Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Chelm T4 Deception

On September 4, 1940, a decision was taken to kill Jews who were in the care of German asylums. The decision is referenced here by Pfannmueller. This led to a transport on September 20, 1940, to a gassing site, camouflaged here. However, the Nazis did not wish the public to know that these Jews died on German soil, so they fabricated a story that these Jews died in an asylum in Chelm [also known as Cholm], Lublin, Poland, despite no such asylum existing there (see Henry Friedlander here, pp.17-20). Examples of such deceit are the cases of Hilda Sara Buchbinder (here) and Mirjam Sara P. (here, based on Tom Lampert's research using her German case file held at the Hessian State Archive, Darmstadt). Viktor Brack maintained this deception in his Nuremberg testimony as did Pfannmueller (see here) because they knew that the policy specifically targeted Jews, and they wished to maintain the fiction that Jews were never specifically murdered by T4 on racial grounds.

"Revisionists" produce lots of nonsense …

… as has been and continues being amply demonstrated on this blog site.

Unfortunately, nonsense is also produced on occasion (though less egregiously) by serious and respected historians. Two examples of such nonsense shall be addressed in this blog.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Order from the BdS Generalgouvernement That Prisoners and Jews "Are to Be Liquidated" When Evacuation Is Not Possible

The following reproduces an order from the Senior Commander of the Security Police and Security Service (BdS) Generalgouvernement Walther Bierkamp of 20 July 1944 - as it was circulated by the Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service Radom the day later - that "it is to be avoided under all circumstances that prisoners or Jews should be liberated by the enemy...or should fall into their hands alive". In case that the evacuation of the inmates of SD prisons turns out as not possible, these "are to be liquidated, and the bodies of those shot are to be disposed as far as possible (burning, dynamiting of the building, etc.)" and "Jews still employed in the armaments industry or on other work are to be dealt with in the same way".

According to Daniel Blatman, The Death Marches, p. 57ff., the order should be seen in the context of Heinrich Himmler's directive "Security of Concentration Camps in Case A" of 17 June 1944, which handed over the responsibility for the security of the camps from the WVHA to the Higher SS and Police Leaders in case of an emergency situation. The document was cited on this blog in Mattogno's Ineptitude on the Fate of Jewish Workers in the General Government.

Update: Kube, Lohse and Strauch (Part 1: September 1941 to December 1942)

A major theme of the literature on the Ostland is the disputes between the civil administration and the SS over the scope and methods of killing operations. In the Autumn of 1941, Lohse prohibited the killing of work Jews in both Schaulen (at the instigation his subordinate Gewecke) and Libau. In the summer of 1943, he expressed disgust at the methods used to kill partisans. Kube and Strauch meanwhile had an ongoing feud that lasted throughout Strauch's time as KdS Weissruthenien and only concluded when Kube was assassinated (see extract from Hilberg here). The following article updates the material presented in the Critique on these issues (here and here) and adds links to sources that have come to our attention since 2011.

Update: Kube, Lohse and Strauch (Part 2: Strauch's Euphemisms)

Continued from Part 1

Strauch's complaint to Bach-Zelewski of July 25, 1943 (NO-2662) reveals that the use of the word 'resettlement' was a deception:
On 1 March 1942 an action was to take place against the Russian ghetto in Minsk. The Generalkommissar received prior notification. In order to disguise the action the Council of Elders was to be informed that 5,000 Jews from the Minsk ghetto were to be resettled.
Strauch then states that "It is clear, however, that the Gauleiter used his knowledge to save his Jews."

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

An Update On The Traffic of the Holocaust Controversies Blog

I've revived the old Statcounter account and lo and behold, it contains the almost complete traffic stats from the creation of our blog to some point in time in early 2016.

The Blogger counter that you see on the right only contains the pageviews since some moment in May 2010.

When I set the Statcounter to show the data from March 23, 2006 to May 1, 2010 it gives the following results:

Hans Gewecke and the Jews of Lithuania

Below I present two documents written by Hans Gewecke, Gebietskommissar in Schaulen, Lithuania, on September 3 and September 10, 1941. The first describes how he refused to implement an order from Jaeger, transmitted to him verbally by Hamann, to kill all the Jews in the city. This document appears to show Gewecke in a favourable light. The second document, however, shows Gewecke's complicity in the murder of Jews across his region. On August 13, his boss Lohse had drafted directives which included the statement that "The countryside is to be cleansed of Jews." The September 10 document shows Gewecke pursuing that objective vigorously, such that all areas are "almost free of Jews" except for essential labourers in the city of Schaulen itself, in addition to implementing executions for sabotage and savage reprisal measures. Moreover, Gewecke reveals that young Lithuanians are being trained so that they can eventually replace the Jews, whom he hints can then be killed. This hardly makes Gewecke a protector of those Jews.

Monday, February 20, 2017

"Brought to the Final Solution"

On January 3, 1946, Wisliceny admitted in court that Jews sent to Auschwitz from Hungary were  "brought to the final solution". On February 19, 1944, a document on executions in Piaski gave a list of Jews who were "brought to the final solution." ["der Endlösung zugeführt wurden" [YVA O.53/82, pp.50-52]. These types of executions had been defined by Heydrich as special treatment [Sonderbehandlung], as quoted here. We therefore have a convergence of documentation and testimony that "final solution" in the context of SS operations in Auschwitz and in Poland generally meant killing, albeit disguised as "special treatment" [Sonderbehandlung] in which death was meted out via extralegal executions.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Update: Mattogno's Ineptitude on the Fate of Jewish Workers in the General Government

Carlo Mattogno denies the established fact that Jewish workers were massacred in the General Government in early November 1943 and claims instead that there was "a mass transfer of Jewish inmates to the west [Majdanek, p.230]." As we noted in the Critique (pp.233-238), Mattogno's knowledge of this event is woefully inadequate, and he has clearly failed to read the literature on the shootings or the real labour transfers that took place in 1943. His only source for "a mass transfer of Jewish inmates" is "the November 20, 1943, issue of the Polish newspaper-in-exile Dziennik Polski, printed in England."  He quotes numbers from Hilberg showing that "22,444 Jews worked in the armaments industries of the General Government in October 1943" but "it had increased to 26,296" by January 1944, but fails to address the true sources of that increase, which we showed on page 237 of the Critique (note 430). Below I examine a further source of documents ignored by Mattogno: Nuremberg exhibits whose authors documented the fate of the plants that were closed down in the "special action" on November 3, 1943, and bemoaned the fact that the "withdrawal" of Jewish workers caused irreparable losses to the economy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Path from the Planned "Elimination" of "Hostile Elements" to the Extermination of Jews

In October 1940, Hitler gave this reply to a proposal by Karl Hermann Frank regarding population policy in the Protectorate. Frank used the term Sonderbehandlung ("special treatment") in a way that seemed to advocate the biological elimination of certain elements. Hitler's reply echoed this with the phrase "Diese Kategorie sei auszumerzen", meaning eliminated or eradicated. Whilst it may be tempting to equate Frank's use of Sonderbehandlung with later ones by Greiser and Katzmann describing the extermination of Jews in an entire region, the argument below offers a more nuanced interpretation.

CODOH zombies on the Holocaust-denying Scrapbookpages website and its blog

We have already written on the crypto-denial website "Scrapbookpages". Now a thread appeared at CODOH where its denizens offer praise, as well as benign criticisms, of the site and the blog.

Here is a selection of what the CODOH zombies (so-called due to their brainless nature) have to say about it (excerpts):

No Sonderkommando Prisoners on the Auschwitz Album Photograph In Front of Crematorium 5

Still stunned that Eric Hunt, who used to be one of the leading and most prominent deniers active on the internet, quit Holocaut denial. As Sergey has pointed out, while his main arguments to reject Holocaust denial (lack of evidence to account for the missing Jews and generally the wide range of evidence on Nazi atrocities) are no doubt good ones, some of his minor points he raised still have potential for improvement, so to say.

One such example is his treatment of the Auschwitz Album photograph showing a Jewish woman held by Jewish men near the crematorium 5. In the known context of the extermination of unfit Jews in Auschwitz-Birkenau it is likely that they were about to get murdered at crematorium 5. Quite possibly, the woman remembered rumors or sensed what was about to come and refused to advance further. Not unlikely given the close proximity to the killing site where they are.

Das Auschwitz Album, Wallstein Verlag, p. 240
According to Hunt, the three men who "almost look like gangsters" were members of the so called Jewish Sonderkommando working at the extermination site. But it's probably more simple than that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Eric Hunt is No Longer a Holocaust Denier

The 'Revisionist' scene increasingly has a problem: while its videos, spam and other propaganda keep the flame alive on the far right and in at least some parts of the conspiracy theory world, the 'movement' seemingly cannot retain its activists. It's almost a year since Committe for Open Debate on the Holocaust founder Bradley R. Smith passed away, prompting zero newspaper obituaries and little acknowledgement from anti-defamation watchdogs, leaving the CODOH empire in the hands of the 'Holocaust Handbooks' publisher Germar Rudolf.

Despite revamping and rebranding many parts of the portfolio, it's been increasingly obvious for some time that the denier scene lacks enough researchers and writers to do more than put lipstick on an increasingly doddery pig. Worse still, the small number of newer stars drop out of the scene almost as fast as they become known, as happened for example with Thomas Kues and Friedrich Jansson. Or, like The Black Rabbit of Inlé, they openly admit that they no longer believe in the core tenets of 'Holocaust revisionism'.

The latest apostate? None other than video-maker Eric Hunt.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

"Separate accommodation" in Auschwitz: a code word for extrajudicial executions

The Nazis usually used the term "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung) to designate the legal extrajudicial killings. They were  seen as "legal" because they were sanctioned by Hitler's authority (the will of the Führer being seen as the highest law), despite their extrajudicial nature. The mass murder of Jews was the biggest instance of such "special treatment".

In Auschwitz an additional term was used for such extrajudicial killings: "separate accommodation"/"special accommodation"/"special lodging" (gesonderte Unterbringung, Sonderunterbringung). The people thus killed were designated as "separately accommodated" (gesondert untergebracht). This term seems to have been fully interchangeable with "Sonderbehandlung".

Holocaust deniers of course say that it's just an assumption. When Auschwitz Political Department functionaries like Maximillian Grabner, Hans Stark and Pery Broad testify that "separate accommodation" meant killing, their testimonies are dismissed as coerced, the usual evidence-free denier m.o. According to the deniers "separate accommodation" was some sort of a literal accommodation somewhere in the camp.

However there is a series of documents that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that to have been "separately accommodated" in Auschwitz meant to have been killed.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

On the semi-deniers. A discussion thread.

Faurisson's old maxim, "no holes, no Holocaust", seems not to have impressed the likes of David Irving, David Cole and Mark Weber, who, although denying the gassings in the Auschwitz crematoria (though possibly accepting some in the Bunkers), nevertheless seem to have come to accept the gassings in the Aktion Reinhardt camps, the shootings as well as "millions" of Jewish deaths. Irving and Weber, in particular, seem to have softened their previous stances.

In other words, we have the dogmatic "no holes, no Holocaust" school of denial, and the more wobbly "no holes, some Holocaust" group.

Now, to be honest, while this latter position might seem to be superficially more "reasonable" compared to the hardcore deniers, I don't find it to be coherent. If you think that the Auschwitz crematoria gassings are a gigantic hoax you have to agree that the victim and bystander witnesses lied on a grand scale, the perpetrator witnesses were coerced on a grand scale. And since the Bunkers cannot account for all the missing Jews, they still have the missing Jews problem. So the crematoria denial basically implies a huge conspiracy, and once you accept this conspiracy, why would you accept the AR camps evidence, which might have been forged by the conspiracy as well?

This is sort of similar to the dilemma that Butz posed to Mattogno and Graf in regard to the Hungarian Jews: Butz denies the full-scale Hungarian deportations as such, while M&G don't. M&G's position is superficially more reasonable, but, as Butz pointed out, if they assume that these Jews arrived in Auschwitz, they have no way of accounting for their whereabouts.

But that aside, how should we call this group? They're still deniers. Yet there is a clear need to distinguish between them and the more dogmatic loonies like Faurisson and Mattogno. Semi-deniers? Weak deniers?

Thoughts?

Grafeneck: Nuremberg Documents

Documents submitted at Nuremberg clearly show the degree of local knowledge and political controversy that existed in the second half of 1940 concerning the killing of mental patients at Grafeneck. Harvard's Nuremberg site has scans of these documents, from which the information in this article is taken. I have also relied upon the account given by Henry Friedlander, especially pages 107-111 of this edition.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Holocaust deniers, Gerhard Maurer and Jews unfit for work in Auschwitz

In his "classic" denial pamphlet "Auschwitz: Myth and Facts" the IHR official and later director Mark Weber published the following claim:
In fact, a very high percentage of the Jewish inmates were not able to work, and were nevertheless not killed. For example, an internal German telex message dated Sept. 4, 1943, from the chief of the Labor Allocation department of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (WVHA), reported that of 25,000 Jews held in Auschwitz, only 3,581 were able to work, and that all of the remaining Jewish inmates — some 21,500, or about 86 percent — were unable to work.[11]
11. Archives of the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw, German document No. 128. Cited in: H. Eschwege, ed., Kennzeichen J (Berlin [East]: 1966), p. 264. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Hans Frank Diaries: 1) Sentencing 1.2 Million Jews to Death

On August 24, 1942, Hans Frank noted:
That we sentence 1.2 million Jews to die of hunger should be noted only marginally. It is a matter, of course, that should the Jews not starve to death it would, we hope, result in a speeding up of anti-Jewish measures [2233-E-PS, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV, p.900].

Hans Frank Diaries: 2) "Extermination of the Jews in Poland"

The following translation of remarks made by Frank on June 9, 1944, was posted here by Roberto in 2015:
For fighting the Jews it was indispensable that we got Poland, for here in Poland lived the natural fertility of the Jewish people, it no longer existed anywhere else. Since the extermination of the Jews in Poland the Jewish future, seen purely under blood aspects, is completely over and out; for only here there were Jews who had children.
The German was extracted from the Diensttagebuch pp.868-869 here.

Hans Frank Diaries: 3) "the Jews had been liquidated..."

On June 18, 1943, Frank noted at a meeting:
The same is true for the resettlement, which of all things had been carried out after the Jews had been liquidated, partly so that the Poles, starting with the child to the oldest woman, were witnesses of this evacuation of the Jews.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Western Knowledge of Goebbels' Extermination Statements

On April 14, 1943, the World Jewish Congress submitted this memorandum to the Bermuda Refugee Conference. The memo quoted an interview given by Goebbels to the international press on March 14: 
Germany is firmly convinced that the Jews are an international disease which must be exterminated in Europe [NARA, Records of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, 1938-1947, which is available to me here via the Gale Digital Collections resource, Archives Unbound.]

Saturday, February 04, 2017

American Knowledge of Grafeneck in 1940

Back in 2009, I posted this New York Times article from 1999, which had explained how Vice Consul Paul H. Dutko in Leipzig had cabled the the American Embassy in Berlin and the State Department in Washington about killings in Grafeneck. The NYT article also cited a "Feb. 23, 1940, memorandum to Secretary of State Cordell Hull from Assistant Secretary Adolf A. Berle Jr." noting "reports from the embassy in Berlin that Jews were being sent to ''unnamed concentration camps'' in Poland." Below I post a highly relevant document, casting light on these matters, which I have scanned from the NARA collection, Records of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, 1938-1947, which is available to me here via the Gale Digital Collections resource, Archives Unbound.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Yet another Trump connection to Holocaust denial?

The sex-predator-in-chief has been getting some bad rap lately for his mealy-mouthed statement on the Holocaust Remembrance day, characterized by his noted neofascist supporter Richard Spencer as "de-Judaification" of the Holocaust (which makes no sense whatsoever since the Holocaust is defined as the systematic murder of the Jews by the Nazis), and which might have been intentional, so it's interesting that yet another Trump supporter and an apparent Trump admin collaborator Chuck Johnson, primarily known for being a shameless liar, has recently come out as a Holocaust denier in a Reddit AMA:
justacolyte:
what are your thoughts on the Holocaust, WW2, and the JQ in general? 
ChuckCJohnson:
I do not and never have believed the six million figure. I think the Red Cross numbers of 250,000 dead in the camps from typhus are more realistic. I think the Allied bombing of Germany was a ware crime. I agree with David Cole about Auschwitz and the gas chambers not being real. I read the German War (highly recommend), Bloodlands, Mein Kampf, and all of David Irving. I’m more or less of the view that the war was an outgrowth of the efforts of communism to spread itself throughout the world. I also believe that the fears of German extermination were not misplaced, especially in light of the Ukrainian famine. But I support Israel as a Jewish state and Zionism as a concept. I’m pro-ethno state, generally. I understand why and how Hitler rose to power but think too much of our focus on World War II is spent trying to understand Hitler and not enough is spent trying to understand Weimar. Mecius Moldbug, aka Curtis Yarvin, is right. America is a communist country.
He has apparently missed the fact that Cole actually accepts the murder of millions of Jews, including in gas chamber at the Aktion Reinhardt camps, even if he is still "skeptical" about Auschwitz.

Notably, Chucky partially bases his denial on the tired meme of the "Red Cross statistics", which is popular among the twitter generation of the denier zombies. I even made this graphic which succinctly explains why this meme is utterly false. Chuck prides himself on his allegedly high IQ, which in this instance must mean "slightly above 10", because no truly intelligent life form would fall for such a stupid lie.

Anyway, there you have it: another apparent Trump-HD connection. Earlier we have already reported on an apparently Holocaust-denying Trump adviser. Which comes as no surprise given how the so-called "alt-right" is so fond of denial and/or minimization of the Holocaust.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The French denier Vincent Reynouard and his clownish denial innovations

[Today's guest post is by Gilles Karmasyn, the creator of the great website Pratique de l’histoire 
et dévoiements négationnistes AKA PHDN. Please note that our opinions don't necessarily correspond to those of our guests.]

The most publicly active French denier is Vincent Reynouard. Most of the English-speaking people don't know him as he is pretty insignificant, but lately some of his videos have been subtitled in English. Vincent Reynouard is a self-proclaimed Nazi- and Hitler-lover. Most of his production is inspired by the ill-digested logorrhea from Mattogno and Rudolf. Lately he mainly appears in videos where he explains how beautiful and generous Nazism was and how much a man of peace Hitler was (some of the videos are called "The National Socialist hope", "The truth about the Gestapo", "The real criminals against peace, how the 'good ones' were intolerant and warmongers", and so on). Of course, denying the Holocaust is his main thing.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Traffic and Publicity of the Holocaust Controversies Blog

Recently, the Holocaust Controversies (HC) blog has surpassed two million page views since June 2010 (the blog was actually founded in 2006, but the counter was reset at that time for unknown reasons). Since readers tend to recur and check out more than one page, this is not to be confused with "unique visitors" and even less so with unique persons. Still, two million page views in 6.5 years seems like some decent traffic considering that the blog is about an atrocious part of human history and its denial by a fringe group - not exactly a subject predestined  to attract the masses.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

"Resettlement" used as Camouflage Language in Shooting Documents

Below are four examples where 'resettlement' was used as camouflage or euphemism for the killing of Jews by shooting units.

1) 7/12/41 NOKW 1628 Activity Report Ortskommandantur I/287 Kertsch, reported the execution of 2,500 Jews in Kertsch. In the Manstein trial, the document was forensically examined by Rudolf Mally, who established that "Exekutierung" had been crossed out and "Umsiedlung" substituted. See  TR.4/59, pp.17-20, and DEJ 7, Dok. 126, pp.389-391, especially note 5. See also, on this action, Molotov's note here and HC articles by Roberto and myself here and here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Manstein Trial Documents: Further Debunking of the Paget Meme

Following the excellent article on Simferopol by Hans here and the older debunking of the Paget/Manstein meme by Roberto here, the article below examines the exhibits presented at the Manstein trial, the proceedings of which have been digitized by Yad Vashem in 62 files in the record group TR.4. I will deal with documents in their date order; most of them were discussed at trial in the transcripts digitized at TR.4/58 and TR.4/59.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: Einsatzgruppe D in Simferopol

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans
Part IX: The Just Memo
Part XI: Einsatzgruppe D in Simferopol

Beginning with late July 1941, the Einsatzgruppe D followed the army via Moldava and South Ukraine into South Russian territory. More than 30 years later, two of its members, Max Drexler and Walter Kehrer, were trialed by the regional court Munich for atrocities committed by the group (Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, volume 40, no. 816). Kehrer was accused of killing Jews with a gas van in Simferopol on the Crimean Peninsula in Spring/Summer 1942, where Einsatzgruppe D had established its headquarter since November 1941.

As to be expected after parts III and X of this series on other West-German trials, the Holocaust denier Santiago Alvarez shines with crass ignorance and deception on the subject. Apart from addressing the mistakes and systematic flaws in his writing, the posting also compiles the available evidence on the mass shooting of Jews in Simferopol and the later presence and use of homicidal gas vans in the town.

Observer article on Holocaust Denial

Today's recommended reading: the British newspaper The Observer has published an article on Holocaust Denial featuring an interview with Nick Terry: New online generation takes up Holocaust denial

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Karoline Cohn

As this video and this article show, a pendant uncovered at Sobibor has the date of birth (July 3, 1929) of a girl called Karoline Cohn, who was deported from Frankfurt to Minsk on November 11, 1941, according to testimony given by Sophie Kollmann in 1978, and to this entry in the Memorial Book. According to Yoram Haimi (in the video), the pendant was found in the area thought to be the women's undressing and shaving hut. Cohn would have been 12 when deported to Minsk, and 14 when the ghetto was liquidated and the survivors sent to Sobibor. The pendant is thus evidence that at least one Frankfurt Jew was gassed in Sobibor, having spent two years in the Minsk ghetto. Alternatively, if Cohn died in Minsk, it is feasible that the pendant passed from Cohn to another Minsk deportee who was killed in Sobibor. What is not feasible is that Cohn survived the war yet her pendant wound up in Sobibor.