Witnesses returning to Germany from the "zones of
operation" told what they had seen. Loesener reported:
"Just before Christmas, the Government
Adviser Feldscher came to see me in my office and related to me what had been
told him the evening before by a person worthy of confidence, an eye witness,
on the massacre near Riga of German Jews, primarily Berliners. It was so
frightful that I shall omit the details here. It is the first time that I
learnt that my worst fears concerning the fate of the deportees had been
confirmed or, more exactly, exceeded... I reported to Stuckart (Secretary of
State at the Ministry of the Interior) what I had learnt... Stuckart began by
retorting: "Don't you know that these things are done by supreme order?"
There were convoys which were immediately liquidated in their
entirety. For others, the deportees were in part packed into ghettos whose
populations were sporadically subjected to liquidation operations. The number
of Jews of the Reich and the Protectorate who survived this regime was minimal.
The uncertainty which until October 1941 characterized the orders of
Hitler for the "final solution" suggests that Himmler and Heydrich, announcing
the Order of the Führer to Globocnik, Eichmann and Hoess in the summer of
1941, went beyond the explicit determination of Hitler's will (it was still
only the order to prepare, not to already execute the operation). In his
diatribes against the Jews, Hitler made known that he wished to give them over
to extermination. He did this in public as well as in private or during work
sessions. Himmler and Heydrich drew their own conclusions and prepared measures
which they considered justified on the basis of what they heard from "their
Führer." Before proceeding with the operation, they had Hitler adopt the
measures envisaged. He expressed his agreement and stood by it.
been stated above that according to Globocnik, his special mission
(extermination of the Polish Jews) required a written authorization from
Heydrich or, if not from the latter, from Himmler or Muller, several months
after the beginning of the extermination. The operation concerning the
euthanasia of the incurably ill, which was ordered in September 1939, was
something else again. A written order of September 1, 1939, signed by Hitler
(PS-630) gave Bouhler of the Party Chancellery, and Doctor Brandt, the
responsibility of organizing and directing this action. Nothing of this nature
appears in the "final solution."
However, a consideration of the
mission of Globocnik in the execution of the latter reveals that the
Chancellery of the Party did indeed collaborate with him in this mission: it
provided him with the specialists in gas chambers trained during the operation
"Euthanasia." Brack, to whom Bouhler had entrusted the gassing of the
incurables (operation stopped in August 1941), wrote on June 23, 1942 (NO-205),
to Himmler: (122)
"Following the order of the Reichsleiter
Bouhler, I have already, since some time ago, put my men at the disposition of
the Brigadeführer Globocnik for the accomplishment of his special mission.
Following a new request from him, I have given him still more personnel..."
There was thus an agreement of principle granted by Hitler.