German Mitteleurope plans before and during the First World War

Sergij Trojan

German Mitteleurope Plans Before and During the First World War

As for the XIX — XX century works of the geographer F.Ratzel, they were the base for the “Mitteleuropa” term definition, totally unmatched with geographical “Central Europe”.In this way, by the end of the XIX – beginning of the XX century, the Mitteleuropa in Germany was commonly understood as a political or economic union of, first of all, Central-European states led by the Gogenzoller crown. Special place in the Mitteleuropa plans was reserved for the German-Austrian union as a German ground against Slavs. As Mitteleuropa union ideologists viewed it, the German sphere of interest should have consisted of Western regions of the Russian Empire, South-Eastern Europe, Turkey and Middle East. Plans to create Mitteleuropa were popularized and spread in Germany on the eve of World War I. Considering the need of industrialists and bankers, pangermanists broadened geographic scale of the would-be Mitteleuropa union. During the World War I the most popularity in Germany got the Mitteleuropa concept introduced and supported by the “liberal imperialism” representatives – M. Weber, F. Naumann, P. Rohrbach, G. Onken, F. Meineke, G. Delbruk, F. Liest. Special role in the Mitteleuropa ideas global war-time popularization within the German population was reserved for pastor and influential publicist Friedrich Naumann. Scandalous fame and popularity came to him with the 1915 publication of the “Mitteleuropa” book.

Keywords: Mitteleuropa, German Empire, the First World War, Friedrich Ratzel, Friedrich Naumann, globalization, international relations

Otwórz Artykuł