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Visions of harmony and violence : RKF landscape planning and population policy in annexed Poland, 1939-1944 / by Daniel Inkelas.

Publication | Library Call Number: DK4410 .I65 1998

In October 1939, SS chief Heinrich Himmler assembled a planning office under the direction of University of Berlin professor Konrad Meyer to design the settlement program of Himmler's Reich Commissariat for the Strengthening of Germandom (RKF). This dissertation examines the ideas, proposals, and policies drafted by the RKF planning staff, which intended to achieve harmony between German peasants and the Polish landscape by the construction of new towns and villages, the reshaping of the physical environment, and the restructuring of agrarian economic practices. At the same time, this dissertation shows how RKF planning schemes dictated the expropriation, expulsion, and ultimately the extermination of millions of non-Germans who stood in the way of their utopian vision. This striking contrast between harmony and violence was rooted in the belief that Germans enjoyed a special relationship with nature, while other "races" could only exploit and pollute the natural environment. The RKF planners' attempt to unite people and nature by means of a process involving mass murder serves to remind us that ideas about culture, biology, and politics are intertwined. Furthermore, it demonstrates the power of arrogantly idealist intentions, linked with technocratic planning and central authority, to distract individuals from the terrible implications of their deeds.

Inkelas, Daniel.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:47:00
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