March 1941: Nazis use humour to deny gassing the insane

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BRoI
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March 1941: Nazis use humour to deny gassing the insane

Postby BRoI » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:11 pm

The following text is take from a document in the files of the British Political Warfare Executive. It's found in a collection called "come backs", which was where the PWE recorded details of what they suspected to have been "echoes" of the fake rumours they had created and put into circulation.

A few things to bear in mind:

1. The nazis had been gassing the insane
2. The British had heard reports that the nazis were gassing the insane
3. The British were not then convinced the reports were true
4. The British had already spread at least one rumour about nazis gassing their insane

The date of this propaganda broadcast is not specified, but other items mentioned on the same document suggest that it was on or before Sunday, 23 March 1941:

Parody of B.B.C. talk from Bremen in English.

ANNOUNCER: Well, first of all we had to pave the way for the idea. We spread the rumour over the B.B.C. that the Germans were doing away with all their mental defectives by polishing them off with gas. The rumour caught on splendidly. In fact we managed to plant the idea on an obscure American paper in San Francisco. Having once started the (report?) we were able to quote the newspaper as an authority, and the Catholic Church as well. The Catholic Church, old boy. Just think of that.

NOEL BAKER: An excellent notion. Ha. Ha. Ha. A grand idea! A propaganda scoop in fact. Ha. Ha. Ha.

ANNOUNCER: And having paved the way with this scoop this is what we are finally putting over in German: "The American newspaper 'Monitor' appearing in San Francisco hes investigated the rumours for doing away with mental defectives in Germany. According to special sources of information which, owing to her world-wide influence, are accessible to the Catholic Church, the cruel extermination of mental defectives in Germany is continuing. According to reliable estimates there were some 100,000 persons said to have been killed off in this way. The excuse advanced for these measures is that these persons are a burden on the community. The first experiments were made in Graefenburg, near Noodling and in Wuerttemburg. The unfortunate victims were transported in motor-coaches, the windows of which were painted black, and then accommodated in special huts. They were exposed to poisonous gases. Such huts exist now all over Germany. It is presumed that after the murder of all mental defectives it will be the turn of the Homes for the Aged".

In the post script to the parody the atrocity stories are denied.

N.B. Since this broadcast is in the German service to England, it should not be read as ridicule of the rumour but as an attempt to discredit it in England.

- FO 898/78, p.151.
"... 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: March 1941: Nazis use humour to deny gassing the insane

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:28 pm

I think you had to be there.
"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: March 1941: Nazis use humour to deny gassing the insane

Postby Hans » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:23 pm

Some Nazis were scared as hell of leakage of their atrocities reaching foreign broadcasts that this contributed significantly that they refrained from systematically gassing incurable tuberculosis sick Poles:

"There can be no doubt of the intended program's being the most simple and most radical solution. If absolute secrecy could be guaranteed, all scruples, regardless of what nature, could be overcome. But I consider simply maintaining secrecy impossible. Experience has taught that this assumption is true. Should these sick persons, having been brought as planned to the old Reich supposedly to be treated or healed actually never return, the relatives of these sick persons, in spite of the greatest secrecy, would some day notice "that something was not quite right." One must take into consideration that there are many Polish workers in the old Reich who will inquire as to the where abouts of their relatives; that there are a certain number of Germans related to or allied by marriage with Poles who could in this way learn of the transports of the sick. Very soon more definite news of this program would leak out, which would be taken up by enemy propaganda. The Euthanasia Program taught in which manner this was done and which methods were used. This new program could be better used politically as it concerns persons of a subjugated nation. The church will not remain silent either. Nor will people stop at discussing this program. Certain interested circles will spread the rumor among the people that similar methods are also to be used in the future on German consumptives. Yes, that one can count on more or less all incurably ill being done away with in the future. In connection with this, I recall the recurring recent foreign broadcasts in connection with the appointment of Prof. Brandt as Commissioner General, spreading the news that he was ordered to attend as little as possible to the healing of the seriously sick, instead all the more to the healing of the less sick. And there are more than enough people who listen to illegal broadcasts."

(Letter from Kurt Blome to Arthur Greiser of 18 November 1942, NO-250)

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Re: March 1941: Nazis use humour to deny gassing the insane

Postby blastikus » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:49 am

BRoI wrote:The following text is take from a document in the files of the British Political Warfare Executive. It's found in a collection called "come backs", which was where the PWE recorded details of what they suspected to have been "echoes" of the fake rumours they had created and put into circulation.

A few things to bear in mind:

1. The nazis had been gassing the insane
2. The British had heard reports that the nazis were gassing the insane
3. The British were not then convinced the reports were true
4. The British had already spread at least one rumour about nazis gassing their insane

The date of this propaganda broadcast is not specified, but other items mentioned on the same document suggest that it was on or before Sunday, 23 March 1941:

Parody of B.B.C. talk from Bremen in English.

ANNOUNCER: Well, first of all we had to pave the way for the idea. We spread the rumour over the B.B.C. that the Germans were doing away with all their mental defectives by polishing them off with gas. The rumour caught on splendidly. In fact we managed to plant the idea on an obscure American paper in San Francisco. Having once started the (report?) we were able to quote the newspaper as an authority, and the Catholic Church as well. The Catholic Church, old boy. Just think of that.

NOEL BAKER: An excellent notion. Ha. Ha. Ha. A grand idea! A propaganda scoop in fact. Ha. Ha. Ha.

ANNOUNCER: And having paved the way with this scoop this is what we are finally putting over in German: "The American newspaper 'Monitor' appearing in San Francisco hes investigated the rumours for doing away with mental defectives in Germany. According to special sources of information which, owing to her world-wide influence, are accessible to the Catholic Church, the cruel extermination of mental defectives in Germany is continuing. According to reliable estimates there were some 100,000 persons said to have been killed off in this way. The excuse advanced for these measures is that these persons are a burden on the community. The first experiments were made in Graefenburg, near Noodling and in Wuerttemburg. The unfortunate victims were transported in motor-coaches, the windows of which were painted black, and then accommodated in special huts. They were exposed to poisonous gases. Such huts exist now all over Germany. It is presumed that after the murder of all mental defectives it will be the turn of the Homes for the Aged".

In the post script to the parody the atrocity stories are denied.

N.B. Since this broadcast is in the German service to England, it should not be read as ridicule of the rumour but as an attempt to discredit it in England.

- FO 898/78, p.151.


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