Alfred Rosenberg : biography
Alfred Ernst Rosenberg () (12 January 1893 – 16 October 1946) was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the Nazi government. He is considered one of the main authors of key Nazi ideological creeds, including its racial theory, persecution of the Jews, Lebensraum, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to "degenerate" modern art. He is also known for his rejection of Christianity, having played an important role in the development of Positive Christianity, which he intended to be transitional to a new Nazi faith. At Nuremberg he was tried, sentenced to death and executed by hanging as a war criminal and for crimes against humanity.
In 1940 Rosenberg was made head of the Hohe Schule (literally "high school", but the German phrase refers to a college), the Centre of National Socialist Ideological and Educational Research. He created a "Special Task Force for Music" (Sonderstab Musik) to collect the best musical instruments and scores for use in a university to be built in Hitler's home town of Linz, Austria. The orders given the Sonderstab Musik were to loot all forms of Jewish property in Germany and of those found in any country taken over by the German army and any musical instruments or scores were to be immediately shipped to Berlin.
Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories
Following the invasion of the USSR, Rosenberg was appointed head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories (Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete). Alfred Meyer served as his deputy and represented him at the Wannsee Conference. Another official of the Ministry, Georg Leibbrandt, also attended the conference, at Rosenberg's request.
Rosenberg had presented Hitler with his plan for the organization of the conquered Eastern territories, suggesting the establishment of new administrative districts, to replace the previously Soviet-controlled territories with new Reichskommissariats. These would be:
- Ostland (Baltic countries and Belarus),
- Ukraine (Ukraine and nearest territories),
- Kaukasus (Caucasus area),
- Moskau (Moscow metropolitan area and the rest of nearest Russian European areas)
Such suggestions were intended to encourage certain non-Russian nationalism and to promote German interests for the benefit of future Aryan generations, in accord with geopolitical "Lebensraum im Osten" plans. They would provide a buffer against Soviet expansion in preparation for the total eradication of Communism and Bolshevism by decisive pre-emptive military action.
Following these plans, when Wehrmacht forces invaded Soviet-controlled territory, they immediately implemented the first of the proposed Reichskommissariats of Ostland and Ukraine, under the leadership of Hinrich Lohse and Erich Koch, respectively. The organization of these administrative territories led to conflict between Rosenberg and the SS over the treatment of Slavs under German occupation. As Nazi Germany's chief racial theorist, Rosenberg considered Slavs, though lesser than Germans, to be Aryan. Rosenberg often complained to Hitler and Himmler about the treatment of non-Jewish occupied peoples.Kevin P. Spicer, Antisemitism, Christian ambivalence, and the Holocaust, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Indiana University Press, 2007, p. 308 He proposed creation of buffer satellite states made out of Greater Finland, Baltica, Ukraine, Caucasus. He made no complaints about the murders of Jews. At the Nuremberg Trials he claimed to be ignorant of the Holocaust, despite the fact that Leibbrandt and Meyer were present at the Wannsee conference.http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Leibbrandt.html
Wartime propaganda efforts
Because the invasion of the Soviet Union intended to impose the New Order was essentially a war of conquest and extermination, German propaganda efforts designed to win over Russian opinion were, at best, patchy and inconsistent. Alfred Rosenberg was one of the few in the Nazi hierarchy who advocated a policy designed to encourage anti-Communist opinion.
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