Sunday, November 8, 2020

Every sentence in this summary of the life of Ignatius Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln is bonkers

It's like if Forest Gump had been about a conman. This is the introduction:

Ignatius Timothy Trebitsch-Lincoln (Hungarian: Trebitsch-Lincoln Ignác, German: Ignaz Thimoteus Trebitzsch; 4 April 1879 – 6 October 1943) (born Abraham Schwarz, also known as Moses Pinkeles) was a Hungarian adventurer and convicted con artist. Of Jewish descent, he spent parts of his life as a Protestant missionary, Anglican priest, British Member of Parliament for Darlington, German right-wing politician and spy, Nazi collaborator and Buddhist abbot in China.

Look at how much nonsense is summarized in these three sentences:

In the years leading up to the outbreak of the First World War he was involved in a variety of failed commercial endeavours, living for a time in Bucharest, hoping to make money in the oil industry. Back in London with no money, he offered his services to the British government as a spy. When he was rejected he went to the Netherlands and made contact with the Germans, who employed him as a double-agent.

Part of his time in Germany:

A penniless refugee, Trebitsch-Lincoln worked his way bit by bit into the extreme right-wing and militarist fringe in Weimar Germany, making the acquaintance of Wolfgang Kapp and Erich Ludendorff among others. In 1920, following the Kapp Putsch, he was appointed press censor to the new government. In this capacity he met Adolf Hitler, who flew in from Munich the day before the Putsch collapsed.

Some misadventures in Asia:

He ended up in China, where he took up employment under three different warlords including Wu Peifu. Supposedly after a mystic experience in the late 1920s, Trebitsch converted to Buddhism, becoming a monk. In 1931 he rose to the rank of abbot, establishing his own monastery in Shanghai. All initiates were required to hand over their possessions to Abbot Chao Kung, (Chinese: 照空; pinyin: Zhào Kōng) as he now called himself. He also spent time seducing nuns.

In 1937 he transferred his loyalties yet again, this time to the Empire of Japan, producing anti-British propaganda on their behalf.

Possibly assassinated by Japan at request by Germany.