2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Okay, I've paced myself with this book so hopefully I'll remember the beginning, let alone summarize it well enough.
"'Historically speaking, the Christian religion is nothing by a Jewish sect. It has always been and it will always remain just that, as long as it will exist,' Hitler went on." pg xi
"'That's right. After the destruction of Judaism, the extinction of Christian slave morals must follow logically,' Hitler began to pace up and down in his room. 'I shall know the moment when to confront, for the sake of the German people and the world, their Asiatic slave morals with our picture of the free man, the godlike man'." pg xii
I... Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me, by THOMAS MANN: The tale starts with Moses, details the Exodus, the Ten Commandments given to Moses and the people, what human nature is and God's warning of what happens when people defy His Commandments.
II... Thou Shalt Not Make Any Graven Image, by REBECCA WEST: Some people in Paris not fond of the Nazis, one a woman who didn't know where her Jewish husband went, a visit from brown shirts and the false assumption the Nazis are liberating the region, the lowering quality of life, and a train ride.
III... Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord Thy God in Vain, by Franz Werfel: This one is of a small quaint town where everyone lived in relative harmony for many generations and knew each other well as small towns do, which included a priest and rabbi and a rowdy youth, and bad advice that the priest will never stop regretting in giving to his rabbi friend.
IV... Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep It Holy, by JOHN ERSKINE: This is of three German friends, two boys and a girl, starting after the Great War while they were impressionable. They grow up, develop their own minds, find occupations, an event happens that could have broken a friendship but didn't. But a new power is rising and philosophies are changing -- out with the old and in with the new, which puts their friendship to a real test.
V... Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother, by BRUNO FRANK: A story revolving around two cynical German children, Barbara and Heinrich, with a cantankerous if not violent "friendship," and unpleasant ties through their older relatives. Perfect Germans must breed. Barbara was one, Heinrich not so much. Especially not his family, politically speaking at least.
VI... Thou Shalt Not Kill, by JULES ROMAINS: The story of a German born at the turn of the century, turned professor, with outspoken political and religious ideals which he prominently displayed for students and guests; happy with with his friends, colleagues, and students to impress upon. But things change, a new ideology arises that challenge the attitudes of his impressionable students and the company he can keep.
VII... Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, by ANRE MAUROIS: Frédéric Albert was an adored stage actor in France, especially by women who threw themselves at him. He had many, but everything changed when he met Marthe, who only ever loved him. From then on, they were a storybook romance from which they produced Catherine Albert. Catherine, unlike her father, loved to sing. It was her ONLY love. Life changed when the Nazis began to take over. Catherine hardly noticed--until the Militarbefehlshaber decreed that every Jewish person must register themselves. The Alberts always thought of themselves as entirely French. But Frédéric was ethnically Jewish and Marthe was German.
VIII... Thou Shalt Not Steal, by SIGRID UNDSET: What happened to a Norway community when Germans occupy it. Apparently the fruit you picked is theirs, the house you once lived in is theirs, they can tax you into poverty, only allow you so much butter while they let the large sum of theirs(yours) rot, and the photographs of your children can be sold back to you for $500 from one of the more polite women who is draped in furs.
IX... Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor, by HENDRIK WILLEM VAN LOON: After the Great War, or World War I, many German children were starving. Holland prided itself on its generosity, and for a religious fanatic like "Samuel," it was the right thing to do. He, his wife and two children took in a boy named Johann. But nothing could have prepared them for this child who, to sum up, had not a shred of ethics. Okay, he lied, stole, eagerly defamed their good names to their community, intentionally harmed himself or acted injured to garner sympathy to get more candy, thought their religion was stupid, their race and their country inferior. When he returned twenty years later, he was certainly no better.
X. Thou Shalt Not Covet, by LOUIS BROMFIELD: This story began at a skiing resort hidden in Switzerland. Told in the first person, Mr. Bromfield tells us of his family who braved pages of obstacles getting there to meet the owners, two people they already knew (one who HAD to leave before the wave of German tourists showed and a man obsessed with a German who had great ideas), an uncomfortable and embarrassed older German couple, a French lady (?) who lost her dog, a trollop always falling for the wrong man while trying to find someone to take care of her and her family, and a whole bunch of rude and obnoxious Germans. As the story wears on, we learn about the fates of each.
As for my review, it's much easier if I skip to the point and speak in the first person.. I've been reading about Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Liberalism, Republicanism, and Libertarianism. The Nazi religion is a mixed blend of pagan occultism and eugenics. Christianity wouldn't exist without Judaism and "the Jewish race," which begs the question how Nazism treated Christians and how Christians responded. I'm of limited means so I have long lists on a few websites and a decision which one would be just what I was looking for. The title gave the impression that I had found just exactly what I was looking for.
Taste differs from person to person. I thought that some stories only vaguely linked to the subject for which they were writing. The First could have been a chapter not linked to the succession of Commandment stories since Hitler seems as this stage in my research the personification of the anti-Christ. The Second could have been used on their Wotan/Thule Society symbol, or the fact that you could get shot for not giving the stiff-arm salute. I'd like to fit in somewhere that it seemed like the only ideologies were Social Democrat, Nazi and Communist. Sheesh. The Adultery and Lying/False Witness one were in my opinion the best. I'm the Victorian-era romance novel type, so the Adultery story hit me the hardest and I had to stop repeatedly to envision having a conversation with the family in which I begged them "don't." The False Witness/Lying story just infuriated me.
Anyway, there's probably thousands of books dealing with the Nazis and religion. Not all of them can be first. With that first paragraph in mind, if I had yet read this book and wanted to find a review that would be helpful, I would have said to myself that I should keep it on my Wish List and get another book first. In other words, I think it has value, I wouldn't dismiss it; but I could wait later on to purchase and read it. Some halfway point after finding several books and closing up loose ends, finishing the list, whatever. Not quite that "smoking gun" I was looking for, but that Adultery story will haunt me at least. This wasn't how I envisioned my review to look but I hope that it's at least a little helpful.
Ah, last thing. I'm not remotely an expert on older books. One of the first pages mentions that they had to help in the war effort by making the pages thinner, which I think I might like. Careful erasing penciled comments, though. And the page ends look as though they're perforated. I'll have to upload images later, but I find the construction of this edition, only edition?, interesting....... Thanks.