Bronislaw Huberman, Offener Brief

Veröffentlicht auf von Dirk Nabering

Bronislaw Huberman, Offener Brief

Bronislaw Huberman. Offener Brief an den Manchester Guardian, verfasst am 25.Februar 1936 zu New York, veröffentlicht am 7.März 1936. 

To the editor of the Manchester Guardian

Sir, - I shall be glad if you will print the following "open letter" which I have adressed to the German intellectuals: -

Since the publication of the ordinances regulating the application of the Nuremberg legislation - this document of barbarism - I have been waiting to hear from you one word of consternation or to observe one act of liberation. Some few of you at least certainly must have some comment to make upon what has happened if your avowals of the past are endure. But I have been waiting in vain. In the face of this silence I must no longer stand mute. It is two and a half years since my exchange of correspondence with Dr. Wilhelm Furtwängler, one of the most representative leaders of spiritual Germany. It will be recalled that Dr. Furtwängler endeavoured to prevent me from publishing my refusal of his invitation to play with his orchestra in Germany. His astonishing argument was that such a publication would close Germany for me for many years, and perhaps for ever. My answer on August 31, 1933, stated among other things:
...In spite of this I would perhaps have hesitated with this publication if the chasm between Germany and the cultural world had not been rendered even more impassable by  recent events. Nothing discloses more dreadfully the brutalisation of large sections of the German population than the threats which have been published for weeks in the news-papers than German girls will be placed in the pillory if found in the company of Jews at coffee-houses or excursions, or if they carry on love affairs with them. This kind of baiting could not fail to result in such bestialities of the darkest Middle Ages as described in the "Times".
The description referred to was in the London "Times" of August 23, 1933, and told the story of a gentle Aryan girl who in punishment of her alleged commerce with a Jew was dragged in a pillory through the principal streets of Nuremberg amid the howls of the mob. As a consequence she suffered a stroke of insanity and was put in the asylum of Erlangen.
Dr. Furtwängler was profoundly revolted not only at the Nuremberg incidents, which he assured me he and all "real Germans" condemmed as indignantly as I, but also against me because of my reference to the brutalisation of large sections of the German population. He felt himself compelled to regard this as a "monstrous generalisation which had nothing to do with reality".
In the meantime two and a half year have passed. Countless people have been thrown into gaols and concentration camps, exiled, killed, and driven to suicide. Catholic and Protestant ministers, Jews, Democrats, Socialists, Communists, army generals became the victims of a like fate. I am not familiar with Dr. Furtwängler's attitude to these happenings, but he expressed clearly enough his own opinion and the opinion of all "real Germans" concerning the shamefulness of the socalled race-ravishing pillories; and I have not the slightest doubt of the genuineness of his consternation , and believe firmly, that many, perhaps the majority of Germans, share this feelings.
Well then, what have you, the "real Germans", done to rid your conscience and Germany and humanity of this ignominy since these make-believe Germans, born in the Argentine, in Bohemia, in Egypt, and in Latvia, have changed my alleged "monstrous generalisation" to legal reality? Where are the German Zolas, Clemenceaus, Painleves, Picquarts in this monster Dreyfus case against an entire defenceless minority; where are the Masaryks in this superdimensional Polna case? Where has the voice of blood, if not the voice of justice and common sense, been raised against the even more inhuman persecution of those born of mixed marriages between Aryans and Jews, and of pure Aryans who have the misfortune to be the spouses of Jews?
Before the whole world I accuse you, German intellectuals, you non-Nazis, as those truly guilty of all these Nazi crimes, all this lamentable breakdown of a great people a destruction which shames the world with race. It is not the first time in history that the gutter has reached out for power, but it remained for the German intellectuals to assist the gutter of achieve success. It is a horrifying drama which an astonished world is invited to witness: German spiritual leaders with world citizenship who until but yesterday represented German conscience and German genius, men called to lead their nation by their precept and example, seemed incapable from the beginning of any other reaction to this assault upon the most sacred possessions of mankind than to coquet, co-operate, and condone. And when, to cap it all, demagogical usurpation and ignorance rob them of their innermost conceptions from their own spiritual workshop, in order thereby to disguise the embodiment of terror, cowardice, immorality, falsification of history in a mantle of freedom, heroism, ethics, science and mysticism, the German intellectuals reach the pinnacle of their treachery: they bow down and remain silent.

Must, then, the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church in Germany battle alone in their truly heroic struggle for Germany's honour, tradition, and future?
Germany, you people of poets and thikers, the whole world, not only the world of your enemies, but the world of your friends, waits in amazed anxiety for your word of liberation.

Bronislaw Huberman
New York, February 25, 1936
 

 

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