Pohl, Oswald

Oswald Pohl
Oswald Pohl in Nuremberg 1947, with scabbed fresh wounds all over his left cheek from torture.

Oswald Pohl (30 June 1892 – 7 June 1951), SS Obergruppenführer, headed the SS offices that, in early 1942, were consolidated as the SS’s Economic and Administrative Main Office (Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt). This office was directly subordinate to Heinrich Himmler as the Reichsführer SS. It handled all financial and administrative matters concerning the SS and its vast network of forced-labor industries and labor as well as concentration camps. One of Pohl’s main tasks during the war was to maximize the labor output in quantity and quality that was coming out of the slave-labor force held in the Third Reich’s ever-expanding network of concentration and labor camps.

The Holocaust orthodoxy constructs an insurmountable contradiction between Pohl’s attempt to maximize the labor output of Germany’s camp system on the one hand, and Himmler’s alleged order to exterminate Europe’s Jews on the other.

There is no trace in the documents that there was a conflict between Pohl and his superiors, though. To the contrary, Pohl and Himmler were in full agreement about what really mattered: maximized labor output.

For instance, on 30 April 1942, at a time when the three alleged extermination camps Auschwitz, Belzec and Sobibór are said to have commenced their mass extermination of Jews, Pohl reported to Himmler that “[t]he war has brought about a visible structural change in the concentration camps and their tasks regarding the employment of inmates. […] The primary emphasis has shifted to the economic side. The total mobilization of inmate labor, first for wartime tasks (increase of armaments) and then for peacetime tasks, is moving ever more to the forefront.” (IMT, Vol. 38, p. 364.) In his response, Himmler agreed. (NMT, Vol. 5, p. 302.)

Five months later, on 16 September 1942, when mass extermination at the Treblinka Camp supposedly was in full swing, Pohl reported to Himmler that all prisoners of the Reich were to be conscripted for armaments production, for which purpose the Jews destined for eastern migration “will have to interrupt their journey and work at armaments production.” A little more than a year after that, in October 1943, Pohl wrote to all concentration camp commandants that “prison labor is very significant. It is vitally important that all measures be taken by the commandants, leaders of information services and physicians to ensure the maintenance of health and the capacity of prisoners to work.” This was to be achieved by giving them sufficient nutritious food, proper clothing, natural measures for health and hygiene, rewards for good performances, and by avoiding unnecessary exertions. He repeated this again in a circular to all camp commandants on 26 December 1943: “All measures of the commanders have to focus on the health and productivity of the inmates.” (For details, see Rudolf 2023, pp. 170-173).

The orthodox claim that there was a conflict between Pohl trying to exploit inmates while Adolf Eichmann supposedly tried to ship them all to extermination camps to have them murdered there, assumes that Himmler was giving each of his subordinates conflicting and opposite orders. This is not based on documents but on postwar “confessions,” and here primarily on those made by Rudolf Höss, the former commandant of the Auschwitz Camp. However, his postwar confessions, initiated by massive torture by his captors, are characterized by insurmountable internal contradictions and absurdities, and they are refuted by wartime documents. (For more details on this, see Mattogno 2020b, pp. 191-195.)

While Oswald Pohl was awaiting his own trial at Nuremberg (the so-called Pohl Case), he was softened up by his British captors at their torture center at Bad Nenndorf, where he was made to sign an affidavit. Here is what Pohl later reported about his treatment there:

“In the locked and guarded cell, my hand fetters were removed neither by day nor by night, not even while eating or when relieving myself. Indeed, at night, while I was lying on the cot with my hands tied, I was tied to the pole of the cot with a second set of fetters, as a result of which I could not move and hence could not sleep. […] Going back to my cell was like running the gauntlet, during which I fell several times, hitting the wall really hard, after guards had tripped me. […]

Finally, as if by command, all guards – there were some 8 to 10 people in the cell – pounced on me, pulled me up and pummelled me in blind rage, although I was fettered and thus defenseless. Blows rained down on my head, and they kicked all body parts of mine. Struggling to remain standing, I staggered from one corner to another, until I collapsed unconsciously after a massive blow or kick into my stomach. […] During this brutal mistreatment, I lost a molar and an incisor. At 7 am the next morning, fettered as I was, I was brought to Nuremberg in a car.” (Cf. Rudolf 2023, pp. 402-404.)

With methods like this, one can get almost any man to confess and consent to just about anything. Hence, it is unsurprising that Pohl did not contradict the extermination claims during his own trial, although he insisted that he was legally innocent, because he “never participated in measures of force against the Jews, nor approved of them, nor supported them knowingly.” (NMT, Vol. 5, esp. pp. 664-676, 931-937, here p. 932; Pohl 1950, p. 43.)

Since the claimed extermination of the Jews by the Third Reich had been turned into a dogma that could not be challenged, Pohl’s trial was an utter farce. This can already be gleaned from the fact that the prosecution opened its case by pulling out the atrocity lies of soap having been made from the fat of murdered victims, and their ashes used as fertilizers (NMT, Vol. 5, p. 253). The judges compelled Pohl to confess that he “knew” via leading questions rather than asking him the usual open-ended questions. Here are a few examples of these leading questions (ibid., pp. 665, 670):

“Q. Were you in charge of the concentration camps while this [extermination] program was being carried out by RSHA? [Reichssicherheits­hauptamt, Germany’s Department of Homeland Security…]

Q. Well, were they [the gas chambers] constructed while you were in charge? […]

Q. Did you see any gas chambers when you were there? […]

Q. You knew they [the gas chambers] were there. […]

Q. And when you saw them and knew that Jews were being exterminated, you were in charge of that concentration camp? […]

Q. You knew that the transports were becoming bigger and people were coming in and took more space than the crematorium to kill them. You knew that, didn’t you?”

It is true that, if an extermination policy had been in place, Pohl must have known about it. But none of the wartime documents that he wrote or came across in his office hinted in any way at such a policy, contrary to what the judges and the prosecution insinuated. Pohl’s testimony about this consists of a string of self-contradictory statements in the style of “yes, I knew, but no, I didn’t.” All he claimed to have known revolved around Auschwitz, yet what he said in this regard repeatedly referred to Rudolf Höss, and once even to a special order Höss supposedly received from Himmler. This clearly indicates that Pohl’s knowledge did not originate from wartime experiences, but from the “confessions” which the British had extracted from Höss via torture, and which had been introduced during the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, together with Höss’s live perjured testimony, as one of the most “convincing” pieces of evidence.

Today, the orthodoxy likes to present the “confessions” by Höss and Pohl as a convincing case of the “convergence of evidence”, although the first was extracted by torture and is full of anti-historical nonsense, and the latter was extracted both by mistreatment and by suggestive interrogation techniques, and is contaminated by Höss’s fraudulent statements.

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