Mathilde Ludendorff [von Kemnitz], by Wikipedia

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Mathilde Ludendorff [von Kemnitz], by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:37 am

Mathilde Ludendorff [von Kemnitz]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/20/18




Mathilde Friederike Karoline Ludendorff (born Mathilde Spiess; 4 October 1877 in Wiesbaden – 24 June 1966 in Tutzing) was a German psychiatrist. Her third husband was General Erich Ludendorff. She was a leading figure in the Völkisch movement known for her esoteric and conspiratorial ideas. Together with Ludendorff, she founded the Bund für Gotteserkenntnis (in German) (translated: Society for the Knowledge of God), a small and rather obscure esoterical society of theists, which was banned from 1961 to 1977.[1]

Early life and education

Mathilde Spiess was born in Wiesbaden, Hesse in central Germany, the daughter of Bernhard Spiess, a Lutheran minister.[2] She attended a private and a public school for girls. Despite their modest means, the parents enabled their daughters to a practical professional education which was unusual at the time. From 1893 until 1895 she trained to be a school teacher for girls. From 1896 onward she taught initially at a boarding school for girls in Biebrich (Wiesbaden). After she had saved enough money, she attended evening school at the Karlsruher Mädchengymnasium from 1900 until 1901 for her Abitur.

During the winter semester of 1901/1902 she began to study medicine at the Albert Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg, where she heard August Weismann lecture (Vorlesungen über Deszendenztheorie) amongst others.[3]

In 1904, she married her lecturer, anatomist Gustav Adolf von Kemnitz, and moved to Munich in 1905, where she had a daughter, Ingeborg von Kemnitz (1906–1970) and the twins Asko (1909–1992) and Hanno (1909–1990). Two years later in 1911, she picked up her interrupted medical studies in Munich until 1912, followed by the Medizinalpraktikum (practical year) part-time in the gynecology department of the Universitätsklinik Bonn, followed by approbation in 1913. She also graduated in 1913 with a PhD degree in neurology with a thesis examining the hereditary nature of mental differences between genders.[3]


From 1913 to 1914 she volunteered with the psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin and for a short time had her own office. She developed tuberculosis of the lung in 1915. As she recovered in 1915, she took over as medical director of a "Offiziersgenesungsheim" (place of recuperation/rehabilitation for military officers) in Partenkirchen and Garmisch and opened her own neurology office. In parallel to her intensifying preoccupation with the philosophy of Kant und Schopenhauer in 1916 she founded a private spa in 1917. Her husband died in 1917 during an accident in the mountains.

In 1919, she married Edmund Georg Kleine, a retired major and divorced two years later. She made her living with an office in Munich.[3] Through Gottfried Feder, she learnt to know General Erich Ludendorff who had been the leader of German military activities during the first half of WWI. His wife underwent psychiatric treatment by Mathilde. In 1925, Erich divorced and married Mathilde in Tutzing.[3]

She became a strong critic of the religions existing in the Germany of her time and officially left Lutheranism in 1913.[4]

Philosophy and science

Her 1921 work Triumph des Unsterblichkeitwillens (Triumph of the Will for Immortality) examined the desire in humans for immortality and in doing so attempted a synthesis of philosophy and science which would underpin much of her later work. This was the case in her The Origin and Nature of the Soul, a book in three volumes: History of Creation (1923), which traces the soul from its beginnings and the emergence of the universe; Soul of Man (1925), which explains the soul as a will and a consciousness; and Self Creation (1927), which suggests ways of remodelling the soul.[5]

A later work, Der Seele Wirken und Gestalten (The Action of the Soul and its Effect), dealt with similar themes and was also split up into three books: The Soul of the Child and the Parent's Duty (1930), a study in pedagogy; The Soul of the Nation and the Molders of its Power (1933), which argued that the Volk was an indivisible unit and was shaped by its leaders so that bad leadership could kill off a group; The God-Story of the Nations, (1935) which claimed that culture was more important to any people than civilisation and that it was tied into their will to creation itself.[citation needed]

She also advocated women's rights and equality of the sexes, although these issues did not form a central part of the wider political platform with which she would become associated.[4]

Opposition to organized religion and the occult

In the course of her studies of psychiatry she developed a strong opposition to the occult. She attacked the work of Albert von Schrenck-Notzing and argued that occult practices had been responsible for the development of mental illness in a number of her patients.[6] She dealt with this topic at length in her work Insanity Induced Through Occult Teachings (1933).

She launched a number of attacks on astrology, arguing that it had always been a Jewish perversion of astronomy and that it was being used to enslave the Germans and dull their reasoning.[6] The title of her main work on the subject, Fraud of Astrology, indicated her position succinctly.

She also targeted anthroposophy, notably in her 1933 essay The Miracle of Marne. She and her husband argued that General Helmuth von Moltke the Younger had lost the First Battle of the Marne because he had come under the control of Lisbeth Seidler, a devotee of Rudolf Steiner. As a consequence of these writings the Ludendorffs added occultists to the Stab-in-the-back legend.[6]

She criticized the works of Jakob Wilhelm Hauer, an Indologist who supported völkisch ideas, but emphasised the Indo-European origins of the Germans. She criticized the lack of depth and tendency towards jargon in his seminal 1932 work Der Yoga als Heilweg and argued that the teachings of Krishna and Buddha had in fact been adopted by the writers of the Old and New Testaments, making Indian religion off-limits given her aversion to Christianity.[2] Hauer feared Ludendorff´s power in völkisch circles, given her work and her influential husband, would de-emphasise the Indian aspects of his ideas in subsequent writings.[7]

On a personal level, Ludendorff's hatred of the occult also stemmed from her support for the völkisch movement and her desire to construct a new, specifically-German religion. As such, she feared that if Germany was won away from Christianity it would descend into existing occult practices instead, which she felt were no more German in origin than the Christian faith.[8] She believed that the Dalai Lama was controlling Jews in their supposed attempts to destroy Germany through Marxism, Roman Catholicism, capitalism and Freemasonry.[9]

In spite of her personal hatred of occultism, her involvement in the völkisch movement and Germanic cultural identity meant that she co-operated with a number of devotees of occult practices. This was the case in the Edda Society of Rudolf John Gorsleben, of which she was a member and whose other members included Friedrich Schaefer, a follower of Karl Maria Wiligut, and Otto Sigfried Reuter, a strong believer in astrology, which she so roundly condemned.[10]

Politico-religious activity

As part of her dual assault on Christianity and the occult, Ludendorff drew on her interpretation of science to develop her own faith, Gotterkenntnis or 'God Knowledge', which emphasised notions of racial inheritance, culture, economy and justice.[2] The faith became the religion of the Tannenbergbund, founded by her and her husband in 1925, a conspiratorial organisation which briefly claimed as many as 100,000 followers before losing out to and prohibited by the NSDAP in 1933.[2]

Ludendorff had no truck with the ideas of Positive Christianity, feeling that Christian beliefs could never be reconciled to the Aryan ideal that she believed in. She stressed this by portraying Jesus as a Jewish preacher who had not died on the cross in her 1931 book, Erlösung von Jesu Christo (Redemption from Jesus Christ).[11] She considered the Bible a fraud and called for a pantheism rooted in blood and soil rhetoric, in which the soul of God permeated the land as a whole.[11]

She also published The Secret Power of the Jesuits and Its Decline with her husband,[citation needed] although this work revealed many of the prejudices still latent in the old general. Whilst Mathilde Ludendorff despised Christianity, Erich, despite his conversion to Gotterkenntnis, retained a strong sense of German Protestantism, arguing that the Roman Catholic Church was a much stronger threat to the couple's völkisch ideals; even though avowedly non-Christian, he was seen as a Protestant crusader by both the arch-conservatives of the Protestant League and their opponents in organised Catholicism.[12]

Post-war activity, 1945-1965

Ludendorff was largely sidelined after her husband's 1937 death, as Adolf Hitler had long since broken from the general. She continued to express anti-Semitic ideas after the war and was found guilty during the Denazification process, although her judgement was lessened in 1951.[3] She founded a Bund für Gotterkenntnis which could be traced back to 1951 and had as many as 12,000 members. The Bavarian Administrative Court banned it in 1961 for being unconstitutional.[4] In 1955 she also founded a Schule für Gotterkenntnis to propagate her beliefs.[3] She died in 1966, five years after the judgement.

In 1977, the ban for the Bund für Gotterkenntnis was lifted because of procedural errors, though it remains under observation of several constitutional protection agencies. As of 2010 the Bund für Gotterkenntnis survived in a reduced form.[13]


• Korotin, Ilse: Die politische Radikalisierung der Geschlechterdifferenz im Kontext von „Konservativer Revolution“ und Nationalsozialismus. Mathilde Ludendorff und der „Völkische Feminismus“ In: Eickhoff, Volker; Korotin, Ilse (Hg.): Sehnsucht nach Schicksal und Tiefe. Der Geist der Konservativen Revolution Picus, Wien 1997, S. 105–127
• Meyer, Ursula: Mathilde Ludendorff. Das nationalistische Menschenbild In: dies.: Die Welt der Philosophin 4. Teilband: Moderne Zeiten: Das 20. Jahrhundert ein-FACH-verlag, Aachen 1998, S. 87–104
• Rudolf Radler (1987), "Ludendorff, Mathilde, geborene Spieß", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 15, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 290–292; (full text online)
• Schnoor, Frank: Mathilde Ludendorff und das Christentum. Eine radikale völkische Position in der Zeit der Weimarer Republik und des NS-Staates. Deutsche Hochschulschriften, Kiel 1998 ISBN 3-8267-1192-0
• Spilker, Annika: Rechtsextremes Engagement und völkisch-antisemitische Politikvorstellungen um Mathilde Ludendorff (1877–1966) und die Frauengruppen im Tannenbergbund. In: Daniel Schmidt, Michael Sturm, Massimiliano Livi (Hrsg.): Wegbereiter des Nationalsozialismus. Personen, Organisationen und Netzwerke der extremen Rechten zwischen 1918 und 1933 (= Schriftenreihe des Instituts für Stadtgeschichte. Bd. 19). Klartext, Essen 2015, ISBN 978-3-8375-1303-5, S. 221 ff.


1. "The God-cognition by Mathilde Ludendorff (1877–1966)". Bund für Gotterkenntnis Ludendorff e.V. Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
2. Karla Poewe, New religions and the Nazis, London: Routledge, 2006, ISBN 0-415-29025-2, p. 82.
3. Mathilde Ludendorff Schriftstellerin
4. C.P. Blamires, World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 2006, ISBN 1-57607-940-6, p. 393.
5.^ Mathilde Ludendorff (translated by W. Grossinger), The Origin and Nature of the Soul (3 volumes), Verlag Hohe Warte, 1954, repr. 1977, OCLC 164640064.
6. Corinna Treitel, A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern, Johns Hopkins, 2004, ISBN 0-8018-7812-8, p. 219.
7. Poewe, pp. 83–84.
8. Treitel, p. 220.
9. Richard Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919–1945, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-82371-4, p. 88.
10. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism, London: I.B. Tauris2005, ISBN Steigmann-Gall, p. 89.
12. Steigmann-Gall, pp. 89–90.
13. "Rechtsextremismus-Bund für Gotterkenntnis (Ludendorff) e.V." Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education). January 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2011.

External links

• Newspaper clippings about Mathilde Ludendorff in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:40 am

League for German Gotterkenntnis
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/29/18



The Bund for (German) Gotterkenntnis (after Erich Ludendorff and his wife Mathilde also Ludendorffer or Ludendorffianer ) is a religious- volkisch world view community based in Tutzing , which is classified by the constitutional protection authorities as extreme right and anti-Semitic. [1] [2] [3] The Confederation for Gotterkenntnis has the legal form of a registered association . The number of members is 12,000, but authorities estimate only about 240 members. [4]


The club is assigned to the neo-Germanic scene. At the same time, the cultic element in the Covenant for the Knowledge of God is completely eliminated; Religion is reduced to folklore as ultimate reality. It is said that the laws of heredity also apply to ethical and mental qualities, so that also the religiosity is inherited. Due to the "ethnic background", the federal in the standard work The volkisch religious movement (2012) is mentioned in a separate chapter, since he according to the authors "all features an esoteric sect wore". [6]

The followers reject a personalized God and seek the knowledge of God in the surrounding universe, which the community believes is "soul-filled with divine beings." According to self-assessment, this idea is pantheistic ; the federation knows no cult and propagates the agreement of the natural sciences with the philosophy of religion Mathilde Ludendorffs . [7]

The separation of ethnicities and cultures and the avoidance of racial mixtures are important because each people represents particular aspects of the divine and these were lost by a mixture of ethnic groups and cultures. The "essence of all appearances" is considered God:

"We call the essence of all appearances of the universe 'God' or even the 'Divine' with special emphasis that this word has for us not the least to do with a divine conception of the different religions." [8]

The Weltanschauung der Gotterkenntnis is permeated by open racism and anti-Semitism . The view of the different "God-knowledge" depending on the people or "race" and the demand derived from this, "to avoid racial mixing", is an example of this. In addition, the thought of the Ludendorffer is characterized by conspiracy theories , according to which alleged "supra-state powers" such as Jews , Freemasons , Jesuits and the Roman Catholic Church sought world domination. [1] Above all, "the Jews" are anxious, in particular "to induce the Germans a kind of madness", with the help of Christianity, Freemasonry and socialism. Under their influence, the Germans would be attracted to other races, so that their "racial virtues with the inherited gods life" were lost and the "blood mixture" would eventually lead to the German "national death".


The roots of the federal government lie in the interwar period . Especially during the time of National Socialism , many people in Germany left the church . The intellectual center of this church exit movement included the church-critical writings of Nazi Party ideologist Alfred Rosenberg . [10] The term " godly " made it possible for all those who had left the church to choose an official name outside the church. [11]

After a conversation between Adolf Hitler and Erich Ludendorff, who had been linked to each other since the joint coup attempt in 1923 , the entry "Bund für Deutsche Gotterkenntnis (Ludendorff)" was made possible in March 1937. The two forerunners Tannenbergbund and German people were banned on 22 September 1933, after Ludendorff and Hitler were divided since 1929.

The house Ludendorff had with the magazine Am Heiligen Quell , which was now switched to half-monthly appearance, continue on a medium that reached a circulation of 86,000 copies in 1937. In analogy to the German faith movement, the House Ludendorff persistently refused to join, they called themselves faith movement of German-God-believers . In 1937, a few months before his death, Hitler granted Ludendorff permission to re-found a national religious organization, which in 1937 received the name Bund für Deutsche Gotterkenntnis and was registered on 19 June 1937 in the register of associations. All restrictions on her ideological purpose were lifted. The Ludendorff movement is one of the few foothills of the nationalist movement that was tolerated under Nazi rule. [13]

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, Mathilde sent Ludendorff circular letters to the remaining followers and addressed them as "members of our religious association". Protected by the religious freedom, which had been set in the Potsdam Agreement , Mathilde Ludendorff 1947 received the approval of the American military government to re-establish the federal government on a purely "religious basis". However, the new establishment was delayed by a Spruchkammerverfahren , [15] according to which Mathilde Ludendorff was classified on 5 January 1950 as the main culprit. [16]

In 1951 the League for Gotterkenntnis (L) in Berlin was officially re-established and registered in the register of associations of the district court of Munich . The first chairman was the lawyer Wilhelm Prothmann. In 1961, he was banned by the Interior Ministers of the countries as an anti- constitutional organization and "germinal area anti-Semitic group mentality" (Verfassungsschutzbericht 1963). In 1976, the ban was lifted due to procedural errors; however, the Confederation for the Study of God is still being monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Since 1952, a certificate of resignation has been required for a new application for the Confederation for the Study of God. [18] The ideology formulated before 1933 will be continued unchanged until today:

"We are accustomed to seeing in the family the sacred source of power of a root-solid, race-conscious people, and to know how much they can secure vitality even for the peoples uprooted in their species-consciousness." [19]

"Above all, among the deadly dangers of the peoples I have called the racial mixture and have shown in detail how much the individual man is thereby deprived of the faithful consultation of all his faculties of consciousness by the racial heritage in the subconscious. The racial hybrid is not as instinctive as the rassereine person who is very often in life under the advice of the people's soul. " [20]

Facilities and Events

The Confederation for the Study of God has an independent entrepreneurial branch, Verlag Hohe Warte , which publishes the Weltanschauung of Ludendorffer in a journalistic way. [21]

There are also several designated as "ancestral sites" private cemeteries, the use of which is reserved for the members of the Federation or was. They are owned by groups affiliated to the League of God-Knowing . For example, the members of the association "Ahnenstätte Hilligenloh e. V. "according to its statute for a long time" the god-knowing Mathilde Ludendorffs "connected. In 2015 the statutes were changed. Although there are still members of the Confederation in the association for knowledge of God , but they could no longer influence the fortunes of the Ancestral Hilligenloh, so the Ahnenstätten chairman Ekkehard Mannigel. [22] There is also a place of ancestry in Petershagen-Seelenfeld. It was founded by the Tannenbergbund. Recently, Ludendorffer met there in June 2017. [23]

In 1999, the Bund for Gotterkenntnis in Kirchmöser acquired a farm in need of renovation. It has a large hall, a cafeteria and numerous guest rooms created. [24]

The ideological ideas of Ludendorffer are conveyed at regular conferences and seminars. In addition, the Confederation of God Knowing has its own festival culture. According to constitutional protection Schleswig-Holstein, the federal government has a focus, especially in northern Germany. In 1994, the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of the Interior estimated the activities as follows: "These (events) - beyond the small and consistently outdated circles of the BfG members - also attract members of other far-right organizations in not inconsiderable numbers." [25] In the Lower Saxony Village Dorfmark in the district Heidekreis (Lüneburger Heide) organized the federal government since 1971, so even at times of prohibition, every spring at Easter a meeting. Again and again, prominent neo-Nazis are guests of the Ludendorffer, such as Steffen Hupka (2006 and 2012), members of the now outlawed homely German youth (2007), Hans-Joachim Herrmann (2010), the multiple-sentenced Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck-Wetzel (2013) [ 26] and the "Volkslehrer" Nikolai Nerling (2018), who is assigned to the Reich citizenship movement .

The "Arbeitskreis für Lebenskunde" (AfL), which is based on the philosophy of Mathilde Ludendorff, is responsible for youth events. Regular camps, hikes and "philosophical" training are organized. Children and adolescents are also given "life science" lessons. [27]


"At the Holy Source of German Power" was a magazine of the Ludendorffs-Volkswarte-Verlag in Munich. She appeared bi-monthly to weekly intervals. Initially a purely philosophical newspaper, she treated after the ban on Ludendorff's Volkswarte 1933 also political issues. It had a circulation of 100,000 in 1937, but had to cease its publication in 1939 due to a lack of state paper allocation. [28] After the war appeared from 1948 as successor magazine Der Quell , which was replaced in 1961 after a ban by the magazine "Man and Measure". "Mensch und Maß" is published to this day by Verlag Hohe Warte as a philosophical-political bi-monthly journal of the "Association for the Study of God". In a 2002 edition of the book "Hohe Warte" published by the chronicler of the Ludendorff movement Hans Kopp, it is said in relation to the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust: "Even those who doubted the unsustainable number of 6 million, was considered anti-Semitic branded, although one would expect that an anti-Semite would rather have seen more deaths. " [29]

The anti-Semitic and historically revisionist "Verlag für Ganzheitliche Forschung" with changing publishing locations in the district of Nordfriesland ( Wobbenbüll , Struckum , Viöl ) has been closely associated with the "Bund für Gotterkenntnis" since the 1970s. [30] The publishing house is led by Ludendorff supporter Roland Bohlinger. The publisher is known for reprints and facsimiles of folk and Nazi works from the 1920s and 1930s, such as The Secrets of the Elders of Zion in 2005. In addition, publications by authors such as Wilhelm Kammeier and Helmut Schröcke are published , Bohlinger published under changing publisher names. Thus, for example, a publishing house called "Archiv-Edition" or a "Faksimile-Verlag Bremen" instead of the "Verlag für Ganzheitliche Forschung" were named on various binders or title pages.


Primary Literature

• Mathilde Ludendorff: From the knowledge of God my works . Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1935.
• Mathilde Ludendorff: The Folk Soul Work in the human soul and its spillage by stranger honor and racial mixture . In: Gunther Duda u. a .: Races and peoples in the light of the sciences and the knowledge of God M. Ludendorff . Verlag Hohe Warte, Pähl 1987 (= Tutzinger writings), ISBN 3-88202-333-3 , pp. 78-88. (Aufsatzsammlung)
• Erich Weferling: Brief Introduction to the Knowledge of God . Verlag Hohe Warte, Pahl 1952.

Secondary literature

• Annika Spilker: Gender, Religion and Nationalistic Nationalism. The physician and anti-Semite Mathilde von Kemnitz-Ludendorff (1877-1966) . Campus Verlag 2013, ISBN 978-3-593-39987-4 (Zugl Diss., University of Kassel 2012)
• Bettina Amm: The Ludendorff Movement. Between Nationalist Kampfbund and volkisch Weltanschauungssekte , Diss., Hamburg 2006, ISBN 3-932681-47-9
• Frank Schnoor: Mathilde Ludendorff and Christianity. A radical nationalist position during the period of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi state . Publisher Hansel-Hohenhausen, Egelsbach u. a. 2001 (= German university publications , 1192), ISBN 3-8267-1192-0 . Dissertation University Kiel 1998)
• Gideon Thalmann, Felix Reiter: In the fight against "supranational powers". The Volkish Ludendorff Movement - from "Youth Education " to "Ancestral Care" , Educational Association Work and Life, Braunschweig 2011, ISBN 978-3-932082-46-7 .

Web links

• Covenant for knowledge of God (Ludendorff)
• "Egg, egg, egg, the Easter Eases" , Article on the Covenant for the Knowledge of God from Jungle World No. 14, April 4, 2007
• "Blood Mixing Causes Folk Death" , Report on the League of God Knowledge on , 5 April 2010
• Felix Reiter and Gideon Thalmann "The Ludendorff Movement" (PDF; 125 kB), Lecture on the League of God Knowledge in the context of the annual conference 2012 "Racism in the new (?) Garb - Brown esotericism, conspiracy theories, blood, soil and race religions" (PDF, 3.0 MB) of the parents' initiative to help against mental dependency and religious extremism eV and the Bavarian Working Group of Democratic Circles (ADK) eV

Individual proofs

1. Hochspringen nach:a b Conservation Report Schleswig-Holstein 2000
2. constitution protection Brandenburg: anti-Semitic Weltanschauungsverein settles in Brandenburg , 2008
3. taz from 12 June 2007: My German summer
4. Federal Agency for Civic Education: Glossary right-wing extremism: League of God knowledge ( Memento of 21 June 2012 in the Internet Archive )
5. Harald Baer u. a. Encyclopedia of neureligious groups, scenes and worldviews . Freiburg u. a., ISBN 3-451-28256-9 , p. 878.
6. Uwe Puschner, Clemens Vollnhals, The volkisch-religious movement in National Socialism: A relationship and conflict history . Göttingen 2012, p. 160.
7. Stefanie von Schnurbein: Göttertrost in Wendezeiten . Munich 1993, p. 48
8. Mathilde Ludendorff: From the God-knowledge of my works . P. 24.
9. Gabriele Nandlinger, Holger Kulick: Confederation of God Knowing (BfG). Prevention Network Against Right-Wing Extremism, April 2013, archived from the original on June 24, 2014 ; accessed on September 30, 2016 .
10. Harald Iber: Christian faith or racial myth , 1987.
11. Margaret Dierks: Jakob Wilhelm Hauer . Heidelberg 1986; P. 270
12. Erich and Mathilde Ludendorff: The powerful religiosity of the German people before 1945 . Of 2004.
13. Stefan Breuer: The Völkisch in Germany. Empire and Weimar Republic . Darmstadt 2008, p. 258f. ISBN 978-3-534-21354-2 .
14. Court Chamber Files, Act III, Sheet 38-42, receipt of 16 January 1947
15. Documentation on the trial chamber proceedings against Dr. med. Mathilde Ludendorff from 23.11.-26.12.1949 , several volumes, edited by Franz Karg von Bebenburg, Pähl 1950
16. ... dorff.html
17. Statute dated 16 December 1952, certified by notary Victor Nowak, Berlin
18. The Quell, 9 October 1952
19. Mathilde Ludendorff in man and measure No. 18, 9/1989, p. 863, column 1.
20. Mathilde Ludendorff: Is God's knowledge possible . 1975, p. 16.
21. See next section, Media
22. Karsten Krogmann: Where old Nazis are allowed to rest peacefully . In: Northwest Newspaper (NWZ) of September 27, 2014
23. Julian Feldmann: burial place for Völkische | Look to the right. 16 June 2017, accessed on 28 June 2017 .
24. A racist and historical revisionist workshop weekend (sic!) In the Hof Märkische Heide in Kirchmöser
25. The Right Edge No. 37, Nov./Dec. 1995, p. 17.
26. Website Norddeutscher Rundfunk: Report of the NDR on the conference 2013 ( Memento of April 1, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) ,
27. Arbeitskreis für Lebenskunde: reference to the philosophy of Mathilde Ludendorff .
28. The mirror No. 26/1949; P. 6 ("On the Holy Source of German Power")
29. Felix Reiter and Gideon Thalmann: The Ludendorff movement , brochure of the parents' initiative to help against mental dependence and religious extremism eV 2012, p. 4
30. Uwe Backes, Patrick Moreau, The extreme rights in Germany: history, current dangers, causes, countermeasures , Akademischer Verlag Munich 1993, p. 124
31. Uwe Backes, right-wing extremist ideologies in history and present , Böhlau Verlag 2003, p. 220
32. Constitutional Protection Report of Schleswig-Holstein 2003, p. 38
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:49 am

Emil Kraepelin
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/29/18



Emil Kraepelin
Emil Kraepelin in his later years
Born 15 February 1856
Neustrelitz, German Confederation
Died 7 October 1926 (aged 70)
Munich, Germany
Nationality German
Alma mater Leipzig University
University of Würzburg
(MBBS, 1878)
University of Munich
(Dr. hab. med., 1882)
Known for Classification of mental disorders,
Kraepelinian dichotomy
Spouse(s) Ina Marie Marie Wilhelmine Schwabe[1]
Children 2 sons, 6 daughters[1]
Scientific career
Fields Psychiatry
Institutions University of Dorpat
University of Heidelberg
University of Munich
Thesis The Place of Psychology in Psychiatry (1882)
Influences Wilhelm Wundt
Bernhard von Gudden
Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum
Influenced Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems

Emil Kraepelin (/ˈkrɛpəlɪn/; German: [ˈeːmiːl ˈkʀɛːpəliːn]; 15 February 1856 – 7 October 1926) was a German psychiatrist. H. J. Eysenck's Encyclopedia of Psychology identifies him as the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology and psychiatric genetics.

Kraepelin believed the chief origin of psychiatric disease to be biological and genetic malfunction. His theories dominated psychiatry at the start of the 20th century and, despite the later psychodynamic influence of Sigmund Freud and his disciples, enjoyed a revival at century's end. While he proclaimed his own high clinical standards of gathering information "by means of expert analysis of individual cases", he also drew on reported observations of officials not trained in psychiatry. His textbooks do not contain detailed case histories of individuals but mosaic-like compilations of typical statements and behaviors from patients with a specific diagnosis. He has been described as "a scientific manager" and "a political operator", who developed "a large-scale, clinically oriented, epidemiological research programme".[2][3]

Family and early life

Kraepelin, whose father, Karl Wilhelm, was a former opera singer, music teacher, and later successful story teller,[4] was born in 1856 in Neustrelitz, in the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in Germany. He was first introduced to biology by his brother Karl, 10 years older and, later, the director of the Zoological Museum of Hamburg.[5]

Education and career

Kraepelin began his medical studies in 1874 at the University of Leipzig and completed them at the University of Würzburg (1877–78).[1] At Leipzig, he studied neuropathology under Paul Flechsig and experimental psychology with Wilhelm Wundt. Kraepelin would be a disciple of Wundt and had a lifelong interest in experimental psychology based on his theories. While there, Kraepelin wrote a prize-winning essay, "The Influence of Acute Illness in the Causation of Mental Disorders".[6] At Würzburg he completed his Rigorosum (roughly equivalent to an MBBS viva-voce examination) in March 1878, his Staatsexamen (licensing examination) in July 1878, and his Approbation (his license to practice medicine; roughly equivalent to an MBBS) on 9 August 1878.[1] From August 1878 to 1882,[1] he worked with Bernhard von Gudden at the University of Munich. Returning to the University of Leipzig in February 1882,[1] he worked in Wilhelm Heinrich Erb's neurology clinic and in Wundt's psychopharmacology laboratory.[6] He completed his habilitation thesis at Leipzig;[1] it was entitled "The Place of Psychology in Psychiatry".[6] On 3 December 1883 he completed his umhabilitation ("rehabilitation" = habilitation recognition procedure) at Munich.[1]

Kraepelin's major work, Compendium der Psychiatrie: Zum Gebrauche für Studirende und Aertze (Compendium of Psychiatry: For the Use of Students and Physicians), was first published in 1883 and was expanded in subsequent multivolume editions to Ein Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie (A Textbook: Foundations of Psychiatry and Neuroscience). In it, he argued that psychiatry was a branch of medical science and should be investigated by observation and experimentation like the other natural sciences. He called for research into the physical causes of mental illness, and started to establish the foundations of the modern classification system for mental disorders. Kraepelin proposed that by studying case histories and identifying specific disorders, the progression of mental illness could be predicted, after taking into account individual differences in personality and patient age at the onset of disease.[6]

In 1884 he became senior physician in the Prussian provincial town of Leubus, Silesia Province, and the following year he was appointed director of the Treatment and Nursing Institute in Dresden. On 1 July 1886,[1] at the age of 30, Kraepelin was named Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Dorpat (today the University of Tartu) in what is today Estonia (see Burgmair et al., vol. IV). Four years later, on 5 December 1890,[1] he became department head at the University of Heidelberg, where he remained until 1904.[6] While at Dorpat he became the director of the 80-bed University Clinic. There he began to study and record many clinical histories in detail and "was led to consider the importance of the course of the illness with regard to the classification of mental disorders".

In 1903 Kraepelin moved to Munich to become Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Munich.

He was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1908.

In 1912 at the request of the DVP (Deutscher Verein für Psychiatrie) (German Association for Psychiatry)[7] - of which he was the head from 1906-1920 - he began plans to establish a centre for research. Following a large donation from the Jewish German-American banker James Loeb, who had at one time been a patient, and promises of support from "patrons of science", the German Institute for Psychiatric Research was founded in 1917 in Munich.[8][9] Initially housed in existing hospital buildings, it was maintained by further donations from Loeb and his relatives. In 1924 it came under the auspices of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science. The German American Rockefeller family's Rockefeller Foundation made a large donation enabling the development of a new dedicated building for the institute, along Kraepelin's guidelines, which was officially opened in 1928.[6]

Kraepelin spoke out against the barbarous treatment that was prevalent in the psychiatric asylums of the time, and crusaded against alcohol, capital punishment and the imprisonment rather than treatment of the insane. He rejected psychoanalytical theories that posited innate or early sexuality as the cause of mental illness, and he rejected philosophical speculation as unscientific. He focused on collecting clinical data and was particularly interested in neuropathology (e.g., diseased tissue).[6]

In the later period of his career, as a convinced champion of social Darwinism, he actively promoted a policy and research agenda in racial hygiene and eugenics.[10]

Kraepelin retired from teaching at the age of 66, spending his remaining years establishing the Institute. The ninth and final edition of his Textbook was published in 1927, shortly after his death. It comprised four volumes and was ten times larger than the first edition of 1883.[6]

In the last years of his life, Kraepelin was preoccupied with Buddhist teachings and was planning to visit Buddhist shrines at the time of his death, according to his daughter, Antonie Schmidt-Kraepelin.[11]

Grave in Heidelberg (2008)

Theories and classification schemes

Kraepelin announced that he had found a new way of looking at mental illness, referring to the traditional view as "symptomatic" and to his view as "clinical". This turned out to be his paradigm-setting synthesis of the hundreds of mental disorders classified by the 19th century, grouping diseases together based on classification of syndrome—common patterns of symptoms over time—rather than by simple similarity of major symptoms in the manner of his predecessors. Kraepelin described his work in the 5th edition of his textbook as a "decisive step from a symptomatic to a clinical view of insanity. . . . The importance of external clinical signs has . . . been subordinated to consideration of the conditions of origin, the course, and the terminus which result from individual disorders. Thus, all purely symptomatic categories have disappeared from the nosology".[12]

Psychosis and mood

Kraepelin is specifically credited with the classification of what was previously considered to be a unitary concept of psychosis, into two distinct forms (known as the Kraepelinian dichotomy):

• manic depression (now seen as comprising a range of mood disorders such as recurrent major depression and bipolar disorder), and
• dementia praecox.

Drawing on his long-term research, and using the criteria of course, outcome and prognosis, he developed the concept of dementia praecox, which he defined as the "sub-acute development of a peculiar simple condition of mental weakness occurring at a youthful age". When he first introduced this concept as a diagnostic entity in the fourth German edition of his Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie in 1893, it was placed among the degenerative disorders alongside, but separate from, catatonia and dementia paranoides. At that time, the concept corresponded by and large with Ewald Hecker's hebephrenia. In the sixth edition of the Lehrbuch in 1899 all three of these clinical types are treated as different expressions of one disease, dementia praecox.[13]

One of the cardinal principles of his method was the recognition that any given symptom may appear in virtually any one of these disorders; e.g., there is almost no single symptom occurring in dementia praecox which cannot sometimes be found in manic depression. What distinguishes each disease symptomatically (as opposed to the underlying pathology) is not any particular (pathognomonic) symptom or symptoms, but a specific pattern of symptoms. In the absence of a direct physiological or genetic test or marker for each disease, it is only possible to distinguish them by their specific pattern of symptoms. Thus, Kraepelin's system is a method for pattern recognition, not grouping by common symptoms.

Kraepelin also demonstrated specific patterns in the genetics of these disorders and specific and characteristic patterns in their course and outcome.[14] Generally speaking, there tend to be more schizophrenics among the relatives of schizophrenic patients than in the general population, while manic depression is more frequent in the relatives of manic depressives. Though, of course, this does not demonstrate genetic linkage, as this might be a socio-environmental factor as well.

He also reported a pattern to the course and outcome of these conditions. Kraepelin believed that schizophrenia had a deteriorating course in which mental function continuously (although perhaps erratically) declines, while manic-depressive patients experienced a course of illness which was intermittent, where patients were relatively symptom-free during the intervals which separate acute episodes. This led Kraepelin to name what we now know as schizophrenia, dementia praecox (the dementia part signifying the irreversible mental decline). It later became clear that dementia praecox did not necessarily lead to mental decline and was thus renamed schizophrenia by Eugen Bleuler to correct Kraepelin's misnomer.

In addition, as Kraepelin accepted in 1920, "It is becoming increasingly obvious that we cannot satisfactorily distinguish these two diseases"; however, he maintained that "On the one hand we find those patients with irreversible dementia and severe cortical lesions. On the other are those patients whose personality remains intact".[15] Nevertheless, overlap between the diagnoses and neurological abnormalities (when found) have continued, and in fact a diagnostic category of schizoaffective disorder would be brought in to cover the intermediate cases.

Kraepelin devoted very few pages to his speculations about the etiology of his two major insanities, dementia praecox and manic-depressive insanity. However, from 1896 to his death in 1926 he held to the speculation that these insanities (particularly dementia praecox) would one day probably be found to be caused by a gradual systemic or "whole body" disease process, probably metabolic, which affected many of the organs and nerves in the body but affected the brain in a final, decisive cascade.[16]

Psychopathic personalities

In the first through sixth edition of Kraepelin's influential psychiatry textbook, there was a section on moral insanity, which meant then a disorder of the emotions or moral sense without apparent delusions or hallucinations, and which Kraepelin defined as "lack or weakness of those sentiments which counter the ruthless satisfaction of egotism". He attributed this mainly to degeneration. This has been described as a psychiatric redefinition of Cesare Lombroso's theories of the "born criminal", conceptualised as a "moral defect", though Kraepelin stressed it was not yet possible to recognise them by physical characteristics.[17]

In fact from 1904 Kraepelin changed the section heading to "The born criminal", moving it from under "Congenital feeble-mindedness" to a new chapter on "Psychopathic personalities". They were treated under a theory of degeneration. Four types were distinguished: born criminals (inborn delinquents), pathological liars, querulous persons, and Triebmenschen (persons driven by a basic compulsion, including vagabonds, spendthrifts, and dipsomaniacs). The concept of "psychopathic inferiorities" had been recently popularised in Germany by Julius Ludwig August Koch, who proposed congenital and acquired types. Kraepelin had no evidence or explanation suggesting a congenital cause, and his assumption therefore appears to have been simple "biologism". Others, such as Gustav Aschaffenburg, argued for a varying combination of causes. Kraepelin's assumption of a moral defect rather than a positive drive towards crime has also been questioned, as it implies that the moral sense is somehow inborn and unvarying, yet it was known to vary by time and place, and Kraepelin never considered that the moral sense might just be different. Kurt Schneider criticized Kraepelin's nosology for appearing to be a list of behaviors that he considered undesirable, rather than medical conditions, though Schneider's alternative version has also been criticised on the same basis. Nevertheless, many essentials of these diagnostic systems were introduced into the diagnostic systems, and remarkable similarities remain in the DSM-IV and ICD-10.[17] The issues would today mainly be considered under the category of personality disorders, or in terms of Kraepelin's focus on psychopathy.

Kraepelin had referred to psychopathic conditions (or "states") in his 1896 edition, including compulsive insanity, impulsive insanity, homosexuality, and mood disturbances. From 1904, however, he instead termed those "original disease conditions, and introduced the new alternative category of psychopathic personalities. In the eighth edition from 1909 that category would include, in addition to a separate "dissocial" type, the excitable, the unstable, the Triebmenschen driven persons, eccentrics, the liars and swindlers, and the quarrelsome. It has been described as remarkable that Kraepelin now considered mood disturbances to be not part of the same category, but only attenuated (more mild) phases of manic depressive illness; this corresponds to current classification schemes.[18]

Alzheimer's disease

Kraepelin postulated that there is a specific brain or other biological pathology underlying each of the major psychiatric disorders. As a colleague of Alois Alzheimer, he was a co-discoverer of Alzheimer's disease, and his laboratory discovered its pathological basis. Kraepelin was confident that it would someday be possible to identify the pathological basis of each of the major psychiatric disorders.


Upon moving to become Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Munich in 1903, Kraepelin increasingly wrote on social policy issues. He was a strong and influential proponent of eugenics and racial hygiene. His publications included a focus on alcoholism, crime, degeneration and hysteria.[2] Kraepelin was convinced that such institutions as the education system and the welfare state, because of their trend to break the processes of natural selection, undermined the Germans’ biological "struggle for survival".[10] He was concerned to preserve and enhance the German people, the Volk, in the sense of nation or race. He appears to have held Lamarckian concepts of evolution, such that cultural deterioration could be inherited. He was a strong ally and promoter of the work of fellow psychiatrist (and pupil and later successor as director of the clinic) Ernst Rüdin to clarify the mechanisms of genetic inheritance as to make a so-called "empirical genetic prognosis".[2]

Martin Brune has pointed out that Kraepelin and Rüdin also appear to have been ardent advocates of a self-domestication theory, a version of social Darwinism which held that modern culture was not allowing people to be weeded out, resulting in more mental disorder and deterioration of the gene pool. Kraepelin saw a number of "symptoms" of this, such as "weakening of viability and resistance, decreasing fertility, proletarianisation, and moral damage due to "penning up people" [Zusammenpferchung]. He also wrote that "the number of idiots, epileptics, psychopaths, criminals, prostitutes, and tramps who descend from alcoholic and syphilitic parents, and who transfer their inferiority to their offspring, is incalculable". He felt that "the well-known example of the Jews, with their strong disposition towards nervous and mental disorders, teaches us that their extraordinarily advanced domestication may eventually imprint clear marks on the race". Brune states that Kraepelin's nosological system was "to a great deal, built on the degeneration paradigm".[19]


Kraepelin's great contribution in classifying schizophrenia and manic depression remains relatively unknown to the general public, and his work, which had neither the literary quality nor paradigmatic power of Freud's, is little read outside scholarly circles. Kraepelin's contributions were also to a large extent marginalized throughout a good part of the 20th century during the success of Freudian etiological theories. However, his views now dominate many quarters of psychiatric research and academic psychiatry. His fundamental theories on the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders form the basis of the major diagnostic systems in use today, especially the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV and the World Health Organization's ICD system, based on the Research Diagnostic Criteria and earlier Feighner Criteria developed by espoused "neo-Kraepelinians", though Robert Spitzer and others in the DSM committees were keen not to include assumptions about causation as Kraepelin had.[12][20]

Kraepelin has been described as a "scientific manager"[21][22] and political operator, who developed a large-scale, clinically oriented, epidemiological research programme. In this role he took in clinical information from a wide range of sources and networks. Despite proclaiming high clinical standards for himself to gather information "by means of expert analysis of individual cases", he would also draw on the reported observations of officials not trained in psychiatry. The various editions of his textbooks do not contain detailed case histories of individuals, however, but mosaiclike compilations of typical statements and behaviors from patients with a specific diagnosis. In broader terms, he has been described as a bourgeois or reactionary citizen.[2][3]

Kraepelin wrote in a knapp und klar (concise and clear) style that made his books useful tools for physicians. Abridged and clumsy English translations of the sixth and seventh editions of his textbook in 1902 and 1907 (respectively) by Allan Ross Diefendorf (1871–1943), an assistant physician at the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane at Middletown, inadequately conveyed the literary quality of his writings that made them so valuable to practitioners.[23]


In the Heidelberg and early Munich years he edited Psychologische Arbeiten, a journal on experimental psychology. One of his own famous contributions to this journal also appeared in the form of a monograph (105 pp.) entitled Über Sprachstörungen im Traume (On Language Disturbances in Dreams).[24] Kraepelin, on the basis on the dream-psychosis analogy, studied for more than 20 years language disorder in dreams in order to study indirectly schizophasia. The dreams Kraepelin collected are mainly his own. They lack extensive comment by the dreamer. In order to study them the full range of biographical knowledge available today on Kraepelin is necessary (see, e.g., Burgmair et al., I-VII).


• Kraepelin, E. (1906). Über Sprachstörungen im Traume. Leizpig: Engelmann. ([1] Online.)
• Kraepelin, E. (1987). Memoirs. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-642-71926-4.
Collected works
• Burgmair, Wolfgang & Eric J. Engstrom & Matthias Weber et al., eds. Emil Kraepelin. 7 vols. Munich: belleville, 2000–2008.
• Vol. I: Persönliches, Selbstzeugnisse (2000), ISBN 3-933510-90-2
• Vol. II: Kriminologische und forensische Schriften: Werke und Briefe (2001), ISBN 3-933510-91-0
• Vol. III: Briefe I, 1868–1886 (2002), ISBN 3-933510-92-9
• Vol. IV: Kraepelin in Dorpat, 1886–1891 (2003), ISBN 3-933510-93-7
• Vol. V: Kraepelin in Heidelberg, 1891–1903 (2005), ISBN 3-933510-94-5
• Vol. VI: Kraepelin in München I: 1903–1914 (2006), ISBN 3-933510-95-3
• Vol. VII: Kraepelin in München II: 1914–1920 (2009), ISBN 978-3-933510-96-9
• Vol. VIII: Kraepelin in München III: 1921–1926 (2013), ISBN 978-3-943157-22-2

See also

• Kraepelinian dichotomy


1. Dagmar Drüll, Heidelberger Gelehrtenlexikon: 1803–1932, Springer-Verlag, 2013, p. 149.
2. Engstrom, E. J. (1 September 2007). "On the Question of Degeneration' by Emil Kraepelin (1908)1" (PDF). History of Psychiatry. 18 (3): 389–398. doi:10.1177/0957154X07079689. PMID 18175639. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2013..
3. Shepherd, M. (1 August 1995). "Two faces of Emil Kraepelin". The British Journal of Psychiatry. 167 (2): 174–183. doi:10.1192/bjp.167.2.174. PMID 7582666.
4. Peter Barham (2004), Forgotten Lunatics of the Great War(New Haven: Yale), p. 163 n. 47.
5. On Kraepelin's early life and family, see Burgmair et al., vol. I, as well as his Memoirs (Berlin: Springer, 1987).
6. "Kraepelin, Emil (1856–1926)" by Margaret Alic, Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology, 2001.
7. See (1) German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Neurology and (2) History of the DGPPN
8. Burgmair, Wolfgang, and Matthias M. Weber. "'Das Geld ist gut angelegt, und du brauchst keine Reue zu haben': James Loeb, ein deutsch-amerikanischer Wissenschaftsmäzen zwischen Kaiserreich und Weimarer Republik." Historische Zeitschrift 277 (2003): 343–378.
9. James Loeb Harvard University Press.
10. Engstrom EJ, Weber MM, Burgmair W (October 2006). "Emil Wilhelm Magnus Georg Kraepelin (1856–1926)". The American Journal of Psychiatry. 163 (10): 1710. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.163.10.1710. PMID 17012678..
11. Shepherd, Michael (1990). Conceptual Issues in Psychological Medicine. London: Tavistock/Routlege. p. 230. ISBN 978-0415165303.
12. Decker Hannah S (2007). "How Kraepelinian was Kraepelin? How Kraepelinian are the neo-Kraepelinians?—from Emil Kraepelin to DSM-III" (PDF). History of Psychiatry. 18 (3): 337–360. doi:10.1177/0957154X07078976. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2013.
13. Yuhas, Daisy. "Throughout History, Defining Schizophrenia Has Remained a Challenge (Timeline)". Scientific American Mind (March 2013). Retrieved 2 March 2013..
14. Ebert, Andreas (April 2010). "Emil Kraepelin: A pioneer of scientific understanding of psychiatry and psychopharmacology". US National Library of Medicine. 52(Apr/Jun 2010): 191–192. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.64591. PMC 2927892. PMID 20838510.
15. Berrios GE, Luque R, Villagran JM (2003). "Schizophrenia: a conceptual history" (PDF). International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. 3 (2): 111–140.
16. Noll, Richard. "Whole Body Madness". Psychiatric Times. Retrieved 26 September 2012..
17. Richard F. Wetzell (2000) Inventing the criminal: a history of German criminology, 1880–1945 from p 59 & 146, misc.
18. Henning Sass & Alan Felthous (2008) Chapter 1: History and Conceptual Development of Psychopathic Disorders in International Handbook on Psychopathic Disorders and the Law. Edited by Alan Felthous, Henning Sass.
19. Brüne, Martin (1 January 2007). "On human self-domestication, psychiatry, and eugenics". Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine. 2 (1): 21. doi:10.1186/1747-5341-2-21. PMC 2082022. PMID 17919321.
20. Engstrom Eric J., Weber Matthias (2007). "Making Kraepelin History: A Great Instauration?: Special Issue" (PDF). History of Psychiatry. 18 (3): 267–273. doi:10.1177/0957154x07080819. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2013.
21. Engstrom, Eric J. "Organizing Psychiatric Research in Munich (1903-1925): A Psychiatric Zoon Politicon between State Bureaucracy and American Philanthropy." In International Relations in Psychiatry: Britain, Germany, and the United States through World War II, edited by Volker Roelcke, Paul J. Weindling, and Louise Westwood, 48–66. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2010.
22. Engstrom, Eric; Weber, Matthias; Burgmair, Wolfgang (2016). "Psychiatric Governance, völkisch Corporatism, and the German Research Institute for Psychiatry in Munich (1912–1926)". History of Psychiatry. 27 (1/2): 38–50, 137–52. doi:10.1177/0957154x15623692.
23. Noll, Richard. "The Bed Makes Gestures". Psychiatric times. Retrieved February 8, 2013..
24. Über Sprachstörungen im Traume (1906).


• Noll, Richard (2011) American Madness: The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press.
• Briole G (2012). "Emil Kraepelin: The Fragility of a Colossal Oeuvre". Hurly-Burly. 8: 125–147.

External links

• Extensive bibliography of English translations of Kraepelin's works
• Extensive bibliography of works by and about Kraepelin's including those in the original German
• International Kraepelin Society contact
• Kraepelin's monograph Über Sprachstörungen im Traume
• Pulse-Project Audio Lecture: Dr. Octavian Buda on "From Psychiatry in Dorpat to Eugenics in Munich: The late works of Emil Kraepelin."
For biographies of Kraepelin see:
• Burkhart Brückner, Julian Schwarz: Biography of Emil Wilhelm Georg Magnus Kraepelin in: Biographical Archive of Psychiatry (BIAPSY).
For English translations of Kraepelin's work see:
• On Uprootedness (1921)
• Emil Kraepelin's Clinical Self-Assessment (1920)
• Psychiatric Observations on Contemporary Issues (1919)
• On the Question of Degeneration (1908)
• The Directions of Psychiatric Research (1887)
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

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"Armanism" redirects here. For the Dutch Protestant theological movement, see Arminianism.

Werner von Bülow's World-Rune-Clock, illustrating the correspondences between List's Armanen runes, the signs of the zodiac and the gods of the months

Armanism and Ariosophy are the names of ideological systems of an esoteric nature, pioneered by Guido von List and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels respectively, in Austria between 1890 and 1930. The term 'Ariosophy', meaning wisdom concerning the Aryans, was first coined by Lanz von Liebenfels in 1915 and became the label for his doctrine in the 1920s. In research on the topic, such as Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke's book The Occult Roots of Nazism, the term 'Ariosophy' is used generically to describe the Aryan-esoteric theories of a subset of the 'Völkische Bewegung'.[1] This broader use of the word is retrospective and was not generally current among the esotericists themselves." List actually called his doctrine 'Armanism', while Lanz used the terms 'Theozoology' and 'Ario-Christianity' before the First World War.

The ideas of Von List and Lanz von Liebenfels were part of a general occult revival in Austria and Germany of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, inspired by historical Germanic paganism and holistic philosophy as well as esoteric concepts influenced by German romanticism and Theosophy. The connection of this Germanic mysticism with historical Germanic culture is evident in the mystics' fascination with runes, in the form of Guido von List's Armanen runes.


Ideology regarding the Aryan race (in the sense of Indo-Europeans, though with Germanic peoples being viewed as their purest representatives), runic symbols, the swastika, and sometimes occultism are important elements in Ariosophy. From around 1900, esoteric notions entered Guido List's thoughts by 1899 at the latest.[2] In April 1903 he sent his manuscript, proposing what Goodrick-Clarke calls a "monumental pseudoscience" concerning the ancient German faith, to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna[3] onwards. These Ariosophic ideas (together with, and influenced by, Theosophy) contributed significantly to an occult counterculture in Germany and Austria. A historic interest in this topic has stemmed from the ideological relation of Ariosophy to Nazism, and is obvious in such book titles as:

• The Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke
• Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab (The Man Who Gave Hitler His Ideas), Wilfried Daim's biography of Lanz von Liebenfels

However, Goodrick-Clarke's comprehensive study finds little evidence of direct influence, except in the case of the highly idiosyncratic ancient-German mythos elaborated by the "clairvoyant" SS-Brigadeführer Karl Maria Wiligut,[Note 1] of which the practical consequences were, first, the incorporation of Wiligut's symbolism into the ceremonies of an elite circle within the SS; and, secondly, the official censure of those occultists and runic magicians whom Wiligut stigmatised as heretics, which may have persuaded Heinrich Himmler to order the internment of several of them.[Note 2] The most notable other case is Himmler's Ahnenerbe. (For the debate on the direct relations to Nazi ideology see Religious aspects of Nazism.) Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 192–202) examines what evidence there is for influences on Hitler and on other Nazis, but he concludes that "Ariosophy is a symptom rather than an influence in the way that it anticipated Nazism".[7]

'Ariosophic' writers and organisations

While a broad definition of the term 'Ariosophy' is useful for some purposes, various of the later authors, including Ellegaard Ellerbek, Philipp Stauff and Günther Kirchoff, can more exactly be described as cultivating the Armanism of List (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 155). In a less broad approach one could also treat rune occultism separately. Although the Armanen runes go back to List, Rudolf John Gorsleben distinguished himself from other völkisch writers by making the esoteric importance of the runes central to his world view. Goodrick-Clarke therefore refers to the doctrine of Kummer and Gorsleben and his followers as rune occultism, a description which also fits the eclectic work of Karl Spiesberger. Highly practical systems of rune occultism, influenced mainly by List, were developed by Friedrich Bernhard Marby and Siegfried Adolf Kummer (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 160–62). Also worthy of mention are Peryt Shou, the occult novelist; A. Frank Glahn, noted more for his pendulum dowsing; Rudolf von Sebottendorff and Walter Nauhaus, who built up the Thule Society; and Karl Maria Wiligut, who was the most notable occultist working for the SS.

Organisations include: the Guido von List Society, the High Armanen Order, the Lumen Club, the Ordo Novi Templi, the Germanenorden (in which a schism occurred) and the Thule Society.


Guido von List in 1910 from the book Guido v. List: Der Wiederentdecker Uralter Arischer Weisheit by Johannes Balzli, published in 1917

Guido von List elaborated a racial religion premised on the concept of renouncing the imposed foreign creed of Christianity and returning to the pagan religions of the ancient Indo-Europeans (List preferred the equivalent term Ario-Germanen, or 'Aryo-Germanics'). List recognised the theoretical distinction between the Proto-Indo-European language and its daughter Proto-Germanic language but frequently obscured it by his tendency to treat them as a single long-lived entity (although this framing is also used in linguistics as the Germanic parent language).[8] In this, he became strongly influenced by the Theosophical thought of Madame Blavatsky, which he blended however with his own highly original beliefs, founded upon Germanic paganism.

Before he turned to occultism, Guido List had written articles for German Nationalist newspapers in Austria, as well as four historical novels and three plays, some of which were "set in tribal Germany" before the advent of Christianity.[9] He also had written an anti-semitic essay in 1895. List adopted the aristocratic von between 1903 and 1907.

List called his doctrine Armanism after the Armanen, supposedly a body of priest-kings in the ancient Aryo-Germanic nation. He claimed that this German name had been Latinized into the tribal name Herminones mentioned in Tacitus and that it actually meant the heirs of the sun-king: an estate of intellectuals who were organised into a priesthood called the Armanenschaft.[10]

His conception of the original religion of the Germanic tribes was a form of sun worship, with its priest-kings (similar to the Icelandic goði) as legendary rulers of ancient Germany. Religious instruction was imparted on two levels. The esoteric doctrine (Armanism) was concerned with the secret mysteries of the gnosis, reserved for the initiated elite, while the exoteric doctrine (Wotanism) took the form of popular myths intended for the lower social classes.[11]

List believed that the transition from Wotanism to Christianity had proceeded smoothly under the direction of the skalds, so that native customs, festivals and names were preserved under a Christian veneer and only needed to be 'decoded' back into their heathen forms.[12] This peaceful merging of the two religions had been disrupted by the forcible conversions under "bloody Charlemagne – the Slaughterer of the Saxons".[13] List claimed that the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria-Hungary constituted a continuing occupation of the Germanic tribes by the Roman empire, albeit now in a religious form, and a continuing persecution of the ancient religion of the Germanic peoples and Celts.

He also believed in the magical powers of the old runes. From 1891 onwards he claimed that heraldry was based on a system of encoded runes, so that heraldic devices conveyed a secret heritage in cryptic form. In April 1903, he submitted an article concerning the alleged Aryan proto-language to the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Its highlight was a mystical and occult interpretation of the runic alphabet, which became the cornerstone of his ideology. Although the article was rejected by the academy, it would later be expanded by List and grew into his final masterpiece, a comprehensive treatment of his linguistic and historical theories published in 1914 as Die Ursprache der Ario-Germanen und ihre Mysteriensprache (The Proto-Language of the Aryo-Germanics and their Mystery Language).

List’s doctrine has been described as gnostic, pantheist and deist.[14] At its core is the mystical union of God, man and nature. Wotanism teaches that God dwells within the individual human spirit as an inner source of magical power, but is also immanent within nature through the primal laws which govern the cycles of growth, decay and renewal. List explicitly rejects a Mind-body dualism of spirit versus matter or of God over or against nature. Humanity is therefore one with the universe, which entails an obligation to live in accordance with nature. But the individual human ego does not seek to merge with the cosmos. "Man is a separate agent, necessary to the completion or perfection of ‘God’s work’".[15] Being immortal, the ego passes through successive reincarnations until it overcomes all obstacles to its purpose. List foresaw the eventual consequences of this in a future utopia on earth, which he identified with the promised Valhalla, a world of victorious heroes:

Thus in the course of uncounted generations all men will become Einherjar, and that state – willed and preordained by the godhead – of general liberty, equality, and fraternity will be reached. This is that state which sociologists long for and which socialists want to bring about by false means, for they are not able to comprehend the esoteric concept that lies hidden in the triad: liberty, equality, fraternity, a concept which must first ripen and mature in order that someday it can be picked like a fruit from the World Tree.[16]

List was familiar with the cyclical notion of time, which he encountered in Norse mythology and in the theosophical adaptation of the Hindu time cycles. He had already made use of cosmic rhythms in his early journalism on natural landscapes.[17] In his later works[Note 3] List combined the cyclical concept of time with the "dualistic and linear time scheme" of western apocalyptic which counterposes a pessimism about the present world with an ultimate optimism regarding the future one.[19] In Das Geheimnis der Runen,[20] List addresses the seeming contradiction by explaining the final redemption of the linear time frame as an exoteric parable which stands for the esoteric truth of renewal in many future cycles and incarnations. However, in the original Norse myths and Hinduism, the cycle of destruction and creation is repeated indefinitely, thus offering no possibility of ultimate salvation (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 79; 239, note 14 to Chapter 9).

Guido von List Society and High Armanen Order

Already in 1893 Guido List[Note 4] together with Fanny Wschiansky, had founded the Literarische Donaugesellschaft, a literary society (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 39).

In 1908 the Guido von List Society (Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft) was founded primarily by the Wannieck family (Friedrich Wannieck and his son Friedrich Oskar Wannieck being prominent and enthusiastic Armanists) as an occult völkisch organisation, with the purpose of financing and publishing List's research (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 42). The List Society was supported by many leading figures in Austrian and German politics, publishing, and occultism.[Note 5] Although one might suspect a völkisch organisation to be antisemitic, the society included at least two Jews among its members: Moritz Altschüler, a rabbinical scholar (Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 99), and Ernst Wachler.[21] The List Society published List's works under the series Guido-List-Bücherei (GLB).[22][Note 6]

List had established exoteric and esoteric circles in his organisation. The High Armanen Order (Hoher Armanen Orden) was the inner circle of the Guido von List Society. Founded in midsummer 1911, it was set up as a magical order or lodge to support List's deeper and more practical work. The HAO conducted pilgrimages to what its members considered "holy Armanic sites", Stephansdom in Vienna, Carnuntum etc. They also had occasional meetings between 1911 and 1918, but the exact nature of these remains unknown. In his introduction to List's The Secret of the Runes, Stephen E. Flowers (1988: 11) notes: "The HAO never really crystallized in List's lifetime – although it seems possible that he developed a theoretical body of unpublished documents and rituals relevant to the HAO which have only been put into full practice in more recent years".

Listians under the Third Reich

List died on 17 May 1919, a few months before Adolf Hitler joined a minor Bavarian political party and formed it into the NSDAP. After the Nazis had come to power, several advocates of Armanism fell victim to the suppression of esotericism in Nazi Germany.

The main reason for the persecution of occultists was the Nazi policy of systematically closing down esoteric organisations (although Germanic paganism was still practised by some Nazis on an individual basis), but the instigator in certain cases was Himmler's personal occultist, Karl Maria Wiligut. Wiligut identified the monotheistic religion of Irminism as the true ancestral belief, claiming that Guido von List's Wotanism and runic row constituted a schismatic false religion.

Among the Listians – Kummer and Marby are not mentioned by Goodrick-Clarke[23] among the signatories who endorsed the List Society around 1905 but both men were indebted to "Listian" ideas[24] – who were subjected to censure were the rune occultists Friedrich Bernhard Marby and Siegfried Adolf Kummer, both of whom were denounced by Wiligut in 1934 in a letter to Himmler.[25] Flowers[26] writes: "The establishment of [an] 'official NS runology' under Himmler, Wiligut, and others led directly to the need to suppress the rune-magical 'free agents' such as Marby". Despite having openly supported the Nazis,[27] Marby was arrested by the Gestapo in 1936 as an anti-Nazi occultist and was interned in Welzheim, Flossenbürg and Dachau concentration camps.[28][29][30] Kummer disappears from History after Wiligut’s denunciation in 1934, and his fate is unknown. He may have died in a concentration camp.[31] According to Rudgley,[32] "[u]nsubstantiated rumours" have him fleeing Nazi Germany in exile to South America, but "it is more likely that he perished in one of the camps that Marby was to survive or died during the Allied bombing of Dresden."

Günter Kirchhoff, a List Society member whom Wiligut had recommended to Himmler on the strength of his researches into prehistory, is reported to have written that Wiligut by intrigue had ensured that Ernst Lauterer (a.k.a. "Tarnhari") – another List Society member, who claimed a secret clan tradition which rivalled Wiligut's own – was committed to a concentration camp as an "English agent". Flowers and Moynihan[33] reproduce Kirchhoff's testimony as reported by both Adolf Schleipfer and researcher Manfred Lenz (but doubted by Wiligut's former secretary Gabriele Dechend).


Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels

In 1903–4, a Viennese ex-Cistercian monk, Bible scholar and inventor named Jörg Lanz-Liebenfels (subsequently, Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels) published a lengthy article under the Latin title "Anthropozoon Biblicum" ("The Biblical Man-Animal") in a journal for Biblical studies edited by Moritz Altschüler, a Jewish admirer of Guido von List. The author undertook a comparative survey of ancient Near Eastern cultures, in which he detected evidence from iconography and literature which seemed to point to the continued survival, into early historical times, of hominid ape-men similar to the dwarfish Neanderthal men known from fossil remains in Europe, or the Pithecanthropus (now called Homo erectus) from Java.[34] Furthermore, Lanz systematically analysed the Old Testament in the light of his hypothesis, identifying and interpreting coded references to the ape-men which substantiated an illicit practice of interbreeding between humans and "lower" species in antiquity.

In 1905 he expanded these researches into a fundamental statement of doctrine titled Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-Äfflingen und dem Götter-Elektron[35] ("Theozoology, or the Science of the Sodomite-Apelings and the Divine Electron"). He claimed that "Aryan" peoples originated from interstellar deities (termed Theozoa) who bred by electricity, while "lower" races were a result of interbreeding between humans and ape-men (or Anthropozoa). The effects of racial crossing caused the atrophy of paranormal powers inherited from the gods, but these could be restored by the selective breeding of pure Aryan lineages. The book relied on somewhat lurid sexual imagery, decrying the abuse of white women by ethnically inferior but sexually active men. Thus, Lanz advocated mass castration of racially "apelike" or otherwise "inferior" males.[36]

In the same year, Lanz commenced publication of the journal Ostara (named after a pagan Germanic goddess of spring) to promote his vision of racial purity. On December 25, 1907 he founded the Order of the New Templars (Ordo Novi Templi, or ONT), a mystical association with its headquarters at Burg Werfenstein, a castle in Upper Austria overlooking the river Danube. Its declared aim was to harmonise science, art and religion on a basis of racial consciousness. Rituals were designed to beautify life in accordance with Aryan aesthetics, and to express the Order's theological system which Lanz called Ario-Christianity. The Order was the first to use the swastika in an "Aryan" meaning, displaying on its flag the device of a red swastika facing right, on a yellow-orange field and surrounded by four blue fleurs-de-lys above, below, to the right and to the left.

The ONT declined from the mid-1930s and - even though it had pioneered many ideas which the Nazis later adopted - it was suppressed by the Gestapo in 1942. By this time it had established seven communities in Austria, Germany and Hungary. Though suspending its activities in the Greater German Reich, the ONT survived in Hungary until around the end of World War II.[37] It went underground in Vienna after 1945, but was contacted in 1958 by a former Waffen-SS lieutenant, Rudolf Mund, who became Prior of the Order in 1979.[38] Mund also wrote biographies of Lanz and Wiligut.

The term "Ariosophy" (wisdom concerning the Aryans) was coined by Lanz von Liebenfels in 1915, with "Theozoology" describing its Genesis and "Ario-Christianity" as the label for the overall doctrine in the 1920s.[Note 7]

This terminology was taken up by a group of occultists, formed in Berlin around 1920 and referred to by one of its main figures, Ernst Issberner-Haldane, as the 'Swastika-Circle'. Lanz's publisher, Herbert Reichstein, made contact with the group in 1925 and formed it into an institute with himself as director. This association was named the Ariosophical Society in 1926, renamed the Neue Kalandsgesellschaft (from Kaland, Guido von List's term for a secret lodge or conventicle) in 1928, and renamed again as the Ariosophische Kulturzentrale in 1931, the year in which it opened an Ariosophical School at Pressbaum that offered courses and lectures in runic lore, biorhythms, yoga and Qabalah.

The institute maintained a friendly collaboration with Lanz, its guiding intellect and inspiration, but also acknowledged an indebtedness to List, declaring itself as the successor to the Armanen priest-kings and their hierophantic tradition. Reichstein's circle therefore establishes the historical precedent for a broad conception that was followed by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke in 1985 when he redefined Ariosophy as a general term to describe Aryan-centric occult theories and hermetic practices, including both Lanz's Ario-Christianity and the earlier Armanism of List, as well as later derivatives of either or both systems. If the term is employed in this extended sense, then Guido von List, and not Lanz von Liebenfels, was the founder of Ariosophy.

The justification for the broad definition is that List and Lanz were mutually influencing. The two men joined one another's societies; List figures in Lanz's pedigree of initiated predecessors; and Lanz is cited several times by List in The Religion of the Aryo-Germanic Folk: Esoteric and Exoteric (1910).


Although List had been concerned "to awaken German nationalist consciousness",[40] the High Armanen Order had addressed itself to the upper and middle class Germans in Austria,[40] and here List had preferred the "role of the mystagogue"[41] over political activism. List’s disciples, however, became active in the Reichshammerbund and the Germanenorden, two "historically significant", "virulently antisemitic groups"[41] in Germany. Both groups were organized by the political activist Theodor Fritsch, a major figure in German antisemitism. Fritsch, born 1852, was the son of Saxon peasants, and he was concerned about the "small tradesmen and craftsmen"[41] and their threat from what he perceived to be the large 'Jewish' industry.

Rudolf von Sebottendorff: bust by German sculptor Hanns Goebl

The List-inspired Germanenorden (Germanic Order or Teutonic Order, not to be confused with the medieval German order of the Teutonic Knights) was a völkisch secret society in early 20th-century Germany. It was founded in Berlin in 1912 by Theodor Fritsch and several prominent German occultists including Philipp Stauff, who held office in the List Society and High Armanen Order as well as Hermann Pohl, who became the Germanenorden’s first leader. The group was a clandestine movement aimed at the upper echelons of society and was a sister movement to the more mainstream Reichshammerbund.[42]

The order, whose symbol was a swastika, had a hierarchical fraternal structure similar to Freemasonry. Local groups of the sect met to celebrate the summer solstice, an important neopagan festivity in völkisch circles (and later in Nazi Germany), and more regularly to read the Eddas as well as some of the German mystics.[43]

In addition to occult and magical philosophies, it taught to its initiates nationalist ideologies of Nordic racial superiority and antisemitism, then rising throughout the Western world. As was becoming increasingly typical of völkisch organisations, it required its candidates to prove that they had no non-Aryan bloodlines and required from each a promise to maintain purity of his stock in marriage.

In 1916, during World War I, the Germanenorden split into two parts. Eberhard von Brockhusen became the Grand Master of the "loyalist" Germanenorden. Pohl, previously the order’s Chancellor, founded a schismatic offshoot: the Germanenorden Walvater of the Holy Grail.[44][45] He was joined in the same year by Rudolf von Sebottendorff (formerly Rudolf Glauer), a wealthy adventurer with wide-ranging occult and mystical interests. A Freemason and a practitioner of sufism and astrology, Sebottendorff was also an admirer of Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels. Convinced that the Islamic and Germanic mystical systems shared a common Aryan root, he was attracted by Pohl’s runic lore and became the Master of the Walvater's Bavarian province late in 1917. Charged with reviving the province's fortunes, Sebottendorff increased membership from about a hundred in 1917 to 1500 by the autumn of the following year.[46]

Thule Society

In 1918 Sebottendorff made contact with Walter Nauhaus, a member of the Germanenorden who headed a "Germanic study group" called the Thule Gesellschaft (Thule Society).[47] The name of Nauhaus's original Thule Society was adopted as a cover-name for Sebottendorff's Munich lodge of the Germanenorden Walvater when it was formally dedicated on August 18, 1918, with Pohl’s assistance and approval.[48] Sebottendorff states that the group was run jointly by himself and Nauhaus.

Deriving elements of its ideology and membership from earlier occult groups founded by List (Guido von List Society, established 1908) and Lanz von Liebenfels (the Order of the New Templars, established 1907), the Thule Society was dedicated to the triune god Walvater, identified with Wotan in triple form. For the Society's emblem Sebottendorff selected the oak leaves, dagger and swastika (Thomas 2005). The name Thule (an island located by Greek geographers at the northernmost extremity of the world) was chosen for its significance in the works of Guido von List. According to Thule Society mythology, Thule was the capital of Hyperborea, a legendary country supposedly in the far North polar regions, originally mentioned by Herodotus from Egyptian sources. In 1679, Olaf Rudbeck equated the Hyperboreans with the survivors of Atlantis, who were first mentioned by Plato, again following Egyptian sources. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) began his work Der Antichrist (The Antichrist) in 1895 with, "Let us see ourselves for what we are. We are Hyperboreans."

From a historian's perspective, the importance of the Thule Society lies in its organising the discussion circle which led to the German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei, or DAP), founded in January 1919. The Thule Society's Karl Harrer was a co-founder, along with Anton Drexler (the party's first chairman). Later the same year, Adolf Hitler joined the DAP, which was renamed as the NSDAP (or Nazi party) on April 1, 1920. Some conspiracy theorists argue that the NSDAP, when under Hitler's leadership, was a political front for the Thule Society. However, against this theory stands Harrer's and Drexler's resistance to Hitler. After unsuccessful challenges to his growing power, both men resigned from the party, Harrer in 1920 and Drexler in 1923.

Speculative authors assert that a number of high Nazi Party officials had been members of the Thule Society (including such prominent figures as Max Amann, Dietrich Eckart, Rudolf Hess, Alfred Rosenberg and Gottfried Feder). Eckart, the wealthy publisher of the newspaper Auf gut Deutsch (In Plain German), has been represented as a committed occultist and the most significant Thule influence on Hitler. He is believed to have taught Hitler a number of persuasive techniques, and so profound was his influence that the second volume of Hitler’s book Mein Kampf was dedicated to him. However, although Eckart attended Thule Society meetings, he was not a member and there is nothing to indicate that he trained Hitler in techniques of a mystical nature. Examining the membership lists, Goodrick-Clarke[49] notes that Hess, Rosenberg and Feder were – like Eckart – guests of the Thule Society in 1918 but not actual members. He also describes a Thule Society membership roll including Hans Frank and Heinrich Himmler as "spurious". There is no evidence that Hitler himself had any connection with the Society, even as an associate or visitor. However, a member of the Thule Society, dentist Dr. Friedrich Krohn, did choose the swastika symbol for the Nazi party (although the design was revised at Hitler's insistence).

In 1923, Sebottendorff was expelled from Germany as an undesirable alien; around 1925, the Thule Society disbanded. In 1933, Sebottendorff returned to Germany and published Bevor Hitler kam: Urkundliches aus der Frühzeit der nationalsozialistischen Bewegung von Rudolf von Sebottendorff.[47] The book was banned by the Bavarian Political Police on March 1, 1934; Sebottendorff was arrested by the Gestapo, interned in a concentration camp, then expelled to Turkey yet again, where he committed suicide by drowning in the Bosphorus on May 9, 1945, as the Nazis surrendered to the Allies.

Edda Society

Rudolf John Gorsleben

Rudolf John Gorsleben was associated with the Thule Society during the Bavarian Soviet Republic of 1919 and, along with Dietrich Eckart, he was taken prisoner by the Communists, narrowly escaping execution. He threw himself into the ferment of Bavaria's völkisch politics and formed a close working relationship with the local Germanenorden before devoting himself to literary pursuits.[50]

On 29 November 1925, Gorsleben founded the Edda Society (Edda-Gesellschaft), a mystic study group, at Dinkelsbühl in Franconia. He himself was Chancellor of the Society and published its periodical Deutsche Freiheit (German Freedom), later renamed Arische Freiheit (Aryan Freedom). Assisted by learned contributors to his study-group, Gorsleben developed an original and eclectic mystery religion founded in part upon the Armanism of List, whom he quoted with approval.[51]

Grand Master of the Society was Werner von Bülow (1870–1947). The treasurer was Friedrich Schaefer from Mühlhausen, whose wife, Käthe, kept open house for another occult-völkisch circle (the 'Free Sons of the North and Baltic Seas') which gathered around Karl Maria Wiligut in the early 1930s.[52] Mathilde von Kemnitz, a prolific völkisch writer who married General Erich Ludendorff in 1926, was an active member of the Edda Society.[Note 8]

When Rudolf John Gorsleben died from heart disease in August 1930, the Edda Society was taken over by Bülow who had designed a 'world-rune-clock' which illustrated the correspondences between the runes, the gods and the zodiac, as well as colours and numbers. Bülow also took over the running of Gorsleben's periodical and changed its name from Arische Freiheit to Hag All All Hag, and then Hagal.

Modern organisations

In the later 20th century, Germanic neopagan movements oriented themselves more towards polytheistic reconstructionism, turning away from theosophic and occult elements, but elements of Ariosophical mysticism continue to play a role in some white supremacist organizations. Alleged mystical or shamanic aspects of historical pre-Christian Germanic culture, summarized as seidr are also practiced in Odinism (Freya Aswynn, Nigel Pennick, Karl Spiesberger, see also Germanic Runic Astrology, The Book of Blotar).


Circular arrangement of the Armanen Futharkh.

The Guido von List Society was re-established in the late 1960s through contacts between the German/Austrian occultist Adolf Schleipfer (1947–) and the still-living last president of the Society, Hanns Bierbach.[53] Schleipfer had discovered some of List's works in an antique bookstore in the mid-1960s, and was inspired to found the runic and Armanist magazine Irminsul[54] in hopes of attracting suitable people for a revived Listian order. He was appointed the new president and continued to publish Irminsul as the "Voice of the Guido von List Society."

Schleipfer also attended meetings of a related organisation, the Gode-Orden (Gothi-Order), which propagated a similar mixture of occult völkisch thinking. There he met his wife Sigrun Schleipfer, née Hammerbacher (1940–2009),[55] daughter of the völkisch writer and former NSDAP district leader, Dr. Hans Wilhelm Hammerbacher.[56] In 1976 the Schleipfers founded the Armanen-Orden (Armanen Order) as the reorganised Guido von List Society.[57] Since then, Adolf and Sigrun have served as the Grandmasters of the Order, although they have divorced and Sigrun now refers to herself as "Sigrun von Schlichting" or "Sigrun Freifrau von Schlichting". They also revived the High Armanen Order (HAO) and brought it to "an unprecedented level of activity".[58]

The Armanen-Orden is a neopagan esoteric society and religious order reviving the occult teachings of Guido von List. Its internal structure is organized in nine grades, inspired by Freemasonry. The order is modelled on, but not limited to, the precepts of List, and its principles as formulated in its brochures are as follows:

The Armanen Order embodies the entire Germanic and Celtic peoples in their mental, spiritual and physical uniqueness.

The Armanen Order embodies the true realisation of the divine world order based on Germanic and Celtic wisdom, whose religious and cultic aspect is formed by the native myths of the gods.

The Awakening of the Armanen Order is a rebirth of life based on its natural foundations of the Germanic and Celtic people.

The Armanen-Orden celebrates seasonal festivities in a similar fashion as Odinist groups do and invites interested people to these events. The highlights are three 'Things' at Ostara (Easter), Midsummer and Fall (Wotan's sacrificial death), which are mostly celebrated at castles close to sacred places, such as the Externsteine. The author Stefanie von Schnurbein attended a Fall Thing in 1990 and gives the following report in Religion als Kulturkritik (Religion and Cultural Criticism):

…the participants meet in a room decorated with hand-woven wall hangings and pictures of Germanic gods, Odin and Frigga in this case… At one end of the room is a table covered with black cloth. On this a 4 ft. high wooden Irminsul, a spear, a sword, a replica of a sun disc chariot, a leather-bound copy of The Edda as well as ritual bowls and candles are placed. The participants are seated in a semi-circle in front of the table, the front row being occupied by Order members clothed in their ritual garb (black shirts for the men and long white dresses for the women; both have the AO emblem sewn on them)… after several invocations the 'spirit flame', symbolising Odin in the spirit world, is lit in a bowl filled with lamp oil. The purpose of this cultic celebration is the portrayal of Odin's concentration from spirit into matter. After a recital of the first part of Odin's rune poem () from The Edda, the "blood sacrifice" commences, in which a bowl with animal blood is raised to the beat of a gong and an invocation of sacrifice. Then Odin is called into the realm by the participants who assume the Odal rune stance, whisper 'W-O-D-A-N' nine times and finally sing an ode to Odin with the following words: 'Odin-Wodan come to us, od-uod, uod'. Wodan's sacrifice to himself is symbolised by extinguishing the flame.

In 1977 Sigrun Schleipfer founded the Gemeinschaft zur Erhaltung der Burgen (Society for the Conservation of Castles), which proclaims castles to be among the "last paradises of the romantic era" in this cold modern age and had as its primary aim the purchase and restoration of a castle for the Order. In 1995, the society finally acquired the castle of Rothenhorn in Szlichtyngowa (Poland), a run-down structure dating back to the 12th century, though most of the complex dates from the 16th century.

Over many years, Adolf and Sigrun have republished all of List's works (and many others relating to the Armanen runes) in their original German. Adolf Schleipfer has also contributed an article to The Secret King, a study of Karl Maria Wiligut by Stephen Flowers and Michael Moynihan, in which he points out the differences between Wiligut's beliefs and those which are accepted within Odinism or Armanism.[59]

Research on Ariosophy

After the war, Lanz von Liebenfels was first brought to a wider (and scholarly) attention with Wilfried Daim's book Der Mann, der Hitler die Ideen gab (The Man Who Gave Hitler His Ideas) (1957). Although the book was not always taken seriously within academia, for some time Lanz was seen as one of the most important influences on Hitler. Since the 1990s, however, historians have cast doubt on Lanz' significance. The historian Brigitte Hamann, who has written Hitler's Vienna: A Dictator's Apprenticeship, is of the view that Lanz partly influenced Hitler's diction, but had only marginal influences on Adolf Hitler's religious views.

The occult roots of Nazism

The Thule Society, from which the NSDAP originated, was one of the ariosophic groups of the 1920s. Thule Gesellschaft had initially been the name of the Munich lodge of the Germanenorden. It took its name from an alleged lost continent Thule, which was assumed to be the mythical homeland from which the Aryan race had originated. Atlantis at least, and most likely also Hyperborea, were taken to be identical with Thule.[60] The superiority of Aryans over all other races was a key concept and the members of various Germanenorden lodges saw themselves (as Teutons or Germanic peoples) as the 'purest' branch of the Aryan race.

Some of Lanz's proposals for racial purification anticipate the Nazis. The sterilisation of those deemed to be genetically "unfit" was in fact implemented under the Nazi eugenics policies, but its basis lay in the theories of scientific racial hygienists. The Nazi eugenics programme has no proven connection with Lanz's mystical rationale. Eugenic ideas were widespread in his lifetime, whereas he himself was banned from publishing in the Third Reich and his writings were suppressed.

Following Goodrick-Clarke's caution in assessing the relation between the two,[61] Adolf Hitler cannot be considered a pupil of Lanz von Liebenfels, as Lanz himself had claimed.[62] However, it has been suggested with some evidential basis that the young Hitler did read and collect Lanz's Ostara magazine while living in Vienna:

In view of the similarity of their ideas relating to the glorification and preservation of the endangered Aryan race, the suppression and ultimate extermination of the non-Aryans, and the establishment of a fabulous Aryan-German millennial empire, the link between the two men looks highly probable.[63]

Nevertheless: "It also remains a fact that Hitler never mentioned the name of Lanz in any recorded conversation, speech, or document. If Hitler had been importantly influenced by [Lanz], he cannot be said to have ever acknowledged this debt".[64]

See also

• Black Sun (occult symbol)
• Fylfot
• Neopaganism in German-speaking Europe
• Ludwig Fahrenkrog
• Julius Evola
• René Guénon
• Glossary of Germanic mysticism
• Sig Rune
• Universal Medicine


1. In November 1924, Wiligut was committed to the Salzburg mental asylum and certified insane. "The full report on his condition referred to his violence at home, including threats to kill his wife, grandiose projects, eccentric behaviour, and occult interests, before diagnosing a history of schizophrenia involving megalomaniac and paranoid delusions. A Salzburg court ruled him incompetent to administer his own affairs on the basis of this medical evidence".[4] The case is fully described in Mund's (1982) biography. Wiligut continued his ancient-Germanic pretensions throughout his confinement and also upon his release in 1927. He retired from the SS on 28 August 1939 after his psychiatric history, previously a closely guarded secret, became an embarrassment to Himmler.
2. The cases of three Listian occultists – Kummer, Lauterer and Marby – are discussed below. In 1938 Wiligut's recommendations were also decisive in securing the official disapproval of the Italian esotericist Julius Evola.[5][6]
3. Goodrick-Clarke refers especially to Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen. Zweiter Teil, 1911 and the second edition of Die Armanenschaft der Ario-Germanen. Erster Teil, 1913.[18]
4. Guido List started to use the aristocratic von in his name between 1903 and 1907.
5. A list of the signatories in support of the Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft is printed in GLB 3 (1908), p. 197f. Membership lists of the Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft are printed in GLB 2 (1908), pp. 71–4 and GLB 5 (1910), pp. 384–9. The articles of the List Society are printed in GLB 1, second edition (1912), pp. 68–78.
6. Two other later works of List were published by Adolf Burdeke in Zürich. For a complete list of List's books, see the bibliography in Goodrick-Clarke 1985: 274.
7. "The term "Ariosophy", meaning occult wisdom concerning the Aryans, was first coined by Lanz von Liebenfels in 1915 and became the label for his doctrine in the 1920s. List actually called his doctrine "Armanism", while Lanz used the terms "Theozoology" and "Ario-Christianity" before the First World War. In this book [i.e. The Occult Roots of Nazism] 'Ariosophy' is used generically to describe the Aryan-racist-occult theories of both men and their followers."[39]
8. According to 'Lexicon of Ariosophy' by Frater Georg Nikolaus of the ONT, an undated manuscript preserved in the Rudolf Mund Archive (Vienna) and cited in Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 159, 254.


1. Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 227), note 1 to the Introduction
2. Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 51–52)
3. Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 41)
4. Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 182)
5. Flowers and Moynihan (2007: 59)
6. Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 190).
7. Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 202).
8. Flowers (translator) (1988), The Secret of the Runes, pp. 43, 69 and passim.
9. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 36–41.
10. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 56.
11. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 57.
12. Flowers (1988), pp. 16–7.
13. Flowers (1988), p. 77.
14. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 40, 50, 84 and passim.
15. Flowers (1988), p. 24.
16. List (1908), tr. Flowers (1988), p. 109.
17. List (1891), Deutsch-Mythologische Landschaftsbilder (republished), Berlin.
18. Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 239–40, notes to Chapter 9).
19. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 79, 80.
20. Flowers, translator (1988), The Secret of the Runes, pp. 107ff.
21. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 43, 162 affirms Wachler's membership in the List Society.
22. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 44.
23. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 43.
24. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 181–2.
25. Karl-Maria Weisthor (i.e. Wiligut) to Himmler, 2 May 1934, Bundesarchiv, Koblenz, Himmler Nachlass 19, cited in Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 254 n.21.
26. Flowers (1988), p. 35.
27. Marby (1935), pp. 7–42, cited in Flowers (1988), p. 117 n.47.
28. Flowers (1988), p. 117 n.47.
29. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 161.
30. Rudgley (2006), p. 119.
31. Lange (1988), Missing or empty |title= (help).
32. Rudgley (2006), p. 125.
33. Flowers (1988), pp. 59, 165, 177.
34. Lanz-Liebenfels (1903), pp. 337–9.
35. Theozoologie oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-Äfflingen und dem Götter-Elektron, Archive.
36. Lanz von Liebenfels (2002).
37. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 119, 122.
38. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 135.
39. Goodrick-Clarke (1985: 227, note 1 to the Introduction).
40. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 65.
41. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 123.
42. Richard S. Levy, Antisemitism: A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, 2005, p. 269
43. Swatika, Intelinet, archived from the original on June 4, 2007
44. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 131–32.
45. Thomas (2005)
46. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 142–43.
47. Phelps 1963.
48. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 144.
49. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 149, 221.
50. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 156.
51. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 156–9.
52. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), pp. 159, 183.
53. According to Flowers (1988: 36), Schleipfer renewed the GvLS in 1969. According to Schnurbein (1995: 24), he became its president in 1967.
54. Irminsul Archived May 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. in the German National Library.
55. Handbuch Deutscher Rechtsextremismus (1996).
56. Schnurbein (1995), p. 27ff.
57. Schnurbein (1995), p. 25.
58. Flowers (1988), p. 36.
59. Schleipfer (2007).
60. Strohm (1997), p. 57.
61. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), (preface by Rohan Butler).
62. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 192.
63. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 194.
64. Goodrick-Clarke (1985), p. 198.


• Balzli, Johannes. 1917. Guido v. List: Der Wiederentdecker Uralter Arischer Weisheit – Sein Leben und sein Schaffen. Leipzig and Vienna: Guido-von-List-Gesellschaft.
• Flowers, Stephen E., and Michael Moynihan. 2007. The Secret King: The Myth and Reality of Nazi Occultism. Feral House and Dominion Press. Paperback, ISBN 978-1-932595-25-3. Hardcover (2008), ISBN 978-0-9712044-6-1. Revised and expanded edition of Flowers and Moynihan 2001, The Secret King: Karl Maria Wiligut, Himmler's Lord of the Runes. The Real Documents of Nazi Occultism, Dominion Press and Rûna-Raven Press.
• Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. 1985. The Occult Roots of Nazism: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany 1890–1935. Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-402-4. Republished 1992 as The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany, 1890–1935 (New York University Press, ISBN 0-8147-3060-4) and 2003 as The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology (Gardners Books, ISBN 1-86064-973-4).
• Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. 2003. Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity. New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-3155-4
• Kertzer, David. 2001. The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-40623-9
• Lange, Hans-Jürgen. 1998. Weisthor: Karl Maria Wiligut – Himmlers Rasputin und seine Erben.
• Lanz-Liebenfels, Jörg. 1903/1904. "Anthropozoon Biblicum", Vierteljahrsschrift für Bibelkunde 1 (1903): 307–55, 429–69; 2 (1904): 26–60, 314–35, 395–412.
• Lanz-Liebenfels, Jörg. 1905. Theozoologie: oder die Kunde von den Sodoms-Äfflingen und dem Götter-Elektron. Vienna. (Republished as Georg Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels 2002. ISBN 3-8311-3157-0, ISBN 978-3-8311-3157-0)[1]
• List, Guido von. 1908. Das Geheimnis der Runen (Guido-von-List-Bücherei 1). Gross-Lichterfelde: P. Zillmann. Translated with introduction by Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D. (aka Edred Thorsson) 1988 as The Secret of the Runes. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-207-9
• List, Guido von. 1910. Die Religion der Ario-Germanen in ihrer Esoterik und Exoterik. Zürich.
• Marby, Friedrich B. 1935. Rassische Gymnastik als Aufrassungsweg(Marby-Runen-Bücherei 5/6). Stuttgart.
• Mund, Rudolf J. 1982. Der Rasputin Himmlers: Die Wiligut-Saga. Vienna.
• Phelps, Reginald H. (1963). "'Before Hitler Came': Thule Society and Germanen Orden". The Journal of Modern History. 35 (3): 245–261. doi:10.1086/243738. JSTOR 1899474.
• Rudgley, Richard. 2007 [2006]. Pagan Resurrection: A Force for Evil or the Future of Western Spirituality?. London: Arrow Books. ISBN 978-0-09-928119-1.
• Schleipfer, Adolf. 2007. "The Wiligut Saga" (Archived 2009-10-25). In Flowers and Moynihan 2007. Originally published in Irminsul 5 (1982).
• Schnurbein, Stefanie von. 1995 [1992]. Religion als Kulturkritik.
• Strohm, Harald. 1997 [1973]. Die Gnosis und der Nationalsozialismus(Gnosis and National Socialism). Suhrkamp. ISBN 3-932710-68-1
• Sünner, Rüdiger. 1997. Schwarze Sonne: Entfesselung und Missbrauch der Mythen in Nationalsozialismus und rechter Esoterik.
• Thomas, Robert. 2005. "The Nature of Nazi Ideology" (history). webpage: LibertarianCoUk-Histn015-PDF
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:03 am

Rudolf John Gorsleben
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/29/18



Rudolf John Gorsleben

Rudolf John Gorsleben (16 March 1883 – 23 August 1930) was a German Ariosophist, Armanist (practitioner of the Armanen runes), journal editor and playwright.


Gorsleben was born in Metz. During World War I, he fought in a German unit stationed in the Ottoman Empire. He formed the Edda Society (Edda-Gesellschaft) and wrote the book Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit (The Zenith of Humanity), first published in 1930. It is known as "The Bible of Armanism" and has been translated into English by Karl Hans Welz.[1]

Gorsleben died in Bad Homburg of a chronic heart complaint.[2]


• "The healing power of medical drugs is the Ur-power of their original essence in conjunction with the power of Ur-vibrations of the human-Divine combination that is composed of body, soul and spirit." - Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit (English edition)
• "With the introduction of Runic knowledge the generation of our days can achieve the control of secret powers within the life of their soul and reach the Spring-Root, which is the Whole of the Runes, the All-Raune, which opens all spiritual treasures to us, if we are Children of the Sunday, Children of the Sun, Children ("Kinder") of the Ar (Eagle, Sun), announcers ("Künder") of the Ar, people knowledgeable ("Könner" in modern German) of the Ar, Ar-koner, persons knowledgeable in the Ar-Kana (Arkana = arcane wisdom) or if we strive to become all of the above. The Runes have their own lives, they are true magical signs, from which we can draw the Spirit to Advise and the Courage to Action." - Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit (English edition)

Gorsleben's Periodicals

• Deutsche Freiheit. Monatsschrift für Arische Gottes- und Welterkenntnis. Ed. Rudolf John Gorsleben, 1925 to 1926, Munich (3.1925 and 4.1926)
• Arische Freiheit. Monatsschrift für arische Gottes- u. Welterkenntnis, 1927, Dinkelsbühl (5.1927)
• Hag-All, All-Hag. Zeitschrift für arische Freiheit, Edda-Gesellschaft, 1930 to 1934, Mittenwald, Obb. (7.1930 to 11.1934)

Written works

• Der Freibeuter, Drama , 1913
• Der Rastäquar, Drama, 1913
• Die königliche Waschfrau, Lustspiel, 1918
• Die Überwindung des Judentums in uns und außer uns. 71 S., Deutscher Volksverlag Dr. Ernst Boepple, München 1920
• Die Edda. Übertragen von Rudolf John Gorsleben. Die Heimkehr (W. Simon, Buchdr. u. Verlag), Pasing 1920
• Gedichte, 1921
• Das Blendwerk der Götter (Gylfaginning). Aus d. jüngeren Edda ins Hoch-Deutsche übertr. von Rudolf John Gorsleben. 75 S., Die Heimkehr (W. Simon, Buchdr. u. Verlag), Pasing 1923
• Die Edda, Band 1. Lieder- Edda. Heldenlieder, Sprüche, Götterlieder - was wirklich in der Edda steht. Reprint von 2002 ISBN 3-8311-4000-6
• Festschrift zum fünfundzwanzigjährigen Bestehen des Hammer 1901 - 1926. Den Mitarbeitern zugeeignet, Hammer, Leipzig, 1926. Sammelwerk. Enthält: Rudolf John Gorsleben: Gedanken um Zeit und Ewigkeit
• Das Geheimnis von Dinkelsbühl. Eine tiefgründige und doch kurzweilige Abhandlung über den Ursprung der Stadt, ihre Geschichte, die Herkunft des Wappens, über den Brauch der uralten „Kinderzeche” und über die Bedeutung einer rätselhaften Inschrift der Geheimen Bruderschaft der Bauhütte, hauptsächlich an Hand der Kenntnis der Runen / entdeckt, entziffert u. erklärt von Rudolf John Gorsleben, 70 S., Brückner, Berlin 1928 (Wunder der Heimat, H. 1)
• Das Geheimnis von Dinkelsbühl... Reprint: Antiquariat an der Segringer Straße, Dinkelsbühl 2004.
• Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit. XXV, 689 S., Ill., Koehler & Amelang, Leipzig 1930
• Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit. XXV, 689 S., Ill., Neudr. der Ausgabe Leipzig 1930, Faksimile-Verl./Versand, Bremen 1981 (Historische Faksimiles)
• Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit. XXV, 764 S., Ill., Faks.-Nachdr. der Ausg. Leipzig 1930, Faks.-Verl., Bremen 1993 ISBN 3-8179-0025-2(Serie Forschungsreihe „Historische Faksimiles”)


2. Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism, p. 159

External links

• Rudolf John Gorsleben in the German National Library catalogue
• Hoch-Zeit der Menschheit in PDF-format (in German). In English.
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:06 am

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/29/18



Ludendorff in 1918

The Tannenbergbund (German: [ˈtanm̩bɛɐ̯kˌbʊnt], Tannenberg Union, TB) was a nationalist German political society formed in September 1925 at the instigation of Konstantin Hierl under the patronage of the former German Army general Erich Ludendorff. Part of the Völkisch movement, it was meant to counteract the Stahlhelm paramilitary association as well as the reorganized Sturmabteilung (SA) of the Nazi Party. The TB failed to meet the goal of a far-right collective movement and sank into insignificance long before it was officially banned by the Nazi authorities in September 1933.


During Germany's early Weimar period, Ludendorff had joined the chauvinist Aufbau Vereinigung and met with Adolf Hitler through the agency of Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter.[1] He participated in Hitler's failed Beer Hall Putsch on 9 November 1923, after which their relationship deteriorated increasingly. While Ludendorff despised the former 'corporal', he nevertheless backed the National Socialist Freedom Movement and ran for the Nazi Party in the 1925 Presidential election against his former Oberste Heeresleitung colleague Paul von Hindenburg.

Hitler feared the possibility of Ludendorff as a potential leadership rival and rejoiced in the General's derisory election result, telling Hermann Esser "now we've finally finished him".[2] With his credibility severely damaged by the election result, Ludendorff drifted from the Nazi Party and joined his wife Mathilde von Kemnitz in setting up the Tannenbergbund, with the organisation taking its name from the 1914 Battle of Tannenberg, one of Ludendorff's greatest military triumphs.[3]


The Tannenbergbund soon developed as largely a circle of former officers who had served under Ludendorff in World War I.[4] In terms of ideology the Bund largely concentrated on those whom it opposed, attacking Freemasons, Jews, communists and Jesuits and accusing them of conspiracy.[5] Such people were lumped in together as "die überstaatlichen Mächte" or "the powers above the state".[6] The Bund became a prolific producer of conspiracy literature, although they were openly rejected by the growing Nazi movement, for whom some of the Bund's more wild ideas were even too fancifully conspiratorial.[7] Central also to their ideas was an occultist vision inspired by the Thule Society to which Ludendorff had been introduced by his wife. As such, the Bund presented history as a struggle between the Nordic hero and the three-way alliance of the Jew, Catholic and Freemason.[8] As a consequence, members of the Bund were expected to abandon Christianity and turn to the old Nordic gods.[9]

Decline and suppression

The Tannenbergbund initially enjoyed support amongst rural political movements in Schleswig-Holstein, although it never presented a serious challenge to the Nazis.[10] Among surviving senior officers of the Kaiserreich, Ludendorff's politics were viewed with a mixture of skepticism and disbelief. Field Marshal August von Mackensen, who had commanded an army corps at Tannenberg, wrote that "der Mann ist krank" (the man is sick).[11] Similarly, Paul von Hindenburg had no truck with the Tannenbergbund as he and Ludendorff had been estranged since the 1925 election, culminating in the two not shaking hands and Hindenburg snubbing Ludendorff's speech at the dedication of a Battle of Tannenberg memorial in 1927.[12] Given its composition of more junior officers loyal to Ludendorff, the Tannenbergbund failed to win over the support of the masses, and before long it lost a number of members to the Nazi Party.[13] The Tannenbergbund was banned as soon as Hitler came to power,[14] although the group carried on until Ludendorff's death in 1937 before finally being suppressed by Hitler's government.[15]


1. Kellogg, Michael (2008-07-31). The Russian Roots of Nazism: White Émigrés and the Making of National Socialism, 1917-1945. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521070058.
2. I. Kershaw, Hitler 1889-1936 Hubris, London: Penguin, 1999, pp. 268-9
3. L.L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, Ware: Wordsworth, 1998, p. 341
4. Snyder, op cit
5. Kershaw, op cit, p. 269
6. Snyder, op cit, p. 342
7. Kershaw, op cit
8. K.D. Bracher, The German Dictatorship, Harmondsowrth: Penguin, 1971, p. 170
9. J Wolschke-Bulmahn, The Nationalization of Nature and the Naturalization of the German Nation Archived 2007-10-12 at the Wayback Machine.
10. Rudolf Heberle, 'The Political Movements Among the Rural People in Schleswig-Holstein, 1918 to 1932, I', The Journal of Politics, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Feb., 1943), pp. 3-26
11. Theo Schwarzmüller, Zwischen Kaiser und "Führer". Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen. Eine politische Biographie. Munich: Deutsche Taschenbuch Verlag, 1995, p. 235.
12. John Wheeler-Bennett, The Wooden Titan: Hindenburg, London: Archon books, 1963, pp. 315-316
13. Snyder, op cit
14. L. Poliakov, The History of Anti-Semitism, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003, p. 159
15. Bracher, op cit
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:09 am

Konstantin Hierl
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/29/18



Konstantin Hierl in 1941
Director of the Reich Labour Service
In office
26 June 1935 – May 1945
Personal details
Born 24 February 1875
Parsberg, Bavaria, German Empire
Died 23 September 1955 (aged 80)
Heidelberg, West Germany
Nationality German
Political party Nazi Party
Occupation Military officer

Konstantin Hierl (24 February 1875 – 23 September 1955) was a major figure in the administration of Nazi Germany. He was the head of the Reich Labour Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst; RAD) and an associate of Adolf Hitler before he came to national power.


Hierl was born in Parsberg near Neumarkt in the Bavarian Upper Palatinate region, and attended secondary school (Gymnasium) in Burghausen and Regensburg. In 1893 he joined the Bavarian Army as a cadet.[1] He obtained the rank of lieutenant in 1895 and graduated from the military academy in 1902. He was promoted to captain (Hauptmann) in 1909. He served as a company commander in the Bavarian infantry. In World War I Hierl served as a member of the general staff of the I Royal Bavarian Reserve Corps, part of the German 6th Army fighting on the Western Front, where he achieved the rank of a lieutenant colonel.

Upon the German defeat and the November Revolution of 1918, Hierl became head of a paramilitary Freikorps unit. Hierl played a role in organizing the Black Reichswehr paramilitary forces in the early years of the Weimar Republic. In 1925, he joined Ludendorff's the far-right Tannenbergbund political society, which Hierl left two years later.

Nazi Party

In 1929 he joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and became head of Organization Department II that same year.[1] In the federal election of 1930, he became a member of the Reichstag parliament. On 5 June 1931, two years before the Nazi Party ascended to national power, Hierl became head of the FAD (Freiwilliger Arbeitsdienst), a state sponsored voluntary labour organization that provided services to civic and agricultural construction projects. There were many such organizations in Europe at the time, founded to provide much-needed employment during the Great Depression.

Hierl, on the right, with Alfred Rosenberg and Hans Frank at a diplomatic reception, Berlin, February 1939

Hierl was already a high-ranking member of the NSDAP when the Party took power in January 1933. He remained the head of the labour organization - now called the Nationalsozialistischer Arbeitsdienst, or NSAD. Adolf Hitler named him as State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of Labour under Franz Seldte, with the order to build up a powerful labour service organization.[1] Facing Minister Seldte's resistance, Hierl in 1934 switched to the Reich Ministry of the Interior under Wilhelm Frick in the rank of a Reichskommissar. On 11 July 1934, the NSAD was renamed Reichsarbeitsdienst or RAD (Reich Labor Service) which Hierl would control as its chief until the end of World War II. The Reich Labor Service was divided into two major sections, one for men (Reichsarbeitsdienst Männer - RAD/M) and one for women (Reichsarbeitdienst der weiblichen Jugend - RAD/wJ). The RAD was composed of 40 Gau-sections (Arbeitsgau). In 1936 the Reich Labor Service built the model village of Hierlshagen (present-day Ostaszów in Poland), named after Hierl. He was named Reich Labor Leader (Reichsarbeitsführer) in 1935 and Reichsleiter in 1936.[1] Also in 1936, he was awarded the Golden Party Badge. Hierl was further appointed Minister Without Portfolio in 1943.[1]

The RAD leader standard

During World War II, hundreds of RAD units were engaged in supplying frontline troops with food, ammunition, repairing damaged roads and constructing and repairing airstrips. RAD units constructed coastal fortifications (many RAD men worked on the Atlantic Wall), laid minefields, manned fortifications, and even helped guard vital locations and POW camps. The role of the Reich Labor Service was not limited to combat support functions. Hundreds of RAD units received training as anti-aircraft units and were deployed as Flak batteries.[2]

On 24 February 1945, Hierl was awarded the German Order, the highest decoration the Nazi Party could bestow on an individual.[3] After the war, he was tried and found guilty of "major offenses".[1] Hierl was sentenced to five years in a labour camp. Following his early release, he lived in Heidelberg until his death on 23 September 1955.[1]


1. Hamilton 1984, p. 227.
2. McNab 2009, p. 55.
3. Angolia 1989, pp. 223, 224.


• Angolia, John (1989). For Führer and Fatherland: Political & Civil Awards of the Third Reich. R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 978-0912138169.
• Hamilton, Charles (1984). Leaders & Personalities of the Third Reich, Vol. 1. San Jose, CA: R. James Bender Publishing. ISBN 0-912138-27-0.
• McNab, Chris (2009). The Third Reich. Amber Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1-906626-51-8.

External links

• Newspaper clippings about Konstantin Hierl in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics(ZBW)
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:13 am

Aufbau Vereinigung
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/29/18



The Aufbau Vereinigung (Reconstruction Organisation) was a Munich-based counterrevolutionary conspiratorial group formed in the aftermath of the German occupation of the Ukraine in 1918 and of the Latvian Intervention of 1919. It brought together White Russian émigrés and early German National Socialists who aimed to overthrow the governments of Germany and the Soviet Union, replacing them with authoritarian régimes of the far right. The group was originally known as Die Bruecke (The Bridge). Aufbau was also the name of a periodical it brought out.[1]

According to Michael Kellogg,[2] the Aufbau Vereinigung was a vital influence on the development of Nazi ideology in the years before the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 as well as financing NSDAP with, for example, funds from Henry Ford. It gave Hitler the idea of a vast Jewish conspiracy, involving a close alliance between international finance and Bolshevism and threatening disaster for mankind.[3] Recent research on Hitler's early years in Vienna (1905-1913) appears to have shown that his antisemitism was at that time far less developed than it became under the new influences.[4]

Aufbau members became involved in terrorist activities, including the assassination of Walther Rathenau and that of Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov (both in 1922).[5]

After the death of Scheubner-Richter in the putsch, Aufbau rapidly declined, and notions of Lebensraum and Slavic inferiority, naturally unpopular with the Russians, gained a stronger hold on the Nazi movement.[6]

The long-term influence of Aufbau has been traced[by whom?] in the implementation of the final solution[7] and in Hitler's disastrous decision to divert troops away from Moscow towards the Ukraine in 1941.[8]

Prominent members of Aufbau included:

• Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter (a Baltic German from the Russian Empire)
• Alfred Rosenberg (a Baltic German from the Russian Empire)
• Fyodor Vinberg (Russian officer)
• Piotr Shabelsky-Bork (Russian officer)
• General Vasily Biskupsky (Russian officer)
• Erich Ludendorff
• Max Amann
• Boris Brasol (Russian émigré)


1. Russia and Germany, A Century of Conflict by Walter Laqueur London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1965. p76
2. The Russian Roots of Nazism White Émigrés and the Making of National Socialism, 1917–1945 by Michael Kellogg, Cambridge 2005
3. Kellogg p278
4. Hitler's Vienna: A Dictator's Apprenticeship by Brigitte Hamann New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. pp. 347-359.
5. Kellogg p. 276
6. Laqueur pp79 & 89
7. Kellogg P 241
8. Kellogg p279

External links ... ee&id=7004
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:20 am

James Loeb
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/29/18



James Loeb
Born August 6, 1867
Hamburg,[1] Germany
Died May 27, 1933 (aged 65)
Munich, Germany
Nationality German
Alma mater Harvard College[2]
Occupation Banker

James Loeb (/loʊb/;[3] German: [løːp]; August 6, 1867 – May 27, 1933) was a German-born American banker, Hellenist and philanthropist.


James Loeb was the second born son of Solomon Loeb and Betty Loeb.[4] He joined his father at Kuhn, Loeb & Co. in 1888 and was made partner in 1894, but he retired from the bank in 1901 due to severe illnesses.

In memory of his former lecturer and friend Charles Eliot Norton, in 1907 Loeb created The Charles Eliot Norton Memorial Lectureship.[5] In 1911, he founded and endowed the Loeb Classical Library, and founded the Institute of Musical Art, which later became part of the Juilliard School of Music. That year he also turned over his collection of Aretine pottery to the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard.[6]

He donated a large amount of funds to what is now called the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, which helped his former psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin to establish and maintain the Institute in its early days.[7] Nevertheless, presumably unknown to Loeb, Kraepelin held racist views about Jews, and his student who took over the Institute, Ernst Rudin, was a leading advocate of racial hygiene and forced sterilization or killing of psychiatric inpatients for which he was personally honoured by Adolf Hitler.[8][9][10]

A large portion of his significant art collection he left to the Museum Antiker Kleinkunst in Munich (today the Staatliche Antikensammlungen) ("Sammlung James Loeb"). He was a member of the English Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies.[6]


• Paul Delcharme, Euripides and the Spirit of His Dreams
• Maurice Croiset, Aristophanes and the Political Parties at Athens


1. "James Loeb Ellis Island Passenger Manifest". Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
2. ... 800000-to/
3. "Loeb". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
4. Born Betty Gallenberg. Salomon Loeb met and married her in Mannheim, Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany in 1862. She was then 28 years old, educated as a musician, she also taught the piano. The James Loeb biography from the Loeb Classical Library calls her Betty (Goldman) Loeb.
5. The Charles Eliot Norton Memorial Lectureship Archived 2005-11-04 at the Wayback Machine., Archaeological Institute of America
6. Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Loeb, James". Encyclopedia Americana.
7. James Loeb Harvard University Press
8. Brüne, Martin (1 January 2007). "On human self-domestication, psychiatry, and eugenics". Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine. 2 (1): 21. doi:10.1186/1747-5341-2-21. PMC 2082022. PMID 17919321.
9. Science and Inhumanity: The Kaiser-Wilhelm/Max Planck Society William E. Seidelman MD, 2001
10. Who's Who in Nazi Germany Robert S. Wistrich, Routledge, 4 Jul 2013

Further reading

• James Loeb, 1887–1933: Kunstsammler und Mäzen, by Brigitte Salmen (ed.) for the Schloßmuseum des Marktes Murnau, Murnau, 2000. [This is a German-language exhibition-catalogue for a presentation of the life of James Loeb, collector and philanthropist at the Schloßmuseum Murnau, April 7 – July 9, 2000. The book contains essays from various authors (Brigitte Salmen, Dorothea McEwan, Erika Simon and others). It also contains a German translation of James Loeb's biographical essay Our Father: A Memorial [privately printed, 1929]; James Loeb: Unser Vater: Eine Denkschrift für Salomon Loeb, pp. 9–16.]

External links

• James Loeb at the Database of Classical Scholars
• Loeb Family Tree
• James Loeb
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Re: Mathilde Ludendorff, by Wikipedia

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Ernst Rüdin
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/29/18



Ernst Rüdin: Hitler's Racial Hygiene Mastermind.
by Jay Joseph and Norbert A. Wetzel
Journal of the History of Biology
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 1-30.

Ernst Rüdin (1874-1952) was the founder of psychiatric genetics and was also a founder of the German racial hygiene movement. Throughout his long career he played a major role in promoting eugenic ideas and policies in Germany, including helping formulate the 1933 Nazi eugenic sterilization law and other governmental policies directed against the alleged carriers of genetic defects. In the 1940s Rüdin supported the killing of children and mental patients under a Nazi program euphemistically called "Euthanasia." The authors document these crimes and discuss their implications, and also present translations of two publications Rüdin co-authored in 1938 showing his strong support for Hitler and his policies. The authors also document what they see as revisionist historical accounts by leading psychiatric genetic authors. They outline three categories of contemporary psychiatric genetic accounts of Rüdin and his work: (A) those who write about German psychiatric genetics in the Nazi period, but either fail to mention Rüdin at all, or cast him in a favorable light; (B) those who acknowledge that Rüdin helped promote eugenic sterilization and/or may have worked with the Nazis, but generally paint a positive picture of Rüdin's research and fail to mention his participation in the "euthanasia" killing program; and (C) those who have written that Rüdin committed and supported unspeakable atrocities. The authors conclude by calling on the leaders of psychiatric genetics to produce a detailed and complete account of their field's history, including all of the documented crimes committed by Rüdin and his associates.

The German Society for Racial Hygiene (German: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rassenhygiene) was a German eugenic organization founded on 22 June 1905 by the physician Alfred Ploetz in Berlin. Its goal was "for society to return to a healthy and blooming, strong and beautiful life" as Ploetz put it. The Nordic race was supposed to regain its "purity" through selective reproduction and sterilization....

Soon after the society was founded, it received generous support by the German imperial government ... Notable members comprised Ploetz' brother-in-law Ernst Rüdin.

-- German Society for Racial Hygiene, by Wikipedia

Ernst Rüdin, 1944
Born 19 April 1874
Died 22 October 1952 (aged 78)

Ernst Rüdin (April 19, 1874 in St. Gallen – October 22, 1952) was a Swiss-born German psychiatrist, geneticist, eugenicist and Nazi. Rising to prominence under Emil Kraepelin and assuming his directorship at what is now called the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, he has long been scientifically honoured and cited internationally as the pioneer of psychiatric inheritance studies. He also argued for, designed, justified and funded the mass sterilization and clinical killing of adults and children.

Early career

Commencing in 1893 Rüdin studied medicine at universities in several countries, graduating in 1898. At the Burghölzli in Zurich, he worked as assistant to Eugen Bleuler who coined the term 'schizophrenia'. He completed his PhD, then a psychiatric residency at a Berlin prison[verification needed]. From 1907 he worked at the University of Munich as assistant to Emil Kraepelin, the highly influential psychiatrist who had developed the diagnostic split between 'dementia praecox' ('early dementia' – reflecting his pessimistic prognosis – renamed schizophrenia) and 'manic-depressive illness' (including unipolar depression), and who is considered by many to be the father of modern psychiatric classification.[1] Rüdin became senior lecturer in 1909 as well as senior physician at the Munich Psychiatric Hospital, succeeding Alois Alzheimer.[2]

Kraepelin and Rüdin were both ardent advocates of a theory that the German race was becoming overly 'domesticated' and thus degenerating into higher rates of mental illness and other conditions.[3] Fears of degeneration were somewhat common internationally at the time, but the extent to which Rüdin took them may have been unique, and from the very beginning of his career he made continuous efforts to have his research translate into political action. He also repeatedly drew attention to the financial burden of the sick and disabled.[4]

Rüdin developed the concept of "empirical genetic prognosis" of mental disorders. He published influential initial results on the genetics of schizophrenia (known as dementia praecox) in 1916.[5] Rüdin's data did not show a high enough risk in siblings for schizophrenia to be due to a simple recessive gene as he and Kraepelin thought, but he put forward a two-recessive-gene theory to try to account for this.[6] This has been attributed to a "mistaken belief" that just one or a small number of gene variations caused such conditions.[7] Similarly his own large study on Mood disorders correctly disproved his own theory of simple Mendelian inheritance and also showed environmental causes, but Rüdin simply neglected to publish and continued to advance his eugenic theories.[8] Nevertheless, Rüdin pioneered and refined complex techniques for conducting studies of inheritance, was widely cited in the international literature for decades, and is still regarded as "the father of psychiatric genetics".[9]

Rüdin was influenced by his then brother-in-law, and long-time friend and colleague, Alfred Ploetz, who was considered the 'father' of racial hygiene and indeed had coined the term in 1895.[10] This was a form of eugenics, inspired by social darwinism, which had gained some popularity internationally, as would the voluntary or compulsory sterilization of psychiatric patients, initially in America. Rüdin campaigned for this early on. At a conference on alcoholism in 1903, he argued for the sterilisation of 'incurable alcoholics', but his proposal was roundly defeated.[10] In 1904 he was appointed co-editor in chief of the newly founded Archive for Racial Hygiene and Social Biology, and in 1905 was among the co-founders of the German Society for Racial Hygiene (which soon became International), along with Ploetz.[11] He published an article of his own in Archives in 1910, in which he argued that medical care for the mentally ill, alcoholics, epileptics and others was a distortion of natural laws of natural selection, and medicine should help to clean the genetic pool.[3]

Increasing influence

In 1917 a new German Institute for Psychiatric Research was established in Munich (known as the DFA in German; renamed the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry after World War II), designed and driven forward by Emil Kraepelin. The Institute incorporated a Department of Genealogical and Demographic Studies (known as the GDA in German) – the first in the world specialising in psychiatric genetics – and Rüdin was put in charge by overall director Kraepelin. In 1924 the Institute came under the umbrella of the prestigious Kaiser Wilhelm Society. From 1925 Rüdin spent three years as full Professor of Psychology at Basel, Switzerland.[11] He returned to the Institute in 1928, with an expanded departmental budget and new building at 2 Kraepelinstrasse, financed primarily by the American Rockefeller Foundation. The institute soon gained an international reputation as leading psychiatric research, including in hereditary genetics. In 1931, a few years after Kraepelin's death, Rüdin took over the directorship of the entire Institute as well as remaining head of his department.[4][7][12][13]

Rüdin was among the first to attempt to educate the public about the "dangers" of hereditary defectives and the value of the Nordic race as "culture creators".[14] By 1920 his colleague Alfred Hoche published, with lawyer Karl Binding, the influential "Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Living".[15]

In 1930 Rüdin was a leading German representative at the First International Congress for Mental Hygiene, held in Washington, US, arguing for eugenics.[11] In 1932 he became President of the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations. He was in contact with Carlos Blacker of the British Eugenics Society, and sent him a copy of pre-Nazi voluntary sterilization laws enacted in Prussia; a precursor to the Nazi forced sterilization laws that Rüdin is said to have already prepared in his desk drawer.[16]

From 1935 to 1945 he was President of the Society of German Neurologists and Psychiatrists (GDNP), later renamed the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology (DGPPN).[17]

The American Rockefeller Foundation funded numerous international researchers to visit and work at Rüdin's psychiatric genetics department, even as late as 1939. These included Eliot Slater and Erik Stromgren, considered the founding fathers of psychiatric genetics in Britain and Scandinavia respectively, as well as Franz Josef Kallmann who became a leading figure in twins research in the US after emigrating in 1936.[4] Kallmann had claimed in 1935 that 'minor anomalies' in otherwise unaffected relatives of schizophrenics should be grounds for compulsory sterilization.

Rüdin's research was also supported with manpower and financing from the German National Socialists.

Nazi expert

Wilhelm Frick in his cell at Nuremberg, November 1945

In 1933, Ernst Rüdin, Alfred Ploetz, and several other experts on racial hygiene were brought together to form the Expert Committee on Questions of Population and Racial Policy under Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick. The committee's ideas were used as a scientific basis to justify the racial policy of Nazi Germany and its "Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring" was passed by the German government on January 1, 1934. Rüdin was such an avid proponent that colleagues nicknamed him the "Reichsfuhrer for Sterilization"[2][18]

In a speech to the German Society for Rassenhygiene published in 1934, Rüdin recalled the early days of trying to alert the public to the special value of the Nordic race and the dangers of defectives. He stated: "The significance of Rassenhygiene racial hygiene did not become evident to all aware Germans until the political activity of Adolf Hitler and only through his work has our 30-year-long dream of translating Rassenhygiene into action finally become a reality." Describing it as a 'duty of honour' for society to help implement the Nazi policies, Rüdin declared: "Whoever is not physically or mentally fit must not pass on his defects to his children. The state must take care that only the fit produce children. Conversely, it must be regarded as reprehensible to withhold healthy children from the state."[14]

From early on Rüdin had been a 'racial fanatic' for the purity of the 'German people'.[19] However he was also described in 1988 as "not so much a fanatical Nazi as a fanatical geneticist".[20] His ideas for reducing new cases of schizophrenia would prove a total failure, despite between 73% and 100% of the diagnosed being sterilised or killed.[7]

Rüdin joined the Nazi party in 1937.[21] In 1939, on his 65th birthday, he was awarded a 'Goethe medal for art and science' handed to him personally by Hitler, who honoured him as the 'pioneer of the racial-hygienic measures of the Third Reich'. In 1944 he received a bronze Nazi eagle medal (Adlerschild des Deutschen Reiches), with Hitler calling him the 'pathfinder in the field of hereditary hygiene'.[11]

In 1942, speaking about 'euthanasia', Rüdin emphasised "the value of eliminating young children of clearly inferior quality". He supported and financially aided the work of Julius Duessen at Heidelberg University with Carl Schneider, clinical research which from the beginning involving killing children.[4][18][22][23]


At the end of the war in 1945, Rüdin claimed he had only ever engaged in academic science, only ever heard rumours of killings at the nearby insane asylums, and that he hated the Nazis. However, some of his Nazi political activities, scientific justifications, and awards from Hitler were already uncovered in 1945 (as were his lecture handouts praising Nordics and disparaging Jews). Investigative journalist Victor H. Bernstein concluded: "I am sure that Prof. Rüdin never so much as killed a fly in his 74 years. I am also sure he is one of the most evil men in Germany." Rüdin was stripped of his Swiss citizenship which he had held jointly with German, and two months later was placed under house arrest by the Munich Military Government. However, interned in the US, he was released in 1947 after a 'denazification' trial where he was supported by former colleague Kallmann (a eugenicist himself) and famous quantum physicist Max Planck[verification needed]; his only punishment was a 500-mark fine.[24]

Karl Brandt on trial, August 20, 1947

Photo from Josef Mengele's Argentine identification document (1956)

Speculation about the reasons for his early release, despite having been considered as a potential criminal defendant for the Nuremberg trials, include the need to restore confidence and order in the German medical profession; his personal and financial connections to prestigious American and British researchers, funding bodies and others; and the fact that he repeatedly cited American eugenic sterilization initiatives to justify his own as legal (indeed the Nuremberg trials carefully avoided highlighting such links in general). Nevertheless, Rüdin has been cited as a more senior and influential architect of Nazi crimes than the physician who was sentenced to death, Karl Brandt, or the infamous Josef Mengele who had attended his lectures and been employed by his Institute.[25]

After Rüdin's death in 1952 the funeral eulogy was held by Kurt Pohlisch, a close friend who had been professor of psychiatry at Bonn University, director of the second-largest genetics research institute in Germany, and expert Nazi advisor on Action T4.[26]

Rüdin's connections to the Nazis were a major reason for criticisms of psychiatric genetics in Germany after 1945.[5]

He was survived by his daughter, Edith Zerbin-Rüdin, who became a psychiatric geneticist and eugenicist herself. In 1996 Zerbin-Rüdin, along with Kenneth S. Kendler, published a series of articles on his work which were criticised by others for whitewashing his racist and later Nazi ideologies and activities (Elliot S. Gershon also notes that Zerbin-Rüdin acted as defender and apologist for her father in private conversation and in a transcribed interview published in 1988).[27][21] Kendler and other leading psychiatric genetic authors have been accused as recently as 2013 of producing revisionist historical accounts of Rüdin and his 'Munich School'. Three types of account have been identified: "(A) those who write about German psychiatric genetics in the Nazi period, but either fail to mention Rüdin at all, or cast him in a favorable light; (B) those who acknowledge that Rüdin helped promote eugenic sterilization and/or may have worked with the Nazis, but generally paint a positive picture of Rüdin's research and fail to mention his participation in the "euthanasia" killing program; and (C) those who have written that Rüdin committed and supported unspeakable atrocities."[28][29]

Partial bibliography

• Über die klinischen Formen der Gefängnisspsychosen, Diss. Zürich, 1901
• (Hrsg.) Studien über Vererbung und Entstehung geistiger Störungen, 1916–1939
• Psychiatrische Indikation zur Sterilisierung, 1929
• (Einl.) Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranken Nachwuchses vom 14. Juli 1933, 1934
• (Hrsg.) Erblehre und Rassenhygiene im völkischen Staat, 1934
• Die Bedeutung der Eugenik und Genetik für die Psychische Hygiene. Zeitschrift für psychische Hygiene 3 (1930), S. 133–147

See also

• T-4 Euthanasia Program
• Ethnic cleansing
• Eugenics
• Nazi doctors (list)
• Racial hygiene
• Werner Heyde
• Werner Villinger
• Alfred Ploetz


1. Kearney, Chris; Trull, Timothy J. (2014-02-11). Abnormal Psychology and Life: A Dimensional Approach. ISBN 9781305162792.
2. Science and Inhumanity: The Kaiser-Wilhelm/Max Planck Society William E. Seidelman MD, 2001
3. Brüne, Martin (1 January 2007). "On human self-domestication, psychiatry, and eugenics". Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine. 2 (1): 21. doi:10.1186/1747-5341-2-21. PMC 2082022. PMID 17919321.
4. Man, Medicine, and the State Pg 73-
5. Matthias M. Weber (1996). "Ernst Rüdin, 1874–1952: A German psychiatrist and geneticist". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 67 (4): 323–331. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19960726)67:4<323::AID-AJMG2>3.0.CO;2-N. PMID 8837697.
6. Gottesman, Irving I.; Shields, James (1982-06-30). Schizophrenia. ISBN 9780521295598.
7. Torrey EF, Yolken RH (September 2009). "Psychiatric Genocide: Nazi Attempts to Eradicate Schizophrenia". Schizophr Bull. 36 (1): 26–32. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbp097. PMC 2800142. PMID 19759092.
8. Kösters, Gundula; Steinberg, Holger; Kirkby, Kenneth Clifford; Himmerich, Hubertus (2015-11-06). "Ernst Rüdin's Unpublished 1922–1925 Study "Inheritance of Manic-Depressive Insanity": Genetic Research Findings Subordinated to Eugenic Ideology". PLoS Genetics. 11 (11): e1005524. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005524. ISSN 1553-7390. PMC 4636330. PMID 26544949.
9. Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis 2013. Eds. John Read, Jacqui Dillon. Pg 35. Citing Steeman (2005) & Straus (2006)
10. Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis, 1988, by Robert Proctor. Pg 96–97
11. Who's Who in Nazi Germany Robert S. Wistrich, Routledge, 4 Jul 2013
12. Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Zweite aktualisierte Auflage, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8, S. 513.
13. Psychiatric research and science policy in Germany: the history of the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt fur Psychiatrie (German Institute for Psychiatric Research) in Munich from 1917 to 1945MM. Weber, 2000
14. The Science and Politics of Racial Research by William Tucker. University of Illinois Press, 1994. Pg121. Original transcript: E. Rudin, "Aufgaben and Ziele der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Rassenhygiene," Archiv für Rassen- und Gesellschafts-Biologie 28 (1934): 228–29
15. Understanding Mental Health: A Critical Realist ExplorationBy David Pilgrim
16. The Eugenics Society, Its Sources and Its Critics in BritainPauline Mazumdar, Routledge, 20 Dec 2005] Pg207
17. Psychiatry under National Socialism: Remembrance and Responsibility Archived 2015-02-12 at the Wayback Machine. Frank Schneider, 2011
18. The Missing Gene Jay Joseph, 2006, pg142-
19. Peters UH (1996). "[Ernst Rüdin--a Swiss psychiatrist as the leader of Nazi psychiatry--the final solution as a goal]". Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 64 (9): 327–43. doi:10.1055/s-2007-996402. PMID 8991870.
20. Ethics and Mental Health: The Patient, Profession and Community Michael Robertson, Garry Walter, preface. Original source psychiatrist Robert Jay Lipton in 1988 book Nazi Doctors.
21. Elliot S. Gershon (1997). "Letter to the Editor: Ernst Rüdin, a Nazi psychiatrist and geneticist". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 74 (4): 457–458. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19970725)74:4<457::AID-AJMG23>3.0.CO;2-G. PMID 9259388.
22. Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices, Legacies Chapter by V. Roelcke, Pg106
23. Program and practice of psychiatric genetics at the German Research Institute of Psychiatry under Ernst Rudin: on the relationship between science, politics and the concept of race before and after 1993 by V. Roelcke, 2002
24. Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology Under the Microscope Jay Joseph. Pg 33-, 48. Original source: Created Nazi Science of Murder Victor H Berstein, 1945, August 21, PM Daily
25. From a Race of Masters to a Master Race: 1948 To 1848.A.E. Samaan, 8 Feb 2013.
26. Baltic Eugenics: Bio-Politics, Race and Nation in Interwar Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania 1918–1940 : Volker Roelcke: 3. Eliot Slater and the Institutionalization of Psychiatric Genetics in the United Kingdom pg312 & note 71 on pg 323
27. Edith Zerbin-Rüdin, Kenneth S. Kendler (1996). "Ernst Rüdin (1874–1952) and his genealogic-demographic department in Munich (1917–1986): An introduction to their family studies of schizophrenia". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 67 (4): 332–337. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19960726)67:4<332::AID-AJMG3>3.0.CO;2-O. PMID 8837698.
28. Joseph J, Wetzel NA (2013). "Ernst Rüdin: Hitler's Racial Hygiene Mastermind". J Hist Biol. 46 (1): 1–30. doi:10.1007/s10739-012-9344-6. PMID 23180223.
29. Understanding Mental Health: A Critical Realist ExplorationDavid Pilgrim. Pg 51-

External links

• History of Mental Health: 1874: Ernst Rüdin By Henk van Setten
• The Simon Wiesenthal Center Multimedia Learning Center Online: Ernst Rudin (nb: page moved)
• International Eugenics
• Julian Schwarz, Burkhart Brückner: Biography of Ernst Rüdin in: Biographical Archive of Psychiatry (BIAPSY), 2016.


"Ernst Rudin," from "The University Department of Psychiatry in Munich: From Kraepelin and his predecessors to molecular psychiatry"
by H. Hippius, H.J. Moller, N. Muller and G. Neundorfer-Kohl

Ernst Rudin (1874-1952) had already once worked for Kraepelin (1900 until 1901 in Heidelberg) before becoming Kraepelin’s co-worker for a second time in 1907.

Ernst Rudin was born in St. Gallen (Switzerland) as son of a teacher who later worked as a textile salesman. Rudin grew up with his three elder sisters. The second eldest sister influenced him strongly and in many different ways. She was eight years older than him, was extremely assertive and was one of the first women in Switzerland to graduate in medicine. During her studies she med Alfred Julius Ploetz (1860-1940), who came from Silesia, was economist and founder of the racial hygiene movement in Germany. With his social-Darwinist views on “racial hygiene” Ploetz made a lasting impression on the young Ernst Rudin. Even after Ploetz and Rudin’s sister divorced, Ploetz and Ernst Rudin kept in contact. Apart from being influenced by Ploetz’s initially utopian ideas, which later turned into the actual reality of racial hygiene, Rudin was also influenced as a young man by the works of A. Forel. Forel had been Professor for Psychiatry in Zurich since 1879, managed the Psychiatric Clinic Burgholzli in Zurich and was a committed member of the Swiss abstinence movement. Already during his school days, Rudin combined Ploetz’ social reforming postulate and concept of racial hygiene with the efforts of Forel enforcing the ideas of the abstinence movement.

Influenced by these ideas Rudin began his medical studies in 1893, which took him to Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Ireland. After graduation in Zurich in 1898 he worked for a year at the Psychiatric Clinic for Forel’s successor E. Bleuler (1857-1939), before leaving to join Kraepelin in Heidelberg. His graduation in Zurich was entitled “About the clinical forms of prison psychoses.” After working in Heidelberg for a short time, Rudin’s career took him back to Bleuler in Zurich and then finally to Berlin where he – after working in neurology for H. Oppenheim (1858-1919) – worked at the observation department of the prison Berlin-Moabit. During this time Rudin was again in close contact with A. Ploetz; plans to publish a new journal – “Archive of Biological Hygiene for Race and Society” – were established. The editor and co-publisher of the journal was Rudin and he was co-founder of an “Association for Racial Hygiene.” The “Archive of Biological Hygiene for Race and Society” followed up on the “degeneration doctrine” developed by French psychiatrists during the second half of the 19th century and set down procedures for “prophylaxes of madness.”

From 1905 until 1907 Rudin worked mainly as editor of the “Archive of Biological Hygiene for Race and Society.” Then he returned to psychiatry. He became assistant to Kraepelin at the Munich clinic. At this time, Kraepelin was preoccupied with work on the hereditary aspects of mental diseases and was critically analyzing the degeneration doctrine which he found to be conceptually inaccurate. Rudin stayed with Kraepelin for 18 years, having studied at 6 or 7 different universities, after working for 6 years at many different clinics and finally having spent two and a half years as publisher and editor of a journal. He worked at the Munich clinic for 10 years and then at the German Psychiatric Research Institute, which Kraepelin had founded. During his entire time with Kraepelin Rudin remained a dedicated advocate of “racial hygiene.”

Two years after joining the Munich clinic, Rudin habilitated in 1909 at the medical faculty with a thesis “About the clinical research of mental disorders in prisoners sentenced to life-long imprisonment” and in doing so, followed up on his graduation topic in Zurich. Forensic-psychiatric problems were always of interest to Rudin; he lectured on forensic psychiatry. From 1911 onwards he lectures on “Facts, Problem and Prophylaxis of Degeneration.”

After habilitating, Rudin began his work on the “Empirical hereditary prognosis.” With his study on dementia praecox he became a founder of modern psychiatric-genetic research.

In 1909 Kraepelin made Rudin clinical senior consultant in place of Alzheimer who wanted to dedicate himself to scientific work. Consequently, Rudin was responsible for the Psychiatric Out-Patient Clinic and met Ida Senger, a co-worker of Hans Gudden. Rudin married Ida Senger in 1920.

Kraepelin had hesitated for a while before making Rudin clinical senior consultant. Following Gaupp’s appointment to Tubingen (1906), Alzheimer took over the job of senior consultant on an interim basis. Kraeplin tried to convince Alzheimer to keep the job as long as possible, but Alzheimer constantly urged to be freed from his duties and Kraepelin finally decided to give Rudin the job in 1909.

Kraepelin was very critical of many of Rudin’s ideas.

When Rudin left the clinic in 1917, he took over the genealogical demographic department of the Research Institute and continued to collaborate with the clinic doctors. This situation was possible because the Research Institute occupied rooms at the clinic for quite some time.

During the last months of the war and the first years following the First World War, Rudin made some important forensic-psychiatric expertises. For example, together with E. Kahn (see below), he gave his expert opinion on some of the members of the revolutionary unrest which had played a role in the founding of the Munich council republic. The “revolutionary leaders” were judged according to psychopathological criteria as “ethically defective, seriously psychopathic personalities.” These expert opinions were in considerable contrast to the forensic psychiatric expertise Rudin made on Count von Arco-Valley, who had shot the Bavarian Minister President Eisner in 1919. In Arco-Valley “no grounds for mental disease” could be found, but “only an immature personality tending towards impulsive acts” (this expertise by Rudin from 1918/1919 is nowadays an unsettling example – and justifiably so – of how a psychiatric evaluation can unfortunately be defined by the personal conviction of a single expert).

Rudin remained head of the genealogical demographic department of the Research Institute until 1925; he then was offered the chair for psychiatry in Basle. He managed the Basle clinic for three years and after Kraepelin’s death returned to the Research Institute in Munich in 1928. In Basle he was not able to carry out his plans for psychiatric-genetics studies as wished. In Munich, with the building of the Research Institute sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, he received the research opportunity he had been looking for. In 1931 he became manager of the Research Institute and in 1933 was given the title and academic rights of an ordinary professor of psychiatry of the University of Munich.

In the following years he extended he department with considerable organizational talent. After 1933 he profited from the fact that his genetic-psychiatric research and ideas of racial hygiene were exactly what the new potentates were looking for. As early as 1933, Rudin became head of the “Working Group for Racial Hygiene and Racial Politics” for the advisory council for “Racial and Population Politics” to the Reichs-Minister of the Interior, became assessor at the Court for Genetic Health and thus became more and more involved in the calamitous developments of the national-socialistic regime. The genealogical demographic department of the German Psychiatric Research Institute was subsidized directly by funds from the Reich’s Chancellor.

Immediately after the end of the Second World War the Swiss authorities withdrew Rudin’s citizenship. In autumn 1945 he was dismissed from office by the American Military Government and interned. Within the denazification project he was considered to be amongst the “less guilty” and after probation he was classified as “follower.” Rudin died in Munich on October 22, 1952.

The opening of the German Research Institute had been so much work for Kraepelin in 1917/1918 that the problems at the clinic had second priority. When Rudin left the clinic in 1917 to take over the genealogical demographic department at the Research Institute, the job of senior consultant remained unoccupied for the time being. In 1919 G. Stertz became senior consultant at the clinic, and when Stertz was appointed to Marburg two years later, E. Kahn took his place. Kahn managed the clinic after Kraeplin’s retirement and did so provisionally until O. Bumke took over.
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