Saturday, September 02, 2006

The German Mission to Mars, 1910

Mars has held the fascination of mankind since times immemorial. Starting in the early 19th century many books were written about travels to Mars, or Martians travelling to earth, the most famous ones probably being H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds (1897) and Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series. In Germany however, the pen was taken up by Kurt Lasswitz. His Auf Zwei Planeten (On Two Planets) was published in the same year as Wells' War of the Worlds. Lasswitz book became immensely popular. Wernher von Braun confessed to have read it and became so inspired by it to pursue a career that landed a man on the Moon.

Then there was Albert Daiber who published his Die Weltensegler, drei jahre auf dem Mars (The World Sailers, three years on Mars) in 1910 and its sequel Vom Mars zur Erde (From Mars to the Earth) in 1914. Albert Ludwig Daiber (1857 - 1928) was born in Germany but died in Chile. Apparently the reactions to his succesful book Elf Jahre Freimaurer (Eleven Years Freemason) that was published in 1905 were such that he decided to emigrate to Chile.

In Daibers' books we encounter Martians called 'Marsites' who live in a scientific utopia. And where certain rumours have it that in 1944 or 1945, towards the end of World War 2 a secret German SS mission to Mars was actually undertaken in a 74 meter diameter Haunebu 3 flight disc, in Daiber's book the journey to Mars is started in 1942. The names of the seven world sailors, German scholars and professors, all begin with the same Letters. Thus we have a Paracelcus Piller, A Bombastus Brumhuber and so forth. The main protagonist, the leader of the expedition and its spiritual father is named Siegried Stiller or SS.

1 comment:

Patric Mueller said...

FYI: Dieter von Reeken has released those two books in Antiqua so one does not need to read Fraktur.