Herman Wirth

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Herman Wirth (1920)

Herman Wirth , also Herman Wirth Roeper Bosch , Herman Felix Wirth , Hermann Wirth (* May 6, 1885 in Utrecht ; † February 16, 1981 in Kusel ) was a Dutch humanities scholar who worked mainly in Germany and was an important National Socialist functionary and co-founder of the German Ahnenerbe Research Association the SS .


Hermann Wirth studied Dutch philology , German literature , history and musicology and received his doctorate in 1910 with the thesis The Downfall of the Dutch Folk Song . He then taught Dutch philology at the University of Bern . During the First World War , Wirth supported the Flemish separatists in German-occupied Belgium and volunteered for the front. He was appointed titular professor in 1916 by the German Kaiser Wilhelm II . After he had founded a national organization in the Netherlands in 1919 , August 1922 was given an honorary professorship in Marburg . After working as a grammar school teacher in Sneek (Netherlands) for some time , Wirth settled in Marburg in February 1924 and joined the NSDAP in 1925 , which he initially left the next year without dissociating himself from National Socialism; so he propagated the swastika as a "species-specific symbol of salvation".

His work on the “prehistory of the Atlantic-Nordic race”, which he wrote during this period, was very well received in national circles. In 1932 the National Socialist state government in Mecklenburg-Schwerin set up the Research Institute for Spiritual History in Bad Doberan for Wirth , which was popular among experts as well as National Socialists Was extremely controversial among intellectuals. After the NSDAP came to power , he rejoined the NSDAP (as well as the SS, membership number 258.776) in 1934. Adolf Hitler reassigned him to his old membership number (20.151).

In the early days of the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1935, the major churches of both denominations were intensely preoccupied with an ideological confrontation with Neopaganism . The corresponding statements could still appear in book form. Tendencies towards German-Völkisch Neopaganism could be found among other things in the Deutschkirche , a predecessor organization of the German Christians, as well as in a radical form in the Tannenbergbund of the Ludendorff couple. Hermann Wirth was one of those who tried to reinterpret Christianity in the folkish sense and who propagated a Nordic origin of the original monotheism. The German Faith Movement represented a collection movement, which comprised numerous neo-pagan and free religious groups, which, founded in 1933, strove for corporate status. In addition to Jakob Wilhelm Hauer , Wirth and, until 1934, Ernst Bergmann were among the leading members . This group also included numerous (formerly communist) free thinkers.

In 1935 he was one of the founders of the SS “Research Foundation of German Ahnenerbe” project, which was sponsored by Heinrich Himmler and Richard Walther Darré , from which he retired in 1938 due to ideological differences with Himmler, who did not share Wirth's ideas about matriarchy . Since Wirth's research, which was not only academically hardly recognized, did not fit in with the still rather heterogeneous NS organizations, he was ousted from the Ahnenerbe in 1938, but received research grants until 1944/45. After the end of National Socialism, Wirth passed this off as persecution.

Interned in 1945 by the US troops for two years, he moved to Sweden for a few years and returned to Marburg in 1954, where he lived as a private scholar. Although he continued to defend National Socialist Germany ideologically, Wirth's teachings on “primitive cultures” found resonance in the developing alternative scene and in support groups for the North American natives in the 1970s. On the mediation of the Wirth student and SPD member Roland Häke , Willy Brandt visited Wirth in Marburg in 1979, and the Rhineland-Palatinate state government temporarily supported a project to set up a museum with Wirth's ethnographic collection in the tithe barn of Lichtenberg Castle . In addition, Wirth supporters tried to found an institute for community studies . Wirth's ideas are still followed today.

In addition to the cultural philosopher Otfried Eberz , the racist Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss and Bernhard Kummer , Herman Wirth became an important reference author for the issue of mother rights in writings by women, especially ethnic women of the 1920s and 30s, but also to parts of the spiritual women's movement today.

to teach

Herman Wirth was of the opinion that in the Neolithic Age the Germanic peoples lived in a state of matriarchy in harmony with nature. According to Wirth, it is necessary to return to this state of affairs, which presupposes the "purebred" of the Aryans . Through the enforcement of the patriarchal army king and priesthood and reinforced with the emergence of Christianity (for Wirth, Jewish and “alien”), this paradisiacal original state was destroyed. National Socialism was an attempt to bring back the "native and native, down-to-earth tradition". In his theories, Wirth generally argued openly racist , anti-Semitic and social Darwinist . So he demanded the annihilation of people who are regarded as "unworthy of life" and "perky inferior".

In the ancestral heritage, Wirth and Himmler combined, according to Michael Kater, "making people aware and recreating supposed values ​​from the long-gone world of the Germanic ancestors and making the 'heritage' gained in this way usable on the practical-ideological level of National Socialism ".

Wirth's historical and ethnographic theses were and are unanimously rejected by the scientific community and cannot be substantiated by any sources. The Ura Linda Chronicle , which Wirth used as evidence for his theses and was first published in 1872 - a chronicle supposedly written in Old Frisian - is not an ancient text, but a contemporary forgery.

Ludwig Roselius - close to the folk-Nordic ideas - was inspired by Wirth's book Rise of Humanity to build a building in Bremen's Böttcherstraße , the Atlantis House designed by Bernhard Hoetger in 1930/31 .

Reception: primeval Europe and neo-paganism

The association “Ur-Europa” emerged from the “Society for European Urgemeinschaftskunde / Herman Wirth Gesellschaft” founded in June 1957 with Wirth's participation. Ideologically he refers to Wirth and his construction of a higher-quality, Nordic-Germanic race. Wirth's ideas are received in large parts of the neo-pagan scene, sometimes rejected as " ethnic esotericism ".

Fonts (selection)

(see the detailed list of publications on the Dutch Wikipedia )

  • The rise of mankind. Investigations into the history of religion, symbolism and writing of the Atlantic-Nordic race. E. Diederichs, Jena 1928.
  • The sacred original of mankind. Investigations in the history of symbols on both sides of the North Atlantic. Koehler & Amelang, Leipzig 1931–1936.
  • The Ura Linda Chronicle. Translated and published with an introductory historical study. Koehler & Amelang, Leipzig 1933.
  • What does German mean? A retrospective of the history of the spirit for self-reflection and self-determination. E. Diederichs, Jena 1931; 2nd edition 1934.


  • Hellmuth Auerbach : Ahnenerbe eV In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism. dtv, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-33007-4 .
  • Eberhard Baumann: Directory of the writings, manuscripts and lectures by Herman Felix Roeper Bosch from 1908 to 1993 as well as the writings for, against, about and about the person and work of Herman Wirth from 1908 to 1995. Toppenstedt 1995
  • Wolfgang Benz (ed.): Handbook of Antisemitism , Vol. 2/2. Berlin 2009, pp. 889-89.
  • Aat P. van Gilst: Herman Wirth. Soesterberg 2006
  • Eduard Gugenberger, Roman Schweidlenka: Mother Earth, Magic and Politics. Between fascism and new society . Osnabrück 1987, Neuadr. 2005, pp. 117-123.
  • Paul Hambruch : The errors and fantasies of Prof. Dr. Herman Wirth, Marburg, author of “Der Aufgang der Menschheit” and “Was ist deutsch?” Deutscher Polizei-Verlag, Lübeck 1931
  • Ekkehard Hieronimus : On the religiosity of the national movement. In: Hubert Cancik (ed.): Religious and intellectual history of the Weimar Republic. Patmos, Düsseldorf 1981, ISBN 3-491-77248-6 .
  • Arend Herman Huussen, Hermann Felix Wirth (1885-1981) in Nederland, België en Duitsland. Muziek en politiek 1885-1924 , Soesterberg 2018
  • Milan Horňáček: Politics of language in the "conservative revolution. Dresden 2014
  • Goffe Jensma: De gemaskerde god: François HaverSchmidt en het Oera Linda-boek . Zutphen 2004, pp. 182-187.
  • Horst Junginger: From Buddha to Adolf Hitler: Walther Wüst and the Aryan Tradition. In the S. (Ed.): The Study of Religion Under the Impact of Fascism . Leiden 2008, pp. 107-179.
  • Michael H. Kater: The Ahnenerbe, the research and teaching community of the SS: organizational history from 1933 to 1945 . Heidelberg 1966
  • Michael H. Kater: The "Ahnenerbe" of the SS 1935-1945: a contribution to the cultural policy of the Third Reich . Munich 2009
  • Luitgard Sofie Löw: På oppdrag for Himmler - Herman Wirths ekspedisjoner til Scandinavias hellerestninger. In: Terje Emberland , Jorunn Sem Fure (ed.): Jakten på Germania: fra nordensvermeri til SS-arkeologi. Humanist Forlag, Oslo 2009, ISBN 978-82-92622-54-4 , pp. 180-201.
  • This: Völkisch interpretations of prehistoric symbols. Herman Wirth and his environment. In: Uwe Puschner and Georg Ulrich Großmann (eds.): Völkisch und national. On the topicality of old thought patterns in the 21st century ( scientific supplements to the Anzeiger des Germanisches Nationalmuseums, Volume 29). Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2009, ISBN 3-534-20040-3 , pp. 214-232.
  • This: Son of God and Mother Earth on Bronze Age rock art: Herman Wirth and the volkische symbol research . Frankfurt am Main 2016 (Civilizations and History, Vol. 41)
  • Dirk Mahsarski: The Ahnenerbe of the SS (1935-1945): A Think Tank for Germanic Supremacy. Unpublished manuscript, circa 2011
  • Franz Mandl: The legacy of the ancestors: Ernst Burgstaller / Herman Wirth and the Austrian rock art research. In: Announcements from ANISA. Vol. 19/20 (1999), H. 1/2, pp. 41-67 ( abridged version )
  • Bernard Thomas Mees: The Science of the Swastika. Budapest / New York 2008, pp. 135–166.
  • Daniel Nösler : Research Institute for Intellectual History Bad Doberan. In: Ingo Haar , Michael Fahlbusch (Hrsg.): Handbuch der Völkischen Wissenschaften. K. G. Saur Verlag, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-598-11778-7 , pp. 178-182.
  • Uwe Puschner (ed.): Handbook on the völkisch movement 1871-1918. Saur, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-598-11241-6 .
  • Gerd Simon: Himmler's Bible and the most publicly effective panel discussion in the history of German studies (first part). , Tübingen, undated
  • Sönje Storm: The public debate on Herman Wirth's Ura-Linda-Chronik in Berlin (1934) . In: Birgitta Almgren (ed.): Images of the North in German Studies 1929-1945: Scientific Integrity or Political Adaptation. Huddinge 2002, pp. 79-97.
  • Arn Strohmeyer: Art under the sign of the Germanic ancestors and the rebirth of Germany: Ludwig Roselius and Bernhard Hoetger . In: Ders., Kai Artinger and Ferdinand Krogmann, Landscape, Light and Low German Myth: Worpswede Art and National Socialism . Weimar 2000, pp. 43-102, here pp. 58-62: Roselius' court scholar: Der Germanenschwärmer Herman Wirth
  • Franz Winter: The original monotheism theory in the service of National Socialist racial studies. Herman Wirth in the context of the religious studies and ethnological discussion of his time. In: Journal of Religious and Intellectual History . Vol. 62 (2010), Issue 2, pp. 157-174.
  • Franz Winter: What is the Buddha doing in an old Frisian chronicle? Buddhism and the religious history of Asia in the work of the Atlantis ideologist Herman Wirth. In: Zeitschrift fur Religionswissenschaft 25 (2017), pp. 30–52.
  • Ingo Wiwjorra: Herman Wirth: Life and Work. Master's thesis, Berlin: Freie Universität, 1988 ( pp. 90-99 , 100-115 , 116-120 , 126-128 )
  • Ingo Wiwjorra: Herman Wirth - A failed ideologue between "Ahnenerbe" and Atlantis. In: Barbara Danckwortt (Ed.): Historical research on racism. Ideologues, perpetrators, victims. Argument, Hamburg 1995, pp. 90-112, ISBN 3-88619-630-5 .
  • Ingo Wiwjorra: In anticipation of the “Holy Turn” - Hermann Wirth in the context of the ethnic-religious movement . In: Uwe Puschner, Clemens Vollnhals (ed.): The ethnic-religious movement in National Socialism: a history of relationships and conflicts. 2nd edition, Göttingen 2012, pp. 399–416.
  • Ingo Wiwjora: Herman Wirth . In: Michael Fahlbusch, Ingo Haar & Alexander Pinwinkler (eds.): Handbuch der Völkischen Wissenschaften. Actors, networks, research programs , 2nd revised. Ed., Berlin / Boston 2017, Vol. 1, pp. 902–907.
  • Julia Zernack : "German woman in house dress". Comments on the ideal of women by German scholars. In: Richard Faber, Susanne Lanwerd (ed.): Cybele - Prophetin - Hexe. Religious images of women and concepts of femininity. Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 1997, ISBN 3-8260-1350-6 .
  • Eva-Maria Ziege : The meaning of anti-Semitism in the reception of the mother-right theory. In: AG Gender-Killer: Anti-Semitism and Gender. About “effeminate Jews”, “masculinized Jews” and other gender images. Unrast, Münster 2005, ISBN 3-89771-439-6 .
  • Luitgard Sofie Löw : Son of God and Mother Earth on Bronze Age rock art. Herman Wirth and the national symbol research. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-631-59331-8 .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e See literature: Ziege, Wiwjorra, Hieronimus.
  2. a b c d e Gunther Schendel : The Hermannsburg Missionary Institution and National Socialism - the path of a Lutheran milieu institution between the Weimar Republic and the post-war period. LIT Verlag, Münster 2008, p. 300 ff.
  3. Walter Künneth , Helmuth Schreiner (ed.): The nation before God. On the message of the Church in the Third Reich. Berlin 1933.
  4. a b Eva-Maria Ziege: The meaning of anti-Semitism in the reception of the mother-right theory. In: AG Gender-Killer (Ed.): Anti-Semitism and Gender. About “effeminate Jews”, “masculinized Jews” and other gender images.
  5. Leg of the Divine. In: Der Spiegel , 40/1980 (September 29, 1980)
  6. ^ Non-profit society for European prehistory
  7. Michael Kater: The "Ahnenerbe" of the SS 1935–1945. A contribution to the cultural policy of the Third Reich. Munich 2006, p. 7f.
  8. House of Atlantis. Contribution by Radio Bremen ( Memento from August 18, 2013 in the web archive archive.today )
  9. Wiwjorra: Herman Wirth: life and work. Magiterarbeit, Berlin 1988, p. 98.
  10. Source Publikative.org : Ur-Europa mit Braunem Personal ( Memento from December 27, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on March 8, 2014.
  11. Uwe Puschner, Clemens Vollnhals (ed.): The ethnic-religious movement in National Socialism. A history of relationships and conflicts (= writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism, Vol. 47). Göttingen 2012, p. 416.
  12. NornirsAett: Wirths Erben , accessed on March 8, 2014.
  13. Was placed on the list of literature to be segregated after the end of the war in the Soviet occupation zone ; [1] .