"Regarding the charges made by Mr. E Hanfstaengel in the Munich city council that in 1933 I pressured students to join the Party, I declare the following: I never pressured a student or anyone else at all to join the Party. I myself unfortunately allowed myself in early summer 1933, as rector of the University of Freiburg elected by the Plenum, to be pressured into joining the Party, to be sure only on the condition (which I also always strictly held to) that I would never work in any way for the Party and certainly not accept an office in it or in one of its organizations. In 1933 I committed the political error, as was the case with many even among those of the highest spiritual and worldly distinction, of seeing constructive strengths for our people in Hitler and his movement and embracing it. I recognized this error already in the first ;months of the year 1934 and I resigned my office as rector under protest against demands of the National Socialist Minister of Culture of Baden. Since then, i.e. during the last ten years of my academic teaching activity up to fall 1944, I engaged in an ever more pointed spiritual argument or criticism of the unspiritual foundations of the National Socialist world view.
This conduct was understood very precisely by thousands of students whom I educated for responsibility for the West as well as by Party officials and their press. The many years of informants and surveillance by the S.D. (security service), the continuous attacks on my works in Party journals, later the publication ban, and finally being drafted into the Volkssturm*, unusual for one of my age and my position, and from which many far younger colleagues remained exempted, prove this unequivocally.
My error of 1933 was established by the Political Cleansing Committee of the university as the only "taint" and they simultaneously emphasized that I could no longer be counted as a National Socialist after 1934. A teaching ban was declared by the French occupation authority in the year 1947, which was rescinded again in the year 1949. In the German denazification proceedings I was classified as a fellow-traveller without atonement measures (being required).
Where crimes have occurred, they must be atoned for. But how long does one want to continue to defame publicly over and over those who erred politically for a short or even a longer time, and this in a state according to whose constitution anyone can be a member of and fighter for the communist party. A strange blindness pushes forward in this way the wearing away and inner dissolution of the last substantial strengths of our people."
« Older Can you say that again? you gurgled it the first ... | David Lynch: Problem Solver... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt