Lebensraum is a German word meaning "living space" and with contested meaning.
- 1 Politically correct description
- 2 Revisionism
- 2.1 Context
- 2.2 Mein Kampf
- 2.3 View of Germans in general
- 2.4 Claimed National Socialist documents "discovered" after World War II
- 2.5 Argued preventive war against the Soviet Union
- 2.6 "Fourteen Days that Saved the World"
- 2.7 Stalin's Secret War
- 2.8 "Generalplan Ost"
- 2.9 Mass starvation
- 2.10 Treatment of POWs
- 2.11 Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski
- 2.12 Claimed mass killings of Poles
- 2.13 Alleged Himmler order to exterminate all Poles
- 2.14 Five million killed non-Jews claim
- 3 "Lebensraum" policies by the Allied powers and Israel
- 4 "Lebensraum" and modern pro-White organizations
- 5 External links
- 6 References
Politically correct description
Lebensraum in politically correct descriptions refers to the territory inhabited by a particular group. More specifically, it is also argued to refer to a goal of National Socialist Germany of expanding Germany and German inhabited territory. This goal is alleged to be a fundamental cause of World War II (implying that Germany planned and caused the war) and is alleged to be a fundamental cause of a claimed German plan of (future) large scale deportation of Slavs (possibly causing mass deaths due to this), moving Germany's border 1000 km east, in order to expand the German Lebensraum.
Before World War II, much of the world was divided between different European powers. Trade protectionism and other forms of protectionism between the different powers were often high, which meant that free trade could not be relied on for trade access. Therefore, controlling a large territory was often seen as necessary for access to critical natural resources, for access to markets for export and import, and in order to prepare for anticipated future population growth. Germany, for instance, had lost its colonies as well as a great deal of territory in Europe in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
World War I had also demonstrated the problem of relying on external trade for critical resources, since the Allied blockade of Germany contributed to large-scale starvation in Germany and mass deaths of civilians. See also the article on The World Wars and mass starvation. Britain too was largely reliant upon imported food which could only be brought by sea and risked sinking by submarines and attacks by enemy raiders.
Therefore self-sufficiency was beginning to be seen as crucial to a nation's survival.
Revisionists have argued that "Lebensraum" is only mentioned briefly three times in Mein Kampf. The term seems to refer to the territory controlled by a particular race or country, rather than necessarily to a racially homogeneous territory. Thus, the Lebensraum of the different European countries included their non-European territorial possessions.
View of Germans in general
Revisionists have further argued that most Germans did not see the National Socialist argument that Germany needed more "Lebensraum" as implying a need for wars and conquests of foreign territories. Instead, the usage was viewed as implying revanchism in respect to the provinces taken from Germany in 1919, and/or a changing of the harsh and argued unfair restrictions against the Germany economy and German trade following World War I. This could be accomplished by diplomacy and by policies such as trade concessions, international free trade agreements, and/or by Germany regaining her former colones.
Claimed National Socialist documents "discovered" after World War II
Several claimed secret National Socialist documents referring to Lebensraum were "discovered" after World War II by the victorious powers and others hostile to National Socialist Germany. Such documents have been argued to show that Germany was guilty of causing World War II as well as planning ethnic cleansing and in effect genocides in order to expand the German Lebensraum. Such claims formed an important part of the Nuremberg trials. These documents included Hitler's "Zweites Buch", the Hossbach Memorandum, and "Generalplan Ost".
Revisionists are suspicious of such postwar "discovered" documents, for reasons such as the many problems described the article on the Nuremberg trials. In many cases, the supposed original documents are missing. Instead, the supposed evidence consists of, for example, a copy of a copy of the unauthorized and unauthenticated Hossbach Memorandum, which was supposedly drafted from memory five days after the meeting itself took place. Even if such documents are not complete fabrications, they may have been heavily edited in order to give a politically correct impression favourable to Allied propaganda. Furthermore, Hossbach was a bitter enemy of Hitler and the claimed memorandum may have been originally intended to discredit the NS government had the 1944 assassination attempt and coup succeeded. In addition, even the descriptions of the contents of these documents by later reference works have been argued to be often misleading and incorrect.
Regarding the "Zweites Buch", see the article on this topic.
Regarding "Generalplan Ost", see the section on this topic elsewhere in this article.
Argued preventive war against the Soviet Union
Germar Rudolf has stated that "There are subsections of contemporary history where neither the media nor many historians are particularly concerned about honesty. For four decades, for example, almost all of German contemporary historiography has championed the claim that the German campaign against Russia had been a merciless attack intended solely to gain territory in the East, at the expense of the Slavs living there. This claim persisted until V. Suvorov and E. Topitsch both presented compelling proof that the Russian Campaign was in fact a preventive war against the Soviet Union which had been poised to strike – which, of course, does not preclude a policy of Lebensraum (living space) on the part of the Third Reich. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of Soviet archives it has suddenly grown quiet among the ranks of those historians who formerly argued against the thesis of the preventive war; especially the German media, however, continue to propagate the lie of the attack on peace-loving Russia – in contrast to the Russian media. Neither Topitsch, the philosopher, nor Suvorov, the Russian officer in exile, are German historians, yet their researches have resulted in a radical re-thinking process. Admittedly, many historians as yet shy away from the theses of Suvorov and Topitsch, since it is a matter of principle with them to feel ill at ease with a thesis which exonerates the Third Reich from one of its evil deeds."
Another revisionist view: "Germany's peace offerings, following the outbreak of war with Poland, are well known, but they fell on deaf ears. Hitler demonstrated again and again that he did not want war, and when the French campaign ended he ordered demobilisation, sending whole divisions home: production of war material changed to production of consumer goods. Thus, if the Generalplan Ost was really a long held ambition of Hitler’s, he sure had a strange way of going about it. [...] In 1940, less than 15% of Germany's GNP was spent on armaments, in 1941 it was still just 19%…reaching 50% in 1944, when "total war" was declared. In contrast, Stalin spent 32.6% of his nation's GNP on armaments in 1940, and 43.4% in 1941. This confirms that the threat originated in the Soviet Union: communism intended to conquer the whole world from the start — their emblem was a Hammer and Sickel superimposed over the globe."
"Fourteen Days that Saved the World"
Some have gone further and argued that the German preemptive attack prevented "the Soviet conquest of Europe scheduled to begin early in the morning of Sunday 6 July 1941. Suvorov’s revelations about the massive expansion of the NKVD (the blood-soaked forerunner of the KGB) are particularly chilling: these killers would have moved behind the assault troops to liquidate “class enemies.” The Bolshevik torture chambers and death pits which claimed millions of victims in the enslaved nations of the East would have spread throughout the West as well. With Germany and France under the Soviet jackboot, Italy and Spain would quickly have fallen too. And Stalin’s one million paratroopers would have made short work of seizing the airfields of southern England to clear the way for a full-scale invasion. Lenin and his pupil Stalin never made any secret of their desire for a Second World War to establish a Communist Europe. For the fact that this monstrous plan failed, the pseudo-democrats, simpering priests and court historians have no-one to thank but Adolf Hitler. If it had not been for the man they love to hate, they would have been the first against the wall."
Stalin's Secret War
A source of many Soviet deaths during the war was the Communist regime killing many of its own subjects during the war. For example, even entire peoples, such as the Volga Germans, and other groups, suspected of being potentially disloyal to the Communist regime, were deported to Gulag labor camps where many died. See also the article on Mass killings under Communist regimes.
Even after the German invasion, one of Stalin's primary fears was not his foreign enemies, but that the Russian people themselves would rise against the Communist regime and/or join the Germans forces against it. The book Stalin's Secret War states that many million Russians were killed in the course of Stalin's "secret war" against his own subjects during WWII. Even many Soviet "military" deaths are argued to be due to such causes. Thus, ""Penal battalions" composed of "enemies of the people" (i.e., inmates of prisons and camps, and luckless peasants, including women and children) were hurled in waves against German defensive positions. Frequently unarmed and at times deprived of camouflaged uniforms to better draw enemy fire, they were often used to clear minefields. With NKVD machine-gunners poised behind them, they were forced across minefields until a path was cleared." Stalin's fear of his own people was not unfounded: "It is still a surprise to many in the West when they learn that by 1944-45, up to 40% of some "German" formations, and 10 to 15% of all units, were composed of Osttruppen (ex-Red Army men)".
This internal opposition to the Soviet regime also means that it would have been extremely important for the Soviet regime to depict National Socialist Germany as an even worse alternative, such as by arguing that mass killings of Slavs was occurring and/or was planned.
No copy of the supposed "Generalplan Ost" has ever been found, but it is argued to be possible to infer parts of its contents from other sources. A politically correct view is that "Generalplan Ost" refers to a gigantic "Master Plan" of large scale deportation of Slavs (possibly causing mass deaths due to this) and effectively moving Germany's border 1000 km east.
Some revisionists have argued that the sources support that "Generalplan Ost" was a 1941 plan by Konrad Meyer-Hetlich for the new eastern territories recently incorporated into Germany from Poland. The plan included creating a racially homogeneous German population and transferring Poles and Jews from Germany into the non-annexed Polish territories (the General Government). It is argued to not include mass killings.
In addition, there have also been argued to be plans for German colonization of additional territories. The politically correct interpretation of "Generalplan Ost" is in particular based on a claimed transcript of a lost original document, which was supposedly titled "Opinion and Ideas Regarding the General Plan for the East of the Reichsführer-SS" and dated 27 April 1942. It supposedly expressed the author's personal opinions regarding a supposed proposed plan, described in another lost document, and that supposedly proposed deporting 31 million people over a thirty-year period. There have been argued to be various problems with these claimed documents and the politically correct interpretation.
The author of this personal opinion document was allegedly Erhard Wetzel (or Alfred Wetzel), who revisionists have argued was involved in other questionable documents, and who strangely became immune from prosecution. See the article on Erhard Wetzel.
A revisionist view on Generalplan Ost: "This plan, if it ever actually existed as stated, was created for administration purposes — after the war against the SU had started and huge territorial and population gains made at first. On 15 July 1941, Konrad Meyer-Hetlich presented this administrative plan to Himmler, who had requested it. Hitler supposedly discussed his plan in a meeting of 16 July 1941: what is known from this discussion was presented at the IMT as L-221. The original document that might prove the malicious intent of Generalplan Ost does not exist or has never been found — only bits and pieces of related documents were presented at the Nürnberg trials. As such, there is no proof at all that this plan was a long held ambition of Hitler’s, and to try and use it to prove “The Holocaust” is folly.
Hitler openly talked about settling the east and the problems that would have to be overcome. But, he stated, England was controlling 400 million in India with just 250 000 English soldiers and administrators, so it should likewise be possible for Germans to do the same. Hitler outlined how it should be done, by building German cities/villages but explicitly stated that, for the rest of Russia: “…in der wir die Russen leben lassen wie sie wollen, nur daß wir sie beherrschen“ (we will allow the Russians to live as they chose, we will just govern them). Nowhere does he mention killing tens of millions of Slavs, in fact L-221 – according to Hillgruber the Generalplan Ost per se – never alludes to mass killings."
David Irving, when testifying at the Ernst Zundel's Holocaust trials, stated regarding another "L" document that: "May I say that I am very wary about any Nuremberg document that has the document number L...This is L-18...Historians are familiar with quite a number of L documents from the Nuremberg series and a lot of them turn out to be forgeries. A lot of them turn out to be produced or manufactured for the Nuremberg trials to the best of my knowledge. So, this is the first thing that would worry me about that" and "I investigated the Nuremberg trials in some detail and I was familiar with the fact that at Nuremberg, they did have a collection of the necessary rubber stamps, the security classification stamps in order to manufacture documents and they did do it. There are several instances where this subsequently turned out...I have published a book on that sir. It's Nuremberg -- The Last Battle."
Still another revisionist view: "Hitler NEVER said, nor implied, that the Russian people were “subhuman” [...] What Hitler DID say was that they were inferior to Germans; and the majority of them clearly were at the time, in terms of society, culture and technology. The majority of Russian peasants in the vast, thinly populated western USSR that Hitler wanted to colonize with Germans, were illiterate, living in lice infested hovels, with no roads, no sanitation, no conception of hygiene or civilization, no inventive ambitions nor any desire to change these conditions as long as there was enough Vodka. They had grown used to living like that during centuries of neglect and abject servitude. Hitler neither intended to destroy them nor to enslave them. Unlike Robin, Adolf Hitler just wasn’t malicious enough for that. He simply intended to leave them to their ways while building roads (autobahns), railroads and along them towns for Germans to emigrate to from the overcrowded home country."
A large scale starvation in German occupied Soviet Union has sometimes been seen as part of a planned ethnic cleansing/genocide, in order to create the expanded German "Lebensraum". The cause of the starvation has instead been argued to be a deliberate and enormous Soviet "scorched earth" policy, which essentially destroyed most of the food-producing ability and infrastructure of Western Russia. Instead of being caused by Germany, revisionists have argued that Germany made large scale efforts to restore production, including by sending massive amounts of material aid from Germany.
See the article on The World Wars and mass starvation on more details on this and related topics.
Treatment of POWs
The German treatment of Soviet POWs has sometimes also been claimed to be part of a policy of deliberate mass killings of Slavs. See Claimed mass killings of non-Jews by National Socialist Germany.
Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski
"Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, former SS-Obergruppenführer and Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer Russland-Mitte, stated at the Nuremberg trial that in early 1941, Heinrich Himmler had said at the Wewelsburg that the purpose of the coming campaign in Russia would be the reduction of the Slavic population by 30 million. Now let us take a look at von dem Bach-Zelewski’s fate. According to the official "holocaust” story, he was one of the worst criminals. He is said to have ordered the aforementioned murder of 27,800 Jews near Riga and the massacre of tens of thousands of Soviet civilians. Under these circumstances, one would assume that he was certainly put on trial and sentenced to hang after the war, but precisely this did not happen. In Nuremberg he was used as a witness for the prosecution and then released. Obviously this lenient treatment was the reward for having made statements such as the one quoted above, which allowed the Allies to accuse the Germans of having planned not only the total extermination of the Jews, but also a horrific genocide of tens of millions of Slavs. It is true that von dem Bach-Zelewski was later tried by the West German justice, but not for his alleged role in the Holocaust or the slaughter of Soviet citizens. He was tried for two murders he – really or allegedly - had committed in 1934."
In 1961, von dem Bach-Zelewski testified for the defence during the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and repudiated his Nuremberg testimony, stating regarding the alleged Einsatzgruppen atrocities that he had only heard rumors during the war, and only became "aware" after the war. After this less politically correct statement, he was sentenced to additional imprisonment for alleged prewar crimes and died in prison.
Claimed mass killings of Poles
The claimed numbers who died at Holocaust camps in Poland, such as at Auschwitz and Majdanek, have been reduced by several millions. As the total number of Jewish deaths (six million Jews) has not been reduced, this implies that even politically correct historians now admit that Communist Poland and Communist Soviet Union greatly exaggerated the number of non-Jewish deaths, with many of these alleged deaths being Polish.
Operation Tannenberg, Intelligenzaktion, and AB-Aktion are names of stated German operations against Polish elites. The numbers affected and if they were killed or imprisoned (such as in camps) may be unclear, due to Communist Polish/Soviet propaganda, and the Soviet Union killing and imprisoning Polish elites during and after the war, such as at the Katyn massacre and by sending many to the Gulag camp system. One example of propaganda on this is that the Soviet Union submitted large amounts of fabricated evidence to the Nuremberg trials, in an attempt to blame Germany for the Katyn massacre.
Germans killed Polish partisans during the war, as did the Communists during the war and in the postwar period. See also National Socialist Germany and partisans/resistance movements.
The estimated number of Poles who died during WWII has been argued to be grossly exaggerated, by counting the many millions of Germans expelled/killed at the end of and after WWII from eastern territories as "Polish" "losses". Furthermore, the Polish Jews who allegedly died during the Holocaust may be double counted as both Holocaust victims and Polish victims. Some Jews may have been killed by Poles, see Jedwabne.
Alleged Himmler order to exterminate all Poles
At the Nuremberg trials, the Soviet Union presented a photocopy (given document number USSR-522) of an alleged SS document, allegedly found by the "Polish Army" in Communist controlled Poland. Supposedly dated 24 August 1943, the photocopy contained an "extract" from an alleged Himmler speech on 15 March 1940 to concentration camps commanders in Poland. The alleged speech included statements such as "you must, within the prescribed limits of time, exterminate the Poles. I give this directive to all the camp commanders" and "the great German nation should understand that its most important task right now is to exterminate all the Poles." Supposedly, Himmler also demanded that "we must also utilize children and aged persons" as spies on the Poles and supposedly demanded that "I expect all my agents to report to me immediately all Polish grumblers and defeatists". The photocopy was used as evidence against Rolf-Heinz Höppner, who rejected the existence of such a meeting and who rejected that Himmler would have wanted reports of "all Polish grumblers and defeatists", since Poles in general hoped that Germany would be defeated.
15 March 1940 is a very early date for a supposed extermination order of all Poles. At this date, regarding Jews, the Madagascar Plan had not even yet been proposed and even mainstream historians do not claim an extermination policy involving Jews before the invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. See World War II statements argued to support Holocaust revisionism. Furthermore, since Germany had at this date not even started the invasion of France (starting on 10 May 1940), it is arguably very unlikely that Himmler would have stated that "the great German nation should understand that its most important task right now is to exterminate all the Poles."
Furthermore, according to Nuremberg document No-1880, a secret memorandum handed to Hitler by Himmler on 25 May 1940, Himmler viewed as "un-German and impossible the Bolshevist method of physical extermination of a people" and proposed various non-extermination measures regarding Poles and other groups, thus contradicting the claims of Nuremberg document USSR-522.
Five million killed non-Jews claim
See Holocaust demographics: Five million killed non-Jews claim on Simon Wiesenthal inventing this number.
"Lebensraum" policies by the Allied powers and Israel
See the article on the Gleiwitz incident regarding "Lebensraum" policies against Germans and others in Poland before the Second World War.
After World War II, the Allied powers agreed on, and in particular the Communist countries performed large scale ethnic cleansings of millions of Germans and other groups, in effect greatly expanding various non-German "Lebensraums". Large numbers of German civilians were killed by the Allied power during and after the war. The Communist countries and others also in effect colonized many conquered territories (both German and non-German), through large scale movements of non-native settlers to conquered and often ethnically cleansed territories. See also the article Claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies and the external links there.
"Lebensraum" and modern pro-White organizations
Regardless of if there is any kind of truth regarding the accusations of Lebensraum ideology against National Socialist Germany (and related accusations such as Slavs being viewed as inferior to Germans), modern pro-White organizations do not adhere to such ideas. Furthermore, the World has changed since before World War II. There is today no problem of White overpopulation but instead a problem of White underpopulation (see White demographics), race and intelligence research have shown that Slavs are not less intelligent, communism has disappeared, colonialism is no longer seen as desirable, all White countries face similar threats, etc.
- The Politics of Hunger: The Allied Blockade of Germany, 1915-1919 http://codoh.com/library/document/2154/
- Hidden Historical Fact: The Allied Attempt to Starve Germany in 1919 http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archives/articles/starvation1919.html
- Radio Interview: An Examination of Hitler’s concept of Lebensraum, the Hossbach Memo and the Aggressive War allegations Posted on 07/29/2013. Justice for Germans. https://web.archive.org/web/20160324101230/http://justice4germans.com/2013/07/29/radio-interview-an-examination-of-hitlers-concept-of-lebensraum-the-hossbach-memo-and-the-aggressive-war-allegations/
- Notes on Hitler's “Mein Kampf”, “Lebensraum”, the “Hossbach Memorandum” etc Compiled by J4G (justice4germans.com). Justice for Germans. https://web.archive.org/web/20160324101230/http://justice4germans.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/j4g-notes-on-lebensraum.pdf
- Mark Weber. The Hossbach 'Protocol': The Destruction of a Legend: A Review. The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 4, no. 3 (fall 1983), pp. 372-375. http://codoh.com/library/document/2057/
- The latest effort to combat “denial”, i.e., Holocaust revisionism (Part II). http://revblog.codoh.com/2011/02/the-latest-effort-to-combat-denial-i-e-holocaust-revisionism/
- Germar Rudolf. 201: The Controversy about the Extermination of the Jews – An Introduction. http://germarrudolf.com/germars-views/201-the-controversy-about-the-extermination-of-the-jews-an-introduction/
- Fourteen Days that Saved the World http://www.heretical.com/miscella/14days.html
- Stalin's War: Victims and Accomplices Book Review http://codoh.com/library/document/2076/
- Graf, Jürgen; Thomas Kues; and Carlo Mattogno. Sobibór: Holocaust Propaganda and Reality. Holocaust Handbooks. 2010. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=19
- Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues: The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt”—An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers; 2nd edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?main_page=1&page_id=28
- Chapter "David Irving" in 'Did Six Million Really Die?' Report of the Evidence in the Canadian 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988. Edited by Barbara Kulaszka. Available online at Institute for Historical Review: http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/35irving.html
- A Case Study in Intellectual Dishonesty, False History and Anti-Germanism, by Hans Krampe. Justice for Germans. http://justice4germans.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/a-case-study-in-intellectual-dishonesty-false-history-and-anti-germanism-by-hans-krampe/
- Walter N. Sanning. Soviet Scorched-Earth Warfare: Facts And Consequences. Institute for Historical Review. http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p-91_Sanning.html
- The Moral and Intellectual Bankruptcy of a Scholar http://codoh.com/library/document/3167/
- Peter Winter. The Six Million: Fact or Fiction. Seventh Edition. Section 38: Bach-Zelewski Repudiates his “Confession. http://thesixmillionfactorfiction.blogspot.com/
- Germar Rudolf. Lectures on the Holocaust. 3rd Edition. Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 15. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
- Soviet repressions of Polish citizens (1939–1946) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_repressions_of_Polish_citizens_(1939%E2%80%931946)
- Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 20: One Hundred and Ninety-Third Day Friday; 2 August 1946 http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/08-02-46.asp
- "Reflections on the Treatment of Peoples of Alien Races in the East", a secret memorandum handed to Hitler by Himmler on 25 May 1940", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 13: United States of America v. Ernst von Weizsaecker, et al. (Case 11: 'Ministries Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1952. pp. 147-150.