The Siege of Leningrad in German Documents

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 09 Sep 2002 09:12

atkif wrote:1. Sealing up the city "tight' (legitimate method of Siege Warfare)

2. Bombing the city rather than employing tanks and infantry in order to spare the German personal (also legitimate per se).


Smith wrote:No problem so far.


atkif wrote:3. Having plans not to accept capitulation (documented) even if surrender is offered. (This is not legitimate. Are you arguing this?)


Smith wrote:Maybe, maybe not.


What’s that supposed to mean, Smith?

What makes the difference between legitimate siege warfare and plain mass murder is the pursuit of a legitimate military objective. A legitimate military objective would have been the capture of the city, which would have been achieved if the defenders had offered surrender. The interdiction to accept surrender signals that the objective of the siege was not the capture of the city, i.e. that the siege didn’t have a legitimate military objective. And in fact it is clearly stated in the documents I cited that the objective of the siege was not to capture Leningrad, but to get rid of the city’s population by any means so as to avoid having to feed it, even if that meant all of the city’s inhabitants starving to death.

Smith wrote:Germany was under no obligation to accept the surrender of the city as long as the war was being fought.


That, my dear Sir, is plain and simple bullshit. The besiegers were obliged to accept the surrender of the city as soon as it was offered, for then the military necessity alone justifying the application of siege warfare would have been satisfied.

Smith wrote:And presumably this means also absorbing the refugees (perhaps deliberately) left in the path of the advancing enemy armies.


Which refugees would have been the responsibility of the conquering army to feed and accommodate, whether they accepted a capitulation of the city or took it by assault. The Germans were well aware that this would be their encumbrance, and they wanted to avoid it under any circumstances. See for instance document no. 4 (my translation):

Lecture note Leningrad

Possibilities:

1.) Occupy the city, i.e. proceed as we have in regard to other Russian big cities:

To be rejected because we would then be responsible for the feeding.

Clear enough, isn’t it?

Except for Mr. Smith, who still hasn’t learned to read.

Smith wrote:It is clear to me that the documents are intended for unity-of-command, that any surrender or negotiation of capitulation would be conducted by the High Command or Hitler himself.


What support can Smith offer for this fathomless nonsense?

In his order transmitted to Army Group North on 29.09.1941, Hitler made it very clear why he did not want a surrender of the city to be accepted. And it was not because he wanted to reserve that pleasure to himself (a procedure he is never known to have adopted anyway, as far as I remember). From my translation of document no. 6:

Requests for surrender resulting from the city’s encirclement will be denied, since the problem of relocating and feeding the population cannot and should not be solved by us. In this war for our very existence, there can be no interest on our part in maintaining even a part of this large urban population. If necessary forcible removal to the eastern Russian area is to be carried out.


Emphases are mine.

Clear enough, isn’t it?

Except for Smith, of course, who still hasn’t learned to read.

Smith wrote:However, Hitler does not need to order himself not to accept surrender. If there had been an offer of surrender (or even an offer to negotiate a surrender of the city with authorized German representatives) then one could say that, indeed, no offer of surrender was accepted. Thus, your argument would be much stronger.

As it is, the case is rather moot. :mrgreen:


The criminal nature of a “no prisoners” order – which is basically what we got here – is not dependent on whether those targeted actually make an effort to surrender, is it, Mr. Smith?

Smith’s constant repetition of the above nonsense – which Halder’s or Jodl’s defense attorney might have tried, but which is nonsense nevertheless – doesn’t get him past the fact that the implementation of siege warfare without a clear-cut military objective, the killing of enormous numbers of civilians not in order to force the surrender of an enemy stronghold, but in order to get rid of those very civilians, is not an act of war but plain and simple mass murder.

The interdiction of accepting surrender is but an indicator of the illegitimate, criminal intention underlying the implementation of siege warfare.

Smith wrote:Well, remember the adage that "all's fair in love and war," so it would take some pretty strong arguments to justify the "criminal" assertion.


How about killing masses of civilians in order to accomplish other than military objectives, which is what we have here?

In order to get rid of those civilians, to be more precise?

Smith wrote:For example, I don't really regard Bomber Harris or Iron Ass LeMay as criminal, just stubbornly-stupid and cleverly-fanatical, respectively. (But then Dr. Goebbels was a clever fanatic too.) Anyway, I'm reluctant to use the rather oxymoronic term war-crimes nonetheless.


Coming from someone who doesn’t see the fire-bombings of Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo as was crimes, the reluctance to see criminal behavior in the siege of Leningrad is more understandable.

There’s a difference between the Bomber Command/LeMay (whom I do consider criminals) on the one hand and the German besiegers of Leningrad on the other, however.

The former thought that their murderous actions might hasten enemy surrender and the end of the war.

The latter’s murderous actions merely served the purpose of getting rid of an enemy population they didn’t want on their hands.

Smith wrote:If Leningrad is the quintessentially Petrine city that is held hostage to bombardment until the Red Tsar Stalin surrenders, then surrounding and bombarding the city might be a *legitimate* terror-tactic if one overestimates its importance to the overall struggle.


If that had been the purpose, the siege would have been something comparable to the bombings of German cities by the RAF. The purpose was not, however, to force the Soviet government to give in. The purpose was to depopulate a city which according to the German Hungerplan of February 1941 was earmarked for starvation anyway.

Smith wrote:A variation of this was employed by the RAF during the war (even though I would argue that the destruction of Dresden could hardly have brought about the surrender of Germany). The firebombing of Tokyo and the nuclear irradiation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were also terror-tactics intended to bring about victory. We can hardly blame the Germans for fighting the war to win.


Sure, we can hardly blame them for pursuing a policy which foresaw the starvation death of millions of people in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union so that the Wehrmacht could live off the land and the morale of the home front could be bolstered with food supplies from the conquered lands, right?

This was the policy which led to the decision to get rid of the civilian population of Leningrad by any means, mainly by starvation. For taking care of that population after the defenders of that city ceased fighting, as the Germans reckoned would be their obligation, might have upset their carefully calculated food arithmetic.

A more barbarous means of furthering one’s own war effort at the expense of unarmed non-combatants is difficult to imagine. But then, the war the Germans intended to win was one of exploitation and annihilation in every respect. A reading of the Hungerplan shows that what awaited Leningrad in the event of a German victory was not much different from the fate intended for it by the German besiegers in 1941/42.

atkif wrote:You disagree with me (out of pride combined with your bias, I believe) not providing any strong arguments on behalf of your position.
So let it be. People who read the documents have their own minds to realize what was planned for Leningrad by the Nazis. It is absolutely futile effort to dissuade you from your preconceived opinion. The same could not be said about me because I base my opinion on the documented facts not on "It could not have happened because it could not have happened. Period."


Well, as the recent comic interventions of Mr. Cletus show, not everyone is able to read. We’ll get to that gentleman in a minute.

Smith wrote:Well, the missing prerequisite for your Genocide argument is that Leningrad NEVER offered its surrender. Therefore you are left with "woulda, coulda, shoulda" argumentation.


As I don’t know Smith to be that dumb, I conclude that he simply doesn’t want to understand, because understanding might lead him to question his articles of faith.

Once again, Mr. Smith:

1. It is completely irrelevant to the criminal nature of the siege of Leningrad whether or not there was a surrender offer.

2. The criminal nature of the siege does not lie in the decision not to accept surrender if offered, which is but an element and an indicator of the criminal intention in question.

3. This criminal intention was about getting rid of the city’s population by any means in order to avoid having to feed it, even if that meant the entire population of a city of millions dying of starvation.

4. In order to accomplish this intention, siege warfare was implemented, leading to the death of roughly one million people.

5. The implementation of murderous siege warfare in pursuit of a criminal intention (rather than in pursuit of a military objective) was thus a crime of mass murder.

Smith wrote:And even so, it is only "illegitimate" if considered outside of historical context and because the Victors write the Histories and sing the songs.


What Smith calls “historical context” is what historians would call irrelevant, apologetic moral relativism. Whoever else did what at any given time doesn’t change the fact that the siege of Leningrad was an act of mass murder.

Smith wrote:Basically, any tactic that is used to try to win a war has always historically been seen as legitimate (unless there are unresolved axes to grind). It may be an atrocity; it may be cruel or inhuman. But realistically, it is wrong only if it is excessive, and one can only judge that in historical context and at the time or point of contact.


Well, even by those fuzzy standards I would consider the mass murder of civilians by implementation of siege warfare in order to get rid of those very civilians to be a crime, for it does not serve any military necessity and is therefore clearly excessive.

Smith wrote:To say otherwise is teleological.


To say otherwise is historiography, I would say.

Smith wrote:Retrospectively, I do happen to think that refusal to accept Leningrad's (hypothetical) surrender *would* have been excessive. Just like the strategic bombing of civilian targets during the war.


But their bombing, shelling and starving to death for the clear and immutable purpose (for even a collapse of enemy resistance would not have improved the fate of the population of Leningrad, as becomes clear i.a. from the memorandum of the Army High Command of 04.11.1941, document no. 10) not of forcing the surrender of an enemy city, but of getting rid of its population by any means, is perfectly legitimate in the eyes of Mr. Smith.

Interesting thinking.

Smith wrote:But the Bottom Line is that no surrender was ever offered to the Germans. Therefore, the suffering of the city cannot be blamed on anything but the vagaries of warfare. Period.


Tell us, Mr. Smith, under what circumstances can siege warfare leading to mass starvation be deemed as part of the “vagaries of warfare”?

Only when serving a military necessity, a clear-cut military purpose, such as forcing the surrender of an enemy stronghold?

Or also when serving an illegitimate utilitarian purpose such as getting rid of a civilian population that it would otherwise be the conqueror’s encumbrance to take care of, which is what we got here?

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Post by Roberto » 09 Sep 2002 09:32

Cletus wrote:I'm sorry, I dont see anything in the documentation that expressly says lets murder everybody in Leningrad.

I think I'll follow the documentation where it leads... :mrgreen:


A rather silly start, Mr. Cletus.

Nobody said the documents expressed an intention to by any means kill everyone inside Leningrad.

What they do say is that Hitler and the German High Command implemented siege warfare against Leningrad not in order to force the surrender of an enemy stronghold, but in order to get rid of the city’s population so as not having to feed it.

The death of an urban population of millions was not their ultimate end, but it was a means to an illegitimate end that they were prepared to and went about to employ.

Roberto wrote:Unlike Mr. Mills, who tries to sell his ideologically colored interpretation of the documents contents, the leftist historians let the documents speak for themselves and readers draw their own conclusions.


Cletus wrote:My own conclusions are as follows, but I'm sure it's all just, "hollow bunk/platitudes", "Bullshit" or an "ideological bubble". :mrgreen:


If they’re not better than your initial remarks, they do in fact stand a good chance to be dismissed as crap.

The above quote also suggests that Mr. Cletus sees some merit in the beaten rhetoric of Smith et al.

Which makes him either one of them or a hopeless sucker, in my opinion.

What shall it be, Mr. Cletus?

It is the established decision of the Führer to erase Moscow and Leningrad in order to avoid that people stay in there who we will then have to feed in winter. The cities are to be destroyed by the air force. Tanks may not be used for this purpose. [...]


Cletus wrote:"Erase": Means to remove the cities as habitable areas.

"...in order to avoid that people stay...": To make it so people will not remain in the cities.

"...who we will then have to feed in the winter...": This assumes that you feed living people. Where's the Genocide?


A city is to be erased, wiped from the face of the earth. It’s people are to be killed during that “erasure” or turned into destitute, miserable refugees. Measures leading to a high death toll among the civilian population are to be taken in order to achieve not a military objective (taking an enemy stronghold) but an illegitimate economical objective (to avoid having to feed the population). That makes the related killing into a war crime, into mass murder.

Cletus wrote:It seems that the Germans wanted to expell the citiens in order to destroy the cities, and make it impossible for the people to return. This is ethnic cleansing, not genocide.


Considering the means to be employed, the term “mass murder” would be appropriate. Whether that mass murder qualifies as genocide depends on how broadly or strictly you interpret that term, in my opinion.

[...]IV. Requests for surrender resulting from the city's encirclement will be denied, since the problem of relocating and feeding the population cannot and should not be solved by us. In this war for our very existence, there can be no interest on our part in maintaining even a part of this large urban population. If necessary forcible removal to the eastern Russian area is to be carried out.


Cletus wrote:The city's surrender would be denied because it would be preferred if the population would retreat or be evacuated before encirclement. If not the germans will "let them fry" to break morale and make it possible to force them to flee to the east.


A very simplistic reading, considering that

i) the city was already encircled at the time this order was issued and

ii) the alternative of “forcible removal”, as I already explained to Michael Mills, was clearly a fallback scenario, to be applied “if necessary” (the German term “notfalls” is actually stronger; if literally means “in case of emergency” and may thus also be translated in this context as “if unavoidable”). It becomes clear from the placement and wording of this sentence that the preferred option was one requiring no “forcible removal”, i.e. death by starvation inside the city.

As to Wagner’s “let them fry” in document 3, he doesn’t seem to have meant anything like “breaking morale” and forcing the population to flee by that. In his statement at the top-level meeting in Orsha on 13.11.1941 he became more explicit (document 11, my translation):

[...]The feeding of the great cities can however not be solved. There can be no doubt that especially Leningrad must starve to death, because it is impossible to feed this city. The task of the leadership can thus only be to keep the troops away from this and from the phenomena related hereto.[...]


Clear enough, isn't it?

Cletus wrote:This would have a strategic purpose in that it would not encumber the German Army with refugees to feed, and it would disrupt the Red Army.


The latter would apply only to the extent that any civilian survived the “forcible removal”, which was rather unlikely under the circumstances.

As becomes apparent from documents 4 and 10, the Germans were very well aware that there would be enormous mortality also in case some form of “forcible removal” was chosen for reasons of propaganda and troop morale.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with getting rid of an urban population through siege warfare or, where that fails (i.e. in regard to any civilians still alive on the day enemy resistance collapses) by “forcible expulsion” of weakened civilians barely able to walk, which especially in the middle of winter would mean certain death, all in order to avoid what – as the Germans clearly acknowledged, see e.g. document no. 4 – would have been the conquerors’ encumbrance, i.e. taking care of the conquered civilian population to the best of their capacities.

Cletus wrote:Apparently even when the Germans admitted they couldn't handle feeding refugees, and thus didn't want them, the are still genocidal maniacs.


Mr. Cletus seems to be a very trusting soul who takes at face value German statements in the sense that the civilian population “could not” be fed.

If he had read my exchanges with Michael Mills, who brought up the same argument (though without that rhetoric ballyhoo), he would know that the reason why the Germans “could not” feed the civilian population was their having adopted a policy, long before the attack on the Soviet Union, according to which the Wehrmacht was to live completely off the land and the occupied territories of the Soviet Union were furthermore to be exploited for foodstuffs to be sent to Germany to allow for a comfortable, morale-boosting living standard at the home front.

All this was to happen at the expense of the population of the occupied Soviet territories, which was expected to die in their millions (thirty million starvation dead was the number estimated by the German planners) as a consequence of the reckless exploitation of the Soviet lands. The “food importing areas” of the Soviet Union were to be sealed off and receive no food from the “food exporting areas”, so that the food produced in the latter might be used to feed a) the Wehrmacht and b) the German home front. The “food importing areas” were the mainly the forest zone in northern Russia and all major cities, including especially Moscow and Leningrad. It was foreseen that “many tens of millions” of people would become “superfluous” in those “food importing areas” and thus starve to death to the extent that they didn’t try to save themselves by emigrating to Siberia.

It was this food policy, a murderous triage with the Soviet civilian population at the lowest level, that led the Germans to state that they “could not” feed the population of Leningrad.

There was no objective impossibility, Mr. Cletus.

They simply didn’t want to.

Cletus wrote:If that's the case, why not allow them to surrender, and then starve them?, Better yet send them to an extermination camp.


If Cletus had read through the documents as I recommended him to do, he would know that unlike the extermination of the Jews the tragedy of Leningrad did not occur in secrecy somewhere in the German hinterland, but in front of the eyes of world public opinion, and that propagandistic concerns thus led the Germans to consider alternatives to the most “comfortable” policy, that of letting everyone starve to death inside the besieged city.

That even this would be seen as less damning than openly killing the city’s inhabitants after surrender and was therefore the preferable option for the Germans would be obvious to Mr. Cletus if he paused to think a little.

Cletus wrote:Please someone point out to me where there was a deliberate policy to make sure that all Leningraders died. Please show me where it clearly says:

Roberto wrote:The objective was thus not breaking enemy resistance and forcing the surrender or enabling the capture of an enemy stronghold, but merely slaughtering the civilian population or submitting it to starvation.

Mr. Cletus is revealing a fair degree of intellectual dishonesty by quoting the above statement out of context.

Reading the quoted statement in the proper context reveals that it referred to the use of air power against the civilian population of Leningrad according to Halder’s order of 28.09.1941 (document 2) as opposed to the use of air power for military purposes.

The statement is not meant to express a policy “to make sure that all Leningraders died” (even though such a policy could be inferred from Halder’s order, where it is stated that a capitulation of the city is not to be demanded, the city is to be deprived of its life and defense capacity and any move by the civilian population in the direction of the encircling troops is to be prevented “if necessary by force of arms” – what would Mr. Cletus expect to be the fate of the civilian population under such circumstances?), because other documents show that in regard to civilians who might eventually survive the siege “forcible removal” (with a rather slim chance of survival) seems to have been at least one of the options considered.

Why this doesn’t change the criminal nature of the orders in question and their implementation has been explained: the Germans may not have absolutely wanted all inhabitants to die, but they certainly didn’t mind that happening as a consequence of their implementation of siege warfare because it would free them from the burden of having to care for the city’s civilian population.

Cletus wrote:My interpretation is simply this: The Germans wanted to level the city of Lenigrad so it would not exist for Russians to live in. They could have done that with the people inside the buildings if they wanted to commit genocide. Instead they had a policy the would force the population to leave the city and become a burden to the Russians, not the Germans.


“Forcing to leave the city” is a rather benevolent interpretation, unless Mr. Cletus can explain why

i) “forcible removal” was seen as a fallback solution in Hitler’s order transcribed as document no. 6;

ii) it was merely considered not to mind the existence of “smaller gaps” leading to inner Russia in order to keep those desperate enough to undertake a suicidal escape attempt from having to be shot down by German troops;

iii) high-ranking officials like Halder and Wagner foresaw that all of the city’s inhabitants would starve to death in the winter of 1941/42 (document 11, quotes from Salisbury) and

iv) the possibility of keeping up the blockade even after collapse of military resistance until everyone starved to death was considered.

To say that the Germans absolutely wanted everyone to starve to death is an exaggeration, for sure.

But nobody is saying that, despite Mr. Cletus’ clumsy attempts at misrepresenting my statements.

What becomes apparent from the documents cited is that

a) the Germans wanted to get rid of the population of Leningrad by any means;

b) they implemented siege warfare for this purpose (and not to achieve a military objective);

c) they were aware that this would inevitably lead enormous numbers of people to die from starvation and cold, either inside the city or while trying to get out through those “smaller gaps” that never existed; and

d) they by no means minded this outcome as it served their purpose of getting rid of the civilian population.

A criminal purpose pursued by the most brutal means of warfare makes the siege of Leningrad a crime of mass murder even though the dying of the civilian population was not an end in itself but “merely” a means to an end.

Cletus wrote:Inevitably many people died.


Inevitably from the day the Germans decided to implement siege warfare, as they well knew.

However, as becomes apparent from the documents transcribed, the implementation of siege warfare was neither necessary from a military point of view (the city could have been taken by assault or required to capitulate) nor even served a military and thus legitimate purpose.

Calling the death of about a million inhabitants of Leningrad an inevitable consequence of legitimate military actions is thus as untruthful a statement as I can think of.

Cletus wrote:The problem was the the city was never captured and it did not surrender, so whether or not the people would have been liquidated by the Germans is academic isn't it?


To Mr. Cletus, perhaps.

Would-have-been – considerations aside, the crime consisted in the implementation of the most cruel form of warfare – siege warfare – for a non-military, illegitimate purpose, as I explained.

Which, as I also explained, makes the fact that no surrender was offered quite irrelevant.

Cletus wrote:The Germans wanted no surrender, but a type of civilian retreat.


Yeah, sure.

Especially to the mass grave.

Correction: They didn’t absolutely want that, but it was fine with them because it served their purpose.

Right, Mr. Cletus?

Cletus wrote:In other words "don't surrender to us and come over to our side, bugger off further into Russian territory."


A rather lousy choice for people weakened by hunger who could barely walk, even if the “smaller gaps” mentioned in Jodl’s order had ever existed.

A march out of the city, then through Soviet-held territory inside the ring, then through German-held territory until finally Soviet-held territory outside the ring was reached, all that in the middle of winter – does Mr. Cletus want to tell us that a substantial number of those walking skeletons would have survived this had they tried, or that they were expected to survive by the Germans?

As I explained, the “smaller gaps” mentioned in Jodl’s order of 07.10.1941 are likely to have been mainly meant to keep desperate, starving civilians from running into the fire of German artillery shells and machine guns and subjecting the troops to the psychological burden of slaughtering them.

So the message would have been more like “die inside the city or while trying to leave to inner Russia, but don’t come over to us for we will shoot you down if you do”.

Very considerate indeed.

Cletus wrote:But then again:
And I [Roberto] haven't seen an interpretation of yours that would come anywhere near mine or atkif's


That was addressed to Smith, wasn’t it?

Well, Mr. Cletus has done a little better for he at least provided his own interpretation of the documentary evidence, far-fetched and/or illustrative of his state of mind as that may be according to my above assessment.

But his arguments differ little from those of Smith and Mills and are just as unconvincing, as explained above.

Cletus wrote:That's because everyone else's interpretation has to be wrong, especially if it doesn't fit into your ideological bubble! :mrgreen:


A feeble and also rather silly insult, unless Cletus can explain what that “ideological bubble” of mine is supposed to be.

Cletus wrote:
Roberto wrote: Whatever becomes apparent from the evidence, the fanatic's fantasy-prone mind dismisses it as "fantasy" because what he doesn't want to have been simply cannot have been, period.


This door swings both ways! :monkee:


No, it does not, Mr. Cletus.

My assessment may be right or wrong, but it is well-argued and defensible and thus far above the unsubstantiated dismissal of inconvenient fact and conclusions that your friend Smith engages in.

In fairness it should be said, by the way, that Smith's parallel with the fire bombings of German and Japanese cities approaches reasonability, as I pointed out in my last post.

At least it beats anything that Mr. Cletus has produced so far.

Cletus wrote:The Germans never captured Leningrad, never liquidated the population, and never refused a surrender offer.

Yet they still commited Genocide.


I’d call it mass murder.

Siege warfare aimed at getting rid of a large urban population rather than at achieving a military objective and leading to the death of about a million people is nothing other than that, in my opinion.

Whether that mass murder qualifies as “genocide” is a matter of interpretation of the latter term, but mass murder it certainly was.

Cletus wrote:Are we so short on German war crimes that we now have to go after them for what they might have been thinking about doing?


The issue, as explained above, is what they did and why they did it, not what they would have done.

What they did at Leningrad may or not have been genocide, but a war crime it certainly was.

Cletus wrote:Love,
Cletus


I don’t like Mr. Cletus either. I never have.

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Post by Roberto » 09 Sep 2002 10:17

Cletus wrote:I already stated how I would interpret those documents. But that doesn't matter. The only correct interpretation is Roberto's.


By no means. I would be very interested in reading Mr. Walter Kaschner's interpretation, for instance. The one of Mr. Cletus suffers from some serious fallacies, however. See my last post.

Cletus wrote:Re-Read my original post. I very clearly stated what I felt those documents meant.


I have re-read and commented on Mr. Cletus original post, as I announced I would. See my last post.

Cletus wrote:The big difference is that I'm not trying to claim I'm right and you're wrong.


Neither am I.

Cletus wrote:I've always said it's just my interpretation.


So have I. It's just that I consider the standards of refutal to be somewhat above what Mr. Cletus has come up with, which basically amounts to nothing but a repetition of his predecessors' arguments.

Cletus wrote:Roberto said read the documents and make up your own mind. When I did , he accused me of not reading the thread.


Not of not having read it, but of having read it superficially. There's some difference between one and the other. And I found nothing in Mr. Cletus' submissions when going through them that made me alter my assessment.

Cletus wrote:If we all don't come to the same conclusion he does, he calls it nonsense.


By no means. The term nonsense only applies where conclusions are obviously at odds with the contents of the evidence assessed or even fail to take into account that evidence altogether. At least the former can be said of Mr. Cletus' conclusions, in my opinion. But he is kindly invited to demonstrate otherwise.

Cletus wrote:I would call it difference of opinion. But Roberto doesn't like opinions except his own. :roll:


The standard whining of those unable to refute my arguments. In fact there are a number of posters on this thread whose opinions I greatly value. But opinions based on superficial assessment and colored with rhetoric and offensive irony to make up for that deficit are not likely to convince me.

Cletus wrote:I'm allowed to make up my own mind so long as Roberto agrees with my conclusion. If not he calls it "bullshit"


That's bullshit, as Mr. Cletus well knows. I am more than willing to acknowledge reasonable counter-arguments that are superior to my own. It's just that I have seen none of that from either Mr. Cletus nor the fellow whose rhetoric I sometimes refer to in more colorful terms.

Cletus wrote:I'm not saying the Germans had the welfare of Leningraders at heart, but I find it difficult to find Genocide in those documents, especially considering the Germans never gained control of the city.


Deliberately or due to sloppy reading of my statements, Mr. Cletus has misunderstood my arguments.

I didn't say the Germans went about to commit genocide in the sense that they endeavored to wipe out every last inhabitant of Leningrad due to some irrational bias against those people.

In fact the term "genocide" only came up in this thread when Michael Mills hurried to state that what the Germans did wasn't genocide, even though no one had said it was prior to this objection.

My argument, as often explained, is that the implementation of siege warfare leading to about a million civilian deaths constituted a crime of mass murder because it was neither necessary from a military point of view nor even meant to serve a military necessity.

The objective of the siege was not to force the surrender of an enemy stronghold but to get rid of a civilian population the besiegers did not want on their hands, even if - as the Germans knew to be the likeliest possibility - that implied the starvation of all of the city's inhabitants.

Had siege warfare been implemented because it was not possible to take the city by assault, and had the purpose of it been to force the city's defenders to surrender, it would have been a very cruel form of warfare but not a crime.

But that was not the case, as the documents show.

Cletus wrote:I'm still waiting for the obvious intended mass extermination clearly stated in the documents.
Not just, "fry" "remove", "forcibly", "sentimentalities". Show me the directive that says "leave no civilian alive."


Mr. Cletus is revealing either very sloppy reading or intellectual dishonesty by asking for something I never claimed to have existed - even though the army group staff's memorandum of 04.11.1941 shows that wholesale extermination was at least one of the options seriously considered in the event of a collapse of enemy resistance. From my translation of document no. 10:

Possibilities
for the treatment of the civilian population of
Petersburg

1.) The city remains encircled and all starve to death.
2.) The civilian population is let out through our lines and pushed away into our rear area.
3.) The civilian population is pushed off through a corridor behind the Russian front

The pre-condition for these 3 points is that the Russian armed forces, i.e. the forces in Petersburg and the 8th Army, if possible also the garrison of Kronstadt, are eliminated either through capitulation or through collapse and dissolution.

Regarding 1.):
Advantage:
a.) A great part of the Communist population of Russia, which is to be found especially among the population of Petersburg, will thus be exterminated.
b.) We don’t have to feed 4 million people. [...]


Emphases are mine.

The already quoted statements of Wagner and Halder are also very illustrative of what high-ranking Nazi officials foresaw to be the fate of the city's inhabitants as a consequence of the city's blockade:

11. Notes of the Head of the General Staff of the 18th Army, Colonel Hasse, from the high level meeting at Orsha on 13.11.1941 (State Archive Nuremberg, NOKW-1535)

Bericht über Ausführungen Wagners (Auszug):
[...]Unlösbar dagegen ist die Frage der Ernährung der Großstädte. Es kann keinem Zweifel unterliegen, daß insbesondere Leningrad verhungern muß, denn es ist unmöglich, diese Stadt zu ernähren. Aufgabe der Führung kann es nur sein, die Truppe hiervon und von den damit verbundenen Erscheinungen fern zu halten.[...]


My translation:

Report on Wagner’s statements (excerpt):
[...]The feeding of the great cities can however not be solved. There can be no doubt that especially Leningrad must starve to death, because it is impossible to feed this city. The task of the leadership can thus only be to keep the troops away from this and from the phenomena related hereto.[...]


Emphases are mine.

Harrison E. Salisbury, The 900 Days. The Siege of Leningrad, pages 468 and following

Tikhvin was a real victory. Whether it would save Leningrad and its millions of people, now entering the skeletal world of starvation, of life without heat, without light, without transport, no one knew for certain.
[…]
The Germans did not think so. Colonel General Halder, the diarist of the Wehrmacht, jotted down under the date of December 13: “The Commander of the army group is inclined to the view – after the failure of all attempts by the enemy to liquidate our foothold on the Neva – that we may expect the complete starvation of Leningrad.”


Emphasis is mine.

That this was a desired result can also be inferred from the Operational Situation Reports quoted as documents 12, 13 and 14, namely the following passages:

[document 13, my translation]

[...]At the end of January the rumor ran in Leningrad that already 15,000 people were dying every day and in the last 3 months 200,000 people had died of hunger. This number is not all too high in relation to the total population. It must be taken into account, however, that the number of dead will increase greatly with every week if the present conditions - hunger and cold – are maintained.[...]


Emphasis is mine.

[document 14, my translation]

[...]Much more important in terms of numbers than the evacuation across Lake Ladoga is the reduction of the population of Leningrad due to the mass dying that continues to occur without a change. The indicated numbers of daily deaths vary, but always lie above 8,000.[...]


Emphasis is mine.

Cletus wrote:In fact this is all moot because they didn't take the city.


The issue is not what they would have done had they taken the city.

The issue is what they did: implement siege warfare in order to achieve an illegitimate, non-military objective, which led to the death of about one million civilians in Leningrad.

Cletus wrote:By the way, I still don't see why all this fuss is made over an intention.


What I still don't see is who other than Cletus et al are making a "fuss".

And I also wouldn't consider an intention to be wholly irrelevant.

Even if it had come nowhere near being implemented, it would still provide a splendid insight into the mentality and policies of people who at that time had the power to decide on the life or death of many millions of other people. It would also provide a splendid insight into what National Socialist thinking and policies were all about.

Cletus wrote:Love,
Cletus


As I already said, the feeling is mutual.

P.S.:

Cletus wrote:You sound like a priest who says "think for yourself but don't think differently than the bible."


The priests are to be found among my opponents, Mr. Cletus.

My only “bible” is evidence, and I’m accordingly tolerant of any opinions that are not at odds with evidence.

Cletus wrote:Let's go after the Morganthau Plan. That could have been ugly! :mrgreen:


If you’re interested in the Morgenthau Plan, here’s a thread discussing it:

Adenauer on the Morgenthau Plan and restitution to Jews

http://www.thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/v ... a2d6d020f2

But I think you’ll be disappointed. Big bad Morgenthau seems to have been a “back to nature” – freak alien to reality who thought it was the best for the Germans and everybody else if Germany became an agrarian state without industrial and political aspirations.
Last edited by Roberto on 09 Sep 2002 14:55, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Roberto » 09 Sep 2002 11:23

Just so we know what we’re talking about when using the term “genocide”:

genocide /tracker_reg.asp?target=genocide/tracker_reg.asp?target=genocide
Related: International Law
in international law, the intentional and systematic destruction, wholly or in part, by a government of a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group. Although the term genocide was first coined in 1944, the crime itself has been committed often in history. It was initially used to describe the systematic campaign for the extermination of peoples carried on by Nazi Germany, in its attempts in the 1930s and 40s to destroy the entire European Jewish community, and to eliminate other national groups in Eastern Europe. In 1945, the charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal listed persecution on racial or religious grounds as a crime for which the victorious Allies would try Nazi offenders. It established the principle of the individual accountability of government officials who carried out the extermination policies. The United Nations, by a convention concluded in 1949, defined in detail the crime of genocide and provided for its punishment by competent national courts of the state on whose territory the crime was committed, or by international tribunal. Charging that the convention violated national sovereignty , especially in its provision for an international tribunal and in the potential liability of an individual citizen, the United States did not ratify it until 37 years later, in 1986. An international tribunal was established to prosecute genocide cases in the aftermath of the slaughter of more than 500,000 Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. In 1995 top civilian and military Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat leaders were charged by an international tribunal with genocide in the killing of thousands of Muslims during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia .


Source of quote:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/searchpool. ... 20genocide

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the U.N. General Assembly on 9 December 1948.
Entry into force: 12 January 1951.

[...]

Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Article III: The following acts shall be punishable:
(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.


Source of quote:
http://www.preventgenocide.org/law/convention/text.htm

In my opinion, while there is no doubt that

i) members of a "group" defined by nationality and/or ethnicity (i.e. the predominantly Russian Soviet citizens of Leningrad) were killed and "conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part" were deliberately inflicted on this "group", and

ii) this happened "with intent to destroy, in whole or in part", said "group",

it is arguable whether the intention was to "destroy, in whole or in part" the urban population of Leningrad "as such" (rather than as a conglomeration of "useless eaters" that the besiegers didn't want on their hands).

The only hint that the population of Leningrad was targeted "as such" under a restrictive interpretation of the term can be found in the already quoted passages of document no. 10. From my translation of that document:

Possibilities
for the treatment of the civilian population of
Petersburg

1.) The city remains encircled and all starve to death.
2.) The civilian population is let out through our lines and pushed away into our rear area.
3.) The civilian population is pushed off through a corridor behind the Russian front

The pre-condition for these 3 points is that the Russian armed forces, i.e. the forces in Petersburg and the 8th Army, if possible also the garrison of Kronstadt, are eliminated either through capitulation or through collapse and dissolution.

Regarding 1.):
Advantage:
a.) A great part of the Communist population of Russia, which is to be found especially among the population of Petersburg, will thus be exterminated.
b.) We don’t have to feed 4 million people.[...]


Emphases are mine.

Whether or not the mass murder of the population of Leningrad due to the unjustified implementation of siege warfare qualifies as genocide thus depends on how broadly or restrictively you interpret the term "as such", in my opinion.

I would be very much interested in knowing the opinion of our fellow poster, Mr. Walter Kaschner, in this respect.

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Post by Roberto » 10 Sep 2002 18:55

Some more documents, transcribed from the catalogue of the current Wehrmacht War Crimes Exhibition.

15. Protocol of a meeting of the secretaries of state on 21.5.1941
Source: International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg 1948, Volume 31, page 84

[…]1.) Der Krieg ist nur weiterzuführen, wenn die gesamte Wehrmacht im 3. Kriegsjahr aus Rußland ernährt wird.
2.) Hierbei werden zweifellos zig Millionen Menschen verhungern, wenn von uns das für uns Notwendige aus dem Lande herausgeholt wird.
3.) Am wichtigsten ist die Bergung und Abtransport von Ölsaaten, Ölkuchen, dann erst Getreide. Das vorhandene Fett und Fleisch wird voraussichtlich die Truppe verbrauchen.[…]


My translation:

[…]1.) The war can only be continued if the whole Wehrmacht is fed out of Russia in the 3rd war year.
2.) Due to this umpteen million people will doubtlessly starve to death when we take what is necessary for us out of the land.
3.) Most important is the collection and shipment of oil seeds and oil cake, only thereafter of grain. The available fat and meat will presumably be consumed by the troops.[…]


16. “Wirtschaftspolitische Richtlinien für die Wirtschaftsorganisation Ost vom 23.5.1941, erarbeitet von der Gruppe Landwirtschaft”
(“Guidelines of Economic Policy for the Economic Organization East, prepared by the Agriculture Group”)

Source: Bundesarchiv/Militärarchiv, RW 31/144

Damit ist das wesentlichste des Problems gekennzeichnet. Die Überschüsse Rußlands an Getreide werden entscheidend nicht durch die Höhe der Ernte, sondern durch die Höhe des Selbstverbrauchs bestimmt. Selbst eine geringe Herabsetzung um 30 kg je Kopf der Bevölkerung (220 kg statt 250 kg) und eine Herabsetzung der Pferderation um 25 % erzeugen einen Exportüberschuß, der fast an die Friedenshöhe heranreicht. […]
b) Da Deutschland bzw. Europa unter allen Umständen Überschüsse braucht, muß also der Konsum entsprechend herabgedrückt werden. Wie groß durch Drosselung des Verbrauchs die Überschussmengen werden können, zeigen die obigen Beispiele.
c) Dieses Herabdrücken des Konsums ist im Gegensatz zu den bisherigen besetzten Gebieten auch durchführbar deshalb, weil das Hauptüberschußgebiet räumlich scharf getrennt ist.
[…]Die Überschußgebiete liegen im Schwarzerdegebiet (also im Süden, Südosten) und im Kaukasus. Die Zuschußgebiete liegen im wesentlichen in der Waldzone des Nordens (Podsolböden). Daraus folgt: Eine Abriegelung der Schwarzerdegebiete muß unter allen Umständen mehr oder weniger hohe Überschüsse in diesen Gebieten für uns greifbar machen. Die Konzequenz ist die Nichtbelieferung der gesamten Waldzone einschließlich der Industriezentren und Petersburg. […]
1. Aufgabe der gesamten Industrie im Zuschußgebiet, im wesentlichen der Verarbeitungsindustrie im Moskauer und Petersburger Industriegebiet, desgleichen des Industriegebiets im Ural. Man kann wohl annehmen, daß diese Gebiete heute einen Zuschuß aus der Produktionszone von 5-10 Mill.t [Getreide] beziehen. […]
3. Jede weitere Ausnahme zwecks Erhaltung dieses oder jenes Industriebezirks oder Industrieunternehmens in der Zuschußzone muß abgelehnt werden.
4. Erhalten werden kann die Industie nur, soweit sie im Überschußgebiet liegt. […]
Aus dieser Lage, die die Billigung der höchsten Stellen erfahren hat, […] ergeben sich folgende Konzequenzen:
I. für die Waldzone: […]
b) Ein deutsches Interesse an der Erhaltung der Erzeugungskraft dieser Gebiete ist, auch hinsichtlich der Versorgung der dort stehenden Truppen, nicht vorhanden. […] Die Bevölkerung dieser Gebiete, insbesondere die Bevölkerung der Städte, wird größter Hungersnot entgegensehen müssen. Es wird darauf ankommen, die Bevölkerung in die sibirischen Räume abzulenken. Da Eisenbahntransport nicht in Frage kommt, wird auch dieses Problem ein äußerst schwieriges sein. […]
Aus all dem folgt, daß die deutsche Verwaltung in diesem Gebiet wohl bestrebt sein kann, die Folgen der zweifellos eintretenden Hungersnot zu mildern und den Naturalisierungsprozeß zu beschleunigen. Man kann bestrebt sein, diese Gebiete intensiver zu bewirtschaften im Sinne einer Ausdehnung der Kartoffelanbaufläche und anderer für den Konsum wichtiger, hohe Erträge gebender Früchte. Die Hungersnot ist dadurch nicht zu bannen. Viele 10 Millionen Menschen werden in diesem Gebiet überflüssig und werden sterben oder nach Sibirien auswandern müssen. Versuche, die Bevölkerung dort vor dem Hungertode dadurch zu retten, daß man aus der Schwarzerdezone Überschüsse heranzieht, können nur auf Kosten der Versorgung Europas gehen. Sie unterbinden die Durchhaltefähigkeit Deutschlands im Kriege, sie unterbinden die Blockadefestigkeit Deutschlands und Europas. Darüber muß absolute Klarheit herrschen. […]
I. Armeeversorgung. Die Ernährungslage Deutschlands in dritten Kriegsjahr erfordert gebieterisch, daß die Wehrmacht in ihrer Gesamtverpflegung nicht aus dem großdeutschen Raum bzw. angegliederten oder befreundeten Gebieten, die diesen Raum durch Ausfuhren versorgen, lebt. Dieses Minimalziel, die Versorgung der Wehrmacht aus Feindesland im dritten und evtl. weiteren Kriegsjahren, muß unter allen Umständen erreicht werden.
II. Versorgung der deutschen Zivilbevölkerung
1) Erst nach der Abdeckung dieses Heeresbedarfs, der unter allen Umständen aus den Osträumen bereitgestellt werden muß, haben Lieferungen nach Deutschland zur Deckung des Zivilbedarfs einzusetzen. Hiebei ist jede Verzettelung auf Nebengebiete unter allen Umständen zu unterlassen. Im Vordergrund steht der Transport von Ölsaaten – insbesondere Sonnenblumenkerne, aber auch Leinsaat, Baumwollsaat, Sojabohnen – nach Deutschland, um die Fettbilanz zu verbessern. […]
2) Erst nach der Bewältigung des Transports der Ölsaaten kann eine Getreideausfuhr stattfinden, die selbstverständlich außerordentlich erwünscht ist, da ja Großdeutschland in steigendem Maße die besetzten Gebiete beliefern muß und auch selbst für die Zukunft seiner Reserven nach der schlechten Ernte 1940 und der bestenfalls zu erwartenden mittleren Ernte in diesem Jahr auffüllen muß. […]
3) […]
V. Diese Ausführungen zeigen, worauf es ankommt. Das Minimalziel muß sein, Deutschland im 3. Kriegsjahr völlig von der Versorgung der eigenen Wehrmacht zu befreien, um der deutschen Ernährungswirtschaft die Möglichkeit zu geben, einerseits die bisherigen Rationen beizubehalten, andererseits gewisse Reserven für die Zukunft anzulegen. Außerdem wird es notwendig sein, auf den drei entscheidenden Lebensmittelgebieten – Ölsaaten, Getreide und Fleisch – Zufuhren in einem größtmöglichen Umfang für Deutschland freizumachen, um die Ernährung nicht nur Deutschlands, sondern auch der besetzten Gebiete im Norden und Westen zu gewährleisten. […]
Abschließend sei nochmals auf das Grundsätzliche hingewiesen. Rußland hat sich unter dem bolschewistischen System aus reinen Machtgründen aus Europa zurückgezogen und so das europäische arbeitsteilige Gleichgewicht gestört. Unsere Aufgabe, Rußland wieder arbeitsteilig in Europa einzubeziehen, bedeutet zwangsläufig die Zerreißung des jetzigen wirtschaftlichen Gleichgewichts der UdSSR. Es kommt also unter keinen Umständen auf eine Erhaltung des Bisherigen an, sondern auf bewußte Abkehr vom Gewordenen und Einbeziehung der Ernährungswirtschaft Rußlands in den europäischen Rahmen. Daraus folgt zwangsläufig ein Absterben sowohl der Industrie wie eines großen Teils der Menschen in den bisherigen Zuschußgebieten.
Diese Alternative kann nicht hart und scharf genug herausgestellt werden.


My translation:

Thus the essence of the problem has been outlined. The grain excesses of Russia are primarily determined not by the quantities harvested but by the amounts they consume themselves. Even a small reduction of 30 kg per head of the population (220 kg instead of 250 kg) and a reduction of the horse ration by 25 % will create an export excess almost reaching peacetime levels. […]
b) As Germany and Europe need excesses under any circumstances, consume must be reduced accordingly. How large the excess amounts resulting from a restriction of consume may become is shown by the above examples.
c) Contrary to the situation in the hitherto occupied areas this reduction of consume is feasible also because there is a clear geographical separation of the main excess region.
[…]The excess regions are located in the black earth region (i.e. in the south and southeast) and in the Caucasus. The food importing regions are mainly located in the northern forest zone (podsol[?] soil). This means that sealing off the black earth regions must under any circumstances make more or less high excesses available to us in these areas. The consequence is the non-supply of the entire forest zone including the industrial centers and Petersburg. […]
1. We will give up all industry in the food importing region, mainly the manufacturing industry in the Moscow and Petersburg industrial area and the Ural industrial region. It can be assumed that these regions are currently importing an excess from the production zone in the amount of 5-10 million tons of grain. […]
3. Any further exception for maintaining this or that industrial district or enterprise in the importing area must be rejected.
4. Industry can be maintained only insofar as located in the excess region. […]
From this situation, which has been approved by the highest entities, […] there result the following consequences:
II. for the forest zone: […]
b) There is no German interest in maintaining the productive capacity of these regions, also in what concerns the supplies of the troops stationed there. […] The population of these regions, especially the population of the cities, will have to anticipate a famine of the greatest dimensions. The issue will be to redirect the population to the Siberian areas. As railway transportation is out of the question, this problem will also be an extremely difficult one. […]
From all this there follows that the German administration in these regions may well attempt to milder the consequences of the famine that will doubtlessly occur and accelerate the naturalization process. It can be attempted to cultivate there areas more extensively in the sense of an extension of the area for cultivating potatoes and other high yield fruits important for consume. This will not stop the famine, however. Many tens of millions of people will become superfluous in this area and will die or have to emigrate to Siberia. Attempts to save the population from starvation death by using excesses from the black earth zone can only be made at the expense of the supply of Europe. They hinder Germany’s capacity to hold out in the war, they hinder the blockade resistance of Germany and Europe. This must be absolutely clear.[…]
III. Army food supplies. The food situation of Germany in the third year of the war makes it mandatory that the Wehrmacht does not take its food supply out of the greater German area or the annexed or allied areas supplying this area through exports. This minimal goal, the supply of the Wehrmacht out of enemy territory in the third and eventually further years of the war, must be achieved under any circumstances.
IV. Food supplies for the German civilian population
1) Only after covering the army’s needs, which under any circumstance must occur out of the eastern areas, may there be shipments to Germany to cover civilian needs. Deviations to secondary areas are to be avoided under any circumstances. Priority is to be given to the shipment of oil seeds – especially sunflower seeds, but also linen seed, cotton seed and soy beans – to Germany in order to improve the fats balance. […]
2) Only after the transport of the oil seeds has been handled can there be shipments of grain, which of course are extremely desirable as Greater Germany must increasingly supply the occupied areas and also stock up its own reserves after the bad harvest of 1940 and the at best average harvest to be expected this year. […]
3) […]
V. These considerations show what the key issues are. The minimal goal must be to completely free Germany from the feeding of its own Wehrmacht in the 3rd year of the war in order to give German food economy the possibility of on the one hand keeping the rations so far issued and on the other to create certain reserves for the future. It will further be necessary to make available supplies for Germany to the greatest extent possible in the three key fields of nourishment – oil seeds, grain and meat – in order to guarantee the feeding not only of Germany, but also of the occupied areas in the north and west. […]
Finally the basics must be again pointed out. Russia under the Bolshevik system has withdrawn from Europe for pure reasons of power and thus disturbed the European work-sharing balance. Our task of reintegrating Russia into this balance necessarily implies tearing apart the present-day economic balance of the USSR. There is no question of maintaining what is there, but we are consciously moving away from it and integrating the food economy of Russia in the European area. This will necessarily lead both the industry and a great part of the people in the hitherto food importing areas to die off.
This alternative cannot be pointed out clearly and harshly enough.



17. File note on a meeting about economic policies and organization of the economy in the newly occupied territories with Hermann Göring on 8.11.1941
Source: Bundesarchiv/Militärarchiv, WI ID/1222

[…] Hinsichtlich der Ernährung bemerkte er [Göring], daß die Truppe ihren Bedarf an Konserven wesentlich einschränken müsse. Der Wehrmacht machte er den Vorwurf, dass sich im Gebiet um Minsk in den Wäldern noch grosse Viehherden herumtreiben, die aber wegen der Partisanen nicht geborgen werden können. Einsatz von Truppen sei unbedingt notwendig.
Das Schicksal der Grosstädte insbesondere Leningrads sei ihm völlig schleierhaft. In diesem Kriege werde das grösste Sterben seit dem dreissigjährigen Krieg sein.
Wenn das Getreide nicht abbefördert werden kann, soll dieses zur Schweinezucht verwandt werden. Ab 1943 verlange er eine Höchstausnutzung der Ukraine. Die Versorgung ganz Europas müsse dann sichergestellt sein. […]


My translation:

[…] In regard to food matters he [Göring] remarked that the troops must significantly reduce their consume of conserves. To the Wehrmacht he addressed the reproach that in the area around Minsk there are still huge herds of cattle running around in the woods which cannot be collected due to the partisans. The deployment of troops was absolutely necessary.
The fate of the major cities, especially Leningrad, was completely indifferent to him. [Translator’s note: the German term “schleierhaft” literally means “veilful” and may also be translated as “unexplainable”. Translating the term as “indifferent” (in the sense of “I don’t know what will happen to them, and I couldn’t care less”) was considered to better fit the context, however.] This war would see the greatest dying since the Thirty Years War.
If the grain could not be shipped off it should be used for raising pigs. From 1943 onward he required a maximum exploitation of the Ukraine. The food supply for the whole of Europe must then be guaranteed. […]


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Post by atkif » 11 Sep 2002 15:58

What other proofs are needed ?
Shocking..
A great part of the Communist population of Russia, which is to be found especially among the population of Petersburg, will thus be exterminated

Is it what Scott calls " Rhetorics " ?

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Post by Roberto » 11 Sep 2002 16:49

atkif wrote:What other proves are needed ?
Shocking..
Quote:
A great part of the Communist population of Russia, which is to be found especially among the population of Petersburg, will thus be exterminated

Is it what Scott calls " Rhetorics " ?



Well, someone will tell you that this was only one of the alternatives considered.

Even though the actual conduction of the siege coupled with the quoted statements of Wagner on 13.11.1941 (document 11), Göring on 08.11.1941 (document 17) and Halder on 13.12.1941 (Salisbury, The 900 Days, page 469) and the outlines of the "Hunger Plan" (documents 15 and 16) suggest a distinct preference for this alternative.

As the other alternatives were also foreseen to lead and would have led to an enormous mortality among the surviving population of Leningrad, on the other hand, they were only slightly less criminal in the absence of a military necessity justifying them.

Independently of what would have happened in the event of a collapse of the defense of Leningrad, however, the implementation of siege warfare for the purpose of getting rid of the city's population and not of achieving a military objective was already a criminal act carried out and not merely intended, leading to the death of about one million people.

Whether it qualifies as genocide or not is a matter of interpretation of the established definition in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as pointed out in my post of Mon Sep 09, 2002 11:23 am on this thread.
Last edited by Roberto on 12 Sep 2002 09:43, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by michael mills » 12 Sep 2002 06:37

Aktif napisal:
What other proofs are needed ?
Shocking..
Quote:
A great part of the Communist population of Russia, which is to be found especially among the population of Petersburg, will thus be exterminated

Is it what Scott calls " Rhetorics " ?


What this means is that German authorities thought it would be a "good thing" if all the Communists in the Soviet Union dropped dead.

No doubt at the same time, people in the Allied nations thought it would be a "good thing" if all the Nazis in Germany dropped dead.

No doubt certain contributors to this forum think it would be a "good thing" if all those they self-righteously write off as "fascists" and "nazi apologists" and "anti-Semites" were to drop dead.

The German planners knew that if the siege of Leningrad caused the mass-starvation of the population, that would have the result (seen by them as beneficial) of reducing the number of Communists. But they were also well aware that the population did not consist entirely of Communists, and included many groups that were "innocent" in German eyes, eg non-Communist Russians, ethnic Germans and Finns..

They were also well aware that it would be those "innocent" population groups that would die first, since the Soviet administration would ensure that available food supplies would go to their faithful communist supporters. For that reason, the German planners concluded that letting the netire population starve would not be a good idea, and looked at other alternatives, including letting the population move into German-occupied areas, or pushing it east into the Soviet-occupied territory.

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Post by Roberto » 12 Sep 2002 09:42

michael mills wrote:Aktif napisal:
What other proofs are needed ?
Shocking..
Quote:
A great part of the Communist population of Russia, which is to be found especially among the population of Petersburg, will thus be exterminated

Is it what Scott calls " Rhetorics " ?


michael mills wrote:What this means is that German authorities thought it would be a "good thing" if all the Communists in the Soviet Union dropped dead.


What it means is that they were prepared to bring about this very result in regard to the population of Leningrad in order to avoid having to feed it, quite in accordance with the guidelines worked out by the secretaries of state in May 1941.

michael mills wrote:No doubt at the same time, people in the Allied nations thought it would be a "good thing" if all the Nazis in Germany dropped dead.


I don't think so (evidence?).

And then, we're talking here about the continuation of a killing program, not warranted by any military necessity and already in the process of implementation, after the collapse of enemy resistance.

A killing program also affecting large numbers of women and children.

Were the children wicked commies, oh my Führer?

michael mills wrote:No doubt certain contributors to this forum think it would be a "good thing" if all those they self-righteously write off as "fascists" and "nazi apologists" and "anti-Semites" were to drop dead.


Well, all those folks "self-righteously written off as ..." have done everything to support such conclusions.

But relax, I don't think anyone wants them to drop dead.

They're too much fun to lose.

As a brilliant illustration of how the minds of certain people work, the statement is nevertheless appreciated.

michael mills wrote:The German planners knew that if the siege of Leningrad caused the mass-starvation of the population, that would have the result (seen by them as beneficial) of reducing the number of Communists. But they were also well aware that the population did not consist entirely of Communists, and included many groups that were "innocent" in German eyes, eg non-Communist Russians, ethnic Germans and Finns..


A disadvantage they would obviously have been prepared to accept for the greater benefit of a) getting rid of the commies ("A great part of the Communist population of Russia, which is to be found especially among the population of Petersburg, will thus be exterminated.") and b) complying with their food triage policies outlined before the attack on the Soviet Union ("We don’t have to feed 4 million people.").

michael mills wrote:They were also well aware that it would be those "innocent" population groups that would die first, since the Soviet administration would ensure that available food supplies would go to their faithful communist supporters. For that reason, the German planners concluded that letting the netire population starve would not be a good idea, and looked at other alternatives, including letting the population move into German-occupied areas, or pushing it east into the Soviet-occupied territory.


There's no evidence that they concluded on anything. The Army Group Study (document no. 10) merely shows that they considered alternatives, mainly for reasons of a) propaganda and b) troop morale.

As I already pointed out, the actual conduction of the siege plus the quoted statements of Wagner on 13.11.1941 (document 11), Göring on 08.11.1941 (document 17) and Halder on 13.12.1941 (Salisbury, The 900 Days, page 469), coupled with the outlines of the "Hunger Plan" (documents 15 and 16), suggest a distinct preference for the first, most radical alternative.

And then, the other alternatives were not much better either (quote from document no. 10, my translation):


[...]

Regarding 2.):

[...]

Disadvantages:

[...]

c.) A great part of those coming out of Petersburg will starve to death anyway and this will also lead to a strong psychological burden for our troops.

[...]

Regarding 3.):

[...]

Disadvantages:
a.) On the march a great many people will perish and the enemy press will take advantage of the ‘hunger march’ for propaganda purposes.
b.) For the ‘escorting’ troops this hunger march will be a strong psychological burden.

[...]


Once again I would also like to point out that, independently of what would have happened in the event of a collapse of the defense of Leningrad, the implementation of siege warfare for the purpose of getting rid of the city's population and not of achieving a military objective was already a criminal act carried out and not merely intended, leading to the death of about one million people.

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Post by atkif » 12 Sep 2002 14:10

michael mills wrote:What this means is that German authorities thought it would be a "good thing" if all the Communists in the Soviet Union dropped dead.

Was it "napisano" in order to show us that there is no difference between the emotions of the warring sides and the well thought over (by the military professionals)documented plans to exterminate the population of the concrete city ?
No doubt certain contributors to this forum think it would be a "good thing" if all those they self-righteously write off as "fascists" and "nazi apologists" and "anti-Semites" were to drop dead.

Am I supposed to take this as an "educated extrapolation'' ?
If you think so about "certain contributors", I in my turn can extrapolate
that you are projecting your own undesirable urges on your opponents.
Don't you think "it would be a good thing" if those "Commies" and
''Leftists" and "judeo-centrists" were to drop dead ?
Can we blame our opponents for what we think they might think or feel ?

The fact is -the Nazis harboured criminal plans to massacre Leningraders ( by bombing and starving majority of them.Those who would be able to escape from the "gaps" were doomed
to the almost certain death of starvation as well ).
This is what your beloved ''civilized'' invaders from Germany were about to implement on the Russian "barbarians".
The vast majority of the Leningraders were Russians, not Germans or Finns
(are you mentioning Germans and Finns to demonstrate that the Germans would pity them and therefore the Russians would be spared along ? How many Germans and Finns lived in Leningrad ?Any stat numbers? Do you think the Nazis would care ?)
who were scheduled for slaughter.

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Post by Roberto » 12 Sep 2002 17:28

atkif wrote:The vast majority of the Leningraders were Russians, not Germans or Finns
(are you mentioning Germans and Finns to demonstrate that the Germans would pity them and therefore the Russians would be spared along ?


I think he’s referring to the following passage of document no. 10 (my translation):

Possibilities
for the treatment of the civilian population of
Petersburg

1.) The city remains encircled and all starve to death.
2.) The civilian population is let out through our lines and pushed away into our rear area.
3.) The civilian population is pushed off through a corridor behind the Russian front

The pre-condition for these 3 points is that the Russian armed forces, i.e. the forces in Petersburg and the 8th Army, if possible also the garrison of Kronstadt, are eliminated either through capitulation or through collapse and dissolution.

Regarding 1.):
Advantage:
a.) A great part of the Communist population of Russia, which is to be found especially among the population of Petersburg, will thus be exterminated.
b.) We don’t have to feed 4 million people.

Disadvantages:
a.) Danger of epidemics.
b.) The psychological effect of the masses starving to death before our front line on the troops is great.
c.) The enemy press is given an effective propaganda tool.
d.) Disadvantageous effects on the development of domestic policies behind the Russian front.
e.) All German, Finnish, German and still existing valuable Russian elements will be the first to perish.
f.) We can take no material out of the city because we cannot enter it.[…]


Emphasis is mine.

atkif wrote:Do you think the Nazis would care ?


As I said, the actual conduction of the siege plus the quoted statements of Wagner on 13.11.1941 (document 11), Göring on 08.11.1941 (document 17) and Halder on 13.12.1941 (Salisbury, The 900 Days, page 469), coupled with the outlines of the "Hunger Plan" (documents 15 and 16), strongly indicate that they wouldn’t have given a damn.

But as any of the alternatives considered for the case of a total collapse of resistance would have been but a continuation of the mass murder already under way to a greater or lesser extent, it doesn’t really matter what they would have done.

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The Siege and the Soap

Post by Erik » 13 Sep 2002 03:59

On this very interesting thread we ( no royal condescension is intended) can learn both a lot of history and get a lesson in the art of reading documents.

The Siege of Leningrad can be described as a sort of “mirror image” of the Soap of Danzig.(See the “Soap” thread and parts of “Krema 2”!)

Roberto :

The siege of Leningrad was conducted not with a lawful military
intent (inducing the defenders to surrender) but with a criminal
intent (obliterating the city and getting rid of its civilian population).

That makes it a crime.

Wed Sep 04, 2002 11:34 pm

………………….

As I already said, I have no problem with considering such a policy as genocidal. Whether you kill people or let them die merely out of ideological hatred or also because and to the extent that they would otherwise upset your economical calculations hardly makes a difference to the application of the term, in my opinion.


Thu Sep 05, 2002 10:24 am

………………..

Smith wrote:
Big surprise! War is murder.

Roberto:
Why, and I thought there was a difference between legitimate behavior in wartime and the unwarranted killing of unarmed non-combatants.

But Smith seems to have become a pacifist.

OK, then, let’s look at it this way: if war is murder, then any unprovoked military aggression is an act of mass murder.

That being so, every Soviet citizen who fell victim to the German attack, whether he or she was killed in combat or slaughtered after surrendering or died in a prison camp or of starvation elsewhere or was butchered by Einsatzgruppen or "anti-partisan" units, was murdered by Smith’s beloved Führer.

Is that the way we shall henceforth look at it, Mr. Smith?

Wed Sep 04, 2002 7:59 pm
………………….

There is irony in that last question, of course. By defining war as murder, Mr Smith has seemingly painted himself into the corner of making his “beloved Führer” a murderer, since Hitler was making war in Russia.

Why can’t we settle for that? “War is murder”, and there’s an end of it?

Here is Roberto’s attitude on the “Soap Libel” :

“Soap” thread,side 7:

Well, Roberto really couldn't care less about whether or not even a single piece of "human soap" was ever manufactured.

Experimental attempts to manufacture soap from human fats at an anatomical institute in Danzig are all that is supported by evidence.

Big deal.

A piss in the ocean.

An insignificant minor feature of a monumental killing program notably devoid of such folkloristic details, blown up out of all proportion to its significance by Jewish mythologists on the one hand (assuming that the mentioned "soap burials" do take place) and "Revisionist" fuss-makers on the other.

Thu Sep 05, 2002 3:19 pm

Why do the “Revisionists” make a fuss about a “piss in the ocean”, while “pooh-pooh”-ing the documented genocidal intent of a criminal siege policy?

And the “mirror” question:

Why do the Orthodoxy want to “bury” the Soap bar and still “smear” the Nazis with it, while making the German ambition to win the war in Russia part and parcel of the Holocaust?

(“As I already said, I have no problem with considering such a policy as genocidal.”)(Roberto, above)

Now we are into the question of the “intentions” of respectively “Revisionism” and “Orthodoxy”, i e, “why defend History”, and “why demand Revision”?

The Rhetoric that inevitably issue from such questions will just as inevitably demand a closer look into the “real” intentions behind the rhetorics, and so on, ad infinitum. Documentary evidence will have to be decoded, following clues from the facts that make up the Totality of Evidence.

This procedure is the same as for the History of Historiography. From the Totality perspective even the “piss in the ocean” will have its place in the “make up”:

Strange things are bound to happen in the minds of people operating a system of exploitation and mass murder where even the victims' dead bodies are taken advantage off (gold teeth, hair, ashes etc.).

I don't see why, in such a realm of madness, one or the other madman should not have tried something like manufacturing soap from human fat.
Nothing that I would consider spectacular.

http://www.thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6275&start=25

We are asked to accept the “folklore” of the Soap Libel as “all in a day’s work”, a piss in the ocean of the Nazi “realm of madness”. From a “Totality of Evidence” perspective it is is nothing to be considered “spectacular”.

I remember reading in a Swedish “World History” from anno dazumal (1907, by a Johan Bergman) a description of the Jewish “extermination” policy regarding their compatriots, the Canaanites, described in Joshua 10-11 etc. According to him, it illustrated something called “Semitic cruelty”.

He accordingly postulated a similar policy from the side of the Canaanites (understood as fellow Semites?), in the case of their having taken the upper hand in the struggle for supremacy – in such a “realm” of cruelty!?!

If the war policy of the contemporary “germanic tribes” (Mr Bergmans ancestors?) could be documented in the same way ( their existence was not even suspected by the world of literacy for a thousand years or so), it is likely that the “Semitic” attribution of it (the “policy”) would have to be dropped.

The antisemitic “smear” of the phrase would lose its power as a distinction between “us” and “them”.

In the absence of documents you can always postulate something like the “noble savage of the North” as a comparison and contrast to what the written record of the Levant, left by literacy, tells of how the Semites behaved. There is room for romance, so to speak.

But such a postulation must be preceded by the need to make such a distinction between “us” and “them”. The “nationalism” of Moses and Joshua can just as well serve as models of Policy, if their behaviour is seen as sanctioned by the God of our Confession. (The beginnings of modern Political Science are a sort of interpretation of Old Testament “political” history.)

What’s the point?

It is to point out the vicissitudes of documentation reading. It has to be interpreted, translated – decoded, even.

First and foremost, it has to be found.

If it is absent, we will have to resort to probabilities, based on natural laws, technical feasibility and the comparable record of human experience.

The extant soap receipt of the Danzig Institute is “a strong indication for the making of soap”, as has been stated.

The alleged use of human fat as an ingredient postulates a “realm of madness” (Roberto).

The absence of material evidence makes this postulation comparable to the “Semitic” cruelty postulated by Prof Bergman(above).

The value of the affidavits becomes a matter of “belief” for the same reason.

The genocidal intent of the Siege of Leningrad cannot be securely deduced from the documents, as Roberto himself has admitted :

In fact the term "genocide" only came up in this thread when Michael Mills hurried to state that what the Germans did wasn't genocide, even though no one had said it was prior to this objection.

My argument, as often explained, is that the implementation of siege warfare leading to about a million civilian deaths constituted a crime of mass murder because it was neither necessary from a military point of view nor even meant to serve a military necessity.


Mon Sep 09, 2002 10:17 am
…………………
Can't you read, Mr. Smith?

The order was not to offer capitulation and neither to accept it if it were offered.

Wed Sep 04, 2002 11:55 am
……………..

If the “realm of madness” – postulation from the Soap Issue is maintained here, it can just as well be argued that an extant, documented order to offer capitulation and to accept it if it were offered, would be a clear indication of a genocidal intent from the Nazis. The sheer madness - from a military point of view - of undertaking to feed and house the population of Leningrad during a war of this scale can only be understood if we take into consideration the overall Nazi policy in the East – to exterminate the entire population.

What the German wanted most of all(remember the postulation!) was a chance to lay their hands on the people of Leningrad and let it meet the fate of the Jewish inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto in the extermination camp Treblinka.

The certain knowledge of this fate made capitulation a non-option to the Russians.

How much Hitler was willing or able to learn from history is debatable, I guess, but perhaps he contemplated a kind of “inverted” Scorched Earth Policy? When Kutusov practiced this against Napoleon, he probably wanted to “saddle” the French with the necessity of feeding and housing the Russian peasants within their occupied – and his abandoned – territory, don’t you think?

Hitler hoped that it would work the other way around this time? Stalin would make the mistake of Nappy?

But Stalin postulated the “realm of madness”(Roberto’s) that destinated the population of Leningrad to an extermination camp? That is why he forbade capitulation, without emulating Napoleon?

Is this rhetoric? Obfuscating a murderous crime of modern history by turning the attention away from the terrible faith of nearly a million human beings, to a play with words?

If that is what you think, I hope I haven’t succeded.

But attention must be turned, one way or the other. And rhetoric is a will-o’-the-wisp that must be distinguished from the light of reason, lest we go wrong.

And that’s rhetoric, too.

From the point of view of the rhetorics of intention, what do you think of the following sample from the Net?

The shocking adoption of an official (if secret) policy by the United States, of defining its own national security in terms of the reduction of population of other, poorer nations, represents the predominant influence, but not yet the core worldview, of the neo-Malthusians. Their policies are represented to governments in terms of economic or strategic coercion, the exercise of raw power of empires or superpowers to stop the development of other, competitor nations. But their core objective is sheer racial and class hatred, a desire to eliminate as many brown, black, yellow, or poor human beings as possible.

William Paddock, State Department
``The Mexican population must be reduced by half. Seal the border and watch them scream.'' And, asked how this population reduction would be accomplished, the speaker replied: ``By the usual means: famine, war, and pestilence.'' --William Paddock, State Department consultant, 1975 interview
……………….


Thomas Ferguson, State Department Office of Population Affairs
``There is a single theme behind all our work--we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it.... ``Our program in El Salvador didn't work. The infrastructure was not there to support it. There were just too goddamned many people.... To really reduce population, quickly, you have to pull all the males into the fighting and you have to kill significant numbers of fertile age females.... ``The quickest way to reduce population is through famine, like in Africa, or through disease like the Black Death....'' --Thomas Ferguson, State Department Office of Population Affairs, Latin American Desk, February 1981 interview
……………….

Robert McNamara, World Bank
``Overpopulation and rapid demographic growth of Mexico is already today one of the major threats to the national security of the United States.'' Unless the U.S.-Mexico border is sealed, ``we will be up to our necks in Mexicans for whom we cannot find jobs.'' --Robert McNamara, then-World Bank president, March 19, 1982
……………………

(The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The American Almanac. It is made available here with the permission of The New Federalist Newspaper. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The New Federalist, and The American Almanac.)


http://members.tripod.com/~american_alm ... lthsay.htm

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Post by Dan » 13 Sep 2002 04:13

Interesting post, but my ancient argument remains, why address 137 points in one post?

Why do the Orthodoxy want to “bury” the Soap bar and still “smear” the Nazis with it, while making the German ambition to win the war in Russia part and parcel of the Holocaust?


Good point, but there are Orthodoxy and there are Orthodoxy. Roberto has been very careful not to commit himself too much, and has kept a fairly open mind, unlike the fanatic Bunch, who has painted himself into a corner. Bunch on the other hand, has committed himself to this strange philosophy of "convergence". And if this is shown to be mortally wounded in the case of Soap Libel, we must ask ourselves difficult questions.

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Answer to Mr Dan.

Post by Erik » 13 Sep 2002 06:33

Thanks for responding.

Interesting post, but my ancient argument remains, why address 137 points in one post?


Sorry about the inconvenience, but I write the way I think, I’m afraid. Too late to mend.

The adherents and proponents of any Orthodoxy are likely to argue from the Whole of It, and to show contempt for nit-picking. It is the Totality of Evidence that leads to a proper understanding of facts, it seems. The claim to having just “followed the facts”(Roberto) in order to reach this Totality smells like a rat..er.. a “rationalization”, I mean. (No fish intended).

Anyway, I try to see it their way. Make a whole of their “points” of view, and then “address” it.


Quote:
Why do the Orthodoxy want to “bury” the Soap bar and still “smear” the Nazis with it, while making the German ambition to win the war in Russia part and parcel of the Holocaust?


Good point, but there are Orthodoxy and there are Orthodoxy. Roberto has been very careful not to commit himself too much, and has kept a fairly open mind, unlike the fanatic Bunch, who has painted himself into a corner. Bunch on the other hand, has committed himself to this strange philosophy of "convergence". And if this is shown to be mortally wounded in the case of Soap Libel, we must ask ourselves difficult questions.


The Orthodox attitude to the Soap Libel probably emanates from the historic mistake of the German historian Broszat in 1960, when he “let go” of the camps in Germany as extermination centres. The lesson from this debâcle seems to be that it is wise policy to offer battle over any piece of evidence, and then let it function as a “piss in the ocean”, if the evidence “leaks” too much.

There is a Zero Tolerance to revision that do not contribute to the maintenance of the Totality of the evidence.

This I think is nothing particular to the Holocaust relation, but is the policy of any Orthodoxy.
Last edited by Erik on 15 Sep 2002 17:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Roberto » 13 Sep 2002 10:23

Erik wrote:Why do the “Revisionists” make a fuss about a “piss in the ocean”, while “pooh-pooh”-ing the documented genocidal intent of a criminal siege policy?


Easy, my dear philosopher:

The "soap" stuff is puny, laughable attempt to discredit the findings of criminal justice and historiography regarding the crimes of your beloved Nazis.

The reasoning, imbecile enough, is

"if they were dead wrong (or 'lied') about the soap, they were also dead wrong (or 'lied') about other things."

As criminal justice never mentioned anything other than the Danzig soap experiments and historians never endorsed the "RIF" myth, the fuss-makers have to more or less create to object of their fuss-making themselves.

They do so by conflating the findings on the Danzig experiments, supported by evidence, with the never confirmed "RIF" rumors.

The siege of Leningrad is a wholly different issue altogether.

Here the true believers are confronted with documentary evidence to their beloved Nazis' criminal intentions and procedures hitherto hidden in the archives, and their reaction is just the one you would expect of true believers: they try to make out that the documents don't say what they all too obviously say.

When they have realized that they're getting nowhere with that, they will probably start squealing "forgery", as they usually do in such cases.

Erik wrote:And the “mirror” question:

Why do the Orthodoxy want to “bury” the Soap bar and still “smear” the Nazis with it, while making the German ambition to win the war in Russia part and parcel of the Holocaust?


First thing, "orthodoxy" exists only in the philosopher's twisted little mind.

Second, historians have never either endorsed the "RIF" soap rumors or made much of the experiments at the Danzig Anatomical Institute, which remained an isolated nutcase.

Third, the Nazis' war of aggression and annihilation against the Soviet Union as a whole was a crime.

Fourth, even if the war had been a legitimate one, the decision to implement siege warfare leading to mass starvation among a huge urban civilian population so as not to upset a criminal food triage policy (the "Hunger Plan" outlined in documents 15 and 16) would still be criminal in itself.

Erik wrote:The genocidal intent of the Siege of Leningrad cannot be securely deduced from the documents, as Roberto himself has admitted :

In fact the term "genocide" only came up in this thread when Michael Mills hurried to state that what the Germans did wasn't genocide, even though no one had said it was prior to this objection.

My argument, as often explained, is that the implementation of siege warfare leading to about a million civilian deaths constituted a crime of mass murder because it was neither necessary from a military point of view nor even meant to serve a military necessity.


The philosopher's "admitted" nonsense is a blend of wishful thinking and misrepresentation of my statements.

I think I have made clear enough that I consider the implementation of murderous siege warfare not warranted by a military necessity to be mass murder.

Whether that mass murder qualifies as genocide, as I also pointed out, depends on how you interpret the definition of the term as contained in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. See my post of Mon Sep 09, 2002 11:23 am on this thread.

Erik wrote:If the “realm of madness” – postulation from the Soap Issue is maintained here, it can just as well be argued that an extant, documented order to offer capitulation and to accept it if it were offered, would be a clear indication of a genocidal intent from the Nazis. The sheer madness - from a military point of view - of undertaking to feed and house the population of Leningrad during a war of this scale can only be understood if we take into consideration the overall Nazi policy in the East – to exterminate the entire population.


Whoever hinted that the philosopher may be out of his mind seems to have been right.

Feeding and accomodating the conquered population was the Germans' duty as conquerors, as they themselves acknowleged (see e.g. document 4).

And it was by no means a mad undertaking, but something that could have been done if the willingness had existed - after all the Germans never had any problems in adequately feeding their own population or
the population of other conquered countries, especially in Western Europe.

The issue, as I often explained and as becomes apparent e.g. from documents 15 and 16, is that already before the attack on the Soviet Union the Germans had put the population of the territories to be conquered at the bottom of the food triage, not in order to be able to feed their own population and that of Western Europe, but in order to allow for their troops to live off the land and still send huge quantities of food supplies to Germany, thus keeping up a comfortable, morale-boosting living standard at the home front.

It's quite a stretch from the unwillingness to make concessions regarding the living standard of the own armed forces and home front to an objective impossibility ("madness", in the philosopher's words) to feed a conquered urban population.

Erik wrote:What the German wanted most of all(remember the postulation!) was a chance to lay their hands on the people of Leningrad and let it meet the fate of the Jewish inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto in the extermination camp Treblinka.


Nonsense.

They wanted it off their hands by any means, so as not having to feed it.

Which in terms of the ultimate result was equivalent to locking them in a starvation ghetto or taking them to an extermination camp indeed, but had the advantage of being much less conspicuous.

As the extermination camps were also largely created in order to get rid of "useless eaters", the qualitative difference is actually less than it might appear to be at first sight.

Erik wrote:The certain knowledge of this fate made capitulation a non-option to the Russians.


Capitulation is indeed unlikely to have benefited the civilian population of Leningrad in the least, if you look at documents 10 and following.

Erik wrote:How much Hitler was willing or able to learn from history is debatable, I guess, but perhaps he contemplated a kind of “inverted” Scorched Earth Policy? When Kutusov practiced this against Napoleon, he probably wanted to “saddle” the French with the necessity of feeding and housing the Russian peasants within their occupied – and his abandoned – territory, don’t you think?


At a time when it was standard practice for armies to live off the land, the "scorched earth" policy of retreating forces had the purpose of depriving the advancing conqueror of supplies.

Hardly a comparable situation.

Erik wrote:Hitler hoped that it would work the other way around this time? Stalin would make the mistake of Nappy?


No, Adolf wanted a maximum of food for his troops and the German home front and thus established that a sizable part of the Soviet population, including and especially the population of huge urban centers like Leningrad, must starve to death.

Erik wrote:But Stalin postulated the “realm of madness”(Roberto’s) that destinated the population of Leningrad to an extermination camp? That is why he forbade capitulation, without emulating Napoleon?


The philosopher also seems to be an adept of the rapist's logic that blames his crime on the parents of his teenage victim who let her out on the streets at night.

Erik wrote:Is this rhetoric? Obfuscating a murderous crime of modern history by turning the attention away from the terrible faith of nearly a million human beings, to a play with words?


I wouldn't even call it "rhetoric".

I'd call it a showpiece of "Revisionist" lunacy.

Erik wrote:William Paddock, State Department
``The Mexican population must be reduced by half. Seal the border and watch them scream.'' And, asked how this population reduction would be accomplished, the speaker replied: ``By the usual means: famine, war, and pestilence.'' --William Paddock, State Department consultant, 1975 interview
……………….


Interesting.

But unlike the siege of Leningrad, Paddock's murderous intentions never got anywhere near implementation, did they?

See, my dear philosopher, there are madmen like yourself everywhere.

The difference between a democratic state and a totalitarian dictatorship is that in the former they are usually overruled by more reasonable people, whereas in the latter they are in power and do as they please.

Get the picture?

The same goes for Mr. Ferguson's ramblings, of course.

Erik wrote:Robert McNamara, World Bank
``Overpopulation and rapid demographic growth of Mexico is already today one of the major threats to the national security of the United States.'' Unless the U.S.-Mexico border is sealed, ``we will be up to our necks in Mexicans for whom we cannot find jobs.'' --Robert McNamara, then-World Bank president, March 19, 1982


A brutal policy that I would have no problem with calling criminal if there was a large-scale famine south of the border and crossing it the only means of survival.

In such case it would be as criminal as British policies in the face of the Irish Potato Famine.

It would even be comparable to the siege of Leningrad if that famine had been brought about by deliberate measures directed against and meant to reduce the Mexican civilian population, such as the implementation of siege warfare not warranted by a military necessity.

In such case sealing the border would be the equivalent of the German High Command's orders not to accept surrender even if offered and to shoot down any civilian trying to reach the German lines - or of Stalin's keeping people from getting out of Ukraine during the artificial famine of 1932/33.

With the difference that Stalin implemented these murderous measures to overcome Ukrainian nationalism and resistance to collectivization, not just to get rid of "useless eaters".

By the way, I thought the philosopher supported the application of McNamaran policies in Europe in order to keep his meager Swedish pension from being eaten up by immigrants "following the buck".

Has he changed his mind in the meantime?

Another thing, last but not least:

Erik wrote:The claim to having just “followed the facts”(Roberto) in order to reach this Totality smells like a rat..er.. a “rationalization”, I mean. (No fish intended).


Is there any way the philosopher can demonstrate that I engage in the kind of "rationalization" that is one the hallmarks of true believers like himself, or is the poor soul just trying to insult me?

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