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Encyclopedia > Volksdeutsche

Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) is a historical term which arose in the early 20th century to apply for Germans living outside of the German Empire. This is in contrast to Imperial Germans (Reichsdeutsche), German citizens living within Germany. In that sense, it is the equivalent of today's legal definition of the term Auslandsdeutsche (Germans abroad). Imperial Germans is the common translation of the German word Reichsdeutsche (adj. ... Imperial Germans is the common translation of the German word Reichsdeutsche (adj. ... Auslandsdeutsche (Germans abroad; adj. ...


This is the loosest meaning of the term, which was used mainly during the Weimar Republic. In a stricter sense, volksdeutsch came to mean ethnic Germans living abroad but without German citizenship, i.e., the juxtaposition with reichsdeutsch was sharpened to denote difference in citizenship as well as residence. The period of German history from 1919 to 1933 is known as the Weimar Republic IPA (German Weimarer Republik). ...

Contents


Origins

Over the last thousand years tens of thousands of Germans emigrated from traditional German lands in Central Europe and settled further east in Russia, present day Romania and other countries. Many Germans settled in the Baltic and parts of present day Poland in colonies established by the Teutonic Knights beginning in the Thirteenth Century. The Knights were also granted rights in Transylvania resulting in the settlement of many Germans. Historical lands and provinces in Central Europe Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... The Baltic Sea The Baltic region (sometimes briefly The Baltics) is an ambiguous term used to denominate an arbitrary region connected to the Baltic Sea (also called The Baltics). ... Teutonic Knights, charging into battle. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... Transylvania (Romanian: Transilvania or Ardeal, Hungarian: Erdély, German: Siebenbürgen, Serbian: Трансилванија / Transilvanija, Bulgarian: Трансилвания (Transilvaniya) or Седмоградско (Sedmogradsko), Седмиградско (Sedmigradsko), Turkish: Erdel, Slovak: Sedmohradsko or Transylvánia, Polish: Siedmiogród) forms the western and central parts of Romania. ...


Catherine the Great, who was herself German, invited German farmers to immigrate and settle in Russian lands along the Volga River which had recently been conquered from the Ottoman Empire. She guaranteed them the right to retain their language, religion and culture. In the Sixteenth Century Vasili III invited small numbers of German craftsmen, traders and professionals to settle in Russia so that the empire could exploit their skills. These settlers (many of whom intended to stay only temporarily) were generally confined to the German Quarter in Moscow (which also included Dutch, British and other western or northern European settlers who the Russians came to indiscriminately refer to as "Germans") and gradually in other cities so as to prevent the spread of alien ideas to the general population. In his youth, Peter the Great spent much time in the German quarter and when he became Tsar he brought more German experts (and other foreigners) into Russia and particularly into government service in his attempts to westernize the empire. He also brought in German engineers to supervise the construction of the new city of St. Petersburg. H.I.M. Yekaterina II Alexeyevna the Great, Empress and Autocrat of all the Russias Catherine II (Russian: , tr. ... Volga in Yaroslavl (autumn morning) Length 3,690 km Elevation of the source 225 m Average discharge 8,000 m³/s Area watershed 1. ... Imperial motto (Ottoman Turkish Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (the Eternal State) The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital Bursa (1335 - 1365), Edirne (1365-1453), Ä°stanbul (Constantinople) (1453-1922) Imperial anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Sovereigns Padishah of the Osmanli Dynasty Population ca 40... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... Vasili III Ivanovich (Russian: Василий III Иванович, also Basil) (March 25, 1479 – December 3, 1533) was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1505 to 1533. ... German Quarter - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Moscow (Russian: Москва́, Moskva, IPA:   listen?) is the capital of Russia, located on the river Moskva. ... Peter I Emperor and Autocrat of All Russia Peter I (Pyotr Alekseyvich) (9 June 1672–8 February 1725 [30 May 1672–28 January 1725 O.S.1]) ruled Russia from 7 May (27 April O.S.) 1682 until his death. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and Petrograd (Петрогра́д, 1914–1924), is a city located in Northwestern Russia on the delta of the river Neva at the east end of the Gulf of Finland...


During Nazi Times

Volksdeutsche in Sudetenland (1938).
Volksdeutsche in Sudetenland (1938).

During Nazi times, the term "Volksdeutsche" referred to foreign-born Germans living in countries occupied by Germany who applied for German citizenship. Prior to World War II, well above ten million ethnic Germans lived in Central and Eastern Europe. They constituted an important minority far into Russia. Before and during WW2, some Volksdeutsche in some countries like Czechoslovakia, Poland or Yugoslavia, actively supported the Nazis by espionage, sabotage and other services against their countries of origin. Most Volksdeutsche left or were expelled from their countries in the course of the German exodus from Eastern Europe. Tiny remnants of the ethnic German community remain in the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. There is also a small surviving German community in Siebenbürgen (Transylvania) in Romania. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Sudetenland (-German; Czech: Sudety) was the name used from 1938–45 for the region inhabited mostly by Sudeten Germans (German: Sudetendeutsche, Czech: SudetÅ¡tí NÄ›mci) in the various places of Bohemia, Moravia, and parts of Silesia. ... 1938 was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Look up Nazi in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atom bomb World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a mid-20th-century conflict that engulfed much of the... German soldiers at the Battle of Stalingrad World War II was the most extensive and costly armed conflict in the history of the world, involving the great majority of the worlds nations, being fought simultaneously in several major theatres, and costing tens of millions of lives. ... The German exodus from Eastern Europe refers to the exodus of the German populations to the east of Germanys and Austrias post-World War II borders. ... State motto (Russian): Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Transliterated: Proletarii vsekh stran, soedinyaytes!) (Translated: Workers of the world, unite!) Anthems: The Internationale (1922-1944) / Hymn of the Soviet Union (1944-1991) Capital Moscow Official language None; Russian (de facto) Government Federation of Socialist republics/ Communist state Last Premier Ivan Silayev Last President Mikhail Gorbachev Area... Transylvania (Romanian: Transilvania or Ardeal, Hungarian: Erdély, German: Siebenbürgen, Serbian: Трансилванија / Transilvanija, Bulgarian: Трансилвания (Transilvaniya) or Седмоградско (Sedmogradsko), Седмиградско (Sedmigradsko), Turkish: Erdel, Slovak: Sedmohradsko or Transylvánia, Polish: Siedmiogród) forms the western and central parts of Romania. ...


The Nazis popularized the terms Volksdeutsche, and also exploited this group for their own purposes. As a result, the term is not much used today - often one uses either Auslandsdeutsche, or names that more closely associate them with their earlier place of abode (such as Wolgadeutsche or Volga Germans), the ethnic Germans living in the Volga basin in Russia; and Baltic Germans, those ethnic Germans who generally called themselves Balts and were removed to German-occupied Poland during WW2 by an agreement between Hitler and Stalin). Auslandsdeutsche (Germans abroad; adj. ... Volga German pioneer family comemorative statue in Victoria, Kansas, USA. The Volga Germans were ethnic Germans living near the Volga River and the Black Sea, maintaining German culture, language, traditions, and religions: Evangelical Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism. ... The Baltic Germans (German: Baltendeutsche, Balten, and Deutschbalten), were ethnically German inhabitants of the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea which forms today the countries of Estonia and Latvia. ... 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. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვილი; see Other names section) (December 21, 1879[1] – March 5, 1953) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and leader of the Soviet Union. ...

Flag of Volksdeutsche in the Independent State of Croatia.
Flag of Volksdeutsche in the Independent State of Croatia.

The Volga Germans were granted an autonomous republic after the Russian Revolution but the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was abolished by Stalin after the Nazi invasion of the USSR with many of its inhabitants being deported to Siberia. Flag of the German community (Volksdeutsche) in Croatia is based on the Nazi flag - the Swastika is replaced by Odal rune of the Ancient German script. ... Flag of the German community (Volksdeutsche) in Croatia is based on the Nazi flag - the Swastika is replaced by Odal rune of the Ancient German script. ... The Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH) was the name of the state that encompassed most of Croatia during the World War II. It was set up in April 1941 on parts of the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia after its occupation by the forces of... Volga German pioneer family comemorative statue in Victoria, Kansas, USA. The Volga Germans were ethnic Germans living near the Volga River and the Black Sea, maintaining German culture, language, traditions, and religions: Evangelical Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism. ... The phrase Russian Revolution can refer to the following events in the history of Russia. ... 1937 flag of the Volga German ASSR The Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (German: Autonome Sozialistische Sowjet-Republik der Wolga-Deutschen, Russian: Автономная Советская Социалистическая Республика Немцев Поволжья) was an autonomy established in the Soviet Union, with its capital at the Volga port of Engels (until 1931 known as... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვილი; see Other names section) (December 21, 1879[1] – March 5, 1953) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and leader of the Soviet Union. ... Original German plan Operation Barbarossa (Unternehmen Barbarossa) was the German codename for Nazi Germanys invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that commenced on June 22, 1941. ... Siberia Siberia (Russian: , common English transliterations: Sibir’, Sibir; from the Tatar for “sleeping land”) is a vast region of Russia and northern Kazakhstan constituting almost all of northern Asia. ...


Poland

In Poland during World War II, Polish citizens of German ancestry, who often identified themselves with the Polish nation, were confronted with the dilemma of whether to sign the Volksliste, the list of Germans living in Poland. This included ethnic Germans whose families had lived in Poland proper for centuries, and Germans (who after 1920 became citizens of Poland) from the part of Germany that had been given to Poland after World War I. World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atom bomb World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a mid-20th-century conflict that engulfed much of the... World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machineguns, and poison gas. ...


Often the choice was either to sign and be regarded as a traitor by the Polish, or not to sign and be treated by the Nazi occupation as a traitor of the Germanic race. After the collapse of Nazi Germany, these people were tried by the Polish authorities for high treason. Even now, in Poland the word Volksdeutsch is regarded as an insult, synonymous with the word "traitor". 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. ...


In some cases, individuals consulted the Polish resistance first, before signing the Volksliste. Volksdeutsche played an important role in intelligence activities of the Polish resistance, and were at times the primary source of information for the Allies. Having helped the Polish non-communist resistance didn't help in the eyes of new Communist government installed by the Soviet Union after 1945; therefore, some of these double agent Volksdeutsche were also persecuted. Communism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /w/skins-1. ...


In occupied Poland, the status of "Volksdeutscher" gave many privileges, but one big disadvantage: Volksdeutsche were conscripted into the German army. The Volksliste had 4 categories. No. 1 and No. 2 were considered ethnic Germans, while No. 3 and No. 4 were ethnic Poles who had signed the Volksliste for different reasons. Volksdeutsche of statuses 1 and 2 in the Polish areas annexed by Germany numbered 1,000,000, and Nos. 3 and 4 numbered 1,700,000. In the General Government there were 120,000 Volksdeutsche. Volksdeutsche of Polish ethnic origins were treated by the Poles with special contempt, but were also committing high treason according to Polish law. The General Government (in full General government for the occupied Polish areas, in German Generalgouvernement für die besetzten polnischen Gebiete) was the name given by Germany to the governing authority in Poland after its occupation by the Wehrmacht in September and October 1939. ...


Both those who became Volksdeutsche by signing the list and Reichsdeutsche retained German citizenship during the years of Allied military occupation, after the establishment of East Germany and West Germany in 1949, and later in the reunified Germany. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) (German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik), also commonly known as East Germany, was a communist state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in the former Soviet occupation zone of Germany. ...


See also:

During German occupation of Poland in World War 2, attempts to divide the Polish nation by the new rulers led to the postulation of a separate ethnicity called Goralenvolk. Derived from the Polish word Górale (Mountain People), it designated the population of the region of Podhale in southern Poland...

Bibliography

  • Nazi Fifth Column Activities: A List of References, Library of Congress, 1943
  • The German fifth column in the Second World War, by L. de Jong
  • The German Fifth Column in Poland, Hutchinson & Co Ltd, London
  • Luther, Tammo (2004): Volkstumspolitik des Deutschen Reiches 1933-1938. Die Auslanddeutschen im Spannungsfeld zwischen Traditionalisten und Nationalsozialisten. Franz Steiner, Stuttgart

See also

Imperial Germans is the common translation of the German word Reichsdeutsche (adj. ... Fifth column refers to any clandestine group of people which works covertly inside a nation to undermine its strength (psychological warfare) while the nation is simultaneously suffering an overt attack by a foreign power or another faction in a civil war. ... This article is in need of attention. ... The German exodus from Eastern Europe refers to the exodus of the German populations to the east of Germanys and Austrias post-World War II borders. ... World War II evacuation and expulsion refers to mass evacuation and displacement of peoples spurred on by the hostilities between Axis and Allied powers, and the border changes enacted in the post war settlement. ... The pursuit of Nazi collaborators refers to the post-WWII pursuit and apprehension of individuals who were not citizens of the Third Reich at the outbreak of World War II and collaborated with the Nazi regime during the war. ... No Poles allowed: sign, in German, outside [Woodrow] Wilson Park, Poznań, Poland, 1941. ...

External links

  • Hitler's Fifth column in Czechoslovakia
  • Hitler's Fifth column in Poland

  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Volksdeutsche (2651 words)
Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) is a historical term which arose in the early 20th century to apply for Germans living outside of the German Empire.
Volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) is a historical term which arose in the early 20th century to describe ethnic Germans living outside of the Reich.
The Volksdeutsche were settlers from the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany, known as Swabia, or Schwaben, from the Suebi or Suevi, the Germanic tribes that settled the area.
Polish Volunteers in the German Wehrmacht and Auxiliary Forces during WWII (774 words)
Volksdeutsche were historic ethnic enclaves resident beyond the German boarder that for political and/or traditional reasons were considered a part of greater Germany.
The first such instance of ethnic German Volksdeutsche from Poland being formed into units to support Germany was in September of 1939 with the attack on Poland.
These Volksdeutsche milita aided the German attack in many areas, and became so useful that shortly after the German Invasion, between September 8th and 10th, it was decided to reorganize the milita groups into Self-Protection units, otherwise known as Selbschutz.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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