Thesis of German historian Christian Gerlach built on this (slender) evidence See the comments on this document by Genocide expert Dr John Fox

The press reports about the Christian Gerlach hypothesis generated a brief and lively debate on the Internet, which is reproduced in the following panel

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Heinrich HimmlerHimmler's Office Diary and the Holocaust

Author: H-German Editor Jay Lockenour <jlockeno@nimbus.ocis.temple.edu> Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 12:41:09 -0500

Reply-To: H-NET List on German History <H-GERMAN@H-NET.MSU.EDU>
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1. Submitted by: Dan Rogers drogers@jaguar1.usouthal.edu

To add a little further information to my note yesterday about Christian Gerlach's reported discovery in the Moscow archives, the New York Times reported at length on the subject in its January 21 issue. Historians Richard Breitman, Hans Mommsen, and Norbert Kampe are quoted.

The Times reports that "the documents supposedly establish that Hitler did, indeed, make a personal decision to put to death German and all other European Jews under Nazi occupation," and "announced his decision to a secret meeting of 50 Nazi Party loyalists on Dec. 12, 1941 -- a day after his declaration of war on the United States."

Richard Breitman of American University comments in the Times that "this is an important find and Gerlach and his colleagues are to be commended on their research and discovery....But the jury is still out on the exact interpretation of this meeting." The Times article concludes with the statement that Hans Mommsen of Bochum University "dismissed the meeting on Dec. 12, 1941, as a routine affair. 'Hitler gave one of his usual speeches....It was nothing special.'"

2. Submitted by: Fabian Rueger fabian@leland.stanford.edu:

The document foundI remember at least the Spiegel and the Suddeutsche publishing an article on Gerlach's work. If I remember correctly his basic argument is that the Himmler-Hitler meeting at that date in the diary might explain the change of date of the Wannsee conference, and thus gives for the first time a close hint to a verbal command of Hitler to plan a "Final Solution".--Yours,

Fabian Rueger

3. Submitted by: Michael Kater mkater@yorku.ca:

So it looks as if David Irving can still not shell out his money.

Michael H. Kater
Distinguished Research Professor of History, The Canadian Center for German and European Studies, 230 York Lanes, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3
Tel. 905-845-7021

4. Submitted by: Herbert Mehrtens h.mehrtens@tu-bs.de:

Michael Gerlach's paper on the question of the Hitler decision about the extinction of the Jews is quite convincing, but certainly not a 'proof'. To my impression it presents a very good argument for a decisive meeting, where Hitler accepted and ordered (i.e. decided) that the extinction measures should be taken, following his own line and following those who had urged and started those actions. I find here a merger of intentionalist and structuralist interpretations -- as one would expect -- of Hitler being moved and moving at the same time. That is part of what makes the argument so convincing.

Prof. Dr. Herbert Mehrtens
Historisches Seminar, TU Braunschweig, Schleinitzstr. 13, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany
Tel.: +531 391 3080, Sekretariat -3091, Fax -8162 priv. 1: Roggemannstr. 20 D-26122 Oldenburg Tel. & Fax: +441 75190 priv. 2: Altstadtmarkt. 12 38100 Braunschweig Tel. 0531 43896


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