The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945

The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945

The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945

The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945

Excerpt

In 1989 the Germans entered Eastern Europe, bringing with them the cast-iron theory that no country could be harmed by the loss of its Jews. The Jews either did no work or their work was unnecessary or pernicious, and besides they were not numerous enough to matter, for even in 1933 the Jews had furnished less than one per cent of the population of Germany and two per cent of Austria and Czechoslovakia. But the conclusions, which could be drawn from such figures, could not be applied in 1939 to Poland, where the Jews made up ten per cent of the population, while in every large town they were at least 25 per cent and in some small towns 100 per cent. The Jew in the view of National Socialist economists was always a trader and a middleman and generally a parasite, feeding on the productive system. In reality barely half the trading population of Poland was Jewish, while Jews accounted for 20 per cent of the artisans and factory workers, 12½ per cent of the professional men, and 11½ per cent of the transport operators. In the textile towns, Bialystok and Lodz, the Jews managed most of the factories.

In Poland the party-economists were deceived by appearances. Though there seemed to be no Jewish working-class, a depressed Jewish middle class had become a proletariat. In Eastern Galicia an industrial enterprise might consist of a single family or even a single worker, propped up against his machine at the window of some lime-washed one-storey house. Often these workers had to compete with large organised concerns that did not employ Jews. Moreover, the very large numbers of people, dependent on a single worker, frequently represented a concealed form of unemployment. The unemployed, classed by the Germans as 'work-shy' and 'asocials,' occupied themselves in a variety of ways typical of the structure of an Eastern country, in mendicancy, study, and prayer, in black-market activities, in . . .

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