Articles | Volume 66, issue 2
E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 66, 115–129, 2018
E&G Quaternary Sci. J., 66, 115–129, 2018

Research article 10 Jan 2018

Research article | 10 Jan 2018

Albrecht Penck: Vorbereiter und Wegbereiter der NS-Lebensraumpolitik?

Hans Dietrich Schultz Hans Dietrich Schultz
  • 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.