Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:55 pm

Higashi Hongan-ji
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Higashi Hongan-ji
Eastern Temple of the Original Vow
Higashi Hongan-ji
Affiliation Jodo Shinshu, Otani-ha
Status Head temple
Location 754 Tokiwa-machi, north of Karasuma and Shichijō, Shimogyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Country Japan
Higashi Hongan-ji is located in JapanHigashi Hongan-ji
Shown within Japan
Geographic coordinates 34°59′27.66″N 135°45′30.44″ECoordinates: 34°59′27.66″N 135°45′30.44″E
Ōtani-ha (Higashi Honganji)

Higashi Hongan-ji (東本願寺), or, the Eastern Temple of the Original Vow, is one of two dominant sub-sects of Shin Buddhism in Japan and abroad, the other being Nishi Honganji (or, 'The Western Temple of the Original Vow').

Jodo Shinshu (浄土真宗 "The True Essence of the Pure Land Teaching"[1]), also known as Shin Buddhism or True Pure Land Buddhism, is a school of Pure Land Buddhism. It was founded by the former Tendai Japanese monk Shinran. Shin Buddhism is considered the most widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan....

Early Shin Buddhism did not truly flourish until the time of Rennyo (1415–1499), who was 8th in descent from Shinran. Through his charisma and proselytizing, Shin Buddhism was able to amass a greater following and grow in strength. In the 16th-century, during the Sengoku period the political power of Honganji led to several conflicts between it and the warlord Oda Nobunaga, culminating in a ten-year conflict over the location of the Ishiyama Hongan-ji, which Nobunaga coveted because of its strategic value. So strong did the sect become that in 1602, through mandate of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, the main temple Hongan-ji in Kyoto was broken off into two sects to curb its power. These two sects, the Nishi (Western) Honganji and the Higashi (Eastern) Honganji, exist separately to this day.

During the time of Shinran, followers would gather in informal meeting houses called dojo, and had an informal liturgical structure. However, as time went on, this lack of cohesion and structure caused Jōdo Shinshū to gradually lose its identity as a distinct sect, as people began mixing other Buddhist practices with Shin ritual. One common example was the Mantra of Light popularized by Myōe and Shingon Buddhism. Other Pure Land Buddhist practices, such as the nembutsu odori[4] or "dancing nembutsu" as practiced by the followers of Ippen and the Ji School, may have also been adopted by early Shin Buddhists. Rennyo ended these practices by formalizing much of the Jōdo Shinshū ritual and liturgy, and revived the thinning community at the Honganji temple while asserting newfound political power. Rennyo also proselytized widely among other Pure Land sects and consolidated most of the smaller Shin sects. Today, there are still ten distinct sects of Jōdo Shinshū, Nishi Hongan-ji and Higashi Hongan-ji being the two largest....

Following the unification of Japan during the Edo period, Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism adapted, along with the other Japanese Buddhist schools, into providing memorial and funeral services for its registered members under the Danka system, which was legally required by the Tokugawa shogunate in order to prevent the spread of Christianity in Japan. The danka seido system continues to exist today, although not as strictly as in the premodern period, causing Japanese Buddhism to also be labeled as "Funeral Buddhism" since it became the primary function of Buddhist temples. The Honganji also created an impressive academic tradition, which led to the founding of Ryukoku University in Kyoto and formalized many of the Jōdo Shinshū traditions which are still followed today.

Following the Meiji Restoration and the subsequent persecution of Buddhism (haibutsu kishaku) of the late 1800s due to a revived nationalism and modernization, Jōdo Shinshū managed to survive intact due to the devotion of its monto. During World War II, the Honganji, as with the other Japanese Buddhist schools, was compelled to support the policies of the military government and the cult of State Shinto. It subsequently apologized for its wartime actions.[5]....

Shinran's thought was strongly influenced by the doctrine of Mappō, a largely Mahayana eschatology which claims humanity's ability to listen to and practice the Buddhist teachings deteriorates over time and loses effectiveness in bringing individual practitioners closer to Buddhahood. This belief was particularly widespread in early medieval China and in Japan at the end of the Heian. Shinran, like his mentor Hōnen, saw the age he was living in as being a degenerate one where beings cannot hope to be able to extricate themselves from the cycle of birth and death through their own power, or jiriki (自力). For both Hōnen and Shinran, all conscious efforts towards achieving enlightenment and realizing the Bodhisattva ideal were contrived and rooted in selfish ignorance; for humans of this age are so deeply rooted in karmic evil as to be incapable of developing the truly altruistic compassion that is requisite to becoming a Bodhisattva.

Due to his awareness of human limitations, Shinran advocates reliance on tariki, or other power (他力)—the power of Amitābha (Japanese Amida) made manifest in his Primal Vow—in order to attain liberation.
Shin Buddhism can therefore be understood as a "practiceless practice", for there are no specific acts to be performed such as there are in the "Path of Sages"....

As in other Pure Land Buddhist schools, Amitābha is a central focus of the Buddhist practice, and Jōdo Shinshū expresses this devotion through a chanting practice called nembutsu, or "Mindfulness of the Buddha [Amida]". The nembutsu is simply reciting the phrase Namu Amida Butsu ("I take refuge in Amitābha Buddha"). Jōdo Shinshū is not the first school of Buddhism to practice the nembutsu but it is interpreted in a new way according to Shinran. The nembutsu becomes understood as an act that expresses gratitude to Amitābha; furthermore, it is evoked in the practitioner through the power of Amida's unobstructed compassion. Therefore, in Shin Buddhism, the nembutsu is not considered a practice, nor does it generate karmic merit. It is simply an affirmation of one's gratitude. Indeed, given that the nembutsu is the Name, when one utters the Name, that is Amitābha calling to the devotee. This is the essence of the Name-that-calls.[6]....

The receipt of shinjin comes about through the renunciation of self-effort in attaining enlightenment through tariki. It should be noted, however, that shinjin arises from jinen (自然 naturalness, spontaneous working of the Vow) and cannot be achieved solely through conscious effort. One is letting go of conscious effort in a sense, and simply trusting Amida Buddha, and the nembutsu.

For Jōdo Shinshū practitioners, shinjin develops over time through "deep hearing" (monpo) of Amitābha's call of the nembutsu. According to Shinran, "to hear" means "that sentient beings, having heard how the Buddha's Vow arose—its origin and fulfillment—are altogether free of doubt."[8] Jinen also describes the way of naturalness whereby Amitābha's infinite light illumines and transforms the deeply rooted karmic evil of countless rebirths into good karma. It is of note that such evil karma is not destroyed but rather transformed: Shin stays within the Mahayana tradition's understanding of śūnyatā and understands that samsara and nirvana are not separate. Once the practitioner's mind is united with Amitābha and Buddha-nature gifted to the practitioner through shinjin, the practitioner attains the state of non-retrogression, whereupon after his death it is claimed he will achieve instantaneous and effortless enlightenment. He will then return to the world as a Bodhisattva, that he may work towards the salvation of all beings....

Under the influence of Rennyo and other priests, Jōdo Shinshū later fully accepted honji suijaku beliefs and the concept of kami as manifestations of Amida Buddha and other buddhas and bodhisattvas.[10]....

The term honji suijaku or honchi suijaku (本地垂迹) in Japanese religious terminology refers to a theory widely accepted until the Meiji period according to which Indian Buddhist deities choose to appear in Japan as native kami to more easily convert and save the Japanese.[1][2]

Kami (Japanese: 神, [kaꜜmi]) are the spirits, phenomena or "holy powers" that are venerated in the religion of Shinto. They can be elements of the landscape, forces of nature, as well as beings and the qualities that these beings express; they can also be the spirits of venerated dead persons. Many kami are considered the ancient ancestors of entire clans (some ancestors became kami upon their death if they were able to embody the values and virtues of kami in life). Traditionally, great or sensational leaders like the Emperor could be or became kami.[1]

In Shinto, kami are not separate from nature, but are of nature, possessing positive and negative, and good and evil characteristics. They are manifestations of musubi (結び),[2] the interconnecting energy of the universe, and are considered exemplary of what humanity should strive towards. Kami are believed to be "hidden" from this world, and inhabit a complementary existence that mirrors our own: shinkai (神界, "the world of the kami").
[3]:22 To be in harmony with the awe-inspiring aspects of nature is to be conscious of kannagara no michi (随神の道 or 惟神の道, "the way of the kami").[2]

-- Kami, by Wikipedia

The theory states that some kami (but not all) are local manifestations (the suijaku (垂迹), literally, a "trace") of Buddhist deities (the honji (本地), literally, "original ground").[1][3] The two entities form an indivisible whole called gongen and in theory should have equal standing, but this was not always the case.[4] In the early Nara period, for example, the honji was considered more important and only later did the two come to be regarded as equals.[4] During the late Kamakura period it was even proposed that the kami were the original deities and the buddhas their manifestations.

-- Honji suijaku, by Wikipedia

Branch lineages

• Jōdo Shinshū Honganji School (Nishi Hongan-ji) - Popularly spelled Hongwan-ji
• Jōdo Shinshū Higashi Honganji School (Higashi Hongan-ji)
o Shinshū Ōtani School
• Shinshū Chōsei School (Chōsei-ji)
• Shinshū Takada School (Senju-ji)
o Shinshū Kita Honganji School (Kitahongan-ji)
• Shinshū Bukkōji School (Bukkō-ji)
• Shinshū Kōshō School (Kōshō-ji)
• Shinshū Kibe School (Kinshoku-ji)
• Shinshū Izumoji School (Izumo-ji)
• Shinshū Jōkōji School (Jōshō-ji)
• Shinshū Jōshōji School (Jōshō-ji)
• Shinshū Sanmonto School (Senjō-ji)
• Montoshūichimi School (Kitami-ji)
• Kayakabe Teaching (Kayakabe-kyō) - An esoteric branch of Jōdo Shinshū

-- Jōdo Shinshū, by Wikipedia

It is also the name of the head temple of the Ōtani-ha branch of Jōdo Shinshū in Kyoto, which was most recently constructed in 1895 after a fire burned down the previous temple.[1][2] As with many sites in Kyoto, these two complexes have more casual names and are known affectionately in Kyoto as Onissan (お西さん, Honorable Mr. West) and Ohigashisan (お東さん, Honorable Mr. East).


Higashi Honganji was established in 1602 by the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu when he split the Shin sect in two (Nishi Honganji being the other) in order to diminish its power.[1] The temple was first built in its present location in 1658.[2]

The temple grounds feature a mausoleum containing the ashes of Shin Buddhism founder Shinran. The mausoleum was initially constructed in 1272 and moved several times before being constructed in its current location in 1670.[3]

At the center of the temple is the Founder's Hall, where an image of the temple's founder, Shinran, is enshrined. The hall is one of the largest wooden structures in the world at 76 m (250 ft.) in length, 58 m (190 ft.) in width, and 38 m (125 ft.) in height. The current hall was constructed in 1895.[4]

The Amida Hall to the left of the Founder's Hall contains an image of Amida Buddha along with an image of Prince Shōtoku, who introduced Buddhism to Japan. The hall is ornately decorated with gold leaf and art from the JapaneseMeiji Period. The current hall was constructed in 1895.[5]

Various parts of Higashi Honganji, including the Founder's Hall and Amida Hall, burned down 4 times during the Japanese Edo Period. Monetary assistance was often given to Higashi Honganji by the Tokugawa Shogunate in order to rebuild. The Great Tenmei Fire in Kyoto caused many temple buildings to burn down in 1788, and the temple was rebuilt in 1797. An accidental fire destroyed many of the temple buildings in 1823 and were rebuilt in 1835. After burning down once again in 1858, the destroyed halls were quickly and temporarily reconstructed for Shinran’s 600th Memorial Service in 1861. However, these temporary hall burned down in a city-wide fire caused by the Kinmon incident on July 19, 1864. The temple finally started to rebuild in 1879 after the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate and once conflict caused by the Meiji Restoration of 1868 had settled down. The Founder's Hall and Amida Hall were completed in 1895, with other buildings being restored by 1911. These buildings comprise the current temple.[2]

During the twentieth century, Higashi Honganji was troubled by political disagreements, financial scandals and family disputes, and has subsequently fractured into a number of further sub-divisions (see Ohigashi schism). The largest Higashi Honganji grouping, the Shinshu Otaniha has approximately 5.5 million members, according to statistics.[1] However within this climate of instability the Higashi Honganji also produced a significant number of extremely influential thinkers, such as Soga Ryojin, Kiyozawa Manshi, Kaneko Daiei and Haya Akegarasu amongst others.

Founder's Hall Gate (Goei-do Mon), built in 1911, width 31 m (103 ft) x height 27 m (90 ft), 59,387 roof tiles [6]

Founder's Hall (Goei-dō)

Amida Hall

See also

• Glossary of Japanese Buddhism.
• Shōsei-en
• Shinran
• Ōtani-ha
• Pure Land Buddhism
• Shin Buddhism


1. Popular Buddhism In Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion & Culture by Esben Andreasen, pp. 11, 38-39, 101 / University of Hawaii Press 1998, ISBN 0-8248-2028-2
2. "About Higashi Honganji". Higashi Honganji Shinsu Otani-ha. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
3. "Otani Mausoleum". Higashi Honganji Shinsu Otani-ha. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
4. "Founder's Hall (Goei-do)". Higashi Honganji Shinsu Otani-ha. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
5. "Amida Hall". Higashi Honganji Shinsu Otani-ha. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
6. "Founder's Hall Gate". Higashi Honganji Shinsu Otani-ha. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:06 am

Part 1: The Meiji Restoration of 1868 and Buddhism, Chapter One: The Attempted Suppression of Buddhism [Excerpt] from "Zen at War", by Brian Daizen Victoria
Second Edition
© 2006 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.




Buddhism has a history of approximately 1,500 years in Japan, having first been introduced from Korea in the middle of the sixth century. By the Tokugawa period (1600-1868) Buddhism had, outwardly at least, reached the pinnacle of its power, functioning as a de facto state religion. Each and every household in the country was required to affiliate itself with a nearby Buddhist temple. The result was an explosive growth in the number of temples, from only 13,037 temples during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) to 469,934 during the Tokugawa.1

There were, however, a number of hidden costs associated with Buddhism's establishment as a state religion. First of all, mandatory temple affiliation effectively turned a large part of the Buddhist clergy into little more than government functionaries. Concurrently, membership in a particular sect often became a matter of political obligation rather than religious conviction. These developments are hardly surprising, since the catalyst for according Buddhism a privileged position in the first place was the Tokugawa regime's determination to expel Christianity, thereby reducing the danger to Japan of being colonized by one of the Western powers. Equally important, the regime wished to insure that indigenous religious institutions, like all other institutions in society, were firmly under its control.

The government exerted control over institutional Buddhism through such policies as dividing the powerful Shin (True Pure Land) sect into two branches, popularly known as the Nishi (West) Honganji and Higashi (East) Honganji after their respective head temples. The Tokugawa regime further made sure that every temple in the land, no matter how humble, was made subservient to a higher-grade temple in pyramidal fashion, with an all-powerful central temple (honzan) controlling each sect from the top. While sectarian differences were tolerated, the central temple of each sect was made responsible, and held accountable, for the actions of all of its subordinates, both lay and clerical.

A second and perhaps higher cost that institutional Buddhism paid for government support was what Robert Bellah described as the "general lethargy and uncreativeness of Buddhism in the Tokugawa period."2 Anesaki Masaharu was even less flattering when he wrote: "The majority of the Buddhist clergy were obedient servants of the Government, and in the long period of peace they gradually became lazy, or else effeminate intriguers."3

There were, of course, some clergy, living in richly endowed temples, who turned their energy to learning. There were also reformers and innovators who attempted with some success to revitalize their respective sects.4 Yet many if not most of the clergy took advantage of their prerogatives as agents of the government to suppress or economically exploit their parishioners. Joseph Kitagawa notes that "the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of established Buddhism inevitably brought criticism and rebellion from within and without."5 It was all but inevitable that institutional Buddhism would face a day of reckoning.


On January 3, 1868, the young Emperor Meiji issued a proclamation announcing that he was resuming the reins of government, although in fact only very limited power had actually been restored to the throne. Nevertheless, a scant three months later, on April 6, 1868, the emperor promulgated the Charter Oath, a document consisting of five articles that clearly expressed the antifeudal aspirations of the new government. The Charter Oath states:

(1) Councils widely convoked shall be established, and all affairs of State decided by public discussion.

(2) All measures, governmental and social, shall be conducted by the united efforts of the governing and the governed.

(3) The unity of the imperial and the feudal governments shall be achieved; all the people, even the meanest, shall be given full opportunities for their aspirations and activities.

(4) All absurd usages of the old regime shall be abolished and all measures conducted in conformity with the righteous way of heaven and earth.

(5) Knowledge shall be sought from all over the world, and thus shall be promoted the imperial polity.6

Though the Charter Oath was seemingly innocuous, Article 4 was a harbinger of the impending storm Buddhism would face. What, exactly, were the "absurd usages of the old regime" that were to be "abolished"?

The answer was not long in coming. Only a few days later the first of the "Separation Edicts" (Shimbutsu Hanzen Rei), designed to separate Buddhism from Shinto, were issued by a newly established government bureau known as the Office of Rites Oingi Kyoku). This first edict stated that all Buddhist clerics were to be removed from Shinto shrines throughout the nation. Henceforth, only bona fide Shinto priests were to be allowed to carry out administrative duties related to shrines.

In a second edict, issued less than two weeks after the first, the use of Buddhist names for Shinto deities (kami) was prohibited. Not only that, Buddhist statuary could no longer be used to represent Shinto deities, or, for that matter, even be present in a shrine compound. Whatever the authors' original intent may have been, these edicts were often interpreted at the local and regional levels as meaning that anything having to do with Buddhism could and should be destroyed.

In his excellent book on this period, Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan, James Ketelaar points out that these separation edicts "necessarily included as an integral part of their formulation a direct attack on Buddhism."7 This is because, first of all, nearly every member of the Office of Rites was an active proponent of National Learning (Kokugaku). This Shinto-dominated school of thought taught that while both the Japanese nation and throne were of divine origin, this origin had been obscured and sullied by foreign accretions and influences, especially those from China. Adherents of this school believed one of the first and most important jobs of the new government was to cleanse the nation of these foreign elements, Buddhism first and foremost.

Just how effective this "cleansing" was can be seen from statistics: over forty thousand temples were closed throughout the nation, countless temple artifacts were destroyed, and thousands of priests were forcibly laicized.8 Once again, however, the interpretation and enforcement of the Separation Edicts was, in general, left up to the regional authorities. Hence, those areas where there was the greatest support for National Learning among local and regional officialdom were also those areas where the greatest destruction occurred.

In the former Satsuma domain (present-day Kagoshima, southern Miyazaki, and Okinawa prefectures), whose leadership had played a leading role in the Restoration movement, Buddhism had almost completely disappeared by the end of 1869. Approximately 4,500 Buddhist temples and halls were eliminated.9 The priests housed in these temples were returned to lay life, and those between the ages of eighteen and forty-five were immediately drafted into the newly formed imperial army. Those over forty-five were sent to become teachers in domain schools, while those under eighteen were sent back to their families.


In the face of these very real threats to its continued existence, it did not take some elements of institutional Buddhism long to initiate a series of countermeasures. One of the first of these was undertaken primarily by the Higashi Honganji and Nishi Honganji branches of the Shin sect. On the surface, at least, it was a rather surprising measure: the sect lent substantial amounts of money to the then cash-starved Meiji government. In effect, these two branches hoped to bribe the government into ameliorating its policies.

The same two branches also took the lead in the summer of 1868 in forming the Alliance of United [Buddhist] Sects for Ethical Standards (Shoshu Dotoku Kaimei). This was an unprecedented action for institutional Buddhism, since under the previous Tokugawa regime all intrasectarian Buddhist organizations had been banned. The new organization pledged itself, first of all, to work for the unity of Law of the Sovereign and Law of the Buddha. Second, it called for Christianity to be not only denounced, but expelled from Japan.

Buddhist leaders were quick to realize that their best hope of reviving their faith was to align themselves with the increasingly nationalistic sentiment of the times. They concluded that one way of demonstrating their usefulness to Japan's new nationalistic leaders was to support an anti-Christian campaign, which came to be known as "refuting evil [Christianity] and exalting righteousness" (haja kensho).

As early as September 17, 1868, the new Ministry of State responded to these "positive actions" on the part of Buddhist leaders by sending a private communique directly to the Higashi Honganji and Nishi Honganji branches of the Shin sect. This letter contained a condemnation of those members of the imperial court who wrongfully, and in contradiction to Emperor Meiji's will, were persecuting Buddhism. The letter further notes that in so doing, these "foul-mouthed rebels ... antagonize the general populace."10

Just how antagonized the general populace had become is shown by the strong protest actions that arose in opposition to the repressive, anti-Buddhist measures of local authorities. These protests started in the Toyama region in late 1870 and were followed by two riots in Mikawa (present Aichi Prefecture) and Ise (present Mie Prefecture) in 1871. In each of the following two years there were also two major protests in widely scattered parts of the country.

The 1873 peasant protests in three counties of Echizen (present Fukui Prefecture) were so large that they had to be put down by government troops. It can be argued that it was the government's fear of these protests that finally forced it to pay serious attention to the plight of Buddhists. The government reached the conclusion that the wholesale suppression of Buddhism was neither possible nor safe. A solution had to be found.


The First Attempt

The first major change in the Meiji government's policy toward Buddhism came in early 1872. It was at this time that the Ministry of Rites was transformed into the Ministry of Doctrine (Kyobusho). The new ministry was given administrative responsibility for such things as the building and closing of both Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, and the approval of all priestly ranks and privileges. By far its most important function, however, was to propagate the "Great Teaching" (Daikyo) that had been developed the previous year. The three pillars of this teaching were as follows: (1) the principles of reverence for the national deities and of patriotism shall be observed; (2) the heavenly reason and the way of humanity shall be promulgated; and (3) the throne shall be revered and the authorities obeyed.11 Charged with promulgating these principles, the Ministry of Doctrine created the position of Doctrinal Instructor (Kyodoshoku). These instructors were to operate through a nation-wide network of Teaching Academies (Kyoin) which would be established in both Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The significance to Buddhism of this development is that for the first time Buddhist priests were given permission to serve in this state-sponsored position, together, of course, with Shinto priests and scholars of National Learning.

By establishing the position of Doctrinal Instructor, the state was creating a de facto state priesthood. Anyone uncertified by the state was barred from lecturing in public, performing ceremonial duties, and residing in either shrines or temples. Nevertheless, Buddhists saw this as a way to escape from their ongoing oppression and eagerly took advantage of this new opportunity.

How successful they were can be seen from the fact that eventually more than 81,000 of a total of some 103,000 officially recognized Doctrinal Instructors were Buddhist priests. Of this number, Shin sect-affiliated priests numbered nearly 25,000 and were the largest single group.12 But Buddhists paid a heavy price for their inclusion into the new state religion, for it was clearly Shinto inspired and controlled. All Doctrinal Instructors were expected to wear Shinto robes, recite Shinto prayers, and perform Shinto rituals. Further, although the Ministry of Doctrine selected the famous Pure Land sect temple of Zojoji in Tokyo as the "Great Teaching Academy." the administrative center for the national doctrine system, the ministry demanded that the temple be extensively renovated for its new role.

Zojoji's renovation included replacing the statute of Amida Buddha on the main altar with four Shinto deities and building a Shinto gate at the entrance to the temple. The Buddhist leadership was so anxious to support this new scheme that they even arranged to have their subordinate temples pay the renovation costs. Yet, despite this seemingly cooperative beginning, conflict inevitably arose between Buddhist and Shinto elements within the national doctrine system.

As the anti-Buddhist movement began to subside, the Buddhist leaders sought to free themselves from Shinto domination. An additional cause of friction was an announcement made on April 25, 1872, by the Ministry of State. This announcement, known as Order Number 133, stated that Buddhist priests could, if they wished, eat meat, get married, grow their hair long, and wear ordinary clothing. Although this decision neither prohibited nor commanded anything, it was seen by many Buddhist leaders as yet another attack on their religion. In their minds, Order Number 133 represented an extension of the earlier separation of Shinto and Buddhism. It represented the separation of Buddhism from the state itself.

The strong Buddhist opposition to this measure included numerous sectarian protest meetings and petitions criticizing the ministry's decision, at least one of which was signed by over two hundred Buddhist priests. Some angry priests even went directly to the ministry's offices to express their opposition. The irony of these actions is that Order Number 133 was a directive that had been taken at the request of a Buddhist, the influential So1O Zen sect priest Otori Sesso (1814-1904).

Otori was in a unique position to make his views known since, at the time the new Ministry of Doctrine was created, he had been asked to serve as a representative of Buddhist clerics (though he was required to return to lay life for the duration of his government service). Otori's overall goal was the ending of the government's anti-Buddhist policies, and like his Buddhist contemporaries he believed that the best way of achieving this goal was to demonstrate Buddhism's usefulness to the state, specifically through the promulgation of the Great Teaching.

Otori recognized that a large number of Buddhist priests were already married, in spite of regulations prohibiting it. This made them, at least technically, lawbreakers, and left them in no position to work for the government as Doctrinal Instructors or to effectively fight Christianity. In his mind, lifting the ban against marriage, eating meat, and wearing long hair would make it possible for the Buddhist clergy to more effectively render their services to the nation. Despite the protests, Otori was successful in this reform effort, and the new law remained.

In light of their defeat, Buddhist leaders realized that they had to free themselves not only from Shinto control but government control as well. Once again the Shin sect played a major role. Leaders of this sect, particularly Shimaji Mokurai (1838-1911), were at the forefront of the movement for change. Mokurai was particularly well suited to the challenge, not least because he had led troops in support of the Imperial Restoration movement.

As early as 1872, Shimaji wrote an essay critical of the three principles of the Great Teaching. His basic position was that there was a fundamental difference between government (sei) and religion (kyo), and he called for the separation of the two (seikyo bunri). While it took some years for Shimaji and those who agreed with him to make a discernible impact on the Ministry of Doctrine, eventually, at the beginning of 1875, the government gave the two Shin branches permission to leave the Great Doctrine movement, and shortly afterward the entire institution of the Great Doctrine was abolished. A new solution had to be found.

The Second Attempt

The Buddhists were not the only religious group to benefit from changing government policy. In 1871 a diplomatic mission sent to the West, headed by Senior Minister Iwakura Tomomi (1825-83), had recommended that if Japan were to successfully revise what it regarded as unequal treaties with the Western powers, it would have to adopt a policy of religious freedom.

The Western powers were, of course, most concerned about the ongoing prohibition of Christianity in Japan. As a result, in 1873 the government reluctantly agreed to abolish this prohibition, a decision which led to a rapid increase in the numbers of both Western Christian missions and missionaries entering the country. Even as they continued their own struggle to free themselves from government control, many Buddhist leaders took this occasion to renew and deepen their earlier attacks on Christianity. In so doing, they allied themselves with Shinto, Confucian, and other nationalist leaders.

Shintoists, too, were undergoing changes at this time. Shinto's strongest supporters, the proponents of National Learning, had demonstrated to Meiji political leaders that they were "too religious to rule."13 This, in turn, led to a reduction in their political power as evidenced by the 1872 changes in the government's religious policy toward Buddhism. Yet key members of the government were still dedicated to the proposition that one way or another the emperor system, as an immanental theocracy with roots in the ancient state, should be used to legitimatize the new government. The question was, in the face of earlier failures, how could this be accomplished?

Part of the answer came in 1882 when the government divided Shinto into two parts, one part consisting of cultic, emperor-related practices and the other of so-called religious practices. While the religious side of Shinto, or Sect Shinto (Kyoha Shinto), received nothing from the government, the cultic side of Shinto, which came to be known as State Shinto (Kokka Shinto), received both financial subsidies and various other political privileges.

The government maintained that this policy was justified because cultic practices relating to the emperor were patriotic in nature, not religious. Even today there are Japanese Buddhist scholars who continue to support this position. Professor Shibata Doken of Sow Zen sect-affiliated Komazawa University, for example, maintains that "given the fact that Japan is a country consisting of a unitary people, with shared customs and mores, the assertion that [State] Shinto was not a religion can be sanctioned, at least to some degree."14 Other contemporary scholars of that era, however, held a differing view. Joseph Kitagawa, for example, maintained that '''State Shinto' was essentially a newly concocted religion of ethnocentric nationalism." 15 Helen Hardacre provides a more detailed description:

State Shinto [was] a systemic phenomenon that encompassed government support of and regulation of shrines, the emperor's sacerdotal roles, state creation and sponsorship of Shinto rites, construction of Shinto shrines in Japan and in overseas colonies, education for schoolchildren in Shinto mythology plus their compulsory participation in Shinto rituals, and persecution of other religious groups on the grounds of their exhibiting disrespect for some aspect of authorized mythology.16

It is clear that the creation of State Shinto served as a mechanism to facilitate the government's recognition, or at least toleration, of a certain degree of ideological plurality within Japanese society. With a powerful nonreligious legitimization of the new order in hand, the leaders of the Meiji government could now address the question of religious freedom, something which was implicit in the call by Shimaji and others for the separation of government and religion.

The final, formal resolution of the religious question appeared in the Meiji Constitution of 1889. Chapter Two, Article Twenty-Eight read as follows: "Japanese subjects shall, within limits not prejudicial to peace and order, and not antagonistic to their duties as subjects, enjoy-freedom of religious belief."17 It appeared that within limits Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions would now be free of government interference or suppression. Appearances proved to be deceiving.



1. See Kitagawa, Religion in Japanese History, p. 164.

2. Bellah, Tokugawa Religion, p. 51.

3. Anesaki, History of Japanese Religion, p.260.

4. Two representative figures within the Rinzai Zen tradition are Bankei Yotaku (1622-93) and Hakuin Ekaku (1685- 1768). Hakuin is credited with having developed the practice of meditating on a series of koans, with the goal of attaining enlightenment. Within the Soto Zen tradition, Manzan Dohaku (1636- 1714) and Menzan Zuiho (1683-1769) are the two most notable figures. Manzan's primary goal was the elimination of dishonesty relating to temple succession, while Manzan was a noted scholar. For a detailed history of the Zen tradition during the Tokugawa period, see Dumoulin, Zen Buddhism: A History; Volume 2: Japan, PP.270-399.

5. Kitagawa, Religion in Japanese History, p.166.

6. Quoted in Anesaki, History of Japanese Religion, p. 331.

7. Ketelaar, Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan, p. 9.

8. Ibid., p. 7.

9. Ibid., p. 65.

10. Ibid., p. 13.

11. Quoted in Anesaki, History of Japanese Religion, p. 335.

12. See Ketelaar, Of Heretics and Martyrs in Meiji Japan, p. 105.

13. Ibid., p. 130.

14. Shibata, Haibutsu Kishaku, p. 195.

15. Kitagawa, Religion in Japanese History, p. 213.

16. Hardacre, Shinto and the State, 1868- 1988, p. 6.

17. Quoted in Matsunami, The Constitution of Japan, p. 136.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:16 am

by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Kokugaku (Kyūjitai: 國學, Shinjitai: 国学; literally "national study") was an academic movement, a school of Japanese philology and philosophy originating during the Tokugawa period. Kokugaku scholars worked to refocus Japanese scholarship away from the then-dominant study of Chinese, Confucian, and Buddhist texts in favor of research into the early Japanese classics.[1]


What later became known as the kokugaku tradition began in the 17th and 18th centuries as kogaku ("ancient studies"), wagaku ("Japanese studies") or inishie manabi, a term favored by Motoori Norinaga and his school. Drawing heavily from Shinto and Japan's ancient literature, the school looked back to a golden age of culture and society. They drew upon ancient Japanese poetry, predating the rise of medieval Japan's feudal orders in the mid-twelfth century, and other cultural achievements to show the emotion of Japan. One famous emotion appealed to by the kokugakusha is 'mono no aware'.

The word kokugaku, coined to distinguish this school from kangaku ("Chinese studies"), was popularized by Hirata Atsutane in the 19th century. It has been translated as 'Native Studies' and represented a response to Sinocentric Neo-Confucian theories. Kokugaku scholars criticized the repressive moralizing of Confucian thinkers, and tried to re-establish Japanese culture before the influx of foreign modes of thought and behaviour.

Eventually, the thinking of kokugaku scholars influenced the sonnō jōi philosophy and movement. It was this philosophy, amongst other things, that led to the eventual collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868 and the subsequent Meiji Restoration.


The Kokugaku school held that the Japanese national character was naturally pure, and would reveal its splendour once the foreign (Chinese) [BUDDHIST] influences were removed. The "Chinese heart" was different from the "true heart" or "Japanese Heart". This true Japanese spirit needed to be revealed by removing a thousand years of Chinese learning.[2] It thus took an interest in philologically identifying the ancient, indigenous meanings of ancient Japanese texts; in turn, these ideas were synthesized with early Shinto and European astronomy.[3]


The term kokugaku was used liberally by early modern Japanese to refer to the "national learning" of each of the world's nations. This usage was adopted into Chinese, where it is still in use today (C: guoxue).[4] The Chinese also adopted the kokugaku term "national essence" (J: kokusui, C: guocui).[5]

According to scholar of religion Jason Ānanda Josephson, Kokugaku played a role in the consolidation of State Shinto in the Meiji era. It promoted a unified, scientifically grounded and politically powerful vision of Shinto against Buddhism, Christianity, and Japanese folk religions, many of which were named "superstitions."[6]

See also

• Koshinto
• Japanese nationalism
• Keichū
• Mitogaku
• Nihonjinron
• Rangaku


1. Earl, David Margarey, Emperor and Nation in Japan, Political Thinkers of the Tokugawa Period, University of Washington Press, 1964, pp. 66 ff.
2. Earl, David Margarey, Emperor and Nation in Japan, Political Thinkers of the Tokugawa Period, University of Washington Press, 1964, pp. 67
3. Jason Ānanda Josephson, The Invention of Religion in Japan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. pp 110–1
4. Fogel, Joshua A. (2004). The role of Japan in Liang Qichao's introduction of modern western civilization to China. Berkeley, Calif: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California Berkeley, Center for Chinese Studies. p. 182. ISBN 1-55729-080-6. From these citations, we can see that the term "national learning" (J. kokugaku; C. guoxue) originated in Japan.
5. Center, Susan Daruvala. Publ. by the Harvard University Asia (2000). Zhou Zuoren and an alternative Chinese response to modernity. Cambridge, Massachusetts [u.a.]: Harvard Univ. Press. p. 66. ISBN 0674002385.
6. Josephson, 108–115.

Further reading

• Harry Harootunian, Things Seen and Unseen: Discourse and Ideology in Tokugawa Nativism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988.
• Mark McNally, Proving the Way: Conflict and Practice in the History of Japanese Nativism. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 2005.
• Peter Nosco, Remembering Paradise. Nativism and Nostalgia in Eighteenth Century Japan. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 1990.
• Michael Wachutka, Kokugaku in Meiji-period Japan: The Modern Transformation of 'National Learning' and the Formation of Scholarly Societies. Leiden, Boston: Global Oriental, 2013.

Notable Kokugaku scholars

• Hagiwara Hiromichi
• Hirata Atsutane
• Kada no Azumamaro
• Kamo no Mabuchi
• Katori Nahiko
• Motoori Norinaga
• Motoori Ōhira
• Motoori Haruniwa
• Nakane Kōtei
• Ueda Akinari
• Date Munehiro
• Fujitani Mitsue
• Tachibana Moribe

External links

• The Kokugaku (Native Studies) School.
• Kokugaku — Encyclopedia of Shinto.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:19 am

Otani Kozui
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Ōtani Kōzui
Born October 27, 1876
Died October 5, 1948 (aged 72)
Other names 大谷 光瑞
Occupation Buddhist, Historian
In this Japanese name, the family name is Ōtani.

Count Ōtani Kōzui (大谷 光瑞, Buddhist name: 鏡如 Kyōnyo) (27 December 1876 – 5 October 1948) was the 22nd Abbot of the Nishi Honganji sub-sect of Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism in Kyoto, Japan. He is known for expeditions to Buddhist sites in Central Asia, such as Subashi.


Between 1902 and 1910, he financed three expeditions to Central Asia although his participation was stopped for his succession. Ōtani was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and played host to several of his fellow Central Asian explorers, such as Sven Hedin and Albert von Le Coq. His collection, often called "Ōtani collection" is still considered important in Central Asian studies, although it is today scattered in Tokyo, Kyoto, China and Korea. In addition to his spiritual responsibilities and his Central Asian activities, Ōtani wrote about China, Manchuria and Chinese porcelain. While playing the Great Game, British and Russian intelligence both suspected that his archaeological expeditions were little more than covers for espionage activities. Japan says they were solely investigations of the route along which Buddhism came to Japan, and had no political connections.[1]

After his father Myonyo's death, he succeeded as Abbot of the Nishi Honganji in 1903. While he continued to sponsor the expeditions, he devoted himself to the modernization of the Jōdo Shinshū sect. His sponsorship, however, brought huge amounts of debt to his sect. A financial scandal forced him to abdicate in 1914. His nephew Shonyo became 23rd Abbot.

See also

• 1902 Ōtani expedition



1. Information stand in the Tokyo National Museum.


• Hopkirk, Peter (1980). Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 0-87023-435-8.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:32 am

Part 1 of 2

Sven Hedin
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Sven Hedin circa 1910
Born Sven Anders Hedin
19 February 1865
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 26 November 1952 (aged 87)
Stockholm, Sweden
Language Swedish
Nationality Swedish
Notable awards Vega Medal (1898)
Livingstone Medal (1902)
Victoria Medal (1903)

Hedin lived with family members in the upper three stories of this house in Stockholm, Norr Mälarstrand 66, from 1935 until his death in 1952

Sven Anders Hedin, KNO1kl RVO,[1] (19 February 1865 – 26 November 1952) was a Swedish geographer, topographer, explorer, photographer, travel writer, and illustrator of his own works. During four expeditions to Central Asia, he made the Transhimalaya known in the West and located sources of the Brahmaputra, Indus and Sutlej Rivers. He also mapped lake Lop Nur, and the remains of cities, grave sites and the Great Wall of China in the deserts of the Tarim Basin. In his book Från pol till pol (From Pole to Pole), Hedin describes a journey through Asia and Europe between the late 1880s and the early 1900s. While traveling, Hedin visited Turkey, the Caucasus, Tehran, Iraq, lands of the Kyrgyz people and the Russian Far East, India, China and Japan.[2] The posthumous publication of his Central Asia Atlas marked the conclusion of his life's work.[3]


At 15 years of age, Hedin witnessed the triumphal return of the Arctic explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld after his first navigation of the Northern Sea Route. From that moment on, young Sven aspired to become an explorer. His studies under the German geographer and China expert, Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen, awakened a love of Germany in Hedin and strengthened his resolve to undertake expeditions to Central Asia in order to explore the last uncharted areas of Asia. After obtaining a doctorate, learning several languages and dialects, and undertaking two trips through Persia, he ignored the advice of Ferdinand von Richthofen to continue his geographic studies in order to acquaint himself with geographical research methodology; the result was that Hedin had to leave the evaluation of his expedition results later to other scientists.

Between 1894 and 1908, in three daring expeditions through the mountains and deserts of Central Asia, he mapped and researched parts of Chinese Turkestan (officially Xinjiang) and Tibet which had been unexplored until then. Upon his return to Stockholm in 1909 he was received as triumphantly as Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld. In 1902, he became the last Swede (to date) to be raised to the untitled nobility and was considered one of Sweden's most important personalities. As a member of two scientific academies, he had a voice in the selection of Nobel Prize winners for both science and literature. Hedin never married and had no children, rendering his family line now extinct.

Hedin's expedition notes laid the foundations for a precise mapping of Central Asia. He was one of the first European scientific explorers to employ indigenous scientists and research assistants on his expeditions. Although primarily an explorer, he was also the first to unearth the ruins of ancient Buddhist cities in Chinese Central Asia. However, as his main interest in archaeology was finding ancient cities, he had little interest in gathering data thorough scientific excavations. Of small stature, with a bookish, bespectacled appearance, Hedin nevertheless proved himself a determined explorer, surviving several close brushes with death from hostile forces and the elements over his long career. His scientific documentation and popular travelogues, illustrated with his own photographs, watercolor paintings and drawings, his adventure stories for young readers and his lecture tours abroad made him world-famous.

As a renowned expert on Turkestan and Tibet, he was able to obtain unrestricted access to European and Asian monarchs and politicians as well as to their geographical societies and scholarly associations. They all sought to purchase his exclusive knowledge about the power vacuum in Central Asia with gold medals, diamond-encrusted grand crosses, honorary doctorates and splendid receptions, as well as with logistic and financial support for his expeditions. Hedin, in addition to Nikolai Przhevalsky, Sir Francis Younghusband, and Sir Aurel Stein, was an active player in the British-Russian struggle for influence in Central Asia, known as the Great Game. Their travels were supported because they filled in the "white spaces" in contemporary maps, providing valuable information.[4]

Hedin was honored in ceremonies in:

• 1890 by King Oscar II of Sweden
• 1890 by Shah Nāser ad-Dīn Schah
1896, 1909 by Czar Nicholas II of Russia
• from 1898 frequently by Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary
• 1902 by the Viceroy of India Lord Curzon
• 1903, 1914, 1917, 1926, 1936 by Kaiser Wilhelm II
• 1906 by the Viceroy of India Lord Minto
• 1907, 1926, 1933 by the 9th Panchen Lama Thubten Choekyi Nyima
• 1908 by Emperor Mutsuhito
• 1910 by Pope Pius X
• 1910 by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt
• 1915 and subsequently by Hindenburg
• 1929 and 1935 by Chiang Kai-shek
• 1935, 1939, 1940 (twice) by Adolf Hitler.

Hedin was and remained a figure of the 19th century who clung to its visions and methods also in the 20th century. This prevented him from discerning the fundamental social and political upheavals of the 20th century and aligning his thinking and actions accordingly.

Concerned about the security of Scandinavia, he favored the construction of the battleship Sverige. In World War I he specifically allied himself in his publications with the German monarchy and its conduct of the war. Because of this political involvement, his scientific reputation was damaged among Germany's wartime enemies, along with his memberships in their geographical societies and learned associations, as well as any support for his planned expeditions.

After a less-than-successful lecture tour in 1923 through North America and Japan, he traveled on to Beijing to carry out an expedition to Chinese Turkestan (modern Xinjiang), but the region's unstable political situation thwarted this intention. He instead traveled through Mongolia by car and through Siberia aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway.

With financial support from the governments of Sweden and Germany, he led, between 1927 and 1935, an international and interdisciplinary Sino-Swedish Expedition to carry out scientific investigations in Mongolia and Chinese Turkestan, with the participation of 37 scientists from six countries. Despite Chinese counter-demonstrations and after months of negotiations in China, was he able to make the expedition also a Chinese one by obtaining Chinese research commissions and the participation of Chinese scientists. He also concluded a contract which guaranteed freedom of travel for this expedition which, because of its arms, 300 camels, and activities in a war theater, resembled an invading army. However, the financing remained Hedin's private responsibility.

Because of failing health, the civil war in Chinese Turkestan, and a long period of captivity, Hedin, by then 70 years of age, had a difficult time after the currency depreciation of the Great Depression raising the money required for the expedition, the logistics for assuring the supplying of the expedition in an active war zone, and obtaining access for the expedition's participants to a research area intensely contested by local warlords. Nevertheless, the expedition was a scientific success. The archaeological artifacts which had been sent to Sweden were scientifically assessed for three years, after which they were returned to China under the terms of the contract.

Starting in 1937, the scientific material assembled during the expedition was published in over 50 volumes by Hedin and other expedition participants, thereby making it available for worldwide research on eastern Asia. When he ran out of money to pay printing costs, he pawned his extensive and valuable library, which filled several rooms, making possible the publication of additional volumes.

A view of the entire area of Central Asia opened up for cartography and research by Hedin in his expeditions. Below the Himalaya and Transhimalaya ranges, in the middle the Tibetan plateau, above which is the Pamir Mountain range with the Tarim Basin and the Taklamakan Desert alongside.

In 1935, Hedin made his exclusive knowledge about Central Asia available, not only to the Swedish government, but also to foreign governments such as China and Germany, in lectures and personal discussions with political representatives of Chiang Kai-shek and Adolf Hitler.

Although he was not a National Socialist, Hedin's hope that Nazi Germany would protect Scandinavia from invasion by the Soviet Union, brought him in dangerous proximity to representatives of National Socialism, who exploited him as an author. This destroyed his reputation and put him into social and scientific isolation. However, in correspondence and personal conversations with leading Nazis, his successful intercessions achieved the pardoning of ten people condemned to death and the release or survival of Jews who had been deported to Nazi concentration camps.

At the end of the war, U.S. troops deliberately confiscated documents relating to Hedin's planned Central Asia Atlas. The U.S. Army Map Service later solicited Hedin's assistance and financed the printing and publication of his life's work, the Central Asia Atlas. Whoever compares this atlas with Adolf Stielers Hand Atlas of 1891 can appreciate what Hedin accomplished between 1893 and 1935.

Although Hedin's research was taboo in Germany and Sweden because of his conduct relating to Nazi Germany, and stagnated for decades in Germany, the scientific documentation of his expeditions was translated into Chinese by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and incorporated into Chinese research. Following recommendations made by Hedin to the Chinese government in 1935, the routes he selected were used to construct streets and train tracks, as well as dams and canals to irrigate new farms being established in the Tarim and Yanji basins in Xinjiang and the deposits of iron, manganese, oil, coal and gold discovered during the Sino-Swedish Expedition were opened up for mining. Among the discoveries of this expedition should also be counted the many Asian plants and animals unheard of until that date, as well as fossil remains of dinosaurs and other extinct animals. Many were named after Hedin, the species-level scientific classification being hedini. But one discovery remained unknown to Chinese researchers until the turn of the millennium: in the Lop Nur desert, Hedin discovered in 1933 and 1934 ruins of signal towers which prove that the Great Wall of China once extended as far west as Xinjiang.

From 1931 until his death in 1952, Hedin lived in Stockholm in a modern high-rise in a preferred location, the address being Norr Mälarstrand 66. He lived with his siblings in the upper three stories and from the balcony he had a wide view over Riddarfjärden Bay and Lake Mälaren to the island of Långholmen. In the entryway to the stairwell is to be found a decorative stucco relief map of Hedin's research area in Central Asia and a relief of the Lama temple, a copy of which he had brought to Chicago for the 1933 World's Fair.

On 29 October 1952, Hedin's will granted the rights to his books and his extensive personal effects to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; the Sven Hedin Foundation[5] established soon thereafter holds all the rights of ownership.

Hedin died at Stockholm in 1952. The memorial service was attended by representatives of the Swedish royal household, the Swedish government, the Swedish Academy, and the diplomatic service. He is buried in the cemetery of Adolf Fredrik church in Stockholm.


Childhood influences

Sven Hedin was born in Stockholm, the son of Ludwig Hedin, Chief Architect of Stockholm.[6] When he was 15 years old Hedin witnessed the triumphal return of the Swedish Arctic explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld after his first navigation of the Northern Sea Route.

Stockholm on 24 April 1880

He describes this experience in his book My Life as an Explorer as follows:

On April 24, 1880, the steamer Vega sailed into Stockholms ström. The entire city was illuminated. The buildings around the harbor glowed in the light of innumerable lamps and torches. Gas flames depicted the constellation of Vega on the castle. Amidst this sea of light the famous ship glided into the harbor. I was standing on the Södermalm heights with my parents and siblings, from which we had a superb view. I was gripped by great nervous tension. I will remember this day until I die, as it was decisive for my future. Thunderous jubilation resounded from quays, streets, windows and rooftops. “That is how I want to return home some day,” I thought to myself.

First trip to Iran (Persia)

In May 1885, Hedin graduated from Beskowska secondary school in Stockholm. He then accepted an offer to accompany the student Erhard Sandgren as his private tutor to Baku, where Sandgren's father was working as an engineer in the oil fields of Robert Nobel. Afterward he attended a course in topography for general staff officers for one month in summer 1885 and took a few weeks of instruction in portrait drawing; this comprised his entire training in those areas.

On 15 August 1885, he traveled to Baku with Erhard Sandgren and instructed him there for seven months, and he himself began to learn the Latin, French, German, Persian, Russian, English and Tatar languages. He later learned several Persian dialects as well as Turkish, Kyrgyz, Mongolian, Tibetan and some Chinese.

On 6 April 1886, Hedin left Baku for Iran (then called Persia), traveling by paddle steamer over the Caspian Sea, riding through the Alborz Range to Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz and the harbor city of Bushehr. From there he took a ship up the Tigris River to Baghdad (then in Ottoman Empire), returning to Tehran via Kermanshah, and then travelling through the Caucasus and over the Black Sea to Constantinople. Hedin then returned to Sweden, arriving on 18 September 1886.

In 1887, Hedin published a book about these travels entitled Through Persia, Mesopotamia and the Caucasus.


From 1886 to 1888, Hedin studied under the geologist Waldemar Brøgger in Stockholm and Uppsala the subjects of geology, mineralogy, zoology and Latin. In December 1888, he became a Candidate in Philosophy. From October 1889 to March 1890 he studied in Berlin under Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen.

Second trip to Iran

On 12 May 1890, he accompanied as interpreter and vice-consul a Swedish legation to Iran which was to present the Shah of Iran with the insignia of the Order of the Seraphim. As part of the Swedish legation, he was at an audience of the shah Naser al-Din Shah Qajar in Tehran. He spoke with him and later accompanied him to the Elburz Mountain Range. On 11 July 1890, he and three others climbed Mount Damavand where he collected primary material for his dissertation. Starting in September he traveled on the Silk Road via cities Mashhad, Ashgabat, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent and Kashgar to the western outskirts of the Taklamakan Desert. On the trip home, he visited the grave of the Russian Asian scholar, Nikolai Przhevalsky in Karakol on the shore of Lake Issyk Kul. On 29 March 1891, he was back in Stockholm. He published the books King Oscar's Legation to the Shah of Persia in 1890 and Through Chorasan and Turkestan about this journey.

Doctorate and career path

On 27 April 1892, Hedin traveled to Berlin to continue his studies under Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen. Beginning of July he went to University of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, attending lectures by Alfred Kirchhoff. Yet in the same month, he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy with a 28-page dissertation entitled Personal Observations of Damavand. This dissertation is a summary of one part of his book, King Oscar's Legation to the Shah of Persia in 1890. Eric Wennerholm remarked on the subject:

I can only come to the conclusion that Sven [Hedin] received his doctorate when he was 27 years old after studying for a grand total of only eight months and collecting primary material for one-and-a-half days on the snow-clad peak of Mount Damavand.

Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen not only encouraged Hedin to absolve cursory studies, but also to become thoroughly acquainted with all branches of geographic science and the methodologies of the salient research work, so that he could later work as an explorer. Hedin abstained from doing this with an explanation he supplied in old age:

I was not up to this challenge. I had gotten out onto the wild routes of Asia too early, I had perceived too much of the splendor and magnificence of the Orient, the silence of the deserts and the loneliness of long journeys. I could not get used to the idea of spending a long period of time back in school.

Hedin had therewith decided to become an explorer. He was attracted to the idea of traveling to the last mysterious portions of Asia and filling in the gaps by mapping an area completely unknown in Europe. As an explorer, Hedin became important for the Asian and European powers, who courted him, invited him to give numerous lectures, and hoped to obtain from him in return topographic, economic and strategic information about inner Asia, which they considered part of their sphere of influence. As the era of discovery came to a close around 1920, Hedin contented himself with organizing the Sino-Swedish Expedition for qualified scientific explorers.

First expedition

Between 1893 and 1897, Hedin investigated the Pamir Mountains, travelling through the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang region, across the Taklamakan Desert, Lake Kara-Koshun and Lake Bosten, proceeding to study northern Tibet. He covered 26,000 kilometres (16,000 mi) on this journey and mapped 10,498 kilometres (6,523 mi) of them on 552 sheets. Approximately 3,600 kilometres (2,200 mi) led through previously uncharted areas.

He started out on this expedition on 16 October 1893, from Stockholm, traveling via Saint Petersburg and Tashkent to the Pamir Mountains. Several attempts to climb the 7,546 metres (24,757 ft) high Muztagata—called the Father of the Glaciers—in the Pamir Mountains were unsuccessful. He remained in Kashgar until April 1895 and then left on 10 April with three local escorts from the village of Merket in order to cross the Taklamakan Desert via Tusluk to the Khotan River. Since their water supply was insufficient, seven camels died of thirst, as did two of his escorts (according to Hedin's dramatized and probably inaccurate account). Bruno Baumann traveled on this route in April 2000 with a camel caravan and ascertained that at least one of the escorts who, according to Hedin, had died of thirst had survived, and that it is impossible for a camel caravan traveling in springtime on this route to carry enough drinking water for both camels and travelers.[7]

According to other sources, Hedin had neglected to completely fill the drinking water containers for his caravan at the beginning of the expedition and set out for the desert with only half as much water as could actually be carried. When he noticed the mistake, it was too late to return. Obsessed by his urge to carry out his research, Hedin deserted the caravan and proceeded alone on horseback with his servant. When that escort also collapsed from thirst, Hedin left him behind as well, but managed to reach a water source at the last desperate moment. He did, however, return to his servant with water and rescued him. Nevertheless, his ruthless behavior earned him massive criticism.[8]

In January 1896, after a stopover in Kashgar, Hedin visited the 1,500-year-old abandoned cities of Dandan Oilik and Kara Dung, which are located northeast of Khotan in the Taklamakan Desert. At the beginning of March, he discovered Lake Bosten, one of the largest inland bodies of water in Central Asia. He reported that this lake is supplied by a single mighty feeder stream, the Kaidu River. He mapped Lake Kara-Koshun and returned on 27 May to Khotan. On 29 June, he started out from there with his caravan across northern Tibet and China to Beijing, where he arrived on 2 March 1897. He returned to Stockholm via Mongolia and Russia.

Second expedition

Another expedition in Central Asia followed in 1899-1902 through the Tarim Basin, Tibet and Kashmir to Calcutta. Hedin navigated the Yarkand, Tarim and Kaidu[9] rivers and found the dry riverbed of the Kum-darja as well as the dried out lake bed of Lop Nur. Near Lop Nur, he discovered the ruins of the 340 by 310 metres (1,120 by 1,020 ft) former walled royal city and later Chinese garrison town of Loulan, containing the brick building of the Chinese military commander, a stupa, and 19 dwellings built of poplar wood. He also found a wooden wheel from a horse-drawn cart (called an arabas) as well as several hundred documents written on wood, paper and silk in the Kharosthi script. These provided information about the history of the city of Loulan, which had once been located on the shores of Lop Nur but had been abandoned around the year 330 CE because the lake had dried out, depriving the inhabitants of drinking water.

During his travels in 1900 and 1901 he attempted in vain to reach the city of Lhasa, which was forbidden to Europeans. He continued to Leh, in Ladakh district, India. From Leh, Hedin's route took him to Lahore, Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Benares to Calcutta, meeting there with George Nathaniel Curzon, England's then Viceroy to India.

This expedition resulted in 1,149 pages of maps, on which Hedin depicted newly discovered lands. He was the first to describe yardang formations in the Lop Desert.

Third expedition

Between 1905 and 1908, Hedin investigated the Central Iranian desert basins, the western highlands of Tibet and the Transhimalaya, which for a time was afterward called the Hedin Range. He visited the 9th Panchen Lama in the cloistered city of Tashilhunpo in Shigatse. Hedin was the first European to reach the Kailash region, including the sacred Lake Manasarovar and Mount Kailash, the midpoint of the earth according to Buddhist and Hindu mythology. The most important goal of the expedition was the search for the sources of the Indus and Brahmaputra Rivers, both of which Hedin found. From India, he returned via Japan and Russia to Stockholm.

He returned from this expedition with a collection of geological samples which are kept and studied in the Bavarian State Collection of Paleontology and Geology of Munich University. These sedimentary rocks—such as breccia, conglomerate, limestone, and slate, as well as volcanic rock and granite—highlight the geological diversity of the regions visited by Hedin during this expedition.

The explorations of Hedin 1886-1935. The routes of his colleagues during the Sino-Swedish Expedition of 1927-1935 are not included.


In 1923, Hedin traveled to Beijing via the USA—where he visited the Grand Canyon—and Japan. Because of political and social unrest in China, he had to abandon an expedition to Xinjiang. Instead, he traveled with Frans August Larson (called the "Duke of Mongolia") in November and December in a Dodge automobile from Peking through Mongolia via Ulaanbaatar to Ulan-Ude, Russia and from there on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow.

Fourth expedition

Between 1927 and 1935, Hedin led an international Sino-Swedish Expedition which investigated the meteorological, topographic and prehistoric situation in Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Xinjiang.

Hedin described it as a peripatetic university in which the participating scientists worked almost independently, while he—like a local manager—negotiated with local authorities, made decisions, organized whatever was necessary, raised funds and recorded the route followed. He gave archaeologists, astronomers, botanists, geographers, geologists, meteorologists and zoologists from Sweden, Germany and China an opportunity to participate in the expedition and carry out research in their areas of specialty.

Hedin met Chiang Kai-shek in Nanjing, who thereupon became a patron of the expedition. The Sino-Swedish Expedition was honored with a Chinese postage stamp series which had a print run of 25,000. The four stamps show camels at a camp with the expedition flag and bear the Chinese text, "Postal Service of the Prosperous Middle Kingdom" and in Latin underneath, "Scientific Expedition to the Northwestern Province of China 1927-1933". A painting in the Beijing Palace Museum entitled Nomads in the Desert served as model for the series. Of the 25,000 sets, 4,000 were sold across the counter and 21,500 came into the possession of the expedition. Hedin used them to finance the expedition, selling them for a price of five dollars per set. The stamps were unwelcome at the time due to the high price Hedin was selling them at, but years later became valuable treasures among collectors.

Envelope of a letter from Hedin to his sister Alma with Chinese stamps issued on the occasion of the Sino-Swedish Expedition

The first part of the expedition, from 1927 to 1932, led from Beijing via Baotou to Mongolia, over the Gobi Desert, through Xinjiang to Ürümqi, and into the northern and eastern parts of the Tarim Basin. The expedition had a wealth of scientific results which are being published up to the present time. For example, the discovery of specific deposits of iron, manganese, oil, coal and gold reserves was of great economic relevance for China. In recognition of his achievements, the Berlin Geographical Society presented him with the Ferdinand von Richthofen Medal in 1933; the same honor was also awarded to Erich von Drygalski for his Gauss Expedition to the Antarctic; and to Alfred Philippson for his research on the Aegean Region.

From the end of 1933 to 1934, Hedin led—on behalf of the Kuomintang government under Chiang Kai-shek in Nanjing—a Chinese expedition to investigate irrigation measures and draw up plans and maps for the construction of two roads suitable for automobiles along the Silk Road from Beijing to Xinjiang. Following his plans, major irrigation facilities were constructed, settlements erected, and roads built on the Silk Road from Beijing to Kashgar, which made it possible to completely bypass the rough terrain of Tarim Basin.

One aspect of the geography of central Asia which intensively occupied Hedin for decades was what he called the “wandering lake” Lop Nur. In May 1934, he began a river expedition to this lake. For two months he navigated the Kaidu River and the Kum-Darja to Lop Nur, which had been filled with water since 1921. After the lake dried out in 1971 as a consequence of irrigation activities, the above-mentioned transportation link enabled the People's Republic of China to construct a nuclear weapon test site at Lop Nur.

His caravan of truck lorries was hijacked by the Chinese Muslim General Ma Zhongying who was retreating from northern Xinjiang along with his Kuomintang 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army) from the Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang. While Hedin was detained by Ma Zhongying, he met General Ma Hushan, and Kemal Kaya Effendi.

Ma Zhongying's adjutant claimed to Hedin that Ma Zhongying had the entire region of Tian-shan-nan-lu (southern Xinjiang) under his control and Sven could pass through safely without any trouble. Hedin did not believe his assertions.[10] Some of Ma Zhongying's Tungan (Chinese speaking Muslim) troops attacked Hedin's expedition by shooting at their vehicles.[11]

For the return trip, Hedin selected the southern Silk Road route via Hotan to Xi'an, where the expedition arrived on 7 February 1935. He continued on to Beijing to meet with President Lin Sen and to Nanjing to Chiang Kai-shek. He celebrated his 70th birthday on 19 February 1935 in the presence of 250 members of the Kuomintang government, to whom he reported interesting facts about the Sino-Swedish Expedition. On this day, he was awarded the Brilliant Jade Order, Second Class.

At the end of the expedition, Hedin was in a difficult financial situation. He had considerable debts at the German-Asian Bank in Beijing, which he repaid with the royalties and fees received for his books and lectures. In the months after his return, he held 111 lectures in 91 German cities as well as 19 lectures in neighboring countries. To accomplish this lecture tour, he covered a stretch as long as the equator, 23,000 kilometres (14,000 mi) by train and 17,000 kilometres (11,000 mi) by car—in a time period of five months. He met Adolf Hitler in Berlin before his lecture on 14 April 1935.

Political views

Hedin was a monarchist. From 1905 onwards he took a stand against the move toward democracy in his Swedish homeland. He warned of the dangers he assumed to be coming from Czarist Russia, and called for an alliance with the German Empire. Therefore, he advocated a strengthened national defence, with a vigilant military preparedness. August Strindberg was one of his opponents on this issue, which divided Swedish politics at the time. In 1912 Hedin publicly supported the Swedish coastal defense ship Society. He helped collect public donations for the building of the coastal defense ship HSwMS Sverige, which the Liberal and anti-militarist government of Karl Staaff had been unwilling to finance. In early 1914, when the Liberal government enacted cutbacks to the country's defenses, Hedin wrote the Courtyard Speech, in which King Gustaf V promised to strengthen the country's defenses. The speech led to a political crisis that ended with Staaff and his government resigning and being replaced by a non-party, more conservative government.

He developed a lasting affinity for the German empire, with which he became acquainted during his formal studies. This is also shown in his admiration for Kaiser Wilhelm II, whom he even visited in exile in the Netherlands. Influenced by imperial Russian and later the Soviet union's attempts to dominate and control territories outside its borders, especially in Central Asia and Turkestan, Hedin felt that Soviet Russia posed a great threat to the West, which may be part of the reason why he supported Germany during both World Wars.

He viewed World War I as a struggle of the German race (particularly against Russia) and took sides in books like Ein Volk in Waffen. Den deutschen Soldaten gewidmet (A People in Arms. Dedicated to the German Soldier). As a consequence, he lost friends in France and England and was expelled from the British Royal Geographical Society, and from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. Germany's defeat in World War I and the associated loss of its international reputation affected him deeply. That Sweden gave asylum to Wolfgang Kapp as a political refugee after the failure of the Kapp Putsch is said to be primarily attributable to his efforts.[12]

Wolfgang Kapp (24 July 1858 – 12 June 1922) was a Prussian civil servant and journalist. He was a strict nationalist, and a failed leader of the so-called Kapp Putsch.

-- Wolfgang Kapp, by Wikipedia
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Hedin and Nazi Germany

Hedin's conservative and pro-German views eventually translated into sympathy for the Third Reich, and this would draw him into increasing controversy towards the end of his life. Adolf Hitler had been an early admirer of Hedin, who was in turn impressed with Hitler's nationalism. He saw the German leader's rise to power as a revival of German fortunes, and welcomed its challenge against Soviet Communism. He was not an entirely uncritical supporter of the Nazis, however. His own views were shaped by traditionalist, Christian and conservative values, while National Socialism was in part a modern revolutionary-populist movement. Hedin objected to some aspects of National Socialist rule, and occasionally attempted to convince the German government to relent in its anti-religious and anti-Semitic campaigns.

Hedin met Adolf Hitler and other leading National Socialists repeatedly and was in regular correspondence with them. The politely-worded correspondence usually concerned scheduling matters, birthday congratulations, Hedin's planned or completed publications, and requests by Hedin for pardons for people condemned to death, and for mercy, release and permission to leave the country for people interned in prisons or concentration camps. In correspondence with Joseph Goebbels and Hans Dräger, Hedin was able to achieve the printing of the Daily Watchwords year after year.[13]

The Nazis attempted to achieve a close connection to Hedin by bestowing awards upon him—later scholars have noted that "honors were heaped upon this prominent sympathizer."[14] They asked him to present an address on Sport as a Teacher at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin's Olympic stadium. They made him an honorary member of the German-Swedish Union Berlin (German: Deutsch-Schwedischen Vereinigung Berlin e.V.) In 1938, they presented him with the City of Berlin's Badge of Honor (German: Ehrenplakette der Stadt Berlin). For his 75th birthday on 19 February 1940 they awarded him the Order of the German Eagle; shortly before that date it had been presented to Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh. On New Year's Day 1943 they released the Oslo professor of philology and university rector Didrik Arup Seip from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp at Hedin's request[15] in order to obtain Hedin's agreement to accept additional honors during the 470th anniversary of Munich University. On 15 January 1943, he received the Gold Medal of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (Goldmedaille der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften). On 16 January 1943 he received an honorary doctorate from the faculty of natural sciences of Munich University.[16] On the same day, the Nazis founded in his absence the Sven Hedin Institute for Inner Asian Research located at Mittersill Castle, which was supposed to serve the long-term advancement of the scientific legacy of Hedin and Wilhelm Filchner as Asian experts. However, it was instead misused by Heinrich Himmler as an institute of the Research Association for German Genealogical Inheritance (Forschungsgemeinschaft Deutsches Ahnenerbe e.V.).[17] On 21 January 1943, he was requested to sign the Golden Book of the city of Munich.

Hedin supported the Nazis in his journalistic activities.
After the collapse of Nazi Germany, he did not regret his collaboration with the Nazis because this cooperation had made it possible to rescue numerous Nazi victims from execution, or death in extermination camps.

Senior Jewish German archeologist Werner Scheimberg, sent in the expedition by the Thule Society,[18] "had been one of the companions of the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin on his excursions in the East, with archaeological and to some extent esoteric purposes".[19]

Hedin was trying to discover the mythological place of Agartha and reproached the Jewish Polish explorer and visiting professor Antoni Ossendowski for having been gone where the Swedish explorer wasn't able to come, and thus was personally invited by Adolf Hitler in Berlin and honoured by the Führer during his 75th birthday feast.[20]

Criticism of National Socialism

Johannes Paul wrote in 1954 about Hedin:

Much of what happened in the early days of Nazi rule had his approval. However, he did not hesitate to criticize whenever he considered this to be necessary, particularly in cases of Jewish persecution, conflict with the churches and bars to freedom of science.[21]

In 1937 Hedin refused to publish his book Deutschland und der Weltfrieden (Germany and World Peace) in Germany because the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda insisted on the deletion of Nazi-critical passages. In a letter Hedin wrote to State Secretary Walther Funk dated 16 April 1937, it becomes clear what his criticism of National Socialism was in this time before the establishment of extermination camps:

When we first discussed my plan to write a book, I stated that I only wanted to write objectively, scientifically, possibly critically, according to my conscience, and you considered that to be completely acceptable and natural. Now I emphasized in a very friendly and mild form that the removal of distinguished Jewish professors who have performed great services for mankind is detrimental to Germany and that this has given rise to many agitators against Germany abroad. So I took this position only in the interest of Germany.

My worry that the education of German youth, which I otherwise praise and admire everywhere, is deficient in questions of religion and the hereafter comes from my love and sympathy for the German nation, and as a Christian I consider it my duty to state this openly, and, to be sure, in the firm conviction that Luther’s nation, which is religious through and through, will understand me.

So far I have never gone against my conscience and will not do it now either. Therefore, no deletions will be made.[22]

Hedin later published this book in Sweden.[23]

Efforts on behalf of deported Jews

After he refused to remove his criticism of National Socialism from his book Deutschland und der Weltfrieden, the Nazis confiscated the passports of Hedin's Jewish friend Alfred Philippson and his family in 1938 in order to prevent their intended departure to American exile and retain them in Germany as a bargaining chip when dealing with Hedin. The consequence was that Hedin expressed himself more favorably about Nazi Germany in his book Fünfzig Jahre Deutschland, subjugated himself against his conscience to the censorship of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, and published the book in Germany.

On 8 June 1942, the Nazis increased the pressure on Hedin by deporting Alfred Philippson and his family to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. By doing so, they accomplished their goal of forcing Hedin against his conscience to write his book Amerika im Kampf der Kontinente in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and other government agencies and to publish it in Germany in 1942. In return, the Nazis classified Alfred Philippson as “A-prominent” and granted his family privileges which enabled them to survive.

For a long time Hedin was in correspondence with Alfred Philippson and regularly sent food parcels to him in Theresienstadt concentration camp. On 29 May 1946, Alfred Philippson wrote to him (translation, abbreviated quotation):

My dear Hedin! Now that letters can be sent abroad I have the opportunity to write to you…. We frequently think with deep gratitude of our rescuer, who alone is responsible for our being able to survive the horrible period of three years of incarceration and hunger in Theresienstadt concentration camp, at my age a veritable wonder. You will have learned that we few survivors were finally liberated just a few days before our intended gassing. We, my wife, daughter and I, were then brought on 9–10 July 1945 in a bus of the city of Bonn here to our home town, almost half of which is now destroyed….

Hedin responded on 19 July 1946 (translation, abbreviated quotation):

…It was wonderful to find out that our efforts were not in vain. In these difficult years we attempted to rescue over one hundred other unfortunate people who had been deported to Poland, but in most cases without success. We were however able to help a few Norwegians. My home in Stockholm was turned into something like an information and assistance office, and I was excellently supported by Dr. Paul Grassmann, press attaché in the German embassy in Stockholm. He too undertook everything possible to further this humanitarian work. But almost no case was as fortunate as yours, dear friend! And how wonderful, that you are back in Bonn….[24]

The names and fates of the over one hundred deported Jews whom Hedin tried to save have not yet been researched.

Efforts on behalf of deported Norwegians

Hedin supported the cause of the Norwegian author Arnulf Øverland and for the Oslo professor of philology and university director Didrik Arup Seip, who were interned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. He achieved the release of Didrik Arup Seip, but his efforts to free Arnulf Øverland were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, Arnulf Øverland survived the concentration camp.

Efforts on behalf of Norwegian activists

After the third senate of the highest German military court (Reichskriegsgericht) in Berlin condemned to death for alleged espionage the ten Norwegians Sigurd Jakobsen, Gunnar Hellesen, Helge Børseth, Siegmund Brommeland, Peter Andree Hjelmervik, Siegmund Rasmussen, Gunnar Carlsen, Knud Gjerstad, Christian Oftedahl and Frithiof Lund on 24 February 1941, Hedin successfully appealed via Colonel General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst to Adolf Hitler for their reprieve. Their death penalty was converted on 17 June 1941 by Adolf Hitler to ten years forced labor. The Norwegians Carl W. Mueller, Knud Naerum, Peder Fagerland, Ottar Ryan, Tor Gerrard Rydland, Hans Bernhard Risanger and Arne Sørvag who had been condemned to forced labor under the same charge received reduced sentences at Hedin's request. Unfortunately, Hans Bernhard Risanger died in prison just a few days before his release.

Von Falkenhorst was condemned to death, by firing squad, by a British military court on August 2, 1946, because of his responsibility for passing on a Führerbefehl called the Commando Order. Hedin intervened on his behalf, achieving a pardon[clarification needed] on December 4, 1946, with the argument that von Falkenhorst had likewise striven to pardon the ten Norwegians condemned to death. Von Falkenhorst's death penalty was commuted by the British military court to 20 years in prison. In the end, Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was released early from the Werl war criminals prison on July 13, 1953.[25]


Because of his outstanding services, Hedin was raised to the untitled nobility by King Oskar II in 1902, the last time any Swede was to receive a charter of nobility.[26] Oskar II suggested that he prefix the name Hedin with one of the two common predicates of nobility in Sweden, "af" or "von", but Hedin abstained from doing so in his written response to the king. In many noble families in Sweden, it was customary to do without the title of nobility. The coat of arms of Hedin, together with those of some two thousand noble families, is to be found on a wall of the Great Hall in Riddarhuset, the assembly house of Swedish nobility in Stockholm's inner city, Gamla Stan.

In 1905, Hedin was admitted to membership in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and in 1909 to the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences. From 1913 to 1952 he held the sixth of 18 chairs as an elected member of the Swedish Academy. In this position, he had a vote in the selection of Nobel Prize winners.

He was an honorary member of numerous Swedish and foreign scientific societies and institutions which honored him with some 40 gold medals; 27 of these medals can be viewed in Stockholm in a display case in the Royal Coin Cabinet.

He received honorary doctorates from Oxford (1909), Cambridge (1909), Heidelberg (1928), Uppsala (1935), and Munich (1943) universities and from the Handelshochschule Berlin (1931) (all Dr. phil. h.c.), from Breslau University (1915, Dr. jur. h.c.), and from Rostock University (1919, Dr. med. h.c.).

Numerous countries presented him with medals.[27] In Sweden he became a Commander 1st Class of the Royal Order of the North Star (KNO1kl) with a brilliant badge and Knight of the Royal Order of Vasa (RVO).[1] In the United Kingdom he was named Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire by King Edward VII. As a foreigner, he was not authorized to use the associated title of Sir, but he could place the designation KCIE after his family name Hedin. Hedin was also a Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle.[1]

In his honor have been named a glacier, the Sven Hedin Glacier; a lunar crater Hedin; a species of the flowering plant, Gentiana hedini; the beetles Longitarsus hedini and Coleoptera hedini; a butterfly, Fumea hedini Caradja; a spider, Dictyna hedini; a fossil hoofed mammal, Tsaidamotherium hedini; a fossil Therapsid (a “mammal-like reptile”) Lystrosaurus hedini; and streets and squares in the cities of various countries (for example, “Hedinsgatan” at Tessinparken in Stockholm).

A permanent exhibition of articles found by Hedin on his expeditions is located in the Stockholm Ethnographic Museum.

In the Adolf Frederick church can be found the Sven Hedin memorial plaque by Liss Eriksson. The plaque was installed in 1959. On it, a globe with Asia to the fore can be seen, crowned with a camel. It bears the Swedish epitaph:

“ Asia’s unknown expanses were his world—Sweden remained his home. ”

The Sven Hedin Firn in North Greenland was named after him.[28]

Research on Hedin

Source material

A survey of the extensive sources for Hedin research shows that it would be difficult at present to come to a fair assessment of the personality and achievements of Hedin. Most of the source material has not yet been subjected to scientific scrutiny. Even the DFG project Sven Hedin und die deutsche Geographie had to restrict itself to a small selection and a random examination of the source material.

The sources for Hedin research are located in numerous archives (and include primary literature, correspondence, newspaper articles, obituaries and secondary literature).

Memorial plaque with epitaph for Hedin by Liss Eriksson (1959) in the Adolf Fredrik church, Stockholm

• Hedin's own publications amount to some 30,000 pages.
• There are about 2,500 drawings and watercolors, films and many photographs.
• To this should be added 25 volumes with travel and expedition notes and 145 volumes of the diaries he regularly maintained between 1930 and 1952, totaling 8,257 pages.
• The extensive holdings of the Hedin Foundation (Sven Hedins Stiftelse), which holds Hedin effects in trust, are to be found in the Ethnographic Museum and in the National Archives in Stockholm.
• Hedin's correspondence is in the archive of the German Foreign Office in Bonn, in the German Federal Archives in Koblenz, at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography[29] in Leipzig, and above all in the Ethnographic Museum and in the National Archives in Stockholm. Most of the correspondence in Hedin's estate is in the National Archives and accessible to researchers and the general public. It includes about 50,000 letters organized alphabetically according to country and sender as well as some 30,000 additional unsorted letters.
• The scientific effects as well as a collection of newspaper articles about Hedin organized by year (1895–1952) in 60 bound folios can be found in the Ethnographic Museum.
• The finds from Tibet, Mongolia and Xinjiang are, among other places, in Stockholm in the Ethnographic Museum (some 8,000 individual items), in the Institutes of Geology, Minearology and Paleontology of the Uppsala University, in the depots of the Bavarian State Collection of Paleontology and Geology in Munich, and in the National Museum of China, Beijing.

Hedin’s documentation

During his expeditions Hedin saw the focus of his work as being in field research. He recorded routes by plotting many thousands of kilometers of his caravan itinerary with the detail of a high resolution topographical map and supplemented them with innumerable altitude measurements and latitude and longitude data. At the same time he combined his field maps with panoramic drawings. He drafted the first precise maps of areas unresearched until that date: the Pamir mountains, the Taklamakan desert, Tibet, the Silk Road and the Himalayas. He was likely the first European to recognize that the Himalayas were a continuous mountain range.

He systematically studied the lakes of inner Asia, made careful climatological observations over many years, and started extensive collections of rocks, plants, animals and antiquities. Underway he prepared watercolor paintings, sketches, drawings and photographs, which he later published in his works. The photographs and maps with the highest quality printing are to be found in the original Swedish publications.

Hedin prepared a scientific publication for each of his expeditions. The extent of documentation increased dramatically from expedition to expedition. His research report about the first expedition was published in 1900 as Die geographisch-wissenschaftlichen Ergebnisse meiner Reisen in Zentralasien 1894–97 (Supplement 28 to Petermanns Mitteilungen), Gotha 1900. The publication about the second expedition, Scientific Results of a Journey in Central Asia, increased to six text and two atlas volumes. Southern Tibet, the scientific publication on the third expedition, totalled twelve volumes, three of which were atlases. The results of the Sino-Swedish Expedition were published under the title of Reports from the scientific expedition to the north-western provinces of China under leadership of Dr. Sven Hedin. The sino-Swedish expedition. This publication went through 49 editions.

This documentation was splendidly produced, which made the price so high that only a few libraries and institutes were able to purchase it. The immense printing costs had to be borne for the most part by Hedin himself, as was also true for the cost of the expeditions. He used the fees and royalties which he received from his popular science books and for his lectures for the purpose.

Hedin's Gravestone in the cemetery of Adolf Fredriks church in Stockholm, Sweden

Hedin did not himself subject his documentation to scientific evaluation, but rather handed it over to other scientists for the purpose. Since he shared his experiences during his expeditions as popular science and incorporated them in a large number of lectures, travelogues, books for young people and adventure books, he became known to the general public. He soon became famous as one of the most well-recognized personalities of his time.

D. Henze wrote the following about an exhibition at the Deutsches Museum entitled Sven Hedin, the last explorer:

He was a pioneer and pathfinder in the transitional period to a century of specialized research. No other single person illuminated and represented unknown territories more extensively than he. His maps alone are a unique creation. And the artist did not take second place to the savant, who deep in the night rapidly and apparently without effort rapidly created awe inspiring works. The discipline of geography, at least in Germany, has so far only concerned itself with his popularized reports. The consistent inclusion of the enormous, still unmined treasures in his scientific work are yet to be incorporated in the regional geography of Asia.

Current Hedin research

A scientific assessment of Hedin's character and his relationship to National Socialism was undertaken at Bonn University by Professor Hans Böhm, Dipl.-Geogr. Astrid Mehmel and Christoph Sieker M.A. as part of the DFG Project Sven Hedin und die deutsche Geographie (Sven Hedin and German Geography).



Scientific documentation

• Sven Hedin: Die geographisch-wissenschaftlichen Ergebnisse meiner Reisen in Zentralasien 1894–97. Supplementary volume 28 to Petermanns Mitteilungen. Gotha 1900.
• Sven Hedin: Scientific results of a journey in Central-Asia. 10 text and 2 map volumes. Stockholm 1904–1907. Volume 4
• Sven Hedin: Trans-Himalaya: Discoveries and Adventures in Tibet, Volume 1 1909 VOL. II
• Sven Hedin: Southern Tibet. 11 text and 3 map volumes. Stockholm 1917-1922.
• Reports from the scientific expedition to the north-western provinces of China under leadership of Dr. Sven Hedin. The sino-Swedish expedition. Over 50 volumes to date, contains primary and secondary literature. Stockholm 1937 ff.
• Sven Hedin: Central Asia atlas. Maps, Statens etnografiska museum. Stockholm 1966. (appeared in the series Reports from the scientific expedition to the north-western provinces of China under the leadership of Dr. Sven Hedin. The sino-Swedish expedition; Ausgabe 47. 1. Geography; 1)
• Sven Anders Hedin, Folke Bergman (1944). History of the expedition in Asia, 1927-1935, Part 3. Stockholm: Göteborg, Elanders boktryckeri aktiebolag. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
• Central Asia and Tibet: Towards the Holy City of Lassa, Volume 1
• Through Asia, Volume 1

German editions

a) Biography
• Verwehte Spuren. Orientfahrten des Reise-Bengt und anderer Reisenden im 17. Jahrhundert, Leipzig 1923.
b) Popular works
• Durch Asiens Wüsten. Drei Jahre auf neuen Wegen in Pamir, Lop-nor, Tibet und China, 2 vol., Leipzig 1899; neue Ausgabe Wiesbaden 1981.
• Im Herzen von Asien. Zehntausend Kilometer auf unbekannten Pfaden, 2 vol., Leipzig 1903.
• Abenteuer in Tibet, Leipzig 1904; new edition Wiesbaden 1980.
• Transhimalaja. Entdeckungen und Abenteuer in Tibet, Leipzig 1909-1912; new edition Wiesbaden 1985.
• Zu Land nach Indien durch Persien. Seistan und Bclutschistan, 2 vol., Leipzig 1910.
• Von Pol zu Pol, 3 vol., Leipzig 1911-1912; new edition Wiesbaden 1980.
• Bagdad - Babylon - Ninive, Leipzig 1918
• Jerusalem, Leipzig 1918.
• General Prschewalskij in Innerasien, Leipzig 1922.
• Meine erste Reise, Leipzig 1922.
• An der Schwelle Innerasiens, Leipzig 1923.
• Mount Everest, Leipzig 1923.
• Persien und Mesopotamien, zwei asiatische Probleme, Leipzig 1923.
• Von Peking nach Moskau, Leipzig 1924.
• Gran Canon. Mein Besuch im amerikanischen Wunderland, Leipzig 1926.
• Auf großer Fahrt. Meine Expedition mit Schweden, Deutschen und Chinesen durch die Wüste Gobi 1927- 1928, Leipzig 1929.
• Rätsel der Gobi. Die Fortsetzung der Großen Fahrt durch Innerasien in den Jahren 1928-1930, Leipzig 1931.
• Jehol, die Kaiserstadt, Leipzig 1932.
• Die Flucht des Großen Pferdes, Leipzig 1935.
• Die Seidenstraße, Leipzig 1936.
• Der wandernde See, Leipzig 1937.
• "Im Verbotenen Land, Leipzig 1937

c) Political works

• Ein Warnungsruf, Leipzig 1912.
• Ein Volk in Waffen, Leipzig 1915.
• Nach Osten!, Leipzig 1916.
• Deutschland und der Weltfriede, Leipzig 1937 (unlike its translations, the original German edition of this title was printed but never delivered; only five copies were bound, one of which is in the possession of the F. A. Brockhaus Verlag, Wiesbaden).
• Amerika im Kampf der Kontinente, Leipzig 1942

d) Autobiographical works

• Mein Leben als Entdecker, Leipzig 1926.
• Eroberungszüge in Tibet, Leipzig 1940.
• Ohne Auftrag in Berlin, Buenos Aires 1949; Tübingen-Stuttgart 1950.
• Große Männer, denen ich begegnete, 2 volumes, Wiesbaden 1951.
• Meine Hunde in Asien, Wiesbaden 1953.
• Mein Leben als Zeichner, published by Gösta Montell in commemoration of Hedin's 100th birthday, Wiesbaden 1965.

e) Fiction

• Tsangpo Lamas Wallfahrt, 2 vol., Leipzig 1921-1923.

Most German publications on Hedin were translated by F.A. Brockhaus Verlag from Swedish into German. To this extent Swedish editions are the original text. Often after the first edition appeared, F.A. Brockhaus Verlag published abridged versions with the same title. Hedin had not only an important business relationship with the publisher Albert Brockhaus, but also a close friendship. Their correspondence can be found in the Riksarkivet in Stockholm. There is a publication on this subject:

• Sven Hedin, Albert Brockhaus: Sven Hedin und Albert Brockhaus. Eine Freundschaft in Briefen zwischen Autor und Verleger. F. A. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1942.


• Willy Hess: Die Werke Sven Hedins. Versuch eines vollständigen Verzeichnisses. Sven Hedin – Leben und Briefe, Vol. I. Stockholm 1962. likewise.: First Supplement. Stockholm 1965
• Manfred Kleiner: Sven Anders Hedin 1865–1952 - eine Bibliografie der Sekundärliteratur. Self-published Manfred Kleinert, Princeton 2001.


• Detlef Brennecke: Sven Hedin mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1986, 1991. ISBN 3-499-50355-7
• Johannes Paul: Abenteuerliche Lebensreise – Sieben biografische Essays. including: Sven Hedin. Der letzte Entdeckungsreisende. Wilhelm Köhler Verlag, Minden 1954, pp. 317–378.
• Alma Hedin: Mein Bruder Sven. Nach Briefen und Erinnerungen. Brockhaus Verlag, Leipzig 1925.
• Eric Wennerholm: Sven Hedin 1865–1952. F. A. Brockhaus Verlag, Wiesbaden 1978. ISBN 3-7653-0302-X
• Axel Odelberg: Äventyr på Riktigt Berättelsen om Upptäckaren Sven Hedin. Norstedts, Stockholm 2008 (new biography in Swedish, 600 pages).

Hedin and National Socialism

• Mehmel, Astrid: Sven Hedin und nationalsozialistische Expansionspolitik. In: Geopolitik. Grenzgänge im Zeitgeist Bd. 1 .1 1890 bis 1945 ed. by Irene Diekmann, Peter Krüger und Julius H. Schoeps, Potsdam 2000, pp. 189–238.
• Danielsson, S.K.: The Intellectual Unmasked: Sven Hedin's Political Life from Pan-Germanism to National Socialism. Dissertation, Minnesota, 2005.


1. Wennerholm, Eric (1978) Sven Hedin - En biografi, Bonniers, Stockholm ISBN 978-9-10043-621-6
2. Hedin, Anders Sven (1911) Från pol till pol: genom Asien och Europa, Bonnier, Stockholm OCLC 601660137
3. Sven Anders Hedin; Nils Peter Ambolt (1966) Central Asia Atlas, Statens etnografiska museum, Stockholm OCLC 240272
4. David Nalle (June 2000). "Book Review - Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia". Middle East Policy. Washington, USA: Blackwell Publishers. VII (3). ISSN 1061-1924. Archived from the original on 29 November 2008.
5. "The Sven Hedin Foundation". Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
6. Liukkonen, Petri. "Sven Hedin". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 29 July 2014.
7. Bruno Baumann: Karawane ohne Wiederkehr. Das Drama in der Wüste Takla Makan. München 2000, pp. 113–121, 203, 303–307
8. Bernd Liebner: Söhne der Wüste - Durch Gobi und Taklamakan, Documentary film
9. Referred also as Konqi-, Kongque, Kontsche- or Konche-darja or Peacock River— see also note in Korla and Kaidu River
10. Sven Anders Hedin (1936). The flight of "Big Horse": the trail of war in Central Asia. E. P. Dutton and co., inc. p. 84. Retrieved 18 January 2012. amusing to listen to his outspoken but untruthful conversation... he said ...The whole country in that quarter, Tian-shan-nan-lu, acknowledged the rule of General Ma Chung-yin. General Ma Yung-chu had ten thousand cavalry under his orders, and the total strength of the Tungan cavalry was twice that number
11. Sven Anders Hedin (1940). The wandering lake. Routledge. p. 24. Retrieved 18 January 2012. their object had been to cut us off. A month had not passed since our motor convoy had been cut off by Tungan cavalry, who had fired on it with their carbines. Were we now to be stopped and fired at on the river too? They might be marauders from Big Horse's broken army, out looting, and
12. ... kare_2.pdf[permanent dead link]
13. Verified sources: Sven Hedins in the Stockholm Riksarkivet archived correspondence with Hans Draeger, Wilhelm Frick, Joseph Goebbels, Paul Grassmann and Heinrich Himmler
14. Lubrich, Oliver, ed. (2012). "Sven Hedin". Travels in the Reich, 1933-1945: Foreign Authors Report from Germany (paperback). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0226006451.
15. See letter from Hans Draeger dated 17 January 1942 to Sven Hedin from the Riksarkivet in Stockholm, file: Sven Hedins Arkiv, Korrespondens, Tyskland, 457 and the book by Michael H. Kater: Das "Ahnenerbe" der SS 1935-1945. Oldenbourg Verlag, 2001, ISBN 3-486-56529-X
16. Elisabeth Kraus: Die Universität München im dritten Reich: Aufsätze. Herbert Utz Verlag GmbH, München 2006. pp. 494–502
17. See file R 135 of the Bundesarchivs, located in the Dienststelle Berlin-Lichterfelde
18. Oscar Luis Rigiroli (1017). Historias Secretas de Amor y Sangre (in Spanish). Oscar Luis Rigiroli. Archived from the original on 10 November 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018 – via PublishDrive.. The present source is an historical-based fictional-novelist book, but he is the publisher of the '"Daurio 2018"'s reference, with a coherent content.
19. Cêdric Daurio (2018). The mystic warrior. Oscar Luis Rigiroli. Archived from the original on 10 November 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018 – via PublishDrive.
20. Giorgio Galli. Hitler and the magic Nazism (Hitler e il Nazismo magico).
21. In: Abenteuerliche Lebensreise, p. 367
22. As yet unpublished letters from the Riksarkivet in Stockholm, file of Heinrich Himmler: Sven Hedins Arkiv, Korrespondens, Tyskland, 470. The orthography and punctuation were updated
23. On this matter there is a thorough investigation contained in the essay Sven Hedin und nationalsozialistische Expansionspolitik by Astrid Mehmel loc.cit.
24. As yet unpublished letters from the Riksarkivet in Stockholm, file: Sven Hedins Arkiv, Korrespondens, Tyskland, 487
25. cf. Sven Hedin's German Diary 1935–1942, Dublin 1951, S. 204–217 und Eric Wennerholm, Sven Hedin 1865–1952, S. 229–230
26. "The Swedish Way". Swedish Heraldry Society. 23 March 2007. Archived from the original on 7 November 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2009.
27. cf. Christian Thorén: Upptäcktsresanden Sven Hedins ordenstecken i Kungliga Livrustkammarens samlingar. In: Livrust Kammaren. Journal of the Royal Armoury 1997-98. Stockholm. pp. 91-128. ISSN 0024-5372. (Swedish text with English picture captions and English summary, color illustrations of Sven Hedin’s medals and decorations, literature)
28. Sven Hedin Firn, Army Map Service, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Greenland 1:250,000
29. Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography

Further reading

• Meyer, Karl E.; Brysac, Shareen Blair (25 October 1999). Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia. Basic Books. ISBN 978-1-58243-106-2.
• Sven Anders Hedin, Folke Bergman (1944). History of the expedition in Asia, 1927-1935, Part 3. Stockholm: SLANDERS BOKTRYCKERI AKTIEBOL AG G6TEBORG. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
• Hedin, Sven; foreword by John Hare (2009). The Silk Road: Ten Thousand Miles through Central Asia. London: Tauris Parke Paperbacks Basic Books. ISBN 978-1-84511-898-3.
• Tommy Lundmark (2014) Sven Hedin institutet. En rasbiologisk upptäcksresa i Tredje riket. ISBN 9789186621957) (Swedish)

External links

• Works by Sven Hedin at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Sven Hedin at Internet Archive
• Scanned works
• Excellent bibliography, listing publications and further literature
• International Dunhuang Project Newsletter Issue No. 21, article on Sven Hedin, available also as PDF
• "Hedin, Sven Anders" . Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
• British Indian intelligence on Sven Hedin. National Archives of India (1928)
• Newspaper clippings about Sven Hedin in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:00 am

Wolfgang Kapp
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Wolfgang Kapp
Born July 24, 1858
New York City, New York, United States
Died June 12, 1922 (aged 63)
Leipzig, Germany
Nationality Germany
Occupation Civil servant, politician
Height 171 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Spouse(s) Margarete Rosenow
Children 3
Wolfgang Kapp signature.svg

Wolfgang Kapp (24 July 1858 – 12 June 1922) was a Prussian civil servant and journalist. He was a strict nationalist, and a failed leader of the so-called Kapp Putsch.

Early life

Kapp was born in New York City where his father Friedrich Kapp, a political activist and later Reichstag delegate for the National Liberal Party, had settled after the failed European revolutions of 1848. In 1870 the family returned to Germany and Kapp's schooling continued in Berlin at the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium (High School). Wolfgang Kapp married Margarete Rosenow in 1884; the couple would have three children. Through his wife's family, Kapp acquired a family connection with politically conservative elements. In 1886, he graduated at the conclusion of his law studies at the University of Tübingen and was appointed to a position in the Finance Ministry the same year.

Political activist

After an ordinary official career, Kapp became the founder of the Agricultural Credit Institute in East Prussia which achieved great success in promoting the prosperity of landowners and farmers in that province. He was consequently in close touch with the Junkers of East Prussia, and during the First World War made himself their mouthpiece in an attack on Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg. Kapp's pamphlet, entitled Die Nationalen Kreise und der Reichskanzler and published in the early summer of 1916, criticized German foreign and domestic policy under Hollweg. This pamphlet appeared about the same time as the attacks of "Junius Alter" and evoked an indignant reply from Hollweg in the Reichstag, in which he spoke of "loathsome abuse and slanders."[1]

In 1917, along with Alfred von Tirpitz, Kapp founded the Deutsche Vaterlandspartei (Fatherland Party), of which he would briefly become chairman. He was one of a number of prominent figures of the right, including General Ludendorff and Waldemar Pabst, who set up in August 1919 the Nationale Vereinigung (de) (National Union), a right-wing think-tank which campaigned for a counter-revolution to install a form of conservative militaristic government. The Nationale Vereinigung did not, however, press for the restoration of the monarchy, the Kaiser having bowed to Army pressure and left for his exile in the Netherlands in November 1918. 1919, which saw the consolidation in Germany of the Weimar Republic, found Kapp a member of the Deutschnationale Volkspartei (German National People's Party).

Germany's defeat in the First World War was seen by nationalists such as Kapp as a humiliation and a betrayal. He became an exponent of the Dolchstoß legend and a vehement critic of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1919 he was elected to the Reichstag as a monarchist.


Main article: Kapp Putsch

"We will not govern according to any theory", Wolfgang Kapp, 13 March 1920[2]

In March 1920 Hermann Ehrhardt, the leader of the Freikorps known as the Ehrhardt Brigade, was authorized by General Walther von Lüttwitz (Commander of Reichswehr Command Group I) to proceed and use the Marine Brigade to take Berlin from the Weimar Government. The Weimar government fled to Dresden and then on to Stuttgart in order to avoid arrest by rebel Reichswehr troops.

Though proclaiming a new government and state administration, Kapp along with Lüttwitz failed to calculate the lack of support for such a coup. The majority of the old establishment, civil service, labour unions and general population did not side with the putschists and as a result the newly proclaimed state lasted for a mere two days before a General Strike was called by the SPD. The Reichswehr, under the command of Hans von Seeckt, failed to uphold their constitutional commitment by defending the Republican government against the rebellious Freikorps units. The Weimar regime was saved by the public by means of the strike, but the Putsch did not succeed for other reasons. These include the lack of outward and active support from the military elite, judiciary and civil service who were reluctant to commit to the Putsch from its beginning.

Hitler and Eckart's first joint political endeavor was a comic attempt to coordinate with the Kapp Putsch's incompetent instigators in March, 1920. General Walther von Luttwitz's Freikorps troops marched on Berlin and installed a minor official named Wolfgang Kapp as Chancellor. Eckart knew Kapp, who not only subscribed to Auf Gut Deutsch, but donated 1,000 marks to help it thrive. Some time during January, 1920 Kapp visited Eckart in Munich to seek his advice for the planned coup. In late February, Eckart traveled to Berlin for another meeting with his friend, counseling him to adopt stern measures against the Jews, who would surely rouse credulous proles to oppose a nationalist revolution. After the Putsch Kapp enforced only small sanctions, such as the impoundment of matzo flour -- which Eckart derided as not merely ineffective, but ludicrous.

Threats from Britain and France to bring criminal charges against the former Kaiser and 900 senior military officers provoked outrage toward the hated Weimar Republic, which most Germans viewed as the creature of Entente powers. In January, 1920 the leaders of Berlin's officer corps proposed to toss out President Friedrich Ebert's regime and install Kapp as chancellor. With the collusion of General Walther von Luttwitz, General Erich Ludendorff, and Colonel Max Bauer, Kapp occupied government offices on March 12 and proclaimed himself chancellor. Ebert absconded to Dresden. But things went down hill from there. No prominent men would accept cabinet appointments from Kapp. Berlin's civil servants staged a sick-out. The German Reichsbank refused to approve Kapp's signature on government checks, thus freezing the nation's assets. On March 17th Kapp tendered his resignation and fled to Sweden.

The new "chancellor" proposed to abolish the Weimar Republic and arrest all Jews suspected of stabbing Germany in the back during World War I. On Captain Mayr's recommendation Augsburg businessman Dr. Gottfried Grandel agreed to pay for Hitler and Eckart's expenses for a trip to Berlin. On March 17, 1920 the two emissaries took off in a three-seat sport plane piloted by air ace Robert Ritter von Greim, on a mission to enlist Kapp's aid in overthrowing Bavaria's Provisional Government. Red-faced Eckart, with double chin quivering under a tight leather cap, watched Hitler vomit over the side with goggles askew. Once on the ground Eckart posed as a paper merchant. The woozy Hitler clapped on a fake beard and pretended to be his assistant.

Upon reaching Kapp's headquarters in Hotel Adlon they encountered Hungarian Jewish conman Ignaz Thimotheus Trebitsch-Lincoln -- an amazing character who combined spying with the careers of an Anglican minister, British M.P., published author, and Chinese religious leader. He informed them that "Chancellor" Kapp had skipped town to avoid arrest. Eckart turned to Hitler and snapped: "Come, Adolf, we have no further business here." [6] Hitler subsequently remarked:

"When I saw and spoke to the press chief of Kapp's government I knew this could be no national revolution ... for he was a Jew." [7]

Six months later Trebitsch-Lincoln sold his account of the Kapp Putsch to the French Foreign office for 50,000 Czech crowns.

Refusing von Greim's offer of a return flight, Eckart and Hitler took the next train back to Munich. They learned from the Kapp Putsch's collapse that a rightist insurrection stood little chance of victory. This reinforced their strategy of courting blue collar workers and small business proprietors.

The Kapp Putsch gave Hitler an object lesson on how not to stage a coup against the Weimar Republic. A spur-of-the-moment military action without sufficient political organization would never succeed. The German Workers Party needed a coordinated action with military and civilian cooperation. Of course, Anton Drexler, Karl Harrer, and other timid Skat club members feared such risky designs.

-- Hitler's Mentor: Dietrich Eckart, His Life, Times, & Milieu, by Joseph Howard Tyson

When the coup d'état failed Kapp fled to Sweden.

That Sweden gave asylum to Wolfgang Kapp as a political refugee after the failure of the Kapp Putsch is said to be primarily attributable to his efforts.[12]

-- Sven Hedin, by Wikipedia

After two years in exile, he returned to Germany in April 1922 to justify himself in a trial at the Reichsgericht. He died in custody in Leipzig shortly afterwards of cancer.[3]


1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Kapp, Wolfgang" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
2. Kapp's proclamation as quoted in Waite R.,(1952) Vanguard of Nazism, Norton library, New York
3. Biography at the German Historical Museum (in German)

Authority control

• BNF: cb12237164m (data)
• GND: 118891502
• ISNI: 0000 0000 2314 5393
• LCCN: n82069829
• NTA: 073354198
• SUDOC: 03108656X
• VIAF: 47559868
• WorldCat Identities (via VIAF): 47559868

External links

• Newspaper clippings about Wolfgang Kapp in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:21 am

German Fatherland Party
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



German Fatherland Party
Deutsche Vaterlandspartei
Chairman: Alfred von Tirpitz
Deputy Chairman: Wolfgang Kapp
o Heinrich Class
o Walter Nicolai
o Alfred Hugenberg
o Anton Drexler
[o Wolfgang Kapp] [In 1917, along with Alfred von Tirpitz, Kapp founded the Deutsche Vaterlandspartei (Fatherland Party), of which he would briefly become chairman. -- Wolfgang Kapp, by Wikipedia]
Founded: 2 September 1917
Dissolved: 10 December 1918
Succeeded by None (de jure)
DNVP logo (basic) DNVP and NSDAP-Logo NSDAP (de facto)
Headquarters: Großes Hauptquartier (GrHQu), Kurhausstraße 28, Bad Kreuznach
(2 January 1917 – 8 March 1918) Rue de la Sauvenière n°8, Spa
(8 March – 11 November 1918) Schloss Wilhelmshöhe 3, Kassel
(11 November 1918 – 11 February 1919)
Newspaper: Supported by Alfred Hugenberg's media group
Policy institute: Pan-German League
Supported by: Oberste Heeresleitung
Membership (1918) 1,250,000
Ideology: Pan-Germanism; Lebensraum; German nationalism; Volksgemeinschaft; Monarchism; Militarism; National conservatism; Social conservatism; Antisemitism
Political position: Right-wing to far-right
Colors: Black, white, and red (German Imperial colours)

The German Fatherland Party (German: Deutsche Vaterlandspartei) was a short-lived far-right party in the German Empire, active during the last phase of World War I.

Political positions and influence

The party represented conservative, nationalist, antisemitic and völkisch political circles, united in their opposition against the Reichstag Peace Resolution of July 1917. It played a vital role in the emergence of the stab-in-the-back myth and the defamation of certain politicians as the November Criminals.

Foundation, leadership and funding

Backed by the Pan-German League, the party was founded in September 1917, helped by Heinrich Claß, a founder member.

The party's leaders were Wolfgang Kapp (of the Kapp Putsch fame) and Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz (a naval minister and post-war party leader). Walter Nicolai, head of the military secret service, was also supportive.[1] Media baron Alfred Hugenberg was also a prominent member.

The party's political influence peaked in summer 1918 when it had around 1,250,000 members. Its main source of funding was the Third Supreme Command. The party was officially dissolved in the German Revolution on 10 December 1918. Most of its members later joined the German National People's Party (DNVP), the major right-wing party of the Weimar Republic.

Subsequent influence

One member, Anton Drexler, went on to form a similar organization, the German Workers' Party, which later became the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party) that came to national power in January 1933 under Adolf Hitler.


1. Höhne and Zolling, p 290.


• Höhne, Heinz, and Zolling, Hermann (1972). The General Was a Spy. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc, New York. Published in Germany as Pullach Intern (1971). Hoffman and Campe Verlag: Hamburg.
• Historisches Lexikon Bayerns: Deutsche Vaterlandspartei, 1917/18 (Sarah Hadry).

External links

• Short overview
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:29 am

Alfred Hugenberg
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Alfred Hugenberg
as Reich Minister of Economics in 1933
Reich Minister of Economics
In office
30 January 1933 – 29 June 1933
President Paul von Hindenburg
Chancellor Adolf Hitler
Preceded by Hermann Warmbold
Succeeded by Kurt Schmitt
Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture
In office
30 January 1933 – 29 June 1933
President Paul von Hindenburg
Chancellor Adolf Hitler
Preceded by Magnus von Braun
Succeeded by Richard Walther Darré
Personal details
Born Alfred Ernst Christian Alexander Hugenberg
19 June 1865
Hanover, Kingdom of Hanover
Died 12 March 1951 (aged 85)
Kükenbruch, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany
Nationality German
Political party German National People's Party
Spouse(s) Gertrud Adickes
Alma mater Göttingen, Heidelberg, Berlin, Straßburg

Alfred Ernst Christian Alexander Hugenberg (19 June 1865 – 12 March 1951) was an influential German businessman and politician. A leading figure in nationalist politics in Germany for the first few decades of the twentieth century, he became the country's leading media proprietor during the inter-war period. As leader of the German National People's Party he was instrumental in helping Adolf Hitler become Chancellor of Germany and served in his first cabinet in 1933, hoping to control Hitler and use him as his "tool."[1] Those plans backfired, and by the end of 1933 Hugenberg had been pushed to the sidelines. Although Hugenberg continued to serve as a "guest" member of the Reichstag until 1945, he wielded no political influence.

Early years

Born in Hanover to Carl Hugenberg, a royal Hanoverian official who in 1867 entered the Prussian Landtag as a member of the National Liberal Party, he studied law in Göttingen, Heidelberg, and Berlin, as well as economics in Straßburg.[2] In 1891, Hugenberg was awarded a PhD at Straßburg for his dissertation Internal Colonization in Northwest Germany.[3] In Internal Colonization in Northwest Germany, Hugenberg set out three ideas that guided his political thought for the rest of his life:

• The necessity for statist economic policies to allow German farmers to be successful.[3]
• Despite the necessity for the state to assist farmers, the German farmer should be encouraged to act as an entrepreneur, thereby creating a class of successful farmers/small businessmen who would act as a bulwark against the appeal of the Marxist Social Democrats, whom Hugenberg viewed as a grave threat to the status quo.[3]
• Finally, to allow the German farmers to be successful required a policy of imperialism, as Hugenberg argued on Social Darwinist grounds that the "power and significance of the German race" could be secured if Germany colonized other nations.[3] Hugenberg maintained that Germany's prosperity depended upon having a great empire, and argued that, in the coming 20th century, Germany would have to battle three great rivals, namely Britain, the United States and Russia for world supremacy.[3]

Later in 1891, Hugenberg co-founded, along with Karl Peters, the ultra-nationalist General German League, and in 1894 its successor movement, the Pan-German League (Alldeutscher Verband).[2] From 1894 to 1899, Hugenberg worked as a Prussian civil servant in Posen (modern Poznań, Poland).[3] In 1900 Hugenberg married his second cousin, Gertrud Adickes (1868 - 1960) with whom he had four children.[4] Gertrude was the daughter of Franz Burchard Adickes, Mayor of Frankfurt. At the same time, he was also involved in a scheme in the Province of Posen, in which the Prussian Settlement Commission bought up land from Poles in order to settle ethnic Germans there.[5] In 1899, Hugenberg had called for "annihilation of Polish population".[6] Hugenberg was strongly anti-Polish, and criticized the Prussian government for its "inadequate" Polish policies, favoring a more vigorous policy of Germanization.[7]

Hugenberg initially took a role organising agricultural societies before entering the civil service in the Prussian Ministry of Finance in 1903.[5] Again, Hugenberg came into conflict with his superiors, who opposed his plans to confiscate all the non-productive estates of the Junkers (landed nobility) in order to settle hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans, who would become his idealized farmer-small businessmen and "Germanize" the East.[8] He left the public sector to pursue a career in business, and in 1909 he was appointed chairman of the supervisory board of Krupp Steel, and built up a close personal and political relationship with Baron Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach.[9] Krupp had been "in search of a man of really superior intelligence" to run the finance department of Krupp AG, and found that man in form of Hugenberg, with his "extraordinary" intelligence and work ethic.[8] In 1902, Friedrich Alfred Krupp was ousted, and committed suicide[10] or died from illness[11][12] shortly after the Social Democratic newspaper Vorwarts published love letters he had written to his Italian lovers. After his death, the entire firm of Krupp AG was left to his daughter, Bertha Krupp. As Krupp AG was one of the world's largest arms-manufactures, and the biggest supplier of weapons to the German state, the management of Krupp AG was of some interest to the state, and Emperor Wilhelm II did not believe that a woman was capable of running a business. To solve this perceived problem, the Kaiser had Bertha marry a career diplomat, Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach, who was regarded by the Kaiser as a safe man to run Krupp AG. Gustav Krupp, as he was renamed by Wilhelm, did not know much about running a business, and so depended very much on his board to assist him. Hugenberg's role in the management of Krupp AG was thus considerably larger than what his title of director of finance would indicate, and in many ways, Hugenberg was the man who effectively ran the Krupp corporation during his ten years at the firm between 1908-18.[13]

At the time, Krupp AG was Germany's biggest corporation, and Hugenberg's success in raising annual dividends from 8% in 1908 to 14% in 1913 won him much admiration in the world of German business.[8] A more unwelcome appearance in the limelight occurred in the Kornwalzer affair, in which the Social Democrat MDR, Karl Liebknecht, exposed industrial espionage by Hugenberg.[14] The management of Krupp AG did not even try to deny the allegations of bribery and industrial espionage, with Krupp arguing in a press article that any attack on the firm of Krupp AG was an attack on the ability of the German state to wage war by the socialistic-pacifistic SPD, and though several junior employees of Krupp AG were convicted of corruption, Hugenberg and the rest of the Krupp board were never indicted.[14] In 1912, Kaiser Wilhelm II personally awarded Hugenberg the Order of the Red Eagle for his success at Krupp AG, saying that Germany needed more businessmen like Hugenberg.[15] At the ceremony, Hugenberg praised the Kaiser in his acceptance speech, and went on to say that democracy would not improve the condition of the German working class, but only a "very much richer, very much greater and very much powerful Germany" would solve the problems of the working class.[15] As well as administering Krupps finance (with considerable success), Hugenberg also set about developing personal business interests from 1916 onwards, including a controlling interest in the national newsmagazine Die Gartenlaube[5] In 1914, Hugenberg welcomed the war, and resumed his work with his close friend Heinrich Class of the Pan-German League.[16] During the war, Hugenberg was an annexationist who wanted the war to end with Germany annexing much of Europe, Africa and Asia to make the Reich into the world's greatest power.[16] In September 1914, Hugenberg and Class co-wrote a memorandum setting out the annexationist platform, which demanded that, once the war was won, Germany would annex Belgium and northern France, British sea power would end, and Russia would be reduced to the "frontiers existing at the time of Peter the Great".[16] Beyond that, Germany was to annex all of the British, French and Belgian colonies in sub-Saharan Africa, and create an "economic union", embracing Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, the Scandinavian nations and the nations of the Balkans, that would be dominated by the Reich.[16] Finally, the Hugenberg-Class memo called for a policy of colonization in Eastern Europe, where the German state would settle thousands of German farmers in the land annexed from the Russian Empire.[16]

The Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, was actually an annexationist himself, but refused to support the annexationists in public. Under the constitution of 1871, the Reichstag had limited powers, but one of those powers was the right to pass budgets. In the 1912 elections, the Social Democrats won a majority of the seats to the Reichstag. In 1914, the Social Democrats split into two factions, with the Independent Social Democrats opposing the war and the Majority Social Democrats supporting the war under the grounds that Russia was supposedly about to attack Germany. However, the Majority Social Democrats were opposed to the annexationists, and to secure their co-operation in passing budgets, Bethmann Hollweg refused to support the annexationists in public. Bethmann Hollweg's Septemberprogramm—drafted in September 1914 at a time when the fall of Paris was believed to be imminent as the German armies had almost reached the French capital and to be issued when Paris fell—was remarkably similar to the Hugenberg-Class memo. Believing that he was not one of them, Hugenberg, like the rest of the annexationists, spent the years 1914 to 1917 attacking Bethmann Hollweg as essentially a traitor.[17] In 1915, Hugenberg published a telegram to Class in the name of the united chambers of commerce of the Ruhr, demanding that Wilhelm II dismiss Bethmann Hollweg and if the Kaiser was unwilling, that the military depose Bethmann Hollweg, stating if the Reich failed to achieve the annexationist platform once the war was won that it would cause a revolution from the right that would end the monarchy.[17] It was Hugenberg's interest in mobilizing support for the annexationists and bringing down Bethmann Hollweg that led him into the media, as Hugenberg in 1916 started to buy newspapers and publishing houses in order to create more organs for the expression of his imperialistic views.[18] After buying the Scherl newspaper chain in July 1916, Hugenberg announced, at the first meeting of the board under his management, that he had only bought the Scherl corporation to champion annexationist and Pan-German war aims, and that any editor opposed to his expansionistic views should resign then, before he fired them.[19] Aside from his membership in the Pan-German League, Hugenberg had a more personal reason for being an annexationist. Together with his friends Emil Kirdorf, Hugo Stinnes and Wilhelm Beukenberg, Hugenberg in 1916-17 founded a number of corporations to exploit the occupied parts of Belgium and northern France .[20] These companies were favored by the Army, which ruled occupied Belgium and France as both Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and General Erich Ludendorff—both firm annexationists—appreciated Hugenberg's willingness to spend millions of marks to mobilize public support for their cause.[20] In 1918, after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Hugenberg founded two corporations, the Landgesellschaft Kurland m.b.H and Neuland A.G that had a total budget of 37 million marks, to establish co-operative funds that would make loans to the hundreds of thousands of German farmers that he expected to be soon settled in Eastern Europe.[21]

Hugenberg remained at Krupp until 1918, when he set out to build his own business, and during the Great Depression he was able to buy up dozens of local newspapers. Hugenberg's increasing involvement in Pan-German and annexationist causes together with his interest in building a media empire, caused him to depart from Krupp, which he found to be a distraction from what really interested him.[22] These newspapers became the basis of his publishing firm, Scherl House and, after he added controlling interests in Universum Film AG (UFA), Ala-Anzeiger AG, Vera Verlag and the Telegraphen Union, he had a near monopoly on the media, which he used to agitate against the Weimar Republic amongst Germany's middle classes.[23]

Nationalist leader

Hugenberg Papen poster.

Hugenberg was one of a number of Pan Germans to become involved in the National Liberal Party in the run up to the First World War.[24] During the war, his views shifted sharply to the right. Accordingly, he switched his allegiance to the Fatherland Party and became one of its leading members, emphasising territorial expansion and anti-Semitism as his two main political issues.[25] In 1919 Hugenberg followed most of the Fatherland Party into the German National People's Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei, DNVP), which he represented in the National Assembly (that produced the 1919 constitution of the Weimar Republic). He was elected to the Reichstag in the 1920 elections to the new body.[26] The DNVP suffered heavy losses in the 1928 election, leading to the appointment of Hugenberg as sole chairman on 21 October that same year.[26]

Hugenberg moved the party in a far more radical direction than it had taken under its previous leader, Kuno Graf von Westarp. He hoped to use radical nationalism to restore the party's fortunes, and eventually, to overthrow the Weimar constitution and install an authoritarian form of government.[2] Up to this point, right-wing politics outside of the far right was going through a process of reconciliation with the Weimar Republic, but this ended under Hugenberg, who renewed earlier DNVP calls for its immediate destruction.[27] Under his direction, a new DNVP manifesto appeared in 1931, demonstrating the shift to the right. Amongst its demands were immediate restoration of the Hohenzollern monarchy, a reversal of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, compulsory military conscription, repossession of the German colonial empire, a concerted effort to build up closer links with German speaking people outside Germany (especially in Austria), a dilution of the role of the Reichstag to that of a supervisory body to a newly established professional house of appointees reminiscent of Benito Mussolini's corporative state, and reduction in the perceived over-representation of Jews in German public life.[28]

Hugenberg also sought to eliminate internal party democracy and instill a führerprinzip within the DNVP, leading to some members breaking away to establish the Conservative People's Party (KVP) in late 1929.[28] More were to follow in June 1930, appalled by Hugenberg's extreme opposition to the cabinet of Heinrich Brüning, a moderate whom some within the DNVP wanted to support.[29]

Under Hugenberg's leadership, the DNVP toned down and later abandoned the monarchism which had characterized the party in its earlier years.[citation needed] Despite Hugenberg's background in industry, that constituency gradually deserted the DNVP under his leadership, largely due to a general feeling amongst industrialists that Hugenberg was too inflexible, and soon the party became the main voice of agrarian interests in the Reichstag.[26]

Relationship with Hitler

Further information: 1929 German referendum

Hugenberg was vehemently opposed to the Young Plan, and he set up a "Reich Committee for the German People's Petition" to oppose it, featuring the likes of Franz Seldte, Heinrich Class, Theodor Duesterberg and Fritz Thyssen.[30] However, he recognised that the DNVP and their elite band of allies did not have enough popular support to carry any rejection of the scheme through. As such, Hugenberg felt that he needed a nationalist with support amongst the working classes, whom he could use to whip up popular sentiment against the Plan. Adolf Hitler was the only realistic candidate, and Hugenberg decided that he would use the Nazi Party leader to get his way.[31] As a result, the Nazi Party soon became the recipients of Hugenberg's largesse, both in terms of monetary donations and of favourable coverage from the Hugenberg-owned press, which had previously largely ignored Hitler or denounced him as a socialist.[31] Joseph Goebbels, who had a deep hatred of Hugenberg, initially spoke privately of breaking away from Hitler over the alliance, but he changed his mind when Hugenberg agreed that Goebbels should handle the propaganda for the campaign, giving the Nazi Party access to Hugenberg's media empire.[32] Hitler was able to use Hugenberg to push himself into the political mainstream, and once the Young Plan was passed by referendum, Hitler promptly ended his links with Hugenberg.[33] Hitler publicly blamed Hugenberg for the failure of the campaign, but he retained the links with big business that the Committee had allowed him to cultivate, and this began a process of the business magnates deserting the DNVP for the Nazis.[34] Hitler's handling of the affair was marred by one thing, and that was the premature announcement in the Nazi press of his repudiation of the alliance with the Strasser brothers, whose left-wing economics were incompatible with Hugenberg's arch-capitalism.[35]

Hugenberg in Bad Harzburg, 1931, with Prince Eitel Friedrich

Despite this episode, in February 1931 Hugenberg joined the Nazi Party in booting the DNVP out of the Reichstag altogether, as a protest against the Brüning government. By then, the two parties were in a very loose federation, known as the 'National Opposition'.[36] This was followed in July of the same year by the release of a joint statement, with Hitler guaranteeing that the pair would co-operate for the overthrow of the Weimar 'system'.[37] The two presented a united front at Bad Harzburg on 21 October 1931, as part of a wider right-wing rally leading to suggestions that a Harzburg Front involving the two parties and the veterans movement Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten had emerged.[38] The two leaders soon clashed, and Hugenberg's refusal to endorse Hitler in the 1932 German presidential election widened the gap.[38] Indeed, the rift between the two opened further when Hugenberg, fearing that Hitler might win the Presidency, persuaded Theodor Duesterberg to run as a junker candidate. Although Duesterberg was eliminated on the first vote, due largely to Nazi allegations regarding his Jewish parentage, Hitler nonetheless failed to secure the Presidency.[39]

Hugenberg's party had experienced a growth in support at the November 1932 election at the expense of the Nazis, leading to a secret meeting between the two in which a reconciliation of sorts was agreed upon. Hugenberg hoped to harness the Nazis for his own ends once again, and as such he dropped his attacks on them for the campaign for the March 1933 election.[38]

Hitler's rise to power

In early January 1933, Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher had developed plans for an expanded coalition government, to include not only Hugenberg, but also dissident Nazi Gregor Strasser and Centre Party politician Adam Stegerwald. Although Hugenberg had designs on a return to government, his hatred of trade union activity meant that he had no intention of working with Stegerwald, the head of the Catholic Trade Union movement. When von Schleicher refused to exclude Stegerwald from his plans, Hugenberg broke off negotiations.[40]

Hugenberg's main confidante, Reinhold Quaatz, had, despite being half-Jewish, pushed for Hugenberg to follow a more völkisch path and work with the Nazi Party, and after the collapse of the von Schleicher talks, this was the path he followed.[41] Hugenberg and Hitler met on 17 January 1933, and Hugenberg suggested that they both enter the cabinet of Kurt von Schleicher, a proposal rejected by Hitler, who would not move from his demands for the Chancellorship. Hitler did agree in principle to allow von Schleicher to serve under him as Defence Minister, although Hugenberg warned the Nazi leader that as long as Paul von Hindenburg was president, Hitler would never be Chancellor.[42] A further meeting between the two threatened to derail any alliance, after Hugenberg rejected Hitler's demands for Nazi control over the interior ministries of Germany and Prussia but by this time, Franz von Papen had come round to the idea of Hitler as Chancellor, and he worked hard to persuade the two leaders to come together.[43]

During the negotiations between Franz von Papen and president Paul von Hindenburg, Hindenburg had insisted that Hugenberg be given the ministries of Economics and Agriculture, both at national level and in Prussia, as a condition of Hitler becoming Chancellor, something of a surprise, given the President's well publicised dislike of Hugenberg.[44] Hugenberg, eager for a share of power, agreed to the plan, and continued to believe that he could use Hitler for his own ends, telling the Stahlhelm leader Theodor Duesterberg that "we'll box Hitler in".[45] He initially rejected Hitler's plans to immediately call a fresh election, fearing the damage such a vote might inflict on his own party but, after being informed by Otto Meißner that the plan had Hindenburg's endorsement, and by von Papen that von Schleicher was preparing to launch a military coup, he acceded to Hitler's wishes.[46] Hugenberg vigorously campaigned for the NSDAP–DNVP alliance, although other leading members within his party expressed fears over socialist elements to Nazi rhetoric, and instead appealed for a nonparty dictatorship, pleas ignored by Hitler.[47]

Hugenberg made no effort to stop Hitler's ambition of becoming a dictator. As mentioned above, he himself was authoritarian by inclination. Along with the other DNVP members of the cabinet, he voted for the Reichstag Fire Decree of 1933, which effectively wiped out civil liberties.

Removal from politics

In the elections Hugenberg's DNVP captured 52 seats in the Reichstag, although any hope that these seats could ensure influence for the party evaporated with the passing of the Enabling Act of 1933 (which the DNVP supported) soon after the vote.[48] Nevertheless, Hugenberg was Minister of Economy in the new government and was also appointed Minister of Agriculture in the Nazi cabinet, largely due to the support his party enjoyed amongst the north German landowners. As Minister, Hugenberg declared a temporary moratorium on foreclosures, cancelled some debts and placed tariffs on some widely produced agricultural goods in order to stimulate the sector. As a move to protect dairy farming he also placed limits on margarine production, although this move saw a rapid increase in the price of butter and margarine and made Hugenberg an unpopular figure outside of the farming community, hastening the inevitable departure of this non-Nazi from the cabinet.[49] Meanwhile, in June 1933, Hitler was forced to disavow Hugenberg who while attending the London World Economic Conference put forth a programme of German colonial expansion in both Africa and Eastern Europe as the best way of ending the Great Depression, which created a major storm abroad.[50] Hugenberg's fate was sealed when State Secretary Fritz Reinhardt, ostensibly a subordinate to Hugenberg as Minister of Economy, presented a work-creation plan to the cabinet. The policy was supported by every member except Hugenberg, who was strongly opposed to the levels of government intervention in the economy that the scheme required.[51]

An increasingly isolated figure, Hugenberg was finally forced to resign from the cabinet after a campaign of harassment and arrest was launched by Hitler against his DNVP coalition partners.[52] The Sturmabteilung (SA) were also turned against the DNVP, with youth movements loyal to Hugenberg becoming the focus of attacks.[5] He announced his formal resignation on 29 June 1933 and he was replaced by others who were loyal to the Nazi Party, Kurt Schmitt in the Economy Ministry and Richard Walther Darré in the Agriculture Ministry.[53] A 'Friendship Agreement' was signed between the Nazis and the DNVP immediately afterwards, the terms of which effectively dissolved the Nationalists with a few members whose loyalty could be guaranteed absorbed into the Nazi Party.[54] Indeed, the German National Front, as the DNVP had officially been called since May 1933, had officially dissolved on 27 June.[55]

Although driven from his cabinet post, Hugenberg was, along with Papen and other former DNVP and Centre Party (Zentrum) members, included on the Nazi list of candidates for the November 1933 election as a concession to middle class voters.[56] However his stock with the Nazis had fallen so much that in December 1933 the Telegraph Union, the news agency owned by Hugenberg, was taken over by the Propaganda Ministry and merged into a new German News Office.[57] Hugenberg was allowed to remain in the Reichstag until 1945 as one of 22 so-called "guest" members, who were officially designated as non-party representatives. Given that they shared the assembly with 639 Nazi deputies, and given that the Reichstag met on an increasingly infrequent basis in any event, independents like Hugenberg had no influence.[58]

Later years

Although Hugenberg had lost the Telegraph Union early on he was allowed to retain most of his media interests until 1943 when the Nazi-controlled Eher Verlag took control of his Scherl House. Hugenberg did not let them go cheaply, however, as he negotiated a large portfolio of shares in the Rhenish-Westphalian industries in return for his co-operation.[26]

Hugenberg was initially detained after the war, but in 1949 a Denazification court at Detmold adjudged him a "Mitläufer" rather than a Nazi, meaning that he was allowed to keep his property and business interests.[26] He died on 12 March 1951 in Kükenbruch (present-day Extertal) near Detmold.


1. Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, Penguin Press, 2004, p. 314
2. Tim Kirk, Cassell's Dictionary of Modern German History, Cassell, 2002, p. 180
3. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 1.
4. Günter Watermeier, Politischer Mord und Kriegskultur an der Wiege der Weimarer Republik, GRIN Verlag, 2007, p. 13
5. Louis Leo Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, Wordsworth Editions, 1998, p. 177
6. Sebastian Conrad, Globalisation and the Nation in Imperial Germany, Cambridge University Press, p. 175
7. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 pages 1-2.
8. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 2.
9. Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, Penguin Books, 2006, p. 373
10. Willi Boelcke, Krupp und die Hohenzollern in Dokumenten 1850-1918. Frankfurt 1970. pages 158-162
11. Michael Epkenhans, Ralf Stremmel: Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Ein Unternehmer im Kaiserreich. München 2010. page 14
12. Julius Meisbach: Friedrich Alfred Krupp - wie er lebte und starb, Verlag K.A.Stauff & Cie., Köln ca. 1903
13. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 pages 2-3.
14. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 4.
15. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 3.
16. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 6.
17. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 7.
18. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 pages 6-8.
19. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 9.
20. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 10.
21. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 pages 10-11.
22. Leopold, John Alfred Hugenberg, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977 page 11.
23. Robert Wistrich, Who's Who in Nazi Germany, Bonanza Books, 1984, p. 157
24. Karl Dietrich Bracher, The German Dictatorship, Penguin, 1971, p. 36
25. Paul Bookbinder, Weimar Germany: The Republic of the Reasonable, Manchester University Press, 1996, pp. 222–223
26. Wistrich, Who's Who in Nazi Germany, p. 158
27. Ernst Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism, Mentor Books, 1965, p. 426
28. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, p. 95
29. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, p. 259
30. Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris, Penguin, 1999, p. 310
31. Michael Fitzgerald, Adolf Hitler: A Portrait, Spellmount, 2006, p. 81
32. Anthony Read, The Devil's Disciples: The Lives and Times of Hitler's Inner Circle, Pimlico, 2004, p. 184
33. Fitzgerald, Adolf Hitler: A Portrait, p. 82
34. Read, The Devil's Disciples, p. 185
35. Kershaw, Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris, p. 326
36. Hans Mommsen, From Weimar to Auschwitz, Polity Press, 1991, p. 135
37. F.L. Carsten, The Rise of Fascism, Methuen, 1970, p. 143
38. Henry Ashby Turner Jr., Hitler's Thirty Days to Power, Bloomsbury, 1996, p. 69
39. Konrad Heiden, The Fuehrer, Robinson, 1999, pp. 350–351
40. Turner, Hitler's Thirty Days to Power, pp. 89–92
41. Hermann Weiss & Paul Hoser (eds), Die Deutschnationalen und die Zerstörung der Weimarer Republik. Aus dem Tagebuch von Reinhold Quaatz 1928–1933 (Schriftenreihe der Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 59), Oldenbourg: Munich 1989, pp. 19–21
42. Turner, Hitler's Thirty Days to Power, pp. 69–70
43. Turner, Hitler's Thirty Days to Power, pp. 137–141
44. Turner, Hitler's Thirty Days to Power, p. 146
45. Turner, Hitler's Thirty Days to Power, pp. 147
46. Turner, Hitler's Thirty Days to Power, pp. 154–157
47. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, p. 369
48. Alfred Grosser, Germany in Our Time: A Political History of the Post-War Years, Penguin Books, 1971, p. 28
49. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, p. 420
50. Hildebrand, Klaus The Foreign Policy of the Third ReichLondon: Batsford 1973 pp. 31–32
51. Kershaw, Hitler: Hubris, p. 449
52. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, p. 13
53. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, p. 27
54. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, pp. 373–373
55. Kershaw, Hitler: Hubris, p. 477
56. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, p. 109
57. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, p. 146
58. Read, The Devil's Disciples, p. 344

External links

• Spartacus Educational website
• entry on Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence
• Newspaper clippings about Alfred Hugenberg in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:36 am

Pan-German League
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Most intriguing of all is the sect of the Weissenberger, which by the 1930s numbered over 100,000. The founder, Joseph Weissenberg (1855-1941) left his Silesian home sometime after the turn of the century in response to a vision of Christ and traveled to Berlin where he began practicing magnetic cures. In 1908 he left his wife, in whom he saw the embodiment of the Serpent, to live with a spirit medium called Gretchen Muller who was discovered to be the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. (Frieda Muller -- perhaps a daughter? -- reestablished the cult in 1946.)

It is not so much such familiar trappings of the Weissenberger that are significant as the unequivocally political character of their tenets. They venerated Bismarck as the appointed savior of the state, and saw his fall as engineered by Freemasons and Jesuits. In the spiritualist sessions which confirmed Weissenberg's authority, prominent apparitions included Martin Luther, the Geistfreund Bismarck and the famous air ace Baron von Richthofen. [21] The prophecies of Weissenberg referred specifically to things of this world and particularly to the fate of those who had opposed Germany in the Great War.

England, of course, was doomed to utter perdition. On the 29th of May, 1929, at 11 P.M. it was destined to be obliterated from the face of the earth. When this did not happen Weissenberg decided that the truth of his prophecy remained unaffected. The divine chastisement was to come "like a thief in the night" and it was dangerous to predict exactly when. Nor was Italy to be spared. Italy had betrayed Germany in the Great War and was to be punished through a Bismarckian intervention. In the spring of 1929 the great struggle to free Germany would take place with little loss to the German side. The combat would be chiefly fought on the spiritual plane, with "Prince Michael, the Holy Spirit in Joseph Weissenberg" leading on the German forces, enlisted on the side of God under the holy banner of black, white and red. The introduction of the colors of fallen imperial Germany carries emotional overtones quite other than those of religious apocalypse and takes the inquirer directly into the territory of the illuminated predecessors of Nazism known as the volkisch movement. Paul Scheurlen, the indefatigable historian of German cults between the wars, noticed the tenor of the Weissenberger, and he made a more explicit connection. The weekly paper of the sect, he recorded -- it went by the name of Der Weisse Berg -- was printed on the presses of the Deutsche Zeitung, the organ of the ultranationalist Pan-German Association; and it was probable that members of the former Potsdam headquarters of that society were followers of the Weissenberger. [22] It becomes evident that something more is at work than the antics of eccentric sectaries.

Precisely what, it is our intention to uncover.

-- The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

The Pan-German League (German: Alldeutscher Verband) was a Pan-German nationalist organization which officially founded in 1891, a year after the Zanzibar Treaty was signed.[1]

Primarily dedicated to the German Question of the time, it held positions on German imperialism, anti-semitism, the Polish Question, and support for German minorities in other countries.[2] The purpose of the league was to nurture and protect the ethos of German nationality as a unifying force. By 1922, the League had grown to over 40,000 paying members. Berlin housed the central seat of the league, including its president and its executive, which was capped at a maximum of 300. Full gatherings of the league happened at the Pan-German Congress. Although numerically small, the League enjoyed a disproportionate influence on the German state through connections to the middle class, the political establishment and the media, as well as links to the 300,000 strong Agrarian League.[3]

BDL members [Agrarian League], rural, conservative and generally Protestant, in general despised the immorality of city life, and often associated it with Jews. They believed that Jews were genetically incapable of farming. Within the BDL this anti-semitism served a unifying function to help bring together the divergent interests of the Junker landowners and Hessian peasants. This commonality allowed the BDL to form large voting blocks which helped sway many a rural election, using machine politics.

-- German Agrarian League, by Wikipedia


Heinrich Class, president of the League from 1908 to 1939

The organization was created in 1891 as a response to the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty. Ernst Hasse was its first president, and was succeeded by Heinrich Class in 1908. A financial irregularity led to Class resigning in 1917 and he was succeeded by retired Admiral Max von Grapow.[4] The industrialist Emil Kirdorf was also a founding member.

The creation of the Pan-German League was preceded by a similar organization. In 1886, Dr. Carl Peters unofficially had created a "German League" under which many national organizations converged. However, this league fell apart when Carl Peters left Germany for Liverpool. Later, the Pan-German League was created in the wake of the Zanzibar Treaty. This treaty, signed between Great Britain and Germany, concerned territorial issues in East Africa. This treaty coupled with Bismarck’s fall from power provided the impetus to form a new German nationalistic outlet. Thus league emerged to bolster the nationalist movement. Membership included an annual fee of one mark. Hasse worked to save the league, bringing it back to life by issuing the Pan face-German Leaves, which spread the ideals of pan-Germanism.

The aim of the Alldeutscher Verband was to protest against government decisions which they believed could weaken Germany. A strong element of its ideology included social Darwinism. The Verband wanted to uphold German racial hygiene and were against breeding with so-called inferior races like the Jews and Slavs. Agitation against Poles was a central focus for the Pan-German League.[5] The agitations of the Alldeutscher Verband influenced the German government and generally supported the foreign policy developed by Otto von Bismarck.

One of the prominent members of the league was the sociologist Max Weber who, at the League's congress in 1894 argued that Germanness (Deutschtum) was the highest form of civilization. Weber left the league in 1899 because he felt it did not take a radical enough stance against Polish migrant workers in Germany.[6]
Later Weber went on to become one of the most prominent critics of German expansionism and of the Kaiser's war policies.[7] He publicly attacked the Belgian annexation policy and unrestricted submarine warfare and later supported calls for constitutional reform, democratisation and universal suffrage.[7]

The position of Pan-German league gradually evolved into biological racism, with belief that Germans are "superior race", and Germans need protection from mixing with other races, particularly Jews.[2] By 1912 in the publication "If I were the Kaiser," Class called on Germans to conquer eastern territories inhabited by "inferior" Slavs, depopulate their territories and settle German colonists there.[2] There were also calls for expulsion of Poles living in Prussia.[8]

The Alldeutscher Verband had an enormous influence on the German government during World War I, when they opposed democratization and were in favour of unlimited submarine war. Opponents of the Verband were called cowards. Influential figures in the Alldeutscher Verband founded the Vaterlandspartei in 1917 following the request of the majority of the German parliament to begin peace negotiations with the allies.

After World War I, the Alldeutscher Verband supported General Erich Ludendorff in his accusation against democrats and socialists that they had betrayed Germany and made the Germans lose the war. According to Ludendorff and the Verband, the army should not have been held responsible for the German defeat. Ludendorff, however, had declared that the war was lost in October 1918, before the German November Revolution. That fanciful allegation was known the "Stab-in-the-back myth" (Dolchstosslegende).

Membership in the league was overwhelmingly composed of middle- and upper-class males.
Most members' occupations reflected the League's emphasis on education, property ownership and service to the state.

The Alldeutscher Verband was dissolved in 1939.

See also

• German entry into World War I


1. Eric J. Hobsbawm (1987). The age of empire, 1875-1914. Pantheon Books. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-394-56319-0. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
2. Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution, Volume 1. Richard S. Levy, 528-529,ABC-CLIO 2005
3. Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler, Shelley Baranowski, page 44, Cambridge University Press 2010
4. Jordan, David Starr (1919). Democracy and World Relations. New York: World Book Company. p. 141.
5. Max Weber and German Politics, 1890-1920, Wolfgang J. Mommsen,Michael Steinberg, page 55, University Of Chicago Press (25 July 1990)
6. Schönwälder, Karen (1999). "Invited but Unwanted? Migration from the East in Germany, 1890-1990". In Roger Bartlett; Karen Schönwälder (eds.). The German lands and eastern Europe. Eassays on the history of their social, cultural, and political relations. St. Martin's Press. pp. 206–207. ISBN 0-333-72086-5.
7. Kim, Sung Ho (24 August 2007). "Max Weber". Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
8. Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler, Shelley Baranowski, page 43, Cambridge University Press 2010

Further reading

• Chickering, Roger. We Men Who Feel Most German: Cultural Study of the Pan-German League, 1886-1914. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. 1984.
• Harrison, Austin, The Pan-Germanic Doctrine. (1904) online free
• Jackisch, Barry Andrew. ‘Not a Large, but a Strong Right’: The Pan-German League, Radical Nationalism, and Rightist Party Politics in Weimar Germany, 1918-1939. Bell and Howell Information and Learning Company: Ann Arbor. 2000.
• Wertheimer, Mildred. The Pan-German League, 1890-1914 (1924) online
• Encyclopædia Britannica
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