Wall of blood: the Baltic German case study in National Socialist wartime population policy, 1939-1945 Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Plavnieks, Richards Olafs
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • This study begins with Hitler's Reichstag Speech on 6 October 1939 in which he famously called the Baltic Germans Heim ins Reich, focuses on their agonizing choice to resettle and on their wartime experiences, and ends with some reflections about the notion of Heimat for the Baltic Germans and their descendents today. It is based on research conducted in three archives: the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland (NARA II), the Bundesarchiv-Berlin (BAB), and the Lastenausgleichsarchiv-Bayreuth (LAA). These archives hold, respectively, the records of the Reichskommissariat für die Festigung deutschen Volkstums (RKFDV), the records of the Einwandererzentralstelle (EWZ), and postwar interviews with Baltic German participants in the resettlement. As the resettlement of the Baltic Germans was the only operation of its sort completed by National Socialist Germany, this case study can illuminate relations between Reich authority and the recipients of its ideological favor. The SS resettlement apparatus and its ideological aims remained constant in the face of changing wartime circumstances. What were the attitudes of the Baltic Germans, their goals, feelings, frustrations, worries, and aspirations, in the face of extraordinary circumstances? The goal of this study is to render the Baltic Germans as human beings and to examine their experience within the context of mass population transfer, SS bureaucracy, ideological war, and multi-dimensional ethnic tensions.
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  • Browning, Christopher R.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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