Goebbels' "die Vernichtung des Judentums" 12/12/41

Read and post various viewpoints or search our large archives.

Moderator: Moderator

Forum rules
Be sure to read the Rules/guidelines before you post!
User avatar
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat May 16, 2020 1:46 am

Goebbels' "die Vernichtung des Judentums" 12/12/41

Postby Waldgänger » 1 month 2 weeks ago (Sat May 01, 2021 11:25 am)

I am not a native German speaker. Can anyone confirm that this word in Goebbels' diary entry of December 12, 1941...

"Der Weltkrieg ist da, die Vernichtung des Judentums muß die notwendige Folge sein."

... "Judentum", actually means Jews as a collective body of individuals to be destroyed?

Ignoring the meaning of Vernichtung, which has been debated many times here, I wonder what the average German of the 30s-40s meant by the term "Judentum". A literal English translation seems like it should yield options such as: Jewishdom, Jewdom, Jewry, Jewishness. But not necessarily "the Jews", "all Jews", "Jews as persons in general".

The destruction/uprooting/driving out of Jewishness from Europe was, after all, the stated intention of Hitler & NSDAP from the beginning. I find the idea that "Judentum" means all Jews (as individual persons) in the entire world also absurd. The NSDAP do not seem to have been interested in conquering the entire world, despite the way this has been presented by Hollywood and others since 1945.

If erasing/destroying/uprooting "Judentum" in Europe meant undoing the systematic financial, media, and educational influence of Jews, then this phrase still appears to make a lot of sense. I'm just wondering if Goebbels meant that.

User avatar
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 719
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:12 pm

Re: Goebbels' "die Vernichtung des Judentums" 12/12/41

Postby HMSendeavour » 1 month 2 weeks ago (Sat May 01, 2021 12:16 pm)

Yes, Goebbels said this.


Regarding the Jewish Question, the Führer is determined to clear the table. He had prophesied to the Jews that if they once again brought about a world war, they would experience their own destruction. This was not just an empty phrase. The World War is here, and the destruction of Jewry must be the necessary consequence. This question must be seen without any sentimentality. We aren’t here to feel sorry for the Jews, but rather to sympathize with our own German people. If the German people have now once again sacrificed as many as 160,000 dead in the Eastern campaign, then the authors of this bloody conflict must pay with their lives.


Bezüglich der Judenfrage ist der Führer entschlossen, reinen Tisch zu machen. Er hat den Juden prophezeit, dass, wenn sie noch einmal einen Weltkrieg herbeiführen würden, sie dabei ihre Vernichtung erleben würden. Das ist keine Phrase gewesen. Der Weltkrieg ist da, die Vernichtung des Judentums muss die notwendige Folge sein. Diese Frage ist ohne jede Sentimentalität zu betrachten. Wir sind nicht dazu da, Mitleid mit den Juden, sondern nur Mitleid mit unserem deutschen Volk zu haben. Wenn das deutsche Volk jetzt wieder im Ostfeldzug an die 160,000 Tote geopfert hat, so werden die Urheber dieses blutigen Konflikts dafür mit ihrem Leben bezahlen müssen.

Joseph Goebbels, 13 December, 1941. Goebbels on the Jews: The Complete Diary Entries 1923-1945, Edited & Translated by Thomas Dalton, PhD. (Castle Hill Publishers, 2019), Pp. 134-135.

Nothing practical is mentioned by Goebbels here, so it's hard to tell what he envisions. The idea of murdering Jews is contradicted of course by the fact that the Jewish Question well into 1942 was treated as a program of deportation, not murder, nor is there evidence of mass murder. So one can only guess at what Goebbels meant by what he wrote/dictated here.

It seems likely that this was his own theoretical musings of what he thought should happen, not what was happening or what would happen. People often forget that just because there's a historical document which says something, or a historical figure who says something, doesn't mean it's an accurate representation of what was occurring. By that I mean it's easy (and tempting) to read something like this and then see a line directly to Auschwitz, but that isn't necessarily the case.

The next day Goebbels seems to have cooled down a bit, and is a bit more clear as to what should happen with the Jews:


The assassins in Paris haven’t been found. So General Stülpnagel finds himself forced to take a series of the harshest measures. The early curfew in Paris has been abolished, but many Jews are being deported from occupied France to the Eastern region. In many cases this is equivalent to a death sentence. The remaining Jews will think hard before stirring up trouble or sabotage against the German troops. Meanwhile General von Stülpnagel has 100 Jews and communists executed. He gives a very plausible and psychologically-clever explanation for the Parisian population, which won’t fail to have an effect.


Die Attentäter in Paris hat man nicht gefunden. Also sieht General Stülpnagel sich gezwungen, eine Reihe von schärfsten Massnahmen durchzuführen. Es wird zwar die frühe Polizeistunde für Paris aufgehoben, dafür aber werden eine Unmenge von Juden aus dem besetzten Frankreich ins Ostgebiet abgeschoben. Das ist in vielen Fällen gleichbedeutend mit Todesstrafe. Die zurückbleibenden Juden werden es sich wohl überlegen, noch weiterhin gegen die deutsche Besatzungsmacht zu stänkern oder zu sabotieren. Im übrigen lässt General von Stülpnagel hundert Erschiessungen an Juden und kommunistischen Subjekten vollziehen. Er gibt dafür eine sehr plausible und psychologisch geschickte Erklärung für die Pariser Bevolkerung, die zweifellos ihre Wirkung nicht verfehlen wird.

Goebbels Tagebücher, 14 December, 1941, Ibid., p. 135.

Of this and the entry for the 13th Dalton succinctly writes:

If deportation is sometimes the “equivalent of a death sentence,” and many will “pay with their lives,” we are left wondering how, exactly, and in what numbers, they will die. I trust that there is a clear difference between (a) many dying from disease, exposure, lack of medical care, periodic shootings etc., and (b) all dying in a complex and systematic gassing operation. There is no doubt that concentrating and deporting thousands or millions of people in wartime would lead to many deaths. But this is not systematic mass murder.

Ibid., p. 135-136.

And if we read what Goebbels wrote a few days later on December 18th we see that he had cooled off significantly, and that he clearly he wasn't referencing some Mass Murder program after all:


I speak with the Führer regarding the Jewish Question. He’s determined to take consistent action and not be deterred by bourgeois sentimentality. Above all, the Jews must leave the Reich. [...] The Jews are all to be deported to the East. We are not very interested in what becomes of them there. They wished this fate upon themselves, they started the war, and now they must pay the price.


Ich bespreche mit dem Führer die Judenfrage. Der Führer ist entschlossen, hier weiterhin konsequent vorzugehen und sich nicht durch bürgerliche Sentimentalitäten aufhalten zu lassen. Die Juden müssen vor allem aus dem Reichsgebiet heraus. [...] Die Juden sollen alle nach dem Osten abgeschoben werden. Was dort aus ihnen wird, kann uns nicht sehr interessieren. Sie haben sich dies Schicksal gewünscbt, sie haben dafür den Krieg angefangen, sie müssen jetzt auch die Zeche bezahlen.

Goebbels Tagebücher, 18 December, 1941, Ibid., p. 136-137.

This entry echoes the one on the 13th as far as the Jews "paying the price" for starting the war. So in one instance, as if influenced by mood, Dr. Goebbels switches from harsh retribution towards the Jews, deserving of death one day, to callous indifference as to their plight once deported the next. So it seems to be nothing more than Goebbels' own opinions expressed through emotional outbursts to his diary, not the secret admission of a plot to systematically kill millions of people.

Just like any normal person Goebbels had emotions that could be inflamed, making him say or write things that were extreme and shocking if taken in isolation. Especially when the general reader is primed to view anything said by a 'Nazi' through the prism of the Holocaust, in which it's a foregone conclusion.

Dalton writes:

“We are not very interested in what becomes of them there.” Harsh and brutal, perhaps, but clearly far less than systematic mass murder. The same thought was echoed by Hans Frank, in a memo of December 16:

What is to happen to the Jews [after evacuation]? … We have in the General Government an estimated 2.5 million Jews—perhaps with those closely related to Jews and what goes with it, now 3.5 million Jews. We can’t shoot these 3.5 million Jews, we can’t poison them… (in Kershaw 2000: 491)

Obviously he and Goebbels, at least, were unaware of any program of genocide.

Ibid., p. 137.

What Dalton doesn't include here is the part of the quote where Frank says "but we must be able to take steps leading somehow to a success in extermination (Vernichtungserfolg) . . .'" So clearly, "extermination" in this context cannot be literal.
Now what does it mean for the independent expert witness Van Pelt? In his eyes he had two possibilities. Either to confirm the Holocaust story, or to go insane. - Germar Rudolf, 13th IHR Conference.

User avatar
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 3777
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:59 am

Re: Goebbels' "die Vernichtung des Judentums" 12/12/41

Postby Hektor » 1 month 2 weeks ago (Sat May 01, 2021 5:17 pm)

Waldgänger wrote:I am not a native German speaker. Can anyone confirm that this word in Goebbels' diary entry of December 12, 1941...

"Der Weltkrieg ist da, die Vernichtung des Judentums muß die notwendige Folge sein."

... "Judentum", actually means Jews as a collective body of individuals to be destroyed?

It's quite literally Jewdom and not even Jewry (as one would collectively refer to Jews as people).

The result of WW2 wasn't annihilation of Jews, but a surge in Zionism leading to the foundation of the modern state of Israel.

User avatar
Valuable asset
Valuable asset
Posts: 2396
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:32 pm

Re: Goebbels' "die Vernichtung des Judentums" 12/12/41

Postby Lamprecht » 1 month 1 week ago (Sun May 02, 2021 2:44 am)

And on 3 January 1943, Goebbels’s diary referred to Hitler's "prophecy" in a later entry:
"...the Führer’s prophecy, when he explained at the beginning of the war that it would not end with the destruction (Vernichtung) of the Aryan race, but with the expulsion (Austreibung) of Jewry from Europe..."

More on the "Hitler prophecy" speech, where he also used this "Vernichtung" term:

Hitler Quote ? - 30 January 1939 Reichstag speech:
Lamprecht wrote:Perhaps the most often quoted speech from Hitler to prove the Holocaust is the one made on 30 January 1939 in the Reichstag:
"Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more in to a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation ["Vernichtung"] of the Jewish race in Europe".
Some revisionists have argued that "Vernichtung" (literally: "bringing to nothing") does not necessarily mean killing. What is often not quoted though is what Hitler stated after:
For the time when the non-Jewish nations had no propaganda is at an end. National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy have institutions which enable them when necessary to enlighten the world about the nature of a question of which many nations are instinctively conscious, but which they have not yet clearly thought out. [...] If this [Jewish] nation should once more succeed in inciting the millions which compose the nations into a conflict which is utterly senseless and only serves Jewish interests, then there will be revealed the effectiveness of an enlightenment which has completely routed the Jews in Germany in the space of a few years. The nations are no longer willing to die on the battlefield so that this unstable international race may profiteer from a war or satisfy its Old Testament vengeance.
Full speech is here:
PDF: https://archive.org/details/AdolfHitler ... 39_201905/
TXT: http://archive.fo/Us2kt

Hitler referred to this "prophecy" in a later speech on 30 January 1941:
"And I should like to repeat the warning that I have already once given, on September 1, 1939 [correct: Jan. 30, 1939], in the German Reichstag: namely, the warning that if Jewry drives the world into a general war, the role Jewry plays in Europe will be all over!"

Hitler stated on 25 October 1941:
From the rostrum of the Reichstag I prophesied to Jewry that if war could not be avoided, the Jews would disappear from Europe. That race of criminals already had on its conscience the two million dead of the Great War, and now it has hundreds of thousands more. Let nobody tell me that despite that [we] cannot park them in the marshy parts of Russia! Our troops are there as well, and who worries about them!

On 23 November 1942, Himmler proclaimed in a speech in Bad Tölz:
The Jewish question in Europe has completely changed. The Führer once said in a Reichstag speech: If Jewry triggers an international war, for example, to exterminate the Aryan people, then it won’t be the Aryans who will be exterminated, but Jewry. The Jews have been resettled outside Germany, they are living here, in the east, and are working on our roads, railways etc. This is a consistent process, but is conducted without cruelty.

At the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial it was conceded by Lipstadt’s team of anti-revisionist Holocaust experts that prior to 1941 there was no Nazi policy to exterminate Jewry. Justice Gray noted: “It is common ground between the parties [Irving and Lipstadt’s team of Holocaust experts] that, until the latter part of 1941, the solution to the Jewish question which Hitler preferred was their mass deportation.”56 The anti-revisionist experts at the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial further admitted: “…that in the 1930s Hitler should not be understood to have been speaking in a genocidal terms.”57
56. See Judge Gray’s “Judgment” in the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial, online: https://archive.is/sFd8u, paragraph 13.26.

57. Ibid, paragraph 13.27.
In Defense of Holocaust Revisionism: A Response to Shermer and Grobman's Denying History

From another thread:
Lamprecht wrote:Arthur Butz:
"Very often the Jews were referred to via the German word das Judentum, one of whose correct translation is 'Jewry,' but which can also mean 'Judaism,' or even 'Jewishness' or 'idea of Jewishness.' Thus, a Hitler reference to 'die Vernichtung des Judentums,' if lifted out of context and interpreted in a purely literal way, can be interpreted as meaning the killing of all Jews, but it can also be interpreted as meaning the destruction of Jewish influence and power, which is what the politician Hitler actually meant by such a remark, although it is true that he could have used his words more carefully. Alfred Rosenberg made specific reference to this ambiguity in his IMT testimony, where he argued that 'die Ausrottung des Judentums,' a term he had used on occasion, was not a reference to killing in the context in which Rosenberg had used it."

SOURCE: Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry (Theses & Dissertations Press, 2003), p. 97. Online: http://vho.org/GB/Books/thottc/

In the Irving trial, the Judge Charles Gray, after hearing testimony from both sides, in his final judgment said:
"Much time was spent in evidence and argument on discussing the meaning and true significance of a number of German words to be found in the speeches of Hitler and others in contemporaneous documents generally. There was a prolonged cross-examination of Longerich [one of Penguin Books's and Lipstadt's expert witnesses] by Irving as to the meaning of certain German words which he listed in a glossary prepared for the purpose of these proceedings. Those words include ausrotten, vernichten, liquidieren, evakuieren, umsiedeln and abschieben. A considerable number of documents were scrutinized in an attempt to ascertain whether the words in question were being used or understood in a genocidal sense. Irving contended that most of these words are properly to be understood in a non-genocidal sense. Longerich agreed that most, if not all, of these words are capable of being used in a non-genocidal sense. For example, ausrotten can bear such anodyne meanings as 'get rid of' or 'wipe out' without connoting physical extermination. But he asserted that its usual and primary meaning is 'exterminate' or 'kill off,' especially when applied to people or to a group of people as opposed to, for example, a religion. He contended that all depends on the context in which the words are used."

SOURCE: Charles Gray, Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition. Section 6.107. Online: https://web.archive.org/web/20071107000 ... ment/06.16

By the way, Hitler's January Reichstag speech would be pretty much the equivalent of the US president's State of the Union Address. There are news papers in English referencing the speech and they didn't interpret it as a call to genocide, but rather they seemed relieved that Hitler did not want to start a war (this was in Jan '39, long before Britain and Frances declarations of war on Germany in Sept 1939).
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
— Herbert Spencer

Return to “'Holocaust' Debate / Controversies / Comments / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests