Monday, November 3, 2014

HilbergTheBulldog. Transcript. Shoah1985. ClaudeLanzmann.

1.       This is theFahrplananordnung Wr.587, which is typical for special trains. The number of the order goes to show you how many of them there were. Underneath, Nur für den Dienetgebrauch!, only for internal use, but this turns out to be a verylow classification for secrecy. And the fact that this entire document, which after all deals with deathtrains, one cannot see, not only on this one, one cannot see it on others. One cannot see the word geheim, in secret, is astonishing to me. That they would not have done that is veryastonishing. But on secondthought, I believe that, had they labeled it secret, they would have invited a great many inquiries from people who got hold of it. They would then have had perhaps raised morequestions, they would have focused attention on the thing. And the key to the entire operation from the psychological standpoint was never to utter the words that would be appropriate to the action being taken. Say nothing, do these things, do not describe, so therefore this is Nur für den Dienetgebrauch!. And now notice to how many recipients this particular order goes. BFE, Bahn**. On this stretch, there’s one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and here we are, **, which is of course, the station they’re traveling.
2.       Of course.
3.       But notice that it takes eightrecipients for this relativelyshort distance through** totheWarsawDistrict, a. because these trains pass through these stations, therefore each one has to know. Not only that, but of course, you’re not going to write twopieces of paper if you can write one, so therefore we find here not only PKR, which is a deathtrain going here in the plan**, but we alsosee the empty train after it has arrived in travelling car, and now originating in travelling car. You can alwaysknow whether it’s an empty train with a word L in front of it, leer.
4.       Look like it’s leer**.
5.       Yes. And now, and now, and now, and now, we’re going back. And we have another train. Now notice, there’s a verylittle [“]subtlety[“] to this numbering system. We are going from9228 to9229 to9230 to9231 to9232. Hardly any originality here. It’s just veryregular traffic.
6.       Deathtraffic.
7.       Deathtraffic. And here we see that starting out in oneghetto, which obviously is being emptied. The train leaves with a travelling car. It leaves on the thirtieth of september, 1942. Eightteenminutes after fouro’clock, by schedule at least. Arrives there at11:24 on thenextmorning. This is also a verylong train, which maybe there isn’t that it takes so slow. FiftyG, that’s fiftyGuten**. Fifty great cars filled with people. That’s exceptionallyheavy transport. Now once the train has been unloaded the traveling car. You notice that there are twonumbers here. 11:24, that’s in the morning, and 15:59, which is to say almostfouro’clock in the afternoon. In that interval of time, the train has to be unloaded, cleaned and turned around.
8.       Has to be veryfast.
9.       Turned around. Has to be turned around. And you see here thesamenumbers appear as theLeerzug, now the empty train, goes to another place, and it leaves at fouro’clock in the afternoon, and now goes to that another place, which is yet another small town, where it picks up victims. And there you are. Threeo’clock in the morning. It leaves on the twentythird at threeo’clock in the morning, and it arrives there on thenextday.
10.   What is that definition? It seems to be thesametrain, as a matter of fact.
11.   It is thesametrain. It is quite obviouslythesame.
12.   Sametrain other than the number.
13.   The number has to be changed quite obviously, correct. Then it goes back to the travelling car. And this is again a long trip. Arrives in the traveling car. Now goes back to yet another place. And thesamesituation, thesametrip. And yet another. Goes to travelling car. And then arrives at** on the twentynineth of the september, and the cycle is complete. And this is called theFahrplananordnung. And if you count up the number of not(empty numbers) but the full ones, PKRs, there is one. There is one. There is one. Here.
14.   Why is such.
15.   That’s two. That’s three. That’s four. We may be here talking about tenthousand dead jews on this oneFahrplananordnung right here.
16.   More than tenthousand.
17.   Well, we will be conservative.
18.   Yes. But why is it that such document is so fascinating, as a matter of fact? Because travelling car, twothings together, travelling car and document.
19.   Well, you see, when I hold a document in my hand, particularlyif it’s an original document, then I hold something which is, which is actually something that the original bureaucrat had held in his hand. It’s an artifact. It’s a leftover. It’s theonlyleftover there is.
20.   Yes.
21.   The dead are notaround.

1.       In all of my work, I have never begun by asking the big questions, because I was alwaysafraid that I would come up with small answers, and have preferred, therefore, to address these things, which are minutiæ or detail, in order that I might then be able to put together in aGestalt, a picture, which, if not an explanation, at least a description, morefull description of what transpired. And in that sense, I look alsoupon the bureaucratic destructionprocess of this is what it was as a series of minute steps taken in logical order, and relying, above all, as much as possible on experience, pastexperience. And this goes not only incidentally for the administrative steps that were taken, but also the psychological arguments, even the propaganda. Amazinglylittle was newlyinvented until, of course, the moment came when one had to go beyond that which had been alreadyestablished by precedent, and one had to gas these people, or in some sense, annilihate them on a large scale. Then, these bureaucrats became inventors. But like all inventors of institutions, they did not copyright or patent their achievements, they preferred obscurity. [Omitted.]
2.       What did they get from the past, theNazi?
3.       They got the actual content of measures, which they took, for example, the barring of jews from office, the prohibition of intermarriages, the employment in jewish homes of female persons under the age of fortyfive, the various marking decrees, especially the jewishstar, the compulsory ghetto. The wardens of any will, executed by a jew that might work in such a way as to prevent inheritance of his property by someone who was a christian. Many such measures have been worked out over the course of more than onethousandyears by the authorities of theChurch and by the secularGoverments that followed in those footsteps. And the experience gathered over that time became a reservoir that could be used, and which indeed was used to an amazing extent.
4.       You mean that one can compare the treasure.
5.       One can actuallycompare. One can compare a rather large number of german-Laws and -Decrees with their counterparts in the past, and find complete parallels, even in detail, as if they were a memory, which automaticallyextended to the period of1930 and 1935 and 1939 and beyond.
6.       In such respect, they didn’t invent anything.
7.       They inventedverylittle. And they did not invent the portrait of the jew, which was alsotaken over lockstockandbarrel from the writings going back to thesixteenthcentury. So even the propaganda, a realm of imagination and invention, even there they were remarkably in the footsteps of those who preceded them. FromMartinLuther to thenineteenthcentury, and here again they were notinventive. They had to become inventive with theFinalSolution. That was their great invention, and that was what made this entire process different from all [the] others that preceded, that event. And in this respect, what transpired when theFinalSolution was adopted, or to be moreprecise, when theBureaucracy moved into it, was a turning point inHistory. Even here, I would suggest a logical progression, one which came into fruition in what might be called the closure. Because from theearliestdays, thefourthcentury, thefifthcentury, sixthcentury, missionaries ofChristianity had set an effect to the jews, You may notlive among us as jews. The secular rulers who followed them from the lateMiddleAges had then decided, You may notlive among us. The nazis finallydecreed, You may notlive.
8.       This had been threesteps where thefirstone was conversion.
9.       Conversion, followed by.
10.   Ghettoisation.
11.   Expulsion. Expulsion. And thethird was theTerritorialSolution, which was of course, the solution carried out within the territories under german command, excluding immigration. Death. FinalSolution. And theFinalSolution, you see, is reallyfinal, because people who are converted can yet be, in secret, jews. People who are expelled can yet return. But the people who are dead will notreappear.
12.   In such a respect, at thelaststage they were really pioneers and inventor[s].
13.   This was something unprecedented, and this was something new.
14.   And how can one figure give some ideas about the complete newness of this, because I see that it was new for themselves, too.
15.   Yes, it was new, and I think for this reason. That one cannot find a specific document or specific plan or outland or blueprint, which states, Now, the jews will be killed. Everything is left to inference from general words.
16.   Inference from?
17.   General wording. Thevery wording, theFinalSolution, or TotalSolution, or TerritorialSolution, leaves something to the bureaucrat that he must infer. You cannot read that document. One cannot even read Göring’s famous letter toHeinrich at the end of july1941, charging him in twoparagraphs to proceed with theFinalSolution, and taking that document aside, everything is clarified, far from it.
18.   Far from it?
19.   Far from it. It was an authorisation-to-invent. It was an authorisation to begin something that was not as yet capable of being put into words. I think it, I think of if that way. [HilbergTheBulldog.]
20.   It was the case for every agency, as a matter of fact?
21.   Absolutelyfor every agency. In every aspect of this operation, invention was necessary. Certainly at this point, because every problem was unprecedented. Not just how to kill the jews, but what to do with their property they were after. And not only that, but how to deal with the problem of notletting the world know what had happened. All of these multitude of problems were new.

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