The Six Versions of the "Generalplan Ost" - Some B

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 25 Nov 2005 14:16

Japan's population increased from 84 million in 1950 to 127 million in 2005.

The starting point accounts for all Japanese colonalists returned to the homeland after WW2.

To note--oral contraceptives were not legalised in Japan until 1999.Abortions,condoms were the favoured birth control methods in the 20th Century.

Whether the pill(accounting for lower fertility rates in the Western world since 1962) would have been endorsed by the Nazis is another matter.Whether they would have introduced it as a supposed optimum population figure was reached more likely holds true.

The nexus between lower birth rates as socio-economic conditions improve suggests two other ingredients are required--democracy and capitalism.

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 25 Nov 2005 14:49

See here for pretty exhaustive statistics of global population growths over the last 300 years or so:

http://www.library.uu.nl/wesp/populstat/populhome.html

Within the entries of each country, there should be a link to a page providing very detailed statistics.

Some fairly random European samples (45/2000):

Albania: 1,122,000/3,490,000
Armenia: 1,320,000 (1940)/3,344,000
Austria: 6,800,000/8,100,000
Bulgaria: 6,944,000/8,149,000
Denmark: 3,950,000/5,336,400
France: 38,000,000/59,329,700
Ireland: 2,960,000/3,797,300
Lithuania: 2,649,000/3,484,000
Netherlands: 9,220,000/15,864,000
Portugal: 8,056,000/10,230,000
Slovakia: 3,327,800(1946)/5,400,700
Switzerland: 4,410,00/7,284,900

Most countries have experienced very notable population growths since 1945. There are however some big variations, but interestingly these appear to cut across the East/West and Rich/Poor divide to a considerable extent. They naturally reflect a number of things that impact on the overall figure, such as varying degrees of immigration and emigration. However, there would also have been such variables in the German case - not least in terms of the impact of an ambitious population policy implemented by a regime with totalitarian control over society. Seen against the above statistics, a German population growth of 50% would not have appeared particularly dramatic or unusual. Also, eastern colonisation did not depend wholly on population growth, as it could also draw on relocation of already existing Volksdeutsche populations.

It might perhaps be particularly interesting to look at Romania, as to my knowledge the only Europena state who combined a totalitarian regime with a consistent policy of stimulating population growth.

These are the Romanian figures:

1945: 13,680,000
1955: 17,325,000
1965: 19,083,400
1975: 21,353,200
1985: 22,724,800
1995: 22,681,000

The romanian population increased by 65.8% during this timespan, and two thirds of that growth was achieved within the first two decades after the war.

cheers

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 26 Nov 2005 13:28

Qvist and Peter H are missing the point.

Post-war economic growth in Europe has absorbed all population growth. There has been no need for mass movement of populations.

If Germany had not been defeated, the economic growth resulting from the establishment of a European economic bloc with supranational division of labour would have absorbed all available German manpower, and also sucked in foreign labour. In other words, the course of development would have been very similar to what actually did happen, the main difference being that Germany would have been the dominant power in the European economic bloc rather than France. As a result, there would have been no reserve of settlers available for settlement in the East, contrary to the assumptions of the variants of the GPO.

The academics who prepared the plans for Himmler were well aware that therre assumptions about a reserve of settlers were false, as is shown by the comments they made in the planning documents.

Of course, they did not write: "Reichsführer, the plan to settle millions of Germans on lands in the East will fail because the post-war economic boom will absorb all German manpower, leaving none available for the settlement task". Rather, they wrote: "A sufficent reserve of Germans will be available for the settlement task, provided that post-war economic development within the Reich does not absorb all German manpower, leaving none willing and able to settle in the East".

The basic objection to the feasibility of most of the variants of the GPO still remains; the lack of a surplus German population available in the millions required to carry out the projected colonisation.

Qvist also misses the point about the ethnic Germans scattered over Eastern Europe. Certainly there were some millions of them, sufficient to thoroughly germanise one area if concentrated there. Thus, the first variant of the GPO in the scheme drawn up by Karsten Schulz, the complete germanisation of the annexed western Polish territories (Danzig-Westpreussen, Wartheland, East Upper Silesia, Zichenau), would have been entirely feasible if all the ethnic Germans had been withdrawn from from elsewhere in Eastern Europe and settled there.

But an ethnic German who has been moved from Ukraine to settle in the Annexed Western Territories of Poland cannot simultaneously settle in Ukraine. With the limited number of ethnic Germans available for being moved around, and the lack of a large number of Reich Germans willing to move to the East, there was simply not enough German population available to settle all the areas envisaged for colonisation under the last and most expansive version of the GPO, the Generalsiedlungsplan.

And the crucial fact is that the German population over the last 60 years has hardly increased above its level in 1940. That lack of growth has been due to demographic and socio-economic factors that have affected other advanced European countries. There is no reason to believe that those demographic and socio-economic factors would have been any different if the outcome of the war in Europe had been different. We cannot assume that German women would have been any more willing to bear children than they are now.

The ethnic German population today of an expanded Reich, including Austria, Bohemia-Moravia, Luxemburg, Alsace-Lorraine, parts of Slovenia, and the annexed western provinces of Poland, might well have been 100 million. But that population would have been insufficient to do all the labour required in the economy of that large Reich, and millions of foreign workers would be drawn in to fill the gap. There certainly would be no surplus German population available to settle in areas outside the territory of the Reich delineated above, although there could be a small corps of German administrators rotated into and out of the former Soviet territories now ruled by Germany.

That is why the grandiose colonisation schemes envisaged in the different variants of the GPO were for the most part a pipedream that could never have been implemented.

Now a word on the population-growth figures for various countries adduced by Qvist. The rate of population growth in a particular country depends on the starting point. If a certain country, eg Albania, has a relatively small population due to various factors restraining population growth, ie high infant mortality resulting from a low standard of public health, then it will experience very large population growth once those constraints are removed.

On the other hand, more developed countries, where those constraints were removed long ago, eg Germany, will not experience high rates of population growth, and may even have zero population growth or a population decline, in the absence of substantial immigration (France for example has experienced very large post-war immigration, primarily from its former colonies but also from other European countries). Such countries are already past their period of massive population growth, which was experienced when the restraints to growth were removed.

Thus, Germany's population grew rapidly during the 19th century, but growth slowed down in the 20th. Albania's rapid population growth began after the middle of the 20th century.

This is what the book "Nazi Women" by Cate Haste (Channel 4 Books, London, 2001) has to say on the subject of the German Government's attempts to raise the german birth rate and increase the size of the German population (pp. 90-91):

Official concern about the birth rate never translated into the hoped-for harvest of birhts, despite propaganda drives and inducements, including welfare benefits, for 'worthy' kinderreich families. The Europe-wide fall in the birth rate - which halved between 1901 and 1932 - was reflected in Germany. Couples preferred smaller families. The welfare inducements were not matched with improved housing that could accommodate larger families; marriage loans were inadequate to cater for more children. Even with an improved economy, the birth rate rose slightly above the 1933 figure. The nuber of large families dropped: in 1939 only a fifth of families had up to four children - in 1933 it had been a quarter.

Among the racial elite of the SS, who underwent even more stringent vetting for marriage than the average, and were under greater obligation to propagate the master race, the SS members managed by 1939 to produce on average only 1.1 children, and the SS leaders a mere 1.4 children - far short of the four required by the State. Despite endless exhortation, moreover, three-quarters of SS leaders were married but well under half [43 per cent] of SS members were not. Plans for the super-race were clearly falling short of expectation.


If Himmler's own men could not bestir themselves to produce sufficient children to recent in a massive growth in population, the rest of the German population could be expected to. The millions of additional persons of German blood required to colonise the East simply wpould not have come into being.

Himmler was deluding himself about the achievable size of the ethnic German population. Qvist and Peter H seem to be suffering from similar delusions.

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 26 Nov 2005 15:02

1. It is not known if there would have been an economic growth in Europe in the event of a German victory that was similar to the one experienced after the war (a growth that was largely driven by massive american capital infusion).

2. Several european countries experienced strong population growths during the first two decades after the war.

3. The point that you are missing is that it all ultimately depends on political will. A combination of indoctrination, incentives and regulations has an obvious capacity to affect reproduction rates. In the event of a conflict between the requirements of a growing economy and colonisation aims, Germany would for example have had the option of curbing growth in other areas of Europe, thereby releasing labor for use in the German economy, directly or indirectly. For that matter, Hitler could have chosen to pursue the colonisation programs at the expense of German economic growth.

4. The point made about ethnic Germans available for resettlement was quite simply that their existence means the scheme did not depend WHOLLY on population growth. As I did write quite clearly.

5. The assumption that victory for Hitler would have had no notable consequences for German mentality or socio-economic development compared to the Federal Republic is self-evidently ludicruous.

6.
On the other hand, more developed countries, where those constraints were removed long ago, eg Germany, will not experience high rates of population growth, and may even have zero population growth or a population decline, in the absence of substantial immigration (France for example has experienced very large post-war immigration, primarily from its former colonies but also from other European countries). Such countries are already past their period of massive population growth, which was experienced when the restraints to growth were removed.


Certainly, and as already pointed out, the random list of countries reflect all sorts of differences. But the growth figures cannot always be explained by recourse to such structural explanations, because they cut right across them. Look f.e. at Romania and Bulgaria, two countries with fairly similar development levels in 1945 and both East Bloc countries subject to similar ideological and economic general conditions. Romania pursued an active policy of population increase, Bulgaria did not. Romania's population increased by roughly 40% over the first two decades after the war, while Bulgaria's increased only by 18%. Even more interesting is the development in the following two decades, when both countries had reached a higher threshold of development and so got less pull from such factors as improving standards of health or lower infant mortality. From 1965 to 1985, the Bulgarian population grew by less than 10%, while that of Romania grew by a further 19%.

Also, there are several examples of very developed European countries who have nevertheless experienced strong postwar population growths, f.e. France, Netherlands and Switzerland. Clearly, immigration has a substantial part in that, but it is not all. And immigration (or various forms of outsourcing) would also have been an option for a victorious Nazi Germany, who would have had far greater freedom of action in regulating the whole European economy according to their own needs than any postwar state has had.

7. In short - a number of conceivable options would have been open to Hitler in the pursuit of these schemes in the event of a German victory. Their ultimate feasibility would have depended on a large number of priority decisions and unknown factors.

8. If you want to support your assertion that the planning can be dismissed as a pipedream, you need to demonstrate that they would have been impossible. Since that depends on a large number of unknown factors, it is not possible to do so. Hence, such a conslusion is not possible, and the only logical choice AFAICS is to accept that the feasibility of the plans cannot be determined with certainty and thus remain expressions of intention. Which is in any case their main value as historical sources, and also the context in which they were originally drawn into the discussion.

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Post by David Thompson » 26 Nov 2005 15:58

Michael -- You said:
Himmler was deluding himself about the achievable size of the ethnic German population. Qvist and Peter H seem to be suffering from similar delusions.

Just two days ago I posted a general warning about insulting personal remarks earlier in this thread, at viewtopic.php?p=804705#804705 This warning is directed at you. Argue the facts and your point of view on the topic and avoid offensive comments about other posters.

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Post by David Thompson » 28 Nov 2005 05:38

A post by Michael Mills, which advanced a reasonable and well-written argument but repeated the insulting personal comments which were the subject of the warning above, was deleted by this moderator pursuant to the rule of civility -- DT.

Michael -- You are invited to repost your argument in favor of your interpretation, leaving out the offending remarks about those who differ with you.

Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 31 May 2007 12:35

By the way, this MA is now avaiable unter this link:

http://www.karsten-schulz.com/

Jan-Hendrik

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Zebedee
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Post by Zebedee » 01 Jun 2007 11:02

michael mills wrote:If Himmler's own men could not bestir themselves to produce sufficient children to recent in a massive growth in population, the rest of the German population could be expected to. The millions of additional persons of German blood required to colonise the East simply wpould not have come into being.


Hi Michael,

I've seen it argued (Tooze 'The Wages of Destruction' and Evans 'The Third Reich in Power') that specific economic conditions were responsible for the low birth rate within Germany throughout the 1930s. Specifically from 1933, that the clampdown on wages and the rising cost of living made it very difficult to raise large families, even with the subsidies granted to families. Even after the Depression had seen to be ended, it would seem that the standard of living in Germany did not increase as it did elsewhere across Europe.

One would expect to see, in a counter-factual timeline of German success, at least a similar baby-boom as happened across Europe after the conclusion of the war. Other factors wouldn't really kick in until when/if the oral contraceptive became widely available, and as the Nazi party was pursuing a policy of de-urbanisation then the urban drift which leads to population stagnation would not be present. By my reckoning, this gives roughly 20 years of a birth-rate equivalent to the 'baby-boom' rate, assuming that Germany's economy manages to survive slipping into yet another great depression.

Whether this would have sufficiently increased the German population to fulfill the Generalplan is of course open to debate. But given what we know of the Nazi regime, should not the counterfactual discussion be around 'how far would it have been 'successful'' rather than 'would they have attempted it at all'?

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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 02 Jun 2007 04:35

michael mills wrote:
Growth during the 18 years from 1919 to 1937 was only 13%, showing the depression of the birth rate as a result of severe economic distress.-------------------------
---------------------

German demographers had been alarmed by the fall in the rate of increase of the German population since the end of the 19th century and advocated all sorts of pro-natalist policies, many of which were instituted by the National Socialist Government. But even the harshest tyranny cannot force people to produce children, and the hard demographic truth is that the more the prosperity and health of a population increases, the lower its reproduction rate as people have fewer children.
Hi Mike ,

You managed to contradict yourself in these two paragraphs. I note; To explain the declining birthrate in Germany for the 1930's , you need to factor in the German war deaths in WWI. The German men who died in WWI (age group 18-30), would have been parents of millions of people who would have been in their most child producing years, 15-25 years later ( i.e there was a large group of young people missing from 1930 -1940 because their fathers were " buried in the trenches"). Also the Spanish Flu claimed many infants that would have been of childing bearing age by the late 30's early 40's. This may explain some/most of this contradiction. And the same effect for the same era can also be noted in other countries that had large numbers of deaths in WWI/Spanish Flu.

To put it simply, there is no way a modern, developed, prosperous population could have experienced natural increase of 50% over the past 60 years.

China could easily do it, if not for their crazy birth restriction laws , which I doubt will work as planned, We'll see.

Chris

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Post by Boby » 11 Jun 2007 19:05

Article by Helmut Heiber, "Generalplan Ost", Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte Vol. 6, nº 3 (1958), pp. 281-325 is now Online at: http://www.ifz-muenchen.de/heftarchiv/1958_3.pdf


PD: The IfZ is now being digitalizing ALL the VfZ Journal. Years 1953-1963 are Complete. GREAT!

Link: http://www.ifz-muenchen.de/heftarchiv.html
Last edited by Boby on 11 Jun 2007 23:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Sergey Romanov
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Post by Sergey Romanov » 11 Jun 2007 20:50

Big thanks, Boby!

Jan-Hendrik
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Post by Jan-Hendrik » 11 Jun 2007 21:25

Thank you very much!


Jan-Hendrik

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 11 Jun 2007 22:42

My thanks, and for the readers as well, Boby!

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