(5) Nazi Colonization. Coincident with the program of Germanizing persons of German extraction in the incorporated areas, the conspirators, as previously indicated, undertook to settle large numbers of Germans of proven Nazi convictions in that area. This aspect of their program is clearly shown by an article by SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of he Police, Wilhelm Koppe, who was one of Himmler’s trusted agents. The following is an excerpt from this article:
“The victory of the German weapons in the East must therefore be followed by the victory of the German race over the Polish race, if the regained Eastern sphere according to the Fuehrer’s will — henceforth shall for all time remain an essential constituent part of the Greater German Reich. It is therefore of decisive importance to penetrate the regained German region with German farmers, laborers, civil servants, merchants, and artisans so that a living and deep-rooted bastion of German people can be formed as a protective wall against foreign infiltration, and possibly as a starting point for the racial penetration of the territories further East.” (2915-PS)
B. The Program in the Government-General
(1) Germanization. In the Government-General there were relatively few persons, at the outset, who qualified as Germans by the conspirators’ standards. Hence, little would be served by the introduction of a Racial Register, categorizing persons of German extraction on the model of the one instituted in the incorporated area; and it is not known that any such Racial Register was prescribed in the Government-General. Rather, the plan seems to have been (a) to make the Government-General a colony of Germany, which was an objective announced by Frank (EC-344-16
& 17), and (b) to create so-called “German island settlements” in the productive farming areas. These island settlements were to be created by an influx of German persons who faithfully adhered to the principles of National Socialism.
In this connection, secret notes bearing the date line, “Department of the Interior, Krakow, 30 March 1942,” reveal some of Himmler’s ideas on the “planned Germanization” of the Government-General. The following extracts are pertinent:
“The Reichsfuehrer SS (Himmler) developed further trains of ideas to the effect that in the first five- year plan for re-settlement after the war the new German Eastern territories should first be filled; afterwards it is intended to provide at this time the Crimea and the Baltic countries with a German upper- class at least. Into the Government-General perhaps further German Island Settlements should be newly transplanted from European nations. An exact decision in this respect, however, has not been issued. In any case, it is wished that at first a heavy colonization along the San and the Brig be achieved so that the parts of Poland are encircled with alien populations. Hitherto, i. has been always proved that this kind of encirclement leads most quickly to the desired nationalization.” (910-PS)
An entry in Frank’s Diary (1941, volume II, Pg. 317) bears on the same point:
“Thanks to the heroic courage of our soldiers, this territory has become German, and the time will come when the valley of the Vistula, from its source to its mouth at the sea, will be as German as the Valley of the Rhine.” (2233-H-PS)
(2) Confiscation of Property. The conspirators had made plans to confiscate the property of Poles, Jews, and dissident elements. These plans were designed to accomplish a number of objectives. Insofar as the Jews were concerned, they were part of the conspirators’ over-all program of extermination. Confiscation was also a means of providing property for German settlers and of rewarding those who had rendered faithful service to the Nazi State. This phase of their program likewise made dispossessed Polish farmers available for slave labor in Germany, and operated to further the conspirators’ objective of preventing the growth of t another generation of Poles.
Proof of these matters appears in a number of reports by Kusche, who appears to have been one of Himmler’s chief deputies in Poland. In one of these reports Kusche pointed out that it was possible, without difficulty, to confiscate small farms and that
“The former owners of Polish farms together with their families will be transferred to the old Reich by the employment agencies for employment as farm workers.” (1352-PS)
In another secret report by Kusche dated 22 May 1940, and entitled “Details of the Confiscation in the Bielitz Country”, the following appears:
“Some days ago the commandant of the concentration camp being built at Auschwitz spoke at Staff Leader Muller’s and requested support for the carrying out of his assignments. He said that it was absolutely necessary to confiscate the agricultural enterprises within a certain area around the concentration camp, since not only the fields but also the farm houses of these border directly on the concentration camp. A local inspection held on the 21st of this month revealed the following: there is no room for doubt that agricultural enterprises bordering on the concentration camp must be confiscated at once. Further than this, the camp commandant requests that further plots of farm land be placed at his disposal, so that he can keep the prisoners busy. This too can be done without further delay since enough land can be made available for the purpose. The owners of the plots are all Poles.”
“I had the following discussion with the head of the labor office in Bielitz:
“The lack of agricultural laborers still exists in the old Reich. The transfer of the previous owners of the confiscated enterprises, together with their entire families, to the Reich is possible without any further consideration. It is only necessary for the labor office to receive the lists of the persons in time, in order to enable it to take the necessary steps (collection of transportation, distribution over the various regions in need of such labor)”.
“The confiscation of these Polish enterprises in Alzen will also be carried out within the next few days. The commandant of the concentration camp will furnish SS men and a truck for the execution of the action. Should it not yet be possible to take the Poles from Alzen to Auschwitz, they should be transferred to the empty castle at Zator. The liberated Polish property is to be given to the needy racial German farmers for their use.” (1352-PS)
On 17 September 1940, Goering issued a decree which was designed to regularize the program of confiscation (Reichsgesetz-
blatt, 1940, Part I, Pg. 1270). Under Section 2 of this decree, sequestration of movable and immovable property, stores, and other intangible property interests of Jews and “persons who have fled or are not merely temporarily absent” was made mandatory. In addition, sequestration was authorized under Section 2, sub-section 2, if the property were required “for the public welfare, particularly in the interests of Reich defense or the strengthening of Germanism.” By section 9 of the decree, confiscation of sequestrated property was authorized “if the public welfare, particularly the defense of the Reich, pr the strengthening of Germanism, so requires.” However, Section 1, sub-section 2, provided that property of German nationals was not subject to sequestration and confiscation; and section 13 provided that sequestration would be suspended if the owner of the property asserted that he was a German. The decree, on its face, clearly indicates a purpose to strip Poles, Jews, and dissident elements of their property. It was, moreover, avowedly designed to promote Germanism.
Apparently some question arose at one point as to whether the decree required that a determination be made in each case involving the property of a Pole that the property was required “for the public welfare, particularly in the interests of Reich defense or the strengthening of Germanism.” The answer supplied by the conspirators was firm and clear: In an case in which the property of a Pole was involved, the “strengthening of Germanism” required its seizure. On 15 April 1941, on paper bearing the letterhead of the Reich Leader SS, Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationhood, instructions were given “for internal use on the application of the law concerning property of the Poles of 17 September 1940.” The following is an excerpt:
“The conditions permitting seizure according to section II, sub-section 2, are always present if the property belongs to a Pole. For the Polish real estate will be needed without exception for the consolidation of the German nationhood.” (R-92)
In the Government-General, Frank promulgated a decree on 24 January 1940, authorizing sequestration “in connection with the performance of tasks serving the public interest”, and liquidation of “anti-social or financially unremunerative concerns.” The decree is embodied in the Verordnungsblatt of the Government-General, No. 6, 27 January 1940, Pg. 23. The undefined criteria in this decree clearly empowered Nazi officials in the Government-General to engage in wholesale seizure of property.
The magnitude of the conspirators’ confiscation program in
Poland was staggering. The Nazis’ own statistics show that as of 31 May 1943, a total of 693,252 estates, comprising 6,097,525 hectares, had been seized, and 9,508 estates, comprising 270,446 hectares had been confiscated by the Estate Offices Danzig-West Prussia, Poznan, Zichenau, and Silesia (R-92). This, it will be noted, represented the seizures and confiscations which were effected by only four offices. Figures are not available at this time for other offices maintained by the conspirators for these purposes.