The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Herman Wilhelm Goering
Part 9 of 11)

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(4) Germanization and Spoliation. With respect to Poland the Nazi conspirators' plans for Germanization and spoliation commenced with the incorporation of the four western provinces of Poland into the German Reich. In the remaining portions occupied by Germany they set up the Government General. The Nazis planned to Germanize the so-called incorporated territories ruthlessly by deporting Polish intelligentsia, Jews, and dissident elements to the Government General, for eventual elimination; by confiscating Polish property, particularly farms; by sending those so deprived of their property to Germany as laborers; and by importing German settlers. It was specifically planned to exploit the people and material resources of the territory within the Government General by taking whatever was needed to strengthen the Nazi war machine, thus impoverishing this region and reducing it to a vassal state. (See Chapter XIII on Germanization and Spoliation.)

Goering, together with Hitler, Lammers, Frick, and Hess,

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signed the decree purporting to incorporate certain parts of Polish territory into the Reich. (Decree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor concerning the Organization and Administration of the Eastern Territories, 8 October 1939, 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 2042.)

Purporting to act by virtue of section 8 of the foregoing decree, Goering as Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, signed an order concerning the introduction of the Four-Year Plan in the Eastern Territories. (Order concerning the Introduction of the Four-Year Plan in the Eastern Territories, 30 October 1939,1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 2125.)

Goering in a directive dated 19 October 1939 stated:

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 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 those enterprises by giving them German orders to be executed at their present location." (EC-410)

Goering acted as chairman of a meeting on 12 February 1940 to discuss "questions concerning the East," attended also by Himmler and Frank. From the minutes of this meeting it appears:

"By way of introduction, the General Field Marshal explained that the strengthening of the war potential of the Reich must be the chief aim of all measures to be taken in the East." (EC-305)

The hand of Goering may also be found in the remainder of the Nazi plans for Poland. It was he, for example, who signed, with Hitler and Keitel, the secret decree which entrusted Himm-

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ler with the task of executing the Germanization program (686-PS). Similarly, it was Goering who, by virtue of his powers as Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, issued a decree concerning confiscations in the incorporated eastern territories. This decree applied to "property of citizens of the former Polish State within the territory of the Greater German Reich, including the incorporated Eastern Territories" and provided in

"SECTION 1. (1) The property of citizens of the former Polish State within the territory of the Greater German Reich, including the incorporated Eastern territories, shall be subject to sequestration, trustee administration, and confiscation in accordance with the following provisions.

"2) Subsection I shall not apply to the property of persons who, in accordance with Section 6 of the decree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor relating to the organization and administration of the Eastern Territories of 8 October 1935 (RGBI, I, p. 2042), have acquired German nationality. The agency having jurisdiction in accordance with Section 12 may allow further exemptions.


"SECTION 2. (2) Sequestration shall be ordered in connection with the property of:

b. Persons who have fled or are not merely temporarily absent.

"2) Sequestration may be ordered:

a. If the property is required for the public welfare, particularly in the interests of Reich defense or the strengthening of

b. If the owners or other title holders immigrated into the territory of the German Reich as it was then delimited, after


SECTION 9. (1) Sequestrated property may be confiscated by the competent agency (Section 12) for the benefit of the German Reich if the public welfare, particularly the defense of the Reich, or the strengthening of Germanism, so requires." (1665-PS) .

The spoliation of Soviet territory and resources and the barbarous treatment inflicted on Soviet citizens were the result of plans long made and carefully drawn up by the Nazis before they launched their aggressive war on the Soviet Union. The Nazis planned to destroy the industrial potential of the northern regions occupied by their armies and to administer the production

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of food in the south and southeast, which normally produced a plus of food, in such a way that the population of the northern region would inevitably be reduced to starvation- because of diversion of such surplus food to the German Reich. The Nazis also planned to incorporate Galicia and all the Baltic countries into Germany and to convert the Crimea, an area north of the Crimea, the Volga territory, and the district around Baku into German colonies. Their plans were to Germanize or destroy. (See Chapter XIII on Germanization and Spoliation.)

By 29 April 1941, seven weeks prior to the invasion of the Soviet Union, it appears that Hitler had entrusted Goering with over-all direction of the economic administration in the area operations and in the areas under political administration. It her appears that Goering had set up an economic staff and subsidiary authorities to carry out this function. (1157-PS)

The form of organization thus created by Goering and the duties of its various sections appear more clearly in a set of directives the operation of the economy in the newly occupied territories" issued by Goering, as Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich in July 1941. By the terms of these directives, it is stated "The Orders of the Reich Marshal cover all economic field, including nutrition and agriculture. They are to be executed by the subordinate economic offices." An "Economic Staff, East" was charged with the execution of orders transmitted to it from higher authority. One subdivision of this staff, entitled "Group La" was charged with the following functions: "Nutrition and Agriculture, the economy of all agricultural products, provision of supplies for the Army, in cooperation with the Army groups concerned." (EC-472; 1743-PS.) appears from the foregoing documents, it was a subdivision the economic organization set by Goering, the Economic Staff, East, Agricultural Group, which rendered a top secret report on 23 May 1941, containing a set of policy directives for the exploitation of Soviet agriculture. These directives contemplated abandonment of all industry in the food deficit regions, with certain exceptions, and the diversion of food from the food surplus regions to German needs, even though millions of people would inevitably die of starvation as a result. (EC-126)

Minutes of a meeting at Hitler's Headquarters on 16 July 1941, kept by Bormann, disclose Hitler's announcement that the Nazis never intended to leave the countries then being occupied by their Armies. The Fuehrer further declared that although the rest of the world was to be deceived on this point, nevertheless, "this need not prevent us taking all necessary measures -- shoot-

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ing, desettling, etc. --.and we shall take them," and he discussed making the Crimea and other parts of Russia into German colonies. Goering was present and participated in this conference. (L-221)

As a final illustration, it appears from a memorandum dated 16 September 1941 that Goering presided over a meeting of German military officials concerned with the "better exploitation of the occupied territories for the German food economy" and that in discussing this topic, Goering said:

"It is clear that a graduated scale of food allocations is needed.

"First in line are the combat troops, then the remainder of troops in enemy territory, and then those troops stationed at home. The rates are adjusted accordingly. The supply of the German non-military population follows and only then comes the population of the occupied

"In the occupied territories on principle only those people are to be supplied with an adequate amount of food who work for us. Even if one wanted to feed all the other inhabitants, one could not do it in the newly occupied eastern areas. It is, therefore, wrong to funnel off food supplies for this purpose, if it is done at the expense of the Army and necessitates increased supplies from home." (EC-3)

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