<<

. 43
( 115 .)



>>

preceded lethal action.
Cf. Baberowski, Der rote Terror.
66
The Quest for Order and the Pursuit of Terror 197

determinant conditions of membership and ensured that conquered “space”
was administered in an “orderly” manner.67
The second phase of conquest and expansion dated from the summer of 1941
and lasted until the summer of 1943, when the Red Army™s counteroffensive
destroyed any remaining possibility of long-term imperial control of territory in
the East. Destruction and terror increasingly radicalized during this period. In
the two years from 1941 to 1943, Himmler™s SS was able to create and secure
monopolistic control over racial policies in the new order of Eastern Europe
and radicalized its demands for the ethnic subjugation of occupied territories.
At the same time, cooperation among the SS, the Wehrmacht, and military
and civil administrations in occupied White Russia and the Ukraine grew ever
closer. Ultimately, the ability to distinguish between SS and other instances
of occupational reality all but disappeared. Despite the outward cooperation
among elements of state, army and party, however, the demand of the SS
leadership unilaterally to de¬ne the nature and form of this new racial order
rendered SS control exclusive.
Prior to the invasion of the Soviet Union, ministries in Berlin had developed a
number of plans for the economic utilization of the conquered territories. White
Russia and, in part, the Ukraine were to serve as areas of pure exploitation.
Only certain “spaces” within the Ukraine were selected for Germanization;
the rest of the Ukraine was to be scoured for raw materials. In May 1941,
a work group concerned within the Reich Ministry for Nutrition and Agri-
culture proposed deliberately produced mass starvation “ in effect, genocide “
as a legitimate economic program.68 This “starvation plan” was justi¬ed with
the same rhetoric that supported the ahistorical new order developed in the
academic discourse of the 1920s: “Under no circumstances will the condi-
tions of the past remain; rather it is the abandonment of that past that will
emerge.” Moreover, this plan went beyond rhetoric “ it represented quite real,
material sentiments. The abandonment of the past implied the “incorporation
of Russian agriculture into the European sphere.”69 For those who read this
formulation with the knowledge of what later occurred, it is not dif¬cult to
recognize that this statement could only be derived from an ideological posi-
tion. The “abandonment of the past” led to the annihilation of Russia; it led
to the destruction of Raum and Volk as historical facts and, instead, allowed
them to be rearranged without historical condition. The enormity of the notion
that 30 million people might be allowed to starve corresponds with the equally

Heinemann, Rasse, 260“82.
67

Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde: Die deutsche Wirtschafts- und Vernichtungspolitik in
68

Weißrußland 1941“1944 (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1999), 46“59, 47ff.; and footnote 62
on Herbert Backe (born 1896), which contains a brief generational pro¬le of the “war children”
(Kriegsjugend). There is, however, as Gerlach notes, no biography for him.
“˜Wirtschaftliche Richtlinien fur Wirtschaftsorganisation Ost, Gruppe Landwirtschaft™ vom
¨
69

23. Mai 1941,” in Der Prozeß gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen
¨ ¨
Militargerichtshof, Nurnberg 1947“1949, vol. 36, ed. P. A. Steiniger (Berlin: Rutten & Loening,
¨
1960), 135“57.
¨
Jorg Baberowski and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel
198

horrifying concept that a country, a space with its own centuries-long historical
development, could simply be wiped clean. This was indeed a deadly utopia.
Even in the Wehrmacht, few reservations were expressed regarding Hitler™s
intent to conduct the war against the Soviet Union as a political-ideological and
racial-ideological war of destruction. The army authorized the “Kommissarbe-
fehl,” which dictated that political of¬cers, in and out of uniform, were to be
immediately shot and demonstrated therewith that there would be no further
disagreements regarding the conduct of war, such as those that occurred during
the Polish campaign.70 True, individual commanders did ignore the order, but
these isolated incidents failed to alter the general political consensus. Further-
more, the readiness to conduct an anti-Bolshevik crusade implied an agreement
to pursue the war as a racial war against “Jewish Bolshevism.”
Already during the winter of 1939/40, Hitler ordered settlement experts
and other Ostforschung specialists to plan for the (re)construction of the East-
ern territories.71 After the invasion of the Soviet Union, planning accelerated
and, between November 1941 and May 1942, resulted in the “General Plan
East” (Generalplan Ost). By 1942/43, Generalplan Ost had further evolved into
the “General Settlement Plan” (Generalsiedlungsplan).72 The General Govern-
ment73 as well as the conquered territories of the Soviet Union “ especially
the Ukraine,74 but also parts of White Russia75 “ were to be subject to the
coming racial-political order. As we already noted in the annexed Polish terri-
tories, ethnic cleansing was closely linked to the destruction of the Jews, who
were stigmatized as partisans and were pursued by both SS-Einsatzgruppen
and Wehrmacht units stationed in the army rear. In the process, the Germans
pro¬ted from the collaboration of locals, who assisted in locating Jews and
organizing them into forced labor teams or transporting them into ghettos.76

Christian Streit, Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen
70

1941“1945 ([1978], rev. ed. Bonn: Dietz, 1997); Christian Streit, “Ostkrieg, Antibolschewismus
und ˜Endlosung™” Geschichte und Gesellschaft 17 (1991): 242“55.
¨
Muller, Ostkrieg, 88 and 130“8.
¨
71
¨
Dietrich Eichholtz, “Der ˜Generalplan Ost™: Uber eine Ausgeburt imperialistischer Denkart und
72

¨
Politik,” Jahrbuch fur Geschichte 26 (1982): 217“74; Mechtild Rossler, Sabine Schleiermacher,
¨
and Cordula Tollmien, eds., Der “Generalplan Ost”: Hauptlinien der nationalsozialistischen
Planungs- und Vernichtungspolitik (Berlin: Akademie, 1993); Czeslaw Madajczyk, ed., Vom
Generalplan Ost zum Generalsiedlungsplan (Munich: Saur, 1994).
Dieter Pohl, Nationalsozialistische Judenverfolgung in Ostgalizien 1941“1944: Organisation
73

¨
und Durchfuhrung eines staatlichen Massenverbrechens, 2nd ed. (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1997);
¨
Thomas Sandkuhler, “Endlosung” in Galizien: Der Judenmord in Ostpolen und die Rettungsini-
¨
tiativen von Berthold Beitz 1941“1944 (Bonn: Dietz, 1996).
Karel C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine under Nazi Rule (Cambridge,
74

MA: Harvard University Press, 2004); Wendy Lower, “A New Ordering of Space and Race:
Nazi Colonial Dreams in Zhytomir, Ukraine, 1941“1944,” German Studies Review 25 (2002):
227“54; Wendy Lower, Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine (Chapel Hill:
North Carolina University Press, 2005).
Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde; Bernhard Chiari, Alltag hinter der Front: Besatzung, Kollaboration
75

und Widerstand in Weißrußland 1941“1944 (Dusseldorf: Droste, 1998).
¨
Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, 503“774; Chiari, Alltag hinter der Front, 96“159.
76
The Quest for Order and the Pursuit of Terror 199

The planning for Generalplan Ost was based upon the presumption that
Jews would no linger have to be considered in the planning for the resettlement
of the indigenous populations.77 Regardless of the exact day in 1941 that the
decision for the “Final Solution of the Jewish Problem” was made,78 the results
of the Wannsee Conference of 20 January 1942 and those measures prepared
between May and July 194279 conformed chronologically and objectively with
the racial- and ethnic-political beliefs of the SS leadership in the RHSA, the Race
and Settlement Main Of¬ce, and the Reich Commissary for the Strengthening
of the German Volk. The systematic murder of Jews in extermination camps,
with the explicit goal of eradicating all Jewish life in Europe, began during the
summer of 1942.
The absurdity and the practical ineptitude of the National Socialist settle-
ment and Germanizing policies are demonstrated by their attempt to register
“German blood” “ including individuals that RuS experts classi¬ed as ethnic
Germans or of German descent “ and to settle them in arbitrarily de¬ned “Ger-
¨
man” villages. SS settlement teams (SS-Ansiedlungsstabe) from the RKF and
village of¬cials were primarily men, but in the spirit of National Socialist family
politics, with its cult for heroic maternity, women from the NS-Frauenschaft
were also included. They practiced motherhood as if they were soldiers in
a racial war.80 The despotic nature of RuS population policies proved to be
quite dif¬cult for Germanic settlers as well, as many were forced to move and
create a new life for themselves in a foreign land, rather than remaining in
their native home. This highhandedness against racially German settlers tran-
spired alongside the violent expulsion of natives, and wherever resistance to
resettlement was offered, violence often escalated into outright terror. All of
this violence, however, was conditioned upon, indeed presumed, the complete
annihilation of the Jewish population. The county of Zamosc in the district of
Lublin experienced such a population transfer during the winter of 1942/3. In
this instance, the brutality of the system is demonstrated by the fact that, in
order to house 10,000 Volksdeutsche, 50,000 Poles were expelled from their
homes. The perverse reality of these Germanization schemes is that race and
settlement experts were unable to recruit suf¬cient Volksdeutsche, racial Ger-
mans, or otherwise suitable stock for their resettlement needs. It would not
suf¬ce that a mere 10,000 settle Zamosc; the plan intended ten times that
number. Similar to and simultaneous with Zamosc, attempts were made in the
fall of 1942 gradually to Germanize the Ukraine by establishing Volksdeutsch
colonies. In September 1942, Himmler ordered 43,000 Volksdeutsche to be set-
tled in the Generalkommissariat Zhitomir. This was the “Hegewald” colony “ a


Heinemann, Rasse, S. 382.
77

Christopher Browning, Fateful Months: Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution (New
78

York: Holmes & Meier, 1991); Gerlach, “Die Wannsee-Konferenz.”
Pohl, Judenverfolgung, 203“5.
79

Elizabeth Harvey, “˜Die deutsche Frau im Osten™: ˜Rasse,™ Geschlecht und offentlicher Raum
¨
80

¨
im besetzten Polen 1940“1944,” Archiv fur Sozialgeschichte 38 (1998): 191“214.
¨
Jorg Baberowski and Anselm Doering-Manteuffel
200

colony in which Himmler took particular interest. In contrast to Zamosc, how-
ever, it was envisioned that “Hegewald” would provide the surrounding region
with protection from partisan attacks.81 In any case, “Hegewald” was as much
a disaster as Zamosc. Even though there were fewer-than-expected settlers,
administrators were still unable to provide even the basics for a viable, self-
suf¬cient farming community. To add insult to injury, they were subjected to
partisan attacks by formerly expelled Ukrainians, had to ¬‚ee before the onrush-
ing Red Army in November 1943, and ultimately ended up in collection centers
in the Warthegau.
Flight and chaos were important features of the third phase: the phase of
retreat. But the primary feature is noteworthy in that it stood in stark contrast
to chaos “ namely, uninterrupted and orderly racial destruction. The period
between the summer of 1943 and the winter of 1944/5, when the Red Army
crossed the German border, is characterized by the industrial murder of Jews
in extermination camps and the traf¬cking of laborers from the eastern ter-
ritories for the purpose of forced labor in German agriculture and industry.
From the perspective of RuS experts planning for the future of the occupied
territories, 1943 was a year of uncertainty. It was abundantly clear that previ-
ous attempts to Germanize “space” in the East had failed. In Germany itself, a
signi¬cant lack of industrial and agricultural labor became apparent. The dire
need for labor led to the utilization of labor from the occupied territories, as
a result of which standard racial-political practices of biological examinations,
classi¬cation, and selection were no longer stringently applied.82 In order to
discourage sexual relations between forced laborers and German women, how-
ever, death loomed over the head of any forced laborer who transgressed these
boundaries.83 At the same time, race and settlement experts were focusing on
perhaps the most despicable form of human traf¬cking. They quite literally stole
Polish children who appeared racially suitable “ on occasion, under the very
eyes of their parents “ in order to have them adopted by married couples in the
Reich.84
If one considers these events in relation to long-term historical processes, the
semantic shift that occurred during the First World War “ the slow transition
of perception from that of “Land” and “People” in their embedded cultures to
the ahistorical formulations of Volk and Raum “ initiated a development that
ultimately resulted in race™s occupying the center of a complex worldview.
National Socialism combined vitalism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Bolshevism,
but it was ethnic-racist anti-Semitism that fueled its most destructive ten-
dencies.


Lower, Nazi Colonial Schemes; Heinemann, Rasse, 453“64.
81

Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, 1091.
82

Heinemann, Rasse, 475“507, 495.
83

Gitta Sereny, “Stolen Children” in The German Trauma: Experiences and Re¬‚ections 1938“
84

2000 (London: Penguin, 2000), 25“52.
The Quest for Order and the Pursuit of Terror 201


the stalinist soviet union
National Socialist terror slid out of control as it extended beyond the borders of
the German Reich and into areas which, in their mental map, were inhabited by
“barbarian” races and “subhumans.” The Stalinist terror, in contrast, directed
itself inward and only during the latter moments of the war spilled outside the
borders of the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, Stalinist terror was no less an act of
conquest than the National Socialist™s war in the East, as the Bolsheviks sought
to force their concept of order onto all groups within their diverse empire and
to eradicate the ambivalence embodied within such diversity.
The Bolsheviks were the true implementers of the modern project of homog-
enizing unambiguity (Eindeutigkeit). Its origins reach back to the early nine-
teenth century, when the Tsar™s of¬cials surveyed and categorized the territory
and populations of his diverse empire. Its essence lay in the racialization and
hierarchization of the populations that inhabited the multinational Russian
Empire. In this way, Tsarist modernizers followed the European example of
the nation-state. Premodern societies were agrarian, religious, estate-based,
and multiethnic; modern societies were urban, secularized, and national. As
of¬cials had already classi¬ed the societies of historical epochs, they sim-

<<

. 43
( 115 .)



>>