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Ferdinand Blumentritt (10 September 1853, Prague - 20 September 1913, Litomice), was a 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, including his last letter from prison before the execution.
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. 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. 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. From 1900, Blumentritt was a member of the Berlin Society for Anthropology.