Umvolkung (German: [ˈʔʊmˌfɔlkʊŋ]) is a term in Nazi ideology used to describe a process of assimilation of members of the German people (the Volk) so that they would forget about their language and their origin. As a neologism, it echoes Umpolung "polarity inversion", leading to an interpretation akin to "ethnicity inversion".
The term is also used to describe the "re-Germanisation" of the German people, after new Lebensraum was conquered and the German people who already resided there would become more German again. Of course, Umvolkung in the first sense was seen as a negative process during the Third Reich, while the second process was seen as desirable.
Origin and background
The term was invented by Albert Brackmann, a leader of the Ostforschung, which was a research organization that investigated the character and the attitudes of people (the so-called "Verhalten") living in areas east of the German Reich, e.g. in Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia and Romania.
There was a plan to conquer almost whole Eastern Europe and process the "Umvolkung", so all the former German people, who had slowly assimilated and mixed with the other ethnicities, would become more German again.
Today it is used by far-right German organizations and by people who identify with the Nazi ideology and its aspects, such as certain fraternities, parties, and organizations as the NPD or the Jungen Nationalen. The term became a catchphrase and is often used to describe German fears of Überfremdung by immigrants or their descendants whose numbers have been constantly increasing since the foundation of the German Federal Republic.