Indology and "the disastrous ideology of the 'pure Aryan race'"

Harry Falk falk at ZEDAT.FU-BERLIN.DE
Wed Jan 10 10:57:33 UTC 2007

Dear George,
"Ahnenerbe" was an institution run by Himmler and the likes. Its chief 
was Alfred Rosenberg, a fanatical nazi, hanged Nürnberg 1946. Altheim 
was a classical philologist, became professor 1948 in Halle for "History 
of Antiquity" and taught from 1950-1964 at the Free University Berlin, 
which was founded with the substantial help of the American forces in 
Berlin. He had been close to the Nazis, but was, different from many 
others, also a very productive and leading historian.
In the present discussion we have to keep in mind:
- Altheim is NOT an indologist (and the discussion centres around 
indologists and not around indo-arians christened indologists, nor 
historians writing inter alia on matters Indian).
    Yesterday by chance I looked up the history of the German Research 
Foundation in the 3rd Reich described in a recent research publication 
and checked the register for indologists. Only one was found dealt with, 
Heinrich Lüders, and he was not part of those scientists who did 
whatever the party asked from them. Instead, he was hated for opposing 
their streamlining the society.
    Altheim may have had his convictions. Sticking to one's convictions 
is not a crime in itself, however, he should have listed to Herbert Spencer:
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is 
proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in 
everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
    By the way, George, did you read the book? Did it contain anything 
that was worth remembering?
Harry Falk

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