Hans Paasche

„My name is Paasche, I was a naval officer and am now a revolutionary!” Berlin, November 9th, 1918

Anti-war and Pacifist Activities and Publications

Hans Paasche: Apr. 3rd 1881 – Mai 21st 1920

1899 – To naval academy at age 18- Influenced by Moritz von Egidy: his son was Hans’ commanding officer
1901 – Naval officer at age 20
1904 – To Africa to serve on warship Bussard, Navigation Officer, May- Natural ease with Kiswahili language, Ngoma native dance- Pioneer in close-up animal photography
1905 – Appointed commanding officer on the Rufiji river, Sept. 11- Six months’ brutal military experience, Aug. 1905 – Feb. 1906- Disillusionment with war, putting down native rebellion

– Personal decision against capital punishment

– Beginning of mystical engagement with Africa, 1905-06

1906 – Return to Germany, as naval lieutenant, first class, autumn
1907 – Book on Africa with his photographs, “Im Morgenlicht”
1908 – Reform advocate, publisher of “Die Abstinenz”
1908 – Marriage to Ellen Witting, Dec. 19
1909 – Resignation from navy as Kapitänleutnant, 1909- Wedding trip to Africa, sources of the Nile, Nov. 1909-Aug. 1910.
Ellen Paasche was the first European woman to reach there, June ’10
1912 – Co-publisher of crusading journal, “Der Vortrupp”, Jan.1912 – Mar. 1916
1913 – Epistolary satire Lukanga Mukara begins in “Der Vortrupp”, May– Visibility as supporter of organized pacifism, 1913 and before- More satirical letters from Lukanga Mukara, to a total of six

– Idealistic gathering of German youth, Hohe Meissner, Oct. 12

1914 – Return to naval service, commanding a remote lighthouse, Aug.- Lectures to sailors on temperance and peace; fraternizing- Ellen’s brother killed in Belgium amid German atrocities, autumn
1915 – To command in Wilhelmshaven, openly advocating pacifism, June- Ellen writes on peace and the role of women in promoting it, Nov.- Refuses to act as judge in trial of antimilitarist sailor, Dec.
1916 – Discharge from Navy, Jan. 31- Return to Waldfrieden, writing his novel- First signed postcard campaign why he opposes the war, Feb.

– “Fremdenlegionär Kirsch”, antimilitarist patriotic popular novel

– Joins outlawed Bund “Neues Vaterland” (est. Nov. 1914), spring

– Secret meetings of Bund take place in father-in-law’s apartment

– Founding member of “Zentralstelle Völkerrecht”, summer

– Elected to the board of “Zentralstelle Völkerrecht”, Dec. 2

– Complete estrangement from his parents

1917 – Hospitable treatment of French prisoners of war at Waldfrieden- Anti-war postcard and pamphlet campaign begins, April- Laborious typing of peace postcards, 80 or so different sets

– Celebrates Bastille Day at his estate, French flag, La Marseillaise

– Call for general strike on Oct. 15, in postcard campaign

– German Secret Service penetrates Resistance courier system, Aug.

– Army High Command: writings “pacifist and treasonous,” Aug.

– Police search of Waldfrieden for incriminating material, Oct. 2

– Arrested for high treason and betrayal of country, Oct. 20

1918 – Examination, sentencing to mental institution in Berlin, July 24- “Military security detention” used to describe his confinement- Wave of revolution sweeps Berlin, freeing Paasche, Nov. 9

– Escorted to Reichstag, leaps to table, proclaims to worker and soldier councils: „My name is Paasche, I was a naval officer and am now a revolutionary”

– Confrontation with Empress Augusta, shaming her, Nov.

– To serve on executive committee, revolutionary government, Nov.

– Assumes responsibility for conditions for surrender

1919 – Death of his wife Ellen, aged 29, Dec. 8- Official wreath-bearer in Liebknecht-Luxemburg funeral, Jan.- Writing “Meine Mitschuld am Weltkriege”, Jan.

– “Verlorene Afrika” in print, Dec.

1920 – Murdered at Waldfrieden by Freikorps officers, May 21- Shock throughout Germany at the news of Paasche’s shooting- Article in New York Times on his death, May 26
1921 – “Lukanga Mukara”, censored during WWI, appears as book
1922 – Gerhart Hauptmann mythologizes Hans Paasche as Amfortas, the wounded Fisher King, of the Parsifal legend, in “Till Eulenspiegel”
1927 – Friedrich Wolf dramatizes Paasche as hero in “Kolonne Hund”, Apr.
  – Memorial in E. Berlin, DDR, to victims of Weimar murders
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