Adolf Hitler and Dietrich Eckart

 

“…To understand Nazism… we must limit ourselves strictly to the more prominent racist writers… the central figure of which, among those surrounding Hitler, was Dietrich Eckart.”

Ernst Nolte

 

Chapter 1:  Man of Letters

 

Johann Dietrich Eckart was born on March 23, 1868 in Neumarkt, an Upper Palatinate town of 4,500 souls near Nuremberg.  His mother, Anna Bosner Eckart, tried to raise him and his three siblings as Catholics, though her husband was Lutheran.  Dietrich suffered from a variety of illnesses as a child.  Family members recollected that his mother always seemed to be nursing him back to health.  Anna, the daughter of a Bavarian Army quartermaster, has been described as a dreamy and sensitive soul.  Unfortunately, this delicate hausfrau died of influenza in her mid-thirties during the winter of 1878.  Nine year old Dietrich never recovered psychologically from that blow, and would be plagued by episodes of depression for the rest of his life.

 

Dietrich’s father, Georg Christian Eckart, practiced law and served as local notary.  In 1888 Prince Regent Luitpold appointed him Justizrat for the Neumarkt district.  Christian Eckart had a reputation for being tough, but fair.  Albert Reich asserted that “his word was rarely contradicted in Neumarkt.”1  Christian’s professional duties completely preoccupied him.  This dour Protestant lawyer defended his farmer and tradesmen clients vigorously, however he usually assumed a dictatorial air, regarding them as bumpkins.

 

A year after Anna’s death Georg Christian accepted a civil service post in Nuremburg, twenty miles from Neumarkt.  Like most workaholics he left something to be desired as a father, alternately ignoring and browbeating sons Dietrich and Wilhelm.  A Franconian Lutheran himself, he neglected his sons’ Catholic education after his wife’s death.   Dietrich’s chronic misbehavior resulted in expulsion from a school in Nuremberg.  His father then sent him to Schwabach’s Lateinschule.  When he got into trouble there, Christian enrolled him at another boarding school in Regensburg.  Despite the boy’s intelligence, he became a disciplinary problem at seven different schools between 1878 and 1888.

 

Eckart went off to the University of Erlangen to study medicine in 1888. While there he willfully eschewed practical pursuits, devoting his efforts to poetry, drama, philosophy, and revelry.  Dietrich joined his father’s old fraternity, The Onoldia Corps, which had a reputation for partying rather than political activism.  As a frat brother he dueled, caroused, and fully indulged his appetite for mischief.  Though once suspended for misbehavior, Eckart eventually became Onoldia’s Master of Ceremonies.  In that capacity he wrote ditties which celebrated beer-drinking and male camaraderie.  Eckart later utilized this talent to write advertising slogans and song lyrics.

 

In his third year at Erlangen (1891) Eckart proposed to the daughter of a local school teacher.  When the girl’s father learned of the engagement, he broke it off immediately.  This involuntary separation from a beloved one rekindled the trauma of his mother’s untimely death, bringing on a nervous breakdown that required hospitalization in a private sanitarium.

 

As a medical student Eckart had access to morphine.  To deaden the pain of rejection and clinical depression he sampled the drug in 1891and soon became hooked.  His father sent him back to the sanitarium for drug-withdrawal treatment. Eckart battled morphine addiction the rest of his life.  He would kick the habit a while, then go back to it. About his drug use Alfred Rosenberg wrote:  “without (the) sweet poison he could not live, and applied the whole cunning of a possessor of this craving to get himself dose after dose.  Eventually he was taking measures from which a normal man, not (endowed with) such bear-like strength, would have died.”2

 

During his unsystematic reading at the University of Erlangen Eckart discovered Heinrich Heine and Arthur Schopenhauer, two authors of opposite temperament. The German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine was his first literary model.  Eckart admired the progressive romanticism espoused by Heine’s Young Germany movement, and his original style, which utilized irony, slang, and poetic license in creative ways. He identified with the alienation his idol experienced as an expatriate of Jewish extraction.  Like Heine, he felt attracted to poetry, theater, journalism, and philosophy.  While convalescing at the Nerve Clinic, he edited a volume of Heine’s poems and wrote an adulatory preface, which attacked the poet’s critics as “bigots and reactionaries.”3  In later years he would repudiate both Heine, and his own “young liberal” persona.

 

Though Eckart outgrew his enthusiasm for Heine, the pessimism of Arthur Schopenhauer stayed with him for life. In an epigrammatic style Schopenhauer’s The World As Will and Idea argued that the human will strove toward no rational end.  Men rarely got what they wanted and couldn’t be satisfied with what they had.  Thus, as Buddha stated, life consisted mainly of pain and ennui.  Men might take some small comfort in art, Epicureanism, philosophy, or a detached “Buddhist” attitude.  However, to avoid illusion they must shun Romantic folly.  

 

 Schopenhauer ranks as one of the fathers of literary realism with its anti-heroes and naturalistic depiction of life’s seamier side.  Eckart’s cynicism from the age of 30 until his death at 55 derives in some measure from his influence.

 

Between 1891 and 1893 Eckart spent several months in and out of mental institutions.  After his last confinement of 1893 he returned home to Nuremberg and published two books at his own expense:  the appreciation of Heinrich Heine, and In Der Fremde, a small volume of his own poetry. 

 

In Der Fremde contains poems about fleeting youth, a prodigal son, and the anxieties of modern times. The longest poem, “Jordansblume” deals with Judaism.  Ralph Engelman points out that “the length and subject of ‘Jordansblume’ suggest a preoccupation and element of identification with Jewry.”4  This work mentions the Jews’ stateless plight and longing for a homeland.  The writer speaks of his love for a pretty Jewish girl.  “Because he enters the synagogue to observe her, she mistakes him for a pious Jew and smiles at him.”5

 

 

Sammler magazine accepted a few articles and poems from him.  He also sold them on the idea of letting him cover the Wagner opera festival at Bayreuth.  His “Letters from Bayreuth” praised Wagner, while deriding ticket-scalpers, ostentatious foreigners, and the inferior quality of some performances.  This popular series was reprinted in several newspapers, including Bayreuther Briefe, Wagnerfest, and Munchener Augsberger Abendzeitun.  In 1894 the Bayreuth Festival published his essay on Parsifal as a supplement to program notes.

 

Eckart published a travelogue in verse entitled Tannhauser auf Urlaub in 1895 which evaluated the state of various German cities through the eyes of a reincarnated 13th Century poet.  Heinrich Tannhauser, advocated liberty, equality, fraternity, and German idealism, but abhorred the leveling effect of democracy and socialism.  He excoriated Reichstag deputies as garrulous egotists who didn’t really care about their constituents. After a token nod to Jewish intelligence, Tannhauser pompously declared that Jews must be denied a role in the coming Pan-German super-state because of their obsessions with “sensuality, materialism, and the present.”  Like Wagner’s Minnesingers young Germans must fight “the common vermin that crawl out of those big sacks of money and pollute the whole atmosphere.”6   This represents the first antisemitic statement in Eckart’s writings.

 

Following his father’s death in 1895, Eckart inherited a substantial amount of money.  In early 1896 he made his first trip to Berlin to see the opening of Hauptmann’s play Die Versunkene Glocke.  The bustling dynamism of the capital impressed him, but he decided to rent quarters in Regensburg, where he began writing a play.  Eckart then moved to a fashionable townhouse in Leipzig and set up a writers’ salon there.  Always a big spender, and generous with friends, he squandered his patrimony on high living.  The young literateur became a habitué of Leipzig’s bar scene, developing a life-long taste for alcoholic overindulgence and humorous repartee. 

 

By 1897 Eckart’s funds ran low.  Morphine use had taken a financial and physical toll.  He went back to Regensburg to nurse himself back to health, staying there for more than a year.   

 

 

Eckart moved to Berlin at the end of 1899.  The capital, with its forty theaters, hundreds of publishers, and world-class orchestra, was the undisputed cultural center of Germany.  Theater critic Willy Haas described the city’s vitality in Die Literarische Welt:

 

                                                               “’I loved the rapid, quick-witted reply of the

                                                                 Berlin woman above everything, the keen,

                                                                  clear reaction of the Berlin audience in the

                                                                  theater, in the cabaret, on the street, and

                                                                  in the café, that taking-nothing-solemnly

                                                                  yet taking seriously of things, that lovely,

                                                                  dry, cool and yet not cold atmosphere, the

                                                                  indescribable dynamic, the love for work,

                                                                  the readiness to take hard blows--- and go on

                                                                   living.”7

 

The young writer joined thousands of immigrants to Berlin.  This new capital city had grown almost twelve-fold since Napoleon’s defeat in 1812.  Its Jewish population had increased thirty-fold during that period.  However, very few of Berlin’s Jews were of the Ostjuden variety.  They had a reputation for being intelligent, secular, and assimilationist.

 

 

In 1900 Eckart worked a short time for August Scherl’s tabloid Lokalanzeiger, but intensely disliked its shallowness and lack of German values.  He had come to see himself as a Teuton sage in the modern world.  The Morning hired him in 1901.  For that paper he wrote not only news reports and opinion columns, but play reviews, poems, and a serialized novella that satirized Berlin’s nihilistic brand of journalism.  Unfortunately, The Morning went bankrupt four months after he came aboard.  Eckart would soon recycle the anti-press novella into his tragic-comedy Familienvater.

 

Between jobs Eckart turned to freelancing.  Germany’s leading humor magazine, Simplicissmus, devoted an entire issue to his short story Der Kleine Martin Bauz, which poked fun at the abysmal “guidance” given an eight year old boy by his teacher, doctor, pastor, and alcoholic parents.  With the encouragement of playwright Frank Wedekind’s brother Eckart published a few of his articles and poems in Buhne und Brettle Magazine.  This periodical had evolved from a theatrical review to a journal of social criticism.  One issue targeted the “Jewish clique” of Jacobsohn, Harden, Sudermann, and Hirschfield, which allegedly controlled Berlin theater.  Eckart wrote lampoons of contemporary German life for Buhne und Brettle, along with caricature illustrations, a format he would later use as a political journalist.   

 

According to Eckart Jews had cornered the German publishing market.  The houses of Mosse and Ullstein could make or break an aspiring writer.  They had what poet Gottfried Benn called the Jewish merchant’s “absolute—‘totischer’ instinct for quality,”8 and what would sell.   But in Eckart’s view Ullstein and Mosse promoted mediocrity, while snubbing genuine German artists like himself. He claimed that over half of Berlin’s twenty-one newspapers were Jewish-owned, as well as all three of its satire magazines.  Cultural historian Peter Gay confirmed the power of Berlin’s major publishers.

 

                                               “Ullstein’s monopolizing of outlets…made

                                                 many writers profoundly uneasy, (and) produced

                                                 …an unhealthy, eventually lethal, division

                                                 between those who belonged and those who

                                                 did not.  For a writer without private income,

                                                 the favor of Ullstein meant luxury, its

                                                 indifference or disfavor, near-starvation.”9

 

 

Under this system nationalistic authors faced obscurity and failure. Dietrich Eckart’s volkisch pieces struck big city editors as provincial and reactionary.  Modern readers wanted fresh, contemporary material.  They were neither interested in Teutonic chauvinism, or romanticized treatments of German history.

 

In 1902 Eckart wrote four articles for Buhne und Brettle which reflected his festering Judeophobia.  Though he did not yet have the temerity to attack individual Jews by name Eckart employed such derogatory terms as “ghetto writers” and “slick Cohns.”  He eventually attacked his former idol Heinrich Heine.  “Chaim” Heine had no business criticizing Germany.  The cosmopolitan poet had emigrated to Paris in 1831 and remained there until his death twenty-five years later.  Eckart disapproved of such “Jewish Internationalism.”

 

                                        “How many Galician Jews have first become Germans, then

                                          Englishmen, and finally Americans.  And each time in the

                                          twinkling of an eye.  With startling rapidity they change

                                          their nationality back and forth.”10

 

Eckart’s German patriotism approached the blind loyalty of family love.  Hence, he took exception to Heine’s ambivalence about Germany.

 

                                        “Heine…writes an utterly vulgar poem about Germany; five minutes

                                         later he is praising ‘the dear homeland’ to the skies.  A matter of

                                         changing mood?  Oh, dear God, I suppose we are to believe an old

                                         street whore often finds herself in the mood to sing ‘Ave Maria,’ or

                                         that a basically honest fellow is often in the mood to steal. 

                                         What nonsense!”11

 

Eckart agreed with literary critic Wolfgang Menzel that Heine’s “Young Germany” group should be renamed the “Young Palestine Movement.”

 

By age thirty Eckart’s excessive drinking produced characteristic behavioral changes:  egocentricity, hypersensitivity, mood swings, strong biases, and a propensity to turn against former friends.   He had the alcoholic’s tender and swollen ego, which made him unable to accept criticism, and quick to blame others for his problems.   Fault-finding became his modus operandi.  To preserve his own unassailable dignity he habitually tore down others, including such close associates as Karl von Bothmer, Alfred Rosenberg, Max von Scheubner-Richter, and Hitler himself.

 

 Eckart viewed himself as a wronged idealist.  He began to accuse Jews of ruining German society, holding them responsible for those sharp business practices which lowered the quality of life on earth. Germany’s “economic miracle” (c. 1866 – 1914) occurred during his lifetime.  Utilizing loan capital from banks and the stock exchange, corporations built steel works, machine tool factories, warships, railroads, and chemical plants.  This fast-paced technological progress caused unprecedented social upheaval.  Many left-behind Germans held the less-than-1% Jewish minority responsible for the dislocating consequences of industrialization, urbanization, political unrest, modernity, and erosion of traditional values.

 

Eckart had strong likes and dislikes.  He loved Wagnerian opera, volkisch drama, comrades-in-arms, morphine, coffee, tobacco, beer, and Rhenish wines, but hated lawyers, Jews, pacifists, and unsympathetic literary critics. His inability to obtain employment commensurate with ambitions engendered Judeophobia.  Hitler and Goebbels later experienced similar feelings of inferiority and alienation.  This anomie caused Eckart to loathe those he felt had rejected him.  The dramatist made Jews into a negative stereotype, projecting his own fears and evil characteristics onto them.  Psychologists call this projection a “shadow,” or “counter image.”  Hitler and Eckart perceived their shadows as objective reality.  For them Jews became “personified-yet-demonized sons of darkness on which to vent righteous rage.”12

 

Because of his intellectual bent, Eckart read the writings of other antisemites, such as Theodore Fritsch , Paul Lagarde, Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux, and Julius Langbehn.  Paul Lagarde (b. Paul Bottischer, 1827) taught oriental studies at the University of Gottingen.  In 1878 he published German Writings, which preached that idealistic German values must overcome the trend of “Jewish materialism.”  This book advocated a return to medievalism—the establishment of huge estates and an expanded guild system that would train German workers as craftsmen.  Lagarde erroneously attributed the shortcomings of modern civilization to Jews.  He reacted violently against the Enlightenment ideas of individual freedom, utilitarianism, democracy, empiricism, and a laissez faire economy.  These were actually British concepts.  John Locke argued for the moral autonomy of the individual as a “rational choice agent” pursuing self interest.  The skeptical David Hume concurred with Sir Francis Bacon’s scientific method, while skewering metaphysical flights as nonsense.  Jeremy Bentham favored representative government, which aimed to achieve the greatest benefit for the greatest number. Adam Smith’s law of supply and demand proved that individuals motivated by self-interest produced and distributed goods in a relatively efficient manner.  These English and Scotch “levelers” were much more serious opponents of German mysticism than the Jews.

 

Paul Lagarde applauded the reunification of Germany under Bismarck because this fostered greater expression of the German Volk-Spirit. However, he saw Jews as “an enemy within,” a foreign ethnic group with their own nationalistic religion, who impeded complete German unity.  Jews regarded themselves as God’s chosen people, a claim that clashed with Pan-German notions of superiority.  In Rembrandt As Educator (1890) Lagarde’s student Julius Langbehn asserted that soul-less Jews undermined Germany’s destiny, her sacred mission to lead a regenerated Europe.  Utilizing these sources, Eckart molded an ideology to support his visceral detestation of “The Jew.”

 

As a 35 year old Bohemian in Berlin, Eckart built up a reputation as a “metaphysical poet,” concerned with “the soul’s involvement and detachment from the world.”13 In an effort to understand “the genius higher than human,” he read Theosophical works, Schopenhauer’s essays, and articles about Mayan civilization.   Eckart kept “Cherubinische Wandersmann” by the medieval mystic Angelus Silesius on his night table, and attended lectures at the Theosophical Society.  He heard Rudolf Steiner speak, and also came into contact with Franz Hartmann, Hugo Vollrath, and other occultists. 

 

When Ralph Max Engleman went through Eckart’s papers in 1969 he found a dog-eared address book containing “the names and calling-cards of an occasional nobleman, diplomat, professor and officer,” as well as scores of “unknown painters, sculptors, architects, actors, …singers…”14 and ordinary citizens.   Solitude got him down. Therefore, except for those times when he suffered from clinical depression, Eckart constantly sought the company of others.  As a convivial man-about-town, he hung out in bars and regularly went to plays and operas.  The bohemian poet socialized well with people of all classes, from laborers to aristocrats.  His gregariousness and curiosity led him to join dozens of clubs:  the Onoldia Fraternity, Fichte-Bund, Berlin Press Club, List Society, Hammer Union, Theosophical Society, Theater Guild, Der Wagner Verein, Die Thule Gesellschaft, Nazi Party…the list goes on and on.

 

 In Berlin Eckart experienced both triumphs and humiliations.  Spurned by editors with modern tastes, he submitted his work to the conservative market.  His first published play Der Kleine Zacharias (1903) justaposed a gifted starving artist with a prosperous sell-out who pandered to the public’s bad taste.  All of Eckart’s dramas had basically the same premise of idealists being victimized by connivers.  Der Kleine Zacharias  had a small cult following, but was only performed briefly in Luneburg. 

 

In 1904 Eckart met Georg Graf von Huelsen-Haeseler, the boyhood pal of Kaiser Wilhlem who then supervised the Royal State Theater.  Between 1905 and 1918 he would send over a hundred letters to this patron.  Huelsen-Haeseler agreed to produce Familienvater, a tragicomedy about modern journalism at the Regensburg State Theater.  This melodrama tells the story of Heiderich, a crusading journalist who works for a metropolitan daily owned by the villainous converted Jew Heinze.  When Heinze fires Timroth, a paterfamilias with eight children, Heiderich promises to support his brood by producing a play that will expose the evils of modern journalism.  Heinze becomes alarmed when audiences cheer themselves hoarse at sold-out performances.  He uses his political connections to close down the production for espousing anarchy.  In despair, Heiderich commits suicide. Besides Regensburg, Familienvater had runs in Hanover, Munich, Neumarkt, Graz, Vienna, and other cities, but just managed to break even.

 

Through most of 1905 Eckart worked as an editor of the Deutscher Blatt newspaper.  He exulted when Huelsen-Haeseler agreed to stage The Frog King at the Berlin State Theater.  Albert Reich remembered his friend triumphantly passing around the telegram of acceptance in a bar.  Since the Royal Theater almost never produced new works, Eckart had indeed pulled off a coup.  Based loosely on the Grimm fairy tale, Der Froshkoenig portrayed the life of a swindler who preyed upon upper middle class Germans.  When Gerda, the pretty daughter of a wealthy businessman tried to convert him from this life of crime, he refused.  In such a fallen world one must be a blackguard to succeed.  Euphoric during rehearsals in November, 1905, Eckart was crushed when the audience booed and hissed on opening night.  One dissatisfied theatergoer in the balcony whistled through a house key during most of the last act.  The play bombed spectacularly, closing after four performances.  Eckart lashed out at Berlin’s philistine public, the “Jewish conspiracy” against him, and lead actor Adalbert Mattkowsky, who turned in a lackluster performance.   According to the disgruntled playwright, the critics who panned his masterpiece were lackeys of Berlin’s “Jewish theater monopoly.”  He went into a depression, got physically ill, quit his job at the Deutscher Blatt, and returned to Neumarkt and Nuremberg, where weary relatives put him up for months.  Dr. Paul Hermann Wiedeburg later confirmed that Eckart suffered a nervous breakdown—“a heavy, painful…two year illness surrounded by darkness…for which he took morphine.”15

 

Smarting from the Frog King disaster, Eckart wrote very little in 1906.  His debts mounted because he accepted conditional advances on plays that earned nothing.   Nevertheless, Huelsen-Haeseler treated him kindly, sending several hundred marks over the next six years, and forgiving advance-refunds owed back to The Royal Theater.

 

Though broke in 1907, Eckart somehow raised money to invest in a mineral water venture and an airplane factory started by his friend Karl Guido Bomhard.  For the most part, he led a threadbare existence, surviving by freelance journalism, pawnshop barter, hand-outs from friends, and credit given by landladies and the bartender at the Alt Bayern pub on Potsdammerstrasse, where he was a regular.

 

The artist Albert Reich grew up with Eckart in Neumarkt and reconnected with him in the Steglitz section of Berlin.  According to him, Eckart lived in tenements during most of the “Hunger Years.” For a while he shared a “rear bachelor flat” in The Black Piglet Rooming House at Felderstrasse 11 with an impecunious actor named Otto Fitzsche, and Paul Haase, an underemployed painter.  Herbert Kusel’s controversial March 23, 1943 article in the Frankfurter Zeitung claimed that during his lowest period, circa 1908, Eckart occasionally slept on a “favorite park bench” in Berlin’s Tiergarten.  Friends mailed him “care packages” containing toiletries, food, and schnapps.  He freeloaded on his brother Wilhelm and family in Doeberlitz for weeks at a time.  Though Eckart never suffered from physical starvation during the “Hunger Years,” his longing for professional fulfillment went unsatisfied.  These failure pangs, combined with feelings of being wronged, scarred him for life. The downward spiral from 1905 to 1911 intensified his animus toward Jews.

 

Eckart hated being a sponge, but had little choice.  Many of his letters from this time rationalize his failures, then entreat friends for money.  He plays the martyred great master in his correspondence of December, 1908.

 

                                  “Even if I cut my bread money in half and write articles for

                                     the daily press, I can expect ninety rejections from one hundred

                                    inquiries.  Almost all respond in a like manner:  my work is, indeed,

                                    out of the ordinary, penetrating and interesting, but not for the

                                    public at large…It cannot therefore, be my lack of talent that brings

                                    me ever nearer to the brink of ruin…or my diligence…It must be due

                                    to my Weltanschaung—to my animosity to every dull, hackneyed

                                  thing of our time…”16

 

Eckart then asked Huelsen-Haeseler for some cash and added:  “if I did not firmly believe in my ability for dramatic representation or the possibility to redeem my indebtedness to Your Excellency, then I would creep into the most miserable part of this hard city rather than become a burden to Your Excellency’s generosity.”17   Huelsen-Haeseler showed this letter to Kaiser Wilhelm, who judged it “a masterpiece of the ‘pump art.’ ”18

 

Eckart’s letter to Huelsen-Haeseler echoes Schopenhauer’s essays on literature.    The philosopher damned the public for mistaking “the newest for the best,” and authors because they “lived on literature, rather than for it.”  He declared that the “new is seldom good (and)… a good thing is only new for a short time.”19 Schopenhauer condemned commercial publishing for continuously inventing new fallacies to stimulate sales.  The superficial “30 year epicycles” of fashion contradicted each other.  Yet, the public acclaimed  hacks who traded in this transitory world of illusion, and boycotted artists who “were tormented without recognition (in their lifetimes)… whilst fame, honor, and riches fell to the lot of the worthless.”20

 

This “unappreciated genius” let his anti-Semitic prejudices burgeon between 1902 and 1918.  He joined the nationalistic Fichte-Bund, Theodor Fritsch’s antisemitic Hammer Union, and studied the occult racial theories of Guido von List and Adolf Josef Lanz von Liebenfals.  His paranoia about Jews repeatedly surfaced in his letters to Huelsen-Haeseler:  “the enemies of my convictions, that is, the Jews, are everywhere I go—busy with their crafty work.”21  He thought they would drive him to another nervous breakdown.  Years later in “Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin” Eckart wailed a cry from his own heart when he wrote that Jews drove “men to despair, to madness, to ruin.”22

 

The downtrodden writer kept himself afloat through hack work: magazine articles, advertising copy for perfume, and humorous verse.  Some friends in Neumarkt tried to start a spring water bottling company.  Eckart received shares for putting together an advertising campaign.  Unfortunately, this venture never got off the ground.   Albert Reich remembered an afternoon circa 1909 in the Alt Bayern Pub, when Eckart had just spent his last pfennigs on drink.  A pharmaceutical salesman strolled in and mentioned that his firm was looking for a catchy advertising jingle to promote its “gout water.”  Eckart disappeared into the bathroom for a few moments, then reappeared at a corner table where he dashed off four rhymed lines, which the company bought for 1,000 marks.

 

At this same time forty year old Eckart acquired a seventeen year old girlfriend named Eleonore.  Topping that, he somehow managed to extract an 1,800 mark loan from her father, which he never repaid.   As a married woman with children Eleonore Holthausen tried unsuccessfully in 1924 to recover this money from Eckart’s estate, then administered by the dramatist’s 18 year old girlfriend Anna Obster.

 

In 1907 Eckart wrote the unperformed and forgotten Der Erbgraf.  Two years later he finished Ein Kerl, Der Spekuliert about a Jewish drug manufacturer who marketed quack medicines. He could not get it performed.  Eckart later claimed that the enterprise came to grief because he refused to comply with Jewish theatrical agent Alfred Halm’s demand that villain Moritz Silverstahl be transformed into a gentile.  

 

After his relationship with Eleonore ended, he again sunk into the Slough of Despond, moping in his room for days.  Physically ravaged by substance abuse, dejected about his stalled career and failed romance, he again checked into a mental hospital.

 

In November, 1911 an imposter by the name of Ernst Lauterer, who affected the name “Tarnhari” (“Hidden Lord,”) wrote Guido von List, claiming to be the reincarnation of an ancient German tribal leader.  He won List over by “verifying” the latter’s quack theories about German pre-history.  An apostle of List, Eckart decided to serve as Tarnhari’s publicist for a while.  Lauterer transfixed him with Delphic utterances that explained how Jewish influence slowly asphyxiated the German soul.   Eckart developed his ability as a press agent by promoting Tarnhari.  A few years later he would use this same talent to tout another charlatan by the name of Adolf Hitler.

 

 

Footnotes

 

1 Ralph Max Engelman, Dietrich Eckart and the Genesis of Nazism, UMI, Ann Arbor, MI, 1971, p. 3, op. cit. Albert Reich, Dietrich Eckart, Munich, 1933, p. 7.

 

2 James Webb, The Occult Establishment, Open Court Publishing Co., LaSalle, IL, 1976, p. 283.

 

3 Engelman, p. 8.

 

4 Ibid, p. 11.

 

5 Ibid., p. 10, op. cit.  Dietrich Eckart In der Fremde, Leipzig, 1893.

 

6 Margarete Plewnia, Auf Dem Weg Zu Hitler:  Der Volkishce Publizist Dietrich Eckart, Schunemann Universitatasverlag, Bremen, 1971, p. 14.

 

7 Peter Gay, Weimar Culture, Harper & Row, 1968, p. 129, op. cit. Willy Haas, Die Literarische Welt, p. 23.

 

8 Ibid., p. 132, op. cit. Gottfried Benn, Doppellegen, 1958-1961, p. 73.

 

9 Ibid., p. 135.

 

10 Dietrich Eckart, Bolshevism from Moses to Lenin, trans. William L. Pierce, Hohenreichen Verlag, Munich, 1924, p. 10.

 

11 Ibid., p. 26.

 

12 Hannah Newman, The Rainbow Swastika, Philogos.org. p. 20 or 21.

 

13 Ernst Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism, trans. Leila Venewitz, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1966, p. 328.

 

14 Engelman, p. 59.

 

15 Plewnia, p. 18.

 

16 Ibid., p. 20.

 

17 Ibid.

 

18 Ibid.

 

19 Arthur Schopenhauer, “On Authorship and Style,” etext.library.Adelaide.edu.au,  p. 4.

 

20 Arthur Schopenhauer, “On Reading and Books,” extext.library.Adelaide.edu.au, p. 9, op. cit. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Collected Works, Vol. II, p. 302.

 

21 Plewnia, p. 20.

 

22 Eckart, p. 36.