The Siege of Leningrad in German Documents

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Cletus
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Post by Cletus » 18 Sep 2002 14:58

In other words Alexx,


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"




Roberto wrote: That's bullshit, as Mr. Cletus well knows.



Roberto makes great points, but his snotty, aggressive attitude is just asking for an arguement, and it's entertaining and enlightening to give him one!

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton


Cletus

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 18 Sep 2002 15:10

Cletus wrote:In other words Alexx,


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"




Roberto wrote: That's bullshit, as Mr. Cletus well knows.



Roberto makes great points, but his snotty, aggressive attitude is just asking for an arguement, and it's entertaining and enlightening to give him one!


I see.

Some of my opponents are not trying to make a point but just want to waste my time because they don't like my "snotty, aggressive attitude".

That's good to know.

I'll try to improve on this attitude, while Mr. Cletus is invited to consider to what extent the same is motivated by my opponents' intellectual dishonesty and the nonsense they produce rather than my admittedly innate arrogance.

Cletus wrote:The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton


Beautiful quote, but hardly applicable because I don't intend to "teach" anything and my "Revisionist" opponents have shown to be dogmatically blind propagandists rather than “listeners”.

I nevertheless agree that giving me an argument has an enlightening effect: it gives me a chance to reinforce my points and increases the readership of the discussions I take part in.

That being so, I would like to express my thanks to all my opponents who have tried to challenge my points on this and other threads.
Last edited by Roberto on 18 Sep 2002 18:31, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Roberto » 18 Sep 2002 16:03

A repeated post was deleted.

To fill the blank, here's another glimpse of what things were like at the bottom:

[…]More and more often Orbeli got requests for coffins. The Hermitage had a stock of packing cases and was almost the only source in the city for coffins. Finally Orbeli had to refuse the requests. The Hermitage carpenter had died of starvation.
The heaps of bodies grew so large that engineering teams were brought in to dynamite long trenches in the frozen earth. One of these great trenches eventually became Piskarevsky Cemetery. Steam shovels were put into action. Vsevolod Kochetov saw them working one night. He thought new fortifications were being built.
His chauffeur corrected him: “They are digging graves - don’t you see the corpses? There are thousands. I go past here every day and every day they dig a new trench.”
“Never in the history of the world,” comments Leningrad’s official history, “has there been an example of tragedy equal to that of starving Leningrad.”
Often people just laid down in their beds. They stopped eating. Towards the end they begin to cry in a high-pitched note that never halted, their skeletal faces contorted. “Hunger psychosis”, the doctors called it.
Nikolai Markevich, a correspondent for the Komsomolskaya Pravda, wrote in his diary January 24, 1942: “The city is dead. There is no electricity. Warm rooms are most rare. No streetcars. No water. Almost the only kind of transports is sleds ... carrying corpses in plain coffins, covered with rags or half clothed. Daily six to eight thousand die.”
It was then that the worst horror appeared - murderers, criminals of all kinds, even cannibals ranged the city. Gangs preyed on the young, on lonely pedestrians, women on the street at night. They entered unguarded apartments. Some haunted the stacks of corpses piled up around the hospitals and carved off arms and legs. Euphemistically the starving Leningrad police called this a “new kind of crime.” In the old Haymarket people appeared to sell and buy - to sell any valuable they had to buy bread or other food. In this market of the starving and the dying ventured a new kind of salesman or saleswoman, well fed, tough, hard, calculating. They had meat for sale. Or sometimes stew or sausages. But they gave no answer as to where it had come from. Others sold “Badayev earth”, glasses filled with earth from the burned Badayev warehouse, impregnated with burned or melted sugar. There were no longer rats or mice in the city. They, too had starved or been caught and eaten.
“In the worst period of the siege,” a survivor recalled, “Leningrad was in the power of the cannibals. God alone knows what terrible scenes went on behind the walls of the apartments.”
In Leningrad’s City Museum there is preserved the torn pages of a child’s notebook. On them are scrawled these notations:
“Z - Zhenya died 28 December, 12:30 in the morning, 1941.”
“B - Babushka died 25 January, 3 o’clock, 1942.”
“L - Leka died 17 March, 5 o’clock in the morning, 1942.”
“D - Dedya Vasya died 13 April, 2 o’clock at night, 1942.”
“D - Dedya Lesha, 10 May, 4 o’clock in the afternoon, 1942.”
“M - Mama, 13 May, 7:30 a.m., 1942.”
“S - Savichevs died. All died. Only Tanya remains.”
Tanya Savicheva was an 11-year-old school girl. The notebook records the fate of her family, which lived at No. 13, Second Line, Vasilevsky Island. Tanya was evacuated in the spring of 1942 to a children’s home near Gorky on the Volga. She suffered from chronic dysentery and she, too, died, in the summer of 1942.[…]


Source of quote:

Harrison E. Salisbury, The Unknown War, 1978 Bantam Books, pages 99/100.

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Post by Erik » 19 Sep 2002 16:03

Roberto to Alexx:

Maybe you have less problems in making those outside your frame of mind understand your “points” than the philosopher has.

If no intelligible explanation is produced, I’ll conclude that you’re just another (?) confused soul of the philosopher’s kind - or a good friend trying to cheer up the poor "matador", at the very best.

……………….

The kind cheers from Alexx has lead the bulldog to bark up another tree for a moment. And the “matador” is given time to reflect on what he’s been up to himself.

As I said earlier, the points have already been made by Mr Mills, Mr Smith, Cletus and others, on the 9 sides of this thread. The bull has charged all the points, and his bowel movements produced prodigiously…

OK, the similes are contradictory, I know. Not even Roberto can be a bull and a dog at the same time.

But that is part of the “matador’s” confusion perhaps. What Chimera is he challenging?
A Minotaurus? How will he get into/out-of the labyrinth? Is there a “thread” to follow? Where is his Ariadne?

Roberto is by far the most intelligent and knowledgeable proponent of the Holocaust Orthodoxy that has ever dignified me with an answer. His allegation of “confusion” on my part must be taken seriously.

But I have not been able to accept that the confusion derives from “lunacy” or “madness”.

“Imbecility” or “stupidity” is another matter. Confusion emanating from intellectual deficiency must be reckoned with in any area of reason and knowledge. Even Einstein would have agreed to that.

But he uses these epithets on other posters here, like Mr Scott Smith and Mr Michael Mills, and I have difficulties in accepting the application of the terms on their postings. A shared “frame of mind” my modesty forbids to admit…

I’m nor sure at all that I have succeded in making my points “clear”. I guess most of those who haven’t this magnificent gift of being able to “just follow the facts” of the Holocaust&Warcrimes will appreciate the difficulties.

And it is not solely a matter of debating technique, or “language problems”, I’m afraid. A matador doesn’t need to be a fencing master. But he must be able to distinguish between a bull and a dog.

Whats’ the real argument? What is nit-picking? The Soap Libel, for example? As differentiated from the Siege of Leningrad? What is dogfighting? Where is the real bull?

Erik wrote:
A postulated “realm of madness” would perhaps make a GENOCIDAL objective “non-particular” at Leningrad, as well as it made soap production from human fat at Danzig into “nothing that you would consider particular”?



Care to explain to our esteemed audience what this junk is supposed to mean?


(I will try to “explain” the “junk” in my next posting. It touches the matter of the uses of Historiographical Orthodoxy, the ecumenical effort to establish a Holocaust Commonwealth of the victims of extermination policies all over the world.)


Roberto continues:

That conclusion requires no “postulation”, but a simple reading of the documents cited:

Quote:
[…]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)


“Simple reading” of the phrase “..who we will have to feed in winter”, reveals no genocidal urge. To reveal such intention, it has to be decoded, using a “realm of madness” postulate.

“Erase” a city of an enemy “in order to avoid that people stay in there”, must imply that it is not self-evident from the point of view of the eraser that “people” will be erased, too.

Quote:
[...] 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)


There is a question mark missing/implied after the second meaning, isn’t there? A question must mean that the population is supposed to have survived the “frying” mentioned in the imperative at “first”.

Ok, it is perhaps a form of German rhetoric, “suppressed interrogative” implying imperative, or something like that. A “language problem”? An “else” is implied after “what”?

The expression “schmoren lassen” of the original, has a less “crematorial” use in vernacular German, according to a standard dictionary :

4. jn im Ungewissen lassen; durch Hinauszögern der Entscheidung jn mürbe machen. 1900 ff.

5. etw schmoren lassen = eine Sache sich selbst überlassen; in eine Entwicklung nicht eingreifen. 1920 ff.
[Wörterbuch: schmoren, S. 1. Digitale Bibliothek Band 36: Wörterbuch der deutschen Umgangssprache, S. 24556 (vgl. Küpper-WddU, S. 727) (c) Marianne Küpper]


i e, 4. To leave someone in the air, guessing 5. Not interfere in a development.

Perhaps a bit fresh to make points like that to a native German speaker like Roberto, but a reading of the document must not be TOO “simple”, necessarily?

Quote:
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. […]


(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.



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



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


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?

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


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?


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!



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”.


Here is
document no. 6: “Führerorder”:

Quote:
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.



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?

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Post by Erik » 19 Sep 2002 16:17

The archives in question are those of the Federal Republic of Germany, not the former Soviet archives.

The philosopher missed by miles.


………………………….

And his riding around on the term “hidden”, used by myself in the sense of “not available” or “not discovered” rather than “withheld on purpose”, is no less silly.


Erik wrote:
Now the evidence is used to “revise” history? There are new clients, new uses? Reshaping of Orthodoxy?



“Orthodoxy”, as I said, exists only in the minds of “Revisionist” freaks.

Unlike their propaganda, serious historiography is not proprietary and serves no purpose other than providing an accurate and complete documentation of past events – which includes focusing on crimes of a totalitarian regime that have so far been hidden from view by an exaggerated focus on its most “famous” crime, the genocide of the Jews.


Orthodoxy can be combined with “ecumenism”, the effort to bring together different “exterminations”. “An exaggerated focus” on the genocide of the Jews has awakened the envy of genocided or persecuted populations “so far…hidden from view”.

I remember (from a television interview) the anguished cry of a Swedish Catholic nun, celebrated for protecting refugees in her nunnery : “It is not only the Jews who have suffered!!” (“Komm, süsses Kreuz..”).

A lot of Russians have lost some of their national pride and self confidence since the demise of Communism and the fall of the Sovjet Empire. The boast of having crushed the Fascist Hydra single-handedly and thereby forced Capitalism to peaceful coexistence instead of military confrontation, has been supplanted by a wish to be “received” to it, “integrated”, even “incorporated” in it, “clasped to it’s bosom”.

Emulating the successful state of Israel and the Jews as victims of antisemitism and terrorism, can be one way to achieve this end.

Holocaust emulation is a modernized form of “cargo cult”, hoping to have the desired goods delivered by professing membership of the same ecumenicity.

The Holocaust can thereby win support from accepting a “comrade-in-arms” against “Revisionism” concerning WW2. (“Not only we have suffered!”)

Quote from Roberto:
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:
The “hiding” of this evidence – “hitherto” (see above) – has perhaps been part of a “forgery” of patriotic communist history? “Falsification by omission”?


Once again, philosopher is referring to the wrong archives.

And his riding around on the term “hidden”, used by myself in the sense of “not available” or “not discovered” rather than “withheld on purpose”, is no less silly.


I used quotation marks around “hidden” (as part of my language problem, I over-use the facility, I know!) to enforce your explanation,(and partly to allow me some room for back-pedalling from an alleged accusation).

“Hidden from view” by a different historical “optics” that has changed after the collapse of communism?

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?

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Post by Roberto » 19 Sep 2002 18:46

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:

Quote:
[…]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.

Why not?

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.

Roberto wrote:
Quote:
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. […]

(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):

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.

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”.


Erik wrote:Here is
document no. 6: “Führerorder”:

Quote:
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.

Had

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.

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Post by Erik » 19 Sep 2002 21:15

Erik wrote:
Are there any points to be made?



The philosopher is obviously trying to get at something.

Too bad he can’t explain what it is.


Erik wrote:
If I try to make the point that the victors of war decide what is considered genocidal war policy (“Big deal”-point, really) I will probably be met with a “by no means”,….



If the philosopher tries to propagate such nonsense, he is indeed likely to be met by a demonstration that he’s dead wrong.


Yes perhaps – or by a demonstrative yawn!?!

It is not much of a “philosophy of history” to see decisions on right or wrong to be the prerogative of the “winners”. It is rather a “necessity”, a “necessary” truth, having “the property of never risking the possibility of being false”. (Flew’s Dict of Philosophy).

“Nonsense”, says Roberto. What is right and wrong is decided by law. International treaties have defined what is to be considered as “genocidal war policy”.(???)

Have the losers of wars defined the paragraphs of those treatises? Germany, Italy, Japan? Hitler, Mussolini, the Emperor?

If they had (as losers of war, mind you!), would the paragraphs look different? The Siege policy at Leningrad non-genocidal, the atom bomb genocidal?

It all depends on what you mean by “losing a war”, perhaps. If Germany,Italy, Japan had been able to dictate such paragraphs, there is likely to be suspected that they were the “real” winners, or that the treaty was just a “show treaty”, that nobody would follow.

And so on. We can all supply examples.

There is reason to suspect that “historiography”(Roberto’s) “follows the facts” by the same “big deal” law of “necessity”. Anything else will be “bunk”, ideological bubbles.

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Post by Erik » 19 Sep 2002 21:23

Erik wrote:
Quote:
Meaning that the criminal nature of measures against unarmed non-combatants is independent of whether the cause is a legitimate one (defense) or an illegitimate one (aggression)


ending with an

Quote:
To the extent that there was, such a policy is questionable at least.




Now what’s the purpose of taking two statements of mine out of their context and bunching them together?

What exactly are you trying to tell us?

I see no contradiction between one statement and the other, if that’s what you’re trying to get at.

And I strongly doubt the philosopher can demonstrate that there is any.



……………………

Erik wrote:
The “intentions and procedures” are then designed “criminal” according to who had the RIGHT TO WIN.

Roberto:
By no means, my dear philosopher.
Deliberately causing the deaths of an enormous number of unarmed noncombatants is criminal regardless of who does it, at least to the extent that it is not aimed at a military objective and required to achieve it.

……………
Meaning that the criminal nature of measures against unarmed non-combatants is independent of whether the cause is a legitimate one (defense) or an illegitimate one (aggression).


Erik repeats his point:

….a legitimate RIGHT TO WIN will surely make this refusal (to capitulate) non-criminal, even if an enormous number of unarmed noncombatants will be doomed to death.

Roberto:
That’s arguable to the extent that there was no way to get non-combatants out of harm’s way.

To the extent that there was, such a policy is questionable at least.


Erik’s conclusion :

There is room enough between a “by no means” and an “at least” to assure the causal reader that no concessions are being made to “revisionist” lunacy, and at the same time provide for some back-pedalling.


Roberto:
“Backpedalling” whereto, and what for?


“By no means” = no concessions (that’s “what for”!)

“..at least” = the issue is questionable (that’s “whereto”!)

And that’s back-pedalling.

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Post by Roberto » 19 Sep 2002 21:47

Erik wrote:Have the losers of wars defined the paragraphs of those treatises? Germany, Italy, Japan? Hitler, Mussolini, the Emperor?

If they had (as losers of war, mind you!), would the paragraphs look different? The Siege policy at Leningrad non-genocidal, the atom bomb genocidal?


The philosopher is crashing into an open door, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Both the siege of Leningrad and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki I consider acts of mass murder.

The former on account of the fact that a mass killing procedure (siege warfare), which would only have been legitimate to the extent that it served a military necessity, was used to depopulate a city, to get rid of an unwanted civilian population.

Tthe latter on account of the targeting of an undefended city and the illegitimacy of the killing procedure itself, independently of its objective.

Whether they are genocidal depends on the interpretation of a certain definition that did not yet exist at the time the acts were committed.

Gunnar Heinsohn's Lexikon der Völkermorde, at any rate, mentions both the siege of Leningrad and the atomic bombings.

It also mentions the conventional bombings of Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo and the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe after World War II.

Which shows that what historians consider genocide and mass murder (a handy term used to cover all types of mass killings outside the scope of combat actions is "democide") is independent of who carried it out or of any definitions established by the "winners".

Whether mass murderers on the winning side were ever prosecuted is another matter, of course.

Hardly any ever were.

But this was not because their crimes were exempted from the definitions made by the "winners", or because the same made the definitions in such a way that they would not cover the crimes of their own side.

It was because before you can put a criminal on trial you have to catch him, and unfortunately criminals acting on behalf of or with the backing of a state only get caught if that state suffers total defeat in war.
Last edited by Roberto on 19 Sep 2002 22:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Roberto » 19 Sep 2002 21:58

Erik wrote:
Erik wrote:
Quote:
Meaning that the criminal nature of measures against unarmed non-combatants is independent of whether the cause is a legitimate one (defense) or an illegitimate one (aggression)


ending with an

Quote:
To the extent that there was, such a policy is questionable at least.




Now what’s the purpose of taking two statements of mine out of their context and bunching them together?

What exactly are you trying to tell us?

I see no contradiction between one statement and the other, if that’s what you’re trying to get at.

And I strongly doubt the philosopher can demonstrate that there is any.



……………………

Erik wrote:
The “intentions and procedures” are then designed “criminal” according to who had the RIGHT TO WIN.

Roberto:
By no means, my dear philosopher.
Deliberately causing the deaths of an enormous number of unarmed noncombatants is criminal regardless of who does it, at least to the extent that it is not aimed at a military objective and required to achieve it.

……………
Meaning that the criminal nature of measures against unarmed non-combatants is independent of whether the cause is a legitimate one (defense) or an illegitimate one (aggression).


Erik repeats his point:

….a legitimate RIGHT TO WIN will surely make this refusal (to capitulate) non-criminal, even if an enormous number of unarmed noncombatants will be doomed to death.

Roberto:
That’s arguable to the extent that there was no way to get non-combatants out of harm’s way.

To the extent that there was, such a policy is questionable at least.


Erik’s conclusion :

There is room enough between a “by no means” and an “at least” to assure the causal reader that no concessions are being made to “revisionist” lunacy, and at the same time provide for some back-pedalling.


Roberto:
“Backpedalling” whereto, and what for?


“By no means” = no concessions (that’s “what for”!)

“..at least” = the issue is questionable (that’s “whereto”!)

And that’s back-pedalling.


In case you haven't noticed, my dear philosopher, the "by means" and the "at least" were contained in statements that had a wholly different content and unrelated to each other for this reason already.

So better cut out this vindictive and unintelligible harking back to past exchanges on this thread.

Apart from the fact that you don't have a point, your very practice of engaging in such futile exercises reveals a mentally unbalanced, bitching pea-counter.

I thus wouldn't be surprised if the number of readers feeling sorry for you increased with every post of yours.

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Post by Scott Smith » 19 Sep 2002 22:48

Roberto wrote:The psychological effect of masses starving to death before the front line on the troops would be great.

Sure, it would have been easier to do-nothing from a distance. But I never cease to be amazed at the supposed capacity for the German soldier to wet-his-pants at the "psychological burdens" of occupation/security duties, which inevitably means handling civilians "roughly."

Image

Why would it have been so hard to occupy Leningrad and then not feed the population? Because the world is watching? Even History, perhaps?

Horsehockey.

As Napoleon observed, any mob can be controlled with "a little whiff of grapeshot." And so it is with the Germans. No CNN camera crews. No Meals, Ready-to-Eat.

Upon occupation, if the Germans had been better organized (which they were not) they could conscript the able-bodied for work in armaments and issue ration coupons to their dependents to motivate them. Once the food is gone, it is gone, and the occupation troops have only to disarm or kill those who resist and quell any bread riots, or use the local authorities themselves for that job (assuming that the city was surrendered voluntarily, which it wasn't).

But what duty would the German military have to feed 3.5 million Slavs (or Anglo-Saxons for that matter) when their governments were still waging war?

Since Leningrad as a military objective was not considered decisive to the war, the Germans decided to let it wither on the vine instead of forcing a capitulation that was NEVER even offered!

In the American Civil War, this SIEGE strategy was called the Anaconda Plan--and its suffocating grip eventually forced the capitulation of the South. In short, the Germans lost the war because they could not breakoff decisive enough pieces of the Soviet Union and suffocate them with minimal force, let alone isolate the entire enemy host.

Whatever tactics sovereign nations use to try to win wars have always been deemed as moral, regardless of loss of life, including civilian life. As Colonel Paul Tibbets, who dropped the uranium bomb on Hiroshima, said in a recent interview with Studs Terkel about killing so many civilians, "That's their tough luck for being there." (CLICK!)

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Post by Roberto » 19 Sep 2002 23:30

Scott Smith wrote:I never cease to be amazed at the supposed capacity for the German soldier to wet-his-pants at the "psychological burdens" of occupation/security duties, which inevitably means handling civilians "roughly."


Handling civilians roughly is one thing.

Constantly shooting down desperate, emaciated women and children trying to get out of the hellhole into which the siege had turned their city is another.

The concern was less that the troops would "wet their pants" than the effects on military discipline, by the way. See e.g. document no. 8 (my translation):

[...]The commander of the 58th Infantry Division pointed out that in his division he had given the order received from higher above, which corresponds to the instructions issued that such pretensions are to be fired on so as to strangle them at birth. He was of the opinion that the troops would also carry out this order. He doubted, however, whether they would keep the nerve to shoot again and again on women and children and defenseless elder men in case of repeated breakouts. It is worth noticing his utterance that he was not afraid of the military situation on the whole, which especially at his wing near Uritzk is always tense, but that the situation in regard to the civilian population always caused fear. This, he said, was not the case only with him, but also down to troop level. The troops fully understood that the millions of people encircled in Leningrad could not be fed by us without this having a negative impact on the food situation in our own country. For this reason the German soldier would also prevent such pretensions by force of arms. This, however, could only too easily lead to the German soldier losing his inner posture, i.e. not shying from such acts of violence even after the war.[...]


Emphasis is mine.

A no less demoralizing/brutalizing experience it would have been for the troops to watch women and children die like flies before their very eyes, day after day.

Better stay away from that, as General Quarter Master Wagner put it at Orsha on 13.11.1941 (document no. 11, 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.[...]


Emphasis is mine.

These "phenomena", by the way, also included epidemics. From document 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.

2.) Seal off city tightly, if possible with an electrified fence guarded by machine guns.

Disadvantages: Of about 2 million people the weak will starve to death within a foreseeable time, whereas the strong will secure all food supplies and stay alive. The danger of epidemics that carry over to our front. It is also questionable whether our soldiers can be burdened with having to shoot on women and children trying to break out.[...]


Emphasis is mine.

Scott Smith wrote:Why would it have been so hard to occupy Leningrad and then not feed the population? Because the world is watching? Even History, perhaps?

Horsehockey.


Horseshit is what the likes of Smith produce in industrial quantities.

The term is actually too benevolent for their utterances.

Aside from the considerations of troop morale and propaganda (see e.g. documents no. 4 and 5, especially the Navy Liaison Officer's concern:
Besides this would in my opinion lead to a storm of indignation in the whole world, which we politically cannot afford.
), if epidemics were considered a risk even for the troops outside the city (see above quote from document no. 4), how much greater would that risk be inside a city of starving, disease-ridden people?

Besides, what is the relevance of "why would they have a problem with doing it this way" - considerations supposed to be in the face of documentary evidence that they did have a problem?

Tell us, Mr. Smith.

Scott Smith wrote:Upon occupation, if the Germans had been better organized they could conscript the able-bodied for work in armaments and issue ration coupons to their dependents to motivate them. Once the food is gone, it is gone, and the occupation troops have only to disarm or kill those who resist and quell any bread riots, or use the local authorities themselves for that job (assuming that the city was surrendered voluntarily, which it wasn't).


Could have this, could have that - what does it matter, Mr. Smith?

What you think they could have done was simply not their intention, because they had decided that no food at all would be spent on the population of Leningrad and nothing would be done to maintain "even a part of this large urban population" (see document no. 6).

If no food at all is made available to an isolated urban population, you don't just have "bread riots", do you?

Scott Smith wrote:But what duty would the German military have to feed 3.5 million Slavs (or Anglo-Saxons for that matter) when their governments were still waging war?


Easy, my dear boy.

The duty of the conqueror to take care of conquered non-combatants.

The duty of the occupant to
[...]take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country[...]
, according to article 43 of the Hague Rules of Land Warfare (see text of the rules under
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/lawofwar/hague04.htm ).

The first step to ensuring "public order and safety" is making sure that those under occupation receive at least a survival minimum of food supplies.

The Germans were well conscious of this duty, as becomes apparent from the documents cited. For example 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. [...]


Emphasis is mine.

Scott Smith wrote:Since Leningrad as a military objective was not considered decisive to the war, the Germans decided to let it wither on the vine instead of forcing a capitulation that was NEVER even offered!


No, my dear Smith.

They didn't just let it "wither on the vine".

They kept most of two armies around it to make sure that no supplies would get in and no one would get out, and that the city's inhabitants would starve.

They implemented siege warfare.

And they didn't to that to force the surrender of the city, which would have made siege warfare a legitimate military act rather than mere criminal mass killing.

Surrender was the last thing they wanted, hence it was neither demanded nor meant to be accepted if offered.

Scott Smith wrote:In the American Civil War, this strategy was called the Anaconda Plan--and its suffocating grip eventually forced the capitulation of the South.


The capitulation of the South.

Exactly.

Not the wholesale starvation of the South, which would have made the "Anaconda Plan" comparable to the siege of Leningrad.

Scott Smith wrote:In short, the Germans lost the war because they could not breakoff decisive enough pieces of the Soviet Union and suffocate them with minimal force, let alone isolate the entire enemy host.


The Germans never pursued a strategy of "suffocating" the enemy into surrender, nor was that the reason why Leningrad was besieged.

The reason, as I explained, was a policy decided upon before the war that the population of certain "food-importing" regions - including and especially the major cities - would be starved in order to canalize food surpluses from the producer regions to i) the German armed forces and ii) the German home front. See documents no. 15 and no. 16.

Scott Smith wrote:Whatever tactics sovereign nations use to try to win wars have always been deemed as moral, regardless of loss of life, including civilian life.


That's simply wrong, my dear boy.

It may have been so prior to the end of the Thirty Years War in 1648.

Scott Smith wrote:As Colonel Paul Tibbets, who dropped the uranium bomb on Hiroshima, said in a recent interview with Studs Terkel about killing so many civilians, "That's their tough luck for being there."


Well, I also consider the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima an act of mass murder, as I just explained to a fellow true believer of yours.

But it's not the topic of this thread.

Whatever someone else did at any given time and place, it doesn't make the siege of Leningrad look any better.

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Post by Roberto » 20 Sep 2002 00:06

And now, my dear "Revisionist" friends, I'll hit the road.

Thanks again for giving me some more opportunities to reinforce my points and make our audience acquainted with a relatively unknown but enormous Nazi atrocity.

See you later.

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Post by Scott Smith » 20 Sep 2002 01:21

Roberto wrote:Horseshit is what the likes of Smith produce in industrial quantities.

And wine from water does not come out of your press. :mrgreen:

Roberto wrote:Whatever someone else did at any given time and place, it doesn't make the siege of Leningrad look any better.

Yeah, war sucks--especially when the war is fought to be won by equally-determined belligerents. Stalin could have surrendered the city conditionally at any time. If the Germans refused, then you might have a case of excessive-force.

Roberto wrote:And now, my dear "Revisionist" friends, I'll hit the road.

Thanks again for giving me some more opportunities to reinforce my points and make our audience acquainted with a relatively unknown but enormous Nazi atrocity.

See you later.

Like I've said, the H & W forum would be at a loss, if not an outright failure, without you. Good night, Amigo.
:)

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Post by Erik » 20 Sep 2002 04:54

Erik wrote:
Here is
document no. 6: “Führerorder”:

Quote:
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.


Is the policy of “preferably wholesale dying from starvation”…“clear enough”?

Why the necessity of a forcible removal of a part of a population of a city that in itself is to be removed from the face of the Earth (according the full quote), if this preference is clear?

Either they are too starved to move, or else they would move on their own accord, if given the opportunity.

III. It is intended to encircle the city and level it to the ground by means of artillery bombardment using every caliber of weapon, and continual air bombardment.


It seems more probable that this was the “preference”. Starvation is not mentioned. It sounds more like treating Leningrad as a military stronghold, since every caliber of weapon, and continual air bombing is considered necessary to “level it to the ground”.

For the sake of clarity, here is the complete quote that you kindly provided on side 1
(Last edited by Roberto on Mon Sep 02, 2002 8:48 pm, edited 2 times in total)


Betrifft: Zukunft der Stadt Petersburg
II. Der Führer ist entschlossen, die Stadt Petersburg vom Erdboden verschwinden zu lassen. Es besteht nach der Niederwerfung Sowjetrußlands keinerlei Interesse an dem Fortbestand dieser Großsiedlung. Auch Finnland hat gleicherweise kein Interesse an dem Weiterbestehen der Stadt unmittelbar an seiner neuen Grenze bekundet.
III. Es ist beabsichtigt, die Stadt eng einzuschließen und durch Beschuß mit Artillerie aller Kaliber und laufendem Laufeinsatz dem Erdboden gleichzumachen.
IV. Sich aus der Lage der Stadt ergebende Bitten um Übergabe werden abgeschlagen werden, da das Problem des Verbleibens und der Ernährung der Bevölkerung von uns nicht gelöst werden kann und soll. Ein Interesse an der Erhaltung auch nur eines Teils dieser großstädtischen Bevölkerung besteht in diesem Existenzkrieg unsererseits nicht. Notfalls soll gewaltsame Abschiebung in den östlichen russischen Raum erfolgen.


My translation:

Quote:
Subject: Future of the City of Petersburg
II. The Führer is determined to remove the city of Petersburg from the face of the earth. After the defeat of Soviet Russia there can be no interest in the continued existence of this large urban area. Finland has likewise manifested no interest in the maintenance of the city immediately at its new border.
III. It is intended to encircle the city and level it to the ground by means of artillery bombardment using every caliber of weapon, and continual air bombardment.
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.


You translate “Lage” with “encirclement” in IV, giving the impression that the encirclement is the reason for the eventual request, and not the artillery or air bombardment.

It is this – the encirclement – that is to take care (i e, the opposite, really!) of the “large human population”, according to your interpretation.

“Eng einzuschliessen” instead of just “einzuschliessen” suggests a policy of being able to use ”every caliber of weapon”, i e in order to reach every part of the city as a “military objective”, rather than faciliating a “wholesale starvation”.

The erasing interest seems to be more aimed at the “urban area”, the geographical situation, rather than the urban population, that can expessedly be removed elsewhere, “if necessary” ( i e, if the “Lage” – situation – hasn’t made it move on its own accord(?)).

Is the “erasing” of an unwanted “urban area” to be considered a “legitimate military objective”?

The Führer Order mentions an interest from the side of Finland of making this area “depopulated”, a “no mans land”(?).

Then the “siege” can perhaps be allowed to have at least a “semblance” of a military legitimacy?

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