As a longtime German reporter and Lutheran theologian, I agree with Gideon Rachman that in the Ukraine crisis, my country is “uncomfortably close to the front line of Europe’s most dangerous conflict” (“A divided Europe is looking at its navel”, Opinion, January 25).
I am ashamed that a majority of my people seem to be giving in again to an attitude for which Martin Luther, the 16th-century theologian, coined the wonderful term. crush – which means a mixture of excessive enthusiasm and sentimentality.
fanatic believe that man is called to give God a hand to draw some custom paradise into the here and now, despite obvious realities. Theologically speaking, it is a futile attempt to “immanentize the eschaton” – to try to make what should happen to the hereafter happen in the here and now.
Germans are by no means alone in succumbing to this folly, but seem more susceptible than most. Of course, many Germans know that we do not live in Elysium, that Latin proverb If you want peace, prepare for war (if you want peace, prepare for war) still money and that it is shameful not to stand by allies, neighbors and obligations.
But many of these people – let’s call them an elite – seem to be gathering in catacombs. It’s high time they did the honorable thing: come out and speak powerfully.
I can not imagine that Germans will be forgiven at some awful future point to take them back special way, their own special path.
Laguna Woods, CA, USA