Walter Kuhn (27 September 1903 – 5 August 1983), was an Austrian-born German folklorist (German: Volkskundler), historian and Ostforscher. Prior to World War II, Kuhn belonged to the German minority in Poland. His academic work specialized in German minorities outside Germany, particularly in the area of Ukraine, especially Volhynia. In 1936, Kuhn moved to Germany to take a professorship at the University of Breslau. In 1940, he joined the Nazi party. During the war, he was involved as an advisor in various Nazi plans of ethnic cleansing aimed at Jews, Poles and their replacement by German settlers from further east. Kuhn continued his academic work post-war in West Germany, becoming a professor at the University of Hamburg and a recognized expert in the German Ostsiedlung. He retired in 1968, moving to Salzburg, where he died in 1983. Kuhn's post-war work was internationally recognized, but received some criticism from Polish scholars in particular.Although they were largely ignored or denied in the post-war period, Kuhn's close connections to National Socialism before and during World War II have come under increased scholarly scrutiny since the publication of Michael Burleigh's Germany Turns Eastward (1988). Kuhn's pre-war work has been linked to anti-Semitism, anti-Slavism, and the promotion of German superiority.
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