THE GERMAN GENIUS PDF

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The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century. The German Genius is a virtuoso cultural history of German ideas and influence, from to the present day, by acclaimed historian Peter Watson (Making of the Modern Mind. The German Genius Europes Third Renaissance The Second Scientific word, txt, site, pdf, zip, rar as well as ppt. among them is this certified The German. Author: Peter Watson Pages: Publication Date Release Date: ISBN: Product Group:Book Read here.


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WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. A survey in July found that whereas 97 percent of Germans have a basic knowledge of the English language, and 25 percent are fluent, only 22 percent of British students have any knowledge of the German language and just 1 percent are fluent.

Whereas 52 percent of young Germans had been to Britain, only 37 percent of young Britons had been to Germany. A Travel Trends survey showed that U.

Peter Watson: The German Genius

Over the previous four years the figure for travel to Germany was static and had fallen behind visits to the Netherlands, Italy, and Greece. Possibly, the situation was getting worse. When Britons were asked, in , if Nazism or something like that could again become powerful in Germany, 23 percent said yes, 61 percent said no. By the pattern had reversed, with 53 percent voting yes and 31 percent no. In the short run, this is unlikely to change. Another survey, this time of 2, private and state schools in Britain and published in November , showed that thousands of fourteen-year-olds had given up German in favor of easier subjects such as media studies since the British government made the study of foreign languages optional in the autumn of More than half the schools in the survey said they had dropped classes in German in the preceding year.

Another survey, published in , showed that the number of institutions in Britain providing courses in German had fallen by 25 percent since and the number of undergraduate degrees in German awarded in London had fallen by 58 percent.

Most pupils think of the beaches of Spain rather than the museums and castles of Germany. The QCA subsequently issued guidance on teaching postwar history to provide a more balanced understanding of twentieth-century Germany. So Ambassador Mattusek was right in saying that the teaching of history in British schools is unbalanced. Was he right to link that with a British obsession with Nazi Germany? Youth exchange is a one-way street…Our younger generations are slowly drifting apart and are listening less to each other.

I can only speculate as to why this is.

But I talk to a lot of British people and one answer that comes up repeatedly is that every country needs to go through an identity-building process. In , Britain was practically confronted with an overpowering enemy and through the sheer mustering of British virtues, Britain finally managed to turn it round. That is very important in the collective psyche: That coincided with Britain losing her Empire, which certainly rankled with some people and led to this obsession with Germany and not always in a very funny way.

Here again the ambassador is supported by some independent research. A survey in Britain in found that when British ten- to sixteen-year-olds were asked what they associated with Germany, 78 percent said the Second World War and 50 percent mentioned Hitler.

A study at Aberdeen University showed how, especially above the age of twelve, a sample of children would react much more negatively to a photograph of a person when told it was of a German than when shown the same photograph two weeks earlier without any mention of nationality. These reactions, says Mattusek, are a particularly British problem.

A lot of our neighbours suffered much, much more than the British.

Perhaps a country with nine neighbours is constantly forced to make compromises and is much more in contact than a country that lives as an island. His brother, Matthias—again—put it more strongly.

And they continue to see us as Nazis, as if they have to refight the battles every evening [i. They are enchanted by this Nazi dimension. Gisela Stuart, a German-born British Member of Parliament for the Birmingham Edgbaston constituency, said that the Mattuseks were quite right to say the British are still obsessed with the Nazi period. He concluded that there had been several periods of friction during that time—around the turn of the twentieth century, in the run up to World War I, in the midst of that war—but that the British had thought highly of Weimar Germany and had not shown the same level of hate during World War II that they had in the earlier conflict it was a clash more of ideologies than of peoples.

Since , war films and novels had kept the friction warm, however, aided by the Thatcher government when Britain experienced…more open anti-German prejudice among her rulers than at any time since That obsession shows no sign of diminishing. She said her own brother, a conscientious objector, had been sent to Dachau for his beliefs. In Berlin, Franz Josef Wagner, a columnist on the popular newspaper, Bild , was beside himself with anger.

In an open letter to the British tabloids he warned them that the devil seems to have slipped into your newsrooms…Anyone reading your British popular newspapers must have thought Hitler had been made pope. All this seems to make Ambassador Mattusek right on both counts—Britain is obsessed by the Nazis and history teaching in British schools is unbalanced, concentrating too much on the years — But this fascination with the Third Reich has done more than unbalance British education and foster an obsession with twelve years of dictatorship, helping to create an ignorance of the reality of modern Germany.

More than that, there is now a much wider sense that the Nazi period operates as an obstacle, a stumbling block, a reflecting mirror, that hinders us from looking back beyond that time, which has closed British minds to the Germany that preceded Hitler, an extraordinary country that he—a product of the Vienna gutter—on assuming office set about dismantling in a shocking and unprecedented way. Though the Russians and Poles and Czechs may not be as obsessed as the British, this blindness does apply in certain other countries as well.

Wherever you look, Hitler still makes history but he also distorts it. On February 20, , in Vienna, Austria, David Irving, a British historian who has specialized in writing books about the Second World War, was sent to prison for three years, found guilty of denying the Holocaust.

Irving was arrested in November , when he reentered the country, where it has been a crime since to deny the Holocaust. It was by no means the first occasion Irving had crossed the legal line on this matter. He was already banned in a dozen countries from Canada to South Africa for broadcasting these views. In he was forced into bankruptcy in Britain when he unsuccessfully sued Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic who, in her book Denying the Holocaust , branded him one of the worst culprits.

But these two nearly contiguous events do underline how the Holocaust has become—and continues to be—an important focus of debate, even now, more than sixty years after it happened. If we are obsessed with Hitler, as we seem to be, can it be said we are likewise obsessed with the Holocaust? At first sight that may seem a contentious and insensitive statement in itself.

Can the murder of 6 million people—simply because they were members of a particular ethnic group—ever not be an important focus of debate and memory, however long after it occurred? But there is more to it than that.

Of particular relevance is the fact that the Holocaust was not a focus of debate for many years immediately following World War II. It has become so only in recent decades, to the point where, it will be argued here, this focus if it is not an obsession is also distorting our view of the past, especially in the United States. In his level-headed study, The Holocaust in American Life published in Britain as The Holocaust and Collective Memory ; , Peter Novick examines—as he puts it—how the Holocaust has come to loom so large in our life.

He begins with the observation that, generally speaking, historical events are most talked about shortly after their occurrence and then, about forty years afterward, they fall down a memory hole where only historians scuttle around in the dark.

This was true about events such as the Vietnam War, he says, but with the Holocaust the rhythm has been very different: This was by no means the case in the immediate aftermath of war, where the status of Holocaust survivor was far from being honorific.

Novick quotes the revealing comments by the leader of one American community in Europe, in a letter to a colleague in New York: Those who have survived are not the fittest…but are largely the lowest Jewish elements, who by cunning and animal instincts have been able to escape the terrible fate of the more refined and better elements who succumbed.

In the United States, in , , and , the main Jewish organizations including the Jewish War Veterans unanimously vetoed the idea for a proposed Holocaust memorial in New York City, on the grounds that such a monument would result in other Americans thinking of Jews as victims, and the monument become a perpetual memorial to the weakness and defencelessness of the Jewish people.

In the first postwar years, much more than nowadays, the Holocaust was historicized—thought about and talked about as just one terrible feature of the period that had ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The Holocaust had not, in the postwar years, attained transcendent status as the bearer of eternal truths or lessons that could be derived from contemplating it. Since the Holocaust was over and done with, there was no practical advantage to compensate for the pain of staring into that awful abyss. In his book, American Judaism , a scholarly survey of Jews in the fifties, Nathan Glazer observed that the Holocaust had had remarkably slight effects on the inner life of American Jewry.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II "everything about the contemporary presentation of the reports, testimonies, photographs, and newsreels was congruent with the wartime framing of Nazi atrocities as having been directed, in the main , at political opponents of the Third Reich.

Italics added. The words Jew or Jewish did not appear in Edward R. General Dwight Eisenhower, disturbed by the camps, said he wanted legislators and editors to visit these locations where the Nazis had incarcerated political prisoners —again, no mention of Jews.

Other reports spoke of political prisoners, slave laborers and civilians of many nationalities. Jews did not go unmentioned, and some reports observed that they had been treated worse than others. Attitudes only began to change, Novick says, with the Eichmann trial in —62, the Six-Day War in the Middle East in , and, most of all, after the Yom Kippur War in October , when Israel—for a brief time—looked as though she might be defeated.

Novick again: It was now, Novick says, that the Holocaust became in effect sacralized, so that it was almost above criticism. Almost, but not quite. Are we…to sit forever mourning for our dead? In the first year of the Intifada , the distinguished Israeli philosopher Yehuda Elkana, who had been interned in Auschwitz as a child, published A Plea for Forgetting.

This lesson, he thought, had contributed to Israeli brutalities on the West Bank and to the unwillingness to make peace with the Palestinians. This was the first year that remembrance of the Holocaust was included a revealing development in itself —and it won hands down, chosen many more times than attending synagogue or observing Jewish holidays.

Novick further observed that since the s the Holocaust has come to be presented as not just a Jewish memory but as an American one. Norman G. Finkelstein was much more acerbic than Novick. In The Holocaust Industry , published to some acclaim in , stimulating great interest and criticism in Germany but relative silence in the United States, Finkelstein, whose own mother was in Majdanek concentration camp and the slave labor camps at Czestochowa and Skarszysko, accused American Jewry in particular of exploiting the Holocaust, of being Holocaust hucksters, exaggerating the numbers who suffered and the numbers who survived, for their own ends, mainly to benefit Israel.

He described what he called a sordid pattern and detailed the large salaries and fees being drawn by officials administering compensation claims, far larger than the claims themselves. Again, his theme underlines the fact that interest in the Holocaust is a recent phenomenon. Just how extreme or unique was the Holocaust? This is a sensitive question that the Germans themselves have had difficulty adjusting to.

The German Genius By Peter Watson

Whereas in America, as Novick has shown, the Holocaust has grown in salience as the years have passed, in Germany there have been some equally forceful attempts to take the debate in the opposite direction and play down its extent, significance, and singularity. Charles Maier is just one American historian who has remarked on how the German scholarly community has been polarized by this subject. When it broke open, it comprised the following arguments:.

It was argued that Fascism was not a totalitarian system in the mold of Stalinism, but a response to it;. Auschwitz was not a unique event but a copy of the Gulag; other, earlier, genocides had taken place in the twentieth century;.

The worst excesses of the war—the invasion of Russia and the extermination of the Jews—came about because one man, Hitler, intended them to happen. There are good answers to these arguments, not least, as Charles Maier dryly observed, The Final Solution must not be made into a question of bookkeeping.

Was the Historikerstreit the symptom of a deeper malaise that, forty years after the end of the war, was at last beginning to surface? There were those who thought that it was.

The German Genius

In , in a German historical journal, Hermann Rudolph agreed that the Germans were more concerned with the war just then than they had been in the past. That concern, he said, was apparently not wearing thin; rather the opposite…the question that is now thrown open is: Is there something to this? Next to nothing was taught about it in the schools. The Nazi affiliations of major figures in the economy were never mentioned.

Even in politics, there was no great stigma attached to a Nazi background, so long as this did not become the embarrassing object of public debate. The importance of the Historikerstreit, in our context, is that it is yet further evidence of the obsession with Hitler and the Holocaust and of a particular pattern of forgetting or, more appropriately, not forgetting.

Opinion polls in Germany showed that while 80 percent of Americans were proud to be Americans, and 50 percent of Britons were proud of being British, only 20 percent of Germans were proud of being German.

He added that Germans were obsessed with their guilt, and that this obsession was interfering with their ability to develop a sense of national identity, which by implication had political and cultural consequences.

He resented the implication, he said, that Germany must be viewed continually as a patient in therapy. This was underlined by the Jenninger affair. In November , at a ceremony to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Kristallnacht , Philip Jenninger, president of the Federal German parliament and therefore the second-highest official, after the president of the republic himself , delivered a speech in which he treated the Holocaust as an historical event and therefore not necessarily unique, and as one in which, moreover, many Germans were bystanders —i.

He concluded that there had been several periods of friction during that time—around the turn of the twentieth century, in the run up to World War I, in the midst of that war—but that the British had thought highly of Weimar Germany and had not shown the same level of hate during World War II that they had in the earlier conflict it was a clash more of ideologies than of peoples.

Since , war films and novels had kept the friction warm, however, aided by the Thatcher government when Britain experienced…more open anti-German prejudice among her rulers than at any time since She said her own brother, a conscientious objector, had been sent to Dachau for his beliefs.

In an open letter to the British tabloids he warned them that the devil seems to have slipped into your newsrooms…Anyone reading your British popular newspapers must have thought Hitler had been made pope. All this seems to make Ambassador Mattusek right on both counts—Britain is obsessed by the Nazis and history teaching in British schools is unbalanced, concentrating too much on the years — But this fascination with the Third Reich has done more than unbalance British education and foster an obsession with twelve years of dictatorship, helping to create an ignorance of the reality of modern Germany.

More than that, there is now a much wider sense that the Nazi period operates as an obstacle, a stumbling block, a reflecting mirror, that hinders us from looking back beyond that time, which has closed British minds to the Germany that preceded Hitler, an extraordinary country that he—a product of the Vienna gutter—on assuming office set about dismantling in a shocking and unprecedented way.

Though the Russians and Poles and Czechs may not be as obsessed as the British, this blindness does apply in certain other countries as well. Wherever you look, Hitler still makes history but he also distorts it.

On February 20, , in Vienna, Austria, David Irving, a British historian who has specialized in writing books about the Second World War, was sent to prison for three years, found guilty of denying the Holocaust. Irving was arrested in November , when he reentered the country, where it has been a crime since to deny the Holocaust.

It was by no means the first occasion Irving had crossed the legal line on this matter. He was already banned in a dozen countries from Canada to South Africa for broadcasting these views. In he was forced into bankruptcy in Britain when he unsuccessfully sued Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic who, in her book Denying the Holocaust, branded him one of the worst culprits. But these two nearly contiguous events do underline how the Holocaust has become—and continues to be—an important focus of debate, even now, more than sixty years after it happened.

If we are obsessed with Hitler, as we seem to be, can it be said we are likewise obsessed with the Holocaust? At first sight that may seem a contentious and insensitive statement in itself. Can the murder of 6 million people—simply because they were members of a particular ethnic group—ever not be an important focus of debate and memory, however long after it occurred?

But there is more to it than that. Of particular relevance is the fact that the Holocaust was not a focus of debate for many years immediately following World War II. It has become so only in recent decades, to the point where, it will be argued here, this focus if it is not an obsession is also distorting our view of the past, especially in the United States. He begins with the observation that, generally speaking, historical events are most talked about shortly after their occurrence and then, about forty years afterward, they fall down a memory hole where only historians scuttle around in the dark.

This was true about events such as the Vietnam War, he says, but with the Holocaust the rhythm has been very different: hardly talked about for the first twenty years or so after World War Two but, from the s on, becoming ever more central in American public discourse—particularly, of course, among Jews, but also in the culture at large.

This was by no means the case in the immediate aftermath of war, where the status of Holocaust survivor was far from being honorific. Novick quotes the revealing comments by the leader of one American community in Europe, in a letter to a colleague in New York: Those who have survived are not the fittest…but are largely the lowest Jewish elements, who by cunning and animal instincts have been able to escape the terrible fate of the more refined and better elements who succumbed.

In the United States, in , , and , the main Jewish organizations including the Jewish War Veterans unanimously vetoed the idea for a proposed Holocaust memorial in New York City, on the grounds that such a monument would result in other Americans thinking of Jews as victims, and the monument become a perpetual memorial to the weakness and defencelessness of the Jewish people. In the first postwar years, much more than nowadays, the Holocaust was historicized—thought about and talked about as just one terrible feature of the period that had ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany.

The Holocaust had not, in the postwar years, attained transcendent status as the bearer of eternal truths or lessons that could be derived from contemplating it. Since the Holocaust was over and done with, there was no practical advantage to compensate for the pain of staring into that awful abyss.

In his book, American Judaism, a scholarly survey of Jews in the fifties, Nathan Glazer observed that the Holocaust had had remarkably slight effects on the inner life of American Jewry. Italics added. The words or Jewish did not appear in Edward R.In an open letter to the British tabloids he warned them that the devil seems to have slipped into your newsrooms…Anyone reading your British popular newspapers must have thought Hitler had been made pope.

Given the distortions and omissions he employed, one is entitled to wonder whether he could not see past or around the Holocaust to begin with, and this author at least is prompted to suspect instead that he started with his conclusions and then found the facts to fit his theory.

Many Germans believe they began to move on then and are now well past the traumas. Germanness Emerging 2. Explore now. Share your thoughts with other customers.

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