Monday, October 5, 2009

Political rationalizations in Nazi-Germany - NBIH

A fantastic, sophisticated, thought provoking and fascinating podcast was delivered by New Books in History in its latest edition. This interview by Marshal Poe is not only one to be listened to carefully, it needs to be thought over and applied around. This is where history teaches us a lesson we need every day.

Poe interviewed Peter Fritzsche about the complex and multi-faceted issue of the political landscape in the Third Reich. This is not only a journey into nuance not everybody is ready to understand or even accept, it is also one with pitfalls, to be either too unforgiving or too forgiving to the Germans under Hitler, or just plain ignorant. I am not surprised Fritzsche came to a title for his book on the subject as wide as Life and Death in the Third Reich. If you are open to it and critically think along, you will be offered a fascinating reconstruction of how a nation of various identities and political views, largely all within the acceptable spectrum could come to accept the Nazis as their rulers and shake them off, after the war as well.

What struck me was how profound this insight is and how it gives a hint to any situation elsewhere in history where sane people come to ascribe to insane ideologies and rule. I can see how anyone in any situation can be similarly drawn in the slippery slope and end somewhere in the slipstream of a political power that he in his heart of hearts detests and mistrusts, but somehow accepts to be his and then apply himself to the circumstance. If ever, this podcast must be a great incentive to go and read the book by Fritzsche, this and any other, for that matter.

More NBIH:
Whalen / Rohrbough,
Confronting the bomb,
Henry Hudson's fatal journey,
Substance abuse in the midwest,
How could they continue - NBIH on WW1 soldiers.

German Classics - Deutsche Welle

Through the German radio station Deutsche Welle one can hear great artists read German Classics to the public. This program is also available as a podcast: Deutsche Klassiker. (feed)

Just now, I have finished listening to Philipp Schepmann who read a story by Goethe: Die neue Melusine. The story is a romantic version of a fairy tale about a woman shape shifter. A charming elaboration into a magical realistic tale from the perspective of the man who is mesmerized by her.

Next on my play list is a two-part reading of E.T.A. Hoffmann's Der Sandmann, read by Wolfgang Rüter.

As radio programs go, the audio and the reading is professionally impeccable.