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Exploitation, Resettlement, Mass Murder: Political and Economic Planning for German Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union, 1940-1941

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Volume 10

War and Genocide

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Exploitation, Resettlement, Mass Murder

Political and Economic Planning for German Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union, 1940-1941

Alex J. Kay

256 pages, Bibliog., Index

ISBN  978-1-84545-186-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2006)

ISBN  978-0-85745-165-1 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (September 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-361-7 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


[…] reflects impeccable, painstaking research through an impressive array of sources.”  ·  Central European History

“… provides the first substantial comparative analysis of the undertakings of political and economic planners, highlighting the conformity and conflicts between them.”  ·  H-Genocide

“Kay illuminates these issues through clear, insightful analysis, and through a crisp writing style, at times emotive and darkly (yet never inappropriately) humorous. [...] The book is a valuable addition to the literature, pointing the way to further research into such issues as the degree of knowledge which the German civil service as a whole possessed of the plans, and the degree of opposition – or lack thereof – with which they greeted the plans. As an all-too-rare English-language addition to the literature on this particular aspect of Germany’s war in the east, it deserves attention from specialists and students alike.”  ·  War in History

“Based on meticulous research…this book is an excellent and well-written addition to the historiography about Nazi planning for mass murder."  ·  European History Quarterly

"Kay's painstaking exploration of the planning behind the subsequent 'organized chaos' goes far to enhance our understanding of Nazi intentions vis-à-vis the population of the occupied Soviet Union." Holocaust and Genocide Studies

"This is an original, richly detailed, and on the whole readable work. There is more in it than a short review can cover. Although relatively specialised, it has a clear importance. The true originality of Kay's work lies in reinterpretation as well as in archival evidence, but readers must work this out for themselves." American Historical Review

"... [a] thoroughly researched work ... The foundations of the German Vernichtungskrieg are clearly shown in this book, which corrects and clarifies its chronological development by assembling little known facts into a sound study of Nazi planning…For a long time to come, historians will have no need to focus special interest on these aspects of Nazi history, as they now can be perused in this book." H-German

"Kay solidly identifies the significant parameters of the starvation policy…[He] traces this exploitation, population and starvation policy of mass murder more closely and analyses the actions of those protagonists planning the policy more intensively than analyses hitherto available. It is written in a composed, factual style without unnecessary redundancy and in a very readable way." Archiv für Sozialgeschichte


Convinced before the onset of Operation "Barbarossa" in June 1941 of both the ease, with which the Red Army would be defeated and the likelihood that the Soviet Union would collapse, the Nazi regime envisaged a radical and far-reaching occupation policy which would result in the political, economic and racial reorganization of the occupied Soviet territories and bring about the deaths of 'x million people' through a conscious policy of starvation. This study traces the step-by-step development of high-level planning for the occupation policy in the Soviet territories over a twelve-month period and establishes the extent to which the various political and economic plans were compatible.

Alex J. Kay graduated from the Universities of Huddersfield and Sheffield in the UK and received his PhD from Humboldt University, Berlin, in 2005. The following year he received the Journal of Contemporary History's George L. Mosse Prize. Since 2014 he has been Senior Academic Project Coordinator at the Institute of Contemporary History Munich–Berlin. Dr Kay is author of The Making of an SS Killer: The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert, 1905–1990 (2016), and co-editor of Nazi Policy on the Eastern Front, 1941: Total War, Genocide, and Radicalization (2012).

Subject: Genocide History
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1. Introduction
Organized Chaos: the German Occupation, 1941-1944
The State of Existing Scholarship
Aims of the Study
The Importance of Economic Considerations
Structure and Additional Parameters of the Study
Source Material

Chapter 2. The Central Planning Organizations
The Vierjahresplanbehörde: Göring’s Umbrella Organization
The Dienststelle Rosenberg: the Eastern Experts of the NSDAP

Chapter 3. The Decision to Invade the Soviet Union: the Primacy of Economics by the End of 1940
Overview: a Combination of Long- and Short-term Factors
July 1940: Military Proposals against Britain’s Last Remaining Potential Ally on the Continent
July-August: Long-term Strategic and Economic Gain for Germany in the East
September-October: Alternatives and Objections to an Eastern Campaign
November: Before and After Molotov’s Visit to Berlin
November-December: the Increasing Relevance of Food Supplies and the Public Mood in Germany in View of the Need to Fight a Longer War

Chapter 4. Laying the Foundations for the Hungerpolitik
Backe’s Presentations to the Supreme Leadership
Working around Potential Difficulties
Soviet Awareness of German Intentions
Thomas’s Study of Mid-February 1941
Setting Up an Economic Organization

Chapter 5. Planning a Civil Administration
Envisaging a Civil Administration
Selecting an Administrative Chief
Rosenberg as Administrative Chief: ‘no better man’ for the Job
Personnel and Tasks

Chapter 6. Population Policy
Germanic Resettlement
The Fate of the Soviet Jews: Pre-invasion Order for Genocide?
A Territorial Solution to the ‘Jewish Question’

Chapter 7. Radicalizing Plans to Exploit Soviet Resources
Calculated Economic Considerations and Nazi Ideology
2 May 1941: the Meeting of the Staatssekretäre
Wide-ranging Agreement
The Hungerpolitik in Writing
Soviet Labour: Deployment in the Reich?
The Special Status of the Ukraine

Chapter 8. Expectations and Official Policy on the Eve of the Invasion
Counting on a Swift Victory
Economic and Agricultural Guidelines
The Standpoint of the Political Planners

Chapter 9. Post-invasion Decisions
16 July 1941: the Conference at FHQ
Ordering the Destruction of Leningrad and Moscow
The Concept of a Territorial Ministry in the East

Chapter 10. Conclusions


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