Friday, December 10, 2004

History Lesson

Dr. Davidson Loehr, minister at First UU Church of Austin, quoted from the book Germany's Underground (written by Allen Dulles in 1947) in the December 1 church newsletter:

National Socialism was in reality a revolt against the principals of civil rights and responsibilities, against enlightenment and human progress, against the achievements of the French and American revolutions......They said they believed in democracy and the good in men, but unfortunately the majority did not see what was right; therefore democracy and progress had to be imposed upon people from above and by force...

The German intelligentsia, with is cultural tradition, should have done far more than it did. Its misfortune was that it did not have political experience and had lost contact with the people. The intellectuals failed to realize that democracy much never be taken for granted. They did not see a vital need for coming to its defense. To the staid and aloof professors in the German universities Hitler's movement, exemplified in an incoherent book like Mein Kampf, was so ridiculous that they did not take it seriously. Before they knew it, many were removed, imprisoned, or, at best, forced into silence and exile. There is an almost unbelievable paradox here. Many Germans, and not a few foreigners, years after Hitler came to power, still believed that a system built on the vilest intrigue and unprecedented sadism was highly moral and virtuous.

Dr. Loehr also gave a thought-provoking sermon a couple of weeks ago on Fascism.

For several years now, I've been saying that I felt like a German in the 30s. But after considering what Davidson has been saying, I agree that now we're like Germans in the 40s.


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