BEYTHAN, Hermann

BEYTHAN, Hermann. Teichel bei Rudolstadt, Thüringen 29.5.1875 — 1945?. German Missionary and Indologist (Tamil Scholar). Son of a farmer. After Mission School in Leipzig in 1895-1901 he was ordained priest and sent to India. Arrived in February 1902, he worked in Erode, at Fabrizius School in Madras and in 1905-09 in Kumbakonam and Chidambaram. He returned to Germany in 1909 in order to study medicine and become a missionary doctor. In 1910 he moved to Berlin, where he taught at a school and was later appointed a Lecturer in Tamil at Seminar für Orientalische Sprachen (then Auslandshochschule and Auslandswissenschaftliche Fakultät) in 1933/34-1944/45. He was a nazi, who is said to have translated Hitler’s Mein Kampf into Tamil. On 20th September 1945 he was arrested by Russians in Berlin and was never heard of again.

Publications: Grammatik der Tamilsprache. 225 p. Leipzig 1943.

Was ist Indien. 15+187 p. Indien 1. Heidelberg 1942; Die soziale Frage in Indien. 168 p. Heidelberg 1943.

Sources: Mohanavelu 1993, 197; Stache-Rosen 185; www.lmw-mission.de/de/missionar-157.html (with photo); photo in Rau 100.

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