Letter from Defendant Lammers to Himmler, 4 June 1943, Transmitting Frank's Report on resettlement to Hitler, and Requesting Himmler's Opinion in Order to Submit an Objective Picture to Hitler, 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. 620-624.
Partial Translation of Document No-2202, Prosecution Exhibit 1328.
[Handwritten] XI a/52
[Initials] H. H. [Heinrich Himmler]
Berlin W 8, 4 June 1943
Vosstrasse 6, at present in field quarters. Mail is to be addressed exclusively to the Berlin address.
The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery,
491 D g. Rs.
To the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism, Reich Leader SS Himmler.
Subject: Division of competence between the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of Germanism and the general administration in the Government General.
Dear Reich Leader!
Enclosed I send you copy of request by the Governor General to the Fuehrer, asking for the Fuehrer's decision regarding a division of competence between the Reich Commissioner for Strengthening of Germanism on the one hand and the general administration on the other.
The application is mainly concerned with the problem of resettlement. It has been reported to me that your deputy, SS Lieutenant General and Lieutenant General of Police Krueger, declared (at a meeting on 31 May 1943, which took place in the Krakow Castle with the Governor General presiding) that the resettlement of ethnic Germans in the Government General, and the expulsion of Poles connected with it, had been discontinued on your orders. I conclude therefrom that the complaints [Ausfuehrungen] of the Governor General on this question can be regarded as settled.
I would, all the same, be grateful for your opinion regarding the remaining differences of opinion, summarized on the last three pages of the application, in order to enable me to give the Fuehrer an objective picture of the facts when I report to him on this matter.
[Signed] Dr. Lammers.
Copy enclosed with Reich Chancellery 491 D
25 May 1943.
The Governor General, Chief of Office 13/43 Rs--22.
[Stamp] Top Secret.
The lack of a decision on the basic question in which way and how the Reich Commissioner for Strengthening of Germanism in the Government General is to carry out his measures and aims forms the deplorable cause for continuous alarm in the whole of the territory entrusted by you to my administration, and carries with it the danger, demonstrated in practice, that the public authorities are working parallel or against each other; the danger of a tedious fight about questions of prestige; and in general, great damage to the respect for German authority and to the total success of the exploitation of the territory for an increase of the German economic and war potential.
In your decree concerning the institution of a State Secretariat for Security Matters in the Government General of 7 May 1942, you made it my duty to ask for your decision, via the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, in case of a difference of opinion arising with the Reich Commissioner for Strengthening of Germanism respecting the whole of the work. In my endeavor not to increase your immense responsibilities and burden of work without the most pressing necessity, I tried till today in every way conceivable to bring about a settlement with the offices of the Reich Commissioner for Strengthening of Germanism and with the Reich Commissioner himself. Since these attempts have not led to a satisfactory result, I feel that I shall only be able to achieve the absolutely necessary clarification in one of the most important spheres of work in the Government General by way of a basic decision given by you yourself, and therefore I beg you, my Fuehrer, to give your benevolent underStanding to my wish to have the matter cleared up, considering the grave significance of local developments.
At the top of all the outstanding questions between the Reich Commissioner for Strengthening of Germanism and myself is, because of its far-reaching political implications, the problem of the settlement of ethnic Germans in the Government General and the expulsion of the local population necessarily connected with it. If I may say so, the basis for my attitude in this question is the consciousness that it is one of the most honorable and most urgent tasks of the German leadership to create a home in the eastern territories conquered by the German sword and blood for the ethnic Germans who had been withdrawn from the spaces formerly under alien domination. But to me it seems necessary to weigh carefully the question whether this aim should be realized in the middle of the fight for the existence of the German people, which means that we have to accept grave disadvantages in the economic and other spheres, or whether it would not be more expedient to postpone the execution of these measures to a date when it will be possible to carry out the necessary basic preparations for the introduction of ethnic German resettlers without being hindered by difficulties caused by the war, and without the loss of the important economic contributions made by the territory envisaged for resettlement, to the detriment of the German war effort.
According to my own conviction, the reason for the complete destruction of public order is to be found exclusively in the fact that the expelled persons were in some cases given only 10 minutes, in no case more than 2 hours, to scrape together their most necessary belongings to take with them. Men, women, children, and old people were brought into mass camps, frequently without any clothing or equipment; there they were sorted into groups of people fit for work, less fit for work, and unfit for work (especially children and aged persons) without regard to any family ties. All connections between the members of families were thus severed, so that the fate of one group remained unknown to the other. It will be understood that these measures caused an indescribable panic among the population affected by the expulsion, and the result was that approximately half of the population earmarked for expulsion, fled. They fled, in their despair, from the expulsion district and have contributed considerably to the increase of groups of bandits which existed for some time in the Lublin district, and which act with continuously increasing audacity and force. This movement has extended like waves, also to the inhabitants of those rural districts which were not--in any case not yet--intended to be affected by the expulsion. In the course of these events it has even happened that the newly settled ethnic Germans, forced by losses inflicted on them by bandit actions, frequently banded together into armed troops and procured for themselves from the surrounding villages with alien populations--on their own initiative and by force of arms--the necessary implements for their farms.
This chaotic situation was further aggravated by retaliatory measures by the police in the Lublin district to forestall additional attacks on ethnic German villages. These retaliatory measures consisted, among other things, in mass shootings of innocent persons, especially of women and children and also of aged persons, between the ages of 2 and over 80. Experience has taught that these measures have only a slight deterrent effect on these bandits who are frequently under Bolshevist leadership.
But they increase the exasperation and the hatred of the innocent ones affected, including those parts of the population which fear that in future they might be affected by similar measures; and thus now, active followers for the resistance movement, led by the Polish intelligentsia and ample propaganda material directed by the extremely active Bolshevist agitation, are played into their hands.
The consequences of this semi-rebellious state of affairs, caused by the expulsion measures in the Lublin district, especially in the Zamosc area and vicinity, made themselves felt throughout the whole of the territory entrusted to me. I am proud of the fact that in 3 years of German administration of this territory under my authoritative influence, hardly any sacrifices of German lives has had to be made, in spite of having to carry out numerous measures necessitated by circumstances. In the short period from the beginning of the expulsions, carried out against my will, considerable and deplorable casualties have occurred among the German people settled here, among the police, and the Wehrmacht, as well as among the civil administration personnel.
In connection with the execution of the resettlement plan described by me, the point of view has often been maintained that all humanitarian considerations must be completely neglected. May I give the assurance that I, too, share this view utterly and completely. I know the hardship and ruthlessness of total war as well as anybody, and I know from my own experience the unspeakable sufferings inflicted by alien oppressors on those fellow-countrymen who professed their Germanism. I decided to make this description solely and exclusively because I can see consequences grow out of the described events which must seriously endanger the conditions necessary for final victory. That I think. I have made clear. I therefore ask You, my Fuehrer to decide under due consideration of the facts submitted, whether the resettlement of ethnic German peasants and of townspeople in the Government General is to be continued--
a. Despite an enormous deficit in agricultural production which is certain to be the result, which cannot be borne by the food situation in greater Germany.
b. Despite the fact that the development of the security situation during the last months is forcing us to the conclusion that the important territory, entrusted to me, through which the supply route led from the Reich to the East Front, cannot be kept content even by the hardest means of pressure if resettlement continues, and that we are threatened with sabotage, revolt, and dissolution of public order with all their consequences to the conduct of the war.
My Fuehrer! The total order to administer the Government General, given to me in October 1939, is still in force. Today I still shoulder the total responsibility for the territory entrusted to me by this honorable order. Without a clarification of the competencies of the Reich Commissioner for Strengthening of Germanism, for which I ask, any further effective work will be impossible.
Heil to you, my Fuehrer!
3 Enclosures. [The enclosures were not a part of the exhibit offered in evidence.].