Skip to comments.Bonhoeffer vs. Nazi and Progressive Book Burning
Posted on 11/02/2013 10:33:42 AM PDT by Conservative Beacon
Dort, wo man Bucher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen. (Where books are burned, they will, in the end burn people, too)
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), German Poet
Eric Metaxas in chapter 10 of his celebrated book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, in a subsection called Where Books Are Burned . . . in dramatic fashion chronicles the rise of Nazi book burning in early Nazi history just four months after Hitler assumed power on January 30, 1933. In May 1933, the Nazification of the German people continued in full force using two established Nazi tacticsGleichschaltung (e.g., forcing into line) which was a much discussed idea Goring referenced at the German Christians conference in Berlin the previous month. It preordained that everything in German society must fall in line with the Nazi worldview (Weltanschauung). This included the world of books and ideas being forced into a Nazi worldview, or if incompatible with Nazification, then systematically destroyed.
Metaxas demonstrated the collective angst all Germans of good faith had like Bonhoeffer over the growing Nazi menace after Hitler came to power in 1933:
Young and hitherto wholly unknown medical trainees came, as representatives of the Party, to suggest to the heads of hospitals that they immediately dismiss the Jewish doctors. Some allowed themselves to be persuaded. Any suggestions that such matters came under the jurisdiction of the Ministry and not of the Party were met with threats. The Dean tried to persuade faculty members to join the Party collectively. His attempt was foiled by individual refusals. Nor did the Ministry at first make any move to meet the demand for the dismissal of Jewish assistants. But doctors in individual hospitals were constantly spied upon to discover their attitude towards the Party.
Doesnt that above-passage have a ring of familiarity within American culture and society in the Age of Obama (2009 present), particularly the spying aspects and how Obama is hell bent on infusing a militant progressive worldview throughout America? Early in Hitlers rise to power it was the college students who were the most zealous Hitlerites, mindless fanatics whom an earlier fascist tyrant (Lenin) would call useful idiots. It was young, German college students who gleefully organized and participated in book burnings in cities and towns across Germany. Compare these anti-intellectual dupes to todays youth who voted for Obama in numbers higher than almost every other demographic which is why Obama speaks on college campuses almost on a weekly basis. Think of the chaos caused by the so-called 99-Percenters movement in New York where in Sept. 2011 when they shutdown parts of the city around Wall Street protesting free market capitalism while wearing and using all of the products of modern society from designer clothes, tents, toothpaste, soap, toilets, to cars, trucks, laptops, cell phones, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, etc , all inventions only made possible within a free market capitalist system.
Long before the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, anti-Semitism had occurred for decades amid German universities led by legions of impressionable, racist, fanatical students, but now they expressed it officially. That spring on May 10, 1933 the German Students Association organized a celebration called an Action against the un-German Spirit where thousands of students gathered in every university town across Germany. From Heidelberg to Tubingen to Freiburg to Gottingen, they marched in torchlight parades and were then stirred into frenzied passion as Nazi officials ranted and raved about the glories of what the courageous young men and women of Germany were engaged in. At midnight the whole thing thundered to ostentatious effect in a great Sauberung (cleansing) where massive bonfires were lit and into which the students threw thousands of books including those by such un-German authors as Franz Werfel, Max Brod, Stefan Zweig, Helen Keller, Jack London, H.G. Wells, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Heine, Sigmund Freud, the latter who echoed Heines warning of German fascism 100 years earlierOnly our books? In earlier times they would have burned us with them.
In Berlin the torchlight procession conducted by Joseph Goebbels, Hitlers Reich Minister of Propaganda, began at the Hegelplatz behind Berlin University, to burn the anti-German books and as Goebbels stood before the smoldering mountain of books burning he ranted and raved to the thirty thousand enraged German students; his diabolical words echoed into the darkness: German men and women! The age of arrogant Jewish intellectualism is now at an end! . . . You are doing the right thing at this midnight hourto consign to the flames the unclean spirit of the past. This is a great, powerful, and symbolic act. . . . Out of these ashes the phoenix of a new age will arise. . . . O Century! O Science! It is a joy to be alive!
Metaxas explained the intoxicating imagery behind Nazi book burning ceremonies: As with so much else in the Third Reich, the scene had an undeniably macabre aspect to it: the midnight bonfire feeding like a succubus on the noble thoughts and words of great man and women. Goebbels, the propagandist, well knew that to stage a torchlight parade, followed by a bonfire and invoked the gods of the German Volk (people), who represented strength and in any sense; indeed it was very much meant to be anti-Christian, though it wouldnt do to say so, since most of those present might have balked to hear such a thing, though they well felt it. The torches and the drums and the procession were meant to create an atmosphere of ominousness and fortunes of the Christian faith, but stood in fundamental opposition to them and to the monotheistic religion of the despised Jews.
I quoted Heinrich Heines famous words about the book burnings in the epigram above which today is inscribed at the Opernplatz as a memorial of this horrific ritual against freedom of ideas and thought. However, another passage from Heines works is possibly more uncannily prophetic of what would take place in Germany 100 years later. They are the concluding words of this 1834 book, Religion and Philosophy in Germany.
Christianityand that is its greatest merithas somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. This talisman is fragile, and the day will come when it will collapse miserably. Then the ancient stony gods will rise from the forgotten debris and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and finally Thor with his giant hammer will jump up and smash the Gothic cathedrals. . . . Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. . . . [W]hen you hear a crashing such as never before has been heard in the worlds history, then you know that the German thunderbolt has fallen at last. At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead, and lions in the remotest deserts of Africa will hide in their royal dens. A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll.
Heine was equally prescient to compare the French Revolution to what would be a future unknown German fascist regime, spewing nationalist and neo-paganism hatred that would rise up 100 years laterwe know them now as Hitler and the Nazis. This tells me that history (including Hitler, the Nazis, the Holocaust, and book burnings) doesnt happen in a vacuum. For example, history has repeatedly demonstrated that it was the French Revolution (1789-99), which was the first totalitarian revolution, the genesis of modern totalitarianism and indeed the spiritual foundation for the Russian Communist, Italian Fascist and German Nazi revolutions which all are derivative from Leftist politics, a worldview based on humanism and evolution atheism.
Nazification was Hitler and the Nazis successful attempt to make all of Germany a Nazi State and every German citizen a Nazi by using proven tactics like Gleichschaltung (forcing into line) and Weltanschauung (Nazi worldview). Similarly under todays Progressive Revolution since the 1850s the Democrat Socialist Party has totally embraced Machiavellis the end justify the means, Might makes right or as Lord Acton wrote of Machiavelli, State [and federal] power is not bound by moral law which can only be achieved through the progressive lie: Separation of Church and State.
Book burnings then, Obamacare now, were simply dramatic means to achieve these socialist ends.
The picture in the caption above was perhaps written around 1943 and says that, Ten years ago the Nazis burned these books but in America we can still read them. Although this statement tried to distinguish America from Nazi Germany, it is only partially true today. Why? Because while in a de jure (legal) sense America today doesnt burn books? however, in a de facto (unofficial) sense through our book publishing industry, our literary agent industry, our media, our education system, our politics, our legal system and throughout culture and society, there exists an existential, de facto book burning Zeitgeist which happens on a much greater scale by the Democrat Socialist Party today which the Nationalist Socialist Party could only dream of achieving 80 years ago under Hitler and the Nazis. In modern times todays Leftists creates this book burning atmosphere by deconstructing, perverting and destroying conservative ideas particularly those out of the Judeo-Christian tradition of intellectual thought without lighting one match or igniting one torch. Hitler would be pleased!
Only in such an anti-God, anti-intellectual society as America has devolved into during the Age of Progressivism (1860 present) and now in the Age of Obama (2009 present) are Heines prophetic words tantamount to those of Moses, Isaiah and St. Paul when he wrote, Where books (ideas) are burned, they will, in the end burn people, too.
The following is excerpted from a series entitled, "Lessons on Liberty," by La Vaughn G. Lewis, Co-Editor, "Our Ageless Constitution" & "Rediscovering the Ideas of Liberty."
The "Lesson" contrasts the Founders' Ideas of Liberty" which were intended by the Founders to be taught to rising generations, with the Counterfeit Ideas being promoted in the so-called "public schools" of America for decades.
"Today, across our nation, we see consequences of decades of gross neglect and outright censorship of the Founders ideas from textbooks and from our public discourse. We have allowed counterfeit ideas to dominate the public square, and the Founders principles have been crowded out. Unwittingly, many teachers and other unknowing officials have participated in the agenda of an unelected mind-controlling elite whose tyrannical actions have robbed generations of Americans from reading or studying the ideas that made America free.
IDEAS OF LIBERTY:(from Americas Founders and Presidents)
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. (Jefferson - 1774)
Statesmen may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone which can establish the principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. (John Adams - 1775)
The Sacred Rights of Mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the Hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. (Alexander Hamilton)
Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first and the most basic expression of Americanism. Thus the founding fathers saw it, and thus, with Gods help, it will continue to be. (Dwight Eisenhower)
The same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe, the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. (John F. Kennedy - 1961 Inaugural)
it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor .(George Washington)
Now the virtue which had been infused into the Constitution and was to give it the stability and duration to which it was destined, was no other than those abstract principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independencenamely, the self-evident truths of the unalienable rights of man the sovereignty of the people, always subordinate to a rule of right and wrong, and always responsible to the Supreme Ruler of the universe for the rightful exercise of that sovereign power. (John Quincy Adams, on the occasion of The Jubilee of the Constitution - 1839)
"Like termites, they have eroded our foundations as effectively as if they had burned the books. Yet, not once have they been willing to call it by its rightful namecensorship. Once, in America, stifling ideas about the Creator and Creator-endowed liberty was considered unthinkable. . . .
"The ideas of liberty must be passed on from generation to generation if liberty is to survive. These ideas, when they are allowed to be examined freely, will prevail, because their appeal is to reason and to the love for liberty that is deep in the human heart. John Adams warned: The people of America now have the best opportunity and the greatest trust in their hands, that Providence ever committed to so small a number if they betray their trust, their guilt will merit even greater punishment than other nations have suffered, and the indignation of Heaven.
Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines which conflict with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence let me entreat you to come back. Return to the fountains whose waters spring close to the blood of the Revolution. (Abraham Lincoln)
COUNTERFEIT IDEAS:(from some of those whose views have dominated national educational policy)
The idea of God is the keystone of a perverted society. The true root of liberty, equality and culture is atheism. (Karl Marx)
Our thinking is enlightened in the degree in which we cease to depend upon belief in the supernatural. (John Dewey, father of progressive education and 1st President of American Humanist Society)
democracy is a human faith and movement, unencumbered by supernatural preconceptions. (John Childs, a protégé of John Dewey at Columbia)
the majority of our youth still hold the values of their parents, and if we do not alter this pattern, if we do not resocialize ourselves to accept change, our society may decay. (John Goodlad, 1971 Report to President, Schooling for the Future)
As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially a faith in the prayer-hearing God, who is assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and be able to do something about them, is an unproved and outmoded faith. (Humanist Manifesto II, 1973)
the most important factor moving us toward a secular society has been the educational factor. Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is sixteen tends to lead toward elimination of religious superstition. (Paul Blanshard, The Humanist, March-April, 1976)
It [the Natl. Education Associations publication list] includes the delegitimizing of all authority save that of the state, the degradation of traditional morality and the encouragement of citizens in general and children in particular to despise the rules and customs that make their society a functional democracy. The NEA is drifting into exceedingly dangerous waters, and probably carrying more than a few teachers and pupils with it. (Chester E. Finn, Jr., Asst. Sec. Of Education & Prof. Of Education & Public Policy, Vanderbilt Univ., 1982)
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