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Großdeutschland (German "Greater Germany"), was the colloquial name of Germany as of March 1938. It encompassed the Third Reich and annexed countries and territories intil its defeat in April 1945.

Contents

Background

The question of the Großdeutsche or Kleindeutsche Lösung (Greater or Lesser German solution) featured strongly in the 19th century, mainly revolving around Austria's role in a unified empire. Under Bismarck Prussia became the driving force of unification. Austria was forced out of German politics and unification proceeded without it; thus the Lesser German solution prevailed. In another attempt after World War I, both Austrian and German National Assemblies supported the unification of Germany and Austria, but this was prohibited by the Allies.

Greater German Empire

An overview map of the Greater German Empire in 1943

In 1938, Nazi-Germany annexed Austria (Anschluss). In a reference to the 19th.century concept of the Greater German solution, the enlarged state was first informally, and then from 1943 formally, renamed to (Großdeutsches Reich) (Greater German Empire), colloquially "Großdeutschland" (Greater Germany).

Apart from Germany, Austria, and Alsace-Lorraine, the Greater German Empire also included the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Bohemia and Moravia, and the Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany, Danzig-West Prussia, Wartheland, and the area of the General Government, all territories of Poland which had fallen under German military occupation.

Legacy

Because of its association with Nazi Germany there are no mainstream political groups in Austria or Germany that endorse the concept of Greater Germany today, and those that do are often regarded as Fascist or Neo-Nazi.

See also

Stamp issued by the "Greater German Reich"
  • Germania
  • Frankfurt National Assembly of 1848

References








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