Himmler: Treatment of Alien Races in the East (1940)

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Himmler: Treatment of Alien Races in the East (1940)

Postby David Thompson » 06 Nov 2004 12:58

"Reflections on the Treatment of Peoples of Alien Races in the East", a secret memorandum handed to Hitler by Himmler on 25 May 1940", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 13: United States of America v. Ernst von Weizsaecker, et al. (Case 11: 'Ministries Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1952. pp. 147-150.

Translation of Document No-1880, Prosecution Exhibit 1314.

[This memorandum is undated, but the time of Himmler's handing it to Hitler and others is noted in the next document reproduced herein.]

[Handwritten] Dr. Gross of the Racial Policy Office has been informed 28 November 1940. Wolff.
For the files
[stamp] Top Secret.

Reflections on the Treatment of Peoples of Alien Races in the East:

Concerning the treatment of peoples of alien races in the East we have to see to it that we acknowledge and cultivate as many individual ethnic groups as possible, that is, outside of the Poles and the Jews, also the Ukrainians, the White Russians, the Gorals [Goralen], the Lemcos [Lemken] and the Cashubos [Kaschuben]. If other small and isolated national groups can be found in other places, they should be treated the same way.

What I want to say is that we are not only most interested in not unifying the population of the East, but, on the contrary, in splitting them up into as many parts and fragments as possible.

But even within the ethnic groups themselves we have one interest in leading these to unity and greatness, or perhaps arouse in them gradually a national consciousness and national culture, but we want to dissolve them into innumerable small fragments and particles.

We naturally want to use the members of all these ethnic groups, especially of the small ones, in positions of police officials and mayors. Only the mayors and local police authorities will be allowed to head those ethnic groups. As far as the Gorals are concerned the individual chieftains and elders of the tribes, who live in continuous feud with each other anyhow, should fill these positions. There must be no centralization toward the top, because only by dissolving this whole conglomeration of peoples of the Government General, amounting to 15 million, and of the 8 million of the eastern provinces, will it be possible for us to carry out the racial sifting which must be the basis for our considerations: namely selecting out of this conglomeration the racially valuable and bringing them to Germany and assimilating them there.

Within a very few years--I should think about 4 to 5 years the name of the Cashubes, for instance, must be unknown, because at that time there won't be a Cashubian people any more (this also goes especially for the West Prussians). I hope that the concepts of Jews will be completely extinguished through the possibility of a large emigration of all Jews to Africa or some other colony. Within a somewhat longer period, it should also be possible to make the ethnic concepts of Ukrainians, Gorals and Lemcos disappear in our area. What has been said for those fragments of peoples is also meant on a correspondingly larger scale for the Poles.

A basic issue in the solution of all these problems is the question of schooling and thus the question of sifting and selecting the young. For the non-German population of the East there must be no higher school than the four-grade elementary school. The sole goal of this school is to be--

Simply arithmetic up to 500 at the most; writing of one's name; the doctrine that it is a divine law to obey the Germans and to be honest, industrious, and good. I don't think that reading is necessary.

Apart from this school there are to be no schools at all in the East. Parents, who from the beginning want to give their children better schooling in the elementary school as well as later on in a higher school, must take an application to the Higher SS and Police Leaders. The first consideration in dealing with this application will be whether the child is racially perfect and conforming to our conditions. If we acknowledge such a child to be as of our blood, the parents will be notified that the child will be sent to a school in Germany and that it will permanently remain in Germany.

Cruel and tragic as every individual case may be, this method is still the mildest and best one if, out of inner conviction, one rejects as un-German and impossible the Bolshevist method of physical extermination of a people.

The parents of such children of good blood will be given the choice to either give away their child; they will then probably produce no more children so that the danger of this subhuman people of the East [Untermenschenvolk des Ostens] obtaining class of leaders which, since it would be equal to us, would also be dangerous for us, will disappear--or else the parents pledge themselves to go to Germany and to become loyal citizens there. The love toward their child, whose future and education depends on the loyalty of the parents, will be a strong weapon in dealing with them.

Apart from examining the applications made by parents for better schooling of their children, there will be an annual sifting of all children of the Government General between the ages of 6 to 10 years in order to separate the racially valuable and non-valuable ones. The ones considered racially valuable will be treated in the same way as the children who are admitted on the basis of the approved application of their parents.

I consider it as a matter of course from an emotional as well as from a rational viewpoint that the moment children and parents come to Germany they are not treated like lepers in the schools and in everyday life, but, after having changed their names, they should, in full confidence, be incorporated into the German life, although attention and vigilance must be exercised with regard to them. It must not happen that the children be made to feel as outcasts, because, after all, we believe in this, our own blood, which, through the errors of German history has flowed into an alien nationality and we are convinced that our ideology and our ideals will strike a chord of resonance in the racially equal soul of these children. Here teachers and Hitler Youth leaders especially must do an out-and-out job, and the mistake that has been made in the past with the people from Alsace Lorraine must never be repeated; namely, that on one side one wants to win the people as Germans, and on the other side one constantly hurts and repudiates their human value, their pride and honor through distrust and insults. Insults like "Polack" and "Ukrainian" or something like that must be made impossible.

The children will have to be educated in an elementary school and after those four grades it can be decided whether the children should continue to go to the German grammar school or should be transferred to a national political institution of education.

The population of the Government General during the next 10 years, by necessity and after a consistent carrying out of these measures, will be composed of the remaining inferior population supplemented by the population of the eastern provinces deported there, and of all those parts of the German Reich which have the same racial and human qualities for instance, parts of the Sorbs [Sorben] and Wends [Wenden].

This population will, as a people of laborers without leaders, be at our disposal and will furnish Germany annually with migrant workers and with workers for special tasks (roads, quarries, buildings): they themselves will have more to eat and more to live on than under the Polish regime; and, though they have no culture of their own, they will, under the strict, consistent, and just leadership of the German people, be called upon to help work on its everlasting cultural tasks and its buildings and perhaps, as far as the amount of heavy work is concerned, will be the ones who make the realization of these tasks possible.


********************************************************

File Note of Himmler, 28 May 1940, concerning the handling and distributing of his memorandum on the treatment of Alien Races in the East, in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 13: United States of America v. Ernst von Weizsaecker, et al. (Case 11: 'Ministries Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1952. pp. 150-151.

Translation of Document No-1881, Prosecution Exhibit 1313.

The Reich Leader SS,
Special Train,
28 May 1940,
Top Secret.

On Saturday, 25 May 1940, I handed my memorandum on the treatment of peoples of alien race in the East to the Fuehrer.[document No-1880, Prosecution Exhibit 1314, reproduced immediately above.] The Fuehrer read the six pages and considered them very good and correct. He directed, however, that only very few copies should be issued; that there should be no large edition, and that the report is to be treated with utmost secrecy. Minister Lammers was likewise present. The Fuehrer wanted me to ask Governor General Frank to come to Berlin in order to show him this report and to tell him that the Fuehrer considered it to be correct.

I suggested to the Fuehrer that Minister Lammers, who had received one copy from me, be ordered to present this report to the four Gauleiters of the eastern Gaue: Koch, Forster, Greiser, he Oberpraesident of Silesia, the Governor General Frank, as well as to Reich Minister Darre, and to inform them that the Fuehrer acknowledged and sanctioned this report as a directive.
Then a short file note should be made concerning the notification of the persons named as to the contents of the report. The Fuehrer agreed and gave the order to Minister Lammers.

Reich Leader Bormann received another copy for notification of the deputy of the Fuehrer.
One copy was given to the chief of my office, SS Brigadier General Greifelt in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism. I shall give him the order to inform in turn all Chiefs of the Main Offices as well as the first five concerned Higher SS and Police Leaders East, North East, Vistula, Warta, and South East and to have a report made on this subject in the same manner. The notification to the Chiefs of the Main Offices shall be effected by an SS Leader who will have to wait until the chief concerned of the Main Office has read the report and has acknowledged it by his signature. At the same time everyone has to confirm that he has been informed of the fact that this is to be considered as a directive, but that it shall never be laid down in an order of one of the Main Offices either in form of a mere excerpt or from memory.

Moreover SS Brigadier General Greifelt is authorized to bring the contents of the report to the attention of Mayor Winckler and his own main collaborators; the latter he shall suggest to me.

Furthermore, I will personally give one copy to the Chief of the Security Police with the order to notify his main coworkers in the above described manner and without making any copies.
He has to suggest to me the circle of coworkers who are to be informed of the report.

[Handwritten by Himmler] The same applies to the Chief of the Race and Settlement Main Office.

The Reich Leader SS.

michael mills
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Postby michael mills » 07 Nov 2004 04:09

It is noteworthy that there is no hint in Himmler's memorandum of any intention or plan to physically exterminate, ie kill en masse, any part of the population of German-occupied Poland, not even of the Jews.

In fact, Himmler positively rejects physical extermination of a people as "Bolshevist" and "un-German".

Since Hitler approved Himmler's memorandum as "very good and correct", it is apparent that he also rejected physical extermination as a means of dealing with alien peoples.

Obviously, as of May 1940, there was no German extermination plan or intention, not even in regard to the Jews.

Accordingly, the root cause of the mass exterminations perpetrated by German agencies from 1941 onward must be sought elsewhere than in the mind of Hitler or his followers. Rather, it must be sought in the objective circumstances of the war against the Soviet Union and the situation Germany found itself in.

Another interesting feature is the fact that Himmler proposed the assimlation through education of a large proportion of the population of occupied Poland. He recommended that those to be absorbed into the body of the German people should be treated humanely and with respect, so as to facilitate their assimilation. He held up the German failure in Alsace-Lorraine as a model of what to avoid in the treatment of a conquered population.

As for the unassimilable part of the Polish population, Himmler proposed a subordinate status similar to and no worse than that of the descendants of African slaves in the United States at the time.

In fact, his proposals were more liberal than contemporary attitudes in the United States. In the latter country all persons known to have the tiniest amount of African ancestry were condemned to second-class status, even if they were 90% white; Himmler by contrast proposed that any Poles with some German ancestry could become a part of the German nation through assimilation, and Hitler accepted that proposal.

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Postby David Thompson » 07 Nov 2004 05:04

Michael -- You said:
It is noteworthy that there is no hint in Himmler's memorandum of any intention or plan to physically exterminate, ie kill en masse, any part of the population of German-occupied Poland, not even of the Jews.

In fact, Himmler positively rejects physical extermination of a people as "Bolshevist" and "un-German".

Since Hitler approved Himmler's memorandum as "very good and correct", it is apparent that he also rejected physical extermination as a means of dealing with alien peoples.

Obviously, as of May 1940, there was no German extermination plan or intention, not even in regard to the Jews.

While Himmler did not mention the fact in his memorandum, the Nazi occupation authorities were already killing Jews and Poles in German-occupied Poland, through slave labor projects, executions and deliberately lethal mistreatment. Other than herding the Jews of Poland into overcrowded ghettos and depriving them of their ordinary livelihoods and sufficient food, there are these measures, all of which went into effect before Himmler wrote his memorandum:

(1) Retaining all Polish POWs captured in the 1939 campaign and employing them in slave labor projects. See
viewtopic.php?p=565022#565022 and the documents which follow it.

(2) The arrest and/or execution of most of the Polish leadership class in the first year of the occupation. On September 27, 1940, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, head of the RSHA, stated at a conference of senior SS leaders:
"Of the Polish upper classes in the occupied territories only a maximum of 3 per cent is still present." (Hoehne 339)

This policy is also mentioned at:
viewtopic.php?p=210194#210194
viewtopic.php?p=489998#489998

(3) Institution of a slave labor program for all remaining Poles and their families. See viewtopic.php?p=565020#565020 and the documents which follow it.

These acts, and many others, show a behavioral "intention or plan to physically exterminate, ie kill en masse" a "part of the population of German-occupied Poland," including the Jews, at the time Himmler wrote the memorandum.

You also said:
As for the unassimilable part of the Polish population, Himmler proposed a subordinate status similar to and no worse than that of the descendants of African slaves in the United States at the time.


Himmler said:
A basic issue in the solution of all these problems is the question of schooling and thus the question of sifting and selecting the young. For the non-German population of the East there must be no higher school than the four-grade elementary school. The sole goal of this school is to be--

Simply arithmetic up to 500 at the most; writing of one's name; the doctrine that it is a divine law to obey the Germans and to be honest, industrious, and good. I don't think that reading is necessary.

Apart from this school there are to be no schools at all in the East. Parents, who from the beginning want to give their children better schooling in the elementary school as well as later on in a higher school, must take an application to the Higher SS and Police Leaders. The first consideration in dealing with this application will be whether the child is racially perfect and conforming to our conditions. If we acknowledge such a child to be as of our blood, the parents will be notified that the child will be sent to a school in Germany and that it will permanently remain in Germany.

Cruel and tragic as every individual case may be, this method is still the mildest and best one if, out of inner conviction, one rejects as un-German and impossible the Bolshevist method of physical extermination of a people.

I think your comparison is grotesquely inapposite. American Blacks in 1940 could and did raise themselve above the 4th grade ceiling which Himmler proposed placing on the Poles and Ukrainians. You may be unfamiliar with US history, but there were colleges which admitted Blacks and there were colleges for Blacks in the US in 1940. Furthermore, even the odious "lynch law" in the US never took the form of mass shootings of civilian families into ditches, nor did the toll of lynch-murders ever come remotely close to the number of executed Jews and Poles during the Nazi occupation.

michael mills
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Postby michael mills » 08 Nov 2004 02:41

While Himmler did not mention the fact in his memorandum, the Nazi occupation authorities were already killing Jews and Poles in German-occupied Poland, through slave labor projects, executions and deliberately lethal mistreatment. Other than herding the Jews of Poland into overcrowded ghettos and depriving them of their ordinary livelihoods and sufficient food, there are these measures, all of which went into effect before Himmler wrote his memorandum:


The above is simply an exaggeration.

It is an exaggeration to call the compulsory labour provisions applicable to ethnic Poles "slave labour". The documents posted clearly show that Poles recruited voluntarily or conscripted for labour, mainly agricultural, were to be paid wages, and even incentive bonuses in some cases.

The wages paid may have been below the corresponding German levels, but the real issue is whether they were equivalent to normal wage levels in Poland.

Labour conscription was quite common in many countries in wartime. For example, it applied in Britain, where persons could be directed to undertake any work in any location, and were subject to penalties if they did not comply with directions issued.

Furthermore, it is arrant nonsense to suggest that labour conscription of ethnic Poles amounted to killing them through work, or "lethal mistreatment". Nothing in the documents posted, or in the history of what actually happened to ethnic Poles in 1940, supports the notion that there was a German plan or intention to exterminate any part of the Polish population or the Jewish population.

The liquidation of anti-German political elements does not constitute extermination of part of the population.

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Postby David Thompson » 08 Nov 2004 03:52

Michael -- When I said:
While Himmler did not mention the fact in his memorandum, the Nazi occupation authorities were already killing Jews and Poles in German-occupied Poland, through slave labor projects, executions and deliberately lethal mistreatment. Other than herding the Jews of Poland into overcrowded ghettos and depriving them of their ordinary livelihoods and sufficient food, there are these measures, all of which went into effect before Himmler wrote his memorandum

You replied:
The above is simply an exaggeration.

What's exaggerated about it?

You then said:
It is an exaggeration to call the compulsory labour provisions applicable to ethnic Poles "slave labour". The documents posted clearly show that Poles recruited voluntarily or conscripted for labour, mainly agricultural, were to be paid wages, and even incentive bonuses in some cases.

You are ill-informed on this subject. These extracts may help (my emphases):

If, as it appears likely, there will be, in the Government General, difficulties at the labor recruiting offices in the recruiting of civilian Poles, it will be unavoidable to give the Occupation Army authority and directive to cause, by force, the necessary number of workers to be transported to Germany.

14 Feb 1940
viewtopic.php?p=565036#565036


Extracts from the report of the eighth meeting of the General Council, 17 April 1940, concerning a report by State Secretary Syrup on the labor situation and noting that forced conscription of Poles is necessary due to the failure of recruiting propaganda.

Owing to the increasing resistance on the part of the Poles the propaganda action in the Government General came to a standstill even after the transportation difficulties were removed. The only thing which can be done is to carry out a forced conscription by calling up certain age classes of Poles.

17 April 1940
viewtopic.php?p=565319#565319


In the Old Reich again and again the complaint can be heard that a shortage of agricultural workers exists, and that it cannot be remedied by any means though Polish farm-workers have been placed at disposal. The employment offices have informed farmers and owners of estates who are looking for workers that it was difficult to get any workers at all from Poland, that the recruiting in the Government-General and also in the Eastern territory was initiated and the Poles who had applied were placed.

A few days ago, the Country Farmers Leader from Neutitschein called on our Office and told us that in his district many lands were still not yet tilled because there is a lack of any workers. The Reich Food Estate has decreed that everyone can procure himself Polish workers in the Eastern territory or in the Government General.

This appears preposterous if one knows that the office of the Higher SS and Police leader as deputy of the Reich commissar for the strengthening of German nationality, Land Office Silesia, cannot perform the confiscations of small and even very small agricultural enterprises for the reason that we do not know where to put the former Polish owners. Until now the work regarding the confiscation of Polish small farms has been limited to racial-German villages. I have already reported on this matter for the county of Blachownia as well as for the county of Bielitz-Biala, in connection with the institution of a concentration camp in Auschwitz.

I have made an arrangement with the Chief of an employment agency to transfer at once for employment into the Old Reich such Poles as agricultural workers who are designated by us.

It is possible without difficulty to accomplish the confiscation of small agricultural enterprises in the villages in which larger agricultural enterprises have been already confiscated and are under the management of the East German Corporation for Agricultural Development. For it is by no means difficult for the larger agricultural estate to manage a few hundred acres, of course consistent with its own character without any particular additional expenses. It is a matter of course that above all Polish arable lands adjacent to the land of the estate should be confiscated and added to the estate for exploitation. Agricultural-technical or other difficulties by no means can occur. The former owners of Polish farms together with their families will be transferred to the Old Reich by the employment agencies for employment as farm-workers.

In this way many hundred Polish agricultural workers can be placed at the disposal of agriculture in the Old Reich in the shortest and simplest manner. This way the most pressing shortage is removed that is now in a very disagreeable manner felt especially in the root-crop districts.

Besides, the settlers who are still working in the confiscated and formerly settled enterprises and who are superfluous are to be removed into the Old Reich, for until now they were only a burden for the respective enterprise if they are too numerous. In this way, Polish agricultural workers can be made free for the Old Reich.

The confiscations of small enterprises already achieved together with the following transfer of the farmer owners as agricultural workers to the larger estates already in operation have not only brought experience but have proved unequivocally that no difficulties are to be expected. The measures themselves are only a matter of organization, and the success of the measures as proposed by me is based on the good will of cooperation of the other authorities with the office of the Reich Fuehrer-SS as Reich Commissioner for the strengthening of German folkdom.

May 1940
viewtopic.php?p=571114#571114


You then went on to say:
The wages paid may have been below the corresponding German levels, but the real issue is whether they were equivalent to normal wage levels in Poland.


The wages must have been less than attractive, judging by the situation in 1943:

2. The Utilization of Manpower. The most important presupposition for a proper and relatively frictionless regulation to utilize manpower taken from the native population within the Government General itself, as well as within the Reich, are normal conditions in the sphere of economics. Lack of this coordination influences the steering of labor employments unfavorably in many respects. If it would be possible to provide the population, working in the interest of Germany, with the minimum of food needed, and everyday objects, and to render impossible the access to other items by way of black market channels and clandestine trade, then the reserves of manpower at hand would volunteer for employment as planned, of their own volition. This would mean a basis for a sensible shaping of agrarian property-units. It is necessary in this respect that parts of the population thus available may then be employed in such work which will guarantee them a satisfactory standard of living. After failing to have created the necessary supposition for a well-planned and well-steered employment of manpower, the utilization of manpower is confronted with the greatest difficulties. It is clear that these difficulties have been increased by the elimination of Jewish manpower. But it is incorrect to consider this elimination as the cause of difficulties. If the necessary basis for proper management of manpower had been given, the elimination of Jewish manpower would not have caused any difficulties worth mentioning. As things were, the utilization of manpower had to be enforced by means of more or less forceful methods, such as the instances when certain groups appointed by the Labor Offices, caught Church and Movie-goers here and there and transported them into the Reich. That such methods not only undermine the people's willingness to work and the people's confidence to such a degree that it cannot be checked even with terror, is just as clear as the consequences brought about by a strengthening of the political resistance movement.

17 Apr 1943
viewtopic.php?p=568968#568968


1. The general situation in the Government General.--The enmity of the Polish population against the German domination has increased considerably in the recent period. Particularly in the districts of Warsaw, Radom, and Lublin, the activity of the bands has much increased.

Recently, also, peasants are forming bands who, during the day, peacefully work in the fields and are only being assembled at night by special messengers for attacks. Also, it has already repeatedly happened that police units composed of natives have shot their German leaders to death and then went over to the bands, with the weapons. Incidentally, the jungle-like forests in the Eastern districts offer sufficient hiding places to the bands. The weapons stem partly from Polish Army supplies, partly from attacks, and partly they are furnished by the Soviets by air.

The agents of the German Government for labor allocation and harvest delivery who are working in the infested district themselves are particularly in danger. Quite a number of murder cases have been reported.

* * *

Reich Germans who have been active in the Government General since 1939 or 1940, declare that also in the Eastern districts there was at first among the population a prevalent feeling of admiring respect for Germany and her Army, in view of the quick victory over the Polish
Army. Now, however, according to them, the population is mainly filled with hatred.

All Reich Germans declare more or less openly that the reason for this sharpening of the situation is, either in the first line, or in the second or third line, the labor allocation action.

* * *

b. In particular: For some time already one can no longer speak of recruitment [Werbung] for the coal mining industry; on the contrary, one actually has to draft and induct [regulaer ausgemustert und ausgehoben] the Poles. Particularly lately, this is possible only by using police forces. They, however, one might say, frequently only push away the workers in question, and drive them to the partisans because of their dislike to be drafted for mining. It has happened that police detachments met men only in the first houses of the villages, the Poles of the other village houses having fled right after the police made their appearance. In the Lvov area, where Ukrainians were assigned to police duty, they found that the entries on the lists of the inhabitants were mostly incorrect. Either false addresses were entered on the lists, or the men had moved in the meantime to "unknown addresses"; in other words, they had fled. Considering these facts, and considering at the same time the requests of the O.T. and of the SS, the draft of Poles who were good for the mining industry could produce only insufficient results.

15 June 1943
viewtopic.php?p=566359#566359


Next you said:
Labour conscription was quite common in many countries in wartime. For example, it applied in Britain, where persons could be directed to undertake any work in any location, and were subject to penalties if they did not comply with directions issued.


Your example is wide of the mark, since it only concerns citizens of the country imposing labor conscription. While the practice you have described may be legal, the imposition of labor conscription of foreign nationals is a violation of Article 52 of the Hague Convention on the Laws of Land Warfare of 1907. See "The Nazi slave labor program and the Ministries Case" at: viewtopic.php?p=564261#564261
For some perspective of how inaccurate your concepts of the slave labor program are, these threads may be helpful:

"Other" war crimes -- the slave labor system
viewtopic.php?t=14625
Nazi Slave Labor Overview
viewtopic.php?p=128182#128182

You concluded:
Furthermore, it is arrant nonsense to suggest that labour conscription of ethnic Poles amounted to killing them through work, or "lethal mistreatment". Nothing in the documents posted, or in the history of what actually happened to ethnic Poles in 1940, supports the notion that there was a German plan or intention to exterminate any part of the Polish population or the Jewish population.

The liquidation of anti-German political elements does not constitute extermination of part of the population.


There's some errant nonsense here, and I just quoted it. The Nazis considered Jews as a group to be "anti-German political elements," and murdered them for it. Large numbers of Poles, displaced by the RuSHA in resettlement efforts, were also murdered as "anti-German political elements." There may be some readers who think that this is a proper distinction from your previous expression "part of the population," but I don't.

walterkaschner
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Postby walterkaschner » 08 Nov 2004 06:38

Michael Mills wrote:

As for the unassimilable part of the Polish population, Himmler proposed a subordinate status similar to and no worse than that of the descendants of African slaves in the United States at the time.

In fact, his proposals were more liberal than contemporary attitudes in the United States. In the latter country all persons known to have the tiniest amount of African ancestry were condemned to second-class status, even if they were 90% white; Himmler by contrast proposed that any Poles with some German ancestry could become a part of the German nation through assimilation, and Hitler accepted that proposal.


I can only suggest that if Mr. Mills' desires to preserve at least a shred of credibility in comparing Himmler's proposals to "contemporary attitudes in the United States" he should familiarize himself at least to some reasonable degree with the latter subject.

In one single, but minor, respect, the picture was even more reprehensible than he depicts. In many, if not most of the Southern States, the situation in terms of legal racial designation was far worse than Mr. Mills states. It did not even take 10% of African American ancestry to determine that an individual was legally "black" or "colored". Although each State had its own legislative rules, in most of the South the "one drop rule" prevailed, which meant that the slightest trace of Negro blood prevented an individual from being legally classified as "white". This classification was of considerable practical significance due to other legislation common in Southern States requiring segregation based on legal classification as to race, perhaps most poignantly in the miscegenation laws which prohibit mixed race marriages.

In some States this régime technically continued into the 1960s and even 1970s. My recollection is (and I'm sorry I have no source at hand to verify the exact dates) that the State of Louisiana did not officially abandon the "one drop rule" until 1970, and even then adopted a rule which in effect denied the classification of "white" to anyone with 1/32 of Negro blood! This latter rule was challenged in the late 1970s by one Susie Guillory Phipps, who had always believed she was white until, when obtaining a copy of her birth certificate so as to apply for a passport, she found she was classified as colored. Her great-great-great-great grandmother had been an African slave of a white landowner, from whom she produced a child. Ms. Phipps lost the case, but the Louisiana legislature repealed the 1/32 law the next year.

But on the other hand, this rule did NOT prevail throughout the U.S., and even where it did, outside the South, it was of no practical consequence, because of the general lack of segregationist legislation in most the Northern States (which, sad to say, did not mean that as a practical matter segregation in much of the North was not prevalent, even as late as the 1950s and 60s).

Moreover, the notion that the status proposed by Himmler for the Poles "was similar to and no worse than that of the descendants of African slaves in the United States at the time" is simply ludicrous! Granted that there was shameful discrimination toward blacks in many areas of the South, which all too often even sank to the level of brutality, this never reached the depth and breadth of the governmentally sanctioned degredation of the Poles as proposed by Himmler and approved by Hitler.

Even in the Southern States, blacks could and did obtain a higher education. There are still to this day at least 38 Negro Colleges, all founded in the 19th or early 20th Century, all but one of which are located in the South, supported to the United Negro College Fund, which have traditionally been specifically devoted to providing higher education to descendants of African slaves. And there are many others, apart from these, which were formed under the "separate but equal doctrine" now thankfully supplanted by the Supreme Court's 50 year old decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Here in Texas, for only one of many examples, we have Texas A&M Prarie View, established in 1876 specifically for providing a university education for emancipated slaves and their progeny, and here in Houston we have Texas Southern University, also founded for a like purpose.

And in the Northern States there was no need after Emancipation to establish separate universities for black Americans - the existing Universities were open to all who could qualify and afford them (admittedly there were too few blacks who could qualify). But there were some - as only one of many examples, W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the most prominent spokesmen for the black community in the U.S., obtained his Bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1890 and a Masters in 1901.

Moreover, by 1940 the degree of literacy among blacks in the U.S. was widespread - certainly not, as Himmler had in mind for the Poles - just confined to the ability to write one's name. In 1930 there were 211 black owned newspapers in the U.S. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, Dept. of Negro Statistics, May 1938) and in 1940 there were as many as 13 black news gathering agencies, with offices around the world, serving 624 newspaper subscribers. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, Dept. of Negro Statistics, May 1941).

Nor was there any legal impediment on blacks migrating from South to North (which 100s of 1000s indeed did) or taking up any professional occupation for which they were qualified, although there were indeed ofttimes shameful practical impediments on their so doing.

I can offer no excuse for the institution of slavery in the U.S. - there is none. As to the provisions of the U.S. Constitution allowing its perpetuation, I can only say that otherwise there could have been no Constitution. We ultimately fought a terrible, bloody civil war to end that institution, and with the advantage of hindsight made a mess of the aftermath, although it's hard to see how, under the circumstances, we could have done much better. And we are still living with some of the problems today.

But to believe, as Mr. Mills appears to believe, that the policies of the U.S. government in the 1940s toward our African American citizens were in any way comparable to those of Nazi Germany toward the conquered Poles is, to put it mildly, ridiculous in the extreme. For one who seems to be well read (if not judicious in his opinions) about the basic theme of this section, Mr. Mills demonstates a lamentable lack of accurate knowledge of the U.S.and its history, and I can only hope that he may take the trouble to better inform himself so that we all may better benefit from his observations in this regard.

Regards, Kaschner

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Postby WalterS » 08 Nov 2004 07:56

At long last, Mr Mills has retreated to the final redoubt of Holocaust deniers and Nazi apologists: when all else fails, when the lies, duplicity, misquoting of sources, fabrications that Mr. Mills has repeatedly hurled about in this forum, when they have all been exposed for the intellectually dishonest and morally reprehensible tripe that they are, change the subject and attempt to elevate the Nazis by attacking American racial history.

Mr. Mills has sunk to a new low, even for him, and that's saying a lot.

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Postby David Thompson » 08 Nov 2004 08:28

WalterS -- More elucidation and less excoriation would work a great improvement in your posts. Do not forget that for every poster here, there are 50 or more readers who are looking for information and intelligent discussions. Personal insults are forbidden, and even personal remarks are discouraged. If you continue with this abusive tendency I will begin deleting your noncomplying posts.

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Postby michael mills » 08 Nov 2004 23:35

The fact remains that in 1940, the great majority of descendants of African slaves in the United States were relegated, through both legal and informal measures, to the status of a pool of cheap labour, particularly in the agricultural sector.

That was the status that Himmler was suggesting for the part of the Polish population that could not be assimilated into the German people. Making allowances for Himmler's hyperbole, it is obvious that he was proposing a basic level of education, literacy and numeracy for that part of the Polish population, roughly equivalent to the level of education and literacy among the majority of American Negroes in 1940 (and probably equivalent to the average level of literacy among the Polish peasantry at the time).

Furthermore, Himmler proposed that part of the Polish population could be assimilated into the German people, and that those Poles should receive a full education. For example, he wrote:

Apart from examining the applications made by parents for better schooling of their children, there will be an annual sifting of all children of the Government General between the ages of 6 to 10 years in order to separate the racially valuable and non-valuable ones. The ones considered racially valuable will be treated in the same way as the children who are admitted on the basis of the approved application of their parents.

I consider it as a matter of course from an emotional as well as from a rational viewpoint that the moment children and parents come to Germany they are not treated like lepers in the schools and in everyday life, but, after having changed their names, they should, in full confidence, be incorporated into the German life, although attention and vigilance must be exercised with regard to them. It must not happen that the children be made to feel as outcasts, because, after all, we believe in this, our own blood, which, through the errors of German history has flowed into an alien nationality and we are convinced that our ideology and our ideals will strike a chord of resonance in the racially equal soul of these children. Here teachers and Hitler Youth leaders especially must do an out-and-out job, and the mistake that has been made in the past with the people from Alsace Lorraine must never be repeated; namely, that on one side one wants to win the people as Germans, and on the other side one constantly hurts and repudiates their human value, their pride and honor through distrust and insults. Insults like "Polack" and "Ukrainian" or something like that must be made impossible.

The children will have to be educated in an elementary school and after those four grades it can be decided whether the children should continue to go to the German grammar school or should be transferred to a national political institution of education.



What is noteworthy is that Himmler specifically says that the Polish children who are selected to receive a full German education and thereby be fully integrated into the German population must not be discriminated against or insulted.

In that respect he was suggesting a more humane situation than that which obtained in the United States at the time, where even those descendants of African slaves who managed to receive secondary and tertiary education were, except for a very few individuals, were discriminated against and excluded from the broader American society. The educated Negroes were certainly not integrated into "White" society.

By contrast, Himmler was proposing the full integration and assimilation into the German people of Poles selected to receive a full education, and warned against any discrimination against them.

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Postby David Thompson » 08 Nov 2004 23:47

Michael -- You said:
The fact remains that in 1940, the great majority of descendants of African slaves in the United States were relegated, through both legal and informal measures, to the status of a pool of cheap labour, particularly in the agricultural sector.

The same could be said about most whites in the US in 1940. However, they and their families weren't being shot into ditches by the thousands, or rounded up for deportation to slave labor projects for a foreign occupying power.

You also said:
Making allowances for Himmler's hyperbole, it is obvious that he was proposing a basic level of education, literacy and numeracy for that part of the Polish population, roughly equivalent to the level of education and literacy among the majority of American Negroes in 1940 (and probably equivalent to the average level of literacy among the Polish peasantry at the time).

If you have some proof to accompany your claims about American Blacks in 1940 and the Polish peasantry at the time, please post it.

From the section rules:
2. Claims and Proof

The fifth rule of the forum is: "When quoting from a book or site, please provide info on the source (and a link if it is a website)."

If a poster raises a question about the events, other posters may answer the question with evidence. If a poster stops asking questions and begins to express a point of view, he then becomes an advocate for that viewpoint. When a person becomes an advocate, he has the burden of providing evidence for his point of view. If he has no evidence, or doesn't provide it when asked, it is reasonable for the reader to conclude that his opinion or viewpoint is uninformed and may fairly be discounted or rejected.

Undocumented claims undercut the research purposes of this section of the forum. Consequently, it is required that proof be posted along with a claim. The main reason is that proof, evidence, facts, etc. improve the quality of discussions and information. A second reason is that inflammatory, groundless threads attack, and do not promote, the scholarly purpose of this section of the forum.

This requirement applies to each specific claim. In the past, some posters have attempted to evade the proof requirement by resort to the following tactics, none of which are acceptable here:

A general reference to a website, or a book without page references; citations or links to racist websites; generalized citations to book reviews; and citations to unsourced articles.

Noncomplying posts are subject to deletion after warning.

viewtopic.php?t=53962


Finally, you said:
By contrast, Himmler was proposing the full integration and assimilation into the German people of Poles selected to receive a full education, and warned against any discrimination against them.


What Himmler actually said was (emphasis added):
The first consideration in dealing with this application will be whether the child is racially perfect and conforming to our conditions. If we acknowledge such a child to be as of our blood, the parents will be notified that the child will be sent to a school in Germany and that it will permanently remain in Germany.

Cruel and tragic as every individual case may be, this method is still the mildest and best one if, out of inner conviction, one rejects as un-German and impossible the Bolshevist method of physical extermination of a people.

The parents of such children of good blood will be given the choice to either give away their child; they will then probably produce no more children so that the danger of this subhuman people of the East [Untermenschenvolk des Ostens] obtaining class of leaders which, since it would be equal to us, would also be dangerous for us, will disappear--or else the parents pledge themselves to go to Germany and to become loyal citizens there. The love toward their child, whose future and education depends on the loyalty of the parents, will be a strong weapon in dealing with them.

I don't think your paraphrasal adequately captures the spirit of the original passage.
Last edited by David Thompson on 09 Nov 2004 00:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Sergey Romanov » 09 Nov 2004 00:01

MILLS

Obviously, as of May 1940, there was no German extermination plan or intention, not even in regard to the Jews.


And no historian says otherwise. The plan was conceived later. Crypto-straw-man.

Accordingly, the root cause of the mass exterminations perpetrated by German agencies from 1941 onward must be sought elsewhere than in the mind of Hitler or his followers. Rather, it must be sought in the objective circumstances of the war against the Soviet Union and the situation Germany found itself in.


Non sequitur.

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Postby David Thompson » 09 Nov 2004 00:07

Readers interested in learning more about Himmler's recommended treatment for Polish children who were "racially perfect," and the factual abyss which separates Mr. Mills' characterization from actual reality, should take a look at the judgment of the American military tribunal in the RuSHA case at:

viewtopic.php?t=56438

For examples of the contemporary treatment of persons who happened to be less than "racially perfect" in Nazi occupied Poland, see:

Document 2233-A-PS: Frank Diary, Meetings of Departmental Chiefs in 1939/40 [Abteilungsleitersitzungen 1939/40]: Minutes of the First Conference of the Departmental Chiefs on 12/2/1939 [partial translation]
"Document 2233-C-PS: Frank Diary, 1940: Volume IV, 10-12/1940 [Partial translation]"
"Document 2233-D-PS: Frank Diary, 1940: Volume IV, 10-12/1940 [partial translation]"
viewtopic.php?p=493185#493185
Document 2233-E-PS: Frank Diary, Conference Volume, Cabinet session in Cracow on 8/24/1942, Cabinet session in the Great Conference Room of the Government Building in Cracow Monday, 8/24/1942 [partial translation]
viewtopic.php?p=493187#493187
Partial Translation of Document NOKW-1531, Prosecution Exhibit 587.
viewtopic.php?p=557409#557409
Extract From 17th Army Corps, Order No. 1, 23 July 1940, Initialed by Defendant Woehler
viewtopic.php?p=557558#557558

and the Nazi slave labor program for Poland, exemplified in the quotations cited at: viewtopic.php?p=571312#571312

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Postby David Thompson » 09 Nov 2004 05:18

A opinion post from WalterS on Michael Mills' veracity, which added nothing of value to the thread, was deleted by the moderator -- DT.

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Postby WalterS » 09 Nov 2004 05:49

That was the status that Himmler was suggesting for the part of the Polish population that could not be assimilated into the German people. Making allowances for Himmler's hyperbole, it is obvious that he was proposing a basic level of education, literacy and numeracy for that part of the Polish population, roughly equivalent to the level of education and literacy among the majority of American Negroes in 1940 (and probably equivalent to the average level of literacy among the Polish peasantry at the time).


Wow. You certainly learn something new every day on this forum. Now we have Mr. Mills presenting Heinrich Himmler as a guarantor of civil rights for Poles. Was that before or after the Germans started murdering them? Is it ok to use the word murder? Or should we say executive action?

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Postby David Thompson » 09 Nov 2004 08:45

Michael Mills said, of Himmler's proposal:
It is an exaggeration to call the compulsory labour provisions applicable to ethnic Poles "slave labour". The documents posted clearly show that Poles recruited voluntarily or conscripted for labour, mainly agricultural, were to be paid wages, and even incentive bonuses in some cases.

The wages paid may have been below the corresponding German levels, but the real issue is whether they were equivalent to normal wage levels in Poland.

Take a look at this report: "Present Status of the question of Eastern Laborers 30 September 1942," at:
viewtopic.php?p=572255#572255

There you will find this observation:
7. Payment was carried out in the form of a ruling in which the industrial worker would keep on the average 2 or 3 RM each week and the farm laborers even less, so that the transfer of pay to their homes became illusory, not to mention the fact there had been no satisfactory procedure developed for this. (emphasis added)

According to the sources posted at viewtopic.php?p=570720#570720
with the Reichsmark (RM) pegged at 4.30 RM : 1 $ (US), that puts the salary of an Eastern Worker in 1942 at about 50-65 cents per week -- a dime or so (10 cents US) each working day -- giving him an annual salary in 1942 of under $35.00 (US), if he was an industrial worker at the top of the pay scale. Of course, we have to keep in mind that the report says farm workers were paid "even less" than the "2 or 3 RM each week."

Adjusting for today's prices, such a worker in 2004 would be making about $1.54 (US) per day, with the workday rather longer than our standard 8 hours a day, 5 days a week as well. If he only had to work 8 hours a day, his hourly rate of pay would be under 20 cents an hour. Assuming the laborer worked for a year, his annual income for 2004 would be less than $547.00 (US).

With a wage scale like that, I don't think it's any "exaggeration to call the compulsory labour provisions applicable to ethnic Poles 'slave labour'."


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