Saturday 25 January 2014

I thank the Cemetery of Graz

1) I thank the Cemetery of Graz, 2) Humans do have correct moral reasoning and preferences : "Swastika on Austrian tombstone defies official ban"
[actually it does not]

Citing relevant passage:

[...]Rajakovics, the Graz spokesman, and Leibnitz, the church provost, say their hands are tied. Both claim they are not aware of the grave with the SS symbol. But in the case of the swastika, they cite Graz' top prosecutor, Hans-Joerg Bacher, who ruled that the law prohibiting Nazi displays did not apply to that headstone because it was put up before the law was passed in 1947.

Under that interpretation, Graz officials say it's up to the grave's owner — a German man they refuse to identify — to voluntarily remove the emblem. But that's something they say he refuses to do. [...]

Thanks to this, it may at last be known outside Austria too that this man, who has a Swastika and not any Cross on his grave, whose headstone features no Cross even for the date of his death (and no star for the date of his birth, just "24.3.1897 - 27.7.1934", no star and no cross), who died in the July Putsch of 1934, who was a comrade thus with the other Nazi who killed Dollfuss, who was an SA Sturmbannführer, and who was called Hans Tita Probst, was a Medical Doctor and thus likely to have been in life an Atheist or Pantheist, but at least no Catholic Christian. Unless there was a cross above the piece shown in the picture. Even so, it is likely as with Georges Lemaître he was getting more of his worldview from non-Christian, non-Catholic sources than from orthodoxly Catholic ones.

In Austria, Nazis were progressives, precisely like Social Democrats. Austrofaschists were Reactionaries.

As a Reactionary Austrofaschist, I am thankful it be known that Hans Tita Probst, Sturmbannführer and Medical Doctor, was shot by Austrofaschist either police or military or Heimwehr. Thanks for proving I am not a Nazi! Es war sehr schön, es hat mich sehr gefreut!

There is one Nazi cause cited on the tombstone, which is not bad in itself, but had become bad by the date when the July Putsch took place by the fact that Hitler was at power in Germany. And it was already bad:

November 1, 1933 (Wednesday)
The regulations for Germany's Dachau concentration camp were put into effect by its commander, Theodor Eicke, and used as a blueprint for other camps. Under Article 12, people who refused to work, or shouted while on the job, were to be shot immediately.

Source cited by wikipedians: William L. Shirer, The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (Simon and Schuster, 1959) p272

Was Austria comparable?

November 11, 1933 (Saturday)
Dust Bowl: ... Girl Scout cookies, .... Control of Easter Island was transferred ...
In Austria, a decree by dictator Engelbert Dollfuss provided for prompt judgment and sentencing for people charged with murder, arson or damage of state property.

Source cited: Rolf Steininger, et al., Austria In the Twentieth Century (Transaction Publishers, 2008) p58

No, not really. Prompt judgment and sentencing of dangerous criminals in a dangerous time (this was after quelling a Social Democratic rebellion against the elected Dollfuss régime in 1933, which lead to the dictatorship as such) is not really comparable to putting people in camps for bad attitudes and shooting them if they do not work hard.

So, though a Greater Germany is not and was not bad in itself, it had become very bad at that particular time.

I appreciate Austria. I appreciate Austria for its freedoms. I appreciate Austria for the freedoms extended even to Nazis ... but I would not like to misuse them by being a Nazi. Some states are closer to Nazism while being more virulently against it, just as Nazism at the time was closer to Communism, while both they and Austria were against it.

You see, Austria is Catholic. Even though there is a Protestant minority, it is Catholic. A Greater Germany was a less great idea since the Reformation. But when splitting Germany up, it would have been better to either keep it whole or split on confessional boundary. In fact the North German ower of Prussia took over a Catholic minority in the South - Bavaria being in minority as compared to Germany as a whole. A greater Germany than that would have been a great idea too, if it had not been marred by the Secularism of first Bismarck and later Hitler. A Secularism which was of course appreciated among Med Students, exactly as Secularism is still appreciated by Med Students. If not all, then at least many. The idea of a Greater Germany was resisted by Dollfuss, not because Germans had another language (the official language was the same in Berlin and in Vienna, with minor differences like in pronunciation or in choice of words), but because Prussian dominated German Empire of 1870 had drifted even further away from a Catholic outlook than the Protestant states in the Holy Roman Reich of German Nation had. And Hitler was taking even that to new heights - or depths.

Thank God I saw this gravestone, thank God it was preserved till now. If you preserve carefully Dachau and Auschwitz, keep at least that one gravestone too! About the dead it is commonly true, as about living criminal prisoners it is commonly false that only God can judge them. But we can, from this gravestone, document what set of ideas Nazism really was, and that it was not an outcome of Catholic Christianity or even of Catholic Antijewishness.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
in Paris
Conversion of St Paul

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