German "Imperium" Europe

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - On the eve of Germany's presidency of the EU, German cartographical plans for a "large scale reordering of Europe" have come to light. These maps were produced at the request of the German Foreign Office and are intended for the political and administrative use of German authorities. In these presentations, Germany dominates the area called "Middle Europe" as the country with the largest population. Great Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands are excluded. Denmark, Spain, Italy and Portugal also do not belong to "Middle Europe". Former Yugoslavia up to the Albanian frontier and thirteen other states in Eastern Europe do. According to the themes developed "areas historically ruled by the predominantly German-speaking states" are the most "suitable" for inclusion in the "The cultural space (Kulturraum) of Middle Europe". The accompanying charts designate parts of France, Denmark, the whole of Luxemburg, Switzerland and upper Italy to the political fiction of a German-dominated centre. Naturally, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are taken into the project. Various areas are claimed as part of "Middle Europe" because they were originally part of the German Reich, "quite separately" from their later conquest by the Nazis. german-foreign-policy.com is publishing excerpts from these charts which bear a worrying similarity to projections made by the predecessor states of the German Federal Republic.

The charts themselves arise from a "definite request" [1] by the German Foreign Office, intended to form a "position paper on the reordering of Europe into large regions". The plan was discussed in the "Standing Committee for Geographical Names" (StAGN), a body little known outside specialist circles, of which the Director of the Leibniz-Institute for Territorial Science is a member.[2] This institution enjoys state funding and publishes authoritative guidance for geopolitical purposes. The German specialists in re-ordering are supposedly geographers but have repeatedly produced work affecting the sovereign rights of foreign states. In the institute, "Lebensraum" is a matter occasionally discussed.[3]

Compact

Although the project was prepared by a state authority for national political use, it is claimed that the supra national interests of the presentation "for the large scale reordering of Europe" were conceived "without taking account of national political intentions".[4] Over many pages the concept displays a germano-centric view of Europe in which the Germans are seen as "settlers and bearers of culture outside the present German-speaking areas". With total insensitivity to historic changes in national state identities, it is maintained that "From the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Germans settled in compact communities in large parts of present day Poland, the Baltic states, the Sudetenland, Carpathia and Upper Italy.

Leading

In a systematically pedantic way, parts of the territories of neighbouring European nations are made to fit the German understanding of "Middle Europe". Districts of "Romania inside the Carpathian Arc", the Bukovina, Ukrainian districts of Galicia, "Transcarpathia", the "district of Grodno in White Russia" and, yes, even "the present day Russian Enclave of Kaliningrad" are treated in this way. The Baltic states are mentioned as having belonged to the Order of Teutonic Knights along with East Prussia from the 13th to the 15th Century. The wars of extermination of Slavs by the Teutonic Order were not found to be worthy of mention. Instead the "Middle Europe" text produced by the Foreign Office remarks on the cultural merits of the Baltic Germans as "bearing a leading societal role".

Provocation

Germans dominate the "Middle Europe" fiction in the West, as in "North Schleswig" (Denmark) and in Luxemburg. Belgium is relieved of its "German districts" and France of Alsace and Lorraine. The "Region" (Alsace-Lorraine) is stated "to carry a strong French character today" - and this concerning a part of French territory. According to the report this character should belong to "an autonomous native people". This is associated with the supposed issue of a semi-German local language. "At any rate" the report proudly states the "Region" (Alsace-Lorraine) "Belonged to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and was part of Reich territory from 1871 to 1918 - a matter completely unconnected with the situation arising in the Second World War." The authors ignore the fact that military aggression and annexation of neighbouring areas by German troops could never lead to a genuine "cultural community" but quite the reverse. Neither do they consider the effects of renewed demands of a similar nature, especially on account of the connection with the Nazi occupation of Alsace -Lorraine. This is a matter which has previously only been taken up by right wing extremists and out-and-out revisionists. So the provocation has become much more serious since the German Foreign Office took up the cause.

Mediaeval

It is abundantly clear that the "Large Space Reorganisation (Grossraumgliederung)" is intended "for the political and administrative purposes" of the German authorities. So this revisionist framework stands in the tradition of similar German attempts to base demands for leading power status in Europe, founded on reviving aspects of the Middle Ages. Elite German geographers reached a high point in these endeavours when they placed their services at the disposal of the Nazi regime. As investigations have shown [5] this involved direct cooperation with the Foreign Office and other departments of the Nazi regime. The resulting maps were used, amongst other things, to plan the attack on Poland and assisted greatly in the expulsion campaigns against the Polish population.[6] The new charts recall the time when Poland was seen as a reservoir of slave labour in the Nazi version of a teutonic "Middle Europe".

Background

It seems to be unknown to today's planners in the Foreign Office that "Middle Europe" was "a synonym for racial-eugenic concepts and economic plunder" [7] - or, what is worse, something which must be denied. The implementation of "The historical Development of the concept of Middle Europe" was attempted in 1916 [8] and was considered again after 1945. The air-brushing out of the Nazi European dictatorship under the title of "Middle Europe" saves the originators from drawing attention to the economic and military background of the up-and-coming "Middle Europe" fiction in Germany.

Imperium

As standard works of international history succinctly establish, the German programme for "Middle Europe" stands in a hundred year tradition of attempted economic domination by Germany " to bring the Northern, Southern and Western edges of the continent around the centre of power" [9] around Germany and its satellites in East and South Eastern Europe. A concurrent target of the Middle Europe project is the creation of "an informal European imperium", based on the Single Market without customs barriers, so that German industry can find an optimal market for its products and for the provision of raw materials. In view of this intention, the new edition of the design for "Middle Europe" in the German Foreign Office is no surprise and is timely for the presidency of a united Germany over the rest of the European Union.

Excerpts from the maps mentioned: Please click here.

[1] Großgliederung Europas nach kulturräumlichen Kriterien; Europa Regional 04/2005, ausgeliefert im November 2006
[2] see also Raum im Werden, Aus der Tiefe des Raums, Herrscher im Raum and Räumliche Progression
[3] see also Middle Europe and Middle England: Both part of German "Lebensraum"
[4] Großgliederung Europas nach kulturräumlichen Kriterien; Europa Regional 04/2005, ausgeliefert im November 2006
[5] Werke von Michael Fahlbusch und Ingo Haar
[6] Mechthild Rössler: "Wissenschaft und Lebensraum". Geographische Ostforschung im Nationalsozialismus. Berlin 1990. Mechthild Rössler/Sabine Schleiermacher: Der "Generalplan Ost". Hauptlinien der nationalsozialistischen Planungs- und Vernichtungspolitik. Berlin 1993
[7] Richard G. Plaschka et al.: Mitteleuropa-Konzeptionen in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Wien 1995
[8] Großgliederung Europas nach kulturräumlichen Kriterien; Europa Regional 04/2005, ausgeliefert im November 2006
[9] John Laughland: The Tainted Source. The Undemocratic Origins of the European Idea. London 1997