War Economy, Local Administration and Everyday Life under German Occupation in Bohemia and Moravia: New Approaches for Digital Humanities through Digitization, Databases and Digital Analysis
AbstractWorld War II led to extensive rationing, both of agricultural production and individual consumption, which significantly shaped the everyday life of the Czech population in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia from 1939 to 1945. This paper shows how new digital methods can be used to contribute to this history of National Socialism, in particular, in the areas of rule, administration, and everyday life in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Different types of sources from the local administration of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia are presented and analyzed using a specially developed software. This provides a structured insight into the everyday life of the local population. The software makes it possible to systematically and statistically evaluate previously unstructured source material. It can be shown that district offices staffed by Czech officials and institutions previously unknown to research, such as the Supreme Price Authority and the Bohemian-Moravian Market Association, were central to the enforcement of the wartime economy in the protectorate. The everyday contact of the local population with the administration was mostly within the framework of a “normative state” rather than a “prerogative state.” In contrast to traditional accounts, this analysis shows that the security organs, such as the Czech or German police and gendarmerie, or Gestapo were only involved to a minor and rather incidental extent. Furthermore, the paper shows that the local population possessed a wide range of agency, which it was able to use.
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