Ferdinand Blumentritt

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Ferdinand Blumentritt
Jose Rizal's pencil sketch of Blumentritt
Jose Rizal's pencil sketch of Blumentritt
BornFerdinand Johann Franz Blumentritt
10 September 1853 (1853-09-10)
Prague, Austrian Empire
Died20 September 1913(1913-09-20) (aged 60)
Leitmeritz, Austria-Hungary
OccupationAuthor, secondary school teacher and director, ethnography
LanguageGerman, English, Czech
ParentsFerdinand Matthaeus Johann Blumentritt
Amalia Ecatherina Schneider

Ferdinand Johann Franz Blumentritt (10 September 1853, Prague – 20 September 1913, Litoměřice) was an Austrian teacher, secondary school principal in Leitmeritz, lecturer, and author of articles and books in the Philippines and its ethnography. He is well known in the Philippines for his close friendship with the writer and Propagandist José Rizal, and the numerous correspondence between the two provide a vital reference for Rizal historians and scholars,[1] including his last letter from prison before the execution.


Blumentritt was born in Prague (now the Czech Republic, then the capital of Kingdom of Bohemia in the former Austrian Empire).

Blumentritt wrote extensively about the Philippines, although he never visited the islands, corresponding with the then Filipino student and writer José Rizal, who later became a national hero. Blumentritt's relationship with Rizal began as early as July 1886.[2] Blumentritt became one of Rizal's closest confidants although they met only once. He translated a chapter of the latter's first book, Noli Me Tangere, into German and wrote the preface to Rizal's second book, El filibusterismo, although he was against its publication as he believed that it would lead to Rizal's death. These two novels are commentaries disguised as fiction which angered both the Catholic Church and the Spanish colonial government, and which eventually led to Rizal's 1896 trial and execution. Before the execution in Manila, Rizal wrote his final letter for Blumentritt.[3][4] Blumentritt reportedly cried after receiving the letter.

Alongside Rizal, Blumentritt was a significant contributor to the publication La Solidaridad, published by Filipino expatriates from 1889 to 1895 as a voice for advocacy of political reforms in the Philippines.[5] From 1900, Blumentritt was a member of the Berlin Society for Anthropology.

Blumentritt died in Litoměřice (German: Leitmeritz), Bohemia. He is memorialized in the Philippines by numerous public parks and streets. Among them are Blumentritt Road, Blumentritt LRT Station, Blumentritt PNR Station, the Blumentritt Market in Metro Manila and the Blumentritt Street in Naga City and Tuguegarao. His relations with Rizal also caused the twin status of the Czech town of Litoměřice with the Philippine towns of Calamba (Rizal's birthplace) and Dapitan (where Rizal was initially exiled).

Main works[edit]

  • Alphabetisches Register der Reifeprüfungsvorschriften. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1909
  • Alphabetisches Verzeichnis der gebräuchlichsten Aquarellfarben. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1910
  • America and the Philippines (1900)
  • Die Chinesen auf den Philippinen. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1879
  • Diccionario mitologico de Filipinas. Madrid, 1895
  • Einige Manuskripte aus dem 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1904
  • Einiges über Juan Valera. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1894
  • Introduction to the Noli me tangere of Rizal. Barcelona, 1889
  • Introduction to the Sucesos de las islas Filipinas of Antonio de Morga, annotated by Rizal. Paris, 1890
  • Die Erdbeben des Juli 1880 auf den Philippinen
  • Die Goldfundstellen auf den Philippinen und ihre Ausbeutung
  • Holländische Angriffe auf die Philippinen im 16., 17., und 18. Jahrhundert. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1880
  • Das Kaiserbild. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1899
  • J. C. Labhart-Lutz. Ein Nachruf. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1889
  • Die Philippinen. Eine übersichtliche Darstellung der ethnographischen und historischpolitischen Verhältnisse des Archipels. Hamburg, 1900
  • Die Sprachgebiete Europas am Ausgange des Mittelalters, verglichen mit den Zuständen der Gegenwart. Prague (Czech: Praha), 1883
  • Strömungen und Gezeiten an der Küste von Mindanao.
  • Der "Tratado Anonimo" über den Aufstand der Cumuneros gegen König Carl V. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1878
  • Versuch einer Ethnographie der Philippinen.[=Towards an ethnography of the Philippines] Gotha, 1882. Translated from the German into English by Marcelino N. Maceda.[6]
  • Vocabular einzelner Ausdrücke und Redensarten, welche dem Spanischen der philippinischen Inseln eigenthümlich sind. Leitmeritz (Czech: Litoměřice), 1882, 1883–1884|8, 1885|5.


  • Jindřich Tomas: Jose Rizal, Ferdinand Blumentritt and the Philippines in the New Age. The City of Litomerice: Czech. Publishing House Oswald Praha, 1998.
  • Johann Stockinger: „Ich interessiere mich von jeher nur für die spanischen Colonien“ – Neueste Erkenntnisse für die Blumentritt-Forschung aus der Korrespondenz mit Hugo Schuchardt. (Wien, 1998)
  • The Dapitan Correspondence of Dr.Jose Rizal and Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt. Compiled by Romeo G. Jalosjos. The City Government Dapitan City: Philippines, 2007. ISBN 978-971-93553-0-4.
  • Harry Sichrovsky: Der Revolutionär von Leitmeritz. Ferdinand Blumentritt und der philippinische Freiheitskampf . Wien: Österr. Bundesverl., 1983. ISBN 3-215-04989-9
  • Lea Blumentritt-Virághalmy, Egy szudétanémet nagypolgár európai és délkelet-ázsiai kapcsolathálója. Szentendre, 1999) /Resume/
  • Lea-Katharina Steller (née Blumentritt-Virághalmy): Ferdinand Blumentritt /1853-1913/. In: Series of the Collections for Research into Sudeten German Minority. I.. Szentendre, 2006. Szentendre, 2006.
  • Lea-Katharina Steller (née Blumentritt-Virághalmy), Ferdinand Blumentritt In: Unitas, a scholarly publication of the University of Santo Tomas. Ed. I. C. Abaño OP. Manila, 2006/Dezember.
  • Harry Sichrovsky: "Blumentritt and Rizal. The Austrian Friend behind the Philippine National Hero." Austromedia Corp, Makati 2011 (152 pages), ISBN 978-971-95152-0-3
  • Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson, et al.: Philippine-Austria Relations: 500 years. Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Austria, 2017. ISBN 978-3-200-05061-7


  1. ^ Rizal-Blumentritt Friendship, Austrian-Philippine Website
  2. ^ Kramer, Paul Alexander (2006). The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, & the Philippines. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. p. 57. ISBN 9780807829851. OCLC 897005309 – via Google Books. ...Rizal wrote to his friend and fellow Propaganda writer, the Austrian anthropologist Ferdinand Blumentritt in August 1888.
  3. ^ "211. Rizal, Fort Santiago, Manila, 29 Ðecember 1896". Univie.ac.at. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  4. ^ "Blumentritt on the Philippines". The Hartford Daily Courant (Snippet of article). November 22, 1901. p. 10. Retrieved April 2, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Wolters, William (2004). "La Solidaridad". In Ooi, Keat Gin (ed.). Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor. ABC-CLIO. p. 756. ISBN 9781576077702. OCLC 865552333.
  6. ^ Potet, Jean-Paul G. (2013). Filipiniana Bibliography 2013. Lulu.com. p. 80. ISBN 9781291639452. OCLC 922839116 – via Google Books.

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