Why the Germans considered the Belarusians to be the most

History 15/01/20 Why the Germans considered the Belarusians to be the most “harmless” people of the USSR

Belarus has entered the history of the great Patriotic war as “partisan Republic”. However, in the first years of the occupation the Germans did not expect resistance on the part of Belarusians. The national character of this people, they were humble and loving.

“the safest of all peoples”

In 1942, the lawyer Erhard Wetzl, officer Hitler’s “Minister for the Eastern territories” of Alfred Rosenberg, presented a “Comments and suggestions on the General plan “OST” Reichsfuhrer SS”. This paper demonstrates the true attitude of the Nazis toward the population of the USSR, was later used at the Nuremberg trials as one of the most important evidence. Belarusian people Wetzl devoted just a few paragraphs. Starting with the fact that according to the plan “OST” plan to evict from their native lands 75% of Belarusians, the author of the document along the way, gives a very remarkable feature of this branch of the Eastern Slavs:

“we Should proceed from the fact that Belarusians – the most innocuous and therefore the safest for our people from all the Nations of the Eastern regions”, — said Wetzl.

the Historical idea of Belarusians

In the estimates of Erhard Vettle discernible views of his immediate supervisor – Alfred Rosenberg. One of the main ideologists of the Third Reich was born in the Russian Empire, and thus was familiar with the stereotypes about Belarusians, common among their neighbors in the early twentieth century.

A mentioned in the literature notions of “national qualities” of the Belarusians are connected with the fact that this nation has long remained predominantly a peasant. Belarusian intelligentsia, if it existed at the time, actually poured into the either Polish or Russian intelligentsia. Therefore the Belarusians attributed mainly purely peasant traits such as naivety, prostodushiee, hospitality. Researchers Catherine Gorbuleva and Yuri Chernyshov article “the Evolution of stereotypes of Belarusians in Russia” call, for example, the following traits associated with Belarus in the XIX century – “drunkenness” and “ignorance”.

“… I had to talk to the peasants, who in Belarus are very ignorant,” wrote, for example, the people of porphyry of Bulgarevich.

in addition, in pre-revolutionary Russia probably has stereotypes about “oppression”, “endless patience” and “obedience” of the Belarusians. In Russian such ideas about their Western neighbors took over the Baltic Germans (and Rosenberg in particular), and at last – the Germans of Germany. According to historians, Rosenberg until 1944 categorically did not notice Belarusian nationalism and even hypothetically is not going to promise Belarusians gain their own state. For the Nazis, the people were only “expendable” to their national policy. After the victory over the Soviet Union “racially suitable” Belarusians “Nordic type” was supposed to be sent to Germany for a gradual “Germanization”, “unwanted” in racial attitude items had to go to Western Siberia, and perhaps in the Caucasus. The Germans hoped to actively exploit the population of Belarus up to the deportation.

Breaking stereotypes

the Reality of occupation, Belarus was not so rosy, as it seemed to Alfred Rosenberg’s office.

“Calculating<...> on humility, “gentleness” Belarusians very soon the Nazis had to undo – and which is still the panic in their headquarters”, — said the writer Ales Adamovich.

the guerrilla movement joined hundreds of thousands of Belarusians who were gradually released from the occupants of entire districts of the Republic. A victim of the underground fell Gauleiter “Beloruthenia” Wilhelm Kube. At the end of 1943, has 60% of the area of Belarus controlled by the guerrillas. Due to disruption of communications and the continuous “rail war” suffered greatly equipped withs army group “Center”.

“sometimes you meet a Belarusian, which the Germans are not ruined closest to them,” lamented after the war, Ilya Ehrenburg.

as a result of punitive actions of the German command, as well as from hunger, cold and overwork during the occupation, killed every fourth inhabitant of Belarus.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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