The Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, Polish Academy of Sciences and the German Research Foundation have organised the ceremonial opening of the exhibition “Research – Planning – Expulsion: The National Socialists' General Plan for the East”.
The opening of the exhibition took place on Tuesday, 17 April 2012, at 5 pm in IPN’s Educational Center (ul. Marszałkowska 21/25, Warsaw). The ceremony was attended by Mrs. Petra Pau (Die Linke) - Vice-President of the Bundestag, Eugeniusz Grzeszczak - Deputy Speaker of the Sejm, Prof. Michał Kleiber - President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Prof. Matthias Kleiner - President of the German Research Foundation, Dr. Łukasz Kamiński - the President of IPN, and authors of the exhibition.
The opening was accompanied by a lecture by prof. dr. Ulrich Herbert of the Institute of History at the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg, which will be entitled "German Science and the General Plan for the East".
The exhibition will be on display in Warsaw at IPN’s Educational Center from 13 May from Monday to Friday at 9.00-20.00 and Saturday at 9.00-14.00. Later the exhibition will be presented in Lublin, Wrocław, Poznań and Gdynia.
To make a settlement with its history, the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) has set up a group of scientists led by Prof. Rüdiger von Bruch (Berlin) and Prof. Ulrich Herbert (Freiburg). Its mission is to clarify the role of the DFG in the Nazi period. One of the results of this effort is the exhibition “Research – Planning – Expulsion: The National Socialists' General Plan for the East”.
In June 1942 Konrad Meyer, a Berlin professor of agronomy, sent to SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler a memorandum regarding "Germanization" of the eastern territories. This document, known as the General Plan for the East, perfectly reflects the atrocious nature of Nazi policy and shows that experts had no qualms about participating in this project. The plan predicted that within 25 years nearly five million Germans will be settled in the annexed Polish territories, in the Baltic countries and in the western part of the Soviet Union, which the Nazis intended to conquer. Millions of residents of these areas, in majority of Jewish and Slavic origin, were to be enslaved, expelled or killed.
Nazi plans to bring a new order in Europe were based on the work of many scientists whose research were financed by the DFG. The exhibition reveals the genesis of the General Plan for the East, and highlights the role, which scientists from the Third Reich played in its development. It has been shown in many German cities. Now, the German Research Foundation together with the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Institute of National Remembrance would like to present it for discussion in Poland.