This is an old thread, but this entry was brought up in another discussion I was having. I said that "Liquidation" did not necessarily mean killing at that time. Metapedia had some information on this: https://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Meanings_ ... quidierung
also here: https://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Go ... quidate.22
Then later, I decided to look more into the word "Liquidate" being used by Goebbels himself, so I consulted his full diaries.
Here is the text of his diaries:
The Goebbels Diaries, 1942-1943https://archive.is/Cyb4q
It seems as though when you search "Liquidat" it appears 14 times in total in the text, including comments by the author. I will quote the instances here, so we can see how it is used. There is a lot of text here; I tried to make it so there was context, and Goebbels seemed to ramble on quite a bit. I did put every sentence with "Liquidate" in bold and underline however, so you can find those easily. Also, text within brackets is comments by the author.
March 6, 1942
There is a lot of sub rosa talk in the neutral countries about the possibilities of a separate peace with the Soviet Union. In London they are already scared about it. Such fear, however, is unwarranted. The Soviet Union will and must be knocked out, no matter how long that may take. The situation is right for putting an end to Bolshevism in all Europe, and considering our position we can't give up on that aim.
A frontal attack on black markets was made in the House of Commons. No bones are made about the fact that Jews were chiefly implicated in profiteering in the food market. Heading the procession were the Jewish immigrants who went from Germany to England. Jews always remain the same. You must either stigmatize them with a yellow star, or put them in concentration camps, or shoot them, or else let them saturate all public life with corruption, especially during a war. There is no halfway measure.
An SD report informed me about the situation in occupied Russia. It is, after all, more unstable that was generally assumed. The Partisan danger is increasing week by week. The Partisans are in command of large area in occupied Russian and are conducting a regime of terror there. The national movements, too, have become more insolent than was at first imagined. That applies as well to the Baltic States as to the Ukraine. Everywhere the Jews are busy inciting and stirring up trouble. It is therefore desirable that many of them must pay with their lives for this. Anyway, I am of the opinion that the greater the number of Jews liquidated, the more consolidated will the situation in Europe be after this war. One must have no mistaken sentimentality about it. The Jews are Europe's misfortune. They must somehow be eliminated, otherwise we are in danger of being eliminated by them.
March (?) 1942
Goering also addressed a sharp letter to Bishops Galen of Muenster and Berning of Osnabrueck. He reminded them of their oath, pledged to him,, of fidelity to the state and reprimanded them severely for their treasonable attitude.
[Comment from text: Bishop- Count Clemens von Galen of Muenster belonged to one of the oldest families in Germany, whose title of nobility dated from the ninth century. He was a bold opponent of Nazism and one of the most colorful men in the Catholic hierarchy of Germany. HÂ« received the cardinal's, hat in 1946, but died of exhaustion on his way home from Rome. His colleague, Bishop Berning of Osnabrueck, was another doughty fighter against Nazism.]
While I was with him, the answers to this letter happened to arrive. They are relatively meek. The bishops try to alibi and with involved turns of speech to. prove that they kept their oath. Goering naturally won't accept that. I suggest to Goering that he write another letter, especially to Galen, charging him to his face with having created the greatest unrest in the Reich by his claim that seriously wounded soldiers were being liquidated, and pointing out that his utterances: are being used by the English propaganda services against the National Socialist regime. On the one hand it can't be denied that certain measures of the Party, especially the decree about crucifixes, have made it altogether too easy for the bishops to rant against the state. Goering, too, is very much put out about it. His whole attitude toward the Christian denominations is quite open and aboveboard. He sees through them, and has no intention whatever of taking them under his protection. On the other hand he agrees with me completely that it won't do to get started now, in wartime, on so difficult and far-reaching a problem.
Next instance is the "60% of them must be liquidated" quote in the OP
April 29, 1942
Thirty demolition and one thousand incendiary bombs (according to other reports fifty demolition and several thousand incendiary bombs) were dropped on Cologne. . . . The fires started within the municipal area of Cologne, and spread rapidly because of the strong wind. Some residential sections were burned out completely. About one hundred fires were started, among them twenty of great magnitude. They included fires in the Finance Office in the old part of the city, in the harbor, the city hall, a bank, five churches, two hospitals, and one chassis factory. One factory was completely destroyed. The political scene is still dominated by the Fuehrer's Reichstag speech.
... All lies of the past, dating back to times of peace and war, are warmed up again and adorned with new arabesques. The conclusion arrived at is that the Fuehrer's speech represents, as it were, the cry of a drowning man. To think what the enemy countries can make of a turn of speech that in itself is harmless! For instance, the dressing down which Justice received is exaggerated into a gigantic internal revolution. As though the judges had the ambition and the ability to start a revolution in the Reich! Ten per cent of the lowest officials of the NSV would be sufficient to quell it. [The National-Sozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (NSV), or National Socialist People's Welfare, was an institution which collected vast sums of money for welfare purposes, a large part of which, however, was diverted to war purposes.]
Molotov issued a new atrocity note to the world powers. In it there has been gathered together about everything that can be said about us in the way of lies. It is very comprehensive and is intended especially for the populations in the areas occupied by us. I received a report on the situation in Finland. Things there are anything but satisfactory. But the fighting morale of the Finns is entirely unbroken. The Finns are determined, under all circumstances, to continue the war with their accustomed vigor. Their losses of men are enormous. It is especially regrettable that, when an entire Finnish regiment is liquidated, this usually means that the entire male population of villages or even cities is eliminated. The Finns are a very courageous and heroic people. Roosevelt addressed a message to Congress. It is rather colorless and deals mainly with economic problems. But in contrast to his pompous speeches before the entry of the United States into the war he, too, must now admit the seriousness of the situation. There is no longer any indication of rosy optimism.
The SD gave me a police report on conditions in the East. The danger of the Partisans continues to exist in unmitigated intensity in the occupied areas. The Partisans have, after all, caused us very great difficulties during the winter, and these difficulties have by no means ceased with the beginning of spring. Short shrift is made of the Jews in all eastern occupied areas. Tens of thousands of them are liquidated. The new slogan, "Land for the Peasants!" appealed especially strongly to the rural population. We could have achieved this success much earlier if we had been cleverer and more farsighted. But we were geared altogether too much to a brief campaign and saw victory so close to our very eyes that we thought it unnecessary to bother about psychological questions of this sort. What we then missed we must now attempt to catch up with the hard way. I received a new report about the effect of the Fuehrer's speech on the German people. There has, after all, been some objection. Although the trust in the Fuehrer continues undiminished, nevertheless the German people are asking, surprised, why new plenary powers had to be granted to the Fuehrer and what reasons might have guided him to castigate and criticize domestic conditions thus publicly. Unfortunately one cannot very well explain these reasons in public. There is also some skepticism in judging the military situation.
Above all, since the Fuehrer spoke of a second winter campaign in the East, people believe that he, too, is not convinced that the war against the Soviet Union can be finished during the coming summer. The questions raised by the Fuehrer's speech are very numerous. In a certain sense the address has spread a feeling of insecurity. The people want especially to know what the Fuehrer now intends to do in order to improve the conditions he criticized and to call to account the people responsible for them. Undoubtedly speeches frequently draw such psychological consequences in their wake. The main thing is that the people have been alerted to the seriousness of the situation and on the whole are aware that it is now a question of to be or not to be.
A report from the Reich Health Office goes into elaborate detail to prove that the food rations authorized at present are not sufficient for maintaining a normal state of health. We know that! I notice it in my own case. But there is no other choice. If we lost the war the rations at our disposal would suffice even less to keep up the health of the German people. During the Ministerial Conference I objected strenuously to the increasing craze for the primitive in some departments of my ministry. It is nonsense, without any compelling reasons, to want to cut out things belonging to normal civilian life. Thus, for instance, the Schwarze Korps recently wrote an article against the barbers. Now, after all, we cannot run about with apostles' hair! Nor is it a crime if the ladies have their fingernails attended to so long as there is sufficient personnel for that purpose! Waechter presented his plans for a great anti-Soviet exposition in the Berlin Lustgarten. It promises to become an exhibition event of first magnitude and to show the justification for our war against the Soviet Union. Of course I am going to see to it that nothing is exhibited that might in any way be an advertisement for Bolshevism. [The Lustgarten was a gigantic square at the eastern end of the Avenue Unter den Linden.]
May 15, 1942
For certain reasons we launched an "unauthorized" article in the Frankfurter Zeitung which discusses the economic and operational possibilities of an attack on Moscow. With this article we are trying to divert the attention of the enemy to a different sector from the one on which we actually intend to attack. Whether we shall succeed in getting the Bolsheviks to fall for this [auf diesen Leim zu locken] is very doubtful. [The Frankfurter Zeitung was chosen as the medium for this Goebbels swindle because it was still considered abroad to be somewhat liberal. Until the advent of Nazism it had been truly liberal and was read all over the world. The Nazis, realizing its importance as a possible medium for veiled propaganda, continued to give it an appearance of liberalism when in fact it was regimented, as was every other newspaper in Germany. Under date of May 20 Goebbels described what he did when the article appeared.] Our victory at Kerch has impressed the neutral press very much. As a matter of fact, more is expected of it than we intended for the moment.
The Fuehrer has now given orders for stern measures to be applied in the treatment of French prisoners of war as an answer to the escape of General Giraud. The French PWs may thank their general for having all joy taken out of life. They are no longer to be allowed to leave their compound, they are to be placed under strong guard, and the French generals who are in our hands are to be put into solitary confinement. A report from Paris informs me that a number of those who staged the last acts of terror have been found. About 99 per cent of them are eastern Jews [Ostjuden]. A more rigorous regime is now to be applied to these Jews. As far as I am concerned, it would be best if we either evacuated or liquidated all eastern Jews still remaining in Paris. By nature and race they will always be our natural enemies anyway. [By eastern Jews (Ostjudcn) are chiefly meant the Jews from Galicia and Poland.! The situation in the East, according to reports of men on furlough and letters from the front, is being interpreted very favorably by the people. Of course all the elements of hope in our military position are somewhat neutralized by the extraordinarily strained food situation. Most people can't satisfy their hunger any longer, and a hungry stomach always inclines somewhat toward subversiveness. Unfortunately the prospects for an improvement of the food position are very un-favorable for the moment. The weather is about as bad as one could have it for a good harvest.
In the evening we viewed a new motion picture produced by our Continental-Gesellschaft in Paris after a scenario written around the life and activity of Hector Berlioz. The film is of excellent quality and amounts to a first-class national fanfare. I shall unfortunately not be able to release it for public showing. I am very angry to think that our own offices in Paris are teaching the French how to represent nationalism in pictures. This lack of political instinct can hardly be beaten. But that's the way we Germans are. Whenever we go into another country, be it ever so strange to us or even an enemy, our first task seems to consist in getting order into that country regardless of the fact that perhaps in several years or decades it may go to war against us. The lack of political instinct among the Germans is the result of their passion for work and of their idealistic enthusiasm. You have to put on the brakes constantly so that evil and damaging consequences may not result.
MAY 8 1943
After luncheon the Fuehrer called together the entire leadership of the Party, that is, the Party, the SA, the SS, and the HJ [Hitler Youth], to warn them in very impressive words against speeding such as has been the vogue within the Party. The Fuehrer was extremely outspoken and was not sparing in reproaches. The lesson he drew from Lutze's motor accident is that all cars of Party members must cut speed down to fifty miles. I consider this a very sensible measure. In no other way can the Party be brought to its senses. The conference of the Reichsleiters and Gauleiters followed. The Fuehrer honored his Party sub-leaders by giving them a detailed survey of the situation. He began with the fact that in this war bourgeois and revolutionary states are facing each other. It has been an easy thing for us to knock out the bourgeois states, for they were quite inferior to us in their upbringing and attitude.
Countries with an ideology have an edge on bourgeois states, in that they rest upon a firm spiritual foundation. The superiority resulting from this fact was of extraordinary advantage to us until we began the campaign in the East. There we met an opponent who also sponsors an ideology, even though a wrong one. The Fuehrer recalled the case of Tuchachevsky and expressed the opinion that we were entirely wrong then in believing that Stalin would ruin the Red Army by the way he handled it. The opposite was true: Stalin got rid of all opposition in the Red Army and thereby brought an end to defeatism. The introduction of political commissars, too, has greatly enhanced the striking power of the Red Army. When one takes into account that the primitive human material of the East can be taught discipline only by strictness, one can imagine what purpose Stalin had in mind when he introduced political commissars and what he has actually accomplished thereby. . . . [Goebbels here refers to the great purge of the Soviet Army and Communist party leadership in 1936 and 1937, one of the most famous victims of which was the commander in chief himself, Marshal Tuchachevsky, who was always regarded as pro-German and hoped to bring about an alliance of the military leaders of Germany and Russia. Commentators the world over predicted that the Russian Army would not survive the purge; Hitler claimed it was a healthy cleansing process. Curiously enough Hitler Degan instituting a system of political commissars just about the time Stalin discarded it.]
Stalin enjoys the further advantage over us of being opposed by no "high society/' He rid himself of this opposition by liquidations during the past twenty-five years. Although the opposition of our "high society" constitutes no danger, it can create all sorts of petty annoyances. It gripes and complains without having any knowledge of the facts and thereby greatly reduces our driving power. Bolshevism rid itself of this danger in time and can therefore devote all energy to fighting the enemy. There is virtually no opposition left within the country. [Goebbels always distrusted German "high society." At the same time he, like other Nazis, liked to have blue bloods as personal aides. His adjutant was a scion of one of the minor German reigning houses, Prince Stephan of Schaumburg- Lippe.] Opposition by the churches, which is giving us such an awful lot of trouble, no longer exists under Bolshevism. If there is talk today of a Metropolitan of Moscow, that is naturally just a Jewish swindle. The Fuehrer rightly points out that a few months ago this Metropolitan was possibly still a furniture mover. In that respect Stalin has a much easier time of it than we. His people have all been placed in one groove. They are subjected either to Bolshevik education or the Bolshevik whip; in any case no other opinion prevails in the Soviet Union save that of the bosses of the Kremlin. ... It is evident [the Fuehrer said] that lasting resistance to the Soviet Union can be offered in Europe only by the Germans.
The Fuehrer argued that the anti-Semitism which formerly animated the Party and was advocated by it must again become the focal point of our spiritual struggle. He thinks a great deal of the anti-Semitic movement in England, although he is naturally aware that it lacks organization and therefore cannot constitute a political factor. Nevertheless this anti-Semitism is most embarrassing to the Churchill Government. It is comparable to the anti-Semitic endeavors of certain bourgeois organizations in Germany in the old days. These, too, would never have achieved their end had not the revolutionary National Socialist movement taken up the campaign. . . . The Jewish question is being solved least satisfactorily by the Hungarians. The Hungarian state is permeated with Jews, and the Fuehrer did not succeed during his talk with Horthy in convincing the latter of the necessity of more stringent measures. Horthy himself, of course, is badly tangled up with the Jews through his family, and will continue to resist every effort to tackle the Jewish problem aggressively. He gave a number of humanitarian counterarguments which of course don't apply at all to this situation. You just cannot talk humanitarianism when dealing with Jews. Jews must be defeated.
The Fuehrer made every effort to win Horthy over to his standpoint but succeeded only partially. From all this the Fuehrer deduced that all the rubbish of small nations [Kleinstaaten-Geruempel] still existing in Europe must be liquidated as fast as possible. The aim of our struggle must be to create a unified Europe. The Germans alone can really organize Europe. There is practically no other leading power left. In this connection the Fuehrer re-emphasized how happy we can be that there are no Japanese on the European continent. Even though the Italians today give us many a headache and create many a difficulty, we must nevertheless consider ourselves lucky that they cannot be serious competitors in the future organization of Europe. If the Japanese were settled on the European continent the situation would be quite different. Today we are practically the only power on the European mainland with a capacity for leadership. The Fuehrer sometimes asks himself in a worried sort of way whether the white man is going to be able in the long run to maintain his supremacy over the tremendous reservoir of human beings in the East.
The press section of the High Command, which has always created a lot of trouble for me, is now to be transferred to the Propaganda Ministry. Keitel and Jodl are opposing this with every means at their disposal but the Fuehrer asked me to send him a report on this question, whereupon he will issue the necessary decree. Propaganda, he said, is a function of the Propaganda Ministry and not of the Wehrmacht. Our propaganda in the East, too, is to be joined more closely to the Propaganda Ministry. It isn't Rosenberg's business to engage in propaganda of which, as the Fuehrer rightly observes, he knows notoriously nothing. Here, too, the Fuehrer agrees completely with me. Unfortunately my views did not prevail in the question of continuing the Frankfurter Zeitung. The Fuehrer gave a number of reasons why the Frankfurter Zeitung should be eliminated.
. . . Personally I believe the reasons for retaining the Frankfurter Zeitung are stronger than the Fuehrer realizes, but he is stubbornly of the opinion that it would be better to do away with it. I shall now carry out his wish and bring about the liquidation of the newspaper. . . . The Fuehrer has no intention of following the Japanese procedure of court-martialing aviators shot down over German soil and having them executed. He fears the English have too many possibilities for reprisals and that we may stumble into a situation about which we know where it begins but not where it is likely to end. I must see to it that, while we let our press mention the strong language employed by the Japanese and also more recently by the Italians, we do not suggest to the German public that we should indulge in similar practices. Turning now to the theme of total war, on the whole the Fuehrer was satisfied with the measures hitherto taken.
I arrived at the Tempelhof airdrome early. Dr. Dietrich flew with me to GHQ. He, too, was tremendously distressed about events in Italy. He developed a series of theories that seemed somewhat farfetched and unconvincing. As long as we have no more exact information about what actually happened in Rome than what has come through thus far, we can venture no opinion. At the moment we don't even know what the revolution was all about. In any case, following my instinct and my sound common sense, I believe we may assume that the Roman camarilla has the intention of getting out of the war in some elegant manner. Before I could speak to the Fuehrer I had a talk at GHQ with Himmler and Bormann. They don't believe Mussolini resigned voluntarily. I, too, regard it as out of the question. I believe the crisis developed in the following manner: As a curtain raiser the radical Fascists of the type of Farinacci were sent forward to criticize the Duce. That started things rolling. Badoglio and his henchmen used this occasion to trip up Mussolini. Presumably he was then called to the Quirinal, where he was arrested stante pede and compelled to resign.
It is simply shocking to think that in this manner a revolutionary movement that has been in power for twenty-one years could be liquidated. But this isn't the end yet. I believe there are still some possibilities left for directing things into a different channel. Both Himmler and Bormann indulge in the most varied theories. But these are of no real value, as they are based upon suppositions and not on facts. I look at the situation somewhat more realistically. According to the reports thus far available, I believe I can assume that the Duce actually had lost most of his authority with the Italian people. It is always true that as soon as a dictator has fallen, the man in the street is heard from. I suppose, therefore, we won't have to wait long before this happens in Italy. At ten o'clock, together with Goering, I had my first talk with the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer impressed us with his quiet self-assurance and his sovereign superiority. Although the events in Italy made a deep impression upon him, they in nowise succeeded in throwing him off his equilibrium. On the contrary, his brain was already at work feverishly formulating and preparing new decisions.
The insignia of Fascism were publicly removed; a Mussolini Street was rechristened Matteotti Street. The masses moved through the streets of the Italian capital, hailed the King and Badoglio, and "tormily demanded peace. That is a development we welcome heartily. The more things are at sixes and sevens in Italy, the better it is for the measures we are planning. The fact that the demonstrations are in favor of Badoglio is a sign that in all likelihood he himself arranged them. Of course he will have to see to it that they don't get out of hand and that he does not experience the truth of the proverb that spirits once called up often can't be recalled. Undoubtedly the Italian people have a deep yearning for peace. It now depends on how you talk to them. If an austere and manly appeal were addressed to the Italian public, it would undoubtedly have the same effect as an appeal to defeatism and compromise. That the official insignia [Liktorenbuendel] have been torn down and that the mob is storming the Fascist party offices are proof that Badoglio intends to liquidate everything connected with the Fascist revolution. Aside from his hostility to Fascism he is undoubtedly trying to curry favor with the enemy. That proves that one must not pay too much attention to his statement that the war will continue. This whole episode is the greatest example of perfidy in modern history. The Fuehrer is firmly determined to see to it that Italy does not betray the German Reich a second time. [Hitler here refers to Italy's abandoning the Austro-German-Italian alliance during World War I and joining the Allies. Despite Hitler's efforts the Italians finally declared war on Germany again.]
The situation in southern Tyrol is very critical. Quite gratuitously there was a day raid of two hundred enemy planes on Hanover with very damaging results, owing chiefly to the fact that the fire department had just been loaned to Hamburg. There was therefore almost nothing that could be done about the heavy conflagration that started. I ordered the Hanover fire department back from Hamburg immediately. It is quite obvious that the German people are uneasy and deeply distressed because we can't tell them anything at present about the background of the Italian crisis. What are we to tell them, anyway? We can't say, much less write, what we think personally. Anything we can write will fail to explain the Italian crisis to our people. We must therefore be satisfied for the present with publishing the momentous news without telling the people that the question at issue in Rome is not only Mussolini's resignation but a very profound organic and ideological crisis of Fascism, perhaps even its liquidation. Knowledge of these events might conceivably encourage some subversive elements in Germany to think they could put over the same thing here that Badoglio and his henchmen accomplished in Rome. The Fuehrer ordered Himmler to see to it that most severe police measures be applied in case such a danger seemed imminent here. He doesn't believe, however, that much is to be expected along that line. The German people are much too hostile to the Italians to regard the crisis in Rome as a precedent. And anyway, the common people have long anticipated and expected what is now happening in Rome.
(The next instance of "Liquidate" in this book is actually within brackets, so a comment by the author. So I will not include this one)
SEPTEMBER (?) 1943
After his twenty minutes' talk Mussolini was arrested in the hall by Cara- binicri and hustled into an ambulance. At first they tried to deceive him, saying he was being taken into custody because of a plot against his life from which he must be protected; but he was pretty soon aware that he was under arrest. The royal house and Badoglio then had the Duce dragged from one place to another. . . . Churchill evidently wanted to await the liquidation of the Italian question, the English and American advance to the Brenner, the extradition of the Duce and his public exhibition in New York. This was prevented only by our stroke of genius. The Duce told the Fuehrer very happily that he had always believed in his liberation by the Germans and had firmly counted on it. On the other hand he had always been fully determined never to surrender to his enemies but rather to put an end to his life with a pistol. . . .
The following entries are not from the above book (which is only 1942-43) but also include the term "Liquidate" in some form:
Mar 19, 1941
Early flight to Posen. … Here, all sorts have been liquidated (liquidiert), above all the Jewish trash. This has to be. I explain the situation to Greiser.
Aug 7, 1941
In the Warsaw ghetto there was some increase in typhus; although provisions have been made to ensure that it will not leave the ghetto. The Jews have always been carriers of infectious diseases. They must either be cooped up in a ghetto and left to themselves, or liquidated (liquidieren); otherwise they will always infect the healthy population of the civilized nations.
Goebbels on the Jews, Part 1https://codoh.com/library/document/1918/
See also part 2: https://codoh.com/library/document/3109/
I would also like to point out that we are assuming here that in every case of "liquidate" or "liquidation" the author was specifically translating the German word "liquidieren" -- After the "60% of them will be liquidated..." entry, the author commented in brackets: "By General Government is meant German-occupied Poland. It is obvious from *his entry that Goebbels knew of the gas-chamber atrocities, but it is significant that there was any form of human depravity which he would recognize as barbaric when resorted to by Nazis."
Yet, as pointed out, nothing in that entry suggests gas chambers or anything of that sort. It seems he was understanding "liquidate" to only mean "exterminate" which is clearly incorrect.
Regardless, it seems quite clear that "Liquidated" did not necessarily mean killed when Goebbles used that word.
In fact, in most instances it can not have that meaning. However, the quote about the Finns seems to suggest that it may have had that meaning in some instances. Of course, it must also be pointed out that Goebbel's personal opinions on how Jews should be treated (after hearing of atrocities committed against Germans on a weekly basis) is not be construed as actual National Socialist policy.
I have also found the 1945 entries:
PDF: ftp://d157-115-35.home4.cgocable.net/vo ... 20Days.pdf
(the formatting may be a bit off)
10 MARCH 1945
I am vexed most of all by the behaviour of the people in my home town of Rheydt. The Americans have struck up a real triumphal chorus about it. A certian Herr Vogelsang, known to me from the early days as a downright National-Socialist philistine, has placed himself at the disposal of the American occupation authorities as Oberbürgermeister. In doing so he stated that he had only joined the Party on compulsion from me and otherwise had had nothing to do with it. I am going to draw a bead on this gentleman. I am preparing an operation to liquidate him at the first favourable opportunity. It will be carried out by Party members from Berlin who have been trained for actions of this type. I discussed it in full detail with Schach. I do not want to rush the matter but to make careful preparations to ensure that it succeeds whatever happens. I believe that it will not fail to have its effect both on the enemy occupation authorities and also on the population beyond the Rhine.
11 MARCH 1945
As far as the West is concerned the Führer inclines to my view that the whole thing is a complete mess. Rundstedt has not been up to commanding the battle in the West. He is too old, and moreover comes of a school unsuited to modern warfare. The Führer has therefore relieved him and replaced him by Kesselring. He is due to receive Rundstedt this very evening to tell him so. Rundstedt is of course a highly respectable officer who has done us great service, particularly in the liquidation of 20 July. The Führer therefore wants — I impressed this on him forcibly — Rundstedt's relief to be carried out in the most decorous manner.
18 MARCH 1945
Life in the enemy-occupied areas of the West is pictured as real hell. The French people must now pay dearly for their government's folly in declaring war on us in September 1939. They deserve all they get. Equally the Poles are now going round with lamenting that they have so far lost ten million men from death, starvation, deportation and liquidation. That is the punishment for Polish arrogance in August 1939. Had the Poles accepted our extraordinarily generous proposals at that time, they would have got off without even a scratch. As they are now, they run the risk of slowly losing their people by a sort of creeping death.
30 MARCH 1945
Otherwise the Führer is convinced that in eight to ten days' time the holes in the West will have been plugged in some way. The "Adolf Hitler Free Corps" can then slowly make its appearance. I promise him to get partisan activity in the occupied western districts to a peak in a very short time.Now that the Burgomaster of Aachen has been liquidated it is now the turn of the Jewish Police President in Köln and the Burgomaster of Rheydt. In any case I am convinced that in the not too distant future we shall succeed in laying low every German traitor among our enemies in the West.