duminică, 24 aprilie 2016

The coming of the Third Reich, Richard J. Evans

"If the experience of the Third Reich teaches us anything, it is that a love of great music, great art and great literature does not provide people with any kind of moral or political immunization against violence, atrocity, or subservience and dictatorship. Indeed, many commentators on the left from 1930s onwards argued that the advanced nature of German culture and society was itself the major cause of Nazism's triumph."

"Even the most diehard reactionary might eventually have learned to tolerate the Republic if it had provided a reasonable level of economic stability, and a decent, solid income for its citizens. But from the start it was beset by economic failures of a dimension unprecedented in German history."

"Money, income, financial stability, economic order, regularity and predictability had been at the heart of bourgeois values and bourgeois existence before the war. Now all this seemed to have been swept away along with the equally solid-seeming political system of the Wilhelmine Reich."

" 'I often ask myself (...) why I write such an extensive diary. I can't leave it alone. (...) Just collect life. Always collect. Impressions, knowledge, reading, events, everything. And don't ask why or what for.' "

"Where books are burned in the end people will be burned too."

"The Nazi party was a party of protest, with not much of a positive programme, and a few practical solutions to Germany's problems. But its extremist ideology, adapted and sometimes veiled according to circumstance and the nature of the particular group of people to whom it was appealing, tapped into a sufficient number of pre-existing popular German beliefs and prejudices to make it seem to many worth supporting at the polls."

luni, 18 aprilie 2016

Vienna, BBC Documentary

Not that long ago another authoritarian ruler sought to make a country great again.

luni, 11 aprilie 2016

Catedrala mântuirii cămătarilor

Enrico Scrovegni, bancher cu stare din Padova, îl plătește pe Giotto pe la 1300 să-i picteze capela personală ca să-și spele păcatele, umblă vorba prin târg. Ani mai târziu, Michelangelo avea să găsească inspirație în scenele pline de viață și culoare, pictate cu o măiestrie nemaivăzută până atunci. România mai adaugă un monstru din beton colecției și așa extinse de mânăstiri, biserici și catedrale. Probabil am găsi nume și sume mult mai interesante pe listele de donatori decât pe multe declarații de avere.