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Food for thought – WW II November 18, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in geo-politics, history.

So its about the food too !

The Wages of Destruction
, by Adam Tooze is really fresh look at Nazi Germany. In an interview with Adam, he says :

However, there is no doubt that when the Third Reich invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 it did so in pursuit of not one, but three loosely coordinated programmes of mass murder: a mission to destroy the politically dangerous Jews of the Soviet Union; a long-term programme of colonization accompanied by the “removal” of virtually the entire native population – the so-called Generalplan Ost; thirdly, an immediate programme for death through starvation of the entire urban population of the Soviet Union, numbering approximately 30 million people, to release food for German use.

Meanwhile, in early 1942 the food supply had emerged as an overriding preoccupation. The Hunger Plan of 1941, intended to remove the urban population of the Soviet Union from the food chain had been only a partial success. Germany now faced a severe shortage of grain and was forced to impose deep ration cuts even on the Wehrmacht. It was in this context that plan 1 (Judeocide) and plan 3 (general genocide through redistribution of food) converged. Goering and the Agricultural Ministry, now led by the sinister Herbert Backe, demanded a dramatic reallocation of grain and meat within the Nazi Empire, towards Germany. And it was in this context in the early summer of 1942 that Himmler happily agreed to accelerate the killing of the 2 million strong Jewish population of occupied Poland as a vital contribution to freeing up food for use by the Wehrmacht.

Those who still believed in the 1930s in a prosperous and secure future for Germany under an Anglo-American umbrella were simply naïve. Conquest and racial struggle were the only true routes to prosperity and security. Armaments were the means to that end. Hitler chose war in the autumn of 1939 because in light of renewed economic difficulties, he no longer believed that he could win the arms race with Britain and France. It was now or never. And he chose to escalate the war in 1941 with the invasion of the Soviet Union for the same reason. In the end of course the balance of force prevailed and Germany went down to defeat. But the remarkable thing surely is how close to success Hitler came.

Quite amazing, there is stuff about the WW II that is still coming out into the open, over 60 years after the last shot was fired/ first atom bomb was dropped.



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