Equally we know precisely what Hans Frank, a leading Nazi in Poland, said in December 1941 when he openly talked of being told to ‘liquidate the Jews’ and so on. So certainly in my judgment, as I say, there is no ambiguity here at all, the evidence is simply overwhelming that the crime occurred and was sanctioned at the highest level. “
Rees, Auschwitz, BBC
very disturbing footage of nazi murders
In the early days of World War II, British intelligence agencies began secretly recording conversations between German prisoners of war in the hope of acquiring information on technical advances. The information gathered was to be used in the war effort against Germany. Transcripts of these conversations, now declassified, represent a previously unknown or overlooked source of information about the Holocaust, providing evidence of individual German officers’ participation in and knowledge of war crimes. The fact that the transcripts of and reports on the monitored conversations were locked away for over thirty years after the end of the war supports the view that intelligence agencies placed a higher priority on maintaining the secrecy of their methods than on aiding the prosecution of war criminals.
Until November 1944, at which time the SS, on orders from Himmler, disabled the gas chambers that still functioned. The SS destroyed the remaining gassing installations as Soviet forces approached in January 1945.
Many perpetrators confessed to what they had done during the war, after it was over.
According to a summary of the report in the New York Times, one of the most harrowing messages codebreakers overlooked was intercepted on January 11 1943 and detailed the 1,274,166 Jews killed under Operation Reinhard at four death camps – Lublin, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka – during 1942.
The report notes: “The message itself contained only the identifying letters for the death camps followed by the numerical totals.”
Bad Arolsen, German historical documentation ctr.
christopher browning, quotes on extermination policy.
Professor John Zimmermann, UNLV
He recounts how Heinrich Himmler, second in overall authority in the Third Reich, told Rudolf Hoess, Commandant of Auschwitz (27-28) that Hitler had ordered that all Jews within the Nazi reach must be annihilated.
The reliability of these memoirs can be tested by comparing them to independent corroborating evidence. All of the essential eyewitness testimony corroborates Höss’s memoirs on Auschwitz. ** Pery Broad, an SS man stationed at Auschwitz while Höss was the commandant, wrote of the gas chambers and crematoria in his memoirs. 12 Similarly, they are confirmed by the **diary kept by SS physician at Auschwitz Johann Kremer. 13 The post war testimony by victims and perpetrators at the **Belsen trial in 1947 of many guards who served at Auschwitz is further corroborating evidence. 14 There was also a great deal of victim and perpetrator testimony at the **Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt, Germany in the mid 1960s of 20 defendants who were stationed at the camp. 15
Furthermore, during his trial, SS-Obersturmbannführer Karl Adolf Eichmann, head of the department for Jewish Affairs in the Gestapo from 1941 to 1945, submitted that Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Central Security Office, or RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) in charge of “carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question” informed him two or three months prior to Operation Barbarossa (22 June 1941) that Hitler had ordered the physical annihilation of the Jews.
Rudolf Hoess wrote in his autobiography that Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann and his deputy were the only ones who knew the total number of Jews that were gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau because Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had ordered the records to be burned after every special action. The Nazis always used code words when talking about the genocide of the Jews: a mass gassing was called a “special action.”
The IBM Hollerith punch cards kept by the Germans for the Jews, Russians and Gypsies, who were registered in the camp and later killed in the gas chambers, were coded as F-6 for “special treatment” or as “evacuations” according to Edwin Black, the author of “IBM and the Holocaust.” The code for “execution” was D-4.
The following excerpt is from the deposition originally given to the British by Hoess:
In 1941 the first intakes of Jews came from Slovakia and Upper Silesia. People unfit to work were gassed in a room of the crematorium in accordance with an order which Himmler gave me personally.
**I was ordered to see Himmler in Berlin in June 1941 and he told me, approximately, the following:
The Fuhrer ordered the solution of the Jewish question in Europe. A few so called Vernichtungslager [extermination camps] are existing in the General Goverment:
Holocaust in Ukraine
Christopher Browning, Historian
More evidence that A. Hitler knew and ordered the Holocaust:
“The police units to be deployed by the Reichsfuehrer-SS on order of the Fuehrer.”
The Purpose of the Einsatzgruppen
The most succinct description of the purpose of the Einsatzgruppen was given at the trial of Adolph Eichmann by Dr. Michael Musmanno, Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, who presided over the trial of 23 of the leaders of the Einsatzgruppen. He stated “The purpose of the Einsatzgruppen was to murder Jews and deprive them of their property.” SS General Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski confirmed this at the main Nuremberg Trial when he testified that “The principal task [of the Einsatzgruppen] was the annihilation of the Jews, gypsies, and political commissars.” (Taylor, Anatomy, p. 259)
The Einsatzgruppen were given orders directly by Himmler and Heydrich on several occasions. There were at least two meetings of the leaders of the Einsatzgruppen in June, 1941 in which they were briefed as to their duties. In a third meeting, which probably took place on June 22, 1941, Heydrich briefed the commanders on the plans for their operations. Otto Ohlendorf, commander of Einsatzgruppe D and a close associate of Himmler, confirmed these orders when he testified at the Nuremberg Trial:
On March 13, 1941, Gen. Keitel, the commander of the OKW, issued a supplement to Barbarossa which discussed special tasks, independent of the military needs of the invasion, that would be supervised by Himmler.
There’s your proof.
Alan Bullock, “Hitler“, a biography [p 410). “Himmler organized the extermination of the Jews, but the man in whose mind so grotesque a plan had been conceived was Hitler.”
Hitler’s Conversation with Josef Hell, 1922
When Hell asked Hitler what he intended doing if he ever had full freedom of action against the Jews, his response was:
“If I am ever really in power, the destruction of the Jews will be my first and most important job. … (quoted in John Toland, Adolf Hitler. London: Book Club Associates, 1977, p.116)
Hitlers Weisungen fuer die Kreigfuehrung” [Hitler’s Directives for the Conduct of the War], edited by Walther Hubatsch, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am main, 1962, pp. 102-3, translation by Gord McFee.
The initial policy was orally communicated to the officers of the Einsatzgruppen. They were later embodied in the “Commissar Order” issued by Heydrich Himmler and never revoked. (Harris, 241) The Commisar Order issued on July 17, 1941, called for “the separation and further treatment of . . . . all Jews.” (TMWC IV 258-9)
The Einsatzgruppen were assisted by other Axis forces, including designated members of the Wehrmacht, including general Walther von Reichenau and the Waffen-SS.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einsatzgruppen
We shall then emphasize again that we were forced to occupy, administer and secure a certain area; it was in the interest of the inhabitants that we should provide order, food, traffic, etc., hence our measures. It should not be recognizable that thereby a final settlement is being initiated! We can nevertheless take all necessary measures—shooting, resettling, etc.—and we shall take them.
Bormann’s minutes on a talk by Hitler
Hitler’s order vis a vis the Soviet Union: Commissar’s Order. Himmler wrote that Jews would be ‘exterminated as partisans’ in his notes.
” He said: “Well, they’re to be shot in accordance with the FÜHRER’s orders. I said: “FÜHRER’s orders?” “Yes”, whereupon he showed me his orders. This happened at SKIOTAWA(?), 8 km. from RIGA, between SIAULAI and JELGAVA, where 5000 BERLIN Jews were suddenly taken off the train and shot.
“Hitler had all ordered all concentration camps to be destroyed before the Allies arrived”.
(Rees, Auschwitz, p. 269)
Führer’s conversation in his headquarters with Croatian Marshal Kvaternik on 22 July 1941. Present: Foreign Affairs Reichsminister and Generalfeldmarshal Keitel.
Hitler speaking: ” The way it was done we know from the Lithuanian experience. On the second day when they [Soviets] entered there, in order to cleanse them, they ordered all shopkeepers to assemble on the street at 7 o’clock in the morning. Automatic weapons were positioned on street corners with which all of the people were killed; then the Jewish commissars took over the shops. Jews are the plague of mankind. Therefore now the Lithuanians, Estonians, and Latvians are wreaking bloody revenge on them. The Soviets from these countries deported children; it is to be noted and made clear that they did the same thing in their own regions.”(14)
Hitler’s gambit to conceal German role in the Holocaust is confirmed in Stahlecker’s reports.
Hitler’s conversation took place in a formal context – during a foreigner’s visit and in the presence of his two highest officials: Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and Fieldmarshal Keitel. This is about as official and high as it can get. Hitler was making state policy as he was propagandizing a guest. Considering the people present, we can say the policy was intended for both domestic and international consumption. But Hitler committed a misstep: he got entangled in his own prevarications. Estonia at the time was not as yet occupied. This means that Hitler’s monologue was a prepared propaganda package: the whole nine yards – his pronouncements about Jews, Russians, Mongols, and the Baltic peoples.
Adolf Eichmann’s statement before an Israeli court in 1961 that he heard from Himmler that Hitler had given a verbal order for the Holocaust. source: The Eichmann memoirs.
“The German historian Eberhard Jäckel wrote a series of newspaper articles later turned into the book David Irving’s Hitler: A Faulty History Dissected, attacking Irving and maintaining that Hitler was very much aware of and approved of the Holocaust. Jäckel attacked Irving for claiming that a note from Heinrich Himmler’s notebook – “Jewish transport from Berlin, not to be liquidated”, dated 30 November 1941 – proved that Hitler did not want to see the Holocaust happen. Jäckel maintained that the order referred only to that train, and argued that if Hitler had ordered the people on that train to be spared, it must stand to reason that he was aware of the Holocaust.
Jäckel went on to argue that because the “Final Solution” was secret, it is not surprising that Hitler’s servants were ignorant of the Holocaust, and that anyhow, five of Hitler’s servants interviewed by Irving later claimed that they believed that Hitler was aware of the Holocaust.
Jäckel argued on the basis of Hitler’s statements in Mein Kampf that the Führer was always committed to genocide of the Jews, and that because Hitler later attempted to execute the foreign policy he outlined in Mein Kampf, it is a reasonable assumption that Hitler was always committed to genocide, which in Jäckel’s opinion disproves Irving’s claim that Hitler was unaware of the Shoah. Jäckel used Hitler’s tendency to involve himself in minutiae to argue that it is simply inconceivable that Hitler was unaware of the Holocaust. As evidence against Irving, Jäckel used Hitler’s “Prophecy Speech” of 30 January 1939 where Hitler declared:
“I shall once again be your prophet: if international Jewry with its financial power in and outside of Europe should manage once more to draw the peoples of the world into world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the world, and thus the victory of Jewry, but rather the total destruction of the Jewish race in Europe.”
Likewise, Jäckel used Himmler’s Posen speeches of 1943 and certain other statements on his part in 1944 referring to an “order” from an unnamed higher authority as proof that Hitler had ordered the Holocaust. In the same way, Jäckel used Hitler’s order of 13 March 1941, ordering that the Einsatzgruppen be reestablished for Operation Barbarossa, as proof of the Führer’s involvement in the Holocaust. Jäckel also cited the entry in Joseph Goebbels’s diary on 27 March 1942 – mentioning that the Führer’s “Prophecy” of 1939 was coming true – as a sign that Hitler had ordered the Holocaust, and accused Irving of dishonesty in claiming that there was no sign in the Goebbels’s diary that Hitler knew of the Holocaust.
Finally, Jäckel noted the frequent references to the “Prophecy Speech” in Hitler’s wartime speeches as a sign that Hitler had ordered the Holocaust, thereby disproving Irving’s claim that Hitler was ignorant of the “Final Solution”.
Jäckel wrote that he had “easily” discovered the “lost” document, in which the head of the Reich Chancellery, Hans Lammers, wrote to the Justice Minister Franz Schlegelberger that Hitler ordered him to put the “Jewish Question” on the “back-burner” until after the war. Jäckel noted the document concerned was the result of a meeting between Lammers and Schlegelberger on 10 April 1942 concerning amendments to the divorce law concerning German Jews and Mischlinge.
Jäckel ended his essay arguing that the “lost” document in no way proved that Hitler was unaware of the Holocaust, and accused Irving of deceitfulness in claiming otherwise.
Sydnor commented that Hitler had received a SS report in November 1942 which contained a mention of 363,211 Russian Jews executed by the Einsatzgruppen between August-November 1942.
Sydnor accused Irving of selective quotation from the memoirs of Joachim von Ribbentrop, noting that Irving quoted the passage: “How things came to the destruction of the Jews, I just don’t know…But that he [Hitler] ordered it, I refuse to believe, because such an act would be wholly incompatible with the picture I always had of him”, but did not quote the next sentence where Ribbentrop wrote: “On the other hand, judging from his [Hitler’s] last will, one must suppose that he at least knew about it, if, in his fanaticism against the Jews, he didn’t also order it”. [my italics]
Hitler’s remark to the Czech foreign minister in January 1939 that “We are going to destroy the Jews!…The day of reckoning has come!”
Plus the broad hints that Hitler dropped in his speeches of 30 January 1941; 30 January 1942; 24 February 1942; 30 September 1942, and 8 November 1942 that he knew of the Holocaust Finally, Craig cited Himmler’s remark of May 1944 where he stated he had orders from an unnamed higher authority (who Craig argued could only be Hitler) for the “Final Solution”.
In addition there is Hitler’s Speech to the Gauleiters, 12 Dec 1941.
Historian Lukacs called Irving’s historical opinions objectionable and inexcusable, and complained that too many of Irving’s opinions were supported by footnotes that referred either to sources that did not exist or said something different from what Irving wrote.
Goebbels’ Diary: (December 14, 1942): “The Jewish race has prepared this war; it is the spiritual originator of the whole misfortune that has overtaken humanity. Jewry must pay for its crime just as our Fuehrer prophesied in his speech in the Reichstag: namely, by the wiping out of the Jewish race in Europe and possibly in the entire world.” (pp. 243-244).
As late as March 7, 1942, Goebbels had still been entertaining a Final Solution that would send all European Jews to Madagascar (p. 116). In other entries, he was completely candid about the physical extermination of Jews (e. g., p. 86, 92; 243-244).
However, Jews were not the only scapegoats; nor were they the only ones blamed for starting WWII.
On April 17, 1943, Goebbels wrote: “… [Poles]…were the real instigators of this war….” (p. 332).
After Mussolini’s fall, Goebbels commented: “The plot hatched against us in Rome was backed by the monarchy, aristocracy, society, higher officers, Free Masons [Freemasons], Jews, industrialists, and clerics.” (p. 445). Nor were Jews necessarily the only ones supposed to be overly powerful. On April 30, 1942, Goebbels entertained fantasies of Poles being behind the panic of the Germans of Rostock following the devastating RAF attack (p. 197).
The first step in genocide is the denial of the humanity of those targeted. The well-known de-humanization of Jews extended to Slavs, as on January 27, 1942.
The translator Lochner (p. ix), based on some of Goebbels’s entries (p. 138, 142, 146, 375), contends that the Nazis intended to destroy Christianity after winning the war. Public crucifixes were removed (p. 141), and Hitler saw the Christian doctrine of redemption as insane (p. 375). Hitler also re-affirmed his support of vegetarianism (p. 188).
Nazis tried to alter Christian religion
Himmler on Christianity:
“We will have to deal with Christianity in a tougher way than hitherto. We must settle accounts with this Christianity, this greatest of plagues that could have happened to us in our history, which has weakened us in every conflict.”
Follow your leader
Disturbing Image, Mauthausen. Victims of the maniac.
Night and Fog
Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel issued a letter stating: “Efficient and enduring intimidation can only be achieved either by capital punishment or by measures by which the relatives of the criminals do not know the fate of the criminal. The prisoners are, in future, to be transported to Germany secretly, and further treatment of the offenders will take place here; these measures will have a deterrent effect because – A. The prisoners will vanish without a trace. B. No information may be given as to their whereabouts or their fate.”
7 Dec 1941
[Thanks to Wikipedia for the quotes.] The basic idea of the Nacht und Nebel decree was to terrorize populations into submission. Any political, religious discontent, or disruption would be dealt with in a fury of mystery. Essentially, the ‘offender’ would vanish into the night and be shrouded in fog.
“There is a mass of evidence that the Nazis were determined to keep it secret, even developing euphemisms such as ‘resettlement policy’, ‘cleansing actions’, ‘final solution’, ‘transfer to the East’, ’special treatment’ , “evacuation” and so on to ensure that the population as a whole were unaware. Amongst many examples of the Nazi leadership exhorting secrecy and deception in this area, Himmler’s personal secretary, in a note to the Inspector for Statistics on 10 April 1943, made it clear that Himmler’s orders were ‘that no mention be made of the “special treatment of the Jews”. It must be called “transportation of the Jews towards the Russian East”.’**********************
(see also “Himmler, Hitler and the End of the War”, BBC documentary, Professor Ian Kershaw, in which this is shown: Part One”)
Even the term ’special treatment’ was seen as too explicit. Himmler was clearly worried that if the facts got out, there would be the potential for mass opposition. Indeed, even Der Sturmer, the most fanatical and pro-genocide of the Nazi publications, was stopped from publishing details of murders of Jews. ”
Hitler’s orders to starve Russians to death