For the past, say, 40 years, the Holocaust has become more and more “the” crime, is front and centre now. Hardly a day goes by when it is not talked about-, used by politicians as an excuse to make threats, mainly towards Iran at the moment. But strangely, very little was known about it immediately following the war, and I can attest to that having lived at that time in Germany.
During the war years, and as mentioned I lived in Germany then, nothing about any mass killings of Jews was known, a fact that was confirmed during the “Nuremberg Trials”, when the IMT accepted the statement made by Auschwitz commander Höß „…that only about 200 to 300 people knew of that dreadful order of Himmler’s which was given during a conference which lasted for 10 or 15 minutes, on the basis of which more than four million people were exterminated”.
Lets leave aside the fact that no order has ever been found, issued by either Hitler or Himmler and Hitler would have been the one to order the mass killings, and try and determine what was known up to May 8.1945 when German armed forces surrendered, unconditionally.
A crime of that enormity, the alleged killing of between 5.1 to 6 million Jews and the cremating/burning of all the bodies, could not have gone unnoticed. But this is exactly what we are asked to believe, even though we have witness testimony, in regards to the alleged burning of the corpses, telling us “The result was one huge inferno, which from the distance looked like a volcano breaking through the earth’s crust to belch forth fire and lava” (Yankel Wiernik, A year in Treblinka, chapter 9). At the Nuremberg Trials, the statement by Höß was accepted as evidence (even though he had his numbers wrong), based on nothing but his word. The 6 million was “established” by Wilhelm Höttl at the IMT (somewhat confirmed by Wisliceny), who stated in an affidavit (I have a copy of the affidavit, in German [Rothe, Wolf Dieter Die Endlösung der Judenfrage, S.67/68]) that Eichmann had told him that 6 million Jews had been killed. I need to add here that Höttl was not called to testify, even though he was incarcerated in Nuremberg and the defense asked for him to be made available for crossexamination. Also, it has since been shown that Höttl was an American agent (H. Härtle, Freispruch für Deutschland, S.190ff, V. Falin, Die Zweite Front, p.483). In fact, David Kahn, in the Introduction to Höttl’s book titled The Secret History of the Author of The Secret Front confirms it, quoting Allan Dulles (p.vi).
A little about Wilhelm Höttl, based on his above mentioned book. He was born on March 19, 1915 in Vienna, “At 22 got his Ph.D from the University of Vienna in history, German, and geography” (p.ii). He joined the SS, his career was somewhat, shall we say, chequered but he finally ended up, in 1942, in the Abwehr (intelligence) on the recommendation of Walter Schellenberg, the head of Department VI (p.v). The Abwehr was riddled with traitors, Schellenberg one of them. Höttl was later involved in a Soviet spy affair (http://www.archives.gov/iwg/declassified-records/rg-263-cia-records/rg-263-krichbaum.html), not the most reliable person. As mentioned, Höttl provided the allies with the 6 million figure at Auschwitz, but in 1996 he retracted it. From the Irving website:
“On April 18, 1996 Wilhelm Höttl admitted in a letter to a rather querulous Austrian correspondent that he no longer believed the Six Million Figure to be true. In fact he disowned authorship of the figure. This Website has omitted the lady’s identity, but reproduces her letter in the lower panel.”
This landed him in hot water, thus is the 1997 edition of his book he added an Appendix, we read:
“These additional pages on Eichmann were published by the author in his last book ‘Einsatz für das Reich’ (1997), and are reproduced here by permission of the publisher.”
He refers to “certain circles” in the last part of the Appendix, titled Eichmann and the 6 Million. Sort of an epilog, and makes it clear that this was added to his book because those “Certain circles made me the inventor of the murder of the 6 million, and there was a whole series of reproaches and even threats” (p.318). Who reproached and threatened him he does not reveal. On pp. 312 ff, Höttl tells us how he became to be a confidant of Eichmann and why Eichmann told him about the 6 million:
“While I visited Eichmann’s office for cases like that, he would visit me at home several times, usually on some official pretext, which was a natural thing for him, knowing his strict work ethic. On those occasions I discovered that he very much liked to drink, and he really loosened up and came out of his shell.
So it happened on one occasion at the end of August 1944 when Eichmann expressed his strong pessimism regarding the outlook of the war for Germany. He obviously was shocked by the fall of the Romanian head of state, Ion Antonescu, and the defection of the Romanian army to Russia. Shortly before, my friend Laszlo Baky, the Hungarian secretary of state, told me the whole truth about the mass murder in connection with the deportations. Baky obviously believed that I must have known everything, because of my rank. It must appear unbelievable, but I only knew about it by hearsay, even though I often listened to the—naturally strictly forbidden—BBC’s Germany programs, which often was impossible at the Schlossberg
in Budapest, due to the bad transmission conditions. Apart from that, the broadcasts, especially the ones that were put together by the British intelligence officer Sefton Delmer, contained in most cases obviously invented news, so that one did not believe the other, the true, stuff, either. By the way, as he once told me in a “weak moment,” Eichmann also listened to the BBC, but only alone in his private rooms. This fact seems to be of importance as it relates to the following conversation.
The depressed Eichmann said good-bye during the course of this conversation, because he was being sent on a difficult mission to “fallen Romania” and most probably would not return, if the enemies get a hold of him. He said he knew that the allies were after him, as one of the main war criminals, because of the mass murders of the Jews. In his own grotesque way, Eichmann also makes that statement in his autobiography, with the difference that he was convinced that he was never called a main war criminal, but “only” as war criminal No. 14
Anyway, I took advantage of Eichmann’s moment of weakness and asked him how many Jews had really been murdered. He said 6 million, which by now has become the magic number. The conversation about the 6 million murdered Jews—compare my affidavit in the Nuremberg trial against the so-called “main war criminals”— was to get me into trouble many years later, sometimes even today.
At this point I want to state that Eichmann was not drunk back then, even though he had much of his loved Barack (the liquor is actually called Palinka. Wilf) – the Hungarian apricot liquor. During that period Eichmann was, as I already mentioned, constantly “high” as today’s saying goes[…]”
Not very convincing, but at the IMT it was considered evidence and as mentioned, Höttl was prevented, by the prosecution, from testifying in person. A precautionary measure no doubt because what he had provided was not evidence but hearsay.
A little about the Abwehr. The investigation of July 20,1944, following the attempt on Hitler’s life, revealed that only two of the department heads of the Abwehr, Reinhard Gehlen and Kurt Gehrke, were not involved in the conspiracy (Falin, p.424). Bernd Gisevius, also a Abwehr officer was one of the crown witnesses for the prosecution at the IMT. He had written a book which had been introduce at the IMT as evidence. The following exchange took place at the IMT regarding this book. From the Avalon Project, 113 day, 24 April 64, pp. 186/87 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/04-24-46.asp:
“DR. DIX: Dr. Gisevius, Dr. Pannenbecker has already mentioned the fact that you have published a book entitled To the Bitter End. I have submitted quotations from that book to the Tribunal as evidence, and they have been accepted as documentary evidence by the Tribunal. For this reason I now ask you: Are the contents of that book historically true; did you write it only from memory, or is it based on notes which you made at the time?
GISEVIUS: I can say here to the best of my knowledge, and with a good conscience, that the contents of the book are historically true. In Germany I always made personal notes as far as it was possible. I have said here that my dead friend Oster had in the War Ministry a considerable collection of documents to which I had access at all times. In writing about any important matter in which I made reference to friends in the opposition group, I never did so without having first consulted them many times about it. And since 1938 I have been in Switzerland, first as a visitor and later on for professional reasons, and there I was able to continue my notes undisturbed[…]
THE PRESIDENT: If he says that the book is true, that is enough[…]”
This was not the only book (fable?) accepted as evidence by the prosecution, one written by Hermann Rauschning while in America after having been dismissed by Hitler, titled The Voice of Destruction, was also admitted. Rauschning was however never called to testify, even though the defense had asked for him to do so. Back to the Abwehr and about what they knew concerning the persecution of the Jews. Again from Avalon, 114. day, p.259 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/04-25-46.asp :
“Gisevius:[N]ebe, who as Chief of the Criminal Police had the same rank as the Chief of the Gestapo, Mueller, always told me that Heydrich took care to conceal his crimes.
With the entry of Kaltenbrunner into that organization, this practice ceased. All those things were now openly discussed among the department chiefs of the Gestapo. By now the war had started, of course. These gentlemen lunched together, and Nebe often came to me from such luncheons so completely exhausted that he had a nervous breakdown. On two occasions Nebe had to be sent on long sick leave because he simply could not stand the open cynicism with which mass murder, and the technique of mass murder, were discussed.
I remind you only of the gruesome chapter of the installation of the first gas chambers, which was discussed in detail in this circle, as were the experiments as to how one could remove the Jews most quickly and most thoroughly. These were the most horrible descriptions I have ever heard in my life. It is, of course, so much worse when you hear them first-hand from someone who is still under the direct impression of such discussions-and who because of this is almost at the point of physical and mental collapse, than when you hear of them now from documents. Nebe became so ill that actually as early as 20 July he suffered from a persecution mania and was a mere human wreck after everything he had gone through.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Was it the custom to have daily dinner conferences of the chiefs of the Main Security Office, those who happened to be in town?
GISEVIUS: Daily conferences; everything was discussed at luncheon. This was of particular importance to us, because we heard details of the methods used by the Gestapo in the fight against our group[…]
And this, from day 115, p.269 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/04-26-46.asp:
“MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And what positions did Canaris and Oster hold with reference to Keitel at this time when these reports were being submitted?
GISEVIUS: Canaris was the senior officer of the OKW[…]
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did he report to him the persecution and murder of the Jews and the program of extermination of the Jews that was being carried out?
GISEVIUS: From the first Jewish pogroms in 1938 on Keitel was minutely informed of each new action against the Jews, particularly about the establishment of the first gas chamber, or rather, the establishment of the first mass graves in the East, up to the erection of the murder factories later[…]”
Major General Erwin Lahousen, a “friend and close collaborator”(A. Dulles, Germany’s Underground. The Anti-Nazi Resistance, p.72) of Gisevius, had this to say at the IMT:
“LAHOUSEN: We were currently informed of all happenings by our officials at the front or in the camps. Offices of the Abwehr Division III were active in these camps, and in this way, that is, through the normal service channels, we were informed by reports and oral presentation of all these measures and of their effects.” (IMT, Vol.2, p.458) http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/11-30-45.asp
The Lahousen statement relates to the Commissar order and the like, not the Endlösung, but shows that the Abwehr had people/informers everywhere, a given, since any intelligence service can only be effective if it has eyes/ears everywhere. Thus, the Abwehr was very well informed about all that was happening in the camps and they had good contacts to the allies. Yet, nothing of substance, no details about “The Holocaust” emerged. Höttl stated in his affidavit of November 26, 1945, submitted as US-296 at the IMT, that, when he heard about the 6 million from Eichmann he assumed (Ich muss annehmen) the numbers given to be correct. The state of mind Eichmann was in at that time would rule out giving incorrect information. He, Höttl, remembers the conversation well, it made a deep impact on him, and he had told, before the war ended, American authorities in a neutral foreign country, whom he had contact with, details about it (“…und ich auch bereits vor dem deutschen Zusammenbruch naehere Angaben darueber an eine amerikanische Stelle im neutralen Ausland machte, mit der ich zu diesem Zeitpunkt in Verbindung stand [Rothe, p.68]). This neutral country was undoubtedly Switzerland, where Allan Welsh Dulles had set up shop in November 1942 to co-ordinate German opposition- and traitor activities. We know that Dulles had dealings with Höttl, David Kahn tells us, in the Introduction to Höttl’s book Secret Front, p.vi:
“[H]öttl became an intermediary between high Nazi officials and the main American secret service representative on the continent. This was Allen Dulles, the representative of the OSS, the office of Strategic Services, in Bern, Switzerland[…]In March (1945), Höttl came to Bern and met with Dulles[…]”
So, Höttl met with Dulles and told him, or one of his underlings, about the 6 million as he stated in his affidavit. However, Dulles makes no mention of Höttl or “The Holocaust” in his book. This did not sit well with Peter Hoffmann, author of The history of the German resistance, 1933-1945, who wrote the Introduction to the 2000 edition of the Dulles book. On pp. xxiv/xxv he writes:
“According to the editor of a selection of Dulles’s wartime intelligence reports, Neal H. Petersen, “OSS Bern’s coverage of the Holocaust was inexplicably meagre” (Neal H. Peterson, ed. “From Hitler’s Doorstep: The Wartime Intelligence Reports of Allan Dulles, 1942-1945” p. 50). Allen Dulles was deeply shocked and concerned by the persecution of the Jews from 1933 onward and quarrelled with his brother about Sullivan & Cromwell’s further operations in Germany. In 1942 he proposed a “tribunal” of distinguished jurists to examine all evidence about German, Italian, and Japanese perpetrators of violence (Richard Breitman, “Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew, p.131). Dulles did receive Information on the Holocaust from one of the most important sources on the subject, the German businessman Eduard Schulte (Walter Laqueur and Richard Breitman, “Breaking the Silence). But Petersen reprints only two reports from Dulles’s war years in Berne dated March 10 and December 30, 1943 which “contributed to Washington’s knowledge” about die Holocaust of March 10, 1943 and December 30, 1943, and four reports dated June 12 and July 8, 1943, and January 27 and May 31, 1944 in which he referred to the Holocaust.”
Petersen states that Dulles’s “reticence on this subject was among the most controversial and least understandable aspects of his performance in Bern.” He speculates that Dulles chose “not to emphasize the Holocaust in his reports to Washington” because “perhaps he believed that in view of German and European anti-Semitism, highest priority denunciation of the Holocaust would be counterproductive for the purposes of Western psychological warfare,” or “perhaps he feared that the flight of new refugees to Switzerland would interfere with his espionage activities”(Petersen, p.570; see also p.601). The true explanation may be less complicated. In view of the extensive Information that Allied authorities in Switzerland—particularly the Berne Legation and the Geneva Consulate—received from many sources about the extermination of the Jews and in view of the great amount of Information that reached the American government, but which it refused to believe or to act on until the establishment of the War Refugee Board on January 26, 1944 (Breitman. P.229 and passim; Petersen, p.601), it is likely that the paucity of Allen Dulles’s reporting on the Holocaust reflected more the interests of his superiors than his own.
Final assessment, however, must be deferred until a great number of classified OSS records are opened. There may well be among them reports from Allen Dulles dealing with the Holocaust.
Not all documents are accessible but in spite of this, what Hoffmann writes is nonsense. The German opposition, as well as the traitors in the armed forces, were aware of the fact that Hitler was very popular with the common folk in Germany, right up to war’s end. Gisevius stated at the IMT that Brauchitsch told him: “Hitler is still such a popular man; we are afraid of the Hitler myth” (IMT, Vol.12, p.203). What better way to discredit Hitler than telling all about “The Holocaust”, when details about it were know from day one, according to Gisevius et al? The Germans would not have supported Hitler any longer, the war would have ended with the beginning of this alleged Holocaust or shortly thereafter. Here is what journalist Hans Fritzsche had to say at the IMT(PP.180/81) http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/06-28-46.asp :
FRITZSCHE: Yes. I made the most of an opportunity to which I will refer briefly later on. I asked a colleague of Obergruppenfuehrer Glücks, in Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, about the Jews. Briefly summarized, his answer was as follows: The Jews were under the special protection of the Reichsfuehrer-SS who wished to make a political deal with them. He looked upon them as a kind of hostages and he did not wish a single hair from their heads to be harmed.
DR. FRITZ: Some of the Prosecution’s witnesses have asserted during this Trial that the German public knew about these murders. Now I just want to ask you, as a journalist who worked in the National Socialist State, what was, as far as you know, the attitude of the broad mass of the German people to the Jews? Did the people know about the murder of the Jews? Please be brief.
FRITZSCHE: Leaving out all those matters which have already been mentioned at this Trial, I should like to mention only a few observations which to me seem important. I shall omit the period shortly after the first World War, which has already been described, during which certain anti-Semitic feelings were popular in Germany. I should like to state only that in 1933 at the time of the Jewish boycott, which was organized by the NSDAP, the sympathies of the German people clearly turned again in favor of the Jews[…]…and there was only one justification for these racial laws. There was only one excuse for them and one explanation; that was the assertion and the hope: Well, now that the separation of the two peoples is being carried out, although painfully, there will at last be an end to the wild and unbridled agitation; and due to this separation there will be peace where formerly only unrest reigned.
When the Jews were forced to wear the emblem of a star and when, for instance, in Berlin they were prohibited from occupying seats on streetcars, the German people openly took sides with the Jews and it happened again and again that Jews were ostentatiously offered seats. In this connection I heard several declarations by Dr. Goebbels, who was extremely bitter about this undesired effect of the marking of the Jews.
I, as a journalist who worked during that period, am firmly convinced that the German people were unaware of the mass murders of the Jews and assertions to that effect were considered rumors; and reports which reached the German people from outside were officially denied again and again. As these documents are not in my possession (Fritzsche refers to the “Schnelldienst” archive, which could not be, ahem, found. Wilf), I cannot quote from memory individual cases of denial; but one case I do remember with particular clearness. That was the moment when the Russians, after they recaptured Kharkov, started legal proceedings during which killing by gas was mentioned for the first time.
I ran to Dr. Goebbels with these reports and asked him about the facts. He stated he would have the matter investigated and would discuss it with Himmler and with Hitler. The next day he sent me notice of denial. This denial was not made public; and the reason stated was that in German legal proceedings it is necessary to state in a much plainer manner matters that need clarification. However, Dr. Goebbels explicitly informed me that the gas vans mentioned in the Russian legal proceeding were pure invention and that there was no actual proof to support it.
It was not without reason that the people who operated these vans were put under the ban of strictest secrecy. If the German people had learned of these mass murders, they would certainly no longer have supported Hitler. They would probably have sacrificed 5 million for a victory, but never would the German people have wished to bring about victory by the murder of 5 million people.
I should like to state further that this murder decree of Hitler’s seems to me the end of every race theory, every race philosophy, every kind of race propaganda, for after this catastrophe any further advocacy of race theory would be equivalent to approval in theory of further murder. An ideology in the name of which 5 million people were murdered is a theory which cannot continue to exist[…]”
The last paragraph is nonsense, of course, for if this mass murder would have occurred, people would have known about it. The “strict secrecy” claim is also without foundation, as mentioned in the Preamble, some 400 000 were directly involved in this alleged mass murder. And not one of them told anyone? Lahousen stated at the IMT in connection with the Commissar order: “To a certain extent they were even known to the civilian populace; civilians learned far more details about these matters from wounded soldiers returning from the front than I could tell here”. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/11-30-45.asp (p.476). So, people knew about the Partisan order but nothing about “The Holocaust”. Totally unbelievable.
Hans Rothfels also writes about the problem the opposition faced in convincing the people that Hitler was ruining Germany, and that as late as 1944 (Die Deutsche Opposition Gegen Hitler, p.92). He provides details about the extend of the opposition and their desire to topple Hitler. But not one word about “The Holocaust” in his book and if it would have happened, the opposition would have known about it, they had people in the highest echelons.
Back to Dulles. Who was this Eduard Schulte, mentioned by Hoffmann in the Introduction, what exactly did he tell Dulles about the “Endlösung” and what was done with that information?
Stay tuned.Wilfried Heink
form: Inconvenient History