Emil Meynen

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Emil Meynen (born October 22, 1902 in Cologne , †  August 23, 1994 in Bad Godesberg ) was a German geographer and one of the leading spatial planners in the Federal Republic of Germany. He was co-editor of the standard work manual of the natural spatial structure of Germany .


Meynen studied geography , ethnology and geology in Cologne , Leipzig , Innsbruck and Berlin and completed his habilitation in 1935 at the University of Cologne on "Germany and the German Empire", although according to Meynen the German Empire did not include the entire German nation . Because of his attitude towards South Tyrol (which he regarded as an integral part of Germany), the book was temporarily banned by the Nazi regime in 1937 for reasons of opportunity as part of the rapprochement with Italy .

In 1937 Meynen became a member of the NSDAP . He was also a member of the Nazi teachers' association , the National Socialist People's Welfare and the Association of the German East .

From 1934 to 1945 Meynen was head of the office of the Volksdeutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and helped to prepare for the annexation of Austria in 1938, for which he was awarded the " Medal in memory of October 1, 1938 ".

In 1938 he founded the Georg Leibbrandt Collection, which collected geographic and ethnographic information about the Soviet Union - Georg Leibbrandt was a participant in the Wannsee Conference . From 1941 Meynen was head of the Office for Regional Studies in the Reichsamt für Landesaufnahme , and from 1943 he received orders from the OKW'sForschungsstaffel zb V. ” , for which he contributed, among other things, to the literature and aerial photography evaluation of Eastern Europe and population and “races “Maps of the Soviet Union, which were used by the Wehrmacht and Einsatzgruppen .

In 1946 and 1947 he was imprisoned in Kransberg im Taunus and examined politically by the occupying powers. From 1947, because of his knowledge of the Soviet Union , he headed a "Department of Cultural Studies " in the American military government , into which he smuggled numerous former colleagues.

In 1950 he founded the German Association for Applied Geography (DVAG) with Walter Christaller and Paul Gauss .

In 1955 Meynen was appointed honorary professor at the University of Cologne and in 1956 director of the Institute for Regional Studies of the Federal Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Research . From 1959 to 1976 he served as chairman of the Standing Committee on Geographical Names . In 1969 he received the Federal Cross of Merit. On June 25, 1969, he was awarded the Alexander Von Humboldt Medal in gold .



  • Mechtild Rössler : Science and living space: Geographical East research in National Socialism . Berlin 1990.
  • Peter Jüngst u. a. (Ed.): Geography and National Socialism . (urbs et regio; 51). Kassel 1989
  • Guntram H. Herb: Under the Map of Germany . London 1997.
  • Michael Fahlbusch : Science in the Service of National Socialist Politics? Baden-Baden 1999
  • Michael Fahlbusch: "Where the German ... is, is Germany" , Bochum 1994.
  • Ute Wardenga, Norman Henniges, Heinz Peter Brogiato, Bruno Schelhaas: The Association of German Professional Geographers . A socio-historical study of the early phase of the DVAG . (= forum ifl 16), Leipzig 2011.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich . Who was what before and after 1945 . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 409.
  2. Contents, authors of the individual issues ( Memento of the original from June 19, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.fordham.edu