Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Enigma of the 'Höfle Telegram'
In 2001, Steve Tyas wrote about the 'Höfle telegram' he had discovered, in the Public Record Office archives released in the mid-1990s, after fifty years of secrecy. Entitled, 'A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during "Einsatz Reinhardt" 1942' it appeared in Holocaust and Genocide studies. His article kept mantrically repeating the words 'extermination,' 'murder' 'death' as if wishing to ignore the simple meaning of that decrypt-message. The only possible basis for interpreting this terse message I suggest is in relation to the Korherr Report: both use the same date 31.12.42 for their statistics and both have the same big total 1 274 166 &endash; as Jews who had been moved Eastward (or exterminated, according to your theoretical bias) by that date.
The brief message was:
Einsatz REINHARDT. SS und Pol.fuehrer LUBLIN sends the Befehlshaber der Sipo KRAKAU a report on Einsatz REINHARDT for the 14 days up to 31.1.42. Increase to 31.12.42: L12761, B 0, Ss515, T 10335, altogether 23611. Totals on 31.12.42: L24735, B 434508, S 101370, T 71355: altogether 1274166.
David Irving has averred that this telegram has a "keystone importance in the architecture of the entire revisionist debate," being " a pivotal document in the history of where the real Holocaust operations were taking place." Wow! But he has been rather brief in explaining how he reached such a conclusion.
Both the Korherr Report and the Hofle Telegram used language of movement: arrival and increases, deportation and evacuation. One requires a 'dictionary from Hell' to transcribe that into the language of mass murder.
The 'Korherr Report' was a statistical review of how Jews were moving around Europe, compiled by the 3rd Reich statistician Robert Korherr. Its figures covered the year 1942, and finished on 31st December of that year. The 5th section of his Report is about the transit camps, so-called 'Aktion Reinhardt,' while the 7th section is about the labour-concentration camps. (view it online at 'holocaustcontroversies'.) The latter were residential, the former were not, or only for extremely brief periods. So the Reich statisticians counted the number of persons (under the main headings of Russians, Poles and Jews) dwelling in the latter camps, whereas they did not for the former, that would not have made sense.
Section 5: 'THE EVACUATION OF THE JEWS ... All evacuations on the territory of the Reich and including the eastern territories from October 1939 or later until 31.12.1942 resulted in the following numbers:"
4. Transportation of Jews from the eastern provinces to the Russian East: 1 449 692 "
The following numbers were sifted through the camps in the General Government 1 274 166 Jews
through the camps in the Warthegau... .. 145 301 Jews
No breakdown was given for that number of Jews 'sifted through the camps in the General Government' &endash; which the telegram sent by Höfle (early in January 1943) did.
The four letters of Höfle Telegram supposedly allude to three Action Reinhard camps (Sobibor, Belzec and Treblinka) plus one labour-camp Majdanek. They will add up if one adds an extra order of magnitude to the Treblinka total &endash; and that means you accept something like five thousand arrivals per day to this rather small camp, over a six-month period. (It's agreed that the Treblinka camp only got going in midsummer 1942) There were twenty to thirty German guards running the camp, plus a hundred Ukrainians &endash; who were not over-friendly towards Germans.
I am somewhat hesitant about adding in that extras order of magnitude, to get the numbers to 'add up' &endash; partly because the Korherr Report obtained its large total without including the Majdanek labour-camp (at Lublin, and here alluded to as 'L') That was counted in Korherr's section 7, about the German concentration or labour-camps, and he has twenty-six thousand arrivals ('internments') coming to Majdanek &endash; whereas Höfle Telegram gives twenty-four thousand as arriving at Majdanek. So there is a bit of a logistical problem about what the Höfle Telegram was adding up, which doesn't look quite the same as what Korherr was adding up, to get the same 1.2 million figure.
But, to those who do want to (a) put in that extra order of magnitude, and (b) claim it alludes to mass-murder &endash; which Steve Tyas did, and Irving seems to be following, I suggest the following: the more huge the number you want to have arriving at Treblinka, with so small a staff looking after them &endash; the harder it is to conceive that the Nazis were doing anything unpleasant to them. Even just frisking the deported Jews of jewellery etc becomes hard to imagine.
The Revisionist view is merely that, on that Eastern border of what was then Poland the railway gauge changed, and the 'Aktion Reinhardt' camps were around that boundary. While changing trains they came to Treblinka to be cleaned up and deloused &endash; that's all.
If you still want to believe in seven or eight hundred thousand Jews arriving and being exterminated, let me remind you of the five 'nots.' There is not any known reason why Nazis would have wanted to exterminate Jews &endash; au contraire they were regarded as valuable industrial workers, according to the British intelligence decrypts. There is not a single dead body or remains found at Treblinka, with any sign of some extermination procedure. The odd Jew was shot while trying to escape, that's all you'll ever get from the historical record. There is not any degree of consensus as to what was the means of extermination allegedly used at Treblinka: steam? Diesel exhaust? Do me a favour... There are not any Nazi documents located showing any intention to exterminate, au contraire the documents such as those we're here looking at emphasise 'evacuation,' transport etc. There are not any photographs of an alleged extermination procedure.
As evidence for an exterminationist meaning to the Höfle Telegram, Irving cited : "In July 1942 Höfle made all his men engaged in Reinhardt sign a confidentiality document under pain of death, about precisely what it was they were doing. I have it here. " Translating that document (with kind permission from Mr Irving):
1. I know, and have today been cautioned, that I will be punished with the death penalty if I misappropriate Jewish property of any kind.
2. I must maintain absolute secrecy about all the required measures to be carried out during the evacuation of Jews, even with my comrades.
3. I undertake to apply myself with all my ability and strength to the rapid and smooth implementation of these measures. Signed:
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That is a statement about properly looking after Jews while they were being 'evacuated.' The second part prevents gossip about so-and-so who has some expensive jewellery. I suggest there is no hidden, fiendish meaning in this text.
It might be time to face the simple fact, that the 'Endlosung der Judenfrage' ie the goal or end-solution to the Jewish question (possibly not the 'final solution') was designed to be what the German documents say it was, an export/or evacuation program. It may have gone horribly wrong &endash; but, that's a different matter.
(signed) N Kastro