France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

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Balsamo
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Post by Balsamo » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:36 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:Could you give the references of Burrin's book?
discussed here (published in English by The New Press in 1996, originally published in France by Editions du Seuil in 1993)
discussed i don't know, but mentioned, yes indeed. Thanks.
I have not read it, but does it suggest that Hitler actually gave an order regarding the expulsion of the Jews from France as soon as August 1940? My perception, until now, was that actually there were no real guidelines regarding the Jews in the West, except a Hitler's wish to expel them from Europe which gave opportunity to local authorities to take local expulsion initiatives.
As i have wrote, i have always read that the interdiction of the fleeing Jews to come back into the French occupied zone was actually Abetz idea. Hence, the begging for a power decree...i don't know.

In my understanding all those notes and letters from Best to Berlin were actually more report from the Abetz speech than some comments on received instructions. Has Burrin another interpretation? We are 2 months away of the first "ordonnance" issued by the MBf, aren't we?

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:15 am

Balsamo wrote:discussed i don't know, but mentioned, yes indeed.
I am only glad that, given such a misleading note of mine, that you were able to decipher the reference. It must have been a heroic and monumental intellectual labor.
Balsamo wrote:In my understanding all those notes and letters from Best to Berlin were actually more report from the Abetz speech than some comments on received instructions. Has Burrin another interpretation? We are 2 months away of the first "ordonnance" issued by the MBf, aren't we?
Burrin: Hitler's
directive to Abetz in that summer of 1940 was to reflect his attitude right to the end: France must be divided by all possible means and a great wedge must be driven between Vichy and the Anglo-Saxon countries. To this he added an order to prepare for the expulsion of the Jews, an item omitted by Abetz, who had written to say that French opinion was already so hostile in this respect that there was no need to take any further action.
(p 94) Burrin goes on to say that Abetz was eager to please Hitler on Jewish matters and would not "apply a brake" to Hitler's druthers concerning the Jews of France.
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Post by Balsamo » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:50 am

Statmech:
I am only glad that, given such a misleading note of mine, that you were able to decipher the reference. It must have been a heroic and monumental intellectual labor.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:29 pm

Back to German intentions in Europe, by way of a comparison to the case of Italy (this is a bit of a comment on Bloxham's theses in line with earlier, similar thoughts expressed in this post - but more aimed at denier arguments about the Third Reich's goals in western Europe). Conditions in Italy differed to those in France, to be sure, but that's partly the point . . .

It is unclear when/how the Germans and Italians (Social Republic at this point) agreed on the deportation of the Italian Jews. Already at the end of November 1943 the Italian Interior Minister made a general order for police to arrest Jews in Italy, with no distinction between foreign-born and Italian-born Jews. A month later the ministry was searching for a 2nd internment camp in addition to Fossoli; a week after that it was ordered that Jewish property be confiscated by the state and at the end of January 1944 the Italian Jewish communities were ordered dissolved. Most historians infer that during this period the Italians and Germans agreed on the deportations of Italian Jews, mostly to Auschwitz but also with some being taken to other camps. Roundups of Italian Jews began likely before this formal, final agreement concerning deportation of seized Jews from Italy was made, whenever that was.

As in other countries, German manpower was overtaxed. In Italy, various state and Fascist party organizations would be involved in the roundups, detention, and deportation of the Jews. A note from a German diplomat to Ribbentrop in the German Foreign Ministry in December 1943 explained why:
with the forces at our disposal in Italy, it is impossible to comb through all the towns for the smallest to the largest.
The Germans' intention at this time was to be thorough and effective: as this same German diplomat advised Ribbentrop, for the Germans it would be best to delay making the request for shipment of the seized Italian Jews to "eastern territories"
because it is likely that concentration will take place more smoothly if the transfer to concentration camps will initially appear to be a final solution and not a preliminary step toward evacuation.
During November 1943, in anticipation of the finalization of plans, Dannecker (having been yanked from France) would oversee roundups in several cities, as Eichmann's office provided overall coordination. Dannecker also is thought to have overseen the departure of the first transport from Milan to Auschwitz in early December. Eichmann had as a contact the German ambassador to Italy, Rudolf Rahn, who had also served in France, in that instance under Abetz. In January Friedrich Bosshamer would replace Dannecker at the Judenreferat as Eichmann's man in Italy (Dannecker got booted a lot, it seems).

(Two other familiar individuals enlisted for the Final Solution in Italy included Wilhelm Harster, head of the security police and SD, who had been in the Netherlands, and Martin Sandberger, head of the Gestapo in Verona, who had headed SK1a of Einsatzgruppe A in 1941.)

In mid-December Rahn informed the Italians of German satisfaction with the early phases of the Jewish action and asked that they intensify their efforts even more. The need for the removal of the Jews into "concentration camps" was ascribed to "security reasons."

The choice of Fossoli as the main concentration camp for Italian Jews was likely agreed between the Italians and Germans; at a high level, the division of labor was simple - the Italians rounded Jews up and saw to it that they were held in the camp, whilst the Germans saw to their deportation to Auschwitz (or Ravensbrück, Bergen-Belsen, or other camps). In March 1944 the Germans took over direct control and management of the Fossoli camp, with Italian support.

The Germans also carried out small massacres and executions of Jews within Italy - with a total of about 303 victims shot in small actions, often in combination with security operations - as late as spring 1945.

In Italy, when in late 1943 they didn't encounter paralyzing or obstructionist complications from internal politics, the Germans were able to move directly against all Jews in Italy, as they had attempted to do in France. Also, during this phase in Italy, even in the context of the military crisis and civil war, the Germans could draw on a number of organized formations which the Salo Republic maintained for public order and security to support the goal of removing Italian Jews to Auschwitz and elsewhere. In Rome and elsewhere, however, as the battle for Italy progressed and stalled, and stalled and progressed, during the period of the roundups, Italian police often withdrew their cooperation and German intentions could only be partially realized in Italy.

Of Italy's 47,000 Jews (1938 census), nearly 9,000 were deported from Italy and its territories, most of them perishing in Auschwitz.

(I'll update this post in the near future. Source: Sullam, The Italian Executioners, pp 46-57, 157)
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:26 pm

After European Jewry had been definitively smashed in operations in the East and the Final Solution "was over" - according to Bloxham (Final Solution, pp 243-245) - the Italian Social Republic carried out a series of operations, often with the Germans, to continue rounding up and incarcerating Italian Jews and then to transfer them to the Germans, who took the arrested Jews mostly to Auschwitz. Some of the continuing actions in Italy were carried out by the Germans, especially during summer 1944 when the SS made arrests. As we will see, in the latter case there can be little question that the fate of the seized Italian Jews would have been known, at least to one of the German raiders.

At this time the German SS raided the Ospedale Civile and a mental asylum on San Servolo in Venice. A Jewish collaborator from Trieste, Mauro Grini, gave the Germans assistance. At the Ospedale Civile the public security officer, Marshal Casella, was enlisted to lead the SS action team "to the Custody Room" where Jewish patients had found a hiding place. Among those taken by the German SS team were Giuseppe Fano and his family; both Giuseppe and his wife, Letizia, would later, after the war, write about this arrest.

Accompanying security officer Casella into the Custody Room at the Ospedale Civile was SS-Hauptsturmführer Kurt Franz, having been transferred in August 1943 from Einsatz Reinhard to Trieste. Franz led the German teams in both Osepedale Civile and San Servolo actions. Stangl (and Grini) had been operating since December 1943 in the Varese area, near the Swiss border, conducting arrests of Italian Jews attempting to flee the country.

Sullam, The Italian Executioners, pp 86, 103, 163
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:56 pm

In Brescia, Italy, where just 56 Jews lived, arrests of Jews began in early December 1943 following the Interior Ministry's arrest order.

The Italians and Germans were able to arrest 26 of the town's Jews, who were jailed locally before being sent either to the camp at Fossoli or turned over directly to the Germans - and then taken to Auschwitz.

Sullam quotes from two rather frank arrest reports (much of the rhetoric of the time concerned the grave threat to security presented by elderly Jews, Jewish children, Jewish community leaders and the like): one report notes that
Raul Natan and his brother Assalone were arrested in Calvagese della Riviera [a small town near Brescia] for belonging to the Jewish race
and a second report says that
the Command station of Remedello arrested the following for belonging to the Jewish race . . .
naming Said Lusena and his sons, one a chemist and the other an agricultural consultant.

Among the Jews from Brescia arrested and sent to Auschwitz were Guido Della Volta and his brother Alberto. Prior to his arrest Guido had been a businessman and local official, commissioner of a regional Fascist trade association. The Della Volta brothers were on the first transport from Fossoli to Auschwitz, which departed for Poland on 22 February 1944. Alberto came to know Primo Levi in Auschwitz; in his writings, Levi referred to him as "my friend Alberto." Alberto perished on the Auschwitz death march, and Guido was killed in the gas chambers in October 1944, among the last to be murdered there, after having worked in the camp for some months.

Even after the putative completion of the Final Solution, the Germans, and Italians in this case, believed it necessary to destroy as many Jews from the tiny Jewish community of Brescia as they could.

Sullam, pp 110-117
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:34 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:15 am
. . . and also a shitload of stuff arriving this fall, and into the winter, all on the Holocaust, as posted previously:

. . .
* Simon Levis Sullam, The Italian Executioners: The Genocide of the Jews of Italy
This book is excellent and thought provoking. It reminds me, in its clarity and succinctness, a little of Lozowick's study of Eichmann's office in western Europe but, for all its brevity, it is more far-ranging, exploring wider circles of perpetrators and "bystanders." I don't know the details of the Final Solution in Italy but, based on the handful of things I've read, Sullam raises some big questions. His study seems to set up more in-depth research as its tight case studies could be elaborated on. In this vein, I found myself wanting to read more about the Trieste operators; about the Jewish collaborators Mauro Grini (in the north) and Celeste Di Porto (in Rome); about the inner workings of the Social Republic; about the overall course of the anti-Jewish operations and why in genocidal conditions "only" 20% of Italy's Jews were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz and elsewhere; about the violence that spread with the Allied military campaigns, the resistance, German intervention, and the Salo Republic's holding operations; and about the Rome, Florence, and Venice actions.

I should also add here a note on my posts in this thread making use of arguments and evidence presented by Sullam; I focused these posts on the implications of Sullam's findings for German Judenpolitik, not on his central argument, which is quite different in focus - namely, that with the Allied invasion and collapse of Mussolini's government, and with the German invasion and the establishment of the Social Republic - and amidst civil war conditions, the internal situation in Italy reached a tipping point in which genocidal solutions were embraced by the Fascists and elements of Italian society. In turn, with the breakdown of order and the inversion of normal reality, violence became widespread - and polycratic, with the "solution" of the elimination of the Jews embraced for ideological-political reasons as well as out of fear, greed, and opportunism.

In this sense, aside from German hopes for the destruction of the Jews in western Europe, what happened in Italy during fall 1943 was that military and political events created an internal situation favoring genocidal violence and, in the process, aligning Italian politics and society with German goals, in which the Germans could at last act to realize their Judenpolitik in Italy.

In other words, despite his sketching the genocidal policies of the Third Reich, Sullam's argument is focused on what happened inside Italy and how genocide of the Jews became a goal of the Italian Fascists and those in their orbit. What Sullam describes is not a case of a top down plan (from Berlin) playing out linearly in Italy, but a many sided process, with top down and bottoms up elements, in which the Germans found conditions ripening for them. His concluding chapter, in fact, critiques the postwar and still-current notion of the "good Italians" whose character was benevolent and humanistic and would not brook harm to the Jews of Italy or areas under Italy's control.
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Post by Balsamo » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:08 am

I am going to read this first...