GERMAN ECONOMIC POLICY ON POLISH TERRITORY ANNEXED TO THE REICH IN THE YEARS 1939-1945 (Niemiecka polityka gospodarcza na ziemiach wcielonych do III Rzeszy w latach II wojny swiatowej w latach 1939-1945)
The article presents German economic policy on the so-called territories annexed to the Reich in the years 1939-1945. The study provides a synthetic overview of the major sources, objectives, stages and means used by the German occupants in implementing their goals in selected areas and branches of economy. The economic policy which was realized on those lands was an important element of building the German 'living space' (Lebensraum) in the East of Europe. Its sources were of an ideological, economic and political character. Racism and a glorification of country life became a foundation for the policy of extermination of foreign ethic groups, Germanization of annexed lands, deportation of their hitherto inhabitants and settlement of German peasants. Factors such as treating the 'lands annexed to the Reich' as colonies in terms of economy, natural conditions, the doctrine of the 'Great Space Economy' (Grossraumwirtschaft) and war demands led to a restructuring of the economy of those territories so as to make them complementary to the economy of the so-called Old Reich accompanied by maximal exploitation of their production and population potential. The plunder of property that Germans practiced on mass scale, a policy of concentrating production, escalation of predatory economy and destruction resulting from military operations led to an economic degradation and significant civilizational regress of those areas.
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