17th October 1941, evening
Expectations as regards the Eastern Territories—The Ukraine in twenty years‘ time—Bread is won by the sword.
In comparison with the beauties accumulated in Central Germany, the new territories in the East seem to us like a desert. Flanders, too, is only a plain—but of what beauty! This Russian desert, we shall populate it. The immense spaces of the Eastern Front will have been the field of the greatest battles in history. We’ll give this country a past.
We’ll take away its character of an Asiatic steppe, we’ll Européanise it. With this object, we have undertaken the construction of roads that will lead to the southernmost point of the Crimea and to the Caucasus. These roads will be studded along their whole length with German towns, and around these towns our colonists will settle.
As for the two or three million men whom we need to accomplish this task, we’ll find them quicker than we think. They’ll come from Germany, Scandinavia, the Western countries and America. I shall no longer be here to see all that, but in twenty years the Ukraine will already be a home for twenty million inhabitants besides the natives. In three hundred years, the country will be one of the loveliest gardens in the world.
As for the natives, we’ll have to screen them carefully. The Jew, that destroyer, we shall drive out. As far as the population is concerned, I get a better impression in White Russia than in the Ukraine.
We shan’t settle in the Russian towns, and we’ll let them fall to pieces without intervening. And, above all, no remorse on this subject! We’re not going to play at children’s nurses; we’re absolutely without obligations as far as these people are concerned.
There’s only one duty: to Germanise this country by the immigration of Germans, and to look upon the natives as Red-skins.
If these people had defeated us, Heaven have mercy! But we don’t hate them. That sentiment is unknown to us. We are guided only by reason. They, on the other hand, have an inferiority complex. They have a real hatred towards a conqueror whose crushing superiority they can feel. The intelligentsia? We have too many of them at home.
All those who have the feeling for Europe can join in our work. In this business I shall go straight ahead, cold-bloodedly. What they may think about me, at this juncture, is to me a matter of complete indifference. I don’t see why a German who eats a piece of bread should torment himself with the idea that the soil that produces this bread has been won by the sword. When we eat wheat from Canada, we don’t think about the despoiled Indians.
The precept that it’s men’s duty to love one another is theory—and the Christians are the last to practise it! We’ve given the German people what it needed to assert its position in the world. I’m glad that this call to the East has taken our attention off the Mediterranean. The South, for us, is the Crimea. To go further would be nonsense. Let us stay Nordic.
How I regret not being ten years younger! Todt, you will have to extend your programme. As for the necessary labour, you shall have it. Let’s finish the road network, and the rail network. We shall have to settle down to the task of rebuilding the Russian track, to restore it to the normal gauge.