Information on dr. jur. Bruno Paul Karl Friedrich Winkler (1889-1960)
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie

Dr. jur. Bruno Paul Karl Friedrich Winkler, author and statistician, son of Hans Winkler, a physician, was born on February 17, 1889 in Straßburg (Elsaß) and died in Offenburg on April 23, 1960. 
Originally, Winkler was an evangelical. Later, he was converted to Catholicism. He had a deep sense for religion as well as esotery and matters which were beyond human perception and often unexplainable. This made him join the theosophical Swedenborg-society, of which he became a valued member. According to his daughter, Winkler inherited his feeling for the imperceptible from his mother, a well-educated woman, who had a strong interest in spirituality and learned him the love for literature.
In 1912, Winkler promoted at the Legislation Faculty of the Royal Marburg University. His inauguration speech was entitled  Der Rückgriff unter Gesamtschuldnern. In 1923, he started to work as a statistician. Shortly after, he became an author.
Winkler has been married twice. The first marriage, which came to an end because of the decease of his wife after twenty years of marriage, remained childless. In the subsequent marriage with the authoress Oly Mosel, born on March 25, 1909, who published under the alias Oly Sölm, his one and only daughter, Ellen-Marie, was born on October 6, 1940.  
In 1940, the Winklers lived in Farchant, later in Bühl. After the failed attempt on Hitler in July 1944, they fled to Upper-Bavaria. One of Winkler's relatives was involved in the circles around Count Von Stauffenberg, who on July 20, 1944, had put a bomb under Hitler's table in his headquarters. In Berlin, in an action because of the Sippenhaftung, the SS penetrated into the house of another cousin and killed him, his wife and a friendly couple who was visiting them. Winkler was advised urgently to flee, since he had the same relation to his cousin as the cousin who was killed by the SS. In 1945, the Winklers returned to Bühl. 

After World War II, Winkler worked as a freelance journalist for a newspaper in Achern.[1] 


In the beginning, Winkler showed himself an author of historic novels. His first novel, Der Marquis von Villebon, a historic novel, situated in France in the beginning of the 17th century during the reign of Louix XIV, was published in 1925 by J.H.Ed. Heitz in Straßburg.
Around 1930, Boot publishers in The Hague (NL) published De beeldhouwer van Krakau. This book, which was reprinted until after the war, was a translation by J. Tersteeg of Winkler's Die große Sühne, a novel about the life of the German sculptor Veit Stoß (1438-1533), famous for his altar of the Blessed Virgin in the church of Our Lady in Cracow.
In 1930, Merlin publishers in Baden-Baden published Der Stern von Assisi - ein Franziskus-Roman, a novel about the life of Francis of Assisi (± 1181-1226).
In 1931, Meister publishers in Werdau published the sports novel Endspurt
In 1937, two novels were published. Müller publishers in Hamburg published the novel Holl im Glück; Regulus publishers in Görlitz published Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...! Das Leben des Michel Nostradamus: die Geschichte eines Mannes zwischen zwei Welten, a non-political novel about the life of Nostradamus (1503-1566).
In 1942, the novel Motor und Liebe was published.

Some of Winkler's novels

Der Marquis von Villebon (Winkler, 1925)
Der Marquis von Villebon
Straßburg, 1925

De beeldhouwer van Krakau (Winkler-NL, 1930)
De beeldhouwer van Krakau
The Hague, 1930


Germany's part in the world and the relation between Germany and the foreign countries
Winkler not only wrote novels, but also treatises on the relation between Germany and the foreign countries and about achieving peace in Europe. 

a. Publications, dating from the '30's
In the '30's; under his own management, Winkler published three treatises on the relation between Germany and the foreign countries and about how to achieve peace in Europe. In 1934, he published the book Der Sieg des Friedens - eine Erzählung and the brochure Der Weg in die Freiheit - Die Erfüllung unseres Anspruchs auf Gleichberechtigung und die anderen außenpolitischen Forderungen des Programms der NSDAP. In 1935, he published the brochure Groß-Deutschland.
In the '30's, Winkler was a nationalist who deeply loved his native country. His publications which date from 1934 and 1935 show that he, like many of his compatriots, considered the Versailles Treaty as extremely unjust. At the negotiation table, Germany was, according to him, encornered by France, since France again and again came up with new demands and restrictions. Winkler developed ideas about the way in which Germany would reach an adequate position in Europe and about the way in which the Versailles Treaty would be replaced by a sincere peace, which would meet all claims of sovereignty. The German army had to be a peace corps; not by weapons, but by a will as firm as a rock, the German people had to extort peace. In the brochures Der Weg in die Freiheit - Die Erfüllung unseres Anspruchs auf Gleichberechtigung und die anderen außenpolitischen Forderungen des Programms der NSDAP and Groß-Deutschland, which are not elaborations of the NSDAP-program, Winkler explained his ideas about the relation between Germany and the foreign countries.
In the brochures Winkler published in 1934 and 1935, he did not join the NSDAP and did not embrace national-socialist elements. On the other hand, he expressed his admiration for Hitler's politics, meaning he considered it a very important act that in October 1933, Germany left the League of Nations and the Geneva disarmament conference. By doing so, Germany, according to Winkler, acted strongly, which might result in a sincere peace. Since this peace was not forthcoming, Winkler took up his pen. He considered the law which enabled Germany in 1935 to raise an army as an expression of Germany's equality to the other European countries. However, Winkler did not advocate war; according to him, the task of an army was to secure the territory and to repulse an attack.

b. Nationalistic/pacifistic ideas
Winkler's political ideas in te '30's were nationalistic and pacifistic. This nature is also emphasized by Ellen-Marie Stengel-Peter, his daughter. She remembers her father as someone who did not advocate war and who, despite frequent urgings, did not join the NSDAP. According to her memories, her father thought that Germany might play a dominant part in Europe because of at the one hand its central geographic location and on the other hand the intellect of the German people. He was proud of Germany's cultural inheritance, but did not look down on other people. 

c. National-socialism
In his brochures which date from the '30's as well as in Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigste Jahrhundert, Winkler wrote appreciatingly about the in his eyes efficacious politics of Hitler, who had put the unemployment in Germany to an end. According to his daughter, Winkler, like many of his compatriots at that time, had no idea what might be the results of Hitler's politics. In the course of World War II, it became clear to Winkler what the Nazi's were up to. Winkler opposed himself against them. Three times, the Gestapo penetrated his house, looking for writings which contained negative statements about the war, based upon astrology or the Centuries. Although the Gestapo did not find incriminating evidence, Winkler was no longer allowed to write. A part of his private library was confiscated and taken away; his publications were banned and circulating copies were confiscated. For some time, he was not allowed to leave Bühl, his place of residence, without the permission of the Gestapo. As a result, the financial situation of the Winkler family became more and more worse; his wife had to work to pay the costs of living.
Winkler did not take part in the compiling of national-socialist propaganda, based upon the Centuries or upon Century-comments. The national-socialist propaganda brochures Hoe zal deze oorlog eindigen? (The Hague, NL, 1940), Die Prophezeiungen des Nostradamus (Brochure-18, Berlin, 1940) and Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... (Arnhem, NL, 1941) silently, without any specification, contain fragments, taken from Winkler's Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen... According to Winkler's daughter, this happened without his knowledge, like he also did not have any knowledge about book, published in Belgium, in which his Nostradamus-comments extensively were discussed.

d. The brochure Europa, verzage nicht! (1953)
In February 1953, Winkler once again wrote a brochure about the relation between Germany and Europe, entitled Europa, verzage nicht!. In this brochure, he exposed his vision about Europe being united on a Christian foundation, and Germany's place and role in it. His vision is summarized as follows.
In the course of history, Europe, a peninsula which is part of the great continent of countries between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, including Africa, became the Christian part of the earth, from which Christendom was spread, to begin with the settlement in Rome of the apostle Simon, who Christ had named Peter, the Rock upon which He would build his Church. The Holy Seat is the earthly symbol of the Church, the Cross is Its heavenly symbol.
After World War II, Europe became urged to make a choice. Some groups of people are bound to and restricted by nationalistic ideas; other groups want Europe to become a part of a communist state. Communism is completely devoted to earth matters, the Church to heavenly matters. The time urges people to think European, but also to feel European and to experience European. Only if "Europe" has entered and fulfilled thinking, feeling and experience, nationalistic egoism can be put to an end. 
In Winkler's vision, European politics is a politic of spiritual and material European strength. In order to act in such a way, the nations of Europe should have equal rights. This means, a.o., that Germany, split up after World War II, again must be reunited. Such an achievement is not only the result of human efforts and politics. It is not man who rules history; it is God who guides the people, man is only a being in His Hand. The strongest power in the world is the prayer. This is what German politicians should explain to the German people.
In Winkler's vision, the reunification of Germany could be achieved in two ways. On the one hand, one could try to profit from the developments in especially communist China, which developments might bring the Soviet-Union into isolation. On the other hand, the West might try to grow in military strength, which might stabilize peace in Europe. The stronger the West, the sooner the Soviet-Union might be willing to negotiate about Germany's reunification. This enforcement could be achieved  by the establishing of a European army, which would really be an army to count with if Germany is allowed to give its military contribution. Such an army also needs a Europe which is not split up in separate nations/territories, but is a territory as a whole with defendable boundaries.
Winkler hoped that those who agreed with his view, would contact him, and that a society could be founded of people who wanted to think European. In a "statute" at the end of Europa, verzage nicht!, he described the foundations of such a society.

Winkler's brochures show the development in his ideas about Europe and the part which could be played by Germany. He considered the Versailles Treaty as very humiliating for Germany. He appreciated Hitler's manoeuvres to restore Germany's position (leaving the League of Nations, the Geneva disarmament conference, introducing the draft), but he regretted that these manoeuvres did not result in a new, honest peace treaty. Winkler, who advocated Great-Germany in the meaning which was en vogue in 1918, developed pacifistic ideas in order to achieve peace. He considered communism to be a danger for the world peace, because of its materialistic, atheistic nature. His political ideas were not related to those of the NSDAP.
At the end of World War II, the Third Reich fell apart in a western part, ruled by the Allies, and an eastern part, ruled by the communist Soviet-Union. It was Winkler's wish that the European continent would grow out in a united Europe with a European army, which could be a counter-force towards the Soviet-Union, from a defensive point of view. According to him, a reunited Germany could play an important part in a united Europe, since the army of a reunited Germany could serve the European nations.
A remarkable aspect of all the brochures Winkler wrote, is that he called upon his readers to step forward and to take action regarding the matters he discussed.

Winkler on Nostradamus and the Centuries

a. Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...!
In 1937, the a-political novel Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...! Das Leben des Michel Nostradamus: die Geschichte eines Mannes zwischen zwei Welten was published by Regulus publishers in Görlitz. The title Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...! was taken from Act I of Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Faust:

Flieh! Auf! Hinaus ins weite Land!
Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch,
Von Nostradamus eigner Hand,
Ist es dir nicht Geleit Genug?

On the back of the title page of Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...!, it reads: Unter Nr. P.218 geprüft von der Ber. u. Pr.-St. für astrologisches und verwandtes Schrifttum.
In Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...!, Winkler described in a romanticized way the life of Nostradamus and gave comment on more than forty quatrains. He thoroughly studied old publications about Nostradamus, such as a biography, written by Cesar, the eldest son of Nostradamus, born in his second marriage, a biography, written by Jean-Aymes de Chavigny, and the 1650-P.Leffen-edition, a French edition, printed in Leiden (NL), which contains the Centuries,  the Présages and the Sixains, the eleventh and twelfth Century and additions to the sixth, seventh, eighth and tenth Century. Like his research for some of his other novels, his research on Nostradamus was also directed towards religious aspects.
In chapter XIII, entitled Ein Schiffstau, das abrollt, it reads on p.77-78 that Nostradamus foresaw a war, in which many nations would be opposed to each other. Winkler meant World War I. In connection with this war, he mentioned the quatrains 02-68 and 03-71 and, without giving the French text in the appendix, quatrain 06-24. Basing himself upon the quatrains 10-89, 09-66 and 10-42, Winkler wrote that after this war, a long period of peace would come. Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...!  contains nothing about the impact of the Versailles Treaty on Germany, nothing about Franco and the Spanish Civil War, Mussolini, Hitler or his politics.

b. Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigste Jahrhundert 
In 1939, Regulus publishers in Görlitz published Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigste Jahrhundert. This book, which was finished in the first half of 1938, contains a couple of lines in which Winkler appreciatingly wrote about Hitler's statesmanship as well as the statesmanship of Franco and Mussolini - he attributed virtues to them in the way he had done in his brochures: peace-minded, efficacious politics. For Winkler, the regimes of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini were the result of the influence of Jupiter, the planet which in his astrological frame of reference represented the "higher", the Church and eternal values. He opposed these regimes to bolshevism, which, because of its atheistic nature, he considered to be the result of the influence of Saturn, the planet which in his astrological frame of reference represented evil. According to Winkler, the rise of Hitler was predicted in quatrain 03-58. Following his compatriots Loog and Wöllner, Winkler wrote that around 2000 there would be a war in Europe in which England, France, Germany and Italy would be involved. Germany would have many victories in the West and next would be threatened from the East.
In May 1938, Winkler held a lecture, entitled Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigschte Jahrhundert, for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für wissenschaftlichen Okkultismus

c. Englands Aufstieg und Niedergang...
In 1940, Richard Hummel publishers in Leipzig published Englands Aufstieg und Niedergang nach den Prophezeiungen des großen französischen Sehers Michel Nostradamus aus den Jahren 1555 und 1558. In this book, it was attributed to Nostradamus that he had foreseen that Germany would defeat England smashingly. In a spiritual sense, Germany would become the leading power in Europe, putting a halt to Europe's decline because of materialism.

After World War II, the books on Nostradamus by Winkler, published in 1937, 1939 and 1940, remained unpublished.

Winkler's publications on Nostradamus

Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...! (Winkler, 1937)
Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...!
Görlitz, 1937
Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen... (Winkler,1939)
Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen...
Görlitz, 1939 (1938)
Englands Aufstieg und Niedergang... (Winkler, 1940)
Englands Aufstieg und Niedergang...
Leipzig, 1940


Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf
Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf
London, 1943

A pseudo-Winkler publication on Nostradamus and the Centuries
In 1943, attributed to Winkler, the brochure Nostradamus prophezeit den Kriegsverlauf, which consisted of 123 pages, circulated in Germany. This brochure was supposed to have been published by Regulus publishers in Görlitz and printed by Hans Kretschmer in Görlitz-Biesnitz. Actually, this brochure was produced by section 1 of the Special Operations Executive of the British Secret Service, a section which was occupied with psychological warfare. The principal author of this brochure was captain Louis de Wohl (Ludwig von Wohl), who explained the Germans by means of perverted Century-quatrains and invented quatrains that Hitler's defeat was imminent.
From Und dies geheimnisvolle Buch...!, De Wohl c.s. copied for example comments upon quatrains which according to Winkler were fulfilled, his name and the names of Regulus publishers and Hans Kretschmer. De Wohl c.s. did not copy material from Nostradamus und seine Prophezeiungen für das zwanzigste Jahrhundert or Englands Aufstieg und Niedergang... [2] In 1952, The stars of war and peace was published, in which De Wohl described a number of his activities regarding psychological warfare. He did not discuss the pseudo-Winkler brochure. 


Ellen-Marie Stengel-Peter
Ellen-Marie Stengel-Peter, Winkler's one and only daughter, was born in Farchant (Garmisch) on October 6, 1940. She is married and has two daughters. She has been a teacher at the secondary school in Bühl, where she taught drawing/art history, German, literature and religion. She retired in summer 2005. 
In 1996, a novel, written by Stengel, entitled Nostradamus, was published in Baden-Baden. In the introduction, it was written that the authoress, "basing herself upon the voluminous research material of her late father, the noted Century-scholar dr. Bruno Winkler, described the eventful life of Nostradamus in the context of the political and social circumstances in France in the 16th century. She not only wanted to describe the visible course of events in the life of Nostradamus, but also the personality of this unique human being, who heavily suffered mentally during many of the visions he got".[3] Stengel, who is intensively occupied with Nostradamus and is very cautious about the meaning of the Centuries, is convinced that Nostradamus predicted that there would be serious disasters during the millennium change; in connection with this she refers to the earthquake in Iran in spring 2004 and the tsunami in Asia, Christmas 2004.[4] She is also convinced that one of the predictions in the Centuries might deal with the German concentration camps. 
In 1998, the novel Franz von Assisi - Nach Studien von dr. Bruno Winkler, was published. In this novel, Stengel elaborated material from Der Stern von Assisi, the novel about Francis which her father had written in 1930. She was fascinated that a wealthy wastrel turned into a saint, who dressed himself in ashes and whose ideas became known all over the world.[5] 
Ellen-Marie Stengel-Peter also writes poems. In 2004, the poem Mummelsee was published in the series Frankfurter Bibliothek: Das Zeitgenössische Gedicht. In 2005, the poem Abend in Assuan was also published in this series. The anthology Lyrik und Prose unserer Zeit (S. Fischer publishers, 2005) contains a short novel, entitled Spuren. In 2006, Burg publishers published the youth novel Der kleine Fisch Pirri, in which a little fish has exciting adventures and in which the sometimes careless way is discussed in which humans deal with the environment.

Elaboration by Ellen-Marie Stengel of novels,
written by her father, dr. Bruno Winkler

Nostradamus - Roman (Stengel, 1996)
Baden-Baden, 1996

Franz von Assisi nach Studien von dr. Bruno Winkler (Stengel, 1998)
Franz von Assisi
Baden-Baden, 1998


De Meern, the Netherlands, July 1, 2006
T.W.M. van Berkel
updated on April 24, 2008


The titles, places and year of issue of the mentioned authors are listed in the bibliography.

  1. Consulted sources: Winkler: Lebenslauf, in: Der Rückgriff unter Gesamntschuldnern (Marburg, 1912); Wer ist wer? 12. Ausgabe von Degeners Wer ist 's?, 1955; Kürschners Deutscher Literaturkalender - Nekrolog 1936-1970, edition 1973. I thank the Information section of the Historische Drucke of the Berlin State Library and Ellen-Marie Stengel-Peter, who kindly gave information about her father, his oeuvre and hers. [text]
  2. Howe, p.291-293. [text]
  3. Stengel-1996, p.7. [text]
  4. See the interview with Ellen-Marie Stengel-Peter by Markus Koch, entitled Deutsch war immer meins, in: Bühl und Umgebung, January 8-9, 2005. [text]
  5. See the interview Deutsch war immer meins. [text]

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