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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nietzsche On German Historiography

There is an imperial German historiography, indeed, I fear, an anti-Semitic one, — there is a court historiography, and Mr von Treitschke knows no shame… recently an idiotic judgment in historical matters, a sentence by the Swabian esthete Vischer, now fortunately faded from the scene, made its rounds in the German newspapers as a “truth” which every German should recognize: “The Renaissance and the Reformation must be joined together to make a whole—the esthetic rebirth and the moral rebirth.” – I lose patience when I hear such sentences, and I feel a desire, indeed, a duty, to tell the Germans all the things they have on their conscience! All the great cultural crimes of four centuries are on their conscience!… And always for the same reason, because of their internalized cowardice in the face of reality, which is also a cowardice in the face of the truth, which they have made into their instinctive untruth, from “idealism.”

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