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Exploitation, Resettlement, Mass Murder

Exploitation, Resettlement, Mass Murder: Political and Economic Planning for German Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union, 1940-1941

Alex J. Kay
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Exploitation, Resettlement, Mass Murder
    Book Description:

    Convinced before the onset of Operation "Barbarossa" in June 1941 of both the ease, with which the Red Army would be defeated and the likelihood that the Soviet Union would collapse, the Nazi regime envisaged a radical and far-reaching occupation policy which would result in the political, economic and racial reorganization of the occupied Soviet territories and bring about the deaths of 'x million people' through a conscious policy of starvation. This study traces the step-by-step development of high-level planning for the occupation policy in the Soviet territories over a twelve-month period and establishes the extent to which the various political and economic plans were compatible.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-361-7
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Chapter 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-13)

    The power struggles and overlapping functions inherent in the National Socialist administrative and governmental ‘system’ can have no better example than that of ‘the East’ – an all-inclusive reference to the lands east of Germany, initially in particular Poland, but from 1941 onwards almost exclusively used to allude to the seemingly endless reaches of the Soviet Union, stretching from Germany’s eastern border, beyond the Ural Mountains to the Orient. To judge from the administrative chaos, interagency competition and wide-ranging policy disputes which were an integral part of, and indeed characterized, the three-year German occupation of large swathes of the Soviet...

  6. Chapter 2 The Central Planning Organizations
    (pp. 14-25)

    Autarky – national economic self-sufficiency and independence – had been a fundamental aim within Nazi Germany long before 1941, and indeed long before the beginning of what ultimately became, and would subsequently become known as, the Second World War in 1939. As early as 1936, the drive to make Germany self-sufficient had been incorporated into government policy and a new and powerful body set up in order to achieve this. At this point in time, the man responsible for the rearming of Germany was President of theReichsbankand Reich Minister for Economics, Dr Hjalmar Schacht. Between August 1935 and...

  7. Chapter 3 The Decision to Invade the Soviet Union: the Primacy of Economics by the End of 1940
    (pp. 26-46)

    The desire on the part of Germany’s political and military leadership to invade the Soviet Union was based on a series of motives which combined during the second half of 1940 to bring about a concrete decision to that effect. Hitler’s long-held racial and ideological prejudices against both the Soviet state and its people, to the effect that Bolshevism was the enemy of Europe and had to be removed and Slavs were worthless ‘subhumans’ who were destined to work as slaves for their German masters, were shared by a substantial proportion of Nazi Party members and meant that any proposals...

  8. Chapter 4 Laying the Foundations for the Hungerpolitik
    (pp. 47-67)

    Staatssekretär Backe’s turn-of-the-year reflections on the precarious footing of Germany’s and German-occupied Europe’s food supply would put economic considerations at the forefront of high-level preparations for the forthcoming eastern campaign and occupation during the first two months of 1941. Backe’s presentations to the supreme leadership, the dissemination of his proposals and the response of other leading figures and agencies constituted a process which would culminate in the commissioning of plans for an all-encompassing economic organization tasked with plundering Soviet resources. This process would also establish the acquisition of foodstuffs as the prime objective of the occupation, a position it would...

  9. Chapter 5 Planning a Civil Administration
    (pp. 68-95)

    The first two months of 1941 were characterized by the development of preparations for the ruthless economic exploitation of the Soviet territories. Concerning the establishment of a civil administration to deal with political affairs in the occupied East, on the other hand, little had been undertaken. The men to whom responsibility for carrying out the political planning for the occupation would be given were, therefore, already playing catch-up in the struggle for power in the soon-to-be occupied eastern territories. They were faced with having to promote their own proposals against economic objectives which had effectively already been approved by the...

  10. Chapter 6 Population Policy
    (pp. 96-119)

    In addition to economic exploitation and the redrawing of borders with a view to exerting political and administrative control over the occupied regions and their peoples, occupation policy in the Soviet territories would contain a third central feature, which can essentially be summed up as ‘population policy’. This was a key aspect of the Nazi programme to reorder occupied Europe along racial lines to create a Neuordnung under German hegemony. The racial Neuordnung was inextricably linked with the political and economic aspects of this wide-reaching, though not clearly delineated, process. Intended population policy in the occupied Soviet territories would essentially...

  11. Chapter 7 Radicalizing Plans to Exploit Soviet Resources
    (pp. 120-157)

    The development of the ‘starvation policy’, the framework for which had been established in January and February 1941, entered a new phase of radicalization at the end of March. By the end of May, not only had the strategy been put down on paper in all its horrible detail, but wide-ranging agreement also reigned among the various economic, political and military agencies involved in or affected by the proposals. Of the soon-to-be-occupied Soviet territories, the Ukraine, widely regarded as the ‘granary of Europe’, played the most important role in the plans of the economic experts. Simultaneously, this region was also...

  12. Chapter 8 Expectations and Official Policy on the Eve of the Invasion
    (pp. 158-178)

    All those concerned with the preparations for the imminent invasion and subsequent occupation, particularly those involved in planning the economic exploitation of the Soviet Union, were banking on a rapid and successful conclusion to the military campaign and a consequentially early start for the implementation of their occupation policy itself. The success of the whole operation depended on it. If the Blitzkrieg developed into a war of attrition, then the deficiencies of the German war economy would be laid bare, with potentially fatal consequences. Therefore, the presumption that the campaign would be won in the allotted time frame – indeed,...

  13. Chapter 9 Post-invasion Decisions
    (pp. 179-198)

    The preparations for German occupation policy in the Soviet Union, which, at least in the case of military planning, had effectively started in July 1940, were not concluded until after the invasion was launched and hostilities were under way. Certain key decisions had not been made prior to the onset of ‘Barbarossa’. That these decisions related largely, though not exclusively, to the setting up of a civil administration in the occupied Soviet territories is hardly surprising, given that, of the four pillars of the occupation – army, economic organization, civil administration and SS/police – this was both the last to...

  14. Chapter 10 Conclusions
    (pp. 199-210)

    The evaluation and analysis of the findings of this study have been ongoing during its course. Simply repeating all the arguments raised and points made in the study and the conclusions reached is not the purpose of this final chapter. To do so would have little merit in itself and, furthermore, run the risk of being tiresome for the reader. The purpose of this chapter is rather to summarize the main arguments and draw such conclusions which relate directly to the aims of the study and the principal reasons for which the study was undertaken in the first place.


  15. Appendices
    (pp. 211-219)
  16. Glossary
    (pp. 220-221)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 222-234)
  18. Index
    (pp. 235-242)