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ANONYMOUS (David Hoggan, PhD.) -- 1969
Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of defeated, truncated, and starving Germany on January 30, 1933, by President Paul von Hindenburg. Jews throughout the world professed to be horrified by news of this event. It was also evident that a campaign against the still unpopular Germans on the Jewish question might possibly be exploited to advance the position of World Jewry. Twenty years later, this turned out to be the case to an extent that few Jews could have foreseen at the time. Dr. Max Nussbaum, the former chief rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin, declared on April 11, 1953: "The position the Jewish people occupy today in the world is-despite the enormous losses ten times stronger than what it was twenty years ago."
The leaders of the modern German Reich from its foundation in 1871 until Hitler's appointment in 1933 had usually been friendly toward the Jews. Hitler, however, was outspokenly hostile toward every manifestation of Jewish influence in Germany. The "unchangeable" program of his National Socialist Party, which was first proclaimed at Munich on February 24, 1920, advocated the revocation of concessions granted to the German Jews in the various German states during the period from 1812 to 1848. These concessions bad made German Jews in every respect fully equal to Germans. Hitler was determined to set the clock back on Germany's treatment of the Jews. His position toward the Jews closely resembled that of Martin Luther, Von den Juden und ihrer Luegen (About the Jews and their Lies, Wittenberg, 1543), and Heinrich von Treitschke, Ein Wort ueber unser Judenthum (A Word About our Jewry, Berlin, 1880). Hitler's appointment as Chancellor in a government coalition with the conservative German National People's Party brought him a gigantic step closer to a position where his will might become law in all questions affecting the German Jews.
Hitler's overt struggle against the Jews had begun the moment be joined the diminutive anti-Jewish National Socialist Party in 1919. He had been a leading contender in the German political arena since his Party acquired 107 Reichstag seats in the September, 1930, German national election. In 1933, this struggle entered a decisive phase. There were approximately 500,000 Jews in Germany when Hitler became Chancellor in January, 1933.
The first major directive against the Jews, after the one-day boycott of April 1, 1933, was the law of April 7, 1933, which required the dismissal of Jews from government service and from positions in the universities. This law was not fully implemented in practice until 1939 :although. many functionaries and teachers were retired on pensions before the end of 1933. Jews were still employed in German journalism and publishing as late as 1939, but they had been required by 1936 to sell all of their share of financial control over German newspapers, publishing houses, and the film industry on the basis of an emergency press enactment by President Hindenburg under Article 48 of the Weimar constitution on March 1, 1933.
Undoubtedly the most fundamental National Socialist legislation against the Jews was enacted by the Reichstag at its meeting in Nuremberg on September 15, 1935. These famous Nuremberg Laws included the citizenship law and the law for the protection of German blood and honor. Jews were carefully defined as persons with four or three Jewish grandparents, or persons with two Jewish grandparents who practiced the Jewish religion or were married to Jewish partners. This legislation deprived the Jews of German citizenship and of the right to fly the German colors, it prohibited Jews from marrying German citizens, and it provided that sexual intercourse between Jews and German citizens was a criminal offense. Jews were not allowed to employ female German servants of less than forty-five years of age. A supplementary law of July 6, 1938 permitted divorce solely on racial grounds.
It should be noted that as late as 1938 the segregation of Jews was still limited to prohibition of sexual relations, and to the exclusion of Jews from university employment, government work, Or from the ownership of the mass media of communication. The Jews were allowed to operate and to own businesses, to share public facilities of recreation, culture, and transportation, to engage in professions such as medicine and law, to accept ordinary employment, and to travel abroad. Indeed, many thousands of Jews were still living quietly and working in the German community when the country was occupied by Allied troops in 1945.
Although it was the National Socialist policy to encourage the Jews to leave Germany, rather liberal arrangements were made to permit those Jews who migrated to take with them a sizeable portion of their assets. It was easier to transfer or take with them the sums received from the properties sold than liquid assets. Billions of marks were transferred to Palestine; under the Havarah agreement there were no restrictions whatever.
The official National Socialist attitude toward the German Jews from 1933 to the outbreak of World War 11 was best summarized in Bruno Amann, Das Weltbild des Judentunis: Grundlagen des voelkischen Antisemitismus (A Picture of World Jewry: the Foundations of Popular Anti-Semitism, Vienna, 1939). Amann depicted the National Socialist revolution of 1933 as the beginning of a new age for Germany based on the democratic principle of the community of the entire people as opposed to the class barriers 4 the past. He denounced most of Jewry as an intensely disloyal, avaricious, and decadent element in German culture after World War I.
Amann emphatically rejected Nietzsche's thesis that Christianity marks a culmination of Jewish tradition. He argued with great force that Christianity is, instead, a final departure from the "chosen people" concept of the Jews. He noted the contention of numerous propagandists hostile to Germany that Hitler was seeking to make a "chosen people" of the Germans. Amann rejected this, and he insisted on the common unity of European culture. He suggested that the true Christian tradition called upon all Europeans to maintain both a guarded hostility and a necessary protective front against the Jews.
Amann believed that forces at work in other European countries would ultimately produce in them a similar attitude toward the Jewish question. In the meantime, Germany had broken the hold of the "alien and aggressive Jewish avarice over her spiritual and material heritage." Amann was emphatic in insisting that the measures taken against the German Jews by 1939 would be adequate for all time in protecting German interests.
Jewry had been no less shaken than Germany by new doctrines and concepts. Amann regarded the Jewish people as split between the advocates of assimilation and the more modern Zionists, but he did not believe that it was difficult to predict the ultimate total triumph of Zionism. There was a natural meeting of interests in the rejection of Jewish assimilation by both National Socialism and Zionism. It was for this reason that the German authorities were, perfectly willing to cooperate with the Zionists in arranging concentrations of Jewish population in certain areas. Zionism was born of the modern Eastern European nationalist movements within the context of a special Jewish tradition; National Socialism was born of the political, economic, and military collapse of Germany in World War I.
Amann traced the beginning of Jewish emancipation in Europe from the first emancipation enactments of revolutionary France in 1791. He regarded these enactments as the beginning of a grave threat to European civilization. His special attention was reserved for a detailed study of the advocates of emancipation in Germany, beginning with Lessing, and of the full realization of emancipation itself by 1848. Amann claimed that the Jews had secured a dominant position in Germany prior to World War I, but be added that this powerful position would probably not have been challenged seriously had it not been for the German defeat in 1918. The different circumstances governing the position of Jews in various countries was viewed by Amann as a major subject for study within the Research Department on the Jewish Question connected to the Reich Institute of History.
Amann conceded in 1939 the existence of a vast and world-wide sympathy for the suppressed Jews of Germany. This was because of the clear solidarity of interest between the liberal Jews and their sympathizers in the West, and the Bolshevik Jewry of the East. In both East and West the Soviet Union was regarded with special affection for having destroyed the anti-Jewish Tsarist colossus of 1917 and for having replaced it with a regime where Jewish influence was greater than in any other state of the world. Amann saw a permanent danger to peace in the revolutionary alliance of these East-West forces against Germany. A more enlightened attitude toward the Jewish danger in the West would be the only means within the foreseeable future of overcoming this threat. Amann little suspected that traditional British balance of power calculations would exploit the existing sentiment to produce in the immediate future the very war which he dreaded.
Amann's book does not contain any vulgar propaganda against the Jews. Indeed, it in no way proves the need for an anti-Jewish policy, but rather it accepts this need as a truism based on the old, established traditions. These traditions are understandably assigned a special importance in an age of spreading Communism. Amann's book is far more typical of the official German attitude, toward the Jews under Hitler than the erratic utterances of that Self-Styled individualist of Nuremberg, Gauleiter Julius Streicher of Franconia, in his sensational newspaper, Der Stürmer. This was the only newspaper of its kind throughout Germany, and it was suppressed by the German Government in 1939. Der Stürmer contained much coarse humor, graphic cartoons, and appeals to old prejudices. Nevertheless, there was not the slightest excuse for the United States, Great Britain, and France to collaborate with the Soviet Union at Nuremberg in 1946 in securing Streicher's execution. The Soviet Union was the only nation in the world at that time where the utterance of anti-Jewish ideas was a capital offense.
The National Socialist treatment of the German Jews prior to World War II must be considered in three main phases of which the second one was easily the most important. These would include: (1) the sometimes turbulent days of the period from Hitler's appointment until the National Socialist Party purge of June 30, 1934; (2) the following period, until the additional measures enacted after the assassination of Ernst von Rath in November, 1938; and (3) the period from November, 1938, until the outbreak of war in 1939. The second period was dominated by the Nuremberg laws of September, 1935, which deprived persons defined as Jews of their citizen status and proscribed sexual and marital relations between them and the German people.
During the first period there were occasional incidents of public violence involving Jews, although no Jews were actually killed, and a very considerable number of Jews were arrested and placed in concentration camps for short terms because of their Marxist affiliations. During the second period, from 1934 to 1938, the concentration camp population, as conceded by Gerald Reitlinger, The SS: Alibi of a Nation (London, 1956, pp. 253ff.), seldom exceeded 20,000 throughout all Germany, and the number of Jews in the camps was never more than 3,000. During the third period, in which several new measures were enacted against the Jews, the concentration camp population remained virtually stationary. There was an extensive exodus of Jews from Germany during the first, and especially during the third period; during the second period the Jewish population remained remarkably stationary, while a much larger number of Jews departed from Poland.
Lion Feuchtwanger, et al, Der Gelbe Fleck: die Ausrottung van 500,000 deutschen Juden (The Yellow Spot: the Extermination o~ 500,000 German Jews, Paris, 1936) presented a typical effort during the second phase to mobilize the forces of Jewish propaganda against Germany. The yellow spot on a black field was a medieval designation for Jewish establishments; the book derives part of its title from this source. The other part, concerning the alleged annihilation campaign, is asserted from the earliest pages. It is important to note that from the very start the Jewish opponents of National Socialism declared mere measures of discrimination against the Jews to be the equivalent of annihilation or liquidation. The term genocide was not introduced by Professor Rafael Lemkin until after the battle of Stalingrad in 1943.
This alleged annihilation in The Yellow Spot is conceived of in several different ways. On the one hand, simple emigration is regarded as the extermination of German Jewry as such in one special sense at least. On the other hand, sinister rumors are cited to the effect that there would be a gigantic Old Testament-styled Purim in reverse in the event of a foreign invasion of Germany, and that Jewish corpses would be prominently displayed in such a case. The existing concentration camps are also interpreted as a potential instrument of extermination, and the latter part of the book contains a list of prisoners who had allegedly died in the camps. Special note was made of the claim that there was still 100 Jews at Dachau in 1936 and that 60 of them had been there since 1933.
The authors explained the National Socialist campaign against the Jews as a Machiavellian maneuver to create jobs for loyal brown-shirted followers. They stated as a dogmatic fact that Hitler intended to start an "imperialist war" (note the Marxist- terminology) as soon as possible, and especially when he could accomplish something in his domestic program-ostensibly at the expense of the Jews-for which the people would sacrifice. The mass of the German people were described as friendly toward the Jews despite Hitler, and the otherwise loyal German Jews were considered -to have been forced into opposition by the measures directed against them.
Much was made of the Saturday, April 1, 1933, National Socialist boycott against the Jews, which was actually in response to the Jewish boycotts directed against Germany from New York and London during the previous months. The boycott was depicted as the prelude to a permanent policy of strangulation. The alleged increase in marriages between Germans and German Jews in 1934 was regarded as a major reason for the promulgation of the Nuremberg laws as early as 1935. The Nuremberg laws were presented as a state bulwark in support of an unpopular policy.
This story of Jewish grievances against Germany prior to World War 11 was fully supplemented in order to cover the whole period by F. R. Brenenfeld, The Germans and the Jews (N.Y., 1939). His emphasis was an economic and social discrimination against the Jews and on the alleged mistreatment of concentration camp inmates, of which the Jews were always decidedly in the minority.
A later Jewish historian, T. L. Jarman, The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany (N.Y., 1956) noted that at the beginning of World War 11 the Germans had only six concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Flossenbürg, and Ravensbrück. There were 21,300 inmates in the camps, of whom less than 3,000 were Jews. Jarman pointed out that under National Socialism, terrorism unlike in Russia, was kept in the background. Jarman added that "Germany in the years 1933-9 was an open country in a sense in which Soviet Russia has never been" (P. 187). Jarman believed that the Germans were "stupid" in allowing themselves to be "drawn into war" in 1939, as in 1914, when they had everything to lose and nothing to gain. It is interesting to note that this interpretation was rendered possible because of the fact that the terroristic Soviet regime was far more popular in the West than the much milder German system.
As time went on it became more and more doubtful whether President Roosevelt's early assurance to the German leaders about the Jewish question would be kept. President Roosevelt bad told Germany's Reichsbank president, Hjalmar Schacht, on May 6, 1933, that he personally had no particular sympathy for the Jews, but a problem troubling German-American relations existed because of "the old Anglo-Saxon sense of chivalry toward the weak." Nevertheless, Roosevelt assured Schacht that "this hurdle would be cleared" without any lasting breach in German-American relations. Schacht met with New York Jews on May 12, 1933, and warned them that continued pressure from the outside could make matters worse for the German Jews. These matters are revealed in Documents on German Foreign Policy, Series C. vol. 1, nos. 214, 233.
Jewish propaganda against Germany made increasing headway during the months which followed, and on December 20, 1933, a conference at the German Foreign Office concluded with regret that the American press as a whole seemed to be "the strongest Jewish propaganda machine in the world" (Ibid., vol. 2, no. 139). Richard Sallet reported from the German Embassy in Washington, D. C. on August 3, 1934, that the sustained Jewish economic boycott of Germany continued to add fuel to the fire, and he noted, that Jewish propaganda was more strident than ever. The United States was seen to be positively flooded with anti-Gennan literature, and Sallet concluded that the ultimate objective of Jewry was a war of destruction against Germany (Ibid., vol. 3, no. 569). There was considerable relief in Germany in 1936 when President Roosevelt refused to accede to Jewish pressure to boycott the Olympic Games at Berlin. Hjalmar Schacht, 76 Jahre meines Lebens (76 Years of My Life, Bad Wörighofen, 1953, p. 416), was confident then that the Jewish question, despite the ever increasing spate of Jewish propaganda, would do no lasting harm to Germany's relations abroad.
The situation became much worse again in 1938. Considerable German attention had been given to the encouragement under equitable terms of Jewish emigration as a means of permanently solving the Jewish question in Germany, but many more Jews had departed from Poland than from Germany during the period 1933-1938. A veritable competition had developed between Germany and Poland in encouraging emigration from their respective countries. The Polish Seim had passed a number of stringent anti-Jewish laws in March 1938.
Early in 1938 the American press was flooded with rumors about similar actions by the National Socialists, first in Germany, and then in Austria, and it was necessary for American diplomats on the spot to deal with these matters. A few examples will suffice to illustrate this situation. On January 17, 1938, the American Embassy in Berlin denied the rumor that Jewish doctors and dentists had been deprived of their participation in the compulsory insurance program (Ortskrankenkassen). On January 26, 1938, the Embassy denied the American press rumor that there had been any order restricting Jewish passports or travel opportunities from Germany. On March 25, 1938, John C. Wiley, from the American consulate in Vienna, denied the extravagant rumors of general pogroms following the Anschluss, and he added that "so far as I know there have been no Jewish deaths by violence" (Foreign Relations of the United States, 1938, vol. 2, pp. 355-9).
Nevertheless, on June 18, 1938, there, was organized picketing of Jewish shops in Berlin for the first time since 1933, and Hugh Wilson, who reported from the American Embassy that 3,000 additional Jews had come to Berlin from the provinces in recent months, warned that dissatisfaction was being expressed in the German press with the slow rate of Jewish emigration from Germany. A long-expected blow against the Jewish position in Germany was struck by a law of October 14, 1938 according to which Jewish lawyers in Germany were to retire from general practice by November 30, 1938 and in Austria by December 31, 1938. Wilson reported that in early 1938 no less than 10 per cent of the practicing lawyers in Hitler's anti-Jewish Third Reich were Jews. This was true despite the fact that the Jews constituted less than .5 per cent of the German population (Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 380-391). In his book, Germany and World Peace (London, 1937), the eminent Swedish scientist and explorer, Sven Hedin, who had been a close student of German affairs, stated that under the Weimar Republic the Jews provided 23 per cent of the practicing lawyers in Germany although the Jews made up only .8 per cent of the total German population.
It was in this tense situation that the Polish Government decided on October 15, 1938, to implement a law passed the previous March according to which individuals who had remained outside Poland for a period of years could be declared stateless by the competent Polish consular authorities. This meant that an estimated 55,000 Polish Jews living in Germany by choice could be stranded there permanently -- through the unilateral action -- of the Warsaw Government. Similar restrictions in 1885 by the Tsarist Government had prompted Bismarck, who was by no means unfriendly toward the Jews, to deport foreign Jews to the Russian Empire.
The German Foreign Office made several vain attempts to persuade the Poles to cancel their decree. Because October 29, 1938, was the deadline on the renewal of the Polish passports, the Germans began on October 27th to organize deportation transports of Polish Jews. Special care was taken to see that the travelers would have ample facilities on the transport trains, including plenty of space and good food. Some trains managed to cross the border, but the Poles soon began to resist, even before the passport deadline, and the entire action had to be abandoned before less than one-third of the 55,000 Polish Jews of Germany had been returned to Poland.
This strange and tragic situation produced important repercussions. Wolfgang Diewerge, Der Fall Gustloff (The Gustloff Case, Munich, 1936, pp. 108ff.), has recorded the threat of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in 1936 that further assassinations of German officials by Jews, as in the caste of Gustloff's assassination by David Frankfurter, would lead to reprisals against German Jewry. Now a test situation for this threat had arrived.
The parents and sisters of Herschel Grynszpan, a syphilitic degenerate living in Paris, had been on one of the German transports to Poland. Grynszpan received a postcard from one, of his sisters on November 3, 1938, which described the situation but did not contain any special complaint. Grynszpan decided to murder German Ambassador Welezeck in Paris, but instead he fired his revolver casually at Embassy Counsellor Ernst von Rath after he failed to encounter Welczeek. This was on the morning of November 7, 1938, and von Rath died forty-eight hours later.
This situation was exploited by Goebbels to increase the severity of German policy toward the German Jews. Many Jewish synagogues were set on fire by organized S.A. groups on November 10, 1938, and much Jewish business property was ransacked or damaged by the same demonstrators. Hitler ordered Himmler's SS to intervene and put an end to the violence. These demonstrations against the Jews were not pogroms like those in Tsarist Russia because no Jews lost their lives. The mass of Germans were horrified by the destruction of Jewish property, which was contrary to their sense of decency and feeling for law and order. Goebbels, however, welcomed the incident as a turning-point which would lead to the elimination of Jewish influence in Germany. Hugh Wilson, who was about to be recalled from Germany as part of an American protest, reported on November 16th that the British diplomats in Berlin were more complacent about the Jewish question. They noted that German public opinion was not behind the recent anti-Jewish measures, and they wisely concluded that this type of action would not be repeated. This was the last report which Wilson sent to Secretary of State Hull before leaving the country (FRUS, 1938, 2, pp. 398-402).
Hitler was persuaded by Goebbels after the demonstrations to levy a one billion Mark (250 million dollar) fine on the wealthy and moderately wealthy Jews of Germany. Goebbels argued that otherwise the Jews would be able to pocket vast amounts of money from the German insurance companies, because the assets damaged or destroyed on November 10, 1938 had been heavily insured. The poorer Jews, who had less than 5,000 Marks in immediate assets, were exempted.
The German insurance companies were ordered to pay the Jews promptly for all damages suffered to property on November 10th, and it was permissable for the Jews to use part of this money in paying the fine over four installments between December 15, 1938 and August 15, 1939. A further German law was announced on November 9-6, 1938, to eliminate Jewish retail stores by January 1, 1939. At the same time, it was promised that welfare care, pensions, and other state relief measures on behalf of the Jews would be continued. There were no new developments of consequence in German policy toward the Jews prior to the outbreak of World War II. At the same time, it should not be surprising that the events of November, 1938 greatly accelerated the emigration of Jews from Germany, and, in this sense, the aims of Goebbels were realized (Vide H. Heiber, "Der Fall Gruenspan", in Vierteliahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, April, 1957).
It can be stated in summary that German policy toward the Jews prior to World War II consisted mainly of legislative pressure, and of a few public occasions of violence in which, however, no Jews were actually killed. No doubt some Jewish lives were lost in German concentration camps prior to World War II, but certainly there was no deliberate policy of killing Jews as such, and the proportion of Jews affected was far smaller than that of Germans subjected to similar treatment.
The purpose of the German campaign against the Jews was to eliminate the powerful Jewish economic, political, cultural influence within Germany, and latterly, with increasing emphasis, to promote the total emigration of the Jewish population from Germany. The purpose of the organized Jewish counter-measures was to promote a military crusade of neighboring states against Germany in the hope of securing the total destruction of the German National Socialist state by means of war. It goes without saying that there were many enlightened Jews who did not share this objective just as there were moderate forces constantly at work within the German leadership to secure a more generous policy toward the Jews than Hitler had hitherto employed.
It may be useful at this point to give a few population statistics bearing on the period before the war and that of wartime. It is estimated that the number of Jews in Germany when Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933, was approximately 500,000. There were large additions toward the end of the pre-war period due to the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland and the establishment of a protectorate over Bohemia and Moravia. The anti-Jewish attitude, policies and measures had encouraged extensive migration of Jews from these areas controlled by National Socialist Germany. It is estimated that about 320,000 left Germany between January, 1933, and September, 1939. Some 480,000 emigrated from Austria, the Sudetenland and Bohemia-Moravia before the war broke out. There were about 360,000 Jews in areas under German control when war came in September, 1939, and of these some 65,000 left during the war.
The National Socialist campaign against the Jews ended in total defeat and in death for Hitler on April 30, 1945. This result was produced by Germany's involvement in World War II. A tremendous campaign has been sustained since that date to depict Hitler as the most evil and wicked man who has ever lived, and to brand forever with shame the German nation which submitted to his leadership. The exploitation of the circumstances concerning Hitler's wartime treatment of -the Jews was and remains the decisive factor in this campaign.
The essence of the charge of unprecedented monstrosity against Hitler is that under his orders some six million Jews were exterminated in seried gas ovens that had been erected for this purpose in all the numerous concentration camps that existed before the war in Germany and in those which were opened later on in territories conquered by the advancing German armies. There has never been any valid evidence brought forward to support this charge in general, and the six million figure was purely conjectural from the beginning, having been set forth in the midst of the war, when any such extent of extermination would have been impossible, if the six million figure is to be accepted as the total number of Jews exterminated during the whole war period. If six million Jews had been exterminated by 1943, then by May, 1945, at least ten millions should have been done away with, provided Hitler and his cohorts could have got their hands on that many Jews which, of course, they could not have done.
So far as can be discovered to date, the first time this charge of mass extermination of Jews throughout Europe was advanced against Hitler and his government took place in a book by a Polish-Jewish jurist, Rafael Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, which appeared in 1943. He contended that the Nazis had gassed millions of Jews, perhaps as many as six millions. This precise figure was first confirmed by the New Jewish Frontier early in 1945. Tortured witnesses for the Nuremberg Trials confirmed this figure when they did not exceed it, although the prosecution at Nuremberg was willing to settle for around four millions as the number that had been exterminated. Although totally ignorant of the facts, President Truman stated that six millions was the correct number and often repeated this figure, thus giving it official status. He cynically stated that his desire to please the Jews was due to the fact that there were many more Jewish than Arab voters in the United States.
The six million figure has stuck, mainly due to the fact that the Jews have recognized that it is difficult enough to sustain any such figure and that to go beyond it would only add the ridiculous to the unsubstantiated, although the figure has often been casually lifted to seven or eight millions in the press. The linking of the reparations paid by West Germany to Israel and to German Jews to the six million figure has provided a strong vested financial interest in perpetuating this estimate.
Before examining the literature of the. legend of the extermination of six million Jews, it may be desirable to outline the general situation. There can be no decisive solution of the problem on a statistical basis for the figures are not available in any finality or decisive fashion. It is not known precisely bow many Jews were under German control at any time during the war, to say nothing of what the Germans did with them after they were able to get their hands on them. No one knows with any certainty how many Jews were in the territory ultimately occupied by the Germans before the attack on Russia on June 22, 1941, or what happened to them after the attack. It is uncertain how many fled back into Russia before the German advance. Nor does anybody know how many Jews were slaughtered by various Slavic peoples before the Germans arrived. There is plenty of evidence that Slavic peoples other than the Russians were more prone to kill Jews after war broke out than were the Germans, save for Jews operating among the Russian partisans. There are no accurate statistics as to how many Jews fled to Russia, to Palestine, to other European countries, and to the United States during the war. Nor are there any reliable figures as to how many Jews in areas occupied by the Germans survived the war. During the war, as well as before, the Germans were far more eager to expel Jews than to intern them, if and when it was possible to arrange emigration. This was not so easy to do in wartime.
Jewish statisticians have done their best to magnify the number of Jews in the future occupied areas be-fore September, 1939, and June, 1941, and to reduce almost fantastically the number that remained alive in June, 1945. There is no probability that the needed statistics can ever be recovered in any satisfactory manner. Both the Jews and the Russians may be counted upon to suppress such statistics as they possess because of the likelihood that they would, expose the extent of the fraud involved. Unless the Russians should some time establish unity and rapport with the Germans they are never likely to release any figures which would lessen the indictment of the Germans relative to the extermination legend. The best that can be done is to produce the figures and related considerations which do now prove that it would have been entirely impossible for the Germans to have exterminated six million Jews, even if they bad decided from the first to do so, and of any such policy there is no proof whatsoever.
We know that there were about 360,000 Jews under German control in September, 1939, in Germany, Austria, the Sudetenland and Bohemia-Moravia. There were about 1,100,000 Jews in that part of Poland occupied by the Germans in 1939-1940. There were approximately 1,150,000 Jews in eastern Poland which was taken over by the Russians in the autumn of 1939. How many of these escaped into Russia ahead of the German drive after June, 1941, is unknown. There is no doubt that the Germans took over large numbers of Jews during -their invasion -of Russia, but it is very likely that at no time during the war did the Germans have control over more than 3,500,000 to 4,000,000 Jews, and many of these could not be withdrawn before the Russians occupied these areas again. One thing is relatively certain, and that is that the Germans never got their hands on as many as six million Jews during the war. To have exterminated six millions would have made it necessary for them to have executed every last Jew that they seized. Not even the upholders of the extermination legend allege that this was the case, since they portray great numbers of Jews used in labor operations at all the German concentration camps.
While it was the usual German policy during the war to intern Jews to prevent subversion and. espionage, to suppress partisan activities, and to secure Jews for the labor force, the German practice of interning Jews was no such sweeping process as took place with the treatment of the Japanese by the United States and Canada. After the war, Philip Auerbach, the Jewish attorney-general of the Bavarian State Office for Restitution, claimed that the Germans interned no less than eleven million Jews, but in the light of all the even partially reliable figures it is doubtful if they interned as many as two million, and not all of these were put in concentration camps. Some were placed in Jewish community centers like that at Theresienstadt, where they were governed by Jews. Not only such population figures as we possess but also considerations of logistics make it impossible to credit any such figure as eleven millions, or even six millions. To have transported, interned, administered, fed and clothed six million Jews would have paralyzed German military operations on the vast eastern front. It would have been a terrific task to have gathered, interned and cared for three million Jews.
In the early days of the launching of the extermination legend it was maintained that there were gas chambers in all of the German concentration camps and that great numbers of Jews were exterminated in all of them. But after the occupation of West Germany by the Americans, British and French -there were many honest observers in the occupation forces who visited these camps and found and reported that no gas chambers existed there. It was then contended that most of the gas ovens were concentrated at Auschwitz in southern. Poland, which was then under Russian control. The Russians refused to allow any visitors there for about ten years after the war, by which time the Russians were able to revamp Auschwitz in such a manner as to give some plausibility to the claim that large numbers of Jews had been gassed there. It is significant, however, that no living, authentic eye-witness of the gassing of Jews at Auschwitz has ever been produced and validated.
It has continued to, be maintained that about half of the entire six million Jews said to have been gassed by the Germans were gassed at Auschwitz, but even the Jewish statistician, Gerald Reitlinger, admits that only 363,000 inmates were registered at Auschwitz from January, 1940, to February, 1945, and not all -of these were Jews. The supporters 4 the genocide legend con-tend that many at Auschwitz were not registered but they have brought no proof of this. Even if one admits that there were as many who were unregistered as were registered, that would make less than 750,000 altogether. lit would have been very difficult to have gassed about three millions with only 750,000 to work ,,on, although it has been frequently asserted by dogmatic but uninformed writers that from four to five million Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. Moreover, many who were sent to Auschwitz were -shifted elsewhere, especially toward the end of the war when the Russians were advancing.
Here, again, logistics supplement registration and population data in undermining the extermination myth. To have brought three million Jews, and a considerable number of Gentiles to Auschwitz would have placed an insuperable burden upon German transportation facilities which were strained to the limit in supporting the far-flung eastern military front, especially after the war began to turn against the Germans. There is no probability that the Germans would have risked their military fortunes to the extent required to convey three million persons to Auschwitz and care for them there. Hence, both population figures and logistics combine to discredit the legend of six million Jews being gassed in all camps under German control, as well as of about three millions being gassed at Auschwitz.
Joined with all this are the facts which will be developed later on showing that there is no evidence that the Germans adopted any program of mass extermination of Jews during the war or that any German National Socialist leader ever gave any order to do so. It has been alleged by numerous Jewish critics of Hitler, especially Gerald Reitlinger, that early in the war the Nazi leaders decided on a "final solution" of the Jewish problem and that this solution was the extermination of all the Jews they could seize. There is no foundation whatever for this charge. Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels did determine upon a "final solution" of the Jewish problem, so far as they could control it, but this solution was to encourage or force the Jews to leave all lands that the National Socialists controlled and to settle elsewhere. Emigration rather than extermination was the solution proposed by all of these Nazi leaders. Not even the Nuremberg inquisition could link Göring in any serious manner with the Jewish issue, but there is no doubt that he shared the program of encouraging -the Jews to leave all territory that Germany controlled or might control.
One may well consider today the feelings of any alert and patriotic German on reading Eugene Heimler's Night of the Mist (N.Y., 1960). This highly praised and widely celebrated book consists of alleged memoirs from the years 1944 and 1945. The hero is a sensitive young Jewish poet of Hungary who awakens on March 19, 1944, to discover that the Nazis are occupying the country because of Regent Horthy's attempt to conclude a military armistice with the Soviet Union.
The arrival of the Nazis is considered by every Jew to be a death warrant. The hero is persuaded to hide as a patient in a mental hospital. After some time he sneaks out to marry his sweetheart, Eva. They are rounded up along with other Jews, and on July 4, 1944, they are packed off to Auschwitz concentration camp in a cattle truck. A German officer promises them excellent treatment, but one of the captives is allegedly killed by an SS guard during the journey. The hero testifies that he was twice severely beaten after his arrival. He has not been long at the camp when he learns that his wife has died of dysentery. He has a passionate love affair with a gypsy girl, Cara, for several weeks, but one day she is no longer at their hideaway in the camp to embrace him, and he assumes that she has been killed.
The hero finds himself at Buchenwald by August, 1944, his stay at Auschwitz apparently having lasted a very brief time. He works in a factory, and later in one of the camp kitchens, where the SS place him in charge of a group of non-Jewish people, working there. An elderly German Social Democrat inmate screams that he will not work along with a Jew, but the hero pacifies him by threatening to beat him. The sound of artillery later reveals the approach of the American forces, but the SS compel a group of inmates to march with them to Bohemia. There they are overtaken by the end of the war, and the hero returns to Hungary. He has managed to survive, but he is sickened by the alleged effort of Hitler to annihilate every Jew in German occupied Europe, although he has never actually seen anyone gassed.
Primo Levi, If This is a Man (N.Y., 1959), recounted his alleged experiences as a frail young Italian Jew caught in the Nazi vice. Mussolini had established his Italian Social Republic, and the hero, who has been roaming about the countryside in search of plunder, is captured by Fascist militia on December 13, 1943. This terminates his career as a volunteer with the Communist Italian partisans seeking to overthrow Mussolini. He is taken in January, 1944, to the Italian detention camp at Fossoli near Modena.
German officials arrive at Fossoli on a visit, and they complain that conditions and facilities for the prisoners are not sufficiently healthy. There is an announcement on February 22, 1944, that a small group of 650 Jews will be sent to Germany. The hero reaches Auschwitz, where he is assigned to work in the Buna synthetic rubber factory. Conditions are wretched, and the humdrum Sunday concerts and football matches are no consolation for him. He receives a camp tattoo nunber on his arm signifying that he has become merely another cipher. There are constantly rumors that most of the Jews will end their lives in gas chambers.
Hungarian becomes the second language in his camp area next to Yiddish after the spring of 1944, because the Nazis have been able to lay hands on so many Hungarian Jews. There are excellent camp news facilities for the inmates. They learn at once of the Allied landings in Normandy and of the attempt on Hitler's life in 1944. Auschwitz is bombarded from the air by Allied planes; both the attitudes of the guards and the conditions in the camp become progressively worse. At last the Russians approach Auschwitz. The camp is evacuated on January 18, 1945, but many of the sick prisoners are left behind. The hero is one of them, and he is freed by the Russians on January 27, 1945. This is a joyous occasion for him which be celebrates with great enthusiasm.
Levi and Heimler agree that the main purpose of the Nazis has been to liquidate as many Jews as possible. Another former Auschwitz inmate, Miklos Nviszli, Auschwitz: a Doctor's Eye-Witness Account (N.Y., 1960), has contended that adequate facilities existed there to liquidate the Jews of all Europe. These men consider themselves extremely fortunate to have avoided contact with gas chambers and crematoria about which so many dreadful stories have been circulated.
The German reader might wonder what Regent Horthy of Hungary and Premier Mussolini of Italy thought about the high-handed manner in which Hitler is said to have prompted his loyal SS to dispose of the fate of Hungarian and Italian subjects. Nicholas Horthy complained in his Memoirs (N.Y., 1957, pp. 174ff.) that the Jewish minority in Hungary prior to World War II received no less than 25 per cent of the national income, and that the Jewish problem was a serious one for Hungarians. He also maintained that, in 1939, Hitler favored a peaceful accomodation with Poland and that the war was forced upon Germany. Nevertheless, Horthy did everything possible to protect Hungarian Jews from German interference as long as he was in control of his country. The same was true of Mussolini, who became more dependent on Hitler after Otto Skorzeny rescued the Italian leader from prison following his initial overthrow in July, 1943.
Luigi Villari, Italian Foreign Policy under Mussolini (N.Y., 1956, pp. 197ff.), has explained that the Duce also did everything he could until 1945 to prevent German interference with Italian Jews and to intercede on their behalf when they were transported to Germany. This was true despite the fact that Mussolini was sincerely, opposed to Jewish influence in Italy. A German observer would not fail to note the contrast between the mildly critical attitudes and policies of Horthy and Mussolini toward the Jews and the openly anti-Jewish policy of Hitler.
The sensibilities of Mussolini in the Jewish question were well-known to Heinrich Himmler, the top German SS leader. He told Mussolini on October 11, 1942, during a visit to Rome, that German policy toward the Jews had gradually taken on a new aspect during wartime solely for reasons of military security. Himmler complained that thousands of Jews in the German-occupied territories were partisans or had conducted sabotage and espionage. Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader of the Jewish agency in London, had declared war on Germany on behalf of all Jews throughout the world as early as September 5, 1939. It was because of the critical stage of the war that Himmler now defended the new German policy of transporting Jews in occupied territories to restricted regions and internment camps.
Himmler complained that there had been cases of Jewish women and children working with the partisans in the USSR, and he admitted that many Jews actually apprehended in partisan activities in that area had been summarily shot by German military units. Himmler also referred to captured Soviet Jews engaged in military construction work under conditions in which be admitted that the death-rate was probably higher than normal. Mussolini firmly reminded Himmler that the Catholic Church was strongly opposed to any extreme measures against the Jews, and he intimated that a policy of German excesses might change the attitude of Pope Pius XII, who favored an Axis victory over the USSR in World War II (Vierteliahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 1956/4).
Himmler's references to the resistance of Soviet Jews was intended to justify the tougher German policy toward the Jews which began with the outbreak of the Russo-German war on June 22, 1941. A Canadian Jewish journalist, Raymond Arthur Davies, Odyssey through Hell (N.Y., 1946), stated that the Soviet Red Army should receive the principal credit for saving Jewish lives in Europe during World War II. Davies extolled the military achievements of Soviet Jews both as partisans and regulars on both sides of the front. Schachno Epstein, the chief of the Anti-Fascist Committee of Soviet Jews, told Davies that the Soviet Union, by evacuating Jews and by other measures, had saved the lives of at least 3,500,000 European Jews. Incidentally, this would have made it rather difficult for the Nazis to get hold of 6,000,000 to exterminate.
Davies spent most of the war in the Soviet Union, and be was convinced that in no other belligerent country bad the Jewish role attained comparable significance. He emphasized that thousands of Soviet war plants were managed by Jews, and that a remarkably large number of Jews held top positions in the Soviet armed forces and administration. He noted that 250,000 Polish Jews from the German sphere of occupation fled to the USSR in 1939, and they were to be encountered in every Soviet province. He had received official Soviet information that no less than 35,000 European Jews were fighting for Tito in the illegal partisan war against Germany. He surmised that most of Rumania's Jews bad emerged from the war unscathed because of the impact on Rumanian policy of Germany's defeat at Stalingrad. Davies enjoyed contacts with many American Jews who had emigrated to the USSR in the 1930's and were playing a prominent part in the Communist war effort. He also encountered many Jewish Red Army officers who boasted of killing their regular German army prisoners in gigantic mass executions. Davies entered Berlin with the Red Army, and he pronounced the wanton destruction and rape of that city equitable and just. Davies immediately established close contacts with the leaders of the Berlin Jewish community after the Reich capital fell. One of the prominent members of the Berlin Jewish community was Hildegard Benjamin, who later, as Communist, Minister of justice in Soviety Central Germany, compelled the Germans to accept the Soviet, legal system instead of keeping one of their own.
Davies rejoiced that these thousands of Berlin Jews had also been liberated by the Soviets and not by the West. He was convinced that Zionism had become superfluous for Jews in the Soviet environment despite the fact that anti-Jewish feeling persisted at the grass-roots level in many parts of the USSR.
Ralph Nunberg, The Fighting Jew (N.Y., 1945), offered an equally graphic account of the role of the Soviet Jews in World War II. Nunberg noted with pride that no less than 313 Soviet front line generals were Jews. He saw the USSR victorious under the aegis of Karl Marx, another "fighting Jew" (Ibid., p. 198).
Nunberg admitted -that many Jews from Central Europe, as well as from other parts of the world, had been victims of the gigantic Soviet purges between 1936 and 1939, but this slaughter was incidental and ideological and was not part of an openly anti-Jewish policy on the part of Stalin. The USSR and some of her later satellites were the only countries in the world where anti-Jewish utterances were a capital offense. But Soviet initiative did lead to the deportation. of "undesirable" Jews to Germany during the period of the 1939-1941 Russo-German non-aggression pact.
Margarete Buber, Under Two Dictators, (London, 1950), presented the memoirs of a German-Jewish woman who was sent to the German concentration camp at Ravensbrück in August, 1940, after spending several years in the brutal and primitive conditions of a Russian concentration camp. She was considered to be too dangerous to be given her freedom in Germany, and she noted that she was the only Jewish person in her contingent of deportees from Russia who was not released forthwith by the Gestapo. She found that conditions in Ravensbrück presented a striking contrast to the filth, disorder, and starvation of her Russian camp.
German concentration camps in August, 1940, were few and far between, and the number of prisoners was small in contrast to the vast camps of the Soviets. The number of inmates in all German camps at the outbreak of war in September 1939 has been previously cited at 21,300. Most of these inmates were the usual types of criminals, and there was only a small percentage of Jewish people. After one year of war, the total concentration camp population was still less than 40,000 in contrast to the many millions detained in the USSR camps.
The camp the heroine entered at Ravensbrück was immaculately clean with spacious lawns and flower beds. Regular baths, and a change of linen every week seemed sheer luxury after her earlier experiences. At a first meal consisting of white bread, sausage, margarine and sweet porridge with dried fruit, the heroine could not resist asking her neighbor at table if August 3, 1940, was some sort of holiday or special occasion. Her neighbor was quite blank, and the heroine proceeded to ask if the food was always so good. The neighbor replied in the affirmative, but she wondered why anyone should be so pleased with it. The heroine did not attempt an explanation. She also considered her barracks at Ravensbrück a palace compared to her crowded mud hut in the Soviet camp. Her first Sunday meal of goulash, red cabbage, and potatoes was a veritable feast. The heroine spent many years at Ravensbrück. The camp was crowded by 1943. Some of the old cleanliness was lost, and many flowers were trampled down. This was a consequence of the never-ending war. Prisoners from Auschwitz and other camps poured in toward the end of the war. The heroine noted that the Auschwitz inmates arrived "half-starved and exhausted" early in 1945. It should be recalled that tens of thousands of eastern German refugees literally died of starvation during this same period.
All postal communication between the Ravensbrück inmates and the outside world ceased in January, 1945, and confusion reigned. At last the end came, the German guards fled, and the heroine was released. She had witnessed the progressive deterioration of conditions at the camp over a long period. Corporal punishment for major offenses had been introduced after her arrival, and since the winter of 1941-1942, she had heard the usual malicious rumors that gas executions were being practiced in some cases.
Another Ravensbrück Communist political prisoner, Charlotte Bormann, has insisted in Die Gestapo läßt bitten (The Gestapo Invites You), that the rumors of gas executions were tendentious inventions deliberately circulated among the prisoners by the Communists. Margarete Buber was not accepted by this group because of her imprisonment in the USSR. Charlotte Bormann's memoirs never found a publisher, and she was not permitted by the prosecution to testify at the Rastadt trial of the Ravensbrück camp leaders in the French occupation zone. This has been the usual and typical fate of authors seeking to present the story from the side of those who denied the extermination legend.
An example of one of the Jewish Communist deportees from the Soviet Union who managed to escape German confinement throughout the war was Alexander WeissbergCybulski, Hexensabbat (Frankfurt a.M., 1951; Am. ed., The Accused, N.Y., 1951). He was born in Cracow and retained Austrian citizenship after 1938. He was a prominent scientific engineer in the second Soviet Five Year Plan until his arrest during the 1937 purge. Albert Einstein vainly interceded with Stalin on his behalf in 1938. Weissberg has written the most informative book to date on the gigantic Soviet purges. After he was deported by the Russians at the end of 1939, Weissberg went quietly to Cracow where he remained until he was forced to flee from Russian occupation forces in that city at the end of the war. Weissberg had expected the Germans to send him at once to a concentration camp, and he had made an eloquent appeal to the Soviet authorities to permit him to depart directly to Sweden from the USSR. His appeal was rejected.
Weissberg later produced a particularly amazing book, Die Geschichte von Joel Brand (Köln, 1956; Am. ed., Desperate Mission, N.Y., 1958). There had been international interest in the Joel Brand story ever since the London Times carried the news on July 20, 1934, that Brand had come from Budapest to Istanbul with an offer from the Gestapo to permit the emigration of one million Jews from Central Europe in the midst of the war. The Gestapo, admitted that this huge emigration would greatly inconvenience the German war effort because of the demand on transport facilities involved, but they were willing to undertake the plan in exchange for ten thousand trucks to, be used exclusively on the eastern front. It goes without saying that the acceptance of the, plan would have produced a major breach between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies. Nevertheless, one of the Budapest Jewish leaders, Joel Brand, was in favor of acceptance. This prompted the British to conclude that Brand was a dangerous Nazi agent. He was whisked off to Cairo and forthwith imprisoned.
One of the, contentions of Weissberg's book is that the German Nazis were always pursuing a zig-zag policy throughout the war between the emigration of the Jews from Europe and their physical extermination. Weissberg confessed at the start a complete, lack of documentary sources to prove that Hitler ever intended the physical destruction of all Jews as such, but he nevertheless uncritically accepted the widely-propagated myth of the liquidation of six million Jews. He also denied Horthy of, Hungary the role of protector of the, Jews, and he claimed that Hungary had been under a "terroristic anti-Jewish regime" ever since 1919 (Ibid., p. 9).
The Nazi personalities receiving chief emphasis in the book are Dieter Wisliceny, the, Gestapo chief in Slovakia, and Adolf Eichmann, after 1934 the chief SS official expert on the Jewish question in Europe, Wisliceny, after 1945, made a vain effort to save his own life by supporting the efforts of the prosecution at Nuremberg. Eichmann was far from being as important in the Nazi hierarchy as his position might suggest. For instance, throughout his whole career Eichmann never once had a personal interview with Hitler.
The main thesis of the Weissberg book is that Hungarian Jews took the initiative in making deals with the Germans, that many of their deals were successful, and that, by implication, it would have been possible to negotiate with the Germans for the evacuation of the entire European Jewish population during World War II, thus showing that the Hitler regime still favored emigration as the real solution of the Jewish question. One unfortunate consequence of the book was to point the finger of suspicion at Rudolph Kastner, the chief leader of the Hungarian Jews. Weissberg sometimes made him appear to be almost pro-Hitler. Kastner was subsequently murdered in Israel by a young Jewish terrorist in the midst of the frantic furor accompanying the 1955 Israeli national elections. Excerpts from Weissberg's findings had appeared in Israeli periodicals early in 1955.
The turbulent Hungarian situation in 1944-1945, when the valiant Magyar nation was going down to final defeat before Communism, produced many bizarre situations, but none is more striking than that of Raoul Wallenberg. This Swedish Jew, who had no, special diplomatic status, was permitted by Swedish Foreign Minister Guenther to operate from the Swedish legation in Budapest in a gigantic business venture of selling Swedish passports. It was later alleged without any foundation that Wallenberg was murdered by the "fascist" followers of Hungarian Premier Ferenc Szalassi. Wallenberg as a result was virtually canonized for ten years as a selfless hero who had given his life to protect Hungarian Jews from the German Gestapo and their Hungarian cohorts. In reality, Wallenberg had made a fortune selling passports to these same "fascists", and for this reason he had been arrested and deported by the Soviet occupation authorities. The Swedish Government was fully informed of this by Alexandra Kollontay in Stockholm, but the truth did not reach the public until publication of the article by the Jewish writer, Rudolph Philipp, in the January 14, 1955, copy of the sensational Swedish newspaper, VI.
The fate of Adolf Eichmann reached truly monumental and sensational proportions with his so-called capture in Argentina by Israeli agents on May 12, 1960. The Israeli authorities decided to hold the world in suspense for an entire year before placing the former German official before a court under conditions in which any reference to a fair trial would be merely ludicrous.
The alleged memoirs of Eichmann were uncritically published in Life, November 28, December 5, 1960, without any attention having been paid to the fact that more than one scandal had been caused by spurious memoirs during recent years. One need only imagine how Gerhard Ritter, the president of the German Historical Society, felt in 1953 when it was proved that Hitlers Tischgespraeche (Hitler's Secret Conversations, N.Y., 1953), which he had edited for publication in 1952, was utterly fraudulent. Nevertheless, in 1960, a record allegedly derived from Eichmann's comments in 1955 to a highly dubious associate were to be accepted as definitive memoirs. They were designed to prove, of course, that "the unregenerate Nazi" Eichmann was every inch the fiend that be has been depicted. A disarming attempt to make them seem authentic was furnished by the touch that Eichmann did not say what his cohort, Hoettl, claimed at Nuremberg that he had said about the alleged killing of millions of Jews (Time, June 6, 1960, reported Eichmann had said five million Jews; Newsweek, June 6, 1960, claimed he had said six million).
The number of unlikely touches in the Life account make the performance look about as clumsy as the typical Communist-forged memoirs. For instance, Weissberg noted that Eichmann had made his proposal on Jewish emigration to Brand, with the specific authorization of Himmler, on April 25, 1944, at the Hotel Majestic in Budapest. The Life account has Himmler authorizing the exchange of Jewish emigrants for war material in 1944 "when Reichsführer Himmler took over as commander of the reserve army." But Himmler did not receive his active military command over the Volkssturm until August 1944, after the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt against Hitler.
The articles in Life actually appear to be little more than a condensation of three sensational and mutually contradictory books: Minister of Death, the Eichmann Story (N.Y., 1960, by Ephraim Katz, Zwy Aldouby, and Quentin Reynolds); The Case Against Adolf Eichmann (N.Y., 1960, by Henry A. Zeiger); Eichmann: the Man and His Crimes (N.Y., 1960, by Comer Clarke). It has never been alleged that Eichmann participated in the execution of Jews, but it has been claimed that be knowingly arranged for their deportation to places of execution.
In spite of all the international commotion and the vast barrage of irresponsible print which has flooded the world on Eichmann since May, 1960, there is not the slightest substantial evidence that Eichmann ever deliberately ordered even one Jew gassed in a German concentration camp, to say nothing of having ordered and supervised the extermination of six million Jews. This would be true even though he gave testimony at his trial that he bad been responsible for the extermination of more than six million or wrote a book of alleged "true confessions" giving the same or a larger figure. Any such account by Eichmann would be (1) proof of the extent and effect of the torture and brainwashing to which be had been subjected by his Jewish captors; (2) the result of his decision, since he knew he would be executed in any event, to provide a sensational yarn of his elimination of Jews whom he disliked, even if he had not actually wished to destroy them, thus caressing his ego; or (3) a product of the fact that his experience bad actually rendered him mentally unbalanced. Perhaps all three explanations would be intermingled and blended. The essence of the matter is that, if all the important evidence indicates that there was no systematic and extensive extermination of Jews by Germany during the war, then no boast of such massive achievements in extermination can be accepted as having any factual validity. They would belong in the realm of morbid fantasy rather than sober factual reality.
Eichmann was allegedly responsible for the deportation of men like Heimler and Levi. Unlike the case of Margarete Buber, the alleged concentration camp experiences of Heimler and Levi began long after the public announcement of unconditional surrender by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Casablanca on January 13, 1943. The effect of this pronouncement on the prolongation of the war and on the promotion of. Communist aims in Europe has been considered by many experts. The desire in Germany for a compromise peace by the summer of 1942 was by no means confined to the German opposition to Hitler. Walter Schellenberg, The Schellenberg Memoirs (London, 1956), reveals that, as early as August, 1942, Heinrich Himmler was willing to envisage a compromise peace approximately on the basis of Germany's territorial position on September 1, 1939. Specific peace efforts of Himmler as early as 1942 were later confirmed from official Swedish sources. Schellenberg was the dominant personality in the SD (SS Security Service) after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by British agents in Bohemia in 1942, and he consistently exerted a moderating influence on Himmler.
The effect of unconditional surrender was certain to mean the prolongation of the war to the bitter end to the benefit of Soviet Russia. General J.F.C. Fuller, The Second World War (London, 1948, pp. 258-9), has explained that "Russia would be left the greatest military power in Europe, and, therefore, would dominate Europe." Colonel F. C. Miksche, Unconditional Surrender (London, 1952, p. 255), stated that "the unconditional surrender policy, proclaimed by President Roosevelt in Casablanca and bolstered up by a frivolous propaganda, was heedlessly put into execution."
George N. Crocker, Roosevelt's Road to Russia (Chicago, 1959, p. 182), noted that the Germans fought on with the couragre of despair, and that "Roosevelt's words hung like a putrefying albatross around the necks of America and Britain."
The unconditional surrender pronouncement was no sudden inspiration of President Roosevelt at Casablanca. Compton Mackenzie, Mr. Roosevelt (N.Y., 1944, p. 251), dated the genesis of the unconditional surrender plan from the period of President Roosevelt's 'fireside chat' of December 29, 1940, nearly one year before the formal entry of the United States into, World War II.
Alfred Vagts, "Unconditional Surrender -- vor und nach 1943" (i.e. before and after 1943) (Vierteliahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, 1959/3) has explained in considerable detail how World War II actually became a "crusade" along the lines of unconditional surrender from the moment the United States formally entered the war. There was virtually no criticism of this policy before and after Casablanca from those close to the President (William C. Bullitt was a notable exception). Elliott Roosevelt, As He Saw It (N.Y., 1946, p. 117), declared that unconditional surrender was as good as if "Uncle Joe" Stalin himself had invented it.
As a matter of fact, however, the idea of unconditional surrender for Germany was not actually of American origin, despite Roosevelt's enunciation of the slogan at Casablanca in January, 1943. The British launched the policy; indeed, it had been basic in the war plans of Lord Halifax long before September, 1939. It was confirmed when Halifax and the British refused to accept the Italian plan to stop the German-Polish war early in September, 1939, a plan to which Hitler assented. The British continued it when they refused Hitler's offers of peace at the close of the German-Polish war, and again when they rejected his generous peace offers after Dunkirk. The British under both Halifax and Chamberlain, and under Churchill were determined that Germany must be utterly destroyed.
Roosevelt, after some thought, seems to have recognized at least momentarily the folly of this policy, and on May 23, 1944, sent a note to Churchill and Stalin suggesting that a return be made to the policy of Woodrow Wilson and an appeal be made to the German people over the heads of Hitler and his government, offering peace if the National Socialist government would be overthrown. Churchill rejected it instantly, and on May 24th made a speech in the House of Commons declaring that Britain would accept nothing short of unconditional surrender. Stalin also vetoed Roosevelt's suggestion on May 26th. After that, Roosevelt made no further effort to alter the crusade for unconditional surrender (Gerhard Ritter, The German Resistance, N.Y., 1958, p. 274; John L. Snell, Wartime Origins of the East-West Dilemma over Germany, New Orleans, 1959, p. 128).
Many books have been written about the efforts of the German opposition to Hitler in 1942 to arrive at a satisfactory understanding with the Western Powers in order to win sufficient support within Germany to establish, by revolutionary action, a new government, and, needless to say, not an anti-Jewish one. Hans B. Gisevius, To the Bitter End (N.Y., 1948, p.p. 448ff.), and Fabian von Schlabrendorff, Revolt against Hitler (N.Y., 1948, pp. 117ff.), have emphasized the importance of a satisfactory German agreement on peace terms with the Western Powers. Allen Dulles, Germany's Underground (N.Y., 1947, p.p. 167ff), indicated that the author, as OSS chief directing American espionage from Switzerland, favored a positive agreement with the German opposition in 1942, and he was forcefully presenting his views to the American authorities at home. Gerhard Ritter, Carl Goerdeler und die deutsche Widerstandsbewegung (Stuttgart, 1954; Am. ed., The German Resistance, N.Y., 1958), revealed that Goerdeler, as the designated head of the future opposition government, was in despair when he heard of the unconditional surrender pronouncement.
There is overwhelming evidence that American authorities had ample reason to believe that the war might be brought to a sudden close after the North African landings and the Stalingrad impasse had positive terms for peace been presented to Germany through German opposition spokesmen in Switzerland. Robert Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins (N.Y., 1948, pp. 650ff.) has revealed that the primary reason for Roosevelt's unconditional surrender announcement, when made in 1943, was to head off a German revolt and an irresistable bid for peace even without specific terms of encouragement from the Western Powers. At that time, Roosevelt did not appear to want Germany to escape from final and total defeat in the field, as she had done by means of the conditional surrender negotiations with President Wilson in 1918.
It is an incredible fact that since the war most writers critical of unconditional surrender have concentrated almost exclusively on the unfortunate effect of the policy in prolonging the slaughter by military action and in promoting ultimate Communist control in Europe. This is astonishing, because, in the total scope of writing on World War II, the subject of the impact of the war on the European Jews has received more emphasis than any other. Surely one could have expected very early a detailed study on the implications and effects of unconditional surrender on the fate of European Jews. It is now alleged on many sides that American Jewish leaders by the summer of 1942 were receiving reports from Europe which persuaded them that Hitler literally meant to undertake the physical liquidation of all European Jewry. It would be logical, if these stories are at all true, to expect that the American Jewish leaders would have been seeking to save the European Jews from such a horrible fate through conclusion of the war as quickly as possible. This would be the only possible effect means of succor under the alleged circumstances, namely, ending the war. One would expect American Jewry to have been far more horrified by Roosevelt's unconditional surrender pronouncement in January, 1943, than even by Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor in January, 1933.
Henry Morgenthau, Jr., "The Refugee Run-Around" in Colliers, Nov. 1, 1947, alleged that the United States Government knew from August, 1942, that Jews were being killed wholesale. Yet Morgenthau and his Communist assistant, Harry Dexter White, were ardent supporters of unconditional surrender both before and after Casablanca, and they were the American supporters of the Russian-born plan to convert Germany into a goat pasture. This plan was adopted by Roosevelt and Churchill at the Quebec conference in 1944, and it was soon learned by Hitler and the remaining German opposition leaders alike.
There were plenty of prominent American Jewish leaders who might have prompted President Roosevelt to follow the advice of Allen Dulles and to end the war, but they failed to do so. Margaret L. Coit, Mr. Baruch (Boston, 1957, pp. 468ff.) has proved that Bernard Baruch had more influence on President Roosevelt than did William C. Bullitt, who opposed unconditional surrender, although Bullitt had worked hard for President Roosevelt in promoting the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939. Baruch, like Morgenthan and other Jewish advisers of the President, was a fervid supporter of unconditional surrender in 1942, although this policy was calculated in any event to produce the greatest possible loss of Jewish lives.
One can only hope that an honest and well-informed Jewish writer will soon undertake a detailed explanation of this phenomenon, which would be utterly monstrous and incomprehensible if the reports of liquidations of the Jews in 1942 had been true. Furthermore, the internment policy persued by the German Government after March, 1942, spelled enormous suffering for many Jews in the context of Roosevelt's unconditional surrender policy, quite apart from any alleged German policy of deliberately exterminating all Jews.
The enthusiastic description by Isaac Zaar, Rescue and Liberation: America's Part in the Birth of Israel (N.Y., 1954, pp. 39ff.) of the big New York City Jewish rally on March 9, 1943, is sadly ironical under these circumstances. Ben Hecht presented his tragic Jewish pageant, We Will Never Die with a Kurt Weill musical score, Billy Rose producing, and Moss Hart directing. Only a few weeks earlier, the public declaration of unconditional surrender by the American President had guaranteed prolonged and unnecessary suffering to millions of European Jews as well as to several hundred million other Europeans.
Cyrus Adler and Aaron Margalith, With Firmness in the Right: American Diplomatic Action Affecting Jews, 1840-1945 (N.Y., 1946, pp. 418ff.), have claimed that President Roosevelt took an allegedly proper step on August 21, 1942, when he warned that retribution would follow any and all deliberate excesses against Jews. The accent here was clearly on revenge rather than immediate succor for the European Jews. An unlimited American jurisdiction in Germany after the war tantamount to "unconditional surrender" was clearly implied in the assumption that the United States would be in a position to secure retribution in any and every case where excesses had taken place. One can well doubt the value of this threat, repeated on December 17, 1942, in the context of the official unconditional surrender policy adopted the following year.
The "Emergency Conference to Save the Jews of Europe" was organized in April, 1943. The only person connected with it who opposed unconditional surrender was Herbert Hoover, and he was merely an honorary chairman. The solution envisaged was along the lines later taken by Joel Brand for the emigration of the Jews from Europe while war operations continued. This was, to put it mildly, an utopian and unsatisfactory policy compared to encouraging a speedy end of the war. This is especially true when one considers the disinclination of this group actually to negotiate with the Germans. The comprehensive German offer presented by Adolf Eicibmann at Lisbon in 1940 and again from Berlin in 1941 for the emigration of the European Jews had produced no result, and any widespread emigration of European Jews virtually ceased after the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR in June 1941.
The British prohibited the landing of the S.S. Struma in Palestine in March 1942, with its 769 passengers from Europe, and shortly afterward the ship sank with only one life saved. Even worse was the earlier case of the French liner, Patria, which was burned and sunk by British warships before Haifa on November 25, 1940, with a loss of 2,875 Jewish lives. Anthony Eden summarized British objections to the evacuation of European Jews during wartime at a conference in Washington, D.C. on March 27, 1943 (Adler and Margalith, Ibid., p. 396; Sherwood, Ibid., p. 717).
The Emergency Conference suggested in addition to emigration a policy of bombing the concentration camps. The motive was not to be the one usually followed of seeking to reduce the industrial production connected with the camps, but rather that of demolishing the camps in their entirety. This was based on the naive assumption that the inmates would not be killed but would be enabled to escape. It is truly inconceivable that any large numbers of inmates would have escaped permanently. Increased loss of lives through the bombings and the destruction of facilities to provide for the prisoners would be unavoidable. The bombing campaign actually conducted in 1945, with its attendant slaughter and privations, undoubtedly produced the worst conditions experienced in German concentration camps (Zaar, Ibid., p. 60).
Further efforts, within the hopeless context of unconditional surrender, except for the effective distribution of supplies to the inmates in the camps through the International Committee of the Red Cross, were equally feeble. President Roosevelt joined Secretary Morgenthau in sponsoring a special War Refugee Board on January 22, 1.944. A tiny band of some 984 European Jews had been transported under its auspices to a special refugee camp at Oswego, N.Y. by July, 1944. The occupation of Hungary by Germany in March 1944, which probably would not have taken place bad it not been for unconditional surrender, led to the formation of the New York Conference of Hungarian Jews on April 2, 1944. The group urged Stalin to accelerate his military operations against the Hungarians as the decisive means of aiding the Hungarian Jews. This was the best help they could offer Hungarian Jewry (Zaar, Ibid., pp. 78-1141).
The genocide legend was propagated with increased zeal after the brutal unconditional surrender pronouncement. Numerous statements were extracted from a few of the German defendants in Allied custody after World War 11 to document the charge that there was a gradual drift into a policy of exterminating the Jews of Europe after the outbreak of war between Germany and the USSR in June. 1941. 'Many of these so-called key statements appear in Léon Poliakov and Josef Wulf, Das Dritte Reich und die Juden: Dokumente und Aufsätze (The Third Reich and the Reich: Documents and Articles, Berlin, 1955). Poliakov is the director of the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine in Paris, which was launched by Isaac Schneersobn in 1943 during the German occupation. The Centre was presented with the files of the German Embassy in Paris by Provisional French President Charles de Gaulle in 1944. Its collection of materials on German policy toward the Jews, 1933-1945, is more extensive than any other, including the Haifa Document Office for Nazi Crimes and Dr. Albert Wiener's similar Library in London.
The most celebrated of all key "documents" is the statement of Dieter Wisliceny obtained at the Communist-controlled Bratislava prison on November 18, 1946. Wisliceny, who had been a journalist before engaging in police work, was an assistant of Adolf Eichmann in the Jewish Division of the Chief Reich Security Office prior to receiving his assignment in Slovakia. Wisliceny was a nervous wreck and addicted to uncontrollable fits of sobbing for hours on end during the period of his arrest prior to his execution.
The Wisliceny statement begins convincingly enough. It indicates that Reich SS Leader Heinrich Himmler was an enthusiastic advocate of Jewish emigration. More than 100,000 Jews had been persuaded to leave Austria between March, 1938, and January, 1939. This figure eventually reached 220,000 of the total 280,000 Austrian Jews. A special Institute for Jewish emigration in Prague had produced remarkable results in the period after March, 1939, and secured an eventual emigration of 260,000.
The above points are indisputable, but the comment follows, allegedly from Wisliceny, that more than three million Jews were added to the German sphere by the war in Poland in 1939. This would be a major factual error for any expert on European Jewry. There were more than 1,130,000 Jews in the section of Poland occupied by Russia, whereas the figure of more than three million Jews could scarcely apply even to the total territory of Poland before the war. An estimated 500,000 Jews had emigrated from Poland prior to the war. The 1931 Polish census had established the number of Jews in Poland at 2,732,600 (Reitlinger, Die Endlösung, Berlin, 1956, p. 36). An additional minimum of 250,000 Jews had fled from Western Poland to the Soviet occupation sphere in 1939. If one subtracts 1,880,000 from 2,732,600 and allows for the normal Jewish population increase, the Polish Jews under German rule at the end of 1939 could scarcely have exceeded 1,100,000 (Gutachten des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte, Munich, 1958, p. 80).
The Wisliceny statement emphasizes that the emigration of Jews from German occupied territories continued after the outbreak of war. The emigration of Danzig Jews by way of Rumania and Turkey in September, 1940, is cited as a typical instance. Himmler and Eichmann had taken over the idea of a Madagascar haven for the Jews from the Poles. The latter had sent the Michal Lepecki expedition -- accompanied by Jewish spokesmen -- to Madagascar in 1937, and Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, had also considered Madagascar as a good possible basis for the future Jewish state. Madagascar meant the "final solution" of the Jewish question to Himmler and Eichmann. The Madagascar plan was still under discussion many months after the outbreak of war with the USSR.
The statement of Wisliceny goes on to state that until June 1941, the conditions of Jewish life in Germany, including Austria, and in the Bohemia-Moravia protectorate, were no worse than before the war. The Jews in Poland had returned to their customary and traditional ghetto life, but war plants were being located in the ghettos to provide adequate employment.
Two important developments allegedly followed the outbreak of war with Russia. In July, 1941, Hitler gave the order to execute the political commissars captured with Soviet units (there had been 34,000 of these political agents with special powers assigned to the Red Army as early as 1939). According to the so-called Wisliceny statement, the special action units (Einsatzgruppen) assigned both to this task and to crushing partisans were soon receiving orders to extend their activities in a "general massacre" of Soviet Jews. In March, 1942, came the decision to concentrate all European Jews in the Polish Government-General or in concentration camps, and this was to be the prelude to the liquidation of European Jewry (Poliakov and Wulf, Ibid., pp. 87ff.)
The action of the Einsatzgruppen played a large role in the case presented by Soviet Prosecutor Rudenko at Nuremberg in the major trial and also at the three later trials of SS leaders. The 1947 indictment of the four Einsatzgruppen, which were organized in May, 1941, on the eve of the German preventive war against the USSR, was prepared with Soviet assistance by the American prosecutor, Telford Taylor. He charged that these four groups of security troops assigned to fight partisans and commissars had killed not less than a million Jewish civilians in Western Russia and the Ukraine merely because they were Jews. There were no reliable statistics to support this claim, but Otto Ohlendorf, the chief of Einsatzgruppen D in the South, had been "persuaded" on November 5, 1945 to sign a statement to the effect that 90,000 Jews had been killed under his command.
Ohlendorf did not come on trial until 1948, long after the main Nuremberg trial, and by that time he was insisting that his earlier statement had been extorted from him by torture. In his principal speech before the 1948 tribunal, Ohlendorf denounced Philip Auerbach, the Jewish attorney-general of the Bavarian State Office for Restitution, who had recently stated that he was seeking compensation for his "eleven million Jews" who had suffered in concentration camps. Ohlendorf scornfully stated that "not the minutest part" of the people for whom Auerbach was seeking compensation had even seen a concentration camp. Ohlendorf lived to see Auerbach convicted of embezzlement and fraud before his own execution finally took place in 1951.
Ohlendorf explained to the tribunal that his formations often had to take energetic action to prevent massacres of Jews organized by local people in Russia behind the German front. He denied that all the Einsatzgruppen ever employed in the war on the eastern front inflicted one quarter of the casualties claimed by the prosecution, and he insisted that the illegal partisan warfare in the USSR had taken a much higher toll of lives -- the Soviets boasted of 500,000 -- from the regular German army. Ohlendorf wrote a bitter appeal shortly before his execution in 1951, and he charged that the Western Allies were hypocritical in holding Germany to account by conventional laws of warfare while engaged with a savage Soviet opponent which did not respect those laws.
The later careful account by the brilliant English jurist, R. T. Paget, Manstein, his Campaigns and his Trial (London, 1951) Ohlendorf was under Manstein's command -- concluded that the prosecution, in accepting Soviet figures, exaggerated the number of casualties inflicted by the Einsatzgruppen by more than 1000 per cent and that they distorted much further the situations in which these casualties were generally inflicted. It has nevertheless become the popular legend that the physical liquidation of the Jews in Europe began with the action of the Einsatzgruppen against their Soviet enemies in 1941.
Poliakov and Wulf also cited a statement by a former collaborator of Eichmann, Dr. Wilhelm Hoettl, to the effect that Eichmann said in December, 1944, that no less than two million Jews had been killed by the Einsatzgruppen in the period 1941-1942. This statement was not given weight even by the American tribunal which tried and condemned Ohlendorf. It should be noted that Soviet East Galicia was supposed to be included in the area affected, but some 434,329 East Galician Jews were transported westward by the Germans in the period shortly before July 1, 1943 (Gutachten des Instituts fuer Zeitgeschichte, 1958, p. 231). This gives some idea of the "thoroughness" of this alleged total massacre of Soviet Jews in 1941-1942. Hoettl had been employed as an American spy during the latter phase of the war, and he could be expected to say whatever his interrogators asked of him without the usual third degree tortures and cruel pressures. The figures of Hoettl even went beyond the wildest estimates of Soviet Prosecutor Rudenko.
There has been no recent claim by any serious writer that a policy to exterminate European Jews was in effect prior to war with Russia on June 22, 1941. (Earlier books, such as Gerald Abrahams, Retribution, N.Y., 1941; and J. Ben-Jacob, The fewish Struggle, N.Y., 1942, did make such claims.) Leon Poliakov, Harvest of Hate: the Nazi Program for the Destruction of the Jews of Europe (N.Y., 1954, pp. 108ff.) admits that no document confirming an extermination policy before that date has been discovered. He puts it this way: "The three or four people chiefly involved in the actual drawing up of the plan for total extermination are dead and no documents have survived; perhaps none ever existed." The implications of this statement are clear. The vague reference of "three or four people" indicates that the alleged plan is actually a nebulous assumption on the part of the writer.
In the absence of evidence Poliakov assumed that a plan to exterminate the Jews must have originated between June, 1940, and June, 1941. He added, quite Unnecessarily, that extermination was never part of the original National Socialist plans for dealing with the Jews. He claimed that the decision of extermination was made when it became evident that Germany was involved in a long war of doubtful outcome. His assumption is that Hitler was determined to avenge the slaughter of Germans with a massacre of Jews. The same writer claimed, however, that Hitler abandoned the extermination program in October 1944, for fear of retribution in case Germany lost the war.
Poliakov noted that Eichmann was busy with the Madagascar project for Jewish settlement abroad throughout 1941, but the German Foreign Office was informed in February 1942,that this plan had been abandoned at least temporarily. Poliakov argued that the Germans were necessarily thinking of extermination when they shelved their overseas emigration plan. He recognized as a corollary that he also must show that they were not pursuing a plan for the settlement of the Jews in Eastern Europe instead of overseas.
According to Poliakov, there were three clear stages of a general extermination policy. Phase one, beginning in June, 1941, and directed exclusively against Soviet Jews, has been dealt with. Phase two, beginning in March, 1942, constituted the first actions to bring together many of the Jews of German-occupied Europe and place them either in Poland or in concentration camps. Phase three, beginning in October 1942, was the action to concentrate most Jews, including those of Poland, in camps. The final phase of general internment is supposed to imply the permanent denial of a Jewish haven either in Eastern Europe or overseas.
Poliakov represented the liquidation of Jews in concentration camps as proceeding throughout phase two as well as three. He accepted the previously cited statement of Dieter Wisliceny from the documentary collection to the effect that the plan to exterminate European Jewry was abandoned by Himmler in October 1944. Poliakov claimed that Göring was involved in the extermination program, although Charles Bewley, Hermann Göring (Göttingen, 1956) has pointed out that no evidence was found at Nuremberg to substantiate this charge.
The Myth of the Six Million was published anonymously in 1969, by THE NOONTIDE PRESS, P.O. Box 2719, Newport Beach, California 92659, USA. The book is for the moment out of print. It has been digitalized and displayed on the website of the Institute for Historical Review, <http://www.ihr.org> and reproduced on AAARGH in May 2001. It is now a common knowledge that the author of this pioneering little book (105 p.) was David Hoggan, a scholar in his own right.
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