KLs in spring 1945

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Sergey_Romanov
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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:46 pm

Let's clear up one issue first. I take it that this handwritten version is a copy in the sense that the content was copied, not that it's a graphic copy of Himmler's handwritten order.

In which case the copyist might have made a mistake in the date, hardly something that would indicate a forgery.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:41 pm

It would be far more prudent to state that it's obvious forgery, a terrible effort of forging Himmler's cursive.

Collectors are prepared to pay large sums for documents signed by Himmler. Plus it's a forgery ignored by historians—even if it did fool Emil Carlebach et al., who presumably brought it from the forger and later donated it to the ITS.

The text of the forged note matches that in the UNWCC's S.o.I. no.30, June 1945, but it doesn't match the earliest version of the German text I've found:

ITS's handwritten "copy"
Die Übergabe kommt nicht in Frage. Das Lager ist sofort zu evakuieren. Kein Häftling darf lebendig in die Hände des Feindes kommen Die Häftlinge haben sich grauenhaft gegen die Zivilbevölkerung in Buchenwald benommen.

De stem der Lage Landen, no. 3, 4 May 1945 [quoted here].
Die Übergabe kommt nicht in Frage. Das Lager ist sofort zu evakuieren. Kein Häftling darf lebendig in die Hände des Feindes fallen. Die Häftlinge haben sich grausam gegen die Zivilbevölkerung in Buchenwald benommen.

The pamphlet created by liberated Dutch inmates somehow eluded the attention of Zamencik. It almost certainly pre-dates the edition of Glos Polski Zamenick claims first published the German text, despite him failing to learn which edition featured the clipping he relied on.
Last edited by BRoI on Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:56 pm

Whether or not it's a forgery will have to be decided on other grounds than the date, unless it is proven that it does purport to be Himmler's handwriting (despite looking nothing like Himmler's handwriting). I'm not sure how one would even begin proving that though. Otherwise it cannot be excluded that it's a transcription/Abschrift not purporting to be an original document.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:20 pm

On the 19 April Gluecks sent Benno Martin HSSPF Nuremberg [nearest city to Flossenbuerg] the following message [I think he must mean sub-camps having been occupied by the Allies]

What's was Gluecks doing, overriding Himmler's order by telling Koegel now he should only worry about Jewish prisoners. And then repeating the bit about liberated inmates wreaking havoc on civilians?

To Senior SS and Police Commander MAIN, SS Ogruf and General der Pol. Dr. Martin from SS Main Economics Admin Office, AMTSGRUPPE D, ORANIENBURG, signed GLUECKS, SS Gruf. and Gen.Ltn. of the Waffen SS, on 16/4 :-

Subject: FLOSSENBUERG concentration camp.

FLOSSENBUERG has fallen into the enemy's hands. In other cases the enemy has turned part of the prisoners (many of them armed) loose on the civilian population.

Please take the necessary measures from your end and on your responsibility. The Jewish prisoners must at all costs be transferred to Concentration Camp DACHAU.

Image
- UK NA: DEFE 3/753, CX/MSS/C.476

TG 35 £ 35 STRICTLY PERSONAL FOR WILLIAMS WM 30 £ 30 STRICTLY PERSONAL FOR SIBERT LF 90 £ 90 STRICTLY PERSONAL FOR HARRISON SH 33 £ 33 STRICTLY PERSONAL FOR STRONG %

SENIOR SUGAR SUGAR AND POLICE COMMANDER MAIN £ MAIN INFORMED SIXTEENTH THAT FLOSSENBUERG £ FLOSSENBUERG PETER THREE THREE CONCENTRATION CAMP WAS IN ALLIED HANDS, IN OTHER CASES ALLIES HAD TURNED PART OF THE PRISONERS (MANY OF THEM ARMED) LOOSE ON CIVILIAN POPULATION. NECESSARY MESURES TO BE TAKEN. JEWISH PRISONERS MUST AT ALL COSTS BE TRANSFERRED TO CONCENTRATION CAMP DACHAU £ DACHAU (YOKE SEVEN SIX)

Image
- UK NA: DEFE 3/568, KC 794
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:26 pm

Norbert Masur on his meeting with Himmler et al. in the small hours of 21 April 1945:

Himmler continued on: "It was my intention to turn over the concentration camps,without defending them, as I had promised. I turned over Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald, but I got no thanks for this. In Bergen-Belsen they tied up a guard, and photographed him with a few prisoners who had just died. And such pictures are now being published all over the world press. I also turned over Buchenwald without a struggle. Suddenly the advancing American tanks opened fire, hit the hospital building, which consisted of a wooden barrack, and which of course caught on fire, burned down completely, and the burned corpses were later photographed. With these kind of pctures the world press is now printing hate propaganda. When I released 2700 Jews into Switzerland last year, this also resulted in a press campaign against me personally. It was written that I only released these people in order to establish an alibi for myself. I do not need an alibi, as I only did what I though was necessary for my people, and I will stand on that. [emph. in org.] I did not become a rich man. Nobody has been covered with dirt in the newspapers in the last 12 years as much as I have been. It never made any difference to me, even in Germany anybody could write about me whatever they wanted. But the publication of atrocities as incitement against myself does not encourage me to continue my policy to turn over the camps without resistance. That is why, a few days ago, when the American tank columns closed in on a camp in Saxony, I had this camp evacuated. Why should I do anything differently?"


Himmler was clearly referring to Gluecks' order 19 April that the Jewish prisoners at Flossenbuerg be evacuated to Dachau.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:16 pm

Those are interesting bits, but my point stands.

It is even possible (theoretically, mind you) that the handwritten doc is an Abschrift of a forgery, but that wouldn't make it itself a forgery.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:24 am

Your star-lampshade-witness, Josef Ackermann, made another appearance in the witness box during the Dora trial [he was transferred there at the beginning of 1945, IIRC, around the time his buddy Gustav "the Stalin of Buchenwald" Wegerer was removed]. Ackermann testified about Barnewald travelling from Buchenwald with an order that Dora's 50,000 prisoners be gassed with Zyklon B in the tunnels before the Allies arrive. Ackermann, of course, hadn't mentioned any such thing when he had testified at Barnewald's own trial.

Dr. Alfred Kurzke, former SS doctor at Dora, and Belsen [for about a week], testified for the prosecution stating that he was with the camp's senior officers when Barnewald brought the order from Buchenwald *that no prisoners should fall into the hands of the enemy*. Following which, preparations were made to one of the tunnels [ripping up flooring, building a wall] so it could be used as a gas chamber. Kurzke also told the court that Belsen had received the same order, so Hosseler ordered the kitchen-staff to bake 6,400 loaves containing ground-glass which would be distributed to the prisoners to kill them. Kurzke prevented the bread being distributed, and it was later burned by the Brits. Kurzke previously testified at the Belsen trial, but forgot to mention this attempted massacre on that occasion.

Several of the Dora trial defendants admitted there was an order *that no prisoners should fall into the hands of the enemy* given out before/during the evacuation march; meaning stragglers had to be shot.

Himmler's/Hitler alleged April *no prisoners should fall into the hands of the enemy* order, or muddled versions of it, featured far more prominently at the Dora trial, than at the Flossenbuerg or Dachau trial.

Image

Considering all that, I suspect the handwritten version is just another fake from NKVD Special Camp No. 1. But a particularly useless one, as it couldn't be used by Dac. or F. as the addressees were left off, and was useless to Dor. and Bu. as it's dated after the latter was liberated.

This article suggests the forgers also created a fake version of the telex:

Die Zeit, 08.01.60 wrote:
Das Lager Buchenwald blieb das einzige Konzentrationslager, das sich selber durch einen Aufstand der Häftlinge befreite, zwar nur Stunden, bevor die Amerikaner kamen, aber diese Stunden waren entscheidend. In der Kommandantur wurde der Befehl Himmlers gefunden. Er umfaßte 15 bis 20 Schreibmaschinenzeilen. Die entscheidende Stelle lautete wörtlich: "Kein Häftling darf lebend in die Hände der Allierten fallen!"

http://www.zeit.de/1960/02/in-letzter-sekunde-verraten/seite-2
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:32 am

Indeed, any fake would have likely been typewritten, further making it unlikely that what I suspect to be a simple Abschrift was actually a forgery.

Interesting info otherwise. Note that my actual star witness is the man who made the lampshade with his own hands, not Ackermann.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:07 pm


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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:50 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:Re the Mauthausen tunnel:

https://books.google.com/books?id=UlaMs-7_wLUC&pg=PA219


Himmler's 6th April order that Ziereis surrender the prisoners to the enemy is exclusively published here.

This order was inexplicably distorted or misrepresented by F. H. Hinsley et al., British Intelligence in the Second War Vol. III, Part 2 [p.736], and by Tyas & Witte, Himmler's Diary 1945 [p.118]. Both studies cite Message 10 and omit mention of the one immediately above it—Message 9.

Before the lengthy task of examining the fraudulent *kill 'em with explosives in the tunnels* order can happen, it's necessary to lay the groundwork.

In the February 1946-distributed UNWCC version of the Zeiries confessions we find two variants of the fraudulent order:

Variant A:
UNWCC Ziereis confessions p.1 wrote:
In pursuance of an order issued by Reichminister Himmler, I was required to kill all the prisoners in accordance with instructions drawn up by Obergruppenführer Dr. Kaltenbrunner. The prisoners were to be put in a tunnel, the doors of which were to be closed with stones and cement, and the whole was to be blown up with dynamite. I refused to obey this order. I understand that the prisoners at Lager Gusen I and II were to be liquidated by this process. All additional details are known to Mr. Wolfram and Obersturmführer Eckermann. The latter was working in Bergeristall.

[the same, with differing phrasing, appears in Sidney Etkin collection: images 4, 19, 29, 39, 51]

Variant B:
UNWCC Ziereis confessions p.11 wrote:
I received orders to kill all the prisoners at Gusen I and II by blowing up the vaults (Kellerbau) at a time when the prisoners would be in them, in case the Russian Army should advance into the neighbourhood. If the USA Army were to come first the prisoners were to be set free. In February 1945 SS Gruppenführer Pohl had given instructions that the prisoners were to be led into the woods where they were to be murdered in different ways, by certain means; this was also to be done if the war was lost. My wife was shocked, and exerted her influence on me so that I began to ignore Berlin. I had recognised that the orders from Berlin were senseless, but it made me nervous.

[the same, with differing phrasing, appears in Sidney Etkin collection: images 2, 15-16, 17, 27-28, 49]


The version published by the Arbeiter-Zeitung during September 1945 appears to be based on Variants A and B, distorting both:

Reichsminister Himmler and SS Obergruppenfuehrer (Lt. General) Kaltenbrunner ordered me to kill all inmates if the frontlines approached Mauthausen. I had orders from Berlin to blow up Mauthausen and Gusen including all the inmates. All inmates were to be brought into the Gusen mine and blown up. The blasting was to be carried out by SS Obergruppenfuehrers Wolfram and Ackermann. Pohl issued the order ...


The April 1946 version from Hans Marsalek PS-3870—the only version known to Hilberg at the 1st Zuendel trial—appears to be a distortion of Variant A:

According to an order by Himmler, I was to liquidate all prisoners on behalf of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Kaltenbrunner ; the prisoners were to be led into the tunnels of the factory Bergkristall and only one entrance was to be left open. Then this entrance was to be blown up by the use of explosives and the death of the prisoners was to be effected in this manner. I refused to carry out this order. This matter was the extermination of the prisoners of the so-called Mother camp, Mauthausen, and of the camps Gusen I and Gusen II. Details of this are known to Herr Wolfram and SS Obersturmfuehrer Eckermann.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby BRoI » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:56 am

BRoI wrote:Variant B:
UNWCC Ziereis confessions p.11 wrote:
I received orders to kill all the prisoners at Gusen I and II by blowing up the vaults (Kellerbau) at a time when the prisoners would be in them, in case the Russian Army should advance into the neighbourhood. If the USA Army were to come first the prisoners were to be set free.


The inspiration for the subsequently dropped part of fraudulent order is almost certainly orders issued in the Reichsgau Upper Danube as American forces approached from the north/west and south, and Soviet forces from south:

Following are three US 11th Army messages that explicitly refer to such orders:

1 May 1945
J-22 - 1000 [hrs]
CCA - Police chief at CP 658 (ROHRBACH) states 28 Flak Regt left there at 0200B headed for LINZ. Further states he had orders to cooperate and keep order if we came in but to fight if the Russians came. T-0925B.


3 May 1945:
J-59 - 1700 [hrs]
CBB - Gauleiter of OBER DONAU broadcasting from LINZ at 1200B said LINZ not to be defended. Reported column approaching city from S of DANUBE. Claims no Russians in his GAU yet. Says bridge at LINZ not to be destroyed.
J-72 - 1700 [hrs]
CBB - 2 PWs in LINZ this morning say town will not be defended against us. Bridge will not be blown. Only defense line will be on RUSSIAN side. Population waiting for us to take town.


I'll post others referring to the order later, and some re. explosives set on bridges and roads that weren't detonated when it was clear the Americans were coming; the units ordered to plant the explosives; and an apparent use of children as look-outs monitoring the approaching armies.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:05 am

BRoI wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:Re the Mauthausen tunnel:

https://books.google.com/books?id=UlaMs-7_wLUC&pg=PA219


Himmler's 6th April order that Ziereis surrender the prisoners to the enemy is exclusively published here.


You are too quick. It is not at all clear from the text what Rückführung means without further context. It cannot be totally excluded that it means what you say it means. But the phrasing looks pretty weird to me. It would be the Allies that would be doing the actual Rückführung - sending the inmates to the countries of their origin. Using it to mean "a return with a change of jurisdiction" is an extremely weird way to express an order to give up *all* prisoners to the Allies. Had all prisoners "belonged" to the Allies in order to "return" them? Obviously not, even if one can see in what sense this could have been meant, but this seems far-fetched still.

Since Himmler is referencing a previous telex from Ziereis - either clarifying some point or answering a question - we do not actually know what group of inmates this refers to. Since he does not say "all inmates", it could have been a very specific small group, for all we know. Rückführung could also mean sending prisoners (perhaps a specific small group of them) from an Außenlager to the Stammlager.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Hans » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:07 pm

I think there are two conceivable interpretations of the message Himmler to Ziereis on "leading back [Rückführung] the prisoners".

Generally, such phrase meant the transfer of prisoners backwards into safe areas and deeper into the Reich in the context of an advancing army (see NG-30, photographs here), and not handing them over to the enemy.

In this specific case, however, it might have also referred to the repatriation of Scandinavian prisoners via Neuengamme to Denmark (Operation White Buses).

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:24 am

It is sometimes used in the sense of repatriation - and that's how BRoI chooses to translate it - but the repatriation would be done by the Allies (if at all; after all, repatriation is not necessarily a "done deal" and would depend on many factors - it was not for the Germans to decide), so this doesn't really fit.

It is also sometimes used in the sense of moving from an auxiliary camp to the main camp.

And of course a smaller operation like the one mentioned by Hans is very likely to be the explanation.

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Re: KLs in spring 1945

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:26 pm

I decided to post this here instead of opening a new topic on it.

Blatman, in the chapter on “The Circumstances of Evacuation, notes that evacuations from the West usually occurred in less chaotic conditions and were less lethal (Wachsman makes the same point). However, massacres did occur.

Blatman looked at a particular march that took place in April of 1945. The march started from the Hessental subcamp attached to Natzweiler-Struthof. This subcamp worked on the production line for the Me-262 jet plane.

On April 3rd, 1945, several trucks arrived at this camp from another camp called Kochendorf. The trucks contained 200 prisoners that were in bad shape, having left the other camp on March 30. Before leaving Kochendorf the commandant murdered 50 of the weakest prisoners because he didn’t think they could make the trip.

The evacuation started from Hessental on April 5th. The guards expected the prisoners to walk as there were no available trains. Before setting out the guards murdered 17 prisoners who attempted to escape, along with several sick prisoners (Blatman does not say how many).

The French later retraced the route in an effort to find French victims. They discovered several mass graves by talking to witnesses along the route. The largest grave they found totaled 42, buried at a village named Zobingen. The French found that the guards murdered 37 and that members of the Volksstrurm murdered five prisoners left to bury the dead.
Don’t make me come down there!!!!
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