Heydrich said: Czechs to guard Jews in White Sea region

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michael mills
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Heydrich said: Czechs to guard Jews in White Sea region

Post by michael mills » 03 Feb 2004 04:40

Two weeks after the well-known Wannsee Conference, at a meeting in Prague on 4 February 1942, Heydrich stated that the sector of the Czech population that could not be germanised could be sent to the White Sea region to serve as guard personnel for the European Jews who were to be deported there.

Heydrich's speech is reproduced in the book "Protektoratni Politika Reinharda Heydricha", edited by Miroslav Karny, Prague 1991, document no. 61, pages 212-224, and is quoted in the book "Auschwitz 17. Juli 1942: Der Weg zur europäischen >>Endlösung der Judenfrage<<", by the German historian Professor Emeritus Hans Mommsen.

That statement is entirely consistent with Heydrich's statement at the Wannsee Conference that the Jews of all Europe were to be deported into the occupied Soviet territories. It provides a supplement to what Heydrich said at Wannsee, explaining that the deported Jews were to be held in camps in the White Sea region, and that non-germanisable Czechs rather than Germans were to be used to guard them.

The statement of 4 February 1942 is also consistent with what Heydrich told Goebbels on 23 September 1941; he had said that the Jews were to be deported to the White Sea region, as recorded by Goebbels in his diary (Goebbels Tagebücher, Teil II, Band 1, page 480f, as quoted by Mommsen).

The concept of deporting the European Jews to the White Sea region and keeping them in camps there was from the German point of view a form of poetic justice. The White Sea region was where the new Bolshevik regime in Russia had in 1918 set up its first concentration camps, the so-called "Elephant camps" (the Russian word for "elephant", "slon", is also the acronym for "Severnye Lageri Osobogo Naznachenia" = "Northern Camps of Special Designation").

The Germans regarded the Bolshevik regime as a Jewish tyranny, and the "elephant camps" of the White Sea region as a crime perpetrated by the Jews. Accordingly, it was in their eyes just punishment on the Jews of Europe to send them to suffer in those same camps.

Heydrich's statement of 4 February 1942 is also proof positive that the what Heydrich revealed to the assembled State Secretaries at Wannsee two weeks earlier was a deportation plan, not a plan for mass-gassing in extermination camps. If at Wannsee he had really been talking about killing Jews in extermination camps in Poland, there would have been no sense in his talking two weeks later about sending a sizable proportion of the Czech population to the extreme north of Russia to guard millions of Jews deported there.

Accordingly, it is clear that as of January/February 1942, no decision to exterminate the Jews being deported to the East had yet been reached by the German Government.

However, on 27 March of that year, Goebbels recorded in his diary that the deportation to the East of the Jews of the Generalgouvernment had begun, and that those of them not usable for forced labour, estimated at some 60% of that population, were to be destroyed by a process administered by Globocnik.

It is obvious therefore that between early February and late March 1947, the German Government had decided to put to death the Jews who could not be used for forced labour, deporting into the occupied Soviet territory only those who were fit for labour.

One reason for that decision, whenever and by whomever and however it was made, was probably the growing realisation that due to the failure to take either Moscow or Leningrad, the White Sea region would remain permanently out of German reach, and could no longer serve as a place of imprisonment for European Jewry.

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Re: Heydrich said: Czechs to guard Jews in White Sea region

Post by Earldor » 06 Feb 2004 23:01

Two weeks after the well-known Wannsee Conference, at a meeting in Prague on 4 February 1942, Heydrich stated that the sector of the Czech population that could not be germanised could be sent to the White Sea region to serve as guard personnel for the European Jews who were to be deported there.

Heydrich's speech is reproduced in the book "Protektoratni Politika Reinharda Heydricha", edited by Miroslav Karny, Prague 1991, document no. 61, pages 212-224, and is quoted in the book "Auschwitz 17. Juli 1942: Der Weg zur europäischen >>Endlösung der Judenfrage<<", by the German historian Professor Emeritus Hans Mommsen.
I find it curious that you keep on quoting only Mommsen, who is in the functionalist camp. Is there a particular reason you are so keen to quote him? You seem to forget entirely the intentionalist camp's arguments (and many functionalist views as well) and many documents that refer to the fact that the physical extermination of the Jews would have been decided on sometime in the autumn of 1941. You also conveniently forget e.g. these facts:

1) Nazi Germany was never even close to conquering the White Sea region.
2) Nazi Germany also toyed with the Madagaskar and the Lublin area plans, neither of which was ever realized.
3) Belzec was already being constructed in late fall (November-December 1941).
4) Chelmno started operations early December 1941.
5) Auschwitz-Birkenau tested with Zyklon B in September 1941 and Höss refers to a physical extermination order from the Führer given to him by Himmler.
6) Einsatzgruppen were reaping havoc in the Soviet Union and had been at it since the beginning of Operation Barbarossa.
7) Around the time of the Wannsee conference Heydrich felt he needed another "charter" for the Endlösung of the Jewish question although he already had a "charter" for the "emigration" of the Jews. I wonder why.


[snip]
Heydrich's statement of 4 February 1942 is also proof positive that the what Heydrich revealed to the assembled State Secretaries at Wannsee two weeks earlier was a deportation plan, not a plan for mass-gassing in extermination camps. If at Wannsee he had really been talking about killing Jews in extermination camps in Poland, there would have been no sense in his talking two weeks later about sending a sizable proportion of the Czech population to the extreme north of Russia to guard millions of Jews deported there.
Hmm, if you or anyone else wants a balanced view of the decision leading to the Final Solution I would recommend Christopher R. Browning's "The Fateful Months; Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution" and the chapter "The Decision Concerning the Final Solution." Although, I would guess that Michael already has read it. Your stories sound very irvingesque, Michael...

[snip]

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 07 Feb 2004 00:18

1) SLON = "Solovetskij Lager' Osobogo Naznachenija" (or "Solovetskije Lagerya Osobogo Naznachenija"). It's can't be translated as "elephant" camp, it was never called "slonovyj lager'".

2) Since no Jews were transported to the White Sea, I don't see how what Heydrich said or did not say is relevant. What happened at the Wannsee Conference we know from Eichmann's words - they did indeed discuss the extermination of Jews.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 07 Feb 2004 00:23

> Heydrich stated that the sector of the Czech population that could not be germanised could be sent to the White Sea region to serve as guard personnel for the European Jews who were to be deported there.

Besides, it looks just like an euphemism for murder of "ungermanizable" (Untermensch) Czechs.

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Post by michael mills » 08 Feb 2004 01:37

Responses to points made by Earldor:
1) Nazi Germany was never even close to conquering the White Sea region.
Correct. But it planned to. The military planning for Barbarossa envisaged conquering and occupying Soviet territory up to the Arkhangel'sk-Astrakhan' Line, which would have brought the whole of North Russia up to the western and southern shores of the White Sea under German control.

The planning for the deportation of the whole of European Jewry into conquered Soviet territory early in 1941, ie soon after Hitler made his decision to choose the option of invading the Soviet Union over the other option of pursuing the war against Britain in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. The RSHA and Eichmann were involved in that planning throughout the year, and although practically all the paperwork has been lost, there are indications that Heydrich gave a preliminary sketch of a deportation plan to Goering in March 1941, to which Goering's preserved authorisation of 31 July 1941 was a response.

Since the German military plans envisaged an advance as far as Arkhangel'sk before the end of 1941, it was feasible for the RSHA's deportation planning to be based on camps in the White Sea area as the destination for the Jews.

As is well-known, the Soviet counter-offensive in December 1941 and the subsequent German retreat permanently ended any German hope of taking the White Sea region. However, it is obvious that RSHA deportation planning through to February 1942 did not take that change in Germany's position into account, and there was no reason to, since there was to be a new German offensive in 1942.

However, at some point the RSHA must have realised that there was to be no further advance into North Russia, since the German summer offensive for 1942 was to be directed to the south, and that the plan of settling the Jews in camps in the White Sea region could no longer be implemented.

It must have been at that point that the decision was made to kill off the unemployable part of the Jewish population of the Generalgouvernement (which constituted the majority of the Jews under German control to be deported), implementing the deportion of only the employable part (estimated at 40%, according to the Goebbels diary entry of 24 March 1942), which according to the minutes of the Wannsee Conference was to be used for road-building projects in the occupied Soviet territories (and in fact was so used to some extent).

We do not know exactly when that decision was made (except that logically it was before 27 March 1942), how it was made, or who made it; if that decision generated any paperwork, it has disappeared.

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Post by michael mills » 08 Feb 2004 02:54

Further response to Earldor:
2) Nazi Germany also toyed with the Madagaskar and the Lublin area plans, neither of which was ever realized.
I do not see what point Earldor is making here.

They were serious plans, in relation to which quite a lot of planning was done. In the case of the Lublin Plan, implementation actually began, with a small number of Jews from Austria and the Annexed Eastern Territories being sent there; Jews deported from Germany continued to be sent to the Lublin District in 1942.

Both the Lublin and Madagascar Plans could not be implemented as envisaged for a number of reasons. The plan to deport the Jews of Europe to the Occupied Eastern Territories, in particular to the White Sea region, was a successor to those plans, and likewise failed due to the failure of Barbarossa to achieve its objectives. A variant of this third plan was to send part of the Jews to camps in the Prypiat' Marsh area, to be used as labour for drainage works.

The fact that the Lublin and Madagascar Plans were not successful is not relevant to the reality of the White Sea plan.
3) Belzec was already being constructed in late fall (November-December 1941).
The camp just to the south of Belzec railway station existed as early as December 1939, when it served as at transit camp for Jews crossing the border into the Soviet Zone of Occupation. Kozielewski-Karski described it in his first report of 1940.

Later, in 1940, it served as a holding camp for Jewish labourers working on the construction of defenses on the border with the Soviet Zone, especially the excavation of a massive anti-tank ditch. That excavation appears to be the work described by Rudolf Reder, when he described his employment as the maintenance-man for an excavator used for digging large ditches outside the camp.

According to post-war reports by local Poles, the camp appears to have been reactivated in about October 1941, when it became a Sonderlager der Waffen-SS. What exactly its purpose at that point was is unclear; it is known that transports of Jews to the camp began in mid-March 1942, and that the Jews were killed and buried there, but that was after the elapse of almost 6 months, so we cannot be certain that it had been designated as a killing centre as early as October 1941.
4) Chelmno started operations early December 1941.
As I have patiently explained, the killing operation at Chelmno was a the result of a local agreement between Himmler and the Reichsstatthalter Wartheland, Arthur Greiser, allowing the latter to kill off 100,000 of the Jews in his Gau, ie about one-third of the total. Although we do not have a copy of the original agreement, it appears that its purpose was to create space for the 60,000 German Jews whom Hitler had ordered be deported into the Lodz Ghetto.

The Chelmno operation, which claimed as its victims those Jews of the Wartheland selected as unusable for labour, may well have served as a precedent for a later decision to exterminate the unemployable part of the Jews of the Generalgouvernement, but its exostence cannot be taken as an indication that a general extermination decision had been reached by December 1941.
5) Auschwitz-Birkenau tested with Zyklon B in September 1941 and Höss refers to a physical extermination order from the Führer given to him by Himmler.
The date of the first homicidal use of Zyklon-B at Auschwitz is not known for certain; some historians believe it was September 1941, others believe it was December of that year.

In any case, the first homicidal use of Zyklon-B was in the context of the program of killing Soviet POWs who had been identified as dangerous Communists and sent to various concentration camps (Dachau and Buchenwald as well as Auschwitz) for secret execution. There was absolutely no relationship between the first homicidal use of Zyklon-B and a program to exterminate Jews.

Hoess's post-war account of an order for the extermination of all European Jews, supposedly given to him by Himmler in the summer of 1941, is rejected by most historians because of its impossible chronology, when compared with other events, and also because of the glaring internal chronological contradictions within the account itself.

Elsewhere Hoess says that Himmler's order to kill the unemployable Jews at Auschwitz was given during Himmler's visit in July 1942.
6) Einsatzgruppen were reaping havoc in the Soviet Union and had been at it since the beginning of Operation Barbarossa.
The Einsatzgruppen were not initially carrying out a program of exterminating Soviet Jewish communities. Their orders were to execute Jews in high state and party positions, that is all. Once the Soviet atrocities had been discovered, large-scale reprisal actions were undertaken against Jewish men of military age.

But the destruction of whole Jewish communities, including women and children, did not begin until later. It started first in Lithuania, on 15 August; we know the precise date because of the boastful Jäger Reports detailing the "exploits" of Einsatzkommando 3. In other areas it began later, in some cases not until the end of 1941.

But throug most of the territory through which the Einsatzgruppen roamed, the majority of the Jewish population was not killed off in 1941, but ghettoised. The Jews of Volhynia were not comprehensively destroyed until the summer of 1942. In Galicia, although there was a number of shooting actions in 1941, the extermination of the unemployable Jews did not begin until the Spring of 1942, and even then about half the Jewish population of the region was still alive at the end of that year and living in local ghettos.

The evidence shows that during the first six months or so of the German-Soviet war, the Einsatzgruppen were by no means engaged in a general slaughter of the jewish population of the occupied Soviet territories.
7) Around the time of the Wannsee conference Heydrich felt he needed another "charter" for the Endlösung of the Jewish question although he already had a "charter" for the "emigration" of the Jews. I wonder why.
I would ask Earldor for more explanation of the point he is making here. I do not know of any "charter" that Heydrich was seeking in January 1942; he already had the "charter" from Goering, and was now merely informing other German ministries of it, and seeking their agreement that they would not continue with Jewish policies of their own.

Your stories sound very irvingesque, Michael...
Why does Earldor need to resort to personal denigration? Why not just address the evidence?

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Post by michael mills » 08 Feb 2004 03:19

Responses to Sergey Romanov:
1) SLON = "Solovetskij Lager' Osobogo Naznachenija" (or "Solovetskije Lagerya Osobogo Naznachenija"). It's can't be translated as "elephant" camp, it was never called "slonovyj lager'".
Incorrect. The title of the organisation was "Severnye Lageria Osobogo Naznacheniia" = Northern Camps of Special Designation.

There were several camps in the taiga of northern Russia. Solovetskii, on an island in the White Sea, was just one of them. There were other camps in for example the Pechora region.

The camps were referred to as "SLON", which means "elephant".

As an English-language example of this sort of acronym which is an actual word, one might take the word "salt". Sergey Romanov has no doubt heard of "salt talks" between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia. But those talks did not concern trade in the physical commodity "salt": rather they concerned the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, for which the acronym is "SALT".


2) Since no Jews were transported to the White Sea, I don't see how what Heydrich said or did not say is relevant. What happened at the Wannsee Conference we know from Eichmann's words - they did indeed discuss the extermination of Jews.
What Heydrich said is relevant, because it was planned to transport Jews to the White Sea. The fact that no Jews were transported there is due to the failure of barbarossa, not to the lack of a plan, and hence is irrelevant to the planning process. There are in history many plans which never come to fruition.

As for Eichmann's words, they date from his rather incompetent interrogation by the Israeli police. He may have been trying to exculpate hilself by claiming that all the other officials were talking about killing. But no other participant who survived to be interrogated claimed that extermination was discussed at the conference, and there is absolutely no reason why Himmler would have revealed a secret extermination plan to bureaucrats who did not need to know about it.

Besides, it looks just like an euphemism for murder of "ungermanizable" (Untermensch) Czechs.
The most reasonable course is to interpret Heydrich's words literally. If it claimed that what he said on 6 February 1942 in Prague was not meant literally but was simply a euphemism for murder, that would need to be proved conclusively.

The early Bolshevik regime in Russia sent many GPU men to the north of Russia to guard the prisoners in the camps there. It was not sending the GPU to the camps to murder them; it was sending them there to do a guarding job.

Likewise, there is no reason to believe that the proposal to send Czechs to the White Sea region to guard Jews was an attempt to kill them. The Czech guards would have survived, just as the GPU guards sirvived, or the German guards at other camps.
Last edited by michael mills on 09 Feb 2004 04:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by alf » 08 Feb 2004 05:53

This subject cannot be treated in a vacumn as Michael has tried to enclose it, citing two examples and deliberately ignoring all other factors around it. ie Goering's order to Heydrich in 1941
TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 710-PS
Source:Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume III USGPO, Washington, 1946/pp.525-526
Goering Order to Heydrich Concerning the finding of a
"solution of the Jewish problem".


The Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich
Commissioner for the Four Year Plan
Chairman of the Ministerial Council for National Defense

Berlin, 31 July 1941

To: The Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service SS-Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich

Complementing the task that was assigned to you on 24 January 1939, which dealt with the carrying out of emigration and evacuation, a solution of the Jewish problem, as advantageous as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations in regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

Wherever other governmental agencies are involved, these are to cooperate with you. I charge you furthermore to send me, before long, an overall plan concerning the organizational, factual and material measures necessary for the accomplishment of the desired solution of the Jewish question.
http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/annihil2.htm

Heydrichs own statement at Wannsse,

Statement by Reinhard Heydrich at the Wannsee Conference, 20 January, 1942, Berlin

"To take the place of emigration, and with the prior approval of the führer, the evacuation of the Jews to the East has become another possible solution.

Although both courses of action [emigration and evacuation] must, of course, be considered as nothing more than … temporary expedients, they do help to provide practical experience which should be of great importance in view of the coming Endlösung (final solution) of the Jewish question." (quoted in A J Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken: The "Final Solution" in History. London: Verso, 1990, p. 304
)

http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/statements.htm

Taking these things in context ie removing them from the artifical vacumn deliberatley created, there are key indicators prior to Wannsee.
Nazi leadership mentioned the possibility of exterminating European Jewry, even before the outbreak of the war. The most famous of these articulations was made by Hitler on January 30th 1939 in a speech at the Reichstag. Following the occupation of Poland in 1939, various proposals for segregating the Jews were raised including: concentrating European Jewry in a special "reservation" near Nisko, in the Lublin district, or, alternatively, deporting them en masse to the island of Madagascar in East Africa. The state of war made such large scale plans impossible to implement and therefore Jews were confined to ghettos, but these were always thought of as a temporary measure. The decision to kill all the Jews of Europe was formulated in late 1941 and a setting was created for the start of the mass murder, which eventually became more systematic.

This included the deportation of the Jews from the German Reich to the East (beginning in October 1941),

the initial construction of the Belzec Death Camp (November 1941),

the beginning of the murder of Jews in Chelmno (December 1941),
and coordinating the apparatus of mass murder at the Wannsee Conference (January 1942).
(bold print and spacings are my own) http://www.yadvashem.org/Odot/prog/inde ... ?gate=2-29

These factors indicate that the Nazis clearly had a range of options open to them in 1941 and genocide was one of them and they were actively experimenting.

The quote below which is long and horrific shows Nazi policy late 1941, including the burying alive of wounded victims, they are primary Germman document sources.
TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1104-PS
Source:Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume III USGPO, Washington, 1946/pp.783-789
Correspondence and Report Concerning the Aktion of Police Battalion 11 in Sluzk
27 October 1941
http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/annihil1.htm

Going back to Heydrich in 1939, the orders below are ambigous but as the Einsatgruppen did carry out mass murder, the inference to a final solution then would seem to be in line with the Holocaust. If the intent was to simply move them into ghettos then death squads were unnecessary (especially why be ambigous to men who buried wounded alive?? refer above).
Reinhard Heydrich's Instructions to Einsatzgruppen leaders, 21 September, 1939

During and following the invasion of Poland, special tasks concerning control of the occupied Polish population, both Christian and Jewish, were entrusted to special SS units known as Einsatzgruppen, or task forces, of which there were, during the period preceding the invasion of the Soviet Union, five. A significant set of instructions to their commanders was issued by Reinhard Heydrich, SS-Lieutenant-General and head of the Reich Main Security Office, on September 27, 1939. Their significance lay in the setting out of a policy for concentrating the Jews in particular locations in preparation for some subsequent and unspecified "final goal" relating to their eventual disposition. The instructions stipulated that

"A distinction must be made between:

the final goal (which will require a lengthy period) and
the stages toward the achievement of this final goal (which can be carried out on a short-term basis).
… The following instructions and directives serve simultaneously the purpose of encouraging the chiefs of the Einsatzgruppen to reflect on the practical issues.

The first preliminary measure for achieving the final goal is the concentration of the Jews from the countryside in the larger cities. It must be speedily implemented. … as few concentration points as possible should be established so that only those cities are designated which are either railway junctions or at least lie on a railway line. As a matter of principle, Jewish communities of under 500 are to be dissolved and transferred to the nearest concentration city. …

It must be ensured that the economic exploitation of the occupied territories does not suffer as a result of these measures." (quoted in J Noakes and G Pridham (eds.) Nazism 1919-1945: A Documentary Reader. Vol. 3 Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1988, pp.1051-1053
As for Eichmann's words, they date from his rather incompetent interrogation by the Israeli police. He may have been trying to exculpate hilself by claiming that all the other officials were talking about killing. But no other participant who survived to be interrogated claimed that extermination was discussed at the conference
As to Eichmanns trial, I query the assertion of Israeli incompetence, perhaps Michael can elaborate (with primary sources) for our edification. Here are the complete transcripts for anyone who wishes to read them

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eic ... /Sessions/

Of course the equally valid interpretation of the facts may be that the other survivors themselves lied to try and save their lives.

After all they did oversee mass genocide, the pre-exisiting death camps, the trialing of Zyklon B ( In September 1941 on Russian prisoners) all these facts added together would lead them to the gallows, so they had a far greater reason to lie than Eichmann.

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Post by michael mills » 09 Feb 2004 05:22

Alf wrote:
This subject cannot be treated in a vacumn as Michael has tried to enclose it, citing two examples and deliberately ignoring all other factors around it. ie Goering's order to Heydrich in 1941
I fear Alf is doing what he accuses me of, ie taking a number of items, such as Goering's order, in isolation, and drawing conclusions from them without regard to the context.

There is nothing in Goering's order to Heydrich of 31 July 1941 that suggests a program of mass killing. It refers back to the task assigned to Heydrich in January 1939, to organise the emigration and evacuation of Jews from the German Reich as it then was (ie including Austria), and extends that task to the whole of the German sphere of influence in Europe.

The only change brought about by the order of 31 July 1941 was to broaden the geographic scope of the task, not of changing its nature from emigration and evacuation to physical destruction. Since the task assigned in January 1939, which did not involve killing but rather emigration and evacuation from the German Reich, was defined as a "solution of the Jewish problem", and the task assigned on 31 July 1941, was similarly defined as a "complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe", it is logical to conclude that the broadened task involved the same methods as the original task, ie emigration and evacuation.

As for Heydrich's words at Wannsee quoted by Alf, there is nothing in them to suggest that the phrase "the coming final solution of the Jewish question" indicated physical extermination. In fact, since emigration and evacuation were to provide the practical experience for the "final solution", the logical conclusion is that the "final solution" was to be similar to emigration and evacuation, most probably removal from the continent of Europe and transfer to other continents after the end of the war.

The other items listed by Alf are not conclusive in indicating an agreed extrerminatory program;

1. Deportation of German Jews to East starting October 1941:

That was intended to take place after the German victory, but was brought forward by an order from Hitler in September, after he had been informed of the Soviet deportation of the Volga Germans. It was a deportation, nothing more.

2. Initial construction of the Belzec death camp:

As I have shown ad nauseam, if only alf and others would care to check, Belzec camp was first built as a transit camp before December 1939, and was then converted into a labour camp. At what point it was converted into a killing centre is uncertain; since the first gassing took place there in March 1942, it is unlikely that the conversion took place six months earlier.

3. The beginning of the murder of the Jews in Chelmno:

As I have shown ad nauseam, if only alf would care to check, that was a local action undertaken on the initiative of Greiser, with the permission of Himmler, for the purpose of killing 100,000 unemployable jews, about one-third of all the Jews in the Reichsgau Wartheland. It was a severe cull, not an extermination.

4. Action at Slutzk:

The slaughters of Soviet Jews were directed specifically at that group, considered to be the underpinning of the Bolshevik system, and were in part a reaction to the revelation of Soviet crimes. They were not intended to apply to Jews in other lands.

5. Heydrich's words on 21 September 1939:

Heydrich merely commanded that the Jews of the German Zone of occupation in Poland should be concentrated in large centres so that they could be easily transported away at the end of the war. At that stage, the German Government was thinking in terms of transporting all the Jews in its sphere of influence to some destination outside Europe; very soon thereafter Madagascar was suggested. That was the "final goal" of which Heydrich spoke.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 09 Feb 2004 07:08

michael mills wrote:Responses to Sergey Romanov:
1) SLON = "Solovetskij Lager' Osobogo Naznachenija" (or "Solovetskije Lagerya Osobogo Naznachenija"). It's can't be translated as "elephant" camp, it was never called "slonovyj lager'".
Incorrect. The title of the organisation was "Severnye Lageria Osobogo Naznacheniia" = Northern Camps of Special Designation.

There were several camps in the taiga of northern Russia. Solovetskii, on an island in the White Sea, was just one of them. There were other camps in for example the Pechora region.
You got it completely wrong. SLON was exclusive name for Solovetskij camp.
You can check it out here if you know Russian:

http://www.memo.ru/history/NKVD/GULAG/index.htm

SLON means Solovetskij Lager' Osobogo Naznachenija according to Jurij Brodskij's "Solovki. Dvadtsat' let osobogo naznachenija" (http://www.auditorium.ru/books/2409/) and according to "Sistema ispravitel'no trudovykh lagerej v SSSR" by M. B. Smirnov et al. (http://www.memo.ru/history/NKVD/GULAG/index.htm).

I found only one authoritative source that agrees with your version, but which also states that SLON is Solovetskij camp and nothing else - "Spravochnik po GULAGu" (http://www.solovki.ru/history24.html). This source seems to be wrong for the reasons given below.

The book by Smirnov gives the following alternative abbreviatures and names for SLON: Solovetskij Lager' prinuditel'nykh rabot osobogo naznachenija OGPU, SLAG, Solovetskije i Karelo-Murmanskije Lagerya, SKMITL. In the footnote they say that the camp was founded as SLON (GARF f. 5446, op. 1d, l. 31, 43), and in the beginning of 1924 the double name was also used "Severnyje (Solovetskije) Lagerya OGPU".

Severnyje Lagerya OGPU Osobogo Naznachenija (http://www.memo.ru/history/NKVD/GULAG/r3/r3-305.htm), on the other hand, were never called "SLON", but USEVLON, Sevlag or SEVLON.
The camps were referred to as "SLON", which means "elephant".
Wrong. It doesn't mean "elephant" for one simple reason - it is an abbreviation. Admittedly, a symbolic one (even more symbolic was prison STON - Solovetskaja tyur'ma osobogo naznacheniha, "ston" = moan). But you don't translate abbreviations, so there were no "elephant camps".
What Heydrich said is relevant, because it was planned to transport Jews to the White Sea.
Evidence?
As for Eichmann's words, they date from his rather incompetent interrogation by the Israeli police. He may have been trying to exculpate hilself by claiming that all the other officials were talking about killing. But no other participant who survived to be interrogated claimed that extermination was discussed at the conference, and there is absolutely no reason why Himmler would have revealed a secret extermination plan to bureaucrats who did not need to know about it.
Do you have anything to contradict THHP, when they write:

http://www.holocaust-history.org/short- ... nsee.shtml
Years later, Ministerial Director of the Reich Chancellery, Friedrich Kritzinger and Adolf Eichmann described in detail everything that had occurred at the Wannsee conference and acknowledged the criminal nature of the gathering.
?

Besides, it looks just like an euphemism for murder of "ungermanizable" (Untermensch) Czechs.
The most reasonable course is to interpret Heydrich's words literally.
I don't see why.
The early Bolshevik regime in Russia sent many GPU men to the north of Russia to guard the prisoners in the camps there. It was not sending the GPU to the camps to murder them; it was sending them there to do a guarding job.
Now, if we begin to argue by analogies, then Polish officers weren't killed at Katyn and elsewhere by NKVD, because in internal documents NKVD talked about the such innocent things as "unloading of camps". According to Soviets, Poles were sent to build some roads. Perhaps if it's true for Jews, it's true for Poles? ;]
Likewise, there is no reason to believe that the proposal to send Czechs to the White Sea region to guard Jews was an attempt to kill them.
To the contrary. Would ungermanizable - and thus "inferior" Czech make good guards? ;]
I don't have a reason to doubt Eichmann about the Wannsee conference, thus we can assume that they did talk about killing and Heydrich's words can be easily explained as an euphemism. Nazis liked such euphemisms - they talked about sending Jews to cultivate Pripet marshes, and oh, did they send them! Jews were "cultivating" these marshes with their dead bodies.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 09 Feb 2004 07:54

Until documentary evidence is produced that there were plans to send Jews to the White Sea, Heydrich's words must be regarded as euphemism.
One can't take them literally anyway. How many Czechs would be ungermanized? Millions? Then millions will be sent to guard Jews? What if all will be germanized? Who will guard Jews? What if women, children and old people would be ungermanized? Will they be sent to guard Jews? Sorry, it's nonsense. It's an obvious euphemism for murder.

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Post by Vadim » 09 Feb 2004 08:52

Way to go, Michael, argue with a native Russian speaker about Russian abbreviations. I am a native Russian speaker too and I can tell you that Sergey is absolutely correct, S in SLON is for Solovetskiy and these camps were NEVER referred to in Russian as "elephant camps". And of course abbreviations are not translated, so it cant be referred to as "elephant camp" in English either. You got a faulty source, accept it, move on.

Sergey, good to see you here, BTW.

Vadim /Rutger/ :wink:

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Post by michael mills » 09 Feb 2004 13:28

I read about SLON in a book about the history of the Cheka; it said that SLON was the acronyn for "Severnye Lageria Osobogo Naznacheniia", and that it means "elephant". When SLON was talked about, it was actually pronounced as a word, ie the speakers were saying the Russian word for "elephant", rather than spelling the letters out, as in SSSR.

I will continue to trust what was written in that scholarly work, in preference to what somebody tells me on an internet forum.

Furthermore, the interpretation as "NORTHERN Special Purpose Camps" makes sense, since the book showed that there was a large number of camps in the frozen north, of which Solovetskii was only one, if the most notorious.

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Post by michael mills » 09 Feb 2004 13:41

Sergey Romanov wrote:
Until documentary evidence is produced that there were plans to send Jews to the White Sea, Heydrich's words must be regarded as euphemism.
I suggest reading the book "The Final Solution" by Götz Aly. In that book a good summary is presented of the fragmentary evidence for the plan to deport Jews to the White Sea region.

If Sergey Romanov looks back to my original post, he will see that Goebbels referred to the plan in his diary. It certainly existed.

Although the evidence for the plan is fragmentary, the paperwork having largely disappeared, it is no more fragmentary than the surviving documentation of the planning of the Globocnik camps. The latter seem more real to us, since they actually happened, and so our lack of knowledge of the process by which they were planned does not matter so much.


Sorry, it's nonsense. It's an obvious euphemism for murder.
Obvious only to a closed mind. There is far more to history than the version peddled in Soviet-Bloc historiography.

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Post by Sergey Romanov » 09 Feb 2004 17:50

> I will continue to trust what was written in that scholarly work, in preference to what somebody tells me on an internet forum.

You've been given _3_ native scholarly sources, at least one of them based on archival research. You could have checked them yourself or you could have asked someone who knows Russian to check them. You did neither. All is clear about you.

> Furthermore, the interpretation as "NORTHERN Special Purpose Camps" makes sense, since the book showed that there was a large number of camps in the frozen north, of which Solovetskii was only one, if the most notorious.

Apples and oranges. Severnyje Lagerya Osobogo Naznachenija (USEVLON, Sevlag, SEVLON; this includes Pechyory) is entirely different thing from Solovetskij Lager' Osobogo Naznachenija (SLON, SLAG, SKMITL).

> If Sergey Romanov looks back to my original post, he will see that Goebbels referred to the plan in his diary. It certainly existed.

Diary again? There are good reasons not to put murder plans on paper, so we shouldn't necessarily expect official documents clearly talking about policy of extermination. But with mere deportation to the White Sea there is no barrier to officially document it. So where are all the documents?

> I suggest reading the book "The Final Solution" by Gotz Aly. In that book a good summary is presented of the fragmentary evidence for the plan to deport Jews to the White Sea region.

I have this chapter from Aly's book. That's Goebbels' diary, Heydrich's speech, Buehler's interrogation (before the Wannsee protocol was found), and Walter Foehl's letter. At this late stage Aly regards them as mere camouflage, just as I do. "White Sea" is but a soundbite, you have to show that it ever had any substance. Aly talks in more detail about Pripet marshes (and cites an example of Jews sent to Belzec, to cultivate these marshes, no less!), and it might be that at some earlier stage these plans were serious.

> Obvious only to a closed mind. There is far more to history than the version peddled in Soviet-Bloc historiography.

I see, you failed to answer my questions about Czechs.

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