Irving v. Lipstadt

Defense Documents

The Systematic Character of the National Socialist Policy for the Extermination of the Jews: Electronic Edition, by Heinz Peter Longerich

Table of Contents
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1.The murder of European Jews from the summer of 1941 onwards, can be seen to have gone through three phases. In a first phase between June 1941 and October 1941, the policy of extermination was limited to mass executions in the occupied Soviet Areas. These were extended step by step, moving from the shooting of Jewish men to the indiscriminate murdering of the entire Jewish population. Only a relatively small group of Jews who were "fit for work" would be exempt from these measures.
2.In a second phase between the Fall of 1941 and early 1942, the mass murders were extended to further areas under German domination - to the Warthegau, the Districts of Lublin and Galicia, and Serbia. The regional mass murders in the Warthegau and Lublin stood in the context of the programme of deportations of the RSHA. This programme initially covered Central Europe and then expanded into Western Europe - the murder of the local Jews was to "make room" for the deportees. The mass murders in Serbia and Galicia, on the other hand, followed the pattern first adopted in the Soviet Union. In this period, the use of gas as a method of murder was generally adopted. As a rule, only those "fit for work" were spared. At the Wannsee Conference in January 1942, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt made it clear that the killings in the individual areas were "anticipations" of the "Final Solution", which was to be carried out in full after the end of the war. It thereby initiated the extension of the policy of extermination to the entire sphere under German domination.
3.This escalation began in early 1942, and reached its full extent in July 1942. In this period, the regional extermination programmes were transformed into a overarching programme of deportations and extermination, which encompassed the entirety of the area under German domination. The majority of the people who had been forcibly removed were now deported directly into extermination camps; only a relatively small number was put to forced labour, which - as the notion of "extermination through work" implies - led to the death of most people within the shortest period of time.
4.The systematic nature of the murder of the Jewish victims is not merely characteristic of this last phase, but also of phases I and II. This means that the mass murders followed a standardised pattern, were centrally directed and expressed the policy of the National Socialist regime.
5.I have understood that my overriding duty is to the Court. My paramount obligation, as I have been advised by my Instructing Solicitors, is to assist the Court on all matters within my expertise regardless of whom my instructions are from and who is paying my fees. I confirm that this report is impartial, objective and unbiased and has been produced independently of the exigencies of this litigation. I believe that the facts I have stated in this report are true and that the opinions I have expressed are correct. Signed: Date:
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