Sunday 4 December 2022

Himmler's Report to the Fuhrer on fighting against gangs, presented to Hitler on 29 December 1942, proves Hitler knew of the mass murder of Jews



I don't remember hearing about this document, which Himmler presented to Hitler on 29 December 1942.

The "Report to the Führer on fighting against gangs" Nr. 51., which covered the period from August to November 1942 and which referred only to a part of the occupied Soviet area, (southern Russia, Ukraine and the district of Bialystok); included the following numbers concerning persons imprisoned or executed:

1. Bandits

a) Established number of deaths after combat 1,337
b) Prisoners executed immediately 737
c) Prisoners executed after lengthy thorough interrogation 7,828

2. Gang helpers and suspects

a) Arrested 16,553
b) Executed 14,257
c) Jews executed 363,211

This is one of the very few records that explicitly mentioned the killing of Jews, without euphemisms. 

In fact, are there any others?

And it was seen by Hitler himself.

It seems to make it hard to argue that Hitler was ignorant of the murders of large numbers of Jews, as some have done, even though there is nothing in writing from him authorising the massacres. 

I suppose obstinate revisionists can argue that these Jews were killed because they were partisans behind the lines or Communist sympathisers (in a war between Communists and Nazis Soviet Jews could only take the Communist side), but the numbers of Jews killed compared with the others makes this explanation unconvincing.

The report was mentioned by the defence barrister, Richard Rampton, KC, in the libel trial David Irving v Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt, when Mr Irving denied it could be shown that Hitler knew about the mass murder of Jews. 

Mr Irving then rather lamely replied that the document was "an orphan" and no other reports of this nature were given to the Fuhrer.

David Irving of course knew all about the report, as the defence barrister in the trial pointed out  but preferred to ignore it.

I did know that early in 1943 Himmler received a report detailing how many Jews were in the Eastern occupied territories from his statistician Richard Korherr. He counted the Jews who had died due to “natural attrition,” ones who had emigrated and, separately, 2.4 million Jews whom he classified as abgang—dispatched, disposed of, departed—in Poland and Ostland (the Baltic States and Western Belorussia). Korherr specifically listed them as todesfällen, a word the
 Collins German-English Dictionary translates as deaths.

Anyone who argues that these Jews were evacuated, not killed, has to explain what happened to them. 

The number is not necessarily accurate, but the exact number is not the point. Himmler complained that 95% of the reports he received were greatly exaggerated or unreliable. 

This accords with Goebbels’ diary entry of March 27, 1942, in which he said that 60% of Polish Jews were unfit for work and would have to be “liquidated.”

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