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A German Voice of Opposition to Germanization (1914)

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And now, to the chief means of Germanizing the East March: the settlement of German farmers. All told we have settled more than 120,000 German farmers (number of souls) and have thereby truly created an important piece of Germandom. Indeed, through a separate law, it has even been made difficult for the Poles to settle in their own homeland. If a Pole buys a piece of land and wants to build a house, he can be forbidden from doing so. This exceptional law, which interferes too profoundly in private property, has in fact been applied often in its full severity.
[ . . . ]

All the unintended consequences of the poorly thought-through Germanization measures, the German Volksschule, the German class of civil servants, German colonization, they coalesce in a single focal point: the incitement of the Polish sense of nationalism. [ . . . ]

Source: Hans Delbrück, Regierung und Volkswille. Eine akademische Vorlesung [Government and the Will of the People. An Academic Lecture]. Berlin: Stilke, 1914, pp. 157-60, 164 f., 167.

Original German text also reprinted in Rüdiger vom Bruch und Björn Hofmeister, eds., Kaiserreich und Erster Weltkrieg 1871-1918 [Wilhelmine Germany and the First World War, 1871-1918]. Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung, edited by Rainer A. Müller, vol. 8. Stuttgart: P. Reclam, 2000, pp. 186-88.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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