Heydrich's definition of "Endlösung".

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Heydrich's definition of "Endlösung".

Post by michael mills » 18 May 2004 04:19

In 1941, Heydrich published an article "Der Anteil der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD an den Ordnungsmaßnahmen im mitteleuropäischen Raum" (The Role of the Security Police and SD in the Measures for Order in the Middle-European Area) in the periodical "Böhmen und Mähren", Heft 5 / 1941.

On page 176 of that publication he listed the first measures undertaken by Sipo and SD in the "Altreich" for achieving internal security. These included:
Erfassung und Bekämpfung des Judentums mit der schon fast gelungenen Endlösung, das Judentum zur Auswanderung zu bringen [Hervorhebung von mir], die Auflösung aller staatsfeindlichen Parteien......, die Ueberwachung der sogenannten Immigranten.....und die Verfolgung der Emigranten......, ferner die Ueberwachung und Bekämpfung von Sabotage, Terror und Spionage.

My translation: Registration and combatting of Jewry, including the final solution of making the Jews emigrate, which has already almost succeeded [my emphasis], the dissolution of all parties hostile to the State......., the surveillance of so-called immigrants......and the prosecution of emigrants......., further the surveillance and combatting of sabotage, terror and espionage.
The above extract of Heydrich's article is quoted, along with other extracts, on page 607 of the book "Die Gestapo im Zweiten Weltkrieg", edited by Gerhard Paul and Klaus-Michael Mallmann.

The extract shows that in 1941 Heydrich understood under the formula "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" the compulsory emigration of all Jews. It also shows that he considered that the "Final Solution" had almost been achieved in the "Altreich" (= Germany in its borders of 1937).

Accordingly, the occurrence of the word "Endlösung" in relation to Jews in official German documents cannot be taken as proof of the prior existence of a German Government plan to exterminate all Jews in its power.

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Post by Rob - wssob2 » 18 May 2004 05:18

Canadian neo-Nazi and noted revisionist Ernst Zundel says something similar on his website:
It is true that the words "Endlösung" or "Final Solution" were used in reference to the Jews. So what? Does that prove anything? Does that mean "extermination"?
see http://www.zundelsite.org/english/101/english1015.html

Herr Zundel does not belive that the term "Endlösung" implied any murderous intent on the part of the Nazis towards the Jews.

On page http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/statements.htm of Dr. Stuart Steins "Web Genocide Documentation Centre" there's a Heydrich quote from the 20 January, 1942 Wannsee Conference:
"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)
In the quote above Heydrich is pretty clear that the previous "expedients" of emigration and evacuation were temporary measures to be superceded by an upcoming "Final Solution".

It also seems pretty clear to me that the Nazi term "Endlösung" implied an extermination campaign. What isn't clear to me is why you are attempting to buttress an argument that "denies" the term implied any murderous, criminal and permanent intent.

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Post by David Thompson » 18 May 2004 08:20

Michael -- You cited to a quotation from RSHA commander Heydrich's article on The Role of the Security Police and SD in the Measures for Order in the Middle-European Area, which was published in the periodical "Böhmen und Mähren", Heft 5 / 1941. Heydrich's article referred to the
Registration and combatting of Jewry, including the final solution of making the Jews emigrate, which has already almost succeeded
. From this, you concluded that
The extract shows that in 1941 Heydrich understood under the formula "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" the compulsory emigration of all Jews. It also shows that he considered that the "Final Solution" had almost been achieved in the "Altreich" (= Germany in its borders of 1937).

Accordingly, the occurrence of the word "Endlösung" in relation to Jews in official German documents cannot be taken as proof of the prior existence of a German Government plan to exterminate all Jews in its power.
Here are some observations:

(1) Is is acknowledged that no one was aware of any murder order in Jan and Feb 1941. That's why, on 5 Feb 1941, Heydrich, wrote a memorandum describing the "later total solution to the Jewish problem" as a process of deporting Jews in German-occupied areas, by "sending them off to whatever country will be chosen later on." (Marrus/Paxton 10). That's also why, on 15 Feb 1941, Heydrich told Martin Luther, of the German Foreign Ministry, that "after the conclusion of peace, they [the interned Jews in German-occupied Europe] will be the first transport to leave Fortress Europe in the total evacuation of the continent that we plan." (Marrus/Paxton 10)

Consequently, if Heydrich wrote the article in very early 1941 for publication by the "Böhmen und Mähren" in May ["Heft 5 / 1941"], the statements might have been true, when written.

(2) However, by Mar 1941, according to the later testimony of Reichsamtsleiter Viktor Brack, an official in the German Reich Chancellory, "It was no secret in higher [Nazi] party circles that the Jews were to be exterminated." On 13 Mar 1941, Heydrich met with Generalmajor Eduard Wagner, the Chief of Staff of the Army Quartermaster Corps, to coordinate the cooperation of the military with SS-RSHA Einsatzgruppe units in the upcoming invasion of the Soviet Union. (Hoehne 401).

Also, we know that on 20 May 1941 SS-Brigadefuehrer Dr. Walter Schellenberg, acting for Heydrich, warned all German consulates that overseas Jewish emigration from France and Belgium was banned "in view of the undoubtedly imminent final solution of the Jewish question." (Holo Levin 300; Fleming 44-5)

Consequently, Heydrich's statement was almost certainly not true by the time the article was published.

(3) If there been a murder order in existence when Heydrich wrote the article, it was top secret (as were the later Einsatzgruppe situational reports Heydrich requested). I think it is reasonable to conclude that Heydrich would not have given the information as a "scoop" to the periodical "Böhmen und Mähren."

For these reasons, I think your conclusion:
Accordingly, the occurrence of the word "Endlösung" in relation to Jews in official German documents cannot be taken as proof of the prior existence of a German Government plan to exterminate all Jews in its power
needs some qualification to keep it from being misleading.

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...

Post by Michael Miller » 18 May 2004 14:06

Excellent post, David. Yes, among other things the fact that Heydrich wrote this article prior to Operation Barbarossa is very significant. The operations of the Einsatzgruppen give a pretty clear indication that things had progressed beyond a simple desire for Jewish emigration.

~ Mike

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Post by michael mills » 18 May 2004 14:08

Consequently, Heydrich's statement was almost certainly not true by the time the article was published.
I think the above a very sweeping statement unjustified by the evidence.

Heydrich said that the "final solution" had been almost achieved in Germany itself through making the Jews emigrate. There is no reason to believe that he himself did not consider that to be a true statement.

It is clear that what he meant by "final solution" when he wrote the article was the removal of the Jewish population of a country; in Germany that had been almost achieved through forced emigration. He may have exaggerated the degree of success, since about half the Jewish population of Germany still remained, but he clearly regarded emigration as a measure for achieving the "final solution".

It follows that the term "final solution" simply meant the reduction of the Jewish population by any means, and did not necessarily imply physical extermination.

The post-war testimony of Brack is not conclusive. He may well have been mistaken about the date. or he may have extrapolated it back in time, or he may have been deliberately misleading in order to provide some sort of cover for his own involvement in the euthanasia program.

I would think a statement actually published by Heydrich in May 1941 is to be preferred to a statement made by Brack in 1945 purporting to represent the situation in 1941.

Nor do I think Heydrich's negotiations with the Wehrmacht in March 1941 over the role of the Einsatzgruppen in the coming invasion of the Soviet Union invalidate what he said about the "final solution" a few months later.

To understand what the role of the Einsatzgruppen was that Heydrich negotiated with the Wehrmacht, we need to look at the orders he actually issued to the Einsatzgruppen when they started their mission. Among other security and intelligence-related tasks, the Einsatzgruppen were given the task of summary execution of certain groups of personnel considered dangerous enemies. Those groups to be summarily executed included to categories of Jews:

1. Jews in high State and Party positions; and

2. Jews in the Red Army.

It is clear that the Einsatzgruppen were not at the outset given the task of reducing the Jewish population in the conquered areas by massacring it en masse; their role was to neutralise specific target groups of enemies.

When the Einsatzgruppen, and before them police task forces under the command of the HSSPFs, did eventually go over to carrying out large-scale massacres, wiping out entire Jewish populations of particular localities, that was a new development resulting from the situation on the ground.

The actual course of events on the Russian Front does not support the notion that an order for a general massacre of the Jewish population in the Soviet Union had been issued. (If you read the book I was quoting from, you will see that the most recent research indicates that the extermination of the Jewish population had not been ordered at the time of the german invasion). Therefore, there was nothing misleading or false in Heydrich's statement in May 1940 that the "final solution" was then being achieved through emigration.

As for the banning of Jewish emigration from France and Belgium in May 1941, it should be noted that such emigration from all of German-occupied Europe was not banned until October of that year. In other words, Jewish emigration from Germany itself was able to continue after May of that year. The most likely reason for banning Jewish emigration from France and belgium while still permitting it from Germany was to reserve the few remaining opportunities for such emigration for Jews from Germany; after all, from the point of view of the German Government the imperative was to reduce the number of Jews in Germany, rather to reduce the number of Jews in France and Belgium.

As I said, Heydrich's published statement indicates that "final solution" meant reducing the number of Jews in an area, preferably to zero, and forcing them to emigrate was one means of achieving that end. But it was not the only means. Once the invasion of the Soviet Union had been decided on, the possibility opened up of dumping the remaining Jews of Germany and of other countries under German occupation into the territories expected to be conquered from the Soviet Union. That is most probably what Schellenberg meant; given that the actual course of events attendant on the invasion of the Soviet Union indicates the unlikelihood that a general extermination order had been given as of May 1941, it is unlikely that Schellenberg's reference to the "undoubtedly imminent final solution of the Jewish question" meant general extermination.

Finally, I do not think that my conclusion is at all misleading, if it is read with an open mind without trying to put some preconceived spin on it.

I concluded that the formula "final solution" is not in itself indicative of a prior German Government plan to exterminate all the jews in its power. Let me illustrate that point.

There are those who contend that the phrase "final solution" was a code-word for mass murder. Therefore, they claim that wherever that phrase turns up in German documents it indicates the existence of an extermination plan, and that if the phrase appears in documents of 1940 or 1939, it must mean that the German Government had such a plan dating from those years.

However, since Heydrich stated that forced emigration was a means of achieving the "final solution", it is obvious that the phrase cannot be interpreted as a simple code-word for killing, and must always be interpreted in context.

Rob-WSSOB asks me
why you are attempting to buttress an argument that "denies" the term implied any murderous, criminal and permanent intent.
I am trying to determine the historical truth about what the term "final solution" meant in general terms on the basis of contemporary documents, rather than on the basis of what people like Brack and Hoeß claimed in self-serving post-war testimony. Such a document shows that for Heydrich, as at may 1941, forced emigration was one means of achieving the "final solution", and that the "final solution" had been almost achieved in Germany by that means.

History shows that mass-killing was eventually resorted to as one way of achieving the aim of making Germany and German-controlled Europe "Jew-free". But the term "final solution" did not necessarily mean mass-killing, and was not a code-word for it.

And I consider the attempt to smear me by linking me with Zundel to be rather sleazy, and indicative of a lack of cogent arguments. Did Zundel base his conclusion, whatever it was, on a contemporary German document, as I have done?

I note that those who claim a general German Government intent and plan to physically exterminate the Jewish population of Europe like to explain away any German documentary evidence running counter to that claim on the basis that it was camouflage, or that Hitler/Himmler/Heydrich was lying. I think it better historiographical practice to accept the documentary evidence on its face value, and try to determine what that evidence tells us about German Government intentions and plans at particular points in time and at particular locations.

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Post by David Thompson » 18 May 2004 17:49

Michael --

(1) You said:
I would think a statement actually published by Heydrich in May 1941 is to be preferred to a statement made by Brack in 1945 purporting to represent the situation in 1941.
As I pointed out in my post, if one assumes Heydrich wrote the article in Jan or Feb 1941, both statements can be accepted as true.

(2) You also stated:
Heydrich said that the "final solution" had been almost achieved in Germany itself through making the Jews emigrate. There is no reason to believe that he himself did not consider that to be a true statement.
As I have already pointed out, that would depend on when in 1941 Heydrich made the statement. It might well have been true in Jan-Feb 1941. It was certainly not true by the end of that year.

(3) Do you believe that the Nazis intended during all of 1941 that the final solution of the Jewish question was to be reached through emigration? If so, what is your explanation for the fact that, on 20 May 1941 SS-Brigadefuehrer Dr. Walter Schellenberg, acting for Heydrich, warned all German consulates that overseas Jewish emigration from France and Belgium was banned "in view of the undoubtedly imminent final solution of the Jewish question"? (My emphasis. Holo Levin 300; Fleming 44-5)

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Post by Earldor » 18 May 2004 20:03

michael mills wrote:It follows that the term "final solution" simply meant the reduction of the Jewish population by any means, and did not necessarily imply physical extermination.
And the question is when the Final Solution began to mean exclusively physical extermination.
Nor do I think Heydrich's negotiations with the Wehrmacht in March 1941 over the role of the Einsatzgruppen in the coming invasion of the Soviet Union invalidate what he said about the "final solution" a few months later.
And
To understand what the role of the Einsatzgruppen was that Heydrich negotiated with the Wehrmacht, we need to look at the orders he actually issued to the Einsatzgruppen when they started their mission. Among other security and intelligence-related tasks, the Einsatzgruppen were given the task of summary execution of certain groups of personnel considered dangerous enemies. Those groups to be summarily executed included to categories of Jews:

1. Jews in high State and Party positions; and

2. Jews in the Red Army.

It is clear that the Einsatzgruppen were not at the outset given the task of reducing the Jewish population in the conquered areas by massacring it en masse; their role was to neutralise specific target groups of enemies.
Christopher Browning "Fateful Months", p.18-19:

"All the testimony of these men (EK, SK commanders. My comment.) agreed that these men were subjected to a series of speeches and orientation meetings in Pretzsch and Berlin (May 1941. My comment.) prior to the invasion, in which Heydrich and Streckenbach discussed the coming operation of the EG at least in the general terms of an ideological struggle against Bolshevism and its (Supposed. My comment.) biological progenitor - the Ostjuden - as well as of the necessity for comprehensive "preventive" measures against all "potential" enemies. Clearly the EG could kill whom they wished; but did they know from the beginning whom they should kill? The hopelessly conflicting testimony cannot clarify when and where explicit reference to killing all Jews was made. Whatever the case, I would argue that these preinvasion sessions should not be seen as mere "precursors" of a later destruction order, as Streim sees them, but as the key point at which Heydrich conveyed to the EG officers what was expected of them. Each commander had considerable latitude to prove himself, to test the limits of local army tolerance of and cooperation with the mass murders, to incite local pogroms and enlist local collaboration, and to "ease" his men into their task."

p. 19 quoting EG A CO Stahlecker (15.10. 1941):

"It was expected from the start that the Jewish problem in the Ostland would not be solved solely through pogroms. On the other hand, the security police cleansing work had according to basic orders (gemäss grundsätzlichen Befehlen) the goal of the most complete removal possible (möglichst umfassende Beseitigung) of the Jews. Extensive executions in the cities and flat lands were therefore carried out through special units."

p. 19-20 quoting EK 2 CO Lange (Jan 1942):

"The goal that the EK 2 had in mind from the beginning was a radical solution to the Jewish problem through the execution of all Jews." (emphasis in all the quotes by the author)
When the Einsatzgruppen, and before them police task forces under the command of the HSSPFs, did eventually go over to carrying out large-scale massacres, wiping out entire Jewish populations of particular localities, that was a new development resulting from the situation on the ground.
The EG A had killed 118 430 Jews by mid-October 1941... The EG troops didn't ask the Jews whether they were party members or not, by August 1941 they killed basically all the Jews they came upon regardless of age or sex. What kind of a "situation on the ground" warrants such action?
Therefore, there was nothing misleading or false in Heydrich's statement in May 1940 that the "final solution" was then being achieved through emigration.
May 1940 or 1941? There is a difference as David and Rob have stated. From the rest of your message I take it that you mean May 1941. That is exactly the time the EG officers were being briefed about their mission. Heydrich was the man responsible for the indoctrination of these troops, so it would be a bit strange if he didn't know what was going on.

As you most likely agree, Hitler viewed the war against Russia a special case; an ideological conflict. The Ostjuden were considered to be the germ that he was fighting against. He didn't need party membership to prove his prejudices, nor did his cronies.

The way emigration was handled in the west is neither here nor there in relation to this. It is inconceivable and against the available evidence to claim that Heydrich had not been privy to this knowledge.
There are those who contend that the phrase "final solution" was a code-word for mass murder.


And you don't? Even in documents and references from 1942 onwards?
Therefore, they claim that wherever that phrase turns up in German documents it indicates the existence of an extermination plan, and that if the phrase appears in documents of 1940 or 1939, it must mean that the German Government had such a plan dating from those years.
I don't think that anyone wants to claim that the meaning of the "Final Solution" didn't change during the war, but we are talking about 1941, the crucial year when the extermination order was given.

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Post by michael mills » 18 May 2004 22:30

David Thompson asked:
(3) Do you believe that the Nazis intended during all of 1941 that the final solution of the Jewish question was to be reached through emigration? If so, what is your explanation for the fact that, on 20 May 1941 SS-Brigadefuehrer Dr. Walter Schellenberg, acting for Heydrich, warned all German consulates that overseas Jewish emigration from France and Belgium was banned "in view of the undoubtedly imminent final solution of the Jewish question"? (My emphasis. Holo Levin 300; Fleming 44-5)
Until October of that year, emigration remained open as a possibility for reducing the number of Jews in Germany, and until May it remained open for the Jews of Belgium and France, at least to the limited extent that emigration was possible under wartime conditions.

After October, emigration overseas was officially banned. Deportation into the areas conquered from the Soviet Union was now seen as the main means of achieving the "final solution" in the German sphere of influence in Europe, that is to remove the Jews entirely from that sphere.

But throughout the war, the possibility of a mass movement of Jews out of the German sphere was never entirely excluded. The "Jews for trucks" offer made in May 1944 is the best-known proposal, but there were other such offers, for example Wisliceny's "Europa Plan" in 1942. The role of Werner Best, the Gestapo's chief ideologue, in precipitating the flight of Jews from Denmark in September 1943 may be seen as a hint to the Allies of the possibilities for a release of Jews in the context of peace negotiations.

It is a well-known historical fact that the British authorities were concerned that at any moment Germany would release a flood of Jewish refugees across the front lines, what the British referred to in documents as "extrusion".

And the meaning of Heydrich's published statement in 1941 is quite clear to those who read it with an open mind. He said that the "final solution" had almost succeeded in the "Altreich" (an exaggeration), and that compelling the Jews to emigrate had been the means of achieving it. Therefore, emigration was a means of achieving the state of being "Jew-free", which is what the term "final solution" indicated.

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Post by Karl » 18 May 2004 22:45

Several questions already enter my mind like: gassings already began by 41 at Auschwitz, another is Wannsee, another is the Hoess testimonies and I haven’t had coffee yet.

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Post by Dan » 19 May 2004 02:29

Karl wrote:Several questions already enter my mind like: gassings already began by 41 at Auschwitz, another is Wannsee, another is the Hoess testimonies and I haven’t had coffee yet.
Gassing of Jews in Poland in early '41?

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Post by michael mills » 19 May 2004 02:30

Well, have your coffee and start analysing.

The first experimental gassings at Auschwitz, which either occurred in September or December 1941 (historians differ on that point), were an activity connected with the program of weeding out "intolerable" Soviet POWs from the POW camps and sending them to concentration camps for "Sonderbehandlung" (= summary execution without judicial process). Groups of selected POWs had been sent to Auschwitz, where they were shot, as also was the practice at Dachau.

Some of the Auschwitz staff, having noticed the homicidal qualities of Zyklon-B from some accidents that had occurred durin g the fumigation of buildings in the camp, carried out some experiments with homicidal gassing as an alternative to shooting (it had the advantages of being more concealed, less noisy etc). However, those experiments had no connection with an assumed program of mass killing of Jews.

As for the Wannsee Conference, it took place on 20 January 1942, and its purpose was to gain acceptance by German Government ministries of Heydrich's sole authority in the area of Jewish policy. Heydrich did reveal to the assembled state secretaries a plan to deport the Jews of all German-occupied Europe into the territory conquered from the Soviet Union, although whether he revealed it to the extent suggested by the minutes is a matter of conjecture.

As for the Hoess memoirs, they were written in 1946, after the event, and they are obviously an interpretation of what happened in 1941 seen through the prism of subsequent events.

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Post by Karl » 19 May 2004 03:04

michael mills wrote:Well, have your coffee and start analysing.
Alright then. Am on it but at first glance it seems you are looking through a specialized prism yourself.

Regards to all.

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Post by michael mills » 19 May 2004 03:31

My specialised prism is based on extensive reading, particularly on recent works by young German leftist historians, who are making revolutionary analyses of new material.

Karl, I think your prism may be based on some tired old works that have been shown to be mistaken by more recent analysis.

For example, have you read the book I referred to in my initial post? If not, I suggest you do; it contains a mine of fascinating information about all facets of the Gestapo during the war, and not only in relation to its involvement in anti-Jewish measures. For example, it explains the origin of the practice of "Sonderbehandlung", what exactly it was, how it operated, and what the rules and regulations for applying it were.

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Re: Heydrich's definition of "Endlösung".

Post by Karl » 19 May 2004 14:13

michael mills wrote:In 1941, Heydrich published an article "Der Anteil der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD an den Ordnungsmaßnahmen im mitteleuropäischen Raum" (The Role of the Security Police and SD in the Measures for Order in the Middle-European Area) in the periodical "Böhmen und Mähren", Heft 5 / 1941.

On page 176 of that publication he listed the first measures undertaken by Sipo and SD in the "Altreich" for achieving internal security. These included:
Erfassung und Bekämpfung des Judentums mit der schon fast gelungenen Endlösung, das Judentum zur Auswanderung zu bringen [Hervorhebung von mir], die Auflösung aller staatsfeindlichen Parteien......, die Ueberwachung der sogenannten Immigranten.....und die Verfolgung der Emigranten......, ferner die Ueberwachung und Bekämpfung von Sabotage, Terror und Spionage.

My translation: Registration and combatting of Jewry, including the final solution of making the Jews emigrate, which has already almost succeeded [my emphasis], the dissolution of all parties hostile to the State......., the surveillance of so-called immigrants......and the prosecution of emigrants......., further the surveillance and combatting of sabotage, terror and espionage.
The above extract of Heydrich's article is quoted, along with other extracts, on page 607 of the book "Die Gestapo im Zweiten Weltkrieg", edited by Gerhard Paul and Klaus-Michael Mallmann.

The extract shows that in 1941 Heydrich understood under the formula "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" the compulsory emigration of all Jews. It also shows that he considered that the "Final Solution" had almost been achieved in the "Altreich" (= Germany in its borders of 1937).

Accordingly, the occurrence of the word "Endlösung" in relation to Jews in official German documents cannot be taken as proof of the prior existence of a German Government plan to exterminate all Jews in its power.
This is misleading because you base your argument on the misconception that these sonder [all such prefixes et al – you yourself admitted that Sonderbehandlung equals summary execution without judicial process - including terms such as endlösung and others: ‘load’, 'the number of pieces’, ‘the merchandise’ etc…] words have literal meaning when they do not. Examining a document in such a sterile way as you are proposing is like looking at a fly through a microscope and only observing the hairs and thus proclaiming it a forest stead of taking a step back and considering the whole being at macro level and realizing it is not a forest after all, but a fly, no matter how much the professor professes otherwise. Also, I have a nit-pick with your translation: ‘ferner’ in this context would be closer to the meaning of ‘at a distance’ IMO.
Accordingly, the occurrence of the word "Endlösung" in relation to Jews in official German documents cannot be taken as proof of the prior existence of a German Government plan to exterminate all Jews in its power.
It is impossible to prove or disprove your contention right now but we could wade through the evolution of the subtleties of words and language used by the instruments of the NSDAP.

Do you want me to go on or would you prefer to look at the trees?

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Post by walterkaschner » 20 May 2004 04:17

It seems to me that Michael Mills' point is precisely what he states it to be:
Accordingly, the occurrence of the word "Endlösung" in relation to Jews in official German documents cannot be taken as proof of the prior existence of a German Government plan to exterminate all Jews in its power.
Frankly, I don't see how one can quarrel with that conclusion, provided it is limited to the time frame prior to or at least severalweeks after Heydrich's article in Bohmen und Mähren appeared in May, 1941. The article was surely written several weeks earlier, and, as David Thompson points out, may have been, and IMHO probably was, true when written.

But of course it could also well be ( although I personally am not of this view as to this instance) that Heydrich was intent on masking the true nature of an extermination decision already made. But even if so, that does not detract from Michael Mills' proposition that the use of the term "Endlösung" may not always have the same connotation thoughout the "Thousand Year Reich".

But in any event, I believe that there surely soon came a time, and the exact time is to this day a topic of lively dispute, when the term "Endlösung" did connote a governmental decision to exterminate all European Jews, by working certain of them until they dropped, and for the others to kill them by whatever means seemed best suited to the task. And surely by sometime around mid-to late 1942 this was the acknowledged acceptance of the term thoughout the upper German hierarchy.

Regards, Kaschner

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