Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Heil, Professor!

By Aussiegirl

This article appeared in the July 14 edition of Front Page Magazine, and is a cautionary tale about how Hitler's rise to power was engineered in the halls of academia, and makes an ominous comparison to what is being taught in our own universities. A very long, but fascinating and informative article.

Heil, Professor!
By Phil Orenstein
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 14, 2006

Far too little attention has been paid to addressing the fundamental role that ideological indoctrination in classrooms and lecture halls has played in delivering the atrocities of Nazism to the world. The German university was the ideological originator of Nazism, turning romantic racial myths and superstitions about Germany and the Jews into a systematic “scientific” body of knowledge that gave rise to Nazi racial policy and justified the horrors of the Nazi atrocities. Professors and academics with multiple Ph.D.s eagerly collaborated with the Nazi leadership and selected who was to be sterilized and who lived or died for the glory of the Volk, advocated which races were to be exterminated and which nations were to be invaded and conquered for lebensraum.

Lately, many notable historians and political commentators have been comparing our own time to the ominous prelude to World War II. Herbert London, renowned historian and President of Hudson Institute declared, “we are back in 1940” (4) as global terrorist attacks, proclamations of Jihad, the threat of a nuclear Iran, fatwas against the West and the annihilation of Israel are broadcast from the Middle East on a daily basis. Other historians compare these times to Germany in 1938, when Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler while Nazi tanks thundered across Europe. Charles Krauthammer, concluding from the current alarming trends that the lessons of the Holocaust are still unlearned, he recounted the apprehension of Bernard Lewis, the world’s preeminent Middle East scholar saying he “confessed that for the first time he feels it is 1938 again….in 1938, in the face of the gathering storm -- a fanatical, aggressive, openly declared enemy of the West, and most determinedly of the Jews -- the world did nothing”. (5)

How could Germany, the home of Goethe, Bach and Beethoven in the heart of advanced European civilization, boasting the world’s highest literacy rate and most highly industrialized economy and a haven for the persecuted Jews of Eastern Europe, give rise in a matter of years to the one of the most barbaric, evil political regimes in human history dedicated to the total extermination of every single Jew in Europe? How did a madman like Hitler, a nobody in 1923, become the Chancellor of Germany in 10 years? How did the Nazis impose their will with astonishing ease on such a highly civilized nation leading the population to willingly, with little or no opposition, participate in institutionalized mass murder?

Scholars have focused on the legacy of Prussian militarism, the dislocations of the Great Depression, the severity of the humiliating treaty of Versailles, Goebbels’ massive propaganda campaign, or the continuing hold of medieval Christian antisemitism. But I believe that the sudden rise of Hitler, the atrocities of World War II, and the Holocaust were the direct result of decades of indoctrination in mythical nationalism and racialist ideologies by German universities, indoctrination that parallels the current work of American universities with respect to identity politics, multiculturalism, deconstructionism, scholar-activism and education for social justice. What happened in Germany in the prewar period is, therefore, a cautionary tale.


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