Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1997 Erik Huneke. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Robert Weinberg


Huneke documents the experiences of foreign-born laborers in Nazi Germany during World War II. The foreign labor program created a paradox in Nazi ideology. On one hand, the regime was determined to create a “racially pure” society; however, in order to sustain the war effort, it was necessary to import workers from both Eastern and Western Europe. Using primary sources such as interviews, propaganda, and Nazi labor statistics, Huneke argues that the foreign labor program undermined the credibility of the Nazi regime’s ideological commitment to create a classless, ethnically homogenous society.