History of the Second World War, Volume 1

than to suppress an obstructive population of low cultural level or to haul away people, or to evict crying and hysterical women or to return our German racial brethren across the border from Russia and to take care of them. ...It is much more difficult, this silent work of compulsion this silent activity. So it was in Poland that the policy of genocide for the Jews first became active. Though genocide (planned racial exter­mination) in its advanced form of the 'final solution (the most macabre and sinister euphemism in Nazi terminology) did not become a fully-recognised policy until Germany faced the conquest and despoliation of the East through the invasion of the vast Russian territories the destruction of the Polish people and in particular of the great community of Polish Jews began well before June 1941. Speaking as the German Fuhrer in January 1939 Hitler announced the destruc­tion of the Jews as public policy when he spoke of the 'annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe. In Der Stiirmer Streicher’s vicious anti-Semitic publication the issue for Christmas Day 1941 referred to the need for the 'extermination of that people whose father is the devil. (In Streichers view any Jew who slept with a German woman con­taminated her bloodstream for life and so ruined her as a suitable child-bearer 'for Fuhrer and Reich.) Though the initial Nazi policy for the Jews was to bleed them of their property and eliminate them from the German community by concentrating them in ghettoes and camps 'in the East for ultimate settlement in some far-distant tenement-colony such as Madagascar in practice the 'Jewish problem became too much for Hitler’s swift-moving colonisation of the East where the German-Polish territories alone held some 2000000 of Polands 3300000 Jews. This compared with the mere 270000 left in the Reich in 1939 after the desperate exodus to the west of over 300000 German Jews between 1933 and 1939. Massacre seemed the only byway 1940 to make Europe 'Jew-free and German incorporated and occupied Poland became the extermina­tion centre for the millions of Jews who were eventually to be congregated therefor slavery and mass-destruction. Meanwhile during the winter of 1939-40, ghettoes were created throughout the Government-General where those Jews who had not already been killed were slowly starved to death. There were 470000 Jews walled-up in the ghetto of Warsaw where 44630 died in 1941 alone. Some 500,000 were to indie the ghettoes and labour camps of Poland before Russia was invaded and the 'final solution was inaugurated with a scientific thoroughness for the ultimate mass-extermination of Europes remaining 10000000 Jews. The veiled orders which put this action into force originated during 1941 on the eve of Barbarossa the invasion of Russia. The site of a former military barracks at Ausch­witz near Krakow had been overtaken by the SS and in May 1940 Rudolf Hoess a man who had once been imprisoned for murder was made Commandant of what was to become the principal centre for the extermination of Jews and Slavs as well as the largest commercialised labour camp in the new German empire. At a conference convened by Himmler in March 1941 the Reichsfiihrer SS is reported to have said that the coming Russian campaign was to 'decimate the Slav popula­tion by 30 millions and at the same time, Hitler told his generals that Himmler would be placed in charge of 'tasks which result from the struggle between two opposing political systems and that he could 'act independently and under his own re­sponsibility. Communism as well as Jewry had thus to be purged. Hoess claimed he received his final orders to prepare for the exterminations in June 1941 the month of Barbarossa. Meanwhile, Himmler and Heydrich were planning their murderous commandoes the 'Action Groups’, which were to follow in the wake of the German army and kill all Jews and all Communist officials while Goring was placed in charge of the campaign for the ruthless economic exploitation of the terri­tories that were about to fall into Hitler’s voracious hands. The secret directives compiled for Goring from May 1941 and known as the 'Green File anticipated with an appalling accuracy precisely what was going to happen. They spoke of the famine and the 'primitive condi­tions which would follow the German invasion. They referred to the 'many tens of millions of people in this area who will become redundant and will either die or have to emigrate to Siberia. Industry in the areas of Moscow and Leningrad was to be eliminated and the population dispersed there must ensue 'an extinction of industry as well as a large part of the people in what so far have been the food-deficit areas’. Nothing must hamper the movement west of food supplies to Germany from the granaries of the Ukraine and the move­ment East of unwanted survivors of the Blitzkrieg. 'I intend to plunder and to do it thoroughly said Goring later when he saw the rich territories actually opening up before him. While Himmler was more concerned with the 'Germanisation of the East and its political annexation Goring was principally interested in its despoliation to bring food and raw materials back to Germany. Great plans for Great Britain Hitlers concept of Britain and her place in his 'New Order for Europe was designed to fit within his general scheme. Hitler respected Britain: the mainstream of British blood was biologically sound though politically and economically she seemed to him to have capitulated somewhat to the Jews. He wanted not war but an alliance with Britain —'the most valuable ally in the world he had called her in Mein Kampf. He admired the British capacity for 'con­quering the world peacefully by commercial means and 'the manner in which the spirit of England permeates and administers her Empire. In many ways Britain had been a source of inspiration to Hitler. This was the reason for his angry disappointment when Britain refused to make terms with him and become the super-ally of Nazi Germany. 'I have offered Britain my hand again and again,’ he shouted to the assembled thousands in the Berlin sports stadium on January 30,1941 the eighth anniversary of his coming to power. 'It was the very essence of my pro­ gramme to come to an understanding with her. Immediately after the Polish campaign I again offered my hand. Still all was in vain. Immediately after the collapse in the west I again offered my hand to Britain. They literally spat on me. ...We have been drawn into war against our will. So plans for the invasion and occupation of the recalcitrant island had had to be prepared. During the summer of 1940, 'orders concerning the organisation and function of military government in England’ were laid down. They were thorough-going: able-bodied males between 17 and 45 would in general be 'interned and dis­patched to the Continent and the coun­try would be despoiled in imitation of Poland. The SS would move in under SS Colonel Dr Franz Six former head of the faculty of economics in the University of Berlin and one of Heydrichs most able security agents. His headquarters would be in London his responsibility to put the SS Action Groups into service behind the advancing German army their headquarters were planned to be in London Bristol Birmingham Liver­pool Manchester and Edinburgh. It is well-known that many prominent politicians thinkers and writers hostile to the Nazis were on the list of over 2,000 people to be arrested immediately. Headed by Churchill they included H.G. Wells, Noel Coward Rebecca West Bertrand Russell J. B. Priestley and C. P. Snow. It seems that Britain the despair of Hitler, would have become a second Poland: the Battle of Britain saved the island people from a dreadful fate. In 1941 it seemed to Hitler that he was at the zenith of his power. To hysterical and appreciative audiences he proclaimed the world to income speech after speech dur­ing the winter of 1940-41. In December, he spoke to armaments workers in Berlin on the meaning of the 'New Order in Europe: When this war is ended Germany will set to work in earnest will embark on the new work of reconstruction for the millions. Then we shall show the world for the first time who is the real master. Out of this work will grow the great German Reich of which great poets have dreamed. Should anyone say tome: 'These are mere fantastic dreams, mere visions I can only reply that when I outset on my course in 1919 as an unknown, nameless soldier I built my hopes for the future upon a most vivid imagination. Yet all has come true. On January 30 during his anniversary speech in the sports stadium he forecast the fall of Britain with her empire which was a rival to his own and based he declared on oppression and exploitation. Then would follow the creation of a single world power that would ensure peace and justice upon earth: I am convinced that 1941 will bethe crucial year of a great New Order in Europe. The world shall open up for everyone. This year will help to provide the foundations of areal understanding among peoples and with it the certainty of conciliation among nations. Those nations who are still opposed to us will someday recognise the greater enemy within. Then they will join us in a combined front a front against international Jewish exploitation and racial degeneration. Had he not written in the epilogue to Mein Kampf-. 'A state which in an epoch of racial adulteration devotes itself to the duty of preserving the best elements of its racial stock must one day become the ruler of the Earth.? 448
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