Goebbels on the Jews, Part 2
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In Part 1 of this article, I gave a brief explanation of the history of the diaries of Joseph Goebbels, the number two man in the Nazi hierarchy after Hitler himself. For more than 20 years Goebbels maintained a detailed, personal diary that included reflections on all aspects of the war. Of special interest are his comments on Jews and the ‘Jewish Question’. These are striking because, as we are seeing, they indicate a long-term plan of evacuation and deportation, and virtually no sign of large-scale murder.
This, of course, would radically alter our conception of the Holocaust. In a private diary one would normally expect to find an honest and explicit account of such a momentous event, but we see no reference to it. Given this fact, we are faced with two possible explanations:(1) Goebbels knew all about the murder of the Jews, but never mentioned it at all, or only referred to it obliquely in a kind of personal ‘code language.’ Or, (2) there was in fact no mass murder going on. An analysis of the diary entries, in conjunction with relevant comments by Hitler, and in light of other alleged and actual contemporaneous events, can perhaps resolve this question for us.
The diaries are extensive, encompassing 29 volumes of roughly 500 pages each, in the German original. In order to extract the most relevant comments by Goebbels, I conducted an exhaustive study of the key portion of the diary, running from Kristallnacht (November 1938) through the Hungarian deportation of Jews in mid-1944. In all, this constitutes 123 separate entries, the majority of which have never appeared in English.
I continue now with the chronological discussion, beginning at the start of 1942.
Joseph Goebbels, Reichsminister für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda. Photo is in the public domain. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
On the orthodox account of the Holocaust, the extermination of the Jews accelerated in January 1942.Chelmno camp, which had just commenced in December of the previous year, increased its toll, and Auschwitz allegedly began gassing its first few thousand Jews. The infamous Wannsee conference occurred on January 20, but in spite of the alleged on-going actions at the two camps it was merely “a key stepping-stone on the path to that terrible genocidal finality,” according to Kershaw (2000: 493).
Three days after Wannsee, Hitler again remarked on the Nazi plan to evacuate the Jews and how, historically speaking, things have been much worse for them:
If I withdraw 50,000 Germans from Volhynia [a region in western Ukraine], that’s a hard decision to take, because of the suffering it entails. …If I think of shifting the Jew, our bourgeoisie becomes quite unhappy:“What will happen to them?” Tell me whether this same bourgeoisie bothered about what happened to our own compatriots who were obliged to emigrate?
One must act radically. When one pulls out a tooth, one does it with a single tug, and the pain quickly goes away. The Jew must clear out of Europe. Otherwise no understanding will be possible between Europeans. It’s the Jew who prevents everything. When I think about it, I realize that I’m extraordinarily humane. At the time of the Popes, the Jews were mistreated in Rome. Until 1830, eight Jews mounted on donkeys were led once a year through the streets of Rome. For my part, I restrict myself to telling them they must go away. If they break their pipes on the journey, I can’t do anything about it. But if they refuse to go voluntarily, I see no other solution but extermination. …In the POW camps, many are dying. It’s not my fault. I didn’t want either the war or the POW camps. Why did the Jew provoke this war?(1953/2000: 235-236)
He continued with this theme on January 27:
The Jews must pack up, disappear from Europe. Let them go to Russia. Where the Jews are concerned, I’m devoid of all sense of pity. They’ll always be the ferment that moves peoples one against the other. They sow discord everywhere, as much between individuals as between peoples.
They’ll also have to clear out of Switzerland and Sweden. It’s where they’re to be found in small numbers that they’re most dangerous. Put 5,000 Jews in Sweden—soon they’ll be holding all the posts there. Obviously, that makes them all the easier to spot.(ibid: 260)
Three days later, on January 30, Hitler gave another of his annual anniversary speeches. He repeated his prophecy of the Vernichtung of the Jews, and spoke of their “disappearance” (verschwindet).Once again we must ask: are these the words of a man with an “obsession with secrecy”?Would Hitler really make such claims before a huge audience, if he knew that mass murder was underway?
Goebbels then continues with the following diary entries:
Feb 5, 1942 (II.3.254-255) **
The Jewish Question is again giving us a headache; this time, however, not because we have gone too far, but because we are not going far enough. Among large sections of the German people the idea is gaining headway that the Jewish Question cannot be regarded as solved until all Jews have left the Reich (verlassen haben).
Feb 15, 1942  (II.3.320-321) **
Bolshevism is a doctrine of the devil, and anybody who has once suffered from this scourge doesn’t want anything to do with it again. The sufferings of the Russian people under Bolshevism are indescribable. This Jewish terrorism must be rooted out, stump and stem, (ausgerottet, mit Stumpf und Stiel) from all of Europe. That is our historic task.
World Jewry will suffer a great catastrophe at the same time as Bolshevism. The Führer once more expressed his determination to pitilessly clear out (aufzuräumen) the Jews from Europe. There must be no squeamish sentimentalism about it. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them. Their destruction (Vernichtung) will go hand in hand with the destruction (Vernichtung) of our enemies. We must hasten this process with cold ruthlessness. We shall thereby render an inestimable service to a humanity tormented for thousands of years by the Jews. This uncompromising anti-Semitic attitude must prevail among our own people despite all objectors. The Führer expressed this idea vigorously and repeated it afterward to a group of officers; let them put that in their pipes and smoke it\.
The ‘rooting out’ phrase was translated by Lochner as “radically eliminated”—an unnecessary exaggeration. Goebbels also refers to the Vernichtung of the enemy nations—which obviously cannot mean total elimination or murder, but rather domination and defeat. It could hardly be clearer.
Feb 18, 1942 (II.3.335) **
In the evening I had a look at the Polish-Yiddish motion picture, The Dybuk. This film is intended to be a Jewish propaganda picture. Its effect, however, is so anti-Semitic that one can only be surprised to note how little the Jews know about themselves and how little they realize what is repulsive to a non-Jewish person and what is not. Looking at this film I realized once again that the Jewish race is the most dangerous one that inhabits the globe, and that we must show them no mercy and no indulgence. This riff-raff must be rooted out, stump and stem (ausgerottet, mit Stumpf und Stiel).Otherwise it won’t be possible to bring peace to the world.
Here again Lochner exaggerates:“eliminated and destroyed.”(One would at least expect a consistent translation of identical phrases.)
In late February, Hitler discussed the Jewish problem using his infamous biological terminology:
The discovery of the Jewish virus is one of the greatest revolutions that have taken place in the world. The battle in which we are engaged today is of the same sort as the battle waged, during the last century, by Pasteur and Koch. How many diseases have their origin in the Jewish virus! …We shall regain our health only by eliminating the Jew.(1953/2000: 332)
Belzec began operation in March 1942, and by the end of the month had processed at least 35,000 people—who were either killed in gas chambers running on diesel exhaust, or deloused and shipped on further east, depending on your perspective. Another 30,000 were allegedly killed at Auschwitz and Chelmno.
Mar 6, 1942 (II.3.423, 425-426) **
A frontal attack on black markets was made in the [British] House of Commons. No bones are made about the fact that Jews were chiefly implicated in profiteering in the food market. Heading the procession were the Jewish immigrants who went from Germany to England. Jews always remain the same. You must either stigmatize them with a yellow star, or put them in concentration camps, or shoot them, or else let them saturate all public life with corruption, especially during a war. There is no halfway measure\.
An SD [Sicherheitsdienst] report informed me about the situation in occupied Russia. It is, after all, more unstable than was generally assumed. The partisan danger is increasing week by week. The partisans are in command of large area in occupied Russian and are conducting a regime of terror there. The national movements, too, have become more insolent than was at first imagined. That applies as much to the Baltic States as to the Ukraine. Everywhere the Jews are busy inciting and stirring up trouble. It is therefore desirable that many of them must pay with their lives for this (mit ihrem Leben bezahlen müssen). Anyway, I am of the opinion that the greater the number of Jews liquidated (liquidiert), the more consolidated will be the situation in Europe after this war. One must have no mistaken sentimentality about it. The Jews are Europe's misfortune; they must somehow be removed (beseitigt), otherwise we are in danger of being removed (beseitigt) by them.
First paragraph:“shooting,” or murder, is only one of at least three options. Genocide is apparently not an alternative. Second: Lochner offers up “eliminated” for the term beseitigt, which simply means ‘removal.’ Again we see the phrase “pay with their lives” (this is the only other occurrence, apart from 13 December 1941), but here Goebbels explicitly refers to “many” of the Jews—not most, not all. And it is merely “desirable,” not essential or mandatory. Furthermore, if a “greater number” are to be liquidated—made fluid, removed—then clearly some percentage will remain. Hence no total elimination. In the well-known entry of March 27, Goebbels suggests that only 60% will be liquidated. For these, Madagascar is still an alternative, as we see below:
Mar 7, 1942 (II.3.431-432) **
I read a detailed report from the SD and police regarding a final solution of the Jewish Question. Any final solution involves a tremendous number of new viewpoints. The Jewish Question must be solved within a pan-European frame. There are 11 million Jews still in Europe. They will have to be concentrated later, to begin with, in the East; possibly an island, such as Madagascar, can be assigned to them after the war. In any case there can be no peace in Europe until the last Jews are shut off from (ausgeschaltet) the continent.
That, of course, raises a large number of exceedingly delicate questions. What with those related to Jews? In-laws of Jews? Persons married to Jews? Evidently we still have quite a lot to do and undoubtedly a multitude of personal tragedies will ensue within the framework of the solution of this problem. But that is unavoidable. The situation is now ripe for a final settlement of the Jewish Question. Later generations will no longer have the will power or the instinctive alertness. That’s why we are doing a good work in proceeding radically and consistently. The task we are assuming today will be an advantage and a boon to our descendants\.
For Lochner, ausgeschaltet means, once again, “eliminated.”He evidently is quite fond of this word. Strange, since the German language has the verb eliminieren, and presumably Goebbels would have used it if that in fact was his intended meaning.
Mar 16, 1942 (II.3.478) **
I read a report of the SD about the situation in the occupied East. The activity of partisans has increased noticeably during recent weeks. They are conducting a well-organized guerrilla war. It is very difficult to get at them because they are using such terrorist methods in the area occupied by us that the population is afraid of collaborating with us loyally any longer. The spearheads of this whole partisan activity are the political commissars and especially the Jews. It has therefore proven necessary once again to shoot more Jews. There won’t be any peace in these areas as long as any Jews are active there. Sentimentality is out of place here. Either we must renounce the lives of our own soldiers, or we must uncompromisingly prevent further propaganda by criminal and chaotic elements in the hinterland\.
Mar 20, 1942 (II.3.513) **
Finally we talked about the Jewish Question. Here the Führer is as uncompromising as ever. The Jews must be got out of Europe (aus…heraus), if necessary by applying the most brutal methods\.
The following entry is probably the most widely quoted of all:
Mar 27, 1942 (II.3.561) **
Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the General Government are now being evacuated (abgeschoben) eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 percent of them will have to be liquidated (liquidiert) whereas only about 40 percent can be used for forced labor\.
The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract too much attention. A judgment is being visited upon the Jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophesy which the Führer made about them for having brought on a new World War is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us (vernichten). It’s a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would have the strength for such a global solution of this question. Here, too, the Führer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions, and therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this\.
The ghettos that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government will now be refilled with Jews thrown out (ausgeschobenen) of the Reich. This process is to be repeated from time to time. There is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that Jewry’s representatives in England and America are today organizing and sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives in Europe—and that’s only right\.
Dramatic wording, to be sure. But we now understand the likely meanings of ‘liquidation’ and ‘radical solution’ (see Part 1).And we have yet more evidence that vernichten is not mass murder—would the Jews really kill every German simply by remaining unopposed, and living amongst them? Of course not. But they could destroy the character and integrity of traditional German society. The third paragraph is rarely cited by traditionalists; it too clearly indicates a systematic deportation process, including potentially long-term confinement. This is inconsistent with a high-speed, industrialized scheme of gassing and mass murder.
The following two entries are not in the Lochner book. The second was apparently among the missing entries, and thus could not have been considered. But the first was within his available pages—evidently it did not fit well into the desired picture.
Mar 29, 1942 (II.3.576)
In large part the Jews are once again being evacuated (evakuiert) from Berlin. About one thousand per week are shipped (verfrachtet) to the East. The suicide rate under this Jewish evacuation is extraordinarily high. This does not bother me, however. The Jews have earned no other fate than that which they suffer today. We warned them for so long, and so urgently, not to continue on in their previous way. They ignored our warning, and must pay for that now.
Apr 10, 1942 (II.4.76-77)
Domestically speaking, not much to report. Against all expectations, the [German] suicide rate is declining extraordinarily. Today no one has the desire to freely end his life. Only among the Jews are suicides rapidly increasing. That is welcome too. In Berlin we now have a little over 40,000 Jews. This is of course a sharp decline from the pre-Nazi state, but it’s still too many. At the moment I cannot conduct rigorous evacuations (Evakuierungen), because the strong remaining Jews are needed for the armaments process. But here too a remedy will surely be found in the coming weeks.
So it seems likely that suicide, typhus, and reprisal killings by Lithuanians and others in the East account for a significant number of the total Jewish fatalities. If we add in periodic shootings by the Germans, these four factors may well account for nearly all the deaths claimed by revisionists—let us say, in the range of 300,000 to 600,000.
In April, Sobibor comes online; it processes 20,000 in its first month. Four of the six ‘extermination camps’ are now underway.
Apr 14, 1942 (II.4.95) **
The Grynzpan trial is now to start in the middle of May. I still have a few preparations to make. Preparations by the Department of Justice are in some respects not very clever psychologically. Thus, for instance, the problem of homosexuality, which really isn’t under discussion, has been drawn into the trial procedure, and the question of Jewish evacuations (evakuierungen) is also to be dealt with publicly. I think this is about as bungling as possible.... I shall see to it that these two sets of questions are not raised in court at all. All the other preparations were made in accordance with my directives and, if carried out, will undoubtedly make the trial a perfect success\.
Apr 19, 1942 (II.4.130)
Very strong discussions are held in the relevant circles regarding what must happen with the mixed-race Jews. Undoubtedly they constitute a serious obstacle for the radical solution of the Jewish Question. On the one hand it is argued that they should be sterilized, and on the other that they should be deported (ausgewiesen).The positions are not yet clarified enough for one to decide what to do.
Apr 20, 1942 (II.4.134) **
The most recent act of sabotage [in France] against a German military train which resulted in several deaths will be punished with severe reprisals. The number of people to be shot will be doubled, and over a thousand Communists and Jews will be put into freight cars and shipped (verfrachtet) to the East. There they will soon cease to see any fun in disturbing Germany’s policies for order in Europe\.
Apr 24, 1942 (II.4.159-160)
Some statistics are given to me on the proportion of Jews in American radio, film, and press. The percentage is truly frightening. Jewry controls 100% of the film business, and between 90 and 95% of press and radio. These facts explain the dizzying and spirited warfare of the other side. The Jews are not as clever as they would like to believe. If they are in danger, they become the stupidest of devils.
Nothing new is reported in the East. The Bolsheviks have already responded to our propaganda and portray our troops as cannibals. It’s a shame how the other side slanders and lies. But wherever you look, in the background stands the manipulating international Jewry. We will be doing humanity a great service if we permanently remove them (entfernen) from public life and stick them in quarantine.
Striking statistics on American media. The figures have not changed much to this day. One need only recall the Joel Stein article from 2008, in which Jewish dominance of Hollywood is virtually complete. Of the five major US media conglomerates, every one has either a Jewish CEO or president, or both. Of the top seven American newspapers, six are Jewish owned or oriented.
“Removal and quarantine” doesn’t sound very much like mass murder. Perhaps this is why Lochner bypassed the above entry.
Apr 27, 1942 (II.4.184) **
I talked to the Führer once more in detail about the Jewish Question. His attitude is unrelenting. He wants, under all circumstances, to push the Jews out (herausdrängen) of Europe. That is right. The Jews have brought so much misery to our continent that the severest punishment meted out to them is still too mild. Himmler is presently implementing a large resettlement (Umseidlung) of Jews from German cities to the eastern ghettos.
The last sentence above was inexplicably left out by Lochner. But the following entry is worse:
Apr 29, 1942 (II.4.201) **
The SD gave me a police report on conditions in the East. The danger of the Partisans continues to exist in unmitigated intensity in the occupied areas. The Partisans have, after all, caused us very great difficulties during the winter, and these difficulties have by no means ceased with the beginning of spring. Short shrift (kurzen Prozess) is made of the Jews in all eastern occupied areas. Tens of thousands must bite the dust, and the Fuhrer's prophecy is fulfilled for them, that Jewry has to pay for inciting a new World War with the complete removal (Ausrottung) of their race..
Here is the last sentence in the original: Zehntausend müssen daran glauben, und an ihnen erfüllt sich die Prophezeiung des Führers, dass das Judentum einen von ihm entfachten neuen Weltkrieg mit der Ausrottung seiner Rasse wird bezahlen müssen. Even those readers with no knowledge of German should be able to discern that the following Lochner translation is dishonest: “Tens of thousands of them are liquidated.”
A short comment by Hitler in mid-May:“It does not occur to any of those who howl when we transport a few Jews to the east that the Jew is a parasite, and as such is the only human being capable to adapting himself to any climate, and of earning a living just as well in Lapland as in the tropics.”(1953/2000: 485)
May 11, 1942 (II.4.273) **
[Gerhard] Schach reported to me on questions regarding the gau of Berlin. We must deal again with the Jewish problem. There are still 40,000 Jews in Berlin and despite the heavy blows dealt them they are still insolent and aggressive. It is exceedingly difficult to shove them off (abzuschieben) to the East because a large part of them are at work in the munitions industry, and because the Jews are to be evacuated (abgeschoben) only by families\.
May 15, 1942 (II.4.293) **
A report from Paris informs me that a number of those who staged the last acts of terror have been found. About 90 percent [sic: 99%] of them are eastern Jews [Ostjuden]. A more rigorous regime is now to be applied to these Jews. As far as I am concerned, it would be best if we either evacuated (abschöben) or liquidated (liquidierten) all eastern Jews still remaining in Paris. By nature and race they will always be our natural enemies anyway\.
May 17, 1942 (II.4.305)
We are trying now to evacuate (evakuieren) the remaining Jews in Berlin to the East, on a larger scale. One third of all Jews living in Germany are located in the capital. This is of course intolerable in the long run. Mainly it’s due to the fact that, in Berlin, relatively many Jews are working in the military-industrial establishment, and, per regulation, neither they nor their families can be evacuated (evakuiert).I am seeking a repeal of this regulation, and will try to remove (aus…herauszubringen) all Jews from Berlin who are not directly engaged in war industries.
May 24, 1942 (II.4.350, 355)
We see in this compilation [of facts] how correct our Jewish policy is, and how necessary it is to continue, in the most radical way, our old course of action, and to ensure that the 40,000 Jews still in Berlin, who in reality are freed felons with nothing left to lose, are quickly either concentrated (konzentriert) or evacuated (evakuiert).The best thing, of course, would be liquidation (Liquidierung).
[The Führer] recognizes in Stalin a man of stature who towers above the democratic figures of the Anglo-Saxon powers. He naturally also knows that the Jews are determined, under all circumstances, to bring victory in this war, because they know that defeat also means for them personal liquidation (Liquidation).It is a world-struggle of enormous dimensions that we must confront if the Reich is not to be destroyed (zerstört).Only now are we clear what Stalin, as a front-man for the Jews, had in fact prepared in this war against the Reich.
Heavy use of ‘liquidation’ in the past few passages. Goebbels further seems to here distinguish this from the process of evacuation. Either it is a different form or degree of movement (perhaps en masse), or it may in fact refer to killings, at least in the current context.
May 28, 1942 (II.4.386)
Ten Jews in concentration camps or under the earth are dearer to me than one in freedom. One must proceed quite unsentimentally. Today we lead a life-and-death struggle, and he who wins will be the one that most vigorously defends his personal and political existence.
The vast majority of concentration camps were not ‘extermination camps’—even on the orthodox view—and imprisonment (in 1942) was not a death sentence. Given this fact, Goebbels seems to accept either imprisonment or death equally, since both remove the Jews from society. There is no preference for one over the other. If mass extermination really was underway, he would not have written this.
May 29, 1942 (II.4.393)
In the Reich one can observe here and there the first signs of anti-government propaganda. It certainly comes from the Jews. The Jews who remain in the Reich naturally represent an extremely dangerous contingent. They really belong in prison. The fact that they can roam freely means an increasing danger for the public, and an increasing risk. I am constantly trying to transport (verfrachten) as many Jews as possible to the East; once they are out of reach (aus der Reichweite heraus), they can then do us no harm, at least for the time being.
Again, clear indication of actual deportation as, if nothing else, a short-term solution to the Jewish problem. This thought continues in the next striking entry:
May 30, 1942 (II.4.406)
Germans are involved in subversive movements only if the Jews tempt them. Therefore one must liquidate (liquidieren) the Jewish danger, cost it what it will. Given how few Jews can in reality adjust themselves to Western European life, one sees that, where they are led back into the ghetto, they quickly revert to form. West European civilization represents only an external coat of paint to them. There is also the Jewish essence, which works with a dangerous brutality and vindictiveness. Therefore the Führer does not at all wish that the Jews should be evacuated (evakuiert) to Siberia. There, under the harshest living conditions, they would undoubtedly develop again a strong life-element. He would much prefer to resettle (aussiedeln) them in central Africa. There they would live in a climate that would certainly not make them strong and resistant. In any case, it is the Führer’s goal to make Western Europe completely Jew-free. Here they may no longer have their homeland.
This seems to be the only instance of a contemplated deportation to continental Africa; Hitler had referred to Siberia already back in mid-1941. But evidently the latter was now out of the question—too mild a climate.(Is it really that bad in central Africa?)In any case we again see here the elements here of a true ‘final solution’: deportation into temporary eastern ghettos, and then ultimately out of the Eurasian land mass altogether.
But perhaps most striking is the fact that the alleged physical extermination process was well underway at this point. At least 2 million Jews had been killed by May 1942, on the orthodox view. In his diary Goebbels is not just substituting ‘deported’ for ‘killed’; he would have to be inventing entire conversations, phony alternate plans, false Hitler quotes—all for himself! This of course is absurd. Goebbels clearly knew nothing of mass murder.
Jun 17, 1942 (II.4.544)
Jewish influence in American public life, particularly in politics, is enormous. Roosevelt is, so to say, the front man for international Jewry, and thus they see the USA as a praiseworthy country, to some extent.
In July 1942, Treblinka begins operation. It processes an astounding 160,000 Jews in its first month.
Aug 21, 1942 (II.5.378)
The responsible Higher-SS leader reported to me on the conditions in the [Warsaw] ghetto. The Jews are now in large part evacuated (evakuiert) and established in the East. This is quite generous to them. Here the Jewish Question is tackled in the right place, without sentimentality and without much consideration. Only in this way can the Jewish problem be solved.
In September the last of the six ‘extermination camps,’ Majdanek, allegedly begins gassing Jews, at a rate of about 3,000 per month. Chelmno is in the process of shutting down, and thus this one month—September 1942—is the only month that all six camps are in operation at the same time.
Sep 15, 1942 (II.5.505)
Schirach gave a speech to the European Youth Congress, that meets now in Vienna. …Among other things, Schirach explained that he had evacuated (evakuiert) thousands and thousands of Jews out of Vienna and into the eastern ghettos.
Oct 1, 1942 (II.6.37)
Extraordinarily sharp and aggressive venting against the Jews [by the Führer], whom he threatens with destruction (Vernichtung), so far as they run into our area.
I drive back to the Chancellery with the Führer. Once again we talk through the Jewish Question. Here the Führer takes the same radical standpoint I do. He is also of the opinion that we must completely deport the Jews out of the Reich (restlos herausschaffen), and above all from Berlin.
By the end of October, Treblinka has allegedly gassed some 600,000 Jews—far more than any other camp to date. Belzec has gassed 400,000; Auschwitz a mere 150,000.And yet we only see continuous talk of deportations and evacuations. Either Goebbels is continuing to make up periodic lies for his own benefit, or no gassings occurred.
The end of 1942 brings an unusually heavy discussion of the Jews and the Judenfrage. Interesting reference to rumors of “terrible atrocities” committed in Poland, and the generally increasing rate of attention given by western journalists. Such rumors had been reported in major newspapers for some months by this time. The New York Times reported as early as July 2 on the Bund Report, citing the “slaughter of Jews in Poland.”On July 10 the London Times ran the story “German record in Poland,” referring to the “wholesale extermination of the Jews” and specifically naming the Belzec camp. On November 25 the New York Times ran “Himmler program kills Polish Jews.”And in the London Times, December 4, we read of a “deliberate plan for extermination” of the Polish Jews. As I explained in Part 1, it appears that the strategic value of internal rumors may have backfired in the international arena.
Nov 27, 1942 (II.6.344)
Also, the Jews have again become completely impudent, even in the Reich area. I will therefore take care that, at least from Berlin if possible, they will be quickly pushed out (abgeschoben).Next week a transport of 5,000 Berlin Jews will leave for the Eastern zone.
Dec 6, 1942 (II.6.401)
A new suggestion was made on the liquidation (Liquidierung) of Jewish marriages. After that one wants to go to compulsive separations, and otherwise, as means to obtain evacuation (Evakuierung).I do not want to begin this method at the moment. It has caused so much unrest and confusion in public opinion, so as to not be worthwhile, at least in the present. Finally, the Führer has also given me an order to first take care that the unprivileged full Jews are deported (herausgeschafft) from Germany. Once they are all gone, we can then approach the problem of the remaining Jews.
Dec 9, 1942 (II.6.415)
The Jews throughout the world mobilize against us. They tell of terrible atrocities against the Jewish race which we allegedly allowed to happen in Poland, and now they threaten us in London and Washington to inflict a terrible punishment on all guilty parties after the war. That still cannot prevent us from bringing about a radical solution to the Jewish Question. In any case, we will just let this threat be. The Jews will probably not have anything else special to report from Europe.
Dec 12, 1942 (II.6.434)
The atrocity propaganda concerning Poland and the Jewish Question is taking on abnormal forms on the other side. We will not, I fear, be finished with this thing in the long run by remaining silent. We already have to answer to some things, if we do not want to run the risk of becoming gradually discovered. It is best now to go on the attack, and bring up the British atrocities in India or the Middle East. In any case we will have changed the subject.
Dec 13, 1942 (II.6.438-439) **
The question of Jewish persecution in Europe is being given top news priority by the English and the Americans.... At bottom, however, I believe both the English and the Americans are happy that we are cleaning up (aufräumen) the Jewish riff-raff. But the Jews will go on and on and turn the heat on the British-American press. We won’t even discuss this theme publicly, but instead I give orders to start an atrocity campaign against the English on their treatment of Colonials\.
The Italians are extremely lax in the treatment of Jews. They protect the Italian Jews both in Tunis and in occupied France and won’t permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David. This shows once again that Fascism does not really dare to get down to fundamentals, but is very superficial regarding most important problems. The Jewish Question is causing us a lot of trouble. Everywhere, even among our allies, the Jews have friends to help them, which is a proof that they are still playing an important role even in the Axis camp. All the more are they to be shorn of power within Germany itself\.
In place of “cleaning up,” Lochner prefers “exterminating.”
Dec 14, 1942 (II.6.445-446) **
Jewish rabbis in London have held a great protest meeting. The theme was “England, Awake.” It is just too funny for words that the Jews are now compelled, after fifteen years, to steal our slogans and to call upon the pro-Semitic world to fight us, using the same battle-cry with which we once called upon the anti-Semitic world to fight Jewry. But all this won’t avail the Jews of anything. The Jewish race has prepared this war; it is the spiritual originator of the whole misfortune that has overtaken humanity. Jewry must pay for its crime just as our Führer prophesied in his speech in the Reichstag; namely, by the wiping out (Auslöschung) of the Jewish race in Europe and possibly in the entire world\.
An unusually threatening phrase: It’s one thing to clean out Europe via deportations; but how do you clean out “the entire world” without killing them? Perhaps a metaphorical phrase?
Dec 15, 1942 (II.6.449) **
The Jews in London held a day of mourning for the alleged atrocities that we were guilty of in Poland. I do not react at all to this Jewish propaganda, but prefer to sharply lay out the events in India and the Middle East through German propaganda. We will make of these questions a similar propaganda campaign as the English make of the Jewish Question. I assume that the British will soon lose interest in continuing to speak to us in that tone about the Jewish Question.
Lochner includes only the first sentence of the above entry. And he overlooks entirely the following one, in which Goebbels is happy to hand off (not kill) several thousand Polish Jews.
Dec 17, 1942 (II.6.461)
The Jews continue to raise a fuss about the alleged atrocities in Poland. They are now making a new proposal to the effect that Sweden will take in Polish Jews. The Americans would finance this undertaking. For us, nothing could be better; wherever the Jews appear, there too comes anti-Semitism—especially with the Polish Jews. Besides, I hear from the Foreign Office that the Swedes may actually be willing to take the Polish Jews, to some extent. That would really be the highlight of political instinct.
Eden speaks in the House of Commons on the issue of the Polish Jews. One sees in this a whole propaganda effort, a result of the strong Jewish influence on British public opinion. There is hardly an authoritative man, or authoritative paper, that is willing to oppose the propaganda-wishes of Jewry. But we have crossed so many difficult stages in the Jewish problem that we need not concern ourselves about this. Anyway, we still have so many Jews on hand that world Jewry will be careful not to act against us, such that it knows would make us angry.
Dec 18, 1942 (II.6.467) **
The Jewish Question is receiving a big play both in the enemy and in the neutral news services. The Swedes protest hypocritically against our treatment of the Polish Jews, but are by no means willing to receive them in their country. The leading newspapers of Stockholm warn emphatically against having the ghetto Jews from Warsaw forced upon them. It would probably be a good thing if the Swedes were to admit several thousand such Jews into their country. That would give them a practical lesson on the Jewish question. In all likelihood they would understand our measures much better than appears to be the case today\.
The Jews of Jerusalem have held noisy demonstrations of protest against us. They had a day of fasting. At the Wailing Wall they invoked the Old Testament Jewish curse against the Führer, Göring, Himmler, and me. Until now I haven’t noticed any effect on me. One must know these Jews to be able to handle them right. They are now trying to stir up the entire world merely to incite public opinion against the National Socialist Reich and its anti-Semitic convictions. There’s only one answer to this, viz., to continue as at present, rigorously and without compromise. You’re sunk if you give the slightest indication of weakness\.
Dec 19, 1942 (II.6.472) **
Eden delivered a speech in the House of Commons on the Jewish problem and answered planted questions. Rothschild, the “venerable MP,” as the English press calls him, took the floor and delivered a tear-jerker bemoaning the fate of the Polish Jews. At the end of the session the Commons observed a minute of silence. All members of Parliament rose from their seats as a silent tribute to Jewry. That was quite appropriate for the British House of Commons, which is really a sort of Jewish exchange. The English, anyway, are the Jews among the Aryans. The perfumed British Foreign Minister, Eden, cuts a good figure among these characters from the synagogue. His whole education and his entire bearing can be characterized as thoroughly Jewish\.
Dec 20, 1942 (II.6.479) **
Enemy propaganda is exceedingly aggressive. The Jews, too, are talking again. Emil Ludwig Cohn, in an interview in the American press, demands the complete destruction of the German economy and the German war potential. The Jewish campaign against us is growing in volume. What won’t the Jews do to discredit the Reich! They are working arrogantly and on a large scale. But they won’t reach their goal after all, just as they haven’t attained it in the Reich\.
By the end of 1942, on the exterminationist thesis, over 1.6 million Jews died in the six death camps alone. The overall death toll, from all causes, was allegedly more than 4 million. Two-thirds of the holocaust was complete.
* * * * * *
Goebbels begins the new year by recalling Hitler’s 1939 prophecy—interesting how many variations on the Vernichtung word that he uses…
Jan 3, 1943 (II.7.37)
It’s amazing how shortsightedly the Jews all over the world operate. They seem to have learned nothing from the example in Germany. Apparently the hemorrhaging of them by us yielded very little fruit. They should expect this frivolous playing with fire to continue until they are completely wiped out (gänzlich vernichtet).This also corresponds to the Führer’s prophecy, when he explained at the beginning of the war that it would not end with the destruction (Vernichtung) of the Aryan race, but with the expulsion (Austreibung) of Jewry from Europe.
Jan 23, 1943 (II.7.177)
The Führer is of the opinion that the Jewish Question in Berlin must be solved as soon as possible. As long as one still finds Jews in Berlin, we cannot speak of internal security. Also the Jews must be removed from Vienna (aus…heraus) as fast as possible.
Feb 8, 1943 (II.7.295)
The enemy side has the advantage that it is held together by international Jewry. Jewry functions in the enemy nations as a driving element, and we have nothing equivalent to oppose it. From that it follows for us, that we must eliminate (eliminieren) Jewry not only in the Reich but throughout Europe. Also here the Führer adopts my standpoint, that first Berlin must come in line, and that no more Jews would be allowed in Berlin in the foreseeable future.
Here we have the one and only literal use of the term ‘eliminate.’ But lest any traditionalist get too excited about this, I would hasten to point out that, like so many of the other terms, this one does not entail killing. To eliminate is literally to ‘kick someone out of doors’—from the Latin ex-limen (‘out of threshold’). Again, this is exactly what they were doing with the Jews.
From a military standpoint, the war in the East was now turning against Germany. From mid-December 1942, when they repelled the attack on Stalingrad, to mid-February 1943, the Russians began to recapture an extensive amount of territory. Evacuations of Jews to the East must have appeared less and less feasible, and perhaps this is why Belzec and Treblinka were virtually shut down by the end of February; in fact, the March 2 entry (below) is the last time Goebbels explicitly refers to “the East.” Sobibor held out until late summer 1943, when the second wave of Russian advancement began. Rather than dumping them in ghettos, it gradually became more urgent for the Germans to put the Jews to work in labor camps—hence the shifting emphasis to Auschwitz.
The next three months offered several occasions for Goebbels to comment:
Mar 2, 1943 (II.7.449, 454) **
We are now definitely pushing the Jews out (aus…hinaus) of Berlin. They were suddenly rounded up last Saturday, and are to be carted off (abgeschoben) to the East as quickly as possible. Unfortunately our better circles, especially the intellectuals, once again have failed to understand our policy about the Jews and in some cases have even taken their part. As a result our plans were tipped off prematurely, so that a lot of Jews slipped through our hands. But we will catch them yet. I certainly won’t rest until the capital of the Reich, at least, has become free of Jews\.
Göring realizes perfectly what is in store for all of us if we show any weakness in this war. He has no illusions about that. On the Jewish Question, especially, we have taken a position from which there is no escape. That is a good thing. Experience teaches that a movement and a people who have burned their bridges fight with much greater determination than those who are still able to retreat\.
Mar 6, 1943 (II.7.487) **
Schach gave me a long report on the situation in Berlin as affected by the last air raid. It is extremely serious, after all. The damage done to the Reich capital is very heavy, and it will take us an estimated six or eight months to repair it even halfway. Yet that’s the very moment the SD thinks favorable for continuing with the evacuation of Jews (Judenevakuierung). Unfortunately there have been a number of regrettable scenes at a Jewish home for the aged, where a large number of people gathered and in part even took sides with the Jews. I ordered the SD not to continue Jewish evacuation at so critical a moment. We want to save that up for a couple of weeks. We can then go after it all the more thoroughly\.
Mar 9, 1943 (II.7.515) **
With regard to the Jewish Question, [Hitler] approved of my measures and specifically ordered me to make Berlin entirely free of Jews. I shall see to it that there is no concubinage between Berlin Jews and foreign workers.
March 11, 1943 (II.7.528) **
The evacuation (Evakuierung) of Jews from Berlin has led to a number of untoward happenings. Unfortunately a number of Jews and Jewesses from privileged marriages were also arrested, thereby causing fear and confusion. The scheduled arrest of all Jews on one day has proven a flash in the pan because of the shortsighted behavior of industrialists who warned the Jews in time. We therefore failed to lay our hands on about 4,000. They are now wandering about Berlin without homes, are not registered with the police and are naturally quite a public danger. I ordered the police, Wehrmacht, and the Party to do everything possible to round up these Jews as quickly as practicable\.
The arrest of Jews and Jewesses living in privileged wedlock caused a terrific commotion, especially in artistic circles, since these privileged marriages are still prevalent among actors. But I can’t be squeamish about them. If a German still finds it possible to live with a Jewess as his legal wife, that’s a point against him, and it’s out of place to be too sentimental about this question in wartime\.
Mar 15, 1943 (II.7.556) **
You just can’t trust the Jews across the street. I therefore told the Führer emphatically once more that I deemed it essential to force the Jews out (herauszubringen) of the entire Reich as fast as possible. He approved, and ordered me not to cease or pause until no Jew is left anywhere in Germany\.
Mar 20, 1943 (II.7.595) **
The Führer is happy over my report that the Jews have for the most part been evacuated (evakuieren) from Berlin. He is right in saying that the war has made possible for us the solution of a whole series of problems that could never have been solved in normal times. The Jews will certainly be the losers in this war, come what may\.
Apr 11, 1943 (II.8.90)
The English newspapers complain loudly about growing anti-Semitism in England. That is very exploitable, and will be put to good propaganda use. The Führer’s prophecy, that Jewry will lose this war in the end, is realizing itself more and more. The Jews perhaps believe that they will be able to slowly wear down the authoritarian peoples through the long process of the war; they have forgotten, however, that a longer-running war will also induce a critical situation for them.
Apr 17, 1943 (II.8.115) **
The USA has published statistics according to which there are 5,000,000 orthodox Jews in the United States. The United States can certainly be described as a Class-1 Jew state (Judenstaat erster Klasse). We are going to step up our anti-Semitic propaganda so much that the word ‘Jew’ will again be pronounced in the derisive manner that it deserves, just as it was in the time of our struggle for power. It must come to pass that even an enemy statesman won’t dare to be seen in the company of a Jew without immediately being suspected by his own people of being a stooge of the Jews\.
Apr 18, 1943 (II.8.123-126) **
It was an exceptionally good idea that we raised the Jewish problem again on orders of the Führer. Anti-Semitism is growing rapidly even in the enemy states. Reports to that effect reach us, especially from England. If we continue to high-pressure the anti-Semitic question, the Jews, in the long run, will be much discredited. All one needs to do is be tough and determined, for the Jewish problem has now been frozen so tight that it will be difficult to thaw it out again\.
I gave orders to investigate all Jews still left in Berlin. I don’t want to see Jews with the Star of David running about in the capital. Either the Star must be taken from them and they be classed as privileged, or they must be evacuated (evakuieren) altogether from the capital of the Reich. I believe I shall have completed one of the greatest political achievements of my career once Berlin is free of Jews. When I consider how Berlin looked in 1926 when I came here, and how it looks now in 1943 when the Jews are being evacuated (evakuiert) completely, I get a feeling of what has been achieved in this sector\.
Apr 19, 1943 (II.8.129) **
The Jews in England are now also demanding legal protection against anti-Semitism. We know how this goes from past battles. But that also did not bring them much advantage. We understood that it was always possible to find gaps in the protection laws; and in this remainder, anti-Semitism, if it comes up from the depths of the people, cannot be broken by legal means. A law against Jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the Jews.
Today, of course, we have anti-Holocaust denial laws, hate crime laws, etc. The parallels are troubling.
Apr 25, 1943 (II.8.163) **
From a report from the occupied areas I gather that a truly grotesque situation obtains in Warsaw. The Jews tried to leave the ghetto by subterranean passages. Thereupon these underground passages were flooded. The ghetto is now under artillery fire. When such conditions prevail in an occupied city, it certainly can’t be said to be pacified. It is high time that we remove (aus…entfernen) the Jews just as quickly as possible from the General Government\.
The Führer would like to talk to me before I go on leave, especially to discuss the next measures in the Jewish Question, of which he has very great expectations\.
A minor correction on Lochner, who uses the word ‘evacuate.’ Also, the fact that Goebbels describes as “grotesque” the incident of drowned Jews suggests some minimal level of concern. He clearly prefers evacuation to dead bodies. And one wonders what Hitler’s “great expectations” were about; on the conventional view, nothing dramatic happens to the Jews for a full year from this time—just the on-going transfers to Auschwitz, at about 15,000-20,000 per month.
May 8, 1943 (II.8.230, 236-237) **
Much to my surprise my article “The War and the Jews” has attracted much attention, even in neutral countries. I should have thought the Jews would try to give it the silent treatment. But that is not the case. It is being quoted to an extent that is simply amazing. That showed the Jews are either so foolish as to let my arguments get out into the world, or else in every editorial office sit secret opponents of the Jews who gladly identify themselves with my anti-Semitic arguments by publishing my article\.
The Führer argued that the anti-Semitism which formerly animated the Party and was advocated by it must again become the focal point of our spiritual struggle. He thinks a great deal of the anti-Semitic movement in England, although he is naturally aware that it lacks organization and therefore cannot constitute a political factor. Nevertheless this anti-Semitism is most embarrassing to the Churchill Government. It is comparable to the anti-Semitic endeavors of certain bourgeois organizations in Germany in the old days. These, too, would never have achieved their end had not the revolutionary National Socialist movement taken up the campaign...\.
The Jewish question is being solved least satisfactorily by the Hungarians. The Hungarian state is permeated with Jews, and the Führer did not succeed during his talk with Horthy in convincing the latter of the necessity of more stringent measures. Horthy himself, of course, is badly tangled up with the Jews through his family, and will continue to resist every effort to tackle the Jewish problem aggressively. He gave a number of humanitarian counterarguments which of course don’t apply at all to this situation. You just cannot talk humanitarianism when dealing with Jews. Jews must be defeated (zu Boden geworfen—lit. ‘thrown to the floor’). The Führer made every effort to win Horthy over to his standpoint but succeeded only partially\.
The East will forever regard Europe as an attractive jewel. The East will again and again try to break into this continent in order to dominate it. Our constant, untiring effort must therefore center upon taking the necessary measures for our security. If it be true today that the Bolshevism of the East is mainly under Jewish leadership and that the Jews are also the dominant influence in the Western plutocracies, then our anti-Semitic propaganda must begin at this point. The Jews must therefore be thrown out (aus…heraus) of Europe.
Goebbels’s article, Der Krieg und die Juden, was written for the German public but received wide notice in the Allied countries. He writes of the Jews’ urging the Allies to “exterminate and destroy the Axis powers,” and to “destroy and exterminate our people.”He recalls Hitler’s prophecy of “wiping out the Jewish race” and how they will have to “answer for their countless crimes.”“We are dealing with the most dangerous enemy that ever threatened the life, freedom, and dignity of humanity. There can be no mercy.”The Jewish world war has become “a war for his racial existence,” and, in attacking Germany, “they signed their own death warrant.”
The reference to Hungary is a foreboding of the mass evacuations that would happen 12 months later.
May 10, 1943 (II.8.255) **
The fights in the Warsaw ghetto have largely petered out. I received a secret report on the mysterious question as to how the Jews got hold of the large supplies of arms with which they defended themselves. For the most part they bought them from our brave allies as they were fleeing homeward and in Warsaw got rid of their weapons for good money. There are soldiers for you!
May 11, 1943 (II.8.270) **
It is interesting to note that many of the London papers printed my article against the Jews. I can’t figure it out. Are the Jews so foolish as to believe this article would militate against us and not, on the contrary, strengthen the anti-Semitic feeling in England considerably?
The following is the longest single entry on the Jewish Question. Here I include the abbreviated version that Lochner published, which captures the main points—though he uses “extermination” for auszurotten, and omits the two sentences that follow.
May 13, 1943 (II.8.287-289) **
I have devoted exhaustive study to the Protocols of Zion. In the past the objection was always made that they were not suited to present-day propaganda. In reading them now I find that we can use them very well. The Protocols of Zion are as modern today as they were when published for the first time...\.
At noon I mentioned this to the Führer. He believed the Protocols were absolutely genuine.... The Jewish Question, in the Führer’s opinion, will play a decisive role in England.... In all the world, he said, the Jews are alike. Whether they live in a ghetto of the East or in the bankers’ palaces of the City or Wall Street, they will always pursue the same aims and without previous agreement even use the same means. One might well ask why are there any Jews in the world order? That would be exactly like asking why are there potato bugs? Nature is dominated by the law of struggle. There will always be parasites who will spur this struggle on and intensify the process of selection between the strong and the weak. The principle of struggle dominates also in human life. One must merely know the laws of this struggle to be able to face it. The intellectual does not have the natural means of resisting the Jewish peril because his instincts have been badly blunted. Because of this fact the nations with a high standard of civilization are exposed to this peril first and foremost. In nature life always takes measures against parasites; in the life of nations that is not always the case. From this fact the Jewish peril actually stems. There is therefore no other recourse left for modern nations except to root out (auszurotten) the Jew. They will use all means to defend themselves against this gradual process of destruction (Vernichtungsprozess).One of these means is war\.
There is no hope of leading the Jews back into the fold of civilized humanity by exceptional punishments. They will forever remain Jews, just as we are forever members of the Aryan race\.
The Jew was also the first to introduce the lie into politics as a weapon. Aboriginal man, the Führer believes, did not know the lie.... The higher the human being developed intellectually, the more he acquired the ability of hiding his innermost thoughts and giving expression to something different from what he really felt. The Jew as an absolutely intellectual creature was the first to learn this art. He can therefore be regarded not only as the carrier but even the inventor of the lie among human beings. Because of their thoroughly materialistic attitude, the English act very much like the Jews. In fact, they are the Aryans who have acquired most of the Jewish characteristics.... The nations that have been the first to see through the Jew and have been the first to fight him are going to take his place in the domination of the world\.
May 19, 1943 (II.8.322) **
The English and Americans discuss practically nothing but air warfare. Their successful raid on the German dams created a great sensation both in London and in Washington. Of course they know exactly what they have achieved by this attack. The former Berlin Reuter correspondent, Bettany, claimed that the plan for the attack stemmed from a Jew who emigrated from Berlin. I had this claim written up as a short news item for papers in the Reich, especially in the areas that suffered the disaster. This shows once again how dangerous the Jews are and how right we are in putting them behind bars (sie in sicheren Gewahrsam zu bringen—lit. ‘bringing into secure custody’)…
May 26, 1943 (II.8.370) **
An interesting report tells about the conference at Casablanca. According to this report it was decided that the Anglo-Saxon powers would create a national home for the Jews in Palestine after their eventual victory. This national home is to take care of 20,000,000 Jews. These Jews are to engage chiefly in intellectual and managerial tasks; the work is to be done, as decided in Casablanca, by middle European and especially German workers. For this a large-scale resettlement would be necessary that would, to a certain extent, depopulate (entvölkere) Central Europe. It isn’t hard to imagine what’s going on in the brains of these plutocratic statesmen who are dependent upon the Jews; but we also know what we must do to protect the German people against such a fate\.
The 20 million figure is astonishing. No one before or since has claimed so high a figure for Jewish world population. The Israeli Bureau of Statistics currently lists only 16.7 million in 1939.In 1936 the New York Times (April 9) reported a figure of 16 million. Jewish agencies themselves were reporting that 2 million had been killed by early 1943, so there could not have been more than 14 million left—unless they didn’t believe their own figures. Interesting proposal to capture and relocate Germans for forced labor in Israel. In any case we see a clear connection between the events of World War II and the establishment of Israel.
With the war now clearly turning against Germany, there were many issues more urgent than the deportation of Jews. As a consequence we find only three relevant entries in the final six months of 1943.This fact argues strongly against those who claim that the “extermination of the Jews” was an overriding priority until the very end. Were it not for the Hungarian situation in mid-1944 we might have heard nothing more on it at all.
Jun 25, 1943 (II.8.533)
Even in Italy, the Jews have not been removed (beseitigt), but rather they just wait for their hour to come again. We can be very glad that we have followed a radical policy with respect to the Jewish Question. There are no Jews behind us who could overtake our inheritance.
Jul 17, 1943 (II.9.116)
I receive an unpleasant report from the SD. They want to transfer all the Jewish mixed marriages from Cologne, where they can no longer remain, to Berlin. I oppose this by all means. It is completely out of the question. I have now luckily made Berlin half-way Jew-free, and do not want to take in Jewish families again. They are supposed to be distributed throughout the entire Reich, and I am willing to accept only a certain quota for Berlin.
Ten days after the above entry, the British conducted their first major fire-bombing campaign of the war, against Hamburg. Roughly 45,000 people died, mainly women, children, and the elderly. It was a war crime of the highest magnitude.
Oct 7, 1943 (II.10.72)
As to the Jewish Question, [Himmler] gives a very frank and candid picture. He is of the opinion that we can solve the Jewish Question for all of Europe by the end of this year. He advocates the most radical and harshest solution, namely, that the whole of Jewry will be rooted out (auszurotten).This is surely a consistent, if brutal, solution. We must accept the responsibility to completely solve this question in our time. Later generations will surely no longer have the courage or dedication to address this problem, as we do today.
By October 1943, the alleged Jewish death toll was 4.5-5 million. There were still a million or more deaths to come, on the orthodox view.
On October 23, the Brits firebombed Kassel—10,000 more civilian deaths.
Into 1944, Auschwitz is the only one of the six ‘death camps’ to remain in operation. It is now fully geared up to support the war effort, making use of all available slave labor. Some 20,000-30,000 Jews are allegedly gassed there each month. But it’s clear that this would have been a tremendous waste of manpower at a particularly critical point in the war. For the most part, though, there is no doubt that by this time German society had been largely cleared of Jews. Goebbels comments accordingly:
Feb 25, 1944 (II.11.348)
As the Jews have been struck down (niederschlagen) in Germany, so they will be struck down in the entire world. That which we have put behind us in our struggle for power, the enemy nations still have before them; but the Führer emphasized that what the Jews in Germany have behind them, they still have to face in England and America.
It’s a strange phrase to use, “what the Jews have behind them,” if in fact they are dead. Most likely the majority are still alive—in prisons, camps, or loose somewhere in the East.
Mar 4, 1944 (II.11.403)
Only with the Jewish Question have we pursued such a radical policy. It was correct, and today we are its beneficiaries. The Jews can no longer trouble us. Nevertheless, even before addressing the Jewish Question, one must emphasize over and over again that it is not possible to be solved (nicht zu lösen sei).One sees how it is possible, if one only wants it. But a bourgeois man naturally cannot understand that.
If the Jewish problem was not truly solved, it can only be because the final deportation phase was not effected. But it was evidently solved well enough to no longer be a concern.
Hungary now comes into view. With things looking bad, Hungarian leaders Horthy and Kallay sought to bail out of the Axis and negotiate an independent armistice. Hitler would have none of this, and occupied the country on March 19.The Germans then installed Dome Sztojay as prime minister. Where Horthy had resisted Jewish deportations, Sztojay readily cooperated. At this time the country had some 760,000 Jews, of which about 230,000 were in Budapest. Ghettoization of the Jews began immediately upon occupation; deportations would commence two months later, in mid-May. Almost all the deportees went to Auschwitz: for forced labor, according to Goebbels, or to be gassed, according to traditionalism.
Mar 13, 1944 (II.11.462)
Above all the Führer emphasized that he has no intention of letting Hungary come to the sorry state that befell us in Italy. The campaign is designed to occupy Hungarian territory with very sharp blows.… Hungary has 700,000 Jews; we will ensure that they do not slip through our net.
Mar 16, 1944 (II.11.490)
Six thousand Jews are still living in Berlin, partly privileged, and partly tolerated. I’m keeping an eye on them, and will still try to deport them (abzuschieben) at the earliest opportunity.
Mar 23, 1944 (II.11.530-531)
At the moment, the [Hungarian] Jews are not under arrest, but rather confined to the ghetto. We can therefore use it well in Budapest, because they will serve to some extent as hostages against enemy air raids. The people of Budapest were always of the opinion that, so long as there are Jews in the Hungarian capitol, they would not be attacked by enemy aircraft. They should want to.
Apr 18, 1944 (II.12.44)
The Führer then explained to the Gauleiters the background of his campaign in Hungary, and how it was designed. He gave an amusing description of his talk with Horthy. He had to use strong-arm tactics because the old man was not comfortable with the necessary measures. The Führer left him in no doubt, that either it would be a fight to the death or that he had to submit. The Führer had so many forces to apply to this campaign that Horthy offered no serious resistance. In particular, the Führer expected contributions from Hungary of food, oil, manganese, and people. In particular, he wants the 700,000 Jews in Hungary involved in beneficial activities for our war effort.
Apr 27, 1944 (II.12.199)
Horthy made clear to the Führer that while Germany has many large cities, Hungary has only Budapest. He clearly argued that Budapest would be attacked by the British and the Americans. In any case, he no longer opposes us; on the contrary, he unleashes a terrible fury on the Jews, and has no objection to our using them as hostages; he even proposed that himself. Meanwhile 300,000 Hungarian Jews have been detained and imprisoned in the concentration camps. They should come, in large part, to Germany as a workforce. Himmler will take care of this; above all, they are to be used for our difficult war production programs. In any case, Hungary will no longer be out of line on the Jewish Question. He who says A, must say B, and once Hungary has begun to implement their Jewish policy they can no longer slow it down. At a certain point, Jewish policy drives itself. This is now the case in Hungary.
May 4, 1944 (II.12.232)
Our plenipotentiary in Hungary, Veesenmayer, gives an excellent speech on the decisive Hungarian factors. …In particular, it’s to his credit that the Hungarian potential is now in large part requisitioned for our war efforts. Also, the Jewish Question is now being handled more energetically. I insist that the measures taken against the Jews in Hungary have a factual basis. It’s not enough that one only announces in the press what happens, but one must also explain it. In Budapest the Jews are starting to be gathered into ghettos. The ghettos are built in the vicinity of the armament factories, because air attacks are likely there. It is hoped thereby to avoid British-American attacks on Budapest, if at all possible.
This, unfortunately, is the last significant entry through the end of June, by which time the evacuations were nearly complete. Some 440,000 Jews were removed from the country through July 7, from all parts except Budapest city; its 230,000 Jews survived the deportations, as did about 90,000 non-Budapest Jews.
* * * * *
Though my detailed study of the diary ends here, a few later entries and events are worth mentioning. D-day (June 6) occurred in the midst of the Hungarian action. The eastern front was rapidly collapsing. On September 11 the Allies fire-bombed Darmstadt, killing 12,000.In October, Goebbels comments that some of the displaced Jews were contemplating a return (!) to Germany after the war:
Oct 24, 1944 (II.14.93)
Jews that fell into our hands have said that our ‘emigrant Semites’ [Jews who have been expelled from the Reich] again stated the intention of returning to the Reich as soon as an opportunity was offered to them. I think it would suit them to prepare a reception that they would in no way expect.
In Hungary, Horthy was able to depose Sztojay in July, and was the de facto leader until October when the Germans again intervened. This time they imprisoned Horthy and installed Ferenc Szalasi. In November he ordered the Budapest Jews into a city ghetto.
Dec 3, 1944 (II.14.343)
International Jewry announces its post-war plans particularly through the mouths of the Zionists. These plans are bursting with impudence and insults, not only against us but also the Anglo-American enemy. The Jews are feeling on top of things today. But they will surely regret their current excesses in the not-too-distant future.
In Budapest the last Jews are now locked into the ghetto. I think that Szalasi would be better advised to deliver the Jews to us. Then should Budapest be directly threatened by the enemy, the Jews would serve as a ferment of decomposition.
Dec 13, 1944 (II.14.406)
The Stockholm Jews are vigorously at work to create incidents between Sweden and the Reich. They will not rest until Sweden is dragged into this war. The Jew is really the ferment of decomposition, and the real culprit of this war. He and his race will therefore likely have to pay the highest price for this war.
Intriguing phrase:“ferment of decomposition.”This recalls Hitler’s comments of 1 December 1941 and 27 January 1942, of seeing the Jews as a corrosive force in society. And again, if the Jew has yet “to pay the highest price,” then clearly he hasn’t paid it so far—meaning, he is still alive somewhere.
Even into 1945, Goebbels is showing no signs of surrender:
Jan 4, 1945 (II.15.62-63)
I report to the Führer on the enormous effect that his New Year’s talk has had, both in and out of the country. He himself has already read with great satisfaction the available foreign telegrams. In any case we must stay cool in the present war situation. The Jews will make every effort to confuse us, and to sow discord with their lies; but that should not shake us. Also in the last months of 1932, the Jews left no stone unturned in order to prevent an organic solution to this internal German conflict. They will also attempt to do this now, in the present efforts to solve the world-conflict in an organic way. But there are ways and means enough to counter this.
Jan 19, 1945 (II.15.153)
In the parts of Poland newly-occupied by the Soviets, the Jewish Question now becomes extraordinarily relevant. The Lublin Commission appears not to have created much that the Jews want. It gives an explanation from the standpoint that, after we have eradicated (ausgerottet) the larger part of Polish Jewry, now Polish anti-Semitism must be taken into account. How that should happen, the Lublin Commission has no plan for itself.
On February 13, Britain fire-bombs Dresden; as many as 45,000 civilians perish. Ten days later it does the same to Pforzheim, with another 17,000 fatalities. Allied barbarity knows no bounds. Perhaps it was these mass slaughters of innocents that led to the following comment:
Mar 14, 1945 (II.15.498) ***
The Jews are reemerging. Their spokesman is the well-known and notorious Leopold Schwarzschild; he is now arguing in the American press that under no circumstances should Germany be given lenient treatment. Anyone in a position to do so should kill these Jews like rats (wie die Ratten totschlagen). In Germany, thank God, we have already thoroughly attended to this. I hope that the world will take this as an example.
As mentioned earlier, this is the one and only instance of Goebbels explicitly calling for the death of Jews—in the 123 entries that I was able to find and report here. In the next sentence I have given a more literal translation of Goebbels’s wording:…haben wir schon redlich besorgt. Barry chose to write “…we have already done a fairly complete job.”Either way, it’s clear that many Jews have indeed ‘died like rats,’ but once again this is a far cry from complete annihilation.
Finally, two late entries from near the very end:
Mar 15, 1945 (II.15.509) ***
The Jews of Palestine…have called a one-day strike in sympathy with the Jews of Europe. The Jews are playing a wicked and thoughtless game. No one can say with certainty which nation will be on the losing side and which on the winning at the end of the war; but there can be no doubt that the Jews will be the losers.
Apr 4, 1945 (II.15.674) ***
The Jews have applied for a seat at the San Francisco Conference [on post-war plans]. It is characteristic that their main demand is that anti-Semitism be forbidden throughout the world. Typically, having committed the most terrible crimes against mankind, the Jews would now like mankind to be forbidden even to think about them.
Indeed, we are still forbidden to think of such things, even 65 years later.
As explained in Part 1 of this article, Goebbels’s diaries, like Hitler’s ‘table talk’ reflections, are not well known or citied, even among the so-called experts. I think we can now see why: these entries offer very little support for the orthodox view, and raise lots of troublesome issues that must be explained away—not the least of which is the fact that, if we are to believe the exterminationists, Goebbels systematically lied to himself or otherwise falsified his own private diary, for years, for the sake of some unknown future events. This is simply not credible. Nor is the possibility that he was unaware of the mass killing that was allegedly happening. By all reasonable indications, the revisionist account—the literal reading of the diary—is most likely true.
All of this might come to light if the Goebbels diaries were published in English, in full, with an honest translation. But don’t hold your breath. I contacted the people at Saur in Germany, asking about this. I received a terse one-sentence reply: “The title Goebbels Tagebücher will not be published in an English version.”
|||Lochner misdates this entry as February 14. Also, as explained in Part 1, the citation numbers after each date refer to Part, Volume, and page number in the Tagebücher collection; so (II.3.320) means Part II, volume 3, page 320.The double asterisk (**) after a citation indicates that this was published in the Lochner translation (Goebbels 1948); a triple asterisk (***) refers to the Barry translation (Goebbels 1978). Entries with no asterisks are published here for the first time in English.|
|||These are my calculations based on Hilberg and other traditional sources. See my book Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides (2009).|
|||He does use it, but only once: on 8 February 1943.|
|||“How Jewish is Hollywood?” Los Angeles Times, 19 December 2008.|
|||Here are the top five and their leading executives: Time-Warner (Jeff Bewkes, Edgar Bronfman), Disney (Robert Iger), News Corp (Rupert Murdoch, Peter Chernin), Viacom (Sumner Redstone, Leslie Moonves, Philippe Dauman), NBC-Universal (Jeff Zucker).With the possible exception of Murdoch (who in any case is profoundly philo-Semitic), all these executives are Jewish.|
|||The top seven: USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News. Except for USA Today, all are Jewish-owned, -managed, or –oriented.|
|||Siberia, of course, being much further away than the occupied Russian territory.|
|||The full English text is available online at: http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa. The German original can only be found in the 1944 book Der Steile Aufstieg (‘The Steep Climb’).|
|||Email correspondence from Mr. Martin Wolter, dated 19 November 2009.|
- Browning, C., Path to Genocide. Cambridge University Press, 1995
- Dalton, T., Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides. Theses and Dissertations Press, 2009.
- Goebbels, J., The Goebbels Diaries: 1942-1943. L. Lochner, trans. and ed. Doubleday and Company, 1948.
- Goebbels, J., The Early Goebbels Diaries: 1925-1926. O. Watson, trans. H. Heiber, ed. Praeger, 1962.
- Goebbels, J., Final Entries 1945: The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels. R. Barry, trans.H. Trevor-Roper, ed. Putnam, 1978.
- Goebbels, J., Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels. E. Fröhlich, ed. K. G. Saur Verlag, 1987-2006.
- Hilberg, R., The Destruction of the European Jews. Yale University Press, 2003.
- Hitler, A., Hitler’s Table Talk: 1941-1944. Enigma, 1953/2000.
- Irving, D., Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich. Focal Point Press, 1996.
- Kershaw, I., Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis. W. W. Norton, 2000.
- Kershaw, I., Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution. Yale University Press, 2008.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Goebbels on the Jews, Part 2|
|Sources:||Inconvenient History, 2(2) (2010)|
|First posted on CODOH:||Feb. 13, 2014, 6 p.m.|