Herman Sörgel

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Herman Sörgel (2 April 1885— 25 December 1952) was a German architect. He was the originator of the idea of Atlantropa—a utopian continent created by damming the Strait of Gibraltar, the Dardanelles, and the Congo river. His idea called for the damming, and thus lowering, of the Mediterranean Sea level and then making use of the difference between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic sea levels to generate hydro-electric power. Sorgel's idea to lower sea levels would increase the dry land areas around the Mediterranean and provide overland access to Africa. Damming the Congo river would refill the basin surrounding Lake Chad providing fresh water to irrigate the Sahara and shipping access to the African interior.[1][2]

In 1942, Sörgel was banned from publishing his works by the Nazis.[3] Some of his publications included:[4]

  • Sörgel, Herman (1929). Mittelmeer-Senkung. Sahara-Bewässerung = Lowering the Mediterranean, Irrigating the Sahara (Panropa Project), pamphlet. Leipzig: J.M. Gebhardt. 
  • Sörgel, Herman (1931). "Europa-Afrika: ein Weltteil" (37). pp. 983–987. Retrieved 2006. 
  • Sörgel, Herman (1932). Atlantropa. Munich: Fretz & Wasmuth, Zurich / Piloty & Löhle. 
  • Sörgel, Herman (1933). Foreword to "Technokratie - die neue Heilslehre" by Wayne W. Parrish. Munich: R. Piper & Co. 
  • Sörgel, Herman (1938). Die drei großen "A". Großdeutschland und italienisches Imperium, die Pfeiler Atlantropas. [Amerika, Atlantropa, Asien]. Munich: Piloty & Loehle. 
  • Sörgel, Herman (1942). Atlantropa-ABC: Kraft, Raum, Brot. Erläuterungen zum Atlantropa-Projekt. Leipzig: Arnd. 
  • Sörgel, Herman (1948). Foreword to "Atlantropa. Wesenszüge eines Projekts" by John Knittel. Stuttgart: Behrendt. 

Born in Regensburg, Sörgel died shortly after having been struck by a car while on his bicycle en route to a lecture at a German university in Munich. The accident happened on a road "as straight as a die" and the driver of the car was never found.[3]


  1. ^ Ley, Wiley (1959). Engineers' Dreams: Great projects that could come true. Viking Press. 
  2. ^ "The Atlantropa Project". Dieselpunks.org. Retrieved 2013-08-13.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ a b Wolfgang Luef (April 2006). "Weltbauen gegen den Untergang" (in German). Datum. Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
  4. ^ "A Monumental and Fantastically Bad Idea: Draining the Mediterranean". JF Ptak Science Books. 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2013-08-13.