Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What Were Hitler's Goals?

     Historians have been able to piece together an outline of Nazi war aims.

    Hitler wanted to create a great Empire in the East (lands conquered in Russia) where Germany's eighty million could grow to 250 million (Shirer, 83).  Hitler said, "The vast expanses of Russia literally cry out to be filled.  I'm not worried about that.  The German families who will live there in our new towns and villages will receive big homes with many rooms, and soon those rooms will be swarming with children.  In contrast to the English, we won't just exploit, we'll settle.  We are not a nation of shopkeepers, but a nation of peasants.  First we'll practice a systematic population policy.  The example of India and China shows how rapidly nations can multiply"(Speer, 51).     

     Initially, European Russia was to be divided into Reich's Commissariats.  After initial ethnic cleansing and colonization by Aryans, the Commissariats were to be annexed to the Greater German Reich.  The great cities of the East, Moscow, Leningrad and Warsaw, were to be erased.  Russian culture was to be stamped out and formal education denied all Slavs.  The industry of the Eastern countries was to be dismantled and shipped to Germany.  The people themselves were to be limited to growing food for Germany, being allowed only a subsistence ration for themselves (Shirer, 937).  

     The general pattern was to follow that established in the 1941 pacification of Poland, "Farm workers of Polish nationality no longer have the right to complain, and thus no complaints will be accepted by an official agency.  The visit of churches is strictly prohibited.  Visits in theaters, motion pictures or other cultural entertainment is strictly prohibited” (Shirer, 950).  “Poland can only be administered by utilizing the country through means of ruthless exploitation, deportation of all supplies, raw materials, machines, factory installations.  Reduction of the entire Polish economy to absolute minimum necessary to bare existence of the population, closing of all educational institutions, especially technical schools and colleges in order to prevent the growth of a new Polish intelligentsia.  Poland shall be treated as a colony.  The Poles shall be the slaves of the Greater German Reich" (Shirer, 944).  

     Colonies of German settlers were to be established in Poland and European Russia.  Each settlement was to be linked by a network of military roads and protected by garrisons set up at key points, whose task was to ensure good order among the native population.  The native population was to provide mandatory labor for German industry and agriculture and remain in a status of inferiority, without rights or education (Bullock, 626).           

     Policing the conquered people was seen as an ongoing problem.  Armored cars were to be used as was low level bombing and strafing (Shirer, 942).  

     New towns were to be established in the vicinity of existing Russian towns.  Towns in Germany were to be painstakingly copied so that, even in Russia, a feeling for the Homeland developed.  Buildings in the Ukraine, in White Russia, and as far east as the Urals were to be identifiable as products of German culture (Speer, 171).  One million Volkswagen automobiles were to be built after the war.  A German farmer from Kiev or Odessa would be able to reach Berlin in about thirty hours on the new Russian autobahns (Speer, 172).  A modern railroad system was also to be built.  Two east-west lines were to be built across all of Europe, one beginning north at the Urals, the southern line beginning at the Caspian Sea (Speer, 173).       

Harper & Row, New York: 1953

Shirer, William
Simon & Schuster, New York: 1960


Macmillan, New York: 1976

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