Tillich Describes McCarthy's Influence As 'Potential Fascism' in PBH Speech
Paul J. Tillich last night labeled the McCarthy influence of the last few years as potential Fascism. He likened the "rule of McCarthy" in America to the emergence of Nazism in pre-war Germany.
Speaking before the Phillips Brooks House Association dinner, Tillich, one of six University Professors, discussed pre- and post-war Germany and the effects that Fascism and Nazism have had on the German people. He commented that the McCarthy movement was not allowed to spread, because "America is too big a country to be dominated by such a man and by such a cause."
Tillich described post-war Western Germany as a country floating on "economic quicksand." Surprised by Germany's recovery after the second World War, he said that such a comeback could really only be caused by a miracle. He added, "The question is: Is this a divine or a demonic miracle?"
Tillich began his speech by saying that "as a minister, I must have three parts to everything." Tillich discussed his personal experiences in Nazi Germany; why Germany went to Nazism; and present day life in that country.
Tillich was fired from his job at the University of Frankfurt by Nazi officials in 1933. He cites his book, Socialist Decision, a work highly critical of the Nazi government, as the reason for his dismissal. "I then left Germany for many reasons," Tillich said, "but the most important was because of the Fascist's enmity against any self-surrendering love towards the Cross of Christ."
"There was more than one cause for the insane state of the German mind before World War II," Tillich said. He described the depression of 1929 as responsible for a "deadly resentment" developed in the minds of the German middle class. "The Nazis were skillful enough to turn this resentment against two factions, the lower classes and the Jewish intelligentsia," he explained.
Cause of Fascist Mania
Tillich went on to say that pre-war Germans lost the criterion and the meaning of the church, and emphasized this as one of the main causes of the Fascist mania. "In America, we still have such criteria," said Tillich, "and this is why such potentially Fascist movements as McCarthy's can never succeed."
The division of present-day Germany was described by Tillich as an "extremely dangerous situation." He said, "There is nothing but restlessness, cynicism and hopelessness in the German's concept of the future."