Treitschke's Origins of Prussianism (The Teutonic Knights)

Treitschke's Origins of Prussianism (The Teutonic Knights)

Treitschke's Origins of Prussianism (The Teutonic Knights)

Treitschke's Origins of Prussianism (The Teutonic Knights)

Excerpt

Heinrich von Treitschke, the author of this very remarkable study of the colonization of Old Prussia by the Teutonic Knights (substantially an account of the origins of Prussianism), was born at Dresden in 1834 and died at Berlin in 1896, before completing his most famous work, History of Germany in the Nineteenth Century, which he carried on only to 1847. That was translated into English and published here during the war of 1914-1918, in seven volumes. The present essay was penned in 1862. In youth Treitschke had liberal leanings which made it impossible for him to begin his professorial career in Saxony, and he was still unacademic when he wrote Das deutsche Ordensland Preussen. But his liberalism was never more than skin-deep--never "radical." Besides being an enthusiastic admirer of Prussianism, he was bitten by the antisemitism which has long been one of the curses of Germany. The fact that the two most prominent German socialists among his contemporaries in youth, Marx and Lassalle, were both of Jewish extraction, may have contributed to Treitschke's hatred of socialism. But antisemitism apart, there was enough . . .

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