Racial Productivism: Reassessing the Nazi Era in Austria's Agrarian Transition, 1930-1960
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
The paper challenges the conventional wisdom that the Nazi era in Austria from 1938 to 1945 was an interlude or even a step back in the twentieth-century agrarian transition. Building upon a comprehensive body of sources and mixed methods, it outlines the contours of a project directed towards an alternative modernity beyond liberal marketization and socialist planning. On the one hand, the peasantry as a backbone of the German race should be strengthened; on the other hand, farm productivity should be raised according to national autarky. The project of "racial productivism" ? the creation of a both racially and economically productive peasantry ? was realized at different levels with mixed results. At the technical level, state-supported pioneer farms managed to raise productivity, while the overwhelming majority of farm holders tended to extensification due to lack of resources. At the institutional level, the interventionist state widened and deepened the regulatory framework of the agricultural sector. Although the "great leap" failed, several small steps were taken along the productivist transition of Austria's agrosystem between 1930 and 1960, with multiple connections to pre-1938 and post-1945 developments.