From PRO file WO.208/4211, a British Military Intelligence file
EXTRACT FROM: 6824 DIC (MIS) /X-P7
[Conversation between British Army Officer and Franz von Papen]
Dated 2 June 1945.
(Re: Concentration Camps)
B.A.O.: Who, in your opinion, opened up those concentration camps?
VON PAPEN: Well, we knew that there was a large camp in DACHAU, but BUCHENWALD and BELSEN, those names I learned only three weeks ago, here. I never received an invitation to visit those camps.
B.A.O.: And who was in charge of those camps?
VON PAPEN: The SS, HIMMLER. I knew of a camp in ORANIENBURG and MECKLENBURG for women but that such atrocities occurred there, one never knew. The only thing discussed among the generals and the people was the massacre of Jews in POLAND. So that did seep through.
You are entirely justified in punishing those atrocities as severely as you can -- those murderers must be eliminated. But, "Total War" has assumed such proportions that, if given proper appraisal, the slate has been swept clean and a settlement been effected after you have slain 300,000 men and children in one single day in DRESDEN. That, too, is an atrocity from a human point of view. For it was well known that DRESDEN was filled with all those refugees. It has a different name and colour from the cruelty in those camps but, essentially it is a degeneration arising out of warfare, as it should not be waged.
Therefore, I say to myself: The accounts have really been settled. You have annihilated the German people lock, stock, and barrel, and you have swept its history from the face of the earth for a thousand years to come.
© Focal Point 2003 write to David Irving