(FASCISM and PHILOSOPHY – continued)
Scheubner-Richter and Rosenberg were Baltic Germans, Scheubner-Richter from Latvia, Rosenberg from Estonia and the son of a wealthy German merchant. Before World War I both areas were ruled by the Russian tsar. (Some people falsely assume that Rosenberg is a Jewish surname. Stein is another example of a common German name adopted by Jews.)
In 1905 Scheubner-Richter fought against an attempt at revolution by leftists in Latvia. The revolutionaries saw themselves as fighting against Latvia's German landowners and tsarist rule. Scheubner-Richter had joined one of the private armies that fought for the status-quo, and he married the daughter of a manufacturer whose factory he had guarded – adding his wife's family name, Scheubner, to his family name, Richter.
Both Scheubner-Richter and Rosenberg were educated at tsarist institutions. Rosenberg studied architecture at the Riga Technical Institute and engineering at Moscow University, completing his Ph.D. studies in 1917.
During the Great War of 1914-18, Richter served as a German vice council in Turkey, where he became familiar with the mass killings of Armenians under Turkish rule. He then went to Russia and was involved in anti-Bolshevik activities. Rosenberg also sided with those hostile to the Bolshevik-Soviet regime that took power in November 1917. And by 1918, well before the anti-Bolshevik forces were defeated in Russia's civil war, the two were in Germany – a terrible year for the Germans. Richter had become a mentor to the young Rosenberg.
In 1921, Rosenberg joined Hitler's political party. Richter was closer to Hitler, providing him with a lengthy plan to seize power – the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 – Hitler apparently believing that the elder Richter was a man of political experience and wisdom. In a march with Hitler that confronted the government forces against the coup, Richter was shot and killed instantly. His arm had been linked with Hitler's and his fall brought Hitler down with him, dislocating Hitler's shoulder.
Hitler went to prison, and he put Rosenberg at the head of his party, the National Socialists. Hitler believed that in his absence Rosenberg was his best choice because Rosenberg was weak and lazy – not popular or hungry for power enough to threaten his leadership.
In 1929, the National Socialists put Rosenberg at the head of the Militant League for German Culture. Then he headed the Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question. In 1930 he became a deputy for the National Socialists in Germany's parliament. In 1933, after Hitler became chancellor, Rosenberg was named leader of the party's foreign political office. And in 1934 he was deputized by Hitler as party leader responsible for education.
Rosenberg wrote a book, The Myth of the Twentieth Century, said to be second in influence to Hitler's Mein Kampf. Rosenberg claimed that God created racial differences – rather than racial differences having developed after His creation. Struggling in a field in which he had no formal training, Rosenberg dabbled in history, relying more on presumption than researching questions inspired by doubt – as some historians believe appropriate. And Dr. Rosenberg was not shy about expressing grand conclusions about historical development. He proposed that migrating Aryans had founded various ancient civilizations and that these civilizations declined or fell because of Aryan inter-marriage with lesser races. Rosenberg saw invasions of the Roman empire by Germans as "saving" a civilization that had been corrupted by Christianity. Christianity, he pointed out, was Jewish in origin.
Rosenberg failed to explain the corrupt rule of the Germanic Carolingian kings and countless other instances of failure of moral sensibilities among Europeans of Germanic ancestry up to and including incidents during World War I.
Rosenberg seemed to borrow from Schopenhauer when he wrote of the energetic will to power that belong to the Aryan race, Rosenberg, but not Schopenhauer implying that this will to power contributed to morality – as if the conquests and enslavement by nomadic Aryan Greeks of farming communities was necessarily a moral act.
Rosenberg believed that the "higher races" should rule over the lower races and not interbreed with them. Cross-breeding, he claimed, destroyed God's divine plan of racial differences. He wrote of the need to purify "race soul" by eliminating non-Aryan elements in much the same ruthless and uncompromising way in which a surgeon would cut a cancer from a diseased body.
According to Rosenberg, modern culture had been corrupted by Semitic influences. Rather than championing freedom as some have claimed, he was the champion of freedom only for his fellow Aryans, and those Aryans who agreed with him and his leader, Hitler. By ranking Jews as an inferior and polluting breed, he was focusing on a central enemy that served a political movement's aspiration for power. Everything blameworthy was being blamed on the Jews. This was accompanied by the National Socialist party's disdain for the notion that, like other societies, Germany had grown diverse ethnically and ideologically and that tolerance was an important ingredient in society's functionality.
Rosenberg was siding with social engineering rather than freedom. He postured morally by declaring modern art degenerate. Germans who were pure Aryans, he implied, had an innate moral sensibility.
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.