“Final Solution” Euphemisms
The term “Final Solution” (Die Endlösung) was a euphemism. Himmler was fully prepared to talk about killing to his immediate subordinates, but much of the Nazi killing machine was shrouded in bureaucratic euphemism. The doctors and administrators charged with murdering ‘incurables’ were the ‘Public Ambulance Service Ltd’ (Gemeinnützige Krankentransport GmbH); the motorized death squads which first went into action in Poland in 1939 were ‘task forces’ (Einsatzgruppen); the massacre of nearly 34,000 Jews in the ravine of Babi-Yar after the capture of Kiev in September 1941 was a ‘major operation’ (Gross-Aktiori). People identified for extermination in official Nazi documents were listed as those to be given ‘special treatment’ (Sonderbehandlung), sometimes abbreviated to ‘SB’, and from roughly mid-1943 the term ‘special lodging’ (Sonderunterbringung) was also used.