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    Pan-Germanicism, is a pan-nationalist political idea. Pan-Germanists originally sought to unify all the German-speaking people and possibly also Germanic-speaking peoples in a single nation - state known as Großdeutschland. Pan-Germanicism was highly influential in German politics in the 19th century during the unification of Germany when the German Empire was proclaimed as a nation-state in 1871 but without Austria (Kleindeutsche Lösung/Lesser Germany). And in the first half of the 20th century in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the German Empire. From the late 19th century, many Pan-Germanist thinkers, since 1891 organized in the Pan-German League, had adopted openly ethnocentric and racist ideologies, and ultimately gave rise to the foreign policy Heim ins Reich pursued by Nazi Germany under Austrian-born Adolf Hitler from 1938.


    The ideas of Pan-Germanism originated in the early 19th century and were the result of the Napoleonic Wars. These wars have established a new movement that emerged during the French Revolution - Nationalism. Young reformers sought to unite all German lands. Until the 1860s, Prussia and Austria were the two most powerful German-speaking states. They tried to expand their influence and territory. The Austrian Empire was a multiethnic state where the Germans did not have an absolute numerical advantage; the creation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was one result of the growing nationalism of other ethnic groups in the empire. Prussia under Bismarck used the ideas of Pan-Germanism to reunite the German lands with the support of the National liberal party. The unification of Germany took place in 1871 after the proclamation of Kaiser Wilhelm I as chairman of the Union of German-Speaking States. Many Germans living outside the new empire would have preferred to live under its rule or in an ethnically homogeneous German state, but this desire was met with opposing wishes from other ethnic groups.

    After the WWI the influence of German-speaking elites in Europe was severely crippled. Germany was significantly reduced in size following the Treaty of Versailles. Austria-Hungary was divided and Austria adopted the name "German Austria" (Deutschösterreich) and voted overwhelmingly in favor of unification with Germany. This name and unification with Germany were banned by the Allies after the war.

    The Nazis in Germany had hoped to unite all German-speaking lands into one country, so in 1938 they have annexed Austria and then Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. After the war Germany lost most of its territorial gains, including Silesia, Eastern Pomerania, East Prussia and the city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia), and was divided between Allied-occupied West driven by the social market economy and Soviet-occupied socialist East. The capital city of Berlin was also divided, which brought tensions between the two, so the Soviets have built a wall around the city. Eventually the wall was torn down and both West and East have formed one country in 1990.

    In Austria, after both world wars there were third camp groups that advocated for the reunification with Germany. After WW2 however, the idea of reunification became unpopular due to association with Nazism.





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