Gothic mess!

In my recent post about the commenters on The Occidental Observer I had said that, since I’m busy learning a new language, I would limit myself to posting on Sundays. However, although I’ve subscribed to the German course of a polyglot who speaks many languages, the difficulty I see in his course is that it is boring.

The polyglot says that the secrets to learning languages are motivation, time and content. We must be highly motivated to do the hard work of learning a new language, spend enough time with the language and the content of the lessons must be of great interest to us.

I passed the test regarding his first two secrets to learning German, but the course of this polyglot that can be taken on the internet for a reasonable fee, as I said, is boring to me. So I no longer use so much time in that course as in the early days of my course. Nonetheless, the polyglot says that the trick is to read things that we love, his third ‘secret’. So I am trying to convert the booklet Glauben und Handeln (Faith and Action) by Helmut Stellrecht for the Hitler Youth into contemporary German font.

In 2019 Nathan R. Lawrence posted an interesting article about Stellrecht’s famous booklet, published by the NSDAP itself. But as can be seen in the links to Lawrence’s article, the PDF of the original 1943 text is in a Gothic font (see image above), and another link in a normal font from Internet Archive is corrupted. So if I want to use Stellrecht’s booklet for the Hitler Youth as part of my course, I have no choice but to transcribe it letter by letter, word by word from Gothic into an understandable font.

Today I already posted the preface to the booklet at the WDH section in German.

The problem is that I had never tried anything like this. It’s a very difficult undertaking. So difficult that, for example, Lawrence, when transcribing the prologue from Gothic font to a normal font, confused the letter ß, which doesn’t exist in English (in German it’s equivalent to ss) for the common B. So his translation is inaccurate. Lawrence also confused ö for ä—letters also missing in the English alphabet.

Apparently, the Gothic-font PDF is the only available PDF of Stellrecht’s booklet in German and it’s a real pain in the ass for people like us! Another example: the Gothic G from the font used by the NSDAP’s Central Publishing House looks a lot like B. And there are more cases for confusion in this peculiar old-fashioned font.

I write this post because it is a shame that I, who is just learning the language, is manually transcribing the Gothic text into normal font because, apparently, no native German-speaker has taken the trouble to do it!

Below is the somewhat corrected English translation of the preface that Lawrence translated more inaccurately. The preface doesn’t appear in the English-translated editions of Stellrecht’s booklet available on the internet:

In Germany, new laws have been set up. Laws that are ancient, for we carried them in our blood. The laws demand that we become one again in faith, will and action, and reoriented in the power of a new life.

All great things are clear and simple. Everyone who wants to recognise them can do it. They are spoken of in this book. Everyone can hear what can be put into words. If the voice of his blood answers to it, then it speaks more clearly than what human words or statutes can.

This book is in the hands of everyone who seeks clarity in the tremendous spiritual struggle of our time, but first of all to the youth who are to become fulfilled. For they must first hate themselves before accomplishment (*). Let everyone gain strength from the great goals that have been set. Let each one grow above himself, so that he may be called a German.

If anyone knows of a normal-font PDF of this booklet in German, please let me know via the email on the sidebar.

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Note of February 25: The accurate translation according to Mr. T—see comments below—is: ‘They [the youth] have to be accomplished / completed / perfectioned [choose what you like best] beforehand’.

I mistook the b for an ß mistranslating the whole phrase as ‘hate’!

Published in: on February 24, 2021 at 10:09 pm  Comments (2)  

2 Comments

  1. I am fluent in reading gothic font, that’s why I never bothered transcribing it (even more as I love that font dearly).

    Maybe this is premature, but how about me reading the stuff out loudly and taping it (i.e. on mp3-format), so it can be automatically (maybe?) transcribed into Latin fonts?

    Never have undertaken that, but if that would help. Moreover, I am planning to go to Panama (if possible) to visit a newly found commune of German-peaking settlers. Maybe an opportunity to meet?

    Anyway, take care, my dear priest of the 14 words.

    Best

    T.

    • Panama is a long flight from the town where I live. But if you want to visit Mexico City to take a look at the pre-Columbian pyramids of Teotihuacan, I’ll show you the great National Museum of Anthropology. Cheers!


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