Gaebler Info und Genealogie
German Missions in British India
"More and more we prepared for home service. And then all of a sudden I was allowed to go back (to mission work), as the only one of our group. This whole generation (of missionaries), all these people were repatriated."
Bishop Richard Lipp April 14th, 1973"
The first reference in a German Missions magazine to the location of Purandhar as an internment camp for Protestant missionaries was made in 1941. The Evangelische Missions-Zeitschrift reported quite definitively;
The one other missionary was the Quaker Heinz von Tucher, interned with his wife Karen and youngest child.2 In 1942 and 1943 the Family Parole Camp of Purandhar would have increased importance for the German Missions personnel.
"South of Poona, between the Karba and Nira Valleys, there stretches a conspicuous mountain range, the highest stock of which, crowned by the Kedaresvar Temple, is occupied by Purandhar Fort. ..."3 Tucher also described the same mount:
For much of the time, "on cloudy days its dark crest is hidden;"5 and
The peaks, the crests between the peaks and the extension to the easterly bastion (Khandkada) of Purandhar are crowned with ruins of temples, of a mosque, of the palaces of Nizamshahis and Abaji, as well as Shivaji's fortifications, cisterns, bastions and the immense gates.7 Purandhar bespeaks a rich past and the evidence of many eras and uses. Alone "the defence of the fort was through the natural wall, through a basil rock that covers the softer strata of the mountain; it forms an unscalable barrier to an aggressor."8
Purandhar, isolated from the routes of the plains, remained strategic for the Mahratta people and their Hindu king Shivaji (1627-1680);9 for he
Then too, Purandhar Fort became "... famous in Indian history by the siege A.D. 1665 undertaken on behalf of the emperor Aurangzeb by Maharajah Jai Singh I of Amber (Jaipur),11 which forced Shivaji to surrender to the Moghuls." Upon the conquest of this important fort, the "Convention of Poorundhur" was held in June, 1665. It was stipulated that Shivaji had to "restore all the (23) forts and districts which had been taken from the Moghuls, with the exception of 12 (forts)."12
In 1776 the Treaty of Purandhar replaced the Treaty of Surat of 1775, whereby a settlement was achieved between the British and the Peshwa Ragunath Rao of Poona and others,13 a consequence to the political maneuverings ensuing from the Mahratta wars. The conditions were that "all the territorial acquisitions of the (East India) Company should be relinquished with the exception of Salsette,"14 the island-today's Greater Bombay.
As distant as Purandhar was from the trade routes and the political centers, along with its lower and smaller sister-fortress Wazirgadh, they offer a rich evidence in Mahratti history. Purandhar is a hill fort bathed in monuments and history, pointing out that "there are vestiges of earlier fortifications and sanctuaries, probably of the Hindu Middle Ages, in one case possibly of even earlier date."15 Thus, before the major Muslim construction periods under the Bahmanis and the Nizam-shahis, before the early Mahratti period, the pre-Shivaji and the Shivaji eras, the "Golden Age of Purandhar and Madhav Rao (A.D. 1761-72),"16 and the late Mahratti times (1772-1818),17 Purandhar gives archaeological evidence of older civilizations. "The oldest and most mysterious ruins are a series of caves in the southwestern and southeastern faces of the cliff-cone to the east18 of Vajragadh Fort (Wazirgadh)."18 It appears that "the caves cannot have been intended for human habitation or work;"19
Considering all the tribes which invaded India periodically between 300 B.C. - A.D. 700, "the groove to 'lead out the impurity' would well be in harmony with Iranian ideas," or through the Scythian or Turkish incursions.21
In more recent times in the late Mahratta period, when the Peshwa Baji Rao II was deposed in the closing Mahratti War of 1818, the British of the Bombay Presidency, in search of higher locations, discovered the "magnificent natural setting" of Purandhar.22 Along the lower 'deck' on the northern side of Purandhar Fort itself,
Yet what is often the case in archaeological discoveries of ancient civilizations, was also true for Purandhar.
It was in July and August, 1940, following the 'fifth column' activities of the Third Reich and the enlarged European conflict, that Purandhar came into use as a family parole settlement. Nearly an entire year into
The Foreign Office of the Third Reich and the German Orient Society, in the Drittes Merkblatt of January, 1941, mentioned briefly, in comparison to the internment camps of Ahmadnagar and Yercaud, that Purandhar "appears to be established, with few exceptions, for the quartering of interned Jews and emigrants."26 Understandably the Nazi censors had received few letters from this settlement to glean the information, yet the Foreign office knew that "there were numerous doctors and dentists in the camp who had emigrated from Germany."27 The Jewish camp came into being, because
Also arriving at the "so-called segregation camp",29 because of the preponderance of German Jewish residents, were the two German missionaries, Wilhelm Radsick (Gossner) and Heinz von Tucher (British Friends). The Quaker wrote in his diary:
Under a similar schedule, though coming a greater distance,
From the outset at the Purandhar Parole Camp,
The customary entrance to the Purandhar Fort camp was through the massive Moghul Gate, the Bini Darwaza,33 exactly in the mid-section of the Lower Fort. Frau Marianne Brocke, whose husband joined her at Purandhar in 1941,
His Majesty's parole settlement at Purandhar served for nearly six years, July, 1940 to April, 1946. At its elevation, during the monsoon period with its rain and its mist, the camp was frequently hidden, while at times clouds simply blanketed the two peaks of the mountain. "The climate up there was certainly favourable,"35 and "fairly pleasant temperatures compared to what they had had somewhere in a city on the plains in the sweltering heat."36 Alfred Brocke remembered that
Yet there were the terrible monsoon rains for days upon days or the dreadful winter mist and fog which shrouded the hill camp.38 And there was "the uncertainty of the future, because one never knew how long this war would last and how it would turn out. ..."39
Interned at Purandhar was "like being on a ship, confined to a certain small space, having to be with the same people and meeting them and living with them, and being at somebody's mercy."40 The internees were much like passengers embarking on a long journey, plowing through the fog, the monsoons and "all this insecurity and all this ... sorrow for the future."41 One was at the 'captain's mercy'.
The Purandhar commandants, at first Shah and then Holland, were radically different men in character, religion, compassion and national identity. Both served the British army and the Government of India, and yet both lacked the enduring concern for these German emigrants, frustrated over their internment and the authorities.
The first German internees were welcomed by Colonel Shah, "an Indian medical army officer of the I.M.S. (Indian Medical Service). Shah was a Mohammedan and a member of the Aga Khani, the faction of the Aga Khan,"43 "the Muslim tribe that came from Persia much later"44 to India. In his daily log-book the Quaker Tucher wrote:
Dr. Walter Fabisch, the appointed Medical Superintendent of the camp and a refugee from Germany,46 voiced the opinion that Colonel Shah "tried to do whatever he could to make the conditions tolerable; ... he was a very humane type."47 Yet the commandant became an isolated person. Being "anti-Jewish, as a Mohammedan,"48 it led to the natural outgrowth that "the internees resented having an Indian running the show."49 With the bitter feelings associated to Colonel Shah, during the rainy season of 1941 he "gave up running the camp after a year."50
Replacing Shah at the helm at the commandant's headquarters on the ridge between the Purandhar and Wazirgadh forts, was A.S. Holland. For nearly five years, 1941-1946, Holland had the command of the Purandhar 'ship' and for most passengers there was no disembarkation.
In the first two years, 1940-1942, the Purandhar parole settlement was very much as the German Jewish diaspora on a historical Indian fort. For these educated people, who had experienced much in their flight from Nazi Germany and in their survival as emigrants and refugees, "Purandhar was their first real holiday. . . ."51 In that vein, Frau Eva Mayer, a Jewish lady and singer herself, composed one of the favorite camp songs - "How happy we were in Purandhar!"52 But of the camp constituents of about 100 persons, 20 were dental and medical doctors.53 Their professions had been disrupted, and boredom and frustration in creased on the hill.54 From the outset "there was nothing to do. . . . (So) the school or the teaching business was organized on a wide scale - a very elaborate system of keeping ourselves entertained and busy more-or-less 24 hours."55 Thus, they
The Purandhar parole camp became a close-knit group; "people got to knew each other because they had to live there."57 As "the time dragged on and there was nothing to do,"58 and people had had enough of the schooling, so "personal interests developed."59 The stories, the rumours and the activities increased; people got bored and they got into mischief. Certain single ladies became popular, and even "several people exchanged married partners,"60 developments which were certainly not confined to this one particular internment camp.61
Remarkably few people were released from Purandhar. A young Jewish doctor, Max Mayer and his wife Eva "were the first persons to be released, although he really did not want to leave."62 He had hoped to continue his research studies. However, the first release set off an unrest in the parole camp. New arrivals brought on further unrest;
Throughout the years 1941 and 1942 the Purandhar internee list continued to grow. "Gradually as time went on, more and more people from the Ahmadnagar Central Internment Camp and later from Deolali were brought there to join their wives, first the Jewish husbands and later Aryan non-Nazis."64 According to the Quaker missionary,
The Purandhar Sanatorium, originally planned for approximately 100 persons, expanded its quarters for over 200 internees.66 The accommodations became scarce and the people became more possessive of their space in camp. The additional Germans and the non-Germans gave the camp new life and new activities to a greater diversity, but likewise increased the problems. The new arrivals lessened the German Jewish character of the fort camp. Then, in late 1942 and early 1943, a small but significant group of Lutheran missionaries entered Purandhar. Stemming from the unfortunate circumstances for the missionary wives, the correspondence with the Government of India and the unnecessary separation of these missionary families, first the wives and the children, and then the husbands from Dehra Dun, began to arrive at this family camp near Poona.
It was July, 1942,67 when Frau Jellinghaus and Frau Klimkeit (Gossner) arrived with their children at the banyan tree at the foot of Purandhar hill and they too entered the Bini Gate of the lower fort. Renate Klimkeit remembered well their reception:
At Purandhar's Parole Camp a new missionary chapter began.
Due to the swelling numbers of civil prisoners of war in British India in 1942, Purandhar, like most detention settlements, began a program of building some additional barracks. According to the long-time residents of the fort society and their judgment, the building material quality and the type of barracks constructed on the central, much-needed open spaces became officially designated as "The Purandhar Slum Development."69 Tucher wrote in his diary:
The following progress report was then noted:
A recent arrival, Renate Klimkeit experienced this phase;
The accommodations seemed quite secondary then in relation to the happy reunions of these German families at Purandhar. In "1942, shortly before Christmas, . . . before the Siva-ji celebration,"73 Helmuth Borutta, Theodor Jellinghaus, Johannes Klimkeit and Dr. Otto Wolff arrived at the hill camp.
In the case of the four younger Breklum missionaries, Ahrens, Dr. Hübner, Lohse and Speck, while at Dehra Dun there arose a controversy between them and the Premnagar commandant, costing them the chance to he with their families for Christmas, 1942. Hübner gave this explanation:
It was a costly miscalculation for two reasons; first, the Breklum men missed the opportunity to be with their families six weeks earlier and for Christmas at that, and secondly, on account of their internment years with the Nazis and their desire not to be sent to a Jewish camp, essentially others suspected them of being "German Nazis, as they thought we were,"75 but which they were not in their own thinking.76
Finally the last four German missionaries "came in January, 1943, to the Family Internment Camp."77 "It was then 2½ years,"78 and for some young couples the separation had been longer than the life together during their married years in India.
With the building program of the new barracks and with the accommodations available for the most recent arrivals, it was clear to the residents, that "some of the barrack quarters are most uncomfortable, as there are only eight foot wooden partitions, leaving the air circulating above."79 At any rate, "the rooms had no ceilings in this kind of a barrack;"80 rather "a big hall subdivided with low asbestos walls."81 These missionary families were assigned to this barrack. Renate Klimkeit described their new abode:
Conditions were so uncomfortable, that "if people snored in Apartment I, you would hear them in Apartment V. ... You could hear everything, or anybody coughing. There was no privacy."83
These families had often enough accepted their lot in life, and they had courageously come through the crucial times on the mission stations. This Borutta concurred with;
After the ordeal of the internment camps for the men and the loneliness for the women on the mission stations, and their marriages put asunder for over two years, these young couples finally wanted families. In the latter part of 1943 there was a sudden crop of new infants among these Missions personnel. Within a camp society, where often your business is everyone's business, it was not difficult to make a different interpretation, namely, "the Protestant missionaries ... were actually producing children, because with every child which was born, they got an increase in their allowance."86 These missionary couples genuinely wanted children.
In spite of the many able Jewish medical doctors at Purandhar, it had been the practice that expectant mothers,
Already within the first year at Purandhar, the Quaker couple had its own experience to relate about the hospital;
Karen von Tucher admitted that "when the Jewish doctors . . . heard afterwards how the hospital was, they were very sorry that they had not let me have the baby up there."89
The unfortunate experience was a valuable lesson for the internee medical staff, though in the early years there were few births at Purandhar. In the autumn and winter of 1943/44 the youngest group of internees were awaited, and the missionary barrack, not with the ideal delivery facilities, was utilized for yet another purpose. There were obvious limitations and related frustrations. Renate Klimkeit, the first to expect a child, commented on the subject:
The only available delivery table used at the camp occasionally became a contested item, particularly when more than one baby was expected at one time, as in late 1943.91
Due to the delivery of the babies in the missionary barrack and on account of Klimkeit's innovation - walls going up to the ceiling - a new construction period began, bringing the much-needed, welcomed privacy for the young families.
Concerning the living quarters and the physical fomfort, Purandhar was quite bearable. Alfred Brocke had pointed out that with a garden, the wonderful climate and the altitude, it was a joy living up there.92 Regarding the accommodations, it was noted: "Married couples with children are more likely to get a house or half a house to themselves," while "married couples without children are usually allotted small quarters-part of a line of houses."93
As one of the missionaries, Helmuth Borutta related that from the "first we began by attempting to develop a small garden."94 Actually the privilege of residing in a bungalow was associated with keeping a garden; "what Holland (the commandant) was always insisting on, was that if you live in a place with a garden, you must keep it a garden, else you will be put in a barrack. . . ."95 This had not been one of the original conditions for the internees;
At the outset it was a camp cared for by Government workers. As one of the German Jewish refugees arriving at Purandhar in August, 1940, Walter Fabisch remembered the first evening:
Thus, the first arrivals had the opportunity to select their houses with gardens.
As a few internees were released or transferred, the criterion for obtaining a vacated bungalow was the size of the family. And the missionary families had grown steadily in numbers and logically the commandant awarded them the bungalows. Klimkeit admitted that "we got a very attractive house in Purandhar, ... up by the mess-hall. ... It had a long verandha. It was beautiful with the view down"98 on the plains. Renate Klimkeit acknowledged the same:
Christian Lohse had a similar experience; "Upon my request I was given a larger bungalow. And since I had planted flowers in the front garden, I received an extra faucet, which he had installed."100
In general the missionary families fared well at Purandhar. They were grateful for everything after the hardships of the previous years. Their relationships with the commandant were better than those of the Jewish community, as the latter group knew him too well over a longer period of time. Renate Klimkeit pointed out that "to us he was always very pleasant, since we did so much in the garden, and that impressed him greatly."101 Holland knew India well, and the emphasis which the British placed upon their gardens was one trade the commandant had learned well and appreciated most at Purandhar.
Yet, these matters seemed trivial in comparison to the political climate on the hill-fort.
On one occasion following the arrival of the latest internees at Purandhar and the discussions by the permanent residents over the newcomers' political leanings,
The language was an outgrowth of the British authorities bringing German nationals to Purandhar; for no longer was it a camp for Jewish refugees and anti-Nazis. No one at Purandhar considered himself a party member, that is to say "a national socialist,"103 but at times it appeared that there were those who "were actually enthusiastic about Hitler"104 and about Germany winning the war.105
Until the Third Reich and the advance of the German armies were finally stopped, and the pure Aryan 'Geist' of the Nazi ideology punctured and made to collapse in disgrace, political pressures always existed between the Germans themselves. Between the Nazi Party friends, the 'Germans', the anti-Nazis, the German Jews, etc., the atmosphere in the British internment and parole camps was often filled with tenseness and bitterness on both sides.
However, there were those who were proud as loyal Germans of the Vaterland, but who were neither party members nor convinced opponents of the Third Reich. There was justification to support this type of patriotism, for every man, whatever nationality, held some national pride. Martin Pörksen, the Breklum Mission director, explained:
This form of nationalism among the German internees in India and in some of the missionaries only placed the person in a pendulating category, swinging between the Nazi loyalists and the anti-Nazis. Brocke, "a very out-spoken anti-Nazi,"107 made these observations:
The dilemma, on the one hand to make the claim that one wanted to speak no evil of one's Vaterland as good Lutherans, while on the other hand as messengers of the Christian truth yet not condemning the atrocities against the European Jews, done in the name of the German people,109 caused serious misunderstandings and complications which only divided the Purandhar Camp. The national fervour heightened the suspicions of the German Jews and the anti-Nazis. True, it would have been out of the question for the British to have transferred anyone who was a full-fledged Nazi Party member to this parole settlement.
At first several German wives with nationalistic sentiments came with their children from the primarily Women's Camp at Satara.110 They were followed by their husbands from either Ahmadnagar, Deolali or Dehra Dun, as the German men were moved from one camp to the next. The later the men arrived at Purandhar, the more time they had spent in internment with Nazi Party members and the leader Urchs.111
A more difficult question on the issue of German nationalism, void of any anti-British association, is to be found in the four Breklum brethren's refusal to be transferred from Dehra Dun to Purandhar.112 The four Gossner men, Borutta, Jellinghaus, Klimkeit and Wolff, accepted the British decision at Dehra Dun without conditions.113 However, Hübner, as "spokesman for the four Breklum missionaries at Purandhar,"114 felt, that it would mean "then we were a small non-Jewish minority in a fully Jewish-run camp."115 The Camp Committee of Purandhar consisted of three representatives,116 and in 1943 they might all still have been German Jewish refugees. However, beginning in 1941, in "little trickles,"117 Dr. Max and Eva Mayer, Dr. Lily Selig and one or two others were released.118 Then as a result of a "very serious influenza epidemic in the winter of 1941-1942 in England,"119 the British Government "had to move quite a lot of army doctors back to England."120 This meant that some of the Jewish doctors, e.g. Hamburger and Fabisch, were finally granted medical positions with the British army in India.121 When the four Breklum men finally arrived in January, 1943, Purandhar was not strictly a Jewish camp. Yet their initial refusal to enter this camp did not assist their ingress and their image at Purandhar.
Brocke, from an Evangelical-Lutheran family of clergymen in Thüringen, took a special interest in the missionaries, though with some disappointment.125 He recognized that Radsick "was from one of the mission schools" and that he had "never studied theology" at the University.126 And in the Sunday morning worship Radsick "prayed for the authorities (in Germany); that was in 1941."127 This seemed inexcusable for those who so strongly opposed the Hitler movement and ideology, and furthermore problematic considering the majority of the Purandhar Jewish internees who had barely escaped the gas chambers of the Reich. Due to some of Radsick's prayers, "he chased some of us away"128 from Sunday worship. In other words, Radsick had established a certain reputation in the camp in regards to the German Missions.
However faithful a Christians Missions servant might be, he portrays an image in his society. This the Breklum people knew well, for "among the missionaries there was always the imperative, (as articulated) by the missionary Helms; 'The prestige of the missionaries must decrease'."129 The missionary had to know his own image, whether he was in the service of the Indian Church or a community of Europeans in an internment camp.
Thus, when the four Breklum missionaries arrived at Purandhar, as ironical and as 'un-missionary' as it may appear, these brethren were once more embroiled in a political dispute over their national sentiments, one which should have been held completely in abeyance. There should have been no question concerning these new arrivals, particularly since the Gossner Society in Berlin, under Hans Lokies, and the Schleswig-Holstein Society in Breklum, under Martin Pörksen, both took up the courageous position of the Confessional Church in Nazi Germany.130 Furthermore, according to J.Z. Hodge, it was known that the Breklum missionaries, through its Society, had a "membership in the Confessional Church which is under the ban of the Nazi Government."131 This association coincided with Hübner's explanation, as already alluded to above;
Nevertheless, in spite of all these convincing credentials, yet due to their internment with the Nazis, these younger missionaries were involved in a controversy over their German patriotism and their desire to rid themselves of the 'German Nazi' image which they were falsely given.133
Two significant factors surfaced through this encounter with the long-time residents of Purandhar. It appeared that the German missionaries had these traits:
It was an unfortunate entrance into the camp community and a situation, which based upon ideological loyalties, caused the German missionaries' ministry or usefulness to become so dubious and debatable. True, "they may not have been in any way linked with an official Nazi organization, but they certainly were national in outlook."134 And yet on the other hand, upon their arrival at Purandhar, as Lohse recounted, his own children were ill and "the Jewish doctor came immediately. ... For he (Laser) at once took care of the children with a great tenderness. Medically they received the best care."135 Yet the issues were deeper.
The avocation of labelling or playing the game of "Auntie Nazi and Uncle Nazi" at Purandhar thrived and became the more problematic, since it led to the formation of two distinct groups and loyalties. The Jewish refugees and the convinced anti-Nazis despised everything about the false prophet Adolf Hitler as an un-Christian and un-German phenomenon, while other German nationals perpetuated nationalistic allegiances, some believing "that Hitler's genius was ... inspired by divine providence."136 Ideologically Purandhar was divided into two (or more) camps, though of course not housed or segregated into Purandhar East and Vest. The mistrust between the two major factions fostered a separatism and the camp activities were planned around each group. Alfred Brocke, an anti-Nazi, remembered the acute polarization at the family parole camp;
There was the use of boycotts against the others, though it was a two-way street. As an example, "there was Professor Hermann Goetz; he was an archaeologist, and he put the museum in Baroda in order."138 He too was at Purandhar. According to the Quaker Tucher, Professor Goetz
His daughter, Frau Erika Schneider-Filchner, had accompanied him in his research ventures and was interned with him.140
The division between the two factions appeared to work to the advantage of the Commandant Holland and his control over the internees.141 It was not difficult to recognize Holland's principle: "Divide and you rule."142
The Purandhar Commandant, A.S. Holland, in his role and his rule over the internees, was another fascinating but incredible chapter of internment life. He replaced the medical officer, Colonel Shah, in 1941. Holland, who as
Holland's background and his service with the Police Force give indications why in time he became remembered more for his orders, his manipulations and his tricks. Apparently he "had spent his youth in poverty. He had probably worked his way up very slowly and had married an Anglo-Indian woman, which did not really help his status with the British officialdom."145 What appear as trivialities today, were the reoccurring issues which the internees had ample time to observe on many occasions. As one example, Holland
A constant irritation for Holland was the attitude of the Jewish refugees; "everybody was trying to work his own discharge."147 The Jewish couples had emigrated to India and they felt unjustly held in camp. In reality the Government of India did not trust them to the point of releasing them.148 This constant pressure for their releases was an annoyance, but it was coupled with Holland's outlook on life as a police officer. He might have been accepted, understood and forgiven for his idiosyncrasies, were it not for the fact, that
The Purandhar Camp began talking about Holland's Orders, Tricks and Notices,150 and long before the eight German Missions families arrived on the hill, matters seemed to worsen. As the months turned into years, life at the fort camp became the uglier, for increasingly "Holland played all sorts of tricks,"151 and "the commandant's queer gestures and writings",152 his orders, turned mostly against the Jewish refugees, the largest group of internees. On June 2nd, 1942, Tucher wrote in his diary:
There is little question concerning Holland's record in this matter; oft times he is only remembered for his horrifying orders. Hübner conceded, "that if this group at Purandhar later on would have been called on by some international board, asking about their treatment, the commandant easily could have been convicted of utmost cruelty."154 Even the Roman Catholic clergy, as Father Monsignor Scuderi, came under the wrath of Holland's measures for attempting to undertake certain charitable endeavours for the camp.155
On the other hand, as a contrast to the anti-Nazi and Jewish groups, the newer arrivals, among whom were the missionary families, Holland was able to develop good relationships.156 Certainly the commandant knew how to be helpful and to influence people in camp. The Jewish community at first had also been happy to have him succeed Colonel Shah. As the older relationships became embittered, the newer internees gave Holland a fresh start; while the older "group was not satisfied with him,"157 a good climate was established with the new group, particularly since the families were appreciative of being united again.
"The commandant had a very difficult task ... (when) you always have to take both sides."158 Occasionaly Holland took a mediating role between the two factions. Brocke described one such incident:
Brocke was noticeably irritated that the Red Cross parcels should become associated with a dogmatics of German nationalism. But he added:
In light of the situation, according to Hübner, "the commandant . . . made a great effort to make it as pleasant as possible."161 Of course, for the missionary families, quite convincing was the move from the 'slum' barracks to the better housing in bungalows.162 Christian Lohse (Breklum) also had a good impression of Holland;
In spite of Holland's competence or insensibility, depending upon one's relationship, the parole settlement was run efficiently, at least to the degree that the Swiss Consul from Bombay did not make any claims of unfair treatment to the German Government. Purandhar remained divided in most of its activities, but the internees had no choice but to live together and to make the most of their time with self-initiated projects and events. The Jewish emigrants and the anti-Nazis held special musical evenings, and "there was a Coffee House ... near Holland's house."164 "A refugee made buttons out of coconut shells."165 The Brookes became "the producers of toys for the whole camp, ... doll houses with furniture in peasant style, and a puppet theater,"166 which gained a reputation and visitors from Poona.167
The German missionaries, not belonging to this group, also learned new trades, as well as studying and preparing themselves for an eventual return to the mission work or to Germany.168 In camp Johannes Klimkeit and Walter Ahrens "opened up a Wurst (sausage) shop, ... (while) Lohse, he baked Brötchen (rolls); and they were terrific."169 The missionary families were blessed with their family increase; the mothers had enough to do with their infants, while the men ventured into a theological course in this period.
On Sunday mornings there was the possibility that at least three Protestant denominational services might be held at Purandhar Camp. The internees had the occasion to worship with those persons of their belief and national sentiments. Anglican, Lutheran and Presbyterian worship services - weekly, monthly or irregularly, depending upon the availability of the chaplain, the minister or the mission ary-were held at the "small pretty church there,"170 the Fitzclarence Memorial Church, just east of the main entrance gate of the camp.171 The Roman Catholic fathers held their masses in the smaller chapel situated between Purandhar East and West.
From the outset at Purandhar the Presbyterian Sunday morning worship was held by the Rev. J.B. Primrose, a missionary of the Church of Scotland stationed at Poona.172 He officiated such duties and administered those sacraments when "he came up once a month."173 The lesser national character of the Presbyterian worship and the clergyman offered the camp both the communion and the general ecumenical service.
On one such monthly occasion of Primrose's visit, the Sunday morning service was followed by a baptismal ceremony, the christening of the Tucher family's youngest child Elisabeth. It was in the spring of 1941, still largely a Jewish-oriented camp with few Christians, yet it was one of the biggest events of the year at the camp.174 Conducted by J.B. Primrose, Karen Tucher described the baptism:
"Lieschen's christening", even among the Jewish friends, was an important occasion, and for a "long time the people were discussing; 'Why was so-and-so not invited when so-and-so was invited?'"176 In the first three years there were few christenings, yet such occasions "conveyed an ecumenical spirit among the interned Jews and the few Christians, together and yet with mutual respect for each other's Faith. This spirit was dampened somewhat as other German nationals with stronger patriotic sentiments arrived at the camp.
On occasions Anglican Sunday worship was also held, but primarily for Anglicans. Richard Lipp (Basel) remembered his attendance at these services;
For those seeking a religious identity with the Evangelical Lutheran tradition, this opportunity for worship the elder missionary Radsick (Gossner) provided from the outset. As stated above, his prayers seemed to disturb more than to help the camp community, and Holland apparently "did not interfere with that, because after all that was not his responsibility."178 When the younger missionaries of the Gossner Mission arrived, they too assisted in the Lutheran services. Renate Klimkeit could remember this time:
Once all the eight younger missionary families had arrived at Purandhar, "they started their Sunday services proper in their particular fashion"180 and liturgy, so the Quaker observed. The commandant, indicating his interest in these internees, attended the German services also.181 Also, now Radsick seemed to take a lesser role, not being the strongest preacher, "but he was made our chaplain, because he was the oldest."182 "He was more a pastor (Seelsorger)."183
At the close of 1943, as the Gossner and the Breklum personnel had increases to their families, the baptismal ceremony became more frequently celebrated. The baptisms of these children became joyous occasions, and though other families were invited,184 they were no longer the inter-faith happenings. Again Renate Klimkeit described what these happy events meant to her;
And with Purandhar1s "magnificent FLORA - probably the most varied in India within this limited space,"186 it is not difficult to imagine the beautiful setting of the Fitzclarence Memorial Church and its altar graced by the sunlight streaming through the elegant stained-glass windows. These Christian baptisms were inspirational moments, irrespective of theological stances and national loyalties.
German missionaries have through the centuries served with non-German Missionary Societies, some which were not in the Evangelical-Lutheran or Reformed traditions. The record in India depicts many outstanding and courageous pioneers of the Christian Church, e.g. Ziegenbalg, Plutschau, Fabricius and Schwartz of the Royal Danish Mission, Carl Rhenius of the Anglican C.M.S., W.T. Ringeltaube of the British Congregational L.M.S., as well as those serving with American Societies, as the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. They brought Christianity to particular districts in India.
The tradition of serving with Societies of other countries had continued into the 20th century. For example, some of the Missions personnel transferred from the Dutch East Indies to India were not associated with a German Mission.187 The German missionaries of this century, at least those with foreign Societies, have not necessarily been pioneers, rather moreso the trusted co-workers of established mission fields. In the case of the Quaker Heinz von Tucher, he "worked as an agricultural missionary on behalf of the Society of Friends on the staff of the Friends Service Council" in the Hoshangabad District, Central Provinces.188 Serving with a British Society and with British personnel, he did not "stress his German nationality and he maintained complete loyalty towards the British authorities."189 His pacifist philosophy was "quite inconsistent with that of Nazism,"190 both through his own beliefs as well as his family's political awareness in Bavaria. "The fact that he left Europe before Nazism gained power, meant that he was never faced with Nazism as a direct issue."191 And even with the pledge of all his property as a guarantee and the assurances of the Chief Justice Vivian Bose of the Central Provinces, Tucher and his family still were interned for 3½ years at the Purandhar Parole Camp.192
William Stewart, later President of Serampore College, remembered that his Scottish colleague, "J.B. Primrose ... constantly visited the internment camps of Purandhar and Satara."193 He spoke about the fact that the Quaker
Also, Alfred Brocke mentioned that Tucher was
However, the Friend acknowledged, that
In his relationship to Hübner, Tucher stated: "I never carried on any talks on politics, because I knew he differed with me very strongly, and he was not trying to aggravate the situation by arguments."197
Scarcely had the year 1944 begun, when another of the commandant's notices reached the Quaker internees. Exactly a year earlier the other missionaries had arrived at Purandhar. This 'ORDER', issued on January 4th, 1944, in New Delhi, came as unexpected news;
It was a "clear indication that the Government authorities of India were satisfied with his bona fides, as he was released . . . for the rest of the war."199Assurances from influential British Quakers, both Horace Alexander and in particular Paul D. Sturge, Secretary of the Friends Service Council, in the consultations with William Paton on many matters, enhanced the Quaker couple's early release.200
After some days of intense packing and the nailing down of the wooden boxes, the Tucher family's internment days at Purandhar came to a close. The three older children were at the time of the release on their winter vacation from Woodstock School, Mussoorie.201 Heinz von Tucher remembered their departure:
Subsequent to the release order and a correspondence with the Quaker Lady Kathleen Whitby, wife of Sir Bernard, in Bombay,203 travel arrangements were made for the Quaker family. Lady Whitby contacted the Jewish friends, Dr. and Mrs. Oscar Gans, whether they could have the Tuchers for a brief stop-over at their elegant home on Bombay's west ocean front, fairly near the Mahalaxmi Temple.204 Thus from Purandhar to Poona by bus, from there to Bombay by train and the pause at the Gans home, the family finally caught the train from Victoria Terminal for Hoshangabad, C.P.
In England the Friends Service Council made this note in its 1943-44 Annual Report: "We now have news of the welcome release of Heinz and Karen Tucher from internment.205 The following year's report added the news: "Heinz Tucher has resumed his work at Makoriya Farm Colony since he and his family returned to the Central Provinces."206 Due to the shortage of the missionary personnel, Karen Tucher took on the duties of principal at the Mission Girls' School at Sohagpur.207
Is it possible to make the claim, that even in internment and among German nationals, surely the mission of this Quaker couple was as the later Bishop Richard Lipp of the Church of South India stated: "The Church as a supranational body existed perhaps among people like the Quakers."208
German missionaries in foreign service, commissioned by their regional Missionary Societies and serving the Younger Churches, have had a reputation for scholarship work and have been challenged in the study of the indigenous languages. They have been educationalists of the Lutheran catechism, theology, liturgy and Bible studies. Internment did not hinder these brethren from giving their attention and energies towards their spiritual growth and knowledge, even to the degree of theological studies.
At the time of their re-internment in June, 1940, according to Reimer Speck of the Breklum Mission;
As mentioned already, these books had served the German brethren in their studies with their Catholic colleagues.210 Based on the experience of World War I and the ban placed on the German missionaries from returning to India for a decade, the re-internment of 1940 seemed to indicate a similar course. Lipp at least deduced,
There were times, as Speck felt, that "we made ourselves busy, (yet) we really were not busy"212 in camp.
On the ancient fortress hill, once Shivaji's stronghold, according to Helmuth Borutta (Gossner), for wartime "the life was not bad in Purandhar. ... We lived as a family and we tried to continue our educational growth. As I said, we settled down to our work."213 A theological faculty, with authentic students, was established at the Purandhar Camp in 1943. The teaching staff consisted of five lecturers:
To begin with there were only three students, but in May, 1944, Richard Lipp joined the course as a transfer from the Satara Camp. These were seminary trained missionaries while their lecturers were university graduates. The four students were:
Those trained solely in the missions institutes had no other prospect, when upon returning to Germany, but to take their second theological exams to qualify as clergymen in their State Churches at home.
The theological course had the blessing of the National Christian Council, when at the 9th Meeting of the general N.C.C. gathering, it was reported: "Bishop Sandegren visited the internment camps in Western India, and arrangements had been made for starting a theological course for internees at Satara (and Purandhar)."216 The "two-year course,"217 1943-1944, was conducted "according to the requirements of the old Prussian Union, the second theological exams."218 The students were instructed "in all the theological subjects, ... Old Testament and New Testament, Dogmatics and Church History, etc."219 Martin Pörksen, the Breklum Mission director, added:
The last week of October, 1944, Bishop Sandegren of Tranquebar "came up for eight days"221 and "conducted the theological examinations."222 Sandegren, with a doctor of theology, seemed well qualified to serve as Chairman of the Examination Committee, for he had earned his degrees both in Sweden and in Germany.223 The Bishop was fluent in German, since his mother, Theodora Kremmer, was the daughter of a Leipzig missionary.224 In Sandegren's presence and supported by the five lecturers, "the second theological examinations of the Evangelical-Lutheran State Church of Schleswig-Holstein"225 were successfully held "in the Internment Camp and Parole Centre, Purandhar, Br. India."226
In May, 1944, primarily for health reasons, Richard Lipp was transferred from the Satara Camp where a similar theological course was being conducted. On October 29th, 1944, Lipp, a future Bishop of the Church of South India, was examined by the Committee on the following subjects:
1. 1. Practical Exegesis
2. 2. Biblical Knowledge
3. 3. Theories of Church Administration
4. 4. Pedagogics
5. 5. Christian Benevolences
6. 6. Knowledge of the Free Churches and Sects
7. 7. Sermon Development
8. 8. Delivery of the Sermon
Ability in Catechism Instruction
In the field of Practical Theology, Lipp presented the paper: "The Relationship between Preaching and Ministry in Pastoral Care", and it was graded 'Almost Excellent'.228 He passed his theological exams with the grade of 'Good'.229
In spite of the environment, these German brethren passed exams which would "be acknowledged by the Church as academic examinations,"230 and thereby qualify them for pastorates in Germany. Furthermore, the exams were "recognized by the old Prussian Union of the Church Chancellory in Berlin."231
The transfer of the Richard Lipp family from Satara to Purandhar, on account of the Basel missionary's poor health, has an addendum. Lipp related, that "in Satara, while I was there, Meyer, with Lorch and others, started a faculty there and I started with them. We started in our Church's role"232 for service in Germany.
As the German families were interned at Yercaud for several months in 1942, there were a number of serious cases of malaria. Lipp nearly died from cerebral malaria,233 while his wife and others also became seriously ill from the mosquitoes.234 The future Bishop was also weakened from the emotional experience of the war - "the destruction of our country, the people dying there and my brothers dying as well."235 For Lipp the issue was clear, in that the German people, as his own fallen brother, were fighting a war, but one which "was not a nationalistic war."236 After the move to Satara in 1942, Lipp spoke of his recovery
The climate at the lower-lying Satara and the camp conditions made it necessary for the authorities to transfer the Lipp family to Purandhar, a location already used as a convalescent sanatorium in pre-war days. At the higher elevation on the more isolated station, "it was much better, because you lived in separate houses."238 And having fully recovered, Lipp went on to pass his exams.
Once again Lipp found himself among the German Jewish emigrants and refugees. Just as in the very first week of the war, when he shared a hospital room with eight Jewish refugees, Lipp commented on a strange development, namely,
For Lipp apparently God's will meant a Christian ministry which went beyond all national sentiments and beyond the claims of a theology obedient to ones own authorities.
With the cessation of hostilities in 1945, a new phase of the internment began, marked with increasing uncertainty about the future. Gradually a few of the civil prisoners of war were released. On his visits to the camps at Purandhar and Satara from August 21 - 24, 1945, the Swiss Alfred de Spindler of the International Red Cross was provided the latest census of the settlements. Still residing at Purandhar, according to the commandant, there were:
Of the 71 German adults listed, 19 were of the Gossner, Breklum and Basel Missions personnel. Radsick was the only single missionary in camp. Many of the German children belonged to the nine missionary families.241
Then in March, 1946, ten months after the collapse of the Third Reich, when nothing was certain other than the much-discussed and anticipated repatriation to Germany, the Lipp family at Purandhar quite unexpectedly was released. The Basel missionary remarked, "All of a sudden I was allowed to go back as the only one of this group."242 The release 'Order' of the Rev. Richard Lipp was comparable to the one issued to the Quaker couple. It turned out that these were the only two missionary families released from Purandhar. Lipp had to report on April 4th, 1946, upon his arrival at Calicut.243 He was appointed to a remote mission-station by Adolf Streckeisen, so that he would in no manner endanger the Basel Mission's status or personnel. Lipp was the only Basel missionary of the 13 German brethren once labouring in India who was invited back by his Swiss brethren.244 With the continuing releases of Jewish refugees, German nationals and persons of other nationalities, both from Purandhar and Satara, a merger of the two camps was carried through.245 From Purandhar "the other inmates were transferred to Satara in early April."246 Satara then became the last internment station for the missionaries in India.
An unmarried Jewish couple and the Helmuth Borutta family remained on the hill fort until the end of June, 1946,
His Majesty's settlement had held a strict course for its Purandhar internees for nearly six years. Now having reached its destination in time, its passengers, its crew and its commandant disembarked from the hill in the spring of 1946. There were both happy and sad memories of Purandhar; for not all could sing, "How happy we are in Purandhar."248 Renate Klimkeit had these thoughts of the camp:
Life on the Purandhar Fort, according to Borutta, meant that "he who had abided by the laws and the regulations of the camp, he had no reason to suffer or to be afflicted." 250 All in all, "the best thing that could have happened to us was to be in British internment. That is the safest place to be during war, and also in the best hands."251
Meanwhile in 1946, the Commandant A.S. Holland, upon leaving Purandhar, returned to England and the Isle of Wight, where he contemplated writing a book on Purandhar - its history, its varied flora and its internees.252
1. Walter Freytag, ed., "Umschau - Neueste Nachrichten von der deutschen Mission im Kriegsgeschehen," Evangelische Missions-Zeitschrift (Stuttgart: Evangelischer Missionsverlag, GmbH, 1941), pp. 122, 60.
8. Tucher, op. cit.. p. 4; Vincent A. Smith, The Oxford History of India (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press; orig. Oxford University Press, 1958), p. 410. Quite parallel to these words of the Quaker missionary, was this description given by the historian Vincent Smith: "The prominent feature of the country is the range of the Western Ghats. The mountains are so formed that the flat summits are protected by walls of smooth rock constituting natural fortresses, which various princes, throughout many centuries, had converted by elaborate fortification into strongholds almost impregnable against the means of assault available in ancient times. Most of the hilltops are well provided with water."
9. Kincaid, op. cit.. pp. 17,181.
10. Ibid., p. 41.
14. Marshman, op. cit., p. 184.
15. Goetz, Unidentified Caves, loc. cit.
16. Goetz, Purandhar: Monuments & History, op. cit., p. 234.
17. Ibid., p. 236.
18. Ibid., p. 217.
19. Ibid., p. 218.
20. Goetz, Caves, op. cit., p. 160.
21. Ibid., p. 162.
22. Tucher, op. cit.. pp. 3-4; Smith,- op. cit.. p. 570; J.H. Furneaux, ed., Glimpses of India - The Land of Antiquity, the vast Empire of the East (London: D.E. McCon-nell & Co., 1896), p. 51; - "Purandhar was formerly an important Mahratta hill fort, but is now used as a convalescent home for English troops, being within easy reach of the great cantonment of Poona. It has been in the possession of the English since the year 1818, when it was captured by a column under General Pritzla."
24. Goetz, Purandhar: Monuments & History, op. cit., p. 237.
25. Goetz, Unidentified Caves, oj>. cit., p. 158. It might be correct to point out that not all the Jewish and anti-Nazi internees were refugees; nevertheless, as Hermann Goetz continues, "Amongst these there were several experienced Bavarian and Austrian mountaineers who enthusiastically explored all the opportunities of the steep basalt cliffs surrounding Upper Purandhar fort and the neighbouring fort of Vajragadh (Wazirgadh, Rudramala)." Max J. Kirschner, as an amateur archeologist, was the most experienced explorer at Purandhar. Also from Bavaria, as indicated by the many quotes, was the Quaker missionary Tucher, who as well explored the Purandhar fort setting and the hill-top range.
26. Das Auswärtige Amt, Drittes Merkblatt über die Lage der Deutschen in Britisch-Indien; die Internierungslager auf Ceylon und Jamaica (Berlin: German Government, State January, 1941), p. 8.
27. Das Auswärtige Amt, Viertes Merkblatt über die Lage der Deutschen in Britisch-Indien und auf Ceylon" (Berlin: German Government, State September, 1941), p. 10.
28. Tucher, op. cit.. p. 5. 29. Ibid., p. 1.
32. Tucher, P.I., loc. cit.
36. Tucher, P.I., op. cit., p. 8.
38. Marianne Brocke, op. cit., p. 12; Lohse, loc. cit.
39. Alfred Brocke, loc. cit.
41. Alfred Brocke, loc. cit.
42. Heinz von Tucher, P.I., op. cit., p. 4.
43. Walter Fabisch, P.I. (Nottingham, UK: 6 July, 1966), Tr. p. 2. The physician Fabisch described their arrival and their welcome; "And so it was decided, instead of staying in Poona overnight, the train moved on. Then we got out of the train and went by bus to the famous banyon tree and walked up the hill. And it was raining enormously. . . Yes, it was evening and we couldn't see a thing. We were simply in the clouds. Then we arrived in the camp. We were taken to a beautifully laid dining room. . . . There were proper bearers in bearers' outfits. Old Colonel Shah stood there at the door and greeted us with a glass of sherry in his hand. And he was a nice and charming old man."
44. Heinz von Tucher, P.I., loc. cit.
45. Heinz von Tucher, Diary, op. cit., p. 1.
46. Ibid., p. 7.
47. Fabisch, loc. cit. 48. Heinz von Tucher, P.I., loc. cit.
50. Fabisch, loc. cit.; Tucher, Diary, op. cit., p. 2.
51. Heinz von Tucher, P.I., op. cit., p. 8.
52. Ibid., p. 15.
54. Fabisch, op. cit., p. 6.
56. Ibid., p. 5.
57. Heinz von Tucher, P.I., loc. cit.
58. Ibid., p. 11.
59. Fabisch, loc. cit.
66. Comite International de la Croix-Rouge et la Guerre, "Delegations du Comite international dans les cinqcontinents," Revue International De La Croix-Rouge (Geneve: Comite International de la Croix-Rouge, No. 322, October, 1945), p. 747.
87. Heinz von Tucher, P.I., op. cit., pp. 5-6; Furneaux, op. cit., pp. 453-454, under Chapter XX, "Poona", he notes the following: "Medical aid is given free of charge in six medical institutions, two of which, the David Sassoon Hospital and the Lunatic Asylum, are Government establishments. The Civic Hospital, situated in the civil quarter, is named after Mr. David Sassoon, to whose generosity it owes its origin. It was opened in 1867. It is a handsome I Gothic building with a fine clock-tower, and has accommodation for 140 in-patients, besides which many out-patients are treated daily. It is in charge of the civil surgeon, who is assisted by a junior surgeon, two assistant surgeons, a matron, apothecary and lecturers at the medical school attached to it, which was founded by Mr. Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy."
111. Das Auswärtige Amt, Fünftes Merkblatt über die Lage der Deutschen in Britisch-Indien und auf Ceylon (Berlin: German Government, State December, 1941), p. 3; Auswärtiges Amt, Sechstes Merkblatt, op. cit., p. 11.
130. Borutta, op. cit., pp. 1-2; Pörksen, op. cit., p. 3; Jürgen Wesenick, "Die Entstehung des Deutschen Evangelischen Missions - Tages" (Unpublished Master's thesis of the Evangelisch-Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Hamburg, 18 December, 1963), pp. 5, 6, 47.
134. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1969, op. cit., p. 5; Alfred Brocke, op. cit., pp. 1, 2, 5, 7. Expressing the opinion of an anti-Nazi, Dr. Brocke remarked: "These people tried to create the impression that they never had anything to do with the Nazis."
136. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1969, op. cit., p. 6; J.Z. Hodge, ed., "Tribulation and Promise in the German Church Struggle" by Karl Barth, The NCCR (Mysore City: The Wesley Press & Publishing House, January, 1939), pp. 20-22. Certainly Karl Barth was not alone in raising the question: "Dare one obey man rather than God?" One answer he gave and supported through the Confessional Church was, "The German Church struggle gives no occasion for hero-worship."
139. Ibid.; Auswärtiges Amt, Fünftes Merkblatt, op. cit., p. 12. The Merkblatt noted under the sub-section "Parolelager Satara", "In diesem Lager befindet sich auch der berühmte deutsche Tibetforscher Professor Filchner mit seiner Tochter."
141. Fabisch, op. cit., p. 15. As the camp doctor and a member of the three-man camp committee, Dr. Fabisch made, in this reference, these comments; "Now I do think that regarding the second commandant, Holland, ... I would not say that he instigated, but that he allowed these little squabbles to grow and to thrive, because it was much easier to cope with the camp if there was not much unity against the commandant, but if all the energies were exhausted against one another. And I feel that this was probably quite convenient for him, but a very poor way in handling persons. So the camp committee had quite (a task), . . . just the three of us, who were the intermediaries between the body of the internees and the commandant."
144. Heinz von Tucher, Diary, op. cit. , p. 2.
145. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1966, op. cit., p. 4; Lohse, loc. cit.
146. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. '66, loc. cit.
147. Fabisch, op. cit., p. 9. In this regard, Friedrich Hiibner, op_. cit. , p. 8, noted, "But the commandant had a very difficult task, because none of the Jewish people understood why they were interned and tried their utmost to get out of the camp."
148. Lohse, loc. cit.
150. Alfred Brocke, op. cit., p. 15; Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1966, op. cit., p. 14.
151. Alfred Brocke, loc. cit.
152. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1966, loc. cit.
153. Tucher, Diary, op. cit., p. 13.
154. Hübner, loc. cit.
155. Alfred Brocke, op. cit., p. 7. Dr. Brocke mentioned this incident; "The Catholic people did (care). Father Monsignor Scuderi went down to Poona to get toys for the children (at Christmas). He went and bought these, even when he himself was suffering at that time from an illness and was rather sick. And Holland made all sorts of difficulties for him, because Monsignor Scuderi was a very outspoken man, and he told Holland what he thought of those (his) practices."
156. Renate Klimkeit, loc. cit.
157. Helmuth Borutta, loc. cit.
158. Hübner, loc. cit.
159. Alfred Brocke, op. cit., pp. 2-3.
160. Ibid., p. 5.
161. Hübner, loc. cit.
162. Johannes Klimkeit, loc. cit.
163. Lohse, op. cit., p. 8.
164. Alfred Brocke, op. cit., p. 16.
166. Ibid., p. 17.
167. Ibid.; Karen von Tucher, op. cit.. pp. 9-10. The Quaker missionary wife described the Brockes ingenuity; "For instance the Brockes made dolls' furniture and painted them very attractively ('in peasant syle'). The Brockes also made a marionette theatre, and they produced some German operas - 'Frei-SchUtz', (Little Red Riding-hood). . . . And they got quite a number of people to help them in the performances. They had made the beautiful puppets and the theatre, and they got the people who could sing, and they had a harmonium and the gramophone records. And so together, with these different items, they put up a little opera. One of the Catholic priests was a very good singer and he joined in too."
168. Richard Lipp, P.I. (Süssen: 14 April, 1973), Tr. p. 18.
169. Renate Klimkeit, op. cit., p. 15; Helene Borutta, loc. cit. Frau Borutta remarked, "Each one could do something, and some even became rich." Of course, 'rich' had to be measured in relationship to the other internees and the camp allowances.
170. Renate Klimkeit, op. cit., p. 13.
171. Goetz, Purandhar: Monuments & History, op. cit., p. 237.
172. William Stewart, P.I. (Bridge of Allan, Scotland: 19 September, 1971), Tr. p. 8.
173. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1966, op. cit., p. 5.
175. Karen von Tucher, op. cit., p. 14.
176. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1966, loc. cit.
177. Lipp, op. cit., p. 15.
178. Alfred Brocke, op. cit., p. 1.
180. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1966, loc. cit.
181. Renate Klimkeit, op. cit. , p. 15.
182. Hübner, op. cit., p. 9.
183. Renate Klimkeit, loc. cit.
184. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1966, loc. cit.
185. Renate Klimkeit, loc. cit.
187. Freytag, (EMZ, 1942), op. cit., p. 89.
193. Stewart, loc. cit.
194. Ibid.; Fabisch, op. cit., pp. 6-7.
195. Alfred Brooke, op. cit. t p. 8.
196. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1969, op. cit., p. 5.
197. Ibid., p. 6.
199. Barton, loc. cit.
202. Heinz von Tucher, P.I. 1969, op. cit., p. 5.
205. Friends Service Council, op. cit., p. 6.
208. Lipp, op. cit., p. 14.
210. Hübner, op. cit., p. 1.
211. Lipp, op. cit. , pp. 17-18.
212. Speck, op. cit., p. 11.
213. Helmuth Borutta, op. cit., p. 8.
215. Ibid.; Speck, loc. cit.
217. Speck, op. cit. , p. 10.
218. Helmuth Borutta, loc. cit.; Renate Klimkeit, loc. cit.
219. Sandegren, loc. cit.; Lipp, loc. cit.
220. Pbrksen, op. cit., p. 8.
221. Speck, op. cit. , p. 11.
225. Sandegren, loc. cit.
227. Ibid.; Lipp, op. cit., p. 13.
228. Sandegren, loc. cit. 229. Ibid.
230. Lipp, op. cit., pp. 17-18.
231. Helmuth Borutta, loc. cit.
232. Lipp, op. cit.. p. 17. 233. Ibid.. p. 10.
235. Lipp, loc. cit.
236. Ibid., p. 17.
237. Ibid., p. 11.
239. Ibid., p. 12.
240. Comite International de la Croix-Rouge, loc. cit.
242. Lipp, op. cit., p. 18.
244. Ibid.; Lipp, loc. cit.
245. Selma Heller, Manuscript on Internment (Rummelsberg: 13 June, 1970; Appendix), p. 4.
248. Karen von Tucher, op. cit., p. 8.
249. Renate Klimkeit, op. cit., p. 16.
250. Helmuth Borutta, loc. cit.
251. Lipp, op. cit. t p. 12; Lohse, op. cit., p. 14. The Breklum missionary Lohse made a similar observation; "Ich meine, wenn ich irgendwie unter einer Besatzung oder einer Gefangenschaft geraten wäre, würde ich immer eine englische Gefangenschaft einer amerikanischen vorziehen. Der Engländer, bei all seiner konservativen Haltung, bleibt auch konservativ dem Gesetz gegenüber."
252. Holland, Letter to Spindler, loc. cit.
Auszug aus dem Buch "Ein Forscherleben" von Wilhelm Filchner, Eberhard Brockhaus Wiesbaden, 1950, Seite 372 - 380
"Es eilte mir aber, meine Tochter wiederzusehen. So reiste ich also mit meinem Nierenstein und in Gesellschaft des freundlichen "Betreuers" Mr. Godfrcy nach Purandhar. Die Behörden hatten es eingerichtet, dass ich mit meiner Tochter zunächst im Parolekamp von Purandhar Asyl erhielt. Dieses im Bergland der West-Ghats gelegene Lager ist von der Garnisonstadt Poona mit dem Postauto in anderthalb Stunden zu erreichen und liegt auf der Terrasse eines inselartig gestalteten, steilgeböschten Bergrückens, der sich etwa 500 Meter über die Ebene erhebt. Ein paar lange, hohe Baracken, in Zimmerchen unterteilt, und viele Häuschen und Villen bilden das Kamp. Sie alle waren von Leuten gemischter Nationalität und beiderlei Geschlechts, darunter auch Ehepaaren, bewohnt.
Ich wurde auf einem Tragstuhl, den vier Eingeborene bedienten, in dreiviertel Stunden von der Ebene zum Kamp hinaufgetragen. Mr. Godfrey übergab mich dort dem Kamp-Kommandanten, Oberstleutnant Schah, einem persischen Arzt. Bereits am folgenden Tage sollte meine Tochter von Satara her in Purandhar eintreffen. Ich konnte es kaum erwarten, mein Kind wiederzusehen. Schon vom frühen Morgen ab lag ich auf der Lauer, um das Postauto auszumachen. Man genießt nämlich vom Kamp aus einen herrlichen Rundblick in die Tiefe und Weite. Endlich zeigte sich das Gefährt. Am Haltepunkt sah ich richtig Erika aus dem Wagen schlüpfen, und ich verfolgte dann ihren Anstieg bis zum Kamp herauf. Unter Tränen und Lachen umarmten sich Vater und Tochter als Gefangene im fremden Land. Ein solches Wiedersehen hatten wir uns beim letzten Abschied in Berlin nicht erträumt. Damals hatte Erika gerade ihre Flitterwochen angetreten.
Erika wurde in der Frauenbaracke untergebracht, ich in der Männerbaracke. Wir gewöhnten uns schnell in das geregelte Kampleben ein.
Captain Fern, der gutherzige und menschenfreundliche Kommandant des Satara-Kamps, stattete unserem Kamp wiederholt Besuche ab. Bei einer solchen Gelegenheit baten wir ihn, unsere Umsiedelung nach Erikas erstem Lager durchzusetzen. Gründe waren vorhanden. Einmal hatte Erika Sehnsucht nach dem Umgang mit ihren alten Bekannten, zum andern war in Satara eine medizinische Behandlung meiner Niere besser als im Purandhar-Kamp durchführbar. Captain Fern bemühte sich also in Delhi um unsere Versetzung und hatte auch Erfolg. Am 13. September 1941 brachen wir unsere Zelte in Purandhar ab.
In Satara kam Erika in ihrem alten Bungalow unter, und mir wurde ein Einzimmerpavillon zugewiesen. Er gefiel mir, und ich wusste sogleich, dass ich in dieser Klause gut würde arbeiten können. In der Tat habe ich die Abgeschiedenheit und Muße genutzt und hier mit der Ausarbeitung meiner nepalischen Tagebücher und mit der Niederschrift meiner Lebensgeschichte begonnen. Für sonstige Zersteuung war gesorgt. Mit Vorliebe besuchten wir Kinovorführungen oder hockten über meiner Briefmarkensammlung. Ab und zu besuchten uns Vertreter des Roten Kreuzes oder Mitglieder des Schweizer Generalkonsulats aus Bombay, dem die Vertretung der deutschen Interessen anvertraut war.
Um diese Zeit ging es mir besonders schlecht. Ein Nierenanfall löste den andern ab, und der Lagerarzt Dr. Simeons riet mir dringend, die Operation nicht mehr hinauszuschieben, da sonst mit Vereiterung der Niere zu rechnen sei. Kommandant und Arzt empfahlen mir zwei Chirurgen in Bombay, beides Inder. Der eine, ein Freund Captain Ferns, hatte schon eine Reihe ähnlicher Operationen erfolgreich ausgeführt. Er hieß Dr. Moolgavkar. Für ihn entschied ich mich. Mit einigen Injektionen gegen Trombosenbildung versehen, fuhr ich mit der Bahn nach Bombay. Einen Tag später operierte mich Dr. Moolgavkar in seiner Klinik. Im Operationsraum hatte sich eine ganze Versammlung von Ärzten, Ärztinnen und anderen Zuschauern eingefunden. Die liebreizende junge Tochter des Chirurgen, selbst schon praktische Ärztin, war auch darunter.
Ich lag schon wieder in meinem Bett, ah ich aus der Narkose erwachte. Um mich herum standen Dr. Moolgavkar, die Assistenten und die Schwestern. Sie besprachen flüsternd meinen Fall. Ich hatte die Augen noch geschlossen, war aber vollkommen wach und freute mich, dass dem Gespräch nach die Operation bereits hinter mir lag. Da bemerkte der Arzt zu den Umstehenden: "Obacht! Jetzt wird er wach!" Und ich fand es denn an der Zeit, die Frage zu stellen: "Sagen Sie, Doktor Moolgavkar, ist es ein Mädchen oder ein Junge?" Schallendes Gelächter folgte. Der Chirurg beglückwünschte mich und sagte zu seinem Stab: "Meine Herren, Sie haben hier den seltenen Fall, dass ein Patient bereits in der Narkose auf dem Weg zur Besserung ist!" Dann zeigte er mir den Stein. Ich fasste das eckige funkelnde Ding an, als sei es der Kohinoor. Wie leicht er wog! Und wie schwer hatte ich daran getragen! Dreißig Jahre lang.
Vierzehn Tage nach der Operation durfte ich zum ersten Mal das Bett verlassen. Einen Tag vor Weihnachten saß ich wieder im Zug nach Satara. Meine Tochter holte mich am Bahnhof ab. Auch Leute der Heilsarmee waren zur Stelle. Sie hatten eine Bahre mitgebracht. Es ärgert mich noch heute, dass ich mich nicht drauflegte; denn wenn man eine Bahre, die hilfsbereite Träger zehn Meilen bis zum Bahnhof geschleppt haben, für zehn Meter (nämlich vom Zug zum Auto) ausschlägt, dann kränkt man die freundlichen Träger.
Bei guter Verpflegung und ausgiebiger Ruhe erholte ich mich rasch. Keine Schmerzen mehr, keine Anfälle mehr und auch keine Furcht mehr vor Anfällen - wie mich das froh machte! Und wieder schlafen können und unbehelligt arbeiten können - das war ein herrliches Gefühl.
Ein Familienglück kam hinzu. Das Gerücht, dass in Satara ein Familienkamp! geschaffen würde, bewegte seit langem die Geister, verdichtete sich und nahm greifbare Form an, das heißt: das Familienkamp wurde eingerichtet. Und eines Tages rollten mehrere Postomnibusse heran, die aus anderen Kamps die heißersehnten Männer der in Satara internierten Frauen abluden. Auch mein Schwiegersohn war dabei.
Zu dritt vereint und ohne Nierensteine - ich wäre wieder einmal in meinem Leben geneigt gewesen zu fragen; "Was kostet die Welt?" wenn ich nicht eine Bürde zu tragen gehabt hatte, die mir kein Mensch abnahm: meine Sorge um Deutschland, mein Gram um die Heimat. Was verblutete dort! Was ging dort in Trümmer!
Es war viel Gelegenheit, im Lager Gespräche anzuknüpfen und aus Gesprächen Freundschaft zu stiften. Es hatte jeder die Wahl in den Nationen, den Religionen und den politischen Bekenntnissen. Da waren Deutsche, Russen, Norweger, Schweden, Tschechen, Polen, Franzosen, Italiener, Leute aus dem Irak und aus Singapore, Koreaner, Amerikaner und auch Engländer.
Ich hielt mich zurück. Ich konnte um das, was mich wie ein Alp drückte, nicht viele Worte machen. So war ich bei allem Reichtum und aller Liebe, die mich hegte, in gewissen Provinzen des Herzens verarmt und vereinsamt. Und das vermochte kein Gott zu ändern.
Zu allem Unglück erreichte mich damals auch noch die Nachricht vom Tode eines meiner besten Freunde, des Oberregierungsrats Dr. Richard Kastendieck.
Nach Kriegsende unternahm ich Schritte, um Asylrecht in Indien zu erlangen. Indische Freunde unterstützten mich dabei. Dass ich dann auch wirklich die Erlaubnis, in Indien zu bleiben, bekam, verdankte ich keinem Geringeren als Mahatma Gandhi, der beim Home Department einen entsprechenden Antrag gestellt hatte.
Noch wohnte ich mit meinen Kindern im Kamp Satara, noch wusste ich nicht, wie sich mein Leben in Zukunft gestalten sollte. Ich saß in meinem Häuschen, bis über die Ohren in Bücher und Manuskripte vergraben, und werkte in beschaulicher Ruhe. Die meisten Kampinsassen lebten zwischen Packen und Herumsitzen und warteten auf ihren Abtransport in die Heimat. Und eines Tages war es so weit. Das Kamp Satara wurde aufgelöst. In großem Transport reisten die Internierten nach Bombay, um sich dort nach Europa einzuschiffen. Die kleine Familie Schneider-FiIchner war auch darunter. Und ich in ihrer Mitte; denn zunächst musste ich wohl oder übel mitreisen. Offenbar war meine Angelegenheit noch nicht entschieden. Dass aber die Dinge günstig in Fluss waren, erfuhr ich in Poona. Auf der Fahrt von Satara nach Bombay hatte nämlich der Transport in Poona einige Stunden Aufenthalt. Mein tatkräftiger indischer Freund Dr. Mehta, mit dem ich auf dem Bahnhof Poona Abschiedsworte tauschte, nahm den Abschied überhaupt nicht ernst, sondern versicherte mir, dass er in der Frage meiner Aufenthaltserlaubnis zwar mehr ahne als wisse, aber doch mehr wisse, als ich ahne.
Und in der Tat: als am nächsten Morgen unser Transportzug am Kai in Bombay hielt und ich mich anschickte, den Zug zu verlassen und das Schiff zu besteigen, teilte mir Captain Fern mit, dass mir das Government of India gestatte, in Indien zu bleiben. Es ging nun alles sehr schnell. Mein großes Gepäck war inzwischen schon auf das Schiff verladen worden, und die Kinder, in der Meinung, dass ich gleich nachkomme, waren schon an Bord gegangen. Ich hatte meine Not, um meine Koffer aus dem Schiffsladeraum wieder herauszubekommen.
Da ich nun nicht mehr zum Transport gehörte und daher den Transportdampfer nicht mehr betreten durfte, und da ich zudem den nach Poona zurückgehenden Zug besteigen musste, schied ich ohne Abschied von meinen Kindern. Ich war darüber zwar traurig, aber dennoch voll Zuversicht; denn Neues sollte nun beginnen. Ich hatte einen Stein verloren und eine neue Wahlheimat gewonnen. Ich fühlte mich frisch und gesund, ich war geradezu bei guten Kräften. Die alte, unverwüstliche Zuversicht aus jungen Tagen packte mich wieder: es würde schon noch einiges getan werden! Freilich: ich war ein armer Mann. Mein Vermögen war durch den Krieg in Rauch aufgeflogen. Alle großen Einnahmen, die ich durch meine Werke erzielt hatte, hatten die Sowjets in Berlin beschlagnahmt, und auch die Mittel der Filchner-Stiftung, die mir einmal die Stadt Berlin in die Hand gegeben hatte mit der Begründung, mir einen sorgenfreien Lebensabend zu sichern, waren verschwunden. So war ich also jetzt nicht mehr in der Lage, etwa eine neue Expedition auszurüsten oder wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse, vor allem die Kartenwerke, weiter auszuarbeiten und veröffentlichen zu lassen. Doch dies alles waren keine Sorgen für den Augenblick.
In Poona, einer Mittelstadt im Küstenbergland, die mit dem 70 km entfernten Bombay durch eine Eisenbahn verbunden ist, schlug ich meine Zelte auf, und hier wohne ich noch heute. Die meisten Engländer haben das Land verlassen. Indische Freunde umgeben mich mit einer Fürsorge, die mich mitunter vergessen macht, dass es kein Heimatboden ist, auf dem ich stehe, sitze, schlafe, esse und arbeite. Zu meinen indischen Freunden darf ich auch den Mann zählen, den ich als die tragende und treibende Kraft des indischen Befreiungswerkes bewundere und der trotz einer Bürde von verantwortungsreicher Arbeit Zeit gefunden hatte, mir, dem fremden Gast, zu helfen. Es war Mahatma Gandhi. Ich hatte in Delhi die Ehre, von Mahatma Gandhi empfangen zu werden. Das begab sich wenige Wochen vor seiner Ermordung, In seinem Heim, dem Birla-Haus, saß ich neben ihm auf dem Boden und sagte ihm meinen aufrichtigen Dank für seine erfolgreiche Fürsprache. "Aber nein!" wehrte Gandhi bescheiden ab, "ich habe gar kein Verdienst um Sie! Das Home Department hat Ihnen die Erlaubnis, hierzubleiben, erteilt!" - "Ich weiß aber, dass Ihr Antrag das notwendige Gewicht hatte, und ich sehe, dass auch im kleinsten Ihr Wille in Indien Gesetz ist!" - Darauf Gandhi lächelnd: "Wäre es so, es würde manches anders sein!"
Ich hatte recht daran getan, meinen Optimismus wieder auszupacken; denn ich wurde nicht enttäuscht. So rührte sich manches in jüngster Vergangenheit. Es nahm zwar nicht sofort greifbare Gestalt an, aber es war als Ansatzpunkt, als Disposition, da. Ich will mögliche Entwicklungen durch Luftschlösser nicht romantisieren und beschränke mich darauf zu sagen, dass ich Zeuge einer recht interessanten Zeit sein durfte. Ferner überraschte mich das Government of Nepal mit der Anfrage, ob ich willens sei, meine geophysikalischen Untersuchungen, die ich im ersten Kriegsjahr abbrechen musste, wieder aufzunehmen. Obwohl in letzter Zeit in Nepal ein Regierungswechsel stattgefunden hat, der eine bessere Zusammenarbeit verspricht, als sie 1939 möglich gewesen ist, will ich in Erinnerung an meinen letzten einjährigen Nepalaufenthalt unseligen Angedenkens lieber dieser Einladung nicht nachkommen. Der damalige Maharadja Sir Yuhda Shum Shere Jung Bahadur Rana hat ja wohl inzwischen abgedankt und wird, wie die Zeitungen melden, "auf die große Well verzichten und sein Leben in Abgeschlossenheit verbringen". Sein Nachfolger ist der bisherige Commander-in-Chief of Nepal, Sir Padum Shum Shere Jung Bahadur Rana, ein aufgeklärter Mann. Die Leitung des "Bureau of Mines" mit dem ich hätte zusammenarbeiten müssen, hat mein treuer Freund K. U. Rana, ein Verwandter des Maharadja, übernommen.
Ich bin am Ende mit meinem Lebensbericht, nicht aber mit meinem Leben. Also ist es nur ein Teilbericht, ich will nicht sagen vom schönsten und interessantesten Teil meines Lebens; denn das weiß ich nicht. Kein Mensch ist vor Überraschungen sicher. Kein Mensch ist vor seinem Tode glücklich zu preisen, keiner aber auch unter die Verlorenen zu rechnen. Erst in der letzten Stunde wird einer entscheiden dürfen, ob das Leben köstlich gewesen ist oder nicht. Der alte Spötter Bernhard Shaw hat ganz recht, wenn er sagt, dass der Mensch erst mal mindestens zweihundert Jahre alt werden müsse, bevor er einigermaßen ausgereift sei. Ich möchte das Wort ergänzen und sagen: Der Mensch muss tausend Jahre haben, um die herrliche Welt einigermaßen auszuschöpfen!
Man kann billig verlangen, dass einer, der wie ich in den Lebensabend hineingeht, über sein langes und an Erlebnissen, Begegnungen, Arbeit, Glück und Leid wahrhaftig nicht armes Leben ein zusammenfassendes Urteil fälle, ja, nicht nur über seines, sondern über das Leben überhaupt. Soll ich das wirklich tun? Ist das nicht schon längst und tausendmal getan worden von Philosophen und Dichtern, also Menschen, die weit mehr berufen sind als ich Forscher und Wanderer zwischen Erde und Himmel? So kann ich also nur wiederholen. Nicht, was etwa ein Kant über Zeit und Raum, Kategorie und Imperativ formuliert hat, auch nicht, was ein Schopenhauer an Konsequenz aus seiner Welt als Wille und Vorstellung ableitete. Aber ich kann und will eine Weisheit wiederholen, die noch keine hundert Jahre alt ist und die .zu meiner Zeit" auf der Hochschule noch nicht gelehrt wurde. Sie wird erst seit "heute" gelehrt und heißt: Wir sind nicht geboren, die Weh nur hinzunehmen und zu erklären, sondern wir sind dazu da, sie zu verändern und zwar nach den Kräften zu verändern, die al* edelste Gaben in uns gelegt sind und die da heißen: Wahrheitsliebe und Menschenliebe. Dass ich versucht habe, zu meinem bescheidenen Teil an dieser größten Aufgabe, die Menschen gestellt ist, mitzuwirken, steht auf und zwischen den Zeilen dieses Buches. Wenn dies vom Leser, der sich willig bis zum Schluss von mir hat leiten lassen, erkannt worden ist, dann hat meine Niederschrift ihren Sinn erfüllt. Und wenn der Leser aus irgendeiner Seite den Impuls empfängt, der hinter dürren Worten und mageren Sätzen verborgen darauf wartet, lebendig zu werden und fortzuwirken, wie er in mir gewirkt hat, dann hat das Buch auch seinen Zweck erfüllt.
Ich bin nicht in der Lage, weise Axiome für die nächsten tausend Jahre aufzustellen, ich fühle mich nur fähig und auch zuständig, ein Wort in Freundschaft zu sagen, ein Wort in erster Linie für die Jugend, für die deutsche Jugend und für die Jugend in aller Welt; denn dieses Buch, das gewiss viele persönliche Erinnerungen enthält, ist nicht gedacht als Vermächtnis an meine Kinder etwa, an die nächsten Verwandten, Freunde und Förderer. Das wohl auch. Gedacht und geschrieben wurde das Buch für die Jugend, die künftigen Träger der Kultur, die künftigen Erzieher, Erfinder, Forscher, Schöpfer und Gestalter, die künftigen Wahrer von Freiheit und Menschenwürde, die die Werke ihrer Väter fortsetzen und die auch mein Werk fortsetzen. Mögen sie dabei die Ziele, die auch mich mein Leben hindurch geführt haben, unverrückbar im Auge behalten und endlich erreichen: Verständigung und Freundschaft unter den Völkern und Frieden in der Welt.!
Ich schließe das Buch mit der Versicherung meiner unauslöschlichen Dankbarkeit und Liebe für meine ferne Heimat und mit meinem Dank an die Welt, die einen aus ihrer Millionenreihe getragen hat, dass er wirken durfte bis auf diesen Tag."