Scrapbookpages Blog

March 8, 2017

Reinhard Heydrich is back in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 1:38 pm

Reinhard Heydrich

You can read a recent news article about Reinhard Heydrich at https://sofrep.com/76321/reinhard-heydrich-hunting-devil/

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Apart from Hitler, perhaps no one typified the evil of Nazism more so than Reinhard Heydrich. Cold, calculating, arrogant and brutal, he is a figure whose hands-on approach to dealing with perceived enemies of Germany made him author of some of the worst crimes ever perpetrated by man.

Tall, slender with smooth blond hair and a somewhat high pitched voice, he joined the SS in the early 1930’s, and quickly rose through the ranks with cutthroat efficiency, running the SS intelligence service, the Sicherheitsdienst or SD. In this office, he helped orchestrate notable events which defined Hitler’s policies by purging suspected political rivals in what became known as The Night Of The Long Knives in 1934, and terrorizing Jews in the Crystal Night pogrom of 1938.

End quote

I am not a fan of Reinhard Heydrich, but he is an interesting person who has gotten a bad rap.

January 17, 2017

75 years ago, the Nazis planned the Holocaust

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:57 pm

In this news article, you can read about how the Nazis planned the Holocaust, 75 years ago: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/news/really-closer-understanding-holocaust/

The following quote is from the news article, cited above:

Begin quote

Seventy-five years ago, at a villa on the Wannsee, the Nazis planned the Holocaust. But this wasn’t a turning point,  says Laurence Rees – they were already intent on genocide

On January 20 1942, one of the most infamous meetings in history took place on the outskirts of Berlin. Fifteen men attended the Wannsee conference and discussed the Nazis’ Final Solution – the extermination of the Jews.

Reinhard Heydrich, Head of the Reich Main Security Office, invited a number of functionaries in the Nazi state to assemble at an elegant villa on the shore of the lake [Wannsee]. They ranged from the relatively senior (Heinrich Müller, the head of the Gestapo) to the relatively junior (Adolf Eichmann, the so‑called Jewish expert among the Nazis who took the minutes of the meeting).

Heydrich announced that, with Hitler’s “permission”, there was now the possibility of “evacuating” the Jews to the East. He said…

End quote from news article

Children at Auschwitz-Birkenau who survived the Holocaust

Children, who were prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau, but somehow survived the Holocaust

The Holocaust was planned at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942. You can read about this conference on my website at https://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Wannsee/index.html

Don’t worry, the web page cited above was written before I became a Holocaust denier, so there is no Holocaust denial.

The house where the Holocaust was planned

House where the Holocaust was planned

Conference room where the Holocaust was planned

Room where Holocaust was planned

August 24, 2016

Anthropoid — the movie, now showing in a few select theaters

Filed under: Germany, movies, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:47 am

There is a new movie, about the story of Reinhard Heinrich, which I am dying to see, but it is not showing in any of the theaters anywhere near me. The movie is based on Operation Anthropoid, a famous historical event that took place years ago.

Reinhard Heydrichh is the man in the middle

Reinhard Heydrich is the man in the center

Reinhard Heydrich was noted for having a feminine type body with hips wider than his shoulders, as depicted in the photo above.

Heydrich is also noted for having had two girlfriends at the same time, and for getting one of them pregnant, then refusing to marry her. However, none of this is pointed out in the movie. Would it have killed the producer of this movie to have included a little bit of human interest?

You can read a review of the movie at http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/anthropoid-2016

The following quote is from the review, cited above:

Begin quote

The events [in the movie] take place in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in the early 1940s. As students of World War II should know—well, as anyone should know, really, but let’s not get into that—Czechoslovakia was for all intents and purposes handed over to Germany in 1939, which gave Hitler access to a wealth of natural resources and manufacturing power to fuel the German war machine which then went on to conquer Poland and put the Second World War into active motion.

The SS was terribly efficient in quashing the Czechoslovakian resistance movement, but a Czech government in absentia kept up the effort, and in late 1941 it flew a plane from England and dispatched parachutists to drop outside of Prague, where they were to begin a daring and divisive mission.

The movie begins by following two parachutists, Jan (Jamie Dornan) and Josef (Cillian Murphy). Josef cuts his foot badly on the way down and needs some stitching up. Contemporary movies like to signal their integrity and/or authenticity by including graphic scenes depicting the suturing of icky wounds, and this one is no exception.

The duo’s bad luck continues, as they are sniffed out and then nearly sold out by a couple of quasi-quisling farm folk. And then, once they get to Prague and make their contacts, the remnants of the Czechoslovakian resistance with whom they have to work are in large part appalled by the mission they’ve come to carry out.

That is, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, engineer of the Final Solution and the iron fist personally dispatched by Hitler to crush resistance, a man nicknamed “the Butcher of Prague.” 

Local resistance leader Ladislav (Marcin Dorocinski) balks, while suitably avuncular cohort “Uncle” Hajsky (Toby Jones) counsels cooperation. Jan and Josef shack up with a local family, establish covers in part by romancing a couple of local women, and start doing recon to determine the pattern of Heydrich’s comings and goings.

So here’s where the spoiler question comes in: do these heroes pull it off? Well, the answer to that is part of the historical record, and yet, who knows. Some folks might want to go into this movie blind, or semi-blind, or what have you. For myself, I found the picture a frustrating experience. It is cast with largely British actors, which is fine, but it does not follow what I now consider the anachronistic convention of having them speak with their native accents; rather, Ellis makes the performers speak English in heavy Czech, or “Czech” accents—I don’t have the ear to make a pronouncement as to how accurate they are, although all the actors are dedicated and expert professionals. In any event, this strategy kind of made me yearn for the anachronistic practice, which at least had a kind of inherent consistency. I also found the movie’s style off-putting. It’s shot in widescreen format, about a 2.35 ratio, but almost all of the shots are handheld. A lot of the time the experience of the movie is like looking at a very long wobbly rectangle, and the frequently abrupt cutting doesn’t help. The tighter the aspect ratio, the more effective the hand-held, or simulated hand-held, camerawork is, I’ve found. The movie’s scenario also trucks in a variety of clichés. And, near the end, at least one mistaken, overstated metaphor.

End quote

When I visited Prague, years ago, I took a guided tour, which included a stop at the hairpin curve where Heydrich’s car was forced to slow down. He was fatally wounded on this corner, but not before he jumped out of the car and began firing his gun.

The hairpin turn where Heydrich was ambused, his car can be seen on the left.jpg

The photo above shows the hairpin turn where Heydrich’s car was forced to slow down; this is where he was fatally wounded. This is what the curve looks like today.

To some people, Heydrich is a hero, but to others, he can never be a hero because of the way that he treated women. Getting a girl pregnant, and then not marrying her, was unknown in Germany back then.

August 5, 2016

Heinrich Himmler,”the monster in the round spectacles”

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:14 am

The title of my blog post today comes from an article which you can read in full at

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/diary-reveals-heinrich-himmler-enjoyed-back-rub-before-killings/news-story/d190b719131293ada01bd5d931ec12a7

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

Himmler had been the one responsible for the introduction of gas chambers, after ordering that more “efficient” ways be found to complete his assigned task of killing Europe’s 11 million Jews.

The scale and horror of the task, however, did not daunt [Himmler] the monster in the round spectacles.

Himmler, like Hitler, liked to rise late and work well into the evening or the early hours.

A typical day, according to his diaries, began with a two-hour massage from Dr Felix Kersten to prepare for his day.

Another daily feature, dutifully recorded in his diary, were [was] his phone calls home to “Mammi and Puppi” — his pet names for wife Margarete and daughter Gudrun.

End quote

I had a childhood friend, whose nickname was “Poopie” which is the way that the word Puppi is pronounced. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that the word Puppi means “little doll” in German.

The German word Mammi is pronounced the same as the English word Mommie, as far as I know. However, I believe that the German word Mutti, pronounced Mooty, was used more often back then.

The following quote is also from the news article:

Begin quote

The diaries cover 1938 as well as the crucial war years of 1943 and 1944. Historians studying them say they are “of shudderingly outstanding historical significance”.

Again, the understated nature of the entries about hugely significant events is staggering. For example, entries for October 4, 1943, recorded a visit to Poznan, in occupied Poland, for a series of meetings, lunch and, “17.30: speech to SS officers”.

The speech, in fact, was Himmler’s most explicit public description of the Holocaust, in which he described the SS’s mission as “the extermination of the Jewish race”.

He congratulated himself and the rest of the SS for carrying out this “difficult duty” while still being “decent fellows”.

End quote

After the war, Heinrich Himmler tried to escape by putting on a Wehrmacht uniform and a patch over one eye, but he was captured by the British Army about two weeks after the Germans surrendered.

Himmler allegedly committed suicide by biting down on a cyanide capsule, that he had managed to keep hidden in his mouth while eating a sandwich during his interrogation by the British.

Himmler’s daughter did not believe that her father committed suicide. Himmler and his daughter, Gudrun, are shown in the photo below.

Heinrich Himmler and his daughter Puppi

Heinrich Himmler and his daughter Puppi

The story is that Himmler had a cyanide capsule hidden in a hole in one of his back teeth. However, his daughter said that Himmler had a perfect set of teeth with no cavities nor holes.

Photo of Himmler lying dead

Photo of Himmler lying dead

Heinrich Himmler and Reinhart Heydrich

Heinrich Himmler and Reinhart Heydrich in March 1938

 

 

January 12, 2016

Operation Reinhardt or Operation Reinhard?

One of the regular readers of my blog [hermie] wrote the following in a comment:

Why would the Nazis have named that operation [Operation Reinhardt] after German Secretary of State for Finances Fritz Reinhardt if no seizure of money and other valuables had been intended in the first place? Would have been nonsensical.

Was this operation really called Operation Reinhardt or was it called Operation Reinhard?

On January 20, 1942 at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, a conference was held to plan “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question” for Europe’s 11 million Jews. SS General Reinhard Heydrich, who was the head of RSHA (Reich Security Main Office) as well as the Deputy of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (now the Czech Republic) led the conference. The protocols from the conference, as written by Adolf Eichmann, contained the expression “transportation to the East,” a euphemism that was used to mean the genocidal killing of all the Jews in Europe.

On May 27, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich was fatally wounded by two Czech resistance fighters who had parachuted into German-occupied Bohemia from Great Britain where they had been trained. Even before Heydrich died 8 days later, Odilo Globocnik began preparations for Aktion Reinhard, which was the plan to send Jews to their deaths at Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor, according to Martin Gilbert’s book “The Holocaust.”

A fourth extermination camp had already opened at Chelmno in what is now western Poland, and the first Jews had been gassed in mobile vans on December 8, 1941, according to the Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland.

There were no “selections” made at the three Operation Reinhard camps, nor at the Chelmno camp. All the Jews who were sent to these camps, with the exception of a few who escaped, were immediately killed in gas chambers, but there were no records kept of their deaths.

Treblinka and the other two Operation Reinhard camps, Sobibor and Belzec, were all located near the Bug river which formed the eastern border of German-occupied Poland. The Bug river is very shallow at Treblinka; it is what people from Missouri would call a “crick” or creek, compared to the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers. It is shallow enough to wade across in the Summer time, or to walk across when it is frozen in the Winter.

A bridge over the Bug river for trains and cars

My 1998 photo of a bridge over the Bug river for trains and cars

The territory on the other side of the Bug river was White Russia (Belarus) and the section of Poland that was given to the Soviet Union after the joint conquest of Poland by the Germans and the Soviet Union in September 1939.

This part of Poland had formerly been occupied by the Russians between 1772 and 1917; between 1835 and 1917, this area was included in the Pale of Settlement, a huge reservation where the Eastern European Jews had been forced to live.

The tiny village of Treblinka is located on the railroad line running from Ostrów Mazowiecki to Siedlce. A short distance from Treblinka, at Malkinia Junction, this line intersects the major railway line which runs from Warsaw, east to Bialystok. Trains can reverse directions at the Junction and return to Warsaw, or turn south towards Lublin, which was the headquarters for Operation Reinhard. A few Jews from Warsaw were sent to the Majdanek death camp in Lublin on trains that turned south at the Malkinia Junction.

When railroad lines were built in the 19th century, the width of the tracks was standardized in America and western Europe, but the tracks in Russia and eastern Poland were a different gauge.

Bialystok is the end of the line in Poland; this is as far east as trains can go without changing the wheels on the rail cars. Treblinka is located only a short distance west of Bialystok.

In June 1941, the German Army invaded the Soviet Union and “liberated” the area formerly known as the Pale of Settlement. By the time that the Aktion Reinhard camps were set up in 1942, German troops had advanced a thousand kilometers into Russia. Allegedly, the plan was to transport the Jews as far as the Bug river and kill them in gas chambers, then claim that they had been “transported to the East.”

In 1942, the Germans built a new railroad spur line from the Malkinia Junction into the Treblinka extermination camp. When a train, 60 cars long, arrived at the junction, the cars were uncoupled and 20 cars at a time were backed into the camp. Today, a stone sculpture shows the location of the train tracks that brought the Jews into the Treblinka death camp.

Monument at the spot where the train station once stood at Treblinka

Monument at the spot where the train station once stood at Treblinka

The first Jews to be deported to the Treblinka death camp were from the Warsaw ghetto; the first transport of 6,000 Jews arrived at Treblinka at about 9:30 on 23 July 1942. Between late July and September 1942, the Germans transported more than 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Jews were also deported to Treblinka from Lublin and Bialystok, two major cities in eastern Poland, which were then in the General Government, as German-occupied Poland was called. Others were transported to Treblinka from the Theresienstadt ghetto in what is now the Czech Republic. Approximately 2,000 Gypsies were also sent to Treblinka and allegedly murdered in the gas chambers.

Trains continued to arrive regularly at Treblinka until May 1943, and a few more transports arrived after that date.

On October 19, 1943, Odilo Globocnik wrote to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler: “I have completed Aktion Reinhard and have dissolved all the camps.”

In an article published on August 8, 1943, the New York Times referred to a headline in a London newspaper which read: “2,000,000 Murders by Nazis Charged. Polish Paper in London says Jews Are Exterminated in Treblinka Death House.” The subtitle read : “According to report, steam is used to kill men, women and children at a place in the woods.”

The London newspaper story was based upon an article published on August 7th in the magazine Polish Labor Fights, which contained information from a Polish report on November 15, 1942.

More news about the killing of the Jews at the Treblinka camp came from Vasily Grossman, a Jewish war correspondent who was traveling with the Soviet Red Army.

In November 1944, Grossman published an article entitled “The Hell of Treblinka,” which was later quoted at the trial of the major German war criminals at Nuremberg. Grossman had interviewed 40 survivors of the Treblinka uprising and he had talked to some of the local farmers. The camp had been completely razed to the ground; there was nothing left for Grossman to see, “only graves and death.” The Jews had all been killed, according to Grossman.

Proof that Treblinka was an extermination camp is contained in a 16-page secret document, that was submitted by Nazi statistician Dr. Richard Korherr to Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler on March 27, 1943. Reichsführer-SS Himmler was a five-star general and the leader of the SS; he was responsible for all the Nazi concentration camps, which were administered by the SS.

This report on “The Final Solution of the European Jewish Problem,” compiled at Himmler’s request, stated that of the 1,449,692 Jews deported from the Eastern provinces, 1,274,366 had been subjected to Sonderbehandlung at camps in the General Government.

On April 1, 1943, when Himmler had the report prepared for submission to Hitler, the words “Sonderbehandlung at Camps in the General Government” were changed to “Transport of Jews from the Eastern Provinces to the Russian East, Processed through the Camps in the General Government.”

The term Sonderbehandlung, sometimes abbreviated SB, was allegedly used by the Nazis to mean death in the gas chamber; the English translation is “special treatment.”

The terms “evacuation” and “transportation to the East” were allegedly Nazi code words for sending the Jews to death camps where they were murdered in the gas chambers. The words “resettled” and “liquidated,” when used to refer to the Jews, were also euphemisms which were allegedly used to mean “killed in the gas chambers”.

The term “die Endlösung der Judenfrage” was written by Hermann Goering in a letter to Reinhard Heydrich on July 31, 1941. Translated into English as “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” this is as a euphemism which was allegedly used by the Nazis to mean the genocide of the Jews in Europe.

However, at the Nuremberg IMT, Goering testified that the term meant the “Total solution to the Jewish question” which was a euphemism for the evacuation of the Jews to the East.

The Nazis referred to Treblinka as a Durchgangslager (transit camp).

Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler was responsible for completing, by March 1943, the resettlement of 629,000 ethnic Germans from the Baltic countries into the Polish territory that was incorporated into the Greater German Reich in October 1939. He was also responsible for deporting 365,000 Poles, from the part of Poland that was incorporated into the Greater German Reich, to occupied Poland, and for deporting 295,000 citizens from Luxembourg and the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, which were also incorporated into the Greater German Reich. All this had been accomplished by Himmler by March 1943 when Dr. Korherr, who was Himmler’s chief statistician, made his report on what had happened to the Jews who were living in Eastern Poland.

In 2000, a document called the Höfle Telegram was discovered by Holocaust historians in the Public Records Office in Kew, England. This document consists of two intercepted encoded messages, both of which were sent from Lublin on January 11, 1943 by SS-Sturmbannführer Hermann Höfle, and marked “state secret.”

One message was sent to Adolf Eichmann in the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in Berlin and the other to SS-Oberststurmbannführer Franz Heim, deputy commander of the Security Police (SIPO) at the headquarters of German-occupied Poland in Krakow.

The encoded messages gave the number of arrivals at the Operation Reinhard camps during the previous two weeks and the following totals for Jews sent to the Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor and Lublin (Majdanek) camps in 1942:

Treblinka, 71,355 [713,555]; Belzec, 434,500; Sobibor, 101,370; and Majdanek, 24,733.

The number for Treblinka, 71,355, was a typographical error; the correct number is 713,555, based on the total given. The total “arrivals” for the four camps matches the total of 1,274,166 “evacuated” Jews in the Korherr Report.

Besides the freight trains that carried the Jews in box cars to Treblinka, there were also passenger trains with 3,000 people on board each train, as well as trucks and horse-drawn wagons that brought the victims to Treblinka.

September 22, 2015

11 million Jews mentioned in minutes of Wannsee conference

The house where the Wannsee conference was held

Rear of the house where Wannsee conference was held

A reader of my blog wrote this in a comment:

“German numbers place the number of Jews in Europe at 11 million. I’ve already posted the Wannsee minutes, they said 11 million.”

After visiting the Wannsee house years ago, I wrote about the Wannsee Conference on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Wannsee/

The Wannsee house where the conference was held

Wannsee house where conference was held

The following information is from my website:
The minutes or protocols of the Wannsee meeting, 15 pages in all, were written by 36-year-old Adolf Eichmann. The copy that was found in 1947 was undated and unsigned; it had no stamp of any Bureau. The copy appeared to be a draft report of the meeting that was held on January 20, 1942 at Wannsee.

[Did you catch that?  The copy that was found in 1947!  I wonder who wrote the copy that was mysteriously found after 5 long years.]

The full title of the Conference was “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe.” The original phrase was “a final territorial solution of the Jewish question.” The term “Jewish Question” referred to a question that had been discussed for years: Should the Jews have their own state within the country where they lived, or should they assimilate?
After World War II ended on May 8, 1945, the Allied powers began a search for the Nazi documents that they would need as evidence at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal which was set to begin in November 1945. They found tons of paperwork including secret documents hidden in salt mines and behind walls in the Nazi administration buildings. But the one most important document, the order signed by Adolf Hitler which gave the authority for the genocide of the Jews, was never found.

Finally, in 1947, long after the first proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT had ended, the minutes of a conference held on January 20, 1942 at a villa in Wannsee, a district of Berlin, were found. At this conference, the plans for the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” had been discussed. Today, tourists can stand in the very room where the plans were made for the genocide of the Jews.

The dining room of the Wannsee house where the conference was held

The dining room of the Wannsee house where the conference was held

Fifteen top officials of the Nazi bureaucracy and the SS attended the Wannsee conference, which was led by 38-year-old Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA). On May 27, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich was wounded when a group of Czech resistance fighters, who had escaped to England, returned and made an attempt on his life in Prague. Heydrich died of his wounds on June 4, 1942.

The minutes or protocols of the Wannsee meeting, 15 pages in all, were written by 36-year-old Adolf Eichmann. The copy that was found in 1947 was undated and unsigned; it had no stamp of any Bureau. The copy appeared to be a draft report of the meeting that was held on January 20, 1942 at Wannsee.

Was this alleged copy actually a document that was written by someone other than Adolf Eichmann?

The full title of the Conference was “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe.” The original phrase was “a final territorial solution of the Jewish question.”

The term “Jewish Question” referred to a question that had been discussed for years: Should the Jews have their own state within the country where they lived, or should they assimilate?

The front of the Wannsee house where the conference was held

The front of the Wannsee house where the conference was held

On the witness stand at the Nuremberg IMT, Hermann Goering said that the conference was about “the total solution to the Jewish Question” and that it meant the evacuation of the Jews, not extermination.

May 24, 2015

Auschwitz — “the largest mass murder site in human history”

In my blog post today, I am commenting on a news article, in a British newspaper, which you can read in full at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/27/auschwitz-short-history-liberation-concentration-camp-holocaust

The Wannsee house dining room as it looks today

The Wannsee house dining room as it looks today. This is the room where the Wannsee Conference was held.  (Click on the photo to enlarge)

The article in The Guardian newspaper, cited above, begins with this quote:

On 27 January 1945 Soviet soldiers entered the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex in south-west Poland. The site had been evacuated by the Nazis just days earlier. Thus ended the largest mass murder in a single location in human history.

The part of the article, which particularly caught my eye, is this quote:

In January 1942, the Nazi party decided to roll out the Final Solution. Camps dedicated solely to the extermination of Jews had been created before, but this was formalised by SS Lieutenant General Reinhard Heydrich in a speech at the Wannsee conference. The extermination camp Auschwitz II (or Auschwitz-Birkenau) was opened in the same year.

So what is the real story on the Wannsee conference and the “Final Solution”?

The dining room, as it looked in 1916 when the Wannsee house was built. This is the room where the Wannsee conference was held in 1942

The dining room, as it looked in 1916 when the Wannsee house was built. This is the room where the Wannsee conference was held in 1942

The photograph above shows the dining room [where the Wannsee Conference was held] as it looked in 1922. At the time of the conference in January 1942, the room was probably furnished much like this. Now the former conference room has been stripped of its Queen Ann chairs, Oriental rug, chandelier, and wall tapestry, and only a glass table and 15 stools are in the room.

Fifteen top officials of the Nazi bureaucracy and the SS attended the Wannsee conference, which was led by 38-year-old Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), on January 20, 1942 in an old mansion in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee.

A photo of the Wannsee mansion, taken shortly after it was built in 1916

A photo of the Wannsee mansion, taken shortly after it was built in 1916

The minutes or protocols of the Wannsee meeting, 15 pages in all, were written by 36-year-old Adolf Eichmann.

The copy of the minutes, that was found by the Allies in 1947, was undated and unsigned; it had no stamp of any Bureau. The copy appeared to be a draft report of the meeting.

The full title of the Conference was “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe.”

The original phrase, upon which the title was based, was “a final territorial solution of the Jewish question.”

The term “Jewish Question” referred to a question that had been discussed for years: Should the Jews have their own state within the country where they lived, or should they assimilate?

On the witness stand, at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, Hermann Goering said that the conference was about “the total solution to the Jewish Question” and that it meant the evacuation of the Jews, not the extermination of the Jews.

The full text of the letter from Goering to Heydrich, ordering the Final Solution, (Nuremberg Document PS-710) is quoted below:

Begin quote:

To the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich

Berlin

In completion of the task which was entrusted to you in the Edict dated January 24, 1939, of solving the Jewish question by means of emigration or evacuation in the most convenient way possible, given the present conditions, I herewith charge you with making all necessary preparations with regard to organizational, practical and financial aspects for a total solution [Gesamtloesung] of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

Insofar as the competencies of other central organizations are affected, these are to be involved.

I further charge you with submitting to me promptly an overall plan of the preliminary organizational, practical and financial measures for the execution of the intended final solution (Endloesung) of the Jewish question.

[signed] Goering

End quote

The former dining room in the Wannsee house is used today for meetings in which the famous Conference is discussed.

The former dining room in the Wannsee house is used today for meetings to discuss the Holocaust

The former dining room in the Wannsee house is used today for meetings to discuss the Holocaust  (Click on the photo to enlarge)

February 13, 2012

The museum in the Wannsee house where “The Final Solution” was planned

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:59 am

1916 photo of the mansion where the Wannsee Conference was held in Jan. 1942

A question, about an exhibit in the Museum at the Wannsee mansion where the “The Final Solution to the Jewish Question in Europe” was planned on January 20, 1942, was asked in a comment on my blog by a reader named “skeptic” who is skeptical about the official story of the Holocaust. “Skeptic” questions whether a telex (on display at Wannsee) that was allegedly sent by Reinhard Heydrich to the 4 Einsatzgruppen leaders in 1941, is genuine. The Wannsee Museum shows this telex in one of their displays, which I saw in October 1999.

The telex message ordered the Einsatzgruppen leaders to allow the locals on the eastern front to kill the Jews without interference during World War II, and even to encourage them to kill the Jews.  Did Reinhard Heydrich really write this telex message?  I have no way of knowing if this telex was actually sent by Reinhard Heydrich or anyone else.

I can only judge the Wannsee Museum exhibit by the information given on subjects that I know something about. Based on the my limited knowledge, I have to say that the Wannsee Museum is disingenuous. For example, an excerpt from Heinrich Himmler’s famous speech at Posen on October 4, 1943 is quoted in the museum display:

…”The Jewish people are being exterminated.” every party member says. “Of course, it’s in our program, elimination of the Jews, extermination, we’ll do it all right.” Among all those who talk like this, no one has witnessed it, no one has seen it through. Most of you will know, however, what it means to see 100 corpses lying together, or 500, or 1,000. To have stuck it out and at the same time to have remained decent – aside from a few exceptions succumbing to human weakness – that has made us tough. This is a page of glory in our history, unwritten and never to be written…

As quoted by the Wannsee Museum, Himmler’s speech is cut off in mid sentence. According to Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert, the full sentence from Himmler’s speech is as follows:

This is an unwritten and never-to-be-written page of glory in our history, for we know how difficult it would be for us if today under bombing raids and the hardships and deprivations of war – if we were still to have the Jews in every city as secret saboteurs, agitators, and inciters. If the Jews were still lodged in the body of the German nation, we would probably by now have reached the stage of 1917-18.”

The last part of the sentence is a reference to 1917-18 during World War I when the Jewish labor leaders called a strike of ammunition workers in 1917 and the Jewish Social Democrats overthrew the established government and declared a Republic in Germany in 1918. The Nazis believed that the Jews were responsible for their defeat in World War I because Jewish Social Democrats had signed the Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles. The part of the sentence, that the museum display cut out, explains why the Nazis made the decision to “transport the Jews to the east” six months after they invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.

1922 photo of dining room where Wannsee Conference was held

The museum is on the ground floor of the mansion in the Wannsee suburb of Berlin where the Conference was held. The photo above shows the dining room where the conference was held.  In the background, you can see the opening into the “Wintergarten” which is a glassed-in room overlooking a rose garden. This is where seminars on the Holocaust are now held.   (more…)