The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914-1922 by Annemarie H. SammartinoThe Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914-1922 by Annemarie H. Sammartino

The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914-1922

byAnnemarie H. Sammartino

Paperback | March 17, 2014

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Between 1914 and 1922, millions of Europeans left their homes as a result of war, postwar settlements, and revolution. After 1918, the immense movement of people across Germany's eastern border posed a sharp challenge to the new Weimar Republic. Ethnic Germans flooded over the border from the new Polish state, Russian émigrés poured into the German capital, and East European Jews sought protection in Germany from the upheaval in their homelands. Nor was the movement in one direction only: German Freikorps sought to found a soldiers' colony in Latvia, and a group of German socialists planned to settle in a Soviet factory town.

In The Impossible Border, Annemarie H. Sammartino explores these waves of migration and their consequences for Germany. Migration became a flashpoint for such controversies as the relative importance of ethnic and cultural belonging, the interaction of nationalism and political ideologies, and whether or not Germany could serve as a place of refuge for those seeking asylum. Sammartino shows the significance of migration for understanding the difficulties confronting the Weimar Republic and the growing appeal of political extremism.

Sammartino demonstrates that the moderation of the state in confronting migration was not merely by default, but also by design. However, the ability of a republican nation-state to control its borders became a barometer for its overall success or failure. Meanwhile, debates about migration were a forum for political extremists to develop increasingly radical understandings of the relationship between the state, its citizens, and its frontiers. The widespread conviction that the democratic republic could not control its "impossible" Eastern borders fostered the ideologies of those on the radical right who sought to resolve the issue by force and for all time.

Annemarie H. Sammartino is Associate Professor of History at Oberlin College.
Title:The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914-1922Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.57 inPublished:March 17, 2014Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801479460

ISBN - 13:9780801479465

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Crisis of Sovereignty
1. "German Brothers": War and Migration
2. "Now We Were the Border": The Freikorps Baltic Campaign
3. Socialist Pioneers on the Soviet Frontier: Ansiedlung Ost
4. "We Who Suffered Most": The Immigration of Germans from Poland
5. "A Flooding of the Reich with Foreigners": The Frustrations of Border Control
6. Anti-Bolshevism and the Bolshevik Prisoners of War
7. "A Firm Inner Connection to Germany": Naturalization Policy
8. Tolerance and Its Limits: Russians, Jews, and Asylum
Conclusion: The Legacy of CrisisAppendix: Maps—
German Gains in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk March
Prospective German Settlements in the Former Russian Empire
German Territorial Losses after World War IBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"In The Impossible Border, Annemarie H. Sammartino offers an important and fascinating study of the history of migration across Weimar Germany's eastern border. In so doing, she addresses a number of key aspects of the history of Weimar Germany: settlement policy, emigration and immigration, how Jews and attitudes toward Jews were affected by border crossings, and the ways in which Germans imagined their eastern neighbors." - Richard Bessel, University of York, author of Germany after the First World War and Germany 1945: From War to Peace