by Kurt Eggers. Translated from the Third Reich original published in 1935. This English translation by Gerhard Lauck was first published in 2007. A condemnation of political Catholicism in the Bismarck era.
The ship of the church danced on the waves, and the storm whipped into the rotten sails. It cracked and crackled in the beams and the old ship had more than one leak. One still tried to plug a leak here and there, and by appearances it seemed to work. But for how long? The ship would have probably held its own in calm times, but it is no longer up to the storm of the new time. It may be hard for the captain and the officers to see their ship’s end coming, and we can laugh with understanding, when they like to emphasis their soul-seller is seaworthy.
Today we do not want to talk at all about the situation in Germany. The memory of the church-political fighting is still too clear to have to refresh it. The most severe debates in the Evangelic camp as well have shown that the church definitely wishes to remain a spiritual reservation within – and, if necessary, against – the state. It is only a small step from spiritual to political struggle. Here as well, details are superfluous.
The spiritual power that we designate as the church – individual denominations do not count now – summons all its power, all its allies, in order to construct out of the daily struggle a struggle of ideas. Already audible are the voices of evil spirits beyond the border, those spirits that quickly fled upon the awakening of German spirit, and they speak of confederacy.
One seeks to lead the credulous church folk into the fight under the pretext as if dear God was personally at stake. And many a sheep in the pious herd emits a pitiful bah, because this or that bell-wether cut loose a cry of terror.
The struggle for the German soul must be waged with all determination. What is at stake is leading Germans out of the discord between blood and alien doctrine. What is at stake is eliminating the material of conflict in precisely the spiritual sphere that has cost the blood and soul of countless thousands of Germans.
Not by force! For the churches have in every era only gained from martyrdom,
Rather with knowledge! Through the clear seeing and researching of historical connections, through the presentation of secret cross-connections that intentionally sought to drive wedges into the folk.
In times when the life and honor of the folk are at stake, no considerations may be taken. Where freedom and honor compel action, the truth may no longer remain unspoken.
The treasonous activities of certain centralist circles in Germany are known. Too little known are the facts that led to the lost of German territory in the east and west! Too little known are the tricks of that Erzberger whom the folk judged.
Much of the background of separatist activity still awaits investigation.
In Austria, Christian cliques are at work to prevent and slay German freedom. Reflection and gathering of freedom-loving and nation-conscious circles on the one side, intensification of agitation, clouding of spiritual fronts, defamation and slander against everything conscious of its own kind on the other.
It is no longer about a struggle for the spirit, for the spirit has long since triumphed over the obscurantists. It is solely about power. Where the obscurantists cannot rule and pull strings unhindered, they scream about supression of freedom. Where they are in power and suppress freedom, they speak ingratiatingly about pacification in the name of God!
Germany’s spirit calls us to step forward in order to testify for the truth of the nation. We must administer the legacy of Walther von Vogelweide and Hutten, we must push forward in their spirit for the freedom of the folk.
We do not want a German to still suffer pains of conscience, whether he should obey the voice of his blood or the commands of whatever priests who serve an Asiatic god.
We want the great German unity, the genuine community of all German wanting, feeling and thinking.
The front of the church and of Christianity have been shaken, shot up and melted in the experience of the war.
Christians have wielded weapons against “Christians”. Christians have fetched “heathens” in order to kill Christians
The folk awakening followed the Christian disenchantment. Ask the assault soldiers, whether they went into the horror the battles of material with a Christian conception. Ask them, if you have the courage, ask those who sacrificed themselves again and again to speak of the cross!
Go to the young and old workers whose yearning is louder and stronger than the pulsating and hammering of motors and ask them, if they want to have the sweet comfort of the beyond!
Go to the young Germans whose yearning for folk and expanse, for struggle and heroism, is awake and admonishing, and ask them, if they want to renounce the struggle of this world for the sake of heaven!
The voice of the blood has cried out from the thousand-fold rape of everything German, which was carried out by agents of a foreign power, who claimed its kingdom was not of this earth, but which nonetheless took everything of this world, even the most primitive things, so seriously that no concordat emerges that does not deal with the question of money and possessions in the very earthly sense. One had indeed been able to silence Germans at the funeral pile, but not their souls. Stronger than the fanatical hatred of the weak against the strong; stronger than the drivel of morality puffed up decadence has remained the healthy sense of the folk, which only turned its back to the raging of men of the beyond with sublime contempt – unfortunately, sometimes as well when a fist-blow would have been more appropriate.
The German heart that undaunted overcame the horror of black barbarism is hated by the obscurantists. Germany has always dared to confront the cross of humiliation with the sun-symbol of victory, and hence those obsessed with the cross began a systematic war of extermination against the strong and life-centered people of the north. That is why one never wanted Germany to become a Reich. That is why one mocked that Germany would tear itself to pieces under Rome’s clever leadership!
This book about the culture battle that the champion of a strong, great, warrior-like Germany – Bismarck – had to endure, should show how Rome as well as certain circles of the “Evangelic center” spun a web in order to shackle and subjugate the young nation before it had really awakened to freedom.
Perhaps the book also contributes to proving as lie the claim of certain interested circles that Bismarck had been a Christian statesman.
And may then things be learned from the past for the present and for the future!