VI. THE FINAL SOLUTION
What lies behind the term "Final Solution"? What actually happened? I will try to illustrate the entire development. Surely a few details will be at fault, even in important stipulations, but the basic statements will be correct. I am aware of the problem arising from deductive reasoning. There was a lot of irresolution, whether these notations be written down and aversion still lingers. Aversion, because it can be used as basis for malicious parley, but done nevertheless, because it might help the one or other reader find a more complete reaffirmment of his own thoughts. I want to stress that my assertions, which are the central theme of my work, can be found in the chapters: "A Discovery", "Facts I" and "Facts II".
A. The German Side
Let me commence with the situation presented at the time of the convention of the "Institute for the Investigation of the Jewish Question" on March 27, 1941. The powers of the Third Reich were searching for a place in their sphere of influence, where they could resettle the Jews. First the area of Lublin was considered, later dismissed because the population density was too great and the Jews would have been unable to support themselves. The search continued in areas out of the realm of German influence.
The invasion of the Soviet Union changed the entire situation. A victorious military confrontation would have opened entirely new opportunities in the expanse of the Soviet Union. That's why Heydrich received order from Goering to prepare the basis for the final solution of the Jewish Question in the German area of influence in terms of organisational, factual and material aspects.
a) THE RESOLUTION. The German Embassy in Paris, which wanted to evacuate the Jews of France, had proposals for Himmler. Rosenberg, who was looking for alternatives to the Kalinin-Plan - evacuating the Russo-Germans - also considered the possibilities of evacuating the Jews to the East. On his behalf, Brauetigam prepared a plan for Hitler, who was highly interested, but who mentioned that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to be included in these reasonings. Slowly the plan began to take hold. Beloruthenia, which Rosenberg wanted as reception camp for all "misfits of society" of the Baltic States, seemed suitable in principle. The chosen area was the eastern part of Beloruthenia. On October 25, 1941 Hitler talked with Himmler and Heydrich, in order to inform them of his decision and to discuss further plans. Following his experience with his "euthanasia" program, Hitler feared the reactions of the German public - the area reserved for the Jews was very deplorable - and made it top secret. At the Wannsee Conference, Heydrich illustrated the blueprints before members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since they had to cooperate in this European-wide resettlement programme.
b) THE BLUE-PRINTS. The newly reorganised structure of Beloruthenia was immediately dissolved. Its southern parts went to the Reichscommissariat of the Ukraine, a new substantially condensed western General District of Beloruthenia was created, the rest went under military administration. The offices of the district commissaries were also disolved. It remained uncertain right up until the war's end, whether the Jews were to stay in the eastern part of Beloruthenia or be relocated to another area. Rosenberg, who wanted "his" Ostland to be freed of Jews, was in favour of the relocation. Hitler wanted to wait until the war's end and his vocabulary was that the "actual final solution" was to be theatred after "final victory". At first, the Beloruthenians would receive help from the Jewish working force, building city ghettos and camps in the countryside, where the Jews would be put. Following these prerequisites for the so-called "West-East-Displacement", the Jews, save a few important skilled individuals, would be relocated to the militarily admininistered zone, in order to have enough room for the Jews from Germany and the Generalgovernment (of Poland), who would remain in the civilian zone until the camps in the military zone were ready. Thus, step by step, the Jews would be concentrated in the eastern part of Beloruthenia. In the Generalgovernment (of Poland), Globocnik was made responsible for the organisation of the exodus of the Jews. He erected three camps at the eastern frontier: Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. The Jews were regionally gathered and brought by rail to the nearest transit camp only to be relocated to Belorus later. Jews from other parts of Europe went to the transit camp of Auschwitz, since Auschwitz was hub of a main railway line and therefore most suitable as gathering place for Jews from the rest of Europe. Hoess built the actual transit camp Birkenau, from where transports left for the east; and the inmates of Auschwitz were not able to take note. The Jewish transport from western and southern European countries was organized by the local bureaus, aided by the local police and, if necessary, by the German troups. Eichmann organized the Jewish transports to Auschwitz and handed them over to Hoess. Hoess selected capable individuals for the industrial branches connected to the concentration camp of Auschwitz, and sent the rest to the transit camp Birkenau, from where "Sonderzuege" -special trains- took them to Beloruthenia.
In Belorus, the indigenes were prepared for the incoming Jewish settlers by propaganda. The basic arguments were: The western part of Beloruthenia is the actual homeland of the Beloruthenians, the home of their fore-fathers, there lies their ethnographical roots. Generally, Beloruthenia must be restructured and, as member of the new National Socialist Europe, must give land for the resettlement of the Jews. To hinder any news of the Jewish resettlement program from reaching Germany, Beloruthenia had only a few newspapers, civilian transport was reduced to a minimum and public postal services was prohibited. Step by step, the Beloruthenians were resettled from the eastern to the western part of the country. At first, they remained in the local towns. The founding of new towns was projected until after the war. Only a few farmers received new farms in the western part, in order to give hope to the rest (of the eastern population). At the frontier of the military zone, towns were built as fortifications, having to control the traffic between the eastern and western part and, more important, cared that no Jews leave their territory.
Within their area, the Jews received a mild form of autonomy under the auspices of Germany. Jurisdiction for complicated cases remained in Germany.
c) COMPLICATIONS. A consecutive realisation of the resettlement program was hindered because of circumstance. Rumania began to expell Rumanian Jews to the Soviet Union, whereby the expulsion of German Jews was impaíred. Even Frank wanted to resettle as many Jews as possible from his Generalgovernment (of Poland), faster than could be managed in the General District of Beloruthenia. Here, many uncalculated difficulties arose: many German Jews who came to Beloruthenia, were experienced war veterans. They began to establish a partisan group to which indigene Jews could rely upon had they, for fear of the German military, hidden themselves in the neighbouring forests. Thus, not only was the supply of the front disturbed, but also the resettleement of the oncoming Jews. The partisan movement was further strengthened through communist Spanish fighters, who were expelled from the camps in France to the Soviet Union. Many young Jews from all parts of Europe became part of the partisan movement. In the course of the resettlement of Beloruthenians to the western part of their country, the partisan movement gained further momentum.
Poland had other difficulties to deal with. By transporting Jews from the partially vacant areas of the countryside of Poland, many epidemics were brought to Auschwitz and to the East, against which the carriers were immune, but not the other Jews or members of the SS. In order to stop the epidemic, potiental carriers were remitted into quaratine in Birkenau for over half a year. The relentless transport of the Warsaw Jews and knowledge of their disappearance, lead to the assumption that incinuations of mass-murder of Jews headed for resettlement was true, thus igniting the rebellion at the Warsaw Ghetto.
d) THE FINAL SOLUTION IS CANCELLED: Following the defeat of the German troups in Stalingrad, the front slowly began to roll back to the West. Soviet troups began to assault the eastern frontier of Beloruthenia. Horthy gave his assent reluctantly, concerning the evacuation of the Hungarian Jews, after contacting Hitler directly and learning of the situation of the Jews in the East. On the height of the resettlement programme, Soviet troups occupied the eastern sector of Beloruthenia with tremendous force and in an extremely short time. Horthy stopped all transports of the Hungarian Jews, since the trains had no further destinations. Himmler, who kept hoping for a favourable end of the war, agreed only reluctantly. Those Jews in Auschwitz, who were found capable of work, were then transferred to Germany.
B. The Soviet Side
1. The Period until July 1944
News of Jewish settlements in Beloruthenia established under the auspices of Germany and causing a consecutive resettlement of Beloruthenians, sickered through to Belorussian soldiers and ended in a wave anti-Semitism. Probably this was encouraged by Stalin, who was quick to see which scrupulous might was enfolding here. The Soviet leaders tried to control the Jewish partisan movement which began to establish itself in Belorus. In part this was accomplished, because weapons and amunition was delivered (by the USSR).
The real problem was how to handle all these individuals after the war. Hitler's anti-Semitism enforced the Jewish wish for statehood and it seems that many of the settled Jews in Belorus, where old Jewish traditions existed, saw their future there, but not, of course, under German control. A Jewish Republic as member of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics seemed feasible, only: this republic would not easily accept Soviet dominance as the other Soviet Republics did, because it could rely on considerable international support. Stalin decided on - total control of the Jews - because the western Jews were highly qualified and presented an enormous economic potiental. Furthermore, Germany could be dicredited for years to come.
The attack on Beloruthenia was planned and prepared in such a manner that the area could be occupied within a few days, thereby insuring that nobody could escape. Prominent confidants, like the Swede Wallenberg, were apprehended under sleazy pretences and disappeared forever. Since the Red Army reached Berlin first, and since it was guaranteed that it would control the city for eight weeks alone, it was easy to acquire relevant files as well as a list of confidants outside Beloruthenia. The duties of those concerned applied to the Soviet Union, thus there was no problem in getting an extradition from the Allies. Were these duties executed in Poland, the Polish friends took the matter into their hands, as was done with Hoess and Gerstein.
2. The Period between July 1944 and 1947
At first the libertated Jews were consoled. Of course the war had to be won first, but consecutively Stalin began to employ the Jewish potential. Enormous amounts of raw material, more than ever before, was brought to Belorus immediately. Hundreds of new factories arose, town were rebuilt or founded, had this not already have happened under German occupation.
Primarily those Jews, who came from the West, wanted to leave this uninhabitable area. They were represented by Michoels, who asked Stalin for the desolated Crimea as a new homeland. Stalin delayed the decision.
3. The Year 1948
At the end of 1947, Stalin comes to a final decision: the Jews and their fate is to be passed over in silence. For openers, Michoels in murdered in Minsk. After that, he (Stalin) awaits the founding of the state of Israel, suggesting to the Jews in Belorus that rest of the world is not interested in them. Then the ball begins rolling:
Many Jewish institutions are dissolved, prominant Jews in the Soviet Union lose their posts, Jewish newspapers are forbidden. Stalin prepares to eradicate the Jews from important postitions in the Communist Parties of Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic. All means allowing contact from prominant communist Jews to the West were to be interrupted.
Information for foreign diplomats is drastically cut down: many restricted areas arise, where trespassing is prohibited.
The frontiers are rebuilt into a perfect system , hindering all means of escape.
The German POWs are roughly selected into units, which might have knowledge of the Jews in Beloruthenia due to their war effort there; the so-called confined units arise. Members are required to undergo extreme scrutiny and anybody knowing anything disappears in Siberia. The trace of hundreds of thousands is wiped out.
4. The Period between 1949 until 1953
Stalin galvanizes his efforts, all described methods are continued and perfected. Show processes are carried out, anti-Zionism and especially the assimilation of Jews not living in Belorus is encouraged. His main goal is, however, to have all Jews disappear in Siberia. That's why he instigates the so-called lawsuit against physicians coupled with the appropiate scenes to expel the Jews. His death ends this project.
5. The Period after 1953
After Stalin's exit, the initiated process continues. The economy of Belorus is supported, the lack of workers leads to their resettlement from the western to the eastern part. The localities are further improved. The Belorussian CP gains influence because of the productivity of the indigenous industry. Also enhanced however, is surveyance and the police force. In 1983 the Minster of the Interior (Home Secretary) commands 500,000 deputy police, to ascertain his monitoring and controlling functions.
The USSR must slowly open itself to the West, tourism can not be fully denied: but, the secret police receives appropiate powers. Special facilities arise, allowing the total monitoring of tourists. Confined areas are enlargened.
Jews are, as far as the Soviet Jews are concerned, required to assimilate themselves. Jewish culture is systematically wiped out, the state of Israel is propagated as "the worst of all states".
VII. WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The reflecting reader may ask, what can be done? Because my thesis is based on circumstantial evidence, they can only be supported by more evidence. Of course it would be best, if the appropiate files were found and if one had access to the appropiate areas!
And Gorbatschow? Some who may not believe that he - and this must be assumed - would support this felony may pose this question, seeing how his name stands for so much hope. The are two easy steps Gorbatschow could undertake to contradict my arguments. These measures ought to have been matter of fact, which a trustworthy Gorbatschow should long have preordained, since they represent the core of Glasnost: The permission of freedom of movement in the Soviet Union.
Termination of the restricted areas for tourists and above all, for journalists; one should consider that all reports of upheavals in the Soviet Union originated in that country. Why can't western jounalists report on these directly? Why can't visitors to the Soviet Union move as freely about as in the other socialist countries? Would't this be applied Glasnost?
It would be very helpful and convincing, if the Soviet Union would return all German documents and files on Beloruthenia to Germany, or at least to the international public. Why shouldn't he do this 45 years after the war?
As far as the Federal Republic of Germany is concerned: Would it not be proper, if she should support such demands? Gorbatschow deserves so much confidence! Will she do it? I'm afraid, one fears that Gorbatschow might not earn that "confidence" and will do exactly what's always done in these cases: nothing!
More reasonable, if not most realistic would be, if the governments of Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany would create an independant committee, which would prove all insinuations! I suspect that none of the proposed steps will be taken. What can the reader do? It would be most interesting to find more facts on this complex, and there are a lot of areas, where they could be found:
A. Information from the era 1941 - 1944
Maps, especially military charts, not only on a 1:300,000 scale, but more precise originals - German and Russian as well.
Which military units were in Beloruthenia, stationed especially in the eastern sector? What was their fate, who can report on this today?
Important are diaries, letters, information from individuals who frequented this area.
Newspapers, magazines from the area in general, regardless if they are of German or foreign origin. For example, I don't have all the copies of the "Deutsche Zeitung im Ostland" (German Eastern Newspaper) or of the "Minsker Zeitung", no copies of the "Baranowitscher Zeitung" exist.
Information concerning the railway system, the reason for cancelled transports, such as the cancellations from 1942/43 are also noteworthy.
B. Information from the Soviet Union
From where did the German publishing houses get the atlases on the population distribution of the Soviet Union?
Accessable literature on Belorus, published in the Soviet Union after 1945, exists. Who commands the language and could interprete them? Who has access to the press in Belorus?
Who possesses charts on Belorus today? Who visited and experienced that country?
What were the questions which helped Soviet interrogators pick out confidentals out of the ranks of the "confined units"?
Back to Table of Contents
Back to Archive