"Sibirien beginnt in der Hasenheide"

  • In letters to trusted friends and in conversations Humboldt often showed an inclination to make fun of persons, institutions and situations. In most cases he did this tongue in cheek, rarely hurting people seriously. A special target of Humboldt’s ironical remarks was the Prussian ministry of education and culture because of its animosity to the natural sciences which Humboldt wanted to promote. Often Humboldt expressed his frustration about narrow-mindedness and arrogance which he observed in his hometown of Berlin. Sometimes he had reasons to criticize the Prussian Academies of Sciences and of Arts. Humboldt had a fine sense of humor and many critical remarks can only be understood in the context in which they were made. The reader should therefore be warned, not to take any ironical or sarcastic characterization of a person or an institution literally.
  • Humboldt mostraba frecuentemente en cartas a fieles amigos y en conversaciones una inclinación por ridiculizar a personas, instituciones y situaciones. En la mayoría de los casos lo hizo de forma discreta, sin molestar seriamente a nadie. El Ministerio Prusiano de Educación y Cultura fue objeto singular de sus comentarios irónicos por su animosidad a las ciencias naturales que Humboldt quiso fomentar. Muchas veces, Humboldt expresó su frustración sobre la intolerancia y arrogancia que observó en su ciudad natal, Berlín. A veces, tenía sus razons para criticar a la Academia Prusiana de Ciencias y Artes. Humboldt poseía un sentido del humor muy fino y muchos de los comentarios críticos sólo se pueden entender dentro del contexto en el que se hicieron. Aviso al lector que no debe tomar ninguna caracterización ironica o sarcastica de una persona o institución literalmente.

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Author details:Kurt-Reinhard BiermannGND, Ingo SchwarzGND
Title of parent work (German):HIN : Alexander von Humboldt im Netz ; international review for Humboldtian studies
Subtitle (German):Alexander von Humboldts Neigung zur Moquerie
Publisher:Universitätsverlag Potsdam
Place of publishing:Potsdam
Publication type:Article
Publication year:2001
Publishing institution:Universität Potsdam
Publishing institution:Universitätsverlag Potsdam
Release date:2009/08/25
Tag:Humboldts Moquerien; Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Number of pages:14
First page:15
Last Page:28
Source:HiN : Alexander von Humboldt im Netz, II (2001) 2
RVK - Regensburg classification:GK 4953, NU 5089, WB 3187, RT 10026, RB 10032
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Romanistik
DDC classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften / 509 Histor., geogr., personenbezogene Behandlung
9 Geschichte und Geografie / 91 Geografie, Reisen / 911 Historische Geografie
Collection(s):Universität Potsdam / Zeitschriften / HiN : Alexander von Humboldt im Netz ; International Review for Humboldtian Studies, ISSN 1617-5239 / HiN II, 2 (2001)
Peer review:Referiert
Publishing method:Universitätsverlag Potsdam
License (German):License LogoCC-BY-NC - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell 4.0 International
External remark:The original publication is available at
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