Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More About the Mysterious Dr. Krumm-Heller and His Book, Für Freiheit und Recht (For Freedom and Justice)

My book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual is available in Kindle and days from being available in paperback. One of the main characters in this novelesque tome of nonfiction is Francisco I. Madero's personal doctor and fellow Spiritist-- and German spy-- Dr. Arnoldo Krumm-Heller. I have blogged about him previously here and here, and just the other day, historian Heribert von Feilitzsch posted a long piece about Krumm-Heller's  Für Freiheit und Recht. (For Freedom and Justice: My Adventures in the Mexican Civil War). 

Von Feilitzsch also recently blogged about Krumm-Heller's escapades in stirring up trouble along the US-Mexico border. 

(Take home point: Apart from playing an important role in the German and Latin American esoteric scene, Krumm-Heller was a far more important figure in the history of the Mexican Revolution than most historians recognize. He also had a lot to do with Pancho's Villa's defeat at Celaya.) 

If you're at all interested in Mexican history, von Feilitzsch's blog is well worth reading-- as is his riveting sleuthwork, In Plain Sight: Felix Sommerfeld, Spymaster in Mexico. 

(For those a little foggy on Mexican history: Francisco I. Madero, Mexico's "Apostle of Democracy," led the Revolution of 1910, took office as President of Mexico 1911, and was murdered in a coup d'etat led by General Victoriano Huerta in early 1913. Civil war then erupted, a Chinese puzzle of shifting alliances... in Krumm-Heller's view, Venustiano Carranza was the rightful heir to Madero's democratic government. Complicating matters was the outbreak of WWI in 1914; the German government, using agents such as Krumm-Heller, tried to foment trouble on the US-Mexico border in an attempt to keep the United States distracted. Important aside: the German strategy regarding Mexico was more than a little byzantine, and not all agreed on whatever it was.)

It took some hunting, but I did manage to find a pristine first edition of Krumm-Heller's Für Freiheit und Recht from an antiquarian bookdealer in Germany, but you, dear reader, can read the whole enchilada for free on archive.org

BIG FAT CAVEAT: it's chock full of full of swatistkas, alas, and this, of course, leads most readers to jump to end of the usual equation, Swatiska + German = Nazi. But the book was published back in 1916, before Hitler's Nationalist Social Party came to prominence, a time when the swastika-- an ancient symbol out of India-- did not carry the sinister connotations it does today. Krumm-Heller meant it to suggest German patriotism-- the book was aimed at getting the German government to recognize Carranza's in Mexico-- and auspiciousness. It is a symbol you can find in many Buddhist temples, by the way. 

Over on my webpage for my book, where I offer some resources for researchers, there's a link to the chapter about Francisco I. Madero by Krumm-Heller in the book Trilogía heróica, also published in 1916. As with Fur Freiheit und Recht, it is a work of propaganda in support of Carranza, whom Krumm-Heller considered the true heir to Madero. This is a very rare little book--more a pamphlet actually; as it does not have a spine. I aim to translate this chapter as soon as possible. In the meantime a quote (my translation from the Spanish):

"It is generally believed that Madero was a fanatical Spiritist whose wife was a medium who evoked the spirits to help him solve the difficult problems of governing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Madero was an illustrious Hermeticist, a distinguished Orientalist, a high initiate in esotericism, a highly respected Mason who, in the many moral trials to which he was subjected, demonstrated profound knowledge of the great philosophers, such as Kant, Spencer, and Shopenhauer, and he was the author of an unpublished book about that sacred book of the Buddhists, the Bhagavad-Gita."

More anon.