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

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Volume 15

Austrian and Habsburg Studies

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

Goals, Expectations, Practices

Edited by Marina Cattaruzza, Stefan Dyroff & Dieter Langewiesche

224 pages, 1 illus., 5 maps, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-738-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2012)

ISBN  978-1-78238-920-0 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (June 2015)

eISBN 978-0-85745-739-4 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Overall this book represents a welcome addition to the existing scholarship on nationalism in Central and Eastern Europe, and there is much that scholars of the region can learn from the essays included in this anthology. It is well researched, and many of the authors make provocative, substantiated claims about the nature of territorial acquisition in the mid- twentieth century. This is a text that will be most useful to specialists on World War II or anyone with an already extensive knowledge of the rise of nationalism and its expressions in the region.” · Journal of Austrian Studies

“An impressive work of original and documented scholarship, [this book] provides an insightful history of a previously overlooked aspect of German expansionism as a specifically intended outcome of the Nazi government and military forces of World War II. A remarkably informed and informative study, [it] very highly recommended.” · Midwest Book Review

“…richly deserve to be read by experts in the field as it provides an excellent survey of the latest work on Eastern, Central, and Southern European history in the modern period.” · H-Soz-u-Kult

“Timely on so many fronts, this book offers scholars, students, and informed readers an instructive regional exposition of how territorial revisionist projects overcame petty nationalist regimes and impoverished the culture of a continent.” · European History Quarterly

“Enhanced with the inclusion of a List of Abbreviations, Maps, Notes on Contributors, a Select Bibliography, and a comprehensive Index, [this volume] is an original body of impressive scholarship and a highly recommended addition to academic library World War II era German History reference collections and Central European History supplemental reading lists.” · World History Shelf

“This is an excellent topic, clearly defined and illuminated by some first rate articles. This volume will contribute to the scholarly literature on the Second World War (which often neglects the smaller participants), but will also enrich discussions among historians and social scientists on that key tension between states and nations.” · James Sheehan, Stanford University

“The authors are to be commended for their original research and analysis. In addressing the opportunistic goals, motives, and prejudices of revisionist elites seeking territorial gain in fragile interwar nation-states, the book makes a key contribution to the comparative and transnational history of modern East Central Europe.” · Steven Seegel, University of Northern Colorado


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 political 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 and East European national histories.

Marina Cattaruzza is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Bern.

Stefan Dyroff has been Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Bern since 2006.

Dieter Langewiesche was Professor of Modern History at the University of Hamburg from 1978 to 1985 and of Medieval and Modern history at the University of Tübingen from 1985 to 2008.

Area: Central/Eastern Europe


Introduction: Contextualizing Territorial Revisionism: Goals, Expectations, Practices
Marina Cattaruzza and Dieter Langewiesche

  • The European Scenario in the Interwar Period
  • Revisionism in Practice
  • The Minorities Issue
  • The manifold problems of the heirs of the empires in East Central Europe
  • An era of Revisionism?

Chapter 1. The Worst of Friends: Germany’s Allies in East Central Europe – Struggles for Regional Dominance and Ethnic Cleansing, 1938-1945
Istvan Deak


Chapter 2. Minorities into majorities. Sudeten German and Transylvanian Hungarian political elites as actors of revisionism before and during the Second World War
Franz Horvath

  • Introduction
  • Some remarks on terminology (Minority groups, Revisionism, and Loyalty)
  • Sudeten Germans and Transylvanian Hungarians as Revisionist Minorities
  • Dominating the others. Sudeten Germans and Transylvanian Hungarians as Members of the Ruling Nation (1938/40-1944/45)
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3. Germany turns eastwards: The “Volksdeutsche” in Central and Eastern Europe
Norbert Spannenberger

  • Minority Politics and German “Volksgruppen” in the States of the South Eastern European Region
  • A Sketch of National Socialist Volksgruppen Politics in Practice


Chapter 4. Revisionism in Regional Perspective
Holly Case

  • Revisionism as Ideology
  • Revisionist and Anti-Revisionist Solidarity: The Case of the Little Entente
  • Lessons and Models in the Geopolitics of Revisionism: Bulgaria and Romania
  • Revisionism and Domestic Policy
  • Conclusion

Chapter 5. Hungarian Revisionism in Thought and Action, 1920-1941 (Plans, Expectations, Reality)
Ignác Romsics

  • Hungarian Revisionist Conceptions after Trianon
  • Hungarian Revisionist Politics by Negotiation and War

Chapter 6. Bulgarian Territorial Revisionism as the Driving Force for its Rapprochment with the Third Reich
Elżbieta Znamierowska-Rakk

  • Postwar Revisionism and Postwar Alliances
  • Germany as the Main Revisionist Power
  • The Recovery of Southern Dobrudja
  • Bulgaria’s Accession to the Pact of Three
  • Conclusion


Chapter 7. Politics and Military Action of Ethnic Ukrainian Collaboration for the “New European Order”
Frank Grelka

  • Political Collaboration
  • Administrative Collaboration
  • Military Collaboration
  • Conclusion

Chapter 8. Civil War in Occupied Territories: The Polish-Ukrainian Conflict in the Interwar Years and in the Second World War
Frank Golczewski

  • National Disappointment
  • Hopes set on the Great Powers
  • The Changes of 1941
  • The Change of the Tide
  • After the War

Chapter 9. The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization and Bulgarian Revisionism, 1923-1944
Stefan Troebst

  • Vision turned into Politics: The Bulgarian Syndrome of San Stefano
  • Peaceful Revisionism“: Official Bulgarian Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period
  • Militant Revisionism: Informal Bulgarian Interwar Balkan Policy
  • Revision Achieved—And Lost Again: Bulgaria and IMRO in the Second World War
  • Legacies: IMRO in Today’s Bulgarian and Macedonian Politics

Chapter 10. Romania in the Second World War: Revisionist Out of Necessity
Mariana Hausleitner

  • Minorities Policies, Romanization and anti-Semitism in Romania 1918-1941
  • The Redrawing of the Romanian Borders 1938-1940
  • The so called "Purification" in the Bukovina, Bessarabia and Transnistria 1941-1944
  • Who planned and organized the “national purification” of Romania
  • Conclusion


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