Germany's Field Marshal Heinz Guderian was quoted as saying: "We lost the war the day we failed to raise the Ukrainian flag over the cathedral in Kiev, that day was when the Ukrainians lost their hope and faith in the third Reich as the liberators I intended!"
Question: Did any rational authority agree with him that it was necessary to "liberate" non-Russian Soviet people for the Germans to prevail on the eastern front? (I'm not asking about people who thought that Germany could win no matter how they treated the Soviets.)
- An "authority" is a recognized historian after the fact, or a contemporaneous high level soldier, diplomat or politician who had the power to shape events.
- A German "authority" is considered "rational" only if he was better noted for his professionalism than his Naziism. Among military men, Guderian, Manstein and Rommel qualify; Goering, Jodl and (La)Keitel, who were noted for their Naziism, do not.
3."Prevail on the Eastern front" means that the final peacetime western Soviet border ended up being "rolled" back north and east of where it stood on June 21, 1941. A "liberation" of one of the Baltic countries, or Soviet Poland, or Finnish Karelia, or Romania's "Transdiniester region would qualify.
- "Liberate" means to "Balkanize" the non-Russian Soviet Union, giving non-Russian Soviets nominal independence, or at least substantial autonomy, while maintaining de facto German control.