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

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KDF33
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Re: Would the Holocaust have continued if the 1944 plot to kill Hitler had succeeded?

Post by KDF33 » 09 Apr 2023 23:38

gebhk wrote:
06 Apr 2023 17:03
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.
The extermination camps barely used up any resources, though. The death machine was pretty low-maintenance.

There were very good (moral) reasons to put an end to the Holocaust. But it wouldn't have freed up resources for the war effort.

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

Post by wm » 10 Apr 2023 00:53

The death camps were so underfunded they sometimes had to make their own uniforms and even dye them (this is why they were black.)
One or two trains with Jews per day were, of course, a drop in the bucket and no burden on the system whatsoever - especially since Jews usually had to pay for their last journey.
The Holocaust was highly profitable thanks to the confiscated wealth and property of millions of people. Not to mention tons of food made available to the starving Germans.

The Jewish furniture and other household items given away to millions of bombed-out Germans probably prevented collapse of morale and maybe even prolonged the war.

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

Post by Peter89 » 10 Apr 2023 08:16

wm wrote:
10 Apr 2023 00:53
The death camps were so underfunded they sometimes had to make their own uniforms and even dye them (this is why they were black.)
One or two trains with Jews per day were, of course, a drop in the bucket and no burden on the system whatsoever - especially since Jews usually had to pay for their last journey.
The Holocaust was highly profitable thanks to the confiscated wealth and property of millions of people. Not to mention tons of food made available to the starving Germans.

The Jewish furniture and other household items given away to millions of bombed-out Germans probably prevented collapse of morale and maybe even prolonged the war.
Exactly. For example in Hungary, it is evidently clear from archival sources that the government even counted on such a morale boost thanks to the confiscated Jewish wealth, and the ease of access to food. Moreover, the average person did not buy groceries and household items as we do it today. They usually had an account at a small shop, and when the money came in, they paid it, or paid back part of the debt. When the Holocaust happened in my hometown, it was indeed a huge morale boost for many families, because they got rid of their debts.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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

Post by gebhk » 10 Apr 2023 09:00

The extermination camps barely used up any resources, though. The death machine was pretty low-maintenance.
Errm In would suggest they wasted an inordinate amount of resource - the people they were killing. Be that as it may, I agree that the camps themselves were low maintenance or even profitable for the 'business' that was operating them - ie the SS. Ultimately, however, how is the 'death machine' profiting the state as a whole?

However, even if we ignore the human resource being wasted, the camps, I suspect, were not the big drain on resources, it was the whole operation of collecting and transporting millions of people to their deaths with the bureaucracy associatied with it. I can't imagine that the military would have have thought this a great use of resources when their own transport operations were struggling and failing. Without a constant feed of fresh lives to be wasted, to remain profitable the camps would have had to maintain their population to continue selling as slave labour - the source of their business profit.

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

Post by gebhk » 10 Apr 2023 09:36

They usually had an account at a small shop, and when the money came in, they paid it, or paid back part of the debt. When the Holocaust happened in my hometown, it was indeed a huge morale boost for many families, because they got rid of their debts.
So if this is a sensible model, let's apply it to, say, the UK in 1940. Morale is poor. Solution: let's murder all the shopkeeters, hell, a big chunk of the middle classes and distribute their furniture to the poor. What then for the course of the war?

Before answering that one, one needs to consider the following. In any sane country in a total war, the poorest should do well. That is because, all of a sudden, there is huge demand for their labour and unemployment - the biggest cause of poverty and low pay - should disappear.

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

Post by KDF33 » 10 Apr 2023 14:40

gebhk wrote:
10 Apr 2023 09:00
Errm In would suggest they wasted an inordinate amount of resource - the people they were killing.
Most of the people killed in the death camps were Polish Jews, already weakened by 2+ years of ghettoization. About 2 million of them were murdered between spring 1942 and winter 1943. Killing them, beyond the fact that it was an atrocity, contributed to alleviate the Grossraum's food shortage at the margins.

There was a further large-scale slaughter in 1944, when Hungarian Jews became available for deportation and extermination. Beyond those two "hyperintense" phases of killing, the death camps operated at a low scale.

See the following article.

The Final Solution wasn't a continuous process, but rather two (relatively brief) bursts of activity.

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

Post by wm » 10 Apr 2023 17:41

Actually, the capable-of-work Jews were usually spared - it was called "selection."
So, even in this case, nothing was "wasted."

To replace the Jews in local economies, the Germans created trade schools where the "natives" were going to learn all the necessary skills.

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

Post by RedTelephone » 10 Apr 2023 19:38

Absolutely not.
As long as the coup had been successful.
The whole point was to neutralise Hitler and the SS, attempt a negotiated peace with the Western Allies and agree at least a temporary truce with Russia.

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

Post by Peter89 » 11 Apr 2023 00:14

There was exactly zero chance for:
1. A peace on different terms with the western Allies and the SU
2. Negotiation of any kind

There was only unconditional surrender. But, by the nature of organized procedures and that of war, there was also a huge difference.

The only thing that remained was to save Germany and the German civilians - as well as other Central-Eastern Europeans - from the worst of the destruction and the beastiality. Also, hundreds of thousands of soldiers could have been saved. Even if deportations were due, it was much better to do it under organized circumstances, not like the terrible chaos that happened in 1944/1945.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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

Post by Princess Perfume » 11 Apr 2023 00:58

even 1942-3 is too late to prevent Hitler becoming a martyr and hero long-term and also too late for anything other than US.

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

Post by Peter89 » 11 Apr 2023 08:48

Princess Perfume wrote:
11 Apr 2023 00:58
even 1942-3 is too late to prevent Hitler becoming a martyr and hero long-term and also too late for anything other than US.
A martyr and hero? Hitler?
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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

Post by gebhk » 11 Apr 2023 11:00

Hi WM
To replace the Jews in local economies, the Germans created trade schools where the "natives" were going to learn all the necessary skills.
How is that not a waste of resources?
Actually, the capable-of-work Jews were usually spared - it was called "selection."
So, even in this case, nothing was "wasted."
The whole selection process itself was a waste of resources to begin with. And that's before we even begin to look at how taking people out of work they were skilled and expert in, transporting them elsewhere, retraining them, putting them to different work - work they were likely neither good at or motivated to do well, working them to death and thus having to repeat the cycle endlessly, benefits the economy.

Hi KDF33
The Final Solution wasn't a continuous process, but rather two (relatively brief) bursts of activity.
That is undoubtedly the case, but I am not sure what your argument is here. It sounds a bit like you are saying (moral issues aside, of course) that since most of the job was done and significant resources had been applied to it, it was worth committing a bit more resources to finish it. That is a common fallacy in economics. The reality is that waste is waste, whether on a massive scale or at a more modest one. The only 'correct' response to a wasteful project is to terminate it, regardless of how much resource had been committed to it in the past (ie not throwing good money after bad). Someone keen on prosecuting total war efficiently would not want to continue waste however (relatively) small it had become.

Unless all you are saying is that stopping the Holocaust in July 1944 would not have saved many Jewish victims, because most of them had perished by then. That is, sadly, true also, however not really an argument for the continuation of the Holocaust. If anything, it is a diminishing returns argument for the opposite, that could even be used to persuade ardent believers in Germany.
Most of the people killed in the death camps were Polish Jews, already weakened by 2+ years of ghettoization.
Itself a massive own goal and pointless waste of resources.
Killing them, beyond the fact that it was an atrocity, contributed to alleviate the Grossraum's food shortage at the margins.
How so? Did it increase the amount of food available? Actually it merely reduced the manpower that could be used to make more food in the future. From an utterly amoral point of view this is a classic example of a problem that solves itself without any interference or effort. In other words, iterfering is a complete waste of resources. And also, more often than not, counterproductive because it is an argument based on the fallacy that the amounts of food, money, jobs etc are fixed and that therefore if you reduce the size of the 'herd' there will be more for those that remain. As time after time has shown, following this faulty logic has led to disaster (dare I mention the sparrow holocaust in China?).

On another train, of thought, RedTelephone is right. However deluded in that respect the plotters might have been, their aims were, among others, to get the Western Allies on board. I doubt they would have been unaware that continuing the Holocaust was not going to help in that endeavour.

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

Post by RedTelephone » 11 Apr 2023 13:50

Peter89 wrote:
11 Apr 2023 00:14
There was exactly zero chance for:
1. A peace on different terms with the western Allies and the SU
2. Negotiation of any kind

There was only unconditional surrender. But, by the nature of organized procedures and that of war, there was also a huge difference.

The only thing that remained was to save Germany and the German civilians - as well as other Central-Eastern Europeans - from the worst of the destruction and the beastiality. Also, hundreds of thousands of soldiers could have been saved. Even if deportations were due, it was much better to do it under organized circumstances, not like the terrible chaos that happened in 1944/1945.
I agree completely. But the conspirators thought there was that chance of a negotiated peace. They were however extremely politically naive.
I suspect Germany may well have descended into a form of civil war.
Having said that most of the high ranking Nazis first n foremost would have looked after their own skins rather than lost their lives defending ‘ the cause’ .
All of them bar Goebbels tried to sneak away at the end.
All the SS Generals surrendered rather than die.
And very quickly ditched the Nazi ideology ( at least in public) to adapt to the new American ways.
What a shabby lot.

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

Post by Peter89 » 11 Apr 2023 21:02

RedTelephone wrote:
11 Apr 2023 13:50
Peter89 wrote:
11 Apr 2023 00:14
There was exactly zero chance for:
1. A peace on different terms with the western Allies and the SU
2. Negotiation of any kind

There was only unconditional surrender. But, by the nature of organized procedures and that of war, there was also a huge difference.

The only thing that remained was to save Germany and the German civilians - as well as other Central-Eastern Europeans - from the worst of the destruction and the beastiality. Also, hundreds of thousands of soldiers could have been saved. Even if deportations were due, it was much better to do it under organized circumstances, not like the terrible chaos that happened in 1944/1945.
I agree completely. But the conspirators thought there was that chance of a negotiated peace. They were however extremely politically naive.
I suspect Germany may well have descended into a form of civil war.
I have been contemplating about it a lot. Would it be a proper solution to deal with Nazi Germany, and prevent the unnecessary destruction and massacre that took place in 1944/1945 by saying "We want to negotiate.".

To answer that, I had to dive deep into some archival materials, which I found incredibly boring, but they all tell me the same: no. Maybe some rudimentary terms could be granted by the Allies, some hundreds of thousands' of lives could be saved here and there, but nothing could be demanded by the Germans. I think what Germany could have achived was something similar to that of Japan.

As I understand it, the cause of this was twofold. First, the Germans - not just Hitler& the Nazis - broke every single treaty they wanted, even those they've signed without coercion. Second, Germany - again, not just Hitler & the Nazis - started the game for world domination in 1941 without much poking by the SU or the USA. Thus, the only solution was to leave no room for Germany as an independent actor in politics, and the world order had to be reshaped without them. Ironically, the aforementioned world order could not be stabilized without an active contribution of Germany (and that of Japan), which is a brilliant - predominantly American - political achievement. But the prerequisite for that political achievement was the total defeat of Germany.

What the Germans could have benefited from a peace treaty is not what they could have demanded, but what they could have avoided. And well, that is the most plausible end-game for most of the What-Ifs for Germany.

RedTelephone wrote:
11 Apr 2023 13:50
Having said that most of the high ranking Nazis first n foremost would have looked after their own skins rather than lost their lives defending ‘ the cause’ .
All of them bar Goebbels tried to sneak away at the end.
All the SS Generals surrendered rather than die.
And very quickly ditched the Nazi ideology ( at least in public) to adapt to the new American ways.
What a shabby lot.
Well the German military elite - like any elite in any authoritarian state - was corrupt to the bone. Authoritarianism (let alone totalitarianism) is about - more than anything else - suppressing questions. In fact, the K5 issue alone qualifies for the marginalization of the post-war memoir literature of the German high command.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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

Post by RedTelephone » 11 Apr 2023 21:35

All very valid points Peter89.

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