Albert Speer’s defense at the Nuremberg trials oddly concluded with a warning about the potential destructive powers of science and technology. He strongly pointed out that such a technology could easily be used to dominate people—as was the often the case in the Third Reich, especially with regard to the spread of propaganda. Sounding like a preface to the entire modern environmental movement which sprang into worldwide action in the 1960’s, Speer thus managed to deflect some sense of responsibility away from himself and the German people by shoving blame upon Western man’s technological prowess to dominate “helpless” people. Thus, Avatar was at Nuremberg some 60 years ago. Even stranger still, Speer’s defense worked. He eluded the death penalty.
More troublesome is how so many have naively followed in the footsteps of Speer’s defense, always blaming Nazi technology, industry and the economy for the holocaust. Leftists in particular are eager to paint “right wing” modern industry and Capitalism with Nazi blood. In fact, thanks to Marxist propaganda and Nazi compromises with German industry, it is not well known that the Nazis loathed Capitalism just as much as Marxism.
The Nazis attacked both of them as an unnatural Jewish rebellion against Nature and her Social Darwinian laws. Communism and Capitalism were considered international Jewish heresies where Marxist universal values and superficial capitalistic commercialism posed a serious threat to the natural biology of the German race. This was rooted in Ernst Haeckel’s ‘scientific’ evolutionary ecology of the 1800’s and was further buoyed by Richard Wagner’s wild revolutionary Romanticism. It was this romantic belief in an Aryan cultural superiority based on Nature’s laws, all dressed up in modern scientific biology, that was the ideological bread and butter of the Third Reich. As such, surprisingly enough, Speer’s defense at Nuremberg was thus a continuation of this Nazi ‘green’ ideology.
The Nazis, of course, needed money to fund their national regeneration program. With a very fragile German economy to draw from, they were thus forced to make some important concessions to big business and industry that many Nazis considered a betrayal of their values. Moreover, the Nazi economy was flying by the seat of its pants throughout the 1930’s and 40’s. Nazi hatred for international Jewish capitalism placed them on a suicidal path of national autarky, economic isolation and destruction. Weighed down with war reparations, a weak economy, and lacking natural resources that had to be imported from abroad, the Nazi economy became an ersatz economy. Synthetic substitutes produced locally at home had to be found to fill in the gaping holes. That the chemical giant IG Farben was at the heart of the Nazi economy should come as no surprise. Producing synthetics became vital to make up for their import restrictions. Their Aryan biology/ecology thus created a government controlled ‘local only’ economy that was doomed to fail.
The Nazis further survived by placing severe government restrictions on imports. They also subsidized their exports. While both actions became extremely profitable to the big industrialists, the Nazi economy was mostly guns without butter. Sound financial decisions were routinely ignored in favor of revving up the war economy. By 1942, Germany itself was on the verge of severe food rationing. This shortage, however, was relieved by stoking up the gas chambers on the Eastern Front.
Nazi isolation from international trade only intensified their Malthusian natural resource math problem. As the Nazi economy was severely limited by its own living space with too many Germans and too little land, the drive eastward into Poland and Russia became a matter of racial survival. The Nazi doctrine of Lebensraum (a German word for “environmental living space”) thus merged geopolitics with a tribal Social Darwinism that would not be undone until all the smoke cleared from the battlefields of World War II. Rather than try to overcome their natural resource deficits through competitive commercialism and international trade, which was all deemed a corrupting international Jewish-American conspiracy, the Nazis decided to subjugate the European continent for their own hegemony. As such, the Third Reich headed East in a massive blitzkrieg that the Nazi hierarchy knew had no chance of success unless the Russians were defeated within the first year of the war. Many knew that the lack of natural resources would doom the Wehrmacht if there was a long war of attrition.
More to the point, with their own Lebensraum in the East, this would allow the Nazis to compete with the American-Anglo industrial complex without having to resort to the corrosive effects of Jewish capitalism. More importantly, they could become self sufficient with plenty of land to spare. Lebensraum could be used for growing food and for sustainable development under Nazi state control that could later be extended throughout the entire Reich. Dam building would be drastically scaled down in Germany itself and moved to Norway. Poland would become Germany’s “green” Ireland. Ukraine would become the frontier agrarian bread basket of the Reich. All of the East, including Belarus and western Russia, would be depopulated and enslaved. It would be converted into a massive ruralized countryside where Aryan cultural development, model towns, forests and nature could all live sustainably together.
Heinrich Himmler would even become the leading industrialist of the East. This oxymoron, however, would be used to finance and construct a green garden park for the natural health of the German race in the occupied territories that would take some 200-300 years to build. Himmler, Darre and the SS obsessed over what they called “land flight.” People were corrupting themselves and their biological systems by moving into dirty, international towns away from the clean, rugged countryside which would make them strong and healthy. Lebensraum could thus be used to help alleviate this national crisis.
The Germans would thus develop their newly acquired territories, yet this would all be done with a certain respect for the natural world—something very important to SS environmental planner Konrad Meyer. Had it not been for the fact that he was an SS Nazi professor, Meyer might have been considered one of the original gurus of the cult of sustainable development and environmental planning. In the early years of the war, Nazi landscape planners were salivating at the wide open opportunities that would be afforded them in the East where crowded areas and private property would no longer interfere with their grandiose plans.
In a word, the Nazi quest for Lebensraum in the East was an early pioneering attempt at what is today called the Green Economy. It was a backward eco-imperial plan of Aryan sustainable development, all at the expense of Jews and Slavs, and all dressed up in the latest scientific vocabulary of the day. To fixate on Nazi technology, industry, and the economy, therefore, as the explanation for that all that was evil about the Third Reich, is to subvert the means of holocaustal murder with the motive. The Nazi economy was merely the means by which the holocaust was paid for. The Russian Front provided the opportunity for murder. However, the motive of the holocaust was an Aryan environmentalism rooted in a romantic, evolutionary philosophy of man and nature, notwithstanding Speer’s defense at Nuremberg.