The Persecution of the Jews (Part 12 of 14)
Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter XII
"The Jewish population remained temporarily unmolested shortly after the fighting. Only weeks, sometimes months later, specially detached formations of the police executed a planned shooting of Jews. The action as a rule proceeded from east to west. It was done entirely in public with the use of the Ukrainian militia, and unfortunately in many instances also with members of the armed forces taking part voluntarily. The way these actions, which included men and old men, women, and children of all ages were carried out was horrible. The great masses executed make this-action more gigantic than any similar measure taken so far in the Soviet Union. So far about 150,000 to 200,000 Jews may have been [Page 1004] executed in the part of the Ukraine belonging to the Reichskommissariat; no consideration was given to the interests of economy.
"Summarizing, it can be said that the kind of solution of the Jewish problem applied in the Ukraine which obviously was based on the ideological theories as a matter of principle had the following results:
"(a) Elimination of a part of partly superfluous eaters in the cities. "(b) Elimination of a part of the population which hated us undoubtedly. "(c) Elimination of badly needed tradesmen who were in many instances indispensable even in the interests of the armed forces. "(d) Consequences as to foreign policy -- propaganda which are obvious. "(e) Bad effects on the troops which in any case get indirect contact with the executions. "(f) Brutalizing effect on the formations which carry out the execution -- regular police." (3257-PS)
Lest it be thought that these conditions existed only in the East, the official Netherlands government report by the Commissioner for Repatriation as relates similar treatment of the Jews in the West (1726-PS). The German measures taken against the Dutch Jews -- discriminatory decrees, anti- semitic demonstrations, burning of synagogues, purging of Jews from the economic life of their country, food restrictions, forced labor, concentration camp confinement, deportation, and death -- all these measures follow the same pattern that was effected throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. The official Netherlands report states that full Jews, liable to deportation, numbered 140,000. The total number of actual Jewish deportees was 117,000, representing more than eighty-three per cent of all the Jews in the Netherlands. Of these, 115,000 were deported to Poland for slave labor, and after departure all trace of them was lost. Regardless of victory or defeat to Germany, the Jew was doomed. It was the expressed intent of the Nazi state that whatever the German fate might be the Jew would not survive. (1726-PS) A Top Secret message from the commandant of the SIPO and SD for the Radom District, addressed to SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Thiel on the subject, "Clearance of Prisons," reads as follows:
"I again stress the fact that the number of inmates of the SIPO and SD prisons must be kept as low as possible. In the [Page 1005] present situation, particularly, those suspects handed over by the civil police need only be subjected to a short, formal interrogation, provided there are no serious grounds for suspicion. They are then to be sent by the quickest route to a concentration camp, should no court martial proceeding be necessary or should there be no question of discharge. Please keep the number of discharges very low. Should the situation at the front necessitate it, early preparations are to be made for the total clearance of prisons. Should the situation develop suddenly in such a way that it is impossible to evacuate the prisoners, the prison inmates are to be liquidated and their bodies disposed of as far as possible (burning, blowing up the building, etc.). If necessary, Jews still employed in the armament industry or on other work are to be dealt with in the same way.
"The liberation of prisoners or Jews by the enemy, be it the WB [perhaps means 'West-Bund,' or 'Western Ally'] or the Red Army, must be avoided under all circumstances, nor may they fall into their hands alive." (L-53) (3) Mass Disposal of Jews in Concentration Camps. The concentration camps were utilized to dispose of literally millions of Jews, who died by mass shooting, gas, poison, starvation, and other means. The part which the concentration camps played in the annihilation of the Jewish people is indicated in an official Polish report on Auschwitz Concentration Camp (L-161). In Auschwitz during July 1944 Jews were killed at the rate of 12,000 daily: "*** During July 1944, they were being liquidated at the rate of 12,000 Hungarian Jews daily, and as the crematory could not deal with such numbers, many bodies were thrown into large pits and covered with quick lime." (L-161) The official Polish Government Commission Report on the Investigation of German crimes in Poland describes the concentration camp at Treblinka in these terms: "*** In March 1942, the Germans began to erect another camp, Treblinka B, in the neighborhood of Treblinka A, intended to become a place of torment for Jews. "The erection of this camp was closely connected with the German plans aiming at a complete destruction of the Jewish population in Poland which necessitated the creation of a machinery by means of which the Polish Jews could be killed in large numbers. Late in April 1942, the erection of the first three chambers was finished in which these general massacres [Page 1006] were to be performed by means of steam. Somewhat later the erection of the real death building was finished, which contains ten death chambers. It was opened for wholesale murders early in autumn 1942 ***." (3311-PS)
The report of the Polish commission describes graphically the procedure for extermination within the camp: "*** The average number of Jews dealt with at the camp in summer 1942 was about two railway transports daily, but there were days of much higher efficiency. From autumn 1942 this number was falling.
"After unloading in the siding all victims were assembled in one place where men were separated from women and children. In the first days of the existence of the camp the victims were made to believe that after a short stay in the camp, necessary for bathing and disinfection, they would be sent farther east, for work. Explanations of this sort were given by SS men who assisted at the unloading of the transports and further explanations could be read in notices stuck up on the walls of the barracks. But later, when more transports had to be dealt with, the Germans dropped all pretenses and only tried to accelerate the procedure. "All victims had to strip off their clothes and shoes, which were collected afterwards, whereupon all victims, women and children first, were driven into the death chambers. Those too slow or too weak to move quickly were driven on by rifle butts, by whipping and kicking, often by Sauer himself. Many slipped and fell, the next victims pressed forward and stumbled over them. Small children were simply thrown inside. After being filled up to capacity the chambers were hermetically closed and steam was let in. In a few minutes all was over. The Jewish menial workers had to remove the bodies from the platform and to bury them in mass graves. By and by, as new transports arrived, the -cemetery grew, extending in eastern direction. "From reports received, it may be assumed that several hundred thousands of Jews have been exterminated in Treblinka." (3311-PS)
An official United States government report issued by the Executive Office of the President of the United States, War Refugee Board, on the German camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau, sets forth the number of Jews gassed in Birkenau in the two year period between April 1942 and April 1944. The figure printed in this report is not a typographical error. The number is 1,765,000. (L-22)
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A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
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