Umvolkung (German: [ˈʔʊmˌfɔlkʊŋ]) is a term in Nazi ideology used to describe a process of assimilation of members of the German people (the Volk) as a way for them to 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. Umvolkung in the first sense was seen as a negative process during the Third Reich, while the second process was seen as more desirable.
Origin and background
The term was invented by Albert Brackmann, a leader of the Ostforschung, a research organization that investigated the character and the attitudes of people (Verhalten) living in areas east of the German Reich, such as in Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia and Romania.
There was a plan to conquer almost all of Eastern Europe and process the Umvolkung so that all of the formerly-German people who had slowly assimilated and mixed with other ethnicities would again become more German.
Use of the word today
The term became a catchphrase and is often used to describe the German people's fear of Überfremdung by immigrants or their descendants, who have seen an increase in population since the foundation of the German Federal Republic.