Dear Germany: Ave Atque Vale!

The following essay by JLH was originally written in German for Politically Incorrect. It has been translated by the author for Gates of Vienna.

Dear Germany: Ave Atque Vale![1]

by JLH
February 17, 2016

For years, I taught German — the language, the literature, the culture. Now and then I spent time in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And as I read and wrote and stood before my classes, it dawned on me gradually that I was only one of a great many who were nurturing and passing on a deep, rich tradition of literature, art, philosophy, music, science, trade and industry. I believed that I had not only found a noble profession, but was also sharing in an important destiny. I was illuminating for younger generations an indispensable component of the past, the present and, above all, the future of the Western world. I thought I could visualize a future in which Beethoven, Kant, Goethe, Dürer and Röntgen would still shine as the guiding stars of a flourishing culture.

During my time in teaching, a professor of the Classical languages and literatures was in the office next to mine. He was as enthusiastic about his calling as I was about mine. Every day in his classes, he breathed life into the philosophies, myths, poetry, speeches, epics, satires, dramas and comedies of these “dead” civilizations. He had access to almost unfathomable riches, which dared not be lost. Ultimately — with the Judaeo-Christian tradition and its Enlightenment — these remnants of classical antiquity comprise the foundation on which our Western civilization rests.

My colleague had a certain advantage over the rest of us language teachers. Even in his elementary courses, where Latin or Ancient Greek were read, they spoke in English, and therefore fluently and at a much higher level of understanding. The downside was that he could not travel to Rome or Athens or Corinth and chat there with the natives in Latin or Ancient Greek, because — outside of books or the Church — these languages no longer exist. And that, as Bertolt Brecht might well have said, has to do with the rise and fall of the ancient world.[2]

Die Völkerwanderung — The Germanic migrations of the First Millennium A.D.

My colleague had a map of the so-called Barbarian Invasions, which — interestingly enough — I was able to use in my myth course to illustrate the mass migrations of the Germanic tribes. Invasion/mass/migration. It depends on how you look at it. How does one distinguish between mass movements?

Well, the “best” of the ancient intruders liked a great deal about Rome. At least the luxury and power, but also other aspects of a literate society. Some of them became emperors and tried to hold the empire together. Theodoric ruled as king in Italy. Still, the glory and the grandeur faded, not immediately, but inexorably. And now we think of all that, and we honor and study the enormous accomplishment of a past civilization. Once upon a time…

But what is happening here and now is not the incursion of powerful tribes who are bringing their own useful skills. It is not leaders who are seeking a new home for their people. Germany is being hijacked. By an as-good-as-unrestricted swarm of raging, alien creatures who can more swiftly and completely flood and extinguish a culture than any ancient barbarians. And soon those of us outside may also have to say: Once upon a time…

I cannot, do not want to, believe that one day someone will pull something by Gryphius or Grimmelshausen, Droste or Dürrenmatt, Schiller or Schopenhauer, Brahms or Bach out of a forgotten drawer only to — secretly and fleetingly — blow life into the moribund coals of a dead civilization. And to what purpose is all that happening? To accommodate the folly of delusional, self-appointed elites! After they have extinguished pride in one’s people, nation and tradition, and traded away human dignity for prestige and wealth, what is left?

As a friend did recently, I quote the words of Heinrich Heine:

When I think of Germany at night,
My ability to sleep takes flight.[3]

Will there still be libraries, churches and synagogues, opera houses, museums, or only smoking ruins? Will there still be women, or just black-robed ghosts with shopping bags? Will there still be men — perhaps on the way to work — or only bearded gang-rapers, hanging around and snarling? Will there still be children or just today’s sexual victims and tomorrow’s brain-washed suicide bombers? Will it be permissible to speak German without paying a special tax? Will any memory of how it used to be still exist anywhere? Ask the Christian, Jewish, Yazidi and other Dhimmis who “live” in Islamic countries.

And so, Dear Germany, with the profoundest regret: Hail and Farewell!

1.   “Hail and Farewell!” From the remarks of Catullus at his brother’s grave.
2.   Play on the title of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. I like the irony of this, because Brecht’s well-known antipathy to all things capitalistic and/or American (especially after his stint in front of the Anti-American Activities Committee) has created a fictitious American city founded on the principle of “anything goes”, led by a well-intentioned fellow who becomes the ultimate victim of his own system and whose fate also dooms the city. It is also piquant that Brecht chose to live out his life and career in East Germany, the place of origin of Angela Merkel, who is likely to duplicate the feat of the operetta’s hero — destroying her homeland and herself.

Note: “The Alabama Song”, in English in the libretto, became a hit in the rendition by The Doors.

3.   “Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht,
Dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht.”

From “Night Thoughts” by Heine. Used and re-used in different contexts, it has become a familiar quotation, most recently appearing on the blog Postcards from Paris & elsewhere.

16 thoughts on “Dear Germany: Ave Atque Vale!

  1. One element missing in the present crisis is the complete absence of a military clash and defeat for the Wehrmacht. What we see instead is a result of silly thinking by an aging, scheming, lifeless woman aided and abetted by hundreds of eunuchs and girly boys who play at the game “Statecraft.”

    Well, it seems the children have gotten out of hand. Soon it will be time for Father to put down his newspaper and put an end to the hysteria and stop the six year olds running around with scissors.

    Do you see where I am going with this? Die wer an Deutschland in der Nacht denken, if my German is not too fractured, are the men of the Wehrmacht who surely do not have an unlimited capacity for the utter idiocy that passes for stewardship of the leading nation of Europe.

    Can we admit certain facts? That Germany has an army; that arrogant, vicious, primitive scum have been invited into the very heart of the nation by the present government; that armies traditionally exist to prevent the entry of such foreigners; and that any soldier worth his salt must surely wonder why all the gleaming, oiled, modern weaponry acquired at great cost sits chained to tidy racks in armories all over Germany when it could easily be put to good use to solve the obvious Big Problem?

    And where is it written that brave, forceful, intelligent German men will forever be content to merely play at being soldiers and accept, entirely without resentment or protest, the occupation of their country by men who are their obvious inferiors?

    It has been said of Chinese dynasties that they begin with victories by virile conquerors but eventually, as the rustle of skirts in the palace becomes louder and louder, the emperors grew soft and weak and eventually each dynasty gave way to new strong men.

    The precipitating cause of collapse in the Chinese view was that the emperor lost the mandate of Heaven. It’s a vague term, come down to it, but it seems to involve large numbers of people just coming to the conclusion that all was not as it should be. Too many floods, an earthquake, a comet, locusts, rapacious officials, officials acting like simpering nitwits, defense ministers with lipstick, etc.

    Here the rape and other molestation of and affront to German women signifies both pathetic weakness and that the center is not holding. There is no cosmic immunity from political collapse just because a technologically-advanced European state is involved.

    In short, terrible weakness and betrayal are much in evidence. Tectonic forces oppose each other. Fury builds. Present arrangements are not forever. Force will determine events in time-old fashion now that more genteel politics have become diseased.

    • “And where is it written that brave, forceful, intelligent German men will forever be content to merely play at being soldiers and accept, entirely without resentment or protest, the occupation of their country by men who are their obvious inferiors?”

      My son was on joint military maneuvers with Germany a few years back. He was invited to dine on a German boat. He described the boat as being pristine, you could eat off the floors clean. Contrasted to his battle hardened boat where one would never “eat off the floors.” I actually toured his boat and I would agree.
      The difference was that Germany engages no one while the US has been protecting them for over 50 years. I am sorry to say this but I think German men are quite happy at playing soldiers while the US does the heavy lifting.
      Can anyone tell me the last time Germany fired a shot in defense of their country?

      • I view such stellar cleanliness as a positive sign of good leadership. I visited one of our frigates in Norfolk years ago and it seemed clean and orderly to my landlubber eyes.

        Your son’s boat is no doubt as he describes it and probably representative of a boat that has seen some “use” and whose crew has strived for functionality and efficiency. “Eat off the floors” is still a pretty high standard.

        The crew of the German boat has almost certainly not been “busy” at anything at all and with no heavy operational responsibilities command attention can be focused on cleanliness.

        I’ve read that the Wehrmacht is in a state of degraded readiness due to inadequate maintenance or lack of spare parts for armored and other vehicles. Same for the Luftwaffe. I’d put my money on lack of spare parts if I had to guess at the reason.

        The German soldier has been superb as both world wars have shown. It do not blame him if the government has gone out of its way to keep them from serious combat. During Desert Storm, Germany graced the Coalition effort with a small number of minesweepers and recently it contributed some planes to the Depose Assad stupidity but only to serve in a reconnaissance role. With respect to either conflict, I can see the German military taking the reasonable position that Germans shouldn’t die to facilitate U.S. naivete and adventurism. So non-participation is not really an indictment of policy or leadership.

        If I may contribute an anecdote of my own, I was hitchhiking in Germany in 1962 and was given a ride by a very kind former infantry officer. Also, I myself returned to Germany as an infantry officer to participate in a Reforger exercise in 1981, I think. I was befriended by a policeman and his wife while there. All three struck me as impressive and, there you have it, on a sample size of three, I conclude that there is an abundance of such people in the ranks of the security forces who fly underneath the PC radar. My policeman friend would not have been deluded into thinking that obvious and unaddressed threats to his family were something other than a catastrophe.

        Firing a shot in defense of one’s country has historically been the gold standard of any military. However, Germany, like all European countries, has suffered this historically unprecedented calamity of having massive numbers of foreigners invited into their country. As I like to say, tiresomely I might add, historically the presence of hordes of foreigners in one’s land has been marked by a prior catastrophic failure of the armies on the border. But what was a catastrophe before is now the object of official policy. I do not blame normal people who simply cannot grasp the enormity of this betrayal they have suffered though I’ve been known to gnash my teeth at times. (Too, I am mindful that Germans know that too much visibility can mark them for having their children taken from them. This under a “center right” government….)

        Nonetheless, I consider the essential German, French, British, etc. spirit to still live on in a great many people.

        I know, I know. Europeans are stupid in their refusal to vote for obvious political solutions to this madness. But I take heart in Marcus Aurelius’s observation: “To those to whom thou art a beast and an ape, you can in 10 days appear like an angel if you will but return to your principles and the worship of reason.” The Prince of Lies, according to some lights, still fogs minds but I don’t think lies have an eternal power over men. The Chinese emperors had terrible repressive powers but they proved useless in the face of a massive withdrawal of consent. If people in Hollywood can come out for Trump, nothing is impossible in this regard.

      • A small point for the two commenters, but sailors steer a ship, never a boat. IIRC, “boat” refers to littoral craft, ships are sea-going vessels.

        I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
        And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by…

        I had this drummed into me by Navy officers in my youth in another century, but I don’t think their insistence has changed…

  2. Lest I be misunderstood, note that the use of military force is not the same thing as making cities free fire zones. Given (1) that politicians have engineered the destruction of the nation and (2) that it is FAR from certain that politics will reverse the deterioration, however, it is clear that, at a minimum, European (and U.S.) adventures in the M.E. must cease and all recent Muslim and African refugees and economic migrants must be immediately repatriated. All efforts to integrate them will fail and must cease. Only leaders who believe that “will” in the previous sentence is the correct word will suffice for the survival of all Western nations.

    There must be recognition that the criminal betrayals of the political class have set white countries up for destruction or a transformation into a third-world hell. The political class know the full implications of the damage they have done and that is why they criminalize speech that points out their betrayal. This is the highest priority of all.

    Jeppe Juhl’s three Rs is the beginning of a sensible, humane way of rectifying this tragedy. “I dunno” is not on the list of acceptable options as it does no more than affirm the suicidal default course of the status quo. Options without the qualifier of “draconian” will almost certainly be inadequate.

    I wrote of weapons chained in the armory. Well, it seems that something else has been chained up there as well – common sense. The “military option” is an implicit reclamation of it and, thus, an enthusiastic embracing of the “Could we please cut the insanity” revolutionary way of thinking. What we are witnessing now is clinically, pathological insane and anyone who acts like it is normal must come under immediate suspicion.

    • Common sense hasn’t been chained, it’s been shamed out of existence by girly-boys… Merkelmen who have plans for the people that the people know nothing about.

      While the situation in Germany causes wonderment in the rest of the world, we can visualize such a scene for ourselves if the “immigration über alles” fever of our politicians isn’t cured by some means or other.

      Donald Trump’s popularity is based on just that thesis: halt immigration until we can assess the situation. It is amazing our politicians don’t get that simple truth.

      • Stop the flood from the broken pipe in your house . . . before restoring regular water service. 🙂

  3. Some rough spots in translation but I think I understood 98 percent of it: the German “barbaric” invasions in First Millennium AD were not as barbaric as we may have thought. Of course, I can’t help thinking how Islam burst out of the Arabian Peninsula between 620-640 AD I believe, starts attacking the Middle East and moves on up and by 740 AD they are already across the Mediterranean…that Islam attacked first and that the Crusades didn’t begin until 1100AD. But then, everyone knows that here anyway. But a Muslim generally will not know, or that there were at least 36 deities in pre-Islamic Arabia.

    • At least 36, it was 360. That is how many idols were in the Kaaba. Allah was among them representing the moon. This is why the false god of Islam is Allah, so that pagan Arabs could be given something familiar to worship.

      • The moon god Allah was one of, if not the most, revered of the pre-Islamic pagan idols.

        I would also like to add to my comment. To be a legit religion it was a point to have a deity, hence Allah. However it is clear that Islam is much more about being the cult of the fictional character Muhammad than it is about worshipping Allah. Those that claim that Muslims worship the same god, the God of Abraham, that Christians and Jews worship are too stupid and uninformed to spend a moment listening to. I’d rather play Klondike on my ‘puter.

  4. Hail and farewell? Can’t you see the beginnings of a movement to confront the issues? I can, that’s what the establishment is working to nip in the bud.

  5. I think that my short story “The Alienork Way” can be instructive, if there is yet time to thwart the victory of darkness.

    And the history of peaceful islanders being conquered by violent “refugees” might also be of use in opening minds that shut down upon hearing the words Islam or Muslim.

    Maoris, Moors and Migrants, a history lesson for civilized humans facing an Ork invasion

    I wish that both of them could be translated into German and broadcast to every future dhimmi.

  6. “Still, the glory and the grandeur faded, not immediately, but inexorably…”

    No, that’s not the way it happened. Theodoric’s successors battled the Byzantine Empire and lost. In 550 the Empire was restored under Justinian in 555 AD. For most of a century the classical empire continued. The usual battles with Persians and Slavs exhausted but did not seriously threaten the classical world.

    Then the disaster came suddenly – Arab Muslims quickly tore the heart out the empire by taking everything from Arabia to Spain and turning the Mediterranean into a pirate zone. That is when the Dark Ages really started in Europe.

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