Actually, i thought i made it clear from the start.
Here are some extracts from my first posts, that is before the storm
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.
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.
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.