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.)
Why is it that “Revisionist” assessments cannot make do without silly conspiracy theories?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.
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.
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: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.
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: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.
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”.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.
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.
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.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?
David Thompson wrote: (2) Do you think the conversations those folks recounted actually happened? If not, why would they all have the same story?
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 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.
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?
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?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.
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:
Source of quote: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.
http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/g/goe ... ts-02.html
Emphasis is mine.
Whence – other than his sacred scrolls – does Smith derive this certainty?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.
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: When one tries to nail-down the precise chain-of-command it soon becomes vague and verbal.
Smith never seems to have understood what the term “hearsay” means.Smith wrote: Oh, Himmler said that Hitler said so, and he was the Führer. Orders are Orders, Sir. Pure hearsay.
“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?
What Smith does here is to profess “skepticism” in regard to facts proven by a convergence of evidence.Smith wrote:To the extent that atrocities happened (a skeptic cannot deny what he does not definitely know not to be fact)
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.
An interesting insight into the mind of one of the Führer’s most faithful followers.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.
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.
Exactly, Mr. Smith.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.
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?
In other words: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.
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.
David Thompson wrote: 6) If Hitler did authorize these killings, do you think he deliberately avoided giving written orders? Why?
There are usually some very logical explanations for what does not seem logical to a true believer like Smith.Smith wrote: It is not logical to me that he would do this.
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?
Drawing conclusions on the basis of what they would like to believe is the hallmark of “Revisionism” rather than historiography.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.
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?
Sure.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.
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.
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.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.
What about the sovereignty of Singapore, by the way?
Ach so.Smith wrote: I'm not arguing that sovereignties SHOULD do anything they want, especially if it is wrong. But it is not illegal.
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?
Which the Führer’s faithful follower cares as much about as a pig does about Sunday, in my opinion.Smith wrote:And giving an issue the high-and-mighty cloak of atrocity-propaganda is particularly disturbing for democratic processes, AFAIC.
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.
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:No problem. This is just a discussion forum not a contest.
Not being always right comes with human nature.Smith wrote: I am not always right and neither is anyone else.
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.
Somewhat off-topic, but it’s interesting to learn that Smith now has sunk to the level of Zundelsite.Smith wrote: Some examples of atrocity-propaganda for popular consumption...