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The Posen speeches were two "secret speeches" made by Heinrich Himmler on 4 October 1943 and 6 October 1943, in the city of Poznan (Posen). Speech texts and an audio recording of one the speeches were "discovered" after the war and are very often cited as evidence for the politically correct view on the Holocaust and have even been described as the "best evidence" against Holocaust revisionism.

Holocaust revisionists have argued that the politically correct interpretation of the speeches is incorrect and/or that the speech records are not authentic and are edited/fabricated.

Contents

Context and significance

if a document has been retyped at a key point, then I hold that document to be suspect [...] this isn't just any page...I suppose it is probably the most important page of the most important speech in the whole of the Holocaust history, and this page, of all pages, when we look at it, turned out to have been tampered with.
David Irving, testifying in court on the 6 October speech, at the second of Ernst Zündel's Holocaust trials.[1]

The first speech on 4 October was given before 92 SS officers, the second on 6 October before Reichsleiters and Gauleiters (NSDAP party leaders), as well as other government representatives.

Allegedly, although the Holocaust was not the central topic in either of them, both carry great historical significance in reference to it. Himmler allegedly did away with the usual extreme secrecy (see Holocaust documentary evidence: Orders, plans, organizations, and budgets) and spoke explicitly of the Holocaust to German leaders.

The 4 October speech text was "discovered" after the war and used as evidence at the Nuremberg trials. The speech is also significant for in addition to written material there being a claimed audio recording of Himmler giving the speech. The 6 October speech was "discovered" in 1970 as written material but with no audio recording (except for "a very small section of the middle of the speech"[2]). It is significant for being argued to sometimes be more explicit than the 4 October speech and in other ways "fixing" some of the argued problems with the 4 October speech.

In the literature, if there is a reference to only one "Posen Speech", it is usually the 4 October speech that is intended. Besides the claimed 6 October Posen speech, Himmler is stated to have made many other speeches at Posen and elsewhere.

The revisionist Carlos Porter has stated regarding the 4 October speech: "Why is so much time spent considering the text of this particular speech from 1943? The Posen speech has been called the "best evidence" to rebut the claims that the Holocaust is a myth. Before being moved to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Himmler's speech was housed at the National Archives near the main entrance to the building only a few yards from the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Clearly, the fundamentalist interpretation of this document provides one of the primary justifications for the power structure of our post-World-War-II society."[3]

In addition, the Posen speeches (and later speeches by Himmler) are argued to show that not only those directly involved in the alleged killings were aware of the Holocaust but also, after the speeches, the top German leadership in general, increasing German collective guilt for the Holocaust.

For individuals (such as Albert Speer) during the postwar trials, evidence or not of being present during the speeches (and thus being aware or not of the Holocaust) is often argued to have meant the difference between the death penalty and a prison sentence.

General arguments by revisionists on speeches by National Socialist leaders

See Holocaust documentary evidence: Speeches, diaries, and private conversations by the National Socialist leaders on this topic in general.

As noted there, other speeches by Himmler (and other National Socialist leaders) are argued to demonstrate that the quotes cited as evidence for the politically correct version of the Holocaust are cherry picked, sometimes are misleading English translations of German, ignore that the possible meanings of a German word today are not necessarily the possible meanings of the same German word in the 1930s and 1940s, exclude contradictory statements (sometimes in the very same source), that a more comprehensive survey shows that the National Socialist leaders generally used very strong language for rhetoric effect (not just regarding the Jews), that this language should not be interpreted literally, and that what was referred to was an extinction/extirpation/annihilation of the very large Jewish influence and/or deportation of Jews from Europe. Non-cherry picked examinations of, for example, diaries and private conversations by the National Socialist leaders are argued to further support this.[4]

For example, Himmler in a speech on November 23, 1942, stated that "The Jewish question in Europe has completely changed. The Führer once said in a Reichstag speech: If Jewry triggers an international war, for example, to exterminate the Aryan people, then it won’t be the Aryans who will be exterminated, but Jewry. The Jews have been resettled outside Germany, they are living here, in the east, and are working on our roads, railways etc. This is a consistent process, but is conducted without cruelty."[4] See also World War II statements argued to support Holocaust revisionism.

The 4 October 1943 speech

The 4 October speech was delivered in 1943 before a gathering of SS-Gruppenführer at Posen. The speech text and audio recording are stated to have been discovered in the files of Alfred Rosenberg after the war. Though basically a survey of the war situation, the speech also had a relatively brief section on "The evacuation of the Jews".[5]

Excerpt from the 4 October speech

How to translate the German text and words such as the German "Ausrottung" as used during this time period is controversial. The following is an excerpt from the claimed speech (which is much longer and discusses many other topics) as translated by the revisionist Carlos Porter:

The evacuation of the Jews

I want to mention another very difficult matter here before you in all frankness. Among ourselves, it ought to be spoken of quite openly for once; yet we shall never speak of it in public. Just as little as we hesitated to do our duty as ordered on 30 June 1934, and place comrades who had failed against the wall and shoot them, just as little did we ever speak of it, and we shall never speak of it. It was a matter of course, of tact, for us, thank God, never to speak of it, never to talk of it. It made everybody shudder; yet everyone was clear in his mind that he would do it again if ordered to do so, and if it was necessary.

I am thinking now of the evacuation of the Jews, the extirpation ["Ausrottung"] of the Jewish people. It is one of those things that's easy to say: "The Jewish people will be extirpated" ["wird ausgerottet"], says every Party comrade, "that's quite clear, it's in our programme: elimination ["Ausschaltung"] of the Jews, extirpation ["Ausrottung"]; that's what we're doing." And then they all come along, these 80 million good Germans, and every one of them has his decent Jew. Of course, it's quite clear that the others are pigs, but this one is one first-class Jew. Of all those who speak this way, not one has looked on; not one has lived through it. Most of you know what it means when 100 bodies lie together, when 500 lie there, or if 1,000 lie there. To have gone through this, and at the same time, apart from exceptions caused by human weaknesses, to have remained decent, that has made us hard. This is a chapter of glory in our history which has never been written, and which never shall be written; since we know how hard it would be for us if we still had the Jews, as secret saboteurs, agitators, and slander-mongers, among us now, in every city -- during the bombing raids, with the suffering and deprivations of the war. We would probably already be in the same situation as in 1916/17 if we still had the Jews in the body of the German people.

The riches they had, we've taken away from them. I have given a strict order, which SS Group Leader Pohl has carried out, that these riches shall, of course, be diverted to the Reich without exception. We have taken none of it. Individuals who failed were punished according to an order given by me at the beginning, which threatened: he who takes even one mark of it, that's his death. A number of SS men -- not very many -- have violated that order, and that will be their death, without mercy. We had the moral right, we had the duty to our own people, to kill this people which wanted to kill us ["dieses Volk, dass uns umbringen wollte, umzubringen"].

But we don't have the right to enrich ourselves even with one fur, one watch, one mark, one cigarette, or anything else. Just because we eradicated ["ausgerottet"] a bacillus, after all, doesn't mean we want to be infected by the bacillus and die. I will never permit even one little spot of corruption to arise or become established here. Wherever it may form, we shall burn it out together. In general, however, we can say that we have carried out this most difficult task out of love for our own people. And we have suffered no harm to our inner self, our soul, our character in so doing.[6]

Criticisms of the politically correct interpretation of the 4 October speech

Translations and meanings of German words from this time period

"Reading Himmler's speech in its entirety, rather than the usual out-of-context quotations, results in a new level of understanding. Brief, out-of-context quotations have been used to support the orthodox Holocaust story since the end of the Second World War. [...] Carlos Porter has also provided interesting insights in his translation of the various controversial terms used by Himmler: ausrotten, ausmerzen, umbringen and totschlagen. Besides his translation of these German terms, Porter shows that all of these terms are used multiple times during the speech and that each is used at least once in a figurative sense. The less suspicious phrases in which these terms are used are never quoted in the traditional literature. Many of those who accept the orthodox version of the Holocaust story refuse to accept Porter's translation of Ausrottung, and the other terms which are typically translated to mean extermination. Porter's translation shows that there can be a benign interpretation of these words, especially when taken within the context of the entire speech. In 1993, Robert Wolfe, supervisory archivist for captured German records at the National Archives admitted that a more precise translation of Ausrottung would be extirpation or tearing up by the roots. Wolfe also pointed out that in Himmler's handwritten notes for the speech, that Himmler used the term, Judenevakuierung, or evacuation of the Jews, not extermination."[3]

See also Meanings and translations of German words and Holocaust revisionism: Ambiguous words and the "External links" section in that article regarding other revisionist arguments regarding Ausrottung and other German words.

Confessions

That Himmler in these speeches would have openly confessed a genocide to large groups of people (many of who were SS leader and political leaders not involved the alleged killing process in the camps in Poland) has been argued to be extremely unlikely considering the extreme secrecy and "need to know only" policy supposedly used regarding the Holocaust.[5]

Also, if Himmler had decided to confess the existence of genocide it is argued he would have provided a more detailed explanation than the cited brief and unclear statements in the middle of a speech dealing with many other topics.[5]

Non-revisionists have sometimes argued that Himmler "confessed" in order to make the other German leaders complicit in the Holocaust, which would supposedly force them to fight on rather than to surrender. However, arguably, this would instead have caused some of the listeners to become traitors/spies for the Allies, either due to moral opposition to a genocide or due to wanting to avoid punishment for complicity, but none of the Germans collaborating/spying for the Allies have stated that the Posen speeches were a motivating factor.

See also the section "German resistance" on lack knowledge by the German resistance of a genocide despite the Posen speeches supposedly revealing this to large groups of people.

The NSDAP party program

According to the politically correct interpretation, the speech states that genocide of the Jews was part of the NSDAP party program. This since "Ausrottung" and "ausgerottet" are by non-revisionists translated as "extermination" and "exterminate" and the speech text states that "I am thinking now of the evacuation of the Jews, the extirpation [Ausrottung] of the Jewish people. It is one of those things that's easy to say: "The Jewish people will be extirpated [ausgerottet]", says every Party comrade, "that's quite clear, it's in our programme: elimination of the Jews, extirpation [Ausrottung]; that's what we're doing."

However, the program contained nothing relating to any physical extermination of the Jews. The program did state that "Citizen can only be who is a member of the people. A member of the people is who is of German blood, with no regard to the confession. No Jew can therefore be a member of the people" and "We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich." This is argued to be compatible with the interpretation that Himmler in the speech was referring to removal of citizenship from and expulsion of the Jews from Germany.[4][7]

The bodies

The bodies Himmler speaks of is argued to be the bodies of German soldiers and not Jews. It is argued that Himmler was referring to German soldiers having seen the bodies of many German soldiers during the war unlike German civilians who therefore were more soft regarding the expulsion of Jews.[4]

"to kill this people which wanted to kill us"

The sentence "We had the moral right, we had the duty to our own people, to kill this people which wanted to kill us" is argued to not make literal sense because the National Socialist ideology and propaganda did not argue that the "Jews" planned to genocide Germans but to subjugate and enslave them. Also, the sentence states that the Jewish people had been killed at the time of the speech but also according to the politically correct view on the Holocaust there were still millions of Jews alive in Europe at this time. Thus, it is argued, this sentence must be interpreted figuratively and not literally.[4]

Also, it has been argued to be unclear whether this sentence in untranslated German from this time period is referring to all Jews or if it is referring to some specific Jews (who may have wanted to kill some specific Germans). "das Volk, which usually refers to a people in the sense of a nation or an ethnic group, is sometimes used (at least in pre-1945 German) to mean some group of people without regard for ethnicity etc. This means that the infinitive-clause, "dieses Volk, das uns umbringen wollte, umzubringen" ("to kill this group of people who wanted to kill us"), does not necessarily refer to an entire nationality or ethnicity."[8][9] Notably, the word "Rasse" ("Race") is nor used.

"Code words"

The 4 October speech, despite allegedly being an open confession of the existence of the Holocaust, is alleged to continue to use "code words" such as repeatedly using "evacuate" as a code word for "killing". The whole section on the Jews is entitled "The evacuation of the Jews". Assuming the politically correct interpretation of the speech is correct, there is argued to have been no reason for such use of "code words" in this "secret speech". The most reasonable explanation is argued to be that "evacuation" meant evacuation.[10]

Criticisms of the authenticity of the 4 October speech

A number of argued problem with the official versions of the two Posen speeches are argued to support that they are edited versions of the original speeches. In particular the 4 October speech which was used as evidence at the argued generally suspect Nuremberg trials has been criticized. The later "discovered" 6 October speech "fixes" some of the problems with the 4 October speech but is argued to still be problematic.[5]

Some of the above argued problems with the politically correct interpretation have been argued to not just support alternative interpretations but to support that the official versions of the speeches are not authentic. For example, the above mentioned problem with the description of the party program of the NSDAP has been seen as supporting that someone with very limited knowledge of National Socialism has written (parts) of the text of the official version of the 4 October speech.[5]

The contents of a document may in some places in the document have been interpreted incorrectly and may in other places have been fabricated/edited. This could occur if the editor/fabricator used an original document as a template and made relatively minor changes when creating the new false document but with these changes creating an overall misleading impression also regarding the parts which were not edited/fabricated. The motivations for only making relatively minor changes include that it is often very difficult and risky to forge a convincing completely new document while making relatively minor changes to an already existing document is much easier and quicker.

The revisionist Carlos Porter has stated that "I think this is the way most of the Nuremberg documents were produced: by altering a single word or inserting a paragraph or page or occasionally an entire text, retaining the headings, if any. Faking an entire document is far from easy, but alteration is child's play; note the second paragraph above. That way, if necessary, you have the references, everything, so it fits into an entire file of authentic documents, if necessary, and may never be noticed, especially if the originals are never examined. As I have said, I consider the Himmler secret speech an altered speech on the military situation. That's just one example."[11]

General criticisms of the Nuremberg trials

Revisionists have been highly critical of the Nuremberg trials (including of a number of now admitted fabricated documents as discussed in the article on the trials).

The "discovery" of the 4 October speech

The methods used and the evidence "discovered" by the Jewish prosecutor Robert Kempner and his prosecution staff at the Nuremberg trials have been extensively criticized.[12][13] (Kempner and staff was also involved in the "discovery" of the controversial Wannsee Protocol.)

The book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century stated that "The evidence that Himmler actually made these remarks is very weak. [...] The manuscript of the speech, which bears no signature or other endorsement, is said (in the descriptive material accompanying the trial document) to have been found in Rosenberg’s files. It was put into evidence at the IMT as part of document 1919-PS, but it was not stated, during the IMT proceedings, where the document was supposed to have been found, and nobody questioned Rosenberg in connection with it. On the other hand, Rosenberg was questioned in regard to 3428-PS, another document said to have been found in his files (which is discussed briefly below), and he denied that it could have been part of his files. It is further claimed that during Case 11 “the Rosenberg files were rescreened and 44 records were discovered to be a phonographic recording of Himmler’s Poznan speech of October 4, 1943." [...] Note that these recordings, claimed to have been belatedly discovered in a dead man’s files, were put into evidence at the same “trial,” Kempner’s circus, which the analysis had already conclusively discredited on independent grounds. In addition, it seems quite peculiar that Himmler would have allowed the recording of a speech containing material that he “will never speak of […] publicly,” and then, despite his control of the Gestapo, have seen these recordings fall into the hands of his political rival Rosenberg." [...] The conclusive point is that in being asked to believe that the text is genuine we are, in effect, being asked to believe Kempner."[12]

Szajko Frydman/Zosa Szajkowsk and The Yiddish Scientific Institute of New York

The book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century also stated that during the Nuremberg trials there were "several documents bearing the major irregularity of having been processed by the Yivo (Yiddish Scientific Institute) of New York before being submitted as Nuremberg trial documents. There are about 70 such documents said to have been found in the Rosenberg Ministry in September 1945 by Sergeant Szajko Frydman of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. Frydman, however, was a staff member of the Yivo both before and after his service in the Army. Indeed, the Yivo was so active in producing documents supposedly found in the Rosenberg Ministry that it may very well have some enlightening information on the origins of their supposed text of Himmler’s Posen speech."[12]

A 2013 article stated that the Jewish Szajko Frydman used various pseudonyms the most notably of which was Zosa Szajkowsk. He was a notorious collector, trader, and thief of Jewish documents. "In January 1943, Szajkowski joined the United States Army [...] in the summer and fall of 1945, after the fall of the Third Reich, when he was reassigned to Allied-occupied Germany. [...] Szajkowski found materials of interest everywhere—in bookstores, abandoned buildings, and in the hands of individuals eager to trade for watches, chocolate, or cigarettes— and sent what he acquired on in vast quantities. In the extreme conditions of summer and fall 1945, this was easy to do [...] What were Szajkowski’s motivations during the wartime period? Mostly they appear to have been ideological [...] In the fall of 1945 in Berlin, where Szajkowski was stationed, many other GIs were salvaging Nazi documents for all sorts of reasons—some in an official capacity for the upcoming war-crimes trials, others looking for mementos to keep or to sell. Although Allied command authorities forbade the removal of cultural treasures, particularly archives, from Germany, the military authorities were well aware of what Szajkowski was doing and, as happened with so many other prohibited items, they allowed him to send the material to YIVO through their mail system."[14]

Forgery workshops

The Jewish Holocaust revisionist Joseph G. Burg and others have stated the existence of sometimes huge forgery workshops at several camps for displaced persons in the postwar period. These produced forgeries for purposes such as gaining compensations for people already dead, for non-existing people, for people not entitled to receive any, and so on. It was possible to obtain any document or certificate needed, in any language. Large scale fabrications of seals and signatures occurred. It has been suggested that, for example, the controversial Jewish Nuremberg prosecutor and first Posen speech “discoverer” Robert Kempner may have obtained claimed authentic documentary material used as evidence from such forgery workshops.[15][16]

Criticisms of the alleged German editorial process

The book Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence stated that "Of course, it is absurd to call a speech delivered before a relatively large audience "secret." Nor is it known whether Himmler ever designated any of his speeches so. Evidently the title was chosen in the hope of selling more copies of the book" Heinrich Himmler: Secret Speeches, 1933-1945 by Agnes F. Peterson and Bradley F. Smith.[5]

"Himmler was in the habit of formulating his speeches as he went along, using notes that he had written down himself, which often consisted of no more than a dozen phrases. According to Peterson and Smith, there are only four or five completely prepared texts among the documents published in their collection, but they do not specify which ones. From the end of 1942, Himmler's speeches were frequently — though not always — phonographically recorded with two machines. These devices are said to have worked poorly, leaving big gaps in the recordings. Beginning in 1943, SS-Untersturmführer Werner Alfred Veun was solely responsible for making and keeping the transcripts of Himmler's speeches. It is not clear just who had this duty before. Venn is supposed to have taken down and typed out the speeches — even making "corrections" (!) in the text, but changing the meaning "barely or not at all." One can well imagine the possibilities for error involved in the preparation of these "documents. What is more, the American officials who “evaluated” the staff files of the Reichsführer-SS had ample opportunities to manipulate the papers, and probably took advantage of them, for some of Himmler's speeches were presented in evidence at the Nuremberg IMT trial. Peterson and Smith claim that Venn sent his transcripts of the speeches to Himmler, who then revised them slightly. Nobody asks whether this would have made any sense. If these were "secret speeches," there was little possibility of their ever being published. Moreover, it is doubtful whether Himmler had the time to go over his speeches carefully. Since they had already been delivered, that must have seemed a useless undertaking. How Peterson and Smith discovered these intimate details is a mystery."[5]

Grammatical and stylistic errors

  • The speech contains grammatical and stylistic errors that people, whose mother tongue is German, never do.
  • -werden wir nicht in der Öffentlichkeit nie darüber reden - we shall not speak publicly never about ...- double denying, never used in German.
  • Kameraden, die sich verfehlt haben" (style error, repeatedly)
  • "eine in uns wohnende Selbstverständlichkeit des Taktes". (tact living in us). Since when lives tact in us?

Coherence and flow

The speeches are argued to at several places lack coherence and flow between the texts before and after which is argued to likely indicate that parts of the original speeches have been deleted or moved to different places.[5]

"A Suspiciously Awkward Transition"

A related criticism to the one regarding "Coherence and flow" is regarding the 4 October speech. "We are told that what we hear is unedited, but I am not so sure; some of the transitions in this fragment of a speech are extremely awkward. I found this to be the most awkward transition. Any SS-man who steals for himself will be executed. “Gnadenlos!” — “Without mercy!” Himmler screams. He then says, “We have the moral right, we had the duty to our people to do it,” clearly referring to the need to execute SS-men who behave corruptly, which he had just been discussing, but then he adds unexpectedly, “to kill this (group of) people who would kill us.” It seems to be a mid-sentence change of topic [...] The unwarranted change of tense in that sentence is also a problem. He seems to be talking about two different matters when he says, "We have the moral right...." (present tense) and "We had the duty...." (past tense). The use of the past tense there makes no sense, even in terms of the conventional understanding of the speech, since in this context Himmler is talking about a planned future action toward the Jews, or an ongoing action, but not a past action."[9]

Absence of sharp S (ß)

The German text of the 4 October speech does not have one single example of the "sharp S" (ß), a standard letter of the German alphabet (transcribed as "ss" in other languages).[8]

Alleged disparagement of Europeans

Since in 1943 young people from all of Europe served the Waffen-SS, it would have been very stupid of Himmler to disparage Europeans like Slavs and others, as done in some parts.

Alleged animal tamer instructions

The 4 October speech allegedly states regarding allied Slav soldiers: "take care that these sub-humans always look at you; they must always look their superior in the eye. It's like with animals. As long as an animal looks his tamer in the eye, he won't try anything."[8]

Alleged German misery since 1936-37

The 4 October speech in one part refers to "the misery in which we have been living since 1936-1937. Since that time, we no longer have all the necessary consumer goods which the human heart desires, and which we would like to have, such as silk, stockings, chocolate, or coffee."

This has been argued to be a strange statement (especially considering the very rapid economic recovery in National Socialist Germany after the Great Depression) and to possibly have been intended to support the infamous document "L-3" according to which Germany's economic problems were to be solved by attacking Poland.[8]

The revisionist Carlos Porter has written on this document that "1014-PS is a falsified 'Hitler Speech' written on plain paper by an unknown person. The document bears the heading 'Second Speech' although it is known that Hitler gave only one speech on that date. There are four versions of this speech, 3 of them forgeries: 1014-PS, 798-PS, L-3, and an authentic version, Ra-27 (XVII-406-408; XVIII 390-402; XXII 65). The third forgery, Document L-3, bears an FBI laboratory stamp and was never even accepted into evidence (II 286), but 250 copies of it were given to the press as authentic (II 286) [...] L-3 is the source of many statements attributed to Hitler, particularly "who today remembers the fate of the Armenians?" and "our enemies are little worms, I saw them at Munich". 'Hitler' also compares himself to Genghis Khan and says he will exterminate the Poles, and kick Chamberlain in the groin in front of the photographers. The document appears to have been prepared on the same typewriter as many other Nuremberg documents, including the two other versions of the same speech. This typewriter was probably a Martin from the Triumph-Adler-Werke, Nuremberg." Also other revisionists have criticized these documents for argued absurdities and other reasons.[17][18]

See also Alleged statements by Hitler on the Holocaust: Obersalzberg speech.

Alleged tenseness among the German people due to the recovery of Austria and the Sudetenland

The 4 October speech alleges that "The German people were already very tense ["gespannt" -- nervous or excited], years before the war, because of the armaments, the Four Year Plan, the recovery of Austria, the Sudetenland, and the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia."[8]

Preservation of "secret speeches"

The "secret speeches" contain statements such as "Among ourselves, it ought to be spoken of quite openly for once; yet we shall never speak of it in public" and "take this secret with us to our graves." This is argued to make it dubious that they would have been preserved and if preserved this material not being destroyed by the German conspirators claimed to have destroyed almost all other physical evidence of the Holocaust.[5]

Critical parts retyped

David Irving testified at Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials in 1988 that ""In October 1943, Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS, delivered two speeches, one to the SS generals and one to the Gauleiters - the Nazi party district chiefs, the governors of the districts." Irving had examined the transcripts of the speech and other archival materials [...] I arrived at the very strange discovery when I looked at the transcript of both those speeches that those two pages had been retyped at some other date. I can't say whether it was retyped before or after the bulk of the speech, but they had been typed by a different secretary on a different typewriter using different carbon paper. Obviously you only discover this if you look at the original documents which the average historian is not patient enough to do. They had been retyped and they had been repaginated in pencil at that point and I have to say to preempt your question, I have no explanation why. It just raises the fact that a document -- if a document has been retyped at a key point, then I hold that document to be suspect."[1]

See also the corresponding section on the 6 October speech.

Audio recording

Some sound recordings of the Nuremberg trials tampered with

Irving has also testified that "I made the discovery at the time when I was writing my book on Field-Marshal Milch that some sound recording[s] of the Nuremberg trials, for example, were also not of integrity. They had been tampered with. [...] I'm familiar with the fact that certain other recordings in the same archives are not of 100 percent integrity."[1]

"Discovery"

See the section "The "discovery" of the 4 October speech" regarding the "discovery" of the audio recording.

Shellac disc vs. magnetic tape

The audio recording of the 4 October speech is claimed to have been stored on primitive shellac discs with poor audio quality making a voice analysis difficult. At this time Germany (unlike the Allies) used much better quality magnetic tapes for audio storage (reaching mass-production stage in 1939/1940 and rapidly being widely used in Germany). If a speech by a top National Socialist leader was recorded after 1940/41, then it is argued that magnetic tape would have been used.[4]

As stated in the section "Criticisms of the alleged German editorial process" Himmler himself is claimed to have been personally very concerned with and involved in the documentation of his "secret speeches". Presumably he would have wanted that good recording equipment should be used.

Another criticism is that "It was completely feasible to edit sound recordings after Germany was defeated in 1945, since magnetic recording tape, which unlike wire recording or phonograph record is easily cut and spliced, had already been invented (by a German) in 1928. According to the U.S. National Archives (cited by The Holocaust History Project) the most common method of recording speeches in the Third Reich was direct recording to phonograph disc. Echos in this recording however indicate that the speech was stored for years on tape.*** Unless there is also an original disc-recording that has the same content as the tape, it means that the recording could have been edited."[9]

Furthermore, "The Holocaust History Project says: "There is a faint before-and-after echo that can be heard at loud portions of the speech, most notably when Himmler shouts "gnadenlos" ("mercilessly"). This is from the magnetic impressions bleeding through two or three layers of tape on a reel, and indicates that a source for our recording spent some years on tape. Whether that is Himmler's original tape or the National Archives' master tape made in the 1970s is, at this time, unknown." The same writer also admits that it is unknown whether the original medium was magnetic tape or phonograph disc, which means that he cannot say that he has examined the recording in its original medium. That should be very troubling given the fact that the trustworthiness of the recording is in question."[9]

Non-identification by Berger

The book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century stated that the prosecution during the Nuremberg trial of the SS general Gottlob Berger "played a phonograph recording of somebody speaking the first lines of the alleged speech, but Berger at first denied that the voice was Himmler’s and then, after a second playing of the same lines, he said that it “might be Heinrich Himmler’s voice.” The records were then offered in evidence and more excerpts, including the one dealing with Jewish evacuation, which is quoted above, were played in court. Berger was not questioned further, however, on the authenticity of the voice and was excused immediately after the playing of the records. It was only with some reluctance that the court accepted these records in evidence:

“Judge Powers, Presiding: Well, I think that there is enough evidence here, prima facie, that the voice is the voice of Himmler to justify receiving the document in evidence. There is no evidence, however, that it was delivered at Poznan or any other particular place. The discs will be received in evidence as an indication of Himmler’s general attitude.”

The only “prima facie” evidence for the authenticity of the voice (at only one point in the speech), as far as I can see, was the Berger statement at one point that the voice "might be Heinrich Himmler’s."

In our judgment, the prosecution did not submit one bit of evidence that the voice was that of Himmler or even that the Posen speech, which everyone would agree dwelled on sensitive subjects, was recorded phonographically. Thus, the authenticity of these phonograph recordings has not even been argued, much less demonstrated."[12]

Voice analysis

The revisionist Germar Rudolf stated in the 2010 edition of Lectures on the Holocaust that it was questionable if the audio quality was good enough to permit a voice analysis, that he did not know of any such analysis ever having been performed, and that it could not be excluded that the speaker was a voice imitator.[4]

Even if not and it is Himmler speaking, then, as argued in the section "Shellac disc vs. magnetic tape", the recording could still have been edited by cutting and splicing in order to create a misleading impression.

Comments by argued audience members on the 4 October speech

During the Nuremberg trials various persons testified that they had been present during the 4 October speech or an unspecified speech which is presumably the 4 October speech. See the article on the Nuremberg trials regarding general criticisms of the trials. See Holocaust testimonial evidence regarding various general problems with witness statements and confessions.

Gottlob Berger

The 4 October speech was used as evidence during the Nuremberg trial of "Gottlob Berger, SS General, former head of the SS administrative department, Himmler’s personal liaison with Rosenberg’s Ministry for the Occupied East, and chief of POW affairs toward the end of the war. In his direct examination, Berger had testified that he had known nothing of any extermination program and also that Himmler had indeed delivered an “interminable” speech at Posen in 1943, to an audience of higher SS leaders which included himself. However, he denied that document 1919-PS was an accurate transcript of the speech, because he recalled that part of the speech had dealt with certain Belgian and Dutch SS leaders who were present at the meeting, and “[…] that is not contained in the transcript. I can say with certainty that he did not speak about the Ausrottung of the Jews, because the reason for this meeting was to equalize and adjust these tremendous tensions between the Waffen SS and the Police.”"[12]

See also the section "Audio recording" above.

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski

The SS officer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski never faced trial for any war crimes at the Nuremberg trials in exchange for testifying against others. Similarly, he never faced extradition to Poland or to the Soviet Union for any war crimes committed there while in command of anti-partisan warfare or suppressing the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.

He testified that he had heard the 4 October speech, that Berger was there, that the speech text presented by the prosecution was that speech, but also contradictorily "With regard to Himmler's Poznan speech, he does not think that the word "extermination" was used with regard to Jews."[19]

Udo von Woyrsch

The SS officer Udo von Woyrsch testified that he was present during the speech and denied that anything was said about the extermination of the Jews.[20]

Richard Hildebrandt

The SS officer Richard Hildebrandt "was asked about a letter written by Himmler in August 1944 in which it was proposed to make him the Higher SS and Police Leader for Transylvania, and which concluded with the comment (Tr. p. 7042): "In case Hildebrandt is not there, send the most brutal man available to that region." He admitted receiving the letter, but said (Tr. p. 7060): "The letter is quite beside the point. It has no practical back­ground and it never had any practical results. Himmler's phraseology is nothing new. I didn't get excited about it and I didn't take it seriously. After this Poznan speeeh nothing could surprise me any more.""[21]

Thus, it is unclear if he attended the speech himself or had heard about it and if he did attend what was said there.

Rudolf Schneider

The SS officer Rudolf Schneider in connection with one of the Nuremberg trials signed an affidavit which someone gave the "Descriptive Title" "Affidavit concerning Himmler's speech on the extermination of the Jews (Posen, 4 Oct 1943), the secrecy of the program, and opposition to the program among Waffen SS leaders." However, the affidavit itself is unclear regarding what Himmler stated on the Jews at the speech. The purpose of the affidavit was to try to free the Waffen SS from blame with the accusation in part relying on the Posen speech as evidence. The affidavit made several claims related to this that no else has made such as the Waffen SS leaders disagreeing with Himmler, but it being impossible for them to oppose him, and it being impossible for them to tell anyone else of the speech since everyone was bound to strictest secrecy with Schneider being forced to sign a paper that he and his family would be "exterminated" if violating the order for secrecy.[22][23]

When Schneider was asked "whether he would have been able to forward such a speech to the people under him, provided that he would have been allowed to do so", Schneider did not mention a genocide confession, but stated that the speech was problematic since it spoke of a march on the Urals despite the retreat of the German forces, and then "they surely think their commander has be'come quite mad."[22]

Otto Ohlendorf

The SS officer Otto Ohlendorf was a very prominent prosecution witness during the IMT. However, he subsequently retracted/changed many of his earlier claims.

David Irving testified at the Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials in 1988 on whether he had any indication that Ohlendorf was tortured. ""Oh, yes," said Irving. "The SS General Ohlendorf and the SS General Pohl were both very severely maltreated at Nuremberg and in the internment camps where they were held by the Allies after the Second World War and prior to their testimony. They subsequently testified to that to their fellow prisoners like Field Marshal Milch, who kept a diary which I have and also in the subsequent trials."[1]

Ohlendorf at the subsequent Einsatzgruppen trial: "In 1943 the Reich Leader SS, Himmler addressed the SS major generals at Poznan. You are aware of that speech, are you not? A. Yes. I have heard it myself. {...] Q. Now during your direct examination you told this Court that you had no idea, and that you have no cause today to think that there was any plan to exterminate the Jewish race in exist­ence, nor that you had any information of putting it into effect. Is that right? A. Yes."[24]

Hans Frank

Hans Frank, the governor of the General Government, testified that he had been present during a speech by Himmler in Posen, that before this he had not heard of any extermination policy against Jews, and that after the speech "No doubt could be possible anymore after that. As a man of thinking faculties I had to deduce from Himmler's speech what he wanted to say. [...] had proclaimed an extermination program against the whole of Jewry".[25]

Thus, the supposed extermination policy seems to have been a "deduction" (and possibly a postwar "deduction") by Frank rather than something stated explicitly in the speech. Furthermore, that Frank would have been unaware of a supposed ongoing extermination during the previous years with several of the extermination camps being located in the General Government can be considered unlikely.

The book Lectures on the Holocaust states that "the former General Governor of Poland, Hans Frank, was also tortured by the British at Minden, Germany (Butler 1986,pp. 238f.)".[4]

Oswald Pohl

Oswald Pohl, administrator of the concentration camps, testified that he had been present during the 4 October speech, did not deny a description of the speech as including statements on the extermination of the Jewish race, and also made various other statements supporting the politically correct Holocaust version.[26]

Pohl has also stated that he after his capture was tortured, subjected to other harsh interrogations methods, and forced to make false statements and sign false and self-incriminating testimonies. Many interrogators and prosecution officials were stated to have been Jews. Pohl stated that "It was obvious during the Dachau trials, and it also came out unmistakably and only poorly disguised during the Nuremberg trials, that the prosecution authorities, among whom Jews predominated, were driven by blind hatred and obvious lust for revenge. Their goal was not the search for truth but rather the annihilation of as many adversaries as possible."[27]

The 6 October 1943 speech

The 6 October speech was delivered in 1943 before a meeting of Reichsleiters and Gauleiters (NSDAP party leaders) in Posen.[5]

The speech text was discovered in 1970 in the German Bundesarchiv after recent arrival from the United States of captured National Socialist material by the historian Erich Goldhagen (father of the pro-Israel historian Daniel Goldhagen, known for the highly criticized book Hitler's Willing Executioners which claimed widespread German awareness and support for the Holocaust).

The 1974 book Heinrich Himmler: Geheimreden, 1933 bis 1945, und andere Ansprachen ("Heinrich Himmler: Secret speeches 1933-1945, and other speeches") by Bradley F. Smith and Agnes F. Peterson "revealed" to the general public these "secret speeches" by Himmler (or excerpts from them). According to the "Remarks on the Edition" these "secret speeches" (including the 6 October speech) were in the files of the "Personal Staff of the Reichsführer-SS" (Himmler) which were seized by Americans by the end of the war. They were recorded into microfilm by the U.S. and released to the German Bundesarchiv.[5]

The entire 6 October speech text was printed in the German book but only excerpts seem to have been translated into English.

Excerpt from the 6 October speech

In this connection, I may comment before this very tightly knit group on a matter which you, my Party Comrades, all take for granted, and which is the most difficult task I have ever faced in my life, the Jewish problem. All of you gladly take it for granted that there are no longer any Jews in your administrative districts. All Germans — with a few individual exceptions — are aware that we could not have endured the bombings, the hardships of the fourth year of the war, and could not endure fifth and sixth years of war that are perhaps yet to come, if we still had this demoralizing pest in our national body. "The Jews must be eradicated [ausgerottet]." This brief sentence is easily said. But for the man who must carry out what it calls for, it is the gravest and hardest thing in existence. Now, look, after all they're Jews, only Jews. That's plain enough. But just think about how many people — including Party comrades — have addressed to me and other officials those famous petitions of theirs in which they say: The Jews are all bastards, of course, but so-and-so is a good Jew and should be left alone. I daresay, judging by the number of such appeals and the number of people who express such opinions, the number of "good Jews" in Germany must have exceeded the total Jewish population! In Germany we have millions and millions of people who each have their "one good Jew." I mention this only because you can see in the vital field of your own administrative districts how many respected and upright National Socialists have their "good Jew."

I ask that you assembled here pay attention to what I have to say, but not repeat it. The question came up: Well, what about the women and children? — I came to a determinedly simple conclusion about that, too. I did not believe that I had the right to wipe out [auszurotten] the men — rather I should say, kill [umzubringen] them or have them killed — and let their children grow up to avenge themselves on our sons and grandsons. The hard decision to wipe this people [Volk] off [verschwinden] the face of the earth had to be made. For us, the organization that had to carry out this task, it was the most difficult one we ever had. But it was accomplished, and without — I believe I can say — our men and their leaders suffering any mental or spiritual damage. That was clearly a danger. To become too brutal, too heartless, and lose respect for human life, or to be too soft and bring oneself to the point of a nervous breakdown — the path between these two ever-present possibilities is incredibly narrow, the course between Scylla and Charybdis.

We have turned over to the Reich Ministry of Economics all the wealth we confiscated from the Jews — the sums were staggering — right down to very last penny. I have always maintained: We have a duty to our people, to our race, we have a duty to a leader such as has been given to our people only once in 2,000 years, not to be petty here, but to go the limit, as we must do in all things if we are to win the war. Yet we do not have the right to take even one penny of the wealth confiscated from the Jews. At the outset, I laid down the line: Any SS men who take so much as a mark of it are as good as dead. In the past few days, I've had to sign a number of death sentences — I might as well say it, there were about a dozen. One has to be strict here, or everyone will suffer. I considered it my duty to speak very openly to you — the highest bearers of the will, the highest dignitaries, of the Party, of this political order, of this political instrument of the Führer — about this matter and to give the facts as they are. By the end of the year, the Jewish problem in the lands we have occupied will be solved. There will be left only remnants, individual Jews who are in hiding. The problem of Jews who are partners in mixed marriages and the problem of half-Jews will, in accordance with this policy, be rationally examined, decided upon, and resolved.

Believe me, I've had lots of trouble with many units of the economic apparatus. I cleared out big Jewish ghettos in the area of the lines of communication. In Warsaw, we had four weeks of street-fighting in the ghetto. Four weeks! We had to clean out around 700 bunkers. The whole ghetto was making fur coats, dresses, and the like. Time was, if you tried to lay a hand on that place, you'd be told: Stop! You're interferring with the war effort. Stop! This is part of the armaments industry. — Of course, Party Comrade Speer had nothing to do with that. There is nothing you people can do about it. It is a part of the so-called armaments industry that Comrade Speer and I will be cleaning up in the forthcoming weeks and months. We will do this quite unsentimentally, as all things must be done in the fifth year of the war, without sentiment but with a stout heart for Germany.

With this I'll wind up my discussion of the Jewish problem. You now have the necessary information, and you will keep it to yourselves. At some much later date, one may consider the possibility of telling the German people a little more. I believe that it is better that we all bear this together for our people, as we have done, and take the responsibility on ourselves (the responsibility for a deed, not just for an idea) and take this secret with us to our graves.[5]

Criticisms of the politically correct interpretation of the 6 October speech

Translations and meanings of German words from this time period

See the corresponding section on the 4 October speech regarding the translation and meaning of German words such as "Ausrottung" (and derivatives such as "ausgerottet" and "auszurotten"). See also the section "to kill this people which wanted to kill us" regarding different meanings of "Volk" ("people") which is present in the sentence "The difficult decision had to be made to have this people disappear from the earth."

However, revisionists have argued that this speech text is less equivocal than the 4 October speech text.[4]

"By the end of the year, the Jewish problem in the lands we have occupied will be solved"

The 6 October speech states that Himmler believed that "By the end of the year, the Jewish problem in the lands we have occupied will be solved" which according to the politically correct interpretation of the "solution" meant that Himmler believed that almost all Jews would be killed by the end of 1943. This does not fit with the politically correct timetable regarding the killing of Jews according to which there were still many Jews left alive at the time of the speech in late 1943.[4] Revisionists have argued that "solution" to "the Jewish problem", temporary and/or permanent, referred to concentrating Jews into ghettos/camps and/or emigration/deportations. See World War II statements argued to support Holocaust revisionism.

Criticisms of the authenticity of the 6 October speech

A number of argued problem with the official versions of the two Posen speeches are argued to support that they are edited versions of the original speeches. In particular the 4 October speech which was used as evidence at the argued generally suspect Nuremberg trials has been criticized. The later "discovered" 6 October speech "fixes" some of the problems with the 4 October speech but is argued to still be problematic.[5]

Considering the similarities between the speeches, if one is not authentic, then this will cause doubts of the authenticity of the other speech (as well as the other "secret speeches" by Himmler).

The contents of a document may in some places in the document have been interpreted incorrectly and may in other places have been fabricated/edited. This could occur if the editor/fabricator used an original document as a template and made relatively minor changes when creating the new false document but with these changes creating an overall misleading impression also regarding the parts which were not edited/fabricated. The motivations for only making relatively minor changes include that it is often very difficult and risky to forge a convincing completely new document while making relatively minor changes to an already existing document is much easier and quicker.

The "capture" of the 6 October speech

How "Americans" captured the 6 October speech is unclear. It was the Soviets and not the Americans who captured Berlin and the archives there. This means that document may have passed through various hands (and possibly being edited) before ending up in an American archive and later the German Bundesarchiv.

See also the earlier section "Szajko Frydman/Zosa Szajkowsk and The Yiddish Scientific Institute of New York".

Criticisms of the alleged German editorial process

See the corresponding section on the 4 October speech.

Coherence and flow

See the corresponding section on the 4 October speech.

Confessions

See the corresponding section on the 4 October speech.

The arguments related to this are arguably stronger for the 6 October speech since the audience consisted not of SS officers but non-military political leaders such as Gauleiters who were regional party leaders.

Preservation of "secret speeches"

See the corresponding section on the 4 October speech.

The Einsatzgruppen

The Posen speeches in their argued original and not edited versions have been argued to refer to killings by the Einsatzgruppen on the Eastern front of ("Jewish") partisans, suspected collaborators, and civilians/relatives as reprisals and in order to prevent future activity, but not to deliberate genocide, and in any case there is no mention of gas killings or extermination camps.[4][28][5]

In support of this, one example is that in a somewhat later claimed "secret speech", at Weimar on 16 December 1943, Himmler stated that "Thus I have basically given the order to also kill the wives and children of these partisans, and commissars. I would be a weakling and a criminal to our descendants if I allowed the hate-filled sons of the sub-humans we have liquidated in this struggle of humanity against subhumanity to grow up. Believe me, easy though it may be to talk in the lecture hall about carrying the idea behind this order to its proper, logical conclusion, it was not so easy to give the order and is not so easy to execute it."[29][5] (Regarding the term "sub-humans" in this quote, see the Subhuman article on the term not necessarily having a racial meaning but being used by National Socialists to refer to non-racial groups such as German communists and Soviet communists.)

The book Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence stated that such remarks from "secret speeches" "must be regarded with skepticism, for they were taken from documents that are manifestly unreliable. In contrast to the Posen speeches, however, they show rather clearly that Himmler refers to the execution of Jews only in connection with the fight against partisans and other bandits operating behind the German lines on the eastern front. [...] The indiscriminate actions against women and children during anti partisan operations were undeniably inhumane and virtually indefensible in terms of international law. Because those actions could hardly be concealed, Himmler had every reason to justify them to these leaders of the Army. As every veteran of the Eastern Front knows, women and even children often took part in guerrilla warfare. If the Germans sometimes made indiscriminate reprisals, they did so to assure the safety of their fighting men and to protect their lines of communication. But these reprisals were nothing in comparison with the carpet bombing of residential areas in German cities, which Churchill ordered for the purpose of indiscriminately killing German civilians — German women and children. For that slaughter there can be no justification whatever. But the essential point about these speeches of Himmler's, so far as our inquiry is concerned, is that none of them contains any reference to "mass gassings" in "extermination camps." In none of his extant speeches does Himmler mention Auschwitz in this regard. Indeed, the second Sonthofen address suggests an alternative explanation of the fate of the Hungarian Jews who, in the spring and summer of 1944, were transported to Auschwitz and — so the story goes — "gassed": They were brought there as a labor force for the construction of underground factories. From Himmler's remarks one can deduce that the Einsatzgruppen did deal harshly with the Jews in guerrilla-infested areas, proceeding mercilessly even against women and children. But it is also a fact that the Jewish population nearly always made common cause with the guerrillas. The operations of the Einsatzgruppen were a reaction to the insidious and illegal methods of warfare employed by a dastardly and vicious foe, and they can hardly be classified as "genocide." One recalls that Himmler himself, in a memorandum he sent to Hitler early in the war, called the idea of physically exterminating a people "un-Germanic and impossible"."[5]

Himmler was interviewed on 20 April 1945 by Norbert Masur, a representative of the World Jewish Congress. Himmler rejected the genocide allegation. However, he also stated that "The war at the eastern front made the most difficult demands on our soldiers. A terrible climate, never ending distances, an enemy population, and constantly appearing partisans. Only by being harsh could the troops prevail. Because of this, they were forced to destroy whole villages, if there was resistance and shooting from such a village."[30] This can be seen as an indirect admission of having ordered the killing of women and children in connection with certain anti-partisan operations, but at the same time rejecting the genocide allegation.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ended on 16 May 1943. It had involved a month of fighting by both Jewish men and women and the conquest of the ghetto and an extensive bunker system by fire and explosives which also killed women and children. Unlike the secret alleged genocide of Jews, the uprising was mentioned by German media and therefore likely known to the audiences of the Posen speeches, even to regional political party leaders. As such no extensive background information was needed in the "secret speeches" (and unlike if a secret genocide was revealed). Himmler had been involved in suppressing the uprising and it is mentioned several times in the "secret speeches". Therefore, a possibility is that the women/children Himmler speaks of (or some them) are those killed in connection with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Thus, in a speech at Sonthofen on 21 June 1944, Himmler spoke of the uprising and of having ordered women/children to be killed in order to prevent revenge in the future, the same motivation as stated in the 6 October 1943, speech, but now clearly only referring to the uprising rather than to Jews in general. Notably is also that Himmler explained the dissolution of the ghettos not as due to being part of a racial extermination of Jews but as due to "As isolated as they may have been, the ghettos were the centers of all partisans – and of all bandit movements." (Revisionists have argued that non-revisionists often have cited a very misleading English "translation" of this speech with problems such as omitting this passage.)[5][10]

Differentiating between killing men and killing women/children

The speech text states "I ask that you assembled here pay attention to what I have to say, but not repeat it. The question came up: Well, what about the women and children? — I came to a determinedly simple conclusion about that, too. I did not believe that I had the right to wipe out the men — rather I should say, kill them or have them killed — and let their children grow up to avenge themselves on our sons and grandsons."

Himmler had already in the previous paragraph stated that the Jews must be "ausgerottet" (verb form of "Ausrottung") which non-revisionists interpret as must be exterminated (see earlier discussions on "Ausrottung"), so allegedly the audience had already been informed of a genocide of all Jews regardless of sex and age. This arguably makes is strange to afterwards differentiate between killing men and killing women/children, and requesting silence regarding this. Also, revenge by grown up children for killing the men is not one the usual claimed motivations for the Holocaust.

One explanation is that Himmler in a preceding section (deleted in the edited version) spoke of killing partisans (then legal under international law, thus no need for secrecy) and then in the quoted section spoke of killing their relatives (illegal, except possibly in some cases at this time as reprisals, but Himmler was not arguing this, thus a need for secrecy).

See also the "Einsatzgruppen" section on Himmler in other speeches making statements on killing women/children in association with anti-partisan killings and justifying this with the children otherwise growing up and taking revenge.

"lose respect for human life"

The speech text states "But it was accomplished, and without — I believe I can say — our men and their leaders suffering any mental or spiritual damage. That was clearly a danger. To become too brutal, too heartless, and lose respect for human life, or to be too soft and bring oneself to the point of a nervous breakdown — the path between these two ever-present possibilities is incredibly narrow, the course between Scylla and Charybdis."[5] Which is arguably a strange statement regarding mass killings.

Critical parts retyped

David Irving testified at Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials in 1988 that ""In October, 1943, Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS, delivered two speeches, one to the SS generals and one to the Gauleiters - the Nazi party district chiefs, the governors of the districts." Irving had examined the transcripts of the speech and other archival materials [...] I arrived at the very strange discovery when I looked at the transcript of both those speeches that those two pages had been retyped at some other date. I can't say whether it was retyped before or after the bulk of the speech, but they had been typed by a different secretary on a different typewriter using different carbon paper. Obviously you only discover this if you look at the original documents which the average historian is not patient enough to do. They had been retyped and they had been repaginated in pencil at that point and I have to say to preempt your question, I have no explanation why. It just raises the fact that a document -- if a document has been retyped at a key point, then I hold that document to be suspect."[1]

On the 6 October speech Irving also testified that "Himmler saying: "The hard decision had to be taken to make this race disappear from earth." [...] the remarkable fact that precisely at this point the typescript changes, a page appears to have been inserted by a different typist, the numeration of the pages changes from a typewritten page number at the top to a pencilled page number at the top, and there are various other indications about that speech that make me queasy. [...] Irving pointed out that what was contained in these pages "changes very much the essence of the speech, depending on whether it is an authentic transcript of the speech or whether that has been tampered with for some reason...I don't think we need to know the motives of people tampering with speeches. It is sufficient for historians to look at a document and say 'This document has been tampered with'; for him then to say, 'In that case, I must set it aside.' [...] at that point in the script, the page relating that very damaging and incriminating sentence has quite clearly been retyped by a different typist on a different typewriter using different carbon paper, and that page has been numbered by pencil and inserted at that point [...] he doesn't make this statement anywhere else when he's delivering almost identical speeches to...similar audiences [...] this isn't just any page...I suppose it is probably the most important page of the most important speech in the whole of the Holocaust history, and this page, of all pages, when we look at it, turned out to have been tampered with."[1]

The revisionist Jürgen Graf has written that "There are no original texts of the speeches. Himmler is allegedly supposed to have had the text of these (and other) speeches written down later with a typewriter -- for whom? For posterity? To ensure that posterity would finally possess unequivocal proof of a Holocaust? As noted by the British historian David Irving, the critical passages, i.e., the passages which "prove the Holocaust", were inserted later, as may be seen from the different indentations on the pages concerned (25)."[31]

Furthermore, Irving has testified that critical pages have been retyped in later speeches by Himmler (5 May 1944 and 24 May 1944 speeches). In the Irving v. Lipstadt trial Irving's theory regarding the motivation for the retyping (Himmler concealing the Holocaust from Hitler) was criticized. However, the retyping itself was not denied.[1][32][33]

Thus, four speeches are stated to all have the critical parts "retyped":

  • The 4 October 1943 speech at Posen
  • The 6 October 1943 speech at Posen
  • The 5 May 1944 speech at Sonthofen
  • The 21 May 1944 speech at Sonthofen

These speeches are considered to be among the most important evidence for the Holocaust (or to be the most important evidence). In contrast, the 16 December 1943 speech at Weimar and the 21 June 1944 speech at Sonthofen are not among these "retyped" speeches. All of these speeches have a number of similarities regarding the statements on Jews and on partisans. However, in the not "retyped" speeches it is clear that Himmler is speaking about killing partisans/partisan relatives and is not speaking about killing Jews in general (see the sections "The Einsatzgruppen" and "The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising").

Comments by argued audience members on the 6 October speech

Several argued audience members are stated to have made comments the 6 October speech or an unspecified speech which is presumably the 6 October speech. Except for the entry in Goebbels's diary, they are dated some considerable time after the speeches and only after Germany had lost the war. See Holocaust testimonial evidence regarding various general problems with witness statements and confessions.

Joseph Goebbels

Goebbels’s diary stated on 7 October 1943: "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."[34]

Again, the politically correct timetable of Holocaust killings has been argued to be inconsistent with Himmler (and Goebbels) using "solve" as a code word for killing and therefore believing that almost all Jews would be killed by the end of 1943.[34] Revisionists have argued that "solution" to "the Jewish problem", temporary and/or permanent, referred to concentrating Jews into ghettos/camps and/or emigration/deportations. See World War II statements argued to support Holocaust revisionism.

Furthermore, the diary entry indicates some form of radicalization of the policy on the Jews. This is inconsistent with "the final solution of the Jewish question" being a genocide that had already been definitely decided on and started in 1941-42. Goebbels as one of the absolutely top National Socialists (and who at this time has been argued to have been virtually running the country while Hitler was running the war) would have been aware of the alleged genocide decision long before the Posen speeches and would not have commented on this as a new policy in his diary. Instead, the general context has been argued to be that "while Hitler previously “held the view that the solution of the Jewish problem in countries other than in Germany would have to be postponed until after the end of the war, this now no longer holds good and the Führer has issued categorical instructions to the effect that the question must be settled immediately,” that is to say that he took the decision “to remove all Jews from Europe still during the war.”"[10][35]

Goebbels's diary also has a similar entry on the necessity of "a final solution of the Jewish Question" and which later generations would not be able to do. However, this entry unambiguously refers to deportations and not killings. Thus, on 7 March 1942, the diary stated that "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."[34]

Siegfried Engel and Kurt Utke

The British Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC) has been admitted to have been running torture centers for German WWII prisoners.[36][37][38] The CSDIC also secretly bugged German prisoners and recorded their private conversations and small talk. Claimed transcripts of such conversations has been released. Even assuming that the transcripts are authentic they may be problematic in other ways such as people in small talk tending to exaggerate their own importance and using dubious claims to support their own arguments. Also, "The British are in turn coy about their means of extracting this material. One transcript carries the note: 'If the information in this report is required for further distribution, prisoners' names should not be mentioned and the text paraphrased as to give no indication of the methods by which it was obtained.'"[39]

One such transcript of secretly recorded small talk between prisoners involved Admiral Siegfried Engel and Vice-Admiral Kurt Utke. Engel apparently believed the false stories circulating which claimed that Germany had run extermination camps in Germany itself (such as Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald, now admitted also by non-revisionist historian to not have been extermination camps). Regarding the Posen speeches, on "22 April 1945, Vice-Admiral Utke asks Commander of the Reich's North Sea fleet, Admiral Engel: 'Do you believe these stories about the camps?' 'Yes of course!' replies Engel. 'I've known myself for a long time it was like that. We were at Posen when that man told us how he killed the Jews. I can well remember how he said: "When I'm asked did you kill children as well? I can only reply I am not such a coward that I leave to my children a job which I can do myself".' Engel concludes: 'Belsen and Buchenwald were no surprise to me.' Utke says: 'They are to me.'"[39]

This may refer to the 6 October speech and the statements there regarding children by Himmler. But there were other speeches by Himmler at Posen (such as a speech on 26 January 1944 to higher military officers) and it is unclear if "that man" is Himmler.[40] The Posen speeches had not been "discovered" and gained their notoriety at this time so a reference to an unspecified speech at Posen would not automatically have been understood as referring to the 4 October or the 6 October speeches or even to a speech by Himmler.

Also, Himmler did not state he killed children himself according to the speech text of the 6 October speech.

Furthermore, Engel stated that "We were at Posen". If this included Utke, then Admiral Engel and Vice-Admiral Utke were not SS officers or political leaders (the audiences of the Posen speeches) and had no reason for attending. Utke apparently did not remember having heard a genocide confession.

If "We were a Posen" instead referred to a group that did not include Utke, then Engel would still not have had a reason for attending the 5 October or the 6 October speeches. He may have been retelling some rumor he had heard about a speech in Posen but restating it as he himself had attended the speech in order to increase the credibility of his argument and his own importance.

Alternatively, the Admiral may have been thinking of a speech Himmler gave at Weimar on 16 December 1943 to naval commanders. However, in this speech Himmler spoke not of killing all Jewish women and children but stated "I made it a point to give the order to kill the women and children of these partisans and commissars."[5]

Baldur von Schirach

The leader of the Hitler Youth (and thus having a leading role in teaching National Socialism) and later Gauleiter and governor of Vienna Baldur von Schirach at the Nuremberg trials (like Albert Speer) expressed support for the politically correct Holocaust version while at the same time denying personal knowledge (and being present during the Posen speeches) and managed to avoid the death penalty. After being released from prison in 1966 he published his politically correct memoirs in 1967, presenting himself as having been deceived by Hitler and claiming that he now considered it his duty to destroy any belief in National Socialism.

The book stated that he was present during the 6 October speech and claimed "that everyone was so depressed after Himmler's speech that "when Bormann offered us a snack after the end of the speech, we sat wordlessly, avoiding each other's eyes.""[41] (The audience being shocked is in itself not evidence for a genocide revelation but could also occur if, for example, Himmler revealed that he had ordered the illegal killing of relatives of partisans.)

As the book was published in 1967, it does not comment on the speech text discovered in 1970.

Albert Speer

The Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer managed to avoid the death penalty at the Nuremberg Trials by expressing support for the politically correct Holocaust version while at the same time denying personal knowledge. He to his death in 1981 publicly denied having been present during the Posen speeches.

However, in 2007 an alleged letter by Speer surfaced. The letter was stated to be part of a collection of 100 between Speer and Mrs Jeanty, an author, written between 1971 and 1981. The collection was to soon be auctioned (and with the publicity likely increasing the price). The letter is dated December 23, 1971.[42]

Speer states in the letter that he was upset by "some news" which likely refers to the 1970 "discovery" of the 6 October Posen speech text and arguments that it implicated him as being present. "The news which so upset Speer was Erich Goldhaven's article 'Albert Speer, Himmler and the Final Solution', published in Midstream that October. Speer was later to tell Gitta Sereny that for these two days he really thought he had gone out of his mind (see Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, 1995, pp.389-96, for a full discussion of this episode and the Posen claims). Speer subsequently maintained that, although he had been present at the beginning of the conference, he had left for a meeting with Hitler before Himmler made his speech."[43]

In the letter "Speer tells Jeanty that this is going to be a very difficult letter, one of the most serious of his life. After assuring her that he has just read with enormous emotion her La Peine de Vivre, and that during the days he was reading it she continued to speak to him, and that their two days together were so good for him that he felt better, stronger and calmer, he then tells her that he received some news just before her departure that upset him deeply. For some time he held out hopes that this news would not be true. He asked the Federal Archives in Koblenz to check it for him. But there can be no doubt: he was present when Hitler announced on 6 October 1943 that all Jews would be killed. He immediately asked his lawyer to pass on this news to the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes at Ludwigsburg. The director assured him that this was included in his twenty years [sentence at Spandau]. Now he is more upset than ever because she has been fraternising with someone who in truth is only an impostor. Who will now believe him? Does he stand accused of suppressing the truth that would have been easier to put in his book [Inside the Third Reich], as Baldur von Schirach had? But, between the lines, his book does indeed contain the truth throughout; and he wonders for how many years this has been working away in his subconscious."[43]

Thus, Speer acknowledges the new evidence of him being present but it is unclear if he himself actually remembers being present. If he does remember something, is seems to be in the form of a supposedly "resurfaced" memory of something previously in his subconscious which is a very unreliable memory claim. Also, the description of the speech is strange: "when Hitler announced on 6 October 1943 that all Jews would be killed". Even if ignoring that the speaker was Himmler and not Hitler, the speech did not mark the start of a policy of killing all Jews in the future (according to the politically correct timetable that decision had been made and started to be implemented in 1941-42). Furthermore, the letter contains no admission by Speer to the effect that he actually remembered the specific contents of the speech or if he did what these contents were since the description of the speech may refer to the politically correct view on the speech and which Speer stated in the letter in order to explain to Jeanty why he was so upset with the news and why he had immediately contacted his lawyer regarding the legal implications of new evidence of him being present during the speech.

Karl Wahl and Rudolf Jordan

The book Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence (1979) stated that "When I asked two former Gauleiter, Karl Wahl and Rudolf Jordan, whether they had ever heard something from Himmler, directly or in directly, about "this type of solution to the Jewish Question" (as I put it to Wahl) or something about the "mass murder of the Jewish people" (as I put it to Jordan), neither of them could recall anything." And neither of them could remember specific details of the meeting at Posen on October 6, 1943. Gauleiter Wahl believes it is possible that he missed the conference because of illness. He told me: "In 17 long years" — that is how long Wahl served as Gauleiter — "I never heard him say anything that was not humane or moral... I cannot conceive of Himmler's being so stupid as to make any such remarks, or, if he did, which I do not believe, to preserve them so that these literary shysters could publish them 30 years later.""[5]

"Gauleiter Jordan told me that during the war he heard "some executions took place in connection with tactical problems of combating guerrilla warfare," but these had nothing to do with the so-called Final Solution; they were "necessary wartime measures.""[5]

"Even if Wahl and Jordan did not attend the meeting at which Himmler delivered this talk, they no doubt would have heard, in some way or other, of his remarks on the "Jewish problem" had he actually made them. Their statements on this subject are therefore very pertinent. In my estimation, they are satisfactory proof that Himmler did not express the notions attributed to him in the present version of the speech of October 6, 1943. It would be a cheap shot to impugn the veracity of these two contemporary witnesses because of their former rank in the NSDAP — particularly since Himmler, as I already pointed out, would have had no reason to discuss the "Final Solution" with outsiders like Wahl and Jordan."[5]

1995 article

A 1995 article with extracts from a new book on Speer stated that "My research into all the circumstances concerning Speer and the events and consequences of Himmler's speech at Posen in October 1943 [in which Himmler spelt out the policy of the genocide of the Jews and for which Speer claimed not to have been present] was greatly complicated by the fact that no one still alive who had attended Himmler's speech was willing to admit to their presence there that day. In their refusal to confront that memory, they were, of course, not unlike Speer. The difference between him and almost all of them, however, was that they denied not only hearing this dreadful speech and all personal knowledge of these murders, but any suggestion that Hitler had committed any wrong - except the one of losing the war."[44]

That no one was willing to admit that "Hitler had committed any wrong" is surprising if the speech had in fact confessed a genocide.

German resistance

If a genocide had been made known to so many people, then the internal German resistance to National Socialist Germany would most likely have learned of it, but Holocaust revisionists have argued that there is no evidence that the German resistance, including the important part of it that had infiltrated the German military intelligence (such as its head Wilhelm Canaris), was in any way aware of a program of exterminating Jews and no such information was passed on to the Allies despite contacts.[45]

Other "secret speeches"

Besides the 4 October speech and the 6 October speech, non-revisionists also sometimes cite as evidence for the politically correct view on the Holocaust excerpts from some other "secret speeches" by Himmler such as those published in the above mentioned 1974 book on "secret speeches".[5]

Revisionists views on these excerpts are discussed in the section on the 6 October speech. See in particular the "Critical parts retyped" section.

Other allegations on Himmler and the Holocaust

See Heinrich Himmler: Himmler and the Holocaust

External links

Discussion threads

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Chapter "David Irving" in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' Report of the Evidence in the Canadian 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Available online at Institute for Historical Review: http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/35irving.html
  2. Captured German Sound Recordings http://www.archives.gov/research/captured-german-records/sound-recordings.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 Heinrich Himmler's "Posen Speech" translated by Carlos Porter http://codoh.com/library/document/891/
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 Wilhelm Stäglich. Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence: Chapter Two: Contemporaneous Documents: Speeches and Other Public Statements by Political Leaders of the Third Reich: Heinrich Himmler http://codoh.com/library/document/230/
  6. Speech of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler at Posen 4 October 1943. The Website of Carlos Whitlock Porter. http://www.cwporter.com/posen.htm
  7. The program of the NSDAP http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/1708-ps.asp
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Speech of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler at Posen 4 October 1943. http://www.cwporter.com/posen.htm
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 The Improbable and the Impossible in Himmler's Posen Speech http://national-socialist-worldview.blogspot.fr/2009/04/i-first-heard-recording-of-himmlers.html
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues: The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers; 2nd edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=28
  11. Carlos Porter. LETTER 25, On the Einsatzgruppen Reports, etc. http://www.cwporter.com/letter25.htm
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Arthur R. Butz. The Hoax of the Twentieth Century—The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry. 4th, corrected and expanded edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=7
  13. Index to documents relating to Dr Robert Kempner http://www.fpp.co.uk/Germany/Kempner/index.html
  14. Lisa Leff. The Book Thief: How Stolen Nazi Documents Made Their Way to American Jewish Archives. April 17, 2013. Tablet. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/129210/the-book-thief
  15. Manufacturing 'historical facts' http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=115
  16. Documentary Evidence- http://revblog.codoh.com/2009/05/documentary-evidence/
  17. Graphic files of Document L-3 http://www.cwporter.com/gl3.htm
  18. Translation of Document L-3 http://www.cwporter.com/transl3.htm
  19. Page 531-2 in "TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW". VOLUME XIV. "The Ministries Case"
  20. Page 538 in "TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW". VOLUME XIV. "The Ministries Case"
  21. Page 539 in "TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW". VOLUME XIV. "The Ministries Case"
  22. 22.0 22.1 Page 927-8. in "TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW". VOLUME V.
  23. "Affidavit concerning Himmler's speech on the extermination of the Jews (Posen, 4 Oct 1943), the secrecy of the program, and opposition to the program among Waffen SS leaders." http://nuremberg.law.harvard.edu/php/search.php?DI=1&FieldFlag=1&PAuthors=1533
  24. Page 270, 274 in "TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW". VOLUME IV. "The Einsatzgruppen Case"
  25. Page 762 in "TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW". VOLUME V.
  26. Pages 664-67, 675 in "TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS BEFORE THE NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNALS UNDER CONTROL COUNCIL LAW". VOLUME V. "The Ministries Case"
  27. The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p167_Weberb.html
  28. Paul Grubach. Himmler's Posen speech of 1943. http://fpp.co.uk/Letters/Auschwitz/Grubach_200707.html
  29. Smith, Peterson: Heinrich Himmler Geheimreden, Speech index, p. 201.
  30. Contemporaries who denied what is now called 'THE Holocaust' https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2856#p101060
  31. "25) David Irving, Hitler's Krieg, F.A. Herbig, 1986, p. 252." Jürgen Graf. Holocaust or Hoax? http://www.vho.org/GB/Books/hoh/chap8.html
  32. David Irving. Hitler’s War and The War Path. Website download edition. Version: Last updated Friday, April 13, 2001.
  33. Irving v. Lipstadt. Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 6: Electronic Edition http://hdot.org/en/trial/transcripts/day06/pages96-100.html
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Thomas Dalton. Goebbels on the Jews, Part 2. Inconvenient History. http://inconvenienthistory.com/archive/2010/volume_2/number_2/goebbels_on_the_jews_2.php
  35. Thomas Dalton. Goebbels on the Jews, Part 1. Inconvenient History Goebbels on the Jews, Part 1. http://inconvenienthistory.com/archive/2010/volume_2/number_1/goebbels_on_the_jews.php
  36. The interrogation camp that turned prisoners into living skeletons http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/dec/17/secondworldwar.topstories3
  37. How Britain tortured Nazi PoWs: The horrifying interrogation methods that belie our proud boast that we fought a clean war http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2223831/How-Britain-tortured-Nazi-PoWs-The-horrifying-interrogation-methods-belie-proud-boast-fought-clean-war.html
  38. British Torture: What Does it Mean for Revisionism? http://barnesreview.org/wp/archives/633
  39. 39.0 39.1 Jail small talk reveals Holocaust guilt http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/may/20/humanities.research
  40. C. S. D. I. C. G.R.G.G.311 http://www.fpp.co.uk/Himmler/interrogations/CSDIC/GRGG311.html
  41. With Hitler on his conscience. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/with-hitler-on-his-conscience-1599234.html
  42. Letter proves Speer knew of Holocaust plan http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/mar/13/secondworldwar.kateconnolly
  43. 43.0 43.1 Bonhams. ALBERT SPEER CORRESPODENCE Lot 621 SPEER (ALBERT) https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/15230/lot/621/
  44. SPEER'S BATTLE WITH TRUTH http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/speers-battle-with-truth-1600342.html
  45. Arthur R. Butz. The Hoax of the Twentieth Century—The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry. 4th, corrected and expanded edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=7
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