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Defense Documents

Hitler's Role in the Persuection of the Jews by the Nazi Regime: Electronic Version, by Heinz Peter Longerich

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14.1The Madagascar plan had became obsolete by the Fall of 1940 because of the continuation of the war in the West. And the comprehensive deportation of the Jews in German-dominated areas into the Generalgouvernement had proved to be difficult for various reasons. Thus Hitler assigned the responsibility for deporting the Jews to the occupied Soviet areas to the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. This decision, which was made parallel to the preparations for "Barbarossa" (the code word for the military operations involved in the attack on the Soviet Union) around the end of 1940, beginning of 1941, can be reconstructed on the basis of a series of documents.
14.2On 21 January, the Gestapo's Jewish expert in Paris, Theodor Dannecker, noted the following in a paper prepared for Eichmann:123  
According to the will of the Führer, the Jewish question should be carried to a final solution after the war within the German-controlled or dominated parts of Europe,. The chief of the Security Police and the SD (Heydrich, P.L.) has already received a mandate from the Führer - via the RF-SS (Himmler, P.L.) or through the Reichsmarschall (Göring, P.L.) to submit a proposal for a final solution project. On the basis of the wide experience of the departments of the CdS (Chief of the Security Police, P.L.) and SD in the treatment of the Jews and thanks to the lengthy preparations made in this domain, the most significant features of this project have been worked out. It is now in the hands of the Führer and the Reichsmarschall. It is clear that the execution involves an enormous amount of work and that it can only be successful if the greatest care is taken in its preparation. This must be be based upon a comprehensive deportation of the Jews as well as upon the planning of a settlement action prepared to the smallest detail to take place in a territory which has not yet been decided upon.
14.3In addition we learn from a statement to the Propaganda Ministry submitted on 20 March 1941 by Eichmann, who was head of the department in the Reichssicherheitshauptamt responsible for "evacuations" (Räumungsangelegenheiten) as of December, 1939, that "Pg. Heydrich, who was commissioned with the final evacuation of Jews, had presented the Führer with a proposal 8 to 10 weeks earlier which had not been implemented for the sole reason that the Generalgouvernement was not at that point in a position to accept a single Jew or Pole from the old Reich".124
14.4If we piece these various bits of information together, it becomes clear that sometime before January 1941, Heydrich -through Hitler and via Himmler and Göring - had received a commission to prepare a first draft for a "final solution   project" "after the War" for all Jews in a yet to be decided territory. This plan was ready in January, but because of the situation in the Generalgouvernement it was not implementable. For on 15 March the deportations to the Generalgouvernement were stopped due to the transport situation in view of the military preparations for the attack on Russia.
14.5Apparently completely unimpressed by the blockade on deportations which had been imposed two days earlier, those who gathered at Hitler`s midday dinner table on 17 March conversed about further deportation programs, as Goebbels described it almost euphorically in his diary:125
"Vienna will soon be totally free of Jews. And now it is Berlin's turn. I discuss this with the Führer and with Dr.Franck (sic!). He hires the Jews to work and they are also obedient. Later they must leave Europe entirely."
14.6Frank, in the meantime once again in the Generalgouvernement, also expressed himself on the issue of Hitler's further plans in regard to the persecution of the Jews. Thus the minutes to a meeting of 25 March, read as follows:
SS-Ogruf (Obergruppenführer, P.L.) Krüger announced the provisional stoppage of the resettlement of Poles and Jews in the Generalgouvernement. Frank states that the Führer had told him that the Generalgouvernement would be the first area made free of Jews."126
14.7From these statements by Frank and Goebbels we thus can conclude two things: first of all, the Generalgouvernement was not the final destination for the intended "evacuation of the Jews" because it was supposed to be made "free of Jews" and the Jews were supposed to "leave Europe altogether". Secondly, the assurance which Hitler made to Goebbels and Frank that their respective areas of domination were to be made "free of Jews" could only be realised over the long-   term. This is because he gave this promise at a moment when the deportations had in fact been stopped; what Hitler's timetable for a "Germanisation" of the Generalgouvernement really was can be deduced from another statement by Frank, made on the same day: "The Führer is decided to make this area (i.g. the Generalgouvernement, P.L.) a purely German country in the course of the next 15 to 20 years."127 Shortly thereafter, Frank went on to occupy himself with the planning for the Warsaw Ghetto, which would provide the basis for at least a medium-term existence for the Jewish "residential district" in Warsaw.128 Also Goebbels` diary entry for 22 March 1941 shows that the Propaganda Minister had in the meantime understood that the "evacuation" from Berlin could only be implemented over a longer period of time; "The Jews can not be evacuated out of Berlin since 30,000 work in the armaments industry there."129
14.8In fact, by March 1941, at the very latest, the Nazi leadership was clearly aware of what was the destination planned for the Jews who were to be expelled over the long- range period "out of all of Europe" really was to be: They were to be deported to the newly conquered Eastern territories after the war against the Soviet Union for which Hitler had concretely begun preparations as early as the last months of 1940.130
14.9More evidence for this intention is supplied by a memo by Heydrich from 26 March 1941 concerning a discussion with Göring:
In relation to the solution of the Jewish question, I reported briefly to the Reichsmarschall and showed him my draft which he accepted with one alteration regarding Rosenberg`s jurisdiction and ordered me to resubmit it.131
14.10By "Rosenberg's jurisdiction" was meant the latter's designated role as chief of an authority that was to administer the eastern occupied territories - what was later to become the Ministry of the East. Herewith it is clear that the planned "solution of the Jewish question" was to take place in the soon to-be-occupied areas of the Soviet Union. The renewed submission of the draft was to take place on 31 July 1941, when Göring entrusted Heydrich with the responsibility of "preparations in organisational, technical and material aspects for the complete solution to the Jewish question in the German area of influence in Europe",132 and stated that the "jurisdiction of other central authorities" should be taken into consideration; this was a general formula to solve the problem of Rosenberg's jurisdiction.
14.11What those involved in the phase of preparation of "Barbarossa" understood by the term "final solution" within the to-be-conquered Soviet Union is not clear. Before the beginning of Barbarossa, the German attack upon the Soviet Union, there had been no preparations made - not for a reservation nor for mass murder. Just as in the case of the plan for a reservation in Poland and in the case of a Madagascar plan, in the case of a deportation to the Soviet Union the European Jews would have found a situation in which the basic conditions for human existence were impossible - particularly since the essence of German policy was to systematically starve the Soviet population.133 Mass death would have been the consequence.
14.12For the months before "Barbarossa" a series of concrete indications proves that Hitler, in particular, had declared himself in favour of such a comprehensive deportation "to the East": Frank explained to Goebbels directly before the beginning of the attack on the Soviet Union that he was preparing for the banishment of the Jews (Abschiebung), as reported in the Goebbels diaries:134  
Dr. Franck (sic!) tells about the Generalgouvernement. There they are already pleased to be able to banish the Jews. Jewry in Poland is gradually decaying. A justified punishment for having incited the people and instigated war. The Führer has also prophesied this to the Jews.
14.13From statements which he made a few weeks later, it becomes clear where Frank got his certainty: to his staff he explained that there would be no further ghetto construction in the Generalgouvernement; according to a pledge which Hitler had made to him on 19 June, the Jews would be removed in the foreseeable future from the Generalgouvernement, which would then be made into a "transit camp" (Durchgangslager).135
14.14A further source is a complaint from the Romanian Head of State, Antonescu, to Hitler on 16 August 1941: Antonescu complained that Bessarabian Jews who had been expelled from their homes by Romanian troops and had been forced further to the east, to Ukraine, were now being pushed back from there by the Wehrmacht. This practice, according to Antonescu, stood in opposition to "the guidelines laid down to him by the Führer in Munich regarding the treatment of Eastern Jews".136 Antonescu was instructed, according to this source, that the Jews of Eastern Europe were going to be deported to the conquered Soviet areas - which is what his troops did right away - without waiting for the end of the war - as Hitler had intended.
14.15As a conclusion to this section, we can state that Hitler was well aware of the plans of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt for the deportation of the Jews in the to-be-conquered Soviet Union.


121. Wie mir Reichsleiter Bormann mitteilt, hat der Führer auf einen von ihnen erstatteten Bericht entschieden, daß die in dem Reichsgau Wien noch wohnhaften 60.000 Juden beschleunigt, also noch während des Krieges, wegen der in Wien herrschenden Wohnungsnot ins Generalgouvernement abgeschoben werden sollen.' IMTXXIX, pp. 176f, 1950 PS, Letter of Lammers to Schirach, 3 December 1940.
122. Safrian, Eichmann-Männer, pp. 97f; Adler, Verwaltete Mensch, pp. 147ff with further details.
123. 'Gemäß dem Willen des Führers soll nach dem Kriege die Judenfrage innerhalb des von Deutschland beherrschten oder kontrollierten Teiles Europas einer endgültigen Lösung zugeführt werden. Der Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD hat bereits vom Führer über den RF-SS bezw. durch den Reichsmarschall Auftrag zur Vorlage eines Endlösungsprojektes erhalten. - Auf Grund der bei den Dienststellen des CdS und des SD vorhandenen umfangreichen Erfahrungen in der Judenbehandlung und dank der seit längerer Zeit geleisteten Vorarbeiten wurde dann das Projekt in seinen wesentlichsten Zügen ausgearbeitet. Es liegt dem Führer und dem Reichsmarschall vor. Fest steht, daß es sich bei der Ausführung um eine Riesenarbeit handelt, deren Erfolg nur durch sorgfältigste Vorbereitungen gewährleistet werden kann. Diese müssen sich sowohl auf die einer Gesamtabschiebung der Juden vorausgehenden Arbeiten als auch auf die Planung einer bis ins einzelne festgelegten Ansiedlungsaktion in dem noch zu bestimmenden Territorium erstrecken.' CDJC, V-59, printed in Klarsfeld, Vichy - Auschwitz, pp. 361ff.
124. 'daß Pg. Heydrich - der vom Führer mit der endgültigen Judenevakuierung beauftragt sei - dem Führer vor 8-10 Wochen einen Vorschlag vorgelegt habe, der nur deshalb noch nicht zur Ausführung gelangt sei, weil das Generalgouvernement z. Zt. nicht in der Lage sei, einen Juden oder Polen aus dem Altreich aufzunehmen.' Printed in Adler, Verwaltete Mensch, p. 152.
125. 'Wien wird nun bald ganz judenrein sein. Und jetzt soll Berlin an die Reihe kommen. Ich spreche das schon mit dem Führer und Dr. Franck (sic !) ab. Der stellt die Juden zur Arbeit an, und sie sind auch fügsam. Später müssen sie mal ganz aus Europa heraus." Fröhlich (ed.), Tagebücher, 18.3.1941.
126. "SS-Ogruf Krüger teilt die vorläufige Einstellung der Umsiedlungen von Polen und Juden in das GG mit. Frank äußert dazu, der Führer habe ihm zugesagt, das GG werde als erstes Gebiet judenfrei gemacht." Präg/Jacobmeyer (eds.), Diensttagebuch, 25.3.41.
127. 'Der Führer ist entschlossen, aus diesem Gebiet im Laufe von 15 bis 20 Jahren ein rein deutsches Land zu machen.' Ibid.
128. Ibid., 3.4.41.
129. 'Die Juden können nicht aus Berlin evakiert werden, da 30.000 in Rüstungsbetrieben arbeiten.' Fröhlich, (ed.), Tagebücher, 22.3.41
130. Decisive for this are Hitler's orders No. 18 (Rußland) v.12.11.1940 as well as No. 21 v.18.12.41 (Fall Barbarossa): Hubatsch (ed.), Weisungen.
131. 'Bezüglich der Lösung der Judenfrage berichtetete ich kurz dem Reichsmarschall und legte ihm meinen Entwurf vor, dem er mit einer Änderung bezüglich der Zuständigkeit Rosenbergs zustimmte und Wiedervorlage befahl.' Aly, Endlösung, p. 270 (Archival reference: OS, 500-3-795).
132. 'Vorbereitungen in organisatorischer, sachlicher und materieller Hinsicht zu treffen für eine Gesamtlösung der Judenfrage im deutschen Einfluágebiet in Europa', 'Zuständigkeiten anderer Zentralinstanzen". PAA, Inland II g 177, IMTXXVI, 710-PS.
133. For details see below.
134. 'Dr. Franck erzäahlt vom Generalgouvernement. Dort freut man sich schon darauf, die Juden abschieben zu können. Das Judentum in Polen verkommt allmählich. Eine gerechte Strafe für die Verhetzung der Völker und die Anzettelung des Krieges. Der Führer hat das ja auch den Juden prophezeit." Fröhlich (ed.), Tagebücher, 20.6.41 on the previous day.
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