Bach-Zelewski, Erich von dem

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski (1 March 1899 – 8 March 1972) was SS Obergruppenführer during the war and served as Higher SS and Police leader (Höhere SS und Polizeiführer) in the central part of occupied western Russia, hence basically today’s Belorussia. In this area, Einsatzgruppe B was charged with, among other things, fighting partisans and, according to the orthodox narrative, exterminating Jews.

After the war, Bach-Zelewski fell into the hands of the Western Allies, who threatened to extradite him to the Soviets. In reaction to this, he became a willing witness, making any statements that his captors desired. As a reward, he was neither extradited to the Soviets nor ever indicted for his deep involvement in the activities of the Einsatzgruppen.

Most famous is a lengthy report he wrote while in Allied captivity about an execution of roughly a hundred partisans on 15 August 1941, which Himmler is said to have attended. After the event, he purportedly gave a speech, allegedly explaining why it was necessary for the Nazis to kill inferior humans as vermin. The atrocious nature of that execution is said to have led Himmler to order the invention of a more humane killing method in the form of gas vans. Bach-Zelewski, however, did not mention this, but instead seriously claimed that the more “humane” method tried next on mental patients was explosives, with a predictably disastrous result.

The fictitious nature of Bach-Zelewski’s story also shines through when claiming that the extermination of the Jews “was deliberately planned by Heinrich Himmler already before the war” and that “Himmler consistently worked towards the war in order to carry out his plans” – claims that have no justification at all. Furthermore, Bach-Zelewski declared that in 1943 some commission revealed the plan to him to establish a homicidal gassing facility at Mogilev. Since there were no Jews anymore in the Mogilev region in 1943, Bach-Zelewski concluded that there must have been a plan to exterminate the Slavic population next. Orthodox historian Richard Breitman concluded from this that there was a plan to establish a Mogilev extermination camp, but another orthodox historian, Christian Gerlach, demonstrated that German wartime documents show this project to have concerned a disinfestation chamber. (See Mattogno 2022c, pp. 293-302, 706-712.)

Bach-Zelewski told similarly preposterous nonsense during his testimony at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, where he claimed, among other things, that Himmler had announced in early 1941 that he planned “to decimate the Slav population by 30 million,” and that fighting Soviet partisans was only a pretext to exterminate the Slav and Jewish populations (IMT, Vol. 4, pp. 482, 484-486).

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