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nung im besetzten Polen 1939“1944,” Modelle fur ein deutsches Europa: Okonomie und
Herrschaft im Großwirtschaftsraum, ed. Horst Kahrs (Berlin: Rotbuch-Verlag, 1992), 77“123.
¨ ¨ ¨
Gotz Aly, “Endlosung”: Volkerverschiebung und der Mord an den europaischen Juden (Frank-

furt am Main: Fischer, 1995); Peter Longerich, Politik der Vernichtung: Eine Gesamtdarstellung
der nationalsozialistischen Judenverfolgung (Munich: Piper, 1998), 273“92.
Magnus Brechtken, “Madagaskar fur die Juden”: Antisemitische Idee und politische Praxis

1885“1945 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1997).
Muller, Heer, 429“38.

Hans Umbreit, “Auf dem Weg zur Kontinentalherrschaft,” in Das Deutsche Reich und der

Zweite Weltkrieg, vol. V/1, ed. Militargeschichte Forschungsamt (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-
Anstalt, 1988), 41.
Wolfram Wette, Die Wehrmacht: Feindbilder, Vernichtungskrieg, Legenden (Frankfurt am

Main: Fischer, 2001), 95“104.
The Quest for Order and the Pursuit of Terror 193

Race- and Resettlement Of¬ce (Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamts der SS [RuS-
Einsatzgruppen]).52 While units of the Security Police began to murder mem-
bers of the political elite, union leaders, church elders, and the Polish intel-
ligentsia “ not to mention the Jewish population “ the RuS-Einsatzgruppen
registered and seized all useful agricultural territory. They deported the inhab-
itants and sought to replace them with racially German settlers. These settlers
overwhelmingly were from the Baltic territories and, often enough, indicated
that they did not consider themselves to be German.53
Hitler immediately created the organizational prerequisites for resettlement.
On 7 October 1939, he named Heinrich Himmler to the position of “Reich
Commissioner for the Strengthening of the German Race” (Reichskommis-
sar fur die Festigung deutschen Volkstum” [RKF]).54 In this, he conferred
upon Himmler decision making power over settlement policy, resettlement,
land distribution, and new settlement “ in other words, deportation and eth-
nic cleansing. In those areas destined for annexation “ Danzig, West Prussia,
Posen, East Upper Silesia “ so-called heads of civil administration were inserted
alongside the military administration. The personnel of this Civil Administra-
tion overwhelmingly came from the SS and quickly sought to amass admin-
istrative power in their own hands. Administration here consisted of con¬s-
cations, repression, and terror, vis-a-vis the Poles, and the organization of
mass murder, vis-a-vis the Jews. On 12 October 1939, Hitler signed into law
the establishment of the “General Government for Occupied Polish Territo-
ries.” On 26 October, military administration over these territories of¬cially
The General Government encompassed the core Polish territories, includ-
ing the districts of Krakow, Radom, Warsaw, and Lublin, and served as an
experimental laboratory for National Socialist population policies. It was here
that the largest resettlements transpired, and it was here that genocide was
centered. Until 1941, collection camps in West Galicia “ the District of Lublin
in the General Government “ served as the destination for victims of German-
ization (principally Poles, Jews, and Gypsies) in the annexed territories and
the occupied portions of Poland.55 Until the invasion of the Soviet Union, the
eastern border of the Lublin District served as the demarcation line between
the German and Soviet spheres of interest, in accordance with the Hitler-Stalin
Pact of 23 August 1939. The Red Army occupied the eastern half of Galicia,

Isabel Heinemann, “Rasse, Siedlung, deutsches Blut”: Das Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt der

SS und die rassenpolitische Neuordnung Europas (Gottingen: Wallstein, 2003).
Aly, Endlosung, 25.

Robert L. Koehl, RKFVD: German Resettlement und Population Policy 1939“194: A History

of the Commission for Strengthening of Germandom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press, 1957).
Jan T. Gross, Polish Society under German Occupation: The Generalgouvernement, 1939“

1944 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979); Dieter Pohl, Von der “Judenpolitik”
zum Judenmord: Der Distrikt Lublin des Generalgouvernements 1939“1944 (Frankfurt am
Main: Peter Lang, 1993); Aly, Endlosung, 29“55.
Jorg Baberowski and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel

including Lemberg (L™vov) and Tarnopol, in September 1939, but by the fall
of 1941, it too was fused into the General Government as the District of
In the course of only a few weeks during the fall and winter of 1939, occupied
Poland was transformed into a virtually lawless territory. The governors of
the annexed regions of Danzig-West Prussia and Posen (after January 1940,
the Wartheland), as well as the governor of the General Government, were
not bound by German law.56 The governors received orders directly from
Hitler to Germanize their territories through the expulsion of native Poles into
the General Government, the extermination of Jews, and the immigration of
suitable German stock. The ideological ¬xation on a racially ordered utopia,
centered on the concepts of Raum and Volk, ignored all rules of legality and
entirely removed the constraints of traditional administrative bureaucracy.
“Blood Is Our Frontier,” a slogan among SS intellectuals,57 expressed their
demand that political borders be established according to ethnic, rather than
political, criteria. The war provided the physical, conceptual, and morally
unconstrained space of action58 that the SS leadership had long imagined in
their ahistorical, ethnic-racial ideologies. And, in accordance with their own
assessment of the problem, they now utilized mass murder in the service of
“ethnic cleansing” and of extending the border of “German blood” as far as
Occupational terror was practiced both by the Einsatzgruppen of the Secu-
rity Police and by the RuS-Einsatzkommandos. The Einsatzgruppen of the
Security Police immediately began to arrest and murder Polish elites and to
deport Jewish men between the ages of ¬fteen and sixty, a process that often
included mass murder.59 Ghettos were established in large cities in order to
coordinate better the resettlement and deportation of the Jewish population.
By the end of September 1939, a decision had been made in Berlin to Ger-
manize existing German provinces in Poland and to create a new “district for
foreign-speaking populations centered in Krakow.”60 Jews from the annexed
territories, along with Jews from the Reich itself, were to be deported into
this no-man™s-land. Simultaneous with the establishment of the RSHA as the

Banach, 222. Helmut Krausnick, Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm, Die Truppe des Weltanschau-

ungskrieges: Die Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD 1938“1942 (Stuttgart:
¨ ¨
Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1981), 84“5; Ruth-Bettina Birn, Die Hoheren SS- und Polizeifuhrer:
Himmlers Vertreter im Reich und in den besetzten Gebieten (Dusseldorf: Droste, 1986), 186“
Raimund Schnabel, “Ewig ist das Blut,” SS-Leitheft 2, 25 March 1936, 13.

On the European dimension of National Socialist imperialism see Hans Mommsen,

“Umvolkungsplane und der Holocaust,” in idem, Von Weimar nach Auschwitz, 295“308; Peter
Schottler, “Eine Art ˜Generalplan West™: Die Stuckart-Denkschrift vom 14. Juni 1940 und die
Planungen fur eine neue deutsch-franzosische Grenze im Zweiten Weltkrieg,” SozialGeschichte
18 (2003): 83“131.
Krausnick and Wilhelm, 41“55.

Heydrich™s comments to senior RSHA and Einsatzgruppen leaders on 21 September 1939.

Quoted from Wildt, 457.
The Quest for Order and the Pursuit of Terror 195

organizational center for racial resettlement and Jewish expulsion, its chief,
Reinhard Heydrich, and Adolf Eichmann, then head of the “Central Of¬ce for
Jewish Emigration” in Prague, proposed the creation of a Reich ghetto that
would be situated at the border between West and East Galicia, on the demar-
cation line between the German and Soviet spheres of in¬‚uence. Apparently,
the RSHA wanted to prove that the mass deportation of Jews out of the Reich
was possible and that a Jewish reservation in occupied Poland (or on the island
of Madagascar) could be established. The infeasibility of this plan was already
demonstrated by February 1940, however, as the German administration in the
General Government was simply unable, on such short notice, logistically to
accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees in hastily established camps
and to provide them with basic essentials.61 The refugee problem continued to
fester until the second phase of the war in 1941. With the “Final Solution of
the Jewish Question,” the occupation forces took the ¬nal, unthinkable step
and initiated the industrial extermination of humanity.
Territorial control was affected by RuS-Einsatzkommandos. Toward the end
of October 1939, Himmler enacted a resettlement and expulsion program in
the annexed territories that was intended to Germanize these territories along
racial lines. All Jews, and a signi¬cant portion of the Polish population, were to
be deported in preparation for ultimate German settlement.62 Experts from the
Race and Settlement Of¬ce were asked not only to classify local populations
according to racial criteria but also to categorize and con¬scate all desirable
land “in Polish and Jewish hands.”63 From the circle of RuS experts, land
distribution of¬ces, as well as SS settlement and SS work details, were formed
in order to register and classify all potential settlement areas and to plan the
redistribution of agriculturally valuable land. This registration process was
completed by 1941. The con¬scation of Polish and Jewish property continued
until the end of 1942.
In the annexed territories of Danzig-West Prussia, Posen/Warthegau, and
East Upper Silesia, more than 80 percent of the registered agricultural enter-
prises were con¬scated. Economic property “ industrial enterprises, as well as
smaller-scale and family-owned businesses “ was registered by an agency subor-
dinated to Hermann Goring, Deputy for the Four-Year Plan. As a result of this
division of labor between Goring™s Haupttreuhandstelle Ost and Himmler™s
Reichs Commissary for the Strengthening of the German Race, German settle-
ment and population policies developed an overwhelmingly agricultural and
seemingly antimodern character.64 The impression of antimodernism, how-
ever, is deceiving. The modernity of the SS lay in its mania for concrete order:
an order based on population policies, as these enabled the SS clearly to design

Longerich, 251“72.

Heinemann, Rasse, 192“3.

Ibid., 201.

Cf. Rolf-Dieter Muller, Hitlers Ostkrieg und die deutsche Siedlungspolitik: Die Zusammenarbeit

von Wehrmacht, Wirtschaft und SS (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1991), 103“4.
Jorg Baberowski and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel

“space,” settle it with only a given type of individual, and design a typi¬ed
world of “essentially” German villages and towns. The “disorder” of the native
culture was to be transformed through modern rationality into a homogeneous
“order,” and in order to achieve this goal the native society was excised and
removed. Here we can see how the National Socialist utopia was both modern
and terroristic.
And here as well the character of National Socialist population policies
becomes clear. National Socialism ideologically constructed the Jew as a par-
ticular type of enemy and doggedly pursued this enemy into every corner of
Europe.65 Connected with this ideology was the belief in a hierarchical value
of races “ a hierarchy in which Jews and Gypsies resided at the very bottom,
while Slavs, scaled from Russians to Poles to Lithuanians, hovered slightly
above them. The Poles™ own native anti-Semitism and hostility toward Jews
and Bolsheviks only seemed to con¬rm the validity of this hierarchy in the
eyes of many National Socialists.66 The interactions among ideological con-
structions of “the enemy,” racial-biological hierarchies, and the con¬rmation
of related ideological assumptions in actual foreign experiences help to explain
the nature of SS population policies. While the Polish population was selectively
repressed, displaced, and killed, policies regarding the Jewish population were
total and without exception. With the practical experience of deportation into
ghettos, the concept of a resolution to the Jewish Problem through physical
annihilation soon emerged. This realization began to in¬‚uence the thinking of
SS settlement experts, and in 1941 the transfer of populations into the General
Government was halted.
As National Socialist population policies aimed to conform Raum and Volk
with a schematically conceptualized and German-dominated order, of¬cials
sought to coordinate expulsion and resettlement with one another. The expul-
sion of native populations and the resettlement of racially suitable Germanic
stock were two sides of the same coin. During the ¬rst phase of the war, new
settlers overwhelmingly arrived from the Baltics and Eastern Poland. Before
their naturalization into one of the annexed territories, though, these individ-
uals were forced to undergo an examination by SS racial experts. They were
registered in a German “Volks” list and, in order to ensure accurate racial
classi¬cation, were ranked according to language ability and ancestry. In the
“utopia of the ˜racially™ pure” settler society, “race” and “Germanness” were

On the escalation of Jewish persecution toward the goal of total annihilation “ a process that

began with the Jews of Eastern Europe and, after 1942, extended to include German Jews and,
ultimately, all Jews of Europe “ see Christian Gerlach, “Die Wannsee-Konferenz, das Schick-
sal der deutschen Juden und Hitlers politische Grundsatzentscheidung, alle Juden Europas zu
¨ ¨
ermorden,” in Krieg, Ernahrung, Volkermord: Forschungen zur deutschen Vernichtungspolitik
im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1998), 85“166. Gerlach™s argument that
the Wannsee Conference represented the qualitative leap toward absolute annihilation does not
contradict the “Anti-Semitism with Reason” of the volkisch students of the 1920s. Lethal ideas


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