Rebecca Pates
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Julia Leser
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Renaturing and the politics of Heimat
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This chapter focuses on the far right’s imaginaries about “the East” in the context of the history of Heimat, the politics of renaturing and the national socialist and new right-wing views on natural habitats for the German ethnos and German flora and fauna. Western Germans are recruited to move to the white enclaves in the East, as the land is cheap, institutions easy to take over and the country so unpopulated that social control is minimised. The land stands for more than just agricultural opportunities: the blood and soil logics amount to a geo-determinism, the idea that a people ‘belongs to’ a particular land. Unless the right people till the soil and defend their habitat, the habitat will be lost and the people will go extinct. We explain what it is like in parts of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg in ‘white’ villages, and hear from a hunter who explains that the AfD is not about to solve the problem of representation but is still more attractive than any other party. The turn of nationalist (West) Germans to the East to repopulate the imagined ‘empty lands’ goes hand in hand with ideas of ‘purification’ of German territories and strong anti-immigration, anti-globalisation, anti-system and anti-cosmopolitan attitudes. As we talked to different people who were, in some way or another, affected by the wolf issue, among them farmers, hunters, local residents in rural areas and conservationists, the micro-politics that relates to the wolf problem is revealed.

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