KLs in spring 1945

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:00 pm

BRoI wrote:Here's another message intercepted by the British which suggests the alleged mid-April Himmler orders that KL prisoners should all be killed [in one way or another] are simply fabrications:

A message from Keitel dated 5th May 1945 stating that Himmler has ordered that KL prisoners be handed over to the Allies:

No.010012 dated 5/5 from Che[i]f OKW signed KEITEL: —
Subject: Treatmen of PWs.

In agreement with Reichsfuehrer SS, the following is ordered: —

All PWs, foreign workers and persons detained in concentration camps are to be handed over to the enemy under a small guard when areas are evacuated. They may no longer be brought back nor may camps be moved. All orders to the contrary are hereby cancelled.

Image

- UK NA: DEFE 3/573, CX/MSS/C.530



Part of an order issued two days earlier was also decoded by the British:

..... (Some lines torn off) .....

Subject: Measures for the bringing back of personnel.

In agreement with the Chief of the Security Police and the security services, the following orders, in connection with above, are issued for the bringing back of personnel in the military and police areas of command.

(I) In the event of a menacing onslaught of the western enemy the following are to be handed over to the enemy.

(A) Those elements of troops allied to us who are neither employed in fighting nor intended to be so employed.

(B) Foreign workers no longer required.

(C) Soviet Russian P/W.

(D) Other P/W with the exception of those British, American and French P/W who are to be brought along according to special orders under suitable escort, which is to prevent these specified classes of persons from dispersing.

(II) In case of a menacing onslaught by the eastern enemy, the same rules will apply in principle, with the following exception:

If it can be guaranteed that they will be brought back in a formed body under orderly escort, members of forces allied to us as well as those young soldiers fit for active service among the Soviet P/W, are to be transported away, but with the sole object of delivering them by the (fair indications shortest possible) way to the western enemy.

(III) The bringing back of prisoners by the transport columns of the International Red Cross, under agreement for exchange, will not be subject to any limitation by the foregoing decisions.

(IV) In those areas which, in the course of the sighting (smudge) evacuated by the German troops ......

(Rest torn off.)

Image
Image
- UK NA: DEFE 3/573, CX/MSS/C.531


While I doubt there was a general order to murder KL prisoners in April 1945, I'd take any order issued in May with a considerable grain of salt. By this time everyone from Himmler on down was trying to cover their rears. Himmler still harbored the delusion in early May that he could be a part of some post war world, his actions in April showed he wanted to set up an alibi for himself.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:00 pm

BRoI wrote:Gerald Draper claims Himmler issued the order considerably earlier than mid-April 1944:

Draper wrote:MULLER's order seems to have been the logical sequence of the earlier order issued by HIMMLER sometime about Christmas 1943 to the effect that no political internee of a concentration camp should be allowed to fall into the hands of the Allies alive.

Right, I read that. I'll check but I recall Blatman also discussing earlier confusion in orders.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:17 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:While I doubt there was a general order to murder KL prisoners in April 1945, I'd take any order issued in May with a considerable grain of salt. By this time everyone from Himmler on down was trying to cover their rears. Himmler still harbored the delusion in early May that he could be a part of some post war world, his actions in April showed he wanted to set up an alibi for himself.


Jeff, these are decoded German messages that the senders had no idea the British were intercepting and decoding. There's no possibility whatsoever that these messages were sent as part of some ruse to dupe the Allies into believing the nazis were actually very nice people. I'm sorry, but that's a stupid theory.

Clearly there was no "general order to murder KL prisoners in April 1945", and the evidence for *localised orders* is comical in its absurdity, especially when considered against the decoded messages I've posted which contradict the alleged Himmler orders.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:24 pm

Here's a genuine Himmler [and Hitler] order from 31 March 1945 about not allowing a certain category of prisoners fall into the hands of the allies. Obviously they had no intention of killing them though:

To S.S. Ogruf. Dr. MARTIN, Senior S.S. and Police Commander MAIN, VS. No. 3572, No. 107 on 31/3:—

Dear Comrade MARTIN,

I spoke today with the Rf.S.S. and the FUEHRER regarding the question of Prisoners of War.

The FUEHRER stressed most emphatically that the American and English P.W. Officers and N.C.O.'s should under no circumstances fall into the hands of the enemy. They will be transported away to the South. Camps are for the time being not available (Remainder torn away)........

Image
- UK NA: DEFE 3/573, CX/MSS/C.463
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:39 pm

BRoI wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:While I doubt there was a general order to murder KL prisoners in April 1945, I'd take any order issued in May with a considerable grain of salt. By this time everyone from Himmler on down was trying to cover their rears. Himmler still harbored the delusion in early May that he could be a part of some post war world, his actions in April showed he wanted to set up an alibi for himself.


Jeff, these are decoded German messages that the senders had no idea the British were intercepting and decoding. There's no possibility whatsoever that these messages were sent as part of some ruse to dupe the Allies into believing the nazis were actually very nice people. I'm sorry, but that's a stupid theory.

Clearly there was no "general order to murder KL prisoners in April 1945", and the evidence for *localised orders* is comical in its absurdity, especially when considered against the decoded messages I've posted which contradict the alleged Himmler orders.


I'm not saying that they were sent for the British or anyone else to intercept/decode. You misunderstand.

What I'm saying is that clearly the evidence points to Himmler trying to improve his appearance before the world. Himmler's moves in the Spring of 1945, allowing the release of some prisoners (including the group of female Jews that infuriated Hitler), the release of the Norwegian prisoners, allowing Bergen-Belsen to fall into British hands (which backfired badly), all of these things point to Himmler trying to cover himself.

But, like you and Statistical Mechanic, nothing points to some general order to murder all or most of the KL prisoners. There were isolated killings and some massacres of prisoners on death marches but no general policy.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:50 am

Balsamo wrote:I don't have the exact quote, but if my memory is ok, i think the quote is from the year 1942 or so. ( i will try to check it out). If that is the case, then this would be yet another of those "Führer's wish", long planned...just in case.
Note that the terms "criminals" is not defined.


I remembered this from awhile back and just came across a reference for it in Gerlach:

In the Fall of 1941 and again in the Spring of 1942, Hitler ordered Himmler to shoot all former former opposition leaders, criminals and concentration camp prisoners in the case of a revolt in Germany.


Gerlach points out at that time most concentration camp prisoners were not Jews.

Gerlach footnotes this back to Wachsman 2004 pages 213-214, Goebbel's Diary, referenced 1995 volume 4 and Hitler? 1982 page 59 (September 14-15, 1941).
Reference to Wachsman, Hitler's Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004).

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:06 am

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

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:53 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Good memory! Nice, thanks.


When I get a chance I'll take a look at Wachsman but for now I'm really into Gerlach.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:55 am

Do you have his prisons book? If not, I can look in there too. Probably repeat of what's in KL - actually vice versa.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:08 am

I don't have his prisons book. If you have the time, sure.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:49 am

What page in Gerlach? The back story is more complex than what you quoted, I think. It took me awhile as the relevant quotation in Wachsmann is on p 211 . . . not pp 213-214.

Ah, this came in the context of Hitler's attack on the Third Reich judiciary during 1942 and pressure for a much harder line in the courts. The focus was making the courts an even blunter weapon of Nazi power than they'd been up to this point but also tough talk and tough measures against outsiders and presumed enemies of the state. Wachsmann, Hitler's Prisons: Legal Terror in Nazi Germany, pp 210-214, discusses Hitler's obsession with opposition (criminals, filthy swine) at home as the Allied bombing campaign rattled him and other war issues became intractable, the Führer returning again and again to the theme of betrayal and dissolution on the home front in 1918. Wachsmann mentions conversations that Hitler had in this vein with Himmler and Goebbels:
Hitler was unambiguous about the solution had in mind. In a time of national crisis, he repeated again and again, it was necessary to "exterminate," "eliminate," "execute" "beat to death," "shoot" or "liquidate" large numbers of "scum," "rats" and "asocial vermin" on the home front.

Wachsmann further reviews Hitler's famous frustrations with the judicial system and some of his notorious interventions, e.g., the Schlitt case in March 1942 (in which defendant Schlitt was found guilty of beating his wife so badly that she died and given only a 5 year sentence - Hitler intervened through Schlegelberger and Schlitt got the guillotine). In the context of Hitler's frustration with the courts, says Wachsmann, SD reports on popular unrest, due to rumors of impending ration cuts, further unnerved him and made him eager to take action. Hitler and Goebbels discussed the popular mood and the Reich's (supposed lack of) preparedness to deal with unrest or opposition - concluding that Hitler needed more powers to get the courts in line. Goebbels suggested personnel changes in the Ministry of Justice (not in Wachsmann but in vol 4 of Goebbels' diaries). (The actual ration cuts that people were hearing about were imposed shortly after this, in April 1942.)

Hitler's frame of reference, which he is said to have spoken of during a dinner in April, was the so-called stab in the back and unrest on the home front during the Great War. Hitler supposedly told dinner guests how he would avoid such a situation: 1. arrest and execute the "leading men of an oppositional tendency" at the first reports of their activity, 2. "have all inmates in concentration camps shot dead within three days," 3. round up "criminal elements" and have them executed within three days - this would include "criminal' types in and out of prison at the time. Hitler's explanation was said to be that "the shooting of this scum, which comprised a few hundred thousand people, would make other measures appear unnecessary, as the mutiny would break down by itself" after Hitler's proposed, swift countermeasures. (As one would guess, Wachsmann's source for this diatribe is Pickering, Tischgespräche, a source with problems - as discussed in "Hugh Trevor-Roper and the English Editions of Hitler's Table Talk and Testament" and in "Hitler’s Table Talk: An Update".)

Hitler convened the Reichstag at the end of April to address what he wanted done. He gave a long speech, which included references to Germany's defeat in 1918 and anti-Semiitc invective. On the judiciary, Hitler attacked sharply - in his view, everything needed to be subordinated to the requirements of German military victory. Hitler used the Schlitt case as exhibit #1 against the judiciary and its supposed softness. He threatened to step in if the courts didn't get tougher on behalf of the German nation: "going to intervene in such cases and relieve of their office judges who are obviously failing to recognize the requirements of the day" (in 1933 Hitler had promised that judges would not be removable from office). Goebbels diary says that in the speech too the "generals are put in their place," and to counteract failures of nerve among leaders, Hitler demanded "plenary powers." The Reichstag responded by passing a law exempting the Führer from "existing statutes of law" and granting the Führer the power to remove and replace officials who failed to do their duty, as defined by the Führer. Wachsmann: "Hitler was officially above the law."

After the speech, Hitler told Goebbels, according to Goebbels' diary, that he would "proceed very drastically, especially in the administration of justice" and that "he won't take anything more from that quarter."

In late May 1942 Hitler was to keep the pressure on, in a speech to Reichsleiter and Gauleiters in the Reich Chancellery, telling his audience that if the government had shot the criminals in 1918 dead, then there'd have been no revolution in Germany. Hitler attributed the revolution to the opening of prisons and letting prisoners loose on society. In this speech, says Wachsmann,
Hitler explicitly ordered Heinrich Himmler to "shoot the criminals in all the concentration camps," if Germany faced a critical situation and "there is a danger that the Reich will descend into chaos."

(p 211; Wachsmann's citation is to Goebbels diary; my copy of vol IV is not the 1995 edition and doesn't have this content)

Following this discussion, Wachsmann traces out how the judiciary and other parts of the state responded, including the shuffling out of Schlegelberger in late August and the appointment of Thierack as Reich Minister of Justice. Wachsmann sees Himmler's appointment as Minister of Interior, affirming the police as the key instrument in domestic matters, as part of this overall trend and pressure from the Führer. The Gestapo cracked down hard on "suspected subversives" and foreign workers in response.

In KL, p 419, Wachsmann explains how shortly after his appointment, which was made in August 1942, Thierack took a significant action in line with the Führer's criticisms, namely, "throw[ing] one of the last legal principles overboard: the rule that defendants sentenced by the courts served their time in state prisons." Thierack would meet with Himmler in mid-September and agree at that time to turn over to the KLs certain groups of inmates who'd been sentenced in regular court cases to serve time in regular prisons (inmates in solitary, so-called asocials serving long terms, Jews, Roma, and others); by the next spring the inmate population in the KLs would exceed that in regular prisons.

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

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:42 pm

Sorry, maybe Gerlach's had a typo????? I copied that directly from the footnote.

Thanks for the detail, looks like Wachsman's book on the prisons will wind up in my reading list.

Statistical Mechanic wrote:The actual ration cuts that people were hearing about were imposed shortly after this, in April 1942.


Gerlach talks about how these ration cuts, the concern over the reaction to them and the subsequent push to pull as much foodstuffs from the occupied territories would lead to the mass deaths of Polish Jews in the General Government and in the Ukraine.

I'm going to open a topic on that when I get a chance.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:45 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Sorry, maybe Gerlach's had a typo????? I copied that directly from the footnote.

No worries. Interesting to re-read that stuff. Most likely Gerlach just had shitty notes :)

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Thanks for the detail, looks like Wachsman's book on the prisons will wind up in my reading list.

It's very good.

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:The actual ration cuts that people were hearing about were imposed shortly after this, in April 1942.


Gerlach talks about how these ration cuts, the concern over the reaction to them and the subsequent push to pull as much foodstuffs from the occupied territories would lead to the mass deaths of Polish Jews in the General Government and in the Ukraine.

I'm going to open a topic on that when I get a chance.

Good! yeah, Gerlach is strong on food issues.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby nickterry » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:50 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Gerlach talks about how these ration cuts, the concern over the reaction to them and the subsequent push to pull as much foodstuffs from the occupied territories would lead to the mass deaths of Polish Jews in the General Government and in the Ukraine.

I'm going to open a topic on that when I get a chance.


See also pp.198-201 of the HC white paper.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:22 pm

Looks like the rabbit has taken a powder.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeff_36 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:02 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Looks like the rabbit has taken a powder.


still smarting over the ass kicking he got here. {!#%@} daft coward {!#%@}. I'd have him back any day if I'm in a bad mood and I feel like spanking somethin' :lol:

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:11 pm

The last I saw of him was on RODOH, he was commiserating with Scott over the broken servers.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:14 pm

I found a disaster-ware of portrait the other bunny, the grey one, over at Charles Kraftt's place:

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

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeff_36 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:19 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:The last I saw of him was on RODOH, he was commiserating with Scott over the broken servers.


I take it that Smith must not have been happy with his wising up about AR.....

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:21 am

Ok, so not really dealing with the KLs in the Spring of 1945 but HC just put up a new post with documentation:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2017/02/order-from-bds-generalgouvernement-that.html?m=1

Please keep the number of discharges to an absolute minimum. Should the situation at the front necessitate this, early preparations are to be made for the total clearance of the prisons. In the case of sudden emergency, which precludes the evacuation of the prisoners, they are to be liquidated, and the bodies of those shot are to be disposed as far as possible (burning, dynamiting of the building, etc.). In similar circumstances Jews still employed in the armaments industry or on other work are to be dealt with in the same way.


So, we have an example in the Summer of 1944 dealing with prisoners specifically stating that in case of emergency they were to be liquidated and the bodies destroyed. We also see this also targets Jews still employed in the General Government (doesn't say anything about their families...huh, wonder why that would be).

Thought I'd toss this in for anyone who hasn't seen it, thanks again to Holocaust Controversies, working hard so we don't have to.

:D

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:29 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:So, we have an example in the Summer of 1944 dealing with prisoners specifically stating that in case of emergency they were to be liquidated and the bodies destroyed. [...]

Thought I'd toss this in for anyone who hasn't seen it, thanks again to Holocaust Controversies, working hard so we don't have to.


So, you missed it when I wrote about that very order earlier on this thread:

He [Stanislav Zamecnik, That Was Dachau 1933-1945] then quotes what he considered to be a similar order that originated from Himmler: Nuremberg doc 053-L, The 20.07.44 letter by the Commander of the Security Police & SD in Radom passing on orders that all prison [i.e. actual jails] inmates and Jews working in the armament industry are to be transferred to KLs if possible, if not possible due to the situation at the Front, they're to be killed and their bodies cremated [also in IMT 37:486-87].
viewtopic.php?p=540609#p540609
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:39 pm

BRoI wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:So, we have an example in the Summer of 1944 dealing with prisoners specifically stating that in case of emergency they were to be liquidated and the bodies destroyed. [...]

Thought I'd toss this in for anyone who hasn't seen it, thanks again to Holocaust Controversies, working hard so we don't have to.


So, you missed it when I wrote about that very order earlier on this thread:

He [Stanislav Zamecnik, That Was Dachau 1933-1945] then quotes what he considered to be a similar order that originated from Himmler: Nuremberg doc 053-L, The 20.07.44 letter by the Commander of the Security Police & SD in Radom passing on orders that all prison [i.e. actual jails] inmates and Jews working in the armament industry are to be transferred to KLs if possible, if not possible due to the situation at the Front, they're to be killed and their bodies cremated [also in IMT 37:486-87].
viewtopic.php?p=540609#p540609


Well, Rabbit, some time had passed between that post and when HC posted it. You'll have to forgive me if I don't remember everything that everyone has ever posted in this thread, much less on the entire forum. I'm getting older, after all.
:lol:

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:18 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Well, Rabbit, some time had passed between that post and when HC posted it. You'll have to forgive me if I don't remember everything that everyone has ever posted in this thread, much less on the entire forum. I'm getting older, after all.
:lol:

Fair enough. But I think I'm entitled to point out that I had mentioned that order and provided details of where it's found in German and English.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Balsamo » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:50 pm

ok

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:31 pm

BRoI wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:Well, Rabbit, some time had passed between that post and when HC posted it. You'll have to forgive me if I don't remember everything that everyone has ever posted in this thread, much less on the entire forum. I'm getting older, after all.
:lol:

Fair enough. But I think I'm entitled to point out that I had mentioned that order and provided details of where it's found in German and English.


Thank you for doing so.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:04 pm

SM wrote:Waiting to hear more from those who've studied this more, I poked around a bit this morning. Along with Distel et al, The Dachau Concentration Camp, 1933 to 1945 there is a CD, which includes documents facsimiles, testimony excerpts, and documents transcriptions and excerpts. E.g., there's testimony from Bertus Gerdes, NSDAP Gau staff office head, to the Nuremberg Tribunal (20 November 1945) about a Führer order to murder Dachau prisoners (except those from Allied countries) with poison and a brief snippet from Höss's IMT testimony seemingly alluding to the April 1945 order.


That Hoess snippet—which is a wilfully deceptive quote-mine—also features on a huge sign in the Permanent Exhibition at the Dachau memorial museum:
http://www.hdbg.de/dachau/pdfs/12/12_01/12_01_01.PDF

I think we'd need a new thread to deal with the Nuremberg testimonies of *never tried for nuffin* Bertus Gerdes, and Karl von Eberstein, both of whom claim credit for having scuppered Kaltenbrunner's and/or Paul Giesler's plans for bombing, gassing, poisoning, or shooting all the prisoners/Jews in Dachau and/or Muehldorf and Landsberg.

Gerdes claimed he was only *told* the order originated from Hitler, whereas von Eberstein claimed he contacted Gluecks asking him to check with Himmler, and "shortly afterward the news came that the camps were to be surrendered as a whole to the enemy." Either way, Gerdes' tall story isn't even same as the Himmler telegram via Flossenbuerg, but I'm not surprised the Dachau museum would appeal to him [but not von Eberstein] whilst not mentioning the contradiction.

Moving on to the main issue of this post: Hoess, on the real orders to the camps in the final weeks....

Due to his senior position in WVHA Amt D Hoess was involved in dishing out the orders to the camps as to whether they should evacuate or whatever—at least until his office abandoned their posts and went into hiding on 5 May.

The exception being camps in the south of Germany; Hoess said they had lost contact with them some time earlier. Hoess also confirmed the emergency protocol in which the RHSA could assume control of a camp and decided what to do with the inmates.

Following are lengthy, but entirely on point, excerpts form Hoess' IMT 15.04.46 testimony and his 05.04.46 interrogation about real orders given to the camps in the final weeks:

R. KAUFFMANN: Did you learn that towards the end of the war concentration camps were evacuated? And, if so, who gave the orders?

HOESS: Let me explain. Originally there was an order from the Reichsfuehrer, according to which camps, in the event of the approach of the enemy or in case of air attacks, were to be surrendered to the enemy. Later on, due to the case of Buchenwald, which had been reported to the Fuehrer, there was-no, at the beginning of 1945, when various camps came within the operational sphere of the enemy, this order was withdrawn. The Reichsfuehrer ordered the Higher SS and Police Leaders, who in an emergency case were responsible for the security and safety of the camps, to decide themselves whether an evacuation or a surrender was appropriate.

Auschwitz and GrossRosen were evacuated. Buchenwald was also to be evacuated, but then the order from the Reichsfuehrer came through to the effect that on principle no more camps were to be evacuated. Only prominent inmates and inmates who were not to fall into Allied hands under any circumstances were to be taken away to other camps. This also happened in the case of Buchenwald. After Buchenwald had been occupied, it was reported to the Fuehrer that internees had armed themselves and were carrying out plunderings in the town of Weimar. This caused the Fuehrer to give the strictest order to Himmler to the effect that in the future no more camps were to fall into the hands of the enemy, and that no internees capable of marching would be left behind in any camp.

This was shortly before the end of the war, and shortly before northern and southern Germany were cut. I shall speak about the Sachsenhausen camp. The Gestapo chief, Gruppenfuehrer Muller, called me in the evening and told me that the Reichsfuehrer had ordered that the camp at Sachsenhausen was to be evacuated at once. I pointed out to Gruppenfuehrer Muller what that would mean. Sachsenhausen could no longer fall back on any other camp except perhaps on a few labor camps attached to the armament works that were almost filled up anyway. Most of the internees would have to be sheltered in the woods somewhere. This would mean countless thousands of deaths and, above all, it would be impossible to feed these masses of people. He promised me that he would again discuss these measures with the Reichsfuehrer. He called me back and told me that the Reichsfuehrer had refused and was demanding that the commanders carry out his orders immediately.

At the same time Ravensbruck was also to be evacuated in the dame manner but it could no longer be done. I do not know to what extent camps in southern Germany were cleared, since we, the Inspectorate, no longer had any connections with southern Germany.

DR. KAUFFMANN: It has been maintained here-and this is my last question-that the Defendant Kaltenbrunner gave the order that Dachau and two auxiliary camps were to be destroyed by bombing or with poison. I ask you, did you hear anything about this; if not, would you consider such an order possible?

HOESS: I have never heard anything about this, and I do not know anything either about an order to evacuate any camps in southern Germany, as I have already mentioned. Apart from that, I consider it quite impossible that a camp could be destroyed by this method.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/04-15-46.asp



In the interrogation below, Sender Jaari grilled Hoess about any knowledge or opportunity Kaltenbrunner might have to seize control of Dachau. I suspect this is because Jaari had interrogated Bertus Gerdes five months earlier regarding the latter's tale about Kaltenbrunner and Giesler wanting to kill all Dachau inmates, but it not necessarily being on the orders of Hitler or Himmler.

Hoess, Nuremberg Interrogation, 3 April 1946, 14:30-16:30, pp. 6-12.


Q [Sender Jaari]. What happened to Landsberg [Dachau subcamp] during the last couple months of war?

A [Rudolf Hoess}. I don't know that any more, during the last few months when the north was separated from the south we in Oranienburg had no further connections with Dachau.

Q. What plans were laid at that time about the destruction of the camps in case the Allied Armies would arrive?

A. At first Himmler had issued an order that the work camps were to march to their main camp, and they should there be left to the enemy; after those prominent prisoners had been evacuated first, however, who were under no circumstances to fall into the hands of the enemy, such as the segregated French General, the Prince of Bavaria, and Schuschnigg, and so on.

Q. Where were they to be transported?

A. This depended on the enemies location at the time. It was changed repeatedly. This was also true for the camps of Sachsenhausen, Flossenburg, Buchenwald and. Stuthoff.

Q. This you said was Himmler's first order?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the next order?

A. After the capture of Buchenwald, this order was revoked.

Q. And what was the new order?

A. It was told to us that at the fall of Camp Buchenwald, the following had happened: After the prominent prisoners and those "Close relative prisoners" (Sippenhaeftlinge) and the Rumanians, as for instance since the prisoners had been transported away, the guards would lock the Camp and retreat with the fighting units. There upon it was told to us that some of the inmates armed themselves and looted the close by city of Weimar.

Q. What is "Sippenhaeftlinge"?

A. These are the close relatives of the persons that had been arrested, or of persons who were wanted in connection with the attempted murder of the Fuehrer on 20 July 1944.

Q. When and what was the order changed to?

A. Gruppenfuehrer Mueller told us in Amt group D, that is, Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks and myself, of this happening in Buchenwald, and informed us that Hitler, who had learned of this happening there, had instructed Himmler that in the future under no circumstances should it be permitted in a similar case that prisoners who were able to march be left in a concentration camp when troops withdraw.

Q. And where did Kaltenbrunner get into the picture in this case?

A. I don't know what he had to do with this.

Q. But you told me day before yesterday that Kaltenbrunner was Mueller's chief.

A. Yes. However, at that period Kaltenbrunner was already in southern Germany.

Q. So Kaltenbrunner did not know about this changed order?

A. I could not say that because I don't know whether Gruppenfuehrer Mueller still had communications with Kaltenbrunner in southern Germany. He did not tell me anything about that.

Q. Were the concentration camps evacuated?

A. Yes. Mittlebau inclusive of Dora was evacuated to Bergen-Belsen. The inmates of Stuthoff were divided partly to camps of Sachsenhausen and Neuengamme. Most of these shipments did not go through any more, because the railroad had already been cut off by the Russians, and the last of Sachsenhausen was evacuated to Ravensbrueck—first, Sachsenhausen and then Ravensbrueck. They were already marching these prisoners, going to Neuengamme, or to the area in Mecklenburg with labor camps which belonged to Ravenebrueck or Neuengamme.

Q. The whole thing was in a state of complete confusion, wasn't it?

A. Yes.

Q. How were the people fed?

A. At first, the supplies that were still in the camps were distributed to the prisoners, and those supplies that could he shipped ahead by truck to the labor camps destined were transported there.

Q. Was there enough of food supplies?

A. No.

Q. Well, tell me something about it?

A. In 1942 Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl worked out a responsibility and competence for the what was called "Emergency condition." That was in the instance they thought the camps in the east might have to be evacuated or defended. We were thinking of camps such as Lublin and so on, and Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl wanted to make the High SS and Police Leader, or the commander of security police responsible for the measures. But it was not until 1943 when the Reichsfuehrer SS issued this order, namely, that in an emergency case the authority and commander, who has jurisdiction over the camps, should report to the Higher SS and Police Leader, or commander of Security Police in the particular area in which the camp was located. That the Amts group, that is, the SS Economic and Administrative Amt was not to have any jurisdiction over there matters in this case any more, but would turn it over to the forthcoming authorities.

Q. When in 1943 was the order promulgated?

A. That was in the Autumn of 1943. I was still in Auschwitz, and I had a discussion with the SS Obergruppenfuehrer, who was the Higher SS and Police Leader in Breslau at the time of this.

Q. Was the order in writing?

A. Yes.

Q. Signed by whom?

A. By Himmler.

Q. Did you yourself see the order?

A. Yes, it was also submitted to the camp commanders.

Q. What heading did the orders have?

A. Reichfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police.

Q. And it was addressed to whom?

A. It was directed to all Higher SS and Police Leaders, to commanders of Security Police, to the Economic and Administrative Main Office, and all commandants of camps.

Q. Not to the Gestapo?

A. It was not addressed to the Gestapo. No, I do not believe that.

Q. That is peculiar, the Gestapo ought to be informed of that.

A. I imagine for information purposes this order was also to be communicated to the Gestapo. That was the manner in which it was issued naturally. For instance, the Reichfuehrer SS would write, "For information to such and such authorities."

Q. Was there a distribution list on the end of the order?

A. Yes, always from the Reichsfuehrer. Yes, that was always from the Reichsfuehrer, all the names were given. For instance, the commander in Norway, and other commandants.

Q. Was Mueller's name on the distribution list?

A. I do not remember that, I could not say.

Q. How did the order read, sofar as you can remember?

A. I could not give it to you literally, but it was this way: In case of a threat to a concentration camp by approach of the enemy, but [sic] the troops, by parachutist, or airborne attacks, or resistance movement in the east, the Higher SS and Police Leader, or commanders of Security Police, takes over jurisdiction of the particular camp, and he is especially responsible for all security of the particular concentration camp. Then it was stated further that the Higher SS and Police Leaders will get in touch with the commandant of concentration camps in their particular area in order to take preventive measures. That was the substance of the report.

Q. And it was on the basis of this order that the measures were taken in the Spring of 1945?

A. Yes, but also at the same time the reason was that in the general confusion nobody knew who could give an order, or who should give an order for the evacuation of a particular camp. Nobody knew whether a particular camp should be defended, or not.

Q. As I understand it, the people did not have anything to eat, and they and no barracks to house them, they were just on the road?

A. Yes, this was the reason why I wanted to have the order about the evacuation of Sachsenhausen revoked, which had been addressed by the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, by Gruppenfuerher Mueller, to the Amt Group, Gluecks and myself. The Higher SS and Police Leader of Berlin-Brandenburg, that was Obergruppenfuehrer Heissmein [recte: Heissmeyer], who was responsible for the evacuation, had rejected this responsibility and did not participate at all. I then telephoned Obergrupenfuehrer Mueller—it was impossible to get into Berlin any more—to have this order revoked, because it would be a catastrophe and I pointed out the danger to him of obeying such an order, what it would entail and he said he was going to try to speak once again with the Reichsfuehrer. Then he called me at night again and told me that the Reichfuehrer had given strict orders that Came Sachsenhausen would have to march.

Q. When was that?

A. I don't know the date any more, exactly, but it was the last days of April when the Russians had broken through near Bernau.

Q. Where were you at that time?

A. I was still in Oranienburg.

Q. Didn't you have any communications with Eichmann about all these things?

A. I did not get in touch with him for quite a while before that.

Q. Where was he?

A. I don't know. Perhaps for a period of time, two weeks before that, I negotiated with Guenther, his deputy.

Q. Where was Guenther?

A. In Berlin. As I already stated I saw Eichmann for the last time when he was ordered to report to the Reichsfuehrer SS in Berlin, towards the end in of March, or the beginning of April, in order to give him facts and figures about the destruction of the Jews, and he told me he was going to Prague afterwards. This is the last I heard of Eichmann.

Q. While you were in hiding in the neighborhood of Flensburg, did you hear anything about Eichmann?

A. No, never. After I went into hiding on the 5th of May, I was not in touch with any one from the RSHA, or any department.

Q. Coming back to this order in 1943, about measures in case of an emergency, did Kaltenbrunner negotiate with Himmer about this order?

A. No, I don't know. I learned nothing about this.


Hoess' testimony destroys the claim his old mate Gerald Draper wrangled from Anton Kaindl about drowning prisoners in the North Sea, and the various other orders supposedly issued to other camp about killing their prisoners by drowning, aerial bombardment, gassing, poisoning, or whatever.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:46 pm

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

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:36 pm

I can finally get round to demolishing the rubbish from Jeff-36 that triggered this thread:

Jeff 36 wrote:The Gimp's increasingly girlish and high pitched squeals of agony over the method mentioned by Kaindl are wholly unfounded, as it was testified by several SS officials after the war that this exact fate was reserved for prisoners from Nuengamme that had been packed the Cap Arcona - had the Cap Arcona not been accidentally sunk by the RAF. Apparently the Arcona was to have been torpedoed by U boats or bombed by the Luftwaffe in accordance with Himmlers order.
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=26565&p=538915#p538867
BRoI wrote:Skeptic's own version of Keith Vaz is obviously relying on wikipedia for his "facts". It has a highly partisan article that whitewashes the British attack on a ship they were told by the Red Cross contained KL prisoners, and makes the highly dubious assertion that the nazis planned to drown them anyway, based on nothing more that the say-so of a woman whose husband was on board, and the alleged confessions of two nazis whilst in British custody.
Jeff 36 wrote:alleged confessions" LOL, ok, way to admit that you have nothing. And for the record there was far more than "two alleged confessions": Georg-Henning Graf von Bassewitz-Behr, the Gestapo chief of Hamburg testified after the war that the ships were to be scuttled. How could you have not heard of this testimony? I got this not from Wikipedia (which I don't use), but from two literary sources, one of which was a book on the Cap Arcona tragedy.
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=539824#p539824

Unfortunately, for Jeff 36, von Bassewitz-Behr testified to no such thing:

v.BB statements in WO 309/408:

12.02.46 - Transcript of interrogation conducted by Major G. Draper, German, 9 pages
14.02.46 - Affidavit, 1 page, typed German and English versions
16.02.46 - Handwritten statement in pencil, German, 5 pages, correcting statements he made during his interrogation by G. Draper; typed English translation, 2 pages, undated
17.02.46 - Statement, 5 pages, English translation from French original [not in file]
07.03.46 - Handwritten statement in pencil, German, 12, pages
27.03.46 - Handwritten affidavit in pencil, German, 12 pages.
20.04.46 - Deposition, English, 6 pages

Von Bassewitz-Behr also testified as a defence witness for Karl Totzauer on day 20 of the Neuengamme trial, 9 April 1946, transcript pages 25 - 33, in WO 235/164. During his testimony he did not, as Jeff claimed, testify "that the ships were to be scuttled."

Von Bassewitz-Behr consistently claimed there was a April 20-ish Himmler order "not to let the prisoners fall into enemy hands alive", which v,BB interpreted as meaning *kill them if you can't get them away from the enemy*; v.BB claimed he deliberately disobeyed the order. Many of the defendants and defence witnesses at the trial claimed the same, or nearly the same, but all of them claimed to have disobeyed, or disapproved, of the order, whilst insisting that the prisoners were put on the ships on v.BB's order to keep them out of the enemy's reach, and, in some cases, in the expectation that they would sail for/be collected by Sweden.

Draper interrogation of v.BB 12.02.46 wrote:Q: Sobald die Gefangenen auf den Schiffen waren, was hatten Sie dann vor?
A: Die Boote sollten dort liegen bleiben, und wenn der Feind nicht weiter vorgedrungen waere, wollte ich die Uebergabe an Schweden vorschlagen; anderenfalls uebergeben.

Q: Wie haetten Sie die Gefangenen verpflegt?
A: Das geschah von Luebeck und Neustadt aus.

Q: Wenn aber der Feind dazwischen gekommen waere?
A: Dann waeren die Schiffe dem Feind uebergeben und dieser hätte die Verpflegung uebernommen.

[...]

Q: Waren Sie sich dessen bewusst, dass Sie verantwortlich waren fuer das Leben dieser 6000 Menschen?
A: Ja.

Q: Jetzt im Rueckblick auf die Order, glauben Sie, dass Sie alle Vorkehrungen getroffen haben zum Schutze des Lebens dieser Leute?
A: Im Verhaeltnis zu den Schiffen mit den deutschen Familien, ja.


Before Jeff posts more claptrap he read on Wikipedia and passed off as *fact* on this forum without even bothering to double-check the information in a book he does have: Blatman, Death Marches, I'll just refute this nonsense about another of of Jeff's "several SS officials [on the] Cap Arcona":

Wiki >>> "Kurt Rickert, who had worked for Bassewitz-Behr, testified at the Hamburg War Crimes Trial that he believed the ships were to be sunk by U-boats or Luftwaffe aircraft."

Wiki's cited source, Hal Vaughan, Doctor to the Resistance, claims [p.148, note p.196]:

"Waffen SS Maj. K. Rickert, who worked for SS officer Gen. Count Bassewitz-Behr, testified at the Hamburg War Crimes Trial that he believed that the ships were to be sunk by Nazi submarines or aircraft."

"... from the deposition under oath by Kurt Rickert, May 17, 1946, at No. 1 C.I.C. Neumunster. From Public Records Office, Kew, Rich mond, Surrey, United Kingdom."

That is an impressively bold lie from Hal Vaughan, Rickert said nothing like that!

Image

[applause]
Image
[/applause]

Rickert also appeared at the Neuengamme trial as a defence witness for Pauly. Day 18, 6 April 1946, pp.85-88, in WO 235/163. Rickert said nothing on that occasion either about even suspecting the ships might be attacked by nazi submarines or aircraft.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Xcalibur » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:35 am

Not at all clear that Pauly got an order to evac those prisoners with an intent to kill them aboard ships...

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:44 pm

delete
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:00 pm

Xcalibur wrote:Not at all clear that Pauly got an order to evac those prisoners with an intent to kill them aboard ships...


Pauly got the order to put them on the ships from von Bassewitz-Behr. As I've documented, this was not done with the intention of killing them. In fact, v.BB, Pauly, and others, claimed that they were disobeying an order from Himmler/Hitler to kill them.

In the following statement Pauly claimed *an* order to kill the inmates was given in October 1944. He said contradictory things in later statements.

TRANSLATION of the DEPOSITION
of
PAULY, Max
Male, born 1 June 1907 at Wesselburen,
at present at Mil Gov Prison, HAMBURG

1. In Autumn 1944, probably in October, I took part in a Conference of all Commandants of Concentration Camps with Obergruppenfuhrer (Lieut-Gen.) POHL at the WVHA (Concentration Camp Control Service) in Berlin.

2. As far as I can recollect all commandants were present, further Gruppenpfuhrer (Major-Gen.) GLUCKS from Oranienburg.

3. We were informed that the Reichsfuhrer SS HIMMLER, wishes all Camp Commandants seriously to consider, in the event of an invasion or an attack by paratroops, the quickest means of extermination of prisoners, be it by gassing, shooting or any other means best suited for the purpose.

4. POHL told us that the Reichsfuhrer SS gave him this order orally and instructed him likewise to transmit it to us verbally and to ensure secrecy by our word of honour.

5. Some time later the HSSPF BASSEWEITZ-BEHR asked me what really was actually to happen with the Concentration Camp inmates in case of an invasion. I told him that the Reichsfuhrer envisaged certain measures, but that I have been bound to secrecy by POHL.

6. H.BASSEWITZ-BEHR said that this was an impossibility, since he has to take over the Concentration Camps in the case of invasion ("A" Fall), and consequently he must know what has got to be done. He, therefore, communicated with POHL and POHL instructed me by Teleprinter Message, that in this case I am not bound by my duty not to speak.

7. Thereupon I informed H.BASSEWITZ-BEHR of the contents of the conference with POHL and told him at the same time that I could not possibly see, how such an order could be carried out.

(Signed) Max PAULY.

Sworn by the said Deponent
Max PAULY before me this
11th day of April 1946 at
HAMBURG.

(Sgd.) Peter E. FOREST, Major, P.C.

CERTIFIED to be a true translation from the German.

[Signature illegible]
Sjt,
Intelligence Corps,
JAG, War Crimes Section


This is my 12.06.12 photo of the punishment bunker/alleged gas chamber at Neuengamme [torn down by the British in 1950]. It's unlikely that gassing would be the *quickest* method of getting rid of the prisoners at this camp.

Image
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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Xcalibur » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:05 pm

BRoI wrote:
Xcalibur wrote:Not at all clear that Pauly got an order to evac those prisoners with an intent to kill them aboard ships...


Pauly got the order to put them on the ships from von Bassewitz-Behr. As I've documented, this was not done with the intention of killing them. In fact, v.BB, Pauly, and others, claimed that they were disobeying an order from Himmler/Hitler to kill them.

In the following statement Pauly claimed *an* order to kill the inmates was given in October 1944. He said contradictory things in later statements.

TRANSLATION of the DEPOSITION
of
PAULY, Max
Male, born 1 June 1907 at Wesselburen,
at present at Mil Gov Prison, HAMBURG

1. In Autumn 1944, probably in October, I took part in a Conference of all Commandants of Concentration Camps with Obergruppenfuhrer (Lieut-Gen.) POHL at the WVHA (Concentration Camp Control Service) in Berlin.

2. As far as I can recollect all commandants were present, further Gruppenpfuhrer (Major-Gen.) GLUCKS from Oranienburg.

3. We were informed that the Reichsfuhrer SS HIMMLER, wishes all Camp Commandants seriously to consider, in the event of an invasion or an attack by paratroops, the quickest means of extermination of prisoners, be it by gassing, shooting or any other means best suited for the purpose.

4. POHL told us that the Reichsfuhrer SS gave him this order orally and instructed him likewise to transmit it to us verbally and to ensure secrecy by our word of honour.

5. Some time later the HSSPF BASSEWEITZ-BEHR asked me what really was actually to happen with the Concentration Camp inmates in case of an invasion. I told him that the Reichsfuhrer envisaged certain measures, but that I have been bound to secrecy by POHL.

6. H.BASSEWITZ-BEHR said that this was an impossibility, since he has to take over the Concentration Camps in the case of invasion ("A" Fall), and consequently he must know what has got to be done. He, therefore, communicated with POHL and POHL instructed me by Teleprinter Message, that in this case I am not bound by my duty not to speak.

7. Thereupon I informed H.BASSEWITZ-BEHR of the contents of the conference with POHL and told him at the same time that I could not possibly see, how such an order could be carried out.

(Signed) Max PAULY.

Sworn by the said Deponent
Max PAULY before me this
11th day of April 1946 at
HAMBURG.

(Sgd.) Peter E. FOREST, Major, P.C.

CERTIFIED to be a true translation from the German.

[Signature illegible]
Sjt,
Intelligence Corps,
JAG, War Crimes Section


This is my 12.06.12 photo of the punishment bunker/alleged gas chamber at Neuengamme [torn down by the British in 1950]. It's unlikely that gassing would be the *quickest* method of getting rid of the prisoners at this camp.

Image


Right, I misunderstood your post from yesterday.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:19 pm

nickterry wrote:Tyas/Witte cite the text of the order from TNA WO 309/217, from UNWCC (Research Office), Summary of Information No. 30, 30 June 1945, along with Schnabel, Macht ohne Moral, p.203 (which reproduces only the first two sentences and omits the line about Buchenwald)


Schnabel quotes the first three sentences and words the third slightly differently to the German text in SoI 30, his also features the addressees "An die Lagerkommandanten von Dachau und Flossenbürg" that doesn't feature in the SoI 30 version.

The ruthless barbarity of the concentration camp regime in the final phase of the war is revealed by one of Himmler's last orders, transmitted through Oswald POHL (head of the WVHA), the text of which has been received from the American 7th Army.

HIMMLER'S ORDER
Auszug aus dem Befehl des Reichsfuehrers SS- Himmler fuer Dachau and Flossenburg, in Beantwortung des Vorschlages des Lagerkommandanten das Lage den Alliierten auszuliefen.

"am 14.4.45.
"Die Uebergabe kommt nicht in Frage.
Das Lager ist sofort zu evakuieren.
Kein Haeftling darf lebendig in die Haende des Feindes Kommen.
Die Haeftlinge haben sich grauenhaft gegen die Zivilbevoelkerung
in Buchenwald benommen.
Gezeichnet:
/-/ H. HIMMLER

Auszug aus dem Bericht des SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Schwarz, der am 24.4.1945 dem SS-Obergruppenfuehrer P o h l vorgelegt wurde.
Dachau den 4.5.1945.______________________
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ARMY
Office of the A.C. of S., G-2
G-2 Translation Section
APO 758............................U.S. Army
______________________

Extract for the order of SS-Reichsfuehrer Heinrich HIMMLER in answer to the suggestion of the Camp Commandant of Dachau and Flossenbuerg that the camp be turned over to the Allies.
______________________
"14 April 1945
The handing over of the camp is not to be considered.
Tho camp is to be evacuated immediately.
No prisoner shall be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy alive.
The prisoners have behaved barbarously to the civilian population at Buchenwald.

Signed: H. HIMMLER."
______________________

Extract from the report of SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer SCHWARZ which was given to SS Obergruppenfuehrer POHL on 24 April 1945.

Dachau, 4 May 1945.
- Summary of Information no.30, June 1945, UNWCC Research Office, pp.4-5.
https://www.legal-tools.org/doc/f3d240/pdf/
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:31 pm

Having recently read the transcript of the first Dachau trial transcript [US vs G. Weiss et al., 15 Nov. to 13 Dec,. 1945], I can confirm that nowhere in its 1990 pages is there a single reference to the alleged Himmler order of 14/18 April, or any of the similar[*] alleged Himmler orders. The otherwise zealous prosecution didn't even attempt to suggest that the evacuation of the prisoners from Dachau [or the initial evacuations from the sub-camps to Dachau] was part of a ploy to kill the prisoners. Not even Franz Blaha mentioned it in his very lengthy testimony, despite the fact that he was involved in the Czech group that discovered it, had it published, and passed it to the US 7th Army; it was proven that he was present during interrogations of some of the the prisoners though.

[* Weiss—like Gerdes, von Eberstein, and Becher were doing in 1945/46—claimed Giesler was planning to bomb Dachau; Weiss didn't mention Kaltenbrunner's involvement though.]

From JAG review of the trial, section "Evidence for the Prosecution"
"With the approach of the American forces in April 1945 attempts to evacuate the camp were made. Some well known prisoners, such as Leon Blum, Chancellor Schussnig [sic], General Garibaldi, five Greek Generals, and the Prince of Bourbon, were taken to Innsbruck (R 512). Others, such as the French General Delestraint, were shot (R 513, Pros Ex 60). On 26 April 1945 a large transport was formed (R 237). After the formation the inmates were sent back to the barracks instead of going out to the working, details (2 237). They were told to pack their private belongings and prepare for a a march (R 237). They formed on the parade Grounds (R 237). The Russians, Italians, Czechs and Germans were called out (R 237). Vernon else was marched back to the block (|R 237). The inmates were then divided into groups of a hundred people by nationality, Germans, Russians, Italians and Czechs (R 237). They were led to the kitchen and received a marching ration which consisted of food for two days for each man (R 237). That included 300 grams of bread, about two fingers in size of margarine and about two fingers in size of cheese (R 263). That transport waited until 9 o'clock at night to leave. (R 236). A cart which carried the baggage of the SS leader and men who accompanied the transport was pulled by 25 of the prisoners (R 23?). The transport march toward Wolfratshausen (R 7?3). At first a few prisoners were left lying in the ditch beside the road (R 240). Later whole groups dropped out (R 240-214). At Wolfratshausen one farmer carted away 34 dead bodies who were buried in a mass grave (R 758). About 55 were burned in a gravel pits in the town (R 7?5).

By the time the prisoners had reached Wolfratshausen, which was on about 27 April, all were exhausted (R 754). One of the last groups to attempt to leave Dacha was a group of Jews whom the Americans found in the box cars on the railroad siding (Supra 3). They had been gathered on the parade ground in the afternoon and stayed there through the cold windy night till the next morning (R 396-397). At that time 60 had died (R 397). Of the original 2400, only 600 survived (R 743)."

- "Evidence for the Prosecution", Review of Proceedings of General Military Court in the Case of United States vs. Martin Gottfried Weiss et al., by Colonel Charles E. Cheever, Headquarters, Third US Army Eastern Military District Office of Judge Advocate, p.11.


More evidence that this 14-18 May Himmler order is a probable fraud is found in the transcript of the trial:

1. Fritz Degelow's 04.11.45 affidavit
2. Fritz Degelow's defendant's testimony, 03.12.45, pp,1228-1231
3. Julius Panitz witness testimony, 03.12.45, pp.1231-1232

Both Degelow and Panitz claimed that Dachau was sent an order *from the very top* to evacuate the prisoners. Degelow left with a group on the 26th and Panitz was in the group that left the 28th. Due to the weather and the poor health of the prisoners, Degelow's group were having severe problems by the 28th only having made it as far as Wolfratshausen. A decision was taken that the Munich police chief Hans Plesch would take custody of the 6,000 Russians and Poles and hand them over to the Allies, but the Germans and Jews would be marched on to Waakirchen where a "conference" was due to be held with a Red Cross representative.

By the time of the trial the US Army had clearly learnt something about Heinrich Schwarz reports since being initially duped by glued-together double-sided one-page "24.04.45" report "to Pohl" containing the forged Himmler order. The prosecution asked Degelow about Schwarz without even being prompted [he's not mentioned in Degelow's affidavit]: "Do you know a man by the name of Hauptmann Schwartz? [...] Isn't it a fact that he informed you that these men were dying from exhaustion and malnutrition?" [p.1228]. Panitz later said that Schwarz had led the conference with the Red Cross in Waakirchen where the prisoners were handed over.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
- Solomon Surowitz, Assistant Prosecutor at the 1947 Buchenwald trial.


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