*** Soviet Union NAZI Generalplan Ost/General Plan East ethnic assessments

NAZI Generalplan Ost/General Plan East: Ethnic Assessments

Table 1.--Occupied East. Percentages of ethnic groups targeted for elimination by SS planners from future German settlement areas

ETHNIC GROUP Removal# Notes
--Estonians 50 %  
--Latgalians 100 %  
--Latvians 50 %  
--Lituanians 85 %  
--Belorusians 75 %  
--Czechs 50 %  
--Poles 80-85 %  
--Russians* 50-60 % eliminated 15 % deported
--Ukranians 65 %  

# Removals meant both outright killing and deportation beyond the Urals. Given the conditions, many of the deportees would also die. Not all of the people who drew up Generalplan Ost visioned outright murder, but Aktion A-B shows that Himmler and his close assiocites did.

* We are not sure yet why the Russian numbers are separated and the other ethnic groups are not.

SOURCE: Czelaw Madajczyk, "Vom 'Generalplan Ost' zum 'Generasiedlungsplan" in Mechtild R�ssler and Sabine Schleiermacher, eds. Der Generalplan Ost Hauptlinien der nationalsozialistischen lanungs-undVernichtungspolitik (Akademie Verlag: Berlin, 1993), pp. 12-19.

Generalplan Ost envisioned the elimination of 30-45 million people, mostly Slavs. As the SS staffs devloped the Plan, the numbers to be elimited on paper began to exceed 50 million people. These numbers are in addition to the Jews for whom the preparation for jilling operations were already undeway. The precise numbers to be eliminted depended on the demographic estimates and the different interations of the Plan. The basic approach was to kill one-third of the Eastern population, deport, another third, and enslave the remining one third, but this was apperenlt just the immediare plan after victory in the East. Some of the population would be needed to maintain hrvests until Germans had colonized the East. The SS planners envisioned substantial differences among the various ethnic hroups in the East. In some cases such as the Czechs quite a substahntial portion of the populatuion was to be assimilated. With other groups, most of the populstion was to disappear, meaning killed or deported beyond the Urals. Given conditions at the time, mny of the deportees would have died. The resto the population would have been assimilated or reduced to Helot-like slavery. SS planners carefully developed nymerical ratios for each of the main ethnic groups. As we do not have the working group papers, we do not know on what basis the various percentages were arrived at. The SS intentions were to only attempt Germanization when the foreign nationals ould be considered a desirable element for the future Reich on the basis NAZI racist theories. One matter is clear, it was no entirely a raxial matter. The SS planners were also including level of civilization. Of course in the NAZI mind the two factors were related. The Czechs, Latvians, and Estonians were the most favored groups, albeit still 50 perecent were to be eliminated. The Poles were to be the most severely treated major group. Here we are not entirely sure why. We suspect it was more because the Poles had annexed areas of the Reich after World war I and were seen as the greatest threat rather than any assessment of their genetic 'worth'. One curious decision was to completely eliminate Latgalians, a group in Latvia. We suspect this was because the SS olanners conckuded they had been contaminated by the Poles. Given the voviousway that the Poleswere treated during the NAZI occupation, these ratios are not surprising. Generalplan Ost does not spell out how the determinations about assimilation, slavery, killing, and deportation were to be taken, but the SS in Poland was doing justthis and thus Poland woyld have been a template. What is ratgher surprising is the plahs to eliminate the Balts in large numbers, many of whom wlcomed the Germans as liberators and even joined various military formations to fight the Soviets. These planswould have come as aurprise to many of the German soldiers crashing into the Soviet Union. They had been taught to hate the Jews and to alesser etent the Poles, but they had not been taught to hate the Ukranians and Balts.

Eliminating the Existing Population

Generalplan Ost was a undertaking of breathtaking dimensions and a monstrous vision of the future tht defies human thught.. Generalplan Ost involved processing the Lebensraum in the East that Hitler had first discussed in Mein Kampf. The first step to prepare for German colonization was to eliminate the existing population whose origins dated back centuries. The SS determined that come of the population had the potential to be Germanized. The rest were to be murdered, enslaved (detailed'), or deported beyond the Urals. Millions of men and women were to be destroyed as part of the process. There of course was no public discussion of this. Generalplan Ost was an internal SS working domument. Most of it dealt with how to deal with the existing population in the occupied areas.

Baltic Peoples

The Balts were non-Slavic people which raised their ranking in terms of salvable genetic material on the NAZI racial scale. The exception here was Lithuania which because of its close historical and cultural association with Poland meant that there was a substantial Polish admixture. And of course all three of the Baltic Reoublics had been incorporated in the Russian Empire fot 1-2 centuries. The SS was more willing to apply the Germinization (assimilation) racial criteria more liberally in these coununties like the Baltics which had racial material (rassische Substanz) and a high level of cultural development. The Plan concluded that there were a large number of salvagable racial material in the Baltic republics, although opinions varied among the SS planners and Himmler. While differences existed about the level of salvagable racial material, there was no difference of opinion about the politicAl future. All three Baltic Republic were to disappear. Their territories were to become part of the eastern area of German settlement. Latvia and especially Lithuania would be be subject to deportation plans, though the deportations were to be conducted in a milder form than that planned for the Slavs.

Slavic Peoples

The Germans planned to treat the Slavs, except for the Czechs, much more severely than the Balts. The SS planners planned to murder or expel all Slavs found to be unfit for Germanization from the areas selected for German settlement. The SS planners determined that it would be possible to Germanize about 50 per cent of the Czechs, 35 per cent of the Ukrainians and 25 per cent of the Byelorussians. The rest of the Slav population would be liquidated or deported east of the Urals. It is unclear how the liquidation would take place, but the death camps being prepared to kill Jews would have been available. As for those to be deported beyond the Urals, where most would probably die of exposure and starvation. Nothing would be prepared for them, no food or lodeging. The national percentages varied somewhat in the various interactions of the German plan, but are largely consistent. What is not explained in the Plan is how the SS staff arrived at these percentages. Presumably it was potential for Germinization, but why were the Ukranians seen as slightly more suitable for Germinization than the Bylorusians. The industrial cities of the Soviet Union were to be razed. Industry and manufacturing was to be the province of the Reich. This would finally erase the demographic inballance between Slavs and Germans. Some of the Slavs would be allowed to live as slave labor while the Germans turned the East into a vast agrarian paradise based on German colonization. The German failure to destroy the Red Army in Barbarossa meant that the plans to kill and deport the Slavs east in arger Jewish Holocaust was no longer possible. Instead the Germans began deporting large numbers west a laborers. As the War went against Germany, more and more German workers had to be conscripted to replace caualties, creating a labor shortage in the Reich. German occupation policies and pacification actions in the East resulted in substantial mortalities among those not deported.


The Plan discussed at length the the process to be used in dispensing with the existing popultions. What the Plan lacked was just how the East was to be re-populated by Germans. It was a fairly simple mater to create a plan on paper. It is a very different matter to actully undertake such an effort. The Germans were planning to recreate Eastern Europe on an entirely new ethnic basis and wipe out communities that had developed over a mellenium and a half since the fall of Rome. Much less was said about how to repopulate it with Germans. few of the Whermacht soldiers storming into the Soviet Union would hve been aware of what their country had in mind, although many would have been affected by NAZI ideology and racial thinking. Expelling people was one matter, repopulating the conquered area was an entirely differnt matter. Expelling and elininating people once the Red Army was destroyed could be accomplished by military force without any legal limitations. Finding German colonists would have to be accomplished by persuasuon which meant a range of legal limitations on the regime's actions. Some of the SS planners began to realize this after the invasion of Poland (September 1939). Western Poland was annexed to the Reich and authorities began Germanizing some Poles and deporting others to the General Government. Poles were also explled from the Zamosc region. Authorties found that as a result of the expulsions, the local economies were disrupted which was not helpful for the war effort. They also found that recruiting suitable colonists for life in the East was difficult. They could use the ethnic Germans from the Baltics and other area who hd bee ordered 'Home to the Reich'. SS authorities began processing them at categorizing thse individuals to determining heir suitability. Amajor prroblem emerged in the repopulation process. Few Reich Germans were excited about given up ltheir settked lives and moving ino the wild east. Generalplan Ost involved, after Wetzel's final revisions, the removal of some 50 million people, mostly Slavs from Eastern Europe where they were to be replaced by a smaller number of German colonists. This was not to be done over night. SS planners believed that it might take some 30 years to repopulate the East.


To aid in the vast coloniztion process, workers were needed. The SS use the term 'detailing'. It had aetter sound than slavery. The Plan was ton use the Slavs not murdered or deported as slave labor to assist in the colonization process.


Gumkowkski, Janusz and Kazimierz Leszczynski. Poland Under Nazi Occupation (Warsaw, Polonia Publishing House, 1961).

Madajczyk, Czelaw. "Vom 'Generalplan Ost' zum 'Generasiedlungsplan" in Mechtild R�ssler and Sabine Schleiermacher, eds. Der Generalplan Ost Hauptlinien der nationalsozialistischen lanungs-undVernichtungspolitik (Akademie Verlag: Berlin, 1993)


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Created: 6:53 AM 9/28/2012
Last updated: 2:15 PM 12/22/2012