Goebbels on the jews

Goebbels on the Jews, Part 1 and 2
Part 1

Joseph Goebbels was nothing if not disciplined. Since his 26th birthday in late 1923, he maintained a near-daily diary until his death more than 21 years later.[1] These entries are at once unique and invaluable in their ability to provide insight into the National Socialist hierarchy, ideology, and operation. Nothing else like them exists. No other leading National Socialist figure recorded such personal and intimate thoughts on an on-going basis throughout the war. Hitler’s Mein Kampf was written in 1923 and 1924, but he published nothing later. The comments recorded in Hitler’s Table Talk (1953) are the closest to Goebbels’ writings, but these cover in detail only the period July 1941 to September 1942, and they furthermore have not much to add to the topic at hand. We of course have the speeches by Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler and other leading figures. Goebbels’s diaries were held private for his entire life. He never intended to publish them, although he clearly expected them to survive the war as a permanent record of his thoughts, for posterity. They offer us an irreplaceable look at National Socialist history and evolution, the lead-up and conduct of the war, and, especially, National Socialist policy on the jews.

Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels 1942. In his diary entry for July 26, 1940, he writes: “The big plan for the evacuation (Evakuierung) of the jews from Berlin was approved. Additionally, all the jews of Europe are supposed to be deported (deportiert) to Madagascar after the war.”
Photo is in the public domain. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Having earned his PhD in history and philology at Heidelberg in 1921, Goebbels first encountered Hitler in Munich the next year. He joined the NSDAP in 1924, and began editing an early National Socialist newspaper in 1925. Goebbels quickly earned the attention of Hitler, and was named Gauleiter (district leader) of Berlin in October 1926. He founded a major National Socialist periodical, Der Angriff, in 1927, and by 1929 was named Reich Propaganda Minister. Goebbels was thus well-placed by the time Hitler and the NSDAP acceded to power in 1933. He was the most intelligent and well-educated of the National Socialist leaders.[2] In a very short time Goebbels, along with Hitler and Göring, came to comprise the leadership ‘trinity’ of the early National Socialist party. As the war progressed Göring fell from grace, leaving Goebbels as the de facto second-in-command of the Third Reich. He eclipsed even Himmler, who was in the end more an enforcer than leader. Into the 1940s, Goebbels “was the most important and influential man after Hitler…[B]y 1943, he was virtually running the country while Hitler was running the war.”[3] Thus Goebbels was uniquely situated to comment on, and help resolve, the Jewish Question (judenfrage). To this end, his diaries are absolutely essential for understanding the “jewish holocaust.”

The diaries themselves first surfaced a few years after the war. An unknown scavenger came upon the bundles of originals—some 7,000 pages in total—in the ruins of the official German archives. Pages were burned, soaked, and many were missing. They “passed through several hands,” eventually becoming acquired by an American diplomat.[4] In 1948 a (very) partial English translation by Louis Lochner appeared, on selected entries from 1942 and 1943. Unknown at the time, the Soviets had acquired a full set of glass plate prints of the entire diary series, amounting to roughly 75,000 individual sheets. By various obscure means, portions leaked out over the years. Then in 1992, David Irving (re)discovered the full set in the Soviet archives, and was able to fill in all the missing gaps. These were put to good use in his 1996 work Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich—the only complete biography published to date.

Today, there are four English translations of different parts of the diary: (1) the original Lochner translation; (2) Oliver Watson’s “early entries,” from the years 1925-1926; (3) Fred Taylor’s translation of the period 1939-1941; and (4) Richard Barry’s “final entries” of 1945. These four books combined constitute not more than 10% of the total; a full 90% of the diaries have never appeared in English.

Fortunately, though, with Irving’s discovery in 1992, the German publisher Saur was able to produce a complete and authoritative set, in the German original: Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels. The full set runs to 29 volumes of roughly 500 pages each, and is divided into 2 parts (or Teils): Part 1 from 1923-1941, and Part 2 from 1941-1945. The final volume was released only in 2006, and so the complete set is still relatively new to researchers. Very few have made good use of it.

Of particular interest here are Goebbels’s disclosures about National Socialist policy toward a final solution (Endlösung) of the Jewish Question, which of course directly relate to our conception of the Holocaust. On the standard view, the entire National Socialist leadership, Hitler above all, were rabid anti-Semites who would settle for nothing less than the mass murder of every jew they could get their hands on. They allegedly pursued this objective even to the detriment of the war effort, and rounded up and gassed jews until the final few months. Their alleged 6 million victims were burned, buried, or otherwise made to vanish, such that traces of a mere fraction of these bodies have ever been found.

There are, as we know, many problems with this account. First is the fact that no ‘extermination order’ from Hitler has ever been discovered—nor even any tangible reference to such.[5] Hilberg was reduced to nonsense in his “mind reading” statement of 1983,[6] and even as late as 2003 he was compelled to write:

The process of destruction…did not, however, proceed from a basic plan. … The destruction process was a step-by-step operation, and the administrator could seldom see more than one step ahead. … In the final analysis, the destruction of the jews was not so much a product of laws and commands as it was a matter of spirit, of shared comprehension, of consonance and synchronization. (2003: 50-52)

Even preeminent British Hitler expert Ian Kershaw could not do much better. The Soviet archives were opened up in the early 1990s; “predictably, a written order by Hitler for the ‘Final Solution’ was not found. The presumption that a single explicit written order had ever been given had long been dismissed by most historians” (2008: 96). Rather, this most momentous destruction of human life occurred via “improvised bureaucratic initiatives whose dynamic prompted a process of ‘cumulative radicalization’ in the fragmented structures of decision-making in the Third Reich” (p. 94)—a statement hardly more coherent than Hilberg’s.

Nothing in Goebbels’s diaries changes this situation. As Irving (1996: 388)[7] observes, “Nowhere do the diary’s 75,000 pages refer to an explicit order by Hitler for the murder of the jews.” On the contrary: we find repeated and consistent reference only to expulsion and deportation.

Second, and more importantly, once the alleged extermination process was underway, we have no direct evidence that either Hitler or Goebbels knew anything about it—which is inconceivable. Below I consider the account given by Kershaw (2000). He undertakes an amazing series of gyrations to argue that Hitler both planned the genocide of the jews and knew about its progress, despite the lack of any evidence. His points overlap with the diary entries, which I will cover below. Suffice to say here that, on Kershaw’s reading, Hitler was incredibly aloof on the Jewish Question. “Even in his inner circle Hitler could never bring himself to speak with outright frankness about the killing of the jews” (p. 487)—in other words, he never, ever spoke openly about this most-vital aspect of the entire National Socialist program. Hitler’s comments were always “confined to generalities,” sprinkled in with the “occasional menacing allusion.” Thus, with a mere wink and a nod, the mass murder of 6 million jews was effected.

Given the striking lack of evidence, and the inconceivability that mass murder of millions was underway without awareness at the top, only two alternatives are possible: (1) the National Socialist hierarchy knew all about the mass murder but mutually agreed to never discuss it, or to refer to it only in euphemisms and code language—even in the most private of settings; or (2) no systematic mass murder occurred at all, and the reality was in fact just as they said: expulsion and deportation, along with a certain degree of incidental death. I would suggest that a detailed look at Goebbels’s diary entries, in conjunction with the alleged ‘extermination’ actions that were occurring at the same time, may shine some light on this dispute.

* * *

To the best of my knowledge only two English books cite the diary in any detail: Irving’s Goebbels (1996) and Kershaw’s Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis (2000).[8] Irving, especially in the longer Internet version, captures many important passages on the Jewish Question, but this is clearly not his main concern. Kershaw has a large number of quotations, but most are only partial, out of context, and designed to cast a certain light on Hitler. To his credit, and unlike many other works, Kershaw does a good job of including the original German words for the key terms, especially those relating to expulsion, evacuation, ‘elimination,’ and the like.

There are at least three concerns for any foreign-language translation, and these loom particularly large here. First, inclusion of the original language on key words and phrases is essential; it allows the reader to be fully informed about the actual original text. Second, passages should be cited as fully as possible, in order to retain context. Third is the translation itself, which is always problematic. Again, particularly so in this case, as many traditionalist writers are anxious to portray Goebbels’s language—which ranges from benign to ambiguous—in as ominous a light as possible. On these three counts, Irving does a reasonably good job, lacking only the extended quotations that are preferable. Kershaw does well on the first point, but fails on the other two—as I will show. Of the published (partial) translations, Lochner comes in for notable censure.

In what follows I cite Goebbels’s reflections on the jews and jewish policy in full. This is quite easy because, in virtually every case, the entry consists only of a few sentences or a short paragraph or two. I also include the German original for every contentious word or phrase. To maintain context, all entries are in chronological order. Following the date for each entry is original citation information from the Tagebücher: Part # (Teil), Volume # (Band), and page number. Hence, (II.3.478) refers to Part 2, volume 3, page 478.

In total, I include below the entries for 123 different days, ranging from May 1937 to April 1945. Of these, 43 appear in one of the published translation books; the remaining 80 entries are previously unpublished, and appear here for the first time in English. (Of course many scattered portions of these entries do appear elsewhere, primarily in the Irving and Kershaw books. But none in full.) Where the entries are those found in existing translations, I have identified them with asterisks (*=Taylor, **=Lochner, ***=Barry). Furthermore, I have maintained their wording, except when essential corrections were necessary—cited in the subsequent commentary.

To be as thorough as possible, it was my original aim to include every significant entry on the jews or the Jewish Question. But in a 29-volume set these proved too numerous for the present essay. Hence I will focus on the key time period, bounded by two significant events: Kristallnacht, and the deportation of the “Hungarian” jews. Thus for the period from 1 September 1938 through 30 June 1944, I have included literally every noteworthy entry by Goebbels.[9] This exhaustive survey, covering nearly six years, gives the most complete picture possible of his perspective on the jewish holocaust.

Before addressing the central period I want to mention a few early passages. The first passing reference to the “Jewish Question” (judenfrage) appears very early in the diary: 15 March 1924 (Part 1, vol. 1)—coincident with the first reference to Hitler. It was clearly a concern from his earliest days in the Party. But serious action against the jews did not begin until more than a decade later, in the late 1930s. For example:

May 5, 1937 (I.4.124)
The elimination of jewish influence (Entjudung—lit. ‘de-jewing’) in the Reich Chamber of Culture moves forward. I will not be at peace until it is completely free of jews\.

Nov 30, 1937 (I.4.429)
Long discussion on the Jewish Question. My new law is almost finished. But that is not the goal. The jews must leave Germany, and get completely out (aus…heraus) of Europe. It will still take some time, but it needs to happen. The Führer is determined to do so\.

Here we have, I believe, the first reference to the complete removal of the jews—a full year prior to Kristallnacht. Then into 1938 we find the first mention of the ‘Madagascar plan’:

Apr 11, 1938 (I.5.256)
Long discussion at breakfast, on the Jewish Question. The Führer wants the jews completely squeezed out (herausdrängen) of Germany. To Madagascar, or some such place. Right!

Apr 23, 1938 (I.5.269-270)
Speaking with Helldorf on the jewish Question. … We will take from Berlin the character of a jewish paradise. jewish shops will be identified. In any case we will now proceed more radically. Negotiations with Poland and Romania. Madagascar would be the most suitable for [the jews]\.

At least into early 1942 (see entry for March 7), it was seriously proposed to round up all the “European” jews and ship them to Madagascar, which was to be forcibly acquired from France. This fact, of course, is of central importance to the holocaust: if the National Socialists wanted to ship them out, then obviously there was no plan for mass murder. To further complicate the traditional account, we need only observe that Chelmno, Auschwitz, and Belzec were all allegedly underway in March 1942. And in fact it is worse than this, because talk of deportation continues right up until the end of the war.

I would further note Goebbels’s use of the word ‘radical,’ which evidently means the mass expulsion of several million jews, with little regard for their long-term well being. Also, the focus on Berlin: as local Gauleiter, Goebbels placed top priority on cleansing the city of its jews. We see this over and over in the entries to follow. In fact this often seems to take priority over a total cleansing of the Reich—which again does not fit well with the exterminationist thesis.

I now begin with the entries from 1 September 1938. The first notable item is an early observation on America:

Sep 17, 1938 (I.6.95)
Afternoon meeting with our diplomat in Washington, Dieckhoff. He expresses a similar situation as Gienandt. At the moment it is hopeless. Everything depends on our position with England. Roosevelt is our enemy. He is surrounded by jews. In a European conflict, if England stands against us, then so too will America\.

In the run-up to Kristallnacht, we find evidence of Goebbels’s involvement with anti-jewish actions the month before:

Oct 12, 1938 (I.6.142)
Helldorf gives me a report on the status of the jewish action in Berlin. It proceeds systematically. And the jews now gradually withdraw\.

Then we have the event itself, triggered in part by the murder of Ernst vom Rath, German diplomat in Paris. He was shot by a jewish teenager, Herschel Grynszpan.

Nov 10, 1938 (I.6.180-181)
In Kassel and Dessau there were large demonstrations against the jews, synagogues burned and shops demolished. In the afternoon the death of our [Paris] diplomat vom Rath was announced. I go to the Party reception in the old town hall. A huge operation. I present the Führer. He states: let the demonstrations continue. Police are to withdraw. The jews should feel the public wrath. That is only right. I give appropriate instructions to the police and Party. Then I have a short discussion with Party leadership. Everyone rushes to the phones. Now the people will act\.

We must not let this cowardly murder [of vom Rath] go unanswered. Let things follow their course. The Hitler Patrol cleans house in Munich. A synagogue is smashed to pieces. I try to save it from the fire; but I fail\.

The Patrol has done some vicious work. A message runs out across the Reich: 50-75 synagogues burned. The Führer has ordered the immediate arrest of 25,000-30,000 jews. That will have an effect. They will now see that our patience has run out\.

When I go into the hotel, all the windowpanes rattle. Bravo! Bravo! In all large cities the synagogues burn. German property is not threatened\.

The first reports come early in the morning. It has been a raging fury. Just as expected. The whole nation is in turmoil. This murder will be very expensive for the jews. The dear jews will think carefully in the future before shooting German diplomats\.

To this day it is unclear to what extent the riots were spontaneous outbreaks of anti-Semitism, or well-planned instigations by plain-clothed security men. [See jewish Psyop Reichskristallnacht]

Nov 13, 1938 (I.6.185)
Heydrich reports on the actions: 190 synagogues burned and destroyed. Conference with Göring on the Jewish Question. Hot battles over the solution. I argue for a radical solution. Funk is somewhat soft and yielding. The result: a fine of one billion Marks is imposed on the jews. In the shortest period of time, they will be completely excluded (ausgeschieden) from economic life. They can no longer run businesses. … A whole series of other measures is planned. In any case, a clean sheet has now been made. I work well with Göring. He also attacks this sharply. The radical view has prevailed. I draft a very sharp public communiqué\.

Again, more talk of the ‘radical’ solution as total exclusion from public life. Then two follow-up entries:

Nov 22, 1938 (I.6.195)
We are planning a series of new measures against the jews. I have a long phone call with Göring, who is coordinating all the actions. He approaches it harshly. In Berlin we do more than anywhere else in the Reich. That’s also necessary, because we have so many jews. But the actions have also destroyed much. Good that it’s over\.

Nov 26, 1938 (I.6.202)
Situation report: almost exclusively on the Jewish Question. Partly positive, partly negative. We must enlighten the public, and especially the intellectuals, on the Jewish Question\.

In late November, two more interesting observations on America:

Nov 27, 1938 (I.6.203)
Roosevelt speaks out ever harsher against us. He is totally in the hands of the jews. A jew-slave, perhaps even of jewish ancestry\.

Dec 17, 1938 (I.6.223)
America is strongly against us. On the Jewish Question it makes impertinent remarks. It is surely also a jew-state!

The year 1939 opened with this entry, as a follow-up to the 5 May 1937 comment:

Jan 26, 1939 (I.6.239) *
The elimination of jewish influence (Entjudung) in the Reich Chamber of Culture continues. But now considerable financial difficulties are apparent. We shall overcome them\.

Four days later, on January 30, Hitler gave his famous Reichstag speech of 1939. This was remarkable on several counts. It was sprinkled with many references to international jewry (internationale judentum), the jewish world-enemy (jüdischen Weltfeind), and the Jewish Question generally. It was a grand event, the equivalent of a presidential joint session of Congress. The cameras and microphones were running. Among some initial remarks on the Jewish Question, he states that the “foreign peoples” must be “pushed out” (abzuschieben) in order to allow the Germans to arise. The key section occurs in the middle of the speech: “Europe cannot find peace until the Jewish Question is resolved.” jewry too often lives off the work of others; unless they begin to perform true, productive work, they will sooner or later “succumb to a crisis of unimaginable proportions.” He continues:

Many times in my life I have been a prophet, and was often laughed at. At the time of my struggle for power, it was primarily the jewish people who accepted my prophecies with laughter. … I believe that this time the laughter of the jews in Germany is stuck in their throats. Today I will again be a prophet: If the international jewish financiers in and outside Germany should succeed in plunging the nations once again into a world war, then the result will be not the Bolshevization of the Earth and with it the victory of jewry, but rather the destruction (Vernichtung) of the jewish race in Europe\.

Here, for all the world to see, Hitler is predicting the ‘destruction,’ or perhaps ‘annihilation,’ of the jews. At issue is the meaning of this word Vernichtung. Its root, nicht, means ‘none’ or ‘nothing’. Bilingual dictionaries translate it as either ‘destruction’ or ‘extermination.’

So what can the “Vernichtung of the jewish race” mean? On the standard view, of course, this means mass murder: literal genocide, the killing of every jew. But there are two problems here. First, Vernichtung, along with the English equivalents ‘destruction’ and ‘extermination’, are inherently ambiguous. To ‘destroy’ is literally to ‘de-structure’ or ‘deconstruct’ (Latin: de-struere). To destroy an individual person or animal is to kill it, but to destroy a collective—a city, a nation, a race—is to ruin its structural coherence, and cause it to cease to exist as a collective entity.[10] This of course would happen if every individual member were killed, but it in no way demands this. Likewise with ‘extermination’, which means, literally, to ‘push beyond the boundaries’ (Latin: ex-terminus). To exterminate is simply to ‘get rid of completely’, by whatever means. And in fact the leading traditionalists evidently agree with these benign interpretations. Kershaw, for example, goes to great pains to argue that there was neither plan nor intention of mass murder prior to September 1941. Browning (2004: 371) comes to a similar conclusion.

The second problem is this: How likely is it that Hitler would declare to the world his intention to murder an entire race? Kershaw (2000: 522) pointedly emphasizes Hitler’s “intense preoccupation with secrecy”; the mass murder scheme was “a secret to be carried to the grave.” But wait—he already announced it to the world in January 1939! Does it even make sense to then keep such a thing secret? Or perhaps there was no secret to keep.

For some unknown reason, Goebbels does not comment on the Reichstag speech—at least, in the days and months that followed. (Down the road he would see it as something of a milestone.) In fact for the next 10 months one finds no substantial reference to the jewish Question at all. Perhaps pressing matters of war intervened. Czechoslovakia disintegrated in March and Germany was thereby compelled to occupy the territory. With much inducement from England, Poland undertook a series of belligerent actions, resulting in the German-Polish war that began on September 1. Two days later this regional war became a European one, when France and the UK declared war on Germany. Comments by Goebbels resumed in October:

Oct 7, 1939 (I.7.141)
The jewish problem will probably be the hardest to solve. These jews are no longer human beings. [They are] predators equipped with a cold intellect, which must be counteracted\.

Oct 17, 1939 (I.7.157)
This jewry must be destroyed (vernichtet)\.

…taking a cue, perhaps, from Hitler. The remainder of the year includes comments again consistent with removal, and no evidence of contemplated murder. The mention of typhus (December 6) is significant; as we know, this was undoubtedly the cause of death for many in the ghettos and camps, both jews and non-jews.

Nov 3, 1939 (I.7.179-180)
With the Führer. I give him a report on my trip to Poland, which interests him greatly. Above all, my exposition on the jewish problem earns his full support. judaism is a waste product. More clinical than social issue\.

Dec 5, 1939 (I.7.220-221)
[The Führer] shares my view on the jewish and Polish questions. The jewish danger must be banished (gebannt) by us. But it will still return in a few generations. There is no real panacea\.

Dec 6, 1939 (I.7.222)
Du Prel reports on the situation in the General Government. Horrible! There is still much to do. Nothing has changed in Warsaw. A typhus epidemic and famine have broken out. In Lublin, they’re waiting for the expelled (abgeschobenen) jews\.

Dec 19, 1939 (I.7.236-237) *
The jews are attempting to infiltrate cultural life again. Particularly half-jews. When they are serving with the armed forces, they have some reason on their side. Nevertheless, I reject all requests in this area\.

My thoughts on the Jewish Question in wartime meet with the Führer’s approval. He intends to clear (heraushaben) all half-jews from the Wehrmacht. Otherwise there will be continual ‘incidents.’

Through the entire first half of 1940 we find, again, no entries on the jews. Germany was racking up military successes, culminating in the invasion of the Low Countries on May 10 and the push to the Channel. France was quickly overwhelmed, and German troops marched into Paris on June 14. Things were going very well; the war appeared to be heading toward a rapid conclusion; and then the Jewish Question could be addressed in earnest.

Jun 6, 1940 (I.8.159)
We will quickly be finished with the jews after the war\.

Jul 6, 1940 (I.8.207)
The American jewish press is entirely on Churchill’s side. Now, suddenly, France is no longer the ideal democratic nation. Riff-raff that must be eradicated (ausgerottet)\.

Jul 20, 1940 (I.8.229)
One must neutralize the habitual criminal before the crime, not after. Our lawyers will never understand that. The jews also belong in this category, and one must make short shrift (kurzen Prozess) of them\.

By July the question of Berlin had again arisen, as had the Madagascar plan:

Jul 26, 1940 (I.8.238)
The big plan for the evacuation (Evakuierung) of the jews from Berlin was approved. Additionally, all the jews of Europe are supposed to be deported (deportiert) to Madagascar after the war\.

Aug 17, 1940 (I.8.276) *
Later on, we want to ship (verfrachten) the jews to Madagascar. There they can build their own state\.

Sep 2, 1940 (I.8.301)
I fly to Kattowitz [Katowice, Poland, near Auschwitz]. … Bracht reports to me on the various concerns of the Province. The Poles are resigned to their fate, and the jews have been pushed out (abgeschoben)\.

Nov 2, 1940 (I.8.406)
With the Führer. Epp has colonial questions. Koch and Forster, questions about the East. All want to unload their trash onto the General Government: jews, the sick, the lazy, etc. And [Hans] Frank resists. Not entirely without reason. He would like to make Poland a model nation. But that goes too far. He cannot, and should not. According to the Führer, Poland is a large labor pool for us—a place to hold failed people and use them for lowly work. We have to get them from somewhere. Frank does not like this, but he has to. And the jews will later be moved out (abschieben) of this area\.

We see here a growing vocabulary of terms relating to the status of the jews. The large majority refer to removing, deporting, or expelling: aus-herausherausdrängenausscheidenabschiebenevakuierenverfrachtendeportieren. Later we find other related terms: beseitigen, herausbringen, aufräumen, herausschaffen, and others—some 18 in total, by my count (not including conjugates). This group is the most numerous, and the most benign. Two of these, evakuieren (evacuate) and abschieben (expel or push out), are especially popular with Goebbels.

A second group of terms include those that I will call ‘ambiguous’, in the sense that they have somewhat more ominous implications: vernichten (verb form of Vernichtung), ausrotten, liquidieren, eliminieren, and auslöschen. I’ve discussed the first of these already, and in the July 6 entry Goebbels first uses a form of ausrotten. This word, literally meaning ‘to root out’, translates to the ambiguous ‘exterminate’ or to ‘eradicate’ (ex-radix, lit. ‘up-root’). Once again, none of these meanings entail death, killing, or murder. A plant that is ausrottet can be replanted and live; a family can be ‘up-rooted’ and reestablished elsewhere. The exterminationist suggestion that either vernichten or ausrotten necessarily imply murder is, quite literally, nonsense.[11]

I should note, by the way, that the German language does indeed have words for ‘killing’: morden, ermorden, töten, totschlagen, totschiessen. Goebbels had no shortage of alternatives if he wished to discuss literally killing the jews. This is, after all, a personal and private diary. Consider his situation: Should the Germans win, he has nothing to fear. Should they lose, he must have known that his own death awaited, along with the ‘destruction’ of greater Germany—again, nothing to fear. Why hold back? So the reader might be wondering: Does Goebbels ever use such explicit terms? In fact he does: once. If I may temporarily leap ahead to one of his final entries, 14 March 1945, we read that certain soon-to-be-victorious jews are calling for no mercy on the Germans—to which Goebbels replies, “Anyone in a position to do so should kill (totschlagen) these jews like rats.” There we have it—an unambiguous call for murder. Except that it’s three years too late. One wonders, though, why, on the exterminationist thesis, Goebbels didn’t resort to such language much sooner. Perhaps it was only at the end, when the jewish-backed Allies were slaughtering innocent Germans by the tens of thousands, that the National Socialists began calling for their deaths. And perhaps by then it was justified.[12]

Into 1941 we start to move strongly toward—on the traditionalist view—systematic murder. But not until the second half of the year:

Mar 18, 1941 (I.9.193) *
Vienna will soon be entirely jew-free. And now it is Berlin’s turn. I am already discussing the question with the Führer and Dr. Frank. He puts the jews to work, and they are indeed obedient. Later they will have to get out of Europe altogether (aus…heraus)\.

Mar 19, 1941 (I.9.195)
Early flight to Posen. … Here, all sorts have been liquidated (liquidiert), above all the jewish trash. This has to be. I explain the situation to Greiser\.

Mar 22, 1941 (I.9.199)
I am deeply troubled about the cultural impact of foreign laborers working in the Reich. There are several hundred thousand. The harsh line towards prisoners of war is also somewhat mitigated. The jews themselves cannot be evacuated (evakuiert) from Berlin because 30,000 are working in the armaments industry. Who, earlier, would have thought this possible?

In the March 19 entry we find the first occurrence of another troublesome word, ‘liquidation’. It proves to be rather popular, appearing in eight different entries. The troublesome part is that, in many cases, it means something other than killing. Goebbels speaks of liquidating the “jewish danger” (30 May 1942) and of liquidating jewish marriages (6 December 1942). The word ‘liquidation’ means, primarily, ‘to make fluid.’ And this in fact is a fairly apt description of the deportation process: a large, entrenched jewish community who had to be uprooted, made liquid, and then to flow out across the borders. Nothing in this entails killing. Nor at the time, in the 1940s, did the word necessarily mean murder. An article in the London Times had this to say: “The rest of the jews in the General Government…would be liquidated, which means either transported eastward in cattle trucks to an unknown destination, or killed where they stood” (4 December 1942; p. 3). Holocaust survivor Thomas Buergenthal (2009: 49) writes of his experience in the Kielce ghetto: “The ghetto was being liquidated or, in the words bellowing out of the loudspeakers, Ausseidlung! Ausseidlung! (‘Evacuation! Evacuation!’).” And later he comments, “After the liquidation of the labor camp…” (p. 56). Clearly the word means, and meant, something other than killing.

Obviously, ‘liquidate’ can mean killing, as can a huge variety of words under contrived circumstances. In Mafia circles, a ‘kiss’ can mean death. Motion pictures use a variety of silly terms: whack, pop, bump, waste, take for a ride, off, do in, and so on. In the case of Goebbels, we must ask once again, why would he go to lengths to use euphemisms or silly code words in a personal diary? And one in which, when motivated, he was happy to call a spade a spade?

June 1941 was an important month: the Germans invaded Russia, and the Einsatzgruppen were activated to protect the troops from partisan attacks. Here I refer back to Kershaw’s account of events. Through mid-1941, Kershaw admits, there was no true genocidal plan—despite Hitler’s infamous prophecy of January 1939. As of June 1941, “shooting or gassing to death all the jews of Europe…was at this stage not in mind” (p. 463). Even through the end of the year, the alleged physical extermination plan “was still emerging” (p. 492). Hence the plan in mid-1941 was just as Goebbels had recorded: one of confinement, deportation, and ethnic cleansing.

Anti-partisan actions of the Einsatzgruppen began in June and July 1941; jews were prominent among the partisans, and hence they were prominent among the victims. Then “there was a sharp escalation from around August onward,” both in the death toll and in the ranks of the shooters. Allegedly, the 3,000 Einsatzgruppen men recruited large numbers of “native collaborators” to help with the slaughter; Kershaw cites Browning (1995: 106) as stating that the combined troop levels rose to more than 300,000 by January 1943![13]

Jun 20, 1941 (I.9.390)
Dr. Frank talks about the General Government. There one is already happily looking forward to expelling (abschieben) the jews. judaism in Poland gradually decays. A just punishment for inciting the people and instigating the war. The Führer has also prophesied that to the jews\.

Jul 13, 1941 (II.1.58)
We are again getting reports from the eastern front on the terrible atrocities being committed by the Bolsheviks. The Moscow jews continue to apply their infamous procedure, in order to push the outrages committed by them into our shoes. But the whole world agrees that there is not a word of truth in it\.

Kershaw then cites a mysterious meeting between Hitler and Himmler in mid-July, during which the former “effectively…placed the ‘Jewish Question’…directly in Himmler’s hands” (p. 469). After this, we are to believe that Hitler was content to speak only of deportations, removals, and evacuations, all of which allegedly reconfirmed the implicit genocide command. When Hitler is quoted as saying, “Where the jews are sent to, whether to Siberia or Madagascar, is immaterial,” Kershaw offers an amazing response: “The frame of mind [here] was overtly genocidal. The reference to Madagascar was meaningless.” Evacuation to Siberia was “genocide of a kind” (p. 471). But never mind this; as of July 1941, “no decision for the ‘Final Solution’—meaning the physical extermination of the jews throughout Europe—had yet been taken. But genocide was in the air.”

Aug 7, 1941 (II.1.189)
In the Warsaw ghetto there was some increase in typhus; although provisions have been made to ensure that it will not leave the ghetto. The jews have always been carriers of infectious diseases. They must either be cooped up in a ghetto and left to themselves, or liquidated (liquidieren); otherwise they will always infect the healthy population of the civilized nations\.

Aug 11, 1941 (II.1.213)
In the [occupied] Baltic countries the tendency is to form their own governments, and to shake off the Germans as quickly as possible, in order to become stronger. In the large cities a punishment is inflicted upon the jews. They are beaten to death en masse in the streets by the self-defense organizations of the Baltic peoples. That which the Führer prophesied comes true: that if the jews succeeded in provoking a war again, they would thereby cease to exist (seine Existenz verlieren würde)\.

A very important observation: the deaths of jews in the Baltics were caused in large part by revenge-seeking natives, not roving German death squads. And in fact there was a good basis for this revenge, namely the murder and torture inflicted by the jews of Stalin’s GPU intelligence unit.[14 ]

In his “Table Talk” discussions of this time, Hitler argued that Germany was justified in deporting the jews, and that furthermore they were doing it relatively humanely:

If any people has the right to proceed to evacuations, it is we, for we’ve often had to evacuate our own population. Eight hundred thousand men had to emigrate from East Prussia alone. How humanely sensitive we are is shown by the fact that we consider it a maximum of brutality to have liberated our country from 600,000 jews. And yet we accepted, without recrimination, and as something inevitable, the evacuation of our own compatriots! (1953/2000: 24)

There seems to be no independent verification of the 600,000 figure, so we cannot identify from where they would have been deported, unfortunately. Meanwhile Goebbels continued his actions in Berlin:

Aug 12, 1941 (II.1.218)
The Jewish Question has again become especially acute in the capital. We count 70,000 jews in Berlin at the moment, of which 30,000 are not even working; the others live as parasites off the work of the host nation. This is an intolerable situation. The various departments of the upper-level Reich authorities still oppose a radical solution to this problem. But I won’t let it go, for I don’t want to experience the jewish question solved again as it was in 1938—by the mob. But this is prevented in the long run only if we take timely and sweeping measures\. … I also think it necessary that the jews be given a badge. They are active in public life as defeatists and mood-spoilers. It is therefore imperative that they be recognized as jews. They must not be allowed to speak on behalf of the German people. They have nothing to do with the German people, but rather must be excluded from (ausgeschieden) the German people\.

Goebbels clearly does not want a repeat of Kristallnacht. Also, this is the first mention of the “badge”, or yellow Star of David, that the jews were ultimately forced to wear.

Aug 18, 1941 (II.1.254)
It’s different with the Jewish Question. All Germans are presently against the jews. The jews must be put back in the box. When one realizes that there are still 75,000 jews in Berlin, of which only 23,000 are working, it seems a grotesque fact. One cannot even inform the German people, or else there would surely be pogroms. We Germans thus have the honor to conduct the war, and meanwhile the parasitical jews, who are waiting for our defeat in order to exploit it for themselves, are sustained by our national strength. This condition is absolutely outrageous. I will ensure that it will soon be stopped\.

Aug 19, 1941 (II.1.265-266)
Regarding the Jewish Question, I completely prevail with the Führer. He agrees that we will introduce a large, visible jew-badge for all the jews in the Reich, and which must be worn in public; then we can remove (beseitigt) the danger that the jews will act as defeatists and complainers without being recognized. Also, if in the future they do not work, they will be given smaller rations than the German people. That is only right and proper. He who does not work, should not eat. It’s all we need in Berlin, for example, that of 76,000 jews only 26,000 work, and the rest not only don’t work, but they live on the rations of the Berlin population! Additionally, the Führer tells me that, as soon as the first transport opportunity becomes available, the Berlin jews should be pushed off (abzuschieben) to the East. There they will have to make do under a harsh climate\.

We discuss the jewish problem. The Führer is convinced that his prophecy in the Reichstag—that if jewry succeeded in provoking yet another world war, it would end with their destruction (Vernichtung)—is confirmed. It is coming true in the following weeks and months with an almost uncanny certainty. In the East, the jews must pay the price; in Germany they have paid in part already, and they will pay more in the future. Their last resort is North America, and there they will also have to pay before long\.

jewry is a foreign element among civilized nations, and its activities in the past three decades has been so devastating that the people’s reaction is understandable—indeed, one might say, a compulsion of nature. In any case, in the world to come the jews will not have anything to laugh about. In Europe today there is a united front against jewry. This is already apparent in the entire European press—and not only on this question, but also on many other matters there exists a thoroughly unified opinion\.

So here we have a clear and unambiguous statement: that the Vernichtung of the jewish race meant the complete exclusion from society and, ultimately, its physical removal.

Aug 20, 1941 (II.1.278)
On the Jewish Question, I am now beginning to take action. Because the Führer has allowed me to introduce a badge for the jews, I believe I will be able to accomplish this marking very quickly, without carrying out the legal reforms that would normally be required in such a situation. … Public life in Berlin must quickly be cleaned (gereinigt) [of jews]. If at the moment it is not possible to make Berlin a jew-free city, at least they should not appear in public any longer. Additionally, the Führer told me that I may expel (abschieben) the jews from Berlin immediately after the end of our campaign in the East. Berlin must become a jew-free city. It is outrageous and scandalous that 76,000 jews, most of whom are parasites, can roam the capital of the German Reich. They destroy not only the streetscape, but also the mood\.

Although it will be very different when they wear a badge, we can leave it at that until they are removed. We have to approach this problem without any sentimentality. One need only imagine what the jews would do to us, if they had the power to do so—as we have the power to do. In any case, I remain alert regarding further action on the jewish Question. If one must also overcome bureaucratic and partly sentimental resistance in the higher Reich offices, I will be neither surprised nor deterred. I took up the fight against jewry in Berlin in 1926, and it is my ambition not to rest until the last jew has left Berlin\.

Throughout the summer Hitler resisted mass evacuations. Then, according to Kershaw: “Suddenly, in mid-September, Hitler changed his mind. There was no overt indication of the reason” (p. 477). Here’s one overt indication: on September 12 Roosevelt ordered the U.S. navy to begin sinking German ships. This was only the latest in a string of aggressive and provocative actions by the Americans, which began with their shadowing of German freighter and supply ships in late 1939, and included the Lend-Lease Act of March 1941 that authorized military assistance for the Allied nations, explicitly ending U.S. neutrality.

A Himmler letter from this time cites Hitler’s authorization to begin with an initial shipment of 60,000 jews to the Lodz ghetto. This action was key to the “gathering whirlwind of extermination,” says Kershaw. But even this was no Final Solution order. “It is doubtful whether a single, comprehensive decision of such a kind was ever made.” Instead, “numerous local and regional National Socialist leaders…seized on the opportunity…to start killing jews in their own areas” (p. 481). The killing was as yet haphazard; a “coordinated, comprehensive programme of total genocide…would still take some months to emerge.”

Sep 24, 1941 (II.1.480-481, 485)
Also with respect to the Jewish Question, I have some important things to say to Heydrich. For the Berlin jews, we will drive away the desire to hide their badges; and anyway, I am of the opinion that the jews must be evacuated (evakuieren) from Berlin as quickly as possible. This will be the case as soon as we have settled the military issues in the East. In the end, they will all be transported (transportieren) to the camps designed by the Bolsheviks. These camps were built by the jews; it is only right that they are now populated by the jews\.

The Führer is of the opinion that the jews must, after all, be removed from (herausgebracht) all of Germany. The first cities to be made jew-free are Berlin, Vienna, and Prague. Berlin is the first in line, and I am hopeful that in the course of this year we are able to transport out (abzutransportieren) a substantial part of Berlin’s jews to the East\.

The first trains left Berlin on 18 October 1941.

Oct 21, 1941 (II.2.169)
We are also now gradually beginning with the expulsion (Ausweisung) of Jews from Berlin to the East. Several thousand have already been put in motion. At first they go to Lodz [Poland]. Thereupon commences a big excitement. The jews send anonymous letters to the foreign press seeking help, and in fact some messages seep through to foreign countries. I forbid further information about that for the foreign correspondents. Nevertheless, it will not prevent this from expanding further in the coming days. Nothing will change. While it is, at the moment, unpleasant to see this issue discussed in front of the world stage, one must accept this disadvantage. The main thing is that the capital will become jew-free. And I will not rest until this goal is fully achieved\.

Four days later Hitler made this well-known comment:

From the rostrum of the Reichstag, I prophesied to jewry that, in the event of war’s proving inevitable, the jew would disappear from Europe. That race of criminals has on its conscience 2 million dead of the First World War, and now already hundreds of thousands more. Let nobody tell me that, all the same, we can’t park them in the marshy parts of Russia! Who’s worrying about our troops? It’s not a bad idea, by the way, that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate the jews. Terror is a salutary thing. (1953/2000: 87)

So we see here (1) continued endorsement for literal deportation, (2) no talk of killing, murder, gas chambers, etc, (3) an equation between ‘extermination’ and deportation, and (4) a minimal concern for secrecy. The fact that Hitler finds some use in the rumor mill is interesting, a kind of unanticipated fringe benefit. But he perhaps did not anticipate how talk of extermination would play in the Anglo world. Two months before he made the above comment, the New York Times (August 25; p. 3) reported that, “unless the ‘Nazis’ were defeated, wholesale extermination would be the lot of all jews” (…“including those in the United States and Britain”!)—and here, ‘extermination’ means murder, no doubt.

Then an important Goebbels entry that continues the account from August 11:

Nov 2, 1941 (II.2.221-222)
We fly early in the morning to Vilnius [Lithuania]. … We were met by Lt Colonel Zehnpfennig, who drove us through the city. Vilnius has a quarter million inhabitants, and nearly one quarter are jewish. However, the ranks of the jews have been greatly thinned by the Lithuanians after the invasion of German troops. The jews were active primarily as [Soviet] GPU spies and informers, and countless Lithuanian intellectuals and citizens owe their deaths to them. The revenge tribunal established by the Lithuanians and Poles, being the majority of the city, has been horrifying. Thousands [of jews] have been shot, and even now hundreds more as well. They have now all been rounded up into their ghettos. That they have not all been killed is due only to the fact that the jews control the entire Vilnian handcraft industry, and the Lithuanians are completely dependent on them\.

The city shows hardly any traces of war. But on a short drive through the ghetto, the view is horrifying. Here the jews squat in rows, hideous forms, not to be looked at let alone touched. The jews have created their own administration, which also has a police function. They stand at the entrance to the ghetto, which is separated from the rest of the city, on guard and at attention. Even 10 years ago I would not have dreamed that something like this would again be the case. Terrible figures lurk in the streets, which I would not like to meet at night. The jews are the lice of civilized man. They must somehow be eradicated (ausrotten), otherwise they will again play their tormenting and troublesome role. Only if one advances with the necessary brutality can one be finished with them. When they are spared, one will later be their victim\.

Nov 17, 1941 (II.2.304)
In a published telegram, Churchill openly stands on the side of the Jews. He is a consummate servant of the jews\.

Nov 18, 1941 (II.2.309)
Heydrich told me about his intentions regarding the expulsion (Abschiebung) of jews from the Reich. The question is more difficult than we had first suspected. In any case, 15,000 jews will have to stay in Berlin because they are employed in the war effort and other dangerous work. Also, a number of elderly jews cannot be pushed off (abgeschoben) to the East. For them, a jewish ghetto in a small town in the protectorate will be arranged. The third phase, which will begin early next year, will follow the procedure I have proposed to clear the area city by city, such that when the evacuation (Evakuierung) in a city begins, it will also be finished as soon as possible, and the effect on public opinion will be neither too long nor too harmful. Heydrich’s approach on this question is very consistent. He is something I had not previously realized: a shrewd political thinker\.

So no evacuation either for workers or the elderly. One wonders if genocide was still ‘in the air’.

Nov 22, 1941 (II.2.340-341)
Also, regarding the jewish Question, the Führer fully agrees with my views. He wants an energetic policy against the jews, but we do not want to cause any unnecessary difficulties. Evacuation (Evakuierung) of the jews will be undertaken city by city. It is still uncertain when it will be Berlin’s turn; but when its turn comes, the evacuation will be carried out as quickly as possible to the very end\.

On the first of December, Hitler offered some philosophical thoughts on the social effect of jewry:

[The] destructive role of the jew has in a way a providential explanation. If nature wanted the jew to be the ferment that causes people to decay, thus providing these peoples with an opportunity for a healthy reaction, in that case, people like St. Paul and Trotsky are, from our point of view, the most valuable. By the fact of their presence, they provoke the defensive reaction of the attacked organism. Dietrich Eckart once told me that in all his life he had known just one good jew: Otto Weininger, who killed himself on the day when he realized that the jew lives on the decay of peoples. (1953/2000: 141)

It is in this month, as we know, that the European war becomes a truly world war, as Germany—after some two years of provocation—declares war on the U.S. in the wake of Pearl Harbor. Also this month, on the orthodox view, a milestone occurs: Chelmno begins its extermination process, with gas vans powered by diesel engines. Evidently, then, genocide was more than in the air; it was on the ground running. And Goebbels, in truth, does seem to ramp up his rhetoric; he makes his first overt references to the deaths of jews:

Dec 13, 1941 (II.2.498-499)
As concerns the jewish Question, the Führer is determined to make a clean sweep (reinen Tisch—lit. ‘clean table’). He had prophesied to the jews that if they once again brought about a World War they would experience their own destruction (Vernichtung). This was not just an empty phrase. The World War is here, and the destruction of jewry must be the necessary consequence. This question must be seen without sentimentality. We are not here in order to have sympathy with the jews, rather we sympathize with our own German people. If the German people have now once again sacrificed as many as 160,000 dead in the Eastern campaign, then the authors of this bloody conflict must pay with their lives (mit ihrem Leben bezahlen müssen)\.

Dec 14, 1941 (II.2.503)
The early curfew in Paris has been abolished, but a plethora of jews remain to be pushed out (abgeschoben) of occupied France to the eastern region. In many cases this is equivalent to a death sentence. The remaining jews will think hard before stirring up trouble or sabotage against the German troops. Meanwhile General von Stülpnagel can conduct the execution of 100 jews and communists. That will provide a very plausible and psychologically-adept explanation for the Parisian population, and will not fail to have an effect\.

If deportation is sometimes the “equivalent of a death sentence,” and many will “pay with their lives,” we are left wondering how, exactly, and in what numbers, they will die. I trust that there is a clear difference between (a) many dying from disease, exposure, lack of medical care, periodic shootings, etc, and (b) all dying in a complex and systematic gassing operation. There is no doubt that concentrating and deporting thousands or millions of people in wartime would lead to many deaths. But this is not genocide. The next entry is telling:

Dec 18, 1941 (II.2.533-534)
I speak with the Führer regarding the Jewish Question. He is determined to take consistent action and not be deterred by bourgeois sentimentality. Above all, the jews must leave the Reich (aus…heraus). We discuss the possibilities for especially clearing out (räumen) Berlin as quickly as possible. Objections are sure to be raised here—from the Four Year Plan, from the Economics Ministry—because about 13,000 jews are employed in the armaments industry in Berlin; but, with some good will, they can be replaced by Bolshevik prisoners of war. In any case we will tackle this problem as soon as possible, especially when we have the transport capacity to move this body of people. Berlin cannot count as absolutely consolidated as long as jews are living and working in the capital. Besides, the bourgeois Schlappmeier has ever-new excuses to save the jews. Earlier it was jewish money and influence; now it is the jewish workers. German intellectuals and elite have no anti-jewish instinct at all. Their vigilance is not sharp. It is therefore necessary that we solve this problem, since it is likely that, if it remains unsolved, it will lead to the most devastating consequences after we are gone. The jews should all be pushed off (abgeschoben) to the East. We are not very interested in what becomes of them after that. They have wished this fate upon themselves, they have started the war, and they must now pay the price\.

“We are not very interested in what becomes of them after that.” Harsh and brutal, perhaps, but clearly far less than genocide. The same thought was echoed by Hans Frank, in a memo of December 16:

What is to happen to the jews [after evacuation]? … We have in the General Government an estimated 2.5 million jews—perhaps with those closely related to jews and what goes with it, now 3.5 million jews. We can’t shoot these 3.5 million jews, we can’t poison them…[15]

Obviously he and Goebbels, at least, were unaware of any program of genocide.

Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, I gave a brief explanation of the history of the diaries of Joseph Goebbels, the number two man in the National Socialist hierarchy after Hitler himself. For more than 20 years Goebbels maintained a detailed, personal diary that included reflections on all aspects of the war. Of special interest are his comments on jews and the ‘Jewish Question’. These are striking because, as we are seeing, they indicate a long-term plan of evacuation and deportation, and virtually no sign of large-scale murder.

This, of course, would radically alter our conception of the Holocaust. In a private diary one would normally expect to find an honest and explicit account of such a momentous event, but we see no reference to it. Given this fact, we are faced with two possible explanations:(1) Goebbels knew all about the murder of the jews, but never mentioned it at all, or only referred to it obliquely in a kind of personal ‘code language.’ Or, (2) there was in fact no mass murder going on. An analysis of the diary entries, in conjunction with relevant comments by Hitler, and in light of other alleged and actual contemporaneous events, can perhaps resolve this question for us.

The diaries are extensive, encompassing 29 volumes of roughly 500 pages each, in the German original. In order to extract the most relevant comments by Goebbels, I conducted an exhaustive study of the key portion of the diary, running from Kristallnacht (November 1938) through the Hungarian deportation of jews in mid-1944. In all, this constitutes 123 separate entries, the majority of which have never appeared in English.

I continue now with the chronological discussion, beginning at the start of 1942.

Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels, Reichsminister für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda. Photo is in the public domain. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

On the orthodox account of the Holocaust, the extermination of the jews accelerated in January 1942.Chelmno camp, which had just commenced in December of the previous year, increased its toll, and Auschwitz allegedly began gassing its first few thousand jews. The infamous Wannsee conference occurred on January 20, but in spite of the alleged on-going actions at the two camps it was merely “a key stepping-stone on the path to that terrible genocidal finality,” according to Kershaw (2000: 493).

Three days after Wannsee, Hitler again remarked on the National Socialist plan to evacuate the jews and how, historically speaking, things have been much worse for them:

If I withdraw 50,000 Germans from Volhynia [a region in western Ukraine], that’s a hard decision to take, because of the suffering it entails. …If I think of shifting the jew, our bourgeoisie becomes quite unhappy:“What will happen to them?” Tell me whether this same bourgeoisie bothered about what happened to our own compatriots who were obliged to emigrate?

One must act radically. When one pulls out a tooth, one does it with a single tug, and the pain quickly goes away. The jew must clear out of Europe. Otherwise no understanding will be possible between Europeans. It’s the jew who prevents everything. When I think about it, I realize that I’m extraordinarily humane. At the time of the Popes, the jews were mistreated in Rome. Until 1830, eight jews mounted on donkeys were led once a year through the streets of Rome. For my part, I restrict myself to telling them they must go away. If they break their pipes on the journey, I can’t do anything about it. But if they refuse to go voluntarily, I see no other solution but extermination. …In the POW camps, many are dying. It’s not my fault. I didn’t want either the war or the POW camps. Why did the jew provoke this war?(1953/2000: 235-236)

He continued with this theme on January 27:

The jews must pack up, disappear from Europe. Let them go to Russia. Where the jews are concerned, I’m devoid of all sense of pity. They’ll always be the ferment that moves peoples one against the other. They sow discord everywhere, as much between individuals as between peoples.

They’ll also have to clear out of Switzerland and Sweden. It’s where they’re to be found in small numbers that they’re most dangerous. Put 5,000 jews in Sweden—soon they’ll be holding all the posts there. Obviously, that makes them all the easier to spot.(ibid: 260)

Three days later, on January 30, Hitler gave another of his annual anniversary speeches. He repeated his prophecy of the Vernichtung of the jews, and spoke of their “disappearance” (verschwindet).Once again we must ask: are these the words of a man with an “obsession with secrecy”? Would Hitler really make such claims before a huge audience, if he knew that mass murder was underway?

Goebbels then continues with the following diary entries:

Feb 5, 1942 (II.3.254-255) **

The Jewish Question is again giving us a headache; this time, however, not because we have gone too far, but because we are not going far enough. Among large sections of the German people the idea is gaining headway that the jewish Question cannot be regarded as solved until all jews have left the Reich (verlassen haben).

Feb 15, 1942 [1] (II.3.320-321) **

Bolshevism is a doctrine of the devil, and anybody who has once suffered from this scourge doesn’t want anything to do with it again. The sufferings of the Russian people under Bolshevism are indescribable. This jewish terrorism must be rooted out, stump and stem, (ausgerottet, mit Stumpf und Stiel) from all of Europe. That is our historic task.

World jewry will suffer a great catastrophe at the same time as Bolshevism. The Führer once more expressed his determination to pitilessly clear out (aufzuräumen) the jews from Europe. There must be no squeamish sentimentalism about it. The jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them. Their destruction (Vernichtung) will go hand in hand with the destruction (Vernichtung) of our enemies. We must hasten this process with cold ruthlessness. We shall thereby render an inestimable service to a humanity tormented for thousands of years by the jews. This uncompromising anti-Semitic attitude must prevail among our own people despite all objectors. The Führer expressed this idea vigorously and repeated it afterward to a group of officers; let them put that in their pipes and smoke it\.

The ‘rooting out’ phrase was translated by Lochner as “radically eliminated”—an unnecessary exaggeration. Goebbels also refers to the Vernichtung of the enemy nations—which obviously cannot mean total elimination or murder, but rather domination and defeat. It could hardly be clearer.

Feb 18, 1942 (II.3.335) **

In the evening I had a look at the Polish-Yiddish motion picture, The Dybuk. This film is intended to be a jewish propaganda picture. Its effect, however, is so anti-Semitic that one can only be surprised to note how little the jews know about themselves and how little they realize what is repulsive to a non-jewish person and what is not. Looking at this film I realized once again that the Jewish race is the most dangerous one that inhabits the globe, and that we must show them no mercy and no indulgence. This riff-raff must be rooted out, stump and stem (ausgerottet, mit Stumpf und Stiel).Otherwise it won’t be possible to bring peace to the world.

Here again Lochner exaggerates:“eliminated and destroyed.”(One would at least expect a consistent translation of identical phrases.)

In late February, Hitler discussed the jewish problem using his infamous biological terminology:

The discovery of the jewish virus is one of the greatest revolutions that have taken place in the world. The battle in which we are engaged today is of the same sort as the battle waged, during the last century, by Pasteur and Koch. How many diseases have their origin in the jewish virus! …We shall regain our health only by eliminating the jew.(1953/2000: 332)

Belzec began operation in March 1942, and by the end of the month had processed at least 35,000 people[2]—who were either killed in gas chambers running on diesel exhaust, or deloused and shipped on further east, depending on your perspective. Another 30,000 were allegedly killed at Auschwitz and Chelmno.

Mar 6, 1942 (II.3.423, 425-426) **

A frontal attack on black markets was made in the [British] House of Commons. No bones are made about the fact that jews were chiefly implicated in profiteering in the food market. Heading the procession were the jewish immigrants who went from Germany to England. jews always remain the same. You must either stigmatize them with a yellow star, or put them in concentration camps, or shoot them, or else let them saturate all public life with corruption, especially during a war. There is no halfway measure\.

An SD [Sicherheitsdienst] report informed me about the situation in occupied Russia. It is, after all, more unstable than was generally assumed. The partisan danger is increasing week by week. The partisans are in command of large area in occupied Russian and are conducting a regime of terror there. The national movements, too, have become more insolent than was at first imagined. That applies as much to the Baltic States as to the Ukraine. Everywhere the jews are busy inciting and stirring up trouble. It is therefore desirable that many of them must pay with their lives for this (mit ihrem Leben bezahlen müssen). Anyway, I am of the opinion that the greater the number of jews liquidated (liquidiert), the more consolidated will be the situation in Europe after this war. One must have no mistaken sentimentality about it. The jews are Europe’s misfortune; they must somehow be removed (beseitigt), otherwise we are in danger of being removed (beseitigt) by them.

First paragraph:“shooting,” or murder, is only one of at least three options. Genocide is apparently not an alternative. Second: Lochner offers up “eliminated” for the term beseitigt, which simply means ‘removal.’ Again we see the phrase “pay with their lives” (this is the only other occurrence, apart from 13 December 1941), but here Goebbels explicitly refers to “many” of the jews—not most, not all. And it is merely “desirable,” not essential or mandatory. Furthermore, if a “greater number” are to be liquidated—made fluid, removed—then clearly some percentage will remain. Hence no total elimination. In the well-known entry of March 27, Goebbels suggests that only 60% will be liquidated. For these, Madagascar is still an alternative, as we see below:

Mar 7, 1942 (II.3.431-432) **

I read a detailed report from the SD and police regarding a final solution of the Jewish Question. Any final solution involves a tremendous number of new viewpoints. The jewish Question must be solved within a pan-European frame. There are 11 million jews still in Europe. They will have to be concentrated later, to begin with, in the East; possibly an island, such as Madagascar, can be assigned to them after the war. In any case there can be no peace in Europe until the last Jews are shut off from (ausgeschaltet) the continent.

That, of course, raises a large number of exceedingly delicate questions. What with those related to jews? In-laws of jews? Persons married to jews? Evidently we still have quite a lot to do and undoubtedly a multitude of personal tragedies will ensue within the framework of the solution of this problem. But that is unavoidable. The situation is now ripe for a final settlement of the Jewish Question. Later generations will no longer have the will power or the instinctive alertness. That’s why we are doing a good work in proceeding radically and consistently. The task we are assuming today will be an advantage and a boon to our descendants\.

For Lochner, ausgeschaltet means, once again, “eliminated.”He evidently is quite fond of this word. Strange, since the German language has the verb eliminieren, and presumably Goebbels would have used it if that in fact was his intended meaning.[3]

Mar 16, 1942 (II.3.478) **

I read a report of the SD about the situation in the occupied East. The activity of partisans has increased noticeably during recent weeks. They are conducting a well-organized guerrilla war. It is very difficult to get at them because they are using such terrorist methods in the area occupied by us that the population is afraid of collaborating with us loyally any longer. The spearheads of this whole partisan activity are the political commissars and especially the jews. It has therefore proven necessary once again to shoot more jews. There won’t be any peace in these areas as long as any jews are active there. Sentimentality is out of place here. Either we must renounce the lives of our own soldiers, or we must uncompromisingly prevent further propaganda by criminal and chaotic elements in the hinterland\.

Mar 20, 1942 (II.3.513) **

Finally we talked about the jewish Question. Here the Führer is as uncompromising as ever. The jews must be got out of Europe (aus…heraus), if necessary by applying the most brutal methods\.

The following entry is probably the most widely quoted of all:

Mar 27, 1942 (II.3.561) **

Beginning with Lublin, the jews in the General Government are now being evacuated (abgeschoben) eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 percent of them will have to be liquidated (liquidiert) whereas only about 40 percent can be used for forced labor\.

The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract too much attention. A judgment is being visited upon the jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophesy which the Führer made about them for having brought on a new World War is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the jews, they would destroy us (vernichten). It’s a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would have the strength for such a global solution of this question. Here, too, the Führer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions, and therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this\.

The ghettos that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government will now be refilled with Jews thrown out (ausgeschobenen) of the Reich. This process is to be repeated from time to time. There is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that jewry’s representatives in England and America are today organizing and sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives in Europe—and that’s only right\.

Dramatic wording, to be sure. But we now understand the likely meanings of ‘liquidation’ and ‘radical solution’ (see Part 1).And we have yet more evidence that vernichten is not mass murder—would the jews really kill every German simply by remaining unopposed, and living amongst them? Of course not. But they could destroy the character and integrity of traditional German society. The third paragraph is rarely cited by traditionalists; it too clearly indicates a systematic deportation process, including potentially long-term confinement. This is inconsistent with a high-speed, industrialized scheme of gassing and mass murder.

The following two entries are not in the Lochner book. The second was apparently among the missing entries, and thus could not have been considered. But the first was within his available pages—evidently it did not fit well into the desired picture.

Mar 29, 1942 (II.3.576)

In large part the jews are once again being evacuated (evakuiert) from Berlin. About one thousand per week are shipped (verfrachtet) to the East. The suicide rate under this jewish evacuation is extraordinarily high. This does not bother me, however. The jews have earned no other fate than that which they suffer today. We warned them for so long, and so urgently, not to continue on in their previous way. They ignored our warning, and must pay for that now.

Apr 10, 1942 (II.4.76-77)

Domestically speaking, not much to report. Against all expectations, the [German] suicide rate is declining extraordinarily. Today no one has the desire to freely end his life. Only among the jews are suicides rapidly increasing. That is welcome too. In Berlin we now have a little over 40,000 jews. This is of course a sharp decline from the pre-National Socialist state, but it’s still too many. At the moment I cannot conduct rigorous evacuations (Evakuierungen), because the strong remaining jews are needed for the armaments process. But here too a remedy will surely be found in the coming weeks.

So it seems likely that suicide, typhus, and reprisal killings by Lithuanians and others in the East account for a significant number of the total Jewish fatalities. If we add in periodic shootings by the Germans, these four factors may well account for nearly all the deaths claimed by revisionists—let us say, in the range of 300,000 to 600,000.

In April, Sobibor comes online; it processes 20,000 in its first month. Four of the six ‘extermination camps’ are now underway.

Apr 14, 1942 (II.4.95) **

The Grynzpan trial is now to start in the middle of May. I still have a few preparations to make. Preparations by the Department of Justice are in some respects not very clever psychologically. Thus, for instance, the problem of homosexuality, which really isn’t under discussion, has been drawn into the trial procedure, and the question of jewish evacuations (evakuierungen) is also to be dealt with publicly. I think this is about as bungling as possible…. I shall see to it that these two sets of questions are not raised in court at all. All the other preparations were made in accordance with my directives and, if carried out, will undoubtedly make the trial a perfect success\.

Apr 19, 1942 (II.4.130)

Very strong discussions are held in the relevant circles regarding what must happen with the mixed-race jews. Undoubtedly they constitute a serious obstacle for the radical solution of the jewish Question. On the one hand it is argued that they should be sterilized, and on the other that they should be deported (ausgewiesen).The positions are not yet clarified enough for one to decide what to do.

Apr 20, 1942 (II.4.134) **

The most recent act of sabotage [in France] against a German military train which resulted in several deaths will be punished with severe reprisals. The number of people to be shot will be doubled, and over a thousand Communists and jews will be put into freight cars and shipped (verfrachtet) to the East. There they will soon cease to see any fun in disturbing Germany’s policies for order in Europe\.

Apr 24, 1942 (II.4.159-160)

Some statistics are given to me on the proportion of jews in American radio, film, and press. The percentage is truly frightening. jewry controls 100% of the film business, and between 90 and 95% of press and radio. These facts explain the dizzying and spirited warfare of the other side. The jews are not as clever as they would like to believe. If they are in danger, they become the stupidest of devils.

Nothing new is reported in the East. The Bolsheviks have already responded to our propaganda and portray our troops as cannibals. It’s a shame how the other side slanders and lies. But wherever you look, in the background stands the manipulating international jewry. We will be doing humanity a great service if we permanently remove them (entfernen) from public life and stick them in quarantine.

Striking statistics on American media. The figures have not changed much to this day. One need only recall the Joel Stein article from 2008, in which jewish dominance of Hollywood is virtually complete.[4] Of the five major US media conglomerates, every one has either a jewish CEO or president, or both.[5] Of the top seven American newspapers, six are jewish owned or oriented.[6]

“Removal and quarantine” doesn’t sound very much like mass murder. Perhaps this is why Lochner bypassed the above entry.

Apr 27, 1942 (II.4.184) **

I talked to the Führer once more in detail about the jewish Question. His attitude is unrelenting. He wants, under all circumstances, to push the jews out (herausdrängen) of Europe. That is right. The jews have brought so much misery to our continent that the severest punishment meted out to them is still too mild. Himmler is presently implementing a large resettlement (Umseidlung) of jews from German cities to the eastern ghettos.

The last sentence above was inexplicably left out by Lochner. But the following entry is worse:

Apr 29, 1942 (II.4.201) **

The SD gave me a police report on conditions in the East. The danger of the Partisans continues to exist in unmitigated intensity in the occupied areas. The Partisans have, after all, caused us very great difficulties during the winter, and these difficulties have by no means ceased with the beginning of spring. Short shrift (kurzen Prozess) is made of the jews in all eastern occupied areas. Tens of thousands must bite the dust, and the Fuhrer’s prophecy is fulfilled for them, that jewry has to pay for inciting a new World War with the complete removal (Ausrottung) of their race..

Here is the last sentence in the original: Zehntausend müssen daran glauben, und an ihnen erfüllt sich die Prophezeiung des Führers, dass das judentum einen von ihm entfachten neuen Weltkrieg mit der Ausrottung seiner Rasse wird bezahlen müssen. Even those readers with no knowledge of German should be able to discern that the following Lochner translation is dishonest: “Tens of thousands of them are liquidated.”

A short comment by Hitler in mid-May:“It does not occur to any of those who howl when we transport a few jews to the east that the jew is a parasite, and as such is the only human being capable to adapting himself to any climate, and of earning a living just as well in Lapland as in the tropics.”(1953/2000: 485)

May 11, 1942 (II.4.273) **

[Gerhard] Schach reported to me on questions regarding the gau of Berlin. We must deal again with the jewish problem. There are still 40,000 jews in Berlin and despite the heavy blows dealt them they are still insolent and aggressive. It is exceedingly difficult to shove them off (abzuschieben) to the East because a large part of them are at work in the munitions industry, and because the jews are to be evacuated (abgeschoben) only by families\.

May 15, 1942 (II.4.293) **

A report from Paris informs me that a number of those who staged the last acts of terror have been found. About 90 percent [sic: 99%] of them are eastern jews [Ostjuden]. A more rigorous regime is now to be applied to these jews. As far as I am concerned, it would be best if we either evacuated (abschöben) or liquidated (liquidierten) all eastern jews still remaining in Paris. By nature and race they will always be our natural enemies anyway\.

May 17, 1942 (II.4.305)

We are trying now to evacuate (evakuieren) the remaining jews in Berlin to the East, on a larger scale. One third of all jews living in Germany are located in the capital. This is of course intolerable in the long run. Mainly it’s due to the fact that, in Berlin, relatively many jews are working in the military-industrial establishment, and, per regulation, neither they nor their families can be evacuated (evakuiert).I am seeking a repeal of this regulation, and will try to remove (aus…herauszubringen) all jews from Berlin who are not directly engaged in war industries.

May 24, 1942 (II.4.350, 355)

We see in this compilation [of facts] how correct our jewish policy is, and how necessary it is to continue, in the most radical way, our old course of action, and to ensure that the 40,000 jews still in Berlin, who in reality are freed felons with nothing left to lose, are quickly either concentrated (konzentriert) or evacuated (evakuiert).The best thing, of course, would be liquidation (Liquidierung).

[The Führer] recognizes in Stalin a man of stature who towers above the democratic figures of the Anglo-Saxon powers. He naturally also knows that the jews are determined, under all circumstances, to bring victory in this war, because they know that defeat also means for them personal liquidation (Liquidation).It is a world-struggle of enormous dimensions that we must confront if the Reich is not to be destroyed (zerstört).Only now are we clear what Stalin, as a front-man for the jews, had in fact prepared in this war against the Reich.

Heavy use of ‘liquidation’ in the past few passages. Goebbels further seems to here distinguish this from the process of evacuation. Either it is a different form or degree of movement (perhaps en masse), or it may in fact refer to killings, at least in the current context.

May 28, 1942 (II.4.386)

Ten jews in concentration camps or under the earth are dearer to me than one in freedom. One must proceed quite unsentimentally. Today we lead a life-and-death struggle, and he who wins will be the one that most vigorously defends his personal and political existence.

The vast majority of concentration camps were not ‘extermination camps’—even on the orthodox view—and imprisonment (in 1942) was not a death sentence. Given this fact, Goebbels seems to accept either imprisonment or death equally, since both remove the jews from society. There is no preference for one over the other. If mass extermination really was underway, he would not have written this.

May 29, 1942 (II.4.393)

In the Reich one can observe here and there the first signs of anti-government propaganda. It certainly comes from the jews. The jews who remain in the Reich naturally represent an extremely dangerous contingent. They really belong in prison. The fact that they can roam freely means an increasing danger for the public, and an increasing risk. I am constantly trying to transport (verfrachten) as many jews as possible to the East; once they are out of reach (aus der Reichweite heraus), they can then do us no harm, at least for the time being.

Again, clear indication of actual deportation as, if nothing else, a short-term solution to the jewish problem. This thought continues in the next striking entry:

May 30, 1942 (II.4.406)

Germans are involved in subversive movements only if the jews tempt them. Therefore one must liquidate (liquidieren) the jewish danger, cost it what it will. Given how few jews can in reality adjust themselves to Western European life, one sees that, where they are led back into the ghetto, they quickly revert to form. West European civilization represents only an external coat of paint to them. There is also the jewish essence, which works with a dangerous brutality and vindictiveness. Therefore the Führer does not at all wish that the jews should be evacuated (evakuiert) to Siberia. There, under the harshest living conditions, they would undoubtedly develop again a strong life-element. He would much prefer to resettle (aussiedeln) them in central Africa. There they would live in a climate that would certainly not make them strong and resistant. In any case, it is the Führer’s goal to make Western Europe completely jew-free. Here they may no longer have their homeland.

This seems to be the only instance of a contemplated deportation to continental Africa; Hitler had referred to Siberia already back in mid-1941.[7] But evidently the latter was now out of the question—too mild a climate.(Is it really that bad in central Africa?) In any case we again see here the elements here of a true ‘final solution’: deportation into temporary eastern ghettos, and then ultimately out of the Eurasian land mass altogether.

But perhaps most striking is the fact that the alleged physical extermination process was well underway at this point. At least 2 million jews had been killed by May 1942, on the orthodox view. In his diary Goebbels is not just substituting ‘deported’ for ‘killed’; he would have to be inventing entire conversations, phony alternate plans, false Hitler quotes—all for himself! This of course is absurd. Goebbels clearly knew nothing of mass murder.

Jun 17, 1942 (II.4.544)

jewish influence in American public life, particularly in politics, is enormous. Roosevelt is, so to say, the front man for international jewry, and thus they see the USA as a praiseworthy country, to some extent.

In July 1942, Treblinka begins operation. It processes an astounding 160,000 jews in its first month.

Aug 21, 1942 (II.5.378)

The responsible Higher-SS leader reported to me on the conditions in the [Warsaw] ghetto. The jews are now in large part evacuated (evakuiert) and established in the East. This is quite generous to them. Here the jewish Question is tackled in the right place, without sentimentality and without much consideration. Only in this way can the jewish problem be solved.

In September the last of the six ‘extermination camps,’ Majdanek, allegedly begins gassing jews, at a rate of about 3,000 per month. Chelmno is in the process of shutting down, and thus this one month—September 1942—is the only month that all six camps are in operation at the same time.

Sep 15, 1942 (II.5.505)

Schirach gave a speech to the European Youth Congress, that meets now in Vienna. …Among other things, Schirach explained that he had evacuated (evakuiert) thousands and thousands of jews out of Vienna and into the eastern ghettos.

Oct 1, 1942 (II.6.37)

Extraordinarily sharp and aggressive venting against the jews [by the Führer], whom he threatens with destruction (Vernichtung), so far as they run into our area.

I drive back to the Chancellery with the Führer. Once again we talk through the jewish Question. Here the Führer takes the same radical standpoint I do. He is also of the opinion that we must completely deport the jews out of the Reich (restlos herausschaffen), and above all from Berlin.

By the end of October, Treblinka has allegedly gassed some 600,000 jews—far more than any other camp to date. Belzec has gassed 400,000; Auschwitz a mere 150,000.And yet we only see continuous talk of deportations and evacuations. Either Goebbels is continuing to make up periodic lies for his own benefit, or no gassings occurred.

The end of 1942 brings an unusually heavy discussion of the jews and the judenfrage. Interesting reference to rumors of “terrible atrocities” committed in Poland, and the generally increasing rate of attention given by western journalists. Such rumors had been reported in major newspapers for some months by this time. The New York Times reported as early as July 2 on the Bund Report, citing the “slaughter of jews in Poland.”On July 10 the London Times ran the story “German record in Poland,” referring to the “wholesale extermination of the jews” and specifically naming the Belzec camp. On November 25 the New York Times ran “Himmler program kills ‘Polish’ jews.”And in the London Times, December 4, we read of a “deliberate plan for extermination” of the “Polish” jews. As I explained in Part 1, it appears that the strategic value of internal rumors may have backfired in the international arena.

Nov 27, 1942 (II.6.344)

Also, the jews have again become completely impudent, even in the Reich area. I will therefore take care that, at least from Berlin if possible, they will be quickly pushed out (abgeschoben).Next week a transport of 5,000 Berlin jews will leave for the Eastern zone.

Dec 6, 1942 (II.6.401)

A new suggestion was made on the liquidation (Liquidierung) of jewish marriages. After that one wants to go to compulsive separations, and otherwise, as means to obtain evacuation (Evakuierung).I do not want to begin this method at the moment. It has caused so much unrest and confusion in public opinion, so as to not be worthwhile, at least in the present. Finally, the Führer has also given me an order to first take care that the unprivileged full jews are deported (herausgeschafft) from Germany. Once they are all gone, we can then approach the problem of the remaining jews.

Dec 9, 1942 (II.6.415)

The jews throughout the world mobilize against us. They tell of terrible atrocities against the Jewish race which we allegedly allowed to happen in Poland, and now they threaten us in London and Washington to inflict a terrible punishment on all guilty parties after the war. That still cannot prevent us from bringing about a radical solution to the Jewish Question. In any case, we will just let this threat be. The jews will probably not have anything else special to report from Europe.

Dec 12, 1942 (II.6.434)

The atrocity propaganda concerning Poland and the Jewish Question is taking on abnormal forms on the other side. We will not, I fear, be finished with this thing in the long run by remaining silent. We already have to answer to some things, if we do not want to run the risk of becoming gradually discovered. It is best now to go on the attack, and bring up the British atrocities in India or the Middle East. In any case we will have changed the subject.

Dec 13, 1942 (II.6.438-439) **

The question of jewish persecution in Europe is being given top news priority by the English and the Americans…. At bottom, however, I believe both the English and the Americans are happy that we are cleaning up (aufräumen) the jewish riff-raff. But the jews will go on and on and turn the heat on the British-American press. We won’t even discuss this theme publicly, but instead I give orders to start an atrocity campaign against the English on their treatment of Colonials\.

The Italians are extremely lax in the treatment of jews. They protect the “Italian” jews both in Tunis and in occupied France and won’t permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David. This shows once again that Fascism does not really dare to get down to fundamentals, but is very superficial regarding most important problems. The Jewish Question is causing us a lot of trouble. Everywhere, even among our allies, the jews have friends to help them, which is a proof that they are still playing an important role even in the Axis camp. All the more are they to be shorn of power within Germany itself\.

In place of “cleaning up,” Lochner prefers “exterminating.”

Dec 14, 1942 (II.6.445-446) **

jewish rabbis in London have held a great protest meeting. The theme was “England, Awake.” It is just too funny for words that the jews are now compelled, after fifteen years, to steal our slogans and to call upon the pro-Semitic world to fight us, using the same battle-cry with which we once called upon the anti-Semitic world to fight jewry. But all this won’t avail the jews of anything. The jewish race has prepared this war; it is the spiritual originator of the whole misfortune that has overtaken humanity. jewry must pay for its crime just as our Führer prophesied in his speech in the Reichstag; namely, by the wiping out (Auslöschung) of the jewish race in Europe and possibly in the entire world\.

An unusually threatening phrase: It’s one thing to clean out Europe via deportations; but how do you clean out “the entire world” without killing them? Perhaps a metaphorical phrase?

Dec 15, 1942 (II.6.449) **

The jews in London held a day of mourning for the alleged atrocities that we were guilty of in Poland. I do not react at all to this jewish propaganda, but prefer to sharply lay out the events in India and the Middle East through German propaganda. We will make of these questions a similar propaganda campaign as the English make of the Jewish Question. I assume that the British will soon lose interest in continuing to speak to us in that tone about the jewish Question.

Lochner includes only the first sentence of the above entry. And he overlooks entirely the following one, in which Goebbels is happy to hand off (not kill) several thousand “Polish” jews.

Dec 17, 1942 (II.6.461)

The jews continue to raise a fuss about the alleged atrocities in Poland. They are now making a new proposal to the effect that Sweden will take in ‘Polish’ jews. The Americans would finance this undertaking. For us, nothing could be better; wherever the jews appear, there too comes anti-Semitism—especially with the ‘Polish’ jews. Besides, I hear from the Foreign Office that the Swedes may actually be willing to take the ‘Polish’ jews, to some extent. That would really be the highlight of political instinct.

Eden speaks in the House of Commons on the issue of the ‘Polish’ jews. One sees in this a whole propaganda effort, a result of the strong jewish influence on British public opinion. There is hardly an authoritative man, or authoritative paper, that is willing to oppose the propaganda-wishes of jewry. But we have crossed so many difficult stages in the jewish problem that we need not concern ourselves about this. Anyway, we still have so many jews on hand that world jewry will be careful not to act against us, such that it knows would make us angry.

Dec 18, 1942 (II.6.467) **

The jewish Question is receiving a big play both in the enemy and in the neutral news services. The Swedes protest hypocritically against our treatment of the ‘Polish’ jews, but are by no means willing to receive them in their country. The leading newspapers of Stockholm warn emphatically against having the ghetto jews from Warsaw forced upon them. It would probably be a good thing if the Swedes were to admit several thousand such jews into their country. That would give them a practical lesson on the jewish question. In all likelihood they would understand our measures much better than appears to be the case today\.

The jews of Jerusalem have held noisy demonstrations of protest against us. They had a day of fasting. At the Wailing Wall they invoked the Old Testament jewish curse against the Führer, Göring, Himmler, and me. Until now I haven’t noticed any effect on me. One must know these jews to be able to handle them right. They are now trying to stir up the entire world merely to incite public opinion against the National Socialist Reich and its anti-Semitic convictions. There’s only one answer to this, viz., to continue as at present, rigorously and without compromise. You’re sunk if you give the slightest indication of weakness\.

Dec 19, 1942 (II.6.472) **

Eden delivered a speech in the House of Commons on the jewish problem and answered planted questions. Rothschild, the “venerable MP,” as the English press calls him, took the floor and delivered a tear-jerker bemoaning the fate of the ‘Polish’ jews. At the end of the session the Commons observed a minute of silence. All members of Parliament rose from their seats as a silent tribute to jewry. That was quite appropriate for the British House of Commons, which is really a sort of jewish exchange. The English, anyway, are the jews among the Aryans. The perfumed British Foreign Minister, Eden, cuts a good figure among these characters from the synagogue. His whole education and his entire bearing can be characterized as thoroughly jewish\.

Dec 20, 1942 (II.6.479) **

Enemy propaganda is exceedingly aggressive. The jews, too, are talking again. Emil Ludwig Cohn, in an interview in the American press, demands the complete destruction of the German economy and the German war potential. The jewish campaign against us is growing in volume. What won’t the jews do to discredit the Reich! They are working arrogantly and on a large scale. But they won’t reach their goal after all, just as they haven’t attained it in the Reich\.

By the end of 1942, on the exterminationist thesis, over 1.6 million jews died in the six death camps alone. The overall death toll, from all causes, was allegedly more than 4 million. Two-thirds of the holocaust was complete.

* * * * * *

Goebbels begins the new year by recalling Hitler’s 1939 prophecy—interesting how many variations on the Vernichtung word that he uses…

Jan 3, 1943 (II.7.37)

It’s amazing how shortsightedly the jews all over the world operate. They seem to have learned nothing from the example in Germany. Apparently the hemorrhaging of them by us yielded very little fruit. They should expect this frivolous playing with fire to continue until they are completely wiped out (gänzlich vernichtet).This also corresponds to the Führer’s prophecy, when he explained at the beginning of the war that it would not end with the destruction (Vernichtung) of the Aryan race, but with the expulsion (Austreibung) of jewry from Europe.

Jan 23, 1943 (II.7.177)

The Führer is of the opinion that the Jewish Question in Berlin must be solved as soon as possible. As long as one still finds jews in Berlin, we cannot speak of internal security. Also the jews must be removed from Vienna (aus…heraus) as fast as possible.

Feb 8, 1943 (II.7.295)

The enemy side has the advantage that it is held together by international jewry. jewry functions in the enemy nations as a driving element, and we have nothing equivalent to oppose it. From that it follows for us, that we must eliminate (eliminieren) jewry not only in the Reich but throughout Europe. Also here the Führer adopts my standpoint, that first Berlin must come in line, and that no more jews would be allowed in Berlin in the foreseeable future.

Here we have the one and only literal use of the term ‘eliminate.’ But lest any traditionalist get too excited about this, I would hasten to point out that, like so many of the other terms, this one does not entail killing. To eliminate is literally to ‘kick someone out of doors’—from the Latin ex-limen (‘out of threshold’). Again, this is exactly what they were doing with the jews.

From a military standpoint, the war in the East was now turning against Germany. From mid-December 1942, when they repelled the attack on Stalingrad, to mid-February 1943, the Russians began to recapture an extensive amount of territory. Evacuations of jews to the East must have appeared less and less feasible, and perhaps this is why Belzec and Treblinka were virtually shut down by the end of February; in fact, the March 2 entry (below) is the last time Goebbels explicitly refers to “the East.” Sobibor held out until late summer 1943, when the second wave of Russian advancement began. Rather than dumping them in ghettos, it gradually became more urgent for the Germans to put the jews to work in labor camps—hence the shifting emphasis to Auschwitz.

The next three months offered several occasions for Goebbels to comment:

Mar 2, 1943 (II.7.449, 454) **

We are now definitely pushing the jews out (aus…hinaus) of Berlin. They were suddenly rounded up last Saturday, and are to be carted off (abgeschoben) to the East as quickly as possible. Unfortunately our better circles, especially the intellectuals, once again have failed to understand our policy about the jews and in some cases have even taken their part. As a result our plans were tipped off prematurely, so that a lot of jews slipped through our hands. But we will catch them yet. I certainly won’t rest until the capital of the Reich, at least, has become free of jews\.

Göring realizes perfectly what is in store for all of us if we show any weakness in this war. He has no illusions about that. On the jewish Question, especially, we have taken a position from which there is no escape. That is a good thing. Experience teaches that a movement and a people who have burned their bridges fight with much greater determination than those who are still able to retreat\.

Mar 6, 1943 (II.7.487) **

Schach gave me a long report on the situation in Berlin as affected by the last air raid. It is extremely serious, after all. The damage done to the Reich capital is very heavy, and it will take us an estimated six or eight months to repair it even halfway. Yet that’s the very moment the SD thinks favorable for continuing with the evacuation of jews (judenevakuierung). Unfortunately there have been a number of regrettable scenes at a jewish home for the aged, where a large number of people gathered and in part even took sides with the jews. I ordered the SD not to continue jewish evacuation at so critical a moment. We want to save that up for a couple of weeks. We can then go after it all the more thoroughly\.

Mar 9, 1943 (II.7.515) **

With regard to the Jewish Question, [Hitler] approved of my measures and specifically ordered me to make Berlin entirely free of jews. I shall see to it that there is no concubinage between ‘Berlin’ jews and foreign workers.

March 11, 1943 (II.7.528) **

The evacuation (Evakuierung) of jews from Berlin has led to a number of untoward happenings. Unfortunately a number of jews and jewesses from privileged marriages were also arrested, thereby causing fear and confusion. The scheduled arrest of all jews on one day has proven a flash in the pan because of the shortsighted behavior of industrialists who warned the jews in time. We therefore failed to lay our hands on about 4,000. They are now wandering about Berlin without homes, are not registered with the police and are naturally quite a public danger. I ordered the police, Wehrmacht, and the Party to do everything possible to round up these jews as quickly as practicable\.

The arrest of jews and jewesses living in privileged wedlock caused a terrific commotion, especially in artistic circles, since these privileged marriages are still prevalent among actors. But I can’t be squeamish about them. If a German still finds it possible to live with a jewess as his legal wife, that’s a point against him, and it’s out of place to be too sentimental about this question in wartime\.

Mar 15, 1943 (II.7.556) **

You just can’t trust the jews across the street. I therefore told the Führer emphatically once more that I deemed it essential to force the jews out (herauszubringen) of the entire Reich as fast as possible. He approved, and ordered me not to cease or pause until no jew is left anywhere in Germany\.

Mar 20, 1943 (II.7.595) **

The Führer is happy over my report that the jews have for the most part been evacuated (evakuieren) from Berlin. He is right in saying that the war has made possible for us the solution of a whole series of problems that could never have been solved in normal times. The jews will certainly be the losers in this war, come what may\.

Apr 11, 1943 (II.8.90)

The English newspapers complain loudly about growing anti-Semitism in England. That is very exploitable, and will be put to good propaganda use. The Führer’s prophecy, that jewry will lose this war in the end, is realizing itself more and more. The jews perhaps believe that they will be able to slowly wear down the authoritarian peoples through the long process of the war; they have forgotten, however, that a longer-running war will also induce a critical situation for them.

Apr 17, 1943 (II.8.115) **

The USA has published statistics according to which there are 5,000,000 orthodox jews in the United States. The United States can certainly be described as a Class-1 jew state (judenstaat erster Klasse). We are going to step up our anti-Semitic propaganda so much that the word ‘jew’ will again be pronounced in the derisive manner that it deserves, just as it was in the time of our struggle for power. It must come to pass that even an enemy statesman won’t dare to be seen in the company of a jew without immediately being suspected by his own people of being a stooge of the jews\.

Apr 18, 1943 (II.8.123-126) **

It was an exceptionally good idea that we raised the jewish problem again on orders of the Führer. Anti-Semitism is growing rapidly even in the enemy states. Reports to that effect reach us, especially from England. If we continue to high-pressure the anti-Semitic question, the jews, in the long run, will be much discredited. All one needs to do is be tough and determined, for the jewish problem has now been frozen so tight that it will be difficult to thaw it out again\.

I gave orders to investigate all jews still left in Berlin. I don’t want to see jews with the Star of David running about in the capital. Either the Star must be taken from them and they be classed as privileged, or they must be evacuated (evakuieren) altogether from the capital of the Reich. I believe I shall have completed one of the greatest political achievements of my career once Berlin is free of jews. When I consider how Berlin looked in 1926 when I came here, and how it looks now in 1943 when the Jews are being evacuated (evakuiert) completely, I get a feeling of what has been achieved in this sector\.

Apr 19, 1943 (II.8.129) **

The jews in England are now also demanding legal protection against anti-Semitism. We know how this goes from past battles. But that also did not bring them much advantage. We understood that it was always possible to find gaps in the protection laws; and in this remainder, anti-Semitism, if it comes up from the depths of the people, cannot be broken by legal means. A law against jew-hatred is usually the beginning of the end for the jews.

Today, of course, we have anti-Holocaust denial laws, hate crime laws, etc. The parallels are troubling.

Apr 25, 1943 (II.8.163) **

From a report from the occupied areas I gather that a truly grotesque situation obtains in Warsaw. The jews tried to leave the ghetto by subterranean passages. Thereupon these underground passages were flooded. The ghetto is now under artillery fire. When such conditions prevail in an occupied city, it certainly can’t be said to be pacified. It is high time that we remove (aus…entfernen) the jews just as quickly as possible from the General Government\.

The Führer would like to talk to me before I go on leave, especially to discuss the next measures in the Jewish Question, of which he has very great expectations\.

A minor correction on Lochner, who uses the word ‘evacuate.’ Also, the fact that Goebbels describes as “grotesque” the incident of drowned jews suggests some minimal level of concern. He clearly prefers evacuation to dead bodies. And one wonders what Hitler’s “great expectations” were about; on the conventional view, nothing dramatic happens to the jews for a full year from this time—just the on-going transfers to Auschwitz, at about 15,000-20,000 per month.

May 8, 1943 (II.8.230, 236-237) **

Much to my surprise my article “The War and the jews” has attracted much attention, even in neutral countries. I should have thought the jews would try to give it the silent treatment. But that is not the case. It is being quoted to an extent that is simply amazing. That showed the jews are either so foolish as to let my arguments get out into the world, or else in every editorial office sit secret opponents of the jews who gladly identify themselves with my anti-Semitic arguments by publishing my article\.

The Führer argued that the anti-Semitism which formerly animated the Party and was advocated by it must again become the focal point of our spiritual struggle. He thinks a great deal of the anti-Semitic movement in England, although he is naturally aware that it lacks organization and therefore cannot constitute a political factor. Nevertheless this anti-Semitism is most embarrassing to the Churchill Government. It is comparable to the anti-Semitic endeavors of certain bourgeois organizations in Germany in the old days. These, too, would never have achieved their end had not the revolutionary National Socialist movement taken up the campaign…\.

The jewish question is being solved least satisfactorily by the Hungarians. The Hungarian state is permeated with jews, and the Führer did not succeed during his talk with Horthy in convincing the latter of the necessity of more stringent measures. Horthy himself, of course, is badly tangled up with the jews through his family, and will continue to resist every effort to tackle the jewish problem aggressively. He gave a number of humanitarian counterarguments which of course don’t apply at all to this situation. You just cannot talk humanitarianism when dealing with jews. jews must be defeated (zu Boden geworfen—lit. ‘thrown to the floor’). The Führer made every effort to win Horthy over to his standpoint but succeeded only partially\.

The East will forever regard Europe as an attractive jewel. The East will again and again try to break into this continent in order to dominate it. Our constant, untiring effort must therefore center upon taking the necessary measures for our security. If it be true today that the Bolshevism of the East is mainly under jewish leadership and that the jews are also the dominant influence in the Western plutocracies, then our anti-Semitic propaganda must begin at this point. The jews must therefore be thrown out (aus…heraus) of Europe.

Goebbels’s article, Der Krieg und die Juden, was written for the German public but received wide notice in the Allied countries.[8] He writes of the jews’ urging the Allies to “exterminate and destroy the Axis powers,” and to “destroy and exterminate our people.”He recalls Hitler’s prophecy of “wiping out the jewish race” and how they will have to “answer for their countless crimes.”“We are dealing with the most dangerous enemy that ever threatened the life, freedom, and dignity of humanity. There can be no mercy.”The jewish world war has become “a war for his racial existence,” and, in attacking Germany, “they signed their own death warrant.”

The reference to Hungary is a foreboding of the mass evacuations that would happen 12 months later.

May 10, 1943 (II.8.255) **

The fights in the Warsaw ghetto have largely petered out. I received a secret report on the mysterious question as to how the jews got hold of the large supplies of arms with which they defended themselves. For the most part they bought them from our brave allies as they were fleeing homeward and in Warsaw got rid of their weapons for good money. There are soldiers for you!

May 11, 1943 (II.8.270) **

It is interesting to note that many of the London papers printed my article against the jews. I can’t figure it out. Are the jews so foolish as to believe this article would militate against us and not, on the contrary, strengthen the anti-Semitic feeling in England considerably?

The following is the longest single entry on the Jewish Question. Here I include the abbreviated version that Lochner published, which captures the main points—though he uses “extermination” for auszurotten, and omits the two sentences that follow.

May 13, 1943 (II.8.287-289) **

I have devoted exhaustive study to the Protocols of Zion. In the past the objection was always made that they were not suited to present-day propaganda. In reading them now I find that we can use them very well. The Protocols of Zion are as modern today as they were when published for the first time…\.

At noon I mentioned this to the Führer. He believed the Protocols were absolutely genuine…. The jewish Question, in the Führer’s opinion, will play a decisive role in England…. In all the world, he said, the jews are alike. Whether they live in a ghetto of the East or in the bankers’ palaces of the City or Wall Street, they will always pursue the same aims and without previous agreement even use the same means. One might well ask why are there any jews in the world order? That would be exactly like asking why are there potato bugs? Nature is dominated by the law of struggle. There will always be parasites who will spur this struggle on and intensify the process of selection between the strong and the weak. The principle of struggle dominates also in human life. One must merely know the laws of this struggle to be able to face it. The intellectual does not have the natural means of resisting the jewish peril because his instincts have been badly blunted. Because of this fact the nations with a high standard of civilization are exposed to this peril first and foremost. In nature life always takes measures against parasites; in the life of nations that is not always the case. From this fact the jewish peril actually stems. There is therefore no other recourse left for modern nations except to root out (auszurotten) the jew. They will use all means to defend themselves against this gradual process of destruction (Vernichtungsprozess).One of these means is war\.

There is no hope of leading the jews back into the fold of civilized humanity by exceptional punishments. They will forever remain jews, just as we are forever members of the Aryan race\.

The jew was also the first to introduce the lie into politics as a weapon. Aboriginal man, the Führer believes, did not know the lie…. The higher the human being developed intellectually, the more he acquired the ability of hiding his innermost thoughts and giving expression to something different from what he really felt. The jew as an absolutely intellectual creature was the first to learn this art. He can therefore be regarded not only as the carrier but even the inventor of the lie among human beings. Because of their thoroughly materialistic attitude, the English act very much like the jews. In fact, they are the Aryans who have acquired most of the jewish characteristics…. The nations that have been the first to see through the jew and have been the first to fight him are going to take his place in the domination of the world\.

May 19, 1943 (II.8.322) **

The English and Americans discuss practically nothing but air warfare. Their successful raid on the German dams created a great sensation both in London and in Washington. Of course they know exactly what they have achieved by this attack. The former Berlin Reuter correspondent, Bettany, claimed that the plan for the attack stemmed from a jew who emigrated from Berlin. I had this claim written up as a short news item for papers in the Reich, especially in the areas that suffered the disaster. This shows once again how dangerous the jews are and how right we are in putting them behind bars (sie in sicheren Gewahrsam zu bringen—lit. ‘bringing into secure custody’)…

May 26, 1943 (II.8.370) **

An interesting report tells about the conference at Casablanca. According to this report it was decided that the Anglo-Saxon powers would create a national home for the jews in Palestine after their eventual victory. This national home is to take care of 20,000,000 jews. These jews are to engage chiefly in intellectual and managerial tasks; the work is to be done, as decided in Casablanca, by middle European and especially German workers. For this a large-scale resettlement would be necessary that would, to a certain extent, depopulate (entvölkere) Central Europe. It isn’t hard to imagine what’s going on in the brains of these plutocratic statesmen who are dependent upon the jews; but we also know what we must do to protect the German people against such a fate\.

The 20 million figure is astonishing. No one before or since has claimed so high a figure for jewish world population. The Israeli Bureau of Statistics currently lists only 16.7 million in 1939.In 1936 the New York Times (April 9) reported a figure of 16 million. jewish agencies themselves were reporting that 2 million had been killed by early 1943, so there could not have been more than 14 million left—unless they didn’t believe their own figures. Interesting proposal to capture and relocate Germans for forced labor in Israel. In any case we see a clear connection between the events of World War II and the establishment of Israel.

With the war now clearly turning against Germany, there were many issues more urgent than the deportation of jews. As a consequence we find only three relevant entries in the final six months of 1943.This fact argues strongly against those who claim that the “extermination of the jews” was an overriding priority until the very end. Were it not for the Hungarian situation in mid-1944 we might have heard nothing more on it at all.

Jun 25, 1943 (II.8.533)

Even in Italy, the jews have not been removed (beseitigt), but rather they just wait for their hour to come again. We can be very glad that we have followed a radical policy with respect to the Jewish Question. There are no Jews behind us who could overtake our inheritance.

Jul 17, 1943 (II.9.116)

I receive an unpleasant report from the SD. They want to transfer all the jewish mixed marriages from Cologne, where they can no longer remain, to Berlin. I oppose this by all means. It is completely out of the question. I have now luckily made Berlin half-way jew-free, and do not want to take in jewish families again. They are supposed to be distributed throughout the entire Reich, and I am willing to accept only a certain quota for Berlin.

Ten days after the above entry, the British conducted their first major fire-bombing campaign of the war, against Hamburg. Roughly 45,000 people died, mainly women, children, and the elderly. It was a war crime of the highest magnitude.

Oct 7, 1943 (II.10.72)

As to the jewish Question, [Himmler] gives a very frank and candid picture. He is of the opinion that we can solve the Jewish Question for all of Europe by the end of this year. He advocates the most radical and harshest solution, namely, that the whole of jewry will be rooted out (auszurotten).This is surely a consistent, if brutal, solution. We must accept the responsibility to completely solve this question in our time. Later generations will surely no longer have the courage or dedication to address this problem, as we do today.

By October 1943, the alleged jewish death toll was 4.5-5 million. There were still a million or more deaths to come, on the orthodox view.

On October 23, the Brits firebombed Kassel—10,000 more civilian deaths.

Into 1944, Auschwitz is the only one of the six ‘death camps’ to remain in operation. It is now fully geared up to support the war effort, making use of all available slave labor. Some 20,000-30,000 jews are allegedly gassed there each month. But it’s clear that this would have been a tremendous waste of manpower at a particularly critical point in the war. For the most part, though, there is no doubt that by this time German society had been largely cleared of jews. Goebbels comments accordingly:

Feb 25, 1944 (II.11.348)

As the jews have been struck down (niederschlagen) in Germany, so they will be struck down in the entire world. That which we have put behind us in our struggle for power, the enemy nations still have before them; but the Führer emphasized that what the jews in Germany have behind them, they still have to face in England and America.

It’s a strange phrase to use, “what the jews have behind them,” if in fact they are dead. Most likely the majority are still alive—in prisons, camps, or loose somewhere in the East.

Mar 4, 1944 (II.11.403)

Only with the Jewish Question have we pursued such a radical policy. It was correct, and today we are its beneficiaries. The jews can no longer trouble us. Nevertheless, even before addressing the Jewish Question, one must emphasize over and over again that it is not possible to be solved (nicht zu lösen sei).One sees how it is possible, if one only wants it. But a bourgeois man naturally cannot understand that.

If the jewish problem was not truly solved, it can only be because the final deportation phase was not effected. But it was evidently solved well enough to no longer be a concern.

Hungary now comes into view. With things looking bad, Hungarian leaders Horthy and Kallay sought to bail out of the Axis and negotiate an independent armistice. Hitler would have none of this, and occupied the country on March 19.The Germans then installed Dome Sztojay as prime minister. Where Horthy had resisted jewish deportations, Sztojay readily cooperated. At this time the country had some 760,000 jews, of which about 230,000 were in Budapest. Ghettoization of the jews began immediately upon occupation; deportations would commence two months later, in mid-May. Almost all the deportees went to Auschwitz: for forced labor, according to Goebbels, or to be gassed, according to traditionalism.

Mar 13, 1944 (II.11.462)

Above all the Führer emphasized that he has no intention of letting Hungary come to the sorry state that befell us in Italy. The campaign is designed to occupy Hungarian territory with very sharp blows.… Hungary has 700,000 jews; we will ensure that they do not slip through our net.

Mar 16, 1944 (II.11.490)

Six thousand jews are still living in Berlin, partly privileged, and partly tolerated. I’m keeping an eye on them, and will still try to deport them (abzuschieben) at the earliest opportunity.

Mar 23, 1944 (II.11.530-531)

At the moment, the [Hungarian] jews are not under arrest, but rather confined to the ghetto. We can therefore use it well in Budapest, because they will serve to some extent as hostages against enemy air raids. The people of Budapest were always of the opinion that, so long as there are jews in the Hungarian capitol, they would not be attacked by enemy aircraft. They should want to.

Apr 18, 1944 (II.12.44)

The Führer then explained to the Gauleiters the background of his campaign in Hungary, and how it was designed. He gave an amusing description of his talk with Horthy. He had to use strong-arm tactics because the old man was not comfortable with the necessary measures. The Führer left him in no doubt, that either it would be a fight to the death or that he had to submit. The Führer had so many forces to apply to this campaign that Horthy offered no serious resistance. In particular, the Führer expected contributions from Hungary of food, oil, manganese, and people. In particular, he wants the 700,000 jews in Hungary involved in beneficial activities for our war effort.

Apr 27, 1944 (II.12.199)

Horthy made clear to the Führer that while Germany has many large cities, Hungary has only Budapest. He clearly argued that Budapest would be attacked by the British and the Americans. In any case, he no longer opposes us; on the contrary, he unleashes a terrible fury on the jews, and has no objection to our using them as hostages; he even proposed that himself. Meanwhile 300,000 ‘Hungarian’ jews have been detained and imprisoned in the concentration camps. They should come, in large part, to Germany as a workforce. Himmler will take care of this; above all, they are to be used for our difficult war production programs. In any case, Hungary will no longer be out of line on the Jewish Question. He who says A, must say B, and once Hungary has begun to implement their jewish policy they can no longer slow it down. At a certain point, jewish policy drives itself. This is now the case in Hungary.

May 4, 1944 (II.12.232)

Our plenipotentiary in Hungary, Veesenmayer, gives an excellent speech on the decisive Hungarian factors. …In particular, it’s to his credit that the Hungarian potential is now in large part requisitioned for our war efforts. Also, the Jewish Question is now being handled more energetically. I insist that the measures taken against the jews in Hungary have a factual basis. It’s not enough that one only announces in the press what happens, but one must also explain it. In Budapest the jews are starting to be gathered into ghettos. The ghettos are built in the vicinity of the armament factories, because air attacks are likely there. It is hoped thereby to avoid British-American attacks on Budapest, if at all possible.

This, unfortunately, is the last significant entry through the end of June, by which time the evacuations were nearly complete. Some 440,000 jews were removed from the country through July 7, from all parts except Budapest city; its 230,000 jews survived the deportations, as did about 90,000 non-Budapest jews.

* * * * *

Though my detailed study of the diary ends here, a few later entries and events are worth mentioning. D-day (June 6) occurred in the midst of the Hungarian action. The eastern front was rapidly collapsing. On September 11 the Allies fire-bombed Darmstadt, killing 12,000. In October, Goebbels comments that some of the displaced jews were contemplating a return (!) to Germany after the war:

Oct 24, 1944 (II.14.93)

jews that fell into our hands have said that our ‘emigrant Semites’ [jews who have been expelled from the Reich] again stated the intention of returning to the Reich as soon as an opportunity was offered to them. I think it would suit them to prepare a reception that they would in no way expect.

In Hungary, Horthy was able to depose Sztojay in July, and was the de facto leader until October when the Germans again intervened. This time they imprisoned Horthy and installed Ferenc Szalasi. In November he ordered the Budapest Jews into a city ghetto.

Dec 3, 1944 (II.14.343)

International jewry announces its post-war plans particularly through the mouths of the Zionists. These plans are bursting with impudence and insults, not only against us but also the Anglo-American enemy. The jews are feeling on top of things today. But they will surely regret their current excesses in the not-too-distant future.

In Budapest the last jews are now locked into the ghetto. I think that Szalasi would be better advised to deliver the jews to us. Then should Budapest be directly threatened by the enemy, the jews would serve as a ferment of decomposition.

Dec 13, 1944 (II.14.406)

The ‘Stockholm’ jews are vigorously at work to create incidents between Sweden and the Reich. They will not rest until Sweden is dragged into this war. The jew is really the ferment of decomposition, and the real culprit of this war. He and his race will therefore likely have to pay the highest price for this war.

Intriguing phrase:“ferment of decomposition.”This recalls Hitler’s comments of 1 December 1941 and 27 January 1942, of seeing the jews as a corrosive force in society. And again, if the jew has yet “to pay the highest price,” then clearly he hasn’t paid it so far—meaning, he is still alive somewhere.

Even into 1945, Goebbels is showing no signs of surrender:

Jan 4, 1945 (II.15.62-63)

I report to the Führer on the enormous effect that his New Year’s talk has had, both in and out of the country. He himself has already read with great satisfaction the available foreign telegrams. In any case we must stay cool in the present war situation. The jews will make every effort to confuse us, and to sow discord with their lies; but that should not shake us. Also in the last months of 1932, the jews left no stone unturned in order to prevent an organic solution to this internal German conflict. They will also attempt to do this now, in the present efforts to solve the world-conflict in an organic way. But there are ways and means enough to counter this.

Jan 19, 1945 (II.15.153)

In the parts of Poland newly-occupied by the Soviets, the Jewish Question now becomes extraordinarily relevant. The Lublin Commission appears not to have created much that the jews want. It gives an explanation from the standpoint that, after we have eradicated (ausgerottet) the larger part of ‘Polish’ ewry, now Polish anti-Semitism must be taken into account. How that should happen, the Lublin Commission has no plan for itself.

On February 13, Britain fire-bombs Dresden; as many as 45,000 [ed. 500,000+] civilians perish. Ten days later it does the same to Pforzheim, with another 17,000 fatalities. Allied barbarity knows no bounds. Perhaps it was these mass slaughters of innocents that led to the following comment:

Mar 14, 1945 (II.15.498) ***

The jews are reemerging. Their spokesman is the well-known and notorious Leopold Schwarzschild; he is now arguing in the American press that under no circumstances should Germany be given lenient treatment. Anyone in a position to do so should kill these jews like rats (wie die Ratten totschlagen). In Germany, thank God, we have already thoroughly attended to this. I hope that the world will take this as an example.

As mentioned earlier, this is the one and only instance of Goebbels explicitly calling for the death of jews—in the 123 entries that I was able to find and report here. In the next sentence I have given a more literal translation of Goebbels’s wording:…haben wir schon redlich besorgt. Barry chose to write “…we have already done a fairly complete job.”Either way, it’s clear that many jews have indeed ‘died like rats,’ but once again this is a far cry from complete annihilation.

Finally, two late entries from near the very end:

Mar 15, 1945 (II.15.509) ***

The jews of Palestine…have called a one-day strike in sympathy with the jews of Europe. The jews are playing a wicked and thoughtless game. No one can say with certainty which nation will be on the losing side and which on the winning at the end of the war; but there can be no doubt that the jews will be the losers.

Apr 4, 1945 (II.15.674) ***

The jews have applied for a seat at the San Francisco Conference [on post-war plans]. It is characteristic that their main demand is that anti-Semitism be forbidden throughout the world. Typically, having committed the most terrible crimes against mankind, the jews would now like mankind to be forbidden even to think about them.

Indeed, we are still forbidden to think of such things, even 65 years later.

As explained in Part 1 of this article, Goebbels’s diaries, like Hitler’s ‘Table Talk’ reflections, are not well known or cited, even among the so-called experts. I think we can now see why: these entries offer very little support for the orthodox view, and raise lots of troublesome issues that must be explained away—not the least of which is the fact that, if we are to believe the exterminationists, Goebbels systematically lied to himself or otherwise falsified his own private diary, for years, for the sake of some unknown future events. This is simply not credible. Nor is the possibility that he was unaware of the mass killing that was allegedly happening. By all reasonable indications, the revisionist account—the literal reading of the diary—is most likely true.

All of this might come to light if the Goebbels diaries were published in English, in full, with an honest translation. But don’t hold your breath. I contacted the people at Saur in Germany, asking about this. I received a terse one-sentence reply:[9] “The title Goebbels Tagebücher will not be published in an English version.”

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