Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Tribute to Kurt Huber (1893-1943)

A visit to Mike Gilleland's weblog this morning put me in mind of the philosopher Kurt Huber who taught at the University of Munich until he was executed by the National Socialists in 1943. Huber was part of a resistance group including Hans and Sophie Scholl and others called The White Rose. The Nazis stripped him of his professorship and his doctorate before condemning him to death by guillotine. He spent his last days working on a book on Leibniz. His unearthly courage earned him the right to join that most select band of philosophers, Philosophia's martyrs, among whom we find Socrates, Seneca, Boethius and Giordano Bruno. See here for more on Huber and his friends. A movie was made about The White Rose, which I viewed some years ago.

I am now reading an excellent book by Anthony Read, The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle (Norton, 2004.) It is important to study the secular forms of totalitarianism (Fascism, National Socialism, Communism) in order to understand the totalitarian threat of militant Islam. If the geo-political meaning of the 20th century was the struggle against the secular forms of totalitarianism, the meaning of the early decades of the 21st century will be the struggle against the religiously-based totalitarianism of the Islamo-fascists.