SCHRADER, Friedrich Otto. Hamburg 19.3.1876 — Kiel 3.11.1961. German Indologist. Professor in Kiel. Son of a judge, educated in Hamburg. Following father’s wishes he worked in business in 1892-95, but continued then studies privately (matriculation 1897 from Hamburg). In 1897-1902 studied Indology at Göttingen (Kielhorn), Strassburg (Leumann) and Kiel. Ph.D. 1902 Strassburg. Further studies of Buddhism and Germanistics at Berlin and Leipzig. Just married he travelled in 1905 to London and Madras, where he became the first Western Librarian of the Adyar Library. He travelled much, learnt the main Dravidian languages and collected manuscripts. During the war he was interned in Ahmednagar and used his time learning Tibetan and Thai, while his family was in Switzerland at his wife’s home. The office in Adyar ended in 1916, but he was released only in 1920. Now he returned to Germany and became in 1921 Professor at Kiel (succeeding Sieg), where he then spent the rest of his life (in 1944-47 evacuated in Bavaria). He retired in 1945, but as the chair was closed down, continued teaching in 1947-50. Vidyāsāgara 1924. From 1933 member of NSDAP.
Schrader started his career as Buddhist scholar (he had also studied Chinese), but the long stay in South India opened new alleys, such as Dravidian linguistics and Hindu studies. He was also interested in ethnology and prehistory and put forth the theory of “Uralic substrate” in Indian languages. He was the founder of Pañcarātra studies and worked much on the Śvetāśvataropaniṣad and the Bhagavadgītā, also on Thai. Much of his learning was put on reviews. Among his students were Spitzler, Eggers, Hertz, P. M. Modi, G. Hartmann and Sprockhoff.
Publications: Diss. Über den Stand der indischen Philosophie zur Zeit Mahāvīras und Buddhas. 10+68 p. Lp. 1902.
– Māyā-Lehre und Kantianismus. 30 p. B. 1904; Wille und Liebe in der Lehre Buddhas. B. 1905
– Transl. Die fragen des Königs Menandros. 1. 35+172+27 p. B. 1907.
– The lingua franca of Future India. 46 p. Madras 1909 (suggesting Sanskrit).
– A descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Adyar Library. 1. Upaniṣads. 11+315 p. Madras 1908; Introduction to the Pāñcarātra and the Ahirbudhnya Saṁhitā. 1-2. 16+55+673 p. Madras 1916.
– Edited: The Minor Upaniṣads. 1. Saṁnyāsa Upaniṣads. Madras 1912.
– “Dravidisch und Uralisch”, ZII 3, 1925, 81-112; “On the ‘Uralian’ Element in the Drāviḍa and Muṇḍa languages”, BSOS 8:2-3 (Grierson Vol.), 1936, 751-762.
– The Kashmir Recension of the Bhagavadgītā. 3+52 p. Btr. z. ind. Sprachwiss. u. Religionsgeschichte 3. St. 1930.
– Der Hinduismus. 7+87 p. Religionsgeschichtliche Lesebuch 14. Tübingen 1930.
– Nearly 150 articles and reviews in ZDMG, OLZ, DLZ, ZII, Kant-Studien, Philosophy, JRAS. BSOS, IC, IA, NIA, IHQ, Theosophist, etc.
– Kleine Schriften. Hrsg. von J. F. Sprockhoff. 22+522 p. Glasenapp-St. 19. Wb. 1983.
Sources: J. F. Sprockhoff, ZDMG 113, 1963, 1-23, with bibliography and photo (also Rau 101, another in Sardesai); Stache-Rosen 1990, 186f.; briefly D.B.E. 9, 1998, 124; German Wikipedia briefly.
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