Where many studies of European empire in the 20th century focus on imperial projects in the global south, David Hamlin, Ph.D.’s new book, Germany’s Empire in the East; Germans and Romania in an Era of Globalization and Total War. (Cambridge University Press, 2017) demonstrates the place of central and eastern Europe in that story, and the important role of economic forces played in shaping global empires.
The newly released book tells how the Germans, when “confronted with the global economic and political power of the western allies… turned to Eastern Europe to construct a dependent space, tied to Germany [much] as Central America was to the U.S..”
Hamlin, who has lectured on Hitler’s Germany and taught seminars on the Third Reich and 19th-Century Europe, said the book was many years in the making because its focus changed as he researched and wrote it.
“Initially, I was expecting to explore how Germany transformed Romania into a dependency well before the First World War; it would be a story emphasizing continuity,” wrote Hamlin, an associate professor of history. “Instead, I found myself crafting a story of the impact of the First World War on German policy; it became a story of discontinuity.”
He described the book as “an examination f how the disruption of commercial, financial, and legal links during the war reshaped how Germans viewed the international economy, and thus their links to their neighbors.”
For Hamlin’s full interview with Nicholas Paul, visit the History Blog.