Ernst Schäfer’s diplomatic skills, led to his letters of recommendation from various personalities: Sir Francis Sykes, Sir John Anderson, Lord Zetland, JE Pryde-Hughes, Sir Francis Younghusband, Lord Astor and Frank Wallace.
In 1938, 5 German scientists embarked on an extraordinary quest. They risked their lives crossing the highest mountains in the world to reach one of the most remote Country: Tibet.
The scientific expedition was officially tasked with researching the zoology and anthropology of the country. But eventually, the data collected for the SS1 would serve a much darker purpose.
Their secret mission was to discover the origins of the Aryan race, and the vestiges of this civilization, which would have disappeared on the roof of the world.
Karl Wienert geophysicist and meteorologist, Ernst Schäfer zoologist specializing in ornithology, Bruno Beger, anthropologist, ethnologist, geomagnetologist and geographer, Ernst Krause botanist, entomologist, cameraman and photographer, and Edmund Geer, Technical director.
Their support was essential in putting pressure on the British government and securing the precious keyword to allow the members of the team to disembark in India.
Members of the expedition did not know whether it would be possible for them to enter the then independent Country of Tibet, either at the start of their journey or during the first months of their stay in India.
It was not until November 1938, after long negotiations and thanks to Schäfer’s good preparatory work, that he received an invitation from the Tibetan government, which also included a permit to stay in the Forbidden City of Lhasa.
Initially, this authorization to stay in the city was to last only two weeks, but it was continually extended, so that the German researchers ended up staying there for two months. They were also the first Germans to be able to enter Lhasa.