Plan is Not to Take Moscow, but To Surround it and Starve it to Death

“Nuremberg. Casus Pacis”, the Eurasian People’s Assembly cooperated with the president of the Digital History Foundation, the historian and researcher Egor Yakovlev, to create the documentary cycle “Genocide. Reich’s plan”. The Third Reich documents are being published in Russian for the first time and prove irrefutably that the Nazis’ crimes cannot be excused simply as excesses which occasionally occur in wartime or the private acts of a handful of unspeakably cruel people. The blockade of Leningrad, along with the mass executions in occupied territories and the extermination of prisoners of war, as well as the medical experiments in castration and sterilisation in concentration camps, were all a well-planned and concerted attempt to destroy Soviet ethnicity. Today we publish the first package of documents which shed light on Germany's true intentions towards the civilian population of the European part of the USSR: to kill up to 30 million people through artificially created starvation and unbearable living conditions.

Plan is Not to Take Moscow, but To Surround it and Starve it to Death

“Nuremberg. Casus Pacis”, the Eurasian People’s Assembly cooperated with the president of the Digital History Foundation, the historian and researcher Egor Yakovlev, to create the documentary cycle “Genocide. Reich’s plan”. The Third Reich documents are being published in Russian for the first time and prove irrefutably that the Nazis’ crimes cannot be excused simply as excesses which occasionally occur in wartime or the private acts of a handful of unspeakably cruel people. The blockade of Leningrad, along with the mass executions in occupied territories and the extermination of prisoners of war, as well as the medical experiments in castration and sterilisation in concentration camps, were all a well-planned and concerted attempt to destroy Soviet ethnicity. Today we publish the first package of documents which shed light on Germany's true intentions towards the civilian population of the European part of the USSR: to kill up to 30 million people through artificially created starvation and unbearable living conditions.

Profession: Commandant of Concentration Camps

By mid-April 1946, the defendants were still trying to deny the fact of the mass extermination of people in concentration camps. According to them, it was all propaganda and exaggeration. But eventually, a man came to the podium and bluntly stated that he himself had sent 2.5 million prisoners to death and he had personally implemented the “final solution to the Jewish question”. This was Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz. Let's try to consider the commandants of the Nazi concentration camps in depth and analyse the people whose official duty was to organise torture and mass murder.

Profession: Commandant of Concentration Camps

By mid-April 1946, the defendants were still trying to deny the fact of the mass extermination of people in concentration camps. According to them, it was all propaganda and exaggeration. But eventually, a man came to the podium and bluntly stated that he himself had sent 2.5 million prisoners to death and he had personally implemented the “final solution to the Jewish question”. This was Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz. Let's try to consider the commandants of the Nazi concentration camps in depth and analyse the people whose official duty was to organise torture and mass murder.

‘I Recalled the Smoke of Auschwitz’

Pravda’s special Nuremberg correspondent, the celebrated writer Boris Polevoi (who would soon shoot to fame in the Soviet Union for his book “The Story of a Real Man”) knew much more about Auschwitz than many other eyewitnesses at the Nuremberg trials. He visited the camp two days after it had been liberated by the Red Army in January 1945 and interviewed prisoners and witnesses, afterwards writing a memo about it to the Political Department at the Front. On 15 April 1946, he published his impressions of the examination of Rudolf Höss, the former commander of Auschwitz Extermination Camp, by the Nuremberg tribunal on the same day in an article for the Soviet Information Bureau. The authors of “Nuremberg: Casus Pacis” found the article in the archives of Sovinformburo. The full version of Polevoi’s article about Auschwitz is published for the first time.

‘I Recalled the Smoke of Auschwitz’

Pravda’s special Nuremberg correspondent, the celebrated writer Boris Polevoi (who would soon shoot to fame in the Soviet Union for his book “The Story of a Real Man”) knew much more about Auschwitz than many other eyewitnesses at the Nuremberg trials. He visited the camp two days after it had been liberated by the Red Army in January 1945 and interviewed prisoners and witnesses, afterwards writing a memo about it to the Political Department at the Front. On 15 April 1946, he published his impressions of the examination of Rudolf Höss, the former commander of Auschwitz Extermination Camp, by the Nuremberg tribunal on the same day in an article for the Soviet Information Bureau. The authors of “Nuremberg: Casus Pacis” found the article in the archives of Sovinformburo. The full version of Polevoi’s article about Auschwitz is published for the first time.

Participants of the Rostov-on-Don battle reenactmentParticipants of the Rostov-on-Don battle reenactment

Nuremberg Exam: Retake

In April 2021, knowledge of the Nuremberg Trials became mandatory for everyone: President Vladimir Putin signed the Law on Amendments to Article 354 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which criminalises the denial of the facts established by the Nuremberg Trials, as well as the approval of Nazi crimes, specifying that the penalty is up to five years in prison. Project “Nuremberg. Casus Pacis” found out how deep the knowledge of Russian citizens about the process is, and whether we want to learn more about it. At our request, the SuperJob portal conducted a survey in which 46 percent of Russian adults under the age of 25 confessed their ignorance, answering “Nuremberg? This is the first time I’ve heard about it.”

Participants of the Rostov-on-Don battle reenactmentParticipants of the Rostov-on-Don battle reenactment

Nuremberg Exam: Retake

In April 2021, knowledge of the Nuremberg Trials became mandatory for everyone: President Vladimir Putin signed the Law on Amendments to Article 354 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which criminalises the denial of the facts established by the Nuremberg Trials, as well as the approval of Nazi crimes, specifying that the penalty is up to five years in prison. Project “Nuremberg. Casus Pacis” found out how deep the knowledge of Russian citizens about the process is, and whether we want to learn more about it. At our request, the SuperJob portal conducted a survey in which 46 percent of Russian adults under the age of 25 confessed their ignorance, answering “Nuremberg? This is the first time I’ve heard about it.”

Gen. Alfred Jodl (right) and Gen. Wilhelm Keitel twist around to have a conference in the defendants box during the second day of the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 21, 1945.Gen. Alfred Jodl (right) and Gen. Wilhelm Keitel twist around to have a conference in the defendants box during the second day of the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 21, 1945.

The “Nodding Donkey” and Its Strategist

Adolf Hitler had a complicated relationship with the military. The career officers, brought up in the tradition of the Kaiser's Germany, could hardly trust the Austrian corporal; many openly despised the Führer. Hitler faced military opposition many times – ranging from quiet sabotage to an attempted assassination. But some generals became the mainstay of the Nazi regime and at the same time - war criminals on an international scale. Two of them, Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, signed Germany's surrender in World War II and appeared before the Nuremberg trials.

Gen. Alfred Jodl (right) and Gen. Wilhelm Keitel twist around to have a conference in the defendants box during the second day of the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 21, 1945.Gen. Alfred Jodl (right) and Gen. Wilhelm Keitel twist around to have a conference in the defendants box during the second day of the trials in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 21, 1945.

The “Nodding Donkey” and Its Strategist

Adolf Hitler had a complicated relationship with the military. The career officers, brought up in the tradition of the Kaiser's Germany, could hardly trust the Austrian corporal; many openly despised the Führer. Hitler faced military opposition many times – ranging from quiet sabotage to an attempted assassination. But some generals became the mainstay of the Nazi regime and at the same time - war criminals on an international scale. Two of them, Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, signed Germany's surrender in World War II and appeared before the Nuremberg trials.

‘Directive for Handling Propaganda for Operation Barbarossa’‘Directive for Handling Propaganda for Operation Barbarossa’

Document: ‘The Expression 'Russia' Were to Be Avoided’

Before the invasion of the USSR, the High Command of the German Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, OKW) issued a directive for handling propaganda in the territories included in Operation Barbarossa. The general hoped to convince the Soviet population of his best intentions.

‘Directive for Handling Propaganda for Operation Barbarossa’‘Directive for Handling Propaganda for Operation Barbarossa’

Document: ‘The Expression 'Russia' Were to Be Avoided’

Before the invasion of the USSR, the High Command of the German Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, OKW) issued a directive for handling propaganda in the territories included in Operation Barbarossa. The general hoped to convince the Soviet population of his best intentions.

‘I Was the Pupil and Not the Master’

From 3 to 6 April, the tribunal cross-examined Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the German High Command. The main military leader of the Reich did not deny responsibility for violations of international law but emphasised that he was following the orders of Adolf Hitler and could not resign. Keitel denied accusations of war crimes, but how can one dismiss his own signature on a criminal order?

‘I Was the Pupil and Not the Master’

From 3 to 6 April, the tribunal cross-examined Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Chief of the German High Command. The main military leader of the Reich did not deny responsibility for violations of international law but emphasised that he was following the orders of Adolf Hitler and could not resign. Keitel denied accusations of war crimes, but how can one dismiss his own signature on a criminal order?

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