Wannsee

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Re: Wannsee

Post by Statistical Mechanic »

Excuse me, I seem to have edited while you were posting. I don't understand your question, but I remain interested in your reply to the problems with the suggestion that the protocol is focused on labor in general and road building in particular.
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Re: Wannsee

Post by Statistical Mechanic »

No, I am not. Now, if all this stands to reason, why didn't you just say that Pa Gromheizer's statement was not reasonable? I'm sorry, I don't wish to exchange insults. I wasn't sure how your remark was intended and the example you mentioned doesn't really support the erroneous conclusion drawn by Pa Gromheizer. My question is really for Pa Gromheizer anyway.
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Re: Wannsee

Post by Statistical Mechanic »

neugierig wrote: http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/orgs/german/ ... final.html
According to this, the meeting lasted ‘many taxing hours’, a given when looking at the minutes.
Be that as it may, I believe that historians have concluded that the meeting lasted about an hour and a half. Elsewhere, EIchmann said that "there was not much talking and it [the meeting] did not last a long time . . ." http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eic ... 10-03.html
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Re: Wannsee

Post by neugierig »

I don’t intend to waste too much time on this ‘silly (Wannsee) story’ (Yehuda Bauer), but confusion still reigns. Welcome to the forum, Statistical Mechanics, my question is: Why is NG-2586 not used as the official translation? I am somewhat familiar with the document numbering system, but that is not the issue. Here is the wording from p.2 of NG-2586 (link above):

“II. At the beginning of the meeting the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer HEYDRICH, reported his appointment by the Reichmarschall to serve as Commissioner for the Preparation of the Final Solution of the European jewish Problem, and he pointed out then that the officials had been invited to this conference in order to clear up the fundamental problems. The Reichsmarschall’s request to have a draft submitted to him on the organizational, physical and material requirements with respect to the Final Solution of the European Jewish Problem necessitated this previous general consultation by all the central offices directly concerned, in order that there should be coordination in the policy. “

Here now the official version as peddled today:

“II. At the beginning of the discussion Chief of the Security Police and of the SD, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich, reported that the Reich Marshal had appointed him delegate for the preparations for the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe and pointed out that this discussion had been called for the purpose of clarifying fundamental questions. The wish of the
Reich Marshal to have a draft sent to him concerning organizational, factual and material interests in relation to the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe makes necessary an initial common action of all central offices immediately concerned with these questions in order to bring their general activities into line.”

http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/ ... cript.html

Why use a different translation? There are many issues with even just this first part, but not the subject here. Just one remark: In the first invitation send by Heydrich (Nov.29,1941), he speaks of a “Gesamtlösung der Judenfrage in Europa”, a ‘comprehensive solution to the Jewish question in Europe’, and here we read “Final Solution”. The second invitation, no doubt a forgery, then mentions ‘final solution’. Who changed Heydrich’s mind?

As for the length of the meeting, which ”…lasted a few hours”, as per Nora Levin, you tell us:

“Be that as it may, I believe that historians have concluded that the meeting lasted about an hour and a half. Elsewhere, Eichmann said that "there was not much talking and it [the meeting] did not last a long time . . ."

‘Historians’ changed their stories as this tale developed, and Eichmann seems to have forgotten what he had stated earlier, see my post #260.

So again, why not peddle the original NG-2586, or NG-2586 G?

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Wilf
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Re: Wannsee

Post by Statistical Mechanic »

Thank you for your welcome. I am pleased to be able to engage in dialogue with you and point out some of the issues with your posts, such as your confusing the IMT and NMT, etc.
neugierig wrote:I don’t intend to waste too much time on this ‘silly (Wannsee) story’ (Yehuda Bauer), but confusion still reigns.
Your reference to Yehuda Bauer's statement of 1992 is most misleading. Bauer's point was that it is "silly" to imagine that it was at Wannsee that the Nazis decided on the final solution: "The public still repeats, time after time, the silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived at." You are most likely aware that in the Canadian Jewish News column quoting Bauer his very next comment was about the significance of the conference: "Wannsee was but a stage in the unfolding of the process of mass murder." It is important and keeps good faith not to take quotations out of context to score rhetorical points.
neugierig wrote:Why use a different translation?
Given that many documents are re-translated (David Irving's Website, for example, includes two alternatives for the Wannsee protocol), why, in your opinion, is this change so significant?
neugierig wrote:There are many issues with even just this first part, but not the subject here. Just one remark: In the first invitation send by Heydrich (Nov.29,1941), he speaks of a “Gesamtlösung der Judenfrage in Europa”, a ‘comprehensive solution to the Jewish question in Europe’, and here we read “Final Solution”. The second invitation, no doubt a forgery, then mentions ‘final solution’. Who changed Heydrich’s mind?
Can you tell us how you know that the second invitation is a forgery? I'd be interested to hear the evidence for this claim. Your suspicions are odd, contrasting as you do the first and second letters, in that in his first invitation Heydrich noted that he'd attached "a photocopy of [Goering's] instructions to this letter"; Goering's commission to Heydrich, dated, as Heydrich noted in the invitation, 31 July 1941, already used the phrase the "final solution" ("I further commission you to submit to me as soon as possible a draft showing the organizational, factual, and financial measures already taken for the execution of the intended final solution of the Jewish question"). Since his first invitation included this photocopy, which itself used both the terms "total solution" and "final solution," I do not see any cause to find it odd that the invitation itself used yet another term, "comprehensive solution."
neugierig wrote:As for the length of the meeting, which ”…lasted a few hours”, as per Nora Levin, you tell us:

“Be that as it may, I believe that historians have concluded that the meeting lasted about an hour and a half. Elsewhere, Eichmann said that "there was not much talking and it [the meeting] did not last a long time . . ."

‘Historians’ changed their stories as this tale developed, and Eichmann seems to have forgotten what he had stated earlier, see my post #260.
Nora Levin's study is dated (1968), and her survey is a general history not focused on Wannsee nor based on significant original research on Wannsee (she cites in this passage on Wannsee only the protocol and a Life magazine article in support of her summary of the conference). Note that Levin's book, on p. 295, makes the very assertion - that it was at Wannsee that an irreversible decision to exterminate Europe's Jews was taken - criticized by Yehuda Bauer in the article you misquoted: her interpretation is not persuasive to scholars of the Holocaust. At any rate, it is not historians who "changed their stories" about the length of the meeting but Eichmann who made different statements on different occasions, as you note. (Just for another source, Steven Lehrer's book Wannsee House and the Holocaust, p. 180, gives the approximate length of the meeting at 87 minutes. In his book Origins of the Final Solution, Christopher Browning has a good discussion of the Wannsee conference, much at odds with Levin's - pp. 410-414.)

On Eichmann's statements, it should be noted that he further testified in Jerusalem on the length of the conference: "The conference itself took only a very short period of time. I can't recall exactly how long it lasted, but it seems to me that I would not be mistaken in saying that it didn't take longer than an hour or an hour and a half. Of course, the gentlemen who participated in it would later on be standing in small groups to discuss the ins and outs of the agenda and also of certain work to be undertaken afterwards." Eichmann's statement in Argentina differs to the two statements he gave during his trial - it is clear that his statements in Jerusalem were more specific as to the meeting and its length whilst that made in Argentina is more general and does not specifically give a meeting length but rather refers in general to "long hours of strain." In neither case are his statements definitive - certainly not enough to build a counter-history on.
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Re: Wannsee

Post by neugierig »

You are welcome, Statistical Mechanics, but no, I am not interested in discussing Wannsee, been there, done that at the old Rodoh. BTW, how did I confuse the IMT with the NMT?

Just one issue. I wrote that Yehuda Bauer dismissed Wannsee as a ‘silly story. Your reply:

“Your reference to Yehuda Bauer's statement of 1992 is most misleading. Bauer's point was that it is "silly" to imagine that it was at Wannsee that the Nazis decided on the final solution: "The public still repeats, time after time, the silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived at."…”

But that is the point, at the Wannsee museum visitors are told that this is the place where the extermination of the Jews had been planned. And since this was not the case, as Mr. Bauer rightly asserts, why then even talk about this alleged conference?

Anyway, good to have you on board and who knows,…?

Regards
Wilf
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Re: Wannsee

Post by neugierig »

I forgot to mention this: All I am interested in is to know why the official version of NG-2586 (G) is not used. Your explanation leaves a lot to be desired, why change something? I need to compare the rest, as time permits, perhaps the answer is buried in the two translations.

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Wilf
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Re: Wannsee

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neugierig wrote:But that is the point, at the Wannsee museum visitors are told that this is the place where the extermination of the Jews had been planned. And since this was not the case, as Mr. Bauer rightly asserts, why then even talk about this alleged conference?
Thank you again for your warm welcome. We seem likely to have disagreements aplenty and I appreciate your good spirit in this regard.

Here we will have to disagree about how the House of the Wannsee Conference describes the conference, at least in print (I don't know what its docents tell visitors and whether the explanations they give are in line with the museum's interpretations).

From the museum's website: "The subject of the meeting was the 'Final Solution of the Jewish Question'. Heydrich’s aim was to emphasise his leading role in the deportations and to involve important ministries and party departments in the preparations for the murder of the European Jews. The meeting was also designed to resolve conflicts between the German civil administration in the occupied territories in Poland and Ostland and the SS leaders in these territories." There is nothing in this explanation that refers to the decision to launch the final solution or even to plan it.

One reason to talk about the conference follows from its purpose and is also explained on House of the Wannsee Conference website: "The conference was a confirmation that the SS had won the 1941 dispute between authorities regarding the responsibility for the 'Solution of the Jewish Question'. The participants presented proposals and raised objections depending on the interests of the authorities they were representing, but overall they showed that they were willing to cooperate. In the process, the leading officials in the German state administration became accessories to and perpetrators of the crime." As Bauer noted, in the sentence you omitted, the conference was "a stage in the unfolding of the process of mass murder."

In addition, some mistaken claims for the conference's significance have been made and are worth straightening out.
neugierig wrote:Your explanation leaves a lot to be desired, why change something?
Actually, I didn't explain the apparent multiple translations of the protocol, I asked why in your opinion their existence is significant. I couldn't really follow your discussion with greendoormat, so I'm unable to offer an explanation. Instead, I inquired about what you find noteworthy in a fairly typical practice.
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Re: Wannsee

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rollo the ganger wrote:I was reading the link that Wilf gave and, if true, it would verify that the Germans wanted to deport all the Jews out of Reich territory. Not exterminate them.
Are you trying seriously to assert that the protocol's main focus is nothing more than deportation of Jews from the Reich? Where do you get such a notion?
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Re: Wannsee

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Statistical Mechanic wrote:
rollo the ganger wrote:I was reading the link that Wilf gave and, if true, it would verify that the Germans wanted to deport all the Jews out of Reich territory. Not exterminate them.
Are you trying seriously to assert that the protocol's main focus is nothing more than deportation of Jews from the Reich? Where do you get such a notion?
Er... well ...erm...how about from the protocols themselves? Just a suggestion. ;.)
That is what the protocol actually and specifically states:
The Chief of the Security Police and the SD then gave a short report of the struggle which has been carried on thus far against this enemy, the essential points being the following:
a) the expulsion of the Jews from every sphere of life of the German people,
b) the expulsion of the Jews from the living space of the German people.
In carrying out these efforts, an increased and planned acceleration of the emigration of the Jews from Reich territory was started, as the ONLY POSSIBLE present solution.

By order of the Reich Marshal, a Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration was set up in January 1939 and the Chief of the Security Police and SD was entrusted with the management. Its most important tasks were
a) to make all necessary arrangements for the preparation for an increased emigration of the Jews,
b) to direct the flow of emigration,
c) to speed the procedure of emigration in each individual case.
The aim of all this was to cleanse German living space of Jews in a legal manner.

III.
Another possible solution of the problem has now taken the place of emigration, i.e. the evacuation of the Jews to the East, provided that the Führer gives the appropriate approval in advance.

These actions are, however, only to be considered provisional, but practical experience is already being collected which is of the greatest importance in relation to the future final solution of the Jewish question.
The evacuated Jews will first be sent, group by group, to so-called transit ghettos, from which they will be transported to the East.

SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich went on to say that an important prerequisite for the evacuation as such is the exact definition of the persons involved.

It is not intended to evacuate Jews over 65 years old...

State Secretary Dr. Bühler stated that the General Government would welcome it if the final solution of this problem could be begun in the General Government, since on the one hand transportation does not play such a large role here nor would problems of labour supply hamper this action. Jews must be removed from the territory of the General Government as quickly as possible, since it is especially here that the Jew as an epidemic carrier represents an extreme danger and on the other hand is causing permanent chaos in the economic structure of the country through continued black market dealings.
...The meeting was closed with the request of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD to the participants that they afford him appropriate support during the carrying out of the tasks involved in the solution.
Etc., etc.
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