Never did the Berlin-Wannsee conference (January 20, 1942) decide on any “extermination” of the Jews of Europe. The very idea of such a decision taken in that place and on that date has been described as silly (sic) by Yehuda Bauer, professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (see “Importance of Wannsee Rejected”, Canadian Jewish News, January 30, 1992, p. 8, reproducing a release from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, London). Besides, seven months after the said conference, the “Martin Luther memorandum” attests to the fact that the Third Reich conceived of no projects of extermination of any group whatever; as at Wannsee, only the driving of the Jews out of Europe was envisaged. Going over the record of the search for a solution to the Jewish question, Martin Luther, undersecretary at the Foreign Ministry, recalls that, already in June 1940, this measure had been taken into consideration by Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler’s chief lieutenant.
Luther (1895-1945) was, from May 1940 to 1943, Chef der Deutschland-Abteilung des Auswärtiges Amtes (Head of the “Germany” department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and served as an undersecretary of Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. He played an important role in the negotiations to be conducted with European governments for the solution, in the various European countries, of “the Jewish question”. (Later, found guilty of having plotted against Ribbentrop, he was interned at Sachsenhausen where he attempted suicide; on the arrival of the Russians he was released; he died of heart failure on May 12 or 13, 1945 in a Berlin hospital).
On January 20, 1942 he represented his ministry at the conference of Berlin-Wannsee where it was once again a matter of driving the Jews out of Europe.
In an urgent (Citissime) internal memorandum (Aufzeichnung), dated Berlin, August 21, 1942, 19 pages in length and in large typescript, he retraced his country’s Jewish policy (Judenpolitik) since 1939. It emerges from this text, with no possible ambiguity, that it was a matter of seeking and obtaining “a territorial final solution”; towards the bottom of page 4 he writes that, as early as June 24, 1940 Heydrich, in a letter to Ribbentrop, had let it be known that the problem posed by the approximately 3¼ million Jews living in the territories under German control could no longer be solved by emigration (Auswanderung); from this Heydrich concluded that a territorial final solution would be necessary (eine territorial Endlösung wäre nötig). On page 18 Luther makes it clear that the evacuation (Abtransport) of Jews to the General Government region of Poland is a provisional measure. The Jews will be sent on to the occupied territories in the East as soon as technical conditions allow it (Der Abtransport nach dem Generalgouvernement ist eine vorläufige Massnahme. Die Juden werden nach den besetzten Ostgebieten weiter befördert, sobald die technischen Voraussetzungan dazu gegeben sind).
The Americans produced a “partial translation” of this memorandum as document NG-2586-J, which served as exhibit no. 1455 of the American public prosecutor’s case at the Nuernberg Military Tribunals (NMT) (NG stands for “Nazi Government”; see Trials of War Criminals before the Nuernberg Military Tribunal under Control Council Law No. 10, October 1946-April 1949, vol. XIII, p. 243-249). At the top of page 245 of Volume XIII are the words “a territorial final solution [territoriale Endlösung] would be necessary”.
As early as 1976 Arthur Robert Butz dealt with the subject extremely well in his masterly work The Hoax of the Twentieth Century / The case against the presumed extermination of European Jewry. See the whole of chapter 7, entitled “The Final Solution” (p. 277-317) and, in particular, pages 277-279 with, shortly after the beginning, a remark so typical of Butz in its natural, direct and concise character: “The general nature of German Jewish policy is very simple to discover; it is all set out in NMT volume 13″.
January 20, 2012