Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Calvs, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. Calvs

    Calvs Guest

    Hi guys.

    This question had come to mind when I was watching the movie Nuremburg the other day. I remember in one of the scenes when Goering said he had no knowledge of the holocaust and said Adolf Hitler may not have even had complete knowledge of what was happening.

    Clearly, we know very well that's not the truth and that Hitler is responsible. But it did make me wonder if he did know exactly everything that happened in the camps or ghettos or other things related and if members of organizations involved in the holocaust did anything behind his back, which he may not have approved of.
    What I mean by that is if he knew of how guards would torture inmates, or things related to that. Or if there were any restrictions that organizations involved in the holocaust could not pass, but did. Organizations like the SS, or German Police and others I mean.

    Thank you

    So I guess my question to those that view this post is if he knew entirely of everything that happened, or if there were things done without his approval and knowledge
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    One should look at some of Christopher R. Browning's works, particularly The Origins of the Final Solution, William Henemann, London, 2004 for an analysis of who knew what and who decided and when. One problem was that whilst it is clear from various documents that Hitler must have had to have approved of the overall policy he himself was careful to commit very little to paper so that whilst Himmler for example might say or write something like 'the Furher has made it clear that he wishes that...' there will be no document from Hitler himself. Overall Hitler's main policy was simple - he wanted a Europe without Jews - how this was to be achieved was part of an evolving policy. Initially various forms of ethnic cleansing were sought firstly with the hope that ill treatment of German Jews might force them to emigrate but later various forms of forced deportation were planned (to a reservation in Poland, to Madagascar, to Siberia etc) to achieve a Judenfrei Greater Reich. That the schemes if enacted would eventually lead to the death of most deportees seems to have been regarded as an irrelevant detail rather than the objective - a means to an end. Hitler was well aware of the various deportation schemes for example accepting that the Madagascar one would have to be delayed until ‘a satisfactory conclusion of the war with England’. He does not appear to have been interested in the precise means by which they would be achieved. When ethnic cleansing became genocide is unclear. Browning, Gerlach and Cesarani have identified at least four different points at which the decision could have been taken but none agree on which was the vital one. It is entirely possible that the final solution policy emerged from a number of meetings , conferences etc rather than being a cut and dried decision at any particular one (for example the Wannsee Conference). The decision in principle to move to a final solution seems to have been taken in mid 1941 but the details of how were not fully arrived at until 1942. Hitler was not present at any of these but nevertheless had people involved who would keep him informed of the deliberations and conclusions reached, there is general agreement that these would not have been arrived at without his approval and it was his instruction in July 1941 to Goring to order Reinhard Heydrich, SS general and Heinrich Himmler’s number-two man, to submit “as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative, material, and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.” that started the ball rolling. Hitler had a policy of "working towards the Fuehrer" in which he would make it clear what his objective was and leave it to others to work out the details of how this was to be achieved and he would then approve these.

    Browning Christopher R The Origins of the Final Solution William Henemann London 2005
    Cesarani (Ed) David Final Solution Origins and Implementation Cambridge University Press Cambridge 1994
    Cesarani David Final Solution the Fate of the Jews 1933- 49 William Henemann London 2016
    Gerlach Christian The Extermination of the European Jews Cambridge University Press Cambridge 2016
    Lawson Tom Debates on the Holocaust Manchester University Press Manchester 2010
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  3. Calvs

    Calvs Guest

    Thank you for your great answer
  4. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Adolf Hitler's second speech to the supreme commanders on the Obersalzberg on August 22, 1939

    The text above is the English version of the German document handed to Louis P. Lochner in Berlin. It first appeared in Lochner's What About Germany? (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1942), pp. 1-4. The Nuremberg Tribunal later identified the document as L-3 or Exhibit USA-28. Two other versions of the same document appear in Appendices II and III. For the German original cf. Akten zur Deutschen Auswartigen Politik 1918-1945, Serie D, Band VII, (Baden-Baden, 1956), pp. 171-172.
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  5. Calvs

    Calvs Guest

    Hi Itdan. Thank you for adding to forum. If anyone has anymore information on my topic, please add

    Thank you
  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Following a not dissimilar view expressed by Kaiser William in a speech at Bremmerhaven in 1900 to troops departing for China. The German FO considered it a bit strong and retrospectively toned it down

    Source: Johannes Prenzler, ed., Die Reden Kaiser Wilhelms II. [The Speeches of Kaiser Wilhelm II]. 4 volumes. Leipzig, n.d., 2. pp. 209-12.

    Unofficial version of speech reprinted in Manfred Görtemaker, Deutschland im 19. Jahrhundert. Entwicklungslinien [Germany in the 19th Century. Paths in Development]. Opladen 1996. Schriftenreihe der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, vol. 274, p. 357.

    Translation: Thomas Dunlap
  7. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    The main difference is:

    „Willem zwo“ was a wannabe tough guy who desperately tried to pretend being strong minded – who he evidently wasn´t
    And most members of the real powers behind the throne knew that perfectly and used that knowledge to instrumentalize him for their very own interests

    Adolf Hitler instead was a rabid c*nt who REALLY meant what he said

    And despite the devastating results of 14-18 the very same bunch of As**oles again thought they could repeat the same wretched game
    When that heap of (censored) undertook the „Preussenschlag“ (who was the shot in the neck for the Weimar Republic) in 1932, the mastermind behind that „coup from above“, Franz von Papen, demonstrated that mindset: "In two months, we'll have Hitler in a corner, so that he squeals!"

    Rest is known history.....
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  8. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Hitlers Reichstag speech 30 January 1939
    Goebbels diary for 12 December 1941
    see also: Speech by Himmler Before Senior SS Officers in Poznan, October 4, 1943
    Yad Vashem - Request Rejected
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  9. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    It contradicted Hitler's consistently observable political style to act with "fundamental decisions", orders or even commands. Rather, he reacted with rhetorical brute force, gloomy prophecies and threats, which gave his subordinates a completely free hand and, especially when they dropped all considerations, gave them the feeling that they were acting "in the Fuhrer's spirit“.

    A most fundamental mainstay for the treatment of KZ-prisoners was Theodor Eickes „Dachauer Schule“:
    The SS men who a few years later carried out the millionfold murder with poison gas first learned in the Dachau concentration camp to regard prisoners as „enemies of Germany“ , as inferior, treating them with „fanatical hate“ and to murder them in cold blood. The conversion of the National Socialist theories into bloody reality began in the Dachau Concentration Camp".
    But even internally, the SS avoided concrete terms for the murder of millions of Jews and instead wrote "special treatment".

    Himmler, despite his pathetic speech in 1943, became by far the biggest pimp in German criminal history:
    23 March 1942: "I consider it necessary, however, that in the freest form women in brothels be brought to the hard-working prisoners"

    From 1942 onwards even violations of the law like „Rassenschande“ (read: rape and forced prostitution) became common practice

    Hitler really didn´t knew about all this – as he simply wasn´t interested in such negligible details

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