Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:15 pm

nickterry wrote:Balsamo, the Stuckart circular of 16.3.42 regarding Mischlinge was drafted by Loesener (the letter was sent out "I.V." Stuckart) and included arguments that had already been rehearsed in October 1935 in the context of the original Nuremberg Laws (see Hans-Christian Jasch, Staatssekretär Wilhelm Stuckart und die Judenpolitik. Der Mythos von der sauberen Verwaltung. Munich, 2012, p.219), specifically the argument about Mischlinge benefiting the enemies of Germany by becoming their leaders.

The fact that Loesener did the drafting could easily suffice to explain why a letter sent out by Stuckart contained a nonsensical argument; despite Loesener having heard of the Rumbula massacre (which is beyond reasonable doubt), he wasn't at Wannsee. The debate over Mischlinge in the spring of 1942 expanded to include many civil servants well beyond the immediate circle of state secretaries, so it does not necessarily follow that the content of the position papers necessarily reflects what was discussed at Wannsee.

Moreover, there is an internal contradiction in the apparent argumentation of the Stuckart letter: Mischlinge would supposedly prefer sterilisation to the chance to become anti-Nazi leaders, if we're meant to take the letter literally. That makes as little sense as the 'anomaly' Brayard is trying to conjure up with this point.

A parsimonious explanation is therefore that older arguments were recycled in broken-record fashion. This is reinforced by the fact that Stuckart repeated the same nonsensical argument in October 1942 when writing to Himmler about the Mischlinge.


Thanks for your answer,
But it does not resolve the problem.
The fact that those arguments had already been used in a very different context - that is the discussion on the Nuremberg law, which basically explains their use in the context of an attempt to revise this law, or the fact that its real author was Losener, head of the Jewish desk (racial affairs), does not change the fact that Suckart - who was present at Wannsee - assumed it and used it in a context well known to him, that is in the context of the FS as presented at Wannsee.
He would not have used Losener old arguments had those been non sensical in the context.

As for the fact that those Mischlinge would prefer sterilization as being deported to the east to become slave labors seems quite obvious to me. First because those poor Mischlinge certainly did not see themselves as natural born Fuhrers - as i doubt their shared Stuckart/Losener typical Nazi theories -
then because if one take completely out of context example, the case of homosexuals and transexuals, as well as disabled in Sweden, there are instance of people agreeing this awful solution, in this case, to be free or to be allowed to change sex. As you know, Sweden is known for having sterilized - forced or consented - in the same proportion of Nazi Germany, that is over 1% of its population.
Even in Belgium, Sterilization was long an obligation if two disabled wanted to live together, it can be argued if they were agreeing in full knowledge of course, but those cases never stirred up any contestation.

The fact that Stuckart used the argument until october 42 only reinforces the need for addressing the question directly.

Is it so impossible that those State Secretaries could have been fooled in some way? Are there proofs allowing us to discard this possibility, and Brayard questioning, one and for all permanently?

Nick Terry added:
Another problem with the 16.3.42 Stuckart letter: there is nothing in the WP or any other document about expelling Jews over the frontline to the Soviets, nor is it plausible that Stuckart was anticipating a Nazi defeat or retreat when writing in March 1942.


I agree, this would have made no sense, and this is why i don't think one should interpret the term "enemy" as people form nations at war with Germany. The choice was to treat those Misclinge as Jews, that is they would share their fate OR to be treated seperatly through sterilization or by having their own Ghetto, in both case not to be mix with the Jews. There nothing to support an eventuality of those Mischlinge to be deported through emigration in a foreign hostile country.
In this case, it is logic that the term "enemy" was referring to the "Jews" who had to be exterminated.
Again, i am not contesting that at Wannsee the Final Solution had been presented with a extermination finality, the question raised by this letter for the reason explained is how the modalites of this extermination operation were explained, as shown by the two kind of equation in my previous post.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:56 pm

Balsamo wrote:
nickterry wrote:Balsamo, the Stuckart circular of 16.3.42 regarding Mischlinge was drafted by Loesener (the letter was sent out "I.V." Stuckart) and included arguments that had already been rehearsed in October 1935 in the context of the original Nuremberg Laws (see Hans-Christian Jasch, Staatssekretär Wilhelm Stuckart und die Judenpolitik. Der Mythos von der sauberen Verwaltung. Munich, 2012, p.219), specifically the argument about Mischlinge benefiting the enemies of Germany by becoming their leaders.

The fact that Loesener did the drafting could easily suffice to explain why a letter sent out by Stuckart contained a nonsensical argument; despite Loesener having heard of the Rumbula massacre (which is beyond reasonable doubt), he wasn't at Wannsee. The debate over Mischlinge in the spring of 1942 expanded to include many civil servants well beyond the immediate circle of state secretaries, so it does not necessarily follow that the content of the position papers necessarily reflects what was discussed at Wannsee.

Moreover, there is an internal contradiction in the apparent argumentation of the Stuckart letter: Mischlinge would supposedly prefer sterilisation to the chance to become anti-Nazi leaders, if we're meant to take the letter literally. That makes as little sense as the 'anomaly' Brayard is trying to conjure up with this point.

A parsimonious explanation is therefore that older arguments were recycled in broken-record fashion. This is reinforced by the fact that Stuckart repeated the same nonsensical argument in October 1942 when writing to Himmler about the Mischlinge.


Thanks for your answer,
But it does not resolve the problem.
The fact that those arguments had already been used in a very different context - that is the discussion on the Nuremberg law, which basically explains their use in the context of an attempt to revise this law, or the fact that its real author was Losener, head of the Jewish desk (racial affairs), does not change the fact that Suckart - who was present at Wannsee - assumed it and used it in a context well known to him, that is in the context of the FS as presented at Wannsee.
He would not have used Losener old arguments had those been non sensical in the context.

As for the fact that those Mischlinge would prefer sterilization as being deported to the east to become slave labors seems quite obvious to me. First because those poor Mischlinge certainly did not see themselves as natural born Fuhrers - as i doubt their shared Stuckart/Losener typical Nazi theories -
then because if one take completely out of context example, the case of homosexuals and transexuals, as well as disabled in Sweden, there are instance of people agreeing this awful solution, in this case, to be free or to be allowed to change sex. As you know, Sweden is known for having sterilized - forced or consented - in the same proportion of Nazi Germany, that is over 1% of its population.
Even in Belgium, Sterilization was long an obligation if two disabled wanted to live together, it can be argued if they were agreeing in full knowledge of course, but those cases never stirred up any contestation.

The fact that Stuckart used the argument until october 42 only reinforces the need for addressing the question directly.

Is it so impossible that those State Secretaries could have been fooled in some way? Are there proofs allowing us to discard this possibility, and Brayard questioning, one and for all permanently?

Nick Terry added:
Another problem with the 16.3.42 Stuckart letter: there is nothing in the WP or any other document about expelling Jews over the frontline to the Soviets, nor is it plausible that Stuckart was anticipating a Nazi defeat or retreat when writing in March 1942.


I agree, this would have made no sense, and this is why i don't think one should interpret the term "enemy" as people form nations at war with Germany. The choice was to treat those Misclinge as Jews, that is they would share their fate OR to be treated seperatly through sterilization or by having their own Ghetto, in both case not to be mix with the Jews. There nothing to support an eventuality of those Mischlinge to be deported through emigration in a foreign hostile country.
In this case, it is logic that the term "enemy" was referring to the "Jews" who had to be exterminated.
Again, i am not contesting that at Wannsee the Final Solution had been presented with a extermination finality, the question raised by this letter for the reason explained is how the modalites of this extermination operation were explained, as shown by the two kind of equation in my previous post.


Um, sorry, no, you can't reinterpret the enemy nations part to mean the deported Jews in some hypothetical reservation in the east. The most parsimonious explanation is that Loesener, who drafted the letter, reached back to a much older argument and recycled it oblivious to the changed context, and Stuckart simply passed it on. This explains the nonsensical implication of deported/evacuated Jews potentially ending up in enemy hands. In the context of emigration policy as of 1935, this fear made sense from the perspective of Nazi racial theory. It made no sense in the 1942 context whatsoever.

Moreover, the Stuckart letter of 16.3.42 circulated among ministries who had been represented at Wannsee, but which were now assigning more junior officials to the matter of negotiating over Judenpolitik. This applied in particular to the Interior Ministry, where Feldscher had represented the ministry at the 6.3.42 conference, while Loesener was also involved, and had some knowledge of the shooting of German Jews, but may well not have been initiated into the exact contours of the policy outlined at Wannsee,

It's worth noting that there are other examples of recycled outdated arguments being used in the changed 1942 context. Einsatzgruppe B wrote up a general musing about Jewish policy in Belorussia in the summer of 1941, which was included in an Ereignismeldung; the same spiel was reprinted verbatim in the early summer of 1942 in one of the Meldungen aus den besetzten Ostgebieten.

Goebbels' reaction to reading the WP as recorded in his diary of 7.3.42 showed the same tendency to inserting previous phase ideas, by musing about Madagascar despite there being nothing whatsoever in the WP about Madagascar; indeed the Madagascar Plan had been officially buried by the Foreign Office almost a month before, on 10 February 1942.

Brayard actually destroys his own argument at the other end of the book. He rightly notes the absurdity of some historians arguing that Goebbels saw an edited version of the WP on 7.3.42, rather than a copy of the actual protocol, which certainly was printed up in 30 copies, and which would have surely come to the Propaganda Ministry because they were invited to the 2nd Endloesung conference on 6.3.42 and indeed, attended. (The only other alternative route is a digest version produced by a Propaganda Ministry civil servant as a briefing paper, but this doesn't seem likely to have prompted the comments in the diary.)

So, if Goebbels misread the WP, or read it and then started rhapsodising to himself, and either way inserted a past fantasy into his diary, then is it really so surprising that Stuckart and/or his Judenreferenten recycled an out-dated argument when dealing with a peripheral issue like the Mischlinge question?

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:21 pm

Thanks to Nick Terry for further clarifying the problems with the Lösener-Stuckart gambit. Instead of continuing to go point by point, down what feels like another rabbit's hole, what if I try to use an analogy to explain why the arguments in this thread are non-starters for me? (Balsamo, I will get to today's posts, but I wanted to step back a bit first . . . )

A CEO of a global corporation decides to eliminate all people working in assembly operations and replace them with machines. He's been hearing that this should be done from many managers - and in fact in the Polish operation, in the western part of it, they've already tried it and are replacing the people with machines. And in Russia they did it en masse. It seems to be working.

So in December the CEO calls in the head of operations and says he wants to make a clean sweep of assembly workers, across the board.

The head of operations welcomed this, as he'd been involved in the western Polish and Russian actions, but still he wonders. He asks if the CEO has ideas on where to start. The CEO says, FSS, right here, in Germany, they have to go too, let's comb them out from west to east and start right here. The operations guy asks what the completion date for the full transition - all assembly workers done away with - should be. The CEO says he doesn't have a date in mind, it depends on the competitive environment and how well the transition goes. He says he wants to get on with it and see. The operations guy asks if the CEO realizes how big a job this will be. The CEO, who is given to outbursts, tells the operations head to just finish them off. He says he's leaving all the details up to the operations guy. He reminds him that the small-scale firings of German workers already done have gone well. Sure, the operations guy needs to do counts, budgets, assignments, schedules, etc. He should therefore pull some of the right people together and get it all going. Hey, by the way, the CEO says, keep this quiet for now, only those who really need to know should be involved. I'm don't want fallout like we had with those reductions in force in Germany a year or two ago.

Around the same time the CEO calls in the head of the eastern Polish office and pretty much lets him have bloody hell. He tells him he's sick of his whining about the assembly workers, their unions, their low productivity, and so on. Deal with it yourself, the CEO tells him. Get rid of them, I am on board, but work with the ops guy. He's going to be - well, his top guy actually - calling a major meeting on this. Send your top guy. Think through how to get this done - I don't really care what process you use, I just want it done. And don't be shuffling workers around to make it look like you've done something, and to give them a cushy landing. Yes, it is harsh, no, they won't be expecting it, but I am not worried about them, I'm worried about the health of the company and you and me and others like us.

In January, the major meeting takes place and the people called together hear the new approach: no assembly workers anywhere. Not in Germany. Not in Poland. Not in Hungary. Not in France. The ops chief's lead guy runs through the counts and locations of employees affected. And, the company will even be buying up operations in places like England, and will get rid of assembly workers there when they do. Further, all partnerships with other companies - same deal, clean sweep, workers out. That will take some doing - the partnership team will handle that. Ok, yes, there are some legal agreements in place protecting some of the German assembly workers - ones who also have other skills, the agreements are complex, so a team will get to work on how to resolve those workers, we may have to keep these few guys in place for now. Same with older workers, we can find a place for them until they retire, at least some of them. The ops chief's right hand guy announces that the action will start in Germany, building on the initial firings. Eastern Poland speaks up, saying they're ready to go, he wants to go first. The ops guy is pleased, hell yeah, he says. But, he reassures the technocrat Neumann, no, we will not be yanking workers out of critical assembly work until we've proven out how to keep the work going.

In the weeks and months that follow, the program accelerates in eastern Poland, there are a lot of firings in Germany but a bit later, France and the Netherlands and other countries follow by summer. In the course of the first couple months, assembly was shifted to Poland and many workers were moved there, to take advantage of Poland's lack of labor protections - so that firing the German and Slovakian and French workers later wouldn't be so costly and wouldn't receive bad PR. There are some bottlenecks and some false starts and some unexpected areas where assembly staff can't be gotten rid of very quickly. Some big orders require moving more slowly in some cases. Partners in Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary are not cooperative, and the French are fairly pissy about the plan. Plans to buy companies in Great Britain and other countries are summarily rejected. A lot of workers therefore stick around for months and months in various capacities, some minor, some more significant - which cause the operations chief to push, push, push. Still, you can see the progress - the overall number of workers in assembly across the company is dropping. Still, a lot of managers take a while getting their arms around the new policy - some of the delays and exceptions confuse them. With assembly workers still around, they often revert to old language and even worry about old concerns. Even some of the top guys have trouble internalizing it all - and a lot of managers protect their asses in case it doesn't all work out as neatly as the CEO expects.

- - - -

Now an interpretation of this scenario at The Global Company that says the following is, IMO, ludicrous:

1) There was no principle decision as to firings of assembly workers taken, and communicated to key people, in December - January.

2) The January meeting was about the legal agreements protecting some of the workers, not firing workers in general.

3) The survivals and repetitions of previous thinking - even plans that deal with the workers still on the job - prove that there was no new policy.

4) The December - January intention for firings affected only eastern Poland - certainly not Germany or France, because hardly anyone was fired there until months later.

5) The need-to-know approach indicates that the firings were not company policy but a conspiracy.

6) Because some assembly workers were kept on, for some time, there wasn't any intention or plan to do away with assembly workers.

7) Despite there being no policy of firings at the company, the policy was for a very speedy firing of the assembly workers; therefore, it is anomalous to a firing policy if any issues or discussion pertaining to assembly workers continued after the January meeting.

(Yes, this is a bit tongue in cheek . . . but I hope the point comes through. And I just can't join y'all on this topsy-turvy carousel ride.)
. . . 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 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:23 am

Thank you Nick for the precisions.

But i do not feel i "reinterpret" anything.
First it is not like this quote have been commented much, i discovered it through Brayard who gives his interpretation which make more sense, in my humble opinion.
But yours is an interpretation nevertheless, and thank you for that, as it is the second i learn.

Allow me to disagree with it.
There is absolutely nothing that could corroborate anything like the Mischlinge coming under Soviet domination and thus serve this kind of enemy, except as you say, in case of a German military disaster, but allow me to doubt that a State secretary would even think to dare to base an argument on this kind pessimist perspectives, especially since the military situation were just being stabilized after a dramatic winter. That would have been very close to defaitism and even to high treason, and would have at least damage Stuckart's carreer and this will not be the case at all. Stuckart will always be very close to Himmler, involved in himmler ethnic political projects in the East as well as in the West and will become de facto the minister of the interior after Himmler nomination in August 1943. Stuckart was the typic Nazi very fond on racial theories.

Again, the way you treat Goebbels entry of march the 7th, which was for everyone:
I read a detailed report from the SD and police regarding a final solution of the Jewish question. Any final solution involves a tremendous number of new viewpoints. The Jewish question must be solved within a pan-European frame. There are 11,000,000 Jews still in Europe. They will have to be concentrated later, to begin with, in the East; possibly an island, such as Madagascar, can be assigned to them after the war. In any case there can be no peace in Europe until the last Jews are eliminated from the continent.

That, of course, raises a large number of exceedingly delicate questions. What with those related to Jews? In-laws of Jews? Persons married to Jews? Evidently we still have quite a lot to do and undoubtedly a multitude of personal tragedies will ensue within the framework of the solution of this problem. But that is unavoidable. The situation is now ripe for a final settlement of the Jewish question. Later generations will no longer have the will power or the instinctive alertness. That's why we are doing a good work in proceeding radically and consistently. The task we are assuming today will be an advantage and a boon to our descendants.


I see it as a perfect summary of Wannsee by someone who could only rely on the Minutes.

Maybe there was a reason why both Stuckart and Goebbels used old stuff other than both being part-time imbeciles or subjects to precocious crisis of dementia. Maybe those mentions of old stuff was in accordance with their knowledge at the time they both wrote it, maybe the way they were informed of the Final Solution, and clearly deceived of course, allowed them to such writings.
The fact that he only had the minutes in which the term murder was nowhere to be found, allows another interpretation. Goebbels deducted that the Plan was really transplantation in the East which would be used as a dilution process, and that the proper treatment would have been further isolation under proper SS supervision. That the SS would kill them or not, he would not really care, but it was not his job anyway.
As a matter of fact, this interpretation slightly contradicts Gerlach thesis that the Final Solution was publically decided in December 1941.

My point is not to convince you or anyone else. History leaves such liberties to everyone.

But I think that one could recognize to this interpretation which is also Brayard’s, at least some legitimacy. A right to exist and to be expressed.

Of course, we know that Deniers are prompt in their mediocrity to jump on that kind of interpretations, and i can therefore understand that people who dedicates much time to fight them will see it with apprehension. But that would let them have too much influence. This interpretation in no way hurts the understanding of the Holocaust as a genocide, it just open new windows.
But i keep my promise, one point at a time.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:52 am

Balsamo wrote:Thank you Nick for the precisions.

But i do not feel i "reinterpret" anything.
First it is not like this quote have been commented much, i discovered it through Brayard who gives his interpretation which make more sense, in my humble opinion.
But yours is an interpretation nevertheless, and thank you for that, as it is the second i learn.

Allow me to disagree with it.
There is absolutely nothing that could corroborate anything like the Mischlinge coming under Soviet domination and thus serve this kind of enemy, except as you say, in case of a German military disaster, but allow me to doubt that a State secretary would even think to dare to base an argument on this kind pessimist perspectives, especially since the military situation were just being stabilized after a dramatic winter. That would have been very close to defaitism and even to high treason, and would have at least damage Stuckart's carreer and this will not be the case at all. Stuckart will always be very close to Himmler, involved in himmler ethnic political projects in the East as well as in the West and will become de facto the minister of the interior after Himmler nomination in August 1943. Stuckart was the typic Nazi very fond on racial theories.

Again, the way you treat Goebbels entry of march the 7th, which was for everyone:
I read a detailed report from the SD and police regarding a final solution of the Jewish question. Any final solution involves a tremendous number of new viewpoints. The Jewish question must be solved within a pan-European frame. There are 11,000,000 Jews still in Europe. They will have to be concentrated later, to begin with, in the East; possibly an island, such as Madagascar, can be assigned to them after the war. In any case there can be no peace in Europe until the last Jews are eliminated from the continent.

That, of course, raises a large number of exceedingly delicate questions. What with those related to Jews? In-laws of Jews? Persons married to Jews? Evidently we still have quite a lot to do and undoubtedly a multitude of personal tragedies will ensue within the framework of the solution of this problem. But that is unavoidable. The situation is now ripe for a final settlement of the Jewish question. Later generations will no longer have the will power or the instinctive alertness. That's why we are doing a good work in proceeding radically and consistently. The task we are assuming today will be an advantage and a boon to our descendants.


I see it as a perfect summary of Wannsee by someone who could only rely on the Minutes.

Maybe there was a reason why both Stuckart and Goebbels used old stuff other than both being part-time imbeciles or subjects to precocious crisis of dementia. Maybe those mentions of old stuff was in accordance with their knowledge at the time they both wrote it, maybe the way they were informed of the Final Solution, and clearly deceived of course, allowed them to such writings.
The fact that he only had the minutes in which the term murder was no way to be found, allows another interpretation. Goebbels deducted that the Plan was really transplantation in the East which would be used as a dilution process, and that the proper treatment would have been further isolation under proper SS supervision. That the SS would kill them or not, he would not really care, but it was not his job anyway.
As a matter of fact, this interpretation slightly contradicts Gerlach thesis that the Final Solution was publically decided in December 1941.

My point is not to convince you or anyone else. History leaves such liberties to everyone.

But I think that one could recognize to this interpretation which is also Brayard’s, at least some legitimacy. A right to exist and to be expressed.

Of course, we know that Deniers are prompt in their mediocrity to jump on that kind of interpretations, and i can therefore understand that people who dedicates much time to fight them will see it with apprehension. But that would let them have too much influence. This interpretation in no way hurts the understanding of the Holocaust as a genocide, it just open new windows.
But i keep my promise, one point at a time.


Balsamo, you reinterpreted the Stuckart document here:

this is why i don't think one should interpret the term "enemy" as people form nations at war with Germany. The choice was to treat those Misclinge as Jews, that is they would share their fate OR to be treated seperatly through sterilization or by having their own Ghetto, in both case not to be mix with the Jews. There nothing to support an eventuality of those Mischlinge to be deported through emigration in a foreign hostile country.
In this case, it is logic that the term "enemy" was referring to the "Jews" who had to be exterminated.


this is not a tenable reading of the document, but we can disagree on this. The more important point: it doesn't get you anywhere, because the reading does not line up very well with other sources to help infer what happened at Wannsee and/or what SS plans were in mid-January 1942. Therefore, the probability that this was as I have argued a recycling of an old argument from the Interior Ministry gang is increased.

All the surviving participants of the conference other than Eichmann denied that the conference discussed killing, in which case - either they are lying, or Heydrich sent out in February 1942 a protocol that added the 'famous' passage (strassenbauend nach Osten.... entsprechend behandelt etc) which was vague but explicit enough and we would think at least one of the participants must have read it and raised their eyebrows. Surely?

Most likely, the participants were lying and there was some talk either along the lines of the WP or more explicit than that. But either the participants heard something explicit at the conference or up to 30 agencies inside and outside the SS read the protocol and should have picked up on the 'famous' lines.

The silence on the fate of the unfit in the WP corresponds to similar silences in other sources, but also to more explicit directives or operational intentions to select unfit Jews for special treatment (or spare fit Jews from special treatment). Wannsee was a strategy meeting, and it's generally accepted that Heydrich signalled a strategy of preserving able bodied Jews for labour, even if that labour would be destructive. The concession to economic interests was reinforced by a Vierjahresplan directive from Goering in March 1942 exempting armaments workers from deportation. This decree, which fits with Goering interventions in race-and-resettlement issues in February 1940 (12.2.40) and February 1941 (18.2.41), gave ammunition to local potentates like Greiser who were a bit more pragmatic and wanted to preserve a labour force, as indeed happened with the Lodz ghetto over time.

Were the conference participants told explicitly that unfit Jews would be killed or were they allowed to draw their own conclusions? We don't know for sure, it depends on whether one believes Eichmann on trial over five Nazis on trial, all of them with a great interest in lying shamelessly.

Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter could be used to support the surviving participants' denials that the Wannsee conference actually discussed overtly extermination. Great, so what? The WP lays down a policy of genocide clearly enough, in the 'crucial' lines. Either this strategic principle was spelled out at the conference or it was added in when the protocol was written up. There are no alternatives to these scenarios.

What the crucial lines meant in terms of specific details, if any, is open to debate. As mentioned above, Edouard Husson argues that the crucial lines correspond to the 'plan' of January 1941. Contextual evidence suggests that Heydrich and the RSHA really intended to deport Reich Jews to the occupied eastern territories; that they had experience with dealing with Reich Jews murderously, by shooting, and were equipping subordinate Security Police units with gas vans, having also sent several gas vans to Chelmno by the time of the conference. This contextual evidence corroborates Eichmann's testimony ('the business with the engines', he said). There is no indication that Auschwitz was seen as an option as of 20.1.42, there is some evidence that the AR-type of camp could have been discussed, but the fact that very little capacity was in placed explains the vagueness of the document and its references to 'possibilities'.

Whether Stuckart was told about this, forgot being told, wasn't told or couldn't infer this from the WP circulated in February 1942, or never read the WP - none of that matters that much when we are trying to infer what Heydrich, the RSHA and Himmler wanted to happen as of 20.1.42. Because we can infer all kinds of things from 1941 events, too, and we know there was a long gestation period where intentions and ideas were generated.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:47 am

We still have the many non-exterminatory remarks from December-March to contend with.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:52 am

Jeff_36 wrote:We still have the many non-exterminatory remarks from December-March to contend with.

Nick Terry has addressed examples explicitly and I did by analogy.
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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:55 am

Ok, you two gentleman have doe exactly that. My apologies.

There is still the issue of Goring's man being present at Wannasee. Goring was out of the loop. Had the general set of actions been firmly solidified by the time of Wannasee one would expect that not to have been the case.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:08 am

reply to earlier post from Balsamo, as promised; I'm only touching on major points at this time:

>> "I still wonder why and how you see my perception as a black and white one."

I wrote that you’re treating issues in black or white, meaning that you're thinking of them almost schematically, as proofs or texts, and missing some of the flux and subtlety. Examples are how you see the use of Theresisenstadt (explained earlier in the thread - the use was not cut and dried, it evolved, it had multiple facets, it served as a transit to death camp as well as a so-called model ghetto for exceptional cases - you can't just read the protocol and say, Ah, elderly Jews = Theresienstadt); I think your viewpoint on postwar testimony is similar and the cost is some elucidation of what was happening; below is another example - how you approach the elderly and women and children, as kind of on or off . . . your invention of the speedy time line . . . also your argument about exceptions and "edge" cases smacks of asking how if some Jews aren't immediately subjected to extermination, then a general extermination wasn't in the works.

>> "What is less consensual is for example is, just like Scheffer consideration, Gerlach assumption that the Conference was a
'precondition not just for the execution of the "eastern Jews', but also for the extermination of the German and western European Jews.'

My English might no be excellent, I still think that precondition is a very strong concept which is not to be found in Longerich."

Gerlach uses "precondition, as far as search tells me, just once; he connects that to his second point, the conference "was closely connected with Hitler's fundamental decision to proceed with the liquidation of all Jews living in Europe."

I take his argument to parallel what Nick Terry and I have said about the implementation and execution level of policy - the conference was "major," as Frank said, because it was aimed at moving the extermination policy forward. I think Longerich would agree with this even as he disagrees with Gerlach on the basic approach taken.

>> Longerich

I’ve been using his mature position

I do not think that in his mature position he’s vague (“not clear”) “on the question if mass murder were clearly presented as part of the FS during the meeting,” which is what we’re discussing. I already quoted from his book Holocaust to show this. I was certainly not trying to write about the evolution of Longerich's thinking!

To return to what Nick Terry and I have written, and to point back to my CEO analogy, it is perfectly reasonable and very clear, though I disagree with the argument, for Longerich to argue that the basic decision to finish the Jews off was taken around December/January 1941/1942 - and that the most propitious time to complete the extermination would be after the war. The schedule, so to speak, was not firm, but the intent was clear and communicated at the conference.

>> "If one accept Eichmann testimony:
I cannot remember it in detail, Your Honor, but they spoke about methods for killing, about liquidation, about extermination. I was busy with my records. I had to make the preparations for taking down the minutes; I could not perk up my ears and listen to everything that was said. But it filtered through the small room and I caught fragments of this conversation. It was a small room so from time to time I heard a word or two.

Then the minutes look very different. . . ."

I believe that Nick Terry has addressed this, but, also, Eichmann says just that, the notes, not “minutes,” were sanitized. I am not being pedantic in making this distinction, by the way, and I notice you keep using minutes. I think that the notes were notes, were "packaged" as Heydrich and Müller desired.

>> "then the minutes are even less conform to what happened, and therefore less reliable."

The notes are not reliable as a text to be analyzed in isolation. Certainly not. Which is why we need to place the notes in context and pay attention to the December discussions, how the notes were used, the evolving practical experience, the follow-on steps. No, this wasn’t handed to historians on a silver platter.

Now, the burden of all the other evidence - what surrounds, so to speak, the notes - makes me, with or without Eichmann’s testimony, doubt that the notes were a full transcript of the session and points to what some of the gaps and odd language meant. E.g., "if released," the unspoken fate of the unfit, doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes, road building.

Consider a specific example, there is the matter of what "practical experience" referred to - we can assume Heydrich left this hanging and attendees filled in the blank with their own surmises; or we can assume that some examples were kicked around. In either case, we need to use what we know from other sources to propose what was meant. So too, as I've argued, with the short-hand "old-age ghetto." "The East." And so on. Some of this is just doing history, too.

>> "Was the extermination as it will take shape a couple of month later clearly presented to the attendees?"

I’ve answered this, several times. And I've pegged "clearly" to a measuring stick, so to speak.

>> "Of course, if that was the case, one can wonder why it was decided to spare the old but to kill the woman and children."

This is an example of your black and white reading. First, it was not decided to spare the old. We’ve already agreed that Theresienstadt wouldn’t ever handle the numbers of elderly under contemplation, to take just one point. As the deportation program unfolded, and as had been underway already in the killing fields and at Chelmno, the old, as people who were undeniably unfit (and we know what was intended for the unfit from the protocol!), were killed in very high numbers. What was going on was that some elderly were excepted, and featured in the protocol as a short-hand for a certain tactic of exceptions; these exceptions were in fact placed in the “model ghetto,” as a cover story, to support the “labor” narrative, and to confuse victims and observers. And many of them were shipped to Birkenau to be gassed.

So your dichotomy isn't really the true case. In any event, the appearance of women and children going off together to Germany or Poland or the East also looked less severe than - think of French children in summer ’42 - splitting them up. But let's not overthink this, either, for the Nazis kept families together for deportation, they split them up, etc. And on arrival at Birkenau, for example, the classic selection pattern is men for labor, women and children for gas.

Again, the interpretation of the protocol that Nick Terry has given you - and my interpretation - do not “rely” on Eichmann; Nick Terry explained very well why it makes sense, however, to think about what he said on this, not because one “believes” or “uses” Eichmann, but because of everything else. I've posted to Jeff that Eichmann's strategy in court differed from that of the 1940s defendants - and making certain concessions to the facts suited him better to paint his "small man" picture than stonewalling. More to be said, of course, but I don't agree with how you're characterizing this.

>> Stuckart’s letter

Nick Terry has explained this also; for my part, unless I've somehow missed it, you’ve not replied directly to my objections to your case. So I don’t really have anything more to say, since I still have those objections.

>> "So can anyone, please, tell me how to integrate this Letter and its arguments into your respective logic?"

I did, and you’ve not replied directly, as I said. So has Nick Terry. I will only add that you're overinterpeting, IMO. Surely, the interpretation of the Wannsee conference can't rely on this letter with all the ifs, ands, and buts surrounding it.

>> A general comment: without hearing from you, and Jeff, who has agreed with some of your argument, on Gerlach's explanation of the December meetings, Frank's speech, the text of the protocol, and what I've asked about the east-west dichotomy, I feel we're kind of at a standstill, for better or worse.
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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:25 am

Jeff_36 wrote:Ok, you two gentleman have doe exactly that. My apologies.

There is still the issue of Goring's man being present at Wannasee. Goring was out of the loop. Had the general set of actions been firmly solidified by the time of Wannasee one would expect that not to have been the case.


Um, what? Goering was the guy who'd tasked Heydrich in the first place. The RSHA had already had multiple run-ins with economic agencies during the autumn 1941 deportations from the Reich, as well as concerning the impact of deportations to Lodz; the issue of employing Jews had reared up repeatedly in the Ostland in late 1941.

The Four Year Plan needed to be present in order to reconcile any proposed 'total solution' with economic interests, which is precisely what happened in the compromise solution of killing the unfit and utilising able-bodied Jews for labour. This was an incredibly important demarcation, as it would apply across many territories whereas fussing over Mischlinge would apply essentially only within the Reich.

Goering repeatedly issued directives and pronouncements through 1941 and 1942 alternately sparing then giving over Jews and other racial inferiors to harsher policies. On 18.2.41 he stated that race-and-resettlement concerns could not override economic interests. Immediately after signing the Heydrich tasking of 31.7.41, he stated that Jews should be placed in barracks and put to work, and that Jews had not much more to seek in the German sphere of influence. In March 1942 he ordered that Jews employed in armaments be excluded from deportation. In August 1942 he chaired conferences regarding the food supply at which Jews were discussed (one page is missing where more discussion likely was recorded), in the same month, Wehrmacht economics officials in the GG noted that the Reichsmarschall felt that that all working Jews should be confined to work camps and that they would ultimately disappear from those camps, this directive applying across all occupied territories and not just Poland.

One can show that key figures in Goering's VJP apparatus were also informed of impending FS measures in 1942; the best example is Herbert Backe stating in June 1942 that Poland would be 'sanitised' of Jews during 1942. Backe was well connected enough to meet with Hitler and Goering regularly, and was also an SS general, so had some meetings with Himmler too.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:28 pm

>> " In August 1942 he chaired conferences regarding the food supply at which Jews were discussed (one page is missing where more discussion likely was recorded)"

Jeff, one of these conferences could be the conference I mentioned to you earlier, cited in Manvell, which Göring chaired, making the notion of an oblivious Reichsmarschall another non-starter; at any rate, the conference I told you about also took place during August 1942, about seven months after Wannsee.

How come you’re still thinking the Göring was entirely “out of the loop”?
. . . 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 Jonathan Harrison » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:03 pm

If you look at Goebbels' speeches in the six weeks prior to Match 7, he's clearly only expecting a rump of Jews to be alive at the end of the war. Look at the previous day (March 6), for example:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/g/goe ... ts-02.html

In addition, Goebbels was aware of Hitler's speeches of 30 Jan and 24 Feb, which are unequivocal, as are these other sources cited by Evans:

http://www.hdot.org/en/trial/defense/ev ... fiiiB.html

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.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:23 pm

@ Nick Terry:

I will again Respectfully disagree,
I did not reinterpret, I share the first interpretation which is from Brayard. As I said, I am not aware of any other interpretation of this specific quote which I had never seen before. Your interpretation followed Brayard, and I won’t accuse to have re-interpreted the quote, as it is the first time you gave it. It is your interpretation, which does not convince me, I must say.
At least we agree that we can disagree on that. (Statmec ‘s expression I like)

All the surviving participants of the conference other than Eichmann denied that the conference discussed killing, in which case - either they are lying, or Heydrich sent out in February 1942 a protocol that added the 'famous' passage (strassenbauend nach Osten.... entsprechend behandelt etc) which was vague but explicit enough and we would think at least one of the participants must have read it and raised their eyebrows. Surely?


As I will explain in my reply to Statmec on all those subjects. Just let me say here that the genocidal intent was obvious to all participant at the Wannsee meeting. Heydrich is right, the project of Final Solution as it was thought to be presented to the attendees” had been Behandelt”. To what extend is my sole question.

Were the conference participants told explicitly that unfit Jews would be killed or were they allowed to draw their own conclusions? We don't know for sure, it depends on whether one believes Eichmann on trial over five Nazis on trial, all of them with a great interest in lying shamelessly.


I am not saying anything else. Depending on whether one believes Eichmann or not, different conclusions are allowed. I would even say that different conclusions are allowed in the case one does not take for granted what Eichmann and the other five say. We know that the five lied, at least once, when they pretended they have not attended the meeting in the first place, their strategy was to reject all the guilt on the SS and the Police whose main representatives were dead or on the run. In the same logic, Eichmann presented himself as a loyal executioner, even though many sources indicate the contrary. Obviously, his strategy was to expand the guilt among the whole Nazi State (Do not scream here, I don’t imply that the Nazi state was innocent, lol), but the more the Holocaust involved people, the smaller his role would appear. The acceptance of this version is untenable today, in my humble opinion. But those were basically the strategy, within an overall strategy to blame the dead as much as possible.

Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter could be used to support the surviving participants' denials that the Wannsee conference actually discussed overtly extermination. Great, so what?


This surprises me!
So what? Well, many alternative understandings to start with, or more modestly new windows and new perspectives to be explored. Although I must say that your phrase should be corrected into: “to support the surviving participants’denials that the Wannsee conference actually discusses overtly “mass murder””.
The letter is not enough to allow them (the participants) to deny that the conference was about extermination, aka genocide. But again genocide can be obtained by other means than just mass murders. The Herreros were just pushed back into a desert where they could just die, to take one example. The Holodomor had awfully good results without mass shooting.
I can only agree with your next paragraph. I was thinking about using Husson later, but it is indeed really possible that by January 1942, many options in how to achieve the extermination were still open, which I take as another element to defend the point that implementations details were not discussed beyond the main principles as summed up in the protocols.
The cases of the fate of Polish Jews, and the previous murders of German Jews, should be treated within another context and there for another post. Suffice to say that the use of gas van had meet thought before Wannsee.

Whether Stuckart was told about this, forgot being told, wasn't told or couldn't infer this from the WP circulated in February 1942, or never read the WP - none of that matters that much when we are trying to infer what Heydrich, the RSHA and Himmler wanted to happen as of 20.1.42.


Actually it does in the context of a thread about Wannsee. But I can only agree with your last sentence, the important is what Heydrich, Himmler, and most probably Hitler, wanted go happened…but not as of 20.1.42. What they wanted by then, they clearly wanted it before and even more after. There is no impossibility to reconstruct this evolution, even if we withdraw Wannsee from the map.
But as I said, and as I promised to Statmec, let’s finish the first point.
Most of what I wanted to say to you is to be found in my next post to Statmec.
Thank you for your very interesting post.
PS: And thanks very much for the file you linked to. I really appreciate that.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:12 pm

Balsamo wrote:@ Nick Terry:

I will again Respectfully disagree,
I did not reinterpret, I share the first interpretation which is from Brayard. As I said, I am not aware of any other interpretation of this specific quote which I had never seen before. Your interpretation followed Brayard, and I won’t accuse to have re-interpreted the quote, as it is the first time you gave it. It is your interpretation, which does not convince me, I must say.
At least we agree that we can disagree on that. (Statmec ‘s expression I like)


The Stuckart letter is discussed in e.g Jasch's dissertation on Stuckart (2012, thus too late for Brayard to use in his book), and in Cornelia Essner's dissertation on the Nuremberg Laws (whose findings are evidently not accepted across the board). I own both works. My points about the 1935 echo largely follow Jasch.

All the surviving participants of the conference other than Eichmann denied that the conference discussed killing, in which case - either they are lying, or Heydrich sent out in February 1942 a protocol that added the 'famous' passage (strassenbauend nach Osten.... entsprechend behandelt etc) which was vague but explicit enough and we would think at least one of the participants must have read it and raised their eyebrows. Surely?


As I will explain in my reply to Statmec on all those subjects. Just let me say here that the genocidal intent was obvious to all participant at the Wannsee meeting. Heydrich is right, the project of Final Solution as it was thought to be presented to the attendees” had been Behandelt”. To what extend is my sole question.

Were the conference participants told explicitly that unfit Jews would be killed or were they allowed to draw their own conclusions? We don't know for sure, it depends on whether one believes Eichmann on trial over five Nazis on trial, all of them with a great interest in lying shamelessly.


I am not saying anything else. Depending on whether one believes Eichmann or not, different conclusions are allowed. I would even say that different conclusions are allowed in the case one does not take for granted what Eichmann and the other five say. We know that the five lied, at least once, when they pretended they have not attended the meeting in the first place, their strategy was to reject all the guilt on the SS and the Police whose main representatives were dead or on the run. In the same logic, Eichmann presented himself as a loyal executioner, even though many sources indicate the contrary. Obviously, his strategy was to expand the guilt among the whole Nazi State (Do not scream here, I don’t imply that the Nazi state was innocent, lol), but the more the Holocaust involved people, the smaller his role would appear. The acceptance of this version is untenable today, in my humble opinion. But those were basically the strategy, within an overall strategy to blame the dead as much as possible.


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. The presence of the KdS Lettland, Lange, at the conference correlates interestingly with the fact that Loesener and Stuckart had a frank conversation just before Christmas 1941 about the Rumbula shooting. Luther and others attending the meeting worked for institutions that had received the Taetigkeit- und Lageberichte of the Einsatzgruppen.

What, in all honesty, are the chances that there was no discussion of shootings at the meeting?

Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter could be used to support the surviving participants' denials that the Wannsee conference actually discussed overtly extermination. Great, so what?


This surprises me!
So what? Well, many alternative understandings to start with, or more modestly new windows and new perspectives to be explored. Although I must say that your phrase should be corrected into: “to support the surviving participants’denials that the Wannsee conference actually discusses overtly “mass murder””.
The letter is not enough to allow them (the participants) to deny that the conference was about extermination, aka genocide. But again genocide can be obtained by other means than just mass murders. The Herreros were just pushed back into a desert where they could just die, to take one example. The Holodomor had awfully good results without mass shooting.
I can only agree with your next paragraph. I was thinking about using Husson later, but it is indeed really possible that by January 1942, many options in how to achieve the extermination were still open, which I take as another element to defend the point that implementations details were not discussed beyond the main principles as summed up in the protocols.
The cases of the fate of Polish Jews, and the previous murders of German Jews, should be treated within another context and there for another post. Suffice to say that the use of gas van had meet thought before Wannsee.


So if Stuckart 16.3.42 doesn't overcome the well-founded inference that there was discussion of killing at the Wannsee conference, then the 'anomaly' of Stuckart seemingly writing as if deported Mischlinge might survive to end up in enemy hands is worthless. Once again, the fact that the 'anomaly' echoes ideas already written down in 1935 destroys the novelty and therefore the value of the 'anomaly'. Bureaucracies constantly repeat themselves even when situations have changed.

Whether Stuckart was told about this, forgot being told, wasn't told or couldn't infer this from the WP circulated in February 1942, or never read the WP - none of that matters that much when we are trying to infer what Heydrich, the RSHA and Himmler wanted to happen as of 20.1.42.


Actually it does in the context of a thread about Wannsee. But I can only agree with your last sentence, the important is what Heydrich, Himmler, and most probably Hitler, wanted go happened…but not as of 20.1.42. What they wanted by then, they clearly wanted it before and even more after. There is no impossibility to reconstruct this evolution, even if we withdraw Wannsee from the map.
But as I said, and as I promised to Statmec, let’s finish the first point.
Most of what I wanted to say to you is to be found in my next post to Statmec.
Thank you for your very interesting post.
PS: And thanks very much for the file you linked to. I really appreciate that.


The problem is that we can see dramatic changes in the weeks before and after Wannsee, due to the constantly changing context. The WP is only a 'snapshot' of a complex planning process. If one follows Husson, then the snapshot was an older plan substituted for the latest thinking. If one thinks that the protocol was finalised after the conference and details altered to suit Heydrich, either to deceive or to obfuscate, then again there's a problem. On balance, and with all the caveats mentioned by you, me and StatMech, Eichmann's account seems more reliable than those of the other participants after 1945.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:24 pm

Sorry Nick,
I have internet issues, i meant to send both post, to you and Statmec, all together.

So Statmec here it is:

@Statmec:

Hi StatMec, I think we should keep the format of discussion.
You forget to give the source of your analogy, which seems to be from “The Great meeting of the board”, in “ Capitalism, a genocidal story” by Christian Gerlach ? :lol:

Addressing your black and white thing first, I still think you misunderstand my approach.
I know very well that Theresienstadt was from the start an illusion. I would even say that it was conceived as a hidden transit-camp in the first place, and incidentally as a model ghetto to be used precisely to protect the real nature of the Final Solution against inquiries that would sooner or later arise.
What I am trying to find is a form of logic in all that, which does not mean that there is none on alternatives theories, including yours.

I just feel that if Theresienstadt was to serve as a protective wall, it would have been dangerous and therefore counterproductive to share its real nature too soon.
That being said, I make a clear distinction between those who were present, and those who were not. There is no doubt in my mind that the genocidal nature of the Final Solution was clear to the attendees. And that the final solution was presented as a murderous territorial solution, so to speak, but that nor the time frame nor the modality, were shared. Hence, the second equation I proposed in a previous post.
FS = decimation through labor/natural causes + mass murder of the survivors of the process, thus with a exterminational/genocidal perspective.
But Goebbels had no reason to suspect anything more than what was written in the small protocol he recieved.

Enough extermination to make the attendees too happy to give Heydrich the ultimate authority over that criminal project.

To paraphrase Gerlach – whose article I read once again last night – only changing the term “murder” by extermination.

“Nonetheless, Heydrich ultimate authority had been recognized, explicitly by Buhler, implicitly by the others. That should be hardly surprising. If the term Final Solution was now to be equated with “extermination”, who would have been in a position to dispute his responsibility? Who would have wanted to? In fact, some officials were quite pleased to be able to act as if they could wash their hands of the matters”


As you can see, this little change does not denature Gerlach’s saying at all.

I would even add that it would have made things easier and less risky to encounter some oppositions, if the extermination was presented in such a way that their responsibility, even only for agreeing with it, was diluted in a time frame that would at the same time equally dilute their personal responsibility, that is to have presented the Final solution as a long term exterminational enterprise.

The important point is that the effects on the Attendees would have been the same, they would have surrendered their portion of authority on the Jewish question in both cases. And that is one of the main objectives of the meeting. I guess you agree with that. So why would they have chosen the risky path?

In the same logic, the duties about what had to be done to coordinate the implementation could also very well be organized about the objective to deport those 11 million Jews. Again, so there would have been no influence on any practical gain, even if murder was not mentioned directly, but instead a long term extermination program was presented. The second strategy would have had no impact on the expected results concerning the means to be taken.

So Again, according to my logic, I see no gain but only inconveniences to have had shared at Wannsee the full nature of the Plan.
And of course, this interpretation, through a single change of word, would make both documents – Stuckart letter as well as Goebbels entry – look logical and non-problematic.

Concerning my view on post war trial testimonies, and to some extend on post war memoirs, I do not reject them absolutely. It is nevertheless obvious that ALL witnesses present at Wannsee, or concerned by the meeting, lied at some point: Stuckart, and friends, Losener, and of course Eichmann. That does not mean that nothing they said was true, but that whatever might be found and used in their confession should be confirmed by another sources or irrefutable contexts and, that they should not be used to give substance to a document which provides only partial information.

As Nick Terry said:
Were the conference participants told explicitly that unfit Jews would be killed or were they allowed to draw their own conclusions? We don't know for sure, it depends on whether one believes Eichmann on trial over five Nazis on trial, all of them with a great interest in lying shamelessly.


And as a matter of fact, Gerlach used Eichmann testimony, and especially the most controversial parts. Maybe he would not have if he had not his other thesis to defend.

Concerning my “invention” of speedy time line, I was referring to the Holocaust how it really took place, and the murder of between 1 and 1.5 million people in a bit over one year, and at least the double in the following year is indeed quite speedy, at least to me. And this is precisely the kind of speed in execution that in my opinion was concealed to the attendees (except the ones who were in the known).
And I have a firm conviction that such a result would not have been achieved, had the real nature and modalities been shared, with the obvious risk of leaking the plan. For the same reason I don’t adhere to Gerlach 12 of December decision.
To stay on the point, I stop here.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:22 pm

nickterry wrote:
Balsamo wrote:@ Nick Terry:

I will again Respectfully disagree,
I did not reinterpret, I share the first interpretation which is from Brayard. As I said, I am not aware of any other interpretation of this specific quote which I had never seen before. Your interpretation followed Brayard, and I won’t accuse to have re-interpreted the quote, as it is the first time you gave it. It is your interpretation, which does not convince me, I must say.
At least we agree that we can disagree on that. (Statmec ‘s expression I like)


The Stuckart letter is discussed in e.g Jasch's dissertation on Stuckart (2012, thus too late for Brayard to use in his book), and in Cornelia Essner's dissertation on the Nuremberg Laws (whose findings are evidently not accepted across the board). I own both works. My points about the 1935 echo largely follow Jasch.

It is also quoted in Lehrer's Wannsee House book (2002) and even on the Wikipedia page on Stuckart.
. . . 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 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:40 pm

nickterry wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:Ok, you two gentleman have doe exactly that. My apologies.

There is still the issue of Goring's man being present at Wannasee. Goring was out of the loop. Had the general set of actions been firmly solidified by the time of Wannasee one would expect that not to have been the case.


Um, what? Goering was the guy who'd tasked Heydrich in the first place. The RSHA had already had multiple run-ins with economic agencies during the autumn 1941 deportations from the Reich, as well as concerning the impact of deportations to Lodz; the issue of employing Jews had reared up repeatedly in the Ostland in late 1941.

The Four Year Plan needed to be present in order to reconcile any proposed 'total solution' with economic interests, which is precisely what happened in the compromise solution of killing the unfit and utilising able-bodied Jews for labour. This was an incredibly important demarcation, as it would apply across many territories whereas fussing over Mischlinge would apply essentially only within the Reich.

Goering repeatedly issued directives and pronouncements through 1941 and 1942 alternately sparing then giving over Jews and other racial inferiors to harsher policies. On 18.2.41 he stated that race-and-resettlement concerns could not override economic interests. Immediately after signing the Heydrich tasking of 31.7.41, he stated that Jews should be placed in barracks and put to work, and that Jews had not much more to seek in the German sphere of influence. In March 1942 he ordered that Jews employed in armaments be excluded from deportation. In August 1942 he chaired conferences regarding the food supply at which Jews were discussed (one page is missing where more discussion likely was recorded), in the same month, Wehrmacht economics officials in the GG noted that the Reichsmarschall felt that that all working Jews should be confined to work camps and that they would ultimately disappear from those camps, this directive applying across all occupied territories and not just Poland.

One can show that key figures in Goering's VJP apparatus were also informed of impending FS measures in 1942; the best example is Herbert Backe stating in June 1942 that Poland would be 'sanitised' of Jews during 1942. Backe was well connected enough to meet with Hitler and Goering regularly, and was also an SS general, so had some meetings with Himmler too.



Actually i did not missed that. I am googling for Jasch's dissertation on Stuckart at the moment. I like the title very much, so his interpretation is of great interest to me. But as i live in the rain forest, i am handicaped. ;)

Actually, i think, if i had to go through self-criticism, is that i am on the contrary too focus on what happened before Wannsee at the moment. And i have not finish Brayard's book yet.
I am aware that Stuckart and Losener (who pretended to know nothing about the final solution) about Rumbula during which German Jews were executed.
Of course, they have talked about. As i said in an earlier post, my interpretation raises problems, or to use better words, force to a reevaluation of this Pre-final solution (i know no one likes the term, as it is incorrect) which started in August 41.
You have raised many important point, but i thought it would be better to deal with one after another.

As i have explained, i am not convinced with your interpretation of "the enemy" in that letter, and i don't see why arguments should he somehow irrelevant as times goes by, what matters is how and why they are used in a specific given context.

I still don't agree with you on Eichmann, as both testimonies should at be considered as misleading. I would even say that the Plan mentioned by Husson, and confirmed by a memo of Dannecker in Paris in January 1941, on the contrary confirmed that the RSHA, Himmler, Heydrich and Eichmann, were already concieving a large deportation from all countries in Europe, and as the memo says, were working on it. Dannecker was trying hard to put a Jewish organization in place, the AJB in Belgium was put in place in December 41 (IRRC), the same in the Netherlands, By the end of 1941 everything was more or less put in place, the only thing missing was a clear and official destination. And i acknowledge that Wannsee played its role in this matter (somehow, as the decision was also taken before), but it has been used to spread the news, the important ones that is that the Juden frage was now under Himmler, and his deputee Heydrich's hand, that is the RSHA (officially after that date, as those Einsazt gruppen in the west were already assuming the Jewish affairs before)...So yes, everything was more or less in place, pending the official destination.
Here is a note i took, within the context of the "Raffle discussion":

Memo from Dannecker 21 january 41 : mention that Hilter intention to settle the Jewish question through a final solution at the end of the war in all areas of Europe which would be under German control.

The European scope was already in the project by early 41, and everything indicates that all the Eichmann team were to work on it while waiting for a final decision, at least regarding to the destination of the Final Solution.

Regarding the Wannsee, i still consider that not everything is said and done.

As a request, the next point with Statmec will be over Luther, maybe the strangest element among the Nazi horde.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:46 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
nickterry wrote:
Balsamo wrote:@ Nick Terry:

I will again Respectfully disagree,
I did not reinterpret, I share the first interpretation which is from Brayard. As I said, I am not aware of any other interpretation of this specific quote which I had never seen before. Your interpretation followed Brayard, and I won’t accuse to have re-interpreted the quote, as it is the first time you gave it. It is your interpretation, which does not convince me, I must say.
At least we agree that we can disagree on that. (Statmec ‘s expression I like)


The Stuckart letter is discussed in e.g Jasch's dissertation on Stuckart (2012, thus too late for Brayard to use in his book), and in Cornelia Essner's dissertation on the Nuremberg Laws (whose findings are evidently not accepted across the board). I own both works. My points about the 1935 echo largely follow Jasch.

It is also quoted in Lehrer's Wannsee House book (2002) and even on the Wikipedia page on Stuckart.



Well i have not lehrer's Wannsee House book, and i admit i do not often use Wikipedia, but as for the Wikipedia article, there is just a quote out of the context, It does not say that those Misclinge were supposed, in the eyes of Heydrich, to share the fate of the Jews.
If you have Lehrer's mention, i would love to read his interpretation, within the proper context.
In fact, all interpretations of this quote whereever they come from, would be appreciated.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:00 pm

Not sure if everyone noticed our new arrival? :-D

Jonathan Harrison wrote:If you look at Goebbels' speeches in the six weeks prior to Match 7, he's clearly only expecting a rump of Jews to be alive at the end of the war. Look at the previous day (March 6), for example:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/g/goe ... ts-02.html

In addition, Goebbels was aware of Hitler's speeches of 30 Jan and 24 Feb, which are unequivocal, as are these other sources cited by Evans:

http://www.hdot.org/en/trial/defense/ev ... fiiiB.html

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.
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=25720&p=471541#p471512
.

Lard, save me from your followers.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:12 pm

Jonathan Harrison wrote:If you look at Goebbels' speeches in the six weeks prior to Match 7, he's clearly only expecting a rump of Jews to be alive at the end of the war. Look at the previous day (March 6), for example:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/g/goe ... ts-02.html

In addition, Goebbels was aware of Hitler's speeches of 30 Jan and 24 Feb, which are unequivocal, as are these other sources cited by Evans:

http://www.hdot.org/en/trial/defense/ev ... fiiiB.html

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.


WAOUW, thanks, scr******gs (are we allowed to call you by another name?)

I am almost feeling proud to have gathered the old team...still waiting for Roberto, Sergei, and the others... :lol:

Maybe a bit out of topic to discuss Goebbels diary specifically, but i would be in for a new thread about that, or let this thread follow its course as it will reach Goebbels diary anyway... :lol:

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:26 pm

Many here call me œufs or scrams, but you may call me whatever works best for you. If it's a hit, maybe we can have Pyrrho change my silly handle. :-P
.

Lard, save me from your followers.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:29 pm

@ Balsamo:

>> I make a clear distinction between those who were present, and those who were not. There is no doubt in my mind that the genocidal nature of the Final Solution was clear to the attendees.

This has not been clear until the last several posts, and I will explain why. In your opening of the topic, in fact, you wrote of the “blow” against the consensus interpretation struck by Stuckart’s March ’42 letter, “More fundamentally, does this kind of argument, asked Brayard (and I follow him on that), makes any sense if the real nature of the Final Solution was exposed to all participants on the 20th of January 1942?” In other words, to those present. There you were saying that the core of your argument, following Brayard, is to doubt that the nature of the FS was shared with those present at the Wannsee conference. Here you are saying that there’s no doubt that the genocidal nature of the FS was shared with the attendees.

In fact, in your opening you continued, “It is obvious that this argument 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, including allied, neutral and hostile nations.’”

What I have been arguing, consistently, is precisely what Gerlach said. The nature of the FS was shared.

But first you said that the nature of the FS wasn't shared at Wannsee, then you said it was shared at Wannsee.

How can this be?

The only possible way to square your two statements is, IMO, mental sleight of hand: you changed what you meant by "nature of." At the outset, you meant mass murder, I take it; now you mean extermination defined as not being murder.

This is confusing, and it is not at all courteous to readers!

And . . . to perform this sleight of hand, one must wave away a significant passage in the protocol (below).

One more point: in the rebuttal you quoted, Brayard explains that he thinks there are anomalies in the “traditional narration” of the conference and that the Stuckart letter is one of them (more on this, too, below). In this vein, Brayard also says that phrases like “migration to the East” and other expressions in the protocol were not necessarily “read” by the participants as we read them today. What does Brayard have in mind? It is not your new formulation (genocide/extermination defined as attrition plus killing of survivors sometime, whatever that means). Brayard tells us that what he is going after is the idea that before the Wannsee conference “the decision to murder the Jews had been taken and communicated to the highest echelons of the administration before Wannsee.” Brayard's whole point is what you wrote at the outset, not what you now write.

At least in Brayard's rebuttal, there’s no sophistry about what mass murder is. Let me explain one bit more: one of those supposed anomalies relates to Madagascar - to which Goebbels and the Führer referred after Wannsee. If we are to believe that Madagascar, therefore, was still in play, following Brayard on anomalies, then we are being asked to believe that the conception of the FS in December 1941/January 1942 was not so different from its conception 2 years prior, rather than taking into account, as Nick Terry wrote, “we can see dramatic changes in the weeks before and after Wannsee.” Brayard's path I cannot walk down.

>> “But Goebbels had no reason to suspect anything more than what was written in the small protocol he recieved.”

But 27 March 1942, he was writing rather clearly about the most significant new part of the FS that was then going forward. Goebbels was out of loop for a couple of weeks, which is basically how the Führer treated him. In Longerich’s bio of Goebbels, I wrote notes in the back with page references. Probably the longest single item is a list of cases in which Goebbels was dealt with this way.

>> “To paraphrase Gerlach – whose article I read once again last night – only changing the term “murder” by extermination.”

But of course that is not what Gerlach says, and the difference isn’t trivial.

Here is your revised formula, which you squeeze under “the nature of the FS”: “FS = decimation through labor/natural causes + mass murder of the survivors of the process, thus with a exterminational/genocidal perspective.” I don’t quite understand this equation in terms of the protocol, Frank’s speech, etc, but leaving that aside, I see a point of confusion and a major problem:

1) Point of confusion: Brayard rejected, as quoted above at least, that there was a plan for mass murder developed before Wannsee and shared at the conference. You now seem to be arguing - and this is why I sadly call the argument sophistic - that the plan involved mass murder through decimating labor/etc and direct killing of the only survivors (the hardy remnant, I take it). Maybe Brayard is saying that, too; his rebuttal doesn’t seem to. In any event, you're silent on those not put to work and surviving the decimating labor - the so-called unfit, a population created by NS Jewish policies.

Again, I might be less confused if you tied your case to the key documents, such as Frank’s speech and what’s in the protocol. I cannot correlate your claims to the sources the way we’re doing this. So . . . given your it was shared/it wasn't shared - and your changing and not very clear definitions for "it," I really am confused.

2) Major problem: You’ve tried upthread to get Longerich, e.g., to agree with you, and I’ve shown that he doesn’t, on the so-called unfit. This is a gaping hole in the tergiversations about extermination and murder: the way I read the protocol, to say it again, is that the silence on the unfit, in context, clearly meant that they were to be exterminated as part of the FS, beginning as soon as could be arranged. And I disagree with Brayard that this wasn’t what the attendees “got”; Goebbels had it by March, as we’ve seen, as this mass murder was taking place by March, in Bühler's area.

>> “instead a long term extermination program was presented”

This is kind of humorous, as I have been arguing for a longer term, rather than speedy, extermination all along.

>> “As Nick Terry said:
Were the conference participants told explicitly that unfit Jews would be killed or were they allowed to draw their own conclusions? We don't know for sure, it depends on whether one believes Eichmann on trial over five Nazis on trial, all of them with a great interest in lying shamelessly.”

But Nick Terry also said, as I’ve been saying, “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” and, another point which I concur, “On balance, and with all the caveats mentioned by you, me and StatMech, Eichmann's account seems more reliable than those of the other participants after 1945.” The second point is informed by the first point. And "more reliable" should not be skipped over.

>> “Concerning my “invention” of speedy time line, I was referring to the Holocaust how it really took place, and the murder of between 1 and 1.5 million people in a bit over one year, and at least the double in the following year is indeed quite speedy, at least to me.”

Well, speed is relative, but, if we take another tack with Stuckart and give the note the kind of spin Brayard does, then the speedy extermination, that was still not anywhere near complete by the end of 1944, then the survival of “born leaders” in that somewhere that no one can put a finger on, during war time, doesn't equate to Brayard’s leap to “illogical behavior” and “incoherent and counter-productive arguments,” that is, to an impossibility had the genocidal nature of the FS been shared and discussed at Wannsee. Because, if we give the letter's formula more credence than I think we should, Stuckart would be saying that during war having these intelligent and capable half-breeds about isn't wise.

One thing is clear: there is more than a little difficulty maneuvering your thesis through the “gap” provided by the Stuckart letter, which Brayard has said “plays an important role in my argument” and you described this way: “the biggest blow comes from Stuckart’s letter.” Again, to quote Nick Terry, because I’ve made the same points and Nick Terry says it better LOL, “So if Stuckart 16.3.42 doesn't overcome the well-founded inference that there was discussion of killing at the Wannsee conference, then the 'anomaly' of Stuckart seemingly writing as if deported Mischlinge might survive to end up in enemy hands is worthless. Once again, the fact that the 'anomaly' echoes ideas already written down in 1935 destroys the novelty and therefore the value of the 'anomaly'. Bureaucracies constantly repeat themselves even when situations have changed.”

I’m not sure where that leaves matters, in your view, as this letter figured so prominently.

In short, I remain confused, and, where not confused, far from convinced.
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:56 pm, edited 3 times 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 Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:30 pm

Balsamo wrote:Maybe a bit out of topic to discuss Goebbels diary specifically, but i would be in for a new thread about that, or let this thread follow its course as it will reach Goebbels diary anyway... :lol:

If we do, it might make sense to use either my Goebbels thread or Matthew's - and not have three of them.
. . . 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 Jul 12, 2015 11:33 pm

Balsamo wrote:Well i have not lehrer's Wannsee House book, and i admit i do not often use Wikipedia, but as for the Wikipedia article, there is just a quote out of the context, It does not say that those Misclinge were supposed, in the eyes of Heydrich, to share the fate of the Jews.
If you have Lehrer's mention, i would love to read his interpretation, within the proper context.
In fact, all interpretations of this quote whereever they come from, would be appreciated.

Google books. But I wasn't really commenting on the interpretive issues - rather on the fact that the quotation is used a fair amount. (LOL, I just looked at Wikipedia again, and noticed that Lehrer is cited, so one assumes that the two make similar observations . . . )
. . . 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 Jeff_36 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:58 pm

Jonathan Harrison wrote: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.


It was a SD document that he had been reading. There is no telling how old this document was, or whether or not it's authors were in the loop at the time. Irrelevant in my opinion.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:09 am

Balsamo wrote:As i have explained, i am not convinced with your interpretation of "the enemy" in that letter, and i don't see why arguments should he somehow irrelevant as times goes by, what matters is how and why they are used in a specific given context.


This is why I can't take you seriously, Balsamo. You're not presenting any evidence that your interpretation is correct, not trying to support inferences with other evidence, you're not trying to present patterns, or to understand sources as examples of potential patterns. Instead we get 'no I disagree' repeated over and over.

I have pointed out several times now that the content of Stuckart's 16.3.42 letter is undeniably a rehash of arguments made by Loesener in 1935. I pointed out that Loesener himself likely drafted the 16.3.42 letter. I also pointed out that the letter might circulate in a wider pool of bureaucrats some of whom might not be in on the know. (There are other possibilities, such as Stuckart not actually giving as much of a {!#%@} about the issue as Loesener and others in the Interior Ministry.) A motif or argument carried over from one 'phase' to another is not unknown in Nazi documents from this precise era. The very fact that the same argument is repeated means that the repetition does not necessarily tell us anything pertinent about the significance of the content in the new context. Laziness is hardly unknown among bureaucrats, who are also known for using stock phrases and stereotypical formulations - repetitively.

Nor is the actual text of the 16.3.42 much help, it cannot be reinterpreted as you think (Jasch p.337):

Unter Bezugnahme auf die von Lösener in Vorbereitung auf die Wannseekonferenz für Stuckart zusammengestellten Argumente963 gegen eine Gleichstellung der „Mischlinge 1. Grades“ mit den „Volljuden“ führten Lösener und Stuckart aus, dass das RMdI es immer „für biologisch außerordentlich gefährlich gehalten habe“, zur Hälfte deutsches Blut preiszugeben und „einer gegnerischen Seite zuzuführen“, wo es
Führungspersönlichkeiten hervorbringen könne. Dieser Gesichtspunkt müsse auch vom gesamteuropäischen Standpunkt gelten; „die Lösung dieser Frage in Europa“ müsse daher nach einer „einheitlichen Grundlinie“ erfolgen. Anderenfalls – so das von Stuckart gezeichnete drohende Szenario – würden „Hunderttausende von Trägern deutscher oder artverwandter Erbmasse abgestoßen und in einen unserem Einfluss im Wesentlichen entzogenen kämpferischen Gegensatz zu uns gebracht werden“.

The hypothetically deported MIschlinge somehow end up fighting against the Germans.

In 1935, Loesener wrote (Jasch pp.218-9)

„Der Halbjude ist als Feind grundsätzlich ernster zu nehmen als der Volljude, da er neben jüdischen Eigenschaften ebenso viele germanische hat, die dem Volljuden fehlen. Das deutsche Judentum (rund 475 000 mosaische plus rund 125 000 nichtmosaische, also insgesamt 600 000 Menschen) würde um rund 200 000 Halbjuden verstärkt, also um ein volles Drittel seines bisherigen Bestandes. Neben der zahlenmäßigen Stärkung des Feindes
würde ihm germanische Erbmasse zugeführt, die der Hälfte der Anzahl der Halbjuden gleichkäme, also 100 000 Germanen in Form von verteilter Erbmasse...
Die heimatlosen Halbjuden werden Desperados mit aller Gefährlichkeit solcher Menschen. Ihre Intelligenz und ihre fast immer durch sorgfältige Erziehung besonders entwickelten Fähigkeiten machen sie zu den geborenen Führern staatsfeindlicher Gruppen.“


In 1942, Loesener-Stuckart were arguing nonsense, that deported Mischlinge would end up on with one of the enemies - einer gegnerischen Seite zuzufuehrern. Not even, the Soviet side but any old enemy side! The argument was gibberish, and should be treated as gibberish.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:10 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Jonathan Harrison wrote: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.


It was a SD document that he had been reading. There is no telling how old this document was, or whether or not it's authors were in the loop at the time. Irrelevant in my opinion.


No, the SD document was very clearly the Wannsee Protocol. On this I agree with Brayard.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:37 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Jonathan Harrison wrote: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.


It was a SD document that he had been reading. There is no telling how old this document was, or whether or not it's authors were in the loop at the time. Irrelevant in my opinion.

Longerich, Goebbels:
This was clearly one of the thirty copies of the minutes of the meeting that was held on January 20 at the guest house of the SS on the Grosser Wannsee . . . Goebbels noted a few points that seemed to him vital . . .

Nearly everything I've read on this diary entry concurs.
. . . 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 Jeff_36 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:52 am

nickterry wrote:Um, what? Goering was the guy who'd tasked Heydrich in the first place. The RSHA had already had multiple run-ins with economic agencies during the autumn 1941 deportations from the Reich, as well as concerning the impact of deportations to Lodz; the issue of employing Jews had reared up repeatedly in the Ostland in late 1941.
The Four Year Plan needed to be present in order to reconcile any proposed 'total solution' with economic interests, which is precisely what happened in the compromise solution of killing the unfit and utilising able-bodied Jews for labour. This was an incredibly important demarcation, as it would apply across many territories whereas fussing over Mischlinge would apply essentially only within the Reich.


Thus the need to square it with his agency. However, he seemed to have little or no kknowlage of the Globocnik camps or the A-B exterminations. That leads one to conclude that whatever was presented at Wannasee did not include the measures that were eventually implemented. this tends to lend support to the notion of those measures being improvised.

Goering repeatedly issued directives and pronouncements through 1941 and 1942 alternately sparing then giving over Jews and other racial inferiors to harsher policies. On 18.2.41 he stated that race-and-resettlement concerns could not override economic interests. Immediately after signing the Heydrich tasking of 31.7.41, he stated that Jews should be placed in barracks and put to work, and that Jews had not much more to seek in the German sphere of influence. In March 1942 he ordered that Jews employed in armaments be excluded from deportation. In August 1942 he chaired conferences regarding the food supply at which Jews were discussed (one page is missing where more discussion likely was recorded), in the same month, Wehrmacht economics officials in the GG noted that the Reichsmarschall felt that that all working Jews should be confined to work camps and that they would ultimately disappear from those camps, this directive applying across all occupied territories and not just Poland.


The conferences mentioned by you and SM clearly implicate him as being aware of the clearing of the eastern territories by mass shooting, but nothing on the core FS in Poland. He came off as legitimately unaware in trial. In contrast to the lying Kaltbrunner. Himmler hated Goering and would have had every reason to keep him out.

One can show that key figures in Goering's VJP apparatus were also informed of impending FS measures in 1942; the best example is Herbert Backe stating in June 1942 that Poland would be 'sanitised' of Jews during 1942. Backe was well connected enough to meet with Hitler and Goering regularly, and was also an SS general, so had some meetings with Himmler too.


This likely came from Himmler, not Goering. Goering in all likelihood had knowledge of the initial decimatory suggestions, but he was out of the loop as pertains to the implemented FS. After he {!#%@} up the Battle of Britain he lost influence rapidly, to the point that his Reichmarschall position became ceremonial and worthless, his position as the #2 man replaced de facto by Bormann.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Xcalibur » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:45 am

>"This likely came from Himmler, not Goering. Goering in all likelihood had knowledge of the initial decimatory suggestions, but he was out of the loop as pertains to the implemented FS. After he {!#%@} up the Battle of Britain he lost influence rapidly, to the point that his Reichmarschall position became ceremonial and worthless, his position as the #2 man replaced de facto by Bormann."

That is so utterly generalised as to be worthless. Go on big reader, give us citations to support that. Your claim, your proof. Oh wait, I shouldn't have used the word "proof in post involving you, sensitive as you are on the subject.

Anyway, 3 claims:

1) The stuff came from Himmler

2) Goring was in disgrace following the Battle of Britain (and let's note for the record that battle ended in October 1941)

3) That Bormann was ascendant as the #2 in the Reich as of the above date, "de facto" or in fact.

This is simplistic garbage. You really ought to go back to CODOH or RODOH. Post with the chimps.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:26 am

Xcalibur wrote:
This is simplistic garbage. You really ought to go back to CODOH or RODOH. Post with the chimps.


How dare you. I am brainstorming hard in an attempt to account for his denials after the war. His is the only denial of knowledge that is at least a bit plausible.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:14 am

In 1942, Loesener-Stuckart were arguing nonsense, that deported Mischlinge would end up on with one of the enemies - einer gegnerischen Seite zuzufuehrern. Not even, the Soviet side but any old enemy side! The argument was gibberish, and should be treated as gibberish.


I agree on that point.

My reservations are mainly rested upon.

- Post war statements by conference participants
- Post war statements by Goering
- Post war statements by Lammers
-The 3/7 entry by Goebbles, which indicates that as of Jan 6th, a decimatory, but not exterminatory solution was sought in regards to most European Jews, with the GG ones to be exterminated.
- a communique from Buhler
Bühler informed the governor of the Lublin district, Zörner, at the start of March 1942 that “in the context of the total solution of the Jewish problem in the European space the establishment of a transit camp for Jews evacuated out of certain parts of the Reich had become necessary.”

Far from belonging to a well-thought out plan, the initial phase of deportations thus bore all the hallmarks of a last-minute improvisation.

Sound familiar?
- The lack of widespread knowledge at all levels
- the lack of rapid and crisp implementation. Rather we have uncertainty.

If anyone can resolve the above, I will happily repent in sackcloth and ashes.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:21 am

Balsamo wrote:I am almost feeling proud to have gathered the old team...still waiting for Roberto, Sergei, and the others... :lol:


This is almost like the 1984 Deep Purple Mk. II reunion. What a sick album that was......

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:45 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
nickterry wrote:Um, what? Goering was the guy who'd tasked Heydrich in the first place. The RSHA had already had multiple run-ins with economic agencies during the autumn 1941 deportations from the Reich, as well as concerning the impact of deportations to Lodz; the issue of employing Jews had reared up repeatedly in the Ostland in late 1941.
The Four Year Plan needed to be present in order to reconcile any proposed 'total solution' with economic interests, which is precisely what happened in the compromise solution of killing the unfit and utilising able-bodied Jews for labour. This was an incredibly important demarcation, as it would apply across many territories whereas fussing over Mischlinge would apply essentially only within the Reich.


Thus the need to square it with his agency. However, he seemed to have little or no kknowlage of the Globocnik camps or the A-B exterminations. That leads one to conclude that whatever was presented at Wannasee did not include the measures that were eventually implemented. this tends to lend support to the notion of those measures being improvised.

Goering repeatedly issued directives and pronouncements through 1941 and 1942 alternately sparing then giving over Jews and other racial inferiors to harsher policies. On 18.2.41 he stated that race-and-resettlement concerns could not override economic interests. Immediately after signing the Heydrich tasking of 31.7.41, he stated that Jews should be placed in barracks and put to work, and that Jews had not much more to seek in the German sphere of influence. In March 1942 he ordered that Jews employed in armaments be excluded from deportation. In August 1942 he chaired conferences regarding the food supply at which Jews were discussed (one page is missing where more discussion likely was recorded), in the same month, Wehrmacht economics officials in the GG noted that the Reichsmarschall felt that that all working Jews should be confined to work camps and that they would ultimately disappear from those camps, this directive applying across all occupied territories and not just Poland.


The conferences mentioned by you and SM clearly implicate him as being aware of the clearing of the eastern territories by mass shooting, but nothing on the core FS in Poland. He came off as legitimately unaware in trial. In contrast to the lying Kaltbrunner. Himmler hated Goering and would have had every reason to keep him out.

One can show that key figures in Goering's VJP apparatus were also informed of impending FS measures in 1942; the best example is Herbert Backe stating in June 1942 that Poland would be 'sanitised' of Jews during 1942. Backe was well connected enough to meet with Hitler and Goering regularly, and was also an SS general, so had some meetings with Himmler too.


This likely came from Himmler, not Goering. Goering in all likelihood had knowledge of the initial decimatory suggestions, but he was out of the loop as pertains to the implemented FS. After he {!#%@} up the Battle of Britain he lost influence rapidly, to the point that his Reichmarschall position became ceremonial and worthless, his position as the #2 man replaced de facto by Bormann.


Goering may well have been unaware of the details of implementing AR, but in his position as head of the VJP, he was assuredly aware that the Jews were being exterminated. The August 1942 food conferences discussed food balances for the entirety of Europe, with a heavy emphasis on Eastern Europe. Quotas for the GG and for the occupied eastern territories were raised. The protocol of one meeting saw a frank discussion of the reduction of the Jewish population of the Ostland, with a page missing prior to this in the transcript (this protocol was much more stenographic and verbatim). Goering could not have possibly thought that the Final Solution was being carried out by expulsion by this time.

The coup de grace is the mid-August 1942 note stating that the Reichsmarschall knew about Jewish forced labour policy and that it had a time limit on it.

As for Himmler hating Goering: lolwut? Maybe in April 1945, but not in 1942. Himmler and the SS needed the VJP as long as it was a major power player in the Third Reich, which it certainly was through to the end of 1942. Goering's star waned much more after Stalingrad, and this is also when his physical decline is most palpable. Yet even then he could summon ministers, state secretaries and Gauleiter to major conferences and get things done. The rise of Central Planning in 1942 under Speer was only a partial loss of power as Milch was the co-convenor, so to speak, and Milch was very much Goering's man.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:53 am

Just to reinforce, the point about August 1942 is exactly Manvell's argument FWIW, and not to keep touting Manvell! LOL
. . . 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 Jul 13, 2015 12:55 pm

Balsamo, apologies if this has been posted, but, as I struggle with "the nature of the FS was shared at Wannsee"/"the nature of the FS was not shared at all," I can't keep it all straight - so, when, in Brayard's view was the decision to extend the mass murder to all of the European Jews taken?

Also, was it taken and not shared around the time of the Wannsee conference? or was it taken and not shared later than that?

Finally, how does he put his views on these issues?
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:04 pm, 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 Jeff_36 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:41 pm

I am merely trying to account for Goering's post war denials.

as for him vs. Himmler: They had a very heated rivalry going back to the 1930's at least.

There is no denying that he absolutely knew about the exterminations of Jews in the occupied Soviet territories, and he could have easily cled in to what was going on in Poland, but the details were in all likelihood out of his loop. He also became very indifferent during this period, which may have contributed to his lack of knowledge.
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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby nickterry » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:42 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:I am merely trying to account for Goering's post war denials.

as for him vs. Himmler: They had a very heated rivalry going back to the 1930's at least.


Source?

There is copious evidence of SS-Luftwaffe cooperation for much of the war, by which I do not mean the Leibstandarte getting preferential air support, but harmonious cooperation.

As it happens, I am currently peer-reviewing a monograph for a publisher right now which discusses SS-Luftwaffe cooperation extensively, and also notes examples of the SS and Goering working hand in hand for settlement goals in the east.

Himmler met or spoke with with Goering repeatedly in 1941 and 1942, whereas he never had a private meeting with Goebbels in 1941 or 1942 that shows up in the Dienstkalender. All these men could well be at common meetings like the Reichs- and Gauleiter meeting of 12.12.41, or a Lagebesprechung at Rastenburg, so they could meet without it being recorded in their official diaries.

The problem with discussing what ministerial-rank officials knew is that Goering et al were often big picture men, and did not care for the details at all. Goering needed to know that Jewish workers would or would not be kept alive, he needed to know the rest would be killed, he didn't need to know how.

But at a ministerial level of seniority, need-to-know starts to give way to don't-want-to-know, the-less-I-know-the-better.

Incidentally, I'm not sure Goering ever visited the GG officially in 1942 at all. His VJP deputies did, but there was nothing much for Goering there at all.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:22 pm

The problem with discussing what ministerial-rank officials knew is that Goering et al were often big picture men, and did not care for the details at all. Goering needed to know that Jewish workers would or would not be kept alive, he needed to know the rest would be killed, he didn't need to know how.


excellent point. I concede everything re this issue.

Goering never denied the Holocaust in general, he merely was surprised at the death toll, which is understandable given that ke knew of the fate of Jewish workers, but the grand number may have been a bit shocking to him.

Deniers, IIRC, like to pick out statements he made about "propaganda" as evidence of him being a revisionist. Those remarks, IIRC were about the KL's (the prosecution at Nuremberg focused a lot on the KL's) and had nothing at all to do with AR.

His response to the publication of the details of the extermination of Polish Jews can be viewed in this light as legitimate surprise and disbelief due to his ignorance of the details and scale. He absolutely was at least aware of the FS when it intersected with the duties of his office (such as the eventual fate of the workers).

I am only doing this to account for his post war statements.

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Re: Yet another Wannsee thread (with Brayard)

Postby Balsamo » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:26 pm

Hi Statmec:

Actually, i thought i made it clear from the start.
Here are some extracts from my first posts, that is before the storm :lol:
From my post part II, of July the 6th
[quote]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.[/quote]

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.


StatMec:
What I have been arguing, consistently, is precisely what Gerlach said. The nature of the FS was shared.


I understood that,
This precisely what is at stake.
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.

Statmec asked about Brayard:
One more point: in the rebuttal you quoted, Brayard explains that he thinks there are anomalies in the “traditional narration” of the conference and that the Stuckart letter is one of them (more on this, too, below). In this vein, Brayard also says that phrases like “migration to the East” and other expressions in the protocol were not necessarily “read” by the participants as we read them today. What does Brayard have in mind?


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. To make his point, he relies on various documents. Dedicates one chapter on Goebbels diary, try to relativize the term extermination - vernichtung and ausrottung - depending on the context of their use with a focus on their use in the public sphere, then comes Wannsee and the Foreign Affairs ministry. In his last chapter, he poses the hypothesis (and develop his thesis) the Final Solution, the real and concrete one, because the way it was communicated might be a conspiracy (nothing to do with a coup) in the sense that not all important actors within the State knew the real nature of what was going on with the German Jews (although they of course knew the genocide which was taking place in the East and later in Poland), that 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.
As Nick has read the book, while i have still one chapter left, as i am very busy right now, he might correct this presentation. the problem i have with this rebuttal is that it is indeed misleading in the details, attributing to Brayard intentions he never had.
As Nick said, the structure of the book is quite terrible and it makes it very difficult to synthetize it as a whole. He is so careful to be well understood that he reformulates his idea again and again...precautions that were not enough, or so it seems.
Migration to the east refers i think to terms used in many correspondences and documents. He also have founds different expressions depending on the fact that the victims were Ostjuden and German Jews.

He mentioned of course, and as a coincidence i mentioned it too in the thread about Vincent Reynouard thread, that 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.

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.

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. Regarding Goebbels and Hitler, he does even think that Hitler was left in the dark, 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.

StatMecx:
then we are being asked to believe that the conception of the FS in December 1941/January 1942 was not so different from its conception 2 years prior, rather than taking into account, as Nick Terry wrote, “we can see dramatic changes in the weeks before and after Wannsee.” Brayard's path I cannot walk down.


Of course not! This is a path i would certainly not walk down neither.
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.
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.

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) and 2) that a greenlight was to be waited for anyway (by Hitler) and 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.

But 27 March 1942, he was writing rather clearly about the most significant new part of the FS that was then going forward. Goebbels was out of loop for a couple of weeks, which is basically how the Führer treated him. In Longerich’s bio of Goebbels, I wrote notes in the back with page references. Probably the longest single item is a list of cases in which Goebbels was dealt with this way.


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.

As a side note: the structure of Longerich bio of Goebbels is also terrible, even worse than Himmler's which has some thematic coherence. And I have the French edition, which has not the same pagination, so it makes it very difficult to follow your comments on the book.

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.

But of course that is not what Gerlach says, and the difference isn’t trivial.


Of course, it is not trivial. 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)

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).

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.

To put the choice less seriously, here a two interpretation:
The first Heydrich addressing the assembly:" Hi guys, everything fine, the cognac is good? Ok here is the plan. We are going to kill 11 million people; we still struggle on how to do that, any idea? Ok, for now, we'll make those who can work until they die, but there are still million to kill as soon as we can. Well, some trouble makers will annoy us if we kill the elderly and heroes from world war 2, so we'll pretend send them into a ghetto and kill them later. Everyone ok with the plan? Good. So how to get rid of the women and children, some propositions, anyone? Gas? great like for the retards, we already are doing some experiences. shooting? a bit costly in ammunition, don't you think. Any other suggestions? Sterilization? Please, calm down Wilhem. etc"
Kind of silly, but that would be more or less the Eichmann version.
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."

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.


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.

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 hope i have clarified a some of the confusion stuff you mentioned.


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