Börries von Münchhausen

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Börries Albrecht Conon August Heinrich Freiherr von Münchhausen (20 March 1874 – 16 March 1945) was a German poet and Nazi activist.


He was born in Hildesheim, the eldest child of Kammerherr Börries von Münchhausen and his wife, Clementine von der Gablentz. At 13, he was sent to Ilfeld to the monastery school. He studied law and political science at the universities of Heidelberg, Munich, Göttingen, and Berlin. He received his degree from the University of Leipzig.

While he was still a student, he composed a number of ballads and published his first collection of poetry in 1898, which expressed adherence to German Romantic poets' fascination with the Middle Ages and the world of German legend. All his works appeared around the turn of the century. After World War I, his popularity quickly waned. His position became more and more reactionary with the founding of the Deutsche Dichterakademie, with its seat on the Wartburg, which belonged to von Münchhausen's cousin Hans von der Gabelentz. The motto of the academy was to be "German, Christian, and above all conscious of tradition."

With Hitler's rise to power, many of the members of the Prussian Academy in Berlin were either dismissed or resigned. This was von Münchhausen's chance, and he signed the Gelöbnis treuester Gefolgschaft, the vow of fidelity to Adolf Hitler.[1] and his friends from the Wartburg were elected to take the place of such writers as Alfred Döblin and Thomas Mann.[citation needed]

Last years and death

Von Münchhausen agreed with Hitler's Machtpolitik and worked hard to make the Prussian Academy into a German Academy. However, these efforts came to naught despite Hermann Göring's support. As the Allied troops approached his estate of Windischleuba, von Münchhausen took an overdose of sleeping pills and died on 16 March 1945.


  1. ^ 88 "writers", from Letters of Heinrich and Thomas Mann, 1900-1949, Volume 12 of Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism, University of California Press 1998 ISBN 0-520-07278-2, pp. 367-68

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