Geographies of power: the case of the Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin
The Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin (Berlin Geographical Society) belongs to the oldest Geographical Societies in Europe. It was established already in 1828, and from the 1871 foundation of the German Empire at the latest, the Society claimed national leadership in the production and communication of geographical knowledge. The talk will, for the period between 1914 and 1940, examine various practices through which the Society and its members attempted to gain political influence in various social and scientific contexts. The focus will be on three points: The establishment of “Commissions on Regional Geography” during World War I; reactions to the spatial reorganization of Europe after 1919; and the Society’s function as an arena of National Socialist propaganda after 1933.