Monday, August 29, 2011

William Shirer's Berlin Diary and "Mercy Killings"

Source: Two entries in late 1940 in William Shirer's Berlin diary.

Comment:  Written or prepared for publication in early 1941 it must represent one of the earliest descriptions of "Mercy Killings" in the Allied public sphere.  Quite accurate in identification of 3 of the 6 major locations, but not accurate at all in his description of the genesis of the scheme.

Berlin, September 21 1940

X came up to my room in the Adlon to-day, and after we had disconnected my telephone and made sure that no one as listening through the crack of the door to the next room he told me a weird story.  He says the Gestapo is now systematically bumping off the mentally deficient people of the Reich.  The Nazis call them "mercy deaths".  He relates that Pastor Bodelschwingh, who runs a large hospital for various kinds of feeble-mined children at Bethel was ordered to be arrested a few days ago because he refused to deliver up some of his more serious mental cases to the secret police.  Shortly after this, his hospital is bombed.  By the "British".  Must look into this story.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Selections of Hans Joseph Graf MATUSCHKA's affidavit on the Hungarian Jews

Source: NG-2440, 26 August 1947 Nuernberg.  The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes.  Vol. 8, pp 248-254

I, Hans Joseph Graf (Count) MATUSCHKA was employed in the German Foreign Service from 1918 to 1919 and from 1934 to 1945.  From 1940 to the end of the war (1945), I was German Consul in Kaschau (Kassa), which then belonged to Hungary.  During this period, I observed the following facts related to the policy concerning the Jews; I am noting down these observations in lieu of oath according to the best of my knowledge and conscience.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Testimony of Henri Henripierre re Strasbourg skeleton collection

Source: Nuernberg Transcript of Proceedings, USA v. Karl Brandt, et all., pp 708-718.  December 18, 1946

Comment: The eyewitness who claims to have prepared the skeletons of Hirt's collection

Q. Witness -
A. Yes
Q. Your name is Henri Henripierre?
A. Yes sir.
Q.  You are a citizen of France?
A.  Yes, I am a French citizen.
Q.  When and where were you born?
A.  I was born in Lievres on the 23rd of August 1905
Q.  What was the year in which you were born again, please?
A.  1905
Q.  What is your present address?  That is your home address?
A.  My present address is 14 Rude De Lail, Strassbourg.
Q.  Will you tell the Tribunal just a bit about your personal history, what you have done and been doing up to the time you came to be a Clerk in the Anatomical Institute at Strasbourg?
A.  I should like fist of all to make it clear that I did not come here with any feelings of hatred or vengeance.  I came here solely owing to a sentiment of having to do my duty and out of justice.  I owe this to the 86 doctor victims whom we received in the month of August, 1943, I would, therefore, say before having to proceed with the preservation of the 86 victims that I made at least 250 preservations of Russian and Polish prisoners who died under the ill treatment at Mutzig.  That is enough to show that I know how to appreciate the difference between a violent death and a natural death.

Albert Hartl on Kiev

Source: NO-5384.  The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes. Vol 10, page 220-221

Comment:  Albert Hartl made a series of rather odd claims regarding Kiew.  This is one of them.

I, Albert HARTL, swear, despose and state:
1.  I was born in Roschholzen on 13 November 1904.  I attended elementary school in Hofkirchen from 1910 to 1914.  From 1914 to 1919 I attended the Latin School in Schayern and from 1919 to 1923 the Gymnasium in Freising.  Then I was at the High School there for a year and 4 years at Munich University.  I studied philosophy and theology.

2.  Early in 1934 I received an offer from Himmler to work on a scientific assignment for him.  In the year 1935 I took over the Intelligence Service concern church affairs.  Early in the year 1941 I came to Office IV.  Because I had differences of opinion with my officer chief Mueller, in which he reproached me for being too soft, Mueller as a punishment wanted to assign me to a shooting kommando in Kiev.  Since this task did not appeal to me, I went to Heydrich and complained.  Heydrich told me he saw my point of view and gave me a scientific assignment which I was to carry out in the east.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Memoirs of Field Marshal Keitel

Source: The Memoirs of Field Marshal Keitel, edited by Walter Gorlitz, 1965.

Comment: Might have interest in Brauchitsch, resistance networks and other sundry matters.

Page 87 [Speech of August 22 1939 at Berghof]
All the more remarkable was his Berghof speech delivered on 22nd August to the generals of the eastern armies ranged against Poland, a speech delivered with the finest sense of psychological timing and application.  Hitler was an extraordinarily gifted orator, with a masterly capability of moulding his words and phrases to suit his audience.  I would even go so far to say that he had learned his lesson from the ill-conceived meeting with the chiefs of staff, and had realised that trying to set them at odds with their commanders-in-chief had been a psychological error.  Other versions of this particular speech have been subjectively distorted, as the minute taken by Admiral Boehm, who must be regarded as absolutely impartial, clearly shows.
On 24th August, Hitler arrived in Berlin and on the 26th the invasion of Poland was due to begin.  The events in the Reich Chancellery during the days prior to 3rd September are of such world-wide and lasting historical importance that it will be better for me to leave their logical analysis and exact interpretation to professional historians; I myself can contribute but little from my own experience, and unfortunately I dispose over no notes or memoranda upon which to base my own recollections.