The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
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the meaning of a confirmation of the rumours which circulated in the public opinion. It is to be noted in addition that in this article Streicher faithfully followed O. Dietrich's directives.

It is often tempting to think that since the time that the decision was taken to obtain the "final solution" of the Jewish question by the extermination of the Jews, the Hitlerian power intended to distract public opinion from this unsupportable aspect of the operation. This point of view is erroneous. The anti-Jewish propaganda of the Nazis, beginning with that of Hitler in his major public speeches, addressed itself to the German people in the intention of obtaining its grateful acceptance of the operation which, by measures not to be elaborated except perhaps in a distant future, were making the Jews disappear from the German vital space, that means from the Urals to the Atlantic. In the given circumstances, this meant their physical disappearance. These macabre visions were combined with assurances that the "final solution" consisted first of all in segregation with confiscation (Aryanization), then in deportation to the East for the exploitation of Jewish manpower in the war economy. One may recall that the deportations to the East did in fact take place as work "assignments" (Arbeitseinsatz); this was in practice translated by the extermination of about 80% of the deportees, proclaimed "unfit for work," and by the temporary conservation of the rest, a labour force exposed to the excessively harsh regime of life in a concentration camp. Both aspects, the disappearance of the Jewish masses deported to the East to vanish there and this same deportation as a furnisher of labour appear in the propaganda as valid. But when. faced with the slightest curiosity concerning the process by which this disappearance was obtained, the initiates and their multiple agents did: their utmost to assure that it was a matter of nothing other than economic exploitation in the war industry which lacked workers. These indignant denegations of the "lies of the Jewish terror propaganda" (judische Greuelpropaganda) were proferred without the slightest care of coherence with the revelations that Hitler repeated publicly. Eichmann was questioned in Jerusalem on the answers he gave to the curious and the anguished in regard to the "final solution." He answered; (139): "The directives were so numerous, and to such a degree diverse", that at that time already one had to choose them oneself." He also declared; (140) that as for the extermination of the Jews, "the birds were singing it on the roof-tops" since the end of 1943.

It is natural that these macabre and unclear indications were not easily assimilated by public opinion. One might advance that a German citizen who did not revolt against his Government at the news of the extermination of the Jews thus became an accomplice of the Nazi power. It was preferable not to believe in the possibility of the horror which this power boasted of perpetrating.

But this rejection became impossible for the categories of Germans who, at diverse levels of the hierarchy, assured the functioning of the
    
   

 
The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania
© 1978, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
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