Data base and methodology
Upper Rhine Plain: Sheet , Mannheim Southern Scarpland: Sheet , Goppingen 1 Bundling Village in Brandenburg 2. Linear Village Strassendorf in Saxony 3. Middle German Farmstead 4. Saxon Unit Farmstead : in the Luneburg Heath 5. Hamborn in the Ruhr 6. Ochsenfurt-am-Main, South-West Germany Amberg, Oberpfalz North German Lowland: Near Gifhorn Teutobisrger-Wald : View from Halle- in-Westfalen Westphalia: Dispersed Farmsteads Westphalia: Heather and Cotton Grass and Bog Rhine Gorge, near Ehrenfels Harz: North Border, View to South Upper Rhine Plain: Bergstrasse, near Bergsheim Black Forest: View from Feldberg into the Wiesenthal Hegau : Hohentwiel m.
People are never tired of asking whether a nation is a community held together by fate, or by necessity, or by a sense of values, or what not; they are never tired of enquiring as to the significance of language, race, nationality or state, per se and in relation to this or that within the nation or state.
A good deal of the national heart-searching is wasted in this end- less game of question and answer, in order, it is supposed, finally to strengthen the foundations of German nationality for the maintenance of its national character. The nation is, according to taste, a mythos in which the individual is of no significance whatever, or an economic community held together purely by self-interest. There have long been two schools of thought concerning the future of the German peoples in Europe.
Robson-Scott, Much was done after to effect the unity of the German peoples within the Second Reich and it is this one fact that has disturbed above all else the political equilibrium of Europe. The Nazi regime still further strengthened this unity within the bounds of the Third Reich. It also sought to extend the political hegemony of the Reich beyond its frontiers over all the German peoples who lay on its periphery together with those non-German peoples who for long had had close historic associations with the German group of states.
These plans for expansion in the economic sphere were extended to southeastern Europe in particular.
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With different methods and a shift in objective this was essentially the same trend that led to the war of They have also been expelled from lands in the east that they have occupied for centuries and have moved west and piled up in the occupied zones of Potsdam Germany, where there was in a popula- tion of 65 millions as compared with 59 millions in Moreover, the productive power of the pre-war Reich in terms of resources, if not of equipment, is essentially the same in its potentialities as in and in its indispensability to modern Europe. The problem of Germany and the Germans still remains, the more so through disruption, and this time it is for the victors to solve it.
Germany is shrunken, both ethnically and politically, and it is divided not only among the occupying Powers but also among a number of new constituent political units that these Powers have instituted. A federal Germany, economically productive and militarily weak, but with its members acting within the comity of European peoples, seems to be the main objective of the Western Powers.
Introduction: A biased public and political perception of the Alps
But the unification of the Western Zones with the Russian Zone seems to recede further each day, and the expulsion of the Germans from the eastern provinces of the Reich and their replacement by Poles is a fait accompli which probably not even another war would reverse. The attitudes of France, Britain, the United States and Russia to the German problem differ in various fundamental ways and it is only likely that these attitudes differ from those of the Germans themselves, in so far as they have yet crystallized.
The German problem arises from three basic facts: first, the unity of the German peoples; second, the diversity of the German peoples; and, third, the peculiar geographic situation of their country, that is embedded in the heart of Europe Fig. The German Reich, 4. Frontiers of the Reich in Areas of German-speaking peoples 5. The German tribal groups who settled in western Germany were organized under the First Reich with its begin- nings in the coronation of Charles the Great in a.
In spite of its chaotic disintegration in the Middle Ages, the Reich continued as a medium of tenuous association and as a source of common disputes until its dissolution in During the nineteenth century consolidation was effected under the leadership of Prussia and this resulted in the emer- gence of the Second Reich in The peoples of western Europe were welded into unified nation-states in the Middle Ages, but Germany was divided into nearly four hundred independent authorities until Their number was then reduced to a tenth, but even these retained their sovereign independence under the tutelege of Prussia until they were reduced to the status of administrative provinces by Hitler.
The unity of the Reich was strengthened by the remarkable social and economic changes in the generation from to , during which period Germany became the strongest single state in Europe with ever closer economic ties with her neighbours, ties that became as essential to these neighbours as to Germany herself.
Political expansion was largely dictated by economic necessity as well as by the desire to achieve the unity of the German peoples and restore the hegemony of Germany over the historical provinces on its borders that had fallen from the German realm. To this vaguely defined realm the name of Deutschland, German land, has been given for several centuries, although it was never used as an official political title, until the nineteenth century.
Cultural, economic and political associations have fluctuated from time to time. The State of had Germans immediately beyond its borders in other states, to the east, south and west, in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Switzerland, France and Luxembourg. The realm, however defined, lies in the heart of Europe, surrounded by non- Germanic peoples — Dutch and French to the west, Slavs and Magyars to the east, Italians to the south, Poles and Czechs to the east, Danes to the north. From these peoples and states it is not separated by clearly defined natural barriers, but by wide zones of contact.
Within this major German realm, however, there is a great diversity of peoples that has persisted at a political level until our own day. As else- where in western Europe, the initial tribal groupings formed the frame- work in which there developed, in the Middle Ages, distinctive cultures, whose manifestation in dialect, customs, temperament, farm, and town, 6 GERMANY are living items of the cultural heritage. These were never destroyed by the chaos of political divisions that split up the lands and peoples for six hundred years. This diversity is based, however, not merely on the distinctive culture heritage of the main tribal groups.
It derives also from the diversity of the lands; from the lack of a natural focus comparable with that of Paris and London in the historic period; and, in consequence, from the diversity of culture contacts that were able to penetrate the German realm. These external culture contacts were also associated with the out- side political associations of the German realm, and with the diversity of its dynastic associations. The Habsburgs had their place of origin in southwest Germany; the Hohenzollerns had their seat in the Main Valley but they early became the rulers of Brandenburg and the founders of Prussia; the Hanoverian rulers were closely allied with England in the eighteenth century.
The German Emperors also found themselves deeply involved, in the Middle Ages, in the affairs of northern Italy, whence they derived their title and powers. The Italian wars and the long disputes with the Papacy dissipated the time and energies of the Emperors, and distracted their attention from the consolidation of their territories north of the Alps. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in the seventeenth century was able to control the mouths of the Oder, the Elbe and the Weser.
French cultural influences were strong during the eighteenth century, especially in the Rhineland.
The country was overrun and subdivided by the armies of Napoleon and Russia. It is now overrun and controlled by four foreign Powers, and the Germans in each occupied zone are being thoroughly indoctrinated in a variety of ways in the way of life of the occupying Power. There was also a broad cultural division within the German lands. The main seats of medieval civilization lay in the Rhinelands, which from the outset were deeply penetrated by contacts with Roman civiliza- tion. The Saxons were esconced in the lands to the northeast between the Harz mountains and the Elbe, where they developed a culture and a political dynasty far removed from Roman contacts, and in this same general area the Hohenzollerns built up Prussia from their nucleus in Brandenburg.
It was not until the nineteenth century that Berlin became the dominant political focus of the new Germany, displacing the old-established cultural centres in the Rhinelands, The third basic fact of the German problem is that the country lies in the heart of Europe and is bordered by nine states from which it is not separated by natural barriers and across whose frontiers are to be found peoples of German speech.
During the last hundred years the loosely knit group of German peoples and states, to which the term Deutschland has been given through many centuries, has become a closely knit state. This state during the short span of forty years became the greatest economic power in Europe. In place of the historic Germany of poet and philosopher there rapidly emerged the modern Germany built upon coal and iron, a rival to the nineteenth-century supremacy of Britain.
As a great manu- facturing nation with a rapidly growing urban population Germany became increasingly dependent on imports of raw materials and food- stuffs, and made increasing demands on foreign markets as outlets for its manufactured goods. The neighbouring countries also became in- creasingly dependent on Germany.
Such ties demanded freedom of movement of goods and peace among the members of the German fraternity of states. But there was also the military aspect of the situa- tion.
Germany became economically and militarily strong under Bismarck. Economic growth demanded expansion of markets, not merely in Europe, and particularly in the lands to the east, but also in the back- ward tropical lands overseas. This need and ambition brought strategic demands and military and naval expansion. Three times in one life- time Germany has made war — , and The first time she humiliated France and acquired Alsace and part of Lorraine.
The second time she met with ultimate defeat. The third time has spelled defeat, occupation and chaos. The tables have been turned since the mid-nineteenth century.
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And yet the paradox of the situa- tion is that in order to maintain their pre-war standards of living, let alone to raise those standards to the minimum level of contemporary dietetic demands, all the smaller countries of Europe are dependent on a productive and prosperous Germany. The geographic situation of Germany in the heart of continental Europe involves the state in intimate relationships with the lands and peoples to the west and to the east.
Moreover, especially since the development of its modern economic structure and its increasing interest in overseas markets, it has sought sea-outlets. The North Sea frontage afforded possibilities for the emergence of great ports, that have been exploited by both the free cities of Bremen and Hamburg as well as by the State of Prussia.
From a military point of view, the German navy had its principal field of operations in the North Sea. To the Germans the North Sea is the Deutsches Meet and the entrance to the combined estuaries of the Elbe and the Weser is the Deutsche Bucht, Germany lies astride western and eastern Europe and the Drang nach Osten has been a dominant theme in German history.
Sir Halford Mackinder divided Europe into the western coastlands, that can be controlled by sea-power, and the continental interior, that can be con- trolled by land-power. At the Dardanelles and the Sound eastern land-power can bar access to western sea-power. A great transitional zone lies between these coast- lands and the upper Volga basin, the historic core of land-locked Russia.