August Georg Kenstler

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

August Georg Kenstler (born December 24, 1899 in Schäßburg , † January 8, 1941 in Gotha ) was a Romanian-German publicist . In 1924 he was one of the founders of the Artam Association , a settlement association within the Völkische Movement, and also joined the NSDAP in the 1920s .


Kenstler grew up with his father's grandparents in Schäßburg. The father, a carpenter, had emigrated to the USA and from there had sent the son back to his grandparents in Transylvania . Before moving to Schäßburg, the grandfather had been a village blacksmith with a side job in Meschendorf .

Kenstler attended the Bergschule Schäßburg and began an apprenticeship in the local gardening department in July 1915 . In September 1916, after Romania entered the war , he joined the Transylvanian patrol battalion of Ludwig Prince zu Windisch-Grätz as a volunteer and was deployed in the Forest Carpathians .

After the war he went to Germany and in 1921 joined a volunteer corps in Upper Silesia. He took part in the 1923 Hitler-Ludendorff putsch . In the following years Kenstler became the founder, co-founder and leader of various ethnic groups of the 1920s.

Together with Bruno Tanzmann , he founded the Artam Association in 1924 , one of the numerous ethnic groups of the time, but "with the most conspicuous in the sense of the just awakening National Socialist ideology", with "not to be overlooked racist character" and a tight "leadership hierarchy". The Artamans displayed the swastika on their flags and the inscription “We want to go to Ostland!” Later Kenstler was chairman of the Artamans' council of old people. When the NSDAP became increasingly active in the rural population and could be anchored there, Kenstler joined the party, resulting in association with other accessions to spin-offs from the Artamanen and their subsequent DC circuit easier.

In 1924, under the leadership of Kenstler, the first “Artamanschaft” was deployed at the Limbach manor near Dresden. Even at this early point in time, Kenstler is described in the literature as a “young ethnic German National Socialist”. At that time, Kenstler was a lecturer at one of the German farming colleges, DBHS, another ethnic-national socialist association. The sign of the DBHS was according to self-testimony "the ancient Germanic symbol of salvation: the swastika" (1923). The DBHS publishing house was the Hakenkreuz-Verlag and the statutes included an anti-Semitic Aryan paragraph . In 1926 Kenstler became head of the "Grenzlandschule" opened in 1926 in Reichenbach / OL near Görlitz . Here he wanted to "awaken and organize the German peasantry within the framework of the farmer's college movement and then raise a German peasant nobility by directly applying Mendelian inheritance theory ."

Also in 1926 he founded the Bundschuh group . Loyal order of down-to-earth and active youth , an “ideological cadre forge” of the Völkisch under his leadership. In the same year he became editor of the magazine Sachs' keep watch. Journal of homeland-loyal Transylvanians of Saxony and their friends with Fritz Fabritius as editor. In the spring of 1927 Kenstler was one of the founders of the Volkischer Bund Kinderland . The founding appeal written by Thea von Teubern was also published in 1929 in the first year of the magazine Blut und Boden .

From 1928, Kenstler published the magazine Blut und Boden together with Friedrich Schmidt . Monthly for peasantry with strong roots, for German character and national freedom . He put this magazine entirely at the service of the rural people's movement around Wilhelm Hamkens and Claus Heim , among whose supporters his "theses characterized by extremist peasant racism" were disseminated from April 1929 onwards. Kenstler considered National Socialism to be a suitable tool to turn the regional rural people's movement into, in his eyes, an “active national-revolutionary peasant movement” into an all-German movement. Together with his federal brother, the racial ideologist Walther Darré , and Hans Severus Ziegler , editor of the Thuringian NSDAP newspaper Der Nationalozialist , Kenstler developed the plan to set up an agricultural policy center in Weimar to organize the rural people's movement, which Darré leads and which is financed by the NSDAP should. The negotiations with the Reich leadership of the NSDAP dragged on into the early summer of 1930. When Darré then became an agricultural expert for the NSDAP and was commissioned to set up an agricultural policy department in Munich , he resorted to Kenstler's ideas in August 1930. The emergence of the agricultural policy apparatus of the NSDAP thus goes back to Kenstler's plan. The formula " blood and soil " was taken up by Darré and became a catchphrase of the National Socialist agricultural policy.

With his plan for a “peasant revolution”, which was to bring about a total reorganization and regrarization of Germany, Kenstler came into conflict with the policy of the NSDAP, which took a legalistic path of “seizure of power” within the parliamentary system. Like Darré, Kenstler relied on “an extremely anti-democratic concept”. Kenstler saw the big city as a stronghold of Judaism, a place of constant racial mixing and negative selection. “The hatred of the free peasants against the essence of the city” is “a basic instinct that is innate to us from the instinct of the Nordic race”. For him, democracy was the result of the Jewish world conspiracy . Germany must get bigger, especially in an easterly direction. May the German youth sing the old song of German emigrants again: “We want to ride to Ostland”. On the other hand, Kenstler despised the attitude of the NSDAP as opportunistic and attested National Socialism from 1931 onwards as a "Roman-Fascist being" that only brought new foreign infiltration and was "Roman-Western and capitalist susceptibility".

Kenstler did not have German citizenship. He was expelled several times from individual states of the German Reich, for example in 1929 as an "annoying foreigner" from Prussia. Erich Ludendorff's Volkswarte magazine and the Berliner Börsen-Zeitung took his side with protests . After his expulsion, according to his biographer Johann Böhm , he “tied himself more closely to the party leadership of the NSDAP”. The conviction that the peasant question could only be solved through the NSDAP shaped his political views until his death. Even Hitler, who humiliated him, disappointed Kenstler, but he remained "as a party member of the NSDAP and the ideology of National Socialism". After being expelled from Prussia again in 1932, he went to Bad Berka in Thuringia, where he founded an “educational institution for the German people”.

The magazine Blut und Boden was banned under a pretext in March 1934 at Darré's instigation. According to Johann Böhm, both Kenstler and Walther Darré, who was long-time friends with him and had a close ideology, believed that they could initiate a permanent consolidation of the agricultural structure and a "racial renewal" of the German people. Böhm sees the careerist motives and activities of the rising star Darré behind the fall of Kenstler.

Kenstler subsequently found an activity in the sphere of influence of the German Christians with Regional Bishop Walther Schultz , Schwerin, and remained loyal to her until his death. Heinrich Himmler, 1929 Gaufführer of the Artamanen in Bavaria, had also offered him a monthly "honorary salary". The patient with diabetes died in a diabetic coma .

Himmler secured Kenstler an "honorary funeral" as an " old fighter ", at which regional bishop Schultz positioned himself with a positive review of Artamanen, the magazine Blut und Boden , "Grenzlandkampf" and others.

The post-National Socialist reception of Kenstler's Vita includes the interpretation that he was a "rebel" and the incorrect assumption that he never belonged to the NSDAP, and therefore could never have been a National Socialist, so in the context of a lecture by in Kreis of the Transylvanian Saxony committed professor for special education Andreas Möckel . Kenstler was an idealistic nationalist.

The historian and Kenstler biographer Johann Böhm, in a critical examination of an article by the former Artaman leader Rudolf Proksch on Kenstler in the Südostdeutsche Vierteljahresblätter , instead of discussing the questions “soberly” and “in the light of the sources”, “the Kenstler's life after 1923 determined ", the author and the editorial team of this magazine tried to" portray Kenstler as a national literary writer, preacher and fighter who stood at a distance from 'National Socialism'. "That would not do justice to the facts.


  • Johann Böhm: August Georg Kenstler, editor of the monthly “Blood and Soil” and active champion of the National Socialist agricultural policy. In: Half-yearly publication for Southeast European history, literature and politics. Volume 15, 2003, No. 1, pp. 19-43
  • Andreas Möckel: August Georg Kenstler. Member of a lost generation. In: Journal for Transylvanian Cultural Studies. 4th episode, Volume 35, 2012, Issue 2, pp. 219-227

Individual evidence

  1. a b Rudolf Proksch: August Georg Kenstler, the artaman leader from Transylvania . In: Südostdeutsche Vierteljahresblätter. Volume 29, 1980, pp. 275-279.
  2. Rudolf Proksch: August Georg Kenstler, the Artaman leader from Transylvania. In: Südostdeutsche Vierteljahresblätter. Volume 29, 1980, pp. 275-279, here: p. 276.- Proksch, geb. June 16, 1908 in Baden near Vienna , was a member of the Artamanen , see his appeal: Artamanen. The beginning of a movement for the return of young people to the countryside, in the magazine Wille und Macht, 1939, p. 22. In the Lemma Udo Proksch , his son, more about himself.
  3. ^ Stefan Brauckmann: Historical Background. The Artaman Movement in the Weimar Republic. In: Brown Ecologists. Background and structures using the example of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Heinrich Böll Foundation, Writings on Democracy, Volume 26). Pp. 29–50, here: p. 44.
  4. Michael H. Kater: The "Ahnenerbe" of the SS, 1935-1945. A contribution to the cultural policy of the Third Reich. Munich 2006, p. 27.
  5. ^ A b Hans-Christian Brandenburg: The history of the HJ. Paths and wrong turns of a generation. Cologne 1968, p. 77.
  6. Sarah Jost: Among people's comrades. Agrarian romance and hostility to the big cities . In: Falk Blask and Thomas Friedrich (eds.): Image of man and face of the people. Positions on portrait photography under National Socialism . Münster 2005, pp. 104–120, here: p. 115.
  7. a b c d e f g h Johann Böhm : August Georg Kenstler, editor of the monthly “Blut und Boden” and an active champion of the National Socialist agricultural policy. In: Half-yearly publication for Southeast European history, literature and politics. Volume 15, 2003, No. 1, pp. 19-43, see: [1]
  8. ^ Günter Wackwitz: Willibald Hentschel, Bruno Tanzmann and the Association of Artamans. In: Hubert Orłowski, Günter Hartung (Hrsg.): Traditions and the search for tradition of German fascism . 4. Protocol volume (Seria Filologia germańska, volume 36), Poznań 1992, p. 58f.
  9. Michael Kater: The Artamanen . In: Historical magazine. Volume 213, 1971, pp. 577-638, here: p. 581.
  10. ^ Georg Lilienthal: Völkische Roots National Socialist Racial Policy. The example of the “Bund Kinderland” eV In: Michael Hubenstorf, Ragnhild Münch, Heinz-Peter Schmiedebach, Sigrid Stöckel (ed.): Medical history and social criticism. Festschrift for Gerhard Baader (= treatises on the history of medicine and natural sciences, volume 81). Matthiesen Verlag, Husum 1997, pp. 340-349, here pp. 340 and 342.
  11. Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vocabulary of National Socialism. Berlin 2007, p. 111.
  12. Patrick Moreau : National Socialism from the Left. The "Combat Community of Revolutionary National Socialists" and Otto Strasser's "Black Front" 1930–1935 . DVA, Stuttgart 1985, p. 121.
  13. ^ Horst Gies: NSDAP and agricultural organizations in the final phase of the Weimar Republic . In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 15 (1967): pp. 343–345. PDF
  14. a b Klaus Bergmann : Agrarian romanticism and big city hostility (= Marburg treatises on political science, volume 20). Marburg 1970, pp. 290, 294.
  15. This and the previous information according to: Johann Böhm: August Georg Kenstler, editor of the monthly “Blut und Boden” and active champion of the National Socialist agricultural policy. In: Half-yearly publication for Southeast European history, literature and politics. March 27, 2009, see: [2]
  16. ^ Otto-Ernst Schüddekopf : Left people from the right. The national revolutionary minorities and communism in the Weimar Republic. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1960, p. 491.
  17. ^ Johann Böhm: Hitler's vassals of the German ethnic group in Romania before and after 1945 . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2006, p. 52.
  18. ^ A b Stefan Brauckmann: The Artaman Movement in Mecklenburg. In: Contemporary history regional. Messages from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. 2008, Issue 2, pp. 68–78, here: p. 68.
  19. Rudolf Proksch: August Georg Kenstler, the Artaman leader from Transylvania. In: Südostdeutsche Vierteljahresblätter. Volume 29, 1980, pp. 275-279, here: p. 278.
  20. ^ Gerda Müller-Fleischer, lecture in Würzburg: a Schäßburger rebel, in: Siebenbürger Zeitung. Newspaper of the Communities of Transylvanian Saxony, April 18, 2012, see: [3] ; see: Hans Beyer , Die Agrarkrise und die Landvolkbewegung in the years 1928 - 1932. A contribution to the history of “revolutionary” peasant movements between the two world wars, in: Archive for Agrarian History of the Holstein Elbmarschen, H. 5/6, 1983, p. 156–184, here: p. 158, see: [4] .