26. Is there any evidence that Hitler ordered a mass extermination of Jews?

Ernst Zündel Replies:
Rebuttal # 26

To come back to an earlier illustration, let’s say there are two families who argue. Let’s say that someone claims he overheard that so-and-so has said that he would like to “kill” somebody. Does this “prove” that he actually went out and killed this opponent? Would an investigation not be in order first?

One might start an investigation first by 1) checking if anyone is missing, 2) if so, where the body might be, 3) what the cause of death was, given that there is a body, and 4) the hypothesized murder weapon.

One might then proceed to question the alleged “killer” 5) for an alibi, 6) test the alibi, 7) check dates, places, orders, etc.

In other words, check up on verbal claims!

What Nizkor is doing, instead, is to rely on hearsay – the weakest kind of evidence there is. Worse yet, Nizkor is confusing two entirely separate issues that have nothing to do with each other.

One is: Did Adolf Hitler order genocide of people based on race? The second is: Were orders given for mass executions during the war for reasons other than race?

The answer to the first question is a simple and straightforward “No.” No order for the extermination of the Jews written or authorized by Adolf Hitler has ever been discovered.

Consider these sources, as summarized by CODOH in a paper called The Missing Hitler “Orders”:

  • “There does not exist, then, anything like a written order signed by [Hitler] for the extermination of the Jews in Europe.” Colin Cross, Adolf Hitler, (Milan, 1977), p.313.
  • “Despite the great harvest of Nazi documents captured by the Allies at the end of the war, it is precisely the documents concerning the process of the formation of the idea of the final solution of the Jewish question that are missing, to the point that up until the present it is difficult to say how, when, and exactly by whom the order to exterminate the Jews was given.” Lilliano Picciotto Fargion, La congiura del silenzio (The Conspiracy of Silence), La Rassegna mensile d’Israel, May-August 1984, p.226.
  • “For in the table talk, the speeches, the documents or the recollections of participants from all those years not a single concrete reference of [Hitler’s] to the practice of annihilation has come down to us. No one can say how Hitler reacted to the reports of the Einsatzgruppen, whether he asked for or saw films or photos of their work, and whether he intervened with suggestions, praise, or blame. When we consider that he ordinarily transformed everything that preoccupied him into rampant speechmaking, that he never concealed his radicalism, his vulgarity, his readiness to go to extremes, this silence about the central concern of his life- involving, as it did in his mind, the salvation of the world – seems all the stranger.” Joachim C. Fest, Hitler (New York: Vintage Books, 1975), p.681.
  • “Insofar as no one has yet discovered a written trace of this order [to liquidate the Jews under German control] in the sources which have been exploited up to the present, and insofar as it seems unlikely, it is incumbent on the historian to date it as precisely as possible by appealing to interpretation. Since the methods and the hypotheses on this subject are very numerous, we find ourselves confronted with very diverse opinions.” Saul Friedländer, L’Allemagne nazie et le genocide juif, Gallimard, Le Seuil, 1985, pp. 177-178.
  • “For the want of hard evidence — and in 1977 I offered, around the world, a thousand pounds to any person who could produce even one wartime document showing explicitly that Hitler knew, for example, of Auschwitz — my critics resorted to arguments ranging from the subtle to the sledgehammer (in one instance, literally). They postulated the existence of Fuehrer orders without the slightest written evidence of their existence. …Of explicit, written, wartime evidence, the kind of evidence that could hang a man, they have produced not one line.” David Irving, Hitler’s War (London: Focal Point, 1991), pp.19-20.
  • “To the present day a written order by Hitler regarding the destruction of the European Jewish community has not been found, and, in all probability, this order was never given.” Walter Laqueur, “Was niemand wissen wollte: Die Unterdrückung der Nachrichten über Hitlers Endlösung” (What Nobody Wanted to Know: The Suppression of News About Hitler’s “Final Solution”), (Berlin-Vienna, 1981), p.190.
  • ” The New York Times’ … editorial (December 2, 1942) claimed that ‘Of Germany’s 200,000 Jews in 1939 all but 40,000 have been deported or have perished,’ while going on to assert that ‘according to evidence in the hands of the [U.S.] State Department, an order of Adolf Hitler demanding the extermination of all Jews in all territories controlled by Germany’ was known to exist. Researchers nearly 40 years later were still searching for that order, or information leading to anyone who might have ever seen it at any time.” James J. Martin, The Man who invented ‘Genocide’: The Public Career and Consequences of Raphael Lemkin (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1984), p.40.
  • “No written document containing or reporting an explicit command to exterminate the Jews has come to light thus far. This does not of course mean that such direct evidence will not appear in the future. In the meantime, the presumption must be that the order or informal injunction to mass-murder Jews was transmitted orally.” Arno J. Mayer, Why did the Heavens not Darken?: The ‘Final Solution’ in History (New York: Pantheon Books, 1990), pp.235-36.
  • “The process by which total extermination replaced resettlement in Madagascar or ‘the East’ as the so-called final solution of the Jewish question remains unclear. No written order by Hitler for the extermination of the Jews has been discovered and the evidence of an oral order is only indirect. The chronology of the development of the extermination programme is also confused.” J. Noakes and G. Pridham, eds., Nazism: A History in Documents and Eyewitness accounts 1919-1945 – Vol. 2, (New York: Schocken Books, 1988), p.1136.
  • “The archives torn from the bowels of the Third Reich, the depositions and accounts of its chiefs permit us to reconstruct in their least detail the birth and the development of its plans for aggression, its military campaigns, and the whole range of processes by which the Nazis intended to reshape the world to their pattern. Only the campaign to exterminate the Jews, as concerns its completion, as well as in many other essential aspects, remains steeped in fog. Psychological inferences and considerations, third- or fourth-hand accounts, allow us to reconstruct the developments with a considerable verisimilitude. Certain details, nevertheless, will remain unknown forever. As concerns the concept proper of the plan for total extermination, the three or four principal actors are dead. No document remains, and has perhaps never existed.” Leon Poliakov, Breviaire de la haine (Breviary of Hate) , Paris, 1979, p. 134.
  • “What became known in high Nazi circles as the Fuehrer Order on the Final Solution apparently was never committed to paper — at least no copy of it has yet been unearthed in the captured Nazi documents. ” William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Fawcett Crest, 1960), p.1256.
  • “One cannot fix the exact moment when Hitler gave the order- without doubt never drawn up in writing – to exterminate the Jews.” Christian Zentner, Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf. An edition with commentary by Christian Zentner, Munich, 1974, p. 168.

So, then. What does that mean? It means there is NO EVIDENCE. It means that someone was mistaken to claim there was a Hitler Order that led to the Final Solution.

That someone is one Dr. Raul Hilberg, commonly known as the Holocaust Pope.

Hilberg had made such a claim in a tome he published in the very early 1960s. (The Destruction of the European Jews, Quadrangle, 1961) It was an irresponsible claim. That claim was demolished once and for all in the First (1985) and Second (1988) Great Holocaust Trial of Ernst Zündel in Toronto, Canada. It died not with a bang but with a whimper.

The demise of that claim, chronologically, is as follows: [Click here for most of Hilbergs Testimony]

  • In the 1961 edition of the Hilberg book, “The Destruction of the European Jews,” on page 177, you find the statement that there were two Hitler orders.
  • At the 1985 trial of Ernst Zündel, Hilberg continued to insist that the order existed, stating under oath that he would not be correcting in his revised edition what he has previously claimed (Trial transcript, p. 851-852).
  • As a matter of fact, shortly after this trial, Hilberg deleted all references to a Hitler order in the body of his work published in the same year (The Destruction of the European Jews, Revised and definitive ed. Holmes & Meier, 1985). Check that edition, page 402! Holocaust historian Christopher Browning noted this as a major interpretational change in Hilberg’s work and adding that there was only one reference to a “Hitler order” buried in a footnote in the new edition. (“The Revised Hilberg, Simon Wiesenthal Annual, Vol 3, 1986)
  • As a matter of fact, Prof. Hilberg had already admitted two years before the 1985 Zundel-Holocaust Trial in a Newsday, February 23, 1983 article that there was no plan, no blueprint and no budget for the alleged genocidal action known as the Final Solution, yet he was willing to perjure himself in the 1985 trial!
  • In this new edition, the reference to a “Hitler Order” is buried in a footnote that now reads as follows:
  • “Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus, mind-reading by a far-flung bureaucracy.” (Did Six Million Really Die? Report of the Evidence in the Canadian “False News” Trial of Ernst Zündel – 1988, Edited by Barbara Kulaszka, pp 112-113)
  • “Did this include nods and winks?” asked Zündel defense attorney, Douglas Christie, in the 1988 Zundel Trial. Let’s let the reader guess. Did the Nazis whisper in each others ears how to exterminate millions and millions of Jews? Believable? Maybe so is the Easter bunny!

In summary, the “Final Solution” claim has now been put to rest. For details and nuances, some of them quite hilarious, read what was read in 1988 to the jury as Ernst Zundel and his defense team wound themselves through the Second Great Holocaust Trial.

Why was it read? Because the Honorable Raul Hilberg did not choose to show his face, although he was asked by the Crown Prosecutor to re-appear as a witness. (He would have been paid $150 an hour, as Browning was paid who made more than $20,000 out of his “guest appearance” at the Zundel Trial after Hilberg bowed out, for reasons best known to himself. )

Professor Hilberg wrote as his excuse:

“Were I to be in the witness box for a second time, the defense would be asking not merely the relevant and irrelevant questions put to me during the first trial, but it would also make every attempt to entrap me by pointing to any seeming contradiction, however trivial the subject may be, between my earlier testimony and an answer that I might give in 1988.”

The demolition of the claim of the “Final Solution” order is hardly a trivial matter. It is central to the whole issue of the Holocaust. For details, read the “Hilberg” Chapter in Barbara Kulaszka’s book, mentioned throughout this rebuttal!

Now to the second question: Did mass executions occur, some of which might have been on highest orders?

An honest answer must be: Yes. These things are known to have taken place during World War II. They happen during war. See Bosnia today. Check on the American conduct in Vietnam. Check Israeli executions of Egyptian prisoners in the 1972 War.

Check any war, and you will find that executions for reprisal reasons happen.

These executions during World War II had to do with controlling a guerilla war that was being fought behind the front, both in the East and West, but especially in Soviet Russia. More than 700,000 German soldiers were killed by “partisans” or guerillas in the East alone – in other words, plain terrorists.

As has been previously pointed out, these “commissars”, most of them Marxist Jews, operated in the back of the desperately fighting German forces. No serious Revisionist has challenged the Einsatzgruppen role in war-related executions in the East.

We quote here from “Manstein: His Campaign and His Trial” by R. T. Paget:

“At the very onset of the Russian war Hitler issued a highly secret order to the effect that the political commissars employed by the Russians to keep their soldiers at the right pitch of communist frenzy were upon capture to be summarily executed. What were these commissars? The prosecution said that they were part of the Soviet Armed Forces. They did not say that they were soldiers, and indeed of course they were not. They were in fact part of an organization quite unknown in any other nation, although it was one not by any means new to the Russians themselves.” (P. 94)

In other words, there existed a largely Jewish underground terrorist system. And given that, one should define what counts as “evidence” and carefully analyze and examine each claim. The judicial expert literature doesn’t agree completely that eyewitness accounts or confessions should count as evidence at all. Some expert authors state that there is only circumstantial evidence (cp. e.g. R. Bender, S. Räder, A. Nack, “Tatsachenfeststellung vor Gericht”, 2 Bände, Beck, München 1981, Band 1, S. 173; see also: M. Köhler, in: Ernst Gauss (ed.) “Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte”, Grabert, Tübingen 1994).

The weak “witness-evidences” Nizkor quotes as “proofs” for the mass extermination of Jews – simply because they were Jews – are flimsy in the extreme. The so-called “Einsatzgruppenberichte” are absolutely not reliable.

Here is just one example, again quoted from “Manstein: His Campaigns and his Trial”, page 170:

“Single companies of about 100 with about 8 vehicles were reporting the killing of up to 10,000 and 12,000 Jews in two or three days. They could not have got more than about 20 or 30 Jews who, be it remembered, thought they were being resettled and had their traps with them, into a single truck. Loading, traveling at least 10 kilometers, unloading and returning trucks would have taken nearer two hours than one. The Russian winter day is short, and there is no traveling by night. Killing 10,000 Jew would have taken at least three weeks . . .

By a series of cross checks we were able to establish that the execution of the Jews in Simferopol had taken place on a single day, 16th November. . . The place of execution was 15 kilometres from the town. The numbers involved could not have been more than 300.

These 300 were probably not exclusively Jews, but a miscellaneous collection of people who were being held on suspicion of resistance activity. The Simferopol incident received a good deal of publicity because it was spoken of (in the Manstein trial) by only live witness, an Austrian corporal called Gaffa who said that he heard anti-Jewish activities mentioned in an engineers’ mess. . . ”

So here you have a claim of 10,000 to 12,000 Jews “executed”, based on a comment heard in passing!

Most historians and experts would agree that it is necessary to find more reliable evidences than mere accounts or “confessions” frequently tortured out of prisoners, as proven in the case of Auschwitz Kommandant Hoess in the book “Legions of Death” by Rupert Butler.. Documents and physical forensic proofs are in fact the only kind of real “hard” evidence there is.

Instead, let’s look at some Nizkor examples:

  • The “documents” Nizkor cites are copies of certified copies. They were written by an unknown person on normal paper without letter head and without signature.
  • These strangely untraceable originals were allegedly “found” by the Soviets in a salt mine. (Cp. IMT vol. IV p. 245, vol. VIII p. 293-301, vol. II p. 157; C. Porter, “Nicht schuldig in Nürnberg”, Nineteen Eighty Four Press, Brighton 1996, p. 59) The truthfulness of the figures of victims recorded in the Einsatzgruppenberichte has never been “verified”, except in the case mentioned above – during the trial of the Feldmarschall Erich von Manstein. This issue, too, was examined at length during the Zundel Trials, which put an entirely different light on the story.
  • For instance, in that Manstein trial:
  • “It was the prosecution’s case that the practice of executing hostages, whatever the circumstances may be, is contrary to international law. It was conceded that this view of the law had not been accepted by all the war crimes courts. It was, however, the view taken by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and for this reason the prosecution urged the court to accept it . . . The prosecution’s case was that even if your opponents indulge in illegal guerrilla warfare that does not entitle you to adopt reprisals as countermeasure. (p 98)
  • Interesting, isn’t it? Although the partisans caused 700,000 German soldiers to be killed, the Germans were not allowed to retaliate?
  • The Einsatzgruppenberichte documents report in detail of exactly 33,771 Jews killed at the 29th and 30th September 1941 near Kiev at the famous valley of Babi Yar. Many “eyewitness accounts” state that in September 1943 the German excavated the bodies (imagine what a massive undertaking this would have been for the hard-pressed, manpower-short Germans!) – the sum varying between 100,000 and 300,000 cadavers, depending on the source – to burn them, leaving no trace.
  • For years, the Germans were blamed for this massacre. Yet wartime aerial photos prove conclusively that this valley was never touched by any German activity, especially at the time of allegedly excavation and cremation of the bodies in open air pits in end of September 1943, when German planes took photos of this valley.
  • Here we quote from a recent press release by the Ukrainian and Lithuanian communities:
  • “Svoboda, the largest Ukrainian Daily. . . dispelled this major myth of the Jewish WWII martyrology. . . .
  • Babi Yar, a semi-desolite ravine at the outskirts of Kyiv (Kiev) had been considered as the site of the greatest massacre of mankind, where in 48 hours on September 28th and 29th in 1941, at least 33,771 Jews were executed by a small unit of SS and two batallions of Ukrainian policemen. . . however, during the last five years, the mounting body of historical evidence and, especially the high resolution wartime aereal reconnaissance photos of Kyiv, discovered in 1990 at the US National Archives, revealed that the myth of the mass killing of Jews at the Babi Yar was developed by the Soviet propaganda in the summer of 1943 . . .
  • For the last five years, Ukraininan scholars were aware of the fictitiousness of the Soviet, WWII Babi Yar story, but remained silent, worried about the tenuousness of the just-gained Ukrainian independence, perceived as dependent on the political goodwill of the influential Jewry.. .
  • Svoboda . . reported that the Jewish martyrology at the Babi Yar is a hoax of the Soviet wartime propaganda, led by Solomon Lozovsky, member of the ruling Central Committee and leader of the Sovinform press agency and the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee along with its major propagandist/poet/writer Ilia Ehrenburg. . . . ‘ not a single bush or a blade of grass was disturbed in the ravine during the German occupation of Kyiv’ according to Svoboda.”
  • So what do we have here? Surprise. Another hoax straight from a Jewish pen. Hereby it has been definitively established that at least the “Einsatzgruppenbericht” regarding Babi Yar is false – in all likelihood faked. (cp. J.C. Ball, “Air Photo Evidence, Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Bergen Belsen, Belzec, Babi Yar, Katyn Forest“, Ball Resource Service Ltd., Delta, B.C., Canada 1992.; same author in: E. Gauss (ed.), op. cit.; H. Tiedemann, ibid.)
  • Nizkor states, arguing itself into an even tighter corner:
  • “Or consider a phone log from Hitler to Himmler, in which Hitler ordered “no liquidation” of a particular trainload of Jews, because they wanted one suspected passenger questioned.”
  • The fact that Hitler ordered “no liquidations” in that particular case does not prove that, on other occasions, he did order to liquidate the Jews. This order, assuming it is genuine, could have meant that there were certain circumstances where executions might have been the consequence – for example, when captured partisan Jews tried to flee or when they didn’t cooperate, but that permission for execution was denied in this special case. Nizkors interpretation that this order “proves” the existence of a comprehensive order of Hitler to liquidate the Jews generally is typical for the Nizkor mindset but is completely unfounded.
  • And for the umpteenth time:
  • It is astonishing that Nizkor insists on minimizing the role of the Rudolf Hoess “confession”, a man who was tortured unmercifully by his captors, both at the time of capture and later on in prison (R. Butler, “Legions of Death”, Arrows Books Ltd., London 1986, S. 236 f.). Does Nizkor remember that Hoess signed his “confession” in English, a language he did not understand? In Anglo-Saxon legal tradition, coerced testimony is inadmissible evidence. From a purely legalistic, historical and scientific point of view, such documents are worthless!
  • Or take the case of Eichmann, on death row in an Israeli prison. It is not inconceivable that Eichmann was tortured as well; often, he could not distinguish between what he had read, heard or seen in films. He appeared utterly confused in his testimony. The Israelis controlled what he ate, drank, how much sleep (or how little) he had, what he could or could not read and study etc. That is total body and mind control of a person.
  • Desperately trying to save his life, he could have tried to defend himself by pushing all responsibility for a so-called “Hitler Order” by blaming people who were already dead. If Eichmann would have stated that there existed no policy of extermination, he would have had no chance to defend himself, because in trials such as the Eichmann trial it was impossible to question the mass murder of the Jews in front of a court whose only mandate was to reinforce the “self-evidence” of this so-called “mass murder”. Such a strategy of defence would have been as disastrous as it was for defendants in the medieval witch trials to question the existence of God or the Devil. (cp. The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1983, p. 265; W. Köhler, op. cit.)
  • And finally, the weakest Nizkor argument. The so-called “written record” of “masseur therapists”, “confidants” etc. ? Give me a break! All that needs to be said here is that there is lots of money to be made by self-serving memoirs of underlings who can quote anything once their superiors are dead. Has Nizkor ever heard of “Schindler’s List”? – an atrocity rag that was discredited even by the widow of the so-called “war time hero”, Oskar Schindler, an unsavoury scoundrel and opportunistic turncoat if ever there lived one? This seems all to Jewish movie producer like Speilberg and his Holocaust lobby friends to make a hero our of such a man.
  • It does not take a rocket scientist to know that people have a need to decorate themselves with stories of meetings with famous historical persons, talking with them about important events in a morally superior way. See, for example, the completely faked “Gespräche mit Hitler”. (Cp. W. Hänel, “Hermann Rauschnings ‘Gespräche mit Hitler’ – Eine Geschichtsfälschung”, Veröffentlichungen der Zeitgeschichtlichen Forschungsstelle Ingolstadt, Band 7, Ingolstadt 1984) They, too, belong in the “realm of a literary afternoon,” as pointed out already. Check also the falsified testimony of Rudolf Vrba, again in the Kulaszka book (hint: check the index!), as well as the Jewish Social Studies essay by Samuel Gringauz entitled “Some Methodological Problems in the Study of the Ghetto (1950, XII.1, pp 65-72)

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