12th May 1942, at dinner
One hundred million Germans in the Eastern territories—A policy of prudence—Jews with blue eyes and blond hair—Racial regeneration and moral issues.
Gauleiter Forster agreed that this [7 previous paragraphs omitted] might be achieved in the Danzig-West Prussian province. To succeed, it would be necessary, he thought, to appeal to the best elements of the old Reich and to restrict recruitment to men under fifty. To men above that age one could well apply the adage: “Old trees cannot be transplanted”.
I agree. For the re-population of our Eastern territories it is to the younger generation, obviously, that we must turn in the first instance. We must imbue them with a feeling of pride in being invited to go to a country where they will not find their bed nicely made for them, but will be compelled, on the contrary, to create from the beginning—and we must make them understand that we expect them to build up something truly magnificent. One attraction which will certainly appeal to the young is that by emigrating in this fashion they will find opportunities for promotion infinitely more rapid than those of their less enterprising comrades who remain quietly at home, content to follow the beaten track.
My long-term policy aims at having eventually a hundred million Germans settled in these territories. It is therefore essential to set up machinery which will ensure constant progression, and will see to it that million by million German penetration expands. In ten years’ time we must be in a position to announce that twenty million Germans have been settled in the territories already incorporated in the Reich and in those which our troops are at present occupying.
In Forster’s opinion, if any Pole desired to acquire German nationality, the decision should depend upon the general impression made by the candidate. Even in cases where it was not possible to trace exactly the antecedents of the individual, there were nevertheless certain ethnical characteristics, which, taken in conjunction with character and standard of intelligence, gave sure guidance. According to Forster, it would appear that Professor Günther, a specialist in these matters, was quite right when he asserts, after a tour of ten-odd days through the province of Danzig, that four-fifths of the Poles living in the north of that province could be Germanised.
The views of Gauleiter Forster met with strong opposition, especially from Reichsleiter Bormann. The latter admitted the necessarily empirical character of some of the decisions to be taken, but maintained that, as regards the Poles, care should be exercised not to Germanise them on too wide a scale, for fear they might inoculate the German population with too strong a dose of their blood, which could have dangerous consequences.
At this point the Fuehrer spoke again: It is not possible to generalise on the extent to which the Slav races are susceptible to the Germanic imprint. In point of fact, Tsarist Russia, within the framework of her pan-Slav policy, propagated the qualification Slav and imposed it on a large diversity of people, who had no connection with the Slavonic race. For example, to label the Bulgarians as Slavs is pure nonsense; originally they were Turkomans.
The same applies to the Czechs. It is enough for a Czech to grow a moustache for anyone to see, from the way the thing droops, that his origin is Mongolian. Among the so-called Slavs of the South the Dinars are predominant. Turning to the Croats, I must say I think it is highly desirable, from the ethnical point of view, that they should be Germanised. There are, however, political reasons which completely preclude any such measures.
There is one cardinal principle. This question of the Germanisation of certain peoples must not be examined in the light of abstract ideas and theory. We must examine each particular case. The only problem is to make sure whether the off-spring of any race will mingle well with the German population and will improve it, or whether, on the contrary (as is the case when Jew blood is mixed with German blood), negative results will arise.
Unless one is completely convinced that the foreigners whom one proposes to introduce into the German community will have a beneficial effect, well, I think it’s better to abstain, however strong the sentimental reasons may be which urge such a course on us. There are plenty of Jews with blue eyes and blond hair, and not a few of them have the appearance which strikingly supports the idea of the Germanisation of their kind. It has, however, been indisputably established that, in the case of Jews, if the physical characteristics of the race are sometimes absent for a generation or two, they will inevitably reappear in the next generation.
I shall have no peace of mind until I have succeeded in planting a seed of Nordic blood wherever the population stand in need of regeneration.
If at the time of the migrations, while the great racial currents were exercising their influence, our people received so varied a share of attributes, these latter blossomed to their full value only because of the presence of the Nordic racial nucleus.