Die voorbereidings vir die finale oplossing begin

Die voorbereidings vir die finale oplossing begin



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Op 31 Julie 1941 beveel Hermann Göring, onder opdrag van Hitler, Reinhard Heydrich, SS-generaal en die nommer twee man van Heinrich Himmler, 'om so gou as moontlik 'n algemene plan van die administratiewe materiaal en finansiële maatreëls aan my voor te lê die gewenste finale oplossing van die Joodse vraag uit te voer. ”

Goering vertel kortliks die uiteensetting van die “finale oplossing” wat op 24 Januarie 1939 opgestel is: “emigrasie en ontruiming op die beste manier.” Hierdie program van wat 'n massiewe, sistematiese uitroeiing sou word, was om 'al die gebiede van Europa onder Duitse besetting' te omvat.

Heydrich het reeds ervaring met die organisering van so 'n plan, nadat hy die wrede konsep van die ghetto in Warskou na die Duitse besetting van Pole heringestel het. Jode is in beknopte ommuurde gebiede van groot stede vasgekeer en as gevangenes aangehou, aangesien hul besittings in beslag geneem is en aan óf plaaslike Duitsers óf nie-Joodse Poolse kleinboere gegee is.

Agter hierdie afskuwelike plan, wat maand vir maand, land vir land, uitgevoer is, was Hitler, wie se “grootste swakheid gevind is in die groot getal onderdrukte mense wat [hom] gehaat het en die immorele maniere van sy regering”. Hierdie beoordeling was van die Sowjet -diktator Joseph Stalin, wat op dieselfde dag, 31 Julie, tydens 'n Kremlin -vergadering met die Amerikaanse adviseur van die president Harry Hopkins gegee is.

LEES MEER: Die Holocaust


Finale oplossing

Verskeie verwysings

Op die aand van 9 November 1938 het versigtig georkestreerde anti-Joodse geweld in die hele Ryk, wat sedert Maart Oostenryk insluit, 'uitgebreek'. In die volgende 48 uur het oproeriges meer as 1 000 sinagoges verbrand of beskadig en die vensters van meer as 7 500 ...

... die Duitse volk - soek die 'finale oplossing vir die Joodse vraag', die moord op alle Jode - mans, vroue en kinders - en die uitroeiing daarvan uit die menslike geslag. In die Nazi -ideologie wat Joodsheid as biologies beskou het, was die uitskakeling van die Jode noodsaaklik vir die suiwering en selfs die redding van ...

... by die uitvoering van die 'finale oplossing', die massale uitroeiing van die Joodse bevolking van Europa (kyk Holocaust). In die twee tegnies onafhanklike state van Bulgarye en Roemenië het die plaaslike regerings egter geweier om hierdie maatreëls toe te pas in gebiede wat hulle voor uitbreiding beheer het. Na die oorlog het die meeste oorlewende Jode ...

... Berlyn om die 'finale oplossing vir die Joodse vraag' te organiseer. Om die tafel was 15 mans wat staatsinstansies verteenwoordig wat nodig was om so 'n gewaagde en deurdagte beleid te implementeer. Die taal van die vergadering was duidelik, maar die notas van die vergadering was versigtig:

... Wil u die 'finale oplossing' beplan (Endlösung) na die sogenaamde 'Joodse vraag' (Judenfrage). Op 31 Julie 1941 het die Nazi -leier, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, bevele aan Reinhard Heydrich, leier van die SS (Nazi -paramilitêre korps) en Gestapo (geheime polisie), gegee om 'n omvattende plan hiervoor op te stel

... geleentheid om 'n 'finale oplossing' te soek. In 1939–40 het die Nazi's dit oorweeg om Pole of Madagaskar as stortingsterreine vir Jode te gebruik. Maar die inval van die USSR het Hitler, Göring en SS -leiers Heinrich Himmler en Reinhard Heydrich aangemoedig om eerder te besluit oor massa -uitroeiing in kampe in Belzec, Majdanek, Sobibor, ...

... daar was egter die finale oplossing van die 'Joodse vraag' soos deur Hitler beveel, wat beteken dat die Joodse volk fisies uitgewis word in die hele Europa, oral waar die Duitse heerskappy van krag was of waar die Duitse invloed deurslaggewend was.

... sleutelelement van die 'finale oplossing' wat op 20 Januarie 1942 deur SS -amptenaar Reinhard Heydrich op Wannsee voorgestel is:

Rol van

... die Nazi's noem die 'finale oplossing vir die Joodse vraag'. Eichmann sou die besonderhede so koördineer, alhoewel dit nog nie algemeen bekend was dat die 'finale oplossing' massa -teregstelling was nie, was Eichmann in werklikheid die hoofuitvoerder. Daarna organiseer hy die identifisering, byeenkoms en vervoer van Jode ...

... 'n sleutelrol in die Finale Oplossing en die Nazi -rasse van uitroeiing in Oos -Europa.

... om 'n 'finale oplossing vir die Joodse vraag' uit te voer, wat hom gemagtig het om alle organisatoriese en administratiewe stappe te neem wat nodig is vir die uitroeiing van die Jode. Heydrich was die voorsitter van die berugte Wannsee -konferensie (20 Januarie 1942), wie se deelnemers die logistiek van die 'finale oplossing' bespreek het.


Die 'finale oplossing': agtergrond en oorsig

Die & ldquo Finale oplossing van die Joodse vraag & ldquo (in Duits & ldquoEndl & ouml-sung der Judenfrage& rdquo) was die Nazi -plan vir die uitwissing van die Jode.

Gewortel in die 19de -eeuse antisemitiese toespraak oor die & ldquo Joodse vraag, & rdquo & ldquo Finale oplossing & rdquo as 'n Nazi -voorblad dui op die laaste fase in die evolusie van die Derde Ryk en anti -Joodse beleid van vervolging tot fisiese vernietiging op Europese skaal. Tans word Final Solution uitruilbaar gebruik met ander, breër terme wat verwys na die Duitse uitwissingsbeleid tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, sowel as meer spesifiek om die Duitse bedoeling en die besluitnemingsproses te beskryf wat lei tot die begin van sistematiese massamoord.

Alhoewel die Nazi Party -program wat in Februarie 1920 aangeneem is, geen direkte of indirekte verwysing na die term bevat nie, was Nazi -propaganda 'n radikale uitskakeling van alles wat Joods uit alle aspekte van die Duitse lewe beskou word as 'n voorvereiste vir nasionale herstel. Nadat Hitler en rsquos aan die bewind gekom het, het party-aktiviste en burokrate meegeding om die breë konsensus te verander dat iets aan die Joodse vraag en rdquo gedoen moet word in regeringsbeleid wat gemik is op verskillende grade van segregasie, onteiening en fisiese verwydering. In die proses word die toepassing van geweld egter al hoe aantrekliker, maar die gebruik van die term in Duitse dokumente wat voor 1941 vervaardig is, moet minder verstaan ​​word as 'n uitdrukking van 'n vooropgestelde bloudruk vir volksmoord as 'n uitdrukking van radikale, nog nie gespesifiseerde bedoeling.

Met die begin van die oorlog en die georganiseerde moord op nie-Joodse groepe onder die Duitse bevolking in die sogenaamde genadedoodsprogram, was die wazige verklarings van voorneme en verwagting van die hoogste leierskap en die mees prominente verklaring van Hitler en Rsquos Reichstag van 30 Januarie 1939 dat 'n nuwe wêreldoorlog sou die uitwissing van die Joodse ras in Europa tot stand bring en 'n legitimering en aansporing tot gewelddadige, soms reeds moorddadige maatreëls wat in die periferie aangeneem is, sou lei om die besluitneming in Berlyn te radikaliseer. Heydrich & rsquos Schnellbrief na die Einsatzgruppen bevelvoerders in Pole gedateer 21 September 1939 oor die & ldquo Joodse vraag & rdquo verwys na geheime & ldquoplanned totale maatreëls & rdquo (dus die finale doel) (& ldquodie geplanten Gesamtma & szlignahmen (ook das Endziel& rdquo)) nietemin, die meeste Holocaust -historici is dit vandag eens dat hierdie oplossing destyds nog steeds beskou is as onderdrukking en verwydering, nie vernietiging nie. Die meer gereelde gebruik van die term Finale oplossing in Duitse dokumente wat in 1941 begin, dui op geleidelike beweging na die idee van fisiese uitskakeling in die konteks van verpletterde planne vir grootskaalse bevolkingshervestiging (insluitend die & ldquoMadagaskar-plan & rdquo) en megalomaanse hoop op keiserlike vergroting in die Ooste Europa. Die Amerikaanse geleerde Christopher Browning merk op dat & ldquoa & lsquobig bang & rsquo -teorie & rdquo nie daarin slaag om die Duitse besluitneming voldoende te beskryf nie, die proses was langdurig en inkrementeel, gedryf deur & ldquoa vae visie van geïmpliseerde volksmoord. & Rdquo

As daar 'n caesura was in die rigting van die implementering van die Finale Oplossing deur massamoord, word dit gekenmerk deur die Duitse oorlog en vernietiging teen die Sowjetunie vanaf 22 Junie 1941. beklemtoon die aard van die breë strata van die bevolking en die noodsaaklikheid van drastiese maatreëls om die dodelike bedreiging van Judo-Bolsjewisme vir die Nazi-groot ontwerp te bestry, Duitse soldate, SS-manne en polisielede vermoor Jode vanaf die eerste dae van die veldtog. Streeklik verskillende patrone van vervolging het tot einde 1941 sy mees prominente kenmerk ontdek en die omvang van die moord op manlike Jode van militêre ouderdom uitgebrei (Heydrich en rsquos berugte brief aan die hoër SS- en polisiehoofde in die besette Sowjetunie gedateer 2 Julie 1941 , gelys & jdquo -Jode in party- en staatsposisies & rdquo en & ldquoother radikale elemente & rdquo onder diegene wat uitgevoer moet word) aan vroue en kinders & ndash beklemtoon die afwesigheid van 'n sentrale orde en die voorkeur van die Berlynse owerhede vir beheerde eskalasie.

Die moorddadige gebeure in die besette Sowjetunie het die vooruitsig gestel in 'n richtlijn van die ministerie van Alfred Rosenberg en die Rsquos Reich vir die besette oostelike gebiede, en het die Duitse leierskap ervaring gegee oor hoe hulle tot 'n oplossing kan kom vir die algemene probleem.f & uumlr die Loesung des Gesamt-Problems richtungsweisend& rdquo) wat elders toegepas kan word. Op 31 Julie 1941 onderteken Goering 'n dokument waarin Heydrich die nodige voorbereidings ten opsigte van organisatoriese, praktiese en materiële aspekte vir 'n algehele oplossing (& ldquo)Gesamtloesung& rdquo) van die Joodse vraag in die Duitse invloedsfeer in Europa & rdquo en om 'n plan op te stel vir die implementering van die beoogde finale oplossing (& ldquoEndloesung& rdquo) van die Joodse vraag. & rdquo

Teen die tyd van die Wannsee -konferensie wat op 20 Januarie 1942 gehou is, het die term Finale Oplossing 'n algemene uitdrukking geword onder die Duitse regering en partyamptenare. Die geografiese omvang daarvan, wat nou in werklike betekenis tot massamoord gereduseer is, brei verder uit as Duits-gedomineerd Europa: in die protokol van die konferensie is 11 miljoen Jode in verskillende lande opgesom wat in die finale oplossing van die Europese Joodse vraag ingesluip moet word, insluitend Engeland en neutrale soos Swede en Switserland. Die hoogtepunt van die Finale Oplossing in massadeportasies uit verskillende dele van Europa na die moordsentrums en doodskampe in Oos-Europa het, net soos vroeëre stadiums van die proses, nie gelei tot 'n enkele besluit op die hoogste vlak nie, maar uit 'n komplekse mengsel van faktore, terwyl die Berlynse sentrum soveel reageer as wat dit die gebeure aktief gevorm het.

Die historiese betekenis daarvan maak die term Finale oplossing die belangrikste voorbeeld van die vermoë van die Nazi-taal om potensieel verskillende, indien nie uiteenlopende, benaderings tot die sogenaamde Joodse vraag te integreer in 'n konseptuele verwysingsraamwerk wat help om sistematiese massamoord te vergemaklik en om die derde te verberg Reich & rsquos se volksmoordbeleid agter tegnokratiese abstraksies, en bied sodoende legitimering vir oortreders en stel omstanders in staat om te beweer dat hulle nie weet wat aan die gang is nie. Ondanks die inherente probleme daarvan, veral om die illusie van gekoördineerde beplanning en sistematiese implementering op te wek, bly die term Finale Oplossing van kardinale belang vir die erkenning van die proseskarakter van die Holocaust as 'n sleutelelement in 'n breër geskiedenis van massamoord deur die staat tydens die Nazi-era .

BIBLIOGRAFIE

G. Aly, & ldquo Finale oplossing & rdquo: Nazi-bevolkingsbeleid en die moord op die Europese Jode (1999) CR Browning (met bydraes van J. Matth & aumlus), The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939- Maart 1942 (2004) R. Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (20033) P. Longerich, Politik der Vernichtung. Eine Gesamtdarstellung der nationalalsozialistischen Judenverfolgung (1998).

Bronne: Encyclopaedia Judaica. & kopie 2008 The Gale Group. Alle regte voorbehou.


Massiewe moordoperasies begin

Na die Duitse inval van die Sowjetunie in Junie 1941, het SS en polisie -eenhede (wat as mobiele moordeenhede optree) begin met massiewe moordoperasies wat op hele Joodse gemeenskappe gemik was. Teen die herfs van 1941 het die SS en die polisie mobiele gaswaens ingestel. Hierdie paneelvragmotors het uitlaatpype laat herkonfigureer om giftige koolstofmonoksiedgas in verseëlde ruimtes te pomp, waardeur diegene wat daarin gesluit is, vermoor word. Hulle is ontwerp om aanvullende skietoperasies aan te vul.

Op 17 Julie 1941, vier weke na die inval van die Sowjetunie, het Hitler die SS -hoof Heinrich Himmler die verantwoordelikheid gegee vir alle veiligheidskwessies in die besette Sowjetunie. Hitler het Himmler 'n breë gesag gegee om enige bedreigings vir permanente Duitse bewind fisies uit te skakel. Twee weke later, op 31 Julie 1941, het die Nazi -leier Hermann Goering die SS -generaal Reinhard Heydrich gemagtig om voorbereidings te tref vir die implementering van 'n 'volledige oplossing van die Joodse vraag'.


'Die oorsprong van die finale oplossing'

In 'n kort twee jaar tussen die herfs van 1939 en die herfs van 1941 het die Nazi-Joodse beleid vinnig eskaleer van die vooroorlogse beleid van gedwonge emigrasie na die finale oplossing, soos dit nou verstaan ​​word-die stelselmatige poging om elke laaste Jood binne die Duitse greep te vermoor . Die massamoord op Sowjet-Jood het reeds in die laat somer van 1941 begin, en slegs 'n half jaar later was die Nazi-regime gereed om hierdie beleid in die res van sy Europese ryk en invloedsfeer te implementeer. Die studie van hierdie 30 maande-van September 1939 tot Maart 1942-is van kardinale belang om die ontstaan ​​van die Finale Oplossing te verstaan ​​en vorm die kern van hierdie boek. In hierdie tyd het die Nazi -regime op die rand van 'n ware waterskeidingsgebeurtenis in die geskiedenis gestaan. Maar waarom het hierdie waterskeidingsgebeurtenis in die middel van die 20ste eeu plaasgevind na twee millennia van Christelik-Joodse antagonisme en een millennium van 'n enkele Europese antisemitisme?

Christene en Jode het sedert die eerste eeu van die gewone era in 'n teenstrydige verhouding geleef, toe die vroeë volgelinge van Jesus nie daarin kon slaag om 'n beduidende aantal mede -Jode te oortuig dat hy die Messias was nie. Hulle versterk dan geleidelik hul identiteit as 'n nuwe godsdiens eerder as 'n hervormende Joodse sekte. Eerstens het die Pauliniese Christendom die stap geneem om bekeerlinge te soek, nie net onder Jode nie, maar ook onder die heidense bevolkings van die Romeinse Ryk. Tweedens, het die Evangelieskrywers-ongeveer 40 tot 60 jaar na die dood van Jesus-probeer om die Romeinse owerhede te kalmeer en terselfdertyd hul mededingers te stigmatiseer deur die Jode eerder as die Romeinse owerhede in Palestina as verantwoordelik vir die kruisiging uit te beeld. die skriftuurlike oorsprong van die noodlottige & quotChrist-moordenaar & quot laster. Uiteindelik het die Joodse rebellie in Palestina en die vernietiging van die Tweede Tempel vroeë Christene gemotiveer om hulle nie net heeltemal van die Jode te distansieer nie, maar om die Joodse ramp te sien as 'n verdiende straf vir die hardkoppige weiering om Jesus as die Messias te aanvaar en as 'n goddelike bevestiging van hul eie oortuigings. Christene en Jode, twee klein sektes wat op grond van hul monoteïsme en geskrifte veel meer met mekaar gemeen het as wat hulle met die res van die verdraagsame, sinkretiese, politeïstiese heidense Romeinse wêreld gehad het, het 'n onverbiddelike vyandigheid teenoor mekaar ontwikkel.

Hierdie vyandigheid het in die loop van die vierde eeu histories betekenisvol geword toe die Christendom, na die bekering van die keiser Konstantyn, eers die gunsteling en daarna die amptelike godsdiens van die Romeinse Ryk geword het. Die godsdienstige twis tussen twee klein en relatief magtelose sektes, albei in stryd met die heidense wêreld waarin hulle geleef het, is skielik omskep in 'n ongelyke verhouding tussen 'n triomfantelike staatsgodsdiens en 'n beleërde godsdienstige minderheid. Tog het die Jode beter gevaar as die heidene. Triomfantlike Christene het die heidendom vernietig en die tempels daarvan afgebreek, maar die sinagoges het staande gebly, en Judaïsme het gebly as die enigste wetlik toegelate godsdiens buite die Christendom. Sonder hierdie dubbele standaard van onverdraagsaamheid-sou heidendom vernietig word en Judaïsme verag maar toegelaat sou word-sou daar geen verdere geskiedenis van Christelik-Joodse verhoudings gewees het nie.

Die oënskynlik triomfantlike Christendom het spoedig sy eie eeue lange rampe in die gesig gestaar. Namate die demografiese en ekonomiese agteruitgang die krag van die verchristelike Romeinse Ryk van binne af erodeer, versplinter en stort die westelike provinsies onder die impak van die numeries taamlik klein Germaanse invalle uit die noorde. Die latere inval van die Huns uit die ooste het verdwyn, maar nie so nie die daaropvolgende Moslem -inval, wat uit die Arabiese Skiereiland gestorm het en teen die einde van die sewende eeu die helfte van die ou Romeinse wêreld verower het. In die gebied wat bestem is om Wes-Europa te word, het stede saam met stedelike kultuur en 'n geldekonomie byna heeltemal verdwyn. 'N Groot gekrimpte bevolking, ongeletterd, verarm en saamgedrom in afgesonderde dorpe wat 'n haglike bestaan ​​uit 'n primitiewe, lewensbestaanbare landbou uit die weg geruim het onder die impak van nog verder verwoestende invalle van Vikings uit Skandinawië en Magyars uit Sentraal-Asië in die negende en tiende eeu . Nóg die Christelike meerderheid nóg die Joodse minderheid van Wes -Europa kon baie troos vind in hierdie eeue van verdrukking en agteruitgang.

Die groot herstel-demografiese, ekonomiese, kulturele en politieke begin kort voor die millennium. Bevolking het ontplof, stede het gegroei, rykdom het vermeerder, sentraliserende monargieë het begin seëvier oor feodale anargie, universiteite is uitgevind, kulturele skatte van die klassieke wêreld is herstel en die grense van die Westerse Christendom het uitgebrei.

Maar die groot transformasie het nie almal dieselfde voordele meegebring nie. Die eerste groot "moderniseringskrisis in Europa", soos enige so 'n diepgaande transformasie, het 'n groot maatskaplike verloorders gehad. ' 'N Nuwe geldekonomie en 'n stedelike samelewing het tradisionele herinneringsverhoudings ondermyn. Uitbreiding van geletterdheid en universiteitsopleiding, tesame met 'n bedwelmende ontdekking van die Aristoteliese rasionalisme, het 'n moontlike en ontstellende bedreiging vir die tradisionele Christelike geloof inhou. Groei, voorspoed en godsdienstige entoesiasme het gepaard gegaan met verwarring, frustrasie en twyfel.

Vir alles wat nuut en ontstellend, onbegryplik en bedreigend was, het die Joodse minderheid 'n gepaste simbool in hierdie moderniseringskrisis. Die anti-Judaïsme (en quoteaching of minagting) van Christelike teoloë wat die eerste millennium van Christelik-Joodse antagonisme gekenmerk het, word vinnig vervang deur wat Gavin Langmuir genoem het & quotxenophobic & quot antisemitisme-'n wydverspreide negatiewe stereotipe wat bestaan ​​uit verskillende bewerings wat nie beskryf die werklike Joodse minderheid, maar simboliseer eerder die bedreigings en bedreigings wat die Christelike meerderheid nie kon en wou verstaan ​​nie. 'N Groep anti-Joodse voorvalle aan die einde van die eerste dekade van die 11de eeu dui op 'n verandering wat duideliker geword het met die moorddadige pogrome wat deur ridderbendes op pad na die Eerste Kruistog gepleeg is. In die woorde van Langmuir, "Dit lyk asof hierdie groepe bestaan ​​uit mense wie se identiteitsgevoel ernstig ondermyn is deur vinnig veranderende sosiale toestande wat hulle nie kon beheer of verstaan ​​nie en waaraan hulle nie suksesvol kon aanpas nie."

Stedelike, kommersiële, nie-militêre en veral nie-gelowiges, was die Jode blootgestel aan die onmiddellike bedreiging van die eerste pogroms van Europa en vir die langtermyn bedreiging van 'n verskerpende negatiewe stereotipe. Die Joodse minderheid is nie net as ongelowiges nie, maar nou ook as lafaards, parasiete en woekermerke afgesonder van die eerbare beroepe van geveg en grondbesit, dikwels ook uitgesluit van die gesogte ekonomiese aktiwiteite wat deur die Christelike meerderheid beheer word. Godsdienstig gedrewe antisemitisme het ekonomiese, sosiale en politieke dimensies aangeneem.

In die daaropvolgende eeue is die negatiewe stereotipe van xenofobiese antisemitisme versterk en bedek deur fantastiese en demente beskuldigings, soos die beweerde praktyke van rituele moord en marteling van die gasheer. Dit lyk asof sulke beskuldigings ontstaan ​​het uit die optrede van versteurde individue wat maniere gevind het om hul eie sielkundige probleme op sosiaal aanvaarbare maniere te hanteer. In die vrugbare grond van xenofobiese antisemitisme het sulke chimeras vermeerder en versprei en uiteindelik deur die owerhede omhels en gelegitimeer. Namate die Jode toenemend ontmenslik en gedemoniseer is, het die antisemitisme van die Middeleeuse tydperk uitgeloop op die uitdrywings en die wydverspreide slagtings wat met die Swart Dood gepaard gegaan het.

Antisemitisme in Wes-Europa was nou so diep en deurdringend ingebed in die Christelike kultuur dat die afwesigheid van werklike Jode geen invloed op die gemeenskap se wydverspreide vyandigheid teenoor hulle gehad het nie. In Spanje, die land van die laaste en grootste verdrywing van Jode, was selfs bekering toenemend onvoldoende om te oorwin wat nou as 'n aangebore Joodse boosheid beskou word. Die Marranos is aan voortdurende vervolging en verdrywing onderwerp, en begrippe van suiwerbloedige Christene-wat 500 jaar later op 'n grusame wyse die ontwikkelinge voorspel het-is verwoord.

Europa se Jode het hierdie toenemende stroom van vervolging oorleef omdat die Kerk, terwyl dit dit goedgekeur het, ook perke daaraan gestel het. En deurlaatbare grense laat verdrywe Jode ontsnap en hulle elders vestig. (Daarteenoor sou die 20ste eeu nie sulke deurlaatbare grense en effektiewe godsdienstige grense bevat nie.) Die uiteindelike stadige afname in die gewelddadigheid van antisemitisme was nie soseer die gevolg van die relatiewe afwesigheid van Jode in baie dele van Wes-Europa nie, maar eerder tot die geleidelike sekularisering van die vroeë moderne Europese samelewing-humanisme uit die Renaissance, die verbreking van godsdienstige eenheid in die Reformasie, die wetenskaplike ontdekkings van Galileo en Newton in die 17de eeu en die Verligting. Wes -Europa was nie meer 'n Christelike gemenebes nie, met godsdiens as die kern van sy kultuur en identiteit.

Tydens hierdie relatiewe rus het Jode terug gefiltreer na sommige gebiede van Wes -Europa waaruit hulle voorheen verdryf was. Die demografiese sentrum van die Europese Jood was egter nou duidelik geanker in die ooste. Jode het in die Middeleeue in Oos -Europa begin vestig, wat dikwels deur plaaslike heersers verwelkom is vir die aanvullende ekonomiese funksies wat hulle verrig het, en teen die 18de eeu was daar 'n ware Joodse bevolkingsontploffing. Alle Europeërs-Jode en nie-Jode-is diep geraak deur die 'Dubbele Revolusie' van die laat 18de en vroeë 19de eeu. Die Franse Revolusie dui op die opkoms van liberalisme en nasionalisme wat die Industriële Revolusie 'n diepgaande ekonomiese en sosiale transformasie aan die gang gesit het.

Aanvanklik was die dubbele rewolusie 'n groot seën vir die Jode in Europa. Met liberalisme kom "Joodse emansipasie." In 'n paar kort dekades het die eeue lange opeenhoping van diskriminerende, anti-Joodse maatreëls plek gemaak vir die liberale leerstellings van gelykheid voor die wet en vryheid van gewete-nie net in Engeland en Frankryk nie, maar selfs in die outokratiese Duitse en Oostenryk-Hongaarse ryke. En die Industriële Revolusie bied ongekende ekonomiese geleenthede vir 'n mobiele, opgevoede, aanpasbare minderheid met min bande en min nostalgie vir 'n agteruitgang van die tradisionele ekonomie en die samelewing waarin hulle so beperk en gemarginaliseer was.

Maar uiteindelik was Europa se tweede groot "moderniseringskrisis" nog meer gevaar vir die Jode as die eerste, byna 'n millennium vroeër. Weer eens kon die & quosocial losers & quot van die moderniseringskrisis-tradisionele elite en veral kleinskaalse produsente-by die Jode 'n gerieflike simbool vir hul angs vind. As die Jode baat by die veranderinge wat die tradisionele lewenswyse van Europa vernietig, lyk dit in die gedagtes van baie mense aanneemlik dat dit die oorsaak van hierdie veranderinge moet wees. Maar in die baie meer sekulêre en wetenskaplike wêreld van die 19de eeu het godsdienstige oortuigings minder verduidelikende krag gebied. Vir baie moes Joodse gedrag eerder verstaan ​​word as gevolg van na bewering onveranderlike kenmerke van die Joodse ras. Die implikasies van rasse-antisemitisme het 'n ander soort bedreiging ingehou. As die Christelike meerderheid voorheen die Jode onder druk geplaas het om tot bekering te kom en meer onlangs om te assimileer, het rasse-antisemitisme geen gedragsontkoming gebied nie. Jode as ras kon nie hul voorouers verander nie. Hulle kon net verdwyn.

As ras eerder as godsdiens nou die rede vir antisemitisme was, is die verskillende elemente van die negatiewe antisemitiese stereotipe wat gedurende die tweede helfte van die Middeleeue opgehoop het, byna in die geheel oorgeneem en het dit min opdatering nodig gehad. Die enigste belangrike toevoeging was die beskuldiging dat Jode verantwoordelik was vir die bedreiging van die Marxistiese rewolusie. Met weinig inagneming van logiese konsekwentheid, is die ou negatiewe beeld van Jode as parasitiese woekers (bygewerk as rapatiese kapitaliste) aangevul met 'n nuwe beeld van Jode as ondermynende revolusionêre om privaat eiendom en kapitalisme te vernietig en die sosiale orde omver te werp. Na 1917 het die idee van dreigende "Joodse-Bolsjewisme" net so gegroei onder die konserwatiewes in Europa soos die idee van Jode as "Christemoordenaars" onder die Christene in Europa was.

Hierdie verwikkelinge in die geskiedenis van antisemitisme het nasionale grense oorskry en was pan-Europees. Waarom het die Duitsers, onder die mense van Europa, dan so 'n noodlottige rol gespeel in die moorddadige klimaks wat in die middel van die 20ste eeu bereik is? Geleerdes het 'n aantal interpretasies van die Duitse en spesiale pad of Sonderweg aangebied, met Engeland en Frankryk gewoonlik die standaard of norm waarteen die Duitse verskil gemeet word. Een benadering beklemtoon die kulturele/ideologiese ontwikkeling van Duitsland. Wrok en reaksie teen verowering en verandering wat deur die revolusionêre en Napoleontiese Frankryk opgelê is, het Duitsland se verwronge en onvolledige omhelsing van die Verligting en 'westerse' liberale en demokratiese ideale verhoog. Die antiwesternisme van baie Duitse intellektuele en hul wanhoop vir 'n toenemend bedreigde en ontbindende tradisionele wêreld het gelei tot 'n voortdurende verwerping van liberaal-demokratiese waardes enersyds en 'n selektiewe versoening met aspekte van moderniteit (soos moderne tegnologie en rasionaliteit van eindes) aan die ander kant, wat Jeffrey Herf 'n besondere Duitse & quotreaksionele modernisme noem.

Volgens 'n ander sosiaal/strukturele benadering het Duitsland 'n langdurige politieke verdeeldheid en versnippering, in teenstelling met Engeland en Frankryk, 'n omgewing wat minder bevorderlik was vir ekonomiese ontwikkeling en die opkoms van 'n gesonde middelklas. Die mislukte liberaal-nasionale rewolusie van 1848 het 'n einde gemaak aan die pogings van Duitsland om te ontwikkel in die rigting van Frankryk en Engeland in gelyktydige politieke en ekonomiese modernisering. Daarna het die voorkapitalistiese Duitse elites hul voorregte in 'n outokratiese politieke stelsel behou, terwyl die ongemerkte middelklas albei deur nasionale eenwording deur Pruisiese militêre mag bevredig is, iets wat hulle deur hul eie revolusionêre pogings nie kon bereik nie, en deur die daaropvolgende afgekoop is welvaart van vinnige ekonomiese modernisering wat hierdie eenwording ontketen het. Omdat die Duitse middelklas nie bang was vir stygende sosialisme en gemanipuleer is deur 'n eskalerende en kwososiale imperialisme nie, het dit nooit die steunpilaar geword van 'n sterk liberaal-demokratiese sentrum soos in die politieke kultuur van Engeland en Frankryk nie. Duitsland het 'n 'quotschizofreniese' volk geword-'n toenemend moderne samelewing en ekonomie wat beheer word deur 'n outokratiese monargie en tradisionele elites, wat nie in staat is om geleidelike demokratiese hervorming te bewerkstellig nie.

Uittreksel uit The Origins of the Final Solution deur Christopher R. Browning Kopiereg © 2004 deur Univ. van Nebraska Press. Met toestemming uitgegee.

Alle regte voorbehou. Geen gedeelte van hierdie uittreksel mag sonder skriftelike toestemming van die uitgewer gereproduseer of herdruk word nie.

Uittreksels word slegs deur die Dial-A-Book Inc. verskaf vir die persoonlike gebruik van besoekers aan hierdie webwerf.


Die Magtigingswet

Gedurende die volgende paar dae, tot die verkiesing op 5 Maart, het die Nazi Brown Terror losgebars. Deur die geteisterde kommunistiese bedreiging “ amptelik te maak, het Hitler miljoene Duitsers in paniek gegooi. Willekeurige arrestasies het vermeerder terwyl vragmotors Stormtroopers deur die strate geteister het, by huise ingebreek het, slagoffers, waaronder baie Jode, bymekaargemaak het en na die SA kaserne geneem het waar hulle geslaan en gemartel is. Die Nazi's het 44 persent van die stemme tydens die Maart -verkiesing gekry.

Op 23 Maart vergader die laaste Reichstag in 'n operahuis, omring deur SS -magte en gevul met Stormtroopers binne. Die meeste kommuniste en 'n aantal sosialistiese afgevaardigdes is reeds gearresteer. Die stemme van die sentrumparty was van deurslaggewende belang vir Hitler om die nodige meerderheid van twee derdes te kry om 'n magtigingswet te aanvaar, en dit het hulle verskaf, wat hom die willekeurige mag gegee het waarna hy verlang het. Hy kon hierdie mag nou sonder die Reichstag gebruik en die Grondwet ignoreer. Alle opposisie -politieke partye is self vernietig of ontbind. Vakbonde is gelikwideer. Opposisie -geestelikes is gearresteer. Die Nazi -party het in Hitler se woorde die staat geword. Teen Augustus 1934, toe Hindenburg sterf, word Hitler ook die opperbevelhebber van die gewapende magte, sowel as president en Führer van die Duitse Ryk aan wie elke offisier en individu in die weermag onvoorwaardelike gehoorsaamheid toegesê het.


Weerstand in die Ghettos

Jode reageer met 'n verskeidenheid versetpogings. Inwoners van die ghetto het gereeld kos, medisyne, wapens of intelligensie oor die ghetto -mure gesmokkel. Hierdie en ander sulke aktiwiteite het dikwels plaasgevind sonder die medewete of goedkeuring van die Joodse rade. Aan die ander kant het sommige Joodse rade en sommige individuele raadslede die smokkel geduld of aangemoedig omdat die goedere nodig was om inwoners van die ghetto aan die lewe te hou.

Die Duitsers het oor die algemeen min besorgdheid getoon oor godsdiensaanbidding, bywoning van kulturele geleenthede of deelname aan jeugbewegings binne die ghetto -mure. Hulle het egter dikwels 'n 'veiligheidsbedreiging' in enige sosiale byeenkoms gesien en sou meedoënloos beweeg om vermeende kopkoppe en deelnemers op te vang of dood te maak. Die Duitsers verbied in die algemeen enige vorm van konsekwente skoolopleiding of opvoeding.

In die begin het my ma en verskeie ander vroue 'n klandestiene skool gereël vir kinders onder die ouderdom van die werk, en dit was wonderlik, want ons het iets om na uit te sien
—Charlene Schiff

In some ghettos, members of Jewish resistance movements staged armed uprisings. The largest of these was the Warsaw ghetto uprising in spring 1943. There were also violent revolts in Vilna, Bialystok, Czestochowa, and several smaller ghettos.


The Final Solution

It is not known when Hitler formed the intention of the &ldquofinal solution of the Jewish question&rdquo on the scale of the European continent. The conference in Wannsee on January 20, 1942 considered only the details of the undertaking: the methods for organizing the deportation and ensuring the cooperation of the civilian administration. Overall, the plans called for the murder of 11 million Jews living in Germany, the occupied territory, the states opposed to the Third Reich, and the allied and neutral countries.

The first killing center set up in occupied Polish lands was the camp at Chełmno on the Ner Jews brought in from the ghettos in the Wartheland were being killed there from December 1941. Three more camps, somewhat larger, were opened at Bełżec, Sobibor, and Treblinka (in what was known as &ldquoAktion Reinhard&rdquo) somewhat later, between March and July 1942.

In Auschwitz, the murdering of prisoners in gas chambers began even earlier, when 575 sick and disabled prisoners were sent to their deaths at the euthanasia center in Germany at the end of June 1941. At the beginning of September, the SS used Zyklon B gas in the cellars of block 11 to kill about 600 Soviet POWs and another group of patients from the camp hospital. Soviet POWs and Jews brought from Upper Silesia were killed in the gas chamber in crematorium I over the following months. It was probably at the end of March or in April 1942 that the Germans began killing sick prisoners and Jews in a provisional gas chamber in Birkenau (the so-called &ldquolittle red house&rdquo). The tempo of atrocities increased in June and July 1942, with transports of Jews sent to Auschwitz being subjected to systematic &ldquoselections&rdquo during which SS doctors sentenced people classified as unfit for labor to death.

At the same time, the Germans set about liquidating the ghettos in occupied Poland. July 22, 1942, when the deportation of Jews from Warsaw to the death camp in Treblinka began, is regarded as a symbolic date. A decided majority of the Polish Jews were killed in a little over half a year, after which the SS began liquidating the Aktion Reinhard camps. However, the last great death camp&mdashAuschwitz&mdashremained in existence until the beginning of 1945. It was mainly Jews from Western and Southern Europe, from the liquidated labor camps, and the ghettos in Sosnowiec and Łódź, who died in the gas chambers there.


Holocaust Denial: Background & Overview

One of the most notable anti-Semitic propaganda movements to develop over the past two decades has been the organized effort to deny or minimize the established history of Nazi genocide against the Jews. In the United States, the movement has been known in recent years primarily through the publication of editorial-style advertisements in college campus newspapers. The first of these ads claimed to call for "open debate on the Holocaust" it purported to question not the fact of Nazi anti-Semitism, but merely whether this hatred resulted in an organized killing program. A more recent ad has questioned the authenticity of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. These ads have been published in several dozen student newspapers on campuses across the country.

Similar propaganda has established a beachhead on the computer Internet. In addition to creating their own home pages, Holocaust deniers have sometimes "crashed" the sites of legitimate Holocaust and Jewish discussion groups in a blatant effort at anti, Jewish provocation and self-promotion. Additionally, Holocaust deniers have advertised their Web sites by purchasing innocuous-sounding, inconspicuous classified ads in college and community newspapers.

These paid advertisements and Internet activities have been a national phenomenon since 1991. Though there is no evidence that they have persuaded large numbers of students to doubt the settled record of events which comprise the Holocaust, their appearance has generated acrimony and has frequently caused friction between Jewish and non-Jewish students.

This is precisely the intent of the Holocaust deniers: by attacking the facts of the Holocaust, and by framing this attack as merely an unorthodox point of view, their propaganda insinuates subtle but hateful anti-Semitic beliefs of Jews as exploiters of non-Jewish guilt and Jews as controllers of academia or the media. These beliefs, in fact, bear comparison to the preachings which brought Hitler to power in prewar Germany.

This pamphlet has been designed to provide a brief summary of the propaganda campaign known as Holocaust "revisionism," or Holocaust denial. What follows is (1) a "Q&A" description of the movement, its history, and its leading activists, as well as a review of legal and scholarly responses to this propaganda (2) a summary of the movement's most common allegations, with brief factual responses, and (3) a selection of quotes by the leading propagandists, demonstrating their anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi agendas.

It is highly unlikely that this report will dissuade the Holocaust deniers from their mendacious and hateful campaign. But this information should provide students and educators with the facts to make informed decisions and vigorous responses to these bigoted lies.

The Denial Movement: Important Notes

1. What is Holocaust denial?

Holocaust denial is a propaganda movement active in the United States, Canada and Western Europe which seeks to deny the reality of the Nazi regime's systematic mass murder of 6 million Jews in Europe during World War II.

2. Who started the movement?

The roots of Holocaust denial can be found in the bureaucratic language of Nazi policy itself, which sought to camouflage the genocidal intent of what the Nazis called the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question," even as these directives were being carried out. After the war, former Nazis and Nazi sympathizers dismissed the overwhelming proof of the Holocaust established at the Nuremberg war crimes trials similarly, an obscure group of post-War French Trotskyists and anarchists led by Paul Rassinier (since deceased), seeking to advance their own political agenda, denounced evidence of the genocide as "Stalinist atrocity propaganda."

However, as an organized propaganda movement, Holocaust "revisionism" took root in 1979 when Willis Carto, founder of Liberty Lobby - the largest anti-Jewish propaganda organization in the United States - incorporated the Institute for Historical Review (IHR). The IHR is a pseudo-academic enterprise in which professors with no credentials in history (for example, the late Revilo P. Oliver was a retired University of Illinois Classics teacher Robert Faurisson earned a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Lyon Arthur Butz is an engineer at Northwestern University), writers without formal academic certification (such as David Irving, Henri Roques and Bradley Smith), and career anti-Semites (such as Mark Weber, Ernst Zündel and the late David McCalden) convene to develop new outlets for their anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and, for some, pro, Nazi beliefs.

Since 1993, Willis Carto has broken with the IHR in a very public, litigious feud. He has devoted considerable funds and rhetorical vehemence to dis. crediting his former employees, and has also established a rival "revisionist" journal, The Barnes Review. At issue in the feud, primarily, is not the history of the Holocaust - which both sides of the dispute argue never really happened - but rather Carto's reportedly dictatorial management style, and the control of a multimillion-dollar bequest to the parent corporation of the IHR. Although the dispute remains in litigation, as of this writing a Superior Court Judge in California has awarded $6.4 million to the IHR in their civil suit against Carto. The judge, in his ruling for the Institute, characterized Carto as "evasive and argumentative" and added that his testimony in large part "made no sense. By the end of the trial, I was of the opinion that Mr. Carto lacked candor, lacked memory and lacked the ability to be forthright about what he did honestly remember" ironically, this description could accurately characterize the entire propaganda movement which Carto founded.

3. Where is Holocaust denial active today?

IHR has tapped into an international network of propagandists who write for the group's Journal van Historical Review (JHR) and meet at its more-or-less annual conventions. The leading activists affiliated with IHR have included Mark Weber, Bradley Smith and Fred Leuchter (USA) Ernst Zündel (Canada) David Irving (England) Robert Faurisson (France) Carlo Mattogno (Italy) and Ahmed Rami (Sweden). Of these activists, Bradley Smith, who served for many years as IHR's "Media Project Director," has attracted the most notoriety in the U.S., due to the series of "revisionist" advertisements which he has placed in college newspapers since 1991 for the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH).

Nonetheless, IHR has suffered noticeably from its feud with Carto. Since breaking with its founder in 1993, the professional staff at the Institute has shrunk from seven to two - Mark Weber, now serving as director, and Greg Raven, who operates IHR's World Wide Web site - and its increasingly infrequent publications have consisted mostly of reprints from previous issues of the Journal van Historical Review, along with at times desperate appeals for funding. Most recently, IHR announced that its 1996 conference would be postponed indefinitely.

4. What is CODOH?

Though Smith claims the "Committee" is an independent entity devoted to promoting "open debate," it has operated essentially as a vehicle for IHR propaganda. CODOH was first headed by Smith and Mark Weber, then-editor of the JHR its founder was the late William Curry, a longtime supporter of the IHR. Every other associate of the group has also been a public participant in IHR conferences. CODOH ads and flyers list the IHR address and cite IHR sources almost exclusively. Additionally, Bradley Smith's Web page on the computer Internet - which is fairly elaborate and has constituted the bulk of his activity since 1995 -provides links to the IHR site, as well as other Holocaust-denial outlets. Smith, moreover, appears to have suffered from

the same decline in fortune affecting the IHR. He has not written a new editorial-style advertisement since 1993, and his pre-existing ads appeared in only seven newspapers in 1995, and one in 1996, down from 13 in 1993. Instead, Smith's current campus outreach tends to consist of inconspicuous, anonymous classified ads promoting his Web site the only indication of Smith's agenda in these ads is a reference to "Unanswered Questions About the Nazi Gas Chambers."

5. Are there others promoting Holocaust denial on the Internet?

In addition to overt neo-Nazi groups, such as the National Alliance, 1 which promote denial of the Holocaust as part of a comprehensive racist and anti-Semitic agenda, one of the most active Holocaust deniers on the computer Internet is the German-born Canadian hatemonger Ernst Zündel Zündel whose anti-Semitic activities extend back to the mid-70s, and include associations with the IHR and the neo-Nazi publication, Liberty Bell, as well as the authorship of books such as The Hitler We Loved and Why, has established perhaps the most extensive Holocaust-denial Web site on the Internet. Often updated daily, Zündel's home page, operated by a previously obscure Southern California writer named Ingrid Rimland, publishes materials in English, French and German and includes audio recordings of Zündel's own speeches. In addition to his Internet activities - which he, like Bradley Smith, promotes by purchasing inconspicuous ads in college and local newspapers - Zündel also produces a cable-access TV program as well as German and English-language shortwave radio broadcasts, each of which is also devoted to Holocaust denial.

6. Are there laws regulating Holocaust denial?

In Canada and Western Europe, Holocaust deniers have been successfully prosecuted under racial defamation or hate crimes laws. In the United States, however, the First Amendment guarantees the right of free speech, regardless of political content. Nonetheless, though the First Amendment guarantees Holocaust deniers the right to produce and distribute their propaganda, it in no way obligates newspapers or other media outlets to provide them with a forum for their views.

7. What do American legal precedents indicate about propaganda?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 1974 decision, Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo , that "A newspaper is more than a passive receptacle or conduit for news, comment and advertising. The choice of material to go into a newspaper. [constitutes] the exercise of editorial control and judgment." Simply stated, to require newspaper editors or broadcasters to provide Smith, or any other individual, with a forum would deny the newspaper or other media their own First Amendment rights to operate a free press, without government coercion such requirements would also diminish the public's ability to distinguish historical truth from propaganda.

Like the editor of a private newspaper, the editors of all private and most public college newspapers have a First Amendment right to exercise editorial control over which advertisements appear in their newspaper. The only situation in which an editor of a state university newspaper would not have this right would be if the university administration controlled the content of the campus newspaper and set editorial policy. In such a case, the university would essentially function as an arm of the government, and prohibition of newspaper advertisements based on content would violate the First Amendment. There are few universities, however, where the administration exercises this type of control over the student paper.

At public elementary and secondary schools, the administration has the right to refuse to print Holocaust-denial advertisements in a student newspaper the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 1988 decision, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, that "educators do not offend the First Amendment by exercising editorial control over. . . the content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities so long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concern." Based on that decision, it is clear that public school officials have the same right as student editors to reject Holocaust-denial advertisements, since this propaganda encourages bias and prejudice, offends many individuals and has a negative educational value.

The one case directly involving the substance of Holocaust-denial propaganda in an American court was a 1985 lawsuit brought against the IHR by Mel Mermelstein, a Holocaust survivor living in Long Beach, California. In the early '80s, Mermelstein had responded to a cynical IHR publicity campaign which offered $50,000 to anyone who could prove that Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz by submitting evidence that members of his own family had been murdered at that concentration camp. When the IHR failed to comply with its promised terms, Mermelstein filed his suit. In July 1985, the lawsuit was settled in Mermelstein's favor. The settlement, approved by judge Robert Wenke of the Los Angeles Superior Court, called for the IHR to pay Mermelstein the $50,000 "reward," as well as an additional $40,000 for pain and suffering. Moreover, at a pre-trial hearing, the Court took judicial notice of the fact that gas chambers had been used to murder Jews at Auschwitz.

Several months later, Mermelstein won another victory against the Holocaust-denial movement. In January 1986, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded Mermelstein $4.75 million in punitive damages and $500,000 in compensatory damages in a suit he had filed in 1981 against Ditlieb Felderer, a Swedish Holocaust denier whose publication, Jewish Information Bulletin (it is in fact none of these), had mocked the killing of Jews at Auschwitz and had attacked Mermelstein personally. Later that year, the IHR and Willis Carto sued Mermelstein, claiming he libeled them during a radio interview given in New York. In 1988, they voluntarily dropped the charges.

8. What have academic authorities said about Holocaust denial?

The History Department at Duke University, responding to a CODOH ad, unanimously adopted and published a statement noting: "That historians are constantly engaged in historical revision is certainly correct however, what historians do is very different from this advertisement. Historical revision of major events. . . is not concerned with the actuality of these events rather, it concerns their historical interpretation - their causes and consequences generally. There is no debate among historians about the actuality of the Holocaust. there can be no doubt that the Nazi state systematically put to death millions of Jews, Gypsies, political radicals and other people."

David Oshinsky and Michael Curtis of Rutgers University have written, "If one group advertises that the Holocaust never happened, another can buy space to insist that American Blacks were never enslaved. The stakes are high because college newspapers may soon be flooded with ads that present discredited assertions as if they were part of normal historical debate. If the Holocaust is not a fact, then nothing is a fact. & quot

Peter Hayes, Associate Professor of History and German at Northwestern University, responded to a Smith ad by stating, "[B]ear in mind that not a single one of the advances in our knowledge since 1945 has been contributed by the self-styled 'Revisionists' whom Smith represents. That is so because contributing to knowledge is decidedly not their purpose . . . . This ad is an assault on the intellectual integrity . of academicians, whom Smith and his ilk wish to browbeat. It is also a throwback to the worst sorts of conspiracy-mongering of anti-Semitic broadside. Is it plausible that so great and longstanding a conspiracy of repression could really have functioned? . That everybody with a Ph.D. active in the field - German, American, Canadian, British, Israeli, etc. - is in on it together. If one suspects it is, might it not be wise to do a bit of checking about Smith, his organization and his charges before running so implausible an ad?"

Perhaps most significantly, in December 1991, the governing council of the American Historical Association (AHA), the nation's largest and oldest professional organization for historians, unanimously approved a statement condemning the Holocaust-denial movement, stating, "No serious historian questions that the Holocaust took place." The council's action came in response to a petition circulated among members calling for an official statement against Holocaust-denial propaganda the petition had been signed by more than 300 members attending the organization's annual conference. Moreover, in 1994, the AHA reaffirmed its position in a press release which stated that "the Association will not provide a forum for views that are, at best, a form of academic fraud."

1. The Holocaust Did Not Occur Because There Is No Single "Master Plan" for Jewish Annihilation

There is no single Nazi document that expressly enumerates a "master plan" for the annihilation of European Jewry. Holocaust-denial propagandists misrepresent this fact as an exposure of the Holocaust "hoax" in doing so, they reveal a fundamentally misleading approach to the history of the era. That there was no single document does not mean there was no plan. The "Final Solution" the Nazis' comprehensive plan to murder all European Jews - was, as the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust observes, "the culmination of a long evolution of Nazi Jewish policy." 2 The destruction process was shaped gradually: it was borne of many thousands of directives. 3

The development and implementation of this process was overseen and directed by the highest tier of Nazi leadership, including Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Adolf Eichmann, Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler himself. For the previous two decades, Hitler had relentlessly pondered Jewish annihilation. 4 In a September 16, 1919, letter he wrote that while "the Jewish problem" demanded an "anti-Semitism of reason" - comprising systematic legal and political sanctions - "the final goal, however, must steadfastly remain the removal of the Jews altogether." 5

Throughout the 1920s, Hitler maintained that "the Jewish question" was the "pivotal question" for his Party and would be solved "with well-known German thoroughness to the final consequence." 6 With his assumption to power in 1933, Hitler's racial notions were implemented by measures that increasingly excluded Jews from German society.

On January 30, 1939, Hitler warned that if Jewish financiers and Bolsheviks initiated war, "The result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe." 7 On September 21, 1939, after the Germans invaded Poland, SD chief Heydrich ordered the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units operating in German-occupied territory) to forcibly concentrate Polish Jews into ghettos, alluding to an unspecified "final aim." 8

In the summer of 1941, with preparations underway for invading Russia, large-scale mass murder initiatives - already practiced domestically upon the mentally ill and deformed - were broadly enacted against Jews. Heydrich, acting on Hitler's orders, directed the Einsatzgruppen to implement the "special tasks" of annihilation in the Soviet Union of Jews and Soviet commissars. 9 On July 31, Heydrich received orders from Goering to prepare plans "for the implementation of the aspired final solution of the Jewish question" in all German-occupied areas. 10 Eichmann, while awaiting trial in Israel in 1960, related that Heydrich had told him in August 1941 that "the Führer has ordered the physical extermination of the Jews." 11 Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz, wrote in 1946 that "In the summer of 1941. Himmler said to me, 'The Führer has ordered the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. I have chosen the Auschwitz camp for this purpose.'" 12

On January 20, 1942, Heydrich convened the Wannsee Conference to discuss and coordinate implementation of the Final Solution. Eichmann later testified at his trial:

Ten days after the conference, while delivering a speech at the Sports Palace in Berlin that was recorded by the Allied monitoring service, Hitler declared: "The result of this war will be the complete annihilation of the Jews. the hour will come when the most evil universal enemy of all time will be finished, at least for a thousand years." 14 On February 24, 1943, he stated: "This struggle will not end with the annihilation of Aryan mankind, but with the extermination of the Jewish people in Europe. 15

Approximately 6 million Jews were killed in the course of Hitler's Final Solution.

2. There Were No Gas Chambers Used for Mass Murder at Auschwitz and Other Camps

Death camp gas chambers were the primary means of execution used against the Jews during the Holocaust. The Nazis issued a directive implementing large-scale gas chambers in the fall of 1941 but, by then, procedures facilitating mass murder, including the utilization of smaller gas chambers, were already in practice. Before their use in death camps, gas chambers were central to Hitler's "eugenics" pro, gram. Between January 1940 and August 1941, 70,273 Germans - most of them physically handicapped or mentally ill - were gassed, 20-30 at a time, in hermetically shut chambers disguised as shower rooms. 16

Meanwhile, mass shooting of Jews had been extensively practiced on the heels of Germany's Eastern campaign. But these actions by murder squads had become an increasingly unwieldy process by October 1941. Three directors of the genocide Erhard Wetzel, head of the Racial-Policy Office: Alfred Rosenberg, consultant on Jewish affairs for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and Victor Brack, deputy director of the Chancellory, met at the time with Adolf Eichmann to discuss the use of gas chambers in the genocide program. 17 Thereafter, two technical advisors for the euthanasia gas chambers, Kriminalkommissar Christian Wirth and a Dr. Kallmeyer, were sent to the East to begin construction of mass gas chambers. 18 Physicians who had implemented the euthanasia program were also transferred.

Mobile gassing vans, using the exhaust fumes of diesel engines to kill passengers, were used to kill Jews at Chelmno and Treblinka - as well as other sites, not all of them concentration camps - starting in November 1941. 19 At least 320,000 Chelmno prisoners, most of them Jews, were killed by this method a total of 870,000 Jews were murdered at Treblinka using gas vans and diesel-powered gas chambers. 20

Gas chambers were installed and operated at Belzec, Lublin, Sobibor, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau from September 3, 1941, when the first experimental gassing took place at Auschwitz, until November 1944. 22 Working with chambers measuring an average 225 square feet, the Nazis forced to their deaths 700 to 800 men, women and children at a time. 22 Two-thirds of this program was completed in 1943-44, and at its height it accounted for as many as 20,000 victims per day. 23 Authorities have estimated that these gas chambers accounted for the deaths of approximately 2E to 3 million Jews.

Holocaust-denial attacks on this record of mass murder intensified following the end of the Cold War when it was reported that the memorial at Auschwitz was changed in 1991 to read that 1 million had died there, instead of 4 million as previously recorded. For Holocaust deniers, this change appeared to confirm arguments that historical estimates of Holocaust deaths had been deliberately exaggerated, and that scholars were beginning to "retreat" in the face of "revisionist" assertions. Thus, for example, Willis Carto wrote in the February 6, 1995, issue of The Spotlight, the weekly tabloid of his organization, Liberty Lobby, that "All 'experts' until 1991 claimed that 4 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz. This impossible figure was reduced in 1991. to 1.1 million. The facts about deaths at Auschwitz, however. are still wrong. The Germans kept detailed records of Auschwitz deaths. These show that no more than 120,000 persons of all religions and ethnicity died at Auschwitz during the war. & quot

In fact, Western scholars have never supported the figure of 4 million deaths at Auschwitz the basis of this Soviet estimate - an analysis of the capacity of crematoria at Auschwitz and Birkenau - has long been discredited. As early as 1952, Gerald Reitlinger, a British historian, had convincingly challenged this method of calculation. Using statistics compiled in registers for Himmler, he asserted that approximately 1 million people had died at Auschwitz Raul Hilberg in 1961, and Yehuda Bauer in 1989, confirmed Reitlinger's estimate of Auschwitz victims. Each of these scholars, nonetheless, has recognized that nearly 6 million Jews were killed overall during the Holocaust. 24 Polish authorities were therefore responding to long-accepted Western scholarship, further confirmed subsequently by documents released in post-Soviet Russia the cynical allegations of "Holocaust revisionism" played no part in their decision.

3. Holocaust Scholars Rely on the Testimony of Survivors Because There Is No Objective Documentation Proving the Nazi Genocide

Another frequent claim of Holocaust "revisionists" concerns what they describe as the lack of objective documentation proving the facts of the Holocaust, and the reliance by scholars on biased and poorly collected testimonies of survivors. However, the Germans themselves left no shortage of documentation and testimony to these events, and no serious scholar has relied solely on survivor testimony as the conclusive word on Holocaust history. Lucy Dawidowicz, in the preface to her authoritative work, The War Against the Jews 1933-1945, wrote, "The German documents captured by the Allied armies at the war's end have provided an incomparable historical record, which, with regard to volume and accessibility, has been unique in the annals of scholarship. The National Archives and the American Historical Association jointly have published 67 volumes of Guides to German Records Microfilmed at Alexandria, VA. For my work I have limited myself mainly to published German documents." 26 The author then proceeds to list 303 published sources - excluding periodicals -documenting the conclusions of her research. Among these sources are the writings of recognizable Nazi policy makers such as Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Rudolf Hoess and Alfred Rosenberg.

Similarly, Raul Hilberg in his three-volume edition of The Destruction of the European Jews, wrote, "Between 1933 and 1945 the public offices and corporate entities of Nazi Germany generated a large volume of correspondence. Some of these documents were destroyed in Allied bombings, and many more were systematically burned in the course of retreats or in anticipation of surrender. Nevertheless, the accumulated paper work of the German bureaucracy was vast enough to survive in significant quantities, and even sensitive folders remained." 26

It is thus largely from these primary sources that the history of the Holocaust has been compiled. A new factor in this process is the sudden availability of countless records from the former Soviet Union, many of which had been overlooked or suppressed since their capture at war's end by the Red Army. Needless to say, the modification of specific details in this history is certain to continue for a number of years to come, considering the vastness and complexity of the events which comprise the Holocaust. However, it is equally certain that these modifications will only confirm the Holocaust's enormity, rather than - as the "revisionists" would -call it into question.

4. There Was No Net Loss of Jewish Lives Between 1941 and 1945

Another frequent "revisionist" assertion calls into question the generally accepted estimates of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. In attempting to portray the deaths of millions of Jews as an exaggeration or a fabrication, Holocaust deniers wildly manipulate reference works, almanac statistics, geopolitical data, bedrock historical facts and other sources of information and reportage.

For example, "revisionists" commonly cite various almanac or atlas figures - typically compiled before comprehensive accounts on the Holocaust were available - that appear to indicate that the worldwide Jewish population before and after World War II remained essentially stable, thereby "proving" that 6 million Jews could not have died during this period.

The widely cited "6 million" figure is derived from the initial 1945 Nuremberg trial estimate of 5.7 million deaths subsequent censuses, statistical analyses, and other demographic studies of European Jewry have consistently demonstrated the essential accuracy of this first tally. 27 After nearly 50 years of study, historians agree that approximately 6 million Jews perished during the course of the Nazi genocide. 28

In The War Against the Jews, Lucy Dawidowicz offers a country-by-country accounting of Jewish deaths. 29

5. The Nuremberg Trials Were a "Farce of Justice" Staged for the Benefit of the Jews

Yet another centerpiece of "revisionist" propaganda attacks the objectivity and legal validity of the postwar Nuremberg Trials, where much information about the Holocaust first became public, and where the general history of the genocide was first established.

The actual process of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice was a lengthy and complicated effort involving the differing legal traditions and political agendas of the United States, England, France and the Soviet Union. As the historical record shows, the allied victors, if anything, erred on the side of leniency toward the accused Nazis.

Discussions concerning allied treatment of war criminals had begun as early as October 1943. 30 In the summer months following Germany's surrender in 1945, British, American and Soviet representatives met in London to create the charter for an international military tribunal to prosecute "major criminals" whose offenses extended over the entire Reich, and who therefore could be punished by joint decision of the Governments of the Allies. 31

By early autumn, the Allies had resolved their debates over whom to prosecute and how to define the crimes committed during the Holocaust the first trials began thereafter in Nuremberg, before an international military tribunal. The chief defendant was Hermann Goering, but the prosecution also selected 20 other leading officials from the Nazi party, German government ministries, central bureaucracy, armament and labor specialists, the military and territorial chiefs. 32

These trials did not result in either "rubber stamp" guilty verdicts or identical sentences. In fact, of the 21 defendants, three were set free one received a 10-year sentence one a 15-year sentence two, 20-year sentences three, life sentences, and 11 received the death penalty. 33

The defendants, moreover, had access to 206 attorneys, 136 of whom had been Nazi party members. 34 Furthermore, as Raul Hilberg stated, "The judges in Nuremberg were established American lawyers. They had not come to exonerate or convict. They were impressed with their task, and they approached it with much experience in the law and little anticipation of the facts. 35

A second round of trials resulted in 25 death sentences, 20 life sentences, 97 sentences of 25 years or less, and 3 5 not-guilty verdicts. 36 By 1951, following the recommendations of an American-run clemency board, 77 of the 142 convicted criminals had been released from prison. 37

Bronne: Holocaust Denial, (NY: ADL, 1997). Copyright Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Alle regte voorbehou. Reprinted with permission.

1 For more information about the National Alliance, see William L. Pierce: Novelist of Hate, ADL Research Report, 1995.
2 Israel Gutman (Editor in Chief), Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Volume 2, New York, 1990, p. 788.
3 Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (Student Edition), New York, 1985, p. 263.
4 See Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, New York, 1975, pp. 150,166.
5 Gutman, Volume 2, p. 489.
6 Ibid., p. 489.
7 Gutman, Volume 2, p. 490.
8 Holocaust, Jerusalem: Keter Books, 1974, p. 104.
9 Gutman, Volume 2, p. 657.
10 Ibid., p. 492.
11 Ronnie Duggar, The Texas Observer, Austin, 1992, p. 48.
12 Gutman, Volume 2, pp. 641-642.
13 Ibid., Volume 2, p. 657.
14 Duggar, p. 48.
15 Holocaust, pp. 105-106.
16 Gutman, Volume 2, p. 453
17 Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust, New York, 1985, p. 219.
18 Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Volume 3, New York, 1985, pp. 873-876.
19 Gutman, Volume 2, pp. 541-544.
20 Gutman, Volume 2, p. 542 Volume 4, pp. 1483, 1486.
21 Gutman, Volume 1, pp. 113, 116.
22 Holocaust, bl. 86.
23 Ibid., p. 87.
24 Reitlinger, who conducted his research before Hilberg and other scholars, arrives at a more conservative figure of approximately 4.5 murder victims he nonetheless estimates that one-third of the internees at concentration camps died as a result of starvation, overwork, disease, and other consequences of their captivity. Although his murder count is somewhat lower than that of later scholars, his overall death count remains consistent with subsequent research.
25 Dawidowicz, p. 437.
26 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1223.
27 Dawidowicz, p. 402.
28 Peter Hayes, Associate Professor of German History at Northwestern University, states, "after years of studying this matter, I know of geen authority who puts the number of Jews killed [emphasis in original] by the Nazis at less than 5.1 or more than 5.9 million men, women and children."
29 Dawidowicz, p. 403.
30 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1060.
31 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1061.
32 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1066.
33 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1070.
34 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1075.
35 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1076
36 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1077-1078.
37 Hilberg, Vol. 3, bl. 1079.

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The “Final Solution”: Göring Commission to Heydrich

To: the Chief of the Security Police and the SD
SS Major General Heydrich, Berlin:

As a supplement to the task which was entrusted to you in the decree dated January 24, 1939, to solve the Jewish question by emigration and evacuation in the most favorable way possible, given present conditions, I herewith commission you to carry out all necessary preparations with regard to organizational, substantive, and financial viewpoints for a total solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

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

I further commission you to submit to me promptly an overall plan showing the preliminary organizational, substantive, and financial measures for the execution of the intended final solution of the Jewish question.

Bron: Dawidowicz, Lucy S. A Holocaust Reader. West Orange: Behrman. 1976, pp. 72-73 and Electric Zen: An Einsatzgruppen Electronic Repository.

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