Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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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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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:42 am

Heinrich Class
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Heinrich Class

Heinrich Class (February 29, 1868 – April 16, 1953) was a German right-wing politician, a Pan-Germanist, an anti-Semite and a "rabid racialist".[1] He presided the Pan-German League from 1908 to 1939.

Early life

Class was born in Alzey. His father was a notary.[2] He studied law at the Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Freiburg and the University of Giessen up to 1891, when he became a legal trainee. In 1894, he settled in Mainz as a lawyer.

Political advocacy and involvement

In 1894 Class was a founding member of the nationalist "German Association", which propagated "pure Germanism" by excluding ethnic minorities.[2]

In 1897, he became a member of the Pan-German League, where he was elected to the directorate in 1901. After becoming the president in 1908, he began to change the direction of the League to more radical positions.

He came into sharp conflict with Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, especially in the Agadir Crisis in 1911, where the League showed its radical positions. From the "hereditary hostility" to France and a "moral inferiority" of England, Class advocated a speedy war, which was to lead the German Reich to "world power" and territorial expansion.[2]

Also in 1911 he was one of the founding members of the Deutscher Wehrverein [de] (German Army Society), trying to push the armament of Germany.

Clas is commonly known for his books about far-right policy, written under the pseudonym Daniel Frymann or Einhart. The most famous of these was his 1912 book Wenn ich der Kaiser wär' (If I were the emperor), in which he agitates for imperialism, Pan-Germanism and Antisemitism.

During World War I, Class called for the annexion of Belgium. In 1917, he founded the German Fatherland Party together with Alfred von Tirpitz and Wolfgang Kapp.

After 1918, Clas met Adolf Hitler and supported his putsch in 1923. In 1931, he was one of the founding members of the Harzburg Front. From 1933 to 1939, Class was a member of the NSDAP in the Reichstag. It's noteworthy that Class's radical imperialism and Pan-Germanism as well as his antisemitism had a significant influence on the Nazis.

Later life

From 1943 until 1953 he lived with his daughter in Jena where he died.[2]


• Bilanz eines neuen Kurses. – Berlin : Alldt. Verl., 1903
• (as Einhart): Deutsche Geschichte. – Leipzig : Diederich, 1909
• (as Daniel Frymann): Wenn ich der Kaiser wär': Politische Wahrheiten und Notwendigkeiten. – Leipzig : Dieterich, 1912 (from 1925 known as Das Kaiserbuch)
• West-Marokko deutsch!. – Munich : Lehmann, 1911
• Wider den Strom : vom Werden und Wachsen der nationalen Opposition im alten Reich. – Leipzig : Köhler, 1932
• Zum deutschen Kriegsziel. Eine Flugschrift. – Munich : Lehmann, 1917


1. Pulzer, Peter (1988). The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria (revised ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. XX. ISBN 0674771664.
2. Heinrich Claß 1868–1953, Lebendiges Museum Online [de], Deutsches Historisches Museum (in German)

Further reading

• Chickering, Roger (1984). We Men Who Feel Most German: Cultural Study of the Pan-German League, 1886-1914. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-0049430303.
• Leicht, Johannes (2012). Heinrich Claß 1868–1953. Die politische Biographie eines Alldeutschen (in German). Paderborn: Schöningh. ISBN 978-3-506-77379-1.

External links

• Online version of Wenn ich Kaiser wär' (English)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:46 am

Alfred von Tirpitz
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Alfred von Tirpitz
Alfred von Tirpitz in 1903
Born 19 March 1849
Küstrin, Province of Brandenburg, Kingdom of Prussia in the German Confederation
(today Kostrzyn, Poland)
Died 6 March 1930 (aged 80)
Ebenhausen, Free State of Bavaria in the Weimar Republic
Buried Munich Waldfriedhof
Allegiance Kingdom of Prussia
North German Confederation
German Empire
Service/branch Prussian Navy
North German Federal Navy
Imperial German Navy
Years of service 1869–1916
Rank Grand Admiral
Battles/wars Franco-Prussian War
World War I
Awards Pour le Mérite
Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle
Friedrich Order
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

Alfred Peter Friedrich von Tirpitz (19 March 1849 – 6 March 1930) was a German Grand Admiral, Secretary of State of the German Imperial Naval Office, the powerful administrative branch of the German Imperial Navy from 1897 until 1916. Prussia never had a major navy, nor did the other German states before the German Empire was formed in 1871. Tirpitz took the modest Imperial Navy and, starting in the 1890s, turned it into a world-class force that could threaten Britain's Royal Navy. His navy, however, was not strong enough to confront the British successfully in the First World War; the one great engagement at sea, the Battle of Jutland, ended in a narrow German tactical victory but a strategic failure. Tirpitz turned to submarine warfare, which antagonised the United States. He was dismissed in 1916 and never regained power.

Family and early life

Tirpitz was born in Küstrin (today Kostrzyn in Poland) in the Prussian province of Brandenburg, the son of lawyer and later judge Rudolf Tirpitz (1811–1905). His mother was the daughter of a doctor. Tirpitz grew up in Frankfurt (Oder). He recorded in his memoirs that he was a mediocre pupil as a child.

Tirpitz spoke English fluently and was sufficiently at home in Great Britain that he sent his two daughters to Cheltenham Ladies' College.

On 18 November 1884 he married Maria Augusta Lipke (born 11 October 1860 in Schwetz, West Prussia, died after 1941). On 12 June 1900 he was elevated to the Prussian nobility, becoming von Tirpitz. His son, Oberleutnant zur See Wolfgang von Tirpitz, was taken prisoner of war following the sinking of SMS Mainz in the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28 August 1914.

Naval career

Tirpitz joined the Prussian Navy more by accident than design when a friend announced that he was doing so. Tirpitz decided he liked the idea and with the consent of his parents became a naval cadet at the age of 16, on 24 April 1865. He attended Kiel Naval School. Within a year Prussia was at war with Austria. Tirpitz became a midshipman (Seekadett) on 24 June 1866 and was posted to a sailing ship patrolling the English Channel. In 1866 Prussia became part of the North German Confederation, the navy officially became that of the confederation and Tirpitz joined the new institution on 24 June 1869.

On 22 September 1869 he had obtained the rank of Unterleutnant zur See (sub-lieutenant) and served on board SMS König Wilhelm. During the Franco-Prussian War the Prussian Navy was greatly outnumbered and so the ship spent the duration of the war at anchor, much to the embarrassment of the navy. During the early years of Tirpitz's career, Prussia and Great Britain were on good terms and the Prussian Navy spent much time in British ports. Tirpitz reported that Plymouth was more hospitable to German sailors than was Kiel, while it was also easier to obtain equipment and supplies there, which were of better quality than available at home. At this time the British Royal Navy was pleased to assist that of Prussia in its development and a considerable respect grew up in Prussian officers of their British counterparts.[1]

Development of torpedoes

Unification of Germany in 1871 again meant a change of name, to the German Imperial Navy. On 25 May 1872 Tirpitz was promoted to Leutnant zur See (lieutenant at sea) and on 18 November 1875 to Kapitänleutnant (captain-lieutenant). In 1877 he was chosen to visit the Whitehead Torpedo development works at Fiume and afterwards was placed in charge of the German torpedo section, later renamed the torpedo inspectorate. By 1879 a working device had been produced, but even under demonstration conditions Tirpitz reckoned it was as likely to miss a target as to hit it. On 17 September 1881 he became Korvettenkapitän (corvette captain). From developing torpedoes, Tirpitz moved on to developing torpedo boats to deliver them. The State Secretary for the Navy, Leo von Caprivi, was a distant relation, and Tirpitz now worked with him on the development of tactics. Caprivi envisioned that the boats would be used defensively against their most likely enemy, France, but Tirpitz set about developing plans to attack the French home port of Cherbourg. Tirpitz later described his time with torpedo boats as 'the eleven best years of my life'.[2]

Strategic development of the Navy

In 1887 the torpedo boats escorted Prince Wilhelm to attend the Golden Jubilee celebrations of his grandmother, Queen Victoria. This was the first time Tirpitz met Wilhelm. In July 1888 Caprivi was succeeded by Alexander von Monts. Torpedo boats were no longer considered important, and Tirpitz requested transfer, commanding the cruisers SMS Preussen and then SMS Württemberg. He was promoted to Captain (Kapitän zur See) 24 November 1888 and in 1890 became chief of staff of the Baltic Squadron. On one occasion the Kaiser was attending dinner with the senior naval officers at Kiel and asked their opinion on how the navy should develop. Finally the question came to Tirpitz and he advised building battleships. This was an answer which appealed to the Kaiser, and nine months later he was transferred to Berlin to work on a new strategy for creating a high seas fleet. Tirpitz appointed a staff of officers he had known from his time with the torpedo boats and collected together all sorts of vessels as stand-in battleships to conduct exercises to test out tactics. On 1 December 1892 he made a presentation of his findings to the Kaiser. This brought him into conflict with the Navy State Secretary, Admiral Friedrich von Hollmann. Hollmann was responsible for procurement of ships, and had a policy of collecting ships as funding permitted. Tirpitz had concluded that the best fighting arrangement was a squadron of eight identical battleships, rather than any other combination of ships with mixed abilities. Further ships should then be added in groups of eight. Hollmann favoured a mixed fleet including cruisers for long distance operations overseas. Tirpitz believed that in a war no number of cruisers would be safe unless backed up by sufficient battleships.

Kapitän zur See (captain at sea) Tirpitz became chief of the naval staff in 1892 and was made a Konteradmiral (rear admiral) in 1895.

In autumn 1895, frustrated by the non-adoption of his recommendations, Tirpitz asked to be replaced. The Kaiser, not wishing to lose him, asked instead that he prepare a set of recommendations for ship construction. This was delivered on 3 January 1896, but the timing was bad as it coincided with raids into the Transvaal in Southern Africa by pro-British forces against the pro-German Boers. The Kaiser immediately set his mind to demanding cruisers which could operate at a distance and influence the war. Hollman was tasked with obtaining money from the Reichstag for a building programme, but failed to gain funding for enough ships to satisfy anyone. Imperial Chancellor Hohenlohe saw no sense in naval enlargement and reported back that the Reichstag opposed it. Admiral Gustav von Senden-Bibran, Chief of the Naval Cabinet, advised that the only possibility lay in replacing Hollmann: Wilhelm impulsively decided to appoint Tirpitz.[3]

Meanwhile, however, Hollmann had obtained funding for one battleship and three large cruisers. It was felt that replacing him before the bill had completed approval through the Reichstag would be a mistake. Instead, Tirpitz was placed in charge of the German East Asia Squadron in the Far East but with a promise of appointment as Secretary at a suitable moment. The cruiser squadron operated from British facilities in Hong Kong which were far from satisfactory as the German ships always took second place for available docks. Tirpitz was instructed to find a suitable site for a new port, selecting four possible sites. Although he initially favoured the bay at Kiautschou/Tsingtao, others in the naval establishment advocated a different location and even Tirpitz wavered on his commitment in his final report. A 'lease' on the land was acquired in 1898 after it was fortuitously occupied by German forces. On 12 March 1896 the Reichstag cut back Hollmann's appropriation of 70 million marks to 58 million, and Hollman offered his resignation. Tirpitz was summoned home and offered the post of Secretary of the Imperial Navy office (Reichsmarineamt). He went home the long way, touring the United States on the way and arriving in Berlin 6 June 1897. He was pessimistic of his chances of succeeding with the Reichstag.[4]

State Secretary of the Imperial Navy Office

On 15 June Tirpitz presented a memorandum on the makeup and purpose of the German fleet to the Kaiser. This defined the principal enemy as Great Britain, and the principal area of conflict to be that between Heligoland and the Thames. Cruiser warfare around the globe was deemed impractical because Germany had few bases to resupply ships, while the chief need was for as many battleships as possible to take on the British fleet. A target was outlined for two squadrons of eight battleships, plus a fleet flagship and two reserves. This was to be completed by 1905 and cost 408 million marks, or 58 million per year, the same as the existing budget. The proposal was innovative in several ways. It made a clear statement of naval needs, whereas before the navy had grown piecemeal. It set out the programme for seven years ahead, which neither the Reichstag nor the navy should change. It defined a change in German foreign policy so as to justify the existence of the fleet: Great Britain up to this point had been friendly, now it was officially an enemy. The Kaiser agreed the plan and Tirpitz retired to St Blasien in the Black Forest with a team of naval specialists to draft a naval bill for presentation to the Reichstag. Information about the plan leaked out to Admiral Knorr, head of the Naval High Command. Tirpitz agreed to a joint committee to discuss changes in the navy, but then arranged that it never receive any information. Similarly, he arranged a joint committee with the Treasury State Secretary to discuss finance, which never discussed anything. Meanwhile, he continued his best efforts to convince the Kaiser and Chancellor, so that in due course he could announce the issues had already been decided at a higher level and thereby avoid debate.[5]

Once the bill was nearly complete Tirpitz started a round of visits to obtain support. First he visited the former Chancellor and elder statesman, Prince Bismarck. Armed with the announcement that the Kaiser intended to name the next ship launched Furst Bismarck, he persuaded the former chancellor, who had been dismissed from office for disagreement with Wilhelm II, to modestly support the proposals. Tirpitz now visited the King of Saxony, the Prince Regent of Bavaria, the Grand Duke of Baden and Oldenburg and the councils of the Hanseatic towns. On 19 October the draft bill was sent to the printers for presentation to the Reichstag. Tirpitz's approach was to be as accommodating with the deputies as he could. He was patient and good humoured, proceeding on the assumption that if everything was explained carefully, then the deputies would naturally be convinced. Groups were invited to private meetings to discuss the bill. Tours of ships and shipyards were arranged. The Kaiser and Chancellor stressed that the fleet was only intended for protection of Germany, but so that even a first class power might think twice before attacking. Highlights from a letter Prince Bismarck wrote were read out in the Reichstag, though not mentioning passages where he expressed reservations. Papers were circulated showing the relative size of foreign fleets, and how much Germany had fallen behind, particularly when considering the great power of her army compared to others.[6]

A press bureau was created in the Navy Ministry to ensure journalists were thoroughly briefed, and to politely answer any and all objections. Pre-written articles were provided for the convenience of journalists. University professors were invited to speak on the importance of protecting German trade. The Navy League was formed to popularise the idea of world naval power and its importance to the Empire. It was argued that colonies overseas were essential, and Germany deserved her 'place in the sun'. League membership grew from 78,000 in 1898, to 600,000 in 1901 and 1.1 million by 1914. Especial attention was given to members of the budget committee who would consider the bill in detail. Their interests and connections were analysed to find ways to influence them. Steel magnate Fritz Krupp and shipowner Albert Ballin of the Hamburg-America Line were invited to speak on the benefits of the bill to trade and industry.[7]

Objections were raised that the bill surrendered one of the most important powers of the Reichstag, that of annually scrutinising expenditure. Conservatives felt that expenditure on the navy was wasted, and that if money was available it should go to the army, which would be the deciding factor in any likely war. Eugen Richter of the Liberal Radical Union opposing the bill observed that if it was intended for Germany now seriously to take up the Trident to match its other forces then such a small force would not suffice and there would be no end to ship building. August Bebel of the Social Democrats argued that there existed a number of deputies who were Anglophobes and wished to pick a fight with Britain, but that to imagine such a fleet could take on the Royal Navy was insanity and anyone saying it belonged in the madhouse.[8]

Yet by the end of the debates the country was convinced that the bill would and should be passed. On 26 March 1898 it did so, by a majority of 212 to 139. All those around the Kaiser were ecstatic at their success. Tirpitz as navy minister was elevated to a seat on the Prussian Ministry of State. His influence and importance as the man who had accomplished this miracle was assured and he was to remain at the center of government for the next nineteen years.

Second Naval Bill

One year after the passage of the bill Tirpitz appeared before the Reichstag and declared his satisfaction with it. The specified fleet would still be smaller than the French or British, but would be able to deter the Russians in the Baltic. Within another year all had changed. In October 1899 the Boer War broke out between the British and Boers in South Africa. In January 1900 a British cruiser intercepted three German mail steamers and searched them for war supplies intended for the Boers. Germany was outraged and the opportunity presented itself for a second Naval Bill. The second bill doubled the number of battleships from nineteen to thirty-eight. This would form four squadrons of eight ships, plus two flagships and four reserves. The bill now spanned seventeen years from 1901 to 1917 with the final ships being completed by 1920. This would constitute the second-largest fleet in the world and although no mention was made in the bill of specific enemies, it made several general mentions of a greater power which it was intended to oppose. There was only one navy which could be meant. On 5 December 1899 Tirpitz was promoted to Vizeadmiral (vice admiral). The bill passed on 20 June 1900.[9]

Specifically written into the preamble was an explanation of Tirpitz's Risk Theory. Although the German fleet would be smaller, it was likely that an enemy with a world spanning empire would not be able to concentrate all its forces in local waters. Even if it could, the German fleet would still be sufficiently powerful to inflict significant damage in any battle, sufficient damage that the enemy would be unable to maintain its other naval commitments and must suffer irreparable harm. Thus no such enemy would risk an engagement. Privately Tirpitz acknowledged that a second risk existed: that Britain, seeing its growing enemy might choose to strike first, might destroy the German fleet before it grew to a dangerous size. A similar course had been taken before, when Lord Nelson sank Danish ships to prevent them falling into French hands, and would be again in the Second World War when French ships were sunk at Mers-el-Kébir to prevent them falling into German hands. A term, Copenhagenization, even existed in English for this. Tirpitz calculated this danger period would end in 1904 or 1905. In the event, Britain responded to the increased German building programme by building more ships herself and the theoretical danger period extended itself to beyond the start of the Great War. As a reward for the successful bill Tirpitz was ennobled with the hereditary article von before his name in 1900.[10]

Tirpitz noted the difficulties in his relationship with the Kaiser. Wilhelm respected him as the only man who had succeeded in persuading the Reichstag to start and then increase a world class navy, but he remained unpredictable. He was fanatical about the navy, but would come up with wild ideas for improvements, which Tirpitz had to deflect to maintain his objectives. Each summer Tirpitz would go to St Blasien with his aides to work on naval plans, then in September he would travel to the Kaiser's retreat at Rominten, where Tirpitz found he would be more relaxed and willing to listen to a well argued explanation.[11]

Three supplementary naval bills ('Novelles') were passed, in June 1906, April 1908 and June 1912. The first followed German diplomatic defeats over Morocco, and added six large cruisers to the fleet. The second followed fears of British encroachment, and reduced the replacement time which a ship would remain in service from 25 to 20 years. The third was caused by the Agadir Crisis where again Germany had to draw back. This time three more battleships were added.[12]

The first naval law caused little alarm in Great Britain. There was already in force a dual power standard defining the size of the British fleet as at least that of the next two largest fleets combined. There was now a new player, but her fleet was similar in size to the other two possible threats, Russia and France, and a number of battleships were already under construction. The second naval law, however, caused serious alarm: eight King Edward VII-class battleships were ordered in response. It was the regularity and efficiency with which Germany was now building ships, which were seen to be as good as any in the world, which raised concern. Information about the design of the new battleships suggested they were only intended to operate within a short range of a home base and not to stay at sea for extended periods. They seemed designed only for operations in the North Sea. The result was that Britain abandoned its policy of isolation which had held force since the time of Nelson and began to look for allies against the growing threat from Germany. Ships were withdrawn from around the world and brought back to British waters, while construction of new ships increased.[13]

Tirpitz Plan

Tirpitz's design to achieve world power status through naval power, while at the same time addressing domestic issues, is referred to as the Tirpitz Plan. Politically, the Tirpitz Plan was marked by the Fleet Acts of 1898, 1900, 1908 and 1912. By 1914, they had given Germany the second-largest naval force in the world (roughly 40% smaller than the Royal Navy). It included seventeen modern dreadnoughts, five battlecruisers, twenty-five cruisers and twenty pre-dreadnought battleships as well as over forty submarines. Although including fairly unrealistic targets, the expansion programme was sufficient to alarm the British, starting a costly naval arms race and pushing the British into closer ties with the French.

Tirpitz developed a "Risk Theory" whereby, if the German Imperial Navy reached a certain level of strength relative to the British Royal Navy, the British would try to avoid confrontation with Germany (that is, maintain a fleet in being). If the two navies fought, the German Navy would inflict enough damage on the British that the latter ran a risk of losing their naval dominance. Because the British relied on their navy to maintain control over the British Empire, Tirpitz felt they would opt to maintain naval supremacy in order to safeguard their empire, and let Germany become a world power, rather than lose the empire as the cost of keeping Germany less powerful. This theory sparked a naval arms race between Germany and Great Britain in the first decade of the 20th century.

Grand Admiral von Tirpitz in 1915

This theory was based on the assumption that Great Britain would have to send its fleet into the North Sea to blockade the German ports (blockading Germany was the only way the Royal Navy could seriously harm Germany), where the German Navy could force a battle. However, due to Germany's geographic location, Great Britain could blockade Germany by closing the entrance to the North Sea in the English Channel and the area between Bergen and the Shetland Islands. Faced with this option a German Admiral commented, "If the British do that, the role of our navy will be a sad one," correctly predicting the role the surface fleet would have during the First World War.

Politically and strategically, Tirpitz's Risk Theory ensured its own failure. By its very nature it forced Britain into measures that would have been previously unacceptable to the British establishment. The necessity to concentrate the fleet against the German threat involved Britain making arrangements with other powers that enabled her to return the bulk of her naval forces to Home Waters. The first evidence of this is seen in the Anglo-Japanese treaty of 1902 that enabled the battleships of the China squadron to be re-allocated back to Europe. The Japanese fleet, largely constructed in British shipyards, then proceeded to utterly destroy the Russian navy in the war of 1904–05, removing Russia as a credible maritime opponent. The necessity to reduce the Mediterranean Fleet in order to reinforce the navy in home waters was also a powerful influence in its détente and Entente Cordiale with the French. By forcing the British to come to terms with its most traditional opponent, Tirpitz scuttled his own policy. Britain was no longer at 'risk' from France, and the Japanese destruction of the Russian fleet removed that nation as a naval threat. In the space of a few years, Germany was faced with virtually the whole strength of the Royal Navy deployed against its own fleet, and Britain committed to her list of potential enemies. The Tirpitz 'risk theory' made it more probable that, in any future conflict between the European powers, Britain would be on the side of Germany's foes, and that the full force of the most powerful navy in the world would be concentrated against her fleet.

Tirpitz had been made a Großadmiral (grand admiral) in 1911, without patent (the document that accompanied formal promotions personally signed at this level by the Kaiser himself). At that time, the German Imperial Navy had only four ranks for admirals: rear admiral, (Konteradmiral, equal to a Generalmajor in the army, with no pips on the shoulders); vice admiral (Vizeadmiral, equal to a Generalleutnant, with one pip); admiral (equal to a General der Infanterie, with two pips), and grand admiral (equal to a field marshal). Tirpitz's shoulder boards had four pips, and he never received a grand admiral's baton or the associated insignia. Despite the building programme he oversaw, he believed that the war had come too soon for a successful surface challenge to the Royal Navy, as the Fleet Act of 1900 had included a seventeen-year timetable. Unable to influence naval operations from his purely administrative position, Tirpitz became a vocal spokesman for unrestricted U-boat warfare, which he felt could break the British stranglehold on Germany's sea lines of communication. His construction policy never bore out his political stance on submarines, and by 1917 there was a severe shortage of newly built submarines. When the restrictions on the submarine war were not lifted, he fell out with the Kaiser and felt compelled to resign on 15 March 1916. He was replaced as Secretary of State of the Imperial Naval Office by Eduard von Capelle.

Fatherland Party

In 1917, Grand Admiral Tirpitz was co-founder of the Pan-Germanic and nationalist Fatherland Party (Deutsche Vaterlandspartei).[14] The party was organised jointly by Heinrich Claß, Konrad Freiherr von Wangenheim, Tirpitz as chairman and Wolfgang Kapp as his deputy. The party attracted the opponents of a negotiated peace and organised opposition to the parliamentary majority which was seeking peace negotiations. It sought to bring together outside parliament all parties on the political right, which had not previously been done. At its peak, in the summer of 1918, it had around 1,250,000 members. It proposed both Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg and General Erich Ludendorff as 'people's emperors' of a military state whose legitimacy was based upon war and war aims instead of on the parliamentary government of the Reich. Internally, there were calls for a coup d'etat against the German government, to be led by Hindenburg and Ludendorff, even against the Emperor if necessary. Tirpitz's experience with the Navy League and mass political agitation convinced him that the means for a coup was at hand.[15]

Tirpitz considered that one of the main aims of the war must be annexation of new territory in the west, to allow Germany to develop into a world power. This meant holding the Belgian ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend, with an eye to the main enemy, the United Kingdom. He proposed a separate peace treaty with Russia, giving them access to the ocean. Germany would be a great continental state but could maintain its world position only by expanding world trade and continuing the fight against the UK. He complained of indecision and ambiguity in German policy, humanitarian ideas of self-preservation, a policy of appeasement of neutrals at the expense of vital German interests, and begging for peace. He called for vigorous warfare without regard for diplomatic and commercial consequences and supported the most extreme use of weapons, especially unrestricted submarine warfare.

From 1908 to 1918, Tirpitz was a member of the Prussian House of Lords. After Germany's defeat, he supported the right-wing German National People's Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei, or DNVP) and sat for it in the Reichstag from 1924 until 1928.

Tirpitz died in Ebenhausen, near Munich, on 6 March 1930. He is buried in the Waldfriedhof in Munich.


• Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Göttingen (16 June 1913) and Greifswald
• Honorary doctorate of engineering from the Technische Hochschule Charlottenburg
• Freeman of the city of Frankfurt (Oder) (15 January 1917)
• The German battleship Tirpitz was named after him in 1939.

Foreign honours

• Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky – August 1902 – during the visit of the German Emperor to the Russian fleet maneuvers in Reval.[16]


• My Memoirs. London/ New York. 1919. Republished in a single volume by NSNB with an introduction by Erik Empson in 2013 ASIN B00DH2E9LE.
• The structure of German World Power. Stuttgart/ Berlin. 1924.
• German policy. Hamburg/Berlin. 1926.
• Memories, 5 volumes. Berlin/Leipzig. 1927.

See also

• Anglo-German naval arms race
• German interest in the Caribbean


1. Massie p. 166
2. Massie p. 167
3. Massie, pp. 169–170
4. Massie p. 171
5. Massie pp. 172–174
6. Massie pp. 174–178
7. Massie p. 178
8. Massie pp. 177–179
9. Massie pp. 180–181
10. Massie pp. 181–182
11. Massie pp. 182–183
12. Massie p. 183
13. Massie pp. 184–185
14. Patrick J. Kelly, Tirpitz and the Imperial German Navy (2011) pp. 410–421
15. Raffael Scheck, Alfred von Tirpitz and German right-wing politics, 1914–1930 (1998), chapter 5
16. "Latest intelligence - the Imperial meeting at Reval". The Times (36842). London. 9 August 1902. p. 5.



• Tirpitz, Alfred von, Erinnerungen (Leipzig: K.F.Koehler, 1919).

Secondary source

• Berghahn, V.R. Germany and the Approach of War in 1914 (Macmillan, 1973). pp. 25–42
• Berghahn, Volker Rolf. Der Tirpitz-Plan (Droste Verlag, 1971). in German
• Bird, Keith. "The Tirpitz Legacy: The Political Ideology of German Sea Power," Journal of Military History, July 2005, Vol. 69 Issue 3, pp. 821–825
• Bönker, Dirk. Militarism in a Global Age: Naval Ambitions in Germany and the United States before World War I (2012) excerpt and text search; online review
• Bönker, Dirk. "Global Politics and Germany's Destiny 'from an East Asian Perspective': Alfred von Tirpitz and the Making of Wilhelmine Navalism." Central European History 46.1 (2013): 61–96.
• Clark, Sir Christopher, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (New York: Harper 2013)
• Epkenhans, Michael. Tirpitz: Architect of the German High Seas Fleet (2008) excerpt and text search, 106pp
• Herwig, Holger H., 'Admirals versus Generals: The War Aims of Imperial German Navy 1914–1918', Central European History 5 (1972), pp. 208–233.
• Hobson, Rolf. Imperialism at Sea: Naval Strategic Thought, the Ideology of Sea Power, and the Tirpitz Plan, 1875–1914 (Brill, 2002) in Questia
• Kelly, Patrick J. "Strategy, Tactics, and Turf Wars: Tirpitz and the Oberkommando der Marine, 1892–1895," Journal of Military History, October 2002, Vol. 66 Issue 4, pp. 1033–1060
• Kennedy, Paul. The rise and fall of British naval mastery (2017) pp. 205–239.
• Kelly, Patrick J. (2011). Tirpitz and the Imperial German Navy. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.
• Massie, Robert K. Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-03260-7.
• Saunders, George (1922). "Tirpitz, Alfred von" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.).

Primary sources

• Marinearchiv, Der Krieg zur zee 1914–1918 (18 vols, Berlin and Frankfurt: E.S.Mittler & Sohn, 1932–66).
• Marinearchiv, Der Krieg zur See 1914–1918. Der Handelskrieg mit U-Booten (5 vols., Berlin: E.S. Mittler & Sohn, 1923–66).

External links

• Alfred von Tirpitz at Find a Grave
• Newspaper clippings about Alfred von Tirpitz in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:51 am

Walter Nicolai
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/10/19



Walter Nicolai
Born: 1 August 1873, Braunschweig, Germany
Died: 4 May 1947 (aged 73), Moscow, Soviet Union
Nationality: German
Occupation: Intelligence officer
Espionage activity
Allegiance: German Empire
Weimar Republic
Service branch: Abteilung IIIb
Service years: 1906–1919
Rank Colonel

Walter Nicolai (August 1, 1873 – May 4, 1947) was the first senior IC (Intelligence) Officer in the Imperial German Army. He came to run the military secret service, Abteilung IIIb, and to be important in the pro-war faction of German leaders during World War I.[1] According to Höhne and Zolling, he was supportive in the foundation of the Fatherland Party.[2]


Walter Nicolai was the son of a Prussian Army Captain and a farmer's daughter in Brunswick. In 1893, he selected a military career. He studied from 1901 to 1904 at the War Academy in Berlin. Trips are known to have taken him shortly before his appointment as Chief of the Intelligence Service of the German High Command to Russia. He spoke fluent Russian. Nicolai was considered ultra-conservative, monarchist, and non-political.[3]

In 1906, Nicolai began his career in Abteilung IIIb, when he took over the news station in Königsberg.[4] He built up the news station in Königsberg to a major center for espionage against the Russian Empire. After two years of service in early 1913, he was named the head of Abteilung IIIb, which helped to inform others of the Austrian espionage case against Captain Alfred Redl. Nicolai led the German secret service between 1913 and 1919. He directed Abteilung IIIb intensively during the First World War. Nicolai wrote: "Before each new acquisition, delivery pp. to ask the I.O., what benefits it brings for the war. "[5]

When Erich Ludendorff was quartermaster general, there was an expansion of military intelligence for the secret police. Nicolai saw himself as a relentless will to win a military educator, a supervisor and an initiator of patriotic self-discipline. His officers took part in the promotional work for war bonds. Nicolai was behind the founding of the ultra-nationalist Fatherland Party.

After the end of World War I, Nicolai retired as a colonel. His deputy and later successor in 1920 was Major Friedrich Gempp. In his postwar years, Nicolai published two books about his activities.

Under Nazi Germany, he belonged to the expert advisory board of the Imperial Institute for the History of the New Germany.[6]

After the Second World War, Nicolai was arrested by the Soviet SMERSH under personal order of Stalin,[7] deported from Germany, and interrogated in Moscow. He died while in custody
on 4 May 1947 at the Hospital of Moscow's Butyrka Prison. His body was cremated and buried at the necropolis of the Donskoy Monastery in a mass grave. It was only in 1999 that Russian military prosecutors formally exonerated Walter Nicolai of all charges.[8]


1. see Höhne and Zolling, p 286 onwards.
2. Höhne and Zolling, p. 290
3. Heinz Höhne: Canaris – Patriot im Zwielicht. S. 149.
4. Heinz Höhne: Canaris – Patriot im Zwielicht. S. 150f.
5. Heinz Höhne: Canaris – Patriot im Zwielicht. S. 150.
6. Ernst Klee: Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, S. 433.
7. Official information from Russian Government (see the Russian page for sources)
8. Jürgen Schmidt: Spionage: Mata Haris erfolgloser Chef, Tagesspiegel, 7. Oktober 2001


• 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)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:18 am

Abdul Hafiz Mohamed Barakatullah
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/11/19



Abdul Hafiz Mohammed Barkatullah
Prime Minister of the Provisional Government of India
In office: 1915 - 1919
President Mahendra Pratap
Personal details
Born: 7 July 1854, Bhopal, Bhopal State, British India
Died: 20 September 1927

Abdul Hafiz Mohamed Barakatullah, known with his honorific as Maulana Barkatullah (c. 7 July 1854 – 20 September 1927), was an Indian revolutionary with sympathy for the Pan-Islamic movement. Barkatullah was born on 7 July 1854 at Itwra Mohalla Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, India. He fought from outside India, with fiery speeches and revolutionary writings in leading newspapers, for the independence of India. He did not live to see India independent. In 1988, Bhopal University was renamed Barkatullah University[1] in his honour.

Early life

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Policy of revolution

While in England he came in close contact with Lala Hardayal and Raja Mahendra Pratap, son of the Raja of Hathras. He became a friend of Afghan Emir and the editor of the Kabul newspaper Sirejul-ul-Akber'. He was one of the founders of the Ghadar Party in 1913 at San Francisco. Later he became the first prime minister of the Provisional Government of India established on 1 December 1915 in Kabul with Raja Mahendra Pratap as its president. Barkatullah went to several countries of the world with a mission to rouse politically the Indian community and to seek support for the freedom of India from the famous leaders of the time in those countries. Prominent amongst those were Kaiser Wilhelm II, Amir Habibullah Khan, Mohammed Resched, Ghazi Pasha, Lenin, and Hitler.

In England, in 1897, Barakatullah was seen attending meetings of the Muslim Patriotic League. Here, he came across other revolutionary compatriots around Shyamji Krishnavarma. After about a year spent in America, in February 1904 he left for Japan, where he was appointed Professor of Hindustani at the University of Tokyo. In the autumn of 1906, at 1 West 34th Street in New York City, a Pan-Aryan Association was formed by Barakatullah and Samuel Lucas Joshi, a Maratha Christian, son of the late Reverend Lucas Maloba Joshi; it was supported by the Irish revolutionaries of the Clan-na-Gael, the anti-British lawyer Myron H. Phelps and of the equally anti-British Swami Abhedananda who continued the work of Swami Vivekananda.

Miranda de Souza Canavarro (1849-1933) was notable as the first woman to convert to Buddhism on American soil (in 1897) and later a Buddhist nun in Ceylon. She became known as Sister Sanghamitta, while in America she was often known as Marie. She was the wife of the Portuguese ambassador to Sandwich Islands, who began a secret "spiritual marriage" to New York attorney and Buddhist sympathizer Myron Henry Phelps.[1] She converted to Buddhism in 1897 under the discipleship of Anagarika Dharmapala, then moved to Ceylon as Sister Sanghamitta.

-- Miranda de Souza Canavarro, by Wikipedia

According to a report in the Gaelic American, in June 1907, a meeting of Indians, held in New York, passed resolutions “repudiating the right of any foreigner (Mr. Morley) to dictate the future of the Indian people, urging their countrymen to depend upon themselves alone and especially on boycott and swadeshi, condemning the deportation of Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh, and expressing detestation of the action of the British authorities in openly instigating one class of Indians against another at Jamalpur and other places." (Source: Ker, p225).

More vehement was his letter in Persian, which appeared in the Urdu Mualla of Aligarh, U.P., in May 1907, in which Barakatullah strongly advocated the necessity for unity between Hindus and Muslims, and defined the two chief duties of Muslims as patriotism and friendship with all Muslims outside India. This prophetic argument preceded by four years the publication of Germany and the Coming War, by Bernhardi, warning England to be aware of the extreme danger represented by the unity of Hindu and Muslim extremists in Bengal, as reported by the Rowlatt Commission (Chapter VII). He thought that the performance of both these duties depended entirely upon one rule of conduct, namely concord and unity with the Hindus of India in all political matters. (Ker, p226).

On 16 August 1908 arrived from Kolkata Bhupendra Nath Datta, Vivekananda’s hot-blooded brother. Invited by George Freeman to edit the Free Hindustan from the Gaelic American newspaper office, Taraknath Das went to New York to join his old colleague Datta. In March 1909 Barakatullah left again for Japan.

Activities in Japan

Early in 1910, he started the Islamic Fraternity in Tokyo.

In June–July 1911 he left for Constantinople and Petrograd, returned to Tokyo in October and published an article referring to the advent of a great pan-Islamic Alliance including Afghanistan which he expected to become "the future Japan of Central Asia". In December he converted to Islam three Japanese: his assistant Hassan U. Hatanao, his wife, and her father, Baron Kentaro Hiki. This is said to be the first conversion to Islam in Japan. In 1912, Barakatullah “became at once more fluent in his use of the English language and more anti-British in his tone,” observes Ker (p133). Discussing in his paper the “Christian Combination against Islam,” Barakatullah singled out the Emperor William of Germany as really the one man “who holds the peace of the world as well as the war in the hollow of his hand : it is the duty of the Muslims to be united, to stand by the Khalif; with their life and property, and to side with Germany.” Quoting a Roman poet, Barakatullah reminded that the Anglo-Saxons had been sea-wolves, living on the pillage of the world. The difference in modern times was the added “refinement of hypocrisy which sharpens the edge of brutality.” On 6 July 1912, the entry of the paper into India was prohibited, before the Japanese Government suppressed it. Meanwhile, since September, copies of another paper called El Islam appeared in India, continuing Barakatullah’s political propaganda. On 22 March 1913 its importation was prohibited in India. In June 1913, copies were received in India of a lithographed Urdu pamphlet, "The Sword is the Last Resort". On 31 March 1914 Barakatullah’s teaching appointment was terminated by the Japanese authorities. It was followed by another similar leaflet, Feringhi ka Fareb (“The Deceit of the English”) : according to Ker (p135), “it surpassed in violence Barakatullah’s previous productions, and was modelled more on the style of the publications of the Gadhar party of San Francisco with whom Barakatullah now threw in his lot.”

The Ghadar episode

Main article: Hindu German Conspiracy

In May 1913, G.D. Kumar had sailed from San Francisco for the Philippine Islands and had written from Manila to Taraknath Das : “I am going to establish base at Manila (P.I.) forwarding Depôt, supervise the work near China, Hong Kong, Shanghai. Professor Barakatullah is all right in Japan.” (Ker, p237). On 22 May 1914, Barakatullah returned to San Francisco with Bhagwan Singh alias Natha Singh, the granthi (priest) of the Sikh temple at Hong Kong and joined the Yugantar Ashram and worked with Taraknath Das. With the outbreak of the War in August 1914, meetings were held at all the principal centres of the Indian population from Asia in California and Oregon and funds were raised to go back to India and join the insurrection : Barakatullah, Bhagwan Singh and Ramchandra Bharadwaj were among the speakers. (Portland (Oregon) Telegram, 7 August 1914; Fresno Republican, 23 September 1914). Reaching Berlin on time, Barakatullah met Chatto or Virendranath Chattopadhyay and sided Raja Mahendra Pratap in the Mission to Kabul. Their role was significant in indoctrinating with anti-British feelings the Indian prisoners of war held by Germany. They arrived at Herat on 24 August 1915 and were given a royal reception by the Governor.

Government of Free India

Main article: Provisional Government of India

On 1 December 1915, Pratap's 28th birthday, he established the first Provisional Government of India at Kabul in Afghanistan, during First World War. It was a government-in-exile of Free Hindustan with Raja Mahendra Pratap as president, Maulana Barkatullah, Prime Minister, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, Home Minister.[2] Anti-British forces supported his movement. But, for some obvious loyalty to the British, the Amir kept on delaying the expedition. Then they attempted to establish relations with foreign powers.” (Ker, p305). In Kabul, the Siraj-ul-Akhbar in its issue of 4 May 1916 published Raja Mahendra Pratap’s version of the Mission and its objective. He stated: "His Imperial Majesty the Kaiser himself granted me an audience. Subsequently, having set right the problem of India and Asia with the Imperial German Government, and having received the necessary credentials, I started towards the East. I had interviews with the Khedive of Egypt and with the Princes and Ministers of Turkey, as well as with the renowned Enver Pasha and His Imperial Majesty the Holy Khalif, Sultan-ul-Muazzim. I settled the problem of India and the East with the Imperial Ottoman Government, and received the necessary credentials from them as well. German and Turkish officers and Maulvi Barakatullah Sahib were went with me to help me; they are still with me."[This quote needs a citation] Unable to take Raja Mahendra Pratap seriously, Jawaharlal Nehru later wrote in An Autobiography (p. 151): "He seemed to be a character out of medieval romance, a Don Quixote who had strayed into the twentieth century." Under pressure from the British, the Afghan government withdrew its help. The Mission was closed down.


1. Barkatullah University, BHOPAL Archived 6 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine at
2. Contributions of Raja Mahendra Prata by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, International Seminar on Raja Mahendra Pratap & Barkatullah Bhopali, Barkatulla University, Bhopal, 1–3 December 2005.
• Dictionary of National Biography, ed. S.P. Sen, Vol. I, p. 139–140
• The Roll of Honour, by Kalicharan Ghosh, 1965
• Political Trouble in India: A Confidential Report, by James Campbell Ker, 1917, Reprint 1973
• Sedition Committee Report, by Justice S.A.T. Rowlatt, 1918, Reprint 1973
• Les origines intellectuelles du mouvement d’indépendance de l’Inde (1893–1918), by Prithwindra Mukherjee, PhD Thesis, 1986
• In Freedom’s Quest, by Sibnarayan Ray, Vol. I, 1998
• Communism in India, by Sir Cecil Kaye, compiled & edited by Subodh Roy, 1971
• “The Comintern and the Indian revolutionaries in Russia in 1920s” by Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, in Calcutta Historical Journal, Vol. XVIII, No.2, 1996, p. 151–170.

External links

• Maulana Barkatullah materials in the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:17 am

Swami Abhedananda
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/11/19



Swami Abhedananda
Born: Kaliprasad Chandra, 2 October 1866, Calcutta, Bengal, British India
Died: 8 September 1939 (aged 72), Calcutta, Bengal, British India
Religion: Hinduism
Philosophy: Advaita Vedanta
Religious career
Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Group photo taken on 30 January 1887 In Baranagar Math, Kolkata.
Standing: (l–r) Swami Shivananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda, Swami Vivekananda, Randhuni, Debendranath Majumdar, Mahendranath Gupta (Shri M), Swami Trigunatitananda, H.Mustafi
Sitting: (l–r) Swami Niranjanananda, Swami Saradananda, Hutko Gopal, Swami Abhedananda

Swami Abhedananda (2 October 1866 – 8 September 1939), born Kaliprasad Chandra was a direct disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the founder of Ramakrishna Vedanta Math. Swami Vivekananda sent him to the West to head the Vedanta Society of New York in 1897, and spread the message of Vedanta, a theme on which he authored several books through his life, and subsequently founded the Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Darjeeling.

Early life and education

Swami Abhedananda, in his youth.

He was born in north Calcutta on 2 October 1866 and was named Kaliprasad Chandra.[1] His father was Rasiklal Chandra and his mother was Nayantara Devi. In 1884, at the age of 18, while studying for the school final examination under the University of Calcutta, he went to Dakshineswar and met Sri Ramakrishna. Thereafter in April 1885, he left home to be with him, during his final illness, first at Shyampukur and then at Cossipur Garden-house near Calcutta.

Monastic life

After his Master's death in 1886, he plunged into intense sadhana (meditations), by shutting himself up in a room at the Baranagar matha, this gave him the name "Kali Tapaswi" amongst his fellow disciples.[1] After the death of Ramakrishna, he formally became a Sanyasi along with Vivekananda and others, and came to be known as "Swami Abhedananda Puri".[citation needed]

For the next ten years, of his life as a monk he travelled extensively throughout India, depending entirely on alms. During this time he met several famous sages like Pavhari Baba, Trailanga Swami and Swami Bhaskaranand. He went to the sources of the Ganges and the Yamuna, and meditated in the Himalayas. He was a forceful orator, prolific writer, yogi and intellectual with devotional fervour.[citation needed]

In 1896, Vivekananda was in London, when he asked Abhedananda to join him, and propagate the message of Vedanta in the West, which he did with great success. He went to USA in 1897, when Vivekananda asked him to take charge of the Vedanta Society in New York, here he preached messages of Vedanta and teachings of his Guru[2] for about 25 years, travelling far and wide to United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong. Finally, he returned to India in 1921, after attending the Pan-Pacific Education Conference at Honolulu.[3]

In 1922, he crossed the Himalayas on foot and reached Tibet, where he studied Buddhistic philosophy and Lamaism. In Hemis Monastery, he claimed to have discovered a manuscript on the lost years of Jesus,[4] which has been incorporated in the book Swami Abhedananda's Journey into Kashmir & Tibet published by the Ramakrishna Vedanta Math.

He formed the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Kolkata in 1923, which is now known as Ramakrishna Vedanta Math. In 1924, he established Ramakrishna Vedanta Math in Darjeeling in Bengal Presidency (now West Bengal). In 1927, he started publishing Visvavani, the monthly magazine of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society, which he edited from 1927 to 1938,[4] and which is still published today. In 1936, he presided over the Parliament of Religions at the Town Hall, Calcutta, as a part the birth centenary celebrations of Ramakrishna.[1]

He died on 8 September 1939 at Ramakrishna Vedanta Math. At the time of his death he was the last surviving direct disciple of Ramakrishna.[3]


Alambazar Math, 1896 (farewell to Swami Abhedananda leaving for the US)(from left) standing: Swami Adbhutananda, Yogananda, Abhedananda, Trigunatitananda, Turiyananda, Nirmalananda, and Niranjanananda; sitting: Swamis Subodhananda, Brahmananda (on chair), and Akhandananda

• Gospel of Ramakrishna, by Swami Abhedananda. Published by The Vedanta Society, 1907. Online version
• Vedanta Philosophy; Three Lectures on Spiritual Unfoldment: Three Lectures on Spiritual Unfoldment, by Swami Abhedananda. Published by The Vedanta Society, 1901. Online version
• Why a Hindu is a Vegetarian, by Swami Abhedananda. Published by The Vedanta Society, 1900.
• How to be a Yogi, by Swami Abhedananda. Forgotten Books, 1902. ISBN 1-60506-647-8. Online Version
• The Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, by Ramakrishna, Abhedananda. Published by The Vedanta society, 1903.
• India and Her People, by Swami Abhedananda. Published by Satish Chandra Mukherjee, 1906.
• Ideal of Education, by Swami Abhedananda. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1945. Online version
• An Introduction of Philosophy of Panchadasi, by Swami Abhedananda. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1948. Online version
• Abhedananda in India in 1906, by Abhedananda. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1968.
• Vedanta Philosophy: Five Lectures on Reincarnation, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, 1907. ISBN 1-56459-886-1. Online version
• Reincarnation, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7661-2992-6.
• The Great Saviours of the World, by Swami Abhedananda. Pub. by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1957.
• True Psychology, by Swami Abhedananda, Pub. by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1965.
• Yoga Psychology, by Swami Abhedananda, Prajnanananda. Pub. by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1967.
• Complete Works of Swami Abhedananda, by Abhedananda. Pub. by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1970.
• Doctrine of Karma: A Study in Philosophy and Practice of Work, by Swami Abhedananda. Pub. by Vedanta Pr, 1975. ISBN 0-87481-608-4. Online version
• Spiritual Teachings of Swami Abhedananda, by Swami Abhedananda. Pub. by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1962.
• Life Beyond Death: A Critical Study of Spiritualism, by Swami Abhedananda. Pub. by Vedanta Pr, 1986. ISBN 0-87481-616-5.
• Science of Psychic Phenomena, by Swami Abhayananda, Swami Abhedananda. Pub. by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1987. ISBN 0-87581-642-8.
• Hymn offerings to Sri Ramakrsna & the Holy Mother, by Swami Abhedananda, Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, Ramakrishna Math. Pub. by Sri Ramakrsna Math, 1988.
• Journey into Kashmir and Tibet, by Swami Abhedananda. Pub. by Vedanta Pr, 1988. ISBN 0-87481-643-2.
• Path of Realization, by Swami Abhedananda. Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1994.
• The Mystery of Death: A Study in the Philosophy and Religion of the Katha Upanishad, by Swami Abhedananda. Pub. by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1996.
• Vedanta Philosophy: Self-Knowledge Atma-Jnana, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, 1998. ISBN 0-7661-0126-6. Online version
• Ramakrishna Kathamrita and Ramakrishna: Memoirs of Ramakrishna, by Swami Abhedananda. Vedanta Pr. 1988. ISBN 0-87481-654-8.
• Yogi Thoughts on Reincarnation, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2005. ISBN 1-4254-5307-4.
• Prana and the Self, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2005. ISBN 1-4253-3350-8.
• The Complete Book of Vedanta Philosophy, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2005. ISBN 1-4254-5313-9.
• The Woman's Place In Hindu Religion, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2005. ISBN 1-4253-3570-5.
• Philosophy of Work: Three Lectures, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-4254-9129-4. Online version
• Divine Heritage of Man: Vedanta philosophy, by Swami Abhedananda. Kessinger Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-4286-1256-4. PDF version
• Attitude of Vedanta Towards Religion, by Swami Abhedananda. READ BOOKS, 2007. ISBN 1-4067-5330-0. Online version
• Amar Jivan-katha(Autobiography) (in Bengali), by Swami Abhedananda.

Further reading

• An Apostle of Monism: An Authentic Account of the Activities of Swami Abhedananda in America, by Mary Le Page. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1947.
• Swami Abhedananda, the Patriot-saint, by Ashutosh Ghosh. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1967.
• Swami Abhedananda centenary celebration, 1966–67: souvenir, containing the most valuable and authentic records of the glorious life of Swami Abhedananda, by Swami Abhedānanda. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1966.
• Swami Abhedananda: A Spiritual Biography, by Moni Bagchee. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1968.
• The Bases of Indian Culture: Commemoration Volume of Swami Abhedananda, by Amiya Kumer Mazumder, Prajnanananda. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1971.
• The Philosophical Ideas of Swami Abhedananda: A Critical Study; a Guide to the Complete Works of Swami Abhedananda, by Prajnanananda. Published by Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 1971.
• Five articles by Swami Abhedananda


1. Biography Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine Belur Math Official website.
2. Swami Abhedananda of India Discusses the Subject at Mott Memorial Hall. New York Times, 21 March 1898, "He said that the belief in sin and sinners was a hindrance to realizing the unity of the individual soul with God"
3. Swami Abhedananda Biography[permanent dead link] The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture
4. Bhowmik, Dulal (2012). "Abhedananda, Swami". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

External links

• Works by Swami Abhedananda at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Swami Abhedananda at Internet Archive
• Works by Swami Abhedananda at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• How To Be A Yogi by Swâmi Abhedânanda
• Texts on Wikisource:
o Letter (of 19 May 1900?) from Vivekananda to Abhedananda
o Letter of 24 July 1900, from Vivekananda to Abhedananda
o "Abhedananda, Swami" . Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:39 am

Part 1 of 2

Swami Vivekananda
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 11/11/19



Swami Vivekananda
Vivekananda in Chicago, September 1893. On the left, Vivekananda wrote: "One infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee".[1]
Born: Narendranath Datta, 12 January 1863, Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
Died: 4 July 1902 (aged 39), Belur Math, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day West Bengal, India)
Religion: Hinduism
Nationality: Indian
Signature Swami-Vivekanda-Signature-transparent.png
Founder of: Ramakrishna Mission (1897)
Ramakrishna Math
Philosophy: Modern Vedanta,[2][3] Rāja yoga[3]
Religious career
Guru Ramakrishna
Disciples: Ashokananda, Virajananda, Paramananda, Alasinga Perumal, Abhayananda, Sister Nivedita, Swami Sadananda
Influenced: Subhas Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghose, Bagha Jatin, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Jamsetji Tata, Nikola Tesla, Sarah Bernhardt, Emma Calvé, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Annie Besant, Romain Rolland, Narendra Modi, Anna Hazare
Literary works: Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, My Master, Lectures from Colombo to Almora

Swami Vivekananda (Bengali: [ʃami bibekanɔndo] (About this soundlisten); 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Datta (Bengali: [nɔrendronatʰ dɔto]), was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna.[4][5] He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world[6][7] and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.[8] He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India.[9] Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.[7] He is perhaps best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America ...,"[10] in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self; therefore, service to God could be rendered by service to humankind. After Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India. He later travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint, and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day.

Early life (1863–1888)

Birth and childhood

Bhubaneswari Devi (1841–1911); "I am indebted to my mother for the efflorescence of my knowledge."[11] – Vivekananda

3, Gourmohan Mukherjee Street, birthplace of Vivekananda, now converted into a museum and cultural centre

Vivekananda was born Narendranath Datta (shortened to Narendra or Naren)[12] in a Bengali family[13][14] at his ancestral home at 3 Gourmohan Mukherjee Street in Calcutta,[15] the capital of British India, on 12 January 1863 during the Makar Sankranti festival.[16] He belonged to a traditional family and was one of nine siblings.[17] His father, Vishwanath Datta, was an attorney at the Calcutta High Court.[18][19] Durgacharan Datta, Narendra's grandfather was a Sanskrit and Persian scholar[20] who left his family and became a monk at age twenty-five.[21] His mother, Bhubaneswari Devi, was a devout housewife.[20] The progressive, rational attitude of Narendra's father and the religious temperament of his mother helped shape his thinking and personality.[22][23]

Narendranath was interested in spirituality from a young age and used to meditate before the images of deities such as Shiva, Rama, Sita, and Mahavir Hanuman.[24] He was fascinated by wandering ascetics and monks.[23] Naren was naughty and restless as a child, and his parents often had difficulty controlling him. His mother said, "I prayed to Shiva for a son and he has sent me one of his demons".[21]


In 1871, at the age of eight, Narendranath enrolled at Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's Metropolitan Institution, where he went to school until his family moved to Raipur in 1877.[25] In 1879, after his family's return to Calcutta, he was the only student to receive first-division marks in the Presidency College entrance examination. [26] He was an avid reader in a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, religion, history, social science, art and literature.[27] He was also interested in Hindu scriptures, including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Narendra was trained in Indian classical music,[28] and regularly participated in physical exercise, sports and organised activities. Narendra studied Western logic, Western philosophy and European history at the General Assembly's Institution (now known as the Scottish Church College).[29] In 1881 he passed the Fine Arts examination, and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1884.[30][31] Narendra studied the works of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Baruch Spinoza, Georg W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Auguste Comte, John Stuart Mill and Charles Darwin.[32][33] He became fascinated with the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer and corresponded with him,[34][35] translating Spencer's book Education (1861) into Bengali.[36] While studying Western philosophers, he also learned Sanskrit scriptures and Bengali literature.[33]

William Hastie (principal of Christian College, Calcutta, from where Narendra graduated) wrote, "Narendra is really a genius. I have travelled far and wide but I have never come across a lad of his talents and possibilities, even in German universities, among philosophical students. He is bound to make his mark in life".[37]

Narendra was known for his prodigious memory and the ability at speed reading. Several incidents have been given as examples. In a talk, he once quoted verbatim, two or three pages from Pickwick Papers. Another incident that is given is his argument with a Swedish national where he gave reference to some details on Swedish history that the Swede originally disagreed with but later conceded. In another incident with Dr. Paul Deussen's at Kiel in Germany, Vivekananda was going over some poetical work and did not reply when the professor spoke to him. Later, he apologised to Dr. Deussen explaining that he was too absorbed in reading and hence did not hear him. The professor was not satisfied with this explanation but Vivekananda quoted and interpreted verses from the text leaving the professor dumbfounded about his feat of memory. Once, he requested some books written by Sir John Lubbock from a library and returned them the very next day claiming that he had read them. The librarian refused to believe him until cross examination about the contents convinced him that Vivekananda was being truthful.[38]

Some accounts have called Narendra a shrutidhara (a person with a prodigious memory).[39]

Spiritual apprenticeship – influence of Brahmo Samaj

See also: Swami Vivekananda and meditation

In 1880 Narendra joined Keshab Chandra Sen's Nava Vidhan, which was established by Sen after meeting Ramakrishna and reconverting from Christianity to Hinduism.[40] Narendra became a member of a Freemasonry lodge "at some point before 1884"[41] and of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in his twenties, a breakaway faction of the Brahmo Samaj led by Keshab Chandra Sen and Debendranath Tagore.[40][29][42][43] From 1881 to 1884 he was also active in Sen's Band of Hope, which tried to discourage youths from smoking and drinking.[40]

It was in this cultic[44] milieu that Narendra became acquainted with Western esotericism.[45] His initial beliefs were shaped by Brahmo concepts, which included belief in a formless God and the deprecation of idolatry,[24][46] and a "streamlined, rationalized, monotheistic theology strongly coloured by a selective and modernistic reading of the Upanisads and of the Vedanta."[47] Rammohan Roy, the founder of the Brahmo Samaj who was strongly influenced by unitarianism, strived toward an universalistic interpretation of Hinduism.[47] His ideas were "altered [...] considerably" by Debendranath Tagore, who had a romantic approach to the development of these new doctrines, and questioned central Hindu beliefs like reincarnation and karma, and rejected the authority of the Vedas.[48] Tagore also brought this "neo-Hinduism" closer in line with western esotericism, a development which was furthered by Keshubchandra Sen.[49] Sen was influenced by transcendentalism, an American philosophical-religious movement strongly connected with unitarianism, which emphasised personal religious experience over mere reasoning and theology.[50] Sen strived to "an accessible, non-renunciatory, everyman type of spirituality", introducing "lay systems of spiritual practice" which can be regarded as prototypes of the kind of Yoga-exercises which Vivekananda popularised in the west.[51]

The same search for direct intuition and understanding can be seen with Vivekananda. Not satisfied with his knowledge of philosophy, Narendra came to "the question which marked the real beginning of his intellectual quest for God."[42] He asked several prominent Calcutta residents if they had come "face to face with God", but none of their answers satisfied him.[52][31] At this time, Narendra met Debendranath Tagore (the leader of Brahmo Samaj) and asked if he had seen God. Instead of answering his question, Tagore said "My boy, you have the Yogi's eyes."[42][36] According to Banhatti, it was Ramakrishna who really answered Narendra's question, by saying "Yes, I see Him as I see you, only in an infinitely intenser sense."[42] Nevertheless, Vivekananda was more influenced by the Brahmo Samaj's and its new ideas, than by Ramakrishna.[51] It was Sen's influence who brought Vivekananda fully into contact with western esotericism, and it was also via Sen that he met Ramakrishna.[53]

With Ramakrishna

Main article: Relationship between Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda

See also: Swami Vivekananda's prayer to Kali at Dakshineswar

In 1881 Narendra first met Ramakrishna, who became his spiritual focus after his own father had died in 1884.[54]

Narendra's first introduction to Ramakrishna occurred in a literature class at General Assembly's Institution when he heard Professor William Hastie lecturing on William Wordsworth's poem, The Excursion.[46] While explaining the word "trance" in the poem, Hastie suggested that his students visit Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar to understand the true meaning of trance. This prompted some of his students (including Narendra) to visit Ramakrishna.[55][56][57]

Ramakrishna, guru of Vivekananda

Vivekananda in Cossipore 1886

They probably first met personally in November 1881,[note 1] though Narendra did not consider this their first meeting, and neither man mentioned this meeting later.[55] At this time Narendra was preparing for his upcoming F. A. examination, when Ram Chandra Datta accompanied him to Surendra Nath Mitra's, house where Ramakrishna was invited to deliver a lecture.[59] According to Paranjape, at this meeting Ramakrishna asked young Narendra to sing. Impressed by his singing talent, he asked Narendra to come to Dakshineshwar.[60]

In late 1881 or early 1882, Narendra went to Dakshineswar with two friends and met Ramakrishna.[55] This meeting proved to be a turning point in his life.[61] Although he did not initially accept Ramakrishna as his teacher and rebelled against his ideas, he was attracted by his personality and began to frequently visit him at Dakshineswar.[62] He initially saw Ramakrishna's ecstasies and visions as "mere figments of imagination"[22] and "hallucinations".[63] As a member of Brahmo Samaj, he opposed idol worship, polytheism and Ramakrishna's worship of Kali.[64] He even rejected the Advaita Vedanta of "identity with the absolute" as blasphemy and madness, and often ridiculed the idea.[63] Narendra tested Ramakrishna, who faced his arguments patiently: "Try to see the truth from all angles", he replied.[62]

Narendra's father's sudden death in 1884 left the family bankrupt; creditors began demanding the repayment of loans, and relatives threatened to evict the family from their ancestral home. Narendra, once a son of a well-to-do family, became one of the poorest students in his college.[65] He unsuccessfully tried to find work and questioned God's existence,[66] but found solace in Ramakrishna and his visits to Dakshineswar increased.[67]

One day Narendra requested Ramakrishna to pray to goddess Kali for their family's financial welfare. Ramakrishna suggested him to go to the temple himself and pray. Following Ramakrishna's suggestion, he went to the temple thrice, but failed to pray for any kind of worldly necessities and ultimately prayed for true knowledge and devotion from the goddess.[68][69][70] Narendra gradually grew ready to renounce everything for the sake of realising God, and accepted Ramakrishna as his Guru.[62]

In 1885, Ramakrishna developed throat cancer, and was transferred to Calcutta and (later) to a garden house in Cossipore. Narendra and Ramakrishna's other disciples took care of him during his last days, and Narendra's spiritual education continued. At Cossipore, he experienced Nirvikalpa samadhi.[71] Narendra and several other disciples received ochre robes from Ramakrishna, forming his first monastic order.[72] He was taught that service to men was the most effective worship of God.[22][71] Ramakrishna asked him to care for the other monastic disciples, and in turn asked them to see Narendra as their leader.[73] Ramakrishna died in the early-morning hours of 16 August 1886 in Cossipore.[73][74]

Founding of first Ramakrishna Math at Baranagar

Main article: Baranagar Math

Group photo taken on 30 January 1887 in Baranagar Math, Kolkata.
Standing: (l–r) ) Shivananda, Ramakrishnananda, Vivekananda, Randhuni, Debendranath Majumdar, Mahendranath Gupta (Shri M), Trigunatitananda, H.Mustafi
Sitting: (l–r) Niranjanananda, Saradananda, Hutko Gopal, Abhedananda

After Ramakrishna's death, his devotees and admirers stopped supporting his disciples.[citation needed] Unpaid rent accumulated, and Narendra and the other disciples had to find a new place to live.[75] Many returned home, adopting a Grihastha (family-oriented) way of life.[76] Narendra decided to convert a dilapidated house at Baranagar into a new math (monastery) for the remaining disciples. Rent for the Baranagar Math was low, raised by "holy begging" (mādhukarī). The math became the first building of the Ramakrishna Math: the monastery of the monastic order of Ramakrishna.[61] Narendra and other disciples used to spend many hours in practising meditation and religious austerities every day.[77] Narendra later reminisced about the early days of the monastery:[78]

We underwent a lot of religious practice at the Baranagar Math. We used to get up at 3:00 am and become absorbed in japa and meditation. What a strong spirit of detachment we had in those days! We had no thought even as to whether the world existed or not.

In 1887, Narendra compiled a Bengali song anthology named Sangeet Kalpataru with Vaishnav Charan Basak. Narendra collected and arranged most of the songs of this compilation, but could not finish the work of the book for unfavourable circumstances.[79]

Monastic vows

In December 1886, the mother of Baburam[note 2] invited Narendra and his other brother monks to Antpur village. Narendra and the other aspiring monks accepted the invitation and went to Antpur to spend few days. In Antpur, in the Christmas Eve of 1886, Narendra and eight other disciples took formal monastic vows.[77] They decided to live their lives as their master lived.[77] Narendranath took the name "Swami Vivekananda".[80]

Travels in India (1888–1893)

Main article: Swami Vivekananda's travels in India (1888–1893)

In 1888, Narendra left the monastery as a Parivrâjaka— the Hindu religious life of a wandering monk, "without fixed abode, without ties, independent and strangers wherever they go".[81] His sole possessions were a kamandalu (water pot), staff and his two favourite books: the Bhagavad Gita and The Imitation of Christ.[82] Narendra travelled extensively in India for five years, visiting centres of learning and acquainting himself with diverse religious traditions and social patterns.[83][84] He developed sympathy for the suffering and poverty of the people, and resolved to uplift the nation.[83][85] Living primarily on bhiksha (alms), Narendra travelled on foot and by railway (with tickets bought by admirers). During his travels he met, and stayed with Indians from all religions and walks of life: scholars, dewans, rajas, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, paraiyars (low-caste workers) and government officials.[85] Narendra left Bombay for Chicago on 31 May 1893 with the name "Vivekananda", as suggested by Ajit Singh of Khetri,[86] which means "the bliss of discerning wisdom," from Sanskrit viveka and ānanda.[87]

First visit to the West (1893–1897)

Vivekananda started his journey to the West on 31 May 1893[88] and visited several cities in Japan (including Nagasaki, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo),[89] China and Canada en route to the United States,[88] reaching Chicago on 30 July 1893,[90][88] where the "Parliament of Religions" took place in September 1893.[91] The Congress was an initiative of the Swedenborgian layman, and judge of the Illinois Supreme Court, Charles C. Bonney,[92][93] to gather all the religions of the world, and show "the substantial unity of many religions in the good deeds of the religious life."[92] It was one of the more than 200 adjunct gatherings and congresses of the Chicago's World's Fair,[92] and was "an avant-garde intellectual manifestation of [...] cultic milieus, East and West,"[94] with the Brahmo Samaj and the Theosophical Society being invited as being representative of Hinduism.[95]

Vivekananda wanted to join, but was disappointed to learn that no one without credentials from a bona fide organisation would be accepted as a delegate.[96] Vivekananda contacted Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University, who invited him to speak at Harvard.[96] Vivekananda wrote of the professor, "He urged upon me the necessity of going to the Parliament of Religions, which he thought would give an introduction to the nation".[97][note 3] Vivekananda submitted an application, "introducing himself as a monk 'of the oldest order of sannyāsis ... founded by Sankara,'"[95] supported by the Brahmo Samaj representative Protapchandra Mozoombar, who was also a member of the Parliament's selection committee, "classifying the Swami as a representative of the Hindu monastic order."[95] Hearing Vivekananda speak, Harvard psychology professor William James said, ‘’that man is simply a wonder for oratorical power. He is an honor to humanity.’’[98]

Parliament of the World's Religions

Main article: Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of the World's Religions (1893)

Vivekananda on the platform at the Parliament of Religions, September 1893; left to right: Virchand Gandhi, Dharmapala, Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda with the East Indian group, in the photo: (from left to right) Narasimha Chaira, Lakeshnie Narain, Vivekananda, H. Dharmapala, and Virchand Gandhi

The Parliament of the World's Religions opened on 11 September 1893 at the Art Institute of Chicago as part of the World's Columbian Exposition.[99][100][101] On this day, Vivekananda gave a brief speech representing India and Hinduism.[102] He was initially nervous, bowed to Saraswati (the Hindu goddess of learning) and began his speech with "Sisters and brothers of America!".[103][101] At these words, Vivekananda received a two-minute standing ovation from the crowd of seven thousand.[104] According to Sailendra Nath Dhar, when silence was restored he began his address, greeting the youngest of the nations on behalf of "the most ancient order of monks in the world, the Vedic order of sannyasins, a religion which has taught the world both tolerance, of and universal acceptance".[105][note 4] Vivekananda quoted two illustrative passages from the "Shiva mahimna stotram": "As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, so, O Lord, the different paths which men take, through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee!" and "Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths that in the end lead to Me."[108] According to Sailendra Nath Dhar, "it was only a short speech, but it voiced the spirit of the Parliament."[108][109]

Parliament President John Henry Barrows said, "India, the Mother of religions was represented by Swami Vivekananda, the Orange-monk who exercised the most wonderful influence over his auditors".[103] Vivekananda attracted widespread attention in the press, which called him the "cyclonic monk from India". The New York Critique wrote, "He is an orator by divine right, and his strong, intelligent face in its picturesque setting of yellow and orange was hardly less interesting than those earnest words, and the rich, rhythmical utterance he gave them". The New York Herald noted, "Vivekananda is undoubtedly the greatest figure in the Parliament of Religions. After hearing him we feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation".[110] American newspapers reported Vivekananda as "the greatest figure in the parliament of religions" and "the most popular and influential man in the parliament".[111] The Boston Evening Transcript reported that Vivekananda was "a great favourite at the parliament... if he merely crosses the platform, he is applauded".[112] He spoke several more times "at receptions, the scientific section, and private homes"[105] on topics related to Hinduism, Buddhism and harmony among religions until the parliament ended on 27 September 1893. Vivekananda's speeches at the Parliament had the common theme of universality, emphasising religious tolerance.[113] He soon became known as a "handsome oriental" and made a huge impression as an orator.[114]

Sponsorship of Swami Vivekananda for Parliament of the World's Religions

In 1892, Swami Vivekananda stayed with Bhaskara Sethupathy, who was a Raja of Ramnad, when he visited Madurai[115] and he sponsored Vivekananda's visit to Parliament of the World's Religions held in Chicago.

Lecture tours in the UK and US

"I do not come", said Swamiji on one occasion in America, "to convert you to a new belief. I want you to keep your own belief; I want to make the Methodist a better Methodist; the Presbyterian a better Presbyterian; the Unitarian a better Unitarian. I want to teach you to live the truth, to reveal the light within your own soul."[116]

After the Parliament of Religions, he toured many parts of the US as a guest. His popularity opened up new views for expanding on "life and religion to thousands".[114] During a question-answer session at Brooklyn Ethical Society, he remarked, "I have a message to the West as Buddha had a message to the East."

Vivekananda spent nearly two years lecturing in the eastern and central United States, primarily in Chicago, Detroit, Boston, and New York. He founded the Vedanta Society of New York in 1894.[117] By spring 1895 his busy, tiring schedule had affected his health.[118] He ended his lecture tours and began giving free, private classes in Vedanta and yoga. Beginning in June 1895, Vivekananda gave private lectures to a dozen of his disciples at Thousand Island Park, New York for two months.[118]

During his first visit to the West he travelled to the UK twice, in 1895 and 1896, lecturing successfully there.[119] In November 1895 he met Margaret Elizabeth Noble an Irish woman who would become Sister Nivedita.[118] During his second visit to the UK in May 1896 Vivekananda met Max Müller, a noted Indologist from Oxford University who wrote Ramakrishna's first biography in the West.[109] From the UK, Vivekananda visited other European countries. In Germany he met Paul Deussen, another Indologist.[120] Vivekananda was offered academic positions in two American universities (one the chair in Eastern Philosophy at Harvard University and a similar position at Columbia University); he declined both, since his duties would conflict with his commitment as a monk.[118]

Vivekananda in Greenacre, Maine (August 1894).[121]

Vivekananda at Mead sisters' house, South Pasadena in 1900.

His success led to a change in mission, namely the establishment of Vedanta centres in the West.[122] Vivekananda adapted traditional Hindu ideas and religiosity to suit the needs and understandings of his western audiences, who were especially attracted by and familiar with western esoteric traditions and movements like Transcendentalism and New thought.[123] An important element in his adaptation of Hindu religiosity was the introduction of his "four yogas" model, which includes Raja yoga, his interpretation of Patanjali's Yoga sutras,[124] which offered a practical means to realise the divine force within which is central to modern western esotericism.[123] In 1896 his book Raja Yoga was published, becoming an instant success; it was highly influential in the western understanding of yoga, in Elizabeth de Michelis's view marking the beginning of modern yoga.[125][126]

Vivekananda attracted followers and admirers in the US and Europe, including Josephine MacLeod, William James, Josiah Royce, Robert G. Ingersoll, Nikola Tesla, Lord Kelvin, Harriet Monroe, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Sarah Bernhardt, Emma Calvé and Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz.[22][118][120][127] He initiated several followers : Marie Louise (a French woman) became Swami Abhayananda, and Leon Landsberg became Swami Kripananda,[128] so that they could continue the work of the mission of the Vedanta Society. This society still is filled with foreign nationals and is also located in Los Angeles.[129] During his stay in America, Vivekananda was given land in the mountains to the southeast of San Jose, California to establish a retreat for Vedanta students. He called it "Peace retreat", or, Shanti Asrama.[130] The largest American centre is the Vedanta Society of Southern California in Hollywood, one of the twelve main centres. There is also a Vedanta Press in Hollywood which publishes books about Vedanta and English translations of Hindu scriptures and texts. [131] Christina Greenstidel of Detroit was also initiated by Vivekananda with a mantra and she became Sister Christine,[132] and they established a close father–daughter relationship.[133]

From the West, Vivekananda revived his work in India. He regularly corresponded with his followers and brother monks,[note 5] offering advice and financial support. His letters from this period reflect his campaign of social service,[134] and were strongly worded.[135] He wrote to Akhandananda, "Go from door to door amongst the poor and lower classes of the town of Khetri and teach them religion. Also, let them have oral lessons on geography and such other subjects. No good will come of sitting idle and having princely dishes, and saying "Ramakrishna, O Lord!"—unless you can do some good to the poor".[136][137] In 1895, Vivekananda founded the periodical Brahmavadin to teach the Vedanta.[138] Later, Vivekananda's translation of the first six chapters of The Imitation of Christ was published in Brahmavadin in 1889.[139] Vivekananda left for India on 16 December 1896 from England with his disciples Captain and Mrs. Sevier and J.J. Goodwin. On the way they visited France and Italy, and set sail for India from Naples on 30 December 1896.[140] He was later followed to India by Sister Nivedita, who devoted the rest of her life to the education of Indian women and India's independence.[118][141]

Back in India (1897–1899)

The ship from Europe arrived in Colombo, British Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 15 January 1897,[140] and Vivekananda received a warm welcome. In Colombo he gave his first public speech in the East. From there on, his journey to Calcutta was triumphant. Vivekananda travelled from Colombo to Pamban, Rameswaram, Ramnad, Madurai, Kumbakonam and Madras, delivering lectures. Common people and rajas gave him an enthusiastic reception. During his train travels, people often sat on the rails to force the train to stop so they could hear him.[140] From Madras (now Chennai), he continued his journey to Calcutta and Almora. While in the West, Vivekananda spoke about India's great spiritual heritage; in India, he repeatedly addressed social issues: uplifting the people, eliminating the caste system, promoting science and industrialisation, addressing widespread poverty and ending colonial rule. These lectures, published as Lectures from Colombo to Almora, demonstrate his nationalistic fervour and spiritual ideology.[142]

Vivekananda at Chennai 1897

Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati (a branch of the Ramakrishna Math founded on 19 March 1899) later published many of Vivekananda's work and now publishes Prabuddha Bharata.

On 1 May 1897 in Calcutta, Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission for social service. Its ideals are based on Karma Yoga,[143][144] and its governing body consists of the trustees of the Ramakrishna Math (which conducts religious work).[145] Both Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission have their headquarters at Belur Math.[109][146] Vivekananda founded two other monasteries: one in Mayavati in the Himalayas (near Almora), the Advaita Ashrama and another in Madras. Two journals were founded: Prabuddha Bharata in English and Udbhodan in Bengali.[147] That year, famine-relief work was begun by Swami Akhandananda in the Murshidabad district.[109][145]

Vivekananda earlier inspired Jamsetji Tata to set up a research and educational institution when they travelled together from Yokohama to Chicago on Vivekananda's first visit to the West in 1893. Tata now asked him to head his Research Institute of Science; Vivekananda declined the offer, citing a conflict with his "spiritual interests".[148][149][150] He visited Punjab, attempting to mediate an ideological conflict between Arya Samaj (a reformist Hindu movement) and sanatan (orthodox Hindus).[151] After brief visits to Lahore,[145] Delhi and Khetri, Vivekananda returned to Calcutta in January 1898. He consolidated the work of the math and trained disciples for several months. Vivekananda composed "Khandana Bhava–Bandhana", a prayer song dedicated to Ramakrishna, in 1898.[152]

Second visit to the West and final years (1899–1902)

See also: Swami Vivekananda in California

Vivekananda at Belur Math on 19 June 1899

Vivekananda (photo taken in Bushnell Studio, San Francisco, 1900)

Despite declining health, Vivekananda left for the West for a second time in June 1899[153] accompanied by Sister Nivedita and Swami Turiyananda. Following a brief stay in England, he went to the United States. During this visit, Vivekananda established Vedanta Societies in San Francisco and New York and founded a shanti ashrama (peace retreat) in California.[154] He then went to Paris for the Congress of Religions in 1900.[155] His lectures in Paris concerned the worship of the lingam and the authenticity of the Bhagavad Gita.[154] Vivekananda then visited Brittany, Vienna, Istanbul, Athens and Egypt. The French philosopher Jules Bois was his host for most of this period, until he returned to Calcutta on 9 December 1900.[154]

After a brief visit to the Advaita Ashrama in Mayavati Vivekananda settled at Belur Math, where he continued co-ordinating the works of Ramakrishna Mission, the math and the work in England and the US. He had many visitors, including royalty and politicians. Although Vivekananda was unable to attend the Congress of Religions in 1901 in Japan due to deteriorating health, he made pilgrimages to Bodhgaya and Varanasi.[156] Declining health (including asthma, diabetes and chronic insomnia) restricted his activity.[157]


On 4 July 1902 (the day of his death)[158] Vivekananda awoke early, went to the monastery at Belur Math and meditated for three hours. He taught Shukla-Yajur-Veda, Sanskrit grammar and the philosophy of yoga to pupils,[159][160] later discussing with colleagues a planned Vedic college in the Ramakrishna Math. At 7:00 p.m. Vivekananda went to his room, asking not to be disturbed;[159] he died at 9:20 p.m. while meditating.[161] According to his disciples, Vivekananda attained mahasamādhi;[162] the rupture of a blood vessel in his brain was reported as a possible cause of death.[163] His disciples believed that the rupture was due to his brahmarandhra (an opening in the crown of his head) being pierced when he attained mahasamādhi. Vivekananda fulfilled his prophecy that he would not live forty years.[164] He was cremated on a sandalwood funeral pyre on the bank of the Ganga in Belur, opposite where Ramakrishna was cremated sixteen years earlier.[165]

Teachings and philosophy

Main article: Teachings and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda

Vivekananda propagated that the essence of Hinduism was best expressed in Adi Shankara's Advaita Vedanta philosophy.[166] Nevertheless, following Ramakrishna, and in contrast to Advaita Vedanta, Vivekananda believed that the Absolute is both immanent and transcendent.[note 6] According to Anil Sooklal, Vivekananda's neo-Advaita "reconciles Dvaita or dualism and Advaita or non-dualism".[168][note 7] Vivekananda summarised the Vedanta as follows, giving it a modern and Universalistic interpretation:[166]

Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or mental discipline, or philosophy—by one, or more, or all of these—and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.

Nationalism was a prominent theme in Vivekananda's thought. He believed that a country's future depends on its people, and his teachings focused on human development.[169] He wanted "to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest".[170]

Vivekananda linked morality with control of the mind, seeing truth, purity and unselfishness as traits which strengthened it.[171] He advised his followers to be holy, unselfish and to have shraddhā (faith). Vivekananda supported brahmacharya,[172] believing it the source of his physical and mental stamina and eloquence.[173] He emphasised that success was an outcome of focused thought and action; in his lectures on Raja Yoga he said, "Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is the way great spiritual giants are produced".[174]

Influence and legacy

Main article: Influence and legacy of Swami Vivekananda

Vivekananda was one of the main representatives of Neo-Vedanta, a modern interpretation of selected aspects of Hinduism in line with western esoteric traditions, especially Transcendentalism, New Thought and Theosophy.[3] His reinterpretation was, and is, very successful, creating a new understanding and appreciation of Hinduism within and outside India,[3] and was the principal reason for the enthusiastic reception of yoga, transcendental meditation and other forms of Indian spiritual self-improvement in the West.[175] Agehananda Bharati explained, "...modern Hindus derive their knowledge of Hinduism from Vivekananda, directly or indirectly".[176] Vivekananda espoused the idea that all sects within Hinduism (and all religions) are different paths to the same goal.[177] However, this view has been criticised as an oversimplification of Hinduism.[177]

Vivekananda statue near the Gateway of India, Mumbai

at Shri Ramakrishna Vidyashala, Mysore, India

In the background of emerging nationalism in British-ruled India, Vivekananda crystallised the nationalistic ideal. In the words of social reformer Charles Freer Andrews, "The Swami's intrepid patriotism gave a new colour to the national movement throughout India. More than any other single individual of that period Vivekananda had made his contribution to the new awakening of India".[178] Vivekananda drew attention to the extent of poverty in the country, and maintained that addressing such poverty was a prerequisite for national awakening.[179] His nationalistic ideas influenced many Indian thinkers and leaders. Sri Aurobindo regarded Vivekananda as the one who awakened India spiritually.[180] Mahatma Gandhi counted him among the few Hindu reformers "who have maintained this Hindu religion in a state of splendor by cutting down the dead wood of tradition".[181]

The first governor-general of independent India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, said "Vivekananda saved Hinduism, saved India".[182] According to Subhas Chandra Bose, a proponent of armed struggle for Indian independence, Vivekananda was "the maker of modern India";[183] for Gandhi, Vivekananda's influence increased Gandhi's "love for his country a thousandfold". Vivekananda influenced India's independence movement;[184] his writings inspired independence activists such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bagha Jatin and intellectuals such as Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Romain Rolland.[185] Many years after Vivekananda's death Rabindranath Tagore told French Nobel laureate Romain Rolland,[186] "If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive and nothing negative". Rolland wrote, "His words are great music, phrases in the style of Beethoven, stirring rhythms like the march of Händel choruses. I cannot touch these sayings of his, scattered as they are through the pages of books, at thirty years' distance, without receiving a thrill through my body like an electric shock. And what shocks, what transports, must have been produced when in burning words they issued from the lips of the hero!"[187]

Jamsetji Tata was inspired by Vivekananda to establish the Indian Institute of Science, one of India's best-known research universities.[150] Abroad, Vivekananda communicated with orientalist Max Müller, and the inventor Nikola Tesla was one of those influenced by his Vedic teachings.[188] While National Youth Day in India is observed on his birthday, 12 January, the day he delivered his masterful speech at the Parliament of Religions, 11 September 1893 is "World Brotherhood Day".[189][190] In September 2010, India's Finance Ministry highlighted the relevance of Vivekananda's teachings and values to the modern economic environment. The then Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India before the current President Ram Nath Kovind, approved in principle the Swami Vivekananda Values Education Project at a cost of ₹1 billion (US$14 million), with objectives including involving youth with competitions, essays, discussions and study circles and publishing Vivekananda's works in a number of languages.[191] In 2011, the West Bengal Police Training College was renamed the Swami Vivekananda State Police Academy, West Bengal.[192] The state technical university in Chhattisgarh has been named the Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekanand Technical University.[193] In 2012, the Raipur airport was renamed Swami Vivekananda Airport.[194]

The 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was celebrated in India and abroad. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India officially observed 2013 as the occasion in a declaration.[195] Year-long events and programs were organised by branches of the Ramakrishna Math, the Ramakrishna Mission, the central and state governments in India, educational institutions and youth groups. Bengali film director Tutu (Utpal) Sinha made a film, The Light: Swami Vivekananda as a tribute for his 150th birth anniversary.[196]

Vivekananda was featured on stamps of India (1963, 1993, 2013, 2015 and 2018), Sri Lanka (1997 and 2013) and Serbia (2018).[197][198]
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