Ost Plan

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ost Plan


(General Plan East), a component of German fascism’s program for achieving world domination and enslaving other peoples. The chief aims of the Ost Plan were the colonization of Eastern Europe and the extermination, germanization, or enslavement to the Reich of the peoples of the East European countries.

The Ost Plan was worked out principally by the Reich Central Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, or RSHA) under the direction of SS Reichsführer H. Himmler; it was approved by A. Hitler on May 25, 1940. The plan’s scope was subsequently broadened, and the methods for its implementation were made more brutal. The full text of the Ost Plan has not been found, but documents connected with the plan make it possible to reconstruct the plan’s main provisions.

The Ost Plan envisaged the physical extermination of up to 30 million persons and the deportation—and in practice extermination—of more than 50 million Byelorussians, Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Czechs, and other nationalities to Western Siberia, the Northern Caucasus, South America, and Africa. Up to 85 percent of the population of Poland, 65 percent of the Western Ukraine, 75 percent of Byelorussia, and a considerable part of the population of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were thus affected. The “vacated” territories were to be settled by about 10 million Germans, and the population remaining in them was to be germanized. The Russian people was to be weakened, broken up, and destroyed as a people. The goals of the Ost Plan were to be achieved through the extermination and deportation of peoples, the division of national territories, the creation of military settlements, the limitation of the birthrate, the replacement of the national languages by German, and the abolition of secondary and higher education.

The implementation of the Ost Plan began in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the occupied territory of the USSR. The defeat of fascist Germany by the Soviet Army foiled the plan’s complete realization.


“Sovershenno sekretno! Tol’ko dlia komandovaniia.” Moscow, 1967. Pages 96–123.
Bezymenskii, L. A. Osobaia papka “Barbarossa.” Moscow, 1972. Pages 257–53.
Müller, N. Wehrmacht und Okkupation. 1941–1944. Berlin, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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