While the left-wing parties fight out their quarrels with German thoroughness, the right is getting ready for battle. While the republican parties are conducting a more or less intellectual struggle against each other in the big cities, the monarchists are taking control of the countryside and rural areas, and they will soon be able to completely surround the cities and industrial areas. When shots fall in Berlin, the Pomeranian Vendée will dance for joy. The republic is bad, that is the political creed of innumerable Germans these days. The lack of self-control of the radical left-wing opposition is the best help that the reactionary right could hope for.
To all good people whose dernier cri is a gaze of blank despair at the rottenness of the times, if they are still receptive, I urgently recommend the study of the times following great crises.
Now we are sliding gently into the winter of our discontent.
A message to the disheartened
The great war is not the only catastrophe which has shaken central European civilization to its foundations in the last thousand years. Consider two events which, while very different, nevertheless emerged with the same eruptive force, and left enormous cultural ruins behind. They were the Black Death, the great plague of 1348, and the Thirty Years’ War. Long after the inferno, a good chronicler, looking back at the terrible time, wrote, „When the worst was past, the world started to be happy again.“ But after the Thirty Years’ War, an artist sighed, „It is very sad in poor Germany; trade and the arts are devastated, and whoever has any skills goes to Flanders or Italy, because they would starve at home.“
Part 1 of: Drawing Balance (Rechenschaft)
I will shortly be entering a Prussian prison to serve the eighteen months to which the 4th criminal court condemned me on 23rd November last year for treason and the betrayal of military secrets, so the moment in which I must relinquish my position at the Weltbühne has arrived. Such an externally imposed caesura is the right moment to account for and justify what has happened in the last few months, and at the same time to fill in the background against which the Weltbühne case arose.
Part 2 of: Drawing Balance (Rechenschaft)
I can judge the correctness of my decision by comparison with the behaviour of Walter Kreiser, who was convicted with me, since our conviction. I have so far not spoken about this, against the urgent advice of all those in the know, but I must now say what has happened.
Ossietzky, Publizistik Pur Continue reading