"Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

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"Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Aaron Richards » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:09 am

I have often seen deniers repeat this canard on YT and other places. A quote something along "of the 4 million Jews under German control, 6 million died and 3 million survived, what a tragedy". I have repeatedly tried asking them where they got their 4 million number from. Most did not answer me.

One answer that I got was documents from the Wansee Conference, which is arguably most famous for a document tallying upto 11 million Jews in total in Europe at the time (too high an estimate, but still).

Image

Note how the document is divided into A and B. The deniers probably use list A as their source. Most countries on list B did not come under direct and complete German control, correct, but they very conveniently leave out all of the USSR including Belarus, or Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, where Jews were also deported en masse into the German camps.

However, I finally got a different source from a denier, namely the following copy-pasta:
Well, according to Gerhard Riegner, a Secretary of the World Jewish Congress in the 1940s, who sent a famous telegram in 1942 declaring that there were “Jews in countries occupied or controlled by Germany numbering 3½ to 4 millions”.
Looking up Gerhard Riegner, I found this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riegner_Telegram

Image

Some of the less idiotic deniers can use this a "Jewish source" for the Nazis only having controlled 3.5 to 4 million Jews by 1942. Even though 1.5 million Jews had already been exterminated by Einsatzgruppe shootings, I believe Riegner still made a wrong estimate (as pre-war censuses and other documents prove that the Nazis easily controlled more than 8-9 million Jews during the war, considering that close to 3 million survived the war in Europe), what is incriminating in this document is the reference to prussic acid / Hydrogen cyanide (Zyklon-B) as a planned killing agent as early as mid 1942, before proper and continuous use of it began at Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Stutthof and Majdanek. So the document is insofar important in that this is a reliable indicator that Riegner was tipped off about an impending Part II of the holocaust (part I had already been committed by this time, the Einsatzgruppen, while the AR camps were busy etc.), and yet, the telegram fell on mostly deaf ears in the West, although it eventually did lead to this joint statement:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Dec ... ed_Nations
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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Oozy_Substance » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:24 am

What I always answer to deniers on this matter that Korherr recognized about 10 million Jews in Europe in his report, most of whom living between Black and Baltic seas.

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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Im_Not_Creative_Enough » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:34 am

When a deniers sees an evidence that goes against his agenda: Probably just Jewish propoganda, Jews contol everything, sneaky bastards, NEVER TRUST A KIKE, people of the lie!!!!

When a denier sees a Jewish source that *might* support his agenda: HAHA SEE??? EVEN THE JEWS AGREE WITH US! SO IT'S MUST BE TRUE!
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:25 pm

Aaron Richards wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:09 am


Image

Note how the document is divided into A and B. The deniers probably use list A as their source. Most countries on list B did not come under direct and complete German control, correct, but they very conveniently leave out all of the USSR including Belarus, or Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, where Jews were also deported en masse into the German camps.
I had a denier on Twitter try that. I needed to post a map showing the German attack on the USSR and the extent it reached.
Wouldn’t really include Romania, their participation was confined to Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and Transnistria. They didn’t transport Romanian Jews and were never occupied by Germany (unlike Hungary).
However, I finally got a different source from a denier, namely the following copy-pasta:
Well, according to Gerhard Riegner, a Secretary of the World Jewish Congress in the 1940s, who sent a famous telegram in 1942 declaring that there were “Jews in countries occupied or controlled by Germany numbering 3½ to 4 millions”.
Looking up Gerhard Riegner, I found this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riegner_Telegram

Image
It’s amusing how they trust this “Jewish source” and discard all others.
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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:47 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:25 pm
I had a denier on Twitter try that. I needed to post a map showing the German attack on the USSR and the extent it reached.
Wouldn’t really include Romania, their participation was confined to Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and Transnistria. They didn’t transport Romanian Jews and were never occupied by Germany (unlike Hungary).
But the idea of "German control/occupation" is fallacious. This is where the infamous Luther memo comes in, and a lot else. Countries in Germany's sphere of influence were under pressure to surrender "their" Jews for extermination in Poland: Croatia, Romania, Hungary prior to occupation, Bulgaria, Vichy, Italy and Italian zones prior to fall 1943, with varying numbers of Jews.

So you have at least three basic and obvious flaws in the gambit: (1) Ukraine and Belorussia etc (2-3m), but also vs the Wannsee list Serbia and Slovakia (~150k); (2) chronology especially Hungary (650k+), (3) German foreign policy vis-a-vis partners and allies (maybe 800k). Off the top of my head.

The gambit is not only not right, it is not even wrong!
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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:02 pm

Yes, I’ve seen this multiple times and honestly don’t get it. It goes back to this lack of basic knowledge about the war itself, never mind the various relationships Nazi Germany had with it’s allies, the countries it occupied, what level of resistance it encountered in getting countries to cooperate in deporting Jews and even the time period we are talking about.
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Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


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“(It is) vicious propaganda based on utter BS that has been discredited time and time again.”

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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Balsamo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:01 pm

The one thing interesting in that " Riegner repòrt" is the use of conditional by August 1942.

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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:03 pm

How so?
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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Balsamo » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:19 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:03 pm
How so?
LOL

The content of the letter is more interesting that the numbers is what i meant.
It says that the information comes from a source that has close connection with highest German authorities. But it is not about the AR camps, which confirms that secrecy of this operation at this stage was well preserved, but about Auschwitz and a plan to murder the Jews there by autumn 42. That shows that the reliable source at the highest level among Nazi authorities had only vague information, and was not aware that the killing had already started, the decision already taken. A ignorance shared as it seems by the WJC by that time despite earlier reports from Poland. Hence the conditional and reservation used by the British consulate in Switzerland.
In this context, the 3.5 to 4 million is an unimportant detail.

And the comments of your guys have already dealt with it.
Sorry just passing by from time to time...quite busy right now.

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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:33 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:19 pm
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:03 pm
How so?
LOL

The content of the letter is more interesting that the numbers is what i meant.
It says that the information comes from a source that has close connection with highest German authorities. But it is not about the AR camps, which confirms that secrecy of this operation at this stage was well preserved,
Not really. It suggests that there was a specific source for this specific information. Information about the AR camps was in fact beginning to be disseminated shortly after the AR camps opened and then in fall 1942 the famous Oyneg Shabes report, to take just one example, was sent to London. But information about the mass murder of Jews in the East had been flowing since summer 1941, including into Reigner's and Lichtheim's Geneva offices during 1942, although numbers were low-balled and policy dimensions unclear. That Riegner's source didn't have the evolving information on AR could mean what you say - or it could simply mean that this source's view had limits.

Along with this is my serious doubt whether deniers promoting the nonsense Aaron mentioned have bothered even to study the Geneva files, not just the telegram, in order to place the telegram and its estimates in context.

Riegner's 4 August 1942 letter (on which the telegram was based) - in contrast to the previous information filtering in to Geneva pell mell - gave the Jewish officials a new context by speaking to a Nazi plan for a final solution. The plan, as outlined by Riegner, comprised all occupied territories including western Europe, deportations to the East, and mass murder "so that the Jewish question in Europe can be settled at last and for all time to come." Riegner's office had been trying to piece together what the policy was for months, actually since 1939, and Riegner's writings allude to these efforts. They also placed fragmentary information about the deportations of summer 1942 into the "new" context, the concept of a final solution embracing millions of European Jews.
Balsamo wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:19 pm
That shows that the reliable source at the highest level among Nazi authorities had only vague information, and was not aware that the killing had already started, the decision already taken.
The telegram and Riegner's earlier letter described the reasons why Riegner gave the information credence. But both had gaps and errors (like the final solution starting in the fall). It doesn't seem likely that a single informant would have comprehensive details, depending, of course, on where that person "sat." Schulte/"captains of industry" wouldn't necessarily have had full context or comprehensive knowledge of details, methods, and so. What is interesting cuts the other direction, however, in that the telegram mentions the murder method.

Interestingly, of course, is that in broad strokes the information received by Riegner fits in with Longerich's thesis on the time line and Gerlach's escalation thesis as well.
Balsamo wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:19 pm
In this context, the 3.5 to 4 million is an unimportant detail.
I agree with this in terms of the caution you and Aaron have raised against efforts to make a definitive case about numbers using the telegram.

But the estimates of deaths in the WJC and WZO files are interesting in terms of what they say about the organizations' growing understanding. As more crushing news came in, Lichtheim, for example, estimated on 7 August that the death toll could be as high as 3 million; on 13 August that "five million European Jews are going down the drain" (summarizing his status report on the murder of European Jews); at the end of August that 4 million European Jews would die; etc. Lichtheim actually went through the numbers in his August 1942 report, although I've not tried pulling them together to understand the full picture he had. Lichtheim went country by country. Riegner used the 3-1/2 to 4 million figure in both his 4 August letter and his telegram.

My sense is that the efforts made by the two officials in Geneva came in the context of fast moving, tragic events; a rush of information; confusion; and limited views and random details. Their reports were done on the fly and hardly authoritative in terms of population and demographics, despite their best care and ambitions, but rather got at order of magnitude, intentions, next risks, etc. Their goal wasn't to do a history of the times but to prevent further loss of livelihood, rights, and life. Indeed, 1942 was a massive year for mass murder and hard even later to get one's arms around.
Balsamo wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:19 pm
Sorry just passing by from time to time...quite busy right now.
No worries. Nothing to see here. We don't debate the Final Solution and related events here anymore; we've gone "meta" and now debate debating and even whether debate takes place.
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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Balsamo » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:03 am

Thanks stat,
enjoyed your comments.
No worries. Nothing to see here. We don't debate the Final Solution and related events here anymore; we've gone "meta" and now debate debating and even whether debate takes place.
Don't worry.
I will be back... 8-)

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Re: "Only 4 million Jews under German Control" - the Gerhard Riegner telegram

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:06 am

LOL
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