The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against the U.S.S.R.
(Part 9 of 16)

E. Preparation for the Political Phase of the Aggression.

As has already been indicated, and as will be later more fully developed, there were both economic and political motives for the action of the Nazi conspirators in invading the Soviet Union. The economic aspects have been discussed. Equally elaborate planning was engaged in by the Nazi conspirators to insure the effectuation of the political aim of their aggression. That political aim may be described as the elimination of the USSR as a powerful political factor in Europe, and the acquisition of Lebensraum. For the accomplishment of these purposes the Nazi conspirators selected as their agent Rosenberg.

As early as 2 April 1941 Rosenberg, or a member of his staff!, prepared a memorandum on the USSR (1017-PS). This memorandum speculates on the possibility of a disagreement with the USSR which would result in a quick occupation of an important part of that country. The memorandum then considers what the political goal of such occupation should be and suggests ways for reaching such a goal. This memorandum begins:

"Subject: The USSR

"Bolshevik Russia, just as the one-time Czarist Russia, is a conglomeration of peoples of very different types, which has come into being through the annexation of states of a related or even of an essentially alien character.

"A military conflict with the USSR will result in an extraordinarily rapid occupation of an important and large section of the USSR It is very probable that military action on our part will very soon be followed by the military collapse of the USSR The occupation of these areas would then present not so many military as administrative and economic difficulties. Thus arises the first question:

"Is the occupation to be determined by purely military and/or economic needs, or is the laying of political foundations for a future organization of the area also a factor in determining how far the occupation shall be extended? If so, it is a matter of urgency to fix the political goal which is to be attained, for it will, without doubt, also have an effect on military operations.

"If the Political overthrow of the Eastern Empire, in the weak condition it would be at the time, is set as the goal of military operations, one may conclude that:

"1. The occupation must comprise areas of vast proportions;

[Page 815]

"2. From the very beginning, the treatment of individual -sections of territory should, as regards administration, as well as economics and ideology, be adapted to the political ends we are striving to attain;

"3. Again, extraordinary questions concerning these vast areas, such as, in particular, the ensuring of essential supplies for the continuation of the war against England, the maintenance of production which this necessitates and the great directives for the completely separate areas, should best be dealt with all together in one place.

"It should again be stressed here that, in addition, all the arguments which follow of course only hold good once the supplies from the area to be occupied which are essential to Greater Germany for the continuance of the war, have been assured.

"Anyone who knows the East, sees in a map of Russia's population the following national or geographical units:

"a. Greater Russia with Moscow as its centre.
"b. White Russia with Minsk or Smolensk as its capital.
"c. Esthonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
"d. The Ukraine and the Crimea with Kiev as its centre.
"e. The Don area with Rostov as its capital.
"f. The area of the Caucasus.
"g. Russian Central Asia or Russian Turkestan." (1017-PS)

The memorandum then proceeds to discuss each of the areas or geographical units thus listed in some detail. At the end of the paper the writer sums up his thoughts and briefly outlines his plan in these terms:

"The following systematic constructional plan is evolved from the points briefly outlined here:

"1. The creation of a central department for the occupied areas of the USSR, to be confined more or less to wartime.

"Working in agreement with the higher and supreme Reich authorities, it would be the task of this department

"a. To issue binding political instructions to the separate administration area, having in mind the situation existing at the time and the goal which is to be achieved.

"b. To secure for the Reich supplies essential to the war from all the occupied areas.

"c. To make preparations for, and to supervise the carrying out, in main outline, of the primarily important questions for all areas, as for instance, those of finance and

[Page 816]

funds, transport, and the production of oil, coal and food;

"2. The carrying out of sharply defined decentralization in the separate administration area, grouped together by race or by reason of political economy, for the carrying out of the totally dissimilar tasks assigned to them.

"As against this, an administrative department, regulating matters in principle, and to be set up on a purely economic basis, as is at present envisaged, might very soon prove to be inadequate, and fail in its purpose. Such a central office would be compelled to carry out a common policy for all areas, dictated only by economic considerations, and this might impede the carrying out of the political task and, in view of its being run on purely bureaucratic lines, might possibly even prevent it.

"The question therefore arises, whether the opinions which have been set forth should not, purely for reasons of expediency, be taken into consideration from the very beginning when organizing the administration of the territory on a basis of war economy. In view of the vast spaces and the difficulties of administration which arise from that alone, and also in view of the living conditions created by Bolshevism, which are totally different from those of Western Europe, the whole question of the USSR would require different treatment from that which has been applied in the individual countries of Western Europe.

"2.4.41" (1017-PS)

It is evident that the "presently envisaged" administration operating on a purely economic basis, to which this memorandum objects, was the Economic Staff Oldenburg which was set up under Goering and Thomas.

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