Paper presented at the conference "Genocide and the Modern World," Association of Genocide Scholars, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, June 11-13, 1997
Stig Hornshøj-Møller, Copenhagen, Denmark
The paper presents a core summary of my Danish book FOERERMYTEN. ADOLF HITLER, JOSEPH GOEBBELS OG HISTORIEN BAG ET FOLKEMORD (The Führer-Myth: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and the History Behind a Genocide). It argues the importance of a Nazi propaganda film, "Der ewige Jude," which is characterized as an X-ray of the decision-making process that led to the Holocaust, as the film is the result of the efforts of both Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler themselves. Based on a source-critical analysis of the film and its production history a new, very precise chronology is presented of the final decision-making process to launch the Holocaust, with four key events:
1. Viewing rushes on October 16, 1939, Goebbels decided to use the film as an advocacy for killing the Jews.
2. Finally approving the film on May 20, 1940, Adolf Hitler had become emotionally prepared to take the ultimate decision.
3. Adolf Hitler took the decision on June 1, 1940, while visiting the site, where he was blinded in WW1.
4. On June 22, 1940, Adolf Hitler gave an oral order to Heinrich Himmler to be in charge of the extermination program.
The paper furthermore argues that the film can be seen as the official promulgation of Hitler's decision, and that it - together with the feature film Jud Süß - deliberately was used to prepare both perpetrators and bystanders for the extermination of the Jews. Finally, the paper contains principal reflections on the importance of "produced reality" in reality-like media, and the need to leave the still rather literary tradition and to aim for a broader concept of recognition in scientific research.
When first the concept of
differentness has been rooted,
all the incomprehensible becomes possible.
Slavenka Drakulic, 1992
The Holocaust has changed human civilization. The knowledge of the fact that it was possible to disestablish and exterminate a certain group of people from the rest of the society simply because they were defined by the authorities as different and dangerous, is a challenge of the outmost importance to the human mind. The systematic mass murder of six million Jews cannot be erased from the history of mankind, but could, should and must be used to discern and warn against structures and developments in present society which could lead to new genocides.
Therefore the complex development that led to the Holocaust has been submitted to numerous investigations, based on theories and methods from widely different scientific disciplines and research traditions. Many questions have been solved, but the intense debate after Daniel J. Goldhagen's book on "Hitler's Willing Executioners" has shown that there are still many major problems left to clarify 2.
One of these problems - and, as I see it, probably the principal reason for the very critical reception of the book by leading scholars of contemporary history - is the lack of a commonly accepted interpretation of the decision-making process itself, because a detailed, chronological reconstruction of this process (like in all other crimes) is the very precondition for evaluating the significance of the many different contributory factors and their complex interrelations.
Only after establishing a chronology which acknowledges all those
The establishment of such a chronology belongs to the most heavily discussed issues in modern history because written evidence is weak and inconsistent. It is in its original context deliberately so vaguely phrased that the same document can lead to directly opposite conclusions among scholars of today. After more than 25 years of intense debate most historians now tend to consider 1941 as the decisive year, although there still exists a major controversy whether Hitler actually took the key decision himself, and about the time at which such a decision was made (spring, summer or autumn, 1941) 3.
Two fundamentally different views of history have led to two different traditions of interpretation. The "intentionalists" (Philippe Burrin 4, Gerald Fleming 5, Eberhard Jäckel 6 and others) claim that Adolf Hitler did give a formal order to set in train the extermination programme - although it was never put into writing as was the order transferring the responsibility of the so-called Euthanasia Project to Philipp Bouhler and Rudolf Brandt at the beginning of October 1939 7. On the other hand, the "functionalists" (Goetz Aly 8, Christopher R. Browning 9, Hans Mommsen 10 and others) claim that such an order was never necessary because the administrative system started the systematic annihilation of the Jews in Europe "all by itself" as a "natural" consequence of Nazi ideology. The differences between these two schools have, however, in recent years become less distinct and most historians today use elements from both traditions in their models of interpretation, almost exclusively based on the existing written source material 11.
The purpose of this paper is to suggest a new chronology of the final decision-making process with two crucial dates:
June 1, 1940, as the date on which Adolf Hitler personally took the decision to shoulder the ultimate consequence of his own ideology;
and June 22nd, 1940, as the date on which the Führer gave Heinrich Himmler an oral order to prepare for the total annihilation of the Jews in Europe, which should begin simultaneously with the attack on Soviet Russia.
The basic assumption behind my attempt to establish this new chronology is a notion that the decision to kill other human beings ultimately is taken by a human being - the fundamental question being: How and why is the empathy towards fellow human beings removed in the decision-makers, the perpetrators and the bystanders?
The whole reasoning behind this attempt is also greatly indebted to Hannah Arendt and her observation in Eichmann in Jerusalem from 1961:
The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the point of view of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together, for it implied ... that this new type of criminal, who is in fact hostis generis humani, commits his crimes under circumstances that make it well-nigh impossible for him to know or to feel that he is doing wrong. 12
The importance of this statement is supported by the testimony of Kurt Möbius which is related by Daniel J. Goldhagen at a key place in his book:
I would also like to say that it did not at all occur to me that these orders could be unjust. It is true that I know that it is also the duty of the police to protect the innocent, but I was then of the conviction that the Jews were not innocent but guilty. I believed the propaganda that all Jews were criminals and subhumans and that they were the cause of Germany's decline after the First World War. The thought that one should disobey or evade the order to participate in the extermination of the Jews did not therefore enter my mind at all. 13
Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and other instigators of the Holocaust, however, were also human beings - and if one wants to understand the complex of factors and structures that created the genocidal mentality of both decision-makers and perpetrators, one consequently has to use a very broad - and in the very sense of the word: human scientific ("humanwissenschaftlich") approach where the actual use of theory and methods of analysis is defined by the character of the different detail-questions raised during the research. And the evolving explanation must be in accordance with both the scientific standards and the accepted knowledge of all these disciplines.
The sociological notion of "the social construction of reality" 14 consists of both imagery (pictures) and words, but the social (re-)construction of reality in a scientific context nevertheless still primarily consists of words, based on an interpretation of written evidence, although these only reflect a part of that social construction of reality from which a person perceives, thinks and acts. The significance of the non-verbal
This is partly because it is most difficult and time-consuming to reconstruct. Or to put in a another way: The non-verbal side has not received the attention it ought to have had - especially in a modern mass-media society like the Third Reich, where the production of "reality" by means of visual media, like photos and films, played a well-documented role in establishing and reproducing Nazi world view to the German society 15. And although it is well-known that Adolf Hitler was a person who reacted very emotionally to what he saw 16 - and that many of his decisions were taken suddenly and often took the men around him with surprise - there does not seem to have existed a systematic analysis of the possible relation between such decisions taken by Hitler personally and the experiences he had had just before taking these decisions.
This observation - together with the use of both the newest psychiatric knowledge on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 17 and a broad semiotic 18/cultural anthropological 19 approach including a consequent use of film, photos, art, architecture, music etc. as sources equal to the written source material - has led me to undertake an analysis of some of the situations in Adolf Hitler's life where he took key decisions.
In the centre of my reconstruction of the most important decision of all - the Holocaust decision - stands the source-critical analysis of the notorious propaganda film "Der ewige Jude" (1940) which - from my point of view - can best be characterized as an X-ray of the decision-making process itself, thus making the history of its production and distribution the skeleton for a very precise chronology of the decision-making process. 20
Going back to the formation of a critical historical science in the 19th century there exists a long tradition concerning the standards of publishing written sources, but although our century has witnessed the development of other media for social communication, scholars of contemporary history still seem to consider written evidence to be more valuable and trustworthy than other kinds of sources. It should also be noted that it has been specialists of medieval history - and not scholars of contemporary history - who have taken the initiative to establish a methodology for using film and television in historical research.
One of the pioneers was the late professor Niels Skyum-Nielsen at the Institute of History, University of Copenhagen, who laid down his principles in a book called "Film and Source Criticism" (only in Danish, 1972). His main interest was aimed at developing methods to evaluate the authenticity of single clips which in his opinion always had a pars eventu-character contrary to most written sources which normally had to be considered as post eventum-evidence.
In 1970 he made "Der ewige Jude" the topic of a project in order to establish methodological criteria for future source-critical editions of important film documents. The editorial method was based on these principles, but it also had a semiotic angle, as it analysed in details the many different kinds of symbols and imagery in the film which were part of the social construction of reality for the German audience in the cinemas in 1940.
Apart from this attempt to create an exemplary demonstration of how to edit historical film documents, the original research project soon came up with another perspective. Film historians had for a long time claimed that on the basis of an analysis of its contents, the film should be considered as deliberate targeting propaganda for the Holocaust; it should - using the words of Erwin Leiser in 1968 - "turn brave citizens into willing mass murderers." 21 Such a claim would, however, mean that a conscious decision to instigate the Holocaust had been taken at least before the first performance of the film on November 28, 1940, and for chronological reasons this was incompatible with the models of interpretation put forward by historical research.
The original purpose of my analysis was therefore to demonstrate that a painstaking source-critical analysis would show no positive evidence to substantiate such a claim and that it must therefore be seen as an over-interpretation by the film historians deriving from the sheer fact of the Holocaust. My original working hypothesis was to prove that the production of the film was solely due to a wish by the Ministry of Propaganda to use the film medium as a another means of legitimizing anti-Semitism as a corner-stone in Nazi ideology to the German public.
During the study this hypothesis began to crumble, because it was impossible for me to find any such evidence, which supported it in any way. Instead more and more sources indicated that the film expressed a deliberate call for genocide where the "produced reality" in the most reality-like medium at that time was intended to legitimize to the public the "need" to annihilate the Jews of Europe. It should act as the "visual proof" of Adolf Hitler's notorious prophecy from January 30, 1939, which in a recut version played a predominant part in the film's conclusion.
It became clear that the whole film could only be understood as one long "commercial" for genocide, using the same simple technique of "problem/solution" now to be seen in TV-commercials for e.g. washing detergents. 22
From Goebbels' diary as well as from other contemporary written sources it could furthermore be documented that the original concept of the film came directly from the Minister of Propaganda himself, and that the film was considered to be of such importance that Hitler himself saw several versions of the film and repeatedly ordered changes. Eventually, it was Hitler, not Goebbels, who decided upon the release of the film for the public.
Fritz Hippler - executive director of the film - told the BBC in 1992, in a TV-interview, that
Hitler wanted with this film to prove, so to speak, that Jewry was a parasitic race in humanity which should be extirpated from the rest of humanity. This film should be the very evidence for this purpose. For more than 13 months this film was changed, recut, enlarged etc. on at least more than a dozen occasions, not to speak of the different versions of the commentary which became increasingly more bloodthirsty, more aggressive. 23.
And the correctness of this testimony is corroborated in detail by the source-critical analysis of the production history of the film.
On November 10th, 1938, the Führer made an important speech to the German press 25. Although he did not directly refer to either the Reichskristallnacht itself or to Jews in general, he nevertheless did so in his own way, when he spoke about matters of foreign policy: as the German Jews from his point of view did not belong to the German people, the Jewish Question consequently was a matter of foreign policy. Therefore, his whole speech can be regarded as his comments upon the lack of support for the pogrom of the German public. He rebuked the propaganda makers for not having understood his strategy - aiming at war - and made it unmistakingly clear to his audience what he meant:
Coercion was the reason why for years I only talked about peace. But gradually it became necessary to attune the German people psychologically and slowly make them grasp that there do exist things which one must solve with violent means when this is not possible by peaceful means. To do so, however, it was necessary not to make propaganda for violence as such, but to elucidate certain events of foreign policy to the German people in such a way that the nation's inner voice all by itself slowly begins to call for violence. Accordingly, certain events would be presented in such a way that there in the brain of the broad masses gradually totally automatically would evolve the conviction: What one cannot solve benignly, one has to solve with violence because it cannot go on like that.
The rebuke was certainly understood by Joseph Goebbels who immediately launched a fierce anti-Jewish campaign and also for the first time decided to use the film medium as part of inducing anti-Semitism into the German people. 26 Being responsible for Nazi film production, Goebbels had for almost six years preferred other topics for the screen (including sheer entertainment and a more "positive" presentation of Nazi world view), but immediately after Hitler's speech he called upon the production companies to present scripts for anti-Semitic feature films. Eventually this order led to the production of two films, "Die Rothschilds" and "Jud Süß," both released in 1940. 27
Goebbels also wanted to have a "documentary" - a "reality film" - based on the concept of the 1937-exhibition in Munich called "Der ewige Jude" in order to reach the attention of all Germany. He was, however,
Three weeks later - on October 4, 1939, after having approved a newsreel with a comprehensive story on life in the Polish ghettos - Goebbels decided to send Fritz Hippler, Head of the Film Department in the Ministry of Propaganda, to Lodz to take further shots for a "Ghetto film," and on the following day he outlined the structure for such a film to Hippler and his expert on anti-Semitism, Eberhard Taubert. 29 Hippler was ordered to film "characteristic types of Jews," life in the ghetto, service in the synagogue as well as ritual slaughter. 30
Hippler returned to Berlin on October 16, 1939. After having informed Hitler about the project which had the Führer's "great interest," Goebbels later that night saw half-an-hour of rushes with slaughter of cows, calfs and sheep. Although Goebbels himself had ordered the recordings to look like cruelty to animals - and so they were! - he was nevertheless deeply shocked at what he saw. He wrote in his diary: "This Jewry must be annihilated." 31 That night - October 16, 1939 - Goebbels must have passed the "Threshold of Genocide" (Robert Jay Lifton), and from that day on he deliberately used these pictures as well as the whole film production as a cynical and ruthless advocacy for genocide.
Twelve days later Goebbels showed these slaughtering scenes to Hitler and others present at the dinner table. According to his diary they were all "deeply shocked." 32 And in estimating the effect on Hitler one should not forget his attitude towards animals: he was almost religiously a vegetarian. 33 To Adolf Hitler these scenes - and later the whole film, in which they were the emotional climax - must have functioned as a reinforcing factor and legitimization of his latent wish to exterminate the Jews as the "Evil of the World."
Three days later - on October 31, 1939 - Goebbels personally went to Lodz and summarized his impressions of the visit in the ghetto in his diary:
Lodz is a disgusting city. Driving through the ghetto. We get out and inspect everything carefully. It is indescribable. They are no longer human beings, but animals. It is, therefore, also no humanitarian task, but a task for the surgeon. One has got to cut here and that most radically. Or Europe will vanish one day due to the Jewish disease. 34
This notion certainly defined the whole mentality behind the production of the film and Goebbels was explicitly confirmed in his opinion of Jews by Hitler when he reported on his visit to Poland. An entry in his diary of November 2, 1939, states:
Above all my description of the Jewish problem finds his (i.e. Hitler's) total approval. The Jew is garbage. Rather a clinical than a social matter. 35
On this trip Goebbels was probably accompanied by his script-writer Eberhard Taubert and a cameraman, Erich Stoll, who was considered to be politically particularly trustworthy. Additional footage for the film was shot. About one week later Goebbels saw new rushes - and during the following weeks and months entries in his diary demonstrate how intensely he took interest in the film, and how important he considered it to be. His diary from November 19, 1939: "I inform the Führer about our Jew film. He gives some ideas for it. On the whole film is a very valuable propaganda medium for us just now." 36 It should also be noted that Goebbels regarded himself as an important film maker, 37 and that Hitler, too, considered himself to be an expert on film propaganda. He took each week the necessary time to review the latest UFA-Newsreel. The Führer even sometimes ordered changes before approval for public screening. 38
On December 11, 1939, the Führer rebuked Goebbels for bad film making - and worse: It happened at Hitler's dinner table while Goebbels' intimate enemy Rosenberg was present 39. "Der ewige Jude" could therefore also be seen as Goebbels' answer to this rebuke. The first cut of January 8, 1940, did not include the sequence with Hitler's notorious prophecy made on January 30, 1939. It contained only "Jewish" scenes (including a comparison between Jews and rats) and climaxed with the slaughter scenes 40. Hitler turned this version down on January 11, 1940. 41
Unfortunately, it is impossible to discern who came up with the idea of including the speech: Goebbels, Hitler or a film-researcher looking for a suitable Hitler-quotation. But, as the Führer's public response to the Jewish way of slaughter, it was included in the
A protocol of a test screening before top propagandists from all branches of the Third Reich on March 1, 1940, proves that "Der ewige Jude" was tested the way commercials are tested today before shown on television 42. Another intention of this screening was probably to radicalize the mentality of these opinion-makers of German society through the effect of the slaughter scenes, as ritual slaughter had for long been one of the spearheads of anti-Semitic propaganda. This protocol is, together with the source-critical shot-to-shot analysis of the film, another elucidating proof of the subtle accuracy and the technical perfection with which "Der ewige Jude" was produced in order to be as effectful as possible.
From the start, the so-called "film document" was to be understood as Goebbels' advocacy for a radical solution as the ultimate logical consequence of Hitler's own anti-Semitism - the Führer, not Goebbels, being the decision-maker in the "Jewish Question." And this also seems to be the reason why the film was so very well "researched" and in an almost "scientific" way embedded in the traditions of anti-Semitic propaganda, although it also used the whole range of audio-visual manipulations known in 1940. 43
According to the rolling titles at the beginning of the film it was a "documentary film" which "shows us Jews the way they really are, before they conceal themselves behind the mask of the civilized European." It used the slaughter scenes as the emotional climax, claiming that the reason for showing this "original footage," which belonged to the "most dreadful" ever recorded by a camera, was justified by one argument: By means of seeing for themselves the German people would at last "comprehend the truth of Jewry." And according to the commentary - read by the authoritative speaker of the Newsreels - "these pictures prove the cruelty of this form of slaughter. It reveals the character of a race which conceals its brutality beneath the cloak of pious religious practices."
Therefore the screenings of the film - being Hitler's only concrete confrontation with Jews after the Campaign in Poland - must have actualized the Jewish question in general and especially the "need" for him to take a decision in accordance with his ideology. It must have put him psychologically under pressure for making a move, as the "Saviour" of the German people, and thus to adhere to his own "prophecy" of January 30, 1939, which in the film was presented as the "solution" to the Jewish problem. And in 1940 the premise had become a reality, as the war was already in progress - a fact which was explicitly stressed in the promotion in press and radio, when the film finally had its opening night on November 28, 1940.
It was, however, only when "Providence" once more had confirmed him in his psychopatic world view on May 20, 1940 (i.e. when German troops according to his strategy cut the enemy forces into two by reaching the Channel Coast, and thus proving to himself that he had chosen the right strategy contrary to the advice of his military staff), that he seems to have given Goebbels his approval of the version of the film which is known today. 44
The visualized and structured externalisation of Hitler's more vague thinking through the "film document" had finally struck back. It had become the validation of his own hatred to the Jews and had removed any last doubts he, Hitler, might still have had in his subconsciousness. To the World, the climax of this film was to be understood as the Führer's unspoken yet incontrovertible Sentence of Death upon the Jews. And yet, from his psychopatic point of view it was not him, but "Fate" - or "Providence" - that commanded the extermination of Evil: He was just a "tool."
"Der ewige Jude" was nevertheless not released immediately after its approval by Hitler in May, 1940. The reason was that it awaited the final cut of the feature film "Jew Süß" which was another part of the propaganda package and which should arouse those anti-Semitic feelings that were to be "proven" by the other, "authentic film-document" 45. While "Jud Süß" had its opening night during the film festival of Venice on September 6, 1940, "Der ewige Jude" was shown to the top people of the Third Reich on September 8.
On that occasion Goebbels used it as a concrete demonstration of the new kind of war propaganda, which was to be used to prepare the German
"Der ewige Jude" finally had its opening night on November 28, 1940, when the director of the film - Fritz Hippler - stressed that the film was the proof of the correctness of Hitler's prophecy of 1939. In an interview broadcast all over Germany, Hippler ended by quoting this prophecy after having pointed out that the premise - the war - had become reality. 48
And just after the film had been shown all over Germany, Hitler himself on January 30, 1941, started recalling this his prophecy in his broadcasted speeches - thus virtually giving oral confirmation of the call for genocide expressed and legitimized in the film. 49 Especially as he - on this occasion and ever after 50 - claimed to have said it at the very outbreak of the war (just as he backdated the Euthanasia order). It was the dreadful images of the "inhumanity" of the Jews that the German public was expected to recall when they heard or read these speeches. In a time where real blood was virtually never shown on the screen, the slaughter scenes certainly had the same psychological effect of creating the genocidal mentality as the use of pictures of commited atrocities by the enemy during the war in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. 51
In other words, there are many cogent reasons to argue that "Der ewige Jude" can be considered to be Hitler's public statement to perpetrators and bystanders of what was going to be the next step in his war against the Jews. 52
Using this notion and the well-established chronology of the production of "Der ewige Jude," it seems possible to suggest the exact dates and places for Hitler's insane decision and for his order to Heinrich Himmler to take charge of the extermination project.
Hitler's pattern of behaviour during the Campaign in France was certainly defined by his war trauma from WW1. Although he was the Supreme Commander of the German army he was more interested in visiting his old battle-fields from this war .53 From a psychological point-of-view the approval of "Der ewige Jude" for public release must have activated his latent desire for a "Final Solution of the Jewish Question," but his visits to key places of relevance to his own, personal war trauma pulled the trigger and enforced his irrevocable decision to kill European Jewry.
On June 1, 1940 at around 6 p.m. Adolf Hitler returned to a little hill called "La Montagne" on the French-Belgian border, 2 kilometres to the south of the village of Wervicq. 54 Here during the night of October 13/14, 1918, he had been blinded by a British gas grenade. 55 He had then been transferred to a hospital in Pasewalk, Pomerania, where he recovered his ability to see, but as on November 10, 1918, he heard that the Kaiserreich had disintegrated and Germany lost the war, he wept hysterically and once more he temporarily lost his eyesight. 56
In order to get back his ability to see the future "psychopatic God" (Robert G.L. Waite) Adolf Hitler signed his personal Faustian pact with the Devil - or God or Providence, as Hitler preferred to call it. At least that is how he himself perceived and internalized this traumatic experience, 57 which made him take the decision to become a politician: "With the Jew there can be no pact - only 'either ... or.'" This sentence became the "credo" of his life. 58
Standing on "La Montagne" he was once more confirmed in his "mission," because with his very own eyes Hitler could see that he had done what he had promised himself to do in Pasewalk. He had turned the wheel of history and reestablished the power of the German nation: He had achieved the conquest of France.
Apart from this psychological argument there is some evidence supporting such an interpretation, especially if one accepts the notion of Yehuda Bauer and others, that the war against the Soviet Union from Hitler's point of view, was a war against the Jews. 59 On the day after the visit to Werwicq - June 2, 1940 - he told a general, that he hoped that England would soon "come to its senses," so that he could commence his "real task" and march against "Bolshevik Russia." 60
The following days also saw new initiatives in anti-Jewish policy, 61 but the most important piece of evidence is probably the secret decree of June 5, 1940, which could be used to cancel all German laws representing legal obstacles to total warfare. 62 This move can hardly have been justified by the second phase of the campaign in France, but must be seen in connection with a principal decision of attacking the Soviet Union. This interpretation is supported by the dates when the decree was renewed - December 20, 1940 and May 15, 1941. Both have clear connections with the planning of Operation Barbarossa.
On the following day - June 6, 1940 - Hitler moved to a new Field Headquarters which he himself renamed and gave the symbolic name "Wolfsschlucht." 63 The "Wolfsschlucht" does not only refer to Hitler's first name - "the noble Wolf" - but also to the German national opera "Der Freischütz" by Carl
On June 17, 1940, France asked for negotiations and Hitler ordered a "re-enactment" of the armistice of WW1 in Compiegne on June 21, where he was present as a "mute," god-like figure. However, he also visited old battle-fields that day, including the site near Soissons where he had been awarded his Iron Cross 1st Class. 65 Then - on the evening of June 22, 1940 - he received the official document, stating that France had surrendered. From a psychological point of view this must have been the final confirmation to Hitler of his "chosenness," and this made him externalize the decision taken at Werwicq. He called upon Heinrich Himmler right after having received the document around 9 p.m. and installed him by an oral order with the task to annihilate all European Jews.
This hypothesis, based on an analysis of Hitler's traumatic pattern of behaviour, is supported by one written source. According to Himmler's masseur Felix Kersten, Himmler at first refused to accept the order, because he considered it to be "un-Germanic" to kill an entire people, but finally he gave in and accepted the dreadful commission. 66 Kersten claimed that this command was given by Hitler "immediately after the capitulation of France" - and that Himmler explicitly blamed Goebbels as the person who had made Hitler take the decision. 67 From Kersten we also learn how the Führer carefully checked Himmler's various actions. For example, Hitler had all Himmler's secret speeches recorded - and Himmler later told Kersten about Hitler's rages when the Führer found his speeches or measures too weak - or when he didn't like the speed with which the actions against the Jews were being carried out. 68
As usual when confronted with moral problems Himmler got stomach cramps and let Heydrich - the real "Architect of the Final Solution" - take over. 69 On June 24, 1940, Heydrich wrote a short but pointed letter to Ribbentrop, reminding him that in January 1939 Goering had entrusted him, Heydrich, with authority over Jewish emigration. As the American specialist on this matter, Richard Breitman, has pointed out, this letter is unthinkable, unless Heydrich was sure that he acted on the authority of the Führer. 70
The assumption that Hitler gave such a verbal order to Himmler on June 22, 1940, would explain why there is no reference to Jews in Himmler's second plan for Germanization of Eastern Europe, dated June 30, 1940, in contrast to his former plan, presented to and approved by Hitler on May 25, 1940. 71 It would also explain the purpose of Heydrich's wellknown report of July 2, 1940, on the activities of the SS and the SD during and after the Polish Campaign. 72 This report was certainly intended for Hitler's eyes and can be seen as an operational step to secure the independence of the killer force. At the same time it can be seen as the formal acceptance by Heydrich (and Himmler) of the assignment.
In return for this acceptance there is some evidence that suggests that Hitler promised Himmler a both significant and somewhat odd "fee": On July 12, 1940, the Reichsfuehrer-SS got permission to tear down a church and enlarge the Wewelsburg Castle near Paderborn which Himmler meant to be the future "Centre of the World." 73 The architecture of the North Tower as well as the planning of the whole site implies that Hitler's body was going to be buried here, and the possession of this most sacred "relic" of The Third Reich would secure Himmler's power after Hitler's death. 74
The Reichsfuehrer-SS was to keep the task as secret as possible, following Hitler's general instructions of not letting anyone know anything they did not need to know, and to inform those, who had to know, as late as possible. 75 In this respect, the plan for sending the Jews to Madagascar was part of the cover-up, because it ensured the cooperation of the authorities (from Eichmann as chief coordinator and down- and outwards in the bureaucracy) and of the Jews themselves, who were made to believe in this possibility of a "human way" of solving the Jewish problem. 76 Judging from the psychology and moral thinking of Himmler, he - contrary to Heydrich - was reluctant to carry out his assignment and desparately hoped that the Madagascar Plan would become a reality, for both Madagascar and annihilation had the first phase - registration and segregation - in common.
The designated murderers (including Himmler himself) had to be psychologically prepared, because they had to believe that they were doing something good and noble - even while killing. And the German public as well as the non-Jewish population in occupied Europe had to accept what was going to happen to the (once) fellow citiziens that they could still meet in the streets.
"Der ewige Jude" was instrumental for this purpose together with the feature film "Jew Süß." Both films were used to "elucidate" the Jewish problem to the Waffen-SS which had to cope with the gradually growing economical and social problems of detaining Jews in ghettos, 77 and the public showings of these films in Germany and the rest of occupied Europe were a subtle way of making the public accomplices in the killings 78 - even if the task itself was delegated to the SS. In acting in this manner, Hitler once more followed the strategy he had outlined in the chapter on propaganda and organization in "Mein Kampf." 79
Hitler's prediction of a "conviction" that would be "gradually, totally and automatically released" became true, as we can discern from the above-mentioned testimony by Kurt Möbius as well as from the notorius letter from Rolf-Heinz Hoeppner in Lublin to Adolf Eichmann on July 16, 1941. Hoeppner found it more 'human' to search for a way of killing the Jews than to let them starve in the forthcoming winter. In his brain-washed mind they had to die anyway. 80
The source-critical shot-to-shot analysis of the film demonstrates that "Der ewige Jude" probably is the most manipulated film ever made. 81 Apart from being a shuddering example of Nazi paranoia towards the Jews it is also one of the best illustrations of how distorted "reality" can be used as a means of creating hate and genocidal mentality, because the way it was done can be documented down to the tiniest detail.
Unfortunately, the story of the "produced reality" of "Der ewige Jude" is not just a contribution to the ongoing academic discussion of the decision-making proces, which led to the Holocaust. Despite the fact that German authorities has forbidden its distribution and public showing, it can easily be obtained in both German and English versions and it is used by Neo-Nazi groups as "cult film." 82 Finally, one has just to see the propaganda of the contending sides in former Yugoslavia to conclude that Joseph Goebbels with his anti-Semitic films did create standards for dehumanization that still are applied as justification of genocide. 83
The psychologist Israel W. Charny once concluded from his comprehensive study of genocidal killing: "The mass killers of humankind are largely everyday human beings - what we have called normal people according to currently accepted definitions by the health profession." 84 The sociologist Everett C. Hughes confirmed the observation by Hannah Arendt on Eichmann and stated that such mass killers could in fact be viewed as "good people" doing the "dirty work" of their societies. 85 The sociologist Michael Ley has described the necessity to understand the "religious" function of National Socialism 86 and the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman has stressed genocide as part of modern mass society. 87 Finally the sociologist Eric Markusen and the historian David Kopf have underlined the function of mediated dehumanization as a neccessary condition for such mass killings. 88
Bearing all these observations on the reasons for instigating past genocides in mind, one also has to acknowledge another important fact which in many ways has been sadly neglected by scholars of genocide: the influence of modern mass media. As most of our conscious perception of the outer world derives from our eyes and as modern society is more and more developing into a mediated "information society," where our perception of reality is more and more shaped by visual information, it becomes urgently important to create a scientific approach which can integrate and compare information from written and non-written evidence.
The case of "Der ewige Jude" as Hitler's unspoken, yet unmistakably clear, order to commit genocide is a warning example that we as historical scientists need to revaluate our basic thinking and methodology, deriving from the traditional primacy of written evidence, and to take the consequence of the fundamental character of science as societal communication. As the history of the film shows, it is neccessary to use a broader approach than the traditional, based as it is on the assumption that only written evidence is permissible in scientific contexts.
1. I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Gerald Fleming, London, for his encouraging and challenging criticism during the preparation of this paper, which contains the core summary of a book which was published last year in Danish: Forermyten. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels og historien bag et folkemord. Copenhagen 1996, 424 pages.
2. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen: Hitler's Willing Executioners. Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. New York 1996. - Cf. Julius H. Schoeps (ed.): Ein Volk von Moerdern? Dokumentation zur Goldhagen-Kontroverse um die Rolle der Deutschen im Holocaust. Hamburg 1996.
3. Christopher R. Browning: The Path to Genocide. Essays concerning the Final Solution. Cambridge 1992. - Philippe Burrin: Hitler und die Juden. Die Entscheidung fuer den Voelkermord. Frankfurt 1993. - Christopher R. Browning: "The Euphoria if Victory and the Final Solution: Summer-Fall 1941." German Studies Review 17 (1994), No. 3, 473-481. - Richard Breitman: "Plans for the Final Solution in Early 1941." German Studies Review 17 (1994), No. 3, 483-493.
4. Cf. note 3.
5. Gerald Fleming: Hitler und die Endloesung: "es ist des Führers Wunsch..." Frankfurt/Main 1987.
6. Eberhard Jäckel: Hitlers Weltanschauung: Entwurf einer Herrschaft. Stuttgart 1986. - Eberhard Jäckel/Juergen Rohwer (ed.): Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Stuttgart 1985.
7. Karl A. Schleunes: "Nationalsozialistische Entschlussbildung und die Aktion T 4." In Jäckel/Rohwer 6, pp. 70-83.
8. Goetz Aly/Susanne Heim: Vordenker der Vernichtung. Auschwitz und die deutschen Pläne fuer eine neue
9. Cf. note 3.
10. Hans Mommsen: "Die Realisierung des Utopischen: Die 'Endloesung der Judenfrage' im 'Dritten Reich'. Geschichte und Gesellschaft 3 (1983), pp. 381-420.
11. Cf. Ian Kershaw: The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation. London 1993.
12. Hannah Arendt: Eichmann in Jerusalem. A Report on the Banality of Evil. Penguin edition, 1978, p. 276.
13. Goldhagen 2 p. 179. My underlining.
14. Peter L. Berger/Thomas Luckmann: The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Penguin 1972.
15. David Welch: Propaganda and the German Cinema 1933-1945. Oxford 1983. - Rudolf Herz: Hoffmann & Hitler. Fotografie als Medium des Führer-Mythos. Muenchen 1994.
16. Robert G.L. Waite: The Psychopatic God Adolf Hitler. New York 1977. - Norbert Bromberg/Verena V. Small: Hitler's Psychopathology. New York 1983. - I have describe several examples of this in my book Forermyten 1. One of them also is a significant example of, how his perception of films made him take important decisions. It is well-known that it was Hitler's personal letter to Stalin on August 20, 1939, that was the reason why the Hitler-Stalin Pact became a reality. In her memoirs Leni Riefenstahl tells what happened immediately before Hitler wrote this letter. She was present, when Hitler saw foreign news-reels:
In one of them one saw Stalin at a military parade in Moscow. Among the shots were some which showed the profile of Stalin in close-ups. I saw that Hitler bend forward and looked upon them very concentrated. As the screening was over, he surprisingly demanded to see the news-reel one more time without saying why. When Stalin once more was to be seen, I heard him say: "This man has a good face - one ought to be able to negotiate with him." When the lights were turned on, Hitler got up, excused himself and left.
Leni Riefenstahl: Memoiren 1902-1945. Frankfurt/Main 1994, p. 344. Her story is confirmed by an entry in Goebbels' diary of March 15, 1940, when Hitler related his view upon Stalin: "The Führer saw once Stalin in a film, and he (i.e. Stalin) seemed immediately to be sympathetic to him (i.e. Hitler). At that moment the German-Russian coalition actually had begun." Elke Froehlich (ed.): Die Tagebuecher von Joseph Goebbels. Sämtliche Fragmente. Muenchen 1987. Vol. 4, p. 75.
17. It is well-known that Adolf Hitler's pattern of behaviour was highly ritualized and was characterized by acts of obsessions, cf. Waite 16 and Bromberg/Small 16. The kind of his psychopathology is reflected in his keen interest in dates, places and symbols. This is one of the reasons why I in my Danish book Forermyten 1have presented him as a person suffering from some kind of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after his decision to become a politician in Pasewalk on November 10, 1918. The notion could probably be supported by an psychiatric expert on these matters who could make a lot of observations on Hitler by means of the massive amounts of film material which exists and to my knowledge only have been used once by a psychiatrist, although for another purpose. Ellen Gibbels: Hitlers Nervenkrankheit - Eine neurologisch-psychiatrische Studie. Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte 42 (1994), p. 155-220. - A survey of the literature on PTSD is given by John P. Wilson/Beverley Raphael (ed.): International Handbook of Traumatic Stress Syndromes. New York 1993.
18. John K. Sheriff: The Fate of Meaning: Charles Peirce, Structuralism and Literature. Princeton 1987. - Charles Morris: Languages and Behavior. New York 1946. - Charles Morris:
19. Claude Lévi-Strauss: Structural Anthropology. Penguin 1972. - Marcell Hénaff: Claude Lévi-Strauss. Paris 1991. - Michael Walitschke: Im Wald der Zeichen: Linguistik und Anthropologie - das Werk von Claude Lévi-Strauss. Tuebingen 1995. - Roland Barthes: Mythologies. Paris 1970. - Roland Barthes: Le texte et l'image. Paris 1986. - Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt: Liebe und Hass. Zur Naturgeschichte elementarer Verhaltensweisen. Muenchen 1972.
20. Stig Hornshøj-Møller: "Der ewige Jude." Quellenkritische Analyse eines antisemitischen Propagandafilms. Institut fuer den Wissenschaftlichen Film, Goettingen 1995 (= Beiträge zu zeitgeschichtlichen Filmquellen Bd. 2). - Stig Hornshøj-Møller: "Die Entscheidung. Der antisemitische Propagandafilm 'Der ewige Jude' und seine Bedeutung fuer den Holocaust. In: Gerhard Maletzke/Ruediger Steinmetz (ed.): Zeiten und Medien - Medienzeiten. Festschrift zum 60. Geburtstag von Karl Friedrich Reimers. Leipziger Universitätsverlag, Leipzig 1995, 142-163. - Stig Hornshøj-Møller: "'Der ewige Jude' (1940) - Legitimation und Ausloeser eines Voelkermordes. In: Karl Friedrich Reimers (Hrsg.): Unser Jahrhundert im Film und Fernsehen. Verlag oelschläger, Muenchen 1995, 59-97.
21. Erwin Leiser: Deutschland, erwache! Reinbek/Hamburg 1968, p. 67.
22. When commercial TV was introduced in Denmark in 1987 I worked for two year as the assistent in-house producer for a very experienced English producer who worked as a consultant for the second biggest advertising agency in Denmark. We also produced four major commercials for washing detergent. There were striking similarities between the way the audio-visual medium was used to influence people in The Third Reich and in a modern democratic country like Denmark. My experience from this job, however, made me understand the "creative" process during the production of "Der ewige Jude" much better.
23. Lawrence Reece: We have Ways of Making You Think. Goebbels - Master of Propaganda. BBC - International Services, 23.12. 1992.
24. The production history is described in details in the author's source-critical edition 20.
25. Wilhelm Treue: "Rede Hitlers vor der deutschen Presse (10. November 1938). Vierteljahreshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte 6 (1958), pp. 175-88.
26. Ralf Georg Reuth: Goebbels. Muenchen 1990, pp. 399-400.
27. Dorothea Hollstein: Jud Süß und die Deutschen. Frankfurt/Main 1983. - Régine Mihal Friedmann: L'image et son juif. Paris 1983.
28. The very same day Hitler had a meeting with Reichsfuehrer-SS, Heinrich Himmler, which can be seen as the beginning of the policy of establishing ghettos as formally ordered by Himmler's deputy, Reinhard Heydrich, on September 21. Here, too, visual perception can be seen as the releasing factor for the decision: Hitler had had all his prejudices of Jews - actually looking like Jews - confirmed while visiting the already overcrowded ghetto of Lodz the day before, and once again on September 20, when both Himmler and Heydrich were present.
29. Cf. the author's source-critical edition of the film 20 p. 16.
30. For chronological reasons it should be noted that Hitler on October 6, 1939, outlined his concept for Eastern Europe in a broadcasted speech before the Reichstag and that he on the following day made Himmler responsible for the "Germanization" of the
31. Froehlich 16 vol. 3, p. 612. - According to Hippler's memoirs, Goebbels "wanted to show me how somebody with a proper attitude towards the Jewish question would react. Almost every close-up was accompanied by shouts of disgust and loathing; some scenes he criticized so strongly as if to bring a reaction from the screen itself; at the ritual slaughter-scenes, he held his hands over his face." Fritz Hippler: Die Verstrickung. Duesseldorf 1981, p. 187.
32. Entry in Goebbels' diary under October 29, 1939. Froehlich 16 vol. 3, pp. 625-26.
33. Waite 16 p. 27f. Froehlich 16 vol 3, p. 680, entry in Goebbels' diary from December 29, 1939: "The Führer is a fundamentally convinced vegetarian."
34. Froehlich 16 vol 3, pp. 628-29.
35. Froehlich 16 vol. 3, p. 630.
36. Froehlich 16 vol. 3, p. 647.
37. Rudolf Semler: Goebbels - The Man Next to Hitler. London 1947, p. 48-49.
38. E.g. on November 9, 1939. Froehlich 16 vol. 3, p. 638.
39. Hans-Guenther Seraphim (ed.): Das politische Tagebuch Alfred Rosenberg aus den Jahren 1934/35 und 1939/40. Muenchen 1964, p. 110-11.
40. Frank Maraun: "Symphonie des Ekels. Der ewige Jude - ein abendfuellender Dokumentarfilm. Der deutsche Film 4 (1939/40) p. 156-61.
41. Froehlich 16 vol. 4, p. 11.
42. Institut fuer Zeitgeschichte, Muenchen. Mc 31 a. Fritz Hippler.
43. "Der ewige Jude" contained nothing new, but was virtually a filmed "black book" filled with examples from many years of anti-Semitic traditions. As part of the propaganda set-up - and as with all feature films of the day - one could purchase an illustrated program, the Illustrierte Film-Kurier, with a summary of the contents of the film which is reprinted here in order to give an impression of this the hate-film of all time:
The film begins with an impressive expedition through the Jewish ghettoes in Poland. We are shown Jewish living quarters, which in our
view cannot be called houses. In these dirty rooms lives and prays a race, which earns its living not by work but by haggling and swindling. From the little urchin to the old man, they stand in the streets, trading and bargaining. Using trick photography, we are shown how the Jewish racial mixture in Asia Minor developed and flooded the entire world. We see a parallel to this in the itinerant routes of rats, which are the parasites and bacillus-carriers among animals, just as the Jews occupy the same position among mankind. The Jew has always known how to assimilate his external appearance to that of his host. Contrasted are the same Jewish types, first the Eastern Jew with his kaftan, beard, and sideburns, and then the clean-shaven, Western European Jew. This strikingly demonstrates how he has deceived the Aryan people. Under this mask he increased his influence more and more in Aryan nations and climbed to higher-ranking positions. But he could not change his inner being.
After the banishment of the Jews from Europe was lifted, following the age of Enlightenment, the Jew succeeded within the course of several decades in dominating the world economy, before the various host nations realized - and this despite the fact that they made up only 1 per cent of the world population. An excerpt from an American film
about the Rothschilds, made by Jews, reveals to us the cunning foundations of their banking empire. Then we see how Jews, working for their international finance, drive the German people into the November Revolution. They then shed their anonymity and step out openly on to the stage of political and cultural life. Thus the men who were responsible for the disgraceful debasement of the German people are paraded before us. Incontestable examples are shown of how they robbed the country and the people of immense sums. As well as gaining financial supremacy they were able to dominate cultural life. The repulsive pictures of so-called Jewish "art" reveal the complete decline of cultural life at that time. Using original sequences from contemporary films, the degrading and destructive tendency of Jewish power is exposed. For hundreds of years German artists have glorified figures from the Old Testament, knowing full well the real face of Jewry. How the Jew actually looks like is shown in scenes shot by Jews themselves in a "culture film" of a Purim festival, which is still celebrated today to commemorate the slaughter of 75,000 anti-Semitic Persians, and the doctrine with which future Rabbis in Jewish schools are educated to be political pedagogues. We look into a Jewish 'Talmud' class and experience the oriental tone of the ceremony in a Jewish synagogue, where Jews conduct business deals among themselves during the holy services.
However, the cruel face of Judaism is most brutally displayed in the final scenes, in which original shots of a kosher butchering are revealed. These film documents of the inhuman slaughter of cattle and sheep without anaesthesia provide conclusive evidence of a brutality which is simply inconceivable to all Aryan people. In shining contrast, the film closes with pictures of German people and German order which fill the viewer with a feeling of deep gratification for belonging to a race whose Führer is fundamentally solving the Jewish problem.
44. The evidence is circumstancial, but this date is the only one that interlocks with the logic of the film production and with the psychological pattern of Hitler's behaviour. From an entry in Goebbels' diary on May 9, 1940, we know that he is still working on the final cut. Froehlich (note 16), vol. 4, p. 150-51. We know from the same diary, that he sent a transportable projector to Hitler's Field Headquarters because he considered it important for his activities as a propaganda minister that Hitler at least could see the news-reels. Entry from May 12, 1940, Froehlich 16 vol. 4, p. 156. In the following days Goebbels does not refer to "Der ewige Jude" in his diary, but on May 23 he suddenly informed his staff that he was satisfied with the film in its present version. Willi A. Boelcke (ed.): Kriegspropaganda 1939-1941. Geheime Ministerkonferenzen im Reichspropagandaministerium. Stuttgart 1966, p. 487. It was the first time that "Der ewige Jude" is mentioned officially in the protocol of the secret conferences and it can only mean that Hitler must have approved it before this date. Another indication of an approval on May 20 might be the fact that the earliest hint towards a future campaign against Jewish-Bolshevik Russia was a remark from Hitler to general Halder on May 21. Klaus Hildebrand: Deutsche Aussenpolitik. Kalkuel oder Dogma? Stuttgart 1990, p. 99.
45. Cf. note 27.
46. Froehlich 16 vol. 4, p. 315.
47. Boelcke 44 pp. 503 and 518.
48. Interview printed in three German film magazines: Der Film No. 48/1940; Film-Kurier No. 279/1940; Filmwelt No. 49/1940. Reprinted in the author's source-critical edition 20 pp. 309-12.
49. M. Domarus (ed.): Hitler. Reden und Proklamationen. Wuerzburg 1962. Vol. 2, p. 1663.
50. C.C. Aronsfeld: "'Perish Judah'. Nazi Extermination Propaganda 1920-1945. Pattern of Prejudice 12,5 (1978), pp. 22-23.
51. During the summer of 1992 I closely followed Serbian and Croate Television live on Cable-TV. My experiences from viewing these programs as well as the whole mix of programs finally made me leave my original working hypothesis and to accept "Der ewige Jude" as a crucial factor for instigating the Holocaust.
52. This interpretation is supported by three further arguments: 1) Goebbels would never have dared to present a film on such a key issue in Nazi ideology to the public without the explicit approval by the Führer. 2) In 1940 all visual representation of the Führer had to be approved by him personally. 3) The significance of the Führer-Myth and the way Hitler was presented to the German public by means of documentary footage is documented through the SD-report from November 28, 1940 (the opening night of "Der ewige Jude"), commenting on the news-reels: "There is still an overwhelming interest for all shots of the Führer. It is almost so that a news-reel without pictures of the Führer is not regarded as a proper news-reel. One wishes all the time to see what he looks like, whether he is grave or laughs. On the other hand one is deeply disappointed that for a long time one has not been able to hear his voice in the news-reels, too." - Heinz Boberach: Meldungen aus dem Reich. Neuwied-Berlin 1965, p. 114f.
53. Cf. Froehlich 16, vol. 4, 192.
54. Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg. RW 47/6. Kriegstagebuch des Kommandanten Führerhauptquartier. Entry from June 1, 1940, shows that Hitler visited Wervicq that afternoon after having visited other sites of WW1. His photographer Heinrich Hoffmann took nine photos on that occasion. Fotoarchiv Hoffmann, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Muenchen. File XVI. 39.
55. Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf. 681-685. Auflage. Muenchen 1942, pp. 220-21.
56. Mein Kampf 55 pp. 222-25.
57. Rudolph Binion: "... dass ihr mich gefunden habt." Hitler und die Deutschen: Eine Psychoanalyse. Stuttgart 1978. In an appendix (p. 178-81) Binion has collected many sources of how Hitler himself described what happened in Pasewalk.
58. From my reading as a layman of modern research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - using the excellent library of the International Research and Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims in Copenhagen - it seems to be a very fruitful hypothesis to regard Adolf Hitler as a person suffering from a potential PTSD and to use modern knowledge on this condition as the structural explanation of the development of his personality. The doctor that treated him in Pasewalk described him as being hysterical because of a shell shock, which was the way PTSD was diagnosed at that time. - This approach might also point to the reason why Adolf Hitler hated the Jews - and not the English who had sent the shell that blinded him. Brigitte Hamann has recently shown that when Hitler left Vienna in Spring 1913, he had not yet become a fanatic anti-Semite, although his impressions from Vienna later became part of the reasoning behind his anti-Semitism. Brigitte Hamann: Hitlers Wien. Lehrjahre eines Diktators. Muenchen 1996. Therefore we have to search a personal experience with a Jew during the war to be the key event which at the outbreak of the trauma made him believe that he himself was responsible for the German defeat: He had committed a sin because he had violated German spirit by carrying out the wish of a Jew and therefore he himself had to redeem it by fighting the Jews. From a semiotic point of view it is possible to put forward the following scenario: Hitler's immediate superior from January 31 to August 30, 1918, was a Jewish officer, named Hugo Gutmann. Gutmann promised Hitler Iron Cross 1st Class, if he was successful in getting an important message through during heavy fighting in late May. It was months later - on August 4, 1918 - that Hitler got the award which later became the token of his life, but only four days later - at a time when Gutmann was on leave - that the German army had to retreat, and Gutmann was shortly after transferred to a post far behind the lines, while Hitler stayed and got wounded. Strangely enough, Hitler never told anybody why he was awarded, although one could assume that this could have been instrumental in his efforts to gain political support. Hitler, however, referred once explicitly to Gutmann, namely in his table-talks on November 10, 1941. Jochmann, Werner (ed.): Adolf Hitler. Monologe im Führerhauptquartier 1941-1944. Die Aufzeichnungen Heinrich Heims. Hamburg 1980, p. 132. The date here is important, as his curse on Gutmann took place on the anniversary of his trauma - and coincides with the date where Himmler was put so much under pressure by Hitler that he told Kersten about the order to kill the Jews.
59. Yehuda Bauer: Freikauf von Juden? Verhandlungen zwischen dem nationalsozialistischen Deutschland und juedischen Repräsentanten von 1933 bis 1945. Franfurt/Main 1996, p. 97.
60. Karl Klee: Das Unternehmen 'Seeloewe'. Goettingen 1958, p. 189f.
61. Uwe Dietrich Adam: Judenpolitik im Dritten Reich. Tuebingen 1972, pp. 273-85.
62. Adam 61 p. 245 with note 59.
63. Kommandotagebuch 54. Entry from June 6, 1940.
64. Kommandotagebuch 54. Entry from June 13, 1940. The implications of this name was clearly understood by the Staff of the Army which started to work out plans for the campaign without having a specific order. - Hitler's pattern of symbolic behaviour during this period is also confirmed by other events. On the morning after the capitulation of France Hitler paid a visit to Napoleon's grave in Paris and, so to speak, took over the task of fighting Russia, which Napoleon had invaded on June 22, 1812. It was, therefore, no coincidence that the final battle against the Jews was launched on June 22, 1941. It was exactly one year after he had ordered Himmler to be responsible for exterminating the Jews.
65. Just as Hitler turned the village of his father (whom he hated because of the possibility of having a Jewish grandfather) into a training field for the Wehrmacht, he "erased" the site where he had obtained his Iron Cross 1st Class by installing a new Field Headquarters. He called it "Wolfsschlucht 2," a fact, which could be considered as another indication of Gutmann's importance to the exterminist character of Hitler's anti-Semitism.
66. Felix Kersten: Totenkopf und Treue. Heinrich Himmler ohne Uniform. Aus den Tagebuechern des finnischen Medizinalrats. Hamburg 1952, p. 149. Kersten is a disputed source among
67. Kersten 66 p. 200.
68. Cf. Bradley F. Smith/Agnes F. Peterson (ed.): Heinrich Himmler: Geheimreden 1933-1945 und andere Aussprachen. Frankfurt/Main 1974.
69. Richard Breitman 66 argues that Himmler started the preparations for the Holocaust in the summer of 1940 on his own. Although I disagree on this point, I consider his book to be an excellent and well-documented analysis of Himmler's crucial role in actually carrying out Hitler's order which in details interlocks with the chronology of the decision-making process presented in this paper.
70. Breitman 66 p. 124.
71. Helmut Krausnick: "Denkschrift Himmlers ueber die Behandlung der Fremdvoelkischen im Osten (Mai 1940)." Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte 5 (1957), p. 194-98. Breitman 66 p. 127.
72. Helmut Krausnick: "Hitler und die Morde in Polen." Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte 11 (1963), p. 207
73. Karl Hueser: Wewelsburg 1933 bis 1945. Kult- und Terrorstätte der SS. Paderborn 1982, p. 274.
74. In the author's Danish book 1 there is a detailed argumentation for this claim.
75. Lucy S. Dawidowicz: Der Krieg gegen die Juden 1933-1945. Muenchen 1975, p. 175.
76. Cf. Breitman 66 pp. 116-44.
77. On September 30, 1940, Himmler ordered the SS and the police to see "Jud Süß" during the winter. Hollstein 27 p. 106. No such order was neccessary with relevance to "Der ewige Jude," because it was produced by the state itself - and not by a private company. Therefore there were no expenses connected with the presentation of "Der ewige Jude" which were the case when showing "Jud Süß."
78. There were also produced a Dutch, a French and an international version of "Der ewige Jude." Cf. the author's source-critical edition 20, p. 305.
79. Mein Kampf 55 pp. 649-69.
80. Adalbert Rueckerl: Nationalsozialistische Vernichtungslager im Spiegel deutscher Strafprozesse. Muenchen 1979, pp. 256-57.
81. Cf. the author's source-critical edition 20 with its shot-to-shot analysis.
82. Stig Hornshøj-Møller: "Kultfilm der Neonazis. 'Der ewige Jude' verbreitet immer noch 24 Luegen pro Sekunde." medium 3/1994, p. 31-33. Michael Schmidt: Heute gehoert uns die Strasse. Der Inside-Report aus der Neonazi-Szene. Duesseldorf 1994, p. 47-52. - A video-copy of "Der ewige Jude" with an American voice-over can be obtained from International Historic Films, Box 29035, Chicago, Illinois 60629, USA.
83. To quote the Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Ignjatovic, in a television interview from 1993: "We avoided showing atrocities and genocide committed by the Croatians and Moslems against the Serbian people - except when we had no other choice..." Video-copy in the archive of the author.
84. Israel W. Charny: "Genocide and Mass Destruction: Doing Harm to Others as a Missing Dimension in Psychopathology." Psychiatry Vol. 49 (1986), pp. 144-57.
85. Everett C. Hughes: "Good People and Dirty Work." In: Howard S. Becker (ed.): The Other Side. New York 1964, pp. 23-36.
86. Michael Ley: Genozid und Heilserwartung. Zum nationalsozialistischen Mord am europäischen Judentum. Wien 1993.
87. Zygmunt Bauman: Modernity and the Holocaust. Cambridge 1989.
88. Eric Markusen and David Kopf: The Holocaust and Strategic Bombing: Genocide and Total War in the Twentieth Century. Boulder 1995.