The genesis of the holocaust

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Benoit Douville
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The genesis of the holocaust

Post by Benoit Douville » 04 Feb 2003 03:28

The decision-making process wich led to the holocaust is the subject of debate. The Wannsee conference in january 1942 seems to be the date when the final solution was adopted but the Einsatzgruppen were already on the Eastern Front killing Jews by thousands. So when the high Nazi party member like Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich decided the final solution about the Jews. Before the war started or at the Wannsee conference???
Last edited by Benoit Douville on 04 Feb 2003 06:20, edited 1 time in total.

Ne0
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Post by Ne0 » 04 Feb 2003 05:51

Hello, I'm new to this forum. and this is also my first post. Based on articles I've read here and document on the web. The Nazi started killing before the Wanesse Conference. The conference meetings just speeded up the process of mass extermination.

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Post by michael mills » 04 Feb 2003 08:34

Benoit Douville wrote:
The Wannsee conference in january 1942 seems to be the date when the final solution was adopted...........
On what basis do you make that assumption?

The purpose of the Wannsee Conference was to obtain agreement from the representatives of the major German state ministries that Heydrich would have full control of Jewish policy and of all measures undertaken under that policy. That purpose was achieved. No major decision relating to Jewish itself was reached at the meeting.

In fact, the Wannsee Conference was in many ways a dead end. The deportation plan revealed by Heydrich (at least according to the minutes) involved the transportation of all the Jews of the European territories under German control into the occupied Soviet Union, where the fit would be used for forced labour. That plan was never realised; only a relatively small number of Jews from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and some other countries arrived at locations in the occupied Soviet Union, where they were used for projects such as the construction of Durchgangsstrasse IV.

In fact, historians vary in their conclusions as to when a comprehensive extermination plan was adopted. For example, the German historian Peter Longerich concludes that such a plan was only adopted in May 1942, and all extermination actions prior to that date (eg the mass-shootings in occupied Soviet territory, the gassings at Chelmno and Belzec) were local initiatives.

It may be that there was no comprehensive plan, and that all the extermination actions were unconnected and driven by local considerations. For example, although the Generalkommissariat Volhynia-Podolia in the RK Ukraine was very close to Belzec, no Jews from that area were sent there; instead, they were executed in situ by the security forces under the control of the HSSPF South Russia.

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observer
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Re: The genesis of the holocaust

Post by observer » 04 Feb 2003 09:36

Benoit Douville wrote:Before the war started or at the Wannsee conference???

Neither. :P

Before the war, a couple of (criminal) orders had been issued targeting communists and also mentioning jews (please remember, that from the pov of Nazi-ideology the two appeared to be linked).

Usually by "final solution" more is understood: the systematic round-up and killing of the entire Jewish population, children, women and old people included. Modern research has it that the "final solution" according to this definition (initially carried out by the Einsatzgruppen and police units primarily, to a much lesser extent by Wehrmacht divisions) did not start until August 1941.

By the time the Wannsee conference was held (Jan 42), the final solution was in ´full swing´, however. Please note that this conference was not a preparatory, but just a `coordination´meeting between various ministries, touching questions like deportation and the like which were not really pertinent to what was going on in the SU at that time already.

Conversely, noone really believes that the final solution was already fully conceived at the day of attack (22 June 41). ´Late summer´1941 is where most historians today place the beginning.

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Post by Roberto » 05 Feb 2003 12:19

michael mills wrote:In fact, the Wannsee Conference was in many ways a dead end. The deportation plan revealed by Heydrich (at least according to the minutes) involved the transportation of all the Jews of the European territories under German control into the occupied Soviet Union, where the fit would be used for forced labour.
That’s not quite what becomes apparent from the protocol of the Wannsee Conference, the pertinent passage of which reads as follows:
[…]Unter entsprechender Leitung sollen im Zuge der Endlösung die Juden in geeigneter Weise im Osten zum Arbeitseinsatz kommen. In großen Arbeitskolonnen, unter Trennung der Geschlechter, werden die arbeitsfähigen Juden straßenbauend in diese Gebiete geführt, wobei zweifellos ein Großteil durch natürliche Verminderung ausfallen wird.

Der allfällig endlich verbleibende Restbestand wird, da es sich bei diesem zweifellos um den widerstandsfähigsten Teil handelt, entsprechend behandelt werden müssen, da dieser, eine natürliche Auslese darstellend, bei Freilassung als Keimzelle eines neuen jüdischen Aufbaues anzusprechen ist. (Siehe die Erfahrung der Geschichte.)[…]
Source of quote:

http://library.byu.edu/~rdh/eurodocs/germ/wanngerm.html

Translation:
[…]Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads[my emphasis], in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes[my emphasis].

The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly[my emphasis], because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of history.)[…]
Source of quote:

http://library.byu.edu/~rdh/eurodocs/germ/wanneng.html

So the deportation plan revealed by Heydrich contemplated the transportation to the “East” not of all the Jews of the European territories under German control, but only of the “able-bodied” ones, those fit for hard physical labor. What was to become of the others isn’t mentioned in the protocol. But the fact that the fate of even the “useful” Jews was to be either elimination “by natural causes” or being “treated accordingly” makes it easy to conclude what the fate of the “useless” ones was to be.
michael mills wrote:It may be that there was no comprehensive plan, and that all the extermination actions were unconnected and driven by local considerations. For example, although the Generalkommissariat Volhynia-Podolia in the RK Ukraine was very close to Belzec, no Jews from that area were sent there; instead, they were executed in situ by the security forces under the control of the HSSPF South Russia.
It is rather hard to argue that the deportations to the Aktion Reinhard(t) extermination camps were unrelated to the Wannsee Conference or not part of an overall program, if you look at the following passage of the conference’s protocol:
[…]Staatssekretär Dr. B ü h l e r stellte fest, daß das Generalgouvernement es begrüssen würde, wenn mit der Endlösung dieser Frage im Generalgouvernement begonnen würde, weil einmal hier das Transportproblem keine übergeordnete Rolle spielt und arbeitseinsatzmäßige Gründe den Lauf dieser Aktion nicht behindern würden. Juden müßten so schnell wie möglich aus dem Gebiet des Generalgouvernements entfernt werden, weil gerade hier der Jude als Seuchenträger eine eminente Gefahr bedeutet und er zum anderen durch fortgesetzten Schleichhandel die wirtschaftliche Struktur des Landes dauernd in Unordnung bringt. Von den in Frage kommenden etwa 2 1/2 Millionen Juden sei überdies die Mehrzahl der Fälle arbeitsunfähig.[...]
Translation:
[…]State Secretary Dr. Bühler stated that the General Government would welcome it if the final solution of this problem could be begun in the General Government[my emphasis], since on the one hand transportation does not play such a large role here nor would problems of labor supply hamper this action. Jews must be removed from the territory of the General Government as quickly as possible[my emphasis], since it is especially here that the Jew as an epidemic carrier represents an extreme danger and on the other hand he is causing permanent chaos in the economic structure of the country through continued black market dealings. Moreover, of the approximately 2 1/2 million Jews concerned, the majority is unfit for work.[my emphasis][…]
(source of quote and translation: as above)

and at Goebbels’ diary entry of 27 March 1942, translated under

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/g/goe ... 942-mar-27

as follows:
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.[my emphasis] 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.[my emphasis]

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.[my emphasis] 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.[my emphasis]

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.[my emphasis] 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[my emphasis] - and that's only right.


The deportations to Belzec extermination camp had commenced ten days before this diary entry was written. State Secretary Bühler’s request formulated at the Wannsee Conference had been attended.

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Post by Benoit Douville » 15 Mar 2003 04:55

After beginning to read the book "Masters of Death" by Rhodes, I think the final solution even if not official was already in place in 1939 in Poland. Himmler order a railway system through out Poland to send Jews in concentration camp...

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