Die Macht der Mythen: Walther Rathenau im öffentlichen Gedächtnis : sechs Essays

Verlag Das Arsenal, 1998 - 140 pages
A collection of essays based on lectures held in 1997. Discusses the public image of Rathenau during his lifetime and after his assassination in 1922. Argues that although antisemitism was one of the elements in the hostile atmosphere surrounding him, its main causes were political. Pp. 109-116, "Die Normalität des Abnormen", assert that his assassins were not motivated by antisemitism; Rathenau's murder was only one of a planned series of murders of leading politicians in a coldly calculated program to overturn the Republic. Comments that the assassins were characteristic of their generation, including many of the Nazi elite: a mixture of fanatic ideology and detachment ("Sachlichkeit"), respect for their victims and the will to exterminate them; a generation that could perpetrate genocide with cool rationality. Pp. 117-130, "Die Tessier-Legende oder Von der Güte der Klio", discuss a drama, "Hauptmann Tessier", written by Horst Behrend in 1953 as a contribution to Christian-Jewish relations. It is based on a real account of a meeting between a young relative of Rathenau with a man who claims to be Techow, the driver of his uncle's murderers, and proclaims his change of heart and sympathy for Jews. Comments that Tessier alias Techow was clearly an impostor.

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