The Holocaust Historiography Project
Auschwitz, by J.-C. Pressac

Germanic rural population [note of 17th August 1942 from the SS Head Office, G Berger, to Himmler (Ba NS 19 / new 1704)]. The importance of European communications had already been stressed in article in the review Signal [No. 20, 2nd issue of October 1941, pages 41 to 45] describing “International traffic in a Europe without frontiers”.

Elsewhere, a former Waffen-SS general, the Belgian Léon Degrelle, head of the Rex, in “Hitler pour 1000 ans” [Hitler for 1000 years] (Editions de la Table Ronde, Paris 1969) enthusiastically describes the East as Hitler saw it (pages 212 and 213):

“Giant canals would unite all the great rivers of Europe, open to the boats of all, from the Seine to the Volga, from the Vistula to the Danube. Double decker trains — goods below passengers above — running on raised tracks of 4 meter gauge, would easily cover the huge territories of the East, where the former soldiers [the Waffen-SS] would have built the worlds most modem farms and industries.”

But who would not ask: “And what would be the attitude of the Germans towards the Slavs?” Degrelle has the answer [pages 217 and 218]:

“Nazi theoreticians professed violently anti-slavic theories. They would not have resisted ten years of Russo-Germanic interpenetration. Russians of both sexes would very quickly have learned German. They often knew it already. [During the Russian campaign of 1941–42] we found German textbooks in all the schools. The language link would have been established more quickly in Russia than anywhere else in Europe.

“The German has admirable qualities as a technician and organizer. But the Russian, a dreamer, is more imaginative and has a quicker mind. The one would have complemented the other. And blood ties would have done the rest. The young Germans, naturally enough and whatever their propaganda machine may have done to oppose it, would have married Russian girls in their hundreds of thousands. They liked them, and the creation of the Europe of the East would have been completed in the most pleasant fashion. The German-Russian union would have been a great success.

“Yes, the problem was enormous: to unite five hundred million Europeans.”

On the basis of Speer’s “forecasts” or Degrelle’s “vision”, everyone is free, according to his personal philosophy, to appreciate or otherwise the proposed developments and the price to be paid.

Paradoxically, Degrelle’s dreams seem more tangible than Speer’s sinister calculations. This is was due to their different personalities. Speer, while being an unrivalled bureaucrat and a remarkable organizer whose work extended the armed resistance of the Reich for at least a year, did not have the stuff of a “leader of the people” like Degrelle. Already before the war, the Belgian dealt with Hitler as man to man, for both were of the same stamp, visionaries imposing their view of the future on crowds that they were able to subjugate, control and manipulate by their oratory alone. They had such powers of persuasion that they could annihilate individualities, a kind of power that makes this type of man, though captivating and able to command unshakeable devotion, dangerous for democracies, In a triumphant Germany, in total control of Europe, Degrelle would have had a good chance of succeeding Hitler — who had designated him his spiritual son in 1941 — at the head of a totalitarian SS empire stretching front the Atlantic seaboard to the Urals. He would have continued his predecessor’s work in the East. Although ill-adapted to contemporary civilization, for example not even being able to drive a car, Degrelle, not concerned by this type of petty detail, conceived his role as being both the driving force controlling the will of millions of Europeans and as a guide leading them in the direction he saw for the future. He was not concerned with the organization of the work, the material and human resources that had to be harnessed, the programs to be drawn up. That was the job of others, of high-level technicians just like Speer. But Degrelle, a convinced Catholic, would not have allowed nor been able to accept the colonization of the Eastern regions at a cost of 29 million victims, an exorbitant cost and a procedure contrary to his religious convictions. The millions of Jews exterminated during the Second World War raised such a furore that 29 million more deaths would not have been ignored and would have raised an even greater storm of protest. Speer’s estimates, even though they are based on genuine SS documents, are unrealistic. A Degrelle would have found. or have had others find, some other way, though still no doubt involving compulsion, to implement his “civilizing mission” in the East.

The fate of arms decided otherwise.

* * *

Document 14
Document 14:
[PMO neg. no. 200586]

Zum Bebauungsplan für die Stadt Auschwitz Gestaltung des Parteiforums in der Neustadt-Ost /
For the Auschwitz urban development plan
Configuration of the Party forum in the new town, eastern district.
Scale 1:500
Drawn in December 1942

Translation of inscriptions:
· Südseite / South elevation
· Nordseite / North elevation
· Ostseite / East elevation
· Westseite / West elevation
Blatt Nr VI F / Sheet No VI F
Breslau/Auschwitz December 1942 / Breslau-Auschwitz, December 1942
The Architect (unknown signature)
Sonderbeauftragter für den Bebauungsplan der Stadt Auschwitz /
Specially commissioned for the Auschwitz urban development plan