Institute for Historical Review

Institute for Historical Review

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Continued from Part 1


2. GERMAN POLICY TOWARD THE JEWS AFTER THE OUTBREAK OF WAR

With the coming of the war, the situation regarding the Jews altered drastically. It is not widely known that world Jewry declared itself to be a belligerent party in the Second World War, and there was therefore ample basis under international law for the Germans to intern the Jewish population as a hostile force. On September 5, 1939 Chaim Weizmann, the principle Zionist leader, had declared war against Germany on behalf of the world's Jews, stating that "the Jews stand by Great Britain and will fight on the side of the democracies ... The Jewish Agency is ready to enter into immediate arrangements for utilizing Jewish manpower, technical ability, resources etc ..." (Jewish Chronicle, September 8, 1939).

DETENTION OF ENEMY ALIENS

All Jews had thus been declared agents willing to prosecute a war against the German Reich, and as a consequence, Himmler and Heydrich were eventually to begin the policy of internment. It is worth noting that the United States and Canada had already interned all Japanese aliens and citizens of Japanese descent in detention camps before the Germans applied the same security measures against the Jews of Europe. Moreover, there had been no such evidence or declaration of disloyalty by these Japanese Americans as had been given by Weizmann. The British, too, during the Boer War, interned all the women and children of the population, and thousands had died as a result, yet in no sense could the British be charged with wanting to exterminate the Boers. The detention of Jews in the occupied territories of Europe served two essential purposes from the German viewpoint. The first was to prevent unrest and subversion; Himmler had informed Mussolini on October 11th, 1942, that German policy toward the Jews had altered during wartime entirely for reasons of military security. He complained that thousands of Jews in the occupied regions were conducting partisan warfare, sabotage and espionage, a view confirmed by official Soviet information given to Raymond Arthur Davis diat no less than 35,000 European Jews were waging partisan war under Tito in Yugoslavia. As a result, Jews were to be transported to restricted areas and detention camps, both in Germany, and especially after March 1942, in the Government- General of Poland. As the war proceeded, the policy developed of using Jewish detainees for labour in the war-effort. The question of labour is fundamental when considering the alleged plan of genocide against the Jews, for on grounds of logic alone the latter would entail the most senseless waste of manpower, time and energy while prosecuting a war of survival on two fronts. Certainly after the attack on Russia, the idea of compulsory labour had taken precedence over German plans for Jewisb emigation. The protocol of a conversation between Hitler and the Hungarian regent Horthy on April 17th, 1943, reveals that the German leader personally requested Horthy to release 100,000 Hungarian Jews for work in the "pursuit-plane programme" of the Luftwaffe at a time when the aerial bombardment of Germany was increasing (Reitlinger, Die Endlösung, Berlin, 1956, p. 478). This took place at a time when, supposedly, the Germans were already seeking to exterminate the Jews, but Hitler's request clearly demonstrates the priority aim of expanding his labour force. In harmony with this programme, concentration camps became, in fact, industrial complexes. At every camp where Jews and other nationalities were detained, there were.large industrial plants and factories supplying material for the German war-effort - the Buna rubber factory at Bergen-Belsen, for example, Buna and I. G. Farben Industrie at Auschwitz and the electrical firm of Siemens at Ravensbruck. In many cases, special concentration camp money notes were issued as payment for labour, enabling prisoners to buy extra rations from camp shops. The Germans were determined to obtain the maximum economic return from the concentration camp system, an object wholly at variance with any plan to exterminate millions of people in them. It was the function of the S.S. Economy and Administration Office, headed by Oswald Pohl, to see that the concentration camps became major industrial producers.

EMIGRATION STILL FAVOURED

It is a remarkable fact, however, that well into the war period, the Germans continued to implement the policy of Jewish emigration. The fall of France in 1940 enabled the German Government to open serious negotiations with the French for the transfer of European Jews to Madagascar. A memorandum of August, 1942 from Luther, Secretary-of-State in the German Foreign Office, reveals that he had conducted these negotiations between July and December 1940, when they were terminated by the French. A circular from Luther's department dated August 15th, 1940 shows that the details of the German plan had been worked out by Eichmann, for it is signed by his assistant, Dannecker. Eichmann had in fact been commissioned in August to draw up a detailed Madagascar Plan, and Dannecker was employed in research on Madagascar at the French Colonial Office (Reitlinger, The Final ,Solution, p. 77). The proposals of August 15th were that an inter-European bank was to finance the emigration of four million Jews throughout a phased programme. Luther's 1942 memorandum shows that Heydrich had obtained Himmler's approval of this plan before the end of August and had also submitted it to Göring. It certainly met with Hitler's approval, for as early as June 17th his interpreter, Schmidt, recalls Hitler observing to Mussolini that "One could found a State of Israel in Madagascar" (Schmidt, Hitler's lnterpreter, London,1951, p.178). Although the French terminated the Madagascar negotiations in December, 1940, Poliakov, the director of the Centre of Jewish Documentation in Paris, admits that the Germans nevertheless pursued the scheme, and that Eichmann was still busy with it throughout 1941. Eventually, however, it was rendered impractical by the progress of the war, in particular by the situation after the invasion of Russia, and on February 10th, 1942, the Foreign Office was informed that the plan had been temporarily shelved. This ruling, sent to the Foreign Office by Luther's assistant, Rademacher, is of great importance, because it demonstrates conclusively that the term "Final Solution" meant only the emigration of Jews, and also that transportation to the eastern ghettos and concentration camps such as Auschwitz constituted nothing but an alternative plan of evacuation. The directive reads: "The war with the Soviet Union has in the meantime created the possibility of disposing of other territories for the Final Solution. In consequence the Führer has decided that the Jews should be evacuated not to Madagascar but to the East. Madagascar need no longer therefore be considered in connection with the Final Solution" (Reitlinger, ibid. p. 79). The details of this evacuation had been discussed a month earlier at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, which we shall examine below. Reitlinger and Poliakov both make the entirely unfounded supposition that because the Madagascar Plan had been shelved, the Germans must necessarily have been thinking of "extermination". Only a month later, however, on March 7th, 1942, Goebbels wrote a memorandum in favour of the Madagascar Plan as a "final solution" of the Jewish question (Manvell and Frankl, Dr. Goebbels, London, 1960, p. 165). In the meantime he approved of the Jews being "concentrated in the East". Later Goebbels memoranda also stress deportation to the East (i.e. the Government-General of Poland) and lay emphasis on the need for compulsory labour there; once the policy of evacuation to the East had been inaugurated, the use of Jewish labour became a fundamental part of the operation. It is perfecdy clear from the foregoing that the term "Final Solution" was applied both to Madagascar and to the Eastern territories, and that therefore it meant only the deportation of the Jews. Even as late as May 1944, the Germans were prepared to allow the emigration of one million European Jews from Europe. An account of this proposal is given by Alexander Weissberg, a prominent Soviet Jewish scientist deported during the Stalin purges, in his book Die Geschichte von Joel Brand (Cologne, 1956). Weissberg, who spent the war in Cracow though he expected the Germans to intern him in a concentration camp, explains that on the personal authorisation of Himmler, Eichmann had sent the Budapest Jewish leader Joel Brand to Istanbul with an offer to the Allies to permit the transfer of one million European Jews in the midst of the war. (If the 'extermination' writers are to be believed, there were scarcely one million Jews left by May, 1944). The Gestapo admitted that the transportation involved would greatly inconvenience the German war-effort, but were prepared to allow it in exchange for 10,000 trucks to be used exclusively on the Russian front. Unfortunately, the plan came to nothing; the British concluded that Brand must be a dangerous Nazi agent and immediately imprisoned him in Cairo, while the Press denounced the offer as a Nazi trick. Winston Churchill, though orating to the effect that the treatment of the Hungarian Jews was probably "the biggest and most horrible crime ever committed in the whole history of the world", never- theless told Chaim Weizmann that acceptance of the Brand offer was impossible, since it would be a betrayal of his Russian Allies. Although the plan was fruitless, it well illustrates that no one allegedly carrying out "thorough" extermination would permit the emigration of a million Jews, and it demonstrates, too, the prime importance placed by the Germans on the war-effort.

3. POPULATION AND EMIGRATION

Statistics relating to Jewish populations are not everywhere known in precise detail, approximations for various countries differing widely, and it is also unknown exactly how many Jews were deported and interned at any one time between the years 1939-1945. In general, however, what reliable statistics there are, especially those relating to emigration, are sufficient to show that not a fraction of six million Jews could have been exterminated. In the first place, this claim cannot remotely be upheld on examination of the European Jewish population figures. According to Chambers Encyclopaedia the total number of Jews living in pre-war Europe was 6,500,000. Quite clearly, this would mean that almost the entire number were exterminated. But the Baseler Nachrichten, a neutral Swiss publication employing available Jewish statistical data, establishes that between 1933 and 1945, 1,500,000 Jews emigrated to Britain, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Australia, China, India, Palestine and the United Sutes. This is confirmed by the Jewish journalist Bruno Blau, who cites the same figure in the New York Jewish paper Aufbau, August 13th, 1948. Of these emigrants, approximately 400,000 came from Germany before September 1939. This is acknowledged by the World Jewish Congress in its publication Unity in Dispersion (p. 377), which states that: "The majority of the German Jews succeeded in leaving Germany before the war broke out." In addition to the German Jews, 220,000 of the total 280,000 Austrian Jews had emigrated by September, 1939, while from March 1939 onwards the Institute for Jewish Emigration in Prague had secured the emigration of 260,000 Jews from former Czechoslovakia. In all, only 360,000 Jews remained in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia after September 1939. From Poland, an estimated 500,000 had emigrated prior to the outbreak of war. These figures mean that the number of Jewish emigrants from other European countries (France, the Netherlands, Italy, the countries of eastern Europe etc.) was approximately 120,000. This exodus of Jews before and during hostilities, therefore, reduces the number of Jews in Europe to approximately 5,000,000. In addition to these emigrants, we must also include the number of Jews who fled to the Soviet Union after 1939, and who were later evacuated beyond reach of the German invaders. It will be shown below that the majority of these, about 1,250,000, were migrants from Poland. But apart from Poland, Reitlinger admits that 300,000 other European Jews slipped into Soviet territory between 1939 and 1941. This brings the total of Jewish emigrants to the Soviet Union to about 1,550,000. In Colliers magazine, June 9th, 1945, Freiling Foster, writing of the Jews in Russia, explained that "2,200,000 have migrated to the Soviet Union since 1939 to escape from the Nazis," but our lower estimate is probably more accurate. Jewish migration to the Soviet Union, therefore, reduces the number of Jews within the sphere of German occupation to around 3-1/2 million, approximately 3,450,000. From these should be deducted those Jews living in neutral European countries who escaped the consequences of the war. According to the 1942 World Almanac (p. 594). the number of Jews living in Gibraltar, Britain, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland and Turkey was 413,128.

3 MILLION JEWS IN EUROPE

A figure, consequently, of around 3 million Jews in German- occupied Europe is as accurate as the available emigration statistics will allow. Approximately the same number, however, can be deduced in another way if we examine statistics for the Jewish populations remaining in countries occupied by the Reich. More than half of those Jews who migrated to the Soviet Union after 1939 came from Poland. It is frequently claimed that the war with Poland added some 3 million Jews to the German sphere of influence and that almost the whole of this Polish Jewish population was "exterminated". This is a major factual error. The 1931 Jewish population census for Poland put the number of Jews at 2,732,600 (Reitlinger, Die Endlösung, p. 36). Reitlinger states that at least 1,170,000 of these were in the Russian zone occupied in the autumn of 1939, about a million of whom were evacuated to the Urals and south Siberia after the German invasion of June 1941 (ibid. p. 50). As described above, an estimated 500,000 Jews had emigrated from Poland prior to the war. Moreover, the journalist Raymond Arthur Davis, who spent the war in the Soviet Union, observed that approximately 250,000 had already fled from German-occupied Poland to Russia between 1939 and 1941 and were to be encountered in every Soviet province (Odyssey through Hell, N.Y., 1946). Subtracting these figures from the population of 2,732,600, therefore, and allowing for the normal population increase, no more than 1,100,000 Polish Jews could have been under German rule at the end of 1939. (Gutachen des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte, Munich, 1956, p.80). To this number we may add the 360,000 Jews remaining in Germany, Austria and former Czechoslovakia (Bohemia-Moravia and Slovakia) after the extensive emigration from those countries prior to the war described above. Of the 320,000 French Jews, the Public Prosecutor representing that part of the indictment relating to France at the Nuremberg Trials, stated that 120,000 Jews were deported, though. Reitlinger estimates only about 50,000. Thus the total number of Jews under Nazi rule remains below two million. Deportations from the Scandinavian countries were few, and from Bulgaria none at all. When the Jewish populations of Holland (140,000), Belgium (40,000), Italy (50,000), Yugoslavia (55,000), Hungary (380,000) and Roumania (725,000) are included, the figure does not much exceed 3 million. This excess is due to the fact that the latter figures are pre-war estimates unaffected by emigration, which from these countries accounted for about 120,000 (see above). This cross-checking, therefore, confirms the estimate of approximately 3 million European Jews under German occupation.

RUSSIAN JEWS EVACUATED

The precise figures concerning Russian Jews are unknown, and have therefore been the subject of extreme exaggeration. The Jewish statistician Jacob Leszczynski states that in 1939 there were 2,100,000 Jews living in future German-occupied Russia, i.e. western Russia. In addition, some 260,000 lived in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. According to Louis Levine, President of the American Jewish Council for Russian Relief, who made a post-war tour of the Soviet Union and submitted a report on the status of Jews there, the majority of these numbers were evacuated east after the German armies launched their invasion. In Chicago, on October 30th, 1946, he declared that: "At the outset of the war, Jews were amongst the first evacuated from the western regions threatened by the Hitlerite invaders, and shipped to safety east of the Urals. Two million Jews were thus saved." This high number is confirmed by the Jewish journalist David Bergelson, who wrote in the Moscow Yiddish paper Ainikeit, December 5th, 1942, that "Thanks to the evacuation, the majority (80%) of the Jews in the Ukraine, White Russia, Lithuania and Latvia before the arrival of the Germans were rescued." Reitlinger agrees with the Jewish authority Joseph Schechtmann, who admits that huge numbers were evacuated, though he estimates a slightly higher number of Russian and Baltic Jews left under German occupation, between 650,000 and 850,000 (Reitlinger, The Final Solution, p. 499). In respect of these Soviet Jews remaining in German territory, it will be proved later that in the war in Russia no more than one hundred thousand persons were killed by the German Action Groups as partisans and Bolshevik commissars, not all of whom were Jews. By contrast, the partisans themselves claimed to have murdered five times that number of German troops.

'SIX MILLION' UNTRUE ACCORDING TO NEUTRAL SWISS

It is clear, therefore, that the Germans could not possibly have gained control over or exterminated anything like six million Jews. Excluding the Soviet Union, the number of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe after emigration was scarcely more than 3 million, by no means all of whom were interned. To approach the extermination of even half of six mfilion would have meant the liquidation of every Jew living in Europe. And yet it is known that large numbers of Jews were alive in Europe after 1945. Philip Friedmann in Their Brother's Keepers (N.Y., 1957, p. 13), states that "at least a million Jews survived in the very crucible of the Nazi hell," while the official figure of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is 1,559,600. Thus, even if one accepts the latter estimate, the number of possible wartime Jewish deaths could not have exceeded a limit of one and a half million. Precisely this conclusion was reached by the reputable journal Baseler Nachrichten of neutral Switzerland. In an article entitled "Wie hoch ist die Zahl der jüdischen Opfer?" ("How high is the number of Jewish victims?", June 13th, 1946), it explained that purely on the basis of the population and emigration figures described above, a maximum of only one and a half million Jews could be numbered as casualties. Later on, however, it will be demonstrated conclusively that the number was actually far less, for the Baseler Nachrichten accepted the Joint Distribution Committee's figure of 1,559,600 survivors after the war, but we shall show that the number of claims for compensation by Jewish survivors is more than double that figure. This information was not available to the Swiss in 1946.

IMPOSSIBLE BIRTH RATE

Indisputable evidence is also provided by the post-war world Jewish population statistics. The World Almanac of 1938 gives the number of Jews in the world as 16,588,259. But after the war, the New York Times, February 22nd, 1948 placed the number of Jews in the world at a minimum of 15,600,000 and a maximum of 18,700,000. Quite obviously, these figures make it impossible for the number of Jewish war-time casualties to be measured in anything but thousands. 15-1/2 million in 1938 minus the alleged six million leaves nine million; the New York Times figures would mean, therefore, that the world's Jews produced seven million births, almost doubling their numbers, in the space of ten years. This is patently ridiculous. It would appear, therefore, that the great majority of the missing "six million" were in fact emigrants -- emigrants to European countries, to the Soviet Union and the United States before, during and after the war. And emigrants also, in vast nunibers to Palestine during and especially at the end of the war. After 1945, boat-loads of these Jewish survivors entered Palestine illegally from Europe, causing considerable embarrassment to the British Government of the time; indeed, so great were the numbers that the H.M. Stationery Office publication No. 190 (November 5th, 1946) described them as "almost amounting to a second Exodus." It was these emigrants to all parts of the world who had swollen the world Jewish population to between 15 and 18 millions by 1948, and probably the greatest part of them were emigrants to the United States who entered in violation of the quota laws. On August 16th, 1963 David Ben Gurion, President of Israel, stated that although the official Jewish population of America was said to be 5,600,000, "the total number would not be estimated too high at 9,000,000" (Deutsche Wochenzeitung, November 23rd, 1963). The reason for this high figure is underlined by Albert Maisal in his article "Our Newest Americans" (Readers Digest, January, 1957), for he reveals that "Soon after World War II, by Presidential decree, 90 per cent of all quota visas for central and eastern Europe were issued to the uprooted." Reprinted on this page is just one extract from hundreds that regularly appear in the obituary columns of Aufbau, the Jewish American weekly published in New York (June 16th, 1972). It shows how Jewish emigrants to the United States subsequently changed their names; their former names when in Europe appear in brackets. For example, as below: Arthur Kingsley (formerly Dr. Königsberger of Frankfurt). Could it be that some or all of these people whose names are 'deceased' were included in the missing six million of Europe?

4. THE SIX MILLION: DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

From the foregoing it would seem certain that the figure of six million murdered Jews amounts to nothing more than a vague compromise between several quite baseless estimates; there is not a shred of documentary evidence for it that is trustworthy. Occasionally, writers narrow it down to give a disarming appearance of authenticity. Lord Russell of Liverpool, for example, in his The Scourge of the Swastika (London, 1954) claimed that "not less than five million" Jews died in German concentration camps, having satisfied himself that he was somewhere between those who estimated 6 million and those who preferred 4 million. But, he admitted, "the real number will never be known." If so, it is difficult to know how he could have asserted "not less than five million." The Joint Distribution Committee favours 5,012,000, but the Jewish "expert" Reitlinger suggests a novel figure of 4,192,200 "missing Jews" of whom an estimated one third died of natural causes. This would reduce the number deliberately "exterminated" to 2,796,000. However, Dr. M. Perlzweig, the New York delegate to a World Jewish Congress press conference held at Geneva in 1948 stated: "The price of the downfall of National Socialism and Fascism is the fact that seven million Jews lost their lives thanks to cruel Anti-Semitism." In the Press and elsewhere, the figure is often casually lifted to eight million or sometimes even nine million. As we have proved in the previous chapter, none of these figures are in the remotest degree plausible, indeed, they are ridiculous.

FANTASTIC EXAGGERATIONS

So far as is known, the first accusation against the Germans of the mass murder of Jews in war-time Europe was made by the Polish Jew Rafael Lemkin in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, published in New York in 1943. Somewhat coincidentally, Lemkin was later to draw up the U.N. Genocide Convention, which seeks to outlaw "racialism". His book claimed that the Nazis had destroyed millions of Jews, perhaps as many as six millions. This, by 1943, would have been remarkable indeed, since the action was allegedly started only in the summer of 1942. At such a rate, the entire world Jewish population would have been exterminated by 1945. After the war, propaganda estimates spiralled to heights even more fantastic. Kurt Gerstein, an anti-Nazi who claimed to have infiltrated the S.S., told the French interrogator Raymond Cartier that he knew that no less than forty million concentration camp internees had been gassed. In his first signed memorandum of April 26th, 1945, he reduced the figure to 25 million, but even this was too bizarre for French Intelligence and in his second memorandum, signed at Rottweil on May 4th, 1945, he brought the figure closer to the six million preferred at the Nuremberg Trials. Gerstein's sister was congenitally insane and died by euthenasia, which may well suggest a streak of mental instability in Gerstein himself. He had, in fact, been convicted in 1936 of sending eccentric mail through the post. After his two "confessions" he hanged himself at Cherche Midi prison in Paris. Gerstein alleged that during the war he passed on information concerning the murder of Jews to the Swedish Government through a German baron but for some inexplicable reason his report was "filed away and forgotten". He also claimed that in August 1942 he informed the Papal nuncio in Berlin about the whole "extermination programme", but the reverend person merely told him to "Get out." The Gerstein statements abound with claims to have witnessed the most gigantic mass executions (twelve thousand in a single day at Belzec), while the second memorandum describes a visit by Hitler to a concentration camp in Poland on June 6th, 1942 which is known never to have taken place. Gerstein's fantastic exaggerations have done little but discredit the whole notion of mass extermination. Indeed, Evangelical Bishop Wilhelm Dibelius of Berlin denounced his memoranda as "Untrustworthy" (H. Rothfels, "Augenzeugenbericht zu den Massenvergasungen" in Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, April 1953). It is an incredible fact, however, that in spite of this denunciation, the German Government in 1955 issued an edition of the second Gerstein memorandum for distribution in German chools (Dokumentation zur Massenvergasung, Bonn, 1955). In it they stated that Dibelius placed his special confidence in Gerstein and that the memoranda were "valid beyond any doubt." This is a striking example of the way in which the baseless charge of genocide by the Nazis is perpetuated in Germany, and directed especially to the youth.

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