ワイマール期ドイツのクリスタラー:中心地理論誕生前史 Christaller in Weimar Germany:A History before the Birth of Central Place Theory
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The purpose of this paper is to revisit Christaller's central place theory in terms of the society and thought of Weimar Germany. This attempt will aim to provide another text-reading of the canon <i>Central Places in Southern Germany</i>. To that end, literary research was undertaken mainly using a biographical paper on Christaller (Hottes, R., 1981), an autobiographical paper (Christaller, 1968), Christaller's text (1933), and his papers and newspaper articles published until 1934. The results are summarized as follows.<br>Christaller, a child of a lower middle-class family, who spent his childhood in Jugenheim near Darmstadt, joined the Wandervogel movement before or after entering Realgymnasium. Although the Wandervogel was originally a hiking club of Gymnasium students, it aimed to return to nature and to the Middle Ages, and possessed a strong dislike for cities and modern civilization. Within Wandervogel, some people started various life reform movements-educational reform, clothes reform, vegetarianism, nudism, the Garden City movement, and land and housing reform-to regenerate decayed industrialized urban societies. When he was enrolled in Heidelberg University, Christaller took part in the German Youth movement that was more ideological than the Wandervogel movement. Christaller's paper (1921) on the proletarian youth movement certainly shows his commitment to that movement.<br>His personal experience of serving in the First World War, together with the influence of his fellow soldiers-Carlo Mierendorff, Theodor Haubach and Carl Zuckmayer, made him become socialistic. Following his discharge, he intended to bring about land and housing reform in order to provide low-price housing for the poor in Berlin, based on his own experience as a laborer during the postwar period-for example, as a miner in the Ruhr region. When Christaller worked as a secretary in the homesteading office of the Union of the German Civil Service in Berlin, with the help of Adolf Damaschke, the leader of the League of German Land Reformers, he was eager to bring about land reform and to facilitate the provision of public housing. This is illustrated by a report calling for approval of the Land Reform Act (Lubahn and Christaller, 1922), based on a questionnaire survey inquiring about the realities of the homestead system movement. Notably in a Berlin construction firm, where he was employed after his retirement from the homesteading office, his pioneering work of house construction with the introduction of the prefabrication method would have left its mark on German architectural history like those of famous architects such as Ernst May and Bruno Taut, if the work succeeded. Unfortunately, he was frustrated in these attempts partway, changed his mind, and resumed his discontinued undergraduate studies at the University of Erlangen. In the end, he completed a seminal geography dissertation dealing with the theoretical location of urban settlements.<br>With his knowledge from his undergraduate major in economics, Christaller sought to build a theory on how to distribute goods and services efficiently and equitably, which would result in bringing about social justice when the theory is applied in practice. Following the publication of his dissertation in 1933, he wrote two controversial papers on the issue of reorganizing German administrative areas which complemented the dissertation. Since sufficient time was unavailable for the already middle-aged Christaller, in the dissertation he fully expounded his ideas which he seems to have been developing in his mind for some years. For Christaller, this might imply an attempt to recover his youth lost on account of the setbacks he suffered in being involved with the problems of land and housing reform.
- Japanese Journal of Human Geography
Japanese Journal of Human Geography 55(5), 407-427, 2003
The Human Geographical Society of Japan