Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

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Steve
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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by Steve » 19 Jul 2020 15:56

Where on earth has the idea originated from that Hitler’s intention to exterminate the Jews have anything to do with the food supply in Poland, Timbuktu or wherever?

Feeding the Jewish population of Poland was never a problem for the Nazis because they never had any interest in feeding them. In early 1940 Nazi officials in Poland were suggesting that the Jews be left to starve. Had the food Jews were consuming in Poland prior to their mass murder been of any importance the Nazis would simply have stopped it entering the ghettos into which they had been driven. Controlling the boundaries of the ghettos required an insignificant military effort.

According to the web site below in mid 1941 Jews in ghettos were receiving 184 calories per day (presumably on average) while Poles received 699 and Germans in Poland 2,613.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commissio ... ish_Relief

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by Futurist » 19 Jul 2020 20:51

What were the calories figures for 1942 and 1943 for the different groups?

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by gebhk » 20 Jul 2020 20:37

Another of those 'if the Martians had landed would the Loch Ness Monster be having babies?' kind of question. We do not have and never will have an answer to this question.

Mind you, gentlemen, have you never been in a situation where you really want to buy something which you can't justify spending the money on? Then along comes a brilliant excuse to do it so you make the decision to buy. Alas, the excuse is snatched away before you can seal the deal. Having once overcome your scruples regarding wasteful expenditure, do you now back out? If so you are a better men than I!

Perhaps the 'phantom of starvation' added to the pro column simply tipped the moral scales. And once they were tipped, there was no going back.

In retrospect, this is probably not a suitable topic for idle and pointless speculation.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by wm » 20 Jul 2020 22:50

Futurist wrote:
19 Jul 2020 20:51
What were the calories figures for 1942 and 1943 for the different groups?
At the best of times, the Poles were allocated less than the inmates of Auschwitz. The Jews even less. And the prisoners in Auschwitz were expected to last three months.

Do you understand that? The food allocations were genocidal all the time. You couldn't survive on them for more than a several months, even at the best of times.

And the Poles and the Jews weren't "feed." You were allocated some food, and you had to pay for it. You didn't have the money you had to die.
This is why in the Warsaw Ghetto, children and old folks died in the streets as others were enjoying life. They didn't have the money to survive, and the others had. As simple as that.

It all had had nothing to do with harvest in Poland. Germany (and Europe) suffered from food shortages - ALWAYS.
A bumper crop in Poland could help a little but couldn't solve the problem. Pre-the-bumper crop food rations in Germany were insufficient, post-the-bumper crop ones were still inadequate, only slightly less.

This is why the Holocaust made sense. Disregarding any moral consideration, the Jews consumed lots of food but delivered nothing of value. The Nazis had killed lots of innocent people already. Six million more didn't make any difference.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by gebhk » 20 Jul 2020 23:49

In the context of what WM said above, it is probably worth noting that even before the war, never mind the niceties of a modern notion of a 'balanced' diet, calorific intake of the statistically average Pole was well below what would be considered adequate. This was, off course, before the Germans started nicking vast quantities of it. So bumper crop or not, there was precious little to steal - after the bumper crop there would have been a bit more but hardly enough to make any significant difference.

However the decision to get rid of the Jews was entirely ideological. Only in that context did it 'make sense'. The only reason so many of the Jews did not contribute was because they were prevented from doing so by government policy and not because they were inherently unproductive.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by Futurist » 21 Jul 2020 04:22

In regards to Jewish productivity, you can take a look at the Jews of the Lodz Ghetto to see just how productive healthy adult Jews could be.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jul 2020 06:51

Hi wm,

You post, "You didn't have the money you had to die."

So, are you saying that the problem wasn't lack of food being made available, but lack of money? If so, why were specific calorie levels prescribed at all?

More importantly, you are going to have to explain, "This is why the Holocaust made sense. Disregarding any moral consideration, the Jews consumed lots of food but delivered nothing of value."

Is this your opinion - that "the Jews consumed lots of food but delivered nothing of value."? As you haven't qualified it in any way, it looks as though it is. You might like to qualify it in your reply.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by wm » 21 Jul 2020 07:39

Futurist wrote:
21 Jul 2020 04:22
In regards to Jewish productivity, you can take a look at the Jews of the Lodz Ghetto to see just how productive healthy adult Jews could be.
You have answered the question yourself.
The Łódź Ghetto was a collection of healthy, adult, skilled workers. The non-healthy, or non-adult, or non-skilled were exterminated - all 150,000 of them.

During the war, the Holocaust was the destruction of non-productive Jews. This is why the selection existed.
Initially, only the "best" were selected/spared.
Later, as labor shortages mounted, even the less useful people were spared.
In the end even the sick - they got weeks to recuperate and were provided with medical care.
Last edited by wm on 21 Jul 2020 08:06, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by wm » 21 Jul 2020 08:02

Steve wrote:
19 Jul 2020 15:56
Where on earth has the idea originated from that Hitler’s intention to exterminate the Jews have anything to do with the food supply in Poland, Timbuktu or wherever?
Nobody says it was the reason, we don't know why Hilter ordered the Holocaust because he didn't tell us.
Almost certainly it was for political, practical (i.e., food problems), and even personal reasons.

As we have seen, after the occupation of autumn 1939 the most fertile regions of Poland had been annexed to Germany, leaving the General Government as an agricultural deficit territory. ...
The majority of the Polish population were left to fend for themselves. The result was an epidemic of malnutrition and outright starvation, particularly amongst the Jewish population confined in the ghettos.

Faced with Germany's food shortage in 1942, Backe went much further. ... the General Government was to make sizeable food deliveries. In the critical weeks between May and August 1942, in which the murder of the Jews of Poland accelerated to its most awful intensity, Backe and Himmler combined to exercise massive pressure on the administrators of the General Government to reduce the food consumption of their territory.
...
And in these negotiations, Backe predicated his demands specifically on the elimination of the Polish Jews from the food chain. On 23 June 1942, two months before the harvest, Backe confronted the administrators of the General Government for the first time with the Reich's new demands. When the local officials protested that the existing Polish rations were too low and that it would be impossible to raise the necessary supplies, Backe replied: 'In the General Government there are currently still 3.5 million Jews. Poland is to be sanitized within the coming year.'
...
Eliminating the Jews would not only reduce the number of people that needed feeding; it would also remove a large element of the black market, which was crucial to the survival of the ghettos. Only if they controlled every step in the marketing of grain would the Germans be able to secure the vastly increased share of the grain supply that Backe demanded.
...
After visiting Auschwitz and designating it as the killing centre for the Jews of Western Europe, Himmler on 18-19 July issued not one, but three orders to Globocnik and Krueger in Lublin. All Jews in Poland not needed for work were to be killed by the end of the year.
The Wages of Destruction

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by gebhk » 21 Jul 2020 09:32

Almost certainly it was for political and practical reasons (i.e., food problems.)
It certainly was not for practical reasons. The practical thing would have been not to waste the potential contribution of the Jewish sector of the population. If one is planning a war of conquest, deliberately choosing to alienate the likes of Einstein, Bethe, Szilard, Rotblat and Peierls, to name but a few, is not rational. The same can be said, though perhaps less dramatic, of deliberately throwing away the pool of German-Jewish army officers (always a desperately short commodity in the WH post 1933) and the pool of military manpower in general that the Jewish population represented.

The reasons were political and personal; by personal I mean that AH was a committed ideologue. He was going to get rid of the Jews regardless of cost to the war effort or the country as a whole, because in his mind it was 'the right thing to do'. As Steve points out, if food was the only issue, it could simply have been denied the Jewish population.

As an aside, this sort of half-baked manipulation of the food chain based on very primitive thinking, rarely results with the desired outcome. Chairman Mao's 4 Pests Campaign - and specifically the sparrow part of it, is a good example why.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by wm » 21 Jul 2020 09:50

Till 1939 Hitler cooperated with Jewish organizations in an orderly, beneficial to both sides, emigration of all German Jews to Palestine (although only 60,000 emigrated before the time ran out).

Till the end of 1941, Jewish emigration from Germany and occupied territories was allowed.

1940, Himmler to Hitler:
I hope that the concepts of Jews will be completely extinguished through the possibility of a large emigration of all Jews to Africa or some other colony.
Himmler later:
The Fuehrer read [it] and considered [it] very good and correct.

So the answer is no.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by wm » 21 Jul 2020 11:57

gebhk wrote:
21 Jul 2020 09:32
The practical thing would have been not to waste the potential contribution of the Jewish sector of the population. If one is planning a war of conquest, deliberately choosing to alienate the likes of Einstein, Bethe, Szilard, Rotblat and Peierls, to name but a few, is not rational.

Please, that's naive.
Einstein wasn't going to build the bomb for a good, sympathetic towards the Jews Hitler so Hitler could have conquered London or Moscow with it. It was not going to happen.

And Jewish elites weren't going to support Hilter's wars of aggression.
Why? Because the Jews leaned left, supported liberalism, socialism, some supported communism. Actually it was certain they would be among the opposition and resistance, that many would support the Allies.

During the Polish-Soviet War, Jewish officers were removed from sensitive positions in the Polish Army.
Why? Because it was certain that some of them supported the Soviets. So why all of them? Because it was impossible to root them all, there was no time for that whatsoever. Harsh but reasonable (and saved many of them from death at the battlefield), better safe than sorry.

So were Jews a threat? In a war against the Soviets, they were.
An example, soviet atomic spies in the US in the forties, the people who handed over the bomb to the Soviets.
By tribal affiliation.
Jews: Morris Cohen, Harry Gold, David Greenglass, Theodore Hall, George Koval, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Saville Sax, Morton Sobell, Oscar Seborer.
Germans: Klaus Fuchs.
Latvians: Melita Norwood.
Britons: Alan Nunn May.
?: Irving Lerner.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by Steve » 21 Jul 2020 17:01

WM says “This is why the Holocaust made sense. Disregarding any moral consideration, the Jews consumed lots of food but delivered nothing of value. The Nazis had killed lots of innocent people already. Six million more didn't make any difference.”

There is no answer to someone who believes that the Holocaust makes sense because of Jewish food consumption.

“The Łódź Ghetto was a collection of healthy, adult, skilled workers. The non-healthy, or non-adult, or non-skilled were exterminated - all 150,000 of them.”

To describe the 10,000 or so workers in the Lodz ghetto as healthy is a big stretch and eventually they were also exterminated. The figure for people murdered in the Lodz ghetto is a lot higher than 150,000.

“Nobody says it was the reason, we don't know why Hilter ordered the Holocaust because he didn't tell us. Almost certainly it was for political, practical (i.e., food problems), and even personal reasons.”

Hitler never sat down with a reporter from say the BBC to set out his reasons but we do know why he ordered the Holocust. From 1919 onwards he made clear both in public and private his views on Jews. In 1919 we have Hitler saying about the Jews “only when the Reich is liberated from this malicious, treacherous vermin” in April 1943 when meeting Admiral Horthy he described the Jews as “like tuberculosis bacilli”. In between there are lots of public and private utterances in the same vein that can surely leave no doubt in a reasonably minded person that he hated Jews. Once he had the Jews in his power he murdered them.

I agree with gebhk that practical reasoning played no part in the matter. His comment on Mao’s anti sparrow campaign sounds like an idea for a new subject if only it can be linked to something between 1919 and 1945. Was there by any chance a sparrow problem in pre war or war time Poland?

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 21 Jul 2020 17:36

Hi wm,

You seem to have overlooked my last post, so here it is again:.

"You post, "You didn't have the money you had to die."

So, are you saying that the problem wasn't lack of food being made available, but lack of money to purchase it? If so, why were specific calorie levels prescribed at all?

More importantly, you are going to have to explain, "This is why the Holocaust made sense. Disregarding any moral consideration, the Jews consumed lots of food but delivered nothing of value."

Is this your opinion - that "the Jews consumed lots of food but delivered nothing of value."? As you haven't qualified it in any way, it looks as though it is. You might like to qualify it in your reply."

You since post, "And Jewish elites weren't going to support Hilter's wars of aggression." Well they supported the Kaiser's war like other good Germans. If they didn't support Hiltler's it was an own goal by the Fuehrer himself.

You also post that Jewish emigration would have been "beneficial to both sides". How does it benefit Germany?

No, time did not just "run out" on emigration. The fact that emigration was halted by the war wasn't due to some independent decree from the Gods, it was because of Hitler's differential policy decisions.

Finally, the minutes of the Wannsee Conference of 20 January 1942, although it has a preamble about events leading up to then, makes absolutely no reference to food shortages as being a motivating factor. (The text is on line in English).

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Had the harvest in Poland been as good in 1941 as it was in 1942, would there have still been a Holocaust in Poland?

Post by gebhk » 21 Jul 2020 20:21

Well they supported the Kaiser's war like other good Germans. If they didn't support Hitler's it was an own goal by the Fuehrer himself.
Hi Sid. My point exactly.
His comment on Mao’s anti sparrow campaign sounds like an idea for a new subject if only it can be linked to something between 1919 and 1945.
Hi Steven: my comment was just to illustrate that if you use naïve logic (if X eats y tons of food per year, if we get rid of x there will be y tons of food for everyone else) it rarely if ever leads to the desired effect. Food chains or, for that matter, economies are rarely that simple.
Was there by any chance a sparrow problem in pre war or war time Poland?
Bizarrely, there is a Polish footnote to the Chinese sparrow saga. Huge numbers of sparrows took shelter in the grounds of the Polish Embassy in Beijing. The Poles refused the Chinese entry to harass the poor birds. Thwarted, the Chinese surrounded the embassy with drums and pounded on them day and night. After two days of this the Poles had to use shovels to clear away the dead birds. Some however, survived. Or so the story goes.

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