The Productive Heimat: Territorial Loss and Rurality in German Identity at the Stunde Null

  • Christine Fojtik


Fojtik explores connections between hunger, territorial loss and identity in postwar Germany by examining the documents and correspondence of the food administrations in the western zones of occupation. She argues that Germans’ understanding of “home” (Heimat) was critically tied to agricultural productivity since the early years of German nationhood. Accordingly, hungry Germans after 1945 understood food shortage as a direct consequence of territorial division and land loss to Poland—the Heimat had nourished them, both spiritually and nutritionally. Shortage signaled, moreover, that the German future would not be an agricultural one, a change that had been a long time coming but that the Nazis postponed with their elevation of the farmer and their rhetoric about “the soil.”


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Fojtik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and Political ScienceSaint Xavier UniversityChicagoUSA

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