Edmund Kiss (1886 – 1960) was a German pseudo-archaeologist and writer best known for his writings on Tiwanaku in Bolivia.
Early life and writings
Edmund Kiss was born in Germany 1886 and later studied architecture and claimed he had also studied archeology, for which there is, however, no evidence. Later he participated in the First World War. After the Treaty of Versailles he first started writing a series of adventure novels in the prestigious collection Der Gute Kamerad, prevalent in the German speaking world, and in other publishing houses. Later he began non-fiction works that especially adhered to the tenets of the scientist Hanns Hörbiger. In the 1920s and early 1930s he worked as a municipal officer responsible for the construction of public buildings.
In the 1920s Edmund Kiss started writing his first books on alternative archeology and ancient mysticism. In his book entitled The Last Queen of Atlantis (Die letzte Königin von Atlantis) he equated the mythical northern land Thule to the origins of humanity. According to Kiss 'The inhabitants of Northern Atlantis were led by their leader Baldur Wieborg, a native of the mythical Thule who migrated all across the world'. He later described the return journey of the Nordic Thulians to their mythical homeland in The Swans of Thule.
In the late 1920s Kiss made a journey to the ruins at Tiwanaku in Bolivia. He was one of the first to suggest that the builders of Tiwanaku were far older than the traditional accepted date of 200 AD. In his book based on pseudo-archaeology, La Puerta del Sol and the Doctrine of Tiahuanacu Ice Universal Hörbiger published in 1937, he suggested that the ruins were built by prehistoric Nordic Thulians more than 17,000 years ago. He also tied his theory to Hörbiger's Cosmic Ice Theory.
During the Third Reich in 1939, Kiss was asked by Heinrich Himmler to revisit Tiwanaku with a team of researchers from the Ahnenerbe. The trip was later cancelled.
Canadian author Heather Pringle has noted Kiss' unconcern for conventional scientific theory and the way in which his ideas 'greatly appealed to right-wing extremists who were always looking for ways of Germanizing science and junking anything that smacked of "Jewish" science'. According to Pringle, mainstream scientists in America and Britain at the time described Kiss as a 'complete idiot'.
After the Ahnenerbe trip to Bolivia was cancelled Kiss briefly joined the Waffen SS and became a member of the Guard Staff that protected various special Nazi buildings. After the war Kiss was excused at the Nuremberg Trials on the grounds that he was just an archaeologist. In the 1950s he wrote two more books on mysticism. One of these books was entitled Some comments on Critias which was a reanalysis of the location of Atlantis. His later activities are not known.
- Michael H. Kater, Das Ahnenerbe der SS 1935-1945. Ein Beitrag zur Kulturpolitik des Dritten Reiches. Stuttgart 1974 (in German)
- Peter Mierau, Nationalsozialistische Expeditionspolitik. Die deutschen Asienexpeditionen. Munich 2005 (in German)