Michael Prawdin

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Michael Prawdin was the pseudonym of Michael Charol (20 January 1894 – 23 December 1970),[1] a Russian-German historical writer.

Born in present-day Ukraine, Charol came to Germany after the Russian Revolution.[2] He studied in Germany,[3] and wrote in German. In 1934, he made a plea for the 'factual novel'.[4]

Prawdin made himself an international reputation with two books on Genghis Khan. The Nazi bureaucrat Heinrich Himmler sufficiently admired the books that he ordered the publication of a one-volume edition in 1938, a copy of which was given to every SS leader; the book appears to have encouraged Adolf Hitler to claim inspiration from Genghis Khan.[2]


Gerard Chaliand in his Introduction to a 2006 reprint of The Mongol Empire said Michael Prawdin tells us a story "with great literary talent."[5]

L. Carrington Goodrich reviewed the 1940 translation of The Mongol Empire. He said “this is a readable book,” but went on that “the author has made numerous errors, skims lightly over certain important developments, gives only fragments of quotations without credit to translator..., fails to utilize fully his own sources which are far from complete, and makes assumptions which hard indeed to follow. This is slick writing, not sober history." He continued that “part of Prawdin’s trouble is carelessness” and that “some of his suppressions or condensations of material seem surprising because the facts are well known and of general interest.” [6]


  • Eine Welt zerbricht: ein Tatsachenroman, 1933. Translated by Kenneth Kirkness as Double eagle, London: Selwyn & Blount, 1934.
  • Tschingis-Chan, der sturm aus Asien, 1934, Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlags-anstalt.
  • Tschingis-Chan und sein Erbe, 1935. Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul as The Mongol Empire: its rise and legacy, 1937.
  • Johanna die wahnsinnige, Habsburgs weg sum weltreich, 1937. Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul as The mad queen of Spain, London: G. Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1938.
  • Russland, Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlag-Anstalt, 1951.
  • Netschajew--von Moskau verschwiegen, 1961. Translated as The unmentionable Nechaev; a key to bolshevism. London: Allen and Unwin, 1961.
  • Marie de Rohan, duchesse de Chevreuse, London: Allen & Unwin, 1971.


  1. Michael Prawdin - Munzinger Biographie
  2. 2.0 2.1 Richard Breitman, 'Hitler and Genghis Khan', Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 25, No. 2/3 (May-Jun. 1990), pp. 337–351; cf. Breitman, The architect of genocide: Himmler and the final solution, Bodley Head, 1991, p.39
  3. Erhard Schutz, in Sabina Becker, Helmuth Kiesel & Robert Krause, Literarische Moderne: Begriff und Phänomen, p.376
  4. 'Der Tatsachenroman', Die Literatur 36 (1933/34). pp. 256-9
  5. Chaliand, "Introduction," The Mongol Empire (2006) p. xiii
  6. Goodrich, L. Carrington, Vol. 1, No. 3 (May, 1942), "Review", The Far Eastern Quarterly: 285–288<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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