Unrealized and Underutilized: Madagascar in Nazi Genocidal Planning and the Island’s Subsequent Position in the Intentionalist-Versus-Functionalist Debate in Holocaust Historiography

Jake Thompson


Qualifying arguments on either side of the intentionalist-versus-functionalist debate in Holocaust historiography, this essay analyzes facsimiles of official Nazi documents and memoranda, diplomatic missives, diary entries, and newspaper articles against the interwar settlement studies of Madagascar to argue that the Madagascar Plan inhered in the Nazis’ greater genocidal mission. This essay further suggests that these interwar settlement studies—conducted by England, France, and Poland with the intention of resettling Polish Jews to the island—enticed the Nazis to use Madagascar in order to obfuscate genocidal guilt as they implemented an ostensibly European, not exclusively German, solution to the Jewish Question. 


In May 1940, circumstances worked out in such a way that gave the Nazis a false sense of security in the future of their Jewish policy. The Nazis marched through Paris, occupied northern France, and pressed the remainder of the country to capitulate and, on many issues, collaborate with the Third Reich. Specifically, Vichy France, named after the resort city from which Marshal Pétain’s government operated, was obligated by treaty to relinquish its East African island colony of Madagascar to the Germans so that the latter could resettle four million Jews on the island to settle the Jewish Question.

But the plan never left the tables of the Foreign Office and the SS. This grandiose resettlement scheme proved just as disappointing as previous Judenrein policies before it. The plan never materialized when England, the great maritime power, failed to surrender according to Germany’s plan in 1940. Resultantly, the Nazis did not have the Royal Navy at its disposal to transport the Jews to the now-Vichy colony. But even if they had opted to use their own fleet, the Germans might not have been able to reach their destination without first encountering the British at sea.

However, it is important to note that the full implementation of this resettlement scheme rested upon more than England’s surrender. Vichy France, which nonetheless agreed to the Nazis’ armistice conditions in writing, might not have complied with the Third Reich’s demands on all matters in practice. In an 18 February 1942 press conference in Washington, D.C., Vichy Ambassador Gaston Henry-Haye refuted the claims that his government agreed to hand Madagascar over to Japan and Germany, who jointly wanted to use the island as a military base. He further claimed that Vichy had not gone beyond the armistice deal of 1940—that, in effect, Vichy stood by its neutrality in the war. His government, too, maintained that it would fight to defend its colony against such a military occupation by either Axis member.[1]

Arriving at the Final Solution to the Jewish Question in January 1942, the Nazis subsequently called off the Madagascar Plan in early February 1942.[2] Henry-Haye, who did not address the Jewish Question in this February 1942 conference, might have regarded the 1940 peace terms pertaining to the Madagascar Plan as an issue entirely separate from the one he was addressing at the conference, specifically, the potential Axis occupation of the island for military purposes. While Vichy had agreed to relinquish Madagascar to the Germans in 1940 for their Judenrein objective, Vichy had no intention to relinquish it to them now strictly as a military base in 1942, according to the ambassador.[3] But it is doubtful that Vichy altered its Madagascar leasing policy so drastically only a week after the Nazis officially abandoned the Madagascar Plan. In other words, it is doubtful that Vichy went from inclination to disinclination,  that is, from allowing Germany access to Madagascar per the treaty to denying Germany access to the island in defiance of the treaty. Vichy must have upheld a consistent policy because it had no practical reason to be inconsistent. The 1940 terms of peace between the Third Reich and Vichy, as they applied to Madagascar, stipulated that the Germans would acquire the island for naval purposes in addition to resettlement purposes.[4] The Nazis wanted to occupy the island militarily in 1940, so their similar demands in February 1942 would not have held Vichy to any new burdensome conditions.

Naturally, Vichy could have been maintaining consistent policy that safeguarded German interests in the Indian Ocean. To this end, Ambassador Henry-Haye could have been presenting his government’s Madagascar policy to the newly belligerent United States in such a way that obfuscated Vichy’s willful collaboration with Germany in the war. However, Eric T. Jennings’s study of Vichy’s imperial policies would lend support to another notion, namely, that Vichy, from 1940, intended to keep Madagascar for itself—to reap the benefits of the island for itself, sans Germany—despite the specifics of the armistice agreement. This study, in effect, corroborates the assumption that Vichy would have defended Madagascar from Axis occupation in 1942, just as it would have defended its colonial outpost in 1940, had Germany acquired England’s naval resources. From the beginning, Vichy maintained a consistent policy that safeguarded its own interests, not the interests of the Germans.

Specifically, as Jennings details in his study, Vichy promoted the reactionary National Revolution in unoccupied southern France. Believing that the principles of the Third Republic were too decadent, Vichy assumed an authoritarian position that promoted a rightist national character. This National Revolution had a ripple effect, as the tenets of this revolution resonated well with the colonizers and administrators of Madagascar—an island that, geographically speaking, appeared closer to British and Gaullist influences. The ripple must have been powerful, or at least it must have been well timed: if this colonial outpost espoused itself in Vichy principles so readily, then it must have embodied these principles before the seat of government moved from Paris to Vichy. Vichy’s political stances only affirmed what the colonizers on Madagascar had already felt.[5]

Thus, Vichy thrived in Madagascar from the outset, and it did not require German influence and initiative to institute rightist change.[6] In Madagascar, as in all of the colonies under its control, Vichy made certain investments based upon these self-actualized right-wing policies. For example, the pro-Vichy administration wanted to establish structure, hierarchy, authority, and tradition on Madagascar. Specifically, the administration strictly regulated the business practices of Chinese and Indian immigrants, who, according to the administration, had too much influence on the island’s economy. In essence, a caste system placed European merchants at the forefront of this new colonial order while disenfranchising the native population and the Asians.[7] Vichy, quite far from Madagascar, even went so far as to extend its metropolitan Jewish discriminatory laws to the island, prohibiting the mere 26 Jews on Madagascar at the time from selling grains and cereals.[8] In effect, the pro-Vichy colonial administration earnestly wanted to create an infrastructure on the island it had just acquired from the Third Republic. Vichy had too many interests on Madagascar to allow Germany the freedom to restructure the island for resettlement purposes.

Unfortunately, historians will never have the opportunity to evaluate Vichy’s (lack of) practical complicity with the Nazis on Madagascar: Germany, for its part, failed the initial test against England to acquire its fleet. But what convinced the Germans that they could have acquired Madagascar with such ease? The Third Reich might have been misled by the fact that France, during the interwar period, allowed other nations to probe Madagascar for settlement. British anti-Semites Henry Hamilton Beamish, Arnold Leese, and a man using the pseudonym Egon van Wingene proposed the idea of using the island as a Jewish reservation in the 1920s. Subsequently, the British, Polish, and French governments, establishing the Joint Distribution Committee, gave the Madagascar idea its first official backing, even though nothing came of this three-nation collaboration on the matter.[9]

However, the issue once again materialized between France and Poland, and the two nations even sent a three-man commission, known as the Joint Commission, to study the feasibility of using Madagascar as a settlement for Polish Jews in 1936. Some reports on the commission’s findings said that the island could sustain a long-term European settlement, but that the carrying capacity was limited to 60,000 settlers. Furthermore, these settlers had to stay on the island’s north-central plateau—specifically, the Ankaizina highlands—because this region alone offered the only suitable soil on the island.[10] Because the project held few prospects in light of the island’s limited carrying capacity, the French and the Polish governments did not bring this settlement scheme to fruition.

Indeed, France’s motives in allowing Poland and England potential access to its colonial outpost are unclear from a historical perspective. Historical analysis takes for granted that France allowed other governments to consider using its island, yet the analysis does not pursue the question of why. England had a colonial empire at its disposal for settling the Jewish Question; in other words, England certainly did not require France’s holdings. Moreover, although the maelstrom of power politics at the turn of the century brought France and England together with the Entente cordiale in 1904, the taint of colonial rivalry still existed between them.  Particularly, since 1898, France, mostly from the political right, took on the spirit of Fashoda out of fear that its African colonies might fall under the English sphere of influence.[11] Indeed, then, France’s accommodating stance on Madagascar was an aberration, for England had almost acquired its own set of keys to this Francophone outpost.

It is reasonable that Nazi Germany, waging a successful Blitzkrieg against France in 1940, possibly thought that it could demand Madagascar through war, for France had uncharacteristically allowed other nations—most notably its historic imperial rival, England—to consider utilizing its colony in times of peace. From this interpretation, one might conclude that the Nazis’ demand for Madagascar was not as radical as it was conventional—indeed banal.

Furthermore, Nazi Germany might have accurately gauged the Fashoda Syndrome still prevalent in the collective psyche of France’s political right, the body seated in the Vichy government. The Nazis’ demand for Madagascar therefore appears strategic in a geopolitical sense: perhaps the Third Reich thought that it could appeal to the French right, which certainly wanted to restore France’s tarnished colonial image from the perceived decadence and mismanagement of the Third Republic.[12] Nazi influence over Madagascar could remedy the effects of the shameful alliance between France and England, which France had maintained at its own expense, according to Vichy. If France were to welcome German influence, in other words, then it could counteract English influence.

If the Nazis entertained these notions about the French right and Fashoda, however, they certainly discounted the fact that France—either republican or Pétainist—held Germany in contempt particularly since the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1. And memories of Verdun did not assuage these contemptuous feelings. If the Nazis entertained such notions, furthermore, they were wholly oblivious to the aforementioned sense of independent right-wing initiative that Vichy sought in Madagascar. In sum, if the Nazis assumed they had a carte blanche to use Madagascar however they willed, then they failed to appreciate just how opportunistic the French right had been in exploiting the Third Reich’s victory over the Third Republic.

Indeed, the extent to which Vichy had been willing to relinquish Madagascar to Germany requires a deeper analysis that warrants a study of its own. But for the purposes of this essay, it suffices to say that Nazi Germany followed the examples of England, France, and Poland by pursuing Madagascar as the solution to the Jewish Question. On the surface, therefore, Nazi Germany, which nonetheless had Europe under the sword, was motivated by European convention, not by genocidal intent.

But Nazi Germany’s seemingly conventional approach to the Jewish Question has fueled an academic controversy: Madagascar has a place in one of the most lasting debates in Holocaust historiography, mainly because this resettlement scheme, in hindsight, forces Holocaust historians to interpret it according to the subsequent genocide that began in eastern Europe in 1941. Intentionalists and functionalists, the two opposing schools in this debate, both use Madagascar to advance their arguments regarding Nazi intent in the Holocaust. Specifically, intentionalists—who maintain that Hitler had always intended to kill the Jews and had therefore geared the Nazi Party’s bureaucratic apparatuses to accomplish this end—view the Nazis’ relatively conventional, benign stance on the Jewish Question vis-à-vis Madagascar with skepticism. Chiefly, Philip Friedman, Gerald Reitlinger, and Lucy Dawidowicz believe that the resettlement plan merely served to mask the Nazis’ true intent, namely, to implement racial extermination from 1941 onward. To these intentionalist historians, Madagascar served as a diversionary tactic. Also in step with the intentionalists, Eberhard Jäckel denies that Adolf Hitler had ever intended to take the plan seriously, for it contradicted his earlier “programmatic schemes.”[13]

On the other hand, the functionalists—who maintain that the Final Solution resulted from the polycratic and competitive nature of the Nazi bureaucracy, not from the absolute will of Hitler—reference the Madagascar Plan as a prime example of how the Nazis did not programmatically seek the annihilation of the Jews from the beginning of Hitler’s Weltanschauung. Functionalists emphasize that before the Nazis conceived of the Madagascar Plan, they promoted Jewish emigration. The terror the party inflicted upon the Jews did not betray genocidal tendencies as much as it represented the extent to which the party had gone to force this emigration. According to the functionalist line of reasoning, what distinguished the Madagascar Plan from other failed solutions was that this particular solution’s failure lowered the threshold for murder.[14]  In other words, the Madagascar Plan served as an outlet for previous Judenrein policies that had ultimately failed; it was a Plan-B of sorts. But after the Madagascar Plan failed, the frustrated Nazis had no other recourse at their disposal but murder, so the genocidal floodgates were irrevocably opened.

Yet the arguments of both the intentionalists and the functionalists have their limitations. If Jäckel claims that Hitler never took the Madagascar Plan seriously,[15] his dismissal of the plan prevents him from recognizing that it could very well have been a version of the Final Solution compatible with his intentionalist interpretations of the Holocaust.  Clear intent does not equal clear means: even if Hitler had intended to kill the Jews from the very beginning, he never stated in clear terms how he wanted them annihilated. Madagascar therefore could have served as the site for genocide.[16]  In fact, by looking at the official planning of the Nazi scheme and comparing it to the feasibility studies conducted by France and Poland—studies of which the Germans could not have been ignorant, as this essay will later argue—one might conclude that Madagascar was in fact the site for the Nazis’ genocidal initiative. Yet the intentionalists, who oftentimes criticize the functionalists for depending too much upon clearly enumerated documents to make their conclusions, ironically marginalize previous Nazi Judenrein policies if these policies do not live up to Hitler’s saber-rattling rhetoric in retrospect. In the end, the crimes of the Einsatzgruppen, which provide historians with a pre-Wannsee example of the Nazis’ manifestly genocidal tendencies, receive substantial scholarly treatment because they readily confirm Hitler’s rhetoric, while the Madagascar Plan receives little because it does not readily confirm this rhetoric.

Christopher Browning, a functionalist, recognizes that the Nazis’ removal policies and the party’s destructive nature represented the same general vision. Specifically, he makes the claim that the Madagascar Plan, if instituted, “would not have been viewed as falling short of Hitler’s pre-war threats of blood and destruction” in the historical record.[17] Browning’s general assertion is valid—that Madagascar could have been the site of the genocide; but his use of the phrase “blood and destruction” carries semantics more applicable to active means of killing, namely, to the crimes of the Einsatzgruppen in Soviet territories. Naturally, bloodletting would have occurred on the island, as the Nazis planned on running it as a police state, under SS administration.[18] But Browning implies that the whole genocidal situation in Madagascar would have been bloody due to such force—equal in ferocity, almost, to the Final Solution—when in fact the island hosted many diseases, offered little soil conducive to agriculture, and offered even less space for settlement.[19] Active killing inevitably would have occurred in piecemeal, pogrom-like incidents, though the genocide would not have been characterized by such incidents, but instead by a slow, passive process of starvation and sickness.[20] The Madagascar Plan did not offer a different end; it only offered a different means to that end.

Tobias Jersak tries to bridge the gap between the intentionalists and the functionalists. In fact, he asserts that this historical debate is obsolete in light of his and others’ recent findings.[21] Jersak maintains that the Germans did not want a war of world conquest from the beginning. When the war broke out in Europe, they had counted on and thus prepared for a war of attrition more comparable to Verdun.[22] Only after much deliberation did the Germans opt for a Blitzkrieg action, almost out of pandemonium. Furthermore, only after the unexpected success of this action did the Nazis mythologize it, develop a sense of hubris, and take on a policy of domination.[23]

Jersak believes that this new approach to the Blitzkrieg sheds new light upon the Final Solution on the basis that the Germans, who had anticipated a long war in the West with France, never planned to use this war’s longevity as a smokescreen to solve the Jewish Question.[24] The Jewish Question existed before the war, and Germany wanted support from other European nations in instituting a final solution (not to be confused with the Final Solution) during the interwar years. In one instance, Jersak references a 1938 speech in which Hitler called upon Europe to cooperate with him on the basis that “‘sufficient space for [Jewish] settlements’” existed to achieve such a permanent solution. When the war broke out, Hitler had even opted to put the problem aside until the war’s finish, when those other nations that had failed to “‘come together so easily’” would finally recognize the importance of joining the Third Reich in carrying out a territorial solution. However, Hitler also gave his oft-cited speech of prophecy, which promised that if the Jews plunged the world into another war, they would face destruction, not Europe.[25]

Juxtaposing Hitler’s mentalities, Jersak concludes that Hitler prioritized a settlement solution, but that he gave ample consideration to a “radical alternative” if events did not work out as otherwise planned.[26] The Madagascar Plan, which required France and England’s cooperation, did not work out, so Hitler had to resort to the alternative.

Jersak therefore implies that the intentionalist-versus-functionalist debate is obsolete on the grounds that Hitler entertained two solutions at once—one solution that called for mass resettlement (functionalist) and one that called for mass murder (intentionalist). Yet this dialectic synthesis lacks substance, mostly from the intentionalist standpoint: even though he maintains that Hitler considered and ultimately sanctioned mass murder, Jersak in essence promulgates a functionalist argument by believing that Hitler gave priority to a manifestly non-lethal solution, the Madagascar Plan. By regarding the systematic murder of the Jews as an alternative solution, not as the centerpiece to Hitler’s Weltanschauung, Jersak theoretically distances himself from any intentionalist support.

Furthermore, Jersak implies that Hitler’s two alternatives were radically different from one another—that the Führer weighed one extreme against the other. In effect, by prioritizing the resettlement option at the beginning, Hitler did not make concrete plans for extermination until matters failed to go according to plan.  However, Jersak fails to consider that the island could not support a settlement—a fact the Nazis had to have known as they weighed their options and devised their lofty plans. If the Nazis took the resettlement scheme seriously, as Jersak believes, then they must have taken it seriously because it failed to support an actual settlement, not because it offered some non-lethal solution.

Despite the implications that the Madagascar Plan has had on the intentionalist-versus-functionalist debate, and despite the fact that many scholars have used this debate as a lens through which to view the scheme, the secondary literature on the plan is relatively limited. Few scholarly treatments of the Madagascar Plan have gone beyond a chapter section’s length in monographic studies or a paragraph’s length in journal articles. The only recent book-length studies on the Madagascar Plan are Magnus Brechtken’s “Madagaskar für die Juden” and Hans Jansen’s Der Madagaskar-Plan, the former advocating the intentionalist argument and the latter advocating the functionalist. Brechtken, who concludes that the plan was an incoherent, fragmented myth, believes that the extermination camps in the East were more practical and more effective than something as lofty as the Madagascar Project. Jansen, on the other hand, argues that the plan was to be carried out in earnest—that it was not lofty and incoherent.[27] But these books represent the exception to the rule that otherwise places the Madagascar Plan in an ancillary position within the broader intentionalist-versus-functionalist debate in Holocaust historiography.

Notwithstanding this relatively limited treatment of the Madagascar Plan, enough source material exists that invites a deeper look into the Madagascar Plan as it applied to the Nazis’ overall genocidal intent. Specifically, the German Foreign Office and the Gestapo, whose drafts of the Madagascar Plan constituted the fundamental groundwork for the resettlement scheme, created an outline so negligent of the 1936 Joint Commission’s less-than-optimistic conclusions that the party’s oversimplified, indeed utopian,[28] construction of the Jewish settlement appears more malevolent than benevolent. In addition, the Madagascar Plan’s idealistic program deviated from the National Socialist construct of the Jew: Jews, according to the Nazis and to anti-Semites in general, were anathema to the very lifestyle required of them by the Madagascar Plan.  Therefore, it is more than plausible that the Nazis took Madagascar seriously not because it offered something as benign as a territorial solution to the Jewish Question; but instead, the Nazis took this island seriously because it provided them with a site that—due to its inhospitable conditions and limited space, coupled with the fact that urban Jews did not have the experience necessary to till the poor soils—could realize the final destruction of the Jews while obfuscating the party’s responsibility for the death of millions.

On 25 May 1940, a month before the French surrender, Heinrich Himmler wrote a memorandum to Hitler advocating resettlement as the solution to the Third Reich’s racial policies. In the memo, presented to Hitler at his headquarters Felsennest in Rodert near Munstereifel,[29] Himmler proposed splintering off all of the “racially undesirable” peoples in the East in order to keep them from uniting. But with regard to the Jews, Himmler proposed sending them “to Africa or some other colony.”[30]

The controversy of this memorandum centers on Himmler’s last remark: “…this [resettlement] method is mildest and best if we reject the Bolshevist method of physical destruction of a people as un-Germanic and impossible.”[31] Jersak takes Himmler’s memorandum at face value, believing that “the ‘Final Solution’ of the ‘Jewish Question’ was certainly not sought in physical extermination,” as evident by this remark.[32] Richard Breitman, on the other hand, has acknowledged that the Nazis must have at least contemplated the “physical destruction” of the Jews and other racially undesirable people prior to this memo, for the matter must have been an option at that point in order for Himmler to dismiss it nominally in his memo to Hitler.[33] However, even though Breitman, an intentionalist, recognizes the genocidal implications of this memo, he still has misgivings about the Madagascar Plan being a real solution. In essence, he maintains that Himmler proposed Africa to Hitler in order to convince Hitler, Hermann Göring, and Governor-General Hans Frank that the SS was doing its job in developing a solution.[34] Furthermore, advocating a resettlement scheme in Madagascar allowed Himmler and the SS the necessary time to devise its real plans for the Jews in the East without attracting unnecessary suspicion.[35]

If Breitman, from an intentionalist standpoint, believes that Himmler proposed Africa merely to satisfy the various strata of the Nazi hierarchy with one tentative proposal,[36] then Breitman—again, from an intentionalist standpoint—should concede that the plan itself had some genocidal value. If the plan did not have this genocidal value, per intentionalist reasoning, then Hitler would not have been satisfied. Indeed, while Himmler’s language is implicit, if not entirely vague, in the memo, one might parse the semantics of the memo to conclude that Himmler did in fact sanction mass murder by means of Jewish expulsion to Africa.

Specifically, with regard to his semantic choices, Himmler said he “hope[d] that the concept of Jews will be completely extinguished through the possibility of large-scale emigration of all Jews to Africa or some other colony.”[37] The date of the memo suggests that Himmler was referencing Madagascar as the African locale. Of course, the Nazis frequently used ambiguous language in their documents, equivocating between the use of a word or phrase in such a manner that masked their intentions. For instance, the Nazis euphemized their eventual extermination efforts with the phrase Final Solution in 1942; but before Wannsee, final solution described the state of other Judenrein policies, each time connoting a non-lethal plan of action, such as forced emigration. Therefore, Himmler, in earnest, might very well have advocated mere relocation, especially because this memo predated the Final Solution of 1942. However, the memo might also testify to an equivocation centered on the word concept—an equivocation that Himmler arguably used to obfuscate the Nazis’ genocidal intentions for the island.

Himmler’s use of the word concept is peculiar in that Himmler applied it to the Jews differently from how he applied it to other racially undesirable peoples. Himmler took care to say that the “national concept of Ukrainians, Gorals, and Lemcos [could] disappear in [Nazi-occupied] territory” over a long period of time.[38] Specifying their national concept, Himmler implied that he only wanted to deprive these splintered groups of any nationalist impulses. Indeed, the Nazis wanted to use these eastern peoples for slave labor, so keeping them alive, but without a national identity that might later provide them with an impetus to unite and rebel, made sense.

But in contrast, Himmler applied no modifier whatsoever to “concept of Jews” to explicate his meaning or his intention. He did not specify, as he had with the splintered groups, that he hoped to extinguish the national concept of Jews through emigration. And how could he? The Jews were a people without a nation, whose influence was conspiratorially international. Nor did Himmler specify, much less imply, that he hoped to extinguish the religious concept of Jews through emigration. But again, how could he? Himmler, a Nazi, understood Judaism to be a racial construct as much as a religious construct. According to the scientific racism that informed and justified the Nazis’ Jewish policies, a Jew could not renounce his faith to become a non-Jew, because Judaism inhered in his person, his character, and his motives. By process of elimination, it seems that Himmler could only have meant to extinguish the concept of Jews as people on earth, with Madagascar serving as the sight of their deathly travails.  Himmler’s closing remark that “…physical destruction of a people [is] un-Germanic and impossible”[39] thus reads like face-saving afterthought meant to obfuscate the fact that the Nazis wanted to pursue the annihilation of a people by means of mass resettlement.

Before 1940, however, the Germans did not have a comprehensive plan for Madagascar. They did not conduct any feasibility studies of their own, but in all likelihood, they filed away the findings of the 1936 Joint Commission, which assessed the feasibility of a Jewish reservation on the island.

Reporting on the commission’s conclusion on 31 December 1937, the Polish government maintained that the central plateau of Madagascar, notably the Ankaizina district, was “‘quite suitable’” for settling Europeans of a peasant background, but that the amount of Jews it could send to the island proved “‘manifestly impossible’” to indicate.[40] But matters were not even that simple: this report implied that the entire plateau could support habitation. Ankaizina did in fact yield suitable soil, but this report failed to mention that it yielded only so much good soil. The report, in effect, failed to communicate that the commission had failed to indicate a settlement number because the scarcity of quality soil presented them with too big a variable.

However, a more accurate picture eventually developed, albeit three years later, in 1941. Dr. Eugene Hevesi, writing under the auspices of the American Jewish Committee, used the disparities in the commission’s findings to illustrate that forced expulsion to Madagascar—with the lack of good soil, sanitation, and space on the island—held worse prospects than any pogrom in Jewish history.[41] Hevesi knew in May 1941 that the Germans were not looking to solve the Jewish Question benevolently; he knew that they had deadlier designs.

Hevesi agreed with the commission that the central highlands of the Ankaizina district offered Europeans the best environment for a settlement, but thereafter he made few concessions. While Major Mierczyslav Lepecki, making the most liberal estimate among his staff within the Joint Commission, maintained that the district yielded 240,000 acres of tillable soil for 40,000 to 60,000 settlers, the majority of the 1936 Polish team—notably Leon Alter, a Jew—had far more reservations. Alter instead estimated that only 24,000 acres provided tillable soil, an amount that could only maintain 400 families, or 2000 people—a far cry from Lepecki’s estimates. The rest of the Ankaizina and the central highlands, though just as reasonable in terms of climate, did not have soil conducive to farming, as the area contained an abundance of red laterite clay.[42]

In light of both the scarcity and quality of the soil in the central highlands, Hevesi emphasized that Europeans could never do the amount of labor necessary to survive, and he cited examples from history to demonstrate this point. He cited a late 19th-century French settlement scheme on the island in which young campaigners inhabited the central highlands in question. Within a few years, the majority of these campaigners died, while those fortunate enough to return to France suffered from emaciation and anemia.[43]  Other Europeans whose financial interests were tied to the island knew that the conditions were so detrimental to their health that they dared not stay any longer than they had to, and they certainly did not partake in the plantation work while there. The coolie system made certain that the work would get done, nonetheless.[44]

Thus, Europeans needed to live relatively sheltered lives, according to Hevesi and to most of the commission before him.[45] However, the Jews could never have lived in such a manner, for the scarce amount of land, yielding scarcer amount of food, required almost constant attention. Of course, the Jews might have attempted to perpetuate the coolie system, but the natives, who equated the potential influx of Jews as a new form of oppression and robbery,[46] might never have cooperated—if they did not outright rebel.

Furthermore, a sheltered life might not have been so sheltered, if one considers the sanitary conditions of the island. For one, disease plagued the island in the form of yellow fever, syphilis, and malaria—and the cities necessary for sheltered living were not sheltered from these diseases. Moreover, the Jews could never have eradicated malaria, because doing so would have required them to work, and because doing so would have required them to dry up the rice fields that supported the malaria-bearing mosquitoes. These rice fields, however, supported the native populations’ way of life, so by and large the rice fields and the mosquitoes had to stay[47] if the Jews did not want to elicit a reaction from the already uneasy natives. The Jews, therefore, would have had two options: one, live sheltered lives and allow the threat of diseases to remain; or two, do the work necessary to cleanse the island of these diseases, but risk further health issues in the process.

Notwithstanding these prospects—clearly known to the Polish and the French Commission, even before Hevesi wrote extensively about them—Franz Radamacher constructed the first comprehensive outline of the Nazis’ goals in using Madagascar as a solution to Germany’s Jewish Question.

Naturally, the project had to address the customary anti-Semitic provisions against the Jews. For instance, the Nazis planned on administering the island as a police state in order to keep vigil over their enemy. In addition, the Jews had to relinquish citizenship from their countries of origin in order to keep European culture forever Judenfrei. The Jews were instead to become “citizens of the mandate of Madagascar,” and they were to be subject to SS/Reich Security Office surveillance.[48]

However, the plan itself does not appear genocidal. After addressing these anti-Semitic measures, the plan took on a relatively benign demeanor, stating that the Jews would acquire both soil and relative sovereignty over their own government, their own law enforcement, their own justice, their own economics, and even their own forms of cultural expression.[49]  Additionally, in a later draft of the plan that included Gestapo Captain Theodor Dannecker’s contributions (The Madagascar Projekt), the Nazis contradicted their previous impatience with Jewish emigration by acknowledging that the Jewish settlement on Madagascar necessarily had to be a slow process. In other words, not all of the Jews could settle the island at once. The Nazis recognized that laborers, farmers, and doctors had to arrive first in order to lay the foundations of society. Only after this first wave of settlers established an infrastructure could the rest follow.[50]

In sum, the project did not contain virulent anti-Semitic terms, but it instead used relatively conciliatory language that portrayed the Nazis as overseers of a quasi-Zionist project. They wanted the world to know that the Nazis were granting Jews the soil necessary for them to establish their first homeland in 2000 years—provided they could pass the test of history.[51]

The misgivings the intentionalists have about the Madagascar Plan stem from documents such as Rademacher’s and Dannecker’s respective 1940 outlines. Indeed, the synthesis of the plan, read only for what it presents on paper, does not conform to the Nazis’ programmatic schemes as established by Hitler. But the plan must be read for what it does not present.

Conveniently, the Madagascar Project (Dannecker) lacked specific details that otherwise would have shown the logistical failure of the settlement scheme.  The Madagascar Project portrayed the settlement scheme as something practical, as something that would have provided the Jews, quite innocently, with their own soil. The project’s overall vision, however, depended upon certain assumptions about the Jews that contradicted the Nazis’ previous underlying assumptions about them. Moreover, this contradiction of assumptions appears damning in light of the soil conditions earlier examined. For example, with regard to the progressive settlement plan outlined in Dannecker’s draft, the Jews had to arrive on Madagascar in waves—the first wave being farmers, physicians, and labors. However, on the whole, Jews historically did not work in agriculture, well before the Nazis instituted their anti-Semitic policies. In 1920, only 4.2 percent of Hungarian Jews worked in agriculture, while only 5.8 percent of Polish Jews worked in agriculture, fishing, forestry, and gardening. In Czechoslovakia, Jews conformed largely to the Western European pattern, as virtually none of them worked in this field dominated by non-Jews.[52]  Instead, Jews were relegated to the professions of urban life, such as law, shop keeping, and banking. The Nazis—whose ideology centered on a peasant, rural, agrarian nostalgia—especially did not want the Jews to corrupt this sacrosanct lifestyle. How, then, could the Nazis, who wanted to prevent the Jews from corrupting agrarian values in Europe, expect the same Jews to enter an agrarian setting? Furthermore, the red soil of Madagascar, not abundantly conducive to farming, required not only a basic understanding of agriculture, but, more importantly, it required expertise—something that the Jews, who were limited to the professions, did not historically possess. In effect, Rademacher and Dannecker intended the Jews to struggle on Madagascar; these bureaucrats did not intend the Jews to join the world’s nations.

If the Jews could have mastered agriculture despite their lack of experience, they could not have sidestepped the issue of space. Even if Major Lepecki accurately concluded that the north-central highlands could support 60,000 settlers, the number 60,000 is a mere fraction of four million—the amount of Jews the Nazis planned to settle on Madagascar.[53] In effect, had the settlement scheme come to fruition, approximately 98 percent of the Jewish population on Madagascar would have perished, for only two percent could have reaped the benefits of the 240,000 tillable acres. Leon Alter’s estimate of 24,000 tillable acres exposes the absurdity of the plan’s logistics even further.

Matters might have been worse still as the project sought to strip the Jews of their former European citizenship, making them citizens of the mandate of Madagascar. Unlike the French campaigners who were fortunate enough to return to their mother country, the Jews would not have had such a country to take them in and nurture them back to health. Countries seldom accepted impoverished immigrants, the least of all impoverished, famished, sickly Jews from something as intangible as a mandate.  But even if countries had changed their immigration policies, the SS would have made any attempts to leave—from an island, no less—impossible for the Jews, for it was the Nazis’ objective to prevent the Jews from having any further influence on the world’s affairs. The Germans would not have wanted another Diaspora. Madagascar would not have been a new Jewish homeland as much as it would have been a Jewish prison or, more accurately, a “death chamber,” in Hevesi’s words.[54]

Yet a functionalist might reason that this detail-deficient document merely testifies to the planners’ naïve ignorance of the impracticality of such a long-term settlement—that these planners, while negligent in the deaths of millions of Jews, were not genocidal. To the contrary: this document likely represented these agencies’ purposeful oversimplification of the scheme, which masked the scheme’s murderous implications. The first possibility, naivety, is baseless because neither Rademacher nor Dannecker, in their respective positions as head of Referat D III (Jewish Affairs) of the Foreign Office and Captain of Department IV (Jewish Unit) of the Gestapo, could have been ignorant of the French and Polish settlement studies conducted on Madagascar, which had concluded that the land held few, if any, prospects. Granted, Hevesi wrote his treatise in 1941, a year after the Madagascar Plan, but he gathered his source material from the studies conducted by France and Poland in 1936. If Hevesi had access to these studies, then so did the Germans, especially through the Foreign Office.[55] In fact, in January of 1938, the Foreign Office, under Minister Constantin von Neurath’s tenure, expressed interest in the negotiations between France and Poland regarding the latter’s desire to expel its Jews to Madagascar.[56] It is unlikely, then, that the German Foreign Office in July 1940 would have disregarded the information it had gathered from von Neurath’s 1938 meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Beck, especially in light of the fact that Joachim von Ribbentrop, von Neurath’s successor, discussed Madagascar with Italian Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano on 18 June 1940,[57] less than a month before Rademacher’s draft of the plan. Through his superiors at the Foreign Office, Rademacher must have had official information at his disposal—information that is curiously absent from the draft.

Theodor Dannecker, Adolf Eichmann’s assistant in Department IV (D IV) of the Gestapo, also must have been aware of the previous studies on Madagascar, for his position as Jewish Expert in the department kept him apprised of all matters Jewish.  The Gestapo as a whole knew of Madagascar’s implications on the Jewish Question as early as April of 1938 as it prepared a joint statement with the Schwarze Korps and the Elite Guard, which maintained “‘it is still better business for them [the Jews] to pay the Reich flight tax than to be deported to Palestine or Madagascar tomorrow—the final solution that will come about in one way or another as soon as other States awake to their senses.’”[58]  The joint statement intended to “motivate” the Jews to emigrate on their own accord, and in this respect it meant that a prolonged and abusive stay in the Reich awaited those who did not emigrate. But the statement’s emphasis on “one way or another” implied something more: that the Nazis’ choice of location, not the Jews’ choice, held little promise, but that if the Jews did not take measures to emigrate on their own accord almost immediately, then they would have to settle for what the Germans made available to them. Therefore, even though the Nazis said anything ominous to compel the Jews to leave, there must have been general knowledge present in order for these agencies, namely the Gestapo, to emphasize (quite honestly, not necessarily just rhetorically) that voluntary emigration held greater prospects than forced resettlement. In all likelihood, this general knowledge, either directly or indirectly, came from the studies France and Poland conducted, as well as from the German Foreign Office’s analysis of those studies as they applied to Germany’s Jewish Question. Come Dannecker’s draft of the Madagascar Project, the Gestapo did not change its overall policy of wanting a speedy removal of the Jews from Germany. It did not go from instituting policies and issuing threats aimed at forcing speedy expulsion, on one hand, to instituting policies that called for a slow, progressive settlement of Madagascar, on the other. If Madagascar had become available, the Nazis would have concentrated its efforts on the quantity of the Jews shipped to the settlement, not on the quality of the settlement to which the Jews were shipped.[59] The relative patience exhibited by the Madagascar Project contradicted the party’s “all Jews out” ideology,[60] veneering the genocidal implications of the plan.

The insular nature of the island, as well as the presence of the SS on the periphery, would have made Madagascar no different from a ghetto, though this “super ghetto”[61]—by the very implication of the epithet—would have been one of greater magnitude, and it would have been a permanent site, not a stopgap holding ground.[62] In the European ghettos, Jews could not acquire enough food to meet even ten percent of their caloric needs, and when the Germans caught these hungry and desperate captives leaving the confines of the ghetto, they ordered the Judenrat to make the barrier wall higher at the community’s expense.[63]  The Madagascar Plan, as outlined by the Foreign Office and the Gestapo, never suggested that the Nazis would have acted any differently from how they acted toward the same lot of people who suffered in the ghettos. If four million Jews, desperate and hungry, pled their case to their SS liaisons, the latter would have made certain that this historical test was one that the Jews had to face on their own, against incalculable, indeed genocidal, odds.

Despite the similarities between this conjectural “super ghetto” and the very real ghettos, and despite the genocidal implications of the plan, one might find it difficult to visualize the suffering the Jews would have faced on Madagascar, as this resettlement scheme never materialized. An incident has to occur in order for it to be deemed tragic. Indeed, ovens, gas vans, and “showers”; Treblinka, Chelmno, and Auschwitz-Birkenau: these very real genocidal tools and places are so deeply etched into historical memory that one might hesitate to designate the merely conjectural Madagascar Plan as a genocidal initiative in its own right, especially because sources pertaining to this resettlement scheme never manifestly expressed the Nazis’ will to murder Jews in an institutionalized manner. Rather, when the issue of genocide and the issue of Madagascar enter the same debate, many historians, namely the intentionalists, regard the plan as a diversion, while others, the functionalists, regard it as a serious, though ultimately destructive, attempt to solve the Jewish Question by resettlement, not by genocide. However, the Nazis did not need to leave a clearly enumerated paper trail in order for historians to conclude that the party desired genocide by means of the plan. The timeline of events enumerates plenty: the Nazis formulated the Madagascar Plan in 1940; they loosed the Einsatzgruppen on the eastern populations in 1941; they coordinated a continent-wide genocide in January 1942 at Wannsee; they then called off the Madagascar Plan in February 1942. From this timeline, one can see that the Madagascar Plan officially came to an end at least a month into the Final Solution per the Wannsee Protocol.[64] That is, the Nazis sanctioned the genocide while the Madagascar Plan remained on the books as the official policy. Before the Nazis followed the provisions of the Wannsee Protocol, and thus before they abandoned the Madagascar Plan, they sent the Einsatzgruppen into the East with an obviously genocidal mission. It is logical that the Madagascar Plan, situated at one point between the deployment of the Einsatzgruppen and the meeting at Wannsee, represented a constituent part of the greater genocidal plan. Moreover, it is unlikely that the Nazis would have halted the genocide in 1941 or would have dismissed the provisions in the minutes of the Wannsee Protocol in 1942 had they finally acquired the Royal Navy and the Vichy outpost according to their initial planning. Last, it is improbable that the Nazis in 1940 would have constructed a version of the Madagascar Plan so radically different from the project they continued to consider between 1941 and 1942, when genocide was clearly the modus operandi. Racial extermination inhered in the Madagascar Plan from the inception.

[1] New York Times, “Vichy Denies Deal on Madagascar,” 19 February 1942.

[2] See “Wannsee Protokol” (Berlin, 20 January 1942), in Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union, eds. Yitzhak Arad, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot, trans. Lea Ben Dor (Lincoln, Nebraska and London: The University of Nebraska Press, 1999): pp. 249-61; see Franz Rademacher, “Memo to Minister Ernst Bielfeld” (10 February 1942), in The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes vol. 12, ed. John Mendelsohn (New York & London: Garland, 1982), p. 2.

[3] New York Times, “Vichy Denies Deal on Madagascar,” 19 February 1942.

[4] Franz Rademacher, “The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty” (Berlin, 3 July 1940), in Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945 Ser. D, Vol. 10 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1957), p. 112; Ernst Bielfeld, “The Territorial Demands on France Regarding Colonies within the Framework of Total Demands” (Berlin, 6 November 1940), in Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945 Ser. D vol. 11 (Washington, D.C.: United States Printing Office, 1960), p. 491.

[5] Eric T. Jennings, Vichy in the Tropics: Pétain’s National Revolution in Madagascar, Guadeloupe, and Indochina, 1940-1944 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001), p. 40.

[6] Ibid., p. 53.

[7] Ibid., p. 49.

[8] Ibid., p. 47.

[9] Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 2004), p.82.

[10]  See New York Times, “Madagascar Studied as a Home For Jews,” 1 January 1938.

[11] Jennings, Vichy in the Tropics, p. 37.

[12] Ibid., passim, especially p. 48.

[13] Christopher Browning, “Nazi Resettlement Policy and the Search for a Solution to the Jewish Question,” German Studies Review vol. 9, no. 3 (1986), p. 500; also see Philip Friedman, “The Lublin Reservation and the Madagascar Plan: Two Aspects of Nazi Jewish Policy during the Second World War,” YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Studies vol. 7 (1953), pp. 151-177; Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 (New York: Perpetua Edition, 1961), pp. 77-79; Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews (New York, 1975), pp. 154-155; Eberhard Jäckel, Hitler in History (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1984), p. 51.

[14] Browning, “Nazi Resettlement Policy,” p.512.

[15] Jäckel, Hitler in History, p.51.

[16] See Richard Breitman, The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (London: The Bodley Head, 1991), p. 121.

[17] Browning, “Nazi Resettlement Policy,” p. 518.

[18] Franz Rademacher, “The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty” p. 112.

[19] See Eugene Hevesi. “Hitler’s Plan for Madagascar,” Contemporary Jewish Record vol. 5 (1941), passim.

[20] See Christian Gerlach, “The Wannsee Conference, the Fate of German Jews, and Hitler’s Decision in Principle to Exterminate All European Jews,” The Journal of Modern History vol. 70, no. 4 (1998), p. 811.

[21] Tobias Jersak, “Blitzkrieg Revisited: A New Look at Nazi War and Extermination Planning,” The Historical Journal vol.43, no.2 (2000), p. 582.

[22] Ibid., p. 566-8.

[23] Ibid., p. 569.

[24] Ibid., p. 571.

[25] Ibid., pp.. 574, 579.

[26] Ibid., p. 574.

[27] Ibid, 579. See also Magnus Brechtken, “Madagaskar für die Juden”: Antisemitische Idee und politische Praxis, 1885-1945 (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1997). Hans Jansen, Der Madagaskar-Plan: die beabsichtigte Deportation der europaischen Juden nach Madagaskar (Munich: Herbig, 1997).

[28] Christian Gerlach also characterized the Madagascar Plan as “utopian.” See Gerlach, “The Wannsee Conference,” p. 811.

[29] Jersak, “Blitzkrieg Revisited,” p. 580.

[30] Heinrich Himmler, “Memorandum to Hitler on Jews and Other Ethnic Groups in the East” (Rodert, 25 May 1940), in Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union, eds. Yitzhak Arad, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot, trans. Lea Ben Dor (Lincoln, Nebraska and London: The University of Nebraska Press, 1999), p. 198.

[31] Ibid., p. 199.

[32] Jersak, “Blitzkrieg Revisited,” p. 580.

[33] Breitman, The Architect of Genocide, p. 122.

[34] Ibid., p. 122.

[35] Ibid., p. 139.

[36] Ibid., p. 122.

[37] Himmler, “Memorandum,” p. 198.

[38] Ibid., p. 198.

[39] Ibid., p. 199.

[40] New York Times, “Madagascar Studied as a Home for Jews,” 1 January 1938.

[41] Eugene Hevesi, “Hitler’s Plan for Madagascar,” p. 394.

[42] Ibid., pp. 390-1; see Nizkor Project “The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Session 91” (Jerusalem, 11 July 1961), available from http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-091-05.html

[43] Hevesi, “Hitler’s Plan for Madagascar,” p. 388.

[44] Ibid., p. 384-6.

[45] Ibid., p. 394.

[46] Ibid., p. 392.

[47] Ibid., p.383, p. 391.

[48] Franz Rademacher, “The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty” p. 112.

[49] Ibid., pp. 112-113.

[50] Theodor Dannecker, “Madagaskar Projekt” (Berlin, 15 August 1940), in The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes vol. 11, ed. John Mendelsohn (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1982), p. 53.

[51] Rademacher, “The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty,” p. 113.

[52] Ezra Mendelsohn, The Jews of East Central Europe Between the World Wars (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1983), pp. 101, 26, 144. I thank Laura Hudson for providing me with this source.

[53] Dannecker, “Madagaskar Projekt,” p. 52; see Nizkor Project, the “Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Session 91.”

[54] Hevesi, “Hitler’s Plan for Madagascar,” p. 381.

[55] Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution, p. 82.

[56] Martin Schliep, “Brief for the Conversation of the Foreign Minister with the Polish  Minister Beck” (11 January 1938), in Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945 Ser. D, vol. 5 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1953), p. 32.

[57] Galeazzo Ciano, “On Hitler, von Ribbentrop, and Madagascar” (Munich, 18 and 19 June 1940), in Ciano Diaries, ed. Hugh Gibson (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1946), p. 266.

[58] New York Times, “Göring Starts Final Liquidation of Jewish Property in Germany,” 28 April 1938.

[59] See Hevesi, “Hitler’s Plan for Madagascar,” p. 385.

[60] See Rademacher, “The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty,” p. 112.

[61] Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution, pp. 85, 107.

[62] Ibid., pp.112, 152, 165.

[63] Emmanuel Ringelblum, “The Smuggling of Food into the Warsaw Ghetto” (Warsaw, N.D.), in Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union, eds. Yitzhak Arad, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot, trans. Lea Ben Dor. Lincoln, Nebraska and London: The University of Nebraska Press, 1999, pp. 228-9.

[64] See “Wannsee Protokol,” pp. 249-61; see Rademacher, “Memorandum to Minister Ernst Bielfeld,” p. 2.


Primary Sources

Bielfeld, Ernst. “The Territorial Demands on France Regarding Colonies within the Framework of Total Demands” (Berlin, 6 November 1940). In Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945 Series D. Volume 11. Washington, D.C.: United States Printing Office, 1960, p. 491.

Ciano, Galeazzo. “Hitler, von Ribbentrop, and Madagascar” (Munich, 18 and 19 June 1940). In Ciano Diaries. Edited by Hugh Gibson. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1946, p. 266.

Dannecker, Theodor. “Madagascar Projekt” (Berlin, 21 August 1940). In The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes Vol. 11. Edited by John Mendelsohn. New York: London: Garland, 1982, pp. 42-62.

Hevisi, Eugene. “Hitler’s Plan for Madagascar.”  Contemporary Jewish Record Vol. 5 (1941): pp. 381-95.

Himmler, Heinrich. “Memorandum to Hitler on Jews and Other Ethnic Groups in the East” (Paris, 25 May 1940). In Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union. Edited by Yitzhak Arad, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot. Translated by Lea Ben Dor. Lincoln, Nebraska and London: The University of Nebraska Press, 1999, pp.198-9.

New York Times, “Göring Starts Final Liquidation of Jewish Property in Germany,” 28 April 1938.

New York Times, “Madagascar Studied as a Home for Jews,” 1 January 1938.

New York Times, “Vichy Denies Deal on Madagascar,” 19 February 1942.

Nizkor Project, “Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Session 91” (Jerusalem, 11 July 1961). Available from http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmannadolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-091-05.html

Rademacher, Franz. “The Jewish Question in the Peace Treaty” (Berlin, 3 July 1940). In Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945 Ser. D, Vol. 10. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1957, pp. 111-113.

________. “Memorandum to Minister Ernst Bielfeld” (Berlin, 10 February 1942). In The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes Vol. 12. Edited by John Mendelsohn. New York & London: Garland, 1982, p. 2.

Ringelblum, Emmanuel. “The Smuggling of Food into the Warsaw Ghetto” (Warsaw, N.D.) In Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union. Edited by Yitzhak Arad, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot. Translated by Lea Ben Dor. Lincoln, Nebraska and London: The University of Nebraska Press, 1999, pp. 228-9.

Schliep, Martin. “Brief for the Conversation of the Foreign Minister with the Polish Minister Beck” (Berlin, 11 January 1938). In Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945 Ser. D, Vol. 5. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1953, p. 32.

“Wannsee Protokol” (Berlin, 20 January 1942). In Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union. Edited by Yitzhak Arad, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot. Edited by Lea Ben Dor. Lincoln, Nebraska and London: The University of Nebraska Press, 1999, pp. 249-61.

Secondary Sources

Breitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution. London: The Bodley Head, 1991.

Browning, Christopher. “Nazi Resettlement Policy and the Search for a Solution to the Jewish Question.” German Studies Review Vol. 9, No. 3 (1986): pp. 497-519.

________. The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942. Lincoln, Nebraska: the University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

Gerlach, Christian. “The Wannsee Conference, the Fate of German Jews, and Hitler’s Decision in Principle to Exterminate All European Jews.” The Journal of Modern History Vol. 70, No. 4 (1998): pp. 759-812.

Jäckel, Eberhard. Hitler in History. Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1984.

Jennings, Eric T. Vichy in the Tropics: Pétain’s National Revolution in Madagascar, Guadeloupe, and Indochina, 1940-1941. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.

Jersak , Tobias. “Blitzkrieg Revisited: A New Look at Nazi War and Extermination Planning.” The Historical Journal Vol. 43, No.2 (2000): pp. 565-82.

Mendelsohn, Ezra. The Jews of East Central Europe Between the World Wars. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University.


1 Comment

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One response to “Unrealized and Underutilized: Madagascar in Nazi Genocidal Planning and the Island’s Subsequent Position in the Intentionalist-Versus-Functionalist Debate in Holocaust Historiography

  1. Pingback: The Functionalist View of the Holocaust is Not a Revisionist View | Goodbye To All This

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