Georg Thomas

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General of Infantry Georg Thomas (1890-1946) was Quartermaster-General and logistics chief of the World War II German Army, and the War Economy and Armaments office in the Armed Forces High Command (OKW). Thomas had additional responsibilities for Hermann Goering, the Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, as coordinator for economic policy on Soviet territory. He was also a member of the German Resistance and involved in the 20th of July Plot to kill Adolf Hitler.

Walter Warlimont describes him as one of the OKW staff sections who tended to support Army Army General Staff positions over those originated in Hitler's command group, OKW.[1]

German economy

German military thought, since the eighteenth century, had a general concept of war economy or mobilization, Weltwitshchaft. Thomas, while chief of the Military Economic Staff, commented on the Nazi use of the concept:
History will know only a few examples of cases where a country has directed, even in peacetime, all its economic forces deliberately and systematically toward the requirements of war, as Germany was compelled to do in the period between the two World Wars.[2]

William Shirer observed "Germany, of course, was not 'compelled' to prepare on such a scale for war — it was a deliberate decision taken by Hitler." He mentions how Hjalmar Schacht had begun economic planning for war by 1934. [3] Schacht was indicted but not convicted for such activity, under the charge of crimes against peace, but his position may have been mitigated because he resigned posts. Other economic specialists were tried and convicted in the Ministries Case (NMT), under the doctrine that planning aggressive war is a crime against peace. He was under investigation at the time of his death, and it is not unreasonable to assume that he might have been tried, with colleagues, in the Ministries or High Command Case (NMT).

Italy, under Benito Mussolini, had far worse war production than Germany. Thomas actively accused the Italians, in 1943, of sabotaging production. He was hesitant to provide raw materials or industrial assistance, fearing it would be wasted, to the Italians.[4]

Russian Front

The Holocaust

In late 1941, he sent plans for economic exploitation of the conquered territories to Goering, who sent it to Hitler on 26 February 1942. Thomas, with Hitler's consent, was made Goering's coordinator for economic policy on Soviet territory. [5]


  1. Walter Warlimont (1962), Inside Hitler's Headquarters, 1933-45, Presidio Press, p. 69
  2. Georg Thomas, Basic Facts for a History of German and War Economy, quoted by Shirer, pp. 259, 1149
  3. William Shirer (1960), The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Simon & Schuster
  4. Timothy D. Saxon (1999), The German Side of the Hill: Nazi Conquest and Occupation of Italy 1943-1945, Doctoral dissertation, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia, pp. 59-62
  5. Christopher R. Browning (2004), The Origins of the Final Solution: The evolution of Nazi Jewish policy, September 1939-March 1942, University of Nebraska Press and Yad Vashem, ISBN 0803213271, p. 214