Dr Joseph Goebbels
David Irving referred to the Bruns eye-witness account in his bioigraphy of the nazi propaganda minister, Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich. Notes are renumbered and in second panel.
IT was during these same weeks that he dictated his tract entitled 'The Jews are to Blame.'1 He ordered it given the widest circulation on the eastern front.2
It appeared in Das Reich on November 16, 1941. A few excerpts suffice to illustrate its pernicious thrust. 'The Jews wanted this war,' he argued, 'and now they have it.' They were getting their just desserts. An eye for an eye. All Jews alike, whether languishing in an eastern ghetto or trumpeting for war from New York, were conspiring against Germany. The Yellow Star, he argued, was akin to a 'hygienic prophylactic,' because the most dangerous were those otherwise not recognizable as Jews. To those who might bleat that the Jews were humans too he pointed out that the same could be said of muggers, rapists, and pimps. 'Suddenly one has the impression that all of Berlin's Jews are either darling little babies who wouldn't hurt a fly, or fragile old ladies.' 'Were we to lose this war,' he continued, 'these oh-so harmless Jewish worthies would suddenly turn into rapacious wolves That's what happened in Bessarabia and the Baltic states after the bolsheviks marched in, and neither the people nor the governments there had had the slightest sympathy for them. For us, in our fight against the Jews, there is no going back.'
The article displayed a far more uncompromising face than Hitler's towards the Jews. When Hitler came to Berlin for Ernst Udet's funeral he again instructed Goebbels to pursue a policy against the Jews 'that does not cause us endless difficulties,' and told him to go easy on mixed-marriages in future.3
Dieter Wisliceny, one of Eichmann's closest associates, would describe this Goebbels article as a watershed in the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem.4 The S.S. took it as a sign from above. Adolf Eichmann would write in his unpublished memoirs, 'It's quite possible that I gave orders to direct this or that railroad transport to Riga.'5 On the last day of November, on the orders of the local S.S. commander Friedrich Jeckeln, four thousand of Riga's unwanted Jews were trucked five miles down the Dvinsk highway to Skiatowa, plundered, and machine-gunned into two or three pits.6 According to one army colonel who witnessed it, a trainload of Jews from Berlin - those expelled three days before - arrived in the midst of this Aktion; its passengers were taken straight out to the pits and shot.7 This happened even as Hitler, hundreds of miles away in the Wolf's Lair, was instructing Himmler that these Berlin Jews were not to be liquidated.8
© Focal Point Publications 1998 and Parforce (UK) Ltd 1996
© Focal Point 1998 write to David Irving