Nazi Genocidal War Against Jews and Slavs, GENERALPLAN OST, Soviet-Betrayed 1944 Warsaw Uprising

Review of Ostkrieg: Hitler’s War of Extermination in the East, by Stephen G. Fritz. 2011. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington.
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
Nazi Genocidal War Against Jews and Slavs, GENERALPLAN OST, Soviet-Betrayed 1944 Warsaw Uprising
Instead of repeating the many reviewers of this excellent work, I focus primarily on other matters.
WWII began in 1939 as Hitler threw all his forces at Poland, having correctly reckoned that France and Britain would do nothing substantial for Poland. (p. 26). [France and England should not have made treaty obligations to Poland that they were unable, or unwilling, to keep.] As it turns out, the French WERE capable of intervening actively and effectively against Germany. Fritz (p. xxiii, 473) notes that the Wehrmacht in 1939 was then comparable to the French armies. This is quite apart from the fact that the German Army was largely tied down in Poland, leaving western Germany completely vulnerable to a French offensive.
Fritz does not mention the fact that the kill ratio, in favor of the Germans during the 1939 War with Poland, was just over 4:1. To put this in perspective, the kill ratio in favor of the Germans over the Soviets was: 9.9:1 (1941), 5.91:1 (1942), 2.82:1 (1943), and 1:15:1 (1944). (p. 496).
The author cites Rudiger Overmans on the month-by-month tallies of German military deaths on the Russian front–from June 1941 through December 1944. In the vast majority of months, the total monthly deaths ranged from 25,000 to 75,000. The months of the highest fatal German casualties, in order, were (to three significant figures) 277,000 (August 1944), 180,000 (January 1943), 170,000 (July 1944), 142,000 (June 1944), 94,000 (March 1944), and 93,000 (October 1943).
Note that the Red Army inflicted more fatal casualties on the Wehrmacht in August 1944 than in any other month, of the ENTIRE Soviet-German war, through at least the end of 1944! Although Fritz does not consider this, the Red Army’s performance after the start of the Warsaw Uprising (August 1, 1944) soundly refutes the contention that the Red Army was too exhausted or overextended to do effective combat against the Germans, and to take Warsaw.
As for the Soviet refusal to aid the Warsaw Uprising until after its doom was sealed, Fritz (pp. 419-420) recognizes it as the outcome of both unexpected German resistance AND a willful Soviet betrayal. Interestingly, Stalin rejected General Zhukov’s plan to strike at Warsaw on July 8, opting instead for a broad-based offensive throughout the length of the very-long eastern front, and this only helped Germany, and prolonged the war. (p. 422).
True to the title, Fritz goes beyond military events and focuses on Nazi genocide–of not only Jews but also Slavs. He realizes that WWII in general, and the invasions of the East, were motivated by the German goal of lebensraum. As time went on, German plans for the fate of the natives became increasingly radicalized, beginning with the systematic German murder of Polish intelligentsia, and many thousands of innocent Poles, in 1939. (pp. 18-19).
Initial plans for Operation Barbarossa called for the active and passive killings, by starvation, of several tens of millions of locals, mostly Slavs. (p. 62-63). This, for the most part, did not become reality only because the German forces turned out to be spread too thinly for the imposition of systematic universal starvation. (pp. 171-172).
Fritz elaborates on GENERALPLAN OST. It called for several tens of millions of Slavs (including Poles) to be resettled in Siberia and replaced with Germans. Fritz realizes that “resettlement” was not literal, at least entirely, and that GENERALPLAN OST was a genocidal plan against Slavs. (p. 93-94). As for Erhard Wetzel’s oft-misquoted statement about Nazis not treating Poles the same as Jews, in terms of extermination, Fritz realizes that Wetzel’s statement referred to the vast numbers of Poles compared with Jews (p. 256). It was not some kind of Polish right to live, relative to Jews, in German eyes.
Although GENERALPLAN OST had to be scrapped owing to the failure of the USSR to collapse, the Germans tried it on a smaller scale. Fritz describes Operation Zamosc. (pp. 257-259). The Germans had planned to expropriate the farmsteads of over 100,000 Poles, as a first installment, and to replace them with German settlers. Fierce Polish guerrilla resistance eventually doomed the project.
As for the Holocaust itself, Fritz supports the functionalist interpretation. The Nazi decision to exterminate the Jews did not come until about December 1941, after which milder versions of the “Final Solutions” (mass resettlement of Jews in special European colonies, Madagascar, etc.) had proved impractical. The USA had just entered the war, eliminating the Jews as potential hostages against such an occurrence, and expanding the European war into a full-blown WWII of which Hitler had warned the Jews in January 1939 about `causing”, and against which he then had threatened to retaliate with a European-wide extermination of Jews. (p. 180). Ironic to customary attempts to blame Nazi persecution of Jews on Christianity, Fritz realizes that virtually all top Nazi leaders believed that Christianity and Nazism were incompatible, and that the Church would be dealt with after the war. (p. 13).
Now consider the death camps. Ironic to the mendacity about “Polish death camps”, and the Nazis’ siting of the camps in German-occupied owing to presumed Polish attitudes towards Jews, initial German plans called for most of these camps to be built in German-occupied USSR, specifically Mogilev and Riga. The unexpected failure of the Soviet Union to collapse in 1941 forced the Germans to relocate the camps to German-occupied Poland, and a crematory oven already installed at Mogilev was removed, and reinstalled at Auschwitz. (p. 178).
Of Nazi Germany’s entire frontline losses, 80% occurred on the Russian front. (p. xxi, 470). This does not mean that the Soviets are the ones who defeated Nazi Germany, as often claimed. When it came to essential wartime production, the British and Americans outproduced the Soviets 2:1 to 4:1. (p. 494). The Lend Lease aid, which included 450,000 trucks and jeeps for the Red Army, played a crucial role in erasing and then reversing, during the crucial battles of 1943-1945, the long-term German advantage in mobility. (p. 421, 471). [Of course, the fact that the USSR helped precipitate WWII through the joint Soviet conquest and occupation of Poland (1939-1941) should never be forgotten.]

By piotrbein