Ostforschung (German: Research of the East) in general describes since the 18th century any German research of areas to the East of Germany. Since the 1990s, the Ostforschung itself is a subject of historic research, while the names of institutes etc. were changed to more specific ones. For example, the journal „Zeitschrift für Ostforschung“ was renamed to „Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung“. Traditional Ostforschung has been discredited by modern German historians.[1]

Ostforschung was also the name of a multi-disciplined organization set up before World War II by Albert Brackmann and several other historians and anthropologists to co-ordinate German research on Eastern Europe, mainly the Second Polish Republic. The research conducted by this organization, as well as the Ahnenerbe, was instrumental in the planning of ethnic cleansing and genocide of local non-German populations (see Generalplan Ost) and settlement of German colonists in order to Germanize Central and Eastern Europe.


  • Burleigh, Michael. Germany Turns Eastwards: A Study of Ostforschung in the Third Reich.
  • Auf den Spuren der Ostforschung; Eine Sammlung von Beiträgen der Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur Bekämpfung der westdeutschen "Ostforschung" beim Institut für Geschichte der europäischen Volksdemokratien, Leipzig 1962

External linksEdit


  1. Karin Friedrich (2006), The Other Prussia: Royal Prussia, Poland and Liberty, 1569-1772. Cambridge University Press, p.13 [1]


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