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Definition: In September 1914, a few months after the start of World War One, German Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg created the ‘September Programme’ which, along with other documents, set out a grandiose plan for Europe. It would be enacted if Germany was totally successful in the war. A system called ‘Mitteleuropa’ would be created, an economic and customs union of central European lands that would be led by Germany (and to a lesser extent Austria-Hungary).

As well as these two, Mitteleuropa would include German domination of Luxembourg, Belgium and their Channel Ports, the Baltic and Poland from Russia, and possibly parts of France. There would be a sister body, Mittelafrika, in Africa, leading to German hegemony of both continents. It’s unclear exactly how far the German people supported this dream, or how seriously it was taken.

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