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...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, August 22, 2005


Tell me -- what immediate mental image comes to you if someone, say me, were to paint this scene for you:

In a huge, open-ended field once used for army manoeuvres, a group of Germans of all ages, but particularly full of young, nubile bodies, congregate in euphoric outpour of support for their German leader...

...a man usually quiet, even shy, but today transformed by the power of his strong, intense words, challenging this mass of torchlit youth to greater heights of belief, by the sheer force of his presence and the impeccably-planned impact of the occasion?

You can be forgiven if this below is what springs to mind first.

Until this weekend.

This weekend gave the world another image of Germany to collect in her arsenal of historical snapshots.

This weekend, a 78-year old frail, retiring German man gave his people a different mental self-image in circumstances diametrically opposed to the ones of the Nuremberg Rallies, the loathesome Partei Täge.

The particulars of the image weren't so different, as you have read.

But its purpose was so different, so manifestly different, as to be light-years away from the first.

Instead of racial superiority, and the teaching of bilious hatred, in heightened demonic tones, this old man offered inclusion for all peoples; voluntary acts of kindness; he extended a hand of sympathy and friendship, and the not the least of which, very real penance, to German Jews.

He sat down with 12 (yes 12, the magic Catholic number) youths of several countries to supper, and acted as translator when communication broke down, laughing and smiling and even answering questions posed to him on what he meant by 'relativism'.

Some say that he is not The German Pope, as Karol Wojtyla was undoubtedly The Polish Pope, but I think that is very wrong, or at least, misguided.

He may love to speak Italian, and his eyes twinkle when he speaks French, he may have the air of a humble academic of indeterminate residence (which, of course, he is), but he is very much a German Pope.

He knows how important it is for his fellow countrymen to have a vision of themselves which is of peace, of camaraderie, of love -- and this weekend, he gave it to them.

And if ever there were a people who needed it, it was the Germans.

He allowed them to believe and be carried away by the fervour of God and life, which they could then present the world, a baby-step counterbalance to the horrific images of yesteryear.

This weekend wasn't about the Triumph of the Will. It was about the Triumph of the Faith.

And the victors were all peoples there, but especially, the Germans -- the heart of Mitteleuropa.


  • Thanks for that!
    Laura Ingraham talked about how little coverage it got, esp considering size and composition of the crowd.

    By Blogger Doug, at Mon Aug 22, 09:03:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Glad you enjoyed it, Doug. :)

    I see from the Hit Counter lots of people checked this post out, but few left a message. Well, that's alright -- not everyone needs to say something, but without feedback, how is a blogger to know how many beans make 5?


    P.S.: Ahhh...Laura Ingraham. The better of the two long-legged, horsey-faced conservative lady analysts. I'll say no more.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Aug 23, 01:30:00 am GMT-4  

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