Karl Haushofer

Karl Haushofer

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Karl Ernst Haushofer was a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 general
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

, geographer
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 and geopolitician
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

. Through his student Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess was a prominent Nazi politician who was Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party during the 1930s and early 1940s...

, Haushofer's ideas may have influenced the development of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's expansionist strategies, although Haushofer denied direct influence on the Nazi regime
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

.

Biography


Haushofer belonged to a family of artists and scholars. He was born in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

, Germany, to Max Haushofer, a professor of economics, and Frau Adele Haushofer (née Fraas). On his graduation from the Munich Gymnasium (high school), Haushofer contemplated an academic career. However, service with the Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

n army proved so interesting that he stayed to work, with great success, as an instructor in military academies and on the general staff.

In 1887, he entered the 1st Field Artillery regiment "Prinzregent Luitpold" and completed Kriegsschule
Kriegsschule
Kriegsschule can refer to:* Kriegsschule , military academies used by the Wehrmacht for training officers until 1945...

, Artillerieschule and War Academy (Kingdom of Bavaria)
War Academy (Kingdom of Bavaria)
The Kriegsakademie of the Bavarian Army was the military academy and staff college of the Kingdom of Bavaria, existing from 1867 to the beginning of World War I in 1914...

. In 1896, he married Martha Mayer-Doss (1877–1946) whose father was Jewish. They had two sons, Albrecht Haushofer
Albrecht Haushofer
Albrecht Georg Haushofer was a German geographer, diplomat and author.Albrecht Haushofer's father was the retired General and geographer Karl Haushofer . His mother Martha . Albrecht had one brother, Heinz.Albrecht studied geography and history at Munich University...

 and Heinz Haushofer.

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 War Academy.

In November 1908 the army sent him to Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 to study the Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 and to advise it as an artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 instructor. He travelled with his wife via India and South East Asia and arrived in February 1909. Haushofer was received by the Japanese emperor and got to know many important people in politics and armed forces. In autumn 1909 he travelled with his wife for a month to Korea
Korean Empire
The Greater Korean Empire was an empire of Korea that succeeded the Joseon Dynasty.In October 1897, Emperor Gojong proclaimed the new entity at Gyeongungung Palace and oversaw the partially successful modernization of the military, economy, land system, education system, and various industries...

 and Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 on the occasion of a railway construction. In June 1910 they returned to Germany via Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and arrived one month later.

Shortly afterwards he began to suffer from several severe diseases and was given a leave from the army for three years. From 1911 – 1913 Haushofer would work on his doctorate of philosophy from Munich University for a thesis on Japan entitled: Dai Nihon, Betrachtungen über Groß-Japans Wehrkraft, Weltstellung und Zukunft (Reflections on Greater Japan's Military Strength, World Position, and Future). By World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 he had attained the rank of General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

, and commanded a brigade on the western front. He became disillusioned after Germany's loss and severe sanctioning, retiring with the rank of Major General in 1919. At this time, he forged a friendship with the young Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess was a prominent Nazi politician who was Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party during the 1930s and early 1940s...

 who would become his scientific assistant.
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 War I, as Germany had found itself with a poor alignment of allies and enemies. The fields of political and geographical science thus became his areas of specialty. In 1919 Haushofer became Privatdozent
Privatdozent
Privatdozent or Private lecturer is a title conferred in some European university systems, especially in German-speaking countries, for someone who pursues an academic career and holds all formal qualifications to become a tenured university professor...

 for political geography
Political geography
Political geography is the field of human geography that is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures...

 at Munich University and in 1933 professor.

Louis Pauwels
Louis Pauwels
Louis Pauwels was a French journalist and writer.- Biography :Louis Pauwels was a teacher at Athis-Mons from 1939 to 1945 , Louis Pauwels wrote in many monthly literary French magazines as early as 1946 until the...

, in his book "Monsieur Gurdjieff", describes Haushofer as a former student of George Gurdjieff; Others, including Pauwels, said that Haushofer created a Vril
Vril
Vril, the Power of the Coming Race is a 1871 science fiction novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, originally printed as The Coming Race. Many early readers believed that its account of a superior subterranean master race and the energy-form called "Vril" was accurate, to the extent that some theosophists...

 society; and that he was a secret member of the Thule Society
Thule Society
The Thule Society , originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum , was a German occultist and völkisch group in Munich, named after a mythical northern country from Greek legend...

,.

After the establishment of the Nazi regime, Haushofer remained friendly with Rudolf Hess, who protected Haushofer and his wife from the racial laws of the Nazis, which deemed her a "half-Jew". During the pre-war years Haushofer was instrumental in linking Japan to the axis powers, acting in accordance with the theories of his book "Geopolitics of the Pacific Ocean".

After the July 20 Plot
July 20 Plot
On 20 July 1944, an attempt was made to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Third Reich, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The plot was the culmination of the efforts of several groups in the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi-led German government...

 to assassinate Hitler Haushofer's son Albrecht
Albrecht Haushofer
Albrecht Georg Haushofer was a German geographer, diplomat and author.Albrecht Haushofer's father was the retired General and geographer Karl Haushofer . His mother Martha . Albrecht had one brother, Heinz.Albrecht studied geography and history at Munich University...

 (1903–1945) went into hiding but was arrested on December 7, 1944 and put into the Moabit prison in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

. During the night of April 22–23, 1945 he and other selected prisoners like Klaus Bonhoeffer
Klaus Bonhoeffer
Klaus Bonhoeffer was a German jurist and resistance fighter against the Nazi régime who was executed after the July 1944 plot to kill Hitler....

 were walked out of the prison by an SS-squad and shot. From September 24, 1945 on Karl Haushofer was informally interrogated by Father Edmund A. Walsh
Edmund A. Walsh
Fr. Edmund Aloysius Walsh, S.J. was an American Jesuit Catholic priest, professor of geopolitics and founder of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, which he founded in 1919–six years before the U.S...

 on behalf of the Allied forces to determine if he should stand trial at Nuremberg for war crimes. However, he was determined by Walsh not to have committed war crimes. On the night of March 10–11, 1946 he and his wife committed suicide in a secluded hollow on their Hartschimmelhof estate at Pähl
Pähl
Pähl am Ammersee is a municipality in the Weilheim-Schongau district, in Bavaria, Germany. It is on the lake of Ammersee to the southwest of Munich.thumb|left|Pähl Castle- Famous people :...

/Ammersee. Both drank arsenic and the wife then hanged herself while Haushofer was obviously too weak to do so too.

Geopolitik


Haushofer developed Geopolitik from widely varied sources, including the writings of Oswald Spengler
Oswald Spengler
Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler was a German historian and philosopher whose interests also included mathematics, science, and art. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West , published in 1918, which puts forth a cyclical theory of the rise and decline of civilizations...

, Alexander Humboldt, Karl Ritter
Carl Ritter
Carl Ritter was a German geographer. Along with Alexander von Humboldt, he is considered one of the founders of modern geography. From 1825 until his death, he occupied the first chair in geography at the University of Berlin.-Biography:Ritter was born in Quedlinburg, one of the six children of a...

, Friedrich Ratzel
Friedrich Ratzel
Friedrich Ratzel was a German geographer and ethnographer, notable for first using the term Lebensraum in the sense that the National Socialists later would.-Life:...

, Rudolf Kjellén
Rudolf Kjellén
Johan Rudolf Kjellén was a Swedish political scientist and politician who first coined the term "geopolitics". His work was influenced by Friedrich Ratzel...

, and Halford J. Mackinder.

Geopolitik contributed to Nazi foreign policy chiefly in the strategy and justifications for lebensraum
Lebensraum
was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany...

. The theories contributed five ideas to German foreign policy in the interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

:
  • the organic state
  • lebensraum
  • autarky
    Autarky
    Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient. Usually the term is applied to political states or their economic policies. Autarky exists whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance. Autarky is not necessarily economic. For example, a military autarky...

  • pan-region
    Pan-region
    A pan-region is a geographic region or state’s sphere of economic, political and cultural influence extending beyond that states borders. For example the pan-region of the United States of America includes regions both bordering the USA and its close neighbors including, Canada, Mexico, and many...

    s
  • land power/sea power dichotomy
    Dichotomy
    A dichotomy is any splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts, meaning it is a procedure in which a whole is divided into two parts...

    .


Geostrategy as a political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 is both descriptive and analytical like Political Geography, but adds a normative
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

 element in its strategic prescriptions for national policy. While some of Haushofer's ideas stem from earlier American and British geostrategy, German geopolitik adopted an essentialist outlook toward the national interest, oversimplifying issues and representing itself as a panacea
Panacea
In Greek mythology, Panacea was a goddess of healing. She was the daughter of Asclepius and Epione. Panacea and her five sisters each performed a facet of Apollo's art: Panacea was the goddess of cures, Iaso was the goddess of recuperation, Hygieia was the goddess of disease prevention, Aceso was...

. As a new and essentialist ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

, geopolitik found itself in a position to prey upon the post-WWI insecurity
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 of the populace.

Haushofer's position in the University of Munich served as a platform for the spread of his geopolitical ideas, magazine articles, and books. In 1922 he founded the Institute of Geopolitics in Munich, from which he proceeded to publicize geopolitical ideas. By 1924, as the leader of the German geopolitik school of thought, Haushofer would establish the Zeitschrift für Geopolitik monthly devoted to geopolitik. His ideas would reach a wider audience with the publication of Volk ohne Raum by Hans Grimm
Hans Grimm
Hans Grimm was a German writer.His father, Julius Grimm, was a professor of law who retired early and devoted his time to private historical and literary studies and to political activity as a founder member of the National Liberal party, which he represented in the Prussian parliament, and was a...

 in 1926, popularizing his concept of lebensraum. Haushofer exercised influence both through his academic teachings, urging his students to think in terms of continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

s and emphasizing motion in international politics, and through his political activities. While Hitler's speeches would attract the masses, Haushofer's works served to bring the remaining intellectual
Intellectual
An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.- Terminology and endeavours :"Intellectual" can denote four types of persons:...

s into the fold.

Geopolitik was in essence a consolidation and codification of older ideas, given a scientific gloss:
  • Lebensraum
    Lebensraum
    was one of the major political ideas of Adolf Hitler, and an important component of Nazi ideology. It served as the motivation for the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany, aiming to provide extra space for the growth of the German population, for a Greater Germany...

     was a revised colonial imperialism;
  • Autarky a new expression of tariff protectionism
    Protectionism
    Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between states through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations designed to allow "fair competition" between imports and goods and services produced domestically.This...

    ;
  • Strategic control of key geographic territories exhibiting the same thought behind earlier designs on the Suez
    Suez Canal
    The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

     and Panama canal
    Panama Canal
    The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

    s; i.e., 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
    British Empire
    The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

    , and the American Monroe Doctrine
    Monroe Doctrine
    The Monroe Doctrine is a policy of the United States introduced on December 2, 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention...

    , Pan-American Union and hemispheric defense, whereby the world is divided into spheres of influence.
  • Frontiers – His view of barriers between peoples not being political (i.e., borders) nor natural placements of races or ethnicities but as being fluid and determined by the will or needs of ethnic/racial groups.

The key reorientation in each dyad
Dyad
Dyad may refer to:*Dyad , a pair of sister chromatids occurring in prophase I of meiosis; may also be used to describe protein morphology*Dyad , Greek philosophers' principle of "twoness" or "otherness"...

 is that the focus is on land-based empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

 rather than naval imperialism.

Ostensibly based upon the geopolitical theory of American naval
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 officer Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan was a United States Navy flag officer, geostrategist, and historian, who has been called "the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century." His concept of "sea power" was based on the idea that countries with greater naval power will have greater worldwide...

, and British geographer Halford J. Mackinder, German geopolitik adds older German ideas. Enunciated most forcefully by Friedrich Ratzel and his Swedish student Rudolf Kjellén, they include an organic or anthropomorphized conception of the state, and the need for self-sufficiency through the top-down organization of society. The root of uniquely German geopolitik rests in the writings of Karl Ritter who first developed the organic conception of the state that would later be elaborated upon by Ratzel and accepted by Hausfhofer. He justified lebensraum, even at the cost of other nations' existence because conquest was a biological necessity for a state's growth.

Ratzel's writings coincided with the growth of German industrialism after the Franco-Prussian war
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and the subsequent search for markets that brought it into competition with Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

. 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
Economic geography
Economic geography is the study of the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the world. The subject matter investigated is strongly influenced by the researcher's methodological approach. Neoclassical location theorists, following in the tradition of Alfred...

, 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
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

 and designs for empire
Empire
The term empire derives from the Latin imperium . Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples united and ruled either by a monarch or an oligarchy....

. The behavioral rules of previous geopoliticians were thus turned into dynamic normative doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

s 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 Reich
Reich
Reich is a German word cognate with the English rich, but also used to designate an empire, realm, or nation. The qualitative connotation from the German is " sovereign state." It is the word traditionally used for a variety of sovereign entities, including Germany in many periods of its history...

, but the right to the more extensive Volk
Volksdeutsche
Volksdeutsche - "German in terms of people/folk" -, defined ethnically, is a historical term from the 20th century. The words volk and volkische conveyed in Nazi thinking the meanings of "folk" and "race" while adding the sense of superior civilization and blood...

 and cultural lands." Culture itself was seen as the most conducive element to dynamic special expansion. It provided a guide as to the best areas for expansion, and could make expansion safe, whereas projected military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 or commercial
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 power could not. Haushofer even held that urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 was a symptom of a nation's decline, evidencing a decreasing soil mastery, birthrate and effectiveness of centralized rule.

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
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

, whereas the old colonial powers had a much lower density, a virtual mandate
Mandate (politics)
In politics, a mandate is the authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative.The concept of a government having a legitimate mandate to govern via the fair winning of a democratic election is a central idea of democracy...

 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 this need, was Haushofer's assertion that the existence of small states was evidence of political regression and disorder in the international system
International system
The term international system may refer to:* In politics, international relations* In the sciences, the International System of Units...

. 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 Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and the "mutilated alliance" of Austro-Hungary as supporting his assertion.

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 Munich school of geopolitik would eventually expand their conception of lebensraum and autarky well past the borders of 1914 and "a place in the sun" to a New European Order, then to a New Afro-European Order, and eventually to a Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

n Order. This concept became known as a pan-region, taken from the American Monroe Doctrine, and the idea of national and continental self-sufficiency. This was a forward-looking refashioning of the drive for colonies
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

, something that geopoliticians did not see as an economic necessity, but more as a matter of prestige, and putting pressure on older colonial powers. The fundamental motivating force would not be economic, but cultural and spiritual. Haushofer was, what is called today, a proponent of "Eurasianism
Eurasia Party
The Eurasia Party was registered as a political party by the Ministry of Justice of Russia on 21 June 2002, approximately one year after the Pan-Russian Eurasia Movement was established by Aleksandr Dugin...

", advocating a policy of German–Russian hegemony and alliance to offset an Anglo–American power structure's potentially dominating influence in Europe.

Beyond being an economic concept, pan-regions were a strategic concept as well. Haushofer acknowledges the strategic concept of the Heartland 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 Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 would further augment German strategic control of Eurasia, with those states becoming the naval arms protecting Germany's insular position.

Contacts with Nazi leadership


Evidence points to a disconnect between geopoliticians and the Nazi leadership, although their practical tactical goals were nearly indistinguishable.

Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Hess
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess was a prominent Nazi politician who was Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party during the 1930s and early 1940s...

, Hitler's secretary who would assist in the writing of Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf is a book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926...

, was a close student of Haushofer's. While Hess and Hitler were imprisoned after the Munich Putsch in 1923, Haushofer spent six hours visiting the two, bringing along a copy of Friedrich Ratzel's Political Geography and Clausewitz
Carl von Clausewitz
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was a Prussian soldier and German military theorist who stressed the moral and political aspects of war...

's On War
On War
Vom Kriege is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz , written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife in 1832. It has been translated into English several times as On War...

. After WWII
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Haushofer would deny that he had taught Hitler, and claimed that the National Socialist Party
National Socialist German Workers Party
The National Socialist German Workers' Party , commonly known in English as the Nazi Party, was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. Its predecessor, the German Workers' Party , existed from 1919 to 1920...

 perverted Hess's study of geopolitik. He viewed Hitler as a half-educated man who never correctly understood the principles of geopolitik passed onto him by Hess, and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

 as the principal distorter of geopolitik in Hitler's mind. While Haushofer accompanied Hess on numerous propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 missions, and participated in consultations between Nazis and Japanese leaders, he claimed that Hitler and the Nazis only seized upon half-developed ideas and catchword
Catchword
A catchword is a word placed at the foot of a handwritten or printed page that is meant to be bound along with other pages in a book. The word anticipates the first word of the following page. It was meant to help the bookbinder or printer make sure that the leaves were bound in the right order or...

s. 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
Konstantin von Neurath
Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath was a German diplomat remembered mostly for having served as Foreign minister of Germany between 1932 and 1938...

, Nazi Minister of Foreign Affairs, were the only officials Haushofer would admit had a proper understanding of geopolitik.

Father Edmund A. Walsh
Edmund A. Walsh
Fr. Edmund Aloysius Walsh, S.J. was an American Jesuit Catholic priest, professor of geopolitics and founder of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, which he founded in 1919–six years before the U.S...

 S.J.
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

, professor of geopolitics
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

 and dean
Dean (education)
In academic administration, a dean is a person with significant authority over a specific academic unit, or over a specific area of concern, or both...

 at Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

, who interviewed Haushofer after the allied victory in preparation for the Nuremberg trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

, disagreed with Haushofer's assessment that geopolitik was terribly distorted by Hitler and the Nazis. He cites Hitler's speeches declaring that small states have no right to exist, and the Nazi use of Haushofer's maps, language and arguments. Even if distorted somewhat, Fr. Walsh felt that was enough to implicate Haushofer's geopolitik.

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. Fr. 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
Military strategy
Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek strategos, strategy when it appeared in use during the 18th century, was seen in its narrow sense as the "art of the general", 'the art of arrangement' of troops...

 entered Hitler's thought between his imprisonment and publishing of Mein Kampf. Chapter XIV, on German policy in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, 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
Gregor Strasser
Gregor Strasser was a politician of the National Socialist German Workers Party...

) and his advocacy of essentially a German–Russian alliance. This Nazi left wing had some connections to the Communist Party of Germany
Communist Party of Germany
The Communist Party of Germany was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period until it was banned in 1956...

 and some of its leaders, especially those who were influenced by the National Bolshevist
National Bolshevism
National Bolshevism is a political movement that claims to combine elements of nationalism and Bolshevism. It is often anti-capitalist in tone, and sympathetic towards certain nationalist forms of communism and socialism...

 philosophy of a German–Russian revolutionary alliance, as advocated by Ernst Niekisch
Ernst Niekisch
Ernst Niekisch was a German politician. Initially associated with mainstream left-wing politics he later became a Prominent exponent of National Bolshevism.-Bavaria:...

, Julius Evola
Julius Evola
Barone Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola also known as Julius Evola, was an Italian philosopher and esotericist...

, Ernst Jünger
Ernst Jünger
Ernst Jünger was a German writer. In addition to his novels and diaries, he is well known for Storm of Steel, an account of his experience during World War I. Some say he was one of Germany's greatest modern writers and a hero of the conservative revolutionary movement following World War I...

, Hielscher and other figures of the "conservative revolution." He did profess loyalty to the Führer
Führer
Führer , alternatively spelled Fuehrer in both English and German when the umlaut is not available, is a German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler, who modelled it on Benito Mussolini's title il Duce, as well as with Georg von Schönerer, whose followers also...

 and make anti-Semitic
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 remarks on occasion. However, his emphasis was always on space over race, believing in environmental rather than racial determinism. He refused to associate himself with anti-Semitism as a policy, especially because his wife was half-Jewish. Haushofer admits that after 1933 much of what he wrote was distorted under duress: his wife had to be protected by Hess's influence (who managed to have her awarded 'honorary German' status); his son was implicated in the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler and was executed by the Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

; he himself was imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp for eight months; and his son and grandson were imprisoned for two-and-a-half months.

Conspiracy theories


The notion of a 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
Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf is a book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. Volume 1 of Mein Kampf was published in 1925 and Volume 2 in 1926...

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 Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

an lama
Lama
Lama is a title for a Tibetan teacher of the Dharma. The name is similar to the Sanskrit term guru .Historically, the term was used for venerated spiritual masters or heads of monasteries...

s, although these notions are debated.

The influence of Haushofer on Nazi ideology is dramatized in the 1943 short documentary film, Plan for Destruction
Plan for Destruction
Plan for Destruction is a 1943 short documentary film directed by Edward Cahn. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short....

. The film was nominated for an Academy Award.

Haushofer's works

  • English Translation and Analysis of Major General Karl Ernst Haushofer's Geopolitics of the Pacific Ocean: Studies on the Relationship between Geography and History ISBN 0-7734-7122-7
  • Das Japanische Reich in seiner geographischen Entwicklung (L.W. Seidel & sohn, 1921 Wien)
  • Geopolitik des Pazifischen Ozeans. (1925)
  • Bausteine zur Geopolitik. (1928)
  • Weltpolitik von heute. (Zeitgeschichte-Verlag Wilhelm Undermann, 1934)
  • Napoleon I., Lübeck : Coleman, 1935
  • Kitchener, Lübeck : Coleman, 1935
  • Foch, Lübeck : Coleman, 1935
  • Weltmeere und Weltmächte, Berlin : Zeitgeschichte Verlag, 1937
  • Deutsche Kulturpolitik im indopazifischen Raum, Hamburg : Hoffmann u. Campe, 1939
  • Grenzen in ihrer geographischen und politischen Bedeutung, Heidelberg ; Berlin ; Magdeburg : Vowinckel, 1939
  • Wehr-Geopolitik : Geogr. Grundlagen e. Wehrkunde, Berlin : Junker u. Dünnhaupt, 1941
  • Japan baut sein Reich, Berlin : Zeitgeschichte-Verlag Wilhelm Undermann, 1941
  • Das Werden des deutschen Volkes : Von d. Vielfalt d. Stämme zur Einheit d. Nation, Berlin : Propyläen-Verl., 1941
  • Der Kontinentalblock : Mitteleuropa, Eurasien, Japan, Berlin : Eher, 1941
  • Das Reich : Großdeutsches Werder im Abendland, Berlin : Habel, 1943
  • Geopolitische Grundlagen, Verleger Berlin ; Wien : Industrieverl. Spaeth & Linde, 1939.

Cultural references


Karl Haushofer is a supporting character in the best selling Japanese historical fantasy
Historical fantasy
Historical fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy and related to historical fiction, which makes use of specific elements of real world history. It is used as an umbrella term for the sword and sorcery genre and sometimes, if fantasy is involved, the sword-and-sandal genre too...

 novel Teito Monogatari
Teito Monogatari
is a massive Japanese historical fantasy epic written by Hiroshi Aramata.-Overview:The story is a retelling of the history of Edo from an occultist perspective. The premise is based on the idea that the curse of Taira no Masakado greatly influenced the city's history from its inception to the...

(1985--1989) by Hiroshi Aramata
Hiroshi Aramata
is a Japanese author, translator, and screenplay writer, as well as a specialist in natural history and cartography.His most popular novel was Teito Monogatari , which has sold over 3.5 million copies in Japan alone. He also wrote Alexander Senki, a novel which eventually evolved into the anime...

. In the novel, the protagonist Yasunori Kato
Yasunori Kato
is a fictional character, the antagonist of the Japanese historical fantasy series Teito Monogatari, created by Hiroshi Aramata.Since his first cinematic appearance in 1988, Yasunori Kato has gone on to become a well known and well respected archetype in Japanese popular culture having inspired a...

 sponsors Haushofer into the Chinese secret society to aid his political agenda to free China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 from Japanese control .

In the 2003 anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 series Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist
, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is styled after the European Industrial Revolution...

 (Episode 51: Laws and Promises ), Haushofer appears as a student of Van Hohenheim in the year 1921. It can be inferred from the episode that Hohenheim is the master of a secret society in a prestigious German university, and that he teaches alchemy
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

 to respected scholars (Haushofer included) in pre-Nazi Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

Haushofer is portrayed as a minor villain in the 2005 anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 movie Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa
is a 2005 Japanese animated film directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Sho Aikawa, and acts as a continuation of the first Fullmetal Alchemist television series...

, in which he is voiced by Masane Tsukayama
Masane Tsukayama
is a Japanese actor, voice actor, and narrator from Naha, Okinawa.-Television animation:*Akagi *Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto *Blocker Gundan 4 Machine Blaster...

 in the Japanese version and John Swasey
John Swasey
John Swasey is an American actor, voice actor, ADR Director, and Script Writer who works at Funimation Entertainment, ADV Films, Seraphim Digital, and OkraTron 5000...

 in the English version.

Sources

  • Jacobsen, Hans-Adolf. Karl Haushofer: Leben und Werk. 2 vols. (= Schriften des Bundesarchivs 24) Harald Boldt Verlag, Boppard 1979.
  • Ravenscroft, Trevor. "The Spear of Destiny" Weiser Books, London: 1983

Further reading

  • Dorpalen, Andreas.World of General Haushofer: Geopolitics in Action, 1942, ISBN 0-8046-0112-7
  • Heske, Henning: Karl Haushofer: his role in German politics and in Nazi politics. In: Political Geography 6 (1987), p. 135-144.
  • Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the postwar fascist international by Kevin Coogan, Autonomedia, Brooklyn, NY 1998 ISBN 1-57027-039-2
  • Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890 edited by Philip Rees, 1991, ISBN 0-13-089301-3
  • Spang, Christian W., "Karl Haushofer Re-examined – Geopolitics as a Factor within Japanese-German Rapprochement in the Inter-War Years?" C. W. Spang, R.-H. Wippich (eds.), Japanese-German Relations, 1895-1945. War, Diplomacy and Public Opinion. Routledge, London/New York: 2006, pp. 139–157.

External links