SourceMaps Imagine Post-War Europe Without Germany
During World War II, some fringe thinkers advocated for the total dissolution of Germany. They left us with maps that depict an alternate Europe where Germany ceded all land to its victorious neighbors. In 1941, Theodore Kaufman self-published his controversial manifesto Germany Must Perish!, which advocated, among other things, the sterilizations of Germans and dismemberment of the German state, insisting that Germany be divided up and absorbed by its neighboring countries. Ironically, Kaufman’s work enjoyed its greatest exposure from the Nazis themselves. Nazi propaganda claimed that Kaufman’s book was not the fever dream of a single man, but the Allies’ actual plan for Germany. The Nazis reprinted Kaufman’s speculative map on fliers next to pictures of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Josef Stalin, hoping to scare the German people with visions of a future where their country, culture, and legacy would be eradicated.
The map at the top, which was commissioned for a magazine, is more detailed in its vision of alternate Europe. After the elimination of the German state, it suggests that German geographical names would be translated into the language of their adoptive country. Polish Berlin and Dresden become Berolinsk and Drezno. In the hands of the Netherlands, Cologne and Essen are renamed Keulen and Eeten. And French Mannheim and Aachen become Foyer-d’Homme and Aix-la-Chapelle.
What do you think Europe would be like without a nation of Germany?