Science fiction and colonialism in the Weimar Republic
Turner, Alexander Ross
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Between 1918 and 1933, dozens of German Science Fiction writers in the Weimar Republic envisioned Germany’s return as a colonial power. To date, historians and scholars have viewed Weimar Science Fiction novelists strictly as contributors to a radical nationalist discourse that culminated in the rise of National Socialism, without investigating the connections between the novels and Germany’s colonial past. Through an examination of three Science Fiction novels published between 1919 and 1930, this essay argues that Weimar Science Fiction should be understood as a response to Germany’s loss of status as a colonizing nation and the sanctions of the Treaty of Versailles. Ultimately, reading the novels through the lens of colonialism shows that Weimar Science Fiction, which has often been viewed as simply an overture to the Third Reich, shared as much with Germany’s colonial past as it did with the nation’s future.