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Weimar Republic : historian Karl Schlögel explores the Russian Berlin

"Of a ,the normalization can be in any case, no more talk," writes Karl Schlögel at the end of his Preface to the expanded edition of the classic "Russian Berlin". When he published the book in 1998 for the first time, wrote to the Berlin historian is still confident: "For the first Time after a century of terrible tangles and collisions there are between Russia and Germany with no real problems." Such optimism Schlögel is moved away after the experience with President Putin, the annexation of the Crimea and the treatment of the EU as an enemy. That alone is bitter enough; for a better Ambassador for mutual understanding and understanding of volition, as the long time at the Viadrina in Frankfurt / Or teaching Schlögel, would be difficult to find. His judgment has weight, and if it fails now, so resigned, then that means the Atrophy of a hope that was out of the disintegration of the former bloc confrontation with your center, the division of Germany, a grown-up.

His book does little, however, not detract from, and his interest in research as well. Three new chapters added Schlögel of the new edition, which comes this weekend in the book of acts. One would think that the additions with the current state of the "Russian Berlin" to deal with the Schlögel to 300,000 immigrants, the Russian language is estimated. But that was already done for the second edition in 2007. Now has made Schlögel three persons or groups, the German reader is rather strange and this is precisely the span of the German-Russian situation in the Berlin of the Weimar Republic. It is the scientists of the brothers Kulischer and Joseph Schechtman, Nikolai Berdyaev, and finally, older readers, perhaps, just a term to Edwin Erich Dwinger.

Dwinger - the eternal front officer

"Through Russia in the head of the German in the 20th century. To speak of a century, to quote without Dwingers novels, is entirely impossible,“ says Schlögel. In Kiel as the son of a naval officer, and a Russian-born mother, born in war, first in Russian and later, as a Volunteer of the Whites in the civil war in Soviet prisoner-of-war come, he made around 1930, with three novels about the prisoner-of-war and the civil war Furore – and his novel, "White and Red" about the civil war in Siberia from the right or the left of the applause received.

in fact, Dwinger was the eternal front of the officer, the one who made it as a Russia expert in the case of the Nazis, a certain career – he verscherzte, as he war against the designation of the Russians spoke in the course of the Second world as "sub-humans". After all he went through after 1945 as a "follower" and began to write again about Russia. No doubt, "Dwinger was not just anyone, but a Central figure", what image of Russia, the German was (strange only that Schlögel overlooks the influence of, among other things, Dwingers stories of the atrocities of the civil war, and the "rat cage" to Ernst Nolte's infamous comment concerning the "causal Nexus" between the Gulag and Auschwitz have had).

Schlögel is Pathos, not foreign

While Dwinger, "brought like hardly any other sentimental Russophilia and Vernichtunsgbereitschaft in the belief war", with Berlin only externally, in the relationship, were the two years of 1922, on the instructions of Lenin on one of the three "philosophers ' ships" from the Soviet Russia, stated Nikolai Berdyaev in Berlin, spent, is crucial: Here, he headed the "Department of spiritual culture" to the "Russian Scientific Institut", the was lifted in 1923, in the premises of Schinkel's Bauakademie to the baptism. Here he wrote and published the book "The New middle ages," in which he takes a differentiated view on the Bolshevik Revolution, which makes him among the fanatics of the Berlin exile scene suspect. "The Revolution must exhaust themselves, and destroy," – a prophecy, no one had any idea that their commitment would be almost seven decades.

Schlögel is Pathos, not foreign, but if you are, then it is an in-depth, how the immensely powerful – shows a Chapter about the three scholars who explore what they had to do themselves: the forced migration. "No one has the Problem of the forced and voluntary migration, the exclusion of ethnic, religious, linguistic and social groups to social and ethnic cleansing-the organized violence and population transfer, resettlement plans on a large scale, including in the name of race and class on the completion of the genocide, not so much on the subject of how the three scholars who had gathered between the Wars in Berlin: Alexander and Eugene Kulischer and Joseph Schechtman seeds," writes Schlögel. Especially him, showed in his book "In space we read the time" (2003), are likely to have, and how history leaves out the cards and rate books read, the cards, fascinated by the offerings of the Kulischers their books.

The experience the core of the Migration

"Berlin has become the starting point and endpoint, to the transit station of the great migration", is rounded off by Schlögel, this Chapter reads like a conclusion of the whole, about two decades resulting book. Once again, he is one of what people came to the streams whence and whither went, voluntarily as immigrants, and forced the deportees.

What had but and refugees, regardless of where, have in common? "There is a hard experience, core to the Thinking of the Defeated, and the Survivors circled and the refugees from two Regimes is processed: It is the experience of abandonment, of nonresistance, of the Helplessness of the Individual in the face of the modern Leviathan." Leviathan, we remember, is described by the absolute state, such as Hobbes ' in 1651. In front of him there is, as Berlin's migration history shows, no Escape.

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Karl Schlögel, to the 70. On the way to the middle of Europe

Bernhard Schulz

Karl Schlögel: The Russian Berlin. A capital in the century of extremes. Updated, enlarged edition. Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin 2019. 667 S. m. zahlr. Fig., 38 €.

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