English View all editions and formats. It is typical that this book with its weighty testimony was removed from the book stores at one stroke and was bought out by the interested circles. Please create a new list with a new name; move some items to a new or existing list; or delete tfufel items. Vedrammte camps — Germany. Subjects Kautsky, Benedikt — Kautsky, Benedikt.
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Zurich, Buechergilde Gutenberg, Der SS-Staat. Stockholm, Bermann-Fischer, There were already more than a hundred concentration camps in Germany before the war and their number increased rapidly as the Wehrmacht conquered one country after another. The concentration camp was a world with its own laws and logic, mind and motives. For Messrs. For Kogon, who abhorred National Socialism from the standpoint of a sincere Catholic, Buchenwald was the inevitable fruit of a society that had abandoned the moral principles of Christianity and embraced nihilism.
For the Marxist Kautsky, it was the horrible last stage in the development of capitalist society, the dire prophecies of the Communist Manifesto come true. He could rise or fall, according to his ability and his fate, but at any given moment he had to occupy his own place and respect the positions of the others. If he desired to improve his status, he had to fight—but only the strongest were capable of fighting.
The weak were condemned to remain on the bottom, helplessly waiting for the moment when they would be unfit for anything but the crematoria. But everyone who could fight did fight—for a better job, for some morsel of food, a better bed, a less tattered blanket, a piece of soap, an untorn shirt.
For if someone gained something, the other fellow lost something through that gain, and as a consequence of these fights the common cake became smaller rather than bigger. The SS acted as legislators and judges, but the actual administration of their laws and decisions was handed over to the prisoners themselves; partly because the SS were too lazy or too stupid, partly because limited powers granted to a clique of prisoners served to demoralize the whole prison community.
Thus the camps were ruled according to that time-honored adage: divide and conquer. Contrary to common belief, the ordinary prisoner saw the SS-man only rarely—only when one of the black sadists desired to mete out punishment personally. The KL society had as its top layers the Lageraelteste senior trusties and the Kapos leaders of the working squads , who, though prisoners themselves, established a terror regime second in cruelty only to that of their jailers, the SS. A step below them were the Stubendienst room trusties , cooks, barbers and other workers in privileged positions, who used their privileges at the expense of their fellow-slaves.
There were still other distinctions. A German prisoner was above one from any of the Allied countries; however, these latter enjoyed far greater freedom than Polish and Russian prisoners of war. The real pariahs without any rights whatsoever were the Jews and the Gypsies. The main struggle developed between the Reds and the Greens, for, though the SS had originally entrusted all major positions to the latter, the Reds, dominated by the Communists, tried—often successfully—to wrest them away.
The Social Democrat Kautsky and the anti-Marxist Kogon agree that the Communists, who constituted the most active group among the Reds, proved to be efficient administrators who eliminated some of the excesses of corruption, and endeavored to save political prisoners at the expense of criminals; but both also charge the Communists with having time and again sold out to the enemy political prisoners of non-Communist persuasion.
Himself a Jew according to the Nuremberg Laws , he seems affected by Jewish self-hatred. But was it not logical that the Jews, who fared much worse than the Gentiles and knew what fate held in store for them, should try their utmost—as a rule, unsuccessfully—to escape the death factory?
And while a labor leader who had opposed Hitler could feel himself a martyr for his political ideals, why should an ordinary non-political man, imprisoned simply because he had been born a Jew, find any but negative aspects in his captivity?
How could he see it as anything other than an unhappy accident? Curiously, the lessons Kautsky learned in the concentration camp did not make him emerge a more orthodox Marxist than he was before. Despite the flag-waving and editorializing at the very end of his book, he does conclude that man is bound to be bad when vested with unquestioned power, that power is evil in itself, whoever may hold it, and that any dictatorship is deplorable. Some of the more intelligent inmates saw and learned a great deal in the camp; they became shrewder—but no one became better.
No one of us survivors is entirely free of guilt. Kogon is mainly interested in analyzing the nature and functioning of the SS. To maintain them as the powerful arm, the weapon of last resort, upon which the Third Reich could count in time of emergency, they had to be kept both satisfied and efficient. To whip up their fighting spirit and to teach them how to treat inferior races in the countries conquered by Hitler, the SS were encouraged to maltreat their prisoners and show them no mercy.
At the same time the SS terror kept even the millions outside the barbed wire paralyzed; for though the SS did not care for publicity about the internal details of their camps these became known, nevertheless , they could not, and probably did not wish to, prevent the term Konzentrationslager from becoming a symbol of dread all over Europe. Despite the SS terror, Kogon believes, the German nation could and should have offered some resistance. The Germans, however, had been trained long before Hitler, not only to obey authority, but also to believe whatever authority proclaimed.
Hence, the average German was inclined to consider all KL inmates common criminals—until he himself or somebody he loved was arrested by the Gestapo. Whereas in Czechoslovakia the inhabitants of any village through which prisoners of the Nazis were taken would try to help the unhappy ones as much as possible, German nurses refused even a drink of water to KL prisoners engaged in removing debris at Weimar after an air bombardment, and the local hospital would not administer first aid to those of them who were injured.
Despite their different backgrounds, the authors reach the same conclusion: namely, that the KL was not a puzzling accident, but a logical product of fascist society, and a phenomenon bound to recur unless all fascist tendencies are eradicated.
It is at this point that the ways of Kautsky and Kogon part; for while the former sees the remedy in the international solidarity of all anti-fascist workers, the KL constitutes for the pious Christian Kogon an Ecce Homo showing man how far he can go astray without the divine truth which alone makes him free.
Teufel und Verdammte, by Benedikt Kautsky; and Der SS-Staat, by Eugen Kogon
Taktilar Kautsky explained verdammge he was sent as a Jewish political prisoner from Buchenwald in October,to work at Auschwitz-Buna. The destruction or hiding of German statistics about the details of Auschwitz by the supporters of the extermination legend, and the refusal of the Russians to give out any accurate statistics in regard to the Jews in Russia just before or after makes it impossible to state with exactness just bow many Jews were ever interned at Auschwitz, but it is certain that the number of Jews who got there during ,the war was only a smallest fraction of those alleged to have been exterminated there. He found that not one of the authors of the many books charging that the Germans had exterminated millions of Jews during the war had ever seen a gas oven built for such purposes, much less seen one in operation, nor had one of these authors ever been able to produce a live, authentic eyewitness who had done so. The E-mail Address es field is required. The wild, erratic and irresponsible nature of the statements about the number of Jews exterminated at Auschwitz can be gleaned from the fact that the figures which have been offered by the supporters of the extermination legend have run from aroundto, over six millions. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item This was one of two types of false German testimony at Nuremberg. Rassinier has toured Europe for years, like Diogenes seeking an honest man, more specifically somebody who was an actual eyewitness, of any person, Jew or Gentile, who had ever been deliberately exterminated in a gas oven by Germans during the course of World War II, but be has never found even one such person.