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DRANG NACH OSTEN (German: , "yearning for the East", "thrust toward the East", "push eastward", "drive toward the East" or "desire to push East" ) was a term coined in the 19th century to designate German expansion into Slavic lands. The term became a motto of the German nationalist movement in the late nineteenth century. In some historical discourses, "Drang nach Osten" combines historical German settlement in Central and Eastern Europe , medieval (12th-13th centuries) military expeditions like the ones of the Teutonic Knights (see Northern Crusades
Northern Crusades
), and Germanisation
Germanisation
policies and warfare of Modern Age
Modern Age
German states like the Nazi
Nazi
Lebensraum
Lebensraum
concept. In Poland , the term "Drang nach Osten" was used in discourse when describing Germanization
Germanization
of Poland
Poland
while on the German side the slogan was part of a wider nationalist discourse approving the medieval settlement in the east and the idea of the "superiority of German culture". The slogan DRANG NACH WESTEN ("thrust toward the West") derived from "Drang nach Osten" was used to depict an alleged Polish drive westward. It was one of the core elements of German nationalism and part of Nazi
Nazi
ideology ; as Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
said on 7 February 1945: It is eastwards, only and always eastwards, that the veins of our race must expand. It is the direction which Nature herself has decreed for the expansion of the German peoples.

CONTENTS

* 1 Origin of the term * 2 Background

* 3 Drang nach Osten
Drang nach Osten
in German discourse

* 3.1 "Drang nach Westen"

* 4 Lebensraum
Lebensraum
concept of Nazi
Nazi
Germany
Germany
* 5 Expulsion of Germans from the East after World War II
World War II
* 6 See also * 7 References

ORIGIN OF THE TERM

The first known use of "Drang nach Osten" was by the Polish journalist Julian Klaczko in 1849, yet it is debatable whether he invented the term as he used it in form of a citation. Because the term is used almost exclusively in its German form in English, Polish, Russian, Czech and other languages, it has been concluded that the term is of German origin.

BACKGROUND

Main articles: History of German settlement in Central and Eastern Europe , Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung
, and Prussia
Prussia
Phases of German eastward expansion, 700–1400

Drang nach Osten
Drang nach Osten
is connected with the medieval German Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung
. This "east colonization" referred to the expansion of German culture, language, states, and settlement into eastern and Northern European regions inhabited by Slavs and Balts .

Population growth during the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
stimulated movement of peoples from the Rhenish , Flemish , and Saxon territories of the Holy Roman Empire eastwards into the less-populated Baltic region and Poland
Poland
. These movements were supported by the German nobility, the Slavic kings and dukes, and the medieval Church. The majority of this settlement took place at the expense of Polabian Slavs
Polabian Slavs
and pagan Balts (see Northern Crusades
Northern Crusades
).

The future state of Prussia
Prussia
, named for the conquered Old Prussians
Old Prussians
, had its roots largely in these movements. As the Middle Ages came to a close, the Teutonic Knights
Teutonic Knights
, who had been invited to northern Poland by Konrad of Masovia
Konrad of Masovia
, had assimilated and forcibly converted much of the southern Baltic coastlands.

After the Partitions of Poland
Poland
by the Kingdom of Prussia
Prussia
, Austria , and the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in the late 18th century, Prussia
Prussia
gained much of western Poland. The Prussians, and later the Germans, engaged in a policy of Germanization
Germanization
in Polish territories. Russia
Russia
and Sweden eventually conquered the lands taken by the Teutonic Knights
Teutonic Knights
in Estonia
Estonia
and Livonia
Livonia
.

DRANG NACH OSTEN IN GERMAN DISCOURSE

The term became a centerpiece of the program of the German nationalist movement in 1891, with the founding of the Alldeutschen Verbandes, in the words: „Der alte Drang nach dem Osten soll wiederbelebt werden" ("The old Drang nach Osten
Drang nach Osten
must be revived"). Nazi
Nazi
Germany
Germany
employed the slogan in calling the Czechs
Czechs
a "Slav bulwark against the Drang nach Osten" in the 1938 Sudeten crisis .

Despite Drang nach Osten
Drang nach Osten
policies, population movement took place in the opposite direction also, as people from rural low-developed areas in the East were attracted by the prospering industrial areas of Western Germany. This phenomenon became known by the German term Ostflucht , literally the flight from the East.

"DRANG NACH WESTEN"

A new Drang nach Osten
Drang nach Osten
was called for by German nationalists to oppose a Polish Drang nach Westen ("thrust toward the West"). World War I had ended with the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
, by which most or parts of the Imperial German provinces of Posen , West Prussia
Prussia
, and Upper Silesia were given to reconstituted Poland
Poland
; the West Prussian city of Danzig became the Free City of Danzig
Free City of Danzig
. The Polish paper Wprost
Wprost
used both "Drang nach Osten" and "Drang nach Westen" in August 2002 to title stories about German RWE
RWE
company taking over Polish STOEN and Polish migration into eastern Germany, respectively.

"Drang nach Westen" is also the ironic title of a chapter in Eric Joseph Goldberg 's book Struggle for Empire, used to point out the "missing" eastward ambitions of Louis the German
Louis the German
who instead expanded his kingdom to the West. German colonists near Kamianets-Podilskyi
Kamianets-Podilskyi
, Poland
Poland
(Russian Partition) in the end of the 19th century

With the development of romantic nationalism in the 19th century, Polish and Russian intellectuals began referring to the German Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung
as Drang nach Osten. The German Empire
German Empire
and Austria-Hungary attempted to expand their power eastward; Germany
Germany
by gaining influence in the declining Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
(the Eastern Question ) and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
through the acquisition of territory in the Balkans (such as Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
).

LEBENSRAUM CONCEPT OF NAZI GERMANY

Main articles: Lebensraum
Lebensraum
, Generalplan Ost
Generalplan Ost
, Germanization
Germanization
, and Expulsion of Poles by Nazi
Nazi
Germany
Germany

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
, dictator of Nazi
Nazi
Germany
Germany
from 1933–1945, called for a Drang nach Osten
Drang nach Osten
to acquire territory for German colonists at the expense of central and eastern European nations ( Lebensraum
Lebensraum
). The term by then had gained enough currency to appear in foreign newspapers without explanation. His eastern campaigns during World War II were initially successful with the conquests of Poland, the Baltic countries, Belarus, Ukraine and much of European Russia
European Russia
by the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
; Generalplan Ost
Generalplan Ost
was designed to eliminate the native Slavic peoples
Slavic peoples
from these lands and replace them with Germans. The Wehrbauer , or soldier-peasants, would settle in a fortified line to prevent civilization arising beyond and threatening Germany.

This was greatly hindered by the lack of German people who actually desired to settle in the east, let alone act as Teutonic Knights there. Settlements actually established during the war did not receive colonists from the Altreich , but in the main part East European Germans resettled from Soviet "spheres of interest" according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
, and such Poles as deemed Germanizable by Nazis. However, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
began to reverse the German conquests by 1943, and Nazi
Nazi
Germany
Germany
was defeated by the Allies in 1945.

EXPULSION OF GERMANS FROM THE EAST AFTER WORLD WAR II

Main articles: Former eastern territories of Germany
Former eastern territories of Germany
and Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950)

Most of the demographic and cultural outcome of the Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung
was terminated after World War II
World War II
. The expulsion of Germans after World War II east of the Oder-Neisse line
Oder-Neisse line
in 1945-48 on the basis of decisions of the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
were later justified by their beneficiaries as a rollback of the Drang nach Osten. "Historical Eastern Germany
Germany
", which historically was the land of the Baltic people called Old Prussians
Old Prussians
who had been colonised and assimilated by German Drang Nach Osten, was split between Poland
Poland
, Russia
Russia
, and Lithuania
Lithuania
(a Baltic country) and repopulated with settlers of the respective ethnicities. The Oder-Neisse line
Oder-Neisse line
has been gradually accepted to be the eastern German boundary by all post-war German states (East and West Germany
West Germany
as well as reunited Germany
Germany
), dropping all plans of (re-)expansion into or (re-)settlement of territories beyond this line. The Old Prussians
Old Prussians
were conquered by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century, and gradually assimilated over the following centuries; the Old Prussian language
Old Prussian language
was extinct by the 17th or early 18th century. Henry Cord Meyer
Henry Cord Meyer
, in his book "Drang nach Osten: Fortunes of a Slogan-Concept in German-Slavic Relations, 1849-1990" claims that the slogan "Drang nach Osten" originated in the Slavic world, and it also was more widely used than in Germany.

SEE ALSO

* Lebensraum
Lebensraum
* Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung
* Ostforschung * Generalplan Ost
Generalplan Ost
* Expulsion of Germans after World War II
World War II
* Expulsion of Poles by Germany
Germany
* Kulturkampf
Kulturkampf
* Germanization
Germanization
* Wehrbauer * Manifest destiny
Manifest destiny
* Westernization
Westernization

REFERENCES

Inline

* ^ Pim den Boer, Peter Bugge, Ole Wæver, Kevin Wilson, W. J. van der Dussen, Ole Waever, European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, The history of the idea of Europe, 1995, p. 93, ISBN 0-415-12415-8 , ISBN 978-0-415-12415-7 * ^ A B C D E Ulrich Best, Transgression as a Rule: German-Polish cross-border cooperation, border discourse and EU-enlargement, 2008, p. 58, ISBN 3-8258-0654-5 , ISBN 978-3-8258-0654-5 * ^ A B Jerzy Jan Lerski, Piotr Wróbel, Richard J. Kozicki, Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966–1945, 1996, p. 118, ISBN 0-313-26007-9 , ISBN 978-0-313-26007-0 * ^ A B C Edmund Jan Osmańczyk, Anthony Mango, Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements, 2003, p. 579, ISBN 0-415-93921-6 , ISBN 978-0-415-93921-8 * ^ Marcin Zaborowski, Germany, Poland
Poland
and Europe, p. 32 * ^ W. Wippermann, Der "deutsche Drang nach Osten": Ideologie und Wirklichkeit eines politischen Schlagwortes, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1981, p. 87 * ^ Drang nach Osten
Drang nach Osten
on Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
* ^ Ingo Haar , Historiker im Nationalsozialismus, p. 17 * ^ A B Bascom Barry Hayes, Bismarck and Mitteleuropa, 1994, p.17, ISBN 0838635121 , 9780838635124 * ^ Hitler, a chronology of his life and time. Milan Hauner, Macmillan, 1983, p. 197 * ^ A B Andreas Lawaty, Hubert Orłowski, Deutsche und Polen: Geschichte, Kultur, Politik, 2003, p. 34, ISBN 3-406-49436-6 , ISBN 978-3-406-49436-9 * ^ Wippermann, 1981, p. 87 * ^ Paul Reuber, Anke Strüver, Günter Wolkersdorfer, Politische Geographien Europas - Annäherungen an ein umstrittenes Konstrukt: Annäherungen an ein umstrittenes Konstrukt, 2005, ISBN 3-8258-6523-1 , ISBN 978-3-8258-6523-8 * ^ Eric Joseph Goldberg, Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict Under Louis the German, 817-876, pp. 233ff, 2006, ISBN 0-8014-3890-X , 9780801438905 * ^ Carlson, p. 233. * ^ "HITLER\'S PLANS FOR EASTERN EUROPE" * ^ Robert Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi
Nazi
Ideology p. 190 ISBN 0-396-06577-5 * ^ Robert Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi
Nazi
Ideology p. 191 ISBN 0-396-06577-5 * ^ Lynn H. Nicholas , Cruel World: The Children of Europe in the Nazi
Nazi
Web pp. 206–9, ISBN 0-679-77663-X * ^ Richard Overy
Richard Overy
, The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, p. 543 ISBN 0-393-02030-4 * ^ A B Hnet Review of Henry Cord Meyer. Drang nach Osten: Fortunes of a Slogan-Concept in German-Slavic Relations, 1849–1990. Bern: Peter Lang, 1996. 142 pp. Notes and index. $29.95 (paper), ISBN 978-3-906755-93-9 . Reviewed by Douglas Selvage , Yale University.

General

* Carlson, Harold G.; John Richie Schultz (October 1937). "Loan-Words from German". American Speech. American Speech, Vol. 12, No. 3. 12 (3): 232–234. JSTOR
JSTOR
452436 . doi :10.2307/452436 .

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