5th April 1942, midday
The importance of climate—Leningrad is doomed.
As regards the Russian territories that will pass under our sovereignty, the problems are so plentiful that they’ll provide us with opportunities for work for several centuries. In the central sector, it will be necessary to cultivate the marshes, which extend further than eye can see, by planting reeds.
They’ll form a barrier in future to break the extraordinary waves of cold of the Russian winter. In other parts, it will be necessary to set up plantations of cultivated nettles, for, according to the experiments made by a Hamburg firm, the fibres of these nettles enable one to manufacture a cellulose much superior to cotton. Moreover, it’s becoming urgently necessary to re-afforest the Ukraine, in order to struggle effectively against the rains which are a real scourge in that region. They really did a good job those hunters who, in order to satisfy their passion for the chase, took care to re-afforest 37 per cent of German soil. In the meantime, along the whole periphery of the Mediterranean, people were de-foresting without thinking of the importance of the forest and, consequently, without adopting the policy their action entailed.
Since there is a question of the future of Leningrad, I reply that, for me, Leningrad is doomed to decay. May the ports and naval dockyards of Leningrad decay in their turn! As a matter of fact, there can be only one master in the Baltic, which must be an inland sea of Germany’s.
That’s why we must see to it there’s no room for an important port on the periphery of our Reich. The development of our own ports and those of the Baltic countries will amply suffice to cover our maritime needs, so that we shall be well able to dispense with the port of Leningrad, which in any case is blocked by ice for half the year.