BEHRSING, Siegfried

BEHRSING, Siegfried. Bremerfeld, near Weissenstein (now Prääma in Estonia) 9.11.(27.10.)1903 — 5.4.1994. German (originally from Estonia) Sinologist and Buddhist Scholar, in the beginning also an Indologist. Professor in Berlin (East). Born in the then Russian Estonia as a son of teacher (Oberlehrer), went to school in Tallinn, and when the war had closed the school, came to Finland, where he had a private tutor. In 1917-20 again in Tallinn, at Reval. Domschule. From 1921 studied at Greifswald, first German philology, soon IE and Sanskrit under Heller and Zimmer. From 1923 at Tübingen Sanskrit and comparative religion (Garbe, Hauer), and Chinese (Ochler), 1924 at Leipzig comparative religion (Haas), Chinese (Weller, Haenisch, Conrady), Sanskrit (Hertel) and Pāli (Weller). From 1926 Hilfsarbeiter at Indisches Institut, Leipzig, 1929 half a year in Peking assisting Staël-Holstein. Ph.D. 1930 Leipzig. After refusing to join NSDAP in 1937 he lost his position in Leipzig and worked then at Museum f. Völker­kunde in Berlin (during WW II worked as translator), from 1953 also teaching at Humboldt University, where he in 1959 became Professor ord. (1965 “mit Lehrstuhl”) and Director of Ostasiatisches Institut. Emeritus 1969. Married.

Publications: diss. Das Chung-tsi-king, der chinesische Dīrghāgama. 150 p. Lp. 1930 = AM 7, 1932, 1-149; “Beiträge zu einer Milindapañha-Bibliographie”, BSOS 7:2-3, 1934, 335-348, 517-539.

– “Zum Problem des Ursprungs des indischen Kastenwesens”, ZDMG 92, 1938, *13f.; “Stellen­verzeichnis zu Weber ‘Collectanea über die Kastenverhältnisse in den Brāhmana und Sūtra’”, ZDMG 100, 1950, 362-373 (Weber in ISt 10, 1868); “Mārīcī-Figuren des Berliner Völkerkunde-Museums im Rahmen eines ikonographischen Ver­suchs”, Baessler-Archiv 25, 1943, 1-23.

Much on Sinology.

Sources: Vita in diss.; R. Felber, Oriens Extremus 37, 1994, 117-121 with photo; D.G.K. 1970, 1992; early photo in Sardesai.

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