Deutschen Volks- und Kulturbodens
- Alternate Title:
- Karte des Deutschen Volks- und Kulturbodens (Map of German Ethnic and Cultural Lands)
- Deutschen Volks- und Kulturbodens
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Penck, Albrecht, 1858-1945
- Posted Date:
- ID Number:
- Collection Number:
- File Name:
- 1920 - 1939
- Between the Wars
- 21 x 26 (centimeters, height x width)
- The mother map of German "Volks- und Kulturboden," a "new and most powerful concept" that became popular in Germany in the mid-1920s (Herb 1997, 55).
German geographers and politicians had earlier emphasized the notion of German-speaking peoples, but this didn't support claims for certain prized territories, such as those where Polish was spoken. Albrecht Penck was "one of the towering figures of modern geographical science." (Murphy 1997, 64). He began with a broader notion of "Volksboden," centered on an idealogical, almost mystical link between the German peasant (volk) and the soil (boden). It was "the area where the German people settled, where the German language could be heard, and where the results of German work could be seen." He combined this with the term Kulterboden, "the result of German intelligence, German industriousness, and German labor." (Penck 1925, 62, 72, quoted in Herb 1997, 56). This "made it possible to claim not only all lost territories, but even areas outside pre-War Germany simply by pointing to their German cultural character." (Herb, 56). In short, Penck's "brilliant idea" served to "create an entirely new definition of national territory." (Herb 56, 64).
Penck illustrated his bold ideas with an "extremely effective map which was drawn by one of the masters of suggestive cartography, Arnold Hillen Ziegfeld." For another example of Ziegfeld's work, see ID #1264 "87,545,000 Germans in Europe". Although it was complex and subject to varying interpretations, Penck's concept "became enormously popular in the Weimar Republic," and versions of the map itself were reproduced "in numerous books and school atlases." (Herb 63-64
see Murphy 65-66). (For examples, see ID #1241.01 (von Leers)
#1251.03 & .06 (Putzger).) Indeed, at a meeting of the Association of German Geographers in 1934, all publishers were apparently urged to include a map of German Volks- und Kulturboden in all school atlases (Herb 131).
In the late 1930s, Germany moved away from Penck's concept: it was both too inclusive for Nazi racial notions, and too constrained for Nazi territorial ambitions (Herb 131-32).
For further information on the Collector’s Notes and a Feedback/Contact Link, see https://persuasivemaps.library.cornell.edu/content/about-collection-personal-statement and https://persuasivemaps.library.cornell.edu/content/feedback-and-contact
- Penck, Albrecht. 1925. "Deutscher Volks- und Kurturboden." In von Loesch, Karl C. & Arnold Hillen Ziegfeld, eds. 1925. Volk unter Volkern, Bucher des Deutschtems. Breslau: F. Hirt. 62-73.
- Cite As:
- P.J. Mode collection of persuasive cartography, #8548. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
- Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
- Archival Collection:
- P.J. Mode collection of persuasive cartography
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