"Aktion Reinhardt" -- What did it denote?

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 20 Dec 2004 16:42

Actually, I at first accepted but then disputed the notion that AR was also done outside GG. If someone will cite unambiguous evidence that it did, will accept it. The documents I cited, though, tend to contradict this notion.

Moreover, the problem for this thesis is that AR was _finished_ in 1943. Yet the looting of the Jewish property continued in Auschwitz and elsewhere. This seems to contradict the notion that AR was going on in Auschwitz.

Mattogno mentions some document that indicates that there was a women's Sonderkommando Reinhardt in Auschwitz in 1944, but that might be sorters or "repairwomen".

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Post by Earldor » 20 Dec 2004 18:07

michael mills wrote: Since Earldor obviously has access to Poprzeczny's book he can (if he cares to give up his obsessive hostility for a moment) vouch for the fact that that author accepts that "Aktion Reinhardt" was named after Fritz Reinhardt.
Yes, he does. But, sorry, I'll let my "obsessive" hostility get the better of me. :P It seems that, once again, Poprzezcny's views meet yours in almost nothing else.
  • "I have opted for the spelling "Aktion Reinhardt" when referring to Globocnik-led campaign of dispossession and extermination of the Jews of Europe in his three killing centers. There remains considerable confusion over whether this Hitler and Himmler-initiated genocide should be written this way, or as "Aktion Reinhard," that is without the "t." I included the "t" because that is the spelling shown in Stanislaw Piotrkowski's pioneering book, Misja Odyla Globocnika, when he quoted (p.91) Himmler's letter of 30 November1943, to Globocnik, then in Trieste, about the genocide and robbing. I accept that the name was taken from Fritz Reinhardt, a Reich Finance Ministry official, not from SS-Gruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, as so many contend. Professor Ian Kershaw says of Fritz Reinhardt that he "hinted at the regime's interest in the material outcome of the mass murder of around 1.75 million Jews (mainly from Poland).... Mistakenly, SS-men involved in the 'Action' attributed the name to Reinhard Heydrich."
    In other words, there were precise bureaucratically devised code words for these mass killings and robbing and a more popularly utilized one that was used by certain SS men in and around Lublin after Heydrich's assassination in Prague, with the former seemingly being correct, since Himmler used it in private correspondence to Globocnik 18 months after Heydrich's death. Despite this, the subsequent more popularly used form without the "t" has survived and continues being used extensively in historical writings, with many historians opting to use it in preference to the original code word. As well as these two different spellings, historians describe this campaign of Globocnik's as Aktion, Action, or Operation Reinhardt or Reinhard. Irrespective of these additional variants, it is the same robbing and killing that Globocnik headed which is being referred to."
    Poprzeczny n. 1, p. 407
It seems that P. has not seen the article by Witte and Tyas. Also, it seems to me that the info that Reinhard Heydrich wrote his name with a "t" at one time or another, has escaped his knowledge. I'm not convinced by P's logic here.

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Post by walterkaschner » 21 Dec 2004 01:42

Sergey Romanov wrote:I think the debate about the primary purpose of AR is superfluous. Whether murder was its primary or secondary purpose, it was its part.
Agreed that murder was certainly an essential predicate to the economic purpose, and to the extent that the debate tends to distract from the basic overall decision to kill off all the Jews of Europe I agree that it is not only superfluous but a dangerous diversion. But once one accepts that decision as an historical fact, then it does seem to me there is some point in attempting to understand how the Nazis went about implementing it, which to my mind throws in turn some useful light on the nature and workings of the German State under the Third Reich.

Sergey Romanov also wrote:
Actually, I at first accepted but then disputed the notion that AR was also done outside GG. If someone will cite unambiguous evidence that it did, will accept it. The documents I cited, though, tend to contradict this notion.
Well, I had thought that the statement of Höß, quoted and cited in my last post, was about as unambiguous as one can get. Höß was Commandant of Auschwitz, which was located in the Warthegau, not in the GG.

Also:
Moreover, the problem for this thesis is that AR was _finished_ in 1943. Yet the looting of the Jewish property continued in Auschwitz and elsewhere. This seems to contradict the notion that AR was going on in Auschwitz.


Certainly AR as such was finished in 1943, with Globocnik's transfer to Trieste with much of his staff that September. And certainly the looting continued. But as to the termination of AR, it seems to me there are several possible explanations:

--the Lublin extermination camps had completed their job, and virtually all of the GG Jews marked for direct extermination by murder had been done away with - the remainder, who had been put to work, would either be worked or starved to death or murdered somewhere else in another fashion. Therefore whatever AR's principal function, there was no point in its continuing under Globocnick's command in Lublin, and the economic function - but not the AR name, which was associated with Globocnik- was taken over directly by Pohl and the SS-Wirtschftsverwaltung Hauptamt. (A difficulty with this hypothesis, although not overwhelming, is that Globocnik was relieved in September, but Treblinka and Sobibor apparently continued to operate well into October.);

--with Globocnik's transfer to Trieste, together with many of his subordinates, the AR organization was torn apart, and its function - but not its name -was taken over directly by the SS-WVHA.

--Globocnik's inept and possibly corrupt handling of AR led to his transfer and the disbanding of AR, and the take over of the function directly by the SS-WVHA. There is evidence that Himmler was outraged by the manner in which Jewish labor was being employed by civilian entrepeneurs in the GG ghetto's and was apparently dissatisfied with the operation of "Osti" under Globocnik's management, which may have led to Globocnik's transfer and the breakup of the AR organization. See Christopher R. Browning, Nazi Policy, Jewish Workers, German Killers (Cambridge University Press, 2000, paperback ed.) at 85.

--Globocnik's tranfer and the break up of the AR organization was the result of a bitter power struggle between Himmler and Hans Frank, the GG Governor General, in which Frank argued for a more efficient economic exploitation than was prevailing under Himmler's Germanization policies. According to Michael Burleigh, "Himmler was not going to be diverted frrom his mission...and simply sacrificed Globocnik, who was recalled and then dispatched to Trieste to murder putative partisans....." Burleigh, The Third Reich: A New History (Hill and Wang, 2000 paperback ed.) at 456. With Globocnik gone, the direct responsibility for the AR function ascended to the SS-WVHA.

--Or a combination of some or all of the above, which seems to me most likely. Human motives are rarely crisp, clear and singular.

Earldor wrote:
I guess the whole thing comes down to would one name a project after its primary or secondary purpose. If you consider the AR death camps to be an integral part of AR, you have no choice but to concede that the name refers principally to the extermination of the Jews.
Good point, and one that hadn't struck me before. I guess that gives greater importance to the debate over the origin and spelling of the name, which I had initially thought was a tempest in a tea pot.

Also:
The Aktion Reinhardt death camp personnel were sent to Trieste with Globocnik and renamed Einsatz R, so the name followed this group of men.
That strikes me as a potentially telling point - do you have a source?
I don't think that you can assume that the principal purpose of these camps was anything else but extermination. It is evident for anyone who knows anything about the camps.

There was no need to bring these people to these locations to rob them of the remainder of their possessions. They were brought to these places to be killed off, the pilfering was simply a secondary function. I don't think that I need to prove this to you, do I?
No, I quite agreee and need no proof of that. But again I can only urge a more careful reading of my posts. I did not propose to assume for the moment that the principal purpose of the camps was economic, but rather that of "Action/Einsatz Reinhard/t". The use of "it" denotes a singular antecedent, and the positioning of the sentence should make make my meaning equally clear.

Also:
I'd lose the KZ definition altogether.
I had assumed, perhaps in error, that the labor camp portion of Treblika was still functioning. I'm aware that the two sections of the camp were a significant distance apart, but had the impression - from a source I can't now recall - that they were under the same command and administration.

Also:
I find it most unlikely that the members of the AR death camps would be promoted for simply one aspect of their duties, they were definitely no war heroes, so heroics or a single action wasn’t the reason they were promoted.
I agree as to the second clause. As to the first I have personally experienced occasions where individuals were promoted, or otherwise given special recognition or rewards, for their performance on special missions assigned in addition to their normal duties.

Also:
Still, Globus, not Pohl, remains the head of the AR. And the death camps are a pesky little thing to explain away by those who think that AR entailed only the looting of the Jews.
Glubus of course remained head of the AR until it was terminated for reasons which, as indicated above, are at least for me not crisp and clear. And I think you overstate your case by demanding that the death camps need to be explained away if the primary purpose of AR was economic. No one - at least not I - can reasonably deny the existence of the death camps, but I don't see how their admitted existence automatically denies the existence of a separate, albeit closely related function, the scope of which extends far beyond the death camps themselves.

As to the balance of the subject evidence so far proffered, although certainly suggestive, I don't find it conclusive. But perhaps my own professional background has unduly influenced my judgment, and in this context the "beyond a reasonable doubt" criminal test seems to me more appropriate than the "weight of the evidence" test for civil matters.

In any case, I don't wish to play the role of "Old Judge Fury", who assumed the role of both judge and jury, nor in any way by focusing on a minor point dilute the force of a major one and thereby qualify for Faust's condemnation of Mephisto:
Nun kenn ich deine würdgen Pflichten!
Du kannst in Grossen nicht vernichten
Und fängst es nun in Kleiner an.
My poor translation:
Now I understand your acknowleged duties!
You can't destroy in the large
And now commence to try with the small.
So I will abandon the field and depart from the fray (and from hearth and home) for the duration of the Holiday Season, still stubbornly unconvinced either way, but with sincere thanks for a most interesting, challenging and educational thread.

Regards, Kaschner

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 21 Dec 2004 08:23

Walter, thanks for your comment. Hoess' statement may be unambiguous by itself, but is it unambiguous as a piece of evidence for the thesis that AR was conducted outside of GG?

Since Globus conducted AR in GG only, how could he conclude the whole operation?

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Post by michael mills » 21 Dec 2004 12:18

Since Globus conducted AR in GG only, how could he conclude the whole operation?
Probably he did not conclude the whole operation, only that part of it that was under his control, ie the property seized from Jews deported from the GG.

The report he submitted to Himmler covered only the Jewish property that had passed through his office, ie the property left behind by the Jews deported from the GG ghettos, plus the lesser amount of property seized from the Jews arriving at the extermination and labour camps.

Aktion Reinhardt was wound up in the GG once nearly all the Jews had been deported from there and their property seized. But Jews contiuned to be deported from other countries, mainly to KL Auschwitz, and their property seized, culminating in the deportation from Hungary in 1944.

Hoeß' testimony shows that the code-name "Aktion Reinhardt" was applied to the seizure of the property of Jews arriving at Auschwitz. Furthermore, the WVHA documents show that "Aktion Reinhardt" was a going concern, at least as far as the handling of confscated Jewish property was concerned, well after the departure of Globocnik, his personal staff, and most of the former T-4 men for Trieste.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 21 Dec 2004 16:10

Probably he did not conclude the whole operation, only that part of it that was under his control, ie the property seized from Jews deported from the GG.
Michael Mills' interpretation isn't compatible with the plain text of the documents. It is not stated in that that only part of AR which was conducted in GG was concluded. Himmler acknowledges Globus' "announcement of the conclusion of operation Reinhardt". He thanks him for performing AR, not part of it.
In his report about the goods seized in AR Globus again doesn't qualify his description - it's just AR, not its GG part.

Since there is no differentiation between GG AR and non-GG AR in the documents and since in his report about administrative development of the operation Reinardt (not "part of operation Rinhardt") Globus says that "the seizure extended to the entire General Governement", we can conclude that the whole AR was confined to GG.
Hoeß' testimony shows that the code-name "Aktion Reinhardt" was applied to the seizure of the property of Jews arriving at Auschwitz.
Does Michael Mills really think that this uncorroborated part of Hoess' testimony can serve as conclusive evidence by itself?
Furthermore, the WVHA documents show that "Aktion Reinhardt" was a going concern, at least as far as the handling of confscated Jewish property was concerned, well after the departure of Globocnik, his personal staff, and most of the former T-4 men for Trieste.
Let's see the documents which prove that AR was conducted outside GG and after Globocnik concluded AR.

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Post by Earldor » 21 Dec 2004 19:11

I would have to agree with your summary. There is some good reading about the matter in the article by Bogdan Musial "The Origins of "Operation Reinhard": The Decision-Making Process for the Mass Murder of the Jews in the Generalgouvernement" at http://www1.yadvashem.org.il/odot_pdf/M ... 203222.pdf
walterkaschner wrote: Also:
The Aktion Reinhardt death camp personnel were sent to Trieste with Globocnik and renamed Einsatz R, so the name followed this group of men.
That strikes me as a potentially telling point - do you have a source?
A source for what? The name or its origins?

Some info about the Einsatz "R" (emphasis mine):
  • http://deathcamps.org/sabba/
    "After the landing of the Allies in southern Italy in July 1943 and the Italian surrender on 8 September, the southern parts were liberated but northern Italy remained under German control. The majority of the Jews who had refused leaving the country, lived here. The Italian army disbanded and German forces ruled the new fascist satellite "Republica Sociale Italiana". The Germans established some of the coastal areas of the Adriatic Sea (Fiume, Trieste, Udine, Pula, Gorizia and Ljubljana) as German territory, named Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland. Odilo Globocnik (born in Trieste) was promoted Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer (HSSPF) Adriatisches Küstenland and ordered to Trieste. Under his command the SS persecuted Jews, political opponents and partisans. Code name for the operation was Einsatz R, a logical follow up of the former Aktion Reinhard in Poland.
    92 persons, experienced in mass murder in Poland and the former euthanasia killing programme, followed Globocnik, including some Ukrainian SS men and even women."
  • http://www.mazal.org/archive/documents/ ... enza19.htm
    "In Trieste, the men were formed into three special SS and police units, designated as R-I based in Trieste; R-II based in Fiume (now Rijeka in Croatia), and R-III in Udine; all three units came under the overall command of Wirth who had his command post in a disused rice mill in the suburb of San Sabba. Their main task was the seizure of the few thousand remaining Italian Jews and their property, carried out under the code designation 'Einsatz R' (Operation R) and was merely an extension of their work in Poland. [68]"
  • "After Operation Reinhard ended in 1943, the T4 staff remained together as a group, following Globocnik to the Adriatic coast. Wirth served as a commander, and after he was killed, T4 manager Allers assumed command. Serving as a security force, the staff members again attempted to establish a killing center. They transformed an old rice factory in Trieste, the Risiera di San Sabba, into a camp for interrogation of suspected partisans and for the Jews in transit to Auschwitz. Some evidence exists that prisoners at San Sabba were killed by gas and their bodies burned in a crematorium. But time was running out, and San Sabba never grew into a major killing center."
    Henry Friedlander: "The Origins of Nazi Genocide", pp. 298 - 299
No, I quite agreee and need no proof of that. But again I can only urge a more careful reading of my posts. I did not propose to assume for the moment that the principal purpose of the camps was economic, but rather that of "Action/Einsatz Reinhard/t". The use of "it" denotes a singular antecedent, and the positioning of the sentence should make make my meaning equally clear.
I'm not singling you out here, I'm using your posts as a piggy back to emphasise points. Sorry if this is confusing, I'm not trying to attack you per se. :|

I have enjoyed this discussion. It has forced me to think and to find more knowledge on the matter, although I don't have the time ... :(

Here is some "clarification" on the Byzantine tangle of an organization called Aktion Reinhardt from Henry Friedlander's book:
  • "Running the killing centers in the East was a joint enterprise. Globocnik as Lublin SSPF was the military superior of the T4 staff; his office directed the deportations, provided the infrastructure, including the Ukranian guards, and disposed of the accumulated loot. But in all respects, the staff remained a T4 unit. The KdF [Chacellery of the Führer. E.] did not relinquish authority in personnel matters, including the right to alter assignments. T4 continued to pay the staff members' wages and supplemental allowances and also sent them to the T4 vacation home in Austria; it delivered their mail, both letters and packages, which arrived in Lublin by courier. Each staff member had two addresses. As Irmfried Eberl [Treblinka II/Extermination camp's first kommendant. E.] wrote his wife, private letters were to be mailed to the "SS Special Commando, Treblinka near Malkinia" but packages should be sent to the following address: "Berlin W 35, Tiergarten Strasse 4 (Operation East)."
    The supervision of the KdF was not restricted to paperwork from distance. Leading KdF functionaries, including Bouhler and Blankenburg, visited the camps, and the T4 business manager Dietrich Allers was seen at Belzec. Christian Wirth, the most brutal of the T4 supervisors, was promoted from the commander of Belzec to the position of inspector over all three killing centers of Operation Reinhard, thus exercising authority just below Globocnik's general control over all T4 operations in Lublin."
    p. 298
Also:
I'd lose the KZ definition altogether.
I had assumed, perhaps in error, that the labor camp portion of Treblika was still functioning. I'm aware that the two sections of the camp were a significant distance apart, but had the impression - from a source I can't now recall - that they were under the same command and administration.
The Treblinka I or the Treblinka Arbeitslager fell under the supervision of the SSPF Warsaw. Treblinka II or the extermination camp was under the command of SSPF Lublin.

They had separate commendants and separate personnel. They were fully aware of one another and there must have been co-operation of some sort, but basically the Treblinka II operations were top secret.

If I recall correctly sometimes work Jews from TI were sent to be executed in TII. Some of the TI work Jews helped in building TII and naturally the Askaris/HIWIs were from the same pool in Trawniki.
Also:
Still, Globus, not Pohl, remains the head of the AR. And the death camps are a pesky little thing to explain away by those who think that AR entailed only the looting of the Jews.
Glubus of course remained head of the AR until it was terminated for reasons which, as indicated above, are at least for me not crisp and clear. And I think you overstate your case by demanding that the death camps need to be explained away if the primary purpose of AR was economic.


I simply see no reason to call the T4 men "Einsatz Reinhardt" or to have partaken in the Aktion Reinhardt if the meaning of the term is purely economic. I'll have to look into the matter though.
No one - at least not I - can reasonably deny the existence of the death camps, but I don't see how their admitted existence automatically denies the existence of a separate, albeit closely related function, the scope of which extends far beyond the death camps themselves.
I didn't expect you to deny the existance of the death camps, but my point is that if these men are clearly members of Aktion Reinhardt/Einsatz Reinhardt, what ever that might mean. And the fact that they are death camp personnel makes them first and foremost killers. That, in my book, would imply most emphatically that the Operation/Aktion these men are involved in is of murderous nature. The rest of the evidence supports this interpretation in my view.
So I will abandon the field and depart from the fray (and from hearth and home) for the duration of the Holiday Season, still stubbornly unconvinced either way, but with sincere thanks for a most interesting, challenging and educational thread.

Regards, Kaschner
I would be happy to continue with the discussion after the holidays. Until then: Season's greetings.

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Post by Earldor » 21 Dec 2004 19:25

michael mills wrote: Furthermore, the WVHA documents show that "Aktion Reinhardt" was a going concern, at least as far as the handling of confscated Jewish property was concerned, well after the departure of Globocnik, his personal staff, and most of the former T-4 men for Trieste.
Which documents are you referring to? The Globus report to Himmler? That's easy to explain.

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Post by michael mills » 21 Dec 2004 23:46

The personnel which Globocnik took with him to Trieste (mainly the T-4 staff who had manned theextermination camps, including Wirth) were formed into an anti-partisan police unit, and used for combatting Titoist partisans in the Yugoslav-Italian border region.

Wirth himself was killed in combat against partisans.

The notion that "Einsatz R" had as its main function the extermination of Italian Jews, as a reprise of Globocnik's deportation cum extermination assignment in the Generalgouvernement, rests on very flimsy evidence, basically the assumption that once a Jew-killer always a Jew-killer.

The Risiera di San Sabba was converted into a prison for holding captured partisans or suspected partisans. It appears that some Italian Jews being deported were held there temporarily, but that was not the main purpose of the SS base there.

The claim that killing by means of a gas-van was carried out at the Risiera di San Sabba likewise has no firm evidence behind it.

It should be noted that the T-4 personnel originally recruited to implement the euthanasia program in the German mental hospitals were given a number of functions, not all of them homicidal.

A number of them were sent to the Russian Front in the winter of 1941-42, the so-called "Ost-Einsatz" or "OT (Organisation Todt)-Einsatz". Although the evidence is sparse, it appears that the function of the Ost-Einsatz was purely medical, helping with the retrieval of wounded German soldiers from the battlefield and their evacuation to hospitals.

Upon the return of the T-4 men (and some women) from the Ost-Einsatz, in the spring of 1942, a number of them were sent straight to Lublin to work for Globocnik, along with some who came directly from T-4.

Upon the conclusion of the deportation of the Jews from the Generalgouvernement, the T-4 men assigned to Globocnik were assigned in a body to anti-partisan operations in the Trieste area. Some, such as Stangl, believed that they had been sent into a dangerous area in order to get rid of them, probably a misinterpretation on their part.

The use of the name "Einsatz-R" is most probably based on the name "Einsatz Reinhard" which Globocnik had given to the part of his SSPF Lublin office which managed the deportations and also the seizure of Jewish property.

However, it is noteworthy that the full name "Reinhard" or "Reinhardt" was not used. It may be that Pohl, having got rid of Globocnik from the GG and taken over his economic operations, prevented him from using the name "Reinhardt", since his WVHA was using it for the program of processing the confiscated Jewish property administered by it.

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Post by michael mills » 22 Dec 2004 00:11

I simply see no reason to call the T4 men "Einsatz Reinhardt" or to have partaken in the Aktion Reinhardt if the meaning of the term is purely economic. I'll have to look into the matter though.
Were the men seconded to Globocnik from T-4 actually called "Einsatz Reinhardt"?

As I understand it, "Einsatz Reinhardt" was the official name given to a section of the SSPF office in Lublin (although Globocnik himself consistently referred to it as "Einsatz Reinhard" in his correspondence until 1943).

Obviously, that section was given the name because it had the task of carrying out "Aktion Reinhardt", initially in Distrikt Lublin and then in the whole of the Generalgouvernement.

If we interpret "Aktion Reinhardt" as an operation to seize and process the property of deported Jews, then we would expect to find "Einsatz Reinhardt" carrying out that function in the Generalgouvernement. And that is what that section did do; it organised the seizure of Jewish property in the liquidated ghettos, and the collection of Jewish property left in the extermination and labour camps, and the storage of that property in Lublin, prior to its handover to other Reich agencies.

But Globocnik also used that same section to manage the deportation program, and the extermination of the deported Jews unusable for forced labour. Those functions were not part of "Aktion Reinhardt" proper, although they were managed by "Einsatz Reinhardt". It made sense to have the same small section carrying out both functions within Globocnik's kingdom.

The T-4 men under Wirth were strictly speaking not part of Globocnik's staff and not part of "Einsatz Reinhardt". Organisationally, they remained part of T-4, and were only seconded to Globocnik to help him carry out the deportation operation, and in particular the homicidal part of it.

Since Wirth and his T-4 men were carrying out an operation administered by "Einsatz Reinhardt" in Lublin, it could be said that they were working for "Einsatz Reinhardt" (or for "Einsatz Reinhard", as Globocnik insists on putting it in his correspondence). In the same way, the extermination camps staffed by Wirth and his men were under the control of "Einsatz Reinhardt", and for that reason were referred to be Globocnik as the "camps of Einsatz Reinhard".

Of course, the T-4 men staffing the extermination camps at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were involved in carrying out "Aktion Reinhardt" in that they collected the property from the Jews killed at those camps and forwarded it to the storage centre at Lublin (after stealing a lot of valuables for themselves). But that does not mean that the killing process carried out by them was "Aktion Reinhardt".

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Post by Earldor » 22 Dec 2004 01:17

michael mills wrote:
I simply see no reason to call the T4 men "Einsatz Reinhardt" or to have partaken in the Aktion Reinhardt if the meaning of the term is purely economic. I'll have to look into the matter though.
Were the men seconded to Globocnik from T-4 actually called "Einsatz Reinhardt"?
I don't know for sure. Neither do you. But it is a possible interpretation when we look at the longer promotion list and its title.

But I think that you are reading too much into the terminology without sufficient evidence to back up your contention. There is a lot of evidence speaking against it, even though you continue to disregard it.
As I understand it, "Einsatz Reinhardt" was the official name given to a section of the SSPF office in Lublin (although Globocnik himself consistently referred to it as "Einsatz Reinhard" in his correspondence until 1943).
Have you been following the discussion? What is your proof? We have provided original documents linking Wirth's T4 -men, including Wirth, both to Einsatz Reinhardt and Aktion Reinhardt. So both terms are covered.

Sorry, your attempts to muddy the waters regarding Operation Reinhard are still off the mark.
Obviously, that section was given the name because it had the task of carrying out "Aktion Reinhardt", initially in Distrikt Lublin and then in the whole of the Generalgouvernement.
Your assertions would work better, if you could prove your arguments.
If we interpret "Aktion Reinhardt" as an operation to seize and process the property of deported Jews, then we would expect to find "Einsatz Reinhardt" carrying out that function in the Generalgouvernement.
Which would be as true if we assume that the nature of Aktion Reinhardt was to deport the Jews, kill them and to swipe their property.

No cigar.
And that is what that section did do; it organised the seizure of Jewish property in the liquidated ghettos, and the collection of Jewish property left in the extermination and labour camps, and the storage of that property in Lublin, prior to its handover to other Reich agencies.
Michael, this is a gross misrepresentation of the Höfle Kommando's duties. They went around the GG in order to organize the deportation of the bulk of the Jews from the ghettos to the Aktion Reinhardt death camps.

There was no need for the Germans to transport the Jews to a death camp if they simply wanted leave nothing to the Jews. Remember that they had already taken most of their property before this.
But Globocnik also used that same section to manage the deportation program, and the extermination of the deported Jews unusable for forced labour.
And who made the absolute majority of the Jewish population.
Those functions were not part of "Aktion Reinhardt" proper, although they were managed by "Einsatz Reinhardt". It made sense to have the same small section carrying out both functions within Globocnik's kingdom.
Prove that the distinction existed. You have a bad habit of simply stating your speculation as the gospel.
The T-4 men under Wirth were strictly speaking not part of Globocnik's staff and not part of "Einsatz Reinhardt".
Is an artillery battery giving a regiment arty support in an attack part of the regiment or not?

Don't go spewing nonsense, you have not proven that Wirth's men were not part of Einsatz Reinhardt. We have the original German document stating the opposite. Your refusal to acknowledge this is getting tiresome.

[snip the same fantasy Mills presented earlier]

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Post by Earldor » 22 Dec 2004 02:24

michael mills wrote:The personnel which Globocnik took with him to Trieste (mainly the T-4 staff who had manned theextermination camps, including Wirth) were formed into an anti-partisan police unit, and used for combatting Titoist partisans in the Yugoslav-Italian border region.
These men were mostly nurses with some policemen thrown in for good measure. Not really an outfit made out to combat partisans effectively...

Nevertheless, that was one of their duties.
Wirth himself was killed in combat against partisans.
Although there was speculation that his own men killed him...
The notion that "Einsatz R" had as its main function the extermination of Italian Jews, as a reprise of Globocnik's deportation cum extermination assignment in the Generalgouvernement, rests on very flimsy evidence, basically the assumption that once a Jew-killer always a Jew-killer.
It is a fact that Einsatz R collected the local Jews (and some partisans) into San Sabba and killed some of them and deported others to Auschwitz.

Sorry, Michael, sounds like Globocnik was up to his old tricks again even if the victims weren't solely Jews.
The Risiera di San Sabba was converted into a prison for holding captured partisans or suspected partisans. It appears that some Italian Jews being deported were held there temporarily, but that was not the main purpose of the SS base there.
Again assertion without any kind of proof. Your style may suit the revisionist gatherings very well, but I thought this was supposed to be a scholarly debate.
The claim that killing by means of a gas-van was carried out at the Risiera di San Sabba likewise has no firm evidence behind it.
Nevertheless, there is evidence suggesting that this was going on. No wonder you describe yourself as a revisionist historian, since you try to counter the views of most Holocaust historians.

This is what our friend Poprzeczny says on the matter, p. 342 - 344 (the link is obviously my addition):
  • "Globocnik is primarily remembered in the city of his birth for the La Risiera di San Sabba detention prison, transit camp, and killing center, all wrapped into one, just as his Lublin period is remembered most for the construction of the Aktion Reinhardt killings centers. One historian, Susan Zuccotti, has described La Risiera di San Sabba as follows:

    Tens of thousands of prisoners, Jews and non-Jews, Italians and Yugoslavs, passed through La Risiera. Survivors remember the clanking of cell doors opening and closing in the night, prisoners screaming as they marched through the corridors, executions in the courtyard accompanied by blaring music to cover the sound. They remember fierce dogs and ferocious Ukranian guards. The crematorium, with a capacity of from fifty to seventy corpses a day, functioned regularly.... Estimates of deaths at La Risiera range from 3000 to 4500. The victims were usually partisans. Probably only about 50 were Jews.

    A key figure involved in the killings and cremations at San Sabba was Globocnik's Aktion Reinhardt gassing expert, Lorenz Hackenholt...

    http://www.deathcamps.org/euthanasia/ha ... story.html

    [...]

    When Globocnik arrived, he came with the Einsatz-Kommando Reinhardt (EKR) that consisted of well in excess of 150 SS men, Austrians and Germans as well as Ukranian and other auxilliaries who were split into three sections...

    [...]

    The procedure adopted in Trieste under its new Higher SS-und Polizeiführer was to dispatch Jews by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau as had been done to over a thousand Poles from Zamosc from December 1942 to February 1943. Between October 1943 and 1 November 1944, 13 such northbound trains left Trieste, and subsequent research suggests that 1,074 people were involved, with 999 never returning to their homes.

    [...]

    According to Gallan Fogar, the estimated 7,000 to 8,000 figure [of people interned in San Sabba at one time or other between Oct. 43 - Apr. 45. E.] emerged from investigations by the prosecutors in a trial of the camp directors that took place in Trieste between February and April 1976 following investigations which had commenced six years earlier.

    [...]

    Mass executions, dozens at a time, took place two or three times a week, according to the testimony of many survivors. In some months there were even more. In addition, the SS killed as many as 10 prisoners every day by means of individual execution.
    Siegfried Pucher argues that La Risiera di San Sabba, which began operating on 1 October 1943 and was used until 30 April 1945, was an extermination camp for detained partisans; a deportation or transit center for political prisoners and Jews; a storage facility for stolen Jewish property; and also simply as a barracks.

    [...]

    The trial that Fogar refers to also revealed that two methods of killing were used at La Risiera di San Sabba: suffocation by exhaust fumes from truck motors, and the use of a mallet ("mazza") to strike the condemned prisoner "at the nape of the neck." Lambert's crematorium, like those at Auschwitz-Birkenau, were destroyed as Globocnik's T4 killing team withdrew north to avoid capture by the British and local partisans. According to Siegfried Pucher, however, the crematorium was a garage into which engine fumes were passed, and he believes the number killed reached some 3,000 people."
You can read more about Lambert and Hackenholt on ARC website. Just look for "German perpetrators" under Belzec and Treblinka.
It should be noted that the T-4 personnel originally recruited to implement the euthanasia program in the German mental hospitals were given a number of functions, not all of them homicidal.


Not all of them homicidal in the sense that not everyone was involved in the killing of the patients, (the opening of the gas valve was the duty of a medical doctor) but all of them supporting the homicidal operations in some way.
A number of them were sent to the Russian Front in the winter of 1941-42, the so-called "Ost-Einsatz" or "OT (Organisation Todt)-Einsatz". Although the evidence is sparse, it appears that the function of the Ost-Einsatz was purely medical, helping with the retrieval of wounded German soldiers from the battlefield and their evacuation to hospitals.
Why would you send people who had been used in the homicidal T4-euthanasia operations into the SU and conduct medical operations and after a few months withdraw them and post the bulk of them in Operation Reinhardt death camps?

This is what H. Friedlander says about the matter "Origins of Nazi Genocide", p. 296 - 297:
  • "The exact assigment of the T4 people in the East has never been absolutely clear. It is, of course, possible that Bouhler sent them east to keep them busy and to contribute to the welfare of the troops, and nothing in the Eberl letters or in postwar testimony contradicts this interpretation. The Eberl group, for example, set up medical stations in Minsk and towns nearby to take care of wounded troops who arrived there from the front lines. But there has always been some suspicion that their task was more sinister. At least some anecdotal evidence suggests that the T4 physicians and nurses gave deadly injections to brain-damaged German soldiers[82]."

    [82] Klee, "Euthanasie" im NS-Staat, pp. 372 - 73.
It may be of note as well that there has been speculation as to the building of a death camp in the Mogilew area, not that far from Minsk. I should also mention that the T4-men were also posted to e.g. Auschwitz-Birkenau to give lethal injections in the name of the 14f13 -operations, so the idea wouldn't be that wild.

Upon the conclusion of the deportation of the Jews from the Generalgouvernement, the T-4 men assigned to Globocnik were assigned in a body to anti-partisan operations in the Trieste area. Some, such as Stangl, believed that they had been sent into a dangerous area in order to get rid of them, probably a misinterpretation on their part.
Why would that be such a wrong interpretation on part of Stangl and others? Wirth, Reichleitner, Gringers, and others were killed in Italy. The T4 -men might have been wrong about the intention of their superiors, but they most certainly were entitled to their suspicions.
The use of the name "Einsatz-R" is most probably based on the name "Einsatz Reinhard" which Globocnik had given to the part of his SSPF Lublin office which managed the deportations and also the seizure of Jewish property.
Again, you are extrapolating things from your own assertion, which you have failed to back up with any evidence. I have several words for such behaviour and they are all negative.

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Earldor
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Post by Earldor » 05 Mar 2005 02:01

michael mills wrote: If Sergey Romanov's interpretation is correct, then two separate processes of sorting confiscated Jewish property were taking place at KL Auschwitz:

1. Sorting the property confiscated from Jews deported from the Generalgouvernement by Globocnik to his extermination and labour camps, the property having been brought to KL Auschwitz from those camps; this process is part of "Aktion Reinhardt".
It seems that this interpretation is correct. KL Auschwitz had watchmakers and other workshops that e.g. repaired watches taken from the murdered Jews in the AR death camps.

One of the Bletchley Park intercepts contains the following:
  • -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    ZIP/GPDD 274b transmitted 22 October 1942 (msg35/36)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    OMF de OMA [KL Auschwitz from WVHA]

    Leiter der Verwaltung
    Betr.: Aktion "Reinhardt".

    Ich bitte hierdurch um Mitteilung, welche Bestände an Uhren,
    Füllfederhaltern, usw., die zur Reparatur gelangen sollen,
    jetzt dort noch vorrätig sind. Mit der weitere Anlieferung nach
    BERLIN bitte ich zu warten, da in AUSCHWITZ eine
    Reparaturwerkstätte errichtet wird. Ich bespreche diese
    Angelegenheiten am kommenden Dienstag dort. Es genügt,
    wenn mir die Aufstellung am Dienstag übergeben wird.
    Gez. MAURER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stephen Tyas: Der Brittische Nachrichtendienst: Entschlüsselte Funkmeldungen, p. 440
in Bogdan Musial (ed.) '"Aktion Reinhardt" Der Völkermord and den Juden im Generalgouvernement 1941-1944'
(emphasis mine)
However, we know that the property seized from the Jews deported by Globocnik, both the property seized in the ghettos and from the Jews arriving at the camps, was sorted and stored at warehouses in Lublin, including at KL Lublin (Majdanek).
Yes, the main storage facilities were in Lublin. But the property was handled for various reasons in other places as well and later delivered to Lublin.

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Post by michael mills » 08 Mar 2005 02:50

It seems that this interpretation is correct. KL Auschwitz had watchmakers and other workshops that e.g. repaired watches taken from the murdered Jews in the AR death camps.

One of the Bletchley Park intercepts contains the following:


-----------------------------------------------------------------------
ZIP/GPDD 274b transmitted 22 October 1942 (msg35/36)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
OMF de OMA [KL Auschwitz from WVHA]

Leiter der Verwaltung
Betr.: Aktion "Reinhardt".

Ich bitte hierdurch um Mitteilung, welche Bestände an Uhren,
Füllfederhaltern, usw., die zur Reparatur gelangen sollen,
jetzt dort noch vorrätig sind. Mit der weitere Anlieferung nach
BERLIN bitte ich zu warten, da in AUSCHWITZ eine
Reparaturwerkstätte errichtet wird. Ich bespreche diese
Angelegenheiten am kommenden Dienstag dort. Es genügt,
wenn mir die Aufstellung am Dienstag übergeben wird.
Gez. MAURER
I think it important to avoid imposing an interpretation on the above message to make it fit in with pre-conceived notions.

The best way to do that is to at first disregard the reference to "Aktion Reinhardt", and look at what the message actually says.

We can deduce the following:

1. The message was sent to KL Auschwitz from the WVHA.

2. KL Auschwitz was holding stocks of items such as watches and fountain pens that were to be subjected to repair ("zur Reparatur gelangen sollen" = literally, "are to attain repair").

3. The stocks held at the date of the message were the remnants of the total stocks of such items that had been held ("welche Bestände......noch vorrätig sind" = "what stocks....are still on hand").

4. The stocks that did not remain in KL Auschwitz at the date of the message had previously been forwarded to Berlin; the formulation "weitere Anlieferung nach Berlin" (continued delivery to Berlin) implies that deliveries of the items to Berlin had previously been made.

5. A repair workshop was to be built in KL Auschwitz. That means that such a workshop was not in existence as at the date of the message (22 October 1942).

6. Accordingly, up until the date of the message the repair of the items must have been carried out in Berlin, at the place to which they had been sent.

7. The repair of the items was now to be carried out in KL Auschwitz itself; that is why the repair workshop was to be built there.

8. Accordingly, KL Auschwitz was requested not to make any further deliveries of the items to Berlin until the workshop had been built (mit der weitern Anlieferung nach Berlin....zu warten"). That implies that, rather than sending the items to Berlin for repair, they were to repaired in KL Auschwitz itself and only then sent to Berlin.

Note that there is nothing in the message that specifies where the items being held in KL Auschwitz originated. However, it is logical to assume that the had been confiscated from the large number of prisoners who had arrived at Auschwitz by October 1942, the great majority Jewish by that date.

There is nothing in the message to imply that the items had been confiscated elsewhere and then brought to KL Auschwitz.

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.

The items referred to, which were undergoing processing including repair, were property that had been seized from the Jews who had arrived at KL Auschwitz. Since "Aktion Reinhardt" was the code-word for the processing of that property, it would be natural for the message to be headed by that reference.

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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Post by walterkaschner » 09 Mar 2005 07:51

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

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. The Nazis were surely not immune to the ignorance, sloppiness, misunderstandings, pretensions of being "in the know" and delight in coded "buzz-words" to which all large bureaucratic organizations, at least in my own experience, are heir to. It would not at all surprise me if Herr Mauer, apparently a lower grade official in the WVHA, was actually not all that well informed as to precisely what "Aktion Reinhardt" entailed, beyond having heard the term bruited about and knowing from his own worm's eye view that it was apparently the source of the valuables that were being shipped to Berlin. But that certainly does not mean that he was privy to its basic purpose.

Here once again I profoundly distrust the perception of the Nazi administrative organization as an all knowing, perfectly organized, well oiled, marvelously co-ordinated and flawlessly operating model of bureaucratic efficiency. It was far from any such thing, and I just don't trust any reasoning that assumes that it was.

So I am remain in the uncomfortable position of a Mugwump on this issue, but with thanks to all for their stimulating comments.

Regards, Kaschner

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