Best stand-alone evidence?

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Oozy_Substance » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:56 am



So I was presenting this document as evidence to some stern denier. He claimed this document is 100% forged since Wetzler was given with either amnesty or a light sentence during the trial - therefore implying this document was cooked with the compliance of Wetzler. He also claimed 3 people mentioned in the draft rejected the document.

Is anyone knowledgable about this topic?

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:50 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:


So I was presenting this document as evidence to some stern denier. He claimed this document is 100% forged since Wetzler was given with either amnesty or a light sentence during the trial - therefore implying this document was cooked with the compliance of Wetzler. He also claimed 3 people mentioned in the draft rejected the document.

Is anyone knowledgable about this topic?



Where is the evidence that the three people mentioned in the draft rejected the document? Where did he get this from?
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:36 pm

Your interlocutor won’t have been the first denier to make forgery claims (explained further below) - in fact, 365-NO has pride of place on the IFWF list. The HC White Paper authors discuss the Wetzel letter (pp 113-115) and say that

- the letter was a draft
- it was drafted “on behalf of Rosenberg”
- “Wetzel also drafted a covering letter on behalf of Rosenberg, so claims of forgery would need to account for both drafts, not just one.”
- the letter and cover letter were intended for Lohse but not sent likely because Lohse happened to come to Berlin the same day they were drafted and the matters could be discussed in person - this is also covered in Browning’s Fateful Months and in his Origins book (“Since Lohse had just arrived in Berlin, presumably Bräutigam and Leibbrandt discussed with him in person the question of Jewish transports to Riga as well as Brack’s proposal, and the letter drafted in Rosenberg’s name was neither signed nor sent. Apparently, Kallmeyer did not make the trip, and gas vans were not constructed in Riga. Ultimately, gas vans constructed in Berlin were sent instead.” p 368)
- also, “two days before this draft, and on the same day that Wetzel was meeting with Brack, Paul Wurm, the foreign editor of Der Stürmer, had written from Berlin to Franz Rademacher advising him that “many of the Jewish vermin will be exterminated through special measures.” It is thus certain that Lohse was aware of plans to kill deported Jews in the Ostland before he left Berlin.”
- Mattogno, the HC authors explain, didn’t claim that the letters were forged but that the Brackian device “proposed by Wetzel to be used in Riga would have been 'carbon monoxide cylinders', but this is highly doubtful given that, as we show in the Gas Chamber chapter, Widmann had already discussed 'the impossibility to transport the CO-cylinders in Russia' (and gassing tests in Mogilev using engine exhaust had already taken place) when Wetzel wrote his draft on October 25.”

Browning adds: “Nbg. Doc. no-365: draft letter, Rosenberg to Lohse, initialed by Wetzel, October 25, 1941. A second version of Wetzel’s draft, in Wetzel’s handwriting, is Nbg. Doc. no-996 and no-997. In this version Rosenberg stated that he had no objection to proposals con- cerning the Jewish question contained in a report from Lohse of October 4. However, he was sending Lohse the record of Wetzel’s conversations with Brack and Eichmann; he asked Lohse ‘‘to infer the particulars concerning the current state of the matter’’ (das Nähere über den Stand der Angelegenheit zu entnehmen). Copies of the letter were to be sent to Brack and Eichmann. The difficulty in procurement and production of the gas van in the desired numbers is confirmed by testimony in the gas van (Pradel/Wentritt) trial and by surviving documents of the automotive section (II D 3) of the RSHA: ba, r 58/871.” (Origins, p 531)

As this thread is about stand-alone items, I won’t list the contextual and corroborating evidence, including from Rosenberg, which the HC White Paper authors and Browning describe but, suffice to say, it is well worth re-reading both the relevant part of the White Paper (and IMO re-reading the White Paper itself from time to time) and Origins.

The drafts, as far as we know, were not sent.

I don’t know that 3 people rejected the draft suggestions (this claim comes from Metapedia, I think - note: it is odd for your denier to say that the draft letter is a forgery but that it was rejected! - how does that work? - methinks he doth protest too much); my understanding is that the thinking about gassing went through some changes, as described above, and that MGK discussed three testimonies regarding the draft letter and surrounding events.

Mattogno & crew, in their reply to the HC White Paper, write that "Wetzel’s letter mention three persons: Eichmann, Kallmeyer and Brack." (1) They cite 1947 testimony by Kallmeyer, who said that Brack hadn't spoken to him "about sending me to Riga to co-operate in the production of the necessary quarters and the gas chambers (Vergasungsapparate) nor to make all further arrangements.” This testimony has nothing to do with rejection of the suggestion or with forgery. After all, the White Paper authors write, "Apparently, Kallmeyer did not make the trip, and gas vans were not constructed in Riga" - another route to gas vans was taken, that's all. (2) MGK also point to Eichmann’s testimony at his trial to suggest that Eichmann claimed the draft to be a forgery; I don’t read Eichmann’s testimony to say that, although he’d called other documents forgeries during the same line of questioning. Rather, in the case of the Wetzel draft, Eichmann disputed that the handwriting on the document had been deciphered correctly and argued that “these small words, which look like ST, can never be Sturmbannfuehrer, and that my name cannot be anywhere in there. . . . From looking at it for hours. I did not have a magnifying glass, I took my two pairs of glasses, I saw that it has nothing at all to do with Eichmann, not even with Sturmbannfuehrer.” The judges were skeptical, to say the least, about Eichmann's claims here, in part based on his earlier testimonies. (3) MGK also cite Brack’s testimony “during his own trial that he knew nothing about the letter in question,” which assertion, if true, has nothing to do with the issue of forgery or approval/rejection of any proposals. Now, also at his trial Brack, who had no reason (yuck yuck) to lie about anything, claimed not to have heard the names Eichmann and Wetzel - and claimed that Wetzel had misused his name in writing the draft!

MGK conclude, “Wetzel’s letter of 25 October 1941 is historically inconsistent and therefore irrelevant.” That's neither a firm accusation of forgery nor a rejection by three officials. That later in life these three officials tried, not convincingly, distancing themselves from the suggested plan in Wetzel's letter should come as no surprise, frankly.

Metapedia cites this argument by MGK along with Butz’s THOTTC to support its claim that the letter’s “authenticity is dubious, that the three people mentioned in it rejected it, [and] that Wetzel strangely became immune from prosecution.” But MGK didn't say that this, and Butz has nothing to say on the authenticity of the letter; nor does Butz offer proof for his insinuation that there is something fishy about Wetzel’s post-war legal situation (btw in this same passage Butz makes the bizarre assertion that “it is difficult to believe that euthanasia was practiced in German hospitals by a method of gassing 20 or 30 persons at a time with carbon monoxide.”)

My understanding is that Wetzel was in fact Soviet custody until released in the mid-‘50s, without his having gone to trial during this period. I think he wasn’t tried by West Germany. Miscarriages of justices often occur and do not prove conspiracies.

Seems to me like your denier is talking loud and sayin' nothing. Hans, Nick, or Sergey will know much better about this than I do . . .
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:19 pm

I frankly don't see why Brack's remedy cannot be the CO cylinders. In fact I don't see why they should not be considered the most probable explanation.

1. Why would gas vans be called Brack's remedy?
2. What would Brack have to do with manufacture of gas vans?
3. Assuming those were gas vans, they would have been manufactured in Riga. What?
4. Assuming those were gas vans, Brack opined that producing a gas van in the Reich would have been more difficult than locally. What?
5. The sentence "Oberdienstleiter Brack points out that the procedure in question is not without danger, so that special protective measures are necessary" points to me in the direction of producing CO bottles in "Russia" (possibly dangerous due to high pressures involved). It doesn't seem to make much sense in the context of gas vans.

---

In 1960 Kallmeyer claimed (BArch B162/2209) that he knew nothing of the initiative and didn't take part in extermination of Jews. He does however tell about how after a long wait at home he was informed that he was to go to Riga. However he wasn't sent there but rather stayed in Berlin over the Christmas of 1941. He was then sent to Lublin.
In 1961 he claimed that the instruction to wait at home came from Tiergartenstraße; but doesn't name Riga and jumps to Lublin. He thought it was possible that Brack "possibly designated me for such tasks". His mention in Wetzel-Lohse he characterized as "nur als Ankündigung" - only a proclamation.

So not only did not Kallmeyer put the letter into doubt, the fact that he got an instruction from T4 to be ready to depart for Riga confirms the contents.
Last edited by Sergey_Romanov on Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:04 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:I frankly don't see why Brack's remedy cannot be the CO cylinders. In fact I don't see why they should not be considered the most probable explanation.

Mattogno, Kues & Graf cite Patricia Heberer against gas vans:
P. Heberer, “Von der 'Aktion T4' zum Massenmord an den europäischen Juden,“ in: Günter Morsch and Bertrand Perz (eds.), Neue Studien zu nationalsozialistischen Massentötungen durch Giftgas. Historische Bedeutung, technische Entwicklung, revisionistische Leugnung, op. cit., p. 168,
where Heberer ties the proposal closely to T4: "to establish stationary gassing devices in Reichskommissariat Ostland and thereby to utilize the ‘T-4’ gassing technology and personnel from the killing centers," which would also fit better with the word Unterkünfte (I believe) translated as shelters in the English version of 365-NO.

Sergey_Romanov wrote:In 1960 Kallmeyer claimed (BArch B162/2209) that he knew nothing of the initiative and didn't take part in extermination of Jews. He does however tell about how after a long wait at home he was informed that he was to go to Riga. However he wasn't sent there but rather stayed in Berlin over the Christmas of 1941. He was then sent to Lublin.
In 1961 he claimed that the instruction to wait at home came from Tiergartenstraße; but doesn't name Riga and jumps to Lublin. He thought it was possible that Brack "possibly designated me for such tasks". His mention in Wetzel-Lohse he characterized as "nur als Ankündigung" - only a proclamation.

So not only did not Kallmeyer did not put the letter into doubt, the fact that he got an instruction from T4 to be ready to depart for Riga confirms the contents.

Thanks, that puts in a different light how MGK explain Kallmeyer's role:
On 20 June 1947 and in preparation for the trial against Karl Brandt et alii (trial of the physicians), the chemist Helmut Kallmeyer wrote an affidavit in which he stated in reference to the Wetzel letter, which was submitted to him:
“I was neither in Riga nor the Baltic in the Fall of 1941 or at any other time. Neither did Victor Brack ever speak to me about sending me to Riga to co-operate in the production of the necessary quarters and the gas chambers (Vergasungsapparate) nor to make all further arrangements.”
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:57 pm


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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Oozy_Substance » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:55 am

Thank you Sergey and Mechanic for these answers.

Just to get the gist of things, is the draft originally written in hand-writing? As the printed document presented in the link provided by Jeffk 1970 is described to be "reproduced", so this is not the original draft?

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:49 am

The draft is typewritten.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Oozy_Substance » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:53 am

Sergey_Romanov wrote:The draft is typewritten.


Then it baffles me why Eichmann said he cannot see his own name at the draft after looking at it for hours? Also he mentioned "small letters."
Looking at the draft at the link Jeffk 1970 posted I can clearly see Eichmann's name there and the letters are not small at all ..

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:54 am


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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:28 am

"It was still at the stage of clubs and fists, hurrah, tala"

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Oozy_Substance » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:38 pm

This is quite confusing, I'd say. If he is talking of a different draft, why Metapedia claims he rejected draft NO-365?
Denier dishonesty?

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:53 pm

He might have rejected 2 typewritten drafts (one with gas, the other without) and pretended he is not mentioned in the handwritten one (without gas). Can you check it?

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:25 pm

Point 1. As already shown, Metapedia is dishonest about what the very sources they cite say. Metapedia is in general not honest. So I wouldn't expect Metapedia to get it right. But . . .

Point 2. From the Eichmann trial, session 98:
Q. And that is why Wetzel, in his letter of 25 October 1941, T/308, document No. 42 [that is, 365-NO, where gassing device is mentioned], writes that after being in touch with Brack - the person who wanted to heat the furnaces with idiots - he notifies that he would switch from the method of extermination by shooting to gassing methods, and that you, the Jewish Affairs Section Head in the Head Office for Reich Security, had given your agreement to this method. Please examine this.

A [Eichmann]. I dispute this, and I shall - and I believe I can - prove this. It is a question of the handwriting. The handwritten draft...

Eichmann rejected both the handwritten document (996) and the typed draft which we've been focused on (365) and pointed the judges to the handwritten draft as his basis for doing so - but he disputed both documents, later adding, "They are all drafts, with no signature whatsoever, and the handwritten draft where it says, for example . . ." As noted, they judges were not convinced by what Eichmann said. And the prosecution pointed out one of the problems: "Yes, but I should like to ask one or two other questions in this connection, because there is in fact another document which is also part of the draft, and this also says 'Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann."'

We are showing here the limits of one document at a time, or best stand-alone evidence: the documents exist in a chain of discussions, actions, personalities, events, etc, and talking about documents without background and context, that is, other evidence, is misleading.
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:40 pm

I should clarify (I tried to keep my long post above from getting even longer so didn't spell some of this out): 996-NO is (presumably an early) handwritten draft that doesn't mention gas-devices; 997-NO is a typewritten identical version of 996 (4 carbon copies exist) also not mentioning gas-devices; Nuremberg analysts did not know the date(s) of these documents - but they noted that they “should be read in connection with the 365-NO, coming from the same file and presumably a draft on the same subject.” Jeffk had posted 365-NO, which does mention gas-devices. All the documents were drafts. Eichmann in his testimony before the Israel court disputes all these documents whilst focusing on the handwritten document, 996.

Metapedia doesn't directly reference the Eichmann testimony. Metapedia does say that "the three people mentioned in it [365-NO] rejected it" and footnotes MGK's reply to the HC White Paper for this. It is thus MGK who mention Eichmann's testimony, writing
Wetzel’s letter mention [sic] three persons: Eichmann, Kallmeyer and Brack. During the 98th Session of Eichmann’s trial (17 July 1961), he challenged this document, posing a series of objections whose sense was briefly summarized by the Attorney General in this way: “...and now you are suddenly claiming that it is a forgery.” Eichmann particularly denied having spoken with Wetzel “about gas.”

This gloss leaves out, as you can see, a lot of detail whilst distorting what Eichmann said.

Out of curiosity, did your stern denier say what evidence he or she has for asserting that 365-NO was "cooked" and that the "3 people mentioned in the draft rejected the document." This sounds like a crib of Metapedia.
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:57 pm

Wow, I really stirred the pot on that one.

:lol:
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:36 pm

Der Briefentwurf, Entwurf und Klartext gehen zurück auf den handschriftlichen Entwurf. Demzufolge hätte Dr. Wetzel mit dem Oberdienstleiter Brack von der "Kanzlei der Führers" verhandelt, wegen der Vergasung der Juden. Es steht nicht so deutlich geschrieben, aber es ist der unmißverständliche Sinn.

Es sind einige Wortlücken freigelassen, manche Wortreste nur angedeutet. Ich weiß nciht, wie das Original dieses Entwrufes aussieht, ich hatte nur eine nicht immer deutliche Ablichtung vor mir. Aber unschwer ist unter dem Vergrößerungsglas zu erkennen, daß niemals mein Name und Dienstgrad, sowie Dienststelle geschrieben sind, wie dies der Klartext dann plötzlich verzeichnet. Ich habe es vor Gericht als ein einwandfreies Falsifikat, wenigstens soweit es mich betrifft, bezeichnet und die Empfehlung anheimgestellt, das Original oder die Ablichtung durch einen Fachmann untersuchen zu lassen. Abgesehen davon, habe ich nie über solche Dinge verhandelt.
http://www.schoah.org/shoah/eichmann/goetzen-0.htm

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Oozy_Substance » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:44 pm

The said stern denier probably relied on Metapedia, as I had many arguments with him in the past, and he tends to quote Metapedia often.
He claimed he "read about it in the past", so he probably either got it from Metapedia or maybe from MGK themselves.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:29 pm

It would be nice for Stern Denier to spell out, more than that, what the evidence is which he thinks supports his views. If Metapedia is all he has, what he's got is full of holes.

(Eichmann is clearer in Götzen, which Sergey just quoted from, than he was in court, but it amounts to the same thing: he disputed that the the original draft [996] referred to him - and on that basis discounted the typescript [997] and also the related but different document [365]. Eichmann's suggestion here of hanky-panky - "as far as I am concerned" - doesn't prove hanky-panky, and the court in Israel was very dismissive when he tried to find ways out of what 365 says.)
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:06 pm

Oozy_Substance wrote:The said stern denier probably relied on Metapedia, as I had many arguments with him in the past, and he tends to quote Metapedia often.
He claimed he "read about it in the past", so he probably either got it from Metapedia or maybe from MGK themselves.



Shades of Monstrous.......

Monstrous is one of our MIA deniers who used Metapedia and CODOH to make his points.
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:21 pm

I looked through Cesarani, Stangneth, Hausner and the Less interrogations (von Lang, ed). I didn't learn anything new from Cesarani (he says only that the defense was unable to make a dent in the Wetzel letter during the Jerusalem trial) or Stangneth (she doesn't mention Wetzel).

Hausner, I see, writing in 1966, agrees with Sergey's point above on gas vans: Hausner says that the gassing device was to be placed in "installations" according to the Wetzel letter (pp 90-91 for this discussion).

Eichmann was, as alluded to IIRC in his trial, questioned by Less about the Wetzel letter. Less was asking Eichmann about his role in and that played by his deputy Günther in "this gassing business." Handed the letter of 25 October 1941 and "Memorandum concerning consultations which our Amstsgerichtsrat collaborator . . ." Eichmann at first assumed that the missing name on the 2nd item was Wetzel and then told Less, "I have no comment to make on that" after reading out that said consultations were with Brack and Eichmann.

Less pressed:
It's about the production of gas . . . of gassing apparatus, isn't it?

Eichmann then added:
Yes, but there's this to be said. I gather from the that the Führer's Office [Führer's Chancellery - T-4 referring to Tiergartenstrasse 4, that office's address] took charge of the procurement. Reich Security Headquarters was only asked for its consent, which consent was given through me. This convinces me that what I just told you is just what I said to him. I wonder who instructed the Ministry for the East, or the people around Amstsgerichtsrat Dr. Wetzel, to do anything connected with gas machines. Maybe those Ministry of the East people said to themselves, "This has to be done more elegantly." They were no longer satisfied with the shooting.

Eichmann continued with tangential remarks on procurement of Zyklon B and blame-shifting to Globocnik.

Then Less, having noted the coincidence that "all the persons involved in this gassing point their finger at Eichmann and Bureau IV B 4," asked Eichmann about his defense that "Officially we had nothing to do with it [the gassing program]":
But did you have official knowledge that gassing was going on?

EICHMANN: I knew it, of course I knew.

pp 194-197

So Eichmann's first response to the Wetzel letter in Israel was very different to the one he gave at the trial, after his defense strategy had matured.
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:27 pm

For the sake of the deniers and the lurkers that might be reading: Eichmann's denial is worth less than the paper it is recorded on.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:42 pm

As the Israeli court said in 1961. And especially given Eichmann's first explanation of this matter . . . but, for whatever reason, hmmmm, Eichmann's say-so was good enough for Mattogno, Graf, and Kues.
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:32 am

Recall that I wrote above that I thought Wetzel had been in Soviet custody until the mid 1950s. My recollection was partly mistaken: Wetzel was in custody until 1955 but in the DDR. He was released and worked in a job afterwards in a government office in Lower Saxony, retiring in 1958. However, on account of the Eichmann trial, Wetzel came to the authorities' attention in 1961, according to German Wikipedia for his participation in the follow-up Final Solution conferences, and was interrogated in 1961 when the Hannover prosecutor's office opened an inquiry.

It so happens that a friend of mine, who has read this thread, was re-reading Christian Gerlach's famous article on the Wannsee Conference this week and spotted a footnote relevant to 365-NO, referring to what was learned during the 1961 questioning of Wetzel, to which he alerted me:

Image
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:22 pm

Heh, nice find, SM.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:40 am

Here is some more on Wetzel’s testimony, which underscores the point which Sergey made above about the unreliability of Eichmann's testimony:

From Browning, Origins, p 268:
According to Wetzel’s postwar testimony, he was summoned on October 23 to a meeting with Brack in the Führer’s Chancellery. ‘‘Brack said to me . . . he had a task for me. I should inform Minister Rosenberg of the following: He, Brack, had a gassing apparatus that ought to be sent to Riga. The Minister should inform Reichskommissar Lohse of this. Brack told me, the gassing apparatus was intended for the destruction of Jews. During his explanation, Brack told me by the way that it was a question of a Führer order or a mandate of the Führer.’’ Wetzel subsequently sought out Eichmann, with whom he had a ‘‘short and substantive conversation’’ (ein kurzes und sachliches Gespräch). He then returned to the Ostministerium and gave a detailed report to Dr. Otto Bräutigam, who said it was a ‘‘delicate matter’’ (heikle Sache) that had to be discussed with Leibbrandt. It was Leibbrandt’s suggestion to draft a letter for Lohse containing a report on the Brack and Eichmann meetings.275

and here’s Browning’s citation:
275. ZStL, VI 420 ar-z 1439/65 (Wetzel testimony, September 20, 1961). I am grateful to Prof. Dr. Helmut Krausnick for drawing my attention to this testimony.

This testimony was given by Wetzel the same day as the testimony mentioned by Gerlach above.
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:12 pm

As Oozy says, deniers claim (Weckert and Renk, for example) that Wetzel's not having been tried and convicted after the war somehow proves that he didn't write the 25 October 1941 draft and that there was no planning by Nazi officials for gassing of Jews. In the first place, many perpetrators were not tried in various countries postwar and many who were tried were not convicted - often for individual reasons (personal responsibility, Cold War bias, legal issues) that have nothing to do with whether the extermination of the Jews took place.

But here are two more items specifically concerning Wetzel - speaking to why he wasn't brought to justice (there is not a lot of material that I can find on Wetzel's postwar life):

First, an article in Der Spiegel (16 August 1961), explains that confusion as to Wetzel's whereabouts and even his name existed after the war. For example, the article notes that Gerald Reitlinger in his influential 1953 book even got Wetzel's first name wrong, rendering Erhard as Ernst:
Kommentierte der Autor des Buches "Die Endlösung", der Engländer Gerald Reitlinger, 1953 den Gaskammerbrief: "Es ist bemerkenswert, daß, obwohl Brack gehenkt wurde, der Verfasser des Briefes, Dr. Ernst Wetzel, niemals vor Gericht gestellt werden konnte, weil er nach dem Kriege spurlos verschwunden war."

In dieser Wetzel-Passage unterlief dem Zeithistoriker Reitlinger, auf dessen Standardwerk als authentische Quelle sich im Jerusalemer Prozeß sowohl der Ankläger Hausner als auch der Angeklagte Eichmann ständig beriefen, freilich ein Fehler, der von oberflächlichem Umgang mit Dokumenten zeugt: Reitlinger gab Wetzel einen falschen Vornamen; aus Erhard wurde Ernst, die Identität war verwischt.

According to Der Spiegel, having been sentenced to 15 years in the DDR, Wetzel gained early release in 1955. At his trial Wetzel had been able to downplay his role as Jewish policy advisor in the East Ministry. When Wetzel moved to Hannover subsequent to his release from prison, there was no personal file there on his wartime activities - and he was connected to the gas-device letter only through the Eichmann trial in 1961. Adding to confusion about Wetzel during these years, Der Spiegel quotes an official saying, "Die führenden Experten von der Justiz haben immer gesagt, Wetzel ist tot."

Second, Wetzel was, however, in 1961 at last investigated by prosecutors in Lower Saxony. He was not prosecuted. During his interrogation, as Gerlach says, Wetzel confirmed having written the draft. The decision not to prosecute was based not on the 25 October 1941 letter's being inauthentic or something fishy about Wetzel. Rather, Wetzel successfully used the "little guy" defense and pointed to superior orders and threat of punishment for disobedience (a defense that often failed, sometimes succeeded during that period), as explained by Gerald Fleming (Hitler and the Final Solution, p 111):

Image

(Fleming's citation: Hearing of Dr. Erhard Wetzel, 20-21 September 1961, 2JS 499/61, Staatsanwaltschaft Hannover.)
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:03 pm

> He, Brack, had a gassing apparatus that ought to be sent to Riga

1. So not a gas van, unless older model, which doesn't make a huge sense. (And one could assume Wetzel would have said gas van). Also, a memory fluke - the apparatus was to be made in Riga.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby nickterry » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:54 pm

Wetzel mentioned gas vans on 20.9.1961 but then reversed himself on 21.9.1961 saying he could no longer be sure whether vans or another apparatus was discussed. (BArch B 162/20424, pp.216ff and 223ff) The fact that this was discussed over two days, whereas Browning only cites/references one of the days, is probably why Browning slants the interpretation towards gas vans.

As an aside, checking out another Browning reference, he misread a report listing the 107 identified members of IV B 4 from March 1941 until the end of the war and cited this as saying there were already 107 staff in IV B 4 as of March 1941. Longerich re-cited this referencing Browning/Origins, so the error is in two major works.

Since there are thousands of references in Browning, it's unsurprising there are a few outright mistakes. Pretty much everything else I have ever checked out has stood up/been reliably conveyed.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby nickterry » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:01 pm

Just to add - Wetzel authenticated all of the drafts.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:12 pm

thanks, Nick, that's great stuff - Oozy, you now have an authenticated Wetzel draft (in fact, three of them), confirmed by Wetzel himself, when it was against his interest to do so and when, because he couldn't deny the obvious, he had to defend himself personally using tactics other than, er, denial. It will be interesting to learn how Stern Denier responds.
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:35 pm

Thanks Nick, very useful.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:55 pm

An interesting "linguistic" overlap with the Mauthausen gas vans letter:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... html#_doc4

Zur gegebenen Zeit werde ich Sie unterrichten, sobald der Wagen einsatzfähig ist. Da ich annehme, dass das K.L. Mauthausen nicht unbestimmte Zeit bir [sic] zur Verfügungstellung warten kann, bitte ich die Beschaffung von Stahlflaschen mit Kohlenoxyd bzw. andere Hilfsmitteln zur Durchführung von dort aus in die Wege zu leiten.

... I request that you use steel bottles with carbon monoxide or respectively other remedies to get things started.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:09 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:An interesting "linguistic" overlap with the Mauthausen gas vans letter:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot. ... html#_doc4

Zur gegebenen Zeit werde ich Sie unterrichten, sobald der Wagen einsatzfähig ist. Da ich annehme, dass das K.L. Mauthausen nicht unbestimmte Zeit bir [sic] zur Verfügungstellung warten kann, bitte ich die Beschaffung von Stahlflaschen mit Kohlenoxyd bzw. andere Hilfsmitteln zur Durchführung von dort aus in die Wege zu leiten.

... I request that you use steel bottles with carbon monoxide or respectively other remedies to get things started.



Looks like they were waiting for a van to ship:

The special vans manufactured by us are at this time in operation pursuant to the order of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD. There are more vans under construction, whose delivery is however dependent upon the appropriate shipping orders being issued by the General Plenipotentiary for Vehicles [GEK]. At what point in time the GEK will confirm the state of preparedness is not known, and, after that happens, one must further factor in a rebuilding period of around 8 - 14 days that will be necessary. At that point in time, I would be prepared to put a special van of that kind at the disposal of the Mauthausen concentration camp for a specified time.




So, using bottled carbon monoxide while waiting for a van.....in something makeshift?
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby BRoI » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:42 pm

A very important nazi document which proves gas vans were built at Mauthausen unfortunately has to be added to the list of proofs that US war crimes investigators/prosecutors manged to lose.

NARA finders guide wrote:
Items cited as enclosures but missing from the Taylor Report

[...]

A 1943 “protocol” signed by Mauthausen Commandant Ziereis and Georg Bachmayer converting a police wagon into a mobile gas chamber.

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https://www.archives.gov/files/publications/ref-info-papers/rip115.pdf
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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Oozy_Substance » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:41 am

It's somewhat related to stand-alone evidence, but I came to wonder if there is any testimony from a person who actually committed the gassing process?

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:40 am

Numerous.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Hans » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:26 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:I frankly don't see why Brack's remedy cannot be the CO cylinders. In fact I don't see why they should not be considered the most probable explanation.

1. Why would gas vans be called Brack's remedy?
2. What would Brack have to do with manufacture of gas vans?
3. Assuming those were gas vans, they would have been manufactured in Riga. What?
4. Assuming those were gas vans, Brack opined that producing a gas van in the Reich would have been more difficult than locally. What?
5. The sentence "Oberdienstleiter Brack points out that the procedure in question is not without danger, so that special protective measures are necessary" points to me in the direction of producing CO bottles in "Russia" (possibly dangerous due to high pressures involved). It doesn't seem to make much sense in the context of gas vans.


But "producing" CO bottles, i.e. ordering them from IG Farben, - even if their did not have enough left over - was hardly a problem in the Reich with its still intact chemical industry, same for other equipment like valves. This should have been more difficult in Riga. And producing, refining and high pressurizing carbon monoxide and filling it into steel bottles does sound like a more complex procedure requiring a chemical plant with certain standards of production and quality control, not just a chemist with some co-workers.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:23 pm

However the White Paper says: "Widmann had already discussed 'the impossibility to transport the CO-cylinders in Russia'"

This would explain why they would not order them from IG Farben for Riga (with the distances involved being similar). Whereas producing them there was possible, it wasn't some barbaric no man's land and probably even had the necessary equipment ready. (Whereas sending a chemist to produce a gas van seems to be obviously absurd.)

In any case, Brack had nothing to do with gas van construction in 1941 and was the wrong person to ask. And the gas vans in 1941 were not produced locally.

And even if one would hypothesize the use of the old model KK GVs, this would again be against the above argument about the impossibility of transporting the CO bottles.

And the first thing one associates with "Brack's remedies" without a further specification is not gas vans, but rather CO-bottle chambers. That's the default interpretation. Not absolute, but it first should be argued against.

Therefore this document rather belongs in the CO-bottles collection rather than the GV collection.

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Re: Best stand-alone evidence?

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:09 pm

Finally the bottles interpretation also explains why Brack was to be a part of the production of Unterkünfte whereas the GV interpretation leaves this bit hanging in the air.


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