The religious roots of anti-Germanism

by Dietrich Schuler

Editor’s note: This is the German-English translation of the first article we have published in German at the German section of The West’s Darkest Hour.
 

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If we try to fathom the special fate of the Germans within the framework of the European tragedy, it is not enough to look at the superficial slogans of daily politics, the propaganda theses of the world wars, the mutual prejudices of the European peoples or the moralising blame of re-education. Also, the rather psychological argument that the aversion against the German is rooted in his general efficiency doesn’t probe deeply enough, although there may be a great deal of truth in it.

It has been almost completely overlooked that the birth of anti-Germanism already occurred at the beginning of Christianisation. The Christian apostles first gathered around themselves everywhere the proletarian masses, the poor, the badly off and the socially weak of the ancient world. Christianity was nothing else than a pre-Marxism in the magical feeling of life of that time. ‘Evil’ then, for the early baptised, was everything that shone in the Roman Empire: the rulers, the leaders in politics, economics, art and science, the military and administrators. Christianity thus contained—Nietzsche had recognised this crystal-clearly—an ancient slave revolt against everything high and well-bred, and the mean vindictiveness of that lower-class revelled in their lust to see the hated, envied and secretly admired languish in the hottest hell. Therefore, this religion had to be anti-Germanic in and of itself. The heathen races and peoples of Central and Northern Europe, with their elementary joy of being and sensuality, formed the direct antipode to the Christian state of mind. In particular, it was the soldierly ‘barbarian tribes’ of the Germanic peoples who attracted the hatred of the oriental desert religion. For oriental was and is the original Christian spirit.

The European nobility, however, is still today, after 2,000 or 1,500 years, predominantly Nordic, and the Teutons embodied in a special way the forest soul of northern Europe, which was now subjugated in the course of many centuries by the desert spirit alien to its nature. This is to be understood quite literally. Thus the celebrated jungle doctor Albert Schweitzer said: ‘I am subjugated by Jesus’. But he didn’t want to understand this negatively, but triumphantly. The servant-like, emasculating effect of this religion can no longer be demonstrated more clearly.

In addition, it has always been overlooked or, at least, it has never been clearly pointed out, that the Christian religion encountered harsh military resistance in its spread exclusively in Germany, nowhere else in Europe. The Christianisation of south-eastern and southern Europe, as well as that of Russia and Poland, took place completely smoothly. Likewise, it found no opposition throughout Western Europe. This is of fundamental importance and symbolic of what was in the offing in Europe through many centuries, leading to the tragic inferno of the white continent since about 850. What we are told about ‘persecutions of Christians’ in antiquity is mostly fictitious: they are the legends of saints, hardly any of which would stand up to thorough scrutiny. Antiquity was, religiously, extremely tolerant and all too tolerant to its detriment.

The decisive point, however, lies in the following: the Christianisation of Germany took place in the West, starting from those two states whose modern shape was formed by three important Germanic tribes: England and France. And these tribes, as is well known, are called Franks, Saxons and Angles. It was a double attack, waged on the one hand by the most brutal military force by the Frankish Emperor Charles in a thirty-year war of extermination, and on the other hand by preaching, flattering persuasion and treacherous actions, such as the felling of the Donar Oak by Boniface. And this insidious attack, supported by Germanic courage, came from those Anglo-Saxons who had been Christianised on the British Isle and now continued the work of alienation on the mainland of whom Winfried, the so-called ‘German Apostle’, together with his relative Lioba, were particularly well known.

The guardian of central European paganism was first and foremost the Saxon tribe, which remained in the mainland, supported by the Frisians. From here the re-Germanisation of northeast Germany would take place. Without these Lower Saxons there would be no German people. But they were subjugated by the part of the closely related Franks, which the Gallo-Roman foreigners had Frenchified with the help of the Franks, who remained Germanic.

The sneering and often arrogant tone that for centuries has always been heard in Western Europe as soon as German things are mentioned goes back to the 8th and 9th Christian centuries. And it is therefore no coincidence that worldwide summons to arms, which were directed twice against Germany in the 20th century, had its spiritual-political leadership essentially with France and England, which were bearers of world languages and high moral standing.

Therefore, it cannot really be surprising, although curiously it was never really stated, that the whole anti-German atrocity propaganda, as it found its dramatic climax in the first half of the 20th century, was nothing but the increased echo of sermons to the pagans and anti-Germanic incantations of Christian missionaries, apostles and itinerant teachers more than a thousand years ago.

The core of anti-Germanism was always political theology. The orators, ‘clergymen’, article writers, and radio propagandists of our Allied war opponents merely transposed into modern language what those apostles had once prefigured: the Teuton as a hulking barbarian, stupid, brutal, uneducated and, as an additional variant, absolutely humourless!

After the Germans were finally incorporated into the fold of the Christian herd of Europe, they themselves continued the subjugation of Central and Eastern Germany to the Wends and Old Prussians. Especially the Baltic Old Prussians were now subjugated by the Order of the Teutonic Knights in the 13th and 14th centuries, just as had happened 400 to 500 years earlier to the Saxons on the part of the Franks. Christianised Poles weren’t able to conquer these freedom-loving pagan Old Prussians.

The Baltic Prussians weren’t Slavs, they formed together with the Latvians and Lithuanians a special branch of the Indo-Germanic language family. Linguistically, they occupied an intermediate position between Germanic and Slavic, as can be seen, for example, in the word garbas which means mountain. ‘Garbas’ is only a metathesis of ‘mountain’ with a Baltic suffix attached. In Slavic it became ‘gora’.

In terms of blood, however, these later Germanised Old Prussians, who gave the name to the later state of Prussia, were the closest relatives of the Germanic tribes. Until the Second World War the real Latvia as well as East Prussia belonged to the areas with the strongest predominance of the Nordic race. Let us therefore note two things: the northwest of Germany was forcibly Christianised in the same way as later would happen to its extreme northeast. The area around Königsberg was forced under the Christian yoke only a full millennium after southern France with Marseille and Bordeaux. Only through this do we recognise the full historical root of the talk of the ‘German barbarians’, which has long been in vogue especially in our western neighbouring country.

From a purely political point of view it must of course be said that, as things stood, the subjugation of the Saxons by the Frankish Emperor may have been positive, in spite of the terrible Germanic fratricides, because otherwise the establishment of a German state and state people, as we know it historically, couldn’t have been carried out. This has also been asserted again and again. The same applies to the Christianisation and simultaneous Germanisation of East Germany, which, however, was actually a re-Germanisation. It is possible that without the influence of foreign religious elements a large Germanic northern empire would have arisen from Scandinavia to the low mountain ranges. Without the Roman Church, the Germanic tribes of northern France would most probably not have been Romanised, so that quite other possibilities of Germanic state formation in the European framework seem conceivable. But these are speculations. The main purpose here is to prove that through Christianity everything in Europe became mendacious to the core.

If the opposing propaganda in the Second World War tried to divide the Germans by the confrontation of ‘Nazis’ and ‘anti-Nazis’, it did the same in the First World War by the use of the terms ‘Prussians’ and ‘non-Prussians’. If we have internalised all this, then the German Sonderweg is no longer a mystery to us. The Germans are, often and largely quite unconsciously, the conscience of the real, down-to-earth, pagan Europe. There is nothing else. Christian Europe was a falsification, a pseudo-morphosis. Central Europe is the original homeland of the Indo-Germanic root people, not some Asian steppes, as we have been led to believe. What this primitive pagan Europe could have become with the great ruler virtues and the political talent of the old Romans, but above all the unequalled philosophical height of the Hellenes, give us a faint idea.

Along with Germany, Europe, the entire white race would have to die. But by paying homage to anti-Germanism themselves, the Germans, blocked the way to the right knowledge for the other Europeans. He who destroys the core of a thing, destroys thereby also the whole. And it is therefore no wonder that the deep division of the soul, which came to Europe with Christianity, raged especially painfully among the Germans.

The adoption of this foreign religion and the attempt to adapt it to our way of being was the real fall from the grace of Europe. Religion is the highest and most sacred thing: one doesn’t allow it to be taken away from the foreigner, nor, what is just as bad, to be foisted upon him. A race of the rank of the White European without its own religion is a historical scandal, a mortal sin…

He whoever walked through the German people with an awake heart, has recognised the deep inner misery of this people… Especially since the 20th century, the division of the soul has become abundantly visible, which runs through our tribes, our clans, families, even the individual personalities. The feeling becomes more and more urgent that we live in an unholy, hopeless, evil and un-homely world.

But the other European peoples also know this feeling. Sham victories over Germany have benefited neither them nor Europe as a whole. Quite the contrary! All of them are not one bit better off today than the Germans themselves. Christianity has not eliminated a single of the world’s evils, nor has it even alleviated them: it lives from evil. Only in it, in an ugly, miserable, cloying world, do its rotten fruits blossom and flourish.

But the struggle against Germany with unwarlike but all the more effective means goes on unceasingly. Fortunately, more and more people, even in non-German countries, are realising that there is anti-white racism everywhere.

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Dietrich Schuler (1927-2011) was a German educator, writer and philosopher of religion.

Source: Dietrich Schuler: Untergang der Weltmacht USA: Rettung für die weißen Völker? (2003). This excerpt has been translated by Albus from German using DeepL; reworked by him, and the resulting English syntax edited by C.T.

Christianity’s criminal history, 129

For the context of these translations click: here

 

CHAPTER 2

CLOVIS, FOUNDER OF THE GREAT FRANKISH EMPIRE

‘One of the most outstanding figures in universal history’. —Wilhelm von Glesebrecht, historian

‘And it is certain that he knew himself to be a Christian, and a Catholic Christian, something that is manifested over and over again in the various performances of his reign’. —Kurt Aland, theologian

 
The Rise of the Merovingians

The original land of the Franks, whose name was associated at the beginning of the Middle Ages with the concepts of ‘brave’, ‘audacious’ and ‘daring’, was in the Lower Rhine. These people, which lacked a unitary leadership, arose probably from the coalition of numerous small tribes throughout the 1st and 2nd centuries c.e., between the rivers Weser and Rhine. They are mentioned for the first time just after the first half of the 3rd century, when they fought fierce struggles against the Romans that would continue throughout the 4th and 5th centuries. The Franks settled on the right bank of the river and then breached the Roman line of defence of the Rhine, which some had probably already overcome before by infiltrating the border region. They advanced on Xanten, that the Roman population had evacuated towards 450, having occupied it later by the small Frankish tribe of Chatuarii. They then entered the territory between the Rhine and the Moselle; the Franks took Mainz and Cologne, a city that, on occupying it definitively around 460, became the centre of an independent Frankish state, immediately on the left bank of the great river. Little by little they annexed more territory. During the first half of the 5th century they conquered the city of Trier four times and the Romans recovered it as many times, until in 480 it became definitively owned by the Franks. The number of its inhabitants, from about 60,000 in the 4th century, dropped to a few thousand in the 6th century.

The invaders founded small Frankish principalities in Belgium and northern France, each subject to a kinglet or little king. As early as 480 the entire Rhenish region between Nijmegen and Mainz, the Maas territory around Maastricht, as well as the Moselle valley from Toul to Koblenz, belonged to the Frankish territory. The Romans allowed the Franks to settle on the condition that they rendered certain military services as foederati (allies) and they became their most loyal comrades in arms of all Germans, although they were generally torn apart amid fierce tribal strife. But in the end it was the Merovingians who bid for all of Roman Gaul…

King Childeric died in 482. Almost twelve hundred years later, in 1653, a doctor from Antwerp discovered his tomb at Tournai, endowed with such wealth and sumptuousness that it far surpassed the more than 40,000 tombs of the Merovingian period uncovered by archaeologists. At the death of Childeric in 482 he was succeeded by Clovis I (466-511), aged sixteen and apparently an only child. Allied with different sister tribes, Clovis expanded the Salic territory around Tournai, which was insignificant and reduced to a small part of northern Gaul in Belgium Secunda, though he continued the plunder, assassinations and wars, increasingly widespread over the regions from the Roman province to the left bank of the Rhine.

Such attacks reached first as far as the Seine, then as far as the Loire and finally as far as the Garonne, bringing the Gallo-Romans under the rule of the Franks. Even then, that was called ‘having the Franc as a friend, and not as a neighbour’.

Such a bellicose people, over which the reputation of disloyalty also floated, was attractive to the Christian clergy from the beginning. The Arians, and even more so the Catholics, sought to win over their leader. In fact all the notable princes of that time in the West were Arian or heathen. Thus, as soon as Clovis was appointed King of Tournai, he was addressed by the Bishop of Reims, St. Remigius, a man of ‘eminent science’ and resurrector of the dead, according to the praise of Bishop Gregory who simultaneously highlights both traits…
 

A great bloodbath and the first date in the history of the German Church

Clovis soon passed from Soissons to Paris, which became the most important city and, at least since the 7th century, the true epicentre of the Frankish kingdom, in which almost all the Merovingian kings are also buried…

The Alemanni (or Suebi), first named in 213, had emigrated from the Elbe region and probably by the end of the 2nd century had made themselves strong in the Main region through various incorporations of German emigrants and soldiers. The name ‘Alemanni’ would mean what anyone who knows some German can still understand today: all males (alie Manner). The Alamanni, who were pressing on the Rhine and the line of fortifications on the frontier of the Roman Empire, broke in 406, accompanied in part by Vandals and Alans, dispersing through Gaul and Hispania.

When they tried to advance north-west from there, they clashed with the Franks, and in particular with the Francorans, who dominated the Moselle region. They had already allied with the Burgundians in 475 against the Alemanni, without clearly prevailing around 490 in a battle near Cologne, where the local kinglet Sigobert was wounded in one knee. Reason enough for Clovis to attack: in around 496-497 the Alaman king of unknown name died on the battlefield of Toibiacum. Clovis advanced into the German territory of the right bank of the Rhine and annihilated a good part of its still pagan inhabitants.

It is true that a decade later, around 506, they rose again; but again they suffered a bloody defeat, probably near Strasbourg, the Alaman king dying in battle again. Pursued by the Franks, they fled south to the pre-Alpine regions: Raetia Prima (province of Chur) and Raetia Secunda (province of Augsburg): territories under the influence of the Ostrogoth king Theodoric, who restrained his brother-in-law Clovis and who settled to the fugitives in Retia, Pannonia and northern Italy. But in the southern part of the Rhenish Hessen, in the Palatinate and the basins of the Main and Neckar the Alemanni were victims of the direct arrogance of Clovis. And from there the Franks later spread eastward to the Saale, the Upper Main and almost to the Bavarian Forest…

King Clovis had himself baptised in Reims with great pomp and with the assistance of numerous bishops. According to some, it ran annus 496-497, according to others 498-499; while according to some researchers, who put the war against the Alemanni in 506, we should think of the years 506-508. ‘It is the first date in the history of the German Church’ (Kawerau). Curiously, the event is linked to a great bloodbath and constitutes one of the most important events of the early Middle Ages.

The baptism of Clovis was a great feast. Streets and churches sparkled with their ornamentation. The baptismal church was filled with a ‘heavenly fragrance’, to the point that the attendees believed they were transferred ‘to the pleasant perfumes of paradise’.

Clovis was venerated as a saint in France.

Gregory of Tours refers that the king ‘advanced to the baptismal bath like a new Constantine’, and the comparison is terribly accurate, ‘to purify himself in the clean water of old leprosy and the dirty stains, which he had from ancient [pagan] times’. And Remigius, ‘the saint of God’, spoke to him with eloquent words: ‘Sigambrer, meekly bend your neck and worship what you burned and burn what you worshiped (adora quod incendisu, incende quod adorasli)’.

Who was this saint, who so arrogantly incited persecution, as did his colleague Avitus in his time? St. Remigius, like most of the prelates of that time (and not only of then), was of ‘illustrious’ lineage, and already at the age of twenty-two promoted to bishop of Reims. His older brother, Principius, was also bishop (of Soissons) and a saint too (their relics were to be burned by the Calvinists in 1567). Remigius, the apostle to the Franks, preached Catholicism to pagans and Arians with fervent zeal, something that clearly developed a ‘radical war’ (Schuitze), in which, according to a council of Lyon, ‘smashed the altars of idols everywhere and vigorously spread the true faith with many signs and miracles’…

Catholic Clovis made his own converts, pagans or Arians, so that the entire house of the Franks ended up being Catholic. Henceforth, a close ‘alliance between monarchy and episcopate’ (Fleckenstein) was created. The princes of the Church occupy the position of honour in the surroundings of Clovis and exert the maximum influence over him, especially Avitus and Remigius. And naturally the clergy are generously rewarded with the war spoils of the Merovingian. He rewards the prelates with largesse and splendour through foundations and donations of land… Since then ‘monarchy and church acted together for the further spread of Christianity’ (Schultze)…

From the research that we have today, it can well be argued that in reality the conversion of Clovis was a political, as that of Constantine had been before. Unlike the other Germanic peoples, the king and his people accepted Catholicism because it provided in advance a link between the conqueror and the Gallo-Romans who were subjected or who were to submit; linkage that did not occur in the rest of the Germanic kingdoms. Clovis, a sympathiser of the Church from an early age, became a Catholic to subdue the Arian Germanic tribes and win over neighbouring Gaul more easily with his strong majority of Roman Catholics…
 

Are we to free ourselves from a moralistic assessment of history?

After Clovis had won the war against the Visigoths with the help of the Francorans, between 509 and 511, the last years of his life, he achieved royal dignity over them. In any case, it forced the fusion of the Francorenan tribes with the Salian Franks.

He first instigated Chlodoric, son of King Sigobert of Cologne, to get rid of his father. ‘Look, your father has grown old and is limping with a crippled leg’. Sigobert ‘the Lame’, a former companion of Clovis, had limped since the battle of Toibiacum against the Alemanni, in which he had been wounded. At the hands of a hired assassin the prince eliminated his father in the beech forest. Through a delegation, Clovis congratulated the parricide and through it, he crushed his skull. The German historian Ewig describes all this with an elegant expression, too elegant we would say, of ‘diplomacy of intrigues’. After the double act, Clovis went to Cologne, the residential city of Sigobert, solemnly proclaimed his innocence in both crimes and, joyfully welcomed by the people, seized the ‘kingdom and the treasures of Sigobert’ (Gregory).

Then he fell on the Salian kings, with whom he was related. Such was the case, for example, of a Frankish king, Chararic, who had not once fought against Syagrius. With tricks Clovis seized him and his son. Later he locked them up in a monastery, had their hair cut off (the tonsure was a sign of the loss of royal dignity), forced Chararic to be ordained a priest and his son a deacon, and after having them beheaded he took over their treasures and kingdom.

Another relative, King Regnacar of Cambrai, his first cousin, was defeated by Clovis after having won over his entourage with a great amount of gold, which later turned out to be fake. After the battle, he mocked Regnacar, who was led into his presence in chains and who in 486 had helped him in the war against Syagrius: ‘Why have you humiliated our blood to that point and allowed yourself to be put in chains? You’d be better off dead!’ And he smashed his head off with an ax. They had also arrested Richar, the king’s brother: ‘If you had helped your brother, we would not have taken him prisoner’, Clovis rebuked him and killed him with another blow. ‘The named kings were close blood relatives of Clovis’ (Gregory of Tours). He also had their brother, Rignomer, liquidated in the vicinity of Le Mans. ‘Clovis thus strengthened his position throughout the Frankish territory’, to quote again the historian Ewig, thus summarising the existing situation.

The victims of Clovis’ consolidation of power throughout the Frankish territory were, it seems, several dozen Frankish cantonal princes. The tyrant had them murdered, seized their land and wealth, without ceasing to complain that he was alone:

‘Woe to me, now I find myself as a stranger among strangers and none of my relatives could help me, if calamity befalls me!’ But this was not meant because he was sorry for their death, but by cunning, in case perhaps there was still someone he could kill.

Such is the comment of St. Gregory, for whom Clovis was a ‘new Constantine’, and who embodied ‘his ideal of the ruler’ (Bodmer) and to whom he frequently appeared ‘almost like a saint’ (Fischer). Without shame the famous bishop adds:

But day after day God brought down his enemies before him and he increased his kingdom, because he walked with a right heart in His presence and did what was pleasing to His divine eyes.

This, as the context shows, also applies to Clovis’ murders of relatives. All is holy in the extreme, even the extreme crimes!

Such, then, was the primus rex francorum (Salic law), the king who ruled following to the letter the words of St. Remigius at his baptism: ‘Worship what you burned and burn what you worshiped’. Such was the Catholic king, that no longer tolerated any pagan vestige, although he commanded almost like an absolute tyrant and was bursting with hypertrophic brutality and rapacity, showing himself cautious and cowardly in front of the strongest and mercilessly crushing the weakest; the king who did not back down from any treachery and cruelty, who waged all his wars in the name of the Christian and Catholic God; the king who, with a sovereign power like few others and at the same time as a good Catholic, combined war, murder and religious piety, who ‘began his Christian reign with all premeditation on December 25’, who with his booty built churches everywhere, then he splendidly endowed and prayed in them, who was a great devotee of St. Martin, who carried out his ‘wars of the heretics’ against the Arians of Gaul ‘under the sign of an intense veneration of St. Peter’ (K. Hauck), and whom the bishops at the National Council of Orleans (511) exalted as ‘a truly priestly soul’ (Daniel-Rops).

That was Clovis. A man who, hearing the passion of Jesus, seems to have said that had he been there with his Franks, no such injustice would have been committed against the Lord. In the words of the old chronicler, he was as ‘an authentic Christian’ (christianum se verum esse adfirmat—Fredegar). And as the current theologian Aland also says: ‘And it is certain, and again and again he manifests it in the different performances of his reign, that he felt of himself as a Christian, and certainly a Catholic Christian’. In a word, that man who made his way ‘with the ax’ to climb the absolute rule of the Franks—as Angenendt graphically puts it—was no longer simply a military king, but thanks precisely to his alliance with the Catholic Church became the ‘representative of God on earth’ (Wolf). A man who, in the company of his wife St. Clotilde, finally found his last resting place in the Parisian Church of the Apostles, which was later called Sainte Geneviéve, when he died in the year 511, just turning forty: a great criminal, devious and ruthless, who established himself on the throne and, according to the historian Bosi, ‘a barbarian, who civilised and cultivated’.

The theologian Aland qualifies Clovis as akin to Constantine and euphemistically says that both were men of power, violent sovereigns and believes that justifiably: ‘Such rough times could only be controlled by such men’. But is it tough times that make tough men? Or is it not rather the other way around? One and the other are intimately united. And already St. Augustine had corrected the stupid accusation of the times: ‘We are the times; which are we, that’s the way the times are’. Aland wants to leave open the question of whether Constantine and Clovis were Christians:

Because both the sons of Constantine and Theodosius were rulers, of whose Christian confession there can be no doubt, and yet committed perfectly comparable acts of blood. If we want to understand them, we must free ourselves from such a moral assessment of history. Well, who among us whose people have a history of 1,500 years behind under the sign of Christianity, can say that he is Christian? Luther speaks of Christianity, which is always being made and which is never finished.

The Merovingian chroniclers glorify Clovis mainly for two reasons: for his baptism and his many wars. He became a Catholic demolishing and depredating everything around him he could destroy or prey. And thus, from an insignificant territorial principality, he created a powerful German-Catholic imperium, sealed in France the alliance between the throne and the altar, and became the chosen instrument of God who day after day struck down his enemies before him— :

because before God he walked with an upright heart, doing what was pleasing to His eyes.

—according to the enthusiastic praise of the bishop, St. Gregory.

As long as history is viewed in this way, as long as it remains outside of its ‘moral’ valuation and the vast majority of historians continue to crawl before such hypertrophic beasts of universal history with respect, reverence and admiration… history will continue to unfold as it does.

Christianity’s criminal history, 128

For the context of these translations see here

 

VOLUME IV, CHAPTER 1

THE CHRISTIANISATION OF THE GERMANS

‘The introduction of Christianity among the Germans was the most precious gift from heaven’. —Pastoral letter from the German episcopate, June 7, 1934

 

The spread of Christianity in the West

At the end of Antiquity and during the succeeding centuries, Christianity conquered the Germanic world. By armies and merchants it had spread beyond northern Gaul to the Rhine. In the old Rhineland provinces probably there were Christian communities as early as the end of the 3rd century; churches were erected from Constantinian times in Bonn, Xanten, Cologne and, especially, in Trier: the official residence of Caesar since 293. At the end of the 4th century, Christianity was already the dominant religion in some Rhineland areas because ‘the laws of Theodosius, Gratian and Valentinian II imposed its entry into those lands…’

In the late 5th century evangelisation of the Franks began; at the end of the 6th century that of the Anglo-Saxons and the Lombards; in the 9th century the Christianisation of northern Europe was undertaken and, at the end of the millennium, that of the Czechs, Poles, and Hungarians. Since Christianity was no longer a despised religion as it had been in pre-Constantinian times, but the official religion of an empire, the popes no longer trapped some individuals but entire peoples in their net. They also annihilated entire towns ‘leaving neither green nor withered’, as the father of the Church, Isidore, boasts. Such was the case, for example, with the Ostrogoths and the Vandals, of whom the Marseillaise monk Prosperus Tironis provided an insightful picture of the Middle Ages, and who were often the subject of ‘cruel propaganda’ (Diesner).

Conversion methods

The Christianisation of the Germanic peoples—designated in the sources as nationes, gentes, populi, civitates, etc.—not only took place at very different times but also in very different ways. Two typical Christian activities converged in the Germanic mission: preaching and destruction. In Merovingian times, preaching was not the primary instrument of mission. There was a more eloquent method to demonstrate to the pagans the impotence of their Gods and the supreme power of the Christian god: the destruction of the Gentile sanctuaries… Of course it was not only destroyed; often, the so-called Christianisations were ‘simply’ arrived at. In other words, Gentile temples were transformed into Christian churches, expelling evil spirits through rites of exorcism and re-consecrating the buildings. The church transformed and incorporated everything that seemed useful, destroying everything else as a nefarious work of the devil.

An important motive in the conversion of the pagans, and also in the mentoring of those already converted, was without a doubt the constant infiltration of scruples and fears in an alarmist attitude that sowed fear for centuries. Fear, in effect, was ‘the characteristic state of the common man in the Middle Ages: fear of the plague, fear of invasion by foreign armies, fear of the tax collector, fear of witchcraft and magic and, above all, fear of the unknown’ (Richards). The priests of many religions feed on the fear of those whom they lead, and especially Christian priests. It is very significant that St. Caesarius of Arles (died in 542), an archbishop absolutely faithful to Rome, in almost all his propaganda interventions, which number more than two hundred, scares the readers with ‘the final judgment’. Whatever the occasion of his homiletical effusions, he rarely fails to insistently evoke the ‘court of Christ’, the ‘eternal judge’, his ‘harsh and irrevocable sentence’, etc.

The conversions of pagan Germans to Christianity were frequently due to purely material motives, already acting for ‘reasons of prestige’, especially when they came under the tutelage of Christian neighbours. Illustrious Gentiles could be chased ‘like dogs’ from the banquets of their princely courts, because Christians were forbidden to sit at the same table with pagans. It is symptomatic that also among Bavarians, Thuringians and Saxons, the nobility was the first to immediately prostrate themselves before the cross…

Jesus becomes the Germanic broadsword

With its acceptance by the Germans, Christianity was also nationalised and Germanised from the beginning. And not only in epic poems did Christ appear to German eyes as a kind of popular and cantonal king. The Franks were immediately seen as his special courtship, his chosen and preferred people. Warriors clustered around him, just as they clustered around princes. The saint is also now felt as the herald of Christ and god. Traditional Christian concepts are filled ‘with totally new content: Germanic, aristocratic and warrior content’ (Zwolfer). ‘From the religion of patience and suffering, from the flight and denial of the world, the medieval Germans made a warlike religion; and of the Man of Sorrows a Germanic king of the armies, who with his heroes travels and conquers the lands and who must be served through struggle. The German Christian fights for his Lord Christ, as he fights for the landlord he follows; even the monk in his cell feels like a member of the militia Christi’ (Dannenbauer). And naturally the clergy knew how to make the Germans proud of having converted to the Roman cross. In the prologue to the Salic law, the oldest hereditary right of the Franks, the fact of conversion is thus exalted:

Unclean people of the Franks, created by God himself, brave with arms, firm in the covenant of peace, profound in counsel, of great corporal nobility, of uncontaminated purity and superior complexion, bold, prompt and fiery—become to the Catholic faith, free from heresy.

Indeed, according to Christian doctrine, all peoples have been created by god; but flattery is always greatest where it is most needed. In this way the Franks appear here occupying the place of the chosen people of the Bible, of the people of Israel. And in a more recent prologue to the aforementioned Salic law, Christ also appears as the legitimate sovereign of the gens Francorum. He appears ‘personally before the Franks’. He loves those who are far superior to the old world power, ‘the chosen people of a new alliance’. ‘They have defeated the Romans and they have broken the Roman yoke’…

Undoubtedly, many German princes converted for purely political reasons. They worshiped in Christ the ‘strong God’, and especially the superior captain, to whom he granted victory. Thus the Frankish Clovis, Edwin of Northumbria and the Vikings converted—all of whom were baptised after having cast a vow and carried out a slaughter. And just as old Odin was considered a ‘God and lord of victory’ and Wotan (Odin’s name in the south) was considered a warrior God, so Christ is now seen as the same. He occupies the place of the ancient Gods of battle, he is politicised and mythologised, presenting him ‘almost as a national God’ (Heinsius). And from now on it will be a matter of honour for each Christian king to fight ‘the barbarians, who by their very condition as pagans are out of the order of the world’.

The Franks, educated in believing fanaticism, considered it their duty and right to ‘fight for Christ’ (Zollner). And still in the 7th and 8th centuries the Frankish Christians had themselves buried with their weapons, under the old pagan belief of survival after death. On a tombstone found in the Frankish cemetery of Niederdollendorf, near Bonn there is even a risen Christ holding in his right hand the spear, the Germanic sign of sovereignty, instead of the staff of the cross.

It is understandable that the Old Testament, often so bloody, was in tune with the men of the Middle Ages better than the partly pacifist New Testament; and it is understood that the Old Testament kings were exalted by proposing them as models of the Frankish princes, who liked to compare themselves with them. For the historian Ewig, this constitutes a new stage ‘in the Christianisation of the idea of the king’…

Among the Carolingians, decisive victories were frequently attributed to the attendance of St. Peter. ‘But now rest assured’, declares Pepin to the papal legate Serge in the battle against the Bavarians, ‘because due to the intervention of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, by divine decree Bavaria and the Bavarians belong to the sovereignty of the Franks’. Even minor achievements, such as the conquest of a fortress or even the discovery of a fountain during the war against the Saxons in 772 are presented as great divine miracles. But when misfortune befell—and it happened so often!—the priests were never troubled. Then the misfortune, the catastrophe, was a punishment from god for little faith and the overflow of vices. With this theology the Church has been deceiving itself until today through vicissitudes of all kinds…
The weed of the past

As a rule the Germans did not convert individually, but rather in a cooperative and tribal way. And that because, unlike the Greeks and educated Romans, the ‘barbarians’ easily accepted the Church’s tutoring without the cultural and historical-religious depth with which their Christian ‘converters’ presented the stories… In a not excessively laborious way, a great many ‘barbarians’ were subdued, who soon revered respectfully all the ‘holy’ priests and monks and were deeply impressed by exorcisms, ceremonies and miracles. With faith they welcomed such strange mysteries, dogmas and with fearful devotion put themselves at the service of that arrogant southern shamanism, seemingly animated only by the desire to make the Church rich and powerful, for the salvation of their souls, out of the horror of fire from hell and longing for paradise.

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s interpolated note: For a clip within a movie
depicting the baptism of an ancient Germanic see: here.

______ 卐 ______

Evangelism took place unevenly, outside the cities at a slower pace, for although the pagan Franks did not usually put up much resistance, from time to time, and especially in the countryside, they stubbornly indulged in the destruction of their town idols. In the religious field, man is especially conservative. And just as the peasants still do today—the inhabitants of the towns remain more firmly in Christianity—, so also at the end of Antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages it was the peasants who persisted the longest in paganism. The Germans were mostly peasants, and in Austria the pagan Franks and Germans were more numerous than the native Christians. This religion was an urban religion and since it became a state religion it was also the religion of the feudal and ruling circles, who sought above all their own benefit. For a long time the peasants persisted in their traditional beliefs, in their divinities, and above all in their Gallic triad: the cult of Jupiter, Mercury and Apollo. And even after they had ‘converted’ they returned again and again to the veneration—undoubtedly much more beautiful and coherent—of trees, stones and fountains.

For centuries synods lashed out at pagan customs, from the Council of Valence (374) until well into the 9th century. Only between the synod of Orleans (511) and that of Paris (829) did the canons of at least nineteen episcopal assemblies launched diatribes against the beliefs and practices of peasant paganism, which preserved the tradition with much greater tenacity than the accommodative nobility. The Germans had a natural piety, so to speak, not camouflaged or imposed, but identical to their lifestyle. They had a natural religion with clearly pantheistic features, marked by the worship of the Gods of the forest, the mountain, the fountains, the rivers and the sea, the veneration of the Sun, light, water, trees and springs; deep down, as it has been known today, a thousand times more coherent veneration than the Christian faith in spirits, at whose dictates a technocratic and hypertrophic civilisation has brought nature almost to ruin…
‘Demonstrative destruction’

During the Merovingian period certain problems of the power of the Christian god often came to the fore in evangelisation: on the one hand, ‘miracles’; on the other, the destruction of pagan places of worship. The images of the Gods—through unpunished annihilation—were easily demonstrated as the powerless work of man, while the ‘spiritual’ Christian god reigned untouchable over the clouds of heaven. Besides, the pagan Franks were generally tolerant and did not have a priestly caste as they faced a fanatical ecclesiastical organisation, which did not back down from forced baptisms, although it is true that at least in the beginning it was fair enough for the church that a formal condemnation of the old beliefs was uttered with a confession from the lips of the new faithful. R. W. Southern accurately describes medieval Europe as a coercive society, in which each person triumphed by baptism. But that was not all; soon the demolition of pagan temples and altars began as well…

St. Gal, an uncle of Saint Gregory of Tours and later Bishop of Clermont-Ferrand, being a priest and ‘companion’ of Theuderic I, the eldest son of Clovis, reduced to ashes in Cologne a pagan temple with all the ‘idols’, and only with great difficulty could the king save him from the fury of the peasants… Around 550 Deacon Wulflaicus induced the peasants of the city of Trier to demolish an imposing statue of Diana (originally no doubt of Ar-duinna, the Celtic Goddess), whom the people adored. As he was too weak the peasants did it for him, after he had ceaselessly weakened the will of ordinary people. ‘Well, the other images, which were smaller, he had already smashed them personally’. Without a doubt, miracles also happened there.

Some of the Christian saints known in the fight against paganism became arsonists and robbers. In Tyrol St. Vigilius, Bishop of Trent, worked ‘with fervent zeal for the spread of Christianity’ (Sparber) until one day he destroyed in Rendenatal a highly revered one, which stood on a steep rock, a statue of Saturn. About four-hundred irritated peasants, ‘heathen, stubborn and ferocious’ stoned him. In Italy many dozen churches are dedicated to him. In Monte Cassino St. Benedict (died 543), the ‘father of the western monasticism’, and whose severity caused several assassination attempts against him by his first monks and a Florentine priest, went on rage against the ancient temple of Apollo, the last temple of that God that history remembers. Benedict still found pagans there, cut down their sacred groves and destroyed the sculpture and the altar; but still in 1964 Pope Paul VI named him patron of Europe…

One of the fiercest fighters against paganism in Western Europe was Martin of Tours (died 397). Despite the stubborn resistance sometimes manifested by the peasants, with the help of his henchmen of his monastic horde he razed the temples, tore down the stones of the Druids and cut down sacred oaks, often viciously defended. ‘He trampled on altars and idols’ according to Sulpicius Severus. And yet the saint was ‘a man of admirable meekness and patience; from his eyes radiated a gentle serenity and an imperturbable peace…’ (Walterscheid, with imprimatur). This champion of faith undoubtedly had the best requirements for the annihilation of paganism. He had crowned a storming career in the Roman army (Julian being the emperor) and had started his Christian career as an ejector of demons. Significantly, he believed he saw the devil in the figure of Jupiter, Mercury and even Venus and Minerva, having otherwise the firm conviction that Satan was hiding in the ‘idols’.

Due to his ‘resurrections of the dead’ Martin of Tours became a bishop, later becoming the saint of the Merovingian kings and Carolingian emperors, to end up being the patron saint of the French. Even today 425 villages in France bear his name. The name of an arsonist, a thief, who ruined what was holiest and destroyed all the temples, became the ‘symbol of the Frankish imperial church’ and, even more, ‘an integral part of the imperial culture of the Franks’ (Bosi).

His international fame was owed to the murderous king Clovis, who had enormous veneration for Martin; for his cause he beat a soldier of his own to death, who had caught some hay in the fields of the man of god: ‘Where are our prospects of victory if we offend Saint Martin?’ On their military expeditions the Merovingian princes wore this man’s legendary cloak as a holy relic. Oaths were formulated on it and alliances were made. The place in which the cloak was kept was called capella (diminutive of cape), and the clerical who watched over it capellanus. Such is the origin of the words ‘chapel’ and ‘chaplain’, that with small variations have entered all modern languages… And, as in all the places where Martin of Tours had razed pagan centres of worship he immediately had Christian buildings built on the ruins, including the first Gallic monastery (Ligugé), still considered today as ‘the precursor of Western monasticism’ (Viller Rahner). The destruction of Gentile temples is certified by many ecclesiastical sources.

The monasteries were preferably built on the ruins of destroyed pagan temples. Thus arose, for example, Saint Bavo Church in Ghent, Saint Médard in Cambrai, the monastery of Wulfilaic in Eposium or Fleury-sur-Loire, which occupied the place of an ancient Druid sanctuary of the Gauls. The Martyrium of St. Vincent de Agen, erected as early as the 4th century, evidently stood on a pagan plot of consecrated ground. In Cologne, where perhaps Irenaeus of Lyons preached Christianity, a vast pagan necropolis has been found under the church of Saint Ursula.

Although in the West many temples and many altars were simply removed, among Franks, Saxons and Friesians the Church burned or completely destroyed the pagan sanctuaries, turned the places of sacrifice into cattle gullies and cut down sacred trees… Together, State and Church promoted the spread of the new faith and the annihilation of the old beliefs. Thus King Childebert I states, in a constitution of the year 554 ‘in agreement, no doubt, with the bishops’ (A. Hauck): ‘The pagan idols of the fields and the images dedicated to the demons must be removed immediately, and no one can prevent bishops from destroying them’.

In the following century Pope Boniface V (619-625) spread Christianity throughout England and wrote to Edwin, King of the Angles, in these terms: ‘You should destroy those whom you have hitherto considered Gods, being made of earthly material, with all zeal they must be smashed and shattered to pieces’. And so, shortly thereafter, in 627, Coifi, converted archpriest of Northumbria, broke a spear in a temple.

(Left, the high priest Coifi profanes ‘the Temple of the Idols’, from James William Edmund Doyle’s A Chronicle of England.)

The Concilium Germanicum, the first council convened in 742-743 in the Germanic territory of the Frankish empire, also provided that ‘the people of God should not promote anything pagan, but reject and abhor all filthiness of the Gentiles’.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 126

For the context of this translation see
the previous instalment of this series.

Volume 4. Early Middle Ages

From King Clovis (ca. 500) to the
death of Charles ‘the Great’ (814)

‘For a long time Christ had already taken a look at the Germanic peoples… A new spring dawned on the sky of the Church’. —Leo Rüger, Catholic theologian

‘The life of medieval Christianity is impregnated, and even completely saturated, in its relations by religious conceptions. There is no thing or action that is not constantly related to Christ and the faith. Everything is built on a religious conception of reality, and we find ourselves before an incredible development of inner faith’. —Johan Huizinga

 

PANORAMIC VIEW

The divisions in historical times are not fixed in advance. They were not decreed in a ‘higher’ place, to be carried out later by humanity. Rather, the history of man is an unheard-of chaos of stories, and later he tries to put a certain order in the zigzagging course of events and the bewildering diversity of tendencies, reducing everything to perfectly clear schemes. It introduces structures and caesuras, and thus the whole appears as an expression of forces that act coherently, and in this way everything is presented as if it had to be that way and could not have been otherwise; as if, for example, the Roman Empire would only have occurred so that Europe could inherit it. That is a vision that favours our taste for periodisation, and that can undoubtedly also encourage it. In reality, all this delimitation and temporal ordering, all these supposed fixed points, indicative data and evolution lines are nothing more than the result of certain—or, better to say, very uncertain—points of view, of precarious attempts at orientation: pure constructions to which people have accommodated, either by giving them meaning or not.

The ‘High Middle Ages’, a period that runs from approximately the 6th to the 10th centuries, is a period of violent change and transformation. But it is also a time of compromises or, to put it more elegantly, of assimilation, of continuity, a period of decadence and transition, of old heritage and a new beginning: in it the constitution of the West, of Europe, takes place, and of Germany, the intertwining of ancient Christian and Germanic traditions, the separation of Byzantium, the Eastern Church, and the arrival of Islam. And it is an age in which politics and religion are inseparable.

The alliances of the popes with the states also change. But, as always when they turn and change direction with time, Rome continually seeks to cling to the strongest power: Byzantium, the Ostrogoths, the Lombards, the Franks, and it takes advantage of them…
 
From convinced subjects to convinced lords

In Rome the temples collapsed, the imperial palace collapsed, in the theatres and the gigantic baths the ruins piled up and the weeds and ivy grew. And the priests took advantage. The old bath chairs became Episcopal chairs, the sumptuous alabaster and porphyry bathtubs became baptismal fonts and dubious urns of martyrs. Marble wall coverings, precious mosaic floors, beautiful columns, and stones were removed from ancient villas to enrich Christian temples. The pagan temples became Christian churches and the Rome of the Caesars became a clerical city, in which the religious (or what was considered as such) prevailed; and in which all civil festivals disappeared in favour of ecclesiastical festivities. The belief in the imminent end of the world was generalised to such an extent, and such proportions acquired the privileges of the priests, that Emperor Maurice forbade in 592 the entry of soldiers into monasteries and civil servants into the clerical state.

The civil power of the popes—which was the basis of the future pontifical state or the Church—sprouted from ruins: from the rubble of the Western Roman Empire, thanks to the impotence of Byzantium and an ever-growing curial ambition for dominance. Already in the 5th century the bishops of Rome, supposed successors of Jesus who did not want any kingdom of this world or that his disciples carry money in the bag, were the largest landowners of the Roman Empire. And the collapse of that empire only accelerated the rise of the bishops of Rome inheriting entirely the decadent imperial structure.

Under the Merovingians, in the early days of the Byzantine Empire, bishops gained power and influence also in ‘worldly’ or civil affairs, throughout the communal sphere. They control state jobs and trades, urban fortifications, the supply of troops; moreover, they intervene in the appointment of provincial governors.

All disgrace and decay are transformed by the Roman bishops into their prosperity, each failure is turned into a personal advantage, whether it is a disaster in the kingdom of Caesar or the kingdom of God. And even from the misery of the Longobard invasion they know how to make a fortune. First they distance themselves from Byzantium with the help of the Longobard swords—and Byzantium was weakened by the multiple pressure of the ‘barbarians’—; later they will destroy the Lombards thanks to the Franks… always on the side of the robbers, with a parasitic strategy, such as the world had never known.

It is true that even up to 787 the popes date their letters by the years of the reign of the Byzantine emperors, but already under Gregory II (715-731) the Byzantine governor was expelled from Rome on the occasion of the ‘Roman revolution’, just as the Byzantine army of Benevento and Spoleto was expelled with the help of course of the Lombard troops. After the Lombards had contributed to the excessive power of the popes, they used the Franks to annihilate them. From then on they collaborated and prospered with the Frankish emperors. And when they felt strong enough, they wanted to be the lords of the empire too.

Until 753 the Roman pope was a devoted subject (to a greater or lesser degree) of Constantinople. But soon in Rome time is no longer counted for the emperor’s years, imperial coins are no longer minted, imperial images are removed from churches, and the emperor’s name is no longer mentioned in liturgical service. The pope, on the contrary, allies himself with the Germanic king against those who had hitherto been his sovereigns. And to the Germanic king the pope confers imperial privileges, among which there are some completely new ones, and even offers him the imperial crown. It is a policy that benefits the pope above all, since it almost makes him the ‘father of the ruling family’.

The imperial coronation of Charles in 800 in Rome by Pope Leo III was an unlawful act, a provocation to the Byzantine emperor, until then the only legal supreme head of the Christian world, and in Constantinople it could only be interpreted as a rebellion. In fact, the turn of the popes towards the Franks caused the definitive break with Byzantium.

And although in 812 Emperor Michael I Rhangabe recognised Charles ‘the Great’ as imperator of the West and as a peer sovereign, deep down Byzantium always considered the Western empire as a usurpation. At Lothair’s coronation in 823, the pope gave him the sword for the defence and protection of the Church: and gradually Rome brought the Roman-Germanic kings under his influence. Indeed, after the fall of the western Roman monarchs, new symbioses were introduced with the new rulers, with Theodoric, Clovis, Pepin, and Charles. But also the future great Germanic empires of Alfred (871-899), Otto I (936- 973) and Olaf the Saint (1015-1028), who promoted the spread of Christianity with barbaric methods, could only be established on a Christian basis, not to mention the medieval Germanic empire.

That Holy Roman Empire certainly had hardly anything Roman and absolutely nothing sacred and holy, unless (with good reason) like Helvétius, Nietzsche and others the compendium of the criminal is seen in the sacred. Be that as it may, by liquidating the relative achievements of Arians and pagans and by obtaining a state of its own, the papacy achieved the constant enlargement of both its power and its possessions.

Especially at the beginning of the Middle Ages the chaining of State and Church was very close. Not only did civil and canon law have the same basis, but clerical wishes and demands also found expression in civil law. The decrees of the ‘mixed council’ were valid for the State and the Church alike.

The bishops also came from the aristocracy and were related to it as brothers, nephews and children of the civic nobility. And with it they shared the same political and economic interests. Consequently, throughout the Middle Ages they were also drawn into the struggle of the lords, they fought with the kings against the emperor and with the emperor against the pope, and with one pope against the other for 171 years. They fought with the diocesan clergy against the monks and also against their colleagues, giving them battle in the field, in the streets and the churches with the dagger and with the poison and in every imaginable way. High treason and rebellion were for the clergy, according to the Catholic theologian Kober, ‘a completely common phenomenon’.

Faced with the States and the so-called authorities, the great Christian Church had in practice no other principle than this: it always pacts with the most profitable power. In all its state contacts the Church was only guided by taking advantage of the situation (in her language, guided by ‘God’). Opportunism was always the supreme principle. Only when that Church achieved what it wanted was it also willing to give something and naturally as little as possible, even if it promised a lot. ‘You annihilate the heretics with me, and I will annihilate the Persians with you’, the patriarch Nestorius invited the emperor in his inauguration speech in 428 without imagining that he himself would soon be condemned as a ‘heretic’…

And with their sights set on their own power, the fought Catholic emperors and princes also kept Church and State closely united, despite tensions, conflicts and confrontations of all kinds, from the end of the Old Age to the time of the Protestant Reformation. Throughout more than a millennium the history of the two institutions could not be separated. Furthermore, ‘At the epicentre of all interests, whether they were spiritual or political, was the Church; to her belonged the action and omission, politics and legislative power, all the driving forces of the world were at her service and from her they derived their prerogatives. The culture and history of the Middle Ages are confused with the Church’.

With its powerful material protection, its organisational strength and participation in the legal and political-state life, its influence grew continuously. The pre-Constantinian Catholic Church strictly forbade clergymen to accept public office; but already in late antiquity a bishop of Gaul was entrusted with certain military options, such as building a fortress. And what was lost in the south to the Arabs, the ‘infidels’, was offset by the spread of Christianity northward.

Under the Merovingians, Christianity became the ideological deciding power. There were almost formal dynasties of bishops, to the point that Chilperic I famously uttered the phrase: ‘No one governs more than the bishops; that is our glory’.

Also among the Arian Ostrogoths the episcopate assumed state functions. In early Middle Ages England, ecclesiastical prelates are members of the diets, statesmen, and field marshals. Together with the regent they define the law, they are his first advisers; they elect the kings, overthrow them and raise them. Also in Italy bishops and abbots acted, along with the counts, as administration officials and, together with the lords of the civil aristocracy, acted as legislators. It is evident that from the middle of the 6th century to the end of the 7th century, public life there was totally marked and dominated by the Church.

Also later, if we look beyond the period to which we are referring, the Church survived its allies and overcame all the collapses. One power was sinking, and she was already rising with the next; or at least she was prepared for it. It was indeed only a state together with other states, but her ‘metaphysics’ was ahead of all of them. And while she always pretended the religious, the spiritual visions while proclaiming to the whole world, she aspired to the political dominion of the world.

Relatively early, popes and bishops had already tried to make the state their bailiff, submitting it to themselves. Some Church Fathers, such as Ambrose or John Chrysostom make it clear that way. But it is Pope Gelasius I (492-496) who only a few generations later proclaims with the greatest arrogance his ‘doctrine of the two powers’, which was to have such relevance in world history. Shortly after, the royal power will have to ‘piously submit the neck’ to the sacred authority of the bishops.

Augustine, however, does not yet know the doctrine of subordination of the State. At a time when the Church lived in harmony with it, the saint was able to assure—heaven knows how many times—that the Christian faith reinforced the loyalty of citizens to the state and that it created obedient and willing subjects. It was totally indifferent about who the ruler was. ‘What does it matter which government man lives under, who must die anyway? The only thing that matters is that the rulers do not induce him to impiety and injustice!’ It is true that if ‘justice’ was lacking, and that means here the Church, the bishop, for Augustine governments were hardly anything other than ‘great gangs of robbers’.

But in the Middle Ages the ambition of the clergy to dominate grew along with their power… If at the beginning the papacy defended the doctrine of the two powers or authorities, the auctoritas sacra pontificum and the regalis potestas which complemented each other, then the doctrine of the ‘two swords’ was later introduced (duo gladii). According to the Roman affirmation, Christ would have granted to the papacy the two swords, the spiritual and civil power; in a word, it would have given her hegemony. For when the Roman pontiffs seized power and became sovereigns of a State, they no longer needed a strong hereditary Germanic monarchy, nor did they need the monarchical unity of Italy, which for the same reason they fought with all means to its scope, even by force of arms.

The objective of the papacy was then the political domination of the world under spiritual slogans. While it exercised a spiritual guardianship over the masses and while it referred the whole of life to a future kingdom of God and the obtaining of eternal happiness, it did not stop pursuing more and more material interests. The papacy emancipated itself from the western empire and in a secular struggle it made the Hohenstaufen bite the dust to become sovereign of everyone and everything. A true parasite, who after having drunk the blood of others, after having perched on high with lies and falsehoods and after having been eliciting more and more rights and powers, stripped them and even took up arms, and with celestial speeches continued to worry about its earthly power in an extremely brutal way.

In theory, the Pauline doctrine of the divine institution of authority and the duty of general submission became fundamental for relations with the State. The obedience that is preached there, the absolute docility of the subjects, contrasts openly with the hatred against the State so widespread among the first Christians, but it has continued to be decisive to this day. In this way the Church wins over the respective rulers, with whom it has to collaborate to keep itself in power.

With Gregory VII (author of the Dictatus papae), who in 1076 began the fight against the emperor, who claimed rights over Corsica and Sardinia, over the Norman kingdom of southern Italy, over France, Hungary, Dalmatia, Denmark and Russia, there are already perceived certain resonances of a theory, according to which the pope has all power, including the right to dispose of the States. Gregory and his successors claim at least one indirect potestas indirecta in temporalice that the bull Unam sanctam (1302) of Boniface VIII raises to a potestas directa in temporalia on which the Lateran Council of 1517 still insists, and from which only in 1885 will Leo XIII officially distance himself.

According to Gregory VII and his successors in the late Middle Ages, and always in connection with Augustine’s thought, imperial power has its origin in the devil. It is a ‘carnal’ power as are generally all worldly principalities. But the diabolical power can be turned into blessing through the forgiving, healing and saving power of the papacy, through subordination to the Priest-King. Furthermore, the founding of every new state in this world tyrannised by the devil is only legitimised by papal recognition. The pope appears there as the sole supporter of truth and justice, as the sovereign lord and judge of the world. Everything must render obedience to the successor of Peter. This is how the pope wrote:

Whoever is separated from Peter cannot obtain any victory in the struggle or any happiness in the world, for with rigour as hard as the steel he destroys and smashes everything that comes his way. Nobody and nothing escapes its power.

Kriminal

Below, translated excerpts from the first pages of Deschner’s 10-volume Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, published in German in 1986.

 

______ 卐 ______

 

Introduction

To begin, I will say what the reader should not expect. As in all of my criticisms of Christianity, here there will be missing many of the things that also belong to history, but not to the criminal history of Christianity that the title indicates. That, which also belongs to history, may be found in millions of works that fill up the libraries, archives, bookstores, academies and the lofts of the parish houses. He who wants to read those materials can do so long as he has life, patience and faith.

This religion has thousands, hundreds of thousands of apologists and defenders; it has books in which many boast of ‘the luminous march of the Church through the ages’ (Andersen), and that the Church is ‘one’ and ‘the living body of Christ’ and ‘holy’ because ‘its essence is holiness; sanctification its end’ (the Benedictine von Rudloff). It is understood, on all this, that the unfortunate side details (religious wars, persecutions, fighting, famine) happened in the designs of God; often inscrutable, always just, full of wisdom and salvific power. Given the overwhelming predominance of the silly, misleading and deceitful glorifying, was it not necessary to show the opposite view insofar as it is much better proven? At any event, those who always want to see the bright side are shielded from the ugly side, which is often the truest.

The distinction between the Church and Christianity is relatively recent. As is known, there is a glaring contradiction between the lives of the Christians and the beliefs they profess: a contradiction which has always been downplayed by pointing to the eternal opposition between the ideal and the real. Nobody dares to condemn Christianity because it has not fulfilled all its ideals, or has fulfilled half of them, or not at all. But such an interpretation ‘equals to carry too far the notion of the human and even the all too human, so that when century after century and millennium after millennium someone does the opposite of what he preaches then becomes, per share and effect of all his history, epitome and absolute culmination of worldwide and historical criminality’ as I said during a conference in 1969 which earned me a visit to the courthouse.

Because that is really the question. Not that they have failed the ideals in part or by degrees, no: it is that those ideals have been literally trampled, without which the perpetrators lay down, for a moment, their claims of self-proclaimed champions of such ideals, nor stop their self-declaration of being the highest moral authorities in the world.

Western Christianity, in any case, ‘was essentially created by the Catholic Church’; ‘the Church, organised from the papal hierocracy down to the smallest detail, was the main institution of the medieval order’ (Toynbee).

Part of our question are the wars started or commanded by the Church, the extermination of entire nations: the Vandals, the Goths, and the relentless slaughter of East Slav peoples—all of them, according to the chronicles of the Carolingian and the Ottos, criminals and confused peoples in the darkness of idolatry that was necessary to convert by any means not excepting betrayal, deceit and fury. Of the fourteen legislated capital crimes by Charlemagne after subduing the Saxons by blood and fire, ten offenses relate exclusively to the religious camp. Under the old Polish criminal law, those guilty of eating meat during the Easter fast were punished by pulling their teeth out.

We will also discuss ecclesiastical punishments for violations of civil rights. The ecclesiastical courts were increasingly hated. There are issues that we will discuss extensively: sacrificial practices (the stolen goods from the Church to be repaid fourfold, and according to Germanic law up to twenty times); ecclesiastical and monastic prisons, especially of the ergastulum type (the coffins were also called ergastula), where they were thrown both ‘sinners’ as the rebels and madmen, and usually installed in basements without windows or doors, but well equipped with shackles of all kinds, racks, handcuffs and chains. We will document the exile punishment and the application of it to the whole family in case of the murder of a cardinal; which extended to the male descendants up to the third generation. Also very fashionable were torture and corporal punishment, especially in the East where it became furiously popular to mutilate limbs, pull out eyes and cut off noses and ears.

It is quite plausible that not all authorities indulged themselves in such excesses, and certainly not everyone would be as insane as the Abbot Transamund, who tore off the eyes of the monks of the Tremiti Convent, or cut their tongues (and, despite this, enjoyed the protection of Pope Gregory VII, who also enjoyed great notoriety). Without a doubt, the churches, particularly the Roman Church, have created significant cultural values, especially buildings, which usually obeyed no altruistic reasons (representing power), and also in the domain of painting, responding to ideological reasons (the eternal illustrations of biblical scenes and legends of saints). But aside from such opted love of culture that contrasts sharply with paleo-Christianity—that with eschatological indifference contemplated the ‘things of this world’, as they believed in the imminent end of all (a fundamental error in which Jesus himself fell)—, it should be noted that most of the cultural contributions of the Church were made possible by ruthlessly exploiting of the masses, the enslaved and the impoverished, century after century. And against this promotion of culture we find further cultural repression, cultural intoxication and destruction of cultural property.

The magnificent temples of worship of antiquity were destroyed almost everywhere: irreplaceable value buildings burned or demolished, especially in Rome itself, where the ruins of the temples served as quarries. In the 10th century they still engaged in breaking down statues, architraves, burning paintings, and the most beautiful sarcophagi served as bathtubs or feeders for pigs. But the most tremendous destruction, barely imaginable, was caused in the field of education. Gregory I, the Great, the only doctor Pope of the Church in addition to Leo I, according to tradition burned a large library that existed on the Palatine. The flourishing book trade of antiquity disappeared; the activity of the monasteries was purely receptive. Three hundred years after the death of Alcuin and Rabanus Maurus, the disciples were still studying with manuals written by them. Even St. Thomas Aquinas, the Church’s official philosopher, writes that ‘the desire for knowledge is a sin when it does not serve the knowledge of God’.

In universities, the Aristotelian hypertrophy aborted any possibility of independent research. Philosophy and literature were subject to the dictation of theology. History, as a science, was completely unknown. The experimentation and inductive research were condemned; experimental sciences were drowned by the Bible and dogma; scientists were thrown into the dungeons, or sent to the stake. In 1163, Pope Alexander III (remember in passing that at that time there were four anti-popes) forbade all clerics studying physics. In 1380 a decision of the French parliament forbade the study of chemistry, referring to a decree of Pope John XXII. And while in the Arab world (obedient to Muhammad’s slogan ‘The ink of scholars is more sacred than the blood of martyrs’) the sciences flourished, especially medicine, in the Catholic world the bases of scientific knowledge remained unchanged for more than a millennium, well into the 16th century. The sick were supposed to seek comfort in prayer instead of medical attention. The Church forbade the dissection of corpses, and sometimes even rejected the use of natural medicines for considering it unlawful intervention with the divine. In the Middle Ages, not even the abbeys had doctors, not even the largest. In 1564 the Inquisition condemned to death the physician Andreas Vesalius, the founder of modern anatomy, for opening a corpse and for saying that man is not short of a rib that was created for Eve.

Consistent with the guidance of teaching, we find another institution, ecclesiastical censure, very often (at least since the time of St. Paul in Ephesus) dedicated to the burning of the books of pagans, Jews or Saracens, and the destruction (or prohibition) of rival Christian literature, from the books of the Arians and Nestorians until those of Luther. But let us not forget that Protestants sometimes also introduced censorship, even for funeral sermons and also for non-theological works, provided they touched on ecclesiastical matters or religious customs.

The above is a selection of the main issues that I refer to in my history of the crimes. And yet, it is only a tiny segment of the overall history.

History!

Like any other historian, I only contemplate a history of the countless possible histories, a particular one, worse or better defined, and even this biased aspect cannot be considered the whole ‘complex of action’: an absurd idea, given the volume of existing data; theoretically conceivable, but practically impossible and not even desirable. The author who intends to write a criminal history of Christianity is constrained to mention only the negative side of that religion which weight has exceeded ultimately that of the perceived or real positives. Those who prefer to read about the other aspects ought to read other books: The Joyful Faith, The Gospel as Inspiration, Is it True that Catholics are No Better Than the Others?, Why I Love My Church?, The Mystical Body of Christ, Beauties of the Catholic Church, Under the Cloak of the Catholic Church, God Exists (I Have Known Him), The Way of Joy Toward God, The Good Death of a Catholic, With the Rosary to Heaven, SOS from the Purgatory, The Heroism of Christian Marriage.

The pro-Christian literature! More numerous than the sands of the sea: against 10,000 titles just one of the style of this Criminal History of Christianity, not to mention the millions of issues if we add the countless religious periodicals.

It turns out that truly there are among Christians men of good will, as in all religions and in every game, which should not be taken as data in favour of those religions and parties, because if that were allowed how many crooks would testify against such belief? And good Christians are the most dangerous, because they tend to get confused with Christianity, or to borrow the words of Lichtenberg, ‘unquestionably there are many righteous Christians, only that it is no less true that in corpore their works as such have never have helped much’.

What is the basis of my work? As with most historical studies, it is based on sources, tradition, contemporary historiography; especially texts. But when I expose my subjectivity bluntly, my ‘point of view’ and my ‘positioning’, I think I show my respect to the reader better than the mendacious scribes who want to link their belief in miracles and prophecies; in transubstantiations and resurrections from the dead; in heavens, hells and other wonders with the pretence of objectivity, accuracy and scientific rigor. Could it not be that, with my confessed bias, I am less biased than them? Could it be that my experience, my training, did not authorise me to form a more independent opinion about Christianity? At the end of the day I left Christianity, despite having been formed in a deeply religious household, as soon as it ceased to seem real.

Let’s face it: we are all ‘partial’, and he who pretends denying it is lying. It is not our bias what matters, but confessing it, without the pretence of impossible ‘objectivities’. We are all biased. This is particularly true in the case of historians who are more bent on denying it, because they are the ones who lie the most—and then they throw to one another the dogs of Christianity. How ridiculous, when we read that Catholics accused the Protestants of ‘bias’; or the Protestants accusing the Catholics, when thousands of theologians of various confessions throw over each other so common reproach; for example, when the Jesuit Bacht wants to see in the Protestant Friedrich Loofs ‘an excess of zeal against monastic status as such’, for which ‘his views are too one-sided’. And how would not the Jesuit Bacht opine with partiality when he refers to a reformed; he, who belongs to an order whose members are required to believe that white is black and black white, if mandated by the Church? Like Bacht, unquestioning obedience is imposed upon all Catholic theologians in the habit through baptism, dogma, the chair, the ecclesiastical license to print and many other obligations and restrictions. And so they live year after year, enjoying a steady income in exchange for advocating a particular view, a particular doctrine, a particular interpretation of history strongly impregnated with theology… not so much to deceive themselves but to continue cultivating the deception of others. For example, by accusing of bias the opponents of their confession and pretending to believe that Catholics are safe from such defect; as if it didn’t exist, for two thousand years, another bias sneakier than the Catholic.

Historiography is no more than the projection into the past of the interests of the present. The conservative historian who compared his job to that of the priest (for heaven’s sake!) and issued for himself reports of maximum impartiality and objectivity, claimed that he ‘erased his subjectivity’! This unshakable faith for objectivism, called ‘ocularism’ by Count Paul York Wartenburg and lampooned as a proposal for a ‘eunuch objectivity’ by Droysen (‘only the unconscious can be objective’), is illusory. Because there is no objective truth in historiography, nor history as it happened. ‘There can only be interpretations of history, and none is definitive’ (Popper). All historiography is written against the background of our personal vision of the world. It is true that many scholars lack such a worldview and thus are often considered, if not markedly progressive, at least notably impartial, honest and truthful. Those are the champions of ‘pure science’, the representatives of an alleged stance of neutrality or indifference as to value statements. They reject any reference to a particular point of view, any subjectivity, as if they were unscientific sins or blasphemies against the postulate of the true objectivity they advocate; against that sine ira et studio [without anger and affection] which they have as sacrosanct and that, as Heinrich von Treitschke ironizes, ‘nobody respects, let alone the speaker himself’.

The fiction of the concealment of the ideological premises of the historical presentation can serve to conceal many things: an ethical relativism and a cowardly escapism fleeing categorical decisions on principles—which still is a decision: irresponsibility on behalf of scientific responsibility! For a science that does not make assessments, whether they like it or not, is an ally of the status quo: it supports the dominating and hurts the dominated. Its objectivity is only apparent, and in practice it means nothing but love to one’s own tranquillity, security and attachment to a career. Our life does not run value-free, but full of it; and scientists, insofar as they start from life, if they claim they are value-free incur in hypocrisy. I have had in my hands works of historians who were dedicated to the wife who had died in the bombings, or perhaps dedicated to two or three fallen sons on the fronts; and yet, sometimes, these people want to keep their writing as ‘pure science’, as if nothing had happened.

That’s their problem. I think otherwise. Even if it existed, and I say it does not, a totally apolitical historical research, oblivious to all kinds of judgments, such an investigation would serve no purpose but to undermine ethics and make way for inhumanity. Moreover, it would not be true ‘research’ because it would not be dedicated to revealing the relationships between the factors; as much as it would be mere preparatory work, the mere accumulation of materials, as noted by Friedrich Meinecke.

Now, to what extent does the reality of history coincides with my statement? I prefer life on principle to science, especially when it starts to become apparent as a threat to life in the broadest sense. It is often objected that ‘science’ is not to blame, but only some of the scientists (the problem is that there are many, at worst almost all): quite a similar argument that says that we should not take Christianity to task for the sins of Christendom. All this does not mean that I am a supporter of pure subjectivism, which does not exist. A limited capacity of conviction would have my thesis of the criminal character of Christianity if, to prove it, I confined myself to only some examples. But, being a multi-volume work, no one will say that these are isolated or inconclusive examples. Because I write ‘out of hostility’ the story of those I describe has made me their enemy. And I would not consider myself refuted by having omitted what was also true, but only when someone proves that something I have written is false.

There are even those who believe that it is very wrong to criticise, especially when they are criticised, although the latter they would never confess. Quite the contrary, they always claim they have nothing against criticism: that all critiques are welcome but, yes, provided they are positive critiques, constructive; not negative or deleterious. With swollen anger they set those high standards, precisely against the ‘mania of judging’ (Aitmeyer), and display their scandal with ‘scientific’ trims when an author dares to ‘value’; when ‘the historian, given his inability as a moralist, assumes the role of prosecutor’. Is it not grotesque that the sworn representatives of an ancient mystery cult, those who believe in trinities, angels, demons, hell, virgin births, celestial assumptions of a real body, conversion of water into wine and wine into blood, want to impress us with their ‘science’? And could it not be the height of grotesqueness that such people continue to receive the honours of the scientific world itself?

We are invited to take care on behalf of the ‘zeitgeist’ so that we understand and forgive. But precisely Goethe satirised it in his Faust: ‘What you call the spirit of the times, is ultimately the spirit of the masters’. If we are not worth the testimony of the poet for being notoriously anti-Christian and not less anticlerical, let us go to St. Augustine: ‘Times are hard, miserable times, people say. Let us live well, and times are good. Because we ourselves are the times that run; so that how we are, so will our time be’. In his other sermons, Augustine reiterated this idea that there is no reason to accuse the times or the ‘zeitgeist’, but the very humans that (as the historians of today) blame everything on the times: those miserable, difficult and murky times. Because ‘time does not offend anyone. The offended are men, and other men are the ones who inflict the offenses. Oh, pain! It offends men who are robbed, oppressed, and by whom? Not by lions, snakes or scorpions but by men. And so men live the offenses on pain, but will not themselves do the same, if they can, and as much as they have censored it?’ Augustine knew what he meant, as he himself fits perfectly in the last sentence of the quotation (see the last chapter of this volume). As this, ultimately, cannot be denied by the apologists, they object that sometimes—i.e., every time it was necessary, whatever the historical period under consideration—the agents ‘were not true Christians’.

But look, when there were true Christians? Were they the bloodthirsty Merovingians, the Franks so fond of plundering expeditions, the despotic women of the Lateran period? Was Christian the great offensive of the Crusades? Was it the burning of witches and heretics? The Thirty Years War? The First World War, the Second or the war of Vietnam? If all those were not Christians, then who was it? In any case, the spirit of the times was not ever the same at each particular time. While Christians were spreading their gospels, their beliefs and dogmas; while they were transmitting their infection to always larger territories, there were not a few men, such as the first great debunkers of Christianity in the 2nd century, Celsus; and Porphyry in the third, who knew how to raise a comprehensive and overwhelming criticism, which we still feel justified. As Christianity was guilty of appalling outrages, Buddhism, which never had a Western-style organised church in India or central authority dedicated to homogenise the true faith, gave signs of a much higher tolerance. Non-priest believers contracted no exclusive commitment, nor were forced to recant other religions, or converting anyone by force. Their peaceful virtues can be seen, for example, in the history of Tibet, whose inhabitants, a warrior nation among the most feared of Asia, became one of the most peaceful under the influence of Buddhism. In every century there was a moral conscience, even among Christians, and not less among ‘heretics’. Why should we not apply to Christianity its own scale of biblical standards, or even occasionally patristic standards? Do not they themselves say that ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’?

For me, history (and what I said is but a drop in an ocean of injustices) cannot be cultivated sine ira et studio. It would be contrary to my sense of fairness, my compassion for men. He who has not as enemy many enemies, is the enemy of humanity. And is not anyone who pretends to contemplate history without anger or affection similar to the one who witness a large fire and sees how victims suffocate and does nothing to save them, limiting himself to take note of everything? The historian who clings to the criteria of ‘pure’ science is necessarily insincere. He wants either to deceive others or deceive himself. I would add: he is a criminal, because there can be no worse crime than indifference.

And if the sentence of St. John Chrysostom retains its validity today, ‘he who praises the sin is guiltier than he who commits it’, would then praising the crimes of history and glorifying the criminals be even worse than these crimes? Would not human affairs be better, and also the affairs of history, if historians (and schools) illuminated and educated the public based on ethical criteria, condemning the crimes of the sovereigns rather than the praising? But most historians prefer to spread the faeces of the past as if they had to serve as fertiliser for the future havens.

An example of it, to cite only one, is the daily glorification of Charlemagne (or Charles the Great). The worst looting expeditions and genocides of history come to be called expansions, consolidation, extension of the catchment areas, changes in the correlation of forces, restructuring, incorporation domains, Christianization, pacification of neighbouring tribes. When Charlemagne oppresses, exploits, and liquidates what is around him, that is ‘centralism’, ‘pacification of a great empire’. When there are others who rob and kill, those are ‘raids and invasions of enemies across the borders’ (Saracens, Normans, Slavs, Avars) according to Kampf. When Charlemagne, with bags full of holy relics, sets fire and kills on a large scale, thus becoming the noble smith of the great Frank empire, the Catholic Fleckenstein speaks of ‘political integration’. Some specialists use even safer, more peaceful and hypocritical expressions as Camill Wampach, professor of our University of Bonn: ‘The country invited immigration, and the neighbouring region of Franconia gave inhabitants to newly liberated lands’.

The law of the jungle, in a word: the one which has been dominating the history of mankind to date, always where a State intended it (or another refused to submit), and not only in the Christian world, naturally. Because, of course, we will not say here that Christianity is the sole culprit of all these miseries. Perhaps someday, once Christianity disappears, the world remains equally miserable. We do not know that. What we do know is that, with it, everything will necessarily remain the same. That’s why I have tried to highlight its culpability in all cases I have found it essential, trying to cover as many cases as possible but, yes: without exaggeration, without taking things out of proportion, as those could judge who either do not have idea about the history of Christianity, or have lived completely deceived about it.

 

Gibbon on Julian – 5

Edward-Gibbon

The History of the Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire

Chapter XIX:

Part 4



The Cæsar immediately sent his captives to the court of Constantius, who, accepting them as a valuable present, rejoiced in the opportunity of adding so many heroes to the choicest troops of his domestic guards. The obstinate resistance of this handful of Franks apprised Julian of the difficulties of the expedition which he meditated for the ensuing spring, against the whole body of the nation. His rapid diligence surprised and astonished the active Barbarians.

Ordering his soldiers to provide themselves with biscuit for twenty days, he suddenly pitched his camp near Tongres, while the enemy still supposed him in his winter quarters of Paris, expecting the slow arrival of his convoys from Aquitain. Without allowing the Franks to unite or deliberate, he skilfully spread his legions from Cologne to the ocean; and by the terror, as well as by the success, of his arms, soon reduced the suppliant tribes to implore the clemency, and to obey the commands, of their conqueror.

The Chamavians submissively retired to their former habitations beyond the Rhine; but the Salians were permitted to possess their new establishment of Toxandria, as the subjects and auxiliaries of the Roman empire. The treaty was ratified by solemn oaths; and perpetual inspectors were appointed to reside among the Franks, with the authority of enforcing the strict observance of the conditions. An incident is related, interesting enough in itself, and by no means repugnant to the character of Julian, who ingeniously contrived both the plot and the catastrophe of the tragedy.

When the Chamavians sued for peace, he required the son of their king, as the only hostage on whom he could rely. A mournful silence, interrupted by tears and groans, declared the sad perplexity of the Barbarians; and their aged chief lamented in pathetic language, that his private loss was now imbittered by a sense of public calamity.

While the Chamavians lay prostrate at the foot of his throne, the royal captive, whom they believed to have been slain, unexpectedly appeared before their eyes; and as soon as the tumult of joy was hushed into attention, the Cæsar addressed the assembly in the following terms: “Behold the son, the prince, whom you wept. You had lost him by your fault. God and the Romans have restored him to you. I shall still preserve and educate the youth, rather as a monument of my own virtue, than as a pledge of your sincerity. Should you presume to violate the faith which you have sworn, the arms of the republic will avenge the perfidy, not on the innocent, but on the guilty.” The Barbarians withdrew from his presence, impressed with the warmest sentiments of gratitude and admiration.

It was not enough for Julian to have delivered the provinces of Gaul from the Barbarians of Germany. He aspired to emulate the glory of the first and most illustrious of the emperors; after whose example, he composed his own commentaries of the Gallic war. Cæsar has related, with conscious pride, the manner in which he twice passed the Rhine. Julian could boast, that before he assumed the title of Augustus, he had carried the Roman eagles beyond that great river in three successful expeditions.

The consternation of the Germans, after the battle of Strasburgh, encouraged him to the first attempt; and the reluctance of the troops soon yielded to the persuasive eloquence of a leader, who shared the fatigues and dangers which he imposed on the meanest of the soldiers. The villages on either side of the Meyn, which were plentifully stored with corn and cattle, felt the ravages of an invading army. The principal houses, constructed with some imitation of Roman elegance, were consumed by the flames; and the Cæsar boldly advanced about ten miles, till his progress was stopped by a dark and impenetrable forest, undermined by subterraneous passages, which threatened with secret snares and ambush every step of the assailants. The ground was already covered with snow; and Julian, after repairing an ancient castle which had been erected by Trajan, granted a truce of ten months to the submissive Barbarians.

At the expiration of the truce, Julian undertook a second expedition beyond the Rhine, to humble the pride of Surmar and Hortaire, two of the kings of the Alemanni, who had been present at the battle of Strasburgh. They promised to restore all the Roman captives who yet remained alive; and as the Cæsar had procured an exact account from the cities and villages of Gaul, of the inhabitants whom they had lost, he detected every attempt to deceive him, with a degree of readiness and accuracy, which almost established the belief of his supernatural knowledge. His third expedition was still more splendid and important than the two former.

The Germans had collected their military powers, and moved along the opposite banks of the river, with a design of destroying the bridge, and of preventing the passage of the Romans. But this judicious plan of defence was disconcerted by a skilful diversion. Three hundred light-armed and active soldiers were detached in forty small boats, to fall down the stream in silence, and to land at some distance from the posts of the enemy.

They executed their orders with so much boldness and celerity, that they had almost surprised the Barbarian chiefs, who returned in the fearless confidence of intoxication from one of their nocturnal festivals. Without repeating the uniform and disgusting tale of slaughter and devastation, it is sufficient to observe, that Julian dictated his own conditions of peace to six of the haughtiest kings of the Alemanni, three of whom were permitted to view the severe discipline and martial pomp of a Roman camp. Followed by twenty thousand captives, whom he had rescued from the chains of the Barbarians, the Cæsar repassed the Rhine, after terminating a war, the success of which has been compared to the ancient glories of the Punic and Cimbric victories.

As soon as the valor and conduct of Julian had secured an interval of peace, he applied himself to a work more congenial to his humane and philosophic temper. The cities of Gaul, which had suffered from the inroads of the Barbarians, he diligently repaired; and seven important posts, between Mentz and the mouth of the Rhine, are particularly mentioned, as having been rebuilt and fortified by the order of Julian.

The vanquished Germans had submitted to the just but humiliating condition of preparing and conveying the necessary materials. The active zeal of Julian urged the prosecution of the work; and such was the spirit which he had diffused among the troops, that the auxiliaries themselves, waiving their exemption from any duties of fatigue, contended in the most servile labors with the diligence of the Roman soldiers. It was incumbent on the Cæsar to provide for the subsistence, as well as for the safety, of the inhabitants and of the garrisons.

The desertion of the former, and the mutiny of the latter, must have been the fatal and inevitable consequences of famine. The tillage of the provinces of Gaul had been interrupted by the calamities of war; but the scanty harvests of the continent were supplied, by his paternal care, from the plenty of the adjacent island. Six hundred large barks, framed in the forest of the Ardennes, made several voyages to the coast of Britain; and returning from thence, laden with corn, sailed up the Rhine, and distributed their cargoes to the several towns and fortresses along the banks of the river.

The arms of Julian had restored a free and secure navigation, which Constantius had offered to purchase at the expense of his dignity, and of a tributary present of two thousand pounds of silver. The emperor parsimoniously refused to his soldiers the sums which he granted with a lavish and trembling hand to the Barbarians. The dexterity, as well as the firmness, of Julian was put to a severe trial, when he took the field with a discontented army, which had already served two campaigns, without receiving any regular pay or any extraordinary donative.

A tender regard for the peace and happiness of his subjects was the ruling principle which directed, or seemed to direct, the administration of Julian. He devoted the leisure of his winter quarters to the offices of civil government; and affected to assume, with more pleasure, the character of a magistrate than that of a general. Before he took the field, he devolved on the provincial governors most of the public and private causes which had been referred to his tribunal; but, on his return, he carefully revised their proceedings, mitigated the rigor of the law, and pronounced a second judgment on the judges themselves.

Superior to the last temptation of virtuous minds, an indiscreet and intemperate zeal for justice, he restrained, with calmness and dignity, the warmth of an advocate, who prosecuted, for extortion, the president of the Narbonnese province. “Who will ever be found guilty,” exclaimed the vehement Delphidius, “if it be enough to deny?” “And who,” replied Julian, “will ever be innocent, if it be sufficient to affirm?” In the general administration of peace and war, the interest of the sovereignis commonly the same as that of his people; but Constantius would have thought himself deeply injured, if the virtues of Julian had defrauded him of any part of the tribute which he extorted from an oppressed and exhausted country.

The prince who was invested with the ensigns of royalty, might sometimes presume to correct the rapacious insolence of his inferior agents, to expose their corrupt arts, and to introduce an equal and easier mode of collection. But the management of the finances was more safely intrusted to Florentius, prætorian præfect of Gaul, an effeminate tyrant, incapable of pity or remorse: and the haughty minister complained of the most decent and gentle opposition, while Julian himself was rather inclined to censure the weakness of his own behavior. The Cæsar had rejected, with abhorrence, a mandate for the levy of an extraordinary tax; a new superindiction, which the præfect had offered for his signature; and the faithful picture of the public misery, by which he had been obliged to justify his refusal, offended the court of Constantius. We may enjoy the pleasure of reading the sentiments of Julian, as he expresses them with warmth and freedom in a letter to one of his most intimate friends.

After stating his own conduct, he proceeds in the following terms: “Was it possible for the disciple of Plato and Aristotle to act otherwise than I have done? Could I abandon the unhappy subjects intrusted to my care? Was I not called upon to defend them from the repeated injuries of these unfeeling robbers? A tribune who deserts his post is punished with death, and deprived of the honors of burial. With what justice could I pronounce his sentence, if, in the hour of danger, I myself neglected a duty far more sacred and far more important? God has placed me in this elevated post; his providence will guard and support me. Should I be condemned to suffer, I shall derive comfort from the testimony of a pure and upright conscience. Would to Heaven that I still possessed a counsellor like Sallust! If they think proper to send me a successor, I shall submit without reluctance; and had much rather improve the short opportunity of doing good, than enjoy a long and lasting impunity of evil.”

The precarious and dependent situation of Julian displayed his virtues and concealed his defects. The young hero who supported, in Gaul, the throne of Constantius, was not permitted to reform the vices of the government; but he had courage to alleviate or to pity the distress of the people. Unless he had been able to revive the martial spirit of the Romans, or to introduce the arts of industry and refinement among their savage enemies, he could not entertain any rational hopes of securing the public tranquility, either by the peace or conquest of Germany. Yet the victories of Julian suspended, for a short time, the inroads of the Barbarians, and delayed the ruin of the Western Empire.

His salutary influence restored the cities of Gaul, which had been so long exposed to the evils of civil discord, Barbarian war, and domestic tyranny; and the spirit of industry was revived with the hopes of enjoyment. Agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, again flourished under the protection of the laws; and the curi, or civil corporations, were again filled with useful and respectable members: the youth were no longer apprehensive of marriage; and married persons were no longer apprehensive of posterity: the public and private festivals were celebrated with customary pomp; and the frequent and secure intercourse of the provinces displayed the image of national prosperity.

A mind like that of Julian must have felt the general happiness of which he was the author; but he viewed, with particular satisfaction and complacency, the city of Paris; the seat of his winter residence, and the object even of his partial affection. That splendid capital, which now embraces an ample territory on either side of the Seine, was originally confined to the small island in the midst of the river, from whence the inhabitants derived a supply of pure and salubrious water. The river bathed the foot of the walls; and the town was accessible only by two wooden bridges. A forest overspread the northern side of the Seine, but on the south, the ground, which now bears the name of the University, was insensibly covered with houses, and adorned with a palace and amphitheatre, baths, an aqueduct, and a field of Mars for the exercise of the Roman troops.

The severity of the climate was tempered by the neighborhood of the ocean; and with some precautions, which experience had taught, the vine and fig-tree were successfully cultivated. But in remarkable winters, the Seine was deeply frozen; and the huge pieces of ice that floated down the stream, might be compared, by an Asiatic, to the blocks of white marble which were extracted from the quarries of Phrygia.

The licentiousness and corruption of Antioch recalled to the memory of Julian the severe and simple manners of his beloved Lutetia; where the amusements of the theatre were unknown or despised. He indignantly contrasted the effeminate Syrians with the brave and honest simplicity of the Gauls, and almost forgave the intemperance, which was the only stain of the Celtic character. If Julian could now revisit the capital of France, he might converse with men of science and genius, capable of understanding and of instructing a disciple of the Greeks; he might excuse the lively and graceful follies of a nation, whose martial spirit has never been enervated by the indulgence of luxury; and he must applaud the perfection of that inestimable art, which softens and refines and embellishes the intercourse of social life.

The Aryan problem

Dear César:

Not all Spaniards think like that. The causes of our decline in the past after the Christianization, and in the present, are due to ourselves. I refer to excerpts published in one of my posts last year:

__________________

 
periander_vat2Already in pre-Socratic times we can see this disregard for a fundamental part of our culture: in the whimsical and superfluous theogonies and cosmogonies of Epicharmus and Pherecydes, which rivaled the traditions collected and transmitted by Homer and Hesiod and confused the people through pseudo-Orphic and Pythagorean preaching about individual souls and religious proposals of “personal” salvation: individualists and universalists. They divided the people and ended up influencing Plato and some philosophers (Xenophanes). Finally, in post-Socratic times, coinciding with the Alexandrian period—culturally chaotic, cosmopolitan—, philosophical ethics circulated from Cynics, Stoics and Epicureans, already fully individualistic and universalist (transnational, stateless doctrines for “all men”) and consistent with the cultural decay of the time. I think that this was a big mistake; this contempt by the Hellenic “intelligentsia” as Nietzsche said. The Greek people lost their right to their autochthonous gods. This “intelligentsia” should have taken care of the native and ancestral legacy.

This attitude just ended up weakening the strength and security that the people had in their own cultural traditions. These traditions, these “worlds” were part of the ancestral collective memory of our people that was devastated, made it like a desert, annihilated by our own philosophers and thinkers. They were in some way responsible for this great loss, for that debacle, for that alienation which resulted in the loss of our cultures when Christianization took over. They neglected their duty, not only the education of the people, but the care and defense of our traditions (our worlds) before the Other. Our people lost their cultural property, or watched it sullied, undervalued, or ridiculed by their own kind.

The thing did not improve in Roman times when the schools of Stoics and Epicureans dominated everywhere in the Empire, and the words of Cato or Cicero could not avoid the dissolution, this disintegration of the cultural symbolic (colectivas) of Greeks and Romans.

The entry of Jewish, Chaldean, Egyptian and Persian sects found a disoriented people; neglected, abandoned, without guidance and their traditions scorned by the “enlightened” classes. They preyed upon the preachers of these sects. It was not only Plato or Christianity. Centuries of neglect and scorn put our people in the hands of these preachers of foreign divinities.

We can do the same reasoning with the traditions of Germans, Celts, Slavs and others. They seemed to be infected by the general attitude that Greeks and Romans had regarding their own cultures, not valued at all. The values, it seems, were elsewhere: in the economic and the military power, or in religions of “personal” salvation coming from the outside, which denoted disintegration and a previous decomposition of these peoples.

Nothing forced the Goths, Lombards, Burgundians and Franks to be Christianized but their greed for power and willingness to take over the remains of the Empire without reflection or discussion of its “ideological” bases, fully Christianized by the 5th century (the century of the Germanic expansions). This was not the case of forced Christianization, centuries later, of the Saxons and Frisians (by Charlemagne), or the politics from the top (the monarchs) as done by the Norwegians (Olaf “The Holy”) and the Slavs (Vladimir, also “The Holy”). The Germans could have been the liberators of Europe, but they put their arms in the service of a foreign faith and an ecclesia (priestly community). This attitude says very clearly how they were indifferent to their own traditions.

It was a betrayal. Our history would have been different if they had remained faithful to the cultural legacy of their ancestors.

Breaking the sacred bonds wrought what it wrought. And from the ominous Christianization of our people we have been suffering this cultural and spiritual alienation that affects us so much; this drift, this going astray, this wandering…

The post-mortem world of the Indo-European cultures has to do with the collective memory of the people. It is a “space” that houses the gods, but also the Fathers, all the ancestors without distinction. This can be seen in the Hittite or Aryan-Vedic world (with Yama, Manu’s brother, and the first mortal); in the Celtic world (remember the original Halloween), or in the Roman world (the Manes). Keeping memory and even worship of the absent, the departed, was part of the education and morals of our ancestors, and was a sign of distinction and nobility against other peoples. The Patricians were those who had Fathers, who kept memory of the Fathers, in the sense already said. Let’s say that this memory was part of the “being” for our Indo-European ancestors.

Forgetfulness or loss of these “spaces” had (and has) bad consequences. Precisely the Christian or Muslim preachers noticed such loss or damaged being; this symbolic amputation among the peoples, and therefore preached (and still preach) their values. The loss or decline or forgetting of these spaces leaves people orphaned and incomplete. This was the picture that the Christian apostles (Jews) found in the area of the Roman Empire: stranded peoples abandoned to their lot; incomplete, empty. They found the right spot to spread their worlds. They found people without “being,” without memory, without identity and already acculturated—by their own kind. Christian acculturation, or later Muslim acculturation, allowed these people to complete their symbolic being—at least spuriously in the outside.

What I’m writing down has a counterpart, a repetition in our contemporary European and Western world. Both are similar circumstances that repeat the cultural deterioration and we see a return to the same religious-cultural “offers”—the everlasting impostors, the usurpers. Not only Christians and the “people of god” (the Hebrew god) lacking a homeland (but with Israel as sacred land), but the “umma”, the stateless Muslim “nation” (though based in Mecca). And also the politicians and the intellectuals: from democratic universalism to proletarian internationalism (Marx’s “workers or proletarians have no fatherland”) to sociologists such as the cosmopolitan Adorno or Marcuse, or Derrida who preaches the philosophy of the philosopher as cosmopolitan and stateless.

It’s the same song again, the same charm, the same lure, the same trap.

__________________

 
You can find similar reasoning in my blogging of the last year (there are 68 pages) and the posts published this year. I would like you to read, at least, those entries.

The subject requires a great deal of debating with the participation of all Aryan nations: a process of self-gnosis that revisits at least our last two millennia, although in my opinion we should start with the cultural deterioration that has its beginning in the pre-Socratic times and reached its climax in imperial Rome (from Caesar on).

Well, César, I don’t take more of your time.

Regards,

Manu

Kemp on Christianity



Excerpted from
March of the Titans:
A History of the White Race

by Arthur Kemp:



Although originating within the Semitic world, the religion of Christianity has played such a major role in the post Roman European world that its origins must be clearly dealt with for the sake of understanding its later influence.



Genocidal evangelism

Coercive Christianity takes root

With the use of violent and bloody coercion, Saxon and German paganism was quite literally killed off, and most of the survivors became Christians more out of fear than out of genuine conviction. Christianity finally spread to the Goths themselves, through a Christian slave named Wulfila, who translated the Bible into Gothic.

Before the end of the fourth century, Christianity had spread to the Vandals, the Burgundians, the Lombards and other German tribes within the direct sphere of influence of the Western Roman Empire.

By the year 550 AD, the only non-Christian tribes were to be found in Bavaria and those parts of Germany north from there—including virtually all of the Danes, Scandinavians, Balts and Slavs to the east.


Charlemagne organizes the murder of all non-Christians under his control

In 768, Pepin’s son, Charlemagne (Charles the Great), inherited the Frankish kingdom. It was this king who was directly responsible for the introduction of Christianity to the Germans.

To destroy German paganism, Charlemagne proclaimed harsh laws applicable to those Germans under his control who refused to be baptized into Christianity. Eating meat during Lent, cremating the dead and pretending to be baptized were all made punishable by death.

In 768, Charlemagne started a 32 year long campaign of what can only be described as genocidal evangelism against the Saxons under his control in western Germany.

The campaign started with the cutting down of the Saxon’s most sacred tree, their version of the World Tree or Yggdrasil (the symbol of the start of the earth and the source of all life in the ancient Indo-European religions) located in a sacred Saxon forest near present day Marburg.

Yggdrasil_by_Ludwig_Burger

The norns Urðr, Verðandi,
and Skuld beneath
the world tree
Yggdrasil


Charlemagne quickly turned to violence as a means of spreading the Christian word. In 772, at Quierzy, he issued a proclamation that he would kill every Saxon who refused to accept Jesus Christ, and from that time on he kept a special detachment of Christian priests who doubled as executioners, and in every Saxon village in which they stopped, these priests would execute anybody who refused to be baptized.

Then in 782, at Verden, Charlemagne carried out the act for which he is most notoriously associated—he ordered the beheading of 4,500 Saxons in one day who had made the error of being caught practicing paganism after they had agreed to be Christians.

Charlemagne’s constant companion and biographer, the monk Einhard, vividly captured the event in his biography of the Frankish king. In it is written that the King rounded up 4,500 Saxons who “like dogs that return to their vomit” had returned to the pagan religions they had been forced to give up upon pain of death.

After having all 4,500 Saxons beheaded “the king went into winter camp, and there celebrated mass as usual.”

Twelve years later, in 794, Charlemagne introduced a law under which every third Saxon living in any pagan area was kidnapped and forced to resettle and be raised amongst Christian Franks.

Teutonic Knights exterminate the last white pagans

The only significant grouping of Whites left in Europe who were not—nominally at least—Christians by the year 1000 AD were to be found in the Baltic and Eastern European regions. To destroy this last bastion of paganism the Church employed the services of some of the most fanatic Christians of all—the Teutonic Knights.

By 1198, however, these knights had changed from being purely passive and took an active part in the war against the non-White Muslims, becoming known as the Teutonic Knights. Membership in the order was strictly limited to Christian German noblemen. The Teutonic Knights received official recognition from Pope Innocent III in 1199, and adopted the official uniform of a white tunic with a black cross.

Soon their deeds on behalf of Christendom became famous. In 1210 they were invited to Hungary by the king of that country to participate in a war against the non-Christian pagan tribes in Eastern Europe.

The Teutonic Knights jumped at the chance, and by using violence and mass murder, soon became known as effective Christianizers amongst the pagan Whites of Eastern Europe. This genocidal evangelism soon became the sole obsession of the Teutonic Knights—by 1226 the order had set up permanent settlements in north eastern Europe.

In 1226, the Holy Roman Emperor granted the Teutonic Knights control over what was then Prussia (today northern Poland) to rule as a fiefdom on condition that they convert all the locals to Christianity. In 1234, Pope Gregory IX granted the Knights control over any other territory that they might conquer from the pagans. The Teutonic Knights soon built a series of imposing castles to defend their new territory, some of which still stand today.

From the safety of these castles they waged their own brand of evangelicalism, which was limited to the Frankish king Charlemagne’s recipe—once a number of pagans had been captured, they were offered the choice of either being baptized and accepting Christianity, or being killed on the spot.

Unsurprisingly, almost all chose conversion. The price for being caught practicing paganism after being baptized, was instant death.

The Teutonic Order in 1260

As was the case with the genocidal evangelicalism of Charlemagne, the first one or two generations of converts were in all likelihood not genuine—usually they paid lip service to Christianity in order not to be killed. By about the third generation however, the children knew no other religion, and in this way Christianity replaced the original Indo-European religions.

The Teutonic Knights also encouraged already Christianized Germans to settle in Prussia. This served a double purpose—not only could the new arrivals police the new converts, but also the Teutonic Knights realized very clearly that the easiest way to change the nature of a society was to change its inhabitants.

By 1300, the Teutonic Knights were one of the most powerful organizations in Germany, controlling territory which stretched from the Baltic Sea into central Germany, a private empire which saw them engaging in, on average, eight major wars every year.

However, the Teutonic Knights slowly ran out of pagans to convert. By 1386 the last of the major non-Christian tribes in the north, the Lithuanians, had all more or less been converted, and the order started to lose the reason for its existence.


Later Christianity

So it was that Christianity came to be the dominant religion of Europe—the first religion to convert by mass murder.

The original White religion had never tried to convert followers upon pain of death, and had never waged a war in its name—and as such it was psychologically unprepared to do battle with a Middle Eastern religion which engendered a genocidal fanaticism amongst its followers.

Once the Christians had run out of pagans to kill, they turned upon themselves in a violent and bloody fratricidal conflict which saw the Church split and the various protagonists kill each other in a crazed blood lust.

Fully one third of the entire White race was killed in a series of major Christian Wars in Europe—these events are dealt with in a later chapter, along with the effect of Christianity upon the development of science, history, art and social life.


The Dark Ages

The Dark Ages was a period in European history which has been arbitrarily set at between approximately 800 AD and lasting until the Renaissance. Although this is by no means a fixed definition, the common thread throughout this period of history was the total dominance of Christianity and the repression of all art, science and progress that was not Christian in nature.

In this way the great scientific, philosophical and cultural works of the thousands of years of pre-Christian civilization were suppressed, all being ascribed to the work of pagans and therefore of devil authorship. The era became known as the Dark Ages because of the introduction of theocracy as the only guideline in all fields of endeavor. This created a halt to all progress and centuries of cultural stagnation, which marked the time between the glory of Classical antiquity and the rebirth of that glory in the Renaissance and the beginnings of the modern world.

In the field of the study of history, the dominance of the Church had a massive effect. The Lux Ex Orient (“the Light Comes from the East”) doctrine was established which said that all civilization originated in the Middle East, as this was where the events of the Bible had supposedly been played out. The Lux Ex Orient doctrine is still to this day the “popular” interpretation of history, with most people having been taught that “civilization originated in the fertile river valleys”.


Racial effects of the age of theocracy

The spread of Christianity unquestionably affected the growth of the European peoples: particularly in the policy, still held in the Catholic Church to this day, of celibacy for leading church officials.

Although this policy of enforced celibacy amongst the priesthood, monks and nuns only ever applied to a relatively small number of Whites, it was nonetheless often the most intelligent members of society who became monks or nuns. This was so because during the Dark Ages, only the cleverest candidates were allowed to enter the priesthood: as the keepers of the arts and writing, the only way to gain any sort of education was to join the priesthood.

Although there can be little doubt that, given human nature, the celibacy rule was broken, it must also be so that the policy of deliberate celibacy saw many thousands of Europe’s cleverest people dying childless, their genes lost forever. The persecution of these great minds with the accusation of paganism also unquestionably stripped Europe of many of its cleverest people: the cumulative effect of the Dark Ages was to set Europe back centuries in development.


The Christian Wars

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is quoted as saying that he had come to bring the sword, to “set father against son and mother against daughter” (Luke 12:53) and called on his followers to “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me” (Luke 19:27).

These words have, in the history of Christianity, been enacted in bloody reality many times—starting when an important political rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church took on a religious slant—leading to the split in European Christendom between Catholic and Protestant. This split sparked off a series of religious wars which were ultimately to be responsible for the death of nearly a third of the entire White race.

The Reformation is the name given to this 16th century religious uprising. Its major outpouring happened in the middle of the Renaissance, there can be little doubt that the two events were linked: added to this was a political problem which the countries in Northern Europe had with the all powerful role the pope had assumed from Rome.

Emerging European nationalism objected to the fact that the pope—usually an Italian—had to approve the appointment of any head of state everywhere else in Europe. The pope’s ability to even charge tax from foreign countries to support the Church headquarters in Rome also irked those living thousands of miles from Rome. It has been estimated that the Church ended up owning as much as one third of all the land in Europe in this manner: what the various national states must have secretly thought of this does not need to be imagined.

[After a few pages describing the religious wars, Kemp writes:]

The Danes were defeated: the Catholics followed up their victory with another Danish defeat in August of that year at Lutter am Barenberge, Germany.

The Danes fled back north, and the Catholic armies set about pillaging, looting and destroying every Protestant north German town they seized. Catholic victory seemed complete: in March 1629, the Catholic king issued the Edict of Restitution which effectively nullified all Protestant titles to all Roman Catholic property expropriated since the Peace of Augsburg in 1555.

The German Protestant city of Magdeburg then rose in revolt: it was besieged by a German Catholic army and crushed in May 1631, with every single Protestant inhabitant—tens of thousands of people—being massacred by the victorious Catholics. The city was also virtually burned to the ground in the looting that followed.


Racial consequences of the Thirty Years’ War – One Third of German population killed

The racial consequences of the Christian Wars, and in particular the Thirty Years’ War, were vast. The German population was reduced by at least one third, and probably more: when combined with the effects of the Great Plague of the 1300s, the German population actually shrunk by over 50 per cent in the course of 300 years: a massive decline which, if avoided, would certainly have changed the course of world history.

When the history of the Christian Wars is read in conjunction with the suppression of learning and science caused by the Christian Dark Ages, and the division the White populations into opposing Christian camps, then no other conclusion is possible except to say that the introduction of Christianity has to count as the single greatest ideological catastrophe to ever strike Europe.


Note:

For excerpts of all chapters of Kemp’s book see: here.

On Christianity

by William Pierce

To avoid replication of texts, I have moved the content of this entry: here

Who We Are, 18

The following is my abridgement of chapter 18 of William Pierce’s history of the white race, Who We Are:

Christianity Spreads from Levant
to Dying Roman Empire,
then to Conquering Germans
Germans ‘Aryanize’ Christian Myths,
but Racially Destructive Ethics Retained

 

During the turbulent and eventful fifth century the Germans largely completed their conquest of the West. In the early years of that century German tribesmen, who had been raiding the coast of Roman Britain for many years, began a permanent invasion of the southeastern portion of the island, a development which was eventually to lead to a Germanic Britain.

In 476 Odoacer, an Ostrogothic chieftain who had become a general of Rome’s armies, deposed the last Roman emperor and ruled in his own name as king of Italy. Meanwhile the Visigoths were expanding their holdings in Gaul and completing their conquest of Spain, except for the northwestern region already held by their Suebian cousins and an enclave in the Pyrenees occupied by a remnant of the aboriginal Mediterranean inhabitants of the peninsula, the Basques.

And throughout the latter part of the century the Franks, the Alemanni, and the Burgundians were consolidating their own holds on the former Roman province of Gaul, establishing new kingdoms and laying the basis for the new European civilization of the Middle Ages. Everywhere in the West the old, decaying civilization centered on the Mediterranean gave way to the vigorous White barbarians from the North.

Oriental Infection. But the Germans did not make their conquest of the Roman world without becoming infected by some of the diseases which flourished so unwholesomely in Rome during her last days. Foremost among these was an infection which the Romans themselves had caught during the first century, a consequence of their own conquest of the Levant. It had begun as an offshoot of Judaism, had established itself in Jerusalem and a few other spots in the eastern Mediterranean area, and had traveled to Rome with Jewish merchants and speculators, who had long found that city an attractive center of operations.

It eventually became known to the world as Christianity, but for more than two centuries it festered in the sewers and catacombs of Rome, along with dozens of other alien religious sects from the Levant; its first adherents were Rome’s slaves, a cosmopolitan lot from all the lands conquered by the Romans. It was a religion designed to appeal to slaves: blessed are the poor, the meek, the wretched, the despised, it told them, for you shall inherit the earth from the strong, the brave, the proud, and the mighty; there will be pie in the sky for all believers, and the rest will suffer eternal torment. It appealed directly to a sense of envy and resentment of the weak against the strong.

Edict of Milan. By the end of the third century Christianity had become the most popular as well as the most militant of the Oriental sects flourishing among the largely non-Roman inhabitants of the decaying Roman Empire. Even as late as the first years of the fourth century, under Emperor Diocletian, the Roman government was still making efforts to keep the Christians under control, but in 313 a new emperor, Constantine, decided that, if you can’t lick ’em, join ’em, and he issued an imperial edict legitimizing Christianity.

Although one of Constantine’s successors, Julian, attempted to reverse the continuing Christianization of the Roman Empire a few years later, it was already too late: the Goths, who made up the bulk of Rome’s armies by this time, had caught the infection from one of their own slaves, a Christian captive whom they called Wulfila.

A Romanticized view of Wulfila
explaining the Gospels to the Goths in ca. 310

Wulfila was a tireless and effective missionary, and the Goths were an uprooted and unsettled people, among whom the new religion took hold easily. Wulfila’s translation of the Bible into Gothic greatly speeded up the process.

Conversion of the Franks. Before the end of the fourth century Christianity had also spread to the Vandals, Burgundians, Lombards, Gepids, and several other German tribes. A little over a century later the powerful nation of the Franks was converted. By the beginning of the second quarter of the sixth century, the only non-Christian Whites left were the Bavarians, Thuringians, Saxons, Frisians, Danes, Swedes, and Norse among the Germans—and virtually all the Balts and Slavs.

One can only understand the rapid spread of Christianity during the fourth and fifth centuries by realizing that, for all practical purposes, it had no opposition. That is, there was no other organized, militant, proselytizing church competing effectively with the Christian church.

Athanaric the Goth. The Christians had many individual opponents, of course: among the Romans several of the more responsible and civic-minded emperors, such as Diocletian, as well as what was left of the tradition-minded aristocracy; and among the Germans many farsighted leaders who resisted the imposition of an alien creed on their people and the abandonment of their ancient traditions. Athanaric, the great Gothic chieftain who led his people across the Danube in 376 to save them from the invading Huns, was notable in this regard.

Athanaric and the other traditionalists failed to halt the spread of Christianity, because they were only individuals. Although there were pagan priests, the traditional German religion never really had a church associated with it. It consisted in a body of beliefs, tales, and practices passed from generation to generation, but it had no centralized organization like Christianity.

Folk-religion. German religion was a folk-religion, which grew organically out of the people and out of the land they occupied. The boundary between a tribe’s most ancient historical legends and its religious myths, between its long-dead heroes and chieftains and its gods, was blurred at best. Because German religion belonged to the people and the land, it was not a proselytizing religion; the German attitude was that other peoples and races likewise had their own folk-religions, and it would be unnatural to impose one race’s religion on another race.

And because German religion was rooted in the land as well as in the people, it lost some of its viability when the people were uprooted from their land. It is no coincidence that the conversions of the Goths, Vandals, Burgundians, Lombards, Franks, and many other German tribes took place during the Voelkerwanderung, a period of strife, disorientation, and misery for many of those involved: a period when whole nations lost not only their ancient homelands but also their very identities.

Fire and Sword. After the Voelkerwanderung ended in the sixth century, the Christianization of the remaining pagan peoples of Europe proceeded much more slowly—and generally by fire and sword rather than by peaceful missionary effort. Whereas the Franks had become Christians more or less painlessly when their king Clovis (Chlodweg) converted for political reasons at the end of the fifth century, it was another 300 years before the Frankish king Charlemagne (Karl the Great) was able to bring about the conversion of his Saxon neighbors, and he accomplished that only by butchering half of them in a series of genocidal wars.

Early Christianity, in contrast to German religion, was as utterly intolerant as the Judaism from which it sprang. Even Roman religion, which, as an official state religion, equated religious observance with patriotism, tolerated the existence of other sects, so long as they did not threaten the state. But the early Christians were inspired by a fanatical hatred of all opposing creeds.

Also in contrast to German and Roman religion, Christianity, despite its specifically Jewish roots, claimed to be a universal (i.e., “catholic”) creed, equally applicable to Germans, Romans, Jews, Huns, and Negroes.

“Every place… shall be yours.” The Christians took the Jewish tribal god Yahweh, or Jehovah, and universalized him. Originally he seems to have been a deity associated with one of the dormant volcanoes of the Arabian peninsula, a god so distinctly Semitic that he had a binding business contract (“covenant”) with his followers: if the Jews would remain faithful and obedient to him, he would deliver all the wealth of the non-Jewish peoples of the world into their hands. Observant Jews even today remind themselves of this by fastening mezuzoth to the door frames of their homes, wherein the verses from their Torah spelling out the Jews’ side of their larcenous deal with Yahweh are inscribed (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21; Yahweh’s reciprocal obligations are in the verses immediately following).

Nevertheless, the early Christian church, armed with an effective organization and a proselytizing fervor, and armored with a supreme contempt for everything non-Christian, was able to supplant Jupiter and Wotan alike with Yahweh.

The Germans, however, recreated the Semitic Yahweh in the image of their own Wotan, even as they accepted the new faith. The entire Christian ritual and doctrine, in fact, were to a large extent “Aryanized” by the Germans to suit their own inner nature and lifestyle. They played down the slave-religion aspects of Christianity (“the meek shall inherit the earth”) and emphasized the aspects which appealed to them (“I come bearing not peace, but a sword”). The incoherence and the multitude of internal inconsistencies of the doctrine made this sort of eclecticism easy.

Yule, Easter, Harvest Festival. In general, the Germans accepted without difficulty the Christian rituals—especially those which, like Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving were deliberately redesigned to correspond to pagan rituals and festivals of long standing—and the myths (parthenogenesis, turning water into wine, curing the blind, resurrection from the dead, etc.), and they ignored the ethics (turn the other cheek, all men are brothers, etc.).

A Frank of the seventh or eighth century would tremble in superstitious awe before some fragment of bone or vial of dried blood which the Church had declared a sacred relic with miracle-working powers—but if you smote him on the cheek you would have a fight on your hands, not another cheek turned.

As for the brotherhood of man and equality in the eyes of the Lord, the Germans had no time for such nonsense; when confronted with non-Whites, they instinctively reached for the nearest lethal weapon. They made mincemeat out of the Avars, who were cousins to the Huns, in the seventh century, and the Christianized Franks or Goths of that era would know exactly what to do with a few hundred thousand rioting American Blacks; they would, in fact, positively relish the opportunity to do what needed doing.

It could not have been expected to be otherwise. In the first place, a totally alien religion cannot be imposed on a spiritually healthy people—and the Germans were still essentially healthy, despite the dislocations caused by the Voelkerwanderung. Christianity had to be modified to suit their nature—at least, temporarily. In the second place, the average German did not have to come to grips with the alien moral imperatives of the Sermon on the Mount. All he had to do was learn when to genuflect; wrestling with Holy Writ was exclusively the problem of the clergy.

It was not until the Reformation, in the sixteenth century, that the laity began studying the Bible and thinking seriously about its contents. Even then, however, the tendency was to interpret alien teachings in a way that left them more or less compatible with natural tendencies.

Slave Morality. But Christian ethics—the slave morality preached in the Roman catacombs—was like a time bomb ticking away in Europe: a Trojan horse brought inside the fortress, waiting for its season. That season came, and the damage was done. Today Christianity is one of the most active forces working from within to destroy the White race.

From the Christian churches came the notion of “the White man’s burden,” along with the missionaries who saw in every African cannibal or Chinese coolie a soul to be saved, of equal value in the eyes of Jehovah to any White soul. It is entirely a Christian impulse—at least, on the part of the average American voter, if not the government—which sends American food and medical supplies to keep alive swarming millions of Asiatics, Africans, and Latins every time they have a famine, so that they can continue to outbreed Whites.

The otherworldly emphasis on individual salvation, on an individual relationship between Creator and creature which relegates the relationship between individual and race, tribe, and community to insignificance; the inversion of natural values inherent in the exalting of the botched, the unclean, and the poor in spirit in the Sermon on the Mount—the injunction to “resist not evil”—all are prescriptions for racial suicide. Indeed, had a fiendishly clever enemy set out to concoct a set of doctrines intended to lead the White race to its destruction, he could hardly have done better.

The “White guilt” syndrome exploited so assiduously by America’s non-White minorities is a product of Christian teachings, as is the perverse reverence for “God’s chosen people” which has paralyzed so many Christians’ wills to resist Jewish depredations.

Moses Replaces Hermann. Not the least of the damage done by the Christianization of Europe was the gradual replacement of White tradition, legend, and imagery by that of the Jews. Instead of specifically Celtic or German or Slavic heroes, the Church’s saints, many of them Levantines, were held up to the young for emulation; instead of the feats of Hermann or Vercingetorix, children were taught of the doings of Moses and David.

Europeans’ artistic inspiration was turned away from the depiction of their own rich heritage and used to glorify that of an alien race; Semitic proverbs and figures of speech took precedence over those of Indo-European provenance; Europeans even abandoned the names of their ancestors and began giving Jewish names to their children: Samuel and Sarah, John and Joan, Michael and Mary, Daniel and Deborah.

Despite all these long-term consequences of Christianity, however, the immediate symptoms of the infection which the conquering Germans picked up from the defeated Romans were hardly noticeable; White morals and manners, motivations and behavior remained much as they had been, for they were rooted in the genes—but now they had a new rationale.

Today’s Christian Patriots. And it is only fair to note that even today a fairly substantial minority of White men and women who still think of themselves as Christians have not allowed their sounder instincts to be corrupted by doctrines suited to a following of mongrelized slaves. They ignore the Jewish origins of Christianity and justify their instinctive dislike and distrust of Jews with the fact that the Jews, in demanding that Jesus be killed, became a race forever accursed (“His blood be on us and on our children”).

They interpret the divine injunction of brotherhood as applying only to Whites. Like the Franks of the Middle Ages, they believe what suits them and conveniently forget or invent their own interpretation for the rest. Were they the Christian mainstream today, the religion would not be the racial menace that it is. Unfortunately, however, they are not; virtually none are actively affiliated with any of the larger, established Christian churches.