Download German incertitudes, 1914-1945 : the stones and the by Klemens von Klemperer PDF

By Klemens von Klemperer

The background of recent Germany has all too with no trouble been visible by way of an old technique that necessarily resulted in the horrors of nationwide Socialism. As there are not any certitudes in lifestyles, even if, so there are none in German background. during this booklet, historian Klemens von Klemperer specializes in what he phrases the German Incertitudes--namely, the tensions among a practical recognition of disenchantment with the trendy international, and an insistence upon reenchantment. Exploring this pressure via a serious evaluation of the information and writings of significant German thinkers, von Klemperer seeks to account for either the achievements and the flaws of German suggestion, society, and politics as responses to the problem of modernity within the first 1/2 the twentieth century.

In addition to participants reminiscent of Nietzsche, Weber, Spengler, Jünger, Bonhoeffer, and Heidegger, the writer considers broader hobbies and ideas comparable to the concept that of Gemeinschaft and the German expressionists, all within the wider context of Western highbrow currents, instead of belaboring presumed German deviance from the ecu norms, von Klemperer explores the explanations why the experience of obstacle within the face of modernity used to be singularly acute between Germans, he lines a spectrum of reactions extending from an recognition of contemporary disenchantment to the search for reenchantment which discovered an severe manifestation in nationwide Socialism.

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As a matter of fact, on the occasion of the Wagner festival in Bayreuth in August 1933, a fortnight before the appearance of the controversial book, Spengler, upon his own initiative, had an interview with the “Fu¨ hrer” which did not come off well at all. ” His language throughout had been typical of the right-wing intelligentsia, spiked with abrupt and always somewhat oracular metaphors, at first shocking and at second sight platitudinous. Indeed his orphic style concealed a confused and confusing am- 40 German Incertitudes, 1914–1945 bivalence about the Nazi movement, and his criticisms of it always were correspondingly veiled.

Meidner’s compositions are replete with jagged lines, garish colors, threatening thunderclouds, flashing fireballs, shattered buildings. “I used countless indigo and ochre colors” he himself commented, “and a painful urge induced me to break all rectilinear-vertical lines,”25 so as to convey a haunting sense of terror, leaving man, both the culprit and the victim, in flight and degradation. Somehow the premonition of war thus brought into focus the ills of modern civilization, as Meidner perceived them, destined to spell universal doom; and if there was a God in his universe, it was the Old Testamentarian one of anger and retribution.

But Heaven laughs: Too late to stop or mend! 27 It seemed as though the holy madness, the holy plague, the holy war, would reduce the rotten order to ruins before a new covenant could take its place. The necessity of the coming war was a measure of the depth of the cultural crisis that had befallen the country. It is remarkable, however, that in Britain as well as in France the basic national consensus allowed the airing of views critical of, if not hostile to, the war effort even after the war had broken out.

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