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Standartenführer Waldemar Schön, or Karl Alexander Waldemar Schön, also Schoen,[1] (born August 3, 1904 in Merseburg)[2] was a head of the newly created Ressettlement Division of the Warsaw district in German occupied Poland. He was appointed Abteilungsleiter in 1940 by the World War II Governor of the District Ludwig Fischer. Schön was a 36-year-old party official, who joined NSDAP and SA in 1930.[3]

Ludwig Fischer in Warsaw (1940)

SS officials in Warsaw, 1940. Speaking, SA-Führer Ludwig Fischer

In early 1940 Schön came up with the idea of erecting not one, but two suburban Jewish ghettos in occupied Warsaw; one in Koło, and the second one in Wola; not to disrupt the city traffic and overall economy. He took part in the General Government (GG) conference of June 6–7, 1940 where the ghetto idea – as a staging point for Polish Jews on the other side of the Vistula River – was first discussed in order to curtail their presence in the city.[3]

We want to show the world that in the framework of our colonial work, we are able to cope with the Jewish problem even when it emerges as a problem of masses... The development of the Jewish district in Warsaw represents in practice a preliminary step to the exploitation of Jewish labor in Madagascar planned by the Führer. — Waldemar Schön [3]

After the Madagascar Plan was abolished, the ghettoization plan went ahead, and on September 12, 1940 the Warsaw Ghetto was formally approved by Gauleiter Hans Frank in occupied Kraków.[3] Waldemar Schön was an attritionist who along with Karl Naumann advocated for the elimination of virtually all food supplies to the Warsaw Ghetto.[4] He established an office called Transferstelle in order to extract money and valuables from the Jews by means of "artificial famine" (künstliche Hungersnot) and stopped food deliveries to the Ghetto in mid-January 1941.[5] The ensuing crisis he created was so extreme that on April 19, 1941 Schön was moved by Frank to another position in the district, and replaced by Heinz Auerswald who restored order.[5] Schön survived the war and went on to establish a successful career for himself in West Germany.[2] He died on 9 October 1969 in Freising.[2]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Stefan Guido-Maria Krikl (May 23, 2013). "Waldemar Schoen" (Internet Archive). Artist Alfred Nossig in Warsaw. Retrieved 8 April 2015. "The ghetto artist bio." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Josef Wulf (6 April 2010). "Waldemar Schön". Das Dritte Reich und seine Vollstrecker. Axis History. Retrieved 7 April 2015. "Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich" 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Christopher R. Browning (2007) (Google Book, preview). The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 121–123. ISBN 0803203926. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  4. Christopher R. Browning (2005). "Ghettos 1939–1945. New Research and Perspectives on Definition, Daily Life, and Survival" (PDF file, direct download). Before the 'Final Solution'. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Browning 2007, pages 125-130.

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