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The roots of the “Brussels EU”

Newly discovered documents reveal that the undemocratic structure of the "Brussels EU" has its roots in the post WWII plans of the IG Farben/Nazi-coalition in a conquered Europe.
Following are a few of the most important documents, to be used by teachers, politicians and anyone who is interested in preventing the “Brussels EU” from establishing a dictatorship of corporate interests in Europe.
1Reich Chancery memorandum: „Organization of the German Economy“ (July 9, 1940)
The IG Farben/Nazi coalition plans for a "New Europe" Related Documents
July 9, 1940

On 22 June 1940 Göring as plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan issued an order on ‘the organization of our economy after the conclusion of the military conflict’. As a result the Reich Chancery produced the following memorandum for Reich Minister Hans Heinrich Lammers, which was used on 22 July 1940 as the basis for a conference of departmental heads chaired by Funk, Reich Minister of Economics.

By the annexed Order the Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan has directed the Reich Minister of Economics to prepare comprehensive measures for the organization of the German-European economic area. This task calls for the following observations. The great successes of the German armed forces have laid the foundation for the economic reorganization of Europe under German leadership. While German efforts in recent years have been chiefly concentrated on military armaments, in the future we shall also be able to pursue the path of economic expansion and the broadest possible development of all productive forces, which will greatly improve the standard of living. The most important precondition is to do away with the economic Balkanization of Europe. A new large economic area will come into being, in which the economy can develop with only basic direction from the state. The parts of Europe under Germany’s influence must be unified in the same fashion as other continental areas, e.g. the USA and Russia.

This creation of an economic area on a European scale was arbitrarily prevented after the World War by the dictated peace of Versailles and associated treaties. The result was to set up 35 independent European states, 16 of which had less than 10 million inhabitants, and to create 7,000 kilometers of new customs frontiers. Attempts at unification, e.g. the Anschluss of the former state of Austria to Germany, were frustrated, and the regime of small economic units was artificially encouraged.

The large-scale economic unification of Europe can be achieved in various ways. States which economically complement Germany or resemble it in economic structure can largely be unified with it. This is especially true of the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg. With other states the ties will be less close.

Such a central European economic community under German leadership will require a solution of the following problems among others:
  1. The central European currencies must be placed on a uniform basis by establishing a fixed rate of exchange between those of the other countries and the Reichmark.
  2. Customs barriers in central Europe must be abolished. Damage to individual industries can be avoided by the conclusion of quota, price and sales agreements among economic groups in the respective countries. In the same way agriculture could be protected by measures to be adopted by Reich agencies and their counterparts in the other countries concerned.
The following are the principal general advantages of an economic community:
  1. The possibility of rational production and of concentrating the most efficient concerns in the most favorable sites, eliminating inefficient plant and doing away with uneconomic movement of goods.
  2. Removing payments difficulties.
  3. Enlarging the customs-free marketing area.
  4. Increased leverage in trade negotiations and relations with other countries.
Such a central European union would give a powerful impetus to the European economy. Admittedly it would not confer autarky upon Europe: there would still be a need for various raw materials, e.g. rubber, important non-ferrous metals, hides and skins, textile raw materials, foodstuffs and fodder. The deficiencies could be made good either from colonies or by trading with other large economic areas.

As far as numbers are concerned, a central European economic bloc including those of Germany’s neighbors that are envisaged for the purpose would comprise a much larger population than the Unites States‘ 130 million.
2Meeting at Reich Economic Ministry: Reorganization of European economy (July 22, 1940)
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July 22, 1940

Record of meeting held at Reich Economic Ministry under the chairmanship of Minister Walther Funk to discuss Göring’s order of 22 June 1940. Ribbentrop informed Funk on 25 July that he had instructed Carl Clodius, Deputy Director of the Economic Policy Dept. of the Foreign Ministry, to study ‘questions connected with the organization of a Greater European economic area under German leadership’. The minister began by referring to the order addressed to him by Reichsmarschall Göring on 22 June. The preparatory work to be undertaken under the Minister’s overall direction was to include the following:
  1. Coordination of the incorporated and occupied territories within the Great German economy.
  2. Economic settlement with the enemy states.
  3. Reorganization of the continental economy directed by Germany, and its relations with the world economy.

1. Currency questions
Currency was not a primary factor, but depended on events and economic necessities: Yet theoreticians were always putting forward ideas on currency that had nothing to do with reality. In particular it could only do harm to create a new special currency for Europe. It was unprofitable for currency matters to be discussed in the abstract, especially by unauthorized persons: this could lead nowhere. Before deciding the question of currency we must be clear as to the methods whereby the economy was to be organized after the war. It was wrong to suppose that the free play of market forces would again be allowed, for with an undirected economy there was too much attrition of national economic assets. Instead, the system of price and other controls evolved by Germany in recent years would be to be continued for the time being. It was a fantasy to talk at this stage of a unified economy on a European scale, and in the same way it was harmful to use slogans like ‘currency and customs union’ and expect them to solve all difficulties. A currency or customs union could only be envisaged with a country having a similar standard of life to our own. This was not the case in south-eastern Europe, for instance, and it was not at all in our interest to confer on that area a similar standard of life to ours. This could only impair the efficiency of the local economy. In discussing post-war organization we must always be clear what immediate measures were necessary and what might be called for in the long run.

One difficulty of planning lay in the fact that the Führer’s aims and decisions were not yet known and the military measures against Britain were not yet concluded. We therefore did not know whether the British Empire and its economic influence would remain to any extent or not. Those responsible for preliminary planning should assume that the British economy would continue to exist in some form and would affect the situation at any rate outside Europe. If this assumption should be altered, other proposals would have to be worked out.

A second main problem was the priority of needs. At the end of the war we should not be able at once to satisfy all the needs of the European peoples. There would be a bottleneck in raw materials, foodstuff and fodder. Urgent measures would be necessary to overcome these shortages. If they were successful in a short time, the existing rations system could be brought to an end and the regulations made less severe. The main object of planning was to determine the priority as between economic needs on the home front. If this was not decided and if economic demands were allowed to compete freely, there were bound to be tensions of the same kind as those that had made themselves felt in 1938 and the first half of 1939. It was wrong to suppose that the armaments industry would have nothing to do after the war. On the contrary, Germany would have to keep its armed forces at an appropriate level, and they would thus continue to make considerable demands on the arms industry. In the first years of peace there would probably only be a falling-off in actual war expenses; any further easing in the armaments sector was not to be expected for the time being.

Germany now had the political power to reorganize the European economy in accordance with her own needs. Three was also the political intention to use that power, so that other countries would have to adapt themselves and their economies to our plans and needs. But all our needs could not be met in Europe. The needs of Europe (apart from Russia and Italy) for raw materials were such that, even counting parts of Africa and Asia as colonies, there would still be a considerable import requirement. This requirement must be decreased by intensifying European production: only thus could be regain our economic freedom. But we wanted more than this, as it was the Führer’s especial aim to improve the living standards of German workers. In order to satisfy needs that went beyond the bare minimum, we would have to trade with overseas countries. This was especially clear in the case of mineral oil. By synthetic production we could manufacture enough to cover our peacetime needs, but his was not really necessary. It was sufficient if Germany and the European territories within our reach could manufacture or extract enough for wartime; the additional amount required in time of peace could then be procured by foreign trade.

3. Autarky – yes or no?
It was wrong to put the question whether the new Europe should be based on autarkic principles or not. The answer was rather that independence of foreign markets must be achieved to the extent necessary to safeguard the freedom of Greater Germany. We must therefore be autarkic from the war point of view. Apart from that, there should be freedom of overseas trade in order to meet needs additional to those of war economy. Thus it was not a question of ‘autarky or exports’, but of ‘autarky and exports’.

4. Foreign trade
German foreign trade was based on bilateral arrangements. This had worked well enough so far, but it had the disadvantage that one was tied to a particular partner and could not start importing at will from some other country that might for a time have more of the commodity in question. Hence the bilateral system must be enlarged into a multilateral one. By manipulating prices vis-á-vis the offset-account countries it was possible at the same time to manipulate the currency. This applied to offset transactions in Europe. In international overseas trade, however, a free currency was necessary.

6. Questions of organization
To enable the other countries in our sphere of interest to take similar measures, which must be agreed with us as a matter of principle, their respective economies must be reorganized. The Reich organization for agriculture could set up corresponding bodies in their other countries, to supervise the whole economic process including production, processing and distribution to consumers. Similar cooperation is to be envisaged in industry and trade.

7. Two groups of countries
The European countries within the German sphere of interest fall into two groups. The first comprises countries with a similar price, wage and salary, tax and income level to ours: e.g. Denmark, Holland and Switzerland. The south-eastern countries form the second group. While the first are to be organized similarly to ourselves and treated more generously in the matter of payments, the others are too different from us for a payments and currency union to be considered. Certainly we must try to have close economic links with France after the war. Russia’s position in relation to the territories under our authority is still uncertain.

8. Summary
Germany’s general post-war objective in Europe is to achieve a large measure of economic liberty while raising the standard of living by means of increased supplies. Thanks to large-scale planning the economy will be free from cyclic variations, and this will have a stimulating effect on all branches of commerce and finance. Thanks to state control of prices, salaries and supplies in the European area the needs of a war economy will be met, while additional peace-time needs will be met with the aid of extensive exports.

The departmental heads agreed in principle with the Minister’s exposition and stated that his well-thought-out remarks were in general correct and convincing and would serve as a basis for planning in their respective departments.
3Walther Funk: The economic reorganization of Europe (July 25, 1940)
The IG Farben/Nazi coalition plans for a "New Europe" Related Documents
July 25, 1940

The speech by Funk, The Reich Economic Minister, had a sensational effect as a kind of distillation of long deliberations on the economic reorganization of Europe. It was regarded as a kind of semi-official blueprint for all the occupied countries.

Discussions about the structure and organization of German and European economy after the war and about the effects which the war will have upon world economy have been filling the columns of the German and foreign press to an increasing extent in recent times. Both men of affairs and theorists press to an increasing extent in recent times. Both men of affairs and theorists are giving much attention to these problems and some more or less fantastic ideas and plans have emerged which have caused considerable confusion. Even the great philosopher Hegel has been claimed as the source of evidence in support of certain opinions. Catch phrases of all kinds abound, the favorite being ‘the Greater European economy’. Whatever truth there may be in this notion, one must recognize first of all that this Greater Europe does not yet actually exist, that it has first to be created and that within its area there is still much friction. In these circumstances I feel it my duty to make a clear and objective statement which will bring the discussion back from the realm of fantasy and speculation to the world of reality and fact. As yet there is no hard and fast plan in existence, but only preparations for comprehensive planning in accordance with orders from Field marshal Hermann Göring, who will decide upon the final form and execution of the plans. Thus I must limit myself to a statement of the basic principles and methods. I shall therefore merely indicate the means which can be used to achieve our aim. Moreover, the new European economy must grow organically.

National Socialist economic policy has never allowed itself to be governed by rigid dogma in its methods. We have always used whatever methods seemed most expedient at the time. Nor do we intend in future to erect an artificial structure. In the same way the new economic order in Europe will grow out of the existing circumstances, more especially since the natural conditions exist for close economic co-operation between Germany and European countries. Obviously the war will have far-reaching effects on European as well as on world economy. We shall co-operate closely with our ally Italy in all spheres and combine German and Italian economic forces for the purpose of European reconstruction.

The question of the future general economic order in Europe must therefore be answered as follows: after the victorious conclusion of the war we shall apply those methods in economic policy which won us our great economic successes before the war and especially in time of war, and we do not contemplate again allowing the operation of the unregulated play of forces which involved the German economy in very great difficulties. We are convinced that our methods will prove to be of great advantage not only to the Greater German economy, but also to all European economies which naturally stand in close trade relations with Germany.

Regarding the question of the basis of a new currency, which has recently been the subject of particularly lively debate, the following should be said:

Currency is always secondary to general economic policy. When the economy is unsound, there can be no stable currency. In a sound European economy and with a rational division of labor between the economies of the European countries the currency question will solve itself, because it will then be only a technical problem of monetary management. It stands to reason that the Reichsmark will have a dominant place. The great increase of power of the Greater German Reich will inevitably bring in its wake a stabilization of the Reichsmark. The currency area of the Reichsmark, which will be freed from the getters of unsettled foreign debts and multiple currency practice, must then increase. Starting from the methods of bilateral trading already applied there will be a further development in the direction of multilateral trading and of the adjustment of the trade balances of individual countries, so that the various countries can engage in regulated trade relations among themselves through the medium of a clearing house. Naturally there will be no questions of abolishing foreign exchange control and compulsory clearing all at once. Nor is the problem one of free exchange of foreign currency versus a European currency union, but the next step will be to develop the technique of clearing further so that payments can be operated smoothly among the countries linked with the clearing house. Moreover, the prerequisites for such a development exist, for almost all countries, suitably placed for inclusion in a European clearing center already have some form of foreign exchange control. The prerequisites for the satisfactory working of a clearing system are that the clearing agreements should lay down fixed exchange rates from all payments, that rates should remain stable for a long time, and that amounts assigned for clearing should always be paid out immediately.

Payment of ‘uncovered’ clearing transfers naturally poses an internal monetary problem for individual countries. The fear prevalent everywhere today of such ‘uncovered’ balances will, however, disappear; for in the first place the general economic revival which is to be expected after the war will cause an increase of money circulation even in countries which have adhered hitherto to an orthodox central banking policy based on the gold cover theory and the automatic operation of the gold standard, and, secondly, owing to government control over the balance of payments the problem of clearing balances will gradually disappear.

The price level will have to be adjusted to that of Germany. But a currency union will bring about a gradual leveling of living standards which even in the future will not and should not be the same for all the countries linked with the European clearing system, because the economic and social prerequisites for it are lacking, and it would be absurd to regulate the European economy on this basis in the foreseeable future. In Europe each country should develop and expand its own economic forces and each country should be able to trade with any other, but the principles and methods governing this trade must, generally speaking, be the same. This has the advantage that measures for economic control and compulsion under a general currency and payment system can be largely reduced; because these detailed controls and regulations, involving a system of form-filling which can greatly impede individual trading, will no longer be necessary. When the peace treaty has clarified the situation and settled the functions of the European central clearing system, it will be possible to eliminate foreign exchange control within this area; first for traveling and small-scale frontier business, then for foreign trade within the framework of import quotas, when the allocation of quotas can be entrusted to trade organizations which operate on an adequate scale in the various countries. Commercial banks can then take over definite responsibility for payments to be made trough the clearing account, particularly for short-term financing of trade. But for capital transfers state direction and control will remain indispensable.

The question as to what will be lacking in the new European economy and what goods will be available for export must be answered as follows:

It depends on what is included in the European economic area and what other sources of supply are available. Certain products will always be lacking in Europe. We are not, however, contemplating changing over to an exclusively self-sufficient economy, a system such as we have not attempted to achieve in Germany either before or during the war; on the contrary we shall play our natural part in world trade in the usual manner. Therefore it is not a question of autarky or export, but of autarky and export, which requires a proper understanding of the term. We shall consider it important to trade our high-quality industrial products in exchange for raw materials in the world markets. But here we make a reservation. We must see that there is a sufficient supply in the European economic area of all those commodities which make this area economically independent of other areas. We must therefore guarantee its economic freedom. That is largely a question of living standards. For instance, in future we should not need to import a single ton of oil from overseas markets if we were to limit our consumption of petroleum products by rationing. But if everyone is to be free to drive a car as much as he likes and if as many cars as possible are to be produced, then there is nothing to prevent our importing this extra oil from world markets, because in case of need consumption

Goods such as coffee, tea, cocoa, etc. We shall have to be careful lest in time need the economic area of Greater Germany should become dependent, as regards what it can produce itself, upon forces and powers over which it has no control. In this connection we much remember that the raw material situation of Greater Germany has improved immensely during the war and that Germany will emerge at the end of a victorious war with a potential volume of exports such as she has never had before. As regards coal, potash, iron, timber, electric power, and also all synthetic materials developed with such success by German economy and science and with the help of new products, we shall become even more independent of world economy, and especially of the monopoly products of the world, that was previously the case. This is true of all raw materials, especially agricultural produce. In the food sector a systematic increase in production and an adjustment of production to meet vital needs will ensure a greater degree of self-sufficiency that has yet been the case in Greater Germany. The centrally regulated and organized European grain market, however, will not be like the old speculative corn exchange, but will function like the currency clearing system as a grain clearing center. Fundamentally, however, economic ties with the rest of the world in order to raise the living standards of the German nation and of the highly developed industrial states in Europe.

Another question which is repeatedly asked is: What deliveries of goods does the new Europe expect from Russia, America, South America, and East Asia? And what goods will she supply in exchange? In this connection the following should be noted.

We have a very useful trade agreement with Russia. Russia is the natural trade partner for highly developed industrial states. We are of the opinion that, by supplying us with raw materials in exchange for finished German products, Russia will in the future stimulate her own economic development even more than hitherto. The extent to which we trade with the United States of America depends entirely on the Americans themselves. Of course, so long as they discriminate against German goods, such trade is problematical and so long as they adhere to dogma for its own sake our trading with the United States will always come up against difficulties. But if the United States wants to assist in restoring cohesion to world economy, she must abandon her erroneous idea that she can be at the same time the greatest creditor and the greatest exporter. These two things cannot be brought down to a common denominator, because it is impossible for a great creditor nation to encourage exports in every way and systematically obstruct imports. What the Americans will eventually do with their gold, we are not in a position to say. The gold problem is first and foremost a problem for the Unites States of America. In future gold will cease to be the basis for European currency, because the currency will be independent of gold and will depend on the value given to it by the state, or in this case by the state-controlled economic system. The clearing system described above makes gold superfluous for currency and payment purposes within the clearing area. It is a somewhat different question whether gold is to be considered a suitable means of settling the balances not subject to clearing, that is to say for free trade and payments; but we shall never pursue a currency policy which makes us in any way dependent on gold, because we cannot tie ourselves to a medium of exchange the value of which we are not in position to determine. If the Americans wished to rid themselves of their gold, which at present lies idle in the cellars of Fort Knox, bearing no interest, they could revalue the dollar, which naturally would involve the American economy in considerable difficulties. But then gold would flow out of America, that is, there would be a ready market in America and thus a flow of goods to America would be set in motion. But this question will depend on the extent to which American domestic policy will permit the carrying through of such measures. Moreover, if all the gold which lies underground in America were to be placed on an island and if this island were to be submerged as a result of a natural catastrophe, the economic life of nations would still go on. The last word on the gold problem has not yet been said.

We have maintained the best of trade relations with South America and East Asia and we are convinced that, as soon as English piracy ceases, trade with South America and East Asia will develop favorably, for we must always bear in mind that the difficulties of world economy and the supplying of Europe in particular, apart from the crazy methods of Versailles, can be attributed firstly to the shrinking of Russia’s huge market, which disposed of her superfluous grain in Europe, and secondly to the adverse effects suffered by the great East Asian market as a result of the unrest in China, and that a different situation would immediately arise if China should again establish stable political and economic relations, which is what Japan desires. Our old-established and well organized trade with South America has been interrupted only by the English blockade. We are convinced that here, too, normal trade will be resumed once the war at sea can no longer prevent it. Nor do we believe that the efforts to make American markets autarkic and to cut them off from trade with the world will be successful. The economic prerequisites for such a policy do not exist, because the United States cannot buy the same volume of products from South America as Europe can. The United States must abandon the idea that she can dictate her own economic terms to Germany or Europe. We do not need North America as an intermediary in trading with South American countries. Either Germany trades with South America on the basis of free agreements with sovereign states, or she does not trade with South America at all. Moreover, the United States actually favors a fundamental economic bilateralism I connection with her policy of commodity agreements for South American products. Technical difficulties do not, however, stand in the way of the normalization and extension of mutual trade relations provided German-American trade is allowed to develop freely. The European clearing system does not in any way exclude the free exchange of foreign currency with countries not included in the system. The Reichsmark will become acceptable in this type of trade after the war. After all, it is not the methods used but the quality of the goods which will be the deciding factor. And in this respect we certainly need not feel any anxiety about German export goods!

Turning from the external to the internal sector, the question, ‘How is this war being financed in Germany?’ is one in which the world shows a lively interest.

The war is financed by work, for we are spending no money which has not been earned by our work. Bills based on labor – drawn by the Reich and discounted by the Reichsbank – are the basis of money. And these bills are of absolutely invariable value because prices and wages are stable, apart, naturally, from those cases where higher prices or higher wages have to be recognized as justified and necessary as a result of definite developments. Where higher production is achieved, higher wages are also paid. The extent of our consolidation of short-term credits is therefore of no importance. Present indebtedness in Germany does not cause concern, chiefly because we have succeeded in reducing the rate of interest for Reich credits in war-time and the public finances are in order.

And now, finally, the last question: How will the war economy be reconverted to a peace-time economy? Will not this changeover cause an economic crisis? The answer is clear and simple.

Since we have guided our economy both before and during the war according to the needs of the state, and since, also, there will be tremendous tasks to be accomplished after the war for the general welfare, the changeover to a peacetime economy will not cause great difficulties, because a great need for money or credit will not arise all of a sudden, more especially because the stocks which have to be replenished can be made available only gradually. Moreover, after the war we shall direct the flow of money and credit into the production of those goods which are most necessary and important for us. A system of priorities, tasks, ad orders will be maintained after the war.

To sum up, the following must be said:
  1. By concluding long-term economic agreements with European countries it will be possible to assign a place for the German market in the long-term production planning of these countries, i.e. as a safe export outlets will be found to exist for German goods in European markets.
  2. By creating stable exchange rates a smooth working system of payments must be assured for the carrying on of trade between individual countries. In so doing we hall link up with the existing payments agreements, which will be expanded to include a greater volume of trade on the basis of stable exchange rates.
  3. By an exchange of experience in the field of agriculture and industry a maximum production of foodstuffs and raw materials must be our aim, and a rational economic division of labor must be achieved in Europe. By the appropriate use of all economic resources available in Europe, the living standards of European nations must be raise, and their safety in face of possible blockade measures from outside Europe must be increased.
  4. A stronger sense of economic community among European nations must be aroused by collaboration in all spheres of economic policy (currency, credit, production, trade, etc.). The economic consolidation of European countries should improve their bargaining position in dealings with other economic groups in the world economy. This united Europe will not submit to political and economic terms dictated to it by any extra-European body. It will trade on the basis of economic equality at all times in the knowledge of the weight which carries in economic matters.
The coming peace-time economy must guarantee for Greater Germany a maximum of economic security and for the German nation a maximum consumption of goods to raise the level of the nation’s well-being. The European economy must be adapted to achieve this aim. Development will proceed by stages and differently in different countries; it is still beset with numerous uncertainties, for – we must never forget – we are still at war!
4Joseph Goebbels: The Europe of the future (September 11, 1940)
The IG Farben/Nazi coalition plans for a "New Europe" Related Documents
September 11, 1940

In a ‚speech to Czech intellectual workers and journalists’ the Reich Propaganda Minister outlined his vision of ‘the Europe of the future’.

(…) At the moment when British power is collapsing we have the opportunity to reorganize Europe on principles corresponding to the social, economic and technical possibilities of the twentieth century.

About a hundred years ago our German Reich went trough a similar process. At that time it was fragmented into just as many larger and smaller parts as Europe is today. This medley of small states was endurable so long as technical facilities, especially those of communications, were not yet so developed that is took too short a time to travel from one small country to another. But the invention of steam power made the old conditions intolerable (…)

In those days too there were elements in the Reich which sought to remedy this state of affairs by negotiation. Those elements were refuted by historical developments, in a way that is not uncommon. History generally operates with harsher laws than those that prevail around the conference table. You may remember the words Bismarck used at that time that German unity would not be brought about by speeches and resolutions but that it must be forged by blood and iron. This statement was much contested then, but history justified it in due course: the unity of the Reich was in fact forged on the battlefield. In the process a whole lot of peculiarities of individual states, prejudices, limitations and parochial ideas were done away with. They had to be overcome, for otherwise the Reich would not have been in a position to achieve unity and enter into the great conflict of European powers. We were only able to achieve political unity because at that time we broke down the barriers that were constricting us (…)

Today the railway is no longer the most modern means of communication: it has been superseded by the aeroplane. A distance that it once took twelve hours to cover by rail can be traversed by a modern aircraft in one or one and a half hours. Technology has brought not only tribes but whole peoples closer together than was once imaginable. Whereas formerly it tool 24 hours to talk from Berlin to Prague indirectly via the press, today it does not take me an extra second. When I speak at this microphone I can be heard at the same moment in Prague, Slovakia, Warsaw, Brussels and The Hague. Whereas it once took twelve hours to travel to Prague by rail, today I can fly there in an hour. In other words, in the course of a century technology has brought peoples closer still to one another. It is certainly no accident that these technical aids have come into being at this particular moment. For there are more people in Europe than there used to be, and their numbers have created quite new problems for European society – problems of food supplies and economic policy as well as those of finance and defense. As these technical achievements are put to use, so the continents are inevitably brought closer together. Meanwhile European peoples are realizing more and more clearly that many of the issues between us are mere family quarrels compared to the great problems that today require to be solved as between continents.

I am firmly convinced that just as today we smile when we look back at the parochial quarrels that divided the German peoples in the 40s and 50s of the last century, so in fifty years’ time future generations will be no less amused at the political disputes that are now going now on in Europe. The ‘dramatic national conflicts’ of many small European states will seem to them no more than family quarrels. I am convinced that in fifty years people will no longer think in terms of countries – may of today’s problems will have faded into obscurity, and there will be little left of them. In those days people will think in terms of continents, and European minds will be filled and swayed by quite different, perhaps much greater problems.

You must on no account think that when we Germans bring about a certain order in Europe we do so for the purpose of stifling individual peoples. In my view a nation’s conception of its own freedom must be harmonized with present-day facts and simple questions of efficiency and purpose. Just as no member of a family has the right to disturb its peace for selfish purposes, in the same way no single European nation can in the long run be allowed to stand in the way of the general process of organization.

It has never been our intention that this new order or reorganization of Europe should be brought about by force. If we with our Greater German outlook have no interest in infringing the economic, cultural or social peculiarities of, say the Bavarians or the Saxons, so it is equally not in out interest to infringe the economic, social or cultural individuality of, say the Czech people. But a clear basis of mutual understanding must be created between the two nations. We must approach each other either as friends or as enemies. And I think you know ell enough from the past experience that the Germans can be terrible enemies, but also very good friends. We reach out our hand to a friend and cooperate with him in a truly loyal spirit, but we can also fight an enemy until he is destroyed.

The people who have adapted or will adapt to this reorganization must ask themselves whether they are doing so with genuine good will and sincerity or whether they are inwardly resisting it. Whichever they do will make no difference to the facts. They may take it as certain that once England is overthrown the Axis powers will not permit any change in the power-political situation of a Europe reorganized in accordance with great political, economic and social ideas. If Britain can do nothing to prevent this, certainly the Czech people cannot. If you have learnt anything from recent history you will know that nothing can or will be changed in the power-political situation as it exists today.

And so, gentlemen – and I am speaking now quite realistically, without any appeal to sentiment – it makes no difference at all whether you approve this state of things or not. Whether or not you welcome it from your hearts, you cannot do anything to alter the facts. Now it is my opinion that when you can do nothing to alter a state of affairs and have to put up with the disadvantages it may no doubt present, it would be foolish not to profit by its advantages as well. Since you have become part of the Reich anyway, I do not see why the Czech people should adopt an attitude of inward opposition to the Reich instead of claiming the advantages it offers (…)

You gentlemen have now seen something of the Reich, and I made a point of allowing you to make this journey before I addressed you. You have seen the Reich in Wartime, and you will have formed some idea of what it can be in peace. Out great nation with its large population, together with Italy, will in practice take over the leadership of Europe. There are no two ways about that. What it means for you is that you are already members of a great Reich which is preparing to reorganize Europe, tearing down the barriers that still separate the European peoples and making it easier for them to come together. Germany intends to put an end to a situation which quite clearly cannot satisfy mankind for long. We are performing here a work of reform which I am convinced will one day be recorded in large letters in the book of European history. Can you imagine what the Reich will actually be like after the war? (…)
5Werner Daitz: The reorganization of Europe on a racial and territorial basis (Second half of 1940)
The IG Farben/Nazi coalition plans for a "New Europe" Related Documents
Second half of 1940

Daitz attempts to deduce the ‚law’ of different Lebensräume from European history; Britain has played a pernicious role by selfishly preventing Europe from concentrating on its own problems. It is the mission of National Socialism to uphold the new principle of European order.

(…) This European revolution first asserted itself in Germany and Italy, in National Socialism and Fascism. The National Socialist and Fascist revolutions, like the Falangist and others that will follow, are national solutions, parts of the general European revolution. It follows that they have not only national but also European objectives. Their providential leaders, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, are therefore not only the greatest men of Germany and Italy, but also the greatest Europeans. They are not only the leaders of their national revolutions but also of the European revolution, the reorganization of the European continent of a basis of race and territory. Under Adolf Hitler the first Reich has again arisen with its politico-territorial base in the North and Baltic area, its soldierly life-style and, in foreign affairs, the undertaking that first and foremost and in all circumstances it will pursue the continental policy that has been interrupted for a thousand years. In the same way, the Roman Empire has come to life again under Benito Mussolini in Fascist Rome as their ruler of the Mediterranean are and has indissolubly united with the German Reich to form the axis of European policy based on Lebensräume. Thus the North and Baltic Sea area under German rule and the Mediterranean under Italy combine to give Europe fresh unity and strength. In the economic field, too, alongside the yen, dollar and rupee areas there is now a Reichmark area as a sign of the economic consolidation of the racial Lebensräume and of a better economic order in place of the dying British world economic system. They proclaim a new European morality: that just as the individual cannot with impunity transgress the higher law of the racial community into which he is born, so a people cannot with impunity transgress the higher law of the community to which it belongs by race or violate the political, economic and cultural interest, rights and duties which arise organically from it. The European community of peoples, the common Lebensraum of the white race, demands from each of its people the same discipline that the national community imposes on every one of its citizens. In this way the peoples of Europe must again be Europeanized, so that they once more become citizens of their continent and, thereafter, of the world. Europe for the Europeans!
6Joachim von Ribbentrop: Speech on the prolongation of the Anti-Comintern Pact (November 26, 1941)
The IG Farben/Nazi coalition plans for a "New Europe" Related Documents
November 26, 1941

The prolongation of the Anti-Comintern Pact on 25 November 1941 was used by the Nazi leaders to launch for the first time an elaborate propaganda campaign for the ‘New Order’ and the ‘New Europe’. The main themes of the keynote speech by Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop were Anglo-American intransigence and the common interest of Europeans in averting the Bolshevik danger.

(…)Today we once again confirm the solidarity of our destiny, when the victorious armies of Germany and her allies have already penetrated deep into Soviet Russian territory, dealing deadly blows to that appalling system which had been working for years to undermine and destroy our culture. But we are no longer alone. On the immense front stretching from the Arctic to the Black Sea, Germans and Italians, Finns and Rumanians, Hungarians and Slovaks, Spanish legionaries and volunteers from many countries, speaking many tongues, are displaying a true brotherhood in arms, ready for even the supreme sacrifice. They are a shinning example of the already existing and constantly growing moral unity of Europe within the New Order that our great leaders have proclaimed and prepared for the future of civilized nations. Herein lies the deep meaning of the war against Bolshevism. It is the sign of Europe’s spiritual regeneration. (…)

(…) One thing is of course clear, that since British policy has plunged Europe into war, our continent cannot thereafter be rebuilt in a day. Birth-pangs there will certainly be: in many ways people will have to adapt and get used to the new situation. But, while there will be much to clarify and discuss and regulate, most people in Europe are already fully agreed on one thing: Britain must be kept out of Europe once and for all. Too long have the British made mischief of the continent, playing off one power against another, intriguing and fomenting wars which they nearly always caused to be fought with other’s blood. Today every child knows this, and Europe is determined once and for all to be rid of this English policy. Even France is beginning to develop a European conscience on this subject. This last English war, which has once again brought sorrow and tears to out countries, has brought about a change in the minds of Europeans faster than many years of peace could have done. Although some for selfish reasons refuse to see this or at any rate to admit it, one fact is indisputable: the peoples of Europe have come closer together. Although here and there sections of opinion may still hesitate, the British alliance with Bolshevism against Europe has opened the eyes even of such doubters. Every European knows that today the British would like nothing better that to see old Europe collapse and be engulfed by a Bolshevik catastrophe, in the hope, utopian though it is, that they could then remain safe for a time on their island and even one day again incite the continent against the East. But Europe has awakened from its lethargy and has decided otherwise. It has united its forces, and we now have to uplifting experience of seeing one European nation after another – mostly Britain’s former allies or countries which Britain pushed into war against Germany and thus into misery – turn away from Britain and towards us, offering their sons to help fight the common Bolshevik enemy. For the first time in history Europe is on the path towards unity – a momentous development indeed! The keen instinct of peoples has shown them the right way despite the designs of their former governments, who are today emigres in London sitting round a table with Churchill, Stalin’s ally – men of whom their disillusioned peoples wish to hear nothing ever again. Today the sons of almost every European nation are fighting in the East to preserve the life and culture of our continent. The blood shed in this common struggle will count for more than all the traditions of a bygone age. The new Europe is on the march – it cannot be stopped or deflected from its path – it marches on, whether Mr Churchill and Mr Roosevelt and their Jewish backers like it or not. The peoples of our continent will build up the new Europe and will tolerate interference from no one, war or no war. Militarily impregnable and economically assured of our needs, we can organize our continent politically just as if it were peace-time. And if bombers continue to fly over us for a while longer, we shall see to it that they are paid back tenfold. If it were necessary, Europe today could fight a thirty years’ war without even itself being in serious danger. With the increasing unity and solidarity of its peoples our continent will be an ever stronger factor against anyone who dares to attack Europe.
7Karl Megerle: "European themes" (prob. Autumn 1941)
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prob. Autumn 1941

Megerle, the official on the Foreign Minister’s staff in charge of information matters, developed a number of guidelines on ‘Europe’ in a memorandum, probably for Renthe-Fink.

  1. The unification of Europe, which was already showing itself to be an inevitable development in accordance with the iron laws of history, has been strengthened and accelerated as a result of their war imposed on Germany and Italy by the continent’s old enemy, England.
  2. The new Europe has received its baptism of fire on the Eastern battlefield: the new order has been consecrated by the testing of almost all European nations on the Eastern front against the common enemy of the West.
  3. Germany and Italy, as the leading continental powers, regard it as a solemn duty to protect the other European nations in future against any attempt to disturb their peace.
  4. The new order in Europe will largely remove the causes that have led to internal European wars in the past. The nations of Europe will no longer be one another’s enemies. The age of European particularism will be gone for ever.
  5. In a peaceful Europe organized as a higher unity all European nations will find a rightful and worthy place.
  6. Thanks to planned economic cooperation all the resources of Europe and its complementary African territory will be used to the full to satisfy the continent’s vital needs. In a joint effort, backward economies will be developed so as to raise the living standards of the broad masses.
  7. The new Europe will be tolerant in matters of religion and personal philosophy. It will permit each and everyone. (sic)
  8. The alien invasion of Europe and the adulteration of its culture by aggressive Americanism will no longer be tolerated. Europe will belong to the Europeans alone, and its crowing glory will be to preserve and revive Western civilization.
  9. The idea of leadership, which will be the dominant conception of the new international life of Europe, is the negation of the imperialist methods of a bygone age: it signifies recognition of the confident cooperation of the independent smaller states in tackling the new communal tasks.
8Vidkun Quisling: Norway and the Germanic task in Europe (September 25, 1942)
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September 25, 1942

A program speech on the occasion of the 8th Congress of the Nasjonal Samling in Pslo, 25-7 September 1942, at which the regime gave an account of its record of government since the transfer of power in 1940. The first part of the speech dealt with Norway’s role in Europe, while the second discussed internal problems of the party and of Norwegian politics.

(…) If Germany and her allies were to succumb to Bolshevism, no victory by the British and Americans over Germany could save Europe from being completely broken up, Bolshevized and destroyed. Whether Bolshevism or England is victorious, as far as human foresight goes the only result can be a final victory of Bolshevism in Europe, though it would come about differently in the two cases. Only a German victory can save Europe. (…)

This is not merely a war to break the power of Jewry and Bolshevism, capitalism and Communism. This struggle between two worlds has been deeper meaning: it is a fight for a new order in Europe and in the world.

About 400 years ago the unity of Europe and the civilized world of those days was broken up by the Reformation and what we call the modern age, with the emergence of strong, independent national states with their own characteristics.

Today we are certainly faced with the transition to a new age in which Europe is preparing itself for unity in the political, economic and military fields.

This development is nothing new. As with all profound historical processes, it had to begin with some unsuccessful attempts before finally achieving its aim.

Napoleon’s battles were an attempt of this kind, to create a united Europe that could stand up to England and Russia. The dancing Congress of Vienna with its ‘Holy Alliance’ was a much less successful counter-attempt to forge a different kind of European union.

Kaiser William II tried in vain to unite Germany, Russia and France in an alliance that would afterwards have been joined by the other continental powers.

A third failure was that of Briand in France to create a European alliance within the so-called League of Nations. We need waste no words on Coudenhove-Kalergi with his utopian ideas of Pan-Europe.

Today we are in a better situation, not only because the time is ripe to put an end to Britain’s traditional ‘divide and rule’ policy in our continent. Union has become an urgent necessity for all European peoples if they are not either to be overrun by Bolshevism and the ever-stronger Russian monster, or allow the new world and the Anglo-Saxons to condemn them to the fate that ancient Hellas suffered under Roman imperialism. (…)

What security is there now for future generations against this ceaselessly swelling tide of humanity, if the European states continue to play a lone hand, each for itself, or if they constantly form hostile groups and thus continue to be an easy prey to the Americans, Britons and Jews with their ‘divide and conquer’ policy of exploitation?

The situation today, when a strong and victorious Germany under a God-given statesman and leader, holding the necessary power in the European area, wields the combined force of the European peoples – this situation provides not only a unique opportunity but also probably the last chance to settle the fateful question whether Europe shall live or die.

If the European states do not take this opportunity to show skill, energy and mutual understanding in the creation of a new Europe, they will be confronting a dangerous future in between two monsters whose strength is increasing. (…)

If Europe is to maintain its place in the competition that will prevail after the war, it must unite and secure the necessary access to raw material from Africa and the East. In this National Socialist new order the whole economy must be welded into a unity in which money is not an end but a means: otherwise there will again be a danger of violation by capitalist usurers or by the class struggle and trade union domination.

These economic questions likewise cry out for solution on a European basis.

There is no opposition whatever between such European economic cooperation and National Socialism. This form of socialism aims to weld the whole economy of a country into a strong national economic unity, and once that is achieved there will be healthy and perfectly natural cooperation among the peoples of the European economic sphere.

We live in a historic age in which world powers have come into being a conflict with one another. Europe must summon up its forces and guard what it treasures, if it does not want to be torn to pieces in this conflict.

We must create a Europe that does not squander its blood and strength in internecine conflict, but forms a compact unity. In this way it will become richer, stronger and more civilized and will recover its old place in the world.

But the reorganization of Europe depends on creating a single European will, whose uniting force can only spring form a shared political philosophy, for this is the way in which historic peoples have almost always been held together. The philosophy that unites us in that of National Socialism and the new systems allied with it.

Again, Europe can only unite under the protection of a leading power, and this can only be the Great German Reich which lies at the center of Europe. As Piedmont once united Italy and Prussia the German Reich, so Germany must become the nucleus of the new order in Europe: it must drive England and Russia out of Europe in the same way as Piedmont drove out Austria. If Germany is to guarantee the unity and peace of Europe in the long term it must rely on the superior strength of a Germanic confederation, the form of which can serve as a model for cooperation with the other European states.

In this connection the following is especially important.

If Europe and especially the Germanic states are to stand up against Russia in the long run, that is if they are to retain any position at all, there must not only be a union but also active Germanic participation in a joint effort to clear and reorganize the Russian territories. Only the Germanic race can solve the Russian problem, but the task is so tremendous that it requires the cooperation of all Germanic peoples, not least those of Scandinavia, who founded the Russian state in the first place.

The lofty aim of reorganizing Europe can only be achieved by a steadfast union of Germanic peoples.

This is quiet natural in itself, for the Germanic peoples are the only ones in Europe who are akin to one another by blood and civilization. By virtue of their geographical position they are also the strongest and firmest bloc that can be formed in Europe. This, together with the German-Italian axis, is the only possible firm foundation on which the new Europe can be built.

Such a union would also strengthen Norway’s position in Europe and in the world and would afford our country the richest opportunities of using our skills and resources. The need to create such a Germanic community therefore answers to Norwegian interest as well as others. We must be good Norwegians, good members of the Germanic race and good Europeans. These things are not only compatible, but are essential conditions one of another. (…)

Some outlines of the new European community of peoples are coming into view. Europe today is an enlarged economic sphere in which planning principles are largely applied both to the war economy and to civilian supplies. The European forces fighting against the Bolsheviks in Russia and the Caucasus and against the British in North Africa are to a substantial extent under joint command.

In the same way we have recently seen the young people of Europe, who are Europe’s future, joining to form a European Youth League in which fourteen countries are represented. Earlier still, a European press union was formed. Other associations of this kind are already projected, including a European sports association, a postal and telegraphic union and so on.

Thus the new Europe is already taking shape. But no one can say anything about its final form as long as the war still rages unabated. The same is true of the Germanic confederation, which is developing slowly but inevitably from the National Socialist movements of the different Germanic countries. (…)

In due course the Germanic union will be a fact, and then Norway will take its free and honorable place in the new Europe. Moreover, many circumstances combine to make our country an especially valuable member of the new Europe and an important force in developing Germanic cooperation. Germany, the leading power in the reconstruction of Europe, shares this view, and it is therefore all the more incumbent on the Nasjonal Samling to educate the Norwegian people to take a conscious, active part in furthering the new community of nations and especially of the Germanic peoples. (…)

In this fashion Norway will not only become great and free but will provide the firm axis for a Germanic union in the new Europe to which the other Germanic states of the North can attach themselves if they so desire. That is our path leading to Nordic cooperation, a secure position for Norway and the protection of its opportunities for development. (…)
9Werner Daitz: Genuine and spurious continental spheres. Laws of Lebensraum. (Second half of 1942)
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Second half of 1942

The Grossraum theorist Daitz compared the idea of a new order in Europe with the concept and principle of Lebensraum.

(…) Since European life can no longer find a home in remote and alien parts of the earth (North and South America, Australia etc.), where immigrants from Europe have progressively lost their true characteristics, it has reverted to its natural European setting and once again found its natural center of gravity in the heart of Europe. The ideologies of a world economy, democracy and parliamentarianism, invented by Britain during the past century to justify and prolong this unnatural form of European life, are losing ground and disappearing along with the equally unnatural phenomenon of British hegemony. It simply is not possible in the long run to control the European Lebensraum from the British Isles, a position on the verge of Europe: it can only be controlled and given its proper balance in Europe revived the old tensions between living space and political space, which again were exacerbated by the fact that the most active elements of the national groups could no longer emigrate, because the overseas territories had become independent (thanks to the transformation of the Europeans already settled there) and had put a stop to the further influx of Europeans. Consequently these elements now press for a reorganization of the European space – which had declined into a merely geographical notion – on the basis of natural laws, so that it may again become a true enlarged Lebensraum of the European family of nations and therefore a genuine Grossraum.

Just as a lost national community and its national living space can only be recovered by compatriots acting as individuals, so the natural community of a family of nations and its extended living space can only be recovered by the individual nationalities.

For these reasons, in the first phase of the European revolution of 1914-18 the idea of peoples and their living space (Volkstum, völkischer Lebensraum) should have been recognized as primary and a superior to the idea of the territorial state (Staatsraum). But the ‘victors’ of 1918 completely failed to recognize this, as is shown by the botch they made of Versailles and the associated treaties, which increased the number of territorial units, violating the Lebensraum of peoples more grievously than before and thus bringing the conflict between Staatsraum and Lebensraum to its highest pitch. The tension was at last relieved by the revolutionary explosion of National Socialism and Fascism, when Adolf Hitler set an example to all the nations of Europe by proclaiming the sovereign rights of Volkstum and its living space in opposition to the state and its territorial pretensions. National socialism is in reality only the German, national accomplishment of the European revolution, which latter confers on Germans not only a new ethnic (völkisch) but also a new European identity. The same thing was achieved in Italy by Fascism in terms of the Roman life-style, and in Spain by the Falange. In the same way all the other European peoples who want to preserve their existence must conform their way of life and their legal and territorial systems to a new ethnic and European pattern on the lines of either the Germanic life-style of the Northern and Baltic area or the Roman life-style of the Mediterranean basin. The same is true of the East European peoples, of the Russian territory who are now to be reintegrated into the European Lebensraum. They too must now adopt a new ethnic and European attitude in accordance with the East European life-style as dictated by geography and race, involved as they are in the second part of the European revolution and the recovery of the whole Lebensraum of the European family of peoples. By using this concept of a ‘family of peoples’ the Führer has avoided all the hair-splitting and ambiguity of professional ethnologist and has once again based his policy on a sound apprehension of biological and political realities. (…)

Once the new principle announced by the Führer, that race (Volkstum) and Lebensraum are supreme and inalienable values, is accepted by the whole European family of nations and finds expression in a new conception of law and a new legislation, states will be able to waive the exercise of many rights of sovereignty, as civil wars within the European family for the defense of Lebensräume will be largely unnecessary and consequently outlawed. This again will for the first time provide a foundation for disarmament within Europe, though naturally the whole European Lebensraum will still have to be defended against outside attack. (…)

I have already pointed out that the watchword ‘Europe for the Europeans’ signifies a new morality within the European family of nations and that there derives from in a new economic precept, which I expressed in the form: ‘Europe’s needs must in the first place be met from Europe itself, and only afterwards from overseas.’ I also observed that this new morality within the European family of nations and its Grossraum must likewise presuppose, or bring about an attitude of mutual preference among the nations of Europe as far as political and cultural matters are concerned. The common interest of Europe take precedence over the selfish interest of nations.

National Socialism proclaims as a basic moral principle that the general good is more important than selfish interest, and it is likewise true as a basic maxim in the life of the European family of nations that the common interests of Europe are more important than the selfish interests of nations. This means that in the new Europe we must continue to eschew selfish nationalism and instead think of the common weal, as true National Socialists. In that way the National Socialist moral law will also become the basis of European morality.

If it were not so, the European nations would be linked by nothing over and above their national interests and individualities; nationalism, instead of National Socialism, would be in the pinnacle of wisdom; and the most blatant expression of nationalism ever invented, the British (sic)’ My country, right or wrong!’ would be the highest expression of human morality. (…)
10Joachim von Ribbentrop: European confederation (March 21, 1943)
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March 21, 1943

The document here reproduced represents the culmination of the Foreign Ministry’s efforts in regard to the ‘new Europe’. It reflects the considerations set out in doc. 18.

Subject: European Confederation

I am of the opinion that, as already proposed to the Führer in my previous minutes, we should at the earliest possible date, as soon as we have scored a significant military success, proclaim the European Confederation in quite a specific form.

As a foundation ceremony I would envisage inviting all the Heads of State concerned, together with their Governments, to a safe meeting-place such as Salzburg or Vienna, where they would solemnly sign the instrument bringing the Confederation into being.

The States immediately concerned would be Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Greece and Spain (?). If the Führer should intend to create independent states in the parts of Europe occupied by us, these would be added to the list.

In my opinion only a specific measure of this kind would produce the success we are aiming at.

The establishment of a European confederation would have the following political advantages:
  1. It would dispel the fear of our friends and allies that they might all be placed under German Gauleiters as soon as peace is concluded.
  2. Neutrals would be reassured that they would not be incorporated into Germany at the end of the war.
  3. Italy would be relieved of their fear that powerful Germany might wish to drive her into a corner.
  4. If the Führer decides to set up a number of more or less independent states in certain occupied territories, which of course would remain completely in our power, it would come as a considerable reassurance to those territories and induce them to muster their forces to help us in the war.
  5. It would give the Russians the impression that all Europe was against them, and thus weaken their fighting spirit.
  6. It would tend to disarm the fighting spirit of the British and Americans if they found that they were not liberating European states but attacking a Europe which stood solidly against them.
  7. It would have a weakening effect internally in both Britain and America. As regards America it would be a severe blow to Roosevelt. In both countries, especially America, it would destroy the best arguments of anti-German propaganda. Opposition groups would, for instance, be able to say: ‘We cannot forbid Europe to do what America herself did, namely to form a union of states.’
  8. In France and the occupied territories in general it would make all the difference to these countries’ war effort in the personal and material spheres. This would especially be so in the case of French labor and the armaments industry.
  9. As regards France I have particularly in mind, and have discussed this with Himmler, that with the clear watchword of Europe to help us we might recruit from the Germanic part of the population one of two first-class SS divisions which could be thrown into the battle on our side. All the details of this have been thought out and I shall in the next few days be again discussing them thoroughly with Himmler. Without the European watchword this recruiting would have no success.
  10. Several neutrals such as Sweden, Turkey, Portugal etc. would be deterred from too close relations with Britain and America. Turkey’s efforts to create a Balkan Pact, with England behind it of course, would not (sic) be foiled by the creation of a European Confederation.
  11. I shall submit to the Führer a first outline draft of the Act of Confederation. I believe that the establishment of the Confederation at the right moment will have such profound effects that our enemies will to all intents and purposes be robbed of their principal war aim for propaganda purpose in future. I also believe that given the great divergences which are already visible between England, America and Russia, and which will one day assume huge proportions, the enemy coalition will simply dissolve when it is brought up against a united Europe of this kind.
  12. The effort on the fighting in Tunis is also especially important, as I am convinced that when this Confederation is founded with marshal Pétain as a signatory, General Giraud will find it hard to go on mobilizing Frenchmen to fight against us.
The question of territorial frontiers between the different states should not be dealt with in connection with the Act of Confederation, but must clearly wait until the final peace settlement.

Other specific questions connected with the European Confederation may involve difficulties of one kind or another, e.g. the question of the presidency etc., but all this will give no trouble if the Führer agrees with the project in principle.

I would recommend with the most emphasis that this measure be adopted. If we take care to fill all the relevant posts, e.g. in new political entities, with suitably ruthless people who can make a show of flexibility while in fact not compromising on the true political end, the creation of such a Confederation will not prejudice anything, but will make it certain that the Greater Germanic Reich will come into being at the end of the war.

I am absolutely convinced that if we use the right tactics a great deal of German blood can be spared.

I would also suggest that this matter be discussed with the Duce at Salzburg.

Foundation of the European Confederation

The Governments of the German Reich, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Croatia and Spain have resolved to form a European Confederation.

For this purpose the Heads of State of ... and the Heads of Government of ... have met at ... on ... The instrument establishing the European Confederation, which was signed by the plenipotentiaries of the above-mentioned European Governments, includes the following provisions.
  1. In order to give tangible expression to the common destiny of European peoples and to ensure that wars never again break out among them, the States here represented have for all time established a European Confederation.
  2. The members of the Confederation are sovereign states and guarantee one another’s freedom and political independence. The organization of their internal affairs is a matter for the sovereign decision of each of them.
  3. The member nations of the Confederation will jointly defend the interests of Europe in every direction and protect the European continent against external enemies.
  4. The States of the Confederation will conclude an alliance for the defense of Europe, the plans for which will be drawn up in due course.
  5. The European economy will be organized by the member States on the basis of a uniform plan arrived at by mutual agreement. Customs barriers among them will be progressively abolished.
  6. While preserving their national character, the States united in the Confederation will conduct intensive cultural exchanges with one another.
  7. The European States which are not founder members of the Confederation are solemnly invited to join it.
  8. All details of the organization of the European Confederation shall be laid down in a Confederal Act, which will form the subject of consultation after the war by all the Governments concerned.
11Joachim von Ribbentrop: Establishment of a “European Committee” (April 5, 1943)
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April 5, 1943

Ribbentrop issued instructions for the establishment of a ‘European Committee’ in the Foreign Ministry and directives as to its work. With one exception there is no evidence in the Ministry files that it actually met or performed any functions.


  1. A European Committee (Euro-Ausschuss) will be formed under my direction with the Foreign Office, which will be composed of the following members:
    State Secretary von Steengracht (at the same time deputy director)
    Ambassador Gaus
    Ambassador von Rintelen
    State Under-Secretary Hencke
    Ministerial director Wiehl
    Minister Albrecht
    Minister Schmidt (Press)
    Minister Rühle
    Minister Professor Berber
    Dr. Megerle
    Senior Legation Councilor (sic) von Schmieden
    Legation Councilor Wagner
    Brigadeführer Six
    Brigadeführer Frenzel
    Legation councilor von Trützschler is appointed secretary for the European Committee.
  2. The European Committee will meet only when required and it work is of confidential nature. I shall reserve the right to determine the exact time when interested Reich Departments and party offices are to be informed of the establishment of the European Committee and when they shall be asked to send delegates.
  3. In preparation for the meeting of the European Committee the following teams will be established now already:
    Team A: Direction Prof. Berber
    It is the task of this team to compile a graphical survey of historical, geographical and statistical material on individual European countries. Furthermore, it is the duty of this team to prepare historical data on the political developments in Europe, thereby giving special consideration to previous forms of European alliances. The political advisers for foreign countries of the individual departments within the Foreign Office are to currently assist Prof. Berber in compiling material on the individual countries.
    Team B: Under direction of Ambassador von Rintelen
    This team shall investigate the problems which require a legal settlement in the future realization of the New European Order. Of particular importance for compilation are those complexes of questions, for which an all European settlement must be reached or which must be uniformly regulated with all prospective signatories. In the tasks assigned to this team the department heads belonging to the European Committee are authorized to appoint deputies, which are to be selected from advisers belonging to this department.
    Team C: Under direction of Minister Schmidt (press)
    This team is charged with the supervision of and if necessary with the guidance of propaganda concerning the European issue, above all the control and coordination of the press, treaty matters etc. along uniform lines. The department heads of the press, treaty matters etc. along uniform lines. The department heads of this team too are authorized to appoint deputies, which are to be selected from among advisers to their department of this particular work.
  4. The material acquired by these teams during their activities will be constantly collected and deposited with the secretary of the Committee, Legation Councilor von Trützschler, in order to have it on hand at any given moment. Legation Councilor von Trützschler, as usually, continues to collect data on the enemy’s war aims and other important foreign statements with regard to the European issue.
Headquarters at the front, 5 April 1943
(signed) Ribbentrop

Directives on the work of the European Committee

  1. The main task of the Committee at this present stage of the war is the collection of material and the preparation of data to be used for the future settlement of the New European Order after the war has ended. For this time being there will be no elaborating on definite plans for the shaping of future Europe as a whole. It must be proceeded from the point of view that in future, Greater Germany’s relations with the individual European countries will be either of a closer or of a loose nature and cannot be designed according to a static formula. A separate decision will have to be made in the case of each individual country and nation when the time comes. It is however, certain now already that future Europe can exist only if Greater Germany’s predominant position asserts itself successfully. Securing this predominant position is therefore to be regarded as the core of the future New Order. Of particular importance is furthermore the examination of those issues for which an all European settlement must be reached.
  2. As to the propagandistic treatment of the European issue, we must at first limit ourselves to general formulations whenever the opportunity is offered to express the fact that our aim is the creation of a just New Order which will secure existence for the European nations in close economical and cultural relations with each other and under elimination of foreign tutelage. To make more detailed reference to the political structure of the future Europe is as yet out of the question. If we were to proclaim principles for this, they would have to meet the demands of these nations for self-government and independence and make promises in the respect in order to be successful from a propagandistic point of view, whereas it is a certainty already today that just on the contrary the safety of the future Europe against an outside menace will demand restriction of independence and sacrifices from each of these countries. In addition, Europe’s complicated state and national structure does not permit to set up standard rules in this respect for all countries. We must therefore first limit ourselves to promising the various nations that each of them will find its proper place in the Europe of the future. In general, however, it must be refrained from going deeper into discussions about such matters.
  3. The proper exploitation of the fear commonly shared by all countries that Bolshevism might penetrate into Europe may prove to be an effective asset in preparing the European nations for the necessity of the future New Order. The more obvious it becomes that Soviet Russia, in the case of an Allied victory, will tolerate only those governments in Europe which suit Moscow, and which consequently are Bolshevistic, and the more it is realized by all nations that only the German Wehrmacht can prevent this danger, the sooner all countries will recognize the need for a European New Order, which above all, must be designed in such a way as to prevent in future the recurrence of such a perilous situation. Likewise to be emphasized is the necessity for keeping the Western Powers out of Europe – i.e. England and the U.S. – and the hindering of future interference for the sake of keeping peace in Europe. To clarify the war aims of our enemies, especially those of Moscow, is therefore the best propaganda we can use at present in order to make plausible the need for the future European New Order. Europe must be organized in such a way that such a perilous situation cannot happen again. There is no particular need for a propagandistic emphasis on the conclusion which may be drawn from the present crisis for the shaping of future Europe. The more public opinion in the various countries can be directed to draw its own conclusion, so much the better it will be.
(signed) Ribbentrop

This letter, written by the IG Farben executives to the Nazi government, is particularly important for several reasons:

  1. It outlines the plan of the world’s largest chemical/pharmaceutical cartel, IG Farben, for a Europe under its control.
  2. This letter is a response to the request by the Nazi government to IG Farben for its blueprint for a new economic order in Europe under the IG Farben/Nazi-coalition.
  3. The date of the letter, July 20, 1940, corresponds with the first phase of WWII, where the IG Farben/Nazi-coalition had conquered central and western Europe in Blitzkriegs. In Summer of 1940, after the conquest of France, it seemed only a question of time until the IG Farben/Nazi-flag would flutter over Europe.
  4. It is a highly significant fact that the greatest concern of IG Farben in a subjugated Europe was the new regulation of patent law and its control over the chemical/pharmaceutical markets of Europe via patented products.

This document was also part of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunals against IG Farben, documented at