on the Einsatzgruppen

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fju
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on the Einsatzgruppen

Post by fju » 17 Aug 2002 02:47

Decoded Cables Revise History of Holocaust

German Police Implicated; British Knew

By Michael Dobbs
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 10 1996; Page A01
The Washington Post

The date was July 18, 1941, less than a month after Nazi Germany's Blitzkrieg attack on the Soviet Union. As was his custom, the German commander in the western Soviet republic of Belarus provided his superiors in Berlin with a daily update of the activities of the men under his command.


"In yesterday's cleansing action in Slonim, carried out by Police regiment center," wrote Erich von dem Baxh-Zelewski, in the dry, matter-of-fact tone of the German military bureaucrat, "1,153 Jewish plunderers were shot.

During the course of the next four years, tens of thousands of such reports would be filed, describing the methodically planned mass extermination of an entire people. But this particular report is remarkable for several reasons:

It is one of the earliest pieces of documentary evidence for what later became known as the Holocaust. It is new evidence that much of the killing was carried out by ordinary German police units, and not the elite SS. And it was intercepted and deciphered by British signals intelligence within three days of its original transmission.


The report from Bach-Zelewski is just one of hundreds of intercepted German cables recently declassified by the National Security Agency and now available in the reading room of the National Archives. More than half a century after the end of World War II, information is finally becoming available to scholars that shows in detail how ordinary German police and army units cooperated with elite SS brigades in carrying out Adolf Hitler's order to exterminate the Jews.


The intercepts, which were part of the top secret British code-breaking operation known as Ultra intercepts, also shed new light on the controversial question of what Western governments knew about the Holocaust. Some Holocaust researchers have accused Britain and the United States of withholding information about the mass killings of Jews until the discovery of the concentration camps at the end of the war.

"The extraordinary thing about these documents is that they contain new information both about the Holocaust itself and what the West knew about the Holocaust," said Richard Breitman, a professor of history at American University, who filed a Freedom of Information Act request for 1.3 million pages of German intercepts handed over to the NSA by the British.

The release of previously secret German reports on the early stages of the Holocaust follows the Russian decision last month to turn over 15,000 pages of documents covering the same period to the United States Holocaust Museum. The Russian documents are now being sorted and catalogued.


The new trove of documents, which include reports of the same events from the perspective of both executioners and victims, is likely to add significantly to knowledge about the early stages of the Holocaust. While considerable attention has been paid to certain Nazi atrocities in the Soviet Union, such as the execution of 32,771 Jews in the Ukrainian village of Babi Yar in October 1941, this stage of the Holocaust is not nearly as well documented as the death camps of Buchenwald and
Auschwitz, which began operating in 1942.

"The Holocaust began on Soviet soil," said Wesley Fisher, deputy director of research at the Holocaust Museum. "Up to now, however, this has been the unknown face of the Holocaust. The Germans did not keep records of everybody they were killing."


The newly released documents bolster the view that the Holocaust really got underway with Hitler's invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941. During the course of the next few months, hundreds of thousands of Jews were systematically executed by German units in large-scale mopping-up operations.

Historians who have worked on the Russian materials say that the total number of Holocaust victims may have to be revised up from the 6 million to 7 million estimated after the war. Breitman estimates that at least half a million Jews were killed in the Soviet Union during the six months prior to December 1941.


The intercepts discovered by Breitman cover relatively brief periods in July, August, and September 1941 when the British were able to read intercepted radio messages between German commanders in Russia and their superiors in Berlin. Even though they are fragmentary and incomplete, the messages make clear that massacres were taking place on a large scale. In a message to Berlin dated Aug. 7, 1941, which was decrypted a week later, Bach-Zelewski reported that "total number of executions in territory under my jurisdiction has now exceeded 30,000."


The documents also shatter the notion that it was only SS police units, the so-called "Einsatzgruppen," that were committing the atrocities. The new evidence shows that a key role in the extermination of Jews was carried out by the Order Police, municipal units whose activities have attracted relatively little attention from historians. According to Breitman, four times as many Order policemen as Einsatzgruppen commandos were involved in the first stage of the Holocaust.

Typical of the messages intercepted by the British is one dated Aug. 27, 1941, from the German commander in Ukraine, Friederich Jeckeln, which records that Order Police Battalion 320 shot 4,200 Jews near the town of Kamenets-Podolsk. Four days later, Jeckeln reported that the same battalion had executed a further 2,200 Jews.


Both Jeckeln and Bach-Zelewski filed their reports to the head of the Order Police, Kurt Daluege, and the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler.

Despite the documentary evidence that massacres of Jews were being carried out on Soviet territory, western governments were reluctant to publicize the atrocities. Senior officials in Britain and the United States were skeptical about reports from agents that the Nazis had embarked on a "final solution" of the "Jewish problem." As late as September 1944, a British diplomat argued against publicizing the atrocity stories on the grounds that it would compe officials to "waste a disproportionate amount of their time dealing with wailing Jews."

"There may have been some anti-Semitism [in the West], but this was not the decisive factor," said Walter Laqueur, author of "The Terrible Secret," one of the standard works on western knowledge of the Holocaust. "You needed a certain imagination to understand what was going on. The people who were analyzing intelligence reports were narrow-minded. They did not have the perspective that we have now. They wanted to know where a certain brigade was, and were not so much interested in reports of atrocities."


It is unclear when the British made their material available to the Americans. There was widespread intelligence-sharing between the two sides, particularly after the U.S. entry into the war in December 1941. The intercepts, which are stamped "Most Secret. To Be Kept Under Lock and Key: Never to Be Removed From the Office," have not been declassified in England.


The fragmentary German intercepts about massacres of Jews in the western Soviet Union are likely to be fleshed out in much greater detail by the 15,000 documents handed over to Holocaust researchers by the Russian government. These archives include reports by Soviet agents operating behind enemy lines, Russian translations of captured German archives, and interviews with eyewitnesses compiled by a Soviet war crimes commission at the end of the war.

Typical of the documents handed over to the Holocaust Museum is a report, signed by an SS leader in the Latvian town of Daugavpils, on the "annihilation" of 1,134 Jews in the town on Sept. 9, 1941. Another document reconstructs the mass executions that took place at Panari, near the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, in the summer and fall of 1941 in the weeks immediately after the Soviet invasion.


"They made us stand in front of a ditch, six metres deep by 35 metres long. The [German] soldiers stood in a line, shooting six people at a time," recalled Arbagem Blyazer, who survived a mass execution in October 1941 by throwing himself into the ditch the moment the first shots rang out and pretending he was dead. Blyazer told a Soviet war crimes commission that there were four large pits at Panari, each containing between 18,000 and 25,000 bodies.



Some disturbing parts in there; it's been six years and there does not seem to be too much backlash.

Franz

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Linlu
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Post by Linlu » 17 Aug 2002 15:21

Thanks for the article Fju,

Interesting stuff.

- Linlu :mrgreen:

fju
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Post by fju » 17 Aug 2002 20:52

-see next post-

fju
Last edited by fju on 18 Aug 2002 07:54, edited 1 time in total.

fju
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Post by fju » 17 Aug 2002 20:54

Linlu wrote:Thanks for the article Fju,

Interesting stuff.

- Linlu :mrgreen:


Thanks for the kind words, but I am only a scavenger in this case. However, this article was banned to me and I had to get in the backdoor.

I have another intriquing article on the origin of the Holocaust:

In the 1920s and '30s, the leader of the Arabs in Jewish Palestine (pre-Independence Israel) was theGrand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. He came to power by organizing systematic murders of Jews starting in 1921. Establishing relations with the Nazi Party of Germany in 1933, he devised an alternative to Hitler's plan to rid Germany of Jews by sending them to Jewish Palestine.


At a meeting in Berlin with Hitler himself on Nov. 21, 1941, al-Husseini persuaded the Führer that such a plan would result in a powerful independent Jewish state, and that a far better solution would be a Final one: Kill all Jews, in the millions, at extermination centers set up in Europe.


Two months after this meeting, the Holocaust had begun. Al-Husseini was granted his wish. It was a Moslem Arab who originated the idea of the Holocaust. At the Nuremberg Trials, Eichmann's deputy Dieter Wisliceny (subsequently executed as a war criminal) testified:



The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan. ... He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz.

Nevertheless, al-Husseini was never tried at Nuremberg, and was allowed to return to the Middle East. He spent the rest of his life organizing terror attacks - now with the help of the Soviets via a KGB agent named Yevgeni Primakov - against the Jews of Israel.

In 1964, he founded the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and turned its leadership over to his nephew, Mohammed Abder Rauf Arafat al-Kudwa al-Husseini, alias Yasser Arafat.

>>Put An End To It
By Dr. Jack Wheeler
Freedom Research Foundation NewsMax.com<<

If you want to read the entire article it is at

Put an End To It

Franz
Last edited by fju on 18 Aug 2002 05:19, edited 1 time in total.

Benjamin Fanjoy
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Post by Benjamin Fanjoy » 17 Aug 2002 22:03

Very interesting article.

fju
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Thank you

Post by fju » 18 Aug 2002 00:29

Benjamin Fanjoy wrote:Very interesting article.


As I just finished explaing to another member, some of the most interesting websites are found when you are looking for something bizarre
that you would never find using conventional search terms.

For instance I 'stumbled' across some information from the recently released British War Files about Nazi Sex Orgies and British Planning to Assassinate Hitler when looking for something completely unrelated (to me not the computer).

Regards,

Franz

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Benoit Douville
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Post by Benoit Douville » 18 Aug 2002 04:47

A Moslem Arab who originated the holocaust? Is this serious research?

fju
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Post by fju » 18 Aug 2002 04:54

Benoit Douville wrote:A Moslem Arab who originated the holocaust? Is this serious research?


The author's web-address is there, you have to check with him.

For my part I have heard rumours of the Mufti's activities. Why could it not be his influence that galvanized Hitler into action?

Franz

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Post by michael mills » 18 Aug 2002 06:22

Benoit Douville wrote:
A Moslem Arab who originated the holocaust? Is this serious research?


The author's web-address is there, you have to check with him.

For my part I have heard rumours of the Mufti's activities. Why could it not be his influence that galvanized Hitler into action?

Franz


The whole thesis sounds like Israeli propaganda to me, an attempt to tar the Palestinians of today with the Nazi brush.

The Mufti played a very minor role in policy formation and impelementation in Hitler's Germany. Hitler essentially saw him as a tool to gain the allegiance of Muslims for the German cause, eg he was sent to Bosnia to rally the Muslims there.

The idea that the Mufti could have had a decisive influence on Hitler is simply absurd. Hitler had a very low opinion of the Arabs as a people, regarding them as being of the same Semitic stock of the Jews. He is recorded as having commented on the "Jewish" appearance of the Mufti, which typified his negative impression. Hitler's relationship with the Mufti was purely utilitarian, an alliance of convenience. He had no intention of doing anything for the Arabs, since he saw the Middle East, along with the whole Mediterranean area, as an Italian sphere of influence.[/quote]

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Post by fju » 18 Aug 2002 07:11

michael mills wrote:
The whole thesis sounds like Israeli propaganda to me, an attempt to tar the Palestinians of today with the Nazi brush.

The Mufti played a very minor role in policy formation and impelementation in Hitler's Germany. Hitler essentially saw him as a tool to gain the allegiance of Muslims for the German cause, eg he was sent to Bosnia to rally the Muslims there.

The idea that the Mufti could have had a decisive influence on Hitler is simply absurd. Hitler had a very low opinion of the Arabs as a people, regarding them as being of the same Semitic stock of the Jews. He is recorded as having commented on the "Jewish" appearance of the Mufti, which typified his negative impression. Hitler's relationship with the Mufti was purely utilitarian, an alliance of convenience. He had no intention of doing anything for the Arabs, since he saw the Middle East, along with the whole Mediterranean area, as an Italian sphere of influence.


You may be right. That's why I always warn visitors to my forum to consider the 'slant' of the writer.

I am not that well versed in mid-east politics to argue the any fine points with you.

However, consider the Nazis - Goering claims that it is only he who decides who is a Jew, and Hitler who declares the Japanese to be 'yellow Aryans".

Hitler was a big fan of the adventure stories of Karl May, taking place in the wild west and the Orient.

The hero's best friend in America was an Indian - and Hitler had a weak spot for Indians, and in the Orient an Arab....

You're not dealing with people who follow normal logic. I could give you some examples of 'Nazi Science' but I think you get the idea.

Franz

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Post by Benoit Douville » 18 Aug 2002 22:27

Good post Michael Mills. I agree with you on this issue about the influence of the Mufti that he only play a minor role regarding the holocaust and that also it sounds like propaganda by Israel.

Regards

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Post by Linlu » 19 Aug 2002 00:15

Hi all,

The SD, Gestapo, Waffen-SS all supplied personnel for the Einsatzgruppen, does anyone have the figures of how many personnel from each service was contributed the Einsatzgruppen?

BTW: How many Einsatzgruppen were there exactly. I know an Einsatzgruppe was attached to an Army Group. And how much Einsatzkommando units are in an Einsatzgruppe?

- Linlu :mrgreen:

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Post by fju » 19 Aug 2002 03:21

What is surprising is the academic qualifications of Germany's Einsatzgruppenfuhrer (extermination squad leaders). Six of the 15 Einsatzgruppenfuhrer held doctoral degrees; 16 of the 69 Einsatzkommandofuhrer (smaller extermination commando squad) groups held doctoral degrees. Dr.Franz Alfred Six, the leader of Vorkommando Moskau of Einsatzgruppe B received his doctorate of philosophy in 1936 from the University of Heidelberg. He taught political science at the University of Konigsberg in 1937 and held the chair of foreign political science at the University of Berlin in 1939. He was also the top Jewish expert for the SD ( Heydrich's secret police).


In 1941 Himmler gave Franz Six a promotion:
"I hereby promote you, effective 9 November 1941 SS Oberfuehrer for outstanding service in the east Einsatz. [Signed H.Himmler]
Six was sentenced at Nuremberg in 1948 to 20 years in prison, but was released in 1952 -- even though his Kommando units had killed more than 15,000 people according to the Nuremberg court. Six was named head of Porsche advertising after his release.


I'm sorry I don't have the source of this scrap, but the information is readily verifiable.

I wonder what was Heydrich's motive for selecting such educated men as leader of killer squads? - It worked, but why?

Franz

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Post by michael mills » 19 Aug 2002 04:28

Franz wrote:
I wonder what was Heydrich's motive for selecting such educated men as leader of killer squads? - It worked, but why?


According to post-war testimony by Ohlendorf, Heydrich wanted to ensure that all the highly educated academics working for him in the RSHA "got their hands dirty", ie that the "dirty work" would not be left to the lower-class psychopaths, leaving the desk-jockeys free to protest their innocence later.

That was a contrast with the camps, where some sort of selection process, whether formal or informal, does seem to have placed the lower-class psychopaths (eg people like Kurt Franz) in positions of command. Perhaps that was because Heydrich was not in command of the camps, whereas he had full control over the Einsatzgruppen.

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Post by fju » 19 Aug 2002 04:37

michael mills wrote:Franz wrote:
I wonder what was Heydrich's motive for selecting such educated men as leader of killer squads? - It worked, but why?


According to post-war testimony by Ohlendorf, Heydrich wanted to ensure that all the highly educated academics working for him in the RSHA "got their hands dirty", ie that the "dirty work" would not be left to the lower-class psychopaths, leaving the desk-jockeys free to protest their innocence later.

That was a contrast with the camps, where some sort of selection process, whether formal or informal, does seem to have placed the lower-class psychopaths (eg people like Kurt Franz) in positions of command. Perhaps that was because Heydrich was not in command of the camps, whereas he had full control over the Einsatzgruppen.


That may be HIS reason BUT who would "the desk-jockeys' have to protest their innocence to? Didn't Heydrich expect the Germans to win the war?

Franz

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