Madagascar Plan

The so-called Madagascar Plan (also Madagascar Plan) was at the beginning of World War II briefly pursued by the Nazi regime in Germany whereas to sell four million European Jews to the location off Africa’s east coast island of Madagascar, then a French colony.

The anti-Semitic’s plan was elaborated in the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) and the Foreign Office of the German Empire in 1940 after the defeat of France. He was never implemented – for example on the grounds of the ongoing naval war against Britain. Thus, the work ended on Madagascar plan in the same year 1940. Instead, a majority of European Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

History in an international context

For the first time the idea of deporting the Jews to Madagascar from the anti-Semitic German Orientalist and politician of the Prussian Conservative Party, Paul Anton de Lagarde (1827-1891) was put forward. He struck before 1885 to bring all Eastern European Jews to the island of Madagascar. After the First World War, the Madagascar plan of British and Dutch anti-Semites such as Henry Hamilton Beamish (founder of the anti-Semitic organization The Britons, 1919), Arnold Leese and Egon van was Winghene taken. Arnold Leese, who founded in 1928 the “Imperial Fascist League” (Imperial Fascist League), wrote in 1938 in devilry in the Holy Land:

“… There must be a national home for the Jews to be found, the best place Madagascar. This should France and the indigenous residents receive the full balance by Jewish money. In Madagascar, or, if this island can not quite be made available to them, in any place else, no Jew should be allowed outside on pain of death. There is no other way. “(Freely translated from English)

The leaders of the Jewish national movement of Zionism, Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), wrote in his 1902 published novel Altneuland about Madagascar as a possible emigration sland. In contrast to the Ugandan program Madagascar was never seriously discussed by Zionists. Such ideas were for Zionism total, however, only marginal considerations. Its primary goal was to find a home for the Jews in Palestine as an independent nation state.

1926/27 audited Poland and Japan the opportunity to drive the living on their territory, ethnic minorities to Madagascar. Poland was interested also in the 1930s for the island.

Polish commission in 1937

On 5 Sent in May 1937, the Polish government, which had received a license from France, a three-member examination committee to Madagascar. This Commission was headed by Mieczyslaw Lepecki. His two (Jewish) companions were Leon Age, director of the Jewish Emigration Association (JEAS) in Warsaw, and Salomon Dyk, an agricultural engineer from Tel Aviv. They came to different conclusions: Lepecki was of the view that one could deport 40,000 to 60,000 Jews into the highlands. To Leon age but had only 2,000 people on the island space. The estimates of Solomon Dyk fell out even smaller. Although the Polish government to be too high einschätzte Lepecki and the result of the Malagasy population demonstrated against a wave of immigration, they continued the negotiations with France. Interested in the Commission were next to Poland and France, Great Britain, the Netherlands and the Joint Distribution Committee.

First considerations during the Nazi regime in Germany (before 1940)

The original plan of the Nazis was to deport the Jews in a defined state. The Security Service (SD) published proposals for the 1937 deportation of German Jews. Were considered as destinations Palestine, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. On 2 March 1938 was Adolf Eichmann, an order for a “foreign political solution of the Jewish question”. After the Evian Conference and Madagascar moved into the focus of the deliberations. Many Nazi leaders, including Hermann Goering, Julius Streicher (publisher of Der Stürmer), Alfred Rosenberg, Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schacht, took up this idea. In December 1939, von Ribbentrop, Pope Pius XII. Before a peace offering, in which the emigration of the Jews is mentioned in Madagascar. But only in 1940, shortly before the German military victory over France and the occupation of its northern half, took part in the plan to take shape.

Start of planning (1940)

Even in early 1940 wanted all European Jews to the General Government, the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler – the largest part of Poland occupied by Germany – deport. This was opposed by Hans Frank, Goering to a decree of 24 March 1940 moved with which the relocations were suspended until further notice. Henceforth, the Madagascar Plan was publicly discussed. On 29 May 1940, Himmler presented Hitler and his plan suggested “the emigration of all Jews to Africa or some other colony in a” before. Himmler said in another context, that this would be the mildest and best way, since you “the Bolshevik method of physical extermination of a people out of inner conviction as un-Germanic and impossible” reject. Hitler agreed to the drafting of the Madagascar plan, because after the start of the Western campaign’s a speedy victory over France was expected.

On 18 June 1940 informed Hitler and Ribbentrop at a conference on the future of France, Benito Mussolini and the Italian Foreign Minister Ciano on the Madagascar Plan. On 20 Hitler announced in June its intentions with Grand Admiral Erich Raeder. This suggested to him to deport the Jews in the north of Portuguese Angola. On 17 August 1940 noted propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in his diary about a conversation with Hitler: “The Jews freight we want later to Madagascar. There they can build their own state.”

Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler’s deputy, agreed on 24 June in a letter to Ribbentrop for a Territorial “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” in charge. Planning was henceforth be driven by both the Foreign Office and in the SS. In General, the Jews were instructed temporarily not to ghettos due to the now envisaged solution. The remaining Jews in the Lodz ghetto, which should actually be deported to the General Government in August, remained temporarily unmolested. Meanwhile exaggerated Rademacher in the Foreign Office and in Eichmann Unit “Jewish affairs and evacuation” of the Reich Security Main Office, planning ahead. Heydrich instructed that Eichmann, who was involved in the deportation of Jews to the General Government since the end of 1939. Eichmann then informed the Reich Association of Jews in Germany and representatives of the Jewish community in Prague and Vienna, it was planned to transfer about four million Jews in another country, but whose name he did not name. Otto Hirsch by the Board of the National Association thereupon drafted a detailed memorandum on the education that would be necessary for a life on the tropical island.

Plans to implement

Rademacher Plan

Adolf Hitler and Foreign Minister Ribbentrop instructed the Head of Unit for “Jewish Question” in the Foreign Office, Franz Rademacher, to draw up a plan for the implementation of the deportations to Madagascar. Rademacher formulated on 3 June 1940 three ways to “solve the Jewish question”:

1.Banishment of all Jews from Europe, as a possible target of Madagascar is called.

2.Only Jews from Western and Central Europe are shipped to Madagascar. All Eastern European Jews are deported to Lublin and taken as hostages for the good behavior of the United States.

3.All Jews are deported to Palestine. This possibility was leaning Rademacher from the fear that the Jews could speak of a “second Rome” from the whole world.

Rademacher published his plan on 2 July 1940 under the title The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty. Madagascar should be a “Jewish home under German sovereignty” which a “large ghetto” was meant. The plan involved four million Jews (Polish and Russian Jews were not counted). The plan Rademacher suggested the following:

•The Foreign Office created with some other European countries, a peace treaty with England and France.

•The Vichy regime passes the colony Madagascar to Germany.

•Germany granted the right to build military air and naval bases on Madagascar.

•The 25,000 European settlers (mostly French) leaving Madagascar.

•With the emigration of the Jews is a forced relocation.

•The project is financed from the Jewish property of their respective home countries.

•The office of the leader coordinates the transportation.

•The SS round up all the Jews and deported them to Madagascar.

Propaganda for the Foreign Office and the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda are responsible.

•A governor appointed by Himmler Police manages the island. The Jews may only be involved in local governance.

Jurisdictional disputes

Immediately afterwards intervened Reinhard Heydrich, who had received the overall competence of the Jewish question, now felt ignored and claimed the management of the Madagascar project for themselves.

In the Reich Security Main Office is now also Adolf Eichmann dealt with the plans. He took a report and left the need for transport ships determine. According to his calculations were 1,000,000 people per year can be shipped to Madagascar so that the duration of action for four to five years was estimated. – Since the records of the RSHA were not found, further details of the plan are not known.

Governor General Frank let’s stop on Rademacher’s plan towards the development of all ghetto in his domain. He conjured up a conflict with Arthur Greiser, the head of the civil administration in the military district of Posen. This did not believe that the Madagascar plan before winter would be realized. An agreement was not reached. Those responsible were available several reports, which (unlike the Polish report) held the influx from 5 to 6.5 million Jewish settlers to Madagascar possible. According to a judgment of the historian Magnus Brechtken these reports are inconclusive, they came to a conclusion that had been signaled as politically desirable. “Who thought this plan to end … had to come to the conclusion that deportation to Madagascar was tantamount to a death sentence in this form …”

Failure of the Madagascar Plan

The conditions for the implementation of the Madagascar Plan were not met. A peace with Britain was not within reach, and the execution of the plan was not possible for the supremacy of the British navy. Also be held with the French Vichy regime against an assignment of his colony.

From September 1940, the work was therefore no longer continue on the Madagascar plan. Hitler and those responsible for the Nazi Jewish policy politicians hoped, however, that he still could be currently later: When Alfred Rosenberg wanted to publish an article about the Madagascar plan, Hitler had him on 3 November 1940 by his secretary Martin Bormann align, should not currently appear to the article, “or perhaps already in a few months”. Eichmann still increased on 3 December, the number of people to be deported to Madagascar to 6 million. At a meeting in December 1940 it was decided to prepare the Jews to the possibility of “groups and mass settlement,” and sent a circular to all the communities in which a “Jewish settlement” outside of Palestine was talk. Meanwhile subordinate Gauleiter were already busy trying to make their areas “free of Jews”.

Placement in the context of the Holocaust

The classification of the Madagascar Plan in the Holocaust is perceived differently. A number of historians and social scientists who are generally assigned to the functionalists, believes that the education decision was made ​​in the course of World War II genocide. Other ways to get rid of the Jews, had been seriously considered. According to this interpretation of the “Madagascar Plan” was a serious consideration, the “Jewish problem” to be solved by forced displacement in the form of an over continental emigration program for a short time. “If high-ranking Nazi officials exposed the planned deportations for August and stopped the establishment of ghettos in the General Government, so that was not thought out clever deception. [...] Rather, you made ​​decisions based on the Madagascar Plan, which actually represented the National Socialist Jewish policy in the summer of 1940.” The Madagascar plan is seen here as a psychological milestone to the Holocaust.

The historian Eberhard Jäckel, which is attributed to the intentionalists other hand believes that the genocide of the Jews, as he has actually and increasingly implemented from the beginning of the 1940s, systematic on industrially-driven basis, in 1939, approved by the highest level thing was. Hitler himself had before the Second World War, in a public speech on the anniversary of his “seizure” on 30 January 1939 announced to the Reichstag in the Kroll Opera House, the “annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe” in case of a new war, the war, which he himself had been long prepared and the advance to the Jews he attributed the blame to propagandistic intent. This interpretation, according shared by other intentionalist historians of the Madagascar plan was never ultimately a serious option of the Nazi leadership, but only one shown to the outside world whereas to conceal the real objective sought, the murder of up to 11 million people in the public.

Aly project also appears retroactively “completely wrong, so it is often interpreted as a metaphor for the supposedly already firmly planned genocide.” By controlling the Italian and French colonies in Africa were seen in Berlin, first as likely to achieve. When a few weeks later, the resettlement proved to be unrealistic due to the superiority of the British Mediterranean Fleet, the Warsaw Ghetto was finally sealed in November 1940.



History (Madagascar)


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