Wilhelm Kammeierdeutsch english español français
Kammeier and the Falsifying of the Middle Ages (Part I and II)
2002 Uwe Topper
Wilhelm Kammeier, born on October 3, 1889, began his work of historical criticism in 1923. By the spring of 1926 a 292-page manuscript, "The universal falsification of history", was available, but could not find a publisher. The specialist scientists, especially the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin, declined to take notice, because Kammeier did not belong to their guild of historical researchers. If you look at what was written in those years after the First World War - how wild the imaginations ran then- you may forgive this rejection. If any one of those scholars had looked into the manuscript, one would assume that he would have been tied up and would have campaigned for the publication. Kammeier had only noble motives for his educational work: He saw the falsification of history as a great danger to our culture, because false conclusions from false knowledge bear new material for future conflict.
He thought education was extremely important. His first book was published in 1935, the second volume was written between 1936 and 1939 - he was not recognized by the National Socialists. Until the war, Kammmeier worked as a primary school teacher in Hanover. As a soldier he was taken prisoner and after his release he was able to find his wife and loyal colleague Lotte in Arnstadt in Thuringia. In 1942 Kammeier had published a little paper about the development of the church, which he now worked on further. The third volume, "The Falsification of the History of Early Christianity", was written by 1956, but the Communists of the GDR did not want to publish it either (it appeared in Husum in 1981/82).
Kammmeier was treated like an enemy of the state and dying in1959 from malnutrition in Arnstadt, where he is buried. His wife and sister lingered on there, in dire straits, for another two decades. Lotte Kammeier died in 1979.
The falsification of German history
The first volume is divided into four issues, which probably appeared consecutively. In the foreword, which is refreshingly short, Kammeier immediately asks his central question, in the words of Mommsen, probably the most famous of all German historians: How is it to be explained that "there is a darkness over the Germanic beginnings, compared with which the beginnings of Rome and Hellas are totally clear"? I will anticipate Kammmeier's answer here: Because the stories of Rome and Hellas were forged together with the beginnings of our own culture, deliberately falsified at the same time with great enthusiasm during the “Renaissance”.
In his solution to the problem, Kammeier cites two great pioneers in principle: the Jesuit father Johannes Hardouin (p. 87) and the president of the court in Düsseldorf, P.J.F. Müller, who published a book in 1814: "Meine Ansicht der Geschichte (My view of history)" (p. 89). Kammeier finds support in the works of these two authors, but does not use them in the following. It is quite possible he came across these two authors during his work and had already developed his own line. He does not go as far as his predecessors in terms of detail, does not reject ancient literature as an invention as radically as Hardouin nor paint an "actual" prehistory of Germany as imaginatively as Müller.
As for Hardouin - hardly much needs to be said about him, his theses are well known and have been discussed a great deal. Müller seems to me to be one of those comprehensively educated German romantic scholars - like his contemporary Radlof, whom I mentioned briefly in my "Germanen" lecture (printed in Zeitensprünge 2-96, Graefelfing (see here in German in our archive). In exciting and very vividly written chapters, the author shows us the nonsense of the notaries of German emperors, who often did not know what year they lived because they could not correctly note the year of their employer nor the tax year (indiction) on the documents and therefore simply left the date line blank. Would we take such documents seriously today? No, only historians do that. Plain simple common sense, Kammeier's methodical knife, rejects all such nonsense.
At the end of the first issue, Kammeier emphasizes one problem of this historical falsification campaign with the words: "But this creation of the new medieval chronology out of nowhere, as it were, was the most difficult point of universal action, and from this point of view it has failed miserably." (p. 80) Kammeier then explains how the monks managed to cover up this problem with a least-worst solution: They resorted to elastic dating, introducing several contradictory dates, from which the "correct" one - when needed - was always available. These “open” dates were created with full intent, says Kammeier; this was the best available way to circumvent their impossible task, apparently creating a real, solid chronology.
Like Aschbach (see Topper 1998, (look in the archive) and other critics before him, Kammeier uses an inner textual criticism: It's not about sorting out the fonts as forged, although that sometimes helps, it's not about meticulously examining the parchments, because there are always super shrewd counterfeiters that cannot be found out by using this method. Rather, the psychological test becomes a scalpel: Kammeier asks "whether the historian and document writer could report and write down certain events, people and dates as he reported them, if he had really been who he was and from where issues his works, "namely as an imperial notary in the 12th century” (p.97). Using very conclusive forms of evidence, it’s made clear to the reader that the forgeries, of both medieval monasteries and the imperial chancellery did not pursue any practical goals, i.e. would not have been contemporaneous forgeries; these concoctions were so easy to see through that any use in court would have led to one being arrested for fraud.
The whole mess of thousands of forged documents, entries in registers and "chronicles" can only be understood as a literary invention that occurred much later. In order to create a suitable historical environment for this forged mountain of documents, historical works had to be forged at the same time, of course (p. 133), otherwise they would have been left hanging in the air, unsupported. The copying method was usually used: Originals are hardly ever available, only copies of copies. The loss statistics of the medieval manuscripts are a clear indication of the forgery campaign. Not only have the originals been lost, but also the so-called "common templates" on which the "copies" that have been preserved go back in time.
Only in very few cases will originals or first copies have been made at all; mostly the wildly contradicting second and third copies were created, which being correspondingly elastic in their statements, could then be used to support many other statement. In the third issue, Kammeier determined - through clever considerations - that only a tightly organized cooperative could bring about this feat of totally rewriting European history. Not even one entire order of monks was able to do this, only the Catholic Church in its entirety, being directed from Rome. (Comparable to Edwin Johnson’s Round Table analogy – NW.)
This process would have continued for several generations, more than a century.
The only possible moment for this is the beginning of the Renaissance, for the whole of the 15th century. The reasons for these assumptions are compelling. If you have followed the author’s argument to this point, you have to take further steps. Kammeier works with the accuracy of a detective; in places his book reads like a detective novel - with our real life historical background. While reading, you can guess what the solution must be, and you are sometimes led astray in order to recognize for yourself that certain objections or counter-arguments are unfounded. Since, above all, the forgeries in the Vatican itself are horrific and this claim cannot be refuted by anything, even the skeptical reader is soon convinced that the "Big Action" could have been directed from there. Hand in hand with the rewriting of history by the Church, the "real" documents, at least the older texts, will have been destroyed. What is noticeable is the lack of secular register volumes, such as the royal and imperial chancelleries. Could they also be destroyed by the church servants? Kammeier answers this question in the affirmative (p. 218; (I consider this to be the weakest point in Kammeier's structure - I will come back to this at the end). In any case, the fact is that not only manuscripts were forged, but the entire environment: inscriptions and coins alike (p. 233), which resulted in a completely new historical image necessary to erase the memory of other states of the past.
At the end of the 3rd booklet he says again: "Only one universal historical falsification can have taken place, and this action must be postponed to the end of the Middle Ages. Two circumstances are decisive for this time fixation: first, that the pseudo-historical historical sources produced according to the same production system date back to the threshold of modern times ( and in "stragglers" even beyond), and secondly, that it is precisely in this epoch that the great flood of "humanistic" historical falsifications is rising with the name Humanism (Renaissance). Both movements are simply one! The Renaissance is a rebirth of antiquity, and also a rebirth of the Middle Ages."
In volume 4, he forensically examines the sources of the legal books and finally states: "1. the sources of law (like the secular registers) have in part been completely destroyed; 2. as far as sources are available, these have been falsified according to certain criteria. "(p. 270) Kammeier's further investigation of Tacitus' "Germania" already penetrates the realm of antiquity and is completely conclusive, allowing a tiny glimpse into the full extent of their antiquity that he did not want to bring up. This may give the impression that Kammeier believed other ancient documents - such as those of a Poseidonios - to have actually come down to us, even if heavily falsified. As far as Hardouin was aware, this was very unlikely.
Now as to the objection that I would like to raise, with which I will not shake the entire building: The production of books, files, registers, etc. and their smuggling into monasteries and schools seems to me technically possible, a dual extirpation and replacement process to the extent that Kammmeier demands, however not. Did the priests have unrestricted access to all farmhouses or noble castles over Europe? Texts would have been left over someplace if they had not been replaced by the ‘novels’. The certainty with which the forgers went to work - that is to say: the cheek with which they devised and disseminated ancient and medieval history - also means that they did not fear their work might be made ridiculous by contrary writings or evidence coming back to light from obscurity.
There was no opposing side in the minds of the forgers either, hence they filled a vacuum! Otherwise, some great scholars or clergymen - I am thinking of Viterbo, Abbot Tritheim or Antonio de Guevara - would have behaved more cautiously and would have stayed within the framework of what was historically acceptable instead of fabulous storytelling. Guevara's unheard-of cheek was probably well known to all contemporaries and that is precisely why it was received with so much enthusiasm, namely as a parody of the "serious" historians (that is, the dogged liars). If - as some historians still assume today and as Kammeier still suspected in places despite all the clarity - a certain basic stock of traditions and texts had been saved from antiquity into the Quattrocento, then our present-day picture of antiquity would look completely different. It is not the distortions in today's classical texts that cause us difficulties, not the "changes" in the Bible verses etc., but their completely free invention which has become the main issue leading to the false conclusions mentioned above.
Between antiquity and the emerging Europe in the High Middle Ages - the vague beginning of our historicity under the Stauffer emperors - a break of tremendous severity must have occurred, a catastrophe of such enormous proportions that not only tradition (apart from some oral tradition) was wiped out, but almost everything in terms of technical ability that antiquity had ever achieved. We don't need to go back to the pyramids, the making of which is a total mystery to us even today. We do not even know how the northern German farmers built their megalithic structures or how they measured their fields and made calendars. So I can only accept as an explanation a total catastrophe lying between antiquity and the beginning of the modern age, which created this vacuum that the ‘historians’ of the Renaissance knew just how to operate to fill so masterfully with their creations.
Kammeier, Wilhelm: "Die Fälschung der deutschen Geschichte" (The falsification of German history) (Leipzig 1935 / Husum 1979) " Die Wahrheit über die Geschichte des Spätmittelalters" (The truth about the history of the late Middle Ages) (Vol. I: 1936; Vol. II: 1938 / Reprint Husum 1979) Kammeier, Wilhelm "Die Fälschung der Geschichte des Urchristentums" (The falsification of the history of early Christianity) (Husum 1981) (Publishing house for holistic research and culture, Roland Bohliger, Wolfenbüttel / Husum 1982)
On p. 372 he summarizes this four-part work: The peculiar purpose of becoming a historicized code of law of the new church caused the peculiar literary clothing of the Gospel as a whole. It is now also clear that, for example, the astral point of view was not the main focus of the Gospel poets. Rather, astral and similar motives and suggestions played only a very subordinate role in the conception of the Gospels. To be sure, the poets took suggestions and models from where they found such things - also from the Old Testament, from the Jewish, Greek and Indian world of thought - but these loan motifs are only used as helpful aids in their construction of poetry; the main driving force behind the action was the basic intention of the authors to draft a historically documented, validated procedural guide for the priesthood. All other intentions became subordinated to this purpose.
The historical cladding was chosen because it went without saying that the "divine" code of the church was enacted by the "founder" of the new religion, i.e. that the individual provisions came to us from Jesus himself. The new religion of philosophy devised by the authors (philosophy in disguise with religious terms!) was presented via the story of Jesus of Nazareth. One’s aware how the story represents the most subtly cunning form of legalisation, because it cannot be disputed as a "fact" and yet has a potent power as narrative, especially when this story presents itself as one in which God, God’s only Son, is directly involved as protagonist. At the same time, of course, holy history should also be understood in a purely historical manner, as a true tradition, thus validating Jesus as a "historical" person. The gospel supposes to proclaim doctrine in the form of history. In detail, the procedure became such that for every provision of the Priestly Code deemed necessary, a suitable short story was devised to justify it.
According to the topographical-chronological viewpoints available in the Gospels, these small stories were strung together in four ways along the storyline of the Jesus poem. We conclude by summarizing the results of our investigation into the principles at work in the conception of the entire gospel in a few concise sentences. The basic religious idea of salvation provides the actual "historical" core, the backbone of this Jesus drama. The idea itself inevitably provided the main springs for the mechanism of the action. An arc from a wonderful beginning to inevitable tragic end, a spurious historical career of the founder.
Literature used by Kammeier:
Drews, A.: "Das Markus-Evangelium" (2. Aufl., 1928)
Schniewind, J.: "Zur Synoptiker Exegese" in: Theolog. Rundschau 1930
Preisendanz, K.: "Papyruskunde und Papyrusforschung" (1933)
Eichorn, J.G.: "Einleitung in das Neue Testament" (1804)
Meyer, Eduard: "Ursprung und Anfänge des Christentums" (1921)
Fascher, E.: "Textgeschichte als hermeneutisches Problem" (1953) Teil II
Rezension des Buches Der zweite große Angriff
(Viöl, 2003 [Nachdruck]) von Wilhelm Kammeier
Review of the book The Second Great Attack (Viöl, 2003 [reprint]) by Wilhelm Kammeier
Now finally available to everyone, the complete works of Wilhelm Kammeiers! The first volume, "The falsification of German history", was published by Roland Bohlinger (formerly Husum, then Wobbenbüll, now Viöl) in 1979 and has been in its 11th edition since May 2000 with detailed afterwords by Roland Bohlinger and Wolfram Zarnack (see my review in Synesis No. 4/2000, pp. 9-11); the third volume, "The Falsification of the History of Early Christianity", was edited very carefully by the same publisher from Kammeier's estate in 1981 (new edition 2001). Only volume II was missing, because there were the five individual issues from Adolf Klein Verlag in Leipzig, published between 1936 and 1939, and a first reprint of two issues in Husum in 1979.
Unfortunately, these five original issues were difficult to find, not every library had them. Now it’s a relief for all historians to have the complete works at hand in such a beautiful and affordable edition.
I hardly need to repeat anything about Wilhelm Kammmeier, he is a well-known figure in our group. Without exaggeration, it can be said that he was the real driving force behind the new reconstruction of chronology in Germany, and that we would not have come very far had it not been for H.-U. Niemitz who would have pointed out this classic in 1991. Nevertheless, I have to catch up on something that had arisen from careless handling of information: As research by Winfried Seibert has shown, Kammeier was not a notary or even a lawyer, as the publisher's advertising said and I had taken over unchecked, but a poor elementary school teacher, and that only temporarily. It is true that Kammmeier was treated like an enemy of the state and died in 1959 of malnutrition in Arnstadt (in Thuringia), where he is buried. Remarkably little can be learned about Kammeier's person. His widow survived him by two decades herself living in great misery too.
The following message is documented information from the Arnstadt city administration:
Mrs. Charlotte Margarete Kammeyer (born Bode, born March 4th, 1916 in Minden / Westf.) Widowed, died May 3rd, 1978 in Arnstadt / Thür. (The changed spelling of the surname is not explained).
Horst Fuhrmann, long-time head of the highest German historians' association, mentions Kammeier "Überall ist Mittelalter" (Everywhere is Middle Ages), Munich 1996; TB 2002) briefly on p. 11 and in detail on p. 244-251, but in such a devastating, hateful tone that the information (at least these tendentious selections) reinforce doubts. He even wants to condemn Kammeier for an illegitimate birth - though that cannot be proven - and is irrelevant here. So what if he was a village school teacher and finally became unemployable. And what’s worse, there were even Nazis who praised him! At the end Fuhrmann mentions a book without an author, "Das Gesetz der Mitte in der Gesellschaft" (The Law of the Middle in Society) (Bayreuth 1994), which reports on Kammeier's theses 100 pages long, but is possibly politically incorrect.
The publication of all of Kammeier's works - and that means the conversion of the Gothic script into Latin letters - was certainly not an easy task, which is why it took a long time to complete the work, understandably. The few misprints that remain are easily recognizable and are therefore unimportant. The blocks have all been lifted, which is not a disadvantage. Roland Bohlinger has kindly taken over all of Kammeier's comments and numbered them consecutively at the end of the volume, also adding a complete list of all the literature expressly cited by Kammeier: It goes without saying that Kammeier read and used a great deal more material.
What is so special about the second volume for us? It lies in the way in which the five issues from 1936 to 39, which have been taken over verbatim in today's compilation, were created. In them, Kammeier defends himself against his critics, from issue to issue. This conversation grabs the reader and allows him (unexpectedly) to witness, to experience, the very struggle going on at the time: A single pioneer up against the closed ranks and battle lines of the state administrators of history: indeed one can but admire how he repels them with the power of his spirit and pen alone - is worthy of great respect. Today we - the few chronology critics - know that Kammeier was right. One day everyone will understand, because any sane thinking person cannot ignore his meticulous and carefully executed arguments indefinitely.
The liveliness of the dialogue with those critics makes the book an experience. Here is one example: In a dispute with his opponent Heimpel, who later became famous while Kammeier was forgotten, Kammeier (p. 136) speaks of "logical dualism (to use a more apt description)." What would be more appropriate? Schizophrenia! For this is what you could call it if a historian takes for granted that the Pope lives in a permanent residence and keeps a record of his edicts, while the Emperor moves around like a nomad and draws out documents at random without keeping records, as they do, these Itineraries of the German emperors are supposed to make us believe them for centuries past. There must be another mechanism behind this, a "big action".
Heimpel accused Kammeier of speaking "nonsense". Another recent critic spoke of "half-truths". "Just be patient," counters Kammeier, "sooner or later the half-truths will turn out to be completely rounded out truths." (P. 136)
Anyone who has followed the discussion over the past few years knows that the percentages are getting closer and closer to Kammeier. If more than 50% of medieval documents were initially recognized as forged, it has now gradually increased to over 70% and in some places even 90%. ; soon there will be nothing left, as a weekly magazine (Der Spiegel, 2002) wrote last year. I would like to emphasize a few remarkable sentences about Rome: "A tradition from the Sedes Romana, that is, the seat of the papacy in Rome, did not even exist in the Christian consciousness at the time of the alleged exile (in Avignon). Next: Rome was during that time an insignificant shepherd's village throughout the Middle Ages; a "Pope" did not reside in Rome during the Middle Ages!" (P. 222) This finding, which is extraordinarily important today for our reconstruction of chronology - see my book ZeitFälschung, p. 159 ff. Also W. Zarnack's appendix to Kammeier, vol. I (2000) - must be the model for future research on this period.
The exile of the Popes in Avignon may have been invented, something true can be harvested from this invention, something like this: The administrative arm of the young church developed in this area as before this there were no popes, which becomes clear to everyone reading the book carefully.
What Kammeier says about the "central problem of the history of heretics" (from p.206) is particularly illuminating and helpful for our reconstruction. This is a very far-reaching phenomenon; in Islam there were heretics in the same (fictional) period, and under a Greek name the sindiq, (from Syndikos, legal counsel). In any case, the Begharden and Beguines, which Emperor Karl IV allegedly wanted to have "destroyed in the provinces of Magdeburg and Bremen, in Thuringia, Saxony and Hesse" in 1369, continued to flourish a century later in northern Germany - strangely enough! On the other hand, we simply don't know anything about them themselves. Utter ghosts of church history!”
Kammeier's explanation helps us to understand how this came to be.
Anyone who does not have all of Kammeier's works on their own bookshelf should purchase this book. And whoever reads this complete and exemplary line of argument again will understand better and better that Kammeier's preparatory work was irreplaceable for all of today's efforts to reconstruct history.
Kammeier, Wilhelm: "Die Fälschung der deutschen Geschichte" (Leipzig 1935/ Husum 1979/Viöl 2000)
"Die Wahrheit über die Geschichte des Spätmittelalters" (2 Hefte als Neudruck Husum 1979) - "Der zweite große Angriff" (alle 5 Hefte, Viöl 2003)
"Die Fälschung der Geschichte des Urchristentums" (Husum 1981/Viöl 2001)
Translated from German by Nick Weech from Scotland
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