AW: Gruenendahl, German Indology and National Socialism (Was: No longer Language barriers --- financial barriers)

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Mon Mar 16 06:51:02 EDT 2009


I add my name to those who politely request that this debate in this form 
be conducted elsewhere.

The topic is of some genuine interest and relevance to the history of the 
field of indology, and is potentially appropriate for discussion on this 
list.  But much ink has already been spilled, and it seems to me that
at present, positions that have already been adequately articulated here 
and elsewhere are just being repeated.

What is particularly inappropriate is the personal tone of the exchanges. 
This isn't necessary, and while we all enjoy a bit of a tussle sometimes, 
it really has to be stopped in this forum and at this time.

As a member of the INDOLOGY committee, therefore, I would like to ask
all members of this list to cease posting on this topic for one week at 
least.  After that, if it is necessary to resume the discussion, it must 
absolutely be carried out in a genuinely impersonal manner.

With thanks to all parties,

Dominik Wujastyk


-- 
Dr Dominik Wujastyk




On Mon, 16 Mar 2009, Gruenendahl, Reinhold wrote:

> Pressure is building up to end this debate. So I'll be as concise as
> possible:
>
>
>
> Professor Franco's claim was:
>
>> It is touching to see how whenever Prof. Slaje is involved in a debate
>
>> Dr. Gruenendahl comes to his rescue.
>
> Since not "anyone" has access to the archive of the German INDOLOGIE-list
> where the exchange Professor Franco refers to took place, I have pasted the
> two relevant messages below. I hope this will show that I argued first and
> foremost in defence of freedom of information. If Prof. Franco feels that
> this is enough to prove his claim, I'm still waiting for a second example to
> prove the "whenever"-pattern.
>
> _______________________
>
>
>
> Meanwhile, Professor Franco has shifted the debate into yet another
> direction, claiming that my contribution to the Festschrift Gustav Roth was
> an "attempt to exonerate German Indology from its affiliation with National
> Socialism". For those who want to hear it, the title of my article says what
> it is about:
>
> "Von der Indologie zum Völkermord. Die Kontinuitätskonstrukte Sheldon
> Pollocks und seiner Epigonen im Lichte ihrer Beweisführung".
>
> My "agenda", as Professor Franco put it, was to examine the evidence Pollock
> and his epigones produce in support of their claim that "German Indology"
> contributed to the formulation of the National Socialist ideology. The result
> was that this supposed evidence was largely non-existent.
>
> This has nothing to do with exonerating "German indology" (a term Pollock
> leaves undefined). That some indologists were members of the NSDAP is
> undisputed, but it still remains to be shown that they contributed to the
> formation of NS ideology, and if so, that their contribution was in any way
> informed by their being indologists.
>
> My examination involved a differentiated look at the positions taken by
> Walther Wüst and Erich Frauwallner. This part is the source of Professor
> Franco's discontextualized quotes, and I must leave it to the discretion of
> the reader whether they are an adequate representation of my article.
>
> If required, I can discuss Professor Franco's charges point by point, but for
> the time being I shall leave it at that.
>
>
>
> Reinhold Grünendahl
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> Von: Indology im Auftrag von franco at RZ.UNI-LEIPZIG.DE
> Gesendet: Mo 16.03.2009 03:50
> An: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
> Betreff: Gruenendahl, German Indology and National Socialism (Was: No longer
> Language barriers --- financial barriers)
>
>
>
> Quoting "Gruenendahl, Reinhold" <gruenen at SUB.UNI-GOETTINGEN.DE>:
>
>> Since Professor Franco indicated that he was too busy for proving his
> earlier
>> claims it would indeed be too much to ask him to substantiate his latest
>> charges.
>
> Even this very statement is a distortion or ?fabrication.? I never
> said or indicated that I am too busy to prove my claims. Dr.
> Gruenendahl asked for one example (?may I ask you to give one
> example??) and I gave him one example. He may not like the example, he
> may think that the example is no good, but he cannot (or should not)
> claim that I did not take the time to write to him.
>
> Further, I tried to take this discussion off the list, honestly
> thinking that ?everybody had enough of this.? But Gruenendahl knows
> better. The real reason why I do not want to discuss it on the list,
> he claims, is that I do not want to discuss the example in public (?I
> understand that this is the reason why he would rather not discuss it
> in public.?). Basically he accuses me of being dishonest. But this
> accusation is plainly absurd. We already discussed this example in
> public, and Gruenendahl knows it because he himself participated in
> the discussion. If anyone is interested, they can find the discussion
> in the archive of the German Indologie discussion group.
>
> Evidence for ad hominem argument and cheap psychological analysis was
> already given in the last message, but if it needs to be ?proved?, I
> quote: ?I cannot see who expects to gain from
> this, except in terms of attention - undeserved attention, in my
> view.?  It is clear from the context that this statement refers to me.
>
> The most  significant point, however, which should have a broader
> appeal, is Dr. Gruenendahl?s attempt to exonerate German Indology from
> its affiliation with National Socialism. I think the issue is
> important and want to discuss it in some detail, without, however,
> being exhaustive.
>
> The publication in question is Gruenendahl?s contribution to Gustav
> Roth?s Felicitation Volume, entitled ?Von der Indologie zum
> Völkermord,? In U. Hüsken, P. Kieffer-Pülz and A. Peters [eds.],
> Jaina-Itih?sa-Ratna. Festschrift für Gustav Roth zum 90. Geburtstag.
> Marburg 2006, pp. 209-236. Already when I first read it, I was
> dismayed not only by Gruenendahl?s occasionally spiteful criticism of
> Sheldon Pollock, but also by the way Gruenendahl misunderstands and
> misrepresents his sources, especially in his attempt to exonerate
> Frauwallner from the charge, made by Pollock, of having been
> affiliated with National Socialist ideology.
>
> Gruenendahl (p. 217) argues (and this is typical for his emotional
> style) that one would thoroughly misunderstand Pollock?s intentions if
> one would drag them down to the level of facts, which are a negligible
> quantity in the age of ?polyvalent? discourse. He states that Pollock
> does not use facts to determine reality, but resorts to strategic
> choices and interpretations of the materials to draw maximum attention
> to himself (!). Had I tried, I could not have found a better way to
> describe Gruenendahl?s own approach to the topic.
>
> I will illustrate the above with ?facts.? But let me first note
> Gruenendahl?s remarkable lack of sensitivity to the historical and
> political context. A racist or racialist statement made in Germany in
> 1939 or 1942 cannot be divorced from this context, and to argue, as
> Gruenendahl does (e.g., p. 232 and passim), that similar statements
> were already made by racists of previous generations (such as
> Gobineau, Renan, etc.) and that it is therefore not evident that these
> ideas (as expressed e.g., by Frauwallner in 1944) are associated with
> National Socialist ideology, is not only naïve, but preposterous.
>
> Here are a few examples of how Gruenendahl twists his source material.
>
> Frauwallner (in 1944) approvingly quotes von Soden to the effect that
> only the Indo-Europeans, which are determined by the Nordic race, are
> capable of creating science properly speaking and states that ?on the
> basis of our investigations up to now we cannot but agree with this
> statement? (? ?daß Wis¬sen¬schaft im strengen Sinn des Wortes etwas
> ist, das nur von den von der nordischen Rasse bestimmten Indogermanen
> geschaffen werden konnte? (S. 556). Wir können dieser Behauptung auf
> Grund unserer bisherigen Betrachtungen nur beistimmen.?).
>
> Gruenendahl (p. 232) interprets this statement to mean that
> Frauwallner at least signalized some reserve in his endorsement of von
> Soden?s statement (?? einen Vorbehalt zumindest angedeutet?). This
> interpretation of a stereotypical expression (?auf Grund unserer
> bisherigen Betrachtungen?) is simply tendentious and farfetched. There
> is certainly nothing in this context to support it.
>
> Frauwallner?s confident perception of himself as a true pioneer of
> solid philological research into the history of Indian philosophy is
> misinterpreted by Gruenendahl (p. 231) to mean that Frauwallner stated
> that the relevant direction of Indological research (i.e., research
> that is programmatically determined by the aspect of race) was in its
> beginning?an unsuccessful attempt by Gruenendahl to show, on the
> alleged authority of Frauwallner himself, that Indologists up to this
> time had not yet followed this line of research.
>
> Furthermore, in his polemical zeal Gruenendahl misre¬presents
> Frauwallner?s hypothesis of two distinct, racially conditioned
> historical phases of Indian philosophy and inverts Frauwallner?s
> judgement about the second period: he presents Frauwallner?s reference
> to the peak (occurring in the first half of the second millennium) of
> the development of Indian philosophy in its *second*, clearly inferior
> phase as the view that ?the mingling of the two races? was fruitful
> and even led to a new peak of its own kind of Indian philosophy (p.
> 229)!
>
> Gruenendahl seems to ignore that Frauwallner repeated his racist
> interpretation of Indian philosophy even after the war (and without
> any reservations) in his ?History of Indian Philosophy,? Vol. I, pp.
> 26-27. In this context, Frauwallner?s usage of the typical Nazi term
> ?Volkskörper? (nation?s body) has to be noted. As is well known, the
> National Socialists thought of the German nation as a body to be kept
> healthy, clean and free from disease, obnoxious influences and
> parasites (such as minorities belonging to so-called inferior races).
> The same racist historical interpretation is repeated as late as 1959
> in Frauwallner?s article ?Indische Philosophie.? This time at least he
> adds that a definitive statement about this, i.e., the racial
> background of the two developmental phases of Indian philosophy, seems
> ?premature? (verfrüht).
>
> That Frauwallner was an anti-Semite is certainly not an unfounded
> inference by Pollock (as Gruenendahl claims on p. 233), but a well
> attested fact. Even though there are no direct anti-Semitic statements
> in Frauwallner?s writings, there are other sources that testify
> clearly to his anti-Semitism well after WW II (cf., for instance, the
> sources utilized by Jakob Stuchlik?s dissertation submitted to the
> University of Vienna in 2005 and his forthcoming monograph on the
> background of Frauwallner?s ?Aryan hypothesis? to be published by the
> Austrian Academy of Sciences). It is arbitrary and unacceptable to
> form a judgement on the basis of published Indological studies alone.
>
> Gruenendahl points out some differences between Frauwallner?s
> statements and those of Chamberlain (p. 228) and the agreement of the
> former with Gobineau?s positions (p. 229), but fails to indicate
> Frauwallner?s more immediate sources of inspiration. One such source
> is the renowned Vedic and Bud¬dhist scholar Hermann Oldenberg, whom
> Frauwallner admired; some of the former?s statements seem to have been
> of direct inspiration to him. I will quote from this source below
> because I believe that it is not well known and interesting reading
> (Die Literatur des alten Indien, pp. 132-133).
>
> More details on the relationship between Frauwallner?s work on the
> history of Indian philosophy and his National Socialist ideology are
> available in a preface by Karin Preisendanz and myself to a
> forthcoming reprint of Frauwallner?s Philosophie des Buddhismus.
>
> As for Gruenendahl?s confident statement that there is evidently no
> ideological consensus between Walther Wüst and Ludwig Alsdorf (p.
> 213), and his denial that racist ideology did not at all affect
> Alsdorf?s scholarly work (p. 225), compare the first chapter of
> Alsdorf?s ?Indien? in the Weltpolitische Bücherei (supervised by
> Alfred Rosenberg himself), second edition, Deutscher Verlag Berlin,
> 1942, especially pp. 12-13.
>
> To be sure, Pollock?s statements and hypotheses are at times daring
> and sweeping, but they constitute the beginning of the exploration of
> this phase of the history of our discipline, all the more so as, more
> than sixty years after WWII, no German Indologist has attempted to
> undertake the task of coming to terms with Indology during this dark
> period of German history. In this sense, Gruenendahl?s announced
> monograph will be very welcome indeed. One only hopes that it will be
> less biased than his paper referred to above.
>
> With best wishes,
> Eli Franco
>
> P.S. For Prof.  Slaje?s eloquent praise of Gruenendahl?s work and
> method, cf. his message to the list dated January 9, 2007.
>
> H. Oldenberg, Die Literatur des alten Indien, 2nd ed., Stuttgart 1923,
> pp. 132-133:
> ?Above all there were probably influences [by the indi¬genous people
> of India] that worked in a very pro¬found way which we can only
> surmise: through the gradually progressing transformation of the
> blood, which means a transformation of the Soul, through the constant
> influx of new quantities of the blood of savages and semi-savages into
> the veins of those who still called themselves Aryans. Zeus and Apollo
> continued to rule as long as there were Greek gods because the Greek
> nation remained the same. Indra and Agni had to leave the field to
> other gods because the Indian nation had become a different one. For
> these minds, in which an inscrutable jumble of anta¬gonistic powers,
> intertwined with each other, unleashed at each other, was at work, the
> Vedic gods were much too guile¬lessly simple; their being was all too
> easily exhausted. They had come from the North: now tropical gods were
> needed. These were hardly of fixed shapes any longer; they were whole
> tangles of shapes, bodies from which oozed heads upon heads, arms upon
> arms, multi¬tudes of hands holding multitudes of attributes, clubs and
> lotus flowers: voluptuous, sombre and grandiose poetry every¬where,
> exuberance and blurred shapelessness: a terrible disaster for the fine
> arts? (?Vor allem werden jene Ein¬flüsse (scil. der Urbewohner
> Indiens) in einer tiefsten Weise gewirkt haben, die wir nur ahnen
> können: durch die allmählich fortschreitende Wandlung des Blutes, die
> eine Wandlung der Seele bedeutet, durch das be¬ständige Ein¬strömen
> neuer Mengen von Wilden- und Halb¬wil¬den¬blut in die Adern derer, die
> sich noch immer Arier nann¬ten. Zeus und Apollon haben ihre Herrschaft
> be¬halten, solange es griechische Götter gab, denn das Grie¬chenvolk
> blieb dasselbe. Indra und Agni mussten andern Göttern das Feld räumen,
> denn das indische Volk war ein andres ge¬worden. Für diese Geister, in
> denen un¬er¬gründliche Mischungen widerstreitender Kräfte,
> mit¬einander ver¬schlungen, gegeneinander entfesselt, ihr Spiel
> trieben, waren die Vedagötter allzu kindlich einfach; gar zu leicht
> war ihr Wesen ausgeschöpft. Sie waren von Norden ge¬kommen: jetzt
> brauchte man tropische Götter. Es waren kaum mehr feste Gestalten; es
> waren ganze Gestal¬ten¬knäuel, Körper, aus denen Köpfe über Köpfe,
> Arme über Arme hervor¬quollen, Mengen von Händen, die Mengen von
> Attributen, Keulen und Lotusblumen halten: überall üppige und düstere,
> grandiose Poesie, Überfülle und ver¬schwommene Formlosigkeit: Ein
> böses Verhängnis für die bildende Kunst.?)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>> [A pedantic correction: We met in Berlin on one or two occasions, and I
>> remember them as rather pleasant.]
>>
>>
>>
>> Reinhold Grünendahl
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>>
>> Von: Indology im Auftrag von franco at RZ.UNI-LEIPZIG.DE
>> Gesendet: Sa 14.03.2009 23:47
>> An: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
>> Betreff: No longer Language barriers --- financial barriers
>>
>>
>>
>> I guess I was wrong; unfortunately, not everybody had enough of this.
>> So here we go for one more round, hopefully the last. I apologize for
>> responding a bit late; I was busy during the last few days.
>>
>> Dr. Gruenendahl is right. Two times are not enough to establish a
>> pattern. Perhaps next time he will side with me against a point made
>> by Prof. Slaje, but I somehow doubt it.
>>
>> What I object to, of course, is not the fact that he takes sides in a
>> discussion, but to his aggressive manner, malicious distortion of what
>> I said, his use of ad hominem arguments, and cheap psychological
>> analysis of the type ?Franco writes because he wants to draw attention
>> to himself, undeserved attention.? In the same vein I could say, e.g.,
>> ?Gruenendahl?s offensiveness is only due to some personal frustration,
>> deserved frustration.? However, I do not want to regress to
>> Kindergarten level.
>>
>> Some of you have voiced the concern that the list has become a place
>> for personal and private battles. I can assure you that there was
>> absolutely nothing personal in my remark about the Glasenapp
>> Foundation. Furthermore, Dr. Gruenendahl and I do not know each other;
>> at least I do not remember ever meeting him.
>>
>> Further, I do not think that Dr. Gruenendahl *purposefully* distorts
>> what I said, but that his vision is blurred by some agenda. The same
>> kind of distortion, at times even spiteful criticism he displays in
>> some of his published work, notably in his attempt to exonerate German
>> Indology from the charge of having been affiliated with National
>> Socialism. There was a discussion about this last year on the list.
>>
>> With best wishes,
>> Eli Franco
>>
>> Quoting "Gruenendahl, Reinhold" <gruenen at SUB.UNI-GOETTINGEN.DE>:
>>
>>> On 9 Mar 2009 at 21:09, franco at RZ.UNI-LEIPZIG.DE wrote:
>>>
>>>> I will try to refresh Dr. Gruenendahl's memory off the list. I am sure
>>>
>>>> everybody had enough of this by now.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Apologies to everybody who has had enough of this.
>>>
>>> I thank Professor Franco for his kind assistance in refreshing my memory.
>> As
>>> I see it, the significance of the case he referred to offline lies not so
>>> much in my agreement with Walter Slaje (actually I had endorsed his
>>> forwarding of third-party information), but in my perceived disagreement
>> with
>>> Professor Franco, who was not altogether disinterested in the case and its
>>> decision before a German court. I understand that this is the reason why
> he
>>> would rather not discuss it in public.
>>>
>>> So we still are where we were yesterday: I would have to consider
> Professor
>>> Franco's remark a mere fabrication unless he comes up with evidence that
> is
>>> presentable to the public, preferably a case in which he had no personal
>>> interest, if that isn't asking too much. It goes without saying that at
>> least
>>> one more example would be needed to get anywhere near the
>> "whenever"-pattern
>>> insinuated in his remark.
>>>
>>> Talking about patterns, there is another one that seems all too familiar:
>> "I
>>> have made my point, and now that I have been asked to prove it I am sure
>>> everyone had enough of it."
>>>
>>> Reinhold Grünendahl
>>>
>>> *****************************************
>>>
>>> On 9 Mar 2009 at 17:15, franco at RZ.UNI-LEIPZIG.DE wrote:
>>>
>>>> It is touching to see how whenever Prof. Slaje is involved in a debate
>>>
>>>> Dr. Gruenendahl comes to his rescue.
>>>
>>>> Best wishes
>>>
>>>> EF
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>> This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
>>
>>
>
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
>
>
>
>
> #################################################################
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
>
> From: "gruenendahl" <gruenen at mail.sub.uni-goettingen.de>
>
> To: "Eli Franco" <e.franco at NUSURF.AT>; "Informationsaustausch der
>
> deutschsprachigen Indologie" <INDOLOGIE at LISTSERV.UNI-HEIDELBERG.DE>
>
> Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 10:56 AM
>
> Subject: Re: Urteil Oberverwaltungsgericht Hamburg zu Berufungsverfahren
>
>
>
> Ich kann weder erkennen, weshalb der Hinweis von Herrn Slaje auf eine
>
> im Internet zugängliche Information "einiger Präzisierungen und
>
> Ergänzungen" bedürfte, noch, welchen Beitrag die Einlassung von Herrn
>
> Franco dazu ggf. leisten könnte. Gegenstand der Nachricht von Herrn
>
> Slaje war die Bereitstellung der Information, nicht das Gerichtsurteil. Den
>
> Hinweis von Herrn Slaje nehme ich dankend zur Kenntnis, die kaum
>
> objektiv zu nennende Einschätzung des Berufungsverfahrens (" ... zum
>
> Himmel stinkt ..." etc.) sowie des in der Sache ergangenen Urteils sollte
>
> aus meiner Sicht nicht Gegenstand dieser Liste sein.
>
>
>
> Mit freundlichen Grüßen
>
> Reinhold Grünendahl
>
> *****************************************************************************
> ********
>
>
>
>
>
> Absender: "Eli Franco" <e.franco at NUSURF.AT>
>
> Empf nger: <INDOLOGIE at LISTSERV.UNI-HEIDELBERG.DE>
>
> Datum: 27. Sep 2005 02:05
>
> Betreff: Re: Urteil Oberverwaltungsgericht Hamburg zu Berufungsverfahren
>
> Herr Gruenendahl liest nicht richtig. Herr Slajes Nachricht ist nicht bloss
>
> ein Hinweis, sondern auch eine Behauptung, naemlich dass der Urteil des
>
> Oberverwaltungsgerichts Hamburg "auch für die Indologie von erheblicher
>
> Relevanz sein d rfte", und dies ist falsch oder "bedarf einer
>
> Praezisierung", weil jedes Bundesland ein anderes Hochschulgesetz hat.
>
> Welche Motivation hinter diesem angeblich neutralem Hinweis steht, vermag
>
> ich nicht zu sagen.
>
> Herr Gruenendahl folgert auch nicht richtig. Nur aus der Behauptung, dass
>
> das Verfahren stinkt, kann man nicht erschliessen, dass die Behauptung nicht
>
> "objektiv" ist. Manche Verfahren stinken auch "objektiv" und im vorliegenden
>
> Fall wurden auch die durchaus nachweisbaren, objektiven Indizien dafuer
>
> angefuehrt.
>
> Mir ist ferner nicht ersichtlich warum er nur fuer eine gewisse Art von
>
> Information dankbar ist, und nicht fuer eine andere.
>
> Ich bin jedoch im Grunde ganz Herrn Gruenendahls Meinung. Das Urteil sollte
>
> nicht Gegenstand
>
> einer Diskussion in dieser Liste sein und ich haette auch nichts darueber
>
> geschrieben, wenn Herr
>
> Slaje nicht mit seinem "objektiven" Hinweis und seiner Behauptung eben eine
>
> solche provoziert
>
> haette.
>
> Mit freundliche Gruessen
>
> Eli Franco
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


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