Architectural Competitions as an Avenue of Promotion in the “New German East”




This article deals with architectural competitions as an important element in how German architects pursued careers in occupied Poland. Reports on the competitions were the subject of numerous press articles — both in the daily press and specialist newspapers. Via these channels, information about the projects submitted reached a wide audience—the German settlers—and shaped their ideas about the hitherto alien Polish territories. My analysis is based on examples taken from various competitions in the Warthegau. I examine both the aesthetics of the submissions and how they were presented in the newspapers with textual commentaries. This reveals that press coverage gave the projects a significance similar to that of newly completed buildings and that, in a broad sense, the topic of architecture became an important tool of propaganda. This was also a way to convince the society of the successes achieved by the Germans in the occupied territories and to reinforce a sense of the stability of the new German authorities during the war.

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