BERNHARD, Franz. Schweidnitz in Silesia (now Świdnica in Poland) 31.5.1931 — Mustang/Nepal 5.9. 1971. German Indologist. Professor in Hamburg. Son of a butcher from Silesia. Studied at Göttingen in 1952-60 classical philology, Indology (under W. Thomas and Waldschmidt), IE, and even Finno-Ugric philology. Ph.D. 1958 Göttingen. In 1956-60 worked at Tübingen University on the Sanskrit-Wörterbuch der Turfanfunden. From 1960 Assistant for Indology (under W. Thomas) at Frankfurt, at the same time studied Old Turcic and Chinese, and worked on the Udāna edition begun by Waldschmidt. In Darmstadt introduced himself into computer methods. 1965 PD at Frankfurt, 1966 got the newly founded second chair of Indology at Hamburg, where he remained the rest of his life. Also taught Tibetan. In 1968-69 he visited for the first time India, and be­came interested in studying the still living Lamaism. From September 1969 to April 1970 he carried fieldwork in the Himalayas (Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan), took some 7000 slides, many films, tapes etc. In July 1971 came a new field trip, during which he died on account of his old heart disease in the high valley of Mustang.

Publications: Diss. Die Nominalkomposition im Tocharischen. Manuscript of 299 p. Göttingen. 1958

Habil.diss. Udānavarga. Band 1. Einleitung, Beschreibung der Handschriften, Text­aus­gabe, Bibliographie. 537 p. Sanskrittexte aus Turfanfunden 10:1. AAWG 3:54:1. Gött. 1965; Band 2. Indices, konkordanzen etc. 307 p. Gött. 1968 (3-4. on dialect, metrics, commentaries were never completed by him).

– “Gab es einen Lokativ auf -esmiṁ im buddhistischen Sanskrit?”, NGAW 1964:4, 199-209; “Zur Entstehung einer Dhāraṇī”, ZDMG 117, 1967, 148-168; “Zur Ent­stehung und Interpretation der Strophen Dhammapada 294, 295”, Festschrift W. Eilers 1967, 511-526; “Zur Interpretation der Pratītyasamutpāda-Formel”, WZKS 12/13, 1968-69, 53-63; “Zum Titel des sog. Udānavarga”, ZDMG Suppl. 1, 1969, 872-881; “Gāndhārī and the Buddhist Mission in Central Asia”, Añjali. D. H. de Alwis Wijesekera Vol. 1970, 55-62.

Sources: M. Hahn, ZDMG 124, 1974, 1-5 with photo (also in Rau 135); Stacie-Rosen 1990,  251f.; briefly German Wikipedia.

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