Jacopo Rosatelli

Post-World War I Revisionisms in the German-speaking Space. The Idea of Mitteleuropa between Historiography and Politics.

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: German historiography, Mitteleuropa, Weimar Republic, German nationalism, geopolitics

After the defeat of the Central Empires in World War I, right-wing German-speaking intellectuals animated an ideological struggle against both the new liberal-democratic Republics and the new international order based on the Versailles' and Saint-Germain's Treaties. The geopolitical idea of Mitteleuropa played an important role in this controversy. The article considers the specific contribution of German-speaking nationalist and conservative historians to this political debate, from the beginnings of the postwar period to the Nazi rise to power (1919-1933). These authors revised the paradigms of traditional German historiography and combined the protestant Prussian one with the catholic Austrian into a new «gesamtdeutsch» interpretation of German history. The historians this article takes into consideration thought that the relevance of the geopolitical idea of Mitteleuropa could better emerge from this new historical point of view. But Mitteleuropa did not have only an historical relevance. The notion of Mitteleuropa was used by nationalist and conservative historians in order to maintain that the Central-European space was the space of German hegemony among the other «little nations». According to this position, the postwar order could not be accepted and had to be modified.

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