About princes and servants

A comment by Dagmar Henn.

In Germany one cannot get rid of the old governance. The descendants of Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig von Preußen, who once drowned the revolution in blood in 1848, demand compensation. And the fact itself does not trigger any horror or indignation; no, the debate revolves solely around how helpful the lords of Hohenzollern (1) were in hoisting the private from Braunau into the saddle.

Some may object that this is correct from a legal point of view. After all, it is about lands and castles that were expropriated in the Soviet zone after the Second World War because they belonged to supporters of Nazi Germany. Because this applies to most to Junkers there, this expropriation affected almost the entire class, not just the Hohenzollern. And yes, the trust made a lot of effort to give back the property to most of these aristocratic lords; if that was not possible as a reassignment (because they had just supported the power of the Nazis, and the expropriations for this reason were laid down in the Unification Treaty), then by selling them back the goods for a ridiculous sum. It was clear that the Hohenzollern, as alpha animals of the pack, also wanted to have their share.

A debate about how eagerly they helped Wilhelm I remains halfway there, because it pretends they would be entitled to this property, if that were not the case. Do they really? Well, one of their ancestors had exchanged letters with Voltaire; does that outweigh the hectoliters of blood spilled by their subjects in the countless wars of the Prussian rulers, does that make them forget that Prussia laid like a lead coat on the German lands? „Sleep, my child, sleep softly“, it says in a 19th century folk song (2) from Baden, „out there the Prussian goes. He killed your father, he made your mother poor. And the Prussian closes his eyes to those who do not sleep well. Sleep, my child, sleep softly. The Prussian goes out there.“

The German nation-state, when it was baptized in 1871, was an abominable hermaphrodite of bourgeoisie and feudal power, including serfdom, and the mutilated Revolution of 1918 still failed to break the grip of the nobility around its neck; the referendum for the expropriation of princes in 1926 failed, and the bloodsuckers were compensated…

By the way, it is not only the princes, it is also the churches (3) that receive state money to this day because their land holdings have been secularized, i.e. expropriated and distributed. This already happened at the beginning of the 19th century, and until today millions of taxpayers‘ money flow year after year in addition to church tax – thus also from the pockets of those who are not members of any church. 460 million euros are paid every year, because monasteries and dioceses are no longer allowed to let serfs make the furrows.

Countless magazines of the yellow press work tirelessly to maintain the lackey attitude, but even the most bourgeois journal is not ashamed to use titles of nobility which should have disappeared since 1918; they are supposed to write „Mr. Hohenzollern“, not the „Prince“… Only in the annexed part was it temporarily possible to correct the birth defect of the first German republic.

Even a five-year-old can effortlessly be explained that the wealth of the princes was not acquired through one’s own efforts, but was obtained from forced labour and robbery. In view of the portraits of these lords, no one would think that they had spent their time creating values; they only allowed things to be created. A decent bourgeois society, which, unlike in Germany, disposed of the aristocracy in time, has no difficulty in expressing this simple truth.

Only in Germany can this not be said even in regard to the princes. Ça ira (4) was never sung here. The misery of the simple German subjects, on which all the aristocratic pomp was based, is mercifully forgotten; from the slaughter that the Waldburger Count, called „Bauernjörg“ (5), caused among the rebellious peasants in 1525, to the devastations of the Thirty Years‘ War, in which countless princes fought like mutts for their prey and devastated the country, to the prohibition of collecting wood in Prussian forests – let us lay the cloak of silence over it and pretend that this was honestly acquired property. After all, property is sacred, at least where it occurs in large numbers.

No one in this glorious republic is willing to open the great barrel and look at the property of all the countless big and small princes. On the contrary, they would probably be more willing to resign themselves to the Hohenzollern, so that no one would lift the lid of this barrel and point to all the others who also have plenty of corpses in their cellars, the descendants of said Bauernjörgs, for example, who are still rich and powerful, the Thurn and Taxis, the Guelphs… down to a Herr Egloffstein (6), all of whom are convinced that they are the better people and that they have a right to sit on their stolen treasures. Most of them might have zealous supporters of Nazi Germany among their ancestors, including some SS officers; but those who lived in the Western Republic were never called to account, as little as for all other crimes in the centuries before.

Stupid for the Hohenzollern, because the Soviet troops took their possession? No, rather stupid for the inhabitants of the West Republic, because they had to endure the Weimar birth defect further and not even the nests of the extreme reaction, the German nobility, were dug out. And they were taught not only to be servants to the lords of the banks and corporations, but also to be servants to the princes. And this servant’s spirit, the submissiveness, was so drummed into that not even a poet can be found to comment on these events appropriately sarcastically, as Erich Weinert did in 1925:

Fürstenaufwertung

Die abgetakelten Dynastien
Die dunnemals auf Grund von vergilbten
Familienpapieren und großem Spleen
Dahergeschwenkert im Hermelin
Und Kronen über die Ohren stülpten,

In deren komplettem Ahnensaal
Gepanzerte Spitzbuben rumgespenstern,
Die fürstlich versoffen das Kapital,
Das man mit Gott zusammenstahl,
Mit Huren und untertänigen Wänstern,

Die dann von Detmold bis nach Berlin
Sich aufgetakelt in Denkmalsposen,
Die schauerlich große Bögen spien,
Solange die Sache nicht brenzlig schien,
Doch dann verduftet mit vollen Hosen,

Dieselben, die wir, rührend human,
Leider damals nicht in den Kasten steckten,
Die fühlen sich wieder als Obertan
Und schnarzen herum mit Größenwahn
und sämtlichen Militäreffekten.

Dieselben, die damals Gebete gelallt,
Daß wir ihnen nicht den Arsch verdroschen,
Die brüllen heut nach dem Staatsanwalt
Und fordern ihr volles Friedensgehalt,
Und das bis zum letzten Arbeitergroschen.

Ein republikanisches Landgericht
Entschied für die Schwarzburg-Sondershausen:
Die guten Sitten erlauben nicht,
Dass den deutschen Fürsten ein Leids geschicht;
Denn die hatten schon immer das Recht zu mausen.

Wir verstehen uns schon auf den guten Ton
Und leben in landesherrlichen Zeiten.
Wovon soll auch sonst der Landespatron
Die Kosten der Konterrrevolution
Und der teuren Denkmalsparaden bestreiten?

Was die Herren vorzeiten expropriiert
(Das heißt zusammengeklaut mit Gottes Gnaden),
Wird ihnen feierlichst garantiert.
Und der kleine Mann, der hungert und friert,
Bezahlt den ganzen Monarchenladen.

Nun bezieht sich jeder Winkeldynast
Auf die vornehmen thüringschen Rechtsentscheide.
Jeder Stammbaum bis zum fünfzigsten Ast
Fällt uns dann lebenslänglich zur Last
Und liegt uns wie Blei im Eingeweide.

O du höfliche deutsche Revolution,
du verkanntest damals den Sinn der Laternen!
Du vergoldest die Strolche, die dich bedrohn.
Wann wirst du gegen den „guten Ton“
und die „guten Sitten“ verstoßen lernen?

Sources:

  1. https://www.ostsee-zeitung.de/Nachrichten/Politik/Historiker-Entschaedigung-fuer-die-Preussen-Familie-waere-moralisch-schwer-begruendbar
  2. https://www.volksliederarchiv.de/schlaf-mein-kind-schlaf-leis/
  3. https://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/wirtschaftspolitik/enteignung-der-kirchen-entschaedigungen-bis-in-alle-ewigkeit-12555649.html
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9VoRmjxvPs
  5. https://www.ovb-online.de/weltspiegel/bayern/bauernjoerg-4998760.html
  6. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/bayern/der-graf-will-uns-mit-allen-mitteln-schaden-alles-meins-1.3236762
  7. Erich Weinert, Zeit-Gedichte, Berlin 1968

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Picture reference: Viacheslav Lopatin / Shutterstock

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