Feldman and Seibel - Chapter 13
One of the recurring words Nazi bureaucrats in Ukraine used to describe the
implementation of the "final solution" was "reibungslos" (smooth).1 Often
they referred specifically to the "smooth" relations between the Wehrmacht
and SS-Police. On other occasions they boasted about their efficient step-bystep
process of murder. To be sure, a peripheral official in Ukraine reporting
to his superiors in Berlin might have been inclined to exaggerate how "free
of friction" the administration of his tasks was. Indeed, recent "perpetrator"
histories of the Holocaust stress the lack of conflict among regional officials
vis-à-vis the "final solution." Yet the tendency of these regional studies is not
to question the Nazi sense of a "smooth" process of murder. Was it the sole
aim of regional leaders in the occupation administration to make the implementation
of the "final solution" appear orderly? Or could their handling of
the genocide be described as "frictionless"?