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Although Hitler 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 the East.


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 :

"We 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:

"I 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."

 

 


 

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