Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:26 pm

Balsamo:

And sorry to say - and i am about to answer Nick Terry following post - it is still quite obvious, at least to me, that both Stuckart arguments, even if based on old stuff, even if written by Losener, unless interpreted completely out of context, and disregard as nonsensical, as well as Goebbels own reaction and more distant interpretation of the Minutes, still pose a problem and indeed can be considered as some disturbing "anomalies". While the other interpretation, based on a hypothetical more careful presentation of the FS at Wannsee - again that does not mean that he was being honest toward the attendees - erazes those anomalies from the map.


Brayard's interpretation does no such thing.

Firstly, Goebbels received a copy of the WP, he did not attend the meeting. The WP is explicit if read properly, but vague on the details. There was nothing about Madagascar in there whatsoever. Goebbels musing about Madagascar could be evidence that he couldn't read properly, but is more likely evidence of Goebbels reminiscing about a prior 'final solution' cipher and projecting that antisemitic fantasy onto the gaps in the WP. Even a super-Nazi would have known that Madagascar was a long term pipe dream, not achievable in the next year or so.

Secondly, Stuckart did attend the meeting but claimed not to have read the protocol. He minimised what was discussed at Wannsee, as did others who testified. Their collective testimony is pure horse {!#%@}. Leibbrandt, for example, spoke of Jews being deported to a territory under self-administration, i.e. a Nazi version of Birobidzhan. The problem is that this territory existed nowhere, no other source speaks of it, and it cannot have been in the Ostland or Ukraine as Leibbrandt himself would have surely known more about it, rather than being all coy and vague. The postwar testimonies of the Beamten are less credible than Eichmann, all in all.

Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter is virtually an anachronism. It's no good saying that it's an anomaly, which is a more abstract categorisation of an umbrella of possibilities. Some anomalies are for example, forgeries (not so here), others are eventually explicable. Calling the Stuckart 16.3.42 letter an anachronism does not them mean it's the same as a wristwatch visible on an actor's wrist in a 'sword-and-sandals' movie, because we know the sentiments were being voiced earlier. The sentiments were now out-dated.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:11 am

Balsamo wrote:Hi Statmec:

Actually, i thought i made it clear from the start.

Bear with me, I am confused! I shall explain why forthwith.


Balsamo wrote:From my post part II, of July the 6th
One can accept that both approaches, as well as the minutes, clearly show a genocidal intentions, that is the extermination of the Jewish people in Europe.

I would think I am stuck on how to read genocidal intentions and extermination, given your later comments on these. But, more important, that was a comment you made on Longerich vs Gerlach, IIRC, before bringing in Brayard and your own view. No?

Balsamo wrote:From part III, still on July the 6th
such an argument can only be understood if Heydrich’s presentation and describtion of the Final Solution to be implemented, as far as the German Jews were concerned, was referring to yet another variation form of territorial solution with – and that is important – a genocidal finality. That is a genocide planned to last at least one generation, that is far beyond their own live expectancy or at least, their times of responsibilities.

And that is the rub: that is not what Longerich or Gerlach accept, there is a vast difference between Gerlach/Longerich on the one hand and this (Brayard's) formuation, right? Is that what you're saying?

Balsamo wrote:I am arguing that the real nature - that is how it will unfold - of the FS was not, this does not mean that I contest that a extermination program was proposed, as I explained in more detail in my following posts.

Right, but I still can't square your writing now "There is no doubt in my mind that the genocidal nature of the Final Solution was clear to the attendees" with your previous statement that the source material "makes no sense at all if – to quote Gerlach – Heydrich had shared with him [and the rest of the attendees] ‘his plan for a final solution involving the mass murder of Jews from all the countries of Europe." Help!

Balsamo wrote:The fundamental question of Brayard is the following: To what extend was the Final Solution, that is the genocide of the Jews, known by the State structures.

Well, the Nazi regime worked in ways that encouraged secrecy and competition; the FS, like other programs (and this is not unique to the Third Reich), involved a need-to-know approach. As Nick Terry has pointed out, and me too, high level officials "knew" of matters in a big picture way whereas specific executors of programs knew "more," especially specifics. The concept "conspiracy" here is as confusing to me as the term "State structures." "Conspiracy" is a loaded term and I am not sure how it is analytically sound. You've not really dealt with my analogy about a "secret" company action, which isn't a conspiracy but a policy planned in confidence.

Balsamo wrote:some like Stuckart through his letter or Goebbels through his diary, while fully informed by other genocidal enterprises.
He defends the possibility that - and i add personally in order to really succeed - some illusions about the migration to the east was deliberately left in place, basically that there people who knew and people who didn't.

But Brayard, and you, have a view of what it is they knew that has yet to be proven IMO (the Stuckart letter, sorry, doesn't help) - you describe what they were in on as "a genocide planned to last at least one generation, that is far beyond their own live expectancy or at least, their times of responsibilities." That is part of the core of Brayard's critique of what he calls "traditional narrations." And that is a big part of what I disagree with - as I said, there is an attritional aspect to the FS - in January 1942 and in execution. But I think there was more in the transition of December-January 1941/1942 than Brayard - and we can see this not in the odd survivals of previous thinking but in the actions that unfolded in winter-spring-summer 1942. What you're saying sounds like a territorial solution, Madagascar, where a long-term "die off" would be expected and encouraged.

The whole question of using anomalies to prove Brayard's view - well, I don't know (especially where you say below that Brayard's view on Goebbels is like mine) really how this plays out, given my not buying the Stuckart argument. What are these convincing "anomalies" that show that the conception in January 1942 and afterwards was that of a territorial solution, as you've explained it not really different from the lethal if unrealistic Madagascar plan? I've already explained, as has Nick Terry, my methodological problem with this approach; without really convincing examples, all I have is methodological doubt.

Where I also get confused is around the extermination/one generation/mass murder language you've been using - and anchoring that to concepts in the documents and what "it" really means. That is, the "it" being communicated. I think your alternatives below help clear this up . . . the language you highlighted above makes it clearer, and sharpens my disagreement.

By the way, a study of how specific knowledge - of precisely what - did and didn't travel within parts of the Reich's officialdom is very interesting. That, however, seems different to what has been said here.

Balsamo wrote:He also have founds different expressions depending on the fact that the victims were Ostjuden and German Jews.

One would expect to see this. There would also be differences for Jews in western Europe, for Jews in western Europe at different times, for the Hungarian operation. All depending on various factors.

Balsamo wrote:the official documentation was hiding nothing during the genocide in the East, those killings were assumed. The level of knowledge was thus very high, from the military, generals or soldiers, the reports were published at 65 copies and spread, so that no one could ignore what was happening. He notes nevertheless that secrecy will increase step by step the more the victims were from western region and especially Germany. A gradual implementation of secrecy the more the Final Solution became global so to speak.

I don't buy this as stated. I recently finished reading a book on Majdanek in which it was described how some of the guards at the camp were kept from participation in and knowledge of gassings and even of Ernefest (they were shut indoors during the shooting and ordered not to look out barracks windows). Again, the criterion wasn't Ostjuden being killed; it was need to know - and probably gender. Yet everyone knew . . .

I am not, by the way, doubting in any way, shape, or form that matters, including communication about the killings, went differently with Russian and Polish Jews vs, say, German or Italian Jews. What I am disputing is left over from other threads - two FS's and the way you've discussed the law in that regard; the sources of the differences; and what the implications of these differences are (e.g., the thinking at the time of Wannsee). And I am doubting that the differences had anything to do with a different fate being contemplated at this time for Reich, French, Slovakian, and Polish Jews.

Balsamo wrote:As for you second question regarding Brayard , I can answer that he did not. Of course, both Stuckart and Losener learned and discussed about those killings of German Jews. But they also learned that those executions had been stopped. So at the time Wannsee took place, what they have learned made it clear what the prospect to be send into such a shithole might be, but again, as those killings were stopped and not to be repeated for a couple of months, there were no signs of a real policy being implemented regarding the German Jews that would involve immediate mass murder of them at the time the meeting took place.

I am not sure what you are answering here, my "second" question. . . . But Lösener's note and his NMT testimony argue differently on the point you raise; that he assumed from what he'd heard a policy change, that he requested a transfer on that account, and that he remained pessimistic about the fate of Reich Jews.

Balsamo wrote:Regarding Madagascar, there is a clear misunderstanding. The whole point of Brayard is not about the Final Solution as it happened, but how in to what extent, the true information about the Final Solution was shared across the Nazi apparatus.

This doesn't help. I am trying to understand something different to "the Final Solution as it happened," namely, the topic of this thread! What was the policy shared and discussed at Wannsee?

So the reason I brought up Madagascar was that when Brayard talks about "anomalies," following Wannsee, meaning survivals of notes, actions, and thinking that doesn't align with the "traditional narration" of Wannsee, and which indicate persistence of some kind of territorial solution, I would have assumed he meant things like Goebbels diary entry, etc.

So you've lost me again. I will re-phrase my question below.

Balsamo wrote:Regarding Goebbels and Hitler, he does even think that Hitler was left in the dark,

He thinks Himmler left Hitler in the dark? But about what? The signage at Bełzec, the destinations of deportation trains, the composition of the camp guard at Birkenau, the use of Zyklon B and CO - or the nature of the FS and roughly when/how the Jews would be dealt with?

We need more precision in this discussion . . . again, "left in the dark" is a loaded but analytically not very helpful term. What did the Führer know and not know? And what does this say about his involvement in decisions around the time of Wannsee, our ostensible topic? On this, I am "left in the dark"!

Balsamo wrote:he observes that, despite their more than frequent meetings, Hitler felt like not sharing what was happening or what was about to happened with his Propaganda minister, that Goebbels has been deceived and lied to. Of course, there were no longer any Madagascar plan, but Goebbels not being informed of the recent evolution of the Final Solution, obviously still thought of Madagascar as a long term solution.

Well, that was my point exactly, so that supposed "anomaly" isn't an anomaly.

Back to my question: what, besides Stuckart's letter, are the most impactful anomalies Brayard is talking about?

Balsamo wrote:Now we all know - and we all must agree - that an exact dating of an eventual decision marking the start of the dramatic changes - is certainly not a consensual issues, even now. No one, at least not Brayard, nor I, deny those dramatic changes. Again, as it is not his main focus, he satisfies himself with saying that he things the decision was taken around April or May 1942.

Well, that is a big difference - and it is one that explains why he sees the Wannsee conference differently from scholars as different as Longerich and Gerlach.

But what was "the decision"? The FS as we know it, or something else that led to something else that led to the unfolding of the FS as we know it. I just am having trouble with language here . . . I am not asking for a precise dating but some conceptual clarity and some time frames . . .

Balsamo wrote:The problem i have with dating precisely such a decision is that it kind of imply some improvisation after a date X and that it somehow forces to reassess things after that date and also what happened before.
I agree with you with the distinction between a project and the implementation of a decision.

But the gap between policy ("principle decision" in Gerlach's words) vs execution contingencies explains why there is improvisation and there are feedback loops throughout. Feedback loops which, in theory, can affect the policy if the obstacles, or other opportunities, are big enough.

Balsamo wrote:My position is that it is very probable that the idea (project) that all the global (including of course the German) Jewish question might be solved the same way as it was being solved in the East, was clearly thought off well before Wannsee. But 1) that this idea was not in everyone's brain (at the time it was evetualized)

Of course not - that's not what we've been discussing - no one has said that the FS was immediately in everyone's head (quite the reverse, I've said that even key leaders' internalizing the reality of the concept took time). In a way, we've been discussing how, once the key leaders agreed on the basic approach, they went about launching it and putting it into effect. The way Brayard (you?) approach this makes the question so overly complex so that clear answers are impossible.

Balsamo wrote:2) that a greenlight was to be waited for anyway (by Hitler)

Greenlight for what - resettlement and attrition or generations or deportations to finish the Jews off? Greenlights at what levels?

Balsamo wrote:3) that during this interval, the efforts was to be concentrated to the Jews who were "allowed to be killed" while dispositions had to be taken to prepare this Global solution, including with concrete solution not involving immediate mass murders.

I have no idea what this means in terms of sources like Frank's speech, the protocol, the deportations and then murders of Reich Jews, Bełzec . . .

Balsamo wrote:Yes, but by March 42, the vast majority of the Jews killed in the GG - which is what the entry is about - were polish Jews.

Ok, maybe we are getting to something clearer - you didn't answer my post on eastern vs western Jews - and I've been confused about your thinking on this. Are you saying that as of March, the basic decision was to continue with mass murder of Polish Jews - but nothing was decided about Reich and western Jews other than to deport the Reich Jews?

If so, I think the language of the protocol becomes very difficult - but what are the key documents on the extension of the FS from April-May?

If so, we disagree - and, yes, you do need two FS's, despite the use of one overarching term at the time, which was in fact "FS." You need a (first) eastern FS - and then a later FS (for other Jews who wound up killed). Needless to say, I find this a tortured explanation for the reasons I've explained.

Balsamo wrote:Brayard gives many entries where Goebbels seems still to believe that the German Jews were imprisoned somewhere in the East, even with the knowledge of the massacres of the Polish Jews. I did not want to insist on that, as it would be another topic. And this one got confused enough.
Anyway, Well Brayard addressed the case of Goebbels which takes a whole chapter, so I was thinking to discuss this issue later, after Luther, but we are free to change this order.

Well, I've already dealt with this in so many places and ways I don't know what to say: it isn't, IMO, an anomaly, for the most part, it is the way execution went for all the reasons I've explained. (As well, old habits die hard - and get expressed and acted upon, so we see some of that too.)

Balsamo wrote:All I wanted to point out is that this "not trivial change" would not have had any effects on the expected results of the Wannsee meeting if one agrees that those were 1) the assure the primacy of the authority of Heydrich and the RSHA on the Jewish question and its solution, and 2.) To obtain practical cooperation by the institutions represented at the meeting. (well, I am still not convinced on this last one, but let's keep it simple)

Well, I don't know how to think about this: we are not doing a logical exercise but trying to understand history, what happened and how that is. Sure, we can make many formal statements that might be correct about different events, but IMO that doesn't really get me anywhere.

Balsamo wrote:And this is not Brayard, my opinion is that it would have been more risky to speak openly about mass murder and liquidation of women and children, that the elderly was doomed anyway as Theresienstadt was an illusion to settle eventual interventions. That is less productive, and even counter-productive, especially if those "Gentlemen were drunk".
Whatever the real plan Heydrich had in mind for the 11 million Jews, a more prudent approach in the presentation of his plan had only advantages, as its main goals was to obtain point 1) and 2).

For sure, but the leadership wasn't going around showing movies about the mass murder at Chelmno or in the killing fields either, though.

Balsamo wrote:At this stage, it all depends on the choice of relying on Eichmann or the other five testimonies, given the fact that they both lied or might have lied in their testimonies. I don't see how things could be written in stone in those circumstances.

Absolutely not. As Nick Terry explained, to repeat myself and him, “You seem to have missed where I have repeatedly tried to infer what could have been 'the plan' and to correlate actual events with Eichmann's testimony."

Balsamo wrote:Or the alternative:
" the ReichsMarshal and the Reichsfuhrer has charged me with the task to solve once and for all the Jewish problem on the continent. It is our duty to free once and for all the next German generations of this Jewish pestilence. We will take any single of them wherever we can and send them east, where those lazy bastards will finally work for us until they die, and so that they won't cause any more arms in our greater Reich. We will separate the male form the female so they won't be able to reproduce. After the war is over and victory is achieved, or when the time will come, we will have to deal with the surviging in the most appropriate way, we will kill them. So our children and our great people will never have to go through what we are going through (PS: Yes Nazis loved to pass for the victims). Our job for now is to get them bloody out of our Greater Reich, and i will need not only your full support in that task that has been put on my shoulders, but your full cooperation. Thank your Gentlemen."

Well, the deck is surely stacked! I don't think either is quite right. Again, I find Frank's 16 December 1941 speech helpful.

And, in fact, Heydrich specifically did not say that the FS was to be after the war: he said it was to be executed during the war depending on military developments ("largely depend on military developments"). This problem is one reason I ultimately came to disagree with Longerich, along with thinking about the merits of Browning's comments on how execution and policy/conceptualization need to be separated.

You aren't accurately representing things. Again, this is why I've repeatedly asked for a closer reading of the sources in this thread and tried to zero in on some key questions and documents.

Balsamo wrote:If you would want to convince the board - to take your analogy - and avoid as much fuss as possible, so you get from them what you want from

them, which strategy would you chose?
I hope you'll forgive me this disgraceful analogy, but that is more or less the choice.

You've not stated the case correctly and I've explained why.

Balsamo wrote:As for the Frank's speech, although it clearly illustrates the spirit within Poland, and the readiness to lauch a genocide in Poland, it has to be demonstrated that this speech was known by the State Secretaries. If this speech was known, the one needs to be certain that the speech had a global european scope. As far as i know, i fail to see a clear link between this speech and the Wannsee meeting, except in the case of Buhler sharing its content with the attendees, which is far from being evident.

!?!??! Frank is reflecting on what he was told in Berlin - not his "Polish pov" - about Reich and Polish Jews alike. Please re-read my post on Frank's speech. This is why I can't take a lot of this seriously - you omit Heydrich's comment on the war-time execution of the FS to stack the deck; you present Frank's speech as something he came up with in his head, reflecting the Polish situation and events, despite Frank's saying things like "In Berlin we were told," despite his starting with complaints about the treatment of Reich Jews - and you say that you fail to see a connection between this speech and Wannsee despite Frank's announcing that the GG would be represented at "a major conference on this question in Berlin [Wannsee - Jan. 42] to which I shall send State Secretary Dr. Buhler. The conference is to be held in the office of SS Obergruppenfuhrer Heydrich at the Reich Security Main Office. A major Jewish migration will certainly begin." No, this isn't about Bühler giving some reports!

IMO you are wandering into speculation and favored theories and away from the sources.

Balsamo wrote:And sorry to say - and i am about to answer Nick Terry following post - it is still quite obvious, at least to me, that both Stuckart arguments, even if based on old stuff, even if written by Losener, unless interpreted completely out of context, and disregard as nonsensical, as well as Goebbels own reaction and more distant interpretation of the Minutes, still pose a problem and indeed can be considered as some disturbing "anomalies". While the other interpretation, based on a hypothetical more careful presentation of the FS at Wannsee - again that does not mean that he was being honest toward the attendees - erazes those anomalies from the map.

I'm not going to repeat myself: I think that the way Brayard tries to use this letter borders on nonsensical.

Thanks for the reply, but we're still far apart on what I get - and I still don't get a lot of what's being argued.

I am going to be traveling for a couple weeks - at the end of this week, so I'll be on enforced hiatus, which is probably a good thing, as we do keep going round and round.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:08 pm

nickterry wrote:Balsamo:

And sorry to say - and i am about to answer Nick Terry following post - it is still quite obvious, at least to me, that both Stuckart arguments, even if based on old stuff, even if written by Losener, unless interpreted completely out of context, and disregard as nonsensical, as well as Goebbels own reaction and more distant interpretation of the Minutes, still pose a problem and indeed can be considered as some disturbing "anomalies". While the other interpretation, based on a hypothetical more careful presentation of the FS at Wannsee - again that does not mean that he was being honest toward the attendees - erazes those anomalies from the map.


Brayard's interpretation does no such thing.

Firstly, Goebbels received a copy of the WP, he did not attend the meeting. The WP is explicit if read properly, but vague on the details. There was nothing about Madagascar in there whatsoever. Goebbels musing about Madagascar could be evidence that he couldn't read properly, but is more likely evidence of Goebbels reminiscing about a prior 'final solution' cipher and projecting that antisemitic fantasy onto the gaps in the WP. Even a super-Nazi would have known that Madagascar was a long term pipe dream, not achievable in the next year or so.

Secondly, Stuckart did attend the meeting but claimed not to have read the protocol. He minimised what was discussed at Wannsee, as did others who testified. Their collective testimony is pure horse {!#%@}. Leibbrandt, for example, spoke of Jews being deported to a territory under self-administration, i.e. a Nazi version of Birobidzhan. The problem is that this territory existed nowhere, no other source speaks of it, and it cannot have been in the Ostland or Ukraine as Leibbrandt himself would have surely known more about it, rather than being all coy and vague. The postwar testimonies of the Beamten are less credible than Eichmann, all in all.

Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter is virtually an anachronism. It's no good saying that it's an anomaly, which is a more abstract categorisation of an umbrella of possibilities. Some anomalies are for example, forgeries (not so here), others are eventually explicable. Calling the Stuckart 16.3.42 letter an anachronism does not them mean it's the same as a wristwatch visible on an actor's wrist in a 'sword-and-sandals' movie, because we know the sentiments were being voiced earlier. The sentiments were now out-dated.


Of course there was nothing about Madagascar in it. But it could very well be explained as by Johnattan Harrisson here:
The boat to Madagascar in the March 7th entry is either a joke or a reference to what might happen to a few Jews left over at the end of the war.
at least if one forget about the Joke. I do not doubt that Goebbels knew that Madagascar Plan had been shelved, given the present situation, but apparently, he might have considered it as not shelved forever. It only shows that the WP could still be read as a territorial plan, even a if a deadly one, by a person who was not persent at the meeting. Of course, it also implies that, in Goebbels mind, the final act was to be held in an undetermined future in which Madagascar could be reactivated.

Again, i am repeating myself. Stuckart lied during his trial, and yes he did minimize the content. Liebbrandt is propably to worse of the lot regarding lying. But the fact that the "Beamten" testimonies are not credible, does not make Eichmann's credible. I guess one can find credible points in both "horse shits", if and when those points are corroborated or otherwise confirmed.

I will address the last point through your previous post.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:36 pm

nickterry wrote:Balsamo:

And sorry to say - and i am about to answer Nick Terry following post - it is still quite obvious, at least to me, that both Stuckart arguments, even if based on old stuff, even if written by Losener, unless interpreted completely out of context, and disregard as nonsensical, as well as Goebbels own reaction and more distant interpretation of the Minutes, still pose a problem and indeed can be considered as some disturbing "anomalies". While the other interpretation, based on a hypothetical more careful presentation of the FS at Wannsee - again that does not mean that he was being honest toward the attendees - erazes those anomalies from the map.


Brayard's interpretation does no such thing.

Firstly, Goebbels received a copy of the WP, he did not attend the meeting. The WP is explicit if read properly, but vague on the details. There was nothing about Madagascar in there whatsoever. Goebbels musing about Madagascar could be evidence that he couldn't read properly, but is more likely evidence of Goebbels reminiscing about a prior 'final solution' cipher and projecting that antisemitic fantasy onto the gaps in the WP. Even a super-Nazi would have known that Madagascar was a long term pipe dream, not achievable in the next year or so.

Secondly, Stuckart did attend the meeting but claimed not to have read the protocol. He minimised what was discussed at Wannsee, as did others who testified. Their collective testimony is pure horse {!#%@}. Leibbrandt, for example, spoke of Jews being deported to a territory under self-administration, i.e. a Nazi version of Birobidzhan. The problem is that this territory existed nowhere, no other source speaks of it, and it cannot have been in the Ostland or Ukraine as Leibbrandt himself would have surely known more about it, rather than being all coy and vague. The postwar testimonies of the Beamten are less credible than Eichmann, all in all.

Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter is virtually an anachronism. It's no good saying that it's an anomaly, which is a more abstract categorisation of an umbrella of possibilities. Some anomalies are for example, forgeries (not so here), others are eventually explicable. Calling the Stuckart 16.3.42 letter an anachronism does not them mean it's the same as a wristwatch visible on an actor's wrist in a 'sword-and-sandals' movie, because we know the sentiments were being voiced earlier. The sentiments were now out-dated.


It is your right not to take me seriously, doctor Terry, but on that specific point i am only an interpreter. So this kind of appreciation toward a well-known and respected colleague is less legitimate.
As i have admitted that I only discover this letter through Brayard, as far as i know, he is the first one who offers an interpretation.


Anyway, here are some observation from me, and thank you for the two original versions of the argument.


If i may add some points first, not to be taken seriously as they come from me:
- No one discusses the fact that those arguments were written and used - for serious reasons, by the way - in 1935.
- That Losener rewrote it in march 1942, is only likely and might be based on his post war testimonies. ( i maybe wrong i have unfortunately not read Jasch's book), but is quite irrelevant regarding its content and its use.
- Of course, it circulated in a wide pool of bureaucrats as it was intended to deal with the Mischlinge, a subject which was treated by a wider pool of bureaucrats.
- Now thanks to your orginial quotes, it is clear that some addition had been brought into the original argument. Stuckart/losener stresses out that the problem is to be considered on a European scale and perspective. (vom gesamteuropäischen Standpunkt gelten), and that this specific problem should be handled globally and internationally (einheitlichen Grundlinie) Ok not the exact wording, but i think it the sense. The problem should be treated uniformly.
- The term "einer gegnerischen Seite zuzuführen“, only means to send to the opposing side, and opposing is not even the right word. susceptible to oppose is closer with the term. gegnerischen does not refer to an action, but should be considered as an attribute, a descriptive (sorry i am not familiar with technical gramatical terms). It is not a "present participle" if that means anything in english.
- You seem only to rely to the last expression, "kämpferischen Gegensatz", which does not necessarily mean "fighting opposition" (one would have used the term "Kampfende Gegensatz". Same as previous point.

The 1935 version is very enlightning.
First it shows that Losener/Stuckart were really serious about problems posed by Mischlinge. A noticeable passage is this one:
"Das deutsche Judentum(...)würde um rund 200 000 Halbjuden verstärkt(...)Neben der zahlenmäßigen Stärkung des Feindes"
The Jewry is clearly identified as the Enemy. This Jewry which was to be expelled through forced emigration from Germany in those days. Except that Losener consider those Misclinge as more dangerous and should therefore be keep in check within the Reich - clearly, this is not some forms of favor, quite the contrary, and prevented from leaving, because of the risk they could pose as becoming leaders of Groups hostile to Germany, which in those days were...the international Jewry,(unless Germany was at war?)
Losener adds : "Die heimatlosen Halbjuden werden Desperados mit aller Gefährlichkeit solcher Menschen." (those homeless half-jews will become bandits with all the dangers inherent to those people).

I have already mentioned some elements that were added in the 1942 actualization of this argument. For those fundamental same reasons, " dieser Frage" should now be treated separately as a different problem, a different Final solution so to speak, which as now a European dimension.
There is another important addition:
the sentence :
" Hunderttausende von Trägern deutscher oder artverwandter Erbmasse abgestoßen und in einen unserem Einfluss im Wesentlichen entzogenen kämpferischen Gegensatz zu uns gebracht werden"


Abgestossen clearly refers to the present plan, that is expulsion / evacuation as Stuckart must have understood at Wannsee (even if those evacuation/expulsion had a clear deadly finality). This term is often used in the context of evacuation, just as abschieben, and the like.
So here is the way i translate this important sentence:
"Hundreds of thousands of those carriers of German or assimilated genetic inheritance would be expelled/evacuated and placed - out of reach of our influence - in a position of aggressive opposition to/toward us"

My english translation might be problematic, so here was my translation to French (as i had to go through this step first).
"Des centaines de milliers de porteurs d'un heritage germanique ou assimilé seraient expulsés (exilés) et placés dans une position d'opposition belliqueuse envers nous qui, pour l'essentiel, échapperait à notre influence."

Now, i do not see any attempt to save anyone here, quite the contrary. The Mischlinge should be handled with through a specific solution and certainly not be mixed with the Jews - which by themselves are much less dangerous. In this context, to exterminate this cathegory of people through massive sterilizations was one of the means proposed.

You might not take this interpretation seriously, so you are free to show it to German natives or French speakers.

I do think seriously that you just cannot dismissed this document in one go, just because the main arguments had already been used before, in another context.
As a matter of fact, it would have been an anachronism IF anyone would have used a 1935 letter in relation with 1942 events. But in this case, there are sufficient additions, which fit with the new 1942 context - to NOT consider it as an anachronism.

In addition, the argument was taken seriously in 1942. So they must not have seemed so non sensical.

You have, of course, the right to disagree, but, to quote Brayard, here, I see no reason why Historians should not “ take the time to explain this entirely illogical behavior" (in case the behavior was illocical) and "produce a coherent narrative capable of integrating them". And I am sorry to say that I do not feel you have done any of that.


EDIT: full of typos.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:35 pm

Balsamo, the document is anachronistic, because there was no longer any intention of letting Jews or Mischlinge emigrate freely, and certainly no intention that is documented of expelling Jews over the frontline to the enemy.

If you disagree, please present some other piece of evidence that points to a Nazi intention to expel Jews over the frontline or allow them to emigrate.

Your 'fallback' position is that Mischlinge would somehow become dangerous after deportation to a reservation/ghetto/camp, or might escape from the same destinations and join the partisans/local resistance. But this is a massively torturous reading of the document, and it too requires some corroborative evidence to be taken seriously.

Brayard, and it seems you, want to use this document to infer something about Wannsee, when at most all that can be inferred in the absence of any other {!#%@} evidence about this is the laziness/stupidity of Stuckart and Loesener, or perhaps their willingness to use ridiculous arguments when justifying a genocidal policy of sterilisation.

The chain of inference back to what was discussed at Wannsee absolutely requires more than one piece of (external) evidence to become plausible; it requires also the elimination of alternatives. For example, we know that there is no convincing evidence of any intention to deport Jews to Auschwitz in large numbers before 20.1.42; the only evidence is Hoess's obviously misdated testimony about receiving a Hitler order from Himmler, no other piece of evidence exists to confirm a 1941 intention to base the Final Solution at Auschwitz.

By contrast, Heydrich's reference to able-bodied Jews going 'roadbuilding to the east' is corroborated by sources before Wannsee suggesting an SS intention to help out with DG IV.

Hopefully you now see what I mean by 'inferring back', it is about using other sources as sonar readings to clarify a murky issue, in this case Wannsee. At the moment there are productive pings and there are unproductive pings. Guess which the Stuckart 16.3.42 memo seems to be.

As for fitting the document into a narrative, this has already been done by Essner and Jasch, so I don't need to bother, and the narrative is a side-issue to SS planning for the Final Solution, instead it's about Nazi racial policy and Mischlinge, so it's not relevant to working out what was going on with Nazi planning at the time of Wannsee. The Stuckart note fits in with a chain of documents concerning a debate about Mischlinge in the Berlin-based Nazi bureaucracy. One threat was to appeal to Hitler for a resolution, which was extremely undesirable. The debate ended with the subject kicked into the long grass, at least until autumn 1942, when Stuckart and others started up with the exact same arguments.

Jasch shows that Stuckart once again appealed to the 'Mischlinge going over to the enemy' trope when corresponding with Himmler in October 1942. This is well after Brayard's spring/summer 1942 decision, so Stuckart's meme about Mischlinge means even less as a marker for what Nazi policy towards European-Jews-as-a-whole might have been at any one time. Evidently Stuckart just kept coming back to Loesener's hobby-horse. It likely looked good for the archives, and would have been awesome if the debate had escalated to the Fuehrer since Hitler could hardly be connected with mass murder a la the WP statement of intent (that was why Goering signed the authorisations and Hitler's name was left out of things as much as possible).

Now, to repeat a point that was maybe too implied for you to understand:

I don't want you to parse and nitpick at these few documents.

I don't want you to repeat yourself.

I want you to discuss more than these documents, more than one-source-at-a-time, because one-source-at-a-time is what chimps do, and I don't think you're a chimp.

I want you to coordinate the Stuckart document with the paper trail re Mischlinge in 1942 and then compare this with the paper trails for the Final Solution and Nazi plans for Jews-as-a-whole, or Jews-in-Germahy/Poland etc.These two paper trails are where you might find corroborating or disconfirming evidence, one way or another.

Most of all, I would very much like you to provide evidence that would corroborate the "anomalous" reading of the Stuckart memo, and to think long and hard about evidence that might disconfirm it. If there is no such corroborating evidence then maybe you should start listening to the arguments against the 'anomaly' that have already been made.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:03 pm

Nick Terry said:
Balsamo, the document is anachronistic, because there was no longer any intention of letting Jews or Mischlinge emigrate freely, and certainly no intention that is documented of expelling Jews over the frontline to the enemy.


-Technically, it is not, as it bears the date of 16 of March 1942.
- The letter of marsh 16th does not mention emigration or any forms of letting go, it contains the term “Abgestossen” which means expulsion/evacuation.
- As a matter of fact, it would be very difficult to find a document mentioning expelling any Jews or Mischlinge over the enemy lines. there are none, and this letter cannot be an exception.

I still don’t see where you see such thing in both documents – Losener 35 and L/S 1942.
If you disagree, please present some other piece of evidence that points to a Nazi intention to expel Jews over the frontline or allow them to emigrate.
With all respect, at this stage, it is yours to provide evidences to prove that Abgestossen refers to sending anyone to anywhere behind enemy lines. The concept of Enemy lines, in my reading, is nowhere to be found in both documents.

Your 'fallback' position is that Mischlinge would somehow become dangerous after deportation to a reservation/ghetto/camp, or might escape from the same destinations and join the partisans/local resistance. But this is a massively torturous reading of the document, and it too requires some corroborative evidence to be taken seriously.


It is what is written in the documents, I have not written them. Again, you seems confused by the assumption that there are mentions of enemy soldiers in the letter, which is not the case. If you think it is the case, show me the lines and the words. A document is to be treated as such, especially when it is not written in some code. What kind of corporative evidence you have in mind when it comes to a letter?

Brayard, and it seems you, want to use this document to infer something about Wannsee, when at most all that can be inferred in the absence of any other {!#%@} evidence about this is the laziness/stupidity of Stuckart and Loesener, or perhaps their willingness to use ridiculous arguments when justifying a genocidal policy of sterilisation.


What are you talking about? Are you kind of judging on intent, here? Am I justifying some genocidal policy of sterilization? It was painful enough to translate that crap. I am not responsible for the words in there.

The chain of inference back to what was discussed at Wannsee absolutely requires more than one piece of (external) evidence to become plausible; it requires also the elimination of alternatives. For example, we know that there is no convincing evidence of any intention to deport Jews to Auschwitz in large numbers before 20.1.42; the only evidence is Hoess's obviously misdated testimony about receiving a Hitler order from Himmler, no other piece of evidence exists to confirm a 1941 intention to base the Final Solution at Auschwitz.


Why do you come with Auschwitz all of a sudden? And how is it related to how the Final Solution was presented at Wannsee?

By contrast, Heydrich's reference to able-bodied Jews going 'roadbuilding to the east' is corroborated by sources before Wannsee suggesting an SS intention to help out with DG IV.


Who denies this? Of course roadbuilding to the east is mentioned in the WP and corroborated. I have read your post about DG IV, a good one. But where is the connection with what is being discussed here? I do not deny that there were plan to use Jews on that project. But how is roadbuilding connected with mass murder? Of course this project was part of what was shared.

Hopefully you now see what I mean by 'inferring back', it is about using other sources as sonar readings to clarify a murky issue, in this case Wannsee. At the moment there are productive pings and there are unproductive pings. Guess which the Stuckart 16.3.42 memo seems to be.


Well, it might surprise you, but i am not stupid. The problem as i feel it is that my or in this case Brayard obersvations or questioning are not intend to have any effect on how the Holocaust took place. The only influence they might have is on how the Wannsee meeting took place, not on how the Holocaust took place. I sense in Statmec previous post a real confusion about that.
It should seem obvious that the mass murder did not need to have be discussed about in January 42 in order to take place in April-may-june 42 (for the German Jews) and as soon as March for the Polish Jews at Belzec.

The only potential implication of the validity of Stuckart letter is on how the FS was presented at the meeting, not on how it took place. The same for Goebbels entry about Wannsee, it has no other incidence than about the way the real plan was shared, that is in my opinion, as little as possible.

As for fitting the document into a narrative, this has already been done by Essner and Jasch, so I don't need to bother.

Maybe you might feel like to share how they have done that, knowing that not everyone on this forum as the same easy access on sources as you. I might have said it already, but I kind of agree with Jasch title of his book.

the narrative is a side-issue to SS planning for the Final Solution, instead it's about Nazi racial policy and Mischlinge, so it's not relevant to working out what was going on with Nazi planning at the time of Wannsee. The Stuckart note fits in with a chain of documents concerning a debate about Mischlinge in the Berlin-based Nazi bureaucracy. One threat was to appeal to Hitler for a resolution, which was extremely undesirable. The debate ended with the subject kicked into the long grass, at least until autumn 1942, when Stuckart and others started up with the exact same arguments.


I agree with that, but it still does not deal with what this document indirectly implies! As the dilemma was should those Mischlinge be treated/ share the same fate of the Jews. Arguing as you seem to do, quite illogically, that Stuckart letter of 1942 is a warning NOT to send them to the enemy is absurd, especially since no allusion to enemy armed forced is mentioned in it. He was reacting to the prospect of seeing those mischlinge being treated like the Jews, as Heydrich proposed at Wannsee, as the wording of the letter say, in case the Misclinge were abgestossen (that implies abgestossen like the Jews).

Come on, I have shown you the difference between the two versions.
The 1935 clearly shows that the enemy was the Jews, the second do not even need to mention the eneny, as the abgestossen clearly shows what it is about.

I am aware that you don't agree, but still fail to see why it should be rejected as irrelevent.

Jasch shows that Stuckart once again appealed to the 'Mischlinge going over to the enemy' trope when corresponding with Himmler in October 1942.

This why I need to see the original German words to assess the point.

This is well after Brayard's spring/summer 1942 decision, so Stuckart's meme about Mischlinge means even less as a marker for what Nazi policy towards European-Jews-as-a-whole might have been at any one time. Evidently Stuckart just kept coming back to Loesener's hobby-horse.

All depends on how you do things.
Apparently Brayard thinks that both case illustrate that both Stuckart and Goebbels, among the most prominent Nazi, were maybe not aware of the real fate of the German Jews, this has of course no implication on the real fate of those German Jews. But it succeeded – although the word is misleading, as it would suggest that Stuckart/Losener were attempting to save people – in that the fate of the Mischlinge will indeed stay undecided, and most probably considered to be dealt with after the victory. But the arguments had no impact on the fate of eastern and Polish Mischlinge.

See you later, i am being "abgestossen" from the computer.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:09 pm

@STATMEC:
Confusion.

FIRST: IMPORTANT WARNING, of course the passage has to be read as HITLER NOT LEFT IN THE DARK. Sorry for the typo which has such a huge importance. Altough i was once seduced by Broszat idea of the absence of order, i doubt that such decision could have been taken without the Fuhrer green light. The status of the Fuhrer was just too essential in Nazi Germany.
SORRY FOR THAT.

Well, let’s first address the Gerlach and Longerich which seems to have confused you. I gladly take some responsibilities for that, but let’s do not forget that English is not my native language, which might make me use the wrong term from time to time.
I used those two examples just to show the obvious, that depending on your global perceptions, and pre-existing thesis, there is an influence on how one deal with such a source as the WP. As Gerlach believes that a clear order had been issued in December 1941, he concluded that the FS had become a State Policy, and in this logic that those member of the State apparatus, the State Secretaries, were given the full details of the plan.

I do not agree with that obviously.
In 2000, given the fact that Longerich dates the decision after Wannsee, his interpretation are more nuances and less clear about the fate of the unfit. The more recent evolution of his stance, add somewhat to the confusion.
But both seems to share the conviction that those State Secretaries were to be fully involved in the process of the Final Solution as it turned out to be.
I do not fully agree with that neither.

Statmec:

And that is the rub: that is not what Longerich or Gerlach accept, there is a vast difference between Gerlach/Longerich on the one hand and this (Brayard's) formuation, right? Is that what you're saying?


Brayard just confirmed what I was suspecting.
Yes, this is what I am saying. There is no denial of genocide involved in the approach. But in his 2000 article, Longerich by using his “after the war” time frame is closer as it is typically (by Jan 42) a much undetermined future. The Wehrmacht just suffered a huge blow, the first one of the war; Barbarossa failed, everything had to be reconsidered. All the Nazis knew that since December 41.
But besides this concession, Longerich seems to refrain himself from taking a strong position about how the Final Solution was presented at Wannsee.
That is basically all I say about Gerlach and Longerich.

Now I never doubt that a Genocidal plan was proposed at the meeting (otherwise, the “Beamten” would not have lied about). But the distinction is essential, you can propose extermination as a finality, as a goal, without how you intend to reach the goal. There are – unfortunately - many ways to achieve extermination. It can be over the long haul or as fast as possible, and many variation between the two.

To separate people between Sex, to make them work in harsh condition, to impose on them awful living conditions, and to deal with the survivors can be related to a long term extermination.

Babi Yar and Rumbula can be seen as the fastest path, that is mass murder.

The only source I am aware of to support that mass murder was talked about Wannsee -correct me if I am wrong - is precisely Eichmann’s testimony.
Of course, Eichmann was basically telling everything the Historians in those times wanted to hear. This was the meeting where everything was decided, the whole state structure was clearly involved with full knowledge of what was going to happen.
Then it became obvious that the Final Solution had not been decided at this meeting, but as a residual, there were no reason to doubt the full implication with full knowledge of all the Reich ministries in the genocide. Even though, the principal motivation and reason to see it that way was abandoned.
Since then, many interpretations of the meeting have been proposed, and one can say that it is as confused as the exercise consisting in putting a date on the decision.
I see this as middle stage within a change of paradigm.
Do you follow me?
One hand one have abandoned a fundamental idea, but then still not completely decided to leave the only real document linking the Nazi State to the Holocaust. No need for a new controversy about that.

What was exposed at Wannsee is still a mystery if one rejects the post war testimonies.
Given the two documents provided by Brayard, and other elements which allow to doubt even the content of the WP, there is a new window open which allows to formulate another version, which would not be contradicted by documents (the two from above) and erase the anomalies.

YES, the Final solution presented at the meeting had a genocidal finality, but expressed without time frame and modalities except those contained in the protocol, which allowed Goebbels to misunderstood it in good faith as he was not at the meeting. Instead was presented an extermination plan which was enough to guarantee the surrender of authority in the matter, but not directly murderous enough to risk to provoke fear and moral distress and objection of consciousness among the attendees. Yes the Jewish people will disappear, even if it will take time. Enough time to diminish the direct personnel responsibilities of the people present at the meeting.

NO, the real intention – which I suppose in my views, was to kill as many Jews as possible with a given dead line, whether it is by the end of 42, and again by the end of 43 (Posen), was not shared nor presented at the meeting.

That does not mean that this intention did not exist.
There was, however, no reason to speak about mass murder directly at the meeting, as suggested by Gerlach.

Well, the Nazi regime worked in ways that encouraged secrecy and competition; the FS, like other programs (and this is not unique to the Third Reich), involved a need-to-know approach. As Nick Terry has pointed out, and me too, high level officials "knew" of matters in a big picture way whereas specific executors of programs knew "more," especially specifics. The concept "conspiracy" here is as confusing to me as the term "State structures." "Conspiracy" is a loaded term and I am not sure how it is analytically sound. You've not really dealt with my analogy about a "secret" company action, which isn't a conspiracy but a policy planned in confidence.


I of course agree with that.
If you mean by “big picture” the need to get rid of the Jews, to make them work for the Reich until they die doing so, that sooner or later they will have to disappear completely, I agree completely, as I am not saying anything else.
I understand that the term Conspiracy is loaded, but unfortunately there is no other term. I suspect that the reason why the book was titled “Auschwitz, a conspiracy”, although the book is not about Auschwitz at all, is that using the term Holocaust instead would have been seen as a provocation. But when some members of the government are doing a policy without sharing the nature of this policy with their colleagues, what name should be given? More specifically, when a plan is conceived and implemented only by a reduced number of officials, even in confidence, how should one name it?

And i think it is the whole issue: If the ministries have been told the whole truth with the detail and participated to a debate on how best to kill Jews, then of course, there would be no conspiracy, but we would have an official State policy to be implemented, even within discretion.
If the ministries were not informed of how the Holocaust took place, didn't take part in debate about how best to kill the Jews, If they were told more softly that the Jews should first be deported from all the countries, so that an extermination program, based on what was explained in the Minutes, then what really happen is truely a conspiracy.

But Brayard, and you, have a view of what it is they knew that has yet to be proven IMO (the Stuckart letter, sorry, doesn't help)


See my post above addressed to Nick Terry. If that is not enough, well then as Brayard says, then you should integrate this non logical document into an explanatory narrative.

What they were in on as "a genocide planned to last at least one generation, that is far beyond their own live expectancy or at least, their times of responsibilities."


One generation is of course a speculation of mine, undetermined future is more appropriate. IIRC, Brayard quote a letter from a Nazi in which is expressed a hope that 20 years from now it can be hoped that no Jew would be left alive in Europe”.
Again, I have not the feeling that Brayard book is about the Holocaust how it took place, and I have read his book specifically on the Final Solution quite a long time ago. This is not his point, nor is it mine, in the context of this thread.

What you're saying sounds like a territorial solution, Madagascar, where a long-term "die off" would be expected and encouraged.


Please, listen to me, I am not saying that the idea of the Final Solution, the real one, the one that will take place – in Himmler’s or Heydrich’s or Frank’s mind – was a territorial solution with a long term “die off”, my opinion is that the real project was not shared at the Wannsee conference.
Maybe I have found the word I was looking for.
The Final Solution as it was presented at the Wannsee meeting was a huge deception in how it had been thought to be implemented.
Theresienstadt, and the fate of the elderly, as presented was a deception.
The silence of the fate of the unfit Jews was a deception
The Minutes as written were probably a deception too.
My view is that the project of extermination of the Jews through mass murder - that is conducted on a fast path - was already in Himmler’s and Heydrich’s mind before Wannsee. But that, given the lessons learned with the reactions to the first killing of German Jews (among them Mischlinge and world war 1 heroes), they chose to keep it quiet about it, to ensure the cooperation of those officials.

The whole question of using anomalies to prove Brayard's view - well, I don't know (especially where you say below that Brayard's view on Goebbels is like mine)


Sorry, I don’t remember having said that. If so, I must have {!#%@} up somewhere.
As far as I remember in this thread, the only instance I said I agreed with you was on the gap between a project and its implementation. And as I have just explained – or tried to – is that yes the project to exterminate the European Jews as they were exterminated was preexistent to the meeting, that its implementation took (or was allowed to take place, through a green light) after Wannsee, BUT WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE SQUARE WANNSEE. ( if one says that in English, like in the Monopoly)

I've already explained, as has Nick Terry, my methodological problem with this approach; without really convincing examples, all I have is methodological doubt.


Sorry to say, but at this stage, the only real methodological problem I see is the way Nick and You address the issue raised by the two documents. If you see additional ones, then you are welcome to present them clearly, and concretely.

By the way, a study of how specific knowledge - of precisely what - did and didn't travel within parts of the Reich's officialdom is very interesting. That, however, seems different to what has been said here


agree of course, and that is precisely the topic of Brayard’s book. As I said, I only used the elements which have a relation with this thread: Wannsee. His chapter on the foreign minister is also very good. But doing research is one thing; reaction to the conclusion is another.
I think that, even limited to this thread and therefore to those two key elements, should be enough to open at least discussion and debate. It seems that both Nick and you defend Gerlach interpretation, like no matter what. It would of course be derailing this thread if we would start addressing the famous 12 of December decision.
Now, I have treated the letter above (this is mine this time). As I said, if that is not enough to reevaluate the pertinence of the letter, then it would be your turn, you and Nick Terry’s, to explain with a little more arguments why it should be rejected as irrelevant.
The anomalies in Gerlach interpretation of Wannsee are real, at least for me, if those two key documents – the letter and Goebbels entries – are taken into consideration. Again, if you or anyone else consider that those documents should not be taken into consideration, a little explanatory narrative would be necessary. That is more that “ old stuff, let’s press delete” kind of stuff.

To be continued.
(although once again, i hope to have clarify something)

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:37 am

Balsamo, I hope to get back to making a reply to this before I leave on my travels. On first reading, I had a quick question that will help me when I do make a more complete reply.

Balsamo wrote:Please, listen to me, I am not saying that the idea of the Final Solution, the real one, the one that will take place – in Himmler’s or Heydrich’s or Frank’s mind – was a territorial solution with a long term “die off”, my opinion is that the real project was not shared at the Wannsee conference.
Maybe I have found the word I was looking for.
The Final Solution as it was presented at the Wannsee meeting was a huge deception in how it had been thought to be implemented.

This clarifies your position, I think, but I have to take you back to what you quoted from Brayard so that either the reasons for confusion are made clearer and/or you can clarify exactly how you understand his position vis-a-vis yours.

You write, if I understand, that the genocidal decision was made before Wannsee. This decision you imply was in for "the idea of the Final Solution, the real one, the one that will take place," thus the FS involving all of Europe's Jews. You add to that that your thesis is that this real FS was not shared at Wannsee but a "huge deception."

Ok. But here is what the quotation from Brayard you shared earlier characterizes his difference with Sandkühler - describing it as a difference over whether the reading of documents, as Brayard says Sandkühler reads them, gives
definitive proof that the decision to murder the Jews had been taken and communicated to the highest echelons of the administration before Wannsee. . . . [T]he conference of Wannsee, this moment when, as Sandkühler and other historians would have it, the decision to murder the Jews had already been taken and was widely known.

A rigorous examination of the documents available shows that 1. at the turning point of 1941-1942, the fate of the German and western European Jews was not thus yet bound to systematic murder, neither from the perspective of the RSHA nor the other administrative branches of the Nazi government (it was evidently otherwise for the Ostjuden in Poland and the USSR whose physical extermination had already been decided and the plans for which were common knowledge); 2. The rare policing plans dating from this time of which we have knowledge assume the survival of the Jews deported from the West at least until the following spring or the following summer – and without doubt, in my opinion, further in the future; . . .

So, unlike you, Brayard, whom you are relying on, argues twice against two points: 1) the idea that the principle genocidal decision had been taken and 2) the idea that the decision was shared by the time of Wannsee; the second point, for Brayard, follows logically from the first, concerning Wannsee - and not months in the future. Brayard elaborates that, in fact, by the time of Wannsee the fate of German and western European Jews was NOT "yet bound to systematic murder" as opposed to the fate of Ostjuden. In fact, he says that the assumed policy was not the FS as we know it because the decisions of the turn of 1941/1942 were for the indefinite survival of Jews deported from the west to the east ("further in the future").

Thus, it is hard to square Brayard's rebuttal with your statements in your latest post.

Can you explain this for me? It does not seem that your latest clarification aligns with Brayard's rebuttal.
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:27 am

The Final Solution as it was presented at the Wannsee meeting was a huge deception in how it had been thought to be implemented.


Disagree. The FS presented at Wannasee was an embryonic snapshot of the German planning process at that moment in time. Unforseen developments would cause the FS to be altered.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby scrmbldggs » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:06 am

Are you gonna let the readers know who you're talking to, Jeff?
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:18 am

Balsamo

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby scrmbldggs » Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:55 am

Thanks. This thread is confusing enough as it is, wouldn't do to make it worse, eh. ;)
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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:59 am

Balsamo wrote:Nick Terry said:
Balsamo, the document is anachronistic, because there was no longer any intention of letting Jews or Mischlinge emigrate freely, and certainly no intention that is documented of expelling Jews over the frontline to the enemy.


-Technically, it is not, as it bears the date of 16 of March 1942.
- The letter of marsh 16th does not mention emigration or any forms of letting go, it contains the term “Abgestossen” which means expulsion/evacuation.
- As a matter of fact, it would be very difficult to find a document mentioning expelling any Jews or Mischlinge over the enemy lines. there are none, and this letter cannot be an exception.

I still don’t see where you see such thing in both documents – Losener 35 and L/S 1942.
If you disagree, please present some other piece of evidence that points to a Nazi intention to expel Jews over the frontline or allow them to emigrate.
With all respect, at this stage, it is yours to provide evidences to prove that Abgestossen refers to sending anyone to anywhere behind enemy lines. The concept of Enemy lines, in my reading, is nowhere to be found in both documents.

Your 'fallback' position is that Mischlinge would somehow become dangerous after deportation to a reservation/ghetto/camp, or might escape from the same destinations and join the partisans/local resistance. But this is a massively torturous reading of the document, and it too requires some corroborative evidence to be taken seriously.


It is what is written in the documents, I have not written them. Again, you seems confused by the assumption that there are mentions of enemy soldiers in the letter, which is not the case. If you think it is the case, show me the lines and the words. A document is to be treated as such, especially when it is not written in some code. What kind of corporative evidence you have in mind when it comes to a letter?

Brayard, and it seems you, want to use this document to infer something about Wannsee, when at most all that can be inferred in the absence of any other {!#%@} evidence about this is the laziness/stupidity of Stuckart and Loesener, or perhaps their willingness to use ridiculous arguments when justifying a genocidal policy of sterilisation.


What are you talking about? Are you kind of judging on intent, here? Am I justifying some genocidal policy of sterilization? It was painful enough to translate that crap. I am not responsible for the words in there.

The chain of inference back to what was discussed at Wannsee absolutely requires more than one piece of (external) evidence to become plausible; it requires also the elimination of alternatives. For example, we know that there is no convincing evidence of any intention to deport Jews to Auschwitz in large numbers before 20.1.42; the only evidence is Hoess's obviously misdated testimony about receiving a Hitler order from Himmler, no other piece of evidence exists to confirm a 1941 intention to base the Final Solution at Auschwitz.


Why do you come with Auschwitz all of a sudden? And how is it related to how the Final Solution was presented at Wannsee?

By contrast, Heydrich's reference to able-bodied Jews going 'roadbuilding to the east' is corroborated by sources before Wannsee suggesting an SS intention to help out with DG IV.


Who denies this? Of course roadbuilding to the east is mentioned in the WP and corroborated. I have read your post about DG IV, a good one. But where is the connection with what is being discussed here? I do not deny that there were plan to use Jews on that project. But how is roadbuilding connected with mass murder? Of course this project was part of what was shared.

Hopefully you now see what I mean by 'inferring back', it is about using other sources as sonar readings to clarify a murky issue, in this case Wannsee. At the moment there are productive pings and there are unproductive pings. Guess which the Stuckart 16.3.42 memo seems to be.


Well, it might surprise you, but i am not stupid. The problem as i feel it is that my or in this case Brayard obersvations or questioning are not intend to have any effect on how the Holocaust took place. The only influence they might have is on how the Wannsee meeting took place, not on how the Holocaust took place. I sense in Statmec previous post a real confusion about that.
It should seem obvious that the mass murder did not need to have be discussed about in January 42 in order to take place in April-may-june 42 (for the German Jews) and as soon as March for the Polish Jews at Belzec.

The only potential implication of the validity of Stuckart letter is on how the FS was presented at the meeting, not on how it took place. The same for Goebbels entry about Wannsee, it has no other incidence than about the way the real plan was shared, that is in my opinion, as little as possible.

As for fitting the document into a narrative, this has already been done by Essner and Jasch, so I don't need to bother.

Maybe you might feel like to share how they have done that, knowing that not everyone on this forum as the same easy access on sources as you. I might have said it already, but I kind of agree with Jasch title of his book.

the narrative is a side-issue to SS planning for the Final Solution, instead it's about Nazi racial policy and Mischlinge, so it's not relevant to working out what was going on with Nazi planning at the time of Wannsee. The Stuckart note fits in with a chain of documents concerning a debate about Mischlinge in the Berlin-based Nazi bureaucracy. One threat was to appeal to Hitler for a resolution, which was extremely undesirable. The debate ended with the subject kicked into the long grass, at least until autumn 1942, when Stuckart and others started up with the exact same arguments.


I agree with that, but it still does not deal with what this document indirectly implies! As the dilemma was should those Mischlinge be treated/ share the same fate of the Jews. Arguing as you seem to do, quite illogically, that Stuckart letter of 1942 is a warning NOT to send them to the enemy is absurd, especially since no allusion to enemy armed forced is mentioned in it. He was reacting to the prospect of seeing those mischlinge being treated like the Jews, as Heydrich proposed at Wannsee, as the wording of the letter say, in case the Misclinge were abgestossen (that implies abgestossen like the Jews).

Come on, I have shown you the difference between the two versions.
The 1935 clearly shows that the enemy was the Jews, the second do not even need to mention the eneny, as the abgestossen clearly shows what it is about.

I am aware that you don't agree, but still fail to see why it should be rejected as irrelevent.

Jasch shows that Stuckart once again appealed to the 'Mischlinge going over to the enemy' trope when corresponding with Himmler in October 1942.

This why I need to see the original German words to assess the point.

This is well after Brayard's spring/summer 1942 decision, so Stuckart's meme about Mischlinge means even less as a marker for what Nazi policy towards European-Jews-as-a-whole might have been at any one time. Evidently Stuckart just kept coming back to Loesener's hobby-horse.

All depends on how you do things.
Apparently Brayard thinks that both case illustrate that both Stuckart and Goebbels, among the most prominent Nazi, were maybe not aware of the real fate of the German Jews, this has of course no implication on the real fate of those German Jews. But it succeeded – although the word is misleading, as it would suggest that Stuckart/Losener were attempting to save people – in that the fate of the Mischlinge will indeed stay undecided, and most probably considered to be dealt with after the victory. But the arguments had no impact on the fate of eastern and Polish Mischlinge.

See you later, i am being "abgestossen" from the computer.


Balsamo, you failed to present any additional evidence, failed to outline your own argument, and are now throwing back questions in order to avoid doing either of those things.

Let's add in the protocol of the March 6 1942 meeting about Mischlinge. The discussion there shows that Stuckart's hobby-horse (Mischlinge as danger to the Reich) was amply discussed. Specifically, look at p.5 of the protocol
http://www.ghwk.de/fileadmin/user_uploa ... z_1942.pdf

Here the Nazis are discussing what to do with the Mischlinge 1st degree after they sterilise them. The notion was floated of keeping them in a town or settlement inside the Reich:
Fuer die Siedlung kaeme, um den Bedenken Rechnung zu tragen, die gegen einer Abschiebung teilweise deutschen Blutes ueber die Reichsgrenze vom Staatsekretaer Dr Stuckart vorgebracht wurden, ein Ort innerhalb des unmittelbaren Einflussbereiches des Deutschen Reiches in Betracht.

A note by Rademacher, the Foreign Office participant in the conference, from 7.3.42 (T/1381) misinterpreted this - or the 6.3.42 protocol misrepresented the discussion - to mean they were discussing what to do with Mischlinge instead of sterilising them, and stated that the Mischlinge could be gathered 'in einer einzigen Stadt in Deutschland oder im Generalgouvernement'.

The same Eichmann trial document has the FULL Stuckart letter of 16.3.42, which reveals that Brayard was being a bit disingenuous and selective in his citations from it. Stuckart appears not to have paid the slightest attention to the results of the meeting of 6.3.42, which is simply not mentioned in the letter. His arguments include:
- butbut there are many Mischlinge 1st degree in the Wehrmacht who have been okayed by the Fuehrer.
- every Mischlinge has a German family, we cannot piss them off during the war

The decisive argument for Stuckart was the giving up of German blood. So he stated: 'Ich habe es immer fuer biologisch ausserordentlich gefaehrlich gehalten, deutsches Blut einer gegnerischen Seite zuzufuehren'.

Basically, that 'immer' means Brayard and you can both {!#%@} right off. The 16.3.42 document is Stuckart-Loesener wheeling out their age-old hobby-horse, which was evidently taken into account at the 6.3.42 meeting by Felscher, the Interior Ministry rep, so that the official protocol mentioned Stuckart's hobby-horse. Stuckart, meanwhile, ignored possible compromise solutions of a Theresienstadt-like Mischlinge settlement inside German-controlled territory - NOT the 'east', and simply repeated his previous BS.

The second quote about hundreds of thousands of dangerous Mischlinge relates to the deportation of half-Jews from other peoples, Stuckart was evidently worried that Jews of German or 'related' blood would be affected. Which was utter nonsense; the only people with a significant number of Mischlinge that might be considered of related blood were the Dutch.

Whatever Stuckart thought he heard at Wannsee, he wasn't listening properly, and his interventions in the subsequent bureaucratic debate contained a mix of sensible arguments and gibberish that showed he had not absorbed what was being discussed at Wannsee.

To bring the discussion back down to empirical earth, circa Wannsee it is clear to me and others, I think StatMech would endorse this view, that Reich Jews were slated for deportation to the occupied eastern territories, as a matter of priority, and that the presence of Lange at Wannsee indicates there was definitely going to be a discussion of at the very least, Riga and the northern axis. Stuckart knew there had been murders at Riga, but subsequent transports were not all killed, many were sent to Salaspils.

Peter Klein points out that there were selections of unfit Reich Jews before and after Wannsee from incoming transports to Riga, and he also notes that Aktion Duenamuende, which hived off many but not all unfit Reich Jews in the Riga ghetto for murder, took place before the spring/summer 'extension'. Riga is also the place where the Brack 'Vergasungsapparate' were to be sent in an abortive earlier discussion from 25.10.41 to kill off unfit Reich Jews. The WP accounts for all this: no 100% extermination strawman, but the retention of able bodied Jews for labour, as indeed happened at Riga, and the murder of the unfit, whether or not that part was clearly spelled out.

If we add in other vaguer ideas like the DG IV project, which would account for 'roadbuilding to the east', then the same thing. Able-bodied Reich Jews would thus be working on roads. The circular from before Wannsee asking district commissars in Ukraine whether they could accommodate Reich Jews in ghettos shows this notion was taken seriously, even if it remained on the drawing board.

If Mischlinge 1st degree were treated as Jews and deported from the Reich to Riga, then they would if able bodied be kept alive as workers. This is the most straightforward coordination of all of the facts that are known. As of 20.1.42, Reich Jews were to be deported to the occupied eastern territories - this follows from the fact that many had already been so deported, and from the fact that more were deported there in 1942, and from all of the planning indications from January 1942, and the presence of Herr Lange.

Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter is a clear overreaction or piece of hyperbole when set against the reality of deportations to Riga in 1941/2, the deportations he knew about, and the deportations that must have come up to some extent at Wannsee, otherwise why the {!#%@} have Lange come all that way?

How would Mischlinge in the Riga ghetto send German blood to 'einer gegnerischer Seite'?

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:10 pm

Brief note on western European Jews and Longerich's time line, which says that not until after Heydrich's assassination (Heydrich was shot late in May and died in June) did the FS expand to include western Jews: Nick Terry and I have both mentioned Dannecker, Jewish advisor in Judenreferat IV-J in Paris.

In mid-May, Dannecker met with Lt-General Kohl, military commander for rail transport, to coordinate trains to carry Jews from France to the east. On 13 May 1942 - two weeks before Heydrich was ambushed (and about a week following Heydrich's visit to Paris, discussed in the Bargatzky thread here and the Hotel Majestic thread at AHF) - Dannecker included in a memorandum about his successful discussions with Kohl the following:
In der 1-1/4 Stunde dauernden Unterredung habe ich dem General einen Überblick über Judenfragen und Judenpolitik in Frankreich gegeben. Dabei konnte ich feststellen, daß er ein kompromißloser Judengegner ist und eine Endlösung der Judenfrage mit dem Ziel restlose Vernichtung des Gegner 100% zustimmt. Er zeigte sich auch als Gegner der politischen Kirchen.

The other important fact about the timing of these transport negotiations is that they came a month before the RSHA conference in Berlin that planned the summer deportations of Jews from France, Belgium and the Netherlands (which conference Nick Terry and I have both also mentioned upthread). Dannecker, who had written a memorandum 21 January 1941 outlining the previous policy of a "gigantic" project for the resettlement of the Jews after the war to territory as yet to be determined, here envisions the new policy as "restlose Vernichtung" (complete annihilation) of the Jewish adversary - and Kohl agrees to provide the necessary trains. (Klarsfeld, Die Endlösung, XXVb-29, p 56; covered of course in the Critique).

This planning is very difficult to square with Longerich's time line whereas it fits in very well with the views which Nick Terry and I have expressed.
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:22 pm

Statmec:

So, unlike you, Brayard, whom you are relying on, argues twice against two points: 1) the idea that the principle genocidal decision had been taken and 2) the idea that the decision was shared by the time of Wannsee; the second point, for Brayard, follows logically from the first, concerning Wannsee - and not months in the future. Brayard elaborates that, in fact, by the time of Wannsee the fate of German and western European Jews was NOT "yet bound to systematic murder" as opposed to the fate of Ostjuden. In fact, he says that the assumed policy was not the FS as we know it because the decisions of the turn of 1941/1942 were for the indefinite survival of Jews deported from the west to the east ("further in the future").

Thus, it is hard to square Brayard's rebuttal with your statements in your latest post.

Can you explain this for me? It does not seem that your latest clarification aligns with Brayard's rebuttal.


Of course, so here is the quote:

definitive proof that the decision to murder the Jews had been taken and communicated to the highest echelons of the administration before Wannsee. . . . [T]he conference of Wannsee, this moment when, as Sandkühler and other historians would have it, the decision to murder the Jews had already been taken and was widely known.

A rigorous examination of the documents available shows that 1. at the turning point of 1941-1942, the fate of the German and western European Jews was not thus yet bound to systematic murder,
neither from the perspective of the RSHA
nor the other administrative branches of the Nazi government (it was evidently otherwise for the Ostjuden in Poland and the USSR whose physical extermination had already been decided and the plans for which were common knowledge); 2. The rare policing plans dating from this time of which we have knowledge assume the survival of the Jews deported from the West at least until the following spring or the following summer – and without doubt, in my opinion, further in the future; . . .


The devil lies in the details as we said in French.
First i must admit that i have still not finished the last chapter of Brayard's book.
1.) The decision is a big word.
My opinion is that everything that was presented at Wannsee, but the fate of the Mischlinge, has indeed been thought and decided before the meeting, and therefore not really meant to be discussed. My opinion is that Heydrich and his team knew exactly that what they were presenting as a plan for the final solution was bogus, and presented it that way anyway. The more obvious example, and you mentioned it, is that the number of exemption, and especially those who were meant to die off in Theresienstadt was absolutely unrealistic given the numbers of Jews concerned, and the reasonable possible capacity. That means that in Heydrich's mind this was an illusion from the start, that for him and his superior, the German Jews, and of course the European Jews were destined to share the same fate than the eastern Jews, and that in order to achieve that, those Jews had to be deported first to where they could be treated that way.
But, and this my important but, in order to achieve that, he had to present to the other officials involved in the Jewish Question a expurgated version of the Plan the RSHA had in mind. Because, i think it was legitimate to fear that the consensus on how the Jews were to be treated, a very high consensus in the East, a high consensus in Poland or Serbia, might eroded when the turn of more familiar Jews, with less pronounced Jewess, presenting less obvious threats, … would come.

And the reactions around the first deportations and executions of German Jews seem to confirm those fears.
Of course, everything depends on how one interprets those events. But my belief is that the first transports and executions were not the results of an error, but a kind of test. As Gerlach noted rightly, " that executions of German Jewsbhad aroused quite a stir among the German authorities and had caused Himmler to suspend it". Whether those executions were in fact the results of local initiatives or not, does not change anything. When you send Jews to places where local Jews are being killed massively, such "incidents" should not come as a surprise for those who ordered the deportation. So my opinion is that the local initiatives theory should be relativized. The fact that those transports included Mischlinge, old Jews as well as Veterans make me suspect that the RSHA was trying to "force the doors" to see how it would unfold.
And to sum, the conclusions were not the RSHA would have wished: interventions, protests, etc.
It was obvious that killing hundreds of thousands of eastern Jews was something ok, but that there were still limit, and that to treat Doctor Lowenstein from Berlin like those dirty eastern Jews was still off limit. It was also obvious that more secrecy was needed in their case.

So prerequisites appeared: If one wanted to pursue in this way, measures would have to be taken in order to prevent those interventions and protests. The first step was to take officially complete control over the Jewish question, to formalize Himmler’s statement of November 41 "the Jewish question is mine", and therefore having the others offices surrender their "share in the pie" voluntarily.
The second step was to delay the "treatment" of the "controversial Jews" and "half Jews".
the third to clarify the status of those half Jews and to assimilate them to the Jews, so they would be covered by the first step.
And this is what prompted the Wannsee meeting.

Regarding the quote above.
Well, I almost agree with everything, except the bolded part which is of course essential, and i just explained why.
Brayard position is that the fate of the German and Western Jews was not yet bound to systematic murder. I do not think nor did I have the feeling that he contested the idea that an extermination plan was not proposed at Wannsee. I don't anyway. But instead that the extermination plan proposed was not yet bound to systematic murder - that is shooting upon arrival, etc.

My opinion was that the RSHA plan was to treat and "process" the western Jews just like what was being done in the East, and that in order to achieve this, provisional fake concessions had to be make, and the real stuff had to be somewhat delayed.

I am aware that there is still debate to know if Heydrich had already a plan in mind or not by the time of Wannsee. I clearly think he had, so I am not following Brayard on that. As I said, I see the Final Solution presented at Wannsee as a deception, and therefore don’t take it seriously. Having 11 million persons transported to build road, to transport lodge them and feed them, even in harsh conditions and during war time is as utopic as the Madagascar plan, especially if the goal was a long term extermination.

But I still defend that such a plan was presented anyway in order to obtain what Heydrich was looking for at the meeting. His failure was the question of the Mischlinge which for the German and western Jews will never be resolved. And the arguments provided by Brayard seems to confirm that. Some of the attendees believed in the bogus plan. And therefor, logically, i doubt that the real plan was widely known and shared by the whole Nazi apparatus.

Another issue is if a clear order had been given to treat those western Jews like the Eastern ones at the time of Wannsee. This is another question, and there are no easy answers for that. Hence, the distinction I make between a preconceived plan and project and the date of its implementation. Was this gap – which is uncontested – the result of practical and logistical difficulties or was the RSHA waiting for a “green light”? Was it a mix of both?
Unfortunately, I am not aware of clear sources that can answer these questions for good. The question being still disputed, Brayard is free to have his opinion.
Personnally, I inclined to think that some “green light” had to be issued at some point, as a consequence of the fuss of October-November 41. But that is another topic.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:28 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
The Final Solution as it was presented at the Wannsee meeting was a huge deception in how it had been thought to be implemented.


Disagree. The FS presented at Wannasee was an embryonic snapshot of the German planning process at that moment in time. Unforseen developments would cause the FS to be altered.


I am the victim of my bad english again... bloody "thought to" should read "told"... My sentence you quote is not clear at all, sorry for that. What i am trying to say is that an extermination programs was shared, but that the modalities, the real ones, were not shared. My last post might help clarify that.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:58 pm

Thanks, Balsamo, I will re-read both posts and reply when I've got a little more thinking time - LOL - but I believe your last post clarified your thoughs, vs Brayard's for me. We disagree still, but at least now I understand the disagreement better! (Your English is pretty damned good . . . for sure better than my wife's French!)
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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:06 pm

As to Dannecker's May memo . . . described above . . . according to Gerwarth, what Heydrich said about the Jewish question at the Hotel Majestic (this is covered in an AHF thread involving Little Grey Rabbit and Michael Mills) included the following:

- a briefing on the Wannsee conference

- expression of “regret” that gas vans, which had been used in the East, were” technically insufficient”

- the promise of “bigger, more perfect and numerically more productive solutions”

- the affirmation that a “death sentence” had been given the “entirety of European Jews”

- the news that in coming weeks Jews living in France would begin being deported to fulfill the death sentence

This was 6 May 1942. Heydrich was, of course, the man who orchestrated the Wannsee conference and informed the ministers and others there of the FS and its meaning for all the Jews of Europe. Bargatzky (whose recollections are cited by Gerwarth apparently heard about Heyrdich's comments from Bälz, head of justice division of MBF, who had passed along the information following the evening session at the hotel; as noted in our Bargatzky thread, Longerich also writes about this incident) seems to have recorded a more informal “information” session, for what Gerwarth describes as a small group at the Hotel Majestic, a briefing necessary for the planning and execution of the upcoming large-scale roundups and deportations from France.

Balsamo and I debated this in the SSF thread on Bargatzky. Discussions among the occupation authorities of deportations from France were ongoing during this period, with Heydrich’s involvement in them. When Heydrich was in Paris at this time. Heydrich was involved, as well, in planning the March deportations from France - the ones which Mills lied about at AHF in a sad effort to support the idea that there is no possible way that Bartgazky’s recollection is right and that it makes no sense. During early May, Heydrich was in Paris for Oberg’s assumption of the office of HSSPF. Heydrich was helping get people oriented to the upcoming imposition of the Wannsee program, finally, to Jews in France - getting the “team” set, meeting with new French police chief Bousquet, with whom he discussed French interest in expelling foreign-born Jews.

No, we don’t have definitive proof of Heydrich’s remarks - but we have more than one source. As I wrote in our Bargatzky thread,
Longerich explains that “identical information from the former chief judge attached to the military commander” (see below) was provided already in 1949 and included in a book written by Hans Luther in 1957; Longerich also footnotes Ulrich Herbert in a piece contributed to a Festschrift for Hans Mommsen (1995) as well as Herbert’s Werner Best biography, which would be additional sources to consult before dismissing this remark as hearsay on top of hearsay on top of an afterthought.

I’ve not been able to locate either of these accounts.

Again, I wish we’d grounded some of this discussion more precisely in key documents, like the protocol, and conducted a review of the developments in France as a testing ground.

On a side note: Mills, unable to sustain the idea that France was only included in the FS much later than this time, fled the AHF thread, after refusing to produce a document he’d lied about in the thread. Indeed, with or without Bargatzky's recollection, Heydrich's involvement in the planning of deportations from France during March - May is a very big problem for the view, apparently Brayard's, that the European-wide FS was neither decided nor communicated at Wannsee and as needed during the months following the conference. Again, all this was topped off by the 11 June 1942 RSHA meeting which Nick Terry and I've discussed.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:04 am

And one more comment on the implications of this, as I'd forgotten an important point that I just remembered during a dialogue I've been having about these posts: there's yet another "hook."

That hook is the Wannsee protocol. We've already got a possible hook into it via Heydrich's remarks at the Hotel Majestic, where he framed his communication about a death sentence for the entirety of Europe's Jews using the Wannsee meeting.

But there's more: the plans in France did not come out of thin air. The protocol listed France and gave the Jewish population for the country. The protocol, as we know, explained that the FS encompassed the Jews of Europe - as to France, it said specifically, "In occupied and unoccupied France, the registration of Jews for evacuation will in all probability proceed without great difficulty."

Then, within a month or so, Heydrich is in France working on the deportations. A few weeks after that he's at the Majestic and meeting with Bousquet and others on the deportations, he possibly describes the deportations as using an improved and quantitatively more productive method than gas vans; And then a week later Dannecker secures Kohl's agreement to provide transport for the "complete annihilation" of the Jews, which he defines as "the final solution" and with which, he's happy to report, Kohl agrees.

French Jews announced as part of FS in January, Heydrich pushing practical steps during March-May, Dannecker clearly clued in, small circle at Majestic probably clued in, Dannecker clues in Kohl, transport set, everything ready for the 11 June 1942 RSHA meeting.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:16 pm

Hi Nick, It pretty hard stuff we are dealing with. So I hope you won’t mind if I use the point by point technique in this case. It would help to clarify things.

Here the Nazis are discussing what to do with the Mischlinge 1st degree after they sterilise them. The notion was floated of keeping them in a town or settlement inside the Reich:

"Fuer die Siedlung kaeme, um den Bedenken Rechnung zu tragen, die gegen einer Abschiebung teilweise deutschen Blutes ueber die Reichsgrenze vom Staatsekretaer Dr Stuckart vorgebracht wurden, ein Ort innerhalb des unmittelbaren Einflussbereiches des Deutschen Reiches in Betracht."

A note by Rademacher, the Foreign Office participant in the conference, from 7.3.42 (T/1381) misinterpreted this - or the 6.3.42 protocol misrepresented the discussion - to mean they were discussing what to do with Mischlinge instead of sterilising them, and stated that the Mischlinge could be gathered 'in einer einzigen Stadt in Deutschland oder im Generalgouvernement'.


I am not that sure that Rademacher misrepresented the discussion, he was there. ( or was he sleepy as well ? :D )
But the discussion which I supposed was very technical might have been quite difficult to summarize into minutes. It is a hell of a reading, especially given the BS being discussed. I am close to an overdose, here.

Anyway, one page 7, as a form of conclusion of the discussion about first degree Misclinge, a paragraph reads:
“Zusammenfassend wurde vorgeschlagen, NEBEN den Vorschlag der allgemeine Zwangsterierung an hochste stele auch den Vorschlag Arbeitskreises vorzulegen.[b] DABEI soll auch hier der Moeglischkeit gedacht werden die EVAKUIERUNG der(…)Mischlinge nicht gemainsam mit den Juden vorzunehmen SONDER sie am anderen Orte ahnlich den Alten Juden zusammenzufassen”[/b]
To this is added that within this solution the Mischlinge should be separated by sex until sterilization could be implemented there. (sorry tired to write German).

What strikes me is the possibility of sending them to the GG, which is certainly NOT what Stuckart wanted.

The same Eichmann trial document has the FULL Stuckart letter of 16.3.42, which reveals that Brayard was being a bit disingenuous and selective in his citations from it. Stuckart appears not to have paid the slightest attention to the results of the meeting of 6.3.42, which is simply not mentioned in the letter. His arguments include:
- butbut there are many Mischlinge 1st degree in the Wehrmacht who have been okayed by the Fuehrer.
- every Mischlinge has a German family, we cannot piss them off during the war


Is there a link to this letter so I could read the full of it?

Regarding those two arguments, they are not so unrelated to the decisive argument (which is still that Mischlinge should not be expelled along with the Jews):
The first one is a reminder that indeed typical German qualities are to found in them, and that indeed, the Fuhrer had granted an Aryan status to many of them (Field Marshal Milch being the famous example), and that indeed former first degree Misclinge were serving in the Wehrmacht.

The second might very well be a response to the arguments presented at this 6th of March Meeting which outlined the political repercussions and difficulties of forced sterilization. A way to say, “do you think that their expulsion would not create fuss among their partly German relatives”

The decisive argument for Stuckart was the giving up of German blood. So he stated: 'Ich habe es immer fuer biologisch ausserordentlich gefaehrlich gehalten, deutsches Blut einer gegnerischen Seite zuzufuehren'.


I still fail to fully understand where you are going with this.
One cannot dismiss a sentence as irrelevant only because it contains the world “always”. It only means that in his belief, what was argued in 1935 is still valid in 1942, and why shouldn’t that be?
If Winston Churchill would have said in 1941 “It was always my belief that Hitler wanted war”, would it be irrelevant because he had the same opinion years before?

Again you seem to focus too much on the term “gegnerichen” or to give it a meaning it does not automatically have. I have shown that the enemy was the Jews in 1935, why should the Jews not being enemies in 1942 when the full extent of the Final Solution was about to be launched?
StatMec just posted this quote by Dannecker.
“eine Endlösung der Judenfrage mit dem Ziel restlose Vernichtung des Gegner 100% zustimmt.”

Who should the Gegner be if not the Jews? Again, gegnerischen is an adjective, not a verb. If Gegner in this context designates the Jews, the the adjective Gegnerische in a similar context might very well and logically refers to the Jews.

Stuckart, meanwhile, ignored possible compromise solutions of a Theresienstadt-like Mischlinge settlement inside German-controlled territory - NOT the 'east', and simply repeated his previous BS.


This is maybe a good point.
But for what I have understood from the bloody reading of the Minutes of the 06.03 meeting, it was not meant to lead to any decision, but was conceived as a “brain”stroming on Stuckart propositions. Most issues were supposed to be sent back to the top or to additional workshops (Arbeitkreises) to be debated further.
Unfortunately, we don’t know, just like for Wannsee, what had been really said. Was this specific place to be under the RSHA control? Might be if Rademacher mentions the GG as a possible destination.
In addition, this meeting, just as Wannsee, was a Heydrich’s initiative, so maybe Stuckart thought it was time to take his own initiatives and to strike on the higher level.
It all sends back to what Stuckart’s real motivations were. Pure competition over authority? Did he really believe that his plan (Losener) was the real solution to get rid of this dangerous race without creating too much fuss? Did he want to be part of a specific Final Solution of the Mischlinge Frage?
I have my ideas on that.

The second quote about hundreds of thousands of dangerous Mischlinge relates to the deportation of half-Jews from other peoples, Stuckart was evidently worried that Jews of German or 'related' blood would be affected. Which was utter nonsense; the only people with a significant number of Mischlinge that might be considered of related blood were the Dutch.


Probably, but Stuckart was a fanatic "racialist", a pure product of the Nazi and Eugenic theories about races and heredity. So he could have relied on a broader definition of Aryan as in Himmler's schyzo racial classification. Might have also been included, Scandinavian, Flemish, some French (Alsace-Lorraine), German roots and blood were also to be found in the East.

In any case, IIRC, the Dutch Mischlinge were not deported, nor were the local legal definition of Jews redefined nowhere in the West.
Correct me if I am wrong.

Whatever Stuckart thought he heard at Wannsee, he wasn't listening properly, and his interventions in the subsequent bureaucratic debate contained a mix of sensible arguments and gibberish that showed he had not absorbed what was being discussed at Wannsee.


This seems highly improbable, I am afraid, just like Eichmann being so concentrated on his writing of the Minutes that he could not hear those Gentlemen speaking about mass murdering millions of people. Besides, it also contradicts what Eichmann said about Stuckart being exceptionally animated. I doubt he was a senile mentally disabled floating around the Nazi leadership. LOL.
Here is what Eichmann recalls:

In regard to the final solution of the Jewish problem and particularly outstanding in theenthusiastic and unexpected form of agreement was the State secretary, Buehler, and even more than Buehler, Stuckart had evinced boundless enthusiasm.


Does not seem he was sleepy that day.

But indeed what he absorbed and retained from the Wannsee is the core of this debate.

To bring the discussion back down to empirical earth, circa Wannsee it is clear to me and others, I think StatMech would endorse this view, that Reich Jews were slated for deportation to the occupied eastern territories, as a matter of priority, and that the presence of Lange at Wannsee indicates there was definitely going to be a discussion of at the very least, Riga and the northern axis. Stuckart knew there had been murders at Riga, but subsequent transports were not all killed, many were sent to Salaspils.


I do not dispute that.
Brayard addresses the presence of Lange. But I will post it later, as I prefer to stay on my own on this one. Anyway, Lange presence does not necessarily mean that he spoke openly about the duties he was doing in the East at the meeting.

I think I have explained some important points regarding my personal positions regarding those things in my last post to Statmec. Anyway, i'll recap below.

Peter Klein points out that there were selections of unfit Reich Jews before and after Wannsee from incoming transports to Riga, and he also notes that Aktion Duenamuende, which hived off many but not all unfit Reich Jews in the Riga ghetto for murder, took place before the spring/summer 'extension'. Riga is also the place where the Brack 'Vergasungsapparate' were to be sent in an abortive earlier discussion from 25.10.41 to kill off unfit Reich Jews. The WP accounts for all this: no 100% extermination strawman, but the retention of able bodied Jews for labour, as indeed happened at Riga, and the murder of the unfit, whether or not that part was clearly spelled out.


As above. And as I have explained all those realities were, in my understanding, certainly not shared and presented, even less discussed, at Wannsee and whether or not that part was clearly spelled out is the issue I am arguing about.
If that was spelled out, then of course Stuckart’s arguments make no sense at all, but then why did he defend them so much. This is the whole point, basically. If they were not spell out, then Stuckart’s arguments can at least be integrated into the time line.

As a sideline, all those elements contribute to why I put the effects of the Wannsee conference into perspective in the first place. It clearly shows that there was an idea on how those German Jews, and by extension the European ones, were to be treated. But as I said to Statmec, even two years ago, the fuss around the executions of the German Jews in October-November should have made those bastards to realize that not all authorities were ready to make this step, and that measures had to be taken before in order to avoid further annoyances and interventions.

If we add in other vaguer ideas like the DG IV project, which would account for 'roadbuilding to the east', then the same thing. Able-bodied Reich Jews would thus be working on roads. The circular from before Wannsee asking district commissars in Ukraine whether they could accommodate Reich Jews in ghettos shows this notion was taken seriously, even if it remained on the drawing board.


Of course, it was one project among many others. The Minutes only speak of this one, though.
Heydrich's idea was certainly not to enter into the details on how the labor would be used. Roadbuilding simplified things. That does not mean that Roadbuilding was a lie.

If Mischlinge 1st degree were treated as Jews and deported from the Reich to Riga, then they would if able bodied be kept alive as workers. This is the most straightforward coordination of
all of the facts that are known. As of 20.1.42, Reich Jews were to be deported to the occupied eastern territories - this follows from the fact that many had already been so deported, and from the fact that more were deported there in 1942, and from all of the planning indications from January 1942, and the presence of Herr Lange.


You don’t have to convince me that this would indeed have been their fate, no doubts about that.
Not sure it was understood this way by Stuckart.

Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter is a clear overreaction or piece of hyperbole when set against the reality of deportations to Riga in 1941/2, the deportations he knew about, and the deportations that must have come up to some extent at Wannsee, otherwise why the {!#%@} have Lange come all that way?


Lange, on Heydrich's order.
I do not thing that Stuckart cared about the fate of the Jews, personally, this is my humble opinion. But how could Heydrich be sure about his, or any of the other attendees not member of his gang, reaction if faced with a plan involving the direct murder of millions is another story.

How would Mischlinge in the Riga ghetto send German blood to 'einer gegnerischer Seite'?


By being among Jews in the Ghetto.
See above. Gegnerischen does not necessarily implies a Red army soldier.



It is Important to understand my point of view.
“Not telling the truth at Wannsee” is what made the extension of the Final Solution possible, allowed to overcome the difficulties Heydrich feared. It had no impact on how the Final Solution actually unfold.

I personally do not follow Brayard on the idea that Heydrich still had no idea about how those German western Jews were to be treated, they were to be treated like the eastern ones, at least for Himmler and Heydrich and their team.
But contrary to the eastern Jews for whom no difficulties was to be noted in how the policy was applied, the extension of this policy to the Greater Reich, and the western Jews, implied various authorities which as Eichmann said:
“l those questions were usually dealt with by various authorities and if it were, there was no coordinated activity and, therefore, actions were delayed considerably as there were all sorts of activities carried out within various offices. And, in a nutshell, one may point out that in the deliberations which were held so far they wouldn't see the wood for the trees, and they wouldn't arrive at any definite solution or any coordinated solution. This is one of the reasons why Heydrich convened the Wannsee Conference, why he actually convened it on his own initiative in order to imprint his own will and that of the Reichsführer SS.”


The fuss around the first executions of the German Jews created fuss, and lessons had to be learned from it.

Would it have made sense to try to overcome this institutional mess by saying that you plan was now mass murdering millions of German and western Jews? At least not if Heydrich wanted to avoid fuss and incidents, as well as endless debates.

If as I suspect, and as I believe, Heydrich did not spell out the full extent of the Plan he had in mind for the German Jews, then Stuckart’s letter is not illogical anymore, quite the contrary it makes sense and can be integrated in the narrative.
He agreed to a plan intended to exterminate the Jews by exposing to terrible conditions in the East, to work them to death, but as he had always believed, the Mischlinge should be exterminated in another way, through sterilization, within the Reich, so that they cannot exercise prejudicial effects on the Jews in the East.

I have not to add that I don’t believe for one minute that Stuckart’s intention was to save anybody.

He probably wanted to have a part in the process by reserving the “Misclinge Frage” to himself or at least to his ministry.
Heydrich of course wanted to extend his authority over this question also, as the deportation of Mischline in 1941 clearly shows.
According to Brayard, who relies on two documents (Losener at the 29th January meeting over the Mischlinge in the East, and notes from Wetzel), think that the State Secretaries supported Stuckart’s proposition quite frankly.
Not satisfied with this outcome, Heydrich edited the Minutes to minimize the opposition and take another personal initiative to organize another meeting over Stuckart’s propositions but at a lower level on March 6th. While nothing had been decided at the meeting (it was not meant as a decision process), Feldcher would have told his boss that the support he thought to have was not so strong. So Stuckart decided to take his own initiative on the 16th of March.
Now, if the Minutes are truer that thought about how the FS was presented, then Goebbels interpretation also make more sense. The East had become the new destructive destination for the Jews, which will finally be kicked out from the Reich and Europe, just as he wished. In this perspective, it is very possible that he only read and understood what he was waiting for, the expulsion of the Jews, without really thinking about the details, and wrote his reaction in his diary, just as it is.

Heydrich temporarily failed on the Mischlinge, but got what he was looking for: the surrender of those offices prerogatives in the Jewish affairs, full authority to deport the Jews from wherever he wanted in Europe without having to fear interferences and annoyances ( Hitler decision to expand Himmler's juridiction as RKF to the west, somewhere in February 42 IIRC, was another essential step). Of course, he had to lie a bit about the fate of the elderly, and the Veterans who provocked the fuss a couple of month ago, but that was of no real consequences. Even if he had to decieve about Theresienstadt, the outflow from there was only month ahead.

And as a bonus in his misfortune regarding the Mischlinge, those officials were now absorbed to discuss and endlessly debate this topic, that the real preparations for the deportation of the Jews could begin.
As a side note, the full protocol of the 6th of March meeting also confirm in some way this reading. There is nothing at all that those low level civil servants were discussing anything that would imply mass murder. Even the term “evakuierung” is used quite innocently. Granted they were debating extermination programs, but there is nothing in the text that suggests that they were aware that they were discussing matters with immediate live and death implications.

Does that sounds so crazy? or even "not serious"?

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:43 am

Balsamo wrote:In any case, IIRC, the Dutch Mischlinge were not deported, nor were the local legal definition of Jews redefined nowhere in the West.
Correct me if I am wrong.

Not to get in the way here - nothing in this discussion is convincing me that Stuckart hadn't been informed of the general fate of the European Jews at Wannsee and possibly before, interesting as the details of the handling of the Mischlinge might be - but as to the Dutch Mischlinge, on 20 July 1944 a report of Bene (Lozowick, p 176) said that the Jewish problem in the Netherlands had been basically solved; as to the disposition of the 140,000 registered Jews – 119,500 had “gone”:
- 2,500 determined Mischlinge or Aryan
- 4,000 deaths
- 8,000 fled the Netherlands
- 105,000 deported

IIRC Mischlinge often found their way onto Calmeyer's list and avoided deportation until very late - I don't recall if they were mostly deported to Theresienstadt? The 2,500 figure is a minority of Dutch Mischlinge, who at the beginning of the occupation numbered ca. 20,000, but whose numbers were reduced with "downgrades" of Mischlinge as the Nazis worked through the various so-called exemptions.

As to the 100% extermination note, I do have to say something, no one's argued any such thing, and the protocol hooks to many later documents, e.g., famously Goebbels' March diary entry but many others including deportation planning and "cover stories," etc. Back to Longerich for a second, who defined the core of Wannsee, and the new approach, as decimating labor + mass murder (the unfit, the "silent" assertion in the WP). Nor has anyone made either of two arguments that seem to "haunt" this: first, that all senior Reich and Party officials were briefed; second, that the deportations (and mass murder) of the German Jews could be achieved without first overcoming certain obstacles (psychological, etc) and using bureaucratic and other methods to push this along.

Recall too, Lösener's note that Stuckart lectured him on the necessity for inclusion of the Reich Jews in the FS.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:54 pm

One more thought on the latest posts: Why was Lange there at all?

"On Heydrich's order" begs the question why Heydrich wanted Lange there?

Lange after all had practical experience dealing with deported Jews. Was Heydrich using the forum to reiterate Himmler's warning of end of November that for the time Reich Jews shouldn't be shot? Was he telling Lange that the Reich Jews were to be excluded from the measures of the FS (that is, evacuation = decimating labor and conditions + murder of the unfit + eventual murder of the hardy remnant)? What evidence is there for such a thing?

What did Lange have to offer the new policy that made Heydrich want him at the conference?
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:58 pm

StatMec:

nothing in this discussion is convincing me that Stuckart hadn't been informed of the general fate of the European Jews at Wannsee


By that you mean that all the attendees have been informed that all European Jews were to be deported in the east, a selection made, that the fit would work to death, the unfil killed, and the surviving ones killed later, is that correct?

Nor has anyone made either of two arguments that seem to "haunt" this: first, that all senior Reich and Party officials were briefed; second, that the deportations (and mass murder) of the German Jews could be achieved without first overcoming certain obstacles (psychological, etc) and using bureaucratic and other methods to push this along.


Again, just some precision.
1)What briefing are you refering?
2) I am not sure to understand what you want to say in your second argument.

I do not want to react on possibly wrong interpretations.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:34 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:One more thought on the latest posts: Why was Lange there at all?

"On Heydrich's order" begs the question why Heydrich wanted Lange there?

Lange after all had practical experience dealing with deported Jews. Was Heydrich using the forum to reiterate Himmler's warning of end of November that for the time Reich Jews shouldn't be shot? Was he telling Lange that the Reich Jews were to be excluded from the measures of the FS (that is, evacuation = decimating labor and conditions + murder of the unfit + eventual murder of the hardy remnant)? What evidence is there for such a thing?

What did Lange have to offer the new policy that made Heydrich want him at the conference?


You are aware that there could be only speculations on that. Reading the minutes one can wonder why other people were actually there.
But the fact that Lange was responsible for mass murder does not automatically means he was invited to speak about his skills in mass murdering Jews.
He could very well only have presented what had been done to lodge the deportees, like the state of the construction of Salaspils camp, or the availabilities in the existing Ghetto of Riga, or the difficulties encountered... He could have been used in a deceptive role...

There is no way to know for sure.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:56 pm

Balsamo wrote:StatMec:

nothing in this discussion is convincing me that Stuckart hadn't been informed of the general fate of the European Jews at Wannsee


By that you mean that all the attendees have been informed that all European Jews were to be deported in the east, a selection made, that the fit would work to death, the unfil killed, and the surviving ones killed later, is that correct?

In general as described above, that the FS meant moving against and finishing off Europe's Jews as the war permitted, with deportations for Reich and western Jews to the east as part of the thinking, also forced labor (using the Saussurean "sign" road-building); that the nature of the FS was the demise of Europe's Jews - but not a specific plan - more in the line with, sticking with the Saussurean moment, things like labor that kills, wiping out the unfit, allowing Jews to die off, continuing shooting campaigns, I should think. So, no, not exactly as you stated it.

Balsamo wrote:
Nor has anyone made either of two arguments that seem to "haunt" this: first, that all senior Reich and Party officials were briefed; second, that the deportations (and mass murder) of the German Jews could be achieved without first overcoming certain obstacles (psychological, etc) and using bureaucratic and other methods to push this along.


Again, just some precision.
1)What briefing are you refering?

None, I wanted it to be clear that to say that informing those at Wannsee and then people like Dannecker along the line isn't the same as a broadcast announcement - this accounts for some of the "anomalies," e.g., our discussion of Goebbels.

Balsamo wrote:2) I am not sure to understand what you want to say in your second argument.

I do not want to react on possibly wrong interpretations.

The methods of dealing with and finishing off the central and western European Jews differed to those used in Poland, just as the methods used in Poland differed to those used in the occupied USSR. E.g., IMO Hungary was "in scope" but the Hungarian operation had many differences to the French and Dutch operations due to the time and particular conditions under which it occurred vs the deportations in the western European countries. I am really trying to clarify - for Brayard! - that his is not the only view that looks at such differences, which he makes an east-west dichotomy best I can tell.
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"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:47 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:One more thought on the latest posts: Why was Lange there at all?

"On Heydrich's order" begs the question why Heydrich wanted Lange there?

Lange after all had practical experience dealing with deported Jews. Was Heydrich using the forum to reiterate Himmler's warning of end of November that for the time Reich Jews shouldn't be shot? Was he telling Lange that the Reich Jews were to be excluded from the measures of the FS (that is, evacuation = decimating labor and conditions + murder of the unfit + eventual murder of the hardy remnant)? What evidence is there for such a thing?

What did Lange have to offer the new policy that made Heydrich want him at the conference?


You are aware that there could be only speculations on that. Reading the minutes one can wonder why other people were actually there.
But the fact that Lange was responsible for mass murder does not automatically means he was invited to speak about his skills in mass murdering Jews.

The minutes don't say, of course, but what inferences can be drawn other than that Heydrich wanted him there? Perhaps the answer is none, but perhaps there are reasonable thoughts.

Balsamo wrote:He could very well only have presented what had been done to lodge the deportees, like the state of the construction of Salaspils camp, or the availabilities in the existing Ghetto of Riga, or the difficulties encountered... He could have been used in a deceptive role...

There is no way to know for sure.

Maybe - but my understanding is that the first transports went to KZ Jungfernhof, and that Salaspils was built in early 1942. Either way, that is more already than saying simply "because Heydrich wanted him there." And that would indicate, if correct, in case there's any doubt, that the deportation of Reich Jews was a serious point on the agenda - in the here and now. Which could then have us start looking at what happened when Reich Jews came east. What kinds of places were they housed in. How were they treated. When were they sent. Etc.

Some historians believe - trying to account for Himmler's lack of reaction to the Kaunas shootings of Reich deportees the prior month - that Himmler's scolding of Jeckeln for the November Riga shooting had to do with "privileged" (medal holding, etc) Jews being on the Riga transport. I don't agree, but Nick Terry's question opens up discussion about this sort of thing - about managing fallout, about intent, etc. Lange had also been involved in the flare-ups with Lohse about treatment of, and deportation of, Reich Jews to the Ostland in 1941 IIRC. Both Lange and Schöngarth (Lviv professors) were already experienced mass murderers by this time. According to Ezergailis (p 358), ironically or not, the very next transport arriving in Riga after the Wannsee conference, on 5 February, saw 1,500 Austrian Jews taken to the forest and shot, only the 2nd such large-scale shooting of arriving Jews, I believe, since the end of November. The first Dünamünde action took place in mid-March, with plans made a bit early than that - not so very long after Wannsee. The other such shooting took place outside Riga on 19 January, the day before the Wannsee conference, and, Angrick & Klein convincingly assume, given Himmler's reaction to the November shootings, this shooting of Czech Jews must have had Berlin's go-ahead (The "Final Solution" in Riga, p 261). And so on.

Last point: Angrick & Klein quote Lange writing (they date the note to the first week of February 1942) about German Jews as follows (pp 262-263):
Of these Reich-German Jews [the 19,000 deported since December 1941], only a small part is able to work. Women and children and me unable to work make up 70-80 percent. The mortality rate is constantly rising among the evacuated Jews. Primarily old and frail Jews are no longer resistant enough to survive the extraordinarily hard winter. In order to counter every risk of epidemics in the ghetto and in the two camps from the start, Jews with contagious diseases . . . were in individual cases selected and executed. In order to avoid these measures from becoming known among the local Jews and among the Jews in the Reich, removal was camouflaged as the transfer to a Jewish home for the elderly and ill. In addition, several mentally ill Jews were selected the same way. . . . In the spring, the camp [under construction] will have been built up so that all of the evacuated Jews who survive the winter can be admitted to this camp.

In short, the unfit Jews were expected to die off or be killed, and the fit Jews were to be housed for labor, roughly along the lines of what Heydrich was, IMO, telling the attendees at the Wannsee meeting.

Heydrich needed a cover story for Lange? Regarding German Jews? Seriously? Clearly, if killing Reich Jews was contemplated, and already being done by Lange, Heydrich would hardly have been at pains to conceal this "2nd FS" from Lange, who was charged with carrying out the killings and around the time of the Wannsee conference explaining how he’d been getting away with killing unfit Reich Jews.

IIRC Lange had the lowest rank of anyone at the conference - why not Stahlecker, his boss? why not another commander? It would be fruitful to consider that Lange combined experience in mass murder, in handling deportations from the Reich - and in killing arriving Jews. It is, anyway, interesting that in their book on Riga, Angrick & Klein devote a short chapter to "SS Major Rudolf Lange and the Wannsee Conference," noting, inter alia, that Latvia was already a laboratory for decimation of deported Jews by attrition and that, given the average age of Jews deported (48), "it is clear that the majority of them were not even expected to survive temporarily." (p 261)

I just think that Nick Terry's question deserved some thought, not a one-liner.
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:32 pm

If I may, I would like to ask you some specific questions:

The methods of dealing with and finishing off the central and western European Jews differed to those used in Poland, just as the methods used in Poland differed to those used in the occupied USSR. E.g., IMO Hungary was "in scope" but the Hungarian operation had many differences to the French and Dutch operations due to the time and particular conditions under which it occurred vs the deportations in the western European countries


Ok, this is also, more or less, how i would define the FS by January 1942. The only point i defend is that still this is not what had been exposed at Wannsee.

So my question is: why would Heydrich shared this to the State Secretaries? What kind of advantages was he hoping to obtain by explaining the real nature of what he had in mind about the Final Solution?

None, I wanted it to be clear that to say that informing those at Wannsee and then people like Dannecker along the line isn't the same as a broadcast announcement - this accounts for some of the "anomalies," e.g., our discussion of Goebbels.


Still I fear I am not getting ths right.

Because it seems that it is exactly the kind of distinctions I am making. To inform Dannecker of the results of Wannsee almost immediately after the meeting makes a lot of sense. We both know that Heydrich's team in Paris had some authority issues with the MBH, the decisions agreed upon at Wannsee would certainly help Dannecker in his position and mission. After Wannsee, Dannecker was also given an official destination for all the Jews (of course, he as member of the old guard of the SD judenreferat, he knew what it meant).
I mean Dannecker knew perfectly well what the Heydrich's gains at Wannsee meant for the future, but I fail to see any connection with why those State secretaries would have been in position of knowledge to have the same conclusion as Dannecker.

StatMec:
Maybe - but my understanding is that the first transports went to KZ Jungfernhof, and that Salaspils was built in early 1942. Either way, that is more already than saying simply "because Heydrich wanted him there." And that would indicate, if correct, in case there's any doubt, that the deportation of Reich Jews was a serious point on the agenda - in the here and now. Which could then have us start looking at what happened when Reich Jews came east. What kinds of places were they housed in. How were they treated. When were they sent. Etc.


As I said, the question was barely related to the topic of Suckart’s letter and its eventual consequences, and the answer would be based on speculations only. The problem is that if one relies only on the Minutes, the only ones mentioned as having actually said something are:
Heydrich, of course, Luther and Hoffman (during the presentation of the FS), Hoffman and Stuckart (about the Mischlinge), and at the conclusion, back on the SF, Neumann on something that had already been decided, Buhler and Meyer.
Not much talking there, in fine.

Lange is not described as having said anything. Of course, it does not mean he didn't, just that we don't know and can only suppose.
While the question is interesting, it had only very little links to what was discussed about.

Now, as I have already said, the situation in Riga , and Angrick/Klien work of course, is one of the reasons I downplay Wannsee in the first place. It is really difficult to take a firm conviction on those shootings of Jews of the Greater Reich. I tend to agree with Angrick and Klein that at least some of them could not have been decided without some go-ahead from Berlin or Prague. But at the same time, I still think it was too early to see them as part of a unified and systematic policy. The Lange report you quote is enlightening, and also a great illustration of how a same source can be interpreted differently.


StatMec:
Last point: Angrick & Klein quote Lange writing (they date the note to the first week of February 1942) about German Jews as follows (pp 262-263):
Of these Reich-German Jews [the 19,000 deported since December 1941], only a small part is able to work. Women and children and me unable to work make up 70-80 percent. The mortality rate is constantly rising among the evacuated Jews. Primarily old and frail Jews are no longer resistant enough to survive the extraordinarily hard winter. In order to counter every risk of epidemics in the ghetto and in the two camps from the start, Jews with contagious diseases . . . were in individual cases selected and executed. In order to avoid these measures from becoming known among the local Jews and among the Jews in the Reich, removal was camouflaged as the transfer to a Jewish home for the elderly and ill. In addition, several mentally ill Jews were selected the same way. . . . In the spring, the camp [under construction] will have been built up so that all of the evacuated Jews who survive the winter can be admitted to this camp.

In short, the unfit Jews were expected to die off or be killed, and the fit Jews were to be housed for labor, much along the lines of what Heydrich was, IMO, telling the attendees at the Wannsee meeting.


If I may, I will add some of the passage you neglected.

Yes 19.000 Jews have been deported from the Greater Reich to Riga “in short intervals” within two months, most of them BEFORE Wannsee.
It also says:
“They have been accommodated in part in the Ghetto, in part in a provisionally expanded holding camp, in part in a new camp of barracks near Riga.”

Then, follows your quote.

But there is an interesting part, which has been noticed by Brayard, which comes between “selected the same way” and “In spring”.

“The construction of the new camp of barracks for the Jews from the Reich is still being carried out by the deployment of all Jews able to work who have been accommodated in the already completed barracks. In Spring, the camp will have been built so that ALL the evacuated Jews who survive the winter can be admitted in the camp.”


First we see that Lange had other responsibilities than to execute Jews, those responsibilities being directly related to the evacuation supposed to have been decided and discussed at Wannsee as it concerns the dispositions that have been taken so far to accommodate the evacuated German Jews, it is more than probable that if he said anything at the meeting, it would have been on those matters.

The second very interesting point in this report is that we are talking about 19.000 Jews, among whom there are only 3500 or 4000 able to work. But there is nothing to suggest that the 15.000 were destined to be executed because they were unfit to work. All those 19000 have been accommodated somewhere, split in three different places. Granted , many of them were expect to die through the exceptionally hard winter. Meanwhile those capable to work were indeed separated from the rest and lodged at Salaspils while building the camp so that all the surviving Jews from the 15000 left behind could be accommodated within the finished camp - that is by the end of March 42. A camp that was intended for the accommodation of the Jews from the Reich exclusively.

This kind of description fits perfectly with the second FS equation which does not involve mass murder of the unfit.

Brayard says the same thing, but implied that it proves that there were no plan yet, which I don’t agree with, but this report shows a clear provisional disposition until a form of “green light” or “go ahead” would be issued so that the preconceived plan could be implemented. In my little vision, the message was, let’s treat those German Jews like we treated the Polish ones, meanwhile we’ll treat the Polish Jews like we have been treating the eastern ones. ( and this sent me to the Two or parallel FS concept)

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:33 pm

Balsamo wrote:So my question is: why would Heydrich shared this to the State Secretaries? What kind of advantages was he hoping to obtain by explaining the real nature of what he had in mind about the Final Solution?

Discussed above, at length. To gain their cooperation in the deportations and management (what to say, "party line") of the issues surrounding the deportations, to get comment on what he was proposing, to surface issues needing further discussion or problem solving, to enable them to manage their people to support the policy, to gather ideas for execution, to gauge opposition and deal with it if it were to arise. The "big picture" is helpful for this sort of thing, in that, if punches are pulled, things get overlooked or swept under the rug.

Balsamo wrote:Still I fear I am not getting ths right.

Because it seems that it is exactly the kind of distinctions I am making. To inform Dannecker of the results of Wannsee almost immediately after the meeting makes a lot of sense. We both know that Heydrich's team in Paris had some authority issues with the MBH, the decisions agreed upon at Wannsee would certainly help Dannecker in his position and mission. After Wannsee, Dannecker was also given an official destination for all the Jews (of course, he as member of the old guard of the SD judenreferat, he knew what it meant).
I mean Dannecker knew perfectly well what the Heydrich's gains at Wannsee meant for the future, but I fail to see any connection with why those State secretaries would have been in position of knowledge to have the same conclusion as Dannecker.

Of course not. Nor did I state one. These were different instances, "hooked" but not the same thing. The "hook" is that to implement the FS for France, at some point Dannecker and like would need to be in on what to do. Such as (how I read) the Hotel Majestic, a "hooked" but different instance. As we've all agreed, this process was highly compartmentalized. That's really all I was trying to get at.

Balsamo wrote:As I said, the question was barely related to the topic of Suckart’s letter and its eventual consequences, and the answer would be based on speculations only.

I realize that, but I don't know if Nick Terry agrees. I'm not sure where he was going with his question. But for my part, I just felt that the question was worth thinking about. Heavens, there have been tangents within tangents in post after post in this thread! That one, if it was indeed a tangent, seemed worthwhile to pursue. To say "on Heydrich's order" is a total non-answer - and sounded dismissive of the problem.

Balsamo wrote:The problem is that if one relies only on the Minutes,

I don't, I didn't in my post. I thought I made this clear in my post. If I failed, it should be clear from what I say below.

Balsamo wrote:the only ones mentioned as having actually said something are:
Heydrich, of course, Luther and Hoffman (during the presentation of the FS), Hoffman and Stuckart (about the Mischlinge), and at the conclusion, back on the SF, Neumann on something that had already been decided, Buhler and Meyer.
Not much talking there, in fine.

Again, this is why I have said that the "minutes" were not a record of what was said during the session. As is always the case, we can't be literal about documents even as we pay attention to what they say, we have to interpret the documents we have, we have to read documents along with other documents, we have to fill in the blanks based on what we know, and we have to make inferences. Are you saying there's a better way?

For all I know, Heydrich wanted Lange there to nod at the right time, or to say three words of affirmation. I don't know, but I am not going to say that because the protocol is silent about this, it isn't fruitful to think it through a bit.

Balsamo wrote:Lange is not described as having said anything. Of course, it does not mean he didn't, just that we don't know and can only suppose.
While the question is interesting, it had only very little links to what was discussed about.

Not going to keep going round and round on this . . .

Balsamo wrote:Now, as I have already said, the situation in Riga , and Angrick/Klien work of course, is one of the reasons I downplay Wannsee in the first place. It is really difficult to take a firm conviction on those shootings of Jews of the Greater Reich. I tend to agree with Angrick and Klein that at least some of them could not have been decided without some go-ahead from Berlin or Prague. But at the same time, I still think it was too early to see them as part of a unified and systematic policy.

Not what Angrick & Klein argued, certainly not for the November shootings, nor what I said. Also, I don't see this as an on-off switch, which is why I stress both practical experience, as Heydrich alluded to, and continuity of personnel.

Balsamo wrote:The Lange report you quote is enlightening, and also a great illustration of how a same source can be interpreted differently.

Of course. But it is relevant to understanding why Lange was there. And, well, see above.

Balsamo wrote:If I may, I will add some of the passage you neglected.

Yes 19.000 Jews have been deported from the Greater Reich to Riga “in short intervals” within two months, most of them BEFORE Wannsee.
It also says:
“They have been accommodated in part in the Ghetto, in part in a provisionally expanded holding camp, in part in a new camp of barracks near Riga.”

This was implied so I didn't bother typing it out - I included that the Jews were in the ghetto and the two camps and that by spring the new camp would be built up.

Balsamo wrote:Then, follows your quote.

But there is an interesting part, which has been noticed by Brayard, which comes between “selected the same way” and “In spring”.

It was also noticed by me, which is why I commented on it. :?:

Balsamo wrote:
“The construction of the new camp of barracks for the Jews from the Reich is still being carried out by the deployment of all Jews able to work who have been accommodated in the already completed barracks. In Spring, the camp will have been built so that ALL the evacuated Jews who survive the winter can be admitted in the camp.”

You're implying that I didn't include the bolded phrase, which I did, as so:
In the spring, the camp [under construction] will have been built up so that all of the evacuated Jews who survive the winter can be admitted to this camp.

And the part that you quote doesn't change anything - an accommodation is being built for all the evacuated Jews (I believe about 1000 work-capable Jews were involved in the construction), Lange says, who survive the winter; only that's not what happened - 1000s (below) of them were shot the very next month.

Balsamo wrote:First we see that Lange had other responsibilities than to execute Jews, those responsibilities being directly related to the evacuation supposed to have been decided and discussed at Wannsee as it concerns the dispositions that have been taken so far to accommodate the evacuated German Jews, it is more than probable that if he said anything at the meeting, it would have been on those matters.

Strawman - I never argued that Lange didn't have other responsibilities. I did say - along with agreeing with your point about his managing camps, and underscoring that he handled deportations from the Reich - that he had experience murdering local and Reich Jews. I think that this is important, so I stressed it. Nothing more. All these roles are relevant - "welcoming" and shooting evacuated Jews, "welcoming" and hoteling evacuated Jews, "welcoming" evacuated Jews and letting some of them die off, murdering local Jews (about 4,000 Latvian Jews remained in Riga ghetto through this period, kept alive for labor; several 100s of Lithuanian Jews were brought in in early 1942).

Balsamo wrote:The second very interesting point in this report is that we are talking about 19.000 Jews, among whom there are only 3500 or 4000 able to work. But there is nothing to suggest that the 15.000 were destined to be executed because they were unfit to work.

Well actually there is - if they don't survive the winter, plus Lange says he's been shooting unfit German Jews all along, not in great number, but shooting them nonetheless. In the letter, he's reporting on what he's done. Afterwards, well, again not to be document literalists, about 4,000 were shot in March.

Balsamo wrote:Meanwhile those capable to work were indeed separated from the rest and lodged at Salaspils while building the camp so that all the surviving Jews from the 15000 left behind could be accommodated within the finished camp - that is by the end of March 42. A camp that was intended for the accommodation of the Jews from the Reich exclusively.

You seem to be implying that forced labor was neither part of the FS nor mentioned in the protocol. The exact mixture of labor/attrition/murder was not, IMO, set - but rather to be evolved in the war-time framework.

Earlier you argued that the decision to subject the Reich Jews to the FS, as "we know it," was made before the Wannsee conference - but not shared at it. Now you seem to be making an entirely different argument. This is why I find this thread confusing. If, as you've written, the "Brayard position is that the fate of the German and Western Jews was not yet bound to systematic murder. I do not think" the same, and "My opinion was that the RSHA plan was to treat and 'process' the western Jews just like what was being done in the East, and that in order to achieve this, provisional fake concessions had to be make, and the real stuff had to be somewhat delayed," what on earth are you arguing now?

Balsamo wrote:This kind of description fits perfectly with the second FS equation which does not involve mass murder of the unfit.

Except two things:
1) You argued that the plan, prior to Wannsee, was to carry out these kinds of killings - and, following your statement on Dannecker, Lange would be the kind of person to do that.
2) Nearly 4,000 "Reich-German Jews" were shot in the Dünamünde actions in March - mainly what the Germans would call unfit Jews.

Balsamo wrote:Brayard says the same thing, but implied that it proves that there were no plan yet, which I don’t agree with, but this report shows a clear provisional disposition until a form of “green light” or “go ahead” would be issued so that the preconceived plan could be implemented.

Well, then you are actually by implication rejecting what Angrick & Klein said - that the Riga authorities got a green light for the January shooting of Czech Jews and then, my inference, for the March shootings as well. And, by reporting his murders of small numbers of unfit Jews, Lange is making sure everyone is on board - the German Jews are starting to be dealt with in the new framework.

I guess we can make an exception of every action against Reich Jews to make the argument work?

Balsamo wrote:In my little vision, the message was, let’s treat those German Jews like we treated the Polish ones, meanwhile we’ll treat the Polish Jews like we have been treating the eastern ones. ( and this sent me to the Two or parallel FS concept)

I can't untangle this.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:11 pm

Balsamo wrote:<snipped for length>

Does that sounds so crazy? or even "not serious"?


Balsamo,

the usefulness of this discussion is reaching an end.I don't think the point-by-point approach is helpful here, a sustained argument is more useful.

The problem with Brayard's fixation on the Stuckart letter of 16.3.42 is that it pertains to a subject, the Mischlinge question, that is addressed systematically in separate studies such as Cornelia Essner's work on the Nuremberg Laws, and Jasch's monograph on Stuckart, and to some extent also in Beate Meyer's book on the Mischlinge (which is more oriented to social history and their actual experiences). There are extensive paper trails of meetings and discussions on the Mischlinge and related issues such as the 11th amendment to the Reich Citizenship Law, which help put this particular aspect of Wannsee into context. It's clear from this context that Stuckart and Loesener had entrenched views, representing a particular position within Nazi antisemitic racist doctrine.

Thus, on 4.12.41, Loesener prepared a briefing paper for Stuckart in advance of the originally planned Wannsee conference scheduled for 9 December 1941, repeating many of the same points used in 1942 by the Interior Ministry about the Mischlinge.

Meanwhile, we also know that Stuckart was told in November 1941 by Himmler, 'Jewish question belongs to me', and that in December 1941, he met with a somewhat disturbed Loesener who had heard about the Rumbula shooting of German Jews, and signalled his awareness that this was coming from the highest authority and was Reich policy. Loesener himself had heard in August 1941 state secretary Gutterer of the Propaganda Ministry propose that the Jews of Berlin not working in armaments be deported to Russia, but 'better to strike them dead'.

Stuckart and his team had worked on the 11th amendment of the Reich Citizenship Law since the start of 1941, going through multiple drafts and multiple meetings with the RSHA and other ministries/Party agencies (chronicled very well in Cornelia Essner's book, which can be downloaded from digi20.de). This was issued literally just in time for the first wave of deportations of German Jews. The 11th amendment prompted further ordinances about the disposition of the property of deported Jews that varied according to whether the deportee was sent to Lodz (inside the Reich borders), Theresienstadt (ditto), the Ostland/Ukraine or the GG (none of which were deemed as inside the Reich borders for the purposes of the final signed decree).

The autumn 1941 deportations

All of the ministries and party agencies involved in Wannsee, other than Buhler and the GG administration, had been involved in some discussions pertaining to the first wave of deportations from the Reich. The Ostministerium had to cope with receiving a number of the transports, everyone else was in on the 11th amendment discussions and was certainly informed via official channels that the Jews had been deported - the deportations were also announced publicly in the press. There was essentially no disagreement on the part of the Berlin bureaucracy with the notion of expelling and deporting Reich Jews. The Foreign Office had even secured agreements from several Axis allies that Romanian etc nationals could be deported, too. The Four Year Plan, via OKW/WiRueAmt (Thomas's office) had secured exemptions for Jews working in armaments production by the end of October.

As Browning points out, in November and December 1941, the RSHA made an especial point of circulating copies of the Taetigkeits- und Lageberichte of the Einsatzgruppen to the bureaucracy. These reports certainly made clear to a sentient reader that Soviet Jews were being exterminated, and the copying of such reports made the news official, confirming all the gossip that must have circulated.

Even before most trains had left, the Ostministerium was informed of the idea of sending gassing apparatuses to Riga to eliminate unfit Reich Jews while the able-bodied remained. However, the shooting of a number of transports at Riga and Kaunas caused problems - explicitly so for Riga, there was no problem locally for Kaunas, but the finishing-off of these transports was not included in the Ereignismeldungen - it shows up of course in the Jaeger report, but it was downplayed in the Berlin-compiled Einsatzgruppen reports (Ereignismeldungen > TuLBs seen by the ministries and Reichsverteidigungskommissare, i.e. potentially the Gauleiter). The downplaying happened at the precise moment when there might have been a pushback against the policy of killing Reich Jews, i.e when Himmler carpeted Jeckeln. Kube in Minsk was one player that was certainly unhappy about receiving Reich Jews; the Riga authorities were not really over the moon, either, but Kube was the one who raised objections that were then dealt with via Theresienstadt exemptions for war veterans and so forth.

The purely Berlin, Reich-focused bureaucracy represented at Wannsee already knew four things for sure: 1) deported Reich Jews are not coming back, they have been deprived of citizenship, 2) their property falls to the Reich, 3) the RSHA is in charge, 4) once they left the borders of the Reich, they were no longer any real concern of the Interior Ministry, Justice Ministry, Party Chancellery or Reich Chancellery. Stuckart, to repeat, also knew that at least some were being killed, but was evidently unmoved by this, based on Loesener's contemporary note.

Meanwhile, the Ostministerium had been informed by Heydrich on 4 October 1941 of the SS intention for a 'total out-settlement' of the territories occupied by Germany, and had contended with killings of Soviet Jews, Baltic Jews as well as Reich Jews in especially the Ostland. (Ukraine under Koch was a little beyond the ministry's ken, due to Koch's insubordination.) The Generalgouvernement had of course learned in December 1941 that they couldn't expect to be able to deport their Jews to the east and that they had to 'liquidate them yourselves!' (as Frank declared on 16.12.41.) Leibbrandt and Buhler both lied about what they heard at Wannsee. Buhler claimed he was told the Jews would be sent to northern Russia, i.e. via Ostministerium territory. Leibbrandt later claimed the deported Jews were being sent to a reservation under self-administration, but this evidently wasn't in Ostministerium territory. The RSHA additionally knew about the start of gassings in the Warthegau at Chelmno and had provided gas vans for this purpose; Eichmann had visited the camp by his own admission later on, likely before Wannsee.

Officials of the Foreign Office had additionally heard about intentions to deport surviving Serbian Jews to the east while knowing all about the reprisal shooting of thousands of Serbian Jews (along with Austrian emigre Jews), and the Foreign Office was also familiar with the notion of deporting French Jews to the east - a direct approach from the Paris embassy to Rosenberg had been rebuffed in October 1941. The SS hierarchy, meanwhile, had approached the Slovaks about deporting Slovakian Jews almost certainly to Poland, while Rauter in the Netherlands had tested the waters with the Dutch civil service regarding what might happen if Dutch Jews were deported to Poland. Hitler had additionally declared in a situation conference, i.e. within earshot of the military, that the Jews of Salonika should be sent east (the source for this is not ideal, Gerhard Engel's rewritten diary).

Finally, there is no indication of any intention to deport Jews to Auschwitz known prior to 20.1.42, other than Hoess's testimony, which on this and many other issues is inaccurate regarding dates, since he has a tendency unless prompted to date things about six months earlier than was actually the case (Slovaks arriving autumn 1941 instead of March 1942, crematoria finished autumn 1942 instead of March 1943, etc).

Independent of the Wannsee Protocol or any of the testimonies of the conference participants, we can therefore conclude that as of 20.1.42, SS intentions were along the following lines.

1. The SS would continue to murder Soviet Jews
2. The Jews of the Warthegau would continue to die in Chelmno
3. The Jews of the GG were to be 'liquidated' on the spot, with Belzec constructed and Sobibor scouted, T4 personnel starting to arrive and hopefully trains would soon be available with the end of winter
4. Reich Jews would continue to be deported to Riga, including to Salaspils; to Minsk (reading backwards the resumption of the broken off 25,000 quota from 1941 which resumed in May 1942), and there was an intention to deport to RK Ukraine, perhaps tying in with DG IV
5. Stated intentions for the Jews of southeastern Europe (Serbia, Greece) were to deport them to the east, perhaps via the Black Sea. (The Romanians had Transnistria already, and the Hungarians had already deported five figures' worth of foreign Jews to the east where they had been shot.)
6. Intentions for the Jews of western Europe and Slovakia were gravitating towards Poland.

#1 continued to be confirmed to the Berlin bureaucracy with further Taetigkeits- und Lageberichte der Einsatzgruppen edited and circulated in the first months of 1942. (Goebbels, for one, read such RSHA reports and commented on a few in his diary.) #2 and 3 continued onwards. #4 changed, the next wave of Reich Jews was not sent east but to the Lublin district; #5 and #6 then gravitated towards Auschwitz or local solutions (the gassing of the surviving Serbian Jews from the Semlin camp).

The Wannsee Protocol was circulated in 30 copies, within the SS as well as to participants of the 20.1.42 and 6.3.42 conferences. Based on the attendance list for the 6.3.42 conference and allusions to the document elsewhere we can be reasonably sure copies went to:

1. Propaganda Ministry - Goebbels read this copy on 7.3.42
2. Ostministerium - Wetzel was clearly informed of the broad principle when he commented on the late 1941 Generalplan Ost on 27.4.42
3. WVHA - Oswald Pohl alluded to the language of the WP in a letter to Himmler on 16.9.42
4. GG - Foehl's letter from spring 1942 alludes to the language of the WP and other fictitious destinations floated in 1941/42.
5. RMInterior
6. RJustizM
7. Parteikanzlei
8. Reichskanzlei
9. Vierjahresplan
10. Auswaertiges Amt
11. RuSHA
12. RSHA Amt II A - Bilfinger (as he participated in the 6.3.42 conference and the 27.10.42 along with Neifeind of his office)

Cornelia Essner argues fairly persuasively that the WP was edited so it could be read, if desired, by Hitler. Whether he actually read it is another matter, but it's plausible that the document was edited so he could have if he wanted to. This is also maybe why there is no surviving 'Verteilerliste' as was fairly conventional for circulated minutes and other documents.

We can identify the following other probable recipients
14. RSHA Amt III - Ehlich (as he was involved in the GPO planning)
15. Personalstab RFSS (copy for Himmler's office)
16. BdS Ost (Schoengarth, as a participant)
17. BdS Ostland (interestingly, Stahlecker was killed shortly before the WP was circulated)
18. BdS Ukraine (since RSHA plans still thought of deportations there in early 1942)
19. copy for Heydrich's office
20. copy for Mueller's office
21. copy for IV B 4 (as well as the file of drafts, since they drafted it, but a file copy was standard practice)
22. RKFDV (Konrad Meyer, re GPO)

Possible recipients would include
Kanzlei des Fuehrers (Bouhler) seems a reasonable bet
Rassepolitisches Amt der NSDAP (represented at 27.10.42 meeting)
RSHA III A of Inland-SD was represented at 27.10.42 meeting, ergo other desks of RSHA II, III and IV might have received copies; equally multiple copies could have gone to RuSHA or the RKFDV.
RSHA Amt V, VI and VII are also possibles; other SS offices such as SS-Hauptamt (Berger);
ministries involved technically eg the Reichsverkehrsministerium; Reichsfinanzministerium and Reichswirtschaftsministerium: vaguely possible but seems unlikely

Protocol versus discussion at meeting: this is the crux of the issue. If one argues that Heydrich downplayed explicit details at the meeting of 20.1.42, then the WP's text goes in the opposite direction when the 'crucial lines' are considered. The 'crucial lines' are entirely compatible with the presentation of at least part of the RSHA's vision as of 20.1.42 spelled out in #1-#6.

On the other hand it seems more probable that Heydrich presented a truncated version of #1-#6 and spoke of labour plus decimation plus eventual 'treatment', at the conference.

More specifically, the presence of Lange allows for a discussion of the experiences with Salaspils and perhaps Heydrich's plans for Pskov (thereby providing Buhler with his grain to peck blindly when claiming he was told about 'northern Russia'). It strikes me as very unlikely that Heydrich would have felt the need to camouflage the eventual murder of Jews or the past murder of Jews to the Wannsee conference participants. Eichmann's not very coherent testimony about 'the business with the engine' as well as shooting being discussed seems highly plausible. Very few of the Wannsee participants were unfamiliar with the euthanasia program, and Stuckart certainly knew of it. The use of gassing in T4 was discussed openly at gatherings of officials in 1940.

From both the WP as well as external evidence it is clear that the destinations for Jews from the 'rest of Europe' (not Reich, not Poland) were still unclear, as was the timing. Luther is recorded in the WP as making comments on this. Much preparation needed to be made before the pan-European solution was put into effect. But the principle of deportation eastwards was surely announced. As of 20.1.42, Heydrich likely did not know that Auschwitz would become a major destination.

The principle of deportation eastwards was also surely acknowledged for Reich Jews, which leaves only the issue of what would happen to them. Their utilisation as forced labourers and decimation was spelled out in the WP and also corresponded with experiences from Riga, even without factoring in deliberate killing actions.

Once again, by December 1941, Stuckart and co knew: 1) deported Reich Jews are not coming back, they have been deprived of citizenship, 2) their property falls to the Reich, 3) the RSHA is in charge, 4) once they left the borders of the Reich, they were no longer any real concern of the Interior Ministry, Justice Ministry, Party Chancellery or Reich Chancellery while Stuckart himself also knew 5) Reich Jews had been shot in Riga. One might add that essentially all of them knew 6) that psychiatric patients and the incurably ill had been gassed in T4.

The WP was edited for a modicum of plausible deniability, as mentioned Essner thinks it very likely it was edited so it could be shown to Hitler, much like the Korherr report was edited so it could be shown to Hitler. As is known, the surviving participants all denied hearing about extermination overtly at Wannsee, except for Eichmann. But the denials are contradictory.

Comparisons with interrogations of GG officials who attended meetings whose protocols contain killing language (eg the 16.12.41 Regierungssitzung) or who kept quiet about other meetings that are equally dubious confirms that when cornered, Nazi officials of all ranks would happily lie through their teeth.

The 16.3.42 letter

Based on external evidence to the WP, as the plan circa 20.1.42 was to keep Reich Jews who were able bodied alive for work in the occupied eastern territories, then Stuckart's letter can be read as simply expressing the worry that Mischlinge deported east who were kept alive for work would become dangerous.

That is if we follow your reading of 'gegnerischer Seite', Balsamo. If by this Stuckart meant that Mischlinge treated as Jews make the Jews stronger, then it follows that any Mischlinge kept alive as labourers going 'roadbuilding to the east' would be dangerous. The same follows for the reference to Mischlinge from 'related' countries - the scale of 'hundreds of thousands' compares to the 11 million mentioned in the WP. Stuckart's letter can therefore be seen as an analogue to Brack's letter of 23.6.42 to Himmler where Brack estimates 2-3 million Jews able to work. Two Nazis sitting around worrying about things they can scarcely imagine, and incidentally in both cases pushing a sterilisation hobby-horse.

If however we interpret Stuckart as I have been doing, then things make less sense in the changed context, but they make reasonable sense when viewed in the context of the Mischlinge paper trail back to 1935, as I have argued repeatedly.

Stuckart's letter practically crossed paths with the edited protocol of the 6.3.42 meeting, but nothing in the 16.3.42 letter suggests he had learned anything from Feldscher about what had happened. Nor is there any direct reference to the WP; Stuckart claimed later not to have read the WP, which seems unlikely when he wrote a letter to Heydrich et al about what had been discussed re Mischlinge, his hobby-horse, at the meeting. Stuckart's indifference to the fate of full Jews, unfit Jews and unfit Mischlinge, and pretty much everyone other than the somewhat idealised Mischling with his or her half German blood, is palpable.

The full text of the 16.3.42 letter along with 7.3.42 note by Rademacher, and Schlegelberger's April 1942 letter is an Eichmann trial document meaning it is here
http://www.justice.gov.il/mojheb/Eichman/t1381.pdf
Just alter the number on the url to access any Eichmann trial document that is scanned (some very few are not), writing t1381 rather than the T/1381 seen in books.

The 6.3.42 conference
Quick comment: you picked out another section of the protocol that chimes with Rademacher's note of 7.3.42, thanks. But the part I cited was in contradiction. The fact that the protocol speaks of 'evacuation' doesn't help us understand whether the crucial lines of the WP are a summary of a more explicit discussion at the Wannsee conference or were added in after the meeting by Heydrich.

Many meeting protocols and reports from 1941-2 speak of the evacuation of the Jews. Very few of these meetings spell out an actual destination. This does not mean that if the protocol is coy about a destination it always means murder. For example, there was a meeting on 28.11.41 regarding the forced labour of Jews in the annexed territories that announced that the Jews of the Warthegau were going to be evacuated, no destination given. Because the meeting involved field-grade Oberregierungsrat level officials not belonging to the Warthegau inner circle administration, it seems pretty unlikely that the Warthegau rep officially informed his counterparts in Danzig-Westpreussen that by 'evacuated' he meant murdered. Indeed, the Warthegau rep himself may not have known. The protocol does not indicate he was asked as he might have replied 'not sure, but they're going somewhere'.

By contrast the 6.3.42 meeting included some who were quite clear that evacuation was coupled with mass murder, eg Wetzel, and those who knew about killings, like Rademacher, along with others who might not have had much of a clue. But they were all meant to have read the WP in order to make progress on the Mischlinge issue, so unless they were complete imbeciles, they probably had some inkling of what it meant even if nobody from the SS told them. The tendency of the discussion was to make sterilisation seem a better option than ghettoisation or deportation.

Conclusion

As I mentioned at the start, the usefulness of this discussion is coming to an end. Since I own copies of Brayard 2004 and Brayard 2012 I don't need to have them relayed by a third party.

More specifically, the 16.3.42 'anomaly' doesn't look very anomalous when placed back into its proper context of Mischlinge policy and Stuckart's behaviour. For that context I have Essner and Jasch, so again I don't need to have this thrashed out with a third party. Looking at these authors has convinced me that your reading of the document ('gegnerischer Seite') is correct and my initial reading not correct. If so, then the correct reading is still compatible with the WP text which implies the survival for some time of able bodied deported Jews (and maybe Mischlinge). If not, and Stuckart-Loesener were off their meds, then they were off their meds. Either way the 16.3.42 letter doesn't look as anomalous as was originally claimed.

Most of all it does not help us infer two things. Firstly, what were RSHA intentions as of 20.1.42. These are more easily inferred from external evidence, whereas Stuckart's letter is too abstract or too crazy to be of much help. I have outlined several times now the most probable shape of these ideas, which excludes "Auschwitz", and includes the continued deportation of Reich Jews to the occupied eastern territories. I disagree with both Brayard and Longerich regarding the late spring/early summer 'decision' because they are conflating intention-decision-plan-order.

As of 20.1.42, there was the intention to wipe out the Jews of Europe, something enunciated incessantly by Hitler from September through to December 1941, and echoed in various other sources. The 'destruction' of the Jews of Europe could be brought about by direct and indirect means. Much of the time, Brayard 2012 appears to be arguing against a strawman of immediate or total extermination that is not really advocated by other historians. I agree with Sandkuehler's feeling that Brayard is sometimes in thrall to a 1980s western European, 'Auschwitz' fixated take on the Holocaust. It's not difficult to imagine a counterfactual Holocaust that ensued with all of the Auschwitz victims being deported to a number of ghettos and reservations in the 'east' and sharing the fates of the Riga, Minsk, Warsaw and Lodz ghetto inmates, i.e with just AR-Chelmno and mass shootings plus a few gas vans, and more forced labour. Maybe a few more French and Dutch Jews might have survived such a scenario. But it'd have still been recognisably the Holocaust. So, not interested in 'two Final Solutions', sorry.

The second thing we want to infer is whether Heydrich told the Wannsee participants something explicit, either more explicit than in the WP or words to the effect of the WP's crucial lines. The problem here is that the participants all lied. The precise content cannot be easily reconstructed from their lies. However, we have a number of contemporary written reactions to the WP which indicate that probable readers of the WP generally but not always inferred mass extinction from it - I'm thinking here of the Foehl letter and Wetzel notes on the GPO as examples.

Past a certain point, we can only deal in probabilities and are forced to speculate. After a certain amount of speculation, then there's no point speculating further. I've now reached that point, and I am no longer interested in discussing this with you in the way we've been doing so far, since the replies of late are largely repeating what has already been said.

If you wish to continue to debate the matter, then I suggest you wait two weeks for StatMech to return, and use that time to do some more reading so that you can present more evidence that might shift the terms of the debate. I am especially uninterested in reading a disjointed point-by-point reply. The debate cannot progress unless more attention is paid to 1941 and to the converging contexts overlapping at Wannsee.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:23 am

Great post, a few points I need to think - and read - a bit more about (you've brought a lot more in than I ever could, as always!), but, when you wondered earlier if I'm in agreement with the core points you're making, indeed. That said, I have, as noted, come to feel the same round-and-round-we-go feeling you express.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:59 am

Hi all,

Before i revive this thread - i know Xcalibur is waiting for that ;) - can anyone explain me this part of Nick Terry conclusions?

The WP was edited for a modicum of plausible deniability, as mentioned Essner thinks it very likely it was edited so it could be shown to Hitler, much like the Korherr report was edited so it could be shown to Hitler.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby scrmbldggs » Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:32 am

Hitler's "three monkeys" image?


ETA for clarification what I meant: what Professor Christopher Robert Browning said to Mr Irving about him
13-- don't bother me the with details". He often said to
14several people on record, "Take care of this. In 10 years
15report back that it was done and I will not ask you how it
16was accomplished".
http://www.hdot.org/en/trial/transcript ... 41-45.html
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 4:44 am

IIRC Himmler stated that the Koherr Report was great for "camoflauge perposes".

A big peice of evidence against denial. If it was just a "hawmwess wezettowment to ze ozt" then why camouflage it?

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:17 pm

According to Peter Witte, in his 1995 article “Two Decisions Concerning the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Question’: Deportations to Lodz and Mass Murder in Chelmno” (HGS), the practical decision to include in the mass murders at Chełmno Jews from resettled to the Warthegau from the Altreich, the Protectorate, the Ostmark, and Luxembourg was taken and communicated down the operational chain in mid-April 1942 and executed the following month.

Recall that Brayard was quoted, in this thread, to have argued that “at the turning point of 1941-1942, the fate of the German and western European Jews was not thus yet bound to systematic murder.” I will offer some thoughts on this in the light of Chełmno - hoping as well to start shifting the spotlight a bit away from Einsatz Reinhard, on which we seem generally in this subforum overly focused, to other areas that were critical in evolving Judenpolitik (e.g., recent post I made on Upper Silesia, the France thread, etc).

Additional background on the Jews “resettled” into Łódź:
- about 20,000 Jews from Germany, the Protectorate, Austria, and Luxembourg were deported to Łódź in fall 1941
- these Jews were mostly elderly and suffered high mortality in the harsh conditions prevailing in Łódź ghetto (they were not good candidates for work, they had no connections in Łódź and no support network, many arrived with health issues, etc)
- by April 1942, over 3,000 of the 20,000 had died (over 15%)
- by the end of April 1942, since December 1941, the Nazis had deported to Chełmno over 44,000 Jews from Łódź (and over 4,000 Roma) and in total over 77,000 Jews from the Warthegau without yet removing the “resettled” German and other Jews from Łódź
- the Łódź deportation actions (“outsettlements") had taken place starting in January 1942, then with deportations in February, March, and April; Rumkowski (chairman of the Łódź Judenrat) received from the Germans a quota for each, action which he negotiated, then filled with those designated by the Germans as well as his opponents, unfit Jews, criminals, etc.

Witte’s argument about “the German and western European Jews” in the Warthegau is as follows:

Cleansing of the Warthegau and Making “Room” in Łódź
- Himmler specifically rejected appeals from businesses in the Warthegau contracting for the Wehrmacht to keep “their Jews” in place and working; his decision was to “cleanse” the countryside of Jews and concentrate industrial plant and working Jews in Łódź ghetto
- the cleansing of the rural areas and small towns included resettling the work-capable Jews to Łódź ghetto and sending those Jews deemed “unfit for labor” to Chełmno
- a parallel action within overcrowded Łódź ghetto was required, namely, to clear from the ghetto unproductive Jews, specifically to remove them from housing that the working Jews "insettled" to the ghetto would need - the number involved was 10,000 persons, give or take
- Brzeziny is an example provided by Witte of an outlying town - there, 3,000 Jews were decided to be unfit (mostly children under 10 years of age, elderly Jews, Jews who were ill) - they were taken to Chełmno in late May as a late part of this action, while an equal number (male and skilled female workers) were moved into Łódź ghetto

Decisionmaking
- Himmler’s approach was to look after details within the SS and police forces and to get “up close and personal” in reaching decisions and communicating orders; we are familiar with his on the spot decisionmaking in the occupied east (e.g., “Minsk” trip in August 1941 and expansion of scope of EG shootings, visit to Auschwitz in summer 1942 where he observed gassing of Dutch Jews), but Witte cites a statement of Himmler to his officers concerning this style:
It is not merely by chance that I take decisions on most problems when I go somewhere. I do not take these decisions in Berlin, but I go to Lublin, Lemberg, Reval and so on, and on such an evening 8, 10, 12 major decisions are taken there and then. Do the same . . .

- specifically in the Warthegau-Łódź, the chain of command for Himmler’s police orders went through the HSSPF (Koppe) and police organization to the Jewish desk in Łódź (Judenreferent Fuchs), who then communicated orders to Judenrat chairman Rumkowski whose duty it was to execute German orders
- Himmler's and Hitler's roles here are critically important, so here are some considerations with regard to their parts:
- Greiser and Koppe asked for approval to murder Polish Jews, sometime in 1941 - approved by Himmler
- later Greiser and Koppe made a similar request to "euthanize" 35,000 tubercular Poles - for "special treatment"; Himmler, apparently uncertain about how to handle the request, had Brandt write back that the request would be taken to Hitler (discussion here) for the Führer's decision
- just marking Jews (yellow star) and then deporting "Reich" Jews were difficult decisions which caused tergiversations, angst, and high level debate in summer-fall 1941 - with Hitler finally deciding in the affirmative.
- "too early" murders of "Reich" Jews in Riga likewise caused "scandal" at Himmler's level
- with this background, it is virtually certain that, whilst the murder of the 100,000 Polish Jews initiated in December 1941 came about from local initiative (receiving central state approval), the incorporation of "Reich" Jews into the murder program in the Warthegau in spring 1942 was not simply a local request/decision; rather, the murder of "Reich" Jews was of a different order to the local mass murder and required Führer approval (Irving take note)
- given how he handled the request for the murder of tubercular Poles, Himmler on his own authority, without Hitler's backing, would have been very unlikely to provide approval to carry out mass murder of "Reich" Jews; he would have, as he did in other cases, secure Hitler's approval and make sure he had official "cover" given the political sensitivities and potential volatility involved in such an undertaking
- therefore, since the mass murder of the "Reich" Jews took place, it is almost certain to have been a) approved by Himmler based on b) either general or specific authorization from Hitler, that is, authorization regarding the Reich and western Jews of whom Brayard wrote that they were during this critical period "not thus yet bound to systematic murder"

How and when the decision to start gassing German and western Jews at Chelmno was taken
- on 15 April 1942 Himmler had a long telephone call with Heydrich concerning a report to be presented to the Führer, at the Wolfsschanze, on 16 April; Himmler also detailed the itinerary of his upcoming trip to Posen which was to commence as soon as his meeting with Hitler concluded
- on 16 April, Himmler traveled to Hitler’s headquarters and had lunch with the Führer; after lunch Himmler made his report to Hitler - on the 9-point agenda the last point was “the purpose of [Himmler’s] journey to Poznan - to see Gauleiter Greiser and the Higher SS and Police Leader Koppe.” Hitler approved, and Himmler thereupon flew to Posen,where in the evening he met with Gresier and Koppe (Witte includes the reminder that Koppe was “the very man who had played the most important role in October and November 1941 in the construction of Chelmno”)
- early on 17 April Himmler and Koppe (it is not certain whether Greiser accompanied them) drove, according to notes made by Himmler’s adjutant, “to Warthbrückern and the village of Redern”; Warthbrückern is the German name for Kolo, a small railway town near Chełmno where Jews transported to Chełmno changed trains, to the narrow-gauge trains that ran to Chelmno (Redern was the German name for a nearby town into which ethnic Germans had been resettled)
- on 19 April the Judenrat in Łódź made Announcement no. 374 which concerned medical examinations of Jews in Łódź, exempting working Jews as well as, supposedly, the German and western Jews (this announcement caused employed Jews and the “insettled” Jews to assume their exemption from any deportation sure to follow on the medical examinations; recall that such a Judenrat announcement was made at the behest of the German authorities)
- on 20 April Himmler was back with Hitler at his headquarters, celebrating the Führer’s birthday, from where he called Heydrich and discussed the situation in the Warthegau - Himmler’s written note on the phone call, according to Witte, included this comment: “No extermination of the Gypsies” (4,300 Roma taken from Łódź had been murdered months previously, in January)
- on 29 April the Judennat in Łódź issued Announcement no. 380, which communicated to ghetto inmates the actual May deportation-resumption plan; the announcement made note that it was issued “on the orders of the authorities,” that is, the Germans, and stated that beginning on 4 May 1942 “a resettlement of those Jews from the Altreich, Luxemburg, Vienna, and Prague who were sent to the Litzmannstadt ghetto will take place.”
- on 4 May the first train, carrying 1,008 of the targeted German and western Jews departed Łódź for Warthbrücken (Kolo) and then to Chelmno; by 15 May, twelve transports had carried 10,993, according to Witte, “mainly German, Austrian, Czech, and Luxemburg Jews” to Chełmno (Witte notes, and the Łódź Chronicle supports him) that a few 100s of Polish Jews were included; Patrick Montague gives the figure of 10,914 for these deportations); costs for the transports were 33,731.15RM.

Given the chronology, Witte concludes that “what is virtually certain is that on the morning of April 15, 1942, Himmler personally ordered the extermination of 10,000 German, Austrian, Czech, and Luxembourg Jews from the Lodz ghetto.” These corollaries are IMO also virtually certain: the decision was cleared with Hitler before Himmler’s trip (as discussed above) and very likely discussed with Greiser and Koppe the evening of 16 April - the Gauleiter was certainly "in the loop" (along with ghetto authorities in Łódź and some railway officials).

This April 1942 decision to proceed with the gassing of the German and other Jews “insettled” to Łódź was not a decision of fundamental policy, like the decisions reached in December 1941 (Gerlach) but was taken on the implementation level, a practical step bringing German and western Jews into the Final Solution as early as mid-April 1942, merely 7 weeks after the Wannsee conference.

Recent scholarship

Witte's argument is accepted and summarized in important recent scholarship on the Warthegau and Chełmno.

Thus, according to Patrick Montague (Chelmno and the Holocaust, pp 67-68), directly after Himmler's 16 April 1942 meeting with Hitler near Kętrzyn, the RFSS flew to Poznań for "discussions with Greiser and Koppe (HSSPF]. The next day, April 17, Himmler and Koppe, possibly accompanied by Greiser, drove to Kolo and the nearby village of Osiek Moczydło . . . to meet with Baltic Germans recently settled in the area at the expense of Poles who had been expelled from their homes. It is not known if Himmler made the short drive to Chełmno, but it is virtually certain that on this day Himmler ordered the extermination of 10,000 German, Austrian, Czech and Luxemburg Jews confined in the Łódź ghetto." Like Witte, Montague notes the inauguration of the deportations of these Jews, which began on 4 May 1942.

Also, Catherine Epstein, in Model Nazi (pp 189, 389) concurs. Citing Himmler's Der Dienstkalendar, which Witte relied on, she writes that about the 16-17 April meetings that "In all likelihood, the men [Greiser, Koppe, and Himmler] discussed the murder of the western Jews." Epstein's conclusion is that Himmler never gave Greiser carte blanche to handle the Jews of the Warthegau as he saw fit but rather Greiser "was expected to consult with Himmler" as he progressed.

Michael Alberti, in Die Verfolgung und Vernichtung der Juden im Reichsgau Wartheland 1939-1945, also accepts Witte's interpretation.

Witte's sources

A high level recap of Witte's sources shows that he used Himmler’s appointment calendar and handwritten notes Himmler’s notes (BA, NS 19/1441, 19/3959, 19/1439, 19/ 3959), a report of the Schutzpolizei (Schupo) from November 1941, various documents collected in FGM, a memorandum written by Łódź ghetto authority Hans Biebow, a telephone interview in 1994 with a German employer of Jewish labor during 1942 in the Warthegau, a Litzmannstadt Gestapo report, Rosenfeld’s diary, Zelkowicz’s diary, Himmler speech of 16 September 1942, two ghetto announcements, one in the Zonabend collection/YIVO in NY and the other reproduced in Unser einziger Weg ist Arbeit, invoice from Deutsch Reichsbahn to Gestapo from May 1942 with other transport documentation. Details of course are in Witte's footnotes.
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- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:57 pm

That's very interesting information, but we must remember that Chelmno is a sidenote to the FS. If a similar level of decision making could be found or AR then I would be fully convinced.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:09 pm

convinced of what?

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:17 pm

the veracity of his thesis.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:41 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:That's very interesting information, but we must remember that Chelmno is a sidenote to the FS. If a similar level of decision making could be found or AR then I would be fully convinced.

I don't see Chełmno as a "side note" to the Final Solution; it was at first an early, locally inspired, regional killing solution - which in 1942 as outlined above became a component part, in the shadow of the Final Solution decisions, of the European-wide genocide. Whilst its primary use was the extermination of the Warthegau Jews, the Jews included in the mass murder at the camp, as of April-May 1942, included those who had been sent beginning October 1941 from the Old Reich, Prague, Vienna, and Luxembourg to the ghetto in Łódź. Compatriots of theirs were sent to also to Riga, Minsk, and Kaunas and then, during the spring 1942 deportations from central Europe, to holding ghettos in the Lublin area, from where they were dispatched to Bełzec and Sobibór starting late spring. There was by this point no Chełmno "side note" but rather the determined clearing of designated groups of Jews at various places. Other central European Jews were sent to Theresienstadt and then to Auschwitz and Treblinka. In 1944, Chełmno was reactivated to complete the murder of the Jews in the Warthegau once Himmler decided on the liquidation of the Łódź ghetto, its workshops, and much of its Jewish workforce; at that time, both the facilities at Chełmno and Birkenau were utilized to finish off the Warthegau Jews.

Similarly, it is probable that at least Bełzec was initiated as part of a regional "cleansing" program, not the Final Solution as discussed as decided in December (Gerlach) and discussed at Wannsee and follow-up conferences. Like Chełmno, Bełzec in spring 1942 - around the same time - was joined up to the European-wide murder program.

Conceptually, one can no more "subtract" the Warthegau from the Final Solution than Greece, Hungary, France, Slovakia, or other areas - nor those Jews who were in 1942 being shot down in police operations in, e.g., Belorussia; Jews were murdered in the Final Solution in a variety of ways and in different places, not all in the death camps of Einsatz Reinhard and Birkenau. The Final Solution took place across Europe, which means that area by area had to be addressed; not all were addressed at the same time - nor were all addressed in the same manner. To think otherwise is a (common) fallacy; even as the program centralized, it failed to fall into a uniform, pre-packaged whole. Selection process, use of people in labor, killing locations, and so on were never uniform across the scope of the Final Solution. In fact, this concept - which credits the European scope of the genocide by late 1941-early 1942 whilst looking at its pieces and parts - is a key point on which the disagreement in this thread has unfolded, IMO.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:29 pm

Bumping this because I received an interlibrary loan copy of Robert Van Pelt's extended-play review of Brayard's Auschwitz enquete sur un complot... just before Xmas. It appeared in Yad Vashem Studies vol 41/2: http://secure.yadvashem.org/store/Print ... 041%5B2%5D
I'd actually ordered it some time ago but the library notification went to my spam folder so it wasn't until a reminder was sent that I picked it up.

The review is scathing beyond belief. The main problem is really methodological: Brayard's main thesis really does lack more than the 'errant data' used by CTs, no direct evidence was provided in Pelt's opinion. The conspiracy to deceive the Gauleiter looks more like a conspiracy of silence and a matter of tact. The idea that Goebbels really distinguished between Westjuden and Ostjuden is contradicted by other remarks from the Goebbels diaries. Pelt writes about Brayard with the same philosophically informed exasperation that he used to write about denial in his Irving trial report.

Brayard replied in vol 42, I gather, so will try to order that as well.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:30 pm

Hi Nick, and thank you for that.
Is there a way to get those articles online? Or anyway to be delivered copies in central America.

I am planing to start a new thread about Brayard - the fact that Deniers have left the forum should not prevent some healthy debate - so Van Pelt opinion would be very welcomed.


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