He then recommended that the ambassador propose to
Hitler and Ribbentrop the sterilization of all Jews. |
suggestion, insane though it may seem to us, was to be surpassed six months
later by the decision to physically exterminate the Jewish people.
hostility of the embassy's political division, under Achenbach, toward Jews was
constant. It was evident from the time of the first deportation: a convoy of a
thousand French Jews had been arrested in a reprisal move. Foreign Ministry
Under-Secretary Martin Luther wired the embassy on March 11, 1942, that
Heydrich had informed him of a plan to "transfer to the Auschwitz concentration
camp in Upper Silesia the one thousand Jews arrested in Paris on December 12,
1941, in reprisal for attacks on Wehrmacht soldiers. It is a matter of only
Jews of French nationality. The shipment by special train of those one thousand
Jews has been set for March 23, 1942. I will be obliged for a reply indicating
that there is no objection to putting this plan into effect."
Achenbach's political division, through his subordinate Von Nostitz, on
the same day sent the laconic and fateful reply marked "Secret": "No objection
to the proposed action against the Jews."
On March 18, 1942, the German
Embassy's political division expressed its satisfaction at the appointment of a
high-ranking member of the S.S. as chief of the German police in France, which
would "bring the results we want in the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem."
A short time later, after Jews had been ordered to wear the yellow
star, pamphlets and posters began appearing everywhere, and the embassy printed
an enormous number of posters that read: "Jews kill in the dark. Learn how to
identify them so that you can beware of them."
On August 26, 1942, a
member of the Gestapo's Bureau for Jewish Affairs wrote a memorandum after
receiving a telephone call from S.S.-Sturmbannführer Herbert Hagen, a
close associate of S.S. Karl Oberg, "the butcher of Paris." Hagen said that
Achenbach had called to inform him about the current situation in respect to
the deportation of stateless Jews. As a matter of fact, Achenbach had to make a
report on its progress to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. Added to that proof
of direct communication between Achenbach and Hagen is a memorandum dated
February 4, 1943, dictated and signed by Hagen, about the difficulties