Excavations for Hitler
In the Third Reich a study of ancient history has experienced a real boom. According to the materials of the excavations was proved that the Germans are the ancestors of the Aryan race.
Even Indiana Jones knew that the national-socialists was not only important for the present and the future but also the past. The third Reich sought to find all new treasures – be they ancient Jews or chest the Holy Grail.
In this story is more truth than was intended by the Creator of films about Indiana Jones, Steven Spielberg. This theme is dedicated to the new exhibition “Excavations for Germany. Archaeologists under the pressure of the swastika” in the Museum Focke in Bremen. The first film of Indiana Jones “raiders of the lost ark” was, in fact, a documentary. Archaeologists in clothing for the tropics and black leather coat worked for high-ranking national socialists, were engaged in theft of cultural property, used slaves and had no problems, fix on the way counterparties.
“Archaeologists are often developed these crimes or worked on their own initiative,” says historian Masarsky Dirk (Dirk Mahsarski), supervising an exhibition in conjunction with an archaeologist from Bremen Halle Uta (Uta Halle). “There are a number of archaeologists, which we with confidence can tell that they knew what the Holocaust and forced labor,” notes Masarsky.
The close relationship between archaeology and the regime of the national socialists was due to radonice. The most important of them is money. Before the 20-ies. in Germany there were only a few archaeological departments. The situation changed radically with the coming to power of the Nazis. While universities, including the mass withdrawal of Jewish professors, was in decline, the number of departments of archaeology have increased from 3 to 24. Also increased funding in this area.
Senior positions were mainly engaged in ardent national socialists. 70% of them were members of the NSDAP, says Masarsky. This was due, first of all, the ancient Germans. Hitler and his supporters believed themselves to be descendants of Germanic racial and moral point of view. German heritage was considered a new de-Christianized sacred relics of the Third Reich, representing evidence of early Aryan period.
“If we want to become again a United people, we must reunite with time, when the core of the Nordic race in its pure form existed in contact with a great culture, influencing all of Europe. This Germanic the ancient period, prehistory of Germany”, wrote in 1933 Hans Udo Reinert (Hans Reinerth), who later became a favourite archaeologist Alfred Rosenberg (Alfred Rosenberg).
In his book “the Myth of the 20th century” (1930), through which the author became the chief ideologue of Nazism, Rosenberg is inspired by the Berlin archaeologist Gustaf Koskinou (Gustaf Kossina). According to his thesis, the evolution of European civilization was not due to a cultural transfer from the Semitic East, and thanks to indogermanica people parodically.
Once in power, Rosenberg founded the “Reich Institute for the history of early time”, which was to become the only center for the study of the topic. Head of the Institute became Udo Reinert. “Although the evidence of the cultural heights of our ancestors in archaeological terms has long been known that the Germans considered to be large barbarians than I expected, even their enemies the Romans,” wrote Udo Reinert.
Against the image of uneducated savages
Udo Reinert and many other archaeologists undertook to prove the contrary.
At this point the exhibition in Bremen came into conflict with his desire for the first time to show the audience the relationship between archaeology and national socialist politics. Similar attempts were made earlier as well. Besides, it was not about archaeology, but about its particular discipline – history of the early period.
In the 19th century, archaeology was understood as the study of the excavations of ancient cultures. Egypt, middle East, Mediterranean region were areas that were considered suitable for research. For these purposes, in 1829, was founded the German archaeological Institute, in cooperation with academies and universities conducted research in this area.
Excavations in the half-barbarous provincial areas of the Empire were engaged in the best case, the Roman-Germanic Commission in Frankfurt am main, in the worst – interested local researchers. Development germanophilia research interests meant also a kind of rebellion against neogumanistov for which the Germans were ignorant savages who destroyed ancient civilization.
Rosenberg and Udo Reinert sought to recreate the image of a blond-haired, blue-eyed heroes and conquerors, which, being ancestors of the Germans, were to lead the Aryan race to world domination. The exhibition shows a variety of posters and other banners, on which was displayed practically everywhere the Germans in the Third Reich. Copied samples found guns, exhibited all over the Reich. Card with a picture of the Germans were in almost every home.
Himmler against Rosenberg
That initiative Rosenberg, despite massive support from the media, failed to pass in the Nazi party, was due not least to policraticus structure of the regime. Hitler himself reacted poorly to shapeless pieces of pottery, offered to him by the seekers as evidence of early Germanic culture. He preferred traditional aesthetics.
Orders Rosenberg to immediately begin excavations of the German settlements in the captured Wehrmacht regions, faced with similar interests the Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler (Heinrich Himmler). Himmler created his own research society of ancient history “German heritage”, the purpose of which was to collect the greatest number of German artifacts, which was reflected in the war in the organized plunder in the occupied regions.
When Rosenberg, the Reich Minister of the occupied Eastern lands, sent his men in search of the Gothic of the graves in the Ukraine, Himmler declared: “In the following months, neither we nor, as I can imagine, people Rosenberg won’t have time to dig. Now is not winning the war.”
The head of the research center of Himmler was the historian Herbert Ancon (Herbert Jankuhn). He and Udo Reinert led the competition for the benefit of their masters, during which not often appealed to arguments and suspicion.
Name Ancona involve large-scale excavations at the Viking settlement Hedeby (now the North German land of Schleswig-Holstein), which in 1934 passed with the broad support of the SS. The organizer of the exhibition in Bremen Masarsky wrote a book about him. However, the objects of the excavations of Ancona in Bremen can’t be found. Uta Halle explains it vnutripsihicheskoy features. “My colleague doesn’t want to present the image of Hedeby was associated with the history of the national socialists,” said the researcher.
Postwar career Ancona and Reinert served as another argument for the thesis that the prehistoric period to the present time was considered sufficient. Ancon became a member of the Academy of Sciences at göttingen, where until 1973 he was head of the Department. Udo Reinert became Director of the archaeological open-air Museum Pfahlbaumuseum in Unteruhldingen on lake Constance.
The ideological background in the consideration of ancient history was shown and after 1945 in the GDR. Then Slavic researchers began to search for traces of new fraternal peoples – and they had findings.