Katrin Reichelt Berlin/Riga

THE ROLE OF LATVIA AND LATVIANS IN THE NATIONAL-SOCIALIST RACIAL AND SETTLEMENT POLICY -THEORETICAL CONCEPTION AND PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION

The paper is included in the plenary session ,,Crimes against civil population in Latvia during World War II'', as a racially negative classification of a nation (german: Volk, latvian: tauta - russian: narod) is to be considered as a crime against this nation. The paper will focus on the question, which National-Socialist racial policy plans were proposed with regards to Latvia, which results they had concerning the settlement policy in Latvia - whether there were any and how they were implemented. Moreover the central place will be given to the Generalplan Ost in its second version. Heinrich Himmler's ,,Memorandum of how to treat alien nations in the East" (,,Denkschrift zur Behandlung der Fremdvolkischen im Osten"') and the first version of the Generalplan Ost will not be addressed here as it only contains the racial policy of the occupied Poland and does not touch upon Latvia yet. This fundamental document concerning settlement questions will be regarded in connection with documents mainly from Latvian Archives intending question of a racial evaluation of the Latvian nation. Altogether the paper is based on the materials from the Latvian State Archives of History, which excellently supplement the already published documents. An answer should be provided to the question of what reasons, apart from the course of war, hindered practical implementation of the aims set out by the Generalplan Ost in Latvia. Were there already contradictions on the theoretical level of the plan? The paper will highlight the following most relevant issues:

1. The starting point will be the classification of Latvian nation according to the German racial policy. Which different views existed on different levels of decision-making bodies and in NS-institutions about the racial structure of the Latvian nation? Which consequences had these evaluation concerning settlement plans in Latvia? What meant Germanisation (Eindeutschung) of the Latvian territory and what plans existed about the fate of the as non-arians considered Latvians?

2. Various theoretical plans from different NS-institutions will be focused looking at it from the aspect of contradictionary and hindering each other point of views: How Himmler's radical point of view, the plans of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and Rosenbergs opinion influenced the racial and settlement policy all in all regarding Latvia? Thereby the paper will concentrate on the question, how were defined racial categories by these National-Socialist planning institutions. It will be shown, how priorities of this policy changed in the ongoing course of war.

3. Assuming from the German policy the reaction from the Latvian side will be shown. It has to be noted that Latvia as a target of German racial and settlement policy had further reaching functions, for example to provide an important potential for military facility, to serve as a site for extermination of Jews or the function of the Latvian Civil Government. Until today the academic research has been highlighted only the views of the National-Socialist leadership as the organisers of the racial and settlement policy. An analysis of the response from involved represantatives of the Latvian side would be required. Latvia will not to be viewed only as an object of German intentions. It is to ask, in which way the german planners had to be carefull that an aggressive racial policy doesn't disturbe the priorities of occupation policy. In conclusion there are named some reasons that hindered implementation of National-Socialist racial and settlement policy in Latvia. Undoubtedly the course of war had the most important influence on population politics. But the central question will be of the contradictions on the theoretical level of population policy. Did the priorities of German occupation policy automatically preclude the realization of the racial and settlement aims or was it destroyed due to the specific situation? Was the theoretical division between occupation policy in the present and racial policy priorities in the future realizable? As a result the level of inner contradictions of the racial and settlement plans concerning Latvia shall be defined.


 Noziegumi pret cilvēci   Crimes against Humanity