Formed as the Reichskommissariat Ostland, 1941. Originally, Alfred Rosenberg had favoured the name "Baltenland", however he was opposed by Otto Brautigam, who alleged that Rosenberg (himself a Baltic German), was influenced by his "Baltic friends" in forwarding this initiative, in which a "Baltic Reichskommissariat" with the addition of Belarus would be formed, "and with this the White Ruthenians would also be regarded as Balts". After Rosenberg became Reichskanzler in 1944, the name Baltenland was finally adopted.

Ostland/Baltenland originally comprised the former states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Soviet Belarus.

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