Ian Kershaw on Germany and the Fuhrer cult

When I started Ian Kershaw's biography of Hitler 6 months ago, I expected to be done by now. I

Cover of Cover of Hitler

have a ways to go. I was re-interested in it after the last book on Patton, Montgomery, Rommel: Masters of War, by Brighton. The last time I quoted from Kershaw, I was reminded of the political enthusiasm for Palin and Obama. This quote did the same thing to me.
The hopes long cherished of the coming great leader eradicated the critical faculties of many intellectuals, blinding them to the magnitude of the assault on the freedom of thought as well as action that they often welcomed. Many of the neo-conservative intellectuals whose ideas had helped pave the way for the Third Reich were soon to be massively disillusioned. Hitler turned out for them in practice to be not the mystic leader they had longed for in their dreams. But they had helped prepare the ground for the Fuhrer cult that was taken up in its myriad form by so many others.

Hardly a protest was raised at the purges of university professors under the new civil service law in April 1933 as many of Germany's most distinguished academics were dismissed and forced into exile. The Prussian Academy of Arts had by then already undertaken its own 'cleansing', demanding loyalty to the regime from all choosing to remain within its hallowed membership.

The symbolic moment of capitulation of German intellectuals to the 'new spirit' of 1933 came with the burning on 10 May of the books of authors unacceptable to the regime. University faculties and senates collaborated. Their members, with few exceptions, attended the bonfires. The poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), whose works were among those consumed by the flames, had written: 'Where books are burnt, in the end people are also burnt.' pp.291-2
I think it is hard wired into our souls to be worshipers in search of saviors. Politically, some observers of Obama received shivers up their legs when they heard him speak. I think some on the right feel the same way when Palin speaks. People know that things aren't as they should be, and put their hopes on those who promise Utopia.

Expelled: No Intelligence AllowedImage via Wikipedia

I think Darwin is that Messiah in our academies today. I recently watched Ben Stein's documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It was funny, but in a tragic sense. A member of the Smithsonian is forced out because he allowed an Intelligent Design article to be published. An astronomer is denied tenure because of his non-academic work on the anthropic principle as an evidence of design. The examples were abundant of discrimination against freedom of thought when those thoughts undermined Darwin's. Many more examples of Darwin blindness can be read about at the blog Uncommon Descent and at Evolution News and Views. Stein was not shy about drawing the line between Darwin, eugenics, Hitler, and his final solution. But those blinded by their prophet Darwin, refuse to acknowledge the ends of his ideas. Here is a recent post showing Nazi doctor Mengele, devotee of Darwin.

However, the only Savior that can save our world is Jesus Christ. Politicians and laws can't do that much. They can't change people's hearts. However, if they start deciding one human is less important or less worthy to live than another, then they are in the wrong. Darwin did it. Pro-choice politicians do it. As Peter told the religious leaders of Jerusalem, shortly after Jesus' resurrection and return to heaven, the ascension, ... there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 That name is Jesus. We have to start there, with him. And we have to continue with him. We have to end with him. All these links under the word him are links that answer the question over and over, who is Jesus Christ?

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...Image via Wikipedia

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Popular Posts