Albrecht Penck: Vorbereiter und Wegbereiter der NS-Lebensraumpolitik?
- Geographisches Institut, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
Abstract. Albrecht Penck was one of the eminent representatives of Quaternary research in the first half of the twentieth century. But apart from this, there was a political-geographical side to Penck, which, since 1945, has long been ignored or downplayed by geographers. Today, given his concept of Volks- und Kulturboden, he is considered as having ushered in German geography the völkisch (ethno-nationalistic) turn. Thus, critics say, he paved the way for Nazi Lebensraum policies and became an accomplice in the resulting crimes. The present contribution examines Penck's political-geographical worldview and reaches an ambivalent conclusion regarding the accusations.