Ernst von Salomon

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Ernst von Salomon

Ernst Friedrich Karl von Salomon (25 September 1902 – 9 August 1972) was a German Freikorps member and writer. He was one of the most famous proponents of the ideological current known as "Conservative Revolution" that was prominent in German discourse from 1918 until 1945. He is possibly best-known for his book ridiculing the WWII Allies de-Nazification processes, The Answers.[1]


Von Salomon as Kadett
Ernst Jünger (foreground) und Ernst von Salomon in Winsen an der Luhe in the 1950s

He was born in Kiel, the son of criminal investigation officer (later department head of the criminal police) Rittmeister a. D. Felix Anton Karl von Salomon and his wife Anette Henriette Charlotte, née Gerlach. In 1912 and 1913 he attended the Lessing-Gymnasium in Frankfurt, but had to leave it due to lack of success and therefore switched from 1913 to the Prussian cadet school in Karlsruhe and in 1917 to the main cadet school in Groß-Lichterfelde near Berlin (Preußische Hauptkadettenanstalt Groß-Lichterfelde), where he passed his Abitur in 1918. The time in the cadet institution was processed by him in the autobiographical novel Die Kadetten. In 1919, he joined the Freikorps (Freiwilliges Landesjäger-Korps) in the Baltics, where he fought under Rudolf Berthold (Eiserne Schar „Berthold“) against the Bolsheviks. Later he fought against Polish insurgents in Upper Silesia.

Von Salomon joined the Organisation Consul in 1920. He received a five year prison sentence in 1922 (in a trial together with Ernst Werner Techow, Carl Tillessen, Waldemar Niedrig, Friedrich Warnecke and Hans Gerd Techow) for his part in the assassination of German-Jewish foreign minister Walther Rathenau – he provided a car for the assassins. In 1927, he received another prison sentence for an attempted feme murder (paramilitary "self-justice"), and was released after a few months – he had not killed the severely wounded victim, Wagner, when he pleaded for his life, which was noted by the court.

Despite his revolutionary and Right-wing leanings, von Salomon kept his distance from the National Socialists and their rise to power in Germany. He lived out the days of the Third Reich and the war as a filmmaker. He and his Jewish wife were arrested by the Allied occupation government after the war, but were set free after a year in 1946. He continued writing screenplays for the remainder of his life.

The 1940 colonial film "Carl Peters", which Salomon wrote the screenplay for, was forbidden by British occupation authorities for its "Anglophobia". Von Salomon also wrote a number of books, the best known being "Der Fragebogen" and "Die Stadt" (which came out in 2011 as "It Cannot Be Stormed" on Arktos).

In 1951, he published the book Der Fragebogen ("The Questionnaire"), in which he gave his rather ironic answers to the 131 point questionnaire many Germans were forced to answer after the war as part of the so-called "denazification process". A famous public discussion of the book took place in the main train station of Cologne, organised by bookseller Gerhard Ludwig.


Ernst von Salomon died of heart failure at his home in Stöckte, Winsen (Luhe) in the district of Harburg near Hamburg on 9 August 1972. He was 69 years of age.

Writings (excerpt)

Das Buch vom deutschen Freikorpskämpfer


  • Die Geächteten, 1930
  • Die Stadt, 1932
  • Die Kadetten, 1933
  • Nahe Geschichte, ein Überblick, 1936
  • Das Buch vom deutschen Freikorpskämpfer, 1938 (bestseller)
  • Der Fragebogen, 1951, ISBN 3-499-10419-9 (first bestseller of the young FRG)
  • Boche in Frankreich, Auszug aus " Der Fragebogen" 1952
  • Das Schicksal des A.D. Ein Mann im Schatten der Geschichte. Ein Bericht, 1960
  • Die schöne Wilhelmine, 1965
  • Glück in Frankreich, Hamburg 1966
  • Deutschland, Städte und Landschaften aus dem Flugzeug gesehen, 1967
  • Deutschland, Deine Schleswig-Holsteiner, 1971
  • Die Kette der tausend Kraniche, 1972
  • Der tote Preusse (posthumously published manuscript), 1973


  • Menschen ohne Vaterland (1936/37)
  • Kautschuk/Die Grüne Hölle (1938)
  • Sensationsprozeß Casilla (1939)
  • Kongo-Express (1939)
  • Carl Peters (1941)
  • Johann (1942/43)
  • Der dunkle Tag (1943)
  • Der unendliche Weg (1943)
  • Die Unheimliche Wandlung des Axel Roscher (1943)
  • Frech und verliebt (1948)
  • Münchnerinnen (1949)
  • Das Gesetz der Liebe (1949)
  • 08/15 (1954) – Drehbuch
  • 08/15 – Im Krieg (1955)
  • 08/15 – In der Heimat (1955)
  • Geliebte Corinna (1956)
  • Liane, das Mädchen aus dem Urwald (1956)
  • Weil du arm bist, mußt du früher sterben (1956)
  • Liane, die weiße Sklavin (1957)
  • Soldatensender Calais (1960)

External links

  • Saloman, Ernst von, The Answers to the 131 Questions in the Allied Military Government questionaire, Putnam & Co., London, 1954 (1st published in Germany in Germany in 1951).