length of my post to completely digest my comment (although he quotes it) that:
I did understand that you agree with Mills only on this economic issue, but I left the quote in in order to emphasise that your only basis for your conclusions, with or without the caveats, has been the 1950 US court case. So far, you have rebuffed the primary documents without any explanation. But I noticed that you are planning on doing so.
I'm unable, however, to wholeheartedly accept Earldor's comment that:
......this court case is from 1950, when our knowledge of the Operation Reinhard was deplorable.
The great bulk of the original materials and sources relating to Action Reinhardt which have been cited or, thanks to our Moderator, quoted in haec verba seem to have been before the Tribunal in United States v. Oswald Pohl,
The fact remains that the later court cases and studies by historians has brought aboard a wealth of knowledge, that has led to nearly all historians to conclude that the primary purpose of the AR was to eliminate the Jewish population of the GG. The fact that the man in charge of the operation was Globus, not Pohl, is crucial in this matter.

The US court, while in possession of many of the documents, was not able to draw the right conclusions as to the primacy of the economic side, or our reading of the decision is wrong. I believe that the reason that the tribunal may say that the gist of AR was economic was that the court didn't have all the facts.
including the three which Earldor suggested I should familiarize myself with in his 12:17 post (and which, BTW, I had already read in English translation, which seems to be reasonably true to the German.) The few other cited original sources which apparently turned up later and were presumably not before the tribunal do not appear to me to be persuasive, for reasons that, for the sake of brevity, I intend to return to at a later time.
Now, that would have been the most important and interesting part, but I guess I'll have to wait.

I'd like to quote the document 4024-PS to reinforce my point (unfortunately I don't have the original German one).

Why do you think that Globocnik writes:

"However the recognition given me for the Action also impels me to give you, Reichsfuehrer, an account of the economic side, in order that you, Reichsfuehrer, may thereby see thatin this respect also, the work was in order."
If there are other original sources which are not available on Avalon or have not been displayed by our Moderator or others on this Forum and which might be persuasive I would be happy to be advised of them - as I still have an open mind on the issue.
I'll bring in any documents I may come up with, although I'm not sure there are that many in existance any more, but I am a bit puzzled that you're not able to give me even a short version of why you dismiss the documents already in play.
But indeed, in the attachment to Globocnik's 1/5/44 report to Himmler, which Earldor regards as crucial reading, Globocnik himself stated that:
The 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. [My emphasis]
which would seem to me to indicate that the Tribunal's finding that the principal purpose of Action Reinhardt was economic was well supported by the evidence before it.
I feel that you are fooled by the same thing as the tribunal was. The lack of knowledge about the Aktion Reinhardt as perpetrated by Odilo Globocnik. He sent his economic report to Himmler (What is the relation of the Korherr report to AR?), who was known to be extremely careful that no mention of the extermination was put on paper. That is why Globus is speaking of "The expulsion itself."

We need to have the knowledge of the "expulsion" (or "deportation", the term used a bit later) and the sheer size of it to realize what that simple, innocuous term entails.

Why do I think that the extermination of the Jews is entailed in under the "expulsion/deportation" title? Among other things, Globus hints at the AR death camps: "For reasons of surveillance in each camp a small farm was created which is occupied by an expert. An income must regularly be paid to him so that he can maintain the small farm."

He doesn't mention the purpose of these camps, he merely reminds Himmler of the economic implications of this, which is appropriate in a document concentrating solely on the "economic side of AR."
Earldor also asked:
Was the killing of nearly two million Jews, who had been living in poverty in the Ghettos, and whose property had been sequestered or rather robbed, from them with earlier statutes an economic operation or an ideological operation? If your answer is the latter, you must review your opinion regarding the definition of Operation Reinhard again.
I readily confess that I claim no scholarship in this area and do not profess sufficient knowledge to provide a definitive answer to this question, but based on what I do know of the relevant original materials and sources, my tentative answer would have to be - both:
Ok, so here you differ with Mills. Now we only have to tackle the question of whether the mass murder (the ideological) was the main issue or the
economic (the practical).
As I wrote in my post:
Indeed, it seems to me at least arguable that the success of the RSHA, which was occupied with the latter [elimination rather than exploitation], was probably the principal cause of putting Action Reinhardt, as such, out of business toward the end of 1943.


And Earldor apparently agrees:
The operation came to an end in the fall of 1943 because the bulk of the Jews in the GG had been killed in these camps. Remember that Himmler had accelerated the killing and told his men to take care of the Jews by the end of 1942. Belzec had concluded operations in December 1942, Sobibor and Treblinka went on to continue operations until the uprisings in August and October 1943 respectively.
I feel that there is no real quarrel here, only that to me it seems that we are still in basic disagreement about the nature of the AR.

Again, I don't see it as a strictly RSHA operation, but rather an ad hoc -operation by Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich with its roots in the T4-organization and the SSPF/Lublin staff with the WVHA, Reichsbahn and the different GG civilian authorities plus countless others giving support and assistance.

In other words, the AR was put down, because it had fulfilled its purpose, i.e. killing of the GG Jews. We are in agreement.
One last quarrel with Earldor, coupled with a request that before he beats me up again he reads my posts more carefully.
Auch.
Earldor wrote:
You and Mills have to come up with something more concrete than inconsistencies in spelling to prove that Aktion Reinhard/t and Einsatz Reinhard/t are separate entities.
I've never made any such assertion, and indeed think it highly unlikely that the two were separate entities.
I apologize for not reading your message more carefully and making this important distinction.

ehlerner
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Post by ehlerner » 16 Dec 2004 17:30

I am pleased to participate in this civil (to say "gentlemanly" would be sexist incorrectness!) discussion.

SNIP!
EHL
Last edited by ehlerner on 16 Dec 2004 18:38, edited 1 time in total.

ehlerner
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Post by ehlerner » 16 Dec 2004 18:32

I am pleased to participate in this civil (to say "gentlemanly" would be sexist incorrectness!) discussion.

To quote one of my most favorite people:
"What did we know and when did we know it?"
U.S. Senator Howard Baker
ca. Watergate 'era'


In early-1996, I wrote a request to NARA, asking for any available documentation specific to Odilo Globocnik. Attached are .jpg scans of a few pages I received from NARA in March, 1996. Presently, I, being a confirmed cynic, do hereby take poetic license and exercise liberty to deduce certain premises from my readings of histories.

1. Most all histrionics are composed by humans and are to a large extent self-serving.
2. In 1939 the Nazis thought they were invincible and the rest of humanity disposable.
3. In 1943 Poland, the Russians were coming! Hitler & Himmler decreed: uh-oh! They hastily prescribed as a remedy for their crimes against humanity, exhumation and cremation. Globus perportedly exclaimed: "We should build monuments to us!"
4. Traffic was thick with Nazis stashing their loot and covering their tracks. Globus had grown up in the Trieste area replete with hidden caves.
5. Anybody's guess.
6. In 1945-46, the Allies were in a rush to judgment at Nuremberg. They were required to dispense justice and for all intents and purposes had compiled objective, factual evidence.
7. At that time, most of us never heard of Globocnik aka Globotschnigg aka Globus, or of the devilish phenomenon codenamed aktion/action Reinhard/Reinhardt.
8. Glob was dead anyhow. Deep research was an inaffordable luxury. Time was of the essence. Justice be damned. Let's dust this mess and go home to gain wealth and power, and have sex.
9. Time marched on.
10. Enter Lerner's religious-existential cynicism:
Peace to the victorious;
Victory to the peaceable;
Hug two strangers and at least one is liable to pick your pocket.
[b]
Happy holidays![/b]
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ehlerner
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Post by ehlerner » 16 Dec 2004 18:46

[quote="ehlerner"]I am pleased to participate in this civil (to say "gentlemanly" would be sexist incorrectness!) discussion.

SNIP!

EHL[/quote]

A few more NARA pages added
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ehlerner
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Post by ehlerner » 16 Dec 2004 18:52

[quote="ehlerner"][quote="ehlerner"]I am pleased to participate in this civil (to say "gentlemanly" would be sexist incorrectness!) discussion.

SNIP!

EHL[/quote]

A few more NARA pages added[/quote]

One more scan: U.S. Army Intelligence short-list 1945
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David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 16 Dec 2004 19:06

ehlerner -- Thanks for posting those very interesting documents.

Dan
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Post by Dan » 16 Dec 2004 19:53

But indeed, in the attachment to Globocnik's 1/5/44 report to Himmler, which Earldor regards as crucial reading, Globocnik himself stated that:

Quote:
The 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. [My emphasis]


which would seem to me to indicate that the Tribunal's finding that the principal purpose of Action Reinhardt was economic was well supported by the evidence before it.
After a ton of posts covering many years on this forum, this is one of the biggest suprises to me. The idea that what we've up until now called the Reinhardt camps being qualitatively different than other camps, and the special "handle" being somehow realated to or proof of this difference is fading fast into the mist. Rather than mass murder, which the T-4 program and all it's mutations and descendants in the east could account for, Action Reinhardt seems to have dealt with mass looting.

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