Was Hitler a positive thinker
The chief of the general staff, Helmuth von Moltke (1857-1888), warned in a speech in the Reichstag on May 14, 1890: “... if the war, which has been hanging over our heads like the sword of Damocles for more than ten years - if this war breaks out comes its duration and its end cannot be foreseen ”. And later: "... it can be a seven-year war, it can be a thirty-year war - and woe to him who sets Europe on fire, who first throws the fuse into the powder keg"! But what does his nephew - the German Chief of Staff of the same name (1906-1914) do? War! From 1914 to 1918 “steel storms” (Ernst Jünger) came down - the First World War came on the stage for four years. The military played the leading role. The curtain fell - everything human disappeared behind it.
Both Moltkes must have known that war is never just an act of military violence, it is also a field of intellectual conflict. The fighting takes place not only in the field, but also in workshops and engineering offices. Brushes and pens also become weapons. The younger Moltke discovered the spirit for himself in his own way when he wrote: “A spiritual advancement of mankind is only possible through Germany…. It is the only people who can currently lead humanity to higher ends ”. With these words, Moltke made it clear what it is all about: intellectual leadership claims, as well as the defense and expansion of one's own political and economic spheres of interest and influence. This is how wars are prepared and made. And the following applies: For wars, people are mobilized militarily and spiritually. For this, it is usually less the generals who have to bleed, but the more common soldiers do. While the war machine is kept running, not only does the cannon thunder echo across the battlefields, the soldiers are also entitled to propaganda music. Recalling this aspect of the “Great War” and calling it into consciousness, the following should be put here:
In October 1914, 93 scientists, artists and writers signed an "appeal to the world of culture". In it they raised their protest “against the lies and slander of our enemies in the (Germany) forced struggle for existence”. The German war guilt and the breach of international law were denied in a "culturally" way. Ultimately, the legacy of Goethe, Beethoven and Kant was used to justify the war.
An alarming number of “engineers of the soul”, as Stalin called the intellectuals, were ready for a “change of position” - away from their desks, out of the studio and into war.
For others, like Thomas Mann's “Zauberberg”, the pen became a bayonet. Quite "man-like" he stabbed: when he commented on this armed conflict :. "It was purification, liberation, what we felt and a tremendous hope". Furthermore, Mann speaks of the “ennobling” of people in war and of leaving a “rich world of peace”. The sociologist Max Weber ("Politics as a Profession"), however, regretted that he was not allowed to go to the front in this "great and wonderful war". As a military officer he defended him nonetheless: "We had to be a power state and, in order to have a say in the decision of the future of the earth, we had to let this war come down to it". The poet of the Lüneburg Heath and forefather of the environmental protection movement, Hermann Löns, made it to the barracks and then to the front, although he was relatively old (1866). There came the disillusionment, which he expressed in the following lines: “Watch the shooting stars from my camp. Think of the corpses, of the shot spy, up there in the firmament, the same misery. Life is dying, becoming, perishing ”. During an assault at Loivre on September 26, 1914, a bullet wrote one last ruinous rhyme and ended his life. Löns left behind a touching and realistic war diary. In August 1914, the painter Franz Marc volunteered for military service. When the war broke out, he still felt it was a “positive authority”. In his “Letters from the Field”, Marc describes a “sick Europe” that is “being purified by the war”. A rethink did not begin until 1915. There he described the war as "the meanest human catch that we have surrendered to". In 1916 Franz Marc was included in the list of the most important artists in Germany and thus exempted from military service. But two shrapnel had something against it and tore the "Blauer Reiter" (artists' association) near Verdun on a reconnaissance ride to its death on March 4th - one day before it was released from military service. When Adolf Hitler, who took part in the war and who only owed his Iron Cross to the intercession of a Jewish officer, came to power in 1933, it was considered
Incidentally, Marc's art as degenerate.
In conclusion, if such examples do not make one thing clear: every war is also about ideas and the heads that should carry them. The true art of state, political and military (non) action should be to work in such a way that these heads do not have to fall first, but that the best ideas can be wrestled with in peaceful competition. However, the leaders of states do not seem to appreciate this “skill” very much. In any case, it would be more creative, meaningful and humane than building ever new weapons with an even more deadly effect, inventing ever new reasons for war and the lies associated with it, and the constant reanimation of old enemy images, which would only conjure up new catastrophes.
Author: René Lindenau
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