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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david//ausrotten/skeptic

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/ausrotten/skeptic
Last-Modified: 1994/07/14

Source: The following is taken from 
orgs/american/skeptic.magazine/skeptic.09, Dr. Michael Shermer's 
_Skeptic_ article on Holocaust Revisionism. For
citations, see the original archive file. knm.

   The "Ausrotten" Debate--the Meaning of "Extermination." 

   Irving also plays a fascinating game of semantics with the word,
   meaning "to extirpate or exterminate" (Langenscheidt's 1952
   German-English dictionary).  The word is often used in reference to
   the Jews by Hitler and many of the top Nazis in their speeches and
   written documents.  Irving claims that it really means "stamping
   out" or "rooting out." For example, Irving (1977) translates a
   conversation between Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg, the Nazi Reich
   Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories.  In the Rosenberg's
   discussion of handling the Jews, Irving infers "stamping out" for
   the word ausrotten, and then concludes that Rosenberg meant
   transporting Jews out of the Reich (p.  356n).  I explained to the
   British-born Irving, that my Occidental College colleague Juergen
   Pelzer, a German-born professor who teaches German, said ausrotten
   means "exterminate." Irving responded (1994): "The word ausrotten
   means one thing now in 1994, but it meant something very different
   in the time Adolf Hitler uses it." Pelzer checked his historical
   dictionaries.  Ausrotten has always meant "exterminate." Irving's
   rejoinder was another example of post hoc rationalization:

   Different words mean different things when uttered by different
   people.  What matters is what that word meant when uttered by
   Hitler.  I would first draw attention to the famous memorandum on
   the four-years plan of August, 1936.  In that Adolf Hitler says,
   "we are going to have to get our armed forces in a fighting state
   within four years so that we can go to war with the Soviet Union.
   If the Soviet Union should ever succeed in overrunning Germany it
   will lead to the ausrotten of the German people." There's that
   word.  There is no way that Hitler can mean the physical
   liquidation of 80 million Germans.  What he means is that it will
   lead to the emasculation of the German people as a power factor.

   How do we know he did not mean actual liquidation?  "Because no one
   is going to say that if Russians take over Germany they are going
   to liquidate 80 million people."

   Irving is a formidable scholar and clever logician, but it was
   amusing to observe him trying to extricate himself from his own
   inconsistencies.  Such reasoning becomes ludicrous after a while.
   The continual denial of such testimonial evidence demonstrates that
   Holocaust revisionists are really not historians obeying the normal
   rules of historiographical reasoning.  For example, in a December,
   1944, conference regarding the Ardennes attack against the
   Americans, Hitler ordered his generals "to ausrotten them division
   by division" (Irving, 1977, p.  741).  Was Hitler giving the order
   to transport the Americans out of the Ardennes division by
   division?!  "No," Irving admitted (1994):

   But compare that with a speech he made in August, 1939, in which he
   says, with regard to Poland, "we are going to destroy the living
   forces of the Polish Army." This is the job of any commander--you
   have to destroy the forces facing you.  How you destroy them, how
   you "take them out" is probably a better phrase, is immaterial.  If
   you take those pawns off the chess board they are gone.  If you put
   the American forces in captivity they are equally neutralized
   whether they are in captivity or dead.  And that's what the word
   ausrotten means there.

   In a memo (reproduced below) SS Sturmbannfuehrer Rudolf Brandt
   tells SS Reichsdoctor Dr.  Grawitz in Berlin, about "the
   eradication of TB [Ausrottung der Tuberkulose] as a disease
   affecting the nation." What possible meaning can ausrotten have
   other than "to kill?" And in connection with this, Irving (1977)
   translates a report written in March, 1943 by this same Rudolf
   Brandt, to Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Heydrich's successor as Chief of
   the RSHA, as "I am transmitting herewith to you a press dispatch on
   the accelerated extermination [ausrotten] of the Jews in Occupied
   Europe" (p.  867).  The same man is using the same word to discuss
   the same process of extermination for both TB and Jews.

   How many more examples do we need to demonstrate that Hitler and
   the Nazis not only hated Jews, they wanted them dead?  Here are
   just a few out of thousands:

   --Hans Frank, Governor General of occupied Poland, October 7, 1940,
   in a speech to a Nazi assembly summing up his first year of effort
   (Nuremberg Doc.  3363-PS, p.  891):

      My dear Comrades!  .  .  .  I could not eliminate [ausrotten]
      all lice and Jews in only one year.  But in the course of time,
      and if you help me, this end will be attained.

   Does Frank mean to transport the lice out of Poland on miniature

   --On December 13, 1941, Hans Frank told a cabinet session at
   Cracow, his HQ (N.D.  3363-PS, p.  892):

      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 yourself of all feeling
      of pity.  We must annihilate the Jews.

   Why must the Nazis rid themselves of pity if all they are doing is
   transporting Jews to a new homeland?

   --December 16, 1941, Hans Frank addressed a government session in
   the office of the Governor of Cracow, in conjunction with the
   upcoming Wannsee Conference (see previous page for original

      Currently there are in the Government Generalship approximately
      2 1/2 million, and together with those who are kith and kin and
      connected in all kinds of ways, we now have 3 1/2 million Jews.
      We cannot shoot these 3 1/2 million Jews, nor can we poison
      them, yet we will have to take measures which will somehow lead
      to the goal of annihilation, and that will be done in connection
      with the great measures which are to be discussed together with
      the Reich.  The territory of the General Government must be made
      free of Jews, as is the case in the Reich.  Where and how this
      will happen is a matter of the means which must be used and
      created, and about whose effectiveness I will inform you in due

   If the Final Solution meant deportation out of the Reich, why is
   Frank making references to the extermination of Jews through means
   other than shooting or poisoning them?

   --Goebbels' diary entries are so revealing that they need no
   further commentary (Broszat, p.  143):

      August 8, 1941, concerning the spread of spotted typhus in the
      Warsaw ghetto:

      The Jews have always been the carriers of infectious diseases.
      They should either be concentrated in a ghetto and left to
      themselves or be liquidated, for otherwise they will infect the
      populations of the civilized nations.

      August 19, 1941, after a visit to Hitler's headquarters:

      The Fuehrer is convinced his prophecy in the Reichstag is
      becoming a fact: that should Jewry succeed in again provoking a
      new war, this would end with their annihilation.  It is coming
      true in these weeks and months with a certainty that appears
      almost sinister.  In the East the Jews are paying the price, in
      Germany they have already paid in part and they will have to pay
      more in the future.

      February 24, 1942, after a visit with Hitler in Berlin:

      The Fuehrer again voices his determination to remorselessly
      cleanse Europe of its Jews.  There can be no sentimental
      feelings here.  The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that they
      are now experiencing.  They shall experience their own
      annihilation together with the destruction of our enemies.  We
      must accelerate this process with cold brutality; by doing so we
      are doing an inestimable service to humanity .  .  .  .

      In a speech of September 23, 1942, to 60 German newspaper
      editors in the Throne Room of the Propaganda Ministry in Berlin,
      Goebbels made it clear that the press must keep silent about
      what they all knew was the outcome for the remaining Berlin

      There are still 48,000 in Berlin.  They know with deadly
      certainty that as the war progresses they will be packed off to
      the East and delivered up to a murderous fate.  They already
      feel the inevitable harshness of physical extermination and
      therefore they harm the Reich whenever possible whilst they yet

   This speech was transcribed and passed by the Polish resistance to
   the British Foreign Office in May 1943.  The speech was just
   recently discovered in the British Public Record Office in London
   by Solomon Littmann, a Simon Wiesenthal Center researcher.  The
   speech was read by the entire British Foreign Office hierarchy,
   including Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, but it was not made
   public nor was it shared with Jewish leaders in Britain or the U.S.
   Irving's post hoc rationalization on this quote was as follows

      It is a very dubious document which needed a lot more digesting
      before it was put out to the startling and marveling world the
      way that it was put out a few weeks ago.  The speech was
      actually on English paper typed on an English typewriter in the
      English archives.  A lot of work had to be done on it--I found
      the actual Polish origins of it, and the people who have
      provided it, the Polish Intelligence Service.  I think it is a
      second-hand report, not a direct verbatim transcript in any

   That is indeed correct and thanks to my colleague, Alex Grobman, I
   have a copy of the document myself.  The author makes it clear that
   he is "reproducing his [Goebbels] remarks impartially, just as I
   heard them, from my shorthand notes, which make no claim to textual
   exactitude." He adds: "I ask you to read Dr.  Goebbels' speech very
   carefully, for in the opinion of all of us this was the most
   important internal speech that we had heard since the beginning of
   the war." The speech is four pages long (single-spaced typed) and
   Jews are only mentioned in the three sentences above.  Goebbels is
   most concerned about the ability of the German people to endure a
   protracted war and the role of the press in helping to sustain
   optimism in the face of military uncertainties.  If the transcriber
   was going to fabricate damning quotes, why only three sentences

   Is it possible the document was forged, or the transcriber badly
   misjudged what Goebbels said or meant?  It is possible, but not
   likely.  This is the problem with the snapshot fallacy.  We must
   always examine the context in which something is said, such as
   Goebbels other speeches and diary entries, and the fact that the
   speech came just eight months after the Wannsee Conference and the
   stepping up of the Final Solution.  But then, remarkably, Irving
   made this confession: "We have much better sources than that on
   Goebbels and his role in this particular crime.  Goebbels' true
   diaries leave no doubt at all that he knew perfectly well what was
   going on" (1994).  What crime?  What was going on?  The answer?
   The Holocaust!

   Himmler's speeches are no less potent as evidence to prove the
   Holocaust.  He too talks about the ausrotten of the Jews, and
   revisionists once again return to their semantic game of arguing
   that he meant deportation.  But two quotes negate that argument
   (Padfield, 1990, pp.  188, 334):

   (1) In a lecture on the history of Christianity, in January, 1937,
   Himmler told his Gruppenfuehrers:

      I have the conviction that the Roman emperors, who exterminated
      [ausrotteten] the first Christians, did precisely what we are
      doing with the communists.  These Christians were at that time
      the vilest scum, which the city accommodated, the vilest Jewish
      people, the vilest Bolsheviks there were.

   (2) In June, 1941, Himmler told Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of
   Auschwitz (not to be confused with Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy)
   that Hitler had ordered the Endloesung, or Final Solution of the
   Jewish question, and that Hoess would play a major role at

      It is a hard, tough task which demands the commitment of the
      whole person without regard to any difficulties that may arise.
      You will be given details by Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann of the
      RSHA who will come to see you in the near future.  The
      department taking part will be informed at the appropriate time.
      You have to maintain the strictest silence about this order,
      even to your superiors.  The Jews are the eternal enemies of the
      German people and must be exterminated.  All Jews we can reach
      now, during the war, are to be exterminated without exception.
      If we do not succeed in destroying the biological basis of
      Jewry, some day the Jews will annihilate the German Volk.

   Similar speeches from Himmler are no less damning.  One of the most
   notorious is the October 4, 1943, speech to the SS-Gruppenfuehrer
   in Poznan, which was recorded on a red oxide tape.  Himmler was
   lecturing from notes, and early in the talk he stopped the tape
   recorder to make sure it was working.  He then continued, knowing
   he was being recorded, speaking for three hours, 10 minutes on a
   range of subjects, including the military and political situation,
   the Slavic peoples and racial blends, German racial superiority
   that would help them win the war, and the like.  Two hours into the
   speech Himmler began to talk about "the extermination of the Jewish
   people." He compared this action with the June 30, 1934 blood
   purges against perceived traitors within the Nazi party, then
   talked about how difficult it is to endure seeing 100, 500, or
   1,000 bodies lying dead, and insisted that this will be an
   unwritten part of history.  The original German document and the
   National Archives translation, reproduced on the previous page,
   speaks for itself (PS Series 1919, pp.  64-67).

   Irving's response to this quote was surprising because he seemed to
   gainsay all of his previous rationalizations with this one
   exchange, though leaving himself one final out:

   Irving: I have a later speech he made on January 26, 1944, in which
   he is speaking to the same audience rather more bluntly about the
   ausrotten of Germany's Jews, when he announced that they had
   totally solved the Jewish problem.  Most of the listeners sprang to
   their feet and applauded.  "We were all there in Poznan," recalled
   a Rear Admiral, when that man [Himmler] told us how he'd killed off
   the Jews.  I can still recall precisely how he told us.  "If people
   ask me," said Himmler, "why did you have to kill the children too,
   then I can only say I am not such a coward that I leave for my
   children something I can do myself." Quite interesting--this is an
   Admiral afterwards recording this in British captivity without
   realizing he was being tape recorded, which is a very good summary
   of what Himmler actually said.

   Shermer: That sounds to me like he means to kill Jews, not just
   transport them out of the Reich.

   Irving: I agree, Himmler said that.  He actually said "We're wiping
   out the Jews.  We're murdering them.  We're killing them."

   Shermer: What does that mean other than what it sounds like?

   Irving: I agree, Himmler is admitting what I said happened to the
   600,000.  But, and this is the important point, nowhere does
   Himmler say "we are killing millions." Nowhere does he even say we
   are killing hundreds of thousands.  He is talking about solving the
   Jewish problem, about having to kill off women and children too.

   This is general fallacy #2 from above, where one focuses on what is
   not known and ignores what is known--Himmler never exactly said
   millions, therefore he really meant thousands.  But, please note,
   Himmler never said thousands either.  Irving is inferring what he
   wants to infer.  The actual numbers come from other sources which,
   in conjunction with Himmler's speeches (and many other pieces of
   evidence), converge on the conclusion that he meant millions.

   And, finally, there are the words of the Fuehrer himself.  In
   Hitler's speech of January 30, 1939, he said:

      Today I want to be a prophet once more: If international finance
      Jewry inside and outside of Europe should succeed once more in
      plunging nations into another world war, the consequence will
      not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory
      of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.

   In September, 1942, Hitler recalled:

      In my Reichstag speech of September 1, 1939 [above, wrong date
      here], I have spoken of two things: first, that now that the war
      has been forced upon us, no array of weapons and no passage of
      time will bring us to defeat, and second, that if Jewry should
      plot another world war in order to exterminate the Aryan peoples
      in Europe, it would not be the Aryan peoples which would be
      exterminated but Jewry.  .  .  .

   At a public speech in Munich, November 8, 1942, Hitler told his
   audience (see Jaeckel, 1989 for this and above Hitler quotes):

      You will recall the session of the Reichstag during which I
      declared: If Jewry should imagine that it could bring about an
      international world war to exterminate the European races, the
      result will not be the extermination of the European races, but
      the extermination of Jewry in Europe.  People always laughed
      about me as a prophet.  Of those who laughed then, countless
      numbers no longer laugh today, and those who still laugh now
      will perhaps no longer laugh a short time from now.  This
      realization will spread beyond Europe throughout the entire
      world.  International Jewry will be recognized in its full
      demonic peril; we National Socialists will see to that.

   From his earliest political ramblings to the final
   Goetterdammerung, Hitler had it in for the Jews.  On April 12,
   1922, in a Munich speech later published in the Voelkischer
   Beobachter, he told his audience (Snyder, 1981, p.  29):

      The Jew is the ferment of the decomposition of people.  This
      means that it is in the nature of the Jew to destroy, and he
      must destroy, because he lacks altogether any idea of working
      for the common good.  He possesses certain characteristics given
      to him by nature and he never can rid himself of those
      characteristics.  The Jew is harmful to us.

   Thirty-three years later, on April 29, 1945, at 4:00 A.M., just one
   day before his suicide, Hitler commanded his successors in his
   political testament to carry on the fight: "Above all I charge the
   leaders of the nation and those under them to scrupulous observance
   of the laws of race and to merciless opposition to the universal
   poisoner of all peoples, International Jewry" (Snyder, p.  521).
   How many more quotes do we need to prove the Holocaust--100, 1,000,
   10,000?  The convergence of evidence is overwhelming.

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