Jew, to a great extent fallen into his hands. We have
already indicated that this proclamation was overloaded with imprecations
against the Judeo-Anglo-Saxons and the Judeo-Bolsheviks, culminating in the
announcement that the Jews within the interior of the Reich were about to be
definitively finished off. |
It is thus apparently to reply to an intense
interest on the part of Hitler that Himmler ordered the report from Korherr. It
remains nevertheless that Himmler took on his own conscience the responsibility
of the massacre of the deported Jewish masses, except in what concerned the
Soviet Jews, whose extermination was spontaneously ordered by Hitler under the
pretext of an essential measure of military security.
On reading the
report of Korherr, Himmler thought that it could eventually serve as evidence
of the liquidation of the Jewish presence, all while leaving the means employed
to achieve this objective in the shadows. These shadows, such as were cast by
the report over its own details, were not, however, opaque. They were just
sufficient to warn the future historian that if the work of purification of the
German vital space had been pitiless and radical, there would be no reason to
ask how one had gone about it.
Let us recall the hypothesis that the
American psychologist Gilbert presented to the defendant Goering in the prison
of Nuremberg and with which the latter agreed. It concerned the attitude of
Hitler himself, namely that Hitler desired the disappearance of the Jews by no
matter what means and that he did not want to hear about them any more.
In a first draft of the report, Korherr employed the expression
"special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung). He used it in regard to the 1,449,692
Jews who "were sent through" the extermination camps of the General Government
(operation of Globocnik) and of Wartegau (the extermination camp of Chelmno).
The expression "special treatment" was not accepted by Himmler. His aide de
camp communicated to Korherr that Himmler wanted this term to be replaced by
that of "transportation" (Transportierung). "Transportation" is a variant of
The entire "final solution" was presented in the report
(p. 15) as the result of four factors: the emigration, the excedent of deaths
over births and, finally, the evacuation. These factors evoked nothing macabre.
But the future historian studying the reports of Korherr might decide even so
to raise the question as to the meaning of the evacuations. The "final solution
of the Jewish question" consisted in the disappearance of the Jews from the
German vital space. This principle was loudly proclaimed. Besides, Korherr
specified that he counted the evacuations as "departures" (Abgange). Given that
the destination of these evacuations did not go beyond the German vital space
(all while being beyond the limits of the Reich proper), and that in conformity
with the principle no Jewish reserve was evoked in that space, the "departures"
in question could only be departures from earthly life.