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Territorial Revisionism and the Allies of Germany in the Second World War

Territorial Revisionism and the Allies of Germany in the Second World War: Goals, Expectations, Practices

Marina Cattaruzza
Stefan Dyroff
Dieter Langewiesche
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    Territorial Revisionism and the Allies of Germany in the Second World War
    Book Description:

    A few years after the Nazis came to power in Germany, an alliance of states and nationalistic movements formed, revolving around the German axis. That alliance, the states involved, and the interplay between their territorial aims and those of Germany during the interwar period and World War II are at the core of this volume. This "territorial revisionism" came to include all manner of politics and military measures that attempted to change existing borders. Taking into account not just interethnic relations but also the motivations of states and nationalizing ethnocratic ruling elites, this volume reconceptualizes the history of East Central Europe during World War II. In so doing, it presents a clearer understanding of some of the central topics in the history of the War itself and offers an alternative to standard German accounts of the period 1933-1945 and East European nation-states' histories.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-739-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Maps
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. Introduction: Contextualizing Territorial Revisionism in East Central Europe: Goals, Expectations, and Practices
    (pp. 1-16)
    Marina Cattaruzza and Dieter Langewiesche

    A few years after the coming to power of Nazism in Germany, an alliance of states and nationalistic movements formed, revolving around the German axis. The states involved in this alliance and the interplay between their territorial aims and those of Germany lies at the core of this volume. In other words, the volume deals with the phenomenon of territorial revisionism in the interwar period and in the Second World War. Our purpose is to show the usefulness of a historical approach which considers East Central Europe in the Second World War as a whole instead of narrowing the focus...

  7. Chapter 1 The Worst of Friends: Germany’s Allies in East Central Europe—Struggles for Regional Dominance and Ethnic Cleansing, 1938–1945
    (pp. 17-29)
    István Deák

    The topic I seek to investigate is how Germany behaved toward its European allies and how the allies behaved both toward Germany and each other. My fundamental argument is that, far from having been powerless satellites, Italy, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, and Bulgaria were, to a large extent, masters of their own fate. Moreover, Germany’s allies served as an inspiration to several countries which Germany had defeated and occupied, and which now aimed at securing a status approximating the sovereignty enjoyed in Hitler’s Europe by Germany’s official allies. As a consequence, it was not always easy to distinguish between...

  8. The Role of Minorities

    • Chapter 2 Minorities into Majorities: Sudeten German and Transylvanian Hungarian Political Elites as Actors of Revisionism before and during the Second World War
      (pp. 30-55)
      Franz Sz. Horváth

      A lot of research has been done concerning minority radicalization in interwar Eastern Europe in recent years. In particular, scholars have focused on how German minorities developed their ideologies, which influences they received from the German government in Berlin, and what impact the domestic policies of the countries in which they lived had on their political strategies. There have also been several influential studies related to the Hungarian minorities in Czechoslovakia, Romania and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Moreover, recently a comparative history of Hungarian minorities between 1918 and today was published in Budapest.¹ Though there is much...

    • Chapter 3 The Ethnic Policy of the Third Reich toward the Volksdeutsche in Central and Eastern Europe
      (pp. 56-71)
      Norbert Spannenberger

      National Socialist ethnic policy utilized the German ethnic minorities of East Central and Southeast Europe for the promotion of expansionist aims in a conscious and deliberate fashion. This does not in any way represent a continuity of minority policy from the Weimar Republic era, but, rather, is based upon ideas articulated in 1936 and formally adopted and enacted from 1937 onwards.

      After the creation of the Rome–Berlin axis, the Third Reich followed a concrete politics in Southeastern Europe. At the same time, the structures of the so calledDeutschtumsverbändewere adapted to the party organization of the National Socialist...

  9. Revisionism as a Driving Force

    • Chapter 4 Revisionism in Regional Perspective
      (pp. 72-91)
      Holly Case

      During the Second World War, each one of the Tripartite Pact member states in East Central Europe was pursuing a politics of revision. What makes the Second World War a period deserving of special consideration in the history of revisionism is the pervasiveness of revisionist sentiment and policy. No state in the region felt its territorial aspirations fully satisfied, and most maintained significant territorial grievances with their neighbors.

      The fact that a revisionist consensus existed throughout the region makes it a fruitful terrain for a broad, comparative, and above all transnational analysis of the strategies, politics, and rhetoric of revisionism....

    • Chapter 5 Hungarian Revisionism in Thought and Action, 1920–1941: Plans, Expectations, Reality
      (pp. 92-101)
      Ignác Romsics

      By virtue of the Treaty of Trianon, signed on June 4, 1920, Hungary’s territory (excluding Croatia) was reduced from 282,000 to 93,000 square kilometers, or to just under one-third of its former size, and its population from 18.2 to 7.9 million. Some 3.2 million (or 30 per cent) of the 10.6 million people living in the annexed territories were ethnic Hungarians. Of these, 1.6 million were located in Transylvania and other territories that were awarded to Romania. Some 1 million lived in Slovakia and Ruthenia, and nearly 500,000 in Yugoslavia. The number of Hungarians in the Burgenland area, part of...

    • Chapter 6 Bulgarian Territorial Revisionism and Bulgaria’s Rapprochement with the Third Reich
      (pp. 102-125)
      Elżbieta Znamierowska-Rakk

      Bulgaria’s decision to enter the First World War on September 15, 1915 as an ally of the Central Powers turned out to be a fateful, if not disastrous, choice for the state. This decision was preceded on the one hand by a contest of promises between the German coalition and the Entente, and on the other by a consideration of the relative pros and cons by the ruling bodies in Sofia. Bulgaria’s choice proved disastrous not only because the defeat of the Central Powers in 1918 dashed Bulgaria’s hopes of regaining its territories lost in the Second Balkan War, being,...

  10. Practices of Revisionism

    • Chapter 7 Politics and Military Action of Ethnic Ukrainian Collaboration for the “New European Order”
      (pp. 126-140)
      Frank Grelka

      Between the First and Second World Wars, German—Ukrainian relations functioned according to a frequently performed script, even when the constellation of the principle actors varied.¹ Despite the strong anti-Slavic orientation of Nazi ideology, Germany was still able to, and did in fact, use Ukrainian nationalist currents for its own ends. The political and military strategies of Ukrainian separatism were pitted against the goals and methods of Germany’s policies with respect to Poland and the Soviet Union. At the peak of German power over Eastern and Central Europe, Berlin proclaimed the idea of a conquest forLebensraumin the east....

    • Chapter 8 Civil War in Occupied Territories: The Polish—Ukrainian Conflict during the Interwar Years and the Second World War
      (pp. 141-160)
      Frank Golczewski

      When it comes to Eastern Europe, the definition of nation-states is a nightmare. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when nationalist conceptions first gained ground among urban social elites—and which were in turn supported by a political awakening of peasants, workers, and the lower social strata—the whole of Eastern Europe was under the domination of three empires (or four, if we include Germany) that were not at all interested in fostering national separatism, though they were also unable to do anything against the developments that took place in their respective realms. Having no realistic opportunity of realizing...

    • Chapter 9 The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and Bulgarian Revisionism, 1923–1944
      (pp. 161-172)
      Stefan Troebst

      It was a German federal chancellor who once dryly remarked, “If you have visions, go and see a doctor!”¹ In applying this advice to the political elites of Bulgaria, one would expect them to spend significant parts of their life in the doctor’s waiting room. This comment rings true because, from the founding of the principality of Bulgaria at the Congress of Berlin in 1878 until the country’s accession to the European Union in 2007, it was a vision that decisively shaped Bulgaria’s foreign policy for almost 130 years. What is meant here is, of course, the Treaty of San...

    • Chapter 10 Romania in the Second World War: Revisionist out of Necessity
      (pp. 173-192)
      Mariana Hausleitner

      The circumstances under which Romania was able to double its size in 1918 put severe strains on relations with almost all of its neighbors, with the exception of Poland. In an attempt to stifle the revolutionary processes in Eastern Europe, the Paris Peace Conference awarded territories to Romania in which only part of the population was Romanian. In January 1918 the Romanian army expelled the Soldiers’ Councils from neighboring Bessarabia, a territory which up to that time had been part of Russia and whose population had been 56 per cent Romanian. By March, Bessarabia had been incorporated into Romania. The...

  11. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 193-196)
  12. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 197-205)
  13. Index
    (pp. 206-210)