26th February 1942, evening
Roads—German minorities in the Balkans—Importance of the Danube.
Apart from those in Transylvania, the German minorities in Hungary have a tendency to degenerate. I realised this at Nuremberg, when I saw their delegations march past. In our plans for colonisation in Russia, we’ll find room for these minorities. It’s not profitable for us to repatriate minorities, but if I settle them on territories that don’t cost me anything, that’s quite different. A government must have a lot of authority to succeed in such an operation. Anyway, I suppose that if we want to practise a sincere friendship with Hungary, we shall have to withdraw our minorities from the country.
Obviously, if we want to convert the Danube into a German river, our policy will have to be different. In that case, we’d have to settle all our minorities from the Balkans on the banks of the river. But we would be obliged to give the Germans of the Banat, for example, a land as fertile as the Banat.
It’s clear that the Hungarians and Rumanians will never be reconciled, even if they regard Germany as a common enemy.
If I settle the fifteen hundred thousand Germans of our minorities in the Eastern territories, I’ll build an autobahn fifteen hundred kilometres long, dotted at intervals of fifty to a hundred kilometres with German agglomerations, including some important towns.
That’s a tentative solution, but the Danube remains the Danube. We should establish a strong foothold at the Iron Gates. Unfortunately it’s an unprepossessing region and won’t attract our colonists. It will always be possible to populate the region by the exploitation of the copper-mines. That will be an excellent way of procuring the copper we need, and there will be all the more reason for it if we’re not on good terms with the Yugoslavs.
The Danube is also the link with Turkey. And it’s only when one’s lines of communication are safe that one can build a world empire.