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Soviet Scorched-Earth Warfare: Facts and Consequences
https://codoh.com/library/document/sovi ... ts-and/en/
WWI Starvation Blockade Of Germany
Instead of intentionally starving other groups given the availability of food, malnutrition became inevitable due to food shortages. Any military in this situation should have agreed to give priority to their own country and to those participating in the war effort, such as those employed in industry. Similarly, lower priorities were inevitably given to unemployed city-dwellers, many of whom were in the occupied Soviet Union due to the above-mentioned scorched-earth policy. The Allies have even been accused of wanting to keep the Jews in German-controlled areas in order to increase these logistical problems (including food), and to therefore have opposed Jewish mass emigration from such areas.
Review: The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy
https://codoh.com/library/document/the- ... eaking/en/
Alois Brunner Talks about His Past
https://codoh.com/library/document/aloi ... s-past/en/
-- Herbert Spencer
The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”
Web: http://archive.is/54KGo#calibre_link-701 or http://web.archive.org/web/202002220033 ... e_link-701
5.1. The Alleged NS Policy of “Mass Starvation” of Eastern Populations
Harrison begins his section on the “Extermination of Soviet Jews” with these words:
“During the planning stages for Operation Barbarossa, Nazi food policy was linked to plans for large-scale political killing.” (p. 94)
To substantiate this statement he adduces a list of documents, which I will examine one by one.
 “On May 2, 1941, a conference of state secretaries, chaired by Thomas, had concluded that ‘umpteen million people will doubtless starve to death, if we extract everything necessary for us from the country.’” (p. 94)
The source of the passage is a file note reporting “Conclusions of Today’s Deputy Ministers’ Meeting Concerning Barbarossa [Aktennotiz über Ergebnis der heutigen Besprechung mit den Staatssekretären über Barbarossa]” dated 2 May 1941. The document states in part:
“1.) Der Krieg ist nur weiter zu führen, wenn die gesamte Wehrmacht im 3. Kriegsjahr aus Rußland ernährt wird.
2.) Hierbei werden zweifellos zig Millionen Menschen verhungern, wenn von uns das für uns Notwendige aus dem Lande herausgeholt wird.”
“1.) The war can only be continued if the entire Wehrmacht is nourished from [supplies] out of Russia in the third year of the war.
2.) In connection with this, umpteen millions of people will without doubt starve, if what is required by us is taken out of the country.”
This is no “plan for large-scale political killing” but an assessment of the hypothetical (“if … if … ”) consequences of measures taken to secure the nourishment of the army, as results yet more clearly from point 3 of the memo:
“Am wichtigsten ist die Bergung und Abtransport von Ölsaaten, Ölkuchen, dann erst Getreide. Das vorhandene Fett und Fleisch wird voraussichtlich die Truppe verbrauchen.”
“The harvesting and hauling off of oilseeds and oil cake is the most important task, only thereafter comes grain. The available fats and meat will presumably be consumed by the troops.”
 The second document is introduced by Harrison as follows:
“The selection of these starvation victims would follow a political economy of racial value, but would also be shaped by a political-ideological-racial belief that the enemy was the ‘Jewish-Marxist’” (p. 94)
Harrison then produces his source, a passage from the Allgemeine Instruktion für alle Reichskommissare in den besetzten Ostgebieten (General Instructions for All Reich Commissars in the Occupied Eastern Territories), issued by Alfred Rosenberg on 8 May 1941, and introduced at the Nuremberg Trials as document PS-1030:
“[The coming fight will be a] fight for the food supply and raw materials for the German Reich as well as for Europe as a whole, a fight ideological in nature in which the last Jewish-Marxist enemy has to be defeated.” (quoted on pp. 94f.)
The premise of this statement was a plan to restructure the Eastern countries then under Soviet domination, described as follows on the previous page of the document:
“Es geht bei dieser großen Ostarbeit also im wesentlichen darum, neue große Staatengebilde zu gründen von gemeinsam rund 70 Millionen Einwohnern und ein anderes Staatengebilde (Rußland) auf seinen ureigenen Lebensraum zurückzuführen.”
“What this great Eastern task is essentially about is to establish great new state entities of altogether about 70 million inhabitants and to return another state entity (Russia) to its own original living space.”
Rosenberg describes this task as “riesengroß” (“gigantic”) and then concludes with the following remark, from which Harrison adduces his “linkage” between NS racial policy and the regime’s alleged starvation plan:
“Dieser kommende Kampf ist ein Kampf um die Ernährung und Rohstoffversorgung sowohl für das Deutsche Reich als auch für den ganzen europäischen Raum, ein Kampf weltanschaulicher Natur, in dem der letzte jüdisch-marxistische Gegner niedergerungen werden muß, ein staatspolitischer Krieg, der eine neue staatliche Konzeption in sich birgt und das eigentliche Europa in entscheidender Weise nach Osten vorrückt.”
“This coming battle is a battle for the nourishment and supply of raw materials both for the German Reich and for the whole European area, a battle of world-ideological nature, in which the last Jewish-Marxist enemy has to be wrestled to the ground, a state-political war which entails a new concept of the state and by which Europe proper is advanced to the East in a decisive manner.”
Thus we find here no plan to starve a population; the importance of the upcoming war with regard to “nourishment and supply of raw materials” for both Germany and Europe as a whole is indeed emphasized, as is the importance of “ideology,” but contrary to what Harrison would have his readers believe, this is envisioned not as a matter of “a political economy of racial value” for the “selection of […] starvation victims,” but rather as a part of an ambitious project aimed at restructuring the balance of power in Eastern Europe. That this project involved the appropriation of land by the German Reich, and in some cases the resettlement of local populations, is openly acknowledged, but not only does Rosenberg say nothing of deliberately starving those people, he in fact explicitly refers to the need to make plans for their “compensation and reimbursement [Kompensation und Rückerstattung]” in view of “achieving a just settlement [eine gerechte Regelung zu treffen].”
 We move on to the third document. Harrison quotes a brief excerpt from Nuremberg document EC-126, Wirtschaftspolitische Richtlinien für Wirtschaftsorganisation Ost, Gruppe Landwirtschaft (Economic Policy Directives for Economic Organization East, Agricultural Group) of 23 May 1941, with a view to underscoring “the specific demographic consequences anticipated in this planning”:
“There is no German interest in maintaining the productive capacity of these regions, also in what [sic] concerns the supplies of the troops stationed there. […] The population of these regions, especially the population of the cities, will have to anticipate a famine of the greatest dimensions. The issue will be to redirect the population to the Siberian areas. As railway transportation is out of the question, this problem will also be an extremely difficult one.” (p. 95)
This document of course does contain chilling remarks on the prospective death by starvation of millions of people; indeed, in that sense Harrison might have found even more striking passages in it to quote from. Rather than evidence for the notion that, as Harrison puts it, “death was at the forefront of Nazi intentions for the Soviet population, with Jews at the front of the queue” (p. 95), what in fact emerges from a reading of the full document, however, is something quite different:
“Aus all dem folgt, daß die deutsche Verwaltung in diesem Gebiet wohl bestrebt sein kann, die Folgen der zweifellos eintretenden Hungersnot zu mildern und den Naturalisierungsprozeß zu beschleunigen. Man kann bestrebt sein, diese Gebiete intensiver zu bewirtschaften im Sinne einer Ausdehnung der Kartoffelanbaufläche und anderer für den Konsum wichtiger, hohe Erträge gebender Früchte. Die Hungersnot ist dadurch dort nicht zu bannen. Viele 10 Millionen von Menschen werden in diesem Gebiet überflüssig und werden sterben oder nach Sibirien auswandern müssen. Versuche, die Bevölkerung dort vor dem Hungertode dadurch zu retten, daß man aus der Schwarzerdezone Überschüsse heranzieht, können nur auf Kosten der Versorgung Europas gehen. Sie unterbinden die Durchhaltemöglichkeit Deutschlands im Kriege, sie unterbinden die Blockadefestigkeit Deutschlands und Europas. Die Fertigungsindustrie Belgiens und Frankreichs ist für Deutschland und das deutsche Kriegspotential wesentlich wichtiger als die Rußlands. Es kommt also viel mehr darauf an, jene Gebiete durch Überschüsse aus dem Osten ernährungsmäßig zu sichern, statt aus Ehrgeiz den Versuch zu unternehmen, die russische Industrie in der Konsumtionszone zu erhalten. […]
Richtlinie muß bei allem sein: Keine Verzettelung auf Nebengebiete, sondern Lösung der Hauptaufgabe und Entlastung der Ernährungslage Großdeutschlands.”
“From all this it results that the German administration in this area might well strive to mitigate the consequences of the certainly impending famine and to accelerate the naturalization process. One might strive to cultivate these areas more intensively in terms of an increase of the area cultivated with potatoes and other high-yielding crops important for consumption. Famine in this region cannot [however] be avoided thereby. Many tens of millions of people in this area will be superfluous and will have to die or migrate to Siberia. Attempts to save the population there from famine by using the surplus production from the black-earth zone can only be made at the expense of provisioning Europe. They undermine Germany’s chances of perseverance in the war, they undermine Germany’s and Europe’s ability to endure the blockade. The manufacturing industry of Belgium and France is far more important to Germany and the German war effort than that of Russia. It is thus much more important to secure the nutritional needs of those areas with surpluses from the East, than to seek out of ambition to preserve Russian industry in the [Soviet] consumption zone. […]
The guideline in all things must be: no dispersion [of resources] on dependencies, but resolution of the main task, relief of the food situation of Greater Germany.” (Emph. in original)
In other words, what was “at the forefront” of NS intentions in May 1941, at least as reflected in the “Economic Policy Directives” text, was relieving the critical food-supply situation in Germany and Western Europe in order to enable the Reich to withstand the kind of “starvation blockade” (Hungerblockade) with which the Allies had brought Germany to its knees in the First World War. The calculations are coolly made, and with little regard to the human suffering they imply, but they by no means aim at death for its own sake for the Soviet population, let alone for Jews.
Indeed, Harrison’s attempt to link this document with the “Final Solution” is a prime example of just how tenuous the connections posited by orthodox Holocaust historiography can be. The document itself, of course, makes no mention of Jews, but Harrison picks up on the term “überflüssig” (superfluous), apparently as it appears in the passage quoted above, and tries to twist it to fit:
“The document tellingly referred to these groups as ‘useless eaters,’ a phrase originally used to justify killing the mentally ill in the T4 program, thereby confirming that euthanasia terminology had spread to these planners.” (p. 95)
The T4 program, of course, is commonly interpreted as a “forerunner” of the Holocaust, and so for Harrison the conclusion naturally follows that, as we have seen above, “this document could be viewed as an early admission that death was at the forefront of Nazi intentions for the Soviet population, with Jews at the front of the queue.”
Curiously, the term “superfluous eaters [überflüssige Esser]” really does appear later in the document, but it seems unlikely that Harrison has this passage in mind in his dark speculations about “euthanasia terminology”:
“According to reports out of Russia, around 25% of the total work force in the collective farms (Kolchosen) is occupied with management, that is, they are sterile bureaucracy. It will thus be essential to supply practical work for all superfluous eaters [alle überflüssigen Esser]. […] Under all circumstances, the ensuring of production must come first.”
It appears that the planners of Economic Organization East were indeed concerned with the issue of “superfluous eaters,” but only for their labor value, not as targets for murder. In this way, Harrison completely misinterprets document EC-126 in service of the Holocaust myth.
 Harrison continues:
“This is further confirmed by a document by Engelhardt, which included a table of nationalities by town and country in Belorussia, on which Waldemar von Poletika had underlined Jews, Russians and Poles and added a marginal note saying “starve!” Another part of the same text had a marginal note by von Poletika saying that a population of 6.3 million people would die.” (p. 95)
To this brief reference, he then appends a footnote that is almost as long:
“Eugen Freiherr von Engelhardt, Ernährung- und Landwirtschaft, p. 11, NARA T84/225/1595914. Document was first discussed in Bernhard Chiari, ‚Deutsche Zivilverwaltung in Weissrussland 1941-1944. Die lokale Perspektive der Besatzungsgeschichte,‘ Militärgeschichtliche Mitteilungen 52, 1993 and most extensively in Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde. Die deutsche Wirtschafts- und Vernichtungspolitik in Weißrußland 1941 bis 1942. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999, pp. 57-8.” (footnote 13 on p. 95)
Though camouflaged by cosmetic changes – in particular the replacement of complex archival references to the German Bundesarchiv (BA) with a more streamlined reference to the document copy found in the U.S. National Archives (NARA) – the first part of this note shows a remarkable similarity with a citation posted to the now-defunct RODOH Forum by a certain “Jonny” on 6 September 2008:
“Eugen v. Engelhardt, ‚Die Ernährungs- und Landwirtschaft der Weissrussischen Sozialistischen Sowjetrepublik,‘ BA, F 10772, Bl. 5895-6051, also BA-MA, RW 31/299 and 31/300, here: RW 31/299, Bl. 11, 72. Bernhard Chiari has already discussed the marginal comments without making their full meaning clear in ‚Deutsche Zivilverwaltung in Weissrussland 1941-1944,‘ in: Militärgeschichtliche Mitteilungen 52, Nr. 1 (1993), pp. 67-89, 78 f, no. 72.”
Of course this impressive-looking piece of erudition cannot really be attributed to any “Jonny” (or Jonathan, for that matter), since it is in fact taken nearly verbatim from a longer note that appears in a paper published by German historian Christian Gerlach in 2000, “German Economic Interests, Occupation Policy, and the Murder of the Jews in Belorussia, 1941/43.”
The method here is more subtle perhaps, but while the “borrowing” is less obvious, the underlying attitude to research and sources of others remains unchanged. In all of the more than 500 pages of our opponents’ “Cut and Paste Manifesto,” the article by Bernhard Chiari is mentioned exactly twice: in the footnote on p. 95 here and in the bibliography (p. 543). It is thus just one more of their innumerable bibliographic plagiarisms.
Gerlach of course is given his due in the more recent note. In his Kalkulierte Morde, he presents the document in question as follows:
“Es handelt sich um handschriftliche Randnotizen zu der ausführlichsten Landes- und Wirtschaftsbeschreibung Weißrußlands, die vor dem 22. Juni 1941 in Deutschland erstellt wurde.”
“[The document] consists of handwritten notes in the margins of the most detailed description of the country and economy of White Russia to be compiled in Germany prior to 22 June 1941.”
He then provides a transcription of two passages from Engelhardt’s report, one slightly longer and subdivided into two parts, the other somewhat shorter. The beginning of the first, longer one reads:
“Von drei landwirtschaftlichen Familien können sicher zwei je eine Arbeits-Kraft (zwischen 16 und 40 Jahre beiderlei Geschlechts) an das Reich abgeben, und zwar einen größeren Teil als Saisonarbeiter, einen Kleiner[e]n [sic] Teils als kontraktlich verpflichtete Landarbeiter.”
“Out of every three agrarian families, certainly two can release one worker each (between 16 and 40 years old, of both genders) to the Reich, for the most part as seasonal workers, and for a smaller part as contracted farmhands.”
According to Gerlach, someone has added a note to the left margin of the document copy saying “sollen sterben!” (shall die!). But why were these “Saisonarbeiter” (seasonal workers) and “Landarbeiter” (farmhands) supposed to die? What would be the motivation behind this?
The passage continues by stating that the country (i.e., Belarus, then under Soviet control as the Byelorussian SSR) could deliver to the Reich one million farmhands, “who, in contrast to the Polish farmhands, would also have the advantage that their attitude is completely apolitcal and pro-German [die, gegenüber den polnischen Landarbeitern noch den Vorzug hätten, dass sie vollkommen apolitisch und deutschfreundlich eingestellt sind].” Again, Gerlach records a marginal note: beside the text, in the left margin, “sterben!” (die!). Thus a hypothetical one million farmhands who were necessary to the survival of the Reich and even described as pro-German were supposed to die? Why? What is the logic here?
The second passage reads:
“Das Verhältnis von Stadt- und Landbevölkerung in der WSSR ist z. Zt. somit etwa:
Stadtbevölkerung 2000000 = 19%
Landbevölkerung 8600000 = 81%
Gesamtbevölkerung 10600000 = 100%.”
“The proportion of the urban and rural population in the BSSR is therefore at present approximately as follows:
Urban population 2,000,000 = 19%
Rural population 8,600,000 = 81%
Total population 10,600,000 = 100%”
Here too Gerlach reports the addition of marginal notes: next to the line for urban population appears the word “Verhungern!” (starve!), while in the margin next to the line for rural population are the words “Verhungern zur Hälfte” (starve by half).
“Theoretisch ergab sich aus diesen Notizen eine prognostizierte Zahl von 6,3 Millionen Toten.”
“Theoretically there thus emerges from these notes a projected total of 6.3 million dead.”
Harrison duly echoes this conclusion – he refers to “a marginal note by von Poletika saying that a population of 6.3 million people would die” – but in doing so he only confirms the suspicion that he is entirely (if confusedly) dependent on Gerlach’s account, and has no first-hand knowledge of the document in question. The conclusion that the writer of the marginal notes was a certain Poletika is Gerlach’s – he writes that “[t]heir author was with great certainty [mit großer Sicherheit] the Berlin professor of agricultural sciences Waldemar von Poletika,” though his only evidence in this regard is a letter to Poletika which is attached to Engelhardt’s report in the archival files but which makes no mention of the report itself – and of course, there is no “marginal note” in the document “saying that a population of 6.3 million people would die”: that too is an extrapolation by Gerlach.
Thus, we see here yet another example of the extraordinarily tenuous evidence upon which orthodox Holocaust historians routinely rely. For Gerlach, “a concretization of the starvation program for White Russia with all its potential consequences [eine Konkretisierung des Hungerprogramms für Weißrußland mit allen möglichen Folgen]” “reveals itself [zeigt sich]” in a few simple marginal notes of dubious provenance added to an obscure agricultural report. Considering their senseless, even absurd nature, is it not more likely that the notes are subsequent alterations added after the war by those who confiscated this document?
In any case, the Ereignismeldungen (EM, Event Reports) of Einsatzgruppe B, which operated in White Russia, categorically refute the notion of a planned program of starvation. Below I will list only a few examples related to the period of July-August 1941.
EM 21 of 13 July 1941:
“Dr. Tumasch und seine Mitarbeiter sind bemüht, als vordringlichste Aufgaben die Ernährung der Stadtbevölkerung sicherzustellen, über ein Arbeitsamt die arbeitsfähige Bevölkerung wieder in den Arbeitsprozess einzuspannen und die seit 1928 unter bolschewistischen Druck zugewanderte Landbevölkerung wieder auf’s [sic] Land zurückzuführen.”
“As their most important tasks, Dr. Tumasch and his staff are striving to secure the nourishment of the urban population, to put the population back in the working process through [the establishment of] a labor office and to return to the countryside the rural population which since 1928, under pressure from the Bolsheviks, had migrated [to the cities].”
EM 23 of 15 July 1941:
“Hierzu ist von der Feldkommandantur vorgesehen, dass von jetzt ab von erbeuteten Warenlagern nur ein Teil für die Truppe in Anspruch genommen wird und der Rest der Zivilbevölkerung zugeführt werden soll.”
“On this issue the Field Headquarters have provided that from now on only a part of the captured storehouses will be claimed for the troops whereas the rest shall be delivered to the civilian population.”
EM 43 of 5 August 1941:
“Die Verwaltungen befassen sich vornehmlich mit der Sicherung der Ernährungslage, der Wiederherstellung des Wirtschaftslebens, der Erfassung aller Viehbestände, der Unterbringung obdachlos gewordener Einwohner und in diesem Zusammenhang auch mit der Bildung des Ghettos.”
“The administrations predominantly occupy themselves with securing food supplies, restoring economic life, registering all livestock, providing accommodation for inhabitants who have become homeless and in this context also with the establishment of ghettos.”
EM 67 of 29 August 1941:
“Eine Ausgabe von Nahrungsmitteln aus öffentlichen oder Beutebeständen konnte bisher nur ganz vereinzelt ermöglicht werden, vorerst nur in Witebsk und Mogilew (für Mogilew ist vorgesehen, grössere Bestände an Brauereigerste für Brotversorgung der Zivilbevölkerung auszugeben). In Witebsk sind 3 Verteilungsstellen geschaffen, die Brot und Milch auf Karten und gegen Nachweis geregelter Arbeit oder an kinderreiche Familien ausgeben.”
“The issue of foodstuffs from public or captured supplies has so far been possible only very infrequently and, for the time being, only in Vitebsk and Mogilev (for Mogilev it is planned to hand out larger stocks of brewery barley for the bread supply of the civilian population). In Vitebsk 3 supply stations have been established which supply bread and milk against [rations] cards and certificates of regular employment or to families with many children.”
 “Hunger planning was reiterated after the invasion. On August 14, 1941, Göring ‘reckoned with great loss of life on grounds of nutrition.’” (p. 95)
Harrison’s reference here is: “Verbindungsstelle d. OKW/WiRüAmt beim Reichsmarschall, Wirtschaftsauszeichungen für die Berichtszeit vom 1-14.8.41 (u. früher), NARA T77/1066/1062; cf. Christopher R. Browning, ‘A Reply to Martin Broszat regarding the Origins of the Final Solution,’ Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual 1, 1984, pp. 113–32” (footnote 14 on p. 95). The quoted text itself is taken from Browning’s article, where it in turn appears as quotation: “And in August, Göring ‘reckoned with great loss of life on grounds of nutrition…’” Browning, however, provides a different source: “National Archives, Wi / ID 1420, ‘Anlage zu: Verb. St. d. OKW / Wi R6 Amt beim Reichsmarschall v. 14.8.41.’” Harrison’s “quotation” of an unverified archival source here thus constitutes yet another de facto plagiarism. Indeed, apart from the reference to Browning, Harrison’s “documentation” here amounts to simply lifting sources from Gerlach, who quotes a number of comments by Göring about putting Jews in German-controlled territory to work in labor camps, including the following:
“Die Ernährung sei besonders zu regeln und zu überwachen.”
“The nourishment in particular shall be regulated and supervised.”
In the corresponding footnote Gerlach then indicates the following documents as sources, thus providing the references plagiarized by Harrison (note the parts emphasized):
“Verbindungsstelle OKW/WiRüAmt beim Reichsmarschall (Nagel), an Thomas v. 29.7.1941, ebd. Bl. 103. Ähnlich auch Nagels ‘Wirtschaftsauszeichungen für die Berichtszeit vom 1-14.8.41 (u. früher),’ Anlage zu seinem Schreiben v. 14.8.1941, BA-MA (BarchP)F 42942, Bl. 918f.”
As for Harrison’s evidentiary reasoning in presenting the quotation from Browning, clearly it is methodically unsound to extrapolate from ten words in a single passage of a German document a claim as sweeping as “hunger planning was reiterated after the invasion” – all the more so considering that the words are taken at second-hand from an English translation, and that Harrison ignores the context and the remaining contents of said document.
Was “hunger planning” indeed “reiterated” after the invasion of the USSR? On 16 September 1941 – that is, nearly three months after the start of Operation Barbarossa – Göring participated in a conference about the war economy of the occupied Eastern territories during which he declared:
“Es ist klar, daß eine Abstufung in der Ernährung nötig ist. Zunächst kommt die kämpfende Truppe, dann die übrigen Truppen in Feindesland und dann die Heimattruppe. Die Sätze sind dementsprechend eingerichtet. Dann wird die deutsche nichtmilitärische Bevölkerung versorgt. Erst dann kommt die Bevölkerung in den besetzten Gebieten. Grundsätzlich sollen in den besetzten Gebieten nur diejenigen in der entsprechenden Ernährung gesichert werden, die für uns arbeiten. Selbst wenn man die sämtlichen übrigen Einwohner ernähren wollte, so könnte man es im neubesetzten Ostgebiet nicht.”
“It is clear that a differentiation in the nourishment is necessary. First come the fighting troops, then the other troops on enemy territory, and then the homeland troops. The ratios are to be established accordingly. Then the German non-military population will be provided for. Only then comes the population in the occupied territories. In the occupied territories, as a principle, nourishment is to be secured only for those who work for us. Even if one desired to nourish all the remaining inhabitants, this could not be done in the newly occupied Eastern areas.”
This is a hard-nosed policy, perhaps, but it clearly has nothing to do with a deliberate plan to starve Eastern populations as an end in itself.
 “On November 13, 1941, Wagner confirmed that ‘non-working prisoners of war in the prison camps are to starve.’” (p. 95)
The source adduced by Harrison is “AOK 18 Chef des Stabes, Merkpunkte aus der Chefbesprechung in Orscha am 13.11.41, NOKW-1535” (footnote 15 on p. 95). The same document was quoted by Roberto Muehlenkamp in a forum posting already on 13 November 2002. There he presented the extract from the German document published in excerpted form in the catalogue of the controversial Wehrmacht war crimes exhibition, together with his own English translation, which differs slightly from that given by Harrison.
I do not have a copy of the original document in question either, hence I take the following passages from the literature:
“Die Frage der Ernährung der Zivilbevölkerung ist katastrophal. Um überhaupt zu einem Ergebnis zu kommen, mußte man zu einer Klassifizierung schreiten. Es ist klar, daß innerhalb dieser Klassifizierung an oberster Stelle die Truppe und ihre Bedürfnisse stehen müssen. Der Bevölkerung kann nur ein Existenzminimum zugebilligt werden. Dabei wird das flache Land noch einigermaßen erträglich dastehen. Unlösbar dagegen ist die Frage der Ernährung der Großstädte. Es kann keinem Zweifel unterliegen, daß insbesondere Leningrad verhungern muß, denn es ist unmöglich, diese Stadt zu ernähren. Aufgabe der Führung kann es nur sein, die Truppe hiervon und von damit verbundenen Erscheinungen fern zu halten. […]
Versorgung der Bevölkerung: 1. Die Versorgung der bäuerlichen Bevölkerung wird keine besonderen Schwierigkeiten machen. 2. Die städtische Bevölkerung kann nur ganz geringfügige Lebensmittelmengen erhalten. Für die Großstädte (Moskau, Leningrad, Kiew) kann einstweilen überhaupt nichts getan werden. Die sich hieraus ergebenden Folgen sind hart, aber unvermeidlich. Die in unmittelbarem deutsche Interesse arbeitenden Menschen sind durch unmittelbare Nahrungsmittelzuteilungen in den Betrieben so zu ernähren, daß ihre Arbeitskraft einigermaßen erhalten bleibt.”
“The question of feeding the civilian population is catastrophic. In order to arrive at any result at all, a classification had to be made. It is clear that within this classification the armed forces and their needs have to be at the very top. Only an existential minimum can be granted to the population. In this way, the countryside will fare somewhat bearably. The question of feeding the big cities, however, is unsolvable. There can be no doubt that Leningrad in particular has to starve, for it is impossible to feed this city. The leadership’s only task can be to keep the armed forces away from this and from manifestations linked to this. […]
Supplying the population: 1. Supplying the farming population will not cause particular problems. 2. The urban population can receive only very minor amounts of food. For big cities (Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev) nothing can be done for now. The repercussions resulting from this are tough but inevitable. People working for the immediate German interest are to be fed with direct food allocations at their places of work in such a way that their working strength can be more or less maintained.”
Clearly these passages do not envision any plan to intentionally starve the civilian population in the occupied east, but display rather a sober and pragmatic concern for the tragic effects of a “catastrophic” food situation.
With that background in mind, let us now return to the passage in document NOKW-1535 cited by Harrison, but placed in a larger context:
“Nichtarbeitende Kriegsgefangene in den Gefangenenlagern haben zu verhungern. Arbeitende Kriegsgefangene können im Einzelfalle auch aus Heeresbeständen ernährt werden. Generell kann auch das angesichts der allgemeinen Ernährungslage leider nicht befohlen werden.”
“Non-working prisoners of war in the inmate camps have to starve. Working prisoners of war can be fed in singular cases with army resources. But unfortunately, considering the general food situation, not even that can be generally recommended.”
The text of NOKW-1535 thus clearly acknowledges the hard truth that some prisoners would have to starve, but it just as clearly implies the desirability of feeding the others, and even drawing on army resources to do so – though it concedes that unfortunately this is not likely to be widely possible in view of the “general food situation.” In short, it means something quite the opposite of what Harrison tries to make it say.
Harrison is not alone in misusing the text in this way. Take for example this passage by historian Reinhard Otto:
“Orders were issued in each camp administration: nonworking and weakened soldiers, meaning those who still had to recover, received the smallest rations. And the camp administrations followed that order. After a tour of inspection, a district POW commander in Belorussia wrote about the army’s Michailowski POW collecting point on December 1, 1941, reporting that it held more than 10,000 Red Army soldiers at that time. The previous night 144 of them had died. Nutrition was completely insufficient. Working POWs officially got 200 grams of bread, one kilogram of potatoes, and 200 grams of cabbage, nonworking prisoners about half of that quantity, but in fact it was less. Quartermaster General Wagner described it with one short sentence: ‘Nonworking POWs in the camps must starve.’”
Otto’s account speaks of a single prisoner of war camp with 10,000 inmates – one facing a dire shortage of food, to be sure, but with no indication that this shortage was intentional on the part of German authorities. What has this to do with an alleged extermination “plan” to starve the civilian population? As so often, what we have here is a snippet of a few words, taken out of context, which is uncritically passed from one exterminationist publication to the next. To take yet another example, the quotation appears as follows in a recent book by Peter Longerich: “prisoners of war in the camps who are not working will have to starve.” The wording of the translation is slightly different in this case, but the misrepresentation of source material remains the same.
Moreover, other documents clearly refute any notion of a deliberate program for starving Soviet POWs. For example, a Merkblatt für die Behandlung sowjetischer Kriegsgefangener (Bulletin for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war), without date, opens with these words: 
“Die Behandlung feindlicher Kriegsgefangener beeinflußt in militärischer, politischer und wirtschaftlicher Hinsicht weitgehend unsere Kriegsführung. Richtige Behandlung heißt gerechte Behandlung. Gerechtigkeit, die Härte dort, wo sie erforderlich ist, nicht ausschließt, ist nicht nur militärisches Gesetz, sondern auch ein Gebot der Klugheit.”
“The treatment of enemy prisoners of war broadly affects our ability to conduct war, whether from the military, political or economic point of view. Correct treatment is just treatment. Justice, which does not exclude hardness where it is required, is not only military law, but also a principle of prudence.”
After having underlined the importance of each of these three aspects of the problem, the document then comes to the following conclusion:
“Darum: Ausreichende Ernährung und gute Behandlung aller Kriegsgefangenen vom Zeitpunkt ihrer Gefangenennahme.”
“Therefore: adequate nourishment and a good treatment of all prisoners of war from the moment of their capture.”
Indeed, as early as 26 August 1941 Albert Speer ordered that Soviet prisoners of war should be employed to fill the vacant work positions left by the 100,000 French prisoners of war whom he had reassigned to the air armament industry (Luftwaffenindustrie).
The “Directives for the treatment of Soviet POWs in all war prisoners camps [Anordnungen für die Behandlung sowjetischer Kr.Gef. in allen Kriegsgefangenenlagern]” apporoved by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht on 8 September 1941 and dispatched by Martin Bormann on 30 September from the Führerhauptquartier, contained severe but not oppressive directives:
“Behandlung muss kühl, doch korrekt sein. […] Der arbeitswillige und gehorsame Kr. Gef. ist korrekt zu behandeln. […] Durch bessere Verpflegung, Behandlung und Unterkunft soll ein Ausführungsorgan im Lager geschaffen werden, das die Tätigkeit der deutschen Wachmannschaft stark entlastet.”
“Treatment shall be reserved, but correct. […] The obedient POW willing to work has to be treated correctly. […] Through better nourishment, treatment and accommodation an executive branch shall be established within the camp which will strongly relieve the operational burden of the German security guard unit.”
On 31 October Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht Wilhelm Keitel released an order by Hitler related to the general mobilization of Soviet prisoners of war for work purposes:
“The Fuehrer [sic] has now ordered that the labor power of the Russian prisoners of war should also be utilized to a great extent by large scale assignments for the requirements of the war industry. The prerequisite for production is adequate nourishment.”
On 7 November Göring, in his capacity as Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, gathered in his Ministry a meeting with the subject “Einsatz russischer Arbeitskräfte in der Kriegswirtschaft” (Deployment of Russian workers in the war economy) in which – among other things – the question of the “Einsatz von russischen Kriegsgefangenen” (Deployment of Russian prisoners of war) was discussed. The material and organizational requirements for their utilization were meticulously described, including the question of their “Verpflegung” (provisions):
“Der Russe ist genügsam, daher leicht und ohne schwerwiegenden Einbruch in unsere Ernährungsbilanz zu ernähren. Er soll nicht verwöhnt oder an deutsche Kost gewöhnt, muß aber gesättigt und in seiner dem Einsatz entsprechenden Leistungsfähigkeit erhalten werden.”
“The Russian is frugal, and therefore easily nourishable without grave consequences for our food balance. He shall not be pampered or grow accustomed to German food, but he must be kept satiated and productive in accordance with his assignment.”
In the report of a conference at the Reichsministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (Reich Ministry for Nourishment and Agriculture) held on 24 November 1941 under the title “Nourishment of Russian prisoners of war and civilian workers [Ernährung der russischen Kriegsgefangenen und Zivilarbeiter]” details of the projected level of provisioning are even laid out in chart form: ten dishes containing a total of 2,540 kcal were specified, and that for prisoners engaged in merely “light” work!
The question is thus not as cut-and-dried as Harrison would have his reader believe. German planners did indeed anticipate wide-spread hunger as a consequence of the food situation in 1941, but the records of their own deliberations make it clear that deliberately starving prisoners of war to death was neither envisioned by policy nor recommended in practice.
 “In November, Göring told the Italian Foreign Minister, Ciano: ‘This year, 20 to 30 million people will die of hunger in Russia. Perhaps it is a good thing that this is happening, because certain peoples must be decimated.’” (pp. 95f.)
Harrison makes reference here to “Czeslaw Madajczyk (ed), ‘Generalplan Ost,’ Polish Western Affairs III/2, 1962, pp. 391-442.” The fact that no precise page is cited means – as usual – that Harrison has almost certainly taken the text from the web. Moreover, in the whole of their “critique,” the “plagiarist bloggers” mention this article only here and in their bibliography (p. 535). Madajczyk quotes the passage referred to by Harrison from a French edition of Ciano’s “secret archives” (Les archives secrètes du comte Ciano), a collection of verbal protocols recording conversations Ciano held with high officials from various countries during his time in office. The complete text of the passage in question, as presented in this French version, is as follows:
“Dans les camps de prisonniers russes, après avoir mangé tout ce qui était possible, y compris les semelles de leurs souliers, ils ont maintenant commencé à se manger entre eux, et, ce qui est plus grave, ils ont mangé aussi une sentinelle allemande. Cette année, 20 à 30 millions de personnes mourront de faim en Russie. Peut-être est-il bien qu’il en soit ainsi, car certains peuples doivent être décimés. Mais même s’ils ne l’étaient pas, il n’y a rien à faire. Il est clair que si l’humanité est destinée à mourir de faim, les derniers seront nos deux peuples.”
“Inside the camps of the Russian prisoners of war, after they had eaten all that was possible, including the shoe soles and their boots, they started eating each other, and, what was more serious, they also devoured a German watch guard. In this year between 20 and 30 million people will starve to death in Russia. Perhaps it is good that this happens, because certain people have to be decimated. But even if that were not so, there is nothing to be done. It is clear that, if humanity is destined to starve to death, our two nations will be the last.”
However, when we look at the entry about the encounter in Ciano’s own diary, as found in the complete edition published by Renzo De Felice, we find a strikingly different account of the conversation:
“Era impressionante quando parlava dei russi che si mangiano tra loro e che hanno mangiato anche una sentinella tedesca in un campo di prigionieri. Lo faceva con la più assoluta indifferenza. Eppure è un uomo di cuore e quando ha parlato di Udet e Mölders [Assi dell’ aviazione tedesca], scomparsi in questi giorni, le lacrime sono apparse sui suoi occhi.
Un episodio drammatico. Göring mi ha detto che la fame tra i prigionieri russi è tale e tanta che ormai, per avviarli verso l’ interno, non è più necessario inquadrarli con soldati armati: basta mettere in testa ad una colonna una cucina da campo che diffonda odore di mangiare, perché migliaia e migliaia di prigionieri seguano come una mandria d’ animali famelici. E siamo nell’anno di grazia 1941.”
“It was impressive when he spoke about the Russians eating each other and who have also eaten a German watch guard in a prisoners of war camp. He did it with the utmost casualness. However he showed heart and when he spoke about Udet and Mölders [two heroes of the German air force], deceased in these days, tears appeared in his eyes.
A dramatic episode. Göring told me that the famine among the Russian prisoners is so intense that currently, when moving them to the rear, it is no longer necessary to surround them with armed soldiers; it suffices to put at the head of the column a field kitchen emanating food scents in order to have thousand and thousand of prisoners follow it like voracious animals. And were are in the year of the Lord 1941.”
The differences are obvious and naturally raise the question why the “secret archives” version deviates so drastically from Ciano’s personal account, as confided to his diary. But even if we accept the protocol text as authentic, only a high dose of hypocrisy permits the conclusion that it confirms an NS plan to deliberately starve Soviet populations.
 On page 96 Harrison concludes:
“During the summer of 1941, starvation policy was conjoined with a more active shooting policy, partially justified by the concept of reprisal and partly by a conflation of all male Jews with Bolshevism.”
As I have demonstrated above, Harrison’s pretense of having established the existence of a “starvation policy” through an accumulation of heterogeneous quotations, taken out of context and misinterpreted, is simply ridiculous. If that were not enough, however, his allusion to the Einsatzgruppen here completely destroys this pretense. The Ereignismeldungen (Event reports, abbreviated as EM) of the Einsatzgruppen show in fact a complete opposite understanding of the situation. The Red Army, during their retreat before the advancing German troops, disassembled or destroyed production facilities, emptied food stores, took away cattle and partly destroyed crops, consequently condemning to starvation the populations left behind. One of the main tasks of the German administration in the Occupied Eastern Territories thus was to reestablish essential economic conditions, something which is reported on extensively in the reports of the Einsatzgruppen. I give here some further examples related to White Russia. In EM no. 73 of 4.9.1941 we read:
“Die Beschaffung von Nahrungsmittel für die Zivilbevölkerung ist nach wie vor eine der schwierigsten Aufgaben der einheimischen provisorischen Verwaltungsstellen.”
“The procurement of food for the civilian population is still one of the most difficult tasks of the local provisional administration.”
Notwithstanding the measures taken “partly with the support of the [military] Field and Local Headquarters [z.T. mit Unterstützung der Feld- und Ortskommandanturen],” the situation did not improve significantly, except for those working for German companies. Nonetheless the population was confident:
“Während man anfangs im größeren Umfange von drohender Hungersnot im Winter sprach, hat sich die Auffassung nunmehr dahingehend gewandelt, dass die Deutschen wohl alle Maßnahmen treffen werden, um diese Hungersnot abzuwenden.”
“While in the beginning there was considerable talk about the looming threat of famine by winter, the perception has meanwhile changed in the direction that the Germans will take all the efforts necessary to thwart this famine.”
The author of the report further reveals the line of action to be taken:
“Es wird vielmehr eine planvolle deutsche Unterstützung notwendig sein.”
“A planned German support will rather be necessary.”
At the time of report’s writing in September 1941, German authorities had not yet been able to provide substantial aid to local populations, because obviously they were required “predominantly to supply the troops with food and beyond that the Reich [in erster Linie die Truppe und darüber hinaus das Reich mit Nahrungsmitteln zu versorgen].” If the territory of Belorussia was to be utilized for a long time by the Reich, as the author of the report implies, “then the population’s co-operation must be gained, and here an adequate food supply is an important prerequisite [dann muß die Bevölkerung zur Mitarbeit gewonnen werden, und hier ist eine ausreichende Versorgung wichtige Voraussetzung].”
The Germans presented themselves as the liberators from Judeo-Bolshevism, and they were anxious to ensure that local populations immediately and instinctively understood “that the German people does not lead the war against the peoples of the Soviet Union, but exclusively against Jewish Bolshevism [dass das deutsche Volk diesen Krieg nicht gegen die Völker der UdSSR führt, sondern ausschliesslich gegen den jüdischen Bolschewismus].” What then would be the purpose of starving millions of those people?
EM no. 133 of 14 Nov. 1941 states:
“Da aus den von den Russen evakuierten Städten neuerdings auch sämtliche Lebensmittelvorräte fortgeschafft oder vernichtet worden sind, ist die Ernährungslage in den neubesetzten Städten naturgemäß ausserordentlich schwierig. […] Diese schwierige Ernährungslage hat dann auch dazu geführt, dass die in den neubesetzten Gebieten noch verbliebene Bevölkerung die Besetzung des Gebietes durch die deutsche Wehrmacht vor allem in der Erwartung begrüsst, dass nunmehr eine Besserung ihrer Ernährungslage schnellstens erfolgen werde.”
“Because recently all the food supplies have been destroyed or carried away from the cities evacuated by the Russians, the nourishment situation in the newly occupied cities is of course extremely difficult. […] This difficult nourishment situation has also, consequently, led to the fact that the population left behind in the newly occupied areas has welcomed the occupation of the area by the German Wehrmacht above all in the expectation that an improvement of their food situation will now set in very fast.”
The Einsatzgruppen thus acted according to the directives established by Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories Alfred Rosenberg some months earlier. In his “Working Guidelines for the Civil Administration [Arbeitsrichtlinien für die Zivilverwaltung],” part of the so-called “Braune Mappe” or “Brown Folder” outlining policy for the occupied Eastern territories, Rosenberg declared:
“Wo ein dringender Bedarf der Bevölkerung an Versorgungsgütern besteht, ist dieser im Rahmen der Möglichkeit zu befriedigen, damit Hungersnöte vermieden werden. Es kann erwünscht sein, an dringend Hilfsbedürftige (Arbeitslose u. dergl.), Unterstützungen in Geld und Naturalien zu gewähren.”
“Where a pressing demand of the population for food supplies exists, this is to be satisfied within the limits of possibility in order to avoid famines. It may be desirable to hand out allowances in money or in kind to those in desperate need (the unemployed and the like).”
German policy in the occupied Eastern territories thus was not one of plunder for plunder’s sake; food was indeed requisitioned for use by troops in the short term, but occupation authorities simultaneously pursued a long-term policy of reconstruction and investment. An affidavit submitted to the Nuremberg Tribunal in March 1946 by Dr. Ing. Carl Heinrich Dencker, an expert in agricultural technology for the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, gives some insight into the scope of this effort. For example, while the Soviets destroyed the major part of local agricultural machinery during their retreat, the Germans were able to repair 40% of the damaged machines, and themselves delivered replacement machines to make up the remaining 60%. In the years 1942 and 1943 alone the Reich sent into the occupied Soviet territories approximately 271,000 machines or spare parts worth some 180 million Reichsmarks, and further delivered some 8,000 tons of fuels and 65,000 tons of lignite briquets each month. The machinery was given to the kolkhoses and sovkhoses (agricultural collectives), which paid only 1/6 of their value, to wit 30,000,000 RM; the remaining 5/6 of the cost, 150,000,000 RM, was absorbed by the German administration as an “Abschleusungsbetrag” (write-off). So much for the Germans’ alleged “starvation plan” for the occupied East.
-- Herbert Spencer
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockade_of_Germany_(1939%E2%80%931945) (archived: http://archive.vn/fYKjv)
Blockade of Germany (1939–1945)
The Blockade of Germany (1939–1945), also known as the Economic War, was carried out during World War II by the United Kingdom and France in order to restrict the supplies of minerals, metals, food and textiles needed by Nazi Germany – and later Fascist Italy – in order to sustain their war efforts. The economic war consisted mainly of a naval blockade, which formed part of the wider Battle of the Atlantic, and included the preclusive buying of war materials from neutral countries to prevent their sale to the enemy.
Despite Germany's industrial gains, food was another matter. Even in peace, Europe was unable to feed itself, and although Germany now held two-fifths of the green fields of Europe, Germans found that despite decrees forcing farmers to sell their produce and livestock and outright requisition, in terms of food the occupied lands represented a net drain on their resources that could not be made good.
While Denmark, the 'Larder of Europe', produced massive quantities of bacon, eggs and dairy products, this was heavily dependent on imports of fertilizer from Britain. Before very long, livestock was being slaughtered because of a lack of fodder – the pigs so undernourished that they broke their legs walking to slaughter.
As 1940 drew to a close, the situation for many of Europe's 525 million people was dire. With the food supply reduced by 15% by the blockade and another 15% by poor harvests, starvation and diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, typhus and cholera were a threat. Germany was forced to send 40 freight cars of emergency supplies into occupied Belgium and France, and American charities such as the Red Cross, the Aldrich Committee, and the American Friends Service Committee began gathering funds to send aid. Former president Herbert Hoover, who had done much to alleviate the hunger of European children during World War I, wrote:The food situation in the present war is already more desperate than at the same stage in the [First] World War. ... If this war is long continued, there is but one implacable end... the greatest famine in history....
In January Herbert Hoover's National Committee on Food for the Small Democracies presented the exiled Belgian Government in London with a plan he had agreed with the German authorities to set up soup kitchens in Belgium to feed several million destitute people. Under the plan, the Germans agreed to supply 1m bushels (1 US bushel = 8 US gallons, about 27 kg for wheat) of bread grains each month, and the committee was to provide 20,000 tons of fats, soup stock and children's food. However, Britain refused to allow this aid through their blockade.
Hoover said that his information indicated that the Belgian ration was already down to 960 calories – less than half the amount necessary to sustain life – and that many children were already so weak they could no longer attend school, but the British disputed this. Even so, many Americans were appalled by the continuing hardship.
America joins the economic war
In December 1941 the United States joined the economic warfare system that the British had created and administered over the previous two years.
SS Officer Karl von Eberstein on the conditions of the camps / Piles of bodies & Emaciated Corpses
-- Herbert Spencer
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However, my thoughts on this are pretty simple. In Snyder's book he just cites a bunch of other books, particularly Hitler's Empire by Mazower and Wages of Destruction by Tooze, he outsources his thinking on OST to them, and essentially the "Hunger Plan" falls under "Generalplan OST". From having read the latter two sources I can tell you I was not left with any impression that some kind of genocidal war was being carried out by the Germans against the Slavs, or Russians in any way.
When the Soviet Union defended itself and no lightning victory could be won, Hitler and the German leadership adapted the three remaining plans to the new situation, killing about ten million people, which was fewer than originally planned. The Hunger Plan was abandoned in its original conception, and applied only to areas under total German control. Thus a million people were purposefully starved in besieged Leningrad and more than three million Soviet prisoners of war died of starvation and neglect. As the war continued, the Germans began to use prisoners as forced laborers, rather than allowing most of them to starve
Bloodlands, pp. 416
German analysts claimed that it was possible that 30 million people may die as a result of food rationing. This was a cold calculated possibility, the German people and army had to be fed first. Snyder admits this as I will show in a moment. But the problem with this is that you can see how Snyder deceptive claims that 10 million was "fewer than planned", the implication being that the Germans intended to kill 30 million, and that it was organised by a plan and not, in reality, as a strictly utilitarian measure to ensure their own people were fed.
I've seen it claimed that Germans scorched the earth, which makes sense, why wouldn't they? The Soviets were no different. Regarding a more balanced picture of the subject I would reccomend Nikolai Tolstoy's "Stalin's Secret War" (https://codoh.com/library/document/stalins-war-victims-and-accomplices/en/).
Snyder's citations, as mentioned here in a footnote on page 480 of his book. Literally not first hand sources, as expected:
8. On Generalplan Ost, see Madajczyk, “Generalplan,” 12– 13, also 64– 66; Aly, Architects, 258; Kay, Exploitation, 100– 101, 216; Wasser, Himmlers Raumplannung, 51– 52; Aly, Architects, 258; Tooze, Wages of Destruction, 466– 467; Rutherford, Prelude, 217; Mazower, Hitler’s Empire, 206, 210; and Longerich, Himmler, 597– 599.
These are the sources you can expect to read on this topic, especially Madajczyk.
I've read the section from Wages and Hitler's Empire. Neither of which are convincing sources.
Let's look at Mazower first.
I found it odd that Mazower quotes some guy called Wetzel apparently said:
It should be obvious that one cannot solve the Polish problem by liquidating the Poles in the same way as the Jews
But there is no source for this. The next source quoted from Mazower was "H. Heiber Der Generalplan OST: Dokumentation Vierteljahrshefte fur Zeitgeschichte (1958), 280-326; Noakes and Pridham Nazism 1919-1945, 977-9" so I imagine this "document" is there somewhere, I have the 4 volumes Noakes and Pridham series so I might dig through there to see if I can find it. Needless to say this quote doesn't jive with the physical evidence of the Holocaust which is simply untenable. Using the work "liquidation" is the main curiosity. Unless it was another of these German words but the English translators arbitrarily desired to use the word "liquidate". Who knows.
Mazower goes on to state:
From one point of view, this is the story of a blueprint that was never realized, an exercise in utopianism of the kind for which both Himmler and Hitler were notorious, noteworthy only for its toxic combination of romantic nationalism and social scientific expertise. Meyer's defence during his trial after the war was precisely that his schemes had never been put into effect. (...) Hitler banned all post-war planning at the start of 1943 - such ideas in fact did not remain only on the drawing-board: Himmler tried to make a start where he could, and to block any wartime policies that threatened to obstruct its eventual implementation.
One of his victims was Alfred Rosenberg's Eastern Ministry. The 'Chaos-Ministry' had never been enthusiastic about wholesale Germanization. Rosenberg's political strategy of conscripting non-Germans into an anti-Bolshevik crusade ran directly counter to Himmler's racial policy to keep them as an underclass.
Mazower, Hitler's Empire, pp. 212-213
So you can see that whatever was occuring was something that caused a rift between certain National Socialists. Mazower maintains that Bormann and Himmler were very anti-slav and wanted to convince Hitler to disband Rosenberg's ministry (Ibid). It's not cut and dry.
Tooze says on page 466 that:
German planning offices began to consider the possibility of removing, not only the Polish population of the German annexed territories, but the population of the General Government as well. They began in other words, to consider a genocide against the entire Polish population
How "removing" gets turned into "genocide" is beyond me, but this is the kind of dishonesty we can expect from these people. And that's the large problem we face when dealing with German foreign policy, it's marred by the Holocaust, and the same tricks used to substantiate that lie is also used to establish wild conclusions about other facets of German occupation and governmental policy. Extreme liberties seem to be being taken, so these issues of Hunger and eastern orientated plans are not really a separate question from the Holocaust, they're deeply enmeshed and need to be dealt with.
What must be understood is made quite clear from Tooze again (466-467):
Reinhard Heydrich's RSHA worked both on the outline plan for the Final Solution and a second draft of the Generalplan. A general statement on the outline of the Final Solution, to embrace not only the millions of Jews living in Poland and the Soviet Union but also the far smaller communities of Western Europe, was ready by December 1941. The meeting had to be postponed until January, but when the Secretaries of State met at Wannsee in January 1942, Heydrich's proposal received no criticism. By contrast, the second rough draft of Generalplan OST, which addressed itself not to the Jewish minority but to the far larger non-Jewish populations of Poland and the Soviet Union, was subject to such fierce attacks from within the Reich;s administration that the task of preparing the plan was transferred back from the RSHA to Professor Meyer of the RKF.
What you see is that OST, while not being genocidal, is seen as such because it is equated with the so-called plan to Genocide Jews at Wannsee. They're entwined, this has been ignored by revisionists and distorted by exterminationists to widen the scope where it cannot go.
Continuing from Tooze, all quotes from hereon will be taken from pages 478-79
The Ukraine, in fact, produced only a small net surplus of grain for export outside the Soviet Union. This was due, on the one hand, to the backwardness of Russian agronomy and on the other hand to the extraordinarily rapid growth in the Soviet urban population. Since 1928 Stalin had stamped an urban civilization of 30 million inhabitants out of the ground. The food for this vast new urban proletariat came from the Ukraine. To conventional economic analysts in Berlin this implied that even if the Ukraine were successfully conquered, Germany could expect little immediate benefit.49 It would, after all, take years before productivity could be substantially increased. Herbert Backe, however, drew radically different conclusions. To enable the grain surplus of the Ukraine to be directed immediately towards German needs, it was necessary simply to cut the Soviet cities out of the food chain. After ten years of Stalinist urbanization, the urban population of the western Soviet Union was now to be starved to death.
What is perhaps more surprising is the alacrity with which Backe's breathtaking suggestion was taken up by the rest of the Ministerial bureaucracy in Berlin, above all by the chief economic expert of the Oberkommando Wehrmacht (OKW), General Thomas. At times, as we have seen, Thomas had toyed with opposition to Hitler's war. But at heart, the General was a ruthless pragmatist. Germany's future as a great power was Thomas's only real concern. The raison d'etre of his office in the OKW was to prevent the kind of domestic crisis that had crippled the German war effort in World War I. Thomas was fully apprised of the precariousness of Germany's food situation and saw no reason to quibble with Backe's calculations.
Thomas also had specifically military reasons for supporting Backe's proposal. In early 1941, the German army was increasingly concerned with the logistical preparations for Barbarossa. The map exercises conducted by the quartermaster's staff revealed a glaring discrepancy between the supply needs of the German army and the limited railway capacity running eastward into the Soviet Union.Even under the most optimistic assumptions it was hard to see how sufficient food, fuel and ammunition could be pushed through this bottleneck. If, on the other hand, the Wehrmacht could satisfy its demand for food and animal fodder from local sources, then this would allow all available transport capacity to be concentrated on the Wehrmacht's chief priorities - fuel and ammunition.
You could say that it's harsh or cruel or whatever, but it is pure economic pragmatism, not intentional Genocide, no matter how much these historians wish that was the case. If you're fighting a war you must ensure your people survive first and foremost. I would say that the Soviets would've done the same thing, but they wouldn't have considering Stalin had no respect for any of his Russian subjects, as Tolstoy makes quite plain. These considerations on the supply of food, to me, appears rational and simply as a worst case possibility on the basis of statistics.
Snyder is a bit more overt:
1941, the Germans starved not to remake a conquered Soviet Union but to continue their war without imposing any costs on their own civilian population. In September Göring had to take stock of the new situation, so disastrously different from Nazi expectations. Dreams of a shattered Soviet Union yielding its riches to triumphant Germans had to be abandoned. The classic dilemma of political economy, guns or butter, was supposed to have been resolved in a miraculous way: guns would make butter. But now, three months into the war, the men carrying the guns very much needed the butter. As the war continued beyond the planned twelve weeks, German soldiers were competing with German civilians for limited food supplies. The invasion itself had halted the supply of grain from the Soviet Union. Now three million German soldiers simply had to be fed, without reducing food rations within Germany itself.27
The Germans lacked contingency plans for failure. The troops had a sense that something was wrong; after all, no one had given them any winter coats, and their night watches were getting cold. But how could the German population be told that the invasion had failed, when the Wehrmacht still seemed to be pushing forward and Hitler still had moments of euphoria? But if the Nazi leadership could not admit that the war was going badly, then German civilians would have to be spared any negative consequences of the invasion. Grumbling of stomachs might lead to the grumbling of citizens. Germans could not be allowed to make a sacrifice for the troops on the front, at least not too much, and not too soon. A change in domestic food policy might allow them to see the truth: that the war, at least as their leaders had conceived of it, was already lost. Backe, Göring’s food specialist, was sure about what had to be done: the Soviets would have to be deprived of food so that Germans could eat their fill.28
On 16 September 1941, just as the timeline for the original “lightning victory” was exceeded, Göring ordered German troops to live “off the land.” A local commanding general was more specific: Germans must feed themselves “as in the colonial wars.” Food from the Soviet Union was to be allocated first to German soldiers, then to Germans in Germany, then to Soviet citizens, and then to Soviet prisoners of war. As the Wehrmacht fought on, in the shorter days and longer nights, as solid roads gave way to the mud and muck of autumn rains, its soldiers had to fend for themselves. Göring’s order allowed their misconceived war to continue, at the price of the starvation of millions of Soviet citizens, and of course the deaths of millions of German and Soviet and other soldiers.29
Snyder, Bloodlands, Pp. 169-170
This clears up the entire situation as far as I'm concerned. The "Hunger Plan" was nothing more than the German attempt to secure the resources necessary for their own people to be comfortable, and so their soldiers could fight on. Of course, this totally precludes the idea that there was a consciously conceived plan to exterminate any ethnic groups, which of course the so-called historians try to twist into reality via the same poisonous tactics as they have the mythology of the Holocaust. This German contingency is surely a reasonable and indeed tragic necessity when fighting a war, you cannot afford to operate under the guise of egalitarianism or altruism. The Soviets do not deserve it, even though the average Russian was perhaps oppressed by the Soviets, this was not something the Germans could afford to consider when fighting a war. Food needed to be reserved for themselves and their people, I would say that the Soviets would do the same but honestly I don't think they would seeing as Stalin didn't even care for his own people as Tolstoy makes quite clear. Snyder knows this, hence his lamentation about the "ill-conceived war" against Soviet Russia, trying to blame the German leadership for it's failure, as if they expected such a catastrophe to occur. The Soviets in the historians calculations also totally ignore whatever part the Soviets had to play in this ordeal, mainly the scorched earth, hoarding of resources to starve out the Germans and their soldiers. If I recall they burnt large amounts of wheat and grain, including destroying crops and farm houses etc. Ensuring on retreat the advancing Germans wouldn't be able to feed themselves or the Russian prisoners of war.
Regarding revisionist sources, I would recommend two chapters from two Holocaust Handbooks.
See page 244 for discussion of Generalplan OST
And, depending on the version, in digital I consult the long version. See Chapter 5, subchapters 5.1"The Alleged NS Policy of “Mass Starvation” of Eastern Populations" and 5.2 "The “Starvation Policy” and the “More Active Shooting Policy”
I will refrain from quoting these sections as to not make this reply any longer.
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