Heinrich Claß (February 29, 1868,
Alzey – April 16, 1953, Jena) was
a German right-wing politician and president of the Pan-German League
from 1908 to 1939. He is commonly known for his books about far-right
policy, written under the pseudonym Daniel Frymann or Einhart. The
most famous of these was his 1912 book Wenn ich der Kaiser wär' (If I
were the emperor), in which he agitates for imperialism, Pan-Germanism
Claß studied law at the Humboldt University of Berlin, University of
Freiburg and the
University of Giessen
University of Giessen up to 1891. In 1894, he settled
Mainz as a lawyer. In 1897, he became a member of the Pan-German
League, where he was elected to the directorate in 1901. After
becoming the president in 1908, he began to change the direction of
the League to more radical positions. Thus, he came into sharp
conflict with Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, especially in the Agadir
Crisis in 1911, where the League showed its radical positions. In the
same year, he was one of the founding members of the German Army
Society, trying to push the armament of Germany.
During World War I, Claß clamoured for the annexion of Belgium. In
1917, he founded the
German Fatherland Party together with Alfred von
Tirpitz and Wolfgang Kapp.
After 1918, Claß met
Adolf Hitler and supported his putsch in 1923.
In 1931, he was one of the founding members of the Harzburg Front.
From 1933 to 1939, Claß was a member of the
NSDAP in the Reichstag.
It's noteworthy that Claß's radical imperialism and
well as his
Antisemitism had a significant influence on the Nazis.
Bilanz eines neuen Kurses. – Berlin : Alldt. Verl., 1903
(as Einhart): Deutsche Geschichte. – Leipzig : Diederich, 1909
(as Daniel Frymann): Wenn ich Kaiser wär ... : politische
Wahrheiten und Notwendigkeiten. – Leipzig : Dieterich, 1912
(from 1925 known as Das Kaiserbuch)
West-Marokko deutsch!. – Munich : Lehmann, 1911
Wider den Strom : vom Werden und Wachsen der nationalen
Opposition im alten Reich. – Leipzig : Köhler, 1932
Zum deutschen Kriegsziel : eine Flugschrift. – Munich :
Chickering, Roger (1984). We Men Who Feel Most German: Cultural Study
of the Pan-German League, 1886-1914. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.
Leicht, Johannes (2012).
Heinrich Claß 1868–1953. Die politische
Biographie eines Alldeutschen (in German). Paderborn: Schöningh.
Online version of Wenn ich Kaiser wär (English)
ISNI: 0000 0003 6855 4993