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My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and…
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My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the… (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2014; vuoden 2014 painos)

– tekijä: Dietrich Von Hildebrand (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
652315,152 (4.2)5
"How does a person become Hitler's enemy number one? Not through espionage or violence, it turns out, but by striking fearlessly at the intellectual and spiritual roots of National Socialism. Dietrich von Hildebrand was a German Catholic thinker and teacher who devoted the full force of his intellect to breaking the deadly spell of Nazism that ensnared so many of his beloved countrymen. His story might well have been lost to us were it not for this memoir he penned in the last decades of his life at the request of his wife, Alice von Hildebrand. In My Battle Against Hitler, covering the years from 1921 to 1938, von Hildebrand tells of the scorn and ridicule he endured for sounding the alarm when many still viewed Hitler as a positive and inevitable force. He expresses the sorrow of having to leave behind his home, friends, and family in Germany to conduct his fight against the Nazis from Austria. He recounts how he defiantly challenged Nazism in the public square, prompting the German ambassador in Vienna to describe him to Hitler as 'the architect of the intellectual resistance in Austria.' And in the midst of all the danger he faced, he conveys his unwavering trust in God, even during his harrowing escape from Vienna and his desperate flight across Europe, with the Nazis always just one step behind. Dietrich von Hildebrand belongs to the very earliest anti-Nazi resistance. His public statements led the Nazis to blacklist him already in 1921, long before the horrors of the Third Reich and more than twenty-three years before the famous assassination attempt on Hitler in July 1944. His battle would culminate in the countless articles he published in Vienna, a selection of which are featured in this volume. 'It is an immense privilege,' writes editor John Henry Crosby, founder of the Hildebrand Project, 'to present to the world the shining witness of one man who risked everything to follow his conscience and stand in defiance of tyranny.'"-- "This unpublished memoir from German-Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand demonstrates his opposition to anti-Semitism, his prescient understanding of just how deadly Nazism and Hitler would be, and his courage as he perpared to flee Germany"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Conly
Teoksen nimi:My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich
Kirjailijat:Dietrich Von Hildebrand (Tekijä)
Info:Image (2014), Edition: 1st US, 352 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich (tekijä: Dietrich von Hildebrand) (2014)

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I chanced upon this book while browsing an on line sale. My familiarity with Dietrich von Hildebrand was slight to non-existent. I would like to congratulate John Henry Crosby and John F. Crosby for this important work and give it the highest recommendation.

The book is divided into two parts: the first being von Hildebrand''s memoirs covering the period from 1921-1938 and the second part consists of the translation of essays published by von Hildebrand in a journal he edited from self-imposed exile in Vienna until the completion of the Anschluss which saw the absorption of Austria into Germany.

Von Hildebrand's early life was divided between Florence, his birthplace, and Munich. His father was a successful sculptor and architect. They were secularized Protestants and although von Hildebrand was baptized the family was irreligious in outlook. In 1906 von Hildebrand entered the University of Munich and was a student of Edmund Husserl who eventually directed his doctoral dissertation. He remained a phenomenologist from the standpoint of philosophy for the rest of his life. While studying in Munich he became a friend of Max Scheler to whom the editor gives some credit for inspiring von Hildebrand's eventual conversion to Catholicism. Scheler is said to have observed that "The Catholic Church is the true Church because she produces saints". In any event von Hildebrand and his wife Gretchen converted to Catholicism in 1914. Von Hildebrand spent the war serving as a surgeon's assistant in a hospital in Munich.

Following the war von Hildebrand was appointed to the philosophy faculty at the University of Munich. He became active in intellectual circles focused on themes of anti-nationalism and Catholicism. While attending a conference in Paris in 1921 he was challenged by his largely French audience on the question of Germany's invasion of Belgium in 1914. He responded by characterizing it an "an atrocious crime". This comment generated a serious backlash at home both from religious and non-religious critics. His place on the Nazi Party's hit list dates from this conference.

The bulk of the memoirs are focused on von Hildebrand's efforts to resist the totalitarian temptation in German intellectual and political circles and to fight against the inclination to find compromises and a modus vivendi between the German Church and National Socialism. His politics and his philosophy were aligned around three core principles: complete rejection of or compromise with National Socialism, devout Catholicism, and total rejection of anti-Semitism. His rejection of National Socialism was from the beginning and it was public enough that he felt compelled to flee Munich as early as 1923 during the "Beer Hall Putsch".

He fled to Vienna ten years later after Hitler's accession to power and with the support of Austrian chancellor, Engelbert Dollfuss, founded "Der Christliche Standestaat", translated as "The Christian Corporative State" which espoused a middle way between the spirit of secular, capitalist liberalism and the extremes of National Socialism and Bolshevisim. Eventually he was forced to flee to Czechoslovakia, then France and eventually making his way to the United States and a position at Fordham where he taught form 1940-1960.

The memoirs make for fascinating reading with a cast of characters from all walks of political, religious and intellectual life adding color and texture to the story. The book would have been helped by the inclusion of an index to allow the reader to go back and check on characters whose appearances reoccur over the course of many years. But that is my only quibble. It amused me to note that in a display of perhaps an "all too human" trait, von Hildebrand repeatedly rates the intellects, personalities and worth of his acquaintances based on the firmness of their opposition to National Socialism, their rejection of anti-Semitism and their Catholicism. (He does harbor small reservations, though, about "strict Thomists.")

The essays still speak to us as men and women of good will eight decades after they were written with a goal of inspiring Austria to maintain its independence from and resistance to National Socialism. For readers in need of moral and intellectual sustenance to resist the totalitarian temptations of our times this book will reward your time and effort. ( )
  citizencane | Mar 6, 2016 |
Dietrich von Hildebrand, a German professor of philosophy in Munich, watched with dismay as Germany fell under the spell of Hitler and the Third Reich. In 1933, at age 43, he and his wife Gretchen left Germany to live in Vienna.

In exile he founded a weekly magazine (Der Christliche Standestaat—The Christian Corporative State) that, for five years (until the spring of 1938 when Hitler took over Austria and the von Hildebrands had to flee), was dedicated to unmasking the nationalism, militarism, collectivism, and anti-Semitism that combined to make up Nazism.

My Battle Against Hitler is made up of two sections. The first part—von Hildebrand’s memoirs—contains selections from the 5000-page memoir he wrote in 1958 for the benefit of his second wife to help this much younger woman understand his life. This section is organized by year.

The second part is fragments of the essays he published in the Vienna magazine from 1933 to 1938.

The whole thing is stitched together by pieces written by John Henry Crosby and John F. Crosby, translators of the memoirs and essays. The book begins with John Henry Crosby’s chapter “The Life of Dietrich von Hildebrand.” Throughout the book pieces written by the Crosby’s connect the dots between journal entries and put the essay fragments into context.

Von Hildebrand’s journals are interesting and colorful. They depict him as an inveterate people-watcher who tended to categorize those he met as black or white depending on how they viewed Bolshevism and National Socialism. Any whiff of sympathy to those movements colored his entire opinion of a person.

He was someone who also seemed readily star-struck with those in power that he admired. His account of meeting the Empress and Emperor Otto of Belgium in 1933 is typical of his reaction:

“The Empress made a very strong impression on me. There was something unbelievably elegant and aristocratic about her face, while her presence as a whole seemed to combine both strength and tenderness. She was immensely attractive. ... Afterward I was able to meet Emperor Otto, who also made a very great impression on me. He was then still very young, about nineteen or twenty. ...I was amazed how well informed he was about all the problems in Austria and how intelligently he spoke about them” – Kindle Location 1927 & 1934.


As a whole, his memoirs introduce us to the philosophers, thinkers, and politicians of the day with whom he rubbed shoulders in Vienna and other parts of Europe. They are infused with his philosophical idealism which is rooted in his Catholic / Christian worldview. And so he saw Bolshevism and National Socialism as players in the age-old drama that was far bigger than what was being played out on the stage of Europe at that time:

“In reality, there have been only two fronts in the world for the past two thousand years; the front for Christ and the front against Christ. He is the cornerstone which separates all spirits” – Kindle Location 5012.

Though I found many of his essays hard to follow (he was a deep, philosophical thinker, quoting names of contemporaries as handles of philosophical movements with which I’m unfamiliar), his strong convictions and clear thinking is, as a whole, hard to resist. I couldn’t help but contrast his well-thought-out opposition to Nazism to our popular movements which, herd-like, rise and fall fueled by little more than trending tweets and social medial ‘LIKE's. Von Hildebrand would have been aghast.

In our time when dueling worldviews continue, von Hildbrand stands as a shining example of someone who knew his convictions, was a master at communicating them, and stuck by them no matter how popular opinion shifted.

For our time, this book is a worthwhile read for his defense of the Jews alone. The journal entries and essays where he decries anti-Semitism could help bolster our own resistance to this movement that is again finding a voice on the streets and university campuses around us.

This book is a treasure for those interested in a close view of pre-World War II Vienna, the political atmosphere and movements of the time, and how one Christian thinker analyzed and evaluated the philosophies that underpinned those movements.

I received My Battle Against Hitler as an e-book download from the publisher for the purpose of writing a review.
( )
  Violet_Nesdoly | Jan 4, 2015 |
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"How does a person become Hitler's enemy number one? Not through espionage or violence, it turns out, but by striking fearlessly at the intellectual and spiritual roots of National Socialism. Dietrich von Hildebrand was a German Catholic thinker and teacher who devoted the full force of his intellect to breaking the deadly spell of Nazism that ensnared so many of his beloved countrymen. His story might well have been lost to us were it not for this memoir he penned in the last decades of his life at the request of his wife, Alice von Hildebrand. In My Battle Against Hitler, covering the years from 1921 to 1938, von Hildebrand tells of the scorn and ridicule he endured for sounding the alarm when many still viewed Hitler as a positive and inevitable force. He expresses the sorrow of having to leave behind his home, friends, and family in Germany to conduct his fight against the Nazis from Austria. He recounts how he defiantly challenged Nazism in the public square, prompting the German ambassador in Vienna to describe him to Hitler as 'the architect of the intellectual resistance in Austria.' And in the midst of all the danger he faced, he conveys his unwavering trust in God, even during his harrowing escape from Vienna and his desperate flight across Europe, with the Nazis always just one step behind. Dietrich von Hildebrand belongs to the very earliest anti-Nazi resistance. His public statements led the Nazis to blacklist him already in 1921, long before the horrors of the Third Reich and more than twenty-three years before the famous assassination attempt on Hitler in July 1944. His battle would culminate in the countless articles he published in Vienna, a selection of which are featured in this volume. 'It is an immense privilege,' writes editor John Henry Crosby, founder of the Hildebrand Project, 'to present to the world the shining witness of one man who risked everything to follow his conscience and stand in defiance of tyranny.'"-- "This unpublished memoir from German-Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand demonstrates his opposition to anti-Semitism, his prescient understanding of just how deadly Nazism and Hitler would be, and his courage as he perpared to flee Germany"--

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