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"Lebensraum - included Czechoslovakia?" Topic


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World War Two on the Land

541 hits since 2 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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redcoat02 Jan 2019 9:04 a.m. PST

Hi all,

Would it be technically correct to say that Nazi visions (= nightmares) included Czechoslovakia in definitions of 'Lebensraum'? I've always assumed the term should be limited to Poland and European Russia, as I've never yet seen any evidence for proposals for the mass deportation / enslavement / murder of Czechs and Slovaks, to make way for German colonists.

Or am I wrong?

Thanks in advance for clarification!

Pizzagrenadier02 Jan 2019 9:12 a.m. PST

You are correct that Lebensraum was specific to Poland, Ukraine, etc.

The Sudetenland was considered to be German in that many Volksdeutsch lived there and they should be absorbed into the greater Reich.

But Lebensraum was an agricultural and social policy designed to expand the Reich for settlement and where there were non German ethnic groups in the way, they were too be removed.

Pizzagrenadier02 Jan 2019 1:25 p.m. PST

The ironic thing about Lebensraum was that once they had conquered it, very few Germans were ever really that enthusiastic about leaving their homes and becoming colonists in this "Lebensraum". Like all Nazi ideology, it was a ridiculous idea based on a delusional understanding of history and when put into practice completely broke down based on its inherent logical inconsistencies and typical Nazi mismanagement and brutality.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 1:53 p.m. PST

I imagine Hitler envisioned the future colonists to be mostly all of the excess Aryan babies from the breeding programs who couldn't inherit daddy's farm and had to move elsewhere.

Daniel S02 Jan 2019 2:24 p.m. PST

The Sudetenland and it's German inhabitatants was a special case even among the Volkdeutsche. They had been part of a 'German' state until 1918 and unlike a lot of other "Volkdeutsche" remained thoroughly German in culture and language. Hence it had been easy to rally large scale support for the nazis in the area and the Sudetenland was absorbed into the Reich immediatly in 1938. The remanants of the Czechoslovak state was split into the Slovak puppet state which was outside the Reich and the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia which had a sort of quasi-independet status though located inside the borders of the Reich. In reality the Czech state president was simply a figurehead, the power rested with the German Reichsprotektor and his deputy.

The Czechs were were targeted by "Generalplan Ost" with 50% to be Germanized while the other 50% were to be "expelled". Unlike say the Russians there was no open declaration that the targeted population was to be killed so ethnic clensing rather than outright genocide.

In practice the Germans chose to postpone implementation of most of the planned policies in order to not disrupt Czech industry, mining and agriculture in the middle of the war. While the nazi occupation was not mild by any means you still had a far better chance of surviving than say the ordinary Pole or Russian as long as you kept your head down and did as you were told. (As long as you did not belong to a group seen a priority target such as the Jews or any would be resistance members)

mildbill04 Jan 2019 9:37 a.m. PST

margarine germans was the term for chechs that decided to throw in with the Nazis. (This phrase implied they joined so they could get margarine)

My brother in laws family did colonize in Poland, it did not end well and they immigrated to the USA post war.

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