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Encyclopedia > Lebensraum
Nazism

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Lebensraum  (German for "habitat" or literally "living space") was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany. In Hitler's book Mein Kampf, he detailed his belief that the German people needed Lebensraum ("living space", i.e. land and raw materials), and that it should be found in the East. It was the stated policy of the Nazis to kill, deport, or enslave the Polish, Russian and other Slavic populations, whom they considered inferior, and to repopulate the land with Germanic peoples. The entire urban population was to be exterminated by starvation, thus creating an agricultural surplus to feed Germany and allowing their replacement by a German upper class. Image File history File links De-Lebensraum. ... Habitat (which is Latin for it inhabits) is the place where a particular species live and grow. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Expansionism is the doctrine of expanding the territorial base (or economic influence) of a country, usually by means of military aggression. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Grossdeutschland (literally Greater Germany) is a term that has been used in two separate contexts over history. ... Mein Kampf (English translation: My Struggle) is a book by the German-Austrian politician Adolf Hitler, which combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitlers National Socialist political ideology. ... Distribution of Slavic people by language The Slavic peoples are a linguistic and ethnic branch of Indo-European peoples, living mainly in Europe, where they constitute roughly a third of the population. ... For other uses, see Elite (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Origins

The idea of a Germanic people without sufficient space dates back to long before Adolf Hitler brought it to prominence. The term Lebensraum in this sense was coined by Friedrich Ratzel in 1897, and was used as a slogan in Germany referring to the unification of the country and the acquisition of colonies, as per the English and French models. Ratzel believed the development of a people was primarily influenced by their geographical situation and that a people that successfully adapted to one location would proceed naturally to another. This expansion to fill available space, he claimed, was a natural and necessary feature of any healthy species.[1] The term Germanic peoples may refer to: the Germanic tribes that in the first millennium were seen as a barbarian threat by the Roman Empire and its successors; the Germanic Christianity that in the second millennium came to dominate much of Northern Europe, politically organized in the Holy Roman Empire... Hitler redirects here. ... Friedrich Ratzels photograph from the University of Leipzig Friedrich Ratzel (August 30, 1844, Karlsruhe, Baden – August 9, 1904, Ammerland) was a German geographer and ethnographer, notable for coining the term Lebensraum (living space). // Ratzels father was the head of the household staff of the Grand Duke of Baden. ...


These beliefs were furthered by scholars of the day, including Karl Haushofer and Friedrich von Bernhardi. In von Bernhardi's 1912 book Germany and the Next War, he expanded upon Ratzel's hypotheses and, for the first time, explicitly identified Eastern Europe as a source of new space. According to him, war, with the express purpose of achieving Lebensraum, was a distinct "biological necessity." As he explained with regard to the Latin and Slavic races, "Without war, inferior or decaying races would easily choke the growth of healthy budding elements." The quest for Lebensraum was more than just an attempt to resolve potential demographic problems: it was a necessary means of defending the German race against stagnation and degeneration."[2] General Karl Haushofer General Karl Ernst Haushofer (August 27, 1869, Munich - March 13, 1946, Pähl) was a German geopolitician. ... Friedrich von Bernhardi (1849–1930) was a German soldier and military writer, perhaps best known for his bellicose book Deutschland und der Nächste Krieg (Germany and the Next War). ...


Lebensraum almost became a reality in 1918 during World War I. The new communist regime of Russia concluded the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, gaining peace in exchange for huge swathes of land, including the Baltic territories, Belarus, Ukraine, and the Caucasus.[3] Only unrest at home and defeat on the Western Front forced Germany to abandon these favorable terms in favor of the Treaty of Versailles, by which the newly acquired eastern territories were agreed to sacrifice the land to new nations such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and a series of short-lived independent states in Ukraine. The desire for revenge over the loss of territory in the Treaty of Versailles was a key tenet of several nationalist and extremist groups in post-World War I Germany, notably the Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler. There are, however, many historians who dismiss this "intentionalist" approach, and argue that the concept was actually an "ideological metaphor" in the early days of Nazism.[4] “The Great War ” redirects here. ... The first two pages of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in (left to right) German, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ottoman Turkish and Russian The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) between the Russian SFSR and the Central Powers, marking... The Baltic Provinces were the provinces of the Russian Empire on the territory of what in 1918 became, and is now, independent Estonia and Latvia. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... This article is about the Treaty of Versailles of June 28 1919, which ended World War I. For other uses, see Treaty of Versailles (disambiguation) . The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was a peace treaty which officially ended World War I between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany. ... The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: , or NSDAP, commonly known as the Nazi Party), was a political party in Germany between 1919 and 1945. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ...

Without consideration of traditions and prejudices, Germany must find the courage to gather our people and their strength for an advance along the road that will lead this people from its present restricted living space to new land and soil, and hence also free it from the danger of vanishing from the earth or of serving others as a slave nation.

The National Socialist Movement must strive to eliminate the disproportion between our population and our area—viewing this latter as a source of food as well as a basis for power politics—between our historical past and the hopelessness of our present impotence.[5]

Implementation

The Lebensraum ideology was a major factor in Hitler's launching of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. The Nazis hoped to turn large areas of Soviet territory into German settlement areas as part of Generalplan Ost.[6] Developing these ideas, Nazi theorist Alfred Rosenberg, proposed that the Nazi administrative organization in lands to be conquered from the Soviets be based upon the following Reichskommissariats: Combatants Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia  Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Heinz Guderian Günther von Kluge Franz Halder Maresal Ion Antonescu C.G.E. Mannerheim Giovanni Messe, CSIR Italo Garibaldi, ARMIR Joseph Stalin Kliment Voroshilov Semyon Timoshenko Fyodor... Soviet redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... National Socialism redirects here. ...   (January 12, 1893 Reval (nowadays Tallinn) – October 16, 1946) was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi party, who later held several important posts in the Nazi government. ... Reichskommissar (Commissionary of the Empire) was an official title of authorized representative of the Deutsches Reich (after 1871) who was appointed to a special task, e. ...

The Reichskommissariat territories would extend up to the European frontier at the Urals. They were to have been early stages in the displacement and dispossession of Russian and other Slav people and their replacement with German settlers, following the Nazi Lebensraum im Osten plans. When German forces entered Soviet territory, they promptly organized occupation regimes in the first two territories—the Reichskomissariats of Ostland and Ukraine. The defeat of the Sixth Army at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942, followed by defeat in the Battle of Kursk in July 1943 and the Allied landings in Sicily put an end to the plans' implementation. Reichskommissariat Ostland was the German name for the Nazi civil administration of so called Eastern Territories of the Third Reich dring World War II, where Ostland (German for Eastern Territories) was the name given to the German occupied territories of the Baltic states, Belarus and Eastern Poland. ... The three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. ... This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For other uses, see Moscow (disambiguation). ... European Russia can be considered the western areas of Russia, where most of the population is centred. ... The Ural Mountains, (Russian: Ура́льские го́ры = Ура́л) also known simply as the Urals, are a mountain range that run roughly north and south through western Russia. ... Combatants Germany Romania Italy Hungary Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Friedrich Paulus # Erich von Manstein Hermann Hoth Petre Dumitrescu Constantin Constantinescu Italo Garibaldi Gusztav Jany Vasiliy Chuikov Aleksandr Vasilyevskiy Georgiy Zhukov Semyon Timoshenko Konstantin Rokossovskiy Rodion Malinovskiy Andrei Yeremenko Strength Army Group B: German Sixth Army # German Fourth Panzer Army... Combatants Nazi Germany Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Günther von Kluge Hermann Hoth Walther Model Georgiy Zhukov Konstantin Rokossovskiy Nikolay Vatutin Ivan Konyev Strength 2,700 tanks 800,000 infantry 2,000 aircraft 3,600 tanks 1,300,000 infantry and supporting troops 2,400 aircraft Casualties German... Husky was also the codename of Australian military support to Sierra Leone ending in February 2003. ...


Historical perspective

In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler notes that history is an open-ended struggle, and links the concept of Lebensraum with his own brand of racism and social Darwinism. Nevertheless, historians debate whether Hitler's position on Lebensraum was part of a larger program of world domination or a more modest "continentalist" approach, by which Hitler would have sufficed with the conquest of Eastern Europe. Nor are the two positions necessarily contradictory, given the idea of a broader Stufenplan, or "plan in stages," which many claim lay behind the regime's actions.[7] Historian Ian Kershaw suggests just such a compromise, claiming that while the concept was originally abstract and undeveloped, it took on new meaning with the invasion of the Soviet Union.[8] He goes on to note that even within the Nazi regime, there were differences of opinion about the meaning of Lebensraum, citing Rainer Zitelmann, who distinguishes between the near-mystical fascination with a return to an idyllic agrarian society (for which land was a necessity) as advocated by Darré and Himmler, and an industrial state, envisioned by Hitler, which would be reliant on raw materials and forced labor.[9] Mein Kampf (English translation: My Struggle) is a book by the German-Austrian politician Adolf Hitler, which combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitlers National Socialist political ideology. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Manifestations Slavery Racial profiling Lynching Hate speech Hate crime Genocide (examples) Ethnocide Ethnic cleansing Pogrom Race war Religious persecution Gay bashing Blood libel Paternalism Police brutality Movements Policies Discriminatory Race / Religion / Sex segregation Apartheid Redlining Internment Anti-discriminatory Emancipation Civil rights Desegregation Integration Equal opportunity Counter-discriminatory Affirmative action Racial... Social Darwinism is the idea that Charles Darwins theory can be extended and applied to the social realm, i. ... Professor Sir Ian Kershaw (born April 29, 1943 in Oldham, Lancashire, England) is a British historian, noted for his biographies of Adolf Hitler. ... R. Walther Darré in a 1939 calendar Richard Oscar Walther Darré (14 July 1895 - 5 September 1953), SS-Obergruppenführer, was one of the Nazi leading ‘blood and soil’ ideologists. ... Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( ; 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and the Nazi hierarchy. ...


What seems certain is that echoes of lost territorial opportunities in Europe, such as the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, played an important role in the Hitlerian vision for the distant future:

The acquisition of new soil for the settlement of the excess population possesses an infinite number of advantages, particularly if we turn from the present to the future ... It must be said that such a territorial policy cannot be fulfilled in the Cameroons, but today almost exclusively in Europe.[10]

References

  1. ^ For an overview of Ratzel's views, see Wanklyn, Harriet. Friedrich Ratzel: A Biographical Memoir and Bibliography. Cambridge University Press: 1961. ASIN B000KT4J8K. Their impact on Nazi ideology, and their intersection with colonialism and economic imperialism in the Imperial German era is described by Smith, Woodruff, D., The Ideological Origins of Nazi Imperialism, Oxford University Press, 1986. ISBN 0195047419.
  2. ^ See Evans, Richard J., The Coming of the Third Reich, Penguin Press, 2004, p. 35. ISBN 1594200041.
  3. ^ Spartacus Educational: Treaty of Brest Litovsk.
  4. ^ See, for instance, Kershaw, Ian, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems & Perspectives of Interpretation, Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 76–79. ISBN 0340760281.
  5. ^ Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf, Houghton Mifflin, 1971, p. 646. ISBN 0385078016.
  6. ^ Madajczyk, Czesław. "Die Besatzungssysteme der Achsenmächte. Versuch einer komparatistischen Analyse." Studia Historiae Oeconomicae vol. 14 (1980): pp. 105-122, quoted in Uerbesch, Gerd R. and and Rolf-Dieter Müller, Hitler's War in the East, 1941-1945: A Critical Assessment Berghahn Books, 2008 (review ed.). ISBN 1845455010.
  7. ^ Kershaw, pp. 134–137.
  8. ^ Kershaw, pp. 154–155.
  9. ^ Kershaw, pp. 244–245.
  10. ^ Hitler, p. 138.

External links


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