Friday, 31 July 2009

The Nazi Plan for Russia

Two days before the troops jumped off [to invade Russia], Alfred Rosenberg addressed his closest collaborators who were to take over the rule of Russia:

The job of feeding the German people [he said] stands at the top of the list of Germany's claims on the East. The southern [Russian] territories will have to serve.......for the feeding of the German people.

We see absolutely no reason for any obligation on our part to feed also the Russian people with the products of that surplus territory. We know that this is a harsh necessity, bare of any feelings......The future will hold very hard years in store for the Russians.

Very hard years indeed, since the Germans were deliberately planning to starve to death millions of them!

Goering, who had been placed in charge of the economic exploitation of the Soviet Union, made this even clearer than Rosenberg did. In a long directive of May 23, 1941, his Economic Staff, East, laid it down that the surplus food from Russia's black-earth belt in the south must not be diverted to the people in the industrial areas, where, in any case, the industries would be destroyed. The workers and their families in these regions would simply be left to starve - or, if they could, to emigrate to Siberia. Russia's great food production must go to Germans.

The German Administration in these territories [the directive declared] may well attempt to mitigate the consequences of the famine which undoubtedly will take place and to accelerate the return to primitive agricultural conditions. However, these measures will not avert famine. Any attempt to save the population there from death by starvation by importing surpluses from the black-soil zone would be at the expense of supplies to Europe. It would reduce Germany's staying power in the war, and would undermine Germany's and Europe's power to resist the blockade. This must be clearly and absolutely understood.

How many Russian civilians would die as a result of this deliberate German policy? A meeting of state secretaries on May 2nd had already given a general answer. "There is no doubt," a secret memorandum of the conference declared, "that as a result, many millions of persons will be starved to death if we take out of the country the things necessary for us." And Goering had said, and Rosenberg, that they would be taken out - that much had to be "clearly and absolutely understood."

Pg 833 - Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L Shirer. Random House.

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