My Find-a-Grave memorial to the Baron:
Birth: Dec. 29, 1885
Styria (Steiermark), AustriaDeath: Sep. 15, 1921
Novosibirsk Oblast, Russia [Edit Dates]
Homō hominī lupus.
Ο άνθρωπος είναι λύκος για τον άνθρωπο.
Mees on hunt inimesele.
Der Mensch ist Wolf für den Menschen.
Человек человеку волк.
M A N IS W O L F TO M A N.
ONOMASTICS: Robert Nicholaus Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg (at baptism) Роберт-Николай-Максимилиан фон Унгерн-Штернберг; Baron Roman Nikolai Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg aka Roman Nikolai Maximilian Freiherr von Ungern-Sternberg, russified to Барон Рома́н Николай Максимилиан фон Унгерн-Штернберг or Роман Николай Максимилиан Фрайхерр фон Унгерн-Штернберг or Барон Роман Фёдорович фон Унгерн-Штернберг or Роман Фёдорович Фрайхерр фон Унгерн-Штернберг.
O.S. 29 December 1885/N.S. 10 January 1886–15 September 1921.
Teodor Leonhard Rudolf von Ungern-Sternberg (1857–1918);
Sofia Charlotta von Wimpffen aka Sophie Charlotte von Wimpffen aka Sophie Charlotte von Ungern-Sternberg (1861–1907).
Divorced 1891, remarried April 1894.
Florence Natalie von Ungern-Sternberg (1881–1883;
Constance Sofie von Ungern-Sternberg (1883–1889);
Constantin Robert Eginhard Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg (1888–1945);
Robert Nicolaus Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg (?-?);
Helene Wilhelmine Gamalejev von Hoyningen Huene) (1895-?);
Isabella Margaretha von Hoyningen-Huene (1897-?);
Max Hermann Freiherr von Hoyningen-Huene (1899-?);
Renée Maria Teodora Elisabet Bakelok von Ungern-Sternberg (1897-?).
Stepson of: Maria von Ungern-Sternberg (1872-?).
Wife: Helena Pavlovna von Ungern-Sternberg née Zsi (1900-?).
Daughter: Martha von Ungern-Sternberg (1920-?).
NOTE: The “?” for family members above show how well they “disappeared” in order to avoid assassins.
Order of St. Anne 3rd Class (Орден Святой Анны 3-й степень) September 1916;
Order of St. Anne 4th Class ‘for bravery’ (Орден Святой Анны 4-й степени с надписью “За храбрость”) 1914;
Order of St. George 4th Class (Орден Святого Георгия 4-я степень) 22 September 1914, Battle of Podborek/Подборек awarded 27 December 1914;
Order of St. Stanislaus 3rd Class (Орден Святого Станислава 3-й степени) 1915;
Order of St. Vladimir 4th Class (Орден Святого Владимира 4-я степень) 1915.
CHILDHOOD: He was born in Graz, Styria, Austro-Hungarian Empire on O.S. 29 December 1885/N.S. 10 January 1886 to a noble Baltic-German family (Deutsch-Balten or Baltendeutsche or Балтийские немцы). His mother was Sophie Charlotte von Wimpffen, later Sophie Charlotte von Ungern-Sternberg (1861–1907), and his father was Theodor Leonhard Rudolf von Ungern-Sternberg (1857–1918). In 1888 his family moved to Reval (Tallinn after 1944), the capital of the Governorate of Estonia or the Duchy of Estonia (Eestimaa kubermang) within the Russian Empire (Россійская Имперія/Российская империя), where his parents divorced three years later in 1891. In 1894 his mother married Oskar Anselm Herrmann von Hoyningen-Huene (1860–1918).
From 1900–1902 Ungern attended the Nicholas I Gymnasium, Tallinn, now the The Gustav Adolf Grammar School (Suur-Kloostri 16, Tallinn, Harjumaa), Estonia.
From 1 August 1902-February 1905 he studied in the Naval School aka Marine Officers Cadet School (Морской кадетский корпус/Морское Училище) in Saint Petersburg. In June 1905 he left the school to join the fighting (1-ый разряд в 91-й Двинский пехотный полк) in Eastern Russia during the Russo-Japanese War, but the armistice was signed within two months of his arrival.
In 1906 Ungern was transferred to service in the Paul I Military Academy (Павловское Военное Училище) in Saint Petersburg as a cadet of ordinary rank (Курсант обычного ранга).
Ungern-Sternberg was a brilliant student but performed poorly in the strict Tsarist academic atmosphere.
EARLY CAREER: After graduating in June 1908 he served as an officer in East Siberia in the 1st Argunsky Regiment of Transbaikal Cossack Forces (1-й Аргунский полк Забайкальского казачьего войска, disbanded 1918) and in 1910 the 1st Amursky Cossack regiment (1-й Амурский казачий генерал-адъютанта графа Муравьева-Амурского полк, HQs Blagoveshchensk /Благовещенск), where he became enthralled with the lifestyle of nomadic peoples such as the Mongols and Buryats. Ungern moved to Outer Mongolia to assist Mongols in their struggle for independence from China, but Russian officials prevented him from fighting with Mongolian troops. He arrived in the town of Khovd/Ховд in western Mongolia and served as out-of-staff (вне штаба) officer in the Cossack guard detachment at the Russian consulate. This was the period of the Mongolian Revolution of 1911, when Outer Mongolia declared its independence from the Manchu-led Qing dynasty 清朝 during the Xinhai 辛亥 Revolution (October 1911-February 1912).
In June 1913, at his request, he transferred to the reserves (резервы) and went to Kobdo/Кобдо.
WORLD WAR 1:
On 19 July 1914 Ungern joined front-line forces as part of the 34th Don Cossack Regiment (34-й Донской казачий полк) attached to the 2nd Guards Cavalry Division under LTG Gyorgi Ottonovich Rauch (Георгий Оттонович Раух, 1860–1936) stationed on the Austrian frontier in Galicia.
Ungern took part in the Russian offensive in East Prussia and from 1915–1916 he also participated in rear-action raids on German troops by the Leonid Nikolai Punin (Леонид Николай Пунин 1892–1916) Cavalry Special Task Force. Throughout the war on the Eastern Front, Ungern gained a reputation as a brave but somewhat reckless officer. He was eventually discharged from one of his command positions for failing to obey orders.
After the February Revolution in 1917, Ungern was transferred to the Caucasian theatre of the conflict, where Russia was fighting against the Ottoman Turks. In April 1917 near Urmia/Urmu/Urmiyə/Wirmê/Ուրմիա/ܐܘܪܡܝܐ ارومیه, Persian Empire (Qajar Dynasty), Ungern, together with Grigory Mikhaylovich Semyonov/Semenov (Атаман Григорий Михайлович Семёнов, 1890–1946) started to organize a volunteer military unit composed of local Syriac Christians. Under Ungern’s command, they went on to score some minor victories over the Turks, but their total contribution to Russia’s war effort was limited.
He was wounded five times during WW1.
In July 1917 Semenov left Petrograd for the Trans-Baikal region. On 1 August 1917 he was named Commissioner of the Provisional Government in the Far East. Ungern, then a captain, accompanied. In October or November 1917, Ungern formed a counter-revolutionary group in Irkutsk. Then Semenov, Ungern and six others went to Chita/Чита to conscript White troops.
On 1 September 1918 Ungern formed the all-volunteer Asiatic Cavalry Division aka The Savage Division (Азиатская конная дивизия, Дикая дивизия) formed in Dauria (Даурия). The Division was made up Bashkirs, Buryats, Czechs, Han Chinese, Japanese, Kalmyks, Manchu, Mongols, Poles, Russians, Tatars and others.
On 7 February 1920 Supreme White Forces leader Adm. Alexander Vasilyevich Kolchak/Александр Васильевич Колчак was executed by the Reds in Irkutsk.
By 7 August 1920 Red victories in Far East had reduced The Savage Division to a partisan band. The group headed for Mongolia.
On 4 February 1921 Ungern captured Urga, later Ulaanbaatar/Ulan Bator/Улаанбаатар. Chinese occupation forces gave up Outer Mongolia 2 April 1921. Despite this, Ungern realized the White cause was lost and his plans changed to establishing a monarchist Christian and Buddhist empire in Mongolia, Manchuria, China, and Eastern Turkestan — -a revival of the empire of Genghis Khan stretching from the Pacific to the Caspian with Russia dominating.
While contemplating evacuation to Tibet, Ungern’s troops mutinied and discipline collapsed. Ungern was arrested by Mongol partisans and turned over to 5th Red Army (HQs Troitskosarsk) 20 August 1921.
Lenin was apprised of the capture by phone 26 August 1921.
On 5 September 1921 the show trial began in the summer theatre in Sosnova Park (the site today is occupied by factories lining Spartak Street), Novonikolaevsk/Новониколаевск renamed Novosibirsk/ Новосиби́рск in 1926.
The “trial” lasted 6 1/4 hours and ended with Ungern’s death by firing squad.
On 25 September 1998 the Novosibirsk oblast Presidum refused a petition to rehabilitate Ungern-Sternberg.
In March 2013 representatives of the Mongolian nationalist party Tsagaan Khas/ Цагаан Хас (“White Swastika”) began arrangements for a monument to Ungarn-Sternberg in Ulaanbaatar/Ulan Bator/Улаанбаатар, Mongolia.
In the words of Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel or Vrangel/Барон Пётр Николаевич Врангель, Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Vrangel aka Peter Freiherr von Wrangel (1878–1928), the young Baron was a “warrior by temperament,” who “lived for war” and adhered to his own set of “elemental laws.” Dmitri Pershin aka Dmitri Daursky (1861–1936) observed, “when one observed Ungern, one felt himself carried back to the Middle Ages…; [he was] a throwback to his crusader ancestors, with the same thirst for war and the same belief in the supernatural.”
The philosopher Count Hermann Alexander von Keyserling (1880–1946) born in Kõnnu, Pärnu County, Kaisma Parish, Estonia knew Roman and his brother Constantin from childhood. Keyserling later regarded the Baron as “the most remarkable person I have ever had the good fortune to meet,” but also a mass of contradictions. He saw Ungern as one whose “nature was suspended… in the void between heaven and hell,” someone “capable of highest intuition and loving kindness” alongside “the most profound aptitude for the metaphysics of cruelty.” The Baron’s metaphysical ideas, Keyserling believed, were “closely related to those of the Tibetans and Hindus.” Keyserling was convinced that Roman possessed the occult power of “second sight” and “the faculty of prophecy.”
Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola aka Julius Evola (1898–1974) opined that Baron Ungern possessed “supernormal faculties” including clairvoyance and the ability to “look into the souls” of others.
The Latvian Antoni Ferdynand Ossendowski (1876–1945) claimed that he did exactly that at their initial meeting. “I have been in your soul and know all,” the Baron proclaimed.
Much the same is repeated in the testimony of others who knew Ungern. Dmitri D. Aleshin/Alioshin/Aloishin/Alyoshin (Дмитрий Д. Алёшин) (?-?) in his 1940 memoir felt that he “possessed a dangerous power of reading people’s thoughts.” He recounts how Ungern would inspect recruits by staring into each man’s face, “hold that gaze for a few moments, and then bark: ‘To the army!; ‘Back to the cattle!; ‘Liquidate!. Dr. N.M. Riabukhin aka N.M. Ryabukhin (?-?), staff physician, mentioned that on their first meeting “it was as though the Baron wanted to leap into my soul.” Another anonymous officer recounts that “Ungern looked at everyone with the eyes of a beast of prey,” and this instilled fear in all who met him.
A Polish artillerist in Mongol service, Alexander Alexandrowicz (?-?), accepted the Baron’s “second sight” and believed that it was his “superior” intellect that helped him “size up any man in a few minutes.”
Alioshin described Ungern-Sternberg’s final retreat followed by his capture in this way: “[He] rode silently with bowed head in front of the column. [He] had lost his hat and most of his clothes. On his naked chest numerous Mongolian talismans and charms hung on a bright yellow cord. He looked like the reincarnation of a prehistoric ape-man. People were afraid to look at him.”
19th Cent. heraldists and genealogists traced the Ungern-Sternbergs back to Attila the Hun (434–453).
The Thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso (Tibetan ཐུབ་བསྟན་རྒྱ་མཚོ་ (1876–1933) officially blessed Ungern for his work and said that he was a physical incarnation of Mahākāla (mahā (महत्; “great”) and kāla (काल; “time, death”) “The One Beyond Death”.
Minutes before dying, Ungern chewed and swallowed his St. George’s Cross so no Bolshevik would have it.
At the moment of execution, a bullet struck one of Ungern’s Buddhist talismans, ricocheted and hit one of the shooters in the face.
His exact death date was supposedly foretold by Buddhist monks.
“My name is surrounded with such hate and fear that no one can judge what is true and what is false, what is history, and what is myth.” (during his show trial)
Family links: [Edit]
Theodor Leonhard Rudolf von Ungern-Sternberg (1857–1918)
Sophia Charlotta von Wimpffen (1861–1907)
Helena Pavlovna von Zsi Ungern-Sternberg