The Concentration Camp The Beginning of Protective Custody (Part 5 of 5)
Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter XI
C. Persecution of Jews. Thousands of Jews, were, of course, confined in concentration camps. (For a fuller discussion of this point see Chapter XII.) Among the wealth of evidence showing the confinement of Germans only because they were Jews, a teletype from SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich is typical. This order is dated 10 November 1938, and is addressed to all headquarters of the State Police and all districts and sub- districts of the SD (3051-PS).
Paragraph 5 of this teletype, which was entitled "Measures against Jews tonight," provided: "*** 5. Inasmuch as in the course of the events of this night the employment of officials used for this purpose would be possible, in all districts as many Jews, especially rich ones, are to be arrested as can be accommodated in the existing prisons. For the time being only healthy men not too old are to be arrested. Upon their arrest, the appropriate concentration camps should be contacted immediately, in order to confine them in these camps as fast as possible." (3051-PS)
Himmler in 1943 indicated that use of the concentration camp against the Jews had been motivated, not simply by Nazi racialism, but also by a fear that the Jews might have been an obstacle to aggression. In a speech delivered at a meeting of the SS Major Generals at Posen on 4 October 1943, Himmler sought to justify the Nazi anti-Jewish policy: "I mean the clearing out of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race. It's one of those things it is easy to talk about -- 'The Jewish race is being exterminated', says one party member, 'that's quite clear, it's in our program, elimi- [Page 954] nation of the Jews, and we're doing it, exterminating them'. And then they come, 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course, the others are vermin, but this one is an A-1 Jew. Not one of all those who talk this way has witnessed it, not one of them has been through it. Most of you must know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side by side, or 500 or 1,000. To have stuck it out and at the same time -- apart from exceptions caused by human weakness -- to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written, for we know how difficult we should have made it for ourselves, if -- with the bombing raids, the burden and deprivations of war -- we still had Jews today in every town as secret saboteurs, agitators and trouble- mongers." (1919-PS)
It is clear from the foregoing evidence that prior to the launching of a Nazi aggression, the concentration camp had been one of he principal weapons by which the conspirators achieved the social cohesion which was needed for the execution of their plans for aggression. After the conspirators launched their aggression and their armies swept over Europe, they brought the concentration camp and the whole system of Nazi terror to occupied countries.
In addition, they brought the citizens of the occupied countries to Germany and subjected them to the whole apparatus of Nazi brutality. In a communication to Himmler dated 116 February 1942, Mueller, for the Chief of the Security Police and SD, deals with the seizure of Polish Jews for deportation to concentration camps in Germany. I should like to quote the body of this communication: "In connection with the increase in the transfer of labor to the concentration camps, ordered to be completed by 30 January 1943, the following procedure may be applied in the Jewish section.
"1. Total number: 45,000 Jews. "2. Start of transportation: 11 January 1943; End of transportation: 31 January 1943. (The Reich railroads are unable to provide special trains for the evacuation during the period from 115 February 1942 to 10 January 1943 because of the increased traffic of armed forces leave trains). "3. Composition: The 45,000 Jews are to consist of 30,000 Jews from the district of Byalystock. 10,000 Jews from the Ghetto Theresienstat, 5,000 of whom are Jews fit for work who heretofore had been used for smaller jobs required for the Ghetto, and 5,000 Jews who are generally incapable [Page 955] of working, also over 60 year old Jews *** As heretofore only such Jews would be taken for the evacuation who do not have any particular connections and who are not in possession of any high decorations. 3,000 Jews from the occupied Dutch territories, 2,000 Jews from Berlin 45,000. The figure of 45,000 includes the invalid (old Jews and children). By use of a practical standard, the screening of the arriving Jews in Auschwitz should yield at least 10,000 to 15,000 people fit for work." (R-91) The Jews of Hungary suffered the same fate. Between 19 March 1944 and 1 August 1944 more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews were rounded up. Many of these were put in wagons and sent to extermination camps. An affidavit made in London by Dr. Rudolph Kastner, a former official of the Hungarian Zionist Organization, states in part: "19 March 1944: Together with the German military occupation arrived in Budapest a 'Special Section Commando' of the German Secret Police with the sole object of liquidating the Hungarian Jews *** They arrested and later deported to Mauthausen, all the leaders of Jewish political and business life and journalists, together with the Hungarian democratic and anti-Fascist politicians ***." ******* "Up to 27 June 1944, 475,000 Jews were deported." *******
"According to statements of Krumey and Wislicseny in February or March 1945 a conference of the officers of IV.B. was called to Berlin by Eichmann in the spring of 1942. He then informed them that the government decided in favor of the complete annihilation of the European Jews and that this will be carried out silently in the gas-chambers. 'Victory is ours,' declared Eichmann. 'The end of the war is near. We must hurry as this is the last chance to free Europe of the Jews. After the war it will not be possible to utilize such methods.' " ******* "Commanders of the death-camps gassed only on direct or indirect instructions of Eichmann. The particular officer of IV.B. who directed the deportations from some particular country had the authority to indicate whether the train should go to a death camp or not, and what should happen to the passengers. The instructions were usually carried by the SS-NCO escorting the train. The letters 'A' or 'M' on the escorting instruction documents indicated Auschwitz or [Page 956] Majdanek; it meant that the passengers were to be gassed. ***
Regarding Hungarian Jews the following general ruling was laid down in Auschwitz: children up to the age of 12 or 14, older people above 50, as well as the sick, or people with criminal records (who were transported in specially marked wagons) were taken immediately on their arrival to the gas chambers. "The others passed before an SS doctor who, on sight indicated who was fit for work, and who was not. Those unfit were sent to the gas chambers, while the others were distributed in various labor camps." (2605-PS)
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A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
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