Der Stürmer

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Category: Revisionism

Joseph Kennedy: Hardcore Anti-Semite, Hitler Lover

Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., John F. Kennedy. Arrival at Southampton, England 02 July 1938. Photograph in the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston.


Arriving at London in early 1938, newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy took up quickly with another transplanted American.

Viscountess Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor assured Kennedy early in their friendship that he should not be put off by her pronounced and proud anti-Catholicism. “I’m glad you are smart enough not to take my [views] personally,” she wrote.

Astor pointed out that she had a number of Roman Catholic friends – G.K. Chesterton among them – with whom she shared, if nothing else, a profound hatred for the Jewish race.

Joe Kennedy, in turn, had always detested Jews generally, although he claimed several as friends individually. Indeed, Kennedy seems to have tolerated the occasional Jew in the same way Astor tolerated the occasional Catholic.

As fiercely anti-Communist as they were anti-Semitic, Kennedy and Astor looked upon Adolf Hitler as a welcome solution to both of these “world problems” (Nancy’s phrase). No member of the so-called “Cliveden Set” (the informal cabal of appeasers who met frequently at Nancy Astor’s palatial home) seemed much concerned with the dilemma faced by Jews under the Reich. Astor wrote Kennedy that Hitler would have to do more than just “give a rough time” to “the killers of Christ” before she’d be in favor of launching ”Armageddon to save them. The wheel of history swings round as the Lord would have it. Who are we to stand in the way of the future?” Kennedy replied that he expected the “Jew media” in the United States to become a problem, that “Jewish pundits in New York and Los Angeles” were already making noises contrived to “set a match to the fuse of the world.”

During May of 1938, Kennedy engaged in extensive discussions with the new German Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, Herbert von Dirksen. In the midst of these conversations (held without approval from the U.S. State Department), Kennedy advised von Dirksen that President Roosevelt was the victim of “Jewish influence” and was poorly informed as to the philosophy, ambitions and ideals of Hitler’s regime. (The Nazi ambassador subsequently told his bosses that Kennedy was “Germany’s best friend” in London.)

Columnists back in the states condemned Kennedy’s fraternizing. Kennedy later claimed that 75% of the attacks made on him during his Ambassadorship emanated from “a number of Jewish publishers and writers. … Some of them in their zeal did not hesitate to resort to slander and falsehood to achieve their aims.” He told his eldest son, Joe Jr., that he disliked having to put up with “Jewish columnists” who criticized him with no good reason.

Like his father, Joe Jr. admired Adolf Hitler. Young Joe had come away impressed by Nazi rhetoric after traveling in Germany as a student in 1934. Writing at the time, Joe applauded Hitler’s insight in realizing the German people’s “need of a common enemy, someone of whom to make the goat. Someone, by whose riddance the Germans would feel they had cast out the cause of their predicament. It was excellent psychology, and it was too bad that it had to be done to the Jews. The dislike of the Jews, however, was well-founded. They were at the heads of all big business, in law etc. It is all to their credit for them to get so far, but their methods had been quite unscrupulous … the lawyers and prominent judges were Jews, and if you had a case against a Jew, you were nearly always sure to lose it. … As far as the brutality is concerned, it must have been necessary to use some ….”

Brutality was in the eye of the beholder. Writing to Charles Lindbergh shortly after Kristallnacht in November of 1938, Joe Kennedy Sr. seemed more concerned about the political ramifications stemming from high-profile, riotous anti-Semitism than he was about the actual violence done to the Jews. ”… Isn’t there some way,” he asked, “to persuade [the Nazis] it is on a situation like this that the whole program of saving western civilization might hinge? It is more and more difficult for those seeking peaceful solutions to advocate any plan when the papers are filled with such horror.” Clearly, Kennedy’s chief concern about Kristallnacht was that it might serve to harden anti-fascist sentiment at home in the United States.

Like his friend, Charles Coughlin (an anti-Semitic broadcaster and Roman Catholic priest), Kennedy always remained convinced of what he believed to be the Jews’ corrupt, malignant, and profound influence in American culture and politics. “The Democratic [party] policy of the United States is a Jewish production,” Kennedy told a British reporter near the end of 1939, adding confidently that Roosevelt would “fall” in 1940.

But it wasn’t Roosevelt who fell. Kennedy resigned his ambassadorship just weeks after FDR’s overwhelming triumph at the polls. He then retreated to his home in Florida: a bitter, resentful man nurturing religious and racial bigotries that put him out-of-step with his country, and out-of-touch with history.

The Magnitude of Martyrs


Honest historians who focus on the fabled six million sing to the swindlers hymn sheets. By adding to the debate they keep the fraudsters holohoax on the front pages. Simultaneously, they fail to use their skills to bring to public attention multiple and verifiable holocausts committed by Communism and Capitalism.

The six million supposedly gassed Jews pales into insignificance when set against the 170 million butchered by the Communist and Capitalists. The fabled six million would be of no more interest than the verifiable genocide of the Armenians, the Tatars or the Cossacks. It would become a ‘mere detail of history’.

The question is how to respond to those who re-write or censor history.

Firstly, it must be recognised that the public mind-set is manipulated by media. Newspaper columnist, Joseph Alsop, was primarily responsible for getting the US into the Vietnam War. Rival columnist Walter Lippmann, a confidant of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, brought the conflict to an end. This is the power of the Press at work. Mainstream media that starts and stops wars can make or break presidents and premiers.

Media is the swamp that decides what pond-life thrives and what dies in their cesspool. German Minister of Information, Dr Joseph Goebbels:

Think of the Press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

U.S infantrymen pose with Red Army troops.

According to independent research the US has been directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of an estimated 30 million people since WWII. Yet, the only mantra in the public mind is the centuries old recycled six million cliché that is as fanciful as is the concept of Santa Claus.

R. J. Rummel is a respected independent analyst based at the Journal of Peace Research in Hawaii. According to his Power Kills: Genocide and Mass Murder, 170,000,000 people have been ‘murdered by government’ during the last 100 years. Yet, thanks to the manipulative mainstream media the public are wholly unaware of this ‘Magnitude of the Martyrs’.

The power of media can never be underestimated. There is still universal belief that the 1917 American-backed coup that delivered Imperial Russia to US corporate and banking interests was a Russian revolution. Because media has censored, collaborated in or laundered Bolshevism the public are unaware that 70 to 100 million Christian martyrs were slaughtered during Josef Stalin’s tenure of terror.

The media has convinced a gullible public that Hitler’s Germany was a despotic regime whilst Joseph Stalin’s Bolshevik Occupied Russia was benign, a great ally and even a workers paradise. Because of media’s lying and censorship, most people hold Hitler responsible for World War II. They remain blissfully ignorant of International Jewry’s responsibility for a brother’s war that led to the deaths of 55 million martyrs and the enslavement of 23 great European nations.

Media never challenges the West’s multiple wars or NATO’s highly inflammatory provocations against Russia, China and North Korea. Media never publicly challenges the aims of government. Media ring-fences NATO and US conflicts in the Middle East. Media describes the Satanic cult ruling Israel-occupied Palestine as the only democracy in the Middle East; a transparent lie.

Without a shred of evidence acceptable to a magistrate’s court, media has convinced the incredulous public that half the world’s verifiable Jews population were killed in just three years in a country smaller than the state of Texas. Yes, sadly, the people are that simple-minded.

Media achieves this by constantly recycling what Adolf Hitler identified as the Big Lie strategy practiced by Jews and their Shabbos goy mercenaries. The success of the Big Lie is proved true by it being used to keep in the public mind the holocaust hoax.

Revisionist historians ~ I include myself ~ sing to the media’s hymn sheet by keeping their focus on the huckster’s holocaust hoax. This distraction plays the media’s game of convincing the public that the only holocaust worthy of debate and criticism was the Nazi one.

For my part I intend to turn the spotlight on the multiple proven holocausts committed by what Hitler described as Capitalism and Communism being two sides of the same coin.

Partisan War and Reprisal Killings


An attempt to organize German reprisals during the military campaign against the USSR

By Germar Rudolf , Sibylle Schröder

Published: 2003-08-01

Since the publication of Daniel Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners and the general attention, which the Anti-Wehrmacht propaganda exhibition received in Germany,[1] the center of gravity of the discussion about the ‘Holocaust’ has changed. At least today the attention is directed less intensively to the alleged high-tech mass murder in “homicidal gas chambers,” which are in every regard still totally inconceivable even today, but considerably more to the actual or only claimed mass murder behind the eastern front, allegedly committed above all, but not exclusively, by the so called Einsatzgruppen and committed especially, but not only, against Jews residing in the then Soviet Union. Opinions about this subject vary widely within historical revisionism from positions, which are not very different from the established opinion, to those who deny such mass murders completely. The following article tries to summarize the current knowledge from one revisionist viewpoint, which revised exaggerated claims of mass murder and brings the issue into the context of wartime reprisals-and reprisal excesses-against illegal partisans. We hope that this may trigger a vivid discussion and a start into further, more detailed research into this field.

Allied Reprisals against Germans

German newspapers rarely carry articles about reprisals threatened or implemented by the western Allies at or after the end of the war. However, the Stuttgarter Zeitung, for example, reported that the French had threatened reprisal executions at a ratio of 1:25 even in the event that shots would be taken at their soldiers at all, regardless of the actual outcome.[2] On April 4, 1992, the Paderborner Zeitung reported an incident where the Americans had taken harsh revenge for the death of their General Maurice Rose, who had been shot in regular combat: 110 German men not involved in the event were killed.[3] Probably there are a great many more such examples, where harsh reprisals or unlawful acts of revenge were inflicted on the German population. We know very little today about conditions prevailing from 1945 to 1947, especially in West Germany, since these actions on the part of the victors were never prosecuted. The Germans were forbidden to prosecute because of a law that is still in effect today, and the victors, naturally enough, had no particular interest in such prosecution.[4] The fact that East and Central Germany saw some dreadful excesses is somewhat more fully documented, on the other hand, since this was in the interests of the anti-Communist western powers.

The Partisan War in the East 1941-1944

Dr. jur. Karl Siegert, Professor at the University of Göttingen, drew up a legal expert report shortly after the end of World War Two, in which he showed that reprisal killings were, to a certain degree, common practice and not against international law.[5] Hence, reprisals and shootings of hostages can be considered as tactically questionable and possibly as morally reprehensible, but strictly speaking this was not against the law at that time. This should always be kept in mind when the topic at issue is the reactions of German troops in Russia and Serbia, i.e., in vast regions where a weak occupation power had to battle brutal partisans in order to facilitate the oft-disrupted flow of supplies to the eastern front. Partisan attacks began immediately following the start of the eastern war; certain partisan units deliberately let themselves be overrun, in order then to engage in sabotage behind the advancing German troops and to commit horrific atrocities against soldiers and civilians they caught unaware. Later on, partisan units as large as entire divisions were flown into the hinterland of the German troops, or smuggled in through the lines.[6]

Naturally, the data to be found in the subject literature about the numbers of partisans and the damage they caused vary widely, since there are few reliable documents about this kind of unlawful warfare and since the Soviet Union also always had a strong propagandistic interest in the historiography of partisan warfare. The most reliable data seems to be that provided by Bernd Bonwetsch,[7] who gives the numbers of partisans as follows: late 1941: 90,000; early 1942: 80,000; mid-1942: 150,000; spring 1943: 280,000; by 1944, skyrocketing to approximately half a million. These figures are based both on Soviet and on contemporaneous Reich-German sources. The damage done by the partisans, especially in the area of Byelorussia, is considerably more difficult to quantify. Wilenchik tells of impressive quantities of weapons and ammunition that were allegedly at the partisans’ disposal, as well as of extensive crippling of the German supply lines through paralysis of railway lines, especially in 1944.[8] In general terms, this is confirmed by Werner.[9]

Regarding the numbers of German soldiers and civilians killed by partisans, Bonwetsch contrasts the claims from Soviet sources-up to 1.5 million-with those from the German side: 35,000 to 45,000,[10] which he considers to be more reliable, since allegedly the German sources would have had no reason to minimize the figures. However, he overlooks the fact that it is generally customary in war to downplay one’s own losses. Seidler[11] recently published a balanced up-to-date study about the Wehrmacht’s struggle in the partisan warfare, showing not only the disastrous and probably decisive effects of the partisan’s attacks against German units and especially their supplies, but he proves also that most of the German reactions were totally covered by international law-although not always most far-sighted. Furthermore, he shows that those orders from higher up which broke international laws (e.g., the infamous “Kommissar order,” which might be considered morally appropriate, but politically stupid and judicially untenable) were in most cases sabotaged by the front units, and that these orders, after long-lasting and massive protest, were eventually revoked.

In a book critically discussed by the renowned German historians Andreas Hillgruber and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Boris Semionovich Telpuchowsky writes:

Professor Franz W. Seidler from the University of Munich is one of the few historians who try to keep a balanced view on the events of World War Two and opposes in a very scholarly way. His book on the Wehrmacht in its war against partisans is an excellent example of a thorough refutation of many myths. Castle Hill Publishers will try to publish several of Prof. Seidler’s books in English editions over the next years. Translators working for fair prices as well as financial support for these projects are more than welcome. Please get in touch with us.

In a book critically discussed by the renowned German historians Andreas Hillgruber and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Boris Semionovich Telpuchowsky writes:

“Within three years of the war, the Byelorussian partisans eliminated approximately 500,000 German soldiers and officers, 47 Generals, blew up 17,000 enemy military transports and 32 armored trains, destroyed 300,000 railway tracks, 16,804 vehicles and a great number of other material supplies of all kinds.”[12]

The data also diverge greatly regarding the personnel (and concomitant costs) involved in the Germans’ efforts to maintain security behind the frontlines: 300,000 to 600,000 persons were needed according to Soviet sources, vs. roughly 190,000 according to German sources.[10]

To what degree these data were inflated in order to glorify the partisans is not known, but there is no doubt that the policy of scorched earth[13] practiced by the Red Army in their retreat in 1941-42, together with the acts of sabotage and murder by the partisans, were the major contributing factors in the defeat of the German army in the East. The brutality with which the Red Army and especially the partisans fought, right from the start of the war and on orders from the highest echelons, was described vividly by J. Hoffmann,[14] for example, and again recently by A.E. Epifanow[15] and Franz W. Seidler[16]; A.M. de Zayas, in his study of the Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, also confirmed and corroborated much of the material which the Reich government had already collected even in those days to document the atrocities committed by not only the Red Army.[17] De Zayas also reports that the German wartime leaders did not resort to reprisals as a standard matter of course, but rather for the most part after carefully weighing the pros and cons. Especially in Russia, however, this could not prevent the fact that lower-ranking units, acting on the basis of their own experiences with the Soviet manner of warfare, engaged in reprisals (and revenge) not ordered or approved by higher ranks.[18] Finally, it must be noted that since July 1943 both the German army and the SS agreed to treat partisans like regular combatants, which meant for example that they would not be executed if captured, which was permitted by international law and common practice, but that they would be treated as normal POWs.[19] This is a measure whose generosity and humanity is, to my knowledge, unheard of anywhere in world history.

As we know today, the German Wehrmacht deployed in the East fought not only for the survival of the Third Reich, but after they abandoned all illusions of imperialism, they also fought for the freedom of all of Europe from Stalinism,[20] and therefore, in light of Prof. Siegert ‘s findings, we must observe that there was nothing unlawful and very little immoral about the merciless battle of the German security forces against unlawful Soviet partisans, even if that battle did involve draconic reprisals. If the official Soviet information about the numbers of German soldiers and/or their allies killed by partisans should be accurate, then it must be noted that reprisal killings of several millions of people (ratio 1:10) would have been theoretically justified. But even the numbers given by German authorities (some 40,000 victims) could have resulted theoretically in reprisal killings of about 400,000 civilians. It goes without saying that such numbers are horrific, and we can just be thankful that reprisal killings are forbidden nowadays and hope that the law will be observed. We must, however, ask whether such killings actually took place in those days.

Einsatzgruppen for the Fight against Partisans.

The so-called Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD (Security Service) were among others the units in charge of combating the partisans.[21] They started with not more than 4,000 men in summer 1941, but at the end of 1942 up to 15,000 Germans and 240,000 natives were involved,[22] an increase of manpower which indicates very well the parallel increase of partisan warfare at that time. Considering their relatively unsuccessful efforts at curbing partisan activity, we must note that these initially numerically weak troops were obviously entirely overwhelmed by their task of policing the enormous region (many hundred thousands of square kilometers), which they were in charge of and whose more remote areas were increasingly under the control of partisans.[23] Thus it appears a bit ridiculous when H. Höhne states:[24]

“Heydrich’s Death envoys started their cruel adventure: 3,000 men were hunting Russia’s five million Jews.”

Höhne omits to say that at the same time these troops were fighting against some 100,000 partisans. The allegations made against these troops today-namely, that, aside from their hopeless battle against the partisans, they also cooperated with many Wehrmacht soldiers to kill several million Jews as part of the Final Solution-beg the comment that, as Gerald Reitlinger says, this is absolutely unbelievable.[25]

Partisans prepare to blow up a railway track leading from the West to Moscow: The delay and destruction of supplies results in the death of ten thousands of German Soldiers.

As documentary evidence for the number of Jews shot by the Einsatzgruppen behind the Russian front, the so-called event reports (Ereignisberichte) are frequently quoted. These reports are said to have been prepared by the Einsatzgruppen, who also supposedly sent them to Berlin, where these documents were found after the war. One of the most well-known experts on the subject of Einsatzgruppen, however, Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm,[26] stated as early as in 1988 that he is not certain whether or not the event reports are correct. Because he could show that the statistics in these reports about the number of murdered Jews are unreliable, he warned his colleagues as follows:[27]

“When the reliability [of these reports] in non-statistically areas is not greater, which can only be verified by comparing them with other sources from the same region, historical research would be well advised to be much more suspicious in future than it was so far when using any SS-sources.”

This remark was only consequential, since he did express similar doubts about the reliability of these documents already in his first book, when he speculated:[28]

“that here as well at least several ten thousand exterminated Jews were added to the report in order to ‘improve’ it, which was otherwise thought to be hardly justifiable, because the number of killed partisans was far too low.”

Elsewhere he noted that one of the event reports of the Einsatzgruppen was evidently manipulated by adding a zero to 1,134, thus turning the total to 11,034.[29] The forgers-this is what we deal with here-evidently had an interest in suggesting victim counts as high as possible. In case the Einsatzgruppen were the forgers, then one would assume that they believed that somebody in Berlin desired to see as many Jews murdered as possible. But what if someone else was the forger?

The Problem of the Event Reports in the Case of “Babi Yar”

Babi Yar is the name of an erosion ditch system in the vicinity of the Ukrainian city of Kyiv. After German troops had conquered Kyiv in September 1941, 33,771 Jews (men, women, and children) were allegedly shot in Babi Yar on September 29 and 30.

Sources for this are the Ereignismeldungen and Tätigkeits- und Lageberichte (action- and situation reports) of the Einsatzgruppen, as well as witness testimonies. Especially important is the Event Report No. 6, report time Sept. 1 to 31, 1941.[30] It states:

“The bitterness of the Ukrainian population against the Jews is exceedingly high, because they are blamed for the dynamiting of Kyiv. They are also considered the informer and agents of the NKVD, who are responsible for the terror against the Ukrainian people. All Jews were arrested as reprisal for the arson in Kyiv and a total of 33,771 Jews were executed on September 29 and 30. Money, valuables, and clothing were secured and made available to the NSV[31] for the provision of local German civilians and also partly to the temporary city administration to help needy residents.”

1. Dynamitings in Kyiv

At this point, a few explanations from established sources are necessary about the dynamiting mentioned in the above Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht. Wilhelm writes about this event:

“When in the week after the occupation [of Kyiv] several explosions caused considerable personal and material damages, this was immediately used as a welcome pretext for ‘corresponding retaliatory measures’ […]”[32]

Burning German supply train in the Soviet Union.

Gerald Reitlinger explains:

“On the 24th [September 1941], an enormous explosion destroyed the Hotel Continental, in which the military command of the Sixth Army was stationed. The fire spread quickly, and Blobel, who had arrived on the 21st, had to vacate his offices. 25,000 people lost their homes, and hundreds of German soldiers were killed, mostly while attempting to extinguish the flames.”[33]

German General Alfred Jodl commented about this in Nuremberg before the IMT (June 4, 1946):[34]

“Shortly before that, Kyiv had been abandoned by the Russian armies, and we had barely occupied the town when one detonation after the other occurred. The larger part of the inner city burned down. 50,000 people lost their homes. We had considerable losses, because during this fire further huge explosives blew up. The local commandant of Kyiv first thought of sabotage by local residents until we captured a detonation chart. This chart listed about 50 or 60 objects of Kyiv, which had been prepared for a long time to be blown up. This was also verified right away by the results of investigations by our pioneers. There were at least 40 such objects ready to be blasted, and most of the detonations were to be ignited remotely through radio signals.”

2. Retaliatory Action

It is therefore established that not only the inner city of Kyiv burn down as a result of these detonations-with corresponding losses of the local population-but also that the German troops lost hundreds of soldiers and almost their entire military leadership staff. Both the city’s military commandant as well as the Ukrainian population first thought of sabotage. Reprisal shootings for such partisan attacks would have been the normal-and justified-reaction during wartime. Hence, these attacks did not serve “as a pretext,” as Krausnick put it.

According to the event report 97 of September 28, 1941, a “public execution of 20 Jews” was planned.[35] In the following reports no. 98 (Sept. 29), 99 (Sept. 30) and 100 (Oct. 1)-exactly on those days when the executions were to have occurred-no references to such executions can be found.

Only the event reports no. 101 of October 2 and no. 106 of October 7 report of the alleged execution of 33,771 Jews. The description by Krausnick/Wilhelm is not quite clear.[36] They do not quote these event reports-something which should be at least expected for the proof of about 34,000 murders-but a quotation from an essay by Alfred Streim of the year 1972.[37] Why did they not use the original text of these event reports-if they exist at all? The conspicuous unclear note “ibid.” in Krausnick,[38] which may refer to event report no. 101 as well as event report no. 106, cannot be considered sufficient in this case as proof for 33,771 murders.

The question whether or not the report about 33,771 shootings can be found in event report no. 101 or in event report no. 106 is not answered uniformly in the literature, which is an indication that none of the authors really checked out the sources, but that one copies always from the other. Hilberg is for event report no. 101,[39] also Klee/Dreßen/Rieß,[40] Reitlinger decided for event report no. 106,[41] as does Streim, to whom Krausnick referred.[42] By the way, Streim distanced himself completely from quoting an event report in a later work, but mentions as the only source the Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr. 6 (Activity- and Situation Report no. 6).[43] Krausnick refers also to this Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr. 6 for the month of October 1941.

That an event report, which among others lists individual arrests and shootings, does not report the execution of 33,771 Jews, is hard to believe, but that seems to be exactly the case.

3. Source Value and Truth of the Event Reports

The work by Krausnick/Wilhelm is the first and only thorough study about the activity of the Einsatzgruppen. The authors used as the main source for their work the Ereignismeldungen UdSSR (Event Reports USSR).[44] These event reports are only one part of a group of documents, which is labeled as follows:

  1. “Ereignismeldungen UdSSR des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD” (Event Reports USSR of the Chief of the Security Police and the SD) for the period from June 23, 1941, to April 24, 1942. 194 documents survived from a total of 195.
  2. “Meldungen aus den besetzten Ostgebieten vom Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD-Kommandostab” (Reports from the occupied eastern territories by the Chief of the Security Police and the SD command staff) for the time period of May 1, 1942, to May 21, 1943-there are 55 reports.
  3. “Tätigkeits- und Lageberichte der Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in der UdSSR” (Activity- and Situation Reports of the Security Police and the SD in the USSR.)[45]

Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm declared the following about the “event reports USSR as a historic source:”[46]

An Eye for an Eye! Top: Killed German Soldiers behind the front line, murdered by partisans; below: execution of Soviet partisans.

“These reports were received always several days later, and not three times daily or at least daily, as with military communications. Trained personnel for the preparation of these reports was not everywhere available. For the transmission via radio and telex, mostly third parties, like military units, had to be used, which caused bothersome problems due to the frequent change in location. Furthermore, the ‘reporting discipline’ was simply bad, and this did not change, no matter how much Heydrich fulminated. The simplest rules were not followed. For example, exact information like when and where a reported event occurred were quite frequently missing, which was unthinkable for a military report. Or the editor of the ‘event reports,’ who could always check back with the original notifications when in doubt, forgot to include the data from the message header into the text body, when the data received via telex was dictated to a typist, and those typed reports were left unchecked for misunderstandings and typos. Because the Einsatzgruppen and Kommandos worked at different speeds, messages frequently crossed each other or were frequently left unattended for extended periods of time because of their excessive length and low priority, some events were not only once or twice, but several times transmitted, and occasionally a backup message was sent days or weeks afterwards, it is not surprising that the editor at the RSHA[47] mixed up the chronology of events. It seems that they themselves could hardly keep an overview. Very soon, these reports were not complete anymore either. This impression quickly results when comparing, for example, the interim balances about the killing of Jews of some Einsatzkommandos, which came in on a fortnightly basis, with the corresponding individual reports about completed actions.”

The last sentence could be an attempt of an explanation, why, for example, there is evidently no event report about the alleged shooting of 33,771 Jews in Kyiv (Babi Yar)-in case that there really is no such an event report-but only a mention of the execution in the “Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr. 6.”

The opinion that there does not exist an event report about these shootings is backed by the explanations of Alfred Streim, which he made during the Stuttgart Congress from May 3 to 5, 1984, about the subject “The Murder of the European Jews during the Second World War.” While talking about the murders in the Babi Yar ravine, he did not refer to an event report, but to the “summary of the executions,” i.e., to the “Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht.”[37]

The event reports were transmitted from the front via radio or telex to a department of the RSHA in Berlin. The official in charge there, who was responsible for the final written form of the reports-as they exist today-was Dr. Günther Knobloch (born 1910). During a hearing by the Central Office Ludwigsburg in 1959 Knobloch gave the following description about the preparation of the event reports and the Activity- and Situation Reports:[48]

“From the incoming flood of messages I always marked the interesting parts red and our secretaries knew exactly, in what form to bring these messages. […] It was important at that time that the messages were quite voluminous. […] Because of this I saved material from days, when we received many messages, for days with only a few messages. The messages from the individual Kommandos and Groups were always filed under these Kommandos and Groups, and an error can of course not necessarily be ruled out. […] Practically no changes in content occurred. […] I would like to add, however, that SS-Gruppenführer Müller […] frequently made handwritten changes also to the actual content. […] I also had often the impression that the information contained exaggerated events and numbers.[…]

At some time in the year 1942, we had to summarize the daily event reports in fortnightly reports, and later these were even changed to monthly reports. But it is also possible that the sequence was reverse. These summaries were prepared by me as well. […] These reports were based exclusively on the daily event reports.”

The “time in the year 1942” mentioned by Knobloch is either a printing error in the book or Knobloch remembered it wrong, since these Tätigkeits- und Lageberichte exist since June 1941, that is since the very beginning of the Russian campaign. The meaning of these summaries, however, is not clear. Why these repetitions in the Tätigkeits- und Lageberichte, which actually, as Wilhelm noticed while comparing them with the event reports, were often no repetitions but new reports?

From both Wilhelm’s and Knobloch’s descriptions the following can be deducted: reports from the front, prepared by non-qualified persons-some of them in double or even multiple versions-were received by the RSHA in Berlin by radio or telex, often with considerable delays. There they were reviewed by Knobloch, important parts highlighted, rewritten by secretaries and sent out unchecked and uncorrected as the final event reports. Later on, after weeks, summaries were prepared from these event reports, to which, however, new data were added while others were deleted on an unknown basis. These summaries were issued as Tätigkeits- und Lageberichte (Activity and Situation Reports).

Krausnick and Wilhelm call these reports with their dubious history “authentic” documents. According to the opinion of the same authors, this authenticity is further supported by the following:[49]

Partisan warfare during the Russian campaign. Similar pictures became well-known in America only after the U.S. Army applied similar tactics during the Vietnam war.

  1. they were captured by the U.S. units;
  2. they were cited in Nuremberg in all relevant trials;
  3. no defense lawyer ever seriously attempted to question their authenticity;
  4. the editors who were responsible within the RSHA for their preparation as well as numerous recipients of the report at that time did identify them.

Regarding #4, the responsible report editor Knobloch testified the following, when photo copies of these reports were submitted to him in Ludwigsburg:[50]

“The photocopies of the reports submitted to me can be considered as the event reports issued at that time in regards to their form.”

“In regards to their form”-Knobloch said either nothing about their content or we are not told about it!

Although the above mentioned points made by Krausnick and Wilhelm do in no way prove the authenticity of the submitted documents, they still could be authentic. However the problem in this case is that the events reported in these presumably authentic documents are evidently incongruent with reality, as is clear from the descriptions of Wilhelm and Knobloch.

4. Were 33 771 Jews Murdered?

The question of how many Jews were murdered in those two days in Babi Yar is controversial in the literature. Hilberg writes that “the success of the Kyiv action is difficult to evaluate.”[51] According to event report no. 97 of Sept. 9, 1941, 50,000 Jews were intended for the shooting, but then 33,771 were reported. However, Paul Blobel, the leader of the Sonderkommando 4a, which was responsible for executions, maintained later in Nuremberg that no more than 16,000 were shot.[52] As a matter of fact, event report no. 97 announced also that the city commandant recommended the public execution of 20 Jews.[35] The Soviet document USSR-9, which was submitted during the main trial in Nuremberg, even states that more than 100,000 men, women, children, and elderly people were shot in Babi Yar.[53] This number, however, was not mentioned anywhere else.

The number generally agreed upon seems to be 33,771. Krausnick maintains that this number was “reported several times,”[54] namely in an event report, which he does not specify, and in the Tätigkeits- und Lagebericht no. 6. This would, of course, mean that this number was not reported several times, but maybe only once, and that it was then repeated in a transcript!

Reitlinger also quotes event reports and action reports, but he confuses their names. When talking about “Activity Reports,” he actually refers to event reports and vice versa. He also claims that the number of 33,771 is verified, because the “activity report no. 106 and the event report No. 6 both contain the same number 33,771.”[55] Here a transcript of a report is also supposed to confirm the report itself. It is doubtful whether Reitlinger has even seen “event report no. 106,” which he mentions only in his text, because if he had, he probably would have quoted the document correctly.

For Wolfgang Benz the “number of the murdered” (33,771) “is also corroborated by testimonies of perpetrators, spectators, and several survivors of the massacre.”[56] Herbert Tiedemann reported extensively about the completely chaotic, arbitrary picture, which those alleged ‘witnesses’ and other reporters drew about Babi Yar, and he has shown that these testimonies can in no way be accepted as proof for anything.[57]

But how could such a number erroneously slip into the reports? Could multiple reports about the same event and typos have led to it? The exact process of this possible number explosion can probably not be reconstructed.

There is, however, at least one example for a similar miracle of numbers in the reports of the Einsatzgruppen, which Wilhelm discovered. In a report of the outpost Dünaburg of the Commander of Security Police in Latvia dated Nov. 11, 1941, a number of 1,134 murdered Jews is mentioned. In a summary report of February 1942, the same number was-by typo?-inflated to 11,034.[58] A zero changed one thousand to ten thousand. However, Wilhelm thinks that the latter number is the correct one, because this number is also mentioned in an undated report of Einsatzgruppe A.[59]

In conclusion it can be said that a critical investigation of the documents referred to here has still to be done, not least in order to determine what their exact content is.[60] But based upon known information about the history and origin of these documents, it can concluded that the Ereignismeldungen (event reports) and the Tätigkeits- und Lageberichte (activity and situation reports), even if they are authentic, do-according to scientific standards-not conclusively prove the reality of the event described in them. For this, other and qualitatively better evidence has to be presented.

5. Certainty Derives from Material Evidence and Unsuspicious Documents only

As a result of the discovery of air photos, we are in the fortunate position to prove beyond reasonable doubt that this alleged mass murder did at least not occur at that claimed location.[61] These pictures of Babi Yar, taken by German reconnaissance planes between 1939 and 1943, prove that this ravine never underwent any noticeable topographic changes, and by a lucky coincidence, a German reconnaissance air plane even made pictures of this area exactly at a time when-according to eye witnesses-the corpses of all the murdered Jews were allegedly exhumed from their mass graves and supposedly cremated on gigantic pyres. Nothing of this is shown on these pictures.

Another example of a sensational discovery which was not reported by the mainstream media has a similarly devastating effect upon the thesis of Goldhagen & Co: In the summer of 1996, the city of Marijampol in Latvia decided to erect a memorial in memory of the tens of thousands of Jews who were allegedly murdered by the Einsatzgruppen. In order to erect it at the proper place, an attempt was made to locate the exact position of the mass graves. Excavations were therefore carried out at those locations which were identified by witnesses, but-oh wonder-Not a single trace of any mass graves could be found.[63] Further excavations in the vicinity of the alleged locations of mass murder did not result in anything else but untouched virgin soil either.[64] Did ‘the Germans’ commit the perfect crime by succeeding to completely hide all traces of their mass murder and even restore the soil to its original layering? Could they commit evil wonders after all? Or were the witnesses wrong?[65]

The following is a translation of one page of a German wartime report on their fight against partisans. the original of the document is depicted above.

The Reichsführer-SS Field-Command Post
December 29, 1942
Subject: Reports to the Führer about
Combat against Bandits.
R e p o r t No. 61
Russia-South, Ukrain, Bialystok.
Success of Combat against Bandits from Sept. 1 to Dec. 12, 1942
1.) Bandits:
a) Confirmed Deaths after Combats (x)
August: September: October: November: Total:
227 381 427 302 1337
b) Prisoner immediately executed
125 282 87 243 737
c) Prisoners executed after thorough interrogation
2100 1400 1596 2731 7828
2.) Bandit associates and bandit suspects
a) Arrested
1343 3078 8337 3795 16553
b) Executed
1198 3020 6333 3706 14257
c) Jews executed
31246 165282 95735 70948 363211
3.) Renegades because of German Propaganda
21 14 42 63 140
(x) Since the Russians carry off or immediately bury their killed soldiers, the losses are much higher, even according to statements of prisoners.

Causes of the East-European Anti-Semitism

Does this mean, that no Jew was ever shot by the SS in the east, the German Wehrmacht, or the Einsatzgruppen? Of course not. It is undeniable that German military units shot numerous civilians behind the front in connection with the “Bandenkämpfe” (combats against partisans), especially in the form of reprisal killings.[66] During the war in the east, which was fought with extreme brutality, it is furthermore likely that reprisal-excesses occurred occasionally, that is, where not only partisans and their supporters as well as criminal elements (and possibly also POW’s) were killed as reprisals in accordance with international law, but that it also came to killings of innocent civilians with no connection to reprisals. If this would not have happened on the German side, the German army would be the first in the history of mankind who would consist only of angels, which can be ruled out.

Obviously, in selecting the victims of such reprisals, one would not choose Ukrainians, Byelorussians or members of the Balkan, Baltic or Caucasian peoples, of whom considerable numbers fought in German units. The fact that the Jews were predominantly unpopular amongst these peoples was mainly due to fairly recent causes. In the previous decades many people had had terrible experiences with Communist commissars, disproportionately many of whom were of Jewish descent, especially in the first few decades of Soviet Bolshevism. The Russian Jewess Sonja Margolina has made some interesting points regarding the involvement of the Russian Jews in the Bolshevist reign of terror:[67]

“Nevertheless: the horrors of revolution and civil war, just like those of the repressions later, are closely tied to the image of the Jewish commissar.” (p. 47)

“The Jewish presence in the instruments of power was so impressive that even such an unbiased contemporaneous researcher as Boris Paramonov, a Russian cultural historian living in New York, asked whether the promotion of the Jews into leadership positions may perhaps have been a ‘gigantic provocation’.” (p. 48)

Margolina has written a particularly detailed analysis of a book which appeared in 1924 under the title Rußland und die Juden. This book examines the causes of the Russian Jews’ conspicuously above-average participation in the excesses of the October Revolution and the dictatorship that followed it, and analyzed the consequences of this involvement. In their appeal “To the Jews in all nations!” the authors of this book discussed by Margolina wrote:

“‘The Jewish Bolsheviki’s overeager participation in the subjugation and destruction of Russia is a sin that already bears within itself the seeds of its retribution. For what greater misfortune could happen to a people than to have its own sons engage in excesses. Not only will this be counted against us as an element of our guilt, it will also be held up to us as reproach for an expression of our power, for a striving for Jewish hegemony. Soviet power is equated with Jewish power, and the grim hatred of the Bolsheviki will transform into a hatred of the Jews […] All nations and peoples will be swamped by waves of Judeophobia. Never before have such thunderclouds gathered above the heads of the Jewish people. This is the bottom line of the Russian upheaval for us, for the Jewish people.'” (p. 58)

Margolina quotes further from this anthology:

“‘The Russians have never before seen a Jew in power, neither as governor nor as policeman, nor as postal official. There were both good and bad times in those days too, but the Russian people lived and worked and the fruits of their labors were their own. The Russian name was mighty and threatening. Today the Jews are at every corner and in all levels of power. The Russians see them at the head of the Czarist city, Moscow, and at the head of the metropolis on the River Neva and at the head of the Red Army, the ultimate mechanism of self-destruction. […] The Russians are now faced with a Jew as judge as well as executioner; they encounter Jews at every step, not Communists who are just as poor as they themselves but who nevertheless give orders and take care of the interests of the Soviet power […] It is not surprising that the Russians, in comparing the past to the present, conclude that the present power is Jewish, and so bestial precisely because of that.'” (p. 60)

In the early 1990s, Professor Dr. Ernst Nolte also pointed out the Jews’ intimate entanglement in Communism, though naturally he rejects equating the Jews with Bolshevism. Nolte writes:[68]

“For readily apparent social reasons, was not the per-centage of persons of Jewish extraction particularly great among the participants in the Russian Revolution, different from the percentages of other minorities such as the Latvians? Even at the start of this century Jewish philosophers were still pointing with great pride to this extensive participation of the Jews in Socialist movements. After 1917, when the anti-Bolshevist movement-or propaganda-stressed the topic of the Jewish People’s commissars above all others, this pride was no longer expressed, […] But it took Auschwitz to turn this topic into a taboo for several decades.

It is all the more remarkable that in 1988 the publication Commentary, the voice of right-wing Jews in America, published an article by Jerry Z. Muller who recalls these indisputable facts-though of course they are open to interpretation:

‘If Jews were highly visible in the revolution in Russia and Germany, in Hungary they seemed omnipresent. […] Of the government’s 49 commissars, 31 were of Jewish origin […] Rakosi later joked that Garbai (a gentile) was chosen for his post ‘so that there would be someone who could sign the death sentences on Saturdays’. […] But the conspicuous role of Jews in the revolution of 1917-19 gave anti-Semitism (which ‘seemed on the wane by 1914’) a whole new impetus. […] Historians who have focused on the utopian ideals espoused by revolutionary Jews have diverted attention from the fact that these Communists of Jewish origin, no less than their non-Jewish counterparts, were led by their ideals to take part in heinous crimes-against Jews and non-Jews alike.'”

Referring to the causal nexus Nolte had postulated between GULag and Auschwitz, Muller concludes:

“The Trotskies make the revolutions [i.e., the GULag] and the Bronsteins pay the bills [in the Holocaust].”[69]

Thus it seems understandable that National Socialism, and the eastern peoples fighting alongside for their freedom, equated the Jews in general with the Bolshevist terror and the activities of the commissars-though such an identification, being sweeping and collective, was unjust. Nevertheless, it is therefore more than plausible that it was Jews, first and foremost, who were made to pay for the partisan warfare and other war crimes of the Soviets. Anyone who (rightly) criticizes this, however, should also not omit to consider where the blame for this kind of escalation of the war in the East was to be found. And clearly it was to be found with Stalin who, as an aside, had treated the Jews in his sphere of influence at least as mercilessly ever since the war had begun, as Hitler had.[70]


First published as “Partisanenkrieg und Repressaltötungen” in Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung 3(2) (1999), pp. 145-153. Translated by Fabian Eschen. All but one picture reproduced in this article were taken from the book Die Wehrmacht im Partisanenkrieg by Franz W. Seidler (Pour le Merite, Selent 1998).

[1] Just recently, this exhibition has come to the U.S. as well, in a slightly revised version; cf. Johannes Heer, Klaus Naumann (ed.), Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941-1944, Hamburger Edition, Hamburg 1995; Klaus Sojka (ed.), Die Wahrheit über die Wehrmacht. Reemtsmas Fälschungen widerlegt, FZ-Verlag, Munich 1998; Franz W. Seidler, Verbrechen an der Wehrmacht, Pour le Mérite, Selent 1998; Bogdan Musial, “Bilder einer Ausstellung. Kritische Anmerkungen zur Wanderausstellung ‘Vernichtungskrieg. Verbrechen der Wehrmacht 1941-1944,'” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 47(4) (1999), pp. 563-591; Krisztián Ungváry, “Echte Bilder – problematische Aussagen,” Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, 50(10), (1999), pp. 584-595; Klaus Hildebrandt, Hans-Peter Schwarz, Lothar Gall, cf. “Kritiker fordern engültige Schließung,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Nov. 6, 1999, p. 4; Ralf Georg Reuth, “Endgültiges Aus für Reemtsma-Schau?,” Welt am Sonntag, Nov. 7, 1999, p. 14; Walter Post, Die verleumdete Armee, Pour le Mérite, Selent 1999.
[2] hoh, “Die Franzosenzeit hat begonnen,” Stuttgarter Zeitung, 25.4.1995
[3] Cf. Heinrich Wendig, Richtigstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte, issue 8, Grabert, Tübingen 1995, p. 46. In fact, this has not been a reprisal, but merely a mass murder; cf. also ibid., issue 2 (1991), pp. 47ff.; issue 3 (1992), pp. 39ff.; issue 10 (1997), pp. 44f.
[4] One exception is a recently publicized case of the unwarranted murder of 48 German soldiers who had already surrendered: Michael Sylverster Kozial, “US-Kripo ermittelt nach 51 Jahren,” Heilbronner Stimme, September 24, 1996; “Später Fahndung nach Mördern in US-Uniform,” Stuttgarter Zeitung, September 27, 1996, p. 7.
[5] Prof. Dr. jur. Karl Siegert, Repressalie, Requisition und höherer Befehl, Göttinger Verlagsanstalt, Göttingen 1953, 52 pp; English translation: Ernst Siegert, “Reprisals and Orders from Higher up,” in: G. Rudolf (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust, 2nd ed., Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago, IL, 2003, pp. 530-550.
[6] Relevant orders were issued by Stalin and were broadcast via all Soviet Russian stations; cf. Keesing’s Archiv der Gegenwart, 1941, July 3rd + 21st 1941; cf. Sowjetski Partisani, Moscow 1961, p. 326.
[7] Bernd Bonwetsch, “Sowjetische Partisanen 1941-1944,” in Gerhard Schulz (ed.), Partisanen und Volkskrieg, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1985, pp. 99, 101.
[8] Witalij Wilenchik, “Die Partisanenbewegung in Weißrußland,” in Hans Joachim Torke (ed.), Forschungen zur osteuropäischen Geschichte, v. 34, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1984, pp. 280f., 285, 288f. This chapter has a certain anti-Fascist undertone.
[9] S. Werner, Die 2. babylonische Gefangenschaft, originally self-published by author, Pfullingen 1990; 2nd ed. Grabert, Tübingen 1991, pp. 88-93 (online:; English online only (
[10] B. Bonwetsch, op.cit. (note [7]), pp. 111f.
[11] Franz. W. Seidler, Die Wehrmacht im Partisanenkrieg, Pour le Mérite, Selent 1998; cf. Hans Poeppel (ed.), Die Soldaten der Wehrmacht, 3rd ed., Herbig, Munich 1999.
[12] B.S. Telpuchowski, Die Geschichte des Grossen Vaterländischen Krieges 1941-1945, Bernard & Graefe Verlag für Wehrwesen, Frankfurt/Main 1961, p. 284; comparable Seidler, op. cit. (note [11]), p. 36f.; similar data may also be found in Heinz Kühnreich, Der Partisanenkrieg in Europa 1939-1945, Dietz, Berlin (East) 1965; for further interesting information, see I.I. Minz, I.M. Rasgon, A.L. Sidorow, Der Große Vaterländische Krieg der Sowjetunion, SWA Verlag, Berlin 1947; it is said that the Washington National Archive’s document copies regarding partisan warfare in the former Soviet Union have recently been made unavailable to the public. This information and the preceding references are courtesy of Fritz Becker; cf. also Becker, “Stalins völkerrechtswidriger Partisanenkrieg,” Huttenbriefe 15(4) (1997), pp. 3-6 (online:
[13] Cf. Walter N. Sanning, “Soviet Scorched-Earth Warfare,” in The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 6/No. 1, Spring 1985, pp. 92-116 (online (German):
[14] J. Hoffmann, Stalin’s War of Extermination 1941 – 1945, Theses & Dissertations Press, Capshaw, AL, 2001, pp. 305-327.
[15] A.E. Epifanow, H. Mayer, Die Tragödie der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen in Stalingrad von 1942 bis 1956 nach russischen Archivunterlagen, Biblio, Osnabrück 1996.
[16] Franz W. Seidler, Verbrechen an der Wehrmacht, Pour le Mérite, Selent 1998, pp. 5f. (online: vadw/vadw.html); English in preparation.
[17] A. de Zayas, Die Wehrmachtsuntersuchungsstelle, 4th ed., Ullstein, Berlin 1984, passim., esp. pp. 273-307.
[18] Ibid., pp. 198-23.
[19] Franz W. Seidler, op. cit. (note 6), p. 127
[20] Cf. J. Hoffmann, “Die Sowjetunion bis zum Vorabend des deutschen Angriffs,” in Horst Boog et al., Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg, vol. 4: Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion, 2nd ed., Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1987; Hoffmann, “Die Angriffsvorbereitungen der Sowjetunion,” in B. Wegner (ed.), Zwei Wege nach Moskau, Piper, Munich 1991; V. Suvorov, Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?, Hamish Hamilton, London 1990; Suvorov, Der Tag M, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1995; E. Topitsch, Stalin ‘s War: A Radical New Theory of the Origins of the Second World War, Fourth Estate, London 1987; cf. W. Post, Unternehmen Barbarossa, Mittler, Hamburg 1995; F. Becker, Stalins Blutspur durch Europa, Arndt Verlag, Kiel 1996; Becker, Im Kampf um Europa, 2nd ed., Leopold Stocker Verlag, Graz/Stuttgart 1993; W. Maser, Der Wortbruch. Hitler, Stalin und der Zweite Weltkrieg, Olzog Verlag, Munich 1994.
[21] For more detaisl about this combat cf. F. W. Seidler, op. cit. (note [11]), pp. 69-132.
[22] Cf. H. Höhne, Der Orden unter dem Totenkopf, Bertelsmann, Munich 1976, pp. 328, 339; cf. H. Krausnick, H.-H. Wilhelm, Die Truppe des Weltanschauungskrieges. Die Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD 1938-1942, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1981, p. 147, cf. p. 287; Richard Pemsel, Hitler – Revolutionär, Staatsmann, Verbrecher?, Grabert, Tübingen 1986, pp. 403-407.
[23] For more information about the partisan warfare cf., e.g., Erich Hesse, Der sowjetrussische Partisanenkrieg 1941-1944 im Spiegel deutscher Kampfanweisungen und Befehle, 2nd ed., Muster-Schmidt, Göttingen 1992; John A. Armstrong (ed.), Soviet Partisans in World War II, Univ. of Wisc. Press, Madison, Wisc., 1964; Tomas Nigel, Partisan Warfare 1941-1945, Osprey, London 1983.
[24] H. Höhne, op. cit. (note [22]), p. 330.
[25] G. Reitlinger, Die SS, Tragödie einer deutschen Epoche, Desch, Munich 1957, p. 186; similar Efraim Zuroff, Beruf: Nazijäger. Die Suche mit dem langen Atem: Die Jagd nach den Tätern des Völkermordes, Ahriman, Freiburg 1996, p. 44, were he says that 3,000 men, “mobil killing units, whose task was to kill all Jews and communist officials in the area occupied by the Wehrmacht.” This included the huge area “from the suburbs of Leningrad in the north to the Asov sea in the south.[…] Their weapons were conventional firearms. Nevertheless they succeeded in killing 900,000 Jews in 15 months.” Zuroff wonders, but he has no doubts. This has been possible, according to Zuroff, because of the “fanatic support by the native population.” (p. 47) That there has been a massive partisan warfare in the back of the fighting German army is either unknown to Zuroff or he is not interested in it.
[26] Together with Helmut Krausnick co-author of the famous book Die Truppe des Weltanschauungskrieges, (The Troop of the War of Ideology) op. cit. (note 17).
[27] H.-H. Wilhelm, lecture during an international history conference at the university Riga, September 20-22, 1988, p. 11. Based on this recital Wilhelm wrote the article “Offene Fragen der Holocaust-Forschung” (Open Question about the Holocaust Research) in U. Backes, E. Jesse, R. Zitelmann (ed.), Die Schatten der Vergangenheit, Propyläen, Berlin 1992 S. 403, which however does not contain this section. I obtained this information from Costas Zaverdinos, who had the manuscript of Wilhelms Riga lecture and who reported about this during the opening speech of the history conference on April 4, 1995 at the university of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.
[28] H.-H. Wilhelm, op. cit. (note 17), p. 515.
[29] Ibid., p. 535.
[30] Document R-102 in Der Prozeß gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen Militärgerichtshof, (IMT), vol. 1 – XXXXII, Nürnberg 1947-1949, here vol. XXXVIII, 279-303, here p. 292f.
[31] Nationalsozialistischen Volkswohlfahrt, National Socialist People’s Welfare
[32] H. Krausnick, H.-H. Wilhelm, op. cit. (note 17), p. 189.
[33] Gerald Reitlinger, Die Endlösung. Hitlers Versuch der Ausrottung der Juden Europas 1939-1945, Colloquium Verlag, Berlin 41961, p. 262.
[34] IMT, XV, p: 362; vol. XV, p. 363: “Es waren ganze Stäbe in Kiew […] in die Luft geflogen.”
[35] H. Krausnick, H.-H. Wilhelm, op. cit. (note 17), p. 189, Fn 161.
[36] Ibid., p. 190.
[37] Alfred Streim, “Zum Beispiel: Die Verbrechen der Einsatzgruppen in der Sowjetunion,” in: Adalbert Rückerl (Hrsg.), NS-Prozesse. Nach 25 Jahren Strafverfolgung. Möglichkeiten – Grenzen – Ergebnisse, C.F. Müller, Karlsruhe 1972.
[38] H. Krausnick, H.-H. Wilhelm, op. cit. (note 17), p. 190, note. 164, all sources are otherwise exactly quoted.
[39] Raul Hilberg, Die Vernichtung der europäischen Juden. Die Gesamtgeschichte des Holocaust, Olle & Wolter, Berlin 1982, p. 213, FN 59.
[40] Ernst Klee, Willi Dreßen, Volker Rieß (Hg.), “Schöne Zeiten.” Judenmord aus der Sicht der Täter und Gaffer, S. Fischer, Frankfurt/M. 1988, S. 69.
[41] Op. cit. (note 27), p. 263.
[42] Op. cit. (note 31), p. 86f.
[43] Alfred Streim, “Zur Eröffnung des allgemeinen Judenvernichtungsbefehls gegenüber den Einsatzgruppen,” in: Eberhard Jäckel, Jürgen Rohwer (Hg.), Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Entschlußbildung und Verwirklichung, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1985, S. 114.
[44] H. Krausnick, H.-H. Wilhelm, op. cit. (note 17), p. 336.
[45] Ibid., p. 649.
[46] Ibid., p. 335f.
[47] Reichssicherheitshauptamt, Reich Security Main Office.
[48] H. Krausnick, H.-H. Wilhelm, op. cit. (note 17), p. 337f.
[49] Ibid., p. 335.
[50] Ibid., p. 338.
[51] Op. cit. (note 33), p. 227, note145
[52] Affidavit of 6.6.1947, NO-3824.
[53] See IMT, VII, S. 612.
[54] Op. cit. (note 17), p. 190.
[55] Op. cit. (note 27), p. 263.
[56] Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.), Legenden, Lügen, Vorurteile, dtv, München 1990, p. 40.
[57] “Babi Jar: Kritische Fragen und Anmerkungen,” in: Ernst Gauss (Ed.), Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, Grabert, Tübingen 1994, p. 375-399.
[58] Op. cit. (note 17), p. 535.
[59] IMT, vol. XXX, S. 74.
[60] U. Walendy pointed out that these reports could not possibly be designated as documents: no letter head, no signature, no file number or letter-diary number. It is simply a piece of paper written on it: U. Walendy, “Babi Jar – Die Schlucht ‘mit 33.771 ermordeten Juden’?,” Historische Tatsachen Nr. 51, Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, Vlotho 1992, p. 21, as usual written with a ‘hot’ pen, but still a good starting point; see also: Historische Tatsache Nr. 16 & 17, “Einsatzgruppen im Verband des Heeres,” parts 1 & 2, ibid., 1983.
[61] See J.C. Ball, Air Photo Evidence, Ball Recource Services Ltd., Delta B.C., 1992; ders., in: E. Gauss (Hg.), Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, Grabert, Tübingen, S. 235-248.; vgl. H. Tiedemann, ibid., p. 375-399.
[62] From: G. Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution, University of California Press, Berkeley 1984, ill. 6, pp. 92f. (source: The Nizkor Project:
[63] Lietuvos Rytas (Latvian news paper), August 21,1996.
[64] Personal message from Dr. M. Dragan.
[65] I will not elaborate here on the equally problematic gas wagons allegedly also utilized by the Einsatzgruppen; see Ingrid Weckert in E. Gauss (Ed.), op. cit. (note 50), p. 193-218.
[66] For the time between Jan. 1, 1943, and Oct. 31, 1944 (22 months), the German authorities have claimed 145,364 persons killed in the partisan warfare, 88,493 imprisoned, and 90,993 civilians “registered,” i.e., either sent into camps or otherwise punished; cf. F. W. Seidler, op. cit. (note [12]).
[67] S. Margolina, Das Ende der Lügen, Siedler, Berlin 1992.
[68] E. Nolte, “Abschließende Reflexionen über den sogenannten Historikerstreit,” in U. Backes, E. Jesse, R. Zitelmann (eds.), Die Schatten der Vergangenheit, Propyläen, Berlin 1992, pp. 83-109, here pp. 92f.
[69] J.Z. Muller, “Communism, Anti-Semitism and the Jews,” in Commentary, issue 8, 1988, pp. 28-39; for a more ideological approach to National Socialist anti-Semitism cf. Erich Bischoff, Das Buch vom Schulchan aruch, Hammer Verlag, Leipzig 1929; on this expert opinion one of the best known National Socialist anti-Semites, Theodor Fritsch, relied heavily: T. Fritsch, Handbuch zur Judenfrage, 31st ed., Hammer-Verlag, Leipzig 1932; a comparison to modern Jewish critics of Judaism is extremely revealing, cf. Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion, Pluto Press, London 1994 (online:
[70] Regarding the question of the involvement of Jews in the soviet partisan warfare against German troops cf. E. Jäckel, P. Longerich, J. H. Schoeps (eds.), Enzyklopädie des Holocaust, Argon, Berlin 1993, p. 1348; cf. Nechama Tec, Defiance, the Bielski Partisans, Oxford University Press, New York 1993.

King Edward VIII Wanted to Ally with Hitler and Blamed “Jews and Reds” for WWII


king-edward-viiiEdward VIII wanted ally with the Third Reich and blamed “Jews and Reds” for World War II, according to a prominent academic.

The research, carried out by UK-based German historian Karina Urbach, delved into the historical archives of 30 nations, including Germany, Spain and Russia, revealing the fascist sympathies of many European aristocrats.

Writing for The Conversation website ahead of the release of her new book, Go-Betweens for Hitler, Urbach said Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 and became the Duke of Windsor, “has always been known for his pro-Nazi sympathies.”

She added: “However, the extent of his betrayal could never be fully verified due to the secrecy of the Royal Archives.”

“The Royal Archives have always ensured that letters from German relatives of the royal family in the run up to World War II remain closed.

“Naturally, such censorship has led to endless conspiracy theories.”

However, over nearly a decade of painstaking research in European archives, Urbach turned up vital evidence into the secret political lives of pro-fascist aristocrats.

“I have accumulated damning evidence by sifting through 30 archives all over the world that are open,” Urbach wrote.

“Intelligence reports and German, Spanish and Russian documents show members of the British royal family were indeed far closer to Nazi Germany than has previously been recognized.”

A key portion of the research deals with the relationship between the Duke of Windsor and a trusted German relative, Charles Edward Duke of Coburg – a bitterly anti-Semitic minor German aristocrat who acted as a messenger, it is claimed, between privileged fascists around Europe.

Meetings between Coburg and British royals are even listed in the Court Circular, a record of the British monarchy’s meetings and appointments.

Further evidence was found in the Spanish archives.

“In June 1940 Don Javier Bermejillo, a Spanish diplomat and old friend of Windsor – he had known him since the 1920s – reported a conversation he had had with the Duke to his superiors,” Urbach said.

The diplomat says he had heard the embittered duke blame “the Jews, the Reds and the Foreign Office” for the approaching war, long before it began.

Windsor wanted to put politicians, including Anthony Eden, “up against a wall,” Urbach claims.

Perhaps most troublingly, the records hint at a possible correlation between the Duke’s fascist leanings and the start of the German bombing campaign against Britain.

“In another conversation on June 25, 1940,” Urbach writes, “Bermejillo reported that Windsor stressed if one bombed England effectively this could bring peace.

“Bermejillo concluded that the Duke of Windsor seemed very much to hope that this would occur: ‘He wants peace at any price.’”

The report found its way into the hands of Spain’s own fascist dictator, General Franco, according to Urbach. It was “then passed on to the Germans.”

“The bombing of Britain started on 10 July,” she added.

Stalin’s War: Victims and Accomplices

Book Reviews by Charles Lutton


Published: 1984-04-01

Stalin’s Secret War by Nikolai Tolstoy. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1981, 463pp, $18.50, ISBN 0-03-047266-0.

Pawns of Yalta: Soviet Refugees and America’s Role in Their Repatriation by Mark R. Elliott. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1982, 287pp, $17.95, ISBN 0-252-00897-9.

Our „present“ has to a large degree been shaped by the events of 1939-45. The outcome of the contest between Stalin and Hitler, as „relevant“ to so many of our contemporaries as those earlier struggles between Persia and Greece or Carthage and Rome, does cast its shadow over our lives. Count Nikolai Tolstoy, in his latest book, sets out „to interpret Soviet policy, internal and external, during the crucial years 1938 to 1945. Above all, I have tried to lay bare how Stalin himself saw events and reacted to them.“ The author draws on much new material, as well as on evidence long before available but often „over-looked“ in previous publications of other writers, to support his conclusions in what is a significant contribution to our knowledge of the Second World War on the Eastern Front.

It is Tolstoy’s contention that Stalin was haunted by the fear that the Communist state was essentially a house of cards that could easily collapse. His overriding concern was to shore up the position of the regime, largely through a policy of terrorizing the various peoples who inhabited the USSR.

The first four chapters review Stalin’s pre-war management of the Soviet Union. The „New Society“ so admired by many Western intellectuals was an unrestricted police state, run by perhaps the foulest collection of congenital criminals ever assembled (thus far). Its economy rested upon the output of 15-20 million slaves, laboring in Siberia and mines in the Arctic Circle, where the annual death rate of 50-70% far surpassed that of any previous slave society. Stalin’s Russia was a land with three categories of citizens: prisoners, former prisoners, and future prisoners. There was scarcely a family that had not been touched by the secret state police (NKVD). For the overwhelming majority living in the USSR, conditions were far worse than they had ever been under the Romanovs. In Tolstoy’s view, „Stalin’s great achievement was to place the entire population of nearly two hundred million people wholly in the power of the police, whilst himself retaining in turn absolute power over the police.“

The author explains that Stalin was consumed by the fear that, given an opportunity, his hapless subjects would rise up against the Communist dictatorship. After spending a year in the Soviet Union, an American diplomat concluded that „Not very much leadership would be required to start a counter-Stalinist revolution… Many people have come to believe if Germany turned eastward she could find enough people in Russia who were fed up with present rulers to welcome any outside aid, even from the Germans.“

Part Two, the major portion of the book, deals with Stalin’s diplomatic maneuverings and wartime direction of internal security and military affairs. In August 1939, while Western diplomats were engaged in negotiations with the Soviets, Stalin signed non-aggression and trade agreements with Hitler. These benefited both parties: Germany, for the time being, was able to concentrate her slender military resources against a recalcitrant Poland and Britain and France, and also received food, oil, and other supplies from the USSR. In exchange, the USSR obtained technical aid and freedom to enlarge her sphere of influence at the expense of Poland, Rumania, the Baltic states, and Finland. In the newly absorbed areas most vestiges of Western culture were extinguished. The author describes what happened when the Russians invaded Poland in September 1939:

As the Red Army edged nervously up to the demarcation line, terrified lest the Wehrmacht change its mind and roll onwards, thousands of NKVD troops spread over the defenseless countryside behind. The Red Army confined itself to rape (old women were the principal victims, owing to a belief that the rapist would live to the age of his victim: as a result ninety-year-old women were frequently raped over and over again), and pillage. Even the pillage was occasionally restricted by the invaders’ blank terror when faced with astonishing devices like electric irons… It was the NKVD, however, which struck real fear in the Poles. Arriving a few days after the „regular“ troops, they set up headquarters in every town, working by preference at night-time.

The NKVD had categories of citizens subject to immediate arrest, from aristocrats and priests to Red Cross officials and even stamp collectors. Men were separated from their wives and children and those who were not executed upon arrest were shipped off to the slave-camps of GULAG. where they were litterally worked to death. The pattern was the same in the Baltic states. Tolstoy reveals that about one-tenth of the population of the newly occupied countries was deported. A Jewish Zionist who had looked with favor upon the USSR „as a great social experiment“ only to end up in the GULAG camps himself for four years, declared after his release:

Russia is indeed divided into two parts, the „free“ Russia [and] the other Russia – the second Russia, behind barbed wire – is the thousands, endless thousands of camps, places of compulsory labor, where millions of people are interned… Since they came into being, the Soviet camps have swallowed more people, have exacted more victims, than all other camps – Hitler’s and the others – together. and this lethal machine continues to operate full-blast… An entire generation of Zionists has died in Soviet prisons, camps, and exile.

Tolstoy remarks that „History is accordingly presented with the extraordinary fact that Jews resorted to bribery and other desperate measures in efforts to escape from Soviet territory to the tender mercies of the Nazis.“

Stalin still moved with caution in 1939-40. He feared that Germany, which served as a buffer from the Arctic Ocean to the Balkans, might be defeated by France and Britain, thus jeopardizing his own conquests. It seems that he breathed a sigh of relief once France capitulated in June 1940.

Hitler, who had made a career out of opposition to Bolshevism, decided to launch a pre-emptive attack on the USSR following Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov’s visit to Berlin in November 1940. Molotov presented a long list of Soviet territorial „interests,“ which included the Petsamo nickel deposits in Finland, the Baltic Sea up to the sound between Norway and Denmark, Rumania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey. Later that month, at a meeting with German Ambassador Count von der Schulenburg, Molotov added other regions to the list. Hitler, long uncomfortable with the Soviet pact, had come under increasing criticism from Mussolini for seeming to abandon the anti-Communist struggle.[*] Stalin’s new territorial demands decided the matter, as Hitler concluded that „they were thoroughly untrustworthy allies, who would seize the first opportunity of profiting by a German reverse to move forward into Europe. This is what he had always known and prophesied.“ On 18 December 1940, Hitler released War Directive No. 21, Operation Barbarossa, which ordered the invasion of Russia the following Spring. Tolstoy notes that Stalin, who had enjoyed a number of diplomatic successes up to that time, had over-reached himself: „The Soviet tactic (well-nigh universally employed) of demanding twice what they wanted and being content with half, had for once gone seriously astray. Hitler had no intention of conceding anything to an ally whom he rated many degrees lower than Mussolini, and was angered by what he saw as an emerging Soviet threat.“

As has long been known, Stalin received numerous warnings about an impending German attack, including those from his master spy in Japan Richard Sorge. (On this point see General Charles A. Willoughby, Shanghai Conspiracy: The Sorge Spy Ring, E.P. Dutton, 1952.) Even after Germany and her anti-Comintern allies Rumania, Hungary, Finland, and Slovakia launched their invasion of Russia in June 1941, Stalin’s primary fear was not of his foreign enemies but of the Russian people themselves. During the first weeks of the attack „the country seemed to be disintegrating precisely in the manner his worst nightmares had foretold.“

The „secret war“ Tolstoy goes on to vividly describe was the fierce campaign Stalin waged against the Russian population – a struggle which often took priority over pressing military problems. For example, Stalin tied up much of the rail network in western Russia with slave trains of captives from the Baltic states, instead of devoting all rolling stock to the reinforcement of the frontlines. At L’Vov, where the Soviet 4th Army was fighting desperately to prevent its surrender, Stalin’s major concern was that the NKVD finish liquidating potential Ukrainian opponents of the regime rather than order the local security forces to join in the battle against advancing Axis units. While Stalin pleaded with the British to rush more aid and take further action, the NKVD labor camp guards were doubled in number from 500,000 to one million heavily armed men.

Standard treatments of this period always claim that the Soviet Union lost over 20 million people during the Second World War. Tolstoy makes a convincing case that the actual total is probably closer to 30 million, maybe even more – with about a third of these deaths attributable to Axis actions. The blame for as many as 23 million deaths is placed with Stalin and his NKVD henchmen.

Casualty figures for the Eastern Front have been estimated as follows: two and a half million German soldiers died in the East. It is believed that three Red Army men died for every German soldier killed. Of those 7,500,000 military deaths, approximately three million Russians died as POWs.

Tolstoy’s analysis of these statistics does much to revise our understanding of the war on the Eastern Front, as he demonstrates that these high Russian military casualties were largely due to the Soviets’ crude methods of waging war. ‘Penal battalions“ composed of „enemies of the people“ (i.e., inmates of prisons and camps, and luckless peasants, including women and children) were hurled in waves against German defensive positions. Frequently unarmed and at times deprived of camouflaged uniforms to better draw enemy fire, they were often used to clear minefields. With NKVD machine-gunners poised behind them, they were forced across minefields until a path was cleared. The wounded were killed off by the NKVD. General Ratov, chief of the Soviet Military Mission to Britain, actually declined an offer of British mine-detectors, remarking that „in the Soviet Union we use people.“ SMERSH (from the initials „Death to Spies“), the NKVD’s special murder arm made famous by Ian Fleming in his James Bond thrillers, was created in 1942 as an additional guard on Soviet front-line troops. The NKVD placed large heavily armed formations at the rear of Soviet units to discourage withdrawals and to pick off „stragglers“ and „cowards.“ In a number of instances, NKVD units fought pitched battles with Red Army detachments trying to retreat in the face of superior enemy forces. Stalin continued to purge his armed forces even as the Axis advanced. It is likely that hundreds of thousands of Russians were killed in such actions.

As for the POWs who died in German captivity, Tolstoy reminds the reader that the Soviet government refused to sign the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War, refused to cooperate with the International Red Cross (the Nazis allowed the Red Cross to visit concentration camps), and rebuffed German feelers forwarded through neutralist concerning compliance with the Hague Convention. A 1941 directive ordered Red Army men to commit suicide instead of surrender and Soviet law regarded Russian POWs as traitors. Besides their own „penal battalions,“ the Russians occasionally used POWs to clear minefields.

German attitudes toward the Russians were further colored by evidence of NKVD massacres encountered at such places as L’Vov, Vinnitsa, and Katyn. They found not just piles of corpses, but apparently mass-produced torture instruments, including devices for squeezing the skull, another for the testicles, and tools used to skin prisoners alive. Ice picks, broken bottles, or whatever else was handy or preferred were also used. Tolstoy observes that „Soviet cruelty far outstripped that of National Socialism… Torture in the USSR was (and is) employed on a mass scale as an important punitive means of overawing a resentful population.“ He goes on to explain that these ghastly scenes of state-sanctioned depravity „confirmed the German view that Bolshevik Russia was irredeemably savage and backward.“ Considering how civilians and POWs were treated by the Communists, the Germans felt no obligation to show much consideration for Russian POWs. According to the author, there was a purpose behind all of this cruelty:

Stalin went out of his way to invite Nazi ill-treatment and later extermination of Russian prisoners-of-war… It is quite clear, therefore, that the deaths of over three million Russians in German custody was a piece of deliberate Soviet policy, the aim of which was to cause the liquidation of men regarded automatically as political traitors, whilst directing the anger of the Soviet people against the perpetrators of the crime… It should not be forgotten, either, that Soviet cruelty greatly prolonged the conflict, costing all belligerent nations millions of lives… This evidence of how the Soviets treated their own people, coupled with the harsh treatment they visited on prisoners-of-war, was the major cause of Germany’s obstinate determination to fight on to the end, long after it had become clear her cause was doomed.

Having accounted for the 7½ million military casualties, Tolstoy states that four million Russian civilians were killed by the Germans (although this includes those involved in anti-Partisan operations, military sieges of such cities as Leningrad, and 750,000 Jews). This leaves 18-20 million additional Russians killed in the course of Stalin’s „secret war“ against his own subjects. In his study Tolstoy sheds additional light on the British role in the immediate post-war forced repatriation of Russian POWs and refugees back to the USSR, a topic dealt with at length in his earlier book, The Secret Betrayal.[**] Nikolai Krasnov, one of the few „returnees“ who survived ten years in the GULAG and was then allowed to leave Russia in 1955, is quoted as having been told by Beria’s deputy Vsevolod Merkulov:

But the fact that you [and the other Cossacks] trusted the English – that was real stupidity! Now they are history’s shop keepers! They will cheerfully sell anything or anyone and never bat an eyelid. Their politics are those of the prostitute. Their Foreign Office is a brothel… They trade in foreigners’ lives and in their own conscience.

In Chapter 16, „Western Attitudes,“ Tolstoy attempts to reach an understanding of why so many in the West, especially „intellectuals,“ avidly supported the Soviet Union. He notes that there has long been a fascination with totalitarian solutions among the Left and that Soviet Marxism appealed to certain intellectuals’ desire to rule society. Simple greed and envy are other factors. Tolstoy refutes the oft-made claim that the excesses of Communism must be weighed against the need to fight Fascism: „As Communism formed the prior totalitarian threat, this argument is surely more exculpatory of Fascism and Nazism than the reverse“[***].

Stalin’s Secret War successfully counters such treatments of this period as Harrison Salisbury’s The Unknown War and Alexander Werth’s Russia At War, 1941-1945. It deserves to be considered a standard reference work about Stalin and his role in World War II.

The issue of American involvement in the forced repatriation of Russians at the end of World War II, touched upon by Tolstoy in Stalin’s Secret War, is the topic of Mark Elliott’s recent study Pawns of Yalta. It is an expansion of the author’s 1974 University of Kentucky Ph.D. dissertation, and takes into consideration additional material declassified in the 1970s and now available at the National Archives in Washington – such as the „Operation Keelhaul“ papers.

When the war in Europe ended, there were several million POWs and refugees in the Western occupational zones. Among them were „Soviet citizens“ whom the United States and Britain had pledged at the February 1945 Yalta conference to return to Soviet authorities. These included Red Army POWs, some of the estimated five to six million civilians who had been press-ganged by agents of Hitler’s Plenipotentiary-General for Labor Mobilization Fritz Sauckel to work as laborers in the Reich’s factories and farms, thousands of pre-war emigres who had fled Russia during the turbulent years 1917-1922, as well as a portion of the one million Soviet soldiers who served in the Wehrmacht during the war.

It is still a surprise to many in the West when they learn that by 1944-45, up to 40% of some „German“ formations, and 10 to 15% of all units, were composed of Osttruppen (ex-Red Army men). In addition to the Hilfswillige scattered throughout the German armed forces, three divisions composed of Soviet racial minorities fought on the Eastern Front with the Axis: the Cossack Cavalry Division, the Turkish Division (made up of Moslems from Soviet Central Asia), and the Ukrainian Waffen SS Division „Galicia.“ And by November 1944, the first division of the proposed Russian Liberation Army, commanded by former Red Army General Andrei Vlasov, became operational. It did engage in some fighting against the Red Army in 1945, and from 6-8 May helped the Czechs liberate Prague from the Germans, before surrendering to the U.S. Third Army on 10 May. Elliott points out that these one million ex-Red Army soldiers who performed duties in German uniform „amounted to the largest military defection in history.“

Both the U.S. and Britain were signatories to the 1929 Geneva Convention dealing with the treatment of Prisoners of War. This obligated parties to treat POWs „on the basis of the uniforms worn at the time of capture.“ While the war continued, the U.S. complied with this bilateral agreement, not wishing to give the Germans cause to mistreat American POWs of German, Italian, or Japanese descent. After VE-Day, when there was no longer danger of Nazi reprisal, the U.S. (and Britain) quickly set about repatriating German POWs on the basis of their nationality, in flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention. A secret protocol of the Yalta agreement also provided for the forced return of Russian ex-concentration camp inmates and others who had managed to escape from Stalin’s slaughter house, thus obliterating, in the words of the author, „all trace of the proud Western tradition of political asylum.“

The British went a step further by handing over to the NKVD a number of former White Russian officers, some of whom had fought the Bolsheviks during the Second World War. All of them had been living outside of Russia since the end of the Russian Civil War and carried foreign passports or League of Nations stateless persons I.D.s. Alexander Solzhenitsyn has characterized this as „an act of double dealing consistent with the spirit of traditional English diplomacy.“

American servicemen, led by wartime pro-Soviet propaganda to believe that Stalin was kindly „Uncle Joe“ overseeing a noble human experiment in the USSR, were shocked at how most Russians in their charge reacted to the news that they were going to be repatriated to their Soviet homeland. This is illustrated by what took place at Dachau on 17 June 1946, after American authorities informed 400 Soviet refugees that they were going to be sent back to Russia:

The scene inside was one of human carnage. The crazed men were attempting to take their own lives by any means. Guards cut down some trying to hang themselves from the rafters; two others disembowled themselves; another man forced his head through a window and ran his throat over the glass fragments; others begged to be shot. Robert Murphy reported that „tear gas forced them out of the building into the snow where those who had cut and stabbed themselves fell exhausted and bleeding in the snow.“ Thirty-one men tried to take their own lives. Eleven succeeded,’ nine by hanging and two from knife wounds. Camp authorities managed to entrain the rematntng 368. Despite the presence of American guards and a Soviet liaison officer, six of these escaped en route to the Soviet occupation zone. More and more the repatriation of unwilling persons was coming to disturb battle-hardened troops.

The following month similar events took place at the Plattling camp in Bavaria. These were described by an eye-witness, U.S. Army translator William Sloane Coffin, Jr.:

Despite the fact that there were three GIs to every returning Russian, I saw several men commit suicide, Two rammed their beads through windows sawing their necks on the broken glass until they cut their jugular veins. Another took his leather boot-straps, tied a loop to the top of his triple-decker bunk, put his head through the noose and did a back flip over the edge which broke his neck… The memory is so painful that it’s almost impossible for me to write about it. My part in the Plattling operation left me a burden of guilt I am sure to carry the rest of my life.

Through suicide, several thousand Russians managed to escape the horrors that awaited returnees in the East.

Like Tolstoy, Elliott reviews the Stalinist attitude toward Russians who had spent time outside Soviet control during the course of the war. Soviet Decree #270 of 1942 labeled as deserters Red Army troopers who surrendered to the enemy. Forced laborers were also considered to be traitors. Relatives of POWs and dragooned workers were likewise treated as if they had personally committed acts of treason. Stalin’s government, as noted above, rejected attempts by the Germans and the International Red Cross to obtain Soviet compliance with the Hague Convention.

After the 1939-40 Winter War with Finland, returned Soviet POWs were either shot or sent to slave labor camps in the Far North or Siberia. This is also how the victims of forced repatriation were dealt with. According to Elliott, of the approximately 2,500,000 Russians repatriated by the Western Allies, some 300,000 were executed by the NKVD soon after their delivery to Soviet authorities. With a few exceptions, the rest were condemned to the lingering doom of 10 to 25 year sentences in labor camps, from which ordeal few survived. Elliott also points out that the USSR never released 1.5 to 2 million German POWs, 200,000 to 300,000 Japanese POWs, and did not repatriate those few ex-Axis soldiers who did manage to survive the rigors of GULAG until 1956.

Elliott argues that the U.S. participated in this sordid business out of concern for the safety of 24,000 American servicemen who were in Soviet-controlled territory at the end of the war. However, he admits that U.S. cooperation with Soviet authorities was not reciprocated. And even after the last G.I. returned in July 1945, the U.S. continued the forced repatriation of luckless Russian POWs, refugees, and Vlasovites. (The last documented cases of forced repatriation took place in May and June 1947, Operations „Keelhaul“ and „Eastwind“; Allied Forces Headquarters obtained Soviet assurances that they would accept corpses if the repatriation operation led to fatalities.)

Not everyone in higher circles approved of the repatriation policy; the author reveals instances where individual military officers and civilian government officials disobeyed or opposed the Yalta provisions. In June 1945, General Patton simply let 5000 Russian POWs go, and other commanders permitted lightly-guarded Russians to slip away. Secretary of War Henry Stimson was a vigorous opponent of forced repatriation, as were Acting Secretary of State Joseph Grew and Attorney General Francis Biddle, who felt that „Even if these men should be technically traitors to their own government, I think the time-honored rule of asylum should be applied.“ In the opinion of R.W. Flournoy, the State Department’s legal advisor. „nothing in the [Geneva) Convention either requires or justifies this Government in sending the unfortunate Soviet nationals in question to Russia, where they will almost certainly be liquidated.“

This book serves as a companion volume to Count Tolstoy’s The Secret Betrayal which deals largely with the British role in forced repatriation. It is a grim chapter of our recent history – and one totally ignored in contemporary textbooks and most treatments of the Second World War and its aftermath.


[*] In a long letter to Hitler dated 3 January 1940, Mussolini warned Hitler of the danger of pursuing a war with the Western powers without taking into account the threat posed by the Soviet Union. Criticizing Hitler for the August 1939 pact with the USSR and accusing him of abandoning anti-Communism, the Italian Duce wrote:

You cannot permanently sacrifice the principles of your Revolution to the tactical exigencies of a certain political moment. I feel that you cannot abandon the anti-Semetic and anti-Bolshevik banner which you have been flying for twenty years and for which so many of your comrades have died; you cannot renounce your gospel… Permit me to believe that this will not happen. The solution of your Lebensraum problem is in Russia and nowhere else…. Germany’s task is this; to defend Europe from Asia. That is not only Spengler’s thesis. Until four months ago Russia was world enemy number one; she cannot have become, and is not, friend number one… The day when we shall have demolished Bolshevism we shall have kept faith with our two Revolutions. It will then be the turn of the big democracies, which cannot survive the cancer which is gnawing at them and which manifests itself in the demographic, political and moral fields.

Department of State, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D, Volume VII, pp. 604-609. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

[**] Reviewed by this writer in Journal of Historical Review Vol. 1, No.4 (Winter 1980), pp. 371-76.

[***] In his book An End to Silence (Norton, 1982), Stephen Cohen points out that „judged only by the number of victims, and leaving aside important differences between the two regimes, Stalinism created a holocaust greater than Hitler’s.“ Writing in the New Republic of 26 May 1982 (an article headlined on the cover as „Why Stalin Was Even Worse Than Hitler“), Richard Grenier further reflects this most interesting phenomenon of recent years – the semi-revision even among traditionalist liberals of attitudes toward Hitler, vis-a-vis Stalin:

 It is no doubt a by-product of our having fought a great war against Nazi Germany, and not against the Soviet Union. that general notions of the Nazi’s system of government. history, and unspeakable crimes have entered into American folklore and popular parlance, while those of the Soviet Union have not … At the war’s close thousands of journalists and photographers, both civilian and military. climbed all over Nazi death camps. saw the dead and dying. As a result, Hitler’s lieutenants – Himmler, Goering, Goebbels – are still household names in America. Almost everyone knows of Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald, Treblinka. Fascism is still popularly taken to have no rival in political evil, which is not without irony since the Fascist states, in defense of private property and their own form of mixed economy, copied most of their techniques of government slavishly from the Bolshevik model.

But when it comes to the Soviet Union, how many Americans have heard of the assassination of Sergei Kirov? How many know the name of the dread Yezhov, onetime grand master of the NKVD, who sent many more people to their deaths than Himmler, and in less time? This with the additional idiosyncrasy that whereas Hinimler, quite hideously, was murdering mostly people he considered subhuman or members of a slave race, Yezhov, perversely as well as hideously was killing the very „workers and peasants“ in whose name Stalin ruled. Much honor is paid to Snlzhenitsyn, but how many remember the names of the Gulag’s great camps … where many more millions died than in the Nazis camps?

Adolf Eichmann’s Argentine Memoirs



By Simon Sheppard


These memoirs derive from transcripts that were provided to Rudolf Aschenauer by Eichmann’s widow, Veronika Eichmann (1909-1997), and appeared in Ich, Adolf Eichmann: Ein Historischer Zeugenbericht (Druffel, 1980). The numbers in square brackets refer to pages of that book.

We at the Heretical Press and Historical Review Press believe that these memoirs are as close as it is possible to get to Eichmann’s true voice. They are Eichmann’s own words, considered and uncoerced. Even so, an important point should be made. Like all of us, he was fallible, and Aschenauer points to a number of errors. Early on Eichmann mentions Himmler’s death by suicide pill, which should caution the reader that he was influenced by post-war press reports (i.e. Allied propaganda). David Irving, who is familiar with this matter, says that Himmler was beaten to death, and even names his killer: Sergeant-Major Edwin Austin. Chester Wilmot buried the body at 3am that same night on Nuremberg Heath. All involved were required to sign the Official Secrets Act. So, this document, important as it is, is not the definitive source on World War Two. Though it is a significant contribution to a historical era which is fraught with difficulty.

There are two sets of memoirs from Argentina, the other one based on interviews Eichmann had with Willem Sassen. Alexander Jacob wrote:

When the Israeli prosecutor Gideon Hausner wished to have the full Sassen transcripts admitted into evidence during Eichmann’s trial in 1961, Eichmann opposed this claiming that this record was mere “pub talk” since he had been drinking red wine during the interview and Sassen had constantly encouraged him to embellish his accounts for journalistic sensation and had even falsely transcribed the interview.

Parts of the Sassen interviews were sold to Life magazine, which published them in 1960. Eichmann wrote more memoirs while in Israeli captivity. Hence our claim that the memoirs presented here are the most accurate and authentic of all. They have nothing to do with Sassen and were not written in Israeli captivity. Aschenauer had served as a defence lawyer during the Nuremberg Trials and, while he clearly struggled with the publication of Ich, Adolf Eichmann, it is most unlikely that he would have corrupted the material which had been entrusted to him by Eichmann’s widow.

How it came to us

Ich, Adolf Eichmann contains a great deal of commentary by Aschenauer, much of it redundant. Jacob translated the book in its entirety and approached HRP. Subsequently a publishing contract was struck for an English edition of the book, and Jacob’s translation was purchased. Thus this English translation, imperfect as it is, is the copyright property of HRP.

The contract with Druffel stipulated that the book must be published within two years. Realising the difficulties with the translation, that time expired. There are numerous problems with the book; all could have been overcome eventually, but the difficulties of a 166,000-word faulty translation have proved to be insurmountable. The translation is not awful, tending as it does to literal, but wrong words have obviously been chosen and it is not good enough to set in print or quote with confidence.

Capping off the saga we learned that Jacob sold his translation a second time, to another publisher, whom we were told had also given up on the project, for the same reason.

It seems that everyone who gets their hands on this material feels compelled to add their tuppence-worth. (This is mine.) By the end it had acquired nearly five hundred footnotes, added by Aschenauer and even Jacob. There were biographies of virtually everyone mentioned in the book, including Hitler and Eva Braun. Here practically worthless ancillary sources like Reitlinger and the Nuremberg Trial documents have all been discarded, unless Eichmann himself refers to them.

It may seem surprising, but I have not actually read this text. It has been processed, so I have noticed parts, but the object was that it remain fresh for the final edit. It is still a work in progress: yet to be done is a review of the footnotes to incorporate any which are directly pertinent. Underline denotes any kind of suspicion or query. Should a reader be kind enough to resolve any of these, that would be helpful. Ellipsis does not denote an omission, since the book assures the reader that hardly anything has been left out, rather these seem to be an affectation by Druffel, Aschenauer, or perhaps Eichmann himself. Similarly with the liberal use of dashes between sentences. The German version is as close to the book as has been possible to achieve, save for typographical corrections (e.g. wrongly oriented quotation marks). The few additions to Eichmann’s words which remain are in square brackets.

My husband Adolf Eichmann composed his memoirs in the years beginning in 1951 up to 1959. He dictated the memoirs continually on a tape-recorder, this was then transcribed by typists from the tape to paper. My husband later corrected the work himself in writing and made the corrections in black or partly in violet pencil.

My husband composed a part of the memoirs himself by hand, and from the writing then a typed clean copy was prepared.

The work was completed in 1959. Therewith a conclusion should have been reached. My husband explained: This work should be published after my death and indeed for the benefit of the German post-war generation.

At the beginning of 1980, I made this manuscript available to the Druffel Publishers in 8131 Leoni for publication and gave the work the title “I, Adolf Eichmann.”

Everything else that was published up to now as my husband’s memoirs does not correspond to the manuscript that I have presented to the publishers under the mentioned title. These present declarations I attest herewith under oath. They are authentic.

[signed] Veronika Eichmann, born Liebl

All chapters in both German and English at the link below.

The Anti-Revisionist Hollywood Movie Attacking Historian David Irving Is a Flop

Denial. BBC Films. 109 minutes.


By Michael Hoffman

This reviewer was expecting that it would be a tedious ordeal to sit through Denial, Hollywood’s attempted canonization of the obnoxious thought cop Deborah Lipstadt, which was supposed to also serve as the final confirmation of the libel trial in London in 2000 that saw historian David Irving’s reputation supposedly shredded (cf. Revisionist History no. 86).

Actually, the imps of contrariness have seen to it that Denial rehabilitates Irving. While the film’s production values are high and the cast is A-list, the director, Mick Jackson, is no Steven Spielberg and his movie backfires. Denial gives new impetus to World War II revisionism, which heretofore was assumed by many to consist of a coterie of drooling crackpots. Even in a movie that detests Irving, he nonetheless comes off as a formidable advocate.

There are two challenging questions for any Hollywood director seeking to lens Prof. Lipstadt’s courtroom battle and maintain minimal credibility at the same time: why she never took the stand, and why no “Holocaust survivor” was brought to testify by her defense team. According to Denial, Lipstadt (played by Rachel Weisz), was forbidden to testify by her lawyers, who wanted to keep the focus on putting Irving (Timothy Spall) on the defensive, and not her. It makes sense, but whether it is true or not we can’t determine. After all, Lipstadt refused to speak to the news media during the long trial (a fact the movie omits). The latter refusal would seem to indicate a fear of exposure of her ignorance of World War II history. Meanwhile, Mr. Irving was extensively cross-examined in court and spoke volubly to the press on nearly every occasion.

The second daunting question turns on an even more-perilous and potentially highly damaging issue: why were there no “Holocaust survivors” on the witness stand? Here David Hare, the film’s scriptwriter, really goofs and apparently no one on the production team caught his blunder, though many in the audience will spot it. In the movie, Lipstadt is outraged that her lawyers will not call on “survivors” to testify. The head of her defense team, Anthony Julius, has a response. (Julius is rendered as an expressionless, one-dimensional, and in many respects unsympathetic character, played deadpan by actor Andrew Scott, known for roles as the villainous Moriarity in the BBC Sherlock TV series, and the traitorous head of the British Secret Service in the 007 film, Spectre). We first meet Julius while he is holding a copy of the book he authored which, we see from the cover, traduces the reputation of the esteemed Christian poet T.S. Eliot. Julius informs Prof. Lipstadt that he will not call the “survivors” because he wants to spare them the disrespect which Irving (who acted as his own attorney), would demonstrate toward them in cross-examination.

It’s a weak alibi. The honchos of Holocaustianity are painfully aware that putative “homicidal Auschwitz gas-chamber eyewitnesses” were eviscerated under cross-examination by lawyer Doug Christie during the 1985 trial in Canada of Ernst Zündel, for spreading “false news.” This was the actual reason there was no appearance by them at Lipstadt’s trial. At this point in the film, as I sat in the theater I jotted in my review notes, “Movie omits to mention Zündel trial’s discrediting cross-examinations of Judaic witnesses.”

Later in the movie however, Lipstadt demands once again that “Holocaust survivors” testify, and this time a more-candid Julius, albeit in rapid-fire dialogue, tells her that he can’t call on them because, “The survivors were torn apart at the Zündel trial.”

david-irving-01David Irving at the 1988 trial of Ernst Zündel. Photo from

Exactly correct! When so-called “eyewitness Holocaust survivors” were cross-examined in the Zündel case, as detailed in this writer’s The Great Holocaust Trial, not one departed the witness stand with his credibility intact—and it is Hollywood’s Denial movie that reminds the world of this shocking and embarrassing fact, which shatters the main pillar upon which Auschwitz execution-gas-chamber mythology depends: the “undeniable” testimony of “eyewitnesses.” (The statement about the Zündel trial is made in a stream of verbiage from the Anthony Julius character. It is not said slowly or with emphasis. One has to be alert to catch it in the film).

The movie is haunted by the specter of Zündel, whose two trials (1985 and 1988) are landmarks in revisionism. The film’s opening scene has Prof. Lipstadt in a classroom writing on a chalkboard the four main points of “Holocaust denial.” The last two are borrowed from Prof. Robert Faurisson, the Zündel defense team’s research head, as he stated them in an explosive essay in 1978 in France’s leading newspaper, Le Monde. Lipstadt’s point four is straight from Faurisson and rings true: The gas-chamber myth was concocted to “extort money from the Germans and gain sympathy for the state of Israel.” Bingo!

In another of Lipstadt’s classroom points she asserts that any allegation that Judaic casualty figures are exaggerated constitutes “denial.” But unknown to the movie audience, she is herself on record saying that the high casualty figure for German victims of the Allied firebombing of the city of Dresden is exaggerated. The Talmudic double standard makes it perfectly respectable for her to lay a charge of exaggeration against the history of the Dresden bombing. Ordinary mortals do so with regard to Auschwitz at the risk of forfeiting their employment and reputation.

Early in the movie the viewer is taken on an actual tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, where Lipstadt and her defense team stumble around among the sacred relics. She admonishes her barrister Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson) over his insufficient awe and reverence (he makes tearful amends later). The familiar propaganda about the camp is retailed, until the movie gets to a nearly intact old building. Before entering, it is unambiguously stated that to defeat the deniers’ position on Auschwitz homicidal gassings, one must defeat the Leuchter Report. By now I was wondering if my hearing was faulty, so welcome was this acknowledgement of that momentous study, which is usually demonized by media hacks and academics as a worthless trifle.

The Leuchter Report was commissioned by Zündel in the course of his 1988 trial. It reported a forensic, chemical analysis of physical material taken from the walls of buildings in Auschwitz. Revised by former Max Planck Institute chemist and historian Germar Rudolf, the Leuchter Report remains one of the most-devastating exposes of the hoax ever published, and here in a Hollywood movie its formidable potency is acknowledged—and never satisfactorily refuted in the course of the film! Although he is not mentioned, when the movie arrives at the courtroom proceedings themselves, the first day concludes with Dr. Faurisson’s signature aphorism concerning, “No Holes—No Holocaust.”

On another day of the trial, Rampton holds aloft two different editions of Irving’s classic history, Hitler’s War, and points out that the 1977 first edition upholds the genocide of Judaics, while the reissued and revised 1991 edition does not. True, but the movie omits what made the difference. Between 1977 and 1991 the two Zündel trials took place with the demolition of “survivor” testimony in the first, and the Leuchter Report issued at the second, which impressed Irving so much that he revised his Hitler book to reflect the Leuchter revelations which Zündel had made possible.

On occasions after Irving has spoken in court, the camera turns to Lipstadt’s character, showing her in paroxysms of frustration and agony. Conversely, when her own lawyer scores a legal or historical point she casts a venomous glance at Irving, suffused with undisguised hatred. The filmmakers have done her image no favors with this less-than-noble—but quite possibly accurate—depiction of her person and reactions.

Another fatal error in the movie’s goal of vindicating Lipstadt is that it fails to dispel the David vs. Goliath impression of a stacked legal battle. Irving is shown as a lone warrior up against a legal team that fills a room with solicitors, researchers, historians, archivists and the barrister. The audience watching the mustering of this throng must feel that they’ve been cheated: after having it shoved down their throats for decades that doubting homicidal gas chambers is the easiest thing in the world to discredit, it takes a host of lawyers, clerks and historians years of research and more than a month in court to refute one Doubting Thomas?

The unintended consequences become more obvious near the end of the movie, when, in a news conference, Lipstadt makes an analogy between revisionist historians and those who doubt that Elvis Presley is dead. Among the theater audience with whom I saw the film, her parallel went nowhere. It is too palpably jejune to gain traction in the face of the battle the viewer has just observed her multi-million-dollar team having undertaken, with several close shaves for them in the courtroom, and the verdict far from a foregone conclusion.

Denial is pompously self-righteous and foolishly bereft of the tedium-relieving humorous moments which clever directors use to leaven even the most serious cinema. Lipstadt is at first presented melodramatically as Destiny’s Heroine of the Jewish People From The Beginning of Time. After that gas bag is floated, the movie attempts to deflate it slightly with a few attempts at levity, which are aimed at showing her to be a good sport in spite of her carved-in-marble stature; but these fail. She comes off not as one of the guys but as a yenta with a foul mouth: “What the f**k just happened?” she demands to know when the judge states that anti-Semitism can be an honest belief; not necessarily a result of a desire to deceive. Meanwhile, in devastating contrast, Irving is depicted as always in form as an English gentleman, even if at times sarcastic and wounding.

Vile execration of Irving is on ample display: “Irving’s words are like s**t on your shoes,” says Anthony Julius. In a meeting in her hotel room between Lipstadt and her barrister Rampton, it is made clear that Irving is to be hated, “Look the devil in the eye and tell him what you feel,” Rampton advises. God help anyone who would dare to advise us to look upon Deborah Lipstadt as a devil.

The foul-mouthed banter and palpable hate are supposed to, on one hand endear us to the humanity of Lipstadt and her team, and on the other, to make sure we get the message that a doubter like Irving is to be hated, given the sacred subject which he has dared to question. But Timothy Spall, who plays Irving, despite the phony Etonian accent he adopts and perpetually high-pitched, straining voice (which little resembles Irving in real life), comes across as somewhat sympathetic. After the verdict is read we see Irving gallantly approach the barrister Rampton, congratulating him and offering to shake hands. Irving is rebuffed. There is a fundamental decency that permeates his underdog status and it is part of his appeal in Denial.

Lipstadt thinks it’s outrageous that Irving believes there are actually two points of view on World War II history. There is only one point of view, she hectors. But don’t the best parents and teachers convey to their youthful charges the truism that there at least two sides to every issue? Yet in Lipstadt’s inquisitorial, claustrophobic “Holocaust” world, there can only be one.

Yet another unintentionally exculpatory factor for Mr. Irving is the realization that a regiment of Lipstadt’s researchers pored over every extant speech he ever gave, and the several million words he wrote, in search of an error (about dozen or so were found). If any one of us had every word we wrote or spoke through most of our lives examined, there would be plenty of grist for any detractor’s mill. Only two Irving errors are submitted: a questionable interpretation of a morgue at Auschwitz, and misattributed words in a note by Heinrich Himmler; these are not exactly earth-shaking derogations of his historiography.

Meanwhile, the original grounds for Irving’s libel suit against Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin Books—that they lied about his having stolen from the Moscow archives in Russia, and by claiming that he was associated with Hamas and other Arab terror organizations—are indeed found to be lies, just as David said. He was indeed libeled by Penguin and Lipstadt. Few who watch Denial will know that fact, or know of the intimidation tactic aimed at presiding Justice Charles Gray (Alex Jennings), when the Israeli ambassador with a full retinue of gun-toting guards, seated himself prominently in the courtroom during the trial. The message conveyed could not have been lost on the judge, nor the audience: a sovereign state, armed to the teeth, had a vested interest in an outcome of the trial favorable to their heroine, Dvora. (Lipstadt refers to herself by that Hebrew variant of her name when recalling her mother’s prophecy about her).

Other revelations from the makers of this movie:

  • Denial informs us there were never any photographs of any of the millions of “Jews” in any of the gas chambers because (wait for it): the Germans would not allow it; which doesn’t explain why no German personnel took photos surreptitiously, or were not bribed to do so, or why photos of an event that is said to have happened tens of thousands of times, were not otherwise leaked.
  • Denial informs us that Auschwitz was never designed as an extermination camp. From the beginning it was a labor camp and it only later changed its function.
  • During the trial, Irving’s “no holes no holocaust” challenge to Auschwitz “expert” Robert Jan van Pelt (Mark Gatiss) is never answered, even though an answer is promised in the next court session.
  • If we are listening carefully, we hear a reporter state, albeit as an audio voiceover on a scene of jostling media, that Justice Gray praised Irving’s skill as a military historian.
  • In London, a grim-faced woman with a cinematic aura of sanctity identifies herself privately to Lipstadt as a “Holocaust survivor.” Lipstadt informs her defense team that this woman is indeed a “Holocaust survivor” who is qualified to testify. What is the basis of “renowned historian” Lipstadt’s corroboration of the woman’s identity and credentials as a witness? She showed Lipstadt some faded numbers tattooed on her arm. This is proof? What a joke.

If you’re already a true believer, the film may further cement your belief, but for thinking individuals who are paying attention, Denial alerts curious minds to the existence of a substantial body of dissent, going so far as to feature Mr. Irving’s website on-camera, as well as the covers of his books. Viewers of the film who follow up with an Internet search for the Leuchter Report or the “Zündel trial” (few though these may be) are going to encounter a world of revisionist discovery and intellectual challenge.

As we often remind our readers, our enemies are not invincible, any more than they are infallible. Their victory is not inevitable. They make big mistakes and Denial is one of them: a 109-minute commercial of sorts for a valiant writer whose reputation is still very much intact.

We seldom have the occasion to write the following words, but it is delightful to do so now: Thank you, Hollywood!

This article originally appeared in Revisionist History No. 87, November 2016.
Copyright© 2016 Michael Hoffman



By Mike Walsh


The holocaust mantra that falsely claims six million lives is drummed into our heads since early childhood. It then comes as a shock to learn that the fuhrer’s accusers between them take full responsibility for multiple acts of genocide that claimed no less than 164 million lives.

According to R. J. Rummel, Power Kills: Genocide and Mass Murder (Journal of Peace Research): Murder by government claimed the lives of 170 million people during the last 100 years.

If Hitler’s Germany is supposed to have accounted for six million of these unfortunate victims who takes responsibility for the 164 million victims whose plight is airbrushed off the West’s news pages and television screens? Eerily, we learn that the culprits responsible for 18 times the ‘Death by Government’ murders attributed to the Reich are Hitler’s accusers.

Name and shame; who was primarily responsible for the genocide of 164 million non-Jewish victims of genocide; racial and ethnic extermination? Why the endless clamour over six million alleged Jews but a deafening silence falls when one asks, ‘what about the other 164 million’?

Taking their places on the Dais of Death is the dwarfish ex-bank robber Bolshevik Russia’s Joe Stalin and America’s Franklin D. Roosevelt; beside them stands the toad-like half-American dilettante and notorious sexual deviant Winston Churchill. The fourth of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riders is China’s Mao tse Tung.


Shockingly, MEGACAUST by Michael Walsh convincingly argues that most of the 164 million ‘death by government’ victims could have been prevented by a mainstream media that chose instead to collaborate with history’s greatest mass murderers.

The legendary Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are Death, Famine, War and Conquest. If one wants to bring into stark relief the images of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse one needs look no further than Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and China’s Mao tse Tung).

In 1917 ~ before the Russian Tragedy, the population of Imperial Russia stood at 182 million. The 1990 census revealed that Russia’s population had dramatically decreased to 143 million over the 73 intervening years in which Bolshevism ravaged Imperial Russia. Over the same time period Britain’s population increased by 25 per cent despite suffering the haemorrhage of World War Two and unprecedented migration.

Had Russia’s population been allowed to keep pace by 1990 one would have expected Russia’s population to stand today at 230 million. In 1939 Germany’s population stood at 80 million but by 1950 was just 68 million. Interestingly, according to the Jewish World Almanac the only population that remained the same before and after World War Two and throughout the Russian Tragedy was the Jewish population of 13 million. How do we explain this?

All is revealed by Michael Walsh in his just published MEGACAUST. Available only from Amazon and Kindle this game-changing exposé is likely to tear apart the arguments of those who claim that Hitler’s Germany was responsible for the deaths of six million Jews. MEGACAUST is the ultimate and final riposte to the myth of the six million.

megacaust3Purchase on Amazon

Soviet Scorched-Earth Warfare: Facts and Consequences


By Walter N. Sanning

The Soviet scorched-earth policy has many facets: Military, economic, and so on. In The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry I touched only on those which are of importance in connection with the demographic changes of Eastern European Jewry. Here I want to emphasize the economic side of a little-known portion of the Second World War. However, in order to present the whole picture I must refer to portions of the subject which have already been covered in The Dissolution. Space allows only the most important references to those findings, and anybody who wishes to know more about this is advised to check The Dissolution.

The German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty of 23 August 1939 provided for the following territorial divisions: Estonia and Latvia would fall into the Soviet sphere of interest while Lithuania would fall into the German. From Lithuania the line of demarcation would run toward East Prussia, from there along the Narew, Vistula, and San rivers toward the Carpathian mountains (Map 1). /1 After the Polish defeat, the Soviet government immediately exerted heavy pressure on Germany for a revision of the treaty. In order to maintain peace, Hitler agreed in the second treaty, the so-called Border and Friendship Agreement of 28 September 1939, that Germany would relinquish its interest in most of Lithuania in exchange for the area between the Vistula and the Bug rivers with a population of about 3.5 million, including more than 300,000 Jews. /2 This area had been occupied by the Soviets for only a few days, but the Red Army had taken the area’s food supplies and livestock with it as it departed. As a result the Germans actually had to bring in large quantities of food to forestall starvation in this agricultural area. /3 This episode should have been a lesson to Germany. It was not.

While Germany was engaged in the Western Campaign from 10 May until 24 June, 1940, the Soviet Union occupied the entirety of Lithuania between 16 and 22 June following the ultimatum of 15 June – that is, including even that portion which was to remain within the German sphere of interest according to the treaty. This occupation constituted not only a gross violation of the two Soviet-German treaties but also of the Soviet-Lithuanian Treaty of Mutual Assistance (10 October 1939). The German government was neither consulted nor informed of this Soviet action as required under the treaty provisions. /4 The northern Bukovina region of Rumania, which was outside the agreed-upon Soviet sphere of interest, was similarly appropriated by the Soviets, although in this case the Soviets pressured Germany into giving its “consent” within an ultimative time period of 24 hours before occupation (Map 2). I mention these developments only because they demonstrate the determination with which Russia removed German strategic advantages while improving her own. They also show that Germany had no definite military objectives against the Soviet Union because otherwise it is inconceivable that she would have tolerated Soviet usurpation of the strategically invaluable Lithuanian gateway to Leningrad and Moscow.

Scorched Earth

Faced with a massive build-up of Soviet military strength across the line of demarcation, concerned by the Soviet breach of the so-called Hitler-Stalin Pact and forewarned by new and enormous Soviet demands for geographic concessions in Europe, Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. The Soviets immediately began to execute German prisoners-of-war right after capture or a short interrogation. Even seriously wounded soldiers were not spared. Numerous high level orders to this effect are on record. The West German Military History Research Institute (Militaergeschichtliche Forschungsamt), which is not known for its pro-German bias, puts the percentage of captured German soldiers who died while in Soviet captivity in the years 1941-1942 at 90-95 percent. /5a Within days after hostilities began, the Kremlin’s Central Committee issued orders to the effect that only scorched earth be left to the enemy. Everything of value was ordered to be destroyed, regardless of the needs of the civilian population left behind. For this purpose special demolition battalions were sent into action. The above-mentioned Military Research Institute commented further: “From the very beginning of the war Stalin and the leadership of the Soviet Union indicated through these measures that as far as they were concerned the armed conflict with Germany was of an entirely different character than the historical ‘European national wars’.” /5b

The measures taken by the Soviet Union between 1940 and 1942 aimed not only at furthering the Soviet war effort, but also at harming the German enemy even at the cost of huge losses of life among Soviet civilians. The Soviet scorched-earth strategy included the deportation of millions of men, women and children; the resettlement and reestablishment of thousands of factories; the withdrawal of almost the entire railway rolling stock; the-annihilation of raw material depots; the removal of most of the agricultural machinery, cattle and grain stocks; the systematic destruction, burning and blowing up of the immovable infrastructure, inventories of all kinds, factory buildings, mines, residential areas, public buildings, public records, and even cultural monuments; and the intentional starvation of the civilian population which remained behind to face German occupation. It was basically a policy which unscrupulously used the civilian population as a strategic pawn. The extent and timing of this policy action is confirmed by so many sources that no real difference of opinion exists in this regard. What is strange is how scantily it has been covered so far in the scholarly literature. Until now, this policy has not been analyzed to the extent it deserves with an eye to identifying the party responsible for the conflict, nor to appreciating the German difficulties in prosecuting a war along established civilized lines, nor to assessing the claims of German brutality in Russia, nor to sizing up the numerical potential of the alleged German genocide of Soviet Jews, or indeed, of the Soviet Slavs.

Long before the outbreak of the German-Soviet conflict, Stalin had begun to prepare for a future war in Europe when he began to develop heavy industry in the Urals and Western Siberia starting with the first Five-Year Plan which commenced in 1928. His plans were for the long run. In the early 1930s he had already announced his determination to overtake the most advanced industrialized countries with respect to industrial and military capacity not later than 1941 /6 — the year when, according to numerous admissions of Soviet leaders, including Stalin’s son, the Red Army would strike Germany late that summer. /7 With the help of thousands of engineers and experts from Europe and North America, the core of the Soviet armaments industry was established in the region where Europe meets Asia. Millions of Soviet citizens were also mercilessly sacrificed in the drive to attain Soviet military supremacy. The Ural industrial region was covered with a far-flung network of power lines and electric-power generation plants. In 1940, this rather underpopulated area, with just four percent of the Soviet population, produced 4 billion kWh of electricity, and the existing capacity allowed for a great expansion. /8 By comparison, the Soviet territory later occupied by Germany – the so-called Occupied Eastern Territories – produced no more than 10 billion kWh before the war even though it accounted for about 40 percent of the Soviet population. In other words, on a per capita basis the electric power output of the Urals region was four times larger. In preparation for the coming conflict, substitute factory building shells were raised all across the southern Urals and western Siberia for the purpose of accepting the machinery from the territory the German enemy might threaten during the anticipated hostilities. A railroad network far out of proportion to the needs of this thinly populated area was vigorously expanded right up to the outbreak of war. /9

As soon as the Germans crossed the frontier, the Soviets put their Plan of Economic Mobilization into action. This plan incorporated the possibility that the enemy might succeed in occupying large sections of the country – as had happened during the First World War. For this reason detailed plans specified the locations to which the dismantled factories should be transported and the successive steps in which the removal was to take place. The interrelationships between the individual enterprises and their dependence on one another were painstakingly taken into account. /10 The carefully executed plan included the removal and evacuation of equipment and people 8-10 days before the retreat of the Red Army, followed by 24 hours of extensive destruction by special demolition squads just prior to the retreat. If necessary, the Soviet troops would put up last-ditch resistance to provide sufficient time for their demolition squads to complete their tasks.

Destination addresses found by the surprised Germans pointed practically always in the direction of the Ural industrial region, specifically to the area encompassed by Sverdlovsk, Molotov, Ufa, Chkalov, and Magnitogorsk. This was the region where the factory shells had been built years before the war and where the equipment dismantled in the factories of the western Soviet Union was reassembled. /11

In just the first three months after the outbreak of war more than 1360 large industrial enterprises were transplanted and the movable equipment of thousands of collective farms was transported to the interior. It seems that owing to the brutal regimentation of the miserable deportees the evacuated enterprises rose in an unbelievably short time at their new locations: it took just three to four weeks to reassemble large factories and enterprises. The workers had to labor 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week. Within three to four months Soviet production had again reached prewar levels. /12

The Soviet feat was possible only because millions of trained workers, managers, engineers and specialists had been transported to those areas along with their factories. As early as February 1940, German intelligence had reported the systematic deportation of the Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish population from the western Ukraine. /13 In June 1940, up to one million Jewish refugees from German-occupied Poland along with many hundreds of thousands of Poles were deported to Siberia. Then, a few weeks before 22 June 1941, mass deportations of the civilian populations along the entire frontier with Germany, Hungary, and Rumania took place. The Soviets, informed by their own spies, Allied intelligence, and German traitors, lost no time in removing those civilians who were most critically needed in the Ural armaments centers. /14

Soviet historians admitted years ago that the Soviet Union had laid plans long before the war to put the entire Soviet railroad system on a war footing overnight. The purpose was to prevent the Germans from getting hold of the strategic rolling equipment. The Soviet success in this endeavor was almost total: Despite the huge number of rail cars, locomotives, and special transportation equipment in the frontier areas, and the deployment of troops and war materials for the gigantic Soviet military build-up in preparation for an attack on central Europe, most of the rolling stock was removed in time before the Germans struck in a lightning preventive action on 22 June 1941. During the first five weeks, when German armies pushed hundreds of miles into the Soviet interior, only 577 locomotives, 270 passenger cars and 21,947 rail freight cars were captured. In relative terms, this amounted to just 2.3. 0.8 and 2.5 percent respectively. /15

During the first few months of the war one million railroad cars loaded with industrial equipment, raw materials, and people departed from the frontline areas. /16 I won’t delve into specifics of the scale of the Soviet program of deporting the civilian population. This I have done in some detail in The Dissolution. Suffice it here to note that before the war upward of 90 million people were living in the Soviet areas conquered by Germany during the Second World War. The Soviets deported anywhere between 25 and 30 million of them. They concentrated their deportation efforts on specific groups. Thus, they preferred the urban to the rural population, the skilled to the unskilled, and large educated minorities (Jews and Russians in the Ukraine, White Russia, and in the Baltic countries) to the more hostile native population. Because the Soviets had begun their deportation program long before the outbreak of the war and because the western frontier areas were generally not densely populated, the Soviet cities which fell into German hands during the first few days and weeks of the war were greatly depopulated – up to 90 percent in some cases and over 50 percent on the average. The cities tended to show greater deportation percentages if they were located in the Ukraine or White Russia, rather than in the Baltic countries; if they were located near the western frontier rather than further east; and if they had large educated minorities than if the native population predominated. /17

In summary, the scorched-earth policy was extremely well geared to Soviet objectives. A huge armaments program had been initiated 13 years before 1941 and long before Adolf Hitler was in sight as a serious contender for German leadership. Extensive investments had been made in a rather thinly populated and underdeveloped area in order to develop its transportation facilities, power stations and network, and heavy industry. Last but not least, substitute factories had been systematically erected, ready to accept the industrial equipment from the more developed Soviet areas to the west should an unfavorable course of the war necessitate their removal to safer areas. What was lacking, however, was the social infrastructure, such as housing and hospitals, to accommodate the many millions of civilians deported there between 1940 and 1941. As a result, 15-20 million civilians died of epidemics, hunger, overwork, lack of housing, lack of clothing and the brutal Siberian winter.

The Economic Breakdown in the Occupied Eastern Territories

The picture presenting itself to the advancing German troops was one of despair. Of the railroad system only the tracks remained. The rolling stock was gone. Water works and power stations were destroyed. In order to organize the production of war-essential raw materials and mineral oil products, the Germans created the so-called Economic Staff East.

However, the Soviet strategy of scorching the earth very quickly forced the Economic Staff to reactivate all productive facilities of any kind. Even the production of consumer goods was included in its program, because domestic industry was incapable of resuming production on its own following the almost total destruction and dismantling by the Soviets and the deportation of most of the managerial personnel and technical specialists.

Of the original power generation capacity of 2.57 million kW in the Occupied Eastern Territories – which was equivalent to roughly one-fourth of total prewar Soviet generating capacity-less then one-eighth (300,000 kW) was found to be intact. Soviet demolition efforts were so thorough that until the end of March 1943, capacity could be increased to not more than 630,000 kW, which was still only one-quarter of the prewar level. /18 (See Table 1.)

Table 1
Power Generation in the Occupied Eastern Territories (1,000 kW)


RK Ukraine (incl. Military Area South)

RK Ostland

Military Area North and Center

Before the war

2570 (100%)

2200 (100%)

270 (100%)

100 (100%)

After Soviet retreat

300 (12%)

145 (7%)

135 (50%)

20 (20%)

March 1943

630 (24%)

350 (16%)

240 (90%)

40 (40%)

Source: Wirtschaftsgrößenordnungen für die besetzen Ostgebiete, 9 March 1943, Berlin: Chefgruppe W im Wirtsschaftsstab Ost (Military Archives Freiburg; Bestand RW 31/260).

And yet, regional differences were quite obvious. In the Reichskommissariat (RK) Ostland (Baltic countries and White Russia) about half of the original capacity of 270,000 kW was found to be intact and until the end of March 1943 almost 90 percent of the former capacity was returned to operation. But in the Ukraine only 7 percent (145,000 kW) of the original power-generation capacity of 2.2 million kW was still operational. The thoroughness of the Bolsheviks is shown by the fact that until the end of March 1943, not more than 350,000 kW were usable again. This was just 16 percent of prewar capacity. These figures refer only to available capacities. In practice, these were rarely operated fully because of the growing partisan menace and an almost total lack of coal supplies. Obviously, industrial production had been dealt a fatal blow. As mentioned already, electric power generation before the war amounted to 10 billion kWh annually in the Occupied Eastern Territories. The German administration succeeded in producing only 750 million kWh from the time of occupation until the end of 1942. For the year 1943 the planned increase to 1.4 billion kWh – which would still have been 86 percent below pre-war levels -was never attained as only 1 billion kWh were actually produced. /19 It is significant that the planned increases in manufacturing and mining production for the year 1943 were realized in only a few cases. Actual production of essential raw materials or energy supplies fell far short of stated goals despite the high priority attached to redeveloping the Ukrainian economy.

The effects of the systematic destruction by the Soviets on industrial production are shown in Table 2.

Category Unit Production before Occupation Production percent of until end of 1942
Electricity bill. kWh



Coal mill. tons

85.0 (1940)


Iron ore mill. tons

16.5 (1938)

Crude Steel mill. tons

12.0 (1940)


Cement mill. tons

2.0 (1938)


Lignite mill. tons

0.5 (1938)


Peat mill. tons

8.0 (1938)


Manganese ore mill. tons

1.4 (1938)


Shale mill. tons

1.7 (1938)


Shale oil 1000 tons

160.0 (1938)


Petroleum* 1000 tons

370.0 (1938)


Phosphate rock 1000 tons

175.0 (1938)


Mercury tons

300.0 (1938)


1941-1943 prewar pro in 1943

Induction average until year end 1943

Plan fulfillment in the year 1943








































* Inculding mineral oil production of Drohobycz (Galicia/General Government of Poland)

Source: Bericht über die Tätigkeit der Chefgruppe Wirtschaft in Reichsministererium für die besetzen Ostgebiete, 20 November 1943, Berlin: Wirtschaftsstab Ost (Military Archives Freiburg; Bestand RW 31/260). Wirtschaftsgrößenordnungen für die besetzen Ostgebiete, 9 March 1943, Berlin: Chefgruppe W im Wirtsschaftsstab Ost (Military Archives Freiburg; Bestand RW 31/260).

The basic industrial structure — coal, iron ore, crude steel, electricity, and cement — was for all practical purposes totally destroyed. Compared with pre-war levels, coal mining averaged 2.4 percent, iron ore production 1.2 percent, crude steel production nothing, electricity 8.8 percent, and cement production 11.6 percent!

Another indication of the sorry state of the economy in German occupied Russia was the size of industrial manpower. In 1940, Soviet blue and white-collar workers numbered 31.2 million. /20 Even if their proportionate share in the regions later occupied by Germany was less than the Soviet average, it is reasonable to assume that there was a total of at least 10 million blue- and white-collar workers in these areas before the war. At the end of 1942, employment in industry (excluding the food industry) totalled only 750,000. In the purely industrial enterprises, that is, excluding the handicrafts, the number of employees was just 600,000 (Table 3)

Table 3
Number of Employees in Industry (excl. food) in the Occupied Eastern Territories – End of 1942

Area Employees (percent)
Baltic countries (of RK Ostland) 140,000


White Russia (General District) 25,000
Military Area North 14,475
Military Area Center 40,000


RK Ukraine 150,000
Military Area South 219,893
Total 600,000


Source: Bericht über die Tätigkeit der Chefgruppe Wirtschaft in Reichsministererium für die besetzen Ostgebiete, 20 November 1944, Military Archives Freiburg; Bestand RW 31/260, p. 4.

Six hundred thousand in an area which prior to the war had a population of perhaps 75 million! Even if we add the unknown number of people employed in the food industry, it is obvious that industrial employment under German administration was equivalent to one-tenth of prewar levels at most. To make matters worse, the productivity of this remnant manpower was far below prewar standards. It is noteworthy that although the Baltic countries (the largest of which, Lithuania, had very little industry) accounted for only 8 percent of the prewar population of the Occupied Eastern Territories, they nevertheless furnished one quarter of the industrial manpower under German administration (Table 3).

Soviet deportations reduced skilled personnel to such an extent that not enough local managerial or technical experts could be found in the Occupied Eastern Territories for even the tiny number of remaining industrial employees. The Germans were forced to bring in about 10,000 civilian specialists from the Reich in order to overcome the most severe personnel shortages. /21 On the basis of available statistics I estimate that the Soviets deported at least 70 percent of the workers prior to German occupation. This means that the number of workers available to the German administration (generally lesser-skilled) was about 2 to 3 million. Inasmuch as not more than a million could be put back to work despite the enormous need for every kind of production, unemployment assumed huge proportions (50-70 percent) in the midst of a vociferous demand for goods of any kind.

According to Soviet Prof. Telpuchowski, the areas occupied by the Germans until November 1941 accounted for 63 percent of the coal, 68 percent of pig iron, 58 percent of the steel, 60 percent of the aluminum, 38 percent of grains and 84 percent of the sugar produced in the entire Soviet Union before the war. /22 The documents of the German Economic Staff East show essentially very similar magnitudes. The Soviets managed to make all this unavailable to the German enemy. The means employed were ruthless dismantling, demolition, fire, sabotage and deportation. Instead of adding to Germany’s military strength, these areas became a tremendous drain on her already strained industrial capacity.


As for the conquered raw material supplies, the following secret report of the German Economic Staff for the period 1-10 October 1941, provides a vivid description of the situation:

Few supplies of any size have been found so that care will have to be taken during the hostilities … It appears that all raw material stocks were either systematically removed from the areas conquered so far or made unusable. Thus, the small quantities found until now are not a significant help in relieving the raw material needs of the Reich…. The factories have not been supplied with raw materials for some time. /23

The same situation applied in the case of food, especially grains. An interdepartmental proposal of the Economic Staff dated 3 October 1941 on the supplies needed for Russian cities even went so far as to suggest that the remaining larger cities not yet in German hands should be cut off and encircled, and that their capitulation should not be accepted.

This, of course, was militarily quite out of the question, but it shows the desperation with which the German authorities of the conquered areas viewed the effects of the Soviet strategy of leaving it up to the occupying armies to feed millions of starving Soviet citizens! The report continued:

It has been our experience that the Russians remove or destroy systematically all of the food supplies before retreating. The urban population of the conquered cities thus will either have to be fed by the Wehrmacht or it will have to starve. Obviously, by forcing us to provide additional food to the Russian population, the Russian leadership intends to worsen the already difficult food situation of the German Reich through a reduction of the domestic German food supply. As a matter of fact, the present food situation permits us to feed the Russian urban population from our own stocks only if we reduce the supplies to the Army or if we lower the rations at home. /24

During the very early period of the war, Soviet destruction in the agricultural sector was confined to the machine and tractor stations. As a rule, these stations were found empty and the machines and vehicles left behind had been made unusable. At first, cattle stocks were relatively intact. But this changed rapidly during the following weeks. As the war progressed from west to east, almost no cattle, grain and gasoline supplies were found. The Luftwaffe and prisoners of war reported that the Soviets busily harvested the fields as they retreated. After the Ukraine was liberated, it became obvious that the food situation would slowly but surely become catastrophic. In many cases even seed grains had to be distributed to help the starving Ukrainians. This, in turn, reduced the acreage that could be planted at a time when the lack of tractors, gasoline, and draft horses had already made its negative effects felt. It is estimated that the so-called Occupied Eastern Territories produced 43 million tons of grain under Soviet rule in 1940. Under German administration the recorded harvest in 1941 was not more than 13 million tons. One reason for this small harvest was the fact that the German drive into Russia was swiftest in the northern and center sections of the theater of war, thus enabling the Soviets to take with them or destroy considerable parts of the harvest in the Ukraine. In 1942 even less was harvested, only 11.7 million tons. According to Dallin, the German administration succeeded in seeding not more than three quarters of the prewar acreage. Fertilizer was practically unavailable and the yield per acre was correspondingly lower in 1942. Compared to the average yields per hectare of approximately 2200 pounds (14 bushels/acre) in the Ukraine in the late 1930s, the Germans managed to obtain just 1500 pounds (10 bushels/acre). /25 Furthermore, the Soviet scorched earth policy now began to show its full effects: The use of seed grains to relieve the worst hunger in the cities, the increasing partisan menace and the dearth of personnel and machinery reduced the harvest potential drastically.

German supervisory personnel in the countryside were much too thinly spread to enforce effectively a strict delivery of agricultural products. To be sure, at the expense of the goodwill and the pro-German attitude of the peasant population, it was possible to locate and requisition some additional agricultural produce for the cities, but, judging by the misery in the cities, this was by far not rigorous enough. Of course, the Germans periodically tried to “comb through” the countryside to find these hoarded stocks but their efforts were marked with little success. The retreating Red Army had removed the entire organization necessary to collect and distribute the harvest of the collectivized agriculture system, and the German administration was forced to set up its own collection and distribution system for agricultural products-not an easy task considering the harrowing wartime conditions. Not only was time much too short and wartime conditions simply too severe to organize such an administration successfully, but the brutality with which the Bolsheviks had enforced their claims on agricultural production was simply not in keeping with the German mentality or German policy which — contrary to Allied and Soviet propaganda — aimed at finding a basis of mutual understanding with the liberated Slavic and Baltic populations.

Far from the ruthlessness which supposedly characterized German occupation rule in Russia, the plain fact is that, as a central European nation, the Germans never came to grips with the inhumane concept of total warfare as applied by their Soviet foe. As even Jewish historian Alexander Dallin admits: “Soviet collection (of the harvest) had, in practice, been far more efficient (italics added) than the German. As a result, peasants in German-held areas were often able to hide larger stocks than before the war. In all probability concealed reserves remained substantial,…” /26 From 1941 until 1943, 15,000 rail cars loaded with agricultural equipment and machines left Germany for the Occupied Eastern Territories under the so-called Ostackerprogramm (“Eastern soil program”). This included 7,000 tractors, 20,000 generators, 250,000 steel plows, and 3,000,000 scythes. Furthermore, thousands of bulls, cows, swine, and stallions were sent to those areas for breeding purposes to raise the quality of the livestock. Available statistics indicate that German agricultural assistance between July 1941 and tune 1943 amounted to 445 million RM (Reichsmarks). /27

The net prewar Soviet harvest of 1940 yielded 82 million tons of grain, of which about 30 percent was set aside for seed and feed purposes. Theoretically, the Soviet population thus had available 57 million tons, or a little less than 800 grams daily per person. In practice, of course, it was less, because part of this volume was set aside in reserve in anticipation of the coming war with Germany. /28 Assuming that 30 percent of the recorded harvest of only 13 millions tons under German occupation in 1941 was set aside for seed and feed purposes, only 9 million tons were left for the native population. Of that amount 2 million tons were taken by the German army. The amount requisitioned by the German army was rather moderate indeed. This is shown by the fact that the Red Army used 31/4 million tons of grain in 1940, the last year of peace! While another 350,000 tons were shipped off to Germany, this was offset by the significant but unknown portion of the grain volume sequestered by the German army but used to feed the native urban civilian population. /29 In any case, the civilian population of about 50 million was thus left with only about 7 million tons. On a per capita basis this amounted to less than 400 grams daily (less than one pound) – only half as much as in 1940. Meat and fats were not available as a general rule. But this average does not mean very much. On the one hand, we noted that the harvests probably were considerably larger than German statistics indicate. This means that at least the rural population which was the majority, was able to enjoy a considerably better and more plentiful diet. Also, many urban dwellers were able to obtain food from the peasants on the illegal, but difficult to control black market. In this way the cities obtained from the peasants some of the food which German authorities were unable to trace On the other hand, transportation was often an insurmountable problem so that even the minimal supply of food arrived in the cities either late or not at all. Moreover, partisans either destroyed or confiscated large parts of the harvested grain. Finally, German authorities often tried to obtain extra rations for workers in war-essential factories. Of course, this was only possible at the expense of the rest of the population. The fact that German authorities did not even succeed in getting the special rations for the workers in war-essential industries or for those doing heavy manual labor, as they were entitled, shows how serious the situation was. /30 Those urban residents who were either unemployed or did not have anything to trade with the peasants were really in trouble: Starvation was their fate.

To show the desperate food situation in the cities of German occupied Russia, I will quote from the regular secret reports of the Economic Staff East sent to Berlin:

11 November 1941: The scarcity of food and the lack of even the most essential consumer goods are the main reason why the morale of the Russian and Ukrainian population is becoming more and more depressed … Kiev received no grain whatever since its occupation on 19 September 1941 … The partisans take food from the civilian population at night and force physically able men to join them. In part, food supplies are being burned down by the partisans. Especially great difficulties exist in the southern area where it is impossible to feed all of the prisoners of war because of their huge numbers…. The authorities are constantly at pains to find enough to eat for the prisoners, although gruel and buckwheat are available only in limited quantities…. We are very concerned about our ability to feed the urban population in the southern areas. /31

8 December 1941: The food situation in the city of Kharkov is extremely critical. There is almost nothing for the population to eat. Bread is not available. /32

22 January 1942: The regular distribution of food to the urban civilian population in the southern area must be restricted more and more, and this is not likelv to change in the foreseeable future. /33

23 February 1942: The supply of food to the civilian population of the larger cities is so critical that it is cause for the most serious warnings. /33

1 March 1942: The morale is low because of food problems…. In the densely populated Donets area especially no food has been distributed at all to the population. As a result, several thousand people have died of hunger so far. In some cases even highly qualified specialists and professors were among the victims. /33

5 March 1942: The food situation continues to be very serious and in some cities there is actual starvation. In Pushkin it was discovered that there was a trade in human flesh which was offered to the population as pork. /33

16 March 1942 (Report by the commander of the military rear central areas): In the large cities (the food situation) continues to be unsatisfactory and in Kharkov it is catastrophic. As time goes on it becomes ever more difficult to feed the urban population … /33

3 June 1942: The food situation in the cities grows worse and worse because part of the food supplies collected for the population had to be used for seeding and part of the supplies were destroyed bv the partisans. /33

The unceasing efforts by the German civil and military authorities to provide a sufficient supply of food to the civilian population within their narrow means were brought to naught by the terribly poor harvests, the catastrophic transport situation, the partisan menace, the removal of the food depots by the Soviets and the impossibility of organizing a satisfactory regular exchange of goods between the large cities and the countryside. While the food supply of the rural population and the small towns was relatively secure, the civilian population of the large cities and the millions of prisoners faced naked starvation. Soviet savagery thus became a legacy of German guilt.

German Counter-Measures

If for no other reason than self-interest, the Germans tried to relieve the catastrophic economic situation and stabilize the economy by importing huge amounts of capital from Germany. Equipment worth one billion RM was imported from the Reich for the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors alone. To this must be added the considerable costs incurred for the transportation sector as well as for road-building equipment, the value of which has been estimated at more than one billion RM. After adding the considerable quantities of coal used as fuel for civilian railroad freight transport, German reconstruction aid for industry and the infrastructure may have totalled more than 2.5 billion RM. /34 This amount does not include agricultural assistance worth about a half-billion RM. The extent of German aid to the civilian sector may be better appreciated if one realizes that the gross value of industrial production in those areas (valued on the basis of domestic German prices) from the beginning of the occupation until the end of 1943 amounted to approximately 5 billion RM. (This figure includes the industrial raw materials, finished goods, and repairs furnished by that economy to the German army.) /35 Although it is not known precisely what portion of this gross value was actual value-added, comparisons with other countries would suggest that it must have been a little more than 2 billion RM./36 In other words, German non-agricultural economic aid was larger than the entire industrial output of these territories during the time of occupation! The annual net output per worker amounted to 1,000 RM per year. By comparison: The German worker attained a net production of 4,000 RM in the year 1936. /37

Naturally, a large part of the much-reduced volume of industrial production was absorbed by the German occupation army. Thus, German army requirements and, to an even greater extent, the Soviet scorched-earth strategy, reduced the supply of consumer goods for a native population of about 50 million to almost nothing. The reason for the failure of the German administration to provide sufficient food for the native urban population is best demonstrated by this dilemma. Consumer goods production was practically non-existent because of Soviet destruction and evacuation of all industrial plants and raw materials, the deportation of the trained industrial manpower, and the impossibility of quickly repairing damages. Thus, there was nothing the urban populations could offer to the peasants in exchange for their food. And since the peasant was unable to buy anything for the money he received, he was unwilling to part with his produce.

German economic aid to the occupied Soviet territories amounted to roughly one percent of German gross national product of those years. /38 Even today, this figure is not matched by the level of foreign aid of the industrial nations to developing countries. West Germany, for example, extended foreign aid amounting to about one-half of one percent of GNP since 1960, that is, at a time of relative prosperity and low defense outlays. Indeed, the economic assistance of about 3 billion RM (including both industrial and agricultural aid) furnished to the economy of the occupied Soviet area is even more remarkable when one realizes this this amount was equivalent to one-fourth of aggregate gross fixed investment in Greater Germany in the years 1942 and 1943 (12 billion RM). /39

A comparison of the straight economic tonnage exchanged between the Reich and the Occupied Eastern Territories provides additional information on non-military exchange between those two years. Unfortunately, only data for the year 1943 could be found. (Table 4)

Table 4
Non-military Transports between the German Reich and the Occupied Eastern Territories in the Year 1943 (1,000 tons)

From the Occupied Eastern Territories into the Reich
By Rail 4,259  
On waterways 536 4,795
From the Reich into the Occupied Eastern Territories
By Rail 2,126  
On waterways 1,911 4,037

Source: Reichsministererium fuer die besetzen Ostgebiete. Bericht über die Tätigkeit der Chefgruppe Wirtschaft in Reichsministererium für die besetzen Ostgebiete, 20 November 1944, Military Archives Freiburg; Bestand RW 31/260.

In terms of tonnage, about 20 percent more freight entered Germany than was delivered by the Reich. Considering that about 2 million tons of grain were furnished by the Occupied Eastern Territories to the German armies in 1943, /40 the tonnage ration of exchange of 7 to 4 was indeed favorable to Germany. However, the goods made available by those territories were mainly staples (raw materials, ores, etc.) with relatively low weight-specific values, while the products from Germany had very high weight-specific values (with the exception of coal to run the railroads, of course). Inasmuch as finished goods tend to be many times more valuable, pound for pound, than staple products, it would seem that the exchange was much more favorable for the Occupied Eastern Territories, even though this rough approximation certainly does not permit us to calculate the actual value of the trade even within a wide margin of error. On balance, the Occupied Eastern Territories delivered agricultural products worth 1.6 billion RM to the Reich and the German armies. /41 The deliveries of German machines, tractors, generators, equipment of all kinds for industry and agriculture, vehicles, railroad coal, etc., amounted to roughly 3.0 billion RM, leaving a difference of about 1.4 billion RM in favor of the Occupied Eastern Territories. From this we would have to deduct the value of captured raw material supplies, the ores and other raw materials produced during the period of occupation, as well as repair services for the German army. It is unknown what value should be applied to these items. However, in view of the very small raw material depots found and the extremely low production of the largely defunct industry (a large part of the industrial output was actually used to rebuild the factories) it must be doubted whether more than 25 percent of industry’s meager output of 2 billion RM was absorbed by the occupation forces. In short, the Occupied Eastern territories as such added little in economic terms to the fight against the common Bolshevik enemy. In fact, they were the beneficiaries of an almost unbelievably generous reconstruction assistance. This aid, like all so-called foreign aid, was hardly made for purely altruistic reasons. Nevertheless, it was unique in the history of relations between an occupying power and the conquered territory of a country with which it was still locked in mortal combat.

It would be too simplistic to attribute the German economic failure in Russia simply to the Soviet success in dismantling, removing and destroying the industrial base, infrastructure and raw material supplies, to the deportation of millions of workers or to the increasing partisan threat. All of these factors were no doubt very important. Another aspect, however, was at least as significant. When Germany invaded the USSR she did so despite an almost total lack of knowledge of real Soviet military strength, of the size of Soviet arms production, of the capacity of the main centers of military industrial output, or of Soviet preparations for total war. Even worse, Germany was totally unprepared to overcome the serious transportation bottlenecks which developed almost immediately and had no plans whatever for running an economy which had depended on centralized planning directives from Moscow, where every kind of private initiative had been stifled, where the entire administrative, managerial and technical class had been deported and where public records had been largely removed. Not only did Soviet brutality and lack of any restraint differ from the practice during the historic national wars in Europe, but it soon also became apparent that the challenge of a smoking remains of an economy, run on an organizational pattern vastly different from that familiar to Europeans, posed insurmountable problems. The added liability of the disappearance of the entire organizational, administrative and technical apparatus turned a task which was almost impossible to begin with into chaos. Chaos brought starvation, and starvation brought support for the partisans. The book has not yet been written which analyses the German military defeat in Russia in terms of her failure to get the economy of the occupied territories organized effectively and producing again.

The lack of success in finding a solution to the food problem was partly due to Germany’s inability to effectively revamp Soviet agriculture during the limited time available and to her scruples in burdening an already downtrodden population even further. Thus, assistance measures like the so-called Ostackerprogramm, while gigantic in terms of absolute aid to the agriculture of the Occupied Eastern Territories, were really doomed to failure from the start because they did not remove the cause of the problem. In effect, Germany tried to keep alive by artificial means the amputated trunk of a society devoid of its brains and muscles.


It is an indisputable fact that the systematic Soviet dismantling of factories and their shipment to the Urals, the carefully planned removal and destruction of raw materials stocks and food supplies, and the large-scale deportation of civilians were started long before 22 June 1941. Indeed, evidence indicated that these efforts were greatly intensified ten to fourteen days prior to that date. Now, we do not know whether Stalin believed that a German attack would come on the precise date of 22 June 1941, although Sorge and others had provided such information to him. Possibly, Stalin thought that Germany’s military build-up was insufficient to allow her to strike on the day reported to him. But this is really beside the point. Both sides knew that the other would attack as soon as it was ready. This fact demolishes forever the charge of a German sneak attack on an unprepared, peace-loving Soviet Union. The initial German military successes were achieved not because of the element of surprise but despite Stalin’s knowledge of German preventive action and despite a huge Soviet military build-up for an attack on central Europe, which was the reason for Germany’s preventive war in the first place. Furthermore, the allegation of systematic German brutality in Russia is exposed as plain Soviet propaganda. It is true that starvation was widespread in the large cities of the German-occupied Soviet Union, that large numbers of Soviet prisoners-of-war died of hunger, that the Soviet cities were in ruins after the German armies retreated, and that the Soviet population suffered tens of millions of dead during the Second World War. However, we also know that the inhumane Soviet scorched-earth strategy was the cause of hunger in the German-occupied Soviet territories, of an orgy of destruction previously unknown in warfare, and of the death of up to 20 million Soviet civilians, many of whom had been deported to the frozen wastes of Siberia and the Urals where epidemics, lack of housing and medical care, unimaginably hard work loads, and an extreme climate allowed only the toughest to survive. Add the costly human-wave tactics of Soviet military strategy and it is evident that Soviet brutality alone was responsible for the unbelievably huge losses of life suffered by the peoples of the Soviet Union – more than 30 million dead!

The real number of Soviet war losses is not the main focus of this paper, and space does not permit a detailed examination of this subject here. However, an appendix has been added which attempts to arrive at a more realistic estimate of Soviet war casualties based on an analysis of postwar USSR census figures from 1959, 1970 and 1979 and a comparison with the Soviet census of 1939 adjusted to the extent possible for border and population changes between 1939 and 1945. Suffice it here to say that the Soviets lost more than 25 percent of their male and almost 9 percent of their female population. For the population left under Stalin’s control at the height of German expansion in Russia, the equivalent losses are 33 percent and 13 percent. It is curious that contemporary standard treatments of Soviet wartime losses generally admit to just 20 million dead. Why this unusual understatement for a wartime ally? Well, to admit that the Soviets lost almost 20 million civilians rather than 6-7 million during the Second World War would place the responsibility for most of the non-military losses on the Soviets themselves.

Naturally, the alleged German rampage in Russia fits neatly into the “Holocaust” tale. After all, the area of the Soviet Union occupied by Germany had been populated by more than 3.5 million Jews before 22 June 1941. /42 If one adds the nearly one million Jewish refugees in eastern Poland in early 1940, it is obvious that to maintain the genocide charge it has been necessary to draw a curtain of silence around the Soviet long-term preparation, anticipation, thoroughness, brutality, and scale of scorching the earth during the Second World War. Since the historical framework within which the alleged German mass murder is supposed to have been perpetrated simply did not exist, it became necessary to create the myths which superficially appeared to be substantiated by what was obvious to everyone: The initial swift German advances and the horrible destruction of Soviet cities and countryside after the Germans were forced out again.

It is up to us to lift this curtain of silence and concealment and to replace the myth of Soviet unpreparedness with the horrible truth of Soviet scorched earth.


Soviet Casualties During the Second World War

The USSR has never published any data on Soviet war casualties. But the censuses taken in the post-war period can help give a good idea of the probable size of the Soviet losses. A distinction between military and non-military losses, however, still is not possible with any great degree of accuracy. The census of 17 January 1939 found a population of 170.56 million, of which 81.70 million (47.9%) were male. The first post-war census conducted in December 1959 counted 208.83 million inhabitants; males accounted for 94.05 million (45%) of them. A direct comparison between these two counts is not possible, though, because the Soviet Union annexed huge territories in eastern Europe in the period from September 1939 to the summer of 1940 and then again in 1945: the Baltic countries, eastern Poland, northern Bukovina, Bessarabia, and the Carpathian Ukraine. In the course of its territorial expansion in the years 1939 and 1940 the Soviet Union absorbed at least 24 million Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Jews, White Russians, Ukrainians, Poles and Rumanians, to name just the most important nationalities. Also, between January 1939 and June 1941 the natural excess of births over deaths added another 7-8 million people. Thus, at the beginning of the war with Germany in June 1941 there were about 202 million people under Soviet rule.

The sex structure of the Soviet population of 202 million (June 1941) was not affected by the incorporation of 24 million people between 1939 and 1940, because most of the absorbed territories had belonged to the Tsarist empire until 1917 and thus the enormous male casualties suffered during the First World War were reflected in the demographic structure of those areas as well. But the excess births over deaths between 1939 and 1941 did result in a very slight improvement of the male share to 48 percent. To summarize: Of the 202 million people in the Soviet Union at the beginning of the war in June 1941, 97 million were male (48%) and 105 million female (52%). A comparison of these figures with the census of 1959 is encumbered by the fact that after the war further territorial changes and forcible population exchanges with neighboring satellite countries took place. For example, the area around Bialystok, which was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1939, was returned to Communist post-war Poland. At the same time, the Soviets annexed the Carpathian Ukraine. Then, too, many Poles residing in eastern Poland were removed after the war to areas previously populated by Germans, while many Ukrainians living west of the line of the Bug and San rivers were transferred to Ukraine.

Development of the Soviet Population: 1939 to 1979 (millions)


Male (percent)


Female (percent)



Census of January 1939 81.70 (47.9) 88.86 (52.1) 170.56
a) Estimated resident population of eastern Poland, Baltic countries, northern Bukovina, Bessarabia, and Polish refugees from central Poland +11.50 (47.9) +12.50 (52.1) +24.00
b) Estimated natural population growth until June 1941 +3.80 (51.0) +3.64 (49.0) +7.44
Estimate for June 1941 97.00 (48.0) 105.00 (52.0) 202.00
Soviet War Casualties* 23.87 9.00 32.87
Estimate for June 1945 73.13 (43.2) 96.00 (56.8) 169.13
Net increase 1945-1959
Births (at least) 30.10 30.10 60.2
Deaths (estimate) 9.18 11.32 20.5
Net total 20.92 (52.7) 18.78 (47.3) 39.70
Census of December 1959 94.05 (45.0) 114.78 (55.0) 208.83
Net increase 1959-1970 17.35 (52.7) 15.54 (47.3) 32.89
Census of January 1970 111.40 (46.1) 130.32 (53.9) 241.72
Net increase 1970-1979 10.90 (52.7) 9.78 (47.3) 20.68
Census of January 1979 122.30 (46.6) 140.10 (53.4) 262.40
* Difference between the 1941 and 1945 population estimates.

Whether all of these changes provided the Soviet Union with a net population gain or loss cannot be determined today with certainty. In addition, there is the well-known fact that many former Soviet citizens fled to the West when the German armies withdrew from Russia. Many of them were able to find their way to western countries despite Allied efforts to force them to return to the Soviet Union after 1945. But these lucky ones are more than matched by the millions deported by the Soviets from central and eastern Europe after the war. It is just about impossible to obtain even approximate figures for these population changes, but it can be argued (and this analysis starts from the basis) that these changes did not produce major additions or subtractions.

The total number and the sex composition of the Soviet population at the end of the war in 1945 can be estimated if we draw on the post-war censuses of December 1959, January 1970 and January 1979. The age groups of 0 to 15 years (1945-1959) accounted for 60.2 million people according to the census of December 1959. Available statistics indicate that the mortality rate averaged 0.72% between 1945 and 1959; on the basis of an average population of 190 million the total number of deaths during this period may be estimated at 20.5 million. Thus, the net population growth until 1959 was almost 40 million. Subtracting this figure from the 1959 population of about 209 million we arrive at a 1945-population of only 169 million! Finally, if we compare the 1941 figure (202 million) with the one for 1945, it is obvious that the Soviet Union’s total war casualties amounted to 33 million! The distribution of this immense loss of life among both sexes can also be estimated by using the post-war censuses. Between 1959 and 1970 the net population gain was 32.89 million, and between 1970 and 1979 it was 20.68 million. Males accounted for 52.74 percent of this total increase of 53.57 million. Applying this percentage to the increase of barely 40 million between 1945 and 1959, it is obvious that males increased by almost 21 million.

The Soviet censuses of 1939, 1959, 1970 and 1979, as well as the estimates for the years 1941 and 1945, are listed above.

Despite the above-mentioned uncertainties pertaining to the various population movements, it is nevertheless possible to state with a great degree of probability that Soviet war losses during the Second World War exceeded 30 million and that only 73 million of the previous 97 million males survived the war. In short, more than 25 percent of the males had to sacrifice their lives for the Soviet cause! The female Soviet population suffered 9 million dead, or almost 9 percent. Citing official sources, the Swiss newspaper Die Tat (January 1955) reported 13.6 million Red Army deaths during the Second World War. The same figure was published by the Ploetz Publishing House in Wuerzburg/Germany, and other sources — for example, the West German Historical Military Research Institute — mentioned similar figures. If this huge military loss is accurate, Soviet civilian losses must have been 19.3 million, of which, in turn, 9 million were female and 10.3 million male. The terrible conditions behind Soviet lines, which included hunger, exhaustion, deaths from exposure to cold, epidemics, lack of medications and medical care, catastrophic living conditions (tents, earth huts), and the terror of an inhumane regime fighting for its survival, caused most of these deaths, as the 9 million female casualties indicate.


  1. Helmdach, Erich. Täuschungen und Versäumnisse, Berg am See: 1979, p. 155.
  2. Brennecke, Gerhard. Die Nürnberger Geschichtsentstellung, Tuebingen: 1970, p. 303.
  3. Fischer, Ludwig, and Friedrich Gollert. Warschau unter deutscher Herrschaft, Cracow: 1942, p. 186.
  4. Brennecke, Die Nürnberger Geschichtsentstellung, pp. 303 and 322.
  5. Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg (Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt, Ed.), Stuttgart: 1983, Volume 4, p. 785.
    ibid., p. 782.
  6. Scott, John. Jenseits des Ural, Stockholm: 1944, p. 304.[English edition: Behind the Urals, Boston: 1942.]
  7. Helmdach, Erich. Überfall? Der sowjetisch-deutsche Aufmarsch 1941, Neckargemuend/Germany: 1978, 4th Chapter.
  8. Scott, Jenseits des Ural, p. 310.
  9. , pp. 303 and 310.
  10. Telpuchowski, Boris Semionowitsch. Die Geschichte des Großen Vaterländischen Krieges 1941-1945, (Andreas Hillgruber and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, eds.), Frankfurt/Main: 1961, pp. 81-83, 86.
  11. Wirtschaftsstab Ost. Vierzehntagesbericht Wi Stab Ost (3.8.-16.8. 1941), 30 August 1941, Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/11.
  12. Telpuchowski, Die Geschichte des Großen Vaterländischen Krieges, p. 81 and 82.
  13. Aschenauer, Rudolf. Krieg ohne Grenzen, Leoni, 1982, p. 115.
  14. Sanning, Walter N. The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry, Torrance, Calif.: 1983, 3rd Chapter.
  15. Die UdSSR Anfang 1941, (Date unknown), Federal Archives Koblenz/Germany, Bestand R 24/817.
  16. Telpuchowski, Die Geschichte des Großen Vaterländischen Krieges, p. 84.
  17. Sanning, The Dissolution, pp. 86-101.
  18. Wirtschaftsstab Ost, Chefgruppe W. Wirtschaftsgrößenordnungen für die besetzten Ostgebiete, 3 March 1943, Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/260.
  19. Reichsministerium fuer die besetzten Ostgebiete. Bericht über die Tätigkeit der Chefgruppe Wirtschaft im Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete, 20 November 1944. Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/260.
  20. Telpuchowski, Die Geschichte des Großen Vaterländischen Krieges, p. 85.
  21. Bericht über die Tätigkeit der Chefgruppe Wirtschaft im Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete, 20 November 1944, p. 4.
  22. Telpuchowski, Die Geschichte des Großen Vaterländischen Krieges, p. 78.
  23. Wirtschaftsstab Ost. Halbmonatsbericht Wi Stab Ost (1.-15.10.41), 2 November 1941, Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/310.
  24. Memorandum dated 3 October 1941, titled Die Versorgung der Städte Rußlands im noch unbesetzten Gebiet, Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/11.
  25. Dallin, Alexander. German Rule in Russia 1941-1945, London: 1957, p. 367.
  26. ibid.
  27. , p. 368.
  28. Perspektiven zur Verpflegungsversorgung der U.d.S.S.R. im Winterfeldzug 1942/43, (Date unknown), Chef d.Vers.d.200.Schtz. Div. der 5. Armee, Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/23Z.
  29. Dallin, German Rule in Russia, p. 375.
  30. Letter from the Reichsminister fuer die besetzten Ostgebiete dated 5 August 1942 to Ministerialdirektor Riecke concerning the food supply of the civilian population in the Occupied Eastern Territories (Versorgung der Zivilbevölkerung in den besetzten Ostgebieten), Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/310: contains excerpts from the secret monthly and special reports made by the Economic Staff East, the German military and the German civilian administration of the RK Ostland and the RK Ukraine.
  31. Wirtschaftsstab Ost, Halbmonatsbericht Wi Stab Ost (16.-31.10.41), 27 November 1941, Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/68.
  32. Wirtschaftsstab Ost, Halbmonatsbericht Wi Stab Ost (1.-15.11.41), 8 December 1941, Military Archives Freiburg/Germany, Bestand RW 31/68.
  33. Letter from the Reichsminister für die besetzten Ostgebiete dated 5 August 1942 to Ministerialdirektor Riecke.
  34. Bericht über die Tätigkeit der Chefgruppe Wirtschaft im Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete, p. 5.
  35. ibid.
  36. Statistisches Jahrbuch für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1952 (Statistical Yearbook of the Federal Republic of Germany), Statistical Office, Wiesbaden, lists the value of production of industrial countries before the Second World War. Net production reached the following shares of gross production in the years indicated: U.S.A. (1939) 43%; United Kingdonl (1935) 42%; Canada (1937) 42%; Norway (1937) 36%; Denmark (1939) 47%; Finland (1937) 42%; South Africa (1937) 45%.
  37. ibid.
  38. Klein, Burton H. Germany’s Economic Preparations for War, Cambridge/Mass.: 1959, p. 256. The gross national product of the German Reich for 1942 and 1943 was given as RM 143 and RM 160 billion, respectively. Relative to the entire reconstruction assistance of about RM 3 billion (incl. agricultural aid of RM 445 million) provided to the Occupied Eastern Territories this amounts to 1%.
  39. ibid.
  40. Dallin, German Rule in Russia 1941-1945, p. 375.
  41. ibid.
  42. Sanning, The Dissolution, p. 52.
  43. , 4, Chapter.

From The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1985 (Vol. 6, No. 1), pages 91-116. This paper was first presented at the Sixth IHR Conference, February 1985, in Anaheim, California.

About the Author

Walter N. Sanning is the pen name of a scholar and businessman who was born in 1936 into an ethnic German family in an area that for decades was a part of the former Soviet Union. After a childhood in wartime Germany, he migrated in the 1950s to the United States, where he met his wife. He graduated from a prominent Pacific Northwest university with a bachelor’s degree (high honors) in business.

With a scholarship, he was a graduate student at an East Coast Ivy League university, where he concentrated on international business, finance and economics. He then taught business, finance and economics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at a major West Coast university. The Sanning family moved to Germany in 1970, where he then worked for years for a major financial institution.

After teaching for some years at a prominent West Coast University, in the 1970s he went into private business, and assumed a leading position. He has devoted considerable time and effort to research in US and German archives. He is married, and speaks English and German. He and his wife have four children, all of them born in the United States.

Nationalism and Genocide: The Origin of the Artificial Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine


Valentyn Moroz

An indicative feature of the mass media’s portrayal of modern history is the striking contrast between the heavy volume of “Holocaust” material and the silent treatment given to the appalling record of Soviet mass slaughter, even though the number of Stalin’s victims alone vastly exceeds even the most exaggerated figures of alleged “Holocaust” victims. While names like Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau have been unforgettably engraved into our collective consciousness, few Americans recognize Vorkuta, Kolyma, or any of the many other Soviet camps where at least twenty million people are conservatively estimated to have perished. And whereas Americans have been taught to instantly recognize the name of Heinrich Himmler, hardly anyone has heard of Soviet secret police chiefs Nikolai Yezhov or Genrikh Yagoda, each of whom murdered many more people, and in less time, than Himmler is reputed to have killed.

The gruesome record is well documented. Nobel prize-winning author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has detailed the horrors of the Soviet concentration camp system, which held up to fifteen million prisoners at a time. In The Great Terror, British historian Robert Conquest cautiously estimated the number of Stalin’s political victims at 20 to 30 million. (Stalin once privately admitted to Churchill that some ten million kulaks had been killed for resisting the confiscation of their farms.) In Stallin’s Secret War, Nikolai Tolstoy exposes as a fraud the official Soviet claim, widely parroted by the Western media, that 20 million Soviet citizens were killed by the Axis during the Second World War. Tolstoy demonstrates that most of those 20 million were actually victims of the Soviet regime. Russian historian Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko estimates in A Time of Stalin that the Soviet rulers have killed more than eighty million of their own people to keep themselves in power.

Stalin’s single most horrific campaign was perhaps the organized mass starvation of 1932-1933, which he used as a weapon to totally crush peasant resistance to the forced collectivization of agriculture. Soviet military units confiscated all available food in vast areas, condemning the inhabitants to death by hunger. As Conquest points out, this is perhaps the only case in history of a purely man-made famine. He estimates that the campaign claimed five to six million lives, including more than three million Ukrainians. Other historians have put the number of Ukrainian famine victims at six or even seven million. An important new work on this subject is Miron Dolot’s moving memoir, Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust, which includes a valuable introduction by Adam Ulam.

In the following essay, Ukrainian historian Valentyn Moroz dissects the origins of the imposed famine of 1932-1933. He takes exception to the generally accepted view that the campaign was carried out for purely socio-economic reasons, and holds instead that the decisive motivation was Moscow’s need to maintain the multi-national Soviet Russian empire. Stalin destroyed the independent Ukrainian peasantry, Moroz writes, because it was the foundation and lifespring of Ukrainian nationalism.

— Mark Weber

In 1921, at the Tenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, it was resolved that the country’s non-Russian nations (nationalities) required assistance. / 1

a) to develop and strengthen locally Soviet statehood in such forms as are applicable to the national and social conditions of these nations;

b) to develop and strengthen locally, in their native languages, the legal system, administrative and economic organs, and government organs, consisting of local people who are acquainted with the living conditions and mentality of the local population;

c) to develop locally the press, schools, the theater, social clubs, and all cultural and educational institutions in their native languages;

d) to create and develop a wide spectrum of courses and education institutions in both the humanities and the technical and professional fields in their native languages …

Thus began the policy known as “korenizatsiia” or “return to the roots,” which is an instructive and very interesting phenomenon in the history of the modern Russian empire. In Ukraine this policy became known as “ukrainizatsiia” or “Ukrainianization.” In fact, this term was widely used in official documents during the 1920s. The Edict of 1923 described Ukrainianization with these words. / 2

… The people’s government acknowledges the necessity … of concentrating the attention of the state in the near future on broadening the knowledge of the Ukrainian language. The formal equality of the two most widely used languages — Ukrainian and Russian — has so far been insufficient. The processes of life, as experience has indicated, in reality favor the predominance of Russian. To remove this inequality the government will implement a series of practical measures which, while guaranteeing the equality of every language used on Ukrainian territory, must safeguard a position for Ukrainian corresponding to the size and strength of the Ukrainian nation on the territory of the Ukrainian nation on the territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

These days there is a tendency to regard this policy of Ukrainianization as a tactical ploy by Moscow to expose and destroy all patriotic Ukrainians. This is an extreme view. Obviously, Moscow had tactical considerations in introducing this policy. But it should be understood that Moscow was forced to adopt this policy. The impulse behind Ukrainianization came from far beyond the walls of the Kremlin and emerged from quite different sources.

The Revolution of 1917 stimulated a powerful renaissance among the non-Russian nations of the Russian empire, and this process continued even after these peoples were militarily subdued by the Soviet Russian forces. National development found means of self-expression even under the conditions of Soviet rule. While the facts and figures of the expansion of Ukrainainization are of interest for their own sake, even more interesting is the story of how the people involved found the means of carrying out this process of national development under the conditions of totalitarian one-party rule. This was possible because a kind of second political party, which was never proclaimed and formalized as such, existed during the 1920s. This alternate party was private enterprise.

The Tenth Congress of the Communist Party symbolically announced the introduction of the “new economic policy” or NEP in 1921 and shortly thereafter was also forced to proclaim the “korenizatsiia” policy of a return to native roots. New opportunities for private enterprise in economic life automatically also brought about a national renaissance among the non-Russian peoples. The “new economic policy” (NEP) not only meant a total change in economic life but in social and cultural life as a whole. Private entrepreneurs began demolishing totalitarianism in countless different ways. A shop owner operating his own business or a doctor with his own practice quickly became independent of the commissar with the red cloth on his table. They were soon also regarded as socially higher. And although these entrepreneurs had to recite the Communist slogans and jargon whenever required, the free market and not the Party came to govern their lives. Like the legendary genie suddenly released from his bottle, free enterprise spread swiftly.

This meant that, in practice, life became pluralistic, despite the protests of orthodox Communists concerned about the purity of party doctrine. And all this gave subconscious moral strength to the national movements. One felt able to “breathe” and express oneself at last. In Ukraine many associations of artists and writers were formed. An innovative and experimental theatrical life began to develop. In such conditions it was natural that legally sanctioned competition between the Ukrainian and Russian national influences would eventually develop. Among those who recognized this was Dmytro Lebed, who coined the theory of the “struggle between two cultures” in which the state should not intervene.

From the outset the Russians regarded Ukrainianization as a temporary political phenomenon, and accordingly sought to make it a purely formal letter, not to be taken seriously. For example, during a certain party conference an economic administrator from an outlying district, after listening to resolutions on the necessity of having administrators use Ukrainian in their official work, began speaking to his district director in Ukrainian. To this the official replied in Russian: “Speak like a human being!” But despite such resistance, a virtual army of patriotic Ukrainian academics and other culturally and politically active individuals greatly furthered the process of Ukrainianization. Supporters of this process of national renaissance came into high and sometimes even key positions. Because of Russian chauvinist resistance, Ukrainianization didn’t really begun to develop until 1925. A 1927 letter from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine to the Communist International (Comintern) dealt with numerous “distortions” regarding the Ukrainianization process. / 3

These distortions lie in the ignoring of and failure to value adequately the national question in Ukraine (which is frequently masked by internationalist phrases), particularly:

1) in the belittling of Ukraine’s significance as a part of the USSR, in the attempt to interpret the creation of the USSR as the actual liquidation of the national republics;

2) in the instruction that the party remain neutral toward the development of Ukrainian culture, in the interpretation of it as backward and “rural” compared to Russian “proletarian” culture;

3) in the attempt to maintain at all costs the dominance of the Russian language in the governmental, social, and cultural life of Ukraine;

4) in the formalistic attitude towards the development of Ukrainianization, which is often accepted only theoretically;

5) in the uncritical repetition of chauvinistic and imperialistic views about the so-called artificiality of Ukrainianization, the unintelligibility of the “Galician” language for the nation, and so forth, and in cultivation of these views within the party;

6) in the attempt to hinder the implementation of the policies of Ukrainianization in the towns and among the proletariat, confining it only to the villages;

7) in the frequent tendency to exaggerate isolated cases of distortion in the implementation of Ukrainianization, and in the attempt to portray these as an entire political system which violates the rights of national minorities (Russians, Jews, etc.).

It was characteristic of the time that the Communist Party of Ukraine could bypass the Central Committee in Russia and appeal directly to the Communist International, even though it was still a part of the all-encompassing “Soviet” Communist party. This is another indication of the pluralism and national self-expression which de facto manifested itself under conditions of Soviet rule, despite and in opposition to totalitarian doctrine.

The record shows that Ukrainianization was an important and very real development. Its impact may be compared to a torpedo exploding a dangerously threatening hole in the hull of the imperial ship of state. Millions of Ukrainian children were now being taught in Ukrainian. This was something for which several generations of Ukrainians had fought. In 1930 an astonishing 89 percent of the books published in Ukraine were printed in the Ukrainian language. That same year, the Eleventh Congress of the Communist Party of Ukraine reported. / 4

… A turbulent increase in Ukrainianization is apparent among the proletariat, particularly among its chief groups. Along with this there is an indisputable and systematic increase in the number of Ukrainians in the proletariat …. During the past three years the number of people who can read, write, and speak in Ukrainian has greatly increased …. The professional associations of Ukraine should take it upon themselves, as leaders of the masses, to ensure the availability of cultural services in Ukrainian for the working masses and also to make certain that the movement inspires the workers towards cultural and national development ….

These three elements — the schools, the press, and the Ukrainianization of the proletariat — are a strong base which will guarantee a rapid and unprecedented development of a Ukrainian culture which is national in form and proletarian in content.

All this created unease in Moscow, where it was understood that the continuation of this process would eventually mean the end of Russian hegemony in Ukraine. Two tendencies became apparent during the years of Ukrainianization that raised ominous questions about the future of the Russian empire.

Firstly, the major role of the village in the process of Ukrainianization became obvious. The village had long been recognized as the conserving bastion of national traditions. But now it was also clearly a powerful impetus for Ukrainianization in the towns and cities as well. The most talented Ukrainian national authors and cultural leaders of the 1920s were from the villages, which provided a solid base of some forty million people for the development of Ukrainianization. Ukrainian blood from the villages flowed into the veins of new Ukrainian social and cultural institutions developing in the cities. As these structures grew visibly stronger it became increasingly evident that this powerful and turbulent stream would eventually sweep aside all Russian influence. Joseph Stalin, the most important Bolshevik theoretician on the national question, clearly understood the crucial importance of the village in this process. In a speech to the Tenth Soviet Communist Party Congress in 1921 he pointed out. / 5

It is obvious that although the Russian element is still predominant in Ukrainian cities, within a short period of time these cities will doubtlessly be Ukrainianized. Forty years ago Riga was a German city, but because the village population moves to the cities and determines their character, Riga is now a Latvian city. Fifty years ago every city in Hungary had a German character, but now each is Hungarian. The same can be said for the cities of Ukraine because the village population will move to the cities. The village is the representative of the Ukrainian language and this language will penetrate every Ukrainian city and there become the dominant language.

Secondly, a clear distinction developed between archaic and modern nationalism. The first could express itself only in traditional and limited forms. It was thus able to co-exist for many years within a colonial structure, within the framework of an alien empire, and dominated by a foreign dynasty. In contrast, the modern form of nationalism was aggressive and dynamic, intolerant of colonial structures and inclined to demolish them. It was characterized by an alliance of the village and a national intelligentsia which emerged from native ethnic roots. (This modern form of nationalism brought down the European colonial empires in Asia and Africa during the 1940s and 1950s, and was accompanied by major conflicts and social upheaval.)

The process of Ukrainianization during the 1920s gave birth to a concept that had the potential of becoming an umbrella or screen behind which meaningful Ukrainian nationalism could develop under the new conditions of Soviet rule. This concept was best formulated by the writer Mykola Khvyloviy, who coined the slogans “Away from Russia!” and “We can do without a Russian conductor.” Even the titles of his essays (such as “Russian Slops”) convey the new atmosphere and direction that emerged from Ukrainianization. With this concept, Ukrainian cultural, social and even political development could be furthered using acceptable “proletarian” jargon. In his polemical dispute with Russian newspapers, Khvyloviy wrote. / 6

Today, as Ukrainian poetry follows its own direction, Moscow is no longer able to tempt it with baubles …. And this is not because this or that Ukrainian participant in the dispute is more talented than this or that Russian (God forbid!) but because the Ukrainian reality is more complex than the Russian, because we have before us different tasks, because we are the young class of a young nation, because our literature is young ….

Because our literature has at last found its own path of development, the question now lies before us: Which of the world’s literatures should we follow? In any case, not Russian literature. That is absolutely crucial. We must not confuse our political union with literature. Ukrainian poetry must move away from Russian literature and its influence as soon as possible. The Poles would never have given us Mickiewicz if their orientation towards Russian art had not ceased. The fact is that Russian literature has been weighing us down for centuries, like a master who has trained our mentality into slave-like imitation. So, to feed our young art with Russian literature is to restrain its development. We are aware of proletarian ideas without the help of Russian art. To the contrary, we, as representatives of a young nation, will more easily sense these ideas and will more quickly recreate them in suitable works of art. We will orient ourselves towards western European art, toward its style and methods.

We have philosophized enough. Let us at last use our guide. We do so not with the intention of harnassing our art to yet another foreign wagon, but in order to free it from the suffocating atmosphere of backwardness. We will go to Europe to learn, but in a few years we will return burning with a new light. Do you hear what we want, Moscow-lovers with your Russian slops? So, death to the Dostoyevskys! Let us begin a cultural renaissance!

It is also characteristic of the time that Khvyloviy came from a Russified milieu. This itself was his inspiration. Khvyloviy, who had been named Fitilov, knew from personal experience the swamp-like world of Russified Ukrainians. He thus knew best how to fight against it. The most effective preacher is a Saul converted into a Paul.

As Moscow watched, new institutions were developing that were both Communist and Ukrainian. Along with others, Khvyloviy exclaimed: “We are aware of proletarian ideas without the help of Russian art.” The next and inevitable stage in the realization of the slogan “Away from Russia!” would have been the political separation of Ukraine from Russia. And that would have meant the collapse of the Russian empire. As everyone realized, Russia without Ukraine would automatically be reduced to the small realm (khanate) of Moscovy it had once been in the 16th century before Tsar Peter I.

The successful development of Ukrainianization (and of parallel national developments in other Soviet republics) was not limited to literary life. The non-Russian nations of the USSR chalked up other important achievements that threatened Russian hegemony. One was the establishment of “native” (territorial) armies. Out of a total of 17 army divisions based in Ukraine in the late 1920s, eight were “native” divisions consisting almost entirely of Ukrainians. These divisions also used Ukrainian as the language of communication and military command. Ukrainian was also the language of instruction in some military schools. Other non-Russian peoples had similar military formations. There were two Byelorussian divisions, two Georgian, and one Armenian, as well as one Tatar regiment, one Tadzhik regiment, and so forth. National non-Russian educational systems also developed. Under the direction of the Ukrainian minister of education, Hryhory Hrynko, an educational system developed in Ukraine that differed in every way from the Russian form. In economic life Volobuyev introduced the concept by which Ukraine would develop a national economy separate from Russia. And so it went in every sphere of Ukrainian life.

Moscow understood that if this process was allowed to continue for another decade the Soviet Russian empire would break up along national lines, much as the Austro-Hungarian empire had at the end of the First World War. The Kremlin rulers realized another essential reality: the empire could only be held together with totalitarianism. And that meant totalitarianism in every sphere of life. Only absolute state power could guarantee a unified empire. Although Russian chauvinistic opposition to the Ukrainian renaissance never completely disappeared, it was ineffective during the 1920s for two reasons. Firstly, private enterprise automatically brought with it pluralism in other spheres of life. It was comparable to fresh rain falling on the young shoots of the national movement. Secondly, the national awakening unleashed by the revolution of 1917 burgeoned during the decade of the 1920s.

The historical pendulum began to swing in a different direction at the close of the 1920s. The energy of the national renaissance was depleted, indicating the beginning of a decline. The regrouped imperial forces sensed that the time had come to strike back. Their revenge took three forms: 1. The elimination of private property in the villages and the imposition of totalitarian agriculture in the form of the collective farm (“kolhosp” or, in Russian, “kolkhoz”); 2. The uprooting of private enterprise in industry and trade; 3. The annihilation of pluralism in the arts. All cultural associations were replaced by unitary cultural unions, one each for writers, artists, journalists, and so forth.

The crucial essence of this program was the annihilation of the traditional village structure, which had always been the nation’s foundation. Stalin recognized the key role of the village in the movement for national liberation. “The village is the major army in a national movement,” he wrote. “Without the village the movement becomes impossible. This is what we mean when we say that the national question is, in effect, the village question. / 7

In planning the artificial famine of 1933, Moscow sought to strike a fatal blow at the village structure, not because it was socially troublesome or economically disadvantageous, but because it was the lifespring and resource foundation of the vital national spirit. Postishev, who was sent to Ukraine in 1933 as Moscow’s plenipotentiary, stated this clearly: “The mistakes and oversight of the Communist Party of Ukraine in the realization of the nationalities policy of the party was one of the major reasons for the collapse of agriculture in l931-1932.” / 8

This one sentence is enough to show that the national question triggered the catastrophe of 1933. The Plenum in 1933 and the Twelfth Congress of the Communist Party of Ukraine in January 1934 both declared that “the greatest danger in Ukraine is local Ukrainian nationalism. / 9 This marked a turning point in the Kremlin’s nationalities policy. Until then the greatest danger in the nationalities question was officially “Russian imperialistic chauvinism.” At the Twelfth Congress of the Communist Party of Ukraine, Postishev declared that “1933 was the year of the defeat of Ukrainian nationalist counter-revolution.” / 10 Moscow thus regarded the catastrophe of 1933 as an aspect of the struggle against Ukrainian national renaissance. The village and national aspects of this catastrophe were closely interconnected.

In the spring of 1933, when millions of Ukrainian villagers were starving to death, Soviet forces carried out mass executions across Ukraine. Two population groups were targeted for extermination: the intelligentsia and Ukrainain Communists who had once belonged to other parties. The census figures of 1926 and 1939 indicate that the Ukrainian population decreased by ten percent during this period, while the number of Russians increased by 27 percent. / 11 The reason for this startling contrast was explained by a witness of the 1933 famine: “There were two villages on the border between the Ukrainain Soviet Socialist Revublic and the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic. On the Ukrainian side everything was taken away, on the Russian side there were normal corn [grain] taxes and everything went according to plan. The Ukrainians climbed onto the roofs of passing trains and traveled to Russia to buy bread.” / 12

Historians have concluded that Ukraine lost 80 percent of its creative intelligentsia during the decade of the 1930s. / 13 Thus, Ukrainian culture suffered even more acutely than Ukrainian village life. While 80 percent of the books published in Ukraine in 1930 were printed in Ukrainian, in 1934 this figure had fallen to only 59 percent. / 14 At the Eleventh Congress of the Communist Party of Ukraine in 1930 there was talk of “the turbulent rise of Ukrainialization” and of the necessity for its continuation. In 1934, at the Twelfth Congress quite a different tone prevailed. /15

Before the November Plenum alone, 248 counter-revolutionaries, nationalists, spies and class enemies — among them 48 enemies who were party members — were exposed and expelled from Ukrainian research institutes and the Ministry of Education. Since then, many more of these people have been unmasked. For example, not long ago, in December, we were compelled to close down the Bahaliy Research Institute of History and Culture because we discovered that this institute, like numerous other academic organizations (such as the Ukrainian Soviet Encyclopaedia and the Shevchenko Institute where Pylypenko was administrator), was a nest of counter-revolution.

A key question in this entire issue is this: To what extent were the repressions of the 1930s carried out for socio-economic reasons? Certainly, the social and economic motivations behind this policy of repression cannot be ignored or overlooked. But these motivations must be understood within historical context. Although these repressions were social in application, they were carried out primarily to preserve Russian imperial power.

The central thesis of this essay is that socio-economic considerations played only an instrumental and auxiliary role in the policy of repression of the 1930s. The drastic socio-economic changes of this period were motivated primarily by the desire to maintain Russian imperial hegemony, and only secondarily by economic considerations. In the struggle between orthodox dogmatists and pragmatists within the Communist party in the early 1930s, the defenders of doctrine were victorious. At the same time, however, the momentum of their attack against the pragmatists gave them their imperialistic and chauvinistic impulse.

The history of the Soviet system until the Second World War is normally divided into three phases: 1. Military Communism, 1917-1921; 2. Temporary tactical retreat in the form of the New Economic Policy, 1921-1929; 3. Further development of Communism according to Marxist doctrine, from 1929. However, few historians have considered that the characteristics of the third phase are hardly pragmatic.

I would describe these three phases somewhat differently. The first phase may be called a naive Communist experiment. During this period of “military Communism” the principle of private enterprise was totally extinguished. The new Soviet state confiscated as much of the villagers’ production as it desired. (In practice this was usually as much as it could find.) A black market operated, and without it life could not have continued, even though officially it was illegal even to sell one’s own shoes. The economy quickly fell into chaos. Suffice it to mention that only one blast furnace was functioning in Ukraine in 1921.

It was obvious that this “pure Communism” would soon result in the total collapse of the new system unless the new Soviet rulers recovered quickly from their “orthodox” intoxication. The abrupt turn to pragmatism in 1921 proved effective. This NEP phase permitted extensive private enterprise in agriculture and other aspects of economic life. It ended in 1929 with a sharp return to the collectivized system. This change has been generally regarded as a return to Marxist orthodoxy after a temporary retreat. However, this view is erroneous. The socio-economic policy of the 1930s was not a return to “pure” Communist orthodoxy. It was rather a synthesis of the principle of collectivization and pragmatism dictated by exclusively imperial interests.

The Communism described in Marx’s Das Kapital is not realistic. As with any ideology, Communism in practice must take into consideration concrete national interests. The first Soviet phase of “military Communism” was only an experiment. The new Soviet rulers believed that the mythical “world revolution” and the utopian ideal of Communism would quickly usher in a worldwide proletarian paradise. These fantasies utterly ignored national considerations. The second NEP phase was a concession forced by individualistic and national factors. Only in the third phase was Communism integrated with Russian national interests. Marxist doctrine was adapted to the needs of the “Third Rome” (Moscow). (A similar process occured in China. After a series of uprooting experiments, a variant form of Communism was finally developed that might successfully serve Chinese imperial interests.)

A careful study of the Soviet collective farm system makes clear that it is not consistent with pure Communist doctrine. While the land and all agricultural implements are group property, houses, gardens, chickens, pigs, cows and many other items remained the property of individual villagers. In urban areas individuals continue to own such basic items as homes, holiday houses, and automobiles.

Beginning with the Stalin era, the Soviet system has been characterized by an ongoing combination of the collectivization principle and pragmatism. However, the nature of this pragmatism is not at all economic. If economic considerations were paramount, Moscow would long ago have disbanded the collective farms and reintroduced private enterprise in economic life. The collective farm system has brought Soviet agriculture to its knees, and the Soviet economy has still not recovered from the chronic depression caused by Stalin’s drastic experiments during the 1930s. Soviet pragmatism is thus dictated by imperial and not economic interests. The relationship between the principle of collectivization and pragmatism is adjusted according to the interests of the empire. The collective farm worker category is not a socio-economic category as much as it an imperial category, similar to the “colon” class of the late Roman era. If villagers live according to the principles of individual self-reliance and private enterprise, they maintain a vital national awareness. This consciousness makes the collapse of any empire inevitable. Imperial self-interest necessitates the destruction of the villagers’ traditional way of life. The villager is transformed into a “proletarian” who is neither tied to his land nor to his national heritage. Such rootless people easily lose touch with their native localities and migrate to the endless wastes of Siberia or Kazakhstan — from one end of the empire to the other — in search of higher wages. Moscow’s intention has been to assimilate the non-Russian half of the Soviet empire. It is also interesting to note that even during the worst economic periods of Soviet rule, there has always been sufficient liquor available in the stores. This is one Soviet product that has never been in short supply. In destroying national consciousness, liquor has been as important as official Soviet propaganda. It’s not difficult to persuade a drunk “proletarian” that as far as his national heritage is concerned “What’s the difference?”.

The collective farms are essential to the Soviet system, not because of Marxist economic doctrine (Yugoslavia gets along without them), but to maintain the empire. It is the Soviet Russian empire and not Communist orthodoxy that bans private enterprise. This is a key fact in understanding the nature of the Soviet system.

Thus, economic principles are ignored in favor of imperial interests. Not even the catastrophic economic consequences of this policy induce Moscow to change. Accordingly, the orthodox “purity” of Marxism has been abandoned. Of course, Soviet textbooks and newspapers repetitiously insist that everything is advancing “according to Marxist principles.” But whoever has the patience to read past the third page of Marx’s Das Kapital (almost no one in the Soviet Union has done so) realizes that the Kremlin ignores numerous Marxist principles. One example is the notion of “the total collapse of capitalism,” which has not occured as Marx “scientifically” predicted. Another is the Leninist thesis that the Soviet Union would not require a standing army (only a limited “people’s militia”), nor secret diplomacy, and so forth. These things are never mentioned in the USSR. While using Communist slogans for its own ends, the Soviet Russian empire has simply discarded everything about Communism that might prove advantageous to the non-Russian peoples.

The introduction of the collectivization and industrialization programs at the end of the 1920s meant that the empire once again held the reins of power tightly in its hands. During the chaos of the revolution these reins were temporarily torn from its control. State policy shifted in different directions during the 1920s in response to various forces. But when Moscow recovered and fully realized the situation, it once again adapted to the needs of the empire.

Although the impetus for the repressions of the 1930s is widely considered to have been socio-economic, often even by those who made policy, the real motivation behind the repression was a subconscious and unexpressed need to preserve the imperial system. The imperial instinct prompted the concrete social forms of the repression as well as the kind of totalitarianism that could be effective during the 1930s. If there had been no pressing imperial interests or Russian chauvinism, the repressions of the 1930s would have been only a tenth as severe. This is shown by comparing the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the Armenian massacre of 1915. Foreigners who were in Petrograd in late 1917 were astonished at how little blood was shed in the Bolshevik seizure of power. When one class fights another, many shots are fired but few people are killed. In contrast, an estimated two million Armenians were slaughtered in 1915 in an effort by the Turkish (Ottoman) empire to put an end to the Armenian national question. It is estimated that one half of the Armenian nation was murdered.

These elementary analogies are enough to show that the murder of seven million Ukrainians in 1933 could not have been motivated by socio-economic or “class” reasons alone. Conflicts claim millions of victims only in struggles between nations, as in wars, colonial struggles, and so forth, when the national question is paramount. Moscow needed a holocaust. The imposed famine of 1933 and the whole range of repressive mass killings during the 1930s were an expression of the empire’s struggle for self-preservation. It was this instinct, and not the economic doctrine of collectivization, that impelled the Kremlin to carry out the horrors of the 1930s. No one can say how “real” socialist economics are supposed to work in practice. For example, Sweden calls itself a socialist society, and some regard it as a model of socialism. But Sweden has never abolished private enterprise. And although Poland has been under complete Soviet domination since 1945, collectivized agriculture has never been introduced there.

An article entitled “The Ethnocide of the Ukrainians in the USSR,” signed by pseudonym Maksym Sahaydak, appeared in 1974 in the underground journal Ukrainian News. After quoting from Stalin’s speech to the both Soviet Communist Party Congress of 1921, predicting that the cities of the Ukraine will inevitably become Ukrainianized, the author concludes: “The invaders dreaded this as they would an inferno, and they still dread it today. Bolshevik Moscow, headed by ‘the father of all nations’ (Stalin), did everything it could to stop the Ukrainian city from becoming Ukrainianized. This was the central reason for the famine in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933.” / 16

From a historical perspective the year 1933 in the history of the Russian empire is analogous to 1848 in the Austrian empire, when the rulers in Vienna preserved the realm from dissolution by taking effective measures to repress the centrifugal national movements. This was the last great convulsion and the last effective effort for self-preservation before the final earthquake in 1918 brought about the collapse of the Habsburg empire.


  1. KPSS v resoliutsiiach i postanovleniia sezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TC (Moscow: 1954), Vol. 1, p. 559.
  2. Entsycopediia Ukrainoznavstva (1949), Vol. 1(2), pp. 547-548.
  3. Dva roky roboty. Zvit Tsentralnoho Komitetu KP (b) U. (Kharkiv [Kharkov]: 1927), pp. 57-58.
  4. XI zyizd KP (b)U. Stenohrafichnyj zvit (Kharkiv: 1930), pp. 737-738.
  5. X zyezd RKP(b). Stenohraficheskyj otchet (Moscow: 1963), p. 213.
  6. Visti BUCVK (dodatok “Kultura i pobut”), (1926).
  7. Stalin, Marksysm i natsionalno-kolonialnyj vopros (Moscow: 1935), p. 152.
  8. Ukrainskyj zbirnyk (Munich: 1957), Vol. 9, p. 71
  9. I. Hryshko, Ukrainskyj Ho1okost 1933 (1978), p. 77.
  10. Chrevonyj Shlach (Kharkiv: 1934), 2-3, p. 165.
  11. The Black Deeds of the Kremlin: A White Book (New York and Toronto: Dobrus, 1955), Vol. 2, p. 129.
  12. M-ko (I. Maystrenko), Do 25 richiia holodu 1933-ho roku. (Munich: Vpered, 1958), 7(92), p. 1.
  13. Entsyclopediia Ukrainoznavstva (Paris and New York: 1959), Vol. 3, p. 1050.
  14. Lavrynenko, Rostriliane Vidrodzheniia (Paris: 1959), p. 965.
  15. XII zyizd KP (b)U. Stenohrafichnyi zvit (Kharkiv: 1934), p. 380.
  16. Ukrainskyj Visnyk (Paris: Smoloskyp, 1975, reprint), 7-8, pp. 50-51.

From The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1986 (Vol. 6, No. 2), pages 207 – 220. This paper was first presented by the author at the Sixth IHR conference in February 1985, in Anaheim, California.

About the Author

Valentyn Moroz, historian, educator and author, has been a leading figure in the Ukrainian national movement. During the Soviet era, he was a prominent anti-Communist dissident, a stalwart fighter for human rights and national freedom, and a political prisoner for 13 years in Soviet prisons and camps.

He was born in April 1936 in a village in the Volyn region of western Ukraine. After studies at the University of Lviv (Lvov), he worked as a secondary school teacher in his native region, and he taught modern history at teacher’s colleges. He was arrested in September 1965 on charges of “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda,” declared guilty, and sentenced to four years in a labor camp with a strict regimen. While in solitary confinement in a labor camp prison, he completed a lengthy essay entitled Report from the Beria Reserve, which was smuggled out and later published in the abroad. He was transferred to the central KGB prison in Kyiv (Kiev) and then to the notorious Vladimir prison.

In 1969 Moroz was released, but nine months later he was arrested again on a new charge of “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.” He was sentenced in November 1970 to six years of prison in strict isolation, to be followed by three years in a prison camp with a strict regimen, and then five years of internal exile. During this new term of imprisonment Moroz was treated harshly, and he went on several hunger strikes in protest.

The severity of his treatment prompted widespread protests, both within Soviet Ukraine and abroad. He and his case received considerable international publicity, and protest demonstrations on his behalf were held in front of Soviet embassies and consulates in the US and Canada. It was largely in response to the international protest campaign that Soviet authorities decided to release him. In April 1979, he was exiled to the United States. He was released at JFK airport in New York, along with four other dissidents, in exchange for two Soviet KGB agents.

Moroz then worked for a year as a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Department of History. He completed his Ph.D. in 1982 at the Ukrainian Free University in Munich. He and his wife then made their home in Toronto, where he edited a Ukrainian journal and worked as a radio journalist. He was also prolific contributor to numerous Ukrainian periodicals in Canada and the US, and he lectured widely. In 1997 he moved back to Ukraine, and since then has made his home in Lviv, where he has been a university lecturer.