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03 大屠杀的源启 Origins of the Holocaust

After the Germans defeated France, their soldiers were sent to Paris for rest and recreation.

One of the soldiers on leave is 19-year-old lieutenant August Von Kaganick.

His unit did not take part in the French campaign. He is visiting the city for the first time.

He writes: "We are given very strict instructions."

"We must be impeccably dressed and avoid all contact with the population."

"We are inventing mass tourism."

The French refuse to look at them. Some have started to fight back.

These two men who sabotage telephone lines will be the first to be executed by the Germans.

The new French state, under the authoritarian rule of Maréchal Petain, chooses to collaborate with Germany.

Petain promulgates a set of Anti-Jewish statutes that excludes Jews from public life.

He and Hitler have shaken hands. Everyday, the Wehrmacht parades.

The Germans occupy the capital cities of Europe.

After Prague and Warsaw, Brussels, Luxemburg, the Hague, Copenhagen and Oslo, but not London.

February 1941, in the suburbs of London, Rose, who is only 3, has already lived through 2 years of war.

. . . . . .

Rose is brave and bravery is called for in Britain.

. . . . . .

Great Britain's cities have been devastated by German bombs.

But the country stands firm around Churchill and with the providential aid of Roosevelt.

Roosevelt has just been re-elected for a third term as President of the United States.

Though the American opinion remains oppose to war, he declares "We must be the great arsenal of Democracy".

Only part of the equipment he sends to Great Britain gets through.

Every British ship at sea is in great danger.

The Atlantic Ocean is crawling with German submarines. Their periscopes seek out British vessels.

. . . . . .

Churchill is worried. Soon nothing will get through and the outcome of the war seems uncertain.

Great Britain is an island. This is an advantage as well as a disadvantage.

But it is the best hope for the countries under occupation.

. . . . . .

The German submarines or U-boats now have the French harbours at their disposal, grouped into packs using torpedoes and cannons.

These "Wolves of the Atlantic" succeed in sinking four million tons of British shipping in 1941 alone.

. . . . . .

Here German submariners toss loaves of bread to a shipwrecked crew who have almost no chance of surviving.

They will die of thirst, of hunger, of cold or by choking on oil.

. . . . . .

Hitler's delighted with the success of his submarines, but America's massive re-armament program worries him.

He tells his secretary, Bowman: "In one year the United States will be ready to go to war."

"If we are to face them, we need more raw materials. Those materials are in the East."

"We need to conquer that 'Living Space', then Britain will lose all hope and make peace and it will be too late for the Americans."

"Let us attack Russia as soon as possible."

Hitler codenames his invasion plan "Operation Barbarossa" after the medieval emperor, Frederick Barbarossa.

The Wehrmacht starts to concentrate its troops in the east.

Lieutenant Von Kaganick leaves for Poland.

Polish prisoners and Jews have been put to work on various construction projects.

Hitler wants to build a motor way across Poland in order to move his army over to the new border with Russia.

This is where the 9th panzer division is installed along with Von Kaganick's regiment.

He writes: "Next to us is SS unit. The commander asks us 'Do you want to see a Jew? '"

"He makes a sign and a soldier brings over a little man. How many people have you stolen from today?"

"The man doesn't reply. Beat him 10 times with the stick."

"We were appalled. So this is our occupation of Poland?"

"We have heard vague stories of cruelty, but it was impossible to know what really was going on."

"This country had become the country of silence."

"We didn't know that this was the beginning of the genocide to which we were lent our hands and our courage."

Hitler defers his plans for an offensive in the East.

He has to help out his ally, Mussolini, who wants to fight his own separate war.

Il Duce has just been routed by British in Africa.

The Italian army is in disarray in the desert.

To rescue Mussolini from disaster, Hitler dispatches one of his best generals over to Libya, General Rommel, along with his armour division, the Afrika Korps.

. . . . . .

In Germany, Rommel is a big hero.

He is the man who took Cambrai, Arras, Rouen and Cherbourg in May and June of 1940.

And he is a true Nazi, a devotee who've served Hitler with great zeal and efficiency from the very beginning.

Rommel believes in tanks and in a 'lightning war'.

He quickly orders the Afrika Korp to set off for the British positions.

Rommel is already making a name for himself.

The British circulates his picture with the description, "This man is dangerous."

Hitler attacks Greece, a country that Mussolini has already tried to take.

After his 'blitzkrieg' in the Balkans and his occupation of Yugoslavia, he drops his paratroopers over Crete.

Hitler has secured his southern flank for the invasion of Russia, but he's lost precious time.

'Operation Barbarossa' has been delayed by several weeks.

A grand military parade is traditionally held in Moscow's Red Square to celebrate International Workers' Day.

Special preparations have done into this one, however. Stalin wants to make a big impression on the Germans.

He's been receiving information from his spies warning of imminence of an attack.

But he finds it hard to believe that Hitler would dare to break the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact so soon.

The Germans are intending the parade and Marshal Timoshenko, the People's Commissar and Stalin's Defense Minister, seems to salute them with great respect.

. . . . . .

Hitler is ready to attack. But he wants to avoid fighting on two fronts.

He would like to make peace with Great Britain first.

In a suburbs of London, in a house that has been spared by German bombs, Rose is helping her parents who are listening to the radio.

Suddenly, an astonishing announcement comes over the BBC.

In Scotland near the Glasgow, there remains a Germany plane, a Messerschmitt 110, have been found.

Its pilot bailed out by parachute.

He turns out to be a top ranking Nazi, Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

He says: "I have come on a mission of peace."

Hess was one of Hitler's first supporters and he is one of the most fanatical.

. . . . . . (The Party is Hitler. Hitler is Germany! Germany is Hitler! ) … …

Hess feels that the role he has played does not be as glorious as that of other Nazi leaders.

He wants to prove to his Führer that he Rudolf Hess is the only person capable of finding a way out of the conflict with Great Britain.

But he is immediately locked up. Churchill rejects his overtures and Hitler disowns him.

Hess will remain in prison for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile intelligence report indicate that Hitler is planning to invade the Soviet Union, but Stalin ignores their reports.

Just as he ignores the last message sent by Richard Sorge, a Soviet spy based in Tokyo.

The document dated 30th May, 1941, warns of German attack.

In fact, Stalin continue to send raw materials to the Reich.

Since the signing of the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact, he's exported thousands of tons of oil, chrome and nickel to Germany, all of which help Hitler to conquer France.

The last train load is sent off on the night of the 21st of June 1941.

Carrying tons of wheat, this train crosses over the border at midnight.

And on June 22nd, at 3a. m, without officially declaring war, the first Wehrmacht sappers stealth over onto Russian territory.

They are followed by 153 German divisions as well as by Finnish, Romanian, Slovakian and Hungarian troops.

There was even the division of Spanish Fascists.

3,000,000 men along with 600,000 trucks, many of which are made by French manufacturers, such as Berliet and Renault.

More than 3,000 tanks, 7,000 cannons, 3,000 aeroplanes.

Within 24 hours, 1,500 Soviet aircrafts are wiped out on the ground.

300 more Russian planes are shot down by the Germans.

Taken by surprise, over-powered, the Soviet Air Force has suffered a devastating blow.

The German offensive is unleashed across 3,000 kilometers and in 3 different directions.

In the north, the ideological target, Leningrad, Lenin City, the cradle of Russia revolution, modern days St. Petersburg.

In the center, the political target, Moscow, Stalin's capital.

In the south, the economic target, Kiev, at the Ukraine.

… … (Our armies are thrusting to the east, into Russian land. )… …

… … (Comrades, take your guns! Victory will be ours. )… …

… … (From Finland to the Black Sea. Forward, forward! Forward to the east, storming army) … …

… … (Freedom is our goal. Victory is our banner. Fuhrer, order us! We will follow you! )… …

In the northern Baltic states, the Germans are sometimes hailed as liberators.

After Stalin's reign of terror, anything is better than N. K. V. D, the ruthless Soviet secret police, responsible for political repression.

Forced to pull out, they execute Baltic anti-communists in the prisons.

Local anti-semites accuse the Jews are being in collusion with the communists.

Jews are forced to carry the corpses.

Across the Baltic states, people start organising pogroms against Jews, which the German encourage with special instructions like "do not leave any traces".

Burning the bodies is one way of eliminating them.

On the central front, General Guderian, the tank strategist and proponent of blitzkrieg is held up by the Stalin Line.

A serious fortifications that the panzer grenadier have to take by assault.

Guderian continues to advance, but an unforeseen factor soon slows down his fine motorised units.

As describe by Von Kaganick: "We'd advanced in our armoured cars and the dust envelops us."

"We are in Russia where roads and asphalt doesn't exist."

"It's awful. The sticky yellow or red dust gets into everything, into your eyes, your nose, your mouth."

Under such conditions, these men move 50 kilometers a day.

They have marched all the way to Warsaw, to Oslo, to Bayonne.

They are beginning to realize just how vast Russia is.

Hundreds and hundreds of kilometers go by without a single village in sight.

It is becoming harder and harder for the supply, fuel and ammunition trucks to get through.

But there is another situation that the German soldiers must deal with.

The Russians are putting up a good defense.

A new type of Russian tank appears on the scene and this is a big surprise.

The T-34, a 30 ton monster equipped with a formidable cannon and wide tracks that can go anywhere.

It is superior to the German tanks in gun power and armour thickness, but has only rudimentary radios and clunky gearboxes.

The only weapon powerful enough to neutralize it is the German 88 cannon.

. . . . . .

Still, the Germans are better armed and their army is stronger.

But these "Ivans" that they call the Russians will fight to the nail until the very end.

The Russians have already suffered heavy losses, but the German casualty is also rising.

. . . . . .

The Germans continue to make progress towards their three goals, Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev by capturing entire armies.

Hitler's orders are to immediately execute all political commissars, members of the Communist Party whose job is to oversee the officers and keep an eye on soldiers in each military unit.

Guderian is opposed to this criminal order.

However, according to the commander of 4th Panzer Army Group, General Heppner, "This war must be lead with unprecedented brutality. There is to be no mercy for the Bolsheviks."

. . . . . .

The Bolsheviks, the Russians, fight desperately with fewer and fewer weapons, often with only one rifle for four men.

They are forced to retreat along the entire front. For Stalin, things are looking very bad.

. . . . . .

With his heavy Georgia accent, he pronounces words he's never used before.

He calls the Russians "my brothers" and "my sisters". He tells them the truth.

"We are under attacks by Hitler's Germany."

"The enemy is cruel and implacable. A grave danger hangs over our country."

In the darkest hour, he dares to predict:" Is it true that the German Fascists troops are invincible?"

"Napoleon's army was considered invincible, but it was beaten."

. . . . . .

He orders the factories along with their machines and their workers to relocate to the East, to the Ural mountains.

And he gives farmers and peasants an absolute order "Leave, leave your isba, your house. Destroy everything."

"Leave behind nothing that can be of any use to the fascist-Hitler-right aggressor."

This is Stalin's Scorched Earth Policy.

. . . . . .

The German officers have not forgotten about Napoleon.

In 1812, the Russians defeated Napoleon's Napoleon's Grand Army by burning their towns and fields and then massacre the French in the Battle of Berezina.

In early July 1941, the Germans also reach the Borodino river on the central front and they keep going.

Resistance by the Soviet is growing stronger.

On the other side of the river, an unpleasant surprise awaits the Germans.

The Russians've set up a new kind of artillery, a rocket launcher called "Stalin's Organ" or "Katyusha", because of its sound like a nest organ pipes, a most terrified weapon.

But nothing can stop the German advance.

By mid July, they have reached Smolensk, the last big city before Moscow.

The battle for Smolensk lasts 3 weeks.

The Russians fight until the very end, despite the calls for surrender coming over the German loud-speakers.

. . . (Surrender! You will be treated well. ). . .

Very few are taken prisoner. Some of the survivors go into hiding in the deep forests and become insurgents.

. . . . . .

They are joined by many peasants and farmers who may train to fight.

They hunt down traitors and disrupt the enemy's communication lines.

The reprisals are brutal.

The Führer orders: "Immediately liquidate all people suspected of harboring even the smallest amount of hostility"

. . . . . .

Hitler consults with the Wehrmacht's commander-in-chief, Feldmarschall Keitel.

Operation Barbarassa is slowing down.

Some of the generals believe that Hitler's strategy of using of three-pronged attack is to blame.

Instead, Marshal Von Bock, commander of the army group of center, wants all of his forces focused on Moscow.

Hitler does not like generals who dare to contradict him.

General Guderian is there. He insists: "We are only 3 hundred and 50 kilometers away from Moscow now."

"You understand nothing." says the Führer. "You know nothing of wartime economics."

"First, we need the wheat from the Ukraine, so they don't starve us as they did in previous war."

"Moscow is nothing but a symbol. We'll take care of it later."

He orders Guderian to swing south towards Kiev, in order to close the pincer around the Russian armies still operating in pockets to the rear of the Wehrmacht.

. . . . . .

It will be the biggest encirclement of all time.

The Germans capture 6 hundred thousand Russian soldiers in one fell swoop.

Himmler comes through on a visit. No provisions've been made to feed the prisoners.

With supreme indifference, Himmler contemplates those that he calls the "untermensch" or "sub-humans".

He would coldly let them starve to death.

Lieutenant Von Kaganick writes: "We lived quite well in Ukraine."

"We had everything we needed: eggs, butter, fruits, milk, wine and excellent red wine from the area around the Black Sea."

. . . . . .

He goes on "The Ukrainians will come up to us, smiling, filled with joy. "

"The women will bring us bread and honey. They saw us as their liberators."

. . . . . .

The Ukrainians have many reasons to hate the Russians and especially Stalin who in the early 30s, orchestrated a massive starvation policy that killed as many as 7,000,000 people.

Many Ukrainians, some anti-Semitic, also incriminate the Jews and carry out pogroms such as here in Zolochiv, while the Germans look on.

In fact, many Ukrainians side with the Nazis, but Germany will spoil this opportunity to gain an ally.

Marshal Goering, the second higher's ranking figure in the Reich, comes to the Ukraine.

He says "No useless mouth to feed."

"Those who can work, will work for the Reich. The rest will die."

"Those who work with everything they have until they themselves die. "

. . . . . .

Goering is here to implement this policy of enslaving the Ukraine and to carry out the methodical annihilation of the Jews.

He is companied by Alfred Rosenberg, a central theoretician of Nazi racism.

. . . . . .

Himmler and Heydrich set up execution commandos called 'einsatz grupen' that is composed of SS members, policemen and Wehrmacht soldiers, who round up the Jews.

The SSs take the Jews into the woods and give them shovels so that they can dig their own graves.

. . . . . .

But they decided that this process is too slow, so they order long common graves to be dug and make that victims lie down on top of the last group of dead bodies.

But even this procedure takes too long.

The SS prepare a ravine known as 'Babi Yar' near Kiev.

33,771 Jews will be executed in two days, men, women and children.

This premeditated cold bloody massacre of million Jews will come to be known as the "The Holocaust by bullets". But Himmler is not pleased.

He has attended one of einsatz grupens' so called 'actionz' noticing the psychological burdens that these mass killing have on his soldiers.

He begins searching for alternative methods.

This will lead to the use of the gas vans with the exhaust pipes hooked up to the rear compartments and a year later, the gas chambers.

In the north, the long siege of Leningrad begins.

. . . . . .

The Germans have their plan.

Instead of fighting in the streets, we'll let our artillery and starvation do the job.

. . . . . .

City buildings are destroyed.

. . . . . .

A zoo elephant is the victim of an air raid.

Food rations soon fall below the minimum necessary, but the worst is to come with the arrival of winter.

In the south, Guderian finally receive the order from Hitler to rejoin the other armies up north and proceed towards Moscow.

. . . . . .

Along this enormous front, from Leningrad to Odessa, the thrust towards Moscow seems unstoppable.

. . . . . . .

The Germans take another 700,000 prisoners.

General Jodl, Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht says: "We have won the war."

. . . . . .

Von Kaganick writes: "We suddenly have to deal with the most frightful adversary, the autumn rain and mud which the Russians call 'Rusbotisa', endless mud so gluey and sticky that it sucks and holds on everything."

"They won't let go anything, whether it be a tank, a truck, a horse or a man."

. . . . . .

"It makes any movement impossible. We do 5 to 8 kilometers a day, instead of 30."

"Putting one foot in front of the other requires super human effort."

"The panzers, the pride of the Wehrmacht, are brought to a standstill."

. . . . . .

Hitler writes to his troops: "Soldiers on the eastern front, Comrades, today begins the last great decisive battle."

. . . . . .

And all at once the German army starts moving again towards Moscow, because the frost has come and harden the ground.

The world is holding its breath. Will Hitler defeat Stalin?

This is when right wing extremists in the occupied countries starts signing up to serve in the German army.

Belgiums, Dans, Dutch men and the young men in the LVF, the Legion of French Volunteers decide to don the German uniform and fight on the eastern front.

They will suffer. An early cold front swifts through beginning in November 1941.

Temperatures will plummet to almost minus 40 degree Celsius.

The Wehrmacht was designed to conduct a blitzkrieg, a lightning war.

It was supposed to bring Russia to its knees in four months. It is not equipped for winter.

Guderian writes in his memoirs

"It was a sight to see those half starved insufficiently clothed men fight over a poor shelter."

"They fight to control even a tiniest village."

. . . . . .

"Losing a village, losing even a single isba means death."

The men die of cold or dysentery. Diarrhoea makes them run off 30 times a day.

Doctor Harp, the Wehrmacht's physician warns them "You have to choose."

"If you pull down your trousers, you'll freeze to death."

"You must take apart the seam in the back so you won't have to pull them down."

In sharp contrast, the men in the Afrikakorp, in the desert, are able to fry eggs from the top of the sizzling surfaces of their tanks, while listening to the war song "Lili Marleen".

. . . . . .

The war in the desert is also getting bogged down, in the sand.

Petro and food supplies are lacking. Rommel has to order a hold.

However, he is planning a new offensive, a new sacrifices for his men in Afrikakorp.

Meanwhile, on the road to Moscow, the Germans are no longer able to wash or change their clothes.

Like their enemies, they are driven crazy by lice and parasites that bring scabies and typhus.

Napoleon's Grand Army lost over a hundred thousand men to typhus.

In spite of it all, the Wehrmacht pushes on.

The German vanguard reaches the outskirt of Moscow and even the end of the bus line that goes straight to Red Square.

While the Soviet army holds back the advancing German troops, Stalin orders the parade commemorating the anniversary of the revolution to be held as usual.

. . . . . .

To galvanize his troops, Stalin makes his speech that invokes forbidden images from the past, the great soldiers from the time of Tsar.

"Be worthy of your glorious ancestors, Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Pozharskyy, Alexander Suvorov, Mikhail Kutuzov."

Stalin has organized Moscow's defense in conjunction with one of his most brilliant generals, a tank's specialist considered to be the Russian equivalent of Guderian 45-year-old General Zhukov.

Lucky is on Zhukov's side.

Sorge, the Soviet spy, has discovered that the Japan, though it is Hitler's ally, has decided not to attack Russia because its primary enemy is the United States.

This enables Zhukov to reduce the number of troops in the Far East.

He brings over several of the Siberia divisions.

They are well equipped.

Siberias are not afraid of cold. They are rugged, outdoors men, who are used to using their wits.

They've brought skies and their reindeers with them, and now they are going hunting for Germans.

Zhukov wants to trap the Wehrmacht in a pincer movement.

. . . . . .

Some 30,000 Germans are killed or missing.

Thousands are sent off to Siberia. Their struggle with the cold is far from over.

Less than one in three will return home almost 15 years later.

. . . . . .

August Von Kaganick is severely wounded and evacuated back to Germany.

He writes "Faith disappears. Doubt becomes obsessive."

"Death becomes your best friend, men's only friend. Because it will deliver you from your suffering."

The suffering of the Russians is not over either. Their country has been ravaged.

Moscow has been saved, but millions of people have been killed, or taken prisoner and the danger is still there.

. . . . . .

The Wehrmacht has been pushed back 200 kilometers.

Hitler orders his army to defense that new line at all costs.

He dismisses 35 generals including Guderian and takes personal charge of the Wehrmacht.

. . . . . .

He will succeeded in re-establishing his army's position re-equipping his troops and plotting his revenge.

The Wehrmacht remains firmly planted in Russia.

Hitler returns to his dogs back in his chalet in Bavaria.

In his opinions, the defeat before Moscow was the fault of his generals and his diplomats.

Were they the ones who claim that the France and Britain wouldn't go to war for Poland and of the Abwehr, the German intelligence service, that missing inform him about the state of Russian army?

Hitler adds "The Bolshevik army is made up of peasants who fight with barbarian unconsciousness and workers trained by fanatical mysticism of communism."

But Hitler believes in his lucky star. He will prevail.

He can enjoy himself in the company of his sicker fans.

Here, Bowman's mistress introduces him to a German movie star, the actress Magda Schneider.

. . . . . .

Not far away, her daughter, Rome Schneider, plays with Bowman's children.

Life in Germany is still carefree.

The massive bombings has not yet begun and those who sacrifice their lives in Moscow also far away, deep in the snow.

Two days after Hitler's first major defeat, his ally, Japan, launches a surprise attack on the United State's big naval base in the Pacific, Peral Harbor.

And with this wave of Japanese planes, the war becomes a 'world war'.

In London, Rose dances. She is already dreaming of Christmas.

She hears her parents say "Now the Americans will fight on our side. The Russians are on our side."

"We, British, are no longer alone in this anymore."

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