I see the philosopher has come back for another beating.
His friend “Alexx”, on the other hand, has chosen to remain silent.
Could this be because the philosopher and “Alexx” are one and the same person?
As I can’t imagine anyone in his right mind applauding the philosopher’s ramblings, I would not be too surprised if this were so.
Let’s see now what the philosopher has got on the topic. I don’t feel like wasting my time on imbecile philosophy and equally imbecile rhetoric. His cheap insults the philosopher can also stick you-know-where.
Roberto wrote:That conclusion requires no “postulation”, but a simple reading of the documents cited:
[…]2. 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.
(document no. 1, my translation)
Erik wrote:“Simple reading” of the phrase “..who we will have to feed in winter”, reveals no genocidal urge.
Who’s talking about a “genocidal urge” here, first of all?
My point, as everyone just a little more intelligent than the philosopher should have understood in the meantime, is that the German High Command’s intentions in regard to Leningrad were criminal in that
i) they involved the destruction of all or a large part of the city’s population and
ii) this destruction was neither necessary nor deemed necessary nor even intended to help or hasten the achievement of a military objective.
This already becomes apparent from Halder’s diary entry, document no. 1:
2. 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. [...]
Two cities are to be erased, wiped from the face of earth.
Regardless of how many of their inhabitants perish during that erasure.
Regardless of what happens to the survivors, who are expected to flee or to be expelled.
And all this only to avoid “that people stay in there who we will then have to feed in winter”.
Mass killing neither intended nor required to achieve a military objective and thus criminal, in other words.
But this was the plan in July 1941. Things got “better” after that. Next document:
Roberto wrote: [...] The northern theater of war is a good as cleaned up, even if you hear nothing about it. Now we first must let them fry in Petersburg, what are we to do with a city of 3 ½ million that would only lie on our food supply wallet. Sentimentalities there will be none. [...]
(document no. 3, my translation)
This was written by General Quarter Master Wagner to his wife on 09.09.1941.
What Wagner made clear here was that German authorities didn’t want the population of Leningrad on their hands to feed (“what are we to do with a city of 3 ½ million that would only lie on our food supply wallet”), and that they thus would rather let the inhabitants “fry” inside the city.
What exactly “fry” meant was left to the reader’s imagination, but reading a document written three weeks later – Halder’s order to Army Group North of 28.09.1941, document no. 2 – gives a clear picture of what this “frying” was expected to be about:
1.) The city of Leningrad is to be sealed of by a ring to be taken as close as possible to the city in order to save forces. A capitulation is not to be required.
2.) In order to achieve that the city as center of the last great Red resistance on the Baltic is eliminated as soon as possible without greater sacrifices in blood of our own being brought, the city is not to be attacked by infantry. It is to be deprived of its life and defense capacity by crushing the enemy air defense and fighter planes and destroying waterworks, stores and sources of light and power. The military installations and defense forces of the enemy are to be crushed by fire and bombardment. Any move by the civilian population in the direction of the encircling troops is to be prevented – if necessary by force of arms.
Emphases are mine.
The city was to be sealed of and “deprived of its life and defense capacity”.
Its inhabitants were to be deprived of power, water and food.
They were not to be let out.
The foreseeable consequence of such measures was huge mortality from starvation and exposure.
What was the purpose of this killing?
Was it to force the surrender of the city, as in a “normal” siege?
No. A capitulation was not to be required.
Though this was not explained in the order, the reason becomes apparent from other cited documents, including but not limited to Wagner’s letter of 09.09.1941: because German authorities did not want the city’s population burdening their “food supply wallet”.
They did not want to feed the city’s population, which they would have had to do if they had captured the city by assault or accepted its capitulation.
Thus the siege was not foreseen to end when enemy resistance had been broken and the enemy stronghold taken.
It was foreseen to end when there were no more people in the city whom the conquerors would have to feed.
How that would happen in a city “deprived of its life and defense capacity” whose inhabitants were to be kept by force of arms from leaving it was left to the reader’s imagination.
Lecture Note Leningrad
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. […]
(document no. 4, my translation)
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.
Roberto wrote: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.
Fri Sep 13, 2002 10:23 am
Roberto wrote:Indeed the qualitative difference between murdering a population of “useless eaters” by placing it under siege conditions and letting it starve to death on the one hand and shooting or gassing it on the other is scant.
Mon Sep 16, 2002 1:06 pm
Erik wrote:How come the Germans themselves were unable to fathom the scantiness of this qualitative difference?
Why the qualms of faking some sort of “military duty” to offer and accept a capitulation and then taking them to extermination camps, perhaps with willing Finns (lusting for the territory) acting as Sonderkommandos? Why this “sentimentality” of being “responsible for the feeding”?
Why this obsession concerning being “non-conspicious”?
What would be the consequences to the Germans if a murderous intention during the war became known? Would it shame the Nazi code of honor?
If the philosopher bothered to think a bit, he would know the answer to these not exactly bright questions.
Unlike the mass killings in the hinterland of the occupied territories, the siege of Leningrad was taking place before the eyes of the whole world. There was no chance, however remote, of keeping the fate of its population a secret. The reactions of world opinion to the wholesale killing of that population were thus of concern to the German authorities, as becomes apparent i.a. from the Navy Liaison Officer’s letter of 22.09.1941 (document 5, my translation):
The city is presumably to be destroyed by artillery, bombs, fire, hunger and cold, without a single German soldier stepping into it.
I personally doubt that this will be possible, given the incredible toughness of the Russian. In my opinion 4 to 5 million people cannot be killed off that easily.
I saw this with my own eyes in Kovno, where the Latvians shot 6 000 Jews, among them women and children. Even a people as rude as the Latvians could no longer bear the sight of this murder in the end. The whole action then ran out of steam. How much more difficult will this be with a city of millions.
Besides this would in my opinion lead to a storm of indignation in the whole world, which we politically cannot afford.
Emphasis is mine.
It should be obvious to everyone other than the philosopher that, in the face of such considerations, leading the population out of the city and finishing it off or letting it die somewhere else would be seen as politically less recommendable than keeping the semblance that the dying of the city’s population was occurring due to and in the course of military operations.
Another consideration was the morale of the troops involved. Obviously the German authorities were concerned about their being exposed to the demoralizing spectacle of innocent civilians, largely women and children, dying like flies. From my translation of the Army Group Study of 04.11.1941 (document no. 10):
for the treatment of the civilian population of
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.
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.
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.
The psychological effect of masses starving to death before the front line on the troops would be great.
How much greater would the psychological effect of the same masses starving to death or being killed off in the hinterlands be on the soldiers and occupation officials who witnessed this, and also on the civilian population of the occupied territories.
Especially as the people of Leningrad did not belong to a despised minority that no one in their surroundings cared about (like the Jews), but were “people like ourselves” to the civilians of the occupied territories in the midst of whom their starvation or direct killing would have taken place - and also to many German soldiers and officers.
Roberto wrote:The documentary evidence also shows that what they intended served not a military objective but the desire to get rid of the population under any circumstances, by the way.
Mon Sep 16, 2002 1:06 pm
Erik wrote:If the destruction of Leningrad served no “military objective but the desire to get rid of the population under any circumstances”, why not quit stalling, offer capitulation, promise feeding and accommodation, and then put up an extermination camp?
For the reasons explained above, my dear philosopher.
And then, what’s the relevance of your “why did they do it this way when they could have done it that way” - considerations supposed to be when it’s clear that things were done as becomes apparent from the evidence?
Erik wrote:But if “the siege of Leningrad was neither necessary nor even intended to achieve a military objective”, it must have had another objective!
Roberto wrote:If the philosopher had read the documents I quoted, he wouldn’t need to speculate.
He would know that the objective was to utterly destroy the city and get rid of its population of “useless eaters”.
document no. 6: “Führerorder”:
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.
Clear enough, isn’t it?
Preferably wholesale dying from starvation and other siege-related causes, and “if necessary” (i.e. to the extent that the encirclement should fail to take care of the “large urban population” which “there can be no interest on our part in maintaining even a part of”) the “forcible removal” of whatever survivors there might be, as I already explained on this thread.
Erik wrote:If a German/Hitler order of offering and accepting capitulation from the besieged Leningrad existed, what would then be “known” concerning the objective?
Would it be considered “military necessary” for an intended objective?
Or could it be argued that “what they intended served not a military objective but the desire to get rid of the population under any circumstances” anyhow?
What would be the difference?
Always the same questions, philosopher. This is getting boring.
As I already explained in my post of Wed Sep 18, 2002 10:13 am:
Capturing or forcing the capitulation of an enemy stronghold is a legitimate military objective.
i) this been the declared purpose of the siege,
ii) capitulation been demanded and
iii) the murderous siege conditions been foreseen to end upon capitulation,
the siege of Leningrad would have been a siege like any other – an extremely cruel form of warfare, but not a crime.
Yet none of these conditions were present, as the cited documents clearly show.
The philosopher’s ensuing considerations I will skip, as they do not relate to the topic, and move right to his last contention:
Erik wrote:An “exaggerated focus” on the Holocaust has hidden the genocidal aspect of the German warfare in Eastern Europe?
Or the other way around? The genocidal aspect of the German warfare in Eastern Europe must be “focused” to avoid an “exaggerated focus” on the Holocaust?
The object of historiography is to put together a picture as complete and accurate as possible of the Nazi regime and its criminal policies and actions, which amounted to much more than the killing of the Jews.
This is what especially German historians of the Nazi regime are currently working at.
And I conclude from the desperate interventions of the forum’s most active “Revisionists” on this thread that the Führer’s admirers and apologists are seriously concerned with these findings of recent historiography.
Once again, I thank all of them for helping me bring home a part of what I consider an important revision of history to so many interested readers.