Archive for July, 2009

The End was supposed to be the Beginning

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

>>The Final Solution, as the Nazis called it, was originally only one of the exterminatory projects to be implemented after a victorious war against the Soviet Union. Had things gone the way that Hitler, Himmler, and Göring expected, German forces would have implemented a Hunger Plan in the Soviet Union in the winter of 1941–1942. As Ukrainian and south Russian agricultural products were diverted to Germany, some 30 million people in Belarus, northern Russia, and Soviet cities were to be starved to death. The Hunger Plan was only a prelude to Generalplan Ost, the colonization plan for the western Soviet Union, which foresaw the elimination of some 50 million people. (…)

At a time when German resistance to Hitler receives attention in the mass media, it is worth recalling that some participants in the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler were right at the center of mass killing policies: Arthur Nebe, for example, who commanded Einsatzgruppe B in the killing fields of Belarus during the first wave of the Holocaust in 1941; or Eduard Wagner, the quartermaster general of the Wehrmacht, who wrote a cheery letter to his wife about the need to deny food to the starving millions of Leningrad.<<

The New York Review of Books: Holocaust: The Ignored Reality. Also contains often neglected facts about the Great Terror in the Soviet Union, the geographics of World War II’s mass killings, and about the Expulsion of Germans (”Vertreibung”) after the war:

>>Although the expulsions were a case of collective responsibility, and involved hideous treatment, mortality rates among German civilians—some 600,000 out of 12 million—were relatively low when compared to the other events discussed here. Caught up in the end of a horrible war fought in their name, and then by an Allied consensus in favor of border changes and deportation, these Germans were not victims of a calculated Stalinist killing policy comparable to the Terror or the famine.<<

(Hat Tip: Will)