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German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing, 1919-1945 (English and German Edition)

Jan Paczkis|Friday, October 30, 2009

Move over, jack-booted thugs! The reader may be astonished at the depth of broad-based German intellectuals' support for Germano-supremacist attitudes. It began, first of all, in defining what a German is, particularly one who has lived among non-Germans for generations (e. g., Michael Fahlbusch, p. 34). (This work also contains some information of genealogical interest in this regard.) German liberals such as Otto Scheel were in basic agreement with Nazi attitudes against the Slavs. (Eric Kurlander, pp. 204-207).

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    German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing, 1919-1945 (English and German Edition)    
       
  4.0 out of 5 stars Insights into Pre-Nazi and Nazi Views of Germans, Jews, and Slavs, September 27, 2009
Polish scholar Jan M. Piskorski summarizes a few of the essential differences between the Polish Endecks (Endeks) and the German Nazis: "They also shared a respect for authoritarian governments and the rules of leadership. It is necessary to stress, though, that nearly all the prominent Polish National Democrats fundamentally rejected the German and often even the Italian model of the state, identifying themselves rather with the Spanish, or more frequently the Portuguese model." (p. 267). The Endecks also rejected biological racism, eugenics, and neo-pagan movement, as well as the militarism, statism, and Fuhrer-cult of Nazism.

In his FEAR, Jan T. Gross emphasized the Polish acquisitions of post-Jewish properties. It turns out that the Germans had played divide et impera, taking advantage of the Poles' predicament. Ingo Haar comments: "Polish peasants tended to be indebted to Jewish creditors. In order to gain allies in Germany's struggle for Central European predominance, [Teodor] Oberlander wanted the Polish population to share in the theft of Jewish property." (p. 12).

Let's take this further. We sometimes hear that it was perfectly possible for a Pole to be anti-German and anti-Nazi, yet also anti-Semitic. It turns out that it was also perfectly possible to be Jewish, and suffering from the Nazis, yet be in active support of German Slav-oppressing policies. Prominent German-Jewish historian Hans Rothfels promoted Nazi positions of ethnic expansion in the East despite experiencing progressively greater discrimination from the Nazis owing to his Jewishness. He failed to secure the status of "honorary Aryan" from Joachim von Ribbentrop, and finally had to emigrate from Nazi Germany just before WWII. (Ingo Haar, pp. vii-viii). Even if Rothfels' views fell short of the fullness of Nazi racial ideology relative to the Slavs, they nevertheless, at very least, promoted the elimination of Slavic nation states in favor of German rule and the relegation of Slavs to vassal status. (Karl Heinz Roth, p. 241). No sooner had Rothfels returned to Germany after WWII than he became the first German historian to attack the new Oder-Neisse boundary. (ibid, p. 251).

German scholar Wolfgang Freund discusses the genocidal "Operation Zamosc", and how it was ultimately thwarted by Polish guerilla warfare: "Between November 1942 and August 1943, one hundred thousand Poles were selected and deported. Families of German stock or families able to be Germanized were spared, but Polish families were torn apart. Children together with elderly Poles were abandoned to death by starvation in so-called retirement villages. Poles able to work were deported to the East or into the interior of Germany. A final selected group, which the Germans estimated to be one-fifth of the Zamosc Poles, were sent to certain death at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Knowing what lay in store, the Polish peasants took up armed resistance. In the Zamosc subdistrict, the attempts at Germanization led to a debacle. Deportations of Polish peasants led to a lack of crucial manpower and in turn a shortage of agricultural products. Himmler had to stop the operation." (p. 166). [It is obvious that tactical issues prevented the Germans from treating the Poles with the same exterminatory severity as the Jews.]

Interestingly, the prevalence of post-WWII German revanchism (regarding the expellees, or Vertriebene) is partly explained by the following observation of Ingo Haar: "It is one of the most noteworthy problems of postwar German historiography that the same historians who helped plan deportations of Jews and Poles under National Socialism assumed responsibility for researching the deportations of Germans from East-Central Europe after 1945. The result is an apologist historiography that continues to exercise strong influence in German academic and public spheres to this day." (p. 21).
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