Hitler's plans for Ostland -- Fuehrer Conference 16 Jul 1941

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Hitler's plans for Ostland -- Fuehrer Conference 16 Jul 1941

Post by David Thompson » 02 Oct 2004 17:48

This interesting text appears as "Document L-221: Memorandum For the Record, 8/17/1941 [translation]", in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume VII: Documents D-283-D-786; EC-3-EC-620; ECH-1-ECH-24; ECR-14-ECH-197; L-3-L-361; M-1; US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1947. pp. 1086-1093.
Fuehrer's Headquarters, 16.7.1941 Bo/Fu

TOP SECRET [Pencil note]

By order of the Fuehrer: he held today at 15 hours in his quarters a conference attended by Reichsleiter Rosenberg, Reich Minister Lammers, Field Marshal Keitel, the Reich Marshal and myself. The conference began at 15 hours and, including a break for coffee, lasted until about 20 hours.

By way of introduction the Fuehrer pointed out, he desired first of all to make some fundamental statements. Several measures had to be taken without delay; this was confirmed, among other events, by an assertion made in an impudent Vichy newspaper that the war against the Soviet Union was a war waged by Europe, and that, therefore, it had to be conducted for the benefit of Europe as a whole. Obviously the Vichy paper meant to say by these hints that it ought not to be the Germans alone who benefited from this war, but that all European states ought to profit by it.

Now it was essential that we did not publicize our aims before the world; also there was no need for that, but the main thing was that we ourselves knew what we wanted. By no means should we render our task more difficult by making superfluous declarations. Such declarations were superfluous because we could do everything wherever we had the power, and what was beyond our power we would not be able to do anyway.

What we told the world about the motives for our measures ought to be conditioned, therefore, by tactical reasons. We ought to act here in exactly the same way as we did in the cases of Norway, Denmark, Holland, and Belgium. In these cases too we did not publish our aims, and it was only sensible to continue in the same way.

Therefore we shall emphasize again that we were forced to occupy, administer, and secure a certain area; it was in the interest of the inhabitants that we provided order, food, traffic, etc., hence our measures. Nobody shall be able to recognize that it initiates a final settlement. This need not prevent our taking all necessary measures -- shooting, resettling, etc. and we shall take them.

But we do not want to make any people into enemies prematurely and unnecessarily. Therefore we shall act as though we wanted to exercise a mandate only. At the same time we must know clearly that we shall never leave those countries.

Our conduct therefore ought to be:

1. To do nothing which might obstruct the final settlement, but to prepare for it only in secret;

2. To emphasize that we are liberators.

In particular:

The Crimea has to be evacuated by all foreigners and to be settled by Germans only.

In the same way the former Austrian part of Galicia will become Reich territory.

Our present relations with Roumania are good, but nobody knows what they will be at any future time. This we have to consider and we have to draw our frontiers accordingly. One ought not to be dependent on the good will of other people; we have to plan our relations with Roumania in accordance with this principle.

On principle we have now to face the task of cutting up the giant cake according to our needs, in order to be able:

first, to dominate it, second, to administer it, and third, to exploit it.

The Russians have now ordered partisan warfare behind our front. This partisan war again has some advantage for us; it enables us to eradicate everyone who opposes us.

Never again must it be possible to create a military power west of the Urals, even if we have to wage war for a hundred years in order to attain this goal. Every successor of the Fuehrer should know: security for the Reich exists only if there are no foreign military forces west of the Urals; it is Germany who undertakes the protection of this area against all possible dangers. Our iron principle is and has to remain:

We must never permit anybody but the Germans to carry arms!

This is especially important; even when it seems easier at first to enlist the armed support of foreign subjugated nations, it is wrong to do so. In the end this will prove to be to our disadvantage unconditionally and unavoidably. Only the German may carry arms, not the Slav, not the Czech, not the Cossack nor the Ukrainian!

On no account should we apply a wavering policy such as was done in Alsace before 1918. What distinguishes the Englishman is that he pursues constantly one line and one aim. In this respect surely we have to learn from the Englishman. Therefore we ought never to base our actions on single contemporary personalities: here again the conduct of the British in India towards the Indian princes etc. ought to be an example: it is always the soldier who has to consolidate the regime.

We have to create a Garden of Eden in the newly occupied eastern territories; they are vitally important to us; as compared with them colonies play only an entirely subordinate part.

Even if we divide up certain areas at once, we shall always proceed in the role of protectors of the Right and of the people. The terms which are necessary at this time should be selected in accordance with this principle: we shall not speak of new Reich territory only, but of the task which became necessary because of the war.

In particular:

In the Baltic territory the country up to the Duna now will have to be administered in agreement with Field Marshal Keitel. Reichsleiter Rosenberg emphasizes that in his opinion a different treatment of the population is desirable in every district [Kommissariat]. In the Ukraine we should start with a cultural administration, there we ought to awake the historical consciousness of the Ukrainians, establish a university at Kiev, and the like.

The Reich Marshal makes the counterstatement that we had to think first of securing our food situation, everything else could come later.

(Incidental question: Is there still anything like an educated class in the Ukraine, or are upper class Ukrainians rather to be found only as emigrants outside present day Russia?)

Rosenberg continues, there were certain independent movements in the Ukraine which deserved furtherance.

The Reich Marshal asks the Fuehrer to indicate what areas had been promised to other states.

The Fuehrer replies, Antonescu desired Bessarabia and Odessa with a strip (of land) leading west-northwest from Odessa.

Upon objections made by the Reich Marshal and Rosenberg, the Fuehrer replies that the new frontiers desired by Antonescu contained little outside the old Roumanian frontiers.

The Fuehrer states furthermore that nothing definite had been promised to the Hungarians, Turks and Slovaks.

Then the Fuehrer submits for consideration whether the former Austrian part of Galicia ought to be added at once to the government; upon objections having been voiced the Fuehrer decides that this part shall not be added to the government but should only be subordinated likewise to Reichminister Frank (Lwow).

The Reich Marshal thinks it was right to incorporate into East Prussia several parts of the Baltic country, e.g. the Forest of Bialystok.

The Fuehrer emphasizes that the entire Baltic country will have to be incorporated into Germany.

At the same time the Crimea, including a considerable hinterland (situated north of the Crimea) should become Reich territory; the hinterland should be as large as possible.

Rosenberg objects to this because of the Ukrainians living there.

(Incidental question: It occurred to me several time that Rosenberg has a oft spot for the Ukrainians; thus he desires to aggrandize the former Ukraine to a considerable extent. )

The Fuehrer emphasizes furthermore that the Volga Colony too will have to become Reich territory, also the district around Baku; the latter will have to become a German concession (Military colony).

The Finns wanted East Carelia, but the Kola Peninsula will be taken by Germany because of the large nickel mines there.

The annexation of Finland as a federated state should be prepared with caution. The area around Leningrad is wanted by the Finns; the Fuehrer will raze Leningrad to the ground and then hand it over to the Finns.

There ensues a rather long discussion as to the qualifications of Gau Leader [Gauleiter] Lohse, who has been proposed by Rosenberg as Governor of the Baltic country. Rosenberg reiterates that having approached Lohse already he would be in a difficult situation in case Lohse were not appointed; for the western part of the Baltic country Kube was to be appointed, but subordinated to Lohse; for the Ukraine Rosenberg proposes Sauckel.

The Reich Marshal, however, emphasized the most important points of view on which we ought to base these appointments:

Securing of food supplies, and as far as necessary, of trade; securing of communications, etc.

The Reich Marshal emphasizes, either Koch should be appointed for the Baltic country because he knew this country very well, or Koch should receive the Ukraine because Koch was the person with the greatest initiative and with the best education.

The Fuehrer asked whether Kube could not be appointed as commissioner for the district of Moscow; Rosenberg and the Reich Marshal both think that Kube was too old for this position.

Upon further representations Rosenberg replied he was afraid that Koch might soon refuse to obey his (Rosenberg's) instructions; by the way, Koch had predicted such conduct on his part.

The Reich Marshal replied it was indeed not desirable that Rosenberg guide every step of the appointees, rather these people had the duty of working quite independently.

For the Caucasus area Rosenberg proposed his Chief of Staff Schickedanz; he reiterated that Schickedanz certainly would fulfil his task very well, a statement which is doubted by the Reich Marshal.
Rosenberg then stated Lutze had proposed to him to appoint several SA Leaders, namely Scheppmann for Kiev,Manthey Dr. BenneckeLitzmann for Estonia and Burgomaster Dr. Drexler for Latvia. The Fuehrer has no objections to the use of SA Leaders.

Rosenberg then states he had received a letter from Ribbentrop who desired the participation of the Foreign Office; but he (Rosenberg) asked the Fuehrer to determine that the internal formation of the newly acquired areas was no concern of the Foreign Office. The Fuehrer agrees with this conception. Until further notice it will be sufficient for the Foreign Office to appoint a liaison officer to Reichsleiter Rosenberg.

The Fuehrer emphasizes that the Ukraine would undoubtedly be the most important district for the next three years. Therefore it would be best to appoint Koch there; if Sauckel were to be used, then it would be better to appoint him for the Baltic country.

Rosenberg continues, he intended to appoint Schmeer, Selzner and Manderbach as Commissioners for the Moscow area. The Fuehrer desires that Holz be used too, and that the former Gauleiter Frauenfeld should be placed in charge of administering the Crimea.

Rosenberg states he intended to use also Captain von Petersdorff, owing to his special merits; general consternation, general rejection. The Fuehrer and the Reich Marshal both emphasize there was no doubt that von Petersdorff was insane.

Rosenberg states furthermore that the appointment of the Burgomaster of Stuttgart, Stroelin has been proposed to him. There were no objections.

Since Kube is considered too old for the Moscow district by both the Reich Marshal and Rosenberg, Kasche is to take over this district.

(Memo for Party Comrade Klopfer: Please ask Dr. Meyer at once for the files concerning the plans for the future organization and the intended appointments.)

The Reich Marshal emphasizes he intended to appoint Gauleiter Terboven for the exploitation of the Kola Peninsula; the Fuehrer agrees.

The Fuehrer emphasizes that Lohse, provided he thinks himself equal to this task, should take over the Baltic country Kasche Moskow, Koch the Ukraine, Frauenfeld the Crimea, Terboven Kola, and Schickedanz the Caucasus.

Reichsleiter Rosenberg then broached the question of securing the administration of the Eastern areas.

The Fuehrer tells the Reich Marshal and the Field Marshal he had always urged that Police Regiments should be provided with armored cars; this has proved to be quite necessary for police operations within the newly occupied eastern territories, because a Police Regiment equipped with the appropriate number of armored cars of course could perform many services. Otherwise though, the Fuehrer pointed out the protection was very slight. However, the Reich Marshal was going to transfer all his training fields to the new territories, and if necessary even Junkers 52 could throw bombs in case of riots. Naturally this giant area would have to be pacified as quickly as possible; the best solution was to shoot anybody who looked sideways.

Field Marshal Keitel emphasizes the inhabitants themselves ought to be made responsible for their things because it was of course impossible to put a sentry in front of every shed or railway station. The inhabitants had to understand that anybody who did not perform their duties properly would be shot, and that they would be held responsible for each offense. Upon a question of Reichsleiter Rosenberg the Fuehrer replied newspapers also - e.g. for the Ukraine would have to be reestablished, in order to obtain means of influencing the inhabitants. After the interval the Fuehrer emphasized we had to understand that the Europe of today was nothing but a geographical term; in reality Asia extended up to our previous frontiers.

Reichsleiter Rosenberg then described the organizational arrangement he intended to establish; he did not intend to appoint a Permanent Deputy of the Reich Commissioner ahead of time, but always the most efficient of the General Commissioners would be called upon to deputize for the Reich Commissioner.

Rosenberg will set up four departments in the office of the Reich Commissioner: first for the general administration, second for politics, third for economics, fourth for engineering and architecture.

(Incidental remark: The Fuehrer emphasizes that activities on the part of the churches are out of the question. Papen had sent him through the Foreign Office a long memorandum in which it, was asserted now was the right moment to reintroduce the churches; but this was completely out of the question.)

The Reich Marshal will detail to the Rosenberg Office Assistant Secretaries [Ministerialdirektoren] Schlotterer and Riecke.

Reichsleiter Rosenberg applies for appropriate premises to house his administration; he applies for the premises of the Commercial Mission of the Soviet Union in Lietzenberger Street; the Foreign Office, though, were of the opinion that these premises were extraterritorial. The Fuehrer replies that this was nonsense; Reich Minister Lammers was charged to inform the Foreign Office they were to hand over these premises to Rosenberg at once and without any negotiations. Rosenberg then proposes to detail a liaison officer to the Fuehrer; his adjutant Koeppen was to be appointed; the Fuehrer agrees and adds that Koeppen would become the opposite number to Hewel.

A longer discussion takes place concerning the jurisdiction of Reich SS Fuehrer; obviously at the same time the participants have in mind the jurisdiction of the Reich Marshal.

The Fuehrer, the Reich Marshal and others reiterate that Himmler was to have no greater jurisdiction than he had in Germany proper; but this (much) was absolutely necessary.

The Fuehrer repeats emphatically this quarrel would soon subside in practice; he recalls the excellent collaboration between Army and Air Force at the front.

In conclusion it is decided to call the Baltic country "Ostland".

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Post by Topspeed » 02 Oct 2004 19:10

Very interesting piece of information. Following backs it up partially.

Here is link to a program ( 29 minutes ) that goes through the matter of Hitlers only visit in Finland on Mannerheims 75th birthday ( June 4th 1942 ) and the secret taping ( 19 minutes ). Program also tells the content of the president Rytis personal talks with Hitler.

Hitler says that unfortunately only way to get rid of the threat of bolsevism is to destroy Leningrad and Moskau and all its civilian inhabitants. That data is in the state archives. Ryti wrote notes for his memoirs that he never had time to write.

Finns were very worried before Hitler visit, because they tought that they will be demanded something ( actions against USSR ). Hitler promissed to see that finns get food and Mannerheim his two battallions that were under Nord command in Lapland. Hitler assured that no country can be demanded more in the fight against bolsevism as Finland has done.

The feeling I got about the program was that Hitler was acting as self defence and took iniative from the soviets by attacking them first. Hitler explained quite thorougly the talks with Molotov to president Ryti and his impressions.

Ryti mentiones not a word about Ostplan and I doubt that was even discussed. Ryti unfortunately tought Hitler was genious unlike Mannerheim who considered Hitler a madman.

Here is the program / link ( in finnish ). http://www.yle.fi/multifoorumi/arkki/zg ... 1955001449

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