Himmler's Auxiliaries: The Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle and the German National Minorities of Europe, 1933-1945

By Valdiso Lumans | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE

VoMi and the Minorities, I
The Southern and Eastern Borderlands

THE MINORITIES AND HITLER'S FOREIGN POLICY

The Gleichschaltung of Volkstum activities in the Reich, as performed by Himmler's SS subordinates at VoMi, prepared the way for the nazification of the minorities abroad. As VoMi brought Reich organizations and individuals in line, it also guided the minorities onto the correct political path. Once converted to National Socialism, or at least to sympathy with the Nazi cause and to accepting Adolf Hitler as their Führer, the Volksdeutsche of Europe could be exploited in the interests of the Third Reich -- or more specifically, as Himmler hoped, the interests of the SS.

Before the war, it was Hitler's foreign policy, above all else, that determined how the Volksdeutsche would be utilized. Ultimately his foreign policy aimed at creating a new European racial order. Although he proclaimed the revision of the postwar Versailles settlement as his primary foreign policy goal, his final objective went beyond the revision of borders to creating a new Europe, dominated by a racially pure Germany in which all Germans, Reich as well as Volksdeutsche, would be consolidated. Crucial to his scheme was acquiring Lebensraum, additional living space, where the German Volk could reestablish ancient ties to the soil and thrive for generations to come. In Hitler's

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