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( 115 .)


See Bruno Wasser, Himmlers Raumplanung im Osten: Der Generalplan Ost in Polen 1940“

1944 (Basel and Boston: Birkhauser, 1993); Czeslaw Madajczyk and Franciszek Cieselak,
Zamojszczyzna “ Sonderlaboratorium SS (Warsaw: Ludowa Spoldzielnia Wydawnicza, DSP,
1977); Christoph Dieckmann, “Deutsche Besatzungspolitik und Massenverbrechen in Litauen
State Violence “ Violent Societies 155

had to make room for them. It was, however, perhaps the ¬rst time that
foreign peasants were themselves resettled in new, though modest, farms in the
southern Ukraine.78
The bulk of the German racial resettlement program took place in the
annexed areas of western Poland. The region where the majority of incom-
ing ethnic Germans were to settle “ the Reichsgau Wartheland around Poznan
and Lodz “ may serve as an example here.79 In neighboring areas like Danzig-
West Prussia and the district of Bialystok, con¬‚ict often erupted between the
SS and local civil administrators under Gauleiters Forster and Koch, and, gen-
erally speaking, the latter won. For example, Forster™s staff, despite the SS,
simply declared large portions of the local populace to be German without
much bureaucratic ado or slow, methodological racial screening. In contrast,
Gauleiter Greiser of the Wartheland worked in close cooperation with SS.
Practically, this meant that a number of civil and SS institutions would work
together with the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle and coordinate their resettlement
efforts with the needs and interests of Nazi Party welfare, women™s and youth
agencies, and private business.80 Direct violence “ including the beating and
murder of transportees “ was primarily meted out by local police and German
militias. The Volksdeutsche Selbstschutz, for example, totaled over 100,000
members and was responsible for several mass executions in 1939 and 1940.81
Ethnic German settlers too were involved in violent confrontations with those
they were to replace.
Such con¬‚ict is unsurprising, given that Poles were initially allowed only
twenty minutes™ to one hour™s advance notice of their deportation and were
permitted to take only ten to thirty kilograms of personal belongings and 20 to
200 zlotys with them. They had to leave behind the bulk of their personal and
professional possessions. In most cases, Poles were driven from their farms late
at night or in the early morning. Ethnic German settlers replaced them within

1941“1944: Tater, Zuschauer, Opfer” (Ph.D. thesis, University of Freiburg, 2003), chap-
ter D 3; Wendy Lower, Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 2005); for Lublin, ¬gures up to 50,000 German settlers
have been mentioned. The number of 400,000 Poles to be resettled was mentioned in a letter
by the SS and Police Leader of Lublin, Globocnik, on 15 August 1942; see Esch, 357.
Christian Gerlach, “Die deutsche Agrarreform in den besetzten sowjetischen Gebieten,” in

¨ ¨
Besatzung und Bundnis: Deutsche Herrschaftsstrategien in Ost- und Sudosteuropa (Berlin:
Verlag der Buchladen, 1995), 9“60, here 35.
The following description is mainly based on Madajczyk, Okkupationspolitik, 405“21, and

Biuletyn Glownej Komisji Badania zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce, vol. 21 (Warsaw: Minis-
terstwa Sprawiedliwosci, 1970), 24“43. Cf. also Dieter Schenk, Hitlers Mann in Danzig: Albert
Forster und die NS-Verbrechen in Danzig-Westpreußen (Bonn: J. H. W. Dietz, 2000); Sybille
Steinbacher, “Musterstadt” Auschwitz: Germanisierungspolitik und Judenmord in Ostober-
schlesien (Munich: K. G. Saur, 2000); Waclaw Dlugoborski, ed., Polozenie ludnosci Polskiej w
rejencji Katowickiej w latach 1939“1945 (Poznan: Instytut Zachodni, 1983).
The best description of these practices is Wasser, Himmlers Raumplanung, 72“132.

See Christian Jansen and Arno Weißbecker, Der “Volksdeutsche Selbstschutz” in Polen 1939/40

(Munich: Oldenbourg, 1992).
Christian Gerlach and Nicolas Werth

hours “ after all, the abandoned livestock required care. The logistical complex-
ity of such actions, however, ruled out short-term, large-scale resettlements and,
instead, resulted in a patchwork, stuttering process that facilitated the devel-
opment of passive resistance on the part of the Polish citizenry. Indeed, it was
not unusual for half or more of those persons earmarked for deportation to
go into hiding. And, later, it was not uncommon for ethnic German settlers “
whether it was because they desired to exploit cheap labor or because they
feared reprisals “ to use such illegals as farmhands, rather than reporting them
to the authorities.82
Nazi settlement policy concerned more than simply depositing ethnic Ger-
man settlers in new surroundings. A small army of planners, functionaries,
and social service of¬cials existed to assist and supervise the settlers. They
intended fundamentally to restructure entire regions, to abolish the problem of
“overpopulation” by distributing the population in a “healthy” and modern
manner, and to create new social and economic infrastructures. Wherever pos-
sible, Germans farms were to be larger than those that Poles possessed. Even the
architecture and landscapes of villages, towns, and cities were to be “german-
ized.” In the process of “germanization,” all local ethnic Germans and many
Poles were subjected to racial screenings. In total, 4 million people throughout
all of Europe, the majority of whom were ethnic Germans, underwent such
Originally, Poles (peasants as well as so-called elites) and Jews affected by
the resettlement programs were directly and collectively deported from the
Wartheland to the General Government. From late 1940 on, however, Poles
were no longer deported directly into the General Government; they were ¬rst
taken to resettlement camps. There they were categorized into different groups:
skilled workers to be used for forced labor, those capable of becoming “ger-
manized,” and those to be deported. Some camps later became work camps,
where refugees were held for long periods. Living conditions in these camps
were harsh, with up to 1,000 deaths reported per camp. With the exception of
those selected for forced labor, little is known about the fate of those deported.
They were quartered in the homes of fellow Polish citizens or, if possible, put
up with relatives in the General Government. Many became dependent upon
the meager welfare services available there. Ultimately, it was at the behest
of the German administration in the General Government that the further
deportation of Poles and Jews into that territory was stopped in 1941. The
administration argued that the overpopulation of the territory was causing
economic and social unrest and fostered the development of Polish resistance.

See Madajczyk, Okkupationspolitik, 405“21; Esch, 341“42; and Czeslaw Luczak, eds.,

Wysiedlenia ludnosci Polskiej na tzw. ziemiach wsielomych do Rzeszy 1939“1945 (Poznan:
Instytut Zachodni, 1969), and Luczak, ed., Polozenie vol. XIII, 17“18, 63“4, 105“60.
See various chapters in Rossler, Schleiermacher, and Tollmien, Der “Generalplan Ost”; Gotz
¨ ¨

¨ ¨
Aly and Susanne Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung: Auschwitz und die Plane fur eine neue
europaische Ordnung (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1991); Esch, 79“102 and 128“65.
For the racial screenings see Heinemann, Rasse.
State Violence “ Violent Societies 157

While this might have been tolerated (or dealt with violently) when the princi-
pal aim of German policy in the region was subjugation and plunder, it was not
conducive to later German policies that emphasized the systematic exploita-
tion of labor and resources, policies that required a docile and controllable
The ultimate realization that it would be impossible to deport certain popu-
lation groups fully played a critical role in the development of Nazi extermina-
tion policies. For without deportation as a viable long-term option, the political
pressure to make room for ethnic Germans in annexed western Poland soon
led to ever more radical alternatives, including mass murder. When hospitals
were needed for incoming ethnic Germans and for the German army between
1939 and 1941, for example, some 20,000 residents in homes for the disabled
in the annexed Polish territories were simply killed. Also note that the ¬rst Ger-
man extermination camp was located in Chelmno, Wartheland, and became
operational on December 8, 1941; Auschwitz, located in incorporated eastern
Upper Silesia, became an extermination camp in early 1942.84
At the same time, not all resettlements were ethnic resettlements. In many
regions, the German administration imposed extreme geographic mobility on
the population “ whether related to the deportation of forced labor, the ghet-
toization of Jews, the forced evacuation of populations during military retreat,
the resettlement of populations in the course of antipartisan warfare, the setting
up of military training areas, the evacuation of populations from towns and
cities to ease the food and housing situation, or the billeting of the German
military.85 Much of this was an extremely violent version of the geographic
mobility in war “ and for the war economy “ related to conditions that other
European societies like Britons and Soviets faced.86
As recent research based on new archival evidence has shown,87 ethnic
deportations were a major component of Stalinist repressive policies. Over
a twenty-year period, from the 1930s to the early 1950s, approximately

Aly, Final Solution, 70“6; Volker Rieß, Die Anfange der Vernichtung “lebensunwerten Lebens”

in den Reichsgauen Danzig-Westpreußen und Wartheland 1939/40 (Frankfurt am Main and
New York: Lang, 1995); Esch, 324“65; for connections between German settlement policy and
the history of Auschwitz, see Steinbacher, “Musterstadt” Auschwitz; Robert Jan van Pelt and
Deborak Dwork, Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present (New York and London: Norton, 1996).
In occupied Byelorussia, 2 million out of 9 million inhabitants became victims of such

enforced mobility; see Christian Gerlach, “Umsiedlungen und gelenkte Bevolkerungsbewegung
in Weißrußland 1941“1944,” in Dahlmann and Hirschfeld eds., Lager, 553“65; Christian Ger-
lach, Kalkulierte Morde: Die deutsche Wirtschafts- und Vernichtungspolititik in Weißrußland
1941“1944 (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999), 1160“1.
For this mobility, see Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe™s Twentieth Century (New

York: Vintage Books, 2000), 185.
Among numerous recent studies on the subject, Terry Martin, The Af¬rmative Action Empire

(Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press, 2001); idem, “Origins of Soviet Ethnic
Cleansing,” Journal of Modern History, 70 (1998): 813“61; N. F. Bugai, L. Beriia “ I. Stalinu:
Soglasno vashemu ukazaniiu (Moscow: AIRO XX, 1995); N. F. Bugai and A. M. Gonov,
Kavkaz“Narody v eshelonakh (Moscow: INSAN, 1998).
Christian Gerlach and Nicolas Werth

3 million Soviet citizens were subjected to ethnic-based resettlement. The scope,
implementation, context, and reasons for these deportations, however, varied
As Terry Martin has convincingly shown, the December 1932“January 1933
deportation of some 60,000 Kuban™ Cossacks “ collectively charged not only
with resistance to socialism but with Ukrainian nationalism “ marked “the
transition from class-based deportations, which predominated prior to 1933,
to the ethnic deportations that predominated from 1933 to 1953.”88 The ¬rst
ethnic deportations (1935“6) were directed against diaspora nationalities, stig-
matized as “hostile” on the basis of alleged ties to their ethnic compatriots
living beyond Soviet borders “ Soviet citizens of Polish and German origin
living in western districts of the Ukraine and Soviet citizens of Finnish ori-
gins residing in the Leningrad border region. These partial deportations, which
affected tens of thousands of families,89 re¬‚ected a particular type of “Soviet
xenophobia”:90 an ideological rather than ethnic concept, characterized by fear
of foreign capitalist in¬‚uence and resurgent Russian nationalism.
The deportation of the Korean minority from the Far Eastern region
(September“October 1937) marked another major shift in resettlement pol-
icy: for the ¬rst time, an entire ethnically de¬ned group was deported en masse
(“administratively resettled”), under the pretext that the Korean community
was “rich soil for the Japanese to till.”91 In contrast to the class-based deporta-
tion of “kulaks” six or seven years earlier, during which deportees were often
abandoned in the middle of nowhere, the relocation of over 170,000 Koreans
to remote parts of Central Asia and Kazakhstan appears to have been carried
out in a relatively “ef¬cient” manner and with limited violence.92 Deportees
were even provided with their own collective farms and cultural institutions,
despite the fact that every single Korean had been declared a potential spy and
The next large-scale deportations to target entire ethnic groups took place
during the “Great Patriotic War.” The ¬rst series of deportations, logically
enough, targeted Soviet Germans.93 Between September 1941 and February
1942, over 900,000 persons “ that is, over 70 percent of the entire Soviet
German community “ were deported to various parts of Kazakhstan and Siberia

Terry Martin, 847.

Approximately 30,000 Soviet Finns deported from the Leningrad border region to Kazakhstan

(1935); 80,000 Soviet citizens of Polish and German origin from western districts of the Ukraine
to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in 1935 and 1936.
In the words of Terry Martin.

Terry Martin, 334. In fact, there were strong ethnic tensions between Russians and Koreans

around Vladivostok. A plan to deport 10,000 Koreans had been prepared in 1930 but had not
been implemented.
See previous discussion of “socially harmful elements.”

This perception lay partly in the Third Reich claim that it was entitled to intervene in the affairs

of “ethnic Germans” in the Soviet Union; see Francine Hirsch, “Race without the Practice of
Racial Politics,” Slavic Review 61, no. 1 (2002): 37.
State Violence “ Violent Societies 159

in a series of mass police operations that mobilized tens of thousands of NKVD
special troops. This ¬rst wave of deportations was followed by a second one:
between November 1943 and May 1944, six ethnic groups (the Karachai,
the Kalmyks, the Chechens, the Ingush, the Balkars, and the Crimean Tatars)
were deported in toto “ altogether some 900,000 persons94 “ on the pretext
that they had “collaborated with the Nazi occupiers.” In addition to these
total deportations, the ethnic cleansing of diaspora minorities with suspected
cross-border ethnic loyalties continued “ both during and after the war. In
these smaller operations, tens of thousands of Greeks, Crimean Bulgarians,
Meskhetian Turks, Kurds, Iranians, and Khemshils were deported from the
Black Sea and Transcaucasian border regions.
Unlike diaspora minorities suspected of possible connections to foreign
nation states, the Chechens and Ingush fell into a unique category, a category of
those that did not quite ¬t into the Soviet whole, a category of nationalities that
resisted Soviet efforts to remake their traditions and to reform their culture and
ways of life.95 In 1926, 1930, and 1932, heavily armed punitive expeditions
sought, in vain, to eradicate Chechen “banditism” from the unstable and unas-
similated borderland regions of the Caucasus (a problem inherited from the
Tsarist period). Frustrated by these failures, Soviet authorities in 1944 sought
“once and forever” to solve the “Chechen problem” and relieve the Russian
minorities (30 percent of the population) living in the Chechen-Ingush ASSR


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( 115 .)