From 1933 – 1945 the Third Reich simultaneously decried the Western imperialist nations while also striving to become a world colonial force to be reckoned with. One of the NSDAP’s primary ideological beliefs, the need for lebensraum (“living space”), worked to justify German invasions of other countries as well as create interest in foreign lands that may be purposeful for the continuance of a great and powerful nation.
The texts here represent nations that are not often considered in discussions of World War II. Frequently, these nations are disregarded as they were considered irrelevant – but for Germany, they became targets and goals for the creation of a German empire.
Select a book below to explore in-depth or click here to select the next section
Arthur Berger Kampf um Afrika. Berlin: Buchmeister-verlag, 1938.
Written in 1938, Kampf um Afrika promotes the German drive to become an imperialist power by examining the continent of Africa in terms of what it can do for Germany. The book provides a full history of Africa, including detailed descriptions of colonization and the importance of Germany establishing its own colonies throughout the world.
Hans Joachim von Winterfeld Finnland zwischen Zarenkrone und Sowjetstern. Dresden: F. Muller, 1941.
Winterfeld’s book presents the NSDAP view of Finland. Constantly under Russian control, the Nazi party is portrayed as offering an escape from the Soviets that had tortured Finland for so long. The author argues that the Finish peoples are a heroic group and should unite with Germany to fight against their Russian masters for a happy future and a revised view of Europe.
Alfons Väth Die Inder. Freiburg im Beisgau: Herder & Co., 1934.
Alfons Väth was a history student in Germany prior to his nine-year journey to India. This text presents the history of Indian politics, culture, and religion throughout time. Although it was not specifically colonialist in nature, it provides a glimpse into 1930s German mentality regarding cultures and German imperialism.
Georg von Hase Die kriegsmarine erobert Norwegens fjorde. Leipzig: v. Hase & Koehler, 1940.
This book emphasizes the necessity of the German invasion of Norwegian fjords and the desire to conquer the primary harbors of Norway. Hase argues that the primary goal is not to achieve power, but to liberate Norway from British tyranny and establish safe harbor against the United Kingdom.