Kube's Cultural Milieu Dilemma

The protest of the Wehrmachtbefehlshaber in the Ostand was followed on December 16, 1941, by a letter from the Gerneralkommissar of White Russia, Gauleiter Kube. That letter was the first in a series of letters and protests by this official that were to shake at the foundations of the Nazi idea. It was addressed to Lohse personally (Mein lieber Hinrich). (43)

Kube pointed out that about 6,000 to 7,000 Jews had arrived in Minsk; where the other 17,000 to 18,000 had remained he did not know. Among the arrivals there were World War I veterans with the Iron Cross (both First and Second Class), disabled veterans, half-Aryans, and even a three-quarter Aryan. Kube had visited the ghetto and had convinced himself that among the Jewish newcomers, who were much cleaner than Russian Jews, there were also many skilled laborers who could produce about five times as much as Russian Jews. The new arrivals would freeze to death or starve in the next few weeks. There were no serums to protect them against twenty-two epidemics in the area.

Kube himself did not wish to issue any orders for the treatment of these Jews, although "certain formations" of the army and the police were already eyeing the personal possessions of these people. The SD had already taken away 400 mattresses - without asking. "I am certainly hard and I am ready," continued Kube, "to help solve the Jewish question, but people who come from our cultural milieu are certainly something else than the native animalized hordes. Should the Lithuanians and the Latvians - who are disliked here, too, by the population - be charged with the slaughter? I could not do it. I ask you, consider the honor of our Reich and our party, and give clear instructions to take care of what is necessary in a form which is humane."

(43) Kube to Lohse, December 16, 1941, Occ E 3-36.

Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews: Revised and Definitive Edition. New York: Holmes & Meier. 1985. p. 354

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Electric Zen
Ken Lewis
May 22, 1998
Rev. 1.0