Generalplan Ost revisited

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gaussianum
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Generalplan Ost revisited

Post by gaussianum » 02 Mar 2006 20:03

[This thread was split from "Deaths attributable to the Stalin regime" at viewtopic.php?t=96274 and recaptioned by the moderator -- DT]

Is there an online source, or analysys of the Generalplan Ost scheme?

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Post by nickterry » 02 Mar 2006 20:22

gaussianum wrote:Is there an online source, or analysys of the Generalplan Ost scheme?


Yes, there is material in German and English.

2nd Google result includes the text of one of the first full articles on the subject
GENERAL PLAN EAST: HITLER'S MASTER PLAN FOR EXPANSION, CZESLAW MADAJCZYK, Polish Western Affairs 1962, Vol. III No 2

http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaste ... rticle.HTM

also in English:

http://www.dac.neu.edu/holocaust/Hitlers_Plans.htm

a good summary for a university course in German with maps.

http://www-users.rwth-aachen.de/stefan. ... lanOst.htm

many more links can be found by Googling Generalplan Ost. Also some copies of the blueprint plans (documents).




from http://www.dac.neu.edu/holocaust/Hitlers_Plans.htm


The Nazi document uses the term "Germanization of Eastern Territories" (Eindeutschung der Ostgebiete). The phrase might suggest that the author of the Plan had in mind the Germanization of the native populace of these areas. However, it is clear from the further wording of the plan that any attempt to Germanize the Slav nations of Eastern Europe was never in the reckoning. On the contrary, the plan stipulated that these Slav territories would be settled by Germans while the vast majority of the native populace would be gradually pushed out. Only an insignificant number was to be Germanized. In short, Generalplan Ost provided for the expulsion of millions of people, primarily Slav nations, from their homes and the settlement of Germans in their place. This would have been an enormous task requiring a fairly long period of time and a formidable effort. For it would be easier to expel the people living in these areas than to find a sufficient number of Germans to repopulate them. The Plan, drawing on the material collected in the preliminary stages, concluded that 31 million people would have been deported in the course of 25 years. However, in his 1942 memorandum, Dr. Wetzel revised this figure (taking into account certain territorial changes, natural increases, etc.) and arrived at a total of 51 million.

At the time when Wetzel was writing his comments, Generalplan Ost had ceased to be merely a blueprint. Its first part, the KleinePlanung, was already being put into practice. The western areas of Poland had been incorporated into the Reich, hundreds of thousands of Poles had been expelled from them, and further deportations were in progress. Hundreds of thousands of Poles were dying in various concentration camps, while millions of Jews, herded into ghettos and still ignorant of their fate, were awaiting "the final solution of the Jewish problem." The rulers of the Third Reich were in a hurry to carry out their criminal plans while there was still a war to divert the attention of the world from what was going on in Eastern Europe.

PLANS FOR THE BALTIC NATIONS

According to Nazi intentions, attempts at Germanization were to be undertaken only in the case of those foreign nationals in Eastern Europe who could be considered a desirable element for the future Reich from the point of view of its racist theories. The Plan stipulated that there were to be different methods of treating particular nations and even particular groups within them. Attempts were even made to establish the basic criteria to be used in determining whether a given group lent itself to Germanization. These criteria were to be applied more liberally in the case of nations whose racial material (rassische Substanz) and level of cultural development made them more suitable than others for Germanization. The Plan considered that there were a large number of such elements among the Baltic nations. Dr. Wetzel felt that thought should be given to a possible Germanization of the whole of the Estonian nation and a sizable proportion of the Latvians. On the other hand, the Lithuanians seemed less desirable since they contained too great an admixture of Slav blood. Himmler's view was that almost the whole of the Lithuanian nation would have to be deported to the East.

Whatever happened, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were to be deprived of their statehood, while their territories were to be included in the eastern area of German settlement. This meant that Latvia and especially Lithuania would be covered by the deportation plans, though in a somewhat milder form than the Slav - "voluntary" emigration to western Siberia.

SLAV NATIONS

Under Generalplan Ost, all Slavs unfit for Germanization were to be expelled from the areas marked out for German settlement. In considering the fate of the individual nations, the architects of the Plan decided that it would be possible to Germanize about 50 per cent of the Czechs, 35 per cent of the Ukrainians and 25 per cent of the Byelorussians. The remainder would have to be deported to western Siberia.



The 'practical' fulfilment of the GPO, it is widely recognised, was initially in the form of the Nazi 'Hunger Plan' which aimed at the reduction of the Slavic population by up to 20-30 million. SS generals such as von dem Bach-Zelewski testified to this effect at Nuremberg, as did Friedrich Jeckeln to a Soviet court in Riga in 1946, and as do documents from the Wehrmacht. There were other motives for the immediate starvation of part of the Soviet population, and there were also the racist motives of bringing about a genocide of Soviet Jews. But both were seen as means to an end which would be enacted after the war.

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Post by David Thompson » 02 Mar 2006 21:02

For readers interested in discussions of Generalplan Ost, see:

Generalplan Ost
viewtopic.php?t=20050
German Plans to Seize Food from the Soviet Union
viewtopic.php?t=11976
Life in Occupied Russia (beginning on p. 4)
viewtopic.php?t=64014

and for more information, see the documents collected at:

Nazi occupation policies for the USSR
viewtopic.php?t=61454

particularly

viewtopic.php?p=552129#552129
viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155
viewtopic.php?p=552157#552157

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Post by gaussianum » 02 Mar 2006 21:21

Thanks nickterry, David Thompson.

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Post by michael mills » 03 Mar 2006 04:15

I regret my rudeness at breaking into this mutual admiration society, but I feel it necessary to introduce some sobriety into the discussion of the various plans that are included under the rubric "Generalplan-Ost".

For those who want such sobriety, I recommend my post here:

viewtopic.php?p=803880#803880

An extensive collection of German documents related to the Generalplan-Ost can be found in the book edited by Czeslaw Madajczyk, "Vom Generalplan Ost zum Generalsiedlungsplan" (München ; New Providence : Saur, 1994).

The existence of the "Generalplan-Ost" is often trotted out as evidence of the intrinsic nature of democide in National Socialism, as proof that democide on a large scale would continue even after a German victory.

It should be borne in mind, however, that all the variants of the "Generalplan-Ost" were highly theoretical schemes that rested on untenable assumptions that would have prevented the implementation of the plan, except on a minor scale.

Even Himmler's own planning staff did not believe the plans they drew up on the basis of parameters set by Himmler were feasible, as is shown by the preconditions they built into the plans. The most important of those preconditions was the availability of millions of Germans to settle the specific areas designated for germanisation, which the planners specifically stated would only be realised if post-war economic growth, after an assumed German victory, would not absorb the entire German population and indeed suck in foreign labour, ie they were telling Himmler, without openly saying so, that the required German settlerswould not be available.

Furthermore, the Generalplan-Ost was trenchantly opposed by Rosenberg and his Ostministerium, who had a different vision of a future German imperium built on the ruins of a defeated Soviet Union. Under that vision, German hegemony would rest on an alliance with a number of client states created for the non-Russian ethnic groups, eg the Ukrainians, the Baltic peoples, the Caucasians. In other words, a New Order rather like that which was commenced in 1918, after the two Treaties of Brest-Litovsk, but was cut short by the German defeat.

The memorandum by Wetzel of April 1942 exposes the totally unrealistic assumptions on which the RSHA had developed its plan for German settlement in the East, and subtly presents alternatives which may be seen as representing Rosenberg's own plans.

The late German historian Helmut Heiber, who analysed the Generalplan-Ost back in the 1950s, concluded that the plan was a pipedream that could never have been realised, and his conclusion accords with empirical reality.

It should also be borne in mind that nowhere in any of the versions of the Generalplan-Ost was the killing of vast numbers of people proposed or implied. What the most ambitious versions of the plan proposed was the movement of some 30 million non-Germans out of the areas designated for germanisation (which, it should be emphasised did not encompass the whole of European Russia by any means). That movement was to take place over 30 years, at an average rate of one million persons moved per year.

The population to be resettled included the francophone parts of the populations of Alsace-Lorraine and Luxemburg, which were to be relocated in France, and Slovenians from parts of present-day Slovenia who were to relocated to another part of Yugoslavia.

In the East, the non-germanisable parts of the population were to be removed from all of Poland, the Baltic States, the area around St Petersburg (Ingermanland), the Crimea and the area north of it, and certain parts of West Ukraine. The Ukrainians to be moved were to be resettled in other parts of Ukraine. The Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians to be moved would be resettled in parts of European Russia as an administrative class serving the German overlords. The Poles to be moved would be resettled in European Russia and the industrial towns of West Siberia.

The resettlement of over 10 million ethnic German shortly after 1945, ie about one-third the number envisaged under the Generalplan-Ost, accomplished in a far shorter time-frame, indicates that such a mass movement of population would have been feasible, and would not necessarily have been genocidal. However, what would have prevented implementation of the plan would have been the lack of a German population to replace that moved out.

The most that could have been accomplished would have been the thorough germanisation of the annexed western provinces, achieved by concentrating there the scattered ethnic Germans of Eastern Europe. But that would have detracted from the germanisation of other areas; an ethnic German moved from Volhynia to Western Poland is not available to germanise Volhynia.

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Post by michael mills » 03 Mar 2006 04:52

The 'practical' fulfilment of the GPO, it is widely recognised, was initially in the form of the Nazi 'Hunger Plan' which aimed at the reduction of the Slavic population by up to 20-30 million. SS generals such as von dem Bach-Zelewski testified to this effect at Nuremberg, as did Friedrich Jeckeln to a Soviet court in Riga in 1946, and as do documents from the Wehrmacht. There were other motives for the immediate starvation of part of the Soviet population, and there were also the racist motives of bringing about a genocide of Soviet Jews. But both were seen as means to an end which would be enacted after the war.


The existence of such a "Hunger Plan", postulated by Christian Gerlach in his book "Kalkulierte Morde", rests on extremely sketchy evidence.

The evidence cited is a document drawn up the German agricultural planning staff in May 1941, outlining measures to extract food from the Soviet terriotries that would be conquered, for the purpose of feeding the German population and that of German-occupied Europe, thereby frustrating the purpose of the British blockade. In that document it is explicitly stated that extraction of the envisaged quantities of food would result in a food shortage in European Russia that could lead to the starvation of tens of millions under certain specific circumstances, eg if additional food sources could not be procured through increased potato cultivation, or if the surplus population did not move to Siberia (where a rump Russian state might exist).

For those who are interested, an English translation of the entire document is printed as an appendix to this book:

"Germany's Agricultural and Food Policies in World War II", by Karl Brandt and others (Stanford, Calif : Stanford University Press, 1953).

(Karl Brandt was the agricultural adviser to the Military Government of the American Zone of Occupation in Germany).

Perusal of the document shows that it was not proposing a deliberate policy of reducing the Soviet population through starvation. Rather, it recognised that starvation of millions was a possible outcome of extracting food from the conquered territories, an outcome that would have to be accepted under certain circumstances if the aim of preventing food shortages in Germany under wartime conditions was to be achieved.

Brandt shows that the whole plan, developed by Herbert Backe, a senior official in the German Ministry of Food, was based on a dissertation which Backe had earlier presented to the University of Göttingen, and which had been rejected because its basic premisses were considered faulty.

The premisses on which Backe's rejected dissertation was based, and which were incorporated into the 1941 plan were:

1. European Russa was divided into food-surplus and food-deficit zones;

2. Population growth in Russia since the First World War, estimated by him at 30 million, particularly in the towns of the food-deficit zones, had soaked up the surplus produced by the food-deficit zones, which surplus had before the war been available for export to the rest of Europe and elsewhere.

3. The surplus produced by the food-surplus areas could once again be made available for export to Europe by preventing its export to the Russian food-deficit zones;

4. The export of that surplus to the food-deficit zones could be prevented by blocking that zone off from the food-surplus zones.

It was Backe's estimate of population growth of 30 million that led to the assumption that the 1941 plan advocated the starvation of 30 million inhabitants of the Soviet Union. But the plan does not say that at all.

And it must be pointed out that the May 1941 plan was very much a wartime plan, designed to overcome a potential food shortage in Germany created by the British blockade, the sort of thing that had caused the collapse of the German Home Front in 1918. It was not a plan designed for the post-war situation, when the blockade would no longer exist.

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Post by David Thompson » 03 Mar 2006 06:29

For a discussion of Michael Mills' characterization of the German famine plan, above, see the exchange of posts beginning at viewtopic.php?p=604416#604416

For a lengthy extract from the 23 May 1941 memorandum in question, see viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

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Hunger 'Plan'

Post by nickterry » 03 Mar 2006 09:53

Firstly I must stress that I put 'Hunger Plan' in inverted commas, since there was not so much a plan as an intention, borne out by the documents David Thompson has linked to and by many other statements.

Re, the 'Hunger Plan', let me simply post the quotes I referred to (they are alas still in German). They are identical to those cited by Christian Gerlach, which I checked, and I have my own copies of all the documents.

At Nuremberg, the Higher SS and Police Leader Centre, Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, testified that in “early 1941, before the beginning of the Russian campaign,” Himmler announced to a gathering of twelve Gruppenführer in the SS castle at Wewelsburg that “the aim of the Russian campaign would be the decimation of the Slavic population by thirty million.”
Testimony of Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski in IMT 4, p.535 and 541ff.

Bach-Zelewski subsequently elaborated on his testimony at the trial of the chief of Himmler’s Personal Staff, Karl Wolff, in 1964, stating that Himmler had said that the majority of the casualties would come from the effects of war and from food shortages
Justiz und NS-Verbrechen 20, p.413 (Urteil LG München 1 Ks 1/64 gegen Wolff, 30.9.64)


His counterpart for Russia-North, Friedrich Jeckeln, later testified in Soviet captivity that Bach-Zelewski had received an order from Himmler to annihilate 20 million Soviet citizens in Belorussia and Russia. Jeckeln learnt of this via the commander of police in Minsk, Eberhard Herf. “Herf sagte mir, dass vom-dem-Bach ihm erzählt hätte, er-von-dem-Bach habe von Himmler den Befehl zur Vernichtung von 20 Millionen Sowjetbürger auf dem Territorium Weissrusslands und anderer Gebiete östlich von Weissrussland, gleich dem Vormarsch der deutschen Armee nach dem Osten folgend, erhalten’

Cf Vernehmungsprotokoll des Arretierten Jeckeln Friedrich vom 2.1.46, FSB N-18313, p.185 (USHMM RG06.025*1)

In 1944, the chief of military administration of Army Group Centre, Hans Tesmer, wrote in his after-action final report that ‘es kamen Parolen auf, dass in Russland ruhig einige Millionen verhungern lassen, dass die Russen verdummen sollten und ähnliche Ansichten mehr.

Der Chef der Militärverwaltung beim Oberkommando der Heeresgruppe Mitte, Erfahrungsbericht der Militärverwaltung vom 22.6.41 bis August 1944, 10.8.44, NA T311/233/484-5.

The intended outcome of German intentions was such that even Erich Koch, future Reichskommissar of the Ukraine, refused the post of Reichskommissar in Moscow as it was a “completely negative task.”

Rosenberg an Lammers, 5.7.41, BA R6/21, p.101

In July 1941, the leader of ‘Vorkommando Moskau’, Professor Franz Six, contacted the intelligence officer of Army Group Centre, Lieutenant-Colonel Rudolf-Christoph Freiherr von Gersdorff, while the army group staff was stationed in Borisov. “Dabei berichtete er, Hitler beabsichtige, die Ostgrenze des reiches bis zur Linie Baku-Stalingrad-Moskau-Leningrad vorzuschieben, ostwärts von dieser Linie wurde bis zum Ural ein ‘Brandstreifen’ entstehen, in dessen Bereich alles Leben ausgelöscht werden würde. Man wolle die in diesem Streifen lebenden etwa dreissig Millionen Russen durch Hunger dezimieren, indem man alle Nahrungsmittel aus dem riesigen Gebiet entfernte. Allen an dieser Aktion Beteiligten werde bei Todesstrafe verboten werden, einem Russen auch nur ein Stück Brot zu geben. Die grossen Städte von Leningrad bis Moskau sollten dem Erdboden gleichgemacht werden; der SS-Führer von dem Bach-Zelewski werde für die Durchführung dieser Massnahmen verantwortlich sein.”

von Gersdorff, Soldat im Untergang, p.93. In his memoirs, Gersdorff identified his visitor in Borisov as chief of a ‘Vorkommando Moskau’ and a ‘high party functionary’ - Six was chief of Department VI of the RSHA. The headquarters of the army group was based in Borisov between July 11 and September 19, 1941. Six’s Vorkommando Moskau moved from Warsaw to Smolensk around July 23. Six himself left Russia no earlier than August 20. Cf Scheurig, Tresckow, p.110; Krausnick, Truppen des Weltanschauungskrieges, p.184.

An alternative but strikingly similar account is delivered by Wilhelm Strik-Strikfeldt, also with the intelligence staff of Army Group Centre in 1941. Strik-Strikfeldt, Gegen Stalin und Hitler, pp.32-33.


And it must be pointed out that the May 1941 plan was very much a wartime plan, designed to overcome a potential food shortage in Germany created by the British blockade, the sort of thing that had caused the collapse of the German Home Front in 1918. It was not a plan designed for the post-war situation, when the blockade would no longer exist.


As the above quotes indicate, the Germans understood that there would be a considerable war-induced population reduction, and indeed hoped for just such a reduction. From the perspective of the agricultural, economic and logistic authorities (Backe, Thomas, Wagner), this was a matter of simple indifferences; from the perspective of the SS, this has the added bonus of fulfilling their racial policy goals. One does not need to resettle someone who has died of starvation.
Last edited by nickterry on 03 Mar 2006 11:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Boby » 03 Mar 2006 10:41

Hello all

I read little about GPO

According to Kershaw, was a genocide plan, not much different of the future "Final Solution" by Shooting and Gassing. The persons deported are to be starved to death in the desolate territories of the URSS. It is true?

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Post by nickterry » 03 Mar 2006 11:30

Boby wrote:Hello all

I read little about GPO

According to Kershaw, was a genocide plan, not much different of the future "Final Solution" by Shooting and Gassing. The persons deported are to be starved to death in the desolate territories of the URSS. It is true?

Regards


click through the above links to read much more than can be summarised here.

For more, see also in addition to the above links, Goetz Aly and Susanne Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung/Architects of Annihilation.

The GPO was different to the Final Solution in that it did not envisage direct killing, simply the wasting away of populations that had been deported/resettled from the west to the east. This was intended for after the war. However, there were three elements which were 'pilot schemes'.

The Final Solution in Eastern Europe (Poland and the Soviet Union) was seen as a first contribution to the GPO, since the murder of 5 million Polish and Soviet Jews reduced the urban population accordingly.

The SS regarded the general wartime losses of the Slavic population through starvation e.g. the siege of Leningrad and hunger in the occupied territiories as another contribution to the GPO, see the quotes I posted above. Himmler envisaged before 'Barbarossa' that around 20-30 million Slavs would die, this was before anyone even drafted a single version of the GPO.

Finally, there were pilot schemes of actual resettlements, notably in the Zamosc district of Lublin, carried out by SSPF Globocnik. He had also been charged with establishing some of the 'tent pegs' for the SS empire in the east, namely a series of SS and Police Strongpoints, from July 1941. All of this was very tentative and

Hitler tried to order the entire population of the Crimea be resettled in mid-1942, but this was impracticable at the time, so was abandoned.

The intent, therefore, to begin something like the GPO was clearly there.

How events would have unfolded after a hypothetical Nazi victory in war is difficult to say.

a) The GPO scheme might have been abandoned, and Nazi Germany might have settled down to an apartheid-like state with Polish and Russian helots.
b) The GPO scheme might have been modified in favour of an extermination program, much in the same way as the plans for Jewish resettlement failed and were modified in favour of an extermination program. Those would be two extremes of a range of possibilities.

Or, the scheme might have been successfully carried out, i.e. Poles, Balts, Russians etc moved east to Siberia.

c) Either this could have been undertaken without drastic population losses,
d) Or it would have proved catastrophic and resulted in mass famine.

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Post by Boby » 03 Mar 2006 12:24

Many thanks Nickterry for this info.

Best Regards

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Post by gaussianum » 03 Mar 2006 20:43

michael mills wrote:I regret my rudeness at breaking into this mutual admiration society, but I feel it necessary to introduce some sobriety into the discussion of the various plans that are included under the rubric "Generalplan-Ost".



Given that my personal knowledge (and probably of many other posters) of the third reich's history doesn't amount to 1% of the knowledge possessed by real historians, I expect you and every other sage scholar to break in anytime!

It should be borne in mind, however, that all the variants of the "Generalplan-Ost" were highly theoretical schemes that rested on untenable assumptions that would have prevented the implementation of the plan, except on a minor scale.


I know this is a poor comparison, but to me, it could be compared to all of those contingency plans that the armed forces have, for hypothetically invading every other country in the world!
Taken separately, every one of those documents could conceivably be interpreted as proof that the country in question would really invade them. But in reality, they are just very hypothetical, theoretical, academic scenarios.

It should also be borne in mind that nowhere in any of the versions of the Generalplan-Ost was the killing of vast numbers of people proposed or implied.


Sometimes, documents are clearly (intentionally or not, I don't know) taken out of context, and subjected to heavy interpretation by historians, who then try to pass their interpretation for historical fact. Could this be one of those examples?


The resettlement of over 10 million ethnic German shortly after 1945, ie about one-third the number envisaged under the Generalplan-Ost, accomplished in a far shorter time-frame, indicates that such a mass movement of population would have been feasible, and would not necessarily have been genocidal. However, what would have prevented implementation of the plan would have been the lack of a German population to replace that moved out.



That was really what I was wondering. If ethnic germans were resettled, and any genocidal claims are completely dismissable, why does resettling of Eastern populations naturally result in genocide?

This is probably one example of the kind of dishonesty and double-bias in historical research, that I have referred to in the past.

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Post by David Thompson » 03 Mar 2006 22:10

gaussianum -- You wrote:
If ethnic germans were resettled, and any genocidal claims are completely dismissable, why does resettling of Eastern populations naturally result in genocide?

This is probably one example of the kind of dishonesty and double-bias in historical research, that I have referred to in the past.

Before characterizing a proposition as "probably one example of dishonesty and double-bias in historical research," you ought to assess how probable it is that your generalization is correct. This requires research. Had you read the links on the subject given above by nickterry and myself, you would have seen that genocidal claims aren't "completely dismissable" in this discussion. At viewtopic.php?p=604661#604661
Michael -- You wrote:
The claim that the German occupation authorities planned a famine in the occupied Soviet territories for the purpose of reducing the native population is an exaggeration based on a misinterpretation of the documentary evidence.

Is it? There's a lengthy memorandum on the subject at viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155 , dated 23 May 1941. It sets forth the German economic plan for the occupied USSR, once Operation Barbarossa got started on 22 June 1941. There's no misinterpreting this:
b. Since Germany and Europe, respectively, require surplus under all circumstances, the consumption must be decreased correspondingly. The examples given above show the extent to which the amount of surplus can be increased by a limitation of consumption.

c. Such a decrease of consumption, contrary to the territories so far occupied, is feasible here because the principal food surplus area is clearly separated from the principal deficit area. viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

As we shall see, the German plan to "decrease consumption" was to seize the food, which would cause a famine. The dead don't eat.

You then wrote:
What the German authorities planned was to take as much food out of the occupied territories as was needed to feed the German army of occupation and to supplement the rations of the German population.

You're being too modest. The 23 May 1941 memorandum ( viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155 ) shows that the Germans also planned to "supplement the rations" of western Europe with the food they intended to seize in the USSR:
Since Germany and Europe, respectively, require surplus under all circumstances, the consumption must be decreased correspondingly.


In future, Southern Russia must turn its face towards Europe. Its food surpluses, however, will only be paid for if it purchases its industrial consumer goods from Germany, of Europe. Russian competition from the forest zone must therefore be abolished. It follows from all that has been said that the German administration in these territories may well attempt to mitigate the consequences of the famine which undoubtedly will take place, and to accelerate the return to primitive agricultural conditions. An attempt might be made to intensify cultivation in these areas by expanding the acreage under potatoes or other important food crops giving a high yield. However, these measures will not avert famine. Many tens of millions of people in this area will become redundant and will either die or have to emigrate to Siberia. Any attempt to save the population there from death by starvation by importing surpluses from the black soil zone would be at the expense of supplies to Europe. It would reduce Germany's staying power in the war, an would undermine Germany's and Europe's power to resist the blockade. This must be clearly and absolutely understood. The manufacturing industries in Belgium and France are much more important for Germany and the German war effort than those in Russia. It is therefore much more essential to safeguard food supplies to those countries through surpluses from the East than to make an ambitious attempt to preserve Russian industry in the food-consuming zone. One must always bear in mind that the Great Russian people, whether under Tsarism or Bolshevism, is always an irreconcilable enemy not only of Germany, but also of Europe.

You went on to say:
Whether or not a famine ensued would depend on how much food was left over after the German authorities had extracted the amounts they planned to take.

The German documents show that the planners in the Reich Ministry of Food Supply believed that there would not be enough food left over for the local civilian population and that a famine would inevitably result.

Since you acknowledge this, why talk about "Whether or not a famine ensued would depend on how much food was left over"? There is no "whether" option in the German plan. The documents clearly show that the Germans planned to take so much food that that a famine would result, and they intended and acknowledged that. Let's look at how the matter is expressed in the documents themselves:
There is no doubt that as a result many millions of people will be starved to death if we take out of the country the things necessary for us.
viewtopic.php?p=552129#552129

The consequences will be cessation of supplies to the entire forest zone, including the essential industrial centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg. viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

The population of these areas, in particular the urban population, will have to face most serious distress from famine. viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

It follows from all that has been said that the German administration in these territories may well attempt to mitigate the consequences of the famine which undoubtedly will take place, and to accelerate the return to primitive agricultural conditions. An attempt might be made to intensify cultivation in these areas by expanding the acreage under potatoes or other important food crops giving a high yield. However, these measures will not avert famine. Many tens of millions of people in this area will become redundant and will either die or have to emigrate to Siberia. viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

Our task is to re-integrate Russia with the European division of labor, and it involves, of necessity, the destruction of the existing economic equilibrium within the Soviet Union. Thus, it is not important, under any circumstances, to preserve what has existed, but what matters is a deliberate turning away from the existing situation and introducing Russian food resources into the European framework. This will inevitably result in an extinction of industry as well as of a large part of the people in what so far have been the food-deficit areas.

It is impossible to state an alternate in sufficiently hard and severe terms.
viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

Then you said:
They foresaw two possible outcomes of that famine, or a combination of the two;

- either large numbers of the civilian population wold have to migrate to the East out of the area of German occupation

- or else millions would die of starvation.

Well, let's look at the "migration" option. The Germans are going to seize all the food and cut off supplies to the famine region. This includes all the livestock, which might be used to pull wagons:
It will also be necessary to utilize for German purposes the livestock which has no fodder base of its own, i. e. it will be necessary to seize livestock holdings immediately, and to make them available to the troops not only for the moment, but in the long run, and also for exportation to Germany. Since fodder supplies will be cut off, pig and cattle holdings in these areas will of necessity drastically decline in the near future. If they are not seized by the Germans at an early date, they will be slaughtered by the population for its own use, without Germany getting anything out of it.

* * *
It has been demanded by the Fuehrer that the reduction in the meat ration should be made good by the fall. This can only be achieved by the most drastic seizures of Russian livestock holdings, particularly in areas which are in a favorable transport situation in relation to Germany * * *
viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

So how is this "migration" to take place? By rail? No, that's not what the Germans had in mind:
The population of these areas, in particular the urban population, will have to face most serious distress from famine. It will be necessary to divert the population into the Siberian spaces. Since rail transport is out of the question, this too, will be an extremely difficult problem. viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

So the "migration" is to be a foot march to Siberia. The migrating "many tens of millions," including women, children and the elderly, don't have any means of transporting their possessions other than what they can personally carry. They have to start moving within a very limited period of time if they want to eat. And they don't have any food to carry with them either. How many of the "redundant" "many tens of millions" would survive this challenge? Anyone who thinks about this "migration" for more than a few seconds can see that it too is a murder plan.

You also said:
The German planners were quite ruthless in their willingness to let millions of the civilian population die, but the death of millions was not their goal. Rather it was the feeding of the German population by whatever means, even at the expense of other groups.

This explanation cannot withstand scrutiny. The German population was already well fed in 1941, at the time when the famine plan was hatched. Since there was no food emergency in Germany, the planned seizures in the USSR were unnecessary to meet the basic food needs of the German population. Consequently, we must look elsewhere for the German motive to seize the food in such amounts. That motive is easy to find in the documents themselves. They speak of eliminating the whole industrial basis of the famine region, along with its population. How is this to be achieved? By cutting off the food supply ("cessation of supplies to the entire forest zone, including the essential industrial centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg."). The motive is obvious -- to cause the death of the population in the famine zone, whose inhabitants are "redundant." The documents make this perfectly clear by describing the intended result. It would be much more accurate to say that the German planners intended to kill millions of people in the occupied USSR by deliberately starving them to death.

Then you noted:
As a matter of fact, the expected huge famine did not occur during the winter of 1941-42, and millions did not die, although there was malnutrition and an elevated death-rate.

There were two main reasons for the non-occurrence of the expected death-toll;

1. Large numbers of city and town-dwellers moved to the countryside, where alternative sources of food were found.

2. The migration of large numbers of the population to the East had already occurred, in the form of the mass evacuation carried out by the Soviet Governmetn immediately after the German invasion.

You have misread or misinterpreted the documents. The main reason for the non-occurrence of the expected death-toll is that the famine was planned for the forest belt area around Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as the Ural industrial region. The famine didn't happen because the Germans were unable to capture the areas they planned to starve:

The surplus territories are situated in the black soil district (that is, in the south and south-east) and in the Caucasus. The deficit areas are principally located in the forest zone of the north.

Therefore, an isolation of the black soil areas must in any case place greater or lesser surpluses in these regions at our disposal. The consequences will be cessation of supplies to the entire forest zone, including the essential industrial centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

* * *

1. All industry in the deficit area, particularly the manufacturing industries in the Moscow and Petersburg regions as well as the Ural industrial region, will be abandoned. It may be assumed that these regions today absorb an annual 5-10 million tons from the food production zone. viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155


You added:
(That mass movement of people to areas where there was not an adequate food supply and preparations had not been made led to wide-spread malnutrition and starvation in the unoccupied part of the Soviet Union).

Fortunately, the malnutrition and starvation was nowhere near as bad as what the Germans had planned for the residents of those areas.

You continued:
In the Spring of 1942, when the German authorities found that the anticipated mass-starvation of the local population had not occurred (with the exception of the high mortality among the Soviet POWs), those authorities did not undertake any alternative measures to ensure a high death-rate among the Soviet population. If anything, they undertook measures designed to improve agriculture and the food supply (both for export to Germany and for the local people), such as a limited land reform.

Again, you have misinterpreted the documents. As I've pointed out above, the famine was to be imposed specifically on the Great Russian population in the forest belt and Ural industrial areas, not the Ukraine. The 23 May 1941 memo makes that perfectly clear:
The following consequences result from this situation, which has received the approval of the highest authorities, since it is in accord with the political tendencies (preservation of the "small" Russians, preservation of the Caucasus, of the Baltic provinces, of White Russia to the prejudice of the Great Russians):

I. For the forest belt

a. Production in the forest belt (the food-deficit area) will become "naturalized," similar to the events during the World War and the Communistic tendencies of the war, etc., viz: agriculture in that territory will begin to become a mere "home production." The result will be that the planting of products destined for the market such as, in particular, flax and hemp, will be discontinued, and the area used therefor will be taken over for products for the producer (grain, potatoes, etc.) Moreover, discontinuance of fodder for that area will lead to the collapse of the dairy production and of pig-producing in that territory.

b. Germany is not interested in the maintenance of the productive power of these territories, except for supplying the troops stationed there.

One must always bear in mind that the Great Russian people, whether under Tsarism or Bolshevism, is always an irreconcilable enemy not only of Germany, but also of Europe.

By contrast, here's what the memo says about the Ukraine:
Industry can only be preserved insofar as it is located in the surplus region. This applies, apart from the above-mentioned oilfield regions in the Caucasus, particularly to the heavy industries in the Donets district (Ukraine). Only the future will show to what extent it will prove possible to maintain in full these industries, and in particular the Ukrainian manufacturing industries, after the withdrawal of the food surpluses required by Germany. viewtopic.php?p=552155#552155

You concluded:
That proves that the aim of the German occupation authorities was not the decimation of the local population for its own sake.

This benign conclusion is disproved by the 23 May 1941 memo, which shows that the famine was not to be directed against the local population generally, but was intentionally and specifically directed at the Great Russian population living and working in the forest belt around Moscow and Leningrad, and in the Ural industrial region. The aim of the German occupation authorities, to kill "many tens of millions" (rather more intense than a mere "decimation") of the Great Russian population of the forest belt and the Ural industrial region by famine, was never realized because the Germans couldn't capture the areas where the planned famine was to take place.

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gaussianum
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Post by gaussianum » 04 Mar 2006 20:07

Dishonesty and double-bias exist in every branch of research, not just historical research. You can see examples of this, for instance in Climatology, where institutes are financed by private companies, to produce studies that prove or disprove global warming. This is just an example. And it's nothing new.

I'm going to search the web, and read more closely the threads on alleged atrocities commited against ethnic germans, to see wether they are taken seriously, or dismissed. My feeling, on a cursory reading, was that they were not taken very seriously.

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David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 05 Mar 2006 00:27

gaussianum -- You wrote:

(1)
Dishonesty and double-bias exist in every branch of research, not just historical research. You can see examples of this, for instance in Climatology, where institutes are financed by private companies, to produce studies that prove or disprove global warming. This is just an example. And it's nothing new.

While that may be true, there are also many studies which are neither dishonest nor exhibit a double-bias. The allegation needs to be demonstrated in each individual case -- particularly here, in the H&WC section of the forum.

(2)
I'm going to search the web, and read more closely the threads on alleged atrocities commited against ethnic germans, to see wether they are taken seriously, or dismissed. My feeling, on a cursory reading, was that they were not taken very seriously.

We take those allegations seriously here. See (among others) the following H&WC section threads, and feel free to post to them:

Postwar Expulsions:

9 million Germans expelled?
viewtopic.php?t=1698
The fate of ethnic Germans in Yugoslavia
viewtopic.php?t=6878
Notes from a Land of the Dead [Poland]
viewtopic.php?t=6803
Father, shoot me [Poland]
viewtopic.php?t=6291
Soviet forces encouraged the expulsion of Germans
viewtopic.php?t=3504
Expulsion of German-speaking people from Alsace-Lorraine
viewtopic.php?t=6523
Fleeing the Red Hordes
viewtopic.php?t=45738
Czech Parliament Decision [on Expulsion of Sudeten Germans]
viewtopic.php?t=1826
Soviets Order Volga Population Exiled to Siberia
viewtopic.php?t=387
Polish authorities hunt down fascist German pigs
viewtopic.php?p=1694
How about... Jewish warcrimes?
viewtopic.php?t=23121
How did that Polish-German atrocity discussion turn out?
viewtopic.php?p=55484
Let Soviet Era War Criminal be brought for trial
viewtopic.php?p=274991

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