The Race for Space: A Spatial Analysis and Geovisualization of the Holocaust and World War Two
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The objective of this thesis was to visualize (using interactive maps) how Nazi Germany managed the movement of hundreds of thousands of people across Europe while fighting a war on several fronts. One of the prime impetuses for Hitler’s instigation of World War Two is linked with Freidrich Ratzel’s geopolitical theory of Lebensraum: the concept that a growing German population must be provided sufficient space and raw materials to grow and prosper. This leads to an interesting question: did military success (gaining Lebensraum) or failure (losing Lebensraum) affect convoy departures from France? To what extent were convoy operations expanded or curtailed as a result of battlefield success? With the intention of exploring these questions, an interactive geovisualization was created to show how these two elements (convoys departing and territorial expanse/loss) converged over space and time. It is the hope of the researcher that this study will help foster new lines of inquiry in the study of the Holocaust and World War II history in general.