The New Nihilists: Political Nihilism and the Progressive Movement in America

During the dark days of the Second World War, Helmut Thielicke experienced the horrors of National Socialism on a daily basis.  Due to his standing as a Lutheran minister, professor of philosophy, and doctor of theology, he became a person of interest to the Gestapo, who kept him under constant surveillance and frequently hauled him in for interrogation.  After the war, he lectured and wrote extensively about his experiences, and when asked how a country that produced such luminaries as Bach and Beethoven could also produce an Adolf Hitler, he initially blamed the usual suspects: the Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression, economic instability, and social unrest — but he did not leave it there.  Instead, he did the unthinkable and placed some of the blame on his fellow Germans for their uncritical acceptance of Hitler's promises — a point he emphasized in his book, Between Heaven and Earth.  "Hitler," he said,...(Read Full Article)
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