Today is the 75th anniversary of the attempt made to assassinate Adolf Hitler at his headquarters in East Prussia, the Wolfsschanze (Wolf’s Lair), now situated within the borders of post-1945 Poland.
I blogged last year about matters around the event and around those times more generally:
What is there to add? Perhaps a reminder that human manifestations on this Earth do not last forever. The film, below, shows what the sprawling headquarters of 1944 is like today: as abandoned and lost as the cities of the Aztecs or the Mayans.
On the other hand, the devastated cities of the Germany of 1944 and 1945 are today thriving governmental, commercial, cultural and residential centres, with populations again in the hundreds of thousands or even millions.
[above, Dresden in 1945]
[above, Berlin in 1945; area shown is the Unter den Linden boulevard in central Berlin]
[above, Berlin in 1945; area shown is the Reichskanzlei or Reich Chancellery]
The above photographs show the devastation resulting from war. Today, those same areas are prosperous, busy, thronged with inhabitants. Some of the old has been replaced, some kept, adapted to contemporary usage.
The same is true of ideas. Both the practical and the spiritual-cultural achievements of National Socialism were huge, enormous, particularly when it is considered that they were achieved within only 6 years of peace, the years 1933-1939. SIX YEARS!
We do not need to copy or indeed defend everything that was done by, or in the name of, the Reich. Indeed, many of the flaws of the Reich, or supposed flaws, existed and in fact were even more glaring in both the West and the Soviet Union of the 1930s. The Zeitgeist streamed over the world as a whole, like the jetstream.
In 2019, we honour what was good in the Reich, what worked for the German people and the peoples of all Europe. The rest, we do not need. Times move on. Some challenges remain; others, newly emerged, have to be faced for the first time.
We honour the past and stand ready to create the future.