Bernhard Kummer

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Bernhard Kummer , called Germanenbernhard , (born January 21, 1897 in Leipzig , † December 1, 1962 in Klingberg ) was a German specialist in German and Norse languages.


Title page of the publication Glaube und Tat of the German Unitarian Religious Community (1953) with a poem by Bernhard Kummer

Bernhard Kummer came from a merchant family and grew up in Leipzig, where he attended the Königin-Carola-Gymnasium from 1907 to 1916 . Shortly after graduating from high school , he reported to the Western Front in World War I , where he was captured by the French from 1918 to 1920. After returning to Leipzig in 1920, Kummer began studying German , history , philosophy and newspaper studies at the university there . After a break of four semesters in which he worked as a bookseller, Kummer studied Religious and Old Norse Science. He was Midgard's downfall in 1927 with his dissertation . Germanic cult and faith in the last pagan centuries in which Nordisten Eugen Mogk and the theologian Hans Haas in Leipzig doctorate .

On May 1, 1928, Kummer joined the NSDAP ( membership number 87,841) and the SA . In October 1930 he resigned from the NSDAP. From 1930 to 1935 Kummer was an assistant at Gustav Neckel in Berlin, with whom he had some differences of opinion over the years. Kummer wrote numerous articles for the concise dictionary of German superstition . He wrote for the Völkischer Beobachter , the Nazi training letters , the Nazi monthly notebooks and acted as editor and sometimes also as the author of the series of speeches and essays on Nordic thought .

1933 Kummer committed for the German Faith Movement of Jakob Wilhelm Hauer . In 1935 he was given a teaching position at the Berlin School of Politics. In 1936, at the suggestion of Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel , Kummer was appointed lecturer for Old Norse language and culture at the University of Jena and head of the Old Norse seminar there. Kummer's Germanic image was controversial within the Nazi regime. The Germanist Otto Höfler in particular criticized his theories in sharp words. Kummer's appointment to a chair was delayed for several years. The editorial team for the magazine Nordischeimmen gave up Kummer after disputes with the SS-Ahnenerbe in 1938. From 1939 he belonged to the Volksbund for Germanness Abroad and from 1940 to the Nazi Lecturer Association . From 1942 to 1945 Kummer was a full professor for Nordic language and culture and Germanic religious history at the University of Jena. Kummer belonged, among other things, to the group "Vital forces and beings of Indo-Europeanism in the war effort of the humanities". Kummer gave lectures to Norwegian students who were prisoners in Buchenwald concentration camp .

After the end of the war, Kummer was a prisoner of war in French internment, from which he was released in 1946. In the Soviet occupation zone in 1946 the writings he wrote and edited from the years 1933 to 1939 were placed on the list of literature to be segregated. From 1949 he worked at the Volkshochschule Lübeck and also received a scholarship from the German Research Foundation as a professor at Wv . From 1950 he worked for Jakob Wilhelm Hauer in the working group for free religious research and philosophy . Kummer was also the editor of the monthly research questions of our time , which appeared in the right-wing extremist and anti-Semitic publishing house Hohe Warte .


  • Midgard's downfall. Germanic cult and belief in the last pagan centuries . Leipzig 1927
  • Personality and community. (Volume 1 of: Hearth and Altar - Changes in Old Norse Morality in the Change of Faith) . Leipzig 1934
  • The power struggle between people, king and church in the old north. (Volume 2 of: Hearth and Altar - Changes in Old Norse Morality in the Change of Faith) . Leipzig 1939
  • Brunhild and Ragnarok. The design of the Icelandic Brünhild poem from the experience of the change of faith . Lübeck 1950
  • Fight for a sanctuary. The idea of ​​Irminsul and the importance of the Externsteine ​​in religious history . Hohe Warte - von Bebenburg, Pähl 1953
  • The royal road of Sverrir Unasson . Hohe Warte, Pähl 1953
  • The songs of the Codex Regius (Edda) and related monuments
    • Volume 1: Mythical Poetry. First part: The vision of the seer (Voluspa). Text, translation and additions to the history of religion. Zeven 1961
    • Volume 2: Hero poetry. First part: The poetry of Helgi and the Valkyrie. Text, translation, explanation. Zeven 1959


  • Michael Grüttner : Biographical Lexicon on National Socialist Science Policy (= Studies on Science and University History. Volume 6). Synchron, Heidelberg 2004, ISBN 3-935025-68-8 , p. 104.
  • Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich . Who was what before and after 1945 . 2nd Edition. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 .
  • Felix Wiedemann: Racial mother and rebel : images of witches in romanticism, folk movement, neo-paganism and feminism. Königshausen & Neumann, 2007, Section 2.4.1. Bernhard Kummer, pp. 151–155.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Ernst Klee: The personal dictionary for the Third Reich. Frankfurt am Main 2007, pp. 351f.
  2. ^ A b Felix Wiedemann: Racial Mother and Rebel : Images of witches in romanticism, ethnic movement, neo-paganism and feminism . 2007, p. 151f.
  3. ^ Fritz Paul: On the history of Scandinavian studies at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen , accessed on January 27, 2018
  4. ^ Fritz Heinrich: Bernhard Kummer (1897–1962) . In: Horst Junginger: The study of religion under the impact of fascism . Brill, Leiden, 2008; P. 251
  5. ^ Esther Gajek : Germanic Studies and National Socialism . In: Walter Schmitz , Clemens Vollnhals (Hrsg.): Völkische Movement, Conservative Revolution, National Socialism . Dresden 2005, p. 336 ff.
  6. ; ;
  7. Hubert Cancik , Uwe Puschner , Hubert Mohr: Antisemitism, Paganism, Völkische Religion . KG Saur, Munich 2004, p. 131.