Michael Meinhardt and Dr. Yehuda Meinhardt
For a long time, the events of the murder of Jews during the Second World War have been questioned in some circles. This paper should help refute these denials.
It is not aimed at inveterate Nazis, neo-Nazis, fanatical Islamists or other conspiratorialists or anti-Semites, but at those who are open to discerning the facts and, if they have doubts, consulting historical sources for an honest picture of the terrible crimes of the German Nazi regime and its many collaborators.
Many researchers have analyzed and described the events leading up to the Holocaust, including Saul Friedländer, Raul Hilberg, Izchak Arad, Wolfgang Benz, Walter Laqueur, and Martin Gilbert. These scholars searched for sources and archives from the Nazi authorities and found that the perpetrators themselves had left records of their crimes.
For example, we have the testimony of SS Sturmbannführer Wilhelm Hoettl of the Security Service (SD), given on 25 November 1945 before the Nuremberg trials. He described a meeting that he had had with Adolf Eichmann at Hoettl’s office in Budapest in August 1944. Hoettl said :
(Eichmann) expressed his conviction that Germany had lost the war and that personally, he had no chance anymore to survive, he knew that he would be considered as one of the main war criminals by the Allied Forces because he has the lives of millions of Jews on his conscience. I asked him how many millions are you talking about? To which he replied that, although the number was a great secret, he would tell me, because as a historian I would be interested in that as well. He had recently submitted a report to his superior Himmler, who wanted to know the exact number of Jews who had been killed. Some 4 million Jews had been murdered in various concentration camps, while another 2 million had died in different ways. They were largely killed by shooting by the “Einsatzgruppen” of the Security Police during the campaign against the USSR.
This statement, directly from the perpetrators, confirms the number of Jews killed.
Another important document , ,  was found in 1945 by American soldiers in the Foreign Office in Berlin. There were 3 bulging Leitz folders and on the outside was written: “Event Reports from the USSR”. These were top secret reports from Nazi SS units that moved to Eastern Europe behind the Wehrmacht to kill Jews, Bolshevik commissioners, Sinti and Roma Gypsies. The reports include unvarnished details of the killing: places, names, number of the dead, names of the responsible persons, etc.. These documents were later used as a basis for the indictment in the “Einsatzgruppen” trial in Nuremberg. Around 3,000 men served in the Einsatzgruppen, but only a few of the perpetrators appeared before the Nuremberg court and were sentenced.
Another important document  is the surviving protocol of the “Wannsee Conference” which took place on January 20, 1942 in a villa on the Wannsee a lake near Berlin. In this meeting of important representatives from the authorities of the Nazi regime, the planned deportation of all Jews in the sphere of power of the Nazi Reich was decided. They were to be taken to camps in the East to be killed either immediately or later by forced labor. This was called “annihilation through work”.
The marginalization and deprivation of liberties of the Jews began with the Nazi takeover at the end of January 1933. First they were gradually excluded from the economy, they were no longer allowed to exercise their professions, and their businesses and possessions were “Aryanized,” which meant de facto expropriation. During the Kristallnacht pogrom, Jewish religious houses and Jewish shops were destroyed and plundered. In these first years of the Nazi rule before the war, there were already targeted murders of Jews and other “Opositionellen”. On Kristallnacht alone, almost 100 Jews were murdered. The systematic murder of the Jews was carried out only after the outbreak of war, however.
After stopping the emigration of Jews in 1941, the Nazi regime began its systematic deportation of people of Jewish descent to the areas conquered by the Wehrmacht in Eastern Europe and their destruction to a large extent. Experience with mass murder had already been obtained in “Action T4”, in which the inmates from homes of mentally and physically disabled people were murdered. These people were killed at first with poison sprays and later in the first gas chambers. Although these actions were interrupted in 1941 following protests of the Catholic Bishop Von Galen from Münster, the regime now had the experience of killing with poison gas.
Initially, the murders were carried out in trucks that had a closed hermetic cabin in the back, into which the engine exhaust fumes were directed. But it was not effective enough for the Nazi authorities, and they began establishing permanent gas chambers in extermination camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Belzec. There, millions of Jews and many thousands of Sinti and Roma Gypsies and other political prisoners were murdered. After 1944, when it was obvious that the war was lost, Heinrich Himmler ordered the removal of all mass graves, the exhumation of the bodies and their burning in order to cover up all traces of the crime. For this purpose, “Sonderkommando” were used: inmates who were then murdered so they could not be witnesses. This action was called “Action 1005”  by Himmler. The remaining surviving prisoners were sent in “death marches” into the Reich. Countless documents and testimonies from survivors and from the perpetrators have been brought into courts to prove these facts. There are bills of the construction companies for the concentration camps, the electric fences, gas chambers and crematoria with their incinerators, and even bills for the supply of the poison gas “Zyklon B”.
The possessions of Jews were plundered completely. First they were robbed of their belongings in the ghettos where they had been forcibly crammed together, then all the valuables they left had were taken on their arrival to the concentration camps. They were sent naked into the gas chambers, their clothes were collected, disinfected and sent to the Reich. After death, their gold and wedding rings were removed, the women’s hair collected, etc..
One of the gruesome items of evidence of the Nazi killing machine is the so-called “Höfle
Telegram,” which was found by chance in 2000 in the files of the Bletchley Park complex of the intelligence service in England. It reported the incredible exact figure of 1 274 166 murdered Jews in the short time of about half a year that the so-called “Action Reinhard” that been going on in four killing camps – Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek and Belzec – in Poland . This figure was confirmed again in the “Korherr Report” of 1943 .
The numbers of the Jewish victims, which we reproduce here from Martin Gilbert’s book , refers to the loss of life of the Jewish communities in Europe and North Africa where the German Nazi murderers and collaborators acted.
|Norway 728||Finland 11||Denmark 77|
|Estonia 1,000||Latvia 80,000||Memel 8,000|
|Lithuania 135,000||Holland 106,000||Belgium 24,387|
|Gdansk 1,000||Germany 160,000||Poland 3,000,000|
|USSR 1,000,000||Luxembourg 700||France 83,000|
|Czechoslovakia 217,000||Yugoslavia 60,000||Bukovina 124,632|
|Austria 65,000||Besarabia 200,000||Transylvania 105,000|
(Carpathian Ukraine) 60,000
|Italy 8,000||Macedonia 7,122||Trakien 4,221|
|Albania 200||Greece 65,000||Crete 260|
|Kos 120||Rhodes 1,700|
|in North Africa|
|Libya 562||Tunisia 3,000|
“A denial of the Holocaust is synonymous with a repeated murder of the victims.”
To Ann Laquer Estin for the English corrections.
- Sworn Affidavit – Document 2738-PS, Exhibit USA-296 from Raul Hilberg: “The destruction of the European Jews”, 3rd. ed., vol III, pg.1301, 2003, Yale Univ. Press
- https://www.sueddeutsche.de/…/jurist-benjamin-ferencz-im-kr… [ retrieved the 16.01.2019]
- Helmut Langerbein: “Hitlers Death Squads”, Texas A&M, University Press, 2004
- Helmut Krausnik: “Hitlers Einsatzgruppen” Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 1993
- https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wannseekonferenz [retrieved the 16.01.2019]
- Andrej Angrick: “Die Aktion 1005“ , Wallenstein Göttingen, 2018
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Höfle_Telegram [retrieved the 16.01.2019]
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korherr_Report [retrieved the 16.01.2019]
- Martin Gilbert, „The Dent Atlas of the Holocaust“, Orion – London, 1993
- “In war decent people become mass murderers”, Benjamin Ferencz, Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German), 5 May 2016