KARL ERNST HAUSHOFER (27 August 1869 – 10 March 1946) was a German
general, geographer and politician. Through his student
* 1 Life and career * 2 Geopolitics * 3 Contacts with Nazi leadership * 4 Works * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links
LIFE AND CAREER
Haushofer belonged to a family of artists and scholars. He was born
In 1887, Haushofer entered the 1st Field
Haushofer continued his career as a professional soldier, serving in
the army of
Imperial Germany and rising through the Staff Corp by
1899. In 1903, he began teaching at the Bavarian
In November 1908, the army sent him to
Shortly afterwards, he began to suffer from several severe diseases
and was given a leave from the army for three years. From 1911 to
1913, Haushofer would work on his doctorate of philosophy from Munich
University for a thesis on
Haushofer entered academia with the aim of restoring and regenerating
Germany. Haushofer believed the Germans' lack of geographical
knowledge and geopolitical awareness to be a major cause of
Germany’s defeat in World
Louis Pauwels , in his book Monsieur Gurdjieff, describes Haushofer
as a former student of
George Gurdjieff . Others, including Pauwels,
said that Haushofer created a
After the establishment of the Nazi regime, Haushofer remained
friendly with Hess, who protected Haushofer and his wife from the
racial laws of the Nazis, which deemed her a "half-Jew". During the
prewar years, Haushofer was instrumental in linking
July 20 Plot to assassinate Hitler, Haushofer's son l,
Albrecht (1903–1945), went into hiding but was arrested on 7
December 1944 and put into the
Moabit prison in
On the night of 10–11 March 1946, he and his wife committed suicide in a secluded hollow on their Hartschimmelhof estate at Pähl /Ammersee. Both drank arsenic and his wife then hanged herself while Haushofer was obviously too weak to do so.
Main article: Geopolitik
Haushofer developed Geopolitik from widely varied sources, including the writings of Oswald Spengler , Alexander Humboldt , Karl Ritter , Friedrich Ratzel , Rudolf Kjellén , and Halford J. Mackinder .
Geopolitik contributed to Nazi foreign policy chiefly in the strategy and justifications for lebensraum . The theories contributed five ideas to German foreign policy in the interwar period :
* organic state * lebensraum * autarky * pan-regions * land power/sea power dichotomy .
Haushofer's position in the University of
Geopolitik was essentially a consolidation and codification of older ideas, given a scientific gloss:
Lebensraum was a revised colonial imperialism;
Autarky a new expression of tariff protectionism ;
* Strategic control of key geographic territories exhibiting the
same thought behind earlier designs on the Suez and Panama Canals ; a
view of controlling the land in the same way as those choke points
control the sea
* Pan-regions (Panideen) based upon the
British Empire , and the
The key reorientation in each dyad is that the focus is on land-based empire rather than naval imperialism.
Ostensibly based upon the geopolitical theory of American naval
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Ratzel's writings coincided with the growth of German industrialism after the Franco-Prussian war and the subsequent search for markets that brought it into competition with Britain . His writings served as welcome justification for imperial expansion. Influenced by Mahan, Ratzel wrote of aspirations for German naval reach, agreeing that sea power was self-sustaining, as the profit from trade would pay for the merchant marine , unlike land power. Haushofer was exposed to Ratzel, who was friends with Haushofer's father, a teacher of economic geography , and would integrate Ratzel's ideas on the division between sea and land powers into his theories, saying that only a country with both could overcome this conflict.
Haushofer's geopolitik expands upon that of Ratzel and Kjellén. While the latter two conceive of geopolitik as the state as an organism in space put to the service of a leader, Haushofer's Munich school specifically studies geography as it relates to war and designs for empire . The behavioral rules of previous geopoliticians were thus turned into dynamic normative doctrines for action on lebensraum and world power.
Haushofer defined geopolitik in 1935 as "the duty to safeguard the
right to the soil, to the land in the widest sense, not only the land
within the frontiers of the
To Haushofer, the existence of a state depended on living space, the
pursuit of which must serve as the basis for all policies. Germany had
a high population density , but the old colonial powers had a much
lower density, a virtual mandate for German expansion into
resource-rich areas. Space was seen as military protection against
initial assaults from hostile neighbors with long-range weaponry. A
buffer zone of territories or insignificant states on one's borders
would serve to protect Germany. Closely linked to that need was
Haushofer's assertion that the existence of small states was evidence
of political regression and disorder in the international system . The
small states surrounding Germany ought to be brought into the vital
German order. These states were seen as being too small to maintain
practical autonomy even if they maintained large colonial possessions
and would be better served by protection and organization within
Germany. In Europe, he saw
Haushofer's version of autarky was based on the quasi- Malthusian idea that the earth would become saturated with people and no longer able to provide food for all. There would essentially be no increases in productivity .
Haushofer and the
Beyond being an economic concept, pan-regions were a strategic
concept as well. Haushofer acknowledges the strategic concept of the
Heartland Theory put forward by the British geopolitician Halford
Mackinder. If Germany could control
Eastern Europe and subsequently
Russian territory, it could control a strategic area to which hostile
seapower could be denied. Allying with
CONTACTS WITH NAZI LEADERSHIP
Evidence points to a disconnect between the advocates of geopolitik and Hitler, although their practical tactical goals were nearly indistinguishable.
Although Haushofer accompanied Hess on numerous propaganda missions, and participated in consultations between Nazis and Japanese leaders, he claimed that Hitler and the Nazis only seized upon half-developed ideas and catchwords . Furthermore, the Nazi party and government lacked any official organ that was receptive to geopolitik, leading to selective adoption and poor interpretation of Haushofer's theories. Ultimately, Hess and Konstantin von Neurath , Nazi Minister of Foreign Affairs, were the only officials Haushofer would admit had a proper understanding of geopolitik.
Edmund A. Walsh , professor of geopolitics and dean at
Haushofer also denied assisting Hitler in writing Mein Kampf, saying that he only knew of it once it was in print, and never read it. Walsh found that even if Haushofer did not directly assist Hitler, discernible new elements appeared in Mein Kampf, as compared to previous speeches made by Hitler. Geopolitical ideas of lebensraum, space for depth of defense, appeals for natural frontiers , balancing land and seapower, and geographic analysis of military strategy entered Hitler's thought between his imprisonment and publishing of Mein Kampf. Chapter XIV, on German policy in Eastern Europe , in particular displays the influence of the materials Haushofer brought Hitler and Hess while they were imprisoned.
Haushofer was never a member of the Nazi Party, and did voice
disagreements with the party, leading to his brief imprisonment.
Haushofer came under suspicion because of his contacts with left wing
socialist figures within the Nazi movement (led by
Gregor Strasser )
and his advocacy of essentially a German–Russian alliance. This Nazi
left wing had some connections to the
Communist Party of Germany and
some of its leaders, especially those who were influenced by the
National Bolshevist philosophy of a German–Russian revolutionary
alliance, as advocated by
The idea of contact between Haushofer and the Nazi establishment has been stressed by several authors. These authors have expanded Haushofer's contact with Hitler to a close collaboration while Hitler was writing Mein Kampf and made him one of the 'future Chancellor's many mentors'. Haushofer may have been a short-term student of Gurdjieff , that he had studied Zen Buddhism , and that he had been initiated at the hands of Tibetan lamas , although these notions are debated.
The influence of Haushofer on Nazi ideology is dramatized in the 1943 short documentary film, Plan for Destruction , which was nominated for an Academy Award.
* English Translation and Analysis of Major
* ^ Pauwels, Louis and Bergier, Jacques. The Morning of the Magicians. Avon Books, 1973 * ^ Zweig, Stefan . The World of Yesterday New York: Viking, 1943 * ^ "Germany: Haushofer\'s Heritage". Time . March 25, 1946. Retrieved 2012-09-09. * ^ Walsh, Edmund A. "The Mystery of Haushofer" Life (September 16, 1946) pp. 107–120 * ^ Saul Bernard Cohen (2003). " Geopolitics of the World System". Rowman and Littlefield Publishers Inc. pp. 21–23. ISBN 0-8476-9907-2 . Missing or empty url= (help ); access-date= requires url= (help ) * ^ Mattern, pp.40–41 * ^ A B C Walsh (1949), p.41 * ^ A B Mattern, p.32 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.16–17 * ^ Walsh (1949), pp.4–5 * ^ A B Beukema, Col. Herman. "Introduction" to Dorpalen, p.xiii * ^ Mattern, p.37 * ^ Walsh (1949), p.39 * ^ Mattern, p.60 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.66–67 * ^ Dorpalen, p.52 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.68–69 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.23–24 * ^ Dorpalen, p.54 * ^ Walsh (1949), p.48 * ^ Dorpalen, p.80 * ^ Dorpalen, p.78 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.38–39 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.94–95 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.205–06 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.207, 209 * ^ Dorpalen, p.231 * ^ Mattern, p.17 * ^ Mattern, p.39 * ^ Dorpalen, pp.235-6 * ^ Dorpalen, p.218 * ^ Mackinder, p.78 * ^ Walsh (1949), p.9 * ^ Walsh (1949), pp.14–15 * ^ Kershaw, Ian Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris New York: Norton, 1998. pp.248-249. ISBN 0-393-04671-0 * ^ Fest, Joachim C. and Winston, Richard and Winston, Clara (trans.) Hitler. New York: Vantage, 1975. (orig. published in German in 1973), p.217. ISBN 0-394-72023-7 * ^ Walsh (1949), p.15 * ^ Walsh (1949), p.8 * ^ Walsh (1949), pp.35–36 * ^ Walsh (1949), pp.41, 17 * ^ Walsh (1949), p. 36 * ^ Walsh (1949), p.42 * ^ Mattern, p.20 * ^ Walsh (1949), pp.40, 35 * ^ Walsh (1949), p.16
* ^ for example:
* Berzin, Alexander. "The Nazi Connection with Shambhala and Tibet" (May 2003) * FitzGerald, Michael. Storm Troopers of Satan (Robert Hale, 1990) * FitzGerald, Michael. Adolf Hitler: A Portrait (Spellmount, 2006) * Sklar, Dusty. The Nazis and the Occult (Dorset Press, 1977) * Webb, James. The Occult Establishment (Richard Drew, 1981)
* ^ Weltpolitik von heute
* Dorpalen, Andreas.The World of
* Deutsches Historisches Museum: Biography