A Canadian author says he has uncovered “compelling documentation” that shows a powerful Nazi leader was deceived into halting the mass extermination of Jewish people in concentration camps months before the end of the Second World War.

In his new book, “In The Name of Humanity: The Secret Deal to End the Holocaust,” Max Wallace says that Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler was manipulated into ending the “Final Solution,” the Nazis’ plan to annihilate Jews.

In November, 1944, Himmler prohibited further killings of Jews and ordered that the Auschwitz crematoria and gas chambers be destroyed.  Most historians have described it as an attempt to hide the scope of the Nazi crimes once it became clear that Germany was losing the war. But Wallace says he has uncovered evidence that Himmler was tricked into believing he could negotiate a “separate peace” with the Allies as long as the “Final Solution” plans were scrapped.

“I discovered very compelling documentation that links (Himmler’s) decree to these secret negotiations,” Wallace told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.

“It appears that these negotiations, these events, may have saved as many as 300,000 Jews.”

The ‘incredible woman’ behind the deal

A key figure in the history of the Holocaust was behind the secret talks with Himmler, Wallace said.

Her name was Recha Sternbuch and she was an Orthodox Jewish woman who helped saved thousands of Jewish lives right before and during the Holocaust.

Wallace said Sternbuch and her husband Isaac, who led a Swiss Jewish rescue committee, enlisted Jean-Marie Musy, former president of Switzerland, to negotiate with Himmler.

At the time, Himmler was “desperate to forge a separate alliance with the Allies,” Wallace said. 

“He thinks that Nazi Germany can band together with the western allies against their common enemy – Stalin – to stamp out Bolshevism. The Bolsheviks were the only people he hated as much as the Jews.”

During those secret talks with Musy, Himmler was manipulated into thinking that he would be able to forge a pact with the Allies, as long as he halted further destruction of Jewish people. He worked mostly behind Hitler’s back when he issued the orders, Wallace said, even though thousands more Jews died in concentration camps from diseases and starvation before the war came to an end.

Wallace’s findings are based on documents discovered in the archives of an Orthodox Jewish group in New York, as well as declassified files from the U.S. War Refugee Board.

He believes other historians may have been reluctant to explore the secret negotiations due to fears that they could be used by Holocaust deniers to claim that Himmler actually saved Jews.

But nothing could be further from the truth, Wallace said. 

“He certainly didn’t have a change of heart about the Jews.”