Christmas

Christmas

Christmas

Christmas

Excerpt

Professor Barth wrote the following Christmas meditations for German daily newspapers during the years 1926 to 1933. The first six of these articles were published in the Münchener Neueste Nachrichten, which was then widely read among the Bavarian middle class. Many of Dr Barth's readers were not Protestant and many held political views different from his own--two groups which were by no means identical. After Hitler's accession to power the Bavarian press was no longer open to a man who stood for political as well as religious freedom. The last articles, which were written in the fateful year 1933, were published by the Berliner Tageblatt and the Vossische Zeitung, two papers which once represented the liberal views of the capital's intelligentsia. Many of those who found comfort in these final Christmas meditations, were neither Protestants nor Roman Catholics but Jews, faced with the grim reality of persecution and always eager to listen to gentler sounds than the blast of Nazi propaganda. At that time they gladly listened to the voice of the Christmas Angel.

These articles are not timeless, for they have a definite "Sitz im Leben" of the German nation during a period when the country went from the apparent prosperity and comparative peace of the mid-twenties rapidly through a period of depression, unemployment and threatening civil war to its surrender before Nazi dictatorship. However the message conveyed here is for all times and for all nations, the message of true Christmas over against disbelief, wavering and sheer sentimentality. In the Preface to the first reprint of those articles which appeared as a . . .

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