John M Cox coxj at email.unc.edu
Sat Nov 1 23:12:43 MST 2003

Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003 09:05:56 -0500 (EST)

>From: John M Cox <coxj+AEA-email.unc.edu>
>>From Michael Marrus, "The Holocaust in History," (1987), 24-25:
>"Consistent with the Nazis's biological racism, each and every Jew was a
>threat, including the old, the ill, the women, children, and even tiny
>infants. No Jewish community could be left in peace--at least, not for
>long. At the Wannsee Conference in Jan. 1942, intended to set in motion
>the Final Solution, the minutes noted 11 million European Jews.
Is this absolutely agreed upon; ie. that 1942 was the year and official
beginning of the 'Final Solution'? I had understood that no such date,
written order was on the books or otherwise documented. Further, I
thought that the Holocaust (in its industrial version, at least) was now
thought to have begun as late as the second half of 1943-- after the
Nazis no longer had an 'if' they were going to lose the war, but a 'when'.


-- The decision to embark upon the 'Final Solution to the Jewish Question'
--i.e. to physically exterminate all Jews within their realm--was made in
the summer of 1941. The Wannsee Conference of Jan. 1942 is sometimes
referred to as the starting date of the Holocaust (of the Jews), but the
conference was simply aimed at strengthening the coordination of the plan,
 arrived at by Hitler, Himmler, and Heydrich a few months
earlier. I'd refer again to the research of Christopher Browning, which I
mentioned in an earlier email; virtually all historians today
would agree that the decision was made prior to Wannsee.

By the spring of 1943, most of the 5.5-6 million Jews had already
been killed. Of course Julliian is correct that Russian POWs (about 3.5
million), Poles, Russians, 'Gypsies,' and other so-called subhumans
(Untermenschen) were also exterminated in huge numbers. Other than this, I
don't really know what Julliian is getting at - he himself invoked the
term "holocaust," making a worthless and false analogy, and now he writes
a silly polemic about 'morality' in which he denounces anyone who talks
about the Nazi Holocaust! My apologies to everyone else on the listserv
for having provoked him; hopefully he'll move on to something more
serious. As I wrote earlier, we don't need to compare the U.S. policy
toward Iraq of the last dozen years to Nazism in order to appreciate and
expose its criminality (and why not compare it to Leopold's policy in the
Congo or Germany's against the Herero instead? often we're too quick to
drag Hitler/Nazism into everything, and this is rarely illuminating).

John Cox

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