When criminals take over . . .
“The utopias in summer 1941 had been four: a lightning victory that would destroy the Soviet Union in weeks; a Hunger Plan that would starve thirty million people in months; a Final Solution that would eliminate European Jews after the war; and a General Plan Ost that would make of the western Soviet Union a German colony.” The BloodLands, Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, Timothy Snyder, 2010.
In their Hunger Plan, the Nazi’s planned to feed German soldiers and German civilians by intentionally starving the millions of Soviet citizens they would conquer. They would destroy the cities, and the industry in Ukraine and Southern Russia, and “the terrain would be returned to natural forest“. They particularly wanted the forests of Poland, for hunting. The eastern Soviet Union and Ukraine would be returned to a preindustrial state, and Germany would become “a massive land empire in Europe” to eventually “rival the British and the Americans“. They would do to the Ukraine, for Germany, what Stalin had already done, for Bolshevism, – starve the population of that valuable bread basket nation. A Leningrad, starved “from the face of the earth”, would be given to the Finn’s. This was directed, in writing, on May 23, 1941.
As time fades, there can be a temptation to think of the Nazi’s as like other conquering leaders in history, albeit brutal, sort of like we think of Genghis Kahn. But no, they were, from the beginning, vicious Ted Bundy killers, bent on murder. And murder they did.
To recount, only partially, in the East, in 1941, and these are civilians, not soldiers, mostly shot point blank outside of their homes: 72,000 at Ponary, Lithuania, in Latvia, 69,750, in Estonia, 5,000, in Bialystok, 1000, 19,655 in Eastern Poland, 13,778 between Belarus and Ukraine, 23,600 outside of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine, 33,761 from Kiev at Babi Yar, 12,000 at Dnipropetrovsk, 10,000 in Kharkiv, 6,000 in Mahileu, Belarus, 14,000 in Riga, 17,000 from Rivne, Ukraine, in the Sosensky woods. In 1942, the remaining 10,000 of Rivne, at Kostopil, Ukraine, 10,000 at Hirka Polonka, from Kovel, 14,000 near Kamin-Kashyrshkyi, 6,624 and then another 5,000 from Minsk, at Tuchinka.
Notes are found. “My beloved Mama! There was no escape. They brought us here from outside the ghetto, and now we must die a terrible death.” “One wants to live, and they won’t allow it.” “I am strangely calm, though it is hard to die at twenty“.
Himmler is treated to ‘show’ executions in Minsk, and this is made into a movie, for enjoyment back in Berlin. Another 3,412 are shot in Minsk. German SS try to kill all Jews ‘in their territory’ by April 20 to honor Hitler’s birthday. A ‘death facility’ built in Minsk kills 40,000, and 208,089 are killed in Belarus, 30,000 alone by one monster SS Commander, Oskar Dirlewanger .
“As many Soviet prisoners of war died on a single given day in autumn 1941 as did British and American prisoners of war over the course of the entire Second World War“.
As the war against Russia failed, the Hunger Plan became the Final Solution. Murder became the whole point of the war. “A war to destroy the Soviet Union became a war to murder the Jews.”