The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Twenty-First Day: Monday, 17th December, 1945
(Part 2 of 16)


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I first offer in evidence Document EC-472, Exhibit USA 315. This document is offered for the particular purpose of showing the status and functions of the Economic Staff East, Group LA. The exhibit which we shall next offer in evidence was prepared by this organisation. Document EC-472 is a directive issued by defendant Goering's office for "The Operation of the Economy in the Newly-occupied Eastern Territories." It is the second edition and it is dated Berlin, July, 1941. The first edition was obviously published some time before July, 1941. The document was found among the captured O.K.W. files at Fechenheim.

Under this directive, defendant Goering established the Economic Executive Staff East, which was directly responsible to him, and under it created the Economic Staff East. The Economic Staff East, in turn, was subdivided into four groups: The Chief of the Economic Staff, Group LA, Group W, and Group M. I now quote from Page 2, Lines 7-9 of the English text; in the German text it is at Page 7, Lines 7-9. I quote:--

"Group LA. (Functions of nutrition and agriculture, the economy of all agricultural products, provision of supplies for the Army, in co-operation with the army groups concerned.)"
I next offer in evidence Document EC-126, which is Exhibit USA 316. This is a report dated 23rd May, 1941, which was before the invasion of the Soviet Union. It was found among the captured files of the O.K.W. It is entitled, "Economic Policy Directives for Economic Organisation East, Agricultural Group." It was prepared by the Economic Staff East, Group LA, the Agricultural Group, which, as shown by the exhibit introduced a moment ago, was an important part of the organisation which defendant Goering established to formulate plans for the economic administration of Russia.

The underscoring in the English text merely reflects the underscoring in the original.

The document begins with a recitation of facts pertaining to the production of agricultural products in the Soviet Union. It states that the grain surplus of Russia is determined by the level of domestic consumption and that this fact affords the basis upon which the planners must predicate their actions and economic policy. I now quote from the sixth and seventh paragraphs of Page 2 of the English text. The German text is the last three lines of Page 3, and the first five lines of Page 4. I quote:--

"The surplus territories are situated in the black soil district (that is in the South and South-East) and in the Caucasus. The deficit areas are principally located in the Forest Zone of the North.

Therefore, an isolation of the black soil areas will in any case place greater or lesser surpluses in these regions at our disposal. The consequences will be cessation of supplies to the entire forest zone, including the essential industrial centres of Moscow and Leningrad."

Next, I quote from the last 11 lines of Page 2 and all of Page 3 of the English text. The German text begins in the middle of line 6 of Page 5 and continues through to line 29 of Page 6. I quote:
"This -- the cessation of supplies -- means:

1. All industry in the deficit area, particularly the manufacturing industries in the Moscow and Leningrad regions as absolute minimum necessary to supply the bare needs of the people in these particular regions, as well as the Ural industrial regions will be abandoned. It may be assumed that these regions today absorb an annual five to ten million tons from the food production zone.

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2. The Trans-Caucasian oil district will have to be excepted, although it is a deficit area. This source of oil, cotton, manganese, copper, silk and tea must continue to be supplied with food in any case, for special political and economic reasons.

3. No further exception with a view to preserving one or the other industrial region or industrial enterprise must be permitted.

4. Industry can only be preserved insofar as it is located in the surplus region. This applies, apart from the above-mentioned oil field regions in the Caucasus, particularly to the heavy industries in the Donesz District (Ukraine). Only the future will show to what extent it will prove possible to maintain in full these industries, and in particular the Ukrainian manufacturing industries, after the withdrawal of the food surplus required by Germany.

The following consequences result from this situation, which has received the approval of the highest authorities, since it is in accord with the political tendencies (preservation of the Little Russians, preservation of the Caucasus, of the Baltic provinces, of White Russia, to the prejudice of the Great Russians):
"I. For the forest belt:

(a) Production in the forest belt (the food-deficit area) will become 'naturalised,' similar to the events during the World War and the Communist tendencies of the war, etc., viz: agriculture in that territory will begin to become a mere 'home production.' The result will be that the planting of products destined for the market, such as, in particular, flax and hemp, will be discontinued, and the area used therefor will be taken over for products for the producer (grain, potatoes, etc.). Moreover, discontinuance of fodder deliveries to that area will lead to the collapse of the dairy production and of pig-producing in that territory.

(b) Germany is not interested in the maintenance of the productive power of these territories, except for supplying the troops stationed there. The population, as in the old days, will utilise arable land for growing its own food. It is useless to expect grain or other surpluses to be produced. Only after many years can these extensive regions be intensified to an extent that they might produce genuine surpluses. The population of these areas, in particular the urban population, will have to face most serious distress from famine. It will be necessary to divert the population into the Siberian spaces. Since rail transport is out of the question, this too, will be an extremely difficult problem.

(c) In this situation, Germany will only draw substantial advantages by quick, non-recurrent seizure, i.e., it will be vitally necessary to make the entire flax harvest available for German needs, not only the fibers but also the oleaginous seeds.

It will also be necessary to utilise for German purposes the livestock which has no fodder base of its own, i.e., it will be necessary to seize livestock holdings immediately, and to make them available to the troops not only for the moment but in the long run, and also for exportation to Germany. Since fodder supplies will be cut off, pig and cattle holdings in these areas will of necessity drastically

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decline in the near future. If they are not seized by the Germans at an early date, they will be slaughtered by the population for their own use, without Germany getting anything out of it."
That is the end of that particular quotation. Our next quotation is from the first paragraph of Page 4 of the English text. The German text is at Page 7, the last two words of line 26 down to the beginning of line 31:--
"It has been demanded by the Fuehrer that the reduction of the meat ration should be ended by the autumn. This can only be achieved by the most drastic seizures of Russian livestock holdings, particularly in areas which are in a favourable transport situation in relation to Germany."
In the interests of expedition, your Honour, I am omitting some sections from this last exhibit, which I had originally intended to quote.

I skip now to Line 29 of Page 4 of the English text, beginning with the underscored words "in future", and quote to Line 48. In the German text it is at Page 8, third line from the bottom, continuing to Line 17 of Page 9.

"In future, southern Russia must turn its face towards Europe. Its food surpluses, however, will only be paid for if it purchases its industrial consumer goods from Germany or Europe. Russian competition from the forest zone must, therefore, be abolished.

It follows from all that has been said that the German administration in these territories may well attempt to mitigate the consequences of the famine which undoubtedly will take place, and to accelerate the return to primitive agricultural conditions. An attempt might be made to intensify cultivation in these areas by expanding the acreage under potatoes or other important food crops giving a high yield. However, these measures will not avert famine. Many tens of millions of people in this area will become redundant and will either die or have to emigrate to Siberia. 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."

I next quote from Page 5, Lines 18 to 30 of the English text. The German text is at Page 12, Lines 1 to 11.
"I. Supplies for the Army:

Germany's food situation in the third year of war demands imperatively that the Wehrmacht, in all its provisioning, shall not live off Greater German territory or that of incorporated or friendly areas from which this territory receives imports. This minimum aim, the provisioning of the Wehrmacht from enemy territory in the third year, and if necessary in later years, must be attained at any price. This means that one-third of the Wehrmacht must be fully provisioned by French deliveries to the army of occupation. The remaining two-thirds (and even slightly more in view of the present size of the Wehrmacht) must without exception be provisioned from the Eastern territory."

I now quote from Page 8 of the English text, the last nine lines. The German text is at Page 18, Lines 15 to 22:
"Thus it is not important under any circumstances to preserve the status quo, but what matters is a deliberate turning away from the

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existing situation and introducing Russian food resources into the European framework. This will inevitably result in an extinction of industry as well as a large part of the people in what so far have been the food-deficit areas."

It is impossible to state this alternative in sufficiently hard and severe terms."

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