(CRISIS and WAR in EUROPE, 1937 to 1940 – continued)
Looking toward the east, stories by Karl May that Hitler had read had played on his mind – stories describing Germanic Americans pushing aside unworthy American Indians. Hitler saw the Polish people as the Indians. They had to make way for an expanded Germany and for an influx of German pioneers. Hitler saw the United States as having conquered living space by exterminating natives and another example of triumph through Darwinian struggle. Too bad, he thought, that the United States had later succumbed to racial and cultural pollution.
With Germany's conquest of Poland in 1939, some under Hitler had begun describing German policy in Poland as a "housecleaning." Polish intellectuals were to be wiped out so that the Polish people would have no one to lead them in rebelling against their new masters, the Germans. Little news was getting out of Poland as to what the Germans were doing there, and, by mid-1940, Polish writers, politicians and civil leaders who had been rounded up were being executed by a special German team at a site in the Palmiry forest.
The Germans in Poland had also begun rounding up Jews from rural areas and transporting them to city ghettos – concentrations from which they could more easily be rounded up later for transport to extermination camps. Early in 1940, a site for a prison had been chosen in a marshy area by the town of Auschwitz, thirty miles west of the Polish city of Krakow. The German company, I.G. Farben, led by God-fearing Christians, was planning an adjacent synthetic coal and rubber plant, which would use the labor of the camp's inmates. It was another example of business doing what it could within the limits of approval by government.
And it would not be easy to get volunteer Germans to be guards at a faraway prison near desolate Auschwitz. Certainly getting the more charming, well-developed and caring Germans for the job was out of the question. Instead, the Germans began filling the positions of barrack chiefs at Auschwitz with thirty criminals from a Germany prison.
Summits, Chapter 2, "Munich 1938," by David Reynolds, 2007
The Causes of the Second World War, by Andrew J. Crozier, 1997
Origins of the Second World War, by A J P Taylor, 1961
Goebbels, by Helmut Heiber, 1972
The Goebbels Diaries: 1939-1941, edited by Fred Taylor, 1982
Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England, by Lynne Olson, 2007
War Made New, Chapter 7, "Tanks and Terror," pp 212-40, by Max Boot, 2006
"The Kristallnacht Lie," by www.ashkenazhouse.org
Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Chapter 6 "The coming Bipolar World and the Crisis of the 'Middle Powers': Part Two, 1919-1942 ," Paul Kennedy, 1987
Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization, by Nicholson Baker, 2008
Debate: "Neville Chamberlain Did the Right Thing," by IQ squared, June 5, 2013
Movie: The Sorrow and the Pity (Le Chagrin et la Pitié), by Marcel Ophüls
Movie: Lacombe, Luciene, by Louis Malle
Copyright © 1998-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.