The Madagascar Plan

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David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 02 Nov 2005 20:39

For interested readers, the judgment of an American military tribunal on the German foreign office, the Madagascar plan and how they fit into the holocaust may be seen at:

The German Foreign Office & the holocaust
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=564142

See also the discussion at:

Madagascar
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=5901

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 03 Nov 2005 02:33

This plan sounds similar, though larger, to the set-up of the ghettos in Eastern Europe. Yet, an underlying and hidden message in this plan, is that the Nazis were planning to ship 4 million Jews (the number did not include the Jews of Russia) to a location deemed ill-prepared for even 40,000 to 60,000 people (as determined by the Polish commission sent to Madagascar in 1937)! Thus, was the Madagascar Plan a real plan in which the effects were not considered or an alternate way of killing the Jews of Europe?
Any claim that the proposed settlement of 4 million Jews on Madagascar was tantamount to an alternative form of extermination, even asking that question, is a mendacious falsification of history, based on a tendentious reading of the data.

The reality is shown by the material contained in my posts of Tuesday 22 July 2003 on this thread.

Since the 1920s, the Zionist Movement had been planning to settle four million Jews in Palestine, ie the same number as the German Government proposed to settle in madagascar, a territory vastly greater in size than Palestine.

The settlement of European Jews in Palestine as farmers posed enormous problems, not the least of which was the prevalence of malaria in the coastal plain and the Jordan valley, a factor that kept the population of those areas very low. Jewish settlement, which was concentrated on the coastal plain, the Yezreel plain and the upper Jordan valley, could only proceed once malaria had been eradicated by means of drainage projects funded by Jewish philanthropists such as Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and using tens of thousands of Egyptian labourers (who died like flies from the malaria).

Agricultural settlement of Jews in Madagascar would actually have posed far fewer problems than the actual settlement in Palestine, since the amount of available land was infinitely greater.

It is often stated that endemic malaria in Madagascar would have precluded large-scale European settlement there. However, malaria was and is a problem only in the coastal lowlands, which constitute only a small part of the total territory of Madagascar; the highlands, which cover most of the island, have a healthy climate and are free of malaria and other such tropical diseases.

The highlands of Madagascar have a climate similar to the highlands of Rhodesia and Kenya, where Europeans had no difficulty in settling as farmers. The population density was very low, enabling the potential settlement of many millions of Europeans there.

In short, it would have been entirely possible for several million Jews to settle on the highlands of Madagascar and make a living there, provided they were prepared to knuckle down to a bit of hard yakka on the land.

The German plan was for the transfer and settlement of four million European Jews to be financed by the Jewish capitalists of the United States and the British Empire, ie in exactly the same manner as the settlment of over five milion Jews in Palestine has been financed.

Even if such financial support were not achieved, the transfer and settlement could have been financed through the liquidation and sequestration of all Jewish assets in Europe, and if that were not enough through skimming off part of the value produced by the Jewish agricultrual settlers. That would have meant that the Jewish settlers in Madagascar would not have had a high standard of living, being at the level of subsistence farmers, but for the dirt-poor Jews of most of Eastern Europe that would not have been much of a change.

Finally, we can address the question of why the Polish investigators concluded that Madagascar was not a suitable place to settle the Jews of Poland.

The answer is easy. They got their information from the local French administrators, who told them "Non, monsieur, Madagascar eez not a good place for white men to leeve, eet eez ze white man's grave".

Now, why did the French administrators give that patently false answer? Simple. They did not want to share their pleasant island with millions of Jews straight from the ghettos of Eastern Europe.

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Post by Exxley » 03 Nov 2005 10:23

The reality is shown by the material contained in my posts of Tuesday 22 July 2003 on this thread.
The reality is definitively better explained in Tarpon's post.

The answer is easy. They got their information from the local French administrators, who told them "Non, monsieur, Madagascar eez not a good place for white men to leeve, eet eez ze white man's grave".
Enlightning comment from someone who obviousbly thinks that all French people somehow speak English with the same accent that Peter Sellers used while playing Insp. Clouseau. I suppose that leaving in a delusional revisionist world doesnt help much.

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Post by memex » 03 Nov 2005 11:05

michael mills wrote:Now, why did the French administrators give that patently false answer? Simple. They did not want to share their pleasant island with millions of Jews straight from the ghettos of Eastern Europe.
Mills, first, you should ask yourself: "Who created <<the ghettos of Eastern Europe>>? Why my lovely Germans didn't want Jews in III Reich? Why they created crazy Madgascar plan? If Germans wanted give Jews Madagascar "paradise" - why they kill so many of them when plan failed? Why Germans killed Jews instead give them Madagascar "paradise"?"

Mills, you should know one thing - you don't belive in your own words indeed. Your "logical thinking" is very funny and ridiculous.

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Post by David Thompson » 03 Nov 2005 15:43

memex -- We don't permit insulting personal comments here, and personal remarks are discouraged. Avoid them.
The first rule of the forum is: "No insults are tolerated (that includes serious national and religious insults)." Personal remarks in posts are discouraged, and personal insults are forbidden here.
H&WC Section Rules
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=53962

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Post by iwh » 03 Nov 2005 19:39

michael mills wrote: Any claim that the proposed settlement of 4 million Jews on Madagascar was tantamount to an alternative form of extermination, even asking that question, is a mendacious falsification of history, based on a tendentious reading of the data.
The Madagascar proposal came about when the Nazis were still talking about expulsion and not extermination, that is true. However I would imagine that the Jewish population would have been dumped onto Madagascar with little if any support, material or otherwise.
michael mills wrote: Since the 1920s, the Zionist Movement had been planning to settle four million Jews in Palestine, ie the same number as the German Government proposed to settle in madagascar, a territory vastly greater in size than Palestine.
True, but then some Jews wanted to go to Palestine for historical and religious reasons. They did not want to go to Madagascar for any reason!
michael mills wrote: Agricultural settlement of Jews in Madagascar would actually have posed far fewer problems than the actual settlement in Palestine, since the amount of available land was infinitely greater.
But they did not want to go there!
michael mills wrote: It is often stated that endemic malaria in Madagascar would have precluded large-scale European settlement there. However, malaria was and is a problem only in the coastal lowlands, which constitute only a small part of the total territory of Madagascar; the highlands, which cover most of the island, have a healthy climate and are free of malaria and other such tropical diseases.
Of course the Germans would have supplied medical equipment, machinery, building materials etc etc etc...I don't think so. So how therefore could the people exist. There was no infrastructure there.
michael mills wrote: In short, it would have been entirely possible for several million Jews to settle on the highlands of Madagascar and make a living there, provided they were prepared to knuckle down to a bit of hard yakka on the land.
We are talking several million people here, off loaded in no doubt a very short period of time. How would they survive? They would use up the land resources like a plague of locusts just to survive. People would starve to death in a very short period of time.
michael mills wrote: The German plan was for the transfer and settlement of four million European Jews to be financed by the Jewish capitalists of the United States and the British Empire, ie in exactly the same manner as the settlment of over five milion Jews in Palestine has been financed.
So German, Dutch, French citizens etc are to be paid for by American and British. Not all jews wanted to go to Palestine. German citizens who just happened to be Jewish were quite happy to stay German. Many fought for Germany in WW1. I am sure French, Dutch citizens who happened to be jewish would have felt the same. I don't see every Catholic in the world wanting to emigrate to the Vatican. Morover, the 5 million jewish population in Palestine did not all arrive at once, but over a period of time, when they could be more easily assimilated into the area. The Nazis no doubt were intending to offload their jewish populations as quickly as possible!
michael mills wrote: Even if such financial support were not achieved, the transfer and settlement could have been financed through the liquidation and sequestration of all Jewish assets in Europe, and if that were not enough through skimming off part of the value produced by the Jewish agricultrual settlers. That would have meant that the Jewish settlers in Madagascar would not have had a high standard of living, being at the level of subsistence farmers, but for the dirt-poor Jews of most of Eastern Europe that would not have been much of a change.
Why should people be forced out of their homes just because of their religion? Why should middle class jews from western europe have to suffer a decline in living standards?
michael mills wrote: The answer is easy. They got their information from the local French administrators, who told them "Non, monsieur, Madagascar eez not a good place for white men to leeve, eet eez ze white man's grave".

Now, why did the French administrators give that patently false answer? Simple. They did not want to share their pleasant island with millions of Jews straight from the ghettos of Eastern Europe.
This is just pure supposition, with no evidence or proof to back it up. Why would the Germans listen to a French administration under German control? Problems with the war caused the Germans to ditch the plan, not the French Administration. Don't blame the French for Nazi inhumanity.

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Post by michael mills » 03 Nov 2005 22:49

This is just pure supposition, with no evidence or proof to back it up. Why would the Germans listen to a French administration under German control? Problems with the war caused the Germans to ditch the plan, not the French Administration. Don't blame the French for Nazi inhumanity.
I was referring to the Polish officials who went on an inspection tour to Madagascar in the 1930s and reported back that it was not suitable as a receptacle for Poland's Jews.

The material I quoted earlier in this thread shows that German officials were well aware that Jewish settlement in Madagascar was entirely feasible, and that the land could absorb 4 million Jews without increasing the population density excessively.

As for the arrival of a large number of Jews in a short time, I would point out that the new Medinat Yisrael absorbed a huge number of immigrants in the first few years of its existence, doubling its population overnight. One example was the arrival of 50,000 Jews from Yemen over a few weeks.

The new arrivals were mainly housed in tent-camps, where large numbers remained for several years before they were finally settled in permanent homes.

Such a rapid movement of population was possible because the new state received a lot of assistance from the wealthy Jewish communities of the United States and the British Commonwealth, exactly what the German Government envisaged for Jewish settlement in Madagascar.

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Post by walterkaschner » 04 Nov 2005 01:57

Michael Mills wrote:
As for the arrival of a large number of Jews in a short time, I would point out that the new Medinat Yisrael absorbed a huge number of immigrants in the first few years of its existence, doubling its population overnight. One example was the arrival of 50,000 Jews from Yemen over a few weeks.
It would seem to me that there is a substantial difference between absorbing 50,000 immigrants and absorbing 4 million, particularly in a place like Madagascar where there was no established infrastructure or friendly community already in place to help them. Moreover, although the island is slightly less than twice as large as the State of Arizona (587,000 sq. KM. as opposed to c. 20,000 sq. KM for Israel), in addition to the insalubrious and malaria ridden coastal areas, there are large areas in both the North and South that are arid and virtually barren. Indeed, only slightly more than 5% of the total island consists of arable land, and it barely supports the native population. (Source: any good atlas or Google search.) And although the Jews in what is now Israel have indeed made an inhospitable desert bloom and established an industrial economy as well, this was accomplished gradually over at least three-quarters of a century, with considerable outside assistance from the diaspora, spead over an equal amount of time. I doubt that the Nazis had anything like that kind of time line in mind for ridding Europe of "the Jewish pestilence" or any lively concern for the ultimate consequences to the 4 million souls forcibly removed - or indeed to the indigenous population, which as a guess must have been 6-7 million at the time. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that anyone in the régime except perhaps Himmler and his sycophants, who seem to have spent a great deal of time on grandiose plans for huge migrations of peoples, treated the Madagascar Plan any more seriously than it truly deserved.

Regards, Kaschner

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Post by nny » 04 Nov 2005 10:05

Not to interfere with the mudflinging, but in the interest of learning more about the Madagascar plan, and in the interest of keeping this a research forum, does anyone have any quotes from Nazi officials that indicates that they wished to ship the Jews to Madagascar to exterminate them via starvation or malaria?

As we know from numerous Nazi documents obtained after the war, they were not shy about putting their true intentions in writing.

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Post by walterkaschner » 04 Nov 2005 20:24

nny wrote:Not to interfere with the mudflinging, but in the interest of learning more about the Madagascar plan, and in the interest of keeping this a research forum, does anyone have any quotes from Nazi officials that indicates that they wished to ship the Jews to Madagascar to exterminate them via starvation or malaria?

As we know from numerous Nazi documents obtained after the war, they were not shy about putting their true intentions in writing.
I know of no such documents, and if they indeed existed I would suppose they would have come to light by now. I am personally of the view that the Nazi's Jewish policy at the time the Madagascar Plan was being bruited about was focused on resettlement and had not yet veered to extermination as the final solution. In this I find Christopher R. Browning's arguments persuasive. See his The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 (University of Nebraska Press, 2004) at 106-7 and passim; The Path to Genocide (Cambridge University Press, paperback ed. 1995), Preface, "Nazi Resettlement Policy" and passim. In general accord see Ian Kershaw, Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis (W.W. Norton&Co., 2000) at 349-50 and passim

Indeed, in May 1940 Himmler himself drafted a Memo entitled "Some Thoughts on Treatment of Alien Populations in the East" in which he stated that the solution of the Jewish problem should be "a great emigration of all Jews to a colony in Africa or elsewhere", adding that "however cruel and tragic each individual case may be, this method is still the mildest and best, if one rejects the Bolshevik method of physical extermination of a people out of inner conviction as un-German and impossible." Browning, The Path to Genocide, op cit. supra at 16-7.

But although the motivation behind the Madagascar Plan may not have been extermination per se, it seems obvious to me that the Nazis were totally indifferent to (and perhaps even delighted in) the disasterous consequences to the Jewish population inherent in the Plan.

Unfortunately, as time went on and frustrations grew, the "Bolshevik method of physical extermination" not only became "possible" but was enthusiastically adopted at the highest levels of the Nazi hierarchy.

Regards, Kashner

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Post by Pieter Kuiper » 04 Nov 2005 21:57

nny wrote:Does anyone have any quotes from Nazi officials that indicates that they wished to ship the Jews to Madagascar to exterminate them via starvation or malaria?
Breitman quotes a few lines from Walther Darré http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Darre in the November 1940 issue of Odal:
Is the goal achieved when Europe is cleared of Jews, when the last Jews emigrates to his new home overseas? We must answer no to this question, just as much for Europe as for Germany. One will never understand the full seriousness of this question if one simply follows the outward sequence of events.
Breitman then says that this implied the the final goal went well beyond emigration.
(page 141-142 of The Architect of Genocide - Himmler and the Final Solution)

The RSHA version of the Madagascar plan of August 1940 was about deporting in a period of four years four million Jews from Germany, the Generalgouvernement, the Protectorate, Benelux, Denmark, Norway, Slovakia and France.

This makes one wonder what the plan was for the Jews from other countries.

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Post by michael mills » 07 Nov 2005 02:41

The RSHA version of the Madagascar plan of August 1940 was about deporting in a period of four years four million Jews from Germany, the Generalgouvernement, the Protectorate, Benelux, Denmark, Norway, Slovakia and France.
If those were the sources of the Jews to be resettled, then the number could not have reached four million.

The numbers of Jews in those countries in 1940 was:

Reich (including Austria and Bohemia-Moravia): circa 500,000 (this was the number remaining after extensive emigration)

Annexed Polish territories: circa 500,000

Generalgouvernment: 1.3 million in the four districts of Warsaw, Lublin, Krakow and Radom (the figure reported in 1940, based on data from the 1931 census; however, it does not take account of at least 300,00o Jews who had fled to the Soviet Zone, so the real figure was probably no more than one million)

Slovakia: maximum 100,000

France, Benelux: circa 500,000 (the numbers in Denmark and Norway were minimal).

Accordingly, the total number of Jews in the above countries cannot have exceeded 2.9 million, and was probably only 2.6 million.

The four-million figure bandied about by the German authorities was a typical example of the statistical exaggeration that afflicted them whenever it came to the Jewish Question.

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Post by David Thompson » 07 Nov 2005 04:54

Michael -- Please source your statistics, per the section rules.

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Post by Pieter Kuiper » 07 Nov 2005 08:15

michael mills wrote:Generalgouvernment: 1.3 million in the four districts of Warsaw, Lublin, Krakow and Radom (the figure reported in 1940, based on data from the 1931 census; however, it does not take account of at least 300,00o Jews who had fled to the Soviet Zone, so the real figure was probably no more than one million)
After the 1931 census, many Jews had been expelled from the Reich to Poland.
Also, the Nuremberg-definition of Jews would have included catholics not counted as Jews in the Polish census.

The Wannsee protokoll says: "Generalgouvernement 2.284.000", probably the same number RSHA used in 1940.

And what is your source for "at least 300,00o Jews" that had fled to the soviets?

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Post by nny » 07 Nov 2005 08:20

I know of no such documents, and if they indeed existed I would suppose they would have come to light by now. I am personally of the view that the Nazi's Jewish policy at the time the Madagascar Plan was being bruited about was focused on resettlement and had not yet veered to extermination as the final solution. In this I find Christopher R. Browning's arguments persuasive. See his The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 (University of Nebraska Press, 2004) at 106-7 and passim; The Path to Genocide (Cambridge University Press, paperback ed. 1995), Preface, "Nazi Resettlement Policy" and passim. In general accord see Ian Kershaw, Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis (W.W. Norton&Co., 2000) at 349-50 and passim
Thank you for the information! I love what I have read of Brownings work and 'The Origins of the Final Solution' has been the next book on my to buy list for awhile.
But although the motivation behind the Madagascar Plan may not have been extermination per se, it seems obvious to me that the Nazis were totally indifferent to (and perhaps even delighted in) the disasterous consequences to the Jewish population inherent in the Plan.
I can agree with that, long before the 'endlosung' as we know it was ordered (From encouraged emigration, to expulsion, to madagascar to the gas chambers), leading Nazi officials often referred to the Jews in inherantly genocidal terms, such as referring to a group of people as genetic bacteria, or explicitly accusing them of being 'racial tuburculosis'. But in the end I don't believe that these terms (though inherantly genocidal) are explicitly genocidal. After all Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon referred to the Palestinians as a form of cancer in the Israeli body : "There are all kinds of solutions to cancerous manifestations. Some will say it is necessary to amputate organs. But at the moment I am applying chemotherapy," in the August 30th 2002 issue of Ha'aretz. Ironically Ya'alon probably believed he was being liberal in this reference to the Palestinians, refuting those who wished 'harsher' terms. There is a huge leap from genocidal speech and genocidal actions.
Unfortunately, as time went on and frustrations grew, the "Bolshevik method of physical extermination" not only became "possible" but was enthusiastically adopted at the highest levels of the Nazi hierarchy.
I believe that the core of genocidal 'possibilities' were there for a long time in the NSDAP, especially after the parties rise to power in 33', the Nazis had a long long time to exterminate the Jews under their control before the "endlosung". In the 39 invasion of Poland they came under control of a huge population of Jews, yet gassings did not take place, alternate avenues of 'ridding Europe of Jews' were under consideration. Experiments in gassing 'undesirables' in the T4 program were undertaken in 1939, and as the war progressed alternate avenues of ridding Europe of Jews became unavailable and an alternate avenue had to be pursued. This alternate avenue was obviously extermination.
True, but then some Jews wanted to go to Palestine for historical and religious reasons. They did not want to go to Madagascar for any reason!

michael mills wrote:

Agricultural settlement of Jews in Madagascar would actually have posed far fewer problems than the actual settlement in Palestine, since the amount of available land was infinitely greater.

But they did not want to go there!
"They", is a bit too encompassing, there is a difference between Zionists and Jews. To say that 'they' did not want to be kicked out of their land is understandable, to say that 'they' would have rather gone to Palestine than Madagascar is speculation. I believe 'they did not want to be kicked off their land' would be a more accurate opinion.
Why should people be forced out of their homes just because of their religion? Why should middle class jews from western europe have to suffer a decline in living standards?
Nazis were obsessed with Race, to them the Jews were not a religion, they were a race, and intent on enslaving the "goyim". Hitler was quoted as saying that the most clever thing the Jews ever did was to disguise themselves as a religion, so they could racially infect a nation (French, English or German), and when they gained enough power they would extert purely "Jewish" aims. He (And other Nazis) pointed to the Bolshevik uprising in the Soviet Union and the Zionist movement (among other things) for his evidence. Anyways the Nazi view of Judaism was that it was a race and a racial problem, not a religious problem. They considered Christianity in general misguided (especially Catholicism) but there wasn't a push to exterminate Catholics / Christians in the same way that Jews were to be exterminated. In many ways Hitler (and his cronies) would have considered a converted Jew worse than a religious one.
And although the Jews in what is now Israel have indeed made an inhospitable desert bloom and established an industrial economy as well, this was accomplished gradually over at least three-quarters of a century, with considerable outside assistance from the diaspora, spead over an equal amount of time.
I'm not quite sure what to make of that statement. The Jews were not going to live on the moon in "Israel', they were taking land from the Palestinians, and making it their own. Palestinians existed there for a long time, why should it be different for the Jews? They didn't inherit a desert at all. And so what if they had help from the outside? The same forces couldn't have helped the Jews in Madagascar?
Breitman quotes a few lines from Walther Darré http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Darre in the November 1940 issue of Odal:
Is the goal achieved when Europe is cleared of Jews, when the last Jews emigrates to his new home overseas? We must answer no to this question, just as much for Europe as for Germany. One will never understand the full seriousness of this question if one simply follows the outward sequence of events.

Breitman then says that this implied the the final goal went well beyond emigration.
(page 141-142 of The Architect of Genocide - Himmler and the Final Solution)
From the same website :
The Nazi policies of eugenics would lead to the annihilation of millions of non-Germans until the end of the war. Himmler would later break with Darré, whom he saw as too theoretical and he was generally on bad terms with Hjalmar Schacht, particularly as Germany suffered poor harvests in the mid 1930s.

Darré resigned in 1942, ostensibly on health grounds, but in reality because he disputed an order from Hitler to reduce rations in the labour camps.
It seems like an interesting contradiction of terms, that he was pushing for extermination when Madagascar seemed feasible to many people, but he was dismissed for wishing larger food rations for labor camp slave workers? One poster commented that maybe it was important to Himmler but no one else, but that doesn't make much sense either, Himmler was head of racial policies in the Nazi state, if it mattered to him then that was all that was important. And as most here probably know, the Nazi eugenic program was designed to murder Germans with genetic defects, or more specifically Germans 'unfit for reproduction', it was expanded to murder non Germans, not created to murder non-Germans.

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