• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
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  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
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  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
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  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
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  • A
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  • T
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  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
  • ECONOMIC UNIFICATION,
  • P
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  • FOREIGN POLICY
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  • EBERT MAKES A DEAL WITH THE
  • THE SPARTACISTS
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  • A VENGEFUL PEACE
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  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
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  • WAR GUILT AND REPARATIONS
  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Bernstein, Eduard

    lang=EN-US style='font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Meridien-Medium","serif"; color:black'>(18501932)

    Revisionist socialist

    Eduard Bernstein was born in BERLIN in 1850,

    the son of a poor Jewish locomotive engineer.

    Not finishing high school and not attending the

    university, he nevertheless was very intelligent

    and capable. He joined the SPD, helping to

    organize the Gotha Congress of 1875, and after

    leaving Germany due to the antisocialist laws

    he became the Zurich editor of the Social Democrat

    (Der Sozialdemokrat), the partys main newspaper.

    Thereafter, he was deported to London,

    where he became a correspondent for the

    Berlin socialist party newspaper, Vorwaerts. He

    was closely associated with Friedrich ENGELS,

    the Fabian socialists in England, and Karl

    KAUTSKY.

    Until 1878 he was a bank clerk for the Rothschild

    brothers in Berlin, where he learned

    about capitalism. While an exile in London, he

    had numerous occasions to learn about socialism

    from Friedrich Engels. Bernstein explained

    his revisionist position in his book Evolutionary

    Socialism (1899). With statistics Bernstein critiqued

    the premises of Karl MARXs prediction

    that capitalism was on the verge of imminent

    collapse and that there would be an inevitable

    transition to socialism. Instead of workers

    becoming poorer and poorer, he demonstrated

    that they actually were improving their standard

    of living. He searched for a workable solution to

    the tremendous social problems resulting from

    progressive industrialization. He did not seek to

    change middle-class society through revolution

    but to reform it very much like the Fabians in

    England. Revisionism was condemned by the

    SPD in 1903. The split in the party between the

    revolutionary and evolutionary wings lasted

    until after 1945, when many of Bernsteins

    arguments were incorporated into the partys

    program.

    Bertram, Adolf (18591945)

    bishop and cardinal

    Adolf Bertram is primarily remembered as the

    leader of the German Bishops Conference

    under the Nazi regime and for his policy of petition

    politics (Eingabenpolitik), which involved

    private protests instead of public resistance

    against the Nazi regimes persecution of the

    Catholic Church and treatment of the Jews.

    Born in Hildesheim into a shopkeepers family

    in 1859, Adolf Bertram was educated early in

    life for the priesthood. Growing up during the

    persecution of Catholics in Prussia at the time of

    the KULTURKAMPF, he had to attend the University

    of Würzburg in BAVARIA. He was ordained in

    1881, received a doctorate in theology in 1883,

    and the next year a doctorate in canon law at

    Rome. He was assigned to administrative duties

    as a cathedral canon in 1894, vicar general in

    1905, bishop of Hildesheim in 1906, and in 1914

    an archbishop of the large Catholic community

    in BRESLAU. After the war he was named a cardinal

    in 1919.

    Starting in 1920, this obedient and good

    administrator was appointed president of the

    German Bishops Conference, which first only

    included the Fulda organization of bishops and

    in 1933 was enlarged by the addition of the

    Bavarian Bishops Conference. His efficient and

    moderate but not aggressive or prophetic leadership

    was acceptable during the peaceful years

    of the WEIMAR REPUBLIC, but under the Nazi dictatorship

    and the church-state treaty (1933) of

    the CONCORDAT these characteristics led to an

    unsuccessful resistance against Nazi persecution

    and the perpetration of the HOLOCAUST. It is

    assumed that the lessons Bertram learned during

    the Kulturkampf included the belief that

    massive resistance to the government would

    result in greater persecution and the deprivation

    of the ministry of the clergy for Catholics. For

    Bertram and the other bishops fear of persecution

    was reinforced by their moral obligation to

    obey lawful authority as long as it did not violate

    divine law. The obligation of obedience was

    reinforced by the loyalty to the state, which the

    Concordat required. This is not to say that all the

    Bertram, Adolf 271

    bishops unanimously or enthusiastically supported

    Bertrams policy of petition politics.

    The reputation of the Catholic Church for its

    lack of protest against the treatment of deported

    Jews was permanently damaged. Cardinal

    Bertram was not convinced by the pleas of Cardinal

    Konrad Preysing for an outspoken protest.

    The mantle of authority in the Catholic hierarchical

    system rested, however, on the shoulders

    of this autocratic and mistrustful old prelate (age

    79 in 1937), whose diplomatic style failed to

    protect not only Catholics of Jewish descent but

    even the church. Certainly the obligations of the

    Concordat reinforced Bertrams natural obedience

    and loyalty to authority. It can reasonably

    be argued that expressions of loyalty to a head

    of state were justified, as were Bertrams greetings

    on the occasion of Hitlers 50th birthday

    (April 20, 1939) used to remind him of complaints

    that Catholics had with the government.

    Nevertheless, what is less understandable

    occurred after Hitlers death, when the aged

    Bertram continued to express his loyalty and

    requested priests to offer solemn requiem

    masses in Hitlers memory.

    Bertram was too old (83) in 1942 to continue

    his duties as conference president, so he resigned

    the position but had to continue bearing its

    responsibility when no replacement was found.

    Surviving the war, he died on July 6, 1945.

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