Monday, October 04, 2004

Himmler's Poznan speech - October 4, 1943

An anniversary worth marking. --Jeff Weintraub

Norman Geras (Normblog)
October 4, 2004

Himmler's Poznan speech

On October 4 1943 Heinrich Himmler made a notorious speech in Poznan, Poland. The full text in both German and English is available here. An excerpt:

I also want to mention a very difficult subject before you here, completely openly. It should be discussed amongst us, and yet, nevertheless, we will never speak about it in public.
I am talking about the "Jewish evacuation": the extermination of the Jewish people. It is one of those things that is easily said. "The Jewish people is being exterminated," every Party member will tell you, "perfectly clear, it's part of our plans, we're eliminating the Jews, exterminating them, ha!, a small matter."

And then along they all come, all the 80 million upright Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. They say: all the others are swine, but here is a first-class Jew.

And none of them has seen it, has endured it. Most of you will know what it means when 100 bodies lie together, when there are 500, or when there are 1000. And to have seen this through, and - with the exception of human weaknesses - to have remained decent, has made us hard and is a page of glory never mentioned and never to be mentioned.

Posted by Norm at 09:40 PM | Permalink