Tag Archives: Rolf Peter Sieferle

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A Change of Epochs:
Rolf Peter Sieferle’s Epochenwechsel

10,814 words

Rolf Peter Sieferle (1949-2016), who for many years had worked and written in relative obscurity, became suddenly better-known in the German-speaking world as a result of the uproar surrounding the posthumous appearance of one of his books, Finis Germania, on the bestseller list of Der Spiegel in 2017. Read more …

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Learning from Auschwitz

1,420 words

Translated from Finis Germania by F. Roger Devlin

What does the teaching of Auschwitz actually consist of? That man, when he finds the opportunity, is capable of the worst? If anyone needs Auschwitz to learn this, let him learn it from Auschwitz. Or that in technological modernity modern technology can be used for mass murder? Read more …

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The New Official Religion

The Holocaust memorial in Berlin.

1,643 words

Translated from Finis Germania by F. Roger Devlin

At regular intervals, the practiced television viewer can watch a presentation that runs approximately as follows: The Federal President delivers a historical sermon before the assembled parliamentarians in which he conjures up the spirits of the undead and announces a truth which everybody knows and all believe in. Read more …

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The Eternal Nazi

Charles Krafft, The Cross Wasn’t Heavy

1,165 words

Translated from Finis Germania by F. Roger Devlin

There are still myths and there are still taboos. Nudity and sexual practices of all sorts are no longer among them, any more than good old-fashioned blasphemy. The Christian God, for example, can be abused at pleasure without the slightest consequences. One taboo, however, remains immoveable: anti-Semitism. Read more …

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A Report from Germany
Rolf Peter Sieferle:
The Man & the Scandal

Rolf Peter Sieferle

936 words

Rolf Peter Sieferle (1949–2016) was a German historical scholar whose posthumously published book Finis Germania set off a moral panic in the summer of 2017.

A member of the generation of ’68, he was a radical in his youth, writing his doctoral dissertation on the Marxian concept of revolution. He became a trailblazer in the field of environmental history, Read more …

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Excerpts from Finis Germania

1,212 words

Translated by F. Roger Devlin

Translator’s Note:

Finis Germania is a very different book from the carefully referenced scholarly works which established Sieferle’s academic reputation. It is a collection of brief personal meditations on what the Germans call Vergangenheitsbewältigung: “overcoming (or coping with) the past,” Read more …

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