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Ehrard Wetzel (1903-1975)

Last modified: 30 March 2009
Daniel Bovy

March 2009

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Daniel Bovy, Wetzel (1903-1975), Ehrard , Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, [online], published on 17 March 2009, accessed 30 July 2014, URL : http://www.massviolence.org/Wetzel-1903-1975-Ehrard, ISSN 1961-9898

After his law studies, Wetzel obtained a job at the Office for Racial Policy in 1935. In 1939, he became the representative for racial questions for the chief of the civilian administration of Posen (Poznan). On November 25, 1939, he issued a secret report (written together with G. Hecht) named “The question of handling the population of former Polish territories according to racial criteria” (IMT, document PS 660). He became racial referent at the Ministry for the East (Ostministerium) led by Rosenberg. He participated in the Action T4 under Brack’s control. While he was there, he wrote a letter (dated October 25, 1941) addressed to the Reichskommissar for the East, Lohse, informing him about the fact that Brack (Hitler’s chancellery) would fully support the engineering of gas vans meant to kill Jews in the Eastern territories. He regularly took part in meetings dealing with the Final Solution, especially those held at Eichmann’s Department IV4B on March 6 and October 27, 1942. Within his administration, Wetzel, as a racial expert, criticized Konrad Meyer-Hetling’s plans proposed in 1941 (his plan was named “Planung und Aufbau im Osten”). Wetzel planed the immigration to the East of 4 million Germans within 10 years and of 10 million German within 20 years time. Meyer planed to deport or to kill “only” 31 million people from the Eastern territories while Wetzel wanted between 46 and 51 million of them to be killed. Wetzel planed the deportation of about 80% to 85% of the Polish population, 64% of the Ukrainian population and 75% of the population living in Belarus. According to him, those who were supposed to stay should be “germanized” or killed. His plan was proposed to Himmler who indicated that it should be initiated and completed 20 years after the end of the war. After World War II, Wetzel was imprisoned in USSR but freed in 1955. He was busy in the administration of the Land of Low Saxony during two years and retired in 1958 because of bad health.

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Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence® - ISSN 1961-9898