Baedeker’s GeneralGouvernement

By Karl Baedeker

Would you buy a tourist guide to explore the murmurings of Nazi Germany? Baedeker’s guides were world-renowned for being concise in their appraisals, with well-planned layouts, great maps and city plans. This made them popular, back in the day. When General Falkenhorst got his orders to prepare an attack on Norway, guess whose guide he turned to for local insights. That’s a rhetorical question. By ’42, Baedekers had been ordered to remove ‘places of interest’ for military reasons and the Poland-special, published in ‘43, included notes about which areas were ‘jezt Judenfrei’. Alarming. But it’s worth bagging a reprinted copy of GeneralGouvernement to understand the introspective view of a society in collapse.

Featured in: Livestream Thursday 7th May 2020

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