Patricia Chiantera-Stutte

Barbaric Invasions! Slawentum from the Wilhelminian Empire to National Socialism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Slawentum; Deutschtum; German Colonialism; Ostforschung; Conservative Revolution; Geopolitics.

This essay analyses the cultural process, that leads to the justification of the colonisation of the Slaves and of their territory from the Nineteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. In particular the author describes the different interpretations of the "conflict" of the German and the Slav civilisations in the German philosophical and historiographical literature, from Herder to the "Ostforschung". The discontinuities and continuities in the discourses about the Slavs are studied and two kind of representations of the Slavs are specifically analysed: the first one, diffused from the Eighteenth to the Nineteenth Century and the second one, elaborated from the historiographical literature during the Weimar Republic and National Socialism ("Ostforschung"). The first kind of discourse creates a cultural hierarchy, in which the Slaves are seen as an inferior and alien culture. The following one is based on economic and apparent "objective" considerations, that point out the economical reasons for the colonisation of Eastern European territories: the Slaves are seen as economically and politically unable to rule a nation. The essay suggests that this kind of argumentation used in order to demostrate the inferiority of a popolation does not disappear after the end of National Socialism: some examples of it can be detected also today.

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