Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
User avatar
Cantankerous
Member
Posts: 1277
Joined: 01 Sep 2019 21:22
Location: Newport Coast

Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by Cantankerous » 24 Dec 2022 21:56

I read that the German generals involved in the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler didn't necessarily want his dictatorship replaced with a democratic government with a conservative-authoritarian government involving aristocratic rule that rejected popular legitimation or mass participation in governance of the state, and that they wanted the Allies to accept the re-establishment of Germany's 1914 boundaries with Belgium, France and Poland and no reparations (which the Allies were sure to consider a non-starter). However, I wanted to ask the question of whether the Holocaust would have continued or Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann would have crafted long-term plans to shut down some concentration camps in occupied Europe due to Soviet forces racing across Eastern Europe if the July 20 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded, because Eichmann and Himmler implemented the suggestion by the late Reinhard Heydrich to use an industrial apparatus, including freight trains, to destroy Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and Soviet POWs.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 8765
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by wm » 25 Dec 2022 10:06

Himmler, with Hitler, was going to be killed by the bomb, and the SS decapitated, so he wouldn't have much to say about anything.
Of course, the Holocaust would be terminated (but the leaders were only vaguely aware of what the Holocaust was).
Although, in July, for all intents and purposes, the Holocaust had already been completed anyway.

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 3776
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by Takao » 26 Dec 2022 21:59

wm wrote:
25 Dec 2022 10:06
Himmler, with Hitler, was going to be killed by the bomb, and the SS decapitated, so he wouldn't have much to say about anything.
Of course, the Holocaust would be terminated (but the leaders were only vaguely aware of what the Holocaust was).
Although, in July, for all intents and purposes, the Holocaust had already been completed anyway.
Himmler was not to have been killed by the bomb, but arrested at Himmler's HQ(which was never attempted). So, the SS was not going to be decapitated during the executed July 20th plot.

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3568
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 26 Dec 2022 22:49

Most likely, the answer is yes. By inertia alone in a fractured dictatorship, the bureaucracy would have continued to do what it was doing, and the Holocaust would have continued. Whoever replaced Hitler, and most of the top choices were more or less in favor of the Holocaust, would require months, at a minimum, to decide to issue edicts and orders for it to end.
Think about it this way: The gulags didn't end with Stalin. Even in the US political imprisonment of those deemed a threat to the nation (eg., internment of Japanese, Germans, and Italians) didn't completely end until the 1950's. So, the Holocaust would continue on simply because of inertia.

User avatar
Cantankerous
Member
Posts: 1277
Joined: 01 Sep 2019 21:22
Location: Newport Coast

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by Cantankerous » 27 Dec 2022 17:26

T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Dec 2022 22:49
Most likely, the answer is yes. By inertia alone in a fractured dictatorship, the bureaucracy would have continued to do what it was doing, and the Holocaust would have continued. Whoever replaced Hitler, and most of the top choices were more or less in favor of the Holocaust, would require months, at a minimum, to decide to issue edicts and orders for it to end.
Think about it this way: The gulags didn't end with Stalin. Even in the US political imprisonment of those deemed a threat to the nation (eg., internment of Japanese, Germans, and Italians) didn't completely end until the 1950's. So, the Holocaust would continue on simply because of inertia.
The Gulag system was abolished in January 1960, but the internment camps for Japanese Americans had nothing to do with letting people die in those facilities.

If Himmler or Eichmann rather than Dönitz had become Hitler's successor in the event that the July 20 assassination plot against Hitler succeeded, they would have asked the Luftwaffe to use He 177s and Ju 188s make one more attempt to attack the UK so that German troops could make a surprise attack on southern England, arrest tens of thousands of British Jews, and send them to Buchenwald or Bergen-Belsen, while ordering trains to haul Hungarian, Romanian, and Polish Jews and non-Jewish Poles from Auschwitz and Treblinka to the Dachau concentration camp to take advantage of the impending prospect of Soviet forces preparing to overrun Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary.

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3568
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 27 Dec 2022 17:59

Cantankerous wrote:
27 Dec 2022 17:26
T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Dec 2022 22:49
Most likely, the answer is yes. By inertia alone in a fractured dictatorship, the bureaucracy would have continued to do what it was doing, and the Holocaust would have continued. Whoever replaced Hitler, and most of the top choices were more or less in favor of the Holocaust, would require months, at a minimum, to decide to issue edicts and orders for it to end.
Think about it this way: The gulags didn't end with Stalin. Even in the US political imprisonment of those deemed a threat to the nation (eg., internment of Japanese, Germans, and Italians) didn't completely end until the 1950's. So, the Holocaust would continue on simply because of inertia.
The Gulag system was abolished in January 1960, but the internment camps for Japanese Americans had nothing to do with letting people die in those facilities.

If Himmler or Eichmann rather than Dönitz had become Hitler's successor in the event that the July 20 assassination plot against Hitler succeeded, they would have asked the Luftwaffe to use He 177s and Ju 188s make one more attempt to attack the UK so that German troops could make a surprise attack on southern England, arrest tens of thousands of British Jews, and send them to Buchenwald or Bergen-Belsen, while ordering trains to haul Hungarian, Romanian, and Polish Jews and non-Jewish Poles from Auschwitz and Treblinka to the Dachau concentration camp to take advantage of the impending prospect of Soviet forces preparing to overrun Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary.
My point was it doesn't matter who succeeds Hitler, the Holocaust would have continued at least in the short term. That is, at a minimum it would have run on for several years and at a maximum it wouldn't have ended until every last person the Nazis wanted to eradicate was dead.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 8765
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by wm » 27 Dec 2022 18:16

Takao wrote:
26 Dec 2022 21:59
Himmler was not to have been killed by the bomb, but arrested at Himmler's HQ(which was never attempted). So, the SS was not going to be decapitated during the executed July 20th plot.
But the Fieldmarshals von Kluge and Rommel insisted to General Beck that Göring and Himmler must be eliminated at the same time as Hitler. The Quartermaster-General, Lieutenant-General Wagner, Lieutenant-General Fellgiebel, Brigadier Stieff, Lieutenant-General Olbricht, General Hoepner and General Beck himself insisted that Himmler must be there to be assassinated along with Hitler.
These demands were not wholly unreasonable, for Goring was Hitler’s officially designated successor and Himmler controlled the SS, a potential civil war army.
As it turned out, neither Göring nor Himmler was present. Stauffenberg had been informed of their absence in advance of the ‘morning briefing’ and had said to Stieff, ‘Good God, oughtn’t one to go ahead regardless?’
On the next day Klausing expressed his displeasure that through Stieff’s failure the attempt to kill Hitler had not been carried out. While Stieff’s intended role and his actions are obscure in this reference and in Stieff’s own later testimony, it is clear that Stauffenberg wanted to carry out the attack despite the absence of Goring and Himmler, and that Stieff prevented it.
The behaviour of Beck, Olbricht and Hoepner on the afternoon of 15 July showed, however, that they also did not want Stauffenberg to go ahead unless Himmler was there. Evidently, however, no one told Stauffenberg this until after his arrival at ‘Wolfschanze’.
During the briefings with Hitler Stauffenberg twice left the briefing room to telephone his fellow plotters at Bendlerstrasse, trying to obtain their approval for the assassination without Himmler’s presence. He did not receive it. When he finally spoke to Mertz and they agreed that he must go ahead, the meetings were over and Hitler had left.
After about half an hour, he had been forced to tell Stauffenberg that the generals did not want him to do it, since Himmler was not there. Stauffenberg then said he and Mertz would decide: what did Mertz think? Mertz had said, ‘do it’. After another interval Stauffenberg called again to say that the briefing had just ended when he had returned to the briefing room.
Stauffenberg by Peter Hoffman

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 8765
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by wm » 27 Dec 2022 18:20

Cantankerous wrote:
27 Dec 2022 17:26
to use He 177s and Ju 188s make one more attempt to attack the UK so that German troops could make a surprise attack on southern England,
Please, pure nonsense.

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 3776
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by Takao » 27 Dec 2022 22:32

wm wrote:
27 Dec 2022 18:16
Takao wrote:
26 Dec 2022 21:59
Himmler was not to have been killed by the bomb, but arrested at Himmler's HQ(which was never attempted). So, the SS was not going to be decapitated during the executed July 20th plot.
But the Fieldmarshals von Kluge and Rommel insisted to General Beck that Göring and Himmler must be eliminated at the same time as Hitler. The Quartermaster-General, Lieutenant-General Wagner, Lieutenant-General Fellgiebel, Brigadier Stieff, Lieutenant-General Olbricht, General Hoepner and General Beck himself insisted that Himmler must be there to be assassinated along with Hitler.
These demands were not wholly unreasonable, for Goring was Hitler’s officially designated successor and Himmler controlled the SS, a potential civil war army.
As it turned out, neither Göring nor Himmler was present. Stauffenberg had been informed of their absence in advance of the ‘morning briefing’ and had said to Stieff, ‘Good God, oughtn’t one to go ahead regardless?’
On the next day Klausing expressed his displeasure that through Stieff’s failure the attempt to kill Hitler had not been carried out. While Stieff’s intended role and his actions are obscure in this reference and in Stieff’s own later testimony, it is clear that Stauffenberg wanted to carry out the attack despite the absence of Goring and Himmler, and that Stieff prevented it.
The behaviour of Beck, Olbricht and Hoepner on the afternoon of 15 July showed, however, that they also did not want Stauffenberg to go ahead unless Himmler was there. Evidently, however, no one told Stauffenberg this until after his arrival at ‘Wolfschanze’.
During the briefings with Hitler Stauffenberg twice left the briefing room to telephone his fellow plotters at Bendlerstrasse, trying to obtain their approval for the assassination without Himmler’s presence. He did not receive it. When he finally spoke to Mertz and they agreed that he must go ahead, the meetings were over and Hitler had left.
After about half an hour, he had been forced to tell Stauffenberg that the generals did not want him to do it, since Himmler was not there. Stauffenberg then said he and Mertz would decide: what did Mertz think? Mertz had said, ‘do it’. After another interval Stauffenberg called again to say that the briefing had just ended when he had returned to the briefing room.
Stauffenberg by Peter Hoffman
"Planned" and "executed" are two different things.

You will note, I said "executed."

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 8765
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by wm » 27 Dec 2022 22:53

The plan was to kill them both. Only because they ran out of time, in desperation, Stauffenberg didn't do it.

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 3776
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by Takao » 27 Dec 2022 23:49

They did not run out of time. They thought they were running out of time.

Either way, no attack on Himmler materialized.

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 8765
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by wm » 28 Dec 2022 01:12

From the ‘Proclamation to the German Nation’ - drafted by the conspirators:
- the fundamental liberties suspended by the Hitler government on 28 February 1933 were to be restored;
- the concentration camps would be disbanded;
- there would be an immediate halt to the persecution of the Jews: which has been carried on in the most inhuman and unmerciful, deeply shameful and irreparable way;
- and those responsible for the murder of the Jews would be punished.

CogCalgary
Member
Posts: 412
Joined: 04 Aug 2021 21:31
Location: Calgary

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by CogCalgary » 28 Dec 2022 01:38

There would likely be an immediate attempt to sue for peace.No more big H.

Princess Perfume
Member
Posts: 240
Joined: 27 Mar 2014 10:11
Location: BBC Television Centre, London, England

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by Princess Perfume » 27 Mar 2023 17:55

The conspirators were fantasists. They thought Germany would be allowed to keep chunks of territory that even "normal" Germans considered Germany's - Danzig, Silesia, East Prussia, Austria etc.

gebhk
Member
Posts: 2631
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 20:23

Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by gebhk » 06 Apr 2023 17:03

My tuppence hap'worth

I suspect that if the plot had been successful (by that I mean Hitler, Himmler and the SS been more or less permanently removed from power), the programme would not have lasted the week.

3 reasons:

1) Not going into details, my dad was in the clutches of the Gestapo/SD at the time and he was dragged out of his cell on the morning of 20/7 for interrogation. Before the interrogators could get into their stride, the phone rang, there was total chaos and he was left absolutely alone in the room while the staff ran about like headless chickens trying to get a grip on what was going on and organising an expedite heading for the hills if the plot were to suceed. It took a few days for things to return to normal. If that was the impact on such a lowly level, one can only imagine what it would have been higher up and I have little doubt that huge chunks of the apparatus would have seized up if the plot had succeeded as key personnel were far too busy saving their own skins to continue running things. Ergo, to contiunue functioning, the machine would have had to have been consciously restarted, new personnel found, etc and I doubt there would have been the appetite to do so because:

2) The Holocaust was Himmler's and the SS's pet project. That in itself was reason enough for the WH to nix it.

3) One important reason the WH wanted to take over was because they thought they could run the war better/more efficiently. Wasting vast amounts of transportation when the troops in the field were not getting adequate supplies, wasting manpower and other resources killing potentially useful contributors to the war economy was not helpful to this aim.

Return to “What if”