Haushofer, Karl

Haushofer, Karl kärl housˈhōfər [key], 1869–1946, German geographer, theorist of Nazi geopolitics, including the doctrines that the state is a living organism and that race and territory are linked. After a successful military career he became (1921) professor of geography at Munich. Among his students was Rudolf Hess, who introduced Haushofer to Hitler. Haushofer's influence on Hitler is evident in Mein Kampf, and he remained one of Hitler's closest advisers on foreign affairs. In 1946, Haushofer and his wife committed suicide by taking poison. Haushofer was influenced by Alfred Kjellen, the Swedish creator of the term geopolitics; Friedrich Ratzel and his organismic theories; and Sir Halford John Mackinder, who put forth the heartland concept. His writings include Geopolitik des Pazifischen Ozeans (1925), Bausteine zur Geopolitik (1928), and Weltpolitik von heute (1934). Haushofer also edited the periodical Zeitschrift für Geopolitik.

See A. Dorpalen, The World of General Haushofer (1942, repr. 1966).

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