Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

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DavidFrankenberg
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Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 23 May 2019 18:37

At the end of the war, it is often said that on the railroads of the eastern front on special order of Hitler the trains full of deported jews were prioritized.
Is it true ?
It is often said that he did it and that it worsened the situation on the eastern front.
Anyone could confirm ?

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wm
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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by wm » 23 May 2019 20:56

No Hitler's statement or order concerning the Holocaust is known (except a single and indirect one.)
The trains didn't need prioritization.
Their number per day was totally insignificant.

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 23 May 2019 21:22

wm wrote:
23 May 2019 20:56
No Hitler's statement or order concerning the Holocaust is known (except a single and indirect one.)
The trains didn't need prioritization.
Their number per day was totally insignificant.
So, there is no proof that Hitler prioritized holocaust's trains ?
So, why everybody says so ?
This is a very common assertion in history books.

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wm
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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by wm » 23 May 2019 21:46

It's an urban legend created by an irresponsible writer a long time ago.

It was a few trains per day, death camps weren't able to kill more people.
At the same time, the Eastern Front required 200+ trains per day (if I'm not mistaken.)

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 24 May 2019 15:10

> No Hitler's statement or order concerning the Holocaust is known (except a single and indirect one.)

Numerous statements of Hitler concerning the Holocaust are known.

https://www.hdot.org/longrole_toc/

Specifically the Führerbefehl is mentioned in the so-called Franke-Gricksch report (which is, yes, authentic).

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 24 May 2019 17:19

Sergey Romanov wrote:
24 May 2019 15:10
> No Hitler's statement or order concerning the Holocaust is known (except a single and indirect one.)

Numerous statements of Hitler concerning the Holocaust are known.

https://www.hdot.org/longrole_toc/

Specifically the Führerbefehl is mentioned in the so-called Franke-Gricksch report (which is, yes, authentic).
Did one of these messages certify that Hitler prioritized jewish trains on the eastern front ?

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by wm » 24 May 2019 22:14

Sergey Romanov wrote:
24 May 2019 15:10
Specifically the Führerbefehl is mentioned in the so-called Franke-Gricksch report (which is, yes, authentic).
Although the report only proves Franke-Gricksch believed the Führerbefehl existed. But he was too insignificant to know that as a fact.
The link shows Hitler knew about the Holocaust, but that wasn't in doubt at all.

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 27 May 2019 08:20

wm wrote:
24 May 2019 22:14
Sergey Romanov wrote:
24 May 2019 15:10
Specifically the Führerbefehl is mentioned in the so-called Franke-Gricksch report (which is, yes, authentic).
Although the report only proves Franke-Gricksch believed the Führerbefehl existed. But he was too insignificant to know that as a fact.
The link shows Hitler knew about the Holocaust, but that wasn't in doubt at all.
He would have known it from Himmler who told him personally (see his postwar note).

The link shows Hitler's statements on the Holocaust (you said there were almost none). Including the one that can be best characterized as Hitler's decision to kill the European Jews (I think this is the one existing that you meant).

Which of course wasn't the only one statement in which Hitler was not only showing his knowledge but also setting or confirming the policy. E.g.:

"If the Jews there don't want to work they will be shot...If they cannot work, they must rot. They should be treated like tubercular bacillus which could attack healthy bodies. That is not cruel—if one keeps in mind that even innocent natural beings like hares and deer must be killed so that no damage occurs."

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by Sergey Romanov » 27 May 2019 08:52

I haven't read this PhD-thesis-based book but it's relevant to this thread:
Holocaust Versus Wehrmacht: How Hitler's "Final Solution" Undermined the German War Effort

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by GregSingh » 27 May 2019 09:31

Back to the trains...

From Mierzejewski's "The most valuable asset of the Reich":

"The Jewish transports were fitted into the Reichsbahn's operating plan as freight extras. This meant that after the regular freight trains (Stammgüterzüge) and the extras for priority traffics such as Wehrmacht troop movements, coal and armaments were moved, the special trains for the extermination camps were allowed time on the through routes."

He concluded:

"[..]compared with the tens of thousands of trains run for the Wehrmacht or to move coal, it was slight. [..]this relatively small traffic insignificant from a transportation standpoint[..]"

If somebody has documents/sources showing otherwise, please post it.
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by wm » 27 May 2019 13:38

Sergey Romanov wrote:
27 May 2019 08:52
I haven't read this PhD-thesis-based book but it's relevant to this thread:
Holocaust Versus Wehrmacht: How Hitler's "Final Solution" Undermined the German War Effort
He's wrong, bottlenecks were in Russia not in Germany or Poland. The red part is simply naive.
Analysis of the extent of resources and effort the Germans invested in the implementation of the Final Solution during World War II evaluates their influence on the performance of the Wehrmacht during four major campaigns, with the main objective being to examine the relationship between the German war effort and the Final Solution at the tactical level of warfare during World War II.
The scope here covers November 1941 to August 1944 — that is, from the beginning of organized Jewish train transports to the East, an undertaking that paralleled Operation Typhoon (a direct sequel to the German invasion of the Soviet Union), until the last transports carrying Hungarian Jews left for Auschwitz, paralleling the Allied invasion of Western Europe and the encirclement of the Third Reich.
A major share of the logistical problems faced by the German army on the various fronts stemmed from the use of manpower and transportation in favor of objectives that were not part of the military struggle: implementation of the Final Solution, with the aid of Germany's rail company, the Reichsbahn.
Evidence that points specifically toward the utilization of supply lines in favor of mobilizing Jewish transports to death camps and extermination sites indicates a connection between the operational capabilities of the army and the influence that the Final Solution had on them at the level of logistics. Resources were diverted to Jewish transports despite supplies being desperately needed for a Wehrmacht division or an army.
For instance, several trains bringing Jews from various parts of Europe to the crematoriums of Auschwitz and Treblinka could have carried the supplies needed to restore the combat capability of an infantry division — perhaps fuel that could move tanks of an armored division trapped in one of the pockets of Soviet resistance in the Caucasus or, in the later phases of the war, on the Western Front. Even if only 10 percent of resources from the entire transportation and military infrastructure were utilized for the deportation of European Jews during any one of the campaigns, the Final Solution must have had a major impact on the German war effort.

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by wm » 27 May 2019 13:48

The kind of thinking permeating the book:
The Wehrmacht's logistics were brutally exploited by the SS for racial transportation. It is thus useful to conduct a quantitative comparison of the load each train could carry to the front and the weight a train bore to Treblinka, or any other death camp.

If during the fighting at Stalingrad the minimum requirements of the 6th Army were 350 to 500 tons of supplies each day comparing this to the average weight of each individual sent to the death camps should give us a clear picture of the military provisions that could have been dispatched for gaining some substantial achievements at the front. Assuming that the average weight of a person loaded onto the death trains was about fifty kilograms (based on the combined average weight of men, women, and children, and taking into account that some suffered from malnutrition), on days when 10,000 people were sent to the camps, this was equivalent to a human cargo of at least 500 tons.

The trains that reached the Treblinka death camp, which in some cases totaled sixty railcars per train, weighed 600 tons without anything loaded onto it. The weight of the passengers was another 300 tons (fifty kilograms per person multiplied by 100 people packed into one wagon equals five tons multiplied by sixty railcars). Every day, three full transports reached Treblinka. Thus, about 900 tons of human weight traveled by rail for seventeen hours to Treblinka, a distance of 375 kilometers — a ride that should have taken no more than two and a half hours.

These 900 tons of human freight, which first had to be assembled, loaded aboard trains, and then deported hundreds, even thousands, of kilometers, occupied, among other things, precious space for new tanks that could have been sent aboard those trains to the East, as well as ammunition, food, winter clothing, and fresh reserves of fighting troops to help penetrate the Kessel. The 6th Army at Stalingrad needed only 500 tons of supplies per day. The actual figure asked for by its high command was 700 tons.

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 27 May 2019 17:51

wm wrote:
27 May 2019 13:38
Even if only 10 percent of resources from the entire transportation and military infrastructure were utilized for the deportation of European Jews during any one of the campaigns, the Final Solution must have had a major impact on the German war effort.
How 10% is equal to "major impact"" ? That's ridiculous...

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by wm » 27 May 2019 18:32

more, the book is mighty padded with the entire history of the ww2:
Surprisingly, when preparing the offensive in the Ardennes, the supreme command of the Wehrmacht used sixty-four trains for carrying ammunition for what would be their last successful offensive. This gives an idea as to how much effort and rail resources the Nazis used, for instance, when they transported 67,000 Jews from the Lodz ghetto to Auschwitz using some fifty-two trains.
One can only imagine how much ammunition and determination would result from a similar mission in late August against Patton's stationary tanks.

In terms of tactics and communications, the Germans were far in advance of the Western Allies; in addition, coordination on the battlefield between Allied tanks and infantry was still in its infancy compared to the experience the Germans had accrued during the campaigns in Russia and North Africa. With regard to equipment, it is clear that in all cases except aircraft, the Germans enjoyed clear advantages.

This was particularly true in regard to tanks.
Allied tanks could be knocked out by any German tank at a range of up to 1,000 meters and often more, while it was a matter of luck if Allied gunners disabled a German tank.
In most cases, the Tiger was invulnerable, even at close range, to anything other than a British Sherman tank or a rocket fired from an aircraft.
Although on the Eastern Front there were 160 divisions in June 1944, they were divided among three sectors. In military theory, an effective division operates within a range of five kilometers. Terrain is also a factor because in mountainous areas, range has no effectiveness. If the ground is flat, there can be wide deployment. Depth has no meaning in this case because it is always a matter of fire depth, which could have been up to five kilometers then—or in modem terms of tank warfare, even ten kilometers. An armored regiment would comprise some thirty-six tanks deployed over two kilometers.

If, for instance, one examines a sector in which at any point in time two or three divisions were fighting a battle in one of the Russian pockets of resistance, the effectiveness of an extra division integrated into the battle could have been crucial for the outcome. An extra division sent from the rear could have injected new life into a battle of attrition and possibly could have created new challenges for the Red Army around the Kessel. In this respect, it did not matter that in July 1942 General Friedrich Paulus had over 700 tanks scattered along the southern sector, because when eventually he was about to be encircled by Vasily Chuikov's forces, he was left with only sixty. Another Panzer division, or even twenty tanks, could have helped the 6th Army survive. Because the Rostov railway station was only sixty kilometers from Stalingrad, the tanks could easily have been driven along the tank tracks.

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Re: Did Hilter prioritize the jewish trains over military trains ?

Post by Stiltzkin » 27 May 2019 20:51

From a logistics (logistical?) perspective, the number of trainloads (e.g. for munitions) over the years remained rather constant (on average 150-250 trainloads monthly for munitions). There is no evidence that the impact was great.

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