Did Eichmann Visit Belzec in the Fall of 1941? Browning’s Interpretation, Origins of the Final Solution

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Did Eichmann Visit Belzec in the Fall of 1941? Browning’s Interpretation, Origins of the Final Solution

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:11 pm

According to Eichmann’s trial testimony, he visited Belzec in the Fall of 1941 and met with Christian Wirth.

Eichmann:
We were received by an Order policeman in rolled up sleeves, who himself apparently had been working by hand. The style of his boots and the cut of his breeches indicated he was an officer. From the introduction I learned that I was dealing with a captain of the Order Police. In the postwar years his name had long ago escaped me. Only through the literature did I remember again. His name was Wirth.


Eichmann remembered that the location was about an hour and half from Lublin. Globocnik’s assistant Hans Hoefle (later the author of the “Hoefle Telegram”) drove Eichmann to what Eichmann described in three different versions.

Version One:
Eichmann described two to three wooden houses still under construction.

Version Two:
Eichmann described two small peasant huts standing under the deciduous trees.

Version Three:
Eichmann stated that these wood structures “were in, were in a forest, a deciduous forest, a quite dense deciduous forest, large trees...in full color.....it was therefore 1941 in the Fall.

Eichmann stated that he saw no working parties. He also stated that Wirth told him that the doors and windows were hermetically sealed and that the exhaust from a Russian U-boat engine would be used to kill the Jews sealed in the room.

(It's obvious to me that this is where the whole denier rigamarole about a U-boat engine being used to kill the Jews comes from. The problem is that Eichmann was clear that he saw no engine at that time because the engine was not there yet.)

According to Eichmann, Heydrich summoned him in the Fall of 1941 and told Eichmann that Hitler ordered the physical destruction of the Jews. Heydrich told Eichmann that Wirth was supposed to use antitank ditches for this purpose and that he wanted Eichmann to check Wirth’s progress.

Browning identifies three key elements in Eichmann’s account:

1) Heydrich sent him to Poland after a decision by Hitler to destroy Europe’s Jews.
2) He visited a prospective camp built by Wirth. This camp used stationary gas chambers and exhaust to kill, one of first to utilize these elements (the T-4 gas chambers used bottled carbon monoxide).
3) This visit occurred at the peak time of Fall foliage, in either September or October of 1941.

Browning identifies some problems with Eichmann’s account:

1) According to Joseph Oberhauser, Wirth only arrived at Belzec in December of 1941.
2) Per the testimony of two Polish workers, Stanislaw Kozak and Eustachy Urkainsky, construction of the buildings at Belzec began on November 1st, 1941.
3) The location did not match descriptions of the actual Belzec camp. Eichmann described a remote location in the middle of a forest. Belzec lay along a main road and rail line across from the Belzec town and train station (shades of Jan Karski).

Browning explains these contradictions in this way:

In September Wirth went to Lublin to create a gassing facility. Originally he meant to convert a couple of peasant huts in a remote location but decided after meeting with Himmler on October 13th, 1941 to build the location from scratch. This was done to meet Himmler’s needs.

Browning uses the following items as evidence:

1) Eichmann said he saw these same huts at Birkenau in the Spring of 1942 (Bunker I & II, converted peasant huts).
2) Ferdinand Hahnzog, the Commander of the Gendarmerie in the Lublin District, testified to the existence of a primitive installation deep in a forest near Belzec utilized for a test killing. This installation used the exhaust from a truck.

So, it’s likely that Eichmann visited a test installation in September of 1941, not the beginning of the Extermination Camp at Belzec.
Last edited by Jeffk 1970 on Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
‘I have not left anybody in the dark about the fact that this time, millions of adult men would not die, and hundreds of thousands of women and children would not be burnt or bombed to death in the cities, without the actual culprit, albeit by more humane means, having to pay for his guilt.’
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Re: Did Eichmann visit Belzec in the Fall of 1941? Christopher Browning’s Interpretation from the Origins of the Final

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:12 pm

Either that, or he was simply hopelessly confused, like Hoess.

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Re: Did Eichmann Visit Belzec in the Fall of 1941? Browning’s Interpretation, Origins of the Final Solution

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:16 pm

Not nearly as confused as I was trying to correct my topic heading.

:lol:
‘I have not left anybody in the dark about the fact that this time, millions of adult men would not die, and hundreds of thousands of women and children would not be burnt or bombed to death in the cities, without the actual culprit, albeit by more humane means, having to pay for his guilt.’
Adolf Hitler
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Re: Did Eichmann visit Belzec in the Fall of 1941? Christopher Browning’s Interpretation from the Origins of the Final

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:30 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:Either that, or he was simply hopelessly confused, like Hoess.


Hoess's backdating, IMO was deliberate. I have always thought that he tried to place Himmler's orders in August of 1941 so as to absolve himself of responsibility for the experimental gassings in Auschwitz I in September of 1941, which were done as a result of his own initiative. He effectively tried to stretch the "superior orders" blanket back far enough to cover for all of his actions.

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Re: Did Eichmann visit Belzec in the Fall of 1941? Christopher Browning’s Interpretation from the Origins of the Final

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:30 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:Either that, or he was simply hopelessly confused, like Hoess.


Hoess's backdating, IMO was deliberate. I have always thought that he tried to place Himmler's orders in August of 1941 so as to absolve himself of responsibility for the experimental gassings in Auschwitz I in September of 1941, which were done as a result of his own initiative. He effectively tried to stretch the "superior orders" blanket back far enough to cover for all of his actions.



I’ve seen that interpretation of Hoess’s statement. Makes sense.
‘I have not left anybody in the dark about the fact that this time, millions of adult men would not die, and hundreds of thousands of women and children would not be burnt or bombed to death in the cities, without the actual culprit, albeit by more humane means, having to pay for his guilt.’
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Re: Did Eichmann visit Belzec in the Fall of 1941? Christopher Browning’s Interpretation from the Origins of the Final

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:04 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:Either that, or he was simply hopelessly confused, like Hoess.


Hoess's backdating, IMO was deliberate. I have always thought that he tried to place Himmler's orders in August of 1941 so as to absolve himself of responsibility for the experimental gassings in Auschwitz I in September of 1941, which were done as a result of his own initiative.

He did not have to backdate to implicitly shift responsibility for the first gassing, as he shifted it explicitly and denied initiative:

Gelegentlich einer Dienstreise hatte mein Vertreter, der Hauptsturmführer Fritzsch, aus eigener Initiative Gas zur Vernichtung dieser russischen Kriegsgefangenen verwendet,9 und zwar derart, daß er die einzelnen im Keller gelegenen Zellen mit den Russen vollstopfte und unter Verwendung von Gasmasken Zyklon B in die Zellen warf, und das den sofortigen Tod herbeiführte.


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