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July 24, 2011

December 12, 1941 — the day that Hitler ordered the Final Solution

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:05 am

This morning I was searching the internet when I came across a web site which mentioned that Hitler ordered the extermination of all the Jews on December 12, 1941.  The source given for this information was Christian Gerlach.  I looked him up on Wikipedia here and learned that he is a professor of Modern History at the University of Bern in Switzerland.  Professor Gerlach has written lots of books and essays and his credentials are impeccable, but is he right about the date of Hitler’s order?

Let’s consider what was happening on December 12, 1941:  Hitler had just declared war on America in a long-winded speech on December 11, 1941 which you can read in full here.  President Roosevelt immediately responded by declaring war on Germany on the same day.

According to Christian Gerlach, Hitler gave the order to kill all the Jews the next day after his declaration of war against America. But wait a minute!  The gassing of the Jews had already started on December 8, 1941 at the Chelmno death camp.  Every student of the Holocaust knows that!

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