Stark, Leonhard. Single page A4 sized original typed signed letter dated March 22, 1963 from Stark (in Bromma, Sweden) to historian Sebastian Hafner (in Hamburg, Germany).
Along with 1 page type script “Aristokratische Demokratie” and small format advertisement for his book [“The German of Tomorrow”]. All in German. Letter very good (folded twice); added type script merely good with fold crease and small tear with very minor text loss. Leonhard Stark (1894–1982) was a nut. In the early 1920’s Germany was overcome by hyperinflation. Fortunes vanished; lives turned upside down; life was in disarray. In this chaos, Stark found his calling. He became a wandering inflation preacher, a “Inflationsheiliger”. He started to dress like Jesus and wandered the country holding speeches in which he anointed himself Jesus Christ, Nietzsche, and the King of all women. From women he demanded their complete physical commitment (“hingabe”), and was convincing enough to have a large group of mostly female followers who believed that sex with the chosen one (i.e. with Stark) would solve their inflationary woes. It’s no surprise that eventually Stark ended up in jail and once inflation subsided his schtick ran its course. In 1937 he moved to Sweden and lived the rest of his life in relative obscurity. This letter is from years later — 1963. Stark writes to German historian Sebastian Hafner (1907–1999) and challenges his statement in Der Stern, a major German news publication, that [“Khrushchev is unfortunately an enemy of Germany”] and, please, requests Hafner’s proof for this statement. The letter makes reference to books that Stark was working on, and the advertising and marketing enclosures therefor are included here. We were not able to find any other autograph by Stark that was ever sold. No auction records. Nothing original for sale. He’s weird; he’s obscure, and he provides an interesting historical footnote of societal consequences from runaway inflation.
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