The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Operation Reinhard:
Introduction & Editorial Notes

On January 30, 1942, Hitler reaffirmed to the German public his prewar prophecy that a world war would result in the destruction of Jewry. Three days later, in private, he told Himmler and other evening guests:

Today we must conduct the same struggle that Pasteur and Koch had to fight. The cause of countless ills is a bacillus: the Jew. . . . We will become healthy if we eliminate the Jew.

--(Hitler's speech in the Sportplast on 30 Jan. 1942, reprinted in Max Domarus, Hitler, Reden und Proklamationen 1932-1945. Munich, 1965, II, 1,828-29; Adolf Hitler, Monologe im Führerhauptquartier 1941-1944: Die Aufzeichnungen Heinrich Heims. ed. Werner Jochmann, Hamburg, 1980. 293, 2 Feb. 1942)

Two months later Hitler associated himself completely with Himmler's broad plans for Germanization of the East. According to what Gottlob Berger heard from a firsthand source, Hitler told a group of officers whom he decorated with the Iron Cross with oak-leaf cluster:
I know exactly how far I have to go, but it is so that the whole East becomes and remains German--primeval German [urdeutsch] . . . We don't need to express our ideas about that now, and I will not speak about it. That [task] I have given to my Himmler and he is already accomplishing it.

--(Berger to Himmler, 10 April 1942, NA RG 242, T-175/R 127/2649922)

Here was the politician calculatingly allowing subordinates to carry out his dirty work. . . the nature of which would become clear all too soon . . . (Breitman, 234-35).

After the assassination (mid-1942) of Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler's Reich Protector of Bohemia-Moravia, the destruction of the Jews in the Government General (Poland) became formally known as "Operation Reinhard," in a final tribute to the slain Nazi. This document will outline the history and effectiveness of the Reinhard camps.

Arad's preface offers these reflections:

BELZEC, SOBIBOR, & TREBLINKA: An integral part of the Nazi killing machine in occupied Poland--these camps served one purpose, and one purpose only--the total destruction of the Jewish people.

The Nazi leaders adopted and executed a deliberate and massive campaign of genocide which has been documented beyond dispute and is accepted by an entire world, excepting only those Neo-Nazi elements cloaking their continuing hatred of the Jewish people in pseudo-historical nonsense.

The existence of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz, Maidanek, Chelmno and others is beyond question. The purpose for which these camps were created is also beyond question. (Request reinhard preface.arad)

This article is the result of the combined effort of many, and contains data from myriad sources. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the subscribers to the Holocaust Research Information List. Without their contributions, this document could not have been written.

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