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The perception and conservation of nature in the Third Reich

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Abstract:

This article asks whether nature conservation was modernized in the Third Reich-whether the clear deficiencies left by the Weimar Republic were remedied and whether the National Socialist regime took up the task of making nature conservation areas more accessible to the general public, an aim which was important in terms of international comparisons. It comes to the conclusion that the idea of promoting a quasi-democratic, even tourist access to nature played no role at all in determining these policies. However, the decree of the 1935 Reich Nature Conservation Law which handed over the responsibility for nature conservation from the Lander governments to the Reich and gave it a right of participation and veto in altering landscapes was definitely a modernization, unmatched (to a certain extent) even by the policies of the early Federal Republic. However, because the motives for this and other measures were primarily grounded in power politics and only served nature conservation secondarily, the improved accountability for nature conservation was, for the most part, paper work and was scarcely able to influence the way in which nature was treated by both industry and agriculture.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/026654300364074

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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