Finis Germania: The Mythos of Overcoming the Past

The well-known German writer Rolf Peter Sieferle committed suicide late last year. He left behind two works to be published posthumously, one of which — Finis Germania — caused immense controversy. Rembrandt Clancy has translated a crucial chapter from the book, and includes an introduction and extensive end notes, as well as a translated and subtitled video from Junge Freiheit.

Finis Germania
The Mythos of Overcoming the Past

“The eternal Nazi, as the revenant of his crime, will long adorn the trivial mythology of a post-religious world. The earth, however, will only be purged of this stain of shame when the Germans have completely disappeared; that is, when they have become abstract Menschen”.

                                                                       —Rolf Peter Sieferle


by Rembrandt Clancy

Another Zeitgeist-critical book, in the genre of Thilo Sarrazin’s “Germany is Abolishing Herself “ (Deutschland schafft sich ab, 2010), has been unleashing a storm of “hysterical reaction” in Germany, “a book which is making headlines like none other” (Epoch Times, German). Finis Germania, by Rolf Peter Sieferle, was published in June of 2017 and is a historico-philosophical collection of four short essays arranged as chapters and united by the common theme of decline in a moribund late-culture. They consist of such leitmotifs as personal responsibility in a history dominated by subjectless or impersonal functionality, the illusion of conscious political control in history, collective guilt and the problem of evil in the world.

Rolf Peter Sieferle took his own life in September of 2016 at the age of 66 in Heidelberg. The author left the manuscripts of Finis Germania and The Migration Problem as a legacy to Verlag Antaios, a publishing house in Schnellroda, Saxony-Anhalt. The business is directed by Götz Kubitschek, who describes himself as a conservative intellectual, is well known in Islam-critical circles and is close to some of the main actors within the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party which performed unexpectedly well in the last federal election. He provides an alternative for authors of books on political theory and literature who may not otherwise easily find a publisher.

The most controversial of the four chapter-essays in Finis Germania, Mythos VB, is translated here. The initials “VB” stand for Vergangenheitsbewältigung. The term refers to “a nation’s confrontation with a problematical period of its recent past, in particular with National Socialism in Germany” (Duden). Vergangenheitsbewältigung is the broad ideological container within which Sieferle’s analysis of Germany’s post-war drama of collective guilt unfolds.

About the Author

The following biographical details are taken from an article by Götz Kubitschek ( Rolf Peter Sieferle was born in 1949 in Stuttgart. He studied History, Political Science and Sociology and earned his doctoral degree in 1977 with a focus on Marx’s concept of revolution. His post-doctoral qualification as a lecturer (Habilitation) followed in 1984 in the field of Modern History. Beginning in 1991 Sieferle served as Adjunct Professor at the University of Mannheim, and since 2000 he has been full Professor of History at the University of St. Gallen. His work, “The Underground Forest” (Der unterirdische Wald, 1982) is considered the standard work on the implementation of hard coal as a source of energy and the repercussions which this event had on all domains of society.

Other works of Sieferle are considered to show a high degree of scholarship: Enemies of Progress?: Opposition to Technology and Industry from the Romantic Period to the present (1984); The Crisis of Human Nature: On the History of a Concept (1989); Epochal Change — Germans at the Threshold of the 21st Century (1994); The Conservative Revolution (1995); Retrospective on Nature: A History of Mankind and his Environment (1997); Karl Marx: An Introduction (2007) and The Migration Problem: On the Incompatibility of the Welfare State and Mass Immigration (2017).

The Title of the Book

Finis”, in Finis Germania, may be a noun or a verb in Latin. In either case, however, “Germania” remains a noun in the vocative case, invoking the feminine personification of Germany which found frequent representation in the Romantic period. The title carries the general meaning of “The end, Germania“, “Germania, you are dying“, “You are coming to an end, Germania“ or in a more ‘Sarrazinian’ idiom, “You are Abolishing Yourself, Germania“. The vocative case also points to Germany as a country with a long and venerable heritage, for Germania is the name the Romans gave to what we know today as Deutschland. The title does not mean “The End of Germany”, which would be Finis Germaniae”.

The ‘Skandal’ of Finis Germania

In early June, Finis Germania acquired a very high degree of unexpected publicity as a result of what appeared in the end to be a miscalculation of a single Spiegel journalist, Johannes Salzwedel. The book was broadly denounced in the mainstream German feuilletons, newspaper feature sections, in this case, dealing with literature. Far-right radicalism, right-leaning conspiracy theory and other denunciatory labels including the very widespread accusation of anti-Semitism were among the condemnations. There were also ad hominem attacks on the author. But despite the almost universal negative publicity, the book reached first place on German Amazon and remained there for ten days. It also fared well on Spiegel’s best seller list until it was removed. Altogether it is reputed to have sold an enormous number of copies in a very short time. Götz Kubitschek, referred to the book’s defiant popularity as a “Streisand-Effekt”.

The prime cause of the “Skandal” was the attention Sieferle gave to what has been known for some time in Germany as the Auschwitz-mythos. Journalists widely misrepresented the meaning Sieferle attributed to the term and treated it as identical to the “Auschwitz-lie” (Auschwitzlüge), or Holocaust denial.

A Video: Finis Germania: (JF-TV Im Fokus): “The Case of Rolf Peter Sieferle”

The 13-minute video immediately below provides a brief account of the circumstances dominating the publication of Finis Germania. The political and cultural newspaper Junge Freiheit interviews two personalities close to the situation. They are Konrad Adam, a publicist and former editor with the Frankfurter Allgemeine — a mainstream media outlet at the forefront of the attacks on Finis Germania — and Andreas Lombard, himself a publisher and the individual holding the rights to the Sieferle estate. He granted the licence for the book’s publication to Kubitschek’s Verlag Antaios. Adam and Lombard provide some insight into the character of the book and what the author has achieved. They also offer interesting interpretations of the attacks on Finis Germania.

Substantiated personal biographical material on Sieferle is hard to obtain. However, the video sketches the author’s political trajectory dating from the time he was a student. The author’s wife, Regina Sieferle, gives her reaction to the personal attacks on her husband by means of quotations from an earlier interview.

The original video is on the YouTube channel of Junge Freiheit.

Context and Thematic Material

Definition of the Auschwitz-Mythos and the Auschwitz Lie (Auschwitzlüge)

While Mythos VB allows for a fairly smooth reading, its clarity depends on a few important conceptual distinctions which have been overlooked even by serious commentators, with the result that misconceptions arise. In the second paragraph, Sieferle begins with a definition of Auschwitz as a mythos, a clear understanding of which is a guide to the remainder of Mythos VB.

National Socialism, or more precisely Auschwitz, has become the last mythos of a thoroughly rationalised world. A mythos is a truth which is beyond discussion. It requires no justification; on the contrary, even the hint of doubt, which is inherent in the relativisation of the mythos, indicates a serious breach of the taboo protecting it. Has not the Auschwitz lie been punished as a kind of blasphemy? Behind the insistence on the “incomparability” of the mythos, is there not the old fear of every revealed truth that it is lost as soon as it accedes to the enlightening exercise of historical comparison and justification? “Auschwitz” has become the embodiment of a unique and irredeemable guilt. [p. 2-3]

Thus an encapsulated definition of the Auschwitz-mythos may be rendered as follows: It is a perceived, non-rational, taboo-protected truth, held to be self-evident, which embodies a “unique and irredeemable guilt”, the source of which is the historical event of “Auschwitz”.

That “Auschwitz” itself is a crime which underlies the guilt is of course implicit. Note that Sieferle sometimes places “Auschwitz” in quotation marks as a pars pro toto for the Holocaust.

The “truth” of the mythos is not a truth in any ordinary sense of an affirmation subject to verification, for its parameters are “beyond discussion”. However, the last sentence in the passage identifies the content of this “truth” as a “unique and irredeemable guilt”, and not the historical event of Auschwitz itself. What also makes the distinction between historical fact and guilt clear, is the opposition expressed in the pseudo-moral dualism between the Auschwitz-mythos and the Auschwitz lie (Auschwitzlüge). To deny or relativise the historical event is also to dissolve the guilt which rests upon it, which is why the lie is punished “as a kind of blasphemy”. It is the politico-historical interpretation of this guilt, and not the crime-event itself, which Sieferle subjects to “the enlightening exercise of historical comparison and justification”. The author follows up consistently with a definition of guilt, and in the course of his analysis brings it further into focus as a heritable, collective guilt. That, in turn is further distinguished from the guilt stemming from individual or personal moral responsibility.

Sieferle discusses individual responsibility in Chapter I. In Mythos VB he starts his discussion of guilt with it, but it is more background than focus, and it certainly does not emerge as efficacious in the modern age. However, that only an individual can be responsible for a crime nevertheless remains the point of comparison against which the metapolitics of heritable, collective guilt takes on contour in this work, the more so because Sieferle recognises that the New Covenant supersedes the Old.

Was Sieferle the first to specify the Auschwitz-mythos?

“Auschwitz” as the founding mythos of Germany is not the product of Sieferle’s literary imagination, but has been under discussion for a long time. Joschka Fischer (Greens), former foreign minister in the Red-Green coalition government of Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005), is widely quoted as using the term “Gründungsmythos” to describe Auschwitz as Germany’s reason of state. An example of such a text comes from Paul Gottfried’s “The Strange Death of Marxism” (2005):

The current German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, who in 1999 announced that “Auschwitz is the founding myth and moral justification” of a continued German nation-state, had been closely associated with left-wing terrorists in the sixties and early seventies. [p. 81]

The context was the war in Kosovo.

The former Minister of Defence in the aforementioned Schröder government, Peter Struck (SPD), articulated the central idea of the Auschwitz-mythos on 29 May 2008 in the Bundestag:

With the systematic persecution and murder of the European Jews during the Nazi period, the Germans have burdened themselves with unending guilt — a guilt which never fades. (See: An Extraordinary Parliamentary Debate [German] emphasis added)

The German writer Martin Walser, in a speech he gave in 1998 (German), spoke of the political use of Auschwitz as “the instrumentalisation of our shame for today’s purposes” and was severely attacked at the time for his trouble. For more on this speech, see endnote 9.

Unique to Sieferle is his derivation of the Auschwitz-mythos from the “archetype” of Adam’s original sin, explaining therefore Germany’s focus on “Auschwitz” as a negative founding principle, hence the so-called overcoming of the past, a Vergangenheitsbewältigung (VB). VB becomes the temporal container of the negative foundational principle of the Auschwitz-mythos, guaranteeing its domination in the present and the impossibility of a future.

The Central Motif and the Problematic of ‘Mythos VB’

Sieferle identifies original sin as an archetype, and by extension the Auschwitz-mythos. In Mythos VB he calls it a “figure” [Figur], but the two terms are interchangeable (see quotation below). The problem of guilt “only becomes comprehensible when seen in the light of the older figure [Figur] of original sin”. Original sin, from which the Auschwitz-mythos is derived, is an ideologised archetypal narrative or figure; it is one of the “strategies with the help of which evil is to be overcome” (Finis Germania, p. 98), and therefore belongs to the category of “basic human situations”. The modern age, according to Sieferle, has selected

… ideological archetypes [ideologische Archetypen], which are likely to be found in their most general form everywhere, since basic human situations correspond to them. As long as it is a matter of basic situations, the emergence of truly new figures [Figuren] is hardly to be expected. Differentiated high cultures, like the Western tradition, have all ground-schemata [Grundschemata] in readiness…. [pp. 98-99]

C. G. Jung’s concept of the archetypal image is readily discernable in this passage, with its language of “ground schemata”, “basic human situations” and “figures” (forms). Today, instead of unfolding in dream narratives, ancient mythology, fairy tales and religion, the archetypes or figures representing “basic human situations” live on through ideologies. Hence the term “ideological archetype” means an archetype expressed through an ideology; and the Auschwitz-mythos, as an original sin, is one of these. Germans are among the collective actors in a drama played out on the

“projection screen of real history and become an everlasting mythos in order to atone for their guilt”.

The problematic, therefore, is that Germans identify with the archetype, and thereby act out a transpersonal (collective) drama, a guilt which is “of metaphysical dimensions”, a guilt rooted in the “transcendental man”, Adam.

A Hermeneutic of Judeo-Christian Discontinuity

Because “Auschwitz” is the new original sin for Germans, they “still live under the Old Testament severity”, even though

“[t]he guilt of Adam was superseded [aufgehoben] in an historically salvific way by the sacrificial death of Christ”.

Alternatively expressed, under the Christian dispensation, only an individual is responsible for a crime, no matter how “incomparable” it is; and its guilt, as such, is no longer heritable. But in modern Germany it is collective guilt which is now dominant; or in the more prosaic language of modern times, the Auschwitz-mythos is an ideologised expression of a Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics applied on a collective level. Given the context of what Sieferle calls “salvation history”, the Auschwitz-mythos constitutes a religious regression to a pre-Christian collectivist society, thereby carrying with it the characteristic severity of the “Old Covenant”. Some will recognise “modern” and “progressive” Socialism in such a pattern, at a time when “Christianity has become incomprehensible” to the post-war German. Such is the vacuum left for the formation of this “new” negative founding principle.

The Enlightenment

If Sieferle points to the apparent waning or practical ineffectiveness of Christianity in the modern age, he addresses the Enlightenment with as much irony and places it in a surprising context. He does not mention Kant by name, but points clearly to his concept of Enlightenment as the “emergence from self-imposed dependency” (selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit). Endnote 8 provides a short background.

Oswald Spengler

There is textual evidence in Finis Germania suggesting that Sieferle’s falls partly in the wake of Oswald Spengler’s famous “Decline of the West” (Der Untergang des Abendlandes), for he does not affirm a linear, irreversible evolutionary trajectory in history, much less is there a progression when it come to morality. For Sieferle, human nature in itself is an unchanging constant.

For Spengler “all history is founded upon general biographic archetypes [Urformen]” which “possess a rigorous meaning which no one has as yet extracted” (ibid., Vol. I. New York: Knopf, 1926, p. 3). Analogously, Sieferle speaks of “Systems”, which are essentially unconscious structures underlying newly emerging social orders, and they oppose existing political arrangements and act contrary to the intentions of individual political actors. Although individuals “know” nothing of them, they can be inferred from their effects. Endnote 5 provides the documentation for this concept.

Finally, Sieferle uses Spengler’s concept of Fellahism, an uncultured “civilisational residue” which gathers in the great cities after the decline of a once great culture. Endnote 11 documents the background for Sieferle’s usage of this construct.


While his goal of publishing Finis Germania was to reach as many readers as possible, Götz Kubitschek also specified, as a “meta-goal”, the intention to effect a change of mind in the reader, which is consistent with what he called “a short definition of metapolitics”. The hope is that the reader

with the minimum of semantic displacement, assesses particular concepts differently… and apprehends particular lines of argumentation and enters discussions armed or equipped in a different way.

The metapolitical goal, Kubitschek says, aims at the “pre-political” sphere and “not at the level of action at which the AfD or other real political actors operate” (video interview in German, July 2017).

According to Thor von Waldstein (cf. GoV), Metapolitics refers to the established cultural or ideological support below or behind the level of active party politics. Hence it functions in much the same way as the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, which is the establishment of modified Marxist principles as a hegemonic, self-evident set of values and constructs which the population at large accepts as unquestionable and natural. The negativity of the Auschwitz-mythos renders it, practically speaking, no different from Critical Theory. Sieferle’s book, on the other hand, is itself a critique of the existing metapolitical cultural hegemony in Germany, what the author calls the “state religion”, and he shows how party politics are the consequence of it:

The new, currently emerging religion of mankind [metapolitics] — whose rational foundation has never succeeded since the time of the Enlightenment — is able to position itself on a firm foundation of historical facts [“Auschwitz”] and derive direct political consequences from it [party politics].

The mood of ‘Finis Germania’

Some observers have drawn attention to a certain “shock” that Finis Germania generates and also to its apparently unrelenting bleakness. But by this very act of making the current metapolitical infrastructure explicit, by speaking of what is forbidden, Rolf Peter Sieferle names the Rumpelstiltskin which threatens to bring about the end of Germany.

Finis Germania
Chapter III: Mythos VB

by Rolf Peter Sieferle

Antaios Verlag, 2017

The eternal Nazi

There are still myths, and there are still taboos. Nudity and sexual practices, whatever their type, are not among them, any more so than good old-fashioned blasphemy. The Christian immortals, for instance, may be blasphemed in any way without the slightest consequence. One taboo, however, remains absolute: it is anti-Semitism. Criticism of Americans, of Russians, of the rich, of industry, of the unions, of intellectuals, of men, of politicians, indeed of Germans is cheap and can be voiced with gratuitous severity. Criticism of the Jews, on the other hand, must be packaged in the most meticulous way in the assurance that it is by no means a question of anti-Semitism. The reasons for this are ready to hand.

National Socialism, or more precisely Auschwitz, has become the last mythos of a thoroughly rationalised world. A mythos is a truth which is beyond discussion. It requires no justification; on the contrary, even the hint of doubt, which is inherent in the relativisation of the mythos, indicates a serious breach of the taboo protecting it. Has not the Auschwitz lie been punished as a kind of blasphemy? Behind the insistence on the “incomparability” of the mythos, is there not the old fear of every revealed truth that it is lost as soon as it accedes to the enlightening exercise of historical comparison and justification? “Auschwitz” has become the embodiment of a unique and irredeemable guilt.

But what does “guilt” mean? Concretely, it has to do with a provocation, in which case it concerns an impurity, a tarnishing of justice, which through purificatory rituals can be dissolved or at least alleviated. The criminal has defiled a community under the rule of law; therefore punishment is conducive to its cleansing. In the case of a very great defilement, a remedy is possible only by the complete eradication of the criminal who is given back to the elements: to the fire which incinerates him, to the water which drowns him, to the air in which he is hanged and to the earth which finally covers him. It makes for a sense of unease to inhabit the same world in which the criminal also lives. He must therefore disappear, so that mankind may be delivered from the spectacle of his depravity. His sheer existence is unbearable; hence the fanatical zeal with which old men who had participated in the great atrocities are still hunted down fifty years after their occurrence.

In addition to the individual guilt of the criminal, there is the collective guilt of the clan or community which sustains him. This collective guilt can have neither a concrete criminological significance nor an honour-hygienic one. It does not aim at attributing criminal liability or criminal status to the individual and therefore it cannot be redeemed by his elimination: on the contrary, that is not its purpose. It is much more a question of a guilt which is of metaphysical dimensions, of a guilt which only becomes comprehensible when seen in the light of the older figure [Figur] of original sin. The individual guilt of Adam, this transcendental Man, corrupted the entire human race which issues from him; in equal measure, however, the guilt was re-captured by the grace of God, whose Commandment Adam had infringed.[2] The human race does not plunge into the bottomless abyss of depravity; on the contrary, it is precisely in the magnitude of Man’s guilt that the magnitude of the grace which maintains him is revealed. Atonement, grace and love are therefore inextricably linked; they form an imperturbable equilibrium within the salvational economy of God.

From the collective guilt of the Germans, which goes back to “Auschwitz”, there follows likewise the call to permanent atonement, but completely missing from this secularised form of original sin are the elements of grace and love. Therefore, the German does not resemble the man whose guilt through the love of God, while not revised, was nevertheless compensated; rather he is akin to the devil, the fallen angel whose guilt will never be forgiven and who will endure for all time in darkness. But even the devil has a function within the economy of God. He forms the negative foil against which the God’s goodness can stand out positively; in his negativity is concentrated all the deficiencies of creation in such a way that God Himself is unburdened from the agonising question of the justification of evil in this world.

The German, or at least the Nazi, is the secularised devil of an enlightened present age. This mature and autonomous world [Kant] needs him as precisely the negative foil against which it can justify itself. In this respect there exists a strong affinity between how the German is viewed now and how the Jew was perceived in the Christian past: the second great crime against humanity after the fall of Adam was the crucifixion of Christ. While this atrocity was immediately superseded [aufgehoben] through the resurrection and redemption, it nevertheless had at least a minimal precondition: faith.[3] Now the Jews were the ones who had not only committed this monstrous, albeit salvation-historically necessary crime — they also refused to believe the claim that Jesus is the Christ and therefore rejected the offer of redemption. This criminal obstinacy on the part of the Jews was for Christendom an enormous irritant; of all the peoples, the very ones among whom the Son of God had appeared, refused to accept the salvific event associated with them. Furthermore, since the conversion of the Jews constituted an eschatological prerequisite for the coming of the Kingdom of God, the Jews stood for the antithesis of redemption and in this way could become the embodiment of evil in the world.

The stubborn refusal of the Jews to accept the truth of Christendom that had been revealed to them was at the same time a reminder that mankind was not yet prepared to relinquish his sinfulness. As a consequence, the heathens and heretics were tracked down so furiously and thoroughly, that less thought was given to annihilating the Jews as such, all occasional persecutions notwithstanding. The situation constituted a painful, yet tolerated thorn in the flesh of Christendom. The Jews, however, being unable to share in Christian worthiness, nested themselves in the niches of this society as usurers and traders: once again an affinity to the Germans, who went from heroes to merchants, despised by all the world and intent on their own advantage.

The world apparently needs Jews or Germans to be assured of its moral qualities. However, there is in one respect an enormous difference: the Jews themselves never shared the appraisal which fell upon them from the Christian side, whilst the Germans are the first to confess their indissoluble guilt — although this usually occurs in such a way that he who speaks of German guilt or “responsibility” purifies himself of it at once, since its very recognition is always proclaimed with an eye to the obdurate ones, which is to say, the others. The guilt of Adam was superseded in an historically salvific way by the sacrificial death of Christ. The Jews, for their part, did not acknowledge their guilt for the crucifixion of the Messiah. The Germans, who acknowledge their guilt — which is without grace — must, however, vanish from the projection screen of real history and become an everlasting mythos in order to atone for their guilt. The eternal Nazi, as the revenant of his crime, will long adorn the trivial mythology of a post-religious world. The earth, however, will only be purged of this stain of shame when the Germans have completely disappeared, that is; when they have become abstract “Menschen”. But then perhaps the world will need other Jews.

A new state religion

Periodically the experienced television viewer will witness a presentation which unfolds somewhat as follows: the President of the Federal Republic stands before the assembled parliament and delivers an historical sermon in which he conjures up the living dead and announces a truth which everyone knows and in which everyone believes. His slick and velvet words generate the required mood of mutual agreement and induce “appalment”. One notices it straight away: here the truth of a mythos is being revealed. The ritual proclamation presents no “new”, no “original” text, (its specific informational content must approach zero under pain of outrage); instead, a community of believers are gathered together for devotion. The content of the presented history remains eternally new and forever true; it cannot and must not be forgotten, but is to be narrated forever from the beginning. The endless liturgical repetition of an ever unvarying history conjures up its ineluctable importance for the immediate present. The first Commandment, however, is this: Thou shalt have no holocaust before me. The ritual of coming-to-terms-with-the-past [Vergangenheitsbewältigung] is invested with the features of a veritable state religion.

The dogma is simple and memorable: the forefathers, the Nazis, marked themselves with the gravest and most incomparable guilt on earth and have therefore barred themselves, together with their descendants, from the paradise of historical normalcy. Their unspeakable, albeit freely retold crimes constituted a rebellion against the dictates of progress and humanitarianism; either they were a “relapse into barbarity” or, much more serious still, they were historically unique, having the quality of the fall of Adam. This original sin [Ursünde] is now passed on from one generation to the next; it becomes the inherited sin [Erbsünde] which cannot and must not be forgotten or repressed [verdrängt]. In this way, the nation of the Nazis [Volk der Nazis] became a negatively chosen people. The magnitude of the guilt attached to their patriarchs has forever lifted them out of the normal course of history. They are unique in their culpability amongst peoples, since their crimes were of unique magnitude.

This degenerate people still live under the Old Covenant with history; nor has a Messiah arisen for them who could grant redemption from their unforgivable guilt. The drama remains, therefore, one of Old Testament severity. Adam Hitler will not be superseded [augehoben] by any Jesus; also such a Jesus would in all likelihood be crucified at once. The guilt remains therefore total with no grace to compensate it.

This people, bowed down by sin, forever unable to shed their guilt and “not allowed to dispose of their past”, now fall, as is to be expected, into the hands of the priests whose function it is to admonish, remember and keep the mythos alive. Out of their dogma arises a single mandate, a mission: the complete, ethical, self-serving adulation and conversion of the world which, while it does not efface the sin, can nevertheless alleviate the burden. By the combination of remorse and benignity a new depoliticised type can be forged.

The new state religion reigns practically unchallenged. Its followers and preachers are found in all political and social camps, from the centre-Right through the centre-Left to anti-Fascist terrorism. This ubiquity is a sign of its enormous vitality. And yet, even in these circumstances, there are supposedly underground freethinkers. These are the deniers, the suppressors, and the relativists; namely, the ones who, in the unholy tradition of a process which once meant “Enlightenment”, claw at the mythos. But do they really exist? Or are heretics in the final analysis not merely an invention of orthodoxy?

Sackcloth and Ashes Solicited!

One day in the month of November, which has been tried and tested for penitential acts of all kinds, heresy raised its head to heights unforeseen. A president incarnate of the Bundestag [Philipp Jenninger] was unmasked as a free thinker and forced to resign from his office [in 1998] because he had confounded two different types of text: in lieu of a sermon he had delivered an academic lecture. It was as if the pastor of a congregation of mourners had presented a critical psychological profile of the deceased instead of a eulogy. He had not been true to the solemnity of the situation and had misconstrued his office. In remembrance of this aberration, the Day of Prayer and Repentance should therefore be abolished and in its place the 9th of November made into a holiday.

Perhaps it should be designated a “National Day of Mourning”, a day which would simultaneously commemorate the curious conceptual confusion which substitutes “atonement”, “remorse” or “contrition” — which follow upon guilt — for mourning, an emotion customarily applied to the pain of parting. That does not mean, of course, that the nation of perpetrators [Volk der Täter][4] should “mourn” the loss of the Jews — that remains reserved for their own family members and ethnic peoples; — rather, it is their extermination which is to be “repented”. Nonetheless, the concept of mourning has frequently been kitsched even into “a psychic working-through of grief”; spread, probably out of sheer thoughtlessness and because people parrot the famous title of an unread book. The adoption of a “National Day of Mourning” for the 9th of November, however, would have interesting implications, because on this date a pluralistic diversity of mourning opportunities would become available. The nationalist could mourn the loss of World War I, the incorrigible Right could mourn the failure of the Hitler putsch and the incorrigible Left could mourn the end of the GDR.

At any rate, the Jenninger affair throws a glaring light on the political rituals of the late years of the old Federal Republic. Let us consider once more all the characters of the comedy: the stammering politician who presented to a public, tailored to receive the usual content-free appalment-phrases, a text[5] which was of undue complexity and therefore invited (intended or unintended) misunderstanding; then the audience who, through lack of education or demagogic calculation, actually misunderstood the text; and finally, the domestic and foreign commentators who were straightaway intent on detecting in the text something “dangerous” or “something [in the past] which had not been overcome” — they set in motion the entire well-practised machinery of suspicion, accusation, denunciation, knowledgeable cocksureness and hypocrisy. They built up a pressure to conform which reached far into the minutest tributaries of the public consciousness and which rendered every deviation a high-risk operation. They impressed upon all sceptics and mockers once again not to forget the required kowtowing to the rites of the state religion, as philosophy has been advising from time immemorial.

In the face of such campaigns the inveterate conspiracy theorist immediately raises the question of who is pulling the strings or even about cui bono. He refrains from any thoughts on Jewish-Israeli interests. But were there not perhaps domestic consciousness managers — Communists for instance? Once the traditional Antifa positions had lost their real adversaries, was it then necessary to invent new adversaries in order to maintain moral rectitude? Or was the entire [Jenninger] uproar an expression of the fact that the real opportunities of moralising are disappearing, that the Systems[6] are growing and can be co-opted less frequently? In that case, the whole affair would have been merely a totalitarian rear guard action, a final political simulation before those who pull the strings become aware that they themselves are hardly attached to their own threads any longer, much less are they anything of importance.[6]

But who is still a conspiracy theorist today? The more enlightened contemporary no longer believes in a Machiavellian pursuit of cultural hegemony, but rather is convinced that a subjectless functionality [subjektlosen Funktionalität] lies behind all decisive proceedings.[7] The various waves of indignation directed at the past then appear as nothing but the expression of a primary spiritual innocence which had thrived in the German ‘climate of safe development provided for children’ [Schonraum]. This is the nursery with its complaint-oriented oversensitivity to the slightest discomfort; where a child, watched over and cared for by good and powerful parents, can inflict arbitrary claims and demands on the world. The overarching moralism can thus be deciphered as the result of an absence of political weatherproofing. It has less to do with cultural Machiavellianism than with moral infantilism; that is, it is more the result of a widespread intellectual pacification-by-soother [Verschnullerung] for the sake of a way out of self-imposed dependency [Kant][8]

When the Germany of today has disappeared as an historical Great and is reduced to nothing but an historico-geographical term, her dreadful name will nevertheless survive in the memory of her people, quite independently of what actually happened in this country. Just as the Holocaust did not befall a profane, but a chosen people, so too have the nation of perpetrators likewise been translated out of profane history and elevated to the status of immortality. Christendom has honoured its murdered God in every city by building cathedrals, which even today, long after the faith has become incomprehensible, arouse amazement in those who gape at them as tourists. The Jews, whose God had Himself assured them of immortality, today build memorials[9] all over the world to their murdered Volk-comrades [Volksgenossen][10], where not only the power of moral superiority is ascribed to the victims, but also the power of eternal depravity is ascribed to the perpetrators and their symbols. After the real Germany has fallen, she will survive as a mythos. The Fellaheen,[11] however, who precisely because they go about their business in the ruins of their cities, could be transposed into the very historylessness which is the basis of their pragmatic success. Given this circumstance, the insensibility engendered by the permanent confrontation with a mythos pays off: the people living in Germany have become just as accustomed to dealing with anti-Germanism as Jews in having to learn to cope with anti-Semitism.

Learning from Auschwitz

Of what might the lesson of Auschwitz actually consist? That man, as soon as the opportunity arises, is capable of the ultimate extreme? The one who needs Auschwitz for this purpose may well take that from it. Or might the lesson be, that in the technical modern age, modern technology is employed for mass murder? Those who are surprised by this may well discover it in Auschwitz. Or is the lesson contained in the sheer number of victims, the ominous six million? Hence something for the Guinness Book of Records? But beware: records are set to be broken.

Or does the real educational value of Auschwitz consist in the manifest collapse of faith in progress, thus the realisation that such a thing could happen “even in the twentieth century”? Therefore, is the ultimate sobering-up not irrevocable in the wake of the First World War and the Gulag; namely, that “the project of the modern age” has failed once and for all? What has been happening from time immemorial will continue to happen. There is no irreversible evolution of morality, only an eternal waxing and waning. The only real legacy of the Enlightenment is technology, which is setting about extracting itself from its basis in nature. The history of the projects of the 18th and 19th centuries is one of a complete failure which became apparent in the 20th century: morally, from the World War to Auschwitz; techno-economically in the environmental crisis of the outgoing century.

A salient point may lie solely in the fact that for “Auschwitz” (in contrast to the environmental crisis) a “perpetrator” can be identified who is not identical with “humanity” itself: the German. His apprehension helps, therefore, toward a real coming-to-terms with this horrendous experience. One requires only post festum to be a good anti-Fascist, and already half of the 20th century is morally exorcised.

On the logic of anti-Fascism

Every historical construction is the work of a Present, by virtue of which it pursues specific ideological goals, seeks meaning or inclines to establish concrete friend-enemy relations. In the case of the currently popular Auschwitz-complex, such a construction by all appearances seeks to install within a completely relativistic world a negative absolute from which new certainties can emerge. “Auschwitz” constitutes a mythos, in that it concerns a truth which must be eliminated from all discussion. This mythos, however, has an essentially negative character, since the one thing which must not happen is to be fixated as uniqueness. Therefore the political movement which bases itself on this complex bears a negative name: anti-Fascism.

At one time, anti-Fascism was a simple, minimal programme, a label under which a multitude of political sympathies could be subsumed: revolutionaries and reactionaries, Stalinists and Trotskyites, pacifists and imperialists, plutocrats and Socialists, Zionists and anti-colonialists, democrats and monarchists, Christians and atheists, Liberals and totalitarians — all could assemble under a common banner, which contentwise, apart from the definition of the “fascistic” opponent, had of necessity to be completely indeterminate. For the most consistent anti-Fascists, the Communists, anti-Fascism was only a kind of transparent window dressing, a deceptive manoeuvre which allowed them to hitch useful idiots to their own cart. But this was only possible, because beyond anti-fascism, they believed in substantially more vigorous, more precise truths, as “scientific Socialism” taught them.

These truths have disappeared today. Of the plethora of vigorous ideologies which had dominated the 20th century and mobilised it, only the threadbare banner of anti-Fascism remains. All the more vehemently do people cling to it and attempt to make it a state religion. At the same time, however, a new programmatic meaning accruing to anti-Fascism appears to be emerging, one which possesses a particular paradoxical structure.

Within its ideological figure [Figur], “Auschwitz” or “the Nazis” stand for a total negation of “humanity” which had become at one time an historical reality. The secularised devil and his personnel from hell appeared incarnate on earth in Hitler and his extras. This devil consummated a unique crime, the mass extermination of the Jews, to which the following significance is ascribed: It concerned nothing less than the practical negation of humanitarian universalism. Certainly it was not that Hitler exterminated “Man” as such, but rather the opposite of this generality, the “Jews”; that is, an exceptionality [Besonderung]. Precisely this attempt at the extermination of one (ethno-racial) exceptionality in the name of another (ethno-racial)[12] exceptionality constitutes the most extreme denial of humanitarian universalism, or more precisely, the idea of Man and his inalienable rights. With Fascism, the anti-Man [Anti-Mensch] has therefore appeared, so that anti-Fascism can become a religion of Man which discovers its symbols precisely in the negation of Man.

The foregoing framework explains the zeal with which every “historicisation”, “relativisation”, and “comparability” of Auschwitz must be combated. Who relativises “Auschwitz” relativises total inhumanity and therefore the integrity of Man. Were that to happen, however, the single absolute which could take possession of a modern society consumed by every type of relativism and perspectivism would likewise be relativised. The codification of the Auschwitz-mythos can therefore be understood as the attempt to give certainties back to a sceptical world. However, these latest certainties themselves are now of a merely historical character, meaning they are of a factual, and not of a rational or spiritual nature. They are based on what the courts declare as “manifest facts”, as truths therefore, which are no longer in need of proof. This is a sensational watershed in the European history of ideas: three hundred years of epistemological criticism are denied by means of an historical revelation.

But what follows from this? The current, newly emerging religion of Man — whose rational basis since the time of the Enlightenment has never succeeded — is able to stand on a firm foundation of historical facts and derive direct political consequences therefrom. An important programmatic imperative aims at the “multicultural society”. This concept, however, is itself ambivalent. It can be easily shown that multiculturalism may be understood in accordance with the mutually exclusive figures of universalism and relativism/particularism respectively:

1.   From a universalistic standpoint, multiculturalism denotes the reduction of concrete Man to abstract “individuals”, who are then to be enculturated and assimilated in accordance with the progressive, techno-scientific, civilisational programmes. The goal of the project, in which one can recognize an extrapolation of the former “projects of the modern age”, is the cultural and material homogenisation of mankind.
2.   From a relativistic standpoint, multiculturalism signifies the protection of ethno-cultural [völkisch-kultureller] distinctiveness, in which now, however, individual ethnic groups are spatially nested amongst one another and are required to live side by side within the narrowest of spaces. Since this process is tied to real mass immigration into the prosperous industrial regions, this imperative aims (paradoxically) at one cultural formation, namely the indigenous peoples, being required to relinquish their specific identity to the benefit of other ethnic groups.

In both cases, it is the indigenous people of the industrial countries who are the opponents of the multiculturalist project; their resistance against immigration and foreign inundation is meant to be broken by a programme identifying them with fascism, racism and right-wing radicalism. Hitler’s attempt, in the name of one ethno-racial particularity [völkisch-rassischen Partikularität], to exterminate another particularity becomes the fixed point of reference of all attempts to claim particularity — this applies especially when these come from the indigenous people of the industrial countries. Other particularities, however, do not fall under this verdict: the anti-European xenophobia of liberation movements is not condemned; also specific peoples, such as the Kurds or the Jews, may insist on their own ethnic particularity without this being the cause of reproach.

Here is where a curious asymmetry of this concept becomes explicit: anti-Fascism to a great extent is anti-Germanism. However, this actually contradicts its universal self-understanding and reveals a völkisch kernel,[11] the consequences of which have not yet been fully foreseen, but explains itself by its origin.

Hitler exterminated the Jews in the name of the Germans, meaning that out of an abstract, undifferentiated “mankind” he singled out two peoples who differ from the profane rest of mankind by virtue of their possessing the character of absolutes in a complementary way: they are absolute perpetrator and absolute victim. This distinction gains ultimate importance for the universalist programme of manufacturing a standardised humanity, for this humanity, to be precise, still contains the two main foreign bodies of exceptionality: a negatively chosen people, the Germans; and a positively chosen people, the Jews. Hitler has in this way succeeded in what he may not have expected: he assigned, for all time, to the Germans and the Jews a complementary special role which will not fade from the memory of Man for as long as there are still Germans and Jews. This, however, has one final, paradoxical consequence. The project of a homogeneous mankind will not be realised as long as it fails to likewise assimilate and thereby eliminate the two stubborn remnants of völkisch exceptionality. What stands in the way of this assimilation of Germans and Jews, their dissolution into mere “human individuals”, however, is the historical structure of the Auschwitz-mythos, at the heart of which is precisely the rebellion of the particular against the general.

Translator’s Endnotes

1.   Mythos VB: See the introduction.
2.   “The individual guilt of Adam, this transcendental Man, corrupted the entire human race which issues from him; in equal measure, however, the guilt was re-captured by the grace of God, whose Commandment Adam had infringed.”:

For Sieferle, Adam is both individual and transcendental. He is transcendental, however, not as an individual human being beyond time, but by the effects of his transgression being transmitted to all mankind throughout all time. Note the discussion of this concept in the introduction in the context of the Auschwitz-mythos, with its class guilt, as an “ideological archetype”.

This reference to grace anticipates the salvific act of Christ’s death on the cross, which Sieferle addresses more directly later in the text. Grace is of course not efficacious immediately following Adam’s sin or at any time under the Old Covenant.

3.   a minimal precondition: faith”: Sola fide. Any particular theological view of grace implied by Sieferle’s analysis should not affect his main point.
4.   Volk der Täter: “nation of perpetrators”: The common equivalent of this phrase is the compound “Tätervolk”. It is a controversial term referring to the collective guilt of Germans for National Socialism and the Holocaust. The Association for the German Language (Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache) declared it the unword of the year in 2003 (See Duden, German).
5.   The Jenninger affair: “a text which was of undue complexity and therefore invited (intended or unintended) misunderstanding”.

Sieferle describes only the formal properties of Jenninger’s speech and not the content. Some might well argue that Jenninger’s speech contains a faithful representation of the Auschwitz-mythos as a radical expression of German collective guilt:

Our past will not be put to rest, it will also not fade away; and indeed, quite independently of the fact that the young people cannot be blamed at all. On this point, Renate Harpprecht, a survivor of Auschwitz, said on this point: “We cannot choose our people. Back then, I many times wished that I were not a Jew, but then I became one in a very conscious way. Young Germans must accept that they are Germans, that they cannot steal away from this destiny”.

Jenninger’s quotation of Renate Harpprecht — aside from its obvious quality of ressentiment — is a precise expression of what Sieferle refers to as “absolute perpetrator and absolute victim”.

For Jenninger, the Vergangenheitsbewältigung and the mythos are even liberating in a Freudian sense, for he goes on to say that “self-liberation in the confrontation with the horror is less agonising than its repression”. He adds that

to keep fresh the memory and to accept the past as a part of our identity as Germans … promises, for us older people as well as for the youth, liberation from the burden of history. [Emphasis added]

A full English translation of the 1998 speech can be found on the Internet: “Jenninger’s Commemoration of Kristallnacht”.

6.   “Systems are growing” …. “a final political simulation before those who pull the strings become aware that they themselves are hardly attached to their own threads any longer, much less are they anything of importance.”

The main point of this paragraph is that individuals, Machiavellians and those behind putative conspiracies, are not in charge of the direction of history.

System (also used in the plural) is the most difficult concept in Finis Germania. It is first discussed in Chapter II, “Paradoxes of Time” (Paradoxien der Zeit). There it is introduced under the subheading of “Politics and System” (p. 40-42). Sieferle introduces it this way:

System is the property of newly emerging social orders of higher complexity which suppress politics (emphasis original).

Thus the author describes the concept less in terms of what it is and more according to its effects, or privatively as to what it is not. The reason for the apparent vagueness is that Systems “are not guided and are barely comprehensible theoretically”. The West, according to Sieferle, is aware that Systems operate, but there is no control over their unfolding because of an unconsciousness of their source:

The structures of the Systems are as inescapable for individuals as a magnetic field is for iron filings. They “know” nothing about it, but obey the predetermined paths.

Again, Systems are observable only by their effects, some of which are described in privative terms: “Systems organise themselves without focus, without values, goals and programmes”.

Sieferle opposes politics to System as its counterpole. If System represents a newly emerging order, politics represents the old order. Included under politics are the “crystallised” ideologies such as Liberalism and Communism, with all their values and goals to which individuals are subordinate.

In Europe itself, Communism was the penultimate post of resistance of politics against the System… It would be a great error, however, to see in the anti-Communist “revolution” or in the new Eastern nationalism a re-politicisation of Europe. Politics in these instances will only prove themselves to be the means of clearing away the last political resistance against the assertion of Systems.

The opposition between System and politics suggests the influence of Oswald Spengler. Spengler opposed Destiny and Causality, corresponding to which is Sieferle’s System and politics. In each case the former is fateful and the latter is conscious understanding; the first is unlearned and the latter is learnable and acquirable (op. cit., Vol. II. New York: Knopf. p. 117).

7.   “a subjectless functionality lies behind all decisive proceedings”: This is of course a continuation of the theme of impersonal “systems”, which act contrary to the conscious intentions of historical actors (see note 5).
8.   “it is more the result of a widespread intellectual pacification-by-soother in the name of a way out of self-imposed dependency [selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit: Kant, also often translated as ‘self-inflicted immaturity’].:

This phrase is a reference to the famous beginning of Kant’s “An Answer to the Question: “What is Enlightenment?”:

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity [selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit]. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another.

For Sieferle, the effects of Enlightenment have not changed man’s nature fundamentally. Later on Sieferle speaks ironically of the effects of the “enlightened present age” when he finds Kant’s “mature and autonomous” man “within” the “ideological figure” neo-Fascism:

The German, or at least the Nazi, is the secularised devil of an enlightened present age. This world, having become mature and autonomous, needs him as precisely the negative foil against which it can justify itself. In this respect there exists a strong affinity between the German and the Jew regarding how the latter was viewed in the Christian past (emphasis added)

9.   “The Jews … today build memorials all over the world to their murdered Volk-comrades” [Volksgenossen]:

One such memorial, which Sieferle may have had in mind, is the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.

Martin Walser, who is mentioned in the introduction, gave an acceptance speech on the occasion of receiving a literary prize in 1998. In it he addressed the theme of the difficulty of living with German guilt and included the following assessment of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin:

Some day, in discussion about the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, posterity will be able to observe what those who felt themselves responsible for the conscience of others have wreaked: the concreting of the centre of the capital city with a football-sized nightmare; the monumentalisation of shame [die Monumentalisierung der Schande]. The historian Heinrich August Winkler calls it “negative nationalism” … Presumably there is also a banality of good (Erfahrungen beim Verfassen einer Sonntagsrede).

Björn Höcke, the nationally popular AfD representative in the Thuringian legislature, delivered a controversial speech in Dresden in January of 2017 in which he later expressed his awareness that he was using a slightly modified version of Walser’s “monumentalisation of shame” in reference to the Berlin Holocaust Memorial:

We Germans, that is our people, are the only people in the world who have planted (gepflanzt) a memorial of shame (Denkmal der Schande) in the heart of their capital city.

Instead of acquainting the younger generation with the great benefactors, the well-known, world-changing philosophers, musicians, brilliant discoverers and inventors, of whom we have so many… and we have perhaps more than any other people in this world… And instead of acquainting our students in the schools with this history, … German history is made into something mean and is made out to be ridiculous.

That in all three of these cases, enormous pressure was forthcoming from the opinion makers is a sign that the non-conformists had struck close to the heart of the contemporary metapolitical cultural hegemony and its basis of control. In Björn Höcke’s case there was pressure within the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) for Höcke to be removed from the party, showing a rift just months before the federal election.

For the meaning of Volksgenossen see endnote 10.

10.   “The Jews … today build memorials all over the world to their murdered Volk-comrades [Volksgenossen]”:

The term Volksgenosse is no longer in general use. Prior to the National Socialist period, it was a neutral term with a meaning close to something like “countryman”. Today it carries overlapping meanings difficult to render into English. Our translation is literal.

Duden lists Volksgenosse as a “National Socialist” “usage” with the meaning of a “member of the so called German Volksgemeinschaft”. Volksgemeinschaft in turn is listed as “particularly National Socialist” in usage and refers to “an identifiable community of the people (Volk) with a strong consciousness of a common bond”. Volksgemeinschaft also antedates the National Socialist period.

11.   “The Fellaheen, however, who precisely because they go about their business in the ruins of their cities, could be cast into the historylessness which is the basis of their pragmatic success.”

The term “Fellaheen” (Arabic: sing., Fellah), used in this context, comes from Oswald Spengler’s “Decline of the West” (Der Untergang des Abendlandes).

Understanding what is meant by fellahism is helpful in appreciating the full impact of the sentence which immediately follows. Oswald Spengler suggests that “[t]he religion of Jewry” has been a “fellah-religion” since the 11th century, because by that time “the entire dogmatic material of Judaism” became “fixed and complete” (Spengler. Vol II, New York: Knopf 1922, p. 315).

Fellahism, for Spengler, is a post-civilisational phase of the people of a former culture. The trajectory of a culture is plant-like, hence not progressive, but cyclic, moving inexorably from birth to death.

… man is not only historyless before the birth of the Culture, but again becomes so as soon as a Civilization has worked itself out fully to the definitive form which betokens the end of the living development of the Culture and the exhaustion of the last potentialities of its significant existence. That which we see in the Egyptian Civilization after Seti I (1300) and in the Chinese, the Indian, the Arabian to this day is — notwithstanding all the cleverness of the religious, philosophical and, especially, political forms in which it is wrapped — just the old zoölogical up-and-down of the primitive age again. (Oswald Spengler. Decline of the West. New York: Knopf 1922, Vol. II p. 48-49)

Thus Spengler distinguishes among “peoples before, within, and after a Culture“; or, among primitive peoples, “Culture-peoples” and Fellaheen respectively (ibid. p. 169).

Sieferle is speaking of German Fellaheen in the cities. Likewise Spengler describes the movement toward Fellahism in connection with the late “megalopolitan” cities:

At this level [of childlessness] all Civilizations enter upon a stage, which lasts for centuries, of appalling depopulation. The whole pyramid of cultural man vanishes. It crumbles from the summit, first the world-cities, then the provincial forms, and finally the land itself, whose best blood has incontinently poured into the towns, merely to bolster them up awhile. At the last, only the primitive blood remains, alive, but robbed of its strongest and most promising elements. This residue is the Fellah type.


We find everywhere in these Civilizations that the provincial cities at an early stage and the giant cities in turn at the end of the evolution, stand empty, harbouring in their stone masses a small population of Fellaheen dwellings. Ibid., p. 105-107, emphasis original)

12.   “(ethno-racial)” or “völkisch-rassisch”: The adjective, “völkisch”, carries a National Socialist connotation. The entry for it in the Duden dictionary reads as follows:

“(National Socialistic) (in the racist ideology of National Socialism) pertaining to a people as a supposed race; belonging to the people as putative race.”

The term is used five times in Mythos VB.

Video Transcript:

Finis Germania: (JF-TV Im Fokus): The Case of Rolf Peter Sieferle

21 June 2017

Junge Freiheit Narrator: Once again a non-conformist book is causing a sensation in Germany: Finis Germania, a book about the end of Germany as we know her. Not only is the title reminiscent of Thilo Sarrazin’s best seller, Germany is Abolishing Herself, but so too are the hysterical reactions from the left-dominated cultural elite in the feuilletons of the leading media. “Right-leaning”, “radically right-wing”, “extreme right-wing” and “even anti-Semitic” are the terms given to the book, whose author, Rolf Peter Sieferle, took his own life at the end of 2016, and can therefore no longer defend himself against the attacks. At the same time, it is precisely these attacks which unwittingly bear witness to the author’s correctness, but they prove the very spiritual and intellectual decline which underlies the self-abolition of Germany.

Junge Freiheit TV im Fokus with Konrad Adam and Andreas Lombard. Finis Germania.

We are in Hessian Oberursel. Here we are meeting with Dr. Konrad Adam, a long-time feuilletonist with the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung [FAZ], who has attentively followed the debate over the book, Finis Germania.

Dr. Konrad Adam: I have, of course, become acquainted with the standard sources. Then I read how the recommendation [of the book] came from my long-standing colleague, Johannes Salzwedel, who is still well-known and whom I very much respect. And then I naturally asked myself why such a storm of outrage is now being unleashed. The explanation was not very long in coming.

JF Narrator: And it was this: the book is “right-leaning”, “radically right-wing”, “extreme right-wing” and even “anti-Semitic”. The Spiegel author, Johannes Salzwedel, had placed the book on North German Radio’s recommended list for non-fiction books and therewith unleashed a storm of indignation in the German feuilletons. Very much at the forefront was Adam’s former employer, the Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Dr. Konrad Adam: I have always considered the FAZ as my newspaper and for that reason I am surprised about much of what is being expressed there. When it comes to the reaction of the feuilletons, I think the feuilleton did itself no favour by publishing the aforementioned commentary accusing Herr Sieferle of anti-Semitism. For anyone who read the quotation would have noticed at once, of course, that it could mean anything; perhaps exaggeration, perhaps polemics; one can talk about those things; but anti-Semitic — as Herr Hintermeier mentioned in the quotation — it most certainly was not.

Junge Freiheit Narrator: Who is this Rolf Peter Sieferle? And is this rushed judgement about his person correct? In Berlin we are meeting Andreas Lombard, former head of the publishing house, Manuscriptum. He holds the rights to Sieferle’s estate and granted the licence for the publication of Finis Germania to the publisher Antaios.

Andreas Lombard: I first heard Sieferle’s name through the publisher, Thomas Hoof, in the context of my work for the publisher Manuscriptum. And it was there that Sieferle was recommended to me as an author of outstanding books on natural history and the history of energy, and as a universal historian with brilliant style, who, for example, was well-known for the book, The Underground Forest, which was about the exploitation of hard coal, and who then in 1994 published the book Epochal Change, in which one could determine for the first time that he would no longer follow the Zeitgeist — or let us say — the humanitarian universalism of the Zeitgeist.

Junge Freiheit Narrator: Rolf Peter Sieferle: in his early years he was a member of the Socialist German Student League and later a celebrated author of the leftist intellectual scene, as well as of the environmental movement; and at the end of his life, a right-wing radical?

Andreas Lombard: Well, to characterise Sieferle as a right-wing radical is quite perverse. I can understand it in view of the motives of those who do that, for Sieferle showed in Finis Germania that he offers no Zeitgeist-conforming reflections at all; however, regarding the history of ideology in particular; namely, in his reflections on the history of progress, the modern age and bourgeois society, he showed that he considers the whole of it from a very distanced perspective, and critically; and he showed that he chafes at many things which the mainstream media hold to be self-evident.

For example, he chafes at universal humanitarianism, which he considers simply unrealistic; to this chafing belongs what he characterises as the Auschwitz-mythos, by which he does not mean the fact of Auschwitz, but rather its historical-political interpretation, which we have seen develop in the last decades; to this chafing belongs much more which is not in fashion right at the moment and he observes and applies himself through factual corroboration and in a critical way.

And he does this in a very rational way; therefore, one wonders at the severity of the condemnation, which bears no relationship to his theses. And I think the motive might rather consist in the fact that Sieferle, as also Frank Böckelmann says, is someone who built bridges; that is, while he made no secret of his criticism of mass migration, he did not make a virtue out of ressentiment, but just simply and poignantly ascertained that the welfare state and mass immigration realistically exclude each other; and it appeared to be precisely this rationality of his argumentation, and also the superiority of his intellectual agility, which makes his critics’ blood boil; and this renders them basically defenceless, so that they then reach for the sharpest weapons they can find, but they shoot completely wide of the mark.

Junge Freiheit Narrator: And what is the sharpest weapon to be found in Germany today? It is the reproach of being to the Right, the pigeon-hole for everything which is not acceptable to the opinion-leading Left, similar to Thilo Sarrazin and the debate about his book Germany is Abolishing Herself.

Dr. Konrad Adam: Oh yes, in Sarrazin’s case, it was a bit different. There you will still remember the remarkable statement of our Federal Chancellor, in which she declared that she could censor, actually negatively censor books which she had not read at all. I do not wish to implicate in this those who disagree with Herr Sieferle. Probably, hopefully, they have read what they are condemning. But precisely then is the question even more urgent: do you really think — I mean the critics — that those opinions, which contradict your own, ought not to be published? If that is what you want, then you should say that; you should admit that you are not critics but censors.

Junge Freiheit Narrator: Censors against the deceased author who can not even put up a defence.

Dr. Konrad Adam: That, of course, makes the matter unpleasant and it is also my main objection. In criticism, in literary criticism, the scathing review certainly has a place, and what my former colleague, [Jan] Grossarth, wrote in the FAZ was a scathing review. In principle, there is nothing to be said against it. Only the scathing review must also meet minimal standards. And I certainly reproach him for decidedly falling short of these minimal standards; above all for bringing the personal, tragic life situation of Herr Sieferle into the content of his critique. One does not do such a thing. That is deeply objectionable, and to also use the fashionable vocabulary here, — that is inhuman.

Junge Freiheit Narrator: To this, the widow of Rolf Peter Sieferle might perhaps agree. She speaks to this in an interview for the current edition of Junge Freiheit, and levels severe reproaches against that very same FAZ author, Jan Grossarth. She is incensed and indignant over the picture that Jan Grossarth drew of her husband, because

“My husband did not suffer from skin cancer nor did he lose his sight because of it. Grossarth’s psycho-diagnosis, according to which he was embittered by illness, which thereby explains his alleged extremism — is simply preposterous. Grossarth represents the problem of the formerly ‘good’, ‘green’ Sieferle which the leftist mainstream must preserve. Ultimately they profited from him: having published jointly, their university careers were advanced. On the other hand, he was compelled to destroy the recent, allegedly ‘poisonous’ and ‘right-wing radical’ Sieferle”.

Mrs. Regina Sieferle: Formerly a good leftist, later an evil rightist: so goes the blatantly crass representation in the German feuilletons. To be sure it may appear at first glance as if Sieferle underwent a political change in the course of his work.

Andreas Lombard: But this is a question that must be asked about these people (similarly with Panajotis Kondylis, a Heidelberg colleague of Sieferle so to speak, although he was a philosopher). These leftists now depict them as supposed renegades or as traitors to their thought tradition, although in general they remained materialists to the end. That is also true of Sieferle. He did not really change fundamentally; rather, he continued to develop his initial approach based on a consciousness of resources, which simply viewed the world in a very realistic way, working on the premise that not everything is possible.

Junge Freiheit Narrator: Or in other words, it is not about Left and Right here, but about idealism and realism. The realist, Sieferle, celebrated in the early days for his critical spirit, by this very same critical spirit he now becomes a problem in the eyes of those idealists, whose ideal no longer has so much to do with reality, especially when it comes to a theme like mass immigration. Such is to be observed by way of example on this poster which recently appeared in the context of the ARD Themenwoche [TV-radio theme programme]. On view is a woman with a headscarf, together with the slogan: “I believe in equal rights”; it is a poster which unwittingly gives expression to the collective loss of the sense of reality of German media representatives. “Not the good leftists, but the loony leftists are at work here”: that is how Junge Freiheit author, Karlheinz Weißmann, fittingly evaluated it in the context of the debate over Finis Germania.

Dr. Konrad Adam: In fact, for a long time now there have been loony leftists, and that is perhaps the secret revenge of the development. Beginning in ’68 the Left achieved a grand victory in the war of public opinion. But they paid a price for it. For the first time there is — in fact massively all-encompassing as it were — the loony Left; the Left, who no longer come up with ideas, who believe that by parroting some kind of dim-witted vocabulary they can attract attention. I can only hope that that is the revenge of history or the “cunning of Reason” as Hegel said.

Junge Freiheit Narrator: And that is likely the real quintessence in the case of Rolf Peter Sieferle. His evidence, that Germany has been abolishing herself through mass immigration since 2015 at the latest, is as demonstrable as it is blatant, but obviously it must not be called by its name, and it is precisely that which unwittingly admits that Sieferle is right.

Andreas Lombard: Sieferle himself wrote in one of his posthumous Aphorisms, that eventually everything to the right of the professional revolutionary, Dzerzhinsky, would qualify as fascist. And basically, what is now happening proves the correctness of this thesis; that is, Sieferle, as the victim of this campaign, would be the last to be surprised at what is currently taking place. He saw it perfectly clearly, analysed it and also described it. And moreover, it is just a moment which lends an explanation to this aggressivity in my view. One wishes not to call a matter of this kind plainly by its name. And it was simply held against Sieferle, above all because — and this is why he is quoted — he reflected back the ideology with his opponents in a completely precise way; and exactly for that reason he is being accused, despite there being nothing in it which is at all false or reprehensible.

Dr. Konrad Adam: But I ask myself: what has actually happened in Germany that a person’s sorrow or despair over the disappearance of the contours of a country is viewed as a provocation, — and I too love Germany — that these contours are gradually fading and becoming indistinct? That something like that is viewed as a provocation shows what has happened in Germany. And what does Claudia Roth or the other Greens do, who run behind the slogan Deutschland verrecke [Snuff it Germany]? I am supposed to perceive them as enlightened German citizens and Herr Sieferle as a provocateur. I won’t have any part of such rubbish.

Junge Freiheit Narrator: The final judgement of this “rubbish” belongs to the widow of the late Rolf Peter Sieferle; once again from the interview with Junge Freiheit.

Mrs. Regina Sieferle: “The Gleichschaltung of our media is frightening! [NS term for standardised ideologically-aimed press-levelling] Likewise is the audacity with which lies and falsehoods are propagated — and on a downright abject level.

Finis Germania! Verily!”

Junge Freiheit Narrator: Or in keeping with the times: “Germany, you are done”! A judgment which has applied to the German feuilletons for a long time. Let us hope that this decline does not become the prototype for the rest of the land.

108 thoughts on “Finis Germania: The Mythos of Overcoming the Past

  1. Oh boy. This *is* heavy stuff. One reading – and I just (perhaps) got the “leitmotif”: from the Holocaust to Mutti Multi-Kulti via the said unending guilt.

    I am looking forward to comments on this pièce de résistance for I am not able of any …

  2. Germany might be trying to extirpate the sins real or imagined of the past which were committed by a tiny fraction of the population..

    Who knows ,perhaps they feel that to obtain absolution it is necessary to self- immolate in a vast conflagration .

    But here’s the problem, in so doing they are setting a wildfire which is consuming the whole of Europe.

    Germany you are welcome to jump into the fire if nothing else will do ,but stop dragging the rest of Europe with you.

    Stop forcing everyone else to be an unwilling sacrifice.

    And really Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem bonded over a shared and virulent hatred of the Jews ,a mutual desire to wipe them out wholesale.

    If Germany is trying to atone for the sins of the past ,then they are going a very strange way about it.

    For they are teaming up with the very same Muslims who want to wipe Israel off the map and exterminate every Jew ,that the late unlamented Hitler teamed up with..

    And together they are destroying Europe once again.

    • It’s called self-immolation. Germany is the combustible material. Islam is the match.

  3. I visited Berlin in the summer of 2014 to see a friend who is an Architect there. I am a boisterous Christian so was warned of the 2 things that were socially unacceptable as permitted conversation topics, at the time, which w[ere] Religion and Politics. How sad to negate the answer that is Jesus to the problems all-round. And in the 3 yrs since my visit, the invasion being well underway, I can’t help but wonder if their criteria for accepted conversational subjects might just have changed in light of living out the “Old Covenant” punishment for the original sin of denying God His
    due. Great article, I’m only halfway through, though.

    • Of course, you’re right.
      When former Christian lands turn their backs on God they should be prepared for a dramatic, if not always swift, abandonment by God.
      God gives them over to their enemies. It happened countless times in OT history. The Babylonian Captivity comes first to mind.

      Also, St Paul writes in Romans the first Chapter, that those who “suppress the truth” by their wickedness and ungodliness will experience the wrath of God in the form of habitual perversions: men with men and women with women and society claiming that such perversion is “good.” These suppressors of the truth have no idea that their immoral lifestyles are themselves the judgment of God upon their failure to give God the honor, glory, and praise to which He is due.

      Thinking themselves wise, these souls with hardened hearts are fools — yet masters of their own destruction. A Soros type with the aid of EU tentacles is meting out this wrath of God — and the hardened European hearts stand defenseless in the face of what they’ve brought upon themselves.

      Thank God that for some in Europe there is a remnant in Poland, Hungary, and others of the Visegrad Group.

  4. He’s looking in the wrong place. Race replacement would have happened without the Holocaust. The main problem is expansionist Islam and Western bureaucrats accepting bribes. Without oil money, the current migration crisis would have been impossible. These German intellectuals have spent so much time in school, they don’t want to waste their education by saying the obvious.

    Also, Germans and other Europeans are still trying to erase Jews. Just this week, all of Western Europe has denounced Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Israel also had to cancel a planned exhibit in Germany of the Dead Sea Scrolls because Germany wouldn’t guarantee that they would be returned…as their ownership is “in dispute.” Do any of the clever Germans in this article have anything to say about this dispute?

    • To be fair, he does speak about all these subjects, in other chapters, and in other books. I think he believed in multicausality.

      The criticism of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, and the (non)actions of German politicians, in the face of Palestinians burning Israel flags at the Brandenburg Gate, are indeed appalling .

    • Actually, the problem is the deterioration of the population due to the loosening of the natural selection process. The progressive decay of civilizations, and consequent depopulations is a recurrent theme in history, as Sieferele notes. The theme is also described in Civilization and Decay and Spengler’s Decline of the West. The genetic basis for the deterioration of civilizations is described in The Genius Famine. The experiment which gave empirical basis for the claim is the Mouse Utopia.

      All the terms and references I’ve used can be very easily obtained with a google search. I’ll give a more complete exposition after I’ve had a chance to read all the comments.

      • I’d argue the Östfront as the primary reason for the destruction of the German male genome.

  5. At first, congrats to the translator. Great job.
    I have the book and a degree in history but found the lecture exhausting and partly too challenging with its many references to books and concepts (Spengler e.a.) that I found exhausting too because….. .

    The depressing effect of books like these is that it makes me feel like a halfwit schoolboy again and leaves me wondering if such matters could be depicted in a language understandeble to a person without a PhD in philosophy.
    So, Lu, be happy with your leitmotif and rest.

  6. Thank you, Rembrandt, an excellent, erudite review and translation.

    Two paragraphs in Mythos VB struck me as quite pertinent:

    ”Of the plethora of vigorous ideologies which had dominated the 20th century and mobilised it, only the threadbare banner of anti-Fascism remains. All the more vehemently do people cling to it and attempt to make it a state religion. At the same time, however, a new programmatic meaning accruing to anti-Fascism appears to be emerging, one which possesses a particular paradoxical structure.”

    ”From a universalistic standpoint, multiculturalism denotes the reduction of concrete Man to abstract “individuals”, who are then to be enculturated and assimilated in accordance with the progressive, techno-scientific, civilisational programmes. The goal of the project, in which one can recognize an extrapolation of the former “projects of the modern age”, is the cultural and material homogenisation of mankind.”

    Yet, having read it through once I’m certainly going to have to go back again, probably more than once. However, as I’m slowly working my way through the “Decline of the West” (both volumes) at the moment that may have to wait a while.

    S III.

    • I know three people who have read “Decline” – a beloved uncle of mine who is now sadly deceased, my middle son (currently at University studying law) and me. As my son said, every sentence is packed with meaning. I would be interested to know what you make of it.

    • A good predecessor to Decline of the West, which I’m also working my way through, is Brooke Adam Civilization and Decay. Adams book covers the theme of civilization cycles without the academic buttressing of Decline of the West.

      The biggest problem with the concept of homogenisation of people is the stark genetic differences in intelligence and character manifested in individuals and in sub-races. These difference will not go away and cannot be smoothed over. The idea that humans are infinitely malleable with the right environment and upbringing is another mythos, every bit as devastating as the Auschwitz-mythos.

  7. (NB: this comment is only useful for those who can understand spoken German and read German too, because the audio of Jenninger, which broke his political neck, was naturally only in German)

    The speech by Philipp Jenninger in 1998 is mentioned.

    I recall that at the time I was amazed at the severe reaction to it, having read the speech transcript. But then I subsequently listened to an audio of him giving it and understood why.

    It was because he was an abysmal and wooden speaker. He shot himself in the foot with his rhetoric, in fact. I was able to trace paragraph by paragraph how his voice conveyed the opposite impression to what he intended as indicated by his choice of (written) words.

    It was a classic case of a man who should have obtained prior speech training.

  8. Thank you for this article! Let me say a few personal things:

    I grew up in Germany. I remember sitting in my history classroom at the tender age of 10 and crying my eyes out because I felt like being German was synonymous with being an evil, unredeemable monster. I started hating my parents because, suddenly, I couldn’t see them as anything but nazis.
    I became a raging leftist at the age of 15 and participated in the riots of ’68 and beyond.
    I adamantly held that jews could do no wrong and that anybody non-white was morally superior to me. Marx, Marcuse, Mitscherlich, Reich, Eldridge Cleaver and Malcolm X were among my favorite authors. I’m afraid this is a pretty typical picture of the upbringing of a German “baby boomer”.

    It took me DECADES to get out from under this pile of horse crap.

    It is very clear to me today that jewish and globalist interests are very aligned and maybe at the root of what is happening in Europe today. The fact that Germany is at the forefront of western cultural suicide is definitely due to the establishment’s exploitation of the Auschwitz Mythos. Other Western countries “only” have colonialism, the patriarchy, capitalism and slavery to atone for.

    Get rid of it!

    It’s ok to be White!

    • Thank you, Ron. I am sick of all the “German guilt” baloney. All those people are long dead. I am concerned about CURRENT German politicos like Merkel pursuing expansionist, destructive policies that are bringing ruin to Europe.

      The big mistake was giving oil to the Arabs, and mishandling the dismantling of the colonies. None of this would have happened then. Oh and the third mistake is giving food free to everybody who can’t or won’t grow their own so that procreation need not be in synch with being able to feed oneself, at the cost of ruining soils for future generations.

      • The US and Allies could have easily colonized Saudi and its neighbors from 1945 to ’48 because they had the transport capacity and A-bomb monopoly.

        Imagine how wonderful that reality would have been!

        • Amen. Instead we groveled at the feet of, and lavished astronomical wealth on, primitives. This enabled them to advance to become corrupt sybarites.

          Arab oil wealth will end up causing more death, suffering, and decay than the 12 years of National Socialism. The Baron has aptly described Islam as the perfect closed system. It is also proving to be the perfect engine of Western degradation and humiliation.

          This is on top of the socialist stain with its celebrated theft from disciplined, productive people and coercive methods.

          Add the head wind of granting the franchise to morons and parasites and you have the perfect storm.

          Leader after leader presents himself or herself but they are spurned. This is straight out of the Old Testament.

          • This is exactly it!

            With Western control of Gulf oil there is no OPEC, there is a greatly reduced OIC, there is no mass funding for Islamic terror, and there is no funding for tens of thousands of mosques and imams in the West!

      • You think our problems would not have appeared if we had stolen Saudi oil rather than the Saudi royalty?

        The problems would still be there, although perhaps in a different form.

        • I think many of our current issues would be greatly reduced or nonexistent if the West had seized Gulf oil after WW2.

          One example – China and the other East Asian economies would be far less formidable competitors.

    • Ron Blum: “It is very clear to me today that jewish and globalist interests are very aligned and maybe at the root of what is happening in Europe today.” (sic)

      In other words, now that the Second World War is a distant memory, you are no longer abashed at expressing your native antisemitic sentiments, holding Jews responsible for all that is wrong with Europe (in this case, blaming “jewish and globalist interests” for the inundation of millions of unassimilable Muslims). If anyone thinks that the average German of today is any the less given to deranged antisemitc conspiracy theories than their immediate forbears, one has only to read the above reprehensible post.

      • I don’t think it’s antisemitism to bring out serious doubts about the role of Jews in the chaos we are witnessing. For too many years this was taboo. I recently spoke with a Jewish gentleman about why so many Jews were drawn to Boshevism (Marxism-Leninism). He thought it was because so many Jews lost faith in God (and Judaism as a religion) in the 19th and early 20th centuries that it left an unbearable void and they were ripe for the pickings when other supremacist ideologies came along. Now we see them playing a prominent role in progressivism and neo-Marxism, not to mention globalism and accompanying banksterism. Personally, I wish Jews well, but I think they are cutting off the branch they are sitting on.

        • Oh, please. While it is no more prejudicial to question the role of Jewish institutions and individuals in facilitating mass migration into Europe than it is to question the motivations of those belonging to any other religious or ethnic group, there is something very unseemly about so grossly exaggerating the influence and financial clout of the tiny remnant of world Jewry beyond all rational measure, not to mention assuming an almost cosmic malevolence on the part of “Jews” toward Europeans. Can any reasonable person actually claim that “Jews” wield more power and influence than all the innumerable forces in favor of mass migration, be global institutions, the EU, individual governments, politicians, diplomats, NGOs, financial institutions, business leaders, industrialists, etc. It is beyond ridiculous and certainly makes one suspicious of the motivation of those who posit such a preposterous claim. It is also indisputable that the vast majority of those facilitating mass migration, both in Europe and elsewhere, are not only NOT Jews, but are actively hostile to the world’s one and only Jewish state. While it is true that Jews, particularly in America, are for a whole raft of historical and psychological reasons “drawn to Boshevism” (sic), as has been explored in some depth by writers such as Norman Podhoretz et al., so are a clear majority of non-Jewish Europeans. And if is a large number of prominent American leftists happen to be of Jewish extraction, so what? As has been observed elsewhere, Jews tend to rise to the very top of most EVERY field (with the exception, perhaps, as has been parodied in the movie “Airplane!”, in sports). That’s because, for whatever reason, be it cultural or genetic or some combination there of, Ashkenazic Jews are on average exceptionally intelligent.

          • Well, in my experience, whenever this sort of discussion breaks out, folks shut down their hearing. I am laboring under the very impression here. Yes, Jews tend to rise out of proportion to their numbers because of their intelligence. They also happened to rise into banking because of certain historical necessities. It is to be hoped that their intelligence will lead them to abandon the dead albatross of progressivism and neo-marxism with all its smelly baggage. One can dream, no? 🙂

          • “Dream” is right. Swedes are also very intelligent; they’re just behind Ashkenazi Jews in their IQ scores. And look what they’re doing to themselves.

            I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Intelligence is overrated.

          • The late Mr. Sieferle was very much opposed to equalling Jews with globalism and financial markets. He identified that view as “classic” German antisemitism and saw it as a view that should be fought.

            Shortly before his death, he sent an email that was posthumously published, and in that email, he urged the AfD to fight against “provocateurs, but also against misguided own members”.

            As a national-conservative party, the AfD were in the tradition of the German right, and:

            “[The] German right-wing, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, was always also anti-semitic. This requires a little digression to explain.

            In the 18th century, at the time of the Enlightenment, the Jews were still regarded as sinister traditionalists and reactionaries who fought against the new age of reason and tried to continue practicing their ancient Mosaic faith unreformed. In the 19th century, after the emancipation, i. e. the equality of the Jews as citizens, many of them had an unexpectedly great success in the emerging market economy and capitalist economy.
            Not only did they occupy a disproportionately large number of freelance professions and positions in science, but they also held important positions in the economy, especially in finance. Conservative critics of this new development therefore saw the Jews as an embodiment of the monetary economy, of lack of tradition, and of the destruction of traditions. Anti-Semitism was to some extent the original form of anti-capitalism.”

            The entire Email (in German) is here:

        • I have to agree with you raduit. George Soros (a Jew who would quite happily toss his grandmother under a bus for a dime) is an arch globalist billionaire ,paying for pro-mass migration activists and propping up pro- mass migration parties (including the Democrats )everywhere.

          Karl Marx was Jewish.Many of the Russian Communist party founder members (eg Lenin and Trotsky) were Jewish.

          Of 388 members of the first Soviet Government sitting in St Petersberg 371 were Jews and 265 of these Jews were from the lower Eastside of New York city.( The Overman Report to the U.S Senate in 1919)

          And it is the cultural Marxists who are behind mass migration ,cultural relativism and moral relativism today.

          Those are objective historical facts.Facts do not care about your religious sensibilities.

          The Jews bombed and killed the reformist Tsar Alexander II on 13 March 1881 .They brought about the Russian revolution which consigned over 20 million men, women and children to death and countless others to untold misery in gulags up and down the country.

          I fully support recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.I fully support the state of Israel and the IDF who are fighting to survive in a situation where hostile
          Muslims having killed off most of the Christian ,Yazidi ,Jewish and other religious groups in the Middle East ,wish to wipe Jews off the map in Israel and elsewhere.

          But Christendom offers the Jews a safe space which Islam denies to every other religion.

          And perhaps the Jews could graciously admit that.

          And perhaps the Jews could graciously admit that their animosity towards the Russian Tsars was motivated by a deep and unrelenting animus towards the Russian Orthodox church.

          And they could graciously apologize for their part in the whole Communist catastrophe.Just saying.

          • Lenin was NOT Jewish. He reportedly had (I think) a Jewish great-grandmother, which would not have made him Jewish even under the Nuremberg laws!

            Not even Hitler would have considered Lenin a Jew. So why do you consider him a Jew?

            I’ve noticed that European and American Jew-haters use even stricter criteria than the Nürnberger Rassegesetze to decide who is a Jew. I suggest that you avoid emulating them.

          • To Baron: You are absolutely right. I see this sort of comment more and more – attributing Jewishness to people who even by National Socialist standards were not considered Jewish, as well as to people like Stalin (I’ve even seen tortured ‘wild etymology’ of Stalin’s Georgian name to ‘prove’ he was a Jew). The other red flag is the continual reference to ‘the Jews’, as if they are one homogeneous lump acting en masse and in concert, eg, “The Jews bombed and killed … Czar Alexander II”.

            I want to see an end to the misuse of the Holocaust, but why oh why is the pushback so often accompanied by a resurgence of ancient canards?

      • Nervous Gentleman,

        I am merely being unprejudiced. I have gone from being unquestioningly judeophile (which is, imo, the true racism you are displaying in your comment) to an objective view of the groups and individuals that constitute our society.

        Your tactics of crying “racist” at the slightest hint of somebody disagreeing with your worldview is well embedded in leftist political discourse. It is the same mechanism that is at play in the establishment’s defense of mohammedan immigration.

        Only a [holder of deprecated views] would consider my words antisemitic.

        I don’t know how and where you get your take on “the average German of today” but you clearly [are less than fully informed].

  9. Thank you! Thank you, Gates of Vienna for making this extraordinary book and the furore it has evoked available to us non-academic ‘lay’ people. In my bones I have been thinking (intuiting) along these lines for some time now that the consequences of the first and second world wars and, implicitly Germany (and Marx) have yet to be worked out. The Germans are noted for their ‘ausraumen’, their ability to bring things back into order very quickly, which in a way is an admirable quality, however, it can also have a negative side to it such as in ‘sweeping it under the carpet’ thus ignoring it. We are witnessing the first eruptions of the soul-debris of history emerging from the unconscious ‘Carpet’! It’s not going to be pretty and I for one find it very difficult but, oh, so necessary, to go to those depth within myself to begin to become aware of the causes of wrong thinking, wrong beliefs, distorted perceptions that brought no joy and no enlightenment into my own life. We sweep it under the carpet to have a happy life. For I’m sure it starts with the Individual and not the external authority of the institutionalised State or Church. It must start with individual responsibility for one’s own actions not in any great political or social movements. But I truly know that we are not alone in this.

  10. I haven’t finished this article yet, but I wanted already to point out that this sentence in the introduction, “the Auschwitz-mythos is an ideologised expression of a Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics applied on a collective level”, I find really impressive. At first glance, it would seem like a piece of academic ivory-tower gibberish like what we find in discussions of race theory, etc. The remarkable thing, though, is that in this guise of obscurantist academia-speak, it actually contains a completely clear idea and expression thereof. I felt good reading it because it connects several big ideas in a meaningful way. I’m encouraged that the rest of this article will turn out well since the writer of that sentence can achieve such a thing.

  11. Sieferle appears to argue — with validity — that anti-fascism and multiculturalism, which aim, the latter in a mood of radical performative contradiction, at the complete abolition of all human difference, right down to the difference implicit in the idea of the individual, require also the complete abolition of Grace, or of any knowledge of Grace. Under anti-fascism and multiculturalism, as indeed under Islam, there is no redemption. It follows that there is only eternal damnation. The project of modernity, beginning with its foundational Enlightenment and including the violent aberrations of socialism, nationalism, globalism, and all the other “ismatic” agendas, is therefore fanatically anti-Christian. By a corollary, then, the only valid opposition to the eternal damnation intrinsic to modernity is Christianity, with its promise of redemption. Sieferle’s language might be Spenglerian or even Heideggerian, but his content is, as it seems to me on reading the essay, radically incompatible with theirs.

    • Yes, YAH values the individual whom He created. This is anathema to Satan who seeks the individual’s destruction in any number of ways. As you said, all the ‘isms’ deny the individual and insist that the individual be subsumed into the ism as the price the individual must pay for the privilege of survival. The ‘mark of the beast’ in whatever form it will take, will be the ultimate and final attempt on Satan’s part to make his intended destruction of YAH’s creation a reality. The good news is that he will fail at even that as there will continue to be those who will refuse to bow the knee to him and prefer death to enslavement.

      The German ethos of death before dishonor was the legacy that was perverted by the Nazis and then stolen from them, leaving them as they are today. As someone who is part German with a bit of Jew on the side, all I can say is, “Wake up!” the day is far spent.

    • That’s an interesting point but – as pointed out here by another commentator – the essay is pretty much a secular contemplation. Hence, posting a religious connotation of the ideas presented in Sieferle’s piece is perhaps unnecessary – even though I tend to understand your “By a corollary, then, the only valid opposition to the eternal damnation intrinsic to modernity is Christianity, with its promise of redemption” – but again, your corollary only.

      Also, attributing eternal damnation to modernity is perhaps over-generalization: the wonderful country of utmost freedoms and liberties, USA, would not have been probably founded if it was not for – the Enlightenment, whose overseas branch the American patriots clearly belonged to …

  12. In the text of Sieferle’s chapter, I notice there is an editorial note about the Jenninger controversy having occurred in 1998. This I do not recall is correct – I remember discussing it with a German family already in 1992. Unless the editorial comment is referring to something that happened later, it is apparently mistaken.

  13. Sorry to pile on, but this is so packed with ideas that I find something of interest in almost every paragraph. I may really have to just order the book, even though my ability with the German language has probably degraded by now to such an extent that I probably won’t be able to understand Sieferle in the original without a good dictionary close by.

    But as an example of how even the most offhand statements in it are thought-provoking, take this sentence:

    “From a relativistic standpoint, multiculturalism signifies the protection of ethno-cultural [völkisch-kultureller] distinctiveness, in which now, however, individual ethnic groups are spatially nested amongst one another and are required to live side by side ***within the narrowest of spaces***.” [my emphasis]

    It got me thinking about how, in atomized Western society, if one reduces this to its extreme, that ‘narrowest of spaces’ can be one’s own little house/apartment, or even more, alone the piece of ground on which one’s own two feet happen to be planted at the moment. It gives me an image of every ethnic nation as being constituted not of discrete territories, i.e. nation-states, but of a whole massive bunch of intertwined en- or exclaves, like the maps that we used to see of Bosnia-Hercegovina with all those little blobs of color (discrete but intermingled, like oil droplets in water) representing a Croat village here, a Serb town there. But imagine that times a thousand in complexity and degree of fragmentation – isn’t that what the modern Western city looks like?

    While I don’t like all of the arguments and conceptual connections that Sieferle is proposing, yet almost every paragraph has something stimulating like this. It’s been some time since I read something like this, at least in the secular realm.

    • While I don’t like all of the arguments and conceptual connections that Sieferle is proposing, yet almost every paragraph has something stimulating like this.

      I agree.

  14. It would seem that Satan in his craftiness destroyed two peoples with one act. To say that Satan has a special ‘fondness’ for the Jew would be an understatement as they represent The Lord’s judgment of his rebellious usurpation of the earth. The ‘Adam’ that Sieferle points up in his metaphor is the German so run away with secular rationalism that the German is found in Satan’s arms and doing Satan’s will. The Jew was very nearly destroyed and had it not been for YAH’s intervention would have been. The German woke up from the madness searching for a restoration of sanity but the world has denied that to the German as it needs a scapegoat for its sins. The world cannot forgive the German because it cannot forgive itself because in order to forgive itself it must recognize its own sinfulness and seek salvation from the merciful hands of the Savior that it nailed to the Cross. The Jew cannot be forgiven until they repent of calling the world (Caesar) their only king and joining with the world against YAH. Thus, the German and the Jew are in the same jail, in adjacent cells, prisoners of their own device with Satan as the jailer merrily jangling his keys and chortling as he strides the halls of his jail imagining himself the despot of all.
    Enjoy it while you can, for The One is coming Who will set the captives free and open the eyes of the blind. Yes, the times they are a changing!

    • This is pure antisemitism and as such, unedited, makes one feel that Gates of Vienna is on the way to worthlessness.

      • Lestotos. Hang in there. It’s called “Freedom of Speech”. No editing. It’s easy to spot the anti-Semites among the commenters, but they are few and far between, though even 1 is too many. I’m focusing on the news reports which we would never get from the main street media. For those who don’t know what anti-Semitism is, just look for “the Jews” and any negative description in the same sentence – and there’s your anti-Semite.

      • No it is not! I love the Jewish people more than they love themselves. I am also 1/6 Jew along with 2/6 Northern German. The other half from the father’s side is Welsh and Australian. The point that I tried to make is that both the German and the Jew are in jail cells of their own making and that they could let themselves out at any time. As for being either pro- or anti- Semitic, I can tell you that the Jew is the most difficult person to love, and have no idea or understanding as to why that is. Maybe MC could clarify that for us as it is a mystery to me (and I am not all that easy to love either).

        • It’s quite hard to love people who are intelligent ,exclusive, hardworking ,successful and endlessly argumentative and that is probably how Jews appear en masse..

          I have not met many Jewish people .There was one Jewish pupil at one of the schools I attended .But had she not volunteered the information that she was Jewish quite frankly no-one would have noticed. And when she did say she was Jewish nothing changed ,we couldn’t see any difference between her and the rest of us.

          But generally Jews attended special Jewish schools (which were academically outstanding),where they could be taught according to Jewish law and have Hebrew as a subject..

          Nowadays( because of the increase in the Muslim population) they all have to employ private security guards.

          Also there were some at uni ,they all hung out together ,probably because they had the same fasting and feasting requirements ,in the Halls of Residence.They tended to be over- represented in the Medical and Dental faculties because they tended to be academic superstars.

          I sat down at the “Jewish table “once not realizing that there was such a thing.It was a special feast arranged by the Halls of Residence to break a fast (I felt like one of those types who looks up funerals and weddings in the paper so they can attend a reception and get free food) and hastily joined another table.. .

          After all, if you don’t fast you are hardly entitled to eat the feast that follows.It just seemed like getting a great feed under false pretences.

          • Shelagh. You said you couldn’t see any difference between her (the Jewish pupil) and the rest of you. I admit this sounds kind of odd to me. Perhaps because I have been fortunate enough to live among and enjoy the company of many people who happened to be Jewish.

          • Shelagh: I don’t know the country where you attended university, but in England where I was a student only a small number were members of the Jewish Society. Most Jewish students were completely assimilated into the student body, ate with everyone else, did not ‘stick together, and were unrecognisable as Jewish (except perhaps their physical appearance).

          • people smarter or better educated than the majority have it harder to be beloved.
            They tend to talk back or correct when they hear nonsense.
            I got into an argument once with a turkish wife of a friend who went to university in Turkey and who denied that Jerusalem had been part of the ottoman empire. When she said this, I immediately withdrew from further discussion. Probably, a turkish history teacher will say that an observant muslim will never ever occupy a sacred city.
            Had I recommended to consult a historic atlas, I would have played the smartass against my own whim.

        • Acuara. So you love the Jewish people more than they love themselves. Hmm. That means you must have an intimate knowledge of all the Jewish people all over the world. And then you say “the Jew is the most difficult person to love”. This is quite an accomplishment on your part – to love them more than they love themselves even though they are the most difficult to love. Reading your comments I believe that, as you say, you are not all that easy to love either.

      • “This is pure antisemitism”

        May I suggest that the concept of antisemitism is a mythos in the same way that Auschwitz was in the Sieferle lexicon.

        The antisemitism concept is a mystical concept, rather separated from any empirical reality, designed to separate people into two camps: the antisemite and the anti-antisemite. The concept is also used to shut down discussion by using accusation rather than logic.

        I think contributors on blog sites devoted to rational discussion should avoid anti-Semite as a label, although of course, the concept should be open to discussion.

        Having said that, i think I should note that I have read, and have been irritated by, many commentators and even websites, where they lump people together, referring to “the Jews” and attributing lots of harmful effects to them. It’s not the discussion of the profusion of Jews in many communication, educational, or financial channels that I object to, but the use of labeling on both sides intended to shut down discussion in favor of labeling people. I admit I’m irritated by overly-broad statements, but I’d rather engage the person than call them names.

        Having said that, there are some definite issues. There are some people who say out-and-out they want Jews to be put into ovens. These people are not worth engaging, by almost any criteria. I have had the experience of having all my comments to a thread eliminated after mentioning my Jewish background. But, I’m conceited enough to consider that an indication that the contributors tended to be cranks and that the sponsor of the website itself aspired to be viewed as an academic, but was demolishing the basis of his claim by tolerating referees who obviously had a bone to pick with Jews.

        For example, Jews voted 70% for Hillary in the last election, and for Obama in almost the same proportion. In fact, the views and voting patterns of Orthodox Jews differs dramatically from adherents of “liberal Judaism”. I refer to “liberal Judaism” as the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, and “Orthodox” as the many observant branches of Judaism, such as the Hasidim and Haradim. The Orthodox, although distinctive in dress and often somewhat clannish, are akin politically and in outlook to the Trump deplorables. So, chances are the members of Liberal Judaism voted for Hillary in an overwhelming proportion (I couldn’t find figures) well over 70%, while the Orthodox voted a majority for Trump.

        The consequences of this should be discussed without shutting down on charges of anti-Semitism. For instance, Sweden is becoming uncomfortable and dangerous for Jews, due mainly to massive Muslim immigration. US Jews (since Liberal Judaism is the largest component by far) massively support Muslim immigration.

        Did Swedish Jews support Muslim immigration into Sweden? If so, should Swedish Jews ever have a mass emigration, I don’t want them in the US, affecting the political balance. And don’t tell me they will change their views. I don’t know any evidence that people change their views simply because their views caused them to have to emigrate. Strange but true.

        So, to summarize, bandying about the label of anti-Semitism shuts down the real discussions of the actual characteristics of different people, and masks to necessity to judge actual characteristics of people, rather than stereotypes. I don’t have anything against stereotypes, except that they are not good enough for actual policy discussions.

        • RonaldB: I too have a Jewish background. I find that “real discussions of the actual characteristics of different people … rather than stereotypes” is also inhibited from the other direction. I’d dearly like to share my experience but find that in the current atmosphere on the ethno-nationalist right (with which I have much sympathy), any observation about Jews that concedes anything is weaponised and used to justify unshakable ancient hatred. So I keep schtum. And then the alt-right whine about Jewish hostility to nationalism. Is it no wonder?

        • Yes this has occurred to me.

          Essentially the left wing philosophy of enforcing mass Muslim/ non- Western migration is dangerous and misguided.

          If we are to preserve Western culture and Western democracy then clearly we must preserve majority Western populations.

          The crux of the matter is this .
          Does one believe Western civilization is an absolute good that should be preserved?

          The left believe that the West is evil ,Western culture and civilization is evil ,hence the necessity of moving towards a massive dilution of the centers of Western civilization globally.

          And it does appear that those members of the Jewish religion are for the most part firmly on the left ,on the side of dilution of the west’s inhabitants until they no longer have a scintilla of Western identity left..

          There are noble and notable exceptions of course.
          I do like Ben Shapiro.
          He is an Orthodox Jew and his discourse on the transgender issue meshes with mine entirely .

          I was also touched that he had married his sister’s best friend ,which chimed with me as that is the basis of my marriage also.

          I like his social conservatism.
          Also he has the wit to understand that open borders is against the American national interest.That sanctuary cities mean more crime more insecurity.

          But I class the left as traitors ,virtue signalers and useful idiots.

          And that includes Democrats ,RINOs and shock horror oh dare one say it ,those Jews voting Democrat ,opening the floodgates to hostile Muslims flooding the country .They are like turkey’s voting for Christmas.Sadly though they are bringing destruction down not only on their own heads but also on the heads of those of us rational enough to vote against open borders and sanctuary cities.

          So forgive us for being a bit snippy about it.

          Also in the interests of being fair minded I’d like to point out that the dimwitted narcissistic Paul Ryan , is a Catholic who follows the demented irresponsible pope Francis’s instructions to open the borders and welcome in Muslim’s the entire globe in fact.

          Pope Francis visited a refugee camp in the Middle East.Instead of taking 12 Christians back to live with him in safety as he had promised ,he decided to take 12 Muslims instead.How he can square it with his conscience to take the tormentors and persecutors of his flock to live in comfort with him at the Vatican, is beyond me.

          Francis calls for mass migration ,for open borders ,ushers in Muslims/wolves to ravage his flock .Hardly the actions of a good shepherd.

          “Loving shepherd of Thy sheep
          Keep Thy lamb in safety keep.”

          As I child I wondered why it was necessary to have more than one denomination .I thought that things would have been simpler could we all have entered into one Catholic(in the sense of universal) broad church.

          But pope Francis’s actions and words have led me to reconsider.Taking it all together pope Francis is the living testament of the wisdom of the Protestant Reformation.

  15. This sounds profound, viz. that a state can commit such terribly evil acts that it will never recover and that it descendants will show inheritance of acquired guilt (Lamarkistic inheritance.) But, is it true? Is it a set-up to excuse Germany for what it is doing now? For building a victim status now?

    Did this guilt disorder happen to China after Mao? Cambodia? To Islam after what they did to India? Turkey? Does Japan have a persistent disabling guilt? History seems a list of holocaust after holocaust.

    But, this theory may be true. If so, it is about as depressing as it is possible to get: some sin is so bad, it causes extinction.

    • …some sin is so bad, it causes extinction.

      Within Christian theology that’s not possible. But according to Marxist dogma, I suppose it might be.

      • Is there any such concept of sin in Marxism? – I do not recall having heard of that category during my long wasted time when I had to study those lunatics.

        Definitely something worth looking up.

      • Within theology, it may not be, but within biology, it is a truism: some persistent behaviors will make a species extinct.

        I do think, however, that the Bible suggests the same, when it says to Adam that “on that day, you will surely die.” A day, meaning, an eon, obviously.

    • “But in modern Germany it is collective guilt which is now dominant; or in the more prosaic language of modern times, the Auschwitz-mythos is an ideologised expression of a Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics applied on a collective level. ”

      I don’t think Sieferle the author, or Clancy, the translator and commentator, were advocating the idea that civilization can sustain an everlasting taint of evil by an extraordinarily evil act. I think they were describing that as the feature of the Auschwitz-mythos (AM). In other words, the AM needs the concept of a never-ending taint of evil. The concept of this eternal taint is what gives the anti-fascists their moral and political power.

      The point is that the AM is the counterpart to a religious meme. It is meant to be revered and accepted, not to be analyzed. There is no need to be depressed about the concept itself, since it has no connection to any reality. How people believe it and respond to it is how it has any power.

  16. “One taboo, however, remains absolute: it is anti-Semitism.” Joined today by ‘Islamophobia’.

    • Soros is evil incarnate, a Hungarian Jew. I’ll call it as I see it regardless of his background.
      I saw him in an interview where the interviewer asked him if he felt any guilt about helping the Nazi authorities take treasures such as old masters from Jewish houses. He said that no he didn’t because if he had not betrayed his own community and profited thereby, someone else would have. It would have happened anyway so he felt nothing.

      No-one’s religion should place him above criticism.

      • “No-one’s religion should place him above criticism.” Except that Soros is an atheist. He does not belong to any Jewish community whatsoever. He does not practice Judaism. So if you continue to hang the monicker “a Hungarian Jew” around his neck (with, I suspect, much delight) it can only be because of his genetics. This raises the question, do you always believe that ethnic DNA explains an individual’s ideas and actions? How do you explain Merkel or the Swedish ruling elite?

        • I’m sure you’ve been bristling with rage what with Harvey Weinstein being continually described as “White” rather than “Jewish”!….or do we forego the constant references to Ashkenazi superiority in particular instances?

      • Soros’ disgusting, “if not me, someone else would have profited,” mentality is exactly what makes him such a monster.

  17. Can I be the only one to notice the parallel between paragraphs 6-8 of Sieferle’s Chapter Three quoted here, and fundamentalist Islam’s justification for forcibly converting or eliminating the rest of us? That is, that our “erroneous” beliefs (or lack of them) present a constant temptation to the true Muslim, putting his soul in danger of losing an eternity in Paradise.

  18. so Auschwitz was myth, Hitler sanctified aeternal unity of Jews and Germans and what else, anti-Semitism is taboooo, you are nothin without Critical Theory you half-finished German.

    the guy was sick and no amount of philosophical gibberish can camouflage this.

    can someone formulate at least one intelligible non-trivial positive statement?
    if not, how is it different from “critical theory”?

    • I am leaving your foolish and ill-informed comment as is, as a rude example of what everyone else should avoid in this thread.

      You have obviously not read the piece entirely, or closely, or possibly even at all. You obviously do not understand the difference between the words “myth” and “mythos”, which is carefully explained in the text.

      Your harsh, vulgar, ill-tempered, inconsiderate remarks are an insult to all the hard work that Rembrandt Clancy put into translating and annotating a thoughtful piece of sociopolitical philosophy, to make it accessible to the English-speaking reader.

      As I said, I allowed this comment to stand only to serve as a warning about what I will not tolerate. It is the last such comment that will appear here. I guarantee it.

    • Mr. Clancy is not calling the Holocaust a “myth.”

      There is one thing I will grant: Mr. Clancy operated in the German philosophic tradition, and that tradition in the the 20th Century can be dense and needlessly obscure.

      • Eh… I think it’s just German philosophy. Not all of it is “dense”…Goethe? Buber?

        Wish I could read German.

        Wish I could write tunes like the Welsh did, for that matter.

      • I’ve noticed that German academic writing, or at least the Clancy translations, which are pretty much the only ones I have read, tend to be dense and difficult. Having said that, I find they require several readings and turn out to be worth it. But then again, I needed to read a related book, Civilization and Decay, several times, although it was by an all-American author, Brooke Adams.

        What really irritates me about the German writing style is they tend to just make a declarative statement without giving a line of evidence to back it up. The evidence may be elsewhere in the text, but they don’t present a logical argument to lead to the conclusion. They just give the conclusion. I’m not saying they’re illogical. I’m saying chains of logic are not their strong points.

  19. There is one difference. The room where Pontius Pilate and ‘the Jews’ stood cannot be that large that it contains all the Jews. I know a lot of Jews who vehemently deny that their ancestors were present or even asked about the fate of Jesus.

    The Nazi party was duly elected to lead Germany!

    However, both of these arguments are immaterial.

    The Jews who live today cannot be held responsible for something that happened two millennia ago, regardless whether they accept Jesus or not. Neither could the Germans who live today be responsible for what happened three generations ago.

    What should happen is live and let live all the while, while defending oneself from real enemies, i.e invaders with real world dominance ideology. Something that the Jews never possessed and the Germans, by and large relinquished.

  20. This is actually hitting a major and main problem especially in Europe.
    The NS Time was never really worked over.

    Because of the heavy involvement of the Protestant church and its heavy influence in the states all that was done [wa]s to declare as a pure right-wing crime, without discussion.

    Execute or imprison every commander, even those just serving the army and who had no direct involvement in the holocaust, and simply forbid the ideology. Declare it as the ultimate evil and Germans as being dangerous by default.

    Of course this is not even half the truth. The Antisemitism was driven by a new Wave of anti-Jewish propaganda by the German Protestant church. It started around 1900 (at this time Hitler was just a little boy) and was the main driving factor.

    The NSDAP had not many voters until they jumped onto that train. Before that it was a mainly socialistic party, against the socialistic government and not very religious.

    funny that people always think Hitler was an atheist while serving in the SS required you to not to be one.

    Thing is that almsot the same mechanics working back then are now applied in Turkey, just the religion is this time islam.
    what makes it worse that contrary to any Christian religion islam makes politics to favour religion (christians do it the other way around, using belief as a carrier)

    But because we never had an open discussion about the full extent, reason and mechanics behind the NS time we cannot openly compare the current islamic war with that. If we could we would see alarming similarities. (aside that hitler saw the future of Europe in islam himself 🙂

    instead we’re now in ironic situation that the strongest critics of anything fascist, rightwing and nazi-ideology are [at] the same time protectors of islam.

    […] Even LGBT groups actively support islam (reminds me on a funny picture of a sign saying “the lgbt meeting for acceptance of islam is on the rooftop”).

    Same the biggest open critics of islam in the German-speaking area are from the right wing. This is a big issue, especially because many political parties live for decades only to auto oppose anything the rightwing suggests.

    [The] problem is, to speak openly about the mechanics that lead into the big disaster is very tricky. In Germany and Austria [there] is a law in place that strictly forbids any statement that denies the guilt of the nazis. an open discussion about ideology, in combination with religion and the full extent of the mechanics behind that crime could easly be seen as such and result in substantial prison time.

    But without such an open discussion about the past it will be hard to soften the freedom of religion in Europe in regard to that deathcult and instead of stopping or at least slowing it down we still support it.

    • I think you will find that the obsession with the Jews as being guilty of Christ’s death belonged to the Catholic church not the Protestant one.I have attended Protestant churches all my life where Israel in particular and Jews in general are regarded in a very positive light.

      My father was a Presbyterian and he had a vast well of sympathy for Jews and for Israel.

      I attended both the Anglican and the Presbyterian church.

      My mother was raised a Catholic .She and her sister were horrified that their father ,a gentle affectionate man with mild manners, blamed (according to the doctrine then preached by the Catholic church he attended )all Jews for those who did not ask Pontius Pilate to pardon and free Christ.

      The same anti-Jew blame game is also practiced by Mel Gibson ,a fanatical Catholic who makes no secret of his rabid anti-Semitism.

      But Christ died upon the cross to pay for all our sins so that we could have eternal life.
      And if Christ had been pardoned and freed by Pontius Pilot then Christians would still not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven without sacrificing their sons .

      So the Jews were playing a preordained role in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

      So they should be thanked rather than reviled.

      • Individual German Catholic priests however did indeed risk their lives saving Jews ,hiding them from the Nazis.

        So it may be that that part of Catholic doctrine is held only by a fringe
        minority in the Catholic church.

        Just strange to find echoes of it in two different generations on 2 different continents.

        • In the present, it’s held primarily by Radical Traditionalist Catholics. That is, those who do not merely prefer the Latin Mass for aesthetic reasons, but who believe that the Novus Ordo Mass is invalid, conveys no spiritual graces, and even actively involves one in false worship (if no transubstantiation occurs, then one is adoring a piece of bread, not the Body of Christ). Not all Radical Traditionalists hold that the entire Jewish community is guilty of Jesus’ blood rather than just those individuals who stood there on that day and called for his execution, but there is also a strong correlation with sedevacantism (the position that John XXIII, Paul VI, the two John Pauls, Benedict XVI and Francis are all antipopes). The more radically a Catholic group rejects the Second Vatican Council, the more likely it seems that they will hold the “all Jews as Christ-killers’ position.

          • To be fair to those traditional radical Catholics however they wish the Jews no physical harm.

            My grandfather and my great -aunts were devastated when the mass was no longer held in latin.

            But they treated Jews in the same manner that they treated Protestants :with gentleness ,forbearance and an unshakable faith that by prayer and example they would convert them to Catholocism. By example I mean leading an exemplary life ,doing good works for the glory of God ,pro deo and pro bono.

            Both my mother and my aunt married Protestants .

            So I don’t think the peaceful intent of traditional Catholics really can be compared with the murderous intent of Communists, Muslims and the Nazis( who were socialists. Nazi being an acronym for German Socialist Workers Party)

        • Unlike modern racialism, Catholicism’s beef with Jews was with their beliefs, not their DNA. Thus the braver Catholics could risk their lives to help Jews whilst abhoring their religion. The Jew was still a child of God, still human.

          In medieval times a Jew who converted to Christianity was accepted. In the Third Reich the convert Jew was as endangered as any other Jew. The Nazis saw no difference because they used the new categories of race. Religion can be changed, race cannot. That’s why criticism of religion is completely different from denigration of race, which at its worst views some races as subhuman (hence epithets such as ‘rats’ or ‘vermin’, precursors to extermination because that’s what you do to vermin).

      • Pilate asked the Jews, “Shall I crucify your king?” The Jews (meaning the Pharisees who were legalistic zealots) replied, “We have no king but Caesar!”(blasphemy anyone?) Pilate replied, “His blood be upon your heads as I am innocent of this man’s blood.” To this the Jews replied, “His blood be upon us and our children!” Yikes!! The Pharisees called down a blood curse upon themselves and all of their posterity. I can see some of the others who weren’t Pharisees and others who probably secret disciples of Jesus saying amongst themselves, “Uh-uh Lord, I’m not with stupid.”
        Jesus said rightly as He rode on the back of a young donkey that had never been ridden (try that at home, of course the donkey was probably insufferable for the rest of his life [guess who rode on me]), “You will not see Me again until you say ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’.” We are still waiting for the Jews as a nation to say that.
        You want stubborn? Jews they got stubborn. It will take the judgment of the Great Tribulation to get them to confess that! I wish that they would simply cut to the chase and spare us the grief, but oh well, Our Father in Heaven knows best. Me, I waiting for the last Trump (no, not the current president) to sound.

  21. This is an old Czech comedy video, that would make Germans cry, back in the 90’s.

    Czechs found it weird, that the Germans took it so personally, but apparently they did. They lost their cool in face of some funny ‘nazi’ comments, and that’s what’s wrong. If you wanna be a cool kid, you have to be able to strike the ball back into your opponent’s court, and the Germans should certainly have enough ammo agaist the Czechs… Cool as long as it’s cool.

    • Watching the sketch brought me a pang of uncontrollable laughter … yes – that’s our humor, alas, perhaps not easily passable to other nations.

      I missed out this one … living elsewhere and just not following up as I should. Thanks, Barn – you made my day.

    • Crazyyyyy!!!!

      Pretty funny a lot of it. Some of it, not so much…but, that’s comedy and satire.

      But, think of it: comedy tends to puncture the “mythos”. Perhaps the Germans who got angry at the sketch wanted to wallow in the guilt “mythos” but didn’t want to actually think about it. Anyway, I’m looking for the sketch that punctures the purveyors of the Auschwitz Mythos. Hang onto your hats, everyone.

  22. Well, I will venture to say something here which may or may not offend. What I found silly about the little film was how they said twice that the poor, deceased author could no longer defend himself against all these untrue accusations of his being a right-wing nutcase/zealot.

    Sorry, but that was the author’s choice and needn’t be. He could easily have stuck around defending his writing, and fighting the good fight, like many others do.

    The author chose to do the most breathtakingly irreversible, painful
    and selfish thing — take his life and leave his wife and family and close
    friends reeling in pain, shame and maybe guilt and remorse for what
    they think they could have done or said differently while he was still

    Sorry, maybe it’s just me, but I tend to lose respect for middle-aged people who do this unless
    maybe they are on their death bed ( but even then, I do not think it is
    right). I do not believe that act was necessary, especially today with
    all the anti depressant drugs, free therapists, and general acceptance and
    overall understanding of society of the real pain and prevalence of
    mental depression and social lonliness that many individuals face today.

    Also, a real man just does not take his life–it is a slap in the face to his parents, teachers, kids, spouse, friends and God and everything good and everyone who gave him life and love his entire lifelong. I therefore,
    will not buy his book, even though it sounds somewhat interesting.

    Put in another way, I guess you could say, I do not believe he had the “right” to end his own life. Indeed, I think that committing suicide is moral liberalism to the extreme, and in that case, I agree with the reviewers– he had not gone from being a young socialist liberal leftie to
    an ultra social right-wing conservative later in life. Moreover, if he
    loved his country Germany so darn much, he surely would have fought
    for Her until he took his last natural breath.

    • I disagree. I have seen too many patients in absolute agony due to cancer whose pain is poorly controlled and whose families suffered every step of the way with them.

      I would not put my dog through that, but until the law allows us to give them a merciful death through massive does of morphine sufficient to control their pain, while depressing their respiration and shortening their lives, they suffer every day, in every hospital.

      You would not wish that on your worst enemy.
      So if those with end-stage cancer take the opportunity to end their lives at a time of their choosing, before the pain gets too bad, I certainly would not begrudge it to them…

      We don’t know his medical history so let’s not rush to judgment.

    • I agree that his death should not be used as an excuse to self-filter criticisms of his thesis.

      Other than that, I totally disagree with your rather rigid judgments. Some people suffer from chronic and severe depression, which lead them to take their own lives. The depression itself makes them want to die. I knew a woman whose son committed suicide and left a dog for his mother to take care of. The dog sits and waits for him to come back. It’s very sad, and if a moral judgment would make an actual difference, I would be all for it. Unfortunately, severe depression is organic and a sufferer does not always think ahead that maybe a pharmaceutical will alleviate his pain in the future.

      • severe depression is still no excuse and depression can end, it is not an everlasting “chronic” state.

        It is illegal to take a weapon and kill another but people today make all kinds of excuses for someone who takes a weapon and kills himself.

        Suicude was illegal and considered a grave sin/evil in every Western country for how many hundreds of years? So many, it’s hard to count. This final act is very wrong and many people on this site know it even though they may prefer not to
        admit it or to reflect deeply on the subject at this time.

        Someone very close to me did this many years ago, so I am not writing this having not experienced being one of the survivors.

  23. The real crime today is guilt tripping Germany and all of Western Civilization about the Holocaust. Regardless of how many people died, it is no excuse to abuse an entire nation to the extent that it wants to commit suicide. The inevitable result will be a future where people are more callus and less caring about human life.

    • Pathfinder I think yours the best comment

      My Essex raised children got the Diary of Anne Frank in history lessons and again in religion

      Get off the train at Liverpool station and be immediately confronted by statues of the Kinder Transport. Take the escalator up to Mcdonalds and meet the same again.

      The The Imperial War Museum now has Holocaust section

      Holocaust memorial next Parliament is on the cards

      Enough is enough

      • Well, if your children lived in Richmond Virginia they could give you all the details of Harriet Tubman’s life, but zip about the Constitution or how it was based on Virginia’s Constitution, which was based on English common law…

        Used to be Virginia public school kids knew this stuff, but not anymore.It’s Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks, heroic women in their own way but that’s not sufficient to pass for real education.

      • I agree with all the reserve of a history teacher.
        When the matter was due to be treated as provided by curriculum, I often heard a ” oh, not again. We have already done that in literture and ethics”. Which spoiled my game.

      • I agree. It’s Jewish and – arguably – German history, not British history. It’ll be counter-productive as the young always kick against orthodoxy. They’re especially alert to any idea repeatedly rammed down their throats. We see this rebellion in the rise of the online alt-right.

    • There is real holocaust denial but it’s the denial of the Soviet (including Ukrainian), Chinese communist, Khmer Rouge, and N. Korean holocausts. The German holocaust was but one of several and far from the largest. It’s an insult to over 100 M victims of communist murder to speak of “the” Holocaust. Ending this disgraceful distortion would liberate Germans from the dishonest charge that their ancestors were unique in their depravity. And . . . that they, who did nothing whatsoever somehow must share this depravity.

      • Good point.The holocaust was not unique.

        And had the terms of the treaty of Versailles not been unnecessarily harsh, leading to massive reparations ,hyperinflation and mass starvation, Germans would probably not have been pushed in that direction.

        But starving desperate men (as even those in full employment were )grasped at the straw the chance of life and food and restoration of dignity for themselves and their wives and children that Hitler seemed to offer.

        • And let us not forget the Armenian genocide.

          Where are the monuments to the Christian victims of the Armenian holocaust?

          Where are the Armenian holocaust museums?

          Also why the double standards ,why is Germany alone blamed for the holocaust when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem sent entire regiments to fight under the direction of the Waffen SS?

          The Grand Mufti read” Mein Kampf” and realizing that he and Hitler shared a mutual goal of wiping out the Jews
          decided to joined forces with him.

          According to Geert Wilders ,leader of the Opposition in the
          Dutch parliament,”Mein Kampf ” is less anti-Semitic than the Koran.

          Yet “Mein Kampf “is banned in Germany but the Koran is not.

          This is a double standard .

          Why must all the guilt for the holocaust be sheeted home to Germany ?

          Why should Islam escape scot-free?

          And this is my beef with the left.

          We can blame Germany for the holocaust but we are not allowed to mention the holocaust against the Jews perpetuated by Islam from its inception.

          That’s a double standard everyone on the left ,including many Jews, cling to .

          So I’d like those Jews on the left to explain why they grant a free pass to Muslims, while calling everyone else an anti-Semite ,including those of us on the right who acknowledge the right of Israel to exist .

    • “The real crime today is guilt tripping Germany…”


      It’s the Germans themselves who perpetuate their own guilt. They no longer are occupied by foreign troops, and have an independent economy. They can just slough off attempts to put guilt on them. So, they choose to maintain the guilt mythos. If the Germans rejected the guilt, someone who tried to perpetuate it would be left standing in the cold.

      I reserve the right to guilt-trip anyone stupid enough to take me seriously.

  24. Speaking of guilt…I will now be guilty of responding to the specific topic of guilt rather than to the topic of FINIS GERMANIA. I accept responsibility for this slight diversion.

    I will attack the subject of guilt entirely, from several directions.

    If YOU can be made to feel a large sense of guilt, I can expiate my own smaller guilt, and virtue signal.

    If you deny your large guilt, I can portray you as evil. If you admit that large guilt, I, or an even worse person can manipulate you.

    If you feel your large guilt, you may be sure that there will be charlatans who will tell you how you may expiate it, by serving them of course.

    Has anyone else noticed that in current western culture, all acknowledge their general guilt while proven criminals deny their specific guilt?

    Admitted specific responsibility is vastly more important than generalized guilt.

    Generalized guilt at best is nothing more than decent humility. Specific responsibility is vastly more important.
    I believe I will be adamant about this.

  25. Well, as usual, I finish analyzing an article way after everyone else is finished looking at it. So, is it worthwhile to write a comment? Writing out a comment tends to expose my own logic weaknesses, so it’s probably worthwhile.

    Sieferle’s development of the “mythos” concept contains a valuable observation that there is a place in the human brain for holding a truth which is not only venerated, but which demands the immediate suppression of rational treatment. The mythos truth is to be defended immediately, banishing or eliminating the questioner.

    Apart from that, I thing the “Auschwitz mythos” is vastly overblown as an explanation for the drive of the German population to abolish itself. We see the same drive in Sweden, England, France, Belgium, Canada, and increasingly in the US. So, my conclusion is, if the Germans didn’t have Auschwitz, they would be abolishing themselves with another pretext.

    “For Sieferle, human nature in itself is an unchanging constant.” I think this is a huge mistake. Writers like Sieferle make the assumption that the people stay the same, but huge changes like the destruction of their culture, comes from philosophical and organizational changes. He does not appear to consider that it is the people themselves who change.

    Putting it bluntly, the benefits of civilization allow a population to deteriorate genetically. They progressively lose their intelligence, their character, and their will to reproduce and survive. Both Sieferle and Spengler note the cyclic nature of civilizations, universally ending up with dramatic depopulation of their territory. Consider the possibility the depopulation is a consequence of the general availability of food and shelter afforded by a civilization to all the population, fit and unfit.

    A general description of the process can be found here. I won’t attempt to describe it in detail myself, because it is already available in exactly the correct context.
    Of Mice and Men: ”Spiteful Mutations” Look Bad For The West

    If I’m correct, it’s simply a matter of time before even those countries resisting the Muslim invasion, Poland, Hungary, Israel etc, will lose their will to survive…unless there’s an intervention made based on the scientific knowledge of the effects of mutation overload.

    Am I calling for a form of eugenics? You bet. Eugenics is very much another mythos: it existed before the National Socialists, but became affiliated with them and therefore, the third rail of any discussion. By the way, eugenics does not imply putting people into gas chambers or sterilizing them involuntarily. This has been done in the name of eugenics, but is emphatically not a necessary component.

    • RonaldB: I have followed your comments with interest, but I address only one of your observations here.

      In saying that the Auschwitz-mythos is “vastly overblown” as applied to German survival, you seem to suggest that the same “drive”, as applied to the West as a whole, is being overlooked. And that is precisely the reason for making Sieferle’s ‘Mythos VB’ available in English, so that others can evaluate Sieferle’s reasoning when applied mutatis mutandis to the West as a whole. It has to be said, that Germany’s history renders indigenous Germans particularly vulnerable to political control through heritable, collective guilt derived directly from the “Auschwitz” event. It is true, however, that some may claim that the same mythos may have affected the West as a whole to some extent.

      But what is this “same drive” that operates in other countries? It appears to be the collective guilt arising from identity politics. Victim groups, as a concept, appear to be the offspring of the victim-collectivisms of ‘proletariat class’ and ‘Ayran race’, which were ultimately to become the utopian ruling principles of their respective socialisms: the dictatorship of the proletariat and the master race.

      ‘Victim groups’ allow for the same politics of “absolute perpetrator and absolute victim” (Sieferle) as does the Auschwitz-mythos. From a psychological standpoint, this absolute, pseudo-moral dichotomy shows the same paranoid dynamic as that implied by absolute dar al-Islam versus absolute dar al-Harb (the world of ‘tagut’ or idolatry ie., projected collective guilt). In this sense, it is no wonder that there is such formal synergy between the Left and Islam. Propagation of collective guilt is where the Left gains “the power of moral superiority [which] is ascribed to the victims” (Sieferle). But this ‘moral high road’ conceals and distracts attention from the Left’s real moral corruption, which is becoming public in the US almost every day lately, and at the highest levels.

      An excellent example of this projection of collective guilt attributed to the mistreatment of a victim-identity group is seen in the Canadian Child-Prime-Minister’s recent public apology in the House of Commons, bearing in mind there is nothing even close to the fact-equivalent of Auschwitz behind it, unless the crime of Christian morality is to be taken as a substitute for it. He said: “It is our collective shame that you [so-called LGBT Canadians] were so mistreated. And it is our collective shame that this apology took so long – many who suffered are no longer alive to hear these words. And for that, we are truly sorry.”

      • Rembrandt,

        First, allow me to echo the others who thanked you for translating and clarifying the complex and rich work of Sieferle. I imagine it was difficult and demanding.

        I also appreciate your addendum, pointing out again the commonalities in form between the Auschwitz-mythos of Germany, and the general victimhood-guilt driven collective socialism of the left in Western countries remote from the Holocaust. Your example of Trudeaus “apology” in Canada reads like a script from Saturday Night Live, except that there is progressively less room for actual comedy as opposed to news about our governments.

        My observation was that in light of the simultaneity of the Western governments consciously and deliberately destroying their own populations, that there was a biological and genetic explanation, rather than simply a deterioration of the philosophical and spiritual base of Western Civilization. As evidence (and evidence is not necessarily proof) of this observation, I note that Sieferle and Spengler as well as Brooke AdamsLaw of Civilization and Decay commented on the common cycles of civilizations, including the dramatic depopulation of their territories in the final stages of their decay.


          That’s the GoV portal to the book, RonaldB. Glad I looked since the Kindle version is 99 cents. Now if I could just find my Kindle. I use it all the time but I lose it all the time, too. Even the Baron’s searches didn’t help. However, in anticipation of its appearance, I ordered the ebook.

          Here’s the author page:

  26. Congratulations to GoV on achieving an article with > 100 comments! Thanks also to Rembrandt Clancy for the work that enabled this.

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