The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Is there any evidence that Hitler ordered a mass extermination of Jews?

26. Is there any evidence that Hitler ordered a mass extermination of Jews?

The IHR says:


Nizkor replies:

Of course there is. Himmler, Eichmann, Höss, and others have said that the orders for the genocide came directly from Hitler.

  • Consider that Hitler received in December 1942 a report from Himmler stating that 363,211 Jews had been murdered in August-November 1942. This was just one of many reports from the Einsatzgruppen, who had the job of exterminating the Jews and anti-Nazis behind the eastern front. A photograph and the text of the report are available.

  • Or consider a phone log from Hitler to Himmler, in which Hitler ordered "no liquidation" of a particular trainload of Jews, because they wanted one suspected passenger questioned. If Hitler did not know of the liquidation process, how could he have ordered it stopped in this one instance? (Ironically, David Irving used part of this phone log out of context to indicate that Hitler was trying to put a stop to the extermination program. Of course, this was before Mr. Irving changed his mind and decided that there never was any extermination program, much less that Hitler knew about it.)

  • From Höss' memoirs (Höss, Commandant of Auschwitz, 1959, p. 205):

    In the summer of 1941, I cannot remember the exact date, I was suddenly summoned to the Reichsfuhrer-SS [Himmler], directly by his adjutant's office. Contrary to his usual custom, Himmler received me without his adjutant being present and said in effect:

    "The Führer has ordered that the Jewish question be solved once and for all and that we, the SS, are to implement that order....The Jews are the sworn enemies of the German people and must be eradicated. Every Jew that we can lay our hands on is to be destroyed now during the war, without exception. If we cannot now obliterate the biological basis of Jewry, the Jews will one day destroy us." (R. Hoess. Commandant of Auschwitz. London: Phoenix Press. 2000 [1959]. Pg. 183)

  • Evidence presented at various war-crime trials

    SS-Obersturtmbannführer Dr. Martin Sandberger, commander of EK 1a:

    "I myself was present during the discussions in the palais Prinz Albrecht in Berlin and during the speech by Streckenbach when the well-known Führer order was announced."

    "Streckenbach personally informed me about the Führer order, which said that, in order to secure the Eastern territory permanently, all Jews, Gypsies, and communist functionaries were to be eliminated, together with all other elements who might endanger society."

    According to Sandberger, the work of an EK commander consisted of four elements:

    [Establishing] a good relationship with the army as far as possible; second a strict and energetic leadership of the commandos under his command; third, as quick and thorough an execution of an order as possible, in particular concerning the Jews; and fourth, as part of this Führer order, a bitter fight against communism.

    Q. What orders did [Brigadeführer Walter] Stahlecker give you before you left Riga?

    A. He gave me two orders particularly, the first order was to have as good a relationship as possible with the army and, second, as i have said, according to the Führerbefehl to have Estonian Jews eliminated. (From the testimany delivered for the Einsatztruppen Case, 1947-1948, vol. 6, pp. 2143-2176, quoted in Ezergailis op. cit., pps. 204 - 205, with thanks to Eugene Holman, UseNet alt.revisionism et al, June 28, 2001, Message-ID: <>)

  • Captured German documents

    SS-Brigadeführer Walter Stahlecker's Memorandum of August 6, 1941. This memorandum was written in response to Heinrich Lohse's "Guidelines on the treatment of Jews in Ostland" (July 27, 1941). Up until the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union, policy towards Jews in Nazi-occupied territory had primarily been to ghettoize them and exploit them for labor. Hinrich Lohse, the civilian governor of the Ostland, had recommended that the same policy be continued. In response to this SS-Brigadeführer Walter Stahlecker, head of Einsatzgruppe A, wrote:

    "The projected measures concerning the settling of the Jewish problem are not in harmony with those orders concerning Jews in the Ostland given by Einsatzgruppe A of the Security Police and the SD. Nor does the project take into consideration the new possibilities of cleaning up the Jewish question in the Eastern regions.

    "In the Generalgouvernement there was no serious danger to in leaving the Jews in their living quarters and work places. But in the Ostland, the resident Jews or those brought in by the Red powers became the leading supporters of the Bolshevik idea. Numerous Jews are openly communist activists. The experience so far allows us to expect that, even a long time after the military occupation of the Ost territory, disorders will arise. Sabotage and acts of terror can be expected not only from communists not caught in previous actions, but precisely from Jews who will use every possibility to create disorder. The pressing need to pacify the Ost area quickly makes it necessary to eliminate all likely sources of disorder.

    "The project apparently does not foresee the resettlement of the Jews as an immediate measure provided under paragraph V, but rather sees that as a lower, later development.

    "In closing, let me sum up by saying that the Jewish question shall be solved by 1) a complete and 100 percent clearing of the Jews from the Ost territory; 2) preventing the Jews from increasing their numbers; 3) using the Jews to the fullest as a work force; 4) a considerable facilitation for the later collective transport to a reservatrion outside Europe.

    "This definite measure can be carried out only by the forces of the Security and the Order Police.

    A post script to the letter reads:

    "Consider it desirable, before issuing any basic statement, once more to discuss these questions by word of mouth, especially since it is safer that way, and since it concerns fundamental orders from higher authority to the Security Police, ones that should not be discussed in writing"

    (The full text of the memorandum is given in A. Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia: 1941 - 1944. Riga: The Historical Institute of Latvia. 1996. Pgs. 378 - 380. with thanks to Eugene Holman, UseNet alt.revisionism et al, June 28, 2001, Message-ID: <>))

    According to Ezergailis, Stahlecker made three further rerefences to the fundamental orders - on October 15, 1941, and on January 31, 1942.

    Stahlecker's Consolidated Report, October 15, 1941:

    "From the very beginning it was to be expected that pogroms alone would not solve the Jewish problem in the Ostland. The goal of the cleansing operation of the Sicherheitspolizei, in accordance with the fundamental orders, was the most comprehensive elimination of the Jews possible."

    The same report continues:

    "It is appropriate to mention in this connection the considerable resistance by officers of the Civil Administration against the implementation of large-scale executions. This resistance was countered in all cases by pointing out that the implementation of executions was the result of a fundamental order."

    Stahlecker's Consolidated Report, January 31, 1942:

    "According to the orders of establishing basic principles to be followed, the systematic purge operations in the Ostland, including the elimination, as completely as possible of Jewry."

    (Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia: 1941 - 1944. Riga: The Historical Institute of Latvia. 1996. pg. 232. with thanks to Eugene Holman, UseNet alt.revisionism et al, June 28, 2001, Message-ID: <>)

  • Eichmann's final speech to the court, after being sentenced to death, included the following statement:

    These mass murders are solely the result of the Führer's policy.

    This is as quoted by the revisionist Paul Rassinier, The Real Eichmann Trial, 1979, p. 152.

  • Felix Kersten was Himmler's personal manual therapist. As he wrote in his memoirs (Kersten, The Kersten Memoirs, 1956, p. 162-3):

    Today I had a very long talk about the Jews with Himmler. I said that the world would no longer tolerate the extermination of the Jews; it was high time that he put a stop to it. Himmler said that it was beyond his power; he was not the Führer and Adolf Hitler had expressly ordered it. I asked him whether he was aware that history would one day point to him as one of the greatest murderers on record, because of the way in which he had exterminated the Jews. He should think of his reputation, not sully it with that reproach. Himmler replied that he had done nothing wrong and only carried out Adolf Hitler's orders.

    ... I told Himmler that he still had a chance to stand well with history by showing humanity to the Jews and other victims of the concentration camp -- if he really disagreed with Hitler's orders to exterminate them. He could simply forget certain of the Führer's orders and not carry them out.

    "Perhaps you're right, Herr Kersten," Himmler responded, but he also added that the Führer would never forgive him and would immediately have him hanged.

    Hitler met with the Mufti, Haj Amin Husseini, on 28 November 1941. Notes of the meeting were taken by Dr. Paul Otto Schmidt (see Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution, 1984, pp. 101-104). At this meeting, Hitler promised the Mufti that, after a certain objective was reached, "Germany's only remaining objective in the region would be limited to the annihilation of the Jews living under British protection in Arab lands."

  • Furthermore, don't discount Hitler's own public speeches, cited in the reply to question 1. He stated his intentions to exterminate the Jews no fewer than three times, in public.

    "No evidence," indeed.

    In the original version of the 66 Q&A, this question was the same as question 53, with different wording:

    "Is there any evidence that Hitler knew of a mass extermination of Jews?" (question 26, original);

    "What evidence is there that Hitler knew of the ongoing Jewish extermination?" (question 53, original and revised).

    That gives an idea of how much careful thought was put into this pamphlet.

    Recommended reading: Fleming's Hitler and the Final Solution

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