Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Eleanor M Grosse
Contemplating the place of remembrance and history within German environmentalism has driven the idea of this thesis and its research. My central aim is to capture at least a slice of how Germans today perceive nature, environmentalism, and themselves within the context of a cultural history that contains both a national socialist and an environmental narrative. These two narratives have, during periods of German history, intersected. While I originally thought the influence of national socialist environmental thought would still penetrate Germans’ perception of nature, my findings revealed instead that German perceptions of environmentalism and ideas of nature are rooted in a much older story of German naturalness and a proximal closeness to nature. This notion of “German naturalness” is not only connected to German identity, as the women suggests above, but also connected to how other European countries, particularly the French, view German environmentalism.
I also found an almost complete lack of knowledge surrounding national socialist conservation, both in terms of any knowledge of nature ideology in the Third Reich, and the actual creation of protected areas under the Third Reich. Lastly, I found a lack of ethnic and racial diversity within the German parks I studied.
Grosse, Eleanor, "The Continued Legacy of German Naturalness Contextualized Within a Fraught History and Issues of Inclusion" (2020). Scripps Senior Theses. 1438.