When is a War Criminal not a War Criminal-Scenario

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 07 Oct 2002 11:55

David Thompson wrote:On the existence of a murder order:

(1) What do you think of the statements from Ohlendorf, Eichmann, Hoess, Bradfisch, Streckenbach, and Jeckeln that Himmler and/or Heydrich told them that the Fuehrer had decided to solve the Jewish Question by physical extermination? (I'll leave Wolff and Kersten out of it for now.)
Scott Smith wrote:I'm not familiar with the latter three. Ohlendorf and Höß were captives of the Nuremberg trials which were of a highly-political nature. I would not say that anything they said constitutes an independent convergence-of-evidence anymore than witnesses testifying about the Devil having horns so many times in medieval trials constitutes consilience. There were many complex psychological and polemical aspects about the trials to blanketly say that in the mouths of two or more witnesses there is truth, IMHO.
Why is it that “Revisionist” assessments cannot make do without silly conspiracy theories?

What Smith is alleging here is that Ohlendorf, Eichmann, Hoess et al were tortured or otherwise induced into making statements against better knowledge.

Never mind that there is no evidence whatsoever that the depositions in question were extracted by any coercion or other form of influence.

Never mind that some of the statements, including but not limited to the ones that Hoess made in the memoirs he wrote in Polish captivity, contain strong indications against the deponents having been compliant in the sense of stating what their captors might have wanted to hear.

Never mind that Smith has been unable to demonstrate that there is any parallel between trials whose “highly-political nature” obviously exists only the minds of his ilk and the medieval witch-craft trials he likes to compare them with.

Evidence and logic do not matter to a true believer like Mr. Smith. Only Faith does.
Scott Smith wrote:Furthermore, Eichmann was speaking decades later in another highly-political trial. By then an orthodoxy had clearly emerged, with him as a central character. Höß had made him a villain and Eichmann was going to set the record straight within the parameters of that orthodoxy. Eichmann-the-witness knows as much about what happened as he knew then and learned in the newspapers and from Höß. That is not "independent convergence" either, IMHO.
However “highly-political” the Eichmann trial may have been – and Smith again leaves us waiting for a convincing demonstration in this direction – is there any evidence Smith can show us that Eichmann’s statements were influenced by what Smith calls an “orthodoxy” or that Eichmann “set the record straight within the parameters of that orthodoxy” (a rather silly thing to do when the only thing that could have saved him from the gallows would have been to contest that “orthodoxy” and state that no, there was no Führer order and no, the people whose deportation he had organized were not murdered, assuming of course that the evidence to the contrary was not so overwhelming as to deprive him of a chance to get through with such nonsense) ?
Scott Smith wrote:It is hard to say exactly from whence the evidence stream flowed and what can be untangled from what everyone really knows and what one thinks they know.
On the contrary, it’s not hard at all to trace the evidence stream consisting of eyewitness testimonials, perpetrators’ depositions and documentary evidence – as Smith would know if he read anything other than his “Revisionist” comic books.
Scott Smith wrote:Far more convincing arguments can be gleaned from studying documents that have not changed or developed since the day they were written or discovered. Here again, however, there are problems because most of the documents were gleaned by the Nuremberg prosecution team to present their version of the passing of the events. And even without any forgery or destruction of evidence, this selection unbalances the picture for the historian, who must look very deep indeed.
Aware that his rambling against eyewitness evidence may be confronted with corroborating documentary evidence, Smith is forwarding the true believer’s unsubstantiated allegations that documentary evidence was in some way manipulated by the “Nuremberg prosecution”.

A grievous accusation for which Smith carries the burden of proof, and for which he has offered no proof whatsoever throughout his ramblings on this forum.

Therefore just another irrelevant article of faith.
Scott Smith wrote:But to say that the lack of expected documentation therefore means that something must have been "verbal" is a cop-out, IMHO. Too many premises are left assumed, the heretic says. And as Erik notes, why did Hitler care whether historians got ahold of his orders? He had made plenty of bellicose statements, which we are not allowed to dismiss as mere rhetoric. Wasn't his word by definition the law?
More unpalatable rhetorical nonsense to cover up Smith’s inability to provide a clear-cut assessment, betraying a deliberate ignorance of the pertinent historiography. Historians have not only established very good reasons why the Führer chose not to put certain things in writing (such as his previous experience with the “euthanasia” order he did put in writing), they have also traced the decision-making process and its communication with a fairly great decree of accuracy.
David Thompson wrote: (2) Do you think the conversations those folks recounted actually happened? If not, why would they all have the same story?
Smith wrote: The events may have happened or they may have been embellished, or the story told as to what they thought was the truth as collectively assembled after the fact--in captivity, I might add.
The question: How come the depositions in question coincided in their essentials even though they were made independently and without knowledge of each other?

Smith’s answer: maybe they were “embellished” (Why so, Mr. Smith? And what indications of such “embellishment” are there?) or “collectively assembled” (Where would that have happened, Mr. Smith, and by whom? Any evidence?).

Again, why is it that “Revisionist” assessments cannot make do without unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, allegations of manipulation by criminal justice authorities for which they can offer no evidence whatsoever?
David Thompson wrote: (3) Whether or not Hitler gave the order to Himmler and Heydrich, do you think that there was a murder order as described by Ohlendorf, Eichmann, Hoess, Bradfisch, Streckenbach, and Jeckeln? If not, why do you think they'd say such a thing?
Smith wrote: No, I don't think there was a Führerbefehl unless there was one and it was somehow transmitted by telepathy--or what Goldhagen might call a "common mentality of eliminationist German anti-Semitism" that predated Hitler--and therefore it all just worked out that way. Or we may simply have a pattern of atrocities within the context of a very brutal world war, and millions of victims to go around--no Hitler Order at all.
Why “telepathy” when Hitler could transmit his “go ahead” orally to his eager minions, historians even having traced the exact date and occasion on which he most probably did this?

And how could the planned and systematic mass murder of millions of unarmed non-combatants inside the Reich and in occupied territories possibly be viewed as an atrocity “within the context of a very brutal world war”?

Goebbels in fact explains this “context” very clearly in his diary entry of 27.03.1942 – and his explanation exposes the utter nonsense of Smith’s contentions:
Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the General Government are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only about 40 per cent can be used for forced labor.

The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract too much attention. A judgment is being visited upon the Jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophesy which the Fuehrer made about them for having brought on a new world war is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us. It's a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would have the strength for such a global solution of this question. Here, too, the Fuehrer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions and therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this.

The ghettoes that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government now will be refilled with Jews thrown out of the Reich. This process is to be repeated from time to time. There is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that Jewry's representatives in England and America are today organizing and sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives in Europe - and that's only right.
Source of quote:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/g/goe ... ts-02.html

Emphasis is mine.
Smith wrote: In any case, I'm sure that the Nazi minions wanted to please their captors; furthermore, saying that their actions were only a Hitlerbefehl passes the buck pretty well.
Whence – other than his sacred scrolls – does Smith derive this certainty?
Smith wrote: When one tries to nail-down the precise chain-of-command it soon becomes vague and verbal.
In the wishful thinking of true believers, perhaps. If Smith read anything other than his sacred scrolls, he would know that historians have traced the chain of command with a rather great degree of precision.
Smith wrote: Oh, Himmler said that Hitler said so, and he was the Führer. Orders are Orders, Sir. Pure hearsay.
Smith never seems to have understood what the term “hearsay” means.

“Hearsay”, as the term suggests, is what someone heard someone else say about a certain event.

When Himmler gave orders and instructions invoking a Führer order, his statement that this order had been given was not “hearsay”, however.

It was a description of an event (the Führer’s giving him the order) that Himmler himself had witnessed at first hand.
David Thompson wrote: (4) If Hitler never gave such an order, do you think he knew that large numbers of Jewish civilians were being singled out, collected and killed by the SS? (per your statement, "Nor do I buy the argument that it was 'whisper only.'") Do you think Hitler ratified these acts by acquiescing in them?
Smith wrote:To the extent that atrocities happened (a skeptic cannot deny what he does not definitely know not to be fact)
What Smith does here is to profess “skepticism” in regard to facts proven by a convergence of evidence.

Which “skepticism” would require a very good reason to be justified.

As Smith can offer nonsensical irrelevancies at best in support of such “skepticism”, the same amounts to nothing other than denial of facts that are inconvenient to Smith’s articles of faith.
Smith wrote: then, YES, of course, I think that Hitler acquiesced in them, even if only passively. He was fighting a vicious war and he was going to see that the enemy-alien suffered greatly, as he knew that Germans would suffer greatly. Any disinterest in what was going on is not a testament to the wisdom of his leadership by any means.
An interesting insight into the mind of one of the Führer’s most faithful followers.

Millions of completely harmless civilians unrelated to the war effort of any enemy country, who had the ill fortune of living in countries or regions occupied by Nazi Germany, were “enemy aliens” in the eyes of Mr. Smith.

Smith’s beloved Führer thus had the right to slaughter them in anticipated retaliation for the suffering that would befall his own people in the course of the war.

In doing so, he even manifested the wisdom of his leadership.

I guess I’ll add Smith’s above quoted imbecility to my list of Smithsonian quotes.
Smith wrote: Functionaries like Himmler were especially useful because they did not bother Hitler with icky details and endless problems, and this let Hitler concentrate on the war itself.
Exactly, Mr. Smith.

Hitler only had to tell Himmler et al what he wanted done, and they took care of all those “icky details”.

Unaware of the contradiction to his previous nonsense, Smith has just produced the first reasonable statement of his whole post.
David Thompson wrote: (5) If Hitler did not authorize these killings, do you think that Himmler and Heydrich had legal authority under German law to do it?
Smith wrote: If Hitler did not authorize these measures then I think they went far beyond the normal authority of the people making the decisions, and therefore they were not lawful.
In other words:

If Himmler and Heydrich had organized the murder of millions of innocent civilians on their own initiative, if would have been illegal not because mass murder is a crime, but because it had not been ordered by the highest state authority.

If the Führer himself was behind the whole butchery, on the other hand, it was perfectly legal in the eyes of Mr. Smith.

Interesting thinking.
David Thompson wrote: 6) If Hitler did authorize these killings, do you think he deliberately avoided giving written orders? Why?
Smith wrote: It is not logical to me that he would do this.
There are usually some very logical explanations for what does not seem logical to a true believer like Smith.

How about the Führer’s understandable desire to maintain an untarnished image of himself towards the German people, which would require his being able to distance himself from certain horrors if they became known, which in turn would be hampered by the existence of written documents that could be traced back to him?
Smith wrote: If we want to find out if Santa Claus is real we look at the evidence supporting this view, not that we want him to bring us presents; if we can't find any evidence supporting Santa, then we reject the Santa Claus paradigm and find a theory that does explain the evidence. The lack of a Hitler Order is a problem for the standard story--so do we just suspend disbelief because we still want our presents on Christmas morning? In other words, we need the standard story to be real; therefore, since we have no written Hitler Order, it must have been a verbal (or a telepathic) order.
Drawing conclusions on the basis of what they would like to believe is the hallmark of “Revisionism” rather than historiography.

Unlike “Revisionist” true believers, who postulate that whatever doesn’t fit into their ideological bubble didn’t happen, regardless of the evidence, historians don’t draw conclusion on the basis of what they would like to believe.

Their conclusion that there was a verbal Hitler order for the annihilation of the Jews of Europe is based on

i) the structure, organization and mentality of the National Socialist state, which makes it extremely unlikely if not impossible that such far-reaching decisions would be made without the Führer’s “go ahead”, and

ii) the evidence surrounding top-level meetings between the Führer and his minions such as the conference with the Reichs- and Gauleiter on 12 December 1941, namely the references thereto made in subsequent documented statements by high-ranking Nazi officials.
David Thompson wrote: (7) If you believe such a murder order was lawful within greater Germany, what is your opinion about its legality when applied to foreign nationals outside Germany?
Smith wrote: If it was Hitler's order and Hitler was an absolute Head-of-State, then it wouldn't matter if it was applied to Germans or non-Germans in German civil or military jurisdiction; it was lawful. Period.
Sure.

Whatever the highest authority of a sovereign state does is lawful, even if it mostly affects people that are not citizens and therefore not under the jurisdiction of that sovereign state.

Which means that the day the US government decides that all folks named “Smith” do not deserve to live and will be ruthlessly tracked down and bumped off, Smith will diligently hang himself in order to save the government unnecessary expenses.

Which also means that if the US government should extend such policies to those filthy spicks south of the border, Smith will expect those targeted not to oppose such lawful designs of the US government.
Smith wrote:If I am the Führer I can declare war on Singapore for not allowing their people to throw used chewing-gum onto their sidewalks if I want.
Certainly so. Just don’t loose that war, because then you will be held liable for the grievous violation of international law that your aggression constituted.

What about the sovereignty of Singapore, by the way?
Smith wrote: I'm not arguing that sovereignties SHOULD do anything they want, especially if it is wrong. But it is not illegal.
Ach so.

Wars of aggression and conquest are "wrong", but they are not illegal.

The organized and systematic mass murder of unarmed non-combatants is "wrong", but it is not illegal.

The incompatibility of such nonsense with prevailing legal opinion aside, why should the common will of a community of sovereign nations (international law) not have prevalence over the will of one individual, dissident sovereign nation, Mr. Smith?

Wouldn’t that be the logical consequence of your pontification of the primacy of sovereignty?
Smith wrote:And giving an issue the high-and-mighty cloak of atrocity-propaganda is particularly disturbing for democratic processes, AFAIC.
Which the Führer’s faithful follower cares as much about as a pig does about Sunday, in my opinion.

One principle underlying democratic processes is that there are rights of the individual which are not at the disposal of the power of state but on the contrary bind and restrict it.

Which means that democracy is the last thing that an apostle of the unrestricted power of state authority like Smith can possibly care about.
Smith wrote:No problem. This is just a discussion forum not a contest.
To Smith’s great fortune, because in a contest of whatever nature presided over by an impartial jury he would be thumbed down all the time.
Smith wrote: I am not always right and neither is anyone else.
Not being always right comes with human nature.

Rarely producing anything other than ideologically colored nonsense does not.

But it’s the hallmark of Smith’s contributions.

Which makes me wonder what answers David expected to get from the true believer.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just in for a good laugh.

Asking Smith what he thinks of certain decisions taken by his beloved Führer can be as much fun as asking the Pope whether he thinks Jesus Christ was born of natural intercourse among human parents rather than Mary’s fooling around with the Holy Spirit, for sure.
Smith wrote: Some examples of atrocity-propaganda for popular consumption...
Somewhat off-topic, but it’s interesting to learn that Smith now has sunk to the level of Zundelsite.

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Post by Scott Smith » 07 Oct 2002 12:41

Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Some examples of atrocity-propaganda for popular consumption...
Somewhat off-topic, but it’s interesting to learn that Smith now has sunk to the level of Zundelsite.
Even Zündel has some particularly cogent ideas once in a while--and this is one of them--History that has fallen into the Memory Hole.
:)

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Post by Roberto » 07 Oct 2002 12:59

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Some examples of atrocity-propaganda for popular consumption...
Somewhat off-topic, but it’s interesting to learn that Smith now has sunk to the level of Zundelsite.
Even Zündel has some particularly cogent ideas once in a while--and this is one of them--History that has fallen into the Memory Hole.
:)
What exactly is Zundel trying to tell us?

That because there was atrocity propaganda in both world wars no atrocities ever occurred?

Is this the fathomless idiocy that Smith, who obviously now sees Zundelsite as part of his "well-rounded reading list", considers “particularly cogent”?

Atrocity propaganda regarding the enemy accompanies any war, and always has. So do popular myths and horror tales endorsed by the popular media.

This doesn’t change the fact, however, that during World War II the Nazi regime committed atrocities on a rarely equaled scale and that the eyewitness, documentary and physical evidence thereto, assessed by historians and criminal justice authorities over a period of five and half decades, is “atrocity propaganda” only in the eyes of willfully blind admirers and apologists of the Nazi regime.

I've been told that Smith's repetitive ramblings are too obviously nonsensical to even deserve a response.

If this, as I presume, is the opinion of the majority of our readers, I'll leave the poor fellow alone in the future, as has also been suggested.

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Post by Scott Smith » 07 Oct 2002 13:44

Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Some examples of atrocity-propaganda for popular consumption...
Somewhat off-topic, but it’s interesting to learn that Smith now has sunk to the level of Zundelsite.
Even Zündel has some particularly cogent ideas once in a while--and this is one of them--History that has fallen into the Memory Hole.
:)
What exactly is Zundel trying to tell us?

That because there was atrocity propaganda in both world wars no atrocities ever occurred?
You'll have to ask him but I think he feels that the German/Gentile people have been unfairly slandered by Anglo-Saxon-Jewish atrocity-propaganda that continues as Gospel to this day. I think he makes a good point.
Atrocity propaganda regarding the enemy accompanies any war, and always has. So do popular myths and horror tales endorsed by the popular media.
Yes, but in this case revisionist history is particularly suppressed. In the First World War, revisionists like Beard and Barnes, et al, provided a corrective. Only dedicated Germanophobes in academia still believe the tales from the First World War. Revisionist history from WWII, however, remains within orthodox parameters or it is considered Hate and even criminalized. The lack of balance is striking--which doesn't mean that some Revisionism (large-R) is not of the lunatic fringe (or used by it) as well.
This doesn’t change the fact, however, that during World War II the Nazi regime committed atrocities on a rarely equaled scale and that the eyewitness, documentary and physical evidence thereto, assessed by historians and criminal justice authorities over a period of five and half decades, is “atrocity propaganda” only in the eyes of willfully blind admirers and apologists of the Nazi regime.
Sure, the Germans/Nazis committed atrocities, but to argue that they are UNIQUE shows a particular ideological bias, IMHO. Obviously, some Victims are more equal than others by this reckoning. It is a completely distorted Theory-of-History, AFAIC--so much so that we Americans actually consider the WWII crusade to be the Good War, and we want to repeat it somehow (if only Saddam could make a good-enough Hitler).
:)

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Post by Roberto » 07 Oct 2002 16:44

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Some examples of atrocity-propaganda for popular consumption...
Somewhat off-topic, but it’s interesting to learn that Smith now has sunk to the level of Zundelsite.
Even Zündel has some particularly cogent ideas once in a while--and this is one of them--History that has fallen into the Memory Hole.
:)
What exactly is Zundel trying to tell us?

That because there was atrocity propaganda in both world wars no atrocities ever occurred?
Scott Smith wrote:You'll have to ask him but I think he feels that the German/Gentile people have been unfairly slandered by Anglo-Saxon-Jewish atrocity-propaganda that continues as Gospel to this day.
I couldn’t care less what the freak feels. He has more than one screw loose.
Scott Smith wrote:I think he makes a good point.
The same applies to who thinks the fellow has a point, especially when that someone thinks in terms of Germans/Gentiles here and those filthy slandering Jews there, as Smith obviously does.

Seeing the German people as having been “slandered” by the evidence to the crimes of the National Socialist regime requires identifying one with the other, of course.

And that in turn requires the wishful thinking of morons who still dream of "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer".
Roberto wrote:Atrocity propaganda regarding the enemy accompanies any war, and always has. So do popular myths and horror tales endorsed by the popular media.
Scott Smith wrote:Yes, but in this case revisionist history is particularly suppressed. In the First World War, revisionists like Beard and Barnes, et al, provided a corrective. Only dedicated Germanophobes in academia still believe the tales from the First World War. Revisionist history from WWII, however, remains within orthodox parameters or it is considered Hate and even criminalized.
Could the reason for this difference be that German atrocities in World War I were in fact greatly exaggerated by propaganda, whereas whatever atrocity propaganda there was in World War II was dwarfed by what the Nazis actually did, to the point that it takes ideologically motivated blindness to engage in the propaganda nonsense that inappropriately calls itself "Revisionism"?
Scott Smith wrote:The lack of balance is striking--which doesn't mean that some Revisionism (large-R) is not of the lunatic fringe (or used by it) as well.
Only some, Mr. Smith?

Zundel is a raving madman, but Weber, Raven, Smith et al are not?

I fail to see any difference between one and the other, and I wonder who other than the latters' faithful followers does.

Let's be honest for once, Mr. Smith: No "Revisionist" with a "large-R" practices revisionism in the sense of a legitimate historical method.

Every one of them is a true believer defending pre-conceived notions that have the quality of articles of faith against the onslaught of inconvenient evidence.

Unless, of course, Smith can show us any "Revisionist" to whom this does not apply.
Roberto wrote:This doesn’t change the fact, however, that during World War II the Nazi regime committed atrocities on a rarely equaled scale and that the eyewitness, documentary and physical evidence thereto, assessed by historians and criminal justice authorities over a period of five and half decades, is “atrocity propaganda” only in the eyes of willfully blind admirers and apologists of the Nazi regime.
Smith wrote:Sure, the Germans/Nazis committed atrocities, but to argue that they are UNIQUE shows a particular ideological bias, IMHO. Obviously, some Victims are more equal than others by this reckoning.
Who said anything here about "uniqueness", Mr. Smith?

I said that your beloved Nazis committed atrocities on a rarely equaled scale, IIRC.

Which implies that there were others who committed genocide and mass murder on a similar scale, as in fact there were (Genghis Khan's Golden Horde, Tamerlane and the Communist regimes of Stalin and Mao Tse Tung).

Which doesn't make what your beloved Nazis did look any better, however.
Smith wrote:It is a completely distorted Theory-of-History, AFAIC
It is indeed, though not for the reasons that Smith tries to sell.

The "exclusivism" of certain Jewish scholars in regard to the Nazi genocide of the Jews is an insult not only to the millions of non-Jews murdered by the Nazis (who actually outnumbered the Jewish victims), but also to all other victims of extreme government violence.

The following article contains what I consider a pertinent indictment of this attitude:

Assaults on Truth and Memory: Holocaust Denial in Context

by Ward Churchill

http://www.zmag.org/Zmag/articles/cot96church.htm
Smith wrote:--so much so that we Americans actually consider the WWII crusade to be the Good War,
Well, that point of view is less far off than Smith would like it to be.

Whatever its own shortcomings and atrocities, the "crusade" kept a large part of the world from being taken in by a modern form of warlord barbarism where the individual's right to exist depended wholly on the whim of an all-powerful state.
Smith wrote:and we want to repeat it somehow (if only Saddam could make a good-enough Hitler).
Such efforts at "repetition", for which morons like the current US president will hopefully not gain many adherents, are ridiculous indeed.

Compared to Smith's beloved Führer, Saddam Hussein is a small fish, not worth a fraction of the ballyhoo that is being made about him.

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Ach, Mein Kommissar...

Post by Scott Smith » 07 Oct 2002 18:32

Roberto wrote:
Scott wrote:
Roberto wrote:Atrocity propaganda regarding the enemy accompanies any war, and always has. So do popular myths and horror tales endorsed by the popular media.
Yes, but in this case revisionist history is particularly suppressed. In the First World War, revisionists like Beard and Barnes, et al, provided a corrective. Only dedicated Germanophobes in academia still believe the tales from the First World War. Revisionist history from WWII, however, remains within orthodox parameters or it is considered Hate and even criminalized.
Could the reason for this difference be that German atrocities in World War I were in fact greatly exaggerated by propaganda, whereas whatever atrocity propaganda there was in World War II was dwarfed by what the Nazis actually did, to the point that it takes ideologically motivated blindness to engage in the propaganda nonsense that inappropriately calls itself "Revisionism"?
The notion of German War-Guilt from 1939-1945 is just as polemical today as it was from 1914-1918 before revisionism in the 1920s.
Roberto wrote:Who said anything here about "uniqueness", Mr. Smith?
Well, you could say that ALL the victims of WWII should be laid at the door of the Germans, not just Nazi atrocities for racial or ideological reasons--which obviously is why they trump the greater atrocities of the Communists and why the occasional atrocities of the Western Allies are basically unknown. How many millions do we have with the Allied strategic bombing of Germany and Japan and the Gruesome Harvest of the ethnic-cleansing of Germans (including two-million dead) after the war so that the Reds could be given the eastern provinces of Germany? Well, lots more than Auschwitz, by any accounting. But it's okay because the Germans started the war, right?
Roberto wrote:
Smith wrote:It is a completely distorted Theory-of-History, AFAIC
It is indeed, though not for the reasons that Smith tries to sell.

The "exclusivism" of certain Jewish scholars in regard to the Nazi genocide of the Jews is an insult not only to the millions of non-Jews murdered by the Nazis (who actually outnumbered the Jewish victims), but also to all other victims of extreme government violence.
Yes, but only as long as the Hated Nazis/Germans are the villains. No Hitler--no Pol Pot, right?
:roll:

Be careful, Roberto, in some circles deemphasizing the uniqueness of the Jewish Holocaust/Shoah for atrocities committed against Gentiles, sometimes even by those bloody Nazis, is considered a "trivialization of the Holocaust," and thus "anti-Semitic."
:mrgreen:
Roberto wrote:
Smith wrote:--so much so that we Americans actually consider the WWII crusade to be the Good War,
Well, that point of view is less far off than Smith would like it to be.
It was a war which the USA would have done well to stay out of, unless one likes Stalinist and Maoist Communism. Nothing good came out of it but some technological advancement and some American industrial progress.
Whatever its own shortcomings and atrocities, the "crusade" kept a large part of the world from being taken in by a modern form of warlord barbarism where the individual's right to exist depended wholly on the whim of an all-powerful state.
Yes, Russian and Chinese Communism doesn't fit that bill according to Roberto. And if there had been a nuclear war fought against the Reds, Mr. Berg may have been right in that you might have prayed that Adolf was still around to save your asses from the Bolsheviks. Oh, the Zeitgeist is a very fickle specter.
:aliengray
Roberto wrote:
Smith wrote:and we want to repeat it somehow (if only Saddam could make a good-enough Hitler).
Such efforts at "repetition", for which morons like the current US president will hopefully not gain many adherents, are ridiculous indeed. Compared to Smith's beloved Führer, Saddam Hussein is a small fish, not worth a fraction of the ballyhoo that is being made about him.
Of course not, but reason alone won't stop a popular war. And we "deserve" our Peoples' War--as Sartre would have put it. After all, Saddam threatens Israel (which already has nuclear weapons).
:)

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Re: Ach, Mein Kommissar...

Post by Roberto » 07 Oct 2002 19:25

Scott Smith wrote:[The notion of German War-Guilt from 1939-1945 is just as polemical today as it was from 1914-1918 before revisionism in the 1920s.
In the minds of "Revisionists" (the "large-R" - freaks), perhaps. :lol:
Roberto wrote:Who said anything here about "uniqueness", Mr. Smith?
Smith wrote:Well, you could say that ALL the victims of WWII should be laid at the door of the Germans, not just Nazi atrocities for racial or ideological reasons--which obviously is why they trump the greater atrocities of the Communists and why the occasional atrocities of the Western Allies are basically unknown.
What's that "you could say" supposed to mean, Smith?

Regardless of whether anyone blames all violent deaths during World War II on the Nazis, when I compared them with the Mongols and the Communists I only had in mind the about 15 million that Smith's heroes murdered outside the scope of combat actions - Jews, gypsies, physically or mentally disabled people, the civilian inhabitants of starving Soviet cities and the no less unfortunate inhabitants of "partisan-infested" areas in Belorussia and Ukraine, etc.
Smith wrote:How many millions do we have with the Allied strategic bombing of Germany and Japan
Ca. 1.5 million in both countries together, according to the highest reasonable postwar estimates. Roughly one-tenth of the Nazis' murder bill.
Smith wrote:and the Gruesome Harvest of the ethnic-cleansing of Germans (including two-million dead) after the war so that the Reds could be given the eastern provinces of Germany?
It's not exactly relevant to the context of this discussion, but as Smith likes to throw the "Gruesome Harvest" around as a counterweight to the atrocities committed by his beloved Nazis it might be interesting for our readers to know that two million is the death toll of wartime flight and postwar expulsion in Germany's eastern territories and the countries of Eastern Europe that was estimated in the late 1950s by the Statistical Bureau of the Federal Republic of Germany, on the basis of nothing other than demographic data. This estimate has since been challenged by German historians as far too high.
Smith wrote:Well, lots more than Auschwitz, by any accounting.
Lots less than the five to six million Jewish victims of Nazi genocide and mass murder, not to mention the ca. nine million non-Jewish non-combatants slaughtered or made to starve to death by Smith's beloved Nazis outside the scope of combat actions.

Which doesn't make the atrocities committed against Germans any less horrible, of course.

Only an apologetic moron like Smith would think that atrocities can be played down by setting them off against other atrocities.
Smith wrote:But it's okay because the Germans started the war, right?
Did anyone here say anything about wartime atrocities against Germans being "okay", Mr. Smith?
Smith wrote:It is a completely distorted Theory-of-History, AFAIC
Roberto wrote:It is indeed, though not for the reasons that Smith tries to sell.

The "exclusivism" of certain Jewish scholars in regard to the Nazi genocide of the Jews is an insult not only to the millions of non-Jews murdered by the Nazis (who actually outnumbered the Jewish victims), but also to all other victims of extreme government violence.
Smith wrote:Yes, but only as long as the Hated Nazis/Germans are the villains. No Hitler--no Pol Pot, right?

How about reading Churchill's article instead of shooting the bull, Smith?
Smith wrote:Be careful, Roberto, in some circles deemphasizing the uniqueness of the Jewish Holocaust/Shoah for atrocities committed against Gentiles, sometimes even by those bloody Nazis, is considered a "trivialization of the Holocaust," and thus "anti-Semitic."
I couldn't care less, as Smith well knows.
Smith wrote:--so much so that we Americans actually consider the WWII crusade to be the Good War,
Roberto wrote:Well, that point of view is less far off than Smith would like it to be.
Smith wrote:[Isolationist-"Revisionist" rubbish]
(I'm following a suggestion made to me by our forum host. It saves time and avoids boring the audience with responses to all too obvious verbal junk.)
Roberto wrote:Whatever its own shortcomings and atrocities, the "crusade" kept a large part of the world from being taken in by a modern form of warlord barbarism where the individual's right to exist depended wholly on the whim of an all-powerful state.
Smith wrote:Yes, Russian and Chinese Communism doesn't fit that bill according to Roberto.
My statements show exactly the opposite, I would say.

Smith obviously cannot read.

From which I don't conclude, of course, that letting a part of Europe be swallowed by Stalin and a part of Asia by Red China was worse than leaving all of Europe in the hands of Smith's beloved Führer and all of Asia belonging to Japan's "Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".

Considering the alternative, it was by far the lesser of two evils, in my opinion.
Smith wrote:[more baloney too imbecile to even deserve a comment, and that is saying something]

Smith wrote:and we want to repeat it somehow (if only Saddam could make a good-enough Hitler).
Roberto wrote:Such efforts at "repetition", for which morons like the current US president will hopefully not gain many adherents, are ridiculous indeed. Compared to Smith's beloved Führer, Saddam Hussein is a small fish, not worth a fraction of the ballyhoo that is being made about him.
Smith wrote:Of course not, but reason won't stop a popular war. And we "deserve" our Peoples' War--as Sartre would have put it. After all, Saddam threatens Israel (which already has nuclear weapons).
:)
The above goes to my list of Smithsonian quotes, illustrative as it is of Smith's first and foremost concern.

In case someone is wondering who this Mr. Berg invoked by Smith is, here is the man's statement that I like best. It says everything about what goes on in a classic "Revisionist" mind:
Keep the Faith fellow revisionists. The Nazis and the SS were the good guys--but the anti-Nazis and the anti-revisionists dare not admit it for fear of losing their fabulous, ill gotten gains from the war.
“Hoaxbuster” Friedrich Paul Berg on the Codoh discussion forum.
http://www.codoh.org/dcforum/DCForumID9/143.html#10

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Re: Ach, Mein Kommissar...

Post by Scott Smith » 07 Oct 2002 21:19

Roberto wrote:From which I don't conclude, of course, that letting a part of Europe be swallowed by Stalin and a part of Asia by Red China was worse than leaving all of Europe in the hands of Smith's beloved Führer and all of Asia belonging to Japan's "Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".

Considering the alternative, it was by far the lesser of two evils, in my opinion.
The war with Hitler could have been prevented. In any case, I don't agree that a German-Japanese victory would have been worse than leaving half of Europe and Asia to the Communists.

But, as with everything, on this we will have to agree-to-disagree about who was worse, "Smith's beloved Nazis" or "Roberto's beloved Communists."
:mrgreen:

In any case, the USA would not have been defeated so we should not have intervened in Europe and Asia's quarrels. The sneak-attack on Pearl Harbor was not entirely unprovoked, either, since FDR was aggressively attempting to isolate Japan.
:)

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Re:

Post by Charles Bunch » 07 Oct 2002 22:21

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:From which I don't conclude, of course, that letting a part of Europe be swallowed by Stalin and a part of Asia by Red China was worse than leaving all of Europe in the hands of Smith's beloved Führer and all of Asia belonging to Japan's "Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".

Considering the alternative, it was by far the lesser of two evils, in my opinion.
The war with Hitler could have been prevented.
By what, helping her obtain lebensraum without bloodshed? Your use of the passive voice is telling. Germany should have prevented the war by not starting it. This clear fact is so obvious that one wonders at your implied notion that someone other than Germany bore the responsibility for preventing it.

In any case, the USA would not have been defeated so we should not have intervened in Europe and Asia's quarrels.
Japan attacked the US, and Germany declared war on the US. I sometimes wonder what world you live it!
The sneak-attack on Pearl Harbor was not entirely unprovoked, either, since FDR was aggressively attempting to isolate Japan.
Using this logic, any sneak attack could be justified.

The fact of the matter is Japan was being subjected to fully legitimate diplomatic pressure because of her invasion of and widespread humanitarian crimes committed in China.

Is there any act of aggression by the World War II Axis powers you won't offer such mindless apologia for?

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Post by Roberto » 07 Oct 2002 22:45

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:From which I don't conclude, of course, that letting a part of Europe be swallowed by Stalin and a part of Asia by Red China was worse than leaving all of Europe in the hands of Smith's beloved Führer and all of Asia belonging to Japan's "Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".

Considering the alternative, it was by far the lesser of two evils, in my opinion.
Scott Smith wrote:The war with Hitler could have been prevented.
Whose war with Hitler?

Poland’s ?

The Soviet Union’s ? :aliengray
Scott Smith wrote:In any case, I don't agree that a German-Japanese victory would have been worse than leaving half of Europe and Asia to the Communists.
Why is it that this statement of Smith's doesn't surprise me at all? :lol:
Scott Smith wrote:But, as with everything, on this we will have to agree-to-disagree about who was worse, "Smith's beloved Nazis" or "Roberto's beloved Communists."
While I don't care about the Communists indeed, I think that the quote marks around "Smith's beloved Nazis" are somewhat less than honest.
Scott Smith wrote:In any case, the USA would not have been defeated so we should not have intervened in Europe and Asia's quarrels.
Let them fry, let them die, let totalitarian dictators murder as many people as they want. It’s not our business.

A wonderful attitude.
Scott Smith wrote:The sneak-attack on Pearl Harbor was not entirely unprovoked, either, since FDR was aggressively attempting to isolate Japan.
Sure, he was concerned that Japanese aggression against China might deprive the US of East Asian markets and thus told them to get out of China lest he cut their fuel supply, IIRC.

But aren't we moving too far away from the topic?

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Post by David Thompson » 08 Oct 2002 02:27

Scott -- Thank you for your answer to my earlier questions, which I appreciate. I've been very busy too, but I'll try to get back to this discussion in a week or so.

As I understand your reasoning, it goes like this: There probably was no murder order. However, if there wasn't, the acts of Hitler's subordinates were grossly illegal. The subordinates may have concocted a common story to cover their butts. The psychological reasons for this are complex. They were all defendants and had a lot of covering to do.
However, Hitler acquiesced in the atrocities (to the extent that there were any), or failed to supervise. He should have known.

If I'm mistaken, please let me know.

The psychology of it all is really interesting.

It is true the men who admitted receiving the murder order were, at the time they gave their statements, defendants (or prospective defendants) in war crimes proceedings. It is also true that it is sometimes convenient for the living to blame the dead. Some of these defendants were sentenced to death, and others to various terms of imprisonment. The imprisoned defendants were afterwards freed by pardon at various times during the 1950s. Many of them lived for another fifteen or twenty years. However, I am not aware that any of them retracted their statements about the murder order. Have you ever read anything to that effect?

If it is true that no one recanted their story, what do you think about that?

Do you think the war crimes trials are analogous to witch trials?

Here are three accounts of conversations with Adolf Hitler on the "Jewish Question (Judenfrage). One dates from 1941, one from 1943, and one from 1944. What is your assessment of these conversations, given your statement "To the extent that atrocities happened (a skeptic cannot deny what he does not definitely know not to be fact) then, YES, of course, I think that Hitler acquiesced in them, even if only passively. He was fighting a vicious war and he was going to see that the enemy-alien suffered greatly, as he knew that Germans would suffer greatly. His disinterest in what was going on is not a testament to the wisdom of his leadership by any means."

Conversation No. 1.

In an evening conversation on 25 Oct 1941 with his intimates and staff, Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler and SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, Adolf Hitler said:
"From the rostrum of the Reichstag I prophesized to Jewry that, in the event of war's proving inevitable, the Jew would disappear from Europe. That race of criminals has on its conscience the two million dead of the first World War, and now already hundreds of thousands more. Let nobody tell me that all the same we can't park them in the marshy parts of Russia! Who's worrying about our troops? It's not a bad idea, by the way, that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews. Terror is a salutary thing." (Hitler's Secret Conversations 108-9)
Later on in the same conversation Hitler added:
"I have numerous accounts to settle, about which I cannot think today. But that doesn't mean I forget them. I write them down. The time will come to bring out the big book! Even with regard to the Jews, I've found myself remaining inactive." (Hitler's Secret Conversations 111)

Conversation No. 2

On April 16, 1943, Hitler met with Admiral Miklos Horthy, the Regent of Hungary, at Klessheim castle. According to Horthy:

"Then Hitler went on to lecture me on the Jewish question, shouting that "the Jews must either be exterminated or put in concentration camps"." I(Horthy Memoirs, Chapter 19)

Conversation No. 3

Dr. jur. Hans Frank, head of the Generalgouvernement of Poland, met with Hitler on February 7, 1944. According to Frank:

"Now, I have to say I was in a position to get information, whereas the witnesses who have testified so far have said under oath that in the circles around the Fuehrer nothing was known about all these things. We out there were more independent, and I heard quite a lot through enemy broadcasts and enemy and neutral papers. In answer to my repeated questions as to what happened to the Jews who were deported, I was always told they were to be sent to the East, to be assembled, and put to work there. But, the stench seemed to penetrate the walls, and therefore I persisted in my investigations as to what was going on. Once a report came to me that there was something going on near Belcec. I went to Belcec the next day. Globocznik showed me an enormous ditch which he was having made as a protective wall and on which many thousands of workers, apparently Jews, were engaged. I spoke to some of them, asked them where they came from, how long they had been there, and he told me, that is, Globocznik, "They are working here now, and when they are through -- they come from the Reich, or somewhere from France -- they will be sent further east." I did not make any further inquiries in that same area.
The rumor, however, that the Jews were being killed in the manner which is now known to the entire world would not be silenced. When I expressed the wish to visit the SS workshop near Lublin, in order to get some idea of the value of the work that was being done, I was told that special permission from Heinrich Himmler was required.
I asked Heinrich Himmler for this special permission. He said that he would urge me not to go to the camp. Again some time passed. On 7 February 1944 I succeeded in being received by Adolf Hitler personally -- I might add that throughout the war he received me three times only. In the presence of Bormann I put the question to him: "My Fuehrer, rumors about the extermination of the Jews will not be silenced. They are heard everywhere. No one is allowed in anywhere. Once I paid a surprise visit to Auschwitz in order to see the camp, but I was told that there was an epidemic in the camp and my car was diverted before I got there.
Tell me, My Fuehrer, is there anything in it?" The Fuehrer said, "You can very well imagine that there are executions going on -- of insurgents. Apart from that I do not know anything. Why don't you speak to Heinrich Himmler about it?" And I said. "Well, Himmler made a speech to us in Krakow and declared in front of all the people whom I had officially called to the meeting that these rumors about the systematic extermination of the Jews were false; the Jews were merely being brought to the East." Thereupon the Fuehrer said, "Then you must believe that."

When in 1944 I got the first details from the foreign press about the things which were going on, my first question was to the SS Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe, who had replaced Krueger. "Now we know," I said, "you cannot deny that." And he said that nothing was known to him about these things, and that apparently it was a matter directly between Heinrich Himmler and the camp authorities. "But," I said, "already in 1941 I heard of such plans, and I spoke about them." Then he said that was my business and he could not worry about it."

Testimony of Dr. jur. Hans Frank, IMT vol. 12, 18 Apr 1946 pp. 17-18
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/v12menu.htm

Don't these conversations seem a little weird to you? In conversation No. 1, if Himmler and Heydrich were exceeding their authority by ordering the Einsatzgruppen to shoot Jewish civilians into pits in Russia beginning in June 1941, what must their reaction have been to Hitler's strange "tablesprach" in late October.

In conversation No. 2, Horthy was never arrested and put on trial for war crimes. What would his motivation be for saying Hitler starting yelling "the Jews must either be exterminated or put in concentration camps"."

As for conversation No. 3, Frank was a war crimes defendant who was convicted, sentenced to death and executed. But his account of his conversation with Hitler in Feb 1944 doesn't particularly help Frank's case at all. Does his account seem a little disturbing?

Do you think these accounts present alternative and different faces of a "deniability" phenomenon?

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Post by William Wagner » 08 Oct 2002 03:49

That statement brings many interesting questions to mind.

1st Is it leagal for countries to enforce laws against another countries people when those laws were created out side there borders by another government

2nd Is it possible that Hitler knew nothing of the Holocaust and that it was an action taken by high ranking members of the party and SS in response to what they thought were Hitlers wishes

Just a thought

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Post by David Thompson » 08 Oct 2002 06:53

William -- In answer to your questions:

(1) Usually not. International law is supposed to govern how foreigners get treated by an occupying country.

(2) I don't think so. Hitler repeatedly predicted that the Jews of Europe would not survive WWII. SS leader Himmler, as well as senior SS leaders Heydrich and Kaltenbrunner said on a number of occasions that the order to kill the Jews came from Hitler. And think how easy it would be for a rival, like Bormann, Goering, Goebbels, etc. to eliminate Himmler if he was acting beyond his authority.

As Hans Fritzsche, a Nuernberg trial defendant, said:

"If the German people had learned of these mass murders, they would certainly no longer have supported Hitler. They would probably have sacrificed five million for a victory, but never would the German people have wished to bring about victory by the murder of five million people.
I should like to state further that this murder decree of Hitler's seems to me the end of every race theory, every race philosophy, every kind of race propaganda, for after this catastrophe any further advocacy of race theory would be equivalent to approval in theory of further murder. An ideology in the name of which five million people were murdered is a theory which cannot continue to exist." (Tyranny on Trial 315)

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Post by Scott Smith » 08 Oct 2002 18:20

David Thompson wrote:As I understand your reasoning, it goes like this: There probably was no murder order. However, if there wasn't, the acts of Hitler's subordinates were grossly illegal. The subordinates may have concocted a common story to cover their butts. The psychological reasons for this are complex. They were all defendants and had a lot of covering to do.

However, Hitler acquiesced in the atrocities (to the extent that there were any), or failed to supervise. He should have known.

If I'm mistaken, please let me know.
That seems like a fair assessment to me.
:)
The psychology of it all is really interesting.

It is true the men who admitted receiving the murder order were, at the time they gave their statements, defendants (or prospective defendants) in war crimes proceedings. It is also true that it is sometimes convenient for the living to blame the dead. Some of these defendants were sentenced to death, and others to various terms of imprisonment. The imprisoned defendants were afterwards freed by pardon at various times during the 1950s. Many of them lived for another fifteen or twenty years. However, I am not aware that any of them retracted their statements about the murder order. Have you ever read anything to that effect?

If it is true that no one recanted their story, what do you think about that?
I don't think this is very unusual, particularly considering that warcrimes trials continue to the present day. I can't see any reason for anyone to have changed their story, particularly when most of them got extraordinarily light sentences considering the gravity of the accusations. There's no reason why they could not have been charged with something else at a later date. Warcrimes offers a boundless menu of accusations.
Do you think the war crimes trials are analogous to witch trials?
Basically, YES.
Here are three accounts of conversations with Adolf Hitler on the "Jewish Question (Judenfrage). One dates from 1941, one from 1943, and one from 1944. What is your assessment of these conversations, given your statement "To the extent that atrocities happened (a skeptic cannot deny what he does not definitely know not to be fact) then, YES, of course, I think that Hitler acquiesced in them, even if only passively. He was fighting a vicious war and he was going to see that the enemy-alien suffered greatly, as he knew that Germans would suffer greatly. His disinterest in what was going on is not a testament to the wisdom of his leadership by any means."
I'm rather skeptical of "Hitler's Secret Conversations"or "Table Talks," but nevertheless, I don't see any of the quotations as being necessarily inconsistent with what I wrote above.
Conversation No. 1.

In an evening conversation on 25 Oct 1941 with his intimates and staff, Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler and SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, Adolf Hitler said:

"From the rostrum of the Reichstag I prophesized to Jewry that, in the event of war's proving inevitable, the Jew would disappear from Europe. That race of criminals has on its conscience the two million dead of the first World War, and now already hundreds of thousands more. Let nobody tell me that all the same we can't park them in the marshy parts of Russia! Who's worrying about our troops? It's not a bad idea, by the way, that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews. Terror is a salutary thing." (Hitler's Secret Conversations 108-9)

Later on in the same conversation Hitler added:

"I have numerous accounts to settle, about which I cannot think today. But that doesn't mean I forget them. I write them down. The time will come to bring out the big book! Even with regard to the Jews, I've found myself remaining inactive." (Hitler's Secret Conversations 111)
I think this basically confirms what I said. One can read "marshy parts of Russia" as either a place not fit for settlement by "real" people or as a mass-grave. One can also read bellicose hyperbole into the term "exterminate," if annihilation, eradication, uprooting, dispossession, or any other term was meant except literal murder.
Conversation No. 2

On April 16, 1943, Hitler met with Admiral Miklos Horthy, the Regent of Hungary, at Klessheim castle. According to Horthy:

"Then Hitler went on to lecture me on the Jewish question, shouting that "the Jews must either be exterminated or put in concentration camps"." I(Horthy Memoirs, Chapter 19)
Same hyperbole. The basic military principle is to either kill or capture your enemy, and the Nazis certainly considered the Jews to be the enemy--just as FDR considered Japanese-American citizens to be the enemy and ordered their incarceration (but not murder). It depends on how literally we interpret the watime rhetoric to "Kill the Japs."
Conversation No. 3

Dr. jur. Hans Frank, head of the Generalgouvernement of Poland, met with Hitler on February 7, 1944. According to Frank:

"Now, I have to say I was in a position to get information, whereas the witnesses who have testified so far have said under oath that in the circles around the Fuehrer nothing was known about all these things. We out there were more independent, and I heard quite a lot through enemy broadcasts and enemy and neutral papers. In answer to my repeated questions as to what happened to the Jews who were deported, I was always told they were to be sent to the East, to be assembled, and put to work there. But, the stench seemed to penetrate the walls, and therefore I persisted in my investigations as to what was going on. Once a report came to me that there was something going on near Belcec. I went to Belcec the next day. Globocznik showed me an enormous ditch which he was having made as a protective wall and on which many thousands of workers, apparently Jews, were engaged. I spoke to some of them, asked them where they came from, how long they had been there, and he told me, that is, Globocznik, "They are working here now, and when they are through -- they come from the Reich, or somewhere from France -- they will be sent further east." I did not make any further inquiries in that same area.

The rumor, however, that the Jews were being killed in the manner which is now known to the entire world would not be silenced. When I expressed the wish to visit the SS workshop near Lublin, in order to get some idea of the value of the work that was being done, I was told that special permission from Heinrich Himmler was required.

I asked Heinrich Himmler for this special permission. He said that he would urge me not to go to the camp. Again some time passed. On 7 February 1944 I succeeded in being received by Adolf Hitler personally -- I might add that throughout the war he received me three times only. In the presence of Bormann I put the question to him: "My Fuehrer, rumors about the extermination of the Jews will not be silenced. They are heard everywhere. No one is allowed in anywhere. Once I paid a surprise visit to Auschwitz in order to see the camp, but I was told that there was an epidemic in the camp and my car was diverted before I got there.

Tell me, My Fuehrer, is there anything in it?" The Fuehrer said, "You can very well imagine that there are executions going on -- of insurgents. Apart from that I do not know anything. Why don't you speak to Heinrich Himmler about it?" And I said. "Well, Himmler made a speech to us in Krakow and declared in front of all the people whom I had officially called to the meeting that these rumors about the systematic extermination of the Jews were false; the Jews were merely being brought to the East." Thereupon the Fuehrer said, "Then you must believe that."

When in 1944 I got the first details from the foreign press about the things which were going on, my first question was to the SS Obergruppenfuehrer Koppe, who had replaced Krueger. "Now we know," I said, "you cannot deny that." And he said that nothing was known to him about these things, and that apparently it was a matter directly between Heinrich Himmler and the camp authorities. "But," I said, "already in 1941 I heard of such plans, and I spoke about them." Then he said that was my business and he could not worry about it."

Testimony of Dr. jur. Hans Frank, IMT vol. 12, 18 Apr 1946 pp. 17-18
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/v12menu.htm
Well, Frank seems to be dissembling quite a bit. I think it is clear that there were plenty of massacres and harsh treatment, but I don't think it is quite so clear how far murder was official policy, if at all. I don't think the massacres would have occured without the context of the war and very real fears consequent to that. Nor do I think that Hitler's authority was so insecure that he needed the chaos and fog of war to execute his own policies.
Don't these conversations seem a little weird to you? In conversation No. 1, if Himmler and Heydrich were exceeding their authority by ordering the Einsatzgruppen to shoot Jewish civilians into pits in Russia beginning in June 1941, what must their reaction have been to Hitler's strange "tablesprach" in late October.
I think too much is being read into this document.
In conversation No. 2, Horthy was never arrested and put on trial for war crimes. What would his motivation be for saying Hitler starting yelling "the Jews must either be exterminated or put in concentration camps"."
I don't see why Horthy wouldn't say whatever to please his inquisitors. Police interviewing witnesses and bystanders run into all kinds of "helpful" people, and besides he hasn't really told us anything new unless we are wont to disbelieve that Hitler hated the Jews and did not regard them as the wartime enemy.
As for conversation No. 3, Frank was a war crimes defendant who was convicted, sentenced to death and executed. But his account of his conversation with Hitler in Feb 1944 doesn't particularly help Frank's case at all. Does his account seem a little disturbing?
Nothing is clearcut, but I can hardly believe that Governor Frank did not know anything or went to Hitler with his hat in his hand for moral counsel, nor that he trembled before Himmler's feet. Perhaps he prayed for deliverance from his horror but who cares? Whether it helps or hurts his case depends upon complex psychological motivations and obtuse legal strategies, assuming any rationality at all.

If you are accused of witchcraft you don't tell the Inquisition that there is no such thing as witches. At best you are not a witch; at worst, you have dabbled in some witchcraft but you were duped by the Devil and remain very repentent. You will turn State's evidence and finger the greater Evil, and you will otherwise cooperate with the Inquisition like Speer did, while trying to minimize your own direct responsibility and maximize your own victimization of circumstances. Above all you offer yourself as a moral example for the legitimacy of the court and hope not to be lanced as a trophy--or at least with some dignity and notoriety.

In addition, Frank found God and the Church at Nuremberg. Lots of bizarre nonsense comes out of the political confessional, and reverence for the historical record is probably not one of them. Orthodoxy is a self-reinforcing feedback loop. "I was Hitler's lawyer" is probably concern enough to trouble Frank's eternal salvation as he contemplated existence in his cell. No doubt he turned to the Inquisition for guidance and even companionship. In the newsreels we just see Frank hiding smugly behind wraparound shades like a movie star trying to escape his own nature.
Do you think these accounts present alternative and different faces of a "deniability" phenomenon?
NO, I don't think they mean all that much, at least not in some overarching sense. I can't see any reason for Hitler to have concerned himself with plausible-deniability. He had no doubts about the overall justice of his cause. But he may not have approved of a scope of atrocities except abstractly--which is no excuse for chaos. But the Nazis were nothing if not known for their "take no prisoners and impale them on the pikes" rhetoric dating from the days of struggle with the Reds and the bourgeoisie. It's much harder to derive concrete orders from that. Himmler would have some specific answers for us but he is not around; that doesn't mean that any evidence will do, however.
:)
Last edited by Scott Smith on 08 Oct 2002 20:54, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by witness » 08 Oct 2002 18:58

Scott Smith wrote:
I'm rather sketical of "Hitler's Secret Conversations"or "Table Talks," but nevertheless, I don't see any of the quotations as being necessarily inconsistent with what I wrote above.
One more of the Hitler's quotes.In 1931 in his interview with Leipzig newspaper editor Richard Breitling ,Hitler said:
We propose to build a protective wall against Russian imperialism and the Slavs from Northern Norway to the Black Sea,for we must not forget that Stalin's communism is a new form of Russian imperialism...
If despite our justifiable action,armed conflicts ensue because world Jewry
would like to turn back the wheel of history,Jewry will be crushed by that
wheel...

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