This is exactly what Global Studies is all about. Of all the exotic images that the West has ever projected onto Tibet, that of the Nazi expedition, and its search for the pure remnants of the Aryan race, remains the most bizarre. In April 1938 the SS undertook its biggest and most ambitious expedition to Tibet, led by Ernst Schäfer, a veteran explorer, and the anthropologist Bruno Beger. On the nineteenth of January 1939, the five members of the Waffen-SS, Heinrich Himmler’s feared Nazi shock troops, passed through the ancient, arched gateway that led into the sacred city of Lhasa. Like many Europeans, they carried with them idealized and unrealistic views of Tibet, projecting, as Orville Schell remarks in his book Virtual Tibet, “a fabulous skein of fantasy around this distant, unknown land.” The projections of the Nazi expedition, however, did not include the now familiar search for Shangri-La, the hidden land in which a uniquely perfect and peaceful social system held a blueprint to counter the transgressions that plague the rest of humankind. Rather, the perfection sought by the Nazis was an idea of racial perfection that would justify their views on world history and German supremacy.
BERLIN — An ancient Buddhist statue that a Nazi expedition brought back from Tibet shortly before World War II was carved from a meteorite that crashed on Earth thousands of years ago.
What sounds like an Indiana Jones movie plot appears to have actually taken place, according to European researchers publishing in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science this month.
Elmar Buchner of the University of Stuttgart said Thursday the statue was brought to Germany by the Schaefer expedition. The Nazi-backed venture set out for Tibet in 1938 in part to trace the origins of the Aryan race — a cornerstone of the Nazis’ racist ideology.
The existence of the 10.6-kilogram (23.4-pound) statue, known as “iron man,” was only revealed in 2007 when its owner died and it came up for auction, Buchner told The Associated Press.
German and Austrian scientists were able to get permission from its new…
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