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PROPAGANDA MAP: Deutsches Grenzland In Not [German Borderlands in Distress]


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A larger, rare nationalistic map with the title German Borderlands in Distress showcases the areas outside Germany, inhabited by Germanic speaking population.

The map was first published in 1920 in Austria (please see our item https://www.pahor.de/propaganda-maps-heim-ins-reich-friedensvertrage-sind-nur-menschenwerk-back-to-the-home-country-peace-treaties-are-only-works-of-men.html) as a reaction to the new borders, set after WWI.

It was reprinted in the Nazi Germany in various versions until 1936. According to the New York Times, of March 17, 1935, this map was distributed by the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda was hanging in German school rooms (https://digital.library.cornell.edu/catalog/ss:19343362).

Our example here is possibly a mid 1930s version, printed after the deaths of the authors  Heinrich Wagner (18461921) & Ernst Debes (18401923). It was published by Volksbund für das Deutschtum im Ausland, an organisation for Germans abroad, based in Berlin.

The organisation, which was founded in 1881 and still exists today under the name Verein für Deutsche Kulturbeziehungen im Ausland e. V., was very active in the time of the National-Socialism in Germany and was recruiting numberless Germans abroad as spies.

The organisation was renamed to Volksbund für das Deutschtum im Ausland in 1933, which helps dating the map.



Heinrich Wagner & Ernst Debes

The map was made by German cartographers Ernst Debes (18401923) and Heinrich WAGNER (18461921).

Heinrich Wagner (18461921) was a cartograph, lithographer and a son of a German cartograph Eduard Wagner.

Before joining with Wagner, Ernst Debes was schooled at Justus Perthes institute under August Petermann and worked on the new edition of the Steiler’s School Atlas. In 1872, Ernst Debes and Heinrich Wagner founded their own cartographic office, working in commission for various firms, with their most prominent client being Karl Baedeker guide books.  

Ernst Debes and Heinrich Wagner were known for their production of thematic maps, blank educational maps, school atlases and atlases in various languages.

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