The Perfection of Genocide as National Policy, 1939–1943

  • Steve Hochstadt
Part of the Documents in History book series (DH)


This section is designed to outline the evolving Nazi policy of genocide; this is the Holocaust. The makers of these documents realized the enormity and the inhumanity of what they were planning and doing, so they developed a coded and obscure language to use in their communications. Secrecy, camouflage, euphemism, omission, and deception pervade these documents. Not only were the intended victims to be deceived, but also participants at lower levels, Germans at home, and the rest of the world. The Nazis attempted to carry out unprecedented genocides and to cover them up at the same time. Their documents here must be read with great care.


National Policy Mass Murder Security Police German People Precious Stone 
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  1. 32.
    Translated from reprinted version in Götz Aly, Aktion T4 1939–1945: Die “Euthanasie”-Zentrale in der Tiergartenstraße 4 (Berlin: Edition Hentrich, 1987), pp. 50–2; a different translation is reprinted in Götz Aly, ‘Medicine against the Useless’, in Götz Aly, Peter Chroust, and Christian Pross, Cleansing the Fatherland: Nazi Medicine and Racial Hygiene, trans. Belinda Cooper (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), pp. 48–50.Google Scholar
  2. 46.
    Translated from copy in Archives du Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, Paris, XXVb-55; also reprinted in Serge Klarsfeld, Vichy-Auschwitz: Die Zusammenarbeit der deutschen und französischen Behörden bei der “Endlösung der Judenfrage” in Frankreich, trans. Ahlrich Meyer (Nördlingen: DELPHI Politik, 1989), pp. 400–2.Google Scholar
  3. 47.
    Translated from the French in Serge Klarsfeld, Vichy-Auschwitz: le rôle de Vichy dans la solution finale de la question juive en France–1942 (Paris: Librairie Arthème Fayard, 1983), p. 364; original in Archives du Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, Paris, AN-AGII 492.Google Scholar
  4. 48.
    Translated from Nuremberg document NO-3392; a facsimile is reprinted in Gerald Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984), plate 6, between pp. 92 and 93.Google Scholar
  5. 50.
    English translation printed in Tsvetan Todorov, The Fragility of Goodness: Why Bulgaria’s Jews Survived the Holocaust, trans. Arthur Denner (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), pp. 78–80.Google Scholar

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© The Editor(s) 2004

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  • Steve Hochstadt

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