web analytics
July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



70 Years Ago This Week: Turning Point Of The Holocaust

Front-Page-012012

Barely five weeks after the Wehrmacht’s onslaught against Russia, Reich Marshal Hermann Goering issued the following directive on July 31, 1941 to Chief of Gestapo Reinhard Heydrich:

I hereby commission you to carry out all necessary preparations with regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a total solution of the Jewish question in those territories of Europe which are under German influence…. I furthermore charge you to submit to me as soon as possible a draft showing the…measures taken for the execution of the desired final solution of the Jewish question.

The terms “total solution” and “final solution of the Jewish question,” as found in the above quote, entered the Nazi vocabulary after the German invasion of Poland. Already on September 21, 1939, three days after Poland’s collapse, Heydrich informed the heads of the Wehrmacht of his initial plans for “the final solution.” The first step would be to concentrate all Jews into main cities, making them easily accessible for transfer, deportation and possible liquidation. Until details of the “housecleaning” plan would be worked out, “the final solution” must be kept “strictly secret,” he warned.

Much of this information became known from the meticulously kept journal of the governor general of Poland under German rule, Hans Frank, which showed up at the Nuremberg trials. Barely a year after the conquest of Poland, on October 7, 1940, Frank summed up the success of his first year’s effort to a Nazi assembly: “My dear comrades,” he perorated, “I could not eliminate all lice and Jews in only one year. But in the course of time, and if you help me, this end will be attained.”

A year later, Frank closed a cabinet session stating: “As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you quite frankly that they must be done away with in one way or another…. Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid yourselves of all feelings of pity. We must annihilate the Jews.”

By the time Goering’s directive to Heydrich was issued, hundreds of thousands of Jews had been massacred by S.S. gangs and specially organized Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) that followed in the wake of the Wehrmacht’s invasion of Russia.

Hitler’s obsession with “the annihilation of the Jewish race throughout Europe” – a quote from his speech to the Reichstag on January 30, 1939, which he repeated five times, verbatim, in subsequent utterances – and his “disgust with the Jewish vermin” – from his book Mein Kampf – is well documented. To date, however, no written record has been discovered linking Hitler directly to the process of Jewish annihilation.

Nevertheless, at the Nuremberg trials the chief of the Reich Chancellery, Hans Lammers, testified: “I knew that a Fuehrer order was transmitted by Goering to Heydrich…. This order was called ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Problem.’ ”

Similarly, at his trial in Jerusalem, Adolf Eichmann, the director of Heydrich’s Jewish Office, testified that after receiving Goering’s orders Heydrich invited him for consultation during which he said: “The Fuehrer has ordered the physical extermination of the Jews.”

The journalist and author William Shirer also mentioned that in high Nazi circles the “Fuehrer’s Order on the Final Solution,” though not spelled out in writing, was well known. The term “Final Solution” carried only one explicit meaning: the annihilation of the Jews, and it was to this that Goering addressed himself in his July 1941 directive to Heydrich.

On the basis of Goering’s directive, Heydrich perfected a plan he was ready to present to the heads of national departments whose cooperation he deemed essential for the attainment of the ultimate goal. He convened a conference at Wannsee, a quaint suburb of Berlin, on January 20, 1942. Fifteen heads of departments attended for the purpose of agreeing on the proper methods to liquidate European Jewry in the most efficient manner possible.

Eichmann wrote up the report of the conference. It was clear to all those attending that the issue to be discussed was not whether Jews should be murdered but how to proceed with the task. According to Eichmann, to avoid any possible ambiguity, Heydrich announced in his opening remarks that the official policy of the German government regarding the Jews would now be their total annihilation and that he was delegated to accomplish that task.

At the time Goering issued his July 1941 directive, and by the time Heydrich called the Wannsee Conference several months later, the elimination of the Jews was already a regular daily occurrence – through starvation, disease, dislocation, concentration in ghettos, execution for non-compliance with Nazi rules (such as smuggling food, leaving the ghetto during curfew hours, moving without the yellow star), as well as being worked to death and cold-bloodedly machine gunned by the efficient Einsatzgruppen.

For example, barely ten days into the war in Poland, on September 10, 1939, Chief of Staff General Franz Halder noted in his diary that fifty Jews who worked all day on repairing a damaged bridge were herded into a synagogue at the end of their working day by a group of S.S. and massacred.

About the Author: Dr. Ervin Birnbaum is founder and director of Shearim Netanya, the first outreach program to Russian immigrants in Israel. He has taught at City University of New York, Haifa University and the University of Moscow; served as national superintendent of education of Youth Aliyah and as the first national superintendent of education for the Institute of Jewish Studies; and, at the request of David Ben-Gurion, founded and directed the English Language College Preparatory School at Midreshet Sde Boker.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “70 Years Ago This Week: Turning Point Of The Holocaust”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Newly completed control tower at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. June 2, 2014
US and European Flights to Israel Cancelled Due to Rockets
Latest Indepth Stories
The Israel Test

Charges from the court of world public opinion and their refutations.


It is up to our government to ensure that their sacrifices were not made for short-term gains.

.

Supporting Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has become dangerous in Malmo.

Gaza

Proportionality Doctrine:The greater the military gain the greater the justifiable collateral damage

Regional pro-US Arab countries rely on Israel as a deterrence to rogue Islamic regimes.

He has always supported the underdog, once even quite literally, legislating a law that prohibits the abandonment of pets.

Temech is about providing a community – a place where religious women can learn, collaborate and refresh themselves with like-minded people.

Netanyahu has decided that the lives of Israeli are more important than looking good for Obama, U.N. and the NY Times.

Many Jews join the Israel-haters with their progressive ideology and politically correct obsessions.

“The will to triumph is a prerequisite for victory.” Abba Kovner

How can you run away from Israel and all the things that have shaped your life?

It’s as if Hamas has pulled a page out of Pharaoh’s handbook.

“Am HaNetzach Eino Mefached Mi Derech Aruka” (An eternal people doesn’t fear the long journey).

Isn’t it comforting to know that our God loves life, grants life, and promises eternal life?

With a loud and strong voice we must say “no” to individuals who take the law into their own hands.

More Articles from Dr. Ervin Birnbaum
Hungarian Jews arriving at Auschwitz.

In the course of the ages there wasn’t a Jewish community more convinced of its capacity for survival than the Jewish community of Hungary in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Lidice Memorial

By bus Lidice is a 35-minute ride from Prague. It is a ten-minute walk from the Lidice bus stop through the well-kept gardens to the main building and entrance of the Lidice Memorial Museum. In the season of bloom the gardens display thousands of roses. There is little that suggests the vast human tragedy that transpired there in the course of one night seventy years ago.

What made the deportation of more than 80,000 Jews from Slovakia during World War II unique? It was this striking fact: In contrast with other countries, the Slovak government actually appealed to the Germans to enact deportation.

Barely five weeks after the Wehrmacht’s onslaught against Russia, Reich Marshal Hermann Goering issued the following directive on July 31, 1941 to Chief of Gestapo Reinhard Heydrich:

The place that holds the record for murders in a day – even over such ghastly places as Auschwitz and Treblinka – is Babi Yar. A ravine on the outskirts of Kiev, it is today incorporated within the urban, inhabited sector of the Ukrainian capital. The events described here took place seventy years ago, in 1941, on Rosh Hashanah.

With Israel surrounded, as ever, by implacable enemies and forced to endure withering assaults of negative international opinion, we can take needed comfort and learn an important lesson from the Torah context of some key phrases in the Yom Kippur liturgy we recited just days ago.

It was evident, in the years preceding World War II, that humanity had no desire to throw a saving rope to the drowning Jewish people.

When the sons of Jacob went to Egypt for food they became victims of a cruel ruse. As we recently read in the weekly Torah portion, when the provisions the brothers had acquired were loaded on horse and wagon for the return trip to Canaan, the Egyptian viceroy’s cup was stealthily planted into the sack of the youngest, Benjamin.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/70-years-ago-this-week-turning-point-of-the-holocaust/2012/01/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: