(ausrotten), that is to say, assassinate
(umbrigen) or to have assassinated the men and let their children grow up,
avengers in face of our sons and our grandsons. It was necessary to take the
difficult decision to make this people disappear from the face of the earth."
"You are now informed and you will keep it
to yourselves. Perhaps, much, much later, one will reflect on whether there is
a reason to say a little more to the German people. I believe that it is
preferable that we all bear it for our people and take the responsibility upon
ourselves.., and that we carry the secret to the grave."
Nevertheless, Himmler did not wish the secret to be tightly
guarded. Two days previously, he delivered a speech (PS-1919) before ranking
dignitaries of the SS in which he told analagous [sic] secrets. He concluded
with the exclamation: "It is a page of glory, but which never will be written."
It was thus even so a page of glory. The fact of the liquidation of the Jewish
presence in the German vital space had not to be forgotten. Only one had not to
take pleasure in trying to find out how this performance had been realized. The
memory of it was to be perpetuated but in the haze of consciences only.
One might say that in this speech of October 4, 1943, addressed to the
high-ranking officers of the SS gathered together in Poznan, Himmler evoked the
exterminations of the Jews as something obvious in the eyes of each member of
the Party. (132) He presented in the
following manner the radical interpretation that the latter had to give,
according to him, to the anti-Jewish paragraph, still so mild, of the program
of the Nazi Party established twenty years before and conserved intact like a
relic in conformity with the wish of Hitler. All while deploring the tendency
of each German who, condemning globally the Jews, asked that an exception be
made for his "good Jew" who was not like the others, Himmler declared in
respect to members of the Party:
"The Jewish people will be exterminated
(ausgerottet)," says each member of the Party, it is clearly indicated in our
program, we are proceeding with the elimination (Auschaltung) of the Jews, with
the extermination (Ausrottung) "... Among all those who speak in this manner,
no one has been a spectator of it, no one has seen it. Most of you must know
very well what a hundred corpses laid out together is or when five hundred or a
thousand are. To have endured it and to have remained decent, aside from some
exceptions of human weakness, is what has toughened us..." (PS-1919)
Himmler had no doubts that the physical liquidation of the Jews
which was in progress was known by every German conscious of what Nazism was.
But no one was to seek information about the process of this liquidation.
Himmler added that it was a natural question of tact to not speak of the
horrors one was committing because they were necessary for the good of the Nazi
Three other speeches on the same subject were found in the
Chancellery of the Reichsführer-SS. Himmler gave himself up to the same
confidences on December 16, 1943, in Weimar before an audience of naval
commanders and on May 5 and 24, 1944, when he addressed the generals of the
Wehrmacht in Sonthofen. In exactly the same way as in