Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories appointed

This German photograph of the ' deportation of the Jews in Russia' is dated 17th July 1941 and shows barefoot peasants being escorted by Romanian troops.

Hitler’s war in the East was intended to release ‘Lebensraum’ or living space for the German people. Nazi documents show they were prepared to see as many as thirty million people die in order to make space for the Germans settlers. The Einsatzgruppen death squads were already shooting thousands of Jews as they progressed eastwards through Russia. The long term plan was that the inhabitants of these areas that survived starvation and maltreatment were to provided with only an elementary education – that was all that they would need to be slave labourers for the Germans.

On the 17th July 1941 Alfred Rosenberg was appointed to co-ordinate the ‘exploitation’ of the eastern areas now falling under Nazi control:

With his appointment as Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories on 17th July, 1941, Rosenberg became the supreme authority for those areas. He helped to formulate the policies of Germanisation, exploitation, forced labour, extermination of Jews and opponents of Nazi rule, and he set up the administration which carried them out.

He took part in the conference of 16th July, 1941, in which Hitler stated that they were faced with the task of “cutting up the giant cake according to our needs, in order to be able: first, to dominate it, second, to administer it, and third, to exploit it,” and he indicated that ruthless action was contemplated. Rosenberg accepted his appointment on the following day.

From the Nuremburg judgement against Alfred Rosenberg in which he was sentenced to death.

Alfred Rosenberg, Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.

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