10. Before and After the Big Ruptures. Travel Guides and Atlases in the First Half of the 20th Century

During the first half of the 20th century, the map of Central and Eastern Europe was so fundamentally reshaped that every cartographic undertaking needed several new and completely revised editions. Thus, only 20 years after The Touring Club Italiano (TCI) brought out the first edition of its Atlante Internazionale in 1927, they had to come up with a completely revised version. Putzger’s Historischer Schulatlas came out with a new edition in less than two years on average: “Infolge ständiger Revisionen (während d. NS-Zeit stark ideologisch gefärbt) überdauerte der Atlas das Kaiserreich, die Weimarer Republik und das Dritte Reich.” (Hantsche 2003, p. 24). In 1954, there are still ideological repercussions to be found: Putzger’s work contains a map of bomb-ravaged areas in Germany – displaced Germans (“Bombenschäden in Deutschland – Heimatvertriebene”), but no maps related to the Shoah. It is a good example of the politics inherent in the making of an atlas without text or comment. The Baedeker, on the other hand, contains detailed descriptions of cities and landscapes, as well as practical information about languages, currency, accommodation, food, and – most important – transport. The lines of transport, above all the modern train system, are the mainstay of geographic and cultural unity. As Karl Schlögel puts it: “Der Baedeker ist ein Dokument sui generis. Er bildet kulturelle Räume ab, und er wirkt selbst mit bei der Produktion und Konstitution von kulturellen Räumen” (Schlögel 2003, p. 372). [SR]