The Nazi regime pursued a ruthless Germanization and resettlement policy in the conquered Eastern European territories. The regime was primarily concerned with the ethnic German population in Bessarabia, Bukovina, and the Baltic states. The SS Ethnic German Liaison Office [Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle] organized a series of massive resettlement actions, during whose course hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans [Volksdeutsche] were brought “home to the Reich” – even against their own will. The people involved in these actions were often interned for months in reception camps in the German Reich. Racial-hygienic examinations were carried out in these camps, and citizenship proceedings were also initiated there. Finally, the majority of these ethnic Germans were resettled on confiscated Polish farms in the Reichsgaue of Danzig-West Prussia and Wartheland and in the territory of the General Government. Actions of this sort were supposed to provide the starting point for a fundamental territorial and racial re-organization of Eastern Europe. The Nazis’ “General Plan East” from 1941, for example, foresaw the annihilation or enslavement of so-called lesser races and the “Germanization” of newly acquired "living space" [Lebensraum] through the introduction of massive settlements of Germans. In the Nazis’ end vision, 500-600 million “Aryans” and their slaves would occupy the entire expanse of Eastern Europe up to the Ural Mountains.
The sign featured below reads “Südbuchenland Resettlement: Budapest Rations Station. Have a Good Voyage to the Reich! Heil Hitler.” Photo by Liselotte Purper (Orgel-Köhne)