Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Southeast European History

Bernd Robionek

Bernd Robionek

Economic Nazification? Economic Relations of the German Minority in the Vojvodina with the German Reich, 1933-1941


This Ph.D. project focuses on the political dimension of economic relations between the German minority in the Vojvodina and agencies of Nazi-governed Germany. It explores how this cross-border exchange, at a time of German economic expansion towards South-Eastern Europe, influenced the spreading and legitimization of Nazism among the ethnic Germans.

The study will go beyond examining the direct and indirect economic contacts; it will also include the socio-political and modernization campaigns that were pursued by the Yugoslav governments. Thus, a social-scientific approach will be introduced that goes beyond the level of the actors. One crucial aspect is to be found in the Danube-Swabian system of agricultural cooperatives in the Vojvodina which was attached to the Swabian-German Cultural league, the regional organization for the fostering of German national activism.

A following step will be to analyze the contemporary discourses that reflected the economic relations of the minority. This argumentative-oriented part promises conclusions about a possible relining of the Nazification of the Danube Swabians through economic influences from the German Reich. The result is aimed at making an important contribution to the multi-causal explanation of the general acceptance of National-Socialism within the German minority of the Vojvodina at the turn of the 1930s to the 1940s.