Final solution to the Jewish question

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Goering's commission to Heydrich to create an overall organizational draft for the final solution to the Jewish question of July 31, 1941.

As the “final solution to the Jewish question” , or “final solution” for short , the National Socialists called their goal since July 1941 of murdering all those who they defined as Jews in Europe and beyond, which they systematically pursued until the armed forces surrendered unconditionally . Previously, the National Socialists used this expression to describe the state-organized expulsion or resettlement of Jews, which had been demanded by German anti-Semites since around 1880 . From 1941 onwards, this euphemism was supposed to camouflage the Holocaust (the Shoah) externally, to justify it internally.

Since the Nuremberg Trials , “Final Solution” has been used almost exclusively as an abbreviation for the Holocaust in the language of National Socialism ; other meanings no longer play a role in everyday German. Many representations of the Holocaust quote the expression (English final solution , French solution finale ) in German mostly in distancing quotation marks.

Origin of the expression

"Jewish question"

The term “Jewish question” has been used since around 1750, initially in Great Britain (Jewish Question) , and since the French Revolution in 1789 also in France (la question juive), controversial steps towards Jewish emancipation and the associated problems.

In Germany in 1843 Bruno Bauer's essay “The Jewish Question” was published. Since then, hundreds of tracts, pamphlets , newspaper articles and books have dealt with it. As “solutions” to this “problem”, opponents of the Jews suggested assimilation, resettlement or expulsion, while liberals or philosemites suggested concepts of integration , education and tolerance. In this debate it was not yet decided whether the “Jewish question” described the problems of the German Jews with their opponents or, conversely, their problem with their existence.

From around 1860 onwards the term had an increasingly anti-Semitic meaning: Jews were increasingly defined under this title as an obstacle to the identity and cohesion of the nation and as foreigners in their own country. Anti-Semites such as Wilhelm Marr , Karl Eugen Dühring , Theodor Fritsch , Houston Stewart Chamberlain , Paul de Lagarde and others declared the Jewish question to be a race problem that could not be resolved through integration To make the outlawing of “ mixed marriages ” etc. appear plausible and to displace the Jews from their supposedly dominant social position.

"Final solution"

In parallel to the gradual legal equality of Jews, early anti-Semites established a vocabulary of "eradicating", "switching off", "eliminating", "removing", "rendering harmless", "exterminating" or even "exterminating" Jews in public discourse. By means of such biological metaphors , the Jews were dehumanized and identified with pathogens, insects or parasites . Accordingly, among other things, immigration and professional bans, forced sterilization to prevent offspring, the withdrawal of all civil rights and economic repression were demanded for them.

In 1881, Eugen Dühring demanded in his popular, often published essay The Jewish Question as a Race, Moral and Cultural Question, as one of the first anti-Semites, a “final solution to the Jewish question”. To this end, he considered their “ internment under international law ” in a region designated for them, demanded an exceptional right, property control, the deportation of Jewish criminals and ultimately the “excretion of Judaism by the modern national spirit” in order to prevent its own destruction.

The Zionism responded to this anti-Semitism with suggestions for voluntary emigration of the Jewish minority in a non-European country to secure their long-term survival. Theodor Herzl began his Zionist Diary in 1881 after reading Dühring's (first published in 1920). His programmatic book Der Judenstaat from 1896 had the subtitle: The Attempt at a Modern Solution to the Jewish Question . It said: “I consider the Jewish question to be neither a social nor a religious one, if it is colored one way or the other. It is a national question, and in order to solve it we must above all make it a political world question that will be solved in the council of the civilized peoples. "

Ludwig Buechner, on the other hand, advocated assimilation of the Jews and wrote on September 2, 1884, “that the Jews themselves could and would contribute a great deal to the ultimate solution of the tiresome Jewish question if they gave up their peculiar ritual institutions [...] and tried to get through Promoting marriages between Jews and Christians to bring about a gradual amalgamation. "

The Protestant theologian Carl Friedrich Heman (1839–1919) had been of the opinion since 1882 that “the Jewish question must be solved thoroughly, finally and satisfactorily by the Jews themselves”. Although he welcomed the Christian mission to the Jews and founded the Swiss association “Friends of Israel” in 1874, he did not see the Jews as part of his own nation. That is why he endorsed Herzl's striving for a “Jewish state” and euphorically welcomed the first Zionist congress of 1897 in Basel with his writing The Awakening of the Jewish Nation: The Way to the Final Solution to the Jewish Question . He linked end-time hopes with Jewish nationalism. Most Jews, however, preferred to remain confident in the gradual establishment of liberalism in European civil societies and to participate in their democratization.

Around 1890 the anti-Semites became increasingly radicalized and organized. In his anti-Semitic catechism of 1887, Theodor Fritsch, a central figure in the “ Berlin Movement ”, called for anti-Semitism to be introduced into all parties and organizations in order to gain a majority in the Reichstag and to enforce the exclusion of Jews with a law. He rejected a separate state for the Jews in Palestine : With its propaganda for the "return of the poor persecuted Jews to their old homeland" Palestine, Zionism was only making "the final preparations for the completion of Jewish world domination". In the 28th edition of his handbook on the Jewish question from 1910 it was stated: “The final solution to the Jewish problem can only be found in the complete elimination of all Jews from Aryan national life. A compromise is unacceptable. "

The German Social Reform Party emerged in 1894 from the merger of two older anti-Semite parties from the German Empire . Your program of 1899 called for the first time to resolve the Jewish question "through complete isolation and (if self-defense dictates) the ultimate annihilation of the Jewish people". In its founding program in 1914, the German Nationalist Party also proclaimed that the final “solution to the Jewish question” would become the “world question of the 20th century”. It bundled the previous goals of the anti-Semites of the German Empire and linked them in the First World War with Greater German conquest and colonization goals . Although the anti-Semitic parties of the empire were unable to implement their goals in parliament, their organs continued to spread anti-Semitic propaganda after the end of the war, for example in the Deutschvölkischer Schutz- und Trutzbund . With the Jewish census (1916) and the stab in the back legend (1919 ff.), Anti-Semites systematically blamed German Jews for the war defeat, as well as for social and economic consequences of the war such as hyperinflation (1919–1923), the occupation of the Ruhr (1923) and the global economic crisis (1929/30).

Change of meaning in National Socialism

Ideology from 1919

The 25-point program of the NSDAP from 1920 stipulated the deprivation of full civil rights, a professional ban for public offices and press management for German Jews, their expulsion in the event of unemployment and the expulsion of the majority of immigrant Jews. It took over the aims of the organized anti-Semites of the empire. The NSDAP did not specify the methods for implementing the anti-Jewish program items until 1933.

As early as 1919, Adolf Hitler had called for anti- Semitism of reason in a commissioned report on anti- Semitism and declared: "His ultimate goal, however, must be the removal of the Jews in general." Hitler showed that for him "removal" meant the extermination of the Jews in a speech on April 6, 1920: “We do not want to be anti-Semitic who want to create a pogrom mood , but we are inspired by the relentless determination to get to the root of the evil and to root it out. In order to achieve our goal, every means must be right for us, even if we had to unite with the devil. ”On July 3, 1920, Hitler wrote to Konstantin Hierl :“ As little as I can blame a tubercle bacillus because of an activity that is for means destruction for people, but life for them means, however much I am compelled and justified to fight against tuberculosis for the sake of my personal existence by destroying its pathogens. But the Jew is and has been through millennia in his work to the racial tuberculosis of the peoples. Fighting it means removing it. "

According to the journalist Josef Hell , when asked what he would do against the Jews with full freedom of action, Hitler replied: “Once I am really in power, then the extermination of the Jews will be my first and most important task. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will, for example, have gallows set up next to gallows on Marienplatz in Munich - as many as the traffic allows. Then the Jews are hanged, one like the other, and they are hanged until they stink. They stay stuck for as long as the laws of hygiene allow. As soon as they have been untied, the next one will join them, and that will continue until the last Jew in Munich is wiped out. The same will be done in the other cities until Germany is cleansed of the last Jews. "In 1924 in" Mein Kampf "Hitler unfolded the racist justification for this and took up one of Dühring's thoughts:" Without a clear understanding of the racial problem, and thus the Jewish question, the German nation will not rise again. "

These ideas became common property in the NSDAP. After the party ban was lifted, but Hitler was still banned from speaking in Bavaria, Julius Streicher represented him as the main speaker on April 3, 1925 and said: “The Jew has been destroying the peoples for millennia. Start today so that we can destroy the Jews! ”This“ solution to the Jewish question ”was and remained an important element of Nazi propaganda during the Weimar period, even if its anti-Semitism receded somewhat during the global economic crisis from 1929 onwards.

Persecution of the Jews 1933–1939

After the NSDAP came to power in January 1933, the persecution of German Jews began with the immediate aim of forcing as many of them as possible to emigrate from Germany, weakening them economically and marginalizing them: initially through the terror of the SA , from 1934 also the Schutzstaffel (SS) , then also through state measures such as the “ Jewish boycott ” (April 1, 1933), the dismissal of “non-Aryan” civil servants (“ Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service ” of April 8, 1933) and the “ Nuremberg Laws ” of 1935. Jewish race "can be taken regardless of religious belief.

With the “Anschluss” of Austria in March 1938, the Nazi regime tightened its anti-Jewish measures. These were now aimed at the nationwide expropriation (" Aryanization "), which Hermann Göring in particular pushed as the agent for the four-year plan . The historian Hans Mommsen , on the other hand, sees the central thrust for the Aryanizations not in the active action of the headquarters in Berlin, but in the regional and local organizations of the NSDAP: They were frustrated by the factual elimination of the party from any exercise of power and were involved in the “ Jewish question “Found an outlet for their pent-up protest energies. These were only channeled by Göring and Frick. After a wave of terror by Austrian National Socialists, Reinhard Heydrich had his “ Jewish advisorAdolf Eichmann set up a “ Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna ”. Parallel to the preparations for war, representatives of the Nazi regime thought about the hostage-taking, imprisonment and murder of German and Austrian Jews. The SS organ “ Das Schwarze Korps ” wrote on November 3, 1938: “If the Jews […] declare war on us - and they have already done so - we have to treat the Jews with us in the same way as one Usually treating members of a belligerent power. ”Because German Jews are part of world Jewry , which must be liable for any German war damage.

On November 12, 1938, three days after the November pogroms , Göring threatened: “If the German Reich gets into foreign policy conflicts in any foreseeable future, it goes without saying that we in Germany will first and foremost think about a big reckoning with the to perform Jews. "on November 24, 1938 was at the Black Corps under the heading Jews, now what? to read: “The program is clear. It reads: complete elimination, complete separation! [...] The parasite people, limited in every respect to themselves, will become impoverished in this isolation, since they are neither willing nor able to work on their own! [...] The German people do not have the slightest desire to tolerate hundreds of thousands of criminals in their area who not only want to secure their existence through crimes but also want to take revenge! […] At the stage of such a development we would therefore be faced with the severe necessity of exterminating the Jewish underworld just as we do in our state of order to exterminate criminals: with fire and sword. The result would be the actual and final end of Judaism in Germany, its complete annihilation. ”The victims of the November pogroms had to finance the rearmament of the perpetrators with corresponding anti-Jewish laws and ordinances, including the“ Jewish Penance ”. Their state enforced impoverishment made the emigration of Jews much more difficult. In return, Göring had the " Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration " founded in Berlin on January 24, 1939 with the aim of "promoting the emigration of Jews from Germany [...] by all means".

On January 23, 1939, Hitler told the Czech Foreign Minister František Chvalkovský that the Jews would be "exterminated" if they could not be taken to a distant place. If the Anglo-Saxon countries did not cooperate, their death would be on their conscience. On January 30, 1939, Hitler addressed the western states in a Reichstag speech, which at the Évian Conference (July 1938) had been prepared to accept Jews who were hardly persecuted in Germany. He attributed US and British reactions to the November pogroms and previous violations of the Munich Agreement to the influence of the Jews in these states and said: “These attempts above all cannot influence Germany in the least in dealing with its Jewish question. [...] Because Europe can no longer come to rest until the Jewish question has been resolved. ”Then he openly threatened the extermination of the Jews for the first time:“ If international financial Jewry in and outside Europe were to succeed, the peoples once again into a world war to overthrow, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thus the victory of Judaism, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe. ” According to Saul Friedländer ,“ annihilation ”did not mean a systematic plan of extermination, but a calculated mass death as a result of large-scale ones Deportations . Hitler used the German Jews as a bargaining chip against foreign countries. At the same time, he had promised his supporters tougher anti-Jewish measures in the event of war, thus suggesting the active extermination of Jews. This marks his “search for radical solutions, with a touch of extreme possibilities”.

Deportation plans 1939–1941

The German attack on Poland also brought 2.5 million Polish Jews into the German sphere of influence and, from the German government's point of view, made it difficult for German and Austrian Jews to be expelled from the old Reich at times. As a result, by the end of 1939, around 200,000 Jews from the occupied territories of Eastern Europe were deported or expelled to the newly created Eastern Poland General Government in order to settle ethnic Germans in Western Poland . At the same time, by the end of 1939, around 90,000 Jews had been driven across the border into Soviet-occupied eastern Poland .

Since then Heydrich has developed ideas to deport the Jews from the "Old Reich" to a "Jewish reservation" or "Reich ghetto" around Lublin . To this end, Eichmann organized six “trial transports” of around 5000 Austrian and Czech Jews to Nisko between October 18 and 26, 1939 , where they were locked in a camp they had built themselves and then left to their own devices. However, after protests by Polish civilians and German Wehrmacht officers, these actions were reduced from October and stopped on April 14, 1940. Forced deportations of German Jews were temporarily postponed because there was not enough space for them in eastern Poland.

Deportations, the establishment of ghettos, especially in occupied Poland, and the conditions of imprisonment in the labor camps have already resulted in numerous deaths among those affected. In addition, task forces set up specifically for this purpose murdered around 60,000 members of the Polish ruling class, including around 7,000 Jews, from September to December 1939 in order to stop Polish resistance to the German occupation. This showed the Nazis' will to annihilate the conquered areas.

From the spring of 1940, the Nazi regime preferred the Madagascar Plan, which had already been proposed in November 1938 . This envisaged the forced resettlement of up to 5.8 million predominantly Eastern European Jews to what was then the French colony of Madagascar . Heinrich Himmler worked out the plan in May 1940. Heydrich wrote to Joachim von Ribbentrop on June 24th:

“The overall problem - there are already around 3¼ million Jews in the areas under German jurisdiction today - can no longer be solved by emigration; a final territorial solution is therefore necessary. "

Hitler discussed this idea with Mussolini in June. After the German Air Force lost the Battle of Britain in September, the plan became illusory, but remained in Nazi statements until February 1941. Then plans of mass deportation to distant areas of Eastern Europe took its place, for example to the Pripyat swamps of Belarus or the Arctic Ocean camps of Siberia . On January 21, 1941, Eichmann's colleague Theodor Dannecker wrote in a "memorandum" to all offices of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA):

"According to the will of the Führer, after the war, the Jewish question within the part of Europe ruled or controlled by Germany should be brought to a final solution."

Heydrich had already received an "order to present a final solution project" from Hitler, which he worked out in essential features on the basis of his "extensive experience in the treatment of Jews and thanks to the preparatory work [...] that had been carried out for a long time" and gave the Fiihrer and Reichsmarschall (Göring) have submitted. The success of this "gigantic work" depends on further careful preparatory work for a "total deportation of the Jews" and "settlement campaign in a yet to be determined territory". Historians assess these settlement plans differently: According to Dieter Pohl , "all of these plans were aimed at a creeping genocide , as they involved a massive deterioration in living conditions, the prevention of reproduction and large-scale forced labor projects". Wolfgang Benz sees “settlement” in Dannecker's quote as a cloak for the murder that has already been planned. Like Götz Aly , Christopher Browning assumes that the settlement area was meant to be the Soviet Union , which the Nazi regime planned to invade in those weeks. Hans Mommsen thinks that the settlement plans were illusory, but were meant seriously. By autumn 1941, no systematic murder of European Jews had been considered.

From expulsion to destruction goal

Since the start of the attack on Poland, the Nazi authorities' correspondence has increasingly contained references to tightened “solutions”. For example, on September 21, 1939, after the first massacres of Polish Jews , Reinhard Heydrich sent a detailed decree to all Einsatzgruppe chiefs, stating:

“I refer to the meeting that took place in Berlin today and point out once again that the planned overall measures (i.e. the final goal) must be kept strictly confidential. A distinction is to be made between 1. the final goal (which requires longer periods of time) and 2. the stages in the fulfillment of the final goal (which are carried out at short notice). The planned measures require the most thorough preparation, both technically and economically. It goes without saying that the tasks ahead will not be defined in detail from here. The following instructions and guidelines also serve to encourage the chiefs of the task forces to give practical advice. ... The first preliminary measure for the ultimate goal is to concentrate from the countryside in the larger cities. It is to be carried out with acceleration. ... It should be noted that only those cities are designated as concentration points that are either railway junctions or are at least on railway lines. "

While Gunnar Heinsohn interprets this document as evidence that the "ultimate goal" of the Holocaust had been decided since the beginning of the war, Dieter Pohl saw it as the aim at that time to ghettoise the Polish Jews in some Polish cities and later to expel them completely from the German-occupied areas.

A draft by Eichmann dated December 4, 1940, entitled “The Jewish Question”, described a two-stage approach: an “initial solution to the Jewish question through emigration”, which meant expulsion of all German, Austrian and Polish Jews by the police and security services (SD, SS) the “final solution to the Jewish question” follows: “By resettling the Jews from the European economic area of ​​the German people to a territory yet to be determined. Around 5.8 million Jews are eligible for this project. "

Also in January 1941, Sturmbannführer Paul Zapp wrote in a speech manuscript for Heinrich Himmler:

“The complete settlement of the Jewish question can only be thought of if we succeed in decisively affecting world Jewry. Adolf Hitler's political and diplomatic leadership laid the foundations for the European solution to the Jewish question. From here the lever to solve the world Jewish question will have to be applied. "

This indicated that the deportation plans of the Nazi regime were aimed at a global “final solution” which the then planned war of conquest should initiate and enable. Since the National Socialists themselves strived for world domination, which they subordinated to their Jewish victims, the expulsion of the European Jews was not enough for them, but was only seen as a preliminary stage to the complete annihilation of "world Jewry".

The war against the Soviet Union 1941–1945 was not only intended to conquer “ living space in the East ”, but also to destroy “ Jewish Bolshevism ”. Hitler had already aimed at this goal in 1925 in Mein Kampf . It was part of the "defensive struggle of the Aryan race against world Jewry" which he propagated and which he could not win through the expulsion, but only through the extermination of the Jews. From March 1941 the Russian war was operationally prepared as a war of annihilation . At the same time, the National Socialists thought more and more of an organized mass extermination of the Jews and looked for suitable methods. At the beginning of March 1941, Hitler ordered targeted anti- partisan fighting . On March 12, 1941, Eichmann routinely wrote to his employees about the "undoubtedly coming final solution to the Jewish question", thereby justifying a ban on emigration for Jews from all occupied areas: Germany should be the first country in Europe to be " Jew-free ". For the spring of 1941, Himmler's personal physician Felix Kersten testifies to a statement made by Himmler, according to which “the Jews must be exterminated down to the last person by the end of the war . That is the clear wish and command of the Führer . "

In May 1941 Heydrich had six mobile task forces with around 3,000 members set up and trained for their special murderous task in the wake of the conquests. In one of his circulars to all police control centers, he demanded:

"Immigration of Jews into the territories occupied by us must be prevented in view of the undoubtedly coming final solution to the Jewish question."

This forbade the authorities to issue appropriate papers to German and Polish Jews wishing to leave the country and is therefore interpreted as a departure from the goal of their expulsion in favor of their future extermination.

With the commissar's order of June 6, 1941, high-ranking Wehrmacht generals supported the planned war crimes . The General Plan Ost of June 24, 1941 provided for up to 30 million people to be deported, starved or shot.

Mass shootings of Soviet Jews

With the beginning of the war on June 22, 1941, the state persecution of Jews escalated. On June 24, 1941, the Einsatzgruppen began systematic mass shootings of Jewish men on Soviet territory.

In the overcrowded Polish ghettos, which Hitler viewed as “transit camps” for the final deportation of their residents, tens of thousands have already died of hunger and epidemics. With this, the willingness to carry out the “final solution” grew earlier, faster and more murderous. The SS-Sturmbannführer Rolf-Heinz Höppner , who was responsible for Posen , wrote to Eichmann on July 16, 1941:

“This winter there is a danger that the Jews will no longer be able to be fed all. [...] It is to be seriously considered whether it is not the most humane solution to kill the Jews, insofar as they are unable to work, by some quick-acting means. "

In anticipation of the imminent victory over the Soviet Union, Himmler received Hitler's order on July 17, 1941 to “police the newly occupied eastern territories”. Thereupon he doubled the number of members of the task forces in a few days and urged them to fulfill their "historical mission" more quickly. On August 1, Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller instructed the task force leaders to report their murder results to the Reich Chancellery on a regular basis. From August 15, Jewish women and children were also murdered indiscriminately.

In the summer of 1941, the camp commandant of Auschwitz , Rudolf Höß , met his superior Himmler in Berlin, who had ordered him to expand the camp months earlier. After 1945 Höß wrote that Himmler had ordered him to “mass extermination of the Jews” at this meeting and gave the following reasons: “The Jews are the eternal enemies of the German people and must be exterminated. All Jews we can reach are now to be exterminated without exception during the war. If we do not succeed in destroying the biological foundations of Judaism, the Jews will one day destroy the German people. "

At the beginning of August 1941, Hans-Adolf Prützmann , Higher SS and Police Leader in the Reichskommissariat Ostland , answered a subordinate when he asked where the Baltic Jews were being resettled:

"Not in the way you think - they should be transported to the afterlife."

At the end of August 1941 the systematic mass murder of deported Jews began with the Kamenez-Podolsk massacre (23,600 victims) .

Central planning order

On July 31, 1941, Göring, whom Hitler had commissioned in 1938 with the “total solution to the Jewish question”, wrote to Heydrich:

“In addition to the task assigned to you by the decree of January 24, 1939, to find the most favorable solution to the Jewish question in the form of emigration or evacuation, I hereby entrust you to make all the necessary organizational, factual and material preparations for a total solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe. [...] I also instruct you to submit an overall draft of the organizational, factual and material preliminary measures to implement the desired final solution to the Jewish question in the near future. "

This was followed between September and December 1941 - the exact time is disputed - the decision to murder all European Jews during the war that the Nazi regime was able to get hold of. Now the term final solution actually referred to the implementation of this target in the language of the authorities, which was further disguised as a complete "resettlement" in distant eastern areas.

Beginning of the deportations and gassings

At the beginning of August, the German offensive stalled for the first time and again from mid-September; the expected “lightning victory” became illusory. Until September 13, 1941, Hitler forbade the deportation of German, West and South European Jews in order to have them deported directly to the more distant East after the expected quick victory in the Russian campaign. But on September 17th he let Himmler know that the Reich and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia had to be “emptied and liberated” by Jews “as soon as possible”.

The change of attitude was also connected with several events: Since the Atlantic Charter of August 14 and submarine attacks of September 11, the entry of the United States into the war was foreseeable. Around September 10th, Hitler learned that Stalin wanted to have 400,000 Volga Germans transported to Siberia. Other National Socialists attributed this to the influence of fictitious "World Jewry" and urged Hitler to take revenge on German Jews for it. The British launched a bombing raid on Hamburg on September 16, which left many Hamburgers homeless. Now Hitler gave in to Gauleiter Kaufmann's urging to vacate Jewish apartments for them. Himmler then had 60,000 German Jews deported to the completely overcrowded Litzmannstadt ghetto and thus delivered the majority of them to certain starvation. From then on, larger groups of German Jews were deported to Polish assembly camps. Their previous residents were often murdered en masse to make room for the newcomers.

On 5th / 6th September 1941 - according to other historians in December - 900 prisoners of war were gassed with Zyklon B for the first time in Auschwitz I concentration camp . Construction of the first Belzec extermination camp began in mid-October . From November four of the six task forces received gas trucks . The first gassings in the Chelmno extermination camp followed on December 8th . By March 1942, according to perpetrator reports and estimates, almost 600,000 Jews had been murdered.

Extension to all European Jews

On December 8, 1941, the day after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor , the United States entered World War II ; on December 11th Hitler declared war on them. On December 12th, he gave a speech to the Gau and Reichsleiter of the NSDAP, about which Goebbels noted in his diary on December 13th: “With regard to the Jewish question, the Führer is determined to clean the table. He prophesied to the Jews that if they brought about another world war they would see their annihilation in the process. That wasn't a phrase. The world war is here, the annihilation of Judaism must be the necessary consequence. [...] If the German people have now again sacrificed 160,000 dead in the Eastern campaign, the authors of this bloody conflict will have to pay with their lives for it. "

From then on, the ongoing mass extermination of Soviet Jews was extended to all Jews in Europe and promoted with new methods of murder. So said Hans Frank , governor general in Poland, on 16 December 1941. "With the Jews - I will also tell you quite frankly - has to be made one way or the conclusion. […] We must destroy the Jews wherever we meet them and wherever possible in order to maintain the overall structure of the empire here. [...] We cannot shoot these 3.5 million Jews, we cannot poison them, but we will nevertheless have to undertake interventions that somehow lead to an extermination success, namely in connection with the major measures to be discussed by the Reich. The Generalgouvernement must become free of Jews exactly like the Reich. "

Cover letter from Heydrich to Martin Luther (February 26, 1942) for sending the minutes of the Wannsee Conference.

At the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, Heydrich presented his "overall draft" to the invited representatives of the NS authorities in order to let them know about the planning of the ongoing "final solution", to participate in it and to coordinate their measures under his direction. According to the minutes of the conference, 11 million Jews from all over Europe and North Africa, including from countries not conquered by Germany, were scheduled for deportation. It begins with the words: “I. The meeting on the final solution of the Jewish question, which took place in Berlin on January 20, 1942, at Am Großen Wannsee No. 56/58, was attended by: ... “The term was thus established in all departments involved in the Holocaust.

That this meant the murder of as many Jews as possible was confirmed by Eichmann on July 24, 1962 in the Eichmann trial : “There was talk of killing and eliminating and exterminating.” In this interrogation, Eichmann also reported that Heydrich had him six to eight weeks after the start of the Russian War: “The Führer has ordered the physical extermination of the Jews.” Hitler had already given Odilo Globocnik appropriate instructions, the implementation of which Eichmann was supposed to check. In addition to the planners, organizers and executors, many ordinary Germans who experienced the public deportations and heard Hitler's radio speeches knew or suspected this goal (→  contemporary knowledge of the Holocaust ). During the course of the war, he kept coming back to his announcement of January 30, 1939 and left no doubt about its implementation.

Systematic gassing

Goebbels wrote about this in his diary on March 27, 1942: “A rather barbaric and unspecified procedure is being used here, and not much remains of the Jews themselves. On the whole, one can say that 60% of it has to be liquidated [...] A criminal court will be executed on the Jews, which is barbaric, but which they fully deserve [...] One must not allow any sentimentality to prevail in these matters [... ] It is a life and death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government or regime could muster the strength to resolve this issue in general. Here, too, the Führer is the steadfast champion and spokesman for a radical solution [...]. "

On April 19, 1942, Himmler ordered “the resettlement of the entire Jewish population of the General Government by December 31, 1942” (→ Aktion Reinhardt ). From then on, the death trains rolled from all over the Reich and the other conquered areas to the extermination camps, which had now been completed, where the newcomers were selected and most of them were murdered immediately, the rest later in gas chambers . In his speeches in Poznan on October 4 and 6, 1943, Himmler also spoke unveiled for the first time about his task of “solving the Jewish question”: “I now mean the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people.” On May 24, 1944, he said in retrospect In front of higher SS and police leaders: “Another question that was decisive for the internal security of the Reich and Europe was the Jewish question. It was resolved uncompromisingly according to orders and intellectual knowledge. "During training courses for the Holocaust perpetrators, he repeatedly emphasized Hitler's order and the severity of this assignment, for example on June 21, 1944:" It was the most terrible task and the most terrible assignment an organization could have could get: the order to solve the Jewish question. "

In contrast, the secret Korherr report from 1943 with the title The Final Solution of the European Jewish Question still maintained the usual camouflage language, but clearly described the intention and extent of the extermination of the Jews: “From 1937 to the beginning of 1943 the number of Jews in Europe was likely partly through emigration, partly due to the death surplus of the Jews in Central and Western Europe, partly due to the evacuations especially in the ethnic stronger eastern areas, which are counted here as losses, by an estimated 4 million. [...] All in all, European Jewry is likely to have lost half of its existence since 1933, i.e. in the first decade of the Nazi German power development. "

Hitler's political will

Shortly before his suicide on April 30, 1945, Hitler tried to justify his part in the Holocaust to posterity in his political will :

"But I have also left no doubt that if the peoples of Europe are again only viewed as stacks of shares in these international money and finance conspirators, then those people who are actually responsible for this murderous struggle will also be held responsible: Judaism! I have not left anyone in the dark about the fact that this time not only will millions of children of Europeans of the Aryan peoples starve to death, not only millions of adult men will perish and not only hundreds of thousands of women and children will be burned and bombed to death in the cities without the person actually guilty having to atone for his guilt, even if by more humane means. "

Historical discourse

The “final solution” has been at the center of historical research into the Nazi era since the Nuremberg trial of the main war criminals in 1945. Since when the expression referred to the intended complete murder of the Jews, when exactly the decision was made, which factors were decisive, how the various instances of Nazi rule interacted and what contemporary knowledge of the Holocaust there was, are some important research questions on this topic.

See also


Concept development

  • Gabriele von Glasenapp : From the final solution to the Jewish question to the Holocaust. About the linguistic handling of the German past. In: Ekkehard fields: Semantic struggles. Power and Language in Science. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2006, ISBN 3-11-019102-4 , pp. 127–155 ( online excerpt ).

Historical research with the term in the book title


  • Gerald Reitlinger , Johann Wolfgang Brügel : The final solution. Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe 1939–1945.
    1st English edition 1953: The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939–1945. 1987, ISBN 0-87668-951-9 .
    1st edition German 1956: Berlin, Colloquium;
    Paperback edition: Copress - TB-A. 1983, ISBN 3-7678-0466-2 .
    7th edition 1992, ISBN 3-89166-870-8 .
  • Hans Günther Adler : The fight against the "final solution to the Jewish question" . Ed .: Federal Center for Homeland Service , Bonn 1958.
  • Robert Neumann: Evading our conscience. Documents on Hitler's “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” with commentary and assessment of the political situation. Publishing house for literature and current events, Hanover 1960, ISBN 978-3-492-24822-8 .
  • Ludwig Rosenthal: “Final solution to the Jewish question”: mass murder or “gas chamber lie”? Darmstädter Blätter, 1980, ISBN 3-87139-059-3 .
  • Martin Gilbert : Final Solution. An atlas. The expulsion and extermination of the Jews. Rowohlt TB, Reinbek near Hamburg 1982 (= rororo. Volume 5031), ISBN 3-499-15031-X .
  • Gerald Fleming : Hitler and the Final Solution. It is the Fuhrer's wish ... (1982) Ullstein, 1987, ISBN 3-548-33083-5 .
  • Götz Aly : Final solution. Peoples' displacement and the murder of European Jews . Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-596-14067-6 .
  • Peter Longerich : The unwritten order. Hitler and the way to the “final solution.” Munich 2001, ISBN 3-492-04295-3 .
  • Torsten Ripper: From prejudice to destruction. Hitler and the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. Studies on politics and science, Wochenschau-Verlag, Schwalbach / Taunus 2001, ISBN 3-87920-470-5 .
  • Hans Mommsen : Auschwitz, July 17, 1942. The way to the European 'final solution to the Jewish question' . Dtv, 2002, ISBN 978-3-423-30605-8 .
  • Christopher R. Browning , Jürgen Peter Krause: The way to the final solution. Decisions and perpetrators. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2002, ISBN 3-499-61344-1 .
  • Christopher R. Browning: Unleashing the "Final Solution". National Socialist Jewish Policy 1939–1942. Propylaea, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-549-07187-6 .
  • Ahlrich Meyer : perpetrator under interrogation. The “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” in France 1940–1944 . Scientific Book Society, 2005, ISBN 3-534-17564-6 .
  • Ilja Altman : victim of hatred. The Holocaust in the USSR 1941–1945 . With a foreword by Hans-Heinrich Nolte . Muster-Schmidt, Gleichen / Zurich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7881-2032-0 (original edition: Жертвы ненависти. Холокост в СССР, 1941–1945 гг. / Žertvy nenavisti. Cholokost v SSSR 1941–1945. Moscow 2002, translated from. Moscow 2002, translated from. Moscow 2002, translated from. Moscow Ellen Gripper).
  • David Cesarani : "Final Solution". The fate of the Jews from 1933 to 1948 . Propylaea, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-549-07417-6 .

Other languages

  • Arno J. Mayer : Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? The Final Solution in History . Pantheon Books, 1988, ISBN 0-394-57154-1 .
  • Henry Friedlander : The Origins of Nazi Genocide: From Euthanasia to the Final Solution . University of North Carolina Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8078-2208-6 .
  • Eric Owen: The Final Solution . PublishAmerica, 2001, ISBN 1-58851-675-X .
  • Walter Harmidarow: The Final Solution . Ltdbooks, 2001, ISBN 1-55316-544-6 .
  • Mark Roseman: The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting: Wannsee and the Final Solution . Penguin, 2003, ISBN 0-14-100395-2 .
  • Michael Chabon: The Final Solution . Harper Perennial, 2005, ISBN 0-00-719603-2 .
  • Thomas Streissguth: Adolf Eichmann: Executing the "Final Solution". Holocaust Heroes and Nazi Criminals . Enslow Publishers, 2005, ISBN 0-7660-2575-6 .
  • Christopher R. Browning: The Origins of the Final Solution. The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939 - March 1942 . University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln / Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 2004, ISBN 0-8032-1327-1 .
  • Laurent Joly: Vichy in the "solution finale": Histoire du commissariat général aux questions juives (1941–1944) . ISBN 2-246-63841-0 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Final solution  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Peter Longerich: The unwritten order. Hitler and the way to the “final solution.” Munich 2001, p. 27 f. and 166.
  2. ^ Wolfgang Benz: Final solution . In: Wolfgang Benz (Ed.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism . dtv 1998, p. 446.
  3. Wolfgang Benz: Die "Judenfrage" / The "Jewish Question". Bibliography. Editor: Association of Friends and Supporters of the Center for Research on Antisemitism, Saur, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-598-35046-5 (preface).
  4. ^ Rainer Erb, Werner Bergmann: The night side of the Jewish emancipation. The resistance to the integration of the Jews in Germany 1780-1860. Metropol Verlag, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-926893-77-X .
  5. Alex Bein : The Jewish question. Biography of a world problem . Volume 1, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-421-01963-0 , p. 224 f.
  6. Alex Bein: The Jewish question. Biography of a world problem Volume 2, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-421-01963-0 , p. 186.
  7. a b Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vocabulary of National Socialism . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-11-019549-6 , p. 331 .
  8. Isidor Singer: Letters from famous Christian contemporaries on the Jewish question. Printed from manuscripts and published for the first time with the authorization of the authors, provided with biographical sketches of the authors and a foreword. Oskar Frank, Vienna 1885, p. 140 .
  9. Christian Tapp:  HEMAN, Johann Friedrich Carl Gottlob. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 29, Bautz, Nordhausen 2008, ISBN 978-3-88309-452-6 , Sp. 609-612.
  10. Carl Friedrich Heman: The religious world position of the Jewish people. Hinrichs, Leipzig 1888. Quoted in: Verein der Freunde Israels (ed.): Judaica: Contributions to the Understanding of Jewish Fate in the Past and Present, Volume 53. Evangelical Jewish Mission / Foundation for Church and Judaism, Zwingli, Basel 1997, p. 90 ; Online edition (PDF) in the Judaica Collection Frankfurt
  11. Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus Volume 6: Publications. Walter de Gruyter / Saur, Berlin 2013, ISBN 3-11-025872-2 , p. 180 f. ; Carl Friedrich Heman: The awakening of the Jewish nation 1897, excerpt
  12. ^ Theodor Fritsch: Handbuch der Judenfrage . Hanseatic Printing and Publishing Company, Hamburg 1907
  13. Uwe Puschner, Walter Schmitz, Justus H. Ulbricht (eds.): Handbook on the "Völkische Movement" 1871-1918. Saur, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-598-11421-4 , p. 348.
  14. Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbook of Antisemitism Volume 5: Organizations, Institutions, Movements. Berlin 2012, p. 203 ; Hans-Ulrich Wehler: German history: The German Empire 1871-1918. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 7th edition 1994, ISBN 3-525-33542-3 , p. 112 .
  15. Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbook of Antisemitism Volume 5: Organizations, Institutions, Movements. Berlin 2012, p. 206 .
  16. Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus Volume 6: Publications. Berlin 2013, p. 149 .
  17. Jacob Rosenthal : "The honor of the Jewish soldier": The census of Jews in the First World War and its consequences. Campus, 2007, ISBN 3-593-38497-3 , p. 180 ; Hans Otto Horch, Horst Denkler (ed.): Conditio Judaica: Judaism, anti-Semitism and German-language literature from the 18th century to the First World War. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 3-484-10607-7 , p. 38 ; Thorsten Eitz, Isabelle Engelhardt: Discourse history of the Weimar Republic. Georg Olms, 2015, ISBN 3-487-15189-8 , p. 71 f.
  18. Wolfgang Benz (Ed.): Handbook of Antisemitism. Anti-Semitism in Past and Present, Volume 2: People. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2009, ISBN 3-598-24072-4 , p. 370 ; Original text online (NS archive)
  19. Eberhard Jäckel, Axel Kuhn (ed.): Hitler. All records 1905-1924. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1986, ISBN 3-421-01997-5 (Document No. 91).
  20. Eberhard Jäckel, Axel Kuhn (ed.): Hitler. All records 1905-1924. Stuttgart 1986, p. 156 (Document No. 116).
  21. Gerald Fleming: Hitler and the Final Solution. Limes, 1982, ISBN 3-8090-2196-2 , p. 29 f.
  22. International Military Tribunal (ed.): The trial of the main war criminals before the International Military Tribunal: Nuremberg, November 14, 1945-1. October 1946 Volume 5: Negotiation Minutes January 9, 1946-21. January 1946. Reichenbach, 1994, ISBN 3-7735-2503-6 , p. 109.
  23. ^ Heiko Pollmeier: Aryanization . In: Wolfgang Benz , Hermann Graml and Hermann Weiß (eds.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1997, p. 374 f.
  24. Hans Mommsen: The Nazi regime and the extinction of Judaism in Europe. Wallstein, Göttingen 2014, p. 75 f.
  25. ^ Robert S. Wistrich: Who was who in the Third Reich. Supporters, followers, opponents from politics, business, military, art and science . Harnack-Verlag, Munich 1983, p. 63.
  26. Saul Friedländer: The Third Reich and the Jews Volume 1: The Years of Persecution 1933-1939. Beck / DTV, Munich 2000, p. 335.
  27. Götz Aly, Wolf Gruner: The persecution and murder of European Jews by National Socialist Germany, 1933-1945, Volume 2: German Reich, 1938-August 1939. Oldenbourg, Munich 2008, ISBN 3-486-58523-1 , p. 436 (Document 146).
  28. Wolfgang Benz: Prejudice and Genocide. Ideological premises of genocide. Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne 2010, ISBN 3-205-78554-1 , p. 96 .
  29. Wolfgang Benz: Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration (Central Office for Jewish Emigration) (PDF). In: Wolfgang Benz, Hermann Graml, Hermann Weiß: Encyclopedia of National Socialism . 4th edition. 2001, p. 700.
  30. ^ Esriel Hildesheimer: Jewish self-government under the Nazi regime . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1994, ISBN 3-16-146179-7 , p. 86 .
  31. Max Domarus: Hitler. Speeches and Proclamations 1932–1945 Volume 2. Würzburg / Neustadt 1963, p. 1056 ff.
  32. Saul Friedländer: The Third Reich and the Jews Volume 1, Munich 2000, pp. 331 and 336.
  33. ^ Dieter Pohl: Persecution and mass murder in the Nazi era 1933-1945. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 3-534-15158-5 , p. 49.
  34. ^ Dieter Pohl: Persecution and mass murder in the Nazi era 1933-1945. Darmstadt 2003, p. 64.
  35. ^ Dieter Pohl: Persecution and mass murder in the Nazi era 1933-1945. Darmstadt 2003, p. 65.
  36. Torsten Ripper: From Prejudice to Annihilation: Hitler and the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Wochenschau, 2001, ISBN 3-87920-470-5 , p. 43.
  37. Christopher Browning: Judenmord. Nazi politics, forced labor and the behavior of the perpetrators. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-10-005210-2 , p. 33 f.
  38. ^ Dieter Pohl: Persecution and mass murder in the Nazi era 1933-1945. Darmstadt 2003, p. 80.
  39. Article “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. In: Wolfgang Benz (Ed.): Lexicon of the Holocaust. Beck, Munich 1976, p. 63.
  40. Christopher Browning: Judenmord . Frankfurt am Main 2001, p. 32 f.
  41. ^ Hans Mommsen: The escalation of the National Socialist extermination of the Jews. In: Klaus Michael Mallmann, Jürgen Matthäus (ed.): Germans, Jews, Genocide. The Holocaust as Past and Present. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2006, p. 60 f.
  42. Klaus-Michael Mallmann, Jochen Böhler, Jürgen Matthäus: Einsatzgruppen in Poland: Presentation and documentation. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 3-534-21353-X , p. 145; Document online (PDF)
  43. ^ Gunnar Heinsohn: Hitler's Holocaust motif. In: Wolfgang Bialas, Lothar Fritze (Hrsg.): Ideology and Moral in National Socialism. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-647-36961-7 , p. 114 .
  44. ^ Dieter Pohl: Ghettos. In: Wolfgang Benz, Barbara Distel (eds.): The place of terror . History of the National Socialist Concentration Camps. Volume 9: Labor education camps, ghettos, youth protection camps, police detention camps, special camps, gypsy camps, forced labor camps. CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-57238-8 , p. 165 .
  45. Wolf Gruner (Ed.): The persecution and murder of European Jews by National Socialist Germany 1933–1945 Volume 3 . Andrea Löw: German Reich and Protectorate September 1939 - September 1941. Oldenbourg, Munich 2012, ISBN 3-486-58524-X , p. 146 .
  46. Wolfram Meyer zu Utrup: Fight against the "Jewish world conspiracy". Propaganda and anti-Semitism of the National Socialists 1919 to 1945. Berlin 2003, p. 449, note 120.
  47. Final solution . In: Israel Gutman (ed.): Encyclopedia of the Holocaust . P. 407 f.
  48. Wolfgang Benz: Article Final Solution . In: Wolfgang Benz u. a. (Ed.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism , p. 446.
  49. ^ Dossier Kersten in the Center de Documentation Juive ; Felix Kersten: The Kersten Memoirs, 1940–1945. Time Life Education, 1992, ISBN 0-8094-8737-3 .
  50. Wolfgang Benz: The Holocaust. 7th edition, Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-39822-3 , p. 52.
  51. Arno J. Mayer: The war as a crusade: The German Reich, Hitler's Wehrmacht and the "Final Solution". Reinbek near Hamburg 1989, chapters 7 and 8
  52. Wolfram Wette : The Wehrmacht. Enemy images, war of extermination, legends . Frankfurt 2005, ISBN 3-596-15645-9 , pp. 115-128.
  53. Guido Knopp: Holocaust. Goldmann, Munich 2001, p. 98.
  54. Guido Knopp: Holocaust. Munich 2001, p. 97.
  55. Peter Longerich, Dieter Pohl: The murder of the European Jews. Piper, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-492-11060-6 , p. 79.
  56. ^ After Richard Breitman: Heinrich Himmler. The architect of the "final solution". 3. Edition. Zurich 2000, ISBN 3-85842-378-5 , p. 277; quoted in Andreas Zellhuber: "Our administration is driving a catastrophe ...". The Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories and German occupation in the Soviet Union 1941–1945. Munich 2006, ISBN 3-89650-213-1 , p. 235.
  57. Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vocabulary of National Socialism . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-11-019549-6 , p. 174 ; in the facsimile: "cheapest".
  58. Christopher Browning: Judenmord . Frankfurt am Main 2001, p. 39.
  59. Guido Knopp : Holocaust . Munich 2001, p. 112 f.
  60. ^ Dieter Pohl: Persecution and mass murder in the Nazi era 1933-1945 . Darmstadt 2003, p. 77.
  61. Peter Longerich: The unwritten order . Piper, Munich 2001, pp. 138f.
  62. Wolfgang Curilla: The murder of Jews in Poland and the German order police 1939-1945. Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2011, ISBN 3-506-77043-8 , p. 72 .
  63. Kurt Pätzold, Erika Schwarz (ed.): Agenda: Judenmord. The Wannsee Conference. Center for Antisemitism Research of the Technical University, Metropol, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-926893-12-5 , p. 102; House of the Wannsee Conference: Facsimile of the original Eichmann protocol ( memento from June 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF)
  64. Peter Longerich: The murder of the European Jews. Piper, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-492-11060-6 , p. 92.
  65. ^ Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem. A report on the banality of evil. 2nd edition, Piper, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-492-24822-5 , pp. 168f. ( Text online )
  66. Ralf Georg Reuth (Ed.): Joseph Goebbels Diaries 1924–1945 . 2nd Edition. Munich / Zurich 2000, ISBN 3-492-11414-8 , Volume 4, pp. 1776 f.
  67. Wolfgang Curilla: The murder of Jews in Poland and the German order police 1939-1945. Paderborn 2011, p. 67 .
  68. Wolfgang Benz: Prejudice and Genocide . Vienna / Cologne 2010, p. 112 .
  69. Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus Volume 3: Terms, Theories, Ideologies. Walter de Gruyter / Saur, Berlin 2010, p. 149 .
  70. Bradley F. Smith, Agnes F. Peterson (eds.): Heinrich Himmler Secret Speeches 1933 to 1945. Propylaeen, 1974, ISBN 3-549-07305-4 , p. 203.
  71. Fritz Bauer (ed.): Justice and Nazi Crimes: Collection of German criminal judgments for Nazi homicide crimes 1945–1966 . Volume 20. University Press Amsterdam, 1979, ISBN 90-6042-020-9 , p. 485; Original text in the NS archive
  72. Max Domarus (Ed.): Adolf Hitler: Reden und Proklamationen, 1932–1945, Volume 4. Löwit, 1973, p. 2239 ( online in the NS archive).
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on April 15, 2008 .