Monday, September 30, 2013

The Pope and the Fascists: Karlheinz Deschner

Earlier this year I was asked to read a manuscript that had been sent to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.  The request was simple. Would I give my opinion on the manuscript?  The title grabbed my attention and I started reading.  Any initial enthusiasm that this text would add to our knowledge of the fascist era in Europe was quickly squashed.  I think it safe to say that I have not read a more amazing piece of near-hysterical anti-Catholic polemic and propaganda than this.  Its style ranks alongside the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" though, mercifully, without the bloodshed that ensued from its use.

Who is Karlheinz Deschner?  From the little information available online I have discovered he is a former Catholic who has spent his much of his life in a war against Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.  His academic qualifications begin with a degree in Forestry from the University of Munich.  Shortly afterwards he began studies in philosophy, theology and psychology at Bamburg, although it is not clear if he was awarded a degree.  Between 1947 and 1951 Deschner studied at the University of Wurzburg where he completed his doctoral studies in contemporary German literature.

I have not found any critical reviews of Deschner's work from any church historians, historians of the fascist and Nazi eras, holocaust historians or anywhere else.  And while I admit my skills in German are minimal, I have not found much through trawling the Internet.  Which makes me wonder why this book written in 1965 is to be re-published unchanged in 2013?  This will be the first of Deschner's fifty or so books to be published in English.

The only benefit I see in publishing this work is to provide students with an example of vicious, polemic and propaganda with the reminder that history is built on fact, not hysteria.

Deschner's supporters believe his is a voice the English-speaking world needs to hear and so this book is due to be published by Prometheus Books early in October.

My review can be found on the pages section of the blog

Karlheinz Deschner 1924-

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