The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter XIII
Germanization & Spoliation
(Part 1 of 4)

[Page 1023]

The Nazi conspirators had made plans for the Germanization and spoliation of their conquered territories. Plans to Germanize meant plans to assimilate conquered territories politically, culturally, socially, and economically into the German Reich. Germanization meant the obliteration of the former national character of the conquered territories and the extermination of all elements which could not be reconciled with the Nazi ideology. Plans for spoliation meant. plans to plunder public and private property and, in general, to exploit the people and natural resources of occupied countries.


Poland was, in a sense, the testing ground for the conspirators' theories of "lebensraum." The four western provinces of Poland were purportedly incorporated into Germany by an order of 8 October 1939. This order, which was signed by Hitler, Lammers, Goering, Frick, and Hess, is set forth in 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 2042. These areas of Poland are frequently referred to in correspondence between the conspirators as the "incorporated Eastern territories". The remainder of Poland which was seized by the Nazi invaders was established as the Government-General of Poland by an order of Hitler, dated 12 October 1939. By that same order, Hans Frank was named Governor-General of the newly-created Government-General, and Seyss-Inquart was named Deputy Governor General. This order is set forth in 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 2077.

The plans with respect to Poland, which will appear gradually from the individual documents hereafter discussed, followed a broad pattern, as follows:

[Page 1024]

To that end, the conspirators planned:

(a) To permit the retention of the productive facilities in the incorporated area, all of which were to be dedicated to the Nazi war machine.

(b) They planned to deport to the Government-General many hundreds of thousands of Jews, members of the Polish intelligentsia, and other non-compliant elements. The Jews deported to the Government-General were doomed to speedy annihilation. Moreover, since the conspirators felt that members of the Polish intelligentsia could not be Germanized and might serve as a center of resistance against their "new order", they too were to be eliminated.

(c) They planned to deport all able-bodied Polish workers to Germany for work in the Nazi war machine. This was to serve the two-fold purpose of helping to satisfy the labor requirements of the Nazi war machine and preventing the propagation of a new generation of Poles.

(d) They planned to mold all persons in the incorporated are who were deemed to possess German blood, into German subjects who would religiously adhere to the principles of National Socialism. To that end, the conspirators set up an elaborate racial register. Those who resisted or refused to cooperate in this program were sent to concentration camps.

(e) They planned to bring thousands of German subjects into the incorporated area for purposes of settlement.

(f) They planned to confiscate the property -- particularly the farms -- of the Poles, the Jews, and all dissident elements. The confiscation of the property of Jews was part of the conspirators' larger program of extermination of the Jews. Confiscation likewise served three additional purposes: (1) it provided land for the new German settlers and enabled the conspirators to reward their adherents; (2) dispossessed Polish property owners could be shipped to Germany for work in the production of implements of war; and (3) the separation of Polish farmers from their wives furthered the plan to prevent the growth of a new generation of Poles.

These plans are developed in the specific documents which follow.

A. The Program in the Incorporated Area.

(1) Economic Spoliation. A report of an interview with Frank on 3 October 1939, which was included in a large report prepared in the OKW by one Captain Varain at the direction of General

[Page 1025]

Thomas, then Chief of the Military Economic Staff of the OKW, states:

"In the first interview which the chief of the Central Division and the liaison officer between the Armament Department Upper East and the Chief Administrative Officer (subsequently called Governor General) had with Minister Frank on 3 October 1939 in Posen, Frank explained the directive, and the economic and political responsibilities which had been conferred upon him by the Fuehrer and according to which he intended to administer Poland. According to these directives, Poland can only be administered by utilizing the country through means of ruthless exploitation, deportation of all supplies, raw materials, machines, factory installations, etc., which are important for the German war economy, availability of all workers for work within Germany, reduction of the entire Polish economy to absolute minimum necessary for bare existence of the population, closing of all educational institutions, especially technical schools and colleges in order to prevent the growth of the new Polish intelligentsia. 'Poland shall be treated as a colony; the Poles shall be the slaves of the Greater German World Empire'.

"By destroying Polish industry, its subsequent reconstruction after the war would become more difficult, if not impossible, so that Poland would be reduced to its proper position as an agrarian country which would have to depend upon Germany for importation of industrial products." (EC-344-16 & 17)

The conspirators planned a difference in treatment for the incorporated area of Poland, and for the Government-General. A directive issued and signed by Goering on 19 October 1939, which was found among captured files of the OKW, stated, inter alia:

"In the meeting of October 13th, I have given detailed instructions for the economical administration of the occupied territories. I will repeat them here in short: 1. The task for the economic treatment of the various administrative regions is different depending on whether a country is involved which will be incorporated politically into the German Reich or whether we deal with the Government-General, which, in all probability, will not be made a part of Germany.

"In the first mentioned territories the reconstruction and expansion of the economy, the safeguarding of all their production facilities and supplies must be aimed at, as well as

[Page 1026]

a complete incorporation into the Greater German economic system at the earliest possible time. On the other hand, there must be removed from the territories of the Government-General all raw materials, scrap materials, machines etc., which are of use for the German war economy. Enterprises which are not absolutely necessary for the meager maintenance of the naked existence of the population must be transferred to Germany, unless such transfer would require an unreasonably long period of time and would make it more practical to exploit these enterprises by giving them German orders to be executed at their present location." (EC-410)

Once the Government-General had been stripped of its industrial potential, the conspirators planned to leave the country desolate. Not even the war damage was to be repaired. This is the clear import of an order dated 20 November 1939, issued by Hess in his capacity as Deputy Fuehrer, and found in captured OKW files. Hess stated:

"I hear from Party members who came from the-Government- General that various agencies, as, for instance, the Military Economic Staff, the Reich Ministry for Labor, etc., intend to reconstruct certain industrial enterprises in Warsaw. However, in accordance with a decision by Minister Dr. Frank, as approved by the Fuehrer, Warsaw shall not be rebuilt nor is it the intention of the Fuehrer to rebuild or reconstruct any industry in the Government-General." (EC-411)

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