Herbert Gruhl

Exactly 30 years ago, a colleague strongly recommended an article from “DER SPIEGEL” to me. It was an essay entitled Die Menschheit ist am Ende (Mankind is at the End) by Herbert Gruhl, who was completely unknown to me until then. It was not only the meaningful title that made me curious right away, but the content was also like a strike of lightning strike for me and opened up a whole new perspective on the environmental debate. For the first time, I understood that environment, politics and social issues are interrelated.

I immediately began to gather information on his person and his career.

Born in 1921, Herbert Gruhl had already had a long political career by 1992.


During his many years as a politician in various parties, he always sought his own path, which he never really found. Even more than a politician, Herbert Gruhl earned a significant reputation as a writer, ecological mastermind and conservative admonisher against the careless treatment of nature.

In the SPIEGEL article, his new book Himmelfahrt ins Nichts (Ascension to nowhere) was announced at the same time. I immediately plunged into reading it, followed by his most famous non-fiction book at the time, Ein Planet wird geplündert – Die Schreckensbilanz unserer Politik (A planet is being plundered – the horrific state of our politics), which had been published in 1975.

After reading it, I absolutely had to get in touch with this man to present and discuss my approach to Equilibrism. Above all, I wanted to find out from him whether the direction I had taken with this new concept was realistic and made sense.

I reached Herbert Gruhl on the phone and learned that he lived in Marktschellenberg. After several telephone conversations, he invited me to visit him at home. What impressed me most about him was the fact that he took a lot of time for our conversations, in which he encouraged me again and again not to be dissuaded from my chosen path. When I asked him whether it was absolutely necessary to go into politics in order to achieve our common goals, he answered with a clear no. I still remember his reasoning today. Politics, Gruhl said, is about a lot of things, but not the environment. Political parties would give topic at most ten percent of their energy.

I had the pleasure of meeting this extraordinary man three times in person at his home in Marktschellenberg, where he gave me all his publications, which today identify him as an admonisher of the first hour, because in his works he laid out a record of political horrors more unsparingly than anyone else.

Herbert Gruhl died on 26 June 1993 in Regensburg. He was 72 years old. For me, he remains the first person with foresight who took the cause of Equilibrism seriously. His concern, which he shared with me, were that we do not lack ideas to get a grip on the disaster that has been created, humanity simply lacks the will to change.


This essay is still highly topical today.

If you didn’t know that the article Die Menscheit ist am Ende (Mankind is at the End) was written in 1992, you would think it was written yesterday. And unfortunately Herbert Gruhl was right. Humanity’s unwillingness to change persists to this day, and a change in consciousness is not in sight. The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow 2021 (COP 26) proved this once again. Absolutely nothing at all has improved! Much has changed since this essay was written, unfortunately always for the worse.

Humanity should have taken a paradigm shift decades ago based on the knowledge of the state of our planet and implemented it in a biocentric way. Instead, we have placed ourselves in more and more dependencies, allowed more and more excessive bureaucracy and aggravation, and at the same time created more and more mental and moral divisions with our way of life.

And there I am again with Herbert Gruhl: “The only remaining chance is to extend the deadline. But no people, no government, no party will do that either. Only our hybrid brains, which have produced so many proud achievements, still imagine now and then that they can stop fate.”

It is exasperating! But, as we all know, hope springs eternal.

We thank Andreas Gruhl and the Herbert-Gruhl-Gesellschaft e.V. for the photos and kind support.