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How does an individual develop into Hitler’s enemy no 1? now not via espionage or violence, it seems, yet by way of amazing fearlessly on the highbrow and non secular roots of nationwide Socialism.
Dietrich von Hildebrand used to be a German Catholic philosopher and instructor who committed the total strength of his mind to breaking the lethal spell of Nazism that ensnared such a lot of of his liked countrymen.
His tale may possibly good were misplaced to us have been it now not for this memoir he penned within the final a long time of his existence on the request of his spouse, Alice von Hildebrand. In My conflict opposed to Hitler, protecting the years from 1921 to 1938, von Hildebrand tells of the scorn and mock he persevered for sounding the alarm whilst many nonetheless seen Hitler as a favorable and inevitable strength. He expresses the sorrow of getting to go away in the back of his domestic, pals, and kinfolk in Germany to behavior his struggle opposed to the Nazis from Austria. He recounts how he defiantly challenged Nazism within the public sq., prompting the German ambassador in Vienna to explain him to Hitler as "the architect of the highbrow resistance in Austria." And in the middle of the entire risk he confronted, he conveys his unwavering belief in God, even in the course of his harrowing get away from Vienna and his determined flight throughout Europe, with the Nazis continually only one step in the back of.
Dietrich von Hildebrand belongs to the very earliest anti-Nazi resistance. His public statements led the Nazis to blacklist him already in 1921, lengthy ahead of the horrors of the 3rd Reich and greater than twenty-three years prior to the recognized assassination try on Hitler in July 1944. His conflict could culminate within the numerous articles he released in Vienna, a variety of that are featured during this quantity.
"It is a major privilege," writes editor John Henry Crosby, founding father of the Hildebrand undertaking, "to current to the realm the shining witness of 1 guy who risked every thing to persist with his moral sense and stand in defiance of tyranny."
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Additional info for My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich
Nothing could be further from the truth. All who knew him say he radiated a contagious joy and mirth. “He was happy and grateful for all great things that call for reverence,” remembers his student Paul Stöcklein. “His inner happiness made itself felt in the way he spoke. This happiness struck me as free of any self-deception. ”13 His philosophical genius and extraordinary culture did not make him inaccessible; rather, his “inner wealth” was integrated into a lively concern for the well-being of his friends, his family, and especially his students.
One of these was the rise of anti-Semitism. He opposed, as already noted, not just the anti-Semitism that aimed at extermination but also the more moderate anti-Semitism found in pervasive stereotypes and antipathies. But anti-Semitism also led him to think deeply on the meaning of the Jewish people. In his writing the “Jewish question” took on an entirely different meaning than it generally did in German and Austrian political and intellectual life at the time. The German race laws and even many Catholic thinkers approached the question from a purely racial and ethnic basis.
He was then forty-three years old, nearly the midpoint of his long life. But he was not unready for the witness he was being called to give. His entire life turns out to have been a preparation for this moment. Dietrich was born on October 12, 1889, at San Francesco, his family’s villa in Florence. His father, Adolf von Hildebrand, was by then one of the most renowned sculptors and architects of Germany. His mother, Irene, was a woman of learning and cultivation, even though she received very little formal schooling.