- Volkstumkampf or racial war is the term used by Adolf Hitler and the hierarchy of the Schutzstaffel (SS) to describe Nazi Germany’s war against the Jews, Poles, and the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe in general. The war against Poland was not an ordinary war but a new kind of conflict, a Volkstumskampf, or ethnic struggle, that combined Nazi Germany’s ideological racial goals with the traditional military and political objectives of Lebensraum (living space), or the creation of a German empire in Eastern Europe. The brutality of the German occupation of Poland served as a laboratory for the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. Jack R. Fischel. 2014.