Aktion Reinhardt (English version)

The article below, written in March 1986, has never been published before now [August 2009]. It demolishes the substitution argument adopted by certain exterminationists as well as by the semi-revisionist David Irving, an argument according to which, for want of a henceforth dubious “Holocaust” in the alleged “gas chambers” of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek there existed, further East, an indisputable “Holocaust” in the “gas chambers” of the three camps at Sobibor, Belzec and Treblinka, called “the Reinhardt sites” by D. Irving.

At this very moment, John Demjanjuk, 89 years of age, is paying the cost of that lie. After having been falsely accused of gassing Jews at Treblinka, then sentenced to death by an Israeli court, and after having lived for five years waiting to be hanged, he was finally found innocent and released. Some Jews then had the gall to claim that, if he had not been at Treblinka, he must have been at Sobibor! In consequence, the American authorities have again extradited him, this time handing him over to the German, not the Israeli, justice system. Despite his state of health, which is alarming, J. Demjanjuk is today incarcerated in a German prison.

Legend has it that the purported extermination of the Jews at Sobibor, Belzec and Treblinka was done within the framework of an “Aktion Reinhard”. However, as R. Faurisson already demonstrated twenty-three years ago, the operation in question, which in fact bore the surname of the 3rd Reich’s Secretary of State for Finances, Fritz Reinhardt (with a “t”) and not the Christian name of Heydrich, that is, Reinhard (without “t”), had nothing to do with any extermination whatever: it dealt essentially with the economic and financial effects of the displacements, in Poland, of Polish and Jewish populations in the years 1942-1943. An attentive study of one of the documents concerning the “Aktion Reinhardt” will go so far as to prove that the man in charge of it, General Odilo Globocnik, did indeed have in mind the idea that the displaced Jews passing through the transit camps of Sobibor, Belzec and Treblinka would, after the war, be installed somewhere outside Europe. At the Nuremberg trial (1945-1946), by an extraordinarily dishonest sleight of hand, the British prosecution succeeded in hiding that idea of O. Globocnik’s which, besides, only reiterated thoughts expressed by Hitler or Himmler: so true is it that the authorities of the 3rd Reich sought, like the Zionists, “a TERRITORIAL final solution” (eine territoriale Endlösung) of the Jewish question. Expressions such as “solution” or “final solution” of the Jewish question are but abbreviations of “territorial final solution” of the Jewish question. As early as June 24, 1940 Heydrich himself spoke of “eine territoriale Endlösung” and, at his end, a high-ranking official named Martin Luther, head of the “Germany” section at the Foreign ministry, recalled in a long memorandum of August 21, 1942 that that phrase remained in force and that, when the war was over, the Jews, as a whole, would have to leave Europe (Aufzeichnung, p. 4, 13; alias Nuremberg trial document NG-2586).

In the recent Dictionnaire de la Shoah (made under the direction of Georges Bensoussan, Jean-Marc Dreyfus, Edouard Husson and Joël Kotek, Larousse, Paris 2009), an article not to be missed is “Opération Reinhard [sic]” by the Belgian Daniel Bovy; the author seems a man of crass ignorance: on the subject he has apparently read neither Raul Hilberg, nor Uwe Dietrich Adam, nor the indispensable Nuremberg document PS-4024. He does nothing but speculate in the void.

August 3, 2009




The Aktion Reinhardt – and not Reinhard – (March 1942 – October 1943) was never an operation of extermination of the Jews of Poland but rather an operation whose fourfold purpose was:

– the transfer of certain Polish or Jewish populations;
– the utilisation of Polish or Jewish manpower (sometimes in camps);
– the exploitation of property confiscated from Poles or Jews;
– the seizure of hidden valuables and money, as well as of landed property.

The head of this operation was Odilo Globocnik, holder of a degree in engineering who, having become an SS General, was based with his division at Lublin. O. Globocnik probably committed suicide in prison on May 31, 1945.

If the Aktion Reinhardt had been a project of extermination of the Jews, it would, as such, have produced documents attesting to the existence of an order, along with directives and instructions, to that effect. Moreover, to take but these three oft-mentioned examples, the camps of Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec, used, among a number of others, in the framework of that operation, would not have proved to be transit camps but would have been equipped to exterminate masses of human beings.

To lend substance to the extermination argument, some writers often spell the operation’s name “Reinhard” (without the “t”). It is claimed that a vast undertaking of mass murder had been so christened in homage to the Protector of Bohemia-Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, assassinated in Prague by British-armed Czech terrorists. That act was perpetrated on May 27, with the victim dying on the 4th of June. As the Aktion Reinhardt began towards mid-May 1942, it pre-dates that assassination. Also, it is hard to imagine the German bureaucracy deciding to give that kind of enterprise the Christian name of one of the highest State officials: it was not its policy to call Hitler, Göring, Himmler or Heydrich by their forenames of Adolf, Hermann, Heinrich or Reinhard.

Historian Uwe Dietrich Adam’s admission

Uwe Dietrich Adam was the author of Judenpolitik im Dritten Reich (Droste, Düsseldorf 1972). He took part in the historians’ symposium at the Sorbonne, held, in camera, from June 29 to July 2, 1982; a book published three years later, L’Allemagne nazie et le génocide juif (Gallimard/Le Seuil, Paris 1985), supposedly reproduces the various conference papers. In his own contribution on “Les chambres à gaz” (p. 236-261), U. D. Adam carried out some interesting revisions of the commonly accepted theory concerning the Aktion Reinhardt. For example, he happened to write:

On this subject, certain enigmas subsist. Thus, contrary to what the majority of historians think, it is not sure that the name of this operation was given to it in memory of Heydrich, who died on July 5, 1942 [error for: June 4, 1942], following an assassination attempt. Likewise, it is difficult to explain the separation in time of the [respective] building works: at Belzec they began in November 1941, at Sobibor in March 1942 and at Treblinka in late May and early June 1942 (p. 246).

In a note, he pointed out:

To use the name of the deceased head of the RSHA [Central Office of Reich Security] would have been not only an inappropriate choice but also an irreverent one: besides, what connection could there have been between the killing of Polish Jews and the Czech perpetrators of the attack? It is surely more likely that the name evokes that of Secretary of State for Finances Fritz Reinhardt, a spelling in fact found in some documents from the Reinhardt operation, about which this writer is currently preparing a monograph (p. 259, n. 70).

Unhappily, U. D. Adam was to die before he could finish that monograph.

At the Nuremberg trial

At the Nuremberg trial, the prosecution used the selection of documents grouped under classification mark PS-4024 (published in Trial of the Major War Criminals [IMT] vol. XXXIV, p. 58-92), which concerns the economic part of Aktion Reinhardt. The matter was brought up during the hearings of August 5, 6 and 16, 1946. For its treatment in the August 5 session, pages 318-327 in volume XX of the English IMT are to be consulted (German version: p. 349-359). In the same volume XX, pages 422-424 contain its handling on August 6 (German version: p. 460-462). The relevant transcript from August 16 is to be found on pages 239-241 of volume XXI (German version: p. 268-270).

An “omission” by the British junior counsel

At the Nuremberg trial, Major Elwyn Jones, junior counsel for the United Kingdom, sought to make “PS-4024” the main issue against the defendant Walther Funk, minister of the Economy, and against two German witnesses: Friedrich Karl, baron von Eberstein, an SS division General as well as police commissioner of Munich, and the SS judge Gunther Reinecke. In all three instances, E. Jones showed himself to be less than convincing. Moreover, he knowingly committed a grave omission. In a document from his office contained in “PS-4024” and dated February 27, 1943, O. Globocnik foresaw seven measures meant to calm the apprehensions of groups of people being transferred or relocated. The British junior counsel omitted the most significant of those measures, of which the following translation may be offered:

7/. The office is considering giving to relocated persons a certificate of what they will have left behind in the way of houses, farms, livestock and belongings of which inventory may be made, without, however, making any commitment for an obligatory compensation thereof. The future will decide whether such compensation must ensue some day in Brazil or in the Far East. It is only necessary to give transferred persons the feeling that there will ensue, later on, an indemnity for possessions left behind (IMT and IMG, XXXIV, p. 66).

And it is after those words that the signature of O. Globocnik appears. One cannot see the signature without seeing point 7. There, in point 7, may be noted the trace of the idea, dear to Adolf Hitler, Reinhard Heydrich and a good many other National-Socialists according to which the Jewish question would find its solution, after the war, in the creation of a sort of Jewish State that might be situated in Madagascar, Africa, South America or the Far East. Neither O. Globocnik nor any other National-Socialist envisaged the solution of such a problem by the physical extermination of the Jewish people.

As for the policy consisting in the displacement of whole populations and despoiling them more or less brutally of some or all of their possessions, it has, unfortunately, been employed constantly throughout history. The Allies practised it on a grand scale with regard to about 12 million Germans at the war’s end. As for the Jews, they themselves follow no other policy with regard to the Arabs of Palestine.*

March, 1986


* Note (April 1986): Mark Weber, of the Institute for Historical Review, to whom I have sent an English summary of this text, informs me that, curiously, in the translation of German documents produced by the American prosecution at Nuremberg, the same omission of point 7 is to be noted (Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, G.P.O., Washington 1946-1948; Supplement A, p. 744-770 for document PS-4024).