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Visions of Community in Nazi GermanySocial Engineering and Private Lives$
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Martina Steber and Bernhard Gotto

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689590

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689590.001.0001

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Exporting Volksgemeinschaft

Exporting Volksgemeinschaft

The Deutsche Volksliste in Annexed Upper Silesia

(p.129) 9 Exporting Volksgemeinschaft
Visions of Community in Nazi Germany

Gerhard Wolf

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the National Socialist population policy in occupied Upper Silesia, where the Nazis used all the violence at their disposal to set about creating Volksgemeinschaft. In this project, however, all the contradictions inherent in Nazi ideology and the Volksgemeinschaft idea itself became apparent. In the bureaucratic definition of who, in this multicultural region, was ‘German’ and thus as Volksgenosse would be included in the Deutsche Volksliste, ideas of the nation based on cultural ethnicity and race came into conflict, and ideologically underlined the power-political dispute between the SS and the Gau leadership. Even if, in Upper Silesia, the outlines of a Volksgemeinschaft project which included the Polish population emerged, and the Gau leadership was able to prevail over the SS, this did nothing to shake the anti-Semitic foundations of the Volksgemeinschaft utopia.

Keywords:   National Socialism, Volksgemeinschaft, Deutsche Volksliste, Upper Silesia, occupation policy, population policy, ideology, nationhood

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