Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Futurist » 11 Aug 2018 22:07

I've got a question--would it have been possible for a victorious Germany in the aftermath of WWI to get a lot of Jews from other parts of Mitteleuropa (Central and Eastern Europe) to settle in Latvia and Estonia?

It does seem like Jews are the second-best choice for Germanizing a territory after Germans themselves considering that their language (Yiddish) was very similar to German (only with a different alphabet). It's a huge shame that the Nazis couldn't see this in the 1930s and 1940s. :(

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by wm » 12 Aug 2018 18:26

The Jews lived in a symbiotic relationship with the "natives", and the symbiosis was the source of their wealth. For example, shtetls were " hypermarkets" serving the peasants living in the surrounding territory. In towns and cities, they ran the service sector.
They really couldn't exist alone. It was known even then and considered a great impediment to the colonization of Palestine.

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Futurist » 12 Aug 2018 19:46

wm wrote:
12 Aug 2018 18:26
The Jews lived in a symbiotic relationship with the "natives", and the symbiosis was the source of their wealth. For example, shtetls were " hypermarkets" serving the peasants living in the surrounding territory. In towns and cities, they ran the service sector.
They really couldn't exist alone. It was known even then and considered a great impediment to the colonization of Palestine.
Couldn't the Jews try forming a symbolic relationship with the Latvia and Estonians (and with the Arabs in Palestine), though? I mean, Lithuanian Jews made up 10% or so of Lithuania's total population; thus, couldn't Latvia and Estonia sustain a similar Jewish percentage without too many problems (as in, if enough Jews moved there)?

Also, as a side note, was there any group that would have been willing to move to Latvia and Estonia in large numbers (other than Russians, but Germany wouldn't want them moving there since that would increase the odds of an eventual Russian takeover of these territories)? For instance, what about Poles, Ukrainians, and Belarusians?

Finally--and I hope that I didn't ask this question before--would a lot of the Germans in Russia (such as in the Volga region) have been willing to move to Latvia and Estonia in the event of a German WWI victory and the subsequent rise of anti-German sentiments in Russia?

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by wm » 13 Aug 2018 11:20

The Germans in Russia were dissatisfied with the conditions there even before the war, but a German victory should have protected them from anti-German sentiments.

With sufficient funding on hand, everything was possible - but really Germany didn't have the money, and couldn't afford such an unprofitable venture.
Generally, it was the poor who felt the need to start a new life but lacking the means to do it they mostly headed for places where means weren't needed: the US, Canada, Western parts of Germany.

This is an example of an internal large-scale migration, for different reasons: viewtopic.php?f=101&t=236512 .

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RE: Give Us Your Huddled Masses - (Well Sort Of).

Post by Robert Rojas » 13 Aug 2018 15:05

Greetings to both citizen 'wm' and the community as a whole. Howdy 'wm'! Well sir, in deference to your point OR points-of-view as articulated in your posting of Monday - August 13, 2018 - 2:20am, you might want to acquaint yourself with the finer nuances of immigration policy that existed in the United States of America in the very narrow migration window that followed the First World War. Whether you know it or not, as a prospective immigrant, IF YOU LACKED MEANS, you were required to have a SPONSOR in the United States of America BEFORE you even got on the proverbial boat for Ellis Island. That SPONSOR was responsible for your upkeep until you got on your own feet. UNLIKE TODAY where both the Federal And State Governments are literally SANTA CLAUSE with a plethora services and benefits, all levels of government of the early 1920's had no intention of allowing immigrants to be a burden to the state. Now, isn't that a NOVEL IDEA!? Incidentally, my grandparents and hence, my mother, immigrated from Weimar Germany in year 1924 under these very circumstances. Fortunately, at least for my grandparents anyway, the German-American community was relatively supportive of immigrants from the old country. Oh, and by the way, they also came to the home of the brave and the land of the free under a strict and limited QUOTA SYSTEM. Now, isn't that yet another NOVEL IDEA!? It's just some reflective food for thought. Hardtack anyone? Well, that's my latest two cents or pfennigs worth on this now meandering topic of interest - for now anyway. In any case, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in the ever enduring land of Poland.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Futurist » 14 Sep 2020 00:30

wm wrote:
13 Aug 2018 11:20
The Germans in Russia were dissatisfied with the conditions there even before the war, but a German victory should have protected them from anti-German sentiments.

With sufficient funding on hand, everything was possible - but really Germany didn't have the money, and couldn't afford such an unprofitable venture.
Generally, it was the poor who felt the need to start a new life but lacking the means to do it they mostly headed for places where means weren't needed: the US, Canada, Western parts of Germany.

This is an example of an internal large-scale migration, for different reasons: viewtopic.php?f=101&t=236512 .
wm, are you sure that a German victory in WWI could not have simply exacerbated anti-German sentiments in Russia--especially if an anti-German regime will come to power in Russia?

As for moving to western Germany, that would require the migrants to stop being farmers and to start being industrial workers, no?

Interesting link; thank you!

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Sep 2020 03:39

Futurist wrote:
14 Sep 2020 00:30
...

As for moving to western Germany, that would require the migrants to stop being farmers and to start being industrial workers, no?

Interesting link; thank you!
My thought as well. Instead of focusing on agriculture in the Baltic nation's Germanisizing their urban areas may work better.

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Futurist » 14 Sep 2020 03:58

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Sep 2020 03:39
Futurist wrote:
14 Sep 2020 00:30
...

As for moving to western Germany, that would require the migrants to stop being farmers and to start being industrial workers, no?

Interesting link; thank you!
My thought as well. Instead of focusing on agriculture in the Baltic nation's Germanisizing their urban areas may work better.
Yep, in Germany itself, there was an Ostflucht from the rural east to the urban west during this time:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostflucht

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landflucht

So, yeah, were Germany to acquire any/some/all of the Baltic states after a WWI victory, the same logic could also apply there. The problem, of course, was that other than Vilnius/Vilno, Kovno/Kaunas, Riga and perhaps Reval/Tallinn, there weren't really any large super-urban centers in the Baltic states. In fact, there still aren't even right now. In any case, though, why would a German who wants to leave the farm and move to the cities prefer to move to Riga or Tallinn than to move to the much more industrialized, urbanized, and possibly prosperous Ruhr?

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Sep 2020 20:18

Italy had a similar problem getting immigration to Lybia ramped up. Even with government subsidies working on a orange plantation in Lybia did not look as good as taking your chances in New jersey, or Cleveland, or St Louis.

A sensible course for the German government would be to provide incentives, tax credits & whatnot,for German business to invest in the Baltic region. Business managers would send employees, management & technicians. Each large city gets a branch of a German University, and German middle schools are established. Those all would be set up to have advantages over the local schools. largely engineering & technical schools. Then a number of army Kasserne, and as many naval stations as practical along the coast. And of course plentiful German civil servants. All that drags in 'Germans' and gets the migration started.

I cant see the Batic cultures replaced. Rather a binary culture such as had developed in many other locations. ie: Bohemia with its Czechs & Germans or the southwestern US. If the Germans make this association advantageous the Baltic peoples may go along with it. I don't think its certain guvmint blundering would be avoided.

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Futurist » 14 Sep 2020 21:04

In regards to moving to the US, this wasn't an option for most Italians after 1924 due to the severe immigration quotas that the US put in place for southern and eastern Europe during this time. Even so, one would think that settling in cities in Libya or Eritrea or Italian Somaliland would have been more attractive than settling in the countryside there.

Your suggestions here certainly make sense. :)

Agreed about a fusion Baltic-German culture being created here. Indeed, Latvians and Estonians--due to both of them being Protestants--could be especially easy to integrate into the German body politic if they will have their own cultures and languages also be respected by the German government. Interestingly enough, an additional way to integrate Latvians and Estonians into Germany would be to allow unlimited migration from Latvia and Estonia to occur into Germany--for studying, for work, et cetera. In such a scenario, you could actually see a lot of Latvians and Estonians decide to marry Germans and have children with them. So, in other words, make this migration a two-way street rather than merely a one-way street. :)

Which government blundering are you thinking of here?

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Futurist » 14 Sep 2020 22:06

pugsville wrote:
02 May 2016 07:53
1/ The german Empire was badly run, the idea that extremely difficult, sensitive, challenging policies could be undertaken both externally and internally is pretty highly dubious. the leadership required is simply lacked for any sort of decent, nuanced and effective long term policy, the various parts of the governance structure did not work together. the kaiser has rather limited power.

2/ when challenged by dissent the first instinct of the German Empire was brutal repression. the Idea that German rule either in the west or east could win over significant numbers of the local population is just not going to happen.

3/ demographics. with the German population moving west in general and urbanising seeking a higher standard of living was well under way, and those not heading west headed across the seas to the USA. turning this around would be extremely difficult.

4/ peace treaty you can write whatever you like but you cannot enforce it. enforcement in the east would require large scale deployment of millions of troops which simply would not pay for itself. much like France after ww1, germans defaults, France occupies and faces passive resistance and an occupation that is very expensive, unpopular at home, aboard and extremely so where it is occupying.
pugsville, did Imperial Germany treat its Protestant minorities as poorly as it treated some of its Catholic minorities--such as the Poles?

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Futurist » 14 Sep 2020 22:09

TBH, what I like about this topic is the fact that even the existing populations of Latvia and Estonia should have, in theory, not been too difficult for a liberal Imperial Germany to assimilate due to their mostly Protestant religion and due to them not having a history of independence like, say, the Lithuanians and Poles had:

https://www.andrewgloe.com/uploads/2020/4b21125597.jpg

Image

One might think that the mostly Protestant Latvians and Estonians would have preferred to live in a 60% Protestant liberal Germany than in a mostly Eastern Orthodox Russia (liberal or not), no?

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Sep 2020 15:01

There are some advantages to German rule. My question is which was more overbearing? Did the Russian empire leave the Baltics culture alone, or try to Russianize them? Were the German of 1910 more arrogant, and intrusive? Or would they have left the Baltics culture alone, trying to discourage them? How did the Poles in the German Empire fare, or the French in Alsace?

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Re: Germanizing Latvia and Estonia

Post by Futurist » 22 Sep 2020 18:14

In regards to the Russian Empire, I believe that there was a Russification campaign in the Baltic provinces starting from the 1880s onwards. As for the German Empire, its own minority treatment record wasn't ideal either; it tried to forcibly Germanize groups such as the Poles, for instance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanisa ... Partitions

As for Alsace-Lorraine, relations between its population and the Imperial German government became rather strained immediately prior to World War I:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zabern_Affair

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