I am applying to the Marie Curie IEF to research how young North-Western Europeans (from the Scandinavian countries, Holland and Switzerland) envisioned their countries’ economic and political relationship to Nazi Germany and the occupied Eastern territories and how these beliefs translated into concrete efforts to support the regime. Numerous studies exist that examine how the SS and young German scientists and academics began to radically transform Europe, often with genocidal consequences. However, my study will be the first to examine the contributions of non-German European “experts”—geographers, engineers, historians, business managers and other young professionals—who worked with the SS to promote the incorporation of Western Europe into the German sphere and the brutal exploitation of Eastern European land and labor for their own benefit. My project builds off the premise, supported by recent academic scholarship, that until 1942, the so-called Nazi New Order seemed a permanent, and to many a desired, reality in Europe. This transnational study would be based on research in over twenty archives in seven different countries. Many of these collections, which I located during my dissertation research, have not been used previously by historians. This study promises to make significant contributions to our understanding of the motives, plans and realities of Western European collaboration with the Nazi regime.
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