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Arthur Schütz

Arthur Schütz

Austrian engineer
Arthur Schütz
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Austrian engineer
Was Engineer Writer
From Austria
Type Engineering Literature
Gender male
Birth 1880, Saint Petersburg, Tsardom of Russia
Death 1960, Vienna, Austria (aged 80 years)
The details

Biography

Arthur Schütz (also known as Erich Ritter von Winkler) (25 January 1880, Moscow – 9 February 1960, Vienna) was an Austrian engineer and writer, most notable for creating a special kind of hoax called "Grubenhund".

Life

Schütz was born as son of the Austrian consul in Moscow. He studied engineering and in 1904 established a company, "Arthur Schütz & Co.", specializing on drive systems and components in Vienna. He later published the magazine Riementechnische Mitteilungen.

The "Grubenhund"

In November 1911, Schütz was dissatisfied with the editorial standards of the Viennese newspaper Neue Freie Presse after they had exaggerated the effects of a recent, rather harmless, earthquake. In order to "educate" them, he wrote a letter that his "Grubenhund" (German for "mining dog") had been uneasy half an hour before the earthquake happened. The journalists of the Neue Freie Presse reprinted the letter in their newspaper shortly afterwards without checking it for facts. They were told afterwards that a "Grubenhund" is the term for an underground freight wagon used for transporting the ore in mines, which was actually common knowledge and could have been easily checked.

Following this incident, "Grubenhund" has been used as a term for a kind of hoax that does not even attempt to fool the reader but that is used to expose journalists who are too careless when deciding what to print in their newspapers. Schütz went on to author several similar Grubenhunds, all of which were printed in various publications. For example, he managed to make the Neue Freie Presse print a letter to the editor in which he complained that the Federal Railway of Austria now used fireproof coal and oval wheels. Schütz devised those hoaxes as a kind of educational training together with friends and co-workers, to set out to prove that any article will be picked up by the media and circulated if it manages merely to seem convincing and legitimately scientifically proven.

Legacy

In 2004, the "Arthur-Schütz-Institut" tried to make German newspapers print a "Grubenhund". The organization, which claimed to be a gene research institute but was actually a group of researchers of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, claimed to have found a gene in the human DNA which is responsible for all sexual behavior, even as detailed as the choice of sexual partners. The story was a failure though, with only 3 of 1500 editorial departments contacted accepting it as fact.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 10 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Reference sources
References
http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/343/491707/text/
https://web.archive.org/web/20091023103005/http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/343/491707/text/
http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-64197225.html
http://www.zeit.de/1953/24/Wo-der-Grubenhund-bellte
https://books.google.com/books?id=wcpIqdBoTF8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s#v=onepage&q=&f=false
http://www.nzz.ch/2005/06/17/em/articleCWL5C.html
http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/17/17787/1.html
//edwardbetts.com/find_link?q=Arthur_Sch%C3%BCtz
http://www.schuetz.at
https://d-nb.info/gnd/118611143
http://isni.org/isni/0000000083597420
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