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Irmgard Paul

Irmgard Paul


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Irmgard Paul was born in Berchtesgaden, Germany on 28th May, 1934. Her parents, Max Paul and Albine Pöhlmann, had married in January 1933. Max was a porcelain painter, whose work was popular with tourists who visited the town in the Bavarian Alps. (1)

Adolf Hitler had his holiday home, Berghof, in the neighbouring hamlet of Obersalzberg. Both parents were supporters of the Nazi Party: "After years of being made to feel like beggars and scum, they lent an eager ear to the man who told them that Germany was not only a worthy nation but a superior one. Anyone who promised economic stability would capture the nation's mind and soul as well. Of all the Weimar politicians, only Hitler understood fully that playing up patriotism and making false promises to every interest group would garner a following. And most important, perhaps, he realized that instilling fear of a vaguely defined enemy - the conspirators of world Jewry - would bring a suspicious and traumatized people, including my own mother and father, to his side." (2)

Irmgard Paul later recalled in her autobiography, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005): "Hitler's portrait hung above the dark sofa in the family room and his presence influenced our domestic lives, our thoughts, and the stories and memories I gathered". However, Irmgard insists she never heard about events such as Kristallnacht (Crystal Night). "I heard no tales of Kristallnacht that so infamously and unashamedly revealed the intent to dehumanize Jews. These ominous portents on the seemingly bright horizon were smoothed over by the Nazi leaderships' frenzied moral outrage and denunciation of whole segments of the population. Silently my father and mother held on to their delusion that indeed a happy future lay ahead in our cheery home with Hitler's red wax portrait watching over us." (3)

Irmgard's name reflected her parents commitment to the idea of the Master Race: "The Nazi propaganda machine stressed the superiority and importance of things Germanic... and names were among the most important badges of this identity. From now on girls would be called... Irmgard, Helga, Gundrun, Gertrude, Hildegard, Brunhilde, Sigrid, Ingrid, Edeltraud, or the more exotic Gotelinde, Gerlinde, Ortrun, or Heidrun." (4)

Joseph Goebbels made it clear that under the new government married German women would be expected to stay at home and have children: "A fundamental change is necessary. At the risk of sounding reactionary and outdated, let me say this clearly: The first, best, and most suitable place for the women is in the family, and her most glorious duty is to give children to her people and nation, children who can continue the line of generations and who guarantee the immortality of the nation. The woman is the teacher of the youth, and therefore the builder of the foundation of the future. If the family is the nation’s source of strength, the woman is its core and centre. The best place for the woman to serve her people is in her marriage, in the family, in motherhood." (5)

Adolf Hitler argued that the Nazi government was protecting the best interests of women by encouraging them to get married and have children: "The so-called granting of equal rights to women, which Marxism demands, in reality does not grant equal rights but constitutes a deprivation of rights, since it draws the woman into an area in which she will necessarily be inferior. The woman has her own battlefield. With every child that she brings into the world, she fights her battle for the nation." (6)

Irmgard Paul's mother agreed with this viewpoint and loved being a full-time housemaker and mother. "Unfortunately, father's long work hours did not translate into an ample income. Mother's weekly household money was just enough to meet our modest, basic needs, making her thrift a necessary virtue... Mother rented out my bedroom to summer guests who flocked in increasing numbers to Berchtesgaden to breathe the same air as Hitler and perhaps even get a glimpse of him." (7)

The Nazi government brought in measures to encourage women to get married and have large families. Young couples intending to get married could apply in advance for the interest-free loan of up to 1,000 Reichsmarks provided that the prospective wife had been in employment for at least six months in the two years up to the passing of the law. Importantly, she had to give up her job by the time of the wedding and undertake not to enter the labour market again until the loan was paid off, unless her husband lost his job in the meantime. To stimulate production the loans were issued not in cash but in the form of vouchers for furniture and household equipment. By the end of 1934, around 360,000 women had given up work in order to get married. (8)

As Richard Evans, the author of The Third Reich in Power (2005), has pointed out: "That this was not a short-term measure was indicated the terms of repayment, which amounted to 1 per cent of the capital per month, so that the maximum period of the loan could be as much as eight and a half years... However, the loans were made more attractive, and given an additional slant, by a supplementary decree issued on 20 June 1933 reducing the amount to be repaid by a quarter for each child born to the couple in question. With four children, therefore, couples would not have to repay anything." (9)

Albine Paul gave birth to a second daughter, Ingrid, on 12th July, 1937. This was a difficult time for Irmgard: "I was not happy that Ingrid was now being wheeled up and down the road in my baby carriage. Besides, father would come home these days and check out the baby before he told me about his day and what flowers he had painted. I resented the huge amount of time mother seemed to be spending with the baby. All day long she was either nursing it, cooking the mushy food it could eventually eat, and endlessly washing and hanging diapers, baby clothes, and bibs." (10)

As a child, one of Irmgard's best friends was Ruth Ungerer, the daughter of a barber. She was shocked to be told by her mother one day that in future Ruth would be known as Ingrid: "Ruth is a Jewish name and with her father joining the border police it is better for her not to have a Jewish name." Irmgard later commented: "I had no idea what Jewish was, but it could not be good if you had to give up your name because of it." (11)

Adolf Hitler spent a lot of time at the Berghof. During her childhood Irmgard Paul often saw Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Albert Speer, and other Nazi leaders in official black cars driving up the mountain on their way to Obersalzberg.

One day she was with Tante Emilie, who used to look after her when her mother was busy, when she saw Hitler's car: "We ran toward the main road. Hitler's trip up the mountain that day must have been widely announced because we joined an enthusiastic horde of onlookers lining the road, waving and cheering. As always when a large crowd was at attention, Hitler stood up in his open, black Mercedes with the red leather upholstery. His arm was stretched out straight."

Tante Emilie disapproved of Hitler and "had made up her mind that she would not raise her army to greet either the Führer or the swastika flag fluttering next to the Mercedes emblem, an encircled star, on his car." Irmgard Paul happily raised her arm and called out "Heil Hitler" with the rest of the crowd. "As the big, black limousine passed by, even I could see the Führer's face. Tante Emilie kept her arm close by her side at first, but then, probably realizing that she risked imprisonment or worse, she raised it slowly, without shouting."

On the way home, Irmgard heard Tante Emilie grumbling to herself: "How could I have been so weak as to let myself do that?" Years later she told Irmgard: "As the car moved by at its unhurried pace, Hitler's black eyes fastened on her and kept staring at her until, as if hypnotized, she raised her arm in the salute she hated. Tante Emile could never forget this victory of Hitler's will over hers." Irmgard's mother was furious when she heard this story and told Tante Emilie that "you are in the wrong camp". (12)

Albine Paul's father was a strong opponent of Hitler. He had been an active trade unionist and was furious when Hitler ordered the Sturm Abteilung (SA) to destroy the labour movement. Their headquarters throughout the country were occupied, union funds confiscated, the unions dissolved and the leaders arrested. Large numbers were sent to concentration camps. Within a few days 169 different trade unions were under Nazi control. (13)

Hitler gave Robert Ley the task of forming the German Labour Front (DAF). Ley, in his first proclamation, stated: "Workers! Your institutions are sacred to us National Socialists. I myself am a poor peasant's son and understand poverty... I know the exploitation of anonymous capitalism. Workers! I swear to you, we will not only keep everything that exists, we will build up the protection and the rights of the workers still further." (14)

Three weeks later Hitler decreed a law bringing an end to collective bargaining and providing that henceforth "labour trustees", appointed by him, would "regulate labour contracts" and maintain "labour peace". Since the decisions of the trustees were to be legally binding, the law, in effect, outlawed strikes. Ley promised "to restore absolute leadership to the natural leader of a factory - that is, the employer... Only the employer can decide." (15)

In 1937, Irmgard's Pöhlmann grandparents had a holiday in Berchtesgaden. "The degree to which my parents and my grandparents diverged in their views on Hitler and his politics had reached a new high. Most of their discussions, encouraged perhaps by Hitler's presence on the mountain, ended in verbal clashes followed by hostile silences. Grandfather called Hitler a fly-by-night, no-good maniac who had seduced the German people and addled their collective minds and would ultimately betray them." (16)

One day the family decided to pay a visit to the Berghof. "As we made our way uphill the conversations between the grown-ups led to the same clashes they had at home. Mother and father praised Hitler for saving Germany, and grandfather maligned everything the Führer had done. I didn't understand the debates, and their vehemence made me feel anxious and helpless. I wondered who was right and who was wrong, since both sides carried the weight of authority." (17)

When they reached Hitler's house they joined a crowd of people milling around and waiting outside a fence. Hitler eventually came out to talk to the crowd. He liked to have his photograph taken with young children and when he saw blond-haired Irmgard he picked her up: "I remember being ill at ease perched on his knee suspiciously studying his mustache, his slicked-back, oily hair, and the amazingly straight side part, while at the same time acutely sensing the importance of the moment and of the man. The applauding crowd disconcerted me as well, but I smiled bravely, checking every few seconds to make sure my family was close by. An official photographer snapped a photo. At one moment I saw my grandfather turning away brusquely, striking the air angrily with his cane, trying to find an escape through the people. He had obviously had enough of the spectacle, feeling most likely that his granddaughter was being misused by the man for whom he had nothing but contempt."

After being held by Hitler she felt herself to be an important person: "I basked in the admiration that this short, unintended moment on Hitler's lap brought me and felt lucky to live so near the Führer. I was developing, quite according to Nazi plans, into a true little Nazi child in spite of my grandfather's ire.... I saw the Führer drive up or down the Obersalzbergstrasse quite a few times over the next few years but never came that close to him again." (18)

Irmgard's grandfather feared that Hitler's policies would lead to war. During the First World War he had fought on the Western Front: "My grandfather had told me about the war in France, and I had seen tears well up in his eyes when he talked of friends and comrades who had died there next to him in the mud. He had instilled in me a very deep fear of war. War was worse than any story; it was real, it killed, it was horrible." (19)

On 23rd August, 1939, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact. A week later, on 1st September, the two countries invaded Poland. Within 48 hours the Polish Air Force was destroyed, most of its 500 first-line planes having been blown up by German bombing on their home airfields before they could take off. Most of the ground crews were killed or wounded. In the first week of fighting the Polish Army had been destroyed. On 6th September the Polish government fled from Warsaw. (20)

"Eight months after the invasion, I saw mother's face fall as she read the official letter that called my father, now thirty-four, to join the army. The reality of war and the inevitability of our personal involvement suddenly became clear to her in a way it had not before... I did not want him to leave at all, but I understood already that he had to do what the Führer wanted. Mother had a measure of certainty in her voice when she promised us that he would not be gone long and life would be just the same when he came back." (21)

Max Paul joined the Nachrichten Ersatz Korps and after a few months training he was sent to join the occupying forces in Normandy and took part in the fighting in Dunkirk. After six months in France he returned in October 1940 for a week's leave. "I felt my face turn red as a beet when he opened the door, while Ingrid cried big tears of joy. I thought my little sister a cry baby and was slightly annoyed that she did not want to let go let go of him and give me my turn in his strong arms. For the entire week the two of us vied for his attention, and I resented visits from friends who came by to discuss the war situation with him and wish him well. He seemed more serious and preoccupied than I remembered." (22)

The people of Berchtesgaden became disillusioned when Adolf Hitler declared war on the Soviet Union on 22nd June, 1941. "Regardless of the propaganda Hitler dished out to the gullible Germans, the mood among the women of Berchtesgaden grew more somber at the news that the was was expanding to the east. It was beginning to dawn on everyone that the war was expanding to the east. It was beginning to dawn on everyone that this war could take longer than they had originally thought." (23)

Max Paul was killed in France on 5th July, 1941. "People in Berchtesgaden reacted in two different ways to his death - our friends, relatives, and neighbours, with sadness and compassion; the Nazi officials in our lives with pompous, irrelevant condolences. My father's boss, Herr Adler, who for unknown reasons was not drafted, came by - in his S.A. uniform, no less - a few days after the news arrived and said in an oily voice to my stricken mother, Chin up, Frau Paul, chin up. He died for the Führer." (24)

"The morning after we got the death notice, my teacher, Fräulein Stöhr, a fanatical Nazi, ordered me to stand up in front of the class and tell everyone how proud I was that my father had given his life for the Führer. I stood before those hundred children, my face burning, my hurt heart thumping. I clenched my fists and swallowed hard, determined not to cry or otherwise show anyone how I felt. I forced myself to drain all emotion from my voice, even forcing my mouth into a grin, and said, Yes, we heard yesterday that my father died in France for the Führer. Heil Hitler. My face was flushed, but I made sure to walk calmly back to my seat." (25)

It has been estimated that by 1936 over 32 per cent of teachers were members of the Nazi Party. This was a much higher figure than for other professions. Teachers who were members, wore their uniforms in the classroom. The teacher would enter the classroom and welcome the group with a ‘Hitler salute’, shouting "Heil Hitler!" Students would have to respond in the same manner. (26) By 1938 two-thirds of all elementary school teachers were indoctrinated at special camps in a compulsory one-month training course of lectures. What they learned at camp they were expected to pass on to their students. (27)

Irmgard Paul first went to her Berchtesgaden school in April 1940. "From the day mother delivered me into Fräulein Stöhr's clutches it was obvious that this woman was a fanatical Nazi. A true believer. Surely she had become a teacher not because she had an affinity for children but because she wanted to tyrannize them. The Nazi doctrines designed to raise citizens wholly obedient to the Führer's bidding captivated and excited her... The war had already eaten into resources and materials, as well as the supply of male teachers, most of whom were drafted. As a result, Fräulein Stöhr got to sink her fangs into one hundred children belonging to three different grades. We were huddled together in her stark, whitewashed classroom learning the basics by rote plus a bit of local history, needlework for the girls, and geography."

The curriculum did not include anything like "political education", but "Fräulein Stöhr knew how to use occasions like my father's death, Hitler's birthday, good or bad news from the front, or the visit of a prominent local Nazi to indoctrinate us.... Hitler found the brown eyes and dark hair dominant among the valley's people not to his liking, suspecting undesirable Italian or even Slavic influences, and accordingly, Fräulein Stöhr seemed to prefer the Nordic-looking children."

Irmgard Paul had a strong dislike for her teacher: "Prussian obedience, order, and discipline as well as blind submission to Nazi ideology were Fräulein Stöhr's undisputed forte. In these efforts she was aided by two canes cut from a filbert bush, one thin and one thick. She used them for slight infractions.... Over the course of two years she used her filbert canes on my hands at least four times, three times for whispering answers to kids she had called on. Each time I had to leave my crowded bench and walk, embarrassed and infuriated, to the front of the classroom and onto the podium to receive a couple of stinging lashes on my outstretched hand." (28)

One of Irmgard's classmates was Albert Speer, the son of Albert Speer, a senior figure in the Nazi government. "We were quite in awe of Albert, knowing that he came from the inner circle of Nazi leadership, and we hoped, of course, that he would divulge some real secrets of life up there behind the fence and the big gate." The children of Arthur Bormann, Martin Bormann and Fritz Saukel, also sent their children to the school. "It seemed very egalitarian, except that these particular children to the local schools. It seemed very egalitarian, except that these particular children arrived at school in black, sparkling clean Mercedes-Benzes driven by S.S. chauffeurs, just as Hitler himself would have, and whenever sirens announced an air raid they were picked up and whisked away to safety in luxurious bunkers on the mountain." (29)

At school Irmgard was brainwashed into accepting Nazi views on the Jewish race. "We used a book with page after page showing the physical differences between Jews and Germans in grotesque drawings of Jewish noses, lips, and eyes. The book encouraged every child to note these differences and to bring anyone who bore Jewish features on the attention of our parents or teachers. I was horrified by the crimes Jewish people were being accused of - killing babies, loan-sharking, basic dishonesty, and conspiring to destroy Germany and rule the world. The description of the Jewish people would convince any child that these were monsters, not people with sorrows and joys like ours." (30)

In 1943 Irmgard got a new teacher. "Fräulein Hoffmann, a slender, short woman of indeterminate age, welcomed me and assigned me a seat. After the first morning I knew that she was not the ogre that Fräulein Stöhr had been but that she too was a Nazi fanatic, more dangerous, it turned out, than Stöhr... Monday mornings each pupil had to weigh in with at least two pounds of used paper and a ball of smoothed-out silver aluminum foil to help with the war effort."

One day Irmgard asked her grandfather asked if she could take some of his old journals to school to help Germany win the war. "He looked at me as if he had not quite understood my question and then said in a calm, icy tone that not a sliver bf any of his magazines would go to support the war of that scoundrel Hitler... How dare he not support the war that we were told every day was a life-and-death struggle for the German people? I left the workshop without the journals but what I felt would be a permanent resentment against my grandfather."

Soon afterwards Fräulein Hoffmann invited Irmgard Paul to her home "to have a special treat of hot chocolate and cookies at her house". It was not long before Irmgard discovered why she had been asked to visit her teacher: "After a few polite words she asked point-blank what my grandfather thought about Adolf Hitler and what he said about the war. I was still angry with my grandfather but stalled, sitting uncomfortably on the moss green, upholstered chair in Fräulein Hoffmann's living room, weighing my feelings against my answer. On the one hand, grandfather was withholding paper for the war effort... On the other hand, he was my grandfather. I knew the twinkle in his eyes when he was amused and had seen tears running down his face when one after another the messages arrived that both his apprentices had been killed on the eastern front... After much too long a pause I came to the decision that I liked this nosy teacher less than my grandfather."

Irmgard Paul commented in her autobiography, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005): "Although I did not know it that day, Fräulein Hoffmann was a Nazi informer, and my telling the truth would have sent grandfather to a concentration camp. Something had made me protect my grandfather, but it took a long time before I realized how lucky I (and he) had been in making that decision. On that particular day, though, I felt thoroughly sick of these conflicts forced on me by adults." (31)

All young girls in Nazi Germany had to join the German Girls' League (Bund Deutscher Mädel), the female branch of the Hitler Youth movement. There were two general age groups: the Jungmädel, from ten to fourteen years of age, and older girls from fifteen to twenty-one years of age. All girls in the BDM were constantly reminded that the great task of their schooling was to prepare them to be "carriers of the... Nazi world view". (32)

In April, 1944, just before she reached the age of ten, Irmgard Paul joined the Jungmädel. "On a rainy afternoon in April the new H.J. members were verpflichtet (inducted, or sworn in), and mother and Ingrid came to watch in the drizzle... The slim dark blue skirt, the white blouse with white buttons already impressed with BDM, and the black kerchief fastened at the neck by a brown leather knot were hand-me-downs from Trudi."

"At our first Appell (drill and meeting) we were lined up by size four rows deep and called to order for learning how to march in place. The group leader, Heidi Seiberl, daughter of one of the local clothing-and-fabric merchants, called out as loud as she could, left, right, left, right... The boys were already marching past us, their steps sounding firm and the commands loud, better perhaps than our walking shoes and girls' voices ever would. Their red-haired leader... marched alongside the troop giving commands, while a couple of boys beat drums ahead of the marchers. Finally we too marched through the town from one end to the other, under the old arches along the castle square... I was completely seduced by a feeling of belonging, of being united with all young Germans wearing the uniform." (33)

"In addition to marching drills we Jungmädel trained for sports competitions, hiked, sang a great deal, and listened to many lectures and speeches by senior leaders. They always said that every boy and girl had to do his or her share to win the war and that we must believe that the Führer was invincible and Germany's only salvation. No one asked a question; it was not called for and we were much too well indoctrinated to do so." (34)

Members of the BDM were encouraged to communicate with members of the German armed forces. "The Jungmädel sent packages filled with mittens and wrist warmers that we had knitted in rainbow colours from unraveled wool, some food, and tobacco to soldiers in the field. The packages were small, since we hadn't much to give, but we were told that what made them special were our personal notes to the soldiers. I found it difficult to think of something cheery, let alone meaningful, to write to a soldier I did not know and who might die soon... We sent the packages to randomly assigned military addresses at one or another of our far-flung but increasingly closer fronts." (35)

On 21st July, 1944, Irmgard Paul heard about the attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler by Claus von Stauffenberg and his group (July Plot): "The Führer himself goes on the radio, assuring the German people that he is alive and well, that he has not sustained more than a few cuts and bruises. Providence has intervened in his behalf, he says. The revolt, hatched by German generals, has been completely suppressed. All the conspirators have been killed or have committed suicide." (36)

The following day, Albine Paul, was talking to the artist, Hans Jörg Schuster, about the attempt to kill Hitler. Schuster argued that there need to be a purge against those who were not completely loyal to the Führer. Suddenly she interrupted him and said, "You know what I wish? I wish they had killed Hitler and then there would be a chance to end the war." Schuster responded with the words: "You are a traitor too! I am going to the Gestapo right now and tell them about you!" The expected visit from the Gestapo never came and so Schuster must have changed his mind. (37)

Adolf Hitler committed suicide on 30th April 1945. The following day a young Schutzstaffel soldier visited Albine and asked if she had any civilian men's clothing. "He wanted to shed his uniform and get away. Mother hushed me back to bed and gave the man a pair of my father's tweed knickers, a shirt, and a jacket. There were more knocks that night and the next, and more jackets and pants disappeared. I heard the transactions with increasing resentment over my mother's largesse with my dead father's clothes. I wondered if she knew that even now helping soldiers desert was treason." (38)

On 3rd May, 1945, a messenger from the mayor's office in Berchtesgaden walked from house to house. He told them to "hang a white sheet over your balconies or out of the windows... and to open the door without resistance to any foreign soldier who wants to enter". Albine carried out these instructions. She also took down Hitler's portrait from the wall and destroyed it. The following day the 3rd Division of the United States Army arrived in town.

Irmgard Paul later commented: "I had sometimes tried to imagine what the U.S. soldiers would be like. My knowledge of Americans came from... Nazi propaganda, which held that the United States was an instrument of the Jews who wanted to destroy Germany, and that the country's white inhabitants were uncultured barbarians who ate from tin cans." Irmgard was surprised when she first saw the soldiers: "They looked fierce but to my surprise just as young and handsome as our soldiers had been. Fleeting as my impressions were, I found the Americans to look more human than I thought possible."

Her views about the occupation troops changed a few days later: "A contingent of French and Moroccan soldiers had arrived in Berchtesgaden almost simultaneously with the U.S. troops, we became alarmed and less optimistic about our personal safety... The soldiers of both armies were given free rein to plunder the town for several days after the surrender - permission that resulted in many vivid accounts of theft and rape." (39)

On 17th October, 1946, Irmgard Paul, new teacher, Imma Krumm, told the children: "You probably all know that, thanks to God, justice was done in Nuremberg yesterday and the Nazi criminals met with their deserved death." Bernhard Sauckel, the son of Fritz Saukel one of the men executed after the Nuremberg War Trials was in her class: "I suddenly saw that Bernhard Sauckel, who sat a few benches ahead of mine, had fainted... Most of us liked Bernhard Sauckel, a funny little guy with very small eyes and a heavy Saxonian accent. An awful silence followed the incident, and in utter confusion we tried in our minds to separate the Bernhard we knew from what his father had done." (40)

In 1958 Irmgard Paul spent time in London learning English before moving to the United States. She married a psychoanalyst and lived in Manhattan. The couple had two children, Peter and Karen. In the 1960s she was an opponent of the Vietnam War: "I think the war in Vietnam was a watershed the way people viewed this topic. Before Vietnam there was a conviction of America’s righteousness and the total evil of Germany. Then Americans saw that even democratically elected leaders could lead a country into a war with which not everyone agreed. This humbling experience caused people to reflect on the courage it takes to stand up against one’s government and how long - even in an open society - it can take to change foreign policies." (41)

In the 1980s she studied for degrees at Columbia University and Harvard University. (42) She also began work on an autobiography, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005). "I began writing about my father’s death just a few years after the war when I attended the Gymnasium (high school). In class, one day, I read my essay out loud and was stunned to realize that it had moved my classmates to tears. I rewrote that story many times. The decision to put the memories of those mean years into a book was prompted by my grown-up children’s questions, and my conviction that the lessons of my Nazi childhood must not be lost, especially in this time of fear and of peril for the American Democracy." (43)

After years of being made to feel like beggars and scum, they lent an eager ear to the man who told them that Germany was not only a worthy nation but a superior one. And most important, perhaps, he realized that instilling fear of a vaguely defined enemy - the conspirators of world Jewry - would bring a suspicious and traumatized people, including my own mother and father, to his side...

I heard no tales of Kristallnacht that so infamously and unashamedly revealed the intent to dehumanize Jews. Silently my father and mother held on to their delusion that indeed a happy future lay ahead in our cheery home with Hitler's red wax portrait watching over us.

The morning after we got the death notice, my teacher, Fräulein Stöhr, a fanatical Nazi, ordered me to stand up in front of the class and tell everyone how proud I was that my father had given his life for the Führer. My face was flushed, but I made sure to walk calmly back to my seat.


School was the serious side of life, never meant to make a child happy. From the day mother delivered me into Fräulein Stöhr's clutches it was obvious that this woman was a fanatical Nazi. The Nazi doctrines designed to raise citizens wholly obedient to the Führer's bidding captivated and excited her. I began first grade at Easter 1940, but since Hitler changed the beginning of the school year to the fall shortly afterward, I am not quite sure whether my first year was very short or very long. At any rate, the war had already eaten into resources and materials, as well as the supply of male teachers, most of whom were drafted. We were huddled together in her stark, whitewashed classroom learning the basics by rote plus a bit of local history, needlework for the girls, and geography.

The curriculum did not include anything like "political education", but Fräulein Stöhr knew how to use occasions like my father's death, Hitler's birthday, good or bad news from the front, or the visit of a prominent local Nazi to indoctrinate us.... Hitler found the brown eyes and dark hair dominant among the valley's people not to his liking, suspecting undesirable Italian or even Slavic influences, and accordingly, Fräulein Stöhr seemed to prefer the Nordic-looking children...

Prussian obedience, order, and discipline as well as blind submission to Nazi ideology were Fräulein Stöhr's undisputed forte. Each time I had to leave my crowded bench and walk, embarrassed and infuriated, to the front of the classroom and onto the podium to receive a couple of stinging lashes on my outstretched hand.

Question: The words: "I felt thoroughly sick of these conflicts forced upon me by adults" leapt off the page. How do you think adults use children to enhance their own sense of power? Should adults take more care to expose children to conflicting ideas and points of view to help them form sound, personal opinions?

Answer: Politicians, including Hitler, thrive on being portrayed with smiling, happy children providing evidence that the future of the country is in caring, fatherly hands. I think that the worst misuse of children is to turn them into spies, informers, and even soldiers. In free societies, teachers and especially parents have the obligation to prevent politicians from establishing policies that endanger their children’s future freedoms and well-being. Most of all, they have the responsibility to expose children to diverging views, to expect tolerance, and to encourage them to question things and to stand up for their views. Parents should never cede this responsibility to ideologues who may use propaganda machines as good as those of Goebbels.

Question: Do you see similarities between present day societies that indoctrinate children with hatred and intolerance and those in your childhood in the Third Reich?

Answer: Most political regimes look to the nation’s youth to assure their own future and the next generation of devoted followers. Putting children in uniforms and making them feel part of a larger cause are well-tested tricks of authoritarian regimes. One-sided pressure and the teaching of superiority and intolerance often paired with intimidation are almost impossible for a child to fight off. Poverty and hopelessness provide particularly fertile ground for hatred to take root as we have seen in Germany in the twenties. But even in democratic countries improving children’s lives should be a priority on a nation’s agenda.

Adolf Hitler's Early Life (Answer Commentary)

Heinrich Himmler and the SS (Answer Commentary)

Trade Unions in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler v John Heartfield (Answer Commentary)

Hitler's Volkswagen (The People's Car) (Answer Commentary)

Women in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (Answer Commentary)

The Last Days of Adolf Hitler (Answer Commentary)

(1) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 27

(2) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 28

(3) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) pages 34-35

(4) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 40

(5) Joseph Goebbels, speech in Munich (March, 1933)

(6) Adolf Hitler, speech (September, 1935)

(7) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) pages 55-56

(8) Cate Haste, Nazi Women (2001) page 85

(9) Richard Evans, The Third Reich in Power (2005) page 331

(10) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 66

(11) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 58

(12) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) pages 67-69

(13) Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (1998) page 64

(14) Robert Ley, proclamation (May, 1933)

(15) William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany (1959) pages 253-254

(16) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 79

(17) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 80

(18) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) pages 86-91

(19) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 98

(20) William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany (1959) page 753

(21) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 105

(22) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 108

(23) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 114

(24) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 120

(25) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 121

(26) Richard Grunberger, A Social History of the Third Reich (1971) page 364

(27) Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (1998) page 79

(28) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 131

(29) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 143

(30) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 183

(31) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) pages 174-177

(32) Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (1998) page 46

(33) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 195

(34) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 198

(35) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 199

(36) Ilse Koehn, Mischling, Second Degree: My Childhood in Nazi Germany (1977) page 143

(37) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 204

(38) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 228

(39) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 245

(40) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 252

(41) Irmgard Paul, interview with Harper Collins (2005)

(42) Irmgard Paul, On Hitler's Mountain: My Nazi Childhood (2005) page 313

(43) Irmgard Paul, interview with Harper Collins (2005)


Public history

Public history is a broad range of activities undertaken by people with some training in the discipline of history who are generally working outside of specialized academic settings. Public history practice is deeply rooted in the areas of historic preservation, archival science, oral history, museum curatorship, and other related fields. The field has become increasingly professionalized in the United States and Canada since the late 1970s. Some of the most common settings for the practice of public history are museums, historic homes and historic sites, parks, battlefields, archives, film and television companies, new medias and all levels of government.


More Americans Supported Hitler Than You May Think. Here's Why One Expert Thinks That History Isn't Better Known

T hese days, and especially since the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., last August, it has become clear to many Americans that the specter of Nazism in their country is not resigned to 1930s history. But until very recently, even that part of the story was less well known than it is today.

In fact, when Bradley W. Hart first started researching the history of Nazi sympathy in the United States a few years ago, he was largely driven by the absence of attention to the topic. Hart&rsquos new book Hitler&rsquos American Friends: The Third Reich’s Supporters in the United States argues that the threat of Nazism in the United States before World War II was greater than we generally remember today, and that those forces offer valuable lessons decades later &mdash and not just because part of that story is the history of the &ldquoAmerica First&rdquo idea, born of pre-WWII isolationism and later reborn as a slogan for now-President Donald Trump.

&ldquoThere&rsquos certainly a raw and visceral shock to seeing swastikas displayed in American streets,&rdquo Hart tells TIME. &ldquoBut this is a topic I&rsquod been working on for quite a while at that point, and while it wasn&rsquot something I expected, it was a trend I&rsquod been observing. I wasn&rsquot terribly shocked but there&rsquos still a visceral reaction when you see that kind of symbolism displayed in the 21st century.&rdquo

Hart, who came to the topic via research on the eugenics movement and the history of Nazi sympathy in Britain, says he realized early on that there was a lot more to the American side of that story than most textbooks acknowledged. Some of the big names might get mentioned briefly &mdash the radio priest Father Charles Coughlin, or the highly public German American Bund organization &mdash but in general, he says, the American narrative of the years leading up to World War II has elided the role of those who supported the wrong side. And yet, American exchange students went to Germany and returned with glowing reviews, while none other than Charles Lindbergh denounced Jewish people for pushing the U.S. toward unnecessary war. In its various expressions, the pro-Nazi stance during those years was mostly focused not on creating an active military alliance with Germany or bringing the U.S. under Nazi control (something Hitler himself thought wouldn&rsquot be possible) but rather on keeping the U.S. out of war in Europe.

So why was that past overlooked for so long?

In part, Hart theorizes, it&rsquos because the American story of World War II is such a powerful national narrative. The United States, that narrative says, helped save the world. Rocked by Pearl Harbor, Americans stepped up to turn the tide for the Allies and thus solidified their nation’s place as a global superpower. That narrative doesn&rsquot have much room for the relatively small, but significant, number of Americans who were rooting for the other side.

&ldquoIt&rsquos always been uncomfortable in this country to talk about isolationism, though the ideas are still out there,&rdquo he says, &ldquoIt&rsquos part of the American mythology. We want to remember ourselves as always having been on the right side in this war.&rdquo

It was also possible for those who had participated in Nazi-sympathetic groups to later cloak their beliefs in the Cold War&rsquos anti-communist push &mdash a dynamic that had in fact driven some of them to fascism in the first place, as it seemed “tougher on communism than democracy is,” as Hart puts it. (One survey he cites found that in 1938, more Americans thought that communism was worse than fascism than vice versa.) Such people could truthfully insist that they&rsquod always been anti-communist without revealing that they&rsquod been fascists, and their fellow Americans were still so worried about communism that they might not press the matter.

&ldquoWe still don&rsquot totally know the scope of this,&rdquo he adds, noting that some important documents are still classified.


Hatred in Plain Sight

In the city where Martin Luther revolutionized Christianity, a vile, 700-year-old sculpture openly denigrates Jews. Why is it still there?

It takes less than ten minutes to walk the length of the cobblestone street of Judenstrasse ("Jew street") in the sleepy East German town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. On the street’s western end stands the Wittenberg Schlosskirche, or Castle Church, where, according to legend, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door on October 31, 1517. Nearby is an enormous 360-degree panorama installation by a Leipzig artist celebrating Luther for democratizing the church. A few blocks to the east, behind the old market square, is the Stadtkirche, also known as the Wittenberg Town Church of St. Mary’s. It was here that Luther delivered the majority of his sermons, and it’s also the site of the first celebration of Mass in German instead of Latin. Wittenberg in general—and the Stadtkirche in particular—is considered the heart of the Protestant Reformation.

Around the back of the Stadtkirche, in a carved sandstone sculpture set into the facade, a rabbi lifts the tail of a pig to look for his Talmud. As he stares, other Jews gather around the belly of the sow to suckle. Above this scene is written in flowery script: “Rabini Schem HaMphoras,” a mangled inscription intended to mock the Hebrew phrase for the holiest name of God.

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A window of Stadtkirsche looks out on the Castle Church, where Martin Luther was said to have nailed his 95 theses to the door, disputing the sale of indulgences and launching the Reformation. (Jasper Bastian)

The sandstone sculpture is a once-common form of medieval iconography called a “Judensau,” or “Jew’s pig.” Its existence predates the Nazi period by nearly 700 years. Sculptures of Jews and pigs started appearing in architecture in the 1300s, and the printing press carried on the motif in everything from books to playing cards well into the modern period. Today, more than 20 Judensau sculptures are still incorporated into German churches and cathedrals, with a few others in neighboring countries. At least one Judensau—on the wall of a medieval apothecary in Bavaria—was taken down for its offensive nature, but its removal in 1945 is thought to have been ordered by an American soldier. The Judensau in Wittenberg is one of the best preserved—and one of the most visible. The church is a Unesco World Heritage site.

The Judensau sculpture on the wall of the Wittenberg church. “Rabini,” a nonsense word, was intended to further mock the rabbi shown peering into the pig’s anus. (Jasper Bastian)

Over the past few years, the debate over this anti-Jewish sculpture has become newly urgent. Far-right nationalism has been on the rise throughout the country, but especially in Saxony-Anhalt, the state where Wittenberg is located. In August 2018, after Iraqi and Syrian asylum seekers were arrested for stabbing a German man, thousands of neo-Nazis from around the country descended on the Saxony-Anhalt city of Chemnitz and rioted for a week. In one attack, a Jewish restaurant owner said dozens of assailants threw rocks, bottles and a metal pipe at his business and shouted, “Get out of Germany, you Judensau!”

In 2016, the last time Saxony-Anhalt held an election, the far-right ultra-nationalist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) debuted at 24.2 percent of the vote. In September 2019, when the neighboring state of Saxony held its most recent election, the AfD received 27.5 percent. The following month, in October 2019, a far-right gunman attempted to attack a synagogue in the town of Halle, about an hour southwest of Wittenberg. His shots killed two people and wounded two others.

At the same time, Germany’s process of atonement for its war crimes is widely recognized. After World War II, the country paid nearly $90 billion in reparations, mostly to Jewish victims. Monuments and memorials in major cities pay tribute to the Jewish dead. Along with the larger memorials and concentration camp sites, there are stolpersteine in 500 German towns and cities, including on nearly every street corner in Berlin—small brass plaques bearing Jewish names, set in the ground outside the homes from which the residents were taken.

In 1945, workmen in Berlin climb atop a headless statue of a Nazi soldier near barracks now occupied by U.S. troops. The statue was later demolished as part of the de-Nazification program. (Bettmann / Getty Images)

These acknowledgments began with an Allied-led program called Entnazifizierung, or de-Nazification. It started when Americans captured Nuremberg in 1945 and blew up the giant swastika overlooking Hitler’s parade grounds. Street signs bearing the Nazi names were removed. War criminals were tried and convicted. Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of West Germany, abandoned the official de-Nazification program, but the generation of Germans who came of age after the war earnestly resumed the task. As recently as a few months ago, a 93-year-old former officer at Stutthof concentration camp was tried and found guilty of 5,230 counts of accessory to murder.

Today, raising one’s arm in a Nazi salute is illegal in Germany. So is calling someone a Judensau. Yet the Judensau sculptures remain. For decades there have been petitions and calls for their removal, but none has succeeded. Michael Dietrich Düllmann, a 76-year-old pensioner, is hoping to fix that.

In many ways, Düllmann hasn’t changed much since the night in 1968 when he entered a West German church with an ax, locked himself inside and chopped up four plaques dedicated to German World War I soldiers. He left behind a pacifist message, painted in red: “My house should be for prayer for all, but you made it a hall of fame for your crimes.”

Today, Düllmann is lithe and spritely and eager to talk. A story about his childhood leads to an impassioned account of Germany after World War II. “Shame!” he says. Shame on the church, on those who defend the Judensau. Above all shame on the way Germany has handled its history with the Jewish people.

Left, a kiddish cup and other Sabbath objects in Michael Düllmann's apartment. Right, Düllmann at home in Bonn. He leads the fight against Wittenberg's Judensau sculpture, which he calls a "shameful assault on the Jews." (Jasper Bastian)

He lives in a one-bedroom apartment in a large concrete building on the outskirts of Bonn. He has no TV or computer. “My world is the world of literature, not the world of the internet,” he tells me before reciting “Death Fugue,” a poem by Holocaust survivor Paul Celan. Menorahs line his shelves, and in a far corner, a dresser is set up for his weekly Shabbat celebration.

Born to a Protestant family in 1943 in the Eastern German town of Halberstadt, Düllmann was the son of a Nazi soldier who was imprisoned by the Russian Army on the Eastern Front. His father did not return to his family after his release, settling instead in the West, which was divided from East Germany in 1949. His mother’s tuberculosis and subsequent stay in a sanatorium delayed the family’s move to the West until 1953. But his parents never reunited, and he spent much of his childhood with a foster family.

He learned to read from a thick family Bible printed in Gothic script. He says this sparked his early interest in theology and religion. But as a teenager he did poorly in school and rebelled. In 1959, he went to live with his mother near the West German town of Wolfenbüttel and managed to complete high school. He began to learn about Hitler, National Socialism, the Holocaust. He confronted his mother, who admitted she voted for Hitler in 1933, but he never had the opportunity to confront his father, who died in 1966.

By that time, Düllmann was enrolled at the University of Göttingen. As a theological student, he was exempt from service in the military, but in 1967 he nevertheless chose a community service alternative and worked as a caretaker in a nursing home for 18 months. In 1971, he saw an advertisement by a Swiss student group looking for volunteers to travel to Israel to work on a kibbutz. He decided to sign up, and dropped out of the university.

The pouch holding Düllmann’s tallit, or prayer shawl. Long before converting to Judaism, he loved Old Testament stories: "It's hard to explain what moves you." (Jasper Bastian)

Such a period of discovery is a typical story for members of what Germans call the 󈨈 generation. Children of former Nazis confronted the sins of their parents, becoming peace activists in solidarity with the civil rights and antiwar movements in the United States, France, Czechoslovakia and elsewhere. “So many of our parents’ generation did not want to speak about the Nazi period,” he says.

On the kibbutz, Düllmann did all manner of menial labor, but for him it felt like paradise. He was meant to stay three months but remained four years, living and working at four different kibbutzim. At one of them, he met Gina, a German Jew who had grown up in Brazil after her family fled Hitler’s rise in the 1930s. He says his decision to convert to Judaism came to him on a walk. “The nature was blooming, everything was so beautiful,” he said. He was in love.

He wanted to convert in Israel, but the process was long there, and he was feeling pressured to become a West Bank settler. Instead, he returned to Germany in 1975 to convert to Judaism under the auspices of a rabbi who was a Holocaust survivor, and Gina came with him to get married. The marriage didn’t last, but he and Gina remain close.

He began to study politics, but ended his studies again, this time because he had a young family to support. As he worked a number of factory jobs, he often participated in demonstrations against nuclear power, arms sales and environmental degradation. In 1987, he campaigned against the building of a hotel on the site of a synagogue in Bonn that had been destroyed on Kristallnacht, living on the site for several months and going on a hunger strike.

In 1990, he says, police knocked on his door and asked if he was ready to pay fines relating to his many previous arrests at demonstrations throughout the 󈨔s. He refused. “I did not want to criminalize the peace movement by paying these fines,” he explained. He was then imprisoned and conducted a 64-day hunger strike while in jail. Doctors brought in were horrified at his deteriorating health. After his release, he began training to become a geriatric care nurse, a job he held for 18 years until his retirement in 2009.

In 2017, while Düllmann was in Wittenberg rallying for the Judensau sculpture to be taken down, a group of nuns from Leipzig approached him and asked if he would consider taking the matter to court. He took up the charge wholeheartedly. When it came to fighting the church, he quickly realized, a lawsuit was a subtler tool than an ax.

In 2017 Düllmann protested as the Stadtkirche marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation: "What does this Church want to be," his sign asks, "Gospel Church or Jewish Pig Church. ” (John MacDougall / AFP via Getty Images)

In Germany, legal costs must be paid upfront and are recuperated only in the event of a victory. Düllmann has paid more than 50 percent of the legal costs himself, taking them out of his pension of 𔚹,150 per month. The rest has been donated by supporters of his cause.

His legal case hangs on defamation laws in Germany. Düllmann argues that the Judensau sculpture should be removed because it defames and offends the Jewish community of Germany. But for Düllmann, the fight is about much more than a single defamatory image. It is a fight for the heart of German culture, of which Luther is a foundational part. “All German culture was poisoned by him with hatred of Jews and anti-Semitism,” he says, pointing out that Luther played an important role in the ideology of the Third Reich.

“Luther was once a hero to me,” he says, “and is now my opponent.”

That Martin Luther hated Jews is not much of a historical question. He was more sympathetic in his early years, lamenting that the church “dealt with the Jews as if they were dogs rather than human beings.” But after years of trying and failing to convert them to Christianity, he wrote several lengthy tirades against the Jewish people. In one major treatise, “On the Jews and Their Lies,” he called upon Christians to burn Jewish homes, schools and synagogues and destroy Jewish prayer books.

To modern ears, that might sound like a dead ringer for the Kristallnacht pogroms of 1938. Luther’s defenders argue that his prescription was “anti-Jewish” rather than “anti-Semitic,” an attack on the religion rather than the ethnic group that practiced it. They insist that anti-Semitism, as Hitler preached it, relied on 19th-century race theories and therefore has nothing to do with Luther’s religious critique.

A plaque dedicated to Martin Luther inside the Schlosskirche. Over his head is a quotation from Romans 10:15: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring peace.” (Jasper Bastian)

That distinction is largely artificial, says Thomas Kaufmann, a Protestant theology professor at the University of Göttingen and author of the 2014 book Luther’s Jews. Even though medieval attitudes preceded modern biological theories about race, he sees them as “proto-racist anti-Semitism.”

“By this I mean, for example, statements made by Luther like those that say, baptized or not baptized, Jew remains Jew,” Kaufmann told me. “This is heresy, because from a theological standpoint, the only difference between a Christian and a Jew or a non-Christian is baptism. And with a statement like this, Luther makes clear that a Jew can never be a Christian simply because he was born a Jew.”

Historians estimate that the Wittenberg Judensau was installed two centuries before Luther, around 1305, though the exact date is disputed. The motif appeared in ecclesiastic architecture from the 13th to the 15th centuries. A church was the most prominent architectural feature of many medieval towns, so it acted not only as a meeting place but as a billboard for communal values. Kaufmann suggests that a Judensau was a warning to Jews—a clear sign that they were not welcome.

Luther himself praised the sculpture on his home church in a 1543 text called “Of the Unknowable Name and the Generations of Christ.” Throughout the tract, he denounced Jewish beliefs about a hidden, powerful name for God—a kabbalistic teaching that Jews refer to as the “Shem HaMephorash” (the explicit name). “Here in Wittenberg, in our parish church,” Luther wrote, “there is a sow carved into the stone under which lie young pigs and Jews who are sucking behind the sow stands a rabbi who is lifting up the right leg of the sow, raises behind the sow, bows down and looks with great effort into the Talmud under the sow, as if he wanted to read and see something most difficult and exceptional no doubt they gained their Schem Hamphoras from that place.” The inscription “Rabini Schem HaMphoras” was installed above the sculpture 27 years later, in Luther’s honor.

No one I spoke to denied that the Judensau represents centuries of violent oppression. So why does it remain when Nazi artifacts, which represented only 12 years of persecution, were so thoroughly erased from public places?

English has two words—“monument” and “memorial”—to describe a structure meant to remind viewers of a person or an event. The two are used so interchangeably that it’s hard to describe the difference. But there’s no English word to describe an installation that apologizes for the past—perhaps because, until recently, America and Britain tended not to build them. The memorials for Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, D.C. both recognize shameful episodes in American history—slavery and segregation—but only in the course of celebrating great men. One reason Confederate monuments are so controversial is that Americans can’t agree on whether they glorify the past or simply represent it.

In Germany, there’s less ambiguity around that question. German has several words for memorials. An Ehrenmal is a monument built to honor its subject (ehren means “to honor”). A Denkmal commemorates an event, like a battle, while a Gedenkstätte is a place of reflection and contemplation. Both of those words contain the root denken, “to think.”

Some monuments are also called Mahnmals—warning signs or admonitions never to repeat a horrendous part of history. The Dachau concentration camp is one of many sites throughout Germany that now stands in this spirit. Tour guides lead visitors around the grounds, past the mass graves, and under the gate that still bears the infamous slogan Arbeit macht frei—“Work sets you free.” The preservation of this camp, and other significant Nazi sites, is championed by those who want the world to remember the crimes that took place there.

The Jewish American author Susan Neiman praised Germany’s approach to these sites in her 2019 book Learning From the Germans. But she takes issue with the Wittenberg sculpture. “Monuments are visible values,” she told me. “And the question is what kind of values have they retained? Not whose feelings are they hurting, rather what kind of values are they showing in this very important historical church?”

In the 1980s, the Wittenberg church tried to solve its Judensau conundrum by turning the site into a Mahnmal. The church went through a renovation in 1983, in honor of Martin Luther’s 500th birthday. After five years of deliberation, those in charge of the project decided that the Judensau would remain—but they would add a memorial to the Jewish people. Unveiled in 1988, it is now installed on the ground in bronze. Two crossing lines are surrounded by text that reads: “The proper name of God, the maligned Schem-ha-mphoras, was held holy by the Jews long before the Christians. Six million Jews died under the sign of a cross.” Alongside those German words is a Hebrew quotation, the beginning of Psalm 130: “Out of the depths I cry unto Thee, O Lord.”

The whole installation lies flat on the ground, but it’s designed to look as though it’s being pushed upward by something bubbling up from underneath. Friedrich Schorlemmer, the former pastor of the Schlosskirche down the street, explains the significance of the image on the church’s website. “You can’t cover up injustice,” he writes. “The memory springs up from the rectangular slabs.”

The memorial to persecuted Jews on the ground outside the Stadtkirche. In keeping with Jewish customs for graves and memorials, visitors have placed stones on top. (Jasper Bastian)

Schorlemmer’s own biography parallels Düllmann’s. Born in 1944, one year after Düllmann, to a Nazi doctor on the Eastern Front, Schorlemmer was also intensely active in the peace movements of the 󈨀s and 󈨊s. He became a dissident pastor and a celebrated figurehead in movements for human rights, pacifism and the environment. Under the East German regime, his outspokenness put him under close observation by the Stasi, the infamous East German secret police. Both Schorlemmer and Düllmann have spent their lives wrestling with the past, horrified at their parents’ generation.

But they’ve ended up on opposite sides of the Judensau debate. Schorlemmer was among those who fought for the installation of the memorial. He considers it a hard-won show of justice and remembrance for German Jews. The current pastor at the Wittenberg Stadtkirche church itself, Johannes Block, feels the same way: “It is an admittedly paradoxical way of achieving a good goal with an evil object, namely dealing with history.” Objects placed in a museum “fade into oblivion,” as he put it. The church made the decision not to hide its own shameful legacy but rather to accept accountability.

When the Jüdische Allgemeine, a German Jewish paper, asked Block in February about the original anti-Semitic sculpture, he replied, “I feel shame, anger, and horror when I look at it. But it’s about the correct handling of this terrible legacy.” In recent years, the church has gone a step further, posting an information panel about Judensau sculptures and their role in history. In its three paragraphs of text, the new sign acknowledges the persecution of Jews in the area and briefly mentions Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic writings.

Left, Johannes Block, the religious leader of the Wittenberg Stadtkirsche, has said that his church is “not happy about the difficult inheritance” of the Judensau. Right, the towers of the Stadtkirsche. (Jasper Bastian)

But when I spoke to Block about the original sculpture, his approach seemed circuitous in its own way. He corrected me several times when I called it a “Judensau.” That term, he insisted, only came about in the 1920s as a way to defame Jews and therefore “has nothing to do with the middle ages.” He preferred the term “Wittenberg Sow.” When I asked him about what should be done with similar sculptures still standing throughout Europe, he said he would recommend that the others add the kind of context the Wittenberg church has added. Still, as the leader of the most important historic church in Protestantism, he hasn’t vocally campaigned for such an undertaking.

When I asked why a swastika should be removed or placed in a museum and a medieval Judensau should not, he mentioned a series of Nazi-era church bells that have been the subject of controversy and court battles around Germany. In the northern Germany town of Schweringen, after a parish council decided to keep using their bell in 2018, activists sneaked in just before Easter and sanded the swastikas and the Nazi inscription off the metal surface. They left behind a note calling their act a “spring cleaning” to remove “the filth of the National Socialists.”

To Block’s mind, the swastika-imprinted bell wasn’t an integral part of history like the Wittenberg church. “I would make a distinction between the time of racist anti-Semitism and a dictator,” he said, “and an anti-Jewish symbol of the middle ages.”

Can a medieval relief still be considered a criminal insult today? This is the question the courts have been deliberating in Düllmann’s case. In Germany, defamation on the basis of ethnicity or race is a serious offense. Many of the things Germany would find prosecutable (Holocaust denial, for example) would be permitted under the United States’ exceptionally broad definition of free speech. Germany believes that allowing hate speech endangers the country’s democracy and freedom—a lesson enshrined in its constitution after the Nazi period.

Düllmann had his first opportunity to make his case before a German court in May 2018. He argued that the sculpture should be removed from the church facade. He even suggested that Wittenberg establish a permanent museum to address Christian anti-Semitism. The local court rejected his plea, declaring that the Judensau should remain as a “witness of its times.” Some high-ranking members of the German Lutheran Church disagreed with the decision. Irmgard Schwaetzer, the chair of the church’s nationwide synod, told a reporter that she found Düllmann’s arguments persuasive. The sculpture, she said, “expresses pure hatred of Jews,” and she urged her fellow church members to consider “the feelings that this place awakens in our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

In January 2020, Düllmann made his case again at the appeals court for the state of Saxony-Anhalt in Naumburg. Once again, a panel of judges declined to order the sculpture’s removal. Their reasoning was complex. First, they pointed out, the church wasn’t disputing that the sculpture was offensive. “The parties agree that this relief—at the time of its creation and even in the 16th century, when it was supplemented by the inscription ‘Schem HaMphoras’—served to slander Jews.” The issue, the judges said, was not the intent behind the original sculpture but the way its message comes across today.

In the court’s view, the memorial plaque added to the church grounds in the 1980s, as well as the signage about Martin Luther and the history of medieval anti-Semitism, made all the difference. “You can neutralize the original intent with commentary on the historical context,” the judges wrote. “This is the case with the Wittenberg sculpture.”

Two nuns were among the many onlookers who showed up at the courtroom in Naumburg this past January for the Judensau's removal. (Peter Endig / Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

The judges summarized Düllmann’s argument in one concise sentence: “An insult remains an insult even if you add commentary around it.” By that logic, they reasoned, every museum exhibit featuring anti-Semitic relics would have to be taken down. Likewise, they continued, Arbeit macht frei, the signage at the Dachau concentration camp, could be seen as comparable to the Judensau sculpture. And yet, because of the new context surrounding it at the restored concentration camp, no one was arguing that this hideous Nazi slogan was offensive today.

The difference, the court acknowledged, was that this particular Judensau could be seen as especially offensive because of its association with Martin Luther himself—the great religious founder glorified in the church and all over Wittenberg. The Dachau site had been preserved only to warn visitors about the crimes of the past, whereas the church was still being used for religious services. But the Mahnmal countered that seeming endorsement, in the judges’ view. There was no way a visitor could assume that the modern-day Lutheran church still held the views expressed in the Judensau.

Of course, there’s always the danger that neo-Nazis could look at the sculpture, ignore the historical context and draw direct inspiration from the debasing image of Jews suckling at a sow’s teats. But that reaction couldn’t be helped, the court concluded, saying the law “does not aim to prevent rioting in the vicinity of the church, or a positive interpretation of the sculpture by neo-Nazis.”

Düllmann and his lawyers plan on continuing their fight. Their next stop is Germany’s equivalent of the Supreme Court—the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, a city in southwest Germany. If that fails, Düllmann has one more option: the European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, France. “Those will be European judges,” he told me. “Maybe they’ll be more impartial.”

In March 2018, the AfD issued a statement about the Wittenberg Judensau. Anti-Semitism was no longer a German problem, the ultra-nationalist party asserted. Muslim immigrants were the ones bringing the specter of Jew-hatred back to German soil—and Germans were being unfairly expected to pay for that resurgence by removing a medieval relief that the AfD called “priceless” and “irreplaceable.”

“It has over 700 years of history in the city center,” the statement lamented of the Wittenberg sculpture. “Now, if it were up to some theologians, educationalists, and other world observers, it would be put behind glass or, better yet, completely destroyed� years of history.”

For those who hold this view, memorials and signs like the ones outside the Wittenberg church come across as denigrating rather than ameliorating. The founding AfD politician Björn Höcke made international headlines in 2017 when he called on Germans to take a �-degree turn” in their approach to history. Höcke is a state assembly member in Thuringia, a region just south of Saxony-Anhalt where the Brothers Grimm gathered inspiration for their fairy tales and tour guides dress in medieval costumes. At a rally in Dresden, Höcke lamented that “German history is handled as rotten and made to look ridiculous.” He expressed scorn for the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, complaining that Germans were the only people in the world who would erect “a monument of shame” in their nation’s capital. In response, the crowd shouted over and over, “Deutschland! Deutschland!”

In the AfD stronghold of Saxony, another church is struggling with the best way to handle its anti-Semitic past. The parish, in a town called Calbe, had removed for restoration a sculpture of a Jew suckling at a pig’s teat, but then decided to retire it altogether. The issue went to court this past June, where judges ordered them to reinstall the sculpture in its original spot. The parish complied, but instead of adding apologetic memorials or signs, the church has opted to keep the sculpture covered for the foreseeable future. As the mayor of Calbe told the Jewish Telegraph Agency, “I don’t think anyone really wanted to have to see this chimera again.”

There’s a term in the German language—Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung—which roughly translates to “dealing with the past.” One chapter of that past came to a close in 1945, with the fall of the Third Reich. Another ended in 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down and statues of Vladimir Lenin were removed from public spaces in the east. But the towering churches that still stand as architectural gems and religious inspirations raise different kinds of questions.

When the judges delivered their ruling on the Wittenberg Judensau in February, an older man with a white beard sitting in the back of the courtroom stood up and left the room crying. I spoke to him afterward.

Winfried Böhm, a 68-year-old pensioner, said he had spent 22 years serving on the council of his local Lutheran church. He had driven six hours from his home near Lake Constance on the Swiss border to attend this trial. “Our children have been betrayed,” he said through tears. “We say ‘never again,’ but it is here all around us. It is our greatest shame.”


Jake Paul vs. AnEsonGib

Following his dominant performance in the white-collar boxing match against Deji, Jake Paul went on to make his professional boxing debut against fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib on January 30th, 2020. Paul won that fight via a first-round TKO.

One of the most notable things about this fight was the patience and pugilistic discipline Jake Paul displayed. This was particularly evident during the chaotic exchanges wherein AnEsonGib rushed forward swinging wildly.

Paul was praised for not abandoning his jab – which is a mistake most beginners in the boxing world usually make. Paul used an educated jab to repeatedly stagger his foe.

The end came when the referee waved off the fight after AnEsonGib was staggered after being knocked down multiple times.


Paul S.

Paul S.was born in Vienna in 1933, the only child of Sarah and Friedrich S. His family had lived in Vienna since the eighteenth century, and his father worked with an import-export company. His mother had been trained as a hat maker, but stayed home with Paul. At age five, the family left Vienna for Cologne, Germany. From there, his father snuck across the border to Belgium. Paul and his mother were caught on their first illegal attempt to join his father in Belgium, but they succeeded the second time.

In May of 1940, Paul’s father was arrested and sent to a labor camp. Paul and his mother remained in Belgium, where she worked for a Belgian family. In 1943 a member of the underground approached Paul’s mother and offered to take Paul to safety. She agreed, and Paul was sent away under the name Exsteen, the name of the family for which his mother worked. Paul spent the rest of the war in Jamoigne, Belgium, in a Catholic home for boys. Though many Jewish boys were hidden there, Paul thought he was the only one.

After liberation, he returned home and found his mother still living there, waiting for Paul and his father to return. His father Friedrich was killed at Buchenwald two months before liberation.

Excerpt From Video Testimony

Paul tells how he went into hiding with help from the Jewish Underground.

Video Transcript

Well, I saw it happen time and time and time again, but neither my mother nor I ever were victims of these and in the beginning of 1943, a man came to the house that I remember vividly and he asked my mother whether she wanted to save my life, because things were going from bad to worse, and if she did want to save my life, I would simply have to go away with him, and he said he’d be back that afternoon or that evening for her answer.

So we went to see the Exsteen family with whom we were so, so friendly and we talked it over and they must have heard some things, too, because they said to my mother, you know, “Let Paul go.” This sounds all so easy and cut and dried, but it wasn’t, you know.

They even said that I could use their name because I couldn’t go away under the name of Schwarzbart. So that day I became Paul Exsteen, a good Belgian, and the man came back and my mother didn’t have to get too many clothes ready, because our little bundle was always ready, as I said, but she had taken the stars off, and she said ‘Yes’ to the man and he took me by the hand and we walked away, you know.

He put me on a train and he explained to me where I was going, my mother was not allowed to know, and reminded me that I had given up my Jewish identity, you know, and that I was someone else now. I was 10 years old, not quite. But I understood. We understood. There were no kids left, you know, and then he walked away and really I never saw that man again. I have no idea who he is. We’ve tried to find out. No trace, just an anonymous member of the Jewish underground. I didn’t know that either, but I found out two years ago that he was part of the Jewish underground.


Irmgard Paul - History

"Labananalysis became particularly significant to current ethnic movement studies with its contribution to Choreometrics in the Alan Lomax anthropological studies at Columbia University in 1965"
(Irmgard Bartenieff and Dori Lewis in Body Movement)

It has been over 50 years since Alan Lomax introduced the Choreometrics project, 40 years since the release of Lomax’s film Dance and Human History, and 30 years since Lomax wrote Dancing: A World Ethnography of Dance Styles (still unpublished). When Lomax first announced the Choreometrics project he was directed to Irmgard Bartenieff who, with her student Forrestine Paulay, worked to develop a method for coding movement. Using films containing images of the dances of different cultures across the world, several hundred coding sheets were completed. Choreometrics was refined throughout the next 25 years through an extensive dialogue with leading anthropologists and dance experts. In addition, Lomax and his colleagues made or gathered an extensive collection of filmed dance performances and related notes, analog codings, and illustrations to illustrate showing the elements of Choreometrics. Bartenieff left the project after a few years, but she maintained an interest in it in support of her studies on Dance Ethnography. As such, she captured her thoughts on the Choreometrics project in notes to Paulay, general notes, and through her teaching. Several examples are shown here.


Contents

Lotz was born in Hamelin, Germany on 16 July 1903. [1] She was encouraged at an early age to pursue technical subjects by her mother, whose family had been involved in construction for several generations. She often visited construction sites with her uncle and attended half-price matinee shows for technical films. [2] After her father, Osark, a travelling journalist, [3] was drafted for military service in World War I, the young Irmgard helped the family by becoming a math tutor while studying at a girls' Gymnasium in Hanover. Several years later, when Osark returned to Hanover he was in poor health and Irmgard continued to work to bring in extra money for the family. [4] She graduated from the Gymnasium in 1923 and entered the Leibniz University Hannover to study mathematics and engineering. Later in life, she explained why she decided to study engineering: [5]

I wanted a life which would never be boring. That meant a life in which always new things would occur . I wanted a career in which I would always be happy even if I were to remain unmarried. [6]

In college she studied applied mathematics and fluid dynamics and was often the only woman in her classes. [2] In 1927, she received her Diplom-Ingenieur and remained in Hanover for her doctorate. In 1929 she earned her doctorate in engineering, publishing her thesis on the mathematical theory of circular cylinders and heat conduction.

Lotz went to work for the Aerodynamische Versuchsanstalt (AVA) in Göttingen, one of the most prominent aeronautical research institutions in Europe. [2] She joined as a junior research engineer and worked closely with Ludwig Prandtl and Albert Betz, two of the leading German aerodynamicists of the time. Prior to her arrival at the AVA, Prandtl had been unsuccessfully working on solving a differential equation for his lifting-line theory for the spanwise lift distribution of an airplane wing. Lotz was able to overcome his difficulties and solve the equation, and additionally developed a relatively simple method for practical use. [3] She published what is now known as the "Lotz method" in 1931 for calculating the lift on a three-dimensional wing, and it became a standard technique used internationally. [7] Following this achievement, she was promoted to team leader and built the theoretical department at the AVA by establishing her own research program and assisting other research groups. [2]

In 1932, she met Wilhelm Flügge, who was a civil engineer and privatdozent at the University of Göttingen. As they prepared to marry, Lotz's career progressed well and by the time they married in 1938 she had been appointed Head of the Department of Theoretical Aerodynamics. [4] However, Flügge was branded "politically unreliable" and denied promotion at Göttingen for his anti-Nazi views. Flügge later recalled that while he was denied because of his political views, Lotz was "blocked from any possibility of ever getting into a university career, just because of being a woman". [2] The escalation and increasing influence of Nazi policies on academia led to their departure from the AVA and they moved to the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL) in Berlin where Flügge-Lotz (her married name) was a consultant in aerodynamics and flight dynamics and Flügge was appointed Chief of Structures Research. [2] Although banned from academic positions due to Nazi policies, they were permitted to continue their research activities under the protection of Hermann Göring, who was more concerned with technical expertise than ideological purity. [8]

At DVL Flügge-Lotz began her career in automatic control theory and pioneered the theory of discontinuous control systems. [3] These control systems, also known as "on-off" and "bang-bang" systems, have only two or three input settings and are simple to manufacture and very reliable in practical application. [9] She was mainly interested in the implications these systems had for the development of simple automatic flight control equipment. However, the theory describing their performance needed to be developed before they could be reliably implemented in physical systems. Flügge-Lotz began developing the theory while at DVL, but wartime priorities limited her time for heavily theoretical projects so she focused mainly on aerodynamics during this time. [2]

Move to France Edit

As World War II progressed, Berlin was increasingly subject to bombing raids by the Allies. In the spring of 1944, the destruction of Berlin had progressed so far that Flügge-Lotz and Flügge moved with their departments to the small town Saulgau in the hills of southern Germany. [10] After the end of the war, Saulgau was in the French zone of Allied-occupied Germany. The French relaunched their aeronautical research activity and were eager to hire German scientists, so in 1947 Flügge-Lotz and Flügge moved with many of their colleagues to Paris to join the Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales (ONERA). Flügge-Lotz served as Chief of a research group in aerodynamics until 1948 and published papers in both automatic control theory and aerodynamics, in which she discussed the problems arising from the increased speed of aircraft. [3]

Although Flügge-Lotz and her husband were happy living in Paris, the positions they held there provided limited opportunity for advancement. They wrote to Stephen Timoshenko at Stanford University casually asking about working in the United States and in 1948, and both received offers to teach there. However, at the time Stanford held a university policy that husband and wife could not hold professional rank in the same department, and despite Flügge-Lotz's reputation in research, she had to accept the relatively minor position of "lecturer" as her husband became professor. [10]

Despite lacking of a professorial title, she immediately began accepting students for PhD dissertation research in aerodynamic theory, and in the spring of 1949, taught her first Stanford course in boundary layer theory. [9] At Stanford, Flügge-Lotz conducted research in numerical methods to solve boundary layer problems in fluid dynamics, making pioneering contributions with finite difference methods and the use of computers. [4] In 1951 she set up a weekly fluid mechanics seminar for first-year graduate students to provide a forum for discussing the latest ideas and developments. [4]

Discontinuous automatic control theory Edit

In addition to fluid mechanics, Flügge-Lotz returned to her work on automatic control theory initially started at DVL. She developed new courses and began advising student theses on the subject. She published the first textbook on discontinuous automatic control in 1953. A reviewer of her textbook wrote that:

In the simplest case a discontinuous automatic control system is a control system in which the correcting force is a positive constant A, or the corresponding negative constant -A, depending upon whether the sign of the error is positive or negative. Because of their simplicity, such systems are widely used, and the literature contains discussions of many particular systems of this kind. The present book represents the first attempt to treat such systems in a comprehensive and general way. . the book constitutes a highly valuable contribution to the subject of automatic control, and it will, undoubtedly, lead to many further advances in the field. [4]

Since automatic control devices often found application in electronics, she also began collaborating with faculty and students in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Over time, her primary research efforts went increasingly into control theory, and in 1968, the year of her retirement, she published her second book, Discontinuous and Optimal Control. [9]

Tenure Edit

By the mid-1950s, it became evident that Flügge-Lotz was performing all the duties of a full Professor but without official recognition. In fact, it was hard for students to understand why she was a Lecturer rather than a Professor, or even what the difference meant. [9] The disparity of her status as a Lecturer became more apparent when she was the only female delegate from the United States at the first Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control in Moscow. To address the issue before school opened for the fall quarter, she was appointed a full Professor in both Engineering Mechanics and in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1961. [9]

Flügge-Lotz retired in 1968 at age 65, but continued to conduct research on satellite control systems, heat transfer, and high-speed vehicle drag. [3] During her lifetime, she received many honors for her work. In 1970, she was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and chosen to give the von Kármán lecture to the AIAA in 1971. She received the Achievement Award by the Society of Women Engineers in 1970, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1973. The citation for her honorary degree stated:

Professor Flügge-Lotz has acted in a central role in the development of the aircraft industry in the Western world. Her contributions have spanned a lifetime during which she demonstrate, in a field dominated by men, the value and quality of a woman's intuitive approach in searching for and discovering solutions to complex engineering problems. Her work manifests unusual personal dedication and native intelligence. [4]

She was also a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of Sigma Xi, and a member of the advisory boards of several scientific journals. [11]

In honor of her contributions, the “Wilhelm Flügge and Irmgard Flügge-Lotz Memorial Award" was established by the Applied Mechanics Division at Stanford University for outstanding graduate students. [10]

Flügge-Lotz's health deteriorated after her retirement and she suffered increasingly severe pain from arthritis that spread over her body. On May 22, 1974, Flügge-Lotz died in Stanford Hospital after a long illness. [1]

  • Die Erwärmung des Stempels beim Stauchvorgang, Dissertation TH Hannover 1929
  • Discontinuous Automatic Control, Princeton University Press 1953 [12]
  • Discontinuous and Optimal Control, McGraw Hill 1968
  • J. R. Spreiter & W. Flügge, Irmgard Flügge-Lotz in Louise S. Grinstein (Editor), Paul J. Campbell (Editor) (1987). Women of Mathematics: A Bio-Bibliographic Sourcebook . Greenwood Press, New York. ISBN978-0-313-24849-8 . CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link) p. 33-40
  1. ^ ab
  2. Spreiter, John R. Van Dyke, Milton D. Vincenti, Walter G. "Irmgard Flügge-Lotz" (PDF) . Memorial Resolution. Stanford University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-06 . Retrieved 2009-11-24 .
  3. ^ abcdefg
  4. Hallion, Richard P. (1980). Sicherman, Barbara Green, Carol Hurd Kantrov, Ilene Walker, Harriette (eds.). Notable American Women: The Modern Period: A Biographical Dictionary . Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 241–242. ISBN9781849722704 .
  5. ^ abcde
  6. Cooper, Julie Banderas, Maria (May 1977). "Irmgard Flugge-Lotz". Biographies of Women Mathematicians. Agnes Scott College . Retrieved 2009-11-24 .
  7. ^ abcdef
  8. O'Connor, J.J. Robertson, E.F. (May 2010). "Flugge-Lotz biography". www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk . Retrieved 20 August 2017 .
  9. ^ Kirk, Donald E. Optimal Control Theory: An Introduction. Dover Publications, 2004.
  10. ^ Stanford Engineering News, May 1969
  11. ^
  12. Shenstone, B. S. (May 1934). "The Lotz Method for Calculating the Aerodynamic Characteristics of Wings". Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society. 38 (281): 432–444. doi:10.1017/S036839310010940X.
  13. ^
  14. "Prof. lrmgard Flugge‐Lotz Dies Taught Engineering at Stanford". The New York Times. 23 May 1974 . Retrieved 20 August 2017 .
  15. ^ abcde
  16. Spreiter, J. Dyke, M. Van Vincenti, W. (1975). "In memoriam Irmgard Flugge-Lotz, 1903-1974". IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control. 20 (2): 183. doi:10.1109/TAC.1975.1100901. ISSN0018-9286.
  17. ^ abc
  18. Gere, James Herrmann, George Steele, Charles R. "Memorial Resolution: Wilhelm Flügge (1904 - 1990)" (PDF) .
  19. ^
  20. Beckett, Jamie (4 December 2013). "Stanford School of Engineering names new engineering heroes". Stanford University . Retrieved 20 August 2017 .
  21. ^
  22. Bellman, R. (1954). "Review: Discontinuous automatic control, by I. Flügge-Lotz". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 60 (4): 401–402. doi: 10.1090/s0002-9904-1954-09831-2 .

This article incorporates material from Irmgard Flügge-Lotz on PlanetMath, which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


Paul Landau


I teach classes about South Africa, African cities, ethnic groups and where they come from, South Africans' actual political heritage, Christianity, prophetic and political movements in West Africa and the Atlantic world, pictures and cinema and colonialism, and mid-20th century revolutionary movements and the Cold War in Africa.


My field is (southern) Africa. I am still rooted in "area studies" thinking. It goes along quite well with transnational patterns and connections. I do not like social science studies without either an argument, or a narrative, so for me, History is a Humanities subject. The best works of History are among the best books to read, period.


I have always been interested in other ways of understanding the world, not my own. In Africa, such ways were put forward by earlier literature as "beliefs." That did not seem good enough to me.


I read anthropology, mostly about Africa, and the philosopher Wittgenstein, and I became preoccupied with the history of perception and thought among colonized people: how distorted the treatment was, and how it reflected colonial power. Distrusting the whole idea of mindsets, and so statements about what others believe, I instead tried to look very carefully at specific historical situations, paying attention to language. This way of approaching things began for me when I was an acolyte of Steven Feierman and Jan Vansina at the University of Wisconsin.


It has also been important to me to be able to work in SeTswana and (a little bit) in IsiZulu, and (re)translate voices and encounters back into English. I studied these languages with (the late) Daniel Kunene, and with Part Themba Mgadla and Jennifer Yanco.


I taught for three years at the University of New Hampshire, for four years at Yale University, and from 1999 on as an associate professor, and then a full professor, here at Maryland. I am a fellow at the History Centre at the University of Johannesburg and am participating this year at the University of the Western Cape.


At present, I'm writing about violence and revolutionary ferment in South Africa in 1960-3. My sources are almost all English-language interviews or memoirs. I am facing the same challenge as always: to understand what participants did and what they thought about what they were doing. I also read manuscripts, article submissions to various journals, and take a special interest in the African Historical Review, where I was the co-editor for five years and helped produce some excellent issues, including a special issue on Xenophobia in South Africa.


Some things I have written:


The Realm of the Word: Language, Gender and Christianity in a Southern African Kingdom (Portsmouth: Heinemann,1995), "finalist for the Herskovits Prize".


“Transformations in Consciousness,” the last chapter in the two-volume Cambridge History of South Africa, Vol. 1 (2010).


"Language" for the Companion series to the Oxford History of the British Empire, a volume edited by Norman Etherington, called Missions and Empire. 2005.


Orig. nondigital and behind a paywall: "The Image of Christ in the Kalahari Desert," Representations, 45 (1994), 26-40.


Same: " Explaining Surgical Evangelism in Colonial Southern Africa: Teeth, Pain and Faith," Journal of African History, 37, 2 (1996), 261-281.


Same: "Hegemony and History in Jean and John L. Comaroff's "Of Revelation and Revolution"," Africa: Journal of the International African Institute , 70, No. 3 (2000), pp. 501-519.


Co-edited book (with Deborah Kaspin), Images and Empires: Visuality in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa (Univ. of Cal., 2002).


Popular Politics in the History of South Africa, 1400 to 1948 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), "finalist for the Herskovits prize".


which is: "The ANC, MK, and 'the Turn to Violence,'" 2012, in The South African Historical Journal, no longer behind a paywall.


(And see the companion piece, "Controlled by Communists? (Re)Assessing the ANC in its Exilic Decades," in the same journal, 2015, if you have a Muse or Jstor connection to SAHJ.)


I have also written essays on religion and missionaries (two big essays, one based on archival research) for German publications that will be seen by . . . very few English-speaking people. I will post a link to one of or both of them here at some point.


The book I am working on will be called Spear: Nelson Mandela and the Revolution: 1958 to 1964. Or something similar. Cast your vote for a better title via email: [email protected]


Above all, I have tried to make what I write about, modern history and politics, and Africans' deepest political inclinations, aspects of one story: history, accessible to as many as possible, or at least, debarred to few.


I have an adjunct appointment in African American Studies and since 2011, I am a Fellow in Historical Studies at the University of Johannesburg.


The great persecution: a historical re-examination

Studies of Christian relations with the Roman state continue to pile up, as do works on Constantine and his legalization-cum-patronage of Christianity in the early fourth century. The prologue to Constantine’s policies—the persecutions of Christians under Diocletian, Galerius, and Maximinus Daia—has been less-studied though hardly ignored. This is particularly true for Spain and the northern provinces of the Roman Empire, which the contemporary narrators Eusebius, Lactantius, and the martyrologies known to historians of ancient Christianity neglect, and which lack the rich papyri of Egypt or copious literary remains of Roman Africa. Min Seok Shin thus assumes an important labor in attempting “a thorough reconsideration of the Great Persecution” (8).

Shin’s brief “Introduction” offers a historiography of the persecution focusing mostly on Anglophone and French scholarship. After a brief statement of the book’s aims, almost half of the introduction justifies the book’s heavy proffering of hagiographical texts. Rather than a methodological justification, this section lines up a florilegium of authoritative quotations, starring A.H.M. Jones (whom, like others such as W.H.C. Frend, Shin denotes with full first and middle names),[1] Peter Brown, and Averil Cameron. While in my experience most historians today accept hagiographical evidence where warranted, readers may be left wondering by what criteria Shin might reject a hagiographical assertion.

Chapter 1, “Christians and the Imperial Government up to the Great Persecution,” attempts to explain why Diocletian’s government decided on a policy of persecution as of AD 303. It identifies three catalysts for persecution: a rapid expansion for Christianity from the 260s to 303, purges of Christians in the Roman army in the 290s, and a Diocletianic restoration of traditional values. It is not clear which of these categories Shin intends to cover the philosophical critics of Christianity whom Shin sees as arousing anti-Christian sentiment near the time of the persecution, particularly Porphyry of Tyre.[2] Shin proceeds to assert that Christians became quite widespread in the Roman Empire after Gallienus decriminalized the religion around 260: Christians thus held prominent places in Diocletian’s administration by 303. For Shin, Diocletian’s wish to restore traditional Roman values is the root cause of the persecution, rather than the rage of Lactantius’ scapegoat Galerius.[3]

Shin’s second chapter, “The Persecutions Between 303 and 313,” sketches the events of the persecution between 303 and 313. Shin meticulously traces the implications of the different clauses in the persecution directives, with a helpful table that illustrates groups affected by the thirteen known letters, edicts, and rescripts that authorize harm to Christians (136–137). The bulk of the chapter leads readers through accounts of the Roman persecutions diocese by diocese. Shin connects the edicts with the narratives not just of Eusebius, Lactanius, and martyr narratives in the standard collections,[4] but also hagiographical evidence from later martyrologies.

The brief Chapter 3, “The End of Persecution,” discusses the series of orders ending legal measures against the Christians, from Constantius Chlorus to Maxentius. The chapter uses African evidence adroitly as a corrective for Lactantius’ and Eusebius’ partisan accounts. Following Timothy Barnes, Shin attributes the directive usually called the Edict of Milan to Licinius rather than Constantine, and properly it is, though Noel Lenski’s recent study has now reinstated Constantine’s agency behind this directive.[5] Shin also narrates Licinius’ renewed repression of Christians in the eastern provinces sometime after 320, before Constantine attacked and defeated Licinius late in 324. A brief summary ends the volume.

Shin’s book has several virtues. As noted, his inclusive approach to evidence informs readers about narratives that many scholars exclude without explanation. Alongside the well-known accounts of Eusebius, dossiers from the Donatist schism, and martyr acts, there come reports from Ambrose, Prudentius, Gregory of Tours, and Gildas. Another merit is that Shin describes persecution outside the Roman Empire. The persecution in Armenia draws a full eight pages (181–188) based largely on the evidence of the Armenian historian Agathangelos, a useful corrective to many historians’ Romanocentrism. Also valuable are Shin’s charts, which enable readers to follow easily which imperial directive underlay which narrative, and where in the Roman Empire each directive took effect (136–137, 193, 212–213). Shin’s map of known church buildings in the Roman Empire ca. AD 300 (p. 60) is the most extensive of which I am aware.[6] There is also a complete list of all identified martyrs from the persecution, with location, date, form of punishment, and textual reference.

One particular section of the book illustrates well the benefits and problems of Shin’s approach. In chapter 1, about the background of the persecution, Shin analyzes three Tetrarchic inscriptions (ILS 2782, 9075 SEG XXXI 1116) that honor four deceased soldiers. Each inscription marks the Christian identity of the deceased by the formulae “in peace” and “until the resurrection.” The inscriptions note their honorands’ service in the sacer comitatus (31–32), an elite military-civilian entourage. Created under Diocletian, the sacer comitatus was disbanded in 313 under Constantine. The analysis of these Christian courtiers is itself a welcome connection inscriptions deserve more attention from scholars of ancient Christianity in particular.

Shin, however, proceeds to infer from these soldiers’ presence in the comitatus that they “served… under Diocletian and the tetrarchy” (42). This inference is problematic, since Diocletian’s rule and the period of the tetrarchy are not synonymous. By Shin’s own account the sacer comitatus persisted for eight years after Diocletian’s abdication in 305, and none of the inscriptions mentions service under Diocletian in particular. While at least one Christian, the martyr Maximillian, certainly served in Diocletian’s sacer comitatus (Martyrdom of Maximillian 2.9 cf. Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors 10.1–5), the honorands of Shin’s inscriptions may well have joined the comitatus after Diocletian abdicated (and thus after the persecution began) but before (Shin asserts) Constantine’s elimination of the comitatus in 313.[7]

Indeed, it may be revealing that two brothers — M. Valerius the actuarius (an office that implies presence in the comitatus) and M. Valerius Herodius — shared a tombstone in Umbria (ILS 9075). Both brothers died young, at twenty-one and twenty years old, so neither can have had a long career. While we cannot exclude service under Diocletian, the brothers may have served under Maxentius. It is well-known that Maxentius was friendly to Christians (as Shin himself shows, pp. 194–196), so M. Valerius’ religious identity would have posed no hindrance to serving as Maxentius’ actuarius. As for when the brothers died, two brothers both dying young and sharing the same funerary stele suggests a shared moment of death, and there are at least three candidates for an event that could have killed both: Diocletian’s persecution in 303 to 305 (in which case, though, we might expect to see some indication of martyrdom on the inscription) Maxentius’ resistance to Galerius’ invasions of Italy in 307 and the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in October 312. While we cannot know when or under which emperor the M. Valerii died, they are not secure evidence of Christians serving in elite military units before 303. Indeed, they may reflect a pre-Constantinian reversal of the persecution rather than a catalyst for it. Other assessments of the same evidence likewise suggest alternative interpretations to those in this book.[8]

Shin deserves credit for publishing the most comprehensive recent study of such a consequential event, certainly in English. Research libraries and specialists in Christianity in the later third and early fourth centuries will find this volume worth acquiring. An index of names, places, subjects, and/or index locorum are lacking and would have been helpful, as would more careful proofreading.[9]

[1] The book also includes several long lists of names in the main text: pp. 41, 142, 148, 217–218.

[2] Shin seems unaware of recent scholarship skeptical of Porphyry’s supposed propaganda efforts. Arguments for maximal influence from Porphyry include Michael Simmons, Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian (Oxford, 1995) Simmons, Universal Salvation in Late Antiquity: Porphyry of Tyre and the Anti-Christian Debate (Oxford, 2013) Jeremy Schott, Christianity, Empire, and the Making of Religion in Late Antiquity(Pennsylvania, 2008) and Elizabeth Digeser, A Threat to Public Piety: Christians, Platonists, and the Great Persecution (Cornell, 2012). Minimalists include Aaron Johnson, Religion and Identity in Porphyry of Tyre: The Limits of Hellenism in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, 2013) and Matthias Becker, “Einleitung,” to Porphyry, Gegen die Christen. Neue Sammlung der Fragmente, Testimonien und Dubia mit Einleitung, Übersetzung und Anmerkungen (De Gruyter, 2015) and see in general Irmgard Männkein-Robert, Die Christen als Bedrohung? Text, Kontext und Wirkung von Porphyrios’ ‘Contra Christianos’ (Franz Steiner, 2017).

[3] Shin concurs with e.g., P. S. Davies, “The Origin and Purpose of the Persecution of A.D. 303,” Journal of Theological Studies 40 (1989), and Bill Leadbetter, Galerius and the Will of Diocletian (Routledge, 2009), 130–134, rather than T.D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius (Harvard, 1981), 19, and Barnes, Early Christian Hagiography and Roman History(Berlin, 2010), 119, and Paul Keresztes, “From the Great Persecution to the Peace of Galerius,” VC 37 (1983), 381, who follow Lactantius, On the Deaths of the Persecutors 11 in blaming Galerius for the persecution.

[4] Cf. David J. DeVore, “Opening the Canon of Martyrdoms: Pre-Decian Martyrdom Discourse and the Hypomnēmata of Hegesippus,” JECS 27.4 (2019), on the problems with the numerous anthologies of ancient martyr narratives that scholars use.

[5] T.D. Barnes, e.g., in Constantine: Dynasty, Religion, and Power in the Later Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2011), 93–97 N. Lenski, “Il valore dell’Editto di Milano,” in Riccardo Macchioro, ed., Costantino a Milano. L’editto e la sua storia, 313–2013 (Bulzoni, 2017), abbreviated as Lenski, “The significance of the Edict of Milan,” in A. Edward Siecienski, ed., Constantine: Religious Faith and Imperial Policy (Routledge, 2017).

[6] The only missing church building I noted was one identified in Aqaba, Jordan, which likely pre-dates Diocletian’s persecution: see T. Parker, “Brief notice on a possible early 4th-c. church at ‘Aqaba, Jordan,” JRA 12 (1999), 372–376.

[7] On the dating of the sacer comitatus Shin follows W. Seston, “Du ‘comitatus’ de Dioclétien aux ‘comitatenses’ de Constantin,” Historia 4 (1955), 291–296 Seston himself (293–295) discusses the continued activity of the sacer comitatus under Licinius and Maxentius. For a more recent study of the sacer comitatus see Dirk Schlinkert, “Dem Kaiser Folgern. Kaiser, Senatsadel und höfische Funktionselite (comites consistoriani) von der ‘Tetrarchie’ Diokletians bis zum Ende der konstantinischen Dynastie,” in A. Winterling, ed., Comitatus. Beiträge zur Erforschung des spätantikes Kaiserhofes (De Gruyter, 1998).

[8] Along with the one-sided maximalism on Porphyry’s role in the persecution of Christians (see above with n. 2): e.g., at p. 24, Shin cites numbers of Christian manuscripts from Larry Hurtado, The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins (Eerdmans, 2006), apparently unaware of Brent Nongbri’s work questioning the early dating of Christian papyri (beginning with Nongbri, “The Use and Abuse of P52,” Harvard Theological Review 98 [2005], and see now Nongbri, God’s Library: the Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts [Yale, 2018]) at p. 128, Shin characterizes Paul’s acceptance of consumption of sacrificial meat as the Christian position, even though many ancient Christians rejected Paul’s position (references in John Brunt, “Rejected, Ignored, or Misunderstood? The Fate of Paul’s Approach to the Problem of Food Offered to Idols in Early Christianity,” New Testament Studies 31 [1985]) and at p. 217 Shin attempts to connect ILS 8940 ordering worship of Sol to Licinius’ sacrificial order to soldiers, yet the inscription neither specifies penalties for refusing to worship, as Eusebius does, nor requires all soldiers to sacrifice.

[9] The volume is riddled with typos and has some incorrect references. Some examples: p. 91 refers to “Vita Constantini 8.5” but should read “1.8.4” p. 186 n. 566 has a reference to Dionysius of Alexandria as appearing at Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 9.8.2 when the citation should read History 6.46.2 p. 219 calls Marcionism an “other religion” than Christianity, when Marcionism was rather an alternative Christianity.


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