Ирвинг против Липштадт

Defense Documents

David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, by Richard J. Evans

Table of Contents
<< (xii) Suppression of rel...(xv) Additional evidence... >>

(xiii) Neglect of relevant information: the reports of Hermann Fegelein

1. Similar things may be said of Hermann Fegelein [1906-1945], who became Himmler's contact man to Hitler when Karl Wolff was named plenipotentiary to Italy. Fegelein married Eva Braun's sister and as her brother-in-law was a frequent guest at the Berghof. Hitler ordered him shot in the closing weeks of the war when he was caught in civilian clothes preparing to escape through the encroaching Russian lines around Berlin.
2. Fegelein was obviously, therefore, until the very last stages of the war, a member of Hitler's entourage. Did he too know nothing about the mass murder of Jews being carried out behind the Eastern front? On the contrary, as an SS cavalry commander in Himmler's personal Commando Staff of the RFSS [Kommandostab Reichsführer-SS], he actually took part in them.242 On the back of the Polish campaign the Commander of the Security Police [Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und der SD] of Warsaw ordered the executions of   numerous Jews and Poles in November 1939. Fegelein's 1st. SS cavalry division carried out a series of mass shootings in the following month. Polish sources date the commencement of the shootings on the 7 and 8 of December 1939 in the Kampinos forest near Palmiry outside Warsaw. According to the postwar West Berlin public prosecutor 'more than 1,700' people were shot. Fegelein's division also undertook executions in the Parliament Gardens in Warsaw itself.243
3. In the Russian offensive Fegelein led his 1st SS Cavalry Regiment in operations in Rear Central Army Group Area. His cavalry formation was involved in the liquidation of the 'bearers of the Jewish-Bolshevik system'; in other words the systematic murder of Jews and Communists euphemistically disguised as anti-partisan warfare.244 His regiment played a key role in the escalation process of September 1941 in the Army Area Middle [Heeresgebiet Mitte] as the army became increasingly involved in the murder of Jews and civilians.
4. Part of Fegelein's Cavalry regiment carried out a 'cleaning-up' operation ["Säuberungs"-Unternehmen] between the 27 July and 11 August 1941 in the area of the Pripjet marshes. Order number 42 of the SS-Cavalry Regiment, signed by Fegelein, plainly stated that 'Jews are mostly to be treated as plunderers' in the forthcoming 'final pacification' [endgültigen Befriedigung"] of the area. 245 Himmler gave this order greater precision when he instructed that 'All Jews must   be shot, female Jews [Judenweiber] are to be driven into the marshes.'246 This order has an uncanny echo in Hitler's table talk of 25 October 1941 when he said 'Nobody can tell me: but we can't send them [the Jews] into the morass.'247 The action met with a positive resonance in the army. The head of the general staff of the Rear Central Army Group reported to the OKH on the 10 August:
The SS-Cavalry Brigade has essentially completed its cleaning-up operation between runway 1 and Pripjet. Those alien to the area, as well as Red Army members and Jewish commissars, were seized by the SS and mostly shot. With the insertion of mayors, the creation of a reserve police, and the oppression [sic] of the Jews the area could be considered pacified.248
5. What an 'oppression' of the Jews involved was made clear in the final report of the 1st SS Cavalry Brigade of 13 August. It reported a 'total' of '13,788 plunderers shot' at a cost to the Brigade of '2 dead, 15 wounded, thereof some seriously wounded'.249
6. Fegelein observed in a report dated 3 September 1941 that 'Jew-free' localities were often attacked by partisans and that it had been shown that 'above all Jews' served as intermediaries   to the partisans.250 This echoes Hitler's selfsame thoughts on the Jews in Russia as recorded by Heim on 5 May 1942 'The banditry in Estonia and Lithuania has died down quite a lot. But one has to know when one does not eradicate the Jews then none of it is any use - the Jews are the contacts [Telephonstrippe].'251 Fegelein's report was marked with approving marginalia by army officials and the commander of Rear Army Group Middle ordered his security divisions to concentrate on the Jews in future, following the model laid down by Fegelein.252 Here was a later member of Hitler's entourage, therefore, who knew only too well what was going on behind the Eastern front, a context in which Irving refers to him as 'a young SS brigadier on the Eastern front?253

Notes

242. For a detailed account of this organisation and its operations alongside the Einsatzgruppen see Yehoshua Büchler, 'Kommandostab Reichsführer-SS: Himmler's Personal Murder Brigades in 1941 'in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1 (1986), pp. 11-25.
243. Krausnick, p. 77 and fn. 373, p. 287. ' Helmut Krausnick, Hitlers Einsatzgruppen: Die Truppen des Weltanschauungskrieges 1938-1942 (Frankfurt am Main, 1989), p. 77 and note 373, p. 287.'
244. OKH order of 25 July 1941, ibid..
245. 'Juden sind zum großen Teil als Plünderer zu behandeln. Ausnahmen bilden nur ausgesprochene Facharbeiter, wie Bäcker usw. und vor allem Ärzte.' (Zentralstelle Ludwigsburg [ZStL], Document Collection, Various, vol. 17, plate 2-5, in Krausnick, p. 194.)
246. ZStL, Document Collection, File 147, pp. 60-69, in ibid.
247. Monologue, pp. 106-8.
248. 'Die SS-Reiterbrigade hat im wesentlichen ihre Säuberungsaktion zwischen Rollbahn 1 und Pripet abgeschlossen. Die in diesem Gebiet befündlichen Ortsfremden sowie Rotarmisten und jüdischen Kommissare wurden von der SS gefaßt und zum größten Teil erschossen. Durch Einsatz von Bürgermeistern, Aufstellung von Hilfspolizei und Niederdrückung [sic] von Juden dürfte das Gebiet als befriedet angesehen werden [können]' (IfZ, MA 855, in Krausnik.).
249. Fritz Baade etc. (eds.) "Unsere Ehre heißt Treue", Kriegstagebuch des Kommandostabes RFSS, Tätigkeitsberichte der 1. und 2. SS-Kav.-Brigade und von Sonderkommandos der SS (Vienna, 1965), p. 214, in ibid. Büchler quotes a final report by Fegelein listing 15,878 dead and speculates whether this number partially overlapped with the shooting of 18,000 Jews in Pinsk and Bobruisk in which Fegelein's units took part (Büchler, p. 20).
250. BA-MA, RH 22/224, Erfahrungsbericht I. SS-Kav. Brigade, 3.9.1941, quoted in Wolfgang Peter, 'Wehrmacht und Judenverfolgung', in Ursula Büttner (ed.), Die Deutschen und die Judenverfolgung im Dritten Reich (Hamburg, 1992), pp. 161-178, p. 172; Krausnick, p. 217.
251. Monologe, p. 377.
252. BA-MA, RH 26-221/13: Befehl Rückw. Heeresgebiet Mitte, 14.9.1941, in Peter Krausnick, p. 217.
253. Irving, Hitler's War(1991 ed.), p.590.
Popups by overLIB
<< (xii) Suppression of rel...(xv) Additional evidence... >>