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The Wannsee Protocol, January 20, 1942

[This text of the Wannsee Protocol is based on the official U.S. government translation prepared for evidence in trials at Nuremberg, as reproduced in John Mendelsohn, ed., The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes. Vol. 11: The Wannsee Protocol and a 1944 Report on Auschwitz by the Office of Strategic Services (New York: Garland, 1982), 18-32.]

Stamp: Top Secret
30 copies
16th copy
Minutes of discussion.

The following persons took part in the discussion about the final solution of the Jewish question which took place in Berlin, am Grossen Wannsee No. 56/58 on 20 January 1942.

Gauleiter Dr. Meyer
and Reichsamtleiter Dr. Leibbrandt
Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern territories
Secretary of State Dr. Stuckart Reich Ministry for the Interior
Secretary of State Neumann Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan
Secretary of State Dr. Freisler Reich Ministry of Justice
Secretary of State Dr. Bühler Office of the Government General
Under Secretary of State Dr. Luther Foreign Office
SS-Oberführer Klopfer Party Chancellery
Ministerialdirektor Kritzinger Reich Chancellery
SS-Gruppenführer Hofmann Race and Settlement Main Office
SS-Gruppenführer Müller
SS-Obersturmbannführer Eichmann
Reich Main Security Office
SS-Oberführer Dr. Schongarth Security Police and SD Commander of the Security Police and the SD in the Government General
SS-Sturmbannführer Dr. Lange Security Police and SD Commander of the Security Police and the SD for the General-District Latvia, as deputy of the Commander of the Security Police and the SD for the Reich Commissariat "Eastland".

At the beginning of the discussion Chief of the Security Police and of the SD, SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich, reported that the Reich Marshal had appointed him delegate for the preparations for the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe and pointed out that this discussion had been called for the purpose of clarifying fundamental questions. The wish of the Reich Marshal to have a draft sent to him concerning organizational, factual and material interests in relation to the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe makes necessary an initial common action of all central offices immediately concerned with these questions in order to bring their general activities into line. The Reichsführer-SS and the Chief of the German Police (Chief of the Security Police and the SD) was entrusted with the official central handling of the final solution of the Jewish question without regard to geographic borders. The Chief of the Security Police and the SD then gave a short report of the struggle which has been carried on thus far against this enemy, the essential points being the following:

a) the expulsion of the Jews from every sphere of life of the German people,

b) the expulsion of the Jews from the living space of the German people.

In carrying out these efforts, an increased and planned acceleration of the emigration of the Jews from Reich territory was started, as the only possible present solution.

By order of the Reich Marshal, a Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration was set up in January 1939 and the Chief of the Security Police and SD was entrusted with the management. Its most important tasks were

a) to make all necessary arrangements for the preparation for an increased emigration of the Jews,

b) to direct the flow of emigration,

c) to speed the procedure of emigration in each individual case.

The aim of all this was to cleanse German living space of Jews in a legal manner.

All the offices realized the drawbacks of such enforced accelerated emigration. For the time being they had, however, tolerated it on account of the lack of other possible solutions of the problem.

The work concerned with emigration was, later on, not only a German problem, but also a problem with which the authorities of the countries to which the flow of emigrants was being directed would have to deal. Financial difficulties, such as the demand by various foreign governments for increasing sums of money to be presented at the time of the landing, the lack of shipping space, increasing restriction of entry permits, or the cancelling of such, increased extraordinarily the difficulties of emigration. In spite of these difficulties, 537,000 Jews were sent out of the country between the takeover of power and the deadline of 31 October 1941. Of these

  • approximately 360,000 were in Germany proper on 30 January 1933
  • approximately 147,000 were in Austria (Ostmark) on 15 March 1939
  • approximately 30,000 were in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia on 15 March 1939.

The Jews themselves, or their Jewish political organizations, financed the emigration. In order to avoid impoverished Jews' remaining behind, the principle was followed that wealthy Jews have to finance the emigration of poor Jews; this was arranged by imposing a suitable tax, i.e., an emigration tax, which was used for financial arrangements in connection with the emigration of poor Jews and was imposed according to income.

Apart from the necessary Reichsmark exchange, foreign currency had to presented at the time of landing. In order to save foreign exchange held by Germany, the foreign Jewish financial organizations were - with the help of Jewish organizations in Germany - made responsible for arranging an adequate amount of foreign currency. Up to 30 October 1941, these foreign Jews donated a total of around 9,500,000 dollars.

In the meantime the Reichsführer-SS and Chief of the German Police had prohibited emigration of Jews due to the dangers of an emigration in wartime and due to the possibilities of the East.

Another possible solution of the problem has now taken the place of emigration, i.e. the evacuation of the Jews to the East, provided that the Führer gives the appropriate approval in advance.

These actions are, however, only to be considered provisional, but practical experience is already being collected which is of the greatest importance in relation to the future final solution of the Jewish question.

Approximately 11 million Jews will be involved in the final solution of the European Jewish question, distributed as follows among the individual countries:

Country Number
Germany proper




Eastern territories


General Government




Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia


Estonia - free of Jews -








France / occupied territory


France / unoccupied territory
















Italy including Sardinia








Rumania including Bessarabia












Turkey (European portion)








White Russia excluding Bialystok



over 11,000,000


The number of Jews given here for foreign countries includes, however, only those Jews who still adhere to the Jewish faith, since some countries still do not have a definition of the term "Jew" according to racial principles.

The handling of the problem in the individual countries will meet with difficulties due to the attitude and outlook of the people there, especially in Hungary and Rumania. Thus, for example, even today the Jew can buy documents in Rumania that will officially prove his foreign citizenship.

The influence of the Jews in all walks of life in the USSR is well known. Approximately five million Jews live in the European part of the USSR, in the Asian part scarcely 1/4 million.

The breakdown of Jews residing in the European part of the USSR according to trades was approximately as follows:



Urban workers 14.8%
In trade 20.0%
Employed by the state 23.4%
In private occupations such as medical profession, press, theater, etc. 32.7%

Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes.

The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of history.)

In the course of the practical execution of the final solution, Europe will be combed through from west to east. Germany proper, including the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, will have to be handled first due to the housing problem and additional social and political necessities.

The evacuated Jews will first be sent, group by group, to so-called transit ghettos, from which they will be transported to the East.

SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich went on to say that an important prerequisite for the evacuation as such is the exact definition of the persons involved.

It is not intended to evacuate Jews over 65 years old, but to send them to an old-age ghetto - Theresienstadt is being considered for this purpose.

In addition to these age groups - of the approximately 280,000 Jews in Germany proper and Austria on 31 October 1941, approximately 30% are over 65 years old - severely wounded veterans and Jews with war decorations (Iron Cross I) will be accepted in the old-age ghettos. With this expedient solution, in one fell swoop many interventions will be prevented.

The beginning of the individual larger evacuation actions will largely depend on military developments. Regarding the handling of the final solution in those European countries occupied and influenced by us, it was proposed that the appropriate expert of the Foreign Office discuss the matter with the responsible official of the Security Police and SD.

In Slovakia and Croatia the matter is no longer so difficult, since the most substantial problems in this respect have already been brought near a solution. In Rumania the government has in the meantime also appointed a commissioner for Jewish affairs. In order to settle the question in Hungary, it will soon be necessary to force an adviser for Jewish questions onto the Hungarian government.

With regard to taking up preparations for dealing with the problem in Italy, SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich considers it opportune to contact the chief of police with a view to these problems.

In occupied and unoccupied France, the registration of Jews for evacuation will in all probability proceed without great difficulty.

Under Secretary of State Luther calls attention in this matter to the fact that in some countries, such as the Scandinavian states, difficulties will arise if this problem is dealt with thoroughly and that it will therefore be advisable to defer actions in these countries. Besides, in view of the small numbers of Jews affected, this deferral will not cause any substantial limitation.

The Foreign Office sees no great difficulties for southeast and western Europe.

SS-Gruppenführer Hofmann plans to send an expert to Hungary from the Race and Settlement Main Office for general orientation at the time when the Chief of the Security Police and SD takes up the matter there. It was decided to assign this expert from the Race and Settlement Main Office, who will not work actively, as an assistant to the police attaché.

In the course of the final solution plans, the Nuremberg Laws should provide a certain foundation, in which a prerequisite for the absolute solution of the problem is also the solution to the problem of mixed marriages and persons of mixed blood.

The Chief of the Security Police and the SD discusses the following points, at first theoretically, in regard to a letter from the chief of the Reich chancellery:

1) Treatment of Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree
Persons of mixed blood of the first degree will, as regards the final solution of the Jewish question, be treated as Jews.
From this treatment the following exceptions will be made:

a) Persons of mixed blood of the first degree married to persons of German blood if their marriage has resulted in children (persons of mixed blood of the second degree). These persons of mixed blood of the second degree are to be treated essentially as Germans.

b) Persons of mixed blood of the first degree, for whom the highest offices of the Party and State have already issued exemption permits in any sphere of life. Each individual case must be examined, and it is not ruled out that the decision may be made to the detriment of the person of mixed blood.

The prerequisite for any exemption must always be the personal merit of the person of mixed blood. (Not the merit of the parent or spouse of German blood.)

Persons of mixed blood of the first degree who are exempted from evacuation will be sterilized in order to prevent any offspring and to eliminate the problem of persons of mixed blood once and for all. Such sterilization will be voluntary. But it is required to remain in the Reich. The sterilized "person of mixed blood" is thereafter free of all restrictions to which he was previously subjected.

2) Treatment of Persons of Mixed Blood of the Second Degree
Persons of mixed blood of the second degree will be treated fundamentally as persons of German blood, with the exception of the following cases, in which the persons of mixed blood of the second degree will be considered as Jews:

a) The person of mixed blood of the second degree was born of a marriage in which both parents are persons of mixed blood.

b) The person of mixed blood of the second degree has a racially especially undesirable appearance that marks him outwardly as a Jew.

c) The person of mixed blood of the second degree has a particularly bad police and political record that shows that he feels and behaves like a Jew.

Also in these cases exemptions should not be made if the person of mixed blood of the second degree has married a person of German blood.

3) Marriages between Full Jews and Persons of German Blood.
Here it must be decided from case to case whether the Jewish partner will be evacuated or whether, with regard to the effects of such a step on the German relatives, [this mixed marriage] should be sent to an old-age ghetto.

4) Marriages between Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree and Persons of German Blood.

a) Without Children.
If no children have resulted from the marriage, the person of mixed blood of the first degree will be evacuated or sent to an old-age ghetto (same treatment as in the case of marriages between full Jews and persons of German blood, point 3.)

b) With Children.
If children have resulted from the marriage (persons of mixed blood of the second degree), they will, if they are to be treated as Jews, be evacuated or sent to a ghetto along with the parent of mixed blood of the first degree. If these children are to be treated as Germans (regular cases), they are exempted from evacuation as is therefore the parent of mixed blood of the first degree.

5) Marriages between Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree and Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree or Jews.
In these marriages (including the children) all members of the family will be treated as Jews and therefore be evacuated or sent to an old-age ghetto.

6) Marriages between Persons of Mixed Blood of the First Degree and Persons of Mixed Blood of the Second Degree.
In these marriages both partners will be evacuated or sent to an old-age ghetto without consideration of whether the marriage has produced children, since possible children will as a rule have stronger Jewish blood than the Jewish person of mixed blood of the second degree.

SS-Gruppenführer Hofmann advocates the opinion that sterilization will have to be widely used, since the person of mixed blood who is given the choice whether he will be evacuated or sterilized would rather undergo sterilization.

State Secretary Dr. Stuckart maintains that carrying out in practice of the just mentioned possibilities for solving the problem of mixed marriages and persons of mixed blood will create endless administrative work. In the second place, as the biological facts cannot be disregarded in any case, State Secretary Dr. Stuckart proposed proceeding to forced sterilization.

Furthermore, to simplify the problem of mixed marriages possibilities must be considered with the goal of the legislator saying something like: "These marriages have been dissolved."

With regard to the issue of the effect of the evacuation of Jews on the economy, State Secretary Neumann stated that Jews who are working in industries vital to the war effort, provided that no replacements are available, cannot be evacuated.

SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich indicated that these Jews would not be evacuated according to the rules he had approved for carrying out the evacuations then underway.

State Secretary Dr. Bühler stated that the General Government would welcome it if the final solution of this problem could be begun in the General Government, since on the one hand transportation does not play such a large role here nor would problems of labor supply hamper this action. Jews must be removed from the territory of the General Government as quickly as possible, since it is especially here that the Jew as an epidemic carrier represents an extreme danger and on the other hand he is causing permanent chaos in the economic structure of the country through continued black market dealings. Moreover, of the approximately 2 1/2 million Jews concerned, the majority is unfit for work.

State Secretary Dr. Bühler stated further that the solution to the Jewish question in the General Government is the responsibility of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD and that his efforts would be supported by the officials of the General Government. He had only one request, to solve the Jewish question in this area as quickly as possible.

In conclusion the different types of possible solutions were discussed, during which discussion both Gauleiter Dr. Meyer and State Secretary Dr. Bühler took the position that certain preparatory activities for the final solution should be carried out immediately in the territories in question, in which process alarming the populace must be avoided.

The meeting was closed with the request of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD to the participants that they afford him appropriate support during the carrying out of the tasks involved in the solution.

The Avalon Project
The History Guide

Comment by Jewish Virtual Library.org:

The "Wannsee Conference" was not a name its participants would have given to their meeting; it is simply the most convenient description available for historians of the Holocaust. At a villa owned by the SS on the shores of a suburban Berlin lake called the Wannsee, midlevel bureaucrats from a number of Nazi agencies, all named in the introduction to the text, assembled at the request of Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Main Security Office and head of the German secret police apparatus. Heydrich and his boss, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, were in the process of assuming leadership in the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question," i.e., the murder of Europe's Jews by the Nazis. This meeting was a part of that process, as bureaucratic coordination would be required for the massive efforts to be undertaken throughout Europe to kill the 11,000,000 Jews described in the document. The Nazis ultimately succeeded in killing between five and six million of Europe's Jews, with hundreds of thousands, mainly in the Soviet Union, already dead by the time of this meeting. The minutes were taken by Heydrich's subordinate, Adolf Eichmann, but edited by Heydrich, who substituted Nazi euphemisms for references to actions planned against the Jews.

The following controversial view is taken from

The Myths of the 20th Century

a - The orders of Hitler for the extermination of the Jews

In his book on "The Destruction of the European Jews", Raoul Hilberg wrote in the first (1961) edition that there were two extermination orders given by Hitler: one in the Spring of 1941 (invasion of Russia), the other a few months later.

But in 1985, "in the second revised edition, every reference to the orders or decisions of Hitler regarding the "final solution" was systematically suppressed."

Source : "The Revised Hilberg". Simon Wiesenthal, Annal 3.1986.p.294)

The 1961 edition indicated on page 171:

"How did the phase decreeing death appear? Essentially through two decisions by Hitler. An order was given in the Spring of 1941."

In what terms were these orders given?

Hilberg: "According to General Jodl, who wrote the document I quote, the terms were the following: Hitler said he wanted the Jewish Bolshevik commissars to be liquidated. This is the first point...Such was the content of the order described by General Jodl." (4-82)

Hilberg: "The order was oral."

Thus: Hilberg said that General Jodl had said that Hitler had said....!

In his first anti-Semitic diatribes and in "Mein Kampf", Hitler proclaimed his determination to expel the Jews from Germany. We shall henceforth retain only those German texts which employ the expression "final solution" in order to obtain a precise definition of it.

On June 24th 1940, after Germany's victory over France, Heydrich spoke in a letter to Ribbentrop, the Minister of Finance, of a "final territorial solution" ("Eine territoriale Endlösung").

Source : Gerald Flemming."Hitler and die Endlösung." Wiesbaden-Munich, 1982, p.56.

To create a Jewish "reservation" outside Europe, and it was then that Ribbentrop suggested the "Madagascar project". In July 1940, Franz Rademacher who was in charge of Jewish affairs, thus summed up this directive:

"All Jews out of Europe !"

Source: Joseph Billig. "La solution finale de la question juive." Paris 1977.p.58.

This "final territorial solution" was in keeping with the new situation of Germany, which now dominated Europe: it was no longer enough to expulse the Jews from Germany.

Rademacher, who was in charge of the "final solution" project to deport all the Jews from Europe to Madagascar, pointed out that it would take four years to carry it out and in the chapter entitled "Financing", he indicated that "The realization of the final solution (Endlösung) suggested will require considerable means."

Source: N.G. 2586.

b - Goering's letter to Heydrich of July 31st 1941

Heydrich asked Goering:

"In 1939, you gave me the order to take measures regarding the Jewish question. Must I now extend the task with which you entrusted me to the new territories we have seized in Russia ?"

There again, there is no reference to the assassination of Jews. Only their geographic transfer is mentioned, simply taking into account the new conditions (33.93739374).[1]

Only "final solution" thus consisted of emptying Europe of its Jews by sending them away ever further until the war (supposing the Germans won it) made it possible to place them all in a ghetto outside Europe (as the Madagascar project had been the first suggestion.)

It is impossible to sustain the hypothesis of a secret coded language since clear documents exist for other crimes: euthanasia, the order to kill British commandos, to lynch American airmen and to exterminate the male population of Stalingrad if it were occupied. " For all these crimes, the documents are there. Whereas in this case alone there is nothing, no originals, nor copies, " nor we can add, directives or the orders needed for the execution of such vast directives. (33.9375-9376)

"In January 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Gestapo, had informed the Berlin leaders that the Feurher had decided the evacuation of all the Jews towards the territories of the East, replacing the deportation beyond the sea previously projected." (34-9544)

In a memo which circulated in March 1942 in Heydrich's office, the ministers were informed that the Jews of Europe were to be concentrated in the East, "while awaiting to be sent to a distant territory like Madagascar after the war, which will become their homeland... " (34-9545-9546).

Poliakov noted:

Until it was given up, the "Madagascar Plan" was sometimes referred to as the "final solution" to the "Jewish question".

Source : Poliakov. "Le Proces de Jerusalem" Paris, 1963, p.152.

To maintain at all costs the thesis of physical extermination, a subterfuge therefore had to be found:

"Final solution to the Jewish problem was one of those conventional phrases used to designate the Hitlerian plan to exterminate the European Jews."

Source : Gerald Reitlinger. "La solution finale" p.19.

No justification of this hypothesis of a coded language has been given, though the concept of a coded language can be used to give any document any meaning. Here are two examples.

Goering's letter of july 31st 1941 (a month after the letter by Heydrich quoted previously, the meaning of the words would have suddenly changed!). In this letter, Goering completed his directives to Heydrich:

"As a complement of the task which was assigned to you by the decree of 24/1/1939, in other words to obtain the most advantageous solution possible to the Jewish question by way of emigration and evacuation given the circumstances, I charge you by the present letter to proceed with all the necessary preparations...to reach an overall solution (Gesamtlösung) of the Jewish question in the zone of German influence in Europe...I charge you with the rapid submission of an overall project (Gesamtentwurf) bearing on the measures of organization and the material and concrete dispositions to realize the final solution of the Jewish question to which we aspire.(Endlösung der Judenfrage.)"

Source : Hilberg (op.cit.) 2nd edition. p.401 (N.G.2586-E.P.S.710.)

It is significant that, quoting this document (on page 108 of his book), Reitlinger cuts out the beginning which refers to emigration and evacuation, while this letter prescribes a new extension of the evacuation measures taken "given the circumstances" at a time when Hitler dominated only Poland in January 1939, and not yet even France, whereas by July 1941, Germany dominated all of Europe.

And yet the meaning of Goering's text is perfectly clear from the first paragraph : the policy of emigration or evacuation of the Jews, practiced until then in Germany, had to spread henceforth, due to the new conquests, to all the zones in Europe under German domination. The "overall solution" took the new situation into consideration. It could only be a "final solution" after the end of the war or, in case of a total victory in Europe, Russia included, a final evacuation to Africa or elsewhere, that would make it possible, in keeping with Hitler's constant goal, " to empty Europe of its Jews."

To sum it up, Goering's directive to Heydrich, unless one wants to interpret it arbitrarily according to a preconceived schema, only applied to Europe what could, until then, only be applied to Germany. It was an inhuman and criminal objective, no doubt, but at no time did it comprise the idea of "extermination" which it was given by the Attorney-General at Nuremberg, Robert M.W. Kempner, who declared:

"With these lines, Heydrich and his collaborators were officially given the task of legal murder (of Jews)."

Goering protested against the English translation of the German word "Gesamtlösung", meaning general solution, as "final solution", which is "Endlösung"; this led Attorney Jackson to acknowledge the falsification and to reestablish the true meaning.

Source: I.M.T., IX, 575

As early as June 24th 1940, Heydrich had informed Ribbentrop of his wish to realize the "final solution" as soon as possible. He wrote:

"The global problem posed by the presence today of some 3 million and 1/4 Jews on the territories presently under German domination can no longer be solved by emigration: a final territorial solution henceforth becomes necessary."

Source: Evidence number 464 at Eichmann's trial at Jerusalem.

Towards the same time, Himmler had sent Hitler a memoir whose conclusion was:

"I hope to see the Jewish question definitively settled thanks to the emigration of all the Jews towards Africa or in a colony."

Source: Vierteljahreshefte, 1957, 197.

Hitler rallied to this suggestion since, on February 10th 1942, Rademacher, who was in charge of the "Deutschland III" at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote in an official letter:

"Meanwhile, the war against the Soviet Union has allowed us to dispose of new territories for the final solution. Consequently, the Führer has decided to displace the Jews not towards Madagascar but towards the East. Thus, there is no longer any need to consider Madagascar for the final solution."

Source: Document N.G. 3933 of the Wilhelmstrasse trial, quoted by Reitlinger. "The final solution" p.79, in which he "interprets" again in the sense of "fiction" or "camouflage" without giving the least justification for it.

The original expression was in fact "die Gesamtlösung der Judenfrage" or the complete "overall" solution there would be no going back on. But Goering used it for the first time in the first paragraph of a letter dated 31/7/1941, in which he gave Heydrich the order to prepare it (P.S.710 T.XXVI,p.266) using in the last paragraph the expression "die Gesamtlösung der Judenfrage" and, in time, it prevailed, but with the same meaning and not in the sense of liquidating the problem by liquidating those who were the cause of the problem. Taken in flagrante delicto of tendentious translation by Goering himself on March 20th 1946, Judge Jackson had no option but to admit it (T.IX,p.552). But the press did not breathe a word of this incident which demolished a whole theory.

* * *

The second example of this arbitrary change of the meaning of words to justify a thesis is that of the "Grand Wannsee" conference held in Berlin on January 20th 1942.

At the start of the conference, Heydrich reminded his audience that he had just been appointed "to the post of head of the preparation of the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe" (Endlösung der europaischen Judenfrague) and he will henceforth be responsible for the overall measures needed for the final solution of the Jewish question, "without consideration of geographical limitations" (underlined by R.G.)

Heydrich went on to sum up the anti-Jewish policy carried out thus far:

a - The driving out of Jews from those spheres vital to the German people.-

b - The driving out of Jews from the space vital to the German people.

Because of the lightning-quick advance of the German army on the Eastern front (the Soviet Union), Heydrich thus pursued, taking into account the new situation:

"With the preliminary authorization of the Führer, emigration has left room for another possibility of solution: the evacuation of the Jews towards the East." (underlined by R.G.)

"One cannot however consider these actions as palliatives, but practical experiences already obtained in this field are of significant importance for the future final solution to the Jewish question."

Source : N.G.2586 G.

Indeed, this definitive solution could not be carried out until after the war, and this solution was always sought in the same direction : the expulsion of all Jews out of Europe. It was what Hitler told Abetz, the ambassador to Paris specifically : that it was his intention to evacuate all Jews out of Europe after the war.

Source : "Documents on German Foreign Policy" 1918-1945.Series D. Vol.X.p.484.

The Wannsee text (January 20th 1942)

"In the course of the final solution, Jews will be conveyed under appropriate guidance, towards the East to make use of their labor. They will be separated according to sex. Jews capable of working will be taken in large columns to areas of major works, to build roads, and consequently large numbers will doubtless perish through natural selection.

"Those who will finally remain, who without any doubt will make up the most robust element, must be treated consequently, for they represent a natural selection whose liberation must be considered the germ-cell of a new Jewish development as the experience of history has shown..)" (13-3133)

David Irving:

"I have read the minutes of the Wilhem Strasse trial, the second after that of Nuremberg. There were twelve others afterwards. Not one of them brought testimony according to which the liquidation of the Jews had been discussed at Wannsee." (33-9372-9373)

The Wannsee Protocol consists of the minutes of a conference which took place on January 20th 1942, attended by the Secretaries of State administratively concerned by the solution to the Jewish question, and those heads of departments in charge of its execution. In this text, no mention is made of gas chambers or extermination, but only of the transfer of Jews to Eastern Europe.

These minutes have all the characteristics of an apocryphal document if we are to credit the photocopy of them published in Robert N.W. Kempner's "Eichmann und Komplizen", pp. 132 and following (Europa Verlag 1961) : no seal, no date, no signature, ordinary machine type on small format paper, etc....

In any case they make no mention of gas chambers.

In the French versions of it, "die Zurückdrängung der Juden aus dem Lebensraum des deutschen Volkes" has been translated by "the elimination of the Jews from the vital space of the German people", as it was in English and in Russian.

The Germans, however, preferred to use other expressions to speak of their decision to drive the Jews out of what they called their "vital space", expressions like "Auschaltung" (exclusion, eviction, elimination) and especially "Ausrottung" (extirpation,uprooting). It was this last word which was translated as extermination, which is "Vernichtung" in German.

For example : in his speech at Posen before the Obergruppenführer (the Divisional commanders of the Waffen SS) on October 4th 1943, Himmler said :

"Ich meine jetzt die Judenevakuierung, die Ausrottung des jüdischen Volkes...Das jüdische Volk wird ausgerottet, etc... "

In the following sentence, he uses the word "Auschaltung..." (P.S.1919 T.XXIX p.145) to clarify his meaning. In other words :

"I am now thinking of the evacuation of the Jews, of the extirpation of the Jewish people, etc... "

But in the "Eichmann File", M.Billig translated it as:

"I mean by that the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people." (p.55) and "evacuation of the Jews, IN OTHER WORDS extermination" (p.47).

Another example : in a note dated 16th December 1941 on one of his talks with Hitler (P.S 1517 T.XXVII p.270) Rosenberg uses the expression "Ausrottung das Judentums".

At the April 17th 1946 session, the American Attorney General Dodd translated it as "Extermination of Jews" (Tome XI,p.562). Rosenberg protested in vain.

"But in the speeches of the Nazis, the expression "Ausrottung des Christentums", which was often used, is always translated as " the extirpation of Christianity from German culture"

Cf. Revue d'Histoire de la seconde guerre mondiale, October 1st 1958, p.62.

It is when it refers to Judaism (Judentum) or the Jewish people (das jüdische Volk) that the word "Ausrottung" means extermination and applies to individuals, whereas it refers to entities.

The Wannsee conference of January 20th 1942, where, it was claimed for over a third of a century, the decision to "exterminate" European Jews, disappeared from 1984 on from the writings of even the most ferocious enemies of the "revisionists". On this point, they too had to "revise" their history: it was at the Stuttgart Congress of May 1984,where that "interpretation" was dropped.

Source: Eberhard Jackerl and Jürgen Rohwer."Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg"('The murder of Jews during the Second World War") Source : DVA. 1985 p. 67

In 1992, Yehuda Bauer wrote in "The Canadian Jewish News" of January 30th that this interpretation of Wannsee was "silly".

Finally, the most recent spokesman for the orthodox antirevisionist historians, the chemist Claude Pressac, confirmed this new revision of orthodoxy. He wrote on page 35 of his book :"Les crematoires d'Auschwitz" (CNRS editions, 1993):

"The Wannsee conference was held in Berlin on January 20th. If an action of "driving back" the Jews towards the East was planned, with the evocation of a "natural" elimination through work, nobody then spoke of liquidation on an industrial scale. During the days and the weeks that followed, the Auschwitz Bauleitung received neither a call, a telegram or a letter demanding the study of an installation adapted to that end."

And even, in his "recapitulative chronology", he indicates on January 20th 1942:

"Wannsee Conference on the driving back of the Jews towards the East" (p.114).

The "extermination" was revised: it was a question of "driving back".

It is equally remarkable that, in all this book setting itself the goal of "proving" the thesis of extermination, there was no question either of the document which, after that of Wannsee, was supposedly the most decisive: Goering's letter to Heydrich of July 31st 1941, in which it was asserted that the "final solution" meant "extermination", and not the transfer out of Europe.

At the time of the Toronto trial in 1988, there was also a controversy concerning the role of the "Einsatztruppen", a kind of free corps designated by the Hitlerian High Command to annihilate the groups of partisans which formed as soon as the Germans swooped down on Moscow in 1941; these groups would surge behind the German army, trying to destroy its reserves of fuel, its supplies and its communication networks, cutting the Germans off from their rear bases.

This form of resistance proved so effective that Hitler gave the harshest of orders to the "Einsatztruppen", to kill off the leaders and the political commissars.

There were many Jews among these political commissars, who played a leading role in which they confronted death bravely.

At the Toronto trial, the problem of the participation of these heroic Jews to the resistance against Hitlerism was evoked at great length.

Christie, Zundel's lawyer, insisted on asking the historian Hilberg, to clarify the meaning of the Nazi orders on this subject.

Christie: The order given to the Einsatztruppen says : Annihilate the Jewish Bolshevik commissars, and you interpret this as meaning: "Annihilate the Jewish people and the Jewish commissars. Is that correct?

Hilberg: Correct.

Christie: It was therefore said, according to you, that it was not a question of killing the Jews, but the Jewish-Bolshevik political commissars.

Hilberg: The order was given to Himmler to "solve the problem".(4839)

Christie: It concerned the problem of the Jewish-Bolshevik political commissars. Which does not mean: the Jewish problem...Was there not a war on between Communism and Nazism?

Hilberg: Yes, and the political commissars, at the core of the system, had to be shot.

Christie: This did not mean killing the Jews who were there. Did Hitler think that Bolshevism was of Jewish origin and that all the commissars were Jews?

Hilberg: That was propaganda. But it was the intention from the beginning, since June 22nd 1941.

Christie: Is this an article of faith with you?

Hilberg: No. It's not an article of faith, it's a certainty.

Christie: Can you show me Hitler's second order?

Hilberg: I say that there's a decisive directive from Hitler exposed by Goering to Heydrich on July 31st 1941...It was the text which prepared the Wannsee conference.

Christie: Was it an order or a letter from Hitler?

Hilberg: No.

Christie: You wrote in your book : "Hitler gave this second order. Is that correct?

Hilberg: That is correct.

Christie reverts to the meaning of the word "resettlement" in the East. "Does this mean an order to kill all the Jews?" (4-855)

Hilberg: Resettlement" was a synonym for "deporting the Jews to death camps.

Christie: Wasn't there a plan to deport the Jews to Madagascar ?

* * *

The English historian, David Irving, brought the following information, drawn from original sources, to the Toronto trial.

" ...The final solution to the Jewish problem consisted of deporting them to different territories. One of the hypotheses was Madagascar, especially after the fall of France, but the might of the British and later American fleets made this project impossible to carry out.

The only document I possess is a telephone conversation between Prime minister Lammers and the Führer in the Spring of 1942, and the Führer answered him that the final solution would be decided upon only after the end of the war.

Heinrich Himmler wrote to the Gauleiters that the Führer, Adolf Hitler, had given him the order to rid Europe of its Jews from West to East, by stages. It was obviously an order of deportation." (33-935 and 9352).

But this involved no order to exterminate the Jews.

No order of this kind was ever given, nor in the archives of the world, including the Jewish archives which cooperated with me. I must also emphasize that, in the British archives where we had deciphered the German codes of the S.S. units operating on the Eastern front, even with those English machines for deciphering codes, we did not decipher any code in which Hitler gave the order to kill the Jews. Only historians claiming to read between the lines and giving vent to their indignation have been able to decipher such a meaning. (33-93.76) "

* * *

The lawyer, Christie, quotes page 651 of Hilberg's book in which is written :

"In November 1944, Himmler decided that for all sorts of practical reasons, the Jewish question was solved. On the 25th of the same month, he ordered the dismantling of all the death installations."

Source : Testimony of Kurt Becher. 8th March 1946. P.S. 3762.

Hilberg recognizes that it was not an order by Himmler (4-861 to 864):

"Becher probably presented it from memory in his testimony. He therefore did not need to use the exact language employed by Himmler."

One more time, Hilberg said that Becher had said that Himmler had said...(4.867)

After lengthy historical research by scholars of every background under the pressure of revisionist critics, the director of the "Institute of history of the present time" at the National Center of Scientific Research, Mr. Francois Bedarida sums up these works on the "evaluation of the Auschwitz victims" :

"The collective memory has seized hold of the figure of four million, the very one which, on the faith of a Soviet report, figured until now at Auschwitz on the monument erected to the memory of the victims of Nazism - while in Jerusalem the Yad Vashem museum indicated a total very much above the truth.

And yet, as soon as the war ended, scholarly memory got down to work. The result of these patient and minute investigations was that the figure of four million rested on no serious base and could not be retained.

The court, all the same, relied on an assertion by Eichmann claiming that the extermination policy had caused the death of six million Jews, four million of them in the camps. If now we refer to the most recent works and to the most reliable statistics - as is the case with Raoul Hilberg's work, "Destruction des juifs d'Europe" (Fayard,1988), we come up with a million dead at Auschwitz. A total corroborated by the specialists as a whole since, today, these agree on a number of victims oscillating between 950,000 minimum and 1.2 million maximum."

Source : "Le Monde", 23rd July 1990.

Nevertheless, people continue after the reduction of the number of victims at Auschwitz-Birkneau from 4 to 1 million, to repeat the global figure: 6 million Jews exterminated, according to the bizarre arithmetic: 6 - 3 = 6.

That the "final solution" to the Jewish problem was to be resolved only after the war is also testified to by the "Braun Mappe" (Brown File) of the Summer of 1941. The paragraph entitled : "Directives for the solution of the Jewish question" specified :

"All the measures concerning the Jewish question in the lands occupied in the East having to be taken after the war, the Jewish question will find a general solution in Europe."

Source : P.S. 702. Henri Monneray. "La persecution des juifs dans les pays de l'Est presentre " Nuremberg" CDJC 1949.

This restatement of the question does involve any attenuation of Hitler's crimes, but simply recalls a piece of evidence which even the most determined partisans of the theory of "extermination" have not overlooked: during the last two years of the war, after Stalingrad, Hitler was fighting a losing battle: the Allies were destroying his war production centres with their bombs and disorganizing his transport network.

He was forced to mobilize new soldiers, emptying his factories as a result. How could he have been fatally obsessed with the will to exterminate his prisoners and Jews, instead of using them, even in inhuman conditions, for working on his sites? Poliakov himself, in his "Breviaire de la haine" (p.3) emphasized this absurd contradiction:

"It would have been so much more economical to have made them carry out the hardest work, parking them in a reservation for instance."

Hannah Arendt also pointed out what was insane about such an operation:

"The Nazis turned straightforwardly useless into the harmful when, right in the middle of the war, despite the penury of building materials and of rolling stock, they erected huge and costly extermination factories and organized the transport of millions of people...the manifest contradiction between this behavior and military imperatives gives the entire undertaking a mad, chimerical air."

Source : Hannah Arendt. "Le systrme totalitaire" Paris 1972. p.182.

What is even odder is that minds as subtle as Poliakov and Hannah Arendt were so completely clouded by their a prioris that they did not question their Surrealistic assumptions and turn to the documents and the facts.

At Auschwitz-Birkenau, there were powerful implantations of the Farben-Industry (chemical), of Siemens (transports) of Portland (construction). At Monovitz (one of the camp annexes to Auschwitz) there were 10,000 prisoners at work, 100,000 civilian workers and 1,000 English prisoners of war.

Source : "German crimes in Poland", Warsaw 1946. Vol. I. p.37.

From 1942 to 1944, out of 39 camps that were satellites of Auschwitz, 31 used prisoners as laborers and 19 of them used a majority of Jews.

On January 25th 1942, Himmler addressed the following directive to the inspector-general of the concentration camps:

"Get ready to take in 100,000 Jews...Over the coming weeks, important economic tasks will be entrusted to the concentration camps."

Source : N.0. ; 020

a - In May 1944, Hitler ordered the use of 200,000 Jews as workers in the construction program of Jager and the Todt organization.

An S S W V H A order dated November 18th 1943 awarded a bonus to prisoners- even Jews - who had distinguished themselves at work.

Source : Auschwitz Museum Center 6 - 1962 p.78.

There is therefore nothing "insane or chimerical", but on the contrary an implacable realism, and an extra refutation of the "exterminationist" themes.

b - Eyewitness accounts

The Auschwitz trial was held in Frankfurt from December 20th 1963 to August 20th 1965, in a vast theater which was well-suited to a showy political operation; the vast legal machine could not avoid being forced to acknowledge in the account of the reasons for its verdict that the elements at its disposal for reaching its verdict were absurdly flimsy.

"The court lacked almost all the means of information which an ordinary criminal trial disposes of to compose a faithful portrayal of events such as they really occurred. The bodies of the victims lacking, the autopsy reports, the conclusions of the experts as to the cause of death; traces left by the culprits were lacking, crime weapons, etc...It was possible to check the accounts only in a very few cases."

Source : Page 109 of the account of the reasons for the verdict

According to the accusers, the crime-weapon was the "gas chambers." Yet the judges found no "traces" of them!

It was enough for those gas-chambers to be "notorious" to exist, as in the days of the witch-trials, where no-one would have dared to question the witches' "carnal knowledge" of the devil for fear of being burnt at the stake too.

One of the jurists sent by the United States to Dachau, which had become an American camp and a center of "war-crime trials", Stephen S. Pinter, wrote:

"I lived at Dachau for 17 months after the war as US military judge, and can testify that there was no gas chamber at Dachau. What they show visitors is presented in an erroneous manner as a gas chamber, being a crematorium oven. Nor were there any gas chambers in the concentration camps in Germany. We were told that there was a gas chamber at Auschwitz, but as Auchwitz was in the Russian zone, we did not have permission from the Russians to visit...they thus made use of the old propaganda myth according to which millions of Jews were killed. I can attest, after 6 years spent in Germany and Austria after the war, that many Jews were killed, but that the figure of 1 million was certainly never reached, and I believe myself to be better-qualified than anyone else on this subject."

Source: Letter by Pinter to the Catholic weekly, "Our Sunday Visitor", June 14th 1959, p.15.

Lacking written proofs and irrecusable documents, the Nuremberg court was forced to base itself on "eyewitness accounts", like the fictionalized works and the films that came later.

The survivors who were called upon to bear witness and who authenticated the existence of "gas chambers" did it not from what they had seen but what they had "heard said".

A typical and famous example is that of Doctor Benedict Kautzsky, successor to his father at the head of the Austrian Social Democratic party.

After declaring that the maximum period of survival at Auschwitz was three months (though he himself spent three years there), he wrote his book: "Teufel und Verdammt" (published in Switzerland in 1946), in which he declared about the "gas chambers":

"I did not see them personally, but so many faithworthy people confirmed their existence."

"Ich will hier noch eine kurze Schilderung der Gaskammern einflechten, die ich zwar selbst nicht gesehen habe, die mir aber von so vielen glaubwürdig dargestellt worden sind... "

A few eyewitness accounts were regarded as fundamental, notably those of Rudolf Hoess, Saukel and Nyszli ("Doctor at Auschwitz").

The key witness, who turned out to be the perfect witness to "prove" the thesis of the victors disguised as judges was Rudolf Hoess, ex commander of the Auschwitz camp.

The description he gave when he was arrested became the synopsis of his declarations at Nuremberg; it was everything the Court expected of him.

Here is his declaration, written under oath and signed by Rudolf Hoess on April 5th 1946 :

"I was commander of Auschwitz until December 1st 1943, and I estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed there and exterminated by gassing and cremation, and that at least half a million others died there of hunger and disease, which makes a up a total of about 3,000,000 dead. The "final solution" of the Jewish question signified the extermination of all the Jews in Europe. I received the order to prepare the extermination at Auschwitz in June 1941. At that time, there already existed three other extermination camps in the general government : Belzec, Treblinka, Wolzek."

One cannot imagine a more perfect confirmation of the theses which were going to be spread by the media for half a century.

And yet this text itself already contains three statements in obvious contradiction with the truth:

1 - The number of 3 million dead at Auschwitz, needed to justify the total number of Jewish victims (6 million), official figure proclaimed from the start at Nuremberg and which has never ceased to be the leitmotif of official history and of the media since that time, has to be reduced by at least two thirds, as the new commemorative plaque at Auschwitz-Birkenau proves, on which the figure of four million has been replaced by: a little over a million.

2 - The camps of Belzec and Treblinka did not exist in 1941. They were not opened until 1942.

3 - As for the Wolzek camp, it never existed on any map.

How could this "capital testimony" have been recorded without prior verification ?

Höss himself explains it: the first declarations were made under the control of the Polish authorities which had arrested him.

The autobiography of Rudolf Höss indicates on page 174 of the French edition :

"At the time of my first cross-examination, the first confessions were obtained by beating me. I do not know what there is in that report although I signed it." (5.956).

(Hoess signed an 8-page typescript at 2.30 in the morning of March 14th 1946 which does not essentially differ from what he later wrote and said at Nuremberg or Cracow.)

Hoess himself describes in hand-written notes made at Cracow the circumstances of the first interrogatory to which he was subjected by the British military police.

"I was arrested on March 11th 1946 at llPM...The Field Security Police subjected me to painful treatment. I was dragged until Heide, precisely to the barracks where, eight months earlier, I had been released by the English. It was there I was interrogated for the first time, during which harsh means were used. I do not know the contents of the report even though I signed it. So much liquor and whip-lashes got the better even of me...A few days later, I was taken to Meiden-on-the-Weser, the main interrogation center of the British zone. There, I fared even worse at the hands of a public attorney, a commander."

Source: Document NO-1210

It was only in 1983 that there was confirmation of the tortures inflicted upon Rudolf Hoess to obtain the "proof" of the "two and a half million" Jews exterminated by him at Auschwitz.

This book was written by Rupert Butler and was called: "Legions of Death" (Hamlyn Paperbacks). It publishes the testimony of Bernard Clarke, who arrested Rudolf Höss after finding out his whereabouts from his wife after threat of death to herself and her children. Hoess was arrested at the farm where he was hiding on March 11th 1946. Butler describes how it took three days of torture to obtain a "coherent declaration", eg. the one we have just quoted, signed March 14th 1946 at 2 in the morning.

As soon as he was arrested, Hoess was beaten so hard that "in the end,the health officer intervened with insistence to the captain: tell him to stop or you'll bring back a corpse."

It must be noted that Butler and his interlocutor Clarke both seem highly satisfied with these acts of torture.

The American enquiry committee made up of judges Van Roden and Simpson, sent to Germany in 1948 to investigate irregularities committed by the American military court at Dachau (which had tried 1,500 German prisoners and sentenced 420 of them to death), established that the accused had been subjected to physical and psychological torture of every sort to force them to make the desired "confessions". Thus 137 out of 139 German prisoners examined had been kicked in testicles, receiving permanent injuries.

Source : Interview with Judge Edward L. Van Roden, in "The Progressive", February 1949.


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