How they justified the killings

The one thing that really intrigues me about the Holocaust and other horrific events throughout history is ,how do people justify killing and torturing fellow human beings. It will take an awful lot before I would hurt another human being, only when I would be physically threatened I would resort to a physical defense.

The Nazi’s didn’t see the Jews,Romani,Sinti,Disabled and Homosexuals as human beings, they were referred to as subhumans.But still when someone of flesh and blood stands before you how can you not think that this is another human being?. Below are some excerpts from documents and speeches which may gave an indication of the Nazi psyche and how they were able to convince ‘ordinary’ people to kill others.

The Business as usual kind of language is just extraordinary.

Germany Himmler Letters

A quote from Heinrich Himmler speaking on October 6, 1943 to a meeting of Gauleiters and Reichsleiters in Poznam.

“I must ask you only to listen to what I tell you in this group and never to speak about it. We were asked: What about the women and children? I made up my mind to find a clear solution here too. You see, I did not feel I had a right to exterminate the men – i.e. kill them or have them killed – while allowing the children to grow up and take revenge upon our sons and grandsons. We had to reach the difficult decision of making this nation vanish from the face of the earth.”


Taken from one of Goebbels’s diaries.

“The Jews are alike. Whether they live in a ghetto of the East or in the bankers’ palaces of the City or Wall Street, they will always pursue the same aims and without previous agreement even use the same means. One might well ask why are there any Jews in the world order? That would be exactly like asking why are there potato bugs? Nature is dominated by the law of struggle. There will always be parasites who will spur this struggle on and intensify the process of selection between the strong and the weak. The principle of struggle dominates also in human life. One must merely know the laws of this struggle to be able to face it. The intellectual does not have the natural means of resisting the Jewish peril because his instincts have been badly blunted. Because of this fact the nations with a high standard of civilization are exposed to this peril first and foremost. In nature life always takes measures against parasites; in the life of nations that is not always the case. From this fact the Jewish peril actually stems. There is therefore no other recourse left for modern nations except to exterminate the Jew…”


Letter to SS-Obersturmbannführer Walter Rauff (sender was only known a Willy)

“Since December 1941, for example, 97,000 have been processed using three vans without any faults developing in the vehicles. The well-known explosion in Kulmhof (Chelmno) must be treated as a special case. It was caused by faulty practice. Special instructions have been given to the relevant offices in order to avoid such accidents. The instructions were such as to ensure a considerable increase in the degree of security.
Further operational experience hitherto indicates that the following technical alterations are appropriate….

2) The vans are normally loaded with 9-10 people per square meter. With the large Saurer special vans this is not possible because although they do not become overloaded their maneuverability is much impaired. A reduction in the load area appears desirable. It can be achieved by reducing the size of the van by c. 1 meter. The difficulty referred to cannot be overcome by reducing the size of the load. For a reduction in the numbers will necessitate a longer period of operation because the free spaces will have to be filled with CO. By contrast, a smaller load area which is completely full requires a much sorter period of operation since there are no free spaces…..

3) The connecting hoses between the exhaust and the van frequently rust through because they are corroded inside by the liquids which fall on them. To prevent this the connecting piece must be moved so that the gas is fed from the top downwards. This will prevent liquids flowing in…..
6) The lighting must be better protected against damage than hitherto….It has been suggested that lighting should be dispensed with since they are allegedly never used. However, experience shows that when the rear door is closed and therefore when it becomes dark, the cargo presses hard towards the door….It makes it difficult to latch the door. Furthermore, it has been observed that the noise always begins when the doors are shut presumably because of fear brought on by the darkness.”


Letters to Adolf Rosenberg, sent by Hinrich Lohse  and Wilhelm Kube

Reichskommissar for Ostland
IIa 4
To: Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories
RE: Execution of Jews

To: Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories
RE: Execution of Jews

. . .Will you please inform me whether your inquiry of 31.October should be interpreted as a directive to liquidate all the Jews in Ostland? Is this to be done regardless of age, sex, and economic requirements (for instance, the Wehrmacht’s demand for skilled workers in the armament industry)? Of course the cleansing of Ostland of Jews is a most important task; its solution, however, must be in accord with the requirements of war production.

Hinrich_Lohse . .

Reichskommissar for Ostland(Hinrich Lohse.

Reichskommissar for Ostland
To: Higher SS and Police Leader

. . . I request most emphatically that the liquidation of Jews employed as skilled workers in armament plants and repair workshops of the Wehrmacht who cannot be replaced at present by local personnel be prevented. . .

. . . Provision is to be made as quickly as possible for the training of suitable local personnel as skilled workers. . .
Reichskommissar for Ostland

Wilhelm Kube

Generalkommissar for Byelorussia
To: Reichskommissar for Ostland

I wish to ask you personally for an official directive for the conduct of the civilian administration towards the Jews deported from Germany to Byelorussia. Among these Jews are men who fought at the Front and have the Iron Cross, First and Second Class, war invalids, half-Aryans, even three- quarter Aryans. . .

. . .These Jews will probably freeze or starve to death in the coming weeks.
. . On my own responsibility I will not give the SD any instructions with regard to the treatment of these people. . .

I am certainly a hard [man] and willing to help solve the Jewish question, but people who come from our own cultural sphere just are not the same as the brutish hordes in this place. Is the slaughter to be carried out by the Lithuanians and Letts, who are themselves rejected by the population here? I couldn’t do it. I beg you to give clear directives [in this matter,] with due consideration for the good name of our Reich and our Party, in order that the necessary action can be taken in the most humane manner.
Heil Hitler!
Wilhelm Kube



Letter from Dr. Wurm, of the Wuerttemberg Evangelical Provincial Church, to Reich Minister of interior Dr. Frick, September 5 1940

Dear Reich Minister,

On July 19th I sent you a letter about the systematic extermination of lunatics, feeble-minded and epileptic persons. Since then this practice has reached tremendous proportions: recently the inmates of old-age homes have also been included. The basis for this practice seems to be that in an efficient nation there should be no room for weak and frail people. It is evident from the many reports which we are receiving that the people’s feelings are being badly hurt by the measures ordered and that the feeling of legal insecurity is spreading which is regrettable from the point of view of national and state interest.

Brack 1940

Letter from SS-Oberfuehrer Brack to Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler, June23, 1942 

Honorable Mr. Reichsfuehrer!
According to my impression there are at least 2-3 million men and women wellfit for work among the approx. 10 million European Jews. In consideration of theexceptional difficulties posed for us by the question of labor, I am of theopinion that these 2-3 million should in any case be taken out and kept alive. Ofcourse this can only be done if they are in the same time rendered incapable ofreproduction. I reported to you about a year ago that persons under myinstruction have completed the necessary experiments for this purpose. I wish tobring up these facts again. The type of sterilization which is normally carriedout on persons with genetic disease is out of the question in this case, as ittakes too much time and is expensive. Castration by means of X-rays, however, isnot only relatively cheap, but can be carried out on many thousands in a veryshort time. I believe that it has become unimportant at the present time whetherthose affected will then in the course of a few weeks or months realize by theeffects that they are castrated.
In the event, Mr. Reichsfuehrer, that you decide to choose these means in theinterest of maintaining labor-material, Reichsleiter Bouhler will be ready toprovide the doctors and other personnel needed to carry out this work. He alsoinstructed me to inform you that I should then order the required equipment asquickly as possible.

Dear Brack,
It is only today that I have the opportunity of acknowledging the receipt ofyour letter of June 23. I am positively interested in seeing the sterilization byX-rays tried out at least once in one camp in a series of experiments.
By order of Reichsleiter Bouhler I submit to you as an enclosure a work of Dr. Horst Schumann on the influence of X-rays on human genital glands.
SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Brandt to Prof. Clauberg, 10 July 1942


Today the Reich Leader SS charged me with transmitting to you his wish thatyou go to Ravensbruck after you have had another talk with SS-ObergruppenfuehrerPohl and the camp physician of the women’s concentration camp Ravensbruck, inorder to perform the sterilization of Jewesses according to your method…
Thorough experiments should be conducted to investigate the effect of thesterilization largely in a way that you find out after a certain time, which youwould have to fix, perhaps by X-rays, what kind of changes have taken place. Insome cases a practical experiment might be arranged by locking up a Jewess and a Jew together for a certain period and then seeing what results are achieve”


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