Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fabricated Luther, first paragraph

"More than six decades ago, scores of Germans were rounded up and tortured to death, hanged, guillotined, or executed by firing squads for their attempt to overthrow the National Socialist tyranny. Almost all of them were Christians; some were Roman Catholic, and some were Lutheran. The most famous among the latter group were Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the theologian, and Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, the former mayor of Leipzig. Goerdeler would have become Germany's chancellor had the July 20, 1944, coup attempt against Adolf Hitler succeeded."

Why is it I have never, ever, heard of Carl Goerdeler before reading the "Fabricated Luther"? Oh, yes, I just heard about him also in the movie "Valkyrie" with Tom Cruise. My visitor from Vancouver had us watch the movie the other night. Wow, never heard of Goerdeler before and now twice in one summer. Actually, the point did not really hit me til watching "Valkyrie".

I checked my Adolf Hitler tome (by John Toland; see picture)--no Goerdeler in the index, at all. My husband, who knows more about this kind of thing, has never heard of Goerdeler. Again--my husband, who knows more about this kind of thing, did not think the uprising was as big as the movie depicted. HOW could it not have been? Certainly, the movie-makers could not have made it up. Why does it seem strange to us even now after all this time?

Why does this matter? It matters because Siemon-Netto's line of reasoning in the book tries to show that the German resistance has been minimized both in the kind of support it received and the kind of recognition it received. It's story has been buried. In fact, Siemon-Netto shows how the German resistance and its information and informants were completely and tragically dismissed in London and other places. He also shows how the story received no play after the war. This matters because if there actually was resistance and by what kind of people the myth of the Lutheran quietism is debunked.

Why does any of it matter? First of all, the truth always matters. Sienmon-Netto thinks it matters because Luther's stance on the two realms is not only not a problem but the solution to many problems plaguing nations. The doctrine on the two realms matters. To me it matters, because Luther must be evaluated as fairly as possible because he taught us the Gospel, and it matters and therefore he matters. No one should take unnecessary offense at reformation teachings.

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...


You make some very good points as to why this matters.

I had never heard of Goerdeler before, either.

I think I should read the book and see the movie.