held the ultimate responsibility for what became the Holocaust, it was SS
Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler who essentially laid the
plans and devised the schemes that led to the killings of six million Jews.
Himmler was head of the
entire Nazi police force including SD and the Gestapo, he was Minister of
the Interior and commander of the Waffen SS and the Home Army. One of
Hitler's most sinister henchmen, he was also in charge of the death camps in
From a number of letters and speeches of Heinrich Himmler it becomes clear,
that he referred to the annihilation of the Jews in Europe - the Holocaust -
as a task which he had to carry out on the behalf of the highest authority
in the Third Reich - Adolf Hitler.
In 1941, Himmler summoned Rudolf Hoess, SS Commandant of the largest killing
center ever created, the death camp Auschwitz. He told him that "the Führer
had given the order for a Final Solution of the Jewish Question" and
that "we, the SS, must carry out that order".
April 1943 Himmler declared :
have - I would say, as very consistent National Socialists - taken the
question of blood as our starting point. We were the first really to solve
the problem of blood by action, and in this connection, by problem of
blood, we of course do not mean anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is exactly
the same as delousing. Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology.
It is a matter of cleanliness."
On October 4 and 6, 1943, Heinrich Himmler told SS officers in Posen:
mean the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race. It's
one of those things it is easy to talk about, "the Jewish race is being
exterminated", says one party member, "that's quite clear, it's in
our program, elimination of the Jews, and we're doing it, exterminating
them". And then they come, 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has
his decent Jew. Of course the others are vermin, but this one is an A-1 Jew.
Not one of those who talk this way has watched it, not one of them has gone
through it. Most of you know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side
by side, or 500, or 1,000. To have stuck it out and at the same time - apart
from exceptions caused by human weakness - to have remained decent fellows,
that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which
has never been written and is never to be written.
I ask of you that what I say in this circle you really only hear and never
speak of. We come to the question: how is it with the women and the
children? I have resolved even here on a completely clear solution. That is
to say I do not consider myself justified in eradicating the men - so to
speak killing or ordering them killed - and allowing the avengers in the
shape of the children to grow up for our sons and grandsons. The difficult
decision has to be taken, to cause this Volk to disappear from the earth."