Lebensraum About this sound listen (German: “living space”) was a racist ideology that proposed the aggressive, territorial expansion of Germany. Originally a biology term for “habitat”, the publicists for the German Empire (1871–1918) introduced Lebensraum as a concept of nationalism that became a geopolitical goal of Imperial Germany in the First World War (1914–1918), as the Septemberprogramm (1914). In the post-war Weimar Republic (1919–1933) the concept and the term were features of German ultra-nationalism; later, during the Nazi regime (1933–1945), Lebensraum was an ideological element of Nazism, which advocated Germany’s territorial expansion into Eastern Europe, justified by the need for agricultural land in order to maintain the town-and-country balance upon which depended the moral health of the German people. In Mein Kampf (1928), the ideology of Nazism justified Lebensraum as a natural law, by way of which a healthy and vigorous people of superior race, possessed a inherent right to displace unhealthy and feeble peoples of inferior races; especially when the people of superior race faced overpopulation in their native territories.In practice, the Nazi policy of Lebensraum was to kill, deport, or enslave the Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and other Slavic populations considered racially inferior to the Germans, and to repopulate said lands of Eastern Europe with Germanic people. The populations of cities were to be exterminated by starvation, thus creating an agricultural surplus that would feed Germany, and thereby allow political replacement by and re-population with a German upper class. The eugenics of Lebensraum explicitly assumed the racial superiority of Germans, because they are an Aryan race; a master race (Herrenvolk), who, by virtue of their superiority (physical, mental, genetic) had the right to displace any people they deemed to be of an inferior race (Untermenschen). Sociologically, the Nazis insisted that the Lebensraum lands be developed as racially-homogeneous societies, to be realised by avoiding miscegenation, the intermixing of Germans with native peoples of an inferior race. Therefore, in a territory designated as German Lebensraum, the racially inferior natives, by law, were subject either to being killed, deported, or enslaved by the Nazis. In the course of the Second World War in Europe (1939–45), Germany supported similar lebensraum politics of their allies in Italy, Croatia, and Slovakia.Historically, the concept of a Germanic people with insufficient living space (Volk ohne Raum) predated Adolf Hitler's ideological application of Lebensraum to the national politics of Germany, in which the Nazi Party said that German territorial expansion was inevitable, because of the crisis-level overpopulation of the Weimar Republic, the smaller, post–WWI Germany designed by the Treaty of Versailles (1919); about which Hitler said: ""We are overpopulated and cannot feed ourselves from our own resources"". Politically, Nazism proposed and justified territorial expansion as an inevitable, geopolitical necessity for Germany that would resolve overpopulation and provide the natural resources required for the well-being of the German people.Since the 1920s, the Nazi Party had espoused and advocated the eventual necessity of expanding Germany into the territory of Russia. In that vein, Hitler and the Nazi Party also espoused acquiring Lebensraum lands from Poland. Given the improved Russo–German political relations consequent to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (1939), in the pact's three-year period (1939–41), the Germans told the Russians that Nazi Germany had discarded plans to annex territories from the U.S.S.R., and that Germany would seek Lebensraum in central Africa. About the international politics of Lebensraum, Hitler said that Germany sought the diplomatic settlement of claims for living space in Europe, which would require that the European powers cede territories claimed by Germany.Despite the façade of seeking diplomatic settlements to Germany’s claims for living space, the Third Reich prepared war for Lebensraum, because, by the late 1930s, Hitler had realised the militarisation of German society in preparation for Operation Barbarossa (22 June 1941), the eventual and “necessary” war between the peoples of Germany and of Russia. In planning the destruction of Poland, by partition and annexation, Nazi Germany told the Polish Government that if war between Germany and the Soviet Union resulted in Germany taking Lebensraum from the Soviet Union, then Germany would allow Poland the right to annex parts of the Ukraine, whilst Germany annexed more Soviet territory — if Poland were to subordinate herself to Germany, and allow the German annexation of Polish territories. Aware that the proposal would immediately be rejected, Hitler nonetheless proposed that territorial-annexation settlement to the Polish diplomats who sought to forestall the German invasion of Poland (1 September 1939).Germany invoked precedents — geopolitical, historical, cultural — to legalistically justify their pursuit of Lebensraum beyond the borders of Germany. Besides the historical examples of the British and French colonial empires, the Nazi goal of German territorial expansion was justified with the cultural example of Manifest Destiny (1845), the ideological justification for the colonisation, by the white people of the United States, of the “American frontier”, the inhabited North-American lands south of Canada and north of Mexico. Hitler said that the geographic size of the European nation-states was “absurdly small in comparison to their weight of colonies, foreign trade, etc.”, which he contrasted to “the American Union, which possesses, at its base, its own continent, and touches the rest of the Earth only with its summit”; and that colonisation of the continental U.S., by the Nordic peoples of Europe, would create a nation possessed of a great, internal market, of a great capacity for material reproduction, and a fertile land fit for great biological reproduction; hence was North America the ideal Lebensraum proposed by Nazism.