Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Sun May 15, 2016 10:30 pm

Yeah...some fun ahead...
Not that i intend to refute anything (well almost) that is presented in the book. It is a collection of very good articles.
My hope is that it would help clarifying my positions. So yes it does, indirectly, but it does... ;)

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:36 pm

Ok, some points from the introductory essay to The Participants by Jasch (director of the Wannsee House) and Kreutzmüller (curator, Jewish Museum of Berlin):

1.The authors explain that the volume is in debt to, and utilizes, perpetrator research (beginning with Browning) and research on division of labor and networks (see the Feldman & Seibel collection discussed elsewhere).

2. Extending their networks point a bit, J&K foreground their view that the conference represented a "cross section of the Nazi elite" and that a "modern 'division of labor' . . . was an important premise for the mass murder of the European Jews." They describe how the participants by and large already knew one another, where they socialized, and even who likely came to the meeting with whom. Photographs showing participants together at prior events are included. J&K discuss Luther's copy of the protocol - the only copy extant - in this regard: Heydrich's cover note urged "standard administrative" follow-up, including that "offices involved" appoint specialists for the Second Final Solution Conference (6 March 1942). Luther would note on his copy that Rademacher should report to Eichmann. The sentence in the protocol emphasizing the shift from emigration to "evacuating the Jews to the East" was underlined on Luther's copy. The authors assume similar handling of the matter in the other offices. They write that
the genocide was organized in the manner of a standard administrative procedure, with the cooperation of various offices, even though most of the documents were classified as highly confidential - 'Geheime Reichssache' - and only conveyed via special messengers and secret filing departments.

3. J&K remind us that the Wannsee meeting was publicly known as early as 21 August 1945, when a NY Times article "revealed" that it had taken place; the protocol was not of course discovered until 1947.

4. Also, J&K make a side argument that during the months preceding the conference "the 'Resolution of the Jewish Question' was being debated in various public media with astonishing openness." They cite propaganda accompanying the initial phases of Barbarossa, press directives of Otto Dietrich (for example that papers should devote attention to Hitler's 30 January 1939 "prophecy"), Goebbel's notorious "It is the fault of the Jews" article in Das Reich on 16 November 1941, and how a 1942 article in the legal publication Deutsches Recht used similar language to Goebbels' 12 December 1941 diary entry on solving the Jewish question "without sentimentality." In this article, author W. Gross referred to how Jewry was "bound to suffer historical and earthly death . . . as far as the historical phenomenon of Jews in Europe is concerned."

note: Brayard is not listed in the index; Roseman's contribution (next up for me) will survey changing perceptions of the Wannsee Conference, and his chapter bibliography does not list any titles by Brayard, the original impetus for this thread.

edit: appalling and abundant spelling errors fixed, thanks to a nameless reader!
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:30 am

Well, i will have to read "the Participants" by J&K, first.
But from what you wrote, i see nothing really new in the approach, focusing on those famous speeches
by Hitler and some authors, as a form of ultimate proof, like "they say it so they did it" (well they did it).

Of course, they knew each others, and yes there were official debates on the Jewish Question, but when you actually read the minutes of those conferences following Wannsee (all about the resolution of the Final Solution, hey it is even one of Brayard's argument,) how the hell can one conclude that the discussion was about a genocide?

The "All is the fault of the Jews" scheme could be found in most occupied European media at the same time, that does not mean that all the local authorities were in the known of what was going to happen.

The fact that Brayard is not listed in the INDEX, or that he is not even translated and being ignored instead of being refuted on his core elements, but it certainly not a good reason to ignore his arguments.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:58 am

Roseman's survey of the changing Wannsee historiography (ch 1) is interesting; I will type up some notes on it in a bit. He is strongly in favor of the book's biographical approach, of course, as he is writing the first chapter - but he accounts for it in terms of the evolving historiography. He says that The Participants is "the first consolidated biographical approach to the men at the table," not that we don't have biographical information on the fifteen men but that we haven't had this information pulled together in relation to Wannsee.

So, just in its structure, the book is part of an evolution shifting the spotlight - from Eichmann, or Heydrich - onto leading members of the cohort of racist-nationalists discussed by Ulrich Herbert, Gotz Aly and Suzanne Heim, Michael Wildt and others and also onto the development of genocidal imagination (Bourdieu's habitus) among a wider group of perpetrators. Twice, Roseman notes, having argued against the older idea that the Wannsee meeting was essentially for the purpose of Heydrich's power-grab game, that Heydrich's assassination changed little - in fact, it only accelerated the pace of the mass murder; Heydrich's role at Wannsee is placed in the context of Himmler's meetings about Jewish policy during the last months of 1941 (from Der Dienstkalender Heinrich Himmlers). For Roseman, indeed, the timing of the meeting was important - during "a key phase of policy gestation," whether one buys Gerlach's thesis or not, when this group of long-standing racial-nationalists were moving rapidly toward a genocidal perspective. Roseman will stress linkages (networks, shared intellectual foundations, crossing of institutional lines) among the participants, to some extent meshing RSHA and civil agencies in ways going beyond division of labor.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:53 am

Just downloaded the book on my kindle.
I agree that such a biographical approach was lacking.
will be back after having read it.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:13 am

Just some random points I found interesting in Roseman's chapter:

1. Roseman observes that shortly after the war, there was a tendency toward the "overestimation of Heydrich's significance (because of an underestimation of Himmler)" - and that "The less the [Wannsee] meeting came to be seen as part of the core decision-making process, the more it was viewed as a move in Heydrich's power game." In writing this, Roseman does not take the position that Heydrich didn't use the Wannsee meeting to confirm and extend the RSHA's authority in Jewish matters but that the meeting does not boil down to this as its essential point. Roseman also says, "Even Heydrich, by far the most powerful man at the event, was operating within Himmler's framework."

2. Roseman is not so keen on the way past historians have discussed the RSHA vs the civilian ministries, especially Interior, Justice and Chancellery. For one thing, he cautions against reliance on Lösener's report attempting to rehabilitate Globke which "certainly helped the posthumous reputation of Stuckart, who was depicted as someone seeking to fend off the radicals." He criticizes German history writing in the '60s and '70s as slanted toward the civilian ministries: "what emerged from the best German scholarship was a clear sense that the last vestiges of decency had not disappeared from the ministries." He cites non-German historians, including Hilberg and Browning, as "less inclined" to see the ministries as so clean in Jewish matters.

3. Roseman credits Aly and others for beginning "to take the discourse and objectives of racial policy seriously, and to assume that the protagonists were driven not merely by irrational orders, or by lust for power, but rather saw meaning in what they were doing. . . . [T]he most recent trend has been to blur the boundary between direct participation and wider societal participation, with some studies making the whole population complicit in genocide. If these works have something in common, it has been first to widen the circle of those who are seen as somehow implicated in murder." Roseman cites Ulrich Herbert's biography of Werner Best as critical to opening up research into "a large body of intelligent young men whose worldview" was "racist-nationalist" and who were "the energy behind Nazi racial policies." Roseman elaborates on this world view and its implications: "shared ideas of territorial cleansing, ruthless ethnic nationalism . . . [which] provided personal guiding principles for the regime's energetic servants."

4. Roseman makes note of three recent evolutions in understanding of Wannsee:

a) Timing of Wannsee "[T]he timing of the conference began to make more sense, now that we could see that Berlin was being slowly nudged towards genocide in the fall of 1941 . . . [This] located the demarcation disputes Heydrich was seeking to resolve within a key phase of policy gestation. . . . Heydrich's actions could now be placed in the context of a series of Himmler meetings around the same time." Roseman adds that these men did not conceive a mass murder of the Jews a few years earlier but were gravitating towards that solution during this phase, even if one doesn't accept Gerlach's interpretation (Gerwarth in his contribution still does not, whilst Heinemann, whose chapter is on Otto Hofmann of the RuSHA, seems to).

b) Ministries and SS: networks "[T]he older impression of a cultural divide between civilian and Party and SS agencies was replaced by a much more differentiated and fluid sense of networks of ideas that crossed institutional lines. The impression of timorous educated civil servants ranged against SS thugs no longer held."

c) Desk and field killers "[A]long with this meshing of civilian and SS representatives, recent work has also offered another set of close connections; namely, that between the desk and field murderers - particularly, but not only, in the SS Reich Security Main Office. The men who arrived at Wannsee with their hands dripping with blood, Lange and Schöngarth, shared the same university background and legal training as most of the civil servant colleagues."
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:08 am

Gerwarth, in his chapter on Heydrich, writes that at the Wannsee meeting
Heydrich's exposition of the 'Jewish Question' contained little that was new. Even at the Wannsee Conference, he held to the belief expressed in early 1941 that a complete solution to the 'Jewish Question' would only be possible after the war, and would entail deportations to the East, forced labor and mass murder. Until then, his plan was to step up the systematic mass executions of Jews that had begun in the Soviet Union the previous summer.

As to central European Jews being deported to the East, Heydrich outlined his infamous labor plans, including "elimination by natural causes" of "a large portion" of the Jewish laborers and a plan to "tread accordingly" the hardy, surviving remnant. As to deportees not fit for hard labor (e.g., women and children), Gerwarth says that "it can be assumed that [Heydrich] believed they too would 'have to be treated accordingly.'"

This statement is largely in keeping with, if not identical to, what Gerwarth said in his Heydrich biography as well as what Longerich's Himmler biography and his previous book, Holocaust, say about the Wannsee conference.

Gerwarth adds that the Heydrich saw the Solution to the Jewish Question as the first step in Germanization of the East, a project which involved expulsion, resettlement or murder of up to 30 million Slavs in the region. Heydrich, says Gerwarth, recognized that the larger Germanization project "would have to wait until the Wehrmacht had defeated the Red Army. . . . The murder of European Jews, a far smaller minority and easily identified, posed fewer logistical challenges. For Heydrich and Himmler, a speedy implementation of the 'Final Solution' promised to give them a major strategic advantage over rival authorities in the occupied territories; they hoped their efficiency in implementing Hitler's genocidal vision would demonstrate to the Führer that the SS was the organization best suited to leading the Nazis' even more ambitious postwar project - the complete racial reorganization of Europe."

I find this discussion unclear as to what Gerwarth believes the Final Solution meant and entailed as well as whether, as he first writes, Gerwarth believes that the FS was considered by Heydrich during these critical months (recall that Heydrich would be dead not 5 months after Wannsee) to be a postwar project or, as he later says, Heydrich meant the FS to be speedily implemented during the war. My recollection is that in his Heydrich biography Gerwarth is clearer on these issues than in the present chapter.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:05 am

Peter Klein's chapter is excellent - a dense, well-argued recapitulation of what he and Angrick wrote in their book on Riga (discussed earlier in this thread in this post).

In his chapter Klein wraps his biographical sketch and discussion of events in Latvia around

1) what Lange brought to Wannsee: "it is easy to understand why he was invited to the meeting": he "could refer to the mass murders of Jews carried out by his task force" in Latvia and he was an exemplar of what Heydrich's men could do - also, "Lange's presence at the meeting reflected a new departure in the Nazis' policy of annihilation," that is, sanction of "the mass murder of deportees" from the Reich and Protectorate; and

2) what Lange took from Wannsee (in contrast to how his task force stood by when Reich Jews were murdered on arriving at Riga in 1941, now, in 1942, Lange's men escalated the murder of Jews from the Reich and Protectorate: "The KdS in Riga [Lange] was following the strategy described in the Wannsee Conference minutes to the letter" in how the 20-30% of labor capable deportees were selected for work camps whilst the 70-80% "who are unfit for work" were "singled our and executed". Klein includes the important detail that on 19 January 1942, the day before the Wannsee conference, in the Bikernieki forest outside Riga, "with the help of Arājs' men, almost all the Jews transported four days earlier from the Theresienstadt ghetto were murdered. Given that Lange was aware of the trouble encountered by HSSPF Jeckeln after the murder of the Berlin Jews on 30 November, and the fact that the Bohemian Jews from Theresienstadt fell under Heydrich's Protectorate, it can be assumed with hindsight that the massacre of deported Jews would never have taken place without the approval of the Wannsee Conference host."

I'm leaving out detail, and none of this is new, but I highly recommend Klein's chapter.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:26 am

the thanks is for your three last posts.
Though, i will try to forget them during my reading.
I am heading to the beach this weekend, the perfect place to assess the book ( no children, no work, no TV), which seems very good.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:41 pm

As noted above with regard to Lange, one element of the Wannsee conference many of the chapter authors of The Participants discuss is the follow-up actions of the meeting attendees. Tuchel, for example, in his chapter on Gestapo chief Müller highlights three actions taken by Müller after the conference:

1. Concerning the decision to continue deporting Jews from Germany, Müller "endorsed," on 15 May 1942, guidelines for the evacuation" of Jews from Germany to the so-called old people's ghetto at Theresienstadt.

2. Not a week after this Müller told Gestapo officers across the Reich, in the matter of further Jewish deportations, that
In the course of the Lublin/Izbica evacuation measures, all the evacuation authorities in the Altreich, with a few isolated exceptions, were able to capture the Jews concerned under the guidelines for evacuation. In order to be able to thoroughly exploit all the available accommodation possibilities in the East for further evacuations, I request information of the number of Jews still remaining in your area of responsibility who could still be evacuated under precise observation of the guidelines.

Further logistical and tactical orders from Müller followed on this.

3. Müller also followed-up on France (see this post in the France/Grande Rafle thread); the planned deportation of Romanian Jews, which was blocked by Antonescu's demurral; Italian recalcitrance, working with the Foreign Office to "unstick" deportation of Jews from Italy-occupied France in 1943 so as to help complete "the total European solution" (Müller to Foreign Office); and the deportation of Italian Jews as well as the fate of Jews in Albania, Croatia, Italy-occupied France and Greece, and finally the Hungarian action.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:56 pm

Josef Bühler's conviction by a Polish court in 1948 for, inter alia, participation in the mass murder of Jews was, according to Ingo Loose in his chapter on Bühler, in large part due to the state secretary's being at the Wannsee Conference; already in 1948 the Polish court made what has become a conventional interpretation of Bühler's contributions to the conference, which have been discussed in this thread.

Loose's chapter affirms the Polish court's interpretation. Given that this interpretation has been outlined in the thread, I will add here only a couple of important and/or new points raised by Loose:

1. Not directly tied to Bühler, Loose quotes from Ostministerium guidelines, summer 1941, on the Jewish Question, emphasizing the pan-European nature of the Germans' evolving thinking some months before Wannsee: "All measures concerning the Jewish Question in the occupied territories must be implemented in the light of the fact that, after the war, the Jewish Question will be solved across-the-board for all of Europe. . . . [T]he experience gained dealing with the Jewish Question in the occupied territories in the East can point to solutions for the entire problem . . ." This document is not an SS or RSHA guideline but came from the Ostministerium.

2. Bühler seems to have been added to the list of Wannsee participants at the last minute, as a way to smooth the ongoing conflict between Krüger and Frank, with Schöngarth taking "Krüger's seat" at the table and Bühler representing the GG. In fact, Himmler met privately with Bühler a week before the Wannsee meeting: "there is evidence to suggest that the division of responsibilities had already been agreed upon" at this meeting, "Bühler is said to have been 'delighted' with this meeting . . . which he himself initiated. . . . it seems likely that arrangements had previously been made with Bühler to murder the Jews in the General Government where possible to make room for more Jews to be deported from the Reich." Himmler and Frank in mid-March would both extol the "excellent work" being done by SS and civil authorities in the GG. Loose draws similar conclusions to those drawn in this thread about the utilization of the Lublin ghettos and the AR camps, in part based on Bühler's statements at Wannsee but also noting (no footnote) that "Bühler was kept informed of the progress of the murders" as the AR action unfolded.

3. Bühler's follow-up also included oversight of the Lublin transit ghettos; for example, in March 1942 Bühler told the Lublin district governor that ghettos had been set up near Lublin for Jews evacuated from the Reich and Slovakia.

4. As we know, Bühler claimed at Nuremberg, both to interrogators and in court, that, yes, he had participated in the Wannsee conference but, no, mass murder had not been discussed; rather, the Final Solution was a plan to resettle Jews "in north-east Europe, in Russia" and that the resettlement was to "proceed in a humane way." That is what Bühler told investigators; before the IMT tribunal Bühler would maintain that at Wannsee the Jewish Question was discussed and that
When the Jewish ghettos were emptied, that they would be resettled in north-east Europe, as the head of the Reich Main Security Office intended, which had been explicitly explained to me at the meeting in February 1942

meaning Wannsee and misdating the session. Bühler felt safe saying this because the protocol had not yet been discovered - it was not discovered until 1947. At his trial in Poland, Bühler was still insisting that it had been the "Führer's order" that the Germans would "assemble all European Jews and resettle them in north-east Russia." Confronted at trial with the Wannsee protocol, Bühler tried claiming that his call for a speedy removal of Jews from the GG intended to liberate the Jews "from the sorry conditions in the ghettos of the General Government and the hands of the police," in keeping with his defense strategy of blaming the deceased Krüger for crimes against the Jews, despite his own collaboration with the police, grudging with Krüger, smooth and "comradely" with Krüger's successor Koppe. I wasn't aware of this testimony at the Polish trial.

What I also did not know is this detail: according to Loose, during his Nuremberg interrogation and before his tribunal testimony, Bühler "actually admitted [to his interrogators] that a 'plan to exterminate the Jews' had been discussed at the conference." This was in 1946. Loose cites the interrogation of Bühler by Jerzy Sawicki, 14 February 1946, for this quotation.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:48 pm

Freisler. At the time of the Wannsee meeting, Freisler had not yet been appointed president of the notorious People's Court (that would come in summer 1942) but was state secretary in the Justice Ministry under Gürtner, reporting I believe to Schlegelberger. Freisler would take the radical line on Mischlinge, one of the key dilemmas addressed by the conferees.

In her chapter, Silke Struck shows that Freisler had become involved in defense of the T-4 program when a judge (Kreyssig) addressed a letter of protest against the program to the Justice Ministry; Freisler's eventual viewpoint on T-4 reflected his earlier publications and statements on aligning German law to "blood-and soil notions" and making the law "ethno-national" in character – employing the concept that the Third Reich had brought new legal concepts including the Führer’s special role. In this regard, also, Freisler had consulted with Greiser on developing special law for Jews and Poles in the Warthegau including the death penalty for minor infractions. Such special laws took effect in December 1941.

Which brings us to this important IMO detail: just four days prior to his attending the Wannsee conference, Freisler made reference to this special law for Poland in an article he published in Deutsche Justiz. In this article Freisler called on German judges and attorneys in Poland to fulfill their duties as "political soldiers" and to consider as Jews there those who were defined as Jews under "general German Reich regulations." OTOH when Freisler specifically addressed the issue of the deportations of German Jews from the Reich, he laid out that the regime of special law in Poland, recently put into effect, was to apply not only to Polish Jews, but also to those, quoting his article, "who come from the other parts of the Reich into the incorporated Eastern territories." At least in the matter of the death penalty and other special laws targeting the Jews in the Warthegau, Freisler, on the eve of Wannsee, made clear that there was to be no distinction between "Reich Jews" and eastern Jews.

Of Freisler's participation at Wannsee, Struck writes that Freisler "was quite aware that this meeting of high-ranking Nazis was called to discuss the extermination of the Jewish population in Europe."
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:48 am

Just finished my fourth chapter.
I can only repeat that you have a real gift for synthesizing content.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balmoral95 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:52 am

Balsamo wrote:Just finished my fourth chapter.
I can only repeat that you have a real gift for synthesizing content.


He's always been a diamond geezer.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:01 am

Some random points from various chapters, mostly sidelights but of interest to me:

* Klopfer, from the Party Chancellery, when questioned by Nuremberg NMT investigators about Wannsee - this is after discovery of the protocol - said that at the meeting, despite what the protocol said, Heydrich had talked "merely" (chapter author Heckmann's word) about "emigration of the Jews" (investigation protocol). This was a bold bit of BS, in that the protocol explains the Third Reich's policy turn from "emigration" to "evacuation" - and Heydrich most clearly did not restrict his comments to emigration: "Another possible solution of the problem has now taken the place of emigration, i.e. the evacuation of the Jews to the East, provided that the Fuehrer gives the appropriate approval in advance. . . . SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich went on to say that an important prerequisite for the evacuation as such is the exact definition of the persons involved." Klopfer stonewalled so thoroughly that one investigator would tell him, "Then you must have slept through the meeting."

* Kritzinger came to Wannsee from the Reich Chancellery. Like Freisler, Kritzinger was involved in, among many other facets of law and administration in the Third Reich, special law. He helped write the 11th decree (November 1941), which stripped deported German Jews of their citizenship and assets on their departure from the Reich and the 13th decree (July 1943), which said that the property of Jews would pass to the state on a Jew's death; it also made the police, not courts, responsible for criminal proceedings against Jews. What I wanted to note about Kritzinger, however, was what seems to have been a typical distancing/exonerating trope that he used when questioned by Kempner: "to me, the worst atrocities were perpetrated in the occupied territories and against the Jews." It is almost as though the defense is, yes, that was bad, but it was only in the east that matters were so bad; some core of legality and humanity was thus preserved, rhetorically, for the Third Reich. That said, chapter authors Paul-Jacob and Streiber are not convinced that Kritzinger, although he knew about the Nazis' crimes, was fully aware of the scope of the mass murder.

* In May 1941 within both the SS and the APA (Nazi Party foreign affairs office, under Rosenberg) plans to instigate pogroms by locals in the occupied East were made; Leibbrandt, who would represent the East Ministry at Wannsee, was kept apprised of the progress of these efforts - and his deputy Brautigam, then serving as East Ministry liaison with the Wehrmacht, wrote about these actions in his diary. Leibbrandt is yet another Wannsee participant who, after the war, wanted no part of Wannsee: he would first tell Kempner that he couldn't recall the meeting, then say, "I took the first opportunity to tell the minister that I did not share the lunacy." Leibbrandt, prior to Wannsee, in fall 1941, had been involved in the pressure on Lohse to conform to extermination policies in the Ostland, with some of the correspondence running through Bräutigam; Leibbrandt had also received reports from Stumpp in 1941 that, according to chapter author Munke, "amount to a chronicle of the murder of the Jewish population" in the occupied East; and Leibbrandt received and read accounts of the mass shooting of a few 1000s of Jews during summer 1941. Nor is it likely that Leibbrandt tried opting out of Wannsee matters; rather, he himself hosted a meeting on the Mischlinge problem less than two weeks after the Wannsee meeting, where the East Ministry advocated for the more radical definition of who was a Jew.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:01 am

Balmoral95 wrote:
Balsamo wrote:Just finished my fourth chapter.
I can only repeat that you have a real gift for synthesizing content.


He's always been a diamond geezer.

LOL accent on "geezer"
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balmoral95 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:45 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:
Balsamo wrote:Just finished my fourth chapter.
I can only repeat that you have a real gift for synthesizing content.


He's always been a diamond geezer.

LOL accent on "geezer"



:lol: Makes two of us..

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:30 am

a bit busy today but I need to find time to post some key points from Browning's chapter on Luther . . . that might not be until tomorrow . . . some known and some new points on Serbia, reports on EG activity, a October 1941 note from Wurm to Rademacher, the case of Spanish Jews in France in fall 1941, Foreign Office/RSHA relations, why Luther attended Wannsee, what Luther knew and understood of Judenpolitik, internal Foreign Office relations, and Foreign Office follow-up.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:12 pm

Luther (Browning's chapter):

Yellow Star: Having had initially rocky relations with the RSHA on Jewish matters, Luther (and his deputy Rademacher) bent over backwards in late summer and early fall 1941 to smooth the RSHA place for the marking of Jews with the yellow star; Luther and Rademacher made sure that the star would be introduced without problems in occupied countries (and to tried to obtain agreement to the yellow star from friendly governments). Luther and Rademacher agreed with Heydrich on a course of action even before seeking Ribbentrop's approval. The RSHA agreed to have the Foreign Office exempt Jews in countries where the marking of Jews would cause complications; the RSHA needed foreign relations expertise and relied on Luther and Rademacher for this. Kept out of the loop, along with Ribbentrop, was state secretary Weizsäcker, who, as the details of the yellow star action became clear to him, chided Luther for operating outside Foreign Office channels.

Serbia 1941: The case of Serbia has been covered at length in the various Wannsee threads in this forum and at Rodoh - most famously Rademacher's notation of Eichmann's instruction regarding the Serbian Jews held by the German military, which captives the German ambassador Benzler was seeking approval to expel to Poland or elsewhere. Told no, Benzler kept pressing. Eichmann had explained to Rademacher in mid-September, according to the latter's handwritten note on their telephone call, "residence in Russia or GG impossible. Not even Jews from Germany can be lodged there. Eichmann proposes shooting." One detail I'd forgotten concerns the Jewish women and children in Serbia (the authorization was for shooting male Jews); with regard to the women and children, Rademacher reported following his visit to Serbia in October that, "as soon as the technical possibility exists within the framework of the total solution to the Jewish Question, the Jews will be deported by waterway to reception camps in the East." They were in fact gassed in the first half of 1942 in gassing vans. The radical stance of Luther and Rademacher, even with Ribbentrop's approval this time, again was another cause for conflict with state secretary Weizsäcker.

case of Spanish Jews in France in fall 1941: Among the Jews rounded up for reprisal executions in France were Jews holding Spanish passports. Thus, the Spanish government asked the Germans to allow all 2,000 Spanish Jews in France to be deported to Spanish Morocco. Indeed on 13 October Luther, in accordance with the longstanding policy of emigration, drafted a memo to this effect. However, within days Luther became aware that the RSHA opposed this "emigration"; Luther's memo on this decision of the RSHA said that if they were sent to Morocco "these Jews would also be too much out of the direct reach of measures for a basic solution of the Jewish Question to be enacted after the war." (Note: I once had breakfast with Christopher Browning, and he alluded to such decisions as well as to much loose talk in the party and government in October and November 1941 as evidence for the policy change with regard to western Jews and with regard to extermination.) It was at this time that Himmler and Heydrich ordered a stop to Jewish emigration, with the stop order sent to Sipo-SD agencies on 23 October. Luther did not learn of the emigration halt until 14 November.

note from Wurm to Rademacher: On 23 October 1941, Paul Wurm informed Rademacher, by note, presumably about what had taken place at a meeting which Eichmann had held with deportation specialists that very day, about upcoming deportations of Reich Jews (recall that the first deportations, to Łódź, had commenced only on 15 October). Wurm's note to Rademacher said,
Dear Party Comrade Rademacher! On my return trip from Berlin I met an old comrade, who works in the east on settlement of the Jewish Question. In the near future, many of the Jewish vermin will be exterminated through special measures.

reports of the EGs: In the various discussions of Wannsee at Rodoh and here, the Foreign Office's receipt and handling of the activity reports of the EGs detailing killing actions in the occupied USSR have been dealt with. Browning reviews this topic, which he previously covered in depth in Origins. Note that one of the reports, the 6th, stated that 33,771 Jews had been killed in Kiev at the end of September 1941 (Babi Yar). The reports were initialed by Wieszäcker and under state secretary Woermann, and sent up to Ribbentrop. The full reports were read by 5 people in the Foreign Office and summaries by at least 16. Browning notes, as we have in the Einsatzgruppen thread, that "increasingly the goal of making these territories judenfrei was openly proclaimed. No one reading [the reports] could doubt the meaning of the term 'Final Solution' as it applied to the Soviet territories." Ten of the first 11 of these reports are known to have circulated within the Foreign Office.

why Luther attended Wannsee: Wannsee is sometimes referred to as the state secretaries' meeting, on account of the high rank of so many attendees; OTOH Luther was an under state secretary, which raises the question why he attended. Browning says that "By the time of the invitation, Luther's contentious relationship with the SS had been mitigated by cooperation in implementing Nazi Jewish policy on two important occasions" - the yellow star and Serbia. Further, Luther acted on his own initiative, bypassed the obstructionist Wieszäcker, and managed to obtain "vague" approval from Ribbentrop. All this made Luther useful to Heydrich on policy implementation as well as overall management of the Final Solution.

what Luther knew and understood of Judenpolitik: Browning writes that before the Wannsee meeting
Luther knew two things: first, that a solution of systematic murder was already being implemented against Jews on Soviet territory, and, second, that a plan for a basic or total solution for all remaining European Jews within the German sphere - to be undertaken after the war - consisted of deporting them to "reception camps" in the east, where the likelihood of their being killed was very great.

Luther's goals at Wannsee: Rademacher drafted a memo on "desires and ideas" for Luther (it is not known if Luther saw this document). Key points were as follows - 1) "deportation of all German, Croatian, Slovak, and Romanian Jews . . . , all former-German, now stateless Jews on German occupied territory, Serbian Jews, and Jews turned over to Germany by Hungary"; 2) a declaration of German intent to deport all the Jews from Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Hungary; 3) Nuremberg-type Jewish legislation in other European countries. Here Browning disagrees with Gerlach that the meeting's purpose, at least insofar as the Foreign Office understood it, was only about German Jews. Luther spoke at the meeting, as we know, suggesting that the Final Solution would not encounter difficulty in "southeast and west Europe" but that Heydrich should consider delaying the Final Solution in some "northern countries" due to "difficulties [that] would emerge."

Foreign Office follow-up: Browning writes that at the Wannsee meeting "Luther had obtained both the chief 'desire' of the Foreign Office and protection of its prerogatives," already worked out in collaboration with the police. After the conference, the Foreign Office would assist in implementation of the Final Solution: the office did not raise objections to deportation actions in any countries; the office applied pressure and loaned expertise where required; the office expanded the victim pool by getting governments to allow their Jewish nationals in the Reich or in occupied counties to be included in the deportations; and, last, the office helped make sure property claims didn't hold up Jewish actions. Browning says that Luther shared information on Wannsee with Rademacher but not with Wieszäcker and not even with Ribbentrop until months later. At this time, Ribbentropp demanded an explanation; Luther replied with a justification that included an appraisal of the Wannsee conference and a statement that following the Wannsee meeting "frictionless cooperation" of the Foreign Office with the RSHA had made sure that the Foreign Office "carried out all measures" and helped resolve "all questions concerning foreign territory."
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:59 pm

Indeed, Luther was important and useful to Heydrich, in the sense that he could pretend represent the foreign office in front of his colleagues. But he was not representing his office, as his bosses were not aware.
Luther will end up in a concentration camp.
And his participation at Wannsee will not be followed by harmonious relation between the RSHA and the foreign office, nor will the knowledge by some in the foreign office of the systematic murder policy supposedly decided and shared at this occasion, be obvious even months after the meeting.

Granted, the foreign office did not object deportations, or only if such a deportation would create diplomatic difficulties (and that will still include many nationalities that will temporarily be spared), but that was not its role, once the decision to deport the Jews had been taken.
But there is this once case, mentioned by Brayard, related to Slovakian Jews, that shows that the foreign office as a whole was not suspecting that the Jews that were being deported were systematically killed.
I 'll come back to this episode.

I will recall that the main topic of this thread is to determine if the intention to systematically kill the Jews deported to the East (except those considered able to work - that is the evacuation as understood by the RSHA - was shared at the Wannsee Conference.

Regarding this issue, and after having read six chapters, there is little offered by this collective work that can help to decide, quite the contrary, but i need to finish the book first before starting to post seriously.

Otherwise, it is a very useful read, although some biographies might seem a bit concise. Regarding Stuckart for example, it would have been useful to write about his "post-Wannsee" career, how his seemingly obtrusive attitude during the year 42 did not alter not only his career, but not even his close relationship with Himmler. He will eventually become the Inner minister de facto, after this post been given to Himmler.

But i understand that lines had to be drawn.

just a few cents on this last post by statmec, as i am reading the chapter about Luther myself.

PS: Regarding Luther, one of the very interesting aspect of his personality, which can explain his unbelievable attitude during his service, was that he was a "no one" among the "elite of German society", highly represented in the foreign office. While most hold a doctorate, Luther did not even finish school. He would therefore have had no chance to being promoted without scheming his way to the top`. The perfect candidate for someone like Heydrich who needed a "mule" inside this "old fashion" institution.
How he became quite wealthy in the middle of the economic crisis that hit Germany, after having failed with his first business, would have deserved more investigation. There might have been some indelicacies he might have done, and might have spotted by some intelligence agencies.
Nevertheless he soon joined the NSDAP and the SA, and managed to gain the confidence of the "Ribbentrop's", before falling out of grace, miraculously reintegrated thanks to the intervention of other prominent Nazis.
Things got bitter for him when Ribbentrop was nominated Foreign minister, while himself was threatened by charges of embezzlement of Party's fund. To make his way, he convinced Ribbentrop of the existence of some conspiracy from Party organizations to influence his minister, again managing to prove himself essential to the minister.
The pending Trial for which Luther was facing the exclusion from the NSDAP (that curiously reminded me of old Globo's case), was "quashed".
This dirty little schemer's future was again wide open.

It is him that will hire Rademacher to lead the "Judenreferat". Like himself, Rademacher was also from modest origin, among the aristocratic institution. And the "Jewish affair" seemed to be the perfect domain to get promotions that his origin would have denied. All he needed to be was "zealous", and "zealous he will be.
Luther would be too happy to present his protege's antisemitic rants to "whoever might be concerned", that will be Heydrich himself.
From then on, they both will become RSHA agent within the Foreign office rather than representatives of this same institution.

More of this tomorrow.

PS: Browning's chapter is probably one of the best so far
Last edited by Balsamo on Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:55 pm

The last chapter in the book is on Stuckart. Jasch, the author, says that it is not decidable whether Stuckart was unaware of the fate of deported Jews or only pretended not to be so, in his 16 March 1942 letter. IIRC Nick's posts on this letter already have said pretty much what Jasch writes in the present chapter (but I need to search back through the thread to be sure my memory isn't tricking me!).

Stuckart was another of the participants in the Wannsee meeting who gave palpably false postwar testimony about it. The Wannsee conference figured importantly in the Ministries trial, in which Stuckart was a defendant. Despite Lösener's "protest" letter to him of December 1941 (concerning the Riga executions, which according to Lösener's writings Stuckart had defended), Stuckart maintained that "Lösener had never told him anything" and that his own understanding of the term "Final Solution" was emigration of Jews and "territorial collection in a settlement in the East." He said he'd not seen the protocol and that the protocol distorted what was said at the meeting - specifically, that Heydrich had not made remarks about subjection of Jews to attritive labor in camps. His account was that the meeting was called to overcome objections of the RMO and GG to having large numbers of Jews introduced into their territory and to change the law on half-Jews - specifically, to bring half-Jews under the definition of Jew and subject them to deportation. Stuckart maintained that his counter proposal to Heydrich's - sterilization of half-Jews and dissolution of mixed marriages - was put forward to block Heydrich's more radical intention. Jasch says that Stuckart's 16 March 1942 memo "reiterated his view" on Mischlinge ("natural extinction" via sterilization) and on mixed marriages.

That's it. Frankly, I don't think there is a new interpretation of the conference coming through in these pages, or a direct presentation of a sustained, new argument in favor of an existing interpretation, despite the volume's raising points I've either forgotten or was unaware of. A number of the chapters, even so, are very good reading (Lange, Müller, Schöngarth, Bühler, Freisler, Luther were ones I found most helpful, for Wannsee and for other matters.)
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:13 am

I don't know where to put this but, thinking of Rademacher, here is as good a place as any. On Madagascar's outbreak of plague this year, CNN says, "the country is endemic for plague. . . . Typically, outbreaks occur during the rainy season, between November and March." More background from Vox.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balmoral95 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:44 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I don't know where to put this but, thinking of Rademacher, here is as good a place as any. On Madagascar's outbreak of plague this year, CNN says, "the country is endemic for plague. . . . Typically, outbreaks occur during the rainy season, between November and March." More background from Vox.


It used to also have a fairly "decent" problem with leprosy though I'm given to believe that has somewhat abated.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:10 am

Statmec:

The last chapter in the book is on Stuckart. Jasch, the author, says that it is not decidable whether Stuckart was aware of the fate of deported Jews or pretended to be so, in his 16 March 1942 letter. IIRC Nick's posts on this letter already have said pretty much what Jasch writes in the present chapter (but I need to search back through the thread to be sure my memory isn't tricking me!).


Actually, the exact quote is:
" It remains unclear whether Stuckart was truly ignorant of the facts of the "Final Solution", that is to say the murder of the deported Jews, or merely pretended he was, so that his complicity was not on record"

Well the answer to this question should impose itself, as the alternative proposed that is that he made the whole mess up in order to prepare a hypothetical future defense cannot stand scrutiny.

The author adds rightly that:
" Evacuation in the East" implied in his view the continued existence of Jews in Ghettos, where half-Jews might indeed produce "leader-types".

Which is exactly what i tried to explained according to my translation of the letter.
And which is also how Brayard understood it, rightly.

Jasch correctly translated the letter and understood its message, does not mess with any foreign army or borders, does not speak of any form of anachronism, and actually does conclude with the original question and conclude that the matter is "unclear", not "undecidable".

Sorry to say, but most of Dr Terry posts on the subject was based on a wrong translation, a wrong premise that the debate was completely isolated from the debated "Final Solution", omitted elements from the March follow-up conference, thought Rademacher was not present and misunderstood the discussion, etc...
Sorry, but on that specific letter, there was no convincing rebuttal at all.

This is one element that is confirmed by this book.

Again, if you remember the previous posts (actually with three SSS), the alternative proposed by Jasch would be that Stuckart would played fool with with all his colleagues, forced the organization of two to follow conferences, would have fooled the ministry of Justice into the scheme, and in the end, prevailed in preventing the measure to be taken without altering his career at all...all this just to prepare a future defense in case of a Germany's defeat?
Come on the question, in this case, bears the answer.

More on this tomorrow

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:15 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I don't know where to put this but, thinking of Rademacher, here is as good a place as any. On Madagascar's outbreak of plague this year, CNN says, "the country is endemic for plague. . . . Typically, outbreaks occur during the rainy season, between November and March." More background from Vox.


Lol
I will have to warn my cousin right away then.

The last plague outburst in the US was in the 1920's, right?
;)

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balmoral95 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:21 am

Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I don't know where to put this but, thinking of Rademacher, here is as good a place as any. On Madagascar's outbreak of plague this year, CNN says, "the country is endemic for plague. . . . Typically, outbreaks occur during the rainy season, between November and March." More background from Vox.


Lol
I will have to warn my cousin right away then.

The last plague outburst in the US was in the 1920's, right?
;)


Nein:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/22/health/pl ... index.html

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:27 am

Balmoral95 wrote:
Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I don't know where to put this but, thinking of Rademacher, here is as good a place as any. On Madagascar's outbreak of plague this year, CNN says, "the country is endemic for plague. . . . Typically, outbreaks occur during the rainy season, between November and March." More background from Vox.


Lol
I will have to warn my cousin right away then.

The last plague outburst in the US was in the 1920's, right?
;)


Nein:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/22/health/pl ... index.html



LOL,

Ok, then that would explain why the USA refrain from welcoming the Jews during the crucial times...
They could not guarantee that their country was "plague free".
Eric Hunt would say that Trump's "Muslim ban" is a preventive life-saving measure in order not to expose all those potential victims from Soudan, Syria, Iran, etc from PLAGUE they could still catch visiting the USA.
:lol: :lol:

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balmoral95 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:34 am

Balsamo wrote:
Balmoral95 wrote:
Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:I don't know where to put this but, thinking of Rademacher, here is as good a place as any. On Madagascar's outbreak of plague this year, CNN says, "the country is endemic for plague. . . . Typically, outbreaks occur during the rainy season, between November and March." More background from Vox.


Lol
I will have to warn my cousin right away then.

The last plague outburst in the US was in the 1920's, right?
;)


Nein:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/22/health/pl ... index.html



LOL,

Ok, then that would explain why the USA refrain from welcoming the Jews during the crucial times...
They could not guarantee that their country was "plague free".
Eric Hunt would say that Trump's "Muslim ban" is a preventive life-saving measure in order not to expose all those potential victims from Soudan, Syria, Iran, etc from PLAGUE they could still catch visiting the USA.
:lol: :lol:


Mexicans too, according to Smith and Berg... Methinks a pattern is emerging :lol:

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:54 am

I read back through my notes on The Participants tonight. The one point that stands out more clearly to me than ever - I am not trying to rehash, or up for recycling, our previous discussions - is the emigration stop order, which came in October 1941 and about which Browning writes so compellingly in his chapter. I can't get past that, it looms as very significant.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:41 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I read back through my notes on The Participants tonight. The one point that stands out more clearly to me than ever - I am not trying to rehash, or up for recycling, our previous discussions - is the emigration stop order, which came in October 1941 and about which Browning writes so compellingly in his chapter. I can't get past that, it looms as very significant.


Yeah...you already talked about it.
But within this context, i still fail to understand why it strikes you so much.

In the situation as the one of 1941, emigration from Germany was a quite abstract concept, even for non Jews. Traveling from one part of Germany to another one required special permission. Most Europe was occupied (the West) or at war (East).
Great Britain was barely accepting Jewish children alone, and the USA were pretty restricted.
Nevertheless, as i mentioned before, when the Belgian Jewish organization (AJB) was established, its status still mention "emigration" among its responsibilities, Vichy France were also favoring Jewish emigration even after this ban.

This is to say that this ban was more theoretical than effective, probably more meant to officially get the foreign ministry out of the way, than to prevent a hypothetical and improbable travel from a Jewish family from Berlin to NY at this stage.

Again, during the war you just could not travel anywhere without due permissions from the authorities.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:49 pm

This could be of interest. In his new history of the SA, arguing that the post-1934 course of the SA has been underappreciated by historians, Daniel Siemens says that in the WWII part of his book he will show how the SA organization “remained highly relevant as a network of ‘committed’ Nazi activists who contributed to . . . the Holocaust.” SA officials were used by the Party as follows: “high-ranking SA generals . . . were sent as German envoys into the countries of southeastern Europe” where, alongside the Foreign Office, the Nazi leadership “intended to entrust diplomatic preparations for the murder of local Jews in these states to men who had been proven loyal NSDAP activists and fanatical antisemites” and “experts in violence.”

This idea is new to me. When I reach the relevant section of Siemens’ book I will summarize his argument and evidence here and, if I am able, comment on his claims.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:24 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:This could be of interest. In his new history of the SA, arguing that the post-1934 course of the SA has been underappreciated by historians, Daniel Siemens says that in the WWII part of his book he will show how the SA organization “remained highly relevant as a network of ‘committed’ Nazi activists who contributed to . . . the Holocaust.” SA officials were used by the Party as follows: “high-ranking SA generals . . . were sent as German envoys into the countries of southeastern Europe” where, alongside the Foreign Office, the Nazi leadership “intended to entrust diplomatic preparations for the murder of local Jews in these states to men who had been proven loyal NSDAP activists and fanatical antisemites” and “experts in violence.”

This idea is new to me. When I reach the relevant section of Siemens’ book I will summarize his argument and evidence here and, if I am able, comment on his claims.


Not the best chapter of the book, i must say.
But as you will be much better at summarizing it, i will wait in order not to spoil your reading...

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:18 pm

Not many claims - save one (below) - to comment on . . . Siemens overpromises on what he will deliver on the SA generals who took on roles as envoys to southeastern European allies of Germany; what Siemens writes about these five men and the Final Solution, although he adds some interesting material on their SA backgrounds and networks, is pretty much old hat, where he had promised "new hat." I will type something up if I am arsed to do so - first I want to go back through some material I've read on this topic as long ago as in the '90s! but also some recent stuff, including material on the Luther memo. (Siemens writes a number of times that the envoys were versed in the fate of the deportees but really doesn't show this to be the case - and he doesn't differentiate between spring '42 and spring '44, for example.)
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817


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