Johann Wilhelm Ludowici (1896–1983) was a German brick maker, NSDAP functionary, and deputy to the Nazi party’s chief ideologue, Alfred Rosenberg. He was also a member of the Militant League for German Culture [Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur], a Weimar-era nationalistic political society that continued into the Nazi period. This map from Das Deutsche Siedlungswerk, Ludowici’s 1936 book on population growth and the settlement of the German Volk in the East, shows the regime’s early interest in population transfers and resettlement. The map shows Germany as surrounded by threatening and inferior races. This multiracial front consisted of Africans who “threatened” Germans from the south, Slavic people from the East, and Mongolians from the Far East.

From early on, the regime was committed to remapping Europe along racial lines, with the ultimate aim of making more “room” [Lebensraum] for the German race. This map, with its added racial overlay, shows the areas in which Germany saw Lebensraum. Also noteworthy is the fact that Ludowici’s map perceived racial threats to Germany farther away than Eastern Europe—in places like Asia and Africa, too. This makes clear that the Nazis’ gaze extended beyond the European continent.

Map of “Racial Threats” to Germany (1936)


Source: J. W. Ludowici, Das deutsche Siedlungswerk. 2nd edition Heidelberg: Carl Winter’s Universitätsbuchhandlung, 1937, p. 18