What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 10 Jan 2020 09:01

BTW, what did the Holocaust achieve in 1941 and afterwards that it wouldn't have achieved in 1940 in a scenario where the Nazis would have began losing WWII in 1940?

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by wm » 10 Jan 2020 12:27

Although the Holocaust was a 1942 thing.
From the point of view of Hitler: it removed the security threat presented by the Jewish fifth column, saved desperately needed food, exacted vengeance on people who brought war on Germany.

It wasn't about the power of International Jewry, International Jewry was safely out of reach.

I didn't mean the Russians taught the Germans how to do it. The security measures employed against Poles/Russians/Jews demonstrated that the Holocaust was possible. Small executions, then larger and more of them, small and inefficient gas chambers, and then larger and better ones.

Most of the Holocaust happened in 100 days, it didn't make sense to go slow, the "benefits" were needed immediately not after a year or two.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 11 Jan 2020 08:46

wm wrote:
10 Jan 2020 12:27
Although the Holocaust was a 1942 thing.
It actually began in 1941. AFAIK, over a million Jews were already murdered by the end of 1941, primarily in the USSR. The final decision in regards to the Holocaust was made at Wannsee at the start of 1942, I believe. However, in practice, it was already well underway for half a year or so by the time of the Wannsee Conference.
From the point of view of Hitler: it removed the security threat presented by the Jewish fifth column,
Wouldn't this still be a factor in this scenario, though?
saved desperately needed food,
If France doesn't fall in 1940, is Germany going to be able to avoid starvation without engaging in mass murder by continuing to trade with the USSR?
exacted vengeance on people who brought war on Germany.
Wouldn't this still be a factor in this scenario, though?
It wasn't about the power of International Jewry, International Jewry was safely out of reach.
Wouldn't any Jew be perceived as being an agent or at least a potential agent of international Jewry, though?
I didn't mean the Russians taught the Germans how to do it. The security measures employed against Poles/Russians/Jews demonstrated that the Holocaust was possible. Small executions, then larger and more of them, small and inefficient gas chambers, and then larger and better ones.
Yep.
Most of the Holocaust happened in 100 days, it didn't make sense to go slow, the "benefits" were needed immediately not after a year or two.
Actually, a fair amount of the murder in the Holocaust was done before the start of 1942--let alone the middle of 1942. As I previously said, I previously read that slightly over a million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust in 1941 alone--primarily in the Soviet Union.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by wm » 11 Jan 2020 18:58

But the number is about 600,000 Jews, 2,000,000 Soviet POWs, and an undetermined number of Soviet citizens.

The Germans weren't able to police such large territories so they preventively killed anybody deemed capable of resistance and then some more.
They didn't have enough food so they starved the POWs.
Disregarding any moral considerations - they had no other choice.

The Holocaust was something else and later, but it was enabled and inspired by the Barbarossa killings.

This is why the Holocaust was impossible in that French scenario, the war on the Western Front was a nice, chivalrous one - till the end. Stalemate in the battle of France could have ended in negotiations, an armistice, peace treaty. In such a case, Germany couldn't afford to stain its reputation with genocide.

But Barbarossa itself was a massive (and actually more on the Russians than the Jews), preplanned war crime - like no other before. There was no way back.
If you did Barbarossa you could have as well done the Holocaust - that changed nothing.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 12 Jan 2020 06:17

TBH, I strongly doubt that the Anglo-French would have actually agreed to any peace treaty with the Nazis had France not fallen in 1940. After all, the Nazis were perceived as a permanent threat to Europe's security. Maybe if the Nazis would have subsequently been overthrown, Britain and France might have been willing to make a relatively lenient peace with Germany, but certainly not while the Nazis actually remain in power in Germany.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by wm » 12 Jan 2020 09:46

That's true.
But the French people probably disagreed with that and didn't give a damn about future permanent threats.

They had endured a multi-year meatgrinder already - barely, with numerous mutinies of their army.
They had no stomach for another one.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Futurist » 13 Jan 2020 02:51

If the Anglo-French fail to even get German troops to withdraw from all of Poland, though, then their guarantees to Poland wouldn't have been worth very much and thus the Anglo-French reputation is likely to severely suffer.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Jan 2020 12:02

Hi wm,

You write,

"The Germans weren't able to police such large territories so they preventively killed anybody deemed capable of resistance and then some more.
They didn't have enough food so they starved the POWs.

Disregarding any moral considerations - they had no other choice.
"

NO, NO and NO!

The Germans had full and total legal and moral responsibility for the welfare of everyone who fell under their control. They also had enough food to feed them all. They simply chose not to. Except in Greece, where the Germans were taking food out of a country that could not feed itself at the time, people were not dying of starvation in areas under German control by the tens of thousands, let alone by the millions like the Soviet POWs. The death of the Soviet POWs in the winter of 1941-42 was a differential policy decision. The Germans simply chose to make other priorities.

By the second half of 1941 the Nazis appear to have been so confident of victory that they completely lost their legal and moral bearings, at least in Eastern Europe. The Soviet POWs were victims of a deliberate sin of omission, in that they were not fed, and the Jews followed in a sin of commission, in that they were simply murdered.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by wm » 15 Jan 2020 13:18

This is why it was "disregarding any moral considerations."

In 1941 Barbarossa failed and Germany faced a long war, a war they weren't prepared for and couldn't win.

In 1941 the food shortages were so severe the Geman food rations were reduced to unhealthy (in the long-run) levels.

At the same time, Goering proposed (half-seriously) to use German cats and German horses as additional sources of meat. But horse meat was already fully used for that purpose and cats were too small to be useful.

Actually in Ukraine people were starving to death, in Poland they weren't but only because the German food confiscation system wasn't perfect enough yet.
In 1942 and 1943 the Poles and the Ukrainians were saved by bumper crops in both countries.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Steve » 16 Jan 2020 23:10

I have to say I agree completely with what Sid posted.

The war against the Soviet Union was conceived by Hitler as a race war and the Einsatzgruupen were a major component in it. If the Germans as wm says “preventively killed anybody deemed capable of resistance” then there is an obvious conclusion to be drawn. Because the Jews were clearly targeted for extermination in areas the Einsatzgruppen operated the Jews must have been deemed the most capable of resisting the German invasion. That the Germans thought this and that Einsatzgruppen killing of Jews was anything to do with preventing resistance is I would suggest nonsense. It was clearly part of the Holocaust. Einsatzgruppen leaders said after the war that Hydrich had conveyed to them in briefings that Hitler’s order was to exterminate the Jews of the Soviet Union.

Whether the Germans could have adequately fed and housed their Soviet prisoners in 1941 is a moot point but beyond any dispute is that they never tried. I have just read an eyewitness account of a camp at Minsk. On an open plain surrounded by electrified wire and machine gun towers were held 60,000 prisoners. Throughout the winter there was no housing and they were virtually unfed. Every day the dead were incinerated. Within a few months the number was reduced to 11,000. The Italian Count Ciano (Mussolini’s son in law) made an entry in his diary about Goring joking that the Russian prisoners had turned to cannibalism. What happened to the Soviet prisoners of war was the second largest war crime of WW2. The central powers in the 1914/17 war took 2,417.000 Russian prisoners of whom 70,000 died.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by wm » 17 Jan 2020 09:28

That's ahistorical. Historians of the Holocaust generally agree the Holocaust started at the end of 1941.
Till 1939 the Nazis cooperated with Jewish groups in their efforts to colonize Palestine.
Till the end of 1941 Jewish emigration from Germany and occupied Poland was allowed.

Yes, the Jews were targeted because they were deemed the most capable of resisting the German invasion - and the commissars, and communists, and even educated Russians.
It doesn't matter if today we deem the Jews to be incapable of resisting or that the Germans never tried to feed the POWs.
The Germans obviously thought otherwise and on only their opinions counted.

The extermination of people capable of resisting and the lack of food were assumed by Barbarossa.
The Germans knew they didn't have food for the POWs and even for their own army. The Wehrmacht was going to live off the land.
They had no other choice.

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Jan 2020 12:42

Hi wm,

Defining the start of the so-called "Holocaust" is a moot point.

Nobody declared the "Holocaust" officially open on a given date. It was a continuum of rising pressure, rising differential death rates and ever more refined methods of mass murder that certainly began with the occupation of Poland in 1939 (and about which the German Army General Blaskowitz complained in writing at the time). It is even arguable that the differential death rates began at Dachau as early as 1933/34.
Cheers,

Sid

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 17 Jan 2020 13:03

Hi wm,

You post, "In 1941 the food shortages were so severe the German food rations were reduced to unhealthy (in the long-run) levels."

This is simply untrue. Germany's own food shortages only became critical in 1944.

Hitler recalled the devastation caused by the British blockade in 1914-18 and the way it undermined national morale and went out of his way to keep Germany fed in WWII.

If it is true that ".....the Poles and the Ukrainians were saved by bumper crops in both countries", why was it that the Soviet POWs who died of starvation did so in precisely these areas?

However one looks at it, the Germans were in full control of the Soviet POWs and must bear full responsibility for their deaths by the million due to starvation in 1941-42. Their deaths were the result of differential decisions made by the Germans, nobody else.

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by wm » 17 Jan 2020 13:40

Sid Guttridge wrote:
17 Jan 2020 13:03
If it is true that ".....the Poles and the Ukrainians were saved by bumper crops in both countries", why was it that the Soviet POWs who died of starvation did so in precisely these areas?
because it was a year later, and too late for the POWs.

more, the Germany disastrous food situation in 1941-1942:
Backe had not been bluffing in 1941. In light of the extension of the war into the indefinite future, Germany was facing a severe food problem.
The German grain harvest in both 1940 and 1941 had been well below average and imports from the occupied territories had not made up the difference.
For lack of feed the swine herd had been reduced by 25 percent since the start of the war, triggering a cut in meat rations as of June 1941.
Bread rations had only been sustained by making severe inroads into grain stocks. By the end of 1941, these were nearing exhaustion.
The Wages of Destruction
The seriousness of the situation became apparent to the wider public in the spring of 1942 when the Food Ministry announced cuts to the food rations of the German population.
Given the regime's mortal fear of damaging morale, the ration cuts of April 1942 are incontrovertible evidence that the food crisis was real. Lowering the rations was a political step of the first order, which Backe would never have suggested if the situation had not absolutely required it.

The Wehrmacht had prepared the way in 1942, by decreeing a ration cut for the fighting troops. When the reduction in the civilian ration was announced it produced a response which justified every anxiety on the part of the Nazi leadership.

On 23 March 1942 the SD reported that news of the impending cut was causing extreme disquiet amongst German civilians. It was, reported the SD's informants, 'devastating' like 'virtually no other event during the war.'

Studies by nutritional experts added to the leadership's concerns. The reduced ration prevailing since the start of the war had had a serious impact on the population's reserves of body fat. The tendency of factory workers doing heavy manual labour to gain weight in middle age had been completely negated. This was cause for alarm, because the fat reserves in the bodies of the labour force had acted as a buffer in the first years of the war.
It was now to be expected that any further reduction in the ration would result in a precipitate decline in performance, particularly in industries such as mining.
The Wages of Destruction

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Re: What size did Hitler want his Polish puppet state to be?

Post by Steve » 18 Jan 2020 02:21

The following is taken from the Yad Vashem web site “The mass murder of the Jews began with the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941” and “In January 1942 a conference was held in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, in order to coordinate the implementation of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”. That’s good enough for me.

Hitler had told Heydrich in March 1941 that “the Bolshevist Jewish intelligentsia must be eliminated”. Heydrich in a letter of July 2 wrote that the Einsatzgruppen had been instructed to liquidate, alongside Communist functionaries and an array of “extremist elements”, “all Jews in the service of the party and state” From Hitler 1936 – 45 Ian Kershaw, page 463.

The Nazi’s equated Jews with Communism but what they wanted went beyond killing Jewish Communists. In verbal briefings of which there are no records it was made clear all Jews were too be wiped out. I am not aware of any expectation in the German army that they would have to fight hundreds of thousands of armed fanatical Jews as they rolled through western Russia. Perhaps someone knows what preparations were made by the German army prior to Barbarossa to cope with this expected Jewish resistance. If the possibility of resistance is why the Soviet Jews were targeted for extermination is this also why the Jews of Western Europe were targeted for extermination?

Even if you believe that the Germans could not even give their Soviet prisoners a bowel of soup a day how do you explain the lack of shelter in winter. Was there also a lack of wood, nails etc. that could have been used by the prisoners to build shelters?

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