The final solution...

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Wise1, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Wise1

    Wise1 There We Are Then

    Lets strike up some debate on this subject.

    What does everyone think on the subject generally in terms of who agreed what and when? When did the final solution really become the final solution as we know it.

    Hitler was a rambler and often said things that indicated what we believe to be the impending genocide of the Jewish population, was it his intention all along to eliminate the Jews by murdering them all?

    Since Hitlers rise to power in 1933 all sorts of sanctions were placed on Jews and manty discussions took place regarding them, but mostly all the discussions related to resettlement rather than murder.

    The Wansee conference has widely been attributed to the final solution but was it significant?

    Jews were being gassed in Belzec before Auschwitz, but was that the start on an intended genocidial act?

    Was there one single event that triggered the final solution or was many more smaller acts that lead to it? Stalin's expulsion of Germans from Russia certainly stirred Hitler as an example of one.

    So many questions, looking for lots of views :)
     
  2. Marina

    Marina Senior Member

    Wasn't gassing introduced because shooting was so hard on the SS men's nerves?

    The book about the Police Reservists murder squads seems to indicate that they went into Poland to clear 'squares on a grid' of the Jewish population, but I think that was post Wannsee. Certainly there was no question of resettlement then.

    I really don't know the answer to these questions, but have a vague impression that as the ghettoes got fuller and fuller, mass murder became the answer to the problem of what they would do with the people they had rounded up. Is it correct that the ghetto population was deliberately put on starvation rations - another impression I have - to kill off the people who were not needed as slave labour?
    It would be interesting to hear some hard facts about these issues.
     
  3. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Lets strike up some debate on this subject.

    What does everyone think on the subject generally in terms of who agreed what and when? When did the final solution really become the final solution as we know it.



    So many questions, looking for lots of views :)

    I'm pressed for time, so I'll just tackle the issue of Hitler's aims:

    I think he intended to kill every Jew in the world, from Vladivostok to Vancouver. They were the be-all and end-all of his world view. Every time the subject came up, he flew into a rage and denounced them for everything from the fall of Rome to perverting the culture of Lapland.
     
  4. Wise1

    Wise1 There We Are Then

    Hitler's views were certainly well know as far as the Jews were concerned. However since 1933 (and before) gradual restrictions were made on the movements on the Jews, much debate surrounded moving them to Africa, Siberia and even Madagascar although that was less of an option as it would have required movement by sea and the British had the upper hand on that front preventing or at least certainly restricting movement by ship.

    If the notion of genocide was so deep seated within the reich why then spend so much time on other solutions?

    Certainly there was concern even over their removal to another country, Himmler and Heydrich were concerned that where ever they went it had to be somewhere that they would not thrive as to one day come back and threaten the motherland.

    It was true also to say that when it was considered moving them to into russia it was hoped they would simply die off. However that again was not a specifc genocidal act.
     
  5. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Hitler's views were certainly well know as far as the Jews were concerned. However since 1933 (and before) gradual restrictions were made on the movements on the Jews, much debate surrounded moving them to Africa, Siberia and even Madagascar although that was less of an option as it would have required movement by sea and the British had the upper hand on that front preventing or at least certainly restricting movement by ship.

    If the notion of genocide was so deep seated within the reich why then spend so much time on other solutions?

    Certainly there was concern even over their removal to another country, Himmler and Heydrich were concerned that where ever they went it had to be somewhere that they would not thrive as to one day come back and threaten the motherland.

    It was true also to say that when it was considered moving them to into russia it was hoped they would simply die off. However that again was not a specifc genocidal act.

    I think a key point in this whole development was Hitler's innate laziness. He was not a big fan of hard work, and preferred to just sit around the Berghof with his cronies from the old days, nibble cream cakes, and reminisce. That way, he kept his lieutenants fighting amongst themselves in overlapping fields of authority, so they couldn't unite and overthrow him. He wanted his subordinates to "work toward the Fuhrer," as Ian Kershaw writes, by guessing his plans and dreams in advance, and then putting them into action to please him.

    I don't think the Nazi lieutenants gripped Hitler's desires seriously for a while...they started off thinking about emigration and deportation, and then realized that it would be a lot easier and a lot closer to what Hitler wanted to just kill them all off.

    Interesting thoughts, though, Lee...I gotta research this some more. It's fascinating stuff.
     
  6. Wise1

    Wise1 There We Are Then

    He wanted his subordinates to "work toward the Fuhrer," as Ian Kershaw writes, by guessing his plans and dreams in advance, and then putting them into action to please him.


    Do you think therefore that the above is perhaps why plans for deportation, moves to the east, colonisation in africa and so many other attempts at dealing with the Jewish question came about.

    Many attempts at guessing Hitlers intention and all ultimately wrong as they were not guessing or interpreting correctly the true wishes of the Fuhrer?
     
  7. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Do you think therefore that the above is perhaps why plans for deportation, moves to the east, colonisation in africa and so many other attempts at dealing with the Jewish question came about.

    Many attempts at guessing Hitlers intention and all ultimately wrong as they were not guessing or interpreting correctly the true wishes of the Fuhrer?

    Yes, I think so...Hitler was vague about all of his policies, while being firm on them...Lebensraum in the East....kick out the Jews...the importance of propaganda...strengthen the Aryan race. So he was firm on the big picture of his goals. Yet he didn't explain how he intended to achieve some of those goals. His generals were caught by surprise by some of his announcements and theories.

    So I think there was a lot of guesswork and theorizing by Hitler's flunkies. They would hear him prattle at his long-winded monologues, and interpret those comments as calls for action, and they would do their best to put the intellectual belch into a policy.

    Oddly enough, Hitler grew increasingly detail-obsessed with managing the war, wasting staff meeting time on the total number of anti-tank guns in an infantry division, or the calibers of those guns. But on the subject of the Final Solution, he kept everything vague. I think his view was just a simple one. Like Shakespeare's Richard III, he wanted "the bastards gone." It was his subordinates' business to tend to the picayune details.

    I also suspect that for all his front-line bravado, Hitler was reluctant to get his hands dirty. John Keegan analyzes his wartime leadership as "false courage," and I think there's validity in that. The front was the best time of Hitler's life, he said, because of the bonding, hardship, and sacrifice. But Hitler did very little killing. He was a "meldeganger," a messenger, not a rifleman.

    During the war, Hitler went out of his way to avoid seeing the results of his war. He never visited bombed cities, like Churchill and King George VI. Goebbels did that. He rarely went to the front, like Monty or MacArthur. He would not even visit wounded soldiers or refugees. When his train was stuck briefly next to a carload of wounded landsers, Hitler had his train's blinds closed. He would not look into the faces of what he had created.

    And I am sure that applied to "The Final Solution."
     
  8. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I have had to include this as a zip file in order to get it on to the forum. It covers the Wehrmachts role in the development of the final solution.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Wise1

    Wise1 There We Are Then

    Cheers Morse, will have a read of that.
     

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