The Holocaust Historiography Project

Special Treatment: The Untold Story Of Hitler’s Third Race

  • Special Treatment: The Untold Story Of Hitler’s Third Race, by Alan Abrams. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1985, 261pp, ISBN 0-8184-0364-0.

Reviewed by Theodore J. O’Keefe

This book may have the most ironic title of any work dealing with the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and 40s. Its author, Alan Abrams, is a convinced exterminationist, but the “special treatment” he describes was that accorded the children of marriages between Jews and Gentiles — the Mischlinge — and their Jewish parents. As Abrams relates, the Mischlinge and their Jewish parents were rarely deported to the East from the Reich and the areas under German occupation or influence, nor were they subjected to personal harassment or economic discrimination. At the war’s end there were at least 28,000 registered Jews living openly throughout the Reich, and tens of thousands more across Europe, in addition to hundreds of thousands of half and quarter-Jews (in the “racial” sense), many of whom had been eligible for service in the Wehrmacht and even certain National Socialist organizations.

Abrams, though no “Holocaust” revisionist, is well aware of his book’s potential for embarrassing the orthodox. Indeed, Special Treatment is prefaced by the adage of Prussian historian Heinrich Leo, “Better to cause a scandal than to be less than truthful,” as well as by George Sokolsky’s evocation of the traditional Jewish wariness of Shande fur die Goyim (giving scandal to the Gentiles).

While Abrams has somewhat exaggerated the neglect of the Mischlinge and their Jewish parents (as he well knows, Gerald Reitlinger, Raoul Hilberg, and Nora Levin have all grudgingly acknowledged the special status of the Mischlinge in their accounts of the “Holocaust"), for the most part he is quite justified in the stress he lays on their relegation to obscurity, particularly in more popular works dealing with the wartime lot of the Jews. Leonard Gross, for example, in The Last Jews of Berlin, which deals with Jews who spent the war in hiding or under false identities, writes that “nothing could be more miraculous than the survival of a Jew in Berlin during the last years of World War II.” He says nothing of the many Jews in mixed marriages who dwelt there openly, in complete legality, to the end of the war.

Special Treatment has its flaws, of course. Abrams is no scholar, and his book is stronger on anecdote than analysis. The author tends to wander afield, as when he deals with alleged Jewish “collaboration” in France or with Jewish organizational activity in Germany, a subject dealt with far more effectively by Lenni Brenner in his Zionism in the Age of the Dictators. Abrams’s belief that the National Socialist leadership attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe leads him to imply strongly that the drafting of the Nuremberg Laws, which established the special status of the Mischlinge, enabled the survival of European Jewry. In this strange notion, as well as in formulations such as “the Nazi exemptions for Jews crossed European frontiers with the first wave of goose-stepping shock troops,” he will find little company from either exterminationists or revisionists.

The implications for the exterminationist thesis of the decision to create a special legal status for the Mischlinge and to treat their Jewish parents as privileged are worth considering, but naturally Abrams doesn’t focus on them. Raoul Hilberg, in the first edition of The Destruction of the European Jews (pp. 268-277), claims that these policies were necessary to camouflage the extermination: Had the Jews in mixed marriages been deported, their Aryan spouses would not only have raised a public furor, but would have created further grave problems for law and public morale by flocking to obtain death certificates, thereby fatally compromising the secrecy of the “Final Solution.” The reader may make of this explanation what he will, particularly in light of the insistence of Hilberg and other Exterminationists that the machinery of the “Final Solution” was initially revved up by killing tens of thousands of Germans in a state-mandated euthanasia program.

Of further interest in the German policy toward this special category of Jews and part-Jews is the implicit contradiction it provides to the common assertion that the alleged slaughter of the European Jews by the National Socialists was rooted in a sort of psychosexual pathology, shared by Hitler and his followers, triggered by the idea of sexual relations between Jews and Aryans. Even those with a casual acquaintance with “Holocaust” literature are aware of photographs, dating from the early days of Hitler’s rise of power, showing Aryan-Jewish couples being hazed by members of the Sturmabteilung and other rowdies. How odd that, if sexual envy were the driving force of the “Holocaust,” precisely those Jews married to Aryans, the progenitors of “mongrel” offspring, should be exempt from the treatment meted out to the rest of their brethren!

About the author

THEODORE J. O’Keefe is the IHR’s Assistant Director for Publications

Bibliographic information
Author: Ted O’Keefe
Title: Special Treatment (review)
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: Spring 1987
Issue: Volume 7 number 1
Location: Page 121
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.