GERMAN AFFIRMATION / DEUTSCHES BEKENNTNIS
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by Kurt Eggers. The chapters include: German Faith, The Gateway of Freedom, The German Soul, We Germans, About War, Vanguard, The Term In Vain, Volunteers, The Creative Power of Poverty, The Great Yearning, Motherliness, A Father Ponders Over the Cradle, The Struggle for Knowledge and The Call. There is a strong religious tone in some of these chapters and poems, although it is definitely non-Christian. Dual English/German text.
From the foggy gray of the northland, the land of dreamy yearning for meager sun, for rare green foliage, for aromatic, steaming, brown earth, comes German man, comes the German soul.
Curse and grace lie over the soul of German man: curse for the weak, who in accordance with the inscrutable laws of the blood perishes from the impossibility of his yearning, grace for the strong, who through struggle and experience can shape his yearning triumphantly in victory. The German’s fate bestowed struggle is the actual mythos of the Nordic soul; in the twilight of dusk and dawn arises the song of the Edda, the struggle and faith of the Nibelungen, rises the Nordic shaping of literature in the ballad.
In the soul of German man, the Nordic feeling of things and relationships has evolved into a blood-determined formation. The form of the German soul in its duality is incomprehensible for the foreigner; full of fear and confusion he experiences the German almost simultaneously as childish-dreamy pure fool and war-like and war-loving barbarian. The non-German will never be able to comprehend the relationship between light and fog, sun and gray, in the German soul. Perhaps the German himself will hardly be clear about his wonderful unity. Only a very few talented Nordic people have been able – artistically creative or prophetically gazing – to shape the glow of the German soul glimmering in the bright darkness; German in the deepest experience and presentiment of relationships is the painting of Rembrandt, German is the indescribably sweet dryness of the sculptures of Riemenschneider, German is the experience of gray and light in the music of Beethoven and Bach, German is the experience of and search for God by Eckhart and Luther down to Jacob Böhme, the dreamer and seeker behind the secretive and precipitously shimmering water lamp.
It is inexplicably German that in the experience of the prettiest beauty and of the deepest bliss Nordic man becomes inscrutably sad, just as he equally inscrutably in hardness hears far off in heaven tender chords.
The German is a man of yearning, never of fulfillment, of struggle, never of peace, of hunger, never of satiation. The thousand German yearnings are always in danger of being betrayed and sold out, nowhere are the struggles of world-views waged so bitterly as in the German region. Action is German soul.